2.28.2012

Zone 5: Linen closet...plus a little pregnancy tidbit

This is another boring one and there's no fancy organization going on here.


I tackled the linen closet during my last pregnancy, and I'm sad to say that even though I didn't take a before picture this time, it looked almost as bad as this before picture from the last pregnancy:



Almost.  But it wasn't quite this bad.



A few baskets for things like batteries and light bulbs and other random household stuff (like wood markers and those little felt pad things you stick on chair legs when you have wood floors).



The following is my pathetic attempt to be like Martha.  Why do I even bother?  I can never be Martha.



 This picture and a description about folding up all the sheets and pillowcases in a sheet set and sticking them all in one of the pillowcases is on her website, but I failed miserably at making mine look this this.  Oh well.



I made labels for blankets, pillowcases (that don't belong to sets) and random sheets so that we can hopefully, in the future, keep this closet from ever getting bad again.  That's my whole objective with this whole reorganizing mission: label EVERYTHING and give EVERYTHING a place so that there's no excuse to ever get disorganized again.



In other news, I've been getting a whole heck of a lot of "You're huge!" and "That's one big belly!" and "That baby sure is getting big, huh?" comments lately, so I think this baby must have had a growth spurt.  Or maybe it's just all the vegan desserts I've been making...




You'll see here that Adalyn's favorite activity is crawling through my legs over and over.  :)


I'm feeling alright.  Huge.  Very pregnant.  Lots of aches and pains.  There's definitely no forgetting I'm pregnant these days.  This baby moves, too!  Wowsers!  Even Tim commented this week about how much earlier he feels like we can see and feel this baby.  I mean, at 26 weeks I can already see the baby's body parts moving across my belly.  Never happened with either of my other kids this early.  I think I'll have my hands full with this mover & shaker.


I'm starting to get really anxious to know the gender.  I'm waiting, of course, but the anticipation is starting to really get to me.  What is this little one growing inside of me?  Will the girls outnumber the boys or the boys outnumber the girls?  Eeeeeeek!

2.27.2012

Help fill our empty space! Please?

Zone 4: Master bedroom makeover, FINALLY!

You might remember that a year ago (literally - a year ago yesterday - how wild is that?!), I said I wanted to redo our master bedroom.



I put it all out there, revealing our long-neglected master bedroom.  And our dirty one.


I said in that post that it was going to take me a long time to redo our bedroom and I obviously wasn't kidding!


It was pretty bad.  You might recall some pictures like this:




We had a newborn rooming in, which was the reason for the changing table.  But the old dresser that was falling apart at the seams and the bare floor and the darkness of the room and the BEDSHEET FOR A CURTAIN?   Just not working for me.



Over time, we made some improvements.  I bought some old but solid dressers on Craigslist for a whopping $25 and refinished them.  We also got a rug, though it wasn't exactly what I wanted.  So here we were, in progress (beware: I don't sugar coat - this is real life and this room was messy)




This still wasn't working for me.  I liked the black bed and curtains when we moved in, but with the gray walls, our room was always so dark.  I suppose that's okay for a master bedroom, but I was just ready for something brighter and lighter and more fun after years in a dark master bedroom.



I blogged about ideas I had over the past year herehere, and here.


I see and admire all kinds of gorgeous neutral rooms on Pinterest and the blogosphere, but in all honesty, it's just not me.  I'm a color girl!  I wanted color.  So I took to Pinterest for color schemes (and other ideas).



Here were some of my inspirations.  Click any picture for the source, if there was one available.








So I knew my color scheme: gray, aqua, yellow and white.  And I knew I wanted sheer panels behind our bed.



Then I went shopping.  The fun part!



And I came home and unloaded everything, eager to get this done as quickly as possible.  It ended up being a lot more involved that I was planning for, but as I keep saying, totally worth it!  Let's look at the before and afters, shall we?





 I got the mirror for ten(!!!!) dollars at Home Goods.  It had a little damage, but nothing that I cared about (a few scratches on the mirror which are barely noticeable and a little crack that was easily fixable with wood glue).  It was off-white, which didn't work for the room, so I taped it up and spray painted it my favorite Krylon Blue Ocean Breeze.



That love notes box on the dresser was a gift I made for Tim a long time ago, and works out perfectly now since it was also sprayed Blue Ocean Breeze.



The rug is leaving a lot to be desired now.  There's so much white in the room that the cream rug doesn't even make sense. We have a huge gray rug in our living room that will be moved into our master bedroom sometime this week.  Unfortunately, it's the size of our entire floor, so we have to move all the furniture in the room out to do it.



Okay, back to business.




I just love how much brighter our room is now.  The sheer curtains made a big difference.  I am all about the sheer lately!  I cleared away all the clutter and took the picture off the wall because we'll be needing that space above the tall dresser for our flat-screen TV which will be getting installed very, very soon!  The candle holder on top of the tall dresser was actually something I bought almost a year ago for the sole purpose of this bedroom.  The problem was that it was the wrong color blue.  I wasn't sure how it would turn out spray painted, but I decided it couldn't hurt to try.  So I sprayed it with the Blue Ocean Breeze a few times and it worked out perfectly.  I was sort of shocked it was that easy.




 Ignore the one panel on the window.  I didn't buy enough clips to hang both panels, so I have to go back to the store to finish this off.  Whoops.



The wall hangings started out pretty hideous.  This was another buy that I made with the purpose of this bedroom makeover, but they sat in our basement for months and months until I finally figured out how to use them.



They were these hideous pineapple pictures and they were on clearance for $3.00 each.  I knew that I couldn't get a black frame that size for that cheap, and I knew that I could stick fabric inside of them when I finally decided on the bedroom colors, so that's exactly what I did.



I found both of those fabrics on clearance for $1.50 a yard, and all I needed was 1/4 of a yard, so this ended up being one heck of a cheap project and the fabric matched perfectly.  




The yellow and turquoise pillows are from Target and they were $30 for all 4.  The dark gray pillow that I fell in love with was from Home Goods (pretty much my new favorite store) and it was about $15.  The quilt was also a Home Goods score and for a King, it was only $49.  I was floored!  The cheapest white quilt I found at Target was $80.  And I like this quilt even more than any I saw at Target.



I got the idea for the lamps from Young House Lovein the picture I posted up above.  We have a tiny master bedroom and a King sized bed.  Because of the way our room is shaped, this is really the only arrangement that works, and that puts our bed in this small little nook of the room.  We never had room for real bedside tables, which is why, as you'll see in a minute, we had an old, antique fold-up table on one side and some Rubbermaid containers on the other.  It's all that would fit!  So we only had room for a lamp on the antique table, and it wasn't a pretty one to begin with.  When I found the ones above at Home Depot online for only $33 a piece(!!!) and they had great reviews, I immediately got in the car and zoomed over to pick two up.  I'm not in love with the cream lampshades and those will definitely get replaced here soon, but you get the idea for now.  I'm thinking these shades from Target would be good since I need more gray elements in the room and they're crinkly like the curtain panels:





I hung the curtains behind our bed after being inspired by many rooms like this on Pinterest.  We don't have a headboard, don't have the time to make one at the moment and don't have the money to buy one, and I was honestly so in love with the romantic look of sheer panels behind the bed so much that I didn't care at all about not having a headboard.  I still need to enlist Tim's expertise to build a wooden header to go at the very top of the wall and hide the tops of the curtains/curtain rods like Young House Love did in their master bedroom.  I'll post some final-final pictures when everything here is said and done.




I just hung some small shelves to the wall to serve as our bedside tables.  With the lamps above us, we don't have a need for much except maybe a candle and our cell phones, and since space is so limited, this ended up being perfect.  I was really happy with the way it turned out.  They were each only $5 or $6 at Target, too, so it was a really cheap and easy solution.



(Yikes)





So, in case anyone notices, I know the curtain panels aren't even at all.  I got the wrong size rod because I'm skilled like that.  Will fix that mistake today.  :)




And that's that!  Our new, bright, fun master bedroom.  I've never been so happy with a project I tackled on my own than this.  Addie's nursery is a close second, but this one takes the cake.  It may not be everyone's style, but it is exactly what I envisioned, and that happens to me...oh...never.



The cost breakdown of this makeover was a lot more than any other makeover project I've done, but I still think it's pretty small in the scheme of things.



Dressers - $25 (Craigslist)


Paint supplies to refinish them - $20


Mirror - $10 (Home Goods)


Yellow candle - $4 (clearance at Walmart)


Rug - $15 (Craigslist - dirt cheap)


Quilt - $49 (Home Goods)


Pillows - $45 (Target & Home Goods)


Black frames - $6 (Some sort of thrift/discount store)


Fabric inside frames - $0.75 (Walmart)


Curtain panels behind bed - $20 (Walmart)


Curtain rod - $4(?) (Target)


Lamps - $70 (Home Depot)


Shelves for bedside tables - $10 (Target)


Candle holder I spray painted - $4 (Semi-local store)


Clips to hang curtains from - $24 (Target)


Can of Krylon spray paint - $4 (Walmart)


Grand Whopping Total:  $310.75



Everything else here I already had and wasn't bought with the intention of this makeover, so I won't count it.






Let me know what you think!

I'd say we've come a long way from this:


to this:



2.26.2012

Zone 3: Fridge & Freezer

So this is pretty no-frills, kind of boring.  In fact, I feel downright stupid posting pictures of my fridge and freezer.  But, hey, it's organized!



Freezer before:



Freezer after:



Basically I just cleaned everything out, threw out what was bad and sorted the rest.  Baskets for bread & potatoes, lunches and snacks, veggies and fruits got their own drawers and the bottom two shelves are basically for crap food.  :)  Like, um, Totinos pizza?  Hubby gets blamed for that one.



The baskets got labels.  See?  So boring.



Fridge before:



Fridge after:



This got cleaned out, too, and I finally put all those wooden boxes that Melissa & Doug toys come in to good use!  Fridge organizers!




The bottom shelf is my leftover shelf.  It used to be our milk shelf since we drank like 6 gallons a week (I don't lie) but now that we've given it up, it frees up tons of space in our fridge!  Yes, I mostly use jars for our leftovers because I have like 8 million of them and because I haven't shelled out big bucks for glass tupperware, which I really, really want at some point.



I organized the door, too, but forgot to get a picture so you'll have to take my word for it.



I have to say, organizing & cleaning the fridge out is one of those really rewarding projects because suddenly you can find anything you want in your fridge!  I let my fridge and freezer get out of control before I finally clean it out.  You know, so out of control that you find a bunch of bad food in the back of the fridge because you just couldn't see it?  Yeah.  Guilty.  All the time.



So tomorrow I have a really, really fun reveal!  Come back and check it out - I'm SO excited about how it turned out!

2.25.2012

Zone 2: Reorganized playroom - a $30 project!

Like I said yesterday in my post about my reorganized pantry, I'm tackling a zone a day on the blog.  Today, I'm showing off the new playroom that cost me almost nothing to redo.



Let's take a look at the old playroom first so we can see how far we came.



I'd say pretty far, but I'm biased because I've had to stare at this brightly colored playroom for years.








I mean, it was a fine playroom.  Colorful, that's for sure.  Good for a boy.  But I was tired of it and I wanted something lighter (not so in-your-face colorful) and more appropriate for a girl and a boy.  So with the help of a friend, Craigslist and some dollar stores, I turned it into this for less than $30 (not including gas - I'm not that exact!).






It's not perfect, but I love it and the kids love it (well, Addie pretty much couldn't care less, but Ben walked in the room and went, "Ooooooooh!" which was all the approval I needed).


The rug was free thanks to a super sweet, generous friend who passed it along to us.



This bookshelf was free to us.  My grandpa made it when I was a little girl (meaning it's solid wood and one sturdy piece of furniture), I painted it last year to go in Addie's nursery and now, it's a "general store."  The last thing I plan to accomplish to finish off their store is to build an awning, similar to this one from Design Dazzle:







The kids have a ton of food, so I wanted it organized - more for me than them, if I'm being honest.  It was driving me crazy!  One day last week we went through all the kids toys and we separated them out into organized piles and took pictures of each pile.  I quickly & easily added some text to each picture in Picasa to label it, then printed them off on cardstock.  Easy as pie and great for little ones who can't read yet.  So that's what you see here.  All of these bins came from Target's dollar aisle, but the blue ones I got months ago and they don't have them at my Target anymore.




The sign was just something I whipped up in Gimp (I wish I had more graphic design skills, but basic is all you get from me), printed on cardstock and stuck in an old frame.




That's Adalyn's side of the built-in bookshelf.  I got the blue baskets at Dollar Tree.





And labeled them all.





That's Ben's side.  I got those baskets at Target before I got smart and figured out how much cheaper they are at the dollar stores.

Oh, and the white sheers?  Those were free.  I just shopped my basement for those and that alone made a huge difference!





They're all labeled, too.





The bookshelf was a free Craigslist find.  Now that we have a van, we can take advantage of the free stuff people don't need anymore.  Hey, I'm not too proud to take someone else's junk!  Better for the environment too, right?  And much better for the pocketbook.  We secured it to the wall and filled it up with the kids' books.  Well, and ours, too.




Another pending project is to add beadboard to the backs of this bookshelf.  I've been seeing that a lot in the blogosphere and love the way it looks!



Last week, we realized that we pretty much never watch the TV in our living room.  It's a nice, big (enough) flat screen, but we do 95% of our TV watching right before bed in our bedroom on a teeny, tiny...computer monitor.  The only time our TV gets used other than sports for Tim is when the kids watch PBS or a movie.  So I thought, why not try to find an old TV on Craigslist nice & cheap and just put it in their playroom?  Then we can turn our living room into a sitting room, which is what it pretty much is anyway, free up more space (our living room is pretty small) and hang our flat screen TV in our bedroom.  The kids don't have free access to this TV any more than they did in our living room, so it seemed like a win-win.  The TV stand was another free Craigslist score this week and the TV was $10.  My mom & dad gave us their VCR/DVD combo player when they got a new one and she gave me all our old Disney VHS's, so we're pretty set!





Here's their little reading/TV watching area.  I've been drooling over these Pottery Barn Anywhere Chairs forever and a day, but I don't know that we'll ever be able to justify the cost.  Maybe someday.  :)





That's our new playroom!  Like I said, it's not perfect.  It's not as coordinated as my crazy brain would love it to someday be, but I really couldn't be happier.  It feels like a brand new place.  It feels a little more grown-up and since Ben is a little more grown-up now (sob!), it all works out.  For $30, I call this a WIN!



PS - In case you didn't notice my new blog header, I'm combining my business blog & my personal blog because trying to keep up two blogs is just...um...too much.