Category Archives: My home

The Teacher’s Office.

My last BIG project of the summer was to redo my office.

My list of must haves included~ zero primary colors. organization. comfy~ness. pretty~ness.

This was the before {shame, shame, I know, a complete dumping ground}

The first step was to


Everything was cleaned and put back one piece at a time.

Some things that work well now are…

I grabbed my wrought iron easel thingy from the kitchen, for my lesson plan books and clipboard. Great way to hold the things I use daily and it doesn’t take up a ton of desk space like those bulky office boxes.

Robbing Peter to pay Paul is a daily occurrence around here.

My space isn’t super huge so most of my decorations need  to double duty as a holder of some sort.

For example, I find ribbon boxes impractical because who only has 5 kinds of ribbon? I hot glued 6 inch strips of ribbon inside the ribbon holes and took out the pole. This way it looks cute and I store ALL my ribbon in the nice big box inside.

I brought in an extra chair that can be dragged up to my desk for all my parent teacher conferences and/or confused students.

I have my cute inboxes {thanks to Ikea} above my globe on the other side of the room.

I have a little bit of “this makes me laugh”

and “isn’t this so true”

My favorite part of the room  redo is my updated desk. We have a stainless steel table from the bargain spot at Ikea. It works great as a desk except I do have a couple things that I want to hide underneath. So I bought 3 tension rods and 6 yards of burlap and within an hour I have my new and improved happy place.

The Ikea Expedit is about the best piece of furniture on the planet. It holds a ridiculous amount of stuff.

Now the room is complete {and clean}. I can breathe, teach, scrapbook, craft, and blog…all the live long day.

Bring in the students… my office and I are ready.


I am partying with

I Heart Nap Time!




Along For the Ride
Join  us Saturdays at for the weekend wrap   up           party!

Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special


Pin It

Greyson’s Room.

I have had taking pictures of Greyson’s nursery on my mental to do list since October. It is a fabulous combined effort of spending next to nothing, by using what I had and purchasing things at 75% off or more. I love how it turned out. It’s comfy cozy and doesn’t make me choke every time I walk in, knowing that I overspent. I have had the fun of creating four nurseries for my kiddos and this was my last. Tear. Since his birth it has been a flurry of gifts, piles of outgrown clothes, and attachments that are no longer in use from various baby products. Thus creating the “I will clean and photograph tomorrow” thoughts. Today as I was dusting in there I thought, man this got dusty fast. Until I realized he just turned 6 months old and I have never dusted the room at all. Shame.

So I scooped up the piles, put them in the hallway and shot away. I take awful pictures of inanimate objects. It is really hard to photograph rooms. SO, I am going to bail on the perfectionism and use these anyway, for fear I might not get new ones taken before he goes away for college.

Upon the news of the fourth sibling joining our family, Emma lost her private living quarters to bunk with her big sister. Her room received a heavy dose of primer and we mourned the loss of paris poodle land for a day or two. As we began to add our treasures for our coming baby boy, her tears faded. It was fun and frustrating to put this room together over the course of probably five months. Frustrating only because I am queen of instant gratification land. It went from this….

to this…

Over the crib art was created by my sister and I using 1×4’s. It cost under $10.

Burlap was purchased for $1.35 a yard. With just 6 yards needed, I added it to drapery hardware that I already had and came up with very inexpensive window treatments.

We have used the same dresser and crib for all four children. My parents purchased them for us at the birth of our first son in 1998.

We snazzed up the dresser due to the missing knob on the top with some Pottery Barn drawer pulls that were on an 80% clearance. No idea why and I didn’t ask. Perhaps red number drawer pulls are out of style.

The shelves were filled with baby shower gifts, old toys from when I was a child, and the fabulous candle that my sister made for me. These candles are ah~mazing. If you don’t own one, fix that. Buy one or one hundred. You won’t be sorry. Oh and by the way, they smell like vanilla and are on a 4 hour timer, so they automatically light and blow themselves out. Flamless little wonders, I tell ya.

Oh and just so you know, don’t think I am strange, everybody stores their dusting stuff on the changing table, it’s totally the new thing.

Now off to clean the hallway up as it is suddenly a big, fat, mess!

I linked up at

Join  us Saturdays at for the weekend wrap   up           party!

Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special

Pin It

Meet My Pantry.

Every couple months, I end up spending a couple hours trying to make this mess somewhat presentable. This little space in our house gets used A LOT. It is incredibly difficult to keep clean, much less, to look nice. It is next to horrifying when I entertain and have to get something out of here. It is our closet of shame.


One day I was looking around blog land and found THIS. My heart skipped a beat. I am not kidding. I think if my pantry looked like that you might find me standing there, staring at it, all the live long day. Maybe even petting those pretty little crates on her bottom shelf. Geez, this chica did a great job. Bravo!

Within two hours, operation obliterate closet of shame had begun. There wasn’t any room in this month’s budget to drop cash on buying baskets and pretty canisters and such. So, I set out to do this project for free. I ended up spending only $4.39. Shame, I know.  You’ll see what this well spent money went for, in a minute.

I am clearly not a photographer and let me tell you photographing a pantry with no light is super hard. She is MUCH prettier in person, but here is my finished project…aaahhhh, much better.

The warm fuzzy feelings I get when I look in this pantry now, definitely do not translate through my photography skills. However, I was able to make a HUGE change by thinking lets DECORATE the pantry. The true test will be what it looks like in 2 months!

First I emptied out the entire pantry, painted Shale Blue (Ralph Lauren) on the back walls (which was already in my garage). I ripped off and threw out all of the shelf liner and then followed up with a coat of white semi gloss (again already in the garage). That alone would have been a big difference.

Next, I switched around all the contents of my kitchen which provided me with two benefits. First, I hid all of the ugliest things I have behind cupboard doors and second I now get to watch my family go nuts while they search for things in the original location only to remember that they have been moved. I scoured my home for extra containers that were browns and silvers to hold all of the goodies in the pantry and keep things as pretty as possible. Let’s go on a little tour…

The top shelf holds all of my cake decorating supplies, a plant that was in my garage sale pile, and a decorative bowl and wrought iron stand that I didn’t want to part with, but were currently homeless. I also dumped all of our cookie cutters from the box they were in, and put them in the silver pail. The box will never be thrown away and it is now a decoration on the shelf because my dad first gave it to my mom full of Sees Easter Candy, years and years ago when they were first married. She saved it all these years as a home to our cookie cutters and I will continue to save it as well. It’s huge by the way. So interesting how much candy must have been in that box!



Next I have all my sugars and oatmeal  together. Not in the budget to upgrade to fancy schmancy canisters, but I gave all of their containers a good scrubbing and they will do just fine! Below is our everyday dishes and our kid friendly every day dishes. This includes the glasses which now live on this fabulous silver tray (purchased Target, after Christmas clearance for 90% off at 2.49.) The tray now has a place to be stored, as it doesn’t get used very often and it keeps the glasses all together. Below that is our bread box and another basket with napkins and our peanut butter and honey.

Over to the other side of the pantry and you will now see the well spent $4. One piece of 2×4 was cut into 6, 16 inch pieces and given a white coat of paint. Now it has become a set of bleachers for my cans, so that I can see them all at a glance. Much better than the shelf risers at the store that cost WAY too much money for this cheapie to buy.

O.K. so by now you are asking why so many cranberries? After Christmas Clearance at CVS. They were like .29 cents a can or something and we eat Cranberry Chicken regularly, so we have had quite a few. This is the remainder of the stash.

The three baskets at the top hold mixes, baking supplies, and toppings. I have all my oils and sprays below that. Next there are my spices and another favorite tray that now holds all my baby food and cereal. The next shelf down has my three cereal containers. We buy primarily from Costco, so I typically never have more than three types of cereal.


We have 2 more shelves to go. Hang in. First a basket for the Magic Bullet. Next a basket for baby bottles and bottle pieces. Then a basket for prepackaged type snacks. Finally, a basket for crackers, goldfish etc. The bottom row has a basket for extras (again we buy Costco), a sliver bucket for potatoes :), and our griddle hidden behind our stool.

Finally, is my favorite part. I did this chalkboard last week in our classroom and I had the scrap piece of the wood that I had bought, patiently waiting in the garage to be used for something. Just my luck, it was the perfect size for the inside of the pantry door. I had the leftover chalkboard paint and I used command strips to hold it up and now I have a place for my shopping list! I take a picture with my iphone when I go to the store, so there is no need to recopy the items I need to buy. The kids love to make the list for me now!

If you are still with me you need a medal! That was long! The moral of the story is group like items together by basket. You may be thinkin’ that I have lost my mind and it will never stay this way, but my thought is this won’t take any longer to get things out now because the amount of hours I spent searching for things before was mind boggling. Now at least I will know where the items all are!

You may also be thinking label, lady, label. I agree. I have 9 2×3 inch chalkboards laying around my house somewhere that I plan on using to label these baskets! Once I find them that is. Isn’t it ironic that they are currently missing.

Finally, I tried to minimize our kitchen of useless decorations. Decorations all need to have purpose, so that I could maximize space. For example, our spoons and spatulas found a new home on the counter in an old vintage tin. Another tray found a home to hold them, paper towels, and this totally useless but completely adorable cow. A little imagination and everything found a new home.

All’s well that ends well.

Thanks to the House of Smiths for the gentle nudge to rid our house of our closet of shame.

I don’t know you, but I love you!


Linking up with Tater Tots and Jello and Under the Table and Dreaming.

Pin It

Classroom Makeover.

Last week our classroom received a re-do. It was originally sparked by the arrival of a set of fantastic lockers. My sister received a new set and so she passed these on to me. My oldest daughter will be entering middle school-home school next year and she had anxiously been awaiting the day when she could use lockers at her previous school. We have been stalking Craig’s for a year now and I will admit that there were prayers sent up on behalf of acquiring lockers for this new milestone in her life. Now WE”VE GOT ‘EM and we are thankful!

The original lockers were tan and we put on green spray paint. It still needs another coat to even it out, but the kids were so anxious to start using them, I will do the second coat and sealer later! I am going to add numbers or their initials or something at some point too.

Chicken wire was stapled to the entire wall to hold whatever we feel like clipping up there! Love blog land and all the inspiration.

The map was purchased to help us with our Expedition Earth Curriculum that we are doing next year {and really shouldn’t there be a map in every classroom in the world?} I bought some wood at Lowes to mount it on, so I could put it on the chicken wire wall. However, the lovely 18 year old who cut the wood for me, made a slight error in size. I didn’t have the heart or patience to drag 4 kids back to Lowes, so I made due. The original plan was to have a 2 inch border of wood showing on all sides of the map. With the error, I scooted the map all the way to the top and left a 4 inch border on the bottom. I grabbed some hooks from the junk drawer and screwed them on to hold the silver buckets and hopefully make it look intentional. The buckets were Ikea. I used a nail and hammer to make a hole and used some old twine to tie them up.

The fabulously functional and questionably pretty workboxes that are sitting under the map, have saved my sanity for a long time now. Sometimes function trumps pretty. Not often, but there are rare occasions.

I have been wanting a chalkboard for awhile now. When I saw THIS FAB ONE it was love at first sight {which was soon followed by a trip to Lowes}. I bought some fence boards {SO CHEAP} and had them trim that pointy part on the top off for me. Another sheet of wood cut to size, multiple layers of chalkboard paint, and some dark brown stain and I now have a chalkboard for about $25.

I am now stalking Craigs for some old vintage school chairs, but for now I collected these four from around the house and they will make do.

This fab chandelier ultimately came from Urban Outfitters, but it had been living in my closet upstairs. It was lonely up there. It’s a little small for the space, but its so sparkly and pretty I ALMOST don’t notice that.

I purchased this table last summer off of Craig’s for a steal, but the blonde w00d had been annoying me for a year and so I finally refinished it a fun silver, with ivory legs.

I hope to add a rug and those elusive chairs over the summer. However, what is fairly common in my home is that FOR NOW this room is “done”. Almost summer time!


Linking up with Tater Tots and JelloFunky Junk,  Under the Table and Dreaming, and Lolly Jane and Chic on a Shoestring, and






Pin It

Time To Save.

We all know the economy is bad. Everyone seems to be in “save money mode” these days. Here are some things we have been working on over here! We are currently just about 100% debt free and are saving, saving, saving…

1. WE’RE THROUGH. I broke up with the dry cleaners. I dusted off the iron.

2. MIA. I removed the paper towel holder from the kitchen. I realized with 6 of us in the house and no regard for how many paper towels we were using, I was spending about $10 a month on paper towels. That is ridiculous. No paper towel holder? No paper towels. Magically the kids use an actual kitchen towel to dry their hands.

3. GENERIC. I grew up in a land of name brands, but I tell you Market Pantry and Kirkland, although not as pretty labeled, taste just as good as my previous go to brands. They are incredibly cheaper too.

4. STAY HOME. You know why? We have puzzles, and toys, and balls, and bikes, and a park across the street, and games, and crafts, and imaginations, and….no room in the budget for the climbing gas prices.

5. CUT BACK. My 12 year just had his birthday party. We had 7 of his friends over. Video games with a snack bar that consisted of bagel bites (already in freezer), pop corn (already in cupboard), trail mix of gold fish, pretzels, and m&m’s (which were 2.49). Dessert was homemade cake and root beer floats ($10 for all). Favors were mini nerf footballs found for .39 cents a piece on an after Christmas sale. Following video games the boys had nerf wars in the drizzly weather!  Invites were done by email and my entire party cost was under $20.

This was hard for me to do a party this scaled back because I love me a good ‘ol party…but not one child said, “I would have had more fun with those elaborate and expensive coordinated party plates!”

6. LIGHTS OUT! We told our kids if we can keep the bill below a certain amount at the end of the month we will take them to ice cream. We are planning on going to Rite Aid for $1 cones. These kids are ON IT! They turn off lights behind me now. I can’t wait to see our new and improved bill.

7. COMBINE IT! I have always planned meals a week at a time. I was able to save quite a bit by planning my meals 15 days at a time and doing one big shopping for that length of time. I plan breakfast, lunch, and dinner and only purchase for what I have planned. We don’t have a bunch of extra food laying around.

8. CLEAN IT OUT! I am systematically working my way through our home and downsizing by 10% at least. In addition, cleaning out cupboards and piles. I am using ebay, craigslist, once upon a child, or donating items.

9. RE USE! When accomplishing #8 I found 3 pairs of jeans from last years winter with holes in the knees. They still fit my 10 year old. I cut them off, folded up the cuffs, and will sew a little bit of lace around the inside of the now frayed cuff. Cutie shorts! No new summer short purchases needed.

10. CASH! We use the Dave Ramsey cash only mind set. We have our little cash envelopes which are categorized and spiral bound. There is something that has been lost in the value of the dollar when you can make one swipe of plastic and spend $5.00 or $500 with that said swipe. I personally have regained that value by counting out our hard earned money each and every time I spend any of it. I have had at least a dozen comments in the last year since we have been living this way from cashiers at various stores. It’s as if cash is as uncommon as 8 track tapes. It cracks me up.

11. SHARE! A family of 6 going out to eat can be incredibly expensive. We don’t do it much, but we really like to. So, this has been our new way of functioning over the last few months. For example, this is our Chevy’s plan. First, we all drink water. Second, we order Nachos Grandes. It is a platter of chips, cheese, chicken, and other toppings piled high enough to feed a small country. All in my family that eat table food share this 9.99 appetizer. We take advantage of the free flour tortillas and butter and are out the door for under $15. Another thing we do sometimes is go to Bjs. They have kids sundaes for .95 cents and mini pazookies for 1.99. We can all get a dessert and drink water for $7. We still get the restaurant vibe which is super fun and it’s cheaper than a trip to Baskin Robbins. We do try and make these trips at off peak hours to minimize the irritation of the servers who are counting on their tips!

12. STYLE ADJUSTMENT! My family loves hair color. My husband and I have dropped down to just one color a piece. (It’s o.k. that he colors his hair, he’s a musician). My girls have gone with the straight across bang and long straight hair because I invested in an $11 pair of scissors from Target and tried out my hair cutting skills. So far, so good. My 12 year old is cutting his Justin Bieber locks off tomorrow to help the length of time he can go between hair cuts as well.


I know there are countless ways to stretch the dollar. Countless coupon sites and deal sites. We have included our kids and are trying to make it “fun”. What do you guys have goin’ on? Please SHARE SHARE SHARE. I’d love to hear other ideas.

Pin It

Changing Table.

We have a two story home and I am almost 40.

I think it goes without saying that I need a changing table both upstairs and down.

Craigs list provides multiple listings for old beat up changing tables for just a few dollars.

I purchased this white one, just a few miles from my house, that had been lovingly adorned with crayon drawings and little flowers.

I set out to create something far more agreeable for the corner of my husbands downstairs office.

I started out using the extra dining room paint (which is the most beautiful color Ralph Lauren ever created SHALE BLUE).

I picked up some fun fabric for just $3 and sewed a pillowcase type cover for the new pad that I bought for $17 at Babies r us.

The rest of the stuff I had on hand. I used Modge Podge to attach some scrapbook paper to the bottom to shelves and robbed other rooms for multiple baskets.

My kids actually asked why I didn’t just “buy one in the store, already done” (do they not know me at all?)….and my answer? that simply just isn’t as much fun.

I am linking up with



Pin It

Greyson’s Room…More Projects

I have accomplished a few more pieces of Greyson’s room recently.

First, a frame from a garage sale for $1.00. Then I hot glued some twine pieces across the back. Now I have a pretty little place to display cards and stuff! It sits up on the bookshelf.

Next, I went to Lowe’s and spent $3.05 plus tax on a 2x4x12 piece of wood. I had them cut it into 3 foot long strips for me, which is free. I used one coat of an Ebony stain and then screwed the boards up into the wall. It is holding some of my favorite books for Greyson. Some were gifts and some were mine when I was little. My favorite one up there is The Dr. Seuss book because some of my best girls got together and signed this book with special messages for Greyson and I. It’s a keepsake I will have forever. What a great idea, huh?

I was able to get 12 inch horizontal stripes done last weekend. I loathe doing them, but love the result. I went with the next shade of green on the sample cards. It’s pretty subtle, but I think worth the time. I still have a teeny bit of touch up to do. Hate that part and shall procrastinate finishing that up for awhile.

I’m getting close to being done. I am so glad I started his room early because my energy is fading fast…So is my ability to safely stand on a ladder.

I am linking up with

Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special

Join  us Saturdays at for the weekend wrap up         party!

Pin It

Greyson’s Room…75% off.

The making of the fourth child’s bedroom tends to find me exercising a lot more “frugal” or “you want how much for that crib set?” I made a goal to not spend an extra dime on Greyson’s bedroom. Meaning I have to clean out my garage and actually start selling the things in my “ebay pile” to earn the cash to buy the goods. I have held true so far. It is frustratingly slow for my instant gratification type personality, but definitely rewarding on both our pocketbook and my secret clutter piles.

I am not really doing a “theme”. The walls are a funky green with horizontal darker funky green stripes waiting to be added. There will be antique toys, a modern oversized wall mural, and anything else that’s fun that I find. Things are far from done, but here are a few peeks at my best deals so far.

Bedding is Dwell Studio that was purchased at Target @ 75% off for a grand total of 4 pieces for 37.48.

The most fabulous light fixture I have coveted from Ikea for too many months to admit, finally made its way into my house. It was only 39.99 and able to be filled with anything you want. I purchased two sets of Tinker Toys at Target for 75% off and for an additional $7.50 I now have a light fixture for under $50 that totally makes me smile every time I walk in.

Targets “getting ready for Christmas Toys and I need more space 75% off sale” also brought me these two fabulously ridiculous robot monsters for $2.48 a piece and 3 adorable wooden trucks for $1.74 a piece…They are the first things to start filling up the bookshelf.

I also was able to pick up these cardboard ABC blocks for $2.48 and football piggy bank for $3.74.

And last but not least for now, comes this book that will forever make me giggle.

My sweet and crazy friend Nicole who knows me all too well bought this for our little man.

Alternative ABC’s…seriously?

B is for Boombox, O is for Off Road, and T is for Tiki? What’s not to love?  Greyson will receive a little snuggle time in my free Poang Ikea chair that I scored from my sissy and a read thru of this literary classic many nights before bed, for my enjoyment as well as his.

There is a lot left to do and I have 12 weeks left to get it all done. Stripes for the walls, crazy fabric trimmed burlap drapes, a funky retro mobile, and a giant sock monkey to keep watch on things…await me, that is just as soon as my items are snatched up off ebay.

Pin It

Day 135. Real Simple Chore Chart.

I have always held some grand aspirations of beautiful chore charts hanging in my home. I am able to keep up with them for a week or two at best, but life is usually too chaotic and I get sidetracked and we stop the chart. Things have changed after months of homeschooling. First and foremost is WE ARE HOME. I have wondered at times over the past couple years why we pay for this house? It seems as though we are never in it, except to sleep. I didn’t realize at the time, the one good thing about that was, it hardly got dirty.

It’s a little different story around here now. Two adults, three children with one more on the way, and a two year old yorkie live here in this house A N D ….someone or something is home around the clock. One of the first pieces of practical advice I received when crossing into homeschool land was that your house better be cleaned and organized because it was going to be used like never before. Boy is that true. After all, it is called homeschool for a reason.

I heard a concept recently called the  Partial Chore mentality that kind of clicked it all into place for me. It states that you rarely get an uninterrupted opportunity to clean the entire house at one time. Why not do a little bit at a time? Your whole house may never be clean at the same time, but it’s never going to be all the way dirty at the same time either. So, this brilliant statement got me thinking. In the past, part of my hesitation of having the kids help is that they are kids and can’t get the cleaning done up to the standards that I want it. It was then that I realized, I rarely get to the cleaning at the “high standards” that I want it. So, why not have the kids pitch in and help? While the house isn’t going to be clean up to my standards, it isn’t going to be dirty all the way to the bottom of my standards either.

This new found thinking combined with my new found lifestyle where we live IN and enjoy our home has brought about the need for a change. The kids have always helped with chores, but only when I have asked. Life changed last week. Mine for the better, their’s for the worse, they say.

It all came down to a calendar on an end cap at Target. It is part of the REAL SIMPLE collection. It is priced at 10.99 and is now our chore chart. I hung a bulletin board in the hall by the kids rooms and put this glorious creation right on it in plain view. After about 45 minutes, I had laid out chores for the entire month for the kids. Each child has their own color. Cameron~blue. Taylor~green. Emma~ brown. These chores are in addition to the regular make your bed, pick up your stuff, kind of chores. These chores can be done at any point during the day, on their time, but I will not be reminding them daily. They will not receive any cash for completing them and failure to do complete them correctly, has some serious consequences.

What if you “forget”, or “couldn’t find the time” to do them? No problem, you are forgiven. However, you will do them the next day, in addition, to that day’s chores AND go to bed 30 minutes early. If you do the chores poorly…you will redo them and go to bed 15 minutes early as well. This is the first month we are at this and this is undoubtedly going to have a little bit of  a learning curve. I am sure it will be adjusted some. However, I LOVE that this is a once a month commitment on my part to maintain the chart part and it provides me with the flexibility to change from day to day what I have them do, if needed.

I have high hopes for this….REALLY HIGH. This morning I walked out of my room to find my 12 year old emptying the trash…ALL ON HIS OWN. Ironically, as I finish up typing this my 9 year old skipped in with Windex and a roll of paper towels to wipe down my bath for me. PINCH ME…I MUST BE DREAMING.

How do you handle the chore situation in your home?

Now there are just 35 school days left until summer.

Pin It

Taylor’s Room.

We cleaned, rearranged, bargain shopped, and Craig’s listed…here is the result.


Bedding is from Pottery Barn kids (found 75% off on clearance).

Chandelier and Audrey Hepburn Canvas are Ikea.

White feather Boa’s around the ceiling are Joanne’s.

Expedit bookcase from Ikea (found on Craigs for 1/3 of the price).

Zebra buckets are from Lowe’s.

Drapes are 7 foot panels from Target with black ribbon sewed on to tie up and be fancy.

Desk and chair are Ikea (also found on Craig’s).

Wall monogram is from Uppercase Living.

Triple Bunk for Katie, Alex, and Hattie were purchased off Ebay and we painted and sewed up some bedding.


I love 9 year olds. The combination of a Hello Kitty radio, Audrey Hepburn canvas, Tinker Bell Minnie Mouse, and crystal chandelier just all makes me happy.

We are fortunate to have all 3 kids in their own rooms right now. With baby #4 on the way, I have a feeling that this room and Emma’s room will have to be combined! AAAH!

This is my baby girl who lives here:

I am linking up to the following parties!




Join us Saturdays at for the weekend wrap up party!


Related Posts with Thumbnails
Pin It