For the Love of Decorating

Yep, I am on a new color obsession kick. Which means that I find things in this color and decorate! Woo hoo!! My husband loves when I fall in love with a new color {insert sarcasm}. I have always been drawn to navy but after using it in some mantel decor before July 4th and then of course for July 4th when I went all red, white and blue, I decided that I wanted navy to stick around for awhile. So I did what I do, I became obsessed with finding things to change up my decor.

Read on for my favorite and quikest ways to change decor on the cheap. Click on the links for photos.

Throw pillows: I recommend either using pillow covers or scouring places like Marshall’s, Ross, HomeGoods, Stein Mart, etc. for pillows. Target often has cute ones but they are usually a bit more expensive. I actually picked up this cutie at Kirkland’s. I am {in love} with arrows and this saying so it had to come home with me. Ikea and Bed, Bath & Beyond have cute pillow covers for a reasonable price. I have also found some on Very Jane and Etsy. Someday I might let you peak at my linen closet. I could start a rental business for throw pillows. I’m both proud and embarrassed by this admission. Pillow covers will free up your linen closet.

Printables: I am all about quotes. They make me happy. They add a touch of whimsy. They are a cheap way to spice up your decor. I almost always have a few of them framed in my house. Guests always comment on them. One of my go to spots for printables is of course Pinterest. Click here to be redirected to my Pinterest boards. This is one of my recent finds. It is over at Etsy. It’s an instant download for cheap! Click here to buy it. Also, I often times download prints to my computer but then upload them to Costco for printing. Ink is pricey and some of these take a lot of ink. I’d rather pay a couple of bucks for one then use all of my own ink. The quality is usually better as well.


Shop your home: Yep, just like I said. You’d be surprised at what you will find around the house that can be re-homed to change up a different space. I do this with vases, candle holders, frames, plants, flowers. You name it, I’ve moved it.

Paint: OK, this is a semi cheap way to change up space or even to give a refresh but it can be time consuming.

Rugs: I love the small rugs that go in front of a door. I don’t do large area rugs personally. Not because I don’t love them because I really do. I wish I could have them but I have 2 dogs and 1 cat. I sweep often and it looks like I could make a whole new animal with the amount of hair. So rugs don’t do super well in my house. They become dirty and often times my cat decides to throw up on them. Seriously. #catsmakemecrazy The small rugs are easier to throw in the wash.

Curtains: These can add up but if you search, you can find them at a decent price or if you are super crafty, you can sew your own. I am not ‘sew crafty’. Ha ha. I am witty though :) I recently found a deal at West Elm. I wanted these curtains. They are not cheap and I need the 96′ length which is not standard. Warning – Long story ahead: I decided I wanted to see them in person so I went to West Elm. They had the mustard chevron ones on display and on clearance. I asked if they had the blue in the back. The had one panel but called another store and had a second one shipped to me. They cost me a total of $30 for the two {which included the shipping of the one} when they would have cost me $100 on-line. For whatever reason, they cost more on-line and were on clearance in the store. I don’t know why and I don’t care. I got them for a phenomenal price. Another place that I have shopped for curtains because they have the size I need and the price is right is Ikea. I’ve also found some lovely prints at World Market.

So there you have it, my personal tips on redecorating. Also, a can of spray paint can change up things you already have.

Here is a peak of what I used in my re-do.


Rug – Marshalls – $10.00
Table Runner – HomeGoods – $9.99
Hello Sign – Hobby Lobby – it was a gift
Frame – Michaels – $7.99
Flowers – Michaels – $6.99
Curtains – West Elm – $11.97/each + $6 shipping

Happy re-decorating :)


Get Organized!

I am in this complete ‘get organized’ head space right now. I am a pretty organized person in general. I love a good ‘purge’, especially right after the holidays. Taking that car load of unused stuff to Goodwill just makes me feel lighter.

Later this week I am heading to Southern California to help my brother and sister in law get organized. I have helped them in the past but now that they are more settled, they’ve requested a refresher {and a get it done now} visit because baby #2 is set to arrive one month from Wednesday. So I am feeling the pressure to get things done in a short 4 day visit. I’m also a little geeked out by the whole thing. I get a rush out of organizing and decorating. When a space is complete, I feel like a rock star. I mean, I can toot my own horn cause this is my blog, right? ;)

Of course Pinterest is a huge source of inspiration for me. There are so many amazing ideas that super star bloggers and organizers have shared.

We have a few spaces that we are focusing on during my trip. The kitchen, the office loft and soon to be a guest space, the kitchen and gallery walls. As well as some other miscellaneous spaces that need a little TLC.

To get myself organized, I have started a Pinterest Board as well as various notes and an email to my brother and his wife detailing some of my plans. The first thing that I have instructed them to do is purge, purge, purge. I am hoping that they have a good start on this by the time I arrive. I have also requested photos of the spaces that I will be working on which is allowing me a better idea of what we need to get done.

The boys will be sharing a room so we are definitely going to need to make this space super organized and also make it functional for 2. This closet at two twenty one is hands down my favorite. It doesn’t entail a lot of building and can be done for around $150 {per my calculations}. I have priced out the cubby shelf and canvas cubes at Target and IKEA.



Gallery walls are one of my favorite things because it’s where you can really be expressive with your design tastes and also showcase the ones you love in photographs. I also love incorporating things other then frames into my gallery walls. Quotes, letters, numbers, printables, mirrors, clocks and so on. There are no rules. There are so many fun options and you can make each wall unique to your personal tastes. Here are a few of my favorites.









Another space that we will be working on is the kitchen. The kitchen is often the hub of the house and is best utilized when you can easily find things. It is also a space that can quickly and easily be messed up. My own kitchen is constantly taking a beating and I am an organized person. A space that always seem to require extra TLC is the pantry. This space changes daily as we are constantly taking from and replenishing it. Depending on who unloads groceries {yes, I blame my mini helpers because they don’t care if the pretzels and rice are on the same shelf as the cereal}. I am constantly tidying this area. Here are a few pantries that have inspired me. Ideally I’d love a walk in pantry but that is not what I will be working with {I don’t have one at home either but it’s on my ‘some day’ wish list.}







Now the loft area is a bit tricky. I have visions of what I would do but it’s a really unique area and has the smallest budget and it has the lowest priority when I visit BUT BUT BUT it’s an area that I could really have fun with. I think I have to dial back my ideas for this space though. Ideally I’d make it a highly functional office/guest space. It is an open loft at the very top of their condo. Currently is houses several books cases and a small desk plus a filing cabinet. I’d like to see new furniture. A desk with a  little more personality. Maybe a short yet long book case, a futon and the use of some baskets and a dressed up bulletin board. My brother also works for Disney Studios so it would be fun to infuse some Disney into the space.

I like this desk from IKEA. They have black furniture now but they have grey walls and a white kitchen. The white just feels so fresh.


This is also another bit of IKEA furniture. I’d make the accessories more neutral but overall, I love the organization. A printer could easily sit on either piece of furniture.


These Pixar prints are awesome.

Minimalist-Disney-Pixar-Polyptych-Poster-SetI can’t find the perfect futon but I think it would definitely entail a pop of color such as a fun green or a navy blue {I think my sister in law would approve.}

So there you have it, my latest project. I am so excited. I have always loved decorating and organizing. I love that I inspire people enough with my own home that they want me to help them with theirs. I have often thought of making this a business. I’ll let you know how my first gig goes. Maybe in the future I will start charging to make peoples messes less messy, more functional and of course pretty.

Do you get lost in clutter? Would you hire someone to help you get organized? I personally function so much better in a neat and pretty space.

New Year — New Goals

I prefer to call them goals and not resolutions. Resolutions seems so predictable and are often {OK, almost always} broken. I’m also trying to come up with my word of the year. I was torn between two but starting this post gave me the clarity that I needed to settle on one. The two I love  are ‘breathe’ and ‘focus’. I love them both but I have chosen breathe as my 2014 word. I might have to repeat it to myself a million times but hopefully I can get it to stick.  Both apply to my main goal of being more present and less stressed. If I can remind myself to just breathe in stressful situations then the focus comes. Or so I have been reminded by some of my super smart Facebook friends ;)

I’m playing over at Pinterest {and this is where focus or the lack of comes into play} and I found this great list of goals. I think it’s a great way to assess goals and by writing typing them out, I can maybe be a bit more accountable. I love this quote that I found on Pinterest. Little things are much more achievable and can still make us feel like we succeeded.


I also found this list over at Run Lucas Run. I think we will wrap up our Winter Break tomorrow as a family by having a yummy dinner and then we can each fill out these lists. There are actually two lists to download, one is for grownups and the other for kids. The kids version is so much more simple. Lucky kids.

2014I’m getting a jump start on mine to share with you.

A BAD HABIT I’M GOING TO BREAK: Getting so worked up about things that really aren’t worth it.
A PERSON I HOPE TO BE MORE LIKE: This is a loaded question, there are so many people that inspire me.
A GOOD DEED I’M GOING TO DO: Dedicate more time to Hands 4 Hope
A PLACE I’D LIKE TO VISIT: The Oregon/Washington Coast.
A BOOK I’D LIKE TO READ: Fly Away by Kristen Hannah
A LETTER I’M GOING TO WRITE: Be more consistent in the letters I write to my boys.
A NEW FOOD I’D LIKE TO TRY: Eggplant — it kinda freaks me out.
I’M GOING TO BE BETTER AT: Using my time wisely/Gardening more/Being patient/Exercising and eating better  for my mental and physical health {not aiming for perfection but being better}/spending less and saving more/blog more

There you have it. My 2014 goals. Do you set goals or resolutions? I’d love to hear them and how you stick to them as well.

Cheers to a New Year. I hope 2014 is a good one for you!



Thanksgiving 2013 Menu


Happy Fall Y’all! A fellow blogger and friend of mine shared her Thanksgiving menu and I thought, “what a great idea”. So I am being a bit of a copy cat. Hopefully flattery will get me everywhere ;) Charene’s blog is Copper Lantern Cooking. I actually found her a few years back when she had a local cupcake business and was generous enough to donate to a fundraiser at my kids school. We have since become Facebook friends and recipe sharers. I love social media for just these type of friendships. I get to meet people that I otherwise would not and share fun things like well, food!

So let me preface by saying that I have a pretty straight forward, stick to the classics type of family. However, I like to mix it up so I’ve added a few things with flair.


  • Salami, cheese and crackers – we grew up with this on hand at every family function. My dad is adding deer salami which I do not like so I asked for regular ol’ salami for me.
  • Black olives – you know, for wearing on your fingers.
  • Deviled eggs — another dad specialty

Main Course


My dad is in charge of deserts. I am the queen of baking in my house but for Thanksgiving, I appreciate the pies that show up in my kitchen. We get various versions of apple pie from Apple Hill, a banana cream pie from Buttercream Bakery and the pumpkin pies are from Costco. Trust me, I make it up with the loads of cookies that I crank out throughout the rest of the holiday season. Oh, I’ll take a little credit cause I do make homemade whipped cream for the pies. Homemade. No canned or Cool Whip {yes, I know some people love it but I have to make the real stuff, I’ve even added a little bourbon for a kick.}

Do you host or travel for Thanksgiving? Do you have a standard menu or do you serve things unique? I’d love to hear about your families favorite recipes.

However you spend Thanksgiving, I wish you a happy one. Count your blessings everyday.

Our Garage Entry

If your house is at all like mine then you have kid paraphernalia everywhere. I’m constantly on a mission for the perfect system to keep my kids from throwing their stuff all over the ground. I have found socks in so many odd places including stuffed in-between the couch cushions, in the magazine rack in my bathroom and under my bed. I don’t know what it is but socks {dirty ones mind you} show up everywhere. Well, now that I go on and on about socks I realize my latest storage solution will do nothing to remedy the sock debacle BUT it does help with getting backpacks and jackets hung up upon coming home from school. We have a coat rack by the front door but we usually enter from the garage so this just makes more sense.

This simple DIY involved a 1 x 6 board cut down to fit my wall and then we {by ‘we’ I mean my husband} attached 6 coat hooks which I picked up at Target. I found the idea here. I like her use of bronze hooks but I had silver so it made sense to use what I had. Resourceful eh? I also stumbled upon this super cute burlap weaved cork board over at Jones Design Co and because I ‘had to’ make one, I also ‘had to’ find a space for it. This worked out perfectly. I also had an old cork board and the burlap on hand. Because it’s not in a space that I utilize for my daily must do’s, it will really just be a fun space filler. I’ll just hang up  photos, some quotes, maybe a hand made flower or two, etc.

I think this whole project cost about $20 and that it has already been so useful.

Garage entry









By the way, if anyone has any tips about the dirty sock situation, I’d love to hear it ;)

My New Office Lamp and Corkboard

As you might have guessed, I am all about being organized and I love how a cork board can help you stay that way {just make sure you purge and reorganize every now and again or you will look like a hoarder – just sayin!} Anyway, awhile ago I found this lampshade at Target that I was just in love with. It was $25 though and that was just too much for one lampshade. So I watched and waited. It went on clearance to $17 and some change. I still waited. Then I went back and it was not marked down but seemed like it should have been so I scanned the barcode just in case. My intuition paid off cause it was on clearance for $7.48 Woo hoo! Done. Mine. I bought it immediately. Then of course I had to find a base. Well bases are also not so cheap so I ended up with a $15 base plus ugly shade at Ross. The shade is burlap which I love but it has some funky burgundy swirls. I’ll probably attempt to recover it at some point. The base was a dark cherry brown. Not quite my thing so I got crafty with some spray paint. I painted it a cream which matched the lampshade. I wanted to make it look a little rustic so I took the sander to it and roughed it up a bit. Now I love it! I ended up paying about $30 for the whole project which included the lampshade, base and spray paint. The original shade was $24.95 all by itself pre-clearance.

Here is the finished product — not quite the way it’s typically set up but I wanted you to get the full view of the color scheme.

office diy

Of course I needed to tie the colors of the shade to something else in the space so I went on a mission to recover another old cork board. I couldn’t find a fabric that I loved at any of my local fabric stores so I made a trip to Triad Plus in Roseville. I’d wanted to go for some time so this was the perfect excuse opportunity. I headed there with my lampshade in hand so I could pull from the colors in the shade. I really loved the orange in the lamp but I just couldn’t find a good match. I ended up pulling from the shade of grey-blue.

I used a spray adhesive and voila, done! I was going to add tacks to serve as a nailhead edge but I opted to keep it simple. I could go back and add that at another time if I felt like it. Note: the spray adhesive worked awesome on this fabric but I also tried using it on burlap and it would not hold which was so weird.

To finish it off, I added a burlap pennant made by me. These are just 6×6 squares of burlap which I then stencil my choice of word on. Finish it up by tying the squares together with twine. It’s a cheap and adorable way to dress up a space. I chose the word Create because that is what this space is supposed to be used  for. I end up crafting and creating in the kitchen most often though cause it’s the hub of the house. I like to be where the action is!!

Fabulous Organizing

I {heart} organizing so I thought I’d share some fun stuff that has popped up over on Pinterest as of late.

Let’s start with some awesome kitchen organizing, shall we?

Kitchen Organization

Organized Kitchen Collage

1} Design Dining and Diapers pantry DIY

2} wine wall

3} Heart 2 Home – organized fridge

4} Tip Junkie’s kitchen command center

5} door storage

6} Vertical silverware storage at Apartment Therapy

7} BH&G snack jars

8} I love these divided walls although I can’t locate the original source.

Jewelry & Make-up

Of course organizing your make-up and jewelry makes you want to get all dolled up, right?

Jewelry Collage

1} How cool is this magnetic makeup board

2} What an amazing jewelry wall

3}  Towel bar necklace holder.

4} This is my own creation made out of radiator metal and an old frame.

Home Office & Craft Room

I adore craft rooms and how personalized they can be to your own individual tastes, crafts, uses, etc.

Office collage

1} Multi material bulletin boards over at PB Teen.

2} Yet another fab design by PB Teen.

3} I love the sleek look of this one.

4} BH&G always does it right.

5} I love the vibe in this space.

I hope I have provided with your organizational eye candy.

Kitchen Cabinet Makeover

Hello there lovelies :)

Hope you are all doing well today. I just had to share a recent “makeover” that occurred in my kitchen. I saw the idea on Pinterest and also in my friend Amy’s kitchen. I love our kitchen cabinets. That are maple with an ivory glaze and we picked them out when we bought the house. We have received many compliments on them but being the quick change artist that I am, I wanted to add something else to them {it has been 8 years since we moved in — a change was due}. So I painted the inside a chocolatey brown. I love how they turned out. My plan it to eventually add glass shelves as I think this will make the brown pop even more plus I just don’t want to paint the shelves. So for now they are left as is.




There you have it. A little change for well, a little bit of change! I think I paid $8 for the paint.




Hurrah for Teachers

I am not a teacher nor do I feel worthy of being one. I believe that it is one of the most challenging and underpaid careers out there {my own belief — please don’t yell at me if you feel different ;)}. I have friends and a sister that are teachers. I know that they work very hard and sometimes don’t get the respect that they deserve. I also know that I can barely manage my two kids and they manage upwards of 30. So again — they are rock-stars to me!! So aside from the fact that I think teachers rock, it also happens to be the kick off to a new school year. In honor of that and awesome teachers, I wanted to share some fun gifts to start your child’s teacher off on a happy note.rock-stars

Funky Polka Dot Giraffe created this super fun Teachers Survival Bucket. I actually created my own version of this which you will see below.

Below is my version, I left a few things off of the list and switched up a few things {I added a Starbucks gift card but didn’t add the reusable cup} but I think it came out super cute.

The list of what is included — Funky Polka Dot Giraffe has a printable which is much cuter but I had to delete some things so I recreated my own and I don’t have many fonts on my Mac yet. Click here for her free downloadable print. I did add a few school days stickers after I took these photos which dressed them up a bit.

My basket – using baskets I already had {from the Target dollar bins at Christmas time}.

Happy Clippings offered up this idea by repurposing an old can, wrapping colored pencils around it, securing with a  rubber band and pretty ribbon and then using it as a vase by adding some pretty flowers.


The Diary of Dave’s Wife did a cute little gift using a soda and a printable that says, “Soda-lighted you are my teacher.” She has the printable on her site. So cute and simple!!

Oh Whipperberry, how I <3 you!! This idea using a rain boot is adorable!!

Catered Crop was showcasing some stamps but I thought this jar of  licorice with the attached, “You’re the sweetest” was a perfect teacher treat.

Everyday Scrapbook added a bunch of pencils to a reusable iced coffee cup {or tea .. or water.. or vodka, wait – did I say that?}. I love these cups and they make for a great gift alone but stocked full of pencils? Awesome!! Maybe stick a Starbucks gift card in the inside too?

Brandy’s Crafts is right up my alley with her ‘One Smart Cookie’ teacher gift. Cause I like to bake cookies and stuff ;)

I hope you enjoyed these fun and creative ideas <3 Remember, be thankful for your teachers — they work so hard!!



How to Curb your Clutter

Recently a friend asked if I could share a post on how to keep paper clutter at bay. Well, I won’t say I am an expert but I do try and keep up on paperwork that comes into my house. I think it is easy to get overwhelmed when all of the paperwork comes through the door but I am here to give you some very easy and basic tips for taking control of those mountains of paper that overtake our desks, counters, cars, etc. I’m also offering some ideas for that messy pantry and cluttered garage.


 You really can do this! I promise!! The first thing to do is figure out a system so that things are quickly sorted and out in there place.  Getting into the habit  of putting things in their place instead of a ‘I’ll get to it later’ pile is key. There are so many options for organization these days. A few of my favorite tools are baskets, binders and a standing file sorter.

This is an office done with very little space. She used some very basic pieces like the cubby shelf from IKEA. A great place to stash baskets and books. Now keep in mind that this is a high functioning work office and has a lot more then what the average person needs to contain.

There are a few areas that add clutter to our homes. The first is our car. How often do you dump all of the stuff from your car on the table, floor or even the kitchen counter? Another is the mailbox. We grab the mail and throw it on the counter and then it stays until we eventually come back to it. Also, clutter comes about in everyday places thanks to clothing, toys and other random household items that end up in the wrong place. Read on for tips:

The Car:

Keep a designated basket in your car to gather things at the end of the day and definitely at the end of a trip. Throw all items in the basket and head inside. Don’t stop, immediately distribute these items to their appropriate homes. You will feel accomplished and less cluttered in your home if you do this daily.

The Mailbox:

Immediately sift through the mail. Is it worth keeping? Can it be recycled? Make two piles. Get rid of the stuff you will never open such as those gabillion credit card offers, catalogs and refi notices that you never requested. Then sort through the ‘keep’ pile. Will you ever really read the catalogs and magazines? If yes, then have a basket to keep them in but make sure once you have read through them that you either pass them on or get rid of them. Don’t hold on to them for one idea, recipe or article. Rip it out and keep a binder to refer back too but get rid of the rest of the magazine. Trust me, you won’t even remember why you kept the magazine to begin with!! As far as bills, keep them in a designated spot. I actually write the check or pay mine on-line immediately. Then I simply write ‘paid on 4/1/12′ and file it with my paid bills. Then it is done and gone. Now, bill pay allows for you to set the date ahead but sometimes you have to wait to mail a check. Keep it ready to go and mail as the time approaches. You can keep track via a file folder or even hang it on a bulletin board. Come up with a system that works for you but work as you go. It is so much easier then sitting down to weeks of paperwork and feeling overwhelmed.

Your Desk:

Basic tools can keep you on top of the craziness that happens on a workspace whether it be at home or work. First, come up with a system. Baskets, file drawers {labeled with exactly what will be filed in them} and perhaps even a binder or two. First you will need to decide what your workspace is for. Once that is established, you can create a basic flow of things. Obviously you will need basic tools such as pens, pencils, scissors and a letter opener. Keep these in a container on top of your desk for easy access. You should also have an in-basket or file. Make it a goal to sift through this daily. Then you can decide what projects are top priority. Once you have removed said item from your in-basket, complete it and file/toss, etc. It’s also OK to add a personal touch or two to your workspace. Something like a plant or a photo. Make it your own. Productivity is something that happens much easier when we are organized. If we know where things are, we can get to them much faster and without the frustration.

More spaces that could use a little clutter control:

The Pantry:

This is often a black hole of ‘stuff’. I like to straighten my pantry every so often {like when things look like they might fall out upon opening the door!}. A great time to do this is before grocery shopping. Then you can assess what you have on hand so that you aren’t buying new when you have items already ‘in stock’. You can get rid of super old {trust me .. I just had expired boxes from 4 years ago. Yuck I know, but it happens.} Purge the oldies and then add the new stuff. Be sure to rotate older items to the front of new items. I tend to stock up on basics when I find that they are sale such as stocks, beans, etc. Make  sure you are really buying items that you will use and not just ones that are a great price. There is a difference and you will see that — when you look at dates years down the road and you never really used that certain BBQ sauce that was on sale so you bought it. Seriously.

The Garage:

I feel like this is not my area of expertise but I do have a little insight here. The garage is deemed my hubby’s space so I don’t have a lot to do with it. It houses my holiday ornaments and a few old frames that I plan to craft with. I still have an opinion on garages. Clutter: It accumulates everywhere and especially in those out of sight, out of mind places. I’d say that a garage is kind of like a huge junk drawer. It’s great to take the time to PURGE!! Wouldn’t it be nice if you could find those old holiday ornaments that you know are ‘somewhere’ or maybe even park your car in the garage? Take the time to sift through the garage. Have a yard sale — spend the money on something fun {no, not new stuff to add to the garage!!} Maybe you can have a nice dinner out or if you do really well, a trip away. Whatever doesn’t sell gets donated IMMEDIATELY! Don’t save it for another time or you will just start the madness of hoarding collecting all over again.

There are always places that can use a little TLC and reorganizing. Do you have a space that you could use a little help with? Email me — I’d love to offer suggestions on how to minimize and create a clutter free zone for you!!