I live a simple life, exploring the great outdoors, and slowly the world with my husband and our 2 amazing little girls. I am a Shutterbug, I am constantly taking pictures, my camera is like an extra appendage! I love to cook, craft, bake, travel and just enjoy life! I've been told I'm a "Jane of all trades" and I like to tell people I have Creativity A.D.D. My interests are completely random and can range from making hair bows for little girls to "dumpster diving" and refinishing furniture with my best friend! I paint, I use power tools(and I'm quite proficient with a hot glue gun), and I just learned to sew this year, so I'm excited to see what will come of that! I hope you enjoy tagging along for this crazy journey of randomness!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Cute (and cheap!) DIY bookshelves

As promised in my last post, here are the instructions for the super cute DIY bookshelves we have in the girls' garden bedroom! I am very thankful that we've raised little readers, these kids love books! Problem: We have so many, and when they want one they dig through the entire bookshelf, leaving it a mess...It always seemed to look like this: 

Okay, so maybe not THAT bad, but it sure felt like it...Anyway, I took to the internet, browsing through Pinterest for DIY bookshelf ideas, preferably to go on the wall so I could eliminate the bookshelf altogether! I found a ton of ideas; spice racks, gutters, fabric pockets, shutters, crates hung sideways on the wall...but IKEA is always sold out of those little spice racks and I didn't think they would hold enough books. I finally came across a woman who had used a wooden CD crate from Michaels, however, when I got to Michael's and picked up the crate, I didn't feel they would be sturdy enough for my girls' books/abuse children put on their things...the wood was very thin and seemed flimsy. So, I went with a sturdier crate,
Michael's Half Crate $6.99(I only paid $4.19 with a 40% off coupon and you get two shelves out of one crate.
(This pic shows two stacked on top of each other)

Cut this straight down that middle gap-right in half! You will have two shelves. I hesitate to say with what tool to cut with, because if you're anything like my best friend and I, you'll improvise with any tool that will cut-whether it's the proper tool or not!(That, and I don't really know my tools all that well(yet), so, we're just gonna say, "A power saw")

After cutting in half-spray paint or stain to your preferred color and allow to dry...

While you are painting/spraying-take small piece of wood like a paint stick/stir stick-it doesn't have to be thick(You know how I said I like to improvise? Yeah, I cut it with my husbands snips...Come to think of it, maybe you should just do as I say, not as I do!)  cut to size and paint/stain to match, I stapled these in place across the gap so books will not fall through.

Mount to the wall with 2 small "L" brackets-make sure you attach them to the sturdiest boards, not the thin panels!

When finished, you will have nice, sturdy shelves that hold a good number of books! Our girls love reading before bed, they go to bed about 30 minutes before their actual bedtime and read-so I wanted an option that could be reached from the top bunk as well! This has been the best addition to their room by far! It only took about an hour altogether
 We still have a lot more books than need to be out, so we chose the most popular books and put them on the shelves, and the rest we put in a nice tote downstairs! They can swap them out anytime, but so far they are still working on the books they picked out!

Let me know if you have any questions about the project, I will answer anything I can!

A Garden Room for 2 Lovely Little Ladybugs

Our girls wanted a room with flowers and bugs, so we went all out with the garden theme...I tend to get carried away with themes, especially when it comes to parties, but I think I did a pretty good job of reigning it in for just the right amount in their room! A few of the photos reflect some changes we've made in the room over time, as their interests changed, but the basic concept of the room remains and I am still completely in love with it! 

Stuffed Animal Storage(you'll see in later pics that we had to move to a larger option...these kids love their animals! This has since been turned into an actual clothes hamper!)

Reading Nook(The shelves facing the nook have their books on them)

Close-up of the reading nook!

I am so in love with their bedding! I love quilts!

The Tooth Fairy Door! (This has been the GREATEST!)

The new bookshelves! We just made these recently to get rid of the bookshelves and make way for Barbieville...I will make another post later with the "how-to", they are a very simple DIY project!

Another later addition to the room, the hamper just wasn't cutting it anymore...so I went to Pinterest(Where else?!) and found an awesome idea for stuffed animal storage; a ZOO! However, the sites I found everywhere had lots of pictures of rectangular units, no clear directions for materials and we needed a corner unit, so I just kind of winged it! I've since seen a better idea where they just mount the front boards to the wall with an "L" bracket and do not need the whole back of the body frame like we have! Ah well, it's one of a kind, I guess! ;)

Since we originally decorated the room our girls wardrobe has apparently exploded as well and created the need for a dresser! I scored this for $15 at a yard sale, it was lavender...a good sanding, paint job and new hardware and it is as good as new! (The little hoops are glow bracelets, the kids were having a sleepover and there were about 45 glow bracelets hung on every possible spot in the bedroom!)

I absolutely adore this sign, this was one of those tightly budgeted weeks where I really shouldn't have been wandering around in TJMaxx, but there I found myself standing in the store, holding it in my hands, really wanting to buy it, but thinking, "I really shouldn't...but I love it...but I shouldn't........but I love it!" Aaaand, I couldn't leave the store without it. Thankfully this was only a $15 dilemma, but still...on a budget, $15 can be quite the dilemma!

My, er...Their sweet reading nook...sweet, wonderful, peaceful reading nook...has now been converted into Barbie Condo-ville, USA...it's like the equivalent of bulldozing a serene forest and putting up obnoxious condos! I could have gone and laid in that nook and listened to them read forever, or just lay there by myself as it was the quietest spot in the house! Of course they found it more fun to come and sit on Mommy and Daddy's bed and read than sitting in the nook...apparently kids don't like it when it's that quiet, ah well, at least the space is getting more use now and the dollhouse fit nicely, so, I digress...

 We've finally updated and hidden Barbieville, thankfully! It looks nice when it is closed, too, but the kids were playing, so I left it open! I had a hard time with this, since our house is older and we couldn't just replace the closet doors because the old closet doors were floor to ceiling, that's right, 96 inches!! I didn't love the idea of curtains, but since the dollhouse had pink and white striped curtains, I decided it would be cute to play on that and do the same hanging in front of it. I am very happy with the results!

And as they've grown, and are now both school-age, we needed space to hang backpacks and hoodies, so we mounted hooks behind the door(as we already have command strip hooks ON the door for their robes!)to make use of the little space we've got, and it has worked out quite nicely! The poster is one of my favorite new additions, it was a clearance score at Target for $2.38 and it is a Wall Decal-I am not a fan of posters and hope I don't have to cross that bridge until we're in the teenage years!

Oh, and those peace signs you see to the right? As they've gotten older they've also developed a love for all things bright colored and "Peace" sign covered...i.e. The Backpack on the right...so these decals somehow found their way into their Sweet Garden Room...I just keep telling myself now it's a "Flower Child Room" and that it still works...

To Be Continued...

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Nothing like a dose of Fall in late July...

Where we live, the end of Summer gets the hottest...the miserable 99-104° days of Mid-July to the end of August are best described by that good ol' phrase, "The Dog Days of Summer". I know there is probably a perfectly good historical meaning to that phrase, but we all like to say it's because it's so hot even your dog doesn't want to go outside! That being said, this year Mother Nature decided to throw us a glorious curve ball (It's baseball season, right?) for the past week(and the 7 day futurecast) the high has been-and is predicted to continue to be 80...and that was today. Every other day has been a beautiful 75-79°. I know the other shoe is eventually going to drop and August will resume smothering us with heat, but until that happens we are enjoying a ton of outdoor fun, gorgeous evenings which have required jeans and hoodies(OH Happy day!) and even a few very confused trees changing color!

My husband and I have really been looking forward to this coming Fall, we enjoy hiking and just getting out and observing and enjoying nature as a family. This year, however, it was even more exciting to think about Fall because we felt like our children have finally reached an age that it will actually be enjoyable taking them hiking, you know, without carrying them or a diaper bag the whole time or hearing "my legs are tired" 10 minutes after you start(This was the case last year from our youngest!) Well, with this awesome weather pattern stretching through the weekend, we didn't have to wait for Fall, we decided it was as good a time as any to get out and give it a shot! We packed lunches, threw some water in our backpack and headed out hiking for the day! The girls did such a great job and they loved every minute of it! The weather was fantastic, the trails weren't too crowded, and the drive to get there was beautiful! I thought I'd share some of my favorite photos, I still can't believe these were taken in July...(See?! Jeans!!!)