Tips and Tricks Tuesday: Homework and study station


Our little girl starts first grade this week. 


While we couldn’t be more proud of her, we have also been forced to admit she’s growing up. Her needs as a student are changing as well. Our sweet girl had homework in kindergarten, but completing that work at the dining room table wasn’t always the best solution. 

We decided she needed her own desk and workspace in her own room, away from the noise and distractions of the rest of the house. 

We found this beauty on Craigslist.

I promptly made her a French memo board for her photos and school papers. 

I took my girl to Hobby Lobby to pick out some desk accessories. She chose this white crate and I chose some buckets for her utensils. 

We also bought this chipboard E and painted it pink. 

This cute little picture was all her choosing. I love the picture, and what it says. 

This little statue was in my own room when I was a kid. 

I DIYed these boxes to store flash cards and high lighters.

This DIY photo album holds various certificates and awards.

Her center drawer holds workbooks, a student calendar, and folders. 


One drawer holds electronics and chargers.


One drawer houses notepads and journals.


One holds more electronics.


One holds flash cards and markers. 


And her bottom drawer holds work books and art books.


Her space is set up for work and play. While the drawers could be more neatly organized, I did want to be cognizant that a six year old would use it. I wanted her to find her stuff and keep it separated but not be afraid to make the drawers messy. 


I know my kiddo loves her desk and I know she’ll love using it.

Linking to StonegableWorthing CourtCedar Hill FarmhouseConfessions of a Plate AddictThe Turquoiseaquifer and HomeA Place of My TasteThe Happy Housie, The Blissful Bee, My PinterventuresThe Lady Prefers to SaveThe Kolb Corner, Craving Some Creativity,  Let’s Get Crafty, Diane and Dean DIY,  Starfish CottageBluesky Kitchen,  Potentially Chic,  McCall Manor, and Odds and Evans,  The Quintessential MommyChristine Everyday,  Little Miss DexterousDécor To AdorePoofing the PillowsAt Home With JemmaWhite Spray Paint,  and French Country Cottage!

link party 1

New banner June 2014

Continue Reading

Make it Mondays: a shabby chic lamp shade

It all started when my older daughter needed a lamp for her vanity table. Honestly, my younger daughter needed a new lap for her dresser, too. 

I wanted a lampshade with rosettes, similar to this one:

I loved that lamp shade but I didn’t really love the price. I felt like I could probably create one of my own. I also already had a lamp that was similar to the one in the picture.
I quickly went to our local big box store and bought a plain cream colored drum shade for $5.00. I also bought five rolls of this ribbon:
I hot glued the ribbon to the shade, making sure not to let any gaps form. I didn’t want the shade to be visible through the lamp shade at all. When I finished, here is what I ended up with:
It looks so perfect on my older daughter’s vanity
And on my youngest daughter’s dresser, too.
Thanks for stopping by!

Linking to StonegableWorthing CourtCedar Hill FarmhouseConfessions of a Plate AddictThe Turquoiseaquifer and HomeA Place of My TasteThe Happy Housie, The Blissful Bee, My PinterventuresThe Lady Prefers to SaveThe Kolb Corner, Craving Some Creativity,  Let’s Get Crafty, Diane and Dean DIY,  Starfish CottageBluesky Kitchen,  Potentially Chic,  McCall Manor, and Odds and Evans,  The Quintessential MommyChristine Everyday,  Little Miss DexterousDécor To AdorePoofing the PillowsAt Home With JemmaWhite Spray Paint,  and French Country Cottage!

link party 1

New banner June 2014

Continue Reading

21-day challenge: the playroom 


My kids were abundantly blessed this Christmas. So blessed we couldn’t get in the playroom.


I’m not complaining. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. I’m grateful my kids have so many people who love them and want to give them gifts.


While there was a moment or two of “where will we put all this stuff?” I quickly realized we could clean out the playroom and make it happen. 

I went through each bin one by one and put away anything that was out of place. 

I also put the girls’ stuffed animals in their respective rooms.


Then, the hard part: I went through the playroom and got rid of the toys no one plays with anymore. 

I made three piles: one to consign, one to trash, and one to donate . 

Behold: my donation pile:


And my sell pile:


When I was finished,the playroom looked like this:


Let’s check out the “before” again:

And the after. Whew, that’s better.

And don’t forget about the other days in the 21-day challenge.


Tomorrow, we are sharing the pantry. I had to flip flop some of the dates. 

Stay tuned, but don’t forget you can join in. Just use the hashtag #ons21daychallenge. 

Have a great week!

Linking to StonegableWorthing CourtCedar Hill FarmhouseConfessions of a Plate AddictThe Turquoiseaquifer and HomeA Place of My TasteThe Happy Housie, The Blissful Bee, My PinterventuresThe Lady Prefers to SaveThe Kolb Corner, Craving Some Creativity,  Let’s Get Crafty, Diane and Dean DIY,  Starfish CottageBluesky Kitchen,  Potentially Chic,  McCall Manor, and Odds and Evans,  The Quintessential MommyChristine Everyday,  Little Miss DexterousDécor To AdorePoofing the PillowsAt Home With JemmaWhite Spray Paint,  and French Country Cottage!

link party 1

New banner June 2014

Until then, show me your entryway organization and don’t forget to use the hashtag #ons21daychallenge. 

Here is what’s next in the 21-day challenge:

Continue Reading

Organizing solutions: Storing those toys!

toystorageheader

Most of us who have small children would agree: it’s very easy for toys to take over your home. Your life even! We can certainly do things to cut down on the toy clutter, such as simplifying your child’s toy collection.  Truthfully, even a large toy collection can still be organized and stored so that it doesn’t take over the world.

babytoy

One of my favorite ideas is to use hampers and vertical bins to corral stuffed animals. Not only does the tall, skinny bin store a lot of critters, it also takes up a small amount of floor space. For the win!

 

 

 

 

????????????????????????????????????

Bookshelves. This goes back to vertical storage with a minimal footprint. Bookshelves will hold a lot of things and can be decorated so that they are attractive. The idea is to create a zigzag pattern across the shelves to keep the eye moving. These playroom shelves hold books and large toys, while bins stored on the shelves hold art supplies, school supplies, small toys, and paperback books. The bottom shelves hold stuffed animals and dolls, while the top shelves hold games and puzzles.

emoriebookshelf

Here is the bookshelf in Emorie’s room. The box on the top holds small toys that her sister shouldn’t be able to reach. The same rules apply. It’s a nice mixture of actual books and toys.

playroomshelves3

These closet organizer cubes and fabric drawers live in our playroom and we love them. Actually we don’t just love them, we lurrrve them. They hold so much and they slide in and out of the cubes so well. The toys are sorted with like objects and placed into their own bin by category. The labels contain the word and the picture to help the littles know where to put them up.

These ideas are just some of the way we deal with the toy clutter. I hope I have shared some useful ideas with you. If you have any ideas that are different from mine, please comment below. I love sharing ideas and learning new things from my readers as well. Have a wonderful week.

Linking to StonegableWorthing CourtCedar Hill FarmhouseConfessions of a Plate AddictThe Turquoise HomeA Place of My TasteThe Happy Housie, The Blissful Bee, My PinterventuresThe Lady Prefers to SaveThe Kolb Corner, Craving Some Creativity,  Let’s Get Crafty, Diane and Dean DIY,  Starfish CottageBluesky Kitchen,  Potentially Chic,  McCall Manor, and Odds and Evans,  The Quintessential MommyChristine Everyday,  Little Miss DexterousDécor To AdorePoofing the PillowsAt Home With JemmaWhite Spray Paint,  and French Country Cottage!

link party 1

New banner June 2014

Continue Reading

Hair accessory organization 

I am the mother of two beautiful little girls, and I’m convinced hair bows are taking over my house. They’re everywhere! Even Aubrey has a ton of the things and she doesn’t have much hair. 

Emorie has an Ikea Hemnes dresser. It has two little drawers at the top.

The top drawer on the left used to house her swimsuits and the one on the right housed her headbands.

Neither was a good solution. The swimsuits were always bunching up and hiding one another, and the headbands were always sliding around or getting squashed.

I relocated the swimsuits to one of the fabric bins in her closet and weeded out the hairbows that were looking worse for wear. I hung the ones she still wears on a long ribbon behind her door.

Then I sectioned off the drawers with some trusty basket drawer organizers from Wally World. These are super cheap and they are so useful.

Her headbands and hairbows are sorted and stored by color. There was also room in the drawers for her sunglasses and costume jewelry as well.

I used two divider baskets to store hair ties and clips in her vanity table drawer.

All the materials used to organize these accessories sets were already in our home. This organizational project didn’t cost me a dime.

I’m really happy with how this turned out. I hope it’s going to Save us a lot of time searching for headbands.

​​Linking to StonegableWorthing CourtCedar Hill FarmhouseConfessions of a Plate AddictThe Turquoise HomeA Place of My TasteThe Happy Housie, The Blissful Bee, My PinterventuresThe Lady Prefers to SaveThe Kolb Corner, Craving Some Creativity,  Let’s Get Crafty, Diane and Dean DIY,  Starfish CottageBluesky Kitchen,  Potentially Chic,  McCall Manor, and Odds and Evans,  The Quintessential MommyChristine Everyday,  Little Miss DexterousDécor To AdorePoofing the PillowsAt Home With JemmaWhite Spray Paint,  and French Country Cottage!

link party 1

New banner June 2014

Continue Reading

A quick organizing project: those baby toys

We have a toy storage problem at our house. More specifically, we have a baby toy storage problem. We had several toys stored in the crib, which meant we had to remove the toys before putting the baby in her crib.

image

We also had one way too small basket in the floor beside the crib to hold the toys.
image

We had to take the toys and sit them in her chair each time she went to nap or sleep. It was a major pain.

I spotted this burlap hamper at Hobby Lobby in the Spring Shop, so it was 40% off! Score!
image

Now those toys have a home and there is room for Aubrey in her crib. And we don’t have to move any toys.

image

image

What toy organization strategies have you discovered?

Linking to StonegableWorthing CourtCedar Hill FarmhouseConfessions of a Plate Addict, The Turquoise Home, A Place of My Taste, The Happy Housie, The Blissful Bee, My Pinterventures, The Lady Prefers to Save, The Kolb Corner, Craving Some Creativity,  Let’s Get Crafty, Diane and Dean DIY,  Starfish Cottage, Bluesky Kitchen,  Potentially Chic,  McCall Manor, and Odds and Evans,  The Quintessential Mommy, Christine Everyday,  Little Miss DexterousDécor To AdorePoofing the PillowsAt Home With JemmaWhite Spray Paint,  and French Country Cottage!

link party 1

New banner June 2014

WIW_Logo-1

monday-meetupnew

MMSeptember_zps326fcb0d

Continue Reading

Newly-improved school supply storage

We have been searching for a more efficient way to store my oldest girl’s homework and school supplies. She will begin kindergarten this fall, but we work with her a lot during the evenings and we “homeschool” in the summer. Because we need two incomes, we cannot afford to homeschool during the school year, but we certainly can in the summer.

We had been storing her homeschool supplies in an Olaf tote bag:

DSC_1699

I think you can probably see why it wasn’t working.

I loved the look of these homework stations, but I needed something that would be out of reach of her little sister.

[source]

[source]

I had seen a few homework caddies, so I decided to repurpose a plastic caddy I already had. It wasn’t working well for holding my cleaning supplies. I liked that it is plastic and will wipe off easily.

DSC_1696

I selected a few items we need most often and popped them into the caddy.

DSC_1698

All other school stuff was placed into a fabric bin and sat on her playroom shelf. We can just go to the bin and get what we need.

DSC_1700

This is working so much better! We can find everything we need and we can put the caddy on top of the shelf, out of sister’s reach. We can also pick it up and carry it where ever we happen to be working.

How do you store your homework/school supplies?

Linking to StonegableWorthing CourtCedar Hill FarmhouseConfessions of a Plate Addict, The Turquoise Home, A Place of My Taste, The Happy Housie, The Blissful Bee, My Pinterventures, The Lady Prefers to Save, The Kolb Corner, Craving Some Creativity,  Let’s Get Crafty, Diane and Dean DIY,  Starfish Cottage, Bluesky Kitchen,  Potentially Chic,  McCall Manor, and Odds and Evans,  The Quintessential Mommy, Christine Everyday,  Little Miss DexterousDécor To AdorePoofing the PillowsAt Home With JemmaWhite Spray Paint,  and French Country Cottage!

link party 1

New banner June 2014

WIW_Logo-1

monday-meetupnew

MMSeptember_zps326fcb0d

Continue Reading

Updating the playroom part two

Our playroom is something of a design conundrum.

DSC_0098

There is only one solid wall, and there is a HVAC vent right where the cradle is sitting. That’s why the shelves are off center. The electrical panel also throws a wrench in my decorating.

DSC_0111 DSC_0113

When I say there is only one solid wall, this is what I mean. Two of the walls have pass throughs.

DSC_0112

The remaining wall has two windows. Not complaining- those walls let in some great natural light and look out into our backyard.

So, what can you do with those two pass through walls?

DSC_0108

We got two cubby shelves. They are not so tall that they block the “windows.” We have room that we could add two more cubby shelves if we wanted… but we don’t.

DSC_0110 DSC_0104

The floor space that two more shelves would occupy is already occupied…by the wheeled toys, the easel, the dollhouse and the barn.

Another design conundrum is the loud floor. It clashes with EVERYTHING. It isn’t real slate; it’s laminate. We eventually have a different use in mind for this room, and when that happens, the floor will be the same red oak that’s in the rest of the house.  Until then, the kids can play all they want and I don’t have to worry about them hurting the floor.

What’s in the plans for our playroom? Well, we’re putting in some new curtains, a fun wall treatment, some paint, and some art. Here is what I have in mind:

A wallpaper with gray in a cute, not-too-loud print:

[source]

[source]

And some art:

[source]

[source]

And some paint:

Let me know what you think!!

Linking to StonegableWorthing CourtCedar Hill FarmhouseConfessions of a Plate Addict, and French Country Cottage!

Continue Reading

Cleaning up after Christmas: organizing the playroom part one

DSC_0098

Did your playroom look like a bomb went off in it after Christmas? Ours certainly did. It took me an entire day to get everything put away. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining- our girls were very generously blessed this Christmas, and I’m grateful for our family and friends who wanted to give our girls gifts. We had to find some place to put all the toys.

As always, I’m not an expert, but I am more than happy to share what I’ve learned along the way.

But first, a warning:  you may want to go through your children’s toys when they aren’t home. Even if something is broken, and hasn’t been played with for over a year, my oldest will still pitch a fit if I try to get rid of it.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, here are my tips for organizing your playroom or toys after Christmas:

1. Get rid of any toys that are broken, missing pieces, or haven’t been played with in awhile. 

My kiddo had some toys that were broken, and she also had a few things that she never plays with. While she was at preschool yesterday, I took the opportunity to clean out these toys. Our kiddo hoards coloring books, so I even went through those and threw away the ones that had been completely colored. I ended up with a stack of 8 coloring books that were mostly empty, as opposed to 14 coloring books.

2. Categorize your toys. 

This one is time consuming. Take all the toys and dump them in a giant pile. Yes, you read that correctly. Once you have made your giant mess, sort the toys into piles. For example, put the Barbies in one pile, toy food in one pile, puzzles in one pile, etc. We used cubby shelves and fabric drawers to store toys. We then put a label on each drawer to help our kiddo know where to put everything.

DSC_0108 DSC_0116

3. Add some shelves….if you can. 

We used to have just the two cubby shelves and one vertical shelf, but my parents graciously agreed to get us another shelf for the playroom. We chose another vertical shelf to match the one we already had. I put the kids’ stuffed animals, dolls, games, art supplies, and books on the shelves. I also went ahead and made sure all the toys with small pieces were placed near the top of the shelf. Our baby is tiny and certainly not mobile yet, but I didn’t want time to get away from us! Speaking of shelves, vertical storage is your friend- storage without taking up large amounts of floor space.

DSC_0099

4. Less is more. 

You don’t have to keep every single toy in the playroom. Our oldest is four. She tends to have a short attention span when it comes to toys. She loses interest once the new wears off. I packed away some of her toys so I can cycle them through regularly and then they’ll seem “new” longer. We also keep some books and toys in Emorie’s room on her shelf, and a basket of baby books in the nursery. We have baby toys that are too mature for our two month old- she won’t use them until she is at least six months old. I packed these away and will introduce them when they are more appropriate for her.

5. Put bigger toys in the corner to conserve space. 

The biggest things in our playroom (aside from the four shelves) are the easel, the kitchen set, the dollhouse, and several small wheeled toys. The kitchen and easel are in the corner, the dollhouse is pushed up against the wall, and the wheeled toys are stored underneath the easel. This gives us way more floor space.

DSC_0110 DSC_0104

Stay tuned- I am working on a mini-redo of our playroom and am not quite done. I’m hoping to reveal the finished product really soon.

 

Linking to StonegableWorthing CourtCedar Hill FarmhouseConfessions of a Plate Addict, and French Country Cottage!

 

Continue Reading

DIY Friday, one day early

Hi all! I know you’re probably getting tired of my nursery posts, so I promise you, we are almost finished.

Yesterday, I created one of the easiest DIY projects I’ve ever created. It started with this beautiful silver 8X10 frame I had lying around. I also had some left over vintage lace from when I created the lamp on the table beside the nursery chair.

I started by hot gluing the lace to the frame.  I put a piece of scrapbook paper in the back of the frame just to give it some color. After that, I just used some Command strips to attach it to the wall. Then, I put all of these cute little hairbows on it. I think it made a nice addition to her room! 

Continue Reading