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!

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New banner June 2014

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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!

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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:

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Updating the playroom part two

Our playroom is something of a design conundrum.

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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.

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

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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?

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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.

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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:

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And some art:

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And some paint:

Let me know what you think!!

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

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Cleaning up after Christmas: organizing the playroom part one

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

 

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Nursery reveal: A shabby chic nursery fit for a princess

We found out we were expecting our miracle on March 24, 2015- one day before my husband’s birthday, and five months after the loss of our precious second baby. I knew almost instantly that she was going to be a girl. At the end of June, we found out for sure that we were having another girl.

As much as I loved Emorie’s pink and green Pottery Barn nursery, I wanted to take a different approach this time.
I knew I wanted to do a traditional nursery, something vintage and classic.  I loved the idea of a very girly, very shabby chic nursery, so I set out on Pinterest and Project Nursery to find some inspiration. Boy, did I ever find inspiration. I love how her nursery turned out- I think it’s pretty close to perfect. 
The furniture is the exact same furniture we used in Emorie’s nursery. This saved us a ton of money. We were also able to reuse crib sheets and changing table pad covers as well. 
The quilt was an Etsy purchase. I love how pretty and classic it is. I wanted something that didn’t look too baby, so it would still be useful when she is three.  The wall art is made from fat quarters and 11X14 canvases.

[Quilt- similar]      [Wall art- similar]     [Crib skirt]     [Crib sheet]   

The cornice shelves were a Target purchase as well. We already had the picture frame, and the vase and booties were a thrift store purchase. The card with the Scripture is an original creation. We bought the chair from Craigslist and the table, which I painted, is from Homegoods. The lamp and shade are a DIY, and the tabletop frame is from Swoozie’s.

[Shelves]   [Frame-similar]   [Table frame-similar]  [Mason Jar]  [Flowers– similar]  
The vintage Hobnail mirror is an Ebay purchase and the picture frames are from Hobby Lobby.

The large white frame is from Hobby Lobby and the picture is courtesy of Hillary Graves Photography. The white booties are from a local consignment shop. The lamp is reused from Emorie’s nursery and the shade is a DIY.

The last thing we have to do is hang her crib mobile. I am loving the vintage feel of this room. It’s so simple and feminine and I love looking at it. Can’t wait til our sweet princess is here! 
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Nursery progress: Cornice shelves

Hi, all! I hope your Wednesday is off to a great start. Here at Organized and Simplified, we are celebrating the nearly finished status of our daughter’s nursery. Monday, we showed you her new nursery chair and some really cute art work we hung above her changing table. Today, we will show you how we decorated her cornice shelves and tall dresser.

Here is a run-down of our nursery to-do list: As you can see, the room is nearly completed.
Install closet organizer 
Organize closet and label bins 
Hang and put away clothing and nursery items 
Buy crib bedding 
Hang art work above changing table 
Decorate two lamps for nursery 
Hang curtain rod and curtain
Buy a nursery chair and ottoman
Hang cornice shelves 
Decorate cornice shelves 
Decorate dresser 
Find a rug for the nursery
Install new dresser drawer knobs and closet door knobs
Hang art work above the crib

We ordered these cornice ledge shelves from Target, and they were difficult to install. These are not the shelves that have a wooden bracket that you attach to the wall, and then hang the shelf on. These shelves have a keyhole bracket. I wasn’t 100% pleased with them, but once we got them on the wall and decorated them, I was happier with them.

This photo here was my inspiration:

Here is how I styled them: 
The cream colored vase and small Mason jar were thrift store finds. The flowers were from Wal-Mart for $2 a stem, the frame is one we already had, and we already had the shoes. I purchased the “Isn’t She Lovely” print from Etsy for $1.25, and the 1 Samuel 1:27 print is an original creation. 
Here is the top of her dresser. A photograph will be in the 8X10 frame, but I wanted to wait until she gets here for that. 
Stay tuned! Our next post will be the room reveal!

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

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Nursery progress: DIY art

We are almost finished with our sweet girl’s nursery. This weekend, we were finally able to get a nursery chair- we bought it off Craigslist and it is wonderful- so comfy and so cute. I was a bit concerned about the color until I saw it, and then I realized it was perfect.


The chair looks great next to the table and lamp I DIY’d a few weeks ago. I’m starting to see the picture come together and I’m liking what I see.

Speaking of pictures, I also was able to finally get her art on her wall. I still have to decorate her ledge shelves, but I finally got around to hanging her mirror and her art. I absolutely love her vintage mirror- I collect hobnail and milk glass, and even though this mirror is plastic, I thought the mirror would look so cute with her furniture. I initially found this in a consignment shop and went back to get it. It was gone, but I was able to find several of these on the Internet. I was initially worried that the frames are ivory and the mirror is white, but once I got them hung, I loved them!

 
Here is where you can find these pieces of art- two of them are free, but two of them were Etsy purchases. I absolutely love these pieces together and they were exactly what I wanted. 

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DIY Fridays: Nursery table and lamp

Hi all! Due to the link party posting tomorrow, I am posting my DIY Friday one day early.

As you know, the husband and I have been feverishly working on our baby girl’s nursery. Although she’ll be arriving in November, I am going back to work in two weeks and we are trying to get it finished before I go back. So far, we’ve painted, bought bedding, bought (but not hung) art for the walls, and unpacked and put away all the baby clothes and gear. Last week, my super handy daddy came over and built a closet organizer shelf for her closet.

That being said, I found a very cute black turned leg end table at Homegoods. It was on sale and appeared to be well-made.

 The nursery furniture is all white and the table was black, so I figured I could paint it and make it match.  I put three coats of semi gloss white paint onto the table, and I’m pretty happy with the end result.

I also spray painted a cheap bronze lamp, and wrapped the lamp shade in some Victorian lace. It looks so sweet sitting on the end table. Now, if we could just find a chair to go beside the table…

All in all, this was not a costly DIY. The lamp and shade cost $4, the spray paint we already had, so it was free, and the lace cost $12. I got an original, one-of-a-kind lamp that fits our shabby chic theme for less than $20. Not bad.

The table cost $60 dollars, and we already had the paint and brushes. If I had to speculate, I’d say the paint, which was left over from the closet organizer, cost about $8 a can. We didn’t even use a fourth of the can painting the table.

I’m pretty pleased with this cute little corner, and I can’t wait to show you the rest of the room when it’s finished. Stay tuned!

Linking to Skip to My LouStonegableWorthing CourtCedar Hill FarmhouseConfessions of a Plate Addict, and French Country Cottage!

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Getting organized: Small-spaces nurseries

This summer, we are working hard to get our baby’s room finished. She will not be here til November, but I am going back to work soon and we want to be finished before then. One of the most important things to me was that we get organized in an effort to make things easier for us. 
One of our first courses of action was install a closet shelf to give our large but poorly utilized closet some additional storage space. 
The baskets contain shoes, baby pajamas, plain white onesies, socks, hats, and some toys. The white baskets across the top shelf contain clothes that are organized by size (to conserve space in the dresser drawer). The baskets are organized like this: 3 months, 6 months, 12 months, 18 months, 24 months, some miscellaneous items, and a basket for my breast pump items. 
Rubbermaid totes in the bottom hold toddler feeding items and toys for older babies.
We also utilized the empty space under the crib to store extra packs of diapers, wipes, baby bath, and diaper pail refills. These things are stored in underbed bags. 
We also use a short dresser as a changing table. The top drawer holds diapering items to keep them within easy reach. The middle drawer holds changing pad covers. The bottom drawer contains crib sheets and mattress pads. 
The tall dresser holds burp cloths and bibs, newborn and premie clothes, sleep sacks, and onesie and pants outfits. 
The end table (which will eventually have a chair beside it) holds her books and a small lamp for reading. 
Our nursery is organized and painted, but the decorating isn’t quite finished. Stay tuned!

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DIY Friday/Monthly organizing project

Hi all! If you follow me on Instagram, you probably saw this post on Wednesday:

That is my baby’s closet, or what I liked to refer to as “organized chaos.” Just like all the closets in our house, this one was a nice size but very poorly laid out. Lots of wasted space!

My very handy daddy came over and, using three 1×12 shelf boards, a box of nails, a router, a table saw, and a whole lot of patience and aggravation, we built this:

It’s almost an exact copy of the closet shelf in Emorie’s closet, that we did a few weeks ago. Her clothes are hanging up, organized by size, but some of the clothes are divided by size in baskets on the top shelf. Two large plastic totes on the floor hold toys for older babies and toddler feeding supplies. I think this is way better than the before picture, don’t you? 
All of the purple bins and white baskets came from Dollar Tree. Emorie’s closet baskets were made from diaper boxes. As we acquire more diaper boxes, I’ll likely to the same with this closet. After all, as A.R.B. (the baby) gets bigger, her clothes won’t fit in the white baskets and purple bins anymore, and something bigger will have to replace them. This closet will probably evolve a lot as she grows. 
Altogether, I spent $36 for shelf boards, $5 for rod flanges, $14 for bins, and $8 for a quart of paint. I already had the plastic totes and closet rods. I used cardstock I already had and my laminator to make the labels. So, for $63 dollars we built, painted and organized this closet using real wood boards and not MDF/particle wood shelving like most closet organizers. 
We’ve done other things to organize the nursery as well. Using underbed bags and bins, we have stored extra diapers, wipes, and baby wash supplies under her crib. The crib skirt will hide all of these things. We’ve also lined her dresser and changing table drawers with some pretty wrapping paper I picked up from Home Goods. 
All of her essentials are organized in her changing table and dresser drawers. 
Except for buying a chair and hanging a few things on her walls, the nursery is pretty much finished. We are so excited and can’t wait to debut her finished nursery. 
<div align=”center”><a href=”http://www.thriftydecorchick.blogspot.com/” title=”TDC Before and After” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://www.homestoriesatoz.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/beforeAndAfterButton_thumb1.gif” alt=”TDC Before and After” style=”border:none;” /></a></div>
Linking to StonegableWorthing CourtCedar Hill FarmhouseConfessions of a Plate Addict, and French Country Cottage!
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