Friday, August 29, 2008

round-up time!

Updated to add on 3/5/09: This post is part of The Masked Mommy's Closet Pow Wow! Head on over for some closet makeover inspiration!

For The Organizing Junkie's August Round-Up, we were challenged to tackle our mudrooms or entryways. Seeing as we don't have a mudroom (oh, how I wish!) and the entryway to our house flows right into our living room, I chose to organize our coat closet.

I chose this space for a few reasons:

1) It was as close to an entryway or mudroom as I could get and I really wanted to participate in this month's roundup! I've gotten the urge to organize lately!
2) I wanted room to hang our guest's coats in the closet, so it was time to weed out all of the ones we don't wear.
3) I was tired of seeing all of the wasted use of space. The more stuff we own, the more room we need, so there had to be a better way!
4) As the kids get older, we hope to be able to play more games as a family, and I didn't want all the games to topple down on us when we wanted to play one.

left side of closet

I added a bookshelf and found some other storage items already in the house to help organize the space a little better...the best part - I didn't spend any money to do this!

right side of closet...terrible waste of space

after weeding through the coats, I chose to move them to this side of the closet and I stored my husband's guitars under my son's crib to get them out of the way

left side of closet-notice all of my husband's Poker chips!? Is that really necessary?? He says, yes it is.

right side of the closet


I spent quite a bit of time configuring the game space to make them fit in perfectly. I only got rid of a couple of games. I just couldn't bear to part with some of them...even if we haven't played them in years. We'll see how long this lasts, but our new rule is if you take a game down, you put it back in the EXACT same spot. Now, we just have to start playing more games together!!

The same night, I organized, we got out Connect Four and Mikayla enjoyed "playing" with her daddy, while Austin, with snacks in hand, watched from the sidelines. I can't wait to see more of this family time as the kids grow older.

Catch the organizing bug and visit The Organized Junkie for more August Round-Up participants and see how others have re-organized their spaces!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

through the looking glass

This morning, we headed to the Zoo to meet up with Aunt Kristen & Cousin Riley. It's been fun to see the two older cousins (Mikayla & Riley are 10 months apart) interact with one another now that they are getting a little bigger. Today was all about seeing the animals "through the looking glass".

saying hello to the polar bear...who was actually quite playful today!

Austin enjoying his stroller ride
...he missed Parker today!

What fun it is to be able to spend time with family and a little bit of time at the Zoo in the nice weather doesn't hurt!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

i've been featured

Hey everyone!! I've been featured at Tip Junkie for one of my baby shower favor ideas that I made for my friend's baby shower a couple weeks ago. Tip Junkie is a great place to find all sorts of craftiness, random tips, and other fun stuff! Go check it out!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

tackling my sanity

Tackle It Tuesday Meme

For today's Tackle it Tuesday sponsored by 5 Minutes for Mom, I decided that the most important thing I needed to do today was to tackle my sanity. With so many projects I am currently working on (which I AM enjoying, but there's just a lot!), I needed to do something to clear my head and get myself organized, like making a giant list of things to do. I find it quite interesting because I have been reading quite a few blogs lately that have shared their own lists of things to do. This just might be that time of year of crazy busy-ness!

But, before I tackled the list I needed to tackle one important thing, and that was our computer working space. Since having our second child, we chose to downsize our office space into a computer armoire, which means that most often than not this area is piled with papers. And the last couple of weeks have been no different. In order for me to sit down and "think things through", I had to clear this area, so I could clear my head.



I couldn't help, but feel a great sigh of relief as I can now sit down in this clean area and begin tackling the list. I'm feeling less overwhelmed already!

Go here for more of Tackle it Tuesday!

Monday, August 25, 2008

back to work

Instead of saying that daddy goes to work, Mikayla always seems to say daddy's going "back to work". For the last couple of days, she has been caught with an armload of things (she's well known for hoarding) and matter-of-factly says to me that she is going "back to work". And, her new favorite article of clothing are her shoes...she has to squeeze her feet into these things, but she sure loves to click along around the house.

Wow, a little bit of a bad hair day going on here, and notice the shoes...

Check out the shoes and of course the doggy in a purse...
I love my silly girl!

And here the kids are watching daddy come home from work. They love it when their daddy walks through the door!

refurbished cards

I love receiving things in the mail (however, not as excited about junk mail or bills). Wedding invitations, birth announcements, thank you notes, thinking of you cards, birthday invites...these are a few of my favorites! I display most of the invitations and announcements on our refrigerator, but I have a special place for cards. I usually leave them up for a good 2 weeks and then sort through them to see what to keep or what to toss. I like to keep cards that have special attachments, but some of the cards I can't bare to just throw away because they are so cute! So, I set them aside in a "future inspiration" pile. I love to create new cards out of existing cards.

Here is one that I made today....

thank you card received in the mail for a birthday present


birthday card for a boy

Here are a couple of others that I have "refurbished" in the past...

So, the next time you think about just tossing that card in the trash, think twice about it and hold on to it for some future inspiration!

Friday, August 22, 2008

blue and yellow make green

This morning I woke up with a new motivation to start working on redecorating the play room. A couple weeks ago, I shared about the struggles of deciding on a paint color and was stuck. I felt like I couldn't move on, but this morning, after Austin's morning nap, the three of us climbed in the van and headed to Home Depot (despite the sign out front that continuously blares "Don't Shop Home Depot"...oops! sorry! I'm sure I'm not the only one who drove right past trying not to make eye contact with the men standing in front).

On our way, Mikayla and I began chatting...

Mommy: We're going to the store to pick out paint.

Mikayla: Kayla, paint, too.

Mommy: I think you're too little to paint.

Mikayla: No, Kayla not too little. Kayla big girl. (with a tone of "how dare you call me little")

Mommy: Yes, you're right, you are a big girl.

Mikayla: Kayla paint, too.

Mommy: OK, when we get home you can paint.

After grabbing all the paint samples I could carry and a quick little "ride" for Mikayla on the lawnmower (cheap entertainment), we were off! We decided to meet up with Ryan for lunch and the whole way there Mikayla kept talking about painting. On the way back from lunch, I noticed the time and knew that painting would have to wait until after naptime. So, instead of breaking the news to her at home, I thought I would try and do it gently in the car...

Mommy: When we get home, you and Austin are going to take a nap first.

Mikayla: No nap! Painting first! (can you just hear the 2-year old in her?)

The conversation continued with a whole lot of "I promise you can paint, but we're going to take a nap FIRST." "Daddy will love your picture that you paint AFTER you take a nap." In which she would respond. "No nap. Painting first." Despite the protest, we did have a smooth transition to naptime. But the minute she woke up, I heard sounds from the bedroom... "Mommy! Painting!" Aw, yes...I knew she wouldn't forget.

And you know what that means? Mikayla had her first painting experience. I'm not a fan of messes, so that's the whole reason I have avoided this messy art project in the first place, which I probably should have already given it a try to broaden her horizons. Poor girl. The whole experience turned out great! She loved it and it made me so happy to see her enjoying herself...happy enough to even want to do it again! During the 20 minute art session, she had to wash her hands three times and NOT because of me, but because she wanted to. Ah, she is my girl.

Here she is having a blast...

look at the concentration on her face

just like always, her friends had to watch

she even learned that blue and yellow make green

our budding artist

and, if that didn't show her how much of a cool mom I was,
check out what I let Mikayla do in the bathtub tonight
(no's not real paint, just bubble bath paint-yes, I'm wild, I know)

And, in case you're wondering, I think I have narrowed my paint choices down and hopefully we'll get started (well, Ryan will get started) painting soon. I can't wait to show you the transformation!

big girl jammies

I found these jammies tucked away in a drawer. They were a birthday present from her Boppa & Bobba for Mikayla's 2-year old birthday back in April. I decided to try them on her and they fit...just in time for a few more months of nice weather! She looks like such a big girl in these jammies and they have become my new favorite for her to wear to bed.

baby shower favor idea

A couple of days ago, I helped host a baby shower for a very good friend of mine who was celebrating the birth of her third child. My other friend whose house we were having the shower at had printed some wallet size photos of the sweet baby with the intentions of using them for the shower invite. When that didn't work out, I decided to try and do something with them as shower favors for the attending guests.

I backed the wallet size photo with white paper and then onto a colored cardstock. I then took some coordinating ribbon and thread it through two punched holes.

On the back
, I attached a poem that I adapted to fit the baby's name, including his birthdate at the bottom.
Each guest took home this special little favor to hang on their refrigerator.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

baby shower-seeing stars

I love baby showers! I have been a part of the planning process in my fair share of celebrating the arrival of little ones (first it was wedding showers, now it's babies). I am a big fan of throwing a party! Last summer, I was able to help out with a shower that we had for my sister-in-law. Her sister, but also my good friend, and I were the party planners and together we made a great team. She made all of the food (thank, goodness! that's not always "my thing") and I was in charge of the invites, games, and decor. Score! My favorite part of the party! I thought it would be fun to show off a few pictures of the decorations from that shower. Since I love themes, I investigated a bit and found out that the crib bedding in the nursery was going to be stars with blues, yellows, and greens, I thought it would be fun to go with that.

baby shower invite-created by HB

favors we passed out to the guests-
my friend made the cookies, and I made the tags

we even had stars down to the shapes of the cheese-brilliant idea by my friend
I used silver star confetti and then punched out other stars in coordinating colors...check out the colors of the Hershey Kisses...not bad, huh?

Over the years, I wish that I had taken many more pictures of the simple things at the showers I have helped with, like party favors, invitations, decorations, and more. Not only so I could share them with you, but so I could duplicate it easily if I needed to. But, don't worry, I think if I browsed through my files, I could find some fun things to share that I did take pictures of. I might even try to put together the shower games I have created or used.

one determined little man

Yesterday, Mikayla decided to take the couch cushions off to use as a play area for her toys. Honestly, I was OK with this (other than the crumbs that fell out when she took off the cushions) because I was just happy that she wasn't whining about wanting to watch Bug's Life or Madagascar or "Cookie Monster" (aka Monsters, Inc.). We honestly don't watch that much television (or at least that's what I tell myself), but I never should have introduced her to movies.

Somehow, I obviously got off topic. Back to the story...

Austin's favorite thing to do right now (besides eating) is to try to take the exact toys that Mikayla is playing with. Well, you guessed it, just like any other 2-year old, she isn't willing to share. Although, magically when Austin is taking toys from his little friends, she says, "Share Austin." She can give it, but she can't take it. Well, yesterday was just like any other day with this "sharing" dilemma, but Mikayla thought she would be smart and try to create a blockade, so that Austin couldn't get to her toys. Does she know her brother? He is determined. He loves to climb. And nothing can stand in his way. You can't blame a girl for trying.

Poor girl, I just kind of let him do it, but I just thought it was too funny, especially this last picture where she's looking at me with a look of "Mom, aren't you going to help me?"

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