When I saw this project outside, on a table, overlooking the sand and water I couldn't wait to get started.
When I saw this project outside, on a table, overlooking the sand and water I couldn't wait to get started.
This is our playroom. The kids spend a lot of time in here, and no it doesn't always look so tidy.
I still have more work to do in here, but first I need to finish cleaning and organizing the garage so I can move their LEGO out there. Then I'd like to put in a reading nook, and a section for their puppets.
If you are looking for ideas and tips for organizing your playroom so it is fun, functional, and educational, I'm sharing lots of tips over at Rusty and Rosy.
I've been giving Jay's bedroom a makeover.
I used to make it over more often when he was younger and his interests were changing, however the last time I re-decorated it was in 2009, you can see that bedroom makeover here. I did that one when we were living in Monterey. We've been living back in San Diego for nearly two years though and I noticed that he never did put the orange and blue decor back into his bedroom. He'd outgrown it. So some of the blue went to Flynn's bedroom and some of the orange to Marisol's bedroom. I'm working on upcycling and painting some of the other pieces.
He's been asking for a while if I could makeover his bedroom. He wanted something a little more mature and decided to use a tiger print blanket (that I'd received at BlogHer a few years ago, I think) as a guide for the colors. I noticed that he really started thinking about this before Christmas when he asked our family in Australia to buy him a new chair for his bedroom as a gift, that we had found at Ikea. I didn't want to spend a lot of money though on his bedroom makeover so it took me a while to come up with exactly what I wanted to do so that I could re-use existing pieces that we had in our house as much as possible.
The most important thing before we got started was for me to try hard not to take over this project and decorate how I would want it (which is very difficult for me), but to sit down with him and let him choose the bedding and get his input on things that are important to him. I was able to have some input though, especially on the small things such as I advised not having entirely black bedding but breaking it up with a couple more colors, but still keeping with the color scheme. Some of the things he really wanted were:
Anna's Linens came to the rescue recently when they offered me a gift card to go shopping in one of their stores. So, I had him take a look at the Anna's Linens website and pick out new bedding. He sent me a few ideas of sets he loved and I headed out to a local store to see what was available and to feel the materials. We settled on a black Microplush Black Mini Comforter Set. He prefers comforters to be in a king size as opposed to a queen (which is his bed size), and thankfully this one came with two shams that fit his existing large pillow perfectly, and he now has a spare.
I also found a set of taupe standard pillow cases for the other two pillows on his bed, and last (but not least) two Cut Faux Fur Decorative Pillows in ivory. He already had taupe sheets on his bed, so we kept those. The total cost of linens came to a little over $60, and if you aren't already aware, Anna's Linens offer a 10% military discount.
We turned his bed around so it is now running parallel with his window. We didn't think this would fit because he has a desk and television stand on the opposite wall (and briefly considered moving his desk into one side of his large closet), but it ended up fitting in perfectly and it really opened up his bedroom.
Next I purchased him a small side table, which is something we couldn't fit next to his bed before (and there were many spilled drinks on the floor). I've been slowly putting pictures on the walls around the house over the past couple of years and remembered that I had two large dark wood frames in the garage that were once in Flynn's bedroom (we'd initially purchased them for the twins 1st birthday party). These matched perfectly with his new chair and I thought they'd look great above his bed, so I printed out photographs of family, friends, and his girlfriend, in black and white - he had to have final approval on all photographs of course.
Also in the garage was a lamp that my dad had hand-carved for me when I was still living in Australia, and that I had been lugging around (and storing in garage's) for years. I finally purchased a re-wiring kit for it and had my husband re-wire it to fit power points here (instead of Australia). I found an ivory lampshade that was perfect for it and Jay's thrilled with the softer lighting in his bedroom now, instead of using the bright overhead lights on the ceiling.
His bedroom is still a work-in-progress though. This past weekend we installed a set of three shelves on the wall above the chair, which he's now displaying his favorite hats on. Next I want to sand and paint his desk and television stand, and stain the wood blades on his ceiling fan so that they match the darker wood accents we've included in his bedroom. He would also like to obtain a large print of where he grew up in Australia for the wall opposite his bed, and there are other accessories he has his eye on that I think will end up on birthday and Christmas wish lists.
I'll be sure to update here as I complete each project. For now though, he's thrilled with the progress.
Disclosure: Anna's Linens provided me with a gift card to purchase bed linens.
If you have been reading here for a while you may remember the Tackle It Tuesday post I put together for 5 Minutes For Mom where I began organizing the kids play room, specifically setting up an art and homework station for them. Yes I am one of those 'everything has it's place' kind of people and I just love to organize, re-arrange, and upcycle until everything is as close to perfect as I can get.
Well, my project kind of ended there and I moved on to organizing a little more in my office. I never did go back and finish the play room, and there are still boxes of the kids art and craft supplies in the garage that haven't been unpacked. So when I was asked to participate in a 'Thin to Win' challenge by Sargento Cheese it gave me the kick up the backside that I needed to actually pick up where I left off. The specific challenge handed to me was: "Get organized by removing the clutter from a room in your house, and tell us what you did to simplify your living space."
This was the space before (or should I say, how I left it):
So my challenge for this space was to finally unpack another box or two of supplies in the garage (which is still overrun with boxes), and fill up those black shelves. I also wanted to add some more items such as a lamp, and computer to the space for not only over the summer vacation, but also once school starts back again. The kids will be home for a long time over the summer, and although we have a lot of fun activities planned outside the home and I'm sure quite a lot of the summer will be spent in our pool, there will certainly be downtime indoors, and let's face it I work from home so there are times when I need a little peace and quiet to get some work done, and I need a space where the kids can play quietly on their own.
Although there is still more I would like to do in this room (I can't wait for the giant world map I've ordered for the wall to get here), this is where we are at today. The garage is a little lighter, and the kids are a little more organized for the summer.
The kids grandmother kindly donated her old desktop computer, which the kids love watching the occasional video on, and playing their Rusty and Rosy activities. They also know how to turn it off and on by themselves which is a big plus, and there are blocks in place so they cannot access anything untoward.
I found a floor lamp and shade that I just loved and is perfect for the kids to use as it gets dark out, especially seeing as there is no ceiling light in that space. Although I do have big plans for that lampshade and there will be crafting involved.
Next up was to figure out a way to store some of the kids smaller items and hopefully be able to fit them into those little shelves without them ending up in a big mess at the end of each day.
I found small tubs that are the perfect size to fit in each compartment. I also found some round labels in the large stash of labels in my office and painted them with four coats of chalkboard paint to write on the contents of each box (which also encourages the kids reading). I filled each box with items such as stickers, perler beads, wooden and handmade stamps, mini notepads, felt pieces for their felt creations boards, and assorted stationery items. Combine that with the coloring books already in the blue bin, the hand-painted chalkboard table, as well as mini chalkboards, and handmade books, this stash is sure to keep the kids entertained.
You might also notice small brown tubs on top of the black shelving units. These contain little gifts for the kids. When they show exceptional behavior at school or sports and I receive an extra good report from their teacher they get to choose a small wrapped gift from their box. These are little things such as matchbox cars, mini craft projects, and other assorted items that cost no more than about $3 each.
I encourage you to head on over to the Sargento Cheese Facebook page and submit an entry in the 'Thin to Win' challenge and share how you are thinning out your life, because we all have things we want to thin out and organize. There are different challenges over 45 days so be sure to check back daily for new challenges and for a chance to win a variety of prizes. You will have 24 hours to submit an entry for this particular challenge.
Disclosure: I received products and compensation from Sargento Foods Inc. and The Motherhood as part of my participation in this campaign.
Spring must be in the air because I'm organizing again. I've been talking about it for a while, and I have finally finished it; Marisol's jewelry organizer.
As you can see it is very similar to mine. I had purchased this typeset tray at the same time as the last one for $15. This one is a little smaller though and had a lot of smaller sections in it. I wanted this jewelry organizer to be something she can grow with.
I removed some of the smaller sections in the tray to make a few larger compartments for bangles and then followed the same instructions as for my jewelry organizer.
I decided to leave quite a few of the narrow sections for earings (for in the future). I loved the tiny compartments in this one for her to place her little dress-up rings. Eventually I will add tiny rods to those sections so that rings don't fall out, but for her little fingers now it is easier for her to be able to slide them in and out.
Paint used: Olympic Paint - white and dover grey. I had purchased a few colors unsure of what I would use. I especially loved the color 'two to tango', but decided to go with something a little more neutral for now as her tastes may change later and I'm hoping that this will be a piece she uses for a long time and will be able to match her decor no matter what other colors are the flavor of the month. I love too that the color of her jewelry really pops against this background, and white is so much easier to paint over later if she wants it in a more vibrant color.
Hardware: Instead of using small eye screws and decorative hangers on this one (because she doesn't have earings yet), I found some vintage inspired knobs that she could hang her bracelets and bangles on, and attached them using E-6000 glue .
Spring for me is a time for decorating, organizing, and brightening things up. Join us at 2pm EST today (Thursday March 15) for a twitter party with Olympic Paint and The Motherhood where we will be discussing hot spring colors and design tips. RSVP here.
WHAT: A Twitter party with Olympic Paint (@OlympicFinishes) and The Motherhood (@theMotherhood)! We will discuss hot spring color trends and design tips with the experts. Bring your questions, advice, thoughts and ideas to share with the group!
WHEN: Thursday, March 15, at 2 p.m. ET (11 a.m. PT). The party will last one hour.
WHERE: The party will take place on Twitter. Follow the #SpringColor hashtag to watch the conversation unfold and make your own comments.
GIVEAWAYS: Five giveaways will be awarded throughout the hour of the Twitter party, based on correct responses to trivia questions. (Correct answers will be collected, and a winner will be randomly chosen for each prize.) Each winner will receive a free can of Olympic paint in the color of their choice. Contest entrants must follow @InspiredColor and @theMotherhood to be eligible to win.
BONUS: Follow Olympic Paint & Stain on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/olympicpaintandstain) and Pinterest (http://pinterest.com/inspiredcolor/) for more great design ideas!
As you know, I've been working on Marisol's costume storage area for some time. Flynn's though was driving me up the wall. You see, he didn't have one. All of his costumes were on the top shelf of his closet, and at least once a week I would find the entire lot all over his bedroom floor. So I finally pulled the Ikea storage box I have been lugging around for the past few years (even through 3 house moves) out of the garage and put together his dress up area during the week.
Everything is now within reach and will be easy for him to clean up. Yes, I will just keep telling myself that he will clean it up and that I won't be left to do it, but we all know the truth now, don't we.
The items on the shelf are just out of reach though. I absolutely love the Zid Zid elephant mask that a friend gave him a few years ago. I am surprised it has lasted this long. And, I could not believe it when I found the dinosaur mask in a box in the garage. I made it about 10 years ago for Jay (when we were living in Australia) and he was going through his dinosaur phase. An old chai tea tin was perfect to put all of the mustaches in, remember we used them at the twins cowboy and cowgirl birthday party. You can also find the details on making the hobby horse there too.
So, for the quick round-up.
The box - I purchased from Ikea for about $10 a few years ago. It had unfinished wood around the edges which I painted brown.
The shelf - Was another unfinished wood item that I found at Michael's for $14.99 (don't forget your 40% off coupon). Again, a few coats of brown paint did the trick.
The rail - Is perfect to hang small accessories on, and to stand up items such as the sword and hobby horse. That was $9.99 at Marshall's.