Saturday, July 25, 2015

Prettying Up the Fireplace

If you follow me on Instagram, you probably saw that we are getting close to finishing our living room built-in! Hooray! We just need to add a piece of trim, crown moulding, and patch some of the wall paint. It is turning out exactly like I dreamed up in my head and I can't wait to show it to you all! I've been giddy about it!

You know what else I've been giddy about? With the TV moved to the built-in, I got the fireplace mantle back to decorate! And it's even better than before because now we have planking!
Of course, before we had even made a single cut for our built-in, I found the perfect mirror for the fireplace. Ha! I was in at Home Goods looking for a mail sorter and spotted this mirror down the aisle. It was love at first sight! I anticipated it being $50 or $60 for such a large, detailed mirror, but was pleasantly surprised to see it was only $30! For something substantial and well made like this mirror, that's a steal!
I love that the gray pulls out our wall color and the wood undertones pull out the washed wood accents in the room.
I'm planning to finally build a long, skinny box for the middle of the mantle like Thrifty Decor Chick did years ago. Seriously, I think that project was the first thing I ever pinned and I still haven't done it! Where do the years go?!
But, in the meantime, I'm loving my new view that doesn't include a TV! Wahoo!

I'll be back with the built-in reveal, so stay tuned! Happy Weekend, Everyone!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

9 Smart Garage Organization Tricks

If you follow me on Pinterest, you may have noticed I've been pinning a ton of garage inspiration!
Our garage is a mess after building our built in, so we're itching to get it clean and organized. Here's some of my favorite garage organizational ideas!
This is genius! No more searching for tape or trying to pry up the end of the tape that is stuck to the roll!
 I love how this magnetic strip keeps the drill bits organized, but easily accessible.
Cassie used a shoe organizer to store her spray paints. Such a smart idea!
Right now, we store our balls in an old laundry basket, but it takes up a lot of floor space. I love how this ball holder keeps the floor clear! 
We have a few hooks for our yard tools, but we definitely need more. I like the flexibility of this track system.
This is a great, inexpensive way to get law chairs or even strollers out of the way!
 Isn't this a neat idea for storing trash and lawn bags?
 via
We store our large wood pieces in a ceiling storage organizer similar to this. I love the idea to create a ceiling ladder organizer like it!
This drill holder and charging station is one of my favorite ideas! Genius!

What are your favorite garage organization tips? I'd love to hear them!

Friday, July 10, 2015

The Case of the Wandering TV

Hey, Friends! We've been working hard over here on a big living room project! I can't wait to show it to you, but I feel like I should explain it a bit first. Otherwise, you may be left wondering why we tackled this project and think we just love to have a living room full of sawdust. Ha! So, go get a cup of coffee and let's talk about our wandering TV!

When we first moved into this house, we purchased this cute TV stand and put our TV angled in the corner so it didn't block the window. Between the stairs and the low windows in our living room, furniture arranging was difficult and this seemed like the best place for the TV. Here's how it looked back before we started our living room redo. Read all of our living room posts here.
Jeremy had mentioned moving the TV to the mantle, but I thought he was crazy considering we had our TV above the fireplace in our last home (in a cutout for boxier TVs) and I hated it. I mentioned putting the TV in a built in next to the fireplace and angling it toward the couch, but he couldn't envision it and thought I was crazy. So, we both thought the other was crazy and the TV happily remained angled in the corner. Ha!

When we repainted last year, Jeremy started lobbying for the TV above the fireplace again. I really wasn't crazy about it, but since everything was moved out and unplugged anyway, I let him put it on the mantle to try it out. I wasn't head over heels, but I didn't hate it as much as I thought I would because it opened up a lot of space in the living room. We came to a compromise and agreed to leave it on the mantle if we did two things-- a.) add planking to pretty it up and ground it in the space and b.) get it wired so there would be no more cords dangling off the mantle.
 See how lost the TV looked without planking?
And don't even get me started on the cord mess! Please excuse the wonky wall coloring in those pictures!

We put off the wiring project because we needed to hire that out and we were slammed with multiple traveling expenses last year. But, Jeremy did add the planking which we love!
Don't be fooled, I rolled up the cords for this picture. You can spy some of the cord mess under the chair! 

Fast forward to this spring and we were ready to hire an electrician to add a recessed outlet above the fireplace and wire in our units. After getting a couple identical quotes, we were really discouraged because the cost was triple what we planned! Because we needed to go over and drill through several studs, the electrical work was not only triple, but there would be a lot of drywall damage to be repaired. Ugg. 

You still with me? Need a coffee refill? Don't worry, now's where the story gets good. ;)

I was fine to wait for us to save the extra money, but after living with the TV up on the mantle for a year, Jeremy wanted to revisit my built in plan. Are you hearing the angels singing?! I thoroughly explained what I was thinking (I even drew pictures!) and researched the exact hardware needed to make it happen...and Jeremy jumped ship on his plan and was totally on board with mine! Holla! I asked him about 500 more times if he was sure sure he wanted to move the TV and assured him I was fine with leaving it, but he was sure. 

What changed his mind? My plan was a couple hundred dollars cheaper which was a big deal. And, my plan would allow him to sit in the chair and actually be able to see the words on the TV when he plays video games. Right now, he has to stand in front of the TV to be able to read anything. Gaming is his hobby and getting to be comfy while doing it was a big deal! :)

So, ready to see what my plan was?! Keep in mind, we're in the middle of building it, so it looks like a hot mess at the moment! 

We designed a built in that would house our TV, have a closed cabinet for the components and storage, and a bookshelf on top for more storage (and pretty stuff, duh! Ha)! Get ready for some mediocre phone progress pictures! ;)
The TV will go in the large spot in the middle sort of like in the picture below. We purchased a full motion bracket that we will use to mount the TV to the back of the cabinet. It will look like this most of the time, minus the stand. But, if we are watching TV on the long side of the couch, we will be able to pull the TV out and swivel it toward the couch. 
In case anyone is wondering, we built the TV shelf to accommodate a larger TV for when we eventually upgrade. Thankfully, the new TVs are slimmer and have much thinner frames, so while the screen will be bigger, the TV won't actually take up much more space. 

Jeremy added some smart storage features like these two hidden compartments for cords. Lift out the shelf and all of the power strips are hiding underneath! 

So far, here's what has been done: 

-We hired an electrician to move the light switches over and combine them into one double switch plate instead of two single switch plates. 

-Jeremy built the cabinet and bookshelf and installed it over the holiday weekend. It was hours of labor! He did a fabulous job!

-I filled all the nail holes and sanded the entire thing down. 

-I applied edge banding to cover the exposed plywood edges. 


We still need to: 

-Add crown moulding, baseboards, and trim down the sides

-Build the other cabinet door and install them

-Paint! I've already started painting, but it's definitely going to take me a few days!

-Finish patching/painting the drywall where the switches were moved


We're planning to finish the construction phase this weekend, then you'll find me painting all next week! ;) 

Oh, and remember these fabulous Anthropologie knobs I posted on Instagram? They are for the cabinet doors and I couldn't be more stoked about them, especially since they were only $2.36 each! 
Whew, you made it through this post! You deserve a cookie! I'll be back soon to show you the finished product! Happy Weekend! 

Monday, July 6, 2015

Hot Wheels Parking Garage

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday weekend! Hubby has been busy on a big project (get a sneak peek on Instagram!) and I've been helping where I can and trying to get over these pesky shingles. I woke up feeling much better than I was previously feeling, so fingers crossed that I'm on the upswing! :)
I'm so excited to be joining up again with a group of fabulous bloggers for our monthly blogger challenge! This month our theme was Pinterest Inspired. I have been eyeing car wall storage like this and this for a while now, so our challenge was the perfect push to get it done!
I decided to come up with my own building plans for this project. Most of the car storage racks I've seen have shelves that are held together by dowels on the sides. I wanted more of a clean, straight lined look, so we simply used pine 1x2 boards for the shelves and side. We attached everything with our nail gun, then used wood filler to fill the nail holes before sanding and giving the entire thing a couple coats of white spray paint. Jeremy was so sweet and built the entire thing for me. He did an awesome job! All I had to do was design and paint!
See that white board in between the shelves? Instead of needing to measure in between all ten shelves, Jeremy made himself a spacer from some scrap wood. It saved him a bunch of time!
Coffee + Painting= Relaxation :) 

For a little extra pizazz, I used scraps of wood to create buildings to go across the top. I painted them with cheap craft paint then used wood glue to attach them to the top. I was going for whimsical and child-like, so I didn't worry about adding too many details or making sure all of my lines were straight. Conveniently, child-like is about as high as my painting skills go. Ha! You could really get carried away and add lots of details like lines to look like brick or cute little flower boxes in the windows. Or, you could cover the wood scraps with cute scrapbook papers for patterned buildings. Whatever floats your boat!
We hung the car rack on two nails (one is in a stud) in a corner of the playroom. Here's how this corner of the playroom is looking now!
I absolutely love doing projects for Little Man, because his reactions are always precious. He didn't disappoint and enthusiastically complimented our work and excitedly filled all the shelves. Love!


Check out these other awesome projects from our July Pinterest Inspired challenge! 

Colorful Summer Rope Wreath

DIY Beachy Accents

Vintage Doily Table Runner

DIY Striped Growth Chart

Hot Wheels Parking Garage

DIY Sunburst Mirror

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Wait-No-More Challenge: Breakfast Nook Edition

Hey, Friends! Hope you all are doing well and have some fun plans for this weekend! We are planning to use the long weekend to tackle a big project. I'll post some sneak peeks on Instagram. Wish us luck! I say "we" loosely considering I have shingles and am laid up on the couch. So "we" is more like "he". ;) Thankful for my awesome hubby! Now, onto some organizing fun!

The next space I tackled for the Wait-No-More Organizing Challenge is the breakfast nook. Let me tell you, this space has driven me bananas since we moved into this house 3 years ago. We come in and out of the house through this room, so for three years, it has been covered in shoes, mail, papers, tools, and other miscellaneous junk. Makes me crazy!

I don't have a before picture because I've been reorganizing it in phases. But, just imagine a paperwork and shoe mess and you'll have an accurate before picture. Ha! Here is what it looked like a couple years ago after we bought a new table, in case you are wondering about the layout. Obviously, I moved the papers for the picture. #trickytricky
I actually completed the first phase of reorganization in May by tackling the shoe mess. The shoe cabinet has been amazing at keeping the floors clutter free! The basket on top has been a great landing spot for things like keys, sunglasses, and sunscreen that used to clutter up the kitchen countertop. You can read more about the shoe organization here.
For the Wait-No-More Challenge, I decided to finish organizing the space. The main remaining trouble spots were my pile of papers, planner, and mail pile on the counter, the soaps near the sink, and the mail sorter on the side of the kitchen cabinet. It was way too much clutter!

First, I tackled my pile of papers that need attention and my planner. They have never really had a designated spot, so have ended up on the corner of the countertop. I was afraid if I put it in our big mail sorter, it would be out of sight, out of mind for me. The bins are really deep and little papers get hidden easily. I need lots of reminders, so I wanted to walk by and see what I needed to do.

I decided to purchase a small mail sorter for my urgent papers and my planner. The compartments are shallow enough that nothing is hidden. This way, I can see what needs to be done at a glance, but it looks way neater than a pile on the counter!
I found the mail sorter at TJ Maxx for only $6.99! Score! Home Goods has the same ones, so between the two stores, there are lots of color options. This blue/green one goes perfectly in my kitchen!

The next trouble spot was the big mail sorter. The previous owners graciously left it behind when they moved, which I'm thankful for. It goes perfectly in the kitchen! It had accumulated a lot of papers, though, so I sorted through everything and got it all back in order.
The bottom slot is for mail and the next one up is for Jeremy's paperwork. The third bin contains three folders for me-- one for school paperwork, one for coupons, and one for my important papers. The top bin is where I keep my stationary.

The last trouble area was the kitchen counter near the sink. I have been buying and replacing pretty soap pumps since we moved in! They all break so easily! And I really hated our scrub brush either sitting on the counter or buried under the dishes in the sink.

My friend Cary has a pretty tray near her sink that she keeps her dish soaps on. I've always thought it looked really nice, so decided to copy her. I haven't even told her, yet. Ha! (Thanks for the idea, Cary!)

I found this pretty turquoise tray at World Market to corral the soaps and found the white dish at Target to set my brush in. My dish soap and brush just happened to match. Happy accident! Doesn't it look so tidy?! By the way, Jeremy gave me the automatic soap dispenser for Christmas and it is awesome! No more raw meat or egg on the soap pump!
Now when I walk in the door, I no longer see a pile of shoes and papers all over the counter. I couldn't be more thrilled! I mean, HELLO clutter free counter! Love!
Happy 4th! 

Linking up with Jen at IHeart Organizing!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Wait-No-More Challenge: Linen Closet Edition

So, I'll let you in on a little secret... I have a Monica closet. No wait, that's a fib. I have multiple Monica closets.
I really try to keep clutter around the house to a minimum and really try to organize. But our closets are tiny and I've struggled to figure out organizational systems that work. 

I reorganized our linen closet right before Little Girlie was born, but after a year of complete chaos and travel, we started just shoving stuff in there. The problem was, my original organizational system was not working. The baskets were too small or just non existent, so putting things back just didn't happen. In a hurry, we'd just find a spot and plop stuff down. Ugg.

Are you ready to see what a linen closet that has been neglected for a year and a half looks like? I'm super embarrassed to even show you, but hey, keeping it real around here.
Oh yes. It's a beauty right?! This was my face every time I opened it...and every time I look at that picture!
I couldn't take it any more and instead of waiting until I had time (which is laughable when you have a baby that has a serious mommy attachment), I headed upstairs after dinner while Jeremy played with the kids and went to town. I emptied everything out, purged, shopped the house for unused containers, and put it all back in. It took a while and it isn't overly pretty, but I worked with what I had and it didn't cost me a dime. 
So much better, right?!?! I can breathe again! 

Here's a glimpse into how I organized everything... 

Before, there was one basket of rags that was overflowing in the bottom of the closet. I split the rags up into two bins--one for small rags and floor mops and one for large rags. No more digging to get to the size rag I need! 
The first aid basket was the worst basket. It was too small and every time we went in search of a Band-Aid, we had to tear apart the basket looking for one. I split the first aid supplies into two baskets. One basket is for medicines and such and one is just for Band-Aids, Neosporin/Cleaners, and the thermometer. I slid the Band-Aid basket and a small basket filled with our travel sized items and travel cosmetic bags into a large bin.
I also tweaked my candle storage method. I store the candles in a large plastic bin with a lid so the entire closet doesn't smell like a crazy mix of candle fragrances. I have learned over the years to not let the candles touch or the colors will bleed from one candle to another. I strategically place rags between the candles to prevent color bleed. While those strategies were working, the votives were still a mess since they're so small and fall all over the place. I plopped the votives into leftover Easter egg crates and voila! Organized candle votives!
The cosmetics, cleaners, linens, beach towels, and a couple large decorative/kitchen items that I don't want in the attic were placed on the shelves for easy access. 
Isn't this SO much better?! We've lived with it for a little bit now and it's just as neat as the first day. Yay! It feels so good to be getting our house back in order!

See which projects I'm tackling next here