Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Patching and Switching

I'm back today to catch you up on what I did for Days Eleven & Twelve of the 31 Days Challenge where I try to tackle one project per day off of my lingering to do list.

Day Eleven: We hung new shades in our master bedroom. Well, technically, they're old shades, but they're a million times better than what was up there before!

A few months ago, we replaced our downstairs roman shades with 2+" faux wood blinds. Here's some pictures to jog your memory of the shades.
I know replacing them is probably not the most popular decision ever because they were SO cute, but we needed more privacy than the roman shades provided. When the shades were open, people could see straight into our home from the road. And trust me, they looked. A lot. Like, made eye contact with me as I was eating dinner. I finally snapped when a sketchy door to door solicitor looked in as he walked down the side walk, saw me playing with my kids, made eye contact, then proceeded to come up and knock on the door. Creeped me out. 

I hated to get rid of the shades, though, because I truly love them and think they are adorable. In our master bedroom, we still had the awful vinyl roller shades that were most likely original to the house. They were torn, warped from the heat, smelled, and didn't work properly. We decided to toss them and put up the roman shades in their place since the windows are the same size. Privacy is not as big of an issue for the master because of where the windows are and which way they are facing, so the shades work perfect.
They SO MUCH BETTER! Those curtains are cheapies we bought when we moved in just to get by and make our room dark enough at night. I hate them and one day, I'll replace them! 

Day Twelve: We finally touched up all the holes we had spackled a while back. When we painted, we didn't spackle several holes, because we assumed we would hang the same things up on the wall. But, of course, we changed our minds after we painted. This is my hubby stopping to "smile" for the picture of him spackling. This is what I'm working with, people. He's crazy and I love him! And, seriously, who has such perfect teeth?!
I'm super thankful not to have to look at white spackle on the walls anymore!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

So Fresh and So Clean Clean

I know, I know, I'm behind on blogging the 31 Days Challenge. I've actually been keeping up with the projects, I just haven't blogged them yet. We've been really busy the last couple days and I'm super tired. Keepin' it real. :)

To catch you up... for Day Nine, I deep cleaned the fireplace. Thrilling, I know, but necessary. I scrubbed down the brick, mouldings, and grate. I didn't do the glass because the gas service man did that recently when working on our fireplace. I didn't take a picture of cleaning the fireplace, because it looks the same, just less dusty. Here's my favorite picture of the fireplace, though. I can't wait to decorate for Christmas again!
For Day Ten, I shopped online for artwork for the kids bathroom and for our soon-to-be gallery wall. I found a couple ideas for the bathroom and this artwork that I love for one of the frames on the gallery wall. It's by Katy Girl Designs and I really like several of her pieces.
I'll be back with Days Eleven and Twelve!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Mirror Mirror on the Wall: Part Two

I finished my starburst mirror today! Thank goodness for the 31 Day Challenge--it provided the motivation I needed to finish this project up and not let it linger on for weeks!

When we left off yesterday, I had the mirror assembled, but it still needed to be painted and I needed to attach a picture hanger.

And here it is today after I glued on a picture hanger and gave it a coat of oil rubbed bronze spray paint!
I like it and love how it looks above the dresser!
Here's the cost breakdown:

Mirror- $2 (Purchased with 50% off coupon at Michaels!)
Paint- $4 (Again, purchased at Michaels with their 50% off coupon this week!)

Total: $7

Crazy, right?! I saw a similar mirror online at for $35 and brand name ones for over $100!

Day Eight is complete!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Mirror Mirror on the Wall: Part One

We're to the one week mark of the 31 Day Challenge! For the challenge, I try to tackle an unfinished project every day. Yay for making it a whole week! 

For Day Seven, I decided to finally tackle making a mirror for our bedroom! I've been planning to make a starburst mirror for above our dresser for two years. Two years! *hangs head in shame* 

The space on the wall above the dresser needs something, but another picture frame would be too many rectangles mixed with all the straight lines of our bedroom furniture. I really wanted something round, so decided a starburst mirror would be perfect. I really like the chunkier mirrors, but our bedroom furniture is dark wood, so something chunky on the wall would be too much. In the end, I realized a slimmer mirror would look best here. 

I won't bore you with a tutorial because there are a bunch of starburst mirror tutorials on Pinterest. I roughly went by this one that uses skewers for the spokes. I did not use a template because our printer is a pain to use, but it really would have saved me a lot of trouble. So, don't be like me! Use the template! 

Here are my in progress phone pictures: the 16 longest length skewers in place first, then the shortest ones in place second, then filling it all in. 
 And here it is all assembled!
I just need to paint it, attach a picture hanger to the back, and hang this bad boy up! I'm hoping to finish it up tomorrow, so check back to see the final project!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Spruced Up Fall Front Porch

For Day Six of the 31 Day Challenge, I gave our front porch a touch of fall. I didn't do anything elaborate, just my typical fall touches...a wreath, mums, and pumpkins. Simple, just the way I like it!

I decided to reuse my wreath from last year. Unfortunately, the bow yellowed really bad in the attic and was looking all smashed and sad. Whomp whomp. I should have put the bow in a space bag, huh?

I ditched the bow and made a new one with some striped burlap ribbon I found for 50% off at Michael's. I love how it turned out!

I like to get a couple large pumpkins for the porch, but because Little Man had a field trip to the pumpkin farm in addition to our yearly family tradition to go to the pumpkin patch, we will end up with a bunch! These little ones are from his field trip. We're hoping to get larger ones when we go to the pumpkin patch as a family!

My mums die every single year, no matter how much I baby them. As I was looking at everyone else's mums last year and wondering what magical thing they were doing to keep them alive, I noticed that the yellow mums consistently looked the healthiest compared to the other colors. I usually go for the burgundy or dark pinkish/purple mums, but I decided to give my yellow mum theory a try this year to see if I'll have better luck. I also usually buy my mums in late August or early September, but I resisted the urge this year and waited until the weather was consistently cooling off. We shall see... They are just starting to bloom!
Do you decorate your porch for fall? Do you go all out or just do a few fall touches? Any tips on keeping mums alive? I sure could use them! :)

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Back Door Fall Wreath

For Day Five of the 31 Day Challenge, I made a wreath for our back door. I started to make a wreath for this door two years ago. I was going to make more of the flowers from my spring wreath and attach them to a yarn covered pool noodle like Bower Power did. I duct tapped my pool noodle and covered it in yarn, but I must have had too cheap of duct tape, because it didn't hold and split apart. And, like so many things, I got distracted and never got back to making another wreath for the back door. Sigh.

A few weeks ago, I purchased a fall garland to put around the candlesticks and clock on our fall fireplace, but of course, after I cut it up, I decided I hated how it looked up there. Since I had cut it up, there was no returning it. Boo. I decided to make the best of the situation and use it to make a fall wreath for our back door. It's not as colorful as I normally would have picked for the door, but it is really nice to have something festive on this door!
I made the whole thing with items I already had and repurposed: a twig wreath I picked up for a couple dollars at Michael's that was intended for a summer wreath that I never got time to make, the garland that was intended for the fireplace, some berries I picked off of an old leaf garland that I have in the garage sale pile, and a jute wrapped "M" that I made out of cardboard from a diaper box and jute that I found in the dollar section at Target a week or two ago. I just knew I'd find a use for the jute! :)
Now I have less clutter and a new fall wreath! Hooray!

What a Little Elbow Grease Can Do

Happy Weekend, Everyone! Stopping in really quick with Day Four of the 31 Days Challenge where we try to tackle one project a day and mark items off of our to do list. We actually worked on two different things from our list yesterday! I made a wreath that I'll share later and Jeremy and Little Man scrubbed the front porch rails!

We usually do a spring and a fall cleaning, but we missed our spring cleaning due to our lives being upside down after losing Jeremy's dad and needing to make several trips to see family. Now, we're trying to catch up and get things back in order!

Here's how the rails were looking before their scrub. Pretty grimy.
Jeremy washed all the porch furniture the other day, so today he finished the front porch cleaning by scrubbing all of the rails. He pressure washes our house every year, but he can't pressure wash the rails because the paint will just fly off under the force of the water. He made a bucket of soapy water using blue Dawn and he and Little Man went to town scrubbing the rails with a sponge. Look at the difference between the dirty bar on on the left and the clean one on the right! Ew and yay all at the same time. :p
SO much better!
We are happy to have our porch clean once again! Catch up on our Southern Style Porch makeover we did last year!
I'll be back later with the wreath I made for our back door!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Finally Something on the Wall

This 31 Days Challenge post is super, super short and crazy easy. And free. Perfect, right? I feel ridiculous even posting it, because it's such a little thing. But, I was able to cross something off my to do list, so I'm calling it success! Ready for the world's smallest decorating announcement?!

We finally hung something on the wall in our bedroom! Cue applause!

We have lived in this house for almost 2 1/2 years and have had bare bedroom walls this whole time. When we first moved in, our walls were yellow which majorly clashed with our duvet, so we decided to wait to hang anything up until after we painted. We painted last year. Geesh.
In case you are wondering, the wall color is Sherwin Williams Accessible Beige.

I nailed a nail on the sliver of wall between two doors and popped this tree candle holder up. We've had it for years. It used to hang between two doors in the bedroom at our old house. Feels like home! :)

Hanging this one little thing on the wall got me mentally figuring out what else to hang up. I want to finally make something I've been planning for yeas (literally) for above our dresser. Then, one day, we want to hang mounted lights above our nightstands.But, we have lots of saving and other priorities before these will become a reality.

I really like these! The middle one is my favorite.

Sources: Left, Middle, Right

So, there you have it, Day Three of the 31 Day Challenge. Crazy it took me so long to do something so simple, right?!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Tackling the Clothing Storage Monster

You know when you store your kid's clothes in the attic after they've outgrown them, then pull them out for the next kid just to find that the whites have yellowed? I hate that! But, don't worry, we've figured out the magical key to storing clothes in the attic and them NOT turning yellow!

After Little Man was born, I soon realized that we were going to have to find a way to store all of the clothes he outgrew. We knew we wanted another child one day, so we wanted to save his clothes in case we had another boy. At first, I put his clothes into big tupperware containers and put them in the attic. But, after seeing a lot of yellowed things at consignment sales, I started to worry that his clothes would yellow, too, because tupperware containers are not airtight.

Do you remember those cheesy 90's Space Bags commercials? Bonus points for the British accent. ;)

Well, we tried them and they really work! We've been passing Little Man's clothes along to a friend, and even after being in the attic for over 3 years, the clothes come out looking just like they did when we put them in. No yellowing! 

One of the unfinished projects that was taking over our house was the seasonal swapping out of kids clothes. I pull all of their fall clothes out of the closet, try everything on them, wash it all, replace the summer clothes for fall clothes in their dresser, then store the summer clothes. Clothes, clothes, everywhere! I decided to tackle the piles for Day Two of my 31 Days Challenge and document it for you!

Here's my process for storing kids clothes:

Keep Upcoming Sizes Visible- Clothes that are the next season and the next size(s) up get stored in tupperware containers on the kid's closet shelf until they grow into them. I like to use see through containers so I can remember what clothes they have and won't buy duplicates.
Keep Outgrown Clothes Together- As they outgrow clothes, I toss them into a Space Bag that I keep unsealed on the top shelf of their closet.

Fold, Bag, Seal- When the bag is full, I dump the clothes out and fold them as flat as possible and insert them back into the bag neatly. Then, I use my vacuum to suck the air out of the bag.
The neatly folding step is not 100% necessary, but I'll show you why I do it.
The two bags on the left are filled with clothes that were just tossed into the bag before sucking the air out. The two bags stacked on the right are filled with clothes that I neatly folded before vacuuming the air out of the bags. Isn't it crazy how much space it saves to take five extra minutes to fold the clothes neatly?! If you have lots of closet space, you could leave the bag flat and insert the clothes neatly as you go, but our closets are small and we don't have the space to do that. Plus, I like to keep my bags on the top shelf, safely out of reach from the littles just in case they get the idea that giant plastic bags would be fun to play in. :)

Throw in the Attic and Celebrate- We put the bags into the attic and we're done! Our attic was starting to overflow with Space Bags, so Jeremy built a Space Bag holder out of some 2x4's in the corner of the attic. Now, we can stand the bags up in a neat row! You could also use empty boxes to stand the bags up in if you needed an easy and cheap way to organize a lot of bags and didn't want to build anything.
My sweet Hubby snapped this picture with his phone after he finished building. He knew I'd want a picture for my blog. Sweet, right?! He's a keeper!


-Don't overfill the bags. The first few bags I filled, I overstuffed them and they eventually lost the vacuum seal. The clothes stayed nice and didn't yellow, but after the vacuum seal was gone, they took up a lot more space. But, when I, ya know, follow the directions on the box (ha!) and don't overfill them, they keep their seal for years! If you look closely in the picture above, you can see that some of the bags are not vacuum sealed anymore. This picture is from a year ago before we figured out that we were over stuffing the bags. :)

-Ensure properly sealed. The bags come with a little slider to seal the bags. I've found that after sliding it across the bags, I get a better seal if I go back and squeeze the seal together with my fingers.

I hope this helps as you swap out those summer clothes for fall clothes! Unless you're our Florida friends and family. Then you just roll your eyes and slam the laptop in rage because Florida has no fall. I'm truly, truly sorry. But, don't worry, you'll be swimming in the ocean on Christmas day so it'll all even out in the end. ;)

This is NOT a sponsored post! Ziploc has no idea who I am!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Simple Fall Centerpiece

I'm so excited for Day 1 of the 31 Days Challenge! The first project on my list to finish up was my fall table decor. I went really, really simple this year. I have been in love with neutral colored pumpkins the past couple of years because they compliment the colors in my dining room perfectly! Neutral colored pumpkins + dough bowl for the win!
My friend Amy and I and our cutie babies took a trip to the farmer's market and had so much fun shopping for pumpkins! I LOVE the blue and white pumpkins! I ended up with a couple mini white pumpkins, a multicolored mini pumpkin, and a beautiful blue pumpkin.
I have been obsessed with dough bowls for a while now, but have had trouble finding one of my own at an affordable price. I spotted this one at Target a couple weeks ago and snatched that sucker up faster than you can say "Who's your Mama?!" It's perfectly imperfect!
This was by far my easiest and simplest fall table centerpiece! 

Click the pictures below to see my previous fall centerpieces!
Click here for the main 31 Days page! 

Linking up to Migonis Home and Thrifty Decor Chick!

31 Days to the Finish Line

Have you heard of The Nester's 31 Day Challenge? It's a blogging challenge to write about the same topic for the 31 days in October. I've been reading other blogger's 31 Days posts for the past couple years, but have never joined the fun. This year, I'm diving in!
I tend to have decorating ADD. I will start a project, get close to finishing, then get distracted by something else and never quite complete the project. I thought for the 31 Days Challenge, I'd spend the month of October finishing the incomplete projects around my house! I'm really excited for some motivation (and accountability!) to finally get the projects done already! Geesh!

Follow along with me as I tackle all kinds of projects from decorating, organizing, crafting, creating, and cleaning! I will add each day's link to this page for easy access to all of my 31 Day Challenge posts. You can stay updated by liking Little Bits of Home on Facebook, subscribing to email updates, or following me on your blog reader. Sign up in the sidebar on the right! I can't wait to finally cross some things off of my to do list and get to share all the projects I've been working on with you! 
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