Thursday, October 30, 2014

Toy and Art Area Dreaming

I am finding that furniture, arrangements, and organization that worked in our old home, just don't work as well in our new home. I loved the kids' space I had created in the downstairs of our first home.

The Expedit shelving and bins from IKEA were perfect for storing the toys and the area around it worked well as a play area. I am not thrilled with how the Expedit is working for us in our new home. I think part of the problem is that it isn't tucked away on a lower level. We have it in a part of our upstairs living area, so it is always right there. Mess and all! Another issue is that I am using the area for all of the art supplies now as well. We used to have them split up a bit between levels.
Hmm, I wonder why this area has itself firmly planted in my target . . . YIKES
In order to get some ideas of what we could do with the area to make it more user friendly as well as pleasing to the eye, I turned to my good friend Pinterest. (Don't laugh. That site has gotten me through many a sticky situation.) Here are a few of the ideas that caught my eye.
1) Toy Bags: One of the toughest things to organize are all of the little toys that go together, but don't need an entire bin. My old solution was to put them all into one bin and call it a day. Obviously this has many shortfalls. I love the idea of making bags for them. I like that you can see what is in these bags, too.
2) Shelves and Bins: Isn't this toy area just adorable? I like the idea of using bins to coral some toys, but putting others out on display.
3) Art Supply Storage: I need a way to contain the explosion of art supplies. We make use of them everyday, so they need to be accessible. Also having them be able to be moved around would be a plus.

4) Art Display: I would love to find a place to display the kids' art work. It would be a bonus if they could change it up themselves.

Pinterest to the rescue again. Now if only it would also come to my house to implement the ideas. Is there an App for that?

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Apple Orchard

Trees just didn't fair well in our old area, so in the fall you would head to the pumpkin patch to get your dose of fun.
However, where we live now, there are lots and lots of trees.
So this year we headed to the apple orchard for a fun fall afternoon.
I went with another friend and between the two of us we had six kids.
Those kids were so excited and had such a great time.
We practically had to drag them away.
Can't wait to go again!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Shortcake: Eight Months Old

My little man is no longer a little baby. Sigh. They always end up growing up on you, don't they.

 While he is still as sweet as they come, he is more interested in sitting up than snuggling in. Gone are the days of him sitting contentedly on my lap. Now he wants to be moving and shaking and taking on the world.
While he has yet to learn to crawl he manages to get around through rolling and stretching. He is like a little inch worm arching and stretching as far as his body will allow. He still loves to eat. The minute he is even near the highchair he expects food to be in his mouth.
He is also discovering preferences in the food that he eats. He would much rather have green beans to peas and pureed prunes to mixed vegetables.
And boy does he love his sisters. (And tolerates them rather well when they choose to smother him.)

And we are to the stage where everything goes into the mouth. No small piece of debris is safe.
Oh how we love this little man. (Even if he growing up way too quickly.)

Monday, October 27, 2014

Halloween 2014: The Russian Invasion

I love to make my children's Halloween costumes. I am not the mom that makes crazy detailed costumes, but I do like to come up with something different and fun. However, I knew that would be a tall order this year. I was just getting my sewing area set up after all. So, I conned, I mean asked the girls if they would like to wear their costumes from last year. (You can read about the nesting doll costumes here.) With the promise of new tights, I got yeses all around. Two Russian Nesting Dolls coming up! That mean that I would only have to come up with a costume for Shortcake. What goes with Russian nesting dolls? Why a little Russian man, oh course. (I thought about a bottle of vodka, but decided to keep it kid friendly.)
I have to say, Shortcake makes a very handsome little Ruskie! (Vest tutorial: here, Hat tutorial (minus the brim): here, and boot tutorial: here.)

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Dinning and Craft Room Plans

Do you remember our dinning room when we moved in? (I hope that it didn't lead to any nightmares of being attacked by flowers!)
I made this room a priority on my updating list for several reasons. Number one, I can do a lot of the work on my own. I can remove wallpaper, I can paint, I can change curtains. And number two, we decided to use the extra space in the dinning room for my sewing and craft area. (If you know me, you know why this is a priority! I can't live without a space to create.)
Here is my moodboard for the room. 1) A built-in crafting and storage system. (image) 2) Replacing the light fixture with a hanging drum shade. (image) 3) Temporary storage in the hutch. (image) 4) New curtains. Duh! (image) 5) Smaller stools for the counter seating. (image) 6) Down with the wallpaper and bring on the paint! (image)
I already have a good start on the room. The curtains and wallpaper have been removed. (Let me know if you would like some swell floral curtains for your home. I am willing to share.) Three of the walls have been painted and the paneling has been removed from the fourth. (When we looked behind the paneling, we found drywall! This means we don't have to paint the paneling or drywall ourselves. However, the wall was never textured or painted, so we need to do a little work before painting it.) I have been moving my craft/sewing items up into the hutch. I am also working on a little DIY for the light. I have the curtain panels, however they have to be shortened, so I really need to get the sewing area set up. See, it is a real necessity in my life!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Weekend in the Rearview

My favorite farmer's market find. And this huge bouquet only cost $5!!

We are settling in. I have come to realize that I am a sprinter and this is a marathon. I just want to get all of the house projects done and I want them done sooner than later. I really should still be working on organizing and doing some unpacking, but I have already started a couple of projects. I am justifying it by the fact that I need a sewing room. (I have my priorities, you know.) This weekend I finished the wallpaper removal in the dinning room and got the first coat of paint on the walls. I will be sharing an update soon.
The start of the painting
The kids and I went to the closest IKEA after school on Friday. While I didn't really get anything big, I did lots of browsing and list making. I will have to update on that as well. We also hit up Trader Joe's while we were in the big city. Wow! It is a pumpkin explosion in there right now and I did my best to bring it all home.
I can't stop thinking about these school house lights from the sale. We would have to re-do all of our lighting to get them in the house, but I would totally do it! Love them!

I also got to go to the farmer's market in town and an occasional antique/junque sale. I am having a good time exploring our new area and finding fun events.
Mr. Cherry got the garage organized enough to fit both vehicles in. Just in time to avoid scrapping windows.

I have also been spending way too much time on Pinterest being inspired. It is so much easier to create and decorate rooms on line than in real life. HA!