Thursday, July 25, 2013

Around the house...

I loved reading the responses to my post yesterday.  I think it's so encouraging that I'm not the only one trying to best navigate the balance of social media and real life.  I liked how Janene put it when she commented and said, "The internet has connected so many of us mere strangers yet it has disconnected us from the life right in front of us."  We're kind of all in this together because we all have some form of social media in our life.  I'm already feeling a very clear picture of what is and isn't going to portray balance in my own life.  Now putting that into practice will be the challenge.  I am committed to this though and that's the first step. 

Okay, so since we had that little heart to heart, I figured it would be a nice change of pace to share a few of the projects I've been working on for what seems like weeks.  Seriously you guys, I can't get things done.  Lazy... that's what I am. 
Yes.  I painted "Mr. Chickenpox" white.  I am madly, deeply in love with him again.  Don't get me wrong, I love color... but neutrals draw me in over and over again and I always gravitate back to them when I'm tired of a specific shade.  Adrain and I have been talking about saving up for a sectional sofa as our children are getting big and we need more lounging room.  I keep coming up with different colors until Adrain looks at me and says, "Woman, you change things too often- you'd better go with a neutral color."  Oh yeah.  That's right. I knew that about myself.  Ha!  Though I really like denim, I'm not gonna lie.  I can't decide if that's the 90's come back to haunt us... if it's going to be a classic (since Pottery Barn has it in the new Fall line-up) or if it's a "color" as opposed to a neutral.  I'd better go with tan.  Or gray.  (But is gray a trendy color that we'll all laugh at in ten years?  Hmmm..)   (Good thing I have a long time til I've saved up for that baby!  Plenty of time to think about it.)
Okay, so project number one.  Creating a Family Hub center.  I've got five weeks until it begins... Shuttling one child to one school, and then hurry and take the other one in the opposite direction.  I'm going to be on the road transporting to and from school approx 1 1/2 hours a day when I combine it all, not counting guitar and dance or whatever else we do.  And the school paperwork and information is already piling up on my counters. 

That said, I decided we needed a system.  By now I bet hearing those words come out of my mouth totally shocks you. Heh, heh. (Alicia, I know you totally feel me.)
The challenge: 

I've got a narrow (8'x3') strip of wall in the laundry room (previously covered in chalk paint) that we pass from the garage into the kitchen.  It's wasted space in my opinion but it's also really narrow so our options are limited.  What I really wanted and what I had room for were two different things.  What we needed, was a memo board system of some kind for each person, but my other challenge was budget.  As in... finding something under $5.00. 

The solution: 
Monogrammed clipboards. 
The cool thing is that clipboards are under a dollar each at office supply stores, they can be removed easily from the wall, and you can attach post-it's, clip up lists, papers, etc. 

I printed out the letters in the size I wanted, traced them onto contact paper, cut them out and stuck them down onto the clipboards.  I painted the negative space and then carefully peeled the contact paper off and let them dry. (I used "Aloe" from Sherwin Williams, leftover from this project.) 
I made all my letters kind of off-center. 
 I painted the same wall color in the laundry room, over the chalk wall.  ("Fleur de sel" from Sherwin Williams.)  I found a great hanging calendar at Target for $12.00 and that was less than I figured on.  Yeah! 
 I would also like to say that I've been planning on updating the basic light fixture in this room for years but couldn't find what I wanted.  Last month I was getting something at Lowe's and I found a basic hanging socket and a separate pendant lampshade that was perfect and also really affordable.  (And I know you probably don't care about this, but I had consigned something and gotten just enough to purchase this with!) I came home and installed it MY SELF.  Yep.  You read that right.  I watched my man doing it not long ago and thought to myself, "Hey Self... you can do that."  So I did.  And I'd like to add that I didn't electrocute myself. 
Since my calendar was about half the cost I was planning on spending, I bought an ugly black hanging file pocket at Office Max.  I used some aqua spray paint that I already had on hand, and now it's perfect for each child's school folder, mail or whatever we need to swipe off the counter tops. 

(I have one clear snapping folder for each year, for each child and I save school photos, notes from teachers, awards, special papers, etc in each one.  I slip a card in the front of each one that says the grade and year and I add to it throughout the year.  I keep a bin with all of them up in their closets.) 

I've got Joe's school supply list clipped to his board, and below you can see a the grocery lists and menu pages that I'll be attaching to mine. 

Also... I want to share this quick and simple wall update in case you were looking for inspiration. (I always am, but maybe that's just me.)

And I know.  I show this room all the time.

You can totally fire me if you want to.

I stenciled "Breakfast" onto an old pallet board that I found in my garage and used things I already had, like a "B,"  "&," paint and self leveling hangers. (In the end I used a different "B" than the one I originally thought I would use.  I have a lot of "B's."  We love our "B's" around here.)  The only thing I purchased was an "E" and  a "D" ($3 total, at JoAnns).  I painted all of the letters a cream color so they would be somewhat streamlined and spray painted the amperstand gray, even though I did like it turquoise.  Gray worked better.  I didn't like how light the board looked once it was all up, so I used a darker paint and stenciled over the "Breakfast" letters, then sanded it all down to soften it.

It's wonky and imperfect like me.
Now feel free to enjoy many photos of of the same thing because I'm a blogger and that's the sort of unexplainable thing we tend to do. 

So that's it.  I'm getting stuff organized because it makes me feel slightly in control of the unknown.  I can own that.  I've got anther post coming and then I'll be easing back into random summer lazy blogging again. Ha!  Don't forget that you've still got another day to enter this fabulous giveaway!

Today I am thankful for: 
Flowers blooming in our cutting garden.
A few fun things starting to fill up the calendar.
Getting myself organized.
Setting some goals and some plans to accomplish them.
Watercolors on sale.


  1. I have a friend who collects & signs. Wonder where you got yours?

    It seems like your kids just got out of school! Congrats on being a handy Momma and hanging that light yourself! Rock on!

  2. Your projects are always faboo! I do adore your little rustic bouquet...zinnias are my favorite! As for the sectional....I would like one too! I like the idea of denim...but is it a fad? Not sure! Your smartie husband was right about the neutrals. And then we can throw LOTS of pretty pillows on it....and change them often!

  3. Love the clipboard idea, I did someone have then with chalk paint and they wrote right on the board. They looked cut but I am not sure how well I would write THAT small....LOL I love how you left the back the light color and just added the letters, off centered is even better. You have such a creative mind. :-) Have a blessed day and thanks again for sharing.

  4. This is just so cleaver and I bet those clipboards will be used and used this school year. And, the Bed and Breakfast is so welcoming. You are quite the creative gal and I always enjoy seeing your creations. A happy, happy day to you!

  5. Go with IKEA for your sectional - they sell different slipcovers and even different legs, so it's easy to switch it up!

  6. I think you just got me out of my decorating funk. Ahhh....sweet inspiration!

  7. I love all of the different angles that you captured "bed & breakfast" :) so cute!!!! It's all wonderful as usual!! And you know you're not the only one, I love that social media has allowed us to know that we are not "the only one's" like us!! It's so refreshing to know that other people change things around as much as I do and I'm either not crazy or we're all crazy and I'm okay with that!!!

    I'm feeling the push to get organized for fall.....I need to order our curriculum needs and am in the process of getting rid of our school room and moving downstairs!! Maybe after camp I'll have some time to do that....probably not, but we'll see!!!

    Thanks, as always, for the inspiration!!!!

  8. I've been thinking on a the space that needs to hold the family calendar for a while now. And since I took my kid to Speed & Agility on the wrong day this week, TWICE (ahem) I'm thinking this needs to happen sooner rather than later. Thank you for these ideas! By the way, the snapping folder for yearly keepsakes? Brilliant. Thank God (quite literally) there are people (like you) who think of these things for me. ❈

  9. Love the little changes, your family organizing station, AND your idea with the memory boxes is GENIUS!

    You should post more about your cutting garden soon! Earlier this year I picked up a bunch of packets (totally inspired by your patch!!!). I'm loving it, but I did not get near enough seeds! I am excited for next year!

  10. I love all the changes! We will be moving soon and I have been thinking of making a "Family Stating" in the laundry room. Everyone has a basket under their own bulletin board....putting the thoughts together now.

  11. Ok I am so impressed that you installed that light that's awesome girl!

  12. girl, I feel you in every appropriate way there is to feel you. I live for a good "station" of any kind. Your family hub is making me very very excited.

  13. I feel happy when I read your blog :)

  14. Nothing but love...your ideas, your style, your heart!!!

  15. Thanks for the clipboard ideas. I'm horribly unorganized and I think I can do this. This may be just what I need.

  16. I feel I must share with you a calendar I use every year and have for many, many years. It is from Miles Kimball and I order the Giant size. It has huge blocks for notations every day. It has worked wonderful for our family so you might want to give it a try next year. Love, love your blog and do read it daily - I know I'm hooked- and miss you when you back off. I understand though Hugs!!!!

  17. Totally love the organizational part of your post. I too like organizing things.
    LOL, we won't fire you for showing us the guest room again. Love the signage going on in there. When you change it up its always something unique and inspiring. Love that! 😀
    I think that is the first time you have ever shown us the laundry room. We just purchased a new washer and dryer and I purposely asked my hubby not to buy those pedestals for them because I wanted a folding area on top. It looks like you have a folding area. What did you make yours out of?

  18. You are one gifted woman. Love it all.

  19. i've got two weeks...cue the screams!

    i'm feeling the urge to get meals planned and school supplies organized and lunch box menus figured out.

    i love your system, and you've inspired me (ONCE AGAIN) to do my own!

  20. LOVE this! I have to come up with a better system for how to keep the girls' "keepables" from school and really like the idea of the snap folders for each year. I use a big, relatively ugly family calendar on the side of the fridge so I can write out activities. I'd love to use a smaller, cuter one but my handwriting isn't neat so I go with what actually works. :D And why I've never thought to BOTH spray paint AND use 3M hooks for the binder holders I'll never know. Brilliant on all parts.

    (Now, will you do a post on how you organize your kids' toys & the stuff in their rooms. The pictures from that blew me away and I'm off for shoe boxes this weekend!!!)

  21. Great minds think alike...I bought that same calendar at Target to use in a new command center in our laundry room! :) I love the idea of the clipboards! And will definitely be buying and spray-painting a file holder. Such a great idea! :)

  22. I need to know where the clear folders are from! Time to organize for school!