First things first…

Well, I’m alive.
I realize that all blog evidence (or lack thereof) points to the contrary…but really, I am here.

I have a few posts coming in the next day or so.

I just wanted to stop in first and say, hey! I’ve missed writing. I have missed this little outlet of mine. Since my last post, we have both quit our previous jobs, my hubby accepted a new position, we moved cities, are living in a completely new (to us) and larger home (that I get to update as I choose- yay!) and we are just loving life!

So if you’ll indulge me, I plan to start sharing lots about our new life with you here.

Missed ya!

Until next time, I thought you might enjoy this… 🙂
mermaid

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Quick Fall Updates

It’s in the air & I couldn’t be more thrilled. Fall.
Mmm… oranges & reds, pumpkins, wool socks, scarves and snuggling.

Yep. It’s pretty awesome.

So, I didn’t feel it was fair for only the outdoors to celebrate Fall. The indoors needed some excitement too. Hence a few seasonal house swaps… free ones too! 🙂

The table needed a new centerpiece. I had a leftover canvas in my laundry room, some Halloween ribbon I purchased several years ago & a printable pumpkin monogram pattern from here that I pinned on Pinterest. After I printed this one, I decided I liked the look of the single “S” better than N, H, S. So I eliminated the first name initials.

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I just used some tape to tape the monogram paper to my canvas (so I can remove it later and reuse my canvas.) After taping the paper down, I used my low-temp glue gun to cover up the taped edges with my festive ribbon. I am rather fond of my free update!

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Then the chalkboard got some seasonal love. Last night I was getting rather frustrated with my lack of freehand artistic abilities. I had fiddled with the chalkboard but couldn’t land on anything I liked. So I went to bed…and woke up to this.

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What a sweet man I have, right? He even swagged the leaves all on his own. I think I am “falling” for him all over again… Ok, too corny? 🙂

The front door got some attention:

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And my favorite spot in the house- my new dresser-turned-console got some sprucing. I love the warm coziness of it all!

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It isn’t much, but my goal this year was to spend no money, but still feel like Fall had arrived. And I feel successful.

How are you prepping your houses for Fall? Any good freebie ideas I can steal from you? 🙂

Quick Spring Update

Spring-a-ling.

Spring has sprung and it has been glorious! We have weeded and re-mulched our plant beds, mowed the lawn, put out a new, beautiful garden flag & just basked in the sunshine as much as possible recently.

So, as I was out in the yard, making it look as good as possible, you can imagine my horror when I noticed this birdfeeder hanging in our tree:

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It was cute enough- in a 4 year old, grungy, cedar, greened, sort of way. But it didn’t “pop” anymore. And Spring is ALL about the pop. Right?

So, I decided to paint it. I must thank Pinterest for this. While I didn’t actually see any inspiration of painted re-furbed birdfeeders on Pinterest, I owe my newfound desire to make something old, new again, to Pinterest.

A few hours of paint and drying time later, and I now have this beauty hanging in my tree. The birds are loving it, almost as much as I am!

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I Bit the Bullet

Y’all know I love a good Groupon deal, right? (i.e. a good carpet cleaning for only $49 bucks!)

Well, earlier this year (or last year…who knows? time’s a flyin’…) I asked you guys if rugs over carpets was acceptable these days. I think I expected most people to tell me not to even go there. So imagine my excitement when most everyone jumped on my bandwagon and encouraged me to try it out.

Enter another fabulous Groupon: $55 for a $120 Voucher to RugsUSA.com. And to top it off, I had just received a $5 off any Groupon coupon from GRoupon for my last purchase… So, for $50, I had $120 to spend on my rug.

I knew I wanted an 8×10, but had not found any that I loved for less than hundreds of dollars- and ahem, hundreds of dollars did NOT fit in this gal’s budget. So I skeptically went onto RugsUSA.com (before buying the voucher of course!) and started perusing the sale items. To my surprise, they had lots of rugs clearanced to great prices- around 80-ish dollars for 8×10’s.

Long story short, I was able to purchase an 8×10 (actually I think technically it’s a (7.5 x 9.5) which actually fit our space perfectly) for our living room as well as a 3’3″ round basketball rug for little mans’ room 🙂

I am smitten with both- I hope you agree!

I love the pattern!

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The tone is just a darker version of the accents in our pillows & couch, so they play well together.

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My next plan is to change out the curtains- either dye the cream ones I currently have a similar color to the carpet, or possibly look for some new ones. We shall see!

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Overall, I am stoked with my approximately $35-$40 huge living room rug. I highly recommend RugsUSA.com (free shipping & no tax!)

Changin’ & Rearrangin’

We’ve rearranged.
Not our marital status or anything drastic like that, just our furniture.

And I may or may not be in a bit of an emotional hamster wheel because of it.
I am not anti-change by any means. I love it… in fact, I get bored without it. For some reason though, we seem to have struck a lethal combination for this mommy’s heart.

So if you want to read a ramblin’ post generally about a whole lotta nothing, come along…

First of all, we did a drastic closet cleanse. I try to do a closet cleanse every season anyway, but this one was “drastic.” As in memory t-shirts from middle school were trashed. And since I moved around several times in my middle/high school years, I really never saved much, but what I did save was very special to me. Anyway, it was time. It felt right- you know, the kind of “right” that tells you to rip off the bandaid so you can clean the wound, but you know the bandaid ripping is gonna be a beast. That kind of right.

So, emotional strike #1 leads me to this question: Anyone have any tips or experience in making t-shirt quilts? My hubby & I have somehow amassed a t-shirt collection that could rival the best of ’em… and each t-shirt was intentionally purchased as a “memory” piece, so I am trying to decide if I should attempt a t-shirt quilt myself, or have someone else do it?

Emotional strike #2 was that we removed all of our Christmas decor, which led to a living room rearrangement. My mommy heart melted into a puddle on the floor when our boy asked where “da tis-mas chree go?” Oy… Anyway, he’s moved on, and I am still working on it. So with the rearrangement came a desire for an 8×10 living room area rug.

Is a rug over wall to wall carpet still completely socially unacceptable? I know at one point, it was a faux-pas, but I REALLY want some color in our living room, don’t want to paint walls, and can’t afford to redo the floors (plus we don’t own the house,) so… rug maybe? Check out this photo from houzz.com…it’s pretty classy if you ask me- and very warm and cozy (I would just prefer to have my rug grounded beneath the furniture in the arrangement:)

And… the worst strike of them all? We removed E’s changing table from his bedroom. I know, I know, I am like a year (or more) overdue on that change. Heck, our boy was so long, we haven’t actually changed him on that table since he was about 8 months old… it was just so sentimental. He sleeps in a big boy bed, so I guess I was just clinging to the changing table…the last piece of “baby” in his room.

Oh my lands.

New Year, New Emotions.

Feel free to chime in with your best ideas on t-shirt quilts, area rugs, and ways for whiny mothers to get over it! 🙂

Phew. Glad that’s over.

Hidden Storage

I am nothing if I am not a compulsive organizer. “A place for everything and everything in its’ place” is my mantra.

I think initially the compulsion started because my family moved around a lot, and with every move came the “purging” of stuff I didn’t need. With each new “settling in” came the reorganizing. I love to rearrange and play with a layout until it’s the most organized and functional that it can be…

while still being pretty.

It’s gotta be pretty. Utilitarian plastic bins are fine, if tucked inside a closet. But if it’s going to be visible, it’s gotta look good.

So, this past summer I took on a few “make it look good” organization projects at my workplace. This is now my 2nd year as the school librarian. Year 1 was spent determining what I really needed out of what was left by the previous librarian. Then summer #1 was spent organizing, purging, and desperately trying to make the space bright, cheerful and kid-friendly.

Project #1: Hide that Storage!

I have an excellent work table that is right behind my desk. My deskchair is on a constant swivel, from computer, to workspace. But the worktable only offered exposed storage below- there weren’t any doors or drawers, just one big open shelf.

So, after toying around with what was best to do, I decided to enclose it with a curtain.

You have to know- I don’t have a sewing machine, and I don’t intend to spend hours of my life with a needle and thread in hand.

Enter this stuff from Walmart:

Stitch Witchery, Super Weight

A few summers ago, I bought 2 rolls of Stitch Witchery, for a few dollars total, and I have used it for several products! You simply:

-Unroll a stretch of the stitch witchery, which feels like scratchy lace, the length of the fabric side you want to hem.

-Lay the stitch witchery on the side of the fabric and fold fabric over it to create a straight hem line.

-Lay a damp, lightweight cloth over the hem, and iron.

Voila! A perfectly hemmed, and in my experience, very durably hemmed piece of fabric.

So I measured my table from underneath the top lip, down to the floor, and cut my fabric with 1″ allowance all the way around for hemming.

I made 2 side panels, and 1 front panel since the table is pushed against the wall in the back. I just stapled my curtain into the wooden table.

After attaching the 2 side panels:

The finished product:

Now I can easily access my stored items by just lifting one of the 3 panels, but everything is hidden from view. It’s just what I needed.

Hope it inspires you!