{Kid Post} Photo Decal Toy Bags

Our house has completely exploded with toys.  Not only was there Christmas, but there was also a baby brother which meant Lucy completely cleaned up!  And now at 2.5 years old, she is entering into the stage of little toys and figurines with many pieces, which end up littered all over.

IMG_3938I was struggling to come up with a solution because each set of toys wasn’t really large enough for their own container, but when I came across small drawstring bags, they seemed to be the perfect size.  I ordered a pack of (10) 8×10″ drawstring muslin bags and then happened to have some photo transfer paper on hand.  With toy photos on the front, Lucy would be able to tell what was in each bag, and possibly clean them back up into the right bags.

IMG_3489Originally I was going to take photos of the toys, which you can do, but then realized how much easier it would be to use Amazon for the images.  Got to love Amazon!  I printed the images onto the transfer paper.IMG_7747Don’t forget to flip if you have numbers or letters.  I skipped it thinking I didn’t have any, until they printed and there’s a 123 on the spaceship…whoops!  Then just print, cut, iron, and peel!IMG_7751

They are seriously just about the easiest things to make.

Better Remade I Toy BagsShe actually enjoyed sorting the toys into the right bags.  Such a helper (sometimes)IMG_3497Now I am looking for more toys to bag up!  Anything lying around is getting a bag shortly…everything needs a home!  It’s kind of addicting, it’s easy clean up, plus with those drawstrings you can carry a bunch of bags at once.

Loving this!

Better Remade I Photo Decal Bags

{Better Remade} Lucy’s New Bed

We’ve been in the middle of this big bedroom shuffle.  Jesse and I are in the upstairs on our mattress on the floor.  Turns out the box spring doesn’t fit, so we will have to deal with that when we come to it.  Funny how what use to be a priority is anything but.  I haven’t given our room much thought.  Instead, it’s all been about getting Lucy into her new room (our old one), so that Zach could have the crib and get used to sleeping in his new room (Lucy’s old one), and not next to use in the bassinet on the floor.

My aunt found this old white toddler bed at a neighbors garage sale.  It’s a perfect size little bed for Lucy, but I really wanted to jazz it up a bit.  I thought something with color, and something different.  I kind of like the look of a tufted bed.  For a toddler it seems a little ridiculous, but I think that’s why I like it…out of the ordinary.  This is the before of the bed frame.


I cut some 1/4in plywood that I had in the garage to cover the bars.  I upholstered each piece.  The head board has 1 inch foam, and the foot board has 1/2 inch foam.  I covered with a heavy white cotton from an old ikea curtain panel.  IMG_3330

I glued a some wood to the back panel that would fit through the bed frame.  I screwed the front and back panels together along those rails.IMG_3333

Once the back panels was in place, I laid down the front panel.IMG_3334 Then using some wood screws, I screwed through the top panel, through the fabric, foam, and plywood into the frame and the rails connecting to the back panel.  IMG_3345I found the gold buttons at Joanns Fabric.  They are hollow buttons that I cut the back off of.  The bottom fits perfectly onto the screw.  Once all the screws were in place, I used a hot glue gun to fill the buttons and place them over the screws as little caps.  Better Remade I Toddler Bed Makeover Then we reassembled!  Lucy likes to help, of course she chipped the paint, but I just have to be ok with that.  Seeing as though it’s a toddler bed, I’m sure it will get much more abuse. IMG_3447

And Voila!IMG_7720 IMG_7722

Here is a side shot of how the panels fit against the bed frame.IMG_7713IMG_7709

The foot board is smaller so I gave it a more simplified tuft pattern.IMG_7725  IMG_7710 IMG_7706 I think Lucy likes it because she can ride it like a horse.  She kept calling out “giddy up!”IMG_3465

You didn’t really think that the bed looks that clean, did you?!  No, of course not.  We put the bed up against the wall with the rail while she is getting used it, then of course she has to have all her little stuffed animals with her in bed.  It’s like a little farm in there.IMG_7718No new update on the upstairs.   We had some contractors come and have gotten bids, but still trying to decide between them, and working on figuring out if we want to tackle the permitting process on our own.  Still excited about the possibilities, but trying to be realistic about the time frame.



A Room Undone

It’s amazing to me after putting so much time into creating a room how quickly it can be undone.  I spent hours and hours working on putting our bedroom together.  I hung a full wall of curtains to block the window in order to center the bed.  I definitely a center and balance kind of person.

IMG_1166 Better Remade I BedroomZach has been sleeping in a little bassinet between my side of the bed and the wall.  But he really needs his own room.  He sounds like a little animal, constantly grunting and moaning…it’s kind of cute though.

Our plan is to move our bedroom upstairs, move Lucy into our room, and Zach into hers.  Our bedroom is slightly larger, so we can hopefully stash more toys and books in there as well.  I’m working on finishing up her toddler bed and Zach will be passed down the crib.

Our hope is to get a bathroom put in upstairs.  We might only be able to do a half bath, but definitely better than no bath.  We’ll see.  Hopefully some contractors will be by this afternoon to take a look and I’ll have more information in the next week.

Until then we decided to get started on getting things in order.  This was how the room looked years ago.  It was 90% man den, 10% stash zone.


But over the past few years, we’ve used it less.  We stayed downstairs a lot more in order to hear Lucy. The room became 90% stash zone, 10% man den.

IMG_3236Yikes, right?!  The upstairs was my dirty secret.  I kept meaning to deal with it, but this summer it was so incredibly hot and stuffy.  Then by fall, I was so big, I could barely climb the stairs.

Not sure when construction could get started, we did what we could to hold ourselves over.  We moved the couch out to the garage, and the bed up stairs.  Unfortunately the box spring did not fit through the doorway and up the stairs due to the steep angle.  The mattress barely made it.  We’ll have to revisit the bed when things come together, but until then this is our temporary sleeping quarters.  The tape on the wall is where we are thinking of putting a wall up for the bathroom.

IMG_3321And then our room, waiting for Lucy.

IMG_3319The room feels so light and spacious without a huge queen bed in the center.  We are waiting to move her in until we can replace the windows.  They are painted shut, are not sealed making the room about 5-10 degrees cooler than the rest of the house.  I think that the curtain wall definitely helped insulate it a bit.

So, this is where we find ourselves this week.  I’ve had to come to terms with the chaos, and be okay have half my bedroom upstairs and half downstairs.  But it’s progress!  And I’ve purged about a car’s worth of stuff to Goodwill.  That definitely felt good!



{A New Year} Let’s try this again

It’s always a struggle to start blogging after a long delay.  I’ve started so many posts in my head, but never got to a computer or put them in writing.  I had an Fall Decor post, a Halloween costume post, and a few Christmas posts, but now that the holidays have come and gone, there is no point.  I might use them next season, so don’t be surprised if I am enormous…it was hard to find a maternity costume.

I especially thought that I’d get in at least one holiday post, but you can tell from this photo that not much got accomplished.  With the exception of the tree, this seriously was the extent of our holiday decorating.  I put the Christmas decoration box on the dining room side board.  I was intending to style the sideboard and do a whole post on building it, but it only got 3 little trees, a lamp displaced by the Christmas tree, and the decorations box.

IMG_2760Now I will have to style it up with normal things.  Christmas is much easier for styling since I have boxes full of “things.” Well, a post is due.

But until then, I suppose since it is the New Year, I should start by sharing our biggest change around here.

family photo(I should note – it was Movember, which is the only reason Jesse is rocking the sick stache)

We had a baby!  This is baby Zach, born November 18th.  So, now the 2 hours I get from Lucy’s nap is spent on the couch feeding, burping, and rocking this one.  By the time I get him down for a nap, Lucy is up from hers.    It’s pretty great though getting to just stare down at this little face!  Thank goodness for Bravo on Demand, I’ve been able to catch up on my Real Housewives.

FullSizeRenderI was such a horrible mother for not even having a matching stocking for him.  JoAnn’s blank felt stockings are a different shade this year, so now I have to figure things out for next year, but I have a whole 11 months to figure that out.

IMG_2761I’m going to attempt to get back on track.  To be a serious blogger (which I most likely will never be) I know they say to post regularly, and that has become difficult over the past 6 months…though I think about it regularly.  It was still a shock when i got my “blogging year in review” report and I only posted 6 times last year.  A reasonable goal I suppose might be 12, that’s monthly, and that’s regular, right?

I have a few projects that I still need to post, and then we have quite a bit coming up this next year, so I’d like to get back on track so that I can share with family and friends and family.  Our biggest project is going to be remodeling our upstairs.  We are hoping to add a bathroom upstairs and create a small master suite, and do a big bedroom swap.  Currently I am working on getting some bids, so hopefully in the next few weeks I will know more.  Until then I will get some before photos taken and get them posted!

I hope everyone has had a wonderful Christmas Season and Happy New Year!   I’ll be back with more soon!





{DIY} Rolling Kitchen Cart

Our house was listed as having an “in kitchen eating nook.”  It makes me laugh, it was basically a section of counter without cabinets.  It was an odd space.  This photo is obviously an after, but you get the idea of the space I was working with :)

I had come to the realization that what the space really needed was a kitchen cart that could do double duty as storage as well, but that could roll out if I needed additional prep space, and most importantly a bar cart for parties.  Though I’ve now realized that with a toddler, those have become much more rare!  But also makes storage that much more important :)

Better Remake I Kitchen CartMost kitchen carts though are counter height, which makes sense, but not what I needed.  I kept looking, but besides the configuration, I couldn’t find anything in the style I wanted.  I wanted something that had clean lines and would match the shaker style of our kitchen cabinets.  I wanted it clean, classic, somewhat contemporary, but with a little rustic edge.  I then figured just a clean cabinet with rustic legs would work.  I took a look around the house/yard, and realized that with all the scrap wood I have, I should be able to put something together.  I even had old 4×4 posts which would make for great legs!

Better RemadeI specifically wanted 2 large drawers.   One for my “junk” – bills, letters, all that stuff that should be filed and put away, but never have the energy for.  And the lower for kid dish ware.  We had been sharing our “Asian Food Drawer” which holds our sake set, bamboo mats, and seaweed paper.  Doesn’t everyone have one of those :)  Instead I wanted a big drawer that I could just throw all the dishware into straight from the dishwasher.

Better RemadeI had thought about looking for a lower cabinet section to build a cart around, but nothing could be found with that configuration, so from scratch it was.  I won’t mention how when I was just about complete I found one in IKEA as-is for $80.  I had to walk past pretending I didn’t see it.

First came building the drawer frame and the drawers.

better remadeFlat drawer fronts.better remadeFraming the drawer fronts to match our shaker cabinets.

better remadeUsing old 4×4 posts from the little shed carport demo I built legs to frame the cabinet, along with a set of 4″ caster wheels I found at Lowes. better remade better remadeThis was where things were left for a while.  I needed a counter top.  I envisioned a butcher block, but instead of buying at IKEA, I thought I would be patient and try the Restore.  I didn’t quite check in as often as I had hoped, and they never had a thing!  Sounds like the butcher block goes out as quickly as it comes in.

better remadeI was just reminded how long it’s really been when I found this in my instagram feed.

better remade I kitchen cart13 months!  It sat in the kitchen, incredibly useful, but not quite in bar cart shape.  I had the drawers in place, but no top.  The drawers are both incredibly full, and doing their job!  Kitchen before paint, concrete counters, and tile backsplash.

IMG_5369I finally came to the realization this last winter that I should just buy the IKEA butcher block counters.  I’m getting desperate to finished all my unfinished projects!  Problem is, they seem to be on continuous back order.  I checked back online a few times a week, and then finally I found that they were expecting a small shipment the following week.  Obviously I planned my week around getting down there and getting those counters!

It was so rewarding, just the smallest little addition to complete my cart.  Let’s not talk about the fact that when I put the top on the cart was 1/8″ too tall to fit under the counter!  I had to remove the wheels, and trim 1/4″ off the posts.  Then drilled the holes too large for the wheel posts so had to glue in a dowel and redrill.  I saw the finish line and just ran too fast toward it…I  just wanted to be done!

Better Remade I Kitchen Cart

Better Remade I Kitchen CartKid kitchenware drawer-Better Remade I Kitchen CartMy drawer – which incidentally, Jesse tried to suggest I put some extra pans that were floating around in my drawer.  I quickly said “no way!  This is MY drawer!”Better Remade I Kitchen CartSlides perfectly under the counter.Better Remade I Kitchen Cart

And rolls perfectly out to the deck!Better Remade I Kitchen Cart Better Remade I Kitchen CartIt fits just under the kitchen window which makes for a great pass through window for food, drinks, and grilling!!  Better Remade I Kitchen CartNext up…I’m actually finishing a second one for a friend!  I’m exited about that one because I was able to find an old beat up cabinet from the Restore to use.  I’ll definitely post it once finished!  SO Close!




{Our Deck} It’s been a long 3 months!

Where have I been?  I’ve been here…just building a deck.  This was a long process.  Jesse and I only have Sundays to work on house projects, and then maybe are able to squeeze in an evening now and then.  And during the week, I only have 2 days of nap time.  So this deck building was really cut up and spaced out.  I think I prefer quicker projects :)

This deck has been the longest biggest project that we’ve tackled.  It seemed simple and straightforward in theory…in theory only.  But 3 months later, we are finally able to fully enjoy our new deck.  I thought it was going to be a month, and then another half month to re do the lawn (which we decided against)  Most days, lately, have been way to hot to be outside, but we’ve sneaked out there in the mornings and evenings…and it’s glorious!  It’s been the most rewarding though, so at least there is that!

I’ll start by just posting the before and after.  I think it’s the nice thing to do, so you aren’t forced to go through dozens of process photos, though I definitely purged many photos :)

Our VERY before.  This was pre house painting, but I sure do long for that green lush grass.  The summer heat has killed everything in our yard.

P1020328 You can see there is a set of stairs that were about 6 feet wide.  The rest was just a drop off.  We thought it would be really nice to open up the deck to the yard by building stairs the full length of the deck.  It would also add some alternative seating.

Our glorious after!

Better Remade I Deck After


Better Remade I Deck

Better Remade I Deck AfterHere is a long string of process photos, if you are at all interested in the long painstaking process of building a 16×25′ deck!  With a little commentating in between.

First Day (April 6th)!  Look at that smile, he has no idea what we are getting ourselves into!


It became obvious pretty quickly that this was going to be full deck overhaul!  My favorite was how nothing was really secured down.  The posts were just resting on the concrete blocks.IMG_9504 IMG_9505  Hate the all the gross rubble, still need it hauled away!  IMG_9593

At this point we got everything cleaned up, figured out where the old patio was, and where we could pour new supports.  It was in this stage that we finalized the design, and got all the materials ordered.IMG_9701

Beams down!IMG_9814

I like this one…it’s the pose/look of “how are we going to put this together.”IMG_9812 IMG_9815Joists in!IMG_9818Then we had to figure out stairs.  The original plan was to build them individually and have them be about 18″ deep, but with the poured patio, there was no way to pour a landing or any footings.  Luckily we were able to buy pre-made stringers, though all 26 had to be cut, each individually depending on the slope of the ground, it was a VERY slow process.IMG_9868  This was a bit of a milestone – our first outdoor dining experience.  It also marked the beginning of putting decking down.


You can see in this picture how the sun just beats down on the deck.  It gets full sun from about 11am until 6pm.IMG_0111I did 2 frames running along the outer perimeter.  That was 16 45degree cuts, which was 16 too many, PAIN!  But after that, it was all straight cuts.  2 planks ran down the center of the deck, dividing it into 2 sections 11.5′ sections that just had to get filled in.  It took about a day to just get them spaced out evenly.  I had drilled pilot holes through the planks, and lightly nailed them in place spacing them out.IMG_0116The back steps IMG_0284And then, before we knew it…3 months later, we had a finished deck!IMG_0288And fully furnished

Better Remade I DeckAll the furniture is a few years old, but Lucy did score herself a new picnic table!Better Remade I Deck After Better Remade I Deck AfterDefinitely loving this beauty!

Hope you are all enjoying the summer!

Help! DIY Emergency!

We are about 70% of the way through out deck.  We have all the joists in and are working on the stair treads.  They have become a huge pain.  It’s been so tempting to stop the stairs where they are, but I just keep envisioning full steps down to the yard…I keep having to remind myself how wonderful it will be!

photoAnd then…Monday the washing machine broke!  Of course it did!  They are older and came with the house.  We’ve briefly discussed over the years getting new ones.  The washer isn’t very water efficient and the dryer takes about 2 1/2 cycles to fully dry a load.  Now apparently is as good a time as any.

The good news though is that we are headed toward memorial day, and everyone is having appliance sales.  The timing is good.  The exact opposite of, oh I don’t know…let’s say, the furnace going out Friday night and having to wait until Monday for heat.  (Totally my choice – I refused to pay a weekend surcharge)

My hope was that we’d be able to choose when we were going to replace the washer and dryer because I’d really like to re vamp the laundry hall a bit, especially the flooring.  So, remember how in my previous post I mentioned how good I am at abandoning one project to work on another…well…meet the laundry room floor.   A room that I’ve tried to keep out of the blog – it’s a bit ugly.photo 2(2)

It’s a very small space, 2 walls royal blue, 2 walls camo green, and icky red carpet.  The red carpet is over not 1, but 2 layers of wood print laminate.    photo 3 photo 4 photo 1(1)There is definitely a LOT going on in such a small space.  And unfortunately I can’t completely finish this right away, but while moving the washer and dryer, I can get the floor done.  I hadn’t given it much thought since this room wasn’t on my radar, but suddenly it’s on the top of my list.  My main criteria is something quick and easy.  I’ve decided on black and white vinyl self stick tiles.  I think this is the perfect room for them.  It’s not high traffic and I think it will be so much cleaner.  It will look especially crisp against the new white LG washer and dryer that we chose.

washer dryer Screen Shot 2014-05-21 at 10.11.53 AM.pngAnd then hopefully once the deck it complete we can add a counter over the washer/dryer and put some proper storage above.  While I love the open shelving, I’m hoping to get some dining room storage that those can move to, and we can do some upper white cabinets for cleaning  and dog supplies.

This is where my plea for help comes in – do any of you have experience with the self stick vinyl tiles?  Or brands that you’d recommend?  Please share, I know nothing.  :)