My Organized Life

In keeping with my recent “organization” theme, I have decided to share a few more things I checked off my to-do list recently. One of the bigger ones was getting my master bedroom closet, dresser and jewelry in order. Some might say I have a small obsession with jewelry….who can blame a girl? I will mention, much of my jewelry has been gifted to me by a few talented co-workers I have, but it is also my favorite thing to buy as a souvenir on trips, vacations and at other unique destinations.

Here is the outcome of my closet organization, so much easier to get ready in the morning!

And, P.S. I LOVE these Target shoe racks!!

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I am also slightly obsessed with scarves…I know, I have a problem. I found this old shoe rack when I was cleaning out the office this weekend, so thought it would be perfect for my scarf collection. You are probably thinking, I am crazy for having scarves out when it is summer, but for anyone who has ever been to the central coast, you know it is COLD at night! Well, cold by California standards anyways πŸ™‚ My Michigan friends are probably rolling their eyes at me right now!

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And here is the rest of my jewelry on display! I am really wanting to mount this old paint drawer on the wall, but I haven’t quite decided where I want it yet, so for now it gets to sit on my dresser. The dresser is another upcoming project!

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Happy Monday!

 

 

Office Makeover {In a Closet}

Happy Sunday! Since I have been putting off organizing/cleaning the home office/guest room since we moved in last year, I decided this was a good weekend to tackle the project. After yesterdays cleaning spree, I decided one more room needed to get done!

We have several guests coming to stay with us this summer/fall and as of yet we have not purchased a bed for the spare room, mostly because it has been full of junk, but also because buying another bed had not been a priority. Since I also have to use this room for my home office {I do a lot of work for my nutrition consulting business at home} I decided the best way to fit it all in would be to move my office to the closet. I found a number of inspiration pieces on pinterest, but didn’t want to spend any money…I am on a home spending hiatus…well, other than the essentials, I do have to go buy stain for the deck today.

These were some of the my inspiration offices, as you can tell I like white, with some pops of color, but also lots of space for random pictures and other items I might want to display along the way.

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Initially, I had my heart set on making a built in desk, but in light of my new plan {the no spending money plan} I decided to just work with what I had. So everything in my office is a hand-me-down, or rejuvenated item πŸ™‚

My first plan of attack was to paint the closet, it was a hideous off white/yellow stained color, the people who lived in the house before us somewhat thrashed the place. I have painted the house from head to toe, but the closet was one place that was skipped. I debated doing a fun bright color, but then reality hit…I might actually need to use this as a closet again. Plus I was right back at the not spending money on more paint issue. So, white it was, I already had two gallons of ultra bright white left over from the baseboards we painted.

Here was the closet before, you probably cant quite see the sticky yellow stuff all over, it needed a good wipe down before the paint even went on! On the right, you can see the difference between the old color and the new color.

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And here is the closet freshly painted and crisply white! Ahhh.

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Once the paint was all dry, I started moving into my new office! Most of the boxes on the shelves are filled with craft supplies, I am a sucker for colorful paper and scrapbooking items! I also decided to use an old canvas as a pin up board since I didn’t have a cork board. Obviously it still needs to be filled, but I am glad there is a lot of room for all my future finds πŸ™‚ I am sure I will find more items one day to pretty it up further, but for now, it works just fine! Here it is!

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The room is now cleaned and fully empty {well mostly} for when my guests come! Next up on the project list is changing out the hardware and re-finishing the built ins! Now, I just need to find some furniture. Craigslist and Home Goods, here I come!

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{DIY} Legging Covered Lampshade!

After a VERY long month my first class in my masters program is done! YAY! I survived…barely, going back to school after seven years is tough! With that out of the way, it was time to spend some major time in spring cleaning mode. This has been a weekend of organizing and cleaning, but more importantly, bringing new life to old things. I have spent hours going through closets and making my keep, donate and trash piles. In the midst of my mayhem, I came across a few things that were just begging for a little TLC. Ironically enough, last night as I was laying in bed going through my usual routine of pinteresting while trying to fall asleep, I stumbled across a post that grabbed my eye. It was a lampshade! Covered in leggings! Who thinks of that!? I of course had to explore, I instantly fell in love with this chicks blog, Vintage Revivals. Check it out! http://www.vintagerevivals.com/

Here were my inspiration photos:

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When I came across this idea, I thought it was the coolest thing ever! Only problem, I don’t wear leggings! There was no way I was buying leggings to cover a lampshade. And then, today in my cleaning rampage…guess what I found! A pair of leggings!! I actually bought them at Forever 21 for an 80’s themed concert I went to a few years back…Whaaaaaaat?? The best part was, they were coral, my favorite color and one of the accent colors in my master bedroom. It was a sign, I was doing this project. SO, here it goes….

This was the lamp I had initially put in my “donate” pile. (I actually had two of them…they were both on their way out the door!) Can you say UGLY.

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And here are the leggings I used, to be honest I was pretty skeptical that these would fit over the lampshade, thank goodness they were size XL, it might have been tough if they were smaller.

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I started by cutting the leg off at the highest point where the leg meets the butt. Then I pulled the leg over the lampshade with the widest part toward the bottom of the shade. Since my shade is shaped like a bell and not perfectly oval like the inspiration piece, I had to stretch it a little more at the bottom. I cut off the excess at the top and bottom leaving about 1 inch to fold over.

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Next, I got out my glue gun and made a small line of hot glue around the rim of the shade. I folded the excess legging over the hot glue to tack it down on both the top and the bottom. Since I had two ugly lamps, I decided to use both legs of the leggings and make a matching pair!

I decided to embellish my shade just a little bit with some blue ribbon I found in my craft box, I just LOVE coral and blue together πŸ™‚

Here is my final product, I think it turned out pretty good for my first try! {I think I am now on the hunt for a cheap pair of tribal print leggings, I pretty much love the inspiration piece.} Today’s project cost $0!

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DIY Display Board

Want a fun way to display your photos, holiday cards or other notes? Try this easy DIY display board made from an old thrift store picture frame ($3) and cork board squares from the craft store!

Since pretty much all of my friends are getting married and having babies right now, I am using this as my wedding and baby gallery! Looking forward to traveling to Michigan next month to see some of my favorite gals and their kiddos πŸ™‚

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I found this old wood board at a thrift store here in town, under the cork is a hideously painted flower, but I thought the shabby chic wood style was pretty neat! I got the cork board squares at Michael’s, they are super cheap ($5-10 and come with several of these squares in a package.)

To assemble, I put a small amount of hot glue on the back of the cork and pasted it on top of the flower (I couldn’t cover that thing up fast enough!) centered in the middle of the board.Β  Then I added my flair… The star fish was one of the table center piece items at our wedding, I seriously have about 50 of them! I like using decorative clothes pins and steel nails for holding up pictures instead of regular thumb tacks, I just think they look nicer.

And that is it! Super easy and quick project to add a little pizzaz to any shelf!

Weekend Landscaping Love

This weekend’s project was to give our front yard a little TLC. Living in California makes keeping the grass green a little difficult, especially during a drought. To save water (and money) we are trying to slowly get rid of our grass (or most of it) and switch over to low maintenance, drought tolerant landscaping.

Not having done a ton of landscaping before, we wanted to keep it simple, add some color and blend with what was already there. Last summer, we put some wood chips down around the existing palms, so we decided to keep with the same look and extend it up the side of the yard, as well as pull it out about 4 feet into the existing grass area.

Here is a picture of the front yard before we moved in. You probably remember this picture from the first post. All the large palms were already there (thank goodness)…but look how much they have grown!

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The pictures above are the way our yard looked on Saturday morning. The picture on the left is the front of the house, you can see the small amount of wood chips that are down from last summer’s “quick fix”. The photo on the right is the side of the yard, there were two dead bushes that we pulled out and dirt. Luckily since that part of the yard was empty, we didn’t really have to tear out much grass. We were able to lay the barrier right over top of the dirt/grass.

Here is what we did to extend our landscaping and add a border to protect the remaining grass from wood chip overflow.

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We started on the side and marked off the area we wanted to tear out. Its easiest to mark it off if you use a hose or extension cord that way you can make it curve the way you want.

We purchased some edging from Home Depot which you can see in the photo above. We then mowed the grass on the area we were taking out as low as possible to kill it off and help mark the area.

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Using a shovel or edger, cut a line along the area you want your border to go and then rip out the grass from there.

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Once we gotΒ  the majority of the live grass out, we dug our plant holes. Tip: if the dirt is hard where you want your plants to go, fill the holes with water, it helps loosen the soil so it can be more easily shoveled out.

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After we dug the plant holes, we laid down the barrier. We purchased this from Costco on sale, but they also sell it at Home Depot, Lowes and most home improvement stores. The barrier is important for preventing weeds from growing up through the wood chips/rocks/other landscaping you lay. Once the barrier was down, we fit the edger into place and secured them with edging stakes.

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Go back and cut holes in the barrier where the plants go. Then start adding soil to each hole to prep for planting. (I love that I got an action shot of Brian pouring soil!)

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Next we put down the wood chips. We bought the all natural bark nuggets from Home Depot, it’s always nice when you find them on sale, which is usually Memorial Day, Labor Day or 4th of July weekends!

Here is how it turned out! I think the hard work paid off πŸ™‚

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Pinterest Inspired Picture Wall

I want to start by saying I LOVE photo collage walls. I think they are the perfect way to show off an eclectic blend of inspired pieces and they also tell a story about a person (or family) with no words. Sometimes I hate to admit that I am a pinterest addict, but over the past year I have pinned a TON of collage inspirations. I knew that one day when I had my own space (a real space) I would find the perfect mix of photos to display. Luckily, our new house has a ridiculously high and somewhat odd shaped wall that unless I wanted to spend a lot of money on a large art piece, would have been difficult to decorate. So, I had my perfect collage wall.Β  Here are a few photos I used for inspiration for my wall:

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I found these on Pinterest but their original homes were:

1. www.laurenconrad.com

2.http://caitlinwilson.com/blog/

3.http://www.trusper.com/

My favorite part of these collages is the the use of different frame sizes, colors and design elements. I love the mirror in the middle one, but wasn’t looking to spend money on my collage wall and I had several pictures I wanted to display already, so I made mine using all items I already had.

Here is a photo of the wall I used before there was anything on it. Our ceilings are vaulted, so I had a lot of space to cover! You can notice also, this picture was before we installed baseboards!

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The first thing I did was lay my design out on the floor so I knew where I wanted everything to go in advance. I ended up moving things around several times to get the collage to looked balanced.

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I started with my centerpiece, which I wanted to be one of our wedding photos. Our wedding was almost three years ago now, but I am still obsessed with the photos our photographer did! She is amazing! You can find her at: http://portfolio.mirellecarmichael.com/

From the centerpiece, I worked outward to make sure things were somewhat evenly spaced. I did the picture below center first (My husband bought me this for Christmas, he knew it was a song my Nan used to sing to me when I was little). I then moved onto the pictures to the top, right and left, and worked out from there. The gold mirror on the top left is part of the Martha Stewart collection, I love the way it looks mixed in with the collage. Two of my other favorite photos are top right and bottom left. (Pictures of the Pubs of East Lansing, a 21st b-day gift from mom and dad done by a local artist there…all the places I used to frequent in college…and a picture of the Guggenheim, a museum I visited in Spain and fell in Love with.) I think when your photo collage wall represents who you are it means so much more!

Here is my collage in completion! Special thanks to my father in law who helped me get it up on the wall πŸ™‚

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Scrapbooking Spain

Over the past several months I have had a number of friends (and family) visit our house. I feel like I have given so many house tours that I could do it in my sleep. People love to see the updated kitchen and bath (I’ll show these another time) but one thing they always comment on in my office is my scrapbook board of my trip to Spain. This is somewhat of a flashback post since my trip to Spain was actually a number of years ago (I spent my last summer semester in college there to study Spanish.) But seeing that I always commit to 1,000,000 things it took me a while to get to this project. Once I did, I loved it!

This is seriously the simplest way to display mementos from an amazing trip, vacation or series of events. Way better than throwing them in a box or book that no one ever sees! It is fun to make and helps you relive the adventure every time you walk by it, at least it does for me πŸ™‚

So here is what I did….When I was living in Spain, I kept pretty much everything from plane tickets, to train tickets, to entry tickets to events, maps (I LOVE maps), menus, leaflets etc. I kept them all in an envelope so I would know right where everything was. If you take a trip, consider prepacking an envelope with a label so you can put it all in one spot.

Start with a plain canvas. I got mine from our local craft store, but they sell them at JoAnn Fabrics, Michael’s and Hobby Lobby, plus most other craft stores with paint supplies would carry it. You can buy different sizes based on how big you want your display to be. I chose the 16×20 canvas and think it is a perfect display size.

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Then I pulled out all my items and decided which ones I wanted to display. I think it is a good idea to lay them all out like a puzzle on the board, before you actually tack them down. That way you know that you like the way it looks and that everything will fit! You can always trim items or add fillers if you need to fit things a certain way.

Below are the items needed for this project! Display items (tickets, maps etc.), canvas board, Mod Podge, and a small paint brush or Sponge Brush. (Can also be purchased from the same craft stores as the canvas, I didn’t have mine handy when taking this photo but I included a photo below in case you don’t know what a sponge brush is. )

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These are the foam brushes I am referring to. You can use either option for this project. I like that the regular paint brushes give a more “textured” look, because when the Mod Podge dries you can actually see the brush strokes. Some people prefer the look of the sponge brushes. Test out which one you like better before you start your project πŸ™‚

 

 

After you have all of your items laid out the way you like them, start by brushingΒ  a small coat of Mod Podge onto the backs and stick them back down on your canvas one by one (Just like you would with a glue stick!) When you have them all lightly pasted down, give them some time to dry (about 30 min) so they don’t slide around. For your first over coat, start in the middle of the canvas and paint a light coat of the Mod Podge over top of the entire project, just like if you were brushing over the entire thing with paint. I did small sections at a time to make sure I covered it all. After I got a full coat on, I let it dry overnight. I wanted mine to be extra sturdy because I added thicker paper items, so the next day, I went back and added a second and then third coat. If you have thicker items on your board (like a brochure) two to three coats are necessary to secure it. If you just have lightweight paper (similar to computer paper) one to two coats is probably fine!

*Make sure to let each coat dry completely before you do another, otherwise the Mod Podge will smear/clump!!

Here is what my board looked like after three coats. I added the little tags on top with scrap booking fabric, I liked the textured look it gave the board and I wanted to “title” my project in some way.

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And here is what my project looks like displayed on the shelf in my office.

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I think it would be really cool to make a travel wall in a room with several of these made from different countries or destinations! I can’t wait to do some more traveling πŸ˜‰