Monday, August 27, 2012

A Home for the Vacuum

When we were looking at our home, way back when, I didn't notice the lack of closet and storage space. (I was a total novice.)  As we were moving in, I noticed that there was no place to store the vacuum.  At the time, it didn't bother me that much because we only had one little baby, so there was an extra bedroom and closet and I just stuck it in there.  As our family grew, and we needed that extra bedroom and closet for our kids and their things, the vacuum got moved out into the hall.  It has bothered me alot that I tripped over that vacuum, every time I had to go down that little hall, but there was honestly no other place for it.  One day, it finally occurred to me that we could revamp the lone hall closet in our house a bit and allow for our vacuum to be stored in it.  The closet was originally set up as a linen closet and the shelves filled the closet top to bottom and front to back, but I decided I could give up a little shelf space on the bottom two shelves and allow room for my vacuum to be stored in there.  So here is what we did...


 
This is what the closet looked like when we started. Yeah, I'm embarrassed to show this mess, but I'm keeping it real.
 


We removed the bottom two shelves.


My husband cut them down and reinstalled them, so  I wouldn't completely lose that storage capacity.  (We need every inch in this little house.)


I reworked the linen closet in my master bathroom to hold all the linens in the household, so, now this closet holds only cleaning supplies, craft and kids art supplies, and a few miscellaneous items like light bulbs and extension cords.  Most importantly, it now also holds the vacuum. ( No, I'm not just lazy with my vacuum cord, this vacuum is great and still going strong, but the arms that hold the vacuum cord, were knocked off about a year ago.  Probably from taking too many hits while it resided in the hall.)  I am so happy we made these changes every time I walk down that hall or open this closet.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Boys Bathroom Changes

I decided many months ago that my boys bathroom was SCARY and in desperate need of help. I actually loved the paint color and the decor in the little bathroom, but my boys had made such a stinky awful mess of the place, my husband and I decided that the only solution would be to pull out the vanity and replace it with a sleek pedestal sink. I won't go into detail about why this was necessary, but since the vanity is so close to the toilet and I have 5 little boys, you can probably imagine. Yikes!! So - - since we were pulling out the vanity and replacing tiles, I decided that it was probably time that I give up my feminine, pretty, yellow bathroom and boy it up a little (not too much.)

So, here is a look at the changes . . .

BEFORE



Notice the toilet seat is up. Boys!!



I managed to notice the toilet seat and put it down for this one.



We had a towel bar in this bathroom that was too high for most of the boys, and lets face it - - they were never going to neatly hang their towels up on it anyway. Therefore I had a big problem with towels all over the floor and way too many in the laundry.



We ripped out the vanity and medicine cabinet. (I really don't like medicine cabinets.) We also decided that the mirror was too big for the new pedestal sink and ripped it out too. Luckily, we had just enough tiles in storage to cover where the vanity had been.

AFTER


This is the new place! A little more boy friendly in every way!! We gave it a fresh new coat of green paint and a new shower curtain.



We replaced the mirror with one I had in storage.  We also decided to make a little cubby with shelves where the medicine cabinet had been. 

 

This hook board was by far the best thing we did in this bathroom. I blogged about it earlier here.

Overall, I am very happy with the changes. They have made life easier for sure. But, I have to admit, sometimes I miss my pretty yellow bathroom. If only it could have stayed pretty and, most of all, fresh smelling! :) Oh well!!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Tabbed Towels

This project has been on my 100 projects list for a looooooong time.  It is actually one of the reasons that I sometimes get bothered by Pinterest.  Long ago, I came up with this idea in my own head - but now, thanks to Pinterest, it looks like I just stole this idea from Martha Stewart or some creative blogger out there.  Now don't get me wrong - I have stolen many an idea from those creative people.  But when I come up with an idea on my own, I would like a little credit.  At least in my own neighborhood.  Oh well.  Pinterest, I really love you, but sometimes you totally bug.

Soooo, as part of our boys bathroom update this summer, we took down the standard towel bar and replaced it with a hook board. Then the boys each picked a fabric they liked out of my scraps and I made a fabric loop and sewed it on their towel.  I also cut their initial out of vinyl and hung it above each hook, so the boys could easily identify which towel is theirs and where they need to hang it back up when they are done.  We had a little training session on how to correctly use the new towels and hooks and since then - it has been like magic.  I have only had to give out two or three reminders to hang towels back up.  The new system has been working great all summer.  And, they look totally cute too.  Bonus!!

***I will be posting soon about the rest of the "boy friendly" changes we made to our little bathroom.

Friday, August 10, 2012

No Bake Cookies


These are the no-bake cookies that I grew up on, and honestly, no other has ever compared to them in my opinion. These are chocolatey and chewy without ever getting grainy. I love them. To me, they are the perfect no-bake.

We have have enjoyed these several times this summer. It is nice to make a cookie that doesn't require turning on the oven. Plus, we just keep these puppies right in the refrigerator, so they are always cold and perfect for a hot summer day.


No Bake Cookies

Ingredients:
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla (I like to add 2 tsps.)
1 cup coconut
3 cups quick cooking oatmeal

Method:
Combine sugar, cocoa, butter, and milk in saucepan and bring to boil. Remove from heat and add remaining ingredients. Drop by teaspoon (I use my 1 tsp cookie scoop - so easy) on wax paper while still hot. Cool completely before serving. Makes about 3 dozen.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Happy Baby Girl Quilt


I finally finished this baby quilt.  I love how the colors and fabrics are fun and happy, but still feminine and sweet enough for a baby girl.  If I had a little girl there is no way I could let this one go.  But, alas, no little girls around here - so it is in the shop.

Now, indulge me in showing off a few more photos . . .



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