Wednesday, July 11, 2012

laundry room

i am sure you have been waiting on pins and needles for the laundry room portion of the redo (o: i won't keep you waiting any longer! i love the cabinet space in our laundry room but like the kitchen it poses problems for my height. the 2 middle cabinets only have 2 shelves so i cannot reach the 2nd shelf without a stepladder especially since the washer/dryer stick out alot farther than the cabinets. so again i tried to put the most frequently used items on the first shelf. as you will see there are still a couple of projects left to do in there one day.
the top pics are the before and the bottom pics are the after. the top right cabinet before is not completely accurate...i forgot to take a pic but that middle shelf was overflowing with kitchen towels and the top shelf had all kinds of junk. so the first cabinet holds the laundry items; i utilized a basket for the random dog items like the flea meds, ear drops, etc.and put the rarely used cleaning/household items up there....yes rarely used items does include that iron. i do not like ironing and avoid it at all costs! the middle cabinet was overrun with cleaning supplies. some never used but mostly the height of the shelf is so tall it didn't work well. i used a metal shelf like this to organize better and also sorted through cleaning supplies, tossing ones i don't use. i am trying to transition to more "organic" (and cheap) cleaning supplies so hopefully once i do that i will have fewer items in that section. (post to come soon!) and i know you are thinking-- we have alot of towels!! yes we do! the white towels next to the beach towels are mostly used for the dogs when it's raining/wet outside--don't want them getting the whole house wet! the other towels on the first shelf are for dusting/cleaning; there are some old handtowels too that are useful for small kitchen spills or to wipe the dogs feet. the last cabinet has 3 shelves which is so helpful! the top shelf holds koozies and a box of fancy placemats and napkins--this was one of the items that used to live in the hall closet. the middle shelf has furniture cleaning kits that came with the couch we bought, extra mason jars/baby food jars, and light bulbs. VERY obviously the first shelf needs work. this is the medicine shelf. i previously tried to organize it with some plastic boxes but it has slowly become unruly again )o: i have to think of a better way to organize this stuff!! at least the medicine is grouped together by type of medicine.

this shelf is above the clothing rod. extremely helpful but i kind of wish it was enclosed like the other cabinets. i think that would have made for better use of space instead of having to stack so many things and also having to see all of it. the pic on the left is the before pic. not too much changed but i did move the bottle warmer and box of sippy cups elsewhere because neither are being used right now but might be in the future. the 2 bottom pics are also on the to do list. the cabinet on the left holds the dog food box and extra paper bags. who knows why i feel the need for so many extra bags but they are so handy to have....when you need one...might need to read my organization "rules" again and discard some of those. anyway, i CANNOT wait to get started on the rack in the right pic!! this is right behind the laundry room door which is nice because it hides all the clutter but it also doesn't hold things well. the previous owners had installed these hooks, which are really just a glorified piece of wood with wooden dowels stuck in it. when my parents moved, i was able to get their old fabulous metal double hooks! i can't wait to spray paint them (rustoleum oil rubbed bronze (o:), install them and make this function better and look better!!

organizating never i need to work on the few places that didn't get sorted out during this kitchen/laundry redo but my next BIG project after all that is to tackle ella's needs help! i hate opening the closet doors because it is just one big pile of me palpitations...and not in a good way.
***side note..the first pic with the odd painting...that is a picasso-ish painting i did at easely amused of my 2 first babies (o: adds some great color and sense of family to the otherwise drab laundry room

Monday, July 9, 2012


ok so here is the kitchen part of the accidental organizing takeover. when we moved in, i wasn't really sure where i needed certain things, or if i would even use them the food processor, grater, etc. there are still a couple of areas that i need to work on. the plates, cups, and silverware are the only things that didn't get moved around. i can't wait to do a better job of organizing my canned goods and baking goods once i can get at least one cansolidator. but of course rearranging those items may cause me to rearrange the big cabinet/pantry...oh what fun! (o: and yes i am serious! ok back to what i did finish. i was able to get rid of some things i never use; i also took things that are fairly expensive but that i rarely use and placed them in the back of a cabinet. i love the many many cabinets in our kitchen but since i am on the shorter side i cannot reach the 3rd shelf without a stool. so the things i put on the 3rd shelves cannot be something i use often. given the age of sophia and her developing curiosity, i needed to have a cabinet that allowed her free access to play; she can get in the other ones but i wanted her to know which one "belonged" to her. the tupperware cabinet is perfect for that! i put a few of her own toys in there too. originally i had the extra kitchen towels in the laundry room but i hated having to go in there to get a new one...usually i didn't know i needed a new one until i already had dirty or wet hands so putting them in the cabinet right by the sink made more sense!

the top pictures in this collage are the before pics and the bottom ones are the after pics. i was so tired of unstacking pans to get to the ones i actually use. i moved the muffin pans to be with the flat trays and moved all the storage jars --used baby food jars, mason jars--to the laundry room. this gave me alot more room than i thought it would! now i can grab a 9x13 pan without unstacking!! it also helped to pack up the beabe baby food cooker that i didn't need anymore since sophia is older. i put all the serving dishes/platters in the back of the cabinet since i don't need them very often.

this cabinet is huge!! one of the things love about our kitchen. these 3 shelves are the top section and there is another section below it. the only thing that makes it quite trying is the depth! it is so deep!!!! i cannot reach the middle of the second shelf without a stool! but it is great storage so i tried to put things i rarely use in the top shelf and in the back of the second shelf. i put all the party napkins, plastic cups, plastic ware, and ice bucket together on the top shelf. they were all scattered in different parts of the kitchen which made no sense! i also put some pots/vases up there. the middle shelf has the kitchen appliances that i rarely use but don't think i should part with just yet, like the food processor. the bottom shelf holds the everyday stuff. i love how uncluttered it all is now!! the wooden tray is especially great for my hubby to put his keys, id badges, etc at the end of the day.

this desk is one of my favorite places in the whole house!! the shelves hold some of my favorite cookbooks--some classics, some we received as wedding gifts, some newer names. i'd like to work more on the top's a bit bare. there was a nice plant in that pot but i kept forgetting to water it since i had to get the stepladder to reach it! i got the frame idea for my menu from pinterest. i love it! so easy..picture frame with a sheet of scrapbook paper in frame, then use dry erase markers to write on it! i got the decorative organizer at tj maxx. it's a great size to hold bills, notes about school, extra note pads, etc. i had another one there but i was alot longer and had a drawer. i like having the extra space more on the desk top. i love clean and uncluttered...although it's usually one or the other not both (o:

so that's what i did in the kitchen. like i said before i still have a few cabinets to purge and organize. hopefully i can start on that soon..or i might read a book's been almost 2 weeks since i finished a book and i'm in withdrawal already...hmm...maybe i can do both..haha probably not with these sweet girls to love on (o:

Friday, July 6, 2012

summer fun

here are a few pics of the summer fun we have done so far!
ella's first snowcone

homemade father's gift

toilet roll butterfly

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

i LOVE organizing

i love organizing...i mean i love it truly, whether it is organizing my own stuff or someone else's. i think it is therapeutic for me, a way of creating order, pacifying my inner (or boisterous, as my hubby would say) ocd-ness. my ocd tendencies have calmed down some since ella was born; for my own sanity, i had to learn that some things can be let go and don't have to be done right when i think they should. anyway, i realize now, weeks later, that the complete re-organization of the kitchen, hall closet, and laundry room most likely was me unconsciously dealing with the beginning of sophia's weaning (see post here), however it needed to be done and it was fun!!! originally i started out planning to just do the hall closet. it is our only hall closet and since we moved in about a year ago (when sophia was 2 weeks old!), it became just a catchall. however, the more i did in the closet the more i had to change in the kitchen, and then the more i had to change in the laundry you see where this snowball was headed. my poor hubby was out of town when all this happened so he had to relearn where things were! i didn't do a great job with the before pics because, well, i forgot until had already started. so just imagine it a whole lot worse and all the things that are on the door hanger were on the shelves in the closet.
a few of my organizing guidelines--if you don't use it, you most likely won't (there are some exceptions like serving ware that is only used at certain times); put similar things together and easy to find; i love using baskets, trays, etc.---hobby lobby, ross, michaels and the dollar store are great places to find them; no junk drawers/cabinets; put things where you use them; if possible label baskets/boxes especially if you cannot see in them without opening; remember organizing is a process that has to be repeated every once in a while due to life changes/children ages/stages, etc; even if you don't have time to clean, always straighten; if you get it out, put it back where it belongs; and then there is my gut feeling about how things fit together, where they should go in the house, etc which is hard to explain. i got the door hanger idea from decorology  and purchased the actual hanger from chef's. i love that you can put the baskets where you need them based on your items. i have some of my favorite ideas on my pinterest board, i love organizing.
so here are the pics and i will post the kitchen and laundry pics soon! i'm not that good at the picture posting part so bear with me (O:



on this shelf i put my fall door decoration and my extra flower containers with some decorative crosses that i haven't decided where to put yet and a crystal punch bowl.

these middle shelves worked out great! i had some extra wrapping paper that was too short for the door as well as the plastic rings that hold the wrapping paper together. i love my "j" tote! it holds all of the gifts i have on hand. on the right side of that shelf had a perfect liquor box that was holding all the extra gift bags. it works so well holding them that i decided to keep it for now until i can find something cuter. on top of that box is a bag of white tissue paper and several smaller pieces of bubble wrap. i put the gift boxes, flattened, between the gift bag box and the wall.

the next shelf is mostly craft items. the right side basket holds all the watercolor paints, faux finish notes, paint brushes, charcoal, colored pencils, etc. the stack of papers in the middle is actually christmas cards put together by years with binder rings. i forgot to put them with our christmas books last christmas so those will go in that box this year--and that means even more room in the closet! on the left side i had an extra decorative tray so i am using that to hold my glue gun, yarn, cardboard rolls and then a few flat rate usps boxes underneath. the advocare product section didn't change much; i already had it organized with like products together.

 this next to last shelf was pretty important because it holds things that my 4 year old needs to get to by herself. it needed to be organized by grouping like things together and also by using baskets. the wipes boxes aren't that cute but they are doing a great job holding puzzle pieces and card games. i will either paint them or get something cuter one day. obviously the games/puzzles are on the right. on the left side, i have a basket full of bubbles, another basket filled with sidewalk chalk, and yet another basket for play dough. so far the items are easy for ella to get and also for her to put them back where they belong!
the very bottom "shelf" which is the floor has 2 boxes, each labeled with decorations for easter and valentines. the boxes made a great ledge for the drawing paper holder.

and last but not least, the piece that inspired it all!!! the wrapping station door hanger! i didn't realize how much wrapping paper i had until i had to put it all in this basket! i used a piece of ribbon to secure the top part of the paper so it wouldn't fall over. in front of the wrapping paper in the basket, i put the colored/designed tissue paper. the next basket holds acrylic paint and a small dollar store basket with more paint, a hole puncher, and glue. the 2 above that hold all of my ribbon. the top shelf has christmas bows and extra popsicle sticks.

i had so much fun organizing the hall closet, finally! it took a few days since i could only work on it when the girls were preoccupied with playing or when they were napping. but i think it turned out great! you made it to the end of this post, woohoo! it was alot longer than i thought it would be!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

it's been 27 days...

june 5. a day i will remember, probably forever. that was the first day sophia drank from a cup. she had never used a bottle or cup until that day. and i wasn't expecting it to go that well. to my surprise it did and thus began weaning. i admit i had thought about weaning for a few weeks prior and i knew that i had planned to be done nursing by the time school starts but still i was caught off guard. since she was doing so good with the cup i wanted to encourage it. so my plan initially was to nurse 2-3 times a day; i got a pump so she could at least drink my milk from the cup. this has helped me (and her).
27 days and it's been an emotional, hormonal ride. i think i was in denial at first about how much it was affecting me. after a week or so, i realized i had been eating alot more ice cream than usual. that was the first sign and then I started noticing the emotional part. pumping 3 times a day was taking 2 1/2 to 3 hours a day and i was going insane; but i felt guilty that i couldn't keep doing that. but i also coudn't spend that much time each day pumping. part of me just wanted to go back to nursing full time---i mean goodness, it only took 35-40 mintues total PER DAY to nurse and pumping was taking more than triple that. now i am down to pumping once a day, sometimes twice; and nursing only first thing in the morning. on one hand, i am glad to have some freedom back; to be able to come and go more freely; she can actually drink her milk while i'm IN the grocery store; and i'm able to leave her with family for longer periods of time. but on the other hand, it is sad. in some ways i do not want to stop even though obviously i do at some point. i never knew that nursing was so wonderful. i wasn't able to nurse with ella except the first few weeks but if i had known then what i know now, i would have made a way! the health benefits to her and to me are great; in addition to that is the emotional bond. amazing. there are no words. God was so thoughtful in His decision for this to be how our young should be fed. i will never forget that sweet sound she makes while she's nursing; its her little sound of "yummy". or how she will look in my eyes in the middle of nursing and smile or laugh. or the countless times we nursed in the car in a random parking lot. or watching her eyelids slowly close as her tummy gets full. or the contentment on her face. or how her hair curls like a corkscrew above her right ear. or how she wants to cuddle when she's full, listening to my heart and my breathing. or how when she's upset, tired, maybe hungry and nursing is the only thing that will comfort her. or realizing how much those little legs have grown, from barely reaching my side to dangling playfully on the chair. a-mazing. i pray i never forget all the precious moments.
of course as i say how wonderful this experience has been, i'm not saying that every single feeding was absolutely fabulous; there is always the other side of the coin. we certainly had our times of frustration, various age/development "issues", doctor visits (dr. saenz is fabulous), educating myself (ms breastfeeding clinic notes and kellymom). but it was all worth it and i would do it over again in a heartbeat!!! i am so thankful for the support of my hubby, parents, and in laws. so glad that my 4 year old has been wonderfully helpful and understanding. now i'm praying that my milk supply will stay so we can keep that first early morning feeding for a little while longer. i'm not ready to let go. there i said it. so if you happen in my path in the next few weeks, months and i get a little teary eyed, but our conversation has no sadness in it whatsoever, just know it's the hormones and nothing to worry about (:
disclaimer--i am not in any way saying anything against moms who use formula and/or didn't nurse. and i'm sorry if this was too personal for anyone reading. as i said in the beginning, this blog is a place for me to be open and honest about it all!