Monday, July 29, 2013

Summer Swimsuit Solution


Summer is in full swing at our house, and we have been spending a lot of time outdoors.   
While it's cooler now, with a recent heatwave, that means the sprinklers have been turned on probably just as often for playing and cooling off as they have been for watering the lawn. 
 And the inflatable pool has come out – and once there is a pool with water in the backyard, the neighborhood kids come out in droves.   
They’re having fun and keeping cool, so everybody wins.  

With all the water play, I got tired of trudging upstairs to retrieve swimsuits every time the sprinklers came on, and having to head back upstairs to put them away once they were rinsed and dry.

So, here's my super duper top secret amazing tip for summer organization if your kids are water babies like mine are:

Command Hooks.
I totally just blew your mind, didn't I. ;)

It's so easy: our laundry room is on the main floor, so I just stuck up these simple command hooks on the wall in there.

When the kids see the neighbors out in the pool and want to join, we just grab their suits from the hooks, change and they're ready to roll.
When they're done, suits get rinsed and hung up to dry, ready for the next go-'round.

I added simple chalkboard vinyl tags to put their names on, just for kicks.

Then, when summer ends and the swimsuits get put away for the season, the labels and the hooks come down, and everything goes back as it was.

The hook is reusable, so next summer, I can pop up the whole setup with a simple stick of some new command strips.

It really can't get much easier than that! :)

 Cheers to Summer,
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Friday, July 26, 2013

Hey, It's Summer!

Hey there!
So....  Blogging.  Right.
OK, so I know the posting lately has been thin.  Or sporadic.
Or... virtually nonexistant.

And I'm sorry for that.

BUT, I promise it's not because we haven't been busy!

In addition to enjoying one of the most beautiful, perfect-weather summers we've had in a LONG time, we've got a few rather large things going on.
And I am literally chomping at the bit to share them with you!
...But they're not totally done yet.
Remember the Giant Mantle of Doom?

It's getting a face-lift and I am in loooove.
For real, it has changed the entire room, and it's not even complete.

And Mr.V?
That hunk O' man is building me a patio.
It wasn't enough that he built us a great big deck, now he's giving me a stone patio done with his own two hands.
We brainstormed the design and collaborated on the choice of pavers, but that's all I can take credit for.  100% of the manual labor is Mr. V. and I'm so grateful he's so handy.

Note to women:  marry a farmboy.  You won't regret it! ;)
And while the patio is a work in progress right now, it's going to be super and I can't wait to break it in
(and finally be rid of the tarp that has been covering this spot of yard for :::coughtwoyearscough::
 We're totally those neighbors.

So we have two major projects underway, I'm trying to keep up with my regular small touches and crafty nonsense, and then add in swimming lessons, gymnastics, field trips, full-time jobs and some good old fashioned family and neighborhood summer fun, and you've got one heck of a packed schedule.

So I'll be plugging away to get some things finished to share with you - just promise you'll still love me if posting is a little scatterbrained for a bit yet, m'kay?
I still love you bunches.  Promise.

And in the meantime, I'll still be pinning away on Pinterest, and I'm still trying to get the hang of this Instagram thing.
OH!  And I have had quite a few questions from those of you interested in learning more about the Honest Company products - you can find the post I wrote about them HERE, and if you are interested in giving the natural products a try for yourself, go HERE to sign up (creating an account is required to browse the site, but don't worry, it's free).

I will be back soon with some more projects to share.
Have a great weekend!

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Monday, July 15, 2013

Making Pet Storage Pretty

This summer we discovered some super unwelcome guests:

Yes.  ANTS. 
I discovered a colony in our front landscaping.  I have no idea how, exactly, they got in, but they did and I cannot tell you how angry these bugs have made me.
:::shaking fist at nature:::

I suppose that’s partly why I’ve been so obsessed with cleaning lately – I wasn’t about to invite more of them into my house by leaving crumbs on the floor!
(And if you’ve ever met my kids or watched my dog massacre a treat you know that is no small task!)

The most popular stop on the ant parade appeared to be Newman’s food. 
Apparently, dog food is like ant crack.

Prior to our “issue,” we had kept his food in a container that sat on the floor and with a step-pedal and a flip-top lid.   

Over time, the seal had started to loosen, and the ants managed to march right up into the container.  Poor puppy. :/

I also realized that with the loosened seal, his food was probably getting pretty stale.  
 Again, sorry buddy.

SO, in an effort to cut off the ants AND hook my Newman up with some fresh food right quick, priority #1 became a new dog caddy.
I didn’t want to spend a lot because… it sits in a closet.  And… it holds dog food. 
And as super cute as those labeled pet food canisters from Ballard are, I needed it to be functional and I think the latches on those lids appear fussy. 
And I ain’t got time for that. : )

My dad unknowingly came to our rescue when he offered up this free charcoal caddy that he had gotten from work.   

You can buy these for around $15 or so, which is totally reasonable, so even if we hadn’t gotten it for free, it’s still something I would have used.

Other than a good seal to keep the food fresh, I knew the other important detail was going to be getting it off the ground.
To accomplish that and also make it even easier to access, I added these super inexpensive casters from the hardware store to the bottom.  They were a cinch to install.

I could have left it alone at that point and had a perfectly functional and improved dog food caddy.

But I’m sure you’ve figured out by now that “leaving things alone” just isn’t my style. : )

I gave the lid a couple coats of Rustoleum flat black spray paint.  Then, took my trusty chalkboard paint and did a couple coats on the top of the lid.  The chalkboard paint blends in perfectly with the flat black so you can make your chalkboard paint last even longer.   

 The handy label is cute, and it’s helpful for when we might be away for the day and someone like my parents or sister or someone lends an hand and comes over to feed the pooch.

Because the caddy was free and I had all the paint on hand, I only paid the less than $5 for the casters. But this is a project you can complete from scratch for under $25, for sure – less if you have some of the materials already.

So, Sweet Newman has safe, fresh, non-ant-infested food once again, and I have been kicking ant-patooty like it’s my JOB.  
 How was YOUR weekend? ;)

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Monday, July 8, 2013

Easy Curtain Update

I’m one of those people who can’t leave well enough alone when it comes to my home. : )

9.9 times out of 10, I will guarantee you that how a room looks right after any transformation is still several “tweaks” away from how it will end up.

Lately I’ve been tweaking some of the bedrooms, and I totally had a ‘duh’ moment the other day after I saw what this simple, FREE update did to The Redhead’s room.

I love the light, girly color palette in her room, but I wanted to infuse more of it; things were feeling a little sparse.  

I love the green, but you can see from this view, with the green gingham duvet, the green lampshade and green drapes as well, I needed a little more variety. 
 I made a purple runner for the nightstand (you can kind of see it above), and I liked the punch of color it provided.

I remembered that I had some of that fabric left in my scrap pile, so I snagged it and went to work. 
I cut strips of the fabric (I don’t even know how long mine are – I just eyeballed them.  Long or short will work – it’s totally just a matter of personal preference) and flagged the ends to give it a more finished look.

Then I just hopped up on a stool and tied them to the curtain rings.
Yup, that’s it!  
I tied two strips to each ring, but I think if I had more fabric I might add a third on each for a fuller look.  But for now, I’m happy.
It’s a project that took me less than 20 minutes from start to finish, and adds a fun pop of color to a room for a fun little girl! :)

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