Thursday, June 30, 2011

Project Closet: Part 1

I fully intended to tackle our master bedroom closet back in April. Then life got in the way with more important things and the project got pushed to the back burner. Now that things are settling back into a more regular schedule it's time to revisit the closet! The challenges:
  • Shared closet with my husband. 
  • Basic closet, nothing special about the layout. It's rods with a shelf above them.
  • A window occupies one wall.
  • Even though it is a walk in, it's a small walk in (narrow).
First things first, I am looking long and hard at our clothing collection. Because we live in the mountains we never actually put our winter clothes away for the summer. After all, you might need a sweatshirt for a night of stargazing! So, making space for all season clothing is a must.

Clothing that no longer fits, or was never a favorite has been donated to the local charity. No need to keep things we don't love and use. Shoes too! Quiet a bit of my husband's clothing went into storage (he is the pack rat in the relationship).

Second challenge is storing our winter bedding. There really isn't another spot to keep it, so it hangs out in the closet. I figure there has to be a better way to address it. Really anything has to be better than piling it on top of my baskets or having it find it's way to the floor of the closet.

Stay tuned for magic to happen! :) Oh yes, and I should mention that my budget is a whopping $0!!

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Simple House

Home. It means so many things to so many people, and yet at the heart of it all, it is a place to spend time with those you love. It's a place to spend time doing the things you most enjoy. It's the launching pad for all your adventures.
Because it is a space where we spend so much time, I like to keep things as simple and easy as possible. I have never believed in spaces that don't get used. Formal living room? Not in our house! As a believer in simple living, I have learned a lot through making our house our home. Here are a few tips I feel are helpful for creating a simple home:
  • Reduce your possessions to those things that you truly love and use. It's so much easier to organize when you don't have a ton of things. Let go of the things that are cluttering your space.
  • Organize well the things that you decide to keep. Give a designated spot to everything. For example, keeping garden tools in one area of the garage, or keeping crafting supplies all together in one closet.
  • Always evaluate before you bring in anything new. Make sure you really have space for it, can really make good use of it, and that it's not just an impulse buy.
  • Choose easy to clean materials and keep cleaning supplies handy. Wipe up messes right away.
  • Take advantage of natural light, and other aspects of your home that are built in. Find ways to maximize what you have to work with.
  • Live in your home the way you really live in your home! Don't be afraid to use spaces in ways they might not have been intended for. Each home should be as unique as the people who are living in it.
What do you do to keep things simple in your home?

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Of birthdays and summer.

The birthdays have been celebrated, and very well if I say so myself! The cupcakes above came from a cute local cupcake shop called Cupcake Chic. The flavors: strawberry vanilla, coconut, and red velvet. And they were beyond delicious. We celebrated with a trip to the local aquarium, which is awesome because we are land locked and I love the ocean and ocean creatures. We also tried The Cheesecake Factory for the first time ever. Oh goodness, why did we wait so long?

For my birthday I was given some lovely gifts, including some money to spend however I wanted! I already spent it on something for our master bedroom. I will share what it was spent on when it arrives, my fingers are crossed that it will be as great in person (the only downside when ordering online).

When we first moved into our home, summer always meant tons of house projects. This year, the projects are small, and few. It's actually really nice to be able to just sit back and enjoy our home as it is. There are things we would love to do still as budget allows, but nothing beats being able to enjoy what you have accomplished.

Do you have summer projects planned for your home?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Happy birthday to me!

Tomorrow is my birthday! While I am not planning to make this cake for my big day, it does look like quiet a delicious and easy summertime treat! Using ice cream sandwiches?! Brilliant.

Tomorrow will be spent doing whatever I please, which in honesty is the best things about birthdays! No one can make you do something don't want to do! :) Though personally I am hoping to make a trip to the zoo or aquarium, and some breakfast in bed would be lovely as well. I'll just have to wait and see what the birthday fairy brings!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Home Depot Giveaway

I really shouldn't be sharing this information with you dear readers, as this is a giveaway that I would love to win for myself! But, since I know how much you all would love to win too, I am going to tell you about a great Home Depot Giftcard Giveaway.

Ten randomly chosen winners will receive a $100 Home Depot gift card. Full contest details, along with official rules, are posted here:

Participants can register to win once per day through June 29th, so be sure to head over to BradsDeals right away for a shot at one of the gift cards! Just imagine all the fun you could have with it!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Penny tile trend?

I went to a home show with a friend last week so we could gawk at all the opulence in a home that topped 17,000 sq. feet! The indoor pool, complete with a slide, looked particularly inviting. The master bathroom with two toilets seemed like a fine idea (though I prefer how I have seen it done in the past, with actual separate his and her bathrooms). All the bedrooms had themes, and I noticed another trend too, penny tiles!

The above shower was in a garden themed room, which also had this same pattern on the tub surround. There were also glass, above the counter, sinks that were pink and in the shape of flowers. They really went all out on the theme.
More penny tiles on the walls of this shower in a bathroom that had a river theme. The floor was rock tile. Although there were a lot of different tile types throughout, penny tiles seemed to take center stage. And last but not least, the sink and faucet from the mountain room:

Do you attend home shows? It's always a fun way to get ideas and inspiration for home designs!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Garden project!

Using what we already own, and buying very few things, I hope to turn our backyard into a nice space to spend our summer evenings. In my dream plan this would include installing a proper fence (proper meaning wood or vinyl, not the short chain link fencing we have now).

This is especially on my mind recently after a particular neighbor took it upon themselves to reach through our fence and kill off some grass we had growing in a empty space between our concrete pad and our fence. Not exactly the nicest thing to do, right? I think they thought they were being helpful, but honestly, I was shocked.

However, a proper fence is not in our budget, so at the very least, I want to get some of this bamboo fencing for that particular corner of the yard. It will keep nosy neighbors out, and hopefully block headlights from the other yard as well.

The concrete pad is my main concentration of effort this year. For awhile now it has been a bit of an eyesore, with a mishmash of items plopped on it as both a storage space and a makeshift patio. I intend to change that this year. At the very least, it should be tidy. At most I would love for it to function as useable space, even if it is in a very odd place in the yard.

Project "clean up the corner" is underway! What home projects are you working on?

Saturday, June 11, 2011

A room to dream about (and in)!

One thing that we don't love about our current home is the size of our bedroom. It's very small, only a queen bed will fit in it (with room to walk on the side that is, I suppose we could be wall to wall bed if we wanted to have a king sized bed). So of course I am always dreaming of dreamy bedrooms, and this bedroom is right up my alley!


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Make It: Pudding cookies!

Awhile back I was looking for a perfect "go to" recipe for chocolate chip cookies. Cooking in high altitude has always meant chocolate chip cookies that were either too flat or otherwise not quiet right. Then I came across this recipe for Vanilla Pudding Chocolate Chip Cookies and I have never looked back!

I just whipped up a batch last night to take with me to visit my sister in laws today. They all agreed, best cookies ever! For this batch I used 1 cup of Hershey's Milk Chocolate Chips and 1 cup of Hershey's White/Vanilla chips. It was a fun departure and added an entirely different flavor! I imagine that this cookie recipe would be a great base for all kinds of different chips!

What is your favorite kind of cookie?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Bookshelf Inspiration

One thing that is lacking in our home is a place for all of our books! I adore the way this bookshelf is built into an otherwise wasted space.


Monday, June 6, 2011

Late Start

Due to the extra wet and cold winter, everything is running behind in our garden this year. The flowers that are normally out already are just getting started. I'm not sure what this will mean for the food we planned to grow this year, but we are hoping for the best. Here are some of the flowers that are blooming right now:

What is growing in your garden?
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