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Spring Cleaning: Storage Favorites

19 Mar

It’s hard to believe the first day of Spring is tomorrow! Thank goodness because I’m over Winter!  I had planned on getting a jump-start on Spring Cleaning but have been sick on and off the last month.  While cooped up, I’ve searched for pieces of furniture to store their clothing in. Their current storage cabinet is falling apart. Some of my favorites include:

This is Dutch Amsterdam Storage Cabinet, $1,299  This house shaped storage cabinet is adorable!  It comes in twelve different colors and you can choose between three gable choices (bell, step, or neck) and which side the hinges go on.

Image from Babesta

Image from Babesta

Ikea Kallax:  The Expedit was one of my favorite purchases.  I have a unit in my living room.  It’s affordable and looks great.  Doors, drawers and bins are options to hide toys and clothing.  While searching, I learned the Kallax will replace my the Expedit and will be available on April 1.  It seems the Kallax will be similar to the Expedit so I’m hoping the drawer and cabinet options will be available too.

The Expedit, Image from Ikea.com

The Expedit, Image from Ikea.com

The Cube Storage System from Land Of Nod: I think I’m going to have to redo  my girls entire room after seeing how Land of Nod used the entire cube collection them all along one wall for the adorable look below!  Land of Nod also has many storage bin and basket choices to keep your things hidden for a cleaner look.

Image from Land Of Nod

Image from Land Of Nod

Circo Tower from Target, $129 Adds a bit of color and  adds extra storage for clothing, accessories, or toys without taking up too much space.

Image from Target.com

Image from Target.com

Bellini Jessica Lingerie Chest, $995: Simple and gorgeous!  Six drawers to keep your little one’s things organized!

Image from Bellini.com

Image from Bellini.com

What are your favorite storage solutions? Have you gotten a start on Spring Cleaning?

Disclaimer:  I did not receive compensation for this post.  All opinions are my own.

 

Jill Vegas: The School of Speed Decorating (A Four Week Online Course)

5 Sep

Image from SPEED DECORATING

It is an exciting time for Jill Vegas. Her book, SPEED DECORATING, sold out after hitting #1 on Amazon.com in decorating and is now in its 2nd printing (press release on The School of Speed Decorating). On September 17, she will launch The School of Speed Decorating.  The 4-week on-line course will include hot design tips, a weekly call to check in, instructional videos and worksheets.  Each week will cover a new room: Speed Kitchen, Speed Living Room, Speed Bedroom and Speed Bedroom.  Jill Vegas will teach the seven steps to decorating success, give practical and fun guidance, how to showcase your personal style within your rooms, and will give tips for transforming your home without spending a fortune (Speed Decorate).

Tips for Cleaning (something I feel like I am constantly doing) from Jill’s book Speed Decorating! Image from Amazon.com

In the four years I have lived in our building, very little has changed in my decor with the exception being my girls room because we had to reorganize to fit a bed.  I have been bored with my decor for some time and want my walls painted with something other than white.  I met Jill Vegas in April at a Momtrends Living Event at Exhale Spa.  Since, then I have wanted to re-decorate my apartment but haven’t known where to start with getting rid of the clutter accumulated over the years.  One of the most challenging aspects of decorating is to get organized than tackle the decorating plan (Jill Vegas). I am looking forward to seeing what Jill’s class has to offer.  To find out more about turning your home from frumpy to fabulous in a few weeks (press release) or to buy ($149) click here.

Some inspiration from Jill’sBook (Images from SPEED DECORATING):

Table Time

20 Feb

Image from toys-r-us.com, came with 2 matching chairs.

I purchased our Crayola activity table about a year ago on sale for $10, not a bad deal.  It has served us well from mealtime to painting projects to being the base for many of our cooking activities.  I am sad to say it is time to move on since chair has bitten the dust and the table has holes in the plastic top.  Living in NYC, our apartment is small and our “livingroom” is also our “diningroom” and our “playroom”, so I am searching for something to fit our decor and last more than a year.

The girls and I have been sick the past week so there has been some time to surf the web for new tables.  Some tables that I have my eyes on are:

Otto  Play Table by Bloom:I love the cappuccino color and the fact it has to sliding trays for storing art supplies.  It is a great design that would fit perfectly in our multi-purpose room.  I would also use it as a coffee table when the girls are asleep or when we have guests over, since the chairs nest with the table.  The only downfall is that it retails for $450, a little more than I would like to spend for a kids table but it is beautiful.

Image from bloombaby.com

Chalk Table by P’kolino: Great table for arts and crafts.  At mealtime. store your crafts and art supplies in the center storage area, flip the chalkboard over, and you have a fully functioning table to eat at.  Although it looks more for a playroom and all of our furniture is dark wood, I still love the all white and the price, $90, is better looking than $450.

Image from P'Kolino.com

Espresso Here, There, Anywhere Play Table from The Land of Nod: I love this table.  It looks like our table and chairs.  I also love that you can easily add more chairs for friends.  The only downfall is there is no storage, which for us is a big feature.  The table retails for $119 with the option to mix and match chairs, sold separately, in a variety of colors and styles starting at $69 (see The Land of Nod for more options).  My favorite are the storage chairs, $75 each.

Image from TheLandofNod.com

Image of storage chairs from TheLandofNod.com

So many decisions to make to make our apartment look more like a home and less like a playroom.  I’m still looking but these are my favorites so far.  Any other suggestions?

Disclaimer:  I did not receive compensation for this post.  All opinions expressed are my own.  

A “House of Love”

13 Feb

A month ago I was at our local Barnes and Noble and came across the Dancing Deer Gingerbread Cookie House Kit on sale.  We never got around to making a house over the holidays so decided to get it to decorate a “House of Love” for Valentine’s Day.  We finally got around to making it over the weekend while we were visiting my parents. We followed the directions from the kit, which the mold of the house is the box, which we frosted with the icing mix which came with the kit.  I prepared the icing before and had to ice the house one side at a time to keep it from hardening.  The icing dried faster than I expected, luckily my mom was there to add water for me. We opted not to use the cookies for the roof and used candy hearts instead.  To decorate the rest of the house we used valentine’s m&m’s, candy corn, heart gummies and twizzlers. Maddie had a great time decorating and Pela had a great time sneaking candy. The house is a great table top decoration for a Valentine’s dinner or party.  If you have a gingerbread house* mold or graham crackers* for a smaller one, it would be a great Valentine’s day activity.  You will also need Royal Icing* and your favorite Valentine’s candy.  * I have not tried these recipes.

Using leftover Valentine Funfetti frosting to make ginger girls!

Caught sneaking candy!

Out Creating Designs: Sugar Scrub and More

31 Jan

My super creative and talented cousin recently started blogging.  Her blog, Out Creating Designs, focuses on ideas for design from refinishing furniture she finds at local antique stores to creating signs for the home all while being a mom to five kids. She recently moved to Raleigh, N.C. and has a space at Suzanna’s Antiques to sell her pieces.  She has made so many wonderful things for my girls and is always giving new ideas to include on my blog.

An adorable sign she made for my baby shower and Maddie's room.

The other day she told me about edible hand and foot sugar scrubs she has made with her kids.   She has made scrubs in Vanilla, Lemon and is working on a Brown Sugar Chocolate scrub. They would make a perfect gift for a Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day.  I am going to make some with the girls to give with the ring holders for wedding gifts for my friends.  Keep checking her blog for the perfect sugar scrub recipe.   I can’t wait to make them.

Sneak peak from Out Creating Designs, check out her site for more amazing pieces for the home:

Her talent goes beyond the home and furnishings, check out the amazing Tutu’s and shirts she has made for the girls:

Crafty Cards

9 Dec

Every year we get so many adorable holiday cards from friends and family and I never know the best way to display them.  Last year, I tapped them to the window and as soon as it got colder the tape came off ; leaving all the cards piled up on the windowsill until the holidays were over.  Maddie  loved taking her friends cards from the pile throughout the day and would always want to take a few to bed with her.  Needless, to say I would find them all over the place and had to pick them up every night and put them back into a pile on the window sill,   This year I decided to incorporate our cards into our decorations.

The Girls' Room

I was on Babble the other day and saw the post on 15 Ways to Display YOUR Holiday Cards.   I loved the idea of using clothespins and string but I wanted to give a little holiday spirit.   The past couple days have been rainy and nasty out so I needed something to do with the girls, mostly to keep Maddie busy during Pela’s nap. I decided it would be fun to turn our clothespins into Santa, Reindeer, Candy Canes, a Christmas tree and anything else Maddie wanted to do with her clothespins. When Pela was awake she was able to help color clothespins and pass materials to Maddie.  We had a lot of fun working on them together and will make more as we receive more cards.

"Elf" decided to join our friends last night

This is adaptable, your child can decorate your pins any way they like don’t necessarily have to do a holiday theme.   It is fun to let your child’s creative mind be put to work.  I plan on letting Maddie decorate non-holiday clothespins to hang pictures and artwork in her room.

A few of our holiday pins

Here is how we did our Holiday Clothes Pins:

Any activity with young children require adult supervision at all times.  We used a hot glue gun so I made sure to discuss safety with Maddie before and I was the only one to use the gun.  Before she placed objects on I made sure the glue was not too hot for her.  You can also use a heavy craft glue.  I had the sign from a previous year and thought it would be cute for the ribbon to come out from it.  You can do yours with or without a sign in the middle.  A wreath would also be great for the center.

What you need:

  • Assorted colored pipe cleaners (We used a mixed variety of sparkle, basic colors and holiday colors)
  • Crayons
  • Google eyes
  • Small Pom- Poms (we used black and red)
  • Medium White Pom- Poms or Cotton Balls
  • Assorted colored glitter glue (we used red, green, gold, silver and white)
  • Star stickers
  • Heavy Craft Glue or Glue Gun
  • Ribbon (we used thin red and green above our table and white in the girls room)
  • White Thumb Tacks

Reindeer:

Color clothespin Brown

Antlers: Cut gold sparkle pipecleaner, 1 long, 2 short- Fold longer one in U shape and  twist shorter one around each side.

Eyes: 2 google eyes

Nose: small black or Red pom- pom

Mouth: Glitter Glue

Santa:

Color clothes pin red, leaving a small area 3/4 of the way up, blank for Santa’s face.

Beard: White Glitter Glue

2 google eyes

Nose: small red pom- pom

Ball on hat: cut small piece of white pipecleaner

Candycane:

Color clothespin red

Twist red and white pipecleaner toegether, shape into small J and cut desired length

or use Red and White glitter glue and draw stripes

Snowman:

Color clothespin white

Body: 3 large white pom-poms

Buttons: 3 small black pom- poms

Nose: Cut off small piece of orange pipecleaner

2 Google Eyes

Mouth: gold glitter glue

Hat:  Shaped pipecleaner (use any color you prefer)

Scarf: Ribbon folded in 1/2 and glued together, use any color

Christmas Tree:

Color clothespin green

Use glitter glue for “lights”

Place a star sticker on top

Once you create your clothespin friends, string ribbon on wall and clip clothespins on and hang cards.

HAPPY CRAFTING!

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