Hiding a Chore Chart without a Pantry Door


Our house does not have a pantry. It’s sad, but I have learned to live with it. It’s actually nice, because I can’t fill my house with a bunch of extra “stuff,” because I just don’t have the space. My dream house will have a walk-in pantry and it will be beautiful… I digress… but I really do wish I had a pantry door!! You know, to hang calendars and notes and chore charts without cluttering the walls or refrigerator?

When I bought my daughter a chore chart a month ago, I knew I needed somewhere to display it. Somewhere the entire family could access it and manage it on the main floor. But it also had to be within a 5-year-old’s reach. And it had to be hidden.

But we don’t have a pantry.

Jan 6-2

No pantry. No problem.

I decided the best place to conceal the chart was inside a cabinet door. It’s easily accessible for my daughter and anyone in the family can check on it without any trouble.

The best part is no one has to see it!!

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I have a slight obsession with Command hanging strips. Despite their slight cost, they are incredibly easy to use… and I use them on just about everything!!



I didn’t want to ruin the cabinets, yet I wanted the chart to stay securely fastened… not bounce all over the place each time someone opened or closed the cabinet door. So I added 3 strips to the top panel [pictured] and 3 strips to the bottom panel.

Peel, stick, press. Easy peasy.

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And voila! The successful concealment of a chore chart without a pantry door.

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What has this inspired you to hang inside your kitchen cabinets?

A pretty little update

I have always loved my daughter’s dresser; it’s clean, simple, and works great in the space. But I decided it was time for a pretty little update!

Jan 4-2

The easiest and cheapest way to update her dresser, for me, was to change out the drawer hardware.

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I found these pretty little gems (no pun intended) and got to work. The knobs came with 3 different sized screws, to accommodate various sized drawer fronts. But they all left me feeling a bit like Goldilocks. They were either too long or too short. Not one was just right.

I admit, I started to panic for a minute. I even contemplated leaving the knobs loose… you know, like that’s how they’re supposed to be. Like I was starting some kind of new design trend that would surely catch on…

Jan 4-17

After a few deep breaths and a little intuitive thinking, I ran out to the garage and found a collection of nuts and bolts. I was really looking for some washers to help fill the small gap that existed, but the nuts actually worked out perfectly! And this little handheld screwdriver was the only tool I needed for this job.

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I’m really pleased with the way it all turned out. For just $15, I was able to transform and update her space!

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Ahh… so pretty… so sparkly.

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So there you have it! A pretty little update that took $15 and 30 minutes to complete! That’s my kind of project.

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And I couldn’t forget to update her bedside table!!

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What spaces in your home could use a pretty little update?

One Nursery Gallery Wall

I have a slight obsession with gallery walls. I love the organic creativity that they provide. I have one in every room in the house, so naturally, I put one in the nursery, too.

I placed this gallery above the dresser/changing table. I usually lay out my gallery on the floor first, play with the arrangement until I’m happy and then transfer it to the wall. I always find the center of the entire gallery and hang the center at 61-62″ on the wall. That way, all of my pictures and galleries in the house are roughly the same height… which is eye level for most people.

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The antlers are from Hobby Lobby (used a 40% off coupon), the brown frame is something I had and the small white frame is from IKEA.

I am OBSESSED with this “adventuring” watercolor print, found here. Since it was a free printable, I was able to just print it from my home computer! And I did the same for the feather printables I found here.


The bear printables I added for my daughter. We spent a week in Yosemite last fall and saw, on average, at least one bear a day! Lucky for me, I found these adorable bear printables here. The white frames are from Christmas Tree Shops… other than IKEA, this is my favorite place to buy white frames.

(The unfinished wood disc, also from Hobby Lobby, is a little craft project I am working on this week.)


The random mirror is not part of the gallery wall… I had this same mirror next to my daughter’s changing table and she just loved looking at herself during her first year. It definitely made diaper changing a little easier! Although it doesn’t exactly “match” with the gallery, it does serve a functional purpose for now! I hung it with some Command strips, so I can easily take it down when we don’t need it anymore.

IKEA Hack — Nursery Dresser

For my first pregnancy, we didn’t buy a dresser, just a changing table. But this time around, I decided I wanted a dresser for this bambino. And I knew I wanted something similar to the nursery design style of Sherry and John from Young House Love… so I piggy-backed off their design and used it as my inspiration.

My only concern was our current crib. It’s a dark finish, and I worried it wasn’t going to jive with my overall vision… I REALLY wanted to buy a new crib… but that would’ve have been silly, not to mention a complete waste of money. So I knew I had to work with what I had.

The solution to stain the top of the dresser to coordinate with the crib was genius. I loved the idea of painting and staining a dresser to match the room colors. So, I started with this TARVA dresser from IKEA. This dresser made the most sense to me, practicality-wise and size-wise, because it would provide ample storage and act as a changing table, but still fit with the casual, modern style.

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I don’t have pictures of my painting/staining process, but I basically followed what John and Sherry did. I’ll be honest, though; I’m a lazy painter/stainer. So the easier I can make a project and the less steps involved, the better.

A few things I did differently:

1. I did not cover all the pine knots. I just applied two coats of Sherwin Williams Multi Purpose Latex Primer/Sealer. It covered the knots perfectly. And hopefully it will stay that way!

But I did use the Benjamin Moore Advance paint, which was amazing to work with.

2. I used my favorite wipe-on polyurethane, MinWax Wipe-On Poly in clear satin. It goes on super smooth and levels beautifully. Plus, I don’t have to worry about leaving brush marks… I just put on some gloves and wiped it on with a lint-free cloth. Boom. Done.

I LOVE how it all turned out. The dresser and crib now complement each other without adding another large piece of dark furniture that would make the room feel heavy and full.

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And I’m not offended by the crib anymore. It fits with the design and overall feel of the room. It  feels masculine, yet light and bright. The darkness of the wood pops against the light walls.

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This dresser came with unfinished wood drawer pulls… I tried to save some money by spray painting them with an oil-rubbed bronze spray paint, but let’s just chalk that one up to a good idea gone wrong… so I found these pulls on Amazon… I really wanted to add something more decorative, something like this or this, but as I priced them out, I would’ve spent just as much on the hardware as I had on the dresser itself! So Amazon to the rescue.


This is why I wanted a dresser. I wanted to be better organized with this baby. I love having a drawer dedicated to specific items. Like diapers and wipes, burp cloths, swaddles, blankets, onesies… and I don’t have to see any of it!!

And as a side-note, I LOVE these IKEA dresser bins. I have them in my daughter’s dresser, too. They really do help keep everything organized… so I bought 2 sets for this dresser!!

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I already have another IKEA hack planned for our Master bedroom! Anyone else tackle an IKEA hack? How did it go??

Baby Boy’s Mobile

Wow… it’s been awhile… jumping right back in!!

So, for past few weeks, I’ve been decorating baby boy’s nursery. As soon as I found out we were having a boy, I was scrolling through Pinterest for nursery inspiration. I knew I wanted something different, and for whatever reason, a woodland theme just felt right.

I have been planning this mobile since November! I can’t believe I put so much thought into such a small item… I didn’t even put up a mobile when my daughter was born…

Of course I looked at premade/handmade mobiles on Etsy and store-bought mobiles from Land of Nod, Babies R Us, etc., but nothing really excited me… and the prices were all a bit more than I thought were reasonable for a mobile.

So I was determined to make my own. I knew I wanted woodland animals, but for the life of me, couldn’t find the “right” ones. Then one day, it hit me. Christmas ornaments! But the more I looked, the more expensive the mobile became… woodland animal ornaments are expensive!! I had to come up with a different idea.

Not sure how, but I stumbled across an Etsy shop that sold these simple animal cutouts. I ordered a set of 5 for $12.25. And they were perfect.

The animals came unfinished, and I loved that about them. So simple. And kept very well with my “natural” theme.


The bison (not sure that qualifies as a “woodland animal,” but it works), was the only animal in a darker wood color… so I decided to stain the bear to “match.” I didn’t get the exact color, but it’s close enough, and makes the mobile more “even” with 3 in the pine and 2 in the dark stain.


I bought a 10″ embroidery hoop on Amazon and just took out the inner hoop. I stained it to match the 2 darker animals.

*I didn’t photograph the staining process. But, I literally just dunked the bear in the stain like an Oreo cookie and let it sit for about 20 minutes… then wiped it off. For the hoop, I just used a small foam brush to brush on the stain and let it sit for about 20 minutes… then wiped it off.


I chose Minwax wood stain in Dark Walnut. I have had this can of stain for what seems like years. I have used it on many projects around the house, so I knew it would match well. Plus, I used it to stain the top of the baby’s dresser, so it was definitely going to coordinate well in the room!


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Lucky for me, I have a tall guy that can measure and install my “hook” for hanging the mobile above the crib.

That tall guy also happens to be an avid fisherman, so he brought me up some fishing line from the basement, which I used to tie on the animals and hang the mobile.


And I am also lucky enough to have a small assistant who was willing to “test” the mobile for quality assurance purposes.

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It is such a wonderful feeling when a project you have envisioned comes together so beautifully; I just love how it turned out!!

Overall, I spent a total of $16.88.

Animal cutouts: $12.25
Embroidery hoop: $4.63
Stain: sitting in my garage
Fishing line: “borrowed” from the Hubs


Don’t ever call me, Doll

About a month ago, I was putting my 3-year-old to bed. As we cuddled for a minute, she looked up at me and said, “Mommy, you know what I want for my birthday? A stuffed you.” Now, any other parent would have immediately been either a) more than slightly confused, or b) completely creeped out. Lucky for me, I’m no ordinary parent.

If you know me, I have a slight addiction to Instagram. I follow many creatives and draw inspiration and creativity from each of them. Well, several months ago, I came across this Etsy shop, Duke & June. She makes the most AMAZING “Who’s Your Daddy” dolls I have ever seen… and I didn’t even know they were a thing!! Unfortunately, her shop is closed for the time being. Bummer.

Anyways, once my 3-year-old said she wanted a “stuffed me,” I knew exactly what to do for her. I checked the Duke & June shop one more time to see if she was taking orders, and she wasn’t. And time was ticking… her birthday is this Sunday… so I did what I always do when I need a little help. I googled.

Luckily, I found Ashley at Make It & Love It!! She made some similar dolls for her kids, but her dolls each looked like her kids. She posted the step by step tutorial here.

With an initial idea, and now a pattern, I was ready to start!!

Last week, was my favorite nephew’s 1st birthday party (I can call him my favorite, because he’s my only nephew!). And I had an epiphany and decided to make a practice Mommy and Daddy doll for him… mostly because I needed the practice… and because my brother-in-law would make for a very interesting doll!!

I’m pretty excited about how they turned out… I kinda love them… and almost didn’t give them away; I get pretty attached to my arts + crafts projects!! 😉

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It’s all in the details! These represent the camo crocs my brother-in-law is always wearing.

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Dave owns a landscaping/hardscaping business… and the guys wear Texas-orange t-shirts with his company logo.

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My sister-in-law was a little easier! But she turned out just as cute!! I love her eyelashes and peep-toe sandals.

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Next up… me and my husband! I can’t wait to share them with you!!


Bathroom remodel | vision board

The hubs and I have lived in our house for quite a few years and until recently, we’ve started remodeling spaces to meet our taste. I’m so glad that we have taken on projects slowly… if we had done some of our latest remodels 5 years ago, I shutter to think. My personal style has really developed over the recent years. And like they say, everything happens for a reason.

The other day, the hubs says, “I have a few days off coming up. Wanna remodel the hall bath?” When you hear something like that from MY husband, you don’t ask questions, you immediately start planning and capitalize on his interest!! So here I am, creating my bathroom vision board so that we can design a gorgeous new bathroom space. After researching design ideas and searching Pinterest, I am SO excited about this little project!!

My vision: White subway tiles with gray grout in the shower and tub area. White vanity with white/marble/light gray countertop. Gold fixtures would be my ultimate desire, but I really don’t think I can sell them to the hubs… but I have a polite persistence about me… so we’ll see about that concept. I can’t decide on flooring… I’m not sure what I like better…. I found some really great options, which I will share with you!

So here are a few of inspiration baths that are fueling my design choices:

Here’s the white subway tile that I love!! I do like the look of the dark floor here. I really don’t want a dark vanity, so I’m not sure the dark floors will work.

Bathroom 1

My white subway tile again, but look at that floor tile!! I am in love. It feels modern, yet vintage, and it’s white! With this option, I could paint the vanity a soft color, like this gorgeous soft mint cabinet. Plus, wouldn’t my god accents look divine in this space!?

Bathroom 2

White subway tile with the silver does look nice, too. So even if I don’t get my gold, I know it will still look beautiful and classic. And I really do love how the tile goes to the ceiling. It adds height to this space, which our bathroom could use. And now I kinda wish we had a window in our bathroom. Oh, and this floor.

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I came across this one… and I am kind of obsessed. The white subway tiles, gray grout, gold fixtures… but that dark blue, hexagon tile floor!? Are you kidding me!? This will be at the TOP of the flooring list… IF I can convince the hubs…

Bathroom 5

Here’s my white subway tile with gray grout. The blue, slate floor is lovely, but definitely cut way too big for our hall bath. But this image kept showing up in my Pinterest feed, so I thought maybe the design Gods were trying to tell me something! It does have the white and gold accents that I am drawn to… so that’s good.

Bathroom 6

I added this picture because I am obsessed with it. If you can do this in your house, I’m extremely jealous.

Bathroom 7

I’m definitely leaning towards a white vanity. The bathroom we have isn’t a large space, so I am afraid a dark vanity will take up too much visual space. Besides, I love the clean, modern look of the white cabinets.

Bathroom 8

This. Vanity. The white wood, the white marble and those GOLD details!! I’m loving it. And the white subway tiles with gray grout… although they won’t go on the vanity wall, WILL go in the shower and tub area. So it’s definitely keeping with my vision.

Bathroom 9

And I’m not one to push my luck… oh, who are we kidding, of course I am!! I may just try to finagle a brand new beautiful toilet like this one. I’m not sure that a person can have a design obsession with a toilet, but that’s what’s going on here.

Bathroom 10

All the images of the bathrooms above were found via Pinterest. You can find the original links on my Pinterest page.

Our Indiana adventure

A few days ago, we took a small, spontaneous trip to Madison, IN. It was a short and easy, 2-hour drive from our house. Since it was a last minute get-away, I was thankful for the short drive… because that meant we didn’t have to wake up at the crack of dawn to pack up the car!

The weather was overcast and a little humid, but beautiful along the Ohio Riverbank. Our first stop once we made it to Madison was lunch at the Red Pepper. In fact, Katelyn cried when we didn’t eat there again on Tuesday. Which is odd, because all she ate for lunch on Monday was the bag of Lays Potato chips that came with her PB+J.

After lunch we walked down to the river and spent a ton of time exploring the riverbank.

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Katelyn had an obsession with finding the biggest rocks she could carry! She would lift them up and throw them into the “lake,” as she referred to it.

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She also picked me a beautiful bouquet of flowers.

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Madison is a beautiful town, full of historic buildings, a gorgeous fountain and lovely architecture. It was simply beautiful. Katelyn ended up making a wish in the fountain, although there weren’t any coins in the fountain… so that’s either a good sign or a bad sign. I think we’ll take it as a good one!

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We wanted to get ice cream from an old-fashioned candy store, but it seemed to be closed, indefinitely. Luckily, the place next store was also an ice cream parlor!

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I think the highlight of Katelyn’s trip was when we walked in the Rock-A-Bye Lady. It was the cutest little boutique toy store. I was drawn in by this ADORABLE toy car garage playset. It was, of course, way out of my price range. Bummer. But as we were leaving, the lady behind the counter offered Katelyn some fairy dust. She sprinkled in Katelyn’s shoes and in her hair. I have no idea why I didn’t snap any pictures of the event… because I was holding my camera in my hands at the time!! But she did show off her freshly fairy dusted shoes as we left the shop. She was sure to hold her Daddy’s hand… so she didn’t fly away like Peter and Wendy.

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After walking the town, we checked into our room at the Clifty Inn. It was a quaint little hotel with beautiful views overlooking the Ohio River. We went on a couple different hikes around within the Clifty Falls State Park. We didn’t make the hike along the base of the falls, it wasn’t suggested to do with small children. Especially since Greg spent the majority of the hikes carrying Katelyn on his shoulders!!

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Katelyn took this picture, so I had to include it! 😉

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We had a great time on our mini-getaway. If you are close to Madison, IN, I definitely recommend spending a morning or afternoon in the city, and spending a quiet evening at the Clifty Inn (I forgot to mention the indoor pool, which Katelyn LOVED). The over-night vacation may become one of my favorites… I’m already thinking about where we can go next!

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So… it’s been awhile since my last blog post… I swear, every month I say I am going to do better, but then life happens and I don’t make posting a priority. June is a new month, so we’ll start fresh this week!! Maybe if I promise myself to post once or twice a week, I can manage the small steps.

After all, small steps are better than no steps.







Today the high temperature was -1. Let that sink in. The HIGH. I don’t think our heat pump has stopped running once today. It is cold!

With the snow day of 2014, we spent some quality time reading. Well, she read. I photographed. It was like watching a wild animal in its natural habitat. [Note: I was able to take photos of her openly, because I claimed to be photographing her stuffed animals.] Every once in awhile, she’d stop reading and make sure I was doing ok and that her dogs were sufficiently cared for.

She has had these books since she was a newborn. My grandmother in Texas sent them to her before she was born. And ever since she has been able to hold a book in her hand, she has carried this set everywhere. I like to think that she is connected to them because of an invisible bond she shares with her grandmother. Yes, that’s definitely it.

This girl continues to amaze me everyday. Before she started reading, she organized the books into color-coordinated piles. If this doesn’t prove that she’s my child…

I want to wrap my arms around this time and never let go. I want to remember her chubby little hands delicately turning the pages of her miniature books. I have many goals for 2014, and one of the biggest goals I have is to start collecting moments. Simple, everyday moments like these.