Make it Monday: How to improve your curb appeal with only $50

Make it Monday: How to improve your curb appeal with only $50

Our house looked like this:

Pardon the snow pictures; since my server crashed earlier this year, I’ve lost many of my pictures.

Not bad, but this eyesore wasn’t doing a thing for our home’s facade.

Our garage door was big, white and booorrrring. I’ve been crushing on Coach house garage doors since forever, but because they run in the upwards of $2,000, they aren’t exactly in the budget right now.

pella carriage house door

Lowes

As usual, I decided to get creative. I had an Amazon gift card to burn, and I’ve looked at these several times.

AntiqueSmith Magnetic Decorative Faux Hinges- $18.88

And these magnetic “window panes.”

Magnetic Garage Door Window, Decorative Black Window Decals for Two Car Garage, $29.99

I promptly ordered them and, thanks to Amazon Prime, I received them two days later.  All pieces were 100% magnetic, so if you make a mistake, or like me, can’t seem to get your “window panes” straight, you just pick them up and move them…no nail/screw holes, and no damage 🙂

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It took me about 30 minutes to put them all on the door. I would recommend having a “spotter” to stand back and help you determine if you’re putting your “windows” on straight. Other than that, these things are easy-peasy to install.

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I texted a picture to all my family when we were finished and several of them asked when we got a new door.

Doesn’t our house look so much better?

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Let’s see that before and after:

before:

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after:

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Isn’t that a thousand times better? It’s amazing what just a simple, $50 change can do for your home.

Join us this week for the following features:

Wednesday: a super cute study space

Friday: Farmhouse Friday: Repurposed and recycled decor

Saturday: Simplify Saturday:  Your paper clutter problems solved!

Sunday: Resources for family daily devotions

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Summer 2018: a recap

Goodness gracious, what a short summer! While our summer wasn’t super busy, we did do a lot and we made some pretty awesome memories to show for it.

Our summer got off to a late start, due to all the snow days and having to add teacher workdays to the end of our school year.

We went on vacation to the mountains…twice.

We visited my grandmother and rode the train at the park.

We enjoyed my aunt and uncle’s fire pit and roasted some marshmallows.

Both girls enrolled in a six week gymnastics class…Emorie began her fourth year of gymnastics, and Aubrey began her first.

Both girls went to Vacation Bible School at our church and loved it!!

Emorie celebrated her seventh birthday and went to cheer camp at our local high school.

We spent tons of time at the playground.

And even more time in the pool.

We spent time at the local YMCA splash pad, too

Emorie began to learn to play the piano, prompting us to add a piano to our home.

Our garden flourished for most of the summer, and we enjoyed many delicious veggies from it.

We traveled to WV for the day to celebrate my grandpa’s cousin’s 90th birthday AND 70th wedding anniversary.

Aubrey engaged in a lot of mischief…

We remodeled one of our bathrooms.

And lastly, we sent this newly minted second grader off to school, and I took some of my favorite pictures EVER of my girls.

I will be returning to school next week. Stay tuned: changes are on the horizon for Organized and Simplified.

Have a wonderful,blessed school year.

First day of school…and a super cute photo idea

First day of school…and a super cute photo idea

BACK TO SCHOOL

So, today, we celebrated a “first” in our house. It’s a first that comes around once a year…or twice, if you consider the fact that my daughter doesn’t attend school in the district where I teach. Yep, you guessed it. Today was my oldest daughter’s first day of school.

If you follow me on Instagram, you have probably already seen our newly minted second grader with her “back to school” sign and toothless grin.

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Most of us already take a “first day” photo of our kids, and some of us even create a sign or use a prop…

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…and some of us even take a picture at the school, or in front of the school sign.

But what do you do when your school child’s almost three year old little sibling feels left out? Make them a sign, too, of course!

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Little Miss was tickled pink to be a part of the photo-festivities…and we got some super cute shots to use in her yearbook someday.  Her sign reads, “I’ll be here in three years!” Due to her late fall birthday, she’ll start school the fall AFTER she turns five, meaning she’ll turn six during her kindergarten year.

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We even sneaked back over to the school once the traffic died down a bit to take these cute pics in front of the school buses.

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It’s rare that I get a photo of the two of them where Aubrey is cooperating. Even though these two engage in a whole lot of sisterly spats, it’s clear from these pics that they really do love one another.

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And that makes my heart smile.

I hope you all have a wonderful school year, even those of you who (like me) haven’t started back to school yet.

Have a wonderful week, and join us tomorrow for some more “back to school” goodness.

Make it Monday: DIY Farmhouse Sign

Make it Monday: DIY Farmhouse Sign

DIY Farmhouse Sign

This week, my daughter and I were trying to think of the perfect sign to hang behind our piano. I knew I wanted something “music-themed” and I wanted to try to make something. We went through our scrap wood pile and found this:

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We measured it around another long, thin board we found and painted the back board white.

 

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We then pulled the framing pieces off and cut them to the correct size. I chose to make it easier on us and not miter them. We then stained the framing pieces.

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We reattached the framing pieces.

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When we were thinking of something to put on the sign, we decided on a quote from one of our favorite hymns, “How Great Thou Art.” We quickly created a stencil on our Silhouette Cameo.

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We cut out the stencil and placed it on the sign. We then traced the stencil.

And then we filled in the traced stencil.

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We then attached D-ring hanging hardware to the back of the frame and called it finished.

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I was really pleased with how this turned out. I can’t wait to get our family room painted so we can hang it up! I’ll surely show it to you when we do.

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Have a wonderful week! Join us again Wednesday for a look at our newly organized bathroom vanity.

Sunday Musings: Philippians 4:8

Sunday Musings: Philippians 4:8

As we are preparing to return to school, there are so many things on my mind. We observe “back to school” in two ways in our home. Our oldest daughter is going in to second grade, and I am a teacher. We do the typical “first day of school picture” each year, but we do some other things too.

We talk about how we need to behave and how, as Christians, we need to treat others. As my daughter gets older, I want to make sure she understands that how we act, and how we treat others aren’t the only important things- we also need to pay attention to what fills our thoughts and what we listen to or watch on TV. I had a teacher several years ago who told me she used to keep her mind clean by reading Philippians 4:8 each morning before school.

 

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There are so many things we give our time and our attention to that aren’t Godly. I recently went to church with my grandmother, and her pastor preached on guarding your heart. He talked about how listening to or watching unGodly things invites things into our minds and hearts. He also talked about how we are accountable for what our kids are exposed to, and how it’s important to guard their hearts as well.

I want to teach my child to memorize this verse and carry it with her as a reminder to think only on those things that please the Lord.  When we keep our minds and hearts pure, others can see the difference in us as well. This is what I want for myself and my kids this school year- to radiate the love of God.

I plan to print off this Bible verse and hang it on our fridge, or somewhere where we will see it each day and be reminded.

I wish everyone a happy and healthy school year. May you learn much and make many new friends.

Back to school: 5 ways to be more organized this year

Back to school: 5 ways to be more organized this year

I blinked in June and suddenly, it was August. I’m not sure where summer went, but wherever it went, it left quickly. My oldest daughter starts school next week. The school supplies have been purchased and the school clothes have already been washed and put away. But what else can we busy Mamas do to ensure we are all better organized for the coming school year?

1. Plan ahead

Plan out outfits, meals, and even lunches. Prepare ahead of time as much as possible. Make lists of everything you need to do and buy in the coming week and review it often. The better prepared you are, the better you will handle those unforeseen circumstances that pop up and stress us out.

2. Write everything down

You can’t remember everything and you don’t have to try. The minute you hear about a meeting or event, write it down. Don’t give yourself the opportunity to forget it. The other step is to refer back to your calendar at least weekly to see what’s coming up.

3. Do a “back to school” dry run

Wake up early one morning before school starts and drive to the school at regular time. This will help you become familiar with the traffic patterns, the route, and will help you anticipate any hazards or obstacles that may make you late. Of course, there will still be unforeseen things from time to time, but having driven the route once before helps put your mind at ease.

4. Set up a logical routine and stick to it

Does homework come with tears and tantrums in your house? Having a set “after school routine” can take some of the fuss away. Set the expectation early in the school year that homework is done as soon as you walk in the door and stick to it. I always tell my daughter that it I better to get homework out of the way first thing and then you no longer have to worry about it. Having set morning routines can also eliminate some of the morning rush as well.

5. Wake up earlier than you think you need to

Who likes being in a hurry? Not I. When I’m hurried, I get stressed and I end up forgetting things. Which stresses me out even more. Waking up earlier allows you more time but also allows you time to eat breakfast. Studies have shown eating breakfast improves brain function and helps sharpen your focus. It’s hard to concentrate on anything when your stomach is growling!!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and a fabulous first day of school.

An organized craft cabinet

An organized craft cabinet

I bet you’re thinking, “Well, that picture doesn’t look very organized.” You’re right. That is the before picture. Now that I’ve got your attention, let me tell you how a sheet of pegboard, some bins and baskets, some lumber, and some spice racks totally changed my creative space.

I keep my craft supplies in a tall TV cabinet that I bought on Craigslist for $100. I have for a long time wanted a Workbox, but at almost $2,000 a pop, I just can’t justify the expense.

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Source

So I make do with my $100 Craigslist special. I love this cabinet, as it just looks like a piece of furniture in my office…but I didn’t love how chaotic and disorganized it was.

I really didn’t love it the night I opened the cabinet and a can of stain fell on my foot. 😡

And the cabinets on the bottom?

They weren’t too bad, but not too great, either.

Just like a lot of things in our house, the craft cabinet started off great but then fell into disorder. Boo.

I decided even if I can’t have a Workbox, I can borrow some of the ideas I like from it. One of those was storage in the door. I’d already attempted this, but not too well.

I immediately decided pegboard would be a cheap and easy way to do this. I bought pegboard, a set of pegboard baskets, a set of plastic pegboard bins, and some plastic pegboard hooks.

I knew I’d have to mount the pegboard on 1x4s to keep the screws from going through the outside of the cabinet. Luckily, I had some left over from a recent project.

I added pegboard to both cabinet doors and painted it white.

I then added our bins, baskets and hooks. I hung up washi tape and ribbon using dowel rods. I repurposed those spice racks I had used before.

I also added a shelf inside the actual cabinet.

I already had the boxes and bins.

Let’s take a look at that before and after once more, shall we?

Before:

After:

It’s not perfect and it could still improve, but at least my toes are safe from wayward cans of wood stain.

Comment below and show me your creative spaces!! And have a great weekend.