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Mudroom Update

18 Jul

The last time I showed you the mudroom and shared our plans for the room it was looking like this:

Here is what the mudroom is looking like now:

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Lots of progress and it is totally functional, but we still have a lot to finish including:

  • Make and install doors on the end cabinets
  • Add crown molding
  • Get baskets for the top cubbies (bottom ones will remain empty for easy access to shoes)
  • Get hooks— I’m thinking brass ones like this.
  • Install and stain the seat, made from 1x6s.
  • Paint the mudroom cabinets a medium gray color like Coventry Gray.
  • Paint back door a dark gray or black color like Wrought Iron.
  • Paint the rest of the room, probably a light gray like Gray Owl.

We’re hoping to have everything done in the next few weeks. Can’t wait!

Cutting the Clutter | KonMari Method

28 Jan

Have you heard of the KonMari method of de-cluttering and organizing? It is based off the book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Japanese tidying expert Marie Kondo. I read the book over the holidays and it has totally changed my mindset about the things I keep in my home. The two biggest lessons for me were 1) Only keep things that truly bring me joy, and 2) Get rid of the things that have served their purpose. Oh, and her folding method. That in itself is pretty life changing!

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After reading the book, I was able to purge about twenty 40-gallon trash bags of clothes and household items. It was about 50-75% of my clothing, several bags of kitchen items, Christmas decorations, and much more. Her advice is to take each item in your hands and ask yourself “Does this bring me joy?” So if it doesn’t fit correctly, or is broken, or you never really liked it or used it, it goes. If you are like me, you might have guilt getting rid of something that was a gift or that you have a sentimental tie to. Marie Kondo says in this instance that you need to thank the item for serving it’s purpose, and let it go. It sounds silly, but it actually works. For example, I was holding onto a dress I wore to my high school graduation. It has served its purpose A LONG TIME AGO. Bridesmaid dresses? They have served their purpose. Time to let go. Or a Christmas card from a family member? It served its purpose and brought me joy when I received it. Now I can discard it.

I wasn’t planning on blogging about this endeavor, so don’t have many photos, but here is a before/after of my dresser. As you can see it was overflowing with clothes, and I would have to dig to find what I was looking for. Don’t judge.

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After discarding and using the KonMari folding method, it now looks like this. Yes, that is bare space!

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IMG_1109The great thing about this folding method is that everything stands upright so you get to see all of your clothes at first glance. No digging around to find things, and nothing gets buried at the bottom that you never use.

Here’s a video of Marie Kondo demonstrating the method:

By purging and folding this way, it makes getting dressed in the morning a lot easier. I don’t have to stand there thinking about what I want to wear since everything in my closet and drawers I love and want to wear. I just grab and go.

I was worried I wouldn’t be able to keep up with the folding and revert back to my old ways, but it has been a month now, and they still look just as good as they did on the first day. I don’t think I will ever go back.

Another thing that helped me purge was choosing where I was going to donate my things beforehand. I chose a women’s charity and confirmed what items they accept and don’t accept. So then as I was going through everything, I thought of my items serving another family in need. Much better than not being used and cluttering up my house (and life).

Bottom line, I’m a big fan of the book and method and highly recommend it to everyone! Let me know if you have read it and what you thought.

Cute as a Button 1st Birthday Party

26 Feb

We celebrated Kate’s 1st birthday with a “Cute as a Button” themed party over the weekend. It turned out even better than I had hoped! Here’s a look at the decorations.

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The main feature was the streamer backdrop. At 15+ feet wide, it was a labor of love. To make it, I followed this tutorial and used about 16 rolls of streamers in peach, pink, ivory and seafoam green from PartyPro.com. The doily garland that drapes in front of the streamers is made from two different sized paper doilies that are folded over and glued onto twine. Hanging on the front of the table is a burlap bunting which we painted “one” on and added pink buttons on the side pieces.

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On the “sweets” table was two bunches of baby’s breath in light blue mason jars, a cardboard “K” decorated with glittery paper, a framed picture of Kate, some books, a candle, homemade pink chocolate-dipped marshmallows, strawberries and pretzels, plates, napkins (from Target), and grocery store bought cupcakes decorated with homemade candy buttons.

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The candy buttons I made using Wilton’s Candy Melt and this button candy mold. Everyone asked if they were real buttons.

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I made a tissue paper tassel garland for her high chair using this tutorial.

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Her smash cake I made using this tutorial. The rose decoration was surprisingly easy, you just make circles!

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I made this button garland by cutting out circles from scrapbook paper and punching out four holes in the middle. Then I strung twine through each of the holes and together.

IMG_5470We made far too many paper buttons, so I stuck them to the fridge, too.

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I also strung up her monthly photos above the fireplace using twine and clothespins.

IMG_5364For Kate’s special birthday outfit I purchased this gold glitter “one” onesie and this peachy-pink tutu and headband, all from Etsy. She looked so adorable.

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You can see the busy board that we made for her in that photo. It has all kinds of fun trinkets on it including a desk bell, a light switch, a door knocker, an LED tap light, a door stop, a door bell, a few different types of locks, and a couple other misc items. So far, the bell is the big draw. I also made her a personalized board book with photos of her family members like this one.

Here’s a closer look at the busy board.

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And lastly, here are the “Cute as a button” invitations that I ordered from Etsy.

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The party was a huge success and I am so sad it’s over. I loved planning and working on everything for my special girl. She’s not going to remember it, but I know I always will.

Home Goals: How We Did & Goals for 2015

10 Jan

2014 was a year of major changes at 12 Oaks, most of which were on the exterior of our home. I shared our goals for the year in this blog post and I’m happy to report we got most of them done! Here’s the checklist on how much we accomplished.

Our 2014 home goals were to:

1) Build deck out back. Done! You can read about the building of the deck here. It has since been stained and a pergola is in progress.

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2) Install retaining wall and landscape back yard. Retaining wall is complete and we did some landscaping. Still lots more to do though.

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3) Replace rotten trim and paint the house. Done! A major game changer. You can read about that here.

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4) Finish addition upstairs (master bathroom and closet). This is about 80% there and should be done by the end of January. I’ll have an update on it soon.

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5) Finish addition downstairs (powder room and laundry room). Done! You can read about both rooms here.

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6) Makeover the office/playroom, including a fireplace re-do. Didn’t get to this. We painted the fireplace but have since decided to cover it up since the room is going to be a playroom and it takes up too much room and is a hazard. This is at the top of our list for 2015 after the master bathroom/closet.

7) Blacktop driveway. Done! So nice. You can read about the driveway here.

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8) Relocate master bedroom. We should be in the new master by the end of the month. Can’t wait!

9) Update living room built-ins. No progress made unfortunately.

10) Build a dining room table from native New Zealand wood. Nope.

11) Build out basement storage. Done! Ben built out new shelving down there. It needs organizing again though….

Overall pretty good considering we were also raising an infant.

For 2015 our goals are to:

  1. Finish master bathroom and closet and move in to our new master.
  2. Build out a playroom, including adding a wall and covering up a fireplace.
  3. Build mudroom cabinets on the opposite side of the new playroom wall.
  4. Renovate the final bathroom upstairs.
  5. Add window boxes to the front of the house.
  6. Landscape back yard.
  7. Finish pergola on the back deck.
  8. Build a fire pit.
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