Saturday, February 25, 2012

Heart to Heart

Over the last 3 months I've been thinking about the blog and how I want to move forward with it. I was able to update the blog banners and background as well as add a few more links to my page. I originally wanted to keep transforming furniture from craigslist and thrift stores, but I have found that I have enough furniture for our home. I also have enough spray painted stuff to last a while. I have found that I am more minimalist than i realized. I am very much about less is more when it comes to stuff. So do I just do projects for the blog, but then what am I going to do with the items? I don't live in an area where the demographics can support a business of refurbishing furniture, or at least it would not be profitable enough for the time that would need to be invested.

 So I'm thinking I am going to focus more about living with less, simplifying, and leading a more intentional life. I still love to transform furniture and I do have a few items of furniture that could use a spruce up, but its just not at the top of the list just quite yet. My kitchen is also another big one, I thought I had the kitchen pretty much painted and just needed to screw the hardware back into the doors. Well, the top coat that I put on turned yellowish, so I now have a yellow shiny haze on my cabinets. Ugh! I think I am going to invest in some Benjamin Moore Aura paint that I have heard from other bloggers to be the best paint out there and you do not need a top coat for it and it can stand up to repeated scrubbing without paint transfer. That's my kind of paint!

I look forward to finishing up lingering projects so that I can post them on the blog. I have several projects that are ALMOST done, but I need to take the extra initiative to finish them for good, like my guest bedroom and what I've done in there. I'm also saving up to put new tile throughout our house, I'm hoping in the next few months that can be done.

I still love all things home and I appreciate all of my readers very much. Your comments make it worth taking the time to post about the things that I love. It always makes my day to see another person subscribe to my blog when I know there are so many other better and greater blogs out there. Thanks for hanging with me!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Pantry 911

 My pantry was ridiculously messy. The shelves are 30 inches deep (as compared to the typical 12-24 inches) so its one big black hole and we were literally just throwing things in there. It was driving me crazy. At first I was thinking about putting slide-out shelves in, but I decided the container option would be best. I don't have a before photo of the pantry but looking at the kitchen counters will give you an idea of all that had been thown in the "black hole"
 I love these containers. They are from Walmart and range from 5 to 7 dollars. And they are airtight!

I am loving the organization. I seriously just open the doors just to look at it sometimes. As well as labeling all of the containers, I also put labels on that showed the water ratio as well so I wouldn't forget on things like rice or instant potatoes. I also put the amount of minutes it would take to cook the various pastas. Even though it took a lot of containers, it was well worth the money in just seeing what I actually have in there! Long term that will save money from cooking from scratch and not buying ingredients that I already had!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Decorating with Nature

I love bringing nature inside to decorate with. There is something so warm and comforting about it. We made our traditional autumn trip up to Oak Glen and stopped by one of the nearby playgrounds to round up some acorns. There were a ton everywhere. After I got home I baked the acorns at 250 degrees for 2 hours to kill anything that might be lurking in them. I learned my lesson after last year. I bought both vases at the dollar store so it was a pretty cheap project.

(Disclaimer: I won't light the candles they are just for show)

Friday, October 28, 2011

Living Room Couches

I've been meaning to write this post for a while, but we finally got our new set of couches. I sold our brown sectional on craigslist for $250. I didn't have a new set yet, so for several weeks I combed several different areas of craigslist. (My husband said next time we buy the new couches or furniture BEFORE getting selling the old.)

It seriously took several weeks of looking. Hours. My dream couches were the Pottery Barn Basic, but full price they were $1500. Each. So I looked at tons of slipcovered sofas hoping something would fit the bill. Long story short, I found these sofas on a craigslist listing for $700 dollars. They are from JCPenney, and they look exactly like the PB Basic. After doing some research I realized that the couches were made to the same quality as the PB ones. Perfect!

I called the lady and offered $600, and she actually took it! They were brand new, the loveseat still had the plastic wrapping on it. She had moved into a small condo and realized that the couches were too dark for the space so she went to ZGallerie and found another one. She gave me the receipt, she had just paid over $2000 for them a month and a half before.

Another plus? Down the road if we want new slipcovers they are HALF the price as Pottery Barn. And I've seen them on ebay for less than half the price as retail. Needless to say I am thrilled with the couches. So... with the 250 dollars of the sectional and the 600 dollar price tag, I just got a new pair of $2000 couches for the frugal price of $350 total out of pocket. This is why I LOVE craigslist, and why its worth HOURS of looking.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

New Closet Floor for the Boys

My boys got a new closet floor in their room. We were not expecting to do this project, but take a lesson learned from me: DO NOT STICK WET GOODS IN A CLOSET! I had a #10 can of peaches on the floor as well as some other food storage items. Well, turns out that the can got botulism and exploded in the closet. Except...we didn't know for a couple of months. None got on the boys clothes, but seeped out and oozed over the other dry goods that were in there for food storage. So, goodbye carpet in the closet and goodbye to the closet doors! (Syrup from the peaches oozed out onto the track, so we pitched them as well since I want to eventually put bifold doors on)
So here is the closet in its "raw" form after the floor being thoroughly bleached. The kids slept in their brother's room for a week.
I was able to get these vinyl squares on clearance at Lowe's for 44 cents each. Super cheap, and they have the glue on the back already.
I used a ruler and then scored the plastic with a razor blade so that the desired piece would snap off.
And voila, the finished product.

5 minute fall wreaths

I was reading my list of blogs in my Google Reader when Allison from House of Hepworths posted 36 Inspiring Wreaths for halloween and fall. I have had two grapevine wreaths in my garage gathering dust, and I saw some beautiful grapevine wreaths on Allison's blog!

I grabbed my wreaths and hot glue gun and in less than 5 minutes I had a completed wreath! I pulled the stalks off of the fake flowers, then took a bunch of hot glue and attached them to my wreath.
Loving my new wreath! For the wreath that inspired mine, click here. She did a great job on hers and I loved her tutorial!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Miscellaneous Craft Storage

I have various kinds of craft stuff - candles, jute and sisal rope, rock vase filler, painters tape, magnets, my little glue gun, foam craft brushes-and the list goes on and on. I decided to use a shoe organizer and put this on the back of the door in my office. It's so nice to have all the miscellaneous stuff corralled into one space.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Organizing Kids Art Supplies

I have been having a blast on my newest addiction - Pinterest! I came across a great solution for coralling kids art supplies into one area. Here it is!

Photo courtesy of
I thought this was genius. I have tons of colored pencils, a boatload of crayons and other misc art supplies. The cover is called a bucket jockey. You can find them over by the tool belts at your Home Depot/Lowes - I got mine at Lowes for 10 bucks. I also got a 3.5 gallon bucket instead of the traditional 5 gallon bucket because I wanted to put it on a shelf. The covers work for both sizes. I love also being able to put the various crayon books and cardstock as well in the bucket. My kids love it!

For the original post from click here. If you would like to follow me on Pinterest or are curious what Pinterest is, click here.

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Mystery of CFL Bulbs

I have finally found the right CFL Bulbs for my ceiling fans after 4 years of looking. They now have them in dimmable - perfect for the ceiling fans! (regular CFL's dont work in ceiling fans) 4 years ago when we first moved into this house I knew we would have a lot of lights, and I knew it would be most sensible to change a lot of the bulbs to CFL.

But I hate the cold light that they emanate! I've been a big fan of the reveal bulbs until now. I actually took Every.Different.Kind of CFL lightbulb and tried them in the house when we moved in - Daylight, cool white, etc. And they were all too cold looking. But I have finally found one with "warm" light - its SOFT WHITE. I put them in my lamps and they actually emanate a warm light! I'm sure I tried soft white 4 yrs ago, but its so much better now!

So save yourself all the hassle that I went through - SOFT WHITE. You can find the dimmable bulbs at your local Lowe's for 5.98 (although they do sell a name brand one for 14 dollars each - ouch). The other nice thing is that in the living spaces we were able to put two 100watt CFL bulbs in, the limit for ceiling fans is 60watt, so it definitely brightened up the space in our living areas as well as the bedrooms.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Scrapbooking Paper Chore Charts

I hope you all have had a great summer! My kids went back to school today so I'm looking forward to blogging more and working on some projects. It was an eventful summer, my oldest son spent most of his summer in a cast up to his armpit when he broke his arm the day before 4th of July. Completely snapped off both bones in his forearm. Guess he won't be showing off on the swings anymore. :) Needless to say we've had our good share of follow-up appointments with the orthopedic surgeon. He gets the cast off hopefully in 2 more weeks. We also took a trip up to Fresno to visit family and spent 2 weeks in San Diego. I did these chore charts just in time for school to start.

I wanted to use clipboards for some chore charts, but they were all so bland and boring. I wanted something with some pattern. I picked up the clipboards at Office Depot; they came in a 3 pack for $4.99.

I have a stash (like we all do) of 12x12 scrapbook paper. I cut it to size and then took the remnants to fill in the top of the clipboard.
Then I used mod podge on the face of the clipboard and then I brushed it on the top of the paper as well. I chose the polka dots for my 2 younger boys, and my oldest chose the Christmas paper - not what I expected him to pick but hey, its his clipboard.

I hung them up with just a nail, plus I wrote their names on the metal with a sharpie. They get to use those multi-color foil stars that we all had growing up. I found them at the Dollar Tree- not bad for almost 400 stickers.

Here's more of a close-up of their chore chart. I know its hard to see, but I'll name the chores from top to bottom: Make Bed, Dirty Clothes in Hamper, Morning Prayers, Comb Hair, Brush Teeth AM, Light off before school, 30 min Reading, Homework Done, Daily chore: Trash or Dishwasher, Brush teeth PM, Toys put away Before Bedtime, and Prayers before Bed. Along the top is a square for all 7 days of the week.

I created it in Excel, if you want a copy of it so you can personalize your chores as well, send me an email at I'll email you the document. :)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Funky Furniture on Craigslist

As I continue my search for a couch and loveseat for my living room, these photos caught my eye and I couldn't resist sharing them. There is definitely something for every style!

They entitled this chair shabby chic, but the first thing that comes to mind is the

Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland.
They're leather... wow. Never seen anything like it before!

This couch is made from real quilts.

And...another couch if you're going for the quilted look.


More Bad Craigslist Photos

Time and time again craiglist cracks me up. I just sold my sectional in my living room on craigslist and I have been browsing several area craigslist sites here in Southern California looking for a couch and loveseat. I love furniture swapping on craigslist!Um....yeah. Would of only taken a second to jump out of the photo!

In the bookcase description it said "As you can see it holds a lot of stuff."

This listing was entitled a "high class sofa" for $200

Not only can you not only see the couch they are trying to sell....well,

you can't see their faces either.

I don't think I would have taken this couch even if it were free.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

How NOT to sell your furniture on craigslist

As an avid craigslist fan, I have come across some pretty interesting photos - some that make me laugh (like the lady that was selling a "One night stand" with a photo of her bed as well as the nightstand she had listed) and some listings that I look and go "Are you serious?!" I had been looking for a futon for the guest room and also for a bookcase.

Blurry pics and bad lighting... Plus, if you're selling a bookcase, we don't want to see YOUR stuff on it, we want to envision OUR stuff on it. (Kinda like selling houses, but I could go off on a whole tangent there being a former realtor)

Blurry, and again too much stuff on it! It looks like its partially tipping over!

Yes, this was one of the futon listings I came across while searching for one. It was titled "Green Futon", but I'm wondering where it is under all that mess.

And finally this photo. They wanted 15 bucks for it. Ummm...what is it?

If you like bad photos, Julia's blog Hooked on Houses has a feature called Bad MLS Photos. Its a hoot.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Finished Bookcase for the Boys Room

I am excited that blogger is accepting my photos again! :) I made this bookcase from scratch with the wonderful help of Ana White and her website. I used one of her nightstand projects and modified the measurements to fit what I needed specifically. Now I know the buckets aren't anything you'd see in a magazine but I just went with what I had for now. I just needed to get all of those books organized pronto! Now I've been able to corral both my sons books and they can each put some legos or other creations. I'll go shopping for baskets later, or I was even thinking of building them to look like crates. But that's a project for later as I'm trying to be good about finishing my projects that I start! :)

I want to build a full bookcase next, I'm so excited to get some plywood ripped for me at Home Depot so that I can start on it! I never thought the lumber section would make me drool like I do since I've been on Ana White's website!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Spaghetti/Pizza Sauce from #10 can

Since I still haven't figured out why blogger is not accepting my photos, I thought of this post that I could write since it doesn't require any photos.

Spaghetti sauce or pizza sauce is not cheap. I make homemade pizza on Friday nights plus any other pasta dish so we can go through a lot of sauce. I was also shocked at how much sodium is in spaghetti sauce!

Costco sells #10 cans of tomato puree for under 3 dollars. I wanted to figure out a way to add my own spices and control the salt intake plus it would definitely be cheaper. I looked online to see if anyone had done this, but I couldn't find an exact recipe. So I experimented on my own.

Spaghetti/Pizza Sauce

#10 can tomato puree or tomato sauce
One and 1/3 cups chopped onion (dried, not fresh, you can find it easily in the spices section)
1/2 cup granulated garlic
1 cup italian seasoning (you can find this in the spice section, I got mine at Smart and Final)
One and 1/2 tsp salt

Mix all together in a large stockpot and heat on the stove at medium heat until boiling. That's it! Now if you use the puree like I did it will make for a thick sauce, but since I put mine on pizza I don't mind. If its too thick for your liking them add some water. It'll make your sauce go even longer too.

After its done I spoon it into some Classico spaghetti jars (I was saving them to put sand and tealights in them for summer) but I ended up using the jars for all my extra sauce. I spoon it in and then I throw the jars in my freezer in the garage until I need one.