May 29, 2014

{How To} Clean and Organize your Child's Room in 30 Minutes

Although this post is titled "How To: Clean and Organize your Child's Room in 30 Minutes" these steps can be used for pretty much any room in the house!

I am probably the worst at cleaning... in the world. I'm one of those people who has procrastination kick in hard when I'm faced with a huge mess. I get it done, but it takes me (usually) the wholeeee day because I don't come up with a plan, I kind of mosey around, and take frequent breaks.

I'm not proud to admit it, but I just hate dealing with big messes! Maintenance cleaning I can do all day, but big messes I cannot.

When you have a toddler running around there is really no way to get around it. You're gonna have some kind of huge mess somewhere in the house 99% of the time. This drives me batty to no end, but there's just no reasoning with a 1 year old.

For about a month, Tucker's bedroom was a disaster area. He doesn't like being in there. Noooo...he would much rather run around the rest of the house like a wild child. However what he DOES like to do is go in his room, literally tear out every toy, book and article of clothing he can get his hands on, throw it all on the floor and run out the room laughing like a mad man.

Last time he did that I threw in the towel. What the heck it's just toys right? It's not like it's filth. So I left it. I didn't take a picture of the before because I didn't think this was going to end up as a post. But I'll borrow a picture from The Berenstain Bears to demonstrate a little. :)

Well a month later, it was still like that. And it really started to annoy me. Although I didn't have much time I decided to fully devote 30 minutes to his room, make a plan and get as much done as I possibly could. And I was surprised that I was able to accomplish it all in just that 30 minutes!

So now, I'm gonna share with you how I did it. Hopefully it will help you as much as it helped me.

Before you start, decide what you want to accomplish in the amount of time you are giving yourself. Having a plan cuts down on cleaning time drastically!

For me, I made this list:

1. Purge old toys and clothes that don't fit anymore

2. Organize remaining clothes and toys and put them away
3. Put bedding in the wash
4. Wipe everything down
5. Vacuum

The next thing you should do before you get down to cleaning is gather all the cleaning supplies you'll need. This probably sounds like common sense, but I never do this and end up having to stop every few minutes to go get something I need from another area of the house. Not only does this help to distract me it also makes my cleaning escapade take way longer than it should.

What you'll need:

Trash bag

Box or another trash bag for what you are giving away, donating, etc

Microfiber rag

Cleaning spray


1. Purge old toys   {5 minutes}

I started by quickly pushing the massive amounts of toys laying around into a pile near his toy box. Make sure that you get them all so you don't have to keep moving around the room. Once they are in a pile, grab your trash and donation bags and quickly start sorting through everything. Throw broken and beaten toys in the trash and nicer ones in your donation bag. The trick to this is don't think about it too much! Kids end up with so many toys they don't play with. Tucker is no exception to this so I would much rather donate to another child who doesn't have as much than keep a whole bunch of toys I know Tucker isn't going to play with. Unless it's a favorite, just get rid of it. I promise they won't notice.

If your child has a lottttt of toys, just get what you can done in the 5 minutes and then move on. You can always go back once you have more time and finish getting rid of toys you don't want.

2. Put away remaining toys  {2 minutes}

Once I got rid of all the crap-o-la Tucker didn't need anymore, I quickly grabbed what was remaining and started placing it somewhat organized back in his toy chest. The best part was, everything fit after getting rid of all that stuff!

3. Donate clothes that don't fit anymore  {5 minutes}

I'm bad about keeping up with this, so I knew it was time. I started by removing one bin at a time (he has the cloth bins rather than an actual dresser) and quickly checking the size of all the clothing within it. Anything that wasn't his size went in the donate pile and the rest I folded quickly and placed in a pile. I'm in no way a person who spends ridiculous amounts of time perfectly folding everything so this worked for me, if you are it's not problem! You just may need more time for this step. :) I made sure as I went that I sorted everything into piles of t-shirts, onesies, pajamas, pant, shorts, etc.

4. Put away remaining clothes  {2 minutes}

Once everything was sorted into separate piles I started placing them back in the bins, giving each type of clothing it's own bin to make it easy when searching for outfits.

These are the kind of bins I'm talking about, and I really love versatile they are.

5. Strip bedding and place in washer  {5 minutes}

At this point, I went and started the washer and added my detergent. While it was filling up I returned to Tucker's room and stripped everything out of his crib including his stuffed animals and bumpers. You can guess what happens next, put it in the washer!

6. Wipe everything down  {3 minutes}

I grabbed my microfiber rag and vinegar/water combo and sprayed down all the surfaces in T's room, including the crib. Then I quickly wiped it all down. Using the rag instead of paper towels really helps to cut down on time because you can use it start to finish. With paper towels you have to keep getting knew ones as the old ones get too soggy.

7. Move all the big stuff  {2 minutes}

There are some items that are left out in Tucker's room; such as big toys that won't fit in his chest and his pop up tent. Before I vacuumed I moved all of these big items into his empty crib so that I could vacuum uninterrupted.

8. Vacuum!  {4 minutes}

Pretty self explanatory

9. Put the big stuff back {2 minutes}

I removed all the big items and placed them back in their homes.

That's it! The only thing I had to spend a few extra minutes on later that night was putting the bed stuff back on because I had to wait for it to wash and dry.

Speaking of the little Tasmanian Devil, there he is now.

Ready to tear apart everything I just cleaned. Sighhh.

So, if you would like to get a lot of cleaning done in a short period of time give this a try! Of course you won't follow the same exact steps I did, but the foundation is the same for any room.

Make a list of what you want to accomplish, give your self a set amount of time to do each task, gather all your cleaning supplies and then....

GO! :)

[Continue Reading...]

May 21, 2014

{Wishlist Wednesday} Gold Glamour

This weeks Wishlist Wednesday post isn't so much about items as it is about ideas.

I've never been much of a "yellow" gold girl. In fact, I used to pretty much hate it.

But as you get older I guess it is true that your tastes evolve, because over the past few months I have started noticing gold items that I really like. Especially where home decor is concerned. I've learned if you use it the right way, it can be very glamorous and pretty!

As I was scrolling my news feed today, I saw a picture of this room.

Disclaimer: I don't know the original source of this picture to be able to give credit. So, if you happen across this and it's yours just let me know and I'll give credit where credit is due. :)

I love the little gold accents! Especially that side table. This has officially inspired me to start incorporating some gold in my own home. In fact, I would love to make a little nook like this where I could relax and read. So I guess we'll see how my adventures in gold go. I'll be sure to keep you posted.

The next idea has nothing to do with gold, but makes me happy to no end because I finally found what I want to do for my back splash!

I came across this over on The Modest Homestead and I fell in love.

This bead board/baseboard combo is gorgeous and looks pretty simple to boot!

Now if I could just finally get my kitchen cabinets finished. I mean it's only been over a month that I've been working on them.

Please don't judge, there's like a million of them!

If I ever get them done, I can move on to the rest of the kitchen projects. Like this beautiful back splash.


[Continue Reading...]

May 19, 2014

{Make It!} Rustic Chalkboard Frame

Last week I posted my very first Wish List Wednesday items. I hope you loved them as much as I did!

In that post, I promised that I would try to come up with some cheaper (i.e. knockoff) versions of these items to share and I'm happy to report that I have completed my very first one!

It's a simple one, but I figured we would ease ourselves into this. :)

You may remember these pretty, weathered and distressed looking picture frames.

I loved them. But I just couldn't see paying 20 bucks for one picture frame. That could buy me... let me count... 1, 2, 3... Almost 7 Dunkin Donuts Iced Hazelnut Lattes!

So I came up with this...

What you'll need:

Cheap Ornate Frame
{I purchased mine from Ross for 4.99. I highly recommend checking there!}

3 bottles of acrylic paint in complimenting colors
{Michael's, Joann's, probably even WalMart. I used 3 different colors and they were about $1.29 a piece}

Chalkboard Paint
{I also purchased this where I got my acrylic paints, so it was $1.29 as well}

Chalk or chalk markers
{I recommend chalk markers, a little more expensive but you're able to write so much cleaner and prettier with them}

Step 1: Paint your chalkboard. I just used the glass that came with the frame. If you want to save the glass, you can use a piece of cardboard or even a thin piece of wood cut down to size. You'll want to apply a generous coat vertically and then let it dry.

Step 2: Apply 2 coats of base paint. This really depends on how dark your frame is. Mine was dark and my base coat was white, so it ended up taking me about 3 coats. I used the non glossy acrylic paint to achieve a really weathered look. Glossy is going to make it look too new, but it's all about your preference! If your frame has as much detail as mine you're gonna spend most of your time on this step because it takes a while to get in all those cracks.

Step 3: Apply color #2. I used the darkest of my colors for this layer, it was called Sea Breeze. I did this in kind of a dab and sweep motion. Try to not get down in the cracks and only sweep color onto the face of the frame. You want some of that base color showing through underneath.

Step 4: Apply color #3. For me this was Sea Glass. You'll want to lightly dab this around the frame, using less than you did of your 2nd color. This is just to provide depth and that layered peeling paint look. 

Step 5: Apply second coat of chalkboard paint. It's going to take at least 2 layers of chalkboard paint to get it dark enough. This layer you should be applied horizontally. 

Step 6: Continue layering paints. Here you can continue to layer the colors on your frame to achieve the look you want.

Step 7: Dry. Give everything a good 2 hours to completely dry and cure. Then reassemble your frame and write a cute saying on your new chalkboard frame!

It doesn't have much of a distressed look like my wish list picture frames, however I love the weathered, layered look and the bright colors.

The bottom line: It only cost me about 10 bucks and I got 4 tubes of paint I can use for future projects. I would say it's a win!

So what do you think? Love it? Hate it? What would you do differently? I would love to hear about it in comments below!

[Continue Reading...]

May 15, 2014

Spring Mantel Reveal

Spring is in full bloom y'all!

So much so that it's almost summer. However, if you live in Florida you know that Spring feels more like Summer and Summer feels more like H-E-double hockey sticks.

It's hot!

But beautiful. I love this time of year.

I've always wanted a fireplace with a big, pretty mantel that I could dress up for holidays, seasons, etc. But in Florida it's rarely cold enough to really need a fireplace. So they are few and far between.

One day I happened to Google "faux fireplaces". And the first one that caught my eye was Mandi's over at Vintage Revivals. I loved it! And realized pretty quickly I was capable of making one myself. Mine ended up a lot different than the Vintage Revivals version, but that's definitely where I got the idea from so I have to give credit where credit is due!

So around Christmas time last year, me and the hubs set to making this faux fireplace. It wasn't easy, I'll tell ya that. It was our first major DIY project, and the hubs cursed that thing up and down and said "I quit!" about 20 times before we finally got it mostly completed.

It took a lot of begging and puppy dog eyes to keep him motivated, but the end result was the pretty mantel I always wanted! I don't have a tutorial on how we made the fireplace and I still haven't fully finished it the way it was intended to be, but maybe one day, I'll put together a tutorial if I finally finish it.:)

So here it is, my spring decorated mantel! One thing I don't really like about it is that the mantel is too wide, that makes decorating it kind of hard because it never feels like it is full enough. But I'll keep experimenting.

Or if I can talk the hubby into it (doubt it) I'll remove the mantel and make it smaller.

Hope everyone is enjoying their spring!

[Continue Reading...]

May 14, 2014

{Wishlist Wednesday} Country Rustic Pretty

My wish list is forever growing.

Seriously, it's sad.

I should just stop going to stores altogether. Especially Michael's and Target. They just have way too much cute stuff!

I can tell I've gotten older though, because where as my wish list used to be filled with clothes, shoes and makeup now its full of home decor, tools, and kid stuff!

Any who, I have a problem. This problem consists of adding stuff to my mental wish list and thinking that I'll figure out a cheaper way of making it later.

Then I either forget about it altogether to the point where it nags me so much I spend a week trying to remember what it was or... I just forget what it looks like.

So the other day I was browsing my local Michael's (bad idea), and it must have been the day of torturing Britny with things she can't have because every time I turned around I was finding something I felt I just couldn't live without! This was followed by picking each item up, throwing it in my basket, walking around in a circle a few times, feeling guilty, then hesitantly removing said item from the buggy and putting it back on the shelf, usually not where I found it (sorry, Michael's employees!). Yeah, I'm that girl.

I know...bummer. But it's part of being a responsible adult I suppose.

It gave me an idea though! If I take a picture and share with you guys then I'll never forget again! So therefore, it's Wish List Wednesday.

I absolutely LOVE this. The color, the hardware, it's beautiful! But I don't love it enough to pay 60 bucks for it. Next!

This caught my eye because I saw something similar at Cracker Barrel that I thought was really cute. It was an ampersand that was painted in a chevron pattern and it said "They Lived Happily Ever After".  I didn't even bother to look at the price tag on the one at Cracker Barrel because, come on, what isn't ridiculously expensive at Cracker Barrel?

This plain black version was $20, which I still think is a bit steep so I'll be on the look out for a cheaper alternative.

I really like the worn, rustic look of these frames. But with a 3-4 dollar frame (you can find some nice, detailed ones at Ross) and some acrylic paint you could easily make this for half the cost.

Sigh. This is so pretty. But I can't see paying $60 for it no matter how gorgeous it is. I'm thinking maybe I can find an old wooden window pane at Restore so I'm going to keep an eye out.

And last but not least this super pretty jewelry display. I'm always looking for jewelry displays...

mainly because I'll never fork over the money for them. :)

So there they are. I am hoping to find cheaper, DIY alternatives for these items that I heart. And as I do I'll be sure to give you guys some (hopefully) awesome tutorials.

Till next week...

[Continue Reading...]

May 11, 2014

To All The Mommas

Only a little over a year ago I still didn't know what to expect from motherhood. In fact these pictures are from our maternity shoot and were taken just a year and a few months ago. It feels like that was a lifetime ago though. It's hard to remember, or imagine, life before Tucker now.

Fast forward to the day my little Tuck was born. I went from not knowing what to expect to coming to the overwhelming realization that I was in charge of this little life and he depended on me for everything. I loved him more than I could ever have imagined I could love anything.

When we took him home from the hospital we were terrified. He was so tiny and fragile. I remember Kevin and I looking at each other like whoaaaa...what the heck do we do now?  The weight of the responsibility really hit me like a ton of bricks that first night alone with him.

From that night forward I've doubted myself and there hasn't been a day since then where I haven't felt like I've fallen short as a mother in some way or another. I'm too hard on myself because I just want to be the absolute best mother and person that I can for him.

After many conversations with the other women in my life who are mothers though, I've found that if you don't feel that way, you probably aren't human.

Tuck was only about 3 month's old for our first Mother's Day together, and I still didn't feel like I knew what the heck I was doing as a mom at that time.

A year later though, I have a happy, bubbly, healthy little boy. Everyone who sets eyes on him loves him. He's silly, stubborn and independent. More independent than I want him to be sometimes. So in the end, I guess we're doing alright with him. :)

I learned a lot about the kind of mother I wanted to be from the women around me. I have been blessed with not only my own mother, but a few other women who have been like second mothers to me, all of which taught me so many valuable lessons and who helped make me the woman I am today. For that I am grateful.

Being a mother is the most difficult, trying, underrated and rewarding job ever. Just because you give birth, doesn't mean you are a mother. Not in the true sense of the word. It takes a whole lot more than that.

It takes a strong, committed, goodhearted, loving woman to be a great mother.

So for all the mothers that I know who do everything they can to provide the best for their child, who put their children and their role as a  mother first, who probably doubt themselves just as much as I do because we're women and it's just in our nature to worry.

Just know that you are stronger than you think.

And if no one else tells you, I will...

You're doing a great job.

Happy Mother's Day! Relax and enjoy it.

[Continue Reading...]

May 10, 2014

Kitchen Nightmare?

Okay, so that's a little dramatic. It isn't exactly a nightmare. Come on in and take a look then decide for yourself.

It's not horrible, but it is outdated. I just don't love it.

And since the kitchen is pretty much the heart of our home, I need to love it. Ya know?

The main problem is that it's way too dark. Even in the middle of the day, as you can see. The colors of the floor, cabinets and walls just seem to blend into each other.

One thing that doesn't  blend in however is that hideous purple back splash. Purple? Really?! Just to clarify that wasn't my doing. There was so much purple in this house when we bought it, it isn't even funny. We even found out that the carpet had been light purple...once upon a time.

Not knocking those that love purple, but it's just not my style. Not the shade that was throughout most of our house anyways.

Let's take a closer look. It doesn't look so bad in this picture. But trust me, it's purpleeee.

We've already replaced the floor in the kitchen, but before we did it was a white linoleum with flecks of pastel pink and purple. I really wish I had thought to take a picture of that beauty before we got rid of it. ha.

These are the drawer pulls that were on every drawer and cabinet in the house. I'm sure they are the originals from when the house was built 17 years ago. Tarnished, gold - in other words not cute. They had to go! Luckily this is another thing that I've already replaced. But you can't see 'em until the kitchen cabinet reveal :)

This set of cabinets is our current pantry. It's nice having so much space, but it just doesn't seem to work well as a pantry. I'm too short to see most of the top shelf for one thing. So I'm hoping to change this up. I want to add a pull out trash can and recycle bin in the bottom cabinets and use the rest for general storage items like paper towels, toilet paper, all that jazz.

This is what I call a waste of perfectly good space! Currently it just holds our trash can, broom and mop. But I plan on turning this into the new pantry once I can talk the hubby into it. He's not as...erm...thrilled as I am about all my project ideas.

The counter tops are a plain, light gray Formica. They are still in pretty good shape though, so I am just going to granite paint them and hope for the best until we can (hopefully) afford new ones later on down the line. 

This is part of the kitchen that I actually do love, our chalkboard! My husband's uncle made this for us as a housewarming gift and I just adore it. We use it for meal plans now. 

So there it is...

What do you think?! Am I crazy and it's fine the way it is or do you think it could use some work? If you have any ideas for this space, I would love to hear about them in the comments below!

I've already started the remodeling of this room, so the next time you see it there will be some major changes going on.

Are you as excited as I am? Probably not but that's okay. :)

[Continue Reading...]