Another Thrifty Find

When I went on my belt hunt for the jar shelf the hubs so craftily made, we did a little looking around in Savers, just so he could see what it was all about.  Now, remember when we finished the basement?  We have big, bare walls down there and have been looking for some larger-type things to hang.  Well, we found something:



We saw these really cool wooden tennis rackets and I think the light blub went off for both of us at the same time.  Fun for the basement and a good space filler.  Cost: about $8.  The girl at the counter actually asked us if we played a lot of tennis.  Not the best photos here, but I hope you like our fun find!

Linked up for Thrift Score Thursday!

Blue Eyed Owl

Tuesday Music: Sunshine Songs

Row House 14 Music Linkup Party

Linking up with Row House 14 again today for some fun musical finds. Today we're going High Fidelity-style with the top five songs for a sunny day. So here we go:

Number 5: Let the sunshine in!

Number 4: You know you love this one.

Number 3: Can't beat The Beatles for sun songs!

Number 2: Maybe it's just the video, but I love this one. So cheerful and it just makes me think of the beach.

Number 1: The happiest sunshine song I know, by Katrina and the Waves. You can't help but start dancing when it comes on!

Did I miss any of your favorites? What would make your top 5?

Making a Mess

What the heck happened to last week?  I started off so excited with my jar shelf and then just fell off the blog-post wagon!  So sorry to just leave everyone hanging the rest of the week.  We had a few very, very, very busy days with some sleepless nights mixed in.  Greta can still be up once a night if we don't swaddle her up tightly enough (if she gets an arm out, we're done).  Gus has been training through the night, and while we started off with a bang, we hit a rough patch this past week.  He's back on track now but we're still a little exhausted.  At any rate, I'm happy to be back and slowly catching up on all the great posts I missed last week!

So how's your grass cloth removal project going?

Oh, wait.  That's me.

Grass cloth you say?  What is that?  (Full disclosure- the curtains are not ours.  They were left behind and we have been too preoccupied up to this point to remove them.  Fab, aren't they?)

Our living room is covered in the 1970s version of hell.  Dark green grass cloth is on every wall, making it very dark.  Luckily, we have yet to actually use our living room to live in (it is a toy storage area, basically) so we've just been ignoring it.  Still not quite sure what it is?  Let's go in for a close-up:

It is literally grass woven and stuck onto wallpaper, so it makes it extra special to remove.  It isn't so terrible to get down except that you have to soak it, pull off the grass (see how cleanly that pulls down?), soak it again, soak it again, pull off the green layer, soak it again and scrape off the backing.  It is a mess.  I actually got a splinter in my palm from it.

The good news is that we are finally moving on to our main living spaces in our house update.  The bad news is it took me several hours to take down a few sheets of the stuff.  *sigh*

Better news: we just have to hang bathroom doors and I'll be sharing our nice new master suite.  Thanks for hanging in with me!

What We Made: Jar Shelf

A long, long time ago, I saw this on Pinterest:

When I went back to find it, I realized I never pinned it, so I had to find it again.  Don't you hate when that happens?

Anyway, I've been collecting jars to hold things in my crafty work room.  Not Mason jars- Stonewall Kitchen Black Bean Salsa jars.  On just about every occasion, the hubs is gifted a jar or two of this yummy but pricey salsa, and the jars are a great size for small storage, so I've kept them and had put various things in a few.  But, they were on top of the work table and that takes up space, so when I saw this photo, I knew I wanted to do something similar.

Enter the hubs.  Have I told you how brilliant and wonderful he is?  I told him my idea, but since I didn't have the photo, I had to explain it to him.  "It's a wooden backer with the jars held on to it by metal clamps.  Can I get those at Home Depot?"  Something along those lines.  So on one of our various trips to HD I looked for said clamps.  Not those in the picture but something I had apparently made up entirely in my head because we could not find them.  We did find those hose clamps like in the photo, but hubs was like, "You want to use hose clamps on something in your craft room?"  AKA don't use that crap.  Then he says, "You should get something like an old leather strap and strap the jars down tight so they don't slide."  "Why, yes, honey, that would be great, but where will I find an old leather strap that doesn't cost a fortune?"

*Light bulb goes on.*

Savers!  Let's go to Savers and look at the belts!!!!!

Have I mentioned that I love Savers?  These were both soft, lovely leather belts.  Perfect for my project.  (We got something else fun too, but that's for another day.)  So two belts, a box of black carpet tacks, and 6 salsa jars later:

Ok, so maybe there was a little more to it than that.  Some sanding, staining, lacquering, ribbon-holder-making, squealing, hugging, jumping up and get the picture.

Isn't he amazing?  Isn't this the best shelf you ever saw?  Once I got the idea out and realized how much it would help to get the jars off the work table, I figured it would be great to get all the ribbon off of it, too, since it was all stacked up against the wall.  I proposed this idea to hubs (with a dowel in hand) and he made it.  I love how it looks- the belts and the carpet tacks were a great idea.  Old-fashioned style but not quite rustic.  It's so nice to have all that stuff off the tabletop.  I would post a tutorial for you, but I think you can figure out how it goes together.

Anyone been making something fun lately?  Chop up something you found at Savers?  Goaded your husband into a project?  Do tell!

Days of Chalk and Chocolate

52 Mantels

It's Overflowing

Oh! It's a Laundry Chute!

We have been wildly busy reorganizing our house over the past week or so, and in the process trying to actually decorate the spaces we've already finished.  Crazy, I know.  So we've had various small projects going to try and "finish off" the rooms.  One such project: a laundry chute for our newly almost-complete master bathroom.  Hubs wanted to get the laundry baskets out of the bedroom closets, and since our bathroom is on the first floor, he figured he could make a hole to the basement to drop the clothes into.  Problem was, our bathroom is over the unfinished portion of the basement.  It opened into the shop, which right now is often sawdusty.  My task: create a cloth chute to protect the clothes and to help guide them into the laundry basket.  2 yards of 120-inch long muslin (who knew there was such a thing??) and a little time with my new friend the sewing machine and here we go:

Plop!  It works great and it's so fun to throw our clothes down there.  It doesn't take much, does it?

Anyone else been working on a fun project?

Tuesday Music: Love Songs

Row House 14 Music Linkup Party

Happy Valentine's Day!  The music theme this week at Row House 14 is love songs!  Here are a few of my favorites:

The You and Me Song by The Wannadies from Romeo + Juliet.

The Luckiest by Ben Folds (my absolute most favorite artist of all time).  I am not a concert goer, and I've seen him 7 or 8 times.

And for my little Valentine, his favorite band.  This is Cupid de Locke.  Not sure if it's a love song per se, but it's such a beautiful song.  I love the instrumentals.

I hope you have a fun day spending it with the ones you love!

Room Inspirations

Oh, it's Friday!  I'm sitting here at my kitchen table with my "nasty" green juice and a cup of tea while Gus loads alphabet blocks onto a flatbed truck via skid steer and Greta sits up tall in her Bumbo seat, snuffling through her first cold (I want to say, "Blow!" but it won't do any good!!).  The past few days has seen me running up and down the stairs a million times with laundry and clothes and bedding and toiletries as we move from the upstairs bedroom to our now basically finished master bed and bath.  Just some finishing touches left and I'll be sharing that with you.  This will continue as we move Gus into the bedroom we were just in, my "office" (work room) into Gus's old room, and Greta into my old work room.  It's exhausting just thinking about it, but I'm so excited to finally have things in place and possibly actually decorated.

Things I'd like to do:

Greta's room:

Embroidery hoops (source)

Alphabet cards (source)

Monogram wreath (source)
Update!  They are celebrating their one year shop anniversary!
Use ELONEYEAR15 for 15% off through Saturday!

Gus's room:

Ikea spice rack hack (source)


Oh, Martha. Bedroom organizer. (source)

I'd prefer the Ikea hack but apparently so does everyone else because every Ikea is out of those spice racks and they don't sell them online.

That's about as far as I've gotten for him. There aren't as many boy ideas out there as girls, unless you check out Pottery Barn Kids, of course, but my checkbook checked it out and ran the other way.  Ideally I'd like to find some kind of trucks/machines printables, so if anyone has any ideas on that, please let me know.

As for my work space:

Oh, wait.  That was me dreaming.

Well, I have some fun ideas for the space anyway.  I'm really looking forward to getting the upstairs in order (finally!!), finishing the master project, and then it's on to the hallway and living room.

What are you working on in your house?  Have any fun inspirations?  Hoarding any Bekvam spice racks by any chance?


In trying to eat a little healthier and drop those last few baby pounds, I've been trying to take a look at what I eat in the day, and in doing so, I noticed a lack of fruits and vegetables during the day, though we always have a good serving of them at dinner.  For some reason I'm having a hard time thinking about grabbing an apple or banana or washing some grapes when I need a snack, so I've found a temporary replacement to ensure I'm getting more:

I have an 8-ounce glass of the green stuff in the morning.  Every morning I've done so, Gus says, "That green stuff looks nasty!" (He's 2 1/2, don't forget, and now this is the funniest running joke ever.)  Hubs agrees.  And while it does look a little gross, it tastes really good.  There's tons of fruits and veggies in it plus some other good stuff- just don't look at the label if you don't want to know some of the non-traditional ingredients.  The blue and the red are a little more color friendly and taste great, too, and I actually do feel like I have more energy during the day.

Now to drink more water.

Tuesday Music: Winter

This week I'm linking up with Heidi at Rowhouse 14 again to bring you some musical selections.  The theme this week is winter songs.  That once again sent me to Google because I didn't want to use any Christmas or holiday songs.  I've had enough of those until next year, having listened to the 24-hour holiday music on the local radio station day after day.  I was pleasantly surprised to find some traditional and non-traditional favorites to fit the theme.  The one I was specifically after I couldn't remember the name of, but I had to find it because it brings me back to high school show choir. So I not only found A Hazy Shade of Winter (the Bangles version, of course) but I found a show choir performing it.  And yes, I did that once upon a time.

The ultimate winter song:

Some other favorites: Snow by Red Hot Chili Peppers (not sure at all if this is winter, but any excuse to throw out some RHCP works for me).

Ok, this is stretching it, but it brings me back to fifth grade when this was the ultimate in cool.

So click the button and hop to Heidi's blog if you'd like to see her picks and those of the others who link up!

Row House 14 Music Linkup Party

Many Little Thank You's

Quite literally.  This is a little later in the day because this is what I have been working on:

Customized shop thank you notes (or anytime thank you's, really), all hand cut and folded by me.

So many options to choose from!  It started with these super cute little vintage jewelers' envelopes I found, which were tiny and perfect to hold a small enclosure.

Surprisingly, people seem to want them more without envelopes, so I've been happily busy this week!

Now, have you seen Handmade Ryan Gosling?

This site cracks me up.  Hubs does not get it.

And finally, home renovation pics coming soon!!  If you an remember back to July 7, 2011, I posted before photos, and yes, it has been that long since we started.  There have been a few major events that have slowed us down, but the final pieces are coming together in the next week or so.  I'm so excited to share!! (Hint...the wallpaper is gone!)

Happy Friday!

Pinterest Thursday Becomes Totally Terrific Thursday! (And I Thrifted!)

Welcome to the all-new Totally Terrific Thursday.  I wanted to change the link party to include anyone who has worked on a project during the week because I know how it feels to be proud of what you've accomplished and want to share.  The link-up is at the bottom of the post, but first....

I don't actually have anything to share this week!  I actually tried a bunch of new recipes, but I completely forgot to photograph anything, so maybe next time.  What I do want to share is my very cool and awesome first-ever thrifting find.  In the next town over we actually have a Salvation Army, a Goodwill, and a Savers, all within 2 miles of each other.  I decided to check them out after reading Traci's thrifting post over at All Things Luci Rae.  You should definitely read it and follow the link because the two articles will make you want to go out and find junk.  Trust me.

So today while the grandparents were over and I was able to sneak out of the house to shop alone (woo hoo!) I decided to see what I could find.  I started at the Salvation Army and I wasn't too impressed.  They were having a clearance sale and there wasn't too much to be had.  I headed down to the Savers and got lost.  Completely.  I can't believe how many brand new books, board games, toys, you name it they had.  Now, there was junk.  J-U-N-K.  But in between and around the junk was some great stuff.  When we get to board games age, I am totally going to buy a nearly new game for $3.

My big find was shoes.  I love shoes.  Love love love shoes.  And right out of the gate I found a pair of Clarks Artisan flats, in my size, that have no wear marks whatsoever.  They are lovely.  $6.  Score!  Wandering around the racks I spied the toddler shoes and figured I'd take a peek.  Gus goes through shoes quickly and I hate to pay a lot.  Behold:

The most adorable Merrill's I ever saw.  Brand new- look!  No wear!  In his size!  $5!  Do you know how much those would be brand new?!  Mine, all mine!  I was so excited, and spent so much time in Savers that I didn't have time to go to Goodwill.  Something to look forward to.

Ok, ok, enough about me.  I really want to see what you've been working on this week.  So please link up your post (your direct post link, not your blog homepage) below.  Hop around and see what other people have been up to, too.  Leave a comment or two- we all love them!  And grab a button if you like (I promise I'll work on a better one)!

life by the book