Thursday, June 27, 2013

5 Things Friday: Do it for the children.

1. I am making this for the girls' rooms. I wanted a banner, but one we can change up will work so much better for their changing tastes.

2. I have a bag packed by the front door just for those little summer outings. Great way to save time and get outta the house quickly.

3. I printed a bunch of these and put them in our car activity bag... the girls will definitely pass a few minutes creating these faces.

4. I am going to the dollar store for pool noodles tomorrow! So many cool ideas... and cheap!

5. I am putting these binders together ASAP! We often make day trips to Maine, Vermont, Mass... and I need all the travel entertainment I can get for this restless bunch.

(I have some other great travel ideas here too!)

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Living simply in small spaces.

In our new home, there is one very large bedroom, one medium and one very small. Initially the very large room housed all 3 girls (it easily fits 1 full sized bed and 2 twin beds), I reside in the medium sized room and the tiny room remained empty until the little ladies could decide who would get to room alone. 

As the room had atrocious wood paneling on the bottom half of the walls, I could see why it might not have been attractive to any of them. Whoever created faux wood paneling should be ashamed. It is such an ugly, uninviting decor. 

Anyhow, I decided to redo the room, which basically meant to paint over the paneling. Unfortunately, I have had to paint over wood paneling before, and it is a pain in the tush. Requiring oil-based primer and using an itty bitty paint brush to fill in every-single-stinking crevice. 

I did not take a before picture... but here is a 'during', after I primed the paneling:

After letting the single coat of primer dry for a full 24 hours, I had to apply THREE more coats of my yellow paint to get a nice full coverage.

From there, I framed a piece of artwork that Annika had painted, put up some high shelves for storage in this small space, added a bulletin board, curtains and bed spread from Goodwill... and Annika was very excited to move in:

And she loves it! She loves her small space. And I love that it makes life so much easier on our path to simplicity. I have watched my children getting overwhelmed when asked to clean their room in our old home (their current home with daddy) as, when you have more space, you have more stuff, more clutter, more more MORE. And, while we utilize every bit of spec in our small home (Check out this cute crate I put next to her bed as a bedside 'table'):

...we still do not have room for messes. A place for everything and everything in it's place. Annika can clean her room top to bottom in 10 minutes tops. We use baskets on her shelves, underbed plastic totes and wooden crates to store her stuff. It's cozy, comfortable and simple for her. I asked if she'd like to trade for the bigger room now and she said, "No way!" 

My girls are slowly learning that they do not need a lot of things. We actually have a lot of fun in our time together, crafts, games (a lot of games) sewing, lots of time outdoors, reading. Here is a night in my house after dinner:

Lots of things that just don't take up resources... or space in a tiny home.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Primal Pit Paste

Let me preface by saying this post is in no way sponsored. It's just me sharing my never-ending journey to find a natural deodorant that actually works.

I have tried every natural deodorant on the market.... from Tom's to Burt's Bees to some handmade from Etsy (as well as hand making my own!) And none of them have worked!

...Until now. I am in LOVE with Primal Pit Paste! I got the Strong Lavender jar version. (I really wanted the stick, but it was backordered and I am impatient- which means I now am applying my deodorant with my fingers... ewww)

This is not an antiperspirant (nor is any natural deodorant) as our body is trying to expel that nasty stuff from your body for a reason and clogging up your pores to stop that process seems just wrong somehow. And also, I do not perspire a ton. With that said, the compilation of organic shea butter, organic coconut oil, organic arrowroot powder, aluminum free baking soda, essential oils really did the trick for me. It smelled great, as did I... for the entire summer day.

 Sooo, if you happen to be in the market for some pit paste, try this stuff.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Mother's Jewelry

After much thought, this is the necklace I chose as a birthday gift from my mother... and I LOVE it! I highly recommend this Etsy shop if you are in the market for a piece of handmade jewelry. She offers a large variety of simply choices, which I love.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Front Porch Makeover

My new life has brought me a new abode I call 'home'. And, in making it a home, there are small changes I need to make. You know that I really enjoy getting my craft on, especially on a budget and typically involving a trip to Goodwill.

My new home is a small home... and I LOVE that. Recently my friend, Liz, posted a link on my Facebook entitled, "12 Reasons Why You’ll Be Happier in a Smaller Home" because she has known me for years and knows my goal to live minimally. And what a great post it is... a reminder of why I am exactly where I am today.

In my small home, I want to make it comfortable without adding too much 'stuff'. We all know how much a dislike 'stuff'. But I do want my home to feel welcoming to my friends and family- so I started with my front porch:
It's just too dark. Between the dark red door (which was quite beat up), the black rusty mailbox, the lovely green gingham curtain, the brown doormat and the dirt all over the vinyl siding... it was just not a welcoming front door.
I knew I could use some elbow grease, a bit a bit of spray paint and a few items from the basement to spruce it up a bit. I ran to Goodwill and grabbed a chair & a doormat for a few dollars.

I had a few colors of spray paint on hand and used what I had to paint the chair and existing rusty mailbox:

I also painted to doormat that I had purchased from Goodwill so that I could brighten things up a bit:
After cleaning the siding with a bit of soap and water, I then also touched up the paint on the front door. I just had to get rid of the hideous curtain as well, so I made a new one out of vintage pillowcases I have purchased over the years from Goodwill.

It only took me a couple of hours and I was able to put my front porch together, along with some flowers from the local farm, and I find it so much brighter and more welcoming:
And, its true, flowers do feed the soul.