{organizing ideas and decorating advice from my home to yours}

Hooked on…Doorbells!

Posted: February 26th, 2009 | Author: Katie | Filed under: Simple Solutions | 14 Comments »


“What would you pay?”

This is one of my and my sister-in-law’s favorite games to play with each other while shopping. Of course we had to play it when I spotted these in a store a couple months ago and let’s just say we both walked out with one. So Julia, at Hooked on Houses, has her Hooked on Fridays party going on today and I thought it would be a perfect time to show you what great steal I have been hooked on lately that adds a touch of custom to any door


   prod4040017_hw071   prod4040019_hw071   prod4040021_hw071

$10 Bucks at Restoration Hardware and they come in all different metal finishes (brass, nickel, copper, bronze, and iron)! Which one do you think I got?  My husband liked the circle and the rectangle with the rope around it. I loved the ornate detail of the bigger rectangle in iron – plus I really thought it would fit better with the large area we have next to our door. And which one did we end up with?…

Here is our before: 


I know most of you reading this have the tiny, normal, rectangle, off-white doorbells — but can you see how we had the one that looks like was a ginormous speaker! 

Here is the after:



Are you hooked? I’d love to know which doorbell would compliment your house?!

More ideas at Hooked on Houses...


Give & Clean Totes

Posted: February 23rd, 2009 | Author: Katie | Filed under: Simple Solutions | 6 Comments »

Warning! Just to prepare you, this idea might sound a little overboard – but it is so me and I just love it! I think I got the idea from Real Simple (my all time favorite magazine!) I’m not sure where I used to put all my clothes to go to the cleaners or good will but I’m sure it was a grocery bag. My thought was that they just didn’t hold up to the function or look I wanted. Yes – I’m talking about dry cleaning bags and good will bags – I know – pathetic.

So if you like this pathetic thing: find some fabric bags – I found mine at Hobby Lobby but other craft stores or Walmart sells them too. Simply print out “Clean” and “Give” tags, laminatehole punch and tie with a ribbonI hang them on a hook in my closet where they are easily accessible. 

 Now remember — I did warn you…but I hope you secretly liked the idea!





Ten Minutes to the Room you Love Makeover…My Kitchen

Posted: February 19th, 2009 | Author: Katie | Filed under: Simple Solutions | 35 Comments »




Okay so here is my kitchen story — This is what our kitchen looked like the day we moved into our house almost 3 years ago. We knew it needed major work but we didn’t want to rip out the cabinets or the beautiful silestone countertops and tile backsplash. It needed just a lot of paint and some decorating…



So here is the after and I must say I was pretty pleased with it until I became obsessed with the Nester’s blog and knew I needed to do some un-cluttering(Did I really need a tea pot when I don’t even drink tea?!) So the Nester has challenged people to take 10 minutes and try to spice up your spaces. I took this challenge very literally and besides the new appliances in our updated kitchen it was all about taking out what is not needed and simplifying! So here are a couple things that I focused on:

- Add a touch of lighting from a lamp.

- Clearing off the frigerator!(and you are right Nester, that one thing makes life seem a little less crazy!)

- Only putting out appliances that you use everyday or that would take too long to get out.

And since those cabinets weren’t ripped out, we used an amazing cabinet coat paint called insl-x that I would highly recommend to anyone. It coats on evenly, dries fast, no priming or sanding needed and gave the cabinets such a fresh look without spending a lot of money! We also found little wooden cabinet embellishments at Home Depot and just tacked them on and painted over them to give them a custom made look. We finally added a curtain in between the kitchen and the laundry room to soften the room and show the division a little bit more (and block the loudness of the dryer too!)

kitchen after



Thanks for stopping by — now go visit The Nester to get more ideas!


Toys to Treasure

Posted: February 16th, 2009 | Author: Katie | Filed under: Simple Solutions | 1 Comment »

So I got the opportunity to live a Valentines Day vicariously through my 3 year old this weekend. He had a school party and boy did he load up on candy and little knick-knacks. Now oddly enough you would think all of these things were kids things but I guess I have some kind of crazy eye for toys that can turn into other things. Here is a sampling of his toys:


Do you spot the ones you would want?

 Now of course he wanted the frog, pencil and sunglasses but he was okay in letting me borrow the heart clip and heart box.

Now the clip was pretty easy, I just put a little sticker on it and it can keep some of my receipts together, hold a picture,put a magnet on the back and hold artwork or notes on your frig, calendar clip, and really so much more…











And the box was a fun one because I have been really wanting to get a pill box from Brighton:


Is this not the cutest pill box you’ve ever seen? Or maybe the only pill box you’ve seen? I have just not been able to justify spending that kind of money to hold a couple Tylenol…so until that day comes I thought this freebie would do:


 Now only if the sunglasses fit me!










My Little Shelf of Love

Posted: February 11th, 2009 | Author: Katie | Filed under: Simple Solutions | 6 Comments »

I have heard about this idea from many people and I think it is such a great one that I decided to do it myself. So I’m not a scrapbooker – never have been – don’t think I ever will be… but I love cherishing the memories of my children especially with the funny and loving things they say. I wanted something quick, easy and of course cheap.

 You could also use this: with your husband, ideas you have, a bridal shower or baby shower gift (where people at the party write down wishes/sayings to the receiver), or just special things people have said to you that you would like to remember.

 It goes like this:

When your child, or whomever you choose, says something you want to remember you just write it down and stick it in the jar. (I like to put the date too!) I found some old jars in my pantry to begin my project and used some ribbon to tie little tags on the jars in order to write their names. Then I hit Micheals where I found these fabulous little pieces of paper from Martha Stewarts collection. (70 tags for 1.99 and yes, I even used my 40% off coupon saving = .80 cents!)

Complete side note: (I couldn’t find the cents sign on my keypad– is there even one?)


Now I must say these tags don’t leave a lot of room to write but for me they are perfect because I just wanted to jot down short and simple sayings. You can find many sizes and shapes of labels at Micheals and Hobby Lobby or even just cutting construction paper or notecards the size you want them would work too.


 I am keeping my tags and pen in a little votive next to my jars and next to a framed anniversary card that my husband gave to me a couple years back. That idea was one straight from Oprah and I love having a special note framed (especially since it doesn’t happen much!)

 I’m going to call it my little shelf of love!

Happy Valentines Day!

♥ Katie

frame and votive




A “To Do” List

Posted: February 2nd, 2009 | Author: Katie | Filed under: Simple Solutions | 4 Comments »

So my husband has really tried to get me onboard with using all the latest technology and now I can put my grocery list on my phone (GroceryIQ for the iPhone), I can find out whose sings any song on the radio by putting my phone in the air (Shazam), but there is one thing that I like to do the old fashion way and that is writing “to do” lists. So I wanted to make my to do list and it had to be:

1. Cute

2. Off the counter

First find, buy or paint a picture frame that you are not using that matches the room that you see often (and close to where you usually throw your “to do’s list” or the such.) Mine ended up being on a small portion of the wall in my kitchen. I painted the glass with a black interior paint color (or whatever color that blends well with your wall color.) Spray some polyurethane on top then you can find some little letters, scrapbooking letters, etc. and label it on the top.

I found some fun post it notes in the dollar bins at Target and adhered the pad to the frame with a piece of packing tape and voila!

To Do List After

Lets Review:

off the counter — check

Cheap — check

Functional — check

Cute — check, check!

Kitchen View

♥ Katie