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

My Procrastination: Low on Flower Power

Posted: April 29th, 2009 | Author: Katie | Filed under: Simple Solutions | 16 Comments »


I really don’t procrastinate at much - that is usually my husbands job.

I’m sure it is quite annoying to those of you who don’t mind procrastination to deal with people like me who can’t stand it.  And I know when I was about 11 years old my babysitter was not fond of me. But twice a week over the summer she would  take my brother and I to tennis practice and I remember sitting in the back seat and PRAYING that our car could just jump up in the air and fly us there on time. But we were ALWAYS late.  I have no idea if that encouraged me to not be a procrastinator but there is nothing else that gives me sweaty palms than that word.

Well welcome to my office/craft/reading room. 

And here sits a painting (in progress) on my easel.


I have used this project as a decor piece in my office for the last 3 years. Yes, we moved into our house 3 years ago and although I have painted a couple other paintings in our house:

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I really was planning this one to go into this space:


But now I realized that I have…wait for it…procrastinated. 

Because this:


Should be this:


(or close to it!)

I guess I have just thought that people would look at the space and say, “oh she’s an artist.” or “that’s a cool art space she has.” But now I know that people who have seen it millions of times just think, “does she really even paint?” 

So in perfect timing, Melissa @ Inspired Room comes along with a Project Procrastinators: Unite Challenge to start and finish your procrastination projects within 2 weeks. Well you all know I’m up for a challenge. So that means get my butt in gear, buckle down, and put a little time in each day to work on it. And with a diet pepsi next to me - I know I can do it!

Will I make it look close to the inspiration piece? You’ll have to find out in two weeks. I will also promise it framed and matted without spending a dime. That’s the 2nd part of the challenge that I made up myself. What do you think about that? More pressure people!

And I need to paint that window behind it too — Arggggg….I wish I hadn’t said that!


 But first, I think I’ll take a little girly weekend to Chicago with my sister-in-law and do some shopping, relaxing, room service, more shopping and SLEEPING IN…

Nope - no procrastinator here!

♥ Katie

A Spoon Full of Sugar…

Posted: April 28th, 2009 | Author: Katie | Filed under: Simple Solutions | 7 Comments »


As I gear up for another season filled with bugs and bites, (and stock up on bug repellent) I am a little less stressed and a lot more happy knowing that I can refer to my remedy binder.


This binder was created last year after I think I had been to the doctors office more times than I could count - although my bank account could tell you! I finally established some close and personal relationships with the nurses and reverted to calling in instead to give descriptions of the bug bites. It just seemed like each one was so different. Some were itchy, others swelled quickly, some were infected, others just scary looking. And of course each one had a different remedy and different amounts of creams, various times daily,weekly, 1/2 teaspoon, or 1 teaspoon, blah, blah, blah. It would all run together for me!  I wanted something that I could refer to from past experiences and doctor recommendations.

Finally, I came up with using a blank binder that I could simply list different problems and solutions or remedies that were given to me. Then I gathered all my other little notes that I had collected from doctor’s appointments and listed them all in the binder. I also used this to write down certain routines like starting solid foods and potty training. You know, all the fun stuff!

Now I simply bring the binder to my doctor appointment with any list of questions I have listed in the back and add sections to the front of it or add to certain sections when necessary. (Using pencil is key!)


Again, it came in handy yesterday when I took my boys to their check ups together. My now 4 year old was wanting me to tie his shoes, my 6 month old was spitting up on me and I was trying to hold a conversation with the doctor while remembering questions I had so I didn’t have to make another visit or phone call — for heavens sake!

And calmly next to me sat my handy dandy remedy binder, to guide me along the way.

Works for me!

♥ Katie

My Frugal Finds Continued…

Posted: April 23rd, 2009 | Author: Katie | Filed under: Simple Solutions | 20 Comments »

As I mentioned in my last post, Wendy from The Shabby Nest is hosting a Frugal Friday Link Party today and although my favorite frugal find was copying numbered chairs from Wendy, I have a couple other inspirational finds from fellow bloggers that I would love to share today…

Thrifty Decor Chick’s inspiration from Ballard Designs:


So she glued twine to some jars:


 I wrapped an old vase with twine I found from the dollar section at Target:


and loaded some flowers in the vase for a spring look.



Just last week, I read a post from Casa Petrie’s about decorating wooden clothes pins with ribbon.


So it got me thinking about making bookmarks for my boys’ journals just using some extra ribbon and a couple clothes pins. 




Kari and Kijsa have also inspired me a while ago with their butler’s pantry makeover: They took this: 


and with a little hard work and paint turned it into this:


So I was up for the challenge and although I just had a pantry - no butler here - I gave it the good ‘ol effort with a little sweat and some paint and turned this:


into a much prettier area:


But I wasn’t done because I wanted the bottom trays to be covered…but again I was too lazy to leave the house and didn’t want to spend any money. 


So Nester would be proud of the mistreatment at the bottom that was created using extra pieces of fabric from other projects, a piece of ribbon to cover the overlap, a couple tacks and a hot glue gun. This project had me searching around the house for some extra storage but cost zero dollars!

Thank you to all the ladies who have inspired me with their creativity and frugality. Now onto find more inspiration from Wendy’s Frugal Friday Link Party

♥ Katie

My Favorite Frugal Find

Posted: April 22nd, 2009 | Author: Katie | Filed under: Simple Solutions | 3 Comments »

I do believe imitation is the best form of flattery and that is why I LOVE my daily dose of inspiration from other bloggers. It just so happens that many of my favorite ideas have been very frugal finds. And I guess I should not be surprised - I am the one that walks into a store and heads straight for the sale rack.

So here is one of my all time favorites.

Wendy @ The Shabby Nest was inspired by this picture:


So she hand painted these on her chairs: (You can click here to see how she did this herself).


Maybe it is my enjoyment for structure in my life and secretly thinking how fun it would be to ask, “What number chair would you like to sit at for dinner?” But when I saw these - I flipped! I loved them right away and immediately found Faith on Earth’s decal etsy store and purchased numbers 1-4. My chairs and fabric are a bit on the fancy side so I liked the thin, dressier font. Does that even make sense? Anyways, I chose Edwardian Script and requested that they be around 3 inches in height. I spent $7.00 total for the letters and shipping. Wendy spent zero. But Wendy is much more talented than I am and she has an exacto knife. I also change my mind a lot so I liked the fact that they are just removable stickers - and again they look so much better than I would EVER be able to do myself! 



And yes, my husband already has said that he would like to sit at number 1, and my 3 year old likes the number 3, although he turns 4 on Sunday so maybe he’ll decide to switch then to the number 4 chair?!


Wendy @ The Shabby Nest is actually having a Frugal Friday Link Party so check back tomorrow and I’ll post more of my inspirational frugal finds!

♥ Katie

The Great Master Bath Redo

Posted: April 19th, 2009 | Author: Katie | Filed under: Simple Solutions | 10 Comments »

If the Thrifty Decor Chick asks, I do.

So I got a comment the other day from Sarah asking me to show more pictures of our master bathroom. I just thought that was so nice of her to ask and of course I would love to! So let’s go over my master bath makeover story and I’ll link this one in on another Met Monday @ Susan’s!

The bathroom was probably the room in the house that needed the most love, but as many of you that move into fixer uppers realize - you do the rooms that people see the most, first, and leave the ones that they don’t, last.

Sadly this meant that we were left with this:


…for a long time.

Yes, pink carpet, low vanities, a half wall for the taupe toilet (like that really gave much privacy), layers of wallpaper and yes, pink carpet.

Okay, time to move on.

The best part was hitting down the half wall - just like on tv. Then we were tired already. So many projects and we were just exhausted so we thought of all our time saving decorating techniques and here are some of them:

1. Don’t tear off the wallpaper - instead use a joint compound as a texturizing element to the walls and then paint over. It is probably so hard to even see the texturing - but that is what is nice, you can make it just how you want it for the space - light or heavy. 



2. Now we only had to texturize and paint the top since we used high wainscoating painted in black. Can anyone name the inspirational restaurant? Anyone even care? Oh well, I’ll keep the suspense and tell at the end! Ha!



3. My husband and his twin brother tiled the beautiful floors in a travertine which was on sale at Home Depot. I thought they might be too light but they are just perfect. I’ll say it — you guys were right.



4. Then the vanity beauties came in. These were our anniversary gifts to each other from Z Gallerie and they fit so perfectly in the space. Especially after I got my drawer dilemma all fixed!

{Vanity before}


{Vanity after}



5. We waited until  Hobby Lobby had their mirrors half off and we scored big on these gorgeous pieces! 


6.  I also found a little cabinet for inbetween the two vanities at Home Decorators Collection that just fit perfectly to hold some accessories - although I think it’s original purpose was a laundry basket?

7. We  installed a new white toilet. What a concept. White.

{Toilet before}


{Toilet after}


I found both the waste basket and ladder for steals at garage sales. And if you are looking for a toilet paper holder in the picture you will not find one. I know you are probably not looking, but if you want to know, I just have a wire basket that holds rolls on the other side of the toilet.


8. A new, unique light fixture. Just for the record- I wanted a fancy chandiler but my husband spotted this Tiffany looking dome at Lowes and we saved a good chunk of money and it was still very unique looking in the space. I actually think it matches with the decor better too. (Yes, you were right, AGAIN!)  


9. We did price new showers and it is something that we would still like to do but for the time being - the shower works fine and really just needed the doors taken off, and the curtains burned replaced with a plain shower curtain. Now the taupe shower actually blends in quite nicely with the paint color! How lucky are we?!

{Shower before}


{Shower after}



10. We didn’t have a door between the master bedroom and bath and so we just hung a curtain to separate the two spaces.


11. On a trip to IKEA we snatched this amazing clock for a great price.  Finally the space was complete. And the wait was worth it!


And I guess that is my sign that it’s time to go! 


Hope you enjoyed the pictures and have a wonderful Monday!


{Answer: Tall Black Beadboard - Your local Jason’s Deli!}

♥ Katie

The Garage Mud Room Makeover

Posted: April 17th, 2009 | Author: Katie | Filed under: Simple Solutions | 2 Comments »

After just sending my second newsletter out, I received several requests asking for more pictures of my garage mud room makeover. You don’t have to twist my arm! Here ya go!

Here was my inspiration picture (or more like a dream picture)…and a little extra inspiration from my friends Tami from Mike and Me + Three, Wendy @ Shabby Nest and Laurel from Ducks in a Row. (To see their mud rooms just sign up and I’ll send you my newsletter!)

img81i Read the rest of this entry »

Tassel Fever!

Posted: April 15th, 2009 | Author: Katie | Filed under: Simple Solutions | 4 Comments »


Everyone who knows me well, knows that the day after Christmas is one of my favorite shopping days. My mom and I head off to our favorite stores with a Starbucks in hand and prepared to fight the crowds for amazing deals!

This morning was just a tad bit different because I was at home. But with coffee in hand, I fought the masses of onliners for a little piece of The Nesters Tassels on her Etsy Store. Let me just tell you, I have looked high and low for a tassel that I love and today was the day. Of course The Nester does such beautiful work and her tassels are individually made with quality and love. And for today’s sale she was selling over 100 tassels between $5.00-$20.00!

So 8am when the sale started, I slowly started perusing through the tassels, double clicking for bigger pictures, imagining where I would put them, thinking of Christmas gifts, and starting to mark my favorites in a folder.

THEN…I quickly realized that some of the tassels I was looking at were not there any more! At that moment my inner competitive shopper came to life and BAM, quick, gut decisions had to be made! 

And look at how beautiful!!


My first and only Nester tassel.

But wait…

Then, as it always does, my buyers remorse kicked in. Although this time it was telling me to check back on another tassel that I liked to see if it was still available.

Yes! Click. Purchase. Done.
And welcome home little one.


Now, where were the kids you ask? Well they must have known how much I was looking forward to The Nesters sale because both were still sleeping at 8:30! They sure know mommy loves to shop!

If you missed the sale, there are still 3 left (I just checked) 2 left - I know - 2 out of 100 after only 4 hours of the sale. But I think I remember Nester saying that she might put others out later…You just better hope I’m not on when you are or you’ll have some serious competition!!!

♥ Katie

April’s Monthly Must Have

Posted: April 14th, 2009 | Author: Katie | Filed under: Simple Solutions | 5 Comments »


Interested? Inspired? Just plain confused?

Well I’m sending out my April Newsletter tomorrow and if you would like to know more about the boot tray, my garage/mud room makeover, and other bloggers inspirational mud room ideas, just add your name to the Monthly Newsletter Button on the right and I’ll send it to you right away!

Have a great day! 

♥ Katie

A Matte Makeover

Posted: April 12th, 2009 | Author: Katie | Filed under: Simple Solutions | 14 Comments »

I continue to be amazed at how a little can of spray paint can completely transform a piece. I wish I would have done this sooner and added it to the Spray Painting Party that Sarah @ Thrifty Decor Chick hosted a couple weeks ago!

Let’s actually take a trip down spray painting lane…

Do you remember my spray painted bed?


Above this bed I had purchased a large transferable monogram (from the wonderful, WonderfulGraffiti) that I simply adhered to a piece of uncut matte, then had a custom matte placed over it and framed it all. That has been my only problem with using the stick on transfers on bare walls - I just hate the feeling of them not being able to be reused. With the monogram being framed, I felt I could move it anywhere I wanted. I’m so glad I did this because not only did the matte not match the newly painted bed but the bed was too high for a frame to go above it. Therefore, I wanted to move the matte to another area in the room. 

{ I’m so mad that I don’t even have a before picture but just think of a framed picture you have and the matte doesn’t match a wall paint color anymore. Would it annoy you as badly as it annoys me?}

So I just took a can of brown spray paint that I had, did a little shake, and a little spray…

…and presto!


An Old/New piece of wall art! 

It is now a much better match with the wall color and the wood doors.

And get this…up close the paint even gives the matte a leathered look. Who knew?!

♥ Katie


Don’t forget to stop by  Susan’s Met Monday for other makeovers!

My Drawer Solution… and a Bunny Replaces a Birdie!

Posted: April 7th, 2009 | Author: Katie | Filed under: Simple Solutions | 6 Comments »


Last week on a reversed Works for Me Wednesday, I posted my make-up drawer dilemma on how to organize my makeup drawer and I received some wonderful feedback and ideas:

Small baskets - I love this because I could take the baskets out to use them.

Fabric sock organizer - I have only seen these in pictures but that could be a very easy custom piece.

Thin pieces of wood made into a grid pattern - I really think this would look nice and clean.

So as these ideas were resting nicely in my head, I made a quick stop at my Dollar Store to pick up some of those cute little birdies that people have been painting - and with my luck they didn’t have them!!

But thankfully I SCORED on two other good finds:


On the left is a set of 3 gift boxes and a chocolate brown ceramic bunny.

I used all 9 parts of the boxes to organize not only my makeup but 2 extras for bobby pins and hair ties. (No, I’m not going to prom - I guess I just bought the bobby pins in bulk!)

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I also used another small vase I had to hold more small, thin items and brushes.


Since I have installed my dollar boxes, it has been so much easier to find things and now my vanity is under control…


And since I couldn’t find the birdies - my little bunny was given a fresh coat and a new ribbon. 



Now, what didn’t work for me a week ago, works beautifully! (Until I find one of the better ideas I was given!)

♥ Katie

Find more solutions at Works for Me Wednesdays at We are THAT Family!