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

Goodwill Parties and A Giveaway!

Posted: May 31st, 2009 | Author: Katie | Filed under: Simple Solutions | 45 Comments »

While lounging on my couch and sipping my diet coke on a Friday night, (my kind of evening), I read a post through Wendy’s Frugal Friday Party  by Therapy By Decorating which actually gave me the inspiration for today’s Thrifty Treasures Party at Rhoda’s and the Goodwill party at Sarah’s!

It was love at first site how she turned a Target, Dollar Spot bucket into this cute thing:


If you know me, you know it took me 2 seconds to decide that I needed to head over to Target and get me some buckets! But no such luck. Ugggh!!

Never Fear - Goodwill Was There!

Literally, across the street, (I’m not kidding you) the Goodwill store had a bucket for me. Presenting the bee tin…


 And with spray paint, a shaky letter J, and a cute little ribbon — it turned into a markers holder for the boys’ art easel. I don’t know if I love it more because it is so stinking cute or because it was so stinking easy to make? Probably both.




And now for the moment you have all been waiting for! (Or is that just me?! Ha!)


{Clean & Classic Embellishments}

My sister-in-law, Mindy, and I have officially opened our Etsy Store, Clean & Classic Embellishments, combining our two businesses. Although we have many handmade decor accessories, we are most known for selling our custom pottery embellishments. All clay items are custom made with the colors and design of your choice, hand painted, glazed, fired in our kiln and shipped to you!

If you have seen some of my flower pots or bookshelves, you might have noticed the painted clay rosettes that we have made:


            They can be hung by a nail,


or adhered with epoxy to smooth surface.

Along with the rosettes we make clay pinch pots, and soap dishes that are fun to have or give as unique gifts.  Most customers like to use them to store jewelry, extra change, accessories and of course soap but if you can think of other ways, I would love to know!


     dsc01247   dsc01251

But with the welcoming of our new store, I thought one of our ‘Welcome Plaques’, similar to the one I have hanging on my porch, would be the perfect first giveaway!


Three ways to enter:

1. Just leave a comment! (and just make sure you leave your email if you don’t have a site so I can let you know if you win).

2. If you have time to check out the store and let me know what catches your eye, I’ll enter your name again!

3. Sign up or let me know you have already signed up for my newsletter and you automatically get another chance! How great is that?!

I will close the giveaway on Wednesday June 3rd @ 8am Central Standard Time.

Thanks for entering and good luck to you all!

♥ Katie

My New Favorite Place to Shop: My Yard

Posted: May 29th, 2009 | Author: Katie | Filed under: Simple Solutions | 9 Comments »

After a big wind the other night, I went shopping in my yard and came up with a little equation.

sticks + spray paint =

      img_0244     +    dsc00914   

= (equals)


= perfect decor to add to a vase and bring height to a room!

I also cut off some more amazingly beautiful and colorful pianis to add to my happy sink flower collection.


…looks expensive but cost me, zero dollars!

Thanks to  Wendy @ Shabby Nest for hosting another wonderful Frugal Friday Party!

♥ Katie

And finally the date is set — Come back on

{Monday June 1st}

 My First Giveaway and Etsy Store Announcement!

Lamps, lights and everything inbetween…

Posted: May 28th, 2009 | Author: Katie | Filed under: Simple Solutions | 20 Comments »


Welcome to Nester’s Lampapalooza Party!

Now you can’t have a party name like that and not be excited! Honestly, even my husband is excited about this post because I’m actually showing off some of his work too.

Below are an assortment of my favorite lights. Enjoy!

{living room with Nesters’ tassel}


This was one of the two tassels I purchased during Nesters crazy Tassel Sale a couple months ago. This was the first one I selected and I’m so glad I did. I just love looking at this tassel in the living room. It sits so pretty on the lamp and it’s bow is my favorite part. Truly, the lamp was naked without it!



 {office lamp with crystal bead}


I love the white on white and how the crystals hang and reflect the light of the lamp.


{outdoor garage lantern light}


We recently painted our exterior and replaced the UGLY motion detector light with a lantern from Home Depot for only $24.00.

                     img_2091     dsc01229

Can you tell the difference?!


{Jayhawk light fixtures}


Now this might look like a regular pool table light but these lights have seen some major history, and I’m not talking about the games that have taken place at our table! 

We live in Lawrence, Kansas and college basketball is just a tad bit of a big deal here. We are, and always have been huge KU fans. So when a friend offered my husband, David, a friends and family pass to a sale at the Allen Field House the other day, he was all over it.

Let’s get one thing clear: my husband is opposite of me with the second guessing thing. He is down right impulsive when it comes to purchasing so I knew this sale was going to be like feeding candy to a baby. I will not bore you with all the KU items he purchased but no one could miss the HUGE box of lights he brought home.

These lights were dusty, dirty, but don’t forget…they had HISTORY.

(We don't know there exact location - but were going with concourse lights).


The man has vision and he knew exactly what he wanted to do with 3 of these lights. First he rewired them with new electrical wire, ran the wire through standard water piping that he picked up at the local hardware store. He also bought some connectors and voila…a masterpiece!


How great is that?! But he still needed to fabricate a mount which consisted of a standard electrical junction box that fastened to a piece of leftover door trim from a previous project. A couple of hooks and coats of black paint cleaned this baby up nicely.


Next he bought a swiveling, self anchoring mounting hook and hung with a chain from a standard ceiling fan swag kit at Home Depot for only 4 dollars.

(Do I sound like I know what I’m talking about? Good because David has been dictating to me this whole thing! Except I have added in the ‘voila’, ‘masterpiece’ and ‘cleaned this baby up nicely’ statements. Really all I did was paint and take pictures).


A year ago, David was craving an expensive KU bar light. Now he has created a story and a historical light for less than $30 with his own two hands and that can be passed down for many years to come.  I am so proud of him and constantly amazed how he brings his talent and passion to better so many parts of our home. 

♥ Katie

Lampapalooza Lamp Makeover update!! This is the best part of these parties - so much inspiration. And there were a couple of my lamps that needed it so they are in a makeover session right now and one has already been completed.

I so loved the lamps that had ribbon or fabric draped around them and tied. And when I saw Amanda’s I knew what I needed to do. Now this is the crazy part - I have had this ribbon since I bought it after Christmas as one of those - love it but don’t know where to put it - purchases. 


So in the middle of breakfast, and my husband asking me, “What are you doing?” I did this little 2 minute makeover. 






Fab! Thanks all you Lampapalooza party people!

Burlap Memory Photo Frame

Posted: May 25th, 2009 | Author: Katie | Filed under: Simple Solutions | 14 Comments »


I love when two mismatched things find each other and live in perfect harmony. 

Decor, that is. 

So I had an extra picture frame that was just itching to be made into something beautiful.  Although this was a sad frame because it didn’t have any backing or glass insert.

“Trash,” you say. “Treasure,” I thought.

{Okay that sounded corny but just watch.}

I spray painted the frame, and wrapped an extra piece of plain cardboard with burlap.

  dsc01198         dsc01199

Now where did I find this burlap?

–I warn you this story might make you a little sad.–

I had a small kit filled with games for preschoolers and one of the activities was a burlap sack to practice relay races and jumping skills. Of course I had my son practice a couple times, and he did so well, I took the scissors to it. Everyone wins right?

(Great now I feel badly, and I promise I’ll let him practice more with an old pillow case, okay?!)

Remember my Edward Masking Tape Hands issue with my Procrastination Picture? Well it came out again. I just think of my skill with masking tape similar to the Nesters skill with a hot glue gun. That’s all.


Didn’t even need a backing.


Then the fun part began where I simply painted in the stenciled numbers with the year my son was born, added my sacred pictures, and now it rests on a dresser in his closet.




Easy, breezy, beautiful… covered burlap frame.

I’m linking this one to Rhonda @ Southern Hospitality’s Burlap Party today. She has actually covered lamp shades with burlap and added a monogram. I’m in love! Check out her cute projects and add your own! 

♥ Katie

Feels Like Home to Me…

Posted: May 21st, 2009 | Author: Katie | Filed under: Simple Solutions | 3 Comments »


I hope this Memorial Day finds you spending time with the people who you love. I learned from my mother-in-law that family and love are most important  in our lives. She was the family connector.  She modeled how to love family, friends and even shopping…deeply! (And let me tell you, the woman knew how to shop!) I will never forget a conversation we had about our feathers’ based on an Oprah show where Nate Berkus discussed the importance of having things in your house that tell a story and represent who you are and what you love.

Jona’s ‘feathers’ were no brainers if you had ever met her or stepped a foot in her house. They were: family, roses, and light houses/churches. At the time I thought they were just all separate “things” but now I find a deeper understanding how these are all tied together.  

‘And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love‘. 

1 Corinthians 13


Each one of her feathers demonstrate symbols of love and where love grows.

Each of our homes have the opportunity to hold the light to which we share our most precious family memories.

I am thankful for my family and friends, near, far and above.


Now these light houses in the boys’ room, passed down to them, not only serve as the coolest night lights ever, but they hold such a special memory of a woman who will always be with us in our hearts and in our homes. 

♥ Katie

I’m linking this to Melissa’s Beautiful Life Friday. Thank you Melissa for the daily reminders of what a beautiful life really means.

Flower Pot Parade

Posted: May 19th, 2009 | Author: Katie | Filed under: Simple Solutions | 3 Comments »

After this post - I promise - I’m done with flowers for awhile.

*That is really not true at all because this next weekend I’m planting flowers in my pots using Kirsty’s recommendation*



Only can get better from here…

From her link on my newsletter, many of you enjoyed the secret from her, including my friend Lori and my mom, who both worked on their flowering pots this last weekend. I can’t wait to see if Kristy’s idea works! (And Lori, I can’t wait to see yours. You know I will be doing a drive by!)

Anyways, after sending out my May Newsletter, it was so nice to hear back from many of you and I’m just so happy that you enjoyed it and can benefit from some of the ideas that I share with you. Just like Kristen from We are That Family loves baskets to use for storage - my new favorite has become the ‘flower pot.’ And for those who wanted to see more of the flower pot storage that I have going on in my house, here goes the flower pot parade!




{Pencil/Pen holders and a napkin holder}


Yep, those are flower pots from Pottery Barn


{Plain ones in the garage}


But it was truly like Where’s Waldo in my house - because as you will see right away - they all have one thing in common….

{Fabric Softeners}


{Stationary - not a flower pot, but close enough?}




…Someone likes polka dots!

And if you didn’t see the other ones I showcased in my newsletter (warning: more polka dots), or you would like the secret flowering tip from Kristy @ Momedy, along with other fellow bloggers creative flowering ideas, you can click the side button and I’ll send  you my May Flowering Ideas Newsletter right away along with some very exciting Etsy and Giveaway news! 

♥ Katie

Happy Sink Flowers

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

I’m officially hooked on happy sink flowers.

Do you know even know what I mean by “Happy Sink Flowers?” I guess it  is a term that I have made up in my own head? (I do that a lot). It comes from the people who say that fresh flowers next to the sink make them happy. And I now agree.
I have tried this for a couple months by just putting fresh flower(s) from my yard or from the store in a pretty little vase.






But for me, it’s like Christmas in May when these pianis come up in my side yard. Although they have not exactly bloomed yet, I still just had to drop a couple in a votive holder and place them in my bathroom.



The other day I found a really cute vase at Hobby Lobby for two buckaroos that I dressed up with a ribbon and a pop of color! And since Melissa is having her Friday Beautiful Life party today I thought I would also borrow a little inspiration from her new green chairs!


And then I went crazy with the extra peach carnation from church on Mother’s Day, and put it in a votive in my office. Love it! I think I might be addicted…


Seriously, now when I’m driving around I tend to have the desire to stop and pick flowers from yards.

I’m not saying I do - I just want to!!

I have more obsession with all things flowers, including my take on using flower pots and other fellow bloggers creative flowering ideas, in my newsletter that I’m sending out in a couple days. If you are not already signed up you can click the side button and I’ll send  you my May Flowering Ideas Newsletter along with some very exciting Etsy and Giveaway news!

♥ Katie

The Painted Petals Out Power My Procrastination

Posted: May 14th, 2009 | Author: Katie | Filed under: Simple Solutions | 8 Comments »


I HATE procrastinating.

And this is why…

I am a second guesser - therefore I usually have to add in time for me to second, third and fourth guess myself.

So in this case I started with a wonderful, fun, and money saving idea to finish a painting and frame it without spending a dime, and in two weeks. Where did it all go wrong? Let’s look back on the last couple weeks and see, shall we?

April 30th - Posted My Procrastination: Low on Flower Power


May 1st - 3rd - A wonderful girlie weekend to Chicago with my sister-in-law…

May 4th - May 7th - Worked on painting a little each day.

May 8th - May 10th - A family trip to Iowa to see my Gramma…

Monday, May 11th - Finished painting! Three days to go and all I need to do is frame and hang. Looking good!

And you know what that means — here comes the trouble…

Tuesday May 12th 5:00 pm

 I already had a frame for the picture, but it needed a matte so my plan was to make one out of extra burlap I had from a sack. I meticulously cut out cardboard pieces and wrapped them with the burlap.



If you are even a tad bit interested to see what it looked like after I, Edward masking tape hands, completed it yesterday afternoon. (Did I forget to mention that I didn’t have the backing to the frame?)


Looks pretty messy from the back side but flip it over and it wasn’t too bad.


Then the moment I forgot to prepare for…the second guess.  Pause, look at it, walk away from it, look at it again…nope. I just couldn’t do it. It really needed a matching matte to balance the other two frames. 

May 13th 11:30 am

Although I hadn’t planned for it, a trip to Hobby Lobby wasn’t going to take too much time. So off to grab a $2.00 matte. Got in, got out, got home. Noooooo! The frame was too big - and that, friends, is why you ALWAYS measure before you go.

May 13th 7:30 pm

Tried burlap behind the matte, third guessed, tried to find another extra piece of matte, fourth guessed. This is when the panic sets in…drive to Hobby Lobby, again. And I was saved. Not only did I find a frame I liked but they were also 50% off! 

May 13th 8:30 pm

Matted and hung and a big sigh of relief!

So it turns out getting back to water coloring was very therapeutic and the skill of blending returned like riding a bike. What I didn’t plan for was the framing ordeal. Oh and remember me saying the window needed to be painted. Yes, that was what I was suppose to do when I was driving to Hobby Lobby for the second time! Procrastination stinks.

But overall the painted petals won.

Drum roll….



And now my office is complete.(Well for the moment, at least!)


♥ Katie

Now head on over with me to see the other procrastination projects at The Inspired Room!


Thank you Mr.Tupper

Posted: May 12th, 2009 | Author: Katie | Filed under: Simple Solutions | 7 Comments »

I knew I had it bad when I wanted tupperware for my birthday last year. But I realized I was really pathetic when I actually went and bought it for myself because I just couldn’t wait! And I must say - it was one of the best gifts ever. I love my tupperware. And who says that? 

Introducing Sterilite Tupperware.


Did you really think this was my food in it? I wish…


Here are mine…


And in my freezer…


It comes in three different colors and the cool thing is each container has different depths but can share the same top. So when you are taking them out of the dishwasher or fumbling through your tupperware drawer - if you grab a green top then it will go with ANY green bottom. How nice is that?!


 And when you want to thaw it out then you just lift the latch on the top and you can microwave it like that too.


They also have 4 locking sides that make a clicking sound when shut correctly. Music to my ears.


Am I just crazy or anyone else feeling the Sterilite love?! (Only answer if you are feeling the love please!)

And the burning question? Where did we get the name ‘Tupperware?’  A shout out to Mr. Earl Tupper - the founder of Tupperware Plastic Company in 1938…You may now go about your day!

♥ Katie

I’m joining in on another great week at WFM @ We are THAT Family! 

The Sky’s the Limit

Posted: May 7th, 2009 | Author: Katie | Filed under: Simple Solutions | 5 Comments »

I have been doing quite a bit of traveling lately and it has given me a lot of time to relax look through Skymall.

And to say that I am a newbie in this area would be a lie.

If you take a little trip around our house you would spot these Skymall friends:

The Pillowtop EZ Bed: 102752848d This was our first Skymall purchase and it has come in VERY handy in the last 5 years and EZ is no joke. It has also been nice to be able to hand off to friends who might need to borrow it.

All-in-one Baby Safety Seat: 101887706d So after our first Skymall love, we thought we would give it another try. We knew we would be traveling a lot more in the years to come and we kept spotting this in airports. Now its a part of our family and it has been a wonderful combo to travel with on trips.

The Slanket:


But friends - nothing, nothing, (not even the Snuggie), will compare to this Skymall purchase. My husband told me this was the BEST present that I have ever given him. And that my friends is the best compliment…EVER!

So these are my NEW favorites that have caught my eye recently. And who knows, they just might make it into our home or yours in the near future!

Handmade Copper Hose Pot:


Isn’t this just beautiful? Now my taupe plastic crank one definitely holds it’s own but this antique copper one would sure look pretty in the front lawn.

World’s Largest Write on Mural Map:


Every time I look at this I think of how much my 4 year old would love this in his room! (And it wouldn’t be a bad idea to cover up a nasty wallpaper job either!)

Wicker Wood Magazine Rack:


Now the great thing about this piece is that I have seen one similar at World Market for a cheaper price. I thought it would be fun to even use it for throw blankets, kids books, shoes, toys, and of course magazines.

Double Sided Clock Thermometer:


Again, just a beautiful piece that I really wouldn’t even care about the time or the temperature but it sure would look pretty on the outside of my deck.

And again this weekend I’m traveling, but thankfully this time it’s by car!

♥ Katie

I’m linking up to Julia’s Hooked on Fridays Party today and I’m happy to be back after a couple weeks off!