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

A Custom Fit

Posted: January 31st, 2010 | Author: Katie | Filed under: Simple Solutions | 5 Comments »

Projects for us just seem to start as a conversation. Then they buildquickly and literally.


See, we have a fireplace and two large windows that frame it. It has always been tricky to find something that fits next to the fireplace to hold the technology that we need and use as storage too. We have used a couple different pieces but recently my brother and sister-in-law built 2 long bookshelves to the sides of their fireplace and it got my husbands wheel’s turning. And when that happens it doesn’t really ever stop. He bought the wood last Monday worked on one that evening, the second one he took four 5 minute increments of time out of his work day and one 20 minute work session to finish and then I was presented with this:


So I got to work:


And since I was working a night shift – I pulled out my big gun.

41lc99zw8il_sl500_aa280_I’m telling you, this headlamp, (actually given to my son by his cousin) was a LIFE SAVER! It spotted all those hard to see places where you think that you have put on enough paint but you really haven’t. PlusI felt like a miner.

And to give it the true built in look, he added the same tall baseboards from our fireplace along with routing the top and it was complete!



And in order to hide all those obnoxious little cords - we used a Belkin outlet surge protector from Home Depot.


Can you see them behind there? Gotta love that!


So here is the living room succession up to date…





♥ Katie

{Make it for Monday}

{Met Monday}

Pants on the Ground

Posted: January 24th, 2010 | Author: Katie | Filed under: Simple Solutions | 9 Comments »

Here is my version of “Pants on the Ground” for all of you American Idol watchers…


A typical closet floor for us.

Now, even with all those beautiful plastic, white, matching hangers I bought – we still end up with clothes on the floor (and ski goggles?) So since I (try to) do laundry in colors and whites, I thought I would buy two baskets to sort the clothes.

I’ve tried the hamper thing and I guess it just not my thing. I think it might be all the work of lifting the top to it…

I like baskets. And there are many places to get baskets but I love the ones at World Market. I found these,(took out the linens) with handles so when they are full I just carry them to the washer and after the clothes are dry, fold them, place them back in the same basket and carry them back to the closet.


My other secret weapon is my make shift laundry basket off our kitchen. It also had a linen liner that I took off and now just shoot clothes baskets into it from my kitchen. Very handy.


But in all honestly, even with baskets, the song title remains true…


♥ Katie

{Works for Me Wednesdays}

Sitting Pretty

Posted: January 21st, 2010 | Author: Katie | Filed under: Simple Solutions | 5 Comments »

This is our oldest…


(@ 15 months)
Jon Stutler Photography

…and the stool was one of many things that was handmade with love by my grandparents, for my brother and I, when we were kids.


They had made a number of them so we were fortunate enough to receive another one and off I went to embellish the plain wood stool once again.



I simply painted both and then added a clay embellishment from our Etsy store. But really you could add so many things to the back of the chair…painting a design, glueing on a faux flower, adding a small wooden applique…just something to add a small pop to a cute little chair.


My grandparents were so talented and thoughtful and made many other  handmade treasures that I look forward to updating and keeping in the family for a long time. I’ll keep you posted!

But until then, I’ll leave you with a side by side of our youngest on “Charlie” the Rocking Horse (another piece that was made by my grandparents) and me, when I was a youngin’ riding away in the sunset!

dsc03384 katie_baby_7

Isn’t it crazy and amazing, at the same time, to think that someday our grandchildren might use and look at the things that we made like that? How special that would be…

♥ Katie

{Make it for Monday}

My Mail Route

Posted: January 17th, 2010 | Author: Katie | Filed under: Simple Solutions | 6 Comments »

Is one of your New Year’s Resoultions to declutter? Here is my:

Instant mail decluttering tip with a tinge of green:


So this is what my mail route looks like:

1. I get my mail and as I walk back to my house I look over all of it and right away decide what junk mail I don’t need. (You can lower these amounts too by dialing 1-888-5 OPT OUT (or 1-888-567-8688) 24 hours a day.)

2. In my garage I have a mail recycling bin so I just throw unwanted pieces in those.

3. Then I bring in the rest of the mail and put my husbands in his basket which goes down stairs to his office. (Or let’s face it — I take it down to his office once it is full). Any basket would work too. I used to have a larger one, but my sister-in-law spotted this one that was maybe meant more as a flowering basket, but it fits perfectly on the banister.


4. I try to go through my mail immediately and put it in the proper place.

5. Any magazines I file in my magazine basket and save for a rainy day. (Usually that day is also a day when I have no tv shows tivoed).



Happy Mailing!

♥ Katie

Want More?!

Here are some of my other favorite cleaning/organization posts:

Lovah my Bona!

Aha Uses: Storage for scarfs and necklaces

Aha Uses: Extra socks and frames

Gift Wrapping Station

Monthly Calandar

School Work Keeper

Book Storage

Medicine Baskets

Weekly ‘To Do’ Calendar

Remedy Book

Makeup Organization

Wrapping my Linens

Lockets of Love

Posted: January 12th, 2010 | Author: Katie | Filed under: Simple Solutions | 2 Comments »


When I saw these necklaces in Chasing Fireflies, something just hit me. Do you have that feeling? You just know it was made just for you and you will pay any amount to have it?!! Please don’t tell me I’m the only one that gets that rush…Oh right, then the price tag hits me back into reality…

So I go to my next best source, Etsy. And I find these beauties, but still above what I wanted to spend.


So I go into ‘make them on my own mode’ –sometimes on things like this — it is my last mode because I want them to be perfect. Funny thing is, I don’t even wear necklaces. Pretty much ever.

Then, out of the blue, I was given a locket from my grandma with pictures that she had of me and my brother.

It was a sign that I was to convert them into a treasured keepsake.

So I started playing with ideas. I used my silhouettes that I had from my sharpie silhouettes and sent them to a friend that did her magic. Yes, that is really all I can give you because other than making them beautifully perfect - I have no idea what she did. (Really, I’m guessing using PhotoShop she shrunk them, filled them in and placed them on a white background) Thank you again Grace!

I then cut them and placed them in the locket that I had monogrammed with the boys initials.


I was so in love with the look that when I saw this locket ornament at Pottery Barn the day after Christmas, that I had to buy it. I ended up using the same pictures (except enlarged) and placed them in it.


Now I have a Christmas ornament hanging in my bathroom…who knew? I told ya ornaments can be year round!


Where do you have yours hanging?!

♥ Katie

Team Action!

Posted: January 7th, 2010 | Author: Katie | Filed under: Simple Solutions | 1 Comment »

New Years Resolution 2010: Take Action (around the house that is)

So here are some shelves that I have looked at, drooled over, ripped out of the magazine (of course) and hoped to go on sale for the last year. Of course, they never did so I used some wonderful great uncle christmas money (Thank you Gene!) and splurged on 2 Collectors Shelves at Pottery Barn Kids for the boys’ birthday books.


Every year on their birthdays we give them a book and write in the inside cover a letter about the year. Now they have a nice display rack so they can read the books often. Hopefully this can be a special way to be able to always look back on our love for them.


Boy do I hope this resolution lasts! Happy New Year to you all!

♥ Katie

Year Round Ornaments

Posted: January 3rd, 2010 | Author: Katie | Filed under: Simple Solutions | 2 Comments »

So when taking the tree down, which might have already past for some of you…I challenge you…Don’t put the tree ornaments away just yet!

I have caught myself enjoying Christmas all year long by placing ornaments throughout the house. Let’s go on a little scavenger hunt, shall we?

In or on a greenery cone…



On a bulletin board…


As a drape tie back accessory…


My silver dove hanging on my table centerpiece: (you can see the other birds I have collected recently, here)


I also love to use the locket ornaments to keep in the boys rooms year round where I put there picture and birth info:



But you will have to wait till my next post to see how I just used another locket ornament and made one of my all favorite collectables yet. I am still having troubles finding a place for it though - I wonder why - I think I have used almost every spot imaginable in my house!!

Now the only trick to this all is to remember to put them back on the tree come next December!

♥ Katie