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Open House: Storage


*This post was originally published in September 2010 and I have since then changed my blog theme and layout several times resulting in issues with older posts that have pictures. The pictures are sometimes too big, too small, or too “smooshy”. At this time I don’t have the time to re-post the photos to correct this. Clicking on the photo to enlarge it should solve your smooshy problems. Thank you.*

Today I’m going to show you some of my storage. Which basically means that you’ll look inside my closets and in my basement. Lucky you. I don’t have any great storage solutions for you because right now I am waist deep in clutter that I’m trying to get rid of and reorganize.

First I’ll show you my two best storage solutions.

1. DVD Storage.

We probably have about 300 DVDs.
Most of them are children’s/family movies.
I’ve been “collecting” them for the past 7 years.
These three cd binders hold all of our DVDs.
The one on the left has all of our animated Disney and Pixar movies.
The one in the middle has all of our G/PG movies, musicals, and Christmas movies.
The one on the right has all of our PG13 movies (mostly Action-Adventure).

I like the one in the middle the best because it has a hand and shoulder strap, but I haven’t been able to find another like it 😦 None of these are official binders with the rings. Those actually work the best because you can take out the sheets with the DVDs still in them if you want to reorganize or add more movies. I haven’t looked in years but at the time I wasn’t able to find a ringed cd binder that was big enough, so I’ve stuck with these. I really like this system because when we want to watch a movie we just leaf through and see what we have. We haven’t had much need to “travel” with them yet, but I think it will come in handy in the future. Not enough movies for the kids at Grandma’s house? Take the binder with you. Going on a road trip with a portable DVD player? Take the binder with you.

The biggest problem with this method is what to do with the DVD cases. However, if you left the DVDs in the cases you’d still need somewhere to store them (except they’d need to be accessible too). Because we don’t need the cases on a regular basis they are all packed away in a giant storage tote in the basement. This way if we ever want to give any of them away or sell them, we’ll still have the cases. If you know that you’re going to keep the DVDs no matter what then you could always throw away (read: recycle) the cases.

We keep the cases inside the TV armoire.

2. Shoes!

Soon I will probably retire all of my cute shoes for good. First I couldn’t wear them because I was pregnant. Now I can’t wear most of them because I no longer fit in the outfits the shoes used to match. This cycle will likely repeat itself. I’ve had most of these shoes for years.

I have a small foot (6.5) so I can usually fit 2 pairs of shoes inside these little plastic totes. They cost under $2. It keeps the shoes looking good, they stack neatly, and they’re clear so that I can see the pair that I need.

Right outside of the back door I keep a trash can for paper to be recycled. Old ads, newspapers, etc. go into this bin. Once it is full Cool Daddy takes it to a paper recycling dumpster at a local school.

To see how I organize my coupons below click here.

Now that all of that’s over, it’s time to look in the closets.
Here’s a bigger view of my closet.

(We don’t wear that much black, those are Cool Daddy’s work uniforms.)
By the way, I have quite a few of those over-the-door hooky things around the house. I find them pretty useful.

Here’s the other closet in the master bedroom.
My clothes are inside the dresser. Extra pillows, blankets, etc. are on top of and next to the dresser. Cleaning out and remodeling this closet is on my Giant To Do List.

This is Adaline’s closet. I try to stockpile diapers, as you can see. I buy 7th Generation, Earth’s Best, and Huggies Pure N’ Natural when I can. We were given a ton of clothes for her. The ones that are too small and too big are in totes in the basement. I’ll need to do another wardrobe switch soon since the seasons are changing up here in PA.

This is the closet in the spare bedroom. In January I started couponing and this is the stockpile of Health and Beauty products that I’ve acquired so far. Having Cool Daddy build some new/additional shelves for this closet is on The Giant To Do List. The top shelf has lots of Bibles. I like Bibles 🙂

This is the bathroom cupboard. There are towels, cleaning supplies, and some more health and beauty stuff in here. I’m hoping the Cool Daddy can build shelves here going the whole way up so that we’ll have more room to store things.

Here are the totes in the basement. This is miscellaneous clothes and junk and the next photo is Christmas decorations.

And now after all of those niceties I will shamefully show you my most used storage solution called, “Throw junk everywhere.”

This is the spare bedroom.

This is the living room.

I have to say that neither of these rooms looked like this prior to August. But ever since Adaline’s 1st Birthday Party I’ve had a big mess of stuff I just don’t know what to do with. I need to get more totes, but I’m not looking to spend the money right now. Updated to add that now the living room is lovely and clutter free and the spare bedroom looks much, much worse 😉

My last and most favorite storage solution is called “Put it in mom’s gigantic attic (much to her dismay)”. I don’t have any photos of that, but it’s been a family favorite for years 😉

I’m very sad that the 4 Moms Open House tour is ending. I do enjoy seeing everyone homes, but also, this is just about the only traffic that I get…so I shall miss you all dearly.

*Open House: Adaline’s Nursery
*Open House: Dominic’s Nursery
*Open House: Master Bedroom
*Open House: Laundry Room
*Open House: Family Room
*Open House: Storage
*Open House: My Mama’s Kitchen
I still haven’t added the living room or kitchen yet. Let me know if you’d like to see them. The more interest there is the more likely I am to make the time to do it!

This post is linked to 4 Moms Open House
http://www.smockityfrocks.com/category/4-moms
+Smockity Frocks
+Life in a Shoe
+The Common Room
+Raising Olives

I’m not a “mom of many” (unless you consider one “many”), but I love reading about these ladies and their families 🙂

Coolest Family on the Block is committed to helping you find creative ways to have fun and make memories with your family all year-long. Don’t miss an idea, tip, or trick…subscribe and have updates sent directly to your email!
*Subscribe via email*RSS*Facebook*Twitter*Networked Blogs*Blog Frog*

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Open House: Family Room


*This post was originally published in September 2010 and I have since then changed my blog theme and layout several times resulting in issues with older posts that have pictures. The pictures are sometimes too big, too small, or too “smooshy”. At this time I don’t have the time to re-post the photos to correct this. Clicking on the photo to enlarge it should solve your smooshy problems. Thank you.*

Today I’m going to share our “Family Room” with you. This is actually supposed to be our dining room. At different times it’s held various junk that was waiting for a space. Most of the time it was just empty. This was perfect from 2005-2008 when I held a Bible club for teenage girls in my home. At one point I had 17 girls in this room at once! Anyway, we decided that we’d much rather use it as another living space rather than a dining room. So we moved our living room furniture into the dining room and got new furniture for the living room. The Living Room is now our formal “sitting room” which means that no one ever actually sits in it, but we’ll save that for another post. When Adaline isn’t napping we spend all of our time in the Family Room.

Here we are entering the Family Room through the formal Living Room. We actually have had this safety gate (and one that you’ll see in the next picture) for 6 years. Shortly after moving in we brought home our sweet little furbaby, Muppet, and had to put up gates. There’s still evidence of his puppyhood all over the downstairs, but teeth marks give character, right?

Straight ahead you can see the other gate blocking off the kitchen. I assume that the sofa and loveseat are self explanatory.


Moving to the left a little we can see our wedding photo display on the wall and a chair.

Yes, that is a mirror in a very awkward place near the chair.
When Adaline was smaller we had a changing table where the chair is (the chair was moved underneath the wedding display) and the mirror was there to occupy her. I could move it, but I don’t know where to put it yet and it’ll just be lying around somewhere. So there it hangs.

Above the chair is “our story” in photos. The first picture to the left is our engagement photo, then a wedding photo, then a photo from our honeymoon, a photo while I was pregnant with Adaline, and a photo of us with Adaline 2 weeks old. I tried taking pictures of this display about 10 times and they all were either washed out by the flash or fuzzy from turning the flash off. Here are the best images that I got.

If that tv armoire looks familiar, that’s because it’s the same exact one that is in our bedroom.
Just for fun, I’m not going to tell you where that white door to the right leads. It might lead to Narnia and then again maybe not. I’ll never tell.

Adaline’s 6 month baby photos (actually taken a week before she turned 7 months).

And here we have the kitchen off to the left, the living room off to the right, a glider that I’ve had since 1998 (which usually has the dog’s bed laying on it), an end table (which is actually the nightstand from our bedroom set that doesn’t fit next to our ginormous king sized bed), and the loveseat. Let us not neglect the window. Yes, there is also a window. It is awaiting curtains. It might be a-waiting a long time.

And here are a few close-ups of that particular wall.
The first two photos are Adaline at 2 weeks and the one on the right she’s 3 weeks old.

This is the wall where I put the cake table during Adaline’s first birthday party.
You can click here to see what it looked like.

A wedding photo of our horse-drawn carriage ride.

I usually manage to keep this room pretty clean (when Adaline isn’t busy playing). I try to keep it free of clutter (which means that the kitchen and the living room catch most of the miscellaneous junk). Below are some thumbnails of what the room looks like with Adaline’s toys in it (click to make them bigger). Although I watch very little to no tv, the armoire doors are usually open in case I need to pop in Baby Einstein for some unforeseen reason.

*Open House: Adaline’s Nursery
*Open House: Dominic’s Nursery
*Open House: Master Bedroom
*Open House: Laundry Room
*Open House: Family Room
*Open House: Storage
*Open House: My Mama’s Kitchen
I still haven’t added the living room or kitchen yet. Let me know if you’d like to see them. The more interest there is the more likely I am to make the time to do it!

This post is linked to 4 Moms Open House
(Except it really isn’t linked to it because they did living spaces awhile back and I missed the linky. But here’s a shout out anyway!)
http://www.smockityfrocks.com/category/4-moms
+Smockity Frocks
+Life in a Shoe
+The Common Room
+Raising Olives

I’m not a “mom of many” (unless you consider one “many”), but I love reading about these ladies and their families 🙂

Coolest Family on the Block is committed to helping you find creative ways to have fun and make memories with your family all year-long. Don’t miss an idea, tip, or trick…subscribe and have updates sent directly to your email!
*Subscribe via email*RSS*Facebook*Twitter*Networked Blogs*Blog Frog*

Open House: Laundry Room


*This post was originally published in September 2010 and I have since then changed my blog theme and layout several times resulting in issues with older posts that have pictures. The pictures are sometimes too big, too small, or too “smooshy”. At this time I don’t have the time to re-post the photos to correct this. Clicking on the photo to enlarge it should solve your smooshy problems. Thank you.*

Okay, so my laundry room is the dirtiest room in the house. There’s just always so much lint and dust and dirt. Bleh. The upside is that in just about every corner there is now a friendly spider living there just waiting to make friends. I’ve become rather attached to them, so that’s the reason why I don’t clean my laundry room. Yep, that’s why. Anywho, moving on.

So, I’ve been linking up to the 4 Moms 35 Kids Open House which is where most of my traffic is coming from these days (Hi mamas! Thanks for stopping by. I need readers…and friends…and a life…). Laundry rooms are probably a pretty big deal to mamas with a whole bunch of kiddos. Around these here parts we only have one youngin so we don’t have the constant ballet of laundry that a mom of many likely deals with on a daily basis. I can’t wait to see the others moms’ laundry rooms because I have serious doubts that I’d be able to get laundry for 12 done in my tiny dust covered laundry room.

Unlike in my daughter’s nursery (where I know where I got every single decorative item), most of this stuff was purchased 6 or so years ago…so I’ve forgotten where I got things. Oh well. The walls in this room are all paneling (bleh). I wanted an old country wash room look in here, so I decided not to completely cover the paneling with paint. I was hoping that would give it that weathered look. I’m not sure if I accomplished that or if it just looks like a bad paint job. And so our tour begins…

So here’s what you see straight ahead when you open the bi-fold door to the laundry room. Yippie! Don’t you just love bi-fold doors?! (That’s sarcasm, darlings. I don’t hate the bi-fold doors near as much now that Cool Daddy fixed the slidy-hicky-thing and I can open and close it with no trouble!)

You’re seeing our laundry sorter to the left, then our cloth diaper pail, then the washer and dryer. I know that the double lights above the washer are weird. Well, when we moved in “they” had a sink where the washer is now with a medicine cabinet in between the lights. The washer was supposed to go to the left of the sink (where the laundry sorter is) and the dryer would stay where it’s at. I thought the set up was stupid and inconvenient…so Cool Daddy moved everything around for me. The cabinet above the dryer wasn’t there either, I’ll show you where it used to be a little later.

Here’s a close-up of a few of the decorative pieces.


The “Around here, Normal is just a setting on the washing machine” sign I got at a craft show somewhere. Maybe in Volant (Amish Country). This cute little laundry box keeps our dryer sheets in it. I got it online somewhere.

Moving on, we’re back at the bi-fold door. Now we’re looking directly to the right of the doorway.

Yep, that’s a wall! The light and fan switch are on it & on the other side of it is the toilet. Here’s a better look at the wall decor (which I either got at Collections Etc. or LTD Commodities).

So, now we walk into the room and turn just at the edge of the wall to see…

A window! How fascinating! To help you keep your direction, that’s the dryer on the left and you can see the edge of the wall to the right. If we step forward again and turn to the right…

Yay! A toilet! So here’s what’s going on over here in case you couldn’t guess. To the left is a toilet paper tower. You can put a box of tissues in the top of it with one coming out of the heart. I removed our box of tissue before taking this photo, because, well, we do need some privacy…one’s box of tissues is just too intimate a photo to share with complete strangers. I must draw the line somewhere. No. Obviously we’re out of tissues at the moment. The tower was from either Collections Etc. or LTD Commodities. To the right is a diaper sprayer…essential if you’re cloth diapering! It’s attached to the other side of the wall you saw earlier that has the light switch on it. The hand towel on the toilet tank has outhouses on it and is from The Country House. We had some plumbing issues and unfortunately my husband had to tear down the paneling to fix it. He replaced it with bead board (why?) that still needs to be painted. There used to be some outhouse prints hanging here too. I got them for $1.00 each at Wal-Mart and framed them in $1.00 frames from The Dollar Tree. I think they’re hiding under the sink waiting to be re-hung. As you can probably tell by now, I had a laundry theme going on in the laundry room, but an outhouse theme going on in the toilet area. I’m very creative that way, thinking out of the box and whatnot.

Okay, so we’re going to stay standing right where we’re at, but turn to the right. Now the toilet is on our left, the dryer is on our right and this is what we see…


Before Cool Daddy moved all of the stuff around in here, there was a utility tub where the sink is and the cabinet above the dryer that you saw earlier was where the medicine cabinet is. I really had no need for a utility tub and I certainly didn’t have the space for anything that we didn’t need, so we put it in the basement.

I couldn’t get it to fit in the picture, but to the right of the wall decor is the laundry sorter you saw at the beginning of our tour. Here’s another picture from a different angle, now we’re back at the bi-fold door looking to the left.

Now for the close ups of the decorative pieces.


This piece is hanging above the sink below the medicine cabinet. I don’t know why, but I just love it. I got online somewhere. It has that distressed look that I was hoping to achieve with the partially painted paneling.

This next piece from Collections Etc. hangs above the medicine cabinet.


Once again the prints are from either Collections Etc or LTD Commodities. I believe that I got the hooks somewhere in Volant (Amish Country).

This is my most favorite piece in the room, and while it does match the decor, it doesn’t even belong in a laundry room. It’s a teapot!

I got the teapot from Collections Etc. and I love it. I think that it’s so cute that even if I redecorate the laundry room some day, I’ll keep it anyway.

Below are a few tin signs that are hanging above the doorway. No clue where I got them. I got the wall border online. Because I had a laundry theme and an outhouse theme in the same room, I wanted a border that complimented them both. I thought this was perfect and I still really like it. It has outhouses with laundry hanging on a line. And I just want to mention that despite my obvious love of outhouse decor, I heart indoor plumbing, thank you very much.

Well, that’s the end of our tour. I’m a little disappointed that we couldn’t see any of the spiders.
I’m sure Herman would’ve liked to have met everyone. Too bad 😦

*Open House: Adaline’s Nursery
*Open House: Dominic’s Nursery
*Open House: Master Bedroom
*Open House: Laundry Room
*Open House: Family Room
*Open House: Storage
*Open House: My Mama’s Kitchen
I still haven’t added the living room or kitchen yet. Let me know if you’d like to see them. The more interest there is the more likely I am to make the time to do it!

This post is linked to 4 Moms Open House
http://www.smockityfrocks.com/category/4-moms
+Smockity Frocks
+Life in a Shoe
+The Common Room
+Raising Olives

I’m not a “mom of many” (unless you consider one “many”), but I love reading about these ladies and their families 🙂

Coolest Family on the Block is committed to helping you find creative ways to have fun and make memories with your family all year-long. Don’t miss an idea, tip, or trick…subscribe and have updates sent directly to your email!
*Subscribe via email*RSS*Facebook*Twitter*Networked Blogs*Blog Frog*

Open House: Dominic’s Nursery


*This post was originally published in September 2010 and I have since then changed my blog theme and layout several times resulting in issues with older posts that have pictures. The pictures are sometimes too big, too small, or too “smooshy”. At this time I don’t have the time to re-post the photos to correct this. Clicking on the photo to enlarge it should solve your smooshy problems. Thank you.*

Just because it’s so cute, I thought I’d give you a look at my nephew, Dominic’s, nursery even though it’s not even in my house! My mom decorated the nursery. Most of the décor is from the Hobby Lobby, I just kept piling stuff in my cart (don’t you love spending other people’s money?!). The theme is antique toys. Mostly you’ll see sports and mobile related things. These photos were taken before the room was entirely complete so there are probably a few details missing. I think it’s adorable.
















*Open House: Adaline’s Nursery
*Open House: Dominic’s Nursery
*Open House: Master Bedroom
*Open House: Laundry Room
*Open House: Family Room
*Open House: Storage
*Open House: My Mama’s Kitchen
I still haven’t added the living room or kitchen yet. Let me know if you’d like to see them. The more interest there is the more likely I am to make the time to do it!

Coolest Family on the Block is committed to helping you find creative ways to have fun and make memories with your family all year-long. Don’t miss an idea, tip, or trick…subscribe and have updates sent directly to your email!
*Subscribe via email*RSS*Facebook*Twitter*Networked Blogs*Blog Frog*

Open House: Master Bedroom


*This post was originally published in September 2010 and I have since then changed my blog theme and layout several times resulting in issues with older posts that have pictures. The pictures are sometimes too big, too small, or too “smooshy”. At this time I don’t have the time to re-post the photos to correct this. Clicking on the photo to enlarge it should solve your smooshy problems. Thank you.*

When I started this blog it was right before Adaline’s first birthday party. I thought that it would be nice to start a blog about our family and all of the fun we have together and traditions we start and all that jazz. So I did. The post about Adaline’s party was just about the only thing getting traffic on the blog and I thought that people might be interested in seeing her nursery. My line of thinking was if people like looking at cute girly birthday parties they’d probably enjoy looking at cute girly nurseries too. Thus I prepared a post about Adaline’s nursery. I’ve been reading Smockity Frocks and Raising Olives since the beginning of the year and I saw that the 4 Moms were going to be showcasing bedrooms and asking readers to link up. So I thought since I was going to be posting about Adaline’s nursery anyway…why not add my link. I did. And while it might not seem like a lot of traffic to the veteran bloggers that may be reading…it was like a blizzard of hits for me. All of this to say that this week the 4 Moms are featuring bedrooms again…so you’ll be seeing the less-than-exciting “master” bedroom this week.

Ok, so since I already rambled on about a bunch of nothing and I sometimes tend to give too many details like here and here, I’m going to try to give you the abridged description of the room. It’s not very big & there’s not too much going on in it, so it shouldn’t be too hard (yet look at all of those words down there, hmmm). I’ve put a lot of little descriptions right on the photos themselves and you may have to enlarge the photos to read the smaller print.

First let me say that my bedroom is often a mess. I have a personal mess (often attached to bill-paying, couponing, and computer related stuff) that I carry up and down the stairs with me. I do manage to keep the bed made when no one is sleeping in it and we don’t tend to ever stack junk on the bed itself. In the interest of full disclosure I have included messy photos and “clean” photos. The messy ones don’t show how bad it can get at times because you caught me during a somewhat clean cycle. The clean photos will still show some junk here and there because that’s where it belongs, so why hide it for the photos! And in the interest of not taking up a ton of space I’m going to post the clean photos first and then post thumbnails of the messies. You’ll have to click on the photos to enlarge them if you would like to inspect my poor housekeeping skills. Moving on…










Here’s the run down:

We have a big ‘ole king sized bed. This is necessary because I have a big ‘ole tall husband who does not fit on a human-sized bed. This suits me just fine as I love the big bed! You’ll see nice (and wrinkled!) Croscill bedding that I got over 50% off. We never use it. It’s too heavy to sleep under and there’s no way it’ll fit in the washing machine. It just stays folded up on a trunk. We use a quilt from Wal-mart on the bed everyday. If there is such an occasion where we put on the “good” bedding (like maybe we’re going to show pictures of our bedroom to a bunch of strangers on the internet), we just put it right over top of the quilt.

Our furbaby, Muppet, sleeps in our bed so he has a set of doggie steps on the one side of the bed. He also has a cage in our room where he can hide from me when I need to clean his ears or he wants to eat a tissue he isn’t allowed to have. On top of the cage we keep a basket of toys for him, but he never plays with them (probably because he can’t reach that high!). Next to his cage is a basket of various shorts and lounge pants of mine. When Adaline was first born and I was still nursing I kept my nursing gowns and pajamas in the basket. I often had to do a quick change. I continued this practice during her spitting up phase. More quick changes were necessary. Now I can usually make it through the day without having to change any clothes, but I find the basket of comfy pants convenient…so there they stay.

The bedroom suit is from Value City Furniture and I had it before we were married. In these photos you’ll see one dresser and a lingerie chest, but there are two other dressers in the set that won’t fit in the room. We keep one of the dressers in the closet (the closet mentioned and pictured as #3 on The Giant To Do List), and another in the spare bedroom. The dresser with the mirror that you see in the photos was the reason why I bought the set. I loved how it curved in the front and had flowers carved into the sides. However, curvy drawers are not great for fitting a bunch of clothes in I’ll have you know.

The little décor that there is in the room was all stuff that I had before we were married. Almost all of the pictures are of hummingbirds and most everything was purchased through Home Interior or at Kirkland’s.


When the room is messy it basically goes like this:
junk on the dresser tops, the armoire is open exposing more junk, there is junk sitting on the floor in front of the armoire, the curtains are slung over the armoire and dresser so that we can feel the air conditioner (a normal person would probably just get some tie-backs), my husband has pants piled on top of the dog’s toys, various tote bags containing more junk are hanging on the closet door by the bed, magazines and books are piled on top of each other rather than being lined up on the book shelf, the cheap quilt is on the bed, the tv pillow is on the bed, the “good” bedding is piled up on the trunk.

And that’s probably about it. Thanks for stopping by and looking at my boring room.

*Open House: Adaline’s Nursery
*Open House: Dominic’s Nursery
*Open House: Master Bedroom
*Open House: Laundry Room
*Open House: Family Room
*Open House: Storage
*Open House: My Mama’s Kitchen
I still haven’t added the living room or kitchen yet. Let me know if you’d like to see them. The more interest there is the more likely I am to make the time to do it!

This post is linked to 4 Moms Open House
http://www.smockityfrocks.com/category/4-moms
+Smockity Frocks
+Life in a Shoe
+The Common Room
+Raising Olives

I’m not a “mom of many” (unless you consider one “many”), but I love reading about these ladies and their families 🙂

Coolest Family on the Block is committed to helping you find creative ways to have fun and make memories with your family all year-long. Don’t miss an idea, tip, or trick…subscribe and have updates sent directly to your email!
*Subscribe via email*RSS*Facebook*Twitter*Networked Blogs*Blog Frog*