Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Bathroom Makeover {Sneak Peak}

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

I am a little under the weather today, so no big project reveals, but I will share with you a sneak peak of our bathroom makeover.

It is not quite done yet, still have a few things to finish up... okay I lied... I have a LOT to finish up in there. Sigh. :)  I will share the entire room with you as soon as I get my butt in gear and finish get the room pulled together.

When I get to feeling better I will attempt to try to makeover a cutie piece of furniture I found at Goodwill for less than $5.00 that will go into this room, I will share that with you too!  The only thing holding me back is this weather, holy goose nuggets, it will not stop raining.  And hailing. And raining.  This Oregon beach weather is not conducive to my spray paint trigger finger, my friends! :)    

Here's a before shot of this corner of the room:

I know it's hard, but please try not to be jealous of my dungeon. Ha!  There is no window in this room, so no natural light + dark paint x dark accents / dark shower curtain, carry the 2, solve for y and I think that gives us one dark room. But I'm no math wizard. 

Obviously it's that infamous builder beige that is all throughout the house.  In some rooms I like it, but it is way too dark and green in this space for my liking.  The shower curtain is gorgeous, but not in this space.  Again, it was too dark.  The oil rubbed bronze rack was nice, but had one big problem:  No hidden storage.  It was pointless, really, it just housed random stuff and didn't hide anything.  The shelves were nearly impossible to put anything on, as they were not solid.  This is a big problem because I am a girly girly girl and I love make up and hair products and all sorts of stuff.  I needed better storage. 

Enter Target.  This may come as a shock to you but I live 2 hours away from the nearest Target (from the nearest anything, really).  I know, it's gut wrenching, right?  So on one of my trips to Portland (or as I call it, P-town) I was perusing the aisles of this, how do you say it, Tarjay, and found this beauty, the Fieldcrest Wall Cabinet.  It was a splurge for me, but I went with the moment.

And here she is:

The rectangular tray on the bottom open shelf is from Target.  The seagrass box is from Walmart.  

I found this gorgeous crystal at Goodwill for $2.99:

I added a new shower curtain I bought on Amazon and some shower curtain rings from Target:

The mirror is actually a tray that I found at Goodwill for $4.99.  The vase is also, you guessed it, from Goodwill and I think it was around $3 or 4.  I love the white cut out pattern.

The glass doors were see-through, which is not a good thing because I wanted to use this for storing not-so-pretty items.  I rummaged through my scrapbook paper and found one I liked.  By the way, I cannot tell you how much I am looking forward to the office re-do because finding this piece of paper in my pile of craft stuff was ridiculous!

One 12x12 sheet works for both sides.  I just cut it out and used my Vellum scrapbook adhesive to attach it.  I love that I can switch this up any time I want to create different looks.

If you're anything like me, you want to see what is inside this cabinet, right?

Round box on the left was a gift and holds hair accessories, like pony tail holders.  The cute little bin on the right was a Target dollar section find and holds my frequently used nail polish.  Bottom shelf is used for skin care, hair care, fragrances.  This cabinet holds a TON of stuff, I am surprised, actually.  I also like that the shelf is adjustable so I can store my tall items, like lotion and hairspray bottles.

There you have it, a sneak peak at what is to come.  Stay tuned!  I also have a fun linky party coming up on March 5th, so excited to share it with you!

How to remove Blogger Navbar {Blogger Tip Tueday!}

Welcome to Blogger Tip Tuesday!
Last Tuesday of Every Month
@ Mrs. B's Hive
February, 2012

Although this blog is new, I have been blogging since before the term "blog" was created.  I am from old school blogland, before Blogger or Wordpress existed and I had to code everything manually and use an FTP to get it online and I walked to school uphill, in the snow, barefoot... both ways!  When Blogger did come around, I scoured the internet for help to customize my blog template without paying for it. 

I am no professional, but I thought some of my readers might be into to this, as we are all looking for ways to DIY to save some money.  Why spend money when you can do it yourself so easily?  We have this mindset when it comes to our home -- why not our blog homes?  After all, our blog is sort of like our second home, right?  :)

With that being said, some people may not want to deal with it and want to hire someone to design a gorgeous blog, and that is completely wonderful too, because we are all about supporting small business, right?!

So for those of you who want to follow along, read ahead.  And those of you who have no interest, check out my blogroll page and pay a visit to some awesome ladies.

So for our first installment, I thought we could do something basic, like removing the blogger Navbar. 

Do you have one of these Navbars at the top of your Blogger powered blog?

Some folks choose to keep this Navbar at the top of their blog, and that is fine and dandy.  Others, like myself, prefer to remove it to make the page look more streamlined and customized.

It is SUPER-DEE-DUPER easy to remove, or "hide" it as we will do in this case.

1.  Log into your Blogger account.  Choose the blog you wish to edit.

2.  Click on Template >> Customize

3.  In the Blogger Template Designer click Advanced >> Scroll down and click Add CSS

4.  Copy the following code and paste it into the "Add custom CSS" field:

#navbar-iframe {  
 display: none !important;

5. Click Apply to Blog.  Done!

FAQ about removing Navbar:

It really is a personal preference.  Some people like to keep it because it allows them quicker access to their Blogger Dashboard.  Others like it because they can navigate to the "Next Blog".  Some claim it is easier for readers to follow their blog.

Again, it is about personal preference.  I like to hide it because I want my blog to look customized and professional, and I find the Navbar hinders that.  Some claim that an erroneous or fraudulant "Report Abuse" claim could cause problems for the blog owner (I don't know much about how that works).

The method I showed you uses CSS to hide the Navbar, which in my opinion, is the quickest and easiest (and best!) way to do it.  There are ways to completely remove the code, but it is not necessary.

There are several ways to hide the Navbar.  Using the Add CSS path through the Blogger Template Designer is the easiest and cleanest way. 
More advanced users can choose to Edit HTML, Expand Widgets and paste the code snippet just before the ]]></b:skin> line.  It does the same thing, one is a longer path than the other.

Go to Template >> Customize >>  Advanced >> Add CSS - delete the code from the Add Custom CSS field >> Apply to Blog.


Next Blogger Tip Tuesday is scheduled for March 27th, 2012.  

Do you want to know how to do something in Blogger? Submit your questions to: mrsbshivetheblog [at] gmail [dot] com. 

Monday, February 27, 2012

Office Re-Do {Part 1}

Monday, February 27, 2012
Our office re-do is a long time coming!  The current state of our office is sad, to say the least.    About a year ago we had a leak in the roof, which resulted in some water damage in the office closet.  My hubby ripped out the carpet, padding and drywall in the closet to fix the problem.  Good news:  Problem was fixed (yay, hub!).  Bad news:  Closet is still in shambles.

I can't even blame the water leak for most of the problems in this room though!

When we first moved in, I had this thought that we should put our big TV in the office and use that as our office/family room and keep the living room formal. This is a good plan for some homes, and it worked for us for a while, but it does not work for us any more. Our house is small, and our office is not efficient.  This makes life pretty frustrating, especially since my hub is self-employed and needs a functioning space.

Another issue with this is that I am a crafter, and I need a workspace.  Currently when I work on a project I have to use our dining room table... obviously this is not conducive to an organized home.

When we moved we had a mis-hap and our computer desk got smashed to smithereens, so we have been using the computer desk my hub used when he was a bachelor.  Awesome.  The worst part is we have a gorgeous L-shaped desk in the garage, still in the box, just calling my name, begging to be put together.  That has been in there for about two years now.

The closet... oh the closet.  It is currently comprised of post-leak drywall and a thin layer of carpet (no padding) thrown over the floor.  I put a book shelf in there and it houses mis-matched bins of my craft items, as well as anything else that doesn't have an organized home (read: piles of stuff). 

I am embarrassed to admit this closet has always been a problem for me.  Prior to the water leak, we had a sofa table in there that housed mounds and mounds of paperwork.  Over time, I piled craft items, electronic items, cords, you name it and it became a pit of despair.  It had become just another place to put stuff I didn't know what to do with.  At any given time, if I needed something as simple as an envelope, an avalanche would take me out.  Not to mention the height of the closet was not utilized for storage.  {head slap} What was I thinking?

My hub is also VERY hard to win over as far as getting him on board to do home projects, mainly because time and money are lacking around these parts.  But, I think I finally got to him.   Bwahahahaha!  Ahem.

So last weekend we began the work.  It will be slow going, but trust me, we have a vision and we will stick to it and it will be fabulous!

I know I have mentioned this a few hundred times, but I will say it again, our house is small.  We have 3 bedrooms, the office being one of them.  This means my plan is to maximize effective storage solutions while making it pretty.  I have my work cut out for me.

What we need/want:

  • Simple, bright, fresh, inspiring, organized space
  • Large desk for home office and separate workspace for me
  • Organized storage for: my craft/scrapbooking/sewing items, computer and electronic accessories (gah! cords!), gift wrap, paperwork, DVDs, CDs, photo albums and much, much more!

To Do:

  • Remove everything from closet
  • Mud/Sand/Paint closet
  • Purge room of all things crappy (cough-bachelorcomputerdesk-cough)
  • Relocate large TV to living room
  • Paint Walls {Agreeable Gray - Sherwin Williams}
  • Install our own DIY version of wainscoting, crown molding and trim around window
  • Build DIY wall-to-wall floor-to-ceiling cabinet/shelves for storage
  • Paint all trim, base, molding, wainscoting, cabinets{White}
  • Replace beige carpet with new wood flooring
  • Take closet bi-fold doors off and burn them store them in the garage
  • Make the closet space a functioning desk and craft/scrap/sewing storage area for me
  • Find affordable area rug
  • Put together the desk that has been in the garage for 2 years
  • Accessories and artwork (fun, fun!)

Easy, peasy.  Right?

Hmmm.  :)

Okay, so in the spirit of keepin' it real, let's take a look at some pictures.

This one here was taken a few years ago, before we had our son.  This is pretty much still how it looks, except add take away the bins and add in a LOT more clutter. :(

Mr. B is concentrating deeply on very important educational programming (Survivor.)

The office closet:

Forgot to take a picture until I had cleared bins off of the shelf.  Doh.

The closet right now:

The next picture is the current state of our dungeon office.  It is also mortifying to post.  I tried and tried to get a "natural light shot" but Oh Em Gee people, it is SO overcast here and there is no end in sight.  I hope the sun comes out some time this year, but I digress. :)  This photo shows exactly how dark and gloomy this room is.  I have the blinds open and it is still this dark:

Keys to a well functioning office.... HA!

You can clearly see my problems.  Everything about this room is awful.  Too much furniture, TV is too large for the space, paint color is too dark, not enough light, poorly executed furniture placement, virtually no workspace, etc.

These bi-fold doors may hide the fugly, but they are my arch enemy.  I dislike them for so many reasons. They will be going bye-bye!

Finally, a little bit of sun shone through! Yeah!

My vision for this space:

I want to get rid of the dark, gloomy builder beige (with green undertones) paint and re-paint it a brighter, fresher color.  I got a sample of Sherwin William's Agreeable Gray and put it up on the wall in some spots and love it! We are going with this one for sure. 

Agreeable Gray - Sherwin Williams

I want the basics to be neutral... something sort of like this:

I am open on the flooring.  Cost is a HUGE issue to us, so we will have to do a lot of research.  We cannot afford real wood and we want something extremely durable (like drop a heavy toy metal dump truck on it and leave no marks durable).  We currently have real bamboo floors throughout the house and they are ridiculous to maintain, and they are so soft they show every ding and mark.  Any thoughts or advice on this?

I will also probably go with a neutral solid colored or muted design rug.

I love this Crate and Barrel rug I found on Pinterest, but it's out of my price range:


I like this one from Overstock, and it is much friendlier on the budget, but not sold yet:


This is the desk that is in the garage that we need to put together.  I bought it a couple of years ago, and looking at it now, it wouldn't be my first pick, but I do like it and it offers a lot of workspace for the hubs, so we will go with it.  My budget does not allow me to be picky on this one. :) 

Lots of COLOR will come in the form of artwork, accessories, curtains, fresh flowers, etc.  I want to be able to change up the room often, so that is why neutral bones are important to me.  I love to decorate for the holidays, and I change my mind about decor so quickly.  I will love being able to change out the drapes or artwork to create a whole new look.

The office closet with be transformed into a desk/workspace/craft area for me.  This is an inspiration photo I pinned:


I absolutely love this.  The color of the walls is similar to what ours will be.  Love the floor.  The chair is stunning, isn't it?  My workspace will have a lot more storage, simply because I have to maximize the space I have.

I want some sort of built-ins on the back wall. I will either have hubs built them or we might do an Ikea hack to save some time and money. I am loving these:

I can't find a credible source for this.
I hope you're with me for the long haul, because there is so much work to be done!   :)

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Mrs. B's Hive was Featured! {by Serenity Now}

Sunday, February 26, 2012
Serenity Now featured our Big Boy Room reveal. You can view her post here!:

Featured At Serenity Now

Hop on over and check out her blog!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Toy Organization (and more!)

Friday, February 24, 2012

Before I became a mother, I had no idea children could accumulate so much stuff!  I still don't really know how it happens.  Our home had been taken over by toys, they were everywhere.  Our son was having a difficult time combing through bin upon bin looking for specific things and I was tired of the clean up.

While my son was a baby, toy bins worked for us.  When I say toy bins, I mean these:

Can you spot the cutest stuffy of them all?  :)

Maybe that's more of a tub than a bin.  Anyhow, we piled toys into these bins tubs and put them in Little Man's room, on the floor, and it worked.  As he got older, and his interests grew, so did his toy collection.  We added more bins, and when those filled up, we added more.  Eventually we had six or seven which felt like eleventy-million.  I would cringe when my son dumped them all out into the middle of the living room floor, just so he could look for one specific item.  Fragile toys often got broken from being at the bottom of a filled bin.

It was time for a change!

This is what prompted the creation of the Big Boy Room.

The first thing I did was purge.  One day, I took every single toy and put them all in one massive Mount Everest sized pile of plastic on the living room floor.  I broke them down into 4 piles:

  1. Keep
  2. Donate/Give Away
  3. Can't bear to part with it because OMG it belongs to my "baby" so I will put it in storage in the garage.
  4. Garbage.
Anything that was broken got tossed.  Anything we didn't use/need but I couldn't muster up the guts to give away was put neatly into bins, labeled and put into the garage.  Items that had no sentimental value that were no longer needed/played with went to Goodwill or friends' children.  

After all of that I was left with, well, still a whole lot of stinkin' toys. :)  But these are our keepers, so I was okay with that.

Next, I broke the keepers up into their own categories:

  • Play food items (including plastic Easter eggs)
  • Play kitchen items (dishes, silverware, cups, pots and pans)
  • Dress up clothes and accessories
  • Tools and toolbox
  • Lincoln Logs
  • Legos
  • Weapons (Pirate swords, Nerf guns, etc. He is all boy, where do they get this from?) 
  • Hot Wheels cars
  • Larger vehicles (cars, trucks, planes, helicopters, boats, etc.)
  • Action figures
  • Balls
  • Train sets
  • Electronics (play phones, lap tops, etc.)
  • Puzzles
  • Flashcards
  • Doctor tools
  • Stuffed animals
  • Plastic animals
  • Books
  • You get the point. :)

Each category of toys got their own home in our home.  :)

Kitchen items are stored in the play kitchen (that Santa brought the year before last):

Do your kids love those plastic Easter eggs too?

Simple and cheap bins house play food and plastic eggs.  I wanted to keep this very simple, so it is easy for my son to find items and, most importantly, put them away.  
Plastic eggs are kept only if they are a matching pair (top and bottom piece) and if they are not broken.  Otherwise, they're tossed.

Top shelf holds silverware, serving utensils, pot holders, spatulas, whisks, etc.  Bottom shelf holds plates, cups, small pots/pans.
It was important to me not to over-organize this space.  Simple bins to toss them in to. Cute colors to help distinguish that each type of item belongs in a certain color bin, also see-through to spot what we're looking for with ease.

Little man is obsessed with pots and pans.  He prefers "real" ones, and loves to hunt for them at Goodwill.  To me, this part doesn't have to be perfect.  Yes, there are prettier ways to store these but at the end of the day, I want him to be encouraged to put them away, and right now while he is still little, that means throwing them in here and closing the door.  I'll take it! :)

And here's a picture of the kitchen, taken when it was brand new:

Aw, Santa is so sweet.
I think he chose this one because it has lots of storage. ;)

All other toys are kept in his room:

The before picture is after I removed all the humungo toy bins...
they literally took up half of the floor space in the room.

You can see the built-ins my husband made.  Those house most of the toys.  We are going to put cabinet doors on the top and bottom shelves.

Tools (hammers, screws, drills, etc.) are kept in a clear plastic bin.  I chose this one because it fits nicely on the shelf, has an easy to use lid, can easily be carried to the play tool bench and all pieces are visible.

Handy-man, just like his Daddy :)

Toy balls and Cars/Trucks/Vehicles are stored in canvas bins:

Each bin is labeled for easy clean up:

I had my husband build a short shelf for puzzle boards.  The puzzle pieces are inside individual  zip-loc bags and stored in a Dollar Store bin.

Flash cards are all stored together in a clear bin.

Wooden blocks and plastic blocks are separated into their own clear storage bins, as are army men, small construction pieces (cones, road signs, etc.) and play doctor tools.

Large scale toys sit on a bottom shelf of the built-ins:

Cabinet doors will cover these, eventually.

Smaller cars get their own bin.  I do not keep a lid on this one because my little man is always getting cars out to play with, and it's so easy to toss them back in when we're done:

I picked up a TV/VHS combo (Hello, 1990's!) at Goodwill for a few bucks and put it under Little Man's loft bed.  We keep his books and VHS movies on this book shelf in his closet. He can pick out a movie and play it any time he wants to.

This book shelf was an ugly laminate faux-wood that I spray painted white.  I had the books arranged by color and size, but that didn't last long. :)

Dress up clothes have a spot in the closet (the closet is in progress, please forgive the ugly shelving and old paint color!).  I hung his dress up clothes with hooks that have adhesive backing, and put the hats and accessories into a bin for easy access and easy clean up. 

The (ugly) shelf on the right houses awkwardly shaped toys and a Toy Story suitcase.
You can see the builder beige paint color that was originally on the walls. Blah!
I can't wait to fix this space!

Big Boy Room closet - still in progress

The large white bins I got for $4.99 each at a local chain store called Bi-Mart.  They hold: (TOP) empty bags (diaper bag, tote bags, toy bags, etc.);  (MIDDLE) diapers/pull-ups, wipes;  (BOTTOM) sheets, pillow cases, little man towels.

The orange bin on the left shelf holds shoes.  The small blue bin: Hats/Scarves/Gloves

Large tracks/trucks, Dragon and guitars are stored in the closet as well.  Remember, the closet is not done yet, I have big plans for it! :)

The Toy Story suitcases were a Christmas gift from my Aunt and came as a set of two (large and small).  We use them both to put action figures with all of their tiny pieces:

Legos are stored in an easy-to-tote bin, which is parked on a shelf in the built-ins:

Items I want to keep out of reach from little hands are kept on the top shelf: 

I got this bookshelf from Target.com.  It is no longer available, but I got it on clearance for about $45 (plus a whopping amount for shipping.).  I loved how the bottom shelf stuck out a bit further than the rest of the unit.

The bottom shelf is perfect for our stuffed friends:

The upper shelf has two bins:
  • Bin on the LEFT: is for swords, Nerf guns and darts.  
  • Bin on the RIGHT: is a "miscellaneous" bin.  Any little piece of toy or item that we don't have time to put away immediately (such as items I find while I am picking up the house) gets put into this bin.  On a regular basis I go through the items and put them away.  

Bottles of Bubbles are stored in this wooden box I picked up at Fred Meyer's for $6.00:

Bubbles:  Out of site, out of mind. :)

To hold small items, I chose these stackable boxes, with the Declaration of Independence written on the sides.  The one with the blue lid keeps small "treasures" such as rocks, shells (we do live at the beach!), unused arcade tokens, etc. The box with the red lid holds play money.

Under the loft bed we have a nice cozy rug for play time.  We love to sit or lay here and play.  A plastic drawer system holds lots of little toys.  
  • (TOP DRAWER) Action figures, kids meal toys.  
  • (MIDDLE DRAWER) Plastic animals such as farm animals, dinosaurs.  
  • (BOTTOM DRAWER) Miscellaneous little toys and musical instruments (drum sticks, maracas)

The TV is just sitting there right now, but I found a cutie little white shelf at Goodwill ($0.99!) that it will fit on perfectly... on the to do list.

Jolly the cat also likes to play under the bed. :)

The dresser doesn't hold any toys, but on the top I have a basket with some training pants, diapers, wipes, lotion, hair care and brush so I can quickly grab it when needed.

The top drawer holds socks and underwear on the left and baby toiletries on the right (diaper rash ointment, thermometer, nail clippers, etc.)

I found a cute silver silverware holder at Ross for a few bucks and use it as a sock/underwear organizer.  White socks in front, colored in the middle two and mismatches in the way back.  Middle dresser drawer holds jammies.  Bottom dresser drawer holds pants, shorts and swim trunks.

Silverware holder works great for sock organization

Keepsakes are stored in 3 different storage boxes (Joann's photo storage boxes I got on sale for less then $3 each). Red boxes house newborn keepsakes (porcelain baby shoes, knick knacks, etc.) and the white one holds current keepsakes. The large blue box is for artwork.

Artwork is stored in this Pottery Barn splurge ($19), pictured below.  I was surprised at how much it holds.  It holds a TON of artwork!  Each time my son brings home artwork from pre-school, we display it for a bit and then it is housed in here until I archive it.

You can't see it in this picture, but the label reads "Art".  Clever, I know. :)

And last, but certainly not least, I keep a toy bin in each main living area in our home. Living room, office, etc.  These bins are decorative to match our home colors (not primary colors like in my son's room).  They are meant to be catch-alls for quick clean ups.  In the living room I use a bin, in the office a storage ottoman.
I'll be honest, most nights we don't have the energy to put every.single.little.piece. away, so we toss them into the bin in the room we're in. Once a week I go through these bins and put items away in his room. 

We have been using this system for about 3 months now and I have to say, it is STILL working!  I am thrilled because I have tried several methods before and it always seemed to go back to chaos.  This method, though, is working. Everything has a home. Everything has a place.  I have a plan b for when things can't go into their homes immediately.  I can honestly say the toy clutter is not that bad anymore.  It no longer looks like a toy store threw up in my living room.  Except when Little Man plays "garbage dump" and dumps every toy out into a pile on the floor. :)

Thanks so much for reading!

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