Friday, December 31, 2010

DVD Organization FINALLY Done!

Front of Armoire
Okay, so what started out early Wednesday morning as what I thought would be an easy fix to a storage solution, ended up being quite a project.  I learned two things...  One is that I'm somewhat of  perfectionist and two is that I'm not an artist....  LOL

So the story is that I looked up each and every movie, yes, nearly 300 of them, on Netflix to see what Genre they fall into.  Then I alphabetized the movies within each genre.   Cut the slips to fit behind every disc and filed them into the CD binder.  

DVDs over the cut-up movie covers

The good thing is that my kitchen table is no longer covered in DVDs as the project is completed.  I even was able to get rid of all of these stinking DVD covers... YES I DID!!!  I advertised them "free" on Craig's List and they were gone a few hours later!  Yeah... I have my table back now!  

Just look at all those bad boys spread out on the table.   Honestly I could care less if I ever see another DVD or Blu-Ray for the rest of my life!   Thank goodness for Netflix... That's all I have to say. 

So here's all of the DVD cases empty on the table and the two binders full of movies:

The bad thing is that I thought I could be creative and "fancy up" the CD binder.  After all, I did get a new Silhouette SD for Christmas.  Mistake number one was thinking I was creative and mistake number two was actually trying to make it work.  I downloaded a film strip and printed it off using my Silhouette. I then taped it on to the spine of one of the binders and realized that I needed the other part as a stencil.  The bad news was that part was all ripped to shreds.  SOOOO  I thought I would tape off the entire spine and just paint / stencil it white.  It sounds easy enough.  It was easy enough, but now I know why I never fell victim to the 1990's stenciling of the walls....   I'm horrible at it.  When I pulled that stencil off, there were paint globs everywhere.  It just looked awful.  So thinking that the binder itself is black and I have black craft paint, I'll just cover over the areas that got a little out of control.  Well, all that did was add a little grey into the mess.  So I took a hair dryer to the paint to speed up the drying process..  Is that a fire hazard?  Anyway, I came back out and took a black Sharpie to cover the grey.  The more I do the worse it looks, so I just quit.  It looks like my toddler decorated the spine of the DVD holder....   Well, the good news is that it's on the one that holds his movies, so I guess that works good....  LOL    I'll just have to buy another binder eventually and hide or um burn that one.

So one project is over.  It took way too long, but I'm glad it's done.  The whole reason I did it was to free up room in the armoire to put in VHS movies that are stored in an old entertainment center.  The entertainmet center is stored in what is now the guest room, but will become my son's big-boy room.   He needs to move out of the nursery so we can get it ready for "Baby Sister".   

Anyway, that being said, when I opened the door of the armoire and what was once filled with DVDs is now filled with VHS tapes.  So you really can't tell a difference between the before and after shots.  The good thing is that we don't even have a VCR hooked up so moving the VHS tapes around to watch a movie is not going to be happening.  The DVD's are all on the second shelf!  WOO HOO!!! 
Well, I'm out.  



Does It Really Work?

During this Christmas season, I ran across a blogger that used waxed paper to make capiz shell look-alike garland for her Christmas tree.  That got me to thinking, " what other crafts out there use wax paper?"  okay.. so I'm weird like that, but I googled it. 

I ran across an interesting TIP rather than a craft that after reading, I thought, " I have to try that".  When you open and close our shower curtain, I swear it's loud enough to wake the dead.  The tip said that if you rub your metal shower curtain bar with wax paper, then the metal curtain hooks won't squeak so loudly when you open your shower curtain.

So off I go.... sucker to yet another tip thinking that it's a good idea.   Sure enough, IT WORKS!!!  It is still loud, but not nearly as loud as it was and the roller balls seem to glide rather than squeal.  WOO HOOO

I love Google.....    I was looking for crafts and got a helpful tip instead.  So be it ~ I benefited from it anyway. 

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Saving Money by Organizing

Once again Thrifty Decor Chick came up with an awesome idea for me to steal... I, too, have a toddler and each time we want to watch a movie that's kid-friendly, then we have to pull out a million DVDs to find the G rated ones. Usually we end up watching the same ones over and over to avoid having to pull out all the movies.

We had our movies stored in stacks and stacks in an antique armoire handed down to me. I love the armoire and refuse to part with it. I thought it would make the perfect DVD storage area, but I didn't think about how many DVDs we actually have. There's just no organization to the cabinet and no easy way to find what we're looking for.

I ran across this blog post by Sarah over at Thrifty Decor Chick. She put the DVDs in a CD case to help cut down on the space. So my wheels got to thinking and I decided to steal her idea. I mean her exact idea.

I started out with an armoire full of movies. This picture was taken AFTER I removed the G rated and PG rated movies out it!

After I pulled out all the G and PG rated movies, I started out alphabetizing the DVDs. Then I put the DVD in each sleeve and piled the cases on the table in order. That altogether took me about an hour to do. This morning I got my coffee and pulled out my handy-dandy Friskars cutter that I bought four years ago to hand-make my wedding invitations. I thought I would never use the contraption after the wedding, but honestly, I keep it handy at all times. I LOVE this cutter. It's so useful. Once again, it came in handy this morning to cut the movie covers to size. I cut each one 4 1/2" by 4 1/2" to fit into the sleeve with the DVD. I guess my OCD took over because I had to make sure that as much of the original cover was saved as possible.

I love the fact that once you remove the DVD to watch it, the cover insert shows where the movie belongs. That way you know if you're missing any movies... Which, after this project, I hope will no longer be an issue.

So I went from a 28" stack 7 1/2" wide to a CD binder that takes up less storage space. Here's the difference...

Now, let's put this into dollar and cents. How much did this little organization project cost me? Let's first see what it saved me....
So I called a local storage unit place and had a quote provided for a 5' x 5' area and a 15'x20' area climate controlled. The price ranged from $51 a month to $256 a month. So we can assume an average cost of $153.50 per month for an average square footage amount of 162.5. That's $1.06 a square foot on average for storage.
Have a I put you to sleep yet??? Stay with me....
So, my stack was 28" high and 7 1/2" wide. That means it was taking up roughly 1.46 square feet. Now let's multiply that by $1.06 per month, and I'm figuring on $18.52 storage cost for a year. So for a little more than what I would pay in yearly storage cost for the movies, I have invested in the CD binder. Now hold on, there's still room for another 136 movies!!! WOOT WOOT
So let's go back to the first picture I posted.... See all of those movies still in stacks. Yeah, that's what I still have left to do... Uggg. I can't wait for this project to be over! Wish me luck. It'll be worth it in the long run. Our house is growing by two feet (we're expecting baby #2, but it shrinks with clutter and STUFF more and more each day..... I desperately need this extra space.

Decorating Quizz Outcome

Well, this sorta answers my previous post - I took a quiz at and the results were 67% contemporary and 33% cottage chic. Now what I don't agree with is the fact that contemporary design lovers aren't afraid of color, most of the time bold color. I'm scared to death of color and geometric shapes. Hmm. Interesting, isn't it?? Visually I love the look of the clean and fresh feel, but yet it scares me to death?

The description for cottage chic is me to a T:
" old and new"
"much of the furniture is wood or wood framed"
white, beige, blue, etc. I love these colors and they can even be found in the yucky pine paneled room... LOL
"fabrics are cottons, linens, canvas"

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Design Dilemma

You know, ever since I've been on my own and able to decorate my own apartment or house, I've suffered from design dilemmas. I go through these phases.. One day I absolutely love shabby chic, then the next I love the primitive feel, and now... well, now.... I'm starting into the contemporary phase. So my house is so mish mosh of everything. How in the world do you bring it all together?

This post started because my DH and I took down our Christmas decor and I was left with an empty mantle and shelves. Yeah, I know, that would be a dream to decorator, but to me, who is lost is in a decorating identity dilemma, well, quite frankly it sucks.

I set out today to find two lamps for either side of the mirror above the fireplace. We have two overhanging type desk lamps that faced the light down. It was super bright and would blind you, so we rarely turned them on. I decided that I no longer liked their crescent moon shape and brightness, so off to Home Goods I went.

I love Home Goods. It's such an awesome store. I had my toddler in tow, so I didn't spend time going up and down every aisle. I was on a mission to find two lamps and storage baskets for the built-in shelving on either side of the fireplace. They have a huge selection of baskets, but a very low quantity of each selection. Since I have a total of eight shelves that are roughly 40" wide, I knew that what they had wouldn't work. Let alone that the minimum width was 12" and our shelves are 9". Yeah, just another thing to drive me crazy.

So off to the lamp section I went. They have some of the most gorgeous lamps. I love the crystal lamps with cream drum shades, but not for my living room... Or what about the silver lamp bases... oh they are awesome, but once again, not for my living room. Come on!! I have brown leather sofa & love seat, brown cedar chest, brown and black entertainment center, genuine hardwood floors, and nasty brown (or should I say orange) outdated pine paneling. The beautiful crystal and silver bases just wouldn't work in this house.

Off to World Market where I found absolutely no lamps that I would even consider. The basket area was full of exactly what I wanted, but not in the size (width) that would fit our 9" deep shelves. Uggg.

Next stop was Kirklands Home Furnishings. I got half way through the store when I spotted these two cute little up lights. They were rectangular in shape AND on sale for $19.99 each. SCORE!!! I loved that they were unique of them. They have a canvas insert and the lamp part is a black base with brown rattan just kind of swirled around. I loved them. So I asked if they had the floor lamp version. Of course they are sold out. So I'm anxiously waiting for those to come back into stock so I can prop one on either side of our entertainment center.
Here's a picture of the floor lamp version of the two up lights I got. This picture was taken from This is the floor version that I want to put on either side of the TV.

So when I started Google searching the lamps, they popped up as contemporary organic style. Out of curiosity I had to Google images of contemporary organic design to see if anything jumped out at me.... NOTHING.... I mean yeah, it looks clean and nice, but it also looks cold and heartless. So I'm not sure about this whole style thing.

I'm still on the search for the 9" wide rattan baskets to line my shelves. I found with the open shelving, my toddler gets into everything and so it ends up a mess anyway. Besides that, it just looks throw together instead of thought through. There's no design to it at all. I need to zen it up a little.

So now I need to just find my style.... Are there any helpers out there????

My living room dilemmas to conquer:

* Wall AC unit

* Pine paneling

* Shelving / mantle decor

* Organization of the coat closet

* Matching end tables and coffee table

* New table lamps for the end table

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

2010 Christmas Decor = 800+ Count Coffee Filters

So this year's decor is just about exactly the same as last year's decor with the exception to about 800 plus coffee filters and two Dollar Tree crafted apothacary jars (Click the link for tutorial). Here's the overivew of the living room decor. Yes, there is blue table off of our makeshift coffee table. It's my son's. He loves to sit there and play, eat, color, etc. It has become one of those staples that I have become so used to seeing, that I forgot to move it before I took the picture. Oh yes, and before I forget, notice that I have no disco ball hanging from the ceiling fan. However, my husband wanted to hang some ornaments, so you're seeing the bottom portion of the cluster of ornaments..... This is a picture of my kitchen. I have no idea how to decorate the kitchen for Christmas. I bought these mirrored cones, which I fell in love with. Look how the sun comes in the windows and puts the reflection all over the walls. I love them!!! Well, now what do I do with the cones? My husband bought our son his first train set this year, so it's on the table where we can watch to make sure the inquisitive toddler doesn't touch it. This year, the cones are surrounded by the train, but next year, I'll have to come up with something a little more decorative.

Another picture of the tree and the mantle

Okay, so here's where the 800+ count coffee filters went. See the wreath and the three trees at the bottom of the fireplace? Yeah.... They sounded like a good idea; they looked easy to do; and pretty much all of that is true... HOWEVER... They were a pain in the backside as far as time goes. They took FOREVER to make. If you want the tutorial, The Nester has a great one. If you click on her name, then you'll be directed straight to her site.

Here's my crystal centerpiece. I bought the votive holders at a local thrift store. The crystal stemware and candlesticks came from a local shop.

Here's another photograph of the coffee filter trees. I hot glued three glitter ornaments on them.

The coffee filter wreath with a $1.00 Wal-Mart glitter ornament.

My Big Lots shatterproof ornaments. I love them. Do you know how many times these fell off the tree the day we put it up? I'm so thankful for plastic ornaments... LOL

My favorite Christmas decorations of all.... the silk and glitter amaryllis. Next to them I put the apothacary jars I made. I found directions on the Dollar Store Crafts website. I simply bought a glass vase and a glass candlestick and glued them together. In $2.00 I have a nice apothacary jar. In the jar, I put some instant snow and matching Christmas bulbs.

Now, does anyone have any suggestions on how to hide the wall AC unit and how to fill the shelving with items the toddler won't disturb? It sorta looks like I just up and quit the decorating in the living room.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Christmas Linky Finds

Today was day two of the linky party, but it was hosted by Rhoda over at Southern Hospitality

Her focus was on the Christmas Vignettes. I absolutely loved looking through everyone's links, but found the following items as my favorites (click on the blog name & you'll be linked directly to the blog):

The Adventures of Nick and Jessica had an awesome Rustic Glam Christmas vignette, but I fell in love with the idea of the lights behind the picture frame. This is just so simple & shabby chic... LOVE IT!! I've been afraid of hanging my Swarovski holdiay ornament collection this year because of our son running around like crazy. Maybe this might be a way to showcase them... I may just try & see...

Another inspiring idea I found via the link to Unskinny Boppy. The dining room table boasted a beautiful dough bowl of lights and ornaments. I immediately told my hubby that I found an idea to use our dough bowl. Then he wanted to know if I was going cut a notch in it and now, I'm just not so sure... But regardless, I love this idea and may try to find a way to do this using battery operated lights instead. Thanks for the inspiration!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Getting in the Christmas Spirit

Okay so it's December. I can't believe it! Where has the year gone? Well, I haven't done one thing to start decorating for Christmas... yeah, I know, I'm a total slacker.... Working full-time, chasing our toddler around while I am at home, being six months pregnant, and now I'm sick with a cold, I just haven't felt like doing too much of anything. I have been listening to Christmas songs on Pandora, though.... does that count?

Luckily though, I'm following Thrifty Decor Chick on twitter and she sent out a reminder of the holiday linky party starting today with The Lettered Cottage. I jumped on the site and found some awesome Christmas mantle decor. Through the links, I found an awesome coffee filter wreath by Cottage Instincts & some gorgeous burlap stockings in the colors of my Christmas decor. Here's an overview picture of the wreath and stockings hung on the mantle. Oh I'm so in love!!!

Then, linking from Cottage Instincts, I found another blogger who made some burlap stockings that are so adorable with burlap roses... and she wants to know if we want a tutorial on how to make these... Um hello??? YES!! Here's the picture of these darling little stockings on Cozy.Cottage.Cute

Earlier this year, my mom and I were shopping at Pottery Barn and found a burlap table runner that I fell in love with, but couldn't justify the price they were asking for a piece of burlap. So we had gone to another store and I thought I had found one. She bought it for me and when we got home, I excitedly opened it up to discover I picked up the wrong package and got a table topper instead. Now the square table topper looked awful on the oblong table... Yes, I tried it.. So I thought it would be cute as a tree skirt this year, but then looking back at my Christmas decor from last year, it wouldn't really match. Well, now I can use it as a tree skirt if I make these stockings, but I'm desperately hoping Sarah at Cozy.Cottage.Cute puts out the tutorial.
I found a great tutorial on the coffee filter wreath on a blog called Crafty Texas Girls If you click on the title of the blog, it should take you straight to her awesome tutorial. You'll see she's got a gorgeous painted brick fireplace, too. I'm so jealous!!! I hate our red brick fireplace. This just inspires me to want to do some more updating. Uh oh... There's another "TO BE DONE" item that will probably never get crossed off! LOL
I am so embarrassed now, looking back though this blog at my Christmas decor from last year after looking at all the links on Layla's website. Oh and by the way, what is up with the disco ball looking ornament hanging from my ceiling??? LOL Oh I've got a lot of work to do this year!!!!
Anyone have any great suggestions about what to do with the eyesore of an air conditioner stuck in our wall? EWWW I hate that thing!
Well, my throat is sore as is my throbbing headache. My hot tea is gone and I'm off to bed to get some rest so I'll feel somewhat decent for work in the morning.
Love to you all!

Kitchen Cushions

I've been busy scouting out the internet searching for nursery ideas. We're expecting a new little one in a few months and I'm all excited to once again be designing a nusery.

In the process of doing so, I've happened upon some awesome kitchen cushions. For months now I've searched the local stores high and low trying to find something to match my kitchen. I love Pottery Barn's style, but nothing just really struck me as "I HAVE to have those." Well, I came across some yesterday on a site called They are adorable, but at $29 each and I need 6, that's a lot of money... Yowza..... So, for now, here are the pictures of them and at some point, maybe I'll become creative enough to try to hack them.