The loft in our home has this strange window ledge. It’s low enough to sit at, but not quite wide enough for that purpose. To make it more user friendly, I placed a bookcase on its side underneath the ledge. The bookcase wasn’t quite wide enough, adding some scrap lumber fixed the problem. A few pillows tossed on top makes this spot a comfortable place to sit, or for the cat to nap.
New Goals, Planning, Part 1 January 15, 2010
Since I need to break down my larger goals into manageable chunks in order to succeed in them, I will do the same with my new year goals.
Use all-ok, most-of the yarn I have for crochet patterns before buying new yarn.
- Take inventory of current yarn, including colors.
Most of the yarn is of the pastel range from the various baby related projects I started in high school. The other half includes some primary Halloween colors, purchased to make a Dragon Ball Z blanket for brother-wonder if he will accept one more than 6 years later, and some holiday colored yarn (deep wine & sparkly gold)
- Make a list of projects that will utilize current yarn inventory with little purchasing
Obviously a baby blanket with all the pastels. This should be easy since I started a blanket and can keep adding colors to it to create a multi-colored gender neutral baby blanket. Hubby says to make two, just in case we have twins…ummm, maybe.
Another obvious project is a Christmas project. I have no clue since I don’t have a lot of the holiday yarn, but I could supplement it with some white yarn from the inventory and make a scarf, ear warmer combo (no hats-my afro will be smushed). Another thought would be a nice holiday jacket for the kitty.
Make another baby blanket with remaining yarn-except holiday yarn…or maybe a jacket for the kitty.
- Find/design the patterns for the projects.
- Practice any new stitches needed for the patterns.
Finish the bedroom make-over
I would love to have this project finished by the time my hubby returns from his international trip. Which means, I have about three weeks to get ‘er done!
- Sew curtains
- Sew pillow covers
- Sew duvet cover
- Purchase sheet set
- Create and hang artwork
Get to the gym at least once a week or cancel the membership and find a dance class instead.
- Be honest, you hate the machines, so partner up!
I do hate the machines. I get bored. I love to be active-as long as it doesn’t seem too exercisey, things like dance classes, caperioa, pole dancing, etc are right up my alley. Walking to nowhere on a treadmill, nope-not even close to my street, much less my alley. I could re-establish meeting at the gym with buddy on Wednesday (or was it Thursday) evenings for cardio and strength training on the machines, that way I’ll have someone to chat with while walking to nowhere.
- Ok, you still hate the machines, so look into classes.
I hate the machines, but the class offerings are not that great either. I don’t want to step or spin, I’m still going nowhere and have no reason or purpose behind the activity.
- Look up class schedule and chose three classes you’re interested in.
Yay! The gym location near me has changed up the class schedule. Ok, Hip Hop on Fridays, Kickboxing on Wednesdays and Pilates on Monday.
- Set-up class schedule
I’m starting slow. I will start going to one class a week for at least three weeks. Then I will add another class a week for another three weeks, and then add third class after another three weeks. BAAM! Within 9 weeks, I’ll be going to the gym three days a week-well, four if the machine relationship is re-established. Yikes, that’s a lot of working out. I didn’t attend that many classes (or rehearsals) even when I was in the dance company. We’ll see how it goes. I’ll do Hip-Hop first, then add Pilates and then Kickbox Cardio.
Whew, that’s enough planning for one sitting. I need a break
Mission: Laundry Room Makeover, Part 3 December 20, 2009
We already discussed how I wish I had a laundry room like this from Classy Closets.
and the blessing of my current laundry room’s floor plan:
Last time we looked at the entry/mudroom “portion” of the laundry room. Since then, we decided that the shoe rack was too cumbersome for the laundry room and since it didn’t get a lot of use, it was banished and sits near the front entry for guests.
Today, we’re looking at the laundry portion of the laundry room. You may recall that my wish list included:
- A space to sort dirty laundry as it comes in since we only wash full loads.
- A space to iron occasionally since hubby sometimes doesn’t get the laundry as soon as it’s done which results in wrinkles.
- A space to hang freshly dried clothing to reduce the amount of ironing (see above)
- A space for folded laundry to hang out while waiting for hubby to put them away.
- A space to store laundry detergent and essentials.
A quick shopping trip around the house yielded:
- Rubber modular shelves
- Fabric from a curtain project
- A fabric placemat
- An old calendar
- IKEA bed slats
I combined the first four items by placing a basket on each shelf and covering the shelves with fabric. Placing the placemat on top creates a table like effect for placing those morning cups of tea.
I still needed a place to store laundry essentials and hang clothing. Thanks to mom, who sent me a garment rack that fulfills the “hanging clothing storage” issue, however this doesn’t fit between the washer and dryer like I had hoped. BING! I put the garment rack under the shelving unit, it’s not like I’ll need all the vertical space for hanging clothing.
I also wanted a between the dryer/washer rolling cart.
However when I went shopping for one, those things were just too expensive. Especially since they’re nothing more than an open bookcase on wheels. BING! I could build one! I stopped my friendly Lowe’s worker, purchased some 8 x 0.5 cut into 4-3 foot lengths, l-brackets, 2 casters and screws and happily jetted home.
Round 1: The open bookcase is far too long. The 3 feet long cart sticks out from in-between the two machines by a good foot. Ugh, disassemble and start over.
Round 2: This time using some scrap wood taken from a slotted IKEA bed base for the shelves. The new dimensions are 3′x2′, much better. There is no overhang into the laundry area. Start loading the cart-realize that products can fall off the edge and in between the cracks of the shelves.
Round 3: I’m impatient by this time and want this project to be over. I rip some cardboard off and lay it on the shelves. I then staple yarn around the unit to serve as bracing. Not the prettiest sight, but it works. To beautify it and feel better about being so darn impatient, I cover the front of the unit with a nice piece of fabric.
Looking at the IKEA wood, I realized that I had some leftover closet brackets. I bring them downstairs and build an instant shelf over the washer to keep additional detergent and supplies. After living with it for a while-try six weeks-I decided that the shelving unit was far too tall. Enter silly brain fart. I actually went shopping for a laundry hamper organizer/ironing board. Thankfully, the store was out of stock and being the impatient person that I am, I went home and started working with what I had. BING! Take off one of the shelves silly! So I did that and it was now lower and provided more space to hang more clothes, but I lost a basket to hold dirty laundry. Another shopping trip around the house yielded a pop-up hamper that with the addition of some floral wire and leftover IKEA plank, it no longer self collapses after a curious cat pounces on it.
Now, I’m done…for now. Here are a few picks of the finished laundry area.
My rolling cart. The top shelf holds the current powder detergent and a small trash can for lint and items from pockets. The rack above it is for the dryer so that you can dry delicate items without having them tumble around the dryer. I use it as a bra drying rack so the wires and pads don’t get warped.
A view from the side. Can you see the fruits of my impatience? Now that I have a nail gun, I will probably add IKEA wood to the sides to form the braces instead of the delicious looking yarn.
My laundry sorter/entry table, this is the view when you entry the laundry room from the garage. It’s nice and stable for those morning cups of tea.
That wraps up the laundry room makeover. The cost breakdown for the makeover:
- Over the door hooks=$18
- Wood, brackets and casters= $8
- Laundry baskets=$3
- Rectangular laundry basket = $3
- Total = $32
Not bad for a 6 x 10 room. In the future, I wouldn’t mind adding curtains to hide the contents of the upper shelf and add more color to the room, but since there’s not much up there, it doesn’t bother me.
What’s your dream laundry room?
Organization Containers December 5, 2009
I love to organize, absolutely love it. I hate to clean the kitchen and wash dishes, but I love to organize. Part of organizing means that everything has a place and since I am frugal by nature, I tend to reuse items until they fall apart. So while cooking in the kitchen, I laid my eye upon some containers and brain bolt!
Spray paint + cheap items = modern organization decor items
I scavenged around the house for containers, anything and everything made it into my pile.
My Final Score
- Heavy paper boxes from a clearance center, they’re Christmas items, but at $1 for 6, they are a lot cheaper than their non-Christmas alternatives.
- Tins hanging in the kitchen from Christmas cookies
- Empty litter containers (not litter boxes, but the boxes litter comes in)
- Cans from veggies/fruit
- Glass jars from food stuffs
- Plastic fruit containers (the kinds that strawberries come in)
MY MISSION: Create cute chic decor boxes to store items in.
MY TOOLS: My trusty spray paint in various colors, wrapping paper, decorative scrapbook paper, trims like ribbons and such.
- Clean containers of any foodstuff, litter, and stubborn labels.
- Cut any holes if you need to.
- Spray paint or cover the boxes/tins with fabric/paper
- Optional: Add decorative embellishments such as painted stencils, ribbons, glitter, etc.
- Add items to the containers.
- Put items on various surfaces around the home.
- Admire your handiwork and your beautiful organization containers on the cheap/free.
Shopping from the Closet November 30, 2009
Ok, another article prompted me to write a post about shopping from your closet, well-shopping from our closet.
We are blessed enough to have a fairly large closet. In fact, we joke that we can fit a full size bed in there (we actually can). However, I wanted something a bit more. I love design and I tend to express myself through various outlets, including my clothing. Considering this, I decided that our closet needed to become a store in a sense. I wanted to enter in each day and be able to shop from my items and put together outfits and simply play around in there.
- Take inventory of the space: what are we working with really? Originally we had only one clothing bar and shelf around the room. A big waste if you ask me, so I quickly added a second bar. Since the room is so large, we’re treating it like a dressing room instead of a closet.
- Decide on a system that works.We needed a place to store shoes, but we can’t use those hanging bags since we’re more of tossers instead of placers; double rods for shirts and tanks (mostly for me, since hubby mostly owns long sleeves and the placement of the initial bar means the second bar to closer to the floor. This creates a situation where his shirts drag on the floor, not so for most of mine.) ; an area for long dresses; an area for jackets/outerwear; an area for accessories such as jewelry, belts, scarves, purses, etc; an area for hubby’s keys and badges; a place to sit down to put on shoes; a place to air out the clothes of the day; a basket to hold sewing kit/shoe polish/lint roller/etc for quick repairs; and of course a mirror to make sure you look spiffy.
- Get the right materials. This doesn’t always mean expensive. For our shoe center we used cinderblocks and pre-fab shelving (if you can get to the store by yourself, definitely go with some basic wood planks, not the pre-fab stuff, but hubby insisted), pegboard and bulletin boards for accessories and the additional rod was from a discount store.
- Sort Since I’m the organizer, I did the sorting while hubby wisely stayed out of the way. I made several piles: seasonal for clothes that we didn’t need at the moment, trash for clothing and items that I would be too ashamed to donate in their current state, donate (or have a swap party) for clothes that were great, but just not great for us, keep for stuff we wanted to keep, and need repairs for items that needed simple repairs.
- Decorate. Add a picture (even framed calender photos look nice), a full length mirror to see the latest creations, an ottoman to sit and take off shoes, maybe even a pretty light fixture or paint on the walls.
Finish! Enjoy shopping!
Shopping from the Pantry November 25, 2009
I was browsing an article on money saving tips and noticed one tip for the kitchen and cooking:
Day 18: Shop from your pantry
Just once this week, take an inventory of what’s in your cupboard and fridge. Try planning a meal that requires no extra ingredients. You’ll not only get rid of lingering groceries, you’ll reduce your shopping list for the week.
I thought about my current pantry and my recent trips to the grocery store to stock up on staples. Off the top of my head I could think of a few meals with what’s in our storage.
ARROZ CON CHORIZO Y GARBANZOS
-2 cu chickpeas (garbanzos)
-2 cu rice, brown (arroz)
-2 smoked sausage (chorizo)
-3 TBSP sofrito mix (to taste)
–Cook smoked sausage in pan to render some oil. Add the other ingredients, season, cover and cook over medium heat for 20-25 minutes.
–Simple, yummy, but nicer for fall weather.
PIZZA (perfect way to get rid of leftovers)
- refrigerated pizza crust
- tomato sauce/pasta sauce
- toppings (veggies like peppers, onions; fruits like plums and peaches are a nice unexpected touch; canned chicken pieces; leftover meats; etc)
QUESADILLAS (another way to get rid of leftovers)
- shredded cheese
- filling (veggies, meat, fish, shrimp, anything!)
Of course, I love AllRecipes for trying new things. They have a search by ingredient feature, so if I don’t know what to make with brown rice, onions and eggs, I can find a recipe quickly. Also, they have a shopping list built-in so you won’t forget any item at the store.
Shampoo/Conditioner for Extreme Curly Hair November 20, 2009
Saw this article and decided to keep a file of the best shampoo/conditioner for curly hair.
Best Shampoo for Curly or Wavy Hair
Garnier Fructis Curl & Shine Fortifying Shampoo, $4
With a “luxurious texture” and “wonderful lather,” this left unruly curls looking smooth and well defined.
Best Conditioner for Curly or Wavy Hair
John Frieda Frizz-Ease Curl Around Daily Conditioner, $6
“An amazing detangler,” this thick, silicone-based formula tamed curls and created frizz-free waves.
I have little reason to doubt the validity of the products since I use Frizz-Ease serum to calm frizzes and have tried the Fructis Conditioner before with great results. Not sure when I will try them since I plan on keeping the hair braided for the next 18 months, but it’s still worth remembering.