Monday, July 21, 2014

DIY Ribbon Striped Book Basket

Our almost 2nd grader has proved to be a die-hard book worm.  After plowing through all the books she owned at the beginning of summer, we promptly took ourselves to the library and got that girl a library card.  We make a weekly trip where she stocks up on her favorite chapter books...mostly the Rainbow Magic series by Daisy Meadows and the Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osborne.

But with all those books floating around, inevitably a few float right into random piles of other books throughout her room and the house.  So, we put her new bookcase and a leftover basket to good use....and now have those special books corralled in one spot!

This ribbon striped basket helps keep library books corralled in one spot!

This basket used to hold dolls and stuffed animals, but after a little purging and reorganizing our girl's room, it was no longer needed.  Good thing I hadn't chucked it into the donate pile just yet because it was the perfect size for this project.  It was just a little plain.

 Nothing a roll of black ribbon and a hot glue gun couldn't handle.

I played around with my ribbon placement before cutting it and decided I wanted three black stripes starting just below the top edge.  This basket has handles near the top, so I started by wrapping one end of the ribbon just around the inside of the handle and securing it with a little hot glue.

I wrapped it around one of the long sides and secured it to the opposite handle.  Then, I cut another piece to wrap around the other side. 
 

The next two pieces were easy.  I took one long piece and secured it at the back corner along the bottom of the basket.  

I just wrapped it all the way around adding a drop of hot glue on the middle of each side and at the corners. 

Then, I placed the last ribbon centered between the two and did a repeat of the last step.

We filled it up with the current load of library books and placed it on the book shelf right behind her headboard.  Every morning this girl wakes up, opens her blinds, and picks up right where she left off on her last story.  She also reads here for quiet time.
This ribbon striped basket helps keep library books corralled in one spot!

Our little reader has also taken to keeping a notebook handy when she reads.  Sometimes she writes down ideas for her own stories or jots down clues if she's reading a mystery.  We keep it right next to her new basket.
This ribbon striped basket helps keep library books corralled in one spot!

Now we don't have any more scrambling and digging to find all the library books when it's time to return them.  She just grabs them all from the basket, puts them in her library bag, and she's ready for the next round of adventures.
This ribbon striped basket helps keep library books corralled in one spot!


Has anyone else lived at the library this summer?  How do you keep track of library books in your home?


Thanks so much for reading! We would love to keep in touch!
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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Girl's Room Update - The Bookcase Verdict

Over the weekend we managed to assemble, position, and secure not one but TWO bookcases.  That's like, award worthy for us these days. 

One went down to the basement to help sort the hubs book collection and the other went up to our girl's room.  We were inspired by a built-in unit with shelving behind the bed to address some much needed storage issues. But we needed a much less expensive option.

Enter the bookcase.  We had an IKEA gift card burning a hole in our pocket, so we opted for one of their HEMNES bookcases. It looks a little more high end than the BILLY series and we wanted it to work well in any area of our home should we play musical bookcases in the future. 

We moved Mia's bed back along the wall under the window (the bed's 5th move, as she reminded me)... 


...and we placed the bookcase directly behind her headboard.  However....the problem with not using custom or coordinated pieces is that things aren't going to be perfectly sized.  This bookcase is significantly smaller in width than her bed.
We debated centering it on the headboard or pushing it flush against the wall.  Ultimately we decided that having a small gap between the bookcase and wall was just an abyss of lost toys (and subsequent parent contortionist rescue efforts) waiting to happen.  We're also planning a wall of curtains along the outside of her bed that will hopefully disguise the uneven pieces.

The Little Miss immediately put her basket of current library books and her notebook on a shelf and declared "This is going to be great!".  I agree.  I think it's going to be the perfect place to keep her books corralled, yet easily accessible. And it will give us a place to display some of those special items currently stored in her closet. 
As for the lower shelves of the bookcase.....I was worried this would just end up a dust collecting spot and wondered if it was even worth storing anything on those shelves.  That shelf you see below her basket is actually the last shelf we placed.  We ended up leaving the bottom shelves off, creating a larger open space that happens to be the perfect size for storing her winter comforter.  The shelf blocks the view of it from the top and the bed blocks the view from the side.  Super concealed storage, perfect for something that only needs to be reached twice a year.

So, the final verdict?  I love, love, LOVE, having this storage right behind the bed.  And our girl seems to as well.  The fact that the bed sticks out past the edge of the bookcase is enough to set off my OCD tick but once we get the curtains up, I think it's a set up we can all live with.

If it ends up being as successful as we hope, then we'll start saving our pennies to make this a no-kidding built-in area one day.  Maybe once this new baby is ready to graduate to a big-kid bed.  But since we're still cooking this bun for awhile longer, we have plenty of time to save for that endeavor.

Next up - filling those shelves and curtains!


Thanks so much for reading! We would love to keep in touch!
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Friday, July 11, 2014

A Baby Update And Why I Don't Totally Hate The ER

I hoped to share an update on the Little Miss' room today, but clearly I haven't given this baby enough blog time...because earlier in the week we took ourselves right to the ER. 

*Be forewarned.  Pregnant TMI to follow.

It was sort of like backwards day for the with-child.  Most expecting women would love a break from having to run to the bathroom every 5 minutes, but I've had the opposite issue.  For the past week I've had trouble going after I wake up in the morning, but was usually able to experience bathroom normalcy after being up and about for an hour. 

Then one day it just never happened.  After 12 hours of not being able to pee, my doctor directed me to the ER.  I knew that would mean a catheter, which I now have a love-hate relationship with.  I wanted to avoid one at all costs, but it was the only way to get relief.  They drained over a liter from my bladder and I came home with my new BFF cath bag for the next 24 hrs #TMI #sorry

Turns out it happens to some pregnant women around the 13-14 week mark, just before the baby is large enough to finally "pop" that belly out from behind the pelvic bone.  A situation that usually resolves itself as the baby grows.

Unfortunately, one of the ways to prevent it from happening is to sleep propped up on your side or stomach and to head to the potty every 2-3 hours.  Even at night.  I now also have a love-hate relationship with my alarm.  I just keep reminding myself as I cursed the catheter and my too-cheerful-for-its-own-good alarm chime in the middle of the night, that this is much better than the pain that landed us in the ER.  I will take it.  And I will never take peeing for granted again.

I had a follow up with one of the two doctors I see at our practice, who happens to be a friend and their bladder specialist.  Win!  He was very reassuring and delivered the good news that I could take the night alarm down to just once in the middle of the night.  So awesome...because running on broken sleep when you can have limited caffeine = no bueno.

AND.  When he heard we hadn't received an early ultrasound, he hooked us up with a little peek at our bambino/a.   The doc was like a 4 year old trying to drive a car with the u/s machine but we were so thankful for that little shot of our babe just lounging away with legs straight up in the air. 

I don't think I realized how much I was holding back a stampede of "what if's" until we actually heard that perfect heartbeat and saw our baby on the screen.  At this point I'm feeling really thankful and am looking forward to poppin some baby belly...not just bloat belly. 

In other random news, I finally bit the bullet and got the fabric I've been eying for months. The color is actually a little more saturated in person.  It's a lot of color (even for me) but how can you not have a cheerful breakfast nook with curtains made from this?

Here's hoping anyway!  Have a great weekend!


*Has anyone else ever experienced the same inability to pee while pregnant?  The nurse and staff seemed completely baffled by the whole situation.


Thanks so much for reading! We would love to hang out!
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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Inexpensive Gift Idea: Jazzed Up Frames

Today, I'm excited to switch things up and join Kristen Duke in her Birthday Celebration Week and monster Blog Hop! All week long, Kristen is sharing birthday tips and giveaways, so be sure to check out her par-tay!  And for anyone landing here for the first time...welcome! You can learn more about us and this here blog right over here.

Kristen pointed out that as we get older, some find it easy to just let their special day go, not wanting to draw unnecessary attention to themselves (ahem...guilty).  But birthdays are special, no matter your age!

She challenged over 100 bloggers to come up with an easy birthday gift idea that could easily be pulled together for a friend.  The goal was to keep it inexpensive and simple....so that we can do it more often!  With that in mind, I came up with a few different ways to jazz up a standard picture frame, using items I already had lying around the house.


 As for the other gift ideas...many of these are versatile for any occasion. And even better - most gifts are under $5, and have coordinating printables to make it super simple!

 101 Birthday Ideas for Friends
{Blog Hop Birthday designs by C {dot} love}

I chose a picture frame because one of the best things about our friends is the memories we create together. A frame can be used to express that in so many different ways.  Most of us probably even have a stash of empty frames we could pull from making this a nearly free project!  

Here are the three frames I picked up - two on sale from Target and one from IKEA (each under 7 bucks)

The IKEA frame got it's manicure on!  I just pulled from my stash of polish and had fun creating a simple pattern. 

The pop of color is perfect for displaying a black and white print.  

 The display frame was ideal for showcasing a special item from a fun event or something to recall a time where great memories were made together. We dolled ours up with a few stripes thanks to a gold sharpie.

The last frame has a nice detail on the inner edge so we just whipped up a simple printable placeholder to remind our bestie of the times we treasure with them.

Three super simple ways to show a friend how much they are loved and celebrated on their special day!

I often find hidden gift costs in the wrapping.  Two of my favorite go-to's for unique (and free!) gift wrap are twine and my fabric stash.  I'll pull a piece of fabric large enough to wrap around the gift and tie it up with twine from my craft closet.

 And sometimes I skip the fabric all together...
(You can grab the printable gift tags here and the coral 5x7 print here.)

Soooooo,  are you ready for some more birthday inspiration?! Join in the BLOG HOP! Click on each of links below each collage to see the gift idea and printable details.  And don't forget to follow the Birthday Gift Ideas Pinterest Board, for even more ideas and to save your favorites!

 >>>>>>>Important! Blog Hops often have glitches the first day. If the link has an ERROR, simply click on the HOME button for each site, or google the blog name next to the link, and you should see their gift post there. Links will be updated as soon as possible.<<<<<<<<<<<< free printable blog hop 
1. Birthday Balloon Gift + matching free Print by Capturing Joy with Kristen Duke 2. Stamped Cocktail Napkin + Printable by Delineate Your Dwelling 3. Buckets of Fun gift idea+Free Printable by Craftiness is Not Optional 4. 7 Candy Bar Love Notes to say "Happy Birthday" by The Dating Divas 5. Have a Flippin' Awesome Birthday by Dessert Now Dinner Later 6. Fishtail Loom Bracelet by I Should Be Mopping the Floor 7. Lemonade Lip Balm by Pretty Handy Girl 8. Hair Tie Birthday Gift & Printable Tag by Wait Til Your Father Gets Home 9. Gift of Sunshine Idea + Free Printable by Sweet Charli 10. I hope your birthday is a whole "lotto" fun by C.R.A.F.T. 11. Chicken Spice Rub w/ Printable Tags by Over the Big Moon 12. Birthday in a Bag Gift Idea by Seven Thirty Three 13. Quick Note for your Birthday Printable by Liz on Call 14. Otter Pop Gift with Printable Gift Tag by Somewhat Simple 15. {you} Series Magnets Printable by Ruffles and Rain Boots 16. Tea Cup Succulent by Your Homebased Mom 17. Pretty Pincushion + Printable by Let's Eat Grandpa 18. Lemon Bath Salts and Free Printable by See Vanessa Craft 19. Diet Coke Birthday Kit by Pink Peppermint Prints 20. Chocolate Filled Insulated Tumbler Gift by The Girl Who Ate Everything

 free printables blog hop 
21. Easy Funfetti Cake Balls with Printable by Salt and Pepper Moms 22. Hands Down Best Friend Around by Eighteen25 23. Berry Happy Birthday Printable by Stuffed Suitcase 24. Whisk Birthday Gift with Free Printable by Cupcake Diaries 25. Paper Plate Gift Idea by Crafting in the Rain 26. Popcorn Gift Printable by Breezy Bakes 27. Life Saver: Birthday Gift in a Jar by Here Comes the Sun 28. Decoupage Wooden Pendant by Twin Dragonfly Designs 29. Have a coffee on me: Funky Coasters by Funky Junk Interiors 30. Swanky Black & Gold Cosmetic Bag by A Prudent Life 31. DIY cocktail napkins by kojodesigns 32. Nail Polish Gift by Southern Hospitality 33. Banana Cake by Whats Cooking with Ruthie 34. Paparazzi - the PERFECT friend gift by Sugar Bee Crafts 35. "latte" fun birthday gift by Our Thrifty Ideas 36. Homemade Funfetti Cupcakes + Printable by Tastes Better from Scratch 37. Pearls are Always Appropriate by Mommy Envy 38. Girls Just Want to Have Fun Birthday Gift by A Little Tipsy 39. Manicure Kit Birthday Gift with Printable by Blooming Homestead 40. Orange you Glad Cup by Artsy Fartsy Mama

 free printables 
41. Donut Gift Tag by Pretty Providence 42. Rainbow Inspired Birthday Gift + Printable by Thirty Handmade Days 43. Drink Topper and Tag by LandeeLu 44. DIY Bath Salts using Essential Oils by Unskinny Boppy 45. Friends are Like Chocolate Chips by Delightful Deets 46. Paint Can Succulent Planters by East Coast Creative 47. A Bundt Cake Gift & Printable by Dukes and Duchesses 48. Jam Birthday Gift & Printable by Happiness is Homemade 49. Jazzed up Frames by House for Five 50. Favorite Things Gift Ideas by inkhappi 51. Toe-tally Cool Nail Polish Gift Idea + Free Printable by Simply Designing with Ashley 52. Quote Book by Reasons to Skip the Housework 53. Iron On T-Shirt Gift by Becoming Martha 54. DIY Humorous Girlfriend Gift by Brassy Apple 55. Tea-riffic Birthday Gift Idea & Printable by Mom Endeavors 56. Turn Today Into A Celebration by Dolen Diaries 57. You're A Lifesaver Printable by Live Laugh Rowe 58. Happy Birthday Jar {free printable} by Kiki and Company 59. Mason Jar Flower Vase + Printable by R & R Workshop 60. Easy $5 Wooden Charm Bracelet by Craftily Ever After

   free printables 
61. Polka Dot Mason Jar Vase by The Cards We Drew 62. Free Printable Mini Notes by Confetti Sunshine 63. Bath Bomb Easy Birthday Gifts by Tried and True 64. Ball Jar Printable Tags by The Country Chic Cottage 65. Eat More Cake Birthday Gift Idea and Printable by Play. Party. Pin. 66. Have a "berry" happy birthday by The Contractor Chronicles 67. Merci Chocolates + Hey Birthday Girl french girl printable by Handmade in the Heartland 68. Five Minute Leather Necklace Tutorial + Birthday printables by Delia Creates 69. Ah-Mason Birthday Gift Idea by Lolly Jane 70. Simple Dangle Earring Tutorial by Bombshell Bling 71. Symphony Bar Brownies by Among the Young 72. Wishing you an E "straw" diary Birthday by Ginger Snap Crafts 73. DIY Washi Tape Cacti by Fry Sauce and Grits 74. State Pride Cheese Board by Addicted to DIY 75. Reusable Monogrammed Solo Cup by Mom 4 Real 76. go-to gift…EARRINGS! by A Girl and A Glue Gun 77. Embroidered Mixed Media Bookmarkers by The Creative Goddess 78. Beyond Measure Birthday Printable by Like Mother Like Daughter 79. Birthday Facial Kit Gift by The Benson Street 80. DIY Jewelry Bookmark by Design Dazzle 

blog hop free printables 
 81. Birthday in a Jar - Birthday Printable Tags by A Pumpkin and a Princess 82. Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Party Cookies by Crazy Little Projects 83. You are the Bee's Knees by Love the Day 84. Birthday Candy Jar by Inside BruCrew Life 85. "Hip Hip Hooray, today is your birthday!" printables by The Crafted Sparrow 86. Treat Yo Self Printable by Girl Loves Glam 87. Chocolate Facial with printable by TidyMom 88. Happy Birthday Sweets by A Night Owl 89. Quick & Easy Hydrangea Cake by Sweet C's Designs 90. Sweets for the Sweet by Simply Kierste 91. Citrus Whipped Honey Butter Jars by Sand and Sisal 92. Diet Coke Gift for a Friend with Printable by Sweet Treats and More 93. A Latte for Two + printables by One Krieger Chick 94. Cookie Monster Birthday Gift Tag by I'm Topsy Turvy 95. Root Beer Float Cake in a Jar by Giggles Galore 96. Treat Yo'Self Printable Watercoloring Box by Persia Lou 97. Fruity Body Scrub with Printable by Mad in Crafts 98. Magnetic Necklace Charm by Sowdering About 99. Happy Bee Day with Printable by Just Another Day in Paradise 100. Manicure in a Jar by That's What {Che} Said... 101. UBER lucky to have you in my Life by Maybe I Will 102. Free Happy Birthday Printable by NoBiggie 103. DIY Wine Bag & Charms Gift by Sypsie Designs 104. Crispy Crunch-y Pie with Printable by Just Rhonda 105. "You're the Silver Lining" Friendship Nail Polish Gift by The Happy Housie 106. Tie One On for Your Birthday (Hair Tie Gift Free Printable) by illistyle 

Was there a gift idea that stuck out to you? Go ahead and visit your favorites and give them some love!

And don't forget to follow the Pinterest Gift Board:
 Follow Capturing Joy with Kristen's board Birthday Gift Ideas on Pinterest.



Thanks so much for reading! We would love to hang out some more!
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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Classic Potato Salad

I hope you all had a great 4th of July weekend!  We grilled...we hung out with good friends....we joined our community for an awesome parade and huge festival....and we provided an open buffet for the mosquitoes.  Good, good times.

I absolutely love summer cooking (although when fall rolls around I will be vowing my undying love to all things soups and stews).  It's the season of the salad!  Which makes the perfect side dish for a cookout and a perfect meal for lunch. 

My grandmother (my Yiayia) made the BEST potato salad.  It was a classic dish that I've tried to replicate several times.  To get the "tang" I always used relish, but it never quite tasted right.  Finally I asked my mom and she pointed me to her mom's secret ingredient:  Sandwich spread!

The first time I used it I did mostly spread and hardly any mayo - flavor overload.  My mom laughed, steered me to the right ratios (because all my Yiayia's dishes fail to embrace any sort of specific measurements...."a little of this....a pinch of that..."), and I think I finally got it right.  The best part is it can easily be adjusted to suit your individual tastes. 

So, if you're looking for a classic potato salad with that mustard/mayo combo and a hint of tang, I've got you covered!

Here's what you'll need:

4 large russet potatoes or 6-8 red potatoes
1 cup mayo
3 Tablespoons sandwich spread
2 Tablespoons yellow mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoons onion powder
Optional:  3 hard boiled eggs (chopped) 
Optional: finely chopped celery or pinch of celery seed

First peel and cut your potatoes into 1-inch pieces.  Bring a pot of water a boil.  Add potatoes and a pinch of salt and boil for 10-15 minutes.  You want the potatoes to be fork tender but still firm, not breaking apart.  

Drain and set aside in a large bowl.

Mix the remaining ingredients for dressing in a small bowl.

Add to the potatoes and toss until well mixed.  

*I didn't grab a pic of this, but after the dressing is mixed with the potatoes, I grab my masher and do a rough mash.  I like my potato salad with a few chunks but not totally smooth. 

Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.  If you like your salad with a little crunch you can add some chopped celery, or if you like the celery flavor without the crunch, a little celery seed will do the trick.  I also like my salad with chopped hard boiled eggs, so I toss them in here too.

Chill the salad for at least an hour before serving, then gobble it up!

 You can download a printable PDF of the recipe here.

What's your favorite summer side dish?  Anyone else have a treasure trove of family recipes with no measurements??


Thanks so much for reading! We would love to keep in touch!
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