Home Organization -Dining Room

On A Bowl Full of Lemons Home Organization 101 challenge, I am working on the dining room. I don't have a separate dining room. When we added on to our house we put the dining table into the large new family room. It makes it easier to clean I guess, with one a table and chairs to worry about.

Where the dining area used to be I put in a credenza. I bought it off Craigslist. It was a medium brown color, so I painted it and I replaced the old knobs too. It fits some of my larger kitchen gadgets and baking supplies. And the drawer on the right end is my junk drawer, so I don't have stuff piled on my kitchen counter (well, not as much stuff). For the organization challenge I decided to take advantage of the wall space and add some shelves. Now I have some more space to put things. And right now that includes Christmas decor.



Vintage pattern and fun cords


I found some fun patterned corduroy in the clearance section of my local fabric store. Well, I snapped it up and figured I'd find a pattern later. And I did. I found a vintage pattern in my collection that I thought would work great with the fabric. My 4 year old loves it. It's long sleeved too, which is great for winter, since she seems to hate wearing coats everywhere.


I've been up to some other sewing, but can't share it here since it's for Christmas. I'll have to post the projects after the big day. Only 35 days to go!

Home Organization - Mudroom

Still catching up on the Bowl Full of Lemon's Home Organization 101 challenges. This past week I did the 'mudroom'. I don't actually have a mud room, but I do have a blank wall near my front door. When we first moved in to this house I bought a storage bench thing for shoes, and some hooks for coats. It was fine when there were only 4 of us, and 2 of them were small children. Well, it's been 5 1/2 and a lot has changed. Those kids are getting bigger, and there are twice as many of them. And that means more (and bigger) shoes and coats.
So, I made a trip to Lowes and got more coat hooks. And I actually went through the pile of shoes and got rid of the ones that were too small or worn out. Now everything fits (except large boots), each person has their own coat hook. So much nicer for the entryway.



Advent Activities

Since Christmas is just around the corner, I thought I'd share something we did last year that I am planning on doing again this year. Last year I saw a cute pin on Pinterest that had an activity advent calendar. I have a cute advent calendar that my parents got us on our first Christmas:

The doors open up to reveal 24 drawers. I usually put some small candies in the drawers. But last year I decided that the kids get plenty of treats, so instead I put in activities. I figured out our calendar of events for the month and then planned activities for each of the evenings.
Here is my list of activities (in no particular order):
Go for a drive to see the Christmas lights.
Bake Christmas cookies.
Read a new Christmas story.
Make an ornament or decoration.
Watch a special Christmas movie with treats.
Permission to stay up late.
Hot chocolate made especially for you.
Today we decorate the Christmas tree.
Christmas coloring book!
Make Christmas cards.
Decorate the windows in your room.
Invite a friend over today.
Go to the library to find some new Christmas stories.
Listen to fun Christmas music!
Bundle up. We're going to the Lights of Christmas!
Learn about holidays in another culture.
Pick out food to donate to the food bank.
Make a gingerbread house.
Go to a Christmas Party
 Make a craft with Mom
Have lunch at a restaurant with our family
Wear new Christmas jammies to bed
Decorate cookies
Read the story about the birth of Jesus

I printed them in red and green and cut them apart in strips. The kids enjoyed doing different activities each night, and didn't once complain that there wasn't candy in there anymore. You can have a pdf copy of my list by downloading it HERE.


Home Organization - Kids Closets

I'm a little behind on the home organization challenge from A Bowl Full of Lemons. I guess my Pinterest challenge and Halloween and birthdays have kept me pretty busy. Anyway, the next challenge is kids closets. My kids share rooms, 2 girls in one room, 2 boys in the other. So their closets are pretty full. We also keep their dressers in there to free up floor space in room. We've been fairly organized in the past, but it was definitely time to clean it up and get things back in order.

First up the girls room:
The girls have a lot of dresses. I put up a second, lower shelf and closet rod so the younger one could reach her own clothes. That has been a good and a bad thing. I do find the dresses scattered across the floor every now and then.
The top rod has the girls' leotards, some sweaters and jackets, skirts, a couple nice shirts, and dresses and Indian suits for my oldest. The bottom has the Indian/Fijian dresses and regular dresses for my younger daughter. I separated out the long and short sleeved dresses for her.

On to the boys room.They don't have quite as much to hang up, so they have just one closet rod. They also have a box for outgrown clothes, and the hanging organizer for misc closet things.

The clothes for my 1 year old are on the left and for my 6 year old on the right. They too have their Indian suits on the ends. On top of the outgrown clothes box I also keep the extra diapers and wipes.
It's so nice to have things straightened up again.



Dress Refashion

A couple months ago I came across a pin on Pinterest that lead me to a blog about refashioning clothes. It was a 365 project. That's a lot of redoing clothes. Well, it was very inspirational. Most of the clothes were ugly thrift store finds that were turned into cute clothes. I love thrift stores and all the treasures you can find there. So, a few weeks ago when I was there I came across some dresses. They were too big for me, but I liked the patterned fabric. My oldest is always asking for skirts and things, so I decided to refashion the dresses into skirts for her.
I finally got around to doing one.

This dress was a size 17, had smocking on the back and a zipper down into the skirt part. Needless to say, it didn't fit me, but it was cute.
And here it is as a skirt. Since there was lots of fabric around, I just cut off the top, made a casing and added elastic. I kept the zipper, but with the elastic I didn't really need it, but it doesn't hurt to have it anyway.

My daughter likes longer skirts, but seeing it on her I think I might take up the hem too. So maybe I'm not quite done with it.