Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A New Office Area in the Mudroom

I did not tackle Luke's little nook/reading space this weekend, but I did clear out this mudroom office area (with the help of my wonderful neighbor) in preparation for the arrival of the professional organizer I hired.

A previous homeowner had this area custom built as an office/sewing area, but since living in the house we have only used it as drop zone.  What has wound up in this area?  Coats, bags, groceries, mail, dirty clothes, clean clothes, and junk, junk, and more junk.  And this summer, a watermelon that my mother-n-law brought us got placed on the counter amid the clutter and was forgotten.  It began to rot and the juice ran onto everything.  I kept wondering what that horrid smell was.  I just assumed it was something the cat did, but after cleaning up her litter box and the laundry room (which is at the end of mudroom) where her litter box resides, I still smelled the smell, so I hunted for it and found the watermelon.  Enough was enough.  This area had to be cleaned out and kept clean.

With the help of a professional organizer, I am getting things in order.  This morning she helped me put things into the office area in a functional way.  We are going to tackle all my arts/crafts bits and pieces in a couple of days.  Sometimes you just gotta call in the professionals to help you.  I was getting overwhelmed at the clutter and needed someone else to tell me where to put things and how to best utilize my space.


This cabinet above is now nice and neat with my printer paper, blank DVD/CD's and extra toner for the printer ready to go.

We discovered that by turning three of the small awkward cubbies into one, they worked perfectly for magazine folders.  I bought some of these cheap, bankers folders from Staples a while back and have intentions of covering them with pretty paper and decorative bookplates.  After I get to that project, they will be stored facing the other way and look pretty.  I'm just glad I found a good use for this awkward space.

The computer will be placed into this area as well as the printer and my Silhouette Cameo cutting machine (putting it in the drawer previously used for hanging file folders).  We will also use this area to pay bills, house my school books/supplies, and keep envelopes and other mailing implements.

Eventually I want to repaint the walls an aqua/grey color and install a pretty, fabric- or paper-covered cork board on the wall space between the counter and upper cabinets.  But for now, I am just glad the area is clean, uncluttered, and is now functional.  I will be turning our old computer room into a guest room/craft room.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Cozy Corner for Luke's Room: Sneak Peek

I picked up some items from Target today (above) to create a cozy little hideaway for Luke's room.  Every child needs a secret spot of some sort to which they can retreat.  I have a feeling I'm going to crawl in a lot too. I'm hoping to get it created tomorrow or at least by the end of the weekend.

I've been seeing lots of great forts, tents, and other hideaways and reading nooks on Pinterest, and I am smitten.  Here are some that I like, and one of these is the inspiration for the one I'm making Luke. Can you guess which one?

From Sew Liberated. This blog features a very kid-friendly home.

Great use of space here.  This one found at Apartment Therapy.

I love the magical feel of this tent and room.  Found on Pinterest via Tumbler.

Love the alphabet and the string of lights.  This one from Apartment Therapy as well.
Love the colors here and all the cozy rugs and pillows.
Found this on Pinterest.

Bathtub Tea Party and Outdoor Kitchen Sensory Play

Bath time is usually my husband's "job", but occasionally it is my turn, and I like to add lots of fun and learning. Luke loves the water, so bath time is a no-fuss affair. Last night when he got in the water, Luke was pretending to drink the water from his rinsing cup. I had the great idea to have a bathtub tea party.

 I called my husband in to watch Luke while I ran to the kitchen and grabbed two antique melamine cups and saucers from the cabinet. My bathtub tea party was a hit. Luke practiced pouring water from the rinsing cup into the tea cups and from tea cup to tea cup until the bath water got cool. He even poured me some "tea" and held the cup near my mouth so I could drink.  It is always nice when a toddler shares.  Luke is not quite two yet, and he doesn't fully understand how to pretend, so plenty of bath water made its way into his mouth and tummy.  By the end of the bath, though, he was putting the water in his mouth and spitting it out. Progress.

Before Luke woke up this morning, I gathered some kitchen items like a wooden spoon, plastic cups and plates, a plastic measuring pitcher (which I found by the curb a few houses down), and various other containers and placed them on our front porch near the sandbox.  I filled a bucket with water and another container with ice right before we headed out to play. This was also a hit. We added rocks and leaves to our "ingredients", and I made a nice green salad and demonstrated to Luke how we pretend to eat weeds from the yard. I had to take the eating spoons away from the scene, because he was drinking water from them and even tasted some sand.  Oh well, a little dirt won't hurt, right?

This morning's activity was inspired by various outdoor kitchens I've seen on Pinterest and elsewhere.  As soon as I finish Luke's indoor play kitchen (note to self:  I have to get started first if I'm going to finish it), I'm going to tackle an outdoor kitchen for him.  I love the one below.  To see more great outdoor play kitchens and mud pie stations, go check out this blog post from Design Dazzle.