Have a Holly Jolly Fruit Snack

What’s the first thing everyone wants to do after Christmas? Besides returning that nose-hair trimmer or ironing board? (I actually do know people who have been given ironing boards for Christmas, although that is not by far the worst gift I ever heard of. That honor belongs to a woman named Marcia who claims she once received a pill vial designed like a white elephant and filled with the baby teeth of her friend’s children). (I’ve never received anything nearly that bad, although someone once regifted a gift I had given them back to me! I guess they knew I would like it?)

Anyway let’s regroup before we get way off track here. Although if you want to share your best and worsts gifts in the comments, that would be a fun read! (Do it!)

Ok, for reals. Back to the original question. What’s the first thing everyone wants to do after Christmas? When January 1 hits? Organize, of course. The new year is a perfect time for a fresh start. Out with the old, in with the new. Declutter, rearrange, BUY ALL THE BINS! At least, that’s what everyone thinks. I say you wait a little bit. Give yourself a breather. You just survived the holidays, what’s the rush?

Or, here’s another idea. Start now! Maybe you can’t organize your entire home this month, but you can tackle something you were planning to put off until after the new year. Give yourself a headstart! Who’s with me??

You there! With the out of control pantry! Let’s get you sorted out right now. You’ll feel so much better.

mudroom-pantry-before

mudroom-pantry

Ahhh, wouldn’t this make you feel less stressed? When the holiday madness hits, you can just step inside your perfectly organized pantry, take some deep breaths and eat a fruit roll-up, and walk out feeling like a brand new woman.

This lovely pantry belongs to Erin at Lemons, Lavender, and Laundry  and she came up with several low-cost storage solutions to make the most of this space, such as recovering cardboard boxes in contact paper and using dollar store bins on the higher shelves.

“Hmph,” you think. “My dollar store does not sell galvanized metal bins for $1.”

No? Neither did hers.

 

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It’s spray paint!  Can admiring a spray-painted plastic bin full of fruit snacks bring you inner peace? I’d say so, yeah.


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Double Duty

A tragic fact of life is that unless you consistently have guests at your house, your guest room goes unused 90% of the time. I can’t think of anything more tragic-er. Ok, so that’s not the worst thing in the world, and if you have a guest room at all, you’re pretty lucky, but why not utilize that space as much as you can? It’s still your house, is it not?

Ruthie wanted her guest room to do double duty, so she turned it into a guest room/craft room combo with a fresh black, white, and gold-themed makeover to tie it all together.

 

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That intricate design is a stencil! I thought surely it was wallpaper, it’s so intricate.

“Gorgeous!” you say, “But where’s the craft room? Does Ruthie perch on that window ledge and craft her heart out while her guests nap?” Of course not crazy kids. Did you think to look in the closet?

 

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There it is! So fabulous with the thick striped walls and sparkly gold details. It’s even Audrey Hepburn approved. You can see much more on her blog Refashionably Late


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Playing Around

Jennifer was lucky enough to have a nice, spacious playroom in her home for her kids, but it was lacking storage and style. Of course storage is a biggie but don’t underestimate the importance of style. Because have you met any kids lately? They are WAY into style. Way more than I ever was. Or am.

What happened to the frumpy, frizzy, gangly, awkward stage? Because I swear it’s not happening anymore. I legitimately wore my dad’s t-shirts in 8th grade. Now 8th graders look like 25-year-old Instagram models. I’ve envied the hair of fifth grade girls. I see toddlers in skinny jeans. I know babies with better wardrobes than mine. My sister insists that she knows of a second-grader who HAS A TATTOO. I know. It can’t be true, but she swears it is. My sister would never lie about such things. TORI PLEASE CONFIRM IN THE COMMENTS THAT THIS IS TRUE.

Anyway, before I get further off-track, let’s go back to the innocent playroom. This one needed a little help, so Jennifer rolled up her sleeves and dug in.

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camp-themed-playroom

And here is the delightful result! Every toy has a designated place in the DIY built-ins, leaving plenty of room for seating. The futon was revamped with paint and a new slipcover, and the sweet camp-theme is bringing the style everywhere you look. I love the accent wall too, it adds just the right amount of woodsiness. This room could totally be an Instagram model now.

Get all the details and a full view of this playroom makeover on Jennifer’s blog Delightfully Noted.

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Spouse In the Pool House

When April moved to Oklahoma, she told her realtor that she definitely wanted to build a new home. And even though a lot of homes in her area came with pools, she did NOT want a pool.

So, naturally, she ended up buying an old home with a pool. There’s really no explanation, other than the obvious: we ladies are entitled to change our minds often and on a whim. Right? Shania Twain said so, so it must be true.

April fell in love hard with this artist-designed out-of-the-ordinary home and all the quirks that came with it. One of those quirks was a cute but run-down little pool house, you know, to go with that pool. Since her husband works from home often, they decided it would be a perfect office space.

After painting, tiling, replacing light fixtures and scraping the popcorn ceiling (ugh, my least favorite job ever) (I’ve never actually done it before, but I just know I’d hate it), it looks like this today …

 

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It has such an energetic vibe now. You couldn’t help but be productive in an office like that, amIright? I would definitely NOT check Facebook/scroll through Pinterest/download new music/buy random Korean skincare item on Amazon because it had good reviews/check Facebook again/read a useless article on Buzzfeed/wander to the kitchen and eat a bowl of cereal/go online shopping and put stuff in my cart but never buy it/look up the lyrics to a 90s song I just remembered/text my sister a picture of a mole, does this look weird to you?/check Facebook again. Like at all.

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Did I mention April built that U-shaped desk herself? Because she did! I like that the back side is a bit longer than the front, just a nice little touch to add interest. Check out her blog Uncookie Cutter to get the rundown.


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