Sunday, September 23, 2012

OperationOrganize: Small Supply Storage

Here's the first "OperationOrganize" project I've completed for my office/craft storage closet.  I had seen several pins where people used over-the-door shoe organizers to organize pantry items, craft supplies, toys, etc...and so I chose to use this tool to organize some of my smaller office/craft supplies.

Here are the items I used to complete this project:
- 24 count clear over-the-door shoe organizer
- 1 package tiny clothes pins
- labels I designed on the computer
- brown cardstock
- glue stick
- scissors
- paper cutter

First, I hung my shoe organizer and filled it with all the supplies I wanted to store in it.  Then I made a list of all the items so I would know exactly what labels to make.  Then I went to the computer!

Here are my lovely labels.  I used PowerPoint to design them.

I cut them out by hand and used the glue stick to adhere them onto brown cardstock I had cut using my paper cutter.

Here are some pictures of my finished product!

 This was a fun and super simple project...and it made a huge difference in my storage space.  Now a lot of the items I use on a regular basis are easy to access and easy to find.

Linking @:
The Sunday Showcase Party @ Under the Table and Dreaming
Making the World Cuter Monday @ Making the World Cuter
Tutorials and Tips Link Party @ Home Stories A to Z 
Meet Me Monday Link Party @ You're Talking Too Much
Craft and Tell @ Cherished Bliss
Take-A-Look Tuesday @ Sugar Bee Crafts
Our Favorite Things Link Party @ My Life's a Treasure 
Lil' Luna Link Party @ Lil' Luna
Home Decor and Organizing Link Party @ Organize and Decorate Everything 
The Creative Spark @ Clean and Scentsible
Wow Me Wednesday @ Ginger Snap Crafts
Whatever Goes Wednesday @ Someday Crafts
Delightfully Inspiring Thursday Party @ Delightful Order
The 36th Avenue Party Time @ The 36th Avenue
Frugal Friday @ The Shabby Nest 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Entry Table Drawer Organized!

Remember this post where I showed you our entry table and that horribly messy drawer that held items we don't even use?

Here is a reminder of that messy, non-functional drawer:

And this post where I made these adorable organizing trays?

Well, here is my freshly organized drawer using those cute trays!

Major improvement!  We can easily find what we're looking for and it's super cute!

I took everything out that we don't use regularly and replaced it with other items we use more frequently:  Return address labels and stamps, USB cables, flash drive, laptop power source adapter, camera charging adapter,  outlet cell phone chargers (my cell phone charger goes in the empty spot to the right of my husband's) outlet adapters, and chalk and cloth for writing on my entry chalkboard.

Our entry table is in a fairly central location in our downstairs and there's an outlet underneath that makes it a practical place for us to store and use these chargers.  Also, since I've kept a minimal amount of items stored in the drawer it's very easy for use to maintain this level of organization.  We hardly ever opened this drawer before, now we use it almost every day!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Welcoming Fall

 Alrighty folks!  Here's my fall mantle.  You want to know what the best thing is about this year's fall display?  I spent NO $$$!  Yep, that's right.  I didn't spend a penny.  Here's the breakdown of the items I used for this year's mantle:
  1. Large black 8 x 10 frame - I've had this frame since high school.
  2. Natural frames - 2011 fall decor purchase at the Dollar Tree.
  3. Simple black 8 x 10 frame - purchased earlier this year.
  4. Black 5 x 7 frame and mat - purchased earlier this year.
  5. Green and gold ribbon - 2011 fall decor purchase at the Dollar Tree.
  6. Mason jars - given to me by a friend.
  7. Split peas and white beans in mason jars - 2012 summer decor purchase.
  8. Photos - Prints from our 2011 trip to Brown County State Park.
  9. Fall Subway Art - Made by yours truly as seen here.

 A picture of me on a small walking bridge at Brown County and my Fall Subway Art printable.

 My handsome hubby!  Love this picture of him with the beautiful view in the background!

I love the way the black and natural wood frames look together on our mantle.
The natural frames are a simple way to bring the outside in.

Happy fall decorating!
Linking at:

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Summer Mantle

As I was preparing to take down my summer mantle and put up my fall display I realized I had never shared my summer mantle with you all!  Shame on me!  So, I snapped a picture and here it is.

I chose to use black frames to coordinate with our monster clock.  The pictures are from our Memorial Day weekend trip to Spring Mill State Park and the Hilltop Restaurant.  I like these pictures because the clothes we were wearing were bright and summery, that and I love nature photos!  I accented the photos with mason jars partially filled with split peas and white beans.  I really like the color the split peas added to the display and the white beans added some nice texture, too.  I like to keep my decor simple, inexpensive and most of all, versatile!  I think I only ended up buying the beans, a couple frames, a mat or two, and the photos which I had printed at Walmart. 

Come back tomorrow and I'll show you how I used many of these same pieces
plus items from last year to decorate my mantle for fall!

OperationOrganize: Office/Craft Storage Closet

Today I'm sharing with you the before pictures of my office/craft storage closet.  This space isn't functional in it's current state, as you can well see from the piles of "stuff" all cluttering this space.  This closet is under the stairs and so that makes it a difficult space to work with, at least for an adult.

Before I begin sharing the long process of making this space functional, let's take a tour of the dysfunctional mess I've lived with for almost 17 months.

 The top shelf was here when we moved in.  The bottom shelf, that hasn't been painted yet, we added (my dad cut it to size for me.)  I added an over the sink shelf to try to increase the storage capacity of the shelves.

 Working with a slanted ceiling is difficult when trying to maximize storage.  I have yet to find a solution that works well for me.

As of right now I don't really have a filing system that works well for me.  The purple bankers box is something I've had since college.  It doesn't exactly suit the space, but it's been working.  I file all "last year" papers here.

Thankfully, the cart holding the printer and the printer have already been relocated.  So this opened up some floor space.  But didn't do a whole lot else for the space.

Here are my plans for the space:
  1. Hang clear shoe organizer on door to store small office/craft items.         See here!
  2. Develop new system for paper organization.  See here!
  3. Re-arrange plastic drawers so the space is more functional.  See here!
  4. Re-organize plastic drawers to maximize space.  See here!
  5. Designate space for "Office" and "Craft" supplies, etcSee here!
  6. Cover cardboard with wrapping paper and place inside drawers to create a streamlined look, concealing the contents of the clearish drawers.  
  7. Add labels so we can easily find what we're looking for.
  8. Paint bottom shelf white.
  9. Spray paint other supply holders so they all match/coordinate.
  10. Hang cork board on wall to hang important notes, pictures, etc.
I have lots to do!  I hope to have this project completed by mid-October.  We'll see what the pregnancy will allow me to accomplish. :)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Tyler and I are 5 months along!

Okay, so this is kinda late.  I was 5 months on September 6th.  Little Tyler and I went up to our monthly O.B. appointment and all seems to be going well!  Tyler is measuring right on schedule and I'm slowly but surely putting on a few pounds here and there.  The Dr. is confident Tyler is fairly healthy because of how active he is.  He was moving around so much that she wasn't able to read his actual heartbeat, but had to settle for getting a read through his umbilical cord.  It was on the lower side, but she said that was probably because it was coming through the umbilical cord.  I love feeling my little boy squirm and kick inside me.  Makes me that much more excited to be able to hold and love on him.  So thankful for our little blessing. be homemakers...

Before I begin this study I want to make it clear that I am not in any way condemning any of you who may be or know a woman who works outside the home.  I have worked outside the home as a married woman myself (more on that later). I realize there are some cases in which it may not be avoidable.  I am just going to share what God's Word says on the matter, my personal opinions on the matter and what my husband and I have agreed to do in our home.  Now, let's see what we can learn from God's Word.

As with all of my previous studies in this series, I am going to begin with sharing what I learned when I did a Greek word study of the word "homemaker."  I feel that looking into the original Greek is very important because it gives us much needed insight to the original meaning of the text.  Having a better understanding of the text allows me to make accurate applications as I strive to live my life for Christ.

The Greek word used here is oikourgus.  This word, according to Strong's, Thayer's and Vine's, means:
1) caring for the house, working at home
     a)  the watcher or keeper of the house
     b)  keeping at home and taking care of household affairs
     c)  being domestic

It's obvious to me that God desires for women, especially those who are married and have children - as they have already been mentioned in this section of scripture (Titus 2:4) - to be at home and attend to the domestic needs of the home.  What He desires for women who are single is made clear in 1 Corinthians 7:34 "There is a difference between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman cares about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit. But she who is married cares about the things of the world—how she may please her husband."  God desires for unmarried women to focus their lives in service to Him.  A woman who is married has another person she must consider, her husband.  Pleasing and serving him is second only to her service to God.

Before my husband and I married I had graduated from college with a bachelor's degree, worked most of the way through college, and was a substitute teacher at my elementary school.  I had been out in the workforce since my freshman year of college and was used to being very busy.  I also feel it's needful to mention that these years were not my best years spiritually, but rather some of my weakest.  Being around worldly people who do not exercise godly principals can be very draining, discouraging and damaging to a young woman's faith (no, it doesn't have to be if she has made her faith her own and stands firm on God's word, but I hadn't reached that point yet).  

After we married I was fairly content being at home and taking care of the home.  He was working a few hours of overtime a week, we were settling into an apartment together, and spending a lot of time just hanging out and learning more about each other.  Once we bought a house and moved into town things changed.  He began working 16-20 hours of over time a week and once we were settled in, I was running out of things to do and missing the interaction I had with our previous neighbors (who all happened to be young couples who were members of our congregation).  My husband and I decided I could have a part-time job, as long as I stayed on top of my duties at home.  This worked for a while, until work wore me out so much that Ryan was getting my "leftovers."  Once we realized this was going on and how detrimental it had been to our marriage I quit my job and began working for a couple we worshiped with.  I was working about half the hours and the environment was much less stressful.  This, too, worked for a while.  Then things came up and I left that job, too.  

By this time I was actually missing being able to just be at home and take care of the things here.  I had grown spiritually and my desire was to be the woman God desired me to be, rather than the woman the world expected me to be.  I've now been a homemaker for about six months and have never been happier.  I have ample time to attend to the basic needs (cleaning, cooking, laundry, etc.) and am able to enjoy other things like my blog, decorating, organizing, etc.  I also have more time to devote to strengthening my personal relationship with my Heavenly Father, a blessing I truly treasure!  Being a homemaker also allows me the opportunity to spend time with my sisters in Christ, most of which are also homemakers, during the day, without taking time away from my husband.  I'm also able to do other forms of service for others that I would not have time to do if I was out in the workforce.  I feel truly blessed to be able to be a keeper at home.

Now, many of you may be thinking, "how do you do it financially?"  My husband works in a factory and brings home a little over $600 a week when he works 18-20 hours of overtime.  His overtime has been cut recently, so as you can imagine he's bringing home a lot less these days.  Even with the overtime, he doesn't make a lot when you take into consideration a mortgage payment, auto insurance, utilities, etc.  Basically, we don't have a lot, but we have what we need.  We have made the choice to do without most of our wants so that I am able to stay home.  This has taught us to really appreciate the things we do have, and to genuinely enjoy the simple things in life.  We eat almost all of our meals at home and at the table.  Our dates consist of going for walks, reading God's Word, attending Gospel Meetings, Bible studies with others, and working in the yard together.  We are very happy with the life we have chosen for ourselves, as we are confident it's a life that is also pleasing to God.  We are happier now than we have ever been before!

If you're a homemaker, then I encourage you to thank God for the wonderful blessing He has created for you and is enabling you to enjoy.  If you're not a homemaker, then I lovingly ask you to consider the quality of your relationship with God, your husband, your children and your brothers and sisters in Christ as well as your level of contentment with the physical possessions of this life. (1 Timothy 6:6)

May we all grow closer and closer to God with each new day He blesses us with.

Linked @ Titus 2 Tuesday @ Cornerstone Confessions

Monday, September 17, 2012

Project Planning Sheet

My mind has been going about a-mile-a-minute the past few weeks, coming up with ideas for projects much faster than I can even begin to complete them.  To help me keep track of these projects, I created this little planning sheet. 

These sheets allow me to quickly jot down my ideas, materials I think will be needed, and materials I already have.  I also included a spot for me to record the "start" and "complete" date for each project. (Hopefully this will motivate me to finish them in a timely manner!)  I printed off 3 of these sheets and have already filled up 11 of the 12 project sections.  Some of the projects I included are ones I started months ago, so they won't have an accurate start/complete date.  However, this will help me remember to actually finish them.

Feel free to print them for your personal use. :)

Happy Homemaking, Crafting, DIYing and Blogging!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012 be chaste...

According to Strong's, the Greek word used here is hagnos meaning pure.  In Thayer's I found the specific definition applied in this verse is the concept of being pure from carnality and being modest.  For a little more clarification, I turned to the Oxford American Dictionary and found the term modesty (of a woman) to mean "dressing or behaving so as to avoid impropriety or indecency, especially to avoid attracting sexual attention."  If we are to be women professing godliness then our overall conduct (speech, dress, actions) need to be pure.

We find this word again in Philippians 4:8 when Paul instructs the brethren as to what they should be filling their minds with: "whatever things are pure."  God wants us to be very careful what we are putting into our minds and hearts "for out of the abundance of [the] heart [the] mouth speaks" (Luke 6:45)  We as women striving to conduct ourselves in a godly manner would do well to only fill our hearts with pure thoughts and ideas.  If we do this, it will be much easier for our conduct to be pure. 

Peter writes a special exhortation to women whose husbands have not obeyed the Gospel.  He says "that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear." (1 Peter 3:1, 2)  Our conduct has the potential to greatly influence those around us, even beyond those whom we are closest to.

May we strive today, and every day, to become more pure, discreet and loving towards our husbands and children.

God bless!

Friday, September 7, 2012 discreet...

According to Strong's and Thayer's the phrase "to be discreet" means:
     1)  to be of a sound mind, sane, in ones senses
     2)  curbing ones desires and impulses, self-controlled, temperate

As women who fear God and desire to be pleasing unto Him we should strive to conduct ourselves in such a way that we meet both these definitions.  Being the emotional creatures we are, this will be a challenge for many of us.  We cannot use our emotions as an excuse for being irrational in our actions and speech.  Self-control is taught and commanded throughout the New Testament.  In Galatians 5:22, 23 it is included among the fruits of the Spirit, the fruits we should be bearing for Christ as we live here on earth.  1 Timothy 2:14, 15 talk about how the woman (Eve) was deceived and that women (in general) will be saved in "in childbearing if they continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control."  2 Peter 1:5-7 describes how we should grow as Christians, always adding to our character becoming more and more like Christ.  Verse 6 states that we should add to knowledge self-control, and to self-control perseverance.

Being of a sound mind and curbing our desires and impulses will be of wonderful help to us as we strive to be the godly wife and mothers God commands us to be.  We must strive to think soberly, carefully weighing the consequences of our decisions.  This will help us be the "helpmeets" our husbands need us to be.  Women who are level-headed and controlled are much easier to love and lead than ones who are irrational and impulsive.  We should desire to make it easy for our husbands to fulfill the commands God has given them, rather than putting road-blocks in front of them, discouraging them from trying to serve God.

May we all strive to be discreet so that the Word of God may not be blasphemed and so that our husbands won't be able to keep from loving us and leading us in such a way that will bring us closer to God and to each other.

God bless!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Fall Subway Art - Free Printable!

The wonderful month of September welcomes in a new season, Autumn.  Leaves begin to change, cooler weather creeps in, and the wonderful works of God are ever before us.  September is also when many of us switch out our decor, putting away the summertime flowers and bringing out fall leaves, pumpkins and gourds.  I have yet to make the transition in our home, but I've been working on it.  Here is the Fall Subway Art I just finished.  I plan to place this on our mantle in the upcoming days.

Free for personal use only.

Background:  Mel Stamps: Ombre Chevron Collection
Fonts Used from DaFont: FFF Tusj, KG Be Still & Know, KG Sweet N Sassy, & Pottery Barn

Monday, September 3, 2012

I finally have a plan!

Alright everyone!  I've been a little distracted today thinking about how I would like the nursery to look.  Above is what I have in mind for Tyler's nursery.  The six background designs are the fabric designs I would like to use in the nursery.  I have also given a brief description of what I plan to use each piece for.  I am not sure how much of this I will actually be able to do as our budget is rather small, but I'm sure Tyler will have everything he needs and more and that's what matters most.

1. Vinyl Initial and Name Wall Decal
2. Ameriwood Bookcase - Espresso
3. Whitmor Rattique Totes - Latte
4. Whitmor Rattique Totes - Espresso
5. Delta 48 Piece Closest Organizer - Beige
6. Whitmor Woven Strap Crate - Espresso
7. Graco Freeport 4-in-1 Convertible Crib
8. Storkcraft Glider Rocker and Ottoman