We’re in New York for a few days for one last hurrah, before I’m done with traveling for a while! The cats are in good hands with the petsitter, so let’s check in with the latest round of #catsofinstagram!
Not much going on in the world of cats these days… which is honestly a nice change of pace from the world news these days.
This little blog keeps chugging along even though I don’t write about the big stuff, but here are a few recent posts from a few favorite blogs that sum up what I’ve been feeling but have no idea how to say:
Hope you’re having a peaceful start to your week.
I’ve been a loyal Birchbox subscriber since 2012, and I still love using up the sample sizes of beauty products I would never think to pick up by myself… and even though I’ve been paying $10/month over the past few years, having a subscription has drastically cut down on my impulse buys at the drugstore AND I only buy products that I’ve already tested and love, so that’s how I justify the cost
BUT I’m not just singing the praises of Birchbox (I already did that in 2013 actually!) today, I just wanted to share something funny that I noticed from an Instagram pic.
See that colorful box holding a few sewing supplies? It’s probably one of my most-used organization solutions.
Ever since Birchbox stopped sending plain brown boxes and started making new (super cute) designs for each monthly box, I’ve been keeping them and now I’ve accumulated quite a collection! They come in handy for organizing all sorts of small things, and once I started hunting for boxes I found them in almost every room of the house.
It’s funny how satisfying it is to repurpose something that comes in the mail every month, plus it’s super cute storage solution! And since I get new ones regularly, I never feel bad if they get dirty or damaged since I can just replace them the following month. Somehow I never run out of reasons to need another one.
Here are a few ways I used Birchboxes around the house:
On the kitchen island, I keep a tray for stray paper and books that’s easy to move out of the way when I need to clear the island. I keep a handful of thank you cards (and stamps) in a Birchbox so I can write a quick note while I’m eating breakfast.
I keep cross stitch projects and other small craft supplies in individual boxes. For cross stitch projects especially, Birchboxes are a lot easier to corral then a bunch of ziplock bags, and the fabric, floss list/pattern, and floss bobbins are all in one place.
When I’m not working on a project I stack the boxes away, and when I’m actively stitching it’s easy to keep everything in one place no matter where I’m working on it.
In the bathroom, I keep a Birchbox by the sink so I don’t have tubes and jars scattered everywhere (plus it’s easy to move when I’m cleaning the counter).
In the narrow bathroom drawer, a box fits perfectly… and it keeps everything compartmentalized.
I use another Birchbox to organize makeup. If there’s ever dust or an explosion, it’s easy to remove the box without damaging the vanity, plus I can quickly pack all my makeup in a suitcase by putting the top back on.
In the guest room, there are quite a few Birchboxes corralling office supplies, sharpies, craft supplies, etc. … all in cute little boxes that are easy to store, stack, and find!
It’s been a couple months since an update on the house, and lately there have been a few changes that are really making us feel at home. It’s no coincidence that all this productivity occurred the same month that my parents visited two weekends (and will be here again this weekend!) – they have so much energy and their momentum always pushes us to get a ton done!
Below is an update from my last post in March, with a few Before/During updates. I think we’re about done with the non-baby rooms… which means it will all change within another few months
Let’s pretend we’re walking through the house from the front door, shall we?
Home Sweet Home
Whether you walk into the house from the front door or the garage, you’ll enter the foyer that connects to the two guest rooms/bathroom and hallway to the main living area.
Here’s a Before from March:
We hung a curtain rod on the righthand wall to display quilts, and a floating shelf with coat hooks on the opposite wall above the bench. My favorite details on the shelf are the little cat hooks on each end (Rooster Tails is the best! I’m completely addicted… affordable handcrafted furniture with endless customization is hard to beat.)
I added a bunch of art/decorations that haven’t fit anywhere else on top of the shelf but it’s definitely still a work in progress. But aside from decorating, this space is finally functional! The coat hooks make up for the lack of hall closet, even if we won’t be wearing coats for another six months😉
Further down the hallway, we hung another curtain rod for quilt display. The curtain rings make it super easy to switch out quilts which will be fun to do with each season (psst… I finished the Pixelated Heart quilt over the weekend – more pics coming later this week!).
Front room in January…
And now… about the same, except we moved the cube storage and old TV in here.
The TV is pretty huge… but it still works, so it’s sticking here for now. I love having the cube storage in the guest room so it can function as storage for office supplies and make this room do double duty.
The sewing room is becoming more of a blank slate to make room for the eventual nursery.
We moved out the cube storage and grey bookcase, finally unwrapped/unpacked all the artwork, and brought in the bar cart as temporary sewing storage (perhaps to be used in the future as a changing table). The plan is to move all my sewing stuff into the office and transition this room into a nursery, but for now it’s still a work in progress.
- move sewing supplies into office
- move in nursery furniture when we’re ready to transition out of the master bedroom (at least that’s the plan for now…)
- organize closets – (1) in the front room, find smaller bins for our holiday decorations so they can go up to the attic and (2) in the sewing room, move all sewing supplies into the office and set up the closet for baby
These spaces were already pretty functional, the only thing we’ve added is hooks for towels in the bathroom. It’s nice to have at least a couple spaces “done enough”!
And now… much better!
This space will become a lot more functional when it officially becomes my sewing room. The grey bookcase will corral my craft supplies (and the children’s books will move into the nursery) and the bookcases will probably stay in here too. The printer is in the corner for now but might move into the guest room closet to be closer to the office supplies that now reside in the cube storage.
- move in sewing supplies
- move printer into front room closet
At the end of the hallway is the main living area, with the kitchen, dining room, and living room in one big space.
Adding the green hutch and art on the walls has made this space feel much more complete. The bar cart was just a catchall for a random assortment of stuff but the hutch is much more functional – it holds cookbooks, library books, mail station, and also displays wedding presents that have been waiting a long time for a home!
The layout is pretty much the same, but a couple additions have really filled in the blank spaces, especially a new rug and TV console.
We searched high and low for a console that would fit all the TV components (and hide the wires) but the center speaker is so large that we couldn’t find anything at all. We worked with Rooster Tails to build a custom piece of furniture and it really brings the room together (told you I was hooked)… plus hides all the wires! The rug and art on the walls really help too.
Anything is better than nothing! The indoor/outdoor rug got moved outside, and we bought a couple chairs so we finally have a place to sit. The cat doors from the dining room/porch and door/outside required a carpenter but now that the cats are indoor/outdoor is has made a huge difference for everyone! We also bought a grill… can’t wait to start eating outside more
- plant herbs in a raised bed
- add some bushes for privacy
Back inside, the last room of the house is the master bedroom and bathroom/closet.
Not much is different, except a couple wall quilts and a cute hook/artwork in the bathroom. Little details seem to make the biggest difference, though, in feeling like we’re settled in. We’re planning on keeping the baby close by for the first few months, so we’ll be adding more furniture in the coming months.
- find more proportional bedside tables or remove completely if it feels too crowded (and relocate these – either to the guest room or as side tables in the living room)
- add rug(s)
- relocate the trunk (I’m thinking it will be a side table in the living room)
- add nursery furniture for the first couple months – changing table/dresser, crib, and rocking chair
- hang art on the walls
And that’s about it! I’ll try to do regular updates, especially as we make room for baby. It’s hard to anticipate exactly what we’ll need since the first child is such a big life change, so we’re intentionally leaving some blank spaces and empty storage that we can grow into. I’m sure we’ll never really be “done,” but the process sure is fun!