DIY Crate Shelves

First thing first….what have I been doing?  I did not realize that I have written only one blog post this year!  I swear I have written a dozen or so in my head.  Sorry Kim! She has been doing all the work this year.  Kim wrote last week about one of her favorite DIY projects…her entry way.   I have a three picture frame in my guest bathroom (the one that Kim and I redecorated in her surprise trip to visit a few years ago) that holds pictures of iconic places where I have lived.  I love it!  Definitely an easy and meaningful project that even I could do!


Louisville Slugger, GE sign in downtown Fort Wayne, the “Big Chicken” in Marietta.

It is my turn to link up to Kelly’s Korner with one of my recent DIY projects.  Although most of my DIY projects involve me looking on pintrest and then my awesome hubby doing the work.  This project was something we had talked about for awhile and he did for me over Christmas.  I collect cookbooks – old cookbooks, new cookbooks, cookbooks from where I have traveled, cookbooks from where I want to travel, and of course cookbooks from where I have lived.  In my current house, I have been storing my cookbooks in our large pantry and one a bookshelf at my desk.   As the collection grew, it was taking over my precious pantry space!  My other issue that this project solved was that I had some small area by my kitchen table that I could not find the right items to decorate.  With the position of the windows, and it being in the corner, I just could not find anything that I was happy to put there.

We tossed around a few different ideas, but what we finally decided on was quick, easy and budget friendly.  We simply bought crates from Home Depot (can be found at Michaels, Hobby Lobby and several other places) and turned them into shelves for my cookbooks.

My husband lightly sanded the crates and then stained them a natural color.  The color looks a bit yellow but works well as 1) yellow is my favorite color, 2) the color brings out the lighter color in the rattan kitchen chairs against the dark table.


Trial Run before painting kitchen area.


Kitchen area after being painted Sherwin Williams Silvermist and before shelves.

Here is the finished project!  I love, love these crate shelves!  Easy and super functional!  I have regained an entire shelf of my pantry back and have filled the awkward corner space with one DIY project!





An Entry to call Home

Kelly, over at Kelly’s Korner, is back with her “Show us your life” series.  Today is Show us your favorite DIY.  I wanted to share my favorite room in my house currently – my entryway.

I love this project for so many reasons.  Most importantly, it’s the first thing guests see when they enter my home.  I’ve never had a true entryway in any of the houses I have lived in.  They have all been very “open concept” houses.  This one actually had a defined space and I knew exactly what I wanted to do.  Here’s what the entryway looked like when we first moved in.

IMG_0985Just sad, isn’t it?!  I hated that this was what my guests first saw upon entering.  Not very “homey”.  Just looked and felt like temporary living quarters.  Here’s what it looks like now:
entryThis is exactly what I had hoped for and I only spent maybe $150 on the whole thing.  The rug was my largest purchase.  I got it at Target for around $70 on sale.  The console I found online through a Facebook garage sale.  Lady asked for $50.  It was a Broyhill piece of furniture so I knew it was good.  It just needed a facelift.  So I painted it with a dark gray/blue chalk paint.  The lamp was a $5 find online as well.  I painted our entry door to match the look since we have a storm door and the main door stays open quite a bit and, honestly, the old door color was tired and worn.  But my favorite part is the picture gallery on the wall.  It has some special meaning.
picture gallery
This is everywhere we have lived.  The subway art I made using PicMonkey.  I used all our addresses because each was our home for the time being and each holds special memories.  I made it to fit a 16×20 size print and printed at Costco.  Then I painted a piece of plywood black and used modge podge to attach the photo.  I get so many compliments when people come into my house.  The photos surrounding the subway art represent each city we have lived.  I found the photos online and printed at Costco in various sizes to fit frames I already owned.

As I have said before, it doesn’t take a lot of money to make your house feel like home.  Just takes a little time and imagination.

Teacher “Happies” – Back to School Ideas

crazyIt’s the most wonderful time of the year – Back to School time!  I kid.  Ok, not really.  By August, we are done with summer.  My boys need the structure and honestly I need the peace.  All three of my boys will be in elementary school this year.  And wow – the school supply list is CRAZY.  I mean we only need to buy 45 glue sticks and 144 pencils (sharpened mind you – won’t that be a fun chore for the boys one afternoon). My kindergartener alone needs 15 glue sticks.  You may think that number sounds absurd but any mom knows how much glue a 5yr old can use in a week.  So I totally get it and will gladly contribute.

Along with school supplies, I love to add in a little something for the teachers.  As you get to know me and this blog, you will realize that I love to appreciate teachers.  They don’t get enough credit.  These people are with my children more during waking hours  during the school year than I am and they don’t get paid enough.  Plus most of them use their own funds to help stock their classroom with supplies.  When it comes to the new year, I like to wait until the end of the first week to give my teachers a little “happy” (I had a friend in college who referred to little unexpected gifts as “happies” and that’s the term I love to use).  I wait till the end of the week because, well I don’t want my kids to appear as a “brown noser” the first day of school.  HAHA!  No really, that first week is  a long week for everyone!  Waiting until the end of it really gives the teacher a little pick me up.  A little smile is just what they need.  Here’s some examples of what I’ve done in the past.

Have a Ball
I spray painted Mason jars and then scratched off on the raised up lettering on the jar.  The free tag printable can be found over at lil’ luna

Smart Cookie
I bought a fortune cookie box at the Dollar tree and filled it with homemade cookies.  Then attached a tag printed on patterned cardstock. Little Happy for the Teacher - cookies! The tag says Angeline played on the cookie theme that same year but she had a local bakery that made apple shaped iced sugar cookies.  She put in cellphane bags with this same tag.  It was super cute but I can’t find the picture.

Bright Year
This idea was fun but it did cost a little more.  I bought several neon colored school supplies and fun things and put into a neon bag.  The tag read “looking forward to a bright year”.  A free printable of the tag can be found over at Surfin’ Through Second.1409270061656

Another Bright Year Idea
I love this idea and plan to use it in the near future.  What teacher couldn’t use more highlighters or bright sharpies?  You can find the printable tags at the TomKat Studio
bright school year

Pencil Jar
I guess I love a jar of pencils because here’s another version (clearly 144 just isn’t enough for me to buy).  Target had these great jars in their dollar spot this year.  I took a paint pen and wrote the teachers name.  Then added a free printable tag from iheartnaptime.  Apparently, I was not the only blogger out there that saw these great finds at Target.

My friend from Vegas (and my partner in crime for PTA stuff) always has great ideas that don’t cost a lot of money.  Our PTA there did a little dollar something for each teacher for their birthdays throughout the year.  Here’s her idea for this year which could totally be changed to the new school year.  Tag could read “Hope you have a tea-riffic school year”
Teachers aren’t the only ones who need encouragement at the new school year.  So do administrators, parents and your own kids!  The best way to provide that for all these people is to pray for them.  AND that doesn’t cost you a dime!  I found this cool idea over at Faith Along The Way.  She provides a list with specific things you can pray for each day.School supplies bottom border on a chalkboard background

It doesn’t take much to appreciate or encourage a teacher.  I will gladly spend the extra time and the $3, in addition to the 45 glue sticks and 144 pencils, to put a smile on 3 very deserving teachers’ faces!

Give a little thanks

I love giving thank you gifts.  I think it’s my Southern nature.  But it’s just fun to think of different ways to say thank you than the boring old note or gift card.  I’m not saying those are bad (my southern manners say it’s a must), but it’s just fun to see the recipient’s face when it’s totally unexpected happiness.

My neighbor watched my kids an entire day recently.  I wanted to say thanks even though she didn’t expect it at all.  But I wanted something fun and useful for her.  She’s a busy mom with 4 boys and works out of her home.  I decided making her dinner was the winner.  However, with her busy schedule I didn’t know when she would need it.  So….I found this cool idea from The Kitchn….A TACO BOX!  Who doesn’t love tacos??  Here’s my version.
tacobox2Not quite as cute as The Kitchn’s version but it’s still fun.  I found the cute crate at Michaels for $6 (using coupon).  I filled it with chicken carnita, corn tortillas, my favorite pico de gallo, my fav black beans, cheese, an avocado, chips and root beer.  I also included a Dairy Queen giftcard because what goes better with tacos than ice cream?  All of it can be used immediately or wait a day or two.  And speaking of tacos, I saw this shirt at Target this week and it made my 10 yr old crack up laughing.
tacocatHere’s some more cute things I have found on Pinterest and some I have used in the past:

Movie Night at Home
movie night
You can buy these popcorn tubs at the dollar store.  You can also purchase RedBox credits online at  Here’s my cute free printable for a RedBox giftcard
Sunshine Box from Fantabulosity
box of sunshine

Here’s a fabulous summertime thank you:  Strawberry Shortcake Basket from Eighteen25:
Ice cream Basket from Love The Day:
ice cream
Fun girlfriend thank you from Tidbits & Twine:
fun basket
And if you are super crafty, I loved this idea from All Things with Purpose.  It’s meant for a realtor (great idea!) but think of the possibilities!
cutting board

Stay tuned….once school gets started I have a TON of ideas for teacher “happies”.  Like I said, I love to say thank you!