Friday, July 3, 2015

Commanding the Entry

Lillie and Dani start school in less than two months. That means backpacks, homework, coats, and shoes need a place to land.

Right now, all of those things drape across our love seat, stack up on the console, pile up on the shoe rack, and get strewn on the floor.

Nope. Nope. Nope. Not any more.

It's time to be able to find the mail, find the homework, find the permission slip when I need to.

It's time to take command of my makeshift entryway. It's time to make it the command center it is screaming out to be.

**cue awesome action music**

I need hooks. I need mail sorters. I need a place to scribble notes.

I need help.

I pretend to be an organized person, but that organized person ran away roughly five and a half years ago when I brought home infant twins.

I need to find my old organizational self and kick her into gear because once school starts, I doubt I'll make the time for it.

So let's start with the space. This is what it looks like now. In a brief moment of motivation, I took two of my mail folders off the wall, and now I have tears in the plaster. Yay me. :/

Those two dressers that act as a console are currently holding scarves, mittens, hats, batteries, and a slew of things that don't need to be in there. I'm thinking I can downsize to one dresser for winter accessories, grocery bags, and miscellaneous office items like pens and stamps. The other can go to the land of Craigslist.

I'm also thinking my little tiny corkboard needs some steroids. That's obviously not enough room for me to pin things...or maybe I should just stop pinning things.

The keys obviously have a nice home, but the mail doesn't. (What you can't see in this picture is the piles of mail on the bar table just to the left.)

The awkward placement of the doorbell and the thermostat do make for interesting obstacles, but I can work with that I'm sure.

Here are my inspirations:

This one is the closest to what I'm going for. I don't really like the cubbies or the lamp, but I do want a small bench, hooks and to keep one of my Rast dressers.

source: Better Homes & Garden

This one has a very cool coat hooks. I like the idea of mixing up the hooks so it's a little playful without being crazy colors right by the door. The small shelf above would be a great place for library books and small things like keys and sunglasses.

source: View From the Fridge

I like the cubbies, the small shelf, and the calendar happening here. Also I will need plenty of hooks for coats, backpacks, and my purse.

source: Get On With It Already

Even though this is far too low key for my entry, I really love the bench and the basket. Plus I could whip up that bench is a few hours. I'm cool like that.

source: DIY on the Cheap by Erin Spain

And finally this one, in all of its organized paper glory. I would like to believe that I could always keep every piece of mail and important papers this organized.

source: The Caldwell Project

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Big Girl Design: So Much Color

Lillie and Dani have begun voicing opinions about their room. Next year, I plan to bunk their beds, so I think that will be a good time to do some redesign. I want the decor to be something that can stay with them through the tween years. (I may like makeovers, but they are so much work, I don't want to do them all the time!)

The most surprising thing is that they have agreed on nearly everything for the room! Even today, Dani said that she wanted the bottom bunk so she could make a "Dani cave." (This may have been helped by the fact that I said I could add string lights so she could read at night.)

I have to relish in all the cooperation and agreement on design. I doubt it will last too long.

Can't you just picture this with glowing lights?
source: Annipalanni the blog

The first thing they decided was a need for some color on the doors. At first, we were just going to paint the closet door bright pink. But then Lillie didn't find this too fair since purple is her favorite color (even though their bathroom is purple), but Dani was cool with it. We'll be painting the closet and the main door each two colors--purple and blue and pink and yellow.

source: Honey We're Home

Then, to complement the pattern on the doors, we'll be doing a big pattern on the wall behind the beds in all four of the colors.

source: Habitually Chic
I figure this big bold design will be good for them as little girls and will hopefully still be cool as they get older. If not, posters and art can cover it, right?

We're still working out the curtains since green is now so taboo. ("Mommy, green is not our favorite color.") I'm leaning towards white with pom-pom edging. I may like color, but I don't need it to be overwhelming.

The plans are slowly coming together, and I hope to have everything planned out by December since I'd like to make the changes around their sixth birthday.

Wow. Sixth birthday. I think I need a moment.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

The Preschool Steam Room

Our holidays were filled with family, food, and gifts. It was also filled with ear infections, mucus, asthma attacks, and two trips to the ER. Lillie and Dani were on so much medicine over the holidays, we had to keep a chart on our kitchen board so I wouldn't forget who was taking what.

In an effort to help clear sinuses without medicine and without running up the water bill, I finally followed through with an idea I'd been throwing around for a good year. I was going to put together a mini steam room (or sweat lodge as I ended up calling it).

I wasn't sure if the girls would be all right stuck in a dark, warm space, but they didn't want to come out!

So if your kiddos are stuffed up, I'm going to show you how to do it so you can help them breathe better.

You'll need:
A kettle or pot in which to boil the water. 
Lavender essential oil (if you'd like. I did not use any.)
A large heat resistant bowl or pot, one large blanket (I used a full/queen.) and a one throw blanket or big towel. 

A small tent. Ours is from Ikea, and it's perfectly sized for the girls.

A flashlight or lantern so they can see in the dark. Also, toys and/or books are helpful.

Now, for the instructions:
  • Put up the tent, and throw the large blanket over it. You want to make sure that you cover the entire tent. I definitely needed the blanket because this little tent has windows and a really horrible door. You may be using a tent without any openings that zips, but the blanket will keep all the steam inside better. Plus, your kids get to pretend they're in a cave!
  • Boil a full kettle of water.
  • Make a nest with your throw blanket and put the bowl in it. Leave enough blanket out so that you can cover the bowl.
  • Pour the boiling water into the bowl, add a drop or two of essential oil, and cover up the bowl.
  • Put the bowl in the tent and uncover it. Make sure all the sides stay covered by the blanket so no one gets burned!! 
  • Put your kids in the tent. Now, if you trust your kids not to touch the bowl, you can stay outside the tent. I sat on the couch and read while they hung out in the tent. But if you don't trust them, please get in the tent with your child! 
  • Give your kiddos the flashlight and toys and books. 
  • Lower the blanket and let them steam.

Notice that I left a little space at the bottom of the tent, but I ended up lowering the blanket to the floor because the girls wanted it to be completely dark while they "camped out." In the lower picture, you can see the blanket nest I made for the bowl of water. They did wonderfully and never touched it. They hung out in there for a good 30 minutes, and it stayed nice and warm and steamy. Both girls sinuses were cleared for the majority of the day. 

Lillie is an asthmatic, and I completely recommend this to help open up airways for easier breathing. You don't have to run the shower. You don't have to buy anything special (well, unless you don't have a tent already), and the kids still get to play!

If you do try it, please let me know how it goes!