Closet Organization That Didn't Take 3 Hours I Swear


Sunday, January 30, 2011

Wellllll, my weekend project list was kind of long. I suppose it was unrealistic to think that someone with project ADD could start and finish all of them in two very short days. 

The good news is that I did finish a project that has been on my to-do list since before Christmas. My closet.

I mentioned in my last post that I had piles and baskets of clean clothes everywhere and that instead of putting them away I've been rummaging through them (and making a giant mess) for months.

So here is the dreaded before shot. Please don't judge me. I like to paint stuff and read blogs instead of fulfilling my domestic duties.

Why fold your clean clothes when you can just jam them into various baskets and hampers?

Annnnnnd that's why I've been avoiding this project for the last 8 weeks. Ba-rutal. The sad part about it was that most of those clothes were at some point folded. Until I flung them around in a whirlwind trying to get out of the house in time for work. New Years Resolution #34: Don't hit the snooze button 10 times every morning and then rush around late for work.

Important Organization Tip: While you're dilly dallying around almost in slow-motion efficiently organizing your clothes, set up your laptop and watch three episodes of 90210 all the while drinking an ice-cold pepsi. It will make putting your clothes away somewhat bearable.

Three hours later:

Dreamy, isn't it? The brilliant part about the whole thing is that I found multiple clothing items that I completely forgot I had. On the downside, I found several items that I don't fit into anymore (boooo). I also made a giant pile of clothes that I never wear because of whatever reason (missing a button, shrunk in dryer, ugly-what-was-I-thinking, etc.).

I used my little hanger-thingy from Homesense to store all of my pants. I'm a visual person. If I stick them in a dresser I'll forget all about them. I have them sorted into jeans, khakis, and dress pants. I got rid of a whole bunch that were getting tight old. I may have to go shopping for some more work pants. Hanging up I have dresses on the left and blouses on the right.

On the other side of the closet I have another one of those hangy-things but this one is supposed to be for shoes. I use it to store all of my tank tops and t-shirts. Yeah, I'm a t-shirt, jeans, and sneaker kinda girl.

On the top shelf I've got all of my sweaters and cardigans. On the lower shelf I've got my hoodies. Other girls collect shoes or purses, I'm all about the hoodies.

Down below I use three wire baskets to store some frequently used items: work-out gear (I went on the elliptical twice last week and it almost killed me), comfy joggers to throw on after work, and some slippers and my collection of knitted socks (I'm pretty sure my mom puts a pair in my stocking every year).

On the right hand side, I've got four small hooks to hang some belts. I don't know why I have any since I never wear them. I prefer the plumber's butt look most of the time.

On the left hand side I've got three hooks that are..... empty! Oh the possibilities.......


And so that ends this installment of share-your-embarrasingly-disorganized-closet-on-the-internet. I thought I'd clear up a few things before I sign off.

If you're wondering where Alex keeps his clothes, he's got an identical closet right next to mine. Very unusual for an older house but I love it. Obviously. 

If you're wondering why I have no closet door, it's because the old one was another louvered bi-fold door and we need to custom order a new 5-panel bi-fold door that will match the ones downstairs. It's on the list.

If you're wondering why I have curtain rods but no curtains it's because I shopped the house for one of my "photo shoots" and put the curtains that were in here in the living room.

Oh yeah, and if you want to leave me a comment telling me that you have a closet that looks just like mine did, it would really make me feel better about myself. ;)

A Not-Very Exciting Weekend To-Do List


Saturday, January 29, 2011

The only reason I'm sharing this incredibly boring weekend to-do list with you is because sometimes when I read about other people kicking butt by.....

a) tackling a bunch of projects or
b) organizing stuff or
c) running a marathon or
d) giving up soda pop or
e) cooking a magnificent home-made meal......

........I get totally jealous inspired and motivated to do something productive. So maybe if you read about me tackling some projects around the house that I really don't want to do it will motivate you to do the same.

Project #1

My lovely inlaws shipped my Pottery Barn curtains all the way from sunny Florida (happy dance, happy dance).

But before I can hang them up in the sunroom someone has to do something with this:

Last year during the spring melt-athon we had a small water leak in our front sunroom from a build-up of snow. Alex and the fam replaced the roof the following week so the damage was minimal, but we still have this little spot to fix up. Boooo.

Project #2

Last weekend I decided to swap some pictures around. I am loving how this print looks in this little spot, however since this picture is bigger than the last, it's sitting a bit too low. I'll either have to move the hangy things at the back of the frame or patch the wall and put a new screw and anchor in a higher spot.

Project #3

'Member this before and after project? Well I kind of cheated and posted the after before the matching chair was done. I'm still feeling ashamed about it. It can't stay like this forever. It's just begging to be white to match the desk. I am so not looking forward to the three coats of white paint it will need after the sanding and the primer.

Project #4

My closet. It is literally piled higher than my waist with clean clothes strewn everywhere. I have some sort of putting-away-clothes disorder where I leave clean, folded clothes in laundry baskets all around the house. Then, when I'm running late for work (which I am everysingleworkingdayofmylife) I throw them all around looking for the least wrinkled pants I can find in the 2 seconds I allotted to get dressed. It's like a bomb went off in my closet. It's embarrasing, hence the lack of a before picture. This project has been on my to-do list since the Christmas break. I need to just get'er done.

Project #5

I was totally inspired by Lissa's post over at Humble Pie where she wrote about cooking with fresh ingredients. As soon as I finished reading it I tried to block out the image of the Pogo I had just had for lunch. Mmmm, pogos. This week I went to the market and bought stuff. Vegetables and things. Saturday and Sunday night I'll be making some fresh, homemade meals. I may even try to make some homemade granola bars for during the week.

We'll see how many of these projects actually get accomplished.  ;)

So, enough about me. What are you up to this weekend?

Dining Room Progress - A Sorta Before and After


Monday, January 24, 2011

This isn't really a good before and after for a few reasons:

1) I use the dining room all the time to take pictures of miscellaneous food and objects. (Thanks Alex for pointing that out the other day.) So you've pretty much already seen it. 
2) I just posted a bunch of pictures of the dining room in the last post. So this one will probably bore you.
3) It's still a work in progress and probably will be for the next few years. Isn't that always the case?

I'll start off by showing you the actual, fo-real MLS picture of the dining room before we bought the house. It's a teeny picture but you can still appreciate all of the glorious ugliness.

We called it the house of beige. Wall-to-wall beige carpeting. Beige walls. Beige trim. Beige overload. Eek!

Now I'll show you a few pictures from the day we moved in. I have no idea why there are ugly lawn chairs in the dining room. Oh wait, maybe because we had no other furniture yet?

This is the view of the dining room as you are walking into it from the kitchen. And you can see, even more beige.

This is the view as you walk in from the living room. It's actually a pretty big room, bigger than our kitchen that's for sure. 

From this angle you can see into the kitchen a little bit. You might also notice painted outlet covers, ugly metal heating grates, patchy walls, raw wood trim on the windows, plain baseboards, and a big, brass light fixture. Yuck.

And here is how the room is looking as of yesterday:

The first thing we did was rip out the ugly, stained carpeting. We found some original birch floors underneath that were in really good shape. Next we painted the walls a buttery yellow colour called Sweet Buttercup (from Home Depot). It took buying three gallons of three different shades of yellow before I settled on this one. I know yellow isn't for everyone, but after analyzing these yellow inspiration pictures, I knew it was the way to go. We also painted all of the window trim, door trim, wooden valences, and baseboards a crisp white. We replaced all of the heating grates and outlet covers with new white ones and built up the baseboards with some extra trim. 

We made our first major furniture purchase and splurged on this custom harvest table and chair set from Camlen Furniture. It was worth the investment. We chose the 6-foot long table with two, 2-foot extensions for either end in Starburst White. We chose the hand-planed finish for the top of the table and the extra large table legs. I am so happy with it. The only down side is that the colour of the wood has changed over time. It used to match the medium-brown colour of the bamboo blinds but has become more and more red over time. Oh well. You can't really get mad at wood.

We replaced the light fixture with a white chandelier (um, those are really hard to find) and centred it over the table. We hung my favourite bamboo roll-up shades of all time in the window for some privacy.

After shopping around for-ever we finally found the cutest window-pane cabinet at a shop in Toronto. I loooooove it.

I found and framed four botanical prints to fill in the empty corner. I probably didn't need to add that part since I posted about it this morning.

This is the view into the living room.

I found this set of boxes at Homesense before Christmas and thought I could stack them here (for now) until I find the perfect chippy, old bench. I've been keeping my camera in the top box on the left and all of my camera gear in the top box on the right.

I shopped the house for a few little accessories. A plant in a drawer and some old magazines.

I found this large dragonfly at Pottery Barn. It was the only item in the store that I could afford at the time. Heh heh heh.

So that's where the dining room is so far. My list of things I still want to do is kinda long. Here it is:

- replace plain, wood dining room door with a french door
- refinish floors
- add quarter round to baseboards
- add large, chunky crown moulding
- find a rug for under the table to warm up the space
- hang the antique window over the cabinet or over the doorway
- possibly add curtains to the window
- find an old, chippy bench to sit under the framed pictures
- find a large tree to brighten up the other little (hidden) corner


Here's a source list in case I missed anything and you all of a sudden want to copy this exact look.

Source List:

Wall colour - Buttercup Yellow, Home Depot
Trim colour - Simply White, Benjamin Moore
Chandelier - Sears Canada
Table and Chair Set - Camlen Furniture
Chair cushions - Linens N' Things
Wood-framed botanical prints - Muskoka Living Interiors
Bamboo roll-up shade - Linens N' Things
White-framed botanical prints - Frames from Michaels, prints from an encyclopedia
Window-pane cabinet - Flik and Company
Heating grates and outlet covers - Home Depot
Trim for baseboards - Home Depot
Candlesticks - Homesense
White flower pot - Ikea
Set of boxes - Homesense
Dragonfly - Pottery Barn
White drawer pot - Zellers
White pitchers & dishes - Homesense, Muskoka Living, Hilltop Interiors, Ikea, Pier One


Thank you so much for taking the time to read this dreadfully long post. :)  I'll be sharing it here:

Amaze Me Monday @ Dittle Dattle, Metamorphosis Monday @ Between Naps on the Porch, Show Off Your Cottage Monday @ House in the Roses, Tuesday's Treasures @ My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia, Anything Related @ All Thingz Related, Good Life Wednesdays @ A Beach Cottage, Show and Tell @ Blue Cricket Design, Show and Tell Friday @ My Romantic Home, Feature Yourself Friday @ Fingerprints on the Fridge

Four Prints in the Dining Room and Having No Internet Stinks


A close-up of one of the prints.

First, can I say how utterly horrifying it is to be without internet service for three straight days? Our area is affected by an outage so we've been without phone, cable, and internet all weekend. It's like living in the dark ages. And it royally stinks. I even had to hang out in an internet cafe (all artsy-fartsy, like) yesterday afternoon to work on my report cards since our new program is online. It's been a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad weekend.

Anyways, since I wasn't blog surfing all weekend, I was able to wire and hang those four botanical prints that I had framed. I knew I wanted them to go in one of the bare, neglected corners in our dining room.

Oh, look. There's Roary in the background scratching an itch.
He wanted me to mention him in this post.

In order to help me figure out the spacing for my grouping, I made paper templates the exact size of my frames. I taped them to the wall and moved them about 15 thousand times until I got them right.

Please disregard the kids' work that is strewn all over the living room floor.

I finally decided that a 2-inch space between the prints would look best. I measured, leveled, and hung 'em all by myself. I may even have stuck a nail right in some ductwork during the process. :S

Hmmm, I like it.

Well, that's all I have to share since I really need to finish these report cards while I've got an internet connection. I heart the internetttttttttttttttttttttt!

Framed Botanical Prints


Thursday, January 20, 2011

I don't know about your house but the walls of mine are pretty bare. I've got a few prints here and there that I really love, but only a few. I've slowly been working towards finding pretty and/or meaningful art to fill up our walls. I'm kind of picky, but you already knew that.

On my last road trip I found some framed botanical prints at an (expensive) cottage-y shop. They were priced at $175 each. Since I was looking for a set of 4 prints for the dining room, it would have run me about $700. Um, not gonna happen.

As I was standing there weeping at the price tags, my mom happened to mention that she had some old encyclopedias with some botanical prints in them that I could possibly frame. I was hesitant at first ('cause of the picky thing) but once I saw them I knew they would be perfect.

Old books.

Thanks mom!

Pale blues, greens, yellows, pinks, and purples. Perfect.

I went to the only store in this city that sells white frames (Michaels) and picked up four 11x14 frames when they were on sale for 50% off. (Instead of $39.99 per frame I paid $19.99 per frame.) I tried a few different matte options at the store while I was there but they were either too big or too small for the non-standard sized prints.

Frames from Michaels.

I called all of the local frame shops to find the best price on custom cut mattes. I found a little shop downtown that would cut a double matte for $26. At first I was going to skimp out and get just a single matte per picture but then I wanted a more professional look so I went with the double. (Sorry Alex.) For the large matte I chose an off-white that matched the frame. For the inner matte I chose a subtle grey-blue colour called veil that matched the background of the print.

Pale blue-grey background. Love.

White for the outer matte and soft blue-grey for the inner matte.

I looked at the selection of prints in the encyclopedia over and over again until I narrowed it down to my four favourites. 

Four lovelies.

I used my trusty Martha Stewart craft knife to carefully cut each page out of the book. 

Supplies: craft knife and tape. My kind of project.

I then used a single piece of scotch tape to "hinge" the page to the matte at the top only. That's what the lady at the frame shop told me to do. She's an expert or something so I just listened to her. Apparently taping around all of the edges is bad in case of humidity or crumpling or something.

Note: I used scotch tape but I've been told that masking tape is better to use on prints.

Looking good so far.


Aren't they perty?

Approximate Cost Breakdown:

Four white 11x14 frames at $19.99 each:  $90.35
Four custom cut 11x14 double mattes at $26.75 each: $120.91
Vintage botanical prints that you steal from your mom's encyclopedia set: Free

Total cost for 4 cute, unique, vintage, custom, framed botanical prints:


 That's a savings of almost $600 if I were to have bought the pre-framed prints at that cottage-y shop.


I cannot wait to get these four prints all wired up and hung on the wall. I am beyond excited. It might have to wait until Saturday morning though since Alex and I are babysitting our nieces tomorrow night. Gotta practice for when Roary's friend comes home!

Oh yeah, if you are interested in finding some botanical prints, try your local used bookstore, an antique shop, or even Etsy (I've seen a few cute sets on there before).

Easy, affordable, and way pretty. :)

Update: You can see them hanging up in our dining room in this post.

Sharing at:

White Wednesday @ Faded Charm, Good Life Wednesdays @ A Beach Cottage, Hookin' Up @ House of Hepworths, Strut Your Stuff Thursday @ Somewhat Simple, Show and Tell Friday @ My Romantic Home, Frugal Friday @ The Shabby Nest, Flaunt it Friday @ Chic on a Shoestring Decorating, Frugalicious Friday @ Finding Fabulous, Feature Yourself Friday @ Fingerprints On the Fridge, How To's Day @ The Lettered Cottage

A Glamorous Muffin Photoshoot


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Oatmeal Raspberry Muffin

So, what did you do on the weekend? Apparently I lead a very exciting life. I take pictures of muffins.

I've been trying to find the perfect oatmeal muffin recipe. On Sunday I tried one called Quaker's Best Oatmeal Muffins. I added some raspberries because raspberries are yummy. They were pretty good. I'll have to try a few different recipes and then compare them to this one to see if they really are the "best". Although any warm muffin with a sugary, crumbly topping fresh out of the oven is pretty darn great.

Alex said I should take some pictures in a different spot so they didn't always have the same background. I smiled, said thank you for the tip, and then glared at the back of his head as he took one of my muffins and went downstairs. Boys! Don't they know that the dining room gets the best light in the afternoon!?!

Mixing the wet and dry ingredients.

About to add some raspberries.

Cutting some butter into some sugar and oats for the topping.

Ready for the oven.

Close-up of batter and topping.

All done.

This muffin did not last long on that teeny stand. If you know what I mean.

If you have an awesome oatmeal muffin recipe, I'd love to try it!
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