Archive for the ‘Home & Organization’ Category

How to Style Your Bookshelves

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

How to Style Your Bookshelves from MomAdvice.com.

The art of styling bookshelves had never really been important to me until I started perusing pictures on Pinterest and saw the carefully curated collections and beauty in the organized book spines. Of course, I don’t have an unlimited budget where I can add decorative books in one carefully choreographed color or an unlimited budget for fantastic looking odds-and-ends to update my bookshelves. That is why I am excited to share with you some easy ideas for updating your bookshelves with Goodwill items and a few budget-friendly craft materials.

Head on over to the Goodwill Tips Blog to grab some budget-friendly styling ideas for your bookshelves!

 

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How to Make a DIY Terrarium

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

How to Make a DIY Terrarium from MomAdvice.com.

How to Make a DIY Terrarium from MomAdvice.com.

How to Make a DIY Terrarium from MomAdvice.com.

You know people that are amazing at gardening and planting?

I’m not one of those people.

I am the girl that goes to the greenhouse and requests plants that can take care of themselves. My plants must be able to survive without water or nourishment of any kind.

Despite my black thumb, I spent many of my summers working in a greenhouse as a kid and I do know a few things about caring for plants. Thanks to my greenhouse knowledge, I know that terrariums are the perfect project for a girl with my skill set and they are also the perfect project  for any gardener-in-the-making.

For those of you itching to play in the dirt, this project is a fun one that adds a bit of green to your house while you await planting season.  If you are looking for a fun project to tackle with the kids, this can transform into a little fairy garden with a few novelty items.

I created this project for the Kenmore Blog a little over a month ago and my terrarium is still going strong. And I pat myself on the back EVERY TIME I SEE IT.

Yes, I do.

To find out how to create your own terrarium, visit the Kenmore Blog today for instructions on creating this beautiful Spring-filled addition to your home!

Learn how to make a DIY Terrarium for your home HERE.

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Get Your Home Organized With Goodwill

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

Get Your Home Organized With Goodwill

At the beginning of the year, I get the strong urge to donate everything in my house and start fresh. I am also always on the hunt to find new strategies for organization in my home that don’t cost a lot. Thankfully at Goodwill, you can organize your home and declutter it all at one store!

Today I am featuring some great ideas for organization from commonly found items at their store. I am so inspired by these bloggers that I have a trip to Goodwill planned for myself this week to try to snag a few of these items.

Head on over to the Goodwill Blog to check out these easy thrift store organization solutions!

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Smart Solutions for Craft Room Organization

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

Smart Solutions for Craft Room Organization from MomAdvice.com

It’s been a long time since I have shared some pictures of our home. I have been in the thick of organizing my craft room and today I wanted to share with you some ideas for organizing your own craft space in your home.

For my part on the Walmart craft team, they requested that I tackle a craft project. I made a special request that I could share with you today my organized craft space and see if I could find any fun additions to my space at their store and they agreed. So today instead of crafting it up, I am showing off what I have been up to in my space.

Smart Solutions for Craft Room Organization from MomAdvice.com

Let’s start from the very beginning. Three years ago, this was our space that I envisioned turning into our office space. We have a tri-level home, now lovingly called a quad now that we finished this fourth level, and this was what we started with. This space was where we threw our stuff that we didn’t know what to deal with. We had to majorly declutter and we had to save enough cash to make the updates to our home. We were able to accomplish both (loan free!) and create the space I had been dreaming of.

I am starting with this picture to show you that maybe there is an area in your home that could be your special space and you just don’t know it. Maybe it just requires a fresh eye, a bit of decluttering, and a few smart craft solutions to carve a space just for you.

Smart Solutions for Craft Room Organization from MomAdvice.com Smart Solutions for Craft Room Organization from MomAdvice.com Smart Solutions for Craft Room Organization from MomAdvice.com Smart Solutions for Craft Room Organization from MomAdvice.com Smart Solutions for Craft Room Organization from MomAdvice.com

Smart Solutions for Craft Room Organization from MomAdvice.com Smart Solutions for Craft Room Organization from MomAdvice.com

Here is my craft and office space today. When I post these types of pictures, people ask me where I found certain things. Here are some of the things you will find in my space.

Floral Chairs- Found at a local Value City (no longer available-sadness)!

Green Side Table- A side table we owned, but spray painted & distressed

Owl Lamp & Burlap Lamp Shade-  Walmart

Record Table- Thrift Shop Find Stained & Painted

Swivel Metal Stool- Home Decorators

Knitted Leaf Centerpiece- Handmade

Everyday I’m Hustling Pillow- Michelle Dwight Designs

Record Frames- H&M

Smart Solutions for Craft Room Organization from MomAdvice.com Smart Solutions for Craft Room Organization from MomAdvice.com Smart Solutions for Craft Room Organization from MomAdvice.com Smart Solutions for Craft Room Organization from MomAdvice.com Smart Solutions for Craft Room Organization from MomAdvice.com

Crafting and organization do not go hand in hand for me.  I spent a good month getting this room organized and trying to figure out the best solutions for my space. Here are some of the solutions I found inexpensively at Walmart.

Glass Jars- I had all of my craft supplies tucked away in baskets. This meant I spent a lot of time digging through baskets and trying to figure out where I tucked all my crafting odds & ends. Glass jars truly helps me visualize what I have and where it is. I found the smaller jars for just $4.97 and my giant 2 gallon glass jar is the perfect home for my ribbon collection (priced at $9.97).

Clear Clipboards- As a craft blogger, I always have a running to-do list for my site and craft projects. I utilized this to-do list printable (previously featured in our DIY Homework stations) and mounted them on these clear clipboards ($3.88)  with 3M hooks ($3.67) on my wall. I also have my favorite Mead Wall Calendar I buy every year to keep track of when all my projects are due ($7.97).

Metal Bins- Over in the closet solutions, I found a metal tub that I could use to organize my knitting needles. When you start really building up your knitting needle collection, you may have four or more different sizes of the same size needle. I was constantly digging through baskets to find the right needles. I decided to use manilla envelopes and label them #0-15 and then put my needles for each size in these envelopes. This saves me tons of time hunting for the right needles and makes it easy to see what I might need to buy. I put all of these in this metal tub ($9.74) and it is on top of my newly organized craft cart.

Smart Solutions for Craft Room Organization from MomAdvice.com Smart Solutions for Craft Room Organization from MomAdvice.com Smart Solutions for Craft Room Organization from MomAdvice.com Smart Solutions for Craft Room Organization from MomAdvice.com Smart Solutions for Craft Room Organization from MomAdvice.com Smart Solutions for Craft Room Organization from MomAdvice.com Smart Solutions for Craft Room Organization from MomAdvice.com Smart Solutions for Craft Room Organization from MomAdvice.com

Two things we purchased to finish out my crafting space was a crafting table and a crafting cart that I could roll out into the middle of our office when I needed to do my crafting. We found this Martha Stewart Collapsible Crafting Table & Crafting Cart on Home Decorators. If you are struggling with a small space, this is a dream come true. You can fold down one side if your space is small or open it all the way out if you need a large surface to work on.

This space also doubles as an indoor photography studio when the weather isn’t cooperating. I have my photography backdrops stored in the gift wrap center and can really spread my work out, if I need to on this space.

I spent an entire weekend whittling down my craft supplies to what I truly needed in my craft cart. I now everything I need right at my fingertips. I had to keep reassuring myself that it was okay to part with some of my craft supplies. If it hadn’t been used in the last year, it was definitely something that could be donated to free up precious space in my craft cart.

Smart Solutions for Craft Room Organization from MomAdvice.com Smart Solutions for Craft Room Organization from MomAdvice.comAs you can see, I can wheel them over to corners in our office so they don’t get in the way. I am so thankful for these smart solutions for our space. I am also thankful that I finally feel organized in this space.

Smart Solutions for Craft Room Organization from MomAdvice.com

And as a good old-fashioned reminder that all good things should be enjoyed in moderation, I found this old-fashioned closed sign over in the office supplies at Walmart ($1.97). I mounted a 3M clip upside down and hooked it on the back of my computer. This now offers an in-my-face reminder of how I should be spending my evenings.

I hope you enjoyed the tour of my craft space! Feel free to ask me any questions and I promise to try to help!

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Guest Post: How to Incorporate Healthy Living Back in Your Life

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

I am Ashley Johns, a Personal Trainer, Writer, Creator of Fierce Forward and Fierce Forward Intention Bracelets.  Ever since losing over forty pounds and taking back my life, my mission is to empower others to move forward, fiercely and healthfully, towards the life they want.

I met Amy at a local blogger’s get-together where I learned how retro-chic and creative she is!  We chatted about me guest posting on Momadvice and decided something very valuable I could share with you are my tips on how to make you and your family’s health a priority.

Maybe you’re wondering, “Does this chick have kids?”   Let me answer that.  I am a fierce chick and I do not yet have children, but I sure do know how to manage healthy living and make it work for anyone!

Oh, and I am a master empathizer.

Last September, I married my love, Marcus, and with kids in our foresight, I have made it a priority to position myself in a healthy, balanced lifestyle before all the madness begins, or so that’s what my friends are bracing me for!

Although I’m not yet a mother, I can tell you that I have the utmost respect for all mothers out there and am so grateful to have my mother as my best friend, along side my husband.  Having a full time job, cooking, working out, grocery shopping, friend time, date night, bubble baths, doing your hair on a good day, prepping your healthy food, drinking your gallon of water each day;  I mean, how would all this be doable with a little person(s) in your life?

Well, I know that one day I will figure it out and take it from Amy that it can be done.  After all, I believe nothing is impossible and if you want something bad enough, you find a way and make it work!  Because us women do hard things.

Here are my tips on how to incorporate healthy living back in your life!  

Stock your car.

Stock your car with water bottles and bring healthy, kid friendly snacks with you when you are on the go.  My favorite snacks to pack that are fast and easy are nuts, protein bars, Larabars, cheese sticks and my amazingly delicious baked oatmeal.  This way you leave your house prepared and you won’t be inclined to get fast food in a pinch.

Know your fast food alternatives & set a healthy precedent for your children.

It is so easy to be on the road, feel hungry and pull through McDonalds in 2 minutes; boom, the kids are happy.  Don’t fall prey to this behavior because you and your children deserve more.  There are so many healthy fast food alternatives available to you, such as Starbucks Perfect Oatmeal or Greek yogurt, Panera Bread’s Secret Low Calorie Menu, Subway with mostly fresh ingredients and so many more.  Be mindful of where you take yourself and your kids when you’re out by browsing the online food menus available at most restaurants.  You and your family deserve to eat healthfully and it is possible when you set the intention to do so.   

Pack your gym bag the night before.

After a long day’s work, it is easy to put off going to the gym, but if you have your gym bag packed and with you in the front seat, coupled with a quick snack from your snack pack, you will be much more likely to hit the gym.  If you have your kids with you, there are plenty of gyms that have child care.  I look forward to my future “me time” at the gym when I have kids.  Use it as your time to decompress, breathe and regroup so that your children get to vibe off of your calm nature as you go on with your day together. 

Breathe.

A lot of people underestimate the power of breathing. When you’re going from place to place, dropping one child off at day care and entertaining another child in the car while on your way to get groceries and feeling the stress on your shoulders, take three deep breaths, exhaling slowly to release the stress, anger and frustration you’re feeling in the moment; then smile.  My motto is, ‘Just breathe through it.’

Be kind to you.

This is a hard one for us women!  Put a spot for you on your to-do list or make a date with yourself.  As women, we spend so much time and energy on others, it’s also important to make time for yourself.  Make sure you’re at the top of your to-do list!  Don’t for a second, forget that you are just as important as everyone else that gets your love and energy.  You deserve that love and energy and need it.   Be kind to yourself, allow yourself the freedom to make mistakes, laugh it all off, smile, make time for you and know that whatever you need, you have it now.  You are enough and you are perfect.

Be intentional.

I have heard children are like sponges.  I truly look forward to the time I can be a source of influence and inspiration to my children.  I wholeheartedly believe in the power of intention and that what you think becomes your reality.  By allotting more time to focus on your intentions as a family, you are creating a more solid foundation in which you are grounded in.  When you know where you are going, it is easier to get there.  I created Fierce Forward Intention Bracelets to empower myself and others to live with intention each day.  Having a visual reminder of your Purpose, Commitment, Courage & Strength, you begin to embody these intentions the more you focus on them.  I even make them child sized upon request!

Fierce Forward Bracelet

You are so lucky to have a family, a foundation, to build upon and work towards something bigger, together!  Be intentional as an individual-remember that girl in the picture- and as a whole and you surely will have a healthy family and a healthy you.

My final tip I will leave you with is to find a picture of yourself that radiates who you are.  This can be a picture from childhood, a picture of you caught off guard five years ago or a more recent picture.  Take your time in choosing and make sure this picture speaks to you and truly nails the definition of you.  Put it up on your DIY Chalkboard (that link will take you right to my tutorial!) or your bathroom mirror, look at that picture every day and remember to take care of her.

DIY Chalkboard Project

Thank you so much for reading my words and thank you amy for the opportunity to reach your Community of Fierce Mothers, whom I look up to!

Fierce Forward Bracelet Ashley from Fierce Forward

To Find Out More About Ashley:

Fierce Forward Intention Bracelets on Etsy
Website:  Fierce Forward
Find Ashley on Facebook
Find Ashley on Pinterest, on Twitter or on Instagram! 

How do you make healthy living and “me time” a priority for yourself? Feel free to leave your ideas in our comments below!

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DIY New Year’s Eve Craft Ideas

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

DIY New Year's Eve Crafts

I can’t believe that December is already here and we are dreaming up great New Year’s projects for you! Of course, I am featuring glittered projects and upcycle projects that could be enjoyed any time of the year. The best part is that you can find many of the materials for these projects at your local Goodwill Store for a fraction of the price compared to other retail stores.

Head on over to the Goodwill Tips Blog to get the scoop on these fun and festive projects to ring in the New Year!

DIY Holiday Yarn Trees

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

DIY Holiday Yarn Trees from MomAdvice.com.DIY Holiday Yarn Trees from MomAdvice.com. DIY Holiday Yarn Trees from MomAdvice.com. DIY Holiday Yarn Trees from MomAdvice.com.

What could be more fun than decorating for the holiday season? For this month’s holiday project, I wanted to share with you a fun DIY project for creating festive yarn trees that you can create to decorate a ledge, table, or mantle in your home.  You will only need a few affordable supplies from your craft shop to create this craft. The best part is that you can enjoy doing this craft while watching your favorite holiday movies!

I am absolutely in love with these trees for the holidays and I am sharing my tutorial for them on the Kenmore Blog today. Check out my DIY Holiday Yarn Trees over there and find out how you can make this craft for your own home!

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Yarn Ball Ornaments

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

Easy Yarn Ball Ornaments from MomAdvice.com

Looking for a creative gift to craft up that requires zero crafting skills and can be made in under 15 minutes. These yarn ball ornaments are the perfect gift to give for the holidays and are unbelievably easy to create for the holiday season. The best part is that it is a gift perfect for knitters, but doesn’t require knitting! If you are a knitter, like me, it is a fantastic stash-buster of a project!

Target Yarn Ball Ornament

The inspiration for this craft came from this picture of an ornament at Target that my girlfriend sent to me. I loved the idea of this ornament, but wanted to create something a little more authentic for my knitting friends. After a few trips to the craft store and some test ornaments, I am sharing with you how you can make these cute ornaments for someone you love!

Easy Yarn Ball Ornaments from MomAdvice.com

Supplies List

1 package of 2 1/2″ Styrofoam balls

Wooden Skewers

1 package 3/8″ Round Wooden Beads

Craft Glue

Glue Sticks & Glue Gun

Wire Cutters

Ruler

Scissors

Scrap Yarn

Easy Yarn Ball Ornaments from MomAdvice.com

Easy Yarn Ball Ornaments from MomAdvice.com

Directions

1. Grab two wooden skewers and measure them to 5 inches. Using your wire cutters, clamp down and break off the top end of the skewer to create the knitting needles.

2. Dab a little craft glue on the end of the skewer and top it with the wooden bead. Make sure the top of the bead lines up with the top hole so that you no longer see it. Repeat with the other skewer and set these aside to dry.

3. Add a dab of hot glue to your Styrofoam ball and start wrapping it with yarn. Keep wrapping around and around until the yarn ball is completely covered. Add one more dab of hot glue and secure the end of the yarn to the ball. Trim to keep it flush with the ball and set aside to dry.

4. Grab your wooden knitting needles and cross them through the front of the yarn ball.

5. Trim another strand of yarn and, using an embroidery needle, loop the yarn through the top of the yarn ball. Knot it, and then slide the knot into the opposite side of the ball, tucking your knot in so it is no longer visible.

Easy Yarn Ball Ornaments from MomAdvice.com Easy Yarn Ball Ornaments from MomAdvice.com Easy Yarn Ball Ornaments from MomAdvice.com Easy Yarn Ball Ornaments from MomAdvice.com Easy Yarn Ball Ornaments from MomAdvice.com Easy Yarn Ball Ornaments from MomAdvice.com Easy Yarn Ball Ornaments from MomAdvice.com Easy Yarn Ball Ornaments from MomAdvice.comI hope this craft inspires you for your holiday giving. I will confess to you now that I am going to have a very hard time parting with these cute ornaments. I just might be making myself a few over the holidays!

Be sure to check out our list of 54 Handmade Gift Ideas, our Easy No-Sew, No-Glue, No-Cut Burlap Wreath, and a fun little Cinnamon Roll Christmas Tree you can make with the kiddos while you are crafting!

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Easy Burlap Wreath Tutorial

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

Easy Burlap Wreath Tutorial

I am all about beautiful and simple decorations for the holidays. Today’s tutorial is how to make a burlap wreath for the holiday season. This is a no-sew, no-glue, no-cut project that should be easy to create in about 30 minutes.

Walmart challenged me to create a DIY decorating project for the holidays and I immediately knew that I wanted to create one of those burlap wreaths that I had seen on so many other blogs. I really wanted to add a festive holiday spin to it, but one that would be easy to execute (and replicate!).

I began searching through blogs for tutorials on how to create my wreath, watched a million YouTube videos, looked at more blogs…and basically my eyes crossed and glazed over. Everyone does their wreaths differently and there is not one magic tutorial, BUT gathering those ideas, this is my version of the burlap wreath with a little holiday spin for you.

Easy Burlap Wreath Tutorial Easy Burlap Wreath Tutorial

Supplies Needed

2 Rolls of Burlap, 5 inches wide & 10 yards long (here is what I purchased)

18″ wire wreath form

1 package of mini-clothespins

2 floral holiday picks (any variety)

3-5 holiday photos printed in wallet-size

Floral wire

Scissors

Easy Burlap Wreath Tutorial

Easy Burlap Wreath Tutorial

How to Make Your Burlap Wreath

1. To begin, select a few of your favorite holiday photos that can be attached to your wreath. The pictures I picked were from our family’s epic sledding adventure that you we do each year. Send these off to the Walmart Photo Lab and have them printed in wallet-size ($.58 each).

Easy Burlap Wreath Tutorial

2. Now that you have your photos to decorate your wreath, let’s begin weaving the burlap through our wire wreath form. This is going to take a little time and practice with your first one so don’t get discouraged.

Easy Burlap Wreath TutorialBegin by folding your burlap in half, like I have shown above, and keep wrapping as we go. Select one section of the wire wreath to start in. Feed the beginning end through the wreath as shown above. Over the outer ring, under the next, over the next, and under to finish. Leave a little loose end to tuck in or you can wire it to the wreath with a little floral wire in the back. Now you have started your wreath- super easy!  This is the technique we are using throughout. I am showing it to you tightly so you can see how this will work, when you do this, you will be actually pulling out the burlap a bit to give it to that bubble effect that we are going for. 

3. Using the working end of the burlap, we are going to begin making the bubbled burlap right next to this row, within the same section of that metal wreath, but we will begin weaving in the opposite direction, continuing to pull out and bubble the burlap as we go, moving the working burlap into each section, weaving one direction than weaving the other direction.

4. When you run out of burlap (it should be when you are about halfway through covering the wreath), tuck the end towards the back and pick up where you left off. Again, you can wire these ends with a little floral wire on the back.

5. Once the entire wreath is covered, secure the final end with floral wire. Finish, by puffing up some of the folded bubbles (if desired) or you can leave them as is, if you prefer a more ruffled, rather than bubbly effect.

Easy Burlap Wreath Tutorial

6. Finish the wreath by gluing OR wiring two floral picks on the wreath. I just used a little glue, not too excessively like I usually do, so that I can remove these and switch my wreath up with the season (much like my yarn wreath that is STILL gracing my front door). Finish the wreath by attaching a few of your favorite holiday portraits with those mini-clothespins.

Easy Burlap Wreath Tutorial Once you are done, here is what the back of my wreath looked like. You can trim any of the pieces down that were wired to help your wreath lay more flush to your door.

Easy Burlap Wreath Tutorial Easy Burlap Wreath Tutorial Easy Burlap Wreath Tutorial

Isn’t she lovely? With a little less than $20 supplies and 30 minutes of your time, you truly have a beautiful wreath for your front door, to grace your mantle, or to make a wall in your home more festive. Not to mention, wouldn’t this just make the most fabulous little gift for someone you love for the holidays?

I’m madly in love with it and I hope it inspires you to dress up a door in your home!

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DIY Thanksgiving Centerpiece

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

DIY Thanksgiving Centerpiece from MomAdvice.com.If there is one holiday I love it is Thanksgiving. Any holiday that focuses on all of the blessings of the year around a dinner table filled with those I love is definitely a holiday that I love to celebrate. Oftentimes though, the details of holiday preparation and decorating can interfere with the things that really should matter the most.

Today I wanted to share with you a beautiful and effortless centerpiece you can create for your table with some items you have on hand combined with a few items from your local grocer. To find out how to make this fast and easy DIY Thanksgiving centerpiece, head on over to the Kenmore Blog to grab the supplies list and read my easy tutorial for creating this for your own home!

See you there!