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Showing posts from October, 2013

Small Home Living: 8 Tips for Making the Most of a Small Home

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In our time living in this home, we've stumbled across some ideas that help us make living in a small space a bit easier.

1. Choose pieces that can do double duty. Some examples are: a kitchen island that can be used to eat on as well as store kitchen items or a bench that can be used for seating and storage.

2. Use vertical space. Try and get things up off the floor by using tall pieces of furniture like a bookcase or shelves on the walls.

3. Look for places to hide storage. Under the beds and on the backs of doors are great places to conceal and store items.

4. Declutter often. Really think about what you need to keep and be willing to part with things that aren't used often. I am amazed at how frequently we get rid of things and still can find more to declutter.

5. Going along with number 4 - curate your collections. It's wonderful to keep a smaller collection of special things that you love and enjoy.

6. Change things up! I know that as our daughter grows, our needs i…

Small Home Living: Multi-Purpose Storage

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Because we use our third bedroom for so many things, we have a lot of different kinds of storage in that room. I showed you a few things in the tour, but I took a few other photos to share of some specific areas.


All my daughter' Barbies (there are a lot of them) are stored in over the door shoe storage. Idea from Pinterest.


We repainted and repurposed this cabinet to house her craft and art supplies.


We use a large basket and hooks to try and contain most of her dress up clothes.


This is the bottom of my craft cabinet. I store different supplies in the plastic drawers as well as photo boxes. I love how much storage this cabinet has.

So that's it! A little closer look at some of our storage and organization in this room. I'm in the home stretch! Look for a couple of wrap up posts coming soon!

Small Home Living: Tour - Office/Craft/Play Room

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Somehow, it's the last day of October, and I still have a few posts to write. :) I've run out of steam a bit toward the end of this challenge, but I'm still determined to finish. I have my last 4 post ideas ready to go, so here's the first one.

I really, really wanted to make this room tidy and organized before I posted about it, but reality is, it rarely looks that way. It's not a mess, but it is a room we use a lot. I do all my blogging and other work in here at the desk as well as my sewing. We package and ship our Etsy orders from here. My daughter has toys and art supplies in this room. So, you get to see the room just how it looks right now.



Here's the view from the door. We have dress up clothes and a play kitchen along the wall facing the door. You can see our Samaritan's Purse Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes in the corner.


This is my sewing cabinet. I store all of my craft supplies in here. It is one of my favorite purchases of all time. $50 a…

What I Wore: Fall Colors

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I found some fun fall pieces in the last couple weeks that I was excited to wear!
Snakeskin Print Blouse: Goodwill, Cardigan: Kohl's, Ankle Pants: Target, Flats: Target


Check out this great bag I thrifted at Goodwill. Aldo brand - cost me $3.29!


Ruffle Blouse: LOFT via Goodwill, Cardigan: Kohl's, Jeans: Elle via garage sale, Boots: Target

You can't see it in the picture, but the top is yellow and taupe with polka dots!

I need some advice. I haven't gotten my hair cut in a really long time. I donated it around a year ago and I've been growing it out since then with a couple trims in between. I also had bangs for a short time which are almost grown out. I just can't decide whether to wear it long or short, add layers, or what. Any thoughts or inspiration for me?

I'm linking up!

I Feel Pretty at Get Your Pretty On



Remix, Rewear, Restyle at Greater Than Rubies

Small Home Living: Tour - Outdoor Spaces

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With a small home, I think utilizing outdoor spaces and thinking of them as an extension of the home is really important. We have a small porch and added on a patio within the last couple of years. I would say at least 6 months out of the year we use these spaces quite a bit. In the future, we'd love to save up enough to enclose the front porch to make it usable even longer. Here are a couple pictures of the porch and patio!



Do you spend a lot of time outside? What kind of space do you have?

Small Home Living: Kitchen Storage

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One thing that we've done in our kitchen is that instead of a regular kitchen table, we have an island with built in storage. This works for us since we have a small family and we don't need a large table in our kitchen.



I keep my stand mixer, bread machine, pans, mixing bowls, and hot pads in the kitchen island. The other cabinet is primarily for Pyrex and Fiesta right now.

We also store dish towels and plastic dinnerware (for eating outside) in our microwave stand. Most of our cupboards actually store food since we don't have a pantry, so this is how we store the rest of our kitchen items. How do you store everything in your kitchen? Do you have enough cabinets?

Small Home Living: Tour - the Laundry

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We have our laundry in a small room off the kitchen. It used to be storage that was accessed off the back of the house and my husband converted it. It's small, but it's turned out to be a nice, convenient space.


The laundry area is behind these doors. We can't leave them closed, because that is where the cats' boxes are. :)


We have a place to hang laundry, plus shelving and storage. We bought the blue and white boxes at IKEA last summer. The shelves extend across the rest of the room. The laundry basket holds recycling. My mom made the plastic bag holder.


The washer and dryer are stackable and the wire shelf next to the machines hold our detergent and stain remover. The kitchen wet bag is from Cloth on Osborne. We use dish cloths in place of paper towels in most circumstances, so we toss wet cloths in this bag and then straight into the wash when the machine is free.

So there you have it! Where is your laundry room located?

Small Home Living: Tour - the Kitchen

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Next stop on the tour is the kitchen. Our kitchen is actually fairly large.


This is the view from the doorway.


Another view from over by our laundry room.



Behind the doors is our laundry "room" - I'll show you that soon.

Another view from near the laundry area.

Our cabinets in the kitchen are not very nice wood. My husband repainted them and we replaced the hardware several years ago. We'd love to replace them eventually, but can't figure out an economical way to do so at this point - any suggestions?

We replaced the floor this year and were going to repaint at that time. After the floor project was much more involved than we anticipated, all I wanted to do was put everything back together again, so the painting is on hold again.

Tell me about your kitchen. Do you like yours? What's your favorite part?

Small Home Living: Giveaway Winner

Thanks to everyone that is sticking with me through this 31 days series. I know I'm a bit behind, but I'm in the process of drafting my final posts in the series, so I do plan to catch up and have 31 posts by the end of the month - which is this Thursday! The month has flown by. I've enjoying reading several other 31 days series as well.

First up today is announcing a giveaway winner! Random.org selected #9 - Kaylee! You win your choice of fabric bin from our shop. Thank you all for entering!

I'll end this post with a couple of articles on decorating and organizing small spaces. Enjoy!
Organizing Tips for Small Spaces15 Tips for Small Home Hospitality
Happy Sunday!



Pantone-Inspired Fall Color Challenge: Day 5

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Well better late than never, I guess. Here is my day 5 outfit. Today's color is "acai" a deep, rich purple. I have some ankle pants that are this color, but since I don't work on Friday, I usually wear jeans instead of dressier clothes. I looked through my closet and found a couple pretty purples - one a bit more blue and one a bit more red and decided to wear them together.

I've really enjoyed this challenge. I've worn some different things and some new combinations. It seemed to help me to have a focus each day - I usually only had a couple pieces in the designated color so it narrowed my focus. Maybe I need to make myself a calendar with a certain color or pattern on it each day to keep me challenged and focused. :)


Shirt: Meijer, Scarf: Target, Polka Dot Jeans: Target, Cardigan: Kohl's, Boots: Target, Earrings: Avon

I'm linking up!


Pantone-Inspired Fall Color Challenge: Day 4

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Here's my day 4 look. My sweater is a little lighter than today's color - perhaps more of a nutmeg? I originally had on a skirt and brown tights and planned to wear my riding boots. Due to a minor kid issue, I needed to change before I left. I had a storytime at Head Start this morning, so I think the pants ended up working better for that program anyway. 

Sweater: Kohl's, Pants: Kohl's, Gingham Shirt: Old Navy (garage sale for $1), Boots: Target

Here's a close up of the Avon necklace I posted about a couple of weeks ago. I think the Avon one is smaller than the J. Crew necklace, but it is still very pretty and versatile, so I'm pleased with the purchase. It's on sale again for $7.99! This is not my Avon link, but if you'd like to purchase from me, let me know and I'll give you the address for my web store.

I'm linking up!




Small Home Living: Location

Another factor in our decision to stay in our home is its location. While this isn't a specific positive related to small homes, it's certainly another aspect to consider. When we were looking at other bigger homes, we always compared their location to our current place.

Right now we are less than 15 minutes away from our church, my parents, my in-laws, both of our jobs, and my daughter's school. This is obviously amazingly convenient for us!

In addition, we have some really kind neighbors that do a great job taking care of their homes as well.

We might have been able to find a bigger home that would have the same positive aspects, but it would have the search much more difficult!

How much does location play in where you live?

Pantone-Inspired Fall Color Challenge: Day 3

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Today's color is orange (actually "koi")! I don't have a lot of orange items, so I debated between this scarf and an orange corduroy blazer that I thrifted. I decided on the scarf, but I also have a new outfit in mind now for the blazer, so that is good!

I won this cowl last spring from Aleks Handmade.  I picked the orange because I loved how it looked in this pin. It's been a good choice - comfy and warm and matches lots of things.


Sweater: Merona, Cowl: Aleks Handmade, Pants: Dockers, Bracelet: Target, Flats: Payless

This outfit is super plain, really. The scarf and bracelet (it's orange, too!) make it just a bit more interesting, plus you can't see my leopard shoes.

I'm linking up!

Literate and Stylish

I Feel Pretty at Get Your Pretty On

Small Home Living: Changing Seasons

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This is a view of my daughter's closet. We keep games, clothes, linens, swimwear and more in there. :)

One of the fall spring cleaning tasks on Clean Mama's list I mentioned the other day is to change out seasonal clothing. I did a big declutter and reorganization of my daughter's clothing prior to school. When I saw how chilly this week's weather forecast looked, I decided I need to make a fall clothing switch in her dresser.


I went through all the items and put anything that was still in good shape and that I thought would still fit next spring in her underbed storage. I traded short sleeve tops for long sleeve in her dresser and pulled out anything that needed to go to Goodwill. I also pulled out a small pile to take to our local consignment shop.


I also reorganized the dresses in her closet. I'm leaving the sleeveless ones in there. I'm hoping to convince her to layer some tops of them so she can keep wearing them this fall.



I also did a bit of switching …

Small Home Living: Tour - the Bathrooms

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Next up on the tour are our bathrooms. Neither one is very big or too exciting, of course, but we do love having two of them.


This is the shared bathroom and the one that is original to the house. It was remodeled after my husband moved in and is still in very good shape.


Towel rack and storage


More wall storage


Shower curtain and hook on the back of the door


This is our additional bathroom. We have pedestal sinks in both bathrooms with no storage underneath. We had trouble finding sink cabinets we liked so we went this route instead. I like using the storage cabinets instead and like the look of the pedestal sinks as well. We purchased our medicine cabinet and storage cabinet in here from Home Decorators Collection. There are good deals to be found in their outlet.


I made the curtains in both bathrooms.


Shower curtain purchased on clearance from Target


This is the entrance to my closet. It is very convenient.

There you have it! The bathroom tour! We still have the kitchen and laundr…

Pantone-Inspired Fall Color Challenge: Day 2

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Here's my day 2 color challenge look! My pieces are definitely much more teal/green than blue-grey, but I am happy to have found some pretty fall items in my closet that work well together together. Plaid Shirt: Kohl's, Jeans: Michael Kors via Goodwill, Vest: Wal-Mart, Scarf: Target, Boots: Target Stop by Marissa's for some other great looks! 

Small Home Living: Curating Collections

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In a small home, it's still possible to have collections of items that are meaningful to us. I think the key is making sure that we only keep the things we love and are willing to part with things that we don't love as much anymore. I think it also helps when we can use the items in our collections.
Over the last few years, I've gotten rid of some items that had been collected for me over my childhood. I've kept a couple Precious Moments and a few of the Holiday Barbies I was given over the years. My daughter has also enjoyed playing with some of the Barbies, too. It was hard for me to get rid of these things. I know they were purchased for me out of love, but I also know that it feels much better to only have a few pieces I really enjoy.


If you've read here before, you know that I decided to start collecting Pyrex a few months back. I love all the colors in Pyrex and have unearthed some really pretty dishes at various garage sales. You can see the state of my mo…