Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Shelves I Almost Threw Away

As much as I try to get rid of any extra junk-stuffs, I still have some borderline hoarder (hoarderline? anyone?) tendencies fighting to gain ground. My biggest weakness is the organizing stuffs. Boxes, baskets, even... wait for it... shelves. This particular set of shelves was found at a yard sale two summers agao. It's one of those adjustable deals that attach to the wall with moveable brackets. A whole huge set of them for $2. My mom talked me into buying them (she also loves a good organizational gadget) so home they came. And they took up a huge chunk of my garage for two years. I looked at them probably five times a year and had this dilemma with myself:

I should probably get rid of those.
No I'll keep them.
But I just tripped on the brackets AGAIN.
But what if I need to organize something?
So much wasted space. We're obviously not going to use them at this point.
But organizing.

And so they stayed. Until that fateful day when I had the big "duh" moment that starts most of our projects. Our garage was a mess of disorderly chaos and I looked at Husband and said "we need some shelves in here." *dropped jaw spin move toward pile of shelving* Oh. Like these shelves that have been lying right beside all the other junk for TWO YEARS. And so our scattered piles of wood scraps became this:


Everything up off the floor in a tidy stack. And now that we can actually see what kind of scraps we have, we are actually burning through them. No more buying whole boards when we have a smaller piece that fits the bill. Whew.


We had to put them high enough for our super long car's bumper to fit underneath, which also left enough room on the ends to tuck some of the outside toys away.


Those couple shelves started a garage landslide that lasted an entire afternoon. When we were done, you guys, it was tidy. You know, for a garage anyway.


Complete with clear pathway beside the car. *angels sing*


No more piles of tools on the grill. Which has resulted in much more grilling. Hooray summer!


And those tools have found a tidy home in the cabinets with the help of a few cheapy plastic bins. And yes, those cabinets have always been there. Why did we put the tools on the grill instead of in the empty cupboards. I do not know this. It just happened, okay?


Now that it's cleaned up, maybe hopefully it will please please stay that way. Please. We only used a teensy bit of the huge shelving set and now we're on this whole shelving rampage. We're working on expanding our pantry, and even adding some shelving to our master closet. It's going to be so adjustable around here.

And no. The moral of this story is not that I should become a hoarder and keep all the things. Maybe it's more like "I need to stop watching Lost and put away all the stuffs instead of waiting two years." Because I'm totally watching Lost again. Even though I know I'll hate the ending. Don't judge. In fact I'm going to watch it right now because I have two nappers?!? And as my friend Robin always says, "two sleepers should never be wasted on dishes." Pass the popcorn.

What are you glad you kept for way, way too long? Or have you purged something only to regret it later? How do you find balance between keeping and tossing? And tell me straight, guys, is Lost just as disappointing the second time around?

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Monday, September 1, 2014

Runza Recipe - Pocket Sandwich Comfort Food

We all love a little comfort food, especially on a chilly night! Fall is right around the corner and this is one of my very favorite recipes when we're tucked in for a cozy evening.


I had never tasted anything like this until Baby Brother was born and a sweet friend brought us a whole pile of runzas. As soon as we tasted them we were hooked and I've made them countless times since then.


What's a runza, you ask? I had no idea either, but it turns out they are pocket sandwiches stuffed with meat, cabbage, spices, and cheesy goodness. When she told me I thought "Oh. Cabbage. I don't think I like cabbage..." But I can tell you now, I totally do! At least when it's all wrapped up in a soft and savory bun.


Another great thing about this recipe is that it makes 24 pocket sandwiches, which lasts our family of four several meals! We usually put any leftover in the freezer and pull them out for quick lunches. Although last time we ate them all too fast. Oops.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Octopus Birthday Crown {free pattern}

Baby Brother turned one a couple weeks ago (and yes, he's totally still a baby). I still can't believe it. We marked his big day with a simple, low-key celebration of his first year in the big, wide world. A trip to the zoo, pancakes, and all the cheese and blueberries his little heart desired. He also got a special birthday crown (similar to the dinosaur crown I made for Big Brother's birthday) but this time the theme was... octopuses! Octopi? No. We're going with octopuses.


It was the first thing my tired brain thought of that I could make with the felt colors I had on hand. And so and octopus crown it was.



Here's how it went down: at 10pm on Birth Eve (as per usual) I sit down and I say to myself "what is the most complicated animal I could pick with the most small parts to have to sew down?" Answer = octopus. Duh. That's called a "midnight win," right there. And so I spent the night sewing down 14 little octopus legs. 14. Because my octopuses have seven legs each. Double win.


But really I love doing this kind of crown because they are pretty easy to make and the designs are SO flexible. You can really make any kind of crown you can imagine (or at least cut out of felt).


Here's all you need to make your own octopus birthday crown:

Saturday, August 16, 2014

DIY Sprinkler Arch

We still have a few steamy days headed our way before summer is over, and this DIY sprinkler arch is a great way to stay cool in your own backyard!


We've had a lot of fun hooking this up to our hose when things get too hot. And when we're done playing we can set it over our garden beds to water the garden! That's a freebie. That's also how Husband talked me into the idea.


It's a pretty quick and easy project to put together. We did it in an evening while the boys played in the wading pool and ran (or crawled) circles around us. So you can definitely squeeze it in before the next heat wave!


It's also great because you don't need a workshop full of tools to pull it off - just one small tool and a few pieces from the hardware store!