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Posted by on Jan 3, 2013 | 0 comments

Quinn and Sloane’s Shared Nursery and Bedroom

Quinn and Sloane’s Shared Nursery and Bedroom

When Quinn was three and a half, her baby sister Sloane was born. To make a way for the sisters to share a room in their small Del Ray home, Todd and Kimberly redesigned Quinn’s room. They were ready for Quinn to graduate from her toddler bed to a twin-sized bed and they wanted to fit a crib in the room for Sloane as well. They also wanted Quinn to welcome her baby sister into “her room,” so they wanted to involve her in the design choices. The room has an l-shape with Sloane’s nursery space on the far left and Quinn’s “big girl” space on the far right. The door is in the middle. It’s a challenging layout because although it’s 146 square feet, furniture doesn’t easily fit in the space and leave room to walk around. Here is the part of Quinn’s room that had already become Sloane’s changing area before the redesign: And the other side of the room where Quinn slept: And, now, the remarkable...

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Posted by on Dec 28, 2012 | 0 comments

Keeping Kids Busy During Holiday Break

Keeping Kids Busy During Holiday Break

When the kids are hanging around the house during holiday break, it’s always a plus to have some projects up your sleeve for them to do. Laine Hardman, a professional organizer with Tidy Up Now, and I have come up with a list of simple crafts and organizing jobs that you can propose on the spur of the moment. These don’t require a lot of specialized supplies or too much hands-on instruction either. Crafts The old-fashioned paperclip necklace. I grabbed a colorful box of paperclips from the drugstore and after about a two-second demo, the girls were on their way. They enjoyed creating patterns with the different paperclip colors. Silver beaded jewelry. This is a Todd Oldham idea that I remembered from his fantastic Kid Made Modern book. It’s a modern twist on the old macaroni noodle necklace project. You start with rigatoni noodles and some tin foil. The kids roll the tin foil around the noodles and rub the sides to accentuate the groves. Then they have shiny “silver” bling...

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Posted by on Dec 3, 2012 | 4 comments

Handmade Advent Calendars to Use Year After Year

Handmade Advent Calendars to Use Year After Year

Every year, I think I’d like to make an advent calendar to use year after year. I finally did, but just under the wire. I finished it Friday night, the last day of November. Katie got in on the action too and made one to hang on Saturday, the first day on the countdown to Christmas. Katie’s Upcycled Advent Calendar The goal for my Advent calendar was to use supplies I had on hand and spend as little money as possible. My inspiration came from pinterest using clothespins and small packages made out of paper. I had to buy the clothespins, but that was okay because I can find other uses for them after Advent. I wanted to secure the clothespins to a board, but I didn’t have a piece of scrap wood the right size, so I opted to use an empty picture frame and some string. To secure the string to the frame, I purchased 6 picture framing hooks from the hardware store for $.37/each. I followed an origami tutorial to...

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Posted by on Nov 26, 2012 | 8 comments

Telling Our Story Through Family Heirlooms

Telling Our Story Through Family Heirlooms

I love being able to incorporate family heirlooms in our home. Since this is the season for celebrating family, I thought I’d share the story of one our oldest and most meaningful pieces, my sons’ twin beds, purchased over 100 years ago. Last year, my youngest son Calvin was ready to move out of his crib and into a bed. He and his older brother Jack share a bedroom, and Jack was using a bed we bought for $20 at a yard sale. It had seen better days. I purchased identical twin beds from Toys R Us for both boys. I loved the white color contrasting with the dark gray walls and the fact that we could bunk them later on. All was good, or so I thought. This past summer (roughly one year after I purchased the beds), the beds started to fall apart. On Calvin’s bed, the side support that held the slats for the mattress broke away from the frame. I examined Jack’s bed and it too was...

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Posted by on Nov 20, 2012 | 1 comment

Spy-Themed Birthday Party

Spy-Themed Birthday Party

After visiting the Spy Museum in DC, my daughter Ana announced she wanted a “spy party” for her 9th birthday celebration. I did some research online but didn’t find much. So, we brainstormed the kinds of activities she saw at the museum and together, came up with a plan. Our mission accomplished, here’s how it went down: The Cake and Decor. First, I didn’t decorate the house at all this year. It was hard “letting go” of the need to put out the coordinated tableclothes, plates, napkins, a birthday banner (bought or homemade), balloons, and so on. But for this party, it didn’t seem fitting.  Ana made her cake with her friend Bea under the supervision of Bea’s Mom, the super talented pastry baker of P.S. Cakes. Like last year, Ana designed the cake, made the spy-themed fondant accents (moustache and footprints), iced it, and put the piping around the sides. The prologue. Ana was expecting seven friends total to come to her party and she wanted everyone to be...

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