Monday, March 12, 2012

Got five minutes? Look what you can do!

                          Seriously!  It took me five minutes to throw together this perfectly mossy letter. 

~Just grab a letter of your choosing.  (I found mine in the clearance bin.) 
~Some moss from the dollar store. (I preferred the "reindeer" moss.  It looked greener.)
~Spray adhesive.

  Spray your letter with the spray adhesive.  Stick on the moss.  Let it dry.  Trim off unruly edges.  Voila, it is complete.  It took me about 5 minutes to complete this project.  Here it is again:

  It is a cute craft for Spring!


Friday, March 2, 2012

Little Man's Dresser

                                                    Little Man's Dresser
   When we had our house for sale this time last year.  Our little guy was using "daddy's" dresser.  Daddy was using "mommy's" dresser.  Mommy was using closets and sterilite containers to hold all of her clothes!  Anyways, time passed and our house didn't sell.  I refused to be on the market over the Holidays.  I craved some normalcy in our life.  I also thought it was time for me to pare down and move back into my room.  Uuuhmm dresser!  (Using every available closet for your clothes is ridiculous.)
  Once again the big switcheroo happened.  Daddy got to use his dresser.  Mommy got to use her dresser.  And "Poor Lukas" had NONE! 

    Of course we had to fix that.  Off to the thrift store we went to find a dresser.  It would have to satisfy my need for crafting, fit into our budget, and Lukas should love it.  The Goodwill Outlet was where we found the most "best" of the worst.  After some haggling with my four year old.  This is the one we bought.  It did fit my checklist of real wood and dove tail joints.  (Just for the record.... I wanted one with less surface damage.  Ultimately, it may not have been as "sturdy" as the one we chose.  I must say his stubbornness may have paid off!  Good job, little man.)
                                                          Isn't it a beauty!?!  wink  wink
After showing my mom the pictures of the transformation.  She said, "You really have to have vision!"  That we did!
                                                                See how jacked up that top is....
                                  This is the whole reason Lukas only had eyes for you, "Pirate" dresser!

         I am not sure if you saw those awful broken handles on this dresser.  Go ahead and scroll up!   I will wait.

    Aaack!  Those are awful right?  We headed to the store to get some new ones.  Funny thing, the pulls he chose were called "Nautical"  I am so glad these pulls were from this century though.  Only one hiccup, the new pulls needed to be screwed in horizontally instead of  vertically.  See:

                                                       Next we primed and painted that baby up!
 Voila!   A beautiful dresser that holds all his clothes.  He can get his clothes all by himself now!  Yahoo!  The top pulls were a little struggle.  Lukas only wanted the ones shaped like the steering wheel on the boat.  I guess you would call them the helm?  I finally convinced him shiny ones would be better.  A win for mom that saved her hours of trying to paint those little pulls.  They were metal and wood by the way.  Phew! 

                                                Here is a little sneak peek of where it sits now. 

We are still working on "Refining" his room.  (Refining the whole house for that matter!)


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Paper Clutter Take Two!

Grab your Trash Cans!
  Cleaning up that Paper Clutter....Take Two!
   Like everyone else I am overwhelmed with the amount of paper clutter I accumulate.   I have tried so many different ways to reduce the amount of paper that piles up in my home on a daily basis.

  First and foremost:  Reduce the Amount of Mail Coming into the house.
   Head on over to the FTC (dot) gov to opt out of pre-screened offers!  You can choose to eliminate the offers for 5 years or indefinitely!  Since doing this, I have seen a huge difference in the mail I get everyday.  (While you are on the site, you can opt out on the donotcall list as well.  Stop the annoying phone calls!)

   Once you have reduced the amount coming in.....
   You need to find a system that works for you and your family.  Are you the type of person that can get the mail sorted and file it immediately?  I envy you!
    If you are more like me, shuffle through it to see if there is anything that needs immediate attention.  Pull out your magazines and put them in a pretty basket on the coffee table for light reading.  All other mail can go into another basket to be dealt with at a later date.  
   The best way for me to do this and not get overwhelmed is to pick one day a week to go through my basket.  I choose Fridays.  I pay all my bills that are due that week on Friday.  It is a good idea to make sure I am not missing a bill that needs to be paid.
   I love to make piles.  It keeps everything into focus for me.  I separate the pile into:
                     -Needs to be Filed
                     -Needs to be Paid

  What to do next:
   My pile of Needs to be Filed is put in a basket to head downstairs to my Office Area.
   My pile of Needs to be Paid is entered into my log of bills needing to be paid.  Then, filed in the front of my record keeping book.
   My pile of Trash/Recycling is placed in its respective spot.
   The last pile: Shred.  Oh this has always been a difficult pile for me to deal with!  I use to add it to my basket that went to my office to Shred it in the Shredder.  Being the procrastinator that I am in the little bag with all of my discards became this big hassle.  I would wait days, weeks, months before I would deal with it.  I have found a solution to reduce the amount of Paper Clutter waiting to be Shred!

Paper Clutter that Needs to be Shred:
    The easiest way I have dealt with that pile of mail with my name on it is to grab this little guy:

Kespon Guard Your ID Roller Stamp, Blue

                   Look at what happens with a little click of the button and a few swipes.

     Now, that can head right into the Recycling Bin.  I do not have to add it to another basket to be Shred downstairs!  It makes my piles so much easier to deal with.

  I will let you know that the ID Stamp does cover up most of the addresses and names on the incoming mail.  Although, there are some inks and paper that it will not cover no matter how many times you swipe the stamp.
                  Don't worry!  I have a solution for that as well.  Grab a pair of these scissors.
  This pair of scissors has multiple blades!  They are best used at an angle.  They make quick work of that address or two that you need to shred.  Here is an example of what it looks like in use.

  I am telling you that these two products have basically eliminated my need for my shredder!  (I do use it for those bills I have paid that have quite a bit of confidential information.)  I am in no way affiliated with either of these products.  If you are interested, you can order them both through  Either one is found for about $10 a piece.  In my opinion, totally worth it!

Until next time
~Elizabeth shabby creek cottage

Thursday, January 19, 2012

My Heart

                                    I just love walking up to a home and feeling Welcomed! 

  What makes it even more inviting?  A cute little wreath.  Just in time for Valentine's Day, I threw together this little wreath.
  It was so easy.  I found a heart shaped wreath at the thrift store.  I ripped off all of the dusty outdated flowers.  I had bought some "petals" from the dollar store.  So, I glued those on the heart wreath shape!  It took less than 30 minutes.  I "heart" the pop of color on my door!

~Elizabeth shabby creek cottage
Dear Lillie's Valentine's Link Party

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Paper Clutter: Contained!

Grab your trashcans!
     How many of us are overwhelmed by paper clutter?  I know I am!
     I have to admit the fact that I love magazines. It is absurd how many magazines that I have coming to the house.  I can honestly say I read them all.  My daughters school uses magazine subscriptions as their one and only fundraiser.  I am just doing my part, right!?!  I love holding them in my hands seeing all of the beautiful pictures!  If there is something that really strikes me, I want to keep it.  Some of the papers I have been known to tear out of the magazines may inspire me to change my room, try a new product, or get a yummy recipe.

    See, I was already ahead of the paper clutter monster.  I wasn't keeping the whole magazines.  Just the few papers I would want to refer back to.  I use to take the time to file the different "categories".  But, I found that I never went back to look at them.  They became clutter. 

  Last year in my desperation to find a recipe I wanted for Christmas dinner, I decided to take the time and put all of my magazine clippings into binders.  At least then they would be easier to find.  Well, last week, I couldn't shut one of my cabinet doors in my kitchen.  Would you like to know why?

  This beast was packed full to the brim!  See the latest clippings aren't even filed.  My great idea was becoming a big hassle.

  What is a girl to do?  I will tell you what I did.  I scanned some of my favorite images into my laptop.  Now, I can file them away in different folders.  They are so easy to look through now.  (Still wondering if I can put them up on Pinterest!?!  If you know, leave a comment, please!)

  To be honest, I became a little lazy with the recipes.  I decided to take a picture with my iPhone and upload them into my computer.  It is the similar to scanning all the recipes.  It just took less time!

 Here is an example of a recipe I wanted to keep but toss the paper version.

Recipe is from Family Fun Magazine
   Nice, right!?!  It took quite awhile to upload 195 recipe pictures!  But the fact that I have an empty binder and can shut my cabinet door in my kitchen was totally worth the time and effort!

  I hope this helps you tame that angry paper clutter beast!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Window: What a difference!

                                       Sticking to my word like I said here.

     As it stands for right now, we are not moving in the very near future.  So, I am taking it upon myself to make my house a home.  I bought some new curtains for my daughters room.  I loved them so much, I bought a pair for my sons room.
    When I found out we were moving I didn't want to take the time to hang them.  For two reasons, I didn't want to have to give them as part of the deal to move and I was feeling okay with good enough.
Terrible.  I know.

    But all of that is changing now.  Here is what his window looked like since we moved in.  I didn't rush out and get better curtain rods.  As a matter of fact I took a table cloth cut it in half sewed it up and threw it up on the window.  They were hard to move.  I still had to get a blackening blind to keep the sun out so my little one would asleep.

  I always knew that I wanted to change them.  I also wanted to 'uplift' them, as well.  Look what a few inches can do to the look of the room.
See that hot mess on the floor.  We are working on fixing that....
   Wow!  I have to say, that moving the rod up closer to the ceiling was a very cheap way to begin transforming the room.  I am so glad that I decided to do this now.  Under one of the windows, we have found an issue with the wall.  We are hoping to look into and fix this over the weekend.  I will let you know how this goes.  In the meantime, I am going to work with my little man to get his toys back under control.  (Can you believe that this was all situated right before Christmas!?!  --Thankful for my blessings!  Just wonder if we are a little too blessed in this case.....)

Loving it!

Slowly, working on my long list of things I want to accomplish.  Thanks for coming along for the ride!



Saturday, January 7, 2012



     Last year, I stumbled upon a blog that captivated me. Whenever I had a few moments of "me" time, I would get on the computer and click around her website. I would save her posts to my computer for her ingenious ideas. I could incorporate these ideas in my life. I clicked on some other links to find more blogs.      Don't even get me started about Pinterest!  Love people.  True Love!
     Then, it hit me. I realized.  I have found my people! We all do not have unlimited resources. But, we still want to live in beautiful homes. This journey led me to believe that I too can play on this "playground".
    ( I must first say, that I give of up to those who post on a "scheduled" or even regular basis. Blogging is time consuming. You have to be prepared with ideas. You need to have the forethought to get your materials ready. You need to take pictures of your process. Upload, beautify, personalize, and document. Holy snap! I never thought the process would be so involved. You all make it look so beautiful and easy!)
    Maybe it is the fact I have "perfect" in my title!?! But I haven't blogged in forever because everything wasn't "perfect". My pictures weren't cropped. My logo wasn't watermarked on my uploaded pictures. The room was a hot embarrassing mess! Ummm...I have an issue with not finishing what I started. I could go on and on.....
   Why couldn't I convince myself to post? Honestly, my surroundings aren't what I want to present as a representation of me. After some reflection I realize all of that stuff doesn't truly matter. At least the whole "it has to be perfect" thought.   The point -at least for me- is to work towards having a home and life I love! So even if my posts aren't "perfect" I am going to share! 
     Thanks to the few of you who have stuck by me while I was missing! We have been working for years to live within our means and repay our debt.  I can thankfully say in 2011 that has happened!  It was a long road and I feel so blessed.  Staying out of debt is a new game that I struggle with daily.  I have to tell myself "no" and wait until I can get that new shiny lamp!  Thrift stores allow me to use my creativity to make my home more like I want it to be without breaking the bank!  Once again, like I said earlier, I have found my people!
   Looking back, last year had so many wonderful things happen!   My focus drive and determination allowed me to win an all-inclusive trip with my husband and I to Las Vegas.  Our family was able to take our first ever vacation together!  I was able to see my sister who lives far away.  What a great year!  We didn't sell our house.  The loss we would have to take is unbearable.  For now, we will stay put.  It is a strain on our family because the commute to our jobs are long.  But, without the sacrifice we wouldn't be where we are today.  I believe everything happens for a reason.  In the meantime, I am going to make this house our home.  I hope to document the journey with all of you!

    My goal this year is to be more consistent with this outlet.  You will have to bear with me while I *refine* my approach to blogging. While I *refine* my surroundings to be more reflective of me and my family! This year I want to organize, simplify, and *refine*!


    If you would like to check out others "words for the year"  or add your own.  Head on over to The Lettered Cottage.......
The Lettered Cottage