Monday, January 31, 2011

   Some Free Home decor

We are on a pretty tight budget these days as we are trying to get our 1 credit card all paid off.  So...I have found myself browsing through my favorite blogs to find home decor ideas.  A while ago, I stole this idea from my favorite blogger, Jen over at IHeart Organizing.  Of course, I didn't do quite as good a job as she did, but it worked for what I wanted.  Free pencil cup:

This is a soup can with a bit of scrapbook paper wrapped around it.  I even went super lazy and just taped the paper.  It would have looked better with hot glue, but I was kind of in a hurry when I made it.  A couple days later I took the extra step and put ribbon around the top (with hot glue this time).   
And then here is another one I threw together because I like the paper and needed something to old a few dry erase markers.

Nothing fancy but definitely cuter than a plain soup can.
I also need something for my youngest daughter's wall.  I had moved some things around and ended up with a horribly blank and plain wall.  My Dad had made a beautiful wood name plaque for her when she was born.  I just needed something to go under it and like I mentioned, we aren't really spending any extra money right now. 

So, I went to my ever trusty Microsoft Excel program and used the Word Art feature.
 Then I matted it on (again) some scrapbook paper and slapped it in a frame.  
  And this is how the wall looks now.  Much better.
 And here is the pig's eye view.  haha
I have found a serious love of scrapbook paper!  You can use that stuff for everything.  It adds such a decorative touch to the most common things and makes them look so much prettier.  I am all about cheap and easy decor.  I am hoping to create some more and maybe with a little more flair soon.  

What have you guys created out of things you all ready have?

Friday, January 28, 2011

   Shame, shame

Shame on me!  I have been neglecting my blog this week.  I am so sorry about that.  There has been a lot going on over here in the McKinley household.  The most exciting thing is that my Thirty-One kit came!!!  Yay!  Jump for joy.  (Can you tell I am a little excited?)   The products are even better than I had hoped and I CAN NOT WAIT to have my first party!!

I have a confession to make...I have been completely neglecting my organizing. =(  Kevin even brought it up last the most respectful and sweet way.  He just mentioned how proud I had been of all my organizing accomplishments and wondered why I had kind of fell off the bandwagon.  In all honesty, I don't know.  We have had some stressful stuff going on and I think I kind of lost my focus.  But he is right....I was very proud of how our house was coming along and how organized it all was.

So...I vow to you all now....I am back on track!  The organizing blogger is going to get back at it!  I am not sure exactly what I am going to tackle or what my plan is....but I will be sure to let you know!

Have any of you gotten off to a good start only to lose momentum?  What did you do to get back on track?

Monday, January 24, 2011


I have been thinking for a while now about becoming an at home party consultant.  I wanted to contribute to the family income, if only in a small way.  And I also thought it would be good for me to have my own thing that might even get me out of the house every once in a while.  Which is always good for a stay at home Mom!  But I didn't want anything that would take too much time away from my family and our family time.

The dilemma was deciding which company to join.  It had to be something that I liked personally because I know myself and I couldn't sell something to someone else that I didn't believe in.  And it had to be something that I didn't have to pressure other people into joining my team.  I am doing this because it is something I want to do.....I am not about to tell other people they should do it too (unless they want to).

I ended up deciding on Thirty-One!  I have an old childhood friend who sells it and LOVES it!  I asked her about a billion questions and decided that this was the right company for just feels like a perfect fit!

As of last night, I am now officially a Thirty-One Gifts consultant!  I am really excited to have joined this company and to get started!  I just love all of their stuff, it is so stinkin' cute and so useful!  All of their stuff kind of goes right along with all my organization I have been doing lately.  It will only help me out even more!

So, if you are interested in hosting a party or just buying some awesome can check out my website at    or just send me a message.  :-)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

   The parenting tight rope

I don't know about all of you other parents out there, but there are so many times that I feel like parenting could most definitely be compared to walking a tight rope!  I have 3 kids all under the age of 4.  My oldest will be 4 in March and my youngest will be 7 months tomorrow.  I am constantly trying to balance my home, my husband, my kids, and myself (which we should all make time for).   There are just so many aspects to being a stay at home Mom.  I am constantly questioning how I am doing as a parent.  Especially since it is the most important thing I will EVER do.

I have found one of my biggest obstacles to be my very own computer.  The internet has a way of sucking me in and making me lose all track of time.  I am going to admit to all of you right now that I know I spend way too much time on my computer.  And I am terrified that my kids are going to think that I care more about my computer than them.  I have been completely addicted to all these organization and home decor blogs.  And I have found so many great ideas on them.  But the important things in my life are not found on this computer.  So....I have decided that I am going to stay connected to a couple of my favorites but I am going to have to step back from the rest.

I mentioned to my hubby that maybe I should stop doing this blog, because it does take some time.  But being the best husband in the world like he is, he said that he didn't like that idea.  He told me that I should keep it up because he thinks I still need to have my own thing, especially since I have been really enjoying it and I am honestly proud of it. won't be getting rid of me just yet!  haha  Going back to the tight rope analogy, I have found that my husband is definitely my balancing pole.  We all need something that helps keep us balanced and that is exactly what Kevin is for me (and so much more).

But let's get back to parenting....Do any of you have any great tips for parenting?  Any fun ideas?  Let's hear 'em!

Friday, January 21, 2011

   Day 18....not really.

So today's challenge is to organize keepsakes (like your kid's artwork and special things).  I have a plan for this....but I am not ready to put it into motion yet.  So far, what I do is to put special things into the kid's baby books (when they will fit).  And we hang their artwork on display in the toyroom as I mentioned here

I do have a plan, though.  Throughout this next year, I plan to make each of my kids their very own keepsake box to put their special treasures in.  (I made one for my niece for her birthday as shown here.)  I am thinking that this will be what we use to put special keepsakes in, but then I worry that they will get ruined if the kids are allowed access to them.  But on the same note....what kind of gift is it if I won't let them touch it.  So I am somewhat torn on this.  What do you all think? 

I also really like Jen's idea over at IHeart Organizing where she uses decorated binders to keep her son's special papers. Maybe I can do both!

What do you guys do with all your kid's "treasures"?  Got any ideas for me???

Thursday, January 20, 2011

   Day #17 ~ Getting Organized Challenge (The mail station)

Today's challenge is the mail station.  Right after Christmas, we purchased a wall organizer for this purpose.  I will admit right now that I haven't really been using it properly.  So today I spent some time thinking about how best to use the slots.  Then I whipped up some labels in Excel, matted them on scrapbook paper, and laminated them.

Here is the before....pretty bland and boring:
 And here it is after slapping on the labels.  Looks so much better doesn't it?!

 I made Katelin a box and not the other kids because she is the only that goes to school (preschool that is).  We will have to figure it out later when the other 2 are in school too.
 I really like the ideas that Toni over at a Bowl Full of Lemons uses with the portable file...but we just don't have much counter space.  As my kids get older and I need to a box for each of them, we may have to switch to that.  But for now...I think this will work.

What do you guys all do for your mail?  Have you found a way to fight the paper piles?  I will update you all in a few weeks to let you know if this is working for us or not.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

   Day #16 ~ Getting Organized Challenge (Cleaning out & Organizing the Fridge)

I actually did this last week on the clean the freezer out day.  I figured as long as my hands were all ready freezing, and I was already elbow deep in Yuck, I might as well just do the fridge too.  And let me tell was NASTY!!!  I had been meaning to do it for a while now, but was avoiding it.

Here are the befores (please don't judge, I know it is gross): nasty is this?!  We must have had a leaky milk carton at some point.  bleh (and a foam in the world did that get there?)
 All cleaned sparkly clean.  It looks brand new!
 Then I tackled the door shelves....and they came out great as well!
 Threw out A LOT of stuff!  It looked so empty afterward....time to go grocery shopping!

I feel so much better having this done.  And it makes me smile every time I open the fridge and see how clean it is.  I feel lighter just knowing that this is done and I don't have to be embarrassed every time someone opens my fridge!