DIY Dress Up Wardrobe

DIY Dress Up Wardrobe

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Madalyn has really been enjoying dressing up as of late, and the organizer in me knew that we needed a place to neatly store all of her dress up clothes and accessories! The sentimental side of me also wanted to re-purpose a dresser that I had been storing — this dresser was part of my bedroom furniture growing up, and I was really excited to be able to turn it into something really useful and pretty for Maddy! This was my first experience using Annie Sloan’s chalk paint, and it was a really positive one. I am already looking for other pieces of furniture to paint! The best party about the paint, is that you don’t need to sand the furniture at all. As you can see, the dresser I used had a super shiny finish to it, and it did not require any sanding to still end up with a smooth, non-shiny surface after painting! I also think that the cost for the paint is reasonable especially when you consider you are getting a completely different looking piece of furniture in the end.

I turned this…

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I wanted to give a quick tutorial on how I turned this dresser into a dress up wardrobe, and what supplies I used.

Supplies Needed:

  • Old wardrobe/dresser
  • Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in the color of your choice (I used the color “Florence“)
  • Annie Sloan Clear Soft Wax
  • An old t-shirt to use for a rag
  • ConTact Paper
  • Closet rod & pole cups (Home Depot)
  • Spray paint (for the closet rod)
  • Hangers & Clips
  • Mirror
  • Hooks for the sides
  • Optional: New Drawer Pulls (Hobby Lobby)

Directions:

1) Remove any drawers you are not going to use. Remove drawer pulls from the drawers you are going to be painting.

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2) Clean off the furniture. This is really important! There are multiple ways to prep the furniture before you paint it, including using mineral spirits or rubbing alcohol. Your paint may not stick if the furniture isn’t clean — so don’t skip this step even if it looks clean!

3) Paint on your chalk paint! This paint was SO easy to use! I did two coats of paint on this dresser and the drawer. The first coat was dry in probably less than an hour.

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4) Apply the wax coat. This was the scariest part, but it was so easy! I just ripped up an old t-shirt and used that to smooth on the wax (the Annie Sloan wax brush was pricey so we skipped that and went for the economical option!). If you look really closely, you will see some streaks, but it doesn’t matter because it all just blends in and dries really nicely! I just used one coat of wax, but if you are going to be frequently touching the painted parts of the furniture, it does recommend using a couple of coats.

5) Line the inside of the dresser with ConTact paper. I did this because I didn’t like how the inside of the dresser looked and I wanted to pretty it up a little bit!

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6) Cut your closet rod down to size and spray paint it if you desire. Attach it to the inside.

7) Attach your drawer pulls.

8) Hang the mirror and the hooks on the sides of the dresser.

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9) Organize all of your dress up clothes and accessories!

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Madalyn loves her new dress up wardrobe, and I love that she has an organized place to store everything! Win-win! What do you think? Brave enough to try out some chalk paint now that you see how easy it is?!

xo,

Abby

 

Looking for more?

Downstairs Playroom

Playroom Update

Playroom Project: Part Four

Friday Favorites: My Organization Inspiration

Friday Favorites: My Organization Inspiration

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I am linking up with AndreaErika and Narci to share my Five Friday Favorites again this week!

It is no secret that I love to organize. (If you didn’t know that you should check out these posts here, here and here.) It is something that I have actually always enjoyed even since being a little girl! Okay, so for real — my mom used to let me stay up late and help her organize a closet or two once in a while, and I literally thought I was in heaven. Now, before you think I’m crazy, I will tell you that being organized has saved me so much time and effort. I am not looking for things that are lost (well, since having kids this has changed a little!), and I know that everything has a place. It also helps when I am cleaning, because picking up toys, and putting away towels all goes a little more quickly when you know where they are supposed to go! It takes effort and motivation to get and stay organized, BUT, it is so worth it.

Feeling motivated yet? Here are my favorite organization inspiration sites/places/people — check them out and I bet you will be on a mission to organize something this weekend! (Oh, and it’s garage sale season! I have seen a lot of advertised garage sales that are selling used organizational items for less — definitely something to check out!)

1) Pinterest

pinterestPinterest is genius for many reasons, but I love how inspired I am after I spend some time pinning. I know that Pinterest can be overwhelming and can even make you feel like you are so behind and stressed out, but, I think if you use it the correct way, it can be really, really helpful! I love to think creatively when I can, and Pinterest has been a really awesome tool for me. Feel free to follow me over there, as many of my pins involve organization, but search around and I know you will find some great ideas that will work for you on your organization mission!

2) Real Simple Magazine

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If you want to physically read something that has great, simple organizational tips, I really highly recommend this magazine! I have been subscribed to Real Simple for a few years now, and I always get an idea or inspiration out of each issue. Not every issue is geared towards organization, like the one I showed you here, but, they all have sections with tips on organizing and even how to make use out of the simple things that you already have in your home. The magazine also offers good cleaning tips and even beauty tips, which have nothing to do with organization, but I’m a girl and still enjoy growing my lip gloss collection! Their motto is: “Life made easier.” I can get on board with that!

3) Blogs & Social Media

I have a few bloggers, as well as a few Instagram accounts that I follow, that really give me some great ideas when it comes to organization. A lot of these I stumbled on through Pinterest, and then began following their blogs and social media. Some of these bloggers are: IHeart Organizing, A Bowl Full of Lemons and Honey We’re Home. There are so many gifted people out there — I guarantee you can use at least one of their ideas, or even one of mine, to start with and then make it your own! The internet can be a really useful thing — use it!!

4) Catalogs

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These are a FREE way to get inspiration! I love looking through these catalogs each time they are sent out. They give me ideas, and even if that particular company has something I can’t afford at the moment, or doesn’t quite fit the space I need it for — it still inspires me! I get endless ideas on how to organize the kids’ rooms, the playroom, our bedroom, the kitchen pantry…everything. I only end up a little envious of the completely clean and clutter-free rooms that they photograph! 😉

5) Store Browsing

Once you have exhausted your internet and magazine browsing, hit up some actual stores for ideas! My favorites are Target,  TJMaxx/Marshalls, The Container Store, Crate & Barrel and Ikea. Places like Ikea are GREAT for inspiration because they actually have rooms on display that are neat and organized. The Container Store is genius, because they pretty much have something for everything that you could ever think of that would need to be organized. Endless options. Target and TJMaxx are great because they have really cost-effective solutions for organization. Target and The Container Store also have great websites that offer more options than the actual store carries. I also like to compare almost everything to Amazon’s prices…because that’s what I do. Amazon Prime is the bomb.com.

I hope these are helpful tips to get you started! I have been thinking about writing some more specific organization posts — what do you think? Would you find that useful?

Happy Weekend!

xo,

Abby

Looking for more?

Downstairs Playroom

Kids’ Bathroom: Re-do!

Simple Pantry Storage

How to Clean Out Your Closet

How to Clean Out Your Closet

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Spring weather is finnnaaallly here (it has been a long winter!), and I couldn’t be more excited to finally be able to run out some energy outside with the kiddos! I think every time I am able to open up the windows after being closed for the season, I get this urge to clean…and purge…everything! I was in this mood over the weekend and thought I would share how I clean out my closet. I probably still have too many things in my closet that I don’t wear, but I am slowly weaning things out and it feels SO good. Clutter is such an obstacle to living an organized and content life and let’s face it — I think we all have way more than we need if we really think about it.

A closet (or dresser(s), bins, wardrobes, etc.) can seem really daunting when you decide to look through each thing. My advice? Clean out your closet more than semi-regularly. Do it every season (at least!), and it will not be an excruciating task. Plus, the more familiar you are with everything that you own, the better you will be able to decide what should or shouldn’t go.

My strategy is to make four separate piles when going through my closet and dressers:

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SELL: I just cleaned out my clothes a month ago or so, so this pile is a little small this time around, but, your first pile will be things you can sell (or for me, give/trade to family or friends). These should be things that are in really good condition, that are worth your time selling! The easiest place I have found to sell things is online local Facebook buy/sell sites. You can join buy/sell sites in the community you live in, post pictures of your items and price, and buyers will meet up with you to purchase what you are selling. I have had really positive experiences using the sites I am on , and think they can be an easy way to sell things. (Note: Make sure you use these sites safely!)

If you have a ton of things, a garage sale is also a really good idea. I have never had one myself, but I know they do require some work. But, if you have a lot you think you can sell, and now that spring is here, this might be a great option for you, as well.

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Donate: Another reason my “to sell” pile was small this time around, is that I really prefer to donate things. And I really like to donate to places other than Goodwill. There isn’t anything wrong with Goodwill, but, I bet if you do a quick search you will find many local shelters and charities in need of items. I donate most of my clothing and shoes to a local women’s shelter — these women literally have nothing and I have way more than I need. It is also always in the back of my mind when I am deciding whether to keep something or not. It’s easier to let things go when you picture that sweater that used to be your favorite being worn by someone who really needs it — instead of it just sitting in your closet unworn. So, find a charity you can get behind, and give to them!

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Ponder: This pile has to be small. That’s the rule, with this method! 😉 But really, this pile should be for things you are really uncertain of. Things that might not fit right at the moment but maybe could after a new workout program, or after you are done having babies. Whatever the reason, put them aside somewhere for a season. For example, I put aside a couple of sweaters that I really liked, over the winter. If you don’t find yourself looking for them and if you don’t even remember they are there, get rid of them! Don’t let this pile grow over time. Purge every season and only allow yourself a few items in this category.

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Trash: There are going to be some things that you can’t donate and just don’t want to keep (like old socks). Just toss those items and move on!

Remember these last few tips when going through your closets:

  • Don’t overlook things! Remember to look through your jewelry and shoes and scarves. Don’t forget about bins that are higher up and out of sight, or coats that might be in a different closet.
  • Really try to think about what you need. I know that truthfully most of the clothes in my closet would not be categorized as a “need”. But, the less you have, the more often you will be wearing what you really feel good in and that will honestly shine through to your overall mood and presentation. It will make deciding what to wear and getting dressed each day easier, which as a mom, is a huge bonus!
  • What’s the worst thing that can happen in this situation? You get rid of something you end up looking for later on. This is highly unlikely. And if you do? Go buy a new one! If you can’t get rid of that pink t-shirt because you might just wear it again …couldn’t you just go buy another pink t-shirt if you are desperate? That’s my take on it. And honestly, I’ve never once had to go buy a replacement for something I previously purged.
  • It’s okay to be conscious of the season of life you are in. For instance, I am a mom to two, and my body and wardrobe have changed over the past few years. I have some jeans that I wore pre-pregnancy and post and while I am not wearing them now, I also don’t want to toss them just yet (we are undecided as to if there will be more pregnancies in my future!). And that’s okay. Know what you have, and keep limited amounts of things that you know you will actually wear again.

I really hope this is helpful for you as you think about the arrival of spring! How do you like to clean out your closet? I’d love to hear your tips!

xo,

Abby

 

Looking for more?

Friday Favorites: Favorite Cleaning Tools and Products

What I Wore Wednesday

 

 

Downstairs Playroom

Downstairs Playroom

If you have been following my blog for a while, you will remember that when our daughter was still an infant, we organized our “flex” room in our home to be a playroom for her. If you are new, you can check out those posts here. We have loved that room, and it is probably the most used room in our home. When Gavyn was born this past spring, we realized that we may need some more space. We knew we would now be getting into the world of girl specific toys AND boy specific toys. Yikes. I started to envision Madalyn having a space to play by herself if she wanted to just get away for a bit and maybe pull out some of the toys that she has that Gavyn shouldn’t be around since he would just chew on everything. So, the idea of a secondary playroom was born.

We always had some toys downstairs, because when we were down there to do various household tasks, it was nice to be able to bring Maddy down and still be able to entertain her. This is what our playroom looked like this summer:

It worked. It was fairly organized, and probably only 10% of our total playtime was spent down here. But, I knew that this wouldn’t work as both kids started growing and needing more space. Before we bought anything, we really, really, really planned this whole room out. We measured, we read reviews online for different products, and we had a plan. If there is anything I can recommend that we learned out of this process is that having a plan is the key to not wasting time! We purchased many of our items for this room from IKEA, and the last thing I wanted to do was be two hours away from home and have no idea if what we were buying was going to fit. So, measure, brainstorm and plan ahead of time to save yourself some headaches!

Here is our current downstairs playroom:

Big difference, right? We have only really completed this entire project in the last couple of weeks, but it has Maddy and Gavyn’s seal of approval. Every time Madalyn goes down there to play she loudly exclaims “I love this place!” 🙂 I’ll post some more pictures following, and I will detail out items that we purchased as best I can in case you are curious or want to recreate any of this. If you have any questions, just leave a comment!

Note: We did re-do the lighting in the basement. We had three flush mount lights that we replaced with recessed lighting, that is on dimmers. I LOVE it and it gives the room so much more light.

Paint Color: Behr “Ice Flower”

Rug: Ikea (We actually used the one we originally had in our upstairs playroom.)

I wanted the kids to have a reading spot and this worked out perfectly!

Chairs: Pottery Barn Kids, Anywhere Chairs

Bookshelves: Ikea Spice Racks (We painted these white.)

Shelving Unit: Ikea (I am sure you have heard of the Expedit shelving, but they now are called Kallax, and they have some really fun color options!) & Bins: Ikea

Clock: Ikea

I fell in love with this Ikea toy storage unit when I saw it online! Of course, they didn’t have the exact configuration of it that I wanted in the store, but we found that these worked just fine. This is just four individual tall units placed next to each other. I love these bins, too. They fit so many toys and they are so easy to wipe out! They are also so simple for Maddy to reach and pull out on her own.

Toy Storage Unit & Bins: Ikea

Note: I also LOVE the Container Store’s accessory bins. These are perfect for keeping those little toys all in one spot, and the quality and price are both great.

I wanted the kids to have a place for art and art supplies so I made this little spot in the playroom, just for that purpose. The table is washable, which has been a lifesaver, and the containers and shelf are just out of Maddy’s reach so she has to ask for them, which means I know when she has markers and when she doesn’t! The Ikea trash bag holders are attached to the wall and store coloring books, construction papers, and art paper. The containers on the rail hold markers, crayons, colored pencils, and paintbrushes.

Picture Frames: Ikea

Shelf/Ledge: Ikea

Rail: Ikea & Containers: Ikea

Table & Chairs: Ikea

Coloring Book Wall Holder: Ikea

Wall Decal: Etsy

Madalyn was gifted this easel for her birthday and she loves it! We do have a drop cloth to put underneath it for when she does paint.

Easel: Melissa & Doug

Spill Proof Paint Cups: Melissa & Doug

Drop Cloth: ALEX

Washable Dry Erase Markers: Crayola (These really have washed out of anything that they have gotten onto!)

Our fridge was looking too cluttered from all of these magnets, so we put up these magnetic boards so Maddy had a place to play with them, which also meant less fingerprints for me to wipe up on the fridge! The top one can hold artwork and pictures that she creates.

Magnetic Boards: Ikea

Magnets: Melissa & Doug

Our playroom testers…

So, while this was quite a process, I am really happy with how this room turned out! And we will get a chance to really use this space a lot in the coming weeks as our floors are being replaced and we will need a place to hibernate — at least we will be entertained! 🙂

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xo,

Abby

 

Looking for more?

Playroom Project: Part One

Playroom Project: Part Two

Playroom Project: Part Three

Playroom Project: Part Four

Playroom Update

Simple Pantry Storage

Simple Pantry Storage

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One of the areas in our home that has been an ongoing challenge to organize is the pantry. There is such a variety of items that don’t always fit into one neat category. While our pantry is not perfect, I have figured out a few simple ways to make it more organized and clean, and I am going to share those ideas here in this post. If you have any questions, or need more clarification on something, leave a comment!

Simple Pantry Tip #1:

Don’t over buy! This has been something that I have to remind myself of. I love Costco and I am a bargain shopper so when I see a good deal on an item, it is hard not to stock up. If you don’t have a place to store all of these extra things, you’ll end up with a pantry in disarray. There are a few smaller snack items I tend to buy in bulk (i.e. applesauce and fruit pouches for Madalyn and K-cups) through Amazon’s Subscribe and Save program, so I knew I did need to have a solution for storing those “extra” items.

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These crates from Target were a complete steal ($10 using Cartwheel and on sale!) and they are durable and pretty. They keep items that don’t fit up on the shelves or that don’t need to always be visible, clean and organized.

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I only purchased three of these bins total. This limits the amount of items I can buy ahead and keeps me in check.

Simple Pantry Tip #2:

Use pretty storage. Enter Target’s y-weave baskets. (I’ve used them in our playroom, garage and bathroom. They are so versatile, perfectly priced and easy to clean.) I used a combination of the small, medium and large baskets. I labeled the baskets with chalkboard labels (from Hobby Lobby) and a chalkboard pen.

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Everything is neat and in one spot. Maddy can easily grab what she needs without leaving a disaster, which is also a bonus.

The other storage I used was Oxo’s storage containers. I used these for baking goods, pasta, rice and even just for Maddy’s fruit snacks. The options are really endless. I used the same chalkboard labels on these as well.

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I love looking on the shelves and seeing how organized these containers make everything look!

Simple Pantry Tip #3:

Use your door for storage (if you have one). This was something I just discovered and it has made a world of difference in our pantry. I discovered this over-the-door pantry organizer at The Container Store and it has freed up so much shelf space. If you have a door on your pantry, don’t even contemplate this purchase — it’s 100% worth the investment.

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We used a combination of the deep and shallow baskets. You can make any combination of these baskets work that will fit your needs (again, genius!). They also make an over-the-door hook so you don’t have to attach it to your door if you don’t want it permanently there. The Container Store is seriously my new best friend. (And think of all the other doors you could use this kind of storage on!). Hint: Milwaukee friends, The Container Store is coming to our area (finally) next year!

I hope these three tips that I’ve found through some serious trial and error will help make your pantry one more step to being organized! If nothing else, it will give you some more space and you’ll have some pretty labels to look at. 🙂

xo,

Abby

Gavyn’s Nursery

Gavyn’s Nursery

This handsome little guy has been around for two and a half months and so I figured it was time to finally reveal his finished nursery! We were able to put most of his room together before he was born, but we had a few finishing touches to add after he was born, such as pictures from his newborn session into frames. (P.S. Our wonderful newborn photographer was Lindsay from CarrStudios — check her out here!)

Ready to see Gavyn’s nursery? I will post details for some of the items in his room, but if there is something you have a question about, leave a comment and I can get back to you!

Before:

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After:

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Curtains: These were the starting point for our color theme and I LOVE them. They are blackout panels from Pottery Barn Kids. Pricey, yes. Worth it, YES. We have other Pottery Barn curtains in our home and I have been super impressed by the look and the quality.

Crib Sheets: Circo brand, from Target. I bought Madalyn a bed set and never used all of it. This time around, I bought several fitted sheets that matched the colors of his room.

Lamp: Room Essentials brand, from Target. Such a good deal. They have these in the store but they have tons more color options online, too.

Pottery Tile: We had the tile with Gavyn’s footprints made at Glaze Pottery. They make these tiles for you for FREE for your newborn! We had one made for Madalyn, and now have one that matches for Gavyn. I’m hoping to hang them up in our home somewhere once they are no longer displayed in their rooms.

Canvas Photos: I purchased these prints electronically from Etsy, and had them printed onto canvases.

Growth Chart. Also from Pottery Barn Kids. We did not personalize it because we didn’t have a name picked out yet! But I love that you can clip pictures to it and change them out as you want. This particular growth chart is also currently on sale! 🙂

Letter “G”: I purchased the letter from Hobby Lobby on super clearance, but it wasn’t quite the right color. We spray painted it navy to match his room and spent less than $15.00 on the whole thing, which considering its size, was a great deal!

Hat Hooks: Another clearance find from Hobby Lobby at only $4.99!

Picture Frames: A mix from Hobby Lobby and TJMaxx.

Hamper: Sprouts hamper from Amazon. I LOVE this hamper. It’s lightweight, and the handles open up so you can easily carry it to and from the laundry room. In fact, I loved it so much that I purchased the swan one for Maddy’s room! They have a few cute animals to choose from, so hopefully there’s one to match what you are looking for.

Our little Gavyn has a cozy, cute nursery and we love how it turned out! I hope you are enjoying your summer so far…I know we are! 🙂

xo,

Abby

 

Looking for more?

DIY Baby Closet Dividers

Easy DIY Crib Teething Guard

Kids’ Bathroom: Re-do!

Kids’ Bathroom: Re-do!

Oh my gosh. I have been an AWFUL blogger. I haven’t blogged for a month! I promise that I am still here and working on things, but we have been so busy getting ready for Baby J #2 that I haven’t taken the time to let you all know what we have been up to around here! I do have plans to reveal the Baby’s room in a blog post, but we are still putting some finishing touches on it, so you will have to stay tuned for that.

Our little girl, Madalyn, will soon be joined by a little brother…this means that her pink, owl-themed bathroom had to be changed up a bit! One of the projects we finished a while ago was re-doing the bathroom that will be shared by Maddy and Baby, so that it was more gender-neutral. I should note that this bathroom is also our main guest bathroom, so while I wanted it to have a youthful vibe, I also wanted to make sure it was modern enough not to be seen as just a “kid’s bathroom.”  You’ll have to let me know if you agree, but I think we were able to achieve that goal!

I’ll blame it on my pregnancy brain, but I did not take any “before” pictures of the bathroom! Oops. However, I did look back through my pictures, and I have two pictures that I took shortly after we moved in, and those will work. Really the only difference is that the shower curtain had owls, and the picture on the wall was an owl, instead of what is shown here. I think you will get the idea!

So, nothing special. A clean, un-painted, simple bathroom. Until…

We now have a youthful bathroom, that will work great for both boys and girls!

Bathroom Details:

Wall Canvas Prints: I purchased the prints from an Etsy shop. (Note: The link to the prints here, are NOT the prints I ordered. She no longer has them for sale in her shop. I ordered a printable version of similar prints, for $12.00. I then ordered the prints on canvases to hang on the wall.) These prints were my starting point for the bathroom — I built the rest of the room after purchasing these.

Shower Curtain: I purchased the shower curtain from Target. I love how perfectly the shower curtain matches the prints, and I also love that it can be thrown in the washing machine when necessary. (The towels and rug in the bathroom were also purchased from Target.)

Shower Curtain Rings: These were a clearance find at Target (yes!) and only cost me $1.44. Unfortunately, they were on clearance because they are no longer being sold at the store, so I can’t point you in the right direction for those. But, Target never fails to have lots of affordable, cute options, clearance or not.

Picture Frames and Hooks: The picture frames were purchased at Hobby Lobby when they were 50% off, so each one was $9.99. The pictures were self-taken (well, minus the ultrasound one :)), and then printed in black and white. The idea is that both Madalyn and Baby will have a marked spot to hang their towels on. We did three hooks and frames because odd numbers tend to look better on the wall – no third child in the plans right now! The wall hooks are from Land of Nod. They are sturdy and cute, and they hold the towels perfectly. The hooks come in lots of fun colors, so check them out!

Drawer Organization: Ever since we re-organized our master bathroom, I had been wanting to organize the drawers in this bathroom as well. I found vanity organizers at Target that fit the drawers perfectly. They aren’t available online, but if you are interested, they are the “Merrick” brand, and they come in various sizes to fit a wide variety of drawers. Both Maddy and the baby each have a drawer and these dividers keep everything from sliding around since they are the perfect fit.

Linen Closet Organization: We didn’t really have a system for organization in the linen closet. I decided to go with my all-time favorite storage — Y-Weave Baskets from Target. These baskets came in the perfect color for the bathroom and they are SO versatile. We have everything from medicine, to wash cloths, to lotions all neatly stored inside. We have these baskets in our garage and in our playroom, and I love how easy they are to wipe out and clean! I should have bought some stock in these bins for the amount we have purchased!

I also have one tucked under the cabinet in the bathroom to hold the things we use most frequently.

Paint: The paint in the bathroom is from Home Depot, and is Behr paint with a Benjamin Moore color match – “Marina Gray”. We liked that this gray wasn’t too dark for the smaller room, but it still adds quite a bit of depth.

I thought Maddy would miss her owl-themed bathroom, but she really hasn’t minded one bit. The amount of change she has dealt with over the past few months is impressive! She is definitely going to make a wonderful big sister!

Now I just have to hope that my blogging can keep up with the rest of my nesting-urges! Happy Tuesday!

xo,

Abby