Monthly Archives: July 2014

Living Room Redo – Toy Storage

Hello everyone! How’s the week been treating you?  The living room redo is almost done and I plan to post the completed space with before and after pics soon. I needed more toy storage after I reupholstered the ottoman and found exactly what I was looking for with the IKEA Trofast.

Toy storage, toy organization, living room redo

I put it by the kitchen entrance and moved the dark gray stand into storage AKA my parents garage. The space was lightened up instantly which has been my primary goal with this living room redo. I had two black frames on the wall that got a couple coats of white spray paint and some new art. I printed two vintage animal posters from Free Vintage Posters because my luv muffin is obsessed with animals and dinosaurs these days. He always wants to wear his dinosaur shirts and take his animals with him where ever he goes. The toy storage was intended for easy access to his favorite toys. The two large bins are for cars and blocks while the two smaller bins are for animals and letters. He pulls the bins right out and carries them to the floor to play.

vintage animal posters, living room redo,

The Trofast still seemed pretty plain so I grabbed an old comic book and mod podged a couple pages to the top and bottom panel for a pop of color. I love the way it came out!

toy storage, up-cycle, comic book paper

I thought it would be fun to add some chalkboard paint to the right side and give him an area to color and draw on. I used my Frog Tape to create a border and keep the edges clean. Then I applied four coats of  Rust-Oleum chalkboard paint following the directions on the can.

toy storage - trofast toy storage, trofast, chalkboard paint

The top of the tower needed something so I mod podged more comic book paper to a paper mache J, added some dinosaurs and a washed out jar to hold some chalk in. I didn’t want to spray paint the lid so I cut out another piece of comic book paper in a circle and mod podged it to the lid. I’m feeling like this toy storage space is really coming together.

toy storage, comic book paper, upcycled

While the goal of this project was to add additional toy storage, I’m really happy with the end result and when I heard my luv muffin squeal I knew he was too. Let’s take a look at some before and after shots.

gray stand   Frida kahlo

Toy storage, toy organization, living room redo  vintage animal posters, living room redo,

What do you think, would you use comic book paper to decorate for your son or daughter? These pages actually came from my old comic book collection.

Summer Wish List

Truth be told I LOVE the winter but I enjoy the summer because it means late nights with the kids, lazy days and outdoor activities. I wanted  to make a list of things I want to do before the summer ends. My list will consist of things I want to get done and fun things I want to make time for because there’s more time for everything when school is out.

  1. Declutter the apartment – Throughout the year I find small amounts of clutter around the house and I like to get rid of it before the school year starts. My boys outgrow their clothes, my toddlers birthday is in August  which means gifts and new toys and I just want less “stuff” to worry about.
  2. Biking riding – We signed my son up for bike club and the group meets weekly so this one is easy. My three year old loves his bike seat so I’m hoping when it gets a little cooler to do this twice a week.
  3. Visit the library – The library in my neighborhood underwent a massive reconstruction and it recently re opened. I have to say it’s beautiful and I’ve started making use of my library card again on a regular basis. So have both my guys. Reading continues  throughout the summer.
  4. Game night – Pull out a good old fashioned board game and unplug. My tween and I used to play board games on a regular basis but then  HW got intense and it became less  of a priority.
  5. Family movie night – This is a regular occurrence in my house during the winter months but it was usually only me and my tween watching the movies. My toddlers attention span is maturing and he can actually sit and watch some of the movies with us now. He actually LOVES Jurassic Park III.
  6. Redo chore list – Time is flying by and while it’s a great thing it’s a sad thing. The boys are getting older and are ready for more age appropriate chores. My tweens allowance may increase but with more money comes more responsibility.
  7. Pretend to be a tourist – I live in one of the greatest cities in the world but there are so many sites and landmarks I’ve never visited. It’s really shameful and I hope to visit at least one touristy locations this summer.
  8. Go camping – We went last year and it was great. I hope to make it back out there with even more planned activities to keep the kids busy and entertained.

I know I’m a little late with this list since it’s already mid July but I still feel like there’s plenty of time. Do you have a summer a wish list? What do you want to do and see?

summer wish list

Frugal Friday’s – Baking Soda Extraordinary Uses

I’m back with another Frugal Friday post and this week I’d like to talk about extraordinary uses for baking soda. Just like vinegar it’s inexpensive and has multiple uses in and around the home. I keep my baking soda in a glass parmesan cheese jar I picked up at the dollar store, the large holes make it easier to pour and carry around the house.

Around the House

  • Remove mineral deposits from showerheads – Cover the head with a thick sandwich bag filled with 1/4 baking soda and 1 cup vinegar. Loosely fasten the bag to let some of the gas escape. secure with a rubber band and leave for about an hour. Turn on water to remove any remaining debris.
  • Clean burned or scorched pan – Boil enough water to cover 1/4 of the pan and add 5 tablespoons of baking soda. Turn off heat and leave for a few hours, preferably overnight. The burned on gunk will slide right off.
  • Clean a cutting board – Works on wood and plastic boards. Scrub with a paste made from 1 tablespoon of each, baking soda, salt and water. Rinse thoroughly with hot water.
  • Clear a clogged drain – Pour one cup of baking soda followed by a cup of hot vinegar. Give it several minutes to work and flush with one quart of boiling water. If the drain is clogged with grease –  Use 1/2 cup each, of baking soda and salt followed by 1 cup bowling water. Let sit overnight and rinse with hot tap water in the morning.
  • Rid hands of food odors – Get the essence of strong smelling foods like fish of your hands by wetting them and vigorously rubbing with about 2 teaspoons of baking soda instead of soap.
  • Clean your microwave – Loosen splatters with a solution of 2 tablespoons baking soda in 1 cup water in a microwave safe bowl and cook on High for 2-3 minutes.
  • Freshen sponge or towel – When a kitchen sponge or dish towel get that sour smell, soak it overnight in 2 tablespoons of baking soda and a few drops of antibacterial dish soap dissolved in 1 pint of warm water.

In the Medicine Cabinet

  • Treat minor burns – The next time you grab the wrong end of the frying pan, quickly pour some baking soda into a container of ice water, soak a cloth or gauze in it, and apply it to the burn. Keep applying until the burn doesn’t feel hot anymore. This treatment will also prevent many burns from blistering.
  • Soothe bee stings – Make a paste of 1 teaspoon baking soda mixed with several drops of cool water, and let it dry on the afflicted area.
  • Combat cradle crap – Make a paste of about 3 teaspoons baking soda and 1 teaspoon water. Apply it to your baby’s scalp about an hour before bedtime and rinse it off the following morning. Do not use with shampoo. You may need to apply it several consecutive nights.
  • Relieve itching inside a cast – Find temporary relief by using a hair dryer – on the coolest setting – to blow a bit of baking soda down the edges of the cast.
  • Alleviate athlete’s foot – you can use wet or dry baking soda. First, try dusting your feet (along with your socks and shoes) with dry baking soda to dry out the infection. If that doesn’t work, try making a paste of 1 teaspoon baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon water and rubbing it between your toes. Let it dry, and wash after 15 minutes. Dry your feet thoroughly before putting on your shoes.

Good to Know

  • Wash insides of pets’ ears – If your pet is constantly scratching his ears, it could mean irritation or ear mites. Ease the itch (and wipe out any mites) by using a cotton ball dipped in a solution of 1 teaspoon baking soda in 1 cup warm water to gently wash inside his ears.
  • Scour BBQ grills – Make a soft paste of 1/4 cup baking soda and 1/4 cup water. Apply the paste with a wire brush and let dry for 15 minutes. Then wipe it down with a dry cloth and place the grill over the hot coals for at least 15 minutes to burn off any residue before placing any food on top.
  • Keep weeds out of cement cracks – Looking for a safe way to keep weeds and grasses from growing in the cracks of your patios, driveways and walkways? Sprinkle handfuls of baking soda onto the concrete and simply sweep it into the cracks. The added sodium will make it harder for dandelions and weeds to grow.
  • Wash new baby clothes – Get all the chemicals out of your newborns clothing without using any harsh detergents. Use mild soap and 1/2 a cup of baking soda.

Did you find the information useful? I hope so, baking soda is such a common household item you probably have a box in one of your cabinets right now.

frugal fridays-extraordinary baking soda

Information obtained from Reader’s Digest extraordinary uses for ordinary things; 2005