Milk Crates

I love our local junk store.  It’s run by an old man who only takes cash.  I think he visits garage sales and takes what’s left over at the end of the day… which is mostly junk.  He piles the newest wares in haphazard fashion outside his shop for all to see.  But you know what?  His lazy marketing scheme works. 
We’ve driven by and had to stop more times than I can count.  Once in a while there’s a real treasure.  Remember the vintage desk chair in the boy’s room?  It’s from there.  And my latest drive-by find are these old milk crates. 
They are now sitting atop our fridge and holding my stash of cookbooks. 

August Fields

When I first started this home d├ęcor blog, it was with the intention of documenting the constructing of our new home.  We had grand plans of moving to a village type community and building a historic-inspired home.  I just knew if I was ever going to start a design blog, this would be the time to do it! 

Well, things have changed for us due to the economy and bad housing market, so we are staying put for now.  But Sara over at August Fields has done just what we intended…  They recently put the finishing touches on building a dream home, and documented the process of how they went about it. 

Well, they just  moved in, and their kitchen is jaw dropping:



Check out the painted brick walls and wood beams!


If I ever went as far as to covet a fridge, this would be the one:


You have to see what’s going on in their boy’s room:


This is something I’ve always longed to do…. fill a room with built-in bunks.  Leave it to Sara to actually implement it.  So fun!  Can’t wait to see it all finished.

Remember a few days ago I posted about our drinking glass system?  Well, Sara has come up with the ultimate solution… a water fountain in the house!  Absolutely brilliant.


And I love the framed art above. 

One of my favorite features of her home is their homeschool room.  And it’s not even finished yet in these pictures!  I already know I’m going to love it.  They wrote a lovely verse on the door frame of the room, and I can’t think of a better verse to to have chosen:


And look at the cool, funky flooring they chose for the room:


And from their lovely kitchen is a peek-a-boo window. 


Check out Sara’s blog for the scoop to come on the rest of their now-completed house.  I know I’ll be storing every bit in my inspiration files. 

Thanks Sara for a peek into your home!


Today, I wanted to talk about systems, and my love of them! 


One of my favorite “mom” books is Meek and Quiet Spirit by Teri Maxwell.  In it she describes “robbers” that steal our joy as mothers.  It probably doesn’t come as any surprise, but disorganization is one of the robbers she lists.  I know for myself this is true. If ever I’m grumpy, I can usually pinpoint it to disorganization of some sort.

I think it’s easy to get overwhelmed with the overall mess, and lump it all together into one big blob.  Instead, what I’ve learned that has helped me, is ask myself what it is that’s exactly bothering me and then break it up into parts.

Is it that books are piled up on the furniture?  Toys on the steps?  Shoes in the hallway?  A hamper I always seem to be tripping over?  I name the problem and write it down.  Then I come up with a solution or system for that specific problem. 

Sometimes the answer is really simple and doesn’t take any time at all.  For other things, it might take much trial and error before coming up with suitable system that works consistently. 
For the past couple years, I’ve tried coming up with a solution to our drinking problem.  No worries… I’m not talking about that kind of drinking problem.  I’m talking about the kind where everyone gets a new cup every time they want something to drink.  Then they proceed to leave the glass on any surface they find convenient.  Then of course, the next time they get thirsty, the previously used cup cannot be located  and the cycle starts again.  Humph. 

Wisteria has solved our drinking problem!  I found this caddy in their catalog, and promptly ordered. 


It’s what I’ve been searching for all along. 


Whenever our children are finished their drink, they rinse, and put the glass back in their spot.  Simple!  Problem solved. 


And it’s cute.  That counts almost as much.

No Stitch Basket Liners


I got these bushel baskets for $2 a piece at a Pottery Barn Kids “going out of business” sale.  Of all places!  When I eyed them in the store, I knew instantly they would be the perfect addition to my laundry room.  Hung up, they provide a practical solution for dirty laundry.  It’s so nice not having to walk or trip over a basket on the floor. 
I decided to line them with burlap.  At first I was going to let the burlap hang over the sides, and tie rope around to secure it.  But then I saw this jute ribbon at the fabric store, and knew it would work even better.  I love how the orangey red stripe coordinates with the orangey red apron hanging in the room.

You’ll see here just how easy this project was.  I stuck the burlap in the basket, and cut around the top edge. 


Then I hot glue gunned the burlap to the basket rim.  Then did the same with the jute ribbon on top. 

I glued the inside and outside edges of the ribbon last. 

Super easy, no stitches required. 


Thanks for all the comments on our laundry room.  I’m glad so many are willing to come help!  :)

Today, I thought you all might like to know how it came together.   The room was done on the cheap.  The most expensive things besides the wainscoting boards, were the metal hanger and peg board which came from Pottery Barn (a certificate I got for Mother’s Day).  I just knew they would be perfect in here when I saw them:


And inside the hanger is what inspired the whole room, believe it or not.  This spray bottle from TJ Maxx:


I fell in love with the vintage-like design and it just got my head filled with all sorts of ideas for the room.  I really felt it jump started my vision. 


The sink came from craigslist.  It was in pretty bad shape, but instead of spending the money on hiring a professional to refinish it (like we did our kitchen sink), my husband sprayed it with a paint sprayer, using exterior high gloss metal paint.  It turned out great!  The faucet came from ebay.

My husband made the countertop with 2x4’s which he planed, biscuit joined and routed.  We stained it with the same stain as our island.


We had to curve the counter inward to make the smallish sink accessible.  I like the nook effect it created in the end.


The curtain is canvas drop cloth with a scrap of old curtain fringe on top.  The dog’s beds are stored behind the curtain as well as the trash can.  The Ikea galvanized can in front stores the dog’s food. 


The galvanized bins on the shelf came from Lowes.  They hold all  the miscellaneous stuff that comes with a laundry room/storage room.  And the bushel baskets on the wall hold the dirty laundry for the downstairs.  My next post will show you how I lined them.  Super easy.  We painted the walls “Seashell Grey” which is a Valspar paint from Lowes. 

If I missed any other details you are wondering about, let me know.  Thanks for visiting once again!


Doing the laundry has always been my favorite chore,
especially now.


Want to visit?

You can meet me in here every Monday and Thursday.

I’ll be sorting lights from darks.





Doing my favorite tasks in my new favorite room.

But you’ll have to help the kids put the clothes away.

Because I really hate that part. 

Dash and Albert

The first time I saw a Dash and Albert rug, it was love at first sight.  There is just something special about the weaving and patterns and colors thoughtfully chosen. 

The living areas of our home are completely rug-less.  There are multiple reasons behind why this is so. 

Let's count them, shall we?: 

Reason #1- dad's feet
#2- mom's feet
#3-child's feet
#4-child's feet 
#5-child's feet 
#6-child's feet
#7- child's feet
#8- child's feet 
#9-pet paws 
#10-pet paws
#11- pet paws
#12- pet paws 
#13- pet paws
#14- pet paws
and last but not least:
#15-country living

I actually really, really love rugs.  Aesthetically, they ooze coziness like nothing else.  I also love the idea of stretching out on the floor... something I haven't done in a long, long time.  I'm reminded daily of the noise reduction that naturally occurs by having rugs underfoot.  We could use some noise reduction around here, believe me.  I've tried several different rug solutions throughout the years to help accommodate "the 15 reasons we are currently rug-less".  But *sigh*.  To no avail.

Until now.

Enter: Dash and Albert. 

They have the most amazing line of indoor/outdoor rugs.  Have you seen them?  They are drool worthy.  Quite literally. 

Remember CSN stores who sponsored my bee goblet giveaway?  Well, they contacted me again and are giving me the opportunity to review two Dash and Albert Rugs!  CSN has over 200 online stores, and the Dash and Albert rug photos today came from CSN's vanity online store.   Click the link to view their entire Dash and Albert line.

I decided to review one of Dash and Albert's regular cotton woven rugs and one of their indoor/outdoor rugs.  I have a feeling I already know which one will hold up to the traffic around here, but I thought it would be fun to compare anyway.  I'm keeping the patterns I've chosen a surprise until my review post.  But let's just say I didn't choose the white and blue one below:

However, it took every fiber of my being not to.

I had to remind myself of the "15 reasons...".  Think practical Rie.  Practical.  White on the furniture is one thing.  White on the floor rug is an entirely different thing.  Thankfully, CSN had so many other lovelies to choose from. 

Remember, my pillow giveaway ends tonight midnight EST!  If you haven't entered yet and want a chance to win, click here.

Tools Not Toys

Our birthday bear was stuffed full this past weekend.  We celebrated our oldest daughter's birthday.  Our sweet Paris is now 11 (going on 16).

Can you guess what her current passion is?  When our kiddies were babes, some older and wiser parents taught us the concept of "tools not toys".  When gift giving time comes around, we remind ourselves of this sage advice. 

We borrowed the (below) dvd months ago from some friends and it started a passion for gardening in Paris.  She lived and breathed gardening for a few months until Spring allowed her to finally plant some seeds. 

 The "Art of Gardening" dvd planted the first real seeds however.  And on her 11'th birthday, she harvested her first tomato. 
We found out there are more dvd's by the same family.  Homestead Blessings is like Hillbilly Martha Stewart.  Not as polished but definitely more down to earth, these dvd's provide the Home Ec course you always wished you had in school.   We purchased Paris the whole set of 9 "tools" for her birthday, and we are excited to see what new passions and skills develop as a result of them!  
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