Fridge Mats from $2 Placemats

fridge-coastersSo did you know there was such a thing as fridge mats? I know kind of ridiculous. But when I saw all that trendy chevron and polka dot cuteness I was convinced that something this was ridiculous was absolutely necessary.


I found the idea of using inexpensive placemats in a magazine months ago. But never got around to finding the perfect placemats to use.  So while my husband had our screaming boys in the cereal aisle, I scooted away to check out the placemat selection at Target. And for $2 a pop, I found a few good options (I bet a dollar store would carry them too). Continue reading

Little Yellow Cow, Yes Please

Normally cow decor is not my thing, but I fell head over heals for this little guy at Target.  Can’t explain it but it happened.

It came in grey and yellow and although I considered the grey.  I thought the grey would be a bit more modern and hip, but in the end it was this yellow guy that I fell in love with.

He has found a warm spot in our kitchen window, and I just adore him.  

How-to Keep Your Fridge Clean & Organized

I recently was given a tour of my neighbour’s home.  I was shocked that even though she didn’t expect to have me over, let alone give me a full tour of her house, her house was immaculate.  I’m talking every bed was made with loads of fluffy pillows, all toys were neatly placed in labelled bins, not a single dirty dish on the counter, and no heaps of laundry in the laundry room.  It was truly shocking.  I realize that not everyone lives like this, but my neighbour does so I guess it’s possible.  

Since having kids my house has become a chaotic mess.  I was never a super organized neat freak or anything.  But I just can’t seem to keep on top of things now. 

My goal over the next few months is to organize every space in my house.  A huge goal, yes.  But only focusing on one space at a time will make it manageable.  

The fridge and freezer were the perfect place to start.  Our fridge drives my crazy.  It’s a daily occurrence to go in, pull one thing out, and have 10 frozen chicken breasts land on my toes.  It’s always a disaster.

Honestly I never know what’s in there.  Jars and bottles get lost at the back and it’s months before I see them again.  Sound familiar?

I was inspired by the fridge organization over at Good-Bye House Hello Home.  So I went out and bought these super awesome plastic bins with handles from Wal-Mart for $2.50 each (they were in the wrong spot so not really $1.57).  But still a great deal.  I love the handles. Makes it super easy to pull out.

After a serious fridge clear-out, I divided foods into categories.  And put similar things together in each bin.  For example one bin has all condiments in it, so it’s easy to grab the whole bin at once. 

I’ll let you know in a few months if this system is easier to keep clean and organized or not, but right now I’m  loving it.

A post on freezer organization will be coming shortly.  But I didn’t buy enough bins at Wal-Mart so now need to make a second trip.  And since shopping at Wal-Mart is pretty much my least favourite thing in the world, this post may take awhile!

Goldfish Machine

Not sure if this is the worst idea I have ever had or not!  But it’s been fun and the kids are over the moon excited about it.  So I guess I can deal with it.

On our recent trip home to Ontario we took a trip to our old favourite Sunday hang out Aberfolye Antique Market.  Of course I find loads of stuff that I would love to have come home with me, but with our mini-van filled to the top with the kids crap stuff we had no more room.  These kids ruin everything! 

Anyways one of my favourite finds was a vintage bubble gum machine for $20.  The pop of red would be perfect in my kitchen.  

Once home I made 2 trips to find a similar bubble gum machine at the Raleigh Flea Market but had no luck. Craig’s List to the rescue.  I found a reproduction bubble gum machine (turns out those bubble gum machines from the 80’s are a hot collector’s item these days) for $30.  Offered $20 and agreed to $25.  Not bad. 

It came attached to a little stand.  Not a big fan so it had to go.  I just had to twist it off.  No prob.

Next I had to switch the machine from coin operated to “free spin”.  I was tempted to leave it as coin operated and made a bit of money from the boys and their friends, but thought that may lead to some complaints.

I found this easy to follow tutorial Free Spin Tutorial.  I opened my machine up and then realized the previous owner had already changed it to a free spin.  Guess I should have checked first.

It now sits on our kitchen hutch and the boys love it.  The first couple of days they stuffed themselves with goldfish and I was beginning the think their little bodies might actually turn orange.  But the novelty has worn off and they use it only when hungry for a little snack.  

It has actually cut down on the constant “Mom I’m soooooooooo hungry, I need a snack”.
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Sugar Bee

Beyond The Picket Fence Katie's Nesting Spot
PhotobucketThe Shabby Nest

Toddler High Chair

There are lots of things people don’t tell you before having kids.  Probably because you will never have kids if you know these things.  One of which is that you will spend the first year constantly trying to clean a high chair that will never actually be clean again.  It’s one of those impossible things, like fitting into your pre-pregnancy jeans.  
So after four years of living with our highchair I was so happy when my youngest was finally old enough to sit in a booster chair.  But that quickly became a sticky mess too. 
I thought maybe he was old enough to just use our chairs, but his little head barely made it over the table.  This would not work.
So I had my eye on the Ikea Ingulf Junior chair but with the closest Ikea 3 hours away, and the price being $49 per chair.  I knew there must be a better option out there.
I spent a couple of weeks scouring Craig’s list and came upon this super cute wooden high chair for $5!  It was missing the bottom foot rest but for $5 I could live with that my boys could live with that.  I immediately emailed the seller and after two weeks of emailing back and forth (sometimes I really hate Craig’s list) that chair was finally mine.  
I had my heart set on painting it yellow.  But in the spray paint aisle of the hardware store my 3 year old somehow convinced me it should be red.  
wooden high chair
In the end he was totally right and I LOVE the red (spray paint “Red” by Valspar).  I also borrowed my friends Cricut machine and cut out the letters ‘sit’.  I think I  say ‘sit down’ about a thousand times during any given meal in our house.  So I thought this was appropriate.
I was thrilled with my little chair for about 3 seconds.  That’s when the fighting over it began.  What was I thinking! Of course with 2 kids I would need 2 chairs.  So the hunt for chair number 2 began.  The next weekend I headed down to the Raleigh State Fairgrounds flea market.  I found one for $15.  I thought that was a fair price, but wanted to see if I could get it for a little less.  I asked the seller if she would do $10 and she immediately said yes  Whew that was easy!  Saved $5 which was enough to cover the cost of the spray paint.  For this one I got my way and painted it a cheery yellow (gloss “Gold Abundance” by Valspar).  LOVE it!
Once dried I sprayed it with Minwax Polycrylic Clear Gloss Protective Finish.  I will be wiping these down A LOT so they certainly needed some sort of protection. 
toddler chair
And now no more fighting, at least not over chairs!

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