cheap and easy room shelving for some sprucing up

I’ve been meaning to put this post together for days and possibly a couple weeks. But we are still recovering in this house from life. No illnesses thank goodness. But I had gum surgery on Thursday and it’s not fun let me tell you. But I won’t sicken you with my gum surgery tale, I saved that for my Instagram followers.

On to Greta’s little wall makeover! I have been trying to talk her into letting go of her play kitchen for awhile now. The height of her kitchen food making playfulness was about 3 years old. So from 2-4 years of age it got some nice play time. But since then it has become more of a toy for other children when they come to visit. And it takes up a whole lot of space in her already packed room. Between her doll house, doll cradle, doll stroller, barbie collection, lalaloopsy collection, book case, nightstands, jewelry collection, dress up baskets. There’s a lot going on in this room of hers. So she gave me the okay a few weeks ago and while she was at a movie with her daddy I went right to work and moved the kitchen out. She didn’t blink an eye when she returned and we started plans of what would adorn the wall instead. She was on board.

I knew I wanted to spend close to no money on this since I feel like every few years we rearrange the kids room and change the room to fit their needs. I love love love me some pinterest so I went to my boards for inspiration. I kept coming back to shelving. Shelving out of common items you wouldn’t normally think to use.

I picked up this half hanging planter from my local nursery for around $12, and I knew I wanted to spray paint it with a green color, so I picked up a can in the right color for $5.

Next we had some of these wooden wine crates. Aaron has been saving them for me to use as a future planter project I have in mind for the backyard. But we can always get more, so he was fine with me taking two. We get them from our local wine/grocery store, for free. Yep, there’s always a few laying around where they are trying to get rid of them, so we happily take them off their hands. I had some white spray paint and then purchased a fun yellow can as well. Here’s the shelf before and then after a coat of white for the inside. (btw I use rustoleum for all my spray paint)

I’m going to try my best to explain how I did the spray paint different colors for the interior and exterior of the boxes. First I decided on my colors. I knew I wanted one box to be white on the inside with yellow on the outside, and then the other box I wanted opposite (yellow-inside, white-outside). Then I went to work on the inside, I made sure to do all the interior sides and the little lip on the exterior. I used maybe 1-2 coats and I wanted it a little rustic looking so I wasn’t very careful about coverage. Then I flipped the box over so it was laying face down, that way when I sprayed all the exterior sides it didn’t touch the interior color at all. Does this make sense? This was the easiest way for me to avoid using tape or having to go back to touch up the interior.

I also used a wire basket we already owned for the wall in addition to the planter and two wine boxes. So at this point we are at $12- planter, $5-spray paint can yellow, $5-spray paint can green, for a grand total of $22 plus tax. Everything on the inside we had or made ourselves, so this little wall was only $22.

Now for some details. The interior of the yellow crate has my most favorite item. I purchased a Time atlas book at a thrift store in Palm Springs last year and I was so happy to get to use one of the pages from it. I cut out the state of California because we all know how great this state is, and I traced the shape onto another sheet of paper. I handed that sheet to Gunnar and told him to please cut me a piece of wood to fit it. He has a little jigsaw that Aaron has taught him how to use. So he and Aaron got to work and a few minutes later voila, I had my wood piece. Next we just glued the map onto the wood for a perfect fit and then I used one of those picture hanging tabs to place it in the crate.

I also placed a pair of my baby shoes into this box and an Ikea vase with some fresh flowers, and this wooden bird that was residing in my room before, along with a gold spray painted wooden puzzle animal we bought at the hardware store. My kids go crazy for these wooden puzzles and they are like $2. I thought hey, let’s spray paint it gold since that’s another can I had lying around, and all of a sudden it got fancy!

The little green hanging planter was a piece of cake to spray paint and then I thought it would be a good place to hang her more special dolls, Eloise and Madeline.
The interior of the white box is so special too. Okay, I lie, the whole thing is just special special special and sentimental. I shared about the Ikea vase that I bought for $7 awhile back and then taped and spray painted the stripes a few weeks ago. I also bought this Princess and the Pea set from Etsy when Greta was only a few months old. She has played and loved this set so much through the years. In fact the set is often not in the crate because she plays with it almost daily. Fortunately the lower shelf Greta can reach herself so she often takes it down herself. The little Matryoska doll set was a present from Aaron to her, and the little piggie Greta takes a lot of pride in since she painted it herself. I placed a little nail in the top corner so I could hang her first pair of ballet slippers.
The yarn garland I saw on Pinterest and followed this tutorial. Super easy. I had all the yarn already so I decided to try it out and somehow I can’t figure why I don’t have yarn garlands strewn about the entire house, I love it that much! I used embroidery floss to hang them instead of yarn however.
Sitting on top of the white crate is another Etsy find that my mom bought when Greta was too small to walk, a little handpainted doll cottage. And I also placed part of a special antique tea set that my Aunt Tracie gifted to Greta as the next little girl in the family. The deal is it stays in the family with the girls, so we’ll see who gets it next, Gunnar’s daughter? Romeo’s? Oy vey, I am having heart palpitations thinking about it. Also, another spray painted little wooden puzzle dolphin Greta made herself. And then the basket we already owned with sock monkey in it that Nanni bought Greta. As you can see a whole lot of love went into not only creating this wall, but all the items that reside here.
So there you have our very inexpensive wall shelving for now. I still would like to add some framed prints or photos to the wall, but I think that will just take time. With everything for our house, I have to love it, and sometimes that takes awhile to find the right piece.

new threads

I have only purchased clothes for myself at Zara, but my girlfriend raves about their kids clothes. None of the Zara stores near me carries the kids line, so I decided to try it out online. Free shipping, so no harm done. And the prices on some of these sale dresses!




So I will let you know the verdict as soon as I get the package in the mail. I ordered a few more items but they are already gone from the website. They have clothes for babies from newborn on up to 14 years.

Weekly Instagrams

































































































































































1.they are getting longerrrr 2.lunch date with a sick kid 3.checking out baldwin hills for a potential middle school site volunteer time 5.2nd grade math 6.nightly ritual 7.looking svelte 8.walking to school 9.solo lunch date with my pellegrino 10.ballet 11.torture 12.quinoa and a green smoothie 13.1/4 of the day’s laundry load 14.comic book store 15.fraction machine 16.hawaii blurb book arrived 17.writing 18.working 19.field trip to louise’s 20.delish pickup uniforms 23.dinner my burn on scored in clothes 26.lunch date with This American Life 27.friday cubby clean out yielded 5 water bottles and 2 sweaters 28.chillin in his cousin’s carseat 29.park time 30.swinging 31.modeling her new clothes 32.gorgeous mid century 33.view 34.she keeps me humble cut 36.trumpet practice we roll on a saturday night 38.10pm snack 39.flea market find










target run

I limit myself to going to Target once month, for the sheer reason that it’s impossible to spend less than $150 at one time there. So I figure if I only go once, I know for sure what I will spend. That is until I decide to take my entire family with me to Target. Yeah, we didn’t come in on budget, but we did get a lot of fun new stuff. And we kind of needed a back to school trip just for fun. The kids were bummed about school starting again. In fact, I overheard the boys one night talking to each other and the conversation went something like this:

Boy 1: I don’t want to go back to school.

Boy 2: Me neither.

Boy 1: You know what would be so cool?!

Boy 2: What? If Armageddon came when we were on winter break!!!

Yeah, see the less than ecstatic state my boys were in to return to school? Anyways, here’s our loot from our recent Target shopping trip, I will spare you the toothpaste, floss, cleaners, detergent, toilet paper items and just get to the fun stuff.

let’s start with Greta since she made out like a bandit. lalaloopsy dolls have taken over my entire house. so it’s only fitting to get them a house of their own, since the treehouse just wasn’t big enough for all of them.

She also got these two hoodies from the Harajuku Mini line.

Sawyer was intent on getting a lego set from their new dino line. He decided on this one.

and this one

Gunnar was intent on this lego set, but after 2 targets and one toys r us visit, we realized we had to order it online.

We also picked up this game the week before. We love the vintage wood editions.

And then this trip we picked up this one. The kids played in Mammoth with the iPad version nonstop, but we all know my weakness for the vintage wooden board game.

I found some cute stuff myself. I love my J Brand skinny jeans in a multitude of colors. But for wearing to the kids school, or just in case I may be messy or on a photo shoot, I picked up this cheap pair of colored pants. They are out of stock online, and come in a half dozen colors, so if you find them at your local target, stock up! And if you come across the purple pair or the green in a size 3, I’ll pay you back. 😉

I plan on alternating these two cardigans with my plethora of colored skinnys.

Aaron was pretty stoked the day before that his Apple Nano had come while we were away. We owned a first generation iPod that somehow we still stored in our desk drawer. We received a notice a few weeks ago that they had recalled the first generations and that we would be sent a replacement. So he was pretty happy that he received the stainless steel one. And instead of 1G, they sent him an 8G.

When he got that notice his wheels were turning, and sure enough on our recent Target run he found what he was looking for. The wristband is pretty cool, and the nano has about a half dozen choices for a watch face.

There you have our Target run. And now you see the reason I normally do not take my family with me, but go alone. And also why I limit myself to once a month visits. Happy Target visits everyone! I actually have to go back there tomorrow, calm it down people, only to do a return. But I will check if they’ve restocked those pants fo’ sho. Also, I’ve been on the lookout for a Mrs. Meyers bar of soap, not the liquid pump style. Any idea where they sell the bars? It’s for a future DIY project.

Aren’t you proud I’ve been back to posting regularly? Phew. That was quite a break for me. So much to share. Oh, and did I mention we are car shopping too. Oy vey. Haven’t done this in 10 years. The last time we got a car I was preggo with Gunnar. But for the first time in our lives we decided on leasing instead of buying. After talking with a ton of people we have decided on the Honda Pilot. Now if only I could schedule my car detail around the exact day I will sell my car the world will be right again. You see, detailing my car and then having 3-6 little people in the car at any given moment kind of undoes the whole detailing effect. Fingers crossed people, fingers crossed.

our getaway according to my iphone

The gorgeous mid century furnishings that are right up against the most ginormous windows.

Our reading material for the trip.

Part of the John Robshaw linens/bedding that I fell in love with.

Yet another John Robshaw textile, the bathmat.

There were the most gorgeous moss covered trees all over the property.

A fancy sweater for a fancy dinner.

Amazing restaurant.

My vacation outfit.

Yes I took a photo of the sheets. Want to know why? Because at $225 for just the fitted sheet, I doubt my bed will ever have the gloriousness of these sheets on them.



House Project- Boys’ Room Completion

As you can tell from the recent posts, a whole bunch of house projects saw their completion this summer. Next on the list was the completion of the boys’ room. You can see their big overhaul here. But the last piece I had been waiting on was a dresser. For about 9 months I have been on the lookout for the perfect mid century piece. Since this is their primary means of clothing storage (other than their hanging clothes in their closet) it needed to be long. They had outgrown their previous Pottery Barn dresser, and I was tired of looking at it for so many years. I listed it on Craigslist for $125 and it was sold the next day.

Flea markets and craigslist are where I searched for the right dresser. It had to be over 50 inches long, preferably 60 inches, and no more than 20 inches deep because of their beds. Finally I hit the jackpot and one Wednesday evening Aaron joined me as we headed down to Hawthorne, or someplace nearby. It was pretty sketchy of an area, but that’s where the best deals are found I tell you! So worth the effort. This beautiful mid century piece was in perfect condition. I scored it for $300 which is right where I wanted to be. I found a ton of pieces around $400, but $350 was my limit. And I’m proud that I stuck to it, because it paid off.

Lastly, I added the antlers from West Elm for a grown up and masculine feel, and we are finito!



It has been SO long since I’ve been able to do any style posts or wish lists. But I assure you, my head is not in the clouds. I am just barely having enough time to shower these days. Between swim dates and bike rides, painting and crafting with the kids, who has time to shop. There are a few things I definitely have kept my eye out for lately. One are these Vintage Camp Blankets by Beacon and Esmond Mills. Pretty much you pay through the nose if you find them vintage (used). But Three Potato Four got their hands on a lot of them. Well, not there’s like one left. But they are selling them for almost $400. Grandparents, friends of grandparents, great aunts and uncles, can you check your linen stash for these. I’m dying to get my hands on a few of them. You can find them on ebay and Etsy ranging from $50-300, but it’d be cool to have one passed down from someone you know. These are definitely going on my flea market list for future trips.

The next thing that has recently caught my eye is a bread box. We bake bread several times a week over here, and zip lock baggies are just not pretty. But they are practical. Until I came across Nigella Lawson’s line. Check out her beautiful bread box. The lid doubles as a cutting board. I love the stream lined look, and no zip locks needed! It’s not cheap so I will be adding this to my anniversary wish list for sure.


In other news, Greta is officially enrolled for Kindergarten and this morning I was the one trying to calm the nerves of the other kindergarten parents at orientation. Yeah! Me! Trying to be calm and reassuring. However I did notify them not to talk to me next Wednesday as I will be bawling and not helpful at all to ease their anxieties. Next Wednesday is looming ever closer, but I think I’m prepared. Or that’s what I’m telling myself. I think she is totally ready and will love it. I think I will adjust to a quiet house. And I think I will be extremely excited to pick them up each day. I look forward to carving out time for each of them to have some one on one time with me. Daily I don’t think is practical, but definitely more often than it’s been in the past. I think it has helped that everyone and their mother has already started school this year, and we are the last. I feel like I’ve had an extra present having these last few weeks with them all to myself.