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Making This Home Ours

Kiddos Canadian Playroom Reveal

One of the things that I love about moving often is the blank canvas that I start with each time. Although our goods and most furniture is consistent it gets organized, displayed, and used different each time. This is by far my favorite playroom yet. I finally took the time to really complete my vision of a space that Parker and Caity could grow into and was welcoming for other children. I will admit it probably is a little much since Parker starts school soon and Caity will be going to daycare a few days a week. But it’s a nice open place for them in the evenings, on the weekend, and to help survive the winter.

The only new items that were purchased was the kids table and the fridge/pantry in the kitchen.

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Our landlord was so proud of the new hardwood floors he had put in to help rent/sell the house. While it isn’t my preference for a playroom I will say it makes playing with cars and racing them a lot more fun. We just added a large area rug from Home Depot to sit on.

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While most of the playroom is unlocked and available for the kiddos to explore I do have the top cabinet locked with all of Parker’s leggo sets and little pieces we want to keep away from Caity. The bottom half stores all of their cardboard bricks. I had originally been stacking them in the corner but it was too appealing to just knock over. This still gives them access but they have to work at just making a mess so they usually move on quickly.

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We didn’t have a TV in the room for the longest time but eventually decided it would be convenient to have for those rough days or when I have to get caught up on things. We made sure to secure it to the cubes with safety straps from IKEA. There is one on the front right and back left, it’s not going anywhere!

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I like to also repurpose decorations from birthday parties like this wooden stack of books from Caity’s ONEderland party. I usually keep in mind how I can reuse something after the event.

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These cubes from IKEA are my favorite. We have used them in different ways in each of the homes we have lived in.

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Having bins makes it much easier to get cleaned up quickly. Usually I tell Parker to grab a bin and collect everything that is musical etc… Makes it more tangible for him to help clean up. They don’t always go into the right bins so once a month I usually go through the whole play room and put everything back where it goes and make sure sets are still matched and not missing anything.

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Rob’s big project was building something for all of Parker’s cars. I am loving the final result and you can see the tutorial here.



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Instead of curtains I purchased fat squares and made fabric garland for each of the windows inspired by Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Goofy.

Scrap Garland

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IKEA Kitchen

The kitchen is one of my favorite parts of the room. Playing kitchen was one of my favorite things to play growing up. It’s so much fun to watch Parker and Caity play together acting out what they see Rob and I do. Caity loves feeding her baby and Parker enjoys taking orders and making people coffee.

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Originally there was a table at IKEA that I wanted for the kiddos but they stopped carrying it so I had to look around for awhile. Eventually we found one on that was even better, very sturdy. We put up a temporary wall in front of the fireplace to keep curious minds away and added twine to display all of their art work.

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Cubes, bins, and pan holders make it easy to organize craft supplies and puzzles.

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I have been collecting dress up clothes for quite awhile but the kiddos never seemed interested in them. I started to wonder if it was because everything was crammed into a bin, out of sight out of mind kind of thing. I decided to rummage around the basement and see what I could come up with. Having a place to display and store everything has made it a lot easier and more fun to play dress up. You can see the tutorial and full transformation here.

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I always love finding projects that Rob and I can work on together. He loves taking an idea I have in my head and figuring out how to make it. For the playroom I wanted a directional sign with some of Parker’s favorite movies. I also liked the idea of a large PLAY sign.


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And before I go I will leave you with this…

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Weekend Playroom Projects

Although I haven’t gotten a chance to recap January and plan for February I didn’t want to spend our 3-day weekend behind a computer so I decided to jump right into our big project for the month, the kiddos playroom.

It’s been a work in progress since September but there were a few lingering things I wanted to do and it still wasn’t laid out quite like I wanted it. Rob and I took to Pinterest for some inspiration and decided we would focus on creating a craft area for the kids, a fun way to organize all of Parker’s car, and a dress up corner. We wanted to keep it as under budget as we could so I shopped around in the basement for unused furniture and got a little creative.

I am waiting on this adorable table from to arrive before we do a final reveal but in the meantime I thought I would share a few teasers of what we worked on the last few days!


I’ve been wanting to do a little more with their kitchen and as it turned out all I had to do was watch Parker play to come up with a plan. On Saturday morning I noticed he had turned the whole things sideways. Just as we were about to scold him for it we realized he had moved it so he could use the pass through as a drive up winder for ordering food. It was so stinking cute. I decided to turn his kitchen into a cafe and position it so it could always be used that way.

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As you can see I also decided to play around with my Silhouette and add some vinyl! Tonight I will be painting the bottom half in chalkboard paint to add menu items.

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The next project we worked on was a little nook for the kids dress up that has been sitting up in Parker’s closet for the last few months. Between consignment sales and after Halloween sales I was able to find quite a few outfits very inexpensive for them to play with. I went shopping downstairs and found an old bookcase to repurpose. All it needed was some primer, paint, clothing bar, and some 3M hooks.

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Although I love being able to use things we already have around the house to organize sometimes I buy something that works better. If it’s a reasonable price there is no reason to grab it up and use it with pride. During my last outing to IKEA Caity and I found this 4-tier basket (available in the US here) that is great storage solution for all those small items you just don’t know what to do with.

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I have a few projects to work on the next couple of days and hopefully our awesome table will arrive by the weekend so I can do a full reveal!

Parker’s Airplane Room Reveal

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I can’t believe I am just getting around to Parker’s room reveal. It has been complete for awhile now but with all the hustle and bustle of a new baby in the house I just got around to taking all the photos this past weekend.


In July we decided to put together Parker’s “big boy room” so that he would have a few months to transition to a toddler bed and a new environment. I didn’t want him to feel as though Caity had kicked him out of the nursery. I knew Rob wanted to do an airplane theme and I was happy to take on the challenge of finding fun and unique ways to decorate.


 SUNDVIK Expandable Bed (similar version)

I had the walls painted Valspar Pike’s Peak in anticipation of this move when we had the rest of the house painted. I wasn’t quite sure where to go from there until we came across this comforter set at Target. I loved the idea of having a Disney touch to the airplane theme. Plus the comforter had several vibrant colors I could use around the room making it easier to accessorize.

After going back and forth on bed size we ended up deciding on a toddler bed we found on clearance at IKEA. I thought the smaller bed would make the transition a little easier. While I do like the bed I didn’t realize at the time that it would be so hard to find linens, outside of IKEA, to fit the European size (longer).


Side note: Did you know that Mickey has a teddy bear named Duffy? We found out during our trip to Disney last year. My sister gave P a Duffy and this adorable story about Mickey and his teddy bear, Duffy.


 STICKAT Bed Pocket

I just recently found this over the bed organizer at IKEA and just had to add it into the reveal. It’s perfect to organize holiday books or specific ones I want to read with Parker on any given week.


 Collectors Museum Flag Case $26.99  |  Metal Red Tri-Plane $24.99  |  Spice Rack $3.99  |  Metal Letter P $14.99  |  12×12 Front Loading Frames $6.99

I decorated the wall with a collection of items I found at Hobby Lobby, IKEA, and Jo Ann Fabrics. The museum flag case found at Jo Ann Fabrics holds a flag that Rob has passed down to Parker. The tri-plane and “p” were found at Hobby Lobby when their home decor was on sale so both pieces ended up being 50% off.


I just had to add in a spice rack from IKEA since they are my current go-to for organization. In this room they showcase some books that belonged to Rob when he was a boy.


I wanted to make something special for Parker and decided to do a few prints for his wall. Rob had the genius idea of spelling his name with the phonetic alphabet on one of them. I also pulled one of Rob’s favorite quotes for a little inspiration. I had them printed at Adoramapix ($3.72 + shipping) and I purchased the 12×12 front loading frames from Jo Ann Fabrics.


 Vintage Wall Decals $11.95  |  Cloud bTwinkles Nightlight $19.95  |  Green Toys Airplane $11.99  |  HoMedics Sound Spa $19.99

We purchased the bookcase from an unfinished wood store. I am not going to provide their name because I am not impressed with the quality of the piece for the price we paid. While it serves its purpose right now, I know it won’t last through Parker’s adolescence like I had hoped. In any case, I wanted the bookcase to pop so we chose Valspar Dijon. To give it a slight vintage look I found decals on Amazon for the back.

I love his collection of books especially since most are from my shower and signed by each gifter. Right now his favorite books are The Fire Engine Book, I Love Trucks, Baby Einsteins First Words, and Rob’s favorite Amazing Airplanes.


The lockers are the most expensive piece in Parker’s room. It serves as a dresser with plenty of space to grow along with him. I found it months ago at a local antique store in my hometown. I am not sure if I fell in love with the piece or the story behind it more. I was with my Mom and as we were talking with the owner we came to find out it use to belong in the post office next door. I grabbed it immediately (well I claimed it at least). Rob and I had intended to touch it up a bit but ended up bartering with my FIL who did all of the updates in exchange for a couch we were selling.




As you can see, we ended up with the better end of the deal! My FIL did an absolutely amazing job with this piece and I am so in love with it. He put his heart and many many hours of work into it and the final product certainly shows.


Nursery Fabric – Transportation Stripes $7.99/yard

When it came time to find fabric for the curtains I was a little worried I wouldn’t find something that would fit within our theme or color scheme. During one of many trips to Jo Ann Fabrics with my Mom we found this adorable fabric on sale for $5.99 a yard. It was perfect. The colors matched Parker’s comforter and the pattern almost reminded me of airplane wings. I am not a fan of curtains, especially in kids rooms, so my Mom helped (well she did most of the work) and made these valances for a pop of color in the room.




 STROFAST Storage Unit $39.99  |  STROFAST Storage Boxes $3.00 – $4.00

I knew there would be times when P didn’t need or want to nap but it is still important that he has some quiet alone time everyday. We moved his toys over from the nursery to give him something to play with on those occasions. This has worked out perfectly so far. I’d say 4 of his 7 naps a week start off with some quite play and he eventually falls asleep on the floor, the couch, or his bed. Regardless it gives him some quiet time and Mommy a little break to tend to Caity or hop in the shower (*gasp*).


Rob scored this awesome Everyday Hero Play Set from KidKraft on one of our local yard sale group for $15. It really engages Parker in some quiet low stimulation play which is perfect right before a nap or bed time. It’s cute to listen to him on the monitor playing with the fire and police chiefs. He animates them doing normal everyday things like riding in their emergency vehicles, playing with their dogs, and going night night.


 Aviation Altimeter Clock $24.99  |  Flying Ace Piolt Embossed Tin Sign $14.99

Some of the final touches and last purchases were an altimeter clock Rob found on Cafe Press and a tin sign from Hobby Lobby. The Peanuts Gang isn’t Disney but we called Parker our Peanut for 9 months (team green!) and it has stuck even now.


 Airplane Photo Frame $14.99  |  Birth Stat Print $24.99

I bought this long shelf years ago at IKEA and it has since lived in 2 apartments, 2 houses, and served many different purposes. I think it’s the perfect size to showcase some of our favorite prints and a few pieces of Rob’s old gear from his flying days. Rob has had the “Air Force in Training” print since I can remember and we found the Mickey print on our trip to Disney last year. I found the number hooks on one of my craft B/S/T sites on Facebook for $5.99. The three canvas paper airplane image was Pinterest inspired and gives a little pop of color on that side of the room.






Parker was used to having the La-Z-Boy in the nursery to cuddle up on with us for story time so I wanted to find something that would take it’s place on a $200 budget. I should have known IKEA would come to the rescue as we found this sofa bed that was perfect. It fits the space perfectly but we can all still fit on it for story time. It also pulls out into a bed for sleep overs when he gets a little older. Parker has been on a bit of a nap strike lately but Rob and I figured out that he will happily lay down if we let him sleep on the couch. “Sure kid, whatever gets you to nap!”


Growth Chart

 1×6 Pine Board  $8  |  Pipe Flange $10  |  Valspar Dijon Paint

Parker’s growth chart was a blast to make. Rob and I cam up with the design together and I got to use my projector to trace it on the wood from our drawing. We painted it to match the bookcase and Rob added a pipe flange to give it a little more of an industrial look. We found all the materials at Lowe’s and the project total was around $20.

Toddler Proofing

Toddler proofing the room was one of my top priorities with this transformation. Since he would no longer be contained in the crib I knew everything had to be safe. Luckily that didn’t take much work or money.

We covered all exposed outlets with solid covers and secured the Summer Infant Multi View Monitor to the wall near the door. My Dad and Rob installed a ceiling fan so that we didn’t need to have a lamp or fan within reach of Parker’s curious little fingers. The furniture was secured with pipe strapping similar to what we used around the house. Most importantly, we put a cover on the knob so that Parker can’t leave his room on his own. We have the video monitor on at all times when he is in there so we can hear if something is wrong.

After rolling off the bed the first night we decided to install a bed rail until he gets used to the new bed.

Inspirational BoardI am giddy just looking over this post and all the work we did to make this room special for Parker. He transitioned beautifully and still loves playing, reading, and sleeping there!


Shared Changing Station

Even though I am still finishing up Parker’s room and anxiously waiting for baby girls room to be painted, I was able to get their shared changing station in the guest bathroom complete.

Since Parker is still in diapers and we aren’t in a rush to potty train with baby girl on the way, I will have two in diapers for a little while. I didn’t want to take up space in both their rooms with a changing station or worrying about sharing products back and forth or purchasing duplicates of everything. Since our guest bathroom is a decent size, we decided to move Parker’s changing table in there and make a shared station. I didn’t have a vision of what I wanted when we started out but now that it is complete I am ecstatic. There are still a few things I need to add but it has been fully functional for a few weeks and working out really well.

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The changing table is an old purchase from IKEA, maybe 6 years ago, and one of the best purchases I have ever made. This piece of furniture has lived in 4 different places all serving a different purpose. Parker and baby girl will each have a bin on the top for jammies. The bottom two bins will hold extra inserts, disposables (yes, we do use them on occasion) and other supplies. The cloth diaper tower, GNEDBY from IKEA ($49.99), fit perfectly in the space and is a great way to show off our stash. It’s narrow and tall so it doesn’t interfere with the door but still holds a lot of diapers.

DSC_4745 v2One of the challenges we had at first was where to store all of the creams, wipes and medicine. I decided to pull out two of the IKEA BEKVAM spice racks ($3.99/each) that I had stored away for a rainy day. They work perfectly in the space and help keep everything out of the way, organized, and easily accessible. For the moment, each mason jar on the left has a different medicine with the corresponding dropper. I am ultimately trying to find boxes that fit side by side instead of the glass. Especially with two kiddos at home, I want to make sure each of their medicines and doses are properly marked and organized so there are no mistakes at 2am. The wipes container works perfectly as the front can be opened in place allowing you to retrieve wipes 1 handed.

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I also decided to move Parker’s calendar and set up baby girls while I was at it. Iv’e been keeping a calendar by the changing area since Parker was first born. It was a really easy way to jot down any memorable events or milestones each night after we changed him for bed. I used the calendar quite a bit to help with his monthly updates.

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Since all of the changing will be happening in bathroom now I wanted to find a bin to prevent all the dirty laundry from piling up on the floor. Since we only open the linen closet on the rare occasion, I decided to buy the Thirty-One Room For Two Utility Tote which fits perfectly in the doorway. It has a zip up divider so I can separate right away and has handles to make it easy to carry downstairs.

Although we don’t let P roam this floor unattended and use a Safety 1st Grip N Twist Doorknob Cover we still decided to secure the shelf using the same Plastic Pipe Strap we used throughout the house. You can read more about it in my Baby Proofing Our Home post.

The only things left to finish are the boxes for medicine and cutting out a quote on my Cricut with vinyl to go above the changing table. I was thinking, “fluffy butt headquarters”. What do you think?!?


Gift Wrapping Closet Upgrades

It’s amazing how my organizational needs can change so drastically in such a short time. Not that long ago I shared my Gift Wrapping Closet which I was SO proud of at the time. I was working with what I had and it was my first organizational project in our new home. I have learned a lot since then but am still impressed with the way I organized my greeting cards, gift bags, and tissue paper.

I can’t believe that here I am a little over a year later needing to make a few upgrades. Rob is going back to school in July and we needed to create a work space for him to call his own. That meant giving up a huge storage area for me. My wrapping closet still had a lot of potential for storage if we found the best way to organize everything.

Here is what I started off with.

I knew we needed a trip to IKEA and a look around Pinterest to really get the ideas flowing.

Follow Mary’s board Craft room in the making on Pinterest.

Before we left for IKEA I measured the closet and realized that one of the Expedit Bookcases would fit perfectly. I already have a 4×4 with a 2×4 stacked on top in my craft room so another would flow nicely.

Since the Expedit collection was being discontinued, I was hoping we would still be able to get one. While they still had quite a few in black-brown we found one in the scratch n’ dent for 35% off! Even though the rest of the furniture in my craft room is birch, this one will remain in the closet, at least for now, so the savings was worth it. It does look as though IKEA has already released their new collection, KALLAX, which is very similar to the Expedit collection but uses less wood to build.

There is also a fantastic DIY blog, Practial Delights, designed and provided step-by-step instructions to build your own drawers for the IKEA Expedit Bookcases.

While it’s always an added bonus to find something in the scratch n’ dent if you don’t like assembling yourself, it didn’t really help us in this situation. After several attempts, a few curse words and a “minor” disagreement, we realized we would need to take it apart to get it into the closet. I already had my mind made up that this was going in the closet so poor hubs had to oblige since we was deploying leaving me pregnant and stubborn. If he didn’t do it, he knew I would 😉 It may not be the most attractive trait but it sure gets me what I want sometimes!

Once we had it back together filling in the cubes was really easy.

I couldn’t top the way I had organized my greeting cards and tissue paper so those stayed the same. I used the Knuff Magazine Holder to store all of my special holiday paper, labels and holiday address stickers.
The drawers were perfect to store all the little items balloons, ribbon, and package embellishments.

I am a pack rat to say the least. I absolutely refuse to dispose of tins, boxes, bags, and even tissue paper that is still in good condition. I have purged from time to time but I mostly just get better and better at storing them to maximize space. I now have one bin dedicated to tins and the other to boxes.

I always like to have a few gifts on hand for events that slip my mind or when a little gift is needed. Now that I am a Thirty-One consultant, I have collected several of my favorite items during their flash sales. My favorite is the Keep-It Caddy which makes the perfect gift bag for baby showers!
One of the ways I was able to create a lot more storage was to utilize the door. I was inspired by Kelly’s amazing idea over at Steve and Kelly Plus Two, using the elfa® Door Rack System. It was the perfect way to add a lot of storage in an empty space.

I am very happy with the way it turned out and how much additional storage space I was able to create with just a few upgrades. The whole project ended up being $172 which is a little high for a normal upgrade for us but I am very happy with the results. I also like that all of the pieces we invested in can be taken down if we ever move so it won’t be a wasted investment.

My Crafting Attic

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