fort // Minecraft club

My lil’ guy loves forts.  Outdoor forts, indoor playroom forts, forts above his bed, forts built in the closet with cushions, etc.  So,  my husband spent a few weekends building an outdoor fort underneath our deck for him and his friends.  I won’t get into the step by step, since we are by no means professional contractors, but will opt to show you some before and afters.

First, the BeFoRe…

_MG_1771 _MG_1772

Now, for the AfTeR…


We purchased a $5 door in the scratch and dent section at Home Depot.  I applied 2 coats of chalkboard paint.  The hubs added molding that I had stained and hung it with some hardware from the plumbing section.  Add wheels on the bottom, a handle also from the plumbing section, and you have a sliding chalkboard door.


We painted the outside to match the outside of the house.  Looks like I still need to caulk some nail heads and do some more painting…

This is what it looks like now that my lil’ guy and his friends have been playing in it for a few months.

outdoor fortYes, my lil’ guy is just a wee bit obsessed with Minecraft these days, so the fort is currently home to The Minecraft Club.

We added a bell and a peep hole (lil’ guy circled it in the photo above), so no one gets in unnoticed…


Here is a quick peek inside, which as you can tell, still needs some DIY love.  The hubs added a ladder with a bed in case the lil’ guy decides to camp outside one night, and two chairs that can be folded up when not in use, some prayer flags, and more chalkboard wall for “the writing of the rules.”

IMG_1615 IMG_1614As you can guess, this fort has seen a lot of love already.  Hope you enjoyed this tour of The Minecraft Club.  And of course, it is not complete without a welcoming mat.


lil’ changes

Snowing here today, so just enjoying a little time indoors in front of my computer.  Since I am inside today, I decided to take a few photos to share some lil’ changes that have been happenin’ in our lil’ home.

The first change is related to this post titled Before and After.  I mentioned that I would be changing out the two desks for a larger table that could double as a desk to help balance the scale.  It has telescoping legs so we can do “sit down and dine” style or “buffet” style.

Before with two small desks

After with the larger desk/table

What do you think?  I cannot wait to score some modern multi colored chairs to have on hand when we have friends over for dinner.  And, I scored that lamp for $14 on one of Target’s Clearance racks.

The second change is some little updates N has made to our art wall.  He is forever creating.  That is the beauty of this art display; it is “easy peasy” to change out pieces of art.  The Wall of Art was introduced in this post.

The third lil’ change involves the area above our coat rack we made out of water valves that you can check out here.  I simply took the Instagram photos I had printed through Mpix and glued them onto white foam board and played around a little with the arrangement.

Kid's coat rack



And finally, I scored a spring wreath for my front “Hello Door.”

I love this vinyl decal so much that I ordered some numbers for a different project that I am sure I will share with you.  I love making simple changes around the home.  Sometimes, it is the little things.

Have you made some simple changes lately in your house that make it seem more like your home and that make you smile?  Please share.

Hope these lil’ guys survive this round of snow that we are getting here today.  Patiently waiting for spring.




  1. An object that can be used to hold or transport something.

I am attracted to and notice containers, vessels, receptacles.  I am usually drawn to the shape, the size, the lines, the curves, the color or a combination thereof.   I will share a few containers in and around my home that just make me smile.  This first one makes me smile because the hubs and N made it.  What bird would not want to eat out of this?

Lego Bird Feeder

This second vessel also houses bird seed and is a new addition to the outdoors.  The birds (and squirrels) seem to love it.  My Canon will definitely be capturing some little birds feasting on the sunflower seeds.

The 3rd one usually sits in my kitchen window.  The yellow band around the top definitely makes me happy.

I bought this owl because I adore owls but also because it reminded me of a special friend.  I just love the contrast between the white container and the colorful pencils it holds.

The next one also now contains pencils.  I preserved the Andy Warhol Campbell’s cans for N to house his pencils, colored pencils, pens, scissors, etc.

Preserved Andy Warhol cans

The 6th one (if you are keeping count) most of you may notice from IKEA.  I love this one for it’s shape, curves, and color.  It usually houses fresh fruit and sits on my kitchen counter.

#7  OK, the next two are my favorite containers that hold beverages.  This first one is one of those mugs you can freeze.  I love to take it camping on the rare occasion when we have electricity.  A nice chilled glass of white wine with frozen raspberries sprinkled on top definitely makes me smile.  This picture was taken in Kansas where we camped one night on our trek from NC to our new home in CO.

The 8th container also holds another one of my favorite beverages…COFFEE!  This photo was taken at a campground in TN on our trek from NC to CO.

The 9th one is hanging in N’s room and houses some of his Lego figures.  It is one of the Old Printers’  Type Cases, and I bought it from an Etsy shop several years ago.

And I may as well add a #10.  I enjoy this one more than N even though he uses it every day.  I love the color combo, the design, and the fact that it came with reusable plastic containers…no plastic bags needed.

Are you drawn to and notice containers, vessels, receptacles?  Do you have a favorite one or two that just make you smile?  Sometimes…it is the little things.

Putting it in its place…

I LoVe being organized.  For me, it is not just that things are put away in their proper place, it is a state of mind.  When things around the home are cluttered, my brain is cluttered, not allowing me to relax.  When I was in graduate school, I could not begin my long hours of studying and consuming coffee beans to stay awake, until the house was “straightened.”  I am no organizational guru by any means, but I can share some ways I keep me and my family organized inside our home.

We love the outdoors and adventures, and a garage full of “toys” and equipment to prove it.  Organization for outdoor activities would have to be a blog post in and of itself.  Mental note made.

The first item of organization in our home is our mail envelopes.  When mail comes in, it gets dispersed.  Trash goes into recycling.  Who am I kidding, the sorting usually happens after it sits on the counter for a day or so in one big pile.  I purchased these from Target a while back on clearance.  They are part of the Real Simple brand.

Mail - Organizational Tip

Mail – Organizational Tip

To keep us organized so we can head out of the door on time, IKEA comes to the rescue with what is suppose to be a shoe bin.  We each have a drawer where we keep our sunglasses, wallet, volunteer badge for school, coupons, keys, etc. – all the little things that seem to grow legs.  By placing things in our drawer, we can grab them as we walk out the door just a few steps away.

Things we need before walking out of the house – Organizational Tip

N has friends who like to visit.  It snows in CO.  So, this boot tray holds our snow boots and any kids’ shoes who come to play.  So convenient because each kid knows exactly where his/her shoes are located.  There is no need for a game of seek-and-find when it is time to go home for dinner.  And, my floors stay cleaner longer.

Boot Tray – Organizational Tip

If the kids have a place for their shoes, they need a place for their coats and hats.  So, the hubs and I made this simple coat rack out of water valves.  Super cheap project that you can read more about here.  Again, no game of hide-and-seek when the parents come a callin’.  And since this little baby hangs on the wall, it takes up no space.

Simple Coat Rack – Organization Tip

Speaking of coats and hats…We have a shoe hanger right inside of our coat closet where we keep the gloves, hats, balaclavas, scarves, ski goggles, etc. that we use so often here in CO.  Another system of grab and go which just makes life run a little smoother.  I walk my N to school every day, so having these things readily available saves us valuable time.

Winter Wear – Organizational Tip

In our home, we have a very small laundry room.  Luckily, there is only 3 of us.  This basket drawer system works great.  We each have a drawer and as I fold, I place the clothes in the appropriate drawer.  Just like the mail bins, every one empties his/her drawer.  Well, this is how it is suppose to happen.  The baskets are super easy to carry upstairs, so even N can put his own clothes away.  On a side note, I cannot wait to remodel my laundry room.

Sorting laundry – Organizational Tip

And now to the toys, children’s toys.  The majority of N’s toys are housed in a double closet in the basement.  IKEA comes to the rescue again.  Labeled bins are the answer to tame all that clutter.  The kids love it because they can find exactly what their little hands want to play with for that second in time.  It certainly makes clean up easier, as well.

Taming Toys – Organizational Tip

Taming Toys – Organizational Tip

And one final organizational tip for you that involves mine and N’s craft supplies.  I purchased this little baby at Michaels right before Christmas.

Crafts – Organizational Tip

I hope these tips can help you become more organized in your home.  What is your #1 organizational tip?  Does being organized help your state of mind?  Please share.  If everything (well, most things) is in its place, I feel a sense of calm.  Sometimes, it is the little things.

Accessorizing Completed

I love small projects that pack a big punch.  I love them even more if they take very little money from my pocketbook.  For awhile now, I have been admiring a certain cracked glass LED outdoor light on a house at the end of my street.  Oh how that light shines with a nice brightness and cool pattern.  We like it so much that we even approached the owner when he was outdoors one day to ask him where he purchased it.

When the hubs and I went to the local Home Depot this weekend looking for a mini fridge, I found a cracked glass LED light, not just like my neighbors but oh so nice.  In addition, I had recently pinned a certain little garage door makeover from the Garr Den of Love blog.  In my logical way of thinking, I figured if we were changing out the light fixture right beside the garage door, we may as well add some accessories to that said door.  Here is what we purchased.

Hampton Bay Cottrell Collection Wall Mounted Outdoor Aged Bronze LED Powered Lantern

Crown Bolt Traditional Decorative Garage Hardware Kit in Black

I will not go through a step by step for you because the instructions to install the accessories are listed on the Garr Den of Love blog post that you can find here.  As well, the instructions are listed on the back of the package.  I will say that the accessories were on sale for $10 bucks.  Here is our before.



And after a little magic from the hubs, here is our after.



We have plans to add some stone work to both sides of the garage door and add another one of those LED babies to the other side.  What do you think?  I ran outside twice last night just to see that baby shine.  So, we have glammed up our garage door area without spending a fortune on a brand new Carriage style door and I can now lust after my own lighting.

Have you made a small change to the outside of your home that took little time and money?  What “big bang for your buck” projects have you completed?  Please share.  Small projects with little effort and money just make me smile because sometimes, it is the little things.

And before I leave you, this little guy greeted us this weekend.  Are you ready for spring?

Spring, Anyone?

Spring, Anyone?

Before and After

Just thought I would share a few “before” and “after” pictures with you today.  My family and I moved to CO about 9 months ago.  In that time, we have been working to make our new house feel more like “our home.”  We repainted the walls after I went through paint paralysis.  Choosing a paint color, especially a gray that wasn’t too blue or too purple or too beige, took me some time and many cans of sample paint.  Now, I am a sample paint can advocate, for sure.  I mean, after all, the small cans usually cost less than $5 and save you a ton of money in the long run.  Plus, you have extra paint for small craft projects.

Choosing a gray

Choosing a gray

I finally chose Moonshine from Benjamin Moore, and I could not be happier.  In addition to painting, we ripped up the carpet and had hardwood installed.  We also removed the small wood colored baseboards and replaced them with wider white ones to make the floor “pop” a little more.  Are you ready for a few “before” and “after” shots?




Obviously, the prior owners used the front entrance room as a sitting area.  However, right now it is mine and N’s office/work area.  We have plans to put a longer table in this room so we can have family and friends over for dinner.  The table we have picked out can double as a desk.  Love when things can serve multiple purposes.  We need some thing bigger in that room to help balance the scale.

Here is another area of the house “before” and “after.”




The prior owners had a separate ceiling fan mounted flush to the ceiling, and a light that hung down too far and obstructed the view.  We opted for a fan/light combo.  We added metal sheeting to the bar area, and handles to the cabinets.  We have plans to change out the countertops and possibly add different/more lighting in the kitchen area.




That brown wall screamed at me every day, but now it makes me smile.

What do you think?  We have many other exciting projects planned for our new home, but we are pleased with the transformation, thus far.  Paint can certainly make a huge difference.  I definitely enjoy relaxing in my new home and daydreaming about additional changes.   Sometimes, it is the little things, even if they take time and money.

Have you changed something in your house to make it feel more like “your home”?  Did you have the idea yourself or did you ask for design advice?  Do you have paint paralysis like me?  Please share.