Wednesday, December 2, 2015

>3' Closet Maximized

I've talked about Lila's little closet before. I thought I'd review the change made to the closet and show you how it's working today.
This little closet is at the top of the stairs and is 32" long and has a lip at the bottom that's about 6" tall… Oh and a sloped ceiling… Oh and attic access. It's pretty impossible to maximize. It had this sad little single rod when I moved in:

 This is what I did with it when I moved in. It's appalling isn't it? I had a bookshelf in there and a divided hamper. I didn't use the rod at all:
 After I got "organized" this became my pants and hamper closet:
Then I added elfa from The Container Store to it. This solution is 30" long. I love it because you can adjust the heights of everything, unlike built ins and it still looks customized. 
Then Lila came and Chris and I moved into the same closet:
It's hard to tell, but I lowered the bottom shelf a tiny bit since the clothes were smaller. Here it is today. I                                                 have made minimal changes because it' s honestly set up perfectly and there is still a lot of room to grow. 
The deep bottom drawer just has diapering stuff. We are about out of Honest Diapers so I may transition to cloth overnight, leaving this drawer open.
The top drawer has random shoes that are too big for Lila, so they haven't been transitioned to shoe boxes yet. I love that this drawer unit is basically filled with random stuff, and when I need to fill it I'll have plenty of room! 
I hung a laundry bag on the door of the closet. I had it up with a Command Adhesive hook that didn't hold up to use. I replaced the hook with an I-hook and it's been perfect since! It works well except for when it's completely full. Then the door sticks out a little bit.

The little accessory boxes work perfectly as little shoe boxes. I love that everything is organized and easy to identify.
One of the bins on the top is empty. The other bin is Lila's "accessory" bin. It holds her bathing suits, slippers, hats, and leggings. 
So here are some tips for a tiny and awkward closet:
-Utilize every part of the space, including the doors.
-Hang low and use shelving above (many people store shoes and stuff on the floor. Having clothes drag on your head when you need to grab something is not ideal!)
-Use multiple shelves to create division versus stacking things on things
-Keep a donation bin or a pack away bin on the floor. A Pack away bin for growing children and a donation bin for adults. 
-Utilize drawers to keep things organized and not have to worry about perfect folding and being seen.
-Use the same hangers to keep things looking tidy.
-Use skinny hangers (We have the children's Huggable Hanger) to maximize space

Monday, November 30, 2015

Baby Tree

I decided Lila needed a Christmas tree of her own. I have a little white tree that had been up in my office before Lila's room took over and it's also been up in my basement. Because it was just being stored I figured it'd be perfect. I also figured this could be our "teaching tree" about limits as far as grabbing the tree, garland, and ornaments. 

Once I got the tree in my head I had it up within 48 hours! I wanted to keep it simple and fun. I didn't want Christmas colors and wanted it to match her room. Here's how I did it-
-The Itsy Bitsies Animal Bucket was $4.99 at Joann Fabrics and I used a 50% off coupon.
-The eye hooks $1.99 and I used a 50% off coupon. 
-Fishing line was free because I already owned it
I used my smallest drill bit and drilled into the back of each animal 
Then I screwed my eye hook in as far as it would go
When I was done I had a mini zoo of impaled animals. I strung them with fishing line nice and tight and I had a dozen ornaments for $2.50!
Pom Pom Fringe- 1 package of yellow and one of pink. $3.99 each and I used two 50% coupons. Lila taste tested it and approved! 
So then I pull out the tree and discovered the pathetic thing turned brown in all of these patches. My googling revealed that white trees turning brown in storage is pretty common. I tried scrubbing it and bleaching it. Finally I hauled it out back and spray painted it! A few hours later it was dry and Lila was awake from her nap and the decorating began! 
I also bought:
Mulicolor plastic ornaments from Target $3.99
Yarn letters from Target $3.99 each in letters L R & C. 

I used the topper from my work baby shower cake from Nothing Bundt Cakes for the top of the tree. I originally had it on top of the bird cage next to her rocking chair. 

Lila loves it! I leave it on during her nap time so that she can lay and watch it. She is allowed to touch the ornaments and take them off but not allowed to touch the tree, lights, or garland. She is a really obedient girl and has done great with this "rule."
 I moved everything around for her decorations. She also got a Little People nativity scene from my mother in law. It's adorable and Lila loves rearranging and eating it. 
 Her elephant also moved from the corner to make way for the tree 
 Her bird cage moved to make room for the nativity scene to the dresser 
 Lila falls asleep staring at it during her naps. It's absolutely the reaction I was hoping for! 

 The cat has been the worst with the tree. He messes it up way more than Lila. See his tail peeking out? 

The total tree cost was $23.50

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

A Normal Craigslist Encounter & New Baby Gear

I had mentioned in my last baby gear post that I wasn't thrilled with the wheels on my Chicco Keyfit. I went from being not thrilled to positively outraged (I have lots of feelings!).

See the picture above? This is what the wheels did/do constantly. They were locking sideways all of the time pitching her and the stroller forward. When we were shopping we would bump into people and racks. It steers horribly 70% of the time. After a play date with several other moms I had enough. Lila started crying so I grabbed her and was carrying her while a friend pushed my stroller. She said "I don't know how you live with this thing. It would make me crazy." When I got home I started researching what stroller I wanted. 

I finally landed on the City Mini or City Select. I figured I would have more of a chance of finding an inexpensive Mini than a Select, but liked the idea of adding an extra seat on to the select. I figured with it being fall I could spend the winter and spring shopping Craigslist, eBay, Once Upon a Child, etc. My mom is a great bargain shopper so I sent her descriptions for both and prices I was willing to pay. I was hoping to spend $200 for a City Select and $125 for a City Mini. About 5 days after setting my standards I roamed over to Craigslist and saw this:

$50?!?!?! I was sure something was terribly wrong with it since that was far less (at least $50) than I saw any others selling for. I dropped an email to the seller to see what was wrong and she responded that the rubber on the handle was a little separated but otherwise it was in great shape. I set up a meeting with her for as fast as she would meet me so I wouldn't lose the deal at a gas station near her house.

When I do a meet up there are a few important points I like to follow:
-Meet during the day
-Meet in public
-Google the seller to get an idea of what to expect
-Put your cash for the transaction in a pocket or someplace else outside of your wallet. 

So I googled away and found lots of information about the seller (I'm a creep) that made me feel like a yoga instructor with a 4 year old was probably safe. My husband and I met her and sure enough, the stroller needed a wipe down and a handle repair. Otherwise it was perfect! I can't believe how much easier it is to steer a good stroller! And I love that I can add a scooter onto the back if we had another baby for Lila to coast on, and attach my current carseat to it. 
She likes it too!
Here is a quick update on other baby stuff. 

The upstairs baby gate is awesome. It's held up really well and I trust it to be strong enough for Lila to lean against. I test it every time before I let her into the hallway. It did start to slip a few weeks ago, but after tightening in the sides it's good as new again. 
I spent $2.50 on this ugly, awesome Baby Einstein activity table. I knew Lila would need something to pull herself onto

Her Ergo is going strong. I finally used it for a back carry a few days ago and she thought it was super fun. She doesn't fall asleep easily in my arms anymore, but conks out quickly if I put the hood up while I'm walking around 
I got her this doorway jumper a few weeks ago from Babies R Us. She loves it for limited times. Now that she is mobile she wants freedom to roam. I wish I would've gotten this a few months ago! 
Another ugly toy… This shopping cart was $2. I wanted some walk behind toy and she loves putting her stuffed dog in it and strolling around. 
It was also time to graduate to a big girl seat. It's crazy how fast it's going. 
She loves her new big girl seat and I love not hauling the heavy thing everywhere. 

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