Pretty Organizers Defining Moment

Melissa at The Inspired Room is a Saint... a dear friend of mine (and many other women) and a mentor.  She issues a challenge every Friday to link up with posts that define how we are living a Beautiful Life.  This week I thought I'd share with you how I came to have a Pretty Organized Palace... and why I'm an expert in this area... well, almost an expert... okay, I'm more of an enthusiast.

This is me.... at 33.  Yes... mid-thirties and most of the hair you see is helped along with a bottle of dye every month (or I'd look like Barbra Bush!)  I've accomplished a lot at thirty three... namely a marriage of almost 14 years and 6 children- all after marriage of course!  I've been a PTO President, co-founded a community group to help oust our Superintendent (it worked) and build community awareness of school district issues. I've been active in leadership positions in my church and am involved weekly with the Scouting program.  I'm a trained classical vocalist and have enjoyed singing the National Anthem in Qualcom stadium and doing a few musicals here and there.  I stay at home and raise my six children and this year have done it with a hubby working and going to school full-time (not a fate I'd wish on any mother.... It's been crazy)  

I've had many people ask me questions like: "How do you do all of this?  How do you manage?  6 Kids, Are they all yours?  I couldn't do it.  6 children?!?!?!  I don't know how you get all of these things done."   Well, the answer is simple.  I'm pretty organized.  I did not say organized.  I'm not a fanatic.  The laundry piles up on the couch more often than I'd like.  I'm just pretty organized in the most important areas.... "my priorities are organized my closet is not."

Some days my house looks like this...  Life is lived in this Palace to the fullest and with life comes messes... daily... hourly...  The trick is to learn how to manage life, and to be an efficient  homemaker-  Not OCD (though I do love ocd homemakers... they have a gift!)... because with 6 kids trying to enjoy life... I would be miserable... and I REFUSE TO BE MISERABLE!!
At 25 I had 3 children under the age of 4.  I was not efficient.  I was stretched thin and in many ways felt I was failing.  I looked for books on how to organize, how to clean, how to manage, how to be a mother... I thirsted for knowledge.  I found this book (really I should be getting royalties on this book because I've sold plenty over the years!)
This is a homemakers guide book.  It doesn't talk about how to fluff your pillows, or change bed sheets, or how to organize socks.  It's the guide book on how to be a homemaker.  How to make time for the things that are important to you in life.  Reading this book was the defining moment of my homemaking life... MY LIFE.  

Now, I am a guru, a semi-expert.  I can handle 6 kids, decorate a house, churn out the laundry of 8 like nobody's busines... and I wish that it were someone elses business because truthfully, I HATE IT.  I cook for my family, I serve on community boards, help with elections, help with scouting, because I put the most important priorities in my life first: God, my husband, my children, my church service, my home, my schools, my community...

Being Pretty Organized just means that your priorities are in order.  I follow that motto every day... my closets will move up the priority ladder someday.  Maybe after my last boy gets his Eagle Scout or when my last daugher graduates from High School.  

I invite you to join me often at my Palace.  I hope my blog will be an inspiration to women all over...  It shares my quest for beautifying my home, and I hope to share my passion for bringing beauty and efficiency into the home on a budget.  Mostly I hope it shares my enthusiasm for being a mother and a homemaker.  I LOVE what I do.  Not every duty.  Not the puke days.  But on the whole... I could not find joy in doing anything else.

I'd love to hear your concerns as mothers/homemakers and address some of them here on this blog.  I also would love to meet you great ladies!  I hope to help lend a hand to mothers and homemakers just starting out who feel overwhelmed... pleeeease feel free to contact me via email or comments if you have questions!!!  My goal this year is to share the way I find beauty in my life... and how I run my "Pretty" Organized Palace.

Pretty Organizer

Hooked on Lighting

Today for Julia at Hooked on Houses... I reveal my secret.... I'm Hooked on Lighting.  I've been looking for options to dress up my kitchen... builders... WHY such ugly lights?  Don't say cost either because I've seen me some decent looking cheapies out there that I'd much rather have.  So, chandeliers are "in" in my book.  I admit... I lean toward the drippy cute ones though... not super shabby ones...  this lady is simple.
This pink cutie would look fabulous in my little girls room... a total impractical thought since we live in the hottest place in the US for months out of the year.  Ceiling fans are a must.  A Need.  Our survival!!!
This little lampy gave me the brilliant idea to cover some of my old dirty lampshades with fabulous textured fabric!
I think I'd need an official title like, Lady Pretty Organizer, or Duchess Pretty Organizer to have this fancy girl in my house. But love me some pearls and crystal when I can get them!!!
Whimsical and cute... this one's a winner.  
Sconces... someday I'll have sconces.  You don't need a castle to have sconces. You just need a willing husband to knock a hole or two or three  and fish, phish... ?..... wire through your wall, attach it to a switch somewhere and patch the whole thing up and paint over the patch and then mount the sconce....  that's what keeps me from getting sconces in this palace. 
What kind of lighting are you hooked on?

photo credit: KooKooBear.com


We Interupt our regular programming....

Yep, one of those days... the first 2 minutes of this scene say it all for me. (You remember the one. Goldie Hawn is sitting in a chair and the kids are throwing grapes at her..)  I'm Overboard!

At present I am posting with an almost 2 year old on my lap. She has puked and cried the whole day long and just when I thought things were on the upside she managed to just do it again. I smell, she smells, the house smells... and this is the part of motherhood that well... stinks. I can't console my little one and the day has been a wash... yes... well washing has been done. Plenty of it to be sure.

So dear readers I'm begging your pardon and claiming a sick day. I'm off to take this writhing wiggling child to bed and get some sleep myself. Hoping tomorrow will bring health... not 5 more sick kids- which in all truth is my likely reality! Please send CHOCOLATE!!!!

Don't forget to check out the Kids Storage Party I'm hosting with Wendy at the Shabby Nest! Feb 4th at Shabby Nest! RSVP at this post or email me for directions! Dress... casual attire, sweats, workout clothes or formal wear... we'll take you as you are!


The Importance of the Master Bedroom

Priorities of life take their shape in this room... the Master Bedroom. This is where you wake to a new day. This is where you get your game face on and get to work and begin your job of caring for others. This is where you return and reflect on how each day went... and you spend hours in this room sleeping and preparing for the next day. It's an important space and needs priority attention.
The master bedroom is a reflection of you. It should speak to you (and your sweetheart as well). Here are a few things that I once heard from a wise organizer...

  • Create a space of privacy- This is an intimate private retreat for you and your sweetheart. It should be free from kids playing, televisions (oh, I'm so unpopular right now... I know, I know, I've already heard the whole "get a television" bit with 6 kids... yah people actually say that... we cheated.. we adopted 2! HA!)

  • Create a relaxing space- lighting, candles, books, blankets, pitchers of water (yes, my hubby has his own filtered water in our room), music... fill your bedroom with all you need to relax and refresh.

  • Keep your room clean- a messy room makes for a messy mind. This is the first thing you see when you wake up in the morning. If you wake to a clean, well kept room, your attitude, hope and mind are set to a positive note.

  • Personalize it. Color the walls (and ceiling) to meet the personalities who share it. Yellow is cheerful, blue is calming, green is earthy and promotes conversation, red is passionate... let that room reflect your spirit... and don't be afraid to paint the ceiling blue if you want!

  • Surround yourself with things you love- A very good friend of mine has the portraits of her 4 children nicely framed in black and white over her headboard. They are stunning close-ups and poignant reminders of what she lives for, who she serves and how important her job is. She cherishes those faces each morning and renews her strength each night because they remind her of what's important.

  • Spend time in your room A retreat is nothing if it you never use it. It's not a place to fold laundry. It's a place to meditate, to read, to nap. It's a place to sit with your husband and reflect on the needs of your children. It's a place to gain strength and to rest from your labors.

Enjoy your bedroom.

You're invited to a Kids Storage Party that I'm doing with Shabby Nest check out this post for details! Also, my article is was featured yesterday on Blissfully Domestic- Home swing by and check it out! And if that isn't enough of me... I know ya'll are sick o me blabbing about myself but honestly... I'm totally wigging out that I'm featured in more places than here. SO- Bella_Casa is hosting her giveaway Etsy party and one lucky someone is going to win one of my organizers. Go check out her Etsy party and enter! Okay, I'm done. Really...

Pretty Organizer


Kids Storage Ideas

Don't we all want our kids bedrooms to look like this? Really, when I dreamt of marriage and what my kiddos rooms looked like... this was it. A perfect picture... no clutter... and look closely- NO CHILDREN! Not practical. So, my good friend Wendy at the Shabby Nest and I are putting on a Kids Storage party! And no... this type of kids storage doesn't count.

Our party is on Feb 4th. Get your posts ready to link.
Craft something fabulous like a cady.....
Or paint us a masterpiece with something to hang your hats on....
This one... is a storage seat... (okay cheap me is already figuring out how to make one of these babies out of a 5 gallon bucket and some foam or a trash can... maybe you can beat me to it!)
Tell us where you hide thier stuff. You know, the messy evidence that we call "life" but that real decorators call clutter. What systems work for you? We moms need to share these secrets...
I love these shelves... but I'm too cheap to pay the $200+ pricetag. I think I could make something similar using L brackets, bead board and shelving and just mounting it to my wall... catch the vision? Do you have a great "Ah, HA" invention to share?
Come and join us, (the linky will be officially posted at Shabby Nest) and share how you tame the chaos of kids daily living. Join us Feb. 4th (Wednesday) and link up to your favorite kids storage post... it can be recent or in the archives. Let's share our creative energy and friendship.
Please leave a comment to R.S.V.P. and we'll try to remind you via your blog or email. Feel free to Twitter it, comment on it, or blog it, to your blogging friends and encourage them to join us! We'd like to offer a fun and inspiring party....the more the merrier!

I'm so excited to meet new friends and see your talents!
Pretty Organizer
Photo Credit: All pictures are from www.KooKooBearKids.com

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Come Shop with Me!

Oh what a fun week this will be!  I'm being featured (for my Pretty Organizers) on my sweetfriend Bella's Blog  for her Esty Party...  Head on over to her blog and check out what all the creative ladies are doing to bring a little extra moola home... 
Here's my big giveaway for the party!!!  Isn't she beautiful?  I call her Diamonds are a girls best friend... and she's 9x11x6 and you need her in your house!  Just go leave a comment on Bellas blog quick because the drawing is Feb. 1st!
So if you're new here, this is what I do.... I spray paint anything that's not nailed down and decorate it.  Mostly I decorate hat boxes.  I shamelessly plug them through my blog hoping you'll buy them!

This baby is 14" in Diameter... a big girl.  She can hold a whoooooole lotta stuf.  Being a mother of 6 it's aganist my programming to create something that isn't functional or doesn't answer a desperate need... 
So, if you get a chance, go visit my Esty Store.  
I have a few boxes that would be great for Valentines Day!!!  Go check them out.  You need these right?  I mean, they hold stuff and are works of art...  If you don't see something that fits your decor... I do custom orders!!! (that's my favorite thing to do... I love doing custom orders!)
So, go hop around the blog and visit Bella_Casa's Blog Party  and try to win some fabulous gifts!

ALSO STAY TUNED!!!  Wendy at the Shabby Nest and I are doing a Kids Storage Linky Party on February 4th!  Get snapping your pics of how you organize your kiddos and be ready to share and inspire other moms...  it's going to be a fun inspiring day!


Don't Fear the Wallpaper (Projects part 2)

Welcome Linky Party friends from Hooked on Houses... This week I've been hooked on Wallpaper!  Like, Hook, line and sinker hooked.... If you view this post, and this post, you'll get the idea..

Okay, in my shamefully forward way I am once again pushing my paper propaganda on you.  Don't you LOVE this WALLPAPERED headboard?  Feel free to substitute scrapbook paper if you can't stomach the thought of wallpaper... (poor wallpaper has been shunned for so many long years... get ready decor gals... it's coming back!)
Wallpaper your plates?  Or your husbands highschool woodshop project... whatever will hold still hand has a great shape!  No, it doesn't work on women who are over 30 and have 6 kids... some things just can't be covered.
A little up close tutorial... visit this link at  BHG.com for the complete shpeal.
Cabinet made cute!  Thrift Stores beware!  See?  You don't have to scrape this stuff off of walls!  If you're sick of it in a year... donate it back!
This little wonder hides plenty... I need one of these to hide my husbands guitars and banjo(yes. Really. We have a banjo. Guitars- we have 5. Maybe I need a wall full of these things).  Just head down to HomeDepot and pick yourselves up some of them hollow closet doors.. cheap. Wallpaper, trim (Ribbon would look so cute) and I personally would add a hook or two.  Then stash all of your dirty clothes behind it!  End to laundry woes all because of wallpaper!

By way of announcement... I have a givaway for my Pretty Organizers going on at Bella_Cassa... AND Shabby Nest Wendy and I are hosting (mostly it's Wendy) an Kids Storage (Organizing) linky party in a few weeks... stay tuned! Also linked to The Inspired Room today! Go check these ladies out!


Love me some patterns on my Walls!

Okay, so I'm a Wallpaper pusher... my new fad.  You're probably wincing because you moved into a house with wallpaper like this... (check out those phones!)
Ya, pretty frightening... and I know ya'll are scared by the removal process.  I've removed plenty of pukey paper in my day... all the while cursing the homeowner who thought orange and lime green flowers were loveable enough to plaster ALL OVER the walls!  But toile... really?  Will toile EVER go out of style... (I'm turning into one of THOSE homeowners! and without shame.)

And how could I possibly paint this look in my bathroom?  
I've already told every reader who could stand to read through my incomplete sentences and elementary grammar that I. Love. THIS. Room.   LOVE IT.  Want it!  NEED IT!!  Can you imagine me hand painting that toile so some homeowner after me could praise my name and just paint over it!  NO!  I'll leave my legacy thank you and paper them.
Woman cannot live on Paint alone... I think that's in the House Beautiful Bible...
Photo credits: first two House Beautiful, Last 3 BHG

Textured Wallpaper

Welcome Inspired Room Linky Friends!  This week I have moved closer to my goal of Authentical Living with 8 people in the house.  I've been looking to highlight bits and pieces of my home with beauty... and I think texture is important... it also hides a great many ills as you will see.  I'm on a wallpaper trip because I think it's most effective in covering up what paint can't, dents, chips, and boogers... oops did I say that? Read on..

A little inspiration today from BHG.  Textured wallpaper is plain ol' white and paintable.  You can glue it to any flat surface and presto! You have texture AND a little architexture.  This cornice is a great example... it can also be used to emphasize your crown molding!
Wallpaper placemats?  Heck why not!  It's vinyl, it's sturdy.  Just sew a ribbon around the edge and mitre (or not) the corners.  TaDa!  Fancy PAINTABLE (heehee) dinner setting.

Ugly boxes?  Confession: I decorate regular old cardboard boxes with wallpaper (and contact paper.. you know the sticky sided stuff for drawer lining?).  It's super cheap and the wallpaper makes the boxes last forever... even after your color scheme changes... that's when they go in the closet to organize shoes!

Okay, I'm totally embarrassed to even show this.  Yes, that's a graffitied lampshade and it's in MY HOUSE!  It's on a crystal lamp no less... and of course NOBODY did it... he's a real criminal at this house, he does everything: Snitches out of the chocolate chip bag, leaves his wet towels on the floor, NEVER cleans up his toast making mess... grr.  I was thinking about spray-painting the lamp shade because I'm cheap but how about this?

Hmm.... a new look I could go for AND I can paint over it when NOBODY writes on it again!  Just wrap that lamp shade in some textured wallpaper and I have a Sawweeeeet look!  How about this cute dressed up dresser?  Wallpaper isn't for walls anymore.  
For a complete list of pictures and how to's head over to this BHG link.

By way of announcement... I have a givaway for my Pretty Organizers going on at Bella_Cassa... AND  Shabby Nest Wendy and I are hosting (mostly it's Wendy) an Kids Storage (Organizing) linky party in a few weeks... stay tuned!  Also linked to Hooked On Houses party today.   Go check these ladies out!


Wallpaper Teaser

I love patterns. A good fabric or wallcovering goes a long way to define a space or state who you are... and depending on the pattern, SCREAM who you are. It's the high heels of a great room.

This week I'll have a few ideas on what to do with Wallpaper. No longer is it restricted to our walls (but if you're brave or fall head over heels for a pattern like I have, you'll want it everywhere!).

Start searching the couch and your laundry room for spare change and go visit Ballard Design's Wallcovering section to get a few ideas on fabulous patterns.

Don't forget to identify a space that needs a little character.

I'll meet you back this week with some fun ideas for adding patterns in your home in "unusual" places. Let me know where you'd like to make a statement with wallcovering!

PS- Thanks to my dear readers who have been so encouraging with emails and comments! I {heart} you all and can't believe ya'll keep reading this stuff!
All Photos from Ballard Designs
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