Paint Sets the Mood

Before you go painting your kitchen blue or your bedroom bright red, take a little time to think about what kind of moods you want in your space.  Do you want a kitchen that evokes strong passions, active and lively conversation, and increases metabolism?  Think Red... or some form of red...'

Green colors invite conversation and friendship.  Green also is a soothing color and the traditional color for peace... a color that's great for a living room or family room.

Yellow is a cheerful and welcoming color.  It brightens dark hallways and energizes those within her walls.  Yellows, in their more subtle form are great for hallways, entries, and living areas.... even bedrooms.

Don't worry about the color police checking to make sure you have the right color in a room. The truth is, you choose the function and mood you want a room to convey and then use color to accomplish that goal.

Take a bedroom for instance.... I want all of my children to relax and never speak another word after 8 pm.  I want them so mellow that they melt when their heads hit the pillow.  I want them always, "feeling groovy" and "chilling out" and  CALM!!!  That's why one particular room is blue... and why another room will be blue very soon... and why I'm seriously considering turning my master bedroom into a "feeling groovy, chilling out, CALM oasis" of blueness.  There is a reason Spa Blue was invented... it was for me.  I'm sure of it.
!!Fun Reads!!
  • For a professional read up on the meaning of every color and shade of the rainbow, go visit the Color Wheel Pro
  • If you want to know what moods certain colors evoke, visit the Paint Quality Institute
How have you used colors to evoke moods in your home?
Photo Credits:: Decorpad.com


Things That Make You Go Ahhhh...

Today I give  you a few things that make me say, "Ahhhhh..."  Contrast is beautiful.  This kitchen from Point Click Home, Elle Decor is a striking sight from the contrasting counters and cabinetry, to the well displayed dishes in the cut out cabinets to the hard lines that contrast the circles and ovals in the cupboards, pictures, and tea set... beautiful.

If you ever see a large basket in a thrift store... buy it.  If you see a small basket in a thrift store... buy it.  Baskets make "stuff" look fab.  This pantry is my dream.  Notice there are no black marks on the shelving from dirty little feet trying to scale the shelving... hmm.   Those plate holders... they're going to be hung next to my sink when the open shelving goes in.  Thats the ONLY thing on my Christmas list.  Zip.  Zero distractions... only shelving and... well the unspoken 400 sf. needed laundry room.

Some of you may have closets that hold junk.... AND that same group may not have a dedicated office space.  Try parting with your junk.  Jack up your beds on risers and stow things underneath to clear out that closet.  Closet offices are a great use of space and may just help you get the rest of your life in order.  When you finally DO get the hubby man to finish off your new space, make sure you take a picture talking on the phone in your heeled boots and send it to me!  I always talk on the phone with heels on... oh and I vacuum in heels as well.  And I SOOO want to see your new space.

Thanks for bearing with the quickie post... I just came back into town this evening and Mount Evererst moved into my kitchen sink while I was gone.  I'm sure all the Shirpas and Tibetian Monks are wondering where that natural wonder went... it's in my sink and covered with old food and sippy cups.


Arranging the Furniture to Welcome Fall

When the night-time temperatures drop below 80 degrees in Arizona, I think about fall.  Thinking about fall makes me thing about nesting... and projects... and entertaining... and cozy nights with lights low and curling up with a blanket (something Arizonans never do.  Ever.).

As the temperatures drop and you gather in your harvest, think about gathering in your furniture as well.

During the Summertime I open up my living space and traffic areas to allow kids room to run and play (remember, I live in 110 degree Arizona).  When October hits I begin to move furniture around... often. If you're blind or went to bed early, my home is dangerous.  Nothing stays in one place for very long and one is likely to trip over a sofa on the way to the bathroom.

Position your furniture for conversation.

Try to keep chairs less than 8 feet apart for easy conversation.  Coffee tables are comfortable at around 14-18 inches distance from the sofa.  Move sofas and chairs away from the wall and position them to face each other.  Choose a main focal point in the room... (like a fireplace or a window) and position furniture around that point.  Don't be afraid to pull in rogue chairs or ottomans to offer extra seating space and a second conversation area in a room... if you're lucky enough to have one that big.  Last year I found a way to seat  10 in a very small living room because I rearranged the furniture.

Don't forget to add the finishing touches to a great cozy fall room.  Books, close intimate lighting, blankets, and even floor pillows help create a space that will make your family and guests want to linger longer.

How do you welcome in Fall with your furniture?
Photo Credits: HGTV.com designer profiles.. living room.

UPDATE::  I am out of town for a family funeral. I'll do my best to have the Friday Weekend Boutique up on time but I'll be driving all day THursday so if it's a little late... be patient!


Open Kitchen Shelving... When do you need it?

You'll know open kitchen shelving is right for you when:
  1. You run out of cupboard space for dishes
  2. The dumb builder made cupboards on either side of your kitchen sink an "option" and the previous buyer never thought she needed cups by her sink and opted for the media niche instead.
  3.  You need a visual clue to run the dishwasher because your dish shelf is empty.
  4. You don't care if anyone sees the hazy white film on  your glasses because you want neighbors to remark about them so your husband will break down and buy a dishwasher that works.
  5. You're tired of hearing the cupboard doors slam when  your kiddos climb up on the counter and scavenge for chocolate chips or old sprinkles.
  6. You have 6 kids.
  7. You open the cupboard and stare inside trying to remember what you needed in that cupboard....

    Before having 6 children my dream kitchen consisted of granite counter tops, fancy cabinets with oodles of doors and knobs and a pantry the size of Rhode Island. Clean lines and hidden junk mean a well put together kitchen, right?
    Well fast forward to today: I fix 24 meals a day... 24 meals a day not including snacks, dessert, or the neighborhood Stove Top Stuffing or Ovaltine soirees. Now imagnine how many cupboards I open, how many dishes I soil, how many times I wonder where that bowl got put away. Too many I assure you. Open shelves are efficient. Our family eats the equivalent to a neighborhood diner worth of food a day and we require a unique set up in the kitchen to meet our needs... shelves. If they're good enough for a restaurant, they're welcome over at this palace.
    If you're considering a low cost way of adding character and function to your kitchen, open shelving may be fore you... as long as  you don't feel  you need to keep every dish clean all the time just to make the shelves look right.  Just remember that the kitchens above are inhabited by photo stagers, not REAL cooking, cleaning, soup slinging mommies!


Friday Weekend Boutique- Get Craft'n

Crafting,boutique,for sale

What's blogland selling at the boutiques this year? Come see... come shop... come buy from women and moms who could use the extra cash for their families.

The Friday Weekend Boutique will be held every Friday through Christmas!

This week's feature business is owned by a mother of 3 kiddos who loves to cook and bake and design. She and her sister started Scribble It, an online decal and vinyl store.

They even have a fab DESIGN CENTER where you can custom design your order and they feature something uniquely wonderful for all you trying to figure out what you're getting your mother who has everything this year:

Chalk Board Vinyl!!! Yes, I'm totally in love with these 2 style cut outs but you MUST go see the others for sale. Really ladies, these are fantastic... AND affordable.

Aren't they cute in this nursery? I'd love to slap a couple of those decorative ones above on the outside of my kitchen cabbys! Are your creative craft'n juices flowing?

Are you ready to get crack'n with craft'n for the holidays?

So many people to make for, so little time (when you start in December!).

Let's go shopping this weekend! Be sure to spread the word and link up below.

If you'd like to be a featured crafter on Fridays shoot me an email:

PrettyOrganized {@} gmail {dot} com

Hurry to reserve your spot at discount September prices!

Rules:Please link up to your blog post about your online store and include a link back to Pretty Organized Palace in your post. Feel free to include PayPal buttons on your site or the link to your craft store. Be sure to tell everyone you're participating in The Friday Boutique over at Pretty Organized, this will help all crafters get more traffic to their sites! and don't forget to BUY, BUY, BUY! Let's help stimulate the homemakers economy!


Making Use of Tin Cans

Martha Stewart offers a great tutorial on Tin Can Jack-O-Lanterns.

Another Martha favorite... spray paint tin cans and use as vases, or containers indoors.

Great article at HGTV on organizing with tin cans.

Add a strong magnet for use on the fridge or tool bench...

Don't forget tomorrows Friday Weekend Boutique! Come, link up and sell what you've been making! Just link to a blog post about your product and add a PayPal button or a link to your Etsy store. Let's get Christmas shopping done early and buy from creative ladies who are looking to make Christmas cash for their families.

Crafting,boutique,for sale


The Mother Ship:: Motherhood in Male Terms

7 years ago I was driving in the car and trying to explain to my husband how I felt. 7 years ago I had a 3 month old baby and didn't quite feel like myself... by a LONG shot. I loved being a mom. I loved attending to the needs of my family. I loved it all but I felt like my own identity was gone. I couldn't go to the bathroom alone never mind about sprinting to the store to restock the makeup supply or run to the craft store. YIKES!

Husband listened and tried to understand....

Then it hits me: The analogy of all time. Perfect for the wonderfully attractive brilliant man that I married.... I'm the mothership.

You know in the movies... all great missions have a mother ship. The mission could never succeed without the mother ship. Smaller craft are housed in the mother ship... maintained in the mother ship and always return to refuel, get repaired or receive supplies from yes, the Mother Ship.

When I had my 4th I had spent only a few months in between each pregnancy NOT being the mother ship. Everyone physically needed me for something. Nursing babies attached for refueling, smaller children attached for guidance or protection, older children found me in the bathroom in dispose even when I turned on my cloaking device to request repair or refueling and my husband... well, lets just say being the mother ship is a physically demanding job. Even exhausting.

It's easy in those moments to forget who you are. You become a docking station; a service station; a collective entity that lives to fulfill the mission. It's easy to feel like every inch of your beautiful body has become a utility for an others physical needs.

So how does a Mother Ship retain her identity? Never Forget the Mission. EVER. You accepted it. The mission would fail without you. Your little ships need you and you house the heart of all that is sacred and worth saving. You are the main generator, the life source, all that is good, keeper of the innocent and pure. After a day of fueling, housing, servicing, maintaining, and protecting think about your mission. If you explain things well to that sweet husband, maybe, just maybe, you'll be the Mother Ship wearing lipstick and high heel shoes. Some day your little fighter jets will stop coming to refuel and you can repurpose your ship to fly along side those fighters but until then... you're the Mother Ship... and never forget it.

Watch husband finally "get it" ... it's such a great analogy it may even make him cry... or at least salute the great things you do!


Apothecary Chests:: Organizing the Small Stuff

Now if Apothecary conjures up images of drugstores and Chinese herbal medicinal remedies, you haven't searched blogland long enough. With a household of 8 there is one agonizing organizing rule I live by: Go vertical! Give me hooks, nooks, and places to store books.
PotteryBarn uses this great Apothecary Chest in the intry... did I just write that?? Entry! Too lazy to hit backspace. Anyhooo... Just looking at the 2 medicine boxes I TRY to keep sorted for those kiddos begs one to re-examine individual compartments for little things... you know, like places to store all of the Band-Aid wrappings instead of just thrown around the medicine box.
In my Palace, this wonder stair Apothecary would organize little things like Barbie heads, dirty socks I was too lazy to haul upstairs, all the missing pieces to that Lego thing, wipes and extra diapers.
Drawers for socks, undies, bras, nylons, scarves, belts.... little things need their own vertical space other than a door knob to hang from. Not to mention CD's! If you're really old fashion you can use them to house your card catalog.
What would you do with an Apothecary Chest?

Winner of the Friday Boutique Medical Log by Best Nesst is Amy from Love Notes! Congrats! Ness of Best Nesst will be emailing you! Don't forget to link up this Friday to sell your crafts throughout blogland!


The Friday Boutique

Crafting,boutique,for sale

Welome to the Friday Boutique! Each week until Christmas I will be offering a place for crafters to link up to a blog post about their products and their online store for free. Each Friday Boutique will run through the weekend giving bloggers plenty of time to advertise their wares. Don't forget what this is all about... SHOPPING!! Start your Holiday shopping early and do a litte bit each weekend. I'm planning on doing all my shopping this year through these small businesses... I want to put my money into HOMES... into FAMILIES. Let's support each other.

Each week I'll be featuring a few crafters with links to their online stores. If you'd like to be a featured crafter shoot me an email at PrettyOrganized {at} Gmail {Dot} Com and I'll give you current pricing. Pricing through September is less than some spend at Sonic each week.

::Featured Crafters::

Nester at Nestingplace
If you don't know who my sweet girlfriend Nester is... you've been under a rock. Nester blogs over at the Nestingplace and is a glue gun slinging crafter who shoots from the hip and makes ordinary things like doors and plates look like extraordinary works of art. She's been hotly pursued to market her original unique decorative tassels by Dayspring... a Christian division of Halmark.

Go check out her creations... each is complete with a scripture verse sure to inspire the heart of a homemaker. I Heart her myself!!

Shabby Nest
Wendy at the Shabby Nest blogs on about all things vintage, decor and beautiful. She also hosts a great Frugal Friday linky party each week that may help you with Christmas ideas! On top of her successful blog, Wendy puts her artistic skills to work at her Etsy Store The Shabby Nest.

She makes incredible hand sketched cards.... and beautiful tile necklaces... again, sketched by her own talented little hands! LOVE this bee necklace!

Oh, and the genius, mother of 4 also sews fantastic pillows! I love her number pillows... Um... I need 8 please.


Jenessa over at The Best Nesst chiseled her crafting niche in the homemade journal and address book business. Ness runs a great store over at Etsy with custom PRETTY journals and address books complete with thoughtful scriptures on the front.
Ness was a sweetheart and was willing to offer a new product here on Pretty Organized Palace as a giveaway this weekend.
Leave a comment below and you'll be entered to win a custom Medical Log Journal created for your family by Jenessa. I've blogged here and over at Blissfully Domestic about the medical log that I created but ya'll would be embarrassed to drag my sad stuffed spiral notebook into the doc.
Drop me a comment and let me know what you think about The Friday Boutique. Drawing will be announced Monday and the winner will be emailed by Jenessa!


Let the buying and selling begin!

Rules:Please link up to your blog post about your online store and include a link back to Pretty Organized Palace in your post. Feel free to include PayPal buttons on your site or the link to your craft store. Be sure to tell everyone you're participating in The Friday Boutique over at Pretty Organized, this will help all crafters get more traffic to their sites! and don't forget to BUY, BUY, BUY! Let's help stimulate the homemakers economy!


Pinching a Penny 'till it Screams

There isn't any wiggle room in our budget. I think there used to be a long time ago but my memory really isn't that good. I don't mind trumpeting my frugal horn all over blogland because well... it's true... we live very frugally, and we're good at it. But sometimes money gets even tighter than we imagine it could.

So, what happens when a frugal family has cut every common luxury (cable, dining out, runs to Sonic- you get the idea) out of the budget and STILL needs to pinch pennies to survive? Right now our Octo-brood is about as pinched as you can get. As a good friend says, "I pinch pennies so hard I make them scream."

When I need to find extra cash around the holidays I start in the kitchen.

Here are some tips to significantly reduce your food budget:
  1. Only buy what you need. This will sound ultra miserly but bear with me. The USDA has a great website that outlines nutritional needs. I offer my kids their needs... because I want them to be healthy and that's what I can afford. Parents: We over feed our kids expensive foods that lack nutrition! Why not offer them what their bodies need and save money? Go visit www.MyPyramid.gov and see the different food pyramids for your age kiddos. Heck, you can even find out what portion sizes in each group you need to lose weight! They have great interactive tools that will help you figure out what the NEEDS are of your family. 'nuff said.
  2. Cut out cold cereal. Fix Oatmeal, Cream of Wheat, Cracked Wheat Cereal, homemade pancakes, eggs. These meals fill you up faster and stick with you longer. Try making them overnight in a crock pot and reheating them for a few days for convenience.
  3. Monitor the Milk. We buy 8 gallons a week! Geesh, If I let my kids drink as much milk as they wanted to, we'd need to buy stock in a dairy. Nutritionally kids and adults only need a few dairy servings a day. Offer proper nutritional servings of milk products and then let the kids drink good old H2O!
  4. Popcorn is a great snack! Popcorn (air popped) is cheap and a great healthy whole grain snack. My kids love this FILLING treat after school. Try different toppings for variety: half butter and half soy sauce (big hit around here), butter and ranch or use ranch dressing powder, BBQ seasoning powder, Mrs. Dash.
  5. Eat leftovers. If you hate left overs... start thinking survival. We don't throw any food away. I call left overs "Planned Overs." If we have broccoli for dinner, it ends up in an omelet, soup, or stir fry for the next night. Get creative and try to find a way to reinvent your left over into it's own dish. Soup and quiche are great leftover mediums. Just think how much you save in ingredients by reusing what you already have!
  6. Eat less meat. Meat is a great luxury here. We eat it often but I portion it out carefully. Again, I only give the serving size amount per the food pyramid. My 4 year old meat-aholic thinks it's child abuse but I assure you, she's healthy. A 4 oz serving size of meat looks small but really, that's all you need and so it's all we eat.
  7. Use nutritious fillers. I try to serve homemade whole wheat bread with every meal. I offer potatoes, rices, couscous, stuffing... anything that my kids love to help fill them up. Vegetables are very filling.
  8. Cut the drinks that aren't really good for you. Soda, Beer, Wine, Coffee, Energy Drinks, Punch... I know, I just heard a thud at the other end of the computer. Are you okay? Did I hit a favorite vice tender spot? Might as well throw in cigarettes while we're at it. Ladies, these things add up and really, they aren't so great for you. When you need to pocket change and cut corners... add up how much a week you're spending on liquid pleasures. A Diet Coke a day may take the grumpies away but... oh heck... you get it. Do I still have any friends?
  9. Keep Snacks in your car. I started doing this to avoid heading to drive thru's when the munchkins were munchy. Stow granola bars and water bottles under your seat for a quick fix for hungry kids and skip the fast food.
  10. Cook inexpensive meals. Duh... I know. Disney Family Magazine has a great article on cheap family meals. Check it out HERE.
For other penny pinching ideas see: Penny Pinching Grandma and Stretcher-Feeding a Large Family.
Grab a button and spread the word!

Don't forget to grab a button and link up tomorrow for the Friday Boutique. This will be happening every Friday through Christmas. Come link up to your blog post about what you sell and start your Holiday Shopping early!


Knowing When to do a Half Way Job

If you're a mother, then you know what it's like to be overwhelmed. You know what it's like be on your feet every waking minute of the day, moving, sweating, exerting precious energy only to take a last glance at he house before locking the doors and turning out lights to see... that nothing really seemed to get done.

There are days when doing a half way job on the house brings a lot of relief. Think! Instead of tackling that whole bathroom, couldn't you just clean the mirror and sink?
The tub may not need to be cleaned as much as your toddler needs to be held. Throw the towel in and leave the tub.

Motherhood has it's seasons. There are seasons for volunteering for PTA, seasons to organize your house and entertain guests, and seasons to slap the friends welcome sign on the door and hold your head high when that friend walks into your pile of laundry on the couch and building blocks on the floor.
I spout on and on about cleaning and routines around here like my house rivals the Queen of Clean. If ya'll feel overwhelmed about not being Henrietta Homemaker then breathe and examine your season.
If you have small children, take a good look in the mirror. Recall when your last full night of sleep was... double check the bags under your eyes. You don't have to do it all. Just shine the mirror and look at your beautiful self and do a half way job until your season changes.
This message brought to you by a mother of 6 in her pre-holiday season, volunteering too much, house is a disaster, laundry is running down the stairs season of overwhelmed. Tomorrow I'm taking a half day off!

You can catch me over at Blissfully domestic today!

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