To all my readers,subscribers and followers, I have a new blog with a new address; http://marshasefcikinteriors.ca/
I kindly ask that you please update your RSS feeds, blog rolls and mail readers to reflect the new address.
On the new blog, I am excited as we are offering our first giveaway. You have until Monday to enter.
Sorry that I missed you the past couple of weeks. Jump on over to the new site, poke around and again, don’t forget to subscribe!
See you soon,
It has taken longer than I wanted to go live with my new blog as my computer died and so did my internet. After five days, we are back up and running. I hope to go live by Monday. I just have to relocate all of my files as we lost our hard drive. I am just praying that everything was backed up.
I want to thank everyone for their patience and sharing my excitement in the makeover.
Talk to you soon,
I haven’t been blogging much lately. I am in the midst of a makeover…a blog makeover that is. I am super excited to finally have a blog that will be a reflection of me.
I want to thank my readers and followers and hope you will enjoy my new look as much as I will. There will be guest posts from some of my fellow bloggers who I have admired and want to share with you, giveaways and I will continue to blog about my own personal home renovations, what I am up to professionally and whatever else I may have on my mind.
Here is a sneak peek:
Hope to have the new ‘me’ up and running real soon.
Happy Weekend to Everyone!
Please join me as I participate in today’s blog post of the lovely Sharon and Yvonne over at Layers and Layers. These ladies has been so gracious. I am doubly thrilled as today’s post is about an old cottage-studio in PEI. For those of you who do not know, I live in Nova Scotia and old houses was/is my first love.
I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend. I was fortunate enough to get in some girl time with a really dear friend of mine. We did some window shopping, dinner and a movie. We always enjoy a trip to Chapters Indigo as well where I picked up a new day timer and note book for myself.
Hope Cupid finds you today!!
Several weeks has passed since the Holidays and the barrage of toys that were dropped off under the tree. I thought what better time than to discuss toy storage. I have two kids, a 3 year old daughter and a son who will turn 5 in May. There is only 19 months between so to say I’m busy is an understatement.
I took this past Saturday to dig us out from underneath the toy clutter. The main toy area is our family room and I have developed a toy zone/play area for them which also helps us grown ups enjoy the other part of the space as well. It is the only TV room in the house.
I approached this project by using things around the house for storage rather than making any new purchases.
The dining room has a craft cabinet and then last but, not least, there are a few toys in their bedrooms for quiet individual play. I separate them every afternoon around 3 as that is our witching hour when all hell breaks loose. For their sanity and mine, I send them to their room to play solo.
So here are the before pictures:
I didn’t need to purge as I did that part before Christmas knowing from past experience that we would be inundated with toys from the grandparents and Auntie. Also, none of the storage options that I am about to show you involve placing toys behind closed doors. This may be ok for older children but it has been my experience with my kids that if the toys are behind closed doors, they do not get played with and I find that my children wander aimlessly looking for something to do. My motto, they are young now and the toy clutter can be hard on the nerves some days but, before we know it, they will be all grown up and I will be dealing with dating and other issues.
Here is the after:
With the cubby, I took some of the bins from their bedroom. The white containers are simple rubbermaid dishpans. Nothing glamorous but they were just sitting on a shelf in the basement. What I like about them is that they cost $1 at the dollarstore, they aren’t too deep so the kids can see what is inside and they aren’t too heavy so the kids can lift them off the shelf. Win win for all.
I place lighter objects in the pink and blue boxes and if I felt they were a little heavy, I placed those on the bottom shelf so the kids could slide them out.
I would’ve taken this a step further and placed labels on the boxes but, my kids aren’t of the reading age so I skipped that step.
The Craft cabinet in the dining room holds their markers, crayons, coloring pencils, stickers, glue sticks, paint, play doh, etc. Since we use the dining room table to play with these things, it only made sense to store these items close by. To protect the table, I use a vinyl table cloth which can be found at the dollar store or any department store. This also makes clean up a breeze.
Next, I tackled their respective bedrooms.
In my daughter’s room, I used baskets to store her barbie and polly pocket accessories. A parent couldn’t have came up with the polly pocket idea…all those teeny weeny shoes, brushes, etc. I’m sure some of it gets sucked up into the vacuum cleaner. I also used a larger basket to store her dress up clothes. She has a toy box which is filled with stuffed animals right now and being used for a bedside table. That will change as soon as I find a bedside table that I like. However, I’m not a huge fan of the toy box. As I said earlier, if the toys are hidden away and behind closed doors, my kids won’t play with them.
In my son’s room…well he decided this weekend to break out his train and airport geo trax which is normally in a basket in his closet. So, I did the best I could to make it work. His lego are in the $1 dishpans underneath his bed. The rug is there as that is the lego play zone.
While I was at it, I decided to also organize the kid’s DVD collection. I use two wicker boxes that I picked up from Homesense. They sit on the shelf immediately below the DVD Player.
The last thing was the pine box that I painted and we now use as a coffee table in our family room. It stores their puzzles and games and it is our rainy day go-to box. I use ziploc bags for the puzzles as they take up less room than the boxes and well they get destroyed over time.
So, there you go- some easy and quick solutions to organizing a mountain of toys. I may have scarred my son with the toy purge that I like to do twice a year. After watching Toy Story 3 and seeing what happened to those toys that were donated, he told his grandma that he doesn’t like it when mommy donates his toys. So now I purge the toys under the cover of darkness. I always donate to a charity in need like Autism for Arts or to a family in need. I try and keep as much as possible out of the landfill.
In any case, I hope I have been able to give you some ideas in tackling your own toy clutter.
I have been following Bluebirdbaby for several months. Erin is a neighbor who lives south of me in Maine. She is a photographer and a mom. Her posts are so insightful and very positive. She has started a movement if you will called a Year of Choice. You will notice the button on the main page of my blog as I have signed on to participate in this movement.
So what is “A Year of Choice?” Well, kindly head over to Bluebirdbaby to hear it from the Horse’s mouth so to speak. Essentially, it is a year of making conscience decisions, be mindful and actively participating in the highs and lows that life brings us and seeing the glass as half full rather than half empty. Celebrating the good but, embracing and learning from the bad.
A few weeks ago, I blogged about happiness. The last couple of weeks, my husband and I have chosen to watch some documentaries on our stay at home “movie/date” night which we do once a week. We have tired from the usual same ol’ hollywood movies. Some of the titles that we have watched are No Impact Man, Gasland and H2Oil. My husband is from Alberta and H2Oil really struck a cord with both of us. Now, we try and do our part, we recycle, compost, eat organic, use naturopathic/homeopathic medicines, use enviro-friendly cleansers, we even have our own little vegetable garden and we participate in a CSA with Taproot Farms. In decorating our home, I try to mix recycled and re-purposed pieces with new and use low VOC paint to name a few of the things that I pay attention to when it comes to being eco-friendly in my approach to decorating.
A few years ago, while watching Oprah, I saw Julia Roberts on the show talking about the book, Gorgeously Green. I read the book and our family adopted some of the suggestions such as using soaps, shampoos that are natural/organic. In the past week, I have revisited the book and am planning on taking things a few steps further and plan on going down the same path with my own beauty regime. Now, before anyone decides to attack my choices, I am NOT perfect. Watching the aforementioned documentaries really depressed my husband and I because we feel that we are doing our best to do our part for our family and the earth but is it really enough when you consider what the corporate world and governments are knowingly doing to destroy our beautiful planet?
So that’s where my head space has been the past couple of weeks. Don’t worry, I am working on a couple of design schemes for clients and will posts about that in a couple of weeks. I do not know about you but, since Christmas, I have been struggling with the kid toy issue of storage and organization and that is my project for this weekend. I have taken the before pics of the MESS and will show you the final results. I am approaching this particular project by not spending too much money and showing how you can use things around the home to combat the toy clutter.
Also, we had two snow days this week and I decided to work on my home office- purging and decluttering. I will post about this project as well. It will take some time as I am on the hunt for some storage and a new or new-to-me writing desk. I am thinking some old dressers for storage so if I find them and the price is right they will most likely require some painting. Once I have completed a design scheme, I will post that and your comments and suggestions will be much appreciated…as always.
I am almost finished the purge. As an Interior decorator, I faithfully keep back issues of my design/decor magazines and I do have them filed in magazine holders but my bookcase is getting overrun so the question is- How long do you keep your old copies of magazines?? Would love to hear what you have to say.
A year of Choices,
I haven’t been blogging much lately as I have been busy writing. Let’s back up a bit. In the spring of 2010, I enrolled myself in a Children’s Literature Writing course. I am 70% completed the course. It has been great. My degree is in English Literature. All these years, I thought what a waste of time and money this was and only to find out that I actually have a knack for writing if you will.
In the past several weeks, I have been busy revising and reworking some of the pieces that I wrote a year ago. Recently, I submitted my very first piece to Down Home Life magazine. This magazine celebrates life on Canada’s Atlantic Coast and it was perfect for this story that I had written- the same story was the piece that got me accepted in to this writing program. It is a tribute to my Grandparents who are now pass but very near and dear to me.
Anyways, no it has nothing to do with decorating but, it is a very personal piece about me and my childhood and I would be delighted if you skipped on over and took a peek. The piece is titled Summer on the Shore
All the best,
It’s been a few weeks since I have written a post. I feel I am lacking inspiration. My blog has always been about myself and the ongoing trial and tribulations of our own home renovation and projects that I have undertaken around here. Well, we haven’t been up to too much since the holidays.
We are anticipating ordering our kitchen cabinets in the next couple of days. Just needing to iron out a few details. I have to admit that this has been extremely stressful. I want to make sure we are getting it right- layout, measurements, product, etc and all within our very slim budget.
Last night, I tuned in to Sarah 101 and felt better about my choices and our budget. Sarah demonstrated how you can still have a beautiful kitchen using out-of-the-box cabinets and I must admit, I nearly fell off the couch when she chose a counter top that wasn’t natural stone. At the end of her show, I felt much better about our situation and the choices that I have made. Being an Interior Decorator, I feel that there is this expectation that I am to have custom cabinets, natural stone counters, high end appliances, etc. If I had a money tree growing in my backyard, you can bet that I would have all of the above.
Some of you might be asking, then why did we start this kitchen reno? Why not wait until I could afford all of these things? Well, the kitchen as it was did not function whatsoever for our family. The kitchen had a total of 3 drawers, and four base cabinets- two of which were underneath the sink. I also only had about 4 feet of counter space and not to mention there wasn’t any dishwasher. Plus, it was the only room in the house that wasn’t insulated.
On the East coast, we are unfortunate that we do not have an Ikea store. With that being said, I am going with an out-of-the-box product for cabinets and having the doors sprayed. The color will be white but which white is something that I am still pondering- it is a toss up between Benjamin Moore’s Swiss coffee, ballet white, decorator white or the classic cloud white. My reality is that we can not afford natural stone counter tops and at this point they will be a laminated surface.
I know in my heart, my kitchen will look beautiful when it is done. It may not be magazine worthy but, it will be ours.