I Heart Paper Source

Last Thursday I took some time to myself to just walk around the local outdoor mall.  I even dined at a hot spot for lunch at the breakfast bar, with someone else I didn’t know (gasp!). It was totally awkward but the french toast was worth it.

Our local outdoor shopping center has a Paper Source.  It’s a store I have been in love with for many years.  If you can remember I purchased the paper for Oscars drawer liners there (seen in this post).   When we got married I also purchased rehearsal dinner invitations and stamps there.  It’s a wonderful store to peruse if you have some time.  I always find unique gifts there and nonsensical things that I believe I need.


While I was perusing, I came across some hilarious greeting cards I thought I’d share. Although in going through them I must  have naughty brain because they almost all contain the same swear word. Oh well, sh*t happens, right?

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Nothing says “Happy Marriage” like the card above.  Bring a little reality to the situation by informing the happy couple what they just did.  =)

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A nod to my port home of Seattle.  Not sure that shitload is the technical term but the lovely little containers say thank you all over them so it’s gotta be ok.  Photo Oct 01, 11 56 25 AM

No way, 29 again!!!! That’s fantastic!

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I mean come on….it’s Kanye!  Me thinks, no explanation needed.

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Sounds like something my two year old would say or think.

All dry humor aside, they do have some wonderful gifts at Paper Source.  Things I wish I would’ve seen two years ago.

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This book has a hard page for each month where you can paste of photo of your little one.  It also has a removable card with fun info you can fill out about the milestones during that month.

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I thought this was especially cool.  I wanted to buy it but wasn’t sure if O was too old. He wouldn’t appreciate it as a young adult, but I’m sure as an adult with children of his own he would appreciate meaningful words from his parents.  I think Chris and I would both love to know true, spur of the moment thoughts from our parents, even if it was about nothing in particular.

I bought a darling felt garland for our mantle also.

Paper Source

And I loved their DIY kits for Thanksgiving place cards.  If only I could have a super duper groupy turkey day.  Paper Source would be my go to.

Paper Source

Check out http://www.papersource.com for a complete line of paper, stationary, gifts, and decor items.  

Tell me, where is a store you could get lost in for a few hours?  A day?


Organizing a Tiny Apartment Bathroom

Remembering from my previous post, we recently moved into a tiny apartment from a large condo.  Chris and I had a spacious 5-piece bath.  His and hers sinks, a cabinet each and two drawers each. There was a huge soaking tub and a glass shower.  I had loads of room to sit and do pedicures and wide counter space to do play with makeup for nights out.


Ugh.  It was gorgeous. And I miss it.

This is what we’re working with now….

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One sink, one teeny tiny drawer each, and one cabinet to share.  Tub/Showed combined- although the shower is bigger which I actually really like compared with our condo.  Organization has proved to be important. Its a constant struggle but we’re managing with a few things here and there.

We went from two sinks to one sink with very little cabinet space.  I made the most of our drawers, cabinets and medicine cabinet (not pictured).

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This bathroom was long and narrow.  I used our Raskog utility cart for extra towel space and to contain my cleansers and perfumes.

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I have a general disdain for particle board etagere’s but it seemed necessary for this space. Seemed was the key word- we ended up not really using it.  It was more of a decorative space.  I think I would’ve rather had a cabinet over, but being an apartment we didn’t want to put large screw holes in the wall. As another note, isn’t that a swell shower curtain?  We’ve had this little gem since we moved in together 9 years ago. It was only used in the condo in Oscar’s bathroom as decoration, since we had a glass shower door.  I was stupidly excited to be able to use it in this apartment. 

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The master bathroom also had a linen closet.  I ended up having to use the space for medicines and general toiletries. I dedicated a shelf with baskets for our first aid, medicines, cold/flu items (necessary because we ended up being sick most of the first 6 months we lived in CO), and essential oils.


In this bathroom my organization go-to’s have been

1. 3M Command Strip Hooks–  we’ve used these for bath towels.  One on the outside of the shower for a quick grab when the shower turns off.  And two in place of a towel bar (because the apartment one fell off and we didn’t want to ask maintenance to put it back up) on the opposite wall of the shower.

2. IKEA  Raskog Utility cart– I used this to store extra towels, my cleansers and cotton products. As well as my monthly Birchboxes.  =) Find it here

3. IKEA White wall Shelf (can’t find the name)- We put this up to get our Sonicares and Chris’ trimmer up off the counter. With only one sink and a narrow strip of counter on each side I used vertical space to my advantage.  The apartment provided towel ring is tucked conveniently under the shelf.

4. Container Store Cable Twisters– we used these to wrangle all the cords that were coming off the little shelf.  These worked brilliantly, until of course I had to untwist the whole thing to get one electronic device off the shelf.  =\

Container Store Cable Twisters

5. Container Store MagnaPods-  I used these on the inside of our medicine cabinet.  As a note, I’ve always had this notion that I hate medicine cabinets. Call me irrational, especially because now that we’re in our townhouse that has zero medicine cabinets- I really miss them.  The MagnaPods worked perfectly to hold my go-to makeup items.  Quick grab in the morning made for a stress free getting ready routine.

Container Store MagnaPods

6. Wire Shelf for under sink and plastic bins-  I used the wire shelves to elevate baskets of bathroom items over each other, using the cupboards vertical space to its full capacity.  Hair products and styling tools went in one basket, makeup items in another.  Barely used items went on the bottom back area.  Chris had a basket he could use for random bathroom things that he has.

6. Hair dryer holder InterDesign Over Cabinet Hair Dryer Holder- really helpful for a quick grab of the hair dryer without having to dig into my hair product basket.

InterDesign over cabinet hair dryer holder on Amazon

There you have it, except as I’m writing this post it’s a little too late. I started this post months ago and since then, we’ve moved again.  Into a bigger townhouse and I’m re-organizing the master bathroom once again. Much needed space,but I hope you can use some of the ideas in this post to organize a small apartment bathroom.  My biggest pointer, use any space you can and purchase or fabricate organizational items.  It’ll make your brain function more efficiently and keep you happier! 

Jokkmokk table and 4 chairs

Fun to say AND functional!

As I was wiping the yogurt smears and residue off our kitchen table yesterday it occurred to me that we’ve had this little gem for about 9 years.  And it’s still available at IKEA.  Currently on sale for $129, but I believe it was $99 when we bought it.

IKEA JOKKMOKK Table and 4 Chairs

We purchased it shortly after moving into our first apartment together.  At that time it was the perfect fit for our little place and has followed us to each home since.  In our Washington condo it fit really well in our breakfast nook and was always the perfect place to sit on a Friday morning to drink coffee and blog.  After we had Oscar it quickly became the local feeding spot.  We hooked up his high chair to one of the tables chairs and away we went with baby food adventures.    In our tiny Colorado apartment its been a bit of a catch-all table.  It started out as a kitchen table, then a sewing table, and now its back to Oscar’s daily yogurt eating station.  He’s not in a high chair anymore so its rather prone to getting foodie fingerprints all over it.


Always been a napping spot for the kittens.

sewing ironing board cover above

My original sewing spot in our condo


Pumpking carving workshop

kids table

“Kiddie” table for Christmas dinner 2012

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Tucked in the Denver apartment, freshly cleaned of yogi-ness.

But its held up wonderfully.  Its still sturdy as the day we bought it and is super easy to wipe down.  It is natural pine and we’ve never added a finish to it.  My go to cleaner is Sprayway window cleaner and every once in a while I’ll follow up with Pledge.

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While “researching” for this post, I came across some beautiful IKEA hacks for this table. We are getting ready to move, so it’s possible in the new place I may consider doing something like this. Although, we may need to wait until Oscar is more in control with his eating. Right now the table works great as is, but I certainly have some new ideas.

A Mommy’s Life with a Touch of Yellow- Jokkmokk table makeover

Simple stain and paint seems to give this table a whole new look!  I love the stain color above and the color she is able to use throughout the rest of the dining area.

Courtesy of Ikeahackers.net

IKEA furniture has an old reputation of being disposable furniture, but this piece has really surprised us.  For a basic kitchen table it has been amazing for our little family.  I can see us keeping this table for many more years- using it as an art table, an office desk, crafting table, or continuing to use it as our breakfast nook spot.

What pieces have you had forever?

I can make a designer handbag, right?

As long as I’ve worked I’ve always wanted to buy a designer handbag for myself.   I could’ve pulled the trigger many times with holiday bonuses or Nordstrom gift cards but, for some reason, never have.  Most likely it’s Chris’ frugality wearing off on me. Since we’ve been together I’ve become increasingly frugal. My how things change.  

I inspect other women’s handbags and drool, or criticize those wearing CLEAR AS DAY knockoffs.  I am not handbagless.  No, no.  I have two satchels that I absolutely love- one being a Coach Poppy that was a gift from my adoring mother, and the other being a yellow leather Steve Madden with gold hardware- a gift from my husband (see my Anniversary gifts post here).

But there’s something about simple, classic, black leather goodness. A handbag that gets great use but also looks really good on.  One that will last for years.  Decades even. Something that makes you smile every time you look at it.  A bag that begs you to fill it up with lipsticks, bronzers, cell phones, headphones, diet coke, and maybe a pull-up or two.

Try pulling the trigger on these lovelys.  Damn expensive (who needs retirement anyway?), moderately expensive (I promise to sell more Green Rock items), and expensive (crap, that’s still really expensive).

Valentino Rockstud Pagoda Shopper Tote Bag, $2995.00

MARC by Marc Jacobs “Too Hot to Handle Mini” shopper, $448.00

COACH Nolita Satchel in quilted croc leather, $395

Aren’t they gorgeous?

This is more reasonable affordable (but won’t I look like one of those absurd knockoff carrying imposters?)

Ok, I’ll get to my point.  In the middle of the night months ago I started obsessing over making my own bag.  I’ve made a simple canvas tote in a sewing class.  And a zippered weekender for my sewing machine using a pattern from Sew Sweetness on Etsy.  But could I make a handbag?  I’d be determined to make this one different.  I’m going to take my time with this one.  Yes.  Make sure it has the design elements I want and the little touches that will make it mine, all mine.  Chris thinks this is a stupid idea.  He sees me buying up fabric and digital patterns and thinks, why not just buy the $45 Macy’s handbag. I think his actual words were, “Is it worth buying $100 in materials for a $40 bag?”.  Where’s the flipping emoji for that?

BECAUSE damn it all I want a handbag that makes me smile and drool, but haven’t been able to find anything I like in the $45 range.

In walks the next Sew Sweetness pattern I may attempt.    Here is my mood board of sorts.

Overall Bag



Doesn’t exactly scream designer handbag- but I believe with custom hardware and a lux feeling outer fabric I could make this into something that would feel beautiful.

Outer Fabric

I had two croc fabrics left over from my cake box making days and recently purchased faux leather in pebbled and smoother finishes.  Right now I’m thinking I’ll go with the faux leather, possibly using one finish for the straps and one for the body. I’d love to use actual leather but not sure my Brother machine would be able to handle it and I’d have to look into the price.


Green or black croc vs. black pebbled leather

Lining Fabric


Elk wearing sunglasses vs turquoise chantung silk

I love the little elk wearing sunglasses.  I found this fabric at my local sewing expo but didn’t quite scoop it up.  I told the vendor what I was making, she was familiar with the pattern, but she scoffed at my choice as this for a lining.  She suggested I buy something “cheaper”.  Obviously, she doesn’t understand the point of this whole extravagant project.  What do you think- happy little Elk dude or dressy silk? 



Removable strap hardware, Antique brass owl zipper pull, metal zipper, flat and round rivets, and antique brass purse feet.

The removable strap hardware is really unique and I love the idea of purse feet to elevate the feel of the bag.  The flat rivets will be placed where the handles attach and possible in other areas, like the flap pocket on the front.   A fun little owl zipper pull will give it a fun element.

Final Touch

For my final touch I’d really like to put a gold or brass insignia on the inside or outside of the bag?  Sort of my designer logo for my very own purse.  Two ideas, both without the chains:

1.Have a designer on Etsy make a stamped initial nameplate like in one of these necklaces, maybe 3″ x 1.4″.

2. Purchase a Monogram necklace in gold or antique brass and secure it to the front of the bag somewhere.

monogram option

What do you think??  Waste of time? Will I look like ridiculous?  Give me your ideas! 



I’m Back! Complete with my Little Sewing Nook

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Man, it’s been a long time.  11 months since I’ve done a post.  I’m sure I wasn’t missed, as I have approx 3 followers.  A lot has changed since I was away.  My husband got a new job so we up and moved to Denver.  Our gorgeous condo I was working so hard to spiff up?  Yeah, we sold it. Downsized too! Went from a 1,756 square foot condo to a not-so-luxurious 950 square foot apartment.

I’d say we are a wee bit cramped.  This has meant getting creative with storage solutions.  The last time that Chris and I lived in that small of a space was before we were married and with no children.  A very busy two year old cooped up in a tiny apartment has us sometimes wanting to pull our hair out.  Luckily, Colorado has some pretty fabulous open spaces, loads of parks, and plentiful sunshine.

The other thing I’ve been up to is creating for my sister-in-laws Etsy Shop Green Rock Creations.  She makes handmade burp cloths from cloth diapers and I’ve been making pacifier clips (and anything else I can come up with).  Because I no longer have the loft as my sewing space I’ve been setting up shop in the dining room/kitchen.  There have been many nights that my poor husband and son have had no place to eat because I was in the middle of a project.

This is why I’m so very grateful that they bought me a sewing desk for my birthday. You can imagine that when I asked for it, including that we’d also have to move other furniture around, Chris was more than happy to run out to IKEA that very day. We created the nook for about $120.

IKEA Micke Desk $89.99

Pegboard $5.78

Spray Paint $3.98

Various hooks, baskets, and dowels $20

My little sewing nook!

My little sewing nook! Pictures of my favorite family, my thread catcher, and sewing mat.

This part of the apartment can be rather dark, so I use one of our extra lamps to give me a little extra task lighting if I’m working at night time.  This nook is right next to Oscar’s bedroom but so far it hasn’t been a problem to work while he’s sleeping.

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In our old apartment we were very anti drilling anything into the wall, however with this place we pretty much said “Screw it” as I’ve got to remain sane. If screwing things into the wall means saving our sanity then by all means HANG IT ALL!!

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My TO-DO list clip board and some cheery artwork to keep me smiling!

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Pegboard with my ribbon, notions, cutting tools, and quilt rulers. I plan on adding a thread rack in the space.

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Quick access to sewing machine tools, pacifier clips, and Jamberry album sheets.

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Everything in its place- and labeled!

I tried to have everything in a little container, organized so its easy to find.  I used leftover labels that I got on sale at the container store.  Find them here

I still have to find a solution to put away my hoard of fabric, and finished products.  Those are currently in giant rubbermaids and I’ve tried to squeeze them next to the desk.

So….what do you think?

I’M BACK!!! =)

From formula container to glam vase! A Mommy craft day…

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When Oscar was using formula we’d go through a canister a week.  We bought ours from Costco so they were a large round container.  I kept thinking it was such a waste to just toss them in the recycle bin.  I sifted through some Pins and found that a few others had the same idea.  One that struck me as neat was the DIY gem covered formula container, made into a vase.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the original source, only the picture.

Kirkland Formula upcycled into vase

I have a wonderful mommy group that I’m apart of so I created a Mommy Craft Day for us to try out some of our glue gun skills.  When they got here we ended up letting the kiddos play and we chatted for a while.  Eventually, and too late, we got to crafting.  Turns out 16-18 month olds don’t really have the patience past their nap time to wait for momma, despite us calling out, “We’re almost done baby”.   I chose a small pattern and then on the next row moved the start of it over 6 gems.  Another mommy placed all her gems vertically and another just started gluing them on however they came to her.  Creative randomness? Is that even a thing? Doesn’t matter, because each one turned out really great!

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I went to Jo Jo’s and picked out some flower bunches for 50-70% off.  I wanted to do fresh flowers, but I wasn’t sure how the inside of the container would hold up with water.  Good news is that artificial flowers are looking pretty dang good these days. I tried water and fresh flowers on a smaller Similac container and it ended up rusting a bit.  Though the outside of the canister looks metal it is just a metallic covered stiff cardboard.  I also tried painting Mod Podge on the inside to seal it, but it beaded up before drying.  Maybe some of you will have a suggestion on waterproofing the inside of a container like this??


One of the mamas used hers as a fancy sparkly bookend and monitor stand.  The gems give it the weight and the canister gives the height, making it perfect for that use.


I put mine with the flowers on our new hutch.  The pattern turned out totally random.

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Any upcycled DIY projects on your mind?


Modern Vintage Hutch!

I’ve been looking for something to store our china, bar ware, and serving ware.  For the longest time all our fancy wedding gifts were in boxes in Oscar’s room, then the guest bedroom in under-the-bed storage boxes.

We don’t entertain very often, however when we were engaged I had high hopes of hosting cocktail parties and holiday dinners.  Growing up, my moms side of the family would always have formal holiday dinners and happy hours.  I remember dressing up in my fancy dress, delivering refilled beverages (hey, don’t judge), and putting out the appetizers. I’d stay up, listening to the grown ups laugh and chat, until I could barely keep my eyes open.    Fast forward to today… not so much entertaining happening in our neck of the woods.  You might remember two Christmases ago when we hosted Christmas dinner and got to use all my fine china and beautiful tableware.  You can check out the fanciness here.

In the town next door to ours there is a cheeky vintage home store called Persnickety’s Awesomeness Emporium.  The store owner, along with other local artisans, revamp vintage furniture using a modern flair.  I’ve been stalking her Facebook page for a while now, waiting for something to catch my eye.  So when this lovely lady got posted Oscar and I took a little stroll through the town.

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Persnickety’s Awesomeness Emporium

Isn’t she gorg? Mandi, the owner said it was a very sturdy piece that should be able to accommodate what I needed. (Mandi, if you’re reading this, I’ve already forgotten what kind of wood it is. =\) I brought a couple of my dinner plates with me so that I could see if they would fit in the drawer.  This piece is only about 21″ wide and 25″ tall.  It’s small but still fits two dinner plates side by side, with room to spare. The price was right, so I called Chris to help me come pick her up.

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Olive hard at work…

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Raffle tickets for price tags and “old fashioned” triple copy receipts. Love local business!

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Three drawers completely with pulls, flashy knobs and a pull out drawer on top.


When I checked out the inside of the drawers there was a random name written inside and a ink stamp that said, “Have Fun”.

I had no idea there was a gold finish on it until I got it home and into the natural light.  It brings a little bit of glam into the dining room. Oh gawd, now I’ll have to change the light fixtures…

Rustic red with gold wash

Rustic red with gold wash

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My mother-in-laws silverware chest and my DIY crystal vase with flowers!

The drawers were a bit musty, so I kept them open for a day or so and then used this tutorial for a DIY drawer freshener; using witch hazel, baking soda and essential oil, made into cakes.  The drawers were good as new in a couple of days.  Over the last few weeks, I’ve been slowly transferring things from upstairs to downstairs.  

 The top drawer is for our tablecloths, placemats, cloth napkins, and napkin rings.


The middle is for our servingware. 


And the bottom drawer holds the heavier china.  Not all the pieces fit, but at least the main pieces got crammed in there.

 I used my drawer liner tutorial that you saw for Oscar’s dresser drawers.  Paper Source came through again for the beautiful paper.  I couldn’t decide between two of them, so I chose to alternate between the three drawers.  It was more textured, so the contact paper didn’t stick as well. I love how the paper is bold yet feminine.  I’ll be the main person rooting around in the drawers, and this paper will give me a little pitter patter when I see it.  

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The Paper Source

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All three drawers jazzed up!

All three drawers jazzed up!

The next order of business is to hang ledges above the hutch and dress them up with barware and some artwork.  I still need a place for all of our wine glasses and formal bar glasses, but that may have to come in the form of a different piece of furniture. 

I’ll post when I make the project all complete.   Hope you love the hutch as much as I do.  I’ve never purchased something that is truly vintage because I didn’t think it went with my decorating style.  This little gem fits in nicely, and the ledges should add a little bit of modernness that’ll connect it to the rest of the house.  

Ever bought a vintage piece? Tell me (or better yet, show me) about it!