Re-Organizing Our Home…

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I recently shared my ideas on redesigning our home, since then I’ve been reorganizing our home in the hopes of making our tasks and chores more efficient.

At the top of my list – The Kitchen!

Aside from a complete kitchen makeover, complete with a newly redesigned cabinets, I’m attempting to reorganize and even purge my kitchen. My pots and pans typically stack within each other nicely but their corresponding lids were everywhere! I took my completely unorganized and “looking like a bomb went off” pots/pans/lids cabinet to a much more organized cabinet with the help of this sweet baby!

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#TargetThreshold Pot Lid Rack

I shared these photos on Instagram recently because I was beyond excited with the pot lid rack/storage I picked up from Target’s Threshold Collection.

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AFTER: Organized!! Ah, much better!!

Now let’s talk cheap under the kitchen sink storage. I know there are many pricey items you can purchase or even DIY to make the space under the kitchen sink more organized, just take an afternoon stroll through Pinterst! But for now I’m not going with any of them! Instead I’ve picked up a few smaller plastic baskets and even a couple of magazine storage folders from Target’s dollar spot (BTW – this isn’t a @Target sponsored post – but I wish it was! 🙂 ) to help corral my dish-washing/cleaning supplies perihelia!

Take all your messy sponges & scrubbers and put them in a plastic freezer bag and seal so that… 1.) they last longer & 2.) they’re easier to store. After this step I also had enough room to add my rubber gloves and a pouch of cleaning wipes!

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And finally my simple solution to corralling the plastic grocery bags we re-use as trash can liners. Take an empty Kleenex box (or your tissue brand of choice), fold the plastic bags neatly, and stack them inside the box. I fold mine in half, in half again and then in a zig/zag pattern by thirds from top to bottom so I can layer them. When we pull one out the next one pops up!

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I’ve also put a few smaller cleaning supplies in these cute little pink plastic baskets!

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I’ll be highlighting other places throughout our home and hopefully a few more in the kitchen too, that I’m slowly organizing/purging in future posts.

Review of 2013 – Happy 2014!

2013 Recap…

2013 was just full of surprises for our little family. Opportunities we thought were coming our way crumbled right before our eyes, but God opened other doors and brought blessings that were better than we ever dreamed.

From January through May I posted lots of different looks and styles here on RubysNPurls. I had fun with them but once June hit and I returned to college part-time, I found that I simply didn’t have enough time for everthing and blogging too. I was also really unhappy with my weight & to be honest was tired of posting photos of myself in outfits that weren’t that great. I knew once I started walking to school my weight would improve and it did somewhat over the summer, however it wasn’t until Caveman and I started the Paleo Diet in early September (4th to be exact!) that I really saw an improvement in my weight, my mental health and my energy levels.

As I’ve lost the weight, now down 30 lbs, my style has evolved as well. I am turning to more classic/taliored looks and surprisingly to me, wearing more black. I’ve always liked black but as Caveman told me recently, “Honey, black is your color!” LOL!

I also highlighted a few home improvements that we tackled in our backyard, along with the bounty from our garden and a quick little DIY. It was a good year, but as we look out over the coming 2014 we’re seeing lots of big changes in our future.

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2014 Goals

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I saw a quote similar to the one above on Pinterest the other day only it said “Amazing, Loving, Strong, Happy, Selfless and Grateful”. I think these are the qualities I will be striving for, as a person, as well as a Mom this year!

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I saw this one too and (I’m not sure of the source for either of these, so if you know it could you please pass it along?) I really liked it…

“2014 is your year to ..Begin, have NO regrets, Hone your personal style, Love, Simplify, Go on an Adventure, Change your outlook, Love WHAT you do, BE YOU!”

Most of these were already my goals for 2014, this just put them into words beautifully!

As far as social media, you’ll find me on Pinterest & Instagram because I enjoy both so much. But here on this little space, my time will be limited. My focus has shifted away from style/fashion posts to spending quality time with my family, being real and in the moment. I think that’s one reason I really like Instagram because it’s a snapshot of a moment, not some longwinded explanation of what’s been happening with me, blah, blah, blah. That’s not to say that I don’t love dropping in with a post every so often, so for now I’m keeping an open mind and keeping the blog open. I’ll re-evaluate as the year progresses!

I hope all of you have a truly blessed and wonderful 2014.

Amazing Amazon.com Christmas Deals!

Yes, it would seem I’m breaking my radio silence to bring you some amazing deals from Amazon just in time for Christmas!

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This year I told Caveman I really wanted a bracelete for Christmas. So I found a few great examples on Pinterest, showed them to him and asked if he would visit a local jewelry shop to purchase them. He decided he didn’t want to make any purchases without my approval so we visited the jewelry shop together this weekend, with a sicker-than-we-thought Caveboy intow. At the shop the prices were REALLY high and Caveboy was definitely sicker-than-we-thought! So….when we got home and I looked up some braceletes on Amazon and found this beauty.

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This year has been really hard picking out the special something for Caveboy! He went around telling everyone he was getting an iPad until I finally got him to understand that iPad’s are just a little too much for a 4-year old! He loves dinosaurs but lately he’s also been getting interested in matchbox cars. I decided to search for matchbox racetracks at Amazon.com and what do you think I came across? This amazing (doesn’t require batteries, got great reviews from other customers, & doesn’t make any additional sounds) dino-matchbox-racetrack! He’s gonna love it! I threw in some other dinosaur related books, stamps and temporary dino tatoos for fun and I’m calling it done!

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Caveman asked specifically for one of these babies, way back in the summer so how could I refuse?!

We’ve gotten free shipping on most all the orders and some amazing deals are going on right now. If you are still needing a last minute gift but can’t get out to the stores, head on over to Amazon.com now. Here’s the ordering cutoffs as of 12/16!

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I’ll be back later this week with a few reveiws and our Christmas Card this year!

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliated links. All opinions are my own!

Part 3: Operation Outdoor Spruce Up – The Deck

In honor of Memorial Day and to kick off the summer, I wanted to follow up with a few of our latest outdoor DIY projects. Last spring I left you with only one installment of Operation Outdoor Spruce Up, part 1, where Caveman installed a play-set for Caveboy and then yesterday I debuted Part 2, where Caveman upgraded our rotting board sidewalk to a brick sidewalk.

Today is all about the Deck and the area around the deck. NOTE: Picture heavy post!

BEFORE:

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Best BEFORE view I have of this side of the deck and the landscaping around it.

Around the sides of the deck there had been dark mulch with some hosta plants but we took those out temporarily because Caveman wanted to add more dirt and pebble rocks instead of the moldy mulch. Also note our old sliding glass door in the photo above. The right side, behind the wind chimes, was fogged up when we bought the house. We’ve wanted to replace that door since before we moved in but kept putting it off for various reasons.

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Side Yard/Old Patio BEFORE: View 1

This is where our old failed patio was located (and the grass was taking over), then it was Caveboy’s giant sandbox for a while. Instead of there being a huge expanse of paver bricks like before; Caveman wanted to incorporate a few matching elements from the rest of the yard like a brick sidewalk and red mulch along with the pebble rock.

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Side Yard/Old Patio BEFORE: View 2

Best view at ground level. Please pretend there isn’t a chain-link fence in the way.

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Side Yard/Old Patio BEFORE: View 3

When there was mulch & hostas around the deck, we had also planted Flame Grass; which promptly took over! It went into the yard, under the deck and down both sides of the deck. I had made an attempt at removing some of it towards the stairs when this photo was taken, but I gave up after a few hours and I had only move 1 foot! Caveman finished it up!

As I’m sure most people do, we wanted a back yard where we could come and enjoy the outdoors; play on the grass, maybe barbecue and hang out with friends. I think we’ve achieved that back here now.

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AFTER: Deck, complete with new door!

In this photo you can really see the pebble rock landscaping really well as well as the new Patio Doors!

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We love these doors!! You can open them up to add a whole new outdoor room!

We mostly only open these doors wide in the spring and fall due to the humidity and heat in the summer, but we couldn’t be happier with them. The built-in blinds are so wonderful. The previous owner had lace curtains in front of the sliders for privacy. We never could find anything we liked to replace them so we lived with them. Now no more lacey curtains and plenty of privacy!

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AFTER: Deck & Side Yard – View 1a

New sidewalk on the right to match the left side, and fresh coat of deck stain on the deck.

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AFTER: Side Yard – View 1b

I’m sorry about the super bright sunlight in these photos. Right where the shadow line falls is where the red mulch is separated from brown pebbles.

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AFTER: Side Yard – View 3

Hopefully you can see the difference better here.

MONDAY:

Made By You Mondays @ Skip to My Lou! / Ready, Set, Pin Party @The Girl Creative / Craft-O-Maniac / Sumo’s Sweet Stuff / Creating Really Awesome Free Things (C.R.A.F.T.) / Making The World Cuter / Keeping It Simple / Mad in Crafts / Sew Can Do / The DIY Home Sweet Home Project / Naptime Crafters {1st Monday of the Month} / I Gotta Try That / Moonlight & Mason Jars

TUESDAY:

Today’s Creative Blog / Tip Junkie / Not Just a Housewife / Sugar Bee Crafts / Home Stories A to Z / Our home away from home / I’m Topsy Turvy / Nifty Thrifty Tuesday / My uncommon Slice of Suburbia / Funky Polkadot Giraffe / Mommy By Day, Crafter By Night / The Kurtz Corner / Confessions of a Stay at Home Mommy

WEDNESDAY:

Lil’ Luna / Ginger Snaps / Someday Crafts  / High Heels and Grills / Sew Much Ado  / Creations by Kara / Grateful Belly / Your Whims Wednesday / Seven Thirty Three {Girl Related} / Free Pretty Things For You / Wow Us Wednesdays

THURSDAY:

Somewhat Simple / Fireflies and Jellybeans / House of Hepworths / Katie’s Nesting Spot / Farm House Porch / The Shabby Chic Cottage / A Glimpse Inside / Bloom Designs Online / Thrifty Decor Chick / Jillify It / Reasons to Skip the Housework / ThinkTankThursday / Thursday’s Favorite Things

FRIDAY:

Feathered Nest Friday / Tidy Mom / Sassy Sites  / Thirty Handmade Days / 504 Main / Fabulously Creative Friday / Happy and Blessed Home / Pin Me Link Party

WEEKEND:

Tatertots and Jell-O  / Saturday Nite Special / Lolly Jane / That DIY Party / Home Sweet Home / Be Different, Act Normal / I Heart Naptime / Sunday Funday (monthly) / Weekend Wander

Part 2: Operation Outdoor Spruce Up – Sidewalk Upgrade

In honor of Memorial Day and to kick off our summer right I wanted to follow up with our latest outdoor DIY projects. Last spring I left you with only one installment of Operation Outdoor Spruce Up, part 1, where Caveman installed a play-set for Caveboy.

It’s awesome, we all love it! Upcoming DIY Project: The canopy needs replacing, so I’ll be completing that transformation at some point this summer! I’ll be sure to blog about it when I do, 😉 !

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Play-set Summer 2012

So let’s jump right in, shall we?

BEFORE:

The sidewalk/boardwalk to the back “forest” where our dogs are fenced in was rotting down. When we laid the boards we knew it was only temporary solution that got us up out of the mud until we could replace it. One Saturday morning in early summer, Caveman walked in from feeding the dogs and declared he would replace the horrible rotting board sidewalk that very day. We loaded up and when straight to Home Depot; picked up some landscape fabric, came home and got to work. We already had the bricks for the sidewalk from a previously failed patio project.

1st he dug out the area and made sure it was nice and level. He tamped down the dirt and back-filled with sand (we also had on hand). Next he laid down the fabric making sure to leave sufficient overhang on the sides. Then he started with the older, uneven brick in the center using a basket-weave pattern. Finally he added the newer, smooth brick as the border.

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During the Sidewalk Installment (I was baby wrangling!)

See the older board sidewalk behind Caveman? That is what the entire sidewalk looked like. We only replaced the section that was inside the backyard.

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Back-filling the low spots with dirt and adding grass seed.

AFTER: This is the completed view…

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New Sidewalk Up Close!

We have thoroughly enjoyed this upgrade. It keeps our feet cleaner, less mud in our house and is just so pretty too.

Approximate Project Costs:

All in all this project wasn’t that expensive. We did not use anywhere near 100ft of the landscaping fabric, so we were able to use it on other projects – like the flowerbeds around the deck.

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Pulled Back View of the Backyard

Speaking of the deck, sprucing it up is our next DIY project this summer!

MONDAY:

Made By You Mondays @ Skip to My Lou! / Ready, Set, Pin Party @The Girl Creative / Craft-O-Maniac / Sumo’s Sweet Stuff / Creating Really Awesome Free Things (C.R.A.F.T.) / Making The World Cuter / Keeping It Simple / Mad in Crafts / Sew Can Do / The DIY Home Sweet Home Project / Naptime Crafters {1st Monday of the Month} / I Gotta Try That / Moonlight & Mason Jars

TUESDAY:

Today’s Creative Blog / Tip Junkie / Not Just a Housewife / Sugar Bee Crafts / Home Stories A to Z / Our home away from home / I’m Topsy Turvy / Nifty Thrifty Tuesday / My uncommon Slice of Suburbia / Funky Polkadot Giraffe / Mommy By Day, Crafter By Night / The Kurtz Corner / Confessions of a Stay at Home Mommy

WEDNESDAY:

Lil’ Luna / Ginger Snaps / Someday Crafts  / High Heels and Grills / Sew Much Ado  / Creations by Kara / Grateful Belly / Your Whims Wednesday / Seven Thirty Three {Girl Related} / Free Pretty Things For You / Wow Us Wednesdays

THURSDAY:

Somewhat Simple / Fireflies and Jellybeans / House of Hepworths / Katie’s Nesting Spot / Farm House Porch / The Shabby Chic Cottage / A Glimpse Inside / Bloom Designs Online / Thrifty Decor Chick / Jillify It / Reasons to Skip the Housework / ThinkTankThursday / Thursday’s Favorite Things

FRIDAY:

Feathered Nest Friday / Tidy Mom / Sassy Sites  / Thirty Handmade Days / 504 Main / Fabulously Creative Friday / Happy and Blessed Home / Pin Me Link Party

WEEKEND:

Tatertots and Jell-O  / Saturday Nite Special / Lolly Jane / That DIY Party / Home Sweet Home / Be Different, Act Normal / I Heart Naptime / Sunday Funday (monthly) / Weekend Wander