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Disney Magic: Sorcerer Dylan

What a fun surprise we had recently when Dylan had the opportunity to "open" the Disney Store with a little magic!

We set out for the mall to buy some new shoes for school and accidentally arrived before most of the mall stores opened for the day. Strolling around to pass the time, we were walking by the Disney Store when I remembered having seen photos on social media of other kids getting to "open" the store. Without telling Dylan (in case I was wrong), we convinced him to wait outside the store. We spent the time encouraging him to search out hidden Mickeys in the window display.

So glad we waited! I'm not sure when we'll get this chance again and it was such fun for the 3 of us. Dylan got to dress up like Sorcerer Mickey and do some "magic" to get the book to light up. Then one of the Cast Members gave him a special Mickey lanyard as a gift. He wore it the rest of the day and it now proudly hangs in his room with one from our visit to Walt Disney World last year.

Thanks, Disney, for helping us turn an ordinary day into something magical!

Supplies: Storyboards 1 template and Digi Essentials by Karla Dudley; Bermuda Triangle collaboration from Pixels & Co; Create Something Beautiful kit by Sweet Shoppe Designs; Dude kit by Robyn Meierotto; Peachy Keen kit by Dawn by Design.


Baby Girl Nursery Ideas

The weeks are starting to fly by and we're beginning to put together the nursery for Baby Girl.

Same as when Dylan was an infant, the nursery and guest room will be combined. We have the space in our new house to split them up, but there were a few times when he was little when I really appreciated having a full size bed in the same room. The guest room is larger than our other remaining bedroom and also quieter & darker.

Having an existing room to build off of gave me the inspiration for the colors. The comforter on the guest bed is navy blue. The dresser is one I found on Craigslist a year ago and painted yellow. I've recently acquired a changing table also from Craigslist and painted it the same yellow. Adding navy and coral elements such as the new fabric for the crib bedding to help tie it all together.

I'll share more photos as we make progress. Hoping to start sewing the bedding and new crib rail teething cover this weekend.


Kids Consignment Sale Tips

One of my favorite things each spring and fall? A local kids consignment sale - Kids EveryWear. I've been selling and buying clothes, toys, and gear at this bi-annual sale for the last 4 years. It's definitely helped me "keep down the cost of growing up" as their slogan says. I can clear out old stuff from our home and outfit Dylan for an entire season for as little at $60. The average price I pay per item is under $2 and this is offset (sometimes completely covered) by my own sales depending how many items I sell each time.

I typically make at least 90% of the possible highest amount I can return. How do I know this? For starters, I created a spreadsheet that I update as I price my items. It totals up all my prices plus subtracts out the consignment costs (i.e., Kids EveryWear has a single fee of $12 and then return is 65% of your earnings). I've built these amounts into the spreadsheet calculations. This way I can see that my efforts are worth it and have an idea how much money to expect afterwards.

Find my full post on everything from pricing to presentation to get the biggest return possible in kids consignment sales on Mom in Chapel Hill today: Consignment Sale Tips.

Do you shop or sell at consignment sales? Feel free to share any thoughts or tips you have in the comments.


Sports Themed Bedroom

When it was time to move Dylan from his toddler bed to a twin bed, I knew it was time for a change from the zoo themed nursery decor of the toddler room to something a little bit more grown up. I wanted to create a room that would grow with him. Lucky for me, he actually helped make the decision when he picked out a fun metal wall art of a baseball player. That was the start recreating his bedroom with a sports theme.

Some of the details have remained from his rooms in both this house and our previous house. The triptych over his bed, for example - he still likes all three elements and now regularly asks me to read the Dr Seuss quote to him (find the canvas quote art tutorial here).

Kermit the Frog and Scout were also "friends" before the transition (as well as Seahorse who was on vacation with him when I took these photos). We added a plush soccer ball to help pull in the theme on the bed with the new striped quilt & pillow sham.

On the opposite side of the room from his bed, is his dresser, larger toy & plush toy storage (beneath table) and a shelf of sports memorabilia.  I had fun pulling together a few items we owned plus a few extras to create this mix. We also purchased on a whim the fun basketball goal wastebasket to use for a hamper (perfect size for his small clothes). When he gets older, we can actually use it for intended use.

Home Goods: Quilt & pillow sham; Ikea: plush soccer ball; Pottery Barn Kids: letter 'D'; Overstock.com: curtains; Target: curtain rods (Umbra), bed skirt, plastic bin with wheels, & monkey bean bag; World Market: bookcase; Hobby Lobby: metal wall art baseball player; BJ's Wholesale: basketball goal hamper (waste basket); Land of Nod: red shelf; The Container Store: acrylic canister for baseballs; Carolina Hurricanes: foam finger; Durham Bulls: Section 120 sign & Durham Bulls hat sculpture; Autographed baseballs - single a gift; grouping in jar were signatures I got at Richmond Braves games growing up; Consignment sale: light; Thrift store: small table, trophy (repainted); Gift: ceramic baseball piggy bank; Canvas wall art: DIY project. Tutorial here.


Start of Kindergarten

I've seen so many first day of school photos in my social media feeds this week. Hard to believe Dylan's first day of kindergarten was over a month and a half ago. I took a few minutes last night to look back and put together a page for his yearly photo book of this latest milestone:

He's currently on his first "track out" break from the school year and won't be back in class until early September. The first quarter went well so while we're enjoying a break, we're also looking forward to seeing what the second quarter has in store.

Has your child (or children) started the school year yet?

Supplies: Road to Success kit by Karen Funk; Right Now brushes by Karla Dudley; Bugaboo elements by Deena Carter.


DIY Cork Boats

One of the activities during Dylan's Pirate Birthday Party last month was creating Cork Boats. They were very easy to do and a lot of fun. Here's how to create your own:

  • corks (ours were purchased from The Scrap Exchange)
  • foam sheets
  • wood skewers
  • foam stickers (optional)
  • hot glue
To keep the craft simple & do-able during the party, I did a bit of prep work beforehand. I used hot glue to attach the corks together in sets of 3 to create the base of the boats. Then quickly sketched a sail pattern onto a piece of scrap paper and cut it out to trace onto the foam sheets. I precut all the of sails.

The skewers purchased from our grocery store were far too long so I cut each in half with a pair of scissors and poked them into the sails. Then separated all the pieces into plastic containers and set out on our Little Tikes picnic table for the kids to have easy access. We put together one boat so they could visualize the project.

Admittedly, craft projects with young kids can be hit or miss. Depends on the personality and interest. These cork boats were a huge hit. I think the simplicity and quick assembly helped. Plus, the allure of water is always a huge hit with boys. We had a low container filled with water just to the side of the picnic table so they could test out their boats.

After the party, we found Dylan happily playing with all the leftover boats. A lot of fun pirate play resulted from this simple craft.


Summer Fun - No List Required

I love summer. The warmth. The sun. The long days. The water. So many good reasons. I've never made a summer bucket list though. Partly laziness but most recently - why put that stress on myself? We're juggling full time jobs, house projects, one child in kindergarten (already over a month strong there!) and another on the way. So many things. But amidst the busy days and lack of a list, we're still squeezing in a lot of summer fun...

We've watched outdoor movies with neighbors in the parking lot of the neighborhood pool.

We're visiting the pool as much as possible to swim and take some gravity off my growing belly!

Dylan has had visits to see all 3 sets of grandparents (aka "grandparent camp") and been fully spoiled with swimming, fishing, his first ever trip to South Carolina, etc.

We celebrated Dylan's 5th birthday with a great at home pirate themed party complete with plenty of time playing in the backyard thanks to unusually cool weather.

We've gone geocaching.

We went to a Durham Bulls baseball game to celebrate Trent's birthday and attended a Carolina Railhawks soccer game with a good friend.

We played mini golf for Father's Day and the boys have played their own version of putt putt in the garage on rainy days.

We made S'mores.

We took a trip to the mountains and visited Tweetsie Railroad.

No trip to the coast this year, but we still managed to find the beach a bit closer and spent time at a local lake with friends.

Hmm ... thinking perhaps I should continue with the "no bucket list" thing - seems like we manage to squeeze in a lot of fun without one and summer isn't even quite over yet.

What do you do? Summer bucket list or no list?


ProBlogging MiniCon 14 #NCBN14

If you're in North Carolina and a blogger, you will want to know about the new NC Blogger Network. One of the founders is none other than my good friend and blogging partner at Mom in Chapel Hill - Allison Carter - and I'm proud to be part of the Leadership Team. NC Blogger Network (NCBN) is a brand new online community formed to help connect, educate and support bloggers across the state of North Carolina.

The first NCBN event is next month in Durham and features a 1 hour "spark" session where each speaker has 5 minutes to present their topic. There will also be networking and giveaways. It's sure to be a fun night!

Find more information such as the awesome speaker line up and purchase tickets (hurry - early bird ticket price of $15 ends August 22nd) at the NC Blogger Network here.


Half Bath Makeover

During a visit to see my mom a few months back, I helped her with a simple makeover for her half bathroom.

It had been pretty much the same (minus some fresh paint and replaced outlet covers) as it was when the house was built in the late 1980s.

We replaced the mirror, outlet covers, towel ring, toilet paper holder and light fixture. Away went the brass and off yellow to make way for the slick, modern feel of brushed nickel. The mirror frame and outlet covers are slightly different finishes, but have a similar trim detail which helps bring some consistency to the design.

The single brass light fixture was replaced with a double wall sconce also in a brushed nickel finish. Not only does it look more up to date, but the bathroom is much brighter now.

The makeover took about an hour to complete with the bulk of the time spent on the light fixture. If you want a fresh look in about 15 minutes, start with just the decorative items (mirror, towel bars, wall plates). Replacing those simple items can make a huge change in the look of a bathroom.

Cost breakdown: approximately $110 (all purchased from Lowes):
- Fallsbrook Bathroom Vanity Light
- Delta Windmere towel ring and toilet paper holder
- Brainerd pewter wall plates 
- framed rectangle mirror

For more bathroom makeover ideas - see the half bath and hall bath makeovers we've done in our foreclosure house as well as the built-in shelving we installed in the half bath in our first house.



FTC Disclosure Statement: This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Currently, I am ...
thinking about how fast this year is going. Dylan is already in his third full week of kindergarten. I just entered the 3rd trimester with this pregnancy. Only 3 more months (plus a tiny bit if she's stubborn like her brother?) before we meet Baby Girl. And, no, we definitely do not have a name. Given we didn't pick Dylan's until he was 8 days late (he arrived 2 days later), I wouldn't expect us to have her name picked until at least mid-October.

preparing for our family changes. Nesting has started to kick in a bit in the form of house projects in general, but also on the nursery. I found a changing table on Craigslist last week for $15. Structurally in great condition, but definitely had seen better times which was fine. I knew I wanted to paint whatever I bought. Lucky for me, her big brother has been happy to help. Soon we'll have a beautiful new-to-us yellow changing table to match the dresser in her room.

reading The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty. I had read her book, What Alice Forgot, earlier in the year and enjoyed it so thought I would try this one. So far, I don't want to put it down. And excited it's my 20th "real" book (i.e., not a picture book!) this year. My goal is to read 30 books and it looks like I'll accomplish that.

grateful that Dylan still enjoys books and snuggles at bedtime. He's growing up so fast, but still little too. I know these days are numbered and I'll soon have to split time between two kids so I'm enjoying them to the fullest.

enjoying regular after dinner game night with Trent & Dylan. It's a fun, relaxing way to spend time just the 3 of us after busy days of work and school. One of our current favs was a birthday present he received - Cars 2 Monopoly.

looking forward to an outdoor movie at our neighborhood pool on Friday night. It was an idea another neighbor started a few weeks ago that looks like will continue monthly into the fall and is a great way to kick off the weekend.

What are you up to currently?


20 Questions at 5

For the 3rd year, I've asked Dylan the same 20 questions at his birthday. It's fun to look back and see which answers stay the same and which answers change.

I plan to put them all into a single book for him later and started with last year's layout to keep the pages similar, but let them each have their own unique look.

Supplies: Daydream papers and Birthday Bash kit by Karen Funk. Questions list from Reaves, Party of Four: 20 Questions


Pirate Birthday Party

FTC Disclosure Statement: This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Over the weekend we celebrated Dylan's 5th birthday with a pirate themed party. We had debated a couple of different themes throughout the year, but after my cousin's wife shipped us a box of leftover pirate birthday goodies - we made our decision and started planning.

I ordered Pirate Ship invitations from Tiny Prints and then created my own return address labels & "no gifts" cards in Photoshop. [Our playgroup alone now has 12 kids with birthdays covering 10 months of the year and we all agreed that our kids have enough 'stuff.' We'd rather get together to celebrate and spend time - no need for more gifts.]

After the invites went out, we began prepping for pirate fun! Part of the simplicity of this theme - I dug out some of our Halloween decorations a bit early and mixed in a few other items like Dylan's Pirate Mickey Ears from Walt Disney World and a new pirate flag I made.

Our guests were greeted by a 'warning' sign at the mailbox: Beware of Pirates. It was an easy DIY project I created using items we already had.

We had planned a few outdoor activities and we were thrilled the morning was overcast and cool (70 degrees in NC in mid-July?? We'll take it!). We set up a simple walk the plank using a 2x4 and 'water' made from a dollar store tablecloth. The inflatable crocodile was a purchase from 5 Below and the kids loved it. Poor croc was drug into the top of the playset on the opposite side of the yard and tossed overboard! They also played a hook toss game (idea and free printable from Fleece Fun) as well as made cork pirate ships to float in a small pond.

We had purchased some plastic gold doubloons to hide in the sandbox for a treasure hunt, but a major rain storm on Tuesday left the sandbox a wet mess so I decided to toss that idea. Really, with the couple of activities plus the playset, toys inside and each other, the kids ages 5 and under were well entertained for the 2 hour party.

Of course, we had snacks - pirate themed snacks. Our menu: Shipwreck Sandwiches (Chick-fil-a chicken minis), 'Berried' Treasure (Chick-fil-a fruit tray), Pirate's Booty, Salty Bones (pretzel sticks), Krispy Buccaneers (Rice Krispie Treats), Jolly Roger cupcakes, Pirate's Punch (lemonade), and Shark's Blood (cherry Kool-Aid). I made the food labels in Photoshop the night before. Literally a last minute, quick project.

The cupcakes I made this year. I love doing mini cupcakes for the kids. Perfect size. Dylan's current favorite colors are blue and orange. When I spotted blue velvet cake mix in the grocery store, I knew it would be a winner with him. I finished them off with white vanilla icing, red sprinkles and a few pirate cupcake flags.

As the kids left, they each picked up a goodie bag with their name on it. I used simple sandwich bags again (love this inexpensive idea - see how I used them for his Cars and Blast Off parties) and created a map design based on this pin on Pinterest. I created mine in Photoshop and ran the bags through our inkjet printer. After filling with goodies, I folded over the top and sealed with washi tape.

Our pirate birthday party was a lot of fun! After everyone left and we tidied up a bit, all 3 of us took it easy the rest of the day. Oh, and Dylan informed me that next year he wants a superheroes party. Already has a plan for year 6. Pause please - let's enjoy age 5!

Source: '5' Shirt - shirt from Michaels, striped fabric from JoAnn Fabrics, black fabric from the Scrap Exchange; Invitations - Tiny Prints; No Gifts Cards - boy pirate image from free Pirate Playdough Mat printable; Pirate Flag - made; Skulls - from our Halloween decorations; Walk the Plank - wood from stash, blue tablecloth from Dollar Tree, inflatable crocodile from 5 Below; Message in a Bottle - small bottle & cork purchased from the Scrap Exchange; Hook Toss Game - Pirate Hooks from Amazon, Printable from Fleece Fun, Rope from Lowes; Plates, paper cups & striped straws - Target; Goodie Bags - pirate ship clip art from ClipArtBest.com.


First Day of Kindergarten

Dylan won't be 5 for a few more days, but he officially started kindergarten last week! We have year round elementary schools here and were excited to be assigned to one. This means he gets a break every 9 weeks plus holidays and has one week off between school years.

Being the scrapbook/photo book/photography loving mom I am, I knew I wanted to do cute first day photos. I liked the idea of a chalkboard sign and recalled seeing a kit from Hallmark's Pics 'n' Props line last year perfect for school photos. Of course, I'd forgotten to buy it. I asked on a Hallmark Facebook group I'm a part of if the kit even still existed. Yes and no. It's been discontinued, but can still be purchased if a store has it in stock. Imagine my surprise to find a package on my doorstep last week with the kit and a handwritten note inside!

While we took photos on his first day last Monday, it was also his only day last week as our school system has "staggered entry" for kindergarteners. He eagerly posed again for photos this week as he began his first full week and was excited to do so with the new sign from the Pics 'n' Props kit. Big grins before heading to the bus stop for his first bus ride to school (another exciting milestone - he's been asking us to please let him ride the bus).

Thanks, Hallmark, for the gift! We were all surprised and appreciative. Between Dylan and his sister due to arrive in October, we'll be using this kit for first day of school photos for many years to come.

*Find tips on taking Picture Perfect Back to School photos from Hallmark here.*

Disclosure: The Pics 'n' Props: My First Day of School Kit was sent to me free from Hallmark, but no post requirements or other compensation were made. All opinions are my own.


Project Kitchen: New Counters

It's taken about 5 months of planning, searching, selecting and, finally, our new granite counters were installed last week.

New Granite Counters - After

The day of installation, we made sure all the counters and lower cabinets were clear and the drawers removed. The sink and dishwasher were disconnected the day before (hence the cardboard lid over the sink - our visual reminder to not dump anything in there).

New Granite Counters - Installation Day

Removal of the existing laminate counters and installation of the new granite counters & undermount sink took only a few hours. I missed seeing it all, but the boys were there and Dylan gave me plenty of sound effects as he excitedly retold what happened. Apparently a good bit of power tools were involved. What little boy doesn't love power tools?

We had to leave them alone (i.e., nothing could be put back on top) until the next day to allow the adhesive to set up. This also meant the plumbing wasn't reconnected until then. I did plenty of staring after. It was such a drastic change. I never liked the blue laminate and, brace yourself, the new color name is "azul platino" and is from Spain. Yes, "azul" means "blue" in Spanish so you'd think I would have run from such a color, but really it's a gorgeous gray blend with little flecks within. Add this color change and the shine of the granite - the room reflects so much more light and feels brighter. Also it coordinates nicely with our new stainless steel appliances (still waiting to replace the microwave & range) and helps tie it all together.

New Granite Counters - Azul Platino

We lucked out when ordering our counters that the current special was a free edge upgrade. Any edge option was available at no additional charge. We opted for the "double radius" and are pleased with the choice. It's a nice smooth finish. I'm thinking probably extra good with little ones in the house. No sharp corners anywhere.

Granite Counters - Double Radius Edge

Projects to still tackle - tiling of the backsplash, replacement of the island and painting the cabinets. I plan to do the backsplash myself and have to pick a tile. I have a couple of ideas and will hopefully find time to tackle it before my belly gets much bigger! In the meantime, I'm happy to live with the exposed gyp board around the room that was previously covered by the backsplash on the laminate. I didn't want to pay for a granite backsplash that I knew we'd eventually tear out.

The island will wait a bit. The size of the current one and fact it was installed crooked (something that drives me batty) are why we didn't replace the counter on it too. We're looking for options that aren't as deep (right now if you open either the dishwasher or refrigerator, you completely block access to that side) but a tad longer. Thinking we'll do a butcher block top. The other catch is when we do this, we'll have to replace the floor too as the sheet vinyl installed just before we bought the house is, of course, cut around the island. Changing the size, placement of the island will leave an exposed area.

A quick look back & comparison of the before taken last Tuesday morning and an after shot I took yesterday.

Next step - pick the backsplash tile.


July 4th 2013 - the layout

A little look back on our celebration last year. Time certainly flies by! We had great time getting together with friends for swimming, movie watching & good food before ending our night just the 3 of us watching fireworks not far from home.

Wishing you a very happy July 4th!

Supplies: Dude, Kraft Fun Day, and Holly Jolly kits by Robyn Meierotto; Little Buckaroo kit by Miss Mint; Lazy Days kit by Kate Teague; Playful freebie by Mommyish.


Baseball Birthday

Trent's birthday was in early June. Sticking with our tradition of giving memories versus physical gifts, I made baseball themed card for him and enclosed tickets for the 3 of us to see the Durham Bulls & Norfok Tide play on the following Saturday night.

Our seats for the game were directly behind home plate and the weather was absolutely perfect.

Dylan and I took a break mid-game to walk around the stadium and caught a glimpse of the gorgeous sunset. Amazingly, even after a long day in preschool and game start time of 7:05pm, he made it through the entire game. We headed out just as the 9th inning was starting and it was clear the Bulls were going to take home the win.

Supplies: cardstock; Studio G stamp; Stampin' Up ink. Scraplift of Make A Wish Birthday Card for Boys by RCreativeCreations.


Rhino Shield Impact Resistant Screen Protector

It's that time again - time to renew our cell phone contracts and upgrade our phones. We had debated waiting a bit, but decided to take advantage of current offers and upgrade from the iPhone 4s to the 5s. That meant it was time for a new round of phone cases and screen protectors too.

We've always had screen protectors and I certainly didn't want to pass on one for our latest investment especially with one young child in the house and another on the way. Kids can be crazy rough on electronics even if they don't mean to be. And, then, of course are the times like when my last phone fell out of my pocket and hit the ground. Not a good thing, but always a bigger sigh of relief when you know you have protected your screen.

I was grateful for the opportunity to try an impact resistant screen protector from Rhino Shield and received the small yellow envelope pictured above. It doesn't look like much from the outside, but inside is the protector along with everything you need for quick & easy installation.

And the Rhino Shield was so easy to install! I've installed (and sometimes paid & watched installation of) screen protectors in the past and this was by far the easiest. No sprays or wetting. Just clean the phone screen, peel the backing from the protector, stick and smooth out. No waiting. You can immediately use your phone and, in my case, I immediately put the case back on.

I've been using the Rhino Shield for about a month now. It has firmly stayed in place. There are no scratches that I can see. It has gotten a bit smudged up on occasion. I've had a similar issue with past screen protectors and fully blame my make-up (but I'd rather battle the smudges that go without that!). The Rhino Shield also feels more like the original iPhone screen to me than other protectors I've used. A nice smooth finish.

Overall, I'm very pleased with Rhino Shield and would recommend to any smart phone or tablet users who want a little extra protection for their device. To get your own, visit their website or check local stores such a Best Buy, Target, Etc. Rhino Shield retails for $24.99.

Note: I was provided with one Rhino Shield Impact Resistant Screen Protector free for review. No other payment or compensation was received. The opinions expressed are are strictly my own.


Small Coat Closet Makeover

We're fortunate to have two coat closets in our house. The larger one is at the back of the foyer by the kitchen and isn't as convenient, but works best size wise for our coats. The smaller is near the garage and laundry room, but is too small to hold all our coats and, honestly, has become a disastrous catchall since we moved in. Until this past weekend. While Dylan was off having fun with grandparents, Trent & I tackled several projects around the house including a full makeover on the small coat closet.

Small Coat Closet Makeover for under $60

Rewinding to last week, here's what the small coat closet looked like:

See what I mean? Disastrous is the correct term. I had made little attempts since we moved in in September 2012, but mostly it was just a dumping ground where the door could close and we could almost forget it. "Almost" in that the shoe boxes on the top shelf hold my work shoes so I literally open this closet at least 5 days a week. No forgetting there was a mess in there.

We started by emptying everything out. I quickly got rid of anything we no longer needed such as some random empty shoe boxes. Then sorted and listed what I wanted to keep/organize. Next I measured the closet and, as with most of our bigger projects, sketched a plan so we could determine how it would all lay out and how much wood we would have to buy.

I knew I wanted one shelf higher. This would be a spot for something that we needed to store, but didn't need often as I have to use the step ladder to reach it. Turns out to be the perfect spot for the cat carrier. We keep this in the house vs the garage because, well, spiders. Eww. And having been through cat emergencies, I like it easily accessible and clean just in case. The step ladder is "next door" in the laundry room so it's not a ton of effort for me to retrieve the carrier.

The existing shelf I decided to keep for my work shoes - it's nice and convenient to quickly grab the pair I want before heading out the door. We had a couple of existing boxes that fit well in the leftover space so we can easily store other items we need but want out of "kid reach" - i.e., ponchos, shoe polishing supplies, etc.

Below this in the middle of the closet, I created an area for our pool/beach bags and towels as well as our yoga mats. I added a hook to hang the pool bag we use the least often. This left enough space below for our extra beach towels. The taupe bag is our "go to" pool bag and constantly packed with sunscreen, fresh towels and our pool key so we're ready to grab and go.

Toward the front, I added a hook on each side. One for Dylan's backpack and one to hang Baby Girl's backpack eventually (for now I'll probably use it for the diaper bag). I made sure to hit a stud for both of these hooks as, obviously, kids are tough on such things.

At the bottom we added two shelves. The upper holds the pool stuff mentioned above. The lower shelf holds two baskets. One for each child to contain their hats and gloves.

Finally, at the very bottom we added a large laundry basket to contain extra shoes. I store my own sneakers here. When searching online and in stores, I found a number of suitable options, but honestly, the price and durability of a laundry basket can't be beat. (The Target bag to the left is temporary - school supplies for Dylan's first day of kindergarten in less than 2 weeks. Eek!)

Best of all, the floor is now clear and there is still some space left in this closet. I almost don't want to put the door back on. Almost. It is nice to know there is a beautiful, organized space hiding there now.

Cost breakdown: approximately $60
- wood for new shelving $37
- paint (already owned)
- nails (already owned)
- 4 robe hooks (only used 3 so far) $6
- 2 black plastic containers $8 (50% off clearance find)
- laundry basket $8