Month: January 2020

DIY Play Gym

This DIY play gym was so fun to make for my Little One. It was the perfect activity to engage him and provide him with a fun activity. This play gym is easy to make and in addition, the activities can be changed out and replaced to keep things interesting, making it very customizable. While I liked the look of the light wood, it can easily be painted to match your nursery or other colors for fun.

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Gathering Supplies

To create this delightful play gym you need some wood and a couple of tools to create the basic structure. You will also need some items to hang on the gym. I will link some good options below but this is a great time to get really creative!

For the Gym
  • 4 – 1*2 pieces of pine at least 2’6″ in length.
  • 1 – 1″ dowel at least 2’6″ in length
  • Saw (either hand or electronic)
  • Drill with 1″ drill bit and a smaller bit (something like a 2/16″ but whatever is close will work)
  • Coconut oil
  • Sander and sand paper
For Activities

Assembly

DIY play gym

Once you gather your supplies it’s time to start assembly. Take two pieces of 1″*2″ pine. Then line them up together to create a triangle shape. Have the pieces cross about 3 inches from the top. Find the angle that works for the pieces to create the height you would like for the gym. Use a straight edge to mark across the bottom at the desired angle. Transfer this line to the other 3 pieces. Cut along this line. This will allow the play gym to set more evenly along the floor.

Next, using the 1″ drill bit drill a hole 3″ down from the top in the center on each of the 4 pieces. This is where the dowel will be placed. Now drill a hole using the smaller drill bit 1’3″ from the top. This is where the string will go. The string will help hold things together and prevent the play gym from widening more than it should. I used a ribbon for this but you could use cording or twine. This is why I didn’t have a specific drill bit to use. Use one that will work for the type of ribbon or cording you choose to use.

The next step is to cut the dowel down to length. I chose to cut my top to 2’6″. This seemed like a good length so Little One had plenty of space to play underneath.

Sand all the pieces with a medium grit sand paper and then a finer grit sand paper. Wipe the dowels clean. Next, melt 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in a glass bowl. Using a rag, rub in the coconut oil to each of the four legs, the dowel, and any wooden rings/pieces/beads.

Putting it together

DIY play gym

This next task is the fun part -creating the activities for your Little One to play with! Test out the length each of the activities will need to hang down so it is within your Little One’s reach. Thread the wooden rings along the dowel and attach the cording or ribbon to them. Assemble the various activities using the beads, shapes and any other bits and bobs you have gathered. I even used some fabric with some animals, cut out and stuffed. This is a great way to get creative! You can also change out these activities once Little One tires of them.

To assemble the play gym lay out all the pieces. Make sure all the activities are threaded along the dowel. Insert the dowel through two pieces of the legs, ensuring the legs are situated so the angled pieces will lay flat on the floor. Next, thread the ribbon through the holes, fixing the length so that the play gym sits even.

I have found that the dowel sits tight enough that I haven’t been concerned about it shifting around. However, if it is loose you can also place a small screw through the legs into the dowel to ensure that it is steady.

DIY play gym

DIY Play Gym

The play gym is all finished! What fun for your Little One and mine! This has been a lot of fun and as my Little One has grown, I have some plans to turn it into a new fun play toy…so sit tight for that tutorial!

Have you tried making this or another DIY play gym? Let me know how it turned out in the comments below. This play gym was a great addition to our nursery, which you can check out here.

Small Bathroom Makeover Part 4

Yay! Our small bathroom makeover is DONE! This makeover took a lot longer than I had originally anticipated. I am going to blame part of that on the baby and the other part on me just losing motivation. But I got my mojo back and the makeover is done! I am so excited about how this turned out. The bathroom transformed from a room that was a major bummer to a space that I actually enjoy being in. So sit tight for small bathroom makeover part 4!

The last step of this makeover was the finishing touches. You can see Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 to see how this bathroom transformed.

Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliated links. As an associate I earn from qualifying purchases. If you use them, I might be rewarded credit or a commission of the sale. Please note that I only recommend what I personally use and love and I always have my readers best interest at heart.

The Budget

I had a goal of staying on a budget of $300. Lets see how we did below:

Grand Total of $228.5 – yay, under budget!

Door Updates

Both our closet door and bathroom door were in need of updating. The closet door was a louvered one and way past its prime. We exchanged it with this one from Menards. My hubby painted it the same color as the walls and changed out the plastic door knob that it comes with to a sleek sliver one. We have exchanged all the closet doors in our house to be the same as this one over the past couple of years. This was the last one that needed to be replaced and it feels good now that it is done.

Next we took down our bathroom door. Once it was outside on the saw horses we took off the hardware and sanded it down. It then got a fresh coat of paint and new hardware. This door was in really good shape but it was just starting to look really grungy. The hardware had been painted over main times and were mismatched. This simple update of the door really made a world of difference.

Shelving

So you might have seen the wooden shelves that I made for the bathroom in my part 3 post. I really liked these shelves and they turned out great. But then I went to install them in the bathroom and they looked out of place in there. I think they were too dark and looked bulky, too. I like the shelves and will definitely use them in a different room of the house, but just not the bathroom.

Sometimes that happens, though – something just doesn’t work in a space. I put a lot of work into these but I was okay with moving on to a shelving unit. Then I spent the next couple of weeks trying to find something else. I looked at my favorite stores and Pinterest for inspiration. I kept coming back to a rope shelving unit, but I wasn’t sure. Ultimately, one day I just decided to go for it and make the shelving unit and if I didn’t like it I would scrap the project.

Well it turned out great and better then I expected! You can read the full tutorial here on how I made this awesome (if I do say so myself) rope shelving unit. I was so surprised on how easy this actually was to make. In fact, it was way easier than the other shelves I made.

I have decorated it with some odds and ends that I had in the bathroom already and a couple of new plants. Having plants in the bathroom was an important goal for me. Beyond looking great they help add oxygen to the house and absorb moisture, which is important in a bathroom.

Finishing Touches

A soap dish I got from an art fair in town over the summer.
Textiles

This is a small bathroom so I didn’t need to go overboard with the accessories for it. I did update the bath mat, opting for a 100% cotton one from Target. I also re-installed these amazing hooks for hanging towels. These hooks came from a little boutique and they have moved around from bathroom to bathroom with me. They have now been with me through 3 different apartments and a house. They are iron and very sturdy. I have had them for years and they have really held up.

I got the above soap dish from an art fair during the summer. It was reasonably priced and looks so cute. Sometimes it is worth holding back on just running to the closest store and instead taking your time to find a gem like this one.

I also upgraded to some new cotton towels. I found these great bath sheet towels from Target. They are so soft and are 100% cotton!

Lighting

We had an old fashioned light that was true to the era of the home, but it looked strangely industrial. I didn’t want to replace the the whole light fixture because the base was still functional. Instead I replaced the globe to this classic white one. You can find the same one on Amazon here.

Window Treatments

There is one window in this bathroom and it used to have blinds on it. I would always have it closed for privacy, but I missed the light that came through the window. When demoing the bathroom I removed the blinds and patched the holes in the molding. I ended up selling the blinds on a Facebook market place.

Using a tension rod that I had on hand, I got some curtain rod clip rings and cloth napkins to create these cute little curtains. I love these because they are 100% cotton and easy to clean. They also let all the morning light in.

Counter Top

As an experiment I covered my dated, yellow-streaked, laminate counter tops in contact paper. I was hoping to get something like this. However, I remembered that I had leftover white contact paper from another project so I just used that. This was definitely an experiment and I am mixed with the results. It made a very big change to my bathroom. However, this contact paper is on the thinner side so the pattern of the counter top shows through a little bit. It was also hard to get a nice cut around the sink. Maybe with some practice I could get better at it. The good thing is that it is really easy to clean. This isn’t going to last forever but it will look better until I am able to replace the counter top for something else.

This bathroom makeover took a lot longer than I had originally anticipated. It has been finished for a while but I just haven’t been able to get it together to take photos. I am planning on doing a bigger remodel further down the road, but for now this update has freshened up the bathroom and made it a room where I don’t mind spending time.

Small Bathroom Makeover

January 2020 Bullet Journal Set Up

I am so excited to get started with the January 2020 bullet journal set up. It is a new year , new month, and a new journal! This year I decided to follow Shayda Campbell tutorials on YouTube. I highly suggest you go check out her January 2020 bullet journal set up video. She sets up each month with that month’s flower; January is the month of carnations. I have taken inspiration from Shayda but have changed and added spreads to suit my needs. That is the great thing about bullet journals – they are so versatile!

January Spread

This is my January cover page featuring the carnation and a quote. I also include a quote “Who you are tomorrow begins with what you do today.” I thought it was fitting for the start of a new year. Next is my monthly calendar. I love having this spread nice and big so I can add in all my events and important dates. I, of course, reference my future log when filling out this spread.

bullet journal set up monthly calendar
expense tracker

These next two spreads are some of my monthly trackers. The first one is my expense tracker where I record my expenses for the year. Once the month is complete I will record in the my expense tracking section in the beginning of my bullet journal. In past months I just had an open page where I would list every purchase. However, this month I decided to do something a little different – I sectioned the spread off into the categories I like to track.

My next spread is my habit tracker and my brain dump page. The habit tracker is great for keeping track of whatever you need. I plan on keeping track of when I floss (I am trying to remember to do it every day and the tracker is a good motivator) and also simple things like when I water my plants. The brain dump is just that – a place where I can write down whatever is on my brain. Sometimes it helps to just get it down on paper.

bullet journal set up habit tracker

Weekly Spread

The final spread I have is my weekly lay out. I have decided to give this version a try this year. In past years I gave each day a lot of space and wrote a to do list on each day. So this month I am going to try having a smaller section to record events for each day with a larger section for a running to do list for the week. I also include a section for a shopping list and a tracker for my posting.

Bullet journal Weekly Spread

So what do you think of this bullet journal set up for January 2020? Let me know in the comments below and check out my post on my bullet journal set up.

Getting Organized in 2020

Getting organized in 2020 seems to be a topic on everyone’s minds for the new year. The question is – how is one to get organized? One of the most useful tools for organizing my life is the bullet journal. A bullet journal is a a cross between a journal and planner. It allows for the flexibility to create spreads (pages) that can help you reach your goals.

This will be the third year that I have done a bullet journal. I have had much success with keeping track of my life, like keeping track of important dates, important information, keeping lists, and tracking my goals. The best thing about a bullet journal is that it is completely customizable to fit the needs of each person.

Inspiration

This year I spent a lot of time thinking about how I want to organize myself and how to best utilize my bullet journal for this blog, too. In the past I took to Pinterest to find ideas for spreads. However, this year I am mixing things up.

One of my favorite Youtubers is Shayda Campbell. She, for example, is doing a year of flowers. Each month is inspired by the flower of that month. I decided to take inspiration from Shayda and also do a month of flowers following her drawings. This year I will be mixing it up, though, to create spreads that help me organize my life. I will be using the flower drawings to bring continuity to my bullet journal. I do like the feeling of opening nice pages – it motivates me to get things done! Check out Shayda’s page, where she has great tutorials on how to draw each of these flowers.

One of my other favorite Youtubers is Amanda Rach Lee. I drew some inspiration from some of her spreads for my own, as well. She’s definitely worth checking out.

2020 Bullet Journal Set up

Bullet journals can be a great place for you artistic types to have a place to doddle and make creative spreads. Bullet journals can also be quite minimal (you could have the essentials without taking time for sketching). While I like to do some drawing on my spreads, I hope those of you who want to use a more minimalistic style can still use the layouts to help you reach your goals.

I also have a section of spreads that are specific to blogging. That is the great thing about bullet journaling – you can customize it to whatever you are focused on!

Beginning Set Up

So with out further ado, here is the set up for my 2020 bullet journal…

Bullet Journal

This is the cover page. I followed Shayda’s tutorial for this one. I loved how simple it was and how it set up a nature-centric feel for the journal.

2020 Cover page

This is my cover for introducing the new year. Again, I was pretty faithful to Shayda’s design. She does a dutch door for this page, which is awesome. However, I wanted to do something different for the page after so I didn’t make a dutch door.

I also like to include a yearly calendar in the front of the bullet journal. Next to it I included a quote that hopefully will help me keep perspective this year.

Future Log
Future Log

These last two pictures are of my future log. This is one of the most used spreads in my bullet journal. I am constantly flipping to it to write down important dates and refer to it when creating my monthly layouts. I got a little over-excited and wrote down all my events, so those white boxes are just covering those up for me.

This next spread is a grid spacing sheet. I got this idea from Amanda Rach Lee. It helps when making spreads so you don’t have to count out the spaces. Next to it I included a Harry Potter quote (you have to take a look at my Harry Potter nursery to know we are obsessed). I intend to make the last page in my bullet journal “Mischief Managed.”

Yearly Tracking/Note Pages

This spread is for my budget and expense tracker. In each monthly spread I include an expense tracker and then take those results and log them in this general tracker. It is nice knowing where the money is going each month!

This is a budget tracker strictly for the blog and also a growth tracker where I can record my monthly results on Pinterest and other tracking systems. I also included a tracker to document the posts I have published, which is below. The last of my blogging spreads is a blog post ideas page and a Pinterest boards tracker.

Bullet journal published post
Bullet journal blog ideas spread
Bullet journal pinterest spread
Bullet Journal home spread

The last page is my home projects page and my home cleaners page. You can get the recipes to all my Eco Friendly home cleaners here. I left a page blank after this one for a spread to plan our family vacation this year. I am not ready to start planning yet, but I wanted to leave some space before I started my January monthly spread.

Final Thoughts

What do you think of the bullet journal? Is it something that you could use to help organize yourself? Let me know in the comments below.

Stay tuned for my January spread set up. Is this something that you would like to see more of? Let me know in the comments!

One goal that I know many people are working on this year is being more Eco friendly. Check out these other post that might help you reach those goals.