Tag Archives: diy

Project Time!

It’s been awhile since my last post.  I started classes again, but didn’t realize how tough these eight week courses would be! Now I know how they pack a semester’s worth of material into short sessions–they bombard you with reading and about 12 hours of homework a week per course.  Never. Ever. Again.  Two courses per eight week session for this girl from now on!

Here is what I have been working on when I am avoiding school work have spare time. These are just a couple of mood boards that I worked up using Oliboard.

First up we have the general “bones” of my office space.

Ikea Office
Ikea Office

Next up is the Ikea Living Room

Mostly Ikea Living Room
Mostly Ikea Living Room

Over the next few weeks I will be posting bits and pieces of the progress and will hopefully have a full reveal in May.

Hope you all have a happy week!

Turning Drab Army Housing Into Our Home: The Coffee (and tea) Station!

As promised, here is the long-awaited article on my Coffee Station!

Welcome to the second post in the series: Turning Drab Army Housing Into Our Home! As noted in the series introduction and the first posting of this series, I am a coffee fanatic and am lucky to have the perfect area for a Coffee Station. Here is my first general draft drawn up on my Galaxy Note.

2014-02-20 17.49.45

As much as I would love to hide or move the water cooler, it must stay for two reasons: 1) There is nowhere else to move it that makes sense. 2) We use this water for making coffee and tea and for hydration.  I am looking into some creative ways to at least “hide” the ugliness.  You can read more about my ideas for the water cooler here.

Notice that my Idea drawing said “Wallpaper?” WELL…I couldn’t find any of that removable wall paper that was either cheap affordable or in my style.  I am seriously trying to avoid painting, but after taking over 60 photos of this area, I realize that it NEEDS more panache. Therefore, I will consider this space almost finished.

Organizing the Coffee Station:

I used Ikea’s Grundtal Kitchen shelving system instead of a separate shelf and hook system because it offers more versatility.

grundtal-wall-shelf__19783_PE080700_S4
Grundtal Wall Shelf

 

 

DSCF0118

The hooks are Fintorp hooks. I used these because they will not come off without unscrewing the Grundtal rails and the hooks have a sort of knob at the tip–which prevents the cups from falling off easily.

Fintorp Hook
Fintorp Hook

 

Grundtal Also has great storage add-ons for the shelf system

Grundtal Hanging Containers
Grundtal Hanging Containers

 

One of the things I love most about this area is the storage!

Here is the Coffee Station Cabinet–I hope it stays this organized!

Top Shelf in the Cabinet

 

 

Bottom Shelf
Bottom Shelf

 

Loving the Organization
Loving the Organization

I purchased these Krus storage containers at Ikea as well, but they are only available (as far as I can tell) at the Ikeas in Europe. They feature removable dividers and come in 3 sizes.  As you know from my Family Command Center post, I LOVE organization!

Which brings me back to my Grundtal storage containers–which by the way feature an airtight seal…

Coffee Beans & Tea
Coffee Beans & Tea

 

Adding Style:

These lovely airtight containers store our loose leaf teas.

Pretty Storage for Loose Leaf Tea
Pretty Storage for Loose Leaf Tea

 

And these lovely ladies are for brewing that perfect pot of tea.

Blue Ceramic and Brown Betty Tea Pots
Blue Ceramic and Brown Betty Tea Pots

 

It took me a few days to figure out where to put the sweeteners for tea and the coffee filters…but then I remembered that I had this cute little basket in my bedroom.

Storage Basket
Storage Basket

 

It was important that the cups we use every day were readily accessible–Hence the hook system.

Hooked on Coffee
Hooked on Coffee

Yup, those are Ikea cups…50 Cent Euro each 🙂

Magical Machines:

And now for the magical machinery that makes my addiction possible.

The Magical Machines
The Magical Machines

 

Because the only outlet in this area is a 220, we had to buy a new coffee machine, water boiler, and coffee grinder.  I prefer a mill, but can’t spend the 89 Euro just now. So, the tiny  grinder that you see peeking behind the coffee maker is our temporary solution.

I LOVE this coffee maker! If you a photographic memory, you noticed that the coffee maker in the first photo of this post was black and red. So what happened? A teenage boy, a ball, and a dog. Yup. The boy somehow managed to shove my coffee maker off of the counter and it slammed against the Command Center wall. After that…it didn’t work. So, we bought this one. And the bonus is that we now have two carafes! For some unknown reason the carafe was not inside the coffee maker when the boy had his little spaz moment.

So there you have it, my Coffee (& tea) Station! Simple, practical, and down right awesome*!

*Not tooting my horn–I am just so excited to have this in my kitchen!

 Coffee Station Reveal

DSCF0103

 

Coffee and Tea Station Main

 

Cost Analysis

cost analysis

Now come on over and enjoy a hot cup of java or a lovely pot of tea with me in my little sitting room.

The sitting room will be next week’s project 😉

 

 

Pinterest Musings: Water Cooler Disguises

My current problem is an ugly water cooler.  after several searches on Pinterest, I couldn’t find a solution….So I started an inspiration board after a simple Google search: “how to hide a water cooler”.

Here are a few things that I found. Clicking on the images will open a new tab to the image link.

Mod Boxes

Mod Boxes are simple covers that fit “90% of bottle-type coolers on the market” and is available in unfinished Birch or Oak.  The cover has no backside, so changing the water bottle is simple.

finished black 2

 

Water Cabinet

Roundtree Furniture offers an interesting item called the Water Cabinet.  The cabinet offers the same ease of use concept as the Mod Box, but features a cabinet style door to cover the water spigots (or is it spouts or faucets?).

Cooler Cabinet

 

 

Wood & Tique

Wood & Tique offers a cabinet for the water cooler as well, however their product is a full cabinet with a storage shelf.

wood&tique

 

 

The Water Bottle Cozy

Another option available is to do it old-school wiht a water bottle cozy…

IMG_0402-1

 

WATER BOTTLE COVER BIRDS PHOTO

 

 

My Solution:

Since I am not a fan of the Cozy and I do not have hundreds of dollars for the furniture style covers, I have decided to enlist the hubby’s help in building a custom water cooler cabinet of my own design.

But until then, I will just live with this…

DSCF0155

 

Turning Drab Army Housing Into Our Home: Organizing Our Lives

As promised, here is the article on our Family Command Center.

Welcome to the first post in the series: Turning Drab Army Housing Into Our Home! As noted in the series introduction, one of my priority tasks was to turn a blank hallway wall into a practical and usable space that will keep my family organized and on task.

As you may know if you’ve been following my blog, I have two teenagers, two dogs, and a very busy husband and I have ADHD (also know as forgetful).  I will be attending intense 5 week courses through the University of Maryland soon and I’ve just picked up a part-time job on post. Life is about to become chaotic again–Yay! No, really–I’m happy about that!

As it is now, the kids bicker about chores–who did what and when (so does the hubby), so I spent hours cataloging the various chores that need to be done around here and created an amazing (at least I think so) spreadsheet. Here is what my first rough draft and testing center looked like for about a month.  It worked out very well, so I decided to forge ahead and finish the project.

2014-04-27 17.40.40

 

I spent several more hours pondering what the space would like, what I needed to buy, and how I wanted the space to function.

I printed out my pages and slipped them into plastic page protectors and then taped them to the wall.  It worked out well for a test run.

Because I live in Germany now, and am not familiar with the best places to shop, I ordered almost everything that I needed online.  Some of the following images are links to the items that I purchased online (photos that are links are noted).

I printed out my final spreadsheets and framed them. I use a wet erase marker to write on the glass.  Each Sunday, they get erased and I change the dates, notes, and menus.

20140508_144415
8.5″ by 11″ Frames Opens Link in new tab To Product information at Target.com

We are a family of “fairsies” so this requires alternating kitchen duty. I know that I have kids and most people with teens assign kitchen duty strictly to the kiddos, but we are all very busy (well maybe not me right now) and feel that taking turns lessens the burden. So, I came up with this chart.

20140508_144415 (1)
4″ by 6″ Frames Links to Product information at Walmart.com

The kids only argue when they together, so they have been paired with a parent. It’s working out very well.

And because I am a control freak by nature, I also create a task list for kitchen duties and a monthly task list.

Organization to the Extreme
Organization to the Extreme

After most of my products arrived and a trip to Ikea, I laid everything out on the floor along the Command Center wall.

10322726_10201747109872070_1514312104123281243_n

I purchased the dry erase calendar and wet/erase markers (which I prefer) at my local PX (it’s like a target).

After taking care of sick kids and getting over the bug, I finally started mounting everything to the wall.

I’m going to share the OOPS moment with you so that you don’t make the same mistakes!

I mounted all of the frames to the wall using a level to make sure the frames were all very straight.  I wanted a unified look, so I installed them flush against one another.

20140522_153157

20140522_154120 (3)

It was going to look fabulous! Except that I forgot that the only way to insert the glass is to flex the frame corners! I could not get the glass in there if my life depended on it! So, back to the drawing board I went.

I needed a spacer so that each frame was lined up as exact as possible–because I’m a perfectionist.

20140522_154739

The solution was a dvd case.

*Hubby and I were NOT born in the 80’s–we were born in the 70’s, and this dvd has some cool highlights that we both sort of remember and remember well.

Anyway, here is how I used my “spacer”

20140522_154915

All that was left to do was fill in the frames, mount the calendar, and add a hanging file system and my Ikea finds.

20140522_170722

 

20140522_170809

20140522_171254

pizap.com14008007891701

Only one thing remains: A large hook for my purse that will be mounted under the files.

One project down, several more to go. Stay tuned for the finished Coffee Station project!

2014-02-20 17.49.45

 

The Cold from Hell and a Peek at the Family Command Center

I didn’t disappear this week, even though there were times when I wished that I could.  I wanted to finish my coffee station and the family command center last week, but instead I had to tend to the kids who were taken down by a microscopic germ–genes in a box–also known as a virus.

My son was the fist victim of the nasty little bug followed by my daughter a week later.  I was super careful about washing my hands and cleaning anything the germ carriers came in contact with, but I was infected nonetheless.

At the first sign–a slight sniffle and runny nose–I knew that I had that little bug in my body. Normally I would attribute the sniffle and runny nose to seasonal allergies, especially since we are still acclimating to our new environment.  I decided that this little bug was going to DIE before it took over.  I pumped up on vitamin C and took 3 doses a day of Airborne.  I wanted to use Zicam, but the PX (that’s like a Target type store on Army bases) was completely out of it.

Here’s how my week went:

Morning of Day 1 (May 17): sniffles, runny nose

Afternoon of Day 1: Headache, sniffles, runny nose

Evening of Day 1: Cough, headache, sniffles, runny nose

See where this is going?

Day 2: STUFFY nose, headache, and RUNNY nose! I don’t understand how that is possible, but it happened!

Day 3 and 4: Fever, stuffy nose, runny nose (couldn’t catch that little guy!), and a cough.

Days 5-6: dry nose but still stuffy, cough, cough, cough!

Today: coughing a little and nose is back to normal.

Since I felt so much better today, I finished the Family Command Center. I will post the full article on Friday, May 24–but here’s a sneak peek!

20140522_170748