...because home doesn't happen overnight.

Mabrey scored a stash of new toys at Christmas. {I have yet to buy her one single toy myself. I find she’s just as amused with an empty paper towel roll as she is with sing-songy, seizure-inducing, light up toys.} After donating duplicates, I threw the new toys in metal baskets on a shelf in her room. Mabrey is pulling up, standing and cruising the furniture now so I decided it was time to store the toys down at her level for fear of her climbing to reach the toys.

That’s when I spied this canvas bin at Target.

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Upon further inspection, the bin was sturdy yet collapsible and a good size – not too big, not too small. The three bands of color at the top reminded me of the ombre wall art I made for the nursery using an empty mirror frame, some leftover tongue-and-groove and craft paint.

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On sale at $7 each, I bought two. I threw Mabrey’s toys in them and plopped them on the floor. It didn’t take her long to find them.

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Now all of Mabrey’s favorites are at her disposal…although I wouldn’t put climbing shelves past her. But maybe this will deter her?

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I absolutely love it when she disappears into her room and I find her playing. There’s something so simple yet miraculous about watching a baby play.

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I laugh when I think back to when my oldest {now 8} was a baby. I would sit with him and show him how every toy worked and how he was supposed to play with it. Push this button, open this, shut this, match this shape to this shape. When it comes to playtime with Mabrey, I’m much more hands-off. I sit off to the side and just watch. I watch her figure things out on her own. Most times, she doesn’t play with the toys exactly how they are meant to be played with but that’s okay. She’s learning, experimenting, discovering. It’s really one of my favorite things to do right now. I could lie on the floor and watch her play all day.

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See how the bins tie into the wall art above the crib? It’s not a perfect match but it works.

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I also couldn’t resist adding this Hmong pillow cover to the nursery. It was an etsy purchase via From Past to Present.

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It’s made from a vintage textile with hot pink embroidery detailing. It isn’t themed or babyish so it should follow Mabrey well into her teen years – maybe even beyond.

What about you? Any new additions to your house to help corral toys? Any new pillow covers you just couldn’t pass up? I’d love to hear about them.

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

41 Comments

25.February.2013

Does Mabrey go after that cord hanging down? Miles can’t seem to keep his hands off cords. I miss living in a small house. Bedrooms here are now upstairs so we keep things in the living room. We’ve gotten rid of most things not for Miles, but he still manages to find things to get into. Oh well. :/

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replied on February 25th, 2013

The two cords go to the floor lamp and her sound machine. Mabrey hasn’t messed with them. They aren’t that easy to get to back behind the chair and next to the crib. With my other kids, I’ve found that when they first start getting around they are curious about outlets, cords, etc. but after supervision and firm “no’s” they eventually lose interest and leave them alone. That’s been the case for Mabrey as well.

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replied on February 25th, 2013

Our other 2 were great with firm no’s, I think he’s still too small yet but consistency will eventually pay off. I just forget when they start obeying. :)

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replied on February 25th, 2013

Those cords immediately caught my eye too. With my first child every exposed outlet was child protected and no visible cords (I don’t like their appearance anyway). A friend did as you, the firm NO method, and it worked very well. They learned early on what was not allowed to be touched. My little girl is 6 mos old now, and I haven’t child proofed the cabinet doors yet. I’m considering trying the NO thing this time around. I hear good and bad about it. Some say children learn negativity too early that way. So many parenting decisions!

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25.February.2013

$7 each?! Oh my gosh I love them and want them for my house (even without a baby!). What section of Target did you find those in? I may have to go shopping!

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replied on February 25th, 2013

Home organization!

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25.February.2013

The bins are adorable! I’m really jealous of Mabrey’s room, actually. Do think she’d mind if I moved in?

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replied on February 25th, 2013

She loves having company around so I’m sure she wouldn’t mind! And, truthfully, I could use the extra pair of hands ;)

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25.February.2013

Agreed with Ainhoa – can I move in? It is gorgeous!

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Oh Dana. We just covered this hot (and for some reason controversial) topic over on our blog last week about Greta’s toys.

http://www.chrislovesjulia.com/2013/02/where-are-all-of-t-o-y-s.html

I’m obsessed with those totes/baskets! So perfect. And Mabrey is darling as ever.

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25.February.2013

Do you know what those bins are called on the target site? That is exactly what I have been looking for for our playroom.

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replied on February 25th, 2013

I can’t find them on Target.com. But the brand is Room Essentials…sometimes shown as “RE” on tags in the store.

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25.February.2013

Woven baskets and storage ottomans have saved our home from looking like Toys R Us….but I’ll never get over how EXPENSIVE baskets can be! I love the fun, colorful bins you found. Gotta love Target!

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25.February.2013

Great find on the canvases! They look perfect in her room!

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25.February.2013

I just can’t get over how perfect that rug is with that wall color.

Love your photography.

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25.February.2013

Sorry if you’ve answered this before, but how soft is that rug? It’s from West Elm, right? I read some reviews online that said it was really scratchy and not at all soft. I was considering it for our bedroom but I want something really soft for my feet to land on when I get out of the bed in the morning. Thanks!

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replied on February 25th, 2013

Yes, the rug is from West Elm. I don’t think it’s scratchy at all! It’s soft enough that my kids sit on it and play all the time. It’s not cushy but that could be improved with a quality rug pad.

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25.February.2013

Love the Hmong pillow! I work with Asian immigrants and refugees and have a Hmong embroidery hanging in my office. Did you know traditional Hmong embroideries always have one flaw in them? One stitch that is missing or repeated? They do that to remind themselves that life is never perfect. :)

And a beautiful job with her room. It’s coming along so nicely!!

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replied on February 25th, 2013

What a wonderful little tidbit of Hmong trivia! Love the hidden meaning.

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I just got the exact same baskets, but with the yellow/green trim, for our two-year-old’s room. Love them!

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25.February.2013

Oh, they’re super! They won’t injure, they look great and they corral those toys! I had to laugh — I did the same thing with my first child, and left the second to figure things out…:) They both turned out JUST FINE!

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25.February.2013

The Hmong pillow is lovely…I’m headed over to Etsy!

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25.February.2013

I love your photos. Those baskets from Target are fantastic and the perfect size for children. We also have two kids, and its so funny how number 2 really does get to experiment and explore more on her own than number one. Apparently this is why second children are way more relaxed and easy going. I also love that pillow. My mom has an vintage jacket from China that looks very similar. Thanks for posting!

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replied on February 25th, 2013

Mabrey is actually our #3 so you can imagine how much more lax I am – even from #2 to #3!! #2 was my easiest baby by far. Never cried, always slept through the night from day one. Mabrey isn’t the greatest sleeper but she’s so happy when she’s awake that it doesn’t really matter.

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25.February.2013

ack! we just spied these and snatched them up this last week! they will be housing the insane stuffed animal collecting going on in my daughter’s room. the price was pretty unbelievable and now we’ll just see how much they hold up. so far so good.

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25.February.2013

Hi Dana,

I just found your blog over the weekend. Yes, I have been living under a rock . . . or rather adjusting to new baby, motherhood, fairly new small business ownership and the daily etc. of life.
I have enjoyed catching up on the demolition and renovation experiences along with the family and motherhood moments. Thanks so very much for sharing!

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25.February.2013

How do you do that? You just throw a pillow in there and it looks great….I need some pillow help!! What are your favorite etsy sites for living room pillows?

THANKS!!!

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25.February.2013

Oh I remember that age – watching them play all morning was also my favourite way to while away the hours!
That cushion is gorgeous. It reminds me of a Thai Hill Tribes coat someone brought me back from Chang Mia, years ago (like 20) which I love but don’t wear anymore. Could I bring myself to turn it into a cushion cover???

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25.February.2013

I love this. The pillow is my favorite!

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Cute baskets! The price is right so maybe I’ll get one to use as a hamper for my daughters room. Ps: Mabrey is a doll!

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25.February.2013

Mabrey is so cute! Where do you get her headbands? I am trying to find a one like hers in yellow for my little girl.

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replied on February 26th, 2013

The one she’s wearing here was a Christmas gift from an aunt. She found it on etsy.

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25.February.2013

I purchased two ‘vintage milk crates’ from target.com and added 4 casters to the bottom of each to make rolling toy bins.

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replied on February 26th, 2013

Portable toy storage…love it!

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26.February.2013

Mabrey is so cute! Speaking (writing?) of toys, if you haven’t done one already, I’d love to read a post about keeping toys under control — how do you do it? Do the boys complain? Or do you have a secret room where you keep the piles of plastic? :)

We have SOOOO many toys — piles and piles of toys. And more piles. (I didn’t even buy most of them!). It kills me, I’d love to down size our collection and stem the rate at which we collect them. And figure out how to store them (though that wouldn’t be a huge problem if we didn’t have so many, methinks!).

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26.February.2013

Our son has Scout the singing dog, too. LOVES him. And now that he’s a year and a half he particularly loves the songs that have hand motions, like Itsy Bitsy Spider. He’ll hit play and then just dance and dance and dance.

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25.May.2013

Whats the name of the color on the wall. I love it.

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replied on May 28th, 2013

Benjamin Moore dark pewter!

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28.May.2013

I really love your wall color, can you please tell me the name? IT’S a STUNNING ROOM! Your baby is blessed <3

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replied on May 28th, 2013

Benjamin Moore’s dark pewter!

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29.May.2013

Thank you! It’s gorgeous!!! Really appreciate you!

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