...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.


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.


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.


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?


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.


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.


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


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


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

02.22.13 / Jumping Ship

Happy Friday! I hope your day has been less eventful than mine. Last night after the kids were tucked in bed, I was enjoying a hot shower for the first time in I’m-too-embarrassed-to-tell-you-how-many days when the shower decided to stop draining. I hollered {that’s what we say back where I come from} for HH to bring me the plunger then proceeded to plunge the heck out of the drain. To no avail. My long awaited shower was ruined.

master shower 10

After further investigation, we discovered that the toilet, too, wasn’t draining properly and water was coming up around the base of the toilet and through the toilet drain in the unfinished kid/guest bathroom.


Did I mention it was 11:30 p.m. and we were under a winter weather advisory due to an ice storm? HH texted our plumber and he called us back this morning. {Only after a fretful night of sleep on my part. I’ve mentioned this before: my #1 house-related fear is anything involving water leaking, dripping, trickling, seeping, rushing, pouring, flooding into our house.} Plumbing isn’t our thing so we’re happy to have found a reliable plumber to handle all our plumbing needs. Eek. That doesn’t sound quite right now that I’m reading back.

Turns out there was a blockage in between the two bathrooms which was remedied this afternoon. How does a family of five go to the bathroom with no toilet for 12 hours, you ask? One word: bucket. And we were home all together due to the weather. Good times.

We’re not sure what the exact cause was. Old pipes? Possibly. The new cushy toilet paper I bought last week due to HH’s incessant whining about the cheap stuff I usually buy? Maybe. Either way, we’ve decided to have the pipes inspected via camera BEFORE we finish the kid/guest bathroom. That way, if there is a problem with the pipes then our plumber can fix it without busting up a bunch of tile. If there’s no problem, then it’s worth the peace of mind and I’ll rest easy. And I’ll be sticking with the dollar store toilet paper from here on out. So goes living in an older home.

Not only did I feel like jumping ship in regards to our temporary bathroom-less situation, I’m also blog-hopping today. Click on over to Pepper Design Blog to check out my interview with Morgan.

Thanks Morgan!

Congrats to Jenn who was a fan of the TV show Cheers {one of my dad’s personal favorites} back in the ’80’s. Jenn is this week’s winner of the EcoColor giveaway! And to those of you who were only babies/eggs in your mama’s uterus in the ’80’s…you make me feel verrrrrrrrry old.

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking