Simple and Worky.

Blame the Nesting.

I have this urge the last 3 months or so to purge, clean, organize, make things functional, simple, and yet beautiful too. IĀ  just think of life with 3 children…. and how I want to walk into any room in my house and see nothing cluttery. Nothing gathering dust that we don’t really need or use.

SIMPLIFY life I guess you could say.

I LOVE things organized, but I would say I have to work at it. My natural inclination would probably be to NOT go that way. I battle a few pack-rat slash hoarderish tendencies if left unchecked.

I want to have time for those I love, and not spend all day tending to our STUFF.

You may or may not believe me, but i actually do NOT know much about decor. I mean I know ‘pretty tings’ but sometimes how to arrange them in a pleasing way makes me feel pretty lost. I do not want a pile of stuff sitting here and there. I want it to make sense.

I have been reading lately how decor needs to be one layer at a time. I have thought on that a lot. Also that when decorating you need to wait… and just slowly let things evolve. Beloved collections happen over time.

This is interesting to me, because I think I stuff or throw up things sometimes, without too much meaning or thought.

One goal for my home has been to take things that we use a lot and are kind of “in my way” a lot– and make them look nice and kept handy.

Like the blankets above: my girls adore throw blankets. They carry them around, move them, and cuddle with them. The blankets end up these scrunched up, ball-y eyesores, that are kinda scattered all over the house. Roamers, you could call them.

I found the basket in the girl’s room (it was holding their bedtime library books) and found that when I rolled the throw blankets and stuffed them into the basket they became pretty AND useful.

They also created a “layer” beside the love seat- one of those things I said I am learning about.

NOT rocket science, but you know, fun for a silly housewife.

My girl’s draw with plain paper likely 80% of the day. I used to have these ziplock bags laying around with all kinds of different writing materials in them, you know, crayons, markers, paints… EVERY night when G came home there would be crayons scattered all over the floor around the table. He was quite vocal about how much this made his every night. (joke)

Well, now this enamel bins keeps them all together and just somehow makes it easier for the girls to pick them up. Flimsy ziplocks are just overwhelming for kids to clean up with. (Fact.)

Cheap pillows are so easy to make. I have been re-working or recovering quite a few. Best way to do this- use table napkins, or cheap little pieces of fabric from thrift stores. I also like to buy ugly, but clean and sturdy pillow forms at thrift stores. I wash them with hot water and Tide– then cover them.

Forms at Walmart are around $7. This way I get them for .50 – 2.00.

Candles always add layers and ambiance. I found that navy trim at a thrift store- it is delicate and gorgeous. Simple things like hot gluing it onto a plain curtain can make a little thing special.

My other SECRET for making beautiful curtains is… shower curtains! Okay, so new curtains are pricey– whether you buy it by the yard or buy the panels ready-made, they usually go for $20-50 a panel. So how do you get beautiful curtains for more like $10 a panel?

I guess it’s not actually a question since I already told you… But yes, Target has very hip shower curtains that are thick and not plastic-y. They run around $20 or more for one.

I cut them down the middle, hem them, they cover 2 windows, and they make AWESOME new curtains.

I did this in my baby room and I am just in love with my new curtains in there. (heart) Can’t wait to show them to you… one day.

These are the ones I made for the playroom from shower curtains. I have done a few other rooms also.

The oddest little plants from here and there add so much charm.

Ok, well, I need to go oat and a boat, so I better go.

(If you didn’t get that- read it aloud and pretend you are Canadian.)

I would be OVER THE MOON to hear what tips you have on decor/organizing/projects. Teach me.Ā 

I may hit Joann Fabrics today- I have a new sewing machine so anything could happen from there. I am love with my new machine, btw, I am so afraid one day G will come home, and we will be in the corner kissing. Before that, I had a low-grade Brother from Walmart, which was given to me at the age of TWELVE. So yes, can we say upgrade?!

Over and out. ~jenny

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  1. Jo says:

    I really agree with letting your decor evolve. Unless maybe you could go on some weekend junk fair scavenger hunt… Your pillows are lovely. I want them in my house. I think part of being good at decor is loving what you have. Being confident about it, strange though it may be…. Good Canadian joke there. Love to tease those Canadians.

  2. Sandi says:

    I need inspiration, too! I am having that urge to de-clutter and beautify (no, I am not pregnant/nesting šŸ™‚ I’ll stop back to see more comments, and hopefully new ideas…

  3. always love you’re blog and you’re creative ideas. please keep it coming. šŸ™‚

  4. Thelma says:

    your posts always give me this ‘happy sigh’ feeling. I love the navy and fresh green vibe you’ve got going on in your living area. so restful.
    Abbi saw the picture of laila and said “she’s my friend’. I guess a girl w/ blue eyes has that effect on you:-)

  5. shelly n says:

    no need to explain the oat and a boat to me. got it first thing. i come from there, well, was raised there. did you know that?

    i looove your {bigger} pics and all the handy little tips. I am in the declutter mode for my tiny trailer right now. didn’t think i’d do it again before we move, but it is getting to me, and I guess it’s about time to start thinking of moving into the new house {in less than two months hopefully}.

    i love the shower curtain trick too. i think thelma taught me that when she helped me make a couple of roman shades a while back. i love the thick “waffle” fabric that’s in my baby room now. and since the window size is completely different than windows at my new house, i wondered what to do with it. I could be nice and leave it for the new owners, but i *made* it and still *love* it, so maybe i’ll take your idea of cutting it down the middle and making two!

    hmm, what else. i just found your post all-around inspiring on this monday morning. thanks. šŸ™‚

  6. Thelma says:

    oh yeah, and i didn’t say anything about the point of this post, but i had those same feeling when getting ready for baby. that I don’t feel like taking care of STUFF and clutter that I care nothing for. I’m not sure I completely suceeded but I tried:-)

  7. Bevy says:

    I got your Canadian joke…
    I have many a friend from that neck of the woods… love talking like them on occasion. Sounds like you do too, eh?

    Friend, you’re style is amazing. I think you do a fabulous job in the decor department. The way you present it is very inspirational. You have a VERY Creative Charm in your style… it is very YOU!! and, I agree with what Jo said…
    loving what you have and being confident about it. šŸ˜‰ It shows!! I know I’m a big fan.

    People say they love the way I style and decorate too… but, I think of their homes and think the same way of them. funny phenomanan. (sp?)

    SHUCKS! if we didn’t have to clean around it all — all of the time.
    (maybe you love to clean, I don’t know…)

  8. Bevy says:

    PS: I meant to add that I’m loving your larger photos…

  9. Heidi says:

    LOVED this post. I’m feeling the same way about decluttering and simplifying. Not nesting though šŸ˜‰ I have a current addiction to baskets. I think if a “cluttery” thing can hide in a basket it looks so much prettier! I love love love all your pillows! Blue and green is my favorite color combination. Also love how you covered up the cabinet in the first picture with fabric. I have a $5 garage sale cabinet that I’m re-doing for Olivia’s room to hold toys, the doors are a little wonky, so I think I may try that! Love your style!

  10. April says:

    Jenny I love your cafe curtains. I made some for my kitchen and I really don’t like the way they turned out. The fabric I chose was too heavy and stiff. The pillows are just darling too!

    I’ve been working hard organizing the kiddos’ things. I was getting so frustrated with their inability to clean up their things, when it dawned on me, that it was my lack of organization that was setting them up for failure. The art supplies in the enamel boxes are fantastic. What do you do with the girl’s stuffed animals?

    Simplicity really is best. Not only is it pleasing to the eye but it’s soothing to the mind. Have fun at Joann’s!! New sewing machines, new fabric… sounds like the recipe for a perfect day. (loved the Canadian joke too)

  11. Andrea says:

    Awesome tip on the shower curtain trick. I am totally checking that out cause we are painting/fixing up our upstairs rooms, and I am trying to do things that don’t cost an arm and a leg. It’s just in time too, curtains was on my list of things to do this week.

  12. Bevy says:

    Hey…It’s me again. I don’t mean to be a pest. But I wanted to come back and personally invited you Jenny, and your readers to check out my blog today (and for the remainder of this week).

    I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of lilla rose, but I’m hosting a giveaway on my blog for the entire week. My real-life friend, Heather, is sponsoring it and I thought I’d help her out by doing a review and then a giveaway.

    I’m sure you or someone in your circle would enjoy a chance at a the giveaway mentioned.


    Only, if you wish… Just thought of you and thought I’d pass it on. šŸ˜‰

  13. Shannon says:

    Loved this post. Wish I had a Godwill close by to browse all the time but I probably wouldn’t find the good deals anyway, I shop to fast. šŸ™‚

  14. clarita says:

    SO much beauty and inspiration!! I so love your pictures, your tips and pretties. Your home is one I hope to have the privilege of seeing and being in one day. šŸ™‚

    And that shower curtain trick is super awesome. I’m going to have to remember that. I like to change things around for a fresh look, but fabric is always soo expensive that curtains are one of the least things I change. Now, thanks so you, that might happen again! šŸ™‚

    The pillow collection you have pictured there is so beautiful. I love the stripes, the navy and green. I do the same thing with cheap pillows. Things like that (saving money but making something pretty out of almost nothing) make me feel so virtuous. šŸ™‚ And the ribbon on the curtain – so freshly beautiful and nautical, and that picture so could be featured in a magazine!

    So loved this!

  15. Beth says:

    your home is adorable. if you have your curtain rods hung high & wide sometimes its difficult to find curtains that are long enough. i like to use twin sheets ($5) at walmart & use them for my curtains. $10 for my living room window isn’t too bad!

  16. kristen l. says:

    i love your blog and i love this post. i have been wanting to declutter my house. i have too much stuff. the more you own, the more it owns you. i love your ways to save $ and ways to simplify things. i wish you could come to my house and re-do my place. you could have your own show similar to hgtv’s šŸ™‚

  17. Lynnelle says:

    You do pretty good at the decor thing, you silly housewife, you. Something I’ve learned from you is to store stuff in pretty stuff you already have. I’m still working on it. I really latched on to the idea of letting your decor evolve. I haven’t put much time or thought into decor because we keep moving and don’t have too much extra money, so the idea that decor evolves anyway puts a lot less pressure on me to really figure out what I like RIGHT NOW. Instead I can add little things as they please me. Anyway, you’re so good with those little details, would love to visit again and see the changes you’ve made to your nest. Much love!

  18. You have a way of making it all seem possible! i love working on my house but sometimes i run out of steam. This is just the kind of encouragement i need today and times when i get weary of my own thought process! What i love most about your blog is the community you build with your posts, it helps so much to bounce ideas off each other. Magazines are great but you give “real life” ideas. Just looking at your photos makes me feel energized to jump up and get at it again! Thank you =)

  19. linda hershey says:

    you are so right about ziplocs being overwhelming for kids. love the enamel pan idea. i wish that i would have kept track of ALL the artsy stuff i have bought over the last 10 years. we go thru paint, markers, crayons and ribbon like no one’s business!! love your ideas. just saying the word “curtain” makes me bang my head against the wall. i have NO clue how to go about deciding what to do with them. like, are you supposed to have the same style thru out the house? i see you hung it on just the lower half. what do you have in your living room? i love your pillows.

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