Organizing Our Pantry: Part 1

The hardest part about living in a small space is storage and clutter. You really can’t have tons of excess belongings or visible storage solutions because it makes the house cluttered. Since we moved into this town home six years ago this pantry has been a problem. It’s more closet than pantry. It’s very deep which makes it hard to reach items in the back. The shelves are also very far apart which wastes a lot of valuable space. I have tried numerous times to reorganize it but it always ended up back in its former dismal state. And I think the reason for that is because I was using the wrong kind of storage and not thinking in terms of how a working kitchen needs to be arranged.acs_0046First I needed to purge, clean, and catalog. So that’s what I did. Then I thought about the pantry in terms of how a working kitchen would be laid out. I arranged the items on each shelf by category and put the the most used food stuffs within arms reach. Of course once I started rearranging the pantry it spilled out to other areas of the kitchen. I made a list of all my pantry staples and then I went shopping. acs_0057

acs_0053I storied on Instagram over the last couple of days about my trips to the Container Store where I picked up several different storage bins–that majority of which are super affordable and perfect for this project. I picked up these Multi_Purpose Bins four medium, one large, and four extra large bins. (They are located in the office supply section) I also purchased these InterDesign Linus Pantry Bins in small and large and these InterDesign Linus Deep Drawer Bins in 4″ X 16″ or what I consider the small size. By the way all the bins I purchased are on sale right now! The Container Store has been running their Customer Favorite Sale for several weeks and will end on August 18, 2019 so you still have time to take advantage of it!acs_0046acs_0051I began with the canned goods shelf. I took the medium size bins and filled them with the canned goods. What a difference! I tried the large size for the 24oz cans but it was too wide. It might look like the medium size isn’t wide enough but I assure you they are!acs_0043acs_0050I wrangled the chips, crackers, and the insane amount of pasta I didn’t realize was crammed into the pantry in the extra large bins on the shelf above. I dedicated this as the gluten shelf. Chips, crackers, pasta, bread, oatmeal, instant breakfast, and snacks–those are the items that live on this shelf.acs_0064acs_0065I moved the oils that where on the third shelf to the bottom shelf in the last extra large bin. I decided that this bottom shelf would be my baking shelf. I put the extra flour, and all the other baking essentials in the large woven basket and all the sprinkles, baking candy, and food coloring in the one large plastic bin. I went back the next day and bought a small, deep bin and used it to store my baking twine, soups vide cooking bags, crock-pot bags, and plastic microwave steamer bags.adk_0115adk_0114On the highest shelf I stored all the zip lock, plastic wrap, and wax paper in the second woven basket that had once housed the oils. Next to it I filled another small, deep bin with our everyday napkins. I decided to keep the trash bags located on the top shelf. The boxes of coffee pods still need to be moved to the hutch.

So the shelves are as follows:

Top Shelf: Storage bags, paper goods, trash bags

Third Shelf: Pasta, Chips, Snacks

Second Shelf: Canned Goods

First Shelf: Baking Goods and Oils

Bottom Shelf: Still a Mystery

Door Storage: Condiments, Dry Goods, Seasoning, Breading, Stocks

The top and bottom shelves are still unfinished but so far I think it looks and functions so much better. In the process of rearranging things I broke one of the over the door shelves so that will have to be replaced eventually too. It still has a ways to go but I’m making good progress. I look forward to posting the full before and after when it’s done. I hope this gives you all inspiration for your own pantries. Do you have any pantry storage hacks or tips? Help a woman out! I want to hear them!

xoxo

Maegan

 

Pinterest Fail: Spray Painting a Filing Cabinet

There’s a good reason I only took one photo of this sad, pathetic project. Pinterest usually doesn’t lead me astray but every once in a while I hit a dud. While this project sounds great in theory, it’s actually a huge wallet buster and dare I even mention the fumigation.

Here is the standard tutorial I followed:

File down rust, clean with soap and water, remove hardware, spray with standard rust oleum base coat, spray with color coat, let dry, reassemble and your done.

Firstly, I couldn’t remove the hardware. This is a newer filing cabinet I found at Salvation Army and I didn’t have the right sized tool. The painting started out fine until I got halfway through applying the base coat. I used an entire can of spray paint and the results where patchy and unattractive. I blew it off thinking it’s base coat, no one will know and now the color coat should go on evenly. Wrong!

The picture above is halfway through a can of the green spray paint and only the sides you can see have been painted. It’s stripy and patchy and barely covers the white base coat. It looks like I’ve never spray painted anything a day in my life. Try as I might, no matter how I held the can or the distance with which I sprayed that’s the result I kept getting. Sam helped me move the cabinet several times trying to account for the wind to no avail.

After thirty minutes I had a headache from the fumes even though I took breaks and tried my best not to breath it in. After an hour and a half I gave up. I don’t know how anyone got their cabinets to look even without going through 2-3 cans of spray paint. I have two filing cabinets to paint so I could go ahead and double the amount spray paint and time invested.

The reason so many tutorials suggest spray paint is because acrylic paint bonds better to metal. The problem is most acrylic paints made for metal come as spray paint. Spray paint limits your color selection and it’s noxious. There was the slightest breeze yesterday and half my spray paint blew away before it ever touched the metal. That’s a huge waste of money.

After some brain storming I remembered I had a similar color of sample paint in a bucket in the garage so on an impulse I brushed a little on and oh my what a difference! I think the perfect balance here is to slap on a can of spray paint base coat for adhesion and then roll or brush on the top color coat. It takes way less paint, way less time, and the coverage is even.

When I get them both done I’ll post them here so you can see the finished result. I hope you found this helpful!

Take Away: Painting a filing cabinet is still a great idea, I just wouldn’t use spray paint.

Maegan

Nashville Shopping Guide: Vintage Home Goods

I had the immense pleasure of doing some superb thrifting and antiquing while visiting my parents in Nashville during Christmas last year. I was so impressed by the amount of antiques and vintage goods in such pristine condition and in such volume. It was incredible! I’ve put together a guide of the best of the best! So without further ado, this is my Nashville vintage home goods shopping guide!

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The first place we shopped was Music Valley Antiques who won Best of Nashville 2018 (BON2018) for best Antiques Store. By far and large I totally agree. Stephanie who owns Music Valley Antiques is the sweetest woman who has a great eye for antiques and excellent taste in vendors. Music Valley Antiques has a good assortment of types of vintage booths and there is something for everyone. Her store is filled with an eclectic assortment of decor, furniture, kitchenware, art, collectibles, clothing, jewelry, and accessories, vintage children’s toys and more. If I’d had a bigger car I would have bought more! This is a must stop if you’re in Nashville. Takeaway: Best vintage store in Nashville. Stephanie is gracious and wonderful to work with and the prices can’t be beat. Some vendors were willing to haggle over prices. Everything is neat and orderly. You won’t leave empty handed!

download (1)We stopped at the Salvation Army in Madison where I found the pineapple trinket dish. I could tell the Christmas rush had cleared this place out–Christmas had just been days earlier–but it still had a really great selection and my mom said she would go back and shop there regularly. They had a great selection of furniture and a couch that I’d had a truck to haul it I would have bought. Takeaway: they had a great selection of furniture and glassware.

oIt was raining the day we popped into a unique specialty vintage store called Old Made Good. This was such a fun specialty vintage store. She has an incredible assortment of vintage clothing and home goods. I wished we’d had more time to shop because her shop was amazing. Her store was filled with home wares, art, furniture, clothing, jewelry and accessories. She has so many good things! She also sells her own needlepoint and vintage paint by number art she re-imagines with her own quip-y sayings. This another can’t miss store that has been mentioned in several publications like this one(link)and this(link) one. This another one you can’t miss. Takeaway: incredible mid century furniture and art. Boho vibes going on here too. Bonus: her serious vintage clothing selection was to die for.

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I found the 70’s blue bowl at Robinson’s Flea Market. It was not as tidy or as big as Music Valley Antiques but it did have a few great booths–particularly with mid century home goods and kitchen wares and an adorable booth full of mid century children’s toys and books. Takeaway: come here expecting to dig. Mainly home goods, art, and some furniture.

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Mom and I traveled to Goodlettsville to shop the antique district there. Every single shop on our list was closed except one–Goodlettsville Antique Mall. This was by far the largest antique mall I have ever been in my whole life. It took us four hours just to see every stall–and we didn’t dally. They carry vintage, shabby chic, mid century, and primitive antiques and vintage wares. They have it all here. It was absolutely massive. Takeaway: you could furnish your entire house. Prices are a bit higher here and we weren’t able to haggle prices. Wear good walking shoes and plan on making a day of it. 

I had a hard time getting everything I bought in the car. It was a huge success as far as my finds. Everything I bought I absolutely love. So, yes! I hope you find this shopping guide helpful. As I’m able to go back to Nashville I will update this guide with more fabulous places. I also hope that you go out and visit these great retailers and support them with your business. I promise everywhere I mentioned in this post will not disappoint and when you visit tell them you heard about them through me! It always elates business owners to know that their business is being recommended through word of mouth!

Maegan

Home Library Progress Update

So months and months ago before my back went out I started turning our loft into a home library. I thought I would share how I’ve updated the space so far! I mean it’s pretty much done, sort of, except for the desk and the filing cabinet which are being replaced–eventually. I still need to repaint the yellow chair and I’m not sold on the rug. So, I guess it’s not almost done but whatever. I’m rollin’ with it.The pink walls I painted last fall or summer–last year was kind of a blur and it’s all running together at this point so I don’t really remember when I painted them. Why pink? The better question is why not pink? I tried to choose a pink shade that was a bit more subdued and adult. I mean, I wouldn’t go so far as to claim Baby Blush is sophisticated, but I was going for glam anyway. The pink walls casts a soft glow in the second half of the day that filters the light in the living room below. It’s heavenly.

I made a mood board on Pinterest where you can see the vibe I was going for–It’s kind of a 70’s Texas glam. I kind of went ham sandwich with color in this room. I felt it was a space I could really go all out with color but I tried to keep it away from being bitsy and juvenile. Sam of course, is a good man and encourages me do as I please when it comes to design. I’ve found that as long as I don’t let form come before function too often(especially when I want to spend $ on the big stuff) he usually loves it–even if it’s pink.I do plan on painting or changing out the filing cabinet. I mean I have to have some sort of filing system for bills and my manuscripts but I don’t know that it needs to be a filing cabinet. If you’ve got any ideas I want to hear them. Tell me! I mean there has to be an aesthetically more pleasing way to store paper. Another issue I have to tackle is all the server and its trimmings but that’s a blog post for another day.

I made the shelves out of these steel double mount tracks and these brackets that I painted rose gold. I went with raw Plywood for the shelves I had cut into 12in x 8ft pieces. I used nice plywood because its cheaper than buying boards by the ft and I liked the industrial look of the raw plywood edges. This was a really easy and self explanatory DIY. Basically figure out how wide and tall you want your shelving to be and how far apart your wall studs are. That determines how many wall tracks you’ll need. Then figure out how far apart you far want your shelves and that will determine how much wood you will need. I also didn’t have to go through the hassle of sanding and staining each piece, but if that’s your thing then I say go for it!The #shelfie is a still a work in progress but for that’s the most fun part anyway! I went with the traditional method of cataloging–alphabetical by genre–so books are easy to find and file. At the end of the day it’s form over function–besides the books themselves are so beautiful they don’t really need much flair. I have really enjoyed taking my time finding the perfect book ends and nick-knacks. It’s just a perfect excuse to buy one more horse lamp.

Like I said the desk and filing cabinet still need work. I’m also not sure about the black and white striped rug. I wish it was bigger. I’m also considering putting a sisal or jute rug beneath it to give the space more oomph. As I write this I’m also trying to figure out how to integrate a standing/sitting desk for Sam up here. It’s just more motivation to find a smaller desk for me and fix the paper filing problem for good.I hope you enjoyed the under construction walk through. Once I get the living room finished I’ll get to throw all my energy into this room! If you want a more in depth explanation on how we built the shelving leave a comment below and I’ll put a blog post together.

Also, this is kind of random, but since I change out my decor pretty often I have a Facebook Market Place that has a fairly steady rotation of home-goods and furniture that I either no longer want or just don’t work with my design style anymore. I don’t ship but if you live in the DFW area it’s worth taking a peak at!

Maegan

 

Antique Doll House

The Benefits of Climate Controlled Storage: A Quick Guide

Last week I took a poll on Instagram and asked if y’all would like to know more about climate controlled storage and the overwhelming consensus was–YES!

Living in a rental or a small space–Sam and I hit both marks–makes storage a challenge. We have more space than most–but it’s still not enough or ideal. As we’ve been KonMari-ing our house–in large part due to Marie Kondo’s TV show–I noticed our loft area has become a makeshift storage space over the last several years. Items that we don’t think will survive the 100+ degree weather in our attic or garage come summer have now taken over half the space. We are losing valuable living space by keeping all that stuff stacked up in the corner.

So we had a serious conversation last week about what to do with all of it. To clarify, the ‘items’ are some antique furniture handed down by my parents, a giant antique doll house, photos, paper memorabilia and my wedding dress(which is sealed up in one of those fancy storage boxes)–basically valuables and antiques. Some of it we get out once a year at Christmas–like the Beary Merry Christmas doll house–but most of it goes untouched year round. We know we need to store these items but do they need to be stored in climate controlled unit and would be worth the added cost each month?

Basically, it all comes down to geographical location, the type and/or age of the item you want or need to store, and if you’re willing to pay the extra money for the peace of mind.

But first, what exactly is climate controlled storage and what are the benefits? Climate controlled storage units are usually indoor and maintain a consistent temperature all year round–some units even come with enhanced features like humidity control. They are often placed inside buildings with sealed and insulated roofs, walls, and floors. Below are some of the benefits of a climate controlled storage and reasons you might consider renting one:

  • Extreme Temperature

If you live in a climate that sees extreme temperatures like 100+ degrees in the summer or below freezing temperatures in the winter and you might want to protect your valuables from the damaging effects of extreme temperatures. Sensitive items like wood furniture, antiques, and musical instruments can suffer from warping, splitting, or cracking due to the constant change in temperature. Additionally, items like fine art, photos, books, or business records can also be damaged due to the highs and lows of temperature change.

Items that would benefit from a climate controlled environment:

    • Antiques, especially wood furniture
    • Musical instruments
    • Mattresses
    • Books and magazines
    • Electronics
    • Important documents
    • Upholstered furniture
    • Vinyl records
  • Air quality and circulation and keeps the air fresh.

It’s common to overlook air quality when shopping for storage units. A standard storage unit isn’t sealed the same way an indoor climate controlled unit is. Because climate controlled storage facilities continuously circulate the air, the air remains clean. This prevents you from needing to open your unit just to get some fresh air inside which is important for the storage of sensitive electronics or documents–air quality should be high on the priority list.

  • Less chance for dust, debris, rodents, and insects.

Climate controlled storage units are often placed inside buildings with sealed and insulated roofs, walls, and floors. As a result, these units are less susceptible to minor flooding or tracked in dirt, and because they’re indoors, there isn’t as much chance for rodents or insects to make a home in your stored things.

Another benefit here is you’ll have less dust and debris always making its way into your unit. You’ll find your items just the way you left them, whether you store them for a week, a year, or a decade.

  • An extra peace of mind

Climate controlled storage usually costs more than traditional storage. This added cost is often insignificant and usually overshadowed by the peace of mind you’re given knowing you’ve protected your items from harsh seasonal changes and weather-related mishaps.

However, if you’re storing items that aren’t valuable for a short period, traditional storage is often adequate.

  • Humidity control

As mentioned above, humidity control is sometimes an enhanced feature some storage facilities offer. Humidity control, as an addition to climate control, maintains constant humidity in the unit to around 50%. Humidity controlled storage units are most often needed in places with either year round extreme high or low levels of humidity. For example, if we lived in Corpus Christi, Tx on the Gulf of Mexico –where the humidity is close to 100% almost everyday–we would need humidity control for what we want to store. Not only would the salt in the air cause damage to our things but there is a really high chance everything we stored outside climate and humidity control would mold, rot and be attacked by lots of bugs and rodents.

Conversely, if we lived in an extremely dry climate like Denver, Co, our valuables would be more likely to suffer the opposite effects by drying up from the lack of moisture and I’m sure be attacked by bugs and rodents.

I hope this helped clarify the issue and makes the deciding whether or not you need climate controlled storage easier. For us, the answer is a definitive yes. We were right not to leave our items stored in our attic or garage.

As far as pricing here in the Dallas area, a 5×5 or 5×7 unit runs around thirty-five to forty-five dollars a month and went up in price the larger the unit. My advice in determining how much storage vs rental you can afford is to roll both payments together as one and consider that your total monthly rent payment. that way you can determine how much apartment you can afford vs how much storage you can afford.

Here are a few storage unit tips before I go:

  • If you can’t afford humidity controlled storage and will be storing during damp months, be sure to access your unit regularly. Opening the doors will allow fresh air into the unit and will circulate out built up humidity and odors.
  • Some humidity controlled storage units are available without climate control.

 

Maegan

Master Bedroom Closet Mini Renovation

I have been waiting so long to share this tour with you all. The renovations were minor but the overall effect is spectacular! I get so excited every time I walk into our closet, now. This is my closet? No way! It is so beautiful to look at I purposely leave the closet door open! I’ve also started using it more like a real walk in closet by getting dressed in the closet–it’s way faster and more convenient. Sam is also a huge fan of the new layout and excited he no longer has to fight his way through the pillows strewn over the floor. I always feel satisfied and proud of my work when Sam gets excited about the end result of a project. I know I not created something beautiful but also functional. I’m linking the post I wrote on how I decluttered our closet before I redesigned the layout and organized our clothes. BONUS: I’m also listing the five ways to instantly give your closet a face-lift at the end of this post. This is not an affiliated post and there are no affiliate links in this post. All products and opinions are my own and bought with my own money.

Here is the before:img_0028img_0029img_0030

And here is the after:acs_0509acs_0510acs_0529 My total renovation cost for this project was fifty-two dollars. Most everything I purchased was on sale or I used coupon. We already owned the lumber, paint, wooden dowel, acrylic magazine holder(this one is similar), chair, sheepskin rug, and art(thrifted). The total project if you owned none of the supplies but, did have you own power tools, screws, and paint brushes, would be about $150+ (not including the accessories). Here’s the breakdown: $20-$30 for lumber, $4-$7 a piece for shelf brackets depending on size, $15 for a quart of paint, $18 for hat hooks if bought full price, $8 for a 6ft 1 1/4in wooden dowel rod, $15 for an acrylic magazine holder, 60 hangers for $30, 10 for $8 plastic slimline hangersacs_0515acs_0522

As you can see the ‘before’ closet was a jumbled mess. The mismatched hangers and random pillows and other accouterments strewn across the floor lent itself to a haphazard feel. As I considered the closet’s overall design I realized that Sam’s clothes needed to be hanging where mine currently hung and vise versa. I was also wasting a lot of dead space with the dresser and small ‘shoe shelf’ which didn’t even begin to hold half of my shoes. There was also an odd nook on the other side of the door I was never sure with what I should do. I’d also been organizing my purses in shoe boxes on the shelf above my clothes and it had never stayed tidy.acs_0512acs_0525

The first thing I did was declutter our closet. I then swapped Sam and I’s sides of the closet so my maxi dresses wouldn’t be dragging the floor and Sam could store his things on the shorter shelf. I decided to move all the clothes down the closet so when you open the door and step inside we would greeted by white open space. With the clothes moved to the other side of the closet I replaced the hangers. Just swapping out the mismatched, bulky, plastic hangers for identical slimline hangers made a huge difference. I quickly realized that I didn’t have enough hangers the first go around and it ended up taking sixty hangers–which was shocking–for my clothes alone. We lucked out and had enough white velvet slimline hangers for Sam’s dress pants but we had to buy more to replace the rest. Sam’s hangers were very cheap($2 a 10 pack) because he doesn’t like the non-slip hangers for his shirts so we found some plastic ones at Walmart!acs_0511acs_0517

To maximize space I added a bottom rod beneath my tops for jeans and dress pants. If you saw my Instastories, the original bottom closet rod brackets were hung too far to the left and were old. We bought two inexpensive brackets to replace the old ones and repositioned them to hang directly below the top shelf brackets. Since this is a rental, I stuck to the same closet bracket style that already existed–though I would have loved to rip them out and replace them with modern and stylish brackets. I want our apartment complex to appreciate the upgrade–not charge me for it whenever we move out.

Next, I worked on the shoe shelves. I measured my tallest pair of heels and added an extra inch in height to determined how many shelves I could get from floor to the shelf above the closet rod. I also measured my tallest riding boots and allotted space for them on the floor. I painted and Sam cut and hung the shelves. This is my favorite part of the entire closet!acs_0524acs_0523

The purse shelves gave me the most trouble. I didn’t think I could fit boutique style purse shelves in our closet. I originally wanted a little command station but decided to give it up in favor of purse shelves. We had some left over wood from another project that just happened to be the perfect depth. I painted them and Sam hung them and the ended working perfectly! Now, I have room up top to add even more purses! I can hear the leather of Sam’s wallet squeaking as he death-grips it. I have a very small hat collection that I was keeping on Styrofoam mannequin heads–which was cumbersome–and the blank spot on the back wall seemed like the perfect place for them. The hooks I bought were a little too big but for $3 each they are getting the job done. Now I think the mannequins look chic and add character. acs_0514acs_0513

Lastly, I felt the space needed an bit of personality and a place to sit and put shoes on. I already owned the sheepskin and chair–some of these items were haphazardly stuffed in a corner of our loft. The floral art was something I thrifted recently and was so so excited to give it a permanent home!

Overall, I think the closet mini-reno turned out beautifully! Its such a functional space now AND it’s beautiful to look at! There are a few things I still want to work on in this space. I still want to add an extra shelf on Sam’s side of the closet to extend the storage, install a milk glass light fixture, and swap the storage boxes out for ones that are 12×12. Overall, it turned out wonderfully and I’m very proud.acs_0526acs_0517

Here are the five things you can do right now to give your closet a major face-lift:

1. Declutter your closet — the best thing you can do is donate all those clothes you don’t wear so you can see the things you actually love to wear. I wrote all about declutteringnmy own closet here so you don’t have to figure it out.

2. Matching hangers — matching hangers streamline the closet and creates a cohesive, and dare I say, custom look for not a lot of work or cash.

3. Hang clothes by color– hang all red tops together, hang all red dresses and skirts together(separately from tops), etc. then hang all clothes by type in rainbow order. This streamlines the closet and makes getting dressed quicker and more fun.

4. Invest in hooks — hats, belts, scarves–get those things off the floor and out of the clothing space by hanging them on hooks along the wall

5. Add something personal — a monogram, a piece of art, your favorite perfume, pink hangers, find a way to make your space look and feel like you!

I hope you loved this post! I want to see your closet makeovers! Link them in the comments below so I can check them out!

Maegan

P.S. Here are some bonus blooper photos of Lemon! Have a great week!

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domino home tour of designer Leanna Ford. / MaeganKJohnson

Restored by the Fords

For some time now, I’ve been seeing these incredible white interiors on Pinterest and I can’t get enough. I did a little search and found that these beautiful interiors all have one amazing designer in common–Leanna Ford. She is also part of the duo that makes up the HGTV design team on Restored by the Fords in which she and her brother Steve enliven quirky and unique houses in Pittsburgh.

This fabulous home of Los Angeles-based interior designer Leanne Ford was photographed by the talented Nicole Franzen for domino. Leanne’s 1945 farmhouse is filled to the brim with fabulous vintage finds and an almost completely white color palette that brings a sense of cohesion to the cacophony of textures and design eras galleried throughout her home. But make no mistake, as gorgeous as the vintage chandeliers, gilded mirrors, and shiny brass fixtures may be, it’s the white color palette that is the star of the show. Endless shades of vanilla, cream, and ecru are the showgirls against the time-worn and weathered backdrop of the farmhouse itself. Never has anyone made white feel so warm, so timeless, so layered–like the folds of a creamy, woolen blanket.

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Photography by Nicole Franzen for domino

Retro Prairie Book Mobile DIY

To say I’m excited to share this DIY tutorial is an understatement! I’ve looked all over the internet and I think my tutorial is the very first tutorial ever made specifically for a Book Mobile. If you’re new here, this DIY was highly requested because of the mobile I made for our Nursery in this blog post. Book mobiles aren’t just for nurseries but also look good in little girl and tween rooms too and would be great decor at weddings and baby showers! I have more exciting news at the end of post so don’t forget to scroll all the way to end! Alright! Let’s jump right in!

Time: 3-4 hours depending on how elaborate your embellishments are

To replicate this book mobile you will need:

1. Book 2. Wooden Horse 3. Ribbon 4. Hammer and Nail 5. Glitter Glue 6. High Temp Hot-Glue Gun 7. Pencil 8. Twine & Fishing Line 9. Several Pieces of Cardboard 10. Paper Flowers 1 & 2 2. X-Acto Knife 12. Paintbrush 13. Blowdryer 14. Glitter 15. Black Paint 16. Ruler

*You will also need a drill if you decided to hang the wooden horse as seen in this tutorial.

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Maegan-Johnson-Original-DIY-Book-Mobile-Boho,-Retro,-Cowgirl,-Prairie,-Tools,-Items-Needed,-Black-Beauty,-Wedding-Book-Mobile,-Teen-Book-Mobile-41. First, measure the spine of your book and trace it onto a piece of cardboard. Place your extra cardboard beneath the piece you traced your spine on and with your exact knife cut out the new spine from the cardboard. Make a light first pass with your knife–then a deeper second pass. The cardboard spine is there to provide support for the spine after you’ve removed the pages.

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Maegan-Johnson-Original-DIY-Book-Mobile-Boho,-Retro,-Cowgirl,-Prairie,-Tools,-Items-Needed,-Black-Beauty,-Wedding-Book-Mobile,-Teen-Book-Mobile-72. Release the spine from the end pages of the book. Make several shallow passes at the base of the end pages. The end pages are usually thicker and will be glued to the last thinner pages of the book as well. If you press too hard with your knife you might cut through the spine of the book. As you cut through the end page you will feel the netting as you cut closer to the spine. Cut through the netting slowly from top to bottom. Once the page is released repeat on the other side. Again, be careful not to cut all the way through the spine.

*This is where the blowdryer might come in handy. Every book is different and some have their pages glued onto the spine–that was not the case with this book. But, the book I made my original mobile did. If that is the case, use your blowdryer to help soften the glue and run your knife gently between the spine and the glue to release it.

Maegan-Johnson-Original-DIY-Book-Mobile-Boho,-Retro,-Cowgirl,-Prairie,-Tools,-Items-Needed,-Black-Beauty,-Wedding-Book-Mobile,-Teen-Book-Mobile-83. Once the pages have been removed place your cardboard spine into the spine of the book. If the cardboard is a tight fit trim it down a little but not too much. The cardboard spine helps the book’s covers stay open. Once the cardboard is the right size glue it down.

Maegan-Johnson-Original-DIY-Book-Mobile-Boho,-Retro,-Cowgirl,-Prairie,-Tools,-Items-Needed,-Black-Beauty,-Wedding-Book-Mobile,-Teen-Book-Mobile-104. You’ll need to cut a paper spine for your pages to hang from. Cut an inch wide section from one of the books end-pages (because the paper is thicker) and tri-fold it hotdog style. Glue onto the carboard spine.

Maegan-Johnson-Original-DIY-Book-Mobile-Boho,-Retro,-Cowgirl,-Prairie,-Tools,-Items-Needed,-Black-Beauty,-Wedding-Book-Mobile,-Teen-Book-Mobile-95. Take the extra cardboard and place it under the spine of your book. Using your hammer and nail punch a hole halfway down the spine.

Maegan-Johnson-Original-DIY-Book-Mobile-Boho,-Retro,-Cowgirl,-Prairie,-Tools,-Items-Needed,-Black-Beauty,-Wedding-Book-Mobile,-Teen-Book-Mobile-116. Thread the twine through the hole and tie a figure eight knot. Pull the string until the knot is flush with the spine and glue it into place.

Maegan-Johnson-Original-DIY-Book-Mobile-Boho,-Retro,-Cowgirl,-Prairie,-Tools,-Items-Needed,-Black-Beauty,-Wedding-Book-Mobile,-Teen-Book-Mobile-127. Cut pages loose from the binding and determine your page layout. If your book has illustrations you might want to feature them toward the bottom.

Maegan-Johnson-Original-DIY-Book-Mobile-Boho,-Retro,-Cowgirl,-Prairie,-Tools,-Items-Needed,-Black-Beauty,-Wedding-Book-Mobile,-Teen-Book-Mobile-138. Start by folding your pages hotdo style and gluing three of them into the spine to create your base. Glue at least one page to each side of your new paper spine.

Maegan-Johnson-Original-DIY-Book-Mobile-Boho,-Retro,-Cowgirl,-Prairie,-Tools,-Items-Needed,-Black-Beauty,-Wedding-Book-Mobile,-Teen-Book-Mobile-149. Keep glueing your pages until a shape starts to form. Make sure your pages are glued on straight. This is tricky to do and I had to stay on top of mine to keep them straight.

Maegan-Johnson-Original-DIY-Book-Mobile-Boho,-Retro,-Cowgirl,-Prairie,-Tools,-Items-Needed,-Black-Beauty,-Wedding-Book-Mobile,-Teen-Book-Mobile-1710. Paint your horse front and back.

Maegan-Johnson-Original-DIY-Book-Mobile-Boho,-Retro,-Cowgirl,-Prairie,-Tools,-Items-Needed,-Black-Beauty,-Wedding-Book-Mobile,-Teen-Book-Mobile-1611. While your horse is drying, choose your flower layout and hot glue them to your fishing line. Leave plenty of extra fishing line on the ends to hang them. I also included ribbon for this tutorial because if fishing line isn’t your thing ou could always substitute pretty ribbon!

Maegan-Johnson-Original-DIY-Book-Mobile-Boho,-Retro,-Cowgirl,-Prairie,-Tools,-Items-Needed,-Black-Beauty,-Wedding-Book-Mobile,-Teen-Book-Mobile-1513. Once the horse is dry, paint your horse with glitter glue and glitter your horse wherever you want.

14. Drill a hole in your horse and tie it up with the fishing line.

15. Decide the layout for your embellishments layout and glue them down to the book’s cover.

Hang and enjoy!

Maegan Johnson Original DIY Book Mobile Boho, Retro, Cowgirl, Prairie, Tools, Items Needed, Black Beauty, Wedding Book Mobile, Teen Book Mobile,21Maegan Johnson Original DIY Book Mobile Boho, Retro, Cowgirl, Prairie, Tools, Items Needed, Black Beauty, Wedding Book Mobile, Teen Book Mobile,24Maegan Johnson Original DIY Book Mobile Boho, Retro, Cowgirl, Prairie, Tools, Items Needed, Black Beauty, Wedding Book Mobile, Teen Book Mobile,25Maegan Johnson Original DIY Book Mobile Boho, Retro, Cowgirl, Prairie, Tools, Items Needed, Black Beauty, Wedding Book Mobile, Teen Book Mobile,22Maegan Johnson Original DIY Book Mobile Boho, Retro, Cowgirl, Prairie, Tools, Items Needed, Black Beauty, Wedding Book Mobile, Teen Book Mobile,23

Maegan – xx

 

GIVEAWAY WINNER IS: @Amymooreporter

 

Now as promised the Big Announcement:

 

ONE LUCKY WINNER WILL WIN THIS BOOK MOBILE!

To Enter:

1. Join my email list–you can find the sign-up at the bottom of this post under my photo or in the sidebar if you’re on a desktop/laptop

2. Like this post on my Instagram page and tag a friend on that same post

Done!

One entry for signing up for the email list. One entry for liking the Instagram post and tagging a friend. You get two entries if you do both!

This giveaway will run from 07/12/2018 – 07/19/2018. Winner will be contacted and announced on 07/20/2018. Winner will have 24 hours to contact me. If the winner does not respond to contact in 24 hours another winner will be picked.

*Open to US residents only. Must be 18 years or older to enter.

Declutter Your Closet in 9 Steps / MaegankJohnson Blog

Declutter Your Closet in 9 Steps

The closet purge. It doesn’t matter how well you know your style, every so often it’s time to clean everything out. Am I right? It could just be that the seasons have changed and as you un-box your clothes for the new season wardrobe you spot pieces and items that just aren’t working for you anymore. Or maybe there are a few things that just don’t fit the same as they used to–hello Christmas cookies and those extra holiday carbs. Or maybe you’ve had a major life change and your wardrobe no longer fits your current lifestyle–I’m looking at you brand new mama. Whatever the case may be, life is constantly changing and so our wardrobes are constantly changing as well.

I have two resources I recommend reading on the subject of decluttering and closet management. First is ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up‘ by Marie Kondo and the second is ‘The Curated Closet’ by Anuschka Rees. They both have a wealth of knowledge on two different but similar subjects–one on organization and health the other on style–and I highly recommend you read them both. I drew a little from both of these resources while coming up with my own purging method.

A few recommendations before you start:

Purge your closet before organizing your closet

  • I’ve made this mistake a hundred times and let my say that trying to organize where bags and shoes should live among all the clothes you probably don’t wear and wont be keeping is a total waste of time. Leave the organizing until the end.

Purge accessories and shoes last

Gather your tools

  • Trash-bags, permanent marker, music to set the mood, something to keep you hydrated

Let’s Begin!

You will be making four piles: pieces that don’t fit, pieces you haven’t worn in the last year, pieces you’re keeping, and a donate pile. Lay a trash-bag out to represent each pile.

1. Separate and place in a pile what doesn’t fit

  • Let’s be honest–you probably know the exact pieces of clothing that don’t fit in your closet right this minute. And if you aren’t sure, you probably have a good idea which pieces really need the ‘try it on’ test. I will go so far as to guess with great accuracy that you are picturing those pieces of clothes right now. Take everything for the current season that you know doesn’t fit and put it in a pile. Don’t try anything on yet.

2. Separate and place in a pile everything you haven’t worn in the last year that still fits

  • Don’t make excuses for your clothes, don’t not put it in the pile because you spent good money on it and you probably will wear it later on–maybe(that’s called the sunken cost fallacy–go google it). Just put it in the pile. You will be glad you did later on.

3. Go through the ‘doesn’t fit pile’ one piece at a time, try it on if need be, and determine if this is really something you will ever reasonably be able to wear again.

  • If you’re not confident you will be able to fit into it again within the next six months or by the next year(summer 2019 from now summer 2018) then toss it in the donate pile. Holding onto the past sometimes keeps us from reaching our goals in the future. I’m speaking from personal experience as someone who lost 130lbs. When I started my weight loss journey, I parted ways with a lot of clothes I had been keeping for years in the hopes one day I could go back and fit into them like the old days. You can’t go back to the old you. You–in the present–has to move forward to your future self–that’s how time works. However, if a particular piece of clothing motivates you forward I say keep it! That clothing is now an empowering tool to encourage you! You will know the difference too as you hold each item. If it fills you with guilt its holding you back. If it empowers you, keep it!
  • If something is too small or too big but has extreme sentimental value(notice I didn’t say guilt or sunken cost fallacy) then keep it!

4. Put all clothes you haven’t worn in the last year in the donate pile

  • Let’s face it–you didn’t wear it because you didn’t love it and you probably are never going to wear it. Give someone else the chance to wear it who really would love it. If it’s a more expensive item try selling it at a consignment store or through an app like Poshmark. *
  • If there’s something you haven’t worn but has extreme sentimental value(notice I didn’t say guilt or sunken cost fallacy) then keep it!

5. Go through the remaining clothes in the fourth pile piece by piece and determine if it fits your style perfectly

  • Can you make three separate outfits with this item? Do you really love wearing it? Does it fit right(can you wear it all day without discomfort)? Does it make you happy to put it on? If you answer yes to all these questions then place it in a new ‘to-keep’ pile. Repeat this step for each item. What doesn’t make the cut gets tossed in the donate pile.

6. Separate all the off season clothes (that would be fall and winter right now) and put them in bags or boxes and store them underneath your bed

  • When doing a major ultimate purge I don’t recommend trying to sort off-season clothes because it’s too overwhelming to guess where you might be in four-six months in life. Just repeat this process once the seasons change.
  • Move all off-season clothes into bags or boxes and store them under your bed. This will free up space in your closet and each time you look for an outfit you will only see the clothes that can be worn right now. This is really a huge deal because it gives your brain a mental rest and it becomes relaxing to look at the clothes in your closet and not have to constantly block out all the off season items.

7. Bag up all the clothes being donated or stored and label them

8. Put your donate bags in the trunk of your car

9. Place all the items in the ‘to keep’ pile back in your closet

10. Repeat these 9 steps for your shoes, jewelry, and other accessories

*There might be a few items that you’re on the fence about. I recommend a trial separation for these items. Put them away for two weeks in a bag under your bed. If you don’t go looking for them in two weeks donate them.

Once you have it all purged its time to organize and beautify your closet!

I hope this post was incredibly helpful and simple. Its daunting to tackle what seems like an impossible task but I know you’re up for it! I want to know if my ‘method’ worked for you! Come back once you’re done and tell me how it went in the comments below!

Maegan — xx

Mid-century Coastal Nursery/Bedroom Tour

Maegan Johnson NurseryBedroom Tour, Changing table, Dresser as a Chaning table, Nursery Interior Design, Modern Nursery Design, Coastal Nursery Design, Mid century Nursery Design, Blue NEven though Baby E is gone, I am still excited to share our nursery tour today. I jumped so many design and foster care inspection hurdles to get this room ready and not only am I happy with the end result but I’m so grateful to have had a baby to use it. I put a lot of hard work into incorporating a nursery in our bedroom without it feeling juvenile. According to the state I had to fit a crib and changing table in a bedroom that already contained a king size bed, an eight foot dresser, and two night stands. Because we rent I could not change the carpet, ceiling fan, the color of the trim, or doors. I also could not remove or change the blinds. This is a HUGE post so grab a coffee or a glass of wine and settle in. Let’s do this!

BEFORE:IMG_1875Our room was pretty sad looking. The paint in this photo was from the first apartment we ever lived in ten years ago. I am not kidding. It’s a semi-gloss finish(first time paint buyers remorse) and it’s shiny and tacky looking–like patent leather. Just no. Obviously, nothing is working together and it’s very dark and dreary–our lamps don’t even match. Our bedroom needed lots of help.

AFTER:Maegan Johnson NurseryBedroom Tour, Nursery Interior Design, Modern Nursery Design, Coastal Nursery Design, Mid century Nursery Design, Blue NurseryMaegan Johnson NurseryBedroom Tour, Nursery Interior Design, Modern Nursery Design, Changing tableMaegan Johnson NurseryBedroom Tour, Green Jenny Lind Crib, Modern Nursery Design, Coastal Nursery Design, Mid century Nursery Design, Blue NurserySo much better, right?! I wanted our room to tell a story each time I walked in or lay down at night. I was born next to the ocean and it is one of the happiest places on the earth for me. Some of my happiest memories from my entire life are vacationing at the beach with my family. When I lay down at night I wanted to be surrounded and transported to the beach but I did not want it to feel hokey or campy. I wanted it to hint at the beach and leave room for my imagination to fill in the blanks. I also needed a gender neutral theme for the ‘baby’ side of the room and ‘beach’ landed squarely between both baby and grownup. I drew my color pallet from the large art piece hanging over the changing table. It’s just a print but it’s one of the first pieces of art I ever bought and I’m so proud that I still love it to this day.Maegan Johnson NurseryBedroom Tour, Coastal Nursery, Vintage Blue Mason Jar, ShellsI started with paint. We rent and therefore the walls have been repainted a thousand times and are covered with inches of uneven texture. I needed a color that would not accentuate the texture like the tacky, semigloss, dark blue I had painted them. I also had to take into consideration the ugly tan carpet. I wanted to chose a paint color that would draw attention away from the carpet and complement its undertone–not an easy feat. I vacillated over paint color more than any other design aspect. I was very worried that the green undertones of the paint might be nauseating, but this color ended up being so versatile and calming. It leans more blue if you add blue accents and it leans green if you add green accents. It’s one of those truly neutral colors in that it isn’t too warm and isn’t too cool–and it’s not grey. It reminds me of sea foam or misty mornings on the beach. Of all the choices I made this was the most transformative, most dramatic, most effective, and CHEAPEST ‘renovation’ I made to the entire room. The new paint color also helped the ugly carpet disappear. The dark blue color from before exaggerated the carpet but the light blue green draws the eye up and away. Now the carpet I can’t change is more like a accent to the wall–like sand in a sea-glass bottle. Wall color is Sea Salt by Sherwin Williams.Maegan Johnson NurseryBedroom Tour, Reading Noook, Nursery Interior Design, Modern Nursery Design, Coastal Nursery Design, Mid century Nursery Design, Blue NurseryNext I had to figure out where I was going to squeeze a full size crib into our room.  I spent a lot of time digging through Pinterest looking  for ideas on how to incorporate a crib into a master bedroom. Most ideas revolved around picking a corner of the room and letting the baby have that space but that just didn’t work for our room. There were no corners to designate to a baby space because they were almost all taken by windows and doors. I wracked my brain for weeks trying to figure out a good solution. One evening, while Sam and I were sitting on the couch watching TV, I decided to sketch the room out on a piece of notebook paper and draw different layouts. I realized after my first sketch that every room I’d seen the ‘baby in the bedroom’ space designed for was very square with only one or two doors and a single window. Our space is a long rectangle with three doors and two windows. No wonder I was having issues!Maegan Johnson NurseryBedroom Tour, Green Jenny Lind Crib, Book Mobile, Modern Nursery Design, Coastal Nursery Design, Mid century Nursery Design, Blue Nursery I was playing around with my sketch when I got the idea to draw a diagonal line down the room to define the space. The furniture instantly clicked into place. The crib fit snugly against the shorter wall between the closet and bathroom doors with plenty of room for our king sized bed against the opposite wall–though I had to give up my bedside table. I converted our dresser to accommodate the changing pad and slid it against the wall between the windows. The space above the dresser was empty so I designed some shelves and had Sam hang them off center making that wall the focal point of the room. It was the perfect solution. Now there was ample room for the crib and unobstructed paths between the bed and all the doors and windows. The crib is a vintage find I got from a family friend and it has an interesting little story. I got this crib months before Sam and I decided to pursue adoption through foster care. That crib is really special to me because I bought it in faith that I would one day have a baby to put in it. I was so nervous I wouldn’t be able to use it once we began the certification process because whatever crib you use has to pass government codes and the environmental inspection. I was so relieved that we were able to use it! It was already painted the minty pastel green when I got it, and I had planned to paint over it, but after assembling it against the new wall color I left it alone.Maegan Johnson NurseryBedroom Tour, White Washed Shelves, Modern Nursery Design, Coastal Nursery Design, Mid century Nursery Design, Blue NurseryMaegan Johnson NurseryBedroom Tour, Changing table, Dresser as a Chaning table, Nursery Interior Design, Modern Nursery Design, Coastal Nursery Design, Mid century Nursery Design, Blue NThe shelves above the dresser we made out of 2×8 pine from Lowe’s which I hand sanded and whitewashed with Sherwin Williams Extra White paint. I chose to whitewash the shelves because it gave me another texture and design element to play with–a sort of drift wood look. It played to my beach theme and whitewashing made the shelves look visibly lighter. Maegan Johnson NurseryBedroom Tour, Reading Nook and Jenny Lind Crib, Modern Nursery Design, Coastal Nursery Design, Mid century Nursery Design, Blue NurseryI had a little corner leftover with nothing in it and I wanted every part of the space to be usable. There wasn’t enough room for a rocking chair so I decided to make a child sized reading nook. We could have gotten a child up to eighteen months old who really could have used a quiet corner of the house to ‘read’ and use their imagination. Books are so important to me. My own childhood was filled with books and endlessly being read to. I still adore books–I’m an aspiring author–and I really felt a space for books needed to be incorporated into our design. I vacillated over whether to buy picture frame ledges from IKEA or build them myself. It came down to aesthetic, really. I wanted shelves that had texture and natural wood–plus building them cost me nothing. Sam found some plans online(search picture frame DIY for a million options) and we used the left over scrap pine from another project. I sanded them down and stained them with Minwax Classic Gray 271 (left over from staining the headboard) and then white washed them slightly with Sherwin Williams Extra White (which I also had left over from another project). I decided to stain them first because I wanted to add another depth of color and contrast as opposed to the very light shelving above the dresser. I used this tutorial as my guide. Whitewashing is a learning process so I recommend getting a small piece of similar scrap wood and practicing on it before tackling your project.Maegan Johnson NurseryBedroom Tour, Coastal Shelves, White Washed Shelves, , Modern Nursery Design, Coastal Nursery Design, Mid century Nursery Design, Blue NurseryMaegan Johnson NurseryBedroom Tour, White Bedding, Nursery Interior Design, Modern Nursery Design, Coastal Nursery Design, Mid century Nursery Design, Blue NurseryThe headboard is a very heavy piece of paneling from the inside of an old elevator that I refinished and hung with a french cleat. It’s actually the same headboard in the before picture. And, technically Sam added the french cleat. This is one of the projects I’m most proud of because it took a lot of work and planning. I ended up having to start over because of unsavory advise from someone working in a big box lumber store, but it turned out much better than I could have imagined. I already had the white linen duvet cover and I knew I wanted to keep with the white bedding because it is cooler to sleep in(we live in the south y’all) and very spa like. Once I added the faux down duvet insert the bed became very light and airy to look at.Maegan Johnson NurseryBedroom Tour, Nursery Interior Design, Modern Nursey Book Mobile,Let’s talk about the mobile. I made this mobile myself–yes, I really did. I knew I wanted a mobile over the crib but I honestly couldn’t find anything I liked that didn’t scream ‘baby’. I came across the idea on Pinterest(a girl’s best friend) and instantly knew this would be perfect. I love books because they can transport you to other times and places, and you get to experience what it’s like to be a different person. But I also love books because they have messages and those messages can be empowering, edifying, and resiliently hopeful. I wanted a child to be able to look up and see that there is a life just for them that extends far beyond foster care. There is hope. Initially, I wanted to use a Bible–there is no other book filled with more hope– but Sam couldn’t come to terms with me tearing a Bible up this way. I think it would have been beautiful–also very controversial–and I didn’t want ‘controversy’ hanging over our placement’s crib. There is enough literal controversy in a foster child’s life they don’t need metaphorical controversy hanging over their heads too. So, I chose the hardback version of the Chronicle’s of Narnia by C.S. Lewis which I snapped up from a local Half Price Books. The pages hanging from the book’s spine are from ‘The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe’. I didn’t have a guide or tutorial I just sort of made it up as I went along and for a first go it turned out beautifully. As I was cutting the pages out of the book’s spine I asked out loud for C.S. Lewis to forgive me for tearing up his work. I also sent a silent prayer asking God to pass the message along in case he was too busy up there in Heaven and didn’t hear me. I added the little wooden stars because it needed a little more length with some fishing line and hot glue. I think once it’s no longer needed as a crib mobile I will remove the stars and hang it in my office.Maegan Johnson NurseryBedroom Tour, White Washed Shelves, Modern Nursery Design, Coastal Nursery Design, Mid century Nursery Design, Blue NurseryInitially, we didn’t have a light on the changing table but after several weeks of blinding each other in the middle of the night with the overhead light I broke off and bought a lamp. The most time consuming part of this entire room was styling the shelves above the dresser. It took months. The top shelf actually came together in like five minutes. It was the bottom shelf that really gave me a headache. The vintage glass mason jar–which is filled with shells and sand-dollars from Sam’s very first trip to the beach and our first trip as a married couple–was the only object that actually made it to the end of all the edits I made. Maegan Johnson NurseryBedroom Tour, Nursery Interior Design, Modern Nursery Design, Coastal Nursery Design

There is still a lot left to be done to the adult side of the room. I’m still looking for the right art to hang above the bed as well as a bedside table that better matches the aesthetic of the space. And there is still the dilemma of what to hang on the long wall against the bathroom door. The bedding could also use some color and updating. But that’s the joy of design your own space–in my opinion–because you get to decide as you go along and what ultimately ends up in your space is curated to be 100% you. Thank y’all so much for coming over for a tour. It really means the world to me that y’all have followed our journey as foster parents. You’re continued interest and support means the world to me.

Furniture: Crib/Vintage, Dresser/Cason’s Mercantile, Headboard/DIY

Decor: Changing Table Lamp/Target, Bedside Lamp/Target, Wall Art/ Etsy, Crib Art/Hobby Lobby, Crib Mirror/Vintage Find, Sea Urchin Spines/Target, Changing Table Tray/Hobby Lobby, Coral Art/Target, Book Shelf Art/Urban Outfitters, Oval Frame/Hobby Lobby, Indigo Art/Jennifer Parry Dodge, Wooden Ship/Michael’s, Cream Vase/Target, White Basket/Target, Grass Basket/Target/ Changing Pad Cover/Buy Buy Baby, Crib Sheet/Target, Green Squirrel/Anthropologie

If I forgot something please let me know!   XX — Maegan