DOCKATOT GRAND REVIEW: A Year Later

DockATot Grand Review: A Year Later at StampinFool.com

I blogged about buying a DockATot for Baby Hels last year (see it here) and how I planned to use it for her as an infant. Helen loves to be held. She snuggles and cuddles and laughs and plays. But, from the time she was born, she did not want to sleep on her own at night. We tried. EVERYTHING. No one slept. She cried in the bassinet. She cried in a swaddle. She cried in the swing. There was no sleeping situation that where the crying stopped or even slowed down unless she was being held.

DockATot Grand Review: A Year Later at StampinFool.comDockATot Grand Review: A Year Later at StampinFool.com

Now this wasn’t the case all day. She would play on the floor, and didn’t mind being held by friends and family. It wasn’t necessarily a crying problem or even a sleeping problem. It was an only sleeping at night when being held problem. So, for the first 3-4 months I held her every night. I slept propped up in bed at night, banished the husband to the other room and stripped the bed of blankets. I was super worried about safe sleeping and after researching, decided our ultra firm, bare mattress was safe to bed share, supervised, with only me in the bed at arms length, before she could roll.

I started swaddling her and placing her in the middle of the bed. But soon she started to move and roll. It was time to ditch the swaddle. She started crawling on top of me and the cycle of only sleeping on top of me continued. It was sweet at first, then it was exhausting. We decided to try the DockATot. And it worked. We transitioned her into the Dock in the middle of our bed. It was snug, so she started to sleep through the night in the Dock.

Helen is small, but she was getting older. As we reached the year mark, she started climbing out of it again and sleeping on me (see the pattern here, haha she loves mama). I wasn’t sleeping well- I’m a side sleeper and she would cry if she wasn’t sleeping on my chest. It’s not conducive to great sleep.

DockATot Grand Review: A Year Later at StampinFool.com

THEN, DockATot had a rare 500K Followers Instagram sale. They don’t go on sale often, but I was on the mailing list and got an email a few days before that they would be celebrating 500,000 Instagram likes by offering 50% for the first 500, and 25% off on ALL products. I kept thinking about it. I kept debating. So much so that I had the DockATot Grand in my cart and didn’t pull the trigger at the 50% off mark. I missed out. It was driving me nuts. So, at 11pm when I was restless and couldn’t stop thinking about how good of a deal it was and that it was unlikely to happen again, I couldn’t pass it up. I grabbed my phone and ordered the Dock Grand in the beautiful En Via La Rose print.

We started with it in our bed once again. *It takes up a lot of space. We have a King size bed, Husband complained. The climbing out continued and it was time to make a change. Helen needed her own place to sleep. It was going to be a transition and would probably result in a lot of crying. I had been dreading it for months. Years. I couldn’t handle the thought that she might cry all night for weeks on end and never adjust.

My husband assured me that she would adjust and if not, we try something else. We moved her unused bed into our room with the plan to move it into brother’s room after we were sure the nighttime crying had subsided and it wouldn’t wake him too.

DockATot Grand Review: A Year Later at StampinFool.com DockATot Grand Review: A Year Later at StampinFool.com

We put the new DockATot Grand in her bed and put her down for the night. I checked on her every 5 minutes. She cried for about 30 minutes. Then she was asleep. On night two she fussed less than ten minutes. Too short of a time to even calm her. Night 3 was a win also.

I am happy to say that we have successfully moved Hels from our bed to her own and I know that having the comfort of her DockATot helped ease the transition.

If you want more information on the DockATot or think it’s the right fit for your family, you can click any of the links in this post to head over to the Dock website and check it out. There are hundreds of other reviews as well.

Finally, I’ll leave you with a few more pictures of sweet Helen, because everyone loves those!

 

DockATot Grand Review: A Year Later at StampinFool.com

DockATot Grand Review: A Year Later at StampinFool.com

This post contains affiliate links, but is not a sponsored ad- when you buy, I receive a percentage at no cost to you.

Pantry Goals: 10 Tips to Organize your Pantry

 

10 Tips to Organize your Pantry

A new year usually means a cleaning and purging rampage around my house. I usually start with an overwhelming project and give up. After failing many times to actually complete a full project (welcome to the 95% club) I’ve made notes on what you should do to get it done right the first time.

A great starting place in your new year’s cleaning is your pantry. Have you ever searched Instagram for an organizing hashtag like #organizedpantry or #pantrygoals? I went down that rabbit hole. While it gave me hope about my overcrowded pantry, it also made me feel overwhelmed. I’ve narrowed it down to my top 10 tips to organize your pantry to help you make it through the entire process.

1. HAVE ENOUGH TIME

Don’t get started until you have enough time to put it all back. Plan on more time than you need.

I learned this the hard way. I thought I could dump everything out and put it all back in an hour while the baby napped. I was dead wrong. After three half days of moving things around and rearranging I realized it was going to be a week-long, 20 hour project that was best broken up into a couple of hour time chunks. This allowed me to pull things out, toss and clean, then begin picking a permanent shelf for each group of items.

2. REMOVE EVERYTHING & SORT

Take everything out of the pantry to begin. Group like items in piles on the floor/counters/tables. Taking everything out allows you to see how much you have, what you do and don’t need, and how much storage space you will need.

A note on sorting: You can sort in any way that works best for your family, but if you need ideas, here is how I sort my items:

  • Less used cooking appliances, extra baking tins and cookie sheets, ice buckets;
  • Cereals, granola, crackers, oatmeal, nuts;
  • Baby food, squeezies, baby cereal bars, teething crackers;
  • Baking supplies: flour, almond flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, meringue;
  • Canned vegetables, salsa, chicken broth and stock cartons;
  • Condiments/Sauces, oils, pasta sauce;
  • Pasta, couscous, quinoa, grains, rice;
  • Consumables: sweet potatoes, spaghetti squash, onions, shallots;
  • Tea, Coffee, Hot cocoa, raw sugar, swerve;
  • Almond butter, peanut butter, honey, applesauce;

10 Tips to Organize Your Pantry from Stampinfool.com #pantrygoals #pantryorganization

3. PURGE

Toss any out of date cans or boxes, donate anything you know you won’t use or use in time (I’m looking at you, baby formula and christmas sprinkles) to a local food pantry. If you are on a health food craze, tell your friends to come get the processed, boxed food you won’t be eating. The less food you have to rearrange the quicker it will go and the more space you will have to move around your consumables.

4. SCRUB

Give the pantry a good scrub down. I usually stick to a microfiber cloth and warm water, but a magic eraser comes in handy for stuck on spills or scuffs. Wipe down cans and boxes while they are separated into piles.

5. DECORATE

This one is cosmetic and optional, but if you want to decorate now is the time to do it- before you put everything back into the pantry. Does it actually help organize your pantry on it’s own? No, but if you love looking at a space, you are more likely to keep it looking nice. If you have the time and budget, do a little decorating to make your pantry a place you love to look at.

Do you want to paint the shelves or line the back wall with Peel and Stick paper? Pick your style and get to decorating. I chose to freshen up the shelves with crisp white paint and white bins to store food. I used a door rack to hold tea and coffee supplies and organized them by color to brighten the first thing you see.

6. BINS, BINS, BINS

Once you’ve picked your color scheme and favorite style, you can start shopping for bins. For a minimal clean look, go for clear or white. If you like color, go for coordinated bins in your favorite colors and keep the background solid. I opted for these white Target bins to keep everything looking uniform (and they are under $6, win-win).

Pantry Goals: Ten tips to Organize your Pantry from StampinFool.com

7. BUY MORE BINS than you think you will need

It will take more than you think you need to complete this project. When I started on the pantry organization I ran out to Target and grabbed five white bins. I got home and started filling them and quickly realized I needed more. Luckily, I remembered I had a few stashed in the kids dresser to separate clothes and hold toys. I repossessed those bins and put them in the pantry. I was shocked at how many bins I needed to hold what seemed like a minimal amount of baking supplies, pasta, and kid snacks.

8. KEEP LIKE THINGS TOGETHER

Cereal and oatmeal with breakfast, flour and sugar with baking, tea, coffee and cocoa on a shelf, snacks and granola bars all in one area, cleaning supplies and paper towels together. You get the idea- group things that you use together or that serve the same purpose in the same bin or on the same shelf.

9. STORE LEAST USED THINGS AT THE TOP

Paper towels, cleaning supplies, the food processor, extra cookie sheets, casserole carrying case, ice bucket and entertaining plates are all stored on the top shelf. If you use them enough to keep them, but not daily the top shelf is a great place to store them. The items you use most, like cooking oils, baking supplies, lunch bags, tupperware, and on the go snacks should be stored on lower shelves for easy access.

10. USE THE FLOOR

Since you’ve already scrubbed the entire pantry, you can use the floor for storage. It definitely is not wasted space. Best uses include: trash bags, lunch boxes, playdoh and kid’s painting supplies, bags of napkins, spare containers of foil, plastic wrap and paper plates (all sealed), or a large bin to catch your recycling. Store these extras in large rolling carts or on small shelves.

Remember to keep cleaning supplies up high and away from those babies (and older tide pod kids).

* BONUS TIPS *

11. LABEL ALL THE THINGS

If you want to take it keep it organized, get out some labels and start printing. You can label each bin, basket and shelf so that items can be replaced without any confusion.

12. PANTRY INVENTORY

Keep a pantry inventory on hand so that you can easily see what you have and what you are running low on. I’ve rounded up a few of my favorite pantry inventory printables from Pinterest for you to head over to their website, download and print them out.

Pantry Inventory Spreadsheet

OneMamasDailyDrama Inventory Printable

The Peaceful Mom Pantry Inventory Printable

CarrieElle Printable Pantry Inventory List

With an inventory checklist, you’ll better be able to prevent overbuying, but make sure you have on hand the supplies and foods you need most often. It’s a great resource that has helped with meal planning and overcrowding in my pantry.

Well that’s a wrap. Show me your made over pantry in the comments below!!

LOVE IT? PIN IT!

10 Tips to Organize Your Pantry from Stampinfool.com #pantrygoals #pantryorganization

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DIY Faux Marble Fireplace #PinterestChallenge

DIY Faux Marble Fireplace Update

DIY Faux Marble Fireplace #PinterestChallenge

Welcome to the August Pinterest Challenge Blog Hop, hosted by My Pinterventures. This month I chose to recreate a DIY Faux Marble Fireplace by updating our slate fireplace with faux marble contact paper. Keep reading & make sure you check out some of the other projects linked at the bottom of this post. I challenge you to DO one of the pins you’ve pinned lately! Make Pinterest count. #pinterestchallenge

A few months ago I started searching “marble contact paper” on Pinterest for ideas of how to use it. It is all the rage right now in the DIY decorating world. Decorators are putting it on everything from cabinet faces to lining pantry shelves to nightstand drawer accents. It has popped up everywhere and I wanted on this bandwagon NOW!

We have a gas fireplace, that we never use, might I add. It has a black slate hearth and border with white craftsman-ish trim. I ordered this Marble Contact Paper and plastic scraper from Amazon {affiliate link, don’t worry you won’t be charged extra} to install the faux marble. The contact paper is very shiny and thick. I was expecting it to be like shelf liner, but it is much thicker like Silhouette vinyl and durable. As for the scraper, I use them for everything- cleaning pans, scraping kid food off floor, and in this project {DIY Table Makeover with General Finishes Paint} I used the scraper to prep our kitchen table for painting.

Here is the before photo:

It was a pretty simple update. Here’s what you’ll need to do:

  1. Measure the slate fireplace surround. Measure the width across the top and the length of each of the slate pieces.
  2. Cut contact paper to size leaving a 1/4″ to 1/2″ extra buffer.
  3. Apply top contact paper first. Start in one corner and work your way across the top piece. Use the scraper to push the paper against the trim. (There is a small gap between our trim and slate, so I pushed the contact paper into the gap and tucked it under the trim).
  4. Smooth out any bubbles with your hand and press firmly to adhere the faux marble contact paper.
  5. With a razor blade or X-acto knife, trim the excess contact paper. Start by trimming the top right over the existing lines of the slate. Trim out the corners.
  6. Lastly, stick the blade into the very top of the vertical piece and carefully drag the blade down the entire length of the fireplace, resting the side of the blade on the existing slate as a guide. This creates a precise line, but does not leave any paper over or underlapping. (This seems wordy- better description: As if you are cutting wrapping paper, stick in the scissors and just slide them to the top instead of chomping with them. In this case, work from top to bottom).
  7. After cutting to size and applying all three pieces of contact paper, give the whole thing another good press to seal and tuck in any last corners and cut any excess off the bottom.

IN PROGRESS CLOSE UP

DIY Marble Contact Paper Fireplace Update from StampinFool.com

AFTER

DIY Marble Contact Paper Fireplace Update from StampinFool.com

What do you think of this DIY version of a Faux Marble Fireplace update? It turned out great. It brightens the room up and will look even better after I paint the surrounding wall bright white.

It has been installed for a little over a month now and has handled little kid beatings like a champ. The baby likes to rub her little fingers over the seams and she has yet to pull it off so it’s a win in my book.

Below I will link the supplies again and the other Blogs to check out for inspiration for your next project.

SaveSaveSupplies:
 


Now let’s see what other things Pinterest inspired! Head over and visit the other hosts to see what they crafted, cooked, built, or tried!

Pinterest Challenge Blog Hop

Erlene – My Pinterventures • Alexandra – Eye Love Knots
Joanne – Our Unschooling Journey • Laurie – My Husband Has Too Many Hobbies
Jenny – Cookies Coffee and Crafts • Kristie – Teadoodles
Beverly – Across the Boulevard • Katrin – Kreativ K
Debra – Shoppe No. 5
Gail – Purple Hues and Me
Emily – Domestic Deadline • April – Stampin Fool
Chelsea – Making Manzanita • 
Julie – Sum of their Stories • T’onna – Sew Crafty Crochet
Michelle – Our Crafty Mom • Lisa – Blogghetti
Marie – The Inspiration Vault • Kelley – Simply Inspired Meals
Debbee – Debbee’s Buzz • Shirley – Intelligent Domestications
Habiba – Craftify My Love • Marci – Stone Cottage Adventures
Kenyatta – My Design Rules • Kelli – The Olympic Nest
Roseann – This Autoimmune Life • Terri – Our Good Life
Leslie – Once Upon a Time & Happily Ever After

Lydia – Lydia’s Flexitarian Kitchen


An InLinkz Link-up




Best of 2019 IKEA Catalog

Best of the 2019 IKEA Catalog and the top 25 products from StampinFool.com
It’s here! The 2019 IKEA Catalog has launched and there are a ton of amazing new products in store. I grabbed a hard copy and began making a wish list. If you’ve been around for a while you will have seen my style shifting from an overcrowded colonial house to a white, uncluttered Scandinavian style. I’ve been adding IKEA pieces because they are durable, clean lines and cost efficient. 

This new catalog is no disappointment. From modern styled furniture to decor to small trinkets, it is packet with well designed pieces that I can’t wait to incorporate into our house. 

I’ll share a few snapshots of catalog layouts that display the pieces really well. (All the photos will be from the 2019 IKEA Catalog). Let’s start with new textiles. I LOVE the swatches of pink and gold on pillow covers, throws and sofas.

Best of the 2019 IKEA Catalog and the top 25 products from StampinFool.comBest of the 2019 IKEA Catalog and the top 25 products from StampinFool.com

Another stylistic addition is a french country look in the LIATORP bookcase line with a dark green color board and batten. The black INGATRORP round table can be incorporated into a shabby chic or french country kitchen as well when paired with the perfect wire baskets and distressed accessories. Both of these pieces would blend well into your farmhouse kitchen. 

Best of the 2019 IKEA Catalog and the top 25 products from StampinFool.com Best of the 2019 IKEA Catalog and the top 25 products from StampinFool.com Best of the 2019 IKEA Catalog and the top 25 products from StampinFool.com

One of my favorite things to source are couches and these hit the spot. Can you beat that bold pattern? I love the pink paired with Navy!! And that Navy velvet Stockholm sofa would look amazing in my living room. 

Best of the 2019 IKEA Catalog and the top 25 products from StampinFool.com Best of the 2019 IKEA Catalog and the top 25 products from StampinFool.com

Another common need is organization and wall decor. The mini desk organizer has been painted in shades of pink. RIBBA white frames are always the perfect decor touch that you can fill with your favorite print or rotate your children’s artwork.

Best of the 2019 IKEA Catalog and the top 25 products from StampinFool.com

Best of the 2019 IKEA Catalog and the top 25 products from StampinFool.com

Last, but certainly not least, I fell for the new Kids Room decor and furniture. The teal color is amazing! That palm leaf rug is the perfect pop of color!

Best of the 2019 IKEA Catalog and the top 25 products from StampinFool.com

Are you ready to see my favorite 2019 IKEA Catalog products? I’ve picked 25 favorites for you:

Best of the 2019 IKEA Catalog and the top 25 products from StampinFool.com

ELDTÖREL cushion cover rose | SKÄGGÖRT cushion cover gold dot | SNIDAD basket | FÄRLÖV Armchair | STOCKSUND Sofa | KLIPPAN Loveseat | BESTÅ green doors | AVSIKTLIG Rug | DUKTIG Play kitchen | URSKOG Rug | STUVA / FRITIDS6 chest | BJÖRKSTA tree picture | KRISTALLER chandelier | BOLLEBYGD display box | FOTO pendant lamp | LIATORP bookcase | MÅLARNA chalkboard | FJANTIG chair hook | INGATORP round table | EGENTLIG french press | SOCKER greenhouse | HINDÖ shelf | ÖVERSIKT dotted glasses | FJÄDERKLINT curtains | MINNEN bed frame

 

What do you think of my top 25 picks from the 2019 IKEA Catalog? Do you love the new color additions as much as I do? Do you have any IKEA furniture or accessories in your house? 

 

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Best of the 2019 IKEA Catalog and the top 25 products from StampinFool.com

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