Homemade Tags for Packing Cubes

I recently found out how great packing cubes are!

Unfortunately my love of the color black has done me in. All of the cubes are the same color and I only have 2 sizes for 6 cubes so I can’t tell anything apart.

So, I thought of a solution. Tags! I wanted them to be able to snap off so I could change the tag to a bigger or smaller cube based on what I packed.

I either wanted snaps or velcro and I didn’t know how I was going to create the letters.

I considered leather and embossing the tags but I thought it would be heavy and tedious and it would look homemade. So I found printer paper that you can iron onto clothing. The instructions suggested white cotton. I wanted a heavier cotton so it wouldn’t be too flimsy.


I ended up with a heavy weight cotton in the chalkboard cloth section. Not sure what this cotton is used for normally.

I then cut them into rectangles and surged the edges with a rolled edge.


I ironed them flat then ironed the words for the tags. I printed them backwards so they would iron on correctly.



Once I did that I had to sew on each snap…Which took forever.


And here is the final project!


I love how easy they are to switch to bigger or smaller cubes and how sturdy they are. I also love how professional they look. There could have been more frill or “design” but I like how simple it is. The best part is that it only cost about $20. It would have been only about $10 but I had to purchase white Serger thread that I didn’t have before.

A New Binge Blog

A Facebook friend of mine recently posted a review of a blog called McMansionHell.  I took one glance at it and knew I had to binge read.

Basically it makes fun of huge houses where architects and builders ignore the rules of architecture and design. Instead they basically throw any and all design details onto the house with no regard as to if they match.

The author enjoys good architecture, as do I. And these McMansions as they call them are not great architecture. I love everything about houses and I have actually really learned things about architecture in a hilarious way.

I started with the McMansions 101 section to get all the ling before reading their posts.

Office/Guest Room Rearranging

Continuing from the Office Closet Storage Post, the entire room had to be re-arranged.

This is how it looked empty and moving in.

I don’t have a before photo of the re-arranging but you can see that the bed is where the chaise was and Robert’s desk is on the left.


You can see how full and packed it was.

We found out we were getting a renter as we were finishing up the closet.


So I knew we had to change the room around because it was just so crowded.

I also knew for a while that I was going to have to sell my wonderful desk. 😦 It was just too big for the condo and I knew that I needed to get a smaller desk.


I bought the large desk for $550 (including tax etc.) and I sold it for $300. Which is about half, but since we were going to have a renter we would more than make up what I bought it for.

I bought this smaller desk a few weeks ago for $50.


The legs were a bit wobbly but I thought I would be able to glue it or something.

Fun story, I finally put it together a week after I got it (since we were re-arranging it was easier to leave it taken down), and I hated it…

It’s really pretty. It just isn’t for me. So I sold it for $40. Which is $10 less than I got it for but it was worth it for the experience.

It’s actually for the better right now since we have a renter for the next 1-4 months and it gives more room in the office/guest room.

Here is what it looks like now.



We have gotten rid of some books, completely re-arranged the room, bought a dresser, (soon a mirror and a clothes hanger), and new bedding.

I was searching high and low (I went to 12 thrift stores in 2 days) for a duvet cover of any size I could cut down. (Post coming soon).

Also, the dresser post coming soon as well.

Office Closet Storage Organization

I have been going crazy with our guest room/office/storage room. We couldn’t figure out what to do with the room, how to organize it, or even where to start.

In the typical Kate way, I decided I wanted to get a closet organizer so I did a little research, went out that day and got the whole closet organization system.

The ones I had found on Storables and other websites were around $600 for what I needed.

I found this one at Home Depot (including the second shelving unit shown in below pictures) for about $350 including the drawers.

This is from Home Depot

I knew I wanted more shelving than garment racks because I knew the room was more storage/office and less guest room.

Here is the transition from junk closet to organized closet.

I wanted nice cream storage boxes. I HATED all the ones I found in 5+ stores and online.

They were either all wicker or all V shaped rather than square.

Both of these are from Amazon 1 and 2.

I finally went to Loews and found these:

They also had 2 other matching ones in different sized. Lowes.

Here is the photo of it all together.


It is so much cleaner and organized now.

Upholstering Another Antique Chair! :)

I love re-upholstering antique chairs. As much as I love keeping the original essence of each piece, often it is in need of repair or updating.

I bought this antique needlepoint cushion chair for $9.99 at Value Village. The seat was falling out in the bottom a little bit.


You can see the indent in the middle of the chair. I started pealing back the layers. And there was so much dust. Robert said “I hope I don’t get the plague. There must be some disease hidden in the layers of dust.”


The main problem is that the woven straps had frayed and broken at the edges. I had wanted to keep the straps to use again. I went back and forth between wanting to be authentic and using modern materials to highlight the original beauty. So I opted to use new straps and staples as opposed the the original nails.

I was happier with this than I would have been washing the old straps for hours. And hopefully not getting the plague.


I then put 1.5(?) inch foam on top but I noticed that the straps sagged a little so I added 3 layers of batting just in the middle. Then I put batting over top all of that.

I was searching for the best fabric to showcase the wood. I contemplated a pattern or red but I thought it would look best with cream (of course). I also wanted it to be a little velvety/suede like.

Surprisingly I found the exact one I wanted very quickly.


I serger-ed the edges and stapled it on. I also found the trim I wanted fairly quickly as well. Again, I contemplated a contrasting shade but I didn’t like the 3 colors of the wood, trim, and fabric together.

Here is the finished product.

I think it looks a lot cleaner next to my vanity and other white chair.


I also kept the original purchase tag on the chair.



My New Furniture Quest! A Huge Mirror!

So…I found this while browsing OfferUp…

It is $250 and I messaged the guy 3 times. He hasn’t responded. 😦

So then I looked into other options (all at great prices.

I don’t like them nearly as much as the HUGE first one. I will have to keep trying.  But this is going in my small 2 bedroom condo. But I don’t care, I love mirrors and I can practice West Coast Swing.

Aren’t they pretty though? 🙂

The quest continues…



Dollhouse Remodel – Part 1

I am a Real Estate Agent and I have loved houses since I was little. My grandparent’s own a 1910 Craftsman in Oregon.



Top is the front of their house. Bottom is the “Red Room” that I typically stay in when I see them.

I was shopping at Goodwill with my mom and I saw a dollhouse. It was somewhere around $40. I didn’t get it but I was inspired. I HAD to have a dollhouse. So I started looking online. I found one on eBay about 40 minutes from where I live. There were a few bidders but we didn’t hit the minimum “threshold”. My max bid was $279 and the threshold I assume was $300. It was in serious need of a remodel.

Since I wasn’t the winning bid for this huge custom dollhouse, I found a few others but I found 2 on Craigslist for $30 total and got them. The problem was that I had to build them myself. This is what it looked like after I built the first dollhouse.20150901_114904

I was happy with it, but I kept thinking about that huge dollhouse that I really wanted to remodel.

Then I got an email. They asked me if I would buy it at the $279 price that I offered. I sat on it for a day then said YES! I had to have it.

So I had a friend go up with me and get it. I had to borrow another friend’s van to get it. The friend that came with me had a baby so you can see the car seat in the back. We had to tip it sideways (which was very scary since it was built in the 80s.)

I got it home and over the next few months I tore it apart.


Stay tuned for part 2!

My Weight Gain Story :(

I promise this has nothing to do with the new year and “New Year’s Resolutions” and really has to do with everything aligning. The fact that it happened near Jan 1st was just a nice bonus to my enjoyment of order.

I need to get back in shape, lose weight, be less tired, commit more to dancing and practicing, and all the things that go with that. Really I want to get healthy again.

Here’s the (hopefully) short-ish story.

For the past 8 years I have been trying to figure out why I am tired, fatigued, and my muscles and bones hurt among other things.

I used a food tracking app LoseIt and I lost nearly 10lbs. I looked amazing in my opinion. I went from 172 all the way down to 163.

Oct 1, 2015 I was 166.8, And I reached my lowest weight Jan 1, 2016 at 163.

By April 7 I was up to 175. July 6 I was at 181. And I have been at 188 for a bit now so we will say 188.8 Jan 1 2017.

So in exactly 1 year I went from 163 to 188.8.


Left was Nov 5, 2015 at 163lbs. Right is August 13, 2016 at 184lbs. You can see the difference…. So can I.

Basically what happened was that I looked great, and didn’t feel any different from when I was at my “normal” of 172. Robert and I started dating and as in all new relationships, I gained weight. I didn’t worry too much going back up from 163 to 170. I had been there before and my weight fluctuated.

But then it kept going up. And then we bought a condo. Then money got tight. Stress. And this obviously made my weight go up more. And I was concerned when it went up to 182 and sat there for a few months.. That was 20lbs from where I started 6 months earlier. But I still wasn’t too worried. Until it kept going up after that. I was so tired. Work was going alright, dance was good, my relationship was good, stress was less but still high but it refused to go down.

I now realize I was probably over eating and I am in a much smaller condo than my house before (and it had stairs) so I was over-eating and under-exercising.

So I had to make it stop. But I wasn’t ready. Not because it was the holidays or anything. Just because I didn’t have all the info and was trying to figure out if it was anything else.

I had gone to the doctor to get thyroid, anemia, iron, vitamin D, celiac, sleep, and weight gain tested.  – All negative.

I am not a big meat eater. I am not vegetarian but I would rather reach for vegetables than meat. So I realized I could get my protein from plants like vegetarians do, and add meat as I want. I also realized it could just be depression like people suggested but only feel the physical not mental effects. Fibromyalgia was the diagnosis they had almost given me 8 years ago and I have been going on that assumption.

So, all that to say that I don’t know exactly what is wrong with me but I am literally and figuratively tired of

I wanted to start with something that worked outright without too much effort, just dedication. Once I feel better about my body and weight then I will work my way up to the next levels.

It isn’t about the weight number, its about being healthy and I know that caring around an extra 25lbs in a year is not healthy.

My goal is to get down to 178. I do feel positive about my body even though I have a belly pooch etc., but I want to drop enough pounds so I feel even better about myself then increase my effort.

Just tracking my food intake, lowering caloric intake, and eating less processed food helped me lose 9lbs last time and it is currently working now.

I also enrolled in a Gentle Yoga class near my house. I didn’t want anything too intense because my body and joints (especially my knees) hurts after stretching. As in hurts so badly I want to cry (I cry 6 times a year so that tells you how badly it hurts.) I want to start slow so I don’t overwhelm myself and stop.

Once I hit 178 I will go from 1.5 lbs lost per week down to 1lb per week and begin the process of dropping back to 172 where I originally started from. After that the ideal goal is to get back to 163 and then my ideal weight is 155 and for that I am more than happy with 1/2lb per week.

A happy start, even if it is just water weight, is a better way to get healthy rather than cutting all yummy foods. Its more about eating smarter than all natural or cutting all sweets.

A few days and easily shed pounds later I am at 184lbs. I will keep everyone posted. 🙂