life is always about the journey...

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Dorm Life!

DORM LIFE.....Ok I finally downloaded Alexa's dorm pics.  I took them all with my iPhone so bear with me...we didn't have room for the BIG camera after loading the truck up, trust me.  Thought I'd share some ideas for anyone planning their own teen's dorms in the future. 

We were lucky that during orientation this summer, Alexa's Green Scholars mentor took us on a tour of the apartment style dorm she'd be living in. It gave me a chance to measure drawers, closet space and under bed space to make a plan.

Here are a few pics of our SUV all packed was like a Tetris puzzle fitting everything lemme tell ya LOL.  Good thing Riley stayed with my parents because we had NO room for him and barely room for Alexa in the backseat hahaha!

And this Alexa's half-hearted wave the morning we left.  She was a bit sniffly & crying saying goodbye to her house, room and cat.  Hard stuff!

And here is her final room pic.  The only thing missing from picture is a long, aqua body pillow I got her for the backside of the bed so it could be couch-like when friends are sitting on it.  That's why the pictures are a bit higher so people won't knock into them.  I hung a curtain I got from Target with 2 large 3M hooks and 2 clear shower rings...yup McGyver style and it worked perfectly.  Adds a nice touch to the plain window.

Her bedding is from Pottery Barn Teen and we used white, navy & aqua colors...her decorate with.  The navy ottoman (Target) under bed holds extra blankets and is how she gets up on the bed. She has a tempurpedic mattress cover on top of her mattress as well to make it more comfy since those mattresses are plastic covered..yuk!  Her bins hold winter clothes, snacks and extra cosmetics.  A black trunk holds anything that needs to be locked up and her printer sits on top of it.  We got that 6-outlet-surge-protector plug for next to her bed for all the electronics.
The peel-n-stick frames are by Jonathan Adler...Alexa hadn't filled them all in yet as she's waiting for me to print some pics for her LOL. But they are on Amazon in sets too.

We scooted her desk & dresser together to make one large space against the wall. Then I had bought a white shoe shelf to put on top of dresser to give her more space..only $12 and much sturdier than most desk-risers.  She's keeping her school books/binders on the bottom now.  Posters were from Amazon..I got her a few that she can change around when the mood strikes. The 3M poster strips are awesome to use too. To the far right are a larger set of drawer bins that hold undies, socks and such and on top is a smaller set of drawers that hold hair-bands, nail products, etc...we kept the larger dresser drawers for clothing.  The blue cone-thing is a small fan we got for her room from Target and her iPod dock sits there too.

The cute ? lamp is from Target too.  Then she has the monogrammed tray I made her (see here for tray diy) and some of her fave pics.  The bird-jewelry tree is from Amazon.  She couldn't have any metal or clip on lamps due to being fire hazards so we got her this cute lamp from Target as well.  The trifold mirror all the way to the left was a gift from my parents for Christmas (from Pottery Barn Teen too)...she uses it to put her makeup on.  The desk is a multi-functional space LOL.

This is a picture collage I made her to take to school.  You may remember THESE from Valentine's Day I made too.  This one is special for her because I added words that meant something to her...there are names of our favorite beaches, vacation places, things she hopes to study & see...a piece of personal art for her room. The frames are from Michaels that I love..usually on sale for buy one get one free!  I always meant to do a post and I promise I still will...but until then you can make your own at can even upload clip art shapes of your own.

Since she can't have anything nailed or pinned to walls we bought A LOT of 3M command strip items including these cute white paper clips.  The large white board is peel-off vinyl and came from Amazon. Great place for her to write her to-do list and such. We decorated it before we left but I forgot to snap a pic.  A desk organizer holds her school stuff, the little 3-drawers hold her makeup inside and on top.
I also got her a cute Lily Pulitzer agenda because she loves using them and helps keep her organized.  The desk drawers hold other school supplies and extra light bulbs, batteries and such.

This is a great surge-protector I ordered from Amazon (Bed Bath & Beyond has them too).  It twists around things and is great for all those items that have large chargers. We fit it around her desk shelf and left a few open for all those other things that need charging.  Any extension cords had to have an on/off switch or they would not be allowed.

We also got her this handy dandy bunk bed shelf for her alarm and other essentials that must be within reach. The lil clip-on LED light is for reading in bed.  The shelves come in different sizes but I knew Alexa would have her bed against the wall so this was the only one that would fit well.

Gearbox Bedside Caddy
We also got her this little bedside caddy to hold her kindle and other reading materials. It tucks in nicely under her bedspread. A little note though...because her mattress is very light we had to buy mini clamps to clamp it to the underside of the bunk...just FYI. That way it stays in place.

This is her closet & door heading out to hall way (that's James getting in my picture hmmppffft lol).
We made it Alexa's dressing area and hung a bunch of 3M hooks for her necklaces, jewelry organizer and hat.  Her closet door also got 2 hooks for her towel-wrap and her purses. On the backside of her door is a full length over the door mirror as well.

In her closet we hung an over-the-door shoe hanger for shoes, belts, umbrella, tights, and other essentials. Obviously its not filled totally up yet but she forgot 4 prs of shoes which I had to ship to her.  Her boots are lined up in bottom of closet.

We bought her space-saving velvet hangers which make a HUGE difference in your closet. Definitely worth the $$ for the amount of space they save.
** We also got her 2 stick-on lights for the closet because its pretty dark in there--that way she can see easily for everything in the evening or early morning **

I hung 2 large 3M hooks on either side of her holds her laundry bag the and the other holds larger totes.  She has floor space for her boots and an almost empty bin for anything she might need to add or need room for. Her bookbag sits on top.  The robe hanging is actually mine..I've had it since I was pregnant with Alexa and she took it a few years ago...she loves it so I let her have it LOL.

At the top of her closet are a bin of laundry supplies including the cards and things I made for her last fall (See HERE).  A bottle of Febreze...cuz well it is college and you just never know LOL!  I got her Tide pods so she could grab a couple, add them to the bin and take down to the laundry room w/o having to carry a huge jug of detergent. Their laundry room is on first floor, has vending and tables for studying and HEY the machines TEXT YOU WHEN THEY ARE 5 MINS FROM BEING FINISHED and stay locked.  Now that's pretty cool!
The chevron bin holds her workout clothes for the gym so she can easily access them.
In all her bins and drawers that held clothes I added lil soaps to each...helps them smell nice and keeps bugs away..just a wee tip. Save the ones from hotels since they are perfect size.

Her apartment is 4 bedroom/2 bath style with her and her roomie are on one side of the kitchen/living room with a door and the other two are on the other side.  So the sink sits out at end of their hall and then the shower/toilet are behind a door.  We got Alexa these 2 drawer bins for her towels and cosmetics.  Her roomie went and got the same one so it was streamlined and neat...a trashcan sits in between. They are on wheels so they pull out and we loaded toilet paper at the very back of vanity so it was out of the way but accessible when they needed it.   I had Alexa's towels monogrammed in navy (from Pottery Barn Teen) and we got her this cool hot-tool hanging organizer.  It holds her hair dryer and curling wand easily and out of the way.
I'm making her a fancy acrylic tray for the things on top of the sink...shhh don't tell...will have that up on blog soon too.

The bathroom is tiny but big enough for them...however it was HARD to get a good picture LOL.
I got them a shower curtain from Pottery Barn Teen and the shower organizer.  On either side of the toilet we have bins with cleaning supplies, a plunger (cuz ya know) and a place for a few rolls of toilet paper and air freshner.

I didn't get a picture of the kitchen after we decorated...I totally forgot.  But they have a new, white microwave now and we added kitchen towels and a utensil holder for them. And some fun magnets on the fridge to add some color.  In the fridge we got Alexa 2 clear fridge bins to hold her food.  Each girl got a cabinet for their dishes and food storage.

This is one side of the living room...the other has a table & chairs and a couch.  Alexa's roommate's mom put up curtains on the window for some color and the girls have since added some art/posters to the walls.

Always a Daddy's girl!

So she's pretty set...I think the best thing about organizing is knowing who you are doing it for. For Alexa (a teen haha) I had to make it easily accessible so it would be used...and in a small space you gotta work with every inch.  I was happy that with what we did she had lots of room to grow including a rolling bin on backside of bed (you can't see it) that is still she can add more clothes that I seem to be sending down LOL!  Anyway she's set and she loves her room, so my work is done!

Ok I'm off to boo-hoo some more!  Will be back with some more posts really soon I promise!


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Who's Yer Daddy????

Hi everyone!  I know its been awhile...I apologize..but my head is still not in the right frame of mind yet. I'm giving myself the rest of this week and then gonna smack myself into gear. Its all just been tough and so I've been just letting myself have the time to grieve, cry, laugh, read and catch up on household stuff.  I have a few posts I started typing up but couldn't finish because I was boo-hooing while typing...LOL...yup I really was.  So I will save those for next week when I think I can get them out of my head and onto the 'puter.


Today I just have a fun little post and item that I wanted to share because I love it sooooo much!  My mom got me my first one last year after complaining about cleaning my awesome Dutch Oven pot.  I usually use baking soda paste and a cloth but it wasn't getting everything off.

So she sent me this lil' cutie---

And it is GENIUS!  Have you tried it out yet?  Well we went from a family of 1 Scrub Daddy to a family of 8 hahahaha!  (I wish they came in different colors though...I should suggest that huh?)  I keep two in the kitchen, one in each bathroom and James has one in the garage for outside use.  It works on all kinds of things and really gets the yuckies off of everything.  And they are safe to use on so many household & outside objects.
Now the reason it has a smiley face...other than being cute, so you can insert objects and clean them on both sides really well.  For example you can run it over your sink faucets, sticky spoons, greasy tools, etc. You can also stick your fingers thru the holes to protect your manicure or to get a better cool right?  It also fits in small jars and such as well to really get them clean.  I also use one to clean off my produce...gets them clean quickly w/o damaging the veggies/fruits.  I keep the pot scrubber & fruit/produce ones in different places so I don't get confused...hence why I want different colored ones LOL.

They run about $5 and I've seen them everywhere from Home Depot, Target, Walmart to my local grocery store. But you can order them online as well.  

I just love them and for $5 its like a mini-cleaning miracle and who doesn't like those??


Tuesday, August 12, 2014


Soooooo I'm a bit of a wreck this week..yup yup I am. 

It is beyond crazy with to-do lists and dinners with friends and last minute things as we pack up Alexa to leave for college on Friday.  So I've slacked from the blog to spend time as a family and get all our stuff done before we get on the road. And with Alexa sharing an apartment with 3 other girls we had to outfit her with a lot of things that you wouldn't get for just a dorm room. So we've been busy and its all good busy and spending quality time as a family.

So please bare with me while I get this crazy girl settled at the Univ of South Carolina and muddle through my own emotions. I promise to get some posts up late next week when I'm somewhat back to normal. This has been pretty hard emotionally so I'm struggling as is the hubs...but its all good and we are proud of her and so excited for her new journey the next few years.

But I'm a know what I mean...its hard.

The Dean 4-pack is shrinking to a 3-pack and I'm not so thrilled about it!

So have a wonderful week & I will get my head screwed back on and butt in gear next week for you all. I have lots of pictures and things to share :)


Friday, August 1, 2014



Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!  We don't have much planned which is nice...some downtime and catching up on outside chores and grilling out about sums it all up.

Last night we saw Guardians of the Galaxy which was a lot of fun and I definitely recommend seeing it.  We saw it in 3D which I don't really like but the teens wasn't too bad but I ended up with a migraine, in my old age I can't take that 3D stuff very well LOL.  The movie has a killer soundtrack too and my new ringtone is "Hooked On a Feeling"...yeah I couldn't help myself ;)

Thought I'd share this pic that I had up for Throwback Thursday on Facebook in case you missed it.  I promise to have vacation pics up next week when I have some more time.  Hard to believe they are both so grown-up now........

Enjoy your weekend!

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