Hall Closet Makeover

Hello Sunshine! Our hall closet was nothing more than a closet we just threw stuff in. There wasn't a place to hang a coat, no shelves, and lurking behind our hall closet door is a breaker box. Yes, that's right, a breaker box and it was taking up valuable real estate. Well, those days are over! Take a look at our new and improved hall closet.
First thing I did was to clear out the closet. Everything that was hanging out on the bottom of the closet had to go. I sorted and purged. Next up, I painted the entire closet a bright vibrant shade of coral. I used Americana Decor's Smitten. Then I installed a removable hanging rod that I painted in gloss white and added wooden hangers. We seriously needed a spot to hold blankets so I added two built-in shelves painted in gloss white.
I had to pay special attention to every detail that went into this teeny tiny space. The breaker box had to be fully accessible and unblocked. The best way to accomplish that and have everything I wanted was to install a removable hanging rod. The breaker box can actually open fully with the rod in place but I wanted that option just in case.
The shelves are great! Placed on top of the shelf is a cute golden yellow wire basket to hold gloves and scarves.  I love the bar that's attached to the door that holds my wrapping paper. This is a great way to maximize space and utilize an area that usually goes unused.
What do you think? Do you have a crazy closet that needs a little spruce up or a dilemma you have to work around? See ya soon!

Looking for something? Check out the products I used below:

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Home Gym Essentials

Hello Sunshine! Gym memberships can be expensive and often a bit inconvenient to get to at times. I'm not one to bash gyms, I too have a membership and I love it. I can come and go as I please and they have great equipment, however I do like to workout at home. It is the easiest option for me at times.

I can workout in the comfort of my home whenever I have a free 30 minutes. Many of us have the time to workout but the problem is we don't want to have to drive around to do it. That's why working out at home is a great alternative to going to the gym.

With some basic essentials you can get a great workout in the comfort of your home. Here are our essentials including running gear and technology we use.

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Essentials
Our home gym consists of some basic pieces that aid in our daily workout routines. You don't have to have these items but they make our workouts that much more effective.

1. Yoga Mat | This is a great addition to any home gym. I use it more often than not, it provides great support on my wrist when doing planks or push-ups. I can roll it up for added support. I use a good quality yoga mat that has a good amount of cushion to protect my joints.

2. Dumbbells | Getting a few different weights is a great idea. They are a good way to intensify a workout. We don't have a complete set of dumbbells but we have a few sizes that we use on a regular basis.

3. Exercise DVDs | Sometimes we haven't the foggiest clue as to what exercises to do. There are many great DVDs out there on the market that help target problem areas and work the entire body. Whatever workout is your jam believe me they have a video. Find one and rock out! Also use your public library to find great new DVDs and don't forget about the internet. Here are the ones we use in our home.

  • Jillian Michaels Beginner Shred - I just started this one but I like it. She uses weights.
  • Shaun T Insanity - My husband does this religiously, it works but you work hard for it. It's too much on my knees.
  • Focus T25 - Another one by Shaun T. I like this one. They have alternate exercises for beginners and each workout is only 25 minutes.

Fresh Gear
Proper clothing is essential especially when working out in the cold. Since it is currently cold out I thought I would talk about the gear we wear when running|walking in the cold. Winter should not deter you from hitting the pavement, all you need is a few essential items.

1. Good Shoes | I cannot stress this one enough. Running puts a lot of stress on your ankles and knees. You can alleviate that by proper running|walking shoes that have the support you need. We are all different so I say go to a good store and get a proper fitting and have them look at the way you run|walk to ensure you purchase the right shoe.

2. Cold Gear | Working out in the cold you want to be prepared and wear layers. As our base layer we use compression gear. It has its scientific benefits from being a tight fit but we like it cause it wicks sweat away from the body keeping you warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.

Accessories
1. Apps | Let your smart phone keep up with your mileage, steps, intervals, heart-rate, you name it there is an app for it. Here are the ones we use:

  • Nike +
  • Map My Run
  • Fitness Buddy
  • S Health
  • Spotify

2. Earphones
3. Arm Band

Wish List
1. Foam Roller | We use the foam rollers at the gym after every workout and they are amazing at massaging the muscles you just worked out. We will get one of our own in the near future.
2. Max30 | Another workout DVD by Shaun T that my husband wants to try out.

What are your home gym essentials? See ya soon!

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Knight Pajama Party

Hello Sunshine! Last Friday we celebrated our littlest birthday with a pajama jam. He invited five of his best buds over to have a night filled with fun for his 7th birthday. He truly wanted a sleepover but I just wasn't ready for that endeavor plus most of his friends have never spent the night away from their families, so a pajama party it was.

We served breakfast for dinner, setup the tent in the living room decked out in twinkle lights, watched a movie in sleeping bags, had a sword fight or two, a donut tower instead of a cake, and lots and lots of laughs.
  
  
  
It was a balloon poppin' night to remember!
See ya soon!

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File Organization

Hello Sunshine! I wanted to start back up the 'Let's Get Organized' series. This is where I share my tips and tricks on tackling a specific area in your home. I hope you follow along as I organize my home one space, one drawer, one piece a paper at a time.
I spent the last couple of days reorganizing my filing system, cleaning out old paperwork, and putting old important files in cold storage. You may remember how I organized my files with washi tape. It is one of my top viewed post on pinterest!

I still love the look but overtime the washi tape has started to peel at the edges. I am planning on replacing my folders with colorful ones with printable labels.

I have received quite a bit of emails asking me how I categorize my files so today I thought I would answer that question along with a few tips.

Our Filing System Organization

When you are sorting through your paperwork, keep pen and paper ready to jot down your categories. Our files are grouped by category and then by sub-categories. This is just how my brain likes to process our paperwork. I have used this system forever and it works for me. Lets get to it, shall we!

Financial

1. Bank Accounts | One folder for each account
2. Receipts
3. Medical Receipts
4. Utilities

Employment

1. One folder per family member per job
2. Retirement | Pension Plans

Student Loans | One folder per account

Vehicle

1. One folder for each vehicle
2. Titles

Insurance

1. Auto Policies
2. Health Insurance
3. Dental Insurance
4. Homeowners Policy
5. Life Insurance
6. Canceled Policies

Personal Records

I keep separate folders for each family member and pet. Each person has several sub-categories that have a separate folder. i.e.
            Darnetha
     •  Education
     •  Medical
     •  Personal
Dr. Jay
     •  Education
     •  Medical
     •  Publications
     •  Copyrights
Each kid has a School, Private Music, and Test Scores file.

Home

1. Home Improvements
2. Mortgage
3. Property Taxes
4. Manuals


Income Tax

1. 2014
2. 2013
3. 2012

How long should you keep your paperwork?

Keep Forever
- Tax returns
- Deeds, mortgages, and bills of sale
- Year-end statements for investments
- Legal Documents i.e. birth certificates, marriage licence, passports
- Medical Records
- Living Wills
- Retirement plans

Keep For One Year
- Paystubs
- Monthly banking statements

Tips
  • Keep important documents such as birth certificates, social security cards, wills in a fireproof box
  • Manage incoming paper by sorting immediately. Mail, for instance, if junk can be thrown away, filed or shredded if it contains sensitive information.
  • Start simple - Come up with a system that is easy to use.
  • Be colorful - Use colorful folders and labels, even color code if that's your jam.
  • Making filing a habit - Find time during the week to empty your 'to file' box. It shouldn't take more than 15 minutes to complete.
I realize this system may not work for everyone. It may take sometime to find out what exactly works for you and your family. Do you have any tips on organizing your files? See ya soon!

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What's Under Your Rugs?

When we purchased our home almost seven years ago, it was our first time having hardwoods throughout. It was love at first sight when we saw our now 67 year old floors. As beautiful as they are, even with its many scratches and grooves, they could become really cold, especially in the winter.

We started to fill our place with warmth underfoot through rugs, then a new issue arose. They slipped and sled across the floor when the wild things, our boys, came running through. Playing Star Wars with their light sabers in hand or soccer in the hallway or my husband working out in the living room.

We tried to fix the slipping by getting those inexpensive mesh pads, you can find anywhere. They stopped the slipping only in the living room, due to heavy furniture placed on top but that was it.
I had always wanted our rugs to be soft and cushiony since we are loungers. When Rug Pad Corner contacted me to give two of their pads a try, I was elated. I excitedly looked through their selection online and a light bulb went off in my head.

Why didn't I ever think to explore my options, I do for everything else. I think it's because in design we tend to dwell on the seen, the more beautiful things, rather than the unseen.

Rug Pad Corner had exactly what I didn't know I needed for our rugs. For the living room we chose the Superior all felt pad. The soft felt is really gentle on the floors. For the master bedroom we went with the Ultra Premium pad. It is non-slip and let me tell ya it stays put.
We had our pads cut slightly smaller than our rugs so the rug edges would lie flat against the floor. Both pads are so dense that you won't have to worry about dirt or dust penetrating through your rugs to your floors.
Since our rug in the living room is weighed down by heavy furniture I thought we really didn't need a non-slip backing on the rug pad. I was wrong. It shifts a lot with the boys running through and especially when my husband is exercising. Not enough to be bothered with it though, I just pull it back into place and voila, magic! I suppose when we finally get our sectional that will no longer be the case.

We have been living with our new rug pads for several weeks now and they're amazing, aside from the living room rug shifting a little.  The one thing we noticed right off the bat is the thickness. It feels as if we bought a new rug! When Darnetha gets down on the floor and can sit or lay for a long period of time, you have to know its a good thing!
Good to know information:
All pads are made in the US of A
Contains only 100% natural and recycled materials
No chemicals, glues or adhesives are used in the making of the pads
Guaranteed to last at least 15 years
Free shipping

If you are need of a rug pad I would suggest that you head on over to their website and check out their selection. Don't worry it's easy to navigate and helps eliminate the guesswork involved in picking out your rug pad. As an added bonus, Rug Pad Corner is offering a 15% discount off your entire order for ChippaSunshine readers. Just enter code REVIEW15 at checkout.
Do you have rugs that are slipping out from under you? Any interesting stories? Do you like to lounge on the floor? Ever stepped on a Lego? See ya soon!

Disclosure : Rug Pad Corner provide me with their rug pads for review. This did not influence my review in any way. All opinions expressed are completely my own.

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Green Envy

Hello Sunshine! For the last couple of months I have had a major crush on the color green. And not just any green but emerald. A deep but yet bright and vibrant color. I want to incorporate it into my living room through curtains. I have white curtains to the windows now and they are doing nothing for me.

I want something dramatic and bold yet earthy and fresh. I have a lot of neutrals in the space and emerald stands out against neutrals. 

Curtains, like paint, are a great way to change the feel of a room. I am leaning towards a solid drape but I have run across some fantastic prints. I can't seem to find a deep enough green drape in the length I need that's pre-made and in my price range. So I am planning or should I say willing to make a set of lined drapes for our living room.

I have a few projects to finish up before I can start this but in the meantime, for your viewing pleasure, here are some loving spaces that have embodied green curtains:

See ya soon!

Images via 1|2 |3 |4 |5|6|7

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2015 Goals


Hello Sunshine! With a fresh start at a new year, without a doubt, most of us are thinking ahead and planning. Making goals, resolutions, or promises to ourselves for the new year.

All this got me thinking about what's the difference between resolutions and goals, why we tend to break our resolutions, and what I wanted for this fresh start.

I had long ago abandoned the thought of setting resolutions and adopted the One Word theme. In years past my one word has been Simplify, Organize, Happiness, and Move.

For me, a resolution is a broad change we want to accomplish. A goal, on the other hand, is the steps leading up to that change. They are the plans to achieve your change. Do ya feel me on this?

I think a lot of the time the reason why I get lost in my resolutions or one words and even frustrated is that I didn't have a plan, goals in place, to achieve my change.

Of course, this isn't the only excuse. Time, excuses in itself, biting off more than we can chew, unrealistic for your season, doubt, fear, lazy. These are some that come to mind but I feel with each waking day we can start anew. We are often too hard on ourselves and we quit without ever really trying.

Toward the end of last year, I started to figure some stuff out and it helped me immensely. So this year instead of making resolutions or one words, I instead will be setting a few goals. These goals go hand in hand with the permanent changes I want for my life.

GOALS FOR 2015

ONE | CONTINUE MY ORGANIZATION JOURNEY
Starting my 'lets get organized' series lit a fire under me. Those few spaces have made me so happy and I want to tackle more areas in my home. I know myself and I must take my time to insure success. Here are the areas I will focus on this year:
The Boys Room
Storage House
Attic

TWO | RESTART OUR DEBT FREE JOURNEY
I am a big Dave Ramsey fan. We took the financial peace class and it changed our lives. Well, when I was laid off and my income was taken out of the mix, I don't have to tell you, but it changed the whole game. We need to:
Replenish our savings
Start snowballing our debt

THREE | STUDY
I have big plans and in order for me to get there I need to study. I need to set time aside each day and dig my heels into reading, math and vocabulary.

FOUR | 1/2 MARATHON
My beginner training started on the 20th of December and though I am not running as of yet, I started! I will have more on this later. The race is in April!

FIVE | BLOG AT LEAST ONCE A WEEK
Expect a post from me once a week! I plan on posting every Monday. Some weeks I may have more to share but I want to focus on bringing new content to you every week.

I feel really good about these five goals, I have a plan in place and support from my family. Have you made any goals for this new year? See ya soon!

Image via Home Adore
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