New years resolution. Yep I made one, yep I’m keeping it. So far anyway…

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If you know me personally, you know I am simultaneously the most organized and the most unorganized person you will ever meet.  lol  Let me explain, I love my label maker, organizing bins, color coding, and labels that all face … Continue reading

20 Random kitchen products you had no idea you would need/want!

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I’m a bit quirky.  I like unique things that’s for sure.  My kitchen is no exception, I strive to find the funnest and funkiest kitchen gadgets around.  I’m going to share with you my top 20 adorably fabulous kitchen gadgets … Continue reading

Apple pie and baked apple cups

Everyone is always raving about my apple pies so thought I would share my process with y’all. The greatest part is, you can use your leftovers to create an additional goody: baked apple cinnamon cups. Yummmm!

I think everyone is going to be shocked by how easy this is. Seriously, everything I make is easy and quick even if it doesn’t look like it at first glance.

I do sometimes make my own crust but I’ll be honest with you, I despise rolling it out. It frustrates me beyond belief. This is also why I hate working with fondant when I make a cake.

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Sorry, couldn’t resist! Anywho, more often than not, it’s pilsbury to the rescue! My OCD really loves how the crusts are perfect circles when you roll them out unlike my own hand rolled crust. But I digress…

You’ll need:
-1 box of refrigerated pie crust (2 crusts per box)
-4 apples. I use 4 different kinds of apples: Granny Smith, golden delicious, red delicious, and gala. You can use any combination of apples you so choose or all the same kind if you prefer. I personally like the different tastes the variety provides.
-1 pie tin
-1 small mixing bowl and 1 larger mixing bowl
-cinnamon, brown sugar, sugar, apple pie spice
-vanilla flavoring and caramel flavoring
-1 stick of butter

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Preheat your oven according to your pie crust packaging instructions for 2 crust pies. Usually 375.
Peel and core your apples and slice them as thinly as possible. I put the slices in the large bowl as I cut.

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Line the pan with the first pie crust and trim edges with a knife or kitchen shears if needed. I use my hands to mix up the apple slices so that the different types are evenly distributed. Once mixed well, fill your pie crust and place the stick of butter in the small mixing bowl.

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Microwave butter for about 45 seconds or until fully melted. Add about 1 tbsp of sugar, 5 tbsp brown sugar, and a sprinkle of each cinnamon and apple pie spice. Mix it well and pour about half of the mixture over the apples.

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Lay out your second crust on a cutting board and use cookie cutters to make a design or cut the crust into strips to make a basket weave design if you want. Place the crust on top of the apples, press firmly all around and trim edges if needed. I like to put the crust cutouts back on top. Looks nice and the crunchy crust pieces are the hubby’s favorite part. I then take a fork all around the edge and sprinkle top with cinnamon.

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Ovens will vary but you’ll need to bake it for about 20-30 mins or until your crust looks golden brown.

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It’s best served warm with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream on top. :)

Now, I usually have some leftover crust trimmings, sliced apples, and buttery filling on my hands. We don’t let that go to waste! Take an extra apple, (I used a golden delicious here) and use a knife to cut around the core. Use a spoon to dig the insides out. I rinse the apple and pour a little of the butter mixture inside it. I twist it around to make sure the inside is coated. I line a pan with foil and place the apple on it. I then take a handful of leftover apple slices and dice them before placing a handful on the pan. Drizzle a little buttery/sugary goodness over the apples and mix around. I use the cookie cutters to cut out a few shapes from the pie crust trimmings and place them in the pan as well.

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I bake the apple next to the pie for about 10 minutes or until it’s nice and soft and the pie crust shapes are nice and flakey. Place the hot apple on a plate or in a bowl, place a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream inside and top with baked cinnamon apples. I sprinkle a dash of cinnamon over the top and add a pie crust shape for garnish.

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Grab a knife and a fork and enjoy! Delicious!

BBQ bacon cheddar balls

Going to quickly share one of our favorite quick easy meals with you. My kids can smell these a mile away and always get super excited when I make them.

You know the drill, gather your supplies:
-1 lb lean ground turkey
-Shredded cheddar cheese (about 1/4 cup)
-BBQ sauce of your choice. (About 1/2 cup). I use sweet baby rays sweet and spicy sauce. It’s ah-maze-ing!
-about 1/2 cup of bread crumbs, crushed crackers, or oatmeal (I used bread crumbs here)
-bacon bits jarred or fresh
-1 egg
-seasonings of your choice (optional). I use my old trusty garlic powder and onion powder.

We often choose asparagus and white rice or cauliflower rice as our sides. I start by chopping the ends off of the asparagus and laying it out on a cookie sheet. I then drizzle some coconut oil and squeeze a small lime wedge over the top and use my hands to toss and coat it. I then sprinkle a little pepper and sea salt and toss them in the oven at 425 degrees.

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While those are busy getting extra delicious in the oven, toss all your meatball ingredients in a mixing bowl. Only use about 1/4 cup of the BBQ sauce and save the rest for the pan. Mix well.

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Pour the remaining BBQ sauce into a pan, add a little water, and mix around before turning the heat on medium. While your sauce begins to warm, use your hands to roll meatballs and drop them into the sauce.

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You can add more sauce and water if needed/desired. Turn meatballs often for even cooking and sauce coating.

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While these are cooking, you should start on your rice. I don’t think you need an instruction on how to make instant white rice do you? Lol

By now your asparagus should be perfect. Remove it from the oven, serve it all up, and enjoy!

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Creating collapsible doll rooms (Part 2)

Well if you know me at all you know once I get rolling on a project, it pretty much consumes me!  I will stay up till the wee hours of morning to get things just right if need be.  Our doll house additions were no exception to the rule.  A few days ago I shared with you our doll bake shop and our schoolroom.  We’re still working on a name for the bake shop, we’ve received several great suggestions so keep them coming!  If you missed the last post you can find it here:

http://diaryofadysfunctionaldomesticdivablog.com/2014/09/04/creating-collapsible-doll-rooms/

Today I’m going to feature our newest additions.  A doll salon and a doll playroom.  I’m not going to lie, the playroom was my ultimate favorite project!  I kinda have a bit of an obsession with miniature things so this room was super fun!

For the salon, the girls chose a purple and white stripe scrapbook paper and a light pink.

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The spa chair, salon chair, and the vanity/nail salon are all from AG.  The pink mirror is actually a jewelry mirror I found at Hobby Lobby a few years ago.

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The pink cash register is the extra register from the second snack stand I purchased for the bake shop.  I got the little nail polish graphic online and added pricing to it in photoshop.  I printed it on card stock and attached it with double stick tape.  The tiny plant came in a package of 2 at Michael’s in the dollar spot.  I think they were originally $3 but I found them on clearance.

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The styling caddy is AG and they have since released a new one that is super cute!  The styling cape came from a Target Our Generation styling set.  I found the super cute word art styling sign by googling “salon sign” and then adding pricing to that as well.

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The girls and I scoured google image for “american girl doll photography” and found some super cute images of dolls with different hair colors and styles to display on the salon wall.

For the playroom, the girls chose a super fun bright colored striped paper for the top and a sunny yellow for the bottom.

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The table is a Bitty Baby art and music table that has since been retired but it’s super cute.  The top flips over and has a working xylophone  and some other fun things.  I found the rocking chair at a city wide garage sale for charity a few years ago and the little stand was an old jewelry box that I removed 2 drawers from to create shelving and repainted.  It actually used to be in one of the girls doll bedrooms but was perfect for in the playroom instead.  The doll sized jenga game came from dollar tree as did the lamp.  The foam alphabet flooring also came from Dollar Tree.  My girls flipped over it because we used to have the big kid sized ones in our playroom!

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The little toy bucket came in a package of 2 at Target in the dollar spot last year.  The small princess ball came from dollar tree and we’ve collected various doll sized toys over the years.  The rubix cube, frisbee, slinky dog, and etch a sketch came from Party city.  The mini build a bear came in a Mcdonalds kids meal last year and the other stuffed animal was a beanie baby keychain that we removed the ring from.

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The tiny doll sized board games are all keychains that I purchased on amazon and ebay last year.  I used to love them when I was a kid!  They all have real moving parts and game pieces!  The mouse trap is ADORABLE!  The apples to apples game came in the AG sleepover set.

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I googled “playroom art” and found this cute playroom rules sign.  I scaled it down in photoshop and printed on card stock and secured to the wall with double stick tape.  I need to make a large one for our real playroom because it’s so stinkin’ cute!

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The painting easel and canvas came from the AG Saige’s painting set.  The cute little Fancy Nancy book was purchased on Amazon.com by my mother as stocking stuffers for the girls one year.  They came 4 to a pack and she split them up amongst them.  You can find the whole collection here:

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Aaaaaahhhh!  My absolute favorite part of the playroom!  I googled “children’s art work” and “kids handprint art” and went to town picking some of my favorites.  I scaled them all down in photoshop and printed them.  I colored the tiny hello kitty sheet with actual crayons for effect.  Yes, I know, I’m a complete freak!  lol  I stapled them to a piece of yarn and tacked it to the board.  I’ve since purchased tiny colorful clothespins at hobby lobby to secure the art in a much cuter way than the staples!

That’s all for now kiddos!  I’m taking a break from elaborate doll rooms for a while to I don’t know, re-organize my own real people size closets!  lol  Hope you’ve enjoyed our little doll tour and are able to draw some inspiration for your own little darlings.

<3

 

Creating collapsible doll rooms

With the start of a new school year, the girls have been playing school with their American Girl dolls even more than usual. We’ve talked about adding on to our existing doll house but with our favorite doll house contractor (Daddy) off at work, we decided to take matters into our own hands. We had lots of extra items that just didn’t seem to have a place in the doll house so they needed a space of their own. These rooms are a work in progress and have been completed over the last week or so mostly using items we already had.

To start, we picked up a few tri-fold presentation boards. The first 2 I purchased at Michael’s for about $5 but then discovered they sell them at dollar tree as well. The dollar tree boards are a tiny bit smaller but still totally worked out.

We also selected some scrapbook paper (some I already had) for the “wall paper” and attached it to the board using spray on adhesive.

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Once the paper was on I trimmed it and then trimmed the remaining board using a box cutter. FYI: 2 stacked scrapbook papers are the perfect height for American Girl Doll rooms.

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The school desk is AG while the locker came from Justice last year. We are hoping to add another desk soon.

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I found the cork board and the dry erase board at dollar tree. They’re super cheap thin cardboard actually so they worked really well to hot glue onto the board without being too heavy. I happened to have a whole bag of the little flags leftover from several years ago. I trimmed the stick a little to fit and stuck it in the board. The clock, map, and all the bulletin board goodies I just printed on card stock and used double stick tape to secure them to the walls and board after the girls cut them out for me. I just used google image to find the photos using search terms like “classroom clock”, “classroom map”, “bulletin board printables”, “classroom art”, etc.

I recently had to photograph an event in Dallas and had some extra time to kill before hand so of course I seized the opportunity to take the girls into the AG store to check out the new Beforever line. We absolutely fell in love with Samatha’s ice cream parlor.  It’s so super cute but I did not love the $300 price tag!

Check out Samantha’s ice cream parlor here:  http://store.americangirl.com/agshop/html/item/id/244005

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When we got home, we hatched a plan to create a sweet shop the same way as the school room. Walmart’s 18″ doll line just released a fabulous snack stand that we thought would be a great start. I had actually already picked one up a couple of weeks ago but hadn’t given it to them yet. These aren’t available online yet but I imagine eventually they will be.  At $27.97 each, I decided to pick up another to display even more goodies.  These would also work great to create a concession stand type thing.  American Girl has a really cute snack cart priced at $150!

You can see the snack cart here: http://store.americangirl.com/agshop/html/item/id/228583/uid/235

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They’re actually surprisingly sturdy I thought and come with lots of goodies. Each stand came with 2 milkshakes, 3 super cute cupcakes, a baking sheet with 2 cookies, 2 glasses of lemonade, a pink cash register with a drawer that really opens, a sheet of money, 2 plates, napkins, and cardboard bakery signs.

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We set up our AG baking table for patrons to enjoy a treat and added our metal dining chairs. These actually came from the garden decor section of Ross a couple of years ago. I spray painted them this lovely tealish turquoise color when I purchased them.  I used double stick tape to secure the cardboard signs to the wall.

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The little candy jar is a button holder purchased for $1.50 at Michaels. We filled it with mini Christmas ornament candies we found at Hobby Lobby and covered the top with a circle of scrapbook paper. I glued the lid on so they didn’t get lost or eaten accidentally.

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I found this fabulous shelf at Home Goods last year on clearance. We were using it in the living room but it works much better in here! The pink and purple tea sets came from dollar tree. Most of the ice cream treats are from AG and the cakes on top are actually Christmas ornaments from Hobby Lobby last year.

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The flowers on the table came from an old AG pet show set, the truffles came with the AG baking set, and the yankee candle is a car air freshener that my daughter absolutely had to have from Hobby Lobby. It was $5.99 I think but I used a 40% off coupon on it since the paper I was buying was already on sale.  We chose the vanilla cupcake scent hoping it would fill the bakery with sweet scent and it does!  Smells ah-maze-ing!!!

There you have it! 2 super easy rooms that can be easily folded up for storage any ole time we want. They took little to no time at all to put together since we had most of the stuff already and it was such a fun project for the girls and I to do together. They loved helping me find images for the classroom walls and stocking the bakery shelf. They’ve already had so much fun with these 2 rooms that we’re working on a playroom and a salon. You know they’re a hit when they wake up extra early for school just to grab coffee and a muffin at the doll bake shop and get their girls to school before it’s time to head to class themselves! Have I mentioned how fun having girls is!??!?!

So now the girls want to know what you think. What should they call their bake shop? Comment here or email me at dysfunctionaldomesticdiva@gmail.com

A space of my own

When we bought this house, I got very excited about all of the exciting possibilities the front office held.  I thought maybe it could be a studio someday but I’m not a huge fan of studio work so scratched that.  We decided to leave it an office for the time being but I had visions dancing through my head of a craft room as well.  5 months later, it had become more of a storage room for boxes I didn’t feel like dealing with at the time.  Our computer desk and filing cabinet were in there as well as some cube shelving that I needed to organize but had yet to find the time or desire to do so.  This week, I decided it was time for me to begin scrapbooking photos from our Disney World trip.  I began to rummage through boxes looking for paper, stickers, and trimmers but I soon became overwhelmed with the disorganization of it all.  I decided it was time to whip this space into shape once and for all.  So my friends, I began a 3 day extensive overhaul of this small room  to turn it into something fun and colorful yet inspirational and functional at the same time.  If you know me at all, you know I would rather spend a fortune on designer shoes, handbags, and children’s clothing than expensive home decor.  I get bored easily and I like knowing I can change the look of something on a whim and not worry about how much I spent on it.  Welcome to my new office and craft space.  Come on in and have a look around!

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I wasn’t even sure where to begin with this huge project but I knew I needed a craft desk to be the heart of the room.  A place where I could spread out whatever crafty project I was working on at the time and not worry about having to move it out of the way to eat or something like my current workspace (the kitchen table).  Years ago, before I married Dave, I did cakes out of my tiny apartment.  I needed more counter top space and so I built some using cube shelves and plywood.  I had seen this done on a larger scale many times on pinterest so figured it was probably my best bet.  This way I could make it the perfect size for my space and store craft supplies in the sides.  I moseyed on over to my friendly local Target and picked up two 9 cube shelving units.  These are super affordable normally but I was pleasantly surprised to find 2 on clearance for only $25.88 each!  They were easily enough assembled with detailed instructions and I probably only spent about 30 mins on both of them using only a screwdriver and a hammer!  I spaced them apart accordingly and then measured for the top.  At home depot I decided on a smooth piece of plywood for around $25 as well and had them cut it to a 3×5 tabletop for me.  I had to purchase the whole sheet so still have leftover wood for a future project!  I purchased black paint for the top to match the shelves but haven’t yet completed that task!

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I also knew I wanted easy access to my stickers, pens, ribbons, and other craft supplies and I thought pegboard would be a great option.  Craft stores sell pegboard and accessories specifically made for craft supplies but I wasn’t fond of the price tag on those!  Instead, while at Home Depot, I snagged 3 sheets of plain pegboard at $7.97 each.  I asked an employee to cut one of the sheets in half for me to fit a thinner space and they did so at no extra charge.  I also stocked up on pegboard accessories while there.  Each long peg was about 90 cents and then I purchased a package of baskets (2) for $9.99, and 2 packages of mixed hooks (probably about 15 per pkg) for under $4.  The assorted hooks and pegs also came with screws to mount the pegboards to the wall!  I swiped some colored paint samples from the paint section for under $2 each while I was there because who likes boring ole white pegboards?  I painted them with a small roller brush made for trim without incident.

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Then came the fun part of filling the pegs and organized my goodies!

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The little pails I actually stole from my children’s playroom closet.  They were from Easter or other holidays mostly purchased in the dollar spot at Target.  We later found some others at Michael’s as well for more storage fun!  I used the thinner cut pegboard to designate a special “kids section” of crafty supplies and goodies they’re actually allowed to touch.  I used the other half as a gift wrapping area with ribbon, tape, scissors, and gift bags.  I’ve been using this old upside down $2 garage sale stool as a wrapping paper caddy for years so it went perfectly over in the gift wrap corner!

Now it was time for some Wall decor.  I had this big ole black frame sitting in the garage.  My mother gave it to me a few years back.  It had a really old fashioned flower print in it originally but I saw potential in that frame.  I spray painted it lime green and then grabbed some rainbow ribbon trim, nails, and tiny clothespins to create a fun way to display my instagram photos.  Did you know Walgreens will print your instagram photos in an hour?!?!?  I don’t normally advocate supermarket photo printing services but they’re just insta photos not fine portraiture so I made an exception.  I nailed the ribbon trim to each side of the frame and then clothes pinned the photos across it.  I need to lift that bottom string a little but for now it’s fine.

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I found the giant buttons on clearance at Hobby Lobby for $4.  They were green and pink originally but it was nothing a coat of spray paint couldn’t fix!  The canvas my oldest daughter painted and I just used a paint pen to add the word “create” to it because I love the colors so much!

I found the turquoise bulletin board at goodwill for $1  brand new in the package and pinned some pages I cut out of an Anne Taintor coffee table book to it.   I looooooooove Anne Taintor!  I found this fabulous magnetic frame and the magnetic ransom letters at Tuesday morning and the little magnetic containers at Michael’s.  The frame was on clearance for $3, the letters were $3.99 per package, and the little containers were $1.50 each.

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I needed somewhere to keep myself organized with to do projects, calendars, etc.  I picked up these pizza pans at dollar tree for $1 each and spray painted them bright colors.  I secured a strip of ribbon to the back of each using E6000 and then nailed them to the wall.  I used sticky back magnetic paper to create some fun magnets of funny ecards and photos as well as some sticky notes and slapped them up there too.

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I had originally gone into goodwill looking for an old filing cabinet.  I saw one on pinterest somewhere that had been painted in chalkboard paint and I thought that would be a fun addition to the room.  I didn’t find one but I found something even better!  This large commercial type scrapbook organizer is structurally in great shape.  It was only $5.50!!!!!  So excited!  It needed a good cleaning and has a few chips in the top and bottom but they will easily be filled with wood filler later and then the whole thing will likely be painted.  I put the kids to work color coding my papers.  Solids on one side and the corresponding print on the other!  So in love with this!!!

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I found these 2 fun colorful artwork prints at Garden Ridge.  Each one was under $12 and I love them!

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I used this shutter by my garage door in the old house to store the girls backpacks and hang onto the many many party and event invitations that came our way.  Now that we have a hall closet for backpacks, I moved it into my office to hang my many many cameras.  The shutter was originally purchased for $4 at a thrift store and I added the hooks to the bottom and spray painted it.  The hooks were under $4 each.  The peacock I painted at a painting party with friends.  Artist I am not but it’s a fun little piece anyway.

On top of my scrapbook paper organizer, I have a plastic drawer system to catch still useable paper scraps and I added some fun things to the top.  LOVE these cameras and the pink lightbulb!  Got the camera on the black stand at Home Goods last year and that huge new metal camera at Ross yesterday for $10!  The pink glass lightbulb came from Michael’s as did the giant green clothespin.  Can’t wait to pin something on it!  The dream bigger block also came from Michael’s for only $3.  Last year I helped my mother’s friend with some computer work and she made me this cute little cross stitched “God is Love” sign as a thank you.  I switched it to a pink glittery frame and it’s perfect!

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I took my computer desk out of the room to use as an accent table in the front living area and decided I only needed a small area for my computer along the back wall.  I found this black unit at goodwill about 2 years ago in perfect condition for only $20.  It was a shelving originally but I found that if I removed the middle shelf it worked out perfectly as a small desk!  Got the small lamp and lampshade at Garden Ridge.  Under $15 for the lamp and the shade when it was all said and done.  Found the bronze camera at Ross yesterday for $7 and my sister bought me this cute little notepad at Pier1 years ago.  I found the porcelain paint buckets for 50% off at Michael’s yesterday and thought they would be great on my craft table to store brushes and pens.  I used a plastic storage basket that I already had to display 12×12 scrapbooks for easy access since they don’t fit in the cubes.

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I still need a fun colorful rug, a few finishing touches, and to paint the desktop and scrapbook organizer but this little room has come a loooooooooong way in the last 3 days.  Indeed I think I will be spending a lot of time in here!  When it was all said and done, I spent around $300 to transform this space.  Not to shabby at all!  It’s fun and it’s functional and I’m in love!  In conclusion, you don’t need a ton of money or anything fancy to create a cool place of your own.  You can do a lot with a little when you use some vision to step out of the box and sometimes a little goodwill hunting luck!  I may not be changing the world anytime soon but I’ve rocked my own space with a little spray paint, pegboard, and cube shelves!

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