Living Room Toy Storage: How to have a beautifully organized living room when you have kids

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We all want living rooms that look incredible but that are still for, well…living. I want my living room to be a place where my family can be comfortable, but also a place that doesn’t look like a playground or a toy store. With a few easy tricks, you can have a stylish, functional living room with children.

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1. Use stylish storage furniture to hide toys

A cute chest or footlocker looks nice and provides a place to store small toys. This chest could also double as additional seating as well.

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2. Create a small “playroom nook” that melts into a corner of your living room

This tiny playroom nook is cute and takes up such a small amount of space in your living room. It’s literally a corner. You could do book ledges like this one, or your could use cube shelves and baskets. There are so many different ways to customize this to make it work for you.

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3. Use an extra closet to store toys

What better way to hide toys than behind closed doors? If you don’t have a playroom, but you do have an extra closet, fill it to the brim with organizers and attractive storage for your kids’ playthings.

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4. Repurpose an old bookshelf to hold toys or art supplies

I have a few old shelves at my house that I could use for this. I could paint and modify them, then add some color-coordinated storage to corral those wayward toys. This would only take up a small amount of space, too.

 

I hope you have enjoyed this roundup! Our playroom is about to undergo a major revamp in the next few weeks and I can’t wait to share it  with you!

Stay tuned for more DIY, parenting, and housey-goodness!

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Happy Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day from all of us at Lumber In My Minivan!! We hope you all have a wonderful day.

And Happy Mother’s Day especially to this lady. Your granddaughters and I love you very much!!

We will resume regular posting schedule on Tuesday.

March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month!

In 2014, my dad was diagnosed with colon cancer. Although he had turned 50 the year before and had already survived Hodgkin’s lymphoma, he had put off his colonoscopy. My mother convinced him to get his test one year later, even though he really didn’t want to.

His routine colonoscopy resulted in doctors discovering a blockage and he had to have a colon resectioning. It was after his surgery that we learned he had colon cancer. Over the next three years, he had aggressive chemo treatments, radiation, seed therapy, and many more surgeries. Despite having excellent medical care, he passed away in 2017. He was 54.

Although my dad didn’t survive cancer, he was able to live three more years after his diagnosis. I believe if he hadn’t had his colonoscopy and discovered his cancer when he did, he would not have lived as long as he did.

Colon cancer is now the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and the third most common cause of cancer deaths. More than 142,000 Americans are diagnosed with colon cancer each year, and while 90% of them are 50 or older, colon cancer is on the rise for people in their thirties and forties. Typically, a person doesn’t get their first colonoscopy until they are fifty, unless they have a family history.

There are three things that automatically increase your risk of colon cancer- having a family history, being a carrier of the Lynch syndrome gene, or having an inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn’s Disease. The following lifestyle changes can drastically reduce most people’s risk of colon cancer: maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking, exercising regularly, eating a high-fiber, low-fat diet and limiting your sugar and red meats, and getting a yearly physical and blood work. If you are fifty or older, you should get a colonoscopy yearly, but if you carry a high risk of developing colon cancer, you will need to get your first one before age 50.

If you are unsure about what age you need to get your first one, consult your doctor. Consult the infographic below for more information.

Colon cancer is a difficult and often deadly disease, but if caught early, it’s treatable. Making smart lifestyle choices and getting your yearly health screenings can make a huge difference.

Have a great weekend.

Summer 2018: a recap

Goodness gracious, what a short summer! While our summer wasn’t super busy, we did do a lot and we made some pretty awesome memories to show for it.

Our summer got off to a late start, due to all the snow days and having to add teacher workdays to the end of our school year.

We went on vacation to the mountains…twice.

We visited my grandmother and rode the train at the park.

We enjoyed my aunt and uncle’s fire pit and roasted some marshmallows.

Both girls enrolled in a six week gymnastics class…Emorie began her fourth year of gymnastics, and Aubrey began her first.

Both girls went to Vacation Bible School at our church and loved it!!

Emorie celebrated her seventh birthday and went to cheer camp at our local high school.

We spent tons of time at the playground.

And even more time in the pool.

We spent time at the local YMCA splash pad, too

Emorie began to learn to play the piano, prompting us to add a piano to our home.

Our garden flourished for most of the summer, and we enjoyed many delicious veggies from it.

We traveled to WV for the day to celebrate my grandpa’s cousin’s 90th birthday AND 70th wedding anniversary.

Aubrey engaged in a lot of mischief…

We remodeled one of our bathrooms.

And lastly, we sent this newly minted second grader off to school, and I took some of my favorite pictures EVER of my girls.

I will be returning to school next week. Stay tuned: changes are on the horizon for Organized and Simplified.

Have a wonderful,blessed school year.

First day of school…and a super cute photo idea

First day of school…and a super cute photo idea

BACK TO SCHOOL

So, today, we celebrated a “first” in our house. It’s a first that comes around once a year…or twice, if you consider the fact that my daughter doesn’t attend school in the district where I teach. Yep, you guessed it. Today was my oldest daughter’s first day of school.

If you follow me on Instagram, you have probably already seen our newly minted second grader with her “back to school” sign and toothless grin.

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Most of us already take a “first day” photo of our kids, and some of us even create a sign or use a prop…

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…and some of us even take a picture at the school, or in front of the school sign.

But what do you do when your school child’s almost three year old little sibling feels left out? Make them a sign, too, of course!

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Little Miss was tickled pink to be a part of the photo-festivities…and we got some super cute shots to use in her yearbook someday.  Her sign reads, “I’ll be here in three years!” Due to her late fall birthday, she’ll start school the fall AFTER she turns five, meaning she’ll turn six during her kindergarten year.

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We even sneaked back over to the school once the traffic died down a bit to take these cute pics in front of the school buses.

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It’s rare that I get a photo of the two of them where Aubrey is cooperating. Even though these two engage in a whole lot of sisterly spats, it’s clear from these pics that they really do love one another.

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And that makes my heart smile.

I hope you all have a wonderful school year, even those of you who (like me) haven’t started back to school yet.

Have a wonderful week, and join us tomorrow for some more “back to school” goodness.