Bakery, Barbells and Bargains I own a bakery, and I like to lift weights and shop

November 13, 2017

Bakery Organization

Filed under: Pure Butter,The House — shuss @ 11:30 am

My bakery is home based which is incredibly convenient for my schedule but can be a little hectic sharing the space with my home kitchen. Since we were changing our house around so much, I decided to change up my bakery storage as well. I usually take just two cake orders a week, some weeks I have none, so I saw no reason for my many pans and other supplies to take up my entire island storage. After moving some rooms around, cleaning out unused items and a few small purchases, I now have my bakery organized and out of my everyday kitchen life. Here is what I did.

First, I cleaned out the bottom cabinets in my china cabinet, I had a lot of items stored in there that I have not used in several years so I either sold or donated them.   After that was cleaned out and reorganized, there was plenty of space to store all of my round cake pans.

Next, I went down the hall to the new guest room to scope out some storage space.  Items like cake boards and cupcake boxes are sold in bulk and there is absolutely no reason they need to be stored in the kitchen.  I had moved the old nursery dresser into the guest room but I really only needed the top drawer for some odds and ends.  My stock of cake boards fit perfectly into the rest of the drawers and now it is so quick to find the size board I need.  There was also an extra drawer where I could stash my business binder where I keep my receipts and calendar.

So this got the bigger bulky items out of the way, but my biggest storage problem was all my little supplies.  It was getting easy to loose little things like jars of color, piping tips, and fondant cutters in the huge island cabinet.  Plus, again these are items that are not used on a daily basis yet taking up a big kitchen cabinet.  So I decided to get it all out of the kitchen with the help of this awesome cart.


I found this cart at Michael’s as part of their Everyday Values collection.  You cannot use a coupon for it, but at $30.00 it was still a great deal.  I think it is actually meant to store craft paper, but the drawer size is perfect for storing cake decorating supplies.  The drawers are deep enough to hold containers but small enough that little tools do not get lost.  The drawers are also washable and can be removed for easy cleaning.  The best part is it has wheels, so I can easily store it when finished.  It fits nicely into my newly cleaned out and organized guest room closet.

Simple fix to a big mess!  Now to move on to the next organizational project….

November 8, 2017

A New Playroom

Filed under: The House — shuss @ 8:28 am

As I continue with the tour of my newly arranged home, today I will share the playroom. This room was formerly Samantha’s bedroom and is located on the main floor of our home. Her playroom was originally in the finished basement but she did not like being so far away from us while playing. Since we were moving her bedroom out, we decided to make it her new playroom. Bonus, it was already painted for a little girl so we didn’t have to change the walls.  The original playroom was huge, almost half our basement so we started with a big downsize.  We had already moved out some of the larger toys as she outgrew them (this photo is a few years old) but we still had a lot to change out.  Some play items like her teepee and baby dolls went upstairs but almost everything else went to the playroom, including a huge dollhouse.  Fortunately, we have managed to make it all work and she is already playing better in her new space.  Below is her original lower level playroom and her former bedroom which is now her playroom.


To make room for toys, the dresser was moved across the hall to the new guest room, I exchanged the wood knobs for silver ones.  The chair was moved upstairs to the loft area and we sold the twin bed.  The wall shelves stayed in this room to hold toys.

Here is her new playroom all set-up and ready for hours of play.  I think that by eliminating some toys, she is playing much better as it is not so overwhelming.  While huge, my favorite item in the playroom is the dollhouse because it doubles as play and storage.  My sister-in-law found it at an overstock type store last December and offered to pick it up and meet me with it, I immediately took her up on the offer as it was half the price of retail and brand new.  I usually would not buy such a big item so close to Christmas but I knew she was getting the doll kitchen and salon chair and this would be a great place to put them.  That and the deal was too good to pass up!

This house for AG dolls was found at a overstock type store, it is furnished with a mixture of items from mostly AG and Target.

Still working on the shelves but for now we have some Disney dolls, photos and a doll ballet studio. This is from the Lori line at Target but also fits mini AG dolls.  It came with the piano and little holders to help the dolls stand.

More of the Disney doll collection and a messy top shelf that needs my attention

Various array of toys to keep a little girl busy. The jeep is from Target’s Our Generation line and the camper is for Barbies. The cubical shelf holds various small toys, and the top makes the perfect location for doll school. The desk and locker are from AG and come with great little accessories, the chalkboard is from Michael’s. The townhouse and car are from Target’s Lori line and fit little mini AG dolls. The black boxes hold assorted toys, hoping I can locate the lid to the larger box because they stack nicely. The blue van is actually an ice cream truck from Target’s Our Generation line, it came with tons of accessories and gets played with often. The beach hut was made by me using plywood, dowels and burlap.

This little closet, also by Our Generation holds doll clothes and is topped with other doll toys.

The Barbie house is nestled by the big doll house along with a car and baskets of dolls and accessories. I need a better storage system for this area but it works.

Little peek inside the dollhouse. The kitchen is from Target and came with oodles of accessories, the living room set is from Walmart.

The closet stores some doll clothing and Lego sets. This space is a work in progress as we also have some space to the side that needs to be cleaned out.  I may go with a better shelving system in the future but this one I had on hand.

So for now, this is the playroom.  I am overall very happy with it, I just want to find some good storage options.  However, I do not want to get too crazy with organization and decorating in here because the space is meant for play, not as a showroom.  As long as I have containers for all the teeny tiny toys, Legos and doll accessories, we should be good.



November 3, 2017

A Big Room for a Little Girl

Filed under: Decorating,The House — shuss @ 10:35 am

Samantha’s new bedroom is one of my favorite new rooms in the house. It is a bit on the large size for a bedroom but I really do love how it turned out. Our little girl has liked Paris ever since she was about four years old, so we went with a subtle Paris theme.

We got some great deals on a lot of the furniture and finishes in this room. The headboard was an old one from Daniel’s parents that we painted white and added an S. I painted this using Valspar furniture paint in white with a foam roller.  The bed foundation is from Amazon and does not require a box spring.

The bedding was purchased at Target as they were phasing out the Circo line so I was able to get a great deal on the bedding set which included the comforter, sheet set, and two shams.  I also purchased the extra coordinating sheet set that is covered in hot hair balloons.  The toy box at the end of the bed is from Wal-Mart, I added the letters from Micheal’s using wood glue.  The toy box is absolutely full of stuffed animals, and of course the favorite ones have an honored spot right on the bed.

In the honored spot on the bed we have a Pingy the penguin, Baby Bailey, Floppy Bunny, an adorable unnamed unicorn and of course Bitty Baby, who has her own special pillow.  At the foot of the bed we have Poley, Pushie, Duffy and Violet.  We are a big fan of Violet in this house.  She is this adorable puppy that sings songs, including a bedtime mode that we use nightly and she comes with five books which she will read.  She was a great investment.

I think the Paris pattern on the bed is adorable and I really like the embroidered edge on the pillows.  Samantha picked her bedroom colors from the comforter and I think it has all come together so nicely with the white furniture and dark floors.

The night stand by the bed is from Amazon and I got it for under $40.  It is simple, has clean lines and has just enough space for some night time necessitates and a few treasures.

The gray toy bucket next to the bed is from Target and is nice and big so it can hold lots of stuffed animals.  These great buckets are under $15 and hold a lot of kid loot.  They also have some fancier storage options for kids but this simple gray bucket won due to size, it helps that it matches the walls.  I thought about building one of those cute stuffed animal zoos, but throwing them all in a bucket just sounds so much better after months and months and months of DIY projects.  At this point, if I do not have to touch a hammer or a paint brush, I won’t.

The dresser was another Target score as they were phasing out Circo so I got this piece for under $100.  We bought this well over a year ago knowing the addition was coming up and just stashed it in the basement.  It came with plain white knobs so I traded out with these cute pink flower knobs from Lowes.  It is a small dresser meant for children but holds her pajamas, shorts, jeans and lots of shirts with room to spare.

The top has just enough space for some sweet keepsakes.  My favorite is the porcelain doll, or “fancy doll” as Samantha calls her.  My favorite thing about this dresser is the super smooth finish that is very easy to clean and nothing leaves marks on it, perfect for a child’s bedroom.

Next to the dresser is the bookcase and a small Paris trunk.  Sammie keeps her books, art supplies and a few toys on the bookcase and her magazines in the trunk.  The giraffe on top is one she painted herself from Target’s craft section.  The ballerina, tea set and rag doll were mine as a child, my mother made the little pink rag doll.  The bookcase is from Amazon and the baskets are from Target.  Between the two I have framed one of her many masterpieces, a group of princesses.  The matted frame is from Micheal’s.


On the other side of the room, we have a vanity.  This sweet little vanity was from an online sale at Target, I do not remember the exact price but it was less than what I was finding similar ones for on Craigslist.  Next to it, we have a bow holder made from a $4 photo frame from Walmart and some ribbons.  On the other side of her vanity, is a jewelry holder that I found in the Dollar Spot at Target.  Her vanity is topped with a vase for hair accessories, jewelry box, Paris box full of lip gloss, and a tiara of course.  An area fit for a princess!


We turned the old bedroom into a playroom, but Sammie wanted to bring some special toys to her bedroom, babies specifically.  Their little nursery and essentials fit perfectly in this area.  Next to the babies, is the teepee which holds even more stuffed friends, we really like the star lights in the top.  The teepee was a Christmas gift and can be found at Target.  The Bitty Baby crib and changing table are retired American Girl but they do have newer versions available.  The baby doctor, baby monitor and pink case are from American Girl.

I call this the “closet area” as it is sort of a nook area containing a white wardrobe, storage drawers and accessory hooks.  The wardrobe is rather narrow but I thought we should really scale down on how many clothes she has.  She always has so many clothing choices for a growing child and now that she has favorite items, many are worn multiple times.  Plus, I just really like the look of a wardrobe.  Dresses and most in season shirts go in the wardrobe along with shoes.  The storage drawers hold underwear, socks and leggings.  Then her dresser contains pajamas, additional shirts, shorts and non legging pants.  Off season clothes that require hanging are out of the way in the playroom closet and all of our coats are stored in the guest room closet.  The side hooks are perfect for hanging little purses and the back hook holds an accessory organizer.  The basket on top of the storage drawers is currently empty but I think it will house mittens and gloves.  The large basket on top of the wardrobe holds extra sheets.  The decorative hooks on the front doors are perfect for hanging the next day’s outfit.  It is currently holding a dress for her special birthday lunch at American Girl tomorrow.   The other side of the wardrobe has a decorative hook to display her infant baptism gown made by my mother.  I would like to find a spot in her room to display her tiniest infant dresses.  In the future, I would like to change out the plastic storage drawers with wood ones in the same size to match the wardrobe, I really prefer for plastic drawers to be inside of closets, not out in the open,  However, I have not yet found a set of wood drawers to fit, so until then plastic it is!  The wardrobe is from Amazon, drawers from Big Lots, accessory organizer is from Target and the baskets I have had on hand for years.


And to conclude our room tour, we have the dormer.  The dormer is actually the reason her room is so large, I wanted to be sure to include the dormer into her space.  In the spacious little nook we have a large giraffe, a great bear you can sit on, a cozy FAO bear that was mine and a bean bag chair.  Every night at bedtime, Sammie pulls the bean bag over near her bed for us to sit on as she goes to sleep.  The dormer is decorated with a canvas of Queen Elsa and a Paris banner.  Right now we still have temporary blinds in this window as I need to order custom blinds for this entire floor.  I am still debating on curtains. The animals were gifts and the bean bag chair was another sale find at Target.  The Paris banner came with the Paris trunk and was part of a door prize she won at a tea party fundraiser.  The Elsa canvas is from Target.


So how did we create this fabulous room without over spending?  To start, we began purchasing large items in advance as we found them on clearance and stored them in our basement.  We took advantage of a few freebie or very inexpensive pieces of furniture that could be repainted to use in several areas in the addition, specifically her headboard.  For any furniture that needed to be purchased, I took my time comparison shopping and looking at DIY blogs for ideas on things I could create myself.  I also did a lot of shopping inside my own house and found things to re-home into this room, such as the teepee that was formerly in the playroom.  Most of the costs were wrapped into the whole addition costs and the only big cost for this room specifically was the furniture.

November 2, 2017

The House that Grew

Filed under: The House — shuss @ 9:43 am

In 2006 we decided to buy our first house but we did not immediately see anything we liked in our area. Luckily for us, my uncle owns Select Modular Homes so we made a day trip down to Asheboro, NC to check out the beautiful model homes. We selected a Cape Cod style home with around 1400 square feet and an unfinished upstairs with the staircase in place. Since we live in the mountains, our sloped lot would give us a crawl space of six feet, so we decided to add a basement. In April 2007, we happily moved into our new 3 bed/2 bath home knowing it was a house that could grow with us in years to come.

For the first few years, we worked mostly on trying to get our grass to grow, figuring out what plants would look nice and finding nice things to fill our home.  Two years in, we built a retaining wall to make the driveway look neater and to make the front yard more level. The wall was our first big project, we hired this one out.

When I was pregnant in 2010 with Samantha, we decided a little more space might be nice. Our house has a nice big master suite and the other two bedrooms are small, so we thought having a playroom would be beneficial. Daniel always wanted a home theater, so we made plans to finish off the basement. We started this project when I was about 8 months pregnant and finished just in time to host Sammie’s first birthday. This was a complete DIY project, with a lot of help from Daniel’s step-dad (Poppy) and brothers. The only thing we hired out was the carpet installation, which we got for a great deal from Lowe’s where we purchased the carpet.

Getting started with framing

We opted for a drop ceiling so we could easily access ducts, pluming and electrical work

Drop ceiling grid going in

Fresh new carpet in the playroom

Home theater ready to go


Almost three years later, we expanded the front porch. Again, this was a DIY with the help of Poppy project….isn’t Poppy just the best? This project took about three weeks, mostly working on the weekends.

Now did I mention two of our bedrooms are small? While we had an amazing huge playroom downstairs, we had some issues. The bedroom was starting to burst at the seams once we moved Sammie into a big girl bed. The other issue? Sammie would not go play in the playroom unless someone else was down there because she was so far away from everyone. We also had the guest room and office combined, which was not working anymore. We decided it was time to finish the top floor, something I had been excited about since we bought the house. This has been our most lengthy and most expensive project so far, and while also a big DIY, we also hired out the most help for this one.

Just after framing, practically a blank slate

Drywall delivery, they took out the window and brought it right into the opening, three floors up!

D checking out the first day of installation

Coming along! We had an amazing drywall contractor

So this project basically turned into a “lets just rearrange the entire house” fiasco. Here is what went down….Sammie’s bedroom moved upstairs and her playroom was downsized and moved to her current bedroom on the main floor, she is playing so much better with a playroom on the main floor.

Sammie enjoying ample space to stretch out

Daniel’s office was moved to a larger space upstairs.

This is about half his new office, still arranging

His current office is now a guest room. The guest room closet holds our coats along with many of my cake decorating supplies like frosting tips, fondant tools, boards and boxes that are not needed in the kitchen. I was also very happy to have a space on the guest room bookshelves to display my doll collection and some photographs.

The bookcases by the fireplace were moved upstairs to open up the living room more. This worked out great because I didn’t have to buy more shelves for upstairs.  I hung wedding photos on each side of the fireplace and added large baskets.

Bookcase and rocking horse in a new home

The large landing at the top of the staircase holds a small desk and a comfy chair perfect for reading.  The chair was formerly in Samantha’s bedroom and the desk was a used one I purchased from a friend and painted.

I love this desk and the antique phone

A cozy spot to read

I love my new Disney painting over the staircase

The former basement playroom will become a family room. Right now, we have a table for board games and some storage boxes full of Christmas decorations that need a new home.  Eventually, we want to move our couch down here and get a new one for the living room.  I am working now to create some storage space in the basement.

The theater, kitchen, dining room and master suite stayed just as they are. Although, my next plan is to get a new appliance suite for the kitchen…..

So our sweet little 1400 square foot home is now right around 3500 square feet without us having to break ground to add space. If you are currently looking at homes and your family is still growing, I highly recommend looking into modular homes with unfinished second floors or homes with unfinished basements that you can tackle later.

Other than these big projects, I have also done some small DIY updates here and there, which I plan to share along with more detailed posts on each room so please check back for updates!

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