Nursery Reveal


Oh sorry, not OF the nursery, but FOR the Nursery (but I’m going to give you a sneak peak anyway).

Yup, our little dude decided to make an entrance a good 2 1/2 weeks ahead of schedule.  It was incredibly unexpected to say the least, especially since my family does not do early babies.   I was born 19 days late, in July, and my parents did not have central air so I was expecting some major karma coming back at me.  Last Thursday on my personal Facebook page I even jokingly posted that I was 37 weeks so was ready for baby to make his appearance any day now so I could start deflating.

Well, he actually listened.


Meet Wesley, born July 10th, 2017 at 6:39am, 7lbs 12oz,* 20 inches.

Now, when I said I was ready for him, I lied.  All day Sunday I was feeling a little run down and experiencing periodic contractions, which I  just assumed were Braxton Hicks.  Later in the afternoon they started to get a little more frequent so at 3:30 I started timing them assuming I’d end up just ruling them out as a false alarm.  I also asked Matt to make some muffins so I’d have some breakfast before  work on Monday.  This was phase 1 of Denial.

So Matt’s busy baking and I’m busy assuming I’m just normal pregnancy tired and whoever Braxton Hicks contractions were named after was possibly the world’s biggest douche.  I’m also messaging a friend of mine complaining about contractions and telling her not to get her hopes up because there was no way this kid was going to get here before August. Phase 2 of denial.

By around 5:30pm things are more painful, and Matt has started the timing app on his phone.  They were still lasting a little longer and getting a bit more frequent. but still a bit irregular. I decided to hop in the tub and soak because that will relax me and make it all stop, right?  Phase 3 of denial.  While I’m in the tub Matt decides to run to the store quick and get snacks just in case we end up having to head to the hospital.  When he gets back he starts packing hospital bags while I direct things from the bed because I am officially In Pain.  Luckily he had installed the car seat on Saturday, mostly because he was looking for things to do.

Around 7pm my contractions were pretty much in the 4-1-1 territory (coming every 4 minutes, last about 1 minute, for an hour).  I called the 24 hour midwife line for my clinic, fully expecting to be told that because my contractions weren’t exactly 4-1-1, I should just keep waiting.  See that?  Phase 4.  The midwife on call, however, says to get thee the hospital and she’ll meet us there.

By 8pm I’m being checked out in triage.  I’m totally having contractions and they’re steadily ramping up, but I’m fairly convinced I’m being a pansy and will be getting sent home.  (Yup, we just hit phase 5 denial).  Turns out I’m only 1cm dilated so I’m clearly going home, right?  Wrong.  They tell me to start walking and they’ll recheck me at 10.

Matt and I start doing laps around the maternity ward.  Things hurt so we’re going slow.  I’m still mostly Ok so I have my phone out and figure I’ll use this as an opportunity to walk my Magicarp in Pokemon Go.  That last about 2 laps and then I’m really feeling some pain.  Now we’re going a couple yards and I’m having to stop and lean against the wall as another contraction hits.  By 9pm I can’t keep walking anymore and insist on going back to the triage room so I can lay down again.  Denial is steadily fading.

At 10pm the midwife checks me again–4cm.  She’s actually pretty impressed and announces that she’s admitting me.  Bye-bye denial.

At this point things start getting fuzzy.  My birth plan (plan A) was to avoid needles at all costs.  I didn’t want an IV unless the doctors thought I was dying, and I didn’t want an epidural. I was going to see how things went and try a water birth + nitrous oxide.  This wasn’t out of any specific desire to have a natural birth, I just have a hard core needle phobia.  However, contractions have REALLY ramped up at this point and I’d been howling in pain for a while, so we busted out the nitrous oxide as soon as I’m settled in my room.

Guys, nitrous oxide as a pain reliever is a joke.  It may have taken the edge off, but it was a razor edge and nothing more.  I’m pretty rapidly realizing that I am a pansy and I want All The Drugs because I literally cannot cope.  I figure the few minutes of stress I’ll feel from the needles will still be way better than feeling contractions like these for hours.

Sometime around midnight they call the anesthesiologist in.  They were super accommodating with my request to lidocaine the hell out of my hand before sticking the IV in, and I survived.  The nurse even completely covered my hand in bandages so I wouldn’t be able to see anything sticking out.  After they’re satisfied with the amount of  fluids I’ve gotten, the anesthesiologist comes back to stick a frickin needle in my spine. Not gonna lie, I was completely terrified at this point.  Matt’s holding on to me while I’m curled up and I’m paranoid about moving and screwing something up…I’m also still feeling huge amounts of pain and keep screaming periodically.  Matt’s thinking I’m only freaking out about the epidural at this point and keeps telling me there’s not even a needle near me yet.  Yeah, but there are plenty of other reasons for me to be in pain.

Somewhere around 1:30-2 the epidural took effect and it was magical.

Finally I’m relaxed and the nurses just let me sleep while things progress.  I’m periodically woken up to get moved around a little bit, but mostly I just got to relax.  Around 4 they decided the epidural had slowed down my contractions a bit too much so they added pitocin to my IV.  I’ve heard some baaaad stuff about pitocin, but my epidural was still going strong so there wasn’t a noticeable difference for me.

The pitocin did it’s job and a little after 5 it’s go time.  The midwife and a couple nurses come in and essentially ask me if I know what I’m doing….um, no. Luckily it’s not that complicated at this point and I can feel my contractions just enough to know when they’re happening (but just some pressure and no actual pain), so I can tell when I’m supposed to push without the nurses having to tell me.

At 6:39am on Monday, July 10th, Wesley officially entered our lives.  The nurses handed him to me right away and I called him “my little cone-head” because he was pretty pointy.  He was also super quiet so the nurses immediately took him back to check him out more thoroughly.  Thankfully everything was fine and he was apparently just a quiet baby. Let’s hope it lasts….

He’s been an absolute doll so far and things are going better than I expected.  I’m feeling shockingly good and Wesley has passed every test they’ve thrown at him. Matt has also been an absolute rock star of a dad.  Breast feeding is a struggle, but that’s apparently pretty standard, especially with early babies.  We’re pushing on through and slowly making progress though.

The nursery isn’t quite done, but some projects are going to be on hold for a little bit.  I figure I’ll do a “close enough” reveal soon though.


*Yup, 7lbs 12oz at 2 1/2 weeks early.  If he had lasted until the 27th (or later!) he would have been a monster baby.  I don’t think pushing him out would have been as easy, but he could have totally earned the nickname Wesley “The Crusher**”… now I’ll have wait and see if grows into it. 

**You either get it or you don’t, and if you don’t I can’t help you and neither can Patrick Stewart.

Image result for captain picard facepalm




Weekend Road-Tripping: Spring Green WI

This weekend Matt and I slacked off and journeyed into the wilds of Central Wisconsin.  Last month we discovered a rather large miscommunication regarding a trip to Spring Green to see the American Players Theater with my mom and step-dad (and his mother and kids).  We thought they had been referring to this past weekend when we put it in our calendars, but no, this weekend was a completely different (and day-trip only) excursion to Spring Green.  Oops.  We had to miss the earlier trip, but were able to make it out this time at least.

This was my first time to see American Players Theater and it was quite lovely.  We saw An Ideal Husband by Oscar Wilde which was delightful.

Also in Spring Green is Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin… but we didn’t go there.  Oh no. That was way too high brow for me and Matt.

We went to the House on the Rock.

If you’ve never heard of The House on the Rock (which basically means you’re either not from central-ish Wisconsin or have never read American Gods), this is the best description I’ve found for it:

The most concise way I can describe The House on the Rock is this: Imagine you took all the buildings designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, deconstructed them, and randomly attached the parts to a generic office park. Then imagine you took the permanent collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum and the American Museum of Natural History, mixed that with the contents of every thrift store in America, and spread it all throughout the Frank Lloyd Wright/office-park structure, with no curation or explanatory text. Then throw a 200-foot-tall model of a sea monster in there, too.  –

Neil Gaiman’s comment in regards to American Gods was something to the effect of that he had to tone it down a bit to make it seem believable.

I personally describe it as “Imagine a permanently stoned Frank Llyod Wright who was a compulsive hoarder with a particular fascination for self-playing instruments.”

Yeah… it’s…. weird.

There’s not a great way to describe beyond what was said above, so here are some pictures.


It starts off reasonably enough in the Original House.  You can definitely tell that the architect was inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright, but he also seems to be embracing the 70’s bachelor pad well before it’s time. And yes, those are trees just sticking up through the house.


Then there’s the Infinity Room which was a much later addition.  It’s actually pretty cool unless you’re like me and aren’t so hot with heights (the room just cantilevers off the side of a cliff).


Eventually you hit The Music of Yesterday which is the most insane collection of self-playing instruments possibly ever.  You can get tokens to make them play too.


Along with the Infinity Room, the Carousel is one of the best known features of The House on the Rock.  It’s listed as the world’s largest indoor carousel, and out of the 200+ animals featured on it, not a single one is horse.  It’s also impossible to get a good picture of unless you’re magic.


I’m skipping over TONS but throughout the tour there are collections of guns, Japanese art, organs, cash registers, coin banks, dolls, doll houses, suits of armor, planes, newspapers, and cars, along with self-playing instruments, fortune-telling machines, and other token-driven gadgets.

It’s crazy, it’s trippy, it’s probably worth doing once… unless you have a crazy fear of dolls and/or clowns, then you probably want to skip section 3.  And if you’re claustrophobic the entire place might not be for you.

Oh, and unlike Frank Lloyd Wright houses, The House on the Rock doesn’t leak* and isn’t sliding off the cliff.


*As far as I know, every single damn building that man designed ended up with a leaking roof and lots of have needed significant repairs to keep them standing over the years.  Was he an aesthetic genius?  Definitely!  Was he an engineer?  Definitely not.



The Make Room Challenge Week 4–The Craft Room

I’ve already shared my shame with the internet when I shared the state of our bathtub and the state of my dresser.  Ooof.  So what’s a little more online humiliation, right?


This is my craft room… studio… office… whatever you want to call it, and yes it’s looked that pretty much since we moved in.  Sure it’s been slightly more tidy off and on, but it’s always returned to this state.  If you’re wondering where my computer is, it’s a laptop I keep parked in the living because this.  Awesome, huh?

The biggest culprit is probably my jewelry supplies.


I got one of these bad boys for Christmas last year and it’s wonderful and stack-able, but a little pricey for as many as I need.  I picked up a couple more (1 tiny, 1 small–the “small” is what’s shown here) for smaller beads since it’s sooo nice to be able see them all at a glance.  The fancy case isn’t necessary for all my stuff–findings, wire, tools–so I picked up this guy last time I was at the hardware store.

Love the drawer sizes and adjustable dividers… not lovin’ the uber industrial look.  I already had some white spray paint on hand for my radiators, so I hit it with a few coats of that.


If you think this and the container units are the extent of my jewelry supplies you are very, very wrong.  I have 4 full cubbies of my Expedit unit crammed with beads, wire, and tools and could easily use another 10 of the container units, but will probably work in more of these drawer units because they are WAY cheaper.


Still a long ways to go, but better right?  The closet is still filled with boxes that I need to go through but I’ve also cleared out tons of stuff and rediscovered my floor so I’m calling this a success.  The room is going to be a long-term project for sure, but it’s at least no longer completely overwhelming.




Slice of Life: Safety Division

We started painting our entryway/stairs yesterday!  We’re actually doing pretty good on the ground floor, but have all the upstairs landing to do yet (trim and walls).

Matt was champ dealing with the obnoxiously tall wall on the stair landing…which was good because I am really not a fan of ladders.  He managed to reach most of the wall just by having the ladder on our larger landing, and I came up next to him to point out spots it looked like he missed.*  Now, there was plenty of room on the landing for the ladder, but me standing next to it meant I was standing pretty close to the edge and being the genius that I am, took a step back to get a better view.

Bad move.

I immediately felt myself unbalancing as my foot connects with nothingness and flailed wildly for support.  My left hand grabbed at the railing and my right hand grabbed for the ladder.

The ladder that wasn’t actually solidly attached to anything.

The ladder Matt was sitting on.

I realized this was probably not a good idea a split second after I actually grabbed hold of the ladder.  Oops.

Luckily, my foot shortly connected with the stair tread, about 6″ past where I expected to feel floor, and I was able to regain my balance without pulling the ladder down the stairs after me.  Matt was looking a little horrified though, and I can’t say I blame him.

He made it out completely unscathed, but I managed to bang or twist or something my left wrist as I grabbed for the railing, so it was pretty sore. Luckily it’s my left wrist, but because I’m also prone to emphatic hand gestures and continuing to work on projects when I’m sore, I picked up a wrist brace to try and avoid twisting it further since certain movements do make it worse.

I really don’t think whatever I did to it is that bad.  I’ve sprained both a toe and a foot in the past and at worst this is probably just a very mild sprain, but the best thing for a sprain is to avoid stressing it, so wrist brace it is.

In 90 degree weather.  Fun times.


*Painting light gray over light cream is a beast since it’s almost impossible to tell if you’ve missed anything until it starts to dry.

The Make Room Challenge Week 3–Entryway

Ooof… this one was badly timed…. although I suppose we currently have tons of room in our entryway.


Heck, we don’t even have the door taking up space!

Mail is one of those areas that tend to get out of hand for us pretty quickly.  Usually every weekend we stare down at the small mountain of mail on our table, sigh resignedly, and sort through it.  Most is of it is junk mail and just gets tossed, but we still pile it back up every week.

Part of my goal with the entryway is to (hopefully!) streamline our mail system.  I’m thinking a wall sorter (his-hers-ours) and a trash can immediately on hand may help.

Our coat-closet-that-is-also-a-vestibule needs a little work too.  We already picked up supplies to add some shelving and I’ve resigned myself to purging my coat collection.

That’s all going to have to wait until after everything’s painted though so no After photos for you today.  I’m lame, I know.

Week 1–The Master Bedroom

Week 2–The Master Bathroom

The Make Room Challenge Week 2–Master Bathroom

Last week I tackled clothing + accessories, this week was supposed to be accessories.  Oops… looks like I’m an over-achiever.  Because we don’t have a “master” bathroom (only 1.5 baths in the whole house) I don’t really keep my jewelry and whatnot in there anyway, but I do have plenty of other stuff I can organize and purge.

You’ve probably heard that everything in your bathroom has an expiration date, but, like most people, don’t really care.  If you’re trying to crack down on your household organization though, it’s time to care (added bonus is that you won’t have to worry about nasties growing in your toiletries).

The quick-n-dirty guide is as follows:

  • You haven’t used it in 12 months
  • It’s past the expiration date
  • It’s empty or nearly empty
  • You don’t need it any longer

Even if you’re still using it, my understanding of cosmetics is pretty much if it’s older than a year, it’s time to replace it.  Not too hard, right?  If you’re deposing of medication, try calling your pharmacy to find out what the disposal guidelines are.  I sat on some Vicodin left over from my wisdom teeth surgery for years because I had no clue what to do with it.  Another note about medication–if you can try and store it somewhere not the bathroom.  Lower humidity and minimal temperature variance tend to be better for just about anything with an expiration date.


This is everything I did away with.  Daaaang it feel good!


And I tidied up the bathroom closet because it was starting to get a little jumbled.  I’m working on our hallway closet too, but that’s still a little bit of a dumping ground.

I’ve also finally developed a system for quick and easy bathroom cleaning.  Seriously. You’ll still want to rotate in a deeper clean occasionally, but for for your average cleaning or oh shit my mother-in-law will be here in 5 minutes moments this is pretty sweet.

First I squirt some cleaner in the toilet bowl to give it time to sit and work its magic.  Next I spray some windex on the mirror and an all-purpose cleaner on the sink, tub, and toilet (or any other surfaces you may have in the bathroom). Then, working from cleanest to dirtiest (ie mirror, sink, tub, toilet) I give everything a good wipe-down with a micro-fiber cloth.  Toss that cloth in the laundry, scrub out the inside of the toilet bowl and BAM done.  All in around 5 minutes.  I have it ever so slightly easier because of the claw-foot tub (ie no tub surround), but even wiping down tiles or shower doors shouldn’t add a ton of extra effort.

The Make Room Challenge: Week One–The Master Bedroom

I am such a sucker for design/organization challenges!  Sure, I can organize on my own but I tend to get a little ADD and lose steam.  But a daily or weekly goal that’s not set by me?  Bizarrely enough this makes it easier.

Clearly my failure is at goal setting.

Anyways… I saw a big, shiny banner ad for The Inspired Room’s new book Make Room for What You Love and since I pretty much am every click-bait advertisers dream I went to check it out.  I hoped it going to be like the KonMari trend without the talking to your shoes.

So I click on the ad for this book and it turns out they’re doing a promotional organizational challengey thing. SOLD.  And by “sold” I mean “signed up for free.”  Five weeks of organization goals sent to your inbox every week and since I’m in Spring Cleaning mode this works out perfectly for me!

Week One is the master bedroom.  Specifically organizing clothing and accessories.  This was very much on my to-do list anyway so the timing was perfect.


I am so ashamed to be showing this picture online… this is seriously what the top of our dressers have looked like for months.



My closet is actually fairing a little better thank god.

Step one is to take everything out of your drawers/closet.  I decided to tackle my closet and dresser separately so I didn’t have complete clothing chaos and I started with the closet.



Ooof-duh as we say in Minnesota.

At this point I ever-so-slightly switched gears. Ya’ll have probably heard of capsule wardrobes I’m guessing?  Where you pair done your clothing to around 30 pieces for each season?  While that’s a little too minimal for me (and I am most definitely not a minimalist) I think the concept is solid and the guidelines to get you started can be used for just about anyone to sort out unworn items and pinpoint their style. Try not to get hung up on emotional attachments.  Sure it was a gift, but is it any better for something to sit there unused rather than donating it?  Or maybe it’s something you bought with high hopes but never worn.  It happens to all of us, if it’s really not working, toss it even if it’s brand new.

The first things I put back in my closet were the things I wore constantly.  We all have those things.  After my favorites were hanging up I looked at their overall color selection and style feel. Everything I put back after this I tried to blend with that palette and style. This is the big reason I opted to do the closet first–it’s where my more stylish pieces are (my dressers is more undies, t-shirts, tanks, and PJs).


Better, right?



And the stuff I’m bidding a fond farewell to.

I did the same thing to my dresser, but the photos are less interesting and I am most definitely am not posting a photo of my knicker drawer.  My shame does have some boundaries. Trust me though, the inside is way better.



And so is the top!  My jewelry was the big killer–I never got a good system in place after we moved so the tops of both of dressers just became my personal dumping ground.  The shelf brackets and hooks are from IKEA and I had a leftover board to use as the shelf.  BAM storage top and bottom!  I didn’t bother painting them because, while I have an idea in mind for the bedroom, I don’t know the exact colors yet. Same goes for the mirror–that was salvaged from our bathroom (don’t you recognize the brown?).  I was trying it out in the space for balance.  I think I have a better mirror for here though, I just need to find it….

I still have a ways to go–I want to get some drawer dividers for my dresser and completely revamp my closet system.  Those are projects for another day, but purging all the clutter is the first step.

Friday Favs: Happy-Hour All Weekend Long

Happy Memorial Day weekend!  While it’s really a time to honor our Nation’s deceased veterans, the focus tends to be a little more a little more on barbecues and booze (….and appliance sales…. go ‘merica*).    The good new is that with a long weekend you can do both!  Attend a Memorial service, spend some beautifying a loved one’s grave site…and celebrate with friends and family.


And if you like your celebrations on the boozy side, here are some cocktail recipes for you to try out.

Rosemary Gin Sparkling Lemonade Via Creative Culinary

Matt and I are both mad for Gin + Tonics… although I’m a little more open to variation than he is.  Rosemary-gin-lemonade?  Sounds deliciously summery.


Fruit + Tonic Via A Beautiful Mess

If lemonade isn’t your jam, maybe try a different fruit with your g+t.  I think the blackberry sounds especially amazing!


Peach Sangria Via Tori Avey

Our go-to Sangria recipe is, oddly enough, more winter-friendly, using oranges, lemons, and limes.  Peaches just started appearing in stores here and I cannot wait to try this more seasonal recipe.


Classic Mojito Via Chef Savvy

Mojitos are one of my favorite summery drinks, and I just planted some mint this year (if you do grow your own mint make sure you keep it in a container otherwise it could take over).  You can also easily make mojitos by the pitcher.


Caipirinha Via All Recipes

Ever heard of a caipirinha?  Most people I know haven’t, but they’re all missing out.  It’s basically a Brazilian margarita–delicious, simple to make, and massively boozy (so be careful about how fast you go through them!)

Looking for more?  I’m a little biased towards gin and rum so if you’re looking for something else Total Wine’s website has a recipe index by type of liquor.

And of course, please be responsible people.


*I feel like there really needs to be a be a proper sarcasm tag in HTML…

Friday Favs: Kitchen Gear


Matt likes to cook and I like to bake, but with limited space we haven’t amassed a huge collection of kitchen gadgets (and I’m actually not a fan of super-specific gadgets).  I thought I’d share some of our favorite kitchen pieces though.


Kitchenaid Stand Mixer

Ohhh yeah, the highlight of any wedding registry, right?  If you don’t do any significant baking you probably don’t have to go this fancy, but for me it’s awesome (especially come my annual Christmas Cookie Bonanza).  I haven’t bothered with any of the uber-fancy attachments, but I do really like the flex-edge beater.  I also feel a little lame that I stuck with the classic stainless steel when there are so many color options out there, I just figured there were cheaper ways for me to change up my kitchen color scheme.


Food Processor

The first food processor I got Matt was a little mini-prep one.  It was amazing for dicing onions and chopping up things for guacamole…. but then we discovered the joy of using a food processor to cut in butter so we upgraded to a bigger model.  Matt makes scones every Saturday so he actually uses this one more than me!


Electric Kettle

I’m a big tea drinker, and Matt’s the only coffee drinker in the house so we don’t have need of a full coffee maker.  An electric kettle though?  It makes us both happy, and this one also looks so cute on our counter! Personally I prefer the ones where the kettle is independent of the heating element, but this particular one is a little heavy because it’s ceramic.


Pastry Blade
Pastry Blade

It looks so simple, but it’s so useful!  Anytime I’m working with a stickier dough it help to cleanly remove it from my rolling surface and get cut-out cookies off without deformities.  It also will do a great job scraping off cutting boards if you want to compost or just don’t have a garbage disposal.


Oxo spatulas
Oxo spatulas

Spatulas are pretty standard cooking gear, but these specific ones are my favorite.  They’re one solid piece so you don’t get ickiness building up in between the blade and the handle.  As I was putting this post together it looks like more places are making solid spatulas… plus some in fun colors!


Cookie scoops
Cookie scoops

What’s my secret to perfectly proportioned muffins and cupcakes?  A cookie scoop.  It’s super easy to get the batter from the bowl to the pan and a large (3 Tbsp) is the perfect size for a standard muffin tin.


Oxo salt and pepper shakers
Oxo salt and pepper shakers

I have a nicer set on our table, but for the counter I love these because they’re a combination shaker AND pour spout.  Cool, huh?


Parchment paper (in sheets!)

You can find rolls are parchment paper most places, but the flat sheets are kind of amazing.  No ripping, no curling, just easy-peasy.  (Also, if you’re in a bind you can substitute a cut up paper bag for parchment… just never use wax paper as a sub).


Ricer Cooker
Ricer Cooker

You know how I said I didn’t really like task-specific gadgets?  This one’s the exception.  Sure, it’s not that hard to make rice on the stove top, but having to get it just right when you’ve got other stuff happening?  It can be a little putzy and this guy takes all the guesswork out it (plus a lot come with a steamer so it’s not totally a single use gadget).  It’s also no more work to clean up after than another pot you would have used to make rice anyway.


Spring Cleaning: Media

Another trouble spot for me is Media.



I have my music pretty solidly under control since I switched to download only for any new purchases and ripped everything else to computer several years ago. I’ve known some music snobs though who still prefer to buy CDs so they can control the settings when they rip them to their computer.  If you’re among the music snobs you may still want to back everything up on an external drive and then rid yourself of the physical  CDs.  Seriously, you Do Not Need Them.

My personal favorite media player is iTunes (yup, I’m an Apple fan girl*).  It’s free, and I really like their sorting options.  Most people know iTunes, but not everyone knows the extent of their sorting options (heck, Matt still complains about their options and I don’t think he’s used iTunes in a decade).  I also have a nice Bluetooth speaker so I don’t have to haul my computer around to listen to music around the house.

Movies + TV

DVDs are my main trouble spot.  Most downloads are protected and will only play on whatever player the seller says (ex: iTunes, Amazon Video).  I don’t particularly care for these restrictions so I continue to buy hard copy.* Unfortunately DVDs take up gobs of space.


It’s not even that bad, but shuffling through all the boxes was annoying, plus Matt started to complain about my collection so I decided to compact it because I’m a good wife. Matt’s a fan of the disc binders but I think they look kind of ugly.  You can get nicer looked ones, but they’re pricey and the style still doesn’t fit what I’m looking for.  I opted for inexpensive CD sleeves, labels, and a couple small bins.

Labels: $10/350, Mircrocenter

Sleeves: $2 /100, Microcenter

Bins: $6, Target


Please ignore my slightly dysfunctional curtains…

I have one bin for movies and one for TV (and a third for the extras/special features disc).  I may add some dividers for genre/TV Show Name, but right now it’s just alphabetical.  The movie labels have the movie title, rating, and run time, and the TV labels have the show name, season/disc number, and episode names.  On some I could fit the episode names on the main label, but for others I had to print a second which I just stuck on the back.


It works for now, but I have dreams of creating a CD sized card catalog style drawer system some day.  I’ve been looking for plain wooden CD drawers that I could cobble together, but no such luck so far.  I may try and make the whole thing from scratch, but drawers are a little finicky.

If you have oodles of free time, you could also rip all your discs to a portable drive and plug that right into your computer.  My current computer is USB only and my old laptop was very slow at ripping DVDs so that may be a super long-term project for me…


Oooh this one’s touchy for me.  As I’ve mentioned before, I LOVE books.  Not ebooks, real, physical books.  I also tend to hoard despite the fact I live right across the street from a library.  Basically, don’t use me as your role model for book storage (but if you do, no judgement here).  I still browse through my collection occasionally and weed out things that no longer hold my interest…. when we moved I think I got rid of about 5 books…


Also, does anyone else wish amazon paired an ebook with any hard copy books you buy like they do for CDs?  That would make travel delightful for me (which is like the only time I really use ebooks).


Last time I touched on cleaning up photo files on your computer, but what about preserving your photos?  You take them for the memories right?  So you probably want to go back through them now and again.

I’m not much of a scrapbooker, but I love having nice printed albums.  You don’t have to print off your photos before hand, you can resize as necessary, and they’re so much slimmer than if you scrapbooked by hand.  I tend to have individual albums for big trips/events, but I’ve also been toying with the idea of creating little “yearbooks” to use the random photos I take over the year.  I saw the idea on Young House Love and I think it’s a great idea.  I’ve been using Shutterfly for my printing so far because they always have coupons, but there are tons of options out there.


If you don’t want more stuff (more power to you!) albums might not me for you.  You may still want to put together slideshows to make your digital photos a little more accessible.  iPhoto has a slideshow option, but my dad (who is not a total Apple convert) just uses Powerpoint and it works for him.  Bonus, if you hook your computer up to your TV you can show off your photos to a whole room of your captive family and friends.***



*Except for the iPhone… I have an irrational dislike of their charger.  I hit charger Zen when I realized all my small devices took a micro USB.  Why do you want to take that away from me Apple????

**Ok, Doctor Who I still buy off of iTunes so I can get instant gratification

*** I actually like seeing people’s photos, just pleaseplease spend at least a little tend editing them before showing them to other people…and I don’t even necessarily mean like Photoshop editing, just weed out the super blurry ones and the 20 bajilion duplicates, mmkay?