Last week I had a big surgery (well, 7 in fact) on my sinuses and I have been homebound ever since. Being stuck inside for a couple weeks actually sounded nice at first. I could lay in bed, watch T.V., read, and have an excuse to play on my phone. Nobody told me that the only thing HGTV plays all day is various versions of House Hunters! Why HGTV, why?

Yesterday I started to get extremely stir crazy.

Unfortunately, along with the surgery comes recovery and with that comes exhaustion, lots of blood, and killer sinus headaches. Doing projects and getting things done around here just isn’t going to happen for a little bit and I guess that has to be OK.

But, what do you do with yourself when you are restless and bored out of your mind? Yep, you play on Pinterest. This time instead of mindlessly scrolling through an endless sea of pins, I went to my own boards and I learned a few things in the process.

1. My Pinterest Boards are for Me:

As I sat looking at my boards I thought about why I have them. Is it to show off my crazy awesomeness and gain followers? Or, do I save these pieces of information for a different reason. Having people like my style and what I pin is definitely a nice self esteem boost, sure, but that’s not the reason I find myself drawn to Pinterest in the doctors office or late at night when I can’t sleep. I am saving these little bits of randomness because they motivate or inspire me.

 

 What I Learned From My Own Pinterest Boards {Gypsy Magpie}

 

My boards are just that, mine.

It’s where I collect the the things that get my creative juices flowing. Things that give ideas and bring focus… and the things that I just love because, well, I do.

I realized that if this bulletin board of sorts was just for me, then I am doing it all wrong!

I needed to make it work in a way that makes me happy.

2. Pinterest is a lot more Fun and Useful when it’s Organized:

If you are like me then when you started your PINTEREST journey you really didn’t have a clue what you were doing so you just made up some generic boards and started pinning ALL the things…

 

Nielsen Report Shows Explosive Pinterest Growth image PinterestMeme1

via Business2Community.com

…4,000 pins later and you can’t find anything.

Create as Many Boards as You Need and Arrange Them in a Way that Makes YOU Happy. It sounds odd, but take a minute to create some Pinterest order.

Use your boards in a way that allows you to keep that crazy mess in check. For example, instead of trying to pin all your recipes on one gigantic “Recipe” board, make it easier on yourself and create separate boards for appetizers, beverages, main dishes, salads, etc. Then, when you are needing a recipe for a great soup, you know where to start looking.

I know that people always say to put your best boards at the top to get more followers, but if it’s not about followers then I say do what works for you!

I decided to arrange my boards alphabetically and then I placed all my seasonal/holiday boards together in sort of a chronological order depending on when they occur in the year. {Just FYI: Boards are easy to re-arrange, you just click and drag to where you would like them to be. You can also change the cover photo, edit the name, and choose a genre that they fit like Travel or Food. If you need step by step instructions go HERE.}

If you want to put all your food boards together, all your decorating boards together, and then all your comic strip boards together and that makes you happy, then go for it girl!

If this collection is truly about you then there is no wrong or right way, no matter what the experts say.

3. Edit, Edit, Edit:

After I got my boards set up how I wanted, I started going through each individual board. This is where I’ve had the biggest aha. Not only were there a ton of duplicate pins floating around, but half of the pin titles made no sense at all. When I first started pinning and saw a rad headboard bench, I pinned it as “Rad!” well, that does nothing when I’m searching my stuff for the headboard bench that I know I pinned somewhere and now want to DIY. Take some time and comb through each board. Give your pins searchable names, get rid of the doubles and the stuff that no longer interests you, then find and, for the love of Pinners everywhere, delete the broken links.

*Climbs on soapbox*

Please for the love! Don’t pin something that is a dead end! If it doesn’t have a link, find it! Click HERE if you need a tutorial. It makes me rage when I get all excited about something and the pin takes me nowhere. I am so not kidding, people!

In the words of President Dieter F. Uchtdorf…

via House and Hone

{While we are on the “Stop It!’ subject, stop sending me game invites on Facebook.

Please and Thank you.

Good grief, now I’m really pushing it. Sorry, President Uchtdorf, it’s just so catchy!

To read his totally amazingly awesome, uplifting talk, please go HERE.

I’m a very bad person.}

 

As I was editing, I found a bunch of pins that didn’t really fit where they were. If that happens to you, move them around, create new boards, like I said before do what works for you. I found once I had edited and moved the pins from one of my boards, I was able to delete that board entirely. I also found that sometimes I needed to create new boards so that other “pins” were easier to find and made more sense.

Editing is probably going to take you a while so don’t expect to get it all done in one day. Go slow and be a good librarian.

After all, YOU are the curator of this collection of internet idea craziness.

Kind of cool.

 

4. Take a Look at the Bigger Picture:

When I started going through my boards I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of things I have accomplished the past few years. As I looked at old pins, I realized that many of them had inspired ideas and projects in my home. I was also suddenly keenly aware of my style, what I like, and what my passions are.

I was able to take a step back and look at the bigger picture of who I am.

How awesome is it that you can see a mirror of yourself on a pin board?

If you aren’t sure what your style is, or what is important to you, take a minute to look through your collections. If a third of what you pin is green, then maybe you should add some green to your home because obviously it inspires you.

If your constantly pinning workouts, maybe you are trying to tell yourself that it’s time to focus on your health. Lace up those shoes and get out there!

 

Jaipor Rug from RugsUSA.   Can we just talk a little about how happy this rug is? I love it!

via

RugsUSA by way of Pinterest

{Sadly, this rug is no longer available}

 

I pinned the same yellow rug 6 different times, I think that’s a sign. Now when my hubby asks what I want for my birthday, I can send him the link! Except it has now been discontinued because I waited so long, but you get the idea.

Sometimes you already know what you want, you just have to step back and recognize it.

 

5. Get Inspired:

The coolest part about this little organizational project is how inspired I now feel.

I have been reminded of all these wonderful ideas, plans, and goals that I had made for myself over the past few years that somehow got lost in all the pinning. I think sometimes we get so caught up looking for the next big thing or hopping on the newest trend, that we lose focus on where we want to be and how we want our lives to feel.

Next time I find myself in a funk, I’m going to challenge myself to go through my boards and pick out one thing to focus on. Maybe it’ll be a project I’ve always wanted to try, maybe attempting that braid again that I gave up on, maybe trying a new recipe, reading that book I loved as a child to my daughter, or studying that scripture or talk that somehow the spirit knew I needed.

 

art therapy

via

Indulgy

 

When it comes down to it, life isn’t about having 20,000 Pinterest followers. It’s not about how popular you are or how many people think you are amazing.

Create the life you want to live. Be inspired! There is inspiration in everything around us. Don’t do something because everyone else is.

It’s OK to use someone else’s idea as a starting place but you don’t have to be stuck there.

Find what you love and honor who you are.

Live authentically.

In the words of Genie…

…Be Yourself.

 

It’s kind of fun what you can learn by looking at a bulletin board, isn’t it?

 

**What is your favorite personal board on Pinterest?

Why do you love it and how does it inspire you?

Please share with me in the comments, I’d love to see!**

When I was a girl, my folks would load up our old truck and we would head off to some remote corner of the west. My dad worked hard so he could play hard, even if it was only for an afternoon. Our family business took a lot of time, energy, sweat, and sometimes tears to run and my parents soon learned that in order to stay sane they needed to give themselves, and us kids, a little time to be free.

We called those trips “adventures”.

Original Adventure Bag Patch {Gypsy Magpie}

Our adventures took us everywhere from Capitol Reef to the Sequoias and to the hundreds of tiny towns, deserts, and mountain valleys in between. To be honest, it didn’t matter where we went or if we were gone for days or merely hours, all that mattered was that we were together as a family. {And, that there wasn’t a can of stain, piece of tack strip, or roll of heat seam tape in sight! Sorry Pops, you know it’s true.}

Our adventures were OUR time, that little sliver of light that refilled the soul and energized the tired mind.

Adventure {Gypsy Magpie}

My mama started my first Adventure Bag over 30 years ago, sewing patches that we found on our trips onto a tiny blue duffel bag. Now as an adult, and parent myself, my little blue bag has become one of my most precious possessions. I don’t think my parents had any idea that their spur of the moment “adventures” would have such a lasting effect on our family, but of all the things that they did for us, other than teaching us how to work hard, their complete love of their Savior, and their loyalty to each other, those adventures had the most impact. It was on those adventures that we learned about overcoming fear, expressing love, and finding joy. It’s where we were strengthened as a family and, in essence, learned to like each other.

As I sat and looked at that bag a couple months ago, I felt the urge to recreate a little bit of my past for my children. I want them to learn the value of discipline and hard work, just like my parents taught me, and along with that I want them to learn to fly.

Adventure Bags {Gypsy Magpie}

There is nothing quite like a giggly little girl reeling in her first wriggly fish or the wonder in a young boy’s eyes as he looks down from the majestic mountain he just climbed.

You just can’t capture those moments, they have to be experienced.

So, I set to work.

I found 4 duffels on a killer sale at CABELA’S, well, plus 1 more not so little one for me. {That tiny blue bag can barely hold my shoes now so I figured I deserved a new one too.} I purchased the medium sized Ripcord Duffel Bags for the kids and the large size for me. But, any brand bag would do. You could use a duffel, backpack, or even a pillowcase if that’s what you had.

How to Create an Adventure Bag {Gypsy Magpie}

After I got the bags, I dug through all my little hiding places {you mom’s totally know what I’m talking about here} until I found the patches I had quietly been saving from our family trips.

Then I pulled out my sewing machine, scissors, and coordinating thread.

Adventure Bag Supplies {Gypsy Magpie}

I didn’t take pictures, but you get the idea, I started sewing on all the patches. If you don’t sew, you can totally use BADGE MAGIC, PATCH ATTACH, or any other no-sew adhesive.

My favorite patches were a gift that I have been saving for just the right project. They say “Made with Love by MAMA” and ain’t that the truth! I sewed those sweet little things right on the end of the bags which will probably bring embarrassment to my son in a few years, but they make me happy so he’ll live.

Made with Love by Mama Patch & Adventure Bags {Gypsy Magpie}

Because I am a procrastinator, I didn’t even start on the bags until the morning we were supposed to be leaving for Marysvale. {More on that in the next post!} I guess, as always, the last minute pressure finally got my rear in gear!

Here is a little pic of the kids and their new adventure bags taken right before we ran around the house like mad packers.

My Magpie's and their Adventure Bags {Gypsy Magpie}

So, here’s the thing, patches and duffels are a fun little detail but they aren’t necessary. They are just the frosting on the cake. If it works for your family then by all means go for it, but if not that’s ok too. The meat and potatoes is the adventure, the exciting or remarkable experience that awaits you.

Adventures don’t have to be big or expensive and they can be totally tailored to your family’s interests. It can be as simple as sleeping on the trampoline under the stars, taking a picnic to a park in another town that your son has always wanted to play at, snowshoeing by the light of a full moon, finding a hike you’ve never been on, or even following a little dirt road just to see where it ends.

Taking an adventure is about getting out of our ruts and opening our eyes to the world around us. It’s about seeing our spouse or child in a new light that brings with it a deeper love and understanding. It’s about turning off the screen and truly being with each other… body, soul, and mind. In this ever spinning world, we all need a moment to unwind and remember why we chose the life we did.

Love and Adventure Bags {Gypsy Magpie}

My kids will probably never see the Tuscan villa’s of Italy or the Eiffel Tower in France, but they will have seen the magic in a campfire and a sky awash in stars. They will know the feeling of mud between their toes and the taste of fresh berries on their tongues.

More importantly, they will know that even when life was busy and hard that their parents made time for them.

That we loved them, in our own unique imperfect way.

 

Adventure: an exciting or remarkable experience.

“As soon as I saw you I knew a grand adventure was about to happen.”

~A.A. Milne

 

**What are your family’s favorite adventures?**

Is your wallet overflowing with store club cards?

Mine was and I couldn’t take it anymore. Not only were all the cards taking up space, but it was obnoxious to have to search through every little cranny looking for the right card when I needed it. The other day I dropped my wallet and the cards went flying all over.

That’s when I decided they weren’t getting put back in.

Easy Club Card Fix {Gypsy Magpie}

Now, I know this isn’t a new idea but some of us take longer to catch on then others.

I had no clue that in 5 minutes I could completely solve my club card problem! I found everything I needed in my junk drawer so this fix was completely free.

Supplies:

  • Plethora of club and store cards {*insert Three Amigos quotes here*}
  • Hole punch
  • Small loose leaf ring

Easy Club Card Fix {Gypsy Magpie}

Organize your cards according to type of store so they are easy to find. Put all the gas cards together, the grocery card together, food cards, etc. Stack up your cards so they are all facing the same direction. Next, punch a hole in the upper left corner of each card and slide them onto the open loose leaf ring. Close the ring and you are done! I hooked mine to a zipper inside of my purse so that it wouldn’t accidentally fall out.

My wallet is light, closes easily, and the club cards are completely accessible when I need them.

Now to figure out why I didn’t do this sooner.

 

**What simple fixes have you done recently that have made your life easier?**

P.S. I realize there are apps for this very problem, but I’m kind of stingy with my precious phone space!

If you’ve tried any, what’s your thoughts on them?

Semi Homemade Doll Furniture {Gypsy Magpie}

A couple months ago, my friends Mike and Ashly at Little Miss Do-It-Yourself sent my girls a fun little package in the mail. What little girl can resist doll furniture, especially doll furniture that you can paint and fancy up yourself?

 Semi-homemade doll furniture {Gypsy Magpie}

If you haven’t heard of Little Miss Do-It-Yourself’s doll furniture, you NEED to go check it out. It is darling, affordable, and you can take it apart for storage! My girls loved that they could decorate their pieces any way they wanted.

Here’s what we did…

Semi Homemade Doll Furniture {Gypsy Magpie}

Semi Homemade Doll Furniture {Gypsy Magpie}

Semi Homemade Doll Furniture {Gypsy Magpie}

{Sorry, the garage is a little dark, but you get the idea!}

After the girls each chose a color and then helped me spray paint, they wanted to bling it all up a little. I had the “brilliant” idea of drawing polka-dots all over with a gold sharpie. Obviously, I didn’t fully think that one through. After a chair, a table, and a doll bed, my hand was resembling Jim Carrey’s in Liar Liar.

Ouchy!

If you ever get the urge to gold polka-dot something, do yourself a favor and go buy gold vinyl.

Learn from my pain.

But, since they turned out super cute I guess the claw was worth it.

Semi Homemade Doll Furniture {Gypsy Magpie}

Semi Homemade Doll Furniture {Gypsy Magpie}

Semi Homemade Doll Furniture {Gypsy Magpie}

Semi Homemade Doll Furniture {Gypsy Magpie} Semi Homemade Doll Furniture {Gypsy Magpie}

Needless to say, my girls are thrilled with their new stuff and they say their dolls are, too.

My review:

I really liked this product. The only complaint I had was that the chair back kept falling off when the girls would sit their dolls down, but that was quick and easy to remedy using a couple scrapbook glue dots. Now it works perfectly and I can still take it apart to put away, which is MY favorite aspect of this furniture. It’s quick to assemble, cute, easy to decorate, and just overall fun. Kids can even decorate and assemble it all themselves!

LOVE that!

Once a month, the women in my mama’s family get together and have a girls night. Everybody brings a project that they are working on {Sewing, mending, coupons to clip, photos to organize, fingernail polish, whatever they want to do!} and we sit together and chat. It’s the one time a month that we can just enjoy each other’s company, relax, and eat chocolate with no kids, men, or stress allowed.

Clothespin Sunburst Mirror from Imparting Grace

via Imparting Grace

In March, I found this great tutorial for a CLOTHESPIN SUNBURST MIRROR {Don’t forget to click on the capitalized blue link to see her great step by step tutorial!} over at IMPARTING GRACE and knew I had to have one in my laundry room. So, I ran to the dollar store and bought all my supplies then headed down the canyon to our monthly girls night.

Total cost for the project…$5.00!

It took me a little while to get the clothespins how I wanted them, but after that it went really fast. Well, except for the gluing the two plates together part, but we’ll get to that in a minute. You simply clip the clothespins to the clear plates, glue the plates together, then glue the mirror on and stick a pop can tab on the back. So easy.

Here’s mine.

DIY Clothespin Sunburst Mirror inspired by Imparting Grace {Gypsy Magpie}

It turned out really fun and I love that it’s made out of clothespins. When I get my laundry/mudroom complete in a few months {waiting on shelving and cabinets} I’ll show you how cute it looks in the room, but for now you just get these close ups. Deal.

Here’s my two cents…

*Make sure you get flat, plain glass plates. {You could probably use HEAVY duty clear plastic plates if that’s what you had.} You want them to be clear so you don’t see them between the clothespins. And, you want the plates to be flat so you don’t have a crazy hard time trying to glue the two plates together, I learned the hard way. Note to self: ridges are a beast to glue.

*You might need a stronger adhesive than just hot glue because this gets pretty heavy once you get all those clothespins on. I tried first with hot glue but it just wasn’t cutting it, so I moved up to E6000 and it worked like a charm.

DIY Sunburst Mirror inspired by Imparting Grace {Gypsy Magpie}

Cute, funky, fun, easy, and inexpensive.

That’s my kind of project!

 

Thanks to IMPARTING GRACE for the great tutorial and idea!

Make sure to stop by her blog!

 

**Have you made any fun, cheap, and easy projects lately?**

I’m sure you’ve all seen the massive amounts of mason jar pins on Pinterest. It seems the humble canning jar is having it’s moment in the spotlight! I couldn’t be more happy about that because I have hundreds of mason jars and I use them all over the house, from the pantry to our office. I love the nostalgic feel of them. There is something about a mason jar that takes me back to my Grandma Anderson’s little kitchen and I feel home.

I have seen several blog posts about making your own soap dispenser, and I had all the necessary parts to the project, so I figured I’d give it a shot since I wouldn’t be out anything if I didn’t like it.

Here’s what you do-

1. Gather your supplies:

  • Mason jar
  • Canning lid
  • Canning ring
  • Old soap dispenser that is relatively the same height as your jar
  • Marker
  • Drill
  • Pair of pliers
  • Glue

How to make a mason jar soap dispenser {Gypsy Magpie}

Start by marking the center of your lid. Then use your drill to make a hole. Start with a small drill bit and work your way up. You’ll probably need to use a pair of pliers to pry the hole big enough to stick the dispenser pump through.

How to make a mason jar soap dispenser {Gypsy Magpie}

After you have your hole drilled you will put the pump through the hole and then glue that in place. I started with E-6000 and then covered that up with hot glue because it wasn’t drying fast enough and I hate waiting. Worked great.

How to make a mason jar soap dispenser {Gypsy Magpie}

Now, just fill that puppy with soap and you are good to go!

I love that I don’t have to constantly refill the soap dispenser because a pint of soap lasts a while! Motherhood mercies.

How to make a mason jar soap dispenser {Gypsy Magpie}

The neat thing about this project, besides being absolutely free, is that you can customize your jar to any space you want to use it in! You could spray paint the jar like I did HERE with my windowsill herbs. You could leave the glass clear and spray paint the lid/dispenser with oil rubbed bronze to make it fancier, or you could even go for a fun bright color if you needed a little pop of happiness to brighten a dark space.

Since this little guy was going in my kid’s Dick & Jane style bathroom, I wanted it to look vintage and collected. I used an old canning ring that had a great patina and it looks fantastic next to the framed builder mirror.

How to make a mason jar soap dispenser {Gypsy Magpie}

Once again, can I just say how much I enjoy not having to constantly refill the soap?

Love it.

How to make a mason jar soap dispenser {Gypsy Magpie}

My monsters kids have been using this dispenser for about 3 months now, and it is still working fabulously. Next time, I think I will cut off the top of the original plastic soap bottle, then stick the dispenser pump through the canning lid, then screw on the top of the plastic bottle. I think that would make it feel a little more sturdy.

Either way, it’s a simple free little project that I will totally do again!

How to make a mason jar soap dispenser {Gypsy Magpie}

What simple every day things do you love?

I’m not sure why, but I get attached to silly things. I have hung on to an old green sweater for at least 15 years, yet I never ever wore it. It didn’t fit right but, I loved the color so, there in the closet it continued to live out a sad little existence.

That is until I saw this pillow…

Pottery Barn Pillow

via Pottery Barn

…and decided that my favorite sweater deserved a new life out of the closet!

I started by rummaging the house for an unused pillow. I found this one, but it wasn’t the size I was after, so I decided to cut it down to the size I wanted.

Sweater Pillow DIY {Gypsy Magpie}

I measured and marked where I wanted to cut it, then started hacking through the stuffing. It’s a messy job, and takes some time, but sure beats buying a new pillow form!

Sweater Pillow DIY {Gypsy Magpie}

After I cut it down to the size I wanted, I just sewed a straight line down the pillow case and called it good. It doesn’t matter how ugly it is because you are hiding it inside a pillow cover, so don’t stress about it. {You analytical types realize I’m talking to you, right? Yeah, you know who you are. Good enough is good enough with this project.}

And, because I am all sorts of awesome, I forgot to take pics of the process of sewing the pillow cover. Um, oopsies. Just cut your sweater into 2 rectangles, one for the front and one for the backside.Turn the right sides together {The part you want showing on the outside…so it’s inside out} and sew around the rectangle, leaving yourself enough of an opening to shove your pillow form inside. I like to leave my opening on the bottom of the pillow so nobody sees it. After you’ve got it sewn, turn your pillow cover right side out, stick your pillow form in, then hand stitch the opening closed. The nice thing about using a sweater is, the stitching sort of sinks down into the yarn so you can hide a lot of sins. Woohoo! I love it when you don’t have to stress about what your stitches look like!

Sweater Pillow DIY {Gypsy Magpie}

I made a cutesy little rosette and pinned it on the pillow, just for fun. It lasted a whole 2 days before my girls carried it off during one of their adventures. To be honest, I like it MUCH better without it. Live and learn, right?

P.S. Save the arms of your sweater for a future project… i.e. boot socks!

Is there something you have been hanging on to but don’t know why?