Tag Archives: kids rooms

My Kids Live Here

3 Jul

A few days ago I was perusing Pinterest, not really looking for anything in particular.  I started looking at the home decor pins and then, out of sheer curiosity, searched “kids rooms”.  I scrolled through the various pictures of themed bedrooms, incredible one-of-a-kind beds and rooms with things like swings, slides and rock walls (my kids would never sleep!)  I began to think about my kids bedrooms and my friends kids bedrooms.  How eclectic they were, even when they had a theme.  These catalog rooms as I like to call them, are unrealistic!  I cannot imagine giving my kids one theme, for instance.  “Oh you like cars?  Ok, we will have a car shaped bed that you will only use for a short time, car bedding and fancy curtains with car tiebacks.  Maybe we will paint a road on your floor too.  Oh and you can’t hang anything on your walls because I have meticulously placed car artwork and that is all that can be hung.  And don’t take out any toys.”

I know the majority of these rooms are staged by designers . .  . but they set unattainable goals for parents wishing to give there little cherubs their dream room.  A room that the kids will be so enamored with they will just sit on their perfectly made castle-shaped bed and stare at the walls, smiling for hours.   As parents, we want our kids to have everything.  We want them to be cozy and happy.  Maybe we, even if secretly, want to one-up that snooty mom from the PTA who brags about her kids and how they have beds shaped like tree houses or pizza or whatever.   Maybe we want to be that Pinterest mom or dad.  The one who blogs about there immaculate home and pins pictures of perfect rooms and fabulous DIYs that never go awry.

Maybe not.  I don’t have that dream of having the”perfect” home.  My home is perfect for my family.  It’s not fancy or designed to belong in a Better Homes and Gardens spread.  I know I’ve shared pictures in the past of the boys rooms when I’ve done projects in them, but I wanted to share my lived in real rooms.  I didn’t stage them for you, I didn’t take out all their toys before I snapped the pictures.  These aren’t fake rooms, these are real rooms that belong to real boys.  They did clean their rooms last night, so at least you don’t have to see Big A’s dirty laundry all over the floor or the entire contents of Little C’s books shelf scattered across the room because he was looking for a specific book.

First, here are the “catalog rooms” for comparison:

Where are the stuffed animals?  Blankets?  Anything?!

Where are the stuffed animals? Blankets? Anything?!

Notice the only objects in the room and on the walls fit the nautical theme

Notice the only objects in the room and on the walls fit the nautical theme

See what I mean?  kids don’t live in these rooms!  Not unless they are extremely OCD and never leave a single out of place ever.

Here are the boys lived in rooms:

It's a bedroom a kids can actually go in!

It’s a bedroom a kids can actually go in!

Notice the lack of a theme?  Well a few years ago it was loosely Star Wars.  About a year and a 1/2 ago I painted the Lego Ninajas for the wall.  For his birthday I painted the creeper from Minecraft. . .  so it’s a mishmash.

He’s got his own style, you know . . . that of a 9yr old boy!  He hangs stuff on the walls with tape, usually leaves his soccer uniform on the floor, stinky socks and all.  On the little wall shelves hang various medals from sports and school.  A few trophies on the ledge.   There are birthday balloons left over from his party a few weeks ago.  This is not a catalog room.   It’s my son’s room.


Look, stuff hanging on the walls!

Look, stuff hanging on the walls!

A cluttered mix of toys and things.  So, so many things in this room

A cluttered mix of toys and things. So, so many things in this room

Little C’s room went from baby to big boy.  He sleeps with just shy of a thousand stuffed animals, his “guys”, and way too many blankets!  His bookshelf is a cluttered mess!   His cubby is supposed to  have more of those nice colored buckets in it to hall all his toys, but the kids like to load them up with stuff and take it upstairs or into another room.

There is no theme in his room.  When we switched to big boy, I took Little C to the store and said “pick out what you like”.  He chose the reversible blue comforter, the green curtains, and he has bright orange sheets you can’t see.  The art on the walls I painted of all his favorite characters.  No theme.  Not catalog.  Just real.
















Now, you want to see the BEST comparison?  Hehehe!  Playrooms.

Catalog playrooms are laughable.  There is no play in them!

Kids, sit on that sofa and don't move a muscle!

Kids, sit on that sofa and don’t move a muscle!

Stark, bare, no toys . . . I’m sure they are all hiding where nobody can see them.  But playrooms should have clutter!  They need kid-made art on the walls!

I'm sorry Timmy, you aren't allowed to play with those toys.

I’m sorry Timmy, you aren’t allowed to play with those toys.

Why do they show a playroom where the kids cannot reach the majority of the toys?


Ok, you ready for this?  THIS is our playroom:

The only thing up high are their piggy banks and my movies

The only thing up high are their piggy banks and my movies

There are Legos EVERYWHERE!  You know what is really funny?  They just cleaned this room 2 days ago!  I’m not crazy obsessive about this room.  The way I see it, this is the one room where the boys run the show completely.  Their bedrooms need to be cleanish because otherwise they can’t have sleepovers, I can’t vacuum and the dog can’t sleep with them.  The playroom, while I do make them clean it, is always cluttered and rarely spotless.  It’s not for show, it’s for play.

My kids art work graces all the walls in their playroom

My kids art work graces all the walls in their playroom

We do use cubbies, but we don't feel the need to hide our toys either.

We do use cubbies, but we don’t feel the need to hide our toys either.

What’s my point here?  My point is this: Don’t beat yourself up when you flip through magazines or Pinterest or even most blogs.  It’s all for show.  The rooms are staged, there is no living in them and there are definitely no kids!  When you want to redo a room or organize a room, just think what will work best for YOUR family?  Can my kids reach the highest shelf?  Is it so themed that they will lose interest in that character/show/movie etc in a few months?

Thanks for visiting my lived in home!


No More Tape on the Wall!

25 Feb

Big A's room beforeBig A has his cute little “office” under his bed where he likes to draw and build things with Legos.  Before we had the work area there and it was just a regular bunkbed, he used to tape things to the walls all over his room.  Drove me nuts!  Sometimes the tape would come off no problem, other times it would peel off the paint or leave a sticky spot.

When we transformed his bunkbed into a loft bed I told him that his office was the only place he could tape things to the walls.  That made it a lot better, but we were still finding that the tape was peeling the paint and I was getting really sick of touching up the wall!

On a routine trip to the Dollar Store I found some wonderful cork-board squares and some little dry erase boards.  Light bulb!  (that is a reference from Despicable Me, one of my favorite kiddy movies!)

As you can see from the before picture, there were photos, cards and papers taped to the wall.  I removed them very carefully!

The cork-boards came with little adhesive tabs that are wall safe, but since we don’t plan on removing them any time soon, even if they do damage the wall it will still be better that having damage everywhere all the time!  Right?  I think so.

I hung the dry erase board in the middle of the cork-boards because I am weird and like this symmetrical all the time.  Asymmetry actually gives me anxiety.  I know, I need help.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI really like how it looks, and Big A can easily change and add pictures to the boards any time he wants.  I thought it might be fun to leave him little messages on the dry erase board from time to time too!


Phineas’s Adventures Part 7

21 Dec

Christmas is in 3 more days, can you believe it?  Our elf, Phineas,  is getting REALLY excited for Christmas!   Big A and Little C spent last night at their Nana’s house and who showed up there?  Phineas!  425438_527467753944173_882963091_nHe didn’t want to miss out on the sleep over fun!  He also wasn’t sure how long the boys would be away, due to the massive snowstorm dumping wet snow on us, closing school and businesses.  Phineas was concerned the boys might get stuck there a 2nd night!

He was found having a friendly game night with some buddies earlier in the week.   Apparently Zhu Zhu hamster and IMG_6619Bullseye don’t like to gamble, so they played a friendly game of R2D2s in Trouble.

Tonight, Phineas was feeling a bit mischievous!  Looks like he may have Rudolphed Big A and Little C!  I guess that’s what we get for leaving my paints sitting out where silly little elves can get them!  I cannot wait to see the boys’ faces tomorrow when they realize they’ve been made into magic reindeer!

IMG_6633It really is too bad that Phineas will be flying back to the North Pole with Santa in just 3 more days.  We are going to miss the little guy!

Phineas’s Adventures Part 6

16 Dec

Only 9 more days until Christmas, folks.  Get your shopping done, wrap those presents and only a few more nights of fun with your Elf on the Shelf.

Our elf, Phineas, hasn’t slowed down one bit with his antics since he’s been here!  IMG_6611

Phineas was playing poker with the 3 wise men and Creepy Elf.  Maybe they didn’t have any frakencense or muhr for the Christ child, so they decided to play a few hands and see if they could win enough to buy him an Ipad?

So the next night they all went to see the baby Jesus.  I don’t see any Ipads so I’m guessing the 3 wise men didn’t fare too well the night before.










This one was a little something extra.  Little C fell asleep on the couch on afternoon and Phineas wanted to cuddle him for a while.

That Phineas, he’s such an adventure seeker!  Found him this morning scaling our living walls.  And he’s so risky, only holding on with one hand so he can carry that darn Creepy Elf

IMG_6615 IMG_6616




Phineas’s Adventures Part 5

13 Dec

Happy Middle of the Week!  I have been crazy busy between work, the kids, Christmas preparations, and painting ninjas galore.  Thankfully, Phineas has been equally as busy keeping an eye on Big A and Little C.  He’s has mostly good reports to bring back to Santa . . .  mostly.

And of course, he’s been up to his usual elf antics!IMG_6583

Like hiding in my Dummy Doll measuring cups with his little friend Creepy elf!  It actually took the kids a really long time to find him there!

He got a little stuck inside Big A’s foam gingerbread house.  We needed the jaws of life to remove him from the squishy house of doom






Phineas snuck into Big A’s room when he was sleeping over at a friend’s house.  Looks like he is just as good as Big A when it comes to creating Lego masterpieces!IMG_6558


Phineas must have been getting a little homesick for the North Pole, because we found him sledding in our freezer!  He build himself a snowman and was having a great, COLD time in there.  He stayed in the freezer all day and the boys kept looking to make sure he was ok!






think Phineas may have spent a little too much time in the cold freezer the night before, because the following night he was sunning himself in my curio cabinet.  Notice Creepy elf is back?  Turns out they are the best of friends now!  Looks like Phineas is really enjoying the company!


Phineas’s Adventures Part 4

6 Dec

It’s Wednesday!  Hope your week is going well, my has been hectic and Little C has been grumpy!

Phineas has been VERY busy again the past few days.  One night he brought us the Elf movie to watch together while the boys were in the tub.  Such a thoughtful little elf he is!

We found him showing his artistic side, drawing so lively pictures for the boys.  Big A decided to draw Phineas a picture of the two of them is elf clothing holding hands!  So cute!


The next night IMG_6537Phineas took down the pigs in a game of Angry Birds.  Added bonus was that the cats knocked part of the game over in the night so it looked like Phineas had been doing really well!


Last night Phineas snuck into the chocolate covered pretzels I made.  We found him hiding in the fridge this morning with chocolate all over his face!  He stayed in there all day too . . . the cold must remind him of home.

Tonight he decided he ought to take a bath and wash all the chocolate off.  Notice he is washing his armpit?  He must have elf b.o.


Phineas’s Adventures Part 3

2 Dec

Call it Extreme Elfing!  Phineas was found earlier this week bungee, er Slinky, jumping from our ceiling fan!  Fortunately he can’t lose his magic if Mommy touches him, only if a child does, because Big A was worried all the blood was going to rush to his head and make him vomit!  So, I rescued him and put him in a safer place.  I had to tell the boys that only adults can handle Phineas without taking his magic because sometimes he needs to moved off the floor before we leave for work and school.   I can just imagine the looks of horror on the boys’ faces if they were to come home to find that our dog had ripped Phineas’s head off and the cats were playing soccer with his innards!  -shudder-


The following night, Phineas must have decided to be a little less daring.  We found him enjoying a ride on a Ferris wheel with a new friend!  The creepy  adorable little elf he is holding is from a new movie that looks a bit frightening . . . I don’t know, it came with a happy meal and the kids won’t let me throw it out!  At any rate, the little guy must have made Phineas feel more at home, because the next day he appeared again, joining Phineas in a monster truck rally!  I thought the boys were really going to get a kick out of the monster truck rally . . . Big A did . . . but Little C was REALLY pissed that Phineas was riding his motor cycle without asking!IMG_6503IMG_6502

Last night I think Phineas we trying to hint at something, maybe that he thinks Big A needs to practice his guitar more often?


Have a great week!