Tag Archives: playrooms

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!


30 Days to Organized- Days 2 AND 3

5 Jan

Thought I had already given up on my 30 days of organization, did ya?  Well I fooled you!  HA!  Actually, my playroom organization took 2 days, partly because the boys were getting into the “toss” and “sell” boxes and digging stuff back out, and partly because it was a big undertaking!  Playrooms are a wonderful thing for a mom . . . the toys get played with in that room more than other room in the house, you don’t have toys that live in your living room 100% of the time, and if the playroom gets messy it’s not as bad as your living room or kitchen, you can just shut the door instead of tripping all over toys in the main living areas.  That being said, playrooms also bare the most clutter, junk and disorganization.  Well, at least mine does anyway!

Step one for me was sorting.  Sorting out broken toys, Happy Meal toys, books we don’t read or have outgrown, coloring books that are all colored up etc.  I had a “toss” box and a “sell box”.  Obviously the toss box was for anything that was not worth keeping or trying to sell.  The sell box was for anything my kids have outgrown or just never played with that was still in nice shape.  I put some of the nicer items on Craigslist, and the ones I didn’t feel like trying to sell-stuffed animals or books- went in yet another a box to be donated.  If they are in nice shape, I’m sure some poor child would appreciate them very much!

So after the purge, this is what my playroom looked like:









Haphazard, toys and games on their shelves but no order, the bookshelf was such a disaster that if someone took a book off they would most likely all fall off on top of the unsuspecting lover of the written word.  A vacuum cleaner, I’m not even sure why that was being stored in there!

So, what did Momma Dummy do?  I labeled, I bagged, boxed and otherwise organized.  All the puzzles came out of their poorly constructed cardboard boxes.  I cut the picture off the box that showed what the puzzle was, glued it to a Ziploc freezer bag and put all the pieces inside.  Then, being a wise a resourceful woman (wink wink) I took a bucket from kitty litter that I had sitting around waiting for a new purpose, put all the bagged puzzles inside and covered the plastic container with paper.  I used my trusty spray adhesive to  affix the paper, labeled the new tote and voila!  Puzzle storage!  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIf they made these containers in various sizes, I would probably have an entire house full of repurposed kitty litter containers!  I wanted to put the games in one as well, but the game boards didn’t fit, so I just reinforced all the board game boxes instead and put them back on the shelves.

For the cluttered up book shelf, I took all the smaller books that tend to get lost in the shuffle or fall behind the shelf and made book boxes for them.  I used cereal boxes to make book boxes, and after doing so was kicking myself for not having done this YEARS ago!  All you do is cut a right triangle out of the front and back panels, then cover the box in paper.  I made 4 of them and put all of Big A’s chapter and early reader books in the first 2, and then Little C’s Little Golden books and Dr Suess books in the other 2.  The stand up nice on the top shelf, take up the same amount of space as the books did on their own, but not they won’t be falling all over the place.




I will say, one of my big pet peeves is those books that are too large for the bookshelf.  They always end up in a giant pile and then nobody reads them because they can’t see what books they are.  So authors of children’s books, if you are reading this . . .Please make your books smaller so they fit on the shelf!  That is all.  (side note-this is NOT all of the books my kids own.  They also each have a bookshelf in their room FILLED with books.  We love to read in this house!)

For the rest of the toys, Little People, Playmobil people, super heros, action figures, dress up clothes etc a fabric bin was labeled in which each item will now live.  They all have a home labeled with both a word and a little drawing because Little C is only 3 and he cannot read yet.

Little C insisted on posing for this one!  Aww, isn’t he cute folks?





But if you look past the darling little ham standing in front of the cubbies, you can see that I have all the bins labeled-Little People, Playmobil People, Hats-only because the hats don’t fit well into our dress up container and they get crushed- Playmobil parts-like the swords and cannons and whatnot, and then the last bin is labeled “random” because it’s all that stuff that we don’t have enough of to each have their own bin.  Toy phones, Nerf guns, echo microphones, yoyos . . . that little crap kids love and moms hate.


Now you can see the lack of puzzles taking up the entire right side of the built-ins.  Only the wooden puzzles and larger floor puzzles remain on the shelf.  All the games fit nicely onto the lower left shelf, under the large castle and 2 pirate ships.  We have one row of VHS tapes-yes, we own not one, but 3 working VCRs- one row of children’s DVDs, and then larger cars, trucks, and play buildings that don’t fit in the cubbies.  I’d say mission accomplished for days 2 and 3 and a HUGE hooray for a much more manageable playroom!  Yippee!

I’m on Etsy!

30 Aug

Hello friends!  My new Etsy store Wrong Way Mommy is officially open for business!  I am selling custom paintings made to order and will be adding stock paintings for purchase as well.  If you like my art work I showcase on this blog, please check out my Etsy store!  Feel free to contact me if you have questions or if you would like to order a painting!  Thank you in advance!


The Organized Lego Room

28 Aug

Big A’s bedroom was slowly being transitioned from Star Wars to Lego decor.  The problem with that is the Legos were EVERYWHERE!  There is no worse feeling than stepping on Legos with bare feet!  And never mind trying to find pieces when you actually want to build something!  They were all mixed up and dumped haphazardly into buckets.  With a little work and a LOT of time, I turned the chaos into a fun room to play in as well as a nice room to sleep in.

For starters, organizing Legos is a pain the butt!  It took hours of sorting, but now they are sorted by color, which i think is the best way to organize Legos.  Sort by color and put them in Rubbermaid drawers.  It took 2 sets of Rubbermaid drawers, but they are all sorted by color.  For the people and tiny little “headlights” and other miscellaneous pieces I sorted into a small Rubbermaid drawer.  

I put the Lego drawers under Big A’s loft, then set up what he refers to as his “office”.  This is a nice area for Big A to build with his Lego’s, keeps them off the floor, and everything is right he needs it.  A simple $5 desk lamp gives him extra light when he is building or drawing at his desk.

All the Lego instruction books were getting mangled as well, and very hard to keep track of tossed on his book shelf.  I put them all inside page protectors in a 3 ring binder.  Now when he is looking for the instructions to a specific set, he can just flip through the binder.  Bonus is that they are no longer getting stepped on and bent up!





I didn’t want to buy a bunch of Lego decor since the bedroom themes seem to change frequently around here.  Big A gets Lego magazine, so I tore a few  Lego Ninjago comic strips out of the magazine and put them in inexpensive frames and hung them on the wall.  Now if he finds a better Lego picture, or changes his theme all together, they are easily changed out



And since I love to paint, especially for my children, I painted 2 Lego Ninjago pictures for the wall as well.  I opted to do them on canvases instead of painting them right on the wall like I normally do.  Now we can rearrange his bedroom or change themes without having to repaint the whole room.

Now Big A has his Lego room as I promised, I have the organized room I wanted room . . . and it only cost $5 for the desk lamp!  I love redoing a room and not spending money!

Wrong Way Murals

5 Aug

Since Mural Mondays ran out of ammo due to the Great Computer Virus of 2009, I’ve been busy busy painting more just to show you!  No, actually I’ve been painting them for the people that hired me to paint them, but I just wanted to make you all feel special!

Wrong Way Murals now has it’s own Facebook page, where I will share my work.  Since it’s debut, I’ve already painted 2 more murals whose pictures will be up for your viewing pleasure soon!

It’s going to be a hodge podge of styles, colors and themes being that all of the art posted is art I have been hired to do for someone else.  I’ve run out of walls at my own house, folks . .  .so now I’m invading yours!

Check out Wrong Way Murals on Facebook, and stay tuned here as well!


Happy Tuesday!

1 Aug

My lil man has been begging me to paint “Furious George” on his wall.  (that’s what Little C calls Curious George.  I think a cartoon about a really pissed off monkey would be hilarious!)  I finally bought some brown paint and gave Little C what he wanted.  So funny too, because every morning he gets out of bed and kisses George, and every night when he goes to bed he kisses him again!  How many customers would be so grateful for their new mural that they kiss it every day?

I’m working on tying the current sports theme in with the love of the mischievous little monkey.  I will keep you posted!

When the Kids are Away . . .

21 Jun

You know the old saying, “when the cats are away, the mice play”.  My kids are out of town camping with the majority of my family, but I had to stay behind for the beginning of the trip because I to work.  While they were away, I decided to have a little fun with some of their favorite toys and make it look like their toys were playing while they were gone!  I took photos documenting all the fun their toys had while they were gone so that when I headed up to meet them I could show them what goes on when they aren’t home.

Don’t be too disappointed by my poor quality photos, Handy Hubby took both my cameras with him (don’t ask me why, he’s a man) so I had to take the photos with my phone, and even though it’s a smart phone, the quality is pretty sad.


First we head to Big A’s room, where a Lego Stormtrooper alarm clock is reading a bedtime story to 2 of Big A’s favorite beanie babies.  Those stormtroopers sure know how to get a turkey to quiet down and go to sleep!











Next we meet Big Big Bear and Spot playing trains, and giving 2 of their little puppy pals rides on the choo choos.  Big Big Bear is even sporting Big A’s favorite engineer’s hat!









Now we head into Little C’s room, where Big Penguin and Giant Dog (my kids are soooo original with their guys names!) Are building block towers . . . and it looks like they even have a message for Little C!  Who knew stuffed animals could spell?









Brobee is selling Muno some delicious pizza.  The pizza is headed to the party in Muno’s tummy!  (if you don’t have children under the age of 3, or have never seen Yo Gabba Gabba, you have no idea what it means to go to a party in your tummy.  You are missing out.)









Since the boys are camping,their Lego mini figures decided to camp out too.  The pirate in the the sunglasses is enjoying roasted marshmallows, The baldy in the back is eating a nice juicy chicken leg, and the lady on the lawn chair is enjoying a good book.









No camping trip is complete without a little lake action!  Baldy is just about to dive in for a swim (notice the flipper?  Legos are soo much more detailed than when I was a kid!)  And Princess Leia has just caught a fish for her supper!


I had a lot of fun playing with my boys’ toys and I know they will enjoy seeing what their toys were up to while they were away!