Nursery: To do, or NOT to do.

When you are pregnant, you get asked the same questions over and over. One of the repetitive questions asked is – “Do you have the baby’s nursery ready?” Everyone wants to know what color scheme and cute baby theme the nursery will be. And although, coming up with ideas, and putting the nursery together is one of the most fun things to do to prepare for your baby, it isn’t a top priority.¬†

At first the questions about the baby’s room really annoyed me. I always have a long list of more important things to accomplish. For example, finding a pediatrician, and researching delayed cord clamping, although these things are not as fun as interior design, they are much more important.

Plus, your baby doesn’t really know what they are looking at. With that being said, all of the cute nursery accessories are not really for baby, but rather to please mom.

I didn’t worry too much about the baby’s room. And, when it comes to baby stuff, I have tried to stay as minimalist as possible. At this point, I have the essentials, and feel successful with keeping things minimal. But even the essentials need to be put away somewhere.

However, as time went on… suddenly, my mind changed… I had a total change of heart.

Maybe it was the urge to nest. Maybe it was the pile of baby stuff, in the corner of my living room. ¬†Whatever it was… at 8 months pregnant, I found myself eager to start putting the baby’s room together.

In late June, when we got home from Martha’s Vineyard, I had a total freak out. I literally started to cry, sobbing, “There is shit everywhere, and the baby’s room isn’t done.”

My husband came to the rescue! I will never forget his response. He calmly said, “Babe, I got this shit.” Then he ran upstairs and painted the baby’s room and set up the crib.

Now, I’m not the type of person to half ass a job. If I’m going to do something, I give it my all. So now that¬†I have decided to prepare a nursery, I’m going all out. ¬†After that, I was able to organize things. We got a bookcase from Pottery Barn baby. We ordered a rug. Blinds went up. Things were looking good. My baby more than anyone, deserves a beautiful space in our home, to call her own.

I will reveal our baby’s nursery in a later post. But for now, I would like to share with you some baby rooms that inspired me. I used these rooms as a guide to help me create my own.

Our color scheme for our baby’s nursery is Gray walls, White furniture, and accents of Pink. ¬†Our theme is¬†elephants.¬†Elephants are special to my husband and I because we visited an elephant sanctuary when we were in Thailand. We have a special love for elephants. And we plan to frame photos of us riding the elephants we played with in Chang Mai.

1) The picture below goes with our color scheme. I love the pink window treatments, shelves, chandelier, crib, mirror, and dresser with changing pad on top. cafdd8e9466edb60d8020eddd0233c25

2) Again photo below has our color scheme. I like the mirror, the chandelier, the photo gallery, and the dresser with changing pad idea. 2a6221f6c824215cc3799b53ae34bf25

3) Photo below has our color scheme. I love the pink window treatments, with a decorative rug. I also love the chandelier. We are planning on keeping our window treatments simple because we have a pattern on our rug.

ec9dd668cd59d46e95742bf170177031

4) In the photo below, I like the chandelier, the mobile, and the pink elephant toy.31be20d080f5f87553043a83fc9d62c7

5) The photo below has our color scheme. I like the¬†chandelier, and the elephant stuffed animal. I also like the window treatments. This is another option for us, if we can’t find pink black out curtains that we like.¬†3eb175da4aaeaccb08e367f4e1a3a91d

 

6) The room below is my FAVORITE!! I absolutely love this room. The crib in this picture is the exact same one we have for our baby. I love the mirror, the crib skirt, the shelves, and the gold dot decals. I also love the vintage dresser, with changing pad on top.

009ca98875228a0b002edd22f58059737) I LOVE this sitting area – that can be used for nursing or reading. At the moment we do not have a space for a chair because we still have a full size bed and adult dresser in the room. But I absolutely love this. I did get a basket. Baskets can be used in many different ways. I also have a fuzzy pillow in gray. I hope to have a space similar to this in the near future.

3fe44e2511d68bc61127200f6ced18c28) I love all the elephants in this room. If you love elephants and need to create a gender neutral room, this room would be great inspiration for you. d04c63782f5d0220b9a1cfd8933168129) I love this big elephant toy. I also love the shag rug and the black crib, similar style to the one we got for our baby, but in black instead of white.

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10) Below is the exact crib we have, but in black instead of white. I also love the small chandelier in this photo. I love the framed art Рwe are doing white frames and pink frames instead of black. The rug in the picture is similar to the one we have, but in blue instead of pink. 82702546eba93384e7c5555220d23571

 

11) In this last picture I am going to share with you, I love all the elephants, the shelves, and the dresser with the changing pad on top. The rug is very similar to the one we have in our baby’s room, but blue instead of pink.¬†50f32e65bb6c02cc8b858e3bf06569ce12) If you are really into books. This reading corner is a very fun idea. The way to collect a ton of children’s books is to have people bring your books instead of cards for your baby shower.

a9d75d30adb96a08f47b089a4a328a88Anyway, these were all of the photos that most inspired me on setting up the perfect nursery for my baby. I hope they help inspire you as much as they did for me. I promise to share with you in the near future some photos of my baby’s room.

but in the mean time…

I would love to hear from you… please comment below…

Do you think it is a necessity to have a baby’s nursery?

What is your favorite color scheme and theme for a baby nursery?

© 2015 sweat1xdaily

 

 

 

Nesting: My favorite Pregnancy Symptom!

“One of the many beautiful things that happens during pregnancy is the urge to nest, or create a snug, peaceful cocoon for your new family member.” ¬†– Alicia Silverstone, The Kindmama

This couldn’t be more true.

I purge on a regular basis, constantly cleaning out, replacing the old with the new. But during this pregnancy, it was on a much deeper level. I let go of things that I had been holding on to for a while. Then my husband and I finally completed the mandatory home projects that we kept making excuses about and putting off.

When we accumulate a lot of stuff, energy stagnates.¬†Each possession carries weight, as do the dust and dirt that can settle in little nooks and crannies” -Alicia Silverstone, The Kindmama

Again true statement.

I have written about our 1945 duplex before, and if you can recall, I have revealed in the past that this 1945 duplex, although charming, is a small place. Because of the size, I have always tried to live as minimalist as possible. However, living minimalist is quite the challenge – over the years things got cluttered. Getting rid of old stuff was crucial to make room for the baby’s essentials. As I got rid of old stuff, and washed away dirt and dust, a weight was lifted. When I replaced the old with the new, the once stale energy shifted to a fresh, light, positive vibe. Even little changes can make a huge difference.

The idea to- “Hold off on large-scale changes to your home,”¬†is suggested in the book The Kindmama.

But what exactly defines a large scale project. You may consider some of the projects I completed, on the large scale size, but I stayed stress free. And completing these projects brought my¬†husband and I both happiness and comfort. So in conclusion, I recommend that you determine the stress level of the project and ask your pregnant self… once this project is completed will I feel more content.

Your home is your sanctuary. It needs to be a place that expresses your identity. It needs to be a space you can enjoy, and feel completely comfortable and relaxed in, especially when bringing a newborn home. Because of this idea, we decided to just do it all.

REPLACED THE WINDOWS

In late March, my husband and I researched different types of windows. Once we determined what would be best for our house, we scheduled for them to be replaced. This wasn’t a cheap project, but it is worth it in the long run, and will cut costs on our bills. Because of how old our house is, it was also checked for lead – thank goodness it is lead free. We don’t want a toxic chemicals like that around our new baby.

The window replacement only took one day to complete. However, our whole house was covered with white dust particles. It needed a major scrub down. And we had to open all the windows to air out the house. Note: “Air rugs and bedding outside in the sun, the original antibacterial purifier.” – The Kindmama

BLINDS

We had cheap, old, dusty blinds, that were there when we bought the house. My min pin loved to stick his nose in between the blinds and bark at neighbors while they walked by. Replacing the blinds was a must. I couldn’t have a barking dog, and crying baby. We now have beautiful white wooden blinds on the first floor, and shades in the bedrooms. The Min Pin can’t look out and bark anymore, and the windows look complete. Window treatments can make or break a room. It is a very little change, that has made a huge difference.

NEW FENCE

We replaced the old fence with a new one. This project was definitely a necessity. Our old fence was a very run down chain linked fence that actually never completely closed, (again there before we bought the house.) We have two small dogs, and because the fence never closed, we always have to supervise the dogs while they are in the yard. Now that the new fence is up, we are able to let the dogs enjoy the yard by themselves, which will help when the baby comes. Plus, the fence looks awesome! In the future we may paint it white, but for the time being we’ll see how the wood ages.

PAINTED BOTH BEDROOMS

When we moved in, we loved the kitchen/dining room wall color. But the rest of the colors in the house had to go. I painted the living room, but never got to the bedrooms. Both bedrooms were a very ugly mauve color. They were definitely in need of a fresh new coat of paint.

We painted our bedroom a Benjamin Moore color called African Violet, it is a gray lavender. This color couldn’t be more perfect. It goes great with our dark framed bed, and the amethyst knobs we have on our white dresser.

Then we painted our guest room, now baby’s room. The color is also a Benjamin Moore color, called Baltic Gray. Gray walls, white furniture, and accents of pink, makes this baby nursery elegant but sweet. Perfect for a baby girl!

BABY’S NURSERY¬†

I’m going to give you a sneak peek of the nursery, and write a detailed post a little later.

baby's room inspo

ORGANIZED BABY ESSENTIALS

After our baby shower, I went through everything, and figured out what else we needed. Then I organized everything and found a proper home for each item.

REPLACED OLD LIVING ROOM RUG

I replaced the old living room rug with a fresh new one. Besides the baby’s room, I am probably most proud of this.

Because I have dogs, I don’t invest in really expensive rugs. Plus, I like fun patterned rugs, that in time, I may get sick of. These are the reasons that I don’t feel bad about throwing out my old rug, when I get bored of it.

Although, finding the new rug was a major hunt. My old rug was three years old, but very run down. There is no way I could put my beautiful baby on it for tummy time. It had to go! Note: Below is a photo of the old rug. Take a look at how the rug influences the color in the sectional and wall color.

old rug

It took several months to find the right rug, but I finally did… WOW… ¬†it transformed the whole room! The room looks bigger! The wall color looks totally different. And it not only goes great with all of the rustic details that are through out my house, but it is clean and soft enough for the baby to enjoy tummy time on.new rug

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ART WORK

My husband is picky about art work. He wants to support local artists or some how have the art connected to us personally in some way. Well my mom had a photo from our wedding printed on a huge canvas. The canvas is amazing! It again brings out the wall color, looks great with the rug, and has a rustic vibe.

NESTING

Nesting has become my favorite pregnancy symptom because things that needed to get done, finally did. It is crazy how even the smallest changes make a huge difference. It feels so good to purge the old and replace with new. Because it is human nature to grow and evolve, so should your living space. ¬†Everything is clean and fresh, and we are ready for our baby’s arrival. Can’t wait to meet her!

This post is dedicated to my husband.

Although, I was the pregnant one in need of nesting, I want to thank my husband for all the hard work he did! He is amazing, and worked hard to make our home exactly what we desired.

Erik, Thank you, I love you to the moon and back!

Did you have the urge to nest when you were pregnant? What home projects have you accomplished lately? 

© 2015 sweat1xdaily

Spring Cleaning: New Season, New Goals

Although, we are still having some chilly days, Spring has officially sprung. My winter blues are finally gone. It is amazing what a difference the spring air does to my mood. I am much more energized these days.

Along with the start of this new season, and this new found energy, I am setting some new goals. These goals range from, diet and fitness to house and garden – this Spring there is a lot on my agenda.

Home & Garden

I am going to begin with my home.

My husband and I have owned our 1945 duplex in the DC area for about 3 years now. I have written blog posts about it in the past, but for those who are new to reading this blog, when we moved in we had absolutely no furniture. It sounds a bit weird, but none of the furniture we owned previously was worthy enough to move over to our new place. By leaving our old stuff on the curb, it left us with a blank canvas for designing our new home together. I highly recommend this! It is important for couples to move into a place together and build an interior space that really reflects both of them as individuals, but also expresses their identity as a couple.c44fe257f8631560a0f6e3f0a5e135f4Over the last 3 years, little by little, by collecting things we love, our house has become our home.

Having patience is key!¬†Although this is a tip of mine, it definitely was a struggle at first. When moving in I desperately wanted to feel settled. This unsettling feeling can make you take the easy way out, and just buy whatever for the time being, but I didn’t want to waste my money on temporary pieces. I wanted to purchase higher quality furniture, that would last. However, along with higher quality comes a greater expense. I also didn’t want to just fill the space with pieces because I need them, I wanted the right furniture for the space. Older houses have smaller spaces. So this put me on an epic hunt, for furniture that had the charm I was looking for, but was small enough. I had to get creative, and have patience, but as time went on, I fount my house filling up. It is a successful mix of new higher quality staple pieces, with vintage finds.

This is how we went about it..

The first year we were here, we focused on purchasing some big items, couch, bed, dining room table. We wanted these items to be high quality pieces that would last. So we spent the money on custom made pieces from Ethan Allen.

The second year, we focused on accent pieces, such as side tables, lamps, rugs, shower curtain, etc. We also used our front porch to make a peaceful outdoor space. It is there that, we can enjoy a latte while lounging on the wicker love-seat.

shower curtain

This last year, I finally purchased some major pieces that I was on a desperate hunt for. My major challenge has been finding furniture to fit such small spaces. Because most USA furniture is larger, I had to get creative. I ended up refinishing an old antique dresser. I finally found a beautiful hutch for my kitchen/dinning room, to store my Vitamix and other kitchen appliances. I replaced the ugly old dinning room over-head light with a beautiful rustic chandelier. And then, my husband made a coffee table from an old whiskey barrel, that we found in Fredericksburg. It is the prefect hight, width, and gives us that rustic feel that I love.

light

dresser diy

 

coffee table

This spring we have some new house projects to accomplish. Some are fun, others are necessary.

  • Replace Windows – which we just accomplished on Easter Weekend! They are beautiful!¬†
  • Replace Furnace
  • Replace Fence
  • Put up new blinds or shades
  • Paint 3 rooms
  • Clean up Yard
  • Start Garden

We did our research, and finally in March, we decided on a custom made window replacement. And this Easter weekend, Window Nation came over and completed the project. So one of the necessary house project is now checked off the list. The windows are beautiful and much more energy efficient. Soon we will be picking out blinds or shades.

dining room

As for the others on the list, we are still coming up with a game plan, but I would have to say one thing I am most excited about is my veggie garden that I will be starting up again this season. I normally do a garden every year, but last year, because of my wedding, it was impossible for me to devote the time to a garden. I missed it so much.

This year I can’t wait to watch things grow, and enjoy fresh veggies from my backyard. I also can’t wait to hit up all the local farmer’s markets. I hope you look forward to some gardening posts in the near future.

Diet & Fitness

As for diet, like always, my plan is to eat well balance meals that are made up of fresh organic food. Lately, fruit is the number one thing I crave and my refrigerator has been stocked with it. However, fruit taste so much sweeter when it is in season. I am really excited to eat watermelon again, and have tons of fresh fruit to make juices and smoothies. I want to be cooking and grilling up a storm this summer. I am looking forward to trying new recipes and keeping things colorful.

Fitness wise, I will admit I have taken it down a notch. When it comes to running, it was too snowy and icy this winter. I look forward to getting some short easy runs in once the weather warms up. But what I have really am getting into is yoga and swimming. I also want to attempt some hiking this season.

So those are my future healthy lifestyle goals. Yesterday was 75 degrees. And this week is suppose to continue to stay in the  60s.

This weekend, my husband and I are heading down to Del Ray Beach, and South Beach Miami. I can’t wait to soak up some sun, and eat some Cuban food.

I want to hear form you…

What are some of your home projects? What are your goals for the spring?

© 2015 sweat1xdaily

 

Before & After: DIY- Transform a Vintage Dresser

The DC area is extremely expensive, and it is known to have some of the worst traffic in the nation. So when house hunting, you need to set your priorities. Some desire a bigger place so they sacrifice location. While others sacrifice size, to be conveniently closer to the city, avoiding hours of traffic. The choice is yours.

Our priority were definitely location, but we also wanted to make a smart investment. It was going to be tricky to find something in the location we wanted for the price we wanted to pay.

So the hunt was on for the perfect place. Location was ideal, I wanted to be so close to the city that I could enjoy a morning run around the monuments. After two years of looking, and putting several offers on different properties, finally we closed on the perfect place.

My husband and I have been proud homeowners for 2 years now.

One of my favorite things about living in this area is that Washington, DC and Northern Virginia is full of history. The neighborhood we live in is a historical neighborhood, and our house is a 1950’s duplex. Our place is ideal because of it’s location and historical charm. However, what comes along with urban living and old places is… tiny living spaces.

When we moved into our new place, we started completely fresh, leaving most of our old furniture on the curb. It was fun having a completely blank canvas to work with, and to buy pieces together, that expressed us as a couple. There was nothing from our past, everything was new.

However, our place is small, and this has been our biggest challenge.  When it comes to interior design, nothing quite fits.

Old places has limited closet space…

And this is a major problem for me.

I am a runner with way to many RunOOTD (Run Outfit Of the Day) and I am a hair dresser who has to be trendy and fashion forward at work. So as you can see, I do a lot of laundry and I have a lot of different kinds of clothes. These clothes need to be put away. My husband built me a beautiful walk in closet, but it still wasn’t enough. I needed a dresser.

The hunt was on yet again, but instead of house hunting it became dresser hunting. I started looking at the basic stores, Crate & Barrel, West Elm, Pottery Barn. But nothing fit,everything was at least 20 inches deep, when I could only¬†accommodate something a big as 17 inches deep. I then moved my search to ¬†George Town and Old Town desperately looking at each furniture store… still no luck.

I didn’t want an old antique, and I definitely didn’t want a DIY project. But I wasn’t able to find anything to fit my space, and older pieces of furniture are a lot smaller.

Turns out the perfect dresser was right under my nose, living temporarily at the boutique right down the street from where I work and live.  Turns out the perfect dresser was a piece from the early 1900s, that was crying for a make over.

In honor of Transformation Tuesday, I will share with you my new dresser… Old is on the left and new and improved is on the right.

dresser before and after

This project was not hard at all.

SANDING

  • Because the piece was real wood, we sanded down any rough edges.

PAINTING 

  • It¬†makes a huge difference. It makes an old piece look clean and as good as new.¬†So we painted the dresser with a fresh coat of white paint.

REFRESHING MEDAL DETAILS

  • We also refreshed the medal key holes with gold spray paint.

CHANGING HARDWARE

  • All of the above was great, but what really updated this piece was changing the hardware. I went to Anthropology and fell in love with the hardware they had to offer. After much debate, my husband and I decided on replacing the original handles on the dresser, with the ones from Anthro, made from amethyst stone with gold detailing. This hardware really eliminated the old antique feel that the piece once had and made it totally updated and current!dresser2

Do you like DIY projects? What do you think of my dresser transformation? 

If you are interested in seeing my fitness transformation click here.

 

 

New Years Resolution for 2013

My last post focussed on the idea that setting a New Years Resolution is unnecessary for me because it is in my nature to strive to be the best I can be. Because of this, I set goals for myself in most aspects of my life, sometimes not even realizing I do. And when those goals are met, I set new ones. Always challenging myself.

However, ever since I was a little girl, I have always set a New Years Resolution so although, it is not necessary, I will continue the tradition for fun, and set one for this year.

In 2011, I was in a rut. I use to speed through the grocery store throwing the same items in my cart every time. And most days, it was just faster and easier¬†ordering the same take out everyday. ¬†Although fast and easy, I was getting really bored, plus take out definitely was not the healthiest option. So I decided my New Years Resolution for 2012 was to try one new exotic food a week. This New Years Resolution was¬†not only really fun, but it was more specific then saying, I was going to eat healthier- making it easier to follow. ¬†This New Years Resolution made me leave my comfort zone, as¬†I started to explore Whole Foods, MOM’s Organic Market, and local farmer’s markets, on a constant quest for a new unique flavor. ¬†After purchasing these new exotic flavors, I realized I did not have a clue to how to prepare them, so this New Years Resolution also made me seek knowledge, which led me to new blogs, and later creating this blog. It also led me to the kitchen, forcing me to cook, later discovering a new passion. So as you can see, one small change/goal/challenge can lead to an array of others.

This year, 2013, I want to continue on with my last years resolution of trying unique food, and cooking new recipes- mostly plant based and organic. I can’t give that up, it is now a part of me. What use to be uncomfortable, has now become my comfort. However, with that being said, my New Years Resolution for 2013 is to get my kitchen perfectly organized, in a way that will better suit my way of cooking.

The kitchen is one of the most important spaces in a home. Trust me, a bad kitchen can make you struggle as a cook Рit being to small, no storage, no dishwasher. A very bad kitchen can make you never ever want to cook- appliances being old and out of date.  A really really bad kitchen can make you never want to store food or eat there ever- small, no storage, no dishwasher, appliances super old, unusable. I have lived in places that have had really really old bad kitchens.

In May of 2012, our dream came true. My boyfriend and I moved into our very own home, after two years of searching. (It was totally worth the wait.) But we are in the city, and being in a city means places are tiny. So although, the kitchen is my favorite space in our new home, it still is a bit small. This year I want to organize my tiny kitchen so it maximizes the space. I want to find new ways of storage and displaying things, but still keeping it minimal.

This is what I have come up with so far…

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These are stainless steel magnetic spice holders. I love them. I have them stuck on the side of my fridge. ¬†They have holes on the side – smaller side to sprinkle, larger side to get a good amount of spice out. I don’t have much cabinet space, so this frees up a shelf that would have been taken up with spices. Before I use to hate digging in the cabinet to find a spice. Sometimes I would think I had a spice and then I didn’t. Other times I would not see a spice and I would but two of the same. With these spice holders stuck to the side of my fridge I can see what I have, and what I don’t. I also can easily reach for a spice whenever I need it. I picked these up at Bed Bath and Beyond.

63613_10100914740519716_1795314128_nThese are my favorite. I found these at Anthropologie. I first got the bigger size ones, that hold pasta, but I ran back and got these smaller ones as well. The size of these are 8 oz. They are a significant amount larger than the magnetic spice holders. I decided to store some of my favorite go to ingredients in these containers. All of these ingredients are raw, natural, organic. They are full of antioxidants, and I usually use them in my my morning smoothies, oat meal, or muesli. I am glad they are close at hand. My favorite part of these containers are the chalk boards. I also love the fact that you don’t have to commit to one ingredient being in one jar. When you are done with the ingredient and the jar is empty, ¬†you can easily erase the name on the chalk board, rinse out the jar, and replace it with something else.

602950_10100914738718326_557535506_nIn this photo, I wanted to point out two things – my magnetic knife strip and my utensil holder.

Once again hanging your knives is a brilliant idea because they are easily accessible and they free up a drawer. Also try to invest in a good set of knives. Good knives make prep work fast and easy.

As for my utensil holder, it is one of my favorite things in my kitchen. The pottery is hand made, by an artist that sells his work at Eastern Market. My Aunt Kathy, when she came to visit, bought it for me as a house warming present. I think it is beautiful and does a great job holding all of my kitchen utensils. Again it is nice to have everything accessible. All of my wooden spoons are right there at reach, whenever I need them. Just as it is good to invest in a good set of knives, you should also invest in a good set of wooden spoons. These spoons are carved from olive wood from Italy, that I hand wash only.

1127_10100913259757176_1044208321_nMy sister J, bought this tea kettle for me as one of my Christmas presents! It is by far one of my favorite things I got for Christmas! I rarely microwave anything. I boil water for hot tea. I boil water for oat meal. I am always boiling water. So instead of wasting a pot, I leave this on my stove, and only use it for water.

I will never forget my water is boiling because it whistles when it is ready. My favorite thing about this tea kettle is the color. Turquoise is my favorite color, and the accent color for the rest of my house. She found this piece at World Market!

314093_10100688154270376_747974023_nThis is my pot holder! I highly recommend you hang your pots and pans. Again this makes your pots and pans accessible, and you are freeing up a drawer or cabinet.

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So this is a photo of my kitchen! The pots and pans are hanging on the other side next to the fridge. There are still some things I need to work through, but I think this is a really good start. Because I have been enjoying my kitchen, cooking has become enjoyable. I actually have been cooking up a storm, and I have four new recipes to tell you about, a new spice to tell you to try… so keep your eyes open, I will be posting those in the next couple of days.

So that sums up my New Years Resolution for 2013… which I am only setting not because it is necessary, but because it is tradition and fun!

198580664791257349_rtdvtzuf_cQuestions for You…

  1. What is your New Years Resolution for 2013?
  2. What is your favorite space in your home?
  3. Do you have any fun storage ideas for your kitchen?

© 2013 sweatdaily