Creative Decor

Fighting Back Against Fall Home-Sickness

There is nothing like Fall. I know a lot of people who dislike certain times of the year or even holidays but I've never met someone who disliked Fall. For some reason it is annually filled with memories and general wonderful goodness. Every year my mind floats back to Bonfires, corn mazes, cider, chilly mornings and sweltering Arkansas afternoons, increasingly early sun downs over Illinois corn fields, sweatshirts, pumpkin treats and pumpkins, pumpkins, pumpkins everywhere!

The yearly excitement is nothing short of contagious. Boots are busted out and sweaters are dug out and we say good bye to sticky hot summers.
As we moved overseas 6.5 years ago we soon realized not all places flaunt this beautiful season. While our new home is packed with beautiful scenery I can't help but yearn for fall. Where we live there are few trees and the temperature doesn't accommodate the beautiful rainbow of leaf colors. There aren't piles of leaves on the ground in Novemeber. No one decorates their front porch with scarecrows or pumpkins. The few fall decorations we can scratch together confuse and baffles the Nationals of our country. They know we like but they don't know why??? I was once asked, "Oh is it the corn holiday again?". Referencing my baggies stuffed with corn kernels to replicate the dried corn husk decoration.
But despite the obstacles I refuse to let go of our lovely unforgotten season! I will endeavor in to create a lil piece of Fall goodness! We will bust out the decorations, make a few if need be, buy pumpkins from the fruit stand and proceed to roast, purée and can the results and waft the fumes from all Yankee candles with a fall scent.
Our first task of the season was to whip out my first ever successful batch of snicker doodles. Thanks to Sally @ Soft & Thick Snickerdoodles. - Sallys Baking Addiction.
Little hands helped with the cinnamon sugar rolling before we popped these in the oven.
Due to a shortage of cinnamon powder I used ground cinnamon sticks. That will explain the large brown cinnamon flecks. 
Next came the apple fritters!
Loving everyday and project of Fall goodness! Hope wherever life finds you this Fall you will have a great season! 

Space Saving Decor
I'm not sure if any of y'all have ever experienced fitting all your belongings into a smaller space than you probably need or lived in a world where storage was virtually non-existent. But, if you have you know that it can be a challenge for sure. Sure anyone can cram junk into a place until it spills out the seems and you look like an episode of hoarders but who wants that??? Now as my sister-in-law is a firm believer in, you can always Purge your belongings but for me.....nope, not happening:) Me and my husband are just not minimalists. Maybe one day it will come to that but that day isn't in sight. There has been many a day we probably should have been and yet....we remain unchanged. 
Many of those days involved us trying to pack way, way, way to many things in a vehicle while we traveled. Do we need the golf clubs? .....of course. Do we need 35 changes of clothes for the next 3 weeks? .....uh yah! Honey do we really need that trycicle the child doesn't even ride it?......oh come on, I can shove it somewhere. Do you really need 6 coats for this 4 week trip? ......have you lost your mind, you bet I do! Now which questions came from me or him I'll leave to your imagination but point made.
So as kids have come and houses have down sized and we have moved to a land where closets, laundry rooms, garages, basements,attics virtually don't exist I've learned to get a little more creative. So this article is all ideas about how to make space do more for you. You may have already seen lots if these tips but this is how I've put them to use overseas.
1. Baskets, baskets, baskets! They are attractive and add storage to so many places. On top of hutches or bookcases, under end tables or coffee tables, in bathrooms, toy storage, book or magazine storage. The possibilities are endless. Here they are corralling all of my daughters color books & puzzles.
2. Make furniture do doubt duty. If you are shopping for a new piece of furniture and you live in a place with limited storage find something that will give you as much storage as possible even if it costs a little bit more. You are already spending the money in something make it work for you. For things you already own, be creative as to how they can serve in different functions.
Here is a picture of a storage sack I made to tie to my dining room chair. I used leftover material from my Living Room pillows. So, it matches the room and hides all the unsightly clutter that you can never seem to keep of the dining room table.
This is my daughters first big girl bed. My thought going into this purchase was I want this bed to last till she is 18. Also she is sharing her room with baby brother and before we got the bed there was toys everywhere and we need some more well executed storage. I found this design where someone was making their own bed on their blog. Don't get impressed, I didn't make this bed! But I handed the photo to a talented carpenter who did:) Advantage of third world living. It has a massive amount of storage! I love it and the floor is clean and the toys are organized. It was a great choice.
When you live in a land where you can't dry all your laundry in a dryer what do you do? It isn't America so, no we don't throw up a line in our backyard. If you have a backyard and it's bigger than a mouse pad you are super swank dude! Most run a line on their roof but in our new apartment we are pretty far from the roof and it's not private access so we have turned the "veranda" as they call it here into a double duty clothes line. It runs acrossed our three back balconies and does the job nicely.
Also, I have followed my neighbors example and placed leftover kitchen tile over the gap between our balconies for extra space for flowers and plants.
3. Go up! When you have limited space look up. Many times there is lots of options for extra storage going vertical.
Hanging my jewelry on a coat rack was one of the best decisions I ever made.
We also have limited space in the kitchen and fridge. You quickly run out of space. I just recently bought this three tier vegetable holder. It has definitely added more storage and cleaned up my fridge!
I don't about y'all but we are book people. Another thing we cannot claim to be minimalists. So when we ran out of space up we went and I have always loved how it looks.
4. Take advantage of store bought storage inserts. IKEA is a well known maker of storage solutions. Not everything I have used is from there but many are. It was just this year I have learned how to put some of their products to good use.
Two of their drawer storage compartments fit perfectly in the kids dresser. I have never had all their tiny little belongings so organized! Mmmmm....happy dance. In these compartments I can fit both kids socks, cloth diapers, underwear, tights, leggings, swimsuits, hats, ties, wash cloths, towels,receiving blankets and burp cloths. Wow! I also have a set in my room. Sure makes your life easier when you open a drawer and know exactely where everything is.

For my sons baby shower someone gave him this bear hanging storage compartment. I figured out I could hang it off the crib with door hangers. I am able to fit most of their stuffed animals inside. They are off the floor but still in reach of the kiddos so they have easy access.
I also recently bought a hanging clothes storage solution. It has been a challenge for me to neatly keep my clothes stores in a wardrobe. Either it's hard to see or it just won't fit. This hanging drawer set has been quite helpful. It makes my clothes a lot higher and more in eye sight and definitely neater. These are my few new finds at ikea and I can't wait to add to my collection.
The organizer in me loves to see things that used to be chaotic neat and tidy. Now to keep it all that way! 

Decorating the Dryer
As most third world dwellers will attest most times decorations are something you are lucky to find or are a product of your own making. I constantly am watching ever shelf and window display for something that suits my personal style. In that moment when you finally after much searching find something that will mostly fit into your decorating rush as fast as your flip flopped feet will carry you to grab it up with squeals of delight. Many could even compare you to a three year old running for the ice cream truck:). So as you read about my decorating struggles and triumphs realize however small they may seem I'm going to be extremely excited!  Let the games begin!
This is what we affectionate refer to as decorating the dryer:) Does anyone else live somewhere with no closets or laundry rooms? In the little country we live in, dryers are a very rare thing to see. Mostly you will see clothes hanging on flat roofs from clothes lines strung out and on balconies, windowsills and sometimes bushes. When we moved here I decided we needed a dryer for those 3-4 months of rain we receive every year. Luckily those times are within the time of the year we generally have electricity. Little did I know this expensive commodity would be half the size of States side dryers and pretty low heat BUT I was thrilled when I bought it.
For the first few years we owned it, it was in an extra room we didn't use. Without kids we had lots of space! However, after our first arrived we moved into a smaller space and had nowhere to hide our big appliance. Our washer was already in the bathroom, where would we put this big dryer? Solution, the only free corner was our daughters room. So that is when the idea of trying to blend the lovely dryer into the decor of the room. Luckily, the receiving blankets match the decor of the room. Fold and hang to fit! Voila!
I'm pretty sure this will not be in any famous magazines but it's how we roll in 3rd world countries:)

As we have moved into our new place I have been tweaking some decor choices. This new house has new beautiful hard wood flooring. Well at least they are now after MUCH TLC. You can see them below at my daughters birthday party. They are gorgeous but paired with my existing decor it's a lil dark. So....I've been contemplating how we can lighten things up a bit. 
I went out grocery shopping a couple days ago and decided to stop in the household side of the store and see if I could find some nice white flowers. The Lord definitely shined down on me that day and I found some great artificial hydrangeas and another stem of white flowers that shall remain nameless (bc I know nothing about flowers!) I think they will definitely help in brightening up the space! So after multiple attempts at arranging and re-arranging I think I got it the way I want it! Though I could use some aid from my super talented SIL! But, sadly to say she is 2,000 miles away:( So, we will do the best we can! 
One is on top of our kitchen hutch.
The other is on our shoe cabinet. The tiny suede shoes are not decor but total cuteness! Can anyone not get the squeaky mommy voice when we see adorable tiny shoes! 
I'm very excited to have three new floral arrangements to brighten up the space! We are one step closer to completing our Living Room. 

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Thanks so much for enjoying the third world journey with me. I always enjoy kind and uplifting comments!