DIY: Potato and Onion Storage

The counter, floor, on top of cabinets, refrigerator…just a few places my potatoes and onions find themselves after arriving from the grocery store. I cook with these ingredients all the time and it’s past time that they needed a place.

After a quick search, I figured out how it was going to help organize my tuber mess!

ladderWhile I love this…I do not love the price. $250? Really? I made mine for less than $40. This is another fool proof project.

With every home we renovate, we find nicknacks that make their way into our personal home. Lucky enough, Janis Ann left me a great wooden ladder. From there, simply measure your openings and buy baskets accordingly. Make sure you get a basket with several openings on the sides – that’s where you will hang the hook.


I purchased “S” hooks from Target’s shower curtain section. I hung each crate at it’s designated level and made a label. Voila! Because I have little ones, I did secure the ladder to the wall with screws and then placed rubber stoppers on the feet (no slipping!)


How useful and easy is that?

If you’re without a ladder – I also saw this variation:
That would work great with a leftover palette!

DIY: Mason Jar Foaming Soap Dispenser

This Mason Jar Foaming Soap Dispenser is quick, easy, and is one more maintenance item made simple.

Anything that makes life more simple is attractive to me right now. As I continue to prepare for Baby Girl No. 2 to make her arrival, I’m tossing more clutter and finding ways to be intentional with my space.

Which brings me to these…


Normally, I would change out the soap with each season. But really, I don’t have time nor the want to keep this up. Above that, the smell of these soaps was unbearable during first trimester and I still get chills up my spine every once in a while. Which brings us to the evergreen, never have to swap, easy mason jar foaming soap dispenser.

soap jar BA

After emptying the old bottles, cut the top off. Be sure to leave a little bit of the bottle sleeve – this will help hold the dispenser in place.

 mason jar plastic rim

Mark the rim of the dispenser on the mason jar metal top insert.


Use a sharp object and hammer to tap out perforated edges.


After complete, use a knife to remove the center. TIP: Wear gloves. The metal is sharp. Once complete, simply slip the foam dispenser insert through and attach the top.

Mason Jar Metal Rim

Fill with your favorite foaming soap and screw on the lid for the finished product. These will be a sweet touch to my kitchen and bathrooms.


DIY: Rustic Storage Cube Makeover

As Baby Girl No. 2’s due date draws closer and closer, my nesting instinct is getting stronger. It’s not necessarily the nursery I am concerned about – that will stay the same. It’s Coberly Nicole’s new room I want finished. Giving her the chance to get comfortable and confident in her new space is most important to me right now. Last week I got the dresser complete – DIY: Distressed Painted Furniture

This week my easy DIY is taking the basic 9-cube storage cubbies and turning it into something that doesn’t look so out of the box. The storage boxes and open shelving make it easy for little hands to grab, pull, and play when they feel like it. The price tag keeps this mama’s wallet happy.

So here it is – super simple:

Purchase the 9 – cube storage cubby. As of Jan. 19, 2015 Menard’s has them on sale for $25.00. Of course you can always find them on Amazon, Target, or Walmart. When assembling, we didn’t add all the dividers for some visual diversity and it provides a nice space for bigger toys and books.


Fabric boxes with labels help keep the toys divided.


After completely assembled, we pulled a few slats off of a wood pallet, cut them to size, and screwed them down with one inch screws. After the wood was attached, I sanded with a 60 grit, 100 grit, and then 180 grit for a smooth finish. If you’re concerned about splinters, you could put a polyurethane coat to help. You’ll also want to anchor it to the wall if you have climbers.


Super simple, cheap, and fast way to create a fun play area for the littles.

DIY: Distressed Painted Furniture

I’m not a fan of making something sound easier than it is, so let’s address this issue first. The skill level required to do this DIY Distressed Dresser is minimal, but the amount of time it’s going to take you is a different story. Can full-time working folks do this in an evening? Nope. You could break it up into sections or save it for the weekend.

I love how the dresser turned out and it was super affordable, but as I mentioned, it did take time.

After reading review after review of people saying they weren’t fans of chalk paint, I decided to stick with the tried and true method of sanding, priming, painting, and more sanding.


Simple Steps:

After removing all the hardware, I used 100 grit sandpaper to rough up this piece. I did not sand it all the way down to the natural wood because I wanted to use the stain color to show through my paint job in the end. I used block sanders for the details and an orbital sander for the sides and top. Once finished, I rubbed it down thoroughly with a tack cloth.


A coat of primer and a coat of Behr’s Ultra White satin left my dresser in good shape. When it was completely dry, I used the 100 grit sandpaper to choose the areas I wanted distressed. I kept my distressing pretty minimal – just edges and corners that would naturally come through. Then I used the 220 grit sandpaper block to smooth things out. At this point, could I have put a clear coat of polyurethane to “protect” it? Sure. But it seemed silly to me that I just painted a piece, intentionally distressed it, and then would take time to protect it so it isn’t further distressed? No thanks. I’ll take it as is!


Definitely a needed facelift and it will fit perfectly in Coberly Nicole’s new room!

DIY: Cinnamon Honey Butter Gifts

Christmas is my favorite season, but each year it’s a temptation to be overwhelmed by the literal hustle and bustle of the season. Checking each item off of the Christmas shopping list alone is enough to overwhelm even the most organized shopper. For the past couple of years, my family participated with our church in the Advent Conspiracy. Instead of being consumed by stuff, stress, and debt, we’ve decided to worship fully, spend less, give more, and love all. It comes down to quality, not quantity – especially for gifts.

This year I’ve decided to make delicious treats for grandparents and a few extras just in case: Homemade Cinnamon Honey Butter and Eggnog Bread with Rum Glaze. Yes, it’s all made with love, but it’s also so tasty. If you decide to jump on board with these recipes, I’d suggest breaking it up into two days. It’s not that each recipe takes long, but for working parents – more than an hour in the kitchen can seem like an impossible feat. This isn’t a time for stress, enjoy yourself.

Cinnamon Honey Butter Recipe from Tidy Mom


  • 1 cup Honey
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 half pint canning jars


  • Combine all ingredients in bowl. Using whisk attachment on mixer blend until smooth and creamy, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
  • Use rubber spatula to pour mixture in to a large pastry bag (or Ziploc® bag), cut off tip and squeeze into half pint jars. (tip: place bag in tall glass for support, or have someone hold the bag while you pour)
  • Keep refrigerated. Serve room temperature.

IMG_4480After your butter is mixed and ready in the jars – it’s easy to dress it up. For this one, I took direction from the Tidy Mom blog and used some linen cloth circles, green pipe cleaner, red sparkle berries, twine and free printable “Merry Christmas” tags from the Magnolia Homes Blog.IMG_4483


Here’s to keeping focus on the meaning of Christmas this holiday season. Enjoy!



Free Christmas Card Printables

Every year mailing Christmas cards out seem to get a little tougher, but I LOVE sending cards. The problem is, I don’t like just sending any card – I want it to be original and convey the Sturm family life that year.

This year, I wanted something warm and traditional. I found some affordable card stock at Hobby Lobby for $10 (set of 50 cards) and did a little design on my computer.

O Holy Night is my favorite Christmas carol, so I designed the card for a 5×7 (this particular one is folded). The prints are simple, but exactly what I wanted. If you would like to download this card for print, you can download the PDF here (5×7 folded card).


Of course, I always like to add a photo. Thanks to Grandma Smith, Coberly Nicole had a great new outfit to wear.


Now to just get these in the mail.

Chandelier Makeover DIY

This Chandelier Makeover DIY is for lighting in the Janis Ann project.

Each project we renovate, I try to leave behind some character of the original home. For the Janis Ann project, I knew the dining room chandelier could be something special with a little elbow grease. It’s a quality fixture from Germany that’s outdated due to the brass color and crystals.


IMG_4388 IMG_4392

For this DIY chandelier makeover, I decided to remove all the crystals and change the finish to oil-rubbed bronze. The crystals fell off with a simple snip, snip!



I sprayed a base coat of flat, dark brown – then covered the entire fixture with Rustoleum Metallic Finish Oil Rubbed Bronze.

The design plans for Janis Ann include very muted walls (color as seen in photo below), white kitchen cabinets, and a dark wood floor (not yet installed). The oil rubbed bronze fixture will help balance out all the colors.

The entire project took a total of 1:30 (that’s dry time included). It’ll be a beautiful focal point for the Janis Ann home when all the pieces finally come together!


Pine Cone Christmas Decorations

When I got into some mild form of trouble as a teen that didn’t constitute a full “grounded” sentence, my parents would love to send me out in the yard to go pick up the pine cones. On the Mississippi Gulf Coast, pine trees are plentiful. Add that tidbit, plus the fact that my parents “yard” consisted of an acre of land…this was quite the task.

Our little family traveled from St. Peters, Missouri, back to my parents home on the Mississippi Coast last week for Thanksgiving and one of my “to-do’s” was to pick up pine cones. It’s funny, this time I was pretty excited about my little treasures. Coberly even helped!


Now, what to do with these beauties? My home is in the midst of it’s Christmas decor transition and I’ve got my sights set on a few pine cone craft options to warm up my spaces.

Pine Cone Ornaments from Shanty2 Chic


Pine Cone Candle Jars from Crafts by Amanda


Coke Crate Pine Cones by Organized Clutter

coke crate pine cones

Wooden Box Centerpiece from Fern Creek Cottage

table centerpiece box

Antler and Pine Cone Basket from Savvy Southern Style (thankfully, my hunter can provide the antlers)

antlers and pine cones

I’ll be sure to share the results!

DIY Indoor Planter Pots

“Are you feeling ok?” is the first thing Ryan said to me when he came home and saw that I purchased indoor plants. In my quest to be more intentional in my home, one of my self-imposed tasks was to bring green inside. This would be the first time I tried to keep a plant alive in ten years – because I’ve always said, “It’s not my thing.”

So I’m starting small. Did a quick google search for indoor plants that were hard to kill and found “The 15 easiest indoor house plants that won’t die on you.” Went to Ann’s Garden and Greenhouse and found a $3.00 Jade Plant…seemed like a budget appropriate risk. On my way out, I picked up this little fern guy too.

jade and fern

I turned an old candle into a pot for the jade.

jade planter

jade planter 2

And come to find out, Ryan collected a number of planter pots at the new project house. A little bit of paint and tape spruced up an old planter pot into something that will breathe some life into my office.

chalkboard planter


I also wanted an herb in my kitchen. I love cooking with Rosemary and Walmart had them right there in the produce section. Again, a $3.00 risk worth taking. Found this tin at an antique store – and it fits perfect in my kitchen window.


A few little projects that make a huge difference. Now just to keep them alive.