Tuesday, February 20, 2018

DIY Bathroom cabinet organization


Isn't it wonderful how a new year brings with it the desire to get our lives organized? That's been especially true for me this year—since I'm writing a book, I don't have time to be disorganized!
But here's the sad truth about what the cabinet under my bathroom sink looked like:



That doesn't exactly look like the personal space of an organized person, does it?

To be honest, I was a little stumped about how to organize this cabinet, since I knew I couldn't add any kind of stationary fixtures that would block access to the plumbing. But just about anything would be better than the mess I had, right?


I started by removing everything from the cabinet and giving the interior a good wipe-down. As you can imagine, I threw away a LOT of what was in that under-cabinet mess!

With the items I had left, I realized I needed five different areas of storage:
  • travel bags I like to keep ready-to-go
  • large items that need to stand upright (e.g. cans of hairspray, bottles of peroxide)
  • medicines
  • skincare items
  • small haircare items
Your list might be different, but this was what I needed. Since my space is not very big, I decided to do 12" deep shelves on one side and pull-out bins on the other side. 

I started by buying 12" boards and painting them white. I recommend wood for under-sink shelves, since MDF will be ruined if it gets wet.

Next I created my pull-out bins, since those had to be precisely the size of my baskets.  I used these Sterilite Ultra baskets. I bought mine at Target; you can find also find them at Walmart or from amazon.com (affiliate link).


I measured my baskets to determine how wide this area needed to be, then cut two identical pieces of board to serve as side supports and one larger piece to go across the top of those two side supports. It's like a little table, really. Then I glued on small pieces of wood to serve as runners for the baskets, like so:

The baskets will simply hang on those side runners and pull partly or completely out for easy access.

Note that I couldn't place the right side support completely against the wall of the cabinet or else the baskets would run into the hinge. I simply placed a piece of wood on the right side so that the shelf unit has something to stand against.

For the other side of the cabinet, I made two shelves. The size of the shelves was determined by the space I had left in the cabinet after making the pull-out bins. The shelves were easy to create. I simply allowed the floor of the cabinet to function as one shelf, then built another little "table" of two identical side supports plus a board to lie across the top. The whole thing sits in front of the plumbing. It stays in place because it's pushed firmly up against the wall of the cabinet on the left side and against the pull-out bin "wall" on the right.


Every bit of these shelves is completely removable. None of the pieces is sturdy by itself, but when placed all together, it's firmly wedged into the space and is quite sturdy!



As you can see, I used another basket to corral some of my tall items. Under the tall items are my travel bags. I keep those bags loaded with toiletry items. Behind the striped bag is a quart-sized Ziploc bag with small containers of liquids. I try never to check luggage when I fly, so all my liquids must be in containers of 3 ounces or less.

I added Command hooks to the insides of the doors. One holds a washcloth that I use for drying my face after removing my make-up at night. It seems that I nearly always have a tiny bit of make-up left on my skin, so the towel ends up with make-up stains on it. I don't want to ruin my nice bathroom towels, so I use old white washcloth as face towels. This hook keeps one nice and handy. The other hook I use to hang my shower cap. (I only wash my hair once a week, so a shower cap is a necessity!)

So now I've gone from this



to this:


I breathe a sigh of relief when I open this cabinet now. Everything I need is at my fingertips, and it can all be easily removed when need be. 

Have you completed any good organizing projects lately? I'd love to see!

*This post contains affiliate links.
If you make a purchase after clicking on these links, 
I will earn a small commission. 
Your price will not be affected in any way.*

I'm joining these fun parties:


Wow Us Wednesday


Thursday, February 15, 2018

Grace at Home No. 286


Hello and welcome! I'm so glad you're here for the Grace at Home party, where we celebrate all the ways we make our homes places of grace.

Here are some of my favorite links from last week's party:

Jenny from Refresh Living created a stylish, functional family office space for just $100. You'll love seeing all the details!


Colleen from Life on Kaydeross Creek shared some wonderful ways to use old books in decorating. I got some new ideas from this.


I'm trying to get better at meal planning, so I was really glad to see this post from Kelli at 3 Boys and a Dog: low-cost meals for end-of-the-month meal planning!


I always appreciate getting easy dinner recipes, so I was glad to see this one from Marilyn at Marilyn's Treats: Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas. Yum!


Pam from A New Lens touched my heart with her post "When Communion Comes." I think you'll appreciate this post!


As for me, I find that sometimes the perfect-pink-hearts atmosphere surrounding Valentine's Day leaves me feeling like a failure. If that's true for you, too, I'd love for you to read this post.


A big thank you to everyone who joined last week's party!  I'm so grateful for each person who links up each week. If you've been featured, feel free to grab the "I was featured" button.  I'd be so proud if you displayed it!

Now for this week's party!  Grace at Home is a place for you to share anything related to making your home a place of grace. I invite you to link posts about

  • DIY projects
  • decorating
  • recipes
  • hospitality
  • homemaking tips
  • parenting
  • marriage
  • faith
  • self-care
  • soul care
Whatever you do to make your home a place of grace, I'd like to hear about it.  Here's what I ask of you.  Please include the permalink to your post, not your blog's home page.  Please let people know that you've linked up.  No more than three posts per person, please.  Note that if you link a post here, you are giving me permission to share your post, including a photo.  And visit at least one of the other party participants--that's what really makes it a party!





Tuesday, February 13, 2018

When you feel like a failure


My life isn't pink. Maybe yours isn't either.

But when Valentine's Day is upon us, it can feel as if we're the only ones not celebrating with all things pink, can't it?


And all the talk of love and sweethearts can make us feel as if we're short on the one thing that the whole world seems to proclaim is all you need.

A world bathed in pink and swathed in roses can make a person feel like an awful failure, you know?

When I want to know more about love, I turn to the passage of scripture that was read at my wedding: I Corinthians 13. I'll bet you've read it:

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.

If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 

If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. 

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 

Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  

Love never fails.

And then I really feel like a failure. As much as I may want to exhibit that kind of love, I rarely do so. I wish I could say that I always protect, always trust, always hope, always persevere, but I don't.

But oh, my friend, I have good news. That passage is not about me. It's not about you, either. Our failure is not the point.

That beautiful passage in I Corinthians is a description of God's love for us. The Greek word for this kind of love is ἀγάπη. Written in English, it's agápē.

That's not to be confused with the English word "agape," which, usually referring to the mouth, means "wide open, especially with awe or wonder"—but that's probably how you'll look when you realize the kind of love that God has for you.

It's a funny thing: we often quote verses like John 3:16, but we sometimes have difficulty realizing that God's love applies to us. But it does. God loves YOU, God loves me, God loves us all with a love that never fails.

That's the kind of love God wants to share with us. So that very same word, agápē, is listed as the first fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22. The good news is that we don't have to manufacture this kind of love; the Holy Spirit will produce it in us. 

My friend Dallas Willard said it best, I think:

"We must understand that God does not "love" us without liking us - through gritted teeth - as "Christian" love is sometimes thought to do. Rather, out of the eternal freshness of his perpetually self-renewed being, the heavenly Father cherishes the earth and each human being upon it. The fondness, the endearment, the unstintingly affectionate regard of God toward all his creatures is the natural outflow of what he is to the core - which we vainly try to capture with our tired but indispensable old word 'love.'" (The Divine Conspiracy)

God is this kind of love (see I John 4:8), and God shares this love freely with us. We are not failures; we are beloved children of God. 

Now that word would make a good Valentine's Day treat, wouldn't it?
Much love to you!






Thursday, February 8, 2018

Grace at Home No. 285


Another week has zzzoooomed by! I can hardly believe that it's already Thursday, and time for our Grace at Home party. I'm so glad you're here.

Here are some links from last week's party that I thought you might like.

Carol at An Oasis in the Desert decorated her home for Valentine's Day, including creating a darling Valentine's themed tree from a leftover Christmas tree.


Want to add just one fun Valentine's day touch to your home? Chas from Chas' Crazy Creations made a cute Valentine's decoration from a simple glass block. Check out her post for the easy directions.


Shannon from Homemade Lovely came up with six alternative things to do to make Valentine's Day special. While she still enjoys flowers and chocolates, these ideas are fresh and fun!


Now that we're well into the new year, I'm determined to make some progress on some of my goals, including doing a better job of meal planning. Do you struggle with this, too? Leslie at From Playdates to Parties offers some very practical tips for meal planning.


And I think one of my first meal plans is going to include this yummy-looking casserole from Andrea at Living on Cloud Nine. 


Last but not least, I was inspired by reading about faithful waiting from Debbie Kitterman at Dare 2 Hear. I think you'll be inspired by this, too!


A big thank you to everyone who joined last week's party!  I'm so grateful for each person who links up each week. If you've been featured, feel free to grab the "I was featured" button.  I'd be so proud if you displayed it!

Now for this week's party!  Grace at Home is a place for you to share anything related to making your home a place of grace. I invite you to link posts about

  • DIY projects
  • decorating
  • recipes
  • hospitality
  • homemaking tips
  • parenting
  • marriage
  • faith
  • self-care
  • soul care
Whatever you do to make your home a place of grace, I'd like to hear about it.  Here's what I ask of you.  Please include the permalink to your post, not your blog's home page.  Please let people know that you've linked up.  No more than three posts per person, please.  Note that if you link a post here, you are giving me permission to share your post, including a photo.  And visit at least one of the other party participants--that's what really makes it a party!





Thursday, February 1, 2018

Grace at Home No. 284


February greetings! Can you believe that the month of January has already gone? Time really does seem to slip away more quickly than it used to.

I'm glad you're here for the Grace at Home party. Here are some highlights from last week's party.

Valentine's Day is fast approaching. If you want to add some Valentine's prettiness to your home, you'll want to check out the wonderful ideas from Laura at Decor to Adore.


Michele at The Scrap Shoppe Blog created these adorable LEGO valentines for her kids to distribute, and she's giving away a free printable for you to make your own. My boys would have loved giving these to their friends!


Lina at Sew Historically shared 25 Valentine craft, recipe, and gift ideas.


If you're like me, you may still have the January "organizing bug"--but I really like the year-long approach to getting organized developed by Shea at The Fogue Abode. She includes a printable to help you get your home decluttered.


I love getting new bread recipes, so I was delighted to see this No-Knead Cranberry Walnut Bread from Pattie at Olla-Podrida.


My spirit soared when I read Michele Morin's post about making a commitment to blessing. I think you'll like it, too.


A big thank you to everyone who joined last week's party!  I'm so grateful for each person who links up each week. If you've been featured, feel free to grab the "I was featured" button.  I'd be so proud if you displayed it!

Now for this week's party!  Grace at Home is a place for you to share anything related to making your home a place of grace. I invite you to link posts about

  • DIY projects
  • decorating
  • recipes
  • hospitality
  • homemaking tips
  • parenting
  • marriage
  • faith
  • self-care
  • soul care
Whatever you do to make your home a place of grace, I'd like to hear about it.  Here's what I ask of you.  Please include the permalink to your post, not your blog's home page.  Please let people know that you've linked up.  No more than three posts per person, please.  Note that if you link a post here, you are giving me permission to share your post, including a photo.  And visit at least one of the other party participants--that's what really makes it a party!







Tuesday, January 30, 2018

On writing a book


My 8th grade history teacher, Mrs. Pevey, was the first one to predict that I'd write a book someday.

Since it's been more than 40 years since I was in 8th grade, I'm not sure that I quite lived up to Mrs. Pevey's expectations. She might have been thinking that I'd write a book when I was 30 years old, perhaps.

But I didn't know much at 30 years of age, so maybe 40 would have been more like it.

Nope, 40 came and went and still no book.

By age 50 I'd written a small book, but I'm not sure that would qualify as fulfillment of Mrs. Pevey's prediction.

But now, here I am, 54 years old, finally living into the potential that Mrs. Pevey saw in me.

Well, at least I'm under contract to live into that potential. (In case you missed my announcement, I'm currently writing a book for InterVarsity Press. The book is called Mythical Me: Escaping the Trap of Comparison. You can read more about it here.)

I have no idea if Mrs. Pevey is still alive to be proud her former student, but I sure am excited to be writing this book. . . although I will admit that this is one of the hardest things I've ever done. A writing friend of mine posted this on Facebook last week:

The human brain is amazing. 
It functions 24/7 from the day you're born 
and only stops when you sit down to do some writing.

Ain't it the truth?

As I write, I'm reminded of the pledge I made when I started this blog. I pledged to live according to the words found in Ephesians 4:29: "Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is useful for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearer" (NKJV).

Yes, I'm excited to be writing a book. I like to write. I'm grateful to be given the chance to write for a larger audience. 

But if my words don't impart grace, they don't need to be written. 
If my words don't express the amazing love of God, they don't need to be written.
If my words don't, at least in some small way, point people to the wonder and glory of God, 
 they don't need to be written.

The world is full of books. Perhaps the last thing we need is another book. But if my book can point people to the love of God, the work of writing it will have been worthwhile.

As often happens, an old hymn expresses my thoughts very well:

Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade;
To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry,
Nor could the scroll contain the whole
Though stretched from sky to sky.

Oh love of God! How rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure
The saints' and angels' song.

                           - Frederich Lehman


Would you be willing to pray for me as I write this book? I want to write it. I've signed a contract to write it, so I must write it. But I want to be faithful in the writing, and I know I need God's help for that.