KatieOlthoff.com participates in affiliate marketing and other forms of advertising. We only recommend products and services we believe in and think they will be of use to you. As such, posts on this website may contain affiliate links. For more information, please read my disclosure policy. Thank you for your support of this website and our family.

An Inbitation

"Do you know what inbite means?  It means you inbite someone to bisit you."

(That stunningly intellectual definition is courtesy of Adam.)

Today, I'd like to extend an inbitation to bisit someone other than myself. 

First up, Erin from His & Hers.  She is hilarious and has a fresh, fun decorating style.  I hearby declare her blog to be the next Young House Love.  Plus, her house is oooold, like older-than-mine old.

Next, another old house, tight budget, and great sense of humor.  The Kiefer Cottage desperately needs followers, so they can get some sponsors, so they can buy some wickedly expensive Anthropology wallpaper to cover some of the wood paneling in their house.  (And if you know the same Kiefer family that I know, you will do a double take when you see Starr's picture.  She looks like a long lost sister!) Here's a lovely before picture to show you what they're dealing with.

Finally, Aubrey from All Things Bright and Beautiful deserves a shout-out because she leaves the most "bright and beautiful" comments.  Seriously, this gal is the BEST follower.  She also has a wonderful blog full of eye candy.

So there ya go.  Even better than inbiting myself over to your house, I inbited you to someone else's!

Just hanging 'round


I've been working hard to organize a "landing zone" for our home, which is why I recently moved this dresser to accommodate our shoes.

But I also needed a place to hang coats.

And so, I gathered my supplies and my friend Anna (from Sometimes on Tuesdays) and I knocked this project out in about 15 minutes.

I used some of the original trim from one of our windows and some hooks I unscrewed from my closet. 

After removing the loose paint off the trim with my favorite wire brush, I gave it a coat of polycrylic to seal any yuckies, and taught Anna how to use my drill driver.

We marked out where we wanted the hooks and predrilled the holes.

The crown molding had come loose, but that worked out to our advantage, as it was easier to screw in the hooks.

The hooks are identical to these, which I found on Etsy.  

(Except mine were free because I found them in the closets.)  The end is just like a screw, so you literally just twist them into the holes.

Then, we re-attached the crown molding with wood glue (not pictured, because I forgot to take a picture.)
And hung it on the wall at the bottom of the stairs.  To hang it, we used holes that were already in the trim and they just happened to line up with studs.  (Lucky us!)  So, while Anna held it up, I drilled the wood screws into the wall. 

And then I used a sharpie on the screws so they wouldn't be quite so noticeable. 

I love the authentic character that the chippy-ness and leftover paint on the hooks provide.


And since I'm a sentimental kind of gal, the fact that I was able to reuse original elements of our house is kind of special, too.

(Plus, it meant that this was a FAH-REE project!  We love free!)


To give you some perspective, this is what you see as you walk in our kitchen door...
...and the new coat hook is at the bottom of the stairs, inside the stairway.

So when I come home, dragging two boys and at least a purse and a diaper bag with me, I can, go ahead and kick my shoes off under the dresser, and then keep walking to hang my coat and drop my bags.


One more project (that helps create a bit softer landing) crossed off the list!

Shared at Metamorphosis Monday

Show off Your Cottage Monday 

Wow Us Wednesdays 

Saturday Night Special

Strength in Numbers: Wall Art

I'm totally digging sets of coordinating wall art lately, like this:

And this:

And these, too:
Source: bhg.com via Katie on Pinterest

So, you know me...I decided to DIY it.

But even after trying a million different frame color/mat combinations (seriously, my mom will vouch for me.  Every time she came over it was different.) it still wasn't working for me.

I decided I needed two more frames/pictures.  Except I couldn't decide which pictures to use.  And then, this happened.

 And I gave up.  And finished painting the living room, instead.

And then hung something else there.

Yep, another project that I didn't even share before I replaced it.  Are you seeing a trend?

I still totally love the pictures, so they will be finding a new home, somewhere...

By the way - do you follow Squaw Creek on Facebook?  I just recently set up a page and I'd love to post some more updates, especially since the exterior siding project starts tomorrow!

Have a great weekend!  I'll be busy spending time with my boys, and undoubtedly, switching up some more things at home while giddily watching the old siding come down!

Shared at:
Saturday Night Special


Already Gone

My sister in law was here the other night and said, "Jeez, you move furniture a lot!"

She wasn't even referring to the dresser in the kitchen.  I'm not sure she even noticed that one.

It's true.  I've said it before.  I'm a chronic rearranger.  

So here's a project that I haven't blogged about, but have already replaced with something new:

This little harlequin table was a $6 goodwill find about 5 years ago.  I painted the harlequin, but when we moved, it didn't make it into this house.  Karen and I dug it out of a shed and I decided to use it for an end table.

I used my handy wire brush/scraper thing (find it in the paint department) to scratch off the loose paint and give it some more chippy-ness.

Then, I cut some old barnwood from Great Grandpa's barn and applied a couple coats of polycrylic to seal the chipping paint and any other yucky things.

Finally, I placed the pieces of wood across the top of the table.  I didn't even secure them, because I figured that if I left them loose, I could turn them over to the red side and maybe use the table in Adam's room someday, or even change it up for the holidays, if I wanted. 

And we all know I love change!  So much so that I didn't really even get the table accessorized before moving it out of the way to make room for a new one that I found a couple weeks ago.  It was cute while it lasted, though, right?

Shared at Remodelaholic
Frugal Friday
Furniture Feature Friday 
Piece of Work Wednesday 

He thinks he's a firefighter...

Washing machinery is pretty important around here. And it takes a lot of time.

So I guess it makes sense that Bart is teaching Adam how to do it.

I mean, that's the whole reason we keep having kids.  We're trying to grow our own workforce.

And it's totally cool if he thinks he's putting out a fire, right?  Right.

Empathy: Picture Books

I'm kind of an expert on childrens' novels, but not so much on picture books.  So I invited my new friend, Vanessa, to do a guest post on children's books that teach empathy.  She has a great website devoted to childrens' books, Silly Eagle Books. (And for certain best friends born on another continent, she even has a couple book lists about Kenya!)

**This post is part of a series I've been doing on empathy.  For other posts on how to show empathy and teach your children empathy, click here.**

Books to Help Your Toddler Understand Emotions

Hi, I'm Vanessa from Silly Eagle Books. I write about children's books and how they inspire and influence my family's everyday life. I visit the library regularly and love using picture books to teach my two daughters. If you need a children's book about a particular subject--I can probably give you a few titles. So, when Katie asked me to share some of my favorite feelings books for toddlers, I jumped at the chance! Here are the ones I've enjoyed reading with my own daughter. 
The Way I Feel  
The Way I Feel by Janan Cain is probably my favorite. It covers a wide range of emotions and the illustrations are powerful. Even without being able to read the words, my daughter can feel the emotion depicted on each page. 
When I Feel Sad (Way I Feel Books)When I Feel Angry (Way I Feel Books)
When I Feel Sad (Way I Feel Books) I also like the Way I Feel books. There is a sad, angry, scared, and jealous book. Each one is dedicated to a single emotion and helps toddlers really understand all facets of the emotion.
Little Bear'S Happy Face/Sad (First Book about Feelings)
A really great hands-on book/toy is Little Bear's Happy Face/Sad (First Book about Feelings) by Lynn Offerman. The book comes with four bear faces that your child can insert into a space (like a puzzle piece) in the book to match little teddy bear's emotion. (For example, when he falls off his bike, they can put the sad face in the spot.) My daughter enjoyed playing with the pieces and being actively involved in the story. It made it very easy to talk about the various emotions.
Gryphon House 12849 Everybody Has Feelings-Black & White
A few years ago, a friend of mine who has a child with Aspergers asked me if I could recommend a book about feelings with pictures of real children (as opposed to illustrations). She said her son could not relate to the illustrations, but that pictures of real children were what he needed. I found  Everybody Has Feelings by Charles E. Avery--a beautiful collection of black and white photographs that depict the moods of children. I sent her the book and she said that it was perfect.
Facial Expressions Learning Cards
While searching the internet, I came across these Facial Expressions Learning Cards which look like another good source of images of real children. I also like that they are cards--which allows for more hands-on learning experiences with your child.
Todd Parr Feelings Flash Cards
Todd Parr Feelings Flash Cards are another option if you like illustrated images. (Added by Katie: I totally love Todd Parr's illustrations!)

Alex Toys I Feel Stamp Kit
Everyone loves smiley faces, but kids can also have fun exploring emotions other than happiness with this I Feel Stamp Kit from Alex Toys. If you are really feeling crafty, you can make these funny faces feeling eggs from Happy Together. I've had them on my to-make list forever. 

What about you? What are your favorite books, toys, or crafts to help your child understand emotions?