DIY Home Decor, Upcycled DIY

Upcycling A Pallet into A Mail Organizer

I’m a day late in posting my DIY for the week. Reason being?? Well, simply I was too tired to actually write a blog post yesterday. It happens to the best of us… I didn’t want to take the chance of writing a bad post, so instead I took a nap (a much needed one)!

I’ve been working my new VIP Kid job early in the morning, like I’m talking about 4am! So, my body is just getting use to a new schedule.

This week’s DIY was inspired by a friend who suggested diying a mail organizer (thanks friend)! 😉 It’s always fun to get others involved with my blog and it helps to spark inspiration within my life as well!


About 1 week ago while walking with Little Johnny, I spotted a pallet just laying on the side of the road. Call me crazy, but I have always wanted to create something with a pallet. I just never actually got around to finding one. It just so happened that the pallet was about 2 blocks down from my house, so of course Little Johnny and I quickly jumped in the car and headed over. The funny thing is it definitely was too big to fit in my car, so I drove slowly with my back hatch open…I was determined to get that pallet home! 🙂

Now, there is another part to this story as well…Just that morning before taking our walk I was talking on the phone with my Nana & Papa. They have been doing a lot of yard work in preparation for the summer! My Papa shared with me that he used the leftover pallet that was delivered to them as flower boxes! Here’s a picture of it! Patriotic spirit…perfect for this Memorial Day Weekend! We’re loving on pallet this week over here! 🙂


Don’t you love it?! This idea happened to get my creative juices flowing. I knew I could create a mail box organizer from a pallet as well. You want to know the best part about pallets (humor me by saying yes)…

  1. A lot of the nailing and gluing is already done for you, it’s just a matter of cutting and figuring out what you would like to create with it.
  2. Many times palettes are free! If you can’t find it on the side of the road, then try going to a local grocery store and see if they’ll give away theirs!
  3. More than 1 project can be created with it!

Did I get you hooked on pallets yet?! 😉 I still have a bunch of the sections left, so maybe another project will come soon from it!

Upcycling A Pallet into A Mail Organizer

I have one more story before moving onto the details… My intention was to hang this mail organizer on the wall. Long story short…that definitely didn’t go as planned. As soon as I tried hanging it, the mail organizer fell…and myy wine bottle shattered (luckily Little Johnny was asleep).

SO, lesson learned…it’s too heavy to hang on the wall. I could use heavy-duty brackets, but I just didn’t feel like messing with it anymore. My gut was saying “LEAVE IT BE”! So, here it sits, on my side table. I’m actually not hating the look of it.

Onto the steps…

Grab your jig saw, and let’s get started!

1.I used my jig saw to cut out one section of the pallet and then cut it in half so I that I had 1 “box”.

2.I detached a board from the unused “box” and used wood glue to adhere it to the bottom of the other box.

3. I stained the back using a dark walnut color and an off white finish for the front board.

4. Then, I painted two chalkboard labels (using chalkboard paint) to create the “his & her” sign.

5. Once that was dried I attached the wine bottle using wood glue inside the center of the “box”.

Below are the pictures of how I’m using it within my home. If you can figure out a way to secure this to the wall, by all means do it! I like the look, but it just didn’t work out for me…






What else could I create with a pallet? Could you see yourself making this?

Here’s to a restful weekend!

Wishing you well,



My Strong- Willed Toddler

Well, it definitely happened. God gave me a child that is a spitting image of my own childhood actions, you know that saying “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”. Yup, we have a very stubborn, strong -willed little boy.  Never before has my patience been tested so much (and I was an elementary teacher).

(Forewarning: you will see pictures of a very upset toddler…sorry #notsorry , but that’s real life for me these days. )

Raising a strong -willed child drains so much out of you as a parent. I feel like I’m constantly in a battle with my little one, he fights fiercely for his independence. There is constant redirection throughout the day. When I lay in bed at night I hear my words echo from the day of  “No Johnny we can’t do that. Please come here Johnny. No, that’s not okay. No, No, No, NO,NO. “

Do you see the common trend here? I’m falling into a trap of exasperating the word “NO”. This blog is documenting my motherhood journey, and this is surely one of them. I’ve decided I need to make a change before I develop a really bad habit of always using the word “no”, where it  will soon become a “non-functioning NO” .

(Can you take a guess as to why he was throwing a fit? Well, I had to change his diaper and put his shirt on… Bad mom over here, I know. I’m documenting my journey as a new mom and this is part of it, I can’t always just show the happy & smiling pictures. )

You see, strong-willed children need intentional parenting direction. They need to be instructed on “how to” use these character traits that will soon one day encourage them to become leaders, shapers, and world changers. It all starts with parents navigating them to use their #strongwillpower in a positive way.

BUT as much as they are eager to explore the world, they need boundaries that keep them safe without limiting their eagerness to learn.


I’m not saying that using the word “no” is horrible, BUT I have been saying it so much lately, where it’s starting to become ineffective. Communication is a little more difficult between Johnny and I because he’s only 13 months old. The tactics I’m trying to use below will help with our communication barrier.

So, I’m challenging myself with limiting my “nos” and turning them more into instruction, redirection, and giving choices. My past classroom behavior management actually is coming in handy here, so I do know a thing or two with managing behavior.  Here’s how I have been practicing it.


Instead of just saying “No, don’t do that”, I’m going to focus on telling Johnny exactly what I would like him to do instead. Also, sharing with Johnny the “why” of it is important (even if he’s only 13 months old, starting young will help in the future).  For example:

“Johnny it’s unsafe for you to run towards the street, let’s move over here and play with the chalk instead.”

(He loves to just run off wherever he wants, so we’re really working on this one.)


Sometimes this is actually all that it takes. Removing Johnny from something that is very tempting tends to solve the problem. Right now I usually guide him towards a toy or a book and engage in play with Johnny. This way his mind is distracted from the previous tempting activity. Also, a change in scenery/environment always helps.

Give Choices 

When you give a child reasonable choices it gives them a sense of entitlement (which of course we all want), without venturing towards a “power struggle”. We all know strong-willed children like to be independent, so this gives them somewhat of their independent freedom that their screaming for, BUT in a more controlled manner.

For example, I give choices with food, toys, or where to walk to. (Johnny is only 13 months old, so communication is difficult right now.)  I give him two choices to keep it simple and not overbearing.

I’m not perfect with this and I still use the word no, but I’m trying to transition myself into a healthy mixture.

I even have these words written on a piece of paper that I have placed on my fridge as a daily reminder.


Parenting is hard, especially when you have a strong-willed child. We still have very rough days…BUT with instructing, redirecting, and giving choices, it helps even on the bad days. Along with being consistent and following a daily routine.

While I want Johnny to be happy in life, my overall ultimate goal is to raise a child that we (and others) enjoy being around.


Resources For You:

The New Strong Willed Child by Dr. James Dobson  (book) 

Dr. James Dobson with Family Talk (podcasts) 

What are some parenting tactics you have used?

Wishing You Well,



Book for New Parents: On Becoming Baby Wise

Well, as a mom I have almost reached that moment of my son turning 1, can you  believe it?! This week I have been thinking back to all the memories (especially in the beginning) of the milestones not just with my baby boy, but also as a new mom. I’m sharing with you one of my favorite books that helped me to build my confidence with becoming a new mom, the book is, “On Becoming Baby Wise“.  I used it as a resource and there were times where I didn’t follow everything exact, but I like how it helped me to believe in myself as a mother and call on those “motherly instincts”. The more I knew about the specifics of a baby’s development along with sleeping and eating patterns I was able to adapt it within my own “mom life”.


Once my son was about 3-4 months old was when I started getting him on a strict schedule of….

feed, waketime, sleep & REPEAT!

It wasn’t the easiest to do, but with being consistent we achieved that! I wish I would have known about this book while I was pregnant so I could read it! I would have loved this as a baby shower gift! 🙂

The basics behind this routine is that your baby will develop better sleeping patterns (what parent doesn’t want that!) Now, I will say that my son did a much better job sleeping through the night when he was younger, but now we’re throwing in factors of teething and learning to walk (first molars are the worst!). I’ve kind of revamped his schedule to meet his needs (or as they refer to it in the book the merge principle) as he develops into a toddler, but this book has saved me through those tough motherhood times.

I specifically remember when my little one was going through some rough stages and I couldn’t figure what was going on (even after those doctor visits), I would refer to this book. It helped me to remember that he was going through a specific developmental stage. It also helped me to understand that I have to adapt my routine for him as he developed into a new stage (I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again, being a baby is HARD!).

The best part that I love about this book are the principles behind creating an orderly environment for your little one, where growth and development are achieved at its optimal level!

This book also takes you through facts on “how to’s” for first parents. For example, burping your baby (I know, sounds simple enough, but those burps can be tricky sometimes!) It also helps to guide new parents on managing their day with a baby (that’s tricky too!).

When I look at buying a book I always like to view the chapters and see what the book has to offer (does anyone else do that?) So I’m gong to share with you the chapter titles in the first book of “On Becoming Baby Wise“.

1.Right Beginnings

2. Feeding Philosophies

3. Babies and Sleep

4. Facts on Feeding

5. Managing Your baby’s Day

6. Waketimes and Naps

7. When Your Baby Cries

8. Colic, Reflux and Inconsolable Baby

9. Multiple Births: The Endless Party

There are more books to this “Parent Wise Series” as well! The series includes:

Baby  Wise

Baby Wise Two

Toddler Wise—–>I’m purchasing this one next!

Preschool Wise


I know as parents we use google search a lot to help us through parenting (I’m raising my hand because I’m guilty of this), but sometimes I like to just rely on specific “go to” books that I can quickly pick up and read that I know are reliable.The book “On Becoming Baby Wise” is one of them.

What is a “go to” book that you relied on as a new mom? Is there anything else that helped you to build your confidence and finally listen to your motherly instincts (because that truly is sooooooo HARD! but once you do, it’s amazing!).

Here’s to almost 1 year of being a mom!

{Capturing Life’s Gifts is a participant in the Amazon affiliated advertising program.}

I always love hearing from people, so feel free to share your insights in the comments below! You can also share this post with anyone else and follow me on my facebook page,  as well as instagram. Thank you so much for taking the time to read!

Wishing You Well,

Happy Mama, Happy Wife, Happy Life