Simple dresser update project – DIY

One of the many piece of furniture I have in the house is this old “vintage” dresser that I scapped up from my grandparents a few years ago.  I have no idea how old or “vintage” it really is, but since it’s of the grandparents era, I like to assume that its an antique of sorts. I think it’s adorable – although somewhere along the way of its past it lost it’s original stain and the locks were removed and all the original pulls and handles were replaced with random mis-matched brass and faux gold cheap-o ones.  Up until recently I haven’t had a real reason to update it at all, but now that I’ll be using the dresser in Baby Girl’s room, I figured why not at least spruce it up a little?  Since all the furniture in her room is of natural wood coloring(ish) I didn’t bother messing with re-staining it or painting it, but definitely wanted to update the pulls since they were atrocious.

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Dresser with old pulls and knobs…ugly, am I right? Doesn’t do the cuteness of the dresser any justice

So then I did the usual sear on Pinterest to see what I could come up with for cute purple drawer knobs and came across a posting that took white ceramic knobs and a sharpie and turned something drab into way cute (and way cheap).  Of course I thought about ordering hand painted or cutesy crystal knobs but at $6+ each knob it would have cost me over $60…ouch.

So, I went to Home Depot and found ceramic knobs for around $2.00 each x 9 pulls = $18 – sweet!

I had a lilac sharpie at home already – and the beauty is that you can use ANY color of sharpie that you want in any pattern or design that you want too.  I liked the general look of the Pinterest idea, so I stuck with that.

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I only colored the top part of the knob as opposed to the whole thing, I liked the “flower” look of it that way so I left it.  It was way easy to color it in the pattern I liked too.  Wasn’t really sure it would be as easy as they said…but it was.

Once you get them all colored, let them sit for an hour or overnight (however long to let the sharpie dry a little so it won’t smudge)  Then put them in a baking pan and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Once done, leave them in the oven to cool.

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Wah-la! Not the greatest pictures as it doesn’t do it justice, but for $18 getting something custom and way cuter is totally worth it in my book!

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Making a House a Home

We’ve been in our new house for about 9 months now.  There are so many things that we love about this house, which is why we are so glad that we bought when we did and that we were lucky enough to find a home with so many of the things on our checklist.  It has 5 bedrooms, which means that there’s enough for as many kiddos as we end up having, plus a guest room or man-cave.  The backyard it huge and already has some pretty awesome flowering bushes, grown trees, and yet still room for a little improvement.   And it’s in a quiet, family friendly neighborhood.  The hubs and I lived in both a condo and a townhouse before we found our home now.  We’re incredibly grateful to have a space of our own that isn’t connected to anyone else by a wall or a floor, or both.

Hubs and I do like to be able to have some projects to work on to make the house really our own.  Of course that doesn’t mean that given a choice (or a million dollars) that we wouldn’t change 90% of the house in the blink of an eye.  Our list of “To-Do’s” seems to be never-ending.  And like many things in life, there just isn’t enough time in the days or dollars in the wallet to get them all done when you’d like.  As much as we like the projects, it’s also hard not to get yourself burnt out on them.  When we were in the townhouse we completely demolished the master bathroom down to the studs, put in a custom shower with floor to ceiling tiles, redid the vanity, lighting, drywall, and floors as well as added crown molding.  The whole project looked great, but took us almost a year to complete.  It’s easy to start a project but once you get all the way into it, it takes much longer than you originally hoped to actually complete and often you find yourself twisting your own arm to get the small finishing touches complete.  I’m convinced the only reason we finally finished that bathroom is because we had to – can’t sell a house with a bathroom that’s only 3/4 done!

When we moved into the house we barely had enough furniture to fill 1/2 of the rooms.  Since we doubled the amount of space we had in the townhouse, it made sense…but was quite a shock when we moved everything in.  If you want to make yourself feel like the ton of crap you thought you had is actually nearly insignificant, double your space.  Anyway we had 1 very nice sectional and living room setup…but 3 family room/living room spaces to fill.  I finally got the Hubs to break down and let me buy another couch and ottoman so that at least 2 of our main living spaces would have something in them.  It took me a while to feel like this house was actually MY house.  The furniture was a tiny start.

When we walked through the house the first time, all the things that we saw as positive attributes seemed much greater than once we moved in and had to start meshing together our belongings with what existed in the house already.  It’s funny how once you know that your intention is to stay in this place for the next 30+ years, it seems harder to find the perfect place to put your towels, your kitchen utensils, your toiletries.  Even with the knowledge that you’ll have the next 30+ years to move things around and change things up as you see fit, it still took me (and still is to some degree) a while to really feel at home in this house.

Making all the desired changes with an infant makes the process even slower.  After 9 months we have painted only 2 rooms (of 12+), replaced the sprinkler valves, replaced the sprinkler timer, put in new house lights, built a workbench in the garage, put in a new kitchen faucet, got a new refrigerator, and hung up about 75% of our pictures.  Even after typing that I feel like we’ve just barely began to make this place OUR place.  But with each thing that we manage to accomplish, I feel like it’s truly becoming a house that we can call a home.

Simple burlap wreath

Wreaths are IN right now, you see them everywhere.  Many of them use burlap to give kind of a shabby-chic touch.  Here’s another version of a simple wreath using burlap ribbon and some super cute burlap flowers that I found at Hobby Lobby.  If you catch them on a 50% off sale, it’s gonna run you less than $20 to do the whole thing.

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To start you’ll need one of those foam rings – you can get one in the floral department or one of the white ones with the rest of the hard foam forms.  They usually run around $5 each either way.

Then grab a roll of a burlap ribbon of your choice, the chevron stuff looked pretty awesome too, but I went for plain ol’ wire edge burlap ribbon on a 30 yard roll.  Which was more than enough to do the wreath, the hanger, and a bunch of big bows from the other spring wreaths craft.

Then I grabbed two shorty burlap flowers (these were actually in the wedding flower section)

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Start wrapping the burlap ribbon around the foam ring and overlap as much or as little as you want.  I overlapped about 1/2 the width on each wrap, but you could easily do more or less to change up the pattern.

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Once you get all the way around, secure with hot glue.  If you want you can loop a little extra ribbon around to make a hanging loop too, but that’s up to you.  I had just enough leftovers to use it for the loop, so I kept it all attached and used extra hot glue to attach the end and make the loop.  Then I twisted the loop so that it was a little more simplified, but you could leave it wide too.

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To attach the flowers I poked a hole though the burlap and into the foam with a screwdriver.  Then I cut off the stem and added some hot glue to the whole.  The tip on the back of the flower fit nicely into the whole and then was nice and flush with the ring.

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When that part was done I felt like it was missing something…but then I came across this wrapped letter that I’d made a while back to hang on the door.  (a wood letter from Hobby Lobby, some twine, hot glue, and a little bow)

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It fit perfectly in the middle of the wreath and adds a little something extra. Now it’s perfect for the front door!  Probably more of a fall wreath, or maybe later this summer, or maybe I’ll just hang it above the fireplace…

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Baby Shower fun

Yesterday my Mom and I threw my brother and sister-in-law a Couples Baby Shower for their coming bundle of joy.

A couples shower is something I’ve heard of but hadn’t even been to, but I loved it.  More like a party than a regular shower and was very fun to watch the men participate in the games and activities.  Plus it was fun to see my Bro participate in opening the gifts as well.  For my baby shower the Hubs had to go through all the gifts with me afterwards and I’m not sure he really got to enjoy all the stuff we got for J.

The weather turned out great (a crap shoot for May in CO) and they had a really good turn-out too.  They had an alligator theme.

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For one of the games we did the Egg game.  Everyone takes an egg when they arrive and whoever ends up with the “winner” inside gets the prize!  The catch is that you are allowed to steal eggs and trade eggs.  There’s only one winner, so whoever has the most eggs has the best chance of winning!

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Then there was the baby bottle game.  These 5 guys bravely volunteered to chug beer out of a baby bottle.  Harder than it looks!  After 3 minutes, the winner only chugged 2 ounces!

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Then the Baby Food Game.  Blindfold one partner while they try and feed an entire jar of baby food to the other partner while his hands are behind his back.  Sounds simple enough, right?  Wrong! Try and get a spoon in the mouth of your partner while they are laughing and you can’t see their mouth! Way fun.

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The clothes-line game!  Hold your phone on your ear while holding a broom under your other arm and then try and hang as many clothes on the line as you can.  Not too bad until the “tornado” comes along!

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The lovely couple made out pretty well!

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Even J found something to keep himself perfectly entertained for a good 20 minutes 🙂 Was really funny watching him splash around in this perfectly sized water table!  Thanks Auntie Tay for having this “just for him” haha.

*Stay tuned for further instructions on the diaper wreath and other Shower how-to’s.*

Mommy Craft #2 – Spring Wreath

Hooray for another successful mommy craft day!  This time Spring wreaths were on the docket.

K and I got a bunch of ideas from Pinterest and then used some of our own imagination.

Here’s what we started with:

10" Natural Grapevine Wreath

You can find these at any craft store for about $4 each – what a steal! Especially if you catch the 50% off sales.

Then we picked out one good quality fake flower bunch, we went with Hydranga’s

Botanic Artistry Cream Hydrangea

We also picked up some smaller accent flowers with a little more greenery to them

6' White & Cream Apple Blossom Garland

We also picked up some wooden letters and burlap ribbon to add

This is how they turned out

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A little hot glue and paint for the letters and ta-da!  Not bad at all for around $20-25 each!  Way cheaper than something similar pre-made at any store.

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Plus the kiddos got to have a play-date too 🙂 Major bonus 🙂

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J thought it was so fun to help little K out by bringing him toys and helping bounce him in his chair.  He was pretty fascinated by another little baby in such close proximity.  Baby’s seem to have that built in intuition that they just know when there is another little baby or little kid.  So fun to see these two growing up together 🙂

Mommy’s Craft Day

After 10 months I’m just getting to the point where I feel like I have the energy to do something outside of being just Mama 24/7.  About once a month another Mama friend and I get together for a mama and baby day, and K suggested incorporating our Pinterest crafts into our monthly playdates, and I loved the idea.  Two birds – One stone type of thing, which is right up my alley (multi-tasker right here). We get to both have a play date for the kiddo’s as well as spend some time with another Mama and do an adult activity.

So since it was her idea, she got to pick the craft – last month was Menu Boards, which happened to be a craft that both of us had pinned – perfect!

Here’s what I ended up with – not too bad for an hours work.  Thankfully J actually took a 1+ hour nap that day…miracle!
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K and I shared our favorite recipes and we ended up with 30+ recipes each to start out our boards with.

I’ve really been trying the last few months to both shop smart when I go to the grocery store – bring a list and shop the sales – and to plan our meals at least a week in advance (which also helps with the list part).  This menu board was a perfect addition to my shop-savvy plan.  So far, it’s been working out great.  Granted we don’t follow it to a “t”, but it lets me know what food I have in the fridge and what our meal options are for the nights that we are cooking in.  Added bonus – it gets us out of our usual same-3-meals-a-week pattern.

There are a TON of other ideas out there for menu boards too so there’s something out there for everyone – even if you aren’t particularly crafty.  Check out Pinterest (duh) for ideas.