Alright, here is the second part of what has been keeping me so busy…

We bought a new house!  Well, technically we still have a week and I am terrified that somehow my beautiful new house will not be mine.  But for now, our current living situation involves lots of boxes, messes and children building forts out of boxes and messes.

My favorite part of a new house?  Decorating the new house!

Paint colors are mostly picked, carpet has been selected and a few decorating items have been picked out.   HJ has decided he no longer wants a light blue room.  He wants a red and black room.  He loves space, so we purchased a cool picture of the moon to hang.

I decided that I am an adult and no longer need my cheap bedspread, and was given this gorgeous duvet cover from Serena and Lily.

I have fallen in love with the softness of this cover, and can’t wait to pick up a few more of their amazing items.

I am so excited to share pictures with you all, especially some before and afters of the different rooms!

 

after side

My neighbor had a friend getting rid of a dresser, and I was lucky enough to snag it up.  Looking at it, it was just fine on its own. But I can’t but help re-do things.  Even perfectly “fine” things.

I started by staining the top a deep cherry, and painted the sides a plain white.  The drawers are where things got crazy.

I took all the drawers out, and removed the knobs.  I picked out “Divine Pond” during a target run for the darkest color.  The bottom drawer was painted.  When I was sure I liked the color, I added some white to lighten it up a bit.  Then I painted the next drawer.  I continued that process until the top drawer, making sure the color changed ever so slightly to give the ombre effect.  Once that was dry, I screwed the knobs back in.  I love how it turned out, especially considering it was free!  I had all the supplies except for the paint from target, so the project was completed for less than $10.

Here is a little side by side comparison:

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What fun projects have you all been working on?

 

At Home Logo

 

With being a sorority advisor I still get to do some of the fun “back to campus” tasks.  In years past, I have had to purchase lots of items online.  There haven’t been too many places in town to shop for cute and affordable home items.  But this year, we had an At Home store open up.

They have amazing, affordable items for the home.  Perfect for the college home away from home!  The first area I decided to focus on was the outdoor patio and deck.  We needed new cushions, as ours have seen better days.  The At Home store carried the largest selection in town by far, and I was able to find trendy and inexpensive items.  Here is a little before and after of one area (amazing what a few cute cushions can do!):

PicMonkey Collage

The At Home store has their Back to Campus collections in store now, and they even have a checklist to help out the college bound people in your life.  My favorite new collection is the “Chic Free Spirit“, what’s yours?

*This post contains sponsored links, all thoughts and opinions are my own

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A few months back, my grandma moved out of her house.  Her and my grandpa moved into the house in the 1950’s, so to say the house was full of fun little treasures is an understatement.  Can you imagine all the stuff that accumulates after living somewhere over 60 years?

In the downstairs laundry room, I uncovered a table that I some missed over my last 34 years.  The second I laid eyes on it I claimed it.  I assumed everyone would be jealous, but instead they all looked at me like I was bonkers.  But I knew, it could be super cute with a little TLC.

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Okay, a lot of TLC.  I mean, it was basically rust.  I started by hosing and scrubbing it down really good.  Then, I took a wire brush and sandpaper to some of the really bad rust spots.  I covered up the stainless steel top with a garbage bag and tape, and I started with a quick coat of Rust-Reformer.  Pretty sure it’s for cars, but this was metal too.  I then added a coat of metal primer, this would make it easier to have the color stick.

I decided to go with a pretty mint color.  It took about two coats to color, and while the rust cover isn’t perfect, it looks amazingly better.

I then finished up by adding new hardware to the drawer.  I didn’t want something that would stand out, so I opted for little crystal knobs.

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It is now sitting pretty on my deck with a flower pot.  I am hoping the Iowa weather isn’t to hard on it this summer, because eventually it would be super cute inside a house somewhere!

hjstand

Before HJ was born, my mom painted a nightstand for him.  It was green, and cute.  And it had been mine.  And my sisters.  And my mom’s.  And her mom’s.  And at least one more generation beyond that.  So…it’s had some use.  One day, while shutting a drawer, the wood just sort of fell apart.  We continued to use it while I searched and searched for one.

Finally, I came across one on craigslist.  $8, real wood, need gone.

I sent a text to the number.  The responder text back super fast with numerous pictures.  Confirmed it was real wood.  It said I could get it that day!  I asked where we could meet. She said she didn’t have a car but I could go get it.

I said, sorry I am not comfortable with that.  Then deleted it and asked where she was.

She mentioned a trailer park in town.  One that is not known for its friendly, neighborly ways.

So I did what any sane person in need of a deal does.  I put my scary looking dog in the back seat, let my neighbor know I would call in 5 minutes (and if I didn’t to call the police) and made my way into the trailer park.

I should point out my scary looking dog is terrified of car rides and was shaking like a leaf in the backseat.

As I got closer to the meeting point, I started getting nervous and actually had 911 ready to go on my phone.  But lucky me…the police were already there.  Woohoo!  I figured she wouldn’t do anything crazy to me for a $8 night stand in front of the cops, so I was a bit more comfortable.  She came outside, got scared of the cops and ran very fast back inside as I gave her the money.

As I was driving home, I realized I forgot to ask a vital question.  “Does anyone smoke in the house?”.  It smelled awful.

This meant I left the nightstand in the garage for about 3 weeks, covered in baking soda (thanks, pinterest!).

Then, I had to sand it down really well.  It had gouges, some weird ring marks, sticker marks, you name it.  I also took of the ugly drawer pull and threw it away.

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I had navy chalk paint left over from HJ’s bed, and after a few coats, it started looking MUCH better.  I let HJ pick out his own drawer pulls, which led to these cute little fox heads.

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I also wanted to add a bit more of it, so I taped off the top edge and made it white.  I also saw the cute basket at Target with a chalkboard, and added that underneath.  I love that it matches his bed, it looks like such a cute little set!

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Anyone else have a craigslist adventure story?  Usually I will only go to neighborhoods I am familiar with, so this one was very different for me!

 

Every now and then, I search craiglist for random furniture to makeover.  I was pretty excited when I came across this table for $4.

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I have been wanting a end table for my living room for quite a while, but just had not came across anything that would fit.  When I saw the $4 table, I figured even if it didn’t fit, I could make it over and find a spot for it.  I chose an almost white color in chalk paint, removed the hardware and got to painting.  Painting all the curves and grooves added in more time then I thought, but luckily it wasn’t too chilly outside yet.

While painting the outside, I thought I would leave the inside alone.  It was a really nice wood, and the doors will always be closed…but then I decided a pop of color would be more fun.  I went through my paint stash and came across a fun deep turquoise color.  Instantly, I was excited about this choice.  I added on a few coats of the turquoise, and it was almost done.

The last step, I chose to spray paint the hardware with a rustoleum in antique bronze.  Once it was all dry, I put it back together and found it a cute little home next to our living room chair.

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Oh yeah, it has also proven to be the perfect storage table for our games, I can’t believe how much it holds!

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Have you found great craigslist finds?

All last week, I had told HJ we would decorate for Christmas on Friday.  He was so excited, and woke up everyday saying, “How MANY MORE DAYS??”.  It ended up being even more perfect, because it snowed ALL day Friday.  While the winter storm snowed us in, we Christmas-ified the house while dancing around to Christmas music.

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HJ loved putting decorations on the tree…although the majority of them are all in the same vicinity.  Every year, my grandparent’s have given us ornaments with our name and the year on them.  HJ loved finding all of his and making sure to put them all together.  It was sad to think that my grandpa wouldn’t be getting us our annual ornament this year.

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HJ also put together our nativity scene and declared the “Fairy goes on top”.  I then had to explain that it was an angel…not a fairy (thanks, Disney!).

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The next morning we woke up to a foot of snow and the house all ready for the holiday!  Only 33 more days!

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IMG_3531Two years ago, I found a bed on the side of the road.  I sanded and stained it, and set it up in HJ’s room.  It was cute, it was a work of labor.  And it was uncomfortable.  It creaked.  It didn’t have a box spring.

But I also didn’t do anything about it.

Then one day, 3 little monkeys were jumping on the bed.  And, BOOM!  It broke.  Split right down the middle.  It could maybe had been saved (probably looking crappy, but saved), but it was not worth it.  So for the past 6 months or so, HJ had no headboard.  In fact, for a few months his mattress was even on the floor.

His mattress was actually a hand me down from one of my friend’s childhood room, so it was around 30 years old.  Lucky me, for Mother’s Day my dad bought a mattress and bedspring for HJ ( I swear that wasn’t sarcasm, I really was happy about it).

I kept my eyes peeled for new headboards.  I knew HJ needed a bookshelf one, because his room is full of his treasures.  And his dresser was packed full of treasures.

Then I saw this one for sale:

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Not great, but I saw potential.  I had to work the day of the garage sale, so I asked a friend to confirm it was real wood.  And to then throw it in her minivan and drop it off.  It was real wood, and in great shape.  However, they had to take the seats down, drop kids off, etc. just to deliver it for me (Thank goodness for friends like that).

I stared for a few days before deciding what to do with it.

I went with a navy chalk paint (Dutch boy brand), and the stripes are in a cream (non chalk paint).

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I sanded and wiped down the bed and put about 3 coats of paint on.  I was going to do stripes down the top, but decided just on the shelf portion would be enough.  I then finished it off with a matte protector to help keep the paint form chipping (hopefully this helps!).  I also painted a sweet little note to HJ on the bottom on the shelf…I wonder how old he will be before he sees it!

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HJ loved decorating the shelves with his treasures.  It is so fun to see what he thinks are his “prized possessions”.  The drawings are from our local art festival, the book on top is a pokeman card book.  The penguin is something he typically dislikes, so I am not sure why he got a prime spot.  He also was sure to put a picture of Ty, his light he falls asleep with and his fox mask.  You know, the important stuff.

 

Now I am ready for our next diy project.  On that note, if anyone knows where I can get my hands on a wash tub and/or bar cart let me know!

 

This amazing summer weather is absolutely killing my housekeeping.  Except for sleeping, we have been spending hardly any time inside.  All the work has been spent mowing, gardening, potting, and enjoying the sun.  Which means, the house is messy.  It is driving me crazy.  According to the weather, it should be chilly this weekend, so I am hoping to get caught up.  You know, between going away dinners, wedding showers, etc.

HJ had his graduation last week.  I will share about it next week, but I just can’t get over the fact I have a kindergartener.

This coming week, I have 3 wine parties in a row.  I am excited, but I know it is going to make the week just fly by!

I don’t understand how dogs shed so much.  I brushed Ty out, and it just kept coming and coming.  You would think you would notice thinning or a bald spot.

Speaking of hair, I got blonde highlights for summer this week.  But, I don’t love them as much as I thought.  I don’t know if I am not used to it, or if I should have had more then one shade put in?

Tomorrow night, I am going out to dinner with a friend who is moving away soon.  We both moved to Cedar Falls at the same time, and I am really sad to see her and her family leave.

Whenever I go for a run/walk/bike-ride, we go by this cute stone house.  I think it is just beautiful, and always tell myself that if I ever can buy that house I will.  On our bike-ride today, guess what house has a for sale sign?  I am super bummed, because I so wish I could live in such a cute place.  And on top of that, I looked it up online, and the inside is just as cute.  Someday.

 

Something about spring weather always makes me want to start a few craft projects.  Mostly, because I paint in my yard.

I found this mirror on a local swap sheet, and instantly claimed it.  I have been wanting a full length mirror, and for $8, it was a steal.  However, the color of the wood was not my favorite.

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This led to HJ and me taking advantage of nice weather and painting it in the front yard.  When we first started painting, I asked my neighbor why I never see other people painting things.  Clearly, I am the only one to know that painting in the front yard is the best place to do it.

Plus, when you spill, it’s in the grass.

Although, if you leave the lid of the paint out, the dog is likely to walk through it and then parade through the house (luckily, I caught him in the mud room before he got to the carpet).

I chose the same grey color I used to paint my nightstands last spring.  Mainly because I have a lot of it, and didn’t want to buy a new color.  The mirror was easy to take apart, and allowed HJ and me to both work on different sections.

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I love that HJ is old enough to officially help with these projects, and he said he felt like a real artist.  We left it in the garage to dry over night, and then put it back together for its new home.

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