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Body Spray to Floating Vase

Within in the past several years, our family has become an avid recycling family.  Reading statistics relating to plastic waste plus facts on rates of decomposition plus knowing our kids will inherit our waste as a nation and world have made moved us to try our best to not contribute to the throw-away society we’ve created.  We recycle every single piece of plastic (paper and everything else…) we possibly can after we use them and, when I remember, I try to use reusable shopping bags.  Every little bit helps, right?  :)

So, when I came up with a solution to fill that little piece of empty wall space above our security system keypad and next to the new, framed picture of Christ that involved recycling something used and that was FREE (in that I didn’t have to go out and buy anything), I counted myself in.

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Over the years, I’ve accumulated quite a few bottles of body spray from here and there. 

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After I emptied one recently, I realized it had a ton of decor potential…more than it had just sitting in our recycling bin.

Drumroll please…

Happy Corner

Let me introduce you to my new favorite corner of this little house.diy yarn art
It doesn’t really look like much but it’s my favorite because it’s chock full of fun diy’s I’ve been knocking out over the past couple of weeks.  Still on the list is a hook system (just like this one) that I want to get up on that empty wall to the right of the door.  Hopefully that will happen before school rolls in this fall so we have a place to park backpacks.  :)

To jog your memory, here’s what that corner looked like just after we moved in:

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We desperately needed a place to store shoes since this is the door we use most often and so we bought Ikea’s Mackapar, hacked it, and still love it.  I finally got around to painting the living room last month too.  Goodbye tan!  With all of the orangey-wood trim and lack of light during the majority of the day, white was the clear winner.  We went with Pure White by Sherwin-Williams.  The door was in a sad state; dinged and stained.  It was begging for a new coat of paint.IMG_8223


Quite a Distressing Situation

We’ve been storing all of Gianna’s clothes in two drawers of Anthony’s dresser and two fabric boxes in the kids closet and, the older she grows, the bigger her clothes are getting, and the more that that’s just not working.  We had room leftover galore when we were talking newborn clothes but lately I’ve been just digging and storing excess stuff in a large tupperware bin…in the kids room.  Not efficient and definitely not pretty.

So, for the past couple of months I’ve been keeping an eye out online for a tall dresser that could fit in the kids room to house her things and then some.  Mid-century dressers are some of my favorite things and so I’ve been looking with that aesthetic in mind and coming up short.  The few that I’ve found had either been sold right before I messaged the owner or the owner just never messaged me back.  Well last weekend, my luck changed and I found one.  It didn’t really fit into the mid-century category but I loved the thick molding detail on the doors and the drawers themselves were simple enough that I flew in with a $50 offer (down from the $75 asking price) and they were sold. 

Here’s the picture from the listing:IMG_8283
The listing noted that the piece was solid wood and that all of the drawers “worked properly”.  I could tell it had been painted from the listing and the paint job didn’t look that bad via pictures so, if anything, I figured it might need a touch-up or I could totally go a different color with it.  Either way, it was painted white and with the addition of some new hardware, I hoped we could as least live with it as-is until I get around to making over the kids’ room.

Well, when I showed up to pick up the dresser, the owner had all of the drawers extracted and set by the door (which I thought was great since I figured we’d have to do that anyway to make it easier to carry).  At first glance of it, I could tell the owner used a semi-gloss or gloss paint and so I knew at that moment that I’d be repainting.  I also noticed that the paint job was really poorly done – there were brush strokes everywhere and it looked like maybe some spray painting mishaps.  But, like I said, I had already prepped myself for a possible repainting so that didn’t scare me away.  When we went to lift the dresser, the owner said he’d carry the lower side (we carried it horizontally) since it was heavier.  At the time I was like “Dude, the top is clearly the heaviest part with these doors that weigh a ton…” but I didn’t say anything because I wasn’t really worried about not being able to carry it.  (Four babies over the years has given me quite the biceps.  Ha!)  We got it outside and slid it into the back of my van and I remember seeing that the underside of the dresser, the side he was closest to carrying the dresser, was pretty beat up.  Immediately after he saw me looking at the bottom, he distracted me by stepping in front of it and telling me it would be helpful if I got into the back seat and pulled.  And ok, this is me adding a little bit of assumption in saying he distracted me because maybe he was really in a hurry to get this thing gone (even though after he talked my ear off) but it all happened in the matter of a few seconds and dawned on me afterwards.  I thought about it the entire drive home (ten minutes) and really, I wasn’t too deterred by the state of the bottom of the dresser – I mean, it still stands perfectly and is sturdy and the bottom isn’t seen whatsoever.  But then I got home.  And we pulled the dresser out of the van and into the car port.  And I noticed a few things I hadn’t before because I didn’t take the time to really look it over.  First of all, it wasn’t “solid wood”.  Argh.  The sides of the dresser and drawers are all particle board…not the cheap kind but still, not wood.  There were a couple of screws – one in the top of the dresser and one on the bottom trim on the same side – that were definitely not meant to be there.  Also, one of the “properly working” drawers was missing an entire track so that it literally just falls out of the dresser if you pull it out more than six inches.  I was annoyed.  Annoyed with shady sellers and annoyed with myself for not taking the time to look over the dresser better before I pulled the trigger.

Either way, it was now ours, I was happy I didn’t pay the $75 asking price (I wished I would’ve offered more like $30), and something fun and unexpected happened after I cleaned it out (there was so much dirt and dust in the drawer slots!) and sanded it down.  It was somewhat of a redemption for the whole situation.


All You Need is…

L O V E…and a little bit of white paint.  Maybe and maybe not but with all of the orangey-wood trim in this casa, I don’t know what else to go for and I’m playing it safe! 

I do know, however, that it has been so great shaking up the living room to take it from the heavily curtained, brown, brown, brown before:IMG_6831


to an in-progress and better after:IMG_8282


10 Minute Ceiling Fan Upgrade

Upward and onward folks!  After we had the kitchen all spruced, both the surrounding living room and dining rooms really made it feel out of place.  It looked fantastic, they…well, not so much.  Things are changing though, starting with the living room.  I painted it a few weeks ago and started tweaking with decor and I’ll share all of the details soon but first, tilt your heads to the sky…ok, not really…just keep reading.

The ceiling fan in the living room of this little house is the saddest one in the whole place.  The metal parts are shiny gold and their days of gleam and glam are gone (lit and fig) as rust and rough spots have nestled right in.  We’re not going to replace the ceiling fan in a house we’re renting though so I made a couple of quick changes to it last week to make it way more appealing and it only took me about 10 minutes and five bucks.

Here’s the sad thing before:

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You can’t really see the rust spots in the picture but you will be able to when we get a little closer later.  On top of those, the blades had some really awesome, gold, scrolly designs on them, typical of older fan blades and those glass shades…doozy’s.  The way they flared out at the ends really injected me with a dose of motivation to whip this thing into shape asap.