Almost two

Now that spring has arrived and it’s in the 70’s I’ve finally begun to accept that Elizabeth is turning two.  She’s almost two years old, guys!  Two!  She’s the most kind, understanding, docile, and eager toddler I’ve come across.  She’s genuinely a great little girl.  Her temper tantrums make other kid’s good days look bad.  Elizabeth is simply perfect.

Not only that, but Alodia is turning 6 months old this week.  The majority of people say she looks just like Will, but I’ve begun to receive “she looks just like you” comments recently.  Her fist half-year is almost complete.  She’s about to begin sleeping in her own room, eating solid food and she’s SO motivated about it.

I’m in complete denial about these precious little girls growing up, but in all reality toddlers are more fun than babies anyway.

I would have a photo of A from our first beach day of 2017 but she was napping in the carrier while Elizabeth and I walked up and down the beach collecting sea shells, rocks, fist fulls of sand, and shark teeth. So you’ll just have to accept photos of E instead. 🙂

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DIY for “all the reasons”

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Okay you all know how cheap I am, seriously, I’ll do anything to help save a few bucks here and there.  Except extreme coupon, that is way over my head.  However, I fortunately am entertained by many do-it-yourself projects which actually end up saving me money in the long run.  While sitting in my living room I can see two projects that have been financial “wins” for my family.  The first is our TV stand, the second is Elizabeth’s learning tower.

Our TV stand is some sort of victorian dresser-type piece that was the worst condition of furniture we had ever tackled.  We learned so much while working on it and learned a handful of techniques as well.  Our TV stand cost us under $100 for the entire project which is hundreds less than most tv stands, let alone real wood ones.

The learning tower allowed us to take a stab at a very “hands on” approach to parenting.  Before our tower Elizabeth would cry at our feet simply because she was so interested in what we were doing on the counters that she couldn’t see.  With the tower she is able to watch what we’re doing from a safe distance, or right up in the mix.  It has allowed us to spend more time in there cleaning or cooking and has exposed her to those very life skills which she is already mimicking!  The learning tower cost us under $50 which is a fraction of what regular learning towers cost.

Yay for DIY!

Yardsale Nightstand Redo

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I say this almost every single time I do a project, but this one is one of my favorites.

Since we have lived together and been married we have never had designated furniture for our nightstands.  We had a 3 shelf fish tank stand, a small sewing table with a drawer, a huge ladder shelf, a teeny tiny plant stand, and the list goes on.

Each of those items have lived in many places and served many purposes; the sewing table is between my washer and dryer and fits perfectly, the ladder shelf is now a bookshelf in our guest bedroom, and the fish tank stand is at the top of our stairs in the hallway as a decorative shelf.

I am too cheap to go to a furniture store and buy what I want/envision being perfect for my home.  I wait, and I hunt on used yardsale pages (craigslist, bookoo, local b/s/t pages on facebook, etc).  I hit the jackpot one morning when a fellow Marine spouse posted these two identical nightstands for $40.  PHENOMENAL!

These nightstands are Coaster Sandy Beach and I practically stole them from this woman for her asking price.  The following photo is the photo she took after she painted them for her own home, and the photo she used on the ad.  I instantly loved them, but had a vision.

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I like mirrored furniture that isn’t huge.  I couldn’t do a buffet or a dresser, but a night stand or small accent cabinet would be perfect.  However, the more I thought about it, with my dogs’ slobbery noses and everybody’s finger prints, I decided against mirrored.  I then fell in love with the thought of leafing furniture, but my husband was not having that (maybe the next project).

To get a similar affect we agreed upon silver paint.

I sanded the nightstands down with my mouse detail sander to give the paint a better base to stick to, and to remove some existing drips and imperfections.  After that we cleaned them off with a damp cloth, and waited for warmer weather.  The cold was my greatest struggle during this time, it was always too cold to paint.  It seemed that we were only ever able to get one coat at a time before it became too cold for weeks, so discouraging!

After about 3 or 4 light coats of the spray paint we used a paint-on enamel which improves the finish drastically, and helps strengthen the finish.  The last thing was to let it rest, add the new hardware, and finally drag it inside the house.  My poor husband, each nightstand is about 83 lbs and our bedroom is upstairs! (Thank you, amazing husband, I’m sorry I didn’t help carry it upstairs!)

 The wait, which was about two and a half years, was well worth it!

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Do you spy Charlie under the bed?  Or my really hideous temporary lamp hiding behind the nightstand?  That explanation is that my favorite glass lamp was shattered in our most recent move and we haven’t been able to replace it due to the store being so far away from our new home.

**Please excuse the really wrinkly comforter, I had just taken it out of the storage bag from our move 5 months ago…. And if that doesn’t summarize my life, I don’t know what does.**