Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Buffet Turned T.V. Stand for HIM

Can I tell you a story? It all started one day when I was checking out the "free" section on craigslist. I go there every once and a while hoping to find something that could be of use here in Lewisville. I have found some gems, but nothing compares to this buffet...turned T.V. stand.

 Of course, it didn't look like this when I pick it up. This beautiful piece of furniture was just about to be thrown in a dumpster. It was a left over from a church rummage sale, but no one wanted it. A woman took it home and posted it on craigslist hoping someone would take it. She didn't have time to work on it, but recognized the craftsmanship and beauty of the piece. That's where I come in.

One glorious morning, I'm drinking my coffee and decide to scroll through that free section. When I saw the buffet, I practically choked, but had sense enough to grab my phone and text her asap. Praying. Hoping. Please still be available. She text back, and I was on my way to pick it up. It was a short 5 minutes away from my home! By the way, I did take all the precautions I talk about in my How to buy and sell on Craigslist post. Read. Stay safe.

I brought it home sometime last spring. She was in my garage for a few days, then I brought her in because I really needed a kitchen island of some sort. We have absolutely no counter space in our kitchen, which is not good for a family of five. This would help, and it did for months and months and months. We used her "as is" when she first came to our house. Here's the before.

Nice bones but major scratches.

And the years of neglect really showed.

It's a very dark piece, and I just wasn't sure where to start.

At first, I planned to re-do it and maybe sell it on Craigslist, but then I had this thought.

The buffet was to big to use as an "island" and it just wasn't that kind of piece. But this dresser we were using as our T.V. stand was too small also. It needed to be replaced with some kind of piece that could house the receiver, DVR, DVD, and all those kinds of things. Light bulb!

I love my shabby chic dresser, but I never intended it to be used this way. And the equipment stacked on the side wasn't pretty either. So I went to work.

I HAND sanded the buffet with 100 grit sand paper first, then smooth it out with 220 grit. A lot of old smells came out. I worked in my kitchen for a few hours a day since it was freezing outside.

Progress. Maybe the wood could be stained again. Maybe it could be brought back to life without painting the whole thing.
 I used English Chestnut by Minwax to stain the top and detailed trim. That curvy piece in the middle came off, and the piece got two coats of primer.


I use Zinsser primer for my pieces that will get used every day. 
And here's where my story takes a turn. I really wanted the base color to be grey, a silver/metallic grey with a bit of an antique look on the side. Here's the problem when it comes to DIY in the Denver area: Paint can and will freeze if stored in the garage and thus become useless. My paint was frozen and no amount of different thawing methods was going to help. So I decided to mix my own paint. I was going for greyish/blue.

I ended up with more of a light blue, but my husband really liked it. That settles that. It got two coats of my custom color blend. The staining was done. The painting was finished, and the entire piece got a coat of polycrylic.

 The pictures don't do it justice. It's really gorgeous.

And the new home...bye, bye little dresser.
I decided to clean and spraypaint the old hardware in oil rubbed bronze for now. That will get replaced though because we want a more contemporary look. Love the results and the function it gives us.
Not bad for Free!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Thrift Store Desk Transformation

I have another transformation! Don't you just love before and afters? Afresh start! A new beginning! Revive, Refresh, Renew! Take a look at this thrift store desk I picked up for just $14. She's so pretty now.

But she didn't always look so good. Here's what the desk looked like before. I like the nice curvy lines and the real wood construction. So I brought her home, hoping to be inspired with some color.


Thursday, January 15, 2015

2015 Calendar and Weekly Schedule- Free Printables

We are two weeks into the new year! How's it going so far? Did you set some new goals? I sure did and I'm aiming and firing boldly. Last week, I talked about setting up 12 goals for myself, and I want to encourage you to set some time aside this week and write your goals for the year. If you didn't read my New Year's post about goal setting and your theme verse for the year, go back and check it out.

   I did promise last week I'd share my goals with you all, and I will...each month. Each month, at the beginning of the month, I'll share something I'm working on for myself or the family or the home. I'll give you my ideas, plans, the whole shebang. If you use my experience or any of the tools I provide on the blog- Great! My hope is to bless you all with some free printables and good ideas. So let's get started.

For the month of January, my goal is to get personally organized. Who needs a little personal organization in their lives? My hand is raised WAY HIGH! Last year, I started keeping a family calendar out in the open. As the kids get older, life gets busier. Our schedules would collide at times and that's never a good thing. So I finally got my act together and set up our calendar.

I designed a monthly calendar that you can download and print for your household-ville, too! And I'm including a weekly schedule I created as well. No more trying to find that piece of paper with that list of things to do today???

There are two weekly schedule on each page. I don't need a whole page for the few points I'm jotting down and I always feel like I'm wasting paper with an 8x11 sheet for one week. I'm not that busy and I never feel compelled to write down every hour of my life. This works better for me. You can write your to do list on one and use the other side for meal plans or a cleaning schedule even. I included two different weekly schedules. See what works best for you. Both are Convenient!
The calendar is simple but effective. I'm finally putting together a family binder, so one is up for everyone to see and the other goes in our binder. I'll talk more about the binder later.

So to help you get started and get your year going in the right direction, you can print the calendar and weekly schedule. Hope it helps!

Weekly Schedule

2015 Monthly Calendar.  (Be sure to print in landscape not portrait)

Blessing to you all,

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

A New Year. New Goals!

     Ahhhh, Don't you just love a fresh start? Me too. That's why I love New Years! It gives me an opportunity to look back on the previous 12 months and evaluate how things went for me, my family and my home. With every inch, ounce and moment of my life in 2014, I want to take a look back with an honest yet critical eye to evaluate how we in Lewisville finished the year.

What things worked?
What things didn't?
Where can I improve?
In what areas of my life do I need a change?

     There's plenty for me to reflect on and by simply asking these questions, there's a truth revealed about the previous year. No reason to get down on my self for not accomplishing every task I set for myself, but I know that if I don't set goals, nothing worthwhile will get done.
     Life can easily slip into complacency without setting goals, accomplishing objectives, fulfilling tasks. It reminds me of that commercial many years ago when a group of hungry people resolved, "Same place? Same place. Same thing? Same thing."
    That's not what I want. Do you? Not the Same Thing here! So I set my targets each year. Aim high. Fire boldly.
Check out my New Year's Post for 2014 on how to set goals

     My daughter asked  me on New Year's Eve if I had a New Year's resolution. I don't usually make resolutions but I immediately answered, "Be Better!"
     That my goal. Be a better wife, be a better mom, be a better financial planner for the Lewisville corporation (aka home), be better at keeping my home, be a better writer/blogger, and most of all- be a better example of Christ in my life.
     So with that in mind, I start setting goals and asking where do I want to be on January 1st, 2016?
I have dreams too and I know I must work toward them if I want to see them come true. They don't just happen no matter how many times I snap my finger and think good thoughts.

     This last week, I asked some the ladies from my women's Bible study to find a scripture they could use and go back to as their theme verse for the year. I heard Romans 12:2, "And do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." Another said Jeremiah 29:11, "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope."
     For me, with my lofty yet achievable goals in mind, I chose Proverbs 16:3.
             "Commit your works to the Lord and your thoughts will be established."
It fall close to Psalm 37:4-5. Go ahead. Look it up.
     I have goals and dreams just like you, but before rushing toward them, I want, need, must commit them to the Lord in prayer. When that happens, He establishes my thoughts, as in giving me wisdom on how and when those goals are to be done. My way never works. His way always works beyond what I ask or imagine.
      So my first goal then is this: I will commit. I will trust in Him. Then I get to see what He brings to pass! No finger snapping. No wishing upon a star. Just the good hand of my God upon me.

I set up 12 goals for myself. Next week I'll share them all with you and what I'm doing to see them happen here in Lewisville.
To a Blessed and Joyful 2015!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Don't Give Your Family Your Leftovers This Thanksgiving

 Hey there, friends!

I know today is Tips and Tricks Tuesday, but I’ve had something on my heart that I need to share.  Yes, this is still a DIY blog, but my focus has been shifting a little as my priorities have changed.  Today, I want to talk about the stress we can have during Thanksgiving.

Holidays change us sometimes, and not for the good.  In our efforts to make things perfect and provide a memorable family day, we tend to lose sight of what’s really important during this time.  Yes, we say it’s all about family and enjoying their company, but I see more and more that “perfection” is creeping its ugly head into our homes. In our desire to make a picture- perfect tablescape, and deliciously prepared food to be consumed by neatly groomed family members, we can easily become frustrated and irritated when thing don’t match our ideal “family day.”

I’ve been the mom that wants the kids to look perfect, to have the table look as close to a magazine picture as possible, to hear everyone say how tasty the food is and … here it is … good job. The woman that can do this is surely to be praised. But at the end of the day, if I cooked my heart out and had a beautifully decorated table but failed to make my family, instead of perfection, my priority, I completely failed.  I’ve been there, too.

When we commit ourselves to having a Perfect holiday, we can tear down anything that stands in the way of it- even precious family.  Have you ever yelled at your kids because they’re in the way as you’re getting their meal done?  Have you ever become irritated with your husband for not helping out more? Have you ever become so frustrated that you just want to take that turkey and shake it until it decides to work with you?  I’m nodding yes, too.

So this year, I thought it would be good for us to talk about the busy holiday season and determine in our hearts that we aim for joy and not perfection.  I don’t want to be so busy that I give all my efforts to the dinner and give my family whatever is leftover of myself. That’s usually a half smiling, wish I would have acted differently, can’t wait to get this day over with- mom.  Not the Thanksgiving I envisioned.

So as my heart set out to change, my desire for a joyful countenance and attitude followed.  Here are some of the lessons I had to learn. These lessons have been a blessing to Lewisville each and every holiday.

1. Commit your way to the Lord and your thoughts will be established (Prov. 16:3). This is the verse I meditate on while I’m in the planning stages of the holidays. It’s been said that if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. We must have an action plan during this busy season. Thanksgiving dinner doesn’t just happen in a few hours.  There’s lots of prep involved, so sit down and write out a list. In fact, write a few list. When I sit down to do this, I pray that the Lord will bring to mind what needs to be done, and what things I can do away with-that’s our thoughts being established. Here’s what my lists look like:

List 1. -Menu:
Turkey, mashed potatoes, dressing, sweet potato casserole,
green salad, green bean casserole

Now, I can get my grocery list together. I also found that if I cook and prep half the meal the day before, the holiday is so much easier. I prep the turkey the night before, placing it in an oven bag with chopped veggies. It goes onto a baking rack and pan, then in the refrigerator for the night. This saves me at least an hour. You can also make the mashed potatoes and just about everything else, the night before and refrigerate them overnight. Put them in a crock pot on low for a few hours the day of Thanksgiving. This has been my life saver. The more I prep, the easier my day goes.

List 2. -Games:
Board games, cards

List 3.- Schedule/ tips:
Shower and dress (if I don't do this first, I may not find the time later in the day)
Quiet time with coffee
Easy breakfast- cereal, oatmeal, eggs & toast.
Start the Turkey!
Clean as you go
Snacks for Lunch or appetizers if dinner is after 2pm.
Have the kids set the table

2. Don’t be a Martha! You know the lesson of Mary and Martha (Luke 10). We can get so busy in the kitchen, complete with hands on our hips and complaining, "no one is helping" from our lips, that frustration wells up inside. Don’t go there.  Choose better. Choose to take breaks, to play with the kids, to have a cup of coffee and a conversation with your husband.  Play a game, check the turkey, smile, laugh, check the casseroles.  Choose to go at a GRACE Pace rather than the day dictating a fast pace for your family.

  - Accept help and ask for help when you need it!

  - Have a game plan with your husband. When the kids were little, it was more helpful for me to have him play with the kids and keep them busy while I was busy in the kitchen. These days, my girls help in a big way, while my husband and son entertain guests and act as taste testers. They also like making snacks and drinks for everyone and acting as our house DJ's, putting on songs at your request.

3. Think like David. There was a point in King David’s life that his friends wanted to stone him, and let’s face it, that would send any of us into a state of depression. “But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God.” (I Samuel 30:6) He talks to himself, encourages himself, and gets his eyes back where they belong.  We need to do the same. When I’m feel overwhelmed or getting frustrated at how my day is going, I take a minute and …talk to myself… usually in bible verses but sometimes it’s as simple as, “you can do this;  you’re almost there; smile; be joyful.”  When you purpose in your heart to be joyful, everyone benefits. I have to be intentional in this area- speak kindly, answer softly, settle your heart.  If I don't, my anxiousness takes over my attitude and the family gets grouchy mom. Grouchy mom is not fun and I always regret being grouchy mom!
- keep the TV off as long as possible and play music instead. 
- a walk (with the family preferably) is always a great way to relax
Finally- Be Thankful!
I hope you all have a wonderful, not perfect, Thanksgiving.  May you smile when the milk is spilled, laugh when the turkey burns, and kiss cheeks as you clean the mess. Enjoy your families!