I'm not a cookie cutter wife or mom. I make mistakes, but I try to learn from them. I'm not perfect, but I love my life...and isn't that everything?

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Making an old table new again

We are a family of four. We had a small round dining room table with four chairs that was just fine for us. However, having anyone over for dinner posed a whole bushel of problems. We did everything from squeezing everyone in, to setting up a "card table" at the side of it making a weird squarish rounded table (that was interesting), to shunning the kids to a play picnic table or the living room and probably more that I blocked out.
Chairs before with seats removed

So when a friend posted a 6 seater Duncan Phyfe table for a reasonable price, I jumped on it. Now, we have taken it apart and in and out of the house and tried to turn it into a "farmhouse" style by adding turned legs, but finally just painted the original legs and finished it up. I think I'm getting ahead of myself.

I had visions of this beautiful farmhouse type table with a French white bottom and mahogany top. I finally decided to do a black bottom and mahogany top. The table is quite old and has it's share of "character", nicks and scratches, so I felt black would camouflage them better than any shade of white. So, I got to work.

Original legs
When sanding, and sanding, and sanding I thought there is NO WAY I am sanding the original legs. Not only do they have incredible detail, but they also have ridges down the legs that are teeny tiny. So that's when I decided to replace the legs with farmhouse style table legs. BIG mistake. Not only were they wobbly, the screw didn't stay in them so they spun. I reinforced them and shored them up and wood glued, but nothing worked so I ripped them off. (After I flipped the table out of frustration a la Teresa from Desperate Housewives). Seriously, if you have a table to ruin and frustration, try it, it was kind of cool. I decided the heck with it, I'll try just spray painting them and see what happens. Would you believe the non sanded legs took to the paint and have a better finish overall than the table and chairs I slaved over with the sandpaper?

In need of TLC
So, I sanded and sanded the chairs and the table. Then I painted the chairs and the skirt of the table with Rustoleum Paint and Primer in One Universal Satin Spray Paint in Black. I let them dry for a "half a day" or so in between coats. Meaning, I'd spray them during our youngest's nap time and then again after bedtime. There was about a 6 hour lapse between. Also, turning them upside down for a coat or two to make sure the bottoms of the rungs, etc. were coated well. There were parts of the chairs that did not take very well and repelled the paint some. I noticed these were areas that would generally have been touched a lot while moving the chairs, pushing them in, and so forth. I chalked it up to oils from skin contact. Between coats I lightly sanded the chairs with a 3M fine/medium sanding sponge. I just kept painting until I was happy with the coverage.

For the table top, I wanted to keep the mahogany finish. So I stained it with a gel stain. I didn't care for the gel stain. I applied it with a roller, that could be why. By the time I finished applying it (only half at a time), it was too sticky to wipe the excess off. This resulted in a very streaky look to the top, which overall wasn't bad, but looked bad because it wasn't consistent. But Thanksgiving was a'comin' and I was out of time. So I lived with it.

I sealed all pieces with Johnson's paste wax. Which, incidentally, had "shrunk" in the can since I did the little yellow desk. This worked to my advantage because I took it out of the can and rubbed it right on like it was meant to be used that way in a block. It worked really well. So if you use Johnson's and have a lot of flat surfaces to wax, leave it open a tad bit and let it shrink up and voila! you will have a very large wax "tart" to work with.

Okay, so...the table top wasn't too my liking, so I waited the winter (we're in NE US - brrrrrr) and brought the table back out the next summer, much to my husband's chagrin, and redid the top. I'm still not happy with it as one side is much "thicker" layer than the other, but I'm living with it. It's been inside as is for over a year now. Next summer I will either redo the whole thing French white as planned, or just give in, sand and spray the top black to match the rest. If I attempt the French white and it doesn't work, I'll just repaint it black. After all, it's just paint right?

Ready for the reveal?

See the little yellow desk back there? ;-)

You can really see how well the legs took to the paint without sanding! I may never sand again! hardyharhar

Complete. This picture makes me so happy.
Voila! Like a brand new set. I really would like to recover the seats with just the right navy and burlap color ticking. I have yet to find it in a price that won't put me in an early grave. Always on the lookout!

During non holidays and normal daily life, the club chairs flank either side of our fireplace, making it quite a cozy place to hang out. And isn't that everything?

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

5K all the way!

Just a little update on my "I like to move it" post. I did it! I ran the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, Buffalo, NY. I walked a teeny tiny bit, but I did it!
I have also ran the Moonlight Run and the Run for Hope - both 5Ks. I'm not a speed demon, but my goal is to "just keep moving". If I can do it you can do it. I was literally the LAST runner to cross the finish line at the Run for Hope, but I did it. I'm proud of myself. I have a friend who has really taken the running world by storm and has participated in two half marathons and runs other races regularly. She is awesome! She didn't start out a runner, just decided one day she was fed up with her lack of fitness and got out there and started running!
I haven't lost a ton of weight, but have gained tone and muscle. I see a huge different in my body shape and have gone down a pant size. Since my highest weight after our youngest child, I've lost a total of 15 pounds and feel good about that. I know my body and I tend to weigh more than what is "normal" for my height. I'm good with that.
Our dog and I try to get out for regular runs. He enjoys it as much as I do! I recently found a hands-free running leash by Ollie Dog and it's the greatest accessory yet. If you have a pooch for a running partner, I highly recommend it.
Our next run is coming up soon in November and I can't wait! Just get out there and try! You don't have to run. Walk! Just get out there and move your body any way you can! Your life and health depends on it!
I don't focus on the weight loss, I focus on how I feel. I feel great! I feel strong! I feel powerful!

Isn't that everything?

The toilet

My life is spent in front of the toilet. Okay, not really, but with a potty training/trained toddler in the sure feels like it! Constant "I gotta go potty/peepee/poopoo!" with a huge sense of urgency is the catalyst for a race to the toilet, only to beat the toddler there and end up saying, "COME ON! If you gotta go get in here!" because he has inevitably been distracted by something shiny. Or furry. Or with wheels. Or a snack. Or an injustice doled out by the big brother. Or Mickey Mouse. So, we get there and pull off the required clothing...or more than the required clothing. And we sit and wait and hum a song or poke the toilet paper or try to flush the toilet backwards. Aaaand after the main event, get redressed, which I may as well try to dress the a snowstorm...with a bowl of tuna in front of her. I'd get the same results. And we're off and running. Only to hear shortly thereafter, "I GOTTA GO!" I have become very acquainted with our bathroom floor and bathmat. I can say my toilet base, floor and baseboards have never been cleaner as I take the opportunity to give them a swipe when I'm down there. Carpe diem right?

*sigh* BUT we are well on our way to being a respectful part of society that uses the restroom and not our pants and so...isn't that everything? ;-)

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Deck rug

I have always wanted a rug a to place outside to ground our patio furniture. However, I never wanted to pay the price they want for them! Not to mention, then you have to hose it out, sweep it, clean it... Really? So, I decided, if people can paint designs on their floors, why couldn't I paint a rug on our back deck? So I gathered up all the leftover paint we had sitting around, taped off the deck and our oldest son & got down to business! We did it within a few hours. You will need:
  • old paint
  • brushes or small rollers
  • painters tape
  • measuring tape
  • pencil
Because you've used all of the colors in your home already, they should all go together quite well! Do they match exactly, no, but they should "go" just fine.

We measure the width of the planks and marked off the perpendicular lines to match the width. You can make a weave design, or any design you desire. We kept it simple. We marked with the pencil and taped off all the sections before we began.

Start from the inside and work out, otherwise you'll be playing painter twister to get back to the inside sections. It was quite simple.

When we were finished, we let it dry overnight. After I pulled up the painter's tape, there were sections left to be filled in. I have a steady hand and was able to freehand these small sections. If you don't, tape them off to paint them.

When you're completely done painting and it's dry, you can choose to seal it along with the rest of your deck. We did not, and it did not fair very well over the winter. I'm planning on powerwashing it, redoing it and sealing it this year. The deck railings need a good touch up as well.

And there you have it! A new deck "rug" for free! It adds the perfect touch of color.
Isn't that everything?

Sunday, January 27, 2013

I like to Move it, Move it!

     So, like every single of my resolutions is to get healthier. I had baby #2 in Dec 2010 and feel more blah than I ever had. YES! I know it was over 2 years ago, shush. hahaha. Back in the day, I was a runner. My college bff and I lived in the gym every evening, but alas, now I'm an adult and there are responsibilities and schedules to keep. BUT I have made a commitment to attend no less than 2 zumba classes each week. I have been to two. Don't judge!

     I also just discovered the idea of tracking the number of miles ran throughout the year. Just tallying them up on your calendar at the end of the week. What a great idea! I'm doing it. I usually go in and cool down on the treadmill after class. I'm going to stick some running in there. I know I can do it. I also know that I deserve it and owe it to myself and my family to get fit and healthy again and feel good! My mid term goal is running the Susan G. Komen 5K in June. I participate every year, but this year, I'm running if it kills me. And you know what? There are ladies in pink (SURVIVORS) that run. So for goodness sake, if they can do it, so can I. I cannot wait to see my mile total at the end of the year!

Move your body!
After all...isn't that everything? (To feel healthy!)


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Little Yellow Desk

Ok, I'm doing this for real. I swear. Here we go...

This summer I got into redoing a desk to put in our dining room. We have an old farmhouse. Our dining room is blue with crisp white trim. I needed a space in there to keep the laptop, phone, mom business, etc. So away I went. I read up on a few other blogs on how to redo furniture...and unfortunately I couldn't even begin to tell you which ones or where I found the information to link it back, as I just took what information I found to be helpful and went from there. (Blog fail I know). I took what I found and put it together to best suit my needs...and honestly...motivation.

With an 8 and 2 year old running around I had to make this as easy as possible. My original plan was to paint a beautiful white and distress it. I (obviously) took off the hardware before I started.

1. I started with sanding. Aaaaand sanding and sanding. I used a hand sander. One of those beasts that vibrates your entire body and makes your hand go numb for hours. ha! This is where I became indecisive. The desk looked cool sanded unevenly and "distressed". Now...I had visions of sealing it right then and there! AND I had yellow in the back of my mind as an accent color to the dining room. So now, I wanted to refinish this desk 3 different ways...Here's the desk after that...

Yes I did a crappy job, no I don't care! haha!
2. After sanding I hit the edges w a quick layer of black spray paint. When I distressed it, I didn't want bare wood showing, but the dark.

3. I decided to go for it and paint the desk yellow. After all, it hadn't cost us a dime. If I ruined it, it wouldn't be the end of the world. I attempted to use a spray paint w primer and the desk rejected it. It bubbled and just flat out repelled in some spots. So, after that debacle, I decided to use a canned paint and put it on with a foam roller. That went much better.

4. In between coats I sanded and painted more. I lost count of how many coats, but I just kept going until I was satisfied with the coverage.

5. When the desk was all painted, I finished it with Johnson's Paste Wax, especially the top. Let me tell you, that stuff gives you a workout (either that or I did it wrong). Ha!

Here is the finished product!!

It brings a little ray of sunshine into our little home. And isn't that everything?


Friday, January 11, 2013


Hello! Well, I've had this blog officially since 2007! (I have hidden impertinent posts now that I am hoping this will catch on). I've recently really enjoyed following some very wonderful blogs (that you can view to the right), and though I'm not in their ranks, I want to give it a whirl.

I'm in my 30s. Married to the love of my life. J & I really are made for each other. We often answer in "surround sound" and then utter an "Ewwww" afterwards. Our house gets a little rambunctious at times with two boys running around. S is 8 about to be 9 next month and C just turned 2. They keep us hopping!

I grew up in a small town, in a close-knit community and wouldn't trade it for the world. Come college years I attended for elementary and Spanish education. I'm currently a TESOL grad student. I'm a certified teacher and have taught grades 1/2, 4 and Spanish K-12!

When it comes to our boys, we did some things differently this time around. S was just lucky to make it out alive. haha! JUST KIDDING! But you grow and educate yourself on more areas of parenting, etc. With C I got a little "crunchy". I never thought that was me! We delayed vac (just spread them out), BF (did with S too), BW, CD, delayed solids and made our own baby food. None of it was nearly as involved or as "hard" as I thought it'd be. I was working at the time C was born and went back to work ~ 12 weeks. Come June my position was cut to part time and we made the decision that my time and energy was best spent with C. I'm back to subbing and at the moment it's good for everyone. We have a wonderful SAHM that watches C and her daughter and he just love each other.

I like fashion (but reasonable fashion), decorating, homes, reading (when I get a chance). I've gotten into cooking a bit, but I have what I call cooking add, because I CANNOT pay attention when I'm cooking! I get distracted and well...there's ruined dinner. I like to have flowers, etc all around in the summer...but as my husband jokes, I have a "gangrene" thumb. Eh well, I still try.

As we go, I welcome questions and comments. Any that aren't appropriate will be removed, as I'd like to keep this an upbeat and positive atmosphere. You will find I will rant, and I will also rave. There's always balance.

And after all...isn't that everything?