22 April 2014

My Easter Weekend

 Sorry, I'm going to be super boring today and just post some pictures of my kids. 
Our Easter was lots of fun. 
Baskets, egg hunt, church, games, food. Great stuff. 





If you want to know my true feelings about Easter, you can go here
And if you want to see something that has to do with decorating, I've got stuff to share soon! I'm also working on a new look for this blog, so I'll be rolling that out.  

Hope you guys had a great weekend!

17 April 2014

Easter & What I Believe



With Easter being this weekend my mind has been on my faith a lot. So today I'm going off topic to share it a little bit. I hope no one minds. {But you know, it is my blog:)}

I'm a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (nicknamed "Mormons"). I have been all my life. I love my church. I love the faith I have in God because of the things I've been taught since I was a child. 

If there is anything that I would want someone not of my faith to know about me, it's that I believe in and worship Jesus Christ. 
I know that Mormons are not always perceived as Christian by other Christian religions because we have differing views on some things (for instance we believe that Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are three separate people). Honestly that doesn't offend me. I understand that there is a "definition" for lack of a better word, that most mainstream Christians associate with Christianity, and that our beliefs as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints don't always fit into that definition. So I'm okay with not being seen to fit in because of a technicality.
But if your definition of a Christian is simply someone who believes in and worships Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, then please count me in (and every other Mormon for that matter). 

My church just put out this AMAZING video for Easter. It's short- less than 3 minutes. And it's message is so beautiful. It's about the Savior Jesus Christ, and what we have because of Him. That's actually what the video is called- Because of Him. And you can view it here

Someone told me once that it's damaging to a person's self esteem to believe in God. That going through life believing that there is an all-powerful being watching everything that we do and expecting us to live by certain rules is stressful and makes you feel bad about yourself all the time. So they said it's much more freeing not to believe in God, and just to go through life doing the best you can, believing that in the end the things we do and choices we make don't really matter all that much (at least not in an eternal-scheme-of-things type of way).

I feel the exact opposite. 

We all do things that we regret. We can't get through life without sometimes making choices that we end up feeling remorse over- whether or not we believe there is a God who cares about what we do. Sometimes regret is so bad it makes us feel physically sick. Sometimes it makes us feel like we can't imagine being able to pick up and keep going with our life. We see how we've messed it up and we don't know how we'll be able to clean up our mess and forgive ourselves enough to move on. 
I'm no exception to that. 
And if I didn't believe in God, then I would have to go through my life remembering the mistakes I've made, and I'd have to accept that those things were now just a part of who I was. That the things I hate about the history of my life all had to stay there, and even if I never made the same mistake again, it was always going to be there, sitting just under the surface of who I had become.

But instead, I know that I have a Heavenly Father. And He loves me so much, mistakes and all, that He sent His perfect Son to die for me, so that everything I do that I wish I'd never done, doesn't have to stay a part of me. Because if God can forgive me, I know it's okay to forgive myself too. And if someone was willing to suffer so much for me, then I must really be worth something. 
I can't imagine anything more freeing than knowing that. 
And that's what I have because of Him

16 April 2014

How To Build a Mid Century Modern Style Table

 A couple days ago I revealed our updated breakfast nook and the table that Rob and I built for it. 


Here's a quick refresher of how the room looked before: 


This whole makeover really started with the bench. Rob and I built a new one that would fit under the table since the old leaf-printed one was too big. I loved the clean, simple style of the new bench so much that it sparked a refresher of the rest of the room. 

I'd been tired of the table style for a long time anyway since it just wasn't my style any more. So I decided to sell it and build a new table. I knew I wanted a really simple, mid century modern look with metal hairpin legs. And I didn't want to spend much- we spent a good chunk of money building our dining room table {which was worth every single penny!} so since we now have one super nice, high-quality table, I was fine with this one being made with less expensive materials (namely the wood for the top). 

So here is how we did it:

I ordered these metal hairpin dining table legs from Tablelegs.com, a company that I seriously can't recommend enough. We've now used their products to build two tables and a bench, and I have no doubt that we'll use them again for future projects. 

For the table top we got one sheet of plywood, cut to 40 x 60 inches. The kind we got is the "nice" plywood, meaning the one that's smooth on top as opposed to covered in those giant splinters like the cheaper stuff. But it's still plywood so it's way less expensive than buying a high-quality wood. 


But it's pretty thin, and I wanted the table top to be much thicker than one sheet of plywood. 

So we saved the excess pieces that were cut off when this sheet was resized, and had them cut to 6 inch wide stripes. 


These we used to thicken the sides of the tabletop by attaching them to what would be the underside of the table, one piece on each side like this:





Of course by layering two pieces of wood like that, it was obvious on the sides that it wasn't all one thick piece of wood. Plus plywood has a really rough, layered-looking edge anyway. 


So we fixed that with this stuff:


It's iron-on wood veneer and we got it from a site called Edgebanding.com.

It was very easy to use: 
We started by measuring out and then cutting a strip for a side (which was super easy since it cuts with scissors).





Then one of us would hold it in place on the side of the table while the other one ran the iron back and forth across it till it bonded to the side of the table. 



We always had some overhang of excess veneer at either end of the table since for us it was easier to cut it a little longer than we needed and then trim it afterwards rather than trying to be super precise before getting it on the table. 

So after attaching a side Rob would just go back with a razor knife and cut the extra banding. 


He ended up having to trim some of the wood veneer banding from the underside of the table too because even though we'd planned our measurements so that the table was an inch and a half thick- the same thickness as the wood veneer- the thickness of the plywood wasn't completely consistent. So Rob did some trimming up afterward so there wasn't an overhang of veneer under the table. 


It was amazing the difference the wood veneer made to the edges. 




The idea for the table top design and using the wood veneer on the sides came several weeks ago when I was babysitting my sister's baby for the weekend. All that time spent sitting around bottle feeding meant that I had tons of time for watching tv during the day- something I don't do normally. It was during my 12th episode of Property Brothers that weekend that they showed a table top built similar to this and a lightbulb went off in my head. 
That's why I need another baby. I always get my best ideas when I'm spending a ton of time with HGTV. 

So anyways I can't take all the credit for this idea- thanks for the inspiration Jonathan & Drew! 

Attaching the legs to the tabletop could not have been easier. 

Rob used a trim gauge to determine their placement and make sure each leg would be the same distance from the sides. 



Then he just attached them using screws provided by Tablelegs.com


The last steps for finishing the table were just giving the top a quick sand and staining/sealing it. 

I had perused stain options for days but couldn't find the shade I was wanting. Since our dining room table is super dark, I wanted this table to be a light shade of wood. But I couldn't find any light-hued stain options that weren't either too yellowy or too orangey. (I hate Fall colors in wood.) 

So I ended up mixing up my own custom shade by purchasing a small can of Minwax Whitewash Pickling Stain and mixing that with small amounts of the left over stain from the dining room table- Minwax American Walnut. I just kept adding in small splashes of the walnut stain to the white wash and testing it out on a scrap piece of wood till the whitewash affect disappeared and it turned the wood a light caramelish color. 

Then I did just one coat of stain on the tabletop, with Rob following close behind and wiping it off within seconds of my applying it. 
I wanted the table top to be super durable since we'll eat most of our meals here, so I did three coats of poly-crylic sealer on it, sanding between coats. 

I'm obsessed with the table top color. I love that even though the finishes on our dining room and kitchen tables are very different, they both are based on the same stain color. 


Because of the heavy coating of sealer that I gave it, plus the fact that it's made of pretty cheap wood, the tabletop almost looks plastic in a way. But I actually like it. It kind of adds to the retro look. And I can't stop looking at those legs. LOVE them. 



I'm so happy to have another successful table build under our belts! 
I am just as madly in love with this one as I am with our dining room table

You can see more photos of this table and read about the rest of the changes I made in this room here


Linking to:

14 April 2014

Our Kitchen Table {and Breakfast Nook!} is Finished!!

 After weeks of the kids eating lunches like this-


-we finally have a table in our breakfast nook again. 



Rob and I built this table on Saturday and even before it was finished I was hopping up and down around it, screeching about how much I loved it. 


I'm madly in love with the table top color. It's a custom stain color I mixed up, and I'll tell you how I did it in the upcoming tutorial post for the table.


I'm also obsessed with the hairpin legs, which we got from Tablelegs.com


I'm so happy to have this breakfast area done. Here's how it looked before I started it's makeover:


This little space felt a lot heavier than I wanted, and it didn't go with the look of the rest of the house. I was craving a lighter, airier look. 

Now thanks to a new light fixture {no longer available} and art from West Elm, a DIY bench {all supplies for building it from Tablelegs.com}, and now a new DIY'd table, our breakfast nook looks like this: 


It's like a breath of fresh air.
And I love that this room finally goes with the rest of the house. 



Best of all, these two approve. 


11 April 2014

DIY Pom Pom Throw




So guess what this thing is made out of? 
A shower curtain that I embroidered and added pom poms to. 

I needed something to go on the back of our couch to help cover the long expanse of brown. 


Before I got the bookcases that are on the wall behind the couch, I'd been considering getting a piece of furniture to go against the back of the couch instead- something like this but in multiples- to cover the ugly view of all the brown leather. But ultimately I decided I liked the idea of using all the vertical space I had on that back wall and going with bookcases for it instead of something for behind the couch. So since the walkway isn't wide enough to accommodate two pieces of furniture, I have to live with the view of the couch's backside. 
The new throw is my solution. 


It breaks up all the brown a little bit. 


I tried just using a blanket I already had but they were all too thick- when I tucked them in behind the couch cushion they pushed it out in a weird way that would have been super annoying. I needed something thin. 

I'd been simultaneously going through the house (still am) getting rid of stuff we aren't using or that I no longer like, and one of the things I was getting rid of was the shower curtain in the kids' bathroom. We've had it for years and the flower detailing on the bottom and top edge was super faded due to countless bleachings and I was just sick of the look of it in there. But before throwing it into my pile of stuff to get rid of I had the idea to make a throw out of it for the back of our couch. 



I started by washing it. This was always used with a liner behind it, so this part wasn't actually in the shower spray getting hit with water and soap and everything else. It was just a decorative curtain that really wasn't ever in the thick of things like the plastic liner that hung behind it. So I didn't have to worry about any nasty water or soap stains or anything being on this, which is why I was fine with turning it into a blanket. 

I didn't want to use the entire curtain for the throw- just the large part in the center between two thick bands of embroidered flowers. 


After cutting out the middle of the curtain and discarding both ends, I drew out a zig zag design on the fabric with a disappearing ink pen and a ruler. 




I sewed over my drawn lines using silver thread. I went over them all once in a regular stitch, then to help it stand out more, I went over them again in a thicker stitch. 



I love the silver pattern- it's subtle but really pretty. 


I made yarn pom poms to use as fringe on the bottom. It was my first time making them and I used the fork method. Everything I learned, I learned from this video, so I'll just direct you to that because she's the pom pom expert, not me. 

They were very easy to attach to the bottom of the throw- I just threaded a regular needle (one of the biggest that I have) with the string that was hanging off each of the pom poms and used that to sew one knot onto the edge of the fabric to hold the pom pom in place.  I lined the pom poms up with the ends of each zig zag line I'd created, plus one pom pom at each end. 




If I were planning on this blanket actually getting any use, I would have attached these more securely with more stitching and a bigger knot so there'd be less chance of them coming off. Since it's just to hang on the back of the couch though and never get any real use, I did my pom pom attaching pretty quickly. 


I'm so much more okay with staring at the back of the couch every day now that there's something back there prettying it up a little!


Have a really great weekend!

Oh by the way- go read my post at DecoraUSA's Idea Corner today. It's about getting rid of winter in your living room and letting in spring!