Archive | June, 2015


28 Jun

In our guest room we were in need of more storage.  Doesn’t everyone need more storage??  So Britton found some small dressers for us to turn into night stands for the bedroom to provide more functionality to an otherwise dull piece of furniture.

RAST 3 Drawer Chest

The furniture was unfinished from ikea and to match the decor of the room we decided to stain it.  I started the project when Britton was out of town and had some pretty grand plans.  I think it’s important to note, I did all the work on this project on my own.

I wanted to jazz up the pieces and discard the plain wooden handles that came with it and add some fun handles instead.  I purchased different knobs for each drawer.  I did some searching for knobs.  We are big fans (mostly me) of Adjectives Market in Altamonte Springs and I had noticed the last few times that they were selling odds and ends from another local store called Hinge.  Hinge is a vintage hardware store and let me tell you, I was in love from the moment I walked through the doors.  I’m an old soul and love antiques and vintage finds.  This store blew me away!  I found a set of four yellow knobs that started the process for my knob search.

I found two other sets of knobs on etsy stores, Shabbrustic Chic and diychicgirl, one set was also vintage and another was new but had an old feel like glass.  Once I had all my supplies I got to work.


To prep the furniture, I laid all the pieces out on the porch outside and sanded them a little to make the surface smooth for staining.  The next step was to prep the wood with the pre stain.  This sits for only about 30 minutes before it is ready for the stain.  We used the Miniwax Water Based stain in slate.

My first drawer face was tricky…  In the directions it says the stain should stay on for 1 to 5 minutes.  It was nearly impossible to wipe any stain off after even a minute so drawer face number one is darker than the rest, but I learned from my mistake.  My goal was to have the natural wood grain bleed through the stain so I didn’t want it to be a solid grey stain.

IMG_0912The rest of the pieces went perfectly, I would slather the stain on and wipe it off almost immediately to give it a slight stain of the grey color.  After all the pieces were finished I waited 3 hours to apply a finishing top coat.  I opted for the spray can style top coat for easy and quick application.  I applied two layers of the top coat to ensure that it was properly coated.

The following day, after the furniture had dried sufficiently I put the pieces together.  I have a strange love of putting furniture together and this was even more fun because I knew I had made it the beautiful pieces that they became.  It was especially exciting, once they were all put together, to add the specialized knobs to each drawer.


The finished product in our guest room was perfect and I couldn’t be happier with our first Ikea hack!


Friday I’m In Love

26 Jun

Happy Friday!  I’m both excited and sad about the upcoming weekend.  Britton is away for both business and pleasure this weekend which leaves me with an empty house.  While I’m sad that he is away (and going to a family members wedding today) I am excited about having the house to myself!  So much can get done when you have a weekend of free time!

On to my loves for this week.

#1 Meet + Make


Although this event happened last week, it wasn’t on the list because it happened Friday night.  I got to attend my second Meet + Make put on by Sarah Hearts and her team.  The last time we painted glasses and this time it was a wood piece of art.  Although I’m not all that creative I am the kind of straight forward person that puts together a design and gets it done quickly 🙂 I had a blast with this one and enjoyed the company of my mother, some old friends and some new!

#2 Central Florida Summer Skies


If anyone follows my Instagram account you know how obsessed I am with weather.  I probably post at least a picture of weather twice a week.  I have a long commute to work but I realized this week just how beautiful that commute is on my way home every evening.  Taking the 414 to the 429 every day I get sprawling views of Central Florida and, lately, the beautiful weather clouds rolling in. I really should have been a meteorologist!

#3 Grace

Britton and I have spent our marriage church shopping.  We found one that we loved in Iowa but had to start over when we moved to Florida.  We only went to two different ones but fell in love at first site with Grace in Winter Garden.  We’ve made friends there and are really starting to be part of the community too.  It feels good to find our home.

#4 Be Our Guest

IMG_2275 IMG_2274

We’ve been Annual Pass Holders to Disney since I moved down at the end of December and I’ve been waiting for this meal since then. The new Be Our Guest restaurant and attraction has been booked solid since we moved.  I finally made a last minute reservation a few months ago only for Britton to get sick that day forcing us to cancel.  So when I found an open reservation for a 4:35 pm dinner on a Sunday I snatched it up so fast your head would spin.  And it did NOT disappoint!  The inside of the “castle” brought me back to my childhood Saturday mornings watching Beauty and the Beast on the couch with my sister.  It was amazing.  Even the food was amazing!  I will definitely be going back if I can ever get another reservation 🙂

How about you?  What are you crazy about on this fabulous Friday?


Friday I’m In Love

19 Jun

​I’m jumping on the bandwagon per my good friend Kendra. Over on her blog, The Gilbertson Family she has been doing weekly Friday I’m in Love posts for quite some time.  So on this joyful Friday, I’m joining in.


This week I’m in love with, said, Gilbertson Family. We spent some time together last Saturday and we really had a blast. They came out to our neck of the woods and checked out downtown Winter Garden. It was so great to see them and I hope it becomes more regular!  #2

Most people know, I’m a planner. If you’ve read my posts on travel, you know I planned ahead (like almost a year ahead for our trip to Europe) and all good planners need a good agenda. Last week I noticed the Lilly Pulitzer Aug 2015-Dec 2016 agendas were out so I preordered mine. It arrived yesterday.

Last night we joined some friends at the movie theater… Jurassic World was awesome. I’m not going to lie, spending 2 hours looking at Chris Pratt in all his glory made the movie even better!  I’ve got a feeling my bandwagon joining has only just begun. Maybe we’ll see some weekend in photos too!

Have a great weekend!

Bookshelf Organization

15 Jun

We have LOADS of books and various shelves to store them all over our house.  Traditionally I’ve just thrown books on the shelves more or less based on… nothing.  No rhyme or reason.  Sometimes I would put all of Brittons books together.  Sometimes I put genres together.  Basically our bookshelves have been a hot mess for YEARS!

Until now.

I saw in a few places that people were starting to organize their books by color.  Wow, what a brilliant idea.  Most of our books have been read already so its not like I’m EVER looking for something specific when I browse our book shelves.  So why not just make them look pretty?

So I emptied all the shelves and started making color piles all over our living room.  Some piles were CLEARLY larger than others (mainly black and white bound books had the most.)  I gotta say, this was really fun.  I didn’t take any before pictures but I’m sure, even if its isn’t a problem at your house, you’ve seen some pretty messy book shelves.  So just imagine that as your before.

We also have some knick knacks that I scattered among the now colorful shelves.  Some books I stacked up, some I have in a normal standing fashion.  I sort of just went with t what would work and played a game of trial and error as I went.


In reality there is a tv cabinet standing between the two shelves but no one needs a picture of that.

I did do two piles that were not color coded. One was a pile with all of our books related to religion and another was our travel and diet books.  I wanted to have easier access to those two groups as I know there will be times I want to find them easier.  I also have another bookshelf to the left of these that ONLY has my series books.  So thats where I can easily find my Harry Potter, Hunger Games, and many other fantastical stories that I may be tempted to re-read 🙂

How do you organize your bookshelves?

Gallery Wall Project

9 Jun

I’ve officially been in our new house now for 6 months and some days I feel like we’ve accomplished so much, while others, I feel like we have so much to do.  And now that I am working again it leaves even less time for projects despite having more $ to do them!

One of my pride and joys is my gallery wall.  We had one in the house in Iowa and I was worried that this house wouldn’t have a good spot for us to continue the tradition.  I need not worry.  There is the perfect space for a gallery wall, right when you walk through the front doors!  Pictures were hard to take because its in a long hallway but most people that come to the house are in love with the gallery wall 🙂

I’ll walk you through my process.

The first step for me is getting all the prints out together on the floor and sort of planning out a pattern for the art and prints that I had.  Not every piece of art would fit on this one wall so I had to decide what would go in the main hallway and what would be moved into other rooms and other walls.

IMG_0587[1]Since we had just moved, we still had a lot of the paper that all of our valuables were wrapped up in.  I mean, we had TONS of wrapping paper (and not the Christmas kind.)  I used a few of these pieces of paper to create paper versions of all of our artwork that we wanted to include in the gallery wall.  You could use any old paper if you go that route and it made the project easier to lay out on the wall.

After all of the pieces of my giant puzzle were cut out I then worked on assembling them on the space in the hallway.  I started with a focal point, which was a large print from our wedding, taken at night.  from there I branched out in all directions mixing in different types of pieces to give the wall a more natural feel.  There are photo prints from our wedding, canvases with lovely quotes and pieces of artwork that have been accumulated from our various vacations.  I was trying really hard not to have two similar pieces next to each other.


After all of my paper pseudo art was up on the wall I went around and started putting nails into the walls.  I planned out ahead of time where the hooks would be in the paper cut outs so that I wouldn’t have to guess when it came time to put the nails in the wall.  I used a mix of gorilla hooks and nails to get everything up on the walls and I would have used ONLY gorilla hooks had there not been a few blocks in the wall making that impossible.

After all the anchors were in I went to putting the actual art up on the walls.  This was my first big project and I did it almost all on my own.  Britton had to help with a few hooks and nails but all in all, I was on my own while he worked away in his office (on the other side of the wall.)

IMG_2159[1] IMG_2158[1]I’m awfully proud of this project and did little gallery walls throughout the house to make room for the rest of our art.  I suppose we have a lot.

Part 2 (Finally) Adventures in the Caribbean

5 Jun

I’ve started a new job since the last post which has put me on an unimaginable roller coaster

So back to it… On Sunday of our Puerto Rican adventure we booked a trip that was supposed to take us on a boat ride to a smaller island called Culebra.  Unfortunately, due to bad weather off the coast that increased the surf, the catamaran trip had to be altered.  Instead we took the boat out to a smaller, uninhabited island and had planned to do some snorkeling off the coast.  The morning was beautiful and it made for a perfect day out on the water.


We did not bring our camera that day so I won’t be able to share my usual highlights in picture form but take my word for it, the day was beautiful.  We went out to the small island after a somewhat rough we made it to the small island where we ended up staying the whole day.  We played in the water most of the day and really enjoyed just a day on the water.  The surf was too rough to do any snorkeling so instead we just lounged on the boat of floated in the water.  It was a beautifully relaxing day.

On our way back to the main island we went through a bit of rainy weather.  Britton and I were champs though and stayed on the front of the catamaran to take in all the beauty of the day.

When we got back to the hotel we decided to try a little local restaurant for dinner.  It had great ratings and was an adorable little place.  We had so much fun walking there and walking back.


On Monday morning, Britton was off to work again but I had the day to do some exploring.  I walked into Old San Juan and walked probably every street before the day was over.  I explored busy thoroughfares and quaint little one way streets.  I did not make it inside the fort but I saw the outside and walked along the old roads just outside the walls. I roamed the streets for hours alone so if you get bored by my pictures just skip ahead!


Pelican of Old San Juan Lady of Old San Juan

Streets of Old San JuanAlong my walk I came upon the most beautiful cemetary I have ever seen situated right on the ocean. Cementerio Santa María Magdalena de Pazzis.  As I walked through the headstones I couldn’t help but take glances of the names and dates of those buried there.



Along my walk back to the hotel I was also impressed with the beauty of the different parks and buildings along the way.  We had walked the same route the night before in the dark and in the daylight I was enamored with the beauty that surrounded me while I was in Puerto Rico.

Part 2 10 ParksHopefully this will not be our last trip to PR.  The whole trip was amazing and I can’t wait to go back!