Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Renter Decorating

I will no longer be blogging here.
You can find me at my new blog,

Hope to see you there!
Make sure to follow, giveaway coming soon!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

DIY Desk

Hi! I'm Ashley from Bigger than the Three of Us. When Megan asked me to guest post, I have to admit I was shocked. I've been been blogging about our home and all the DIY that has been going on for about a year, but mainly just for ourselves and for family/friends. I'm very much still finding my home decor style, learning to live with "rooms in progress" (like all the rooms in my house), and trying to be a DIY'er (without making too many mistakes).

 Today, I want to show you a simple desk that I made for my office. Pre-warning: this is a very simple desk and I'm sure I didn't do things the way you are "supposed" to do them. It worked for me and I love the outcome. 

 I wasn't at all opposed to buying a desk, I just couldn't find anything I loved in the price range that I could afford. Does anyone else have this problem? Seriously, it seems to be the story of my life. =)

Basically, I wanted a dark wood top with a mid-century feel. I actually have a mid-century desk that my Dad gave to me, but it is way too narrow to have a computer monitor and keyboard on it. So, another thing for the desk is that it needed to be at least 26 inches deep.

I liked the feel of both of these:

$999 (actually a kitchen table) CB2

$449 West Elm

I've refinished a table top before (with assistance), but I am definitely very new to the whole process. 

Here is what mine turned out like:

Definitely not perfect (nor was the process), but for a fraction of the cost....I love it.

This is what I did:

I picked up the hairpin legs at Hairpin Legs for Less. I got the 1/2 raw steel 28'' legs. Once they shipped to me, I had to wash all the grime off. I ended up using just hot water and a towel.

I went to the hardware store for the wood. I wanted a thick single piece of wood (cut to size and inexpensive). You would think that would be easy to find, but it's not! I ended up getting pine coated plywood in 3/4 inch. I did have them cut it to size at 28Wx50L. The thickness was not ideal, so I decided to stack two pieces on top of each other.

Note: The hardware store did have pine in 1 inch depth, but the width of the table wouldn't have been big enough. I would have had to fasten two pieces together (and had a seam) to get the width right. I decided to go with the plywood instead.

I applied wood glue to one of the pieces and then laid the other piece on top.

Then, I put clamps on all four sides (making sure to place extra pieces of wood between the clamp and the top - so to not have any indentions).

I added a few screws on the sides for extra sturdiness. Then, I let the glue dry.

I applied Minwax stain in Expresso with a foam brush (going with the grain). I only applied one coat. I let it dry and then added a light coat of polyurethane. I let the polyurethane dry and then sanded it. <BIG MISTAKE>
I used a orbital sander with a rough grit. I don't know what I was thinking, other than I just wasn't thinking. I could totally see where I sanded through the stain. I don't have any pictures at this point, because I totally freaked out. 

I decided to try to reapply the stain in some of the areas where it was definitely light. Luckily, the stain took again to those areas. After waiting for the dry time, I reapplied the polyurethane. Waited again for the dry time and then manually used a very fine grit to sand the top. I then applied the polyurethane once more.

Cost Breakdown: 

Wood $33
Hairpin Legs $88
Stain and Polyurethane $18
Decor $17

Total $156

*I will be sharing the source list for the decor and printables on Friday over at my blog, Bigger than the Three of Us

Megan - Thanks for having me guest post!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Pre-Move: Allie's Room

I am busy, busy packing away. Our house isn't feeling like home anymore. The walls are bare, the rugs are rolled, boxes are taking over.  I'm at the point now where I am ready to be in Minnesota, unpacking instead of packing. 
Allie's big girl room was so fun to imagine and then put together. I feel like it represented her quirky personality. I can't wait to see how her room evolves in our next home. For now, her room is mostly packed up and completely taken apart. I got a little teary eyed while rolling and wrapping her rug today. I'm going to miss this house where my baby girl turned into a big girl. Two years makes such a difference at this age. She was just a baby when we moved in and now she is running around the house, hollering, and bossing everyone around. When we move from Minnesota, she will be close to starting kindergarten. Time moves so fast with little ones. 

This is my last post in my pre-move series. And it is almost time to say goodbye to this house. Decorating a rental home has proven to be quite fun. I've had to get creative with color and temporary decorating solutions, but now I can't wait to do it all again in our next rental. I've already been planning all kinds of projects. So excited!
Check out the rest of my home featured my Pre-Move series:

And here are all of Allie's Big Girl Room posts:

Linking up to:

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Family Easter Pictures

We had a super busy, fun-filled Easter. We went to my in-laws house for brunch and an Easter egg hunt. Then, we went to my in-laws church ward for sacrament meeting. They had a special Easter program and let me tell you, even with my candy cracked out, screaming, wild children, I felt the Spirit and God is good. Jesus lives. I felt that and I know it is true. 
After soaking in that goodness, we went to my parents house for dinner and another egg hunt. It was crazy, but my kids were happy and I was happy that they were happy. 
My husband and I didn't give our kids Easter baskets this year. Partly because I knew both their grandparents would be supplying a massive amount of candy and partly because I wanted to focus on the true meaning of Easter with our kids. We read a book about the true meaning of Easter every night before and on Easter. Carson had all kinds of questions and concerns for Jesus, but I think he learned to appreciate His sacrifice and has been saying sweet things about Christ being risen and such. 
I heart these wild ones. 

I hope you all had a great Easter!

Monday, April 1, 2013

I Could Hug a Rug

Remember my post with 5 Tips to Make a Rental Feel Like a Home? One of those tips was to add rugs. I mean it. Rugs define a space, add color, warmth, texture, and interest. In my dream land of wealth, every room in my home would have at least one rug. 
Good news, my friends...wealth isn't a necessity to have a plethora of rugs. Rugs USA offers affordable, durable rugs. I seriously am on their site a few times a week checking to see if they are having one of their massive sales (like 50-80% off plus always free shipping!!), and it is my go to site when I am designing a space for my home or for my friends/family homes. Their rugs fit everyone's budget without skimping on quality.
For Allie's room, I wanted a rug that could handle heavy barbie traffic, but was also stylish enough to be moved around our home if we ever decide to change her room. I chose the Tuscan Terali Moroccan Trellis Rug in navy. It is perfect. As soon as I unrolled the rug, I was amazed at how thick and durable the rug actually was, especially since it was so affordable.
This particular rug is 100% wool, as is most of the rugs found at Rugs USA. This mean this rug does quite a bit of shedding for the first few months you own it. I can vacuum right on this rug without any struggle and have already done so probably 20 times since we were showing the house so much. So far, it shows absolutely no wear. 

I probably won't ever shop for rugs anywhere else. Right now, Rugs USA is offering 60-80% off their rugs for Easter. Plus, shipping is free. You can get the same rug we chose in a 6 x 9 for a little over $150. Do it. Quick. Which rug is your favorite? I can't imagine this Easter sale is lasting much longer so hurry and get one...80% off, people!!

I received product for free. However, all opinions are my own. I was not paid for this post. 

Friday, March 29, 2013

Pre-Move: Master Bedroom

When we moved into this rental home, the master was the only bedroom the owners hadn't painted. It was a really dingy off-white paired with dingy and stained white baseboards. It was a hot mess. Luckily, the owners gave us permission to paint to our heart's content. We did. We painted the walls a really dark grey, which is surprisingly so cozy and inviting (though super hard to photograph). We also painted all the baseboards, trim, doors, and the closet pure white. 
This room was the first room I ever put thought into before painting and buying/making things for it. I had planned the design for this room months before we moved in. I had a lot of free time on bed rest in the hospital while pregnant with Allie. Sitting in a nasty hospital room really got me yearning for a room that we would actually love, unlike our room in our last rental. Before this room, the master has always been where we would put all the leftover junk: baby swings, a piano, tubs of outgrown baby clothes, old ottomans; our room has stored it all. I am happy to say those days our gone and our room is our own and it is peaceful. Except for when the kids are awake. Then, it is crazy loud.

Everything in this room is coming with us to our next place except for the lamp. Turns out, that lamp is quite a fire hazard. I still am going to store it. It used to be my grandmas so it is special, but we will need functional lighting. 
Also, the stencil seriously took me like 3 months to do that one wall. Never again. 
Would you spend the time to stencil a rental?

Linking to:

Guest Judging

Visit thecsiproject.com

Hey ya'll. I'm guest judging over at The CSI Project again. There is only about 5 hours left to link up so hurry on. This week's challenge is Spring Wreaths so let me see what you got! Can't wait and good luck!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Pouf! It's Magical, Trust Me.

I have finished Allie's room as much as I am going to finish it while we are living in this house. We are moving in just a few weeks so it's almost time to start packing up. I will do a 'Pre-Move' post on her room before we leave so you can see how it all came together. I'll wait to do her room reveal post when we move to Minnesota since I am sure it will be a little different. 
Adding in coral and pinks have really given her room a polished and feminine feel-especially since there is a lot of navy going on. The middle of the room was feeling a little heavy and dark so I was pretty stinkin' excited when this lovely Pouf from Zeldabelle came in the mail. It is so crisp and bright and structured. Love.
 The pouf is firm enough to use as a temporary side table with a tray on top, but also cushy enough that your bottom will most likely thank you for the seat. True story. This bad boy (girl?) has over 10 lbs of polyester fiber filling and bounces right back to its perfect form when that bottom of yours decides to hop off.
 One thing I really love about this particular pouf is that it has a zipper. As in the cover can be taken off and washed, making even this mostly white (with pretty coral polka dots) ottoman totally perfect for children's room. Ideal, because this happens a lot:
 I love handmade, especially when it is clear how much love and talent went into making something. It is definitely clear with this pouf. The quality is amazing and I love how perfectly the pattern lines up to make a star shape. We are so pleased!

If you are interested, you can purchase your own Pouf Ottoman at Zeldabelle. She offers large and mini sizes, and all in super cute fabric. We are crazy about ours. I think I might eventually buy a couple more for our family room. 
What is your favorite pouf that Zeldabelle offers? She also has gorgeous pillows and curtains. Check it.

I received this product for free. However, all opinions are my own and I was not paid to give a positive review.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Pre-Move: Carson's Room

Carson's room has always been a hangout destination for my kids. They spread out a poster of Andy's (from Toy Story) room and spend time together acting out scenes with all the character figurines. Allie usually ends up ruining everything and Carson ends up screaming and then Allie starts really screaming. The same scenario plays out for all other activities they do together, like playing transformers, or barbies, or coloring, or "reading", or sticker books...it all ends with the screaming. BUT, those few minutes of them playing happily together makes me happier than words can describe and there has been a lot of that in this room. 
When we moved into this house, his room was hand painted in stripes of yellow, pink, and blue. The room was previously shared with boy/girl siblings so it worked for them. However, pink wasn't going to work for my manly of a man. His room was the first room we tackled so he would feel at home. 
His room started with a tiny toddler bed which he outgrew so much that he actually broke it. We upgraded his bed to full size so his room could double as a guest bedroom when necessary. It has already got a lot of use. Carson doesn't mind sharing his room. He gets to sleep with me, which he has preferred anyway since he was a newborn.

I am going to miss the room that my little tot became such a big boy. Carson is definitely going to miss this room. He keeps asking me if I will remember to bring random things with us to Minnesota like his bed, or his toys, or his blankie. It's pretty sad. 
Do you have any tricks to keep your kids from getting anxious about moving?