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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Mid-Century Credenza







Life has been crazy busy the last few weeks, most of which school has taken over my entire existence.  My poor little family has been patient with me and my butt being glued to my desk chair for hours and sometimes all day.  Thankfully, the hubs has been great and on call with the kids while I'm studying and working away at my desk.  In between school and the kids I did happen to take some time to work on a piece of furniture that has been sitting in my garage for ohhh, I don't know...two years (I cringe).  Yeah, it's terrible to even say those words, but life happens.  And it kept getting pushed back on my to-do list.  

This baby has been my ultimate Craigslist pride and joy.  I was scoring CL and just happened to come across this baby by chance, the guy had knocked down the price from $100 to a whopping $20 bucks!!  I kid you not.  I called him and told the man I was on my way.  Even at $100, this credenza is worth triple that I'm sure.  It's so incredibly beautiful and all the hardware was intact.  A little dirty, but overall, in amazing shape.  Suffice it to say, I wasn't a fan of the stain color, a bit orange for me and my taste.  And I kept thinking I would just re-stain it.  I kept seeing images all over the web of glossy black and white pieces, that I decided to make the leap and paint her instead.  I had originally decided on black, but decided white was better with kids and wouldn't show any nicks or blemishes as much as the black probably would.  







The hardware was definitely trial and error.  I first wanted to make sure that they was brass.  You don't want to use any damaging chemical agents on them, or spend the extra money on cleaning products when you really don't need to.  So to test your hardware, you take a magnet and see if it sticks to it, if it does, than it's either non-brass or brass plated.  Mine were the real deal and didn't stick to the magnet, so I wanted to make sure I cleaned them correctly.  I'd researched a few different ways to clean brass and came up with the best solution.  Hot water, vinegar, and salt.  Yep.  Easy peasy.  For the small hardware, I used a bucket from the garage and filled it with the hottest water and about a cup of vinegar and a tablespoon of salt.  Then I let it sit overnight.






A couple of my doors had long these super long door hinges.  I could barely get them off, and realized just how much gunk was stuck to them.  They needed more than an overnight soak.  I used a huge plastic tub for these ones and filled it in my shower with the hot water mix like above.  Now because these were so gross, I actually had to let them soak for a few days.  KILL ME NOW!  I was so impatient.  Ugh.






After everything got a nice little soak bath, I scrubbed each piece just to make sure everything came out all nice n' shiny.  I started with a toothbrush, then got smart and decided some steel wool was a better alternative.  Don't worry, using the super fine steel wool is okay and it worked like a charm.  Within a minute, the hardware was super clean and shiny.  No real elbow grease necessary.  Seriously, after how many years of wear, these pieces had so much patina they looked like a bronze finish.  









Helloooo, beautiful!!








Putting it all together was the highlight of my day.  I had been so over the Ikea expedit bookcase that was here for the last few years.  It was a good fit in the beginning, but I kept feeling like there was too much open shelving, it was getting on my nerves.  I'm loving that everything is hidden away now and looking a lot more tidy.   


















After years of delaying and weeks of refurbishing her, I am super excited to finally have a piece of furniture that will be a staple piece in our home.



xo-Sara



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The Winthrop Chronicles
Sugar Bee: Take a Look Tuesday
Homestories A to Z
The Winthrop Chronicles

Thursday, January 16, 2014

edit your home.



The last few years, and most definitely when I turned 30, there began a sense of urgency.  Not the, "I need a man" or "baby" urgency (I had those)...but a sense of order and relief among the chaos in life.  I'm probably way behind in all of this, but I think in getting married, having children, and all of life's ups and downs, I never had the time, or maybe because time just seemed to slip away so quickly that I never had a chance to get my crap together.  Granted all-in-all, life was moving right along, but I continued at a pace that continued to deplete my bank account and fill my home with excess.  After some self reflection, I needed to change the way I looked at my home and what I decided to fill it with.  What I needed was a good editing plan.  Some how getting rid of the unnecessary in my life and at home.  What I saw in myself was the need to buy everything I loved whether or not I needed it or not.  Oh, my gosh!...I love it and need to buy it!  Why??  I really have no idea, maybe it was because I just wanted to buy something, or just that fulfillment of having it, I'm not a psych major, so I won't even worry about it.  And what I ended up with, was a ton of home decor and things I ultimately didn't keep around for too long.  So as I'm getting older, I'm more aware of my spending and more analytical of the things I choose to fill it with. 




So I came up with a few simple rules to help me tackle the unnecessary clutter and chaos in my life.




#1  Go through your paperwork, snail mail, bills, etc.  I try to make this a daily task because if I don't tackle it on a consecutive basis, it really starts to stack up and then I'm surrounded by not just one, but numerous piles of paper on my desk, in the kitchen, on my bedroom floor.  I'm a piler, obviously.  So for starters, I make sure to go through the papers, trashing what needs to be trashed, papers to be filed (right away), and bills to be paid.

#2  Now onto the decor.  Look at every vignette, styled mantle, groupings of pillows, frames, whatever and remove something.  Only keep what you love.  Really try to think about what you love or what you have just because.

#3  Now onto closet items and home decor you have on back-up.  Be critical when it comes to these things.  How many picture frames do you really need...two, six, ten??  When was the last time you used them?...over a year.  Yeah--goodwill 'em.  Don't even think twice, bag 'em up.  Relieving yourself of unnecessary things will free you.  Just wait.  Keep what you only know you're going to use, the rest is just using up space in your closet.  And in your mind.  Let it go!






I honestly can say, that by getting rid of excess items and clutter around my house has been incredibly liberating.  It's like a breath of fresh air and I want more of it.  I think sometimes we forget the incredible beauty that can come from a single component.  We forget to see the true nature and existence of each piece of furniture, art, or single trinket.

Sometimes they need solitude in order to shine.









Monday, January 6, 2014

Pantone at Home



This year Pantone announced that the 2014 Color of the Year was Radiant Orcid, a soft, muted hue compared to past years colors, like 2013's Emerald Green, and 2012's Tangerine Tango.  I'm not a huge fan of the color and couldn't imagine doing a color scheme with it in my own home, I think I'm a bigger fan of it being paired with another color.  I think if there was one way I'd use this color it would be to use them in accessories.  It's the best way to stay current without changing a lot.  








1.  This rad mod 80's watercolor pillow needs help from no none.

2.  This print from Eskayel is one I've been swooning over for months.

3.  The perfect shade of purple, this one from Society 6 is a must have.

4.  The vibrant colors in this watercolor print would look amazing paired with some moss green velvet cushions.

5.  I'm smitten with this Chanel No.5 pillow.  So chic.

6.  These blue and purple abstract watercolors are completely surreal.




Alright, alright...I've totally caved.

I need this color.



xo-Sara

Thursday, January 2, 2014

My new Society Social Chairs!!








Last month The EveryGirl was hosting an incredible giveaway from Society Social, in which they were giving away two sets of these Simone dining chairs.  It was an incredible giveaway and like most, I entered in hopes of snagging a set. Yeah--so you can imagine I about died when I opened my email from Alaina  stating that I'd won a set.  Pretty freaking fabulous if you ask me.

They showed up just a few days after Christmas and I'd probably have to say they are one of the best gifts I've ever recieved (sorry hun, I do love diamonds...but furniture--yep, I roll over for furniture).  As you can imagine, I'd been picking my brain about where to put these babies.  I know they are dining chairs, and as much as I would love for them to be a part of my dining area, I just couldn't imagine my little ones eating their pb&j on my new chairs.  Sorry, ain't gonna happen.  So the next best thing, was my office area.  I'd been hoping to replace my first ever diy chair, and this chair seemed to fit the bill.  






















The chair is comfortable and a great fit for the space.  I love the neutrality of the chair and that it will work pretty much anywhere around the house.  The second Simone chair is living it's life out in my bedroom for the time being, or until I can think of a better place for her.  









And while I snapped these photos and organized the space, my mind started working and rethinking my desk situation.  And with the addition of the new chair, I'm thinking a little change is in order.  For now, I guess I'll just fawn over my lovely chairs and dream of new furniture.




xo-Sara


Links to:
Inspire Me Please

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Year, New Goals







Another year has passed and I'm still in shock over some of the things that have happened in that time, I have definitely been on a bit of a roller coaster this past year and yet in the end I've grown in incredible ways.  It's just proven to me, yet again, that you never know where you'll be or where your life will take you.  Life is full of surprises and can seem scary at times, it can be difficult to map through life when we feel the need to have a constant hold on every action or moment in our lives.  And I think when our course hits those bumps and valleys, or even a major fork in the road, it can really beat us up and even scare us to the point of stopping on the path; afraid of what will happen if we make a mistake, or feel like we don't have the strength to pursue it.  But we can't stop on these paths, without those bumps and forks in the road, we stop growing. We limit our lives, and I for one don't want to stop living, even if it means I'm going to make mistakes or not.  

What this past year has taught me is that you don't need to wait for the new year to start fresh, or start a new goal.  It is just the beginning of a New Year.  I've never been one to keep or even start a resolution, but I think as I'm getting older, and seeing how beneficial it is in writing my goals down, it's even more important to tell them to someone.  So to start the New Year off right, I've come up with a few goals, both personal and blog related to share with you...



Personal:
Read daily scriptures with my family, drink water with every meal, eat out only twice a month, exercise every day for 30 minutes, write in my journal for five minutes before bed, read one new book a month, take more trips with the hubs, plan and take a family vacation, call family and friends more, sew something once a month, attend a broadway play or musical, and paint more.

Blogging:
Reach out to other bloggers and make more of an effort, comment more on the blogs I read daily, attend a blog conference or event, make time each week to write posts.




Wow.  So even in just writing those down, I already feel great about my resolutions.  I'm not saying that I know 100% that I will reach all of my goals, and here's why.  I'm not putting an expectation of completion for them.  Half of why all resolutions fail, is because of expectation.  If we tell ourselves that we must complete them and mess up on a day, week or month, we throw up our hands and say "forget it".  We figure it's not worth it and we can't go back.  What I know about goals and expectations is to give yourself a little break, no one is spot on all the time (and if you are, kuddos to you!!), but for the rest of us it's just not reality.  To accomplish anything, you need to just keep going.  Stop thinking about how much time has gone by or whatever guilt trip you're riding on, the point is to just keep going.  Pick yourself up and keep going.  I for one have a hard time staying on task, and even keeping a schedule, mind you kids do not help in that situation, but I always strive to keep going.  So even if I don't keep every single resolution, I am going to try my best and try to be better in the process.  If I can at least keep to having water with every meal but only sneak in a soda if we go out, I'm taking that as a definite improvement.  Support is also important, I'm totally making the hubs help me out, and I hope he kicks my butt if I want to have a Pepsi with my meal. The point is--keep your goals realistic and your expectations of them realistic too.  We all fall off the horse, what matters is whether or not you get back on.



I hope you all had a wonderful New Year and that you'll plan on making some new goals for 2014.

Can you feel it?!   It's going to be a great one!




xo-Sara