Thursday, January 15, 2015

Cheap DIY White and Turquoise Desk and Chair Makeover

Cheap White Desk and Chair





Pottery Barn Style

Girls Room....
you ready for this?

For Christmas this year, my 7.5 year old daughter badly wanted a desk for her room more than anything.  She's starting to feel like a big girl, growing out of the princess phase and coming into a creative big girl phase where she wants a place to sit down and write, read, be creative and she needed lots of drawers to keep all her papers, note cards, and arts and craft supplies organized.  So...although she's grown out of princesses and realized the princesses at Disney are just pretending...she hasn't grown out of Santa quite yet so she asked Santa for a white desk and chair.  

I was more than happy about this request as it made it excited about reading and writing which was our biggest battle all last year...working on reading and writing.  So if she had a place that made her inspired to do those things on her own...I was all for it.  Then I started shopping for a white desk with drawers and a wooden chair to wasn't planning on spending $400 on one person.  So I started searching craigslist and a thrift store that is near our house regularly.  Even on craigslist, white wooden children's desks are not cheap!  I really didn't want to spend more than $100 and in my search, for like $80-100 I could get a really cheap white desk at Ikea, Target or Walmart but with no drawers...just simple white legs and top...NOT what I was looking for.  So I stayed patient and just kept looking.

One day I dropped her off at gymnastics and then popped into the thrift store and there it was...a dingy white wooden desk with lots of drawers and a wooden chair.  The paint looked it was yellowish and a really bad paint job and the chair had really ugly flowers painted on it...but I was SO happy!  I was ready to strip and primer vintage wooden desks I had seen on craigslist that were more that this one and this one needed a lot less work since it was already white-ish.  So for $40 I got a cheap white wooden desk and chair with 7 drawers.  So I got a small can of semi'gloss white paint and home depot and the next week knobs and drawer pulls were 50% off at hobby lobby.  I found these pretty turquoise "glass" knobs and this awesome turquoise chevron drawer liner paper that was also 50% off and I was all set to go!  

My inlaws came for Christmas so while Grammie and Grampa enjoyed the kids, I was able to sneak downstairs to "Santa's Workshop" and in no time had this baby sanded, painted and put back together.  My only hiccup was I was so excited to use the power sander for the first time.  We found it in the basement when we moved in.  I started and it was AMAZING!!!!!.....for about 1 minute and then the foam pad that holds the sanding paper to the sander started to disintegrate and foam started flying everywhere.  So I had to sad the rest by hand....which wasn't a huge deal but getting the chair smooth where those ugly thickly painted flowers were took some elbow grease!  

The paint dried fast so I would paint a coat on everything, come upstairs and be with the family...then run down later and do another quick really wasn't as big a job as I thought it would be.  

So without further is the cheap DIY white and turquoise desk and chair makeover!  My daughter LOVES it and was so excited it had lost of drawers, and was even more excited when she opened the drawers and saw the pop of color inside with the turquoise chevron drawer liners.  I love it too!  

Christmas Morning!

 side note: My son got what he wanted too, a punching bag like at karate - another thrifty find....Santa got that on craigslist!  lol!  You can't tell though, someone had bought it for their kid who did karate but who didn't use it that much wear and tear is a kid going to put on a punching bag practicing their kicks and punches...they aren't that strong! lol!)  When I picked it up from the family, the mom was laughing at me and said I was hilarious I had the kids in the car and put a black garbage bag around it and told the kids we were picking up some spare tires for daddy's car. lol!  I think she also thought it was funny that I was getting a christmas gift on craigslist but seriously...he's 4.5...I don't know how long he'll like karate for...why buy a brand new one just for the sake of having it be new when this one looks brand new anyway?

(hubby hadn't trimmed the end of the knobs yet because we were pretty tired Christmas eve when everything was wrapped up but it's a simple thing to do)

It really pays to be thrify and put in a little elbow grease!  Even if you can afford to buy the $400+ desk from pottery barn,to me it's more fun in the end to have gone on a treasure hunt, found the right thing and then made it pretty again...I enjoy it more, plus kids stuff rarely stays nice forever anyways so when it does get dinged up, at least I have the matching paint for touch ups!  

Here is the before & after shot...I was so excited to get started I didn't remember to take a real "before" shot before getting started.  I took a these with my iphone 3 which has a horrible camera and the lack of quality actually makes the desk and chair look better than they were! lol!
The drawers also had different colored knobs with big screws in the middle....not too cute.  The sides of the desk were a mix of not full coverage white and yellowed paint with drips.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Is This the Best I Can Be

A little belated, but Happy New Years Y'all eh?!?  I guess that's what I should say since I'm a Canadian turned Southerner, can't forget where I came from!  Speaking of that, it is important to remember where we came from.  That doesn't mean we have to stay there though, dwelling in the past and clinging to whatever hold places, things, experiences. ideas and people of the past may have on us...good or bad. Clinging to a good thing in the past too tightly  or clinging to a negative for too long... To be the best we can be, is to be able to see all our experiences we've had, how they may have influenced and shaped us, but then take what's valuable towards being who you really want to be and then letting the rest go.  Forgive, Forget, Let go of ideas that hold us back from pursuing the path we feel we should go but are afraid to because it's against the grain.  Letting go of our need to please and worrying what other's will think and how we will explain ourselves.  Stop resenting where we are because maybe the past was better than the present...and just trust that you are wherever you are for a reason and to bloom where you are planted and as the seasons change, so will you.  This is all stuff I've been having to work on and learn.  A LOT.  So I'm really writing all this to myself FYI.

I pulled out some old CDs tonight trying to find something new for J to listen to and came across this old CD I  completely forgot about.  The album is Elisa, Then Come The Sun....oh wow I forgot how much I enjoy it.  Especially this song

 Just listening to it reminded me of myself and my time before becoming a mom and even as a new mom and how I envisioned things were going to be.  I'm not complaining, I am so thankful for the life I've been given, but truth is for us all, life isn't as idylic and simple as we imagined it would be, even if we have much to be thankful for, life can still get rough.  But then I just much of that idylic vision we HAD gets washed away from our minds because of us just doing what everyone else does and not having the confidence to just do our own thing without apologies.  I know why we (I'm thinking from a mom perspective) want to do what's best, because we are always worried if we are doing what's best for our kids and in our quest to do what's best...we sometimes miss what's best, and we sometimes lose ourselves....and miss out on our full potential and our kids full potential.  

What if in our quest to be the Best we can be and do what's best for our kids...we stopped trying to be the best and do all the best things and follow all the best advice and be like our best friends, and do what the best experts say to do, be like that "best" mom we know who has the "best" kids, or the "best" husband or the "best" decor or the "best" job or the "best" school/curriculum and we just got quiet within ourselves, tap into the inspiration from the Holy Spirit and let our intuition/the Holy Spirit guide us to be the best we can be, and not be sorry about it.  We can't please everyone.  We were all uniquely created, all structures are man made...if you are finding yourself lost in life trying to keep up with it all...well...SLOW DOWN and let The One who made you grow you into the best you can be, He designed you, He knows you.  We weren't all made to do everything the same way.  We weren't all made the think the same way.  We weren't all made to learn the same way.  And we definitely weren't made to be boxed into this or that category, we were made to grow and learn continuously.  We need to be open to change and maybe doing things differently than what we are used to doing.  

I think it can be easy to miss out on the best trying to do the "best" all the time.  I guess it all goes back to the whole Mary & Martha thing.  If we are always a Martha, trying to make sure everything is the "best", we can miss out on the best thing right in front of her case that was sitting, listening and resting in the presence of The LORD.  For us it is that too, as well as missing out on resting in the presence of our children, spouse or whoever, just sitting, listening, engaging without an agenda.  Enjoying our time with them and ending our day not exhausted and weary because we are too busy and putting to much on our plates thinking that's how we be the best we can be...but becoming anything but that.  I mean, If we just feel "a little over zero, is this the best we can be?"  

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one.[a] Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

what can you take off your plate?  What can you do to live more simply?  Few things are needed.  Same with our kids...we get worried and upset about many thing but few are needed.  Let's not miss out on what's best trying to keep up with the "best" or what other people think is "best".  Let's break free and just live our lives, not being who other's want us to be or who we think we "should" be...but allowing God to grow you into who he designed you to be.  Give yourself and others grace and don't be afraid think outside the box...and while you're at it, get on the floor and turn that box into a fort, or space ship or car or whatever with your kids and turn it into a lesson without them even knowing it...then use the box for fire starter and you have science!