Brooke Turns ONE!

It’s hard to believe that one whole year ago, Brooke came into our lives!  Wow, people are not kidding when they say “don’t blink” when it comes to having children.  Looking back on this past year, I just can’t believe how much has changed…but in the most amazing way.

Rewind two years ago…browsing Pinterest and seeing all the amazing ways to decorate and celebrate a little girls birthday.  Pom Poms and pink pink pink!  I have always wanted to throw a little girl party because, I am pretty girly and it just seemed like the fun thing to do.  Brooke’s first birthday party was my chance to make this dream come true.  Sigh…so perfect and dreamy and fun.

Reality…Brooke is a bundle of mobile…crawling at the speed of light and transitioning to ONE nap a day.  AND, being pregnant with baby #2 and super sick…yeah, throwing a party seemed like an unusually large and difficult task.  Then my doctor prescribed my Diclegis, aka amazing morning sickness cure and the ability to feel normal *lights beaming from Heaven and angels singing* THANK GOD!  Brooke’s birthday is actually July 27 but we pushed her party back to August 16 to give this mommy a chance to accomplish that fun pinterest party she has always dreamed of.  So off to the Goodwill and thrift stores I went!

Brooke’s party was a month in the making…potentially longer.  I made a lot of my decorations and collected inexpensive alternatives to my inspiration.  Here is the picture that captured my eye for my little girl’s first birthday party.
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Here is my version!
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Burlap is very inexpensive at Walmart, topping that charts at a whole $2 and some change per yard.  Score…those are the kinds of deals I get excited about.  The pink linens and banner in the background came from Goodwill that I picked up over time.  I purchased the wooden “B” on discount from a local artist and printed a ton of pictures that I placed in various frames found on the 70-80% off rack at Kohl’s.  To save money, I made my own cupcakes and smash cake…with a little help from Pinterest.
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I picked up a vintage wood high chair from the Goodwill for $25 and distressed it myself.  Always a cheaper option than purchasing from a local designer.  For information on how to distress furniture, check out my past blog posts for step by step instructions (I’m obsessed).  The sweet milestone poster above the high chair was designed on Etsy and printed through Shutterfly.  Then, I found the white frame on super discount at AC Moore.  Beware Mama’s…these posters are super cute and all but they are NOT cheap.  Unfortunately, once I started down this path, I had to complete or it was a total waste of money.  I wish I had some thrifty advice for this cute little detail but be prepared that it’s more of a splurge.
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I also decorated our fireplace mantle with more pictures of Brooke.
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Since Brooke is a baby…well, I guess google now considers her a toddler, I wanted to create an environment for her little friends to play safely and have tons of fun.  I totally stole this idea from another mama on Facebook because ladies and gentleman…this is brilliant!  A 10ft blow up pool, purchased at Target for $29, filled with toys toys toys galore and balls!  This was a hit with all the kiddos and best of all…the kiddos were contained in a bumper proof environment!  Win for kids and Win for adults!
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Lastly, the food!  I would love to take credit for all the yummy food and call myself Mrs. Martha Stewart Jr. but folks, let’s get real.  I have a one year old!  Enough said!  Lowe’s foods caters these beautifully delicious trays for less money than you can make the food.  Win-Win!  No cooking for this mama and a bargain!  Best kept secret!  My mother in law was also extremely generous and made 18 lbs of homemade country fried chicken that was a total hit!  18 lbs of chicken for an 18 lb little girl!
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Distressed Obsessed

I mentioned in my last post that Goodwill is a great place to find lots of Oldies but Goodies, especially for those late night De-Stressing projects.  I’ve been spending a ton of time at the Goodwill these last few months and seem to be hitting the jackpot lately.  Another exciting find – an entryway piece.  Here is my bundle of amazingness that I scored for $130.  Drum roll please….

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Ta-DA!

Oh, come on…THAT is the piece you fell for at the Goodwill?  That is pretty ugly.  I’m fairly certain that piece would go great with a puke orange shag carpet and a pair of bell-bottom jeans!  Yes, yes, I know but oh the potential.  Again, when looking for furniture to distress, the absolute best pieces have lots of grooves and details.  That little orbital sander LOVES chipping paint off every little detailed crevice.

This piece was real wood which made my job so much easier.  No priming needed and very minimal sanding.  I used the same recipe for chalk paint as my previous distressing project.  Here is the final product.

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The mirror included with the furniture seemed too blah to me.  BORING…plus, I have been working really hard to conquer my fear of color.  For some reason, my eye always goes to the most bland and neutral earth tones and that is what I end up decorating my house with.  I still love neutrals but a pinch of turquoise in the ceiling tiles I found online seemed to be the perfect compromise.  This project called for two tiles which I found on Amazon for a whopping $30 total.  Although, when my tiles arrived at my doorstep, they were turquoise.  Like super turquoise.  Like BAM all you see is turquoise.  No problem…nothing a little spray paint wouldn’t fix.  I sprayed the tiles with left over oil rubbed bronze paint and sanded the details so that the turquoise showed through.  I accomplished my color goal but also still stayed with my earthy taste.  I’m in love.  The wrought iron basket on the bottom shelf of my new and improved piece is also from the goodwill…$5.

 

From Old Desk to Distressed Hall Table

I love the look of distressed furniture but have always shied away because of the massive amount of time and work that goes into this.  I have never been that  patient of a person and was not sure I had the patience for striping, then sanding, then painting, then sanding again and then painting…blah blah blah…  Plus I was not all that comfortable using stripping chemicals while preggers so an alternative was desperately needed.  So, I googled “distressing furniture” and found a SIMPLE and FAST tutorial that involves Vaseline and a little bit of interior paint.  Hmmmm…seems easy enough!

So I was given this old desk that worked great in my guest room back in our old house.  Only problem was, my guest room didn’t have enough room for another piece of furniture so this desk sat in our spare room (aka future baby room) for 6 months collecting dust.  I thought about giving it away or donating it but never got around to it.  One day I was sitting in this spare room with my mom discussing inspiration for a little boy or girl nursery and BAM…it hit me!  I swear I am like a cat…can’t pay attention to anything for more than 5 minutes before my mind wanders into a totally different direction.  “MOM I know what I can do with that desk!”  My mom has dealt with Brittany ADD for 27 years now so I am sure she is just used to it.

Here is a terrible picture of the desk before…sorry for the blurriness!  I can’t believe I found this picture from an old iPhone back-up…some things are just meant to be!
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This desk is essentially two pieces; the top part and the bottom part.  Both parts will be transformed into something totally different, but for today, we will discuss the Distressed Hall Table.  I thought it would be really cool to incorporate an old shutter as the top part of the table…so off to Habitat I went.  Believe it or not, wooden shutters can be difficult to find as many are actually plastic.  Obviously wooden shutters makes more sense for a table if you consider the stability of the piece.  Two wooden shutters for $12…SCORE!  This project only requires one shutter.

How to Distress Using Vaseline:
  1.  Choose the piece of furniture/wood/project that you would like to distress.  Lightly sand the piece by hand.  Seriously, don’t spend more than a few minutes on this step because it is a waste of time.  Your piece more than likely already has existing paint or stain or whatever that you can use to your advantage…be creative!
  2. Blow off your piece with compressed air or a lawn blower (Red Neck but works great).  Paint a super thin coat on the corners and edges of your piece a dark color (or whatever color scheme you would like).  Remember this step will eventually be the color that will show through to give a distressed look.  Let the paint dry (1 hour at the most).  Since my desk was black, I didn’t need to do step 1 or 2.
  3. Now for the fun and moisturizing part of this project!  Smear a thin amount of Vaseline along the edges and corners of your piece, covering the dark paint you just finished in step 2.  You don’t need to let the Vaseline dry because it won’t…LOL!
    1. NOTE:  The thicker the Vasleine coat you use, the more that the paint will come off in later steps…totally your call.  Thicker Vaseline layer is more difficult to work with in the end and will be much messier.
  4. Using FLAT paint in a light color (I used cream color) and a paint brush, apply a light coat all over the peice.  Remember, the goal here is to make the piece look distressed so don’t get all OCD on this step.  The less perfect you paint this layer, the better it will look in the end.  Be creative and try not to cover the whole piece with tons of paint.  Let paint dry (not more than an hour).
  5. Using sandpaper or those sand pads you can get at any hardware store, lightly sand the edges and corners of the piece (remember in step 2?).  BOOM – distressing made easy!
    1. NOTE:  You can incorporate several colors if you wish!  I did this with the shutter.  I used teal, dark brown and cream.  Just be sure to add an additional step of painting before you apply the Vaseline.  Be creative…you can’t go wrong with to many colors.

Shutters

Putting the table together was pretty easy!  All I needed was an electric drill, drill bits, screws and a husband!  Since the desk already has legs and a base, the only step left to do was assemble the shutter to the top.  The desk was already set up for a top so literally all we did was screw the shutter onto the base of the desk…very carefully!  Actually, I shouldn’t take credit for this as my husband did most of the work…okay all of the work!  Thanks Hun!  OH…and I added vintage crystal knobs to the functional drawer.

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Table After Distressing with Shutter Attached!  Enjoy!  I am super proud of this project!

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Table in Hallway

Remember that awkward wall I talked about in the “Big H” hallway upstairs?  This desk and picture works perfectly in this space!  To read about the “Big H” in our upstairs hallway and envision where this desk is placed in my house, click HERE.