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Archive for January 2014

Cabinet Makeover for Under $15

Friday, January 10, 2014

Right off the bat, I'm going to be honest and tell you I don't even know what to call this thing! It has had many uses over the years. First, I filled those decorative drawer fronts with doggy food and treats and stored bags of each in the drawers, and my dog's leash and grooming supplies were housed in the cubby on the bottom. Then, after a very thorough cleaning, I filled the fronts with pasta and beans, and used the drawers to store potatoes. I've gotten a lot of good use out of it, but it was in need of some major TLC.

This is what it looked like before the makeover. It was a creamy white, and distressed. And while I loved the look (when it was new,) it was time for a change. 

Here you can see how badly the paint was chipping and bubbling from years of use, and from being kept in the garage for a year or more. 

First, my hubby sanded it all down so that I'd be starting with a clean, smooth surface. (So sweet of him to help me!)

Then I painted two colors on the top to see which one I liked best. On the left is Crystal Aqua by Valspar, and on the right is Tranquility, also by Valspar. Tranquility is a gorgeous minty green, but it just didn't pop as beautifully as the Crystal Aqua did, so it was an easy decision. (I loved Tranquility so much, that I used it to makeover some other items in the kitchen, though!) 

Two coats of paint later (with sanding in between coats,) as well as some distressing with a medium-grit sandpaper block, and it is starting to look happy again. While I was waiting for the paint to dry, I sprayed several coats of a glass frosting spray on the glass fronts. I did this to change the look of the cabinet, and to make it so I don't have to put things in the front panels anymore. I've never used frosting spray before, but it was incredibly easy and turned out just as I had envisioned it. 

I shopped around my house and found a marble candle tray and some candles that match my kitchen. I'll be swapping them out for something different soon, but for now, it works. 

And here is my "new" cabinet! It is so bright and cheery! And I did it all for under $15, and have leftover supplies for a future project. Love. 

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A Peek into my 2014 Planner

Friday, January 3, 2014

Up until this week, I had my planner inside my household binder. It was really cute, but not at all portable, and just wasn't meeting my needs. (To clarify, just the planner part wasn't working for me... I am still in love with my household binder!) Right before the new year, some friends started talking about the Bullet Journal, and I knew I had to give it a try. If you've never heard of it, head on over to There is a quick video and some other information that explains how to set one up. After I had thought about it for a few days (so I wouldn't act on impulse) my hubby was sweet enough to go to the bookstore to buy me a Moleskine notebook. I got the large black soft covered Classic Notebook with squared paper. Large enough to fit my needs, and small enough to fit in my purse. I will say, it was hard to find because I live in the middle of nowhere, but if you go to the Moleskine website, they can tell you where you can find their products. Or you can use any ol' notebook you like! 

We are only three days into the new year, so I don't have a whole lot in my journal yet, but I wanted to give you a quick peek. As you can see from the picture up at the top of the page, I had to add some color to that drab black cover. It was a quick 30 second fix, since I had some Martha Stewart Home Office stickers and elastic handy. Much better! 

The first page is an index, so I can easily find things. A place for everything, and everything in its place. Since I'm one of those people that writes things down in several different notebooks, and on little sheets of paper and sticky notes, having one place to deposit all my plans, ideas, and notes is awesome. 

I took the general Bullet Journal concept, and tweaked it to better fit my needs. On pages two and three, I drew some boxes for each month, and wrote down my family's birthdays, anniversaries, and  holidays. Then at the bottom of page three, I drew a key: a heart for anniversaries; a cross for anniversaries of deaths; a present for birthdays; and a dot for holidays. And because I like to doodle, each month has a little picture in its box.

Next, I made my January calendar. Overview on the left, and the month's tasks on the right. To give it some color, I used washi tape at the top of each calendar page. 

On the next several pages, I divided each page into three days. (A few ended up with four days so the new month would always begin with two pages.) This is where I will keep track of each day's events and tasks, and where I will jot down notes and write a little bit about my day.  I love that this acts as not only a planner, but as a journal and idea notebook, too. Because of that, this is something I will keep year after year. And don't you just love the satisfaction of coloring boxes in when you complete something? Or, maybe you prefer checkmarks, in which case, go ahead and check those boxes off to your heart's content.

I needed to be able to plan for future events, so after I finished making the monthly spread for January, followed by the daily pages, I kept going with February all the way through December. Monthly spread, dailies, and repeat. Yes, it took some time, but now I feel invested. Can't just throw it aside and forget about it when I stayed up into the wee hours of the morning to finish it. This thing is with me for life. Or at least the next 12 months. 

Right after the last page for December, I made a box for each month so I can write down appointments and other happenings that will take place in 2015.

Just to give you an idea of how I'm using the idea notebook part of the journal, the picture above shows some of the different projects I want to complete around our home, and below is a weight loss tracker I made to keep me motivated. I can't wait to color in all those little boxes!  

I am convinced this is going to work really well for me. It will free my mind of all the ideas I have floating around, and will act as my memory so I don't have to keep lying to myself when I think, "Oh, I don't have to write it down. I'll remember." So a big thanks to my friends for introducing me to this method. Love at first sight. 

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