Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Dressing up a dresser with new hardware

dressed up dresser
My initial plan for my daughters dresser was to find a unique piece and redo it myself.  I had a certain style in mind that I knew I was looking for too.  But when I found this piece, it was refinished already by a local furniture painter.  However, I knew I wanted to put another unique personal twist on this perfect dresser.

dresser before
The dresser was beautiful before, it had nice curves, the perfect color and nice distressing; but I wanted the dresser to have a little more feminine touch to it.  I finally picked out some new pull handles for the top three drawers from Anthrolpogie.  I loved their size, color, and femininity.

Changing out drawer pulls is really easy to do, but sometimes you need to do more than just change out the hardware.  This original hardware had two holes, but the new pulls only needed one center hole.

Time to do some face changing.

I removed the original hardware and filled the holes with wood filler and putty knife. 

Once that completely dries, you’ll sand it smooth using a sanding block until you can’t see any of the lines anymore.  Then just repaint the drawer.  In this case I knew I was going to be doing the top drawers so I asked the woman I purchased it from for some extra paint she used so it would match.  Typically if are making over a furniture piece and know you want to do this it can be done before you start painting.

DSC_7562 (2)
Once that it is dry it is time to drill your new holes.  I simply measured the exact middle of my drawer front and marked it so I could drill the hole. Be sure your drill bit is at least as large as the new hardware screws.

DSC_7563 (2)
Then simply install your new hardware and you’re ready to go!

DSC_7566 (2)
Now I have a unique dresser made special for my little girl!!! I wish I had an original before for this piece but I’m definitely happy with the ultimate after.  Think of a furniture’s hardware as a woman’s accessories.  Don’t forget to make them stand out as much as the new paint job!

Hope I helped inspire some of you to try out some new hardware on your furniture renovations!
dressed up dresser

Friday, July 19, 2013

Creating memories of family.

I leave work at 5pm every day.  Every day I drive and pick up the two loves of my life and get home an hour later. During my drive home I listen to my son describe his day with his slight stutter that I hang up on a little more than I should.  I try to tune out and ssshhh my baby girl as she screams her head off because she’s my adorable little porker that has to eat every two hours or she’ll freak out.  I arrive at home I run to the bottles and make baby girl her 8oz bottle while making sure I have two things of baby food veggies for her to eat afterwards.  As I shake the bottle I try to talk over Jaxy as he’s pretending to talk in dinosaur language to his toys and ask him what he wants to eat.  I lay baby girl on the floor and have her hold her own bottle so I can begin Jaxys dinner and continuously beg him to feed her, but he responds with a sweet, “No. I’m fine”. 

I finally stuff the two with dinner and battle them into their pjs and get them tucked into their own beds.  But then I listen to Jaxy as he presses the lullaby song in the teddy bear he picked out for his new baby sister and sing his own song for her, “You’reeeeeee my bestttttttt friend, you’reee my besttt friend, I love you, you’re my best friiiiiend”.  My heart melts as I tuck him into his bed and shut his door.  I take a moment and sigh to myself that I’m thankful I have them in bed, but I already miss them both.  I come down the stairs and am greeted with the chaos that is our living room with an explosion of 4 year old and baby toys and dinner dishes all over the kitchen. 

It’s a mess, I’m exhausted, but it’s my everyday. And I wouldn’t trade it for anything.  Well, maybe I’d trade something if it meant we got to have our 4th home with us.  This past weekend we headed out to our local zoo for a family day checking out the animals and I took in every moment I got to see my husband be the father I love him being to our children.  We needed a day we didn’t pay attention to my to do list, or what needs to get done before he leaves for months on end.  I just wanted a day to be us. We don’t get many of those.

So we went to join the party with the animals at the zoo.







I love this blog.  But I love my family more and I hope to continue to take time for these memories with my kids while my husband is gone serving his duty.  They deserve these memories, and I do too Smile

What have you done with your family lately?


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

How to Break Apart a Pallet

Pallet projects have been popular up-cycle projects for quite a while.  There are so many reasons why too – low cost supplies, great distressed age to the wood, unique characteristics, durable outdoor materials.

I personally use them all the time to make signs, and have made a small handful of other projects with them too.  Type in pallet projects on Pinterest and you’ll find hundreds and hundreds of project tutorials using pallets.  It makes sense then that my number one question I receive from readers is how in the world do I break down my pallets.  If you’ve ever tried breaking down a pallet by hand, you know they are extremely durable and do not break apart easily.  It’s not a simple task if you’re trying to use a crowbar and mallet.

The way I break down pallets is quick and easy.  I personally prefer this method too because you’re able to obtain the entire full 48” length of the boards including keeping those nail heads on the ends that give it such character.  
easy way to break down a pallet
Here’s my must have list for easy break down:

Reciprocating Saw (this is the gem that makes it easy!)
(I use a DEWALT 10-Amp Compact Reciprocating Saw [affiliate link], I recently upgraded from the 4amp which is a great beginner one.  Be sure to purchase 9” blades that are specifically made for “wood with embedded nails)
3M™ TEKK Digital WorkTunes™ Hearing Protector
3M™ Tekk Safety Eyewear
Work Gloves

If you’re going to be sanding your wood:
3M™ Sanding and Fiberglass Valved Respirator (perfect for hot summer days)
 3M™ Advanced Abrasives - 120 Grit

PBJstories.com how to break down a pallet
Here’s how much I love all of you that are asking how I do this.  I made a video (ack!) that quickly shows my step by step process for breaking down a pallet.  It’s my first video I’ve done for the blog…gulp.
How to Break Down a Pallet–PBJstories.com

We cut through one side of the pallet boards from top to bottom using a reciprocating saw.
power tools, tutorial, pallet, video, reciprocating saw, pbjstories.com
power tools, tutorial, pallet, video, reciprocating saw, pbjstories.com

It’s easiest to start on top and work your way down, and you’ll find you’ll easily be able to go from one board to the next in a smooth pattern. 
Even if there is a board you won’t ultimately be using (either too damaged, stamped, or not the right size) I suggest still cutting the side nails so you can easily get to the next boards with the saw.

Then switch to the other side and do the same thing. You can do both the front and back boards on each side so you don’t have to continuously go back and forth.
power tools, tutorial, pallet, video, reciprocating saw, pbjstories.com
Compared to the side supports, the middle support nails are a little more difficult to cut away.  I’m right handed and find it easiest to cut away the boards so the board I’m cutting away is on my right side.  My husband doesn’t feel this is necessary so play around with what makes you most comfortable.  I like standing on this side because I am able to see the blade as I’m cutting and be sure I am not angling it into the board.
The angle can be tricky to cut through the middle board so just take your time and do an “up and down” action as you cut through each nail.
power tools, tutorial, pallet, video, reciprocating saw, pbjstories.com
Once you’re done you’ll have a pile of full length pallet boards ready for your project!
power tools, tutorial, pallet, video, reciprocating saw, pbjstories.com, 3m, safety gear
Safety Warning:
Always take safety precautions any time you’re using power tools with safety goggles and noise canceling headphones.  The second you think “it’s just a quick job” – accidents happen.
It’s also very important to wear a respiratory mask any time you sand wood, but especially with pallet wood.  You don’t want to breathe in any of the sawdust you’re sanding off. 
120 grit is a good texture for pallet wood.  It doesn’t need a smooth finishing sand (unless you’re creating a table top for example). 

Pallets are a great way to obtain wood for any project, I strongly suggest doing some research on the warnings of using pallets however.  There may be many reasons you don’t want to use pallet wood as it may be treated with a variety of chemicals, or used in unsanitary ways.  A great way to be sure the wood you’re using is to give it a thorough clean prior to use with either a bleach wash, or high pressured wash and scrub.

The products under 3M DIY that I've used can be found in your local hardware store and has a full line of safety gear for this project, and many others. power tools, tutorial, pallet, video, reciprocating saw, pbjstories.com, safety gear, safety video, video

Be sure to check out 3M on 3M DIY Twitter Page, 3M DIY Facebook Pageor 3MDIY.com for more DIY ideas.

I’d love it if you’d share this post and pin it and spread the news about the easiest way to break down a pallet!

This post is a collaboration with 3M DIY but as always all opinions are my own and I only recommend products and company's I love myself. To keep up-to-date on projects, products and sampling visit 3MDIY.com.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

My Gardening Curb Appeal Skills–or lack thereof

I’ve officially decided gardening and curb appeal are impossible for me.  I kill all plants.  Instead of a beautiful garden after hours and days of labor, we have a flower graveyard.  I’ve always wanted HGTV to find me in Lowe’s and ask me to take them home to do a yard makeover – but I’m pretty convinced I’d be the worst client because after all their work and transformation, I’d care for the flowers and after two days they’d be dead.
Our front yard is pretty narrow, and we have a small front concrete patio.  I’ve been able to decorate it a fun few styles for seasons, but beyond the patio our front garden has been a trouble spot for me.
Take a look at what our front yard looked like the past two years since we moved in (2010).
Really sad, right? 

But like I said I have been able to decorate it in cute ways for a couple seasons like Christmas
PBJstories style challenge evening holiday decor
and this recent summer.DSC_8829b

A few weekends ago we spent a long Saturday and Sunday and completely redid our front garden to finally match the inside of our home.   We wanted it to be a complete finished space that had color and looked inviting to our home.

We dug out about two feet deep of existing dirt because it was bad, unhealthy soil.  We pulled all the weeds, flipped the dirt and brought in about 8 bags of new soil.  There was one massive bush that overtook the whole corner of the garden, so we dug that up and moved it to our backyard.

Then we wanted something that created a border to our garden to really make it stand out, so we picked out stone pavers and created a two level border going around the entire front of the garden and wrapped around the back against the patio.  This also let us bring up the overall height of the garden after all the new soil, new plants, and mulch. Once we dug out and laid all our stone pavers (future post coming about how to do that), we planted a ton of new flowers. 

This is a direct full sun spot and so we chose flowers and plants that were durable and could handle full sun. We choose two different color day lilies for height in the back, a new smaller creeper bush to put in the bend where we removed the massive bush, and then intermixed red, yellow, purple and white flowers.  Following proper instructions how to plant each flower we spaced them out close enough they help each other grow, but far enough that they don’t crowed one another.  Then to control weed growth we added a layer of dark mulch, keeping a few inches away from each new planted flower.

Then every morning for the next week I diligently watered the front garden… and everyday when I came home at 6 they were wilted.  Next morning they’d be perked up a little, but not as much as the previous morning. Every day they were slowly beginning their sad death.

After a week over half the flowers are dead. And our weekend of hard work and laboring hours put the flowers to the graveyard.

Overall still looks pretty nice:DSC_8964b
Let me take you in closer.DSC_8972b
Let’s hear a big “wah wah”.
I don’t get it.  I literally did everything that I read online, I did everything they told me to do at the nursery… Sad. Sad. Flowers.

I knew I never truly had a green thumb, but next year I’m skipping flowers.  Or maybe I’ll plant fake flowers, no one ever comes close to the garden they’d be able to tell right? HAH!

PBJstories.com curb appeal before and after
Dead flowers aside – doesn’t the new stone border look nice! I’ll be doing a break down of that soon too.
What is the deal? Any extra secret tips I’m not hearing about? Anyone want to come be our full time landscaper/maintainer?


Monday, July 1, 2013

Enjoying Our Summer Days

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™ and Huggies, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #HuggiesSwimmers http://cmp.ly/3/8vNxcO.

This past weekend we took time out from all our to do’s, project lists and work for a little family fun time.  I’ve been wanting to get to the water park the past couple weekends but our weather has been less than predictable and so we haven’t been able to make a day of it with storms rolling through.  So this weekend we brought out the kiddy pool and had some of our own water fun.

Kenzie got to play in the water the first time.  She didn’t hate it… but didn’t show any excitement either.  She is the world’s happiest baby… but she’s a quiet one.  Doesn’t really giggle, scream, make a lot of noises.  She just kinda sat in the water and was like … well okay.  Was still fun to have her in the pool, and of course Jackson is ALL ABOUT the water.  Has been from day one practically. 

I did a quick run to Target earlier in the week and picked up Huggies Little Swimmers to have in case we were able to get to the water park or beach.  Since we had them on hand we put her in one when she was in the pool.  I learned Little Swimmers are a necessity with kids and water very quickly with Jackson.  Have you ever seen what happens if a kid plays in the water wearing a normal diaper?  Yeah pretty much it ends up weighing about 25lbs and will explode open…and then you’re left with a big ol mess!  The Little Swimmers help keep what needs to be “kept in” inside the diaper, and what needs to be out, out. 

Who else loves chunky baby thighs and baby hair mullets? 


Jackson has always been amazing in the water.  We didn’t ever have to teach him how to go under water , he was just adventurous boy who jumped in on his own. When he was 2 we spent a week in Florida, and he pretty much spent the entire week in Little Swimmers.  How sweet of a picture is this of his cousin and her taking a stroll along the beach.  (And yup, those are Huggies Little Swimmers she’s so effortlessly showing off there)


As I said Jackson LOVED the water – and had no problem jumping in or being tossed around. 
DSC01324(Hysterical Picture)

It’s things like diapers kids can swim in that have me question just how generations before ours did anything with kids.  We have some pretty nice luxurious that help doing things with kids so much easier!

Hope you get to spend some summertime fun soon with your kids and get out to a pool, or beach and soak in the sun. Here’s a coupon to help motivate you to pick up some Huggies Little Swimmers and put down your to do list, and have some good family times. Save on Huggies today!
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