Fri-DIY, painting a chandelier

Friday, January 15, 2016

My bowling ball belly and I are enjoying decorating Sawyer's big girl room before her baby sister arrives. If I'm not painting, I'm scouring Craigslist or Goodwill trying to find the perfect "Look, husband! I only spend $10 on this hunk of junk" find. Hunk of Junk is kind of my middle name. 

I've got a soft spot for gorgeous light fixtures. Who doesn't? (Ahem, Grahm.) Unfortunately, my budget for this room didn't really call for spending $500 on the one I wanted. (I believe Grahm's exact words were: "Uhh, she's only two. Uhh, it's just light.) Sigh. 

Enter the ever faithful Craig and his list of delightful beauties for sale. I found this two-tier brass chandelier for $15 and knew it was destined for greatness. So I grabbed my mama and my toddler and went to fetch it. 

This tutorial was my vision. I already had some Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Paris Gray at my house, so I slapped some of that on. I suppose I could have left it like this, but I wanted it to look more expensive. To me, it really looked like I had painted it. That wasn't really the look I was going for. 

The next step was to dust the entire chandy in dark wax. I'll be honest. Dark wax is terrifying, and I usually try to avoid it. A little goes more than a long way... as in you just wanted to go to Dallas, but you ended up in China. So be sparing! You can always add more later. I used a paper towel and a small paintbrush for the hard-to-reach crevices. 
Waxing was definitely the most time-consuming, tedious part of this entire operation. But I think it paid out! I strung some crystals I picked up at Michaels on fishing line for some added pizzazz. I'm thinking about adding more later because I love them so much. 

If you're looking closely, you can tell this hasn't been the only thing I've painted recently. Really love the Benjamin Moore gray I picked out for her room. Nevermind that trim, we've got something up our sleeves to finish off her walls. ;)

This definitely is up there with one of my favorite upcycles of all time. I'm tempted to do another one in our bedroom if I can ever convince G-Money that yes we can indeed survive San Antonio without a ceiling fan. After all, you sure can't beat the price! Sawyer has already enjoyed flipping the light switch on and off several hundred times. "Light, mommy! Light!" Gosh, I love her.

10 Songs in the Head of Every Toddler Mom

Friday, May 15, 2015

My attitude toward my 15-month-old these days is kinda like her view of the vacuum: a little terrified, a little unsure, but mostly full of awe and love. Every day she's doing something crazy (playing with toilet water), or genius (opening doors), or completely stereotypical (throwing her blueberries on the floor and demanding fresh ones).

During these glorious, action-packed days, I find myself humming the same tunes during each crazy episode. It's become a bit of a playlist if you will. A mommy playlist to remain sane during the typical shenanigans my toddler throws at me on the daily. So I thought I'd share in case you need a familiar tune to jam in your head whilst dealing with your kiddo.

1. When your daughter refuses to eat anything but crackers and bananas and you go all Michael Jackson on her...

2. When you're in the middle of a store and your child has an embarrassingly loud meltdown because... well, you really have no idea....

3. When your child just really really really wants to touch that really really breakable thing in your friend's house or play with the toilet water or eat soap, you go Ba na na na na na na na na....

4. When it's 5 o'clock and your husband tells you he's on his way home, and you realize uhhh...

(Runs to the bathroom to put on deodorant and fresh clothes in a lame attempt to disguise your man stench and the fact that you've been in jammies all day.)

5. And when you actually DO put on makeup and a bra during the week, you're like...

6. When you're about to collapse in a puddle of tears because you're tired and cranky from dealing with a tiny, cranky, logicless version of yourself all day, but you don't want your baby to know...

7. When your toddler does something adorable, you're all...

8. When your husband tells you that he's going to be really late and won't be there to give her a bath or put her to bed...

9. When you somehow manage to keep your baby alive and well while actually getting something accomplished around the house, you're all...

10. But mostly, you overlook T-Swift's romantic intentions and sing (often while squeezing her rosy, yogurt-covered cheeks)...

the present

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Do you ever feel like you're living in slow motion? No matter what you do, you can't seem to speed things up a little? It's not that you want your days to zip on past you, but you're just a little bit tired of them always feeling a bit sluggish.

Do you ever feel like your life won't slow down? You can't seem to ever find a moment to simply step back and breathe. It's all one big, scary blur, and you're starting to feel a little lost int he whirlwind of diapers and editing and maintaining your husband's pile of laundry.

Like a thong betwixt a pair of buns, I'm caught in between.

I realize that may sound like an oxymoron. How can  your life be racing past you, yet simultaneously creeping along like that tiny old grandma who somehow always ends up in front of you on the highways? I catch myself having nostalgic moments at the most random times. Sawyer has really been loving forks lately. With the confidence and expertise of a child much older, she has transformed into a utensil-bearing baby (my scary reality). Every time she brings a speared bite of avocado to her lips, my heart breaks a smidge. Where did my baby go? Time, won't you stop for just a little bit?

On the other hand, I find myself consistently praying to make it through the week. Whenever Sawyer has a mini meltdown because weaning is apparently the hardest thing that's every happened in her fifteen months on earth or I get bored copy editing whatever novel I'm working on or I wish Gram could be a stay-at-home parent with me, I pray that my days will zip right on by. The stpud tick tok of the clock toys with me as time slinks on by. I can't help but wish it were tomorrow or next week or summer or next baby or time for babies to go to school. And so on and son on. Maybe it'll get easier then. Maybe when Sawyer can dress herself, I'll be able to take a longer than five-minute shower. Maybe then I'll have the energy to muster up a decent meal for my family. (Ha.)

Neither one of these mentalities is beneficial. Neither is satisfying. On the one hand, I never want to experience anything other than my current routine. I'm desperately clinging to the moments of today, never wanting my redheaded girl to gain another pound or learn another word. And yet, I want my present situation to speed right along to an easier time. (Again I say, ha.)

These perspectives make us miss things, BIG things. Our most satisfying moments are the daily makeup of our lives. Do we really want to miss it because our attention was elsewhere? Well, I sure don't. I want to find pleasure in my present, a true contentment in my day to day. I don't want to be constantly looking forward, no do I wish to be fixated with the rearview mirror. Because somehow I know, no matter what stage of life I'm in, my sinful heart will never be fully satiated. Without the contentment of Christ, I'll always be looking ahead or staring behind instead of enjoying the blessings of my present. 

mother's day

Monday, May 11, 2015

I spent my second Mother's Day saying goodbye to my family (this gets harder every time), seeing old friends, and driving ten hours with a 15-month-old. If you haven't combined your baby and a road trip, you haven't really lived. Or you're just a heck of a lot smarter than me.

Between scream-singing with Grahm and drooling on the front seat during one of many naps (I'm an excellent road trip buddy), I quietly mused on the life-changing whirlwind of motherhood. There are many aspects of caring for a wild child I could describe for you (lots of poop, lots of Ritz crackers), how I've changed as a person (lots of being covered in poop or Ritz crackers), and how much my heart has swelled with love (despite the poop and Ritz crackers) for a tiny red-head.

But one of my favorite parts of having a sweet baby is watching my family and friends love her. This last week in Nashville, my family spoke my love language of diaper changes and REM cycles. They loved on Sawyer, changed her diapers, took her to the park, fed her (no small feat), and let me sleep till glorious 9 o'clock. (No wonder it's hard coming back home.)

I am so lucky to be Sawyer's mother and to have so many wonderful people in my life who love my baby just as much as I do.

Fri-DIY, a play kitchen

Friday, May 1, 2015

Don't quote me, but Fridays are going to be DIY day over here at Nestfull. Grahm and I have been up to several projects since the start of the New Year, and I wanted to share a few for those interested (hi, Mom). 

Because we want our daughter to know her place is in the kitchen (wink wink), we made a play kitchen for her first birthday. I wasn't in blogging mode in January, so I don't have a ton of pictures (try any) of the process, but I'll try to explain the steps. I like this project because you can be as cheap or extravagant as you want. We opted for a bit on the pricey side, since it was her birthday present (and obviously she really cares about beadboard and trim).

I scored this jankosaurus entertainment center on Craigslist for a whoppin' $10. These things are always in Goodwill, too. They're like grandma's varicose veins, not hard to find.
First, we moved the wall of shelves over to the right. I wanted them to be even with the cabinet door underneath, so we moved and cut the boards accordingly. (I say "we," you know I mean Grahm.) This isn't necessary, but I thought it looked more aesthetically pleasing.

I painted the entire thing in Sherwin Williams Rainwashed (same as our bedroom), cut 50% white, and the inside is purple for an extra pop! Next we added some beadboard to the back. Again, unnecessary but pretty! We tacked it in with some finishing nails and then added some quarter round trim to give it a nice finish. We made a panty door out of trim and chalkboard MDF. Two hinges and a cute knob and bam! A pantry is born.
We used a jigsaw to cut a hole for the sink (It's very helpful to buy a bowl with a good lip on it.) and faucet. Since we changed a pedestal sink in one of our bathrooms, we just happened to have a spare faucet. Measuring in the little stove space, we set the four stovetop burners where we wanted them. I painted them gray before we screwed them in.
With my handy 40%-off coupon, I snagged the four oven knobs from Hobby Lobby. Grahm made them a little loose, so they actually turn when she grabs them. Next, we changed the orientation of the left cabinet door so that it would open like an oven (from the top). We added a sleek oven handle and one just a little bigger to the right of the sink for a washcloth. Using a jigsaw, Grahm cut the inner square of the cabinet door and tacked on some Plexiglass (which Sawyer has already broken).
Try to ignore the exercise orb in the corner. (Hey girl, hey!)

My mama sewed this adorable three-ruffle skirt for under the sink. We used a dowel rod to hang it.
I hung a picture of a meadow in an IKEA frame to give the appearance of window. This easy fabric banner (seriously, just tie fabric around a piece of yarn) added some color around the frame. 

And voila! This is one of my favorite projects because Grahm and I got to create something that Sawyer will love for years to come. Next up, a tool station!

What would you have done differently?

Stove Burners (painted gray)