Fixer Upper: Cabinet Remodel

It’s almost shocking how one project can transform a room. Of course, painting cabinets was a bigger project than I expected it to become but it was certainly worth it in the end.

The previous occupant had painted half, yes HALF, the cabinets and the hardware with white acrylic paint. The landowners and I thought it may have been easier to just buy all new cabinets and be done with it. After doing some research online and talking over the costs of purchasing new cabinets, I decided to take on this project head on. It was much cheaper to do it this way and all the blogs online said it would be a quick and easy weekend project.

Boy I was wrong. Well, it was definitely way cheaper but this is no weekend project. Again, don’t think that you can do this all on a Saturday through Sunday and call it good. The sanding alone took a day since the cabinets that didn’t have a horrible acrylic paint job, had a thick glossy coat that was tough to break through. If you were to do this yourself, I highly recommend not skipping the sanding. Most cabinets have a top coat finish that won’t take to paint. Sanding allows the wood to be porous enough to have the paint stick. Even after, I had to do three coats of the off white paint for the top cabinets and 2 coats for the bottom in order to cover everything.

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The inside of the cabinets had this outdated yellow flower contact paper that would make your great grandma cringe. While I tried to remove some of it, I decided to cover it up with a pretty white marble contact paper I found at Lowes. Even though it made a HUGE difference, I developed a small personal hatred for contact paper. It can be very difficult to handle when placing inside a cabinet, and I have very little patience getting the bubbles out. Despite that, it covered the yellow flowers and gave it a cleaner look.

The doors took more time than I would have liked. I had to sand them a few times in order to get the paintbrush marks out. Also, since it was the doors I did about 3-4 coats of paint on both the top and the bottom to hide any imperfections from before.

I used the original hardware which was a bronze metal or painted with the acrylic paint. I went to Walmart and found a metallic spray paint that matched the stainless steel of the sink. Once I got most the paint off, I went to town with doing a few coats.

Installing wasn’t that difficult once I had Colton help me hold up the doors. Without his help, it would’ve taken me much longer for installation. It took us maybe 45 minutes to do both.

Overall, I’m so amazed that this project really helped the kitchen pop. The colors flow well with the light grey walls and the Commick Pine flooring that were previously done. The kitchen looks completely different than the day back in May where I toured the house. We couldn’t have pulled it off without the support of the landowners, our family, and friends. (Excuse the missing drawer in the pictures as I have to install a new drawer mechanism!)

Stay tuned for more home projects!

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1920s Fixer Upper: Lessons Learned

We are officially moved into the house! After 94 hours in 27 days, we have made the home livable. I honestly feel like I don’t remember anything for the month of June since it flew by so fast! What I do remember is the lessons Colton and I learned throughout the journey.

 

Prioritizing Your Projects

This was huge for us. We couldn’t just start anywhere and expect it to go smoothly. We had to sit down and figure out worst-case scenarios and at minimum what we could live with. For us, this was completing the entire upstairs before even starting on the downstairs. That way we could have the carpet installed and have at least one bathroom to use if something happened and we couldn’t get finished in time.  Thankfully, all but one room was painted and livable. Now that we’re moved in we can work on other projects to make the house a home.

 

Working Together

This was our first real big project as a couple. We’ve been together for years img_6868and learned so much so far. However, that was nothing compared to the work that had to be done. There were days where we both were exhausted, hot, and wanted to jump down each other’s throats. But after showering and getting something to eat, we realize we didn’t mean the things that we said or wanted to say. We apologized and understood that this was just building our relationship even more. Our communication has gotten better and we broke those barriers that held us from saying, “I need help with this” or “I need to take a break.” Understanding each other’s limits and picking up slack when the other has a rough day is also important with working together.

 

Compromising

Compromising was hard for me especially. I’m the type of person who wants everything done now. It drives me bonkers when something isn’t perfect or it’s unfinished. We had to move in with the cabinets not done and a whole room still needing to be painted (not to mention the work we have to do outside). Colton had to sit me down and have me relax to help better understand that it’s okay that everything isn’t finished. That’s the whole point of redoing a home. Sometimes you just have to meet in the middle and just bite the bullet on things. We have so much time to finish things and not everything has to be done right this second.

 

Finally, remembering to love each other

It doesn’t matter if the house is unfinished or if it was completely finished, at the end of the day we still had to sleep next to one another. No matter what was said or done that day, we had to take it for what it is and love each other. All of the flaws, strengths, weaknesses, everything. That’s the best thing being in a relationship. We have to love the entirety of the other person in order for things to work. It doesn’t truly matter whether or not it was a good day. What matters is what happens afterwards. We have to remember that we love each other for all of life’s journey, not just for the good parts.

 

All in all, I’m happy that we have a house to live in. The neighborhood is great, the landowners are awesome, and it’s peaceful. We even noticed a change in our dogs’ behavior. They are much more relaxed than we have ever seen them in the apartments we lived in. Everything feels right.

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Stay tuned for the upcoming projects that are being done. Next week, I’m finishing the cabinets and giving them a whole new look!

1920s Fixer Upper: Update

Whoa what a week!

The weathers been getting hotter here in Michigan! I’m ready to be finished with the interior so I can start out on the exterior of the house! Hello sitting on rocking chairs sipping on cold drinks in the beautiful summer weather!

We can see the light at end of the tunnel for the upstairs! Only a few more areas to patch up and paint and we are ready for the carpet to be installed! It’s stunning how much a little love can really update a room! We got rid of all the bright colors and stark white walls; and painted a ray of warm nudes and soft grays. We chose these colors specifically so that if we wanted a change in style for a room, we don’t have to repaint it. Also, it brings a fresh clean look to the house.

 

Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE color! And with garage sale season, it’s perfect time to find awesome finds to paint and add a pop of color to a room! I’m collecting all “new” pieces for the house to really make it stand out from before.

 

Stay tuned to see everything that’s happening the next couple of weeks!

Look of the Day

Every once in a while, I enjoy going outside of the box and do some character/theme makeup. This was an entry to for a goddess contest I did. The goddess I chose was Asteria: goddess of the stars and last immortal to live with man.

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I didn’t have gold lipstick or white eye liner at the time so I cheated a bit. The white is just acrylic paint. The gold is gold acrylic paint with a bronze eye shadow layered on top. In order for the colors to pop for a galaxy look, I took black eye shadow and blended it with my fingers. I wanted it faint enough so that it wasn’t overpowering the look. I did the purple and blue the same way by blending it with my fingers rather than a brush.

Overall, one of my most enjoyable looks to do. I like being able to take an idea and run with it.

 

Working In Fitness While Working Fulltime: Part Three

This past week I had a running struggle. It was like Mother Nature knew when I was out to get out of work to run and decided to rain. I didn’t want to keep me away from being able to get my cardio in so I decided to try something new—self-defense. I’m not talking about practice kicking some guy in the nuts, but rather learning how to actually throw a punch at an opponent with either arm. I also learned how to block and dodge so you don’t get stunned by a hit to the head.

Mind you, this was the difficult part. I’m definitely not one of those graceful woman warriors you see on TV. My right arm is forceful and accurate; whereas my left is wet noodle. It was hard getting used to it and I’m still getting the hang of it. However, I feel more confident knowing that I can (somewhat) protect myself. I’m sure the more I do it, the better I’ll get. Nothing wrong with practice!

Nowadays everyone should know some sort of defense. The scary stories we found on the internet in middle school are nothing compared to what we hear on the 5 o’clock news. It doesn’t matter if you’re in a city or in the rural areas—almost nowhere is safe from predators. Now before we tie tinfoil on our heads and shut ourselves away from the world, we should always know one thing. We shouldn’t be ashamed of who we are whether we are tall, short, strong, weak, or anything else in between.

It feels good for the soul practicing to be able to defend myself at any time. It’s one step closer to making sure I’m safe and relaxed in any environment.

May Lush Haul

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I recently went into my nearest Lush location and was hooked up with all sort of goodies. I have only tried Lush once in my life and that was years ago. I heard nothing but incredible reviews on their products (and it was pay day) so I wanted to really give them a try.

First off, the sales associate was magnificent. She asked all the right questions to help me look for that perfect product, and was extremely knowledgeable of all their line. She probably could have sold me the entire store if my paycheck allowed it. Plus, she gave me a few free samples.

Second, their products are absolutely amazing and well worth the price tag. I cannot emphasize the quality of their products. Lush is against animal testing, 100% vegetarian, all of their ingredients are carefully picked from local or global sellers who actually care about their products, their packaging is recycled, and it’s all homemade!  They certainly have something for everyone from bath bombs to face masks, to hairdyes and even toothpaste!

My May haul contained some awesome goodies! Below is what I got and a small description about it.

Rose Jam Bubbleroon. This has an amazing smell to it. However, it’s not really rosy rather than sweet and fruity. I love it for Lush cocktails as it produces a bunch of bubble, a very pretty pink colored water, and makes your skin feel so incredibly soft.

 

Milky Bath Bubble Bar. Another favorite to mix with Lush cocktails. It has a comforting scent and very subtle sparkles. Plus, the shape is adorable.

Floating Island and Mmmelting Marshmallow Moment Bath Melts. The Floating Island and the Milky Bath is a perfect combination to help you relax and feel refreshed. The Floating Island is vanilla and sandalwood scented and really moisturizes your skin. The Mmmelting Marshmallow Moment has a candy-like scent and a perfect match to the Rose Jam. I prefer to cut these up and use them for multiple times.

Cocktail time! I decided to mix these four together to create an aromatic and colorful experience. I do like the mixture of the sweet scents with the more delicate ones. My skin felt positively amazing and smooth afterwards.  I added one of my personal rose petal bath bomb to the mix! The water turned a pretty purple color and the aroma helped my body and mind relax.

Don’t Rain On My Parade Shower Gel. I love love love the scent of this shower gel. It’s has a fresh scent mixed with blueberry juice and violet perfume. I was unsure at first when I was in the store but after trying it, I use it practically every day. I love it for my morning shower especially since it helps wake me up.

Lastly, I picked up the Sea Monster Fun. The best way to describe this product is that Fun is bath Play-Doh that does fantastic things to your skin and hair! Sea Monster is lavender and lime scented and it’s very soft to play with. Perfect for kids (and adult kids). I didn’t even mention the best part about their Fun products. About 2.5% of the profits they make from selling Fun goes towards a charity called FunD, which helps create safe places for children to play in the affected area of the 2011 earthquake in Japan.

Overall, I am very satisfied with what I got with this haul. I will definitely be going into Lush again soon to try out some more of their products. Any suggestion post in the comments! I’d love to hear what you have to say about Lush, their products, or anything that I should try!

Look of the Day

 

I’ve been loving vibrant colors lately, especially this NYX yellow. 

 

Eyeshadow:

  • “Tempera”, “Golden Ochre”, “Love Letter”, and “Venetian Red” in the Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Palette.
  • “Psychedelic” from NYX Cosmetics Single Eyeshadows.

Liner:

  • NYX Cosmetics Felt Tip Liner in shade “Jet Black”.

Brows:

  • Brow Zings Tame and Shape Kit in shade “3”.
  • Kat Von D Tattoo Brow in shade “Medium Brown”.

 

Recognizing Toxic Relationships

Everyone at some point has that friend or group of friends that didn’t treat you the best but you stayed with them. You had some good and okay times that showed you that they could be decent human beings. Your thought process leads you to wonder if this is just a rough patch they are going through. You don’t want to give them up and be “that person” who wasn’t with them thick and thin. However, it comes to a point where enough is enough. Although, how can you tell enough is enough? There are red flags that are pretty obvious, and others that aren’t so apparent. Below I listed some way to help identify a toxic friendship/relationship.

 

If you’re sacrificing your happiness. 

If you can find a good reason why you are sacrificing your happiness and forward momentum for a friend then stay. However, if that isn’t the case, you need to leave them behind. No person is worth sacrificing your happiness for if they ask for help one-sidedly; not giving quality help and assistance when you need it most.

If you’re putting all the effort in. 

Like a group project; there should be balance. No one likes when they’re putting in ALL the effort in a friendship and receive nothing back. It’s okay for some days that one side puts in more than the other, that shouldn’t be the status quo. It’s tiresome and frustrating. Who you surround yourself with should want to talk to you, hang out with you, and overall help you become the person you want to be in life.

If you’re being used 

If your friend(s) are calling you to drive them somewhere and do something for them all the time, you’re being used. Especially if that’s the ONLY time they call you. You are a beautiful being with some kickass talents that doesn’t deserve to feel like the only thing you’re good at is for someone else’s personal servant. There are plenty of folks who will wholeheartedly appreciate who you are without using you for selfish gain.

They’re asking too much from you

A friendship shouldn’t make you feel exhausted (unless you two are workout friends). No matter the kind, every relationship should have boundaries. You shouldn’t be at their beck and call. And if you are because you feel bad, then that’s not a healthy friendship. Your planner shouldn’t be filled with things you have to do for them.

They’re not appreciating you

No matter who you are, everyone likes feeling appreciated. It makes you feel warm and loved when someone says “I appreciate everything you do.” However, it doesn’t have to be that touchy-feely either if you’re not that kind of person. A simple “thank-you” goes a long way and help makes your bond stronger. If your friend is taking you for granted, you need to make that boundary or leave.

 

Leaving someone behind is hard. It’s even harder if you’ve been friends for a while or if you were close at some point. Although, people change all the time. Sometimes that change is for the best and others –not so much. The number one person in your life should be you. You can’t build an empire if the foundation is weak.  It took me a long time of hurt and confusion to understand this. I thought some people were my best friends and they turned out to really be harmful and brash.

Working in Fitness While Working Fulltime: Part 1

The first in my fitness series! I’m excited to share the experiences of trying to balance work, life, and fitness! I am in no way a professional at any of this. This is from my own experiences. My advice may or may not work out for others as it did for me.

We all have those days. You know the ones I’m talking about. The week full of what feels like Mondays and you can hardly keep your eyes open sipping on your coffee, or third, of the day. The absolute last thing you want to do is go home and workout. It’s so much easier just sitting down and scrolling through endless amounts of tweets, statuses, and pictures.  It’s hard gathering up the motivation to go to the gym or head out on a run. I know I felt those feelings, especially starting out.

The biggest advice I can give to anyone working those long 40 hours is to SCHEDULE in the time you want to work out. It helps a lot when you make out a routine block of time that you devote to working out.  If you’re a morning person, get up a few minutes early and get your body used to the change.  However, if you’re like me and want to sleep as much as possible in the mornings then scheduling it after work may be a little easier. The moment I come home, I put on my workout clothes and head out the door. I even keep an extra set of clothes and shoes in my car on the days just in case I feel like running somewhere else.

Second piece of advice is to start out small. I feel like you’re more likely to give up if you’re trying to start working out more and doing a complex workout alone. I started out by running a few blocks around my neighborhood and worked my way up from there.

Join a class if it helps. I have done a few classes that interested me like yoga and spinning. It helps when you have an instructor who is wanting you to reach your full potential.  On the other hand, they can be pricey. The “cheaper” option would to have a friend who workouts with you. You can motivate each other and empower one another to keep going.

Only you can make that difference in your life. You cannot expect results after only one week of working out. It takes dedication to keep up and going on your routine. It’s estimated that it takes 66 days for something to become a habit. There will be times you want to give up and it’s okay to have skip days but make sure you get back on the next day.

Look Of The Day

 

I apologize for being MIA for so long. Life has provided me many new and exciting changes which I had to adjust to. I’m happy to be back and cannot wait to share the upcoming summer months with all of you.

This look was inspired by the beautiful sunshine we’ve been having here in Michigan.

Eyeshadow:

  • “Tempera”, “Golden Ochre”, and “Love Letter” in the Modern Renaissance Palatte.
  • “Psychedelic” from NYX Cosmetics Single Eyeshadows.

Liner:

  • NYX Cosmetics Felt Tip Liner in shade “Jet Black”.

Brows:

  • Brow Zings Tame and Shape Kit in shade “3”.
  • Kat Von D Tattoo Brow in shade “Medium Brown”.