Pin Post!

How many times have you drooled over some easy DIY project on pinterest and just left it at that? I loved these paint dipped cans and thankfully i had a few different sizes just lying around! Yay recycling, organizing and designing all in one. Woot!

source

First off, let me just say the paint part was an epic fail. Without the right colors, this project will look pretty lame. So i suggest picking your colors wisely first. Wish i had a picture for you guys, but I’ll spare you the sight and show you the finished product. To cover up the hideous paint I used some lovely Washi tape!

I just made this purchase last week from PrettyTape on Etsy. I can’t even tell you how confused my husband was that i bought tape off of Etsy. He is still confused but I am excited about all the different options with usin this stuff. Hopefully more projects soon!

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Kitchen Art

So these guys all started from my constant need to check kitchen conversions online – im just bad at remembering how many cups in a liter, tablespoons in teaspoons, etc. so i decided to make a quick an easy “art” guide right there on the wall. So i made some more ūüôā Find them all on my Etsy shop, here! Without the logo at the bottom, of course!

Cant wait to see this guys in my kitchen:

Can you tell I got a part time job at starbucks?!

Also made this chart to remember cooking temperatures – super helpful!

Hopefully these art charts will be helpful while cooking up some delish grub!

-Rach

Top Ten: Kitchen!

I love the kitchen! Theres nothing more fun than experimenting (and epically failing) with new recipes. I’ve got a lot of stuff that i just adore and would flip if I didn’t have it in the kitchen. Check out this list to find some of my favorites in the kitchen!

1. Court Dinnerware Set

What would we do without these!? Somehow we have yet to chip or break a single one in over six months! If you knew how clumsy i am, you’d be very surprised. ¬†The bowls are the perfect size, the plates are the perfect size and the simple square shape is great! If you’re in need of some dinnerware, I highly suggest these! Purchase from Crate and Barrel¬†here¬†.

2. Chevron Dishtowels

I don’t know how long I went without a good set of dishtowels. These are just adorable! I love the texture and pattern so I might have bought a few sets of them. Purchased from Anthropologie over¬†here.

3. Cuisinart 9 cup Food Processor

I wasn’t much of a cook before I got married so things like “food processors” were definitely foreign objects to me. Pretty much still are but this is the perfect size for 2 people or a small dinner party. If you have a family of 10, I’d suggest going up a size! Purchase this sucker over¬†here.

4. Mixing Bowl Set

It might sound silly that mixing bowls might be one of my favorite things in the kitchen… but going from having 2 crappy bowls to six with so many sizes and adorable colors. It just makes me happy! They are also very well made – i beat these up a lot and theres not a single scratch on them. ¬†From Crate and Barrel over¬†here

5. Hammered Metal Flatware Set

Think about it. You use flatware constantly. Other than a pop tart, most food you eat with a fork or spoon so getting a good set is crucial. ¬†I love these because I prefer the little forks and Kenny prefers the big forks (so weird how that works, right?) The large spoons are perfect for soup and cereal while the normal ones are good for everything else! I love the hammered metal look and of course, functionality! Since we registered on Crate and Barrel, a ton of our stuff came from here… so buy them¬†here!

6. Mr. Coffee

So this is one of those items that i would take on a deserted island with me. If i had an unlimited power source and coffee beans grew on the island, of course. I’ve had this thing since… forever. Its probably about 10 years old but we still use it almost every day. I thought about getting one of those fancy Keurig doo hickies, but nothing beats a basic, delish cup o coffee. You can really just purchase these anywhere. Target, Walmart, etc.

7. Owl Measuring Cups

How flipping cute are these? A gift from my sweet sister, Erin, these are a decorative/functional necessity in my kitchen. If i could purchase everything at West Elm, I would. Pick them up here.

8. Mini salt & pepper Mills

So i have a basic large set of salt and pepper for all my cooking, but for the table (err.. coffee table for now) we use these! They are so cute and as weird as this sounds, its actually fun to use them. Somehow, we have only had to fill up the salt once in six months. They are, of course, Crate and Barrel over  here.

9. Yellow Rug

Ok this is one thing on this list i dont actually own.. but i want to! I actually got a carpet from Target that i use for cooking. Dang, my feet get tired on the hardwood without any rugs. So if we had the cash, i’d pick this one up! Grab it over ¬†here.

10. Double Walled Glasses

Introducing: Kenny’s other love. These glasses are the bomb dot com. They are great for coffee – keeps it hot but doesnt burn your hand, and cold stuff is awesome – no condensation! And we have yet to break these either.. i might be jinxing myself. Get them (shocker) from Crate and Barrel right here.

11. BONUS! Modernist Bowls

I LOVE these bowls from West Elm. So cute! Since most of our dinnerware is simple white and square, i love the splash of color these beautiful bowls bring… they are also the perfect size for some ice cream! Still online but not sure how much longer, grab them over here.

Seriously… pick some of this stuff up. Its awesome. And eye candy.

-Rachel

Clutter, Clutter, Clutter

I am a messy person. I like to blame that on my creative side…. i create, i dont organize. Though I have been REALLY trying like here, here and here. Still, I’ve narrowed down the problem to clutter. And apartment size. Now, we have a pretty decent sized apartment, but when your stuff alone could pack the place out… then you get hitched and add another persons stuff as well… dang, theres just stuff everywhere.

I’m photographing a wedding today so I have a wide angle lens and went to town photographing the apartment. One thing you’ll notice… we have stuff everywhere! Theres just not enough space to hold everything!

This next photo makes me cringe. The issue: my fav chair. That beige chair + a book + the best blanket ever created = what i call a good time. I LOVE that chair. Its such a big chair there is no way it would fit in our bedroom. Plus the sectional is also huge. So our way to solve the problem… just shove them in a tiny space and get cozy. Honestly my priority over design was comfort. Usually is. When its not, thats when you end up with museums for interiors. I’m not knocking it but thats just not my style. If its not cozy and homey, its not me. Or kenny. really the whole left side of this image is just gross. We play board games all the times so those are a must, magazines, books… always a must. And everything else, well theres just no where else to put it. And this is how a bunch of stuff turns into clutter. Usually if you have a bunch of stuff that has no place – you get rid of it. EXCEPT if you are in that weird in-between of apartment to a house. You want to buy a house but you’re not quite there yet. You dont want to get rid of any furniture because though it might be crowded right now, soon as you move into a house, you dont have enough furniture!

So thats what we’ve got right now. I’ll of course keep fining more ways to clean up and de-clutter, but until we move out of an itty bitty apartment, thats just what we are going to be stuck with! Just check out the left of the tv. Yikes. We have hundreds of movies (in stacks on the floor since they don’t all fit on the shelf). We have my record player, and of course old school nintendo games. Because what is life without mario cart? We definitely had a tetris tournament the other day. halla!

Any ideas on better ways to organize in a tiny space? My plan is to tackle one project at a time and be thankful for the beautiful space that we have!

-Rachel

DIY Floating Shelves

First off, please excuse the crummy before shots. Blame my phone! Anyway, I’ve been in need of some office organization for a while. I just had boxes and papers everywhere. Ok, im slightly embarassed to show this… but this is what my office was looking like for weeks:

Yikes! I know! We just didnt have a filing cabinet so we had stacks of papers everywhere and there just wasnt enough space in there for everything.¬†Thanks to my¬†DIY vintage trunk filing cabinet, I’m halfway to organization!¬† So i also decided i needed some more shelving space. So on the far right wall, i switched out that small wooden shelf for a larger vintage metal one (you’ll see it in the after pictures). And i decided to make floating shelves!

I have small floating shelves from Target but they are very poorly made and easily pull screws out of the wall. I really wanted to make something more substantial. Since i follow Young House Love everyday, i knew where i needed to go. Ana White did a floating shelf how-to on their site over here so i went to check that out. If you dont know either of those bloggers, you definitely need to check them out. Anyway, so on the how-to, Ana put together a digital guide to show you how to build them. I went with this concept because its a really solid construction and goes directly into studs. Since my wall was a lot smaller, i went with 4ft shelves instead of 6. The three graphics/images below are by Ana White!

I just really liked the simplicity of these shelves and the solid construction of them so i went to work! Go to the step by step how to for details.

I also got to use my fancy Laser guided Miter Saw for the first time on this project! Woot! Maybe one of the best gifts we got on the registry. And my favorite part? It was one of Kenny’s friends that got it for him so that he could actually have something as a wedding gift too… little did he know it was actually for me ūüôā Of course, as always… i had to use my (teeny tiny) side porch to use this sucker. Cant wait for a garage.

Once i had all my wood cut, nailed, glued and all put together, it was time to paint! Since I painted these shelves the same grey (That was Kennys vote instead of “boring white”) as the vintage chest so it made sense to paint them at the same time.

Here is what i used:

  • Paint – Olympic All in one paint + primer in semi gloss
  • Minwax Polycrylic protective finish
  • Small foam roller (get a high quality dense foam. trust me, its worth it)
  • Paint tray
  • screwdriver

The trick is to do multiple THIN layers. Lay it on thick and you’ll get lots of bubbles and drips. Eww. So here it is after 2 thin layers. ¬†For these you dont need an angled brush so pretend thats not there. Here are the shelves after one thin layer. I did three layers for these guys and didn’t take much paint at all. I used one quart for these three shelves and the vintage trunk. And then spilt the rest on the carpet. but thats another story.

I threw them up on the wall to check how well they were spaced, if they were balanced, etc.

Im going to be honest because, well… thats what blogs are for. This project was a horrible pain in the butt. Lets just put together a list of all the things that went wrong:

  • Since i dont have the best set up to cut plywood, i had them cut it in the store. Which they cut horribly wrong. So i had to go buy more plywood from a different shop. Which also cut them wrong.
  • The 1X2s were just slightly warped (though they were the straightest i could find in the store) which made one of the entire shelves horribly warped so i had to go buy more 1x2s.
  • i used my fancy new miter saw to cut the 1X2s and smashed the crap out of my thumb. thankfully i didnt cut it off.
  • Since i dont have a nail gun, to nail the plywood on the 1x2s i had to nail them by hand. smashed the crap out of my thumb. again.
  • The screws i used initially would BREAK OFF INTO THE WALL. The metal was just too weak even thought they are wood screws. Yes, there are maybe 4 different screws stuck in the wall. (Dont tell my landlord) So i had to make new holes for new screws. Kennys dad just happened to have bad ass screws in his car so he gave me a handful of them. I just highly suggest spending extra on higher quality screws.
  • If you read over here, you already know that Maggie (the puppy) spilt the entire can of paint onto the drop cloth and seeped into our carpet (PLEASE, dont tell my landlord! Hopefully my landlord doesnt read this…)
  • Once they were all together and on the wall i realized they were sagging! Without even anything on them! I talked to my dad in law (aka carpenter extraordinaire) and he says to A. either use brackets or B. screw the right side into the wall. Because of the way these shelves are built, i cant go with B and A would make sense if i had solid shelves. They dont sag TOO much so i decided just to leave them as is and deal with the fact that they arent perfect. by any means.
  • I also used a filler that didnt do a good job at filling so theres about 57 blemishes. Im ok with it for the most part but they are very far from flawless.
  • They can’t hold much weight. Considering i needed to put boxes and books on them, basically this whole project ended in shelves for decoration. Which of course, im ok with but its not what i needed.
So to conclude… this was one of the most frustrating projects I’ve done. I think if i were to do this all over again, i would just go with solid wood and brackets. Thats not my ideal visually but they would be much sturdier and better for what i needed them for. If you want shelves that dont hold a ton of weight and just want them to look good, then go for it!

With all that said, i am happy how everything turned out. My office is much more clean and organized and its really been staying like that. Plus it was fun to decorate these beauties with some fun new artwork.

Oh, and I just got this cute shelf from Home Goods. Love it! It has that vintage feel and cute little drawers. Im a sucker for little drawers.

I’ll have the whole office before and after soon!

-Rachel

Label Addict

Ok i have to admit i went a little label crazy. pretty sure my husband thinks im nuts. So ive been working on our Vintage Trunk/coffee table/ filing cabinet and did a file overhaul. We just had so many papers everywhere, there was no organization to the chaos. But finally… ahhh… a breath of fresh air and organization. PLUS ITS PRETTY. Yes, i think my files are pretty. I’m actually excited to file away bills. I know, super weird. But come on… this is some organizational eye candy:

For those of you that ¬†have a silhouette, i tend to print out 12 projects at a time and smush them all together… ok so this is only two projects but i added maybe 20 more words later on. The Recipes label is for my fancy new DIY Recipe box over here. Oh and incase you like the font i used for this project, its called ChunkFive and you can download it for free over here. When printing out text, i tend to get really chunky fonts especially if its smaller than three inches wide. After typing out the word, i turn down character spacing so that the letters are overlapping slightly and then i hit “weld” to make them one solid word. Makes it easier and ¬†i like the look of it. So win win!

Then i went to Target and picked up some clear filing bins and these oh so cute filing folders. Initially I wanted to take the Vintage Trunk makeover and throw in some hanging file bars in there but when i saw these ins i thought it would be easier. Instead of hovering over a trunk all the time, if we need to organize or sort through personal stuff, we just grab the “personal” bin. Wham, bam, thank you organization.

Here you can see some of the categories. We have three main bins seperated into “Personal” “$$$” and “Other”. We basically threw everything onto the floor and started making piles. I should have taken a picture, it was pretty crazy. There were piles and sticky notes all over the place. Some things i didnt know what category it should have so i just started piling like items and thats how we came up with some random categories like “Non – profits” and “Church”. Those are items that usually arent in a filing cabinet but we had so much paperwork that it just made sense to make its own folder. So heres all the folders we have so far:

Personal:

  • Kenny Personal (includes passport, IDs, birth cert, etc)
  • Rachel Personal (same)
  • Health – Kenny (medical bills, insurance info)
  • Health – Rachel
  • Pet info ¬†(Shots, medical bills, etc)
  • Sponsorships (info on our sponsor kids, organizations, etc)
  • Non-profits (info on the multiple non profits we adore)
$$$:
  • Utilities (electric bills, water bills, etc)
  • Employment Kenny (Resumes, transcripts, invoices)
  • Employment Rachel
  • $$$ (Bank info, student loans, credit cards)
  • Other Bills
  • Taxes (W2s, tax info)
Other:
  • Home (Rental info, insurance,etc)
  • Auto – BMW (maintenance, titles, insurance)
  • Auto – TC
  • Church (bible studies, classes, membership info)
  • Receipts (random receipts we might need)
  • Wedding (Receipts, vendor info, $ info)

Here they are all tucked into their new home.

The other great thing about the trunk is that it had a large shelf on top of the files. This is great to throw new mail, things to be sorted, remotes, etc. As far as the plan for the interior, if it was in better shape, I’d love to keep it as is – it has a great texture and a vintage feel to it, but it has sections missing, stains, etc. We could definitely throw a cork board in the lid which would cover up most of the stains, but I’ll definitely let you know when we decide!

Well there you go! Definitely “pretty” files, right? I definitely think so. And really, who can tell that this is a filing cabinet?!

-Rachel

DIY Vintage Trunk / Filing Cabinet

If you read my last post, you know that i hate filing cabinets and also that i decided to turn this vintage trunk into a filing cabinet and coffee table.

Step one was to wrap the leather handles. I waited until after i was done to decide what to do with those…

Here is what i used:

  • Paint – Olympic All in one paint + primer in semi gloss
  • Minwax Polycrylic protective finish
  • Small foam roller (get a high quality dense foam. trust me, its worth it)
  • Paint tray
  • Small angled brush
  • screwdriver

The trick is to do multiple THIN layers. Lay it on thick and you’ll get lots of bubbles and drips. Eww. So here it is after 2 thin layers. ¬†You can see why you need an angled paintbrush… to get in all the nooks and crannies.

Ok so want to hear a funny story? Ok its not so funny for me, but now it is a little bit. So i tend to do all my woodworking on the porch but a lot of the projects i do in my living room. Including this sucker. Its just whatcha gotta do if you have a tiny apartment and no garage. Anyway, i had JUST finished the last layer of paint, id cleaned up the roller and brush, put the lid on the paint and stood back to admire the splendor. I wasnt sure if it would need another layer or any touch ups so i didnt seal the lid to the paint. Bad idea. It was sitting in the living room on the paint drop cloth you see above. Now it was Valentines day so I was eating dinner and enjoying the boob tube when Maggie came in from the porch. Now, shes a pretty clumsy dog. She actually just recently got rid of the “cone of shame” which was even worse… ok, heres a picture because its just too dang cute not to share:

And yes, that is a tree branch stuck in the cone. Awesome. Anyway, Kenny walked to the kitchen for seconds (because im the best cook there is) and he started freaking out and yelling for me to come over. Mags had knocked over the entire can of paint onto the paint drop cloth. Thankfully it wasnt directly onto the carpet… but the drop cloth is meant for drips. Not an entire quart. So i dive to the ground and lift the drop cloth off the ground trying to keep the paint from soaking into the carpet while kenny grabbed a plastic trashbag to put in between it and the carpet (good thinking, hubs!) He then took the trunk off, and wrapped up the drop cloth and threw it on the porch (getting paint all over the porch carpet and pavement). Here is my arm after i had it under the drop cloth trying to avoid getting paint all over the carpet. We then used up an entire roll of paper towel trying to get the paint off the carpet. Miraculously, the spot is actually behind my arm. Where you might ask? I dont know. We should be professional carpet cleaners. We got maybe 98% of it up! Crazy right? Moral of the story… A. Seal your paint when you’re done painting. B. Dont paint in your living room. C. Dont own a clumsy dog.

Now that i went off on a complete tangent, lets continue…

Here she is after a little sanding. I wanted a little more dimension and character so i sanded all the edges, made all the bolts shine a little bit. Some of the white underpaint showed up too which had a cool effect.

For sanding, its best to use a foam sanding block with a fine grain. I used a 220 grit block which just makes it just look more natural. If you use 60 grit for example it will just damage the piece and it will obviously be sanded instead of a more natural “over time” look.

Heres the edge detail. You can see the white under paint and the metal as well. Love that effect!

Once i was done sanding, I decided to go with the minwax finish because its going to be a coffee table. High traffic = lots of paint coming off if you dont. So i did. Threw on three layers on the top for good measure. I chose a semi gloss but you can choose a Satin or a high gloss. It starts off looking almost yellow but it dries completely clear.

Here she is open up with my new file organization. I’ll post soon all about what i did with the files. As far as the plan for the interior, if it was in better shape, I’d love to keep it as is – it has a great texture and a vintage feel to it, but it has sections missing, stains, etc. We could definitely throw a cork board in the lid which would cover up most of the stains, but I’ll definitely let you know when we decide! Theres also a trey that goes on the inside that can hold remote controls, still that needs to be filed, etc.

See? How cool is that white/brown linen texture?

And here she is as our fancy new coffee table! Have you ever seen a more beautiful filing cabinet? The other great thing is, if we decided to use something else as a filing cabinet later, we can jut use this to hold the 57 blankets that we have hiding behind the couch. Hey, i get cold very easily, ok?

I am definitely loving it, the grey really helps balance out all the other crazy colors in the room.

DIY Recipe Box

So i cant cook. Not by a long shot. Every time i try to without a recipe, its pretty awful to be honest. So i desperately need some delish recipes to make me some delish food. So a while back i got this sucker… a basic mini notecard holder. Pretty lame, i know but it did the trick.

For the wedding, Kenny’s oh so sweet Aunt gave us this guy full of family recipes! Its the perfect size, lots of space and pre loaded with yummy ideas. Only problem… not super easy on the eyes. What can i say? I’m picky…. so how do you fix it? Cover it in some pretty paper!

Voila!

And then whip out the ol Silhouette

Much better! This will fit nicely in my kitchen.

Next throw on a few layers of mod podge to make the paper a little pasta sauce-proof. Check out how perfectly this guy fits into my kitchen! Stupid plugs… so convenient for cooking but not at all for epic pictures.

I just like that it brings more color and pattern into the kitchen.

Heres all the different categories. Wish i could tell you how to make these, by my Aunt included these in the box! They are printed on photo paper though so im sure youve just gotta get the measurements right. Heres all the categories:

  • Appetizers
  • Main Courses
  • Soups
  • Sides
  • Desserts
  • Cookies
  • Breads
  • MISC
  • Drinks

Oh and the font i got for the lid is a handwritten font that i grabbed for free over here. Over at Fonts for Peas they have tons of handwritten fonts that are all adorbs and all free so go check em out and download a few (or 20 like me)!

By the way, how cute is this guy? I needed a timer so why not get one thats flippin adorbs. Hes also got lil owl measuring cup friends to one side and another birdie to the other. That guy opens beer with his butt. For serious. It definitely makes cooking more fun when you have little friends everywhere. So cute!

Horrible Ugly Filing Cabinets

First off, i have to vent for a sec. Why on earth are there two types of filing cabinets in the world? Metal, beige, ugly as hell… or 400 bucks? I scouered Craigslist, considered repainting an ugly metal one, considered sanding an ugly metal one, considered building a wooden one from scratch… this went on for maybe a month.¬†I’ve been looking all over the webs to find an awesome filing cabinet for cheap. Let me tell you… its non existent. Since getting hitched three months ago, we’ve had the dreaded filing issue… we both used small accordion folders to hold our paperwork but it just wasnt cutting it. My office started to look like a place where paper goes to die. There was paper piling up on my desk, on the floor, in nooks and crannys. With tax time coming up, we started misplacing W-2s, losing papers, misplacing bills… it was just not going well. I just cant have something looking ugly like this in my pretty office:

Can we say eww? So I had the idea to just bite the bullet and buy an ikea solid wood cabinet and hack it into a filing cabinet. Until i remembered seeing this on pinterest:

This was from the oh so creative Martha Steward and her “office in a chest”. I love this idea because its not a huge metal eyesore in the middle of your living room. Also there is a TON of space… i dont think we would ever be able to fill all of that with our paperwork. It also gives you the ability to have a trey for organization and the pinboard idea is pretty convenient as well.

But that involved buying a large ottoman. Not really a money saver. Until i saw this picture…

Holy cow… i have that EXACT trunk in storage! I didnt even think about it… but i stumbled across Jenna Sue’s design blog and was super excited. I bought the trunk a year ago from goodwill for maybe 10 bucks. I had great aspirations for that sucker but just never got around to it.

So here she is… aint she a beaute? Nope. Not yet. But she will be!

Its actually on its second coat of paint so i should be able to post before and afters soon! A vintage trunk / Filing cabinet is underway! Woot!

Pantry Organization

So i am super unorganized and messy. I just let my closet pile up, and my office always gets cluttered… so i am attempting to make some changes round here! Starting with the pantry. I got these sweet little corked bottles from goodwill like… maybe 6 months ago. I always thought they were perfect for spices but i just never got around to labeling them.

So yesterday i went on a labeling frenzy. I labeled ALL my spices and my flour/sugars! So here is what my spices looked like when i started… another problem i had, i dont know if you can tell, but i have three different containers of cinnamon! I would check and see if i had a spice, not find it anywhere so i’d go buy a second (or third) bottle of something i already owned…

So i made all the labels on my Silhouette. I’ll be honest, it was pretty difficult to transfer them without transfer paper – pretty tedious so im definitely going to have to do that next time! I have a few pieces missing like the middle of the “a” in Cinnamon and part of the “m” in Nutmeg. But overall I am really happy with how they turned out.

So first off, i cleaned the crap out of these guys. Literally. They were mostly clean but some of them had some old leftover spices (remember i got these from Goodwill). I dried the outsides to apply the labels. The insides took a while longer to dry so I left them out for a few hours.

Heres the labels up close. You can see why a few pieces would have gone missing – see inside the “e” in Thyme and the “a” in Garlic? I had to individually find and stick those little suckers. Definitely took longer than it should have so i’d highly suggest using transfer paper like i will in the future!

And here is the after! I am super excited about them and it makes cooking sooo much easier to find them all. Theres a few more bottles in the back i didnt make labels for but maybe if i find more bottles next time i go to goodwill i can make some more!

When Kenny looked in the pantry he goes “Did we have all these spices before you labeled them?” Ha! Yes i did. They were just hard to see… NOT ANY MORE!¬†Its soooo nice to open up my pantry and actually know where stuff is.

I also made labels for my sugars and flour – though i might get black or grey adhesive vinyl for the flour label since its more difficult to see.

I’ve also been organizing my office like crazy – its been a constant clutter since we moved in so its about time to get some organization to the chaos! Hopefully I’ll post about that soon!

-Rachel