Tuesday, October 27, 2015

From Wood to Nightstands

This project has been awhile in the making! We started this project in July and it has taken us some time to completely finish it. We decided to take on the huge task of building nightstands from scratch. We knew we needed new nightstands for our master bedroom and we wanted something nice and unique without spending a ton of money. So we decided to build them ourselves. We followed Ana White's design and it worked out exactly as we hoped.
The first step in our process was collecting our supplies. We knew we wanted to invest in a bunch of tools so we figured now was a good time as any. We bought a ton of power tools including a saw, a sander, an air compressor, a nail gun, and a kreg jig (more on that later). We also bought all of the wood needed for our project. All the specifications for size and cuts can be found on the Ana White website. With all of our stuff, the jeep was pretty full and it was a little scary getting home.
Once we got home and figured out how to use all our new tools, we were ready to start building. We first cut all of our pieces according to our directions.
We then started with the sides. We used the Kreg Jig which is a handy little tool that you use to make pocket holes for screws. It makes joining pieces of wood together extremely easy and therefore makes building things even easier. We had to join four pieces of wood together to start the sides. We marked where we wanted our pocket holes to lie on our side boards. We then drilled our pocket holes with the Kreg Jig and used screws the attach the boards together.
On the outside of the side panel (did you get that?), we added trim on the top and bottom with the nail gun to make it look clean and crisp. It also helped to flatten out our boards since they were not entirely flat.
We then added a piece of wood on each side with another pocket hole and screw which then created the legs of the nightstand.
We then repeated this process for the other side of the nightstand. From there we had to attach the sides together. The directions make it extremely clear that everything needed to be perfect in order for the drawers to work properly. It took a little finagling and creativity, but we were able to add the connecting pieces so that everything looked good and seemed to fit together correctly. Each beam was added using screws and pocket holes to make everything secure.
Richard then gave it all a good sanding so that we were ready to move on to the next step.
Next came adding the tops of the nightstand. We had different sizes as directed and the back ends up being flush so that it can sit against the wall without a gap. The top pieces were glued and then nailed down.
Next came the hardest part: the drawers. We did not really think about it before we started, but it makes sense that drawers would be hard. If everything does not line up perfectly then the drawers will not slide well and will get stuck. So we had to make extra sure that the drawers were perfect. We started by drilling pocket holes so that we could create the corners of the drawers.
Once the drawer frame was complete, we added the bottom piece of plywood with the nail gun and some glue. When everything was dry and sanded, we added the drawer glides to the drawer and the inside of the nightstand.
We found that by using the drawer to line everything up instead of actually measuring we were able to attach things more precisely. This way if the drawer was crooked, then so was the drawer glide. We also did not attach the drawer front until we had a perfectly gliding drawer. This worked in our favor because our drawers are not perfectly centered in the opening so the drawer front is a little lopsided. But, on the outside you cannot tell a difference. We figured out where to place the drawer front by installing the drawer and then Richard would hold the drawer front in place while I drew a line on the inside. This way we knew it would look good from the front and would fit perfectly in the opening. We attached the drawer front using glue and the nail gun.
Then we officially had one finished nightstand! We were so proud when we put the drawers in and it looked completely legit! We finished this one nightstand over the course of a weekend. We knew we still had to create a whole second nightstand and we were really busy for the next few months. We ended up making the second night stand about a month later. Building the second nightstand was both easier and faster now that we had already completed one.
We have been using these night stands for the last few months and they have been great. It took us (well, me really) a long time to decide how we wanted to finish them. We had to decide what we wanted to do with the rest of the room before we could decide on a finish for the nightstands. We finally made a decision for the room (more on that later) so we decided to paint the night stands blue. We even tried to see if a blue stain with a white wash would be fun, but it ended up not turning out how we wanted it to. So we decided on a navy blue paint with gold pulls and we love the result! Those arrow pulls that we found at Hobby Lobby are so fun! We are glad to finally have pulls on the drawers because months of opening drawers without them was not fun.

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Friday, October 23, 2015

10 Things You Did Not Know About Me

I have been in a huge blog rut lately and the post ideas are just not coming to me. So this will be the most random post ever, but here it is. I figure it was time to write a bunch of random facts that you may or may not know about me.

1. I am a cheese addict. Like almost daily I crave something hot and cheesy. I may be a picky eater, but if its smothered in cheese I will eat it. But only melted cheese. You will never see me eat a slice of raw cheese straight from the fridge. I can't explain it.

2. When I was younger, my dad bred German Shorthair puppies, which is why I have my Paisley. She comes from a long line of dogs that have been in my family. Through the years, we have had at least 20 litters of puppies and have had six generations of dogs.
^^And I officially want puppies again...^^
3. I used to say that I would never ever move out of Minnesota for a job. I always thought that people who moved for a job needed to get their priorities straight because jobs should never come first. Yet, here I am in Texas where we moved for a job. Funny how that works.

4. I am a huge fan of math. By far, math was my favorite subject in school. I am one of those weird people who thinks solving math problems is fun. Algebra is fun to me. Weird, I know.

5. Richard and I met Taylor Swift at the age of 19. I was already obsessed with her at the time so I was super stoked to meet her. This was back when she was still country and still wore her hair long and curly.

6. When I sleep, I need to have a pillow between my legs and something to wrap my arms around. Which is why I usually sleep with a body pillow, which is the reason why we needed a bigger bed for the two of us.

7. I  am really short, under five feet tall. Everybody I meet (seriously everybody) thinks I am younger than I am. While I don't mind the short jokes, I cannot stand it when people tell me that I look younger than I am. Why yes you are the first person in my life to have ever told me I look young. I have been getting this since I was 16.

8. I am almost always cold and I make sure that I bundle up so that I am not cold. So when I am actually hot (hello summer in the south) I get super cranky because when you are hot there is nothing you can do. At least when you are cold you can add more layers and warm up.

9. I have 18,368 photos in my Photos library on my Mac. That number does not even include all of the pictures I have on my computer from photography clients or the pictures I have not organized on my computer yet. I have a problem.

10. I have major sensory issues that were never discovered as a child. This is the main reason behind why I am a picky eater. I do not like certain textures in food, which is why I only eat certain things. I also cannot stand to have my back rubbed, tags on shirts make me crazy, and I am extremely sensitive to light. As in I cannot sleep if there is a nightlight on in the hallway that I can see under the door crack.

So there is a little about me on this Friday. I hope everyone has a great weekend!

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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

101 in 1001 Days | Finished

It is hard to believe that I have already finished my 1001 Days. I started on January 1, 2013, shortly after moving to Louisiana. My 1001 days ended on September 29, 2015. To be honest, I have not thought much about these 101 things in a few months because I basically finished the ones I knew I could accomplish and there were not many left I could do in the time I had left. I ended up finishing 72 of my 101 things. I am actually pretty proud that I was able to finish so many of them. There are certain things on here that I should have finished, but just never made the time to. There are other things that when I created this list I was feeling ambitious and thought they would be easy, but were not.

I haven't decided if I am going to make another list or not. I could make one, but I feel like our life could be drastically different in a year, so I don't want to commit to a three year project. I have also seen 30 before 30 lists, but they seem too broad for me so I don't know yet. I liked having this list as a way to challenge myself and get things done, but I don't know how to replicate that just yet. Maybe I should have a year long project or something? We shall see. 

Here is the progress I made on my 101 things in 1001 days!

Goals in progress are italicized, goals completed are bolded

{72 completed, 29 remaining}
{2 In Progress }

Health & Wellness
1. Don’t complain about anything for a week. I probably should have just committed to this one, but I didn't.
2. Don’t eat out for a month. Far too ambitious for us, should have changed it to a week.
3. Get a massage- March 2014
4. Exercise 5 days a week for a month. I got close a few months, but I would finish out with a week of no exercise.
5. Get a pedicure- April 2013
6. Get a manicure- May 2014
7. Get eye brows waxed- November 2013
8. Drink required amount of water every day for a month-February 2014
9. Complete P90X. I decided against this almost right after I created this list. This program take a lot of commitment.
10. Eat no junk food for a month-February 2014
11. Try taking up runningJuly 2013
12. Take a detox bath- August 2014
13. Stretch everyday for a month
14. Take a yoga class- December 2014

For my husband
15. Take the dog to the dog park every week for 3 monthsWeek 12
16. Go on 12 dates with my husband-Game NightMovie NightShreveportDisc GolfingFourth of JulySecond AnniversaryChristmas FestivaliHeart Radio Country Festival, Hawaii, Mini-Golf, Third AnniversaryEric Church Concert
17. Take a gun safety class
18. Go to a shooting range-March 2015
19. Watch all Big Bang Theory episodesMarch 2013
20. Go on a bike rideDC
21. 30 nights spent with my husband while he studies (instead of watching TV)- (30/30) Summer 2015
22. Play chess with my husband- January 2013
23. Watch 26 17 movies, each one starting with a different letter of the alphabet (17/26)-Along Came PollyBucket ListCinderella ManDr Seuss's The LoraxEnchantedFreedom WritersGridiron GangHappy GilmoreIt's ComplicatedJ. Edgara Knight's TaleLincoln LawyerMudThe Notebook, Ocean's ElevenPeter Pan, Radio
24. Send out Christmas cards-December 2014
25. Make a date night jar
26. Go to a local farmer's market- June 2013
27. Go on 30 walks- (30/30)- Walking
28. Surprise my husband with 5 4 random acts  (4/4)- Wrestling Match, CaricatureEric Church Concert, Harry Potter Books,
29. Try 5 foods I have never had before- CrawfishGumboHamburgerLobster BisqueCrab Cakes
30. Learn how to check the air in car tire- March 2014
31. Learn how to change oil filter in my car
32. Read 5 journal articles my husband approves of (1 being his choice) Ha, never quite found the motivation

Reading, Writing & Learning
33. Write in blog every week-day for a month- December 2013
34. Take a sewing class- July 2014
35. Take a photography class- March 2015
36. Take a Photoshop class- March 2015
37. Read 10 books- (10/10)- House RulesTrue ColorsHonoluluThe Beach TreesSam's Letters to JenniferThe Night CircusThe Art of Racing in the RainSame Kind of Different as MeTrue BlueThe Notebook
38. Read a non-fiction book- Love and Respect
39. Complete recipe book- November 2013
40. Take a crocheting class- April 2015
41. Document accomplishments of these items on my blog
42. Go a week without TV- October 2013
43. Blog a monthly review at the end of each month for a year- (12/12)- Monthly Review
44. Watch a documentary- No Impact Man
45. Start a personal journal and write in it everyday for a month five days a week for a month If I started a journal and never wrote in it, does it count?
46. Read a spiritual book Love and Respect

Organization & Cleaning
47. Have a no spend month- June 2014
48. Stick to a cleaning schedule for a month I created a schedule, but haven't actually put it into use yet
49. Do laundry everyday for a month
50. Participate in an organization challengeKitchen OrganizedBathroom Organized
51. Donate a box of unused items to a charity- 6 boxes/bags
52. Get rid of old clothing-March 2013
53. Clean out storage closet- April 2014
54. Do dishes every day for two weeks- June 2014
55. Organize files- November 2013
56. Create an address book- November 2014
57. Upgrade filing systemJuly 2014
58. Create a household binder- December 2013
59. Organize pictures on my computer This is an overwhelming project considering I have thousands upon thousands of pictures on my computer
60. Keep car clean for one month-October 2014

Crafts, Hobbies & Photography
61. Complete one Pinterest project every month for 12 months-(12/12)February,  March,  April,  May,  June,  July,  August-ish (scrapbook)OctoberNovember, DecemberJanuary, February
62. Take a picture everyday for a month that documents the entire month- July 2015
63. Participate in a photo challenge- Gratitude Photo Challenge
64. Scrapbook our Wedding I need to figure out what I want to do for this. 
65. Finish current scrapbook (2010) No excuses here. I should have finished this.
66. Start new scrapbook - Photobook
67. Sew my first clothing article- Cardigan Onesie for Baby
68. Sew something for Paisley-Car Seat Hammock
69. Buy an LLC for my photography company Since I knew I was moving, I did not want to pay for it and then have to switch states
70. Journal for all completed scrapbook pages No excuse
71. Put together a ring of cards from the wedding
72. Redo an old piece of furniture- Vanity Remake
73. Upcycle an old piece of clothing

Home & Food
74. Try 5 new recipes- (5/5)Crockpot Chicken StroganoffCrockpot Ranch Chicken TacosCajun Chicken PastaCrockpot Fiesta Chicken, Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos
75. Make salsa from scratch
76. Prepare and chop everything for meals for the week on Sunday for a month Have two freezer meal prep days
77. Change out the home décor with each season for a yearValentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day,  Spring,  Summer,  Fourth of July,  FallChristmas/Winter
78. Bake a cake from scratch- Richard's Birthday cake
79. Bake cookies- Christmas Cookies
80. Eat only healthy meals for a week 100% healthy does not sound fun to me
81. Surprise my husband by making his lunch for him five times How to make food for a man that doesn't know what he is doing for lunch until lunch time.
82. Add décor to our bedroomPicture FramesNight Stands and LampsVanity

Travel & Adventure
83. Attend a local festival- Peach Festival
84. Take two road trips to a city we have never been to- DallasPensacola Beach
85. Go on a Babymoon Our Europe trip was postponed, but still in the works for the spring!
86. Go to a concert- Country Music Festival
87. Go to an amusement park- Six Flags
88. Visit a famous landmark- Washington Monument
89. Spend a weekend at a bed and breakfast
90. Visit 5 new cities in Louisiana- (5/5)ShreveportBaton RougeNew OrleansNatchitochesBunkie
91. Spend a night in a fancy hotel- New Orleans
92. Go to a sporting event- Game Day

93. Babysit my nephew-November 2013
94. Pay the bill for someone behind me in drive thru We rarely go through the drive through and I always forgot when we did
95. Give a 100% tip at a restaurant- Olive Garden
96. Celebrate Anna’s 21st B-day- 21!
97. Remember to send birthday cards in advance for family members for a year-Finished Feb. 2014
98. Send someone a care package for no reason I started doing this many times and then never followed through
99. Compliment one person everyday for two weeks
100. Send someone flowers for no reason- Dec 2014
101. Make a new 101 list

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