- See more at: http://tutorialgeek.blogspot.com/2010/11/how-to-change-your-blogger-domain-url.html#sthash.sezFio1Q.dpuf

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Light Blue Lovin'

Today I was planning to share another project that I finished during Christmas Break, but I couldn’t wait any longer to show off my newest piece of furniture!

As you know, I’ve been looking for an end table for the office since I started the room makeover back in March/April. I even considered building one myself, but I wanted something with drawers and my carpentry skills aren’t that advanced yet. I’ve been checking out thrift stores for the past few months, but nothing caught my eye. Anyway, last weekend I decided to stop at a nearby antique mall to see if I could expand my ironstone collection and I found this table.

It was marked $39, but they were having a storewide sale and this booth was offering 20%-off all items. I ended up paying $31, which I think is a great deal for a piece of solid wood furniture. At first I wasn’t sure about the light blue, but it’s growing on me. I think that if I can find some pillows that tie in the navy from the curtains and light blue from the end table I’ll leave the color as-is. 

I’m currently on the hunt for a lamp for the table and pillows for the couch. I’m getting so close to finishing this room…I can’t wait!

Replace outlets and switches with white ones
Cords/modem/router solution
Build pallet artwork
Buy end table
Sew pillows
Add accessories

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Insta-16: Take Six

It’s time for another round of Instagram pictures! Actually, this post is way overdue, but better late than never, right? You can see the previous five recaps here

If you have an account, you can follow me at: SAMTJH22.  If not, this recap is for you! I’ve rounded up my last 16 Instagram pictures for you here today. This roundup includes summer fun at the pool and the lake, the Arizona Crawfish Festival, Stonehenge, London, and as always, Ringo and Abby pictures!

As always, my plan is to share a pretty collage of all the pictures and then pick my top 5 in different categories: Abby, Ringo, Cutest Couple (Ringo and Abby), Yummy (Food or Drink), and Wildcard (Non-Food and Non-Puppy).

OK, enough talk! Here’s the sixth round of Instagram pictures:

And here are my favorites:


Abby’s favorite pastime is sleeping, especially if she can lay in bed with us. If this picture included sound, you’d probably hear her snoring like a freight train! 


Ringo loves swimming and he loves biting at spraying water. The swimming pool aerator is the best of both worlds. He goes crazy when I turn it on…sometimes he’s so obsessed with the spraying water he forgets to keep paddling and starts sinking. He’s a strange dog.

Cutest Couple

These two make me want to stay in bed all day watching TV and snuggling. I think that would be Abby’s dream day!   


Back in August we spent a weekend in Heber-Overgard for the Arizona Crawfish Festival. We ate a lot of crawfish and had an amazing time there. Hopefully they have another festival this year and it’ll be in the same location. We loved the area and would definitely go up there again. 


It was hard to pick just one “Wildcard” picture this time because there were so many great shots from our London trip. I ended up choosing this picture of Stonehenge because it was (surprisingly) one of our favorite stops during our vacation. Before seeing it in person, I thought it was kind of cool, but just a pile of rocks. Seeing it in person and learning its history completely blew my mind. Seriously, how did they transport the bluestones from Wales (more than 200 km away) to this location?

OK, who else is on Instagram? Leave your username in the comments, so I can follow you.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

White China Hutch

After two and a half years of procrastinating, the china hutch is finally painted! Yayayayayayayay!

As a reminder, this is what it used to look like:

It was my grandma’s and it came to live with me after my grandpa remarried. At first I was hesitant to paint over such a nice piece, but I know that my grandma would prefer I paint it and enjoy it rather than give it away because it didn’t fit my style or begrudgingly keep it out of obligation. I knew that painting this piece was going to be huge effort and time consuming so I’ve been putting it off for years. Finally over Christmas break I decided to start painting.

Luckily it’s made up of two separate pieces so it’s easier to move and work on. I started with the bottom half – sanding, priming, and painting. I used Dove White by Valspar and I’m really happy with the color. It’s not stark white, but nice and creamy without any blue/green/purple/yellow tint. I used Rustoleum Paint + Primer in Oil-Rubbed Bronze to paint over all of the hardware.

Once the bottom was completely finished I started on the top half. This piece was a lot easier than the bottom, but that center piece of glass isn’t removable, so I had to work around that. I didn’t feel like taking the time to tape off the glass, so I just painted over it and used a razor blade to scrape off the paint. 

I left the inside wood because my ironstone and china are mainly white. I thought the wood would be a nice contrast against the white. I’m not sure if I’m completely sold on the look. I might end up painting the inside a nice light blue color like this. After how long it took to paint the rest of the hutch, painting the inside will be a breeze! 

I love how it turned out, but I’m glad I waited until I had a break from work to start on this project. It took for-ev-er and would have been completely overwhelming to work on over a weekend. If any of you have a painted a china hutch, you know what I mean. If you did it over a weekend, you are my hero! 

Tickled Pink at 504 Main Furniture Feature Fridays Lil\'Luna

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

2014 Home/Life Goals

Last week we reviewed my 2013 Home Goals (you can read that here), so now it’s time to move onto 2014 and share my goals for the new year. You’ll probably notice some similarities to last year’s goals, but I’m also adding some “life” goals this year too. I originally planned to do separate posts, but I think one goal post is more than enough.

Anyway, let’s start with the home goals:

#1 Finish a Room (or Two)

The living room changed dramatically (for the better) over the past year. With the addition of our new sectional, bold rug, apothecary cabinet, curtains, DIY abstract art, plus painting the console table and china hutch, the living room is actually starting to look like an adult living-space…no more college leftovers. Just like the living room, the office was given a dramatic makeover in 2013. The makeover started when I painted stripes around the room and continued with the addition of new curtains, a Craigslist sleeper sofa, a hand-built desk, file cabinets, a mounted TV and a surrounding gallery wall.

Even after all of those changes, neither room is complete. I still have a few projects remaining on both to-do lists, so my goal this year to cross off everything on at least one (preferably both) of those to-do lists. Most of the items left on my lists are smaller (and cheaper), so this is definitely doable over the course of a year. Although, I think most of you will agree that a room is never really finished so I’ll have a hard time ever calling it complete. 

#2 Landscape the Backyard

The inside of the house is starting to come together for the most part, so it’s time to start putting some time and money into the backyard. Right now it’s just dirt and weeds, but it has so much potential. We have a large yard and we really want to take advantage of that. Unfortunately Ringo loves to destroy anything leafy or chewable in the backyard, so our options are 

somewhat limited, but I think we can make it work (say Tim Gunn would say). 

#3 Call for Help

We have a few projects around the house that need outside help. I hate calling/getting estimates/scheduling appointments, so I’ve been putting it off for a couple years awhile now. Seriously, I just need to suck it up and get it done. Calling someone to fix drywall is first on my list. I still haven’t fixed the ceiling where the condensation from the a/c caused damage and the previous owner installed a doggie door between the laundry room and garage that we need to finish closing up. I also need to call an electrician to center the box for the light fixture in the guest bathroom, maybe in the dining room too. I think landscaping is also going to fall into this category.

OK, now let’s talk life goals:

#1 Live Healthier

This one is a carryover from last year - I tried, but wasn’t consistent, so consistency is going to be the key for me this year. I simply want to start exercising more and eating healthier. I gained about 12 pounds last year, so losing that extra weight is a big incentive for me to work hard this year. You can find me on myfitnesspal as swhirai22, if you are on there, add me! I could use the extra motivation!

#2 Enjoy Life

This one is very personal and not something I usually share on my blog. Over the past six months I’ve learned a hard lesson about how precious life is and how it quickly it can end. My family moved to Prescott, AZ when I was six. Until recently I’m sure most of you have never heard of Prescott, but it became national news when 19 local firefighters were killed in June battling a forest fire. I graduated from high school with two of the men that were killed. I remember the shock and sadness that I felt when I recognized their names.

Less than a month later, my Uncle Jon (my mom’s youngest brother) passed away. It was completely unexpected and my family is still having a hard time dealing with the loss. We celebrated the New Year hoping 2014 would bring more health and happiness than 2013. The following day my Uncle Jim (my mom’s oldest brother) passed away unexpectedly.  To say it’s been a hard six months would be an understatement, but we continue to carry on as they would have wished.

That being said, my goal is to enjoy life more! Don’t get me wrong - that doesn’t mean that I’m going to start screaming YOLO and doing stupid things. It just means I’m going to take more chances, look for new opportunities and experiences, and enjoy those special little everyday moments. I feel like I spend a lot of my days just going through the motions and I’ve been stuck in a rut for awhile…it’s time to mix it up and enjoy my days more than I have been. Plus we are planning a really exciting trip in July...something I never thought I'd do. More details soon! 

What are your goals/resolutions for 2014? Or do you skip making resolutions because you never keep them?

Monday, January 13, 2014

January 2013 vs. January 2014

At the beginning of 2013 I took pictures the living room/dining room/kitchen area, so I could track the changes I made over the year. I took pictures of the same areas from about the same angles yesterday to show y’all the difference a year makes. I think you’ll be surprised how much it’s changed. Let’s do a little before/after comparison shall we:

January 2013

January 2014

January 2013

January 2014

January 2013

January 2014

January 2013

January 2014

What a difference a year makes!

Details on the hutch makeover later this week!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Gallery Wall Update

Today I’m sharing another project that I finished over Christmas break (you can see my to-do list here and check out my first finished project here).

As you can see from the title, I finally updated my living room gallery wall! It’d been TWO YEARS since I last changed the frames and pictures, so this update was WAY over due. Well, I did replace the bottom left Ringo picture with a picture of Abby, but besides that, the wall looked exactly the same as when I last posted about it. 

I love my gallery wall, but I always thought it looked a little busy with so many small frames. I definitely needed to replace a few of the smaller frames with a couple large ones. I bought two larger (10”x13”) frames while thrifting months ago, but never hung them. I don’t have a good reason why…let’s just say I’m lazy. So my goal over Christmas break was to paint the frames to match, print new pictures, and update the damn wall!

I started by painting the new frames with the same Krylon Dual Paint + Primer Black in Satin that I used on the rest of the wall. While the paint was drying I picked out pictures for my new frames. I decided to print a picture of my mom and me from our trip to France and this free printable (in blue…although I couldn’t figure out how to separate the file, so I had to print all four of them): 


Once the paint dried and no longer smelled like spray paint, I added the pictures and hung them on the wall. I ended up removing eight of the smaller frames/letters to hang the two larger frames.
(I swear the frames are all straight IRL...)

I also replaced one of the 5x7 frames with an 8x10 frame. In that frame I added this print I bought home from London. It’s a sketch of the Prime Ministers front door and it’s actually a greeting card, but it was a perfect fit! 

I also replaced some of the older pictures with newer ones and added one of the prints that I bought in Paris (bottom middle frame).

I love that it looks a lot less cluttered than before. I still want to add back a few of the pictures I took down plus add more, so you’ll probably see a gallery wall expansion post sometime soon (and by soon I  mean two years from now). 

Monday, January 6, 2014

2013 Home Goals Finale

Now that 2013 is officially over, it’s time to look back at the goals I made last year to see what I accomplished/what I slacked on. My original goals and comments are in blue. You can see my original 2013 Home Goals post here and my mid-year recap here

#1 Make Decisions and Kick Fear to the Curb
Usually I have a really hard time committing to a decorating decision. It’s partially because I’m indecisive and partially out of fear. My goal is year is to make decisions and not let the fear continue to do my decorating. I will hang more stuff on my walls and not fear nail holes. I will buy what I like (within reason) and not fear that I might get sick of it at some point. I will decorate my house and not fear that someone else won’t like it…my opinion (and my boyfriend’s) is all that matters. 

I think I did really well on this one. The kitchen is pretty much complete, the living room is no longer embarrassing, and the office is actually functional (and cute). I still have a lot more decorating to do, but I made a lot of progress over the past year.

#2 Stop Procrastinating and Start Spending
This isn’t an open check to buy whatever I want, but a push to stop procrastinating and buy what I’ve already saved for. It’s mostly about being lazy – too lazy to stop by furniture stores to look at sectionals, too lazy to list my stove on Craigslist, too lazy to get time off work to meet delivery people, etc. But we need a new couch and I want matching appliances, so it’s time to get my act together! These 2 are leftover from 2012, so I really want to get on it early this year. 

Done and done! In February, I finally bought the stove I’d been wanting and in May I bought a new sectional.  I’m still happy with both purchases. Now I need to stop procrastinating and start working on the backyard!

#3 Live and Let Go
I live with 2 dogs that shed, drool and have muddy paws…and a guy who doesn’t care about decorating and has been known to leave dirty dishes around the house – our house isn’t going to be perfect. Things will get messy and out of order…and that’s nothing to be embarrassed about. We live in the real world not in a glossy magazine. And so this year I’m going to try to stop obsessing (and getting mad) and just let go. Obviously that doesn’t mean I’m going to stop cleaning and let everything go to ruin, but it does mean that I’ll relax and enjoy myself more. I want to spend that extra 30 minutes in bed on the weekends cuddling with my boyfriend and dogs instead of jumping up to clean the kitchen. Those are my favorite moments and I don’t want to miss out on them because of some dirty dishes.

As I mentioned in my mid-year recap, I hired a house-cleaner this year. She’s made my life SOOOO much easier! Of course I still wipe up the kitchen after meals and run the vacuum every few days, but I don’t have to spend my weekends scrubbing or mopping anymore. I'm so much more relaxed and probably a lot easier to live with...definitely worth every penny!

 One Bonus Personal Goal:

Live Healthier

I’m not committing to losing a certain amount of weight, going to the gym so many days a week, or cutting out all carbs/sugar because those resolutions never work out for me. I simply want to start exercising more and eating healthier. I eat fairly healthy for the most part, but there’s always room for improvement (baked goods and/or sweets are my weakness). The biggest part of this is being more active. That doesn’t just mean working out at the gym – it’s taking the dogs on more walks, playing Just Dance 4 with my boyfriend’s niece until I drop, and actually using that treadmill I bought…

Eh, I wouldn’t call this one a success…I did really well for awhile, and then I slacked, then did really well, then slacked, and so on. I wasn’t consistent, so this is staying on my goals list for 2014. 

I also called myself out and listed a few projects/rooms I wanted to work on over the year.

Painting my china hutch has been on my to-do list since I bought my house. I put it on my Christmas Break to-do list, but didn’t have enough time to work on it – so I’m giving myself the whole year! Time to act!

Done! Full details next week! Here's a sneak peek until then...

Our backyard is huge and has great potential, but right now it’s downright depressing. It’s full of dirt and weeds...and it’s embarrassing. I’d love for it to start looking presentable. However, it’s going to be a challenge because of the dogs, specifically Ringo the Destroyer. He’s destroyed everything I’ve tried to plant back there and pretty much everything else he can get his teeth on, so this is going to take some creativity and a lot of effort.

Not started…This is going to be on my 2014 goals list!

Lastly, our guest room and office aren’t cutting it – using those two rooms the way they are currently set up isn’t working for us. You’ll hear more about this later, but basically my plan is to turn the office into a man cave/guest room (daybed) and the guest room into a guest room/office. It’ll be a lot of work, but it’ll fit our needs a lot better. 

I didn’t end up switching the rooms around as originally planned, but the office got a major overhaul this year. I’m so happy with the progress and love that it’s actually functional for 2 people. Plus I love that my boyfriend built me a desk! I can’t wait to finish up the room in 2014.

Overall, I’d say I did pretty well keeping to my goals. I’m definitely happy with my progress over the past year. Next week I have a fun comparison post planned to show the changes I made to the living room/dining room/kitchen area in 2013.

Did you make any 2013 Home Goals? Were they successful? 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Selling My Desk/Office Progress

I’m officially crossing the first project off of my Christmas break to-do list! I sold my white desk…finally!

You probably remember the desk from my original office. I loved that desk, and still do, but it wasn’t practical. We each have a laptop so we really needed our own space, plus my boyfriend’s legs are too long to fit comfortably under the desk. We ended up building a farmhouse-style desk with enough room for the both of us earlier this year. So, my little white desk has just been taking up space (and collecting crap) for the past six months.

I’d been putting off selling the desk because I hate dealing with people on Craigslist. Seriously, if you say you are going to show up at a certain time, SHOW UP AT THAT TIME! Anyway, I decided to list the desk for sale on a couple of the Facebook sale groups that I’m a member of. (Side Note: Are you a member of any of those groups? Have you bought anything that way?)

But before I listed the desk I removed the glass knobs/pulls and put the original hardware back on the desk. I knew I wouldn’t get my money back with the pulls, so I’m saving them for another project. Luckily, the old pulls covered the holes I drilled for the new hardware, except one drawer. I puttied the holes, sanded it smooth, and then painted a fresh coat on that drawer. Easy peasy!  

I wanted $100 for the desk, so I listed it at $125 knowing I’d get offered less. I had a lot of people interested, but no one ended up following through on the sale…until I was about to pull the listing because I was leaving for Christmas at my parents’ house the following day. The lady said they lived at the same cross-streets as me, so they could come by that day if I’d take $100. Um, YES!

So, later that day the entire family showed up to look at the desk. Grandma was buying it as a Christmas present for one of her grandkids. The girl quickly looked over the desk and said she liked it. Grandma paid me and my boyfriend helped the grandpa load the desk into their truck. I’m so happy the desk went to a good home and that it was special enough to be someone’s Christmas present!

OK, enough about the desk…let’s talk office progress (I’m almost done!):
Sell old desk on Craigslist/Facebook
Replace outlets and switches with white ones
Cords/modem/router solution
Build pallet artwork
Buy end table
Sew pillows
Add accessories
Buy dresser/Paint dresser – removed (not enough room for a dresser)