DIY Painted Desk – Before and After

If you’ve been following this blog, you know that I’m always up for painting or decorating something. I’ve always wanted a beautifully organized desk area with a space for each of my many tools of organization, but it seems that I always end up using a kitchen table or dining room to store and stack my “junkstuff”. “Junkstuff” is the word my dad uses to describe most of my craft  and school supplies. I have to stay, that’s pretty accurate.

One day when I was browsing for even more junkstuff at the local goodwill, I came across this adorable little wooden desk. I gave the clerk ten bucks and it was mine! It was in good shape and small, like me. I’m sure it was rejected by an average sized person, but for this shortie it works just fine.

Before....I debated on colors and knobs for what seems like an eternity. Yep – even made a Pinterest board just for desk decor! We don’t own a house right now, so I didn’t really feel pressured to make sure it matched the rest of the apartment… I just decided I wanted to do something fun and something that made me happy. Thus the purple color. I mean if I’m going to have to do homework or pay bills on this thing… it better make me happy!

To start I took off the old metal handles. They were in good shape, but I just felt like they were not my style. I filled in the holes with wood filler and sanded them down.

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Then I got to work on the base of the desk. With some light sanding and  few coats of Rust-oleum spray paint + primer (found on discount at Menards), the desk really started coming to life!

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I settled on a white top with matching footers, because I felt like it gave it a little dimension. The knobs I purchased at Hobby Lobby are not conventional but I like them a lot. The middle drawer has a pull made out of agate stone…(squeee!!!). I love stone and wood and organic looking items.

DIY PAINTED DESK

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BEFORE

My next job is to get all my papers, washi tape, stickers, inks, and paintbrushes organized into the desk. I am pretty pumped about finding desk organizers and decor in the coming weeks. Perhaps Goodwill will bring me another great find – we will see!

 

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Coloring September Calendar – Free Printable

Hey everyone! So I know that adult coloring books are all the rage right now, and maybe some people are over it… but I’m not! I still find it fun and relaxing. I’ve been pretty lazy since our camper vacation, so I’m trying to motivate myself to get back into a normal schedule for the fall. My goal for September is to make a whole month’s meal plan of dinners, as well as an at-home work out schedule. Hopefully, if I already have it planned out I will be less likely to deviate from it. Soooooo… I decided to have some fun and make a coloring page out of a September calendar. Feel free to download it and use it yourself. If you do, let me know how you like it. I’m tempted to do all the months, but we will see how much time and energy I have to do so. Enjoy!

Brain Drain Printable (Free!)

Sometimes, the days just aren’t long enough – or so they seem! Things are so busy right now. I’m often found lying face down on my bed because I’m overwhelmed with stuff to do and that’s apparently how I handle it. That and naps. Lots of naps. BUT NO MORE!

Despite all the planners and printables I’ve purchased and downloaded, nothing quite settles my brain unlike a chicken-scratch notebook-list of things that come to mind. If I can just “drain my brain” of all the chaos I can maybe get a hold of the day. It’s still always ugly, but at least it gets the job done. Because I’m a fan of esthetics, I decided it was high time to make my to-do list less ugly and more happy. Perhaps then, on days where I’m just unmotivated, I can look at my pretty little brain drain and get to crackin’ on priorities.

Brain Drain

So here it is the brain drain, my first try at a free printable! I’ve printed a week’s worth to try out and to see if I need to make some adjustments. I wanted to share it with you guys because maybe you too need a brain drain! I’m thinking I might make a “night brain drain” to help me wind down for sleep – and maybe it’ll make the morning brain drain a little easier. What do you think?

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Printable Brain Drain Organizational Tool

Brain Drain

Do you use the “brain drain” method? Have you already made a printable? Share with me your likes and dislikes! Follow and/or comment below. 🙂

The Babymoon – Hawaii

This Sunday, Bryce and I will have been married for six years! It seems like so much longer than that, probably because we dated off and on through high school and college. It has flown by, especially now that our baby girl will turn ONE in November.

In honor of this beautiful celebration in our lives, I’m dedicating this post to my husband who is also my cheerleader, my rock, and my soul mate. I could go on and on about how fantastic he is… but I thought I’d share with you a time that he went above and beyond his calling as a husband and father. This would be when he took me on a BABYMOON!

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What’s a babymoon you ask? (and so did he when I mentioned it). Wellll it’s this fantastic idea that a couple dedicates some time alone before the baby arrives and the word “alone” is completely cut out of the vocabulary for THE REST OF YOUR LIFE. Seriously. Kind of like a honeymoon, and definitely a great excuse to go on vacation.

Some couples stay home and relax, while others – like us – go far far away. The islands of Hawaii were on our travel bucket list and we thought it would be the perfect romantic getaway. I have to mention that by the time we got to Hawaii, I was seven months pregnant… so it made everything a little bit more difficult. I also needed to make sure my OBGYN was okay with me going, and that the baby was healthy enough for us to travel. Thank God all was fine and my doctor happily okay’ed the trip with one condition – that she come with us. She didn’t get to, but I’m sure we would have all had fun together 🙂 If you are considering a babymoon please please please make sure your doctor knows and has checked you off with a good bill of health before you travel! With recent outbreak of the Zika virus, it is an absolute necessity to do so. Follow me by email to catch my upcoming post about tips on traveling while pregnant. Here’s  one… make sure you elevate your feet whenever you can, to avoid swelling!

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Traveling to Hawaii is expensive, no matter how you try to get around it. We are blessed to have parents who are members of Wyndham Vacation Resorts Inc. There is a points system through Club Wyndham which you can purchase and use at different hotels and condominiums throughout the United States and Beyond. They let us use some of their unused points to get a lovely condo on the Big Island of Hawaii, right on the water. The Big Island is considered the newest of the islands, since it is still growing by lava spill. There isn’t a lot of sand because of this and you see lava rock everywhere you go. We had to do a bit of driving to find beaches, but they are easy to find!

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It just so happened that my parents-in-law had been talking about going to Hawaii – so they actually went too! I think usually babymoons are taken separately as a couple, but the condo had two beds and two baths and it was fun to have them around. I wouldn’t have had it any other way. Of course you can always get a hotel online, and I have a friend who uses Airbnb for all her travels. This just happened to be our cheapest option.

BABYMOONING IN

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The Big Island of Hawaii has so much to offer. It’s by far the largest island of of Hawaii and yet it is the least populated. There is one active volcano (Kilauea) and several more that have formed the beautiful island. Below are some photos of what we did while we were there – but there is still so much to be done! I most definitely want to get back there and visit other islands!

Hiking Rainbow Falls  and Akaka Trails to the Waterfalls

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Visiting the Lava Tube

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Scenic Volcano Helicopter Ride with Paradise Tours

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Snorkling in Kealakeukua Bay: It was very rocky so I didn’t snorkle much but supposedly this is where the writers of Disney’s Finding Nemo came for inspiration. We also snorkled at a few other beaches around Kona that had more sand and the water was less turbulent. Renting an underwater camera was a great idea!

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Manta Ray Night Cruise – This was probably my favorite activity. This event started as a research and observation site almost 40 years ago. The scientists studying the manta rays figured out that the lights from the boats attracted a lot of krill, which in turn attracted manta rays who feed on the krill. Manta rays are much larger than stingrays and can get up to 40 feet across! The average age of manta rays is relatively unknown, and there are some manta rays they have marked that are STILL coming to the observation site to feed. These things are huge, and awesome, and one came up and touched my pregnant belly with it’s belly while I was floating. Trip. Made.

Manta Ray Excursion

Manta Ray Excursion

Manta Ray Excursion

Manta Ray Excursion

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Visiting the Observation Posts – I didn’t actually get to do this, because the elevation would be too much change in pressure for the little growing bean inside of me. The hubby got to go up with his dad, and he said it’s wonderful!

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Hawaiian Luau – a MUST DO if you go to Hawaii. I loved it because 1) food, 2) history of the Hawaiian Islands, 3) entertainment, and 4) FOOD.

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Maternity Pictures at Old Kona Airport Beach – I was so excited to get to do this! I know that a lot of women aren’t able to get maternity pictures done, and definitely not while on vacation! The photographer I hired was so easy to work with, and did a fantastic job hiding my ginormous and swollen ankles (ah, the pregnant life). Leigh Conradt gave us a ton of edited photos so I just picked out some of my favorites. I recommend her work to anyone!

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Kilauea Glow Observation Deck: This was awesome! We couldn’t see the lava flow too well from the helicopter ride since it was a daytime ride, but the observation deck was the best next thing.

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Well that was a long post but there’s no way I could fit in all that we did.

Have you been to Hawaii? What was your favorite part? Comment and let me know!

 

 

Road Trip – Southeastern Adventure Part Two

Hey ya’ll! Just thought I’d finish up my review of our camper adventure here today. We had done so much and traveled so far, it was too hard to put it all in one post! Where was I?

Oh yes.

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After the Dixie Stampede, we found Riveredge RV park off of the GoodSam RV website. Pretty nifty little website – and it lead us right to the most sparkling clean camper site I’ve ever seen. The bathrooms… the bathrooms were nicer than any bathroom I’ve ever owned. Not kidding. I thought… this is camping? Double shower heads and bronze metal finishes?  Sheesh! Best campsite by far. Yep. I took a picture.

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The next morning we headed into the Great Smokey Mountain National Park for a hike. Despite our best efforts to go in the morning so it would be “cool”… it was still a sweltering 90 degrees by the time we parked and walked to the trail we wanted to hike. Probably not the best activity in the middle of July.. but we went anyway. Glad we did! It was beautiful. We tried hiking the Rainbow Falls trail, and although we didn’t make it all the way up it was still a great “moderate” hike. The shade of the trees definitely made it tolerable. I highly suggest doing your research – find a hike you can manage, bring lots of water, and watch out for bears because THEY LIVE THERE.

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On Friday we found ourselves in Asheville, North Carolina. We got a two for one special on tickets to the Biltmore Estate through our 4th RV site : Mama Gerties. The Biltmore House is an amazing mansion built by George Vanderbilt (yep, those Vanderbilts) cloaked within the scenic North Carolina Forests. They have restaurants, hotels, and gardens galore to walk through and admire. The tour itself takes almost 2 hours to get through, so if you go make sure you hydrate and wear comfy shoes! It was a great experience.

Biltmore

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On Sunday we had to start making our way back to MO. We drove through Atlanta, GA and stopped at a Farmers Market in Birmingham, AL. We ate lunch at a great BBQ place called Deerman’s BBQ, where all the cute southern ladies came in their Sunday’s best after church and each one vowed to take the baby home with them. She probably would have – my little social butterfly. We also had the chance to stop by Talladega Superspeedway and use as many Talladega Nights quotes as possible because, if you’re not first you’re last.

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Mississippi, Arkansas, and finally back to St. Louis where our Southeastern Adventure began.  Thanks for sticking with me through this long post! Hope you enjoyed the pictures and that you get to visit some of these places too. Get out there!

Lillie Bugz Children’s Boutique 

It feels really good when I roll into my little hometown and see that businesses are growing and taking up blank spaces down Main Street. One such business is this adorable little shop my friend Billie Jo recently opened. Billie Jo and I met while working at the hospital, and her daughter Lillie has always been her muse (obviously)! Her namesake store is a boutique that has trendy children’s clothes and maternity clothes as well.

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The simple but organized set up is perfect for any momma or daddy wanting to take the kids shopping too. Comfy seating is available and all the clothes are at adult-height, so the little ones can run around. She even has a play room situated right next to a dressing room.

Isn’t it adorable! It’s a good thing my hubby was there, or else I would have bought the whole store. I love supporting small town businesses, and this one will for SURE always be on my list when I visit home. There’s not really anything like it in Potosi, so I’m positive LillieBugz will continue to thrive! Great job Billie Jo!

* I was not compensated in any way to write this post, I just seriously love small businesses!*

August Layout – Happy Planner 

So I’ve been using my Happy Planner as my day-to-day planner for a few months now, and I have to say I’m pretty happy with it! It’s layout is similar to my ECLP, but what I like most is the disk style which allows me to pull out the pages and utilize all the room I’m given. I love the design of the ECLP, but the spiral binding just doesn’t work well enough for me.

Weddings, our anniversary, classes …August is busy already! I don’t know where the time has gone. I guess after being on vacation I just haven’t gotten back into my groove at home. The best way I know how to do that is to jump back into my planner!

It’s hard to plan when your table is covered with other crafts (I’m currently addicted to calligraphy) sooooo you do what you can and use a step stool. It’s fine right? Besides, it’s closer to the ground so my squirmy child can be by me AND have the basket of toys close.

Don’t mind my little piggies, I was strapped for space. I’m loving the stickers I got from Cricket Paper Co. on Etsy. They are a perfect summer/fall combination for the month of August!

Our 6 year  wedding anniversary is coming up soon – it makes me even more excited when I see it all dressed up on my calendar! We haven’t made any plans since we spent a lot on our last adventure – but maybe we can still make it out somewhere!  We’ve never been into doing traditional gifts because usually we like to get out and do something together – but maybe this year we could play on it.

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Still looking for the perfect pen that doesn’t smudge :/ .

Do you use a Happy Planner? How do you organize your month? Comment below!