Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Luca's Updated Book Shelf

November and December always seem to fly by.  If you have been following my blog, you may have noticed it has been a little light on the DIY.  I neglected to post my latest revamp.  It was a small project, but a MUCH needed upgrade.

I have been in the process of slowly cleaning out the unnecessary clutter in preparation for the new year.  Each time I think of throwing something away or passing it off to Goodwill, I ask myself the following questions:

Why am I getting rid of this item?
Will I need this in the future?
Can I update the item, and put it to use now?

If the answers to questions 2 and 3 are NO, it's off to the donation pile.  But one should never underestimate the transforming power of paint.

Meet my subject.


I purchased this bookshelf from Target for Mateo's room when he was a baby.  It's not exceptional quality, and the slightest nick reveals cheap particle board lurking under the espresso finish.  What can I expect for $100? Once it started showing it's age, I moved it to the playroom to succumb to even more abuse.

Now, I need a shelf for Baby Luca.  I have an obsession right now with lightening up every dark piece of furniture in my home. I knew I wanted to do a contrasting color for the back of the shelves and high-gloss white for the exterior.  I found this perfect shade of chartreuse for the back of the bookcase - Glidden's Olive Oil.  It looks a little more yellow in this picture, but in person it has a tinge of green.

The chartreuse color makes me smile.  It's so bright and sunny, and coordinates perfect with the new artwork.  I purchased this original mixed media print at the Goodwill auction for $15!

....Well hello Mr. Sock Monkey

Look at the amazing reflective qualities of this paint.  I used Glidden's Trim & Door paint in antique white.  It's a little tricky to get used to, as it is a gel-based product.  I highly recommend watching the tutorials, but I will definitely be using it again.  Another downfall is that it took for-evahhh to dry - it wasn't hardened to the touch for at least 24 hrs. Well worth the wait in my opinion.

I have a few more things in the works right now.  Luca's room is constantly changing as I am still figuring out what I really need, but I will post more pictures of his space in the near future.

Look at that face..... 

He will be 9 months in 2 days! (tear) I can't believe how fast time flies. 

Have a great Friday!

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Monday, January 2, 2012

My Resolutions

I'll be honest, I have never been much for establishing and sticking to New Year's resolutions.  Of course, I will go through goals in my head, and tell myself I am going to improve on something.  But I have never had any real accountability. Well, that is about to change right now, friends.  I am about to immortalize my goals for 2012 in cyberspace history.

I am a firm believer that the most successful New Year resolutions are not just short-term goals but lifestyle changes.  It would be great to drop that extra five pounds for the new year, but wouldn't you really like to keep it off forever?  That doesn't happen without making serious changes to your diet and your lifestyle. Resolutions are most successful when we change our bad habits and create routines that set us up for success.

2011 was a challenging year for many of us.  It wasn't my favorite.  But even with all of the challenges, there was a lot to be learned, and we had our share of blessings as well.  The greatest gift we received this year was Baby Luca, born just 5 days shy of my 30th birthday.  I am so thankful to have two healthy boys and a wonderful husband. 

Without further ado, here are my New Year's resolutions for 2012, in no particular order.

Wake Up Earlier.   I am not a morning person.  Never have been, and it's safe to say, I probably never will be.  We tend to be late sleepers in my house.  This would be fine and dandy if I was a dude, and I could hop in the shower and be ready in 15 minutes.   I have had the same nighttime routine with my children since they were born.  Bath - book - bed.  It usually only takes an hour to complete the three, but ever since Luca was born, my 3-year-old doesn't want to sleep!  AGGHHHH!!! I have tried everything, but the child refuses to stay in his room.  Needless to say, it makes for very long evenings, and results in me going to bed at 12:30-1 a.m. most nights.  I need that time for myself to wind down in the evenings.  I am finally resulting to the one thing I haven't tried which is to put a lock on the bedroom door.  If you have any tips or suggestions, I would love to hear them!

Be More Punctual It never fails. I am always 15 minutes late dropping Mateo off for school.  I especially try to make an effort to be timely for other appointments, and sometimes still fail miserably.  For example, I have a friend that graciously gives me pilates reformer lessons on Saturday mornings.  It is such a wonderful thing she is doing for me, and the last couple times I have been 8 minutes late.  It gives me anxiety, makes me feel terrible and it's soooooo not worth the added stress.  For 8 measly minutes?! Puuulllleeez!  I think a little more preparation and a couple of easy modifications in my routine and it make a world of difference.  I know this - I just need to do it.  Couldn't you easily spend all of the previous day preparing for the day ahead?  I could keep my self busy just getting ready to get ready.

Learn to Sew  Did you know that I have access to tons of designer fabrics?  I have big plans to build my Etsy store this year to add more vintage accessories, reclaimed furniture pieces and custom pillows.  There is nothing like new pillows to add a pop of color or pattern in room.  And they can be switched out with the season for an inexpensive update.  I plan on purchasing a sewing machine in the very near future and start making some pillows.  If you have any reco's for great machine, I would love to hear.

Listen Without Interrupting

Take Better Pictures We have a Canon professional camera, and I have been playing around with it lately.  If the pictures turn out nice, it's luck, because I have no idea what I am doing.  I take my own pictures for my blog, but what separates good blogs from great ones are the photos.  I have always loved photography.  This year I want to take it a step further and gain some knowledge on how to improve my abilities, snap great closeups, still-life photos and better pics of the fam.

Get in Fightin' Shape I have always been pretty much the same size.  Good but not great.  Like most of us, I have a fitness goal for 2012.  I have never really pushed myself to be in amazing shape, probably because I have always been comfortable.  Well, I am ready to push out of that comfort zone.  I am surrounded by women at the gym in their 40's who look like they could kick my arse.  And last year, I witnessed my husband transform himself into the best shape of his life.  He dropped 10 pounds I didn't know he had to lose.  He looks incredible.  I owe it to him, and myself to reach this goal. 

Improve My Blog and Grow my Readership I started blogging because I love to write.  What started out as a hobby has turned into a passion, and I realize that the blogging community is like a family.  I feel like I know the people I read about, even though we have never stepped foot in the same building. Blogging can be highly personal, and it is a little daunting to put yourself out there for the world to read.  I have so much to share.  I hope that you find my work inspiring and interesting, and will continue to join me on this adventure that is my life!  I will be eternally grateful.

So there they are.  Of course, there are even a few more, but some things you just have to keep for yourself....hehe.  Have you made your resolutions? Please share!