35 and Life

Today is my last day in the 30-34 category!  You know those little judgmental boxes you check off when you need to disclose your age.  Well, tomorrow and for the next five years I will be lumped in with those who are the big 4-0.  This has me reflecting on what can make a person feel like they’ve grown up.

I usually only pretend to be mature to hide the silly and ridiculous that is my true self but as I say goodbye to my early 30’s there’s some strong feelings, mostly good.  Perhaps its the realization that there’s a whole lot of adult going on.

Without thinking too seriously, here are a few things that are making my life at 35 seem grown up.

There’s the minivan. I know it’s not young and cool to be excited your car has the option to come with a vacuum cleaner but to me its a dream come true. It has 150 cup holders and yet somehow we could always use one more.

There’s the Costco membership. It goes hand in hand with the minivan.

There’s us.  Danny and I have been married almost 15 years.  Isn’t that a milestone?  Not a relive your wedding reception/party with friends kind of milestone but it’s still big, right?  Earning us some major adulthood street cred.  We got married in our baby 20’s and I have to admit, I felt pretty grown up on my wedding day.  I had no idea.

There’s the kids.  I seemed to have aged in fast forward mode after giving birth to our 8 and 10 pound babies.  I literally have the body of a 35-year-old with two kids.  Being responsible for little people is tough.  Especially when your kindergartener is smarter than you are.  I hear all the time, “Mom, ‘I don’t know’ does not answer my question.”  Then, I draw upon my 35 years of life experience and make something up.

There’s the mortgage and our little home.  “We’re in ESC-uh-ROW!”   Can everyone else relate almost anything back to Gilmore Girls? And Friends?  We just invested in a suite of yard tools.  Nothing says you have indeed arrived like a hedge trimmer.

Believe it or not turning 35 is so totally fine with me, I actually think its a pretty great time of life.

“Thirty-five is a very attractive age.  London society is full of women of the very highest birth who have, of their own free choice, remained thirty-five for years.”

Oscar Wilde

Maybe that’s not such a bad idea.

Be sure and share what and/or when you felt like an official adult.  I’d love to hear your experiences and stories.

 

Little Cottage Interiors

Anthropology Inspired Dresser

Hooray! I am finally done with this project! I bought two dressers, I’m not even kidding you, back in October and I have been slowly completing them. That means for a whole six months we’ve been shuffling them around our house. Need I remind you that there’s barely enough room for the stuff that belongs much less anything extra. I would work on them in my kitchen, then push them into the living room and we’d shove them in the office if we had company. I enjoy what I do but, man would it be nice to have an official work space.

This first dresser I’m sharing is a great find. Its very solid and the drawers are nice and big which made them perfect for a little Anthropology inspiration. Of course the original finish had grown very orange. So I stripped the drawers and stained them with a medium walnut. The base got a coat of ASCP in Old White and heavily distressed it.

I really love how the painted numbers turned out. Its super easy to do so I snapped some pictures as I went along to share in case you would like to try it too! Here’s how I got ‘er done.

Step one: Look on your computer and find a font that you like. I used a basic word processing program. Type each number as large as you can and print it out. Measure all drawers to determine each number’s size. Then, I went to Staples and they were able to enlarge the font to each drawer’s specifications. It was under $1.50 for all three! Easy peasy. Then just cut out each number and you’re ready to trace! I know that’s more like ten steps but they’re all pretty basic.

Step two: Tape a piece of string to the top of the dresser where you want the center of each number to be, level it then tape it to the bottom. This gives you a nice guide for each number.

Step three: Center each number behind the string and tape it in place.

Step four: Trace around the cut out lightly with a pencil.

Step five: Now its time to paint! I prefer a light coat because I wanted a very distressed look in the end and less paint makes that easier. Try to keep your brushstrokes going in the same direction.

Step six: After each number was painted I very carefully sanded only on the painted areas. I didn’t want to spread too much dust to the stained wood. I found it very helpful to wet distress with a damp paper towel around the edges. This removed the paint without damaging the wood.

Then, my mom waxed the whole dresser and it was done! These pictures don’t do the distressing justice. It looks so great in person!

There’s a small section along the edge of the top that naturally crackled, to keep it I avoided sanding those areas. It looks so cool and helps to age the fresh paint.

What do you think? Are you a fan of mixing things up a bit and trying out a new trend? I have to admit that I was hesitant to give it a try but I’m so happy I did! It was fun and I really like how it turned out.

Thanks so much for stopping in!

Kelli

Caving under the Clutter

Cozy Cottage or Clutter Capital?

Does one have to equal the other?  I love my little wee of a house but sometimes I find myself wading through clutter up to my eyeballs.

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A scene I’m sure most would definitely understand (cue the dreadful music and panic stricken faces)…the little things start to take over.  Toys, mail, stuff brought in from the car, clothes, laundry OH the endless laundry…you get the idea.

If not nipped day in and day out in the proverbial  bud these little things become the most insurmountable, hugest, highly annoying chore EVER.   Maybe a little clutter here and there is no big deal if you live in a standard size house.  Ah, the good ol’ junk drawer with random paper clips and old keys or a guest closet full of winter coats and extra picture frames.  But when you share 850 square feet with three people even a teeny amount of clutter wanted or unwanted can drive a normal person cray cray.  Junk drawers and the luxurious “extra” closet do not exist in my world!  So where does everything random end up?

The answer is ALL OVER.

Someone please tell me that its possible to live a clutter free existence in a small house!  Don’t get me wrong, I certainly don’t want to win any awards for having an inspection worthy home.  Apparently I couldn’t even if I wanted to…haha

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But a proper place for things isn’t too much to ask is it?

When we first moved in we had a lot of stuff.  Some went into the attic, some into the basement, some sold in a yard sale and some hit the curb.  We did good.  But hey, I’m a woman who just got a new house…

I seriously have to resist the urge.  Every.  Day.

Now that we’ve been in our little cottage for a year and a half its high time we figure this whole thing out and that my friends means its time for A LIST!

A clutter busting get in control kind of list.

  • Paper Piles: If its important it has a home…in a folder…in a cabinet.  Designate mail, coupon, menu spot.
  • Product Piles: Organize medicine, seasonal products, cleaning products.
  • Closets:  Reevaluate current wardrobes and designate a coat rack for winter coats.
  • Office: Organize laundry, book shelf, closet, office stuff.

To make sure that I stay committed to completing this list I will share my projects with you as I go, that’s right I feel a series coming on.  I will tackle closets, nooks and crannies and actually create a solution to this problem not just de-clutter.

So I need some help!  Do you know of any great storage solutions for tight spaces?  Any ideas for keeping office supplies in order and actually having some style too?  Please share if you’ve gone through this process before, I’m a girl who loves inspiration!

Also, what should I call this series?  Any clever titles?  Danny suggested Cookie Clutter.  I thought it would be fun to tackle a project and then reward ourselves when its completed.  Which in our house a reward means cookies. #EATALLTHECOOKIES!

Of course I’ll have to share a recipe in each Cookie Clutter post.  Cheesy?  Yes, but that’s never stopped me!

 

 

French Sofa Table in Duckegg

Here is a nice little French-y sofa table painted in Duck Egg.  Its got sweet lines and is unusually large for this sort of piece if you ask me which makes it unique.

I purchased it from a garage sale.  It was in ‘ok’ condition but the finish was very dark.  My first thought was to strip the top and refinish it but that was a big giant AIN’T GONNA.  After two thick layers of Citristrip (one that I left on overnight) the stain was so deeply red and dark that it wasn’t budging.

Dark and stripper resistant!

It needed a fresh start in a much lighter color.  So with a little primer first to prevent the former life from bleeding through, two very thin coats of chalk paint in Duck Egg, a little distressing, some wax and its finished.

Its going on Craig’s List today, hopefully someone will love it!

I’m very excited about two dressers that I’m picking up this week.  They are both mid-century inspired and I can’t wait to get started on them!

Also, I’ve been working on some more burlap wreaths.  Remember the $50 Amazon gift card I won from Restore Interiors?  Well, I purchased ten 14 inch wire wreath forms and it was very nice getting them for FREE!  I got adorable winter embellishments to go on them.  They remind me of a ski lodge, cozy winter sweaters and hot chocolate.  Selling all ten would be awesome!

Thanks for visiting!

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Mid-century Dresser

Before I share this dresser I want to introduce you to Tricia from The Purple Painted Lady! Tricia has been so helpful and kind assisting me with my Annie Sloan chalk paint purchase. She is a ASCP stockist all the way in northern New York. I ordered the Advanced Starter Kit and she included a surprise complimentary 4 oz. paint sample in Louis Blue! I can’t wait to try this pretty color, thanks Tricia! I really appreciate all that you’ve done for me (despite a Paypal snafoo!) I look forward to working you again.

Ok, so on to the eye candy. Oh my. I can’t believe how much I love this dresser.

I have seen a few really great mid-century inspired redo’s in blogland recently and I am officially hooked. A little late to the party? Probably, but better late than never right?

I got this dresser at a yard sale on a whim. On a day that I was late for an afternoon with friends, I had no business screeching the tires at every yard sale sign on my way. But my daughter was asleep and needed to nap a little longer so I popped out at a few to see what they had and I immediately spotted this dresser.

I wanted it…bad. A two toned mid-century makeover needed to be in my immediate future. Stat.

The dresser is definitely on the “older” side because the man selling it said it was his dresser when he was a child. So, judging by his age (didn’t ask…guessed) I would say its about 40-50 years old. Not sure if its true “mid” century but its close enough for me. It was made by a reputable furniture company who’s been around a while.

So no worries, its by no means a true designer teak collectible. I’m glad because I wanted to (gasp!) paint it!

Despite a few minor scratches and finish problems the dresser as a whole was in great condition. The veneer was thick enough to refinish and since the drawers were near perfect I decided I would strip and stain them.

I totally forgot to take a before pic before I started stripping the drawers!

Needed some sanding and check out the awful color of the finish.

A little wood filler will fix the scratches too deep to sand smooth.

So, after all the wood filler fillin’, stripping, sanding, staining, priming, painting, more sanding, waxing and buffing its just gorgeous.

Ahh, ain’t it perty?!

Even if you’re not a fan of this style you gotta love it’s updated look. I even turned my husband. When he saw it being unloaded he was optimistic but said he wasn’t a fan and was glad I got it on the cheap. Now, he says, “I think we should keep it, it would look great as our t.v. console.” Ha.

I love the warm tone of the wood against the white frame.

I wish so badly I could keep it. We did put our t.v. on it to see how it looked and its a wee too short because our t.v. has to be ginormous. But I love the look of it, so now if I find a similar dresser that is bigger you know exactly what I’m gonna do!

Its ok that I’m not keeping it because this will be Little Cottage Interiors’ initiation piece. That means its officially for SALE! Update: It has been sold.

Anybody else out there lovin on some mid-century styles?