In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. ~ Proverbs 3:6

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

My Real Life Love Story ~ Part 3 (Engaged)

My real life love story continues with a post about how my man asked me to marry him.  You can read more about this story at the following links :

It was Friday, February 6, 2009.  I had left my classroom around   From there, I drove to my apartment to get ready for a typical date night with Matt.  I was ready by , and sine I had a few things to drop off at Matt’s house, we made plans for me to meet him at his house rather than having him pick me up at my apartment.  On the way to his house, I received a text message from him telling me to use the garage code to let myself in the house.  As I opened the door, I noticed that the lights were off.  When I turned the corner, I saw a candle lit path of red rose petals that began in the kitchen, led me through the living room and down the hall way to the farthest point of the house in one of the back bedrooms.  At the end of the path stood the most caring man I knew.  As I approached him, he got down on one knee and out of his mouth came the four words that every little girls dreams of hearing ~ “Will You Marry Me?”.  I quickly said yes as he slipped the ring on my finger and embraced me with a tender kiss.  The entire proposal was such a brief moment in time, but it was a moment that I will never forget.

After we called family and friends, we continued on with our typical Friday night date activities ~ dinner and good conversation.  After stuffing ourselves at Cheesecake Factory, we went back to his place and stayed up late into the night talking about our future together.  And that’s pretty much it.  That’s how my man asked me to marry him!

People ask me all the time if I was surprised when Matt asked me to marry him, to which my answer is always no.  In fact, we already had most of the wedding planned before I even got the ring on my little left finger.  I knew he was waiting on me to officially meet his mother before he popped the question, even though a wedding was in the works.   Having met his mom the weekend before he asked me to marry him, I was expecting a proposal around Valentine’s Day.  Although I wasn’t surprised that he asked me, I was surprised about when and how he popped the question.  Like I said, I was expecting him to ask me on Valentine’s Day weekend, and since he’s not a very creative person, I was just expecting him to ask me very simply over dinner.   The candles and the rose petals were very surprising, because as thoughtful and caring as Matt is, he is just not a romantic.  When I asked him how he came up with the idea, he said he found the idea on the internet – LOL!  Now that sound more like my man!  Whether he thought of it himself or Google helped him out, it was still a lovely way to ask me to be his wife, and I will never forget the night my man asked me to spend the rest of my life with him. 

My Real Life Love Story ~ Part 2 (Getting To Know One Another)

My real life love story continues with a post about how I got to know the man I would eventually marry.  You can read more about this story at the following links:  Inroduction ; Part 1 - How We Met

So if you’ve been following this love story, you now know how I met my husband.  Today I want to share with you how our relationship went from a professional relationship to a dating relationship.  Let’s see where to start.....well, I told you that there was an instant attraction for both of us when we officially met in April of 2008.  Matt and I were quickly on a first name basis, and I found myself using the bank’s drive thru very little, just so I could bump into the bank’s handsome branch manager once I was inside the building.  It turned out that there would be plenty of chances to go into the bank and deal with the manager, because Matt’s staff made a couple of accidental but significant banking errors with my account.  In hind side, those errors were a blessing, because through those errors I was able to get to know Matt a little bit better.  Our emails soon turned from professional to friendly, and when he learned that I was in the process of moving into a new apartment, he offered to help me move.  It was at that point that I officially thought this handsome branch manager just might be a little bit into me…..or he was just a guy who went over and beyond in the area of customer service ;)
I didn’t take him up on his offer to help me move, but that summer I did learn more about him.  I learned that he was from southern Indiana and went to an all-boys high school.  I learned where he went to college and what his major was.  I learned that he bought a house and fixed it up himself.  I learned that he was only twenty-six and had ambitious goals of working his way up in the banking industry.  I learned that his grandparents were missionaries and that his mom grew up on the mission field.  I also learned that he was looking for a church and had thought about going to my church many times, since it was less than five minutes from his house. 
Thinking that he was a Christian in need a church home, I invited him to my church several times that summer.   Once school started, the emails subsided, and I wasn’t able to go into the bank as much during his working hours.  I did continue to invite Matt to church when I saw him, but he always seemed to be busy on Sundays.  As my workload increased with the fall semester, the cute bank manager drifted to the back of my mind. 
One beautiful fall afternoon, Matt greeted me at the door of the bank as he always did when I walked into the branch to make a deposit.  It had been awhile since we last talked, and as usual I asked him when I was going to see him at church.  I even told him that I would sit with him if the idea of going to a new church made him uncomfortable.  This time Matt took me up on my offer, and the following Sunday I waited for him at the church doors.  After the service, we had lunch together.  Now, if you recall I had thought Matt was a Christian based upon previous conversations, but as I was sharing my faith with him over lunch, he seemed puzzled by some of my remarks.  I would later find out that Matt had never clearly heard the Gospel message until that Sunday morning at my church.  Let me just say that Matt was and is a stand-up guy.  He is a good and moral man ~ but good and moral people still need a Savior.  You see, Matt was learning that heart knowledge and head knowledge were two different things.  The following Sunday, Matt came back to church and accepted Christ as his Savior.      
By the time Matt started coming to church, we were already friends, but by the time Thanksgiving rolled around we moved our friendship up a notch and started dating.  We had dinner together nearly every night throughout that brisk November month.  After dinner we would stay up late into the night talking about our dreams, ambitions and goals in life.  Those hours of conversation quickly brought our relationship to a more serious level.  As the holidays approached we introduced one another to our families, and in our minds it was pretty much certain that this relationship was something special. 
By Christmas day, I knew that Matt was the one for me. Matt came over to my apartment early that morning in his flannel pajamas, and we made a big Christmas breakfast together.  We spent the morning talking and playing board games in our comfy pjs.  It was a super casual day, and I remember thinking that I wanted every Christmas to be like the one we shared that day.  When it was time to open presents, I couldn’t believe what he gave me.  That morning I opened up a rod iron coat rack......w.hat’s so special about that you ask?  Well, the first time we had lunch together, I told him that I saw one at Old Time Pottery, and I thought that it would look great in my apartment.  I made that comment in meaningless conversation and didn’t think anything of it at the time.  You see, it wasn’t the gift that I thought was so special; it was the fact that he listened to me talk to him, and he remembered me saying something so small and insignificant.  Not only did he hear me say it, but the guy drove all the way to Greenwood during the holidays to find the particular coat rack I was talking about!  Yep, that’s when I knew Matt was a keeper!  By January a wedding was in the works, and the rest of the story….well, the rest of the story will just have to wait for another day….

It's been awhile & I've been featured......

It’s been nearly a week since my last post, and I do apologize for my blogging absence.  The only excuse I have is a busy life.  Since we all face the business of life,  I guess it isn’t a very good excuse.  To make up for my lack of blogging, I have about five posts I want to write before my head hits the pillow tonight.  That’s a pretty ambitious goal for me, so we’ll see if I have the energy to actually accomplish the task.  
Other than apologizing for my lack of blogging, I wanted to write this quick post to say thank you for all of the love I received regarding my Craigslist dining room table.  It’s been about two weeks since I published that post, and it quickly became my most viewed page!  As of today the page has over 1,900 pageviews!  That’s really exciting for a girl who had less than twenty followers two months ago!  Not only is it my most viewed page, but I’ve received over fifty comments on that one post!  I tried to respond to all of the comments, but if I missed anyone, I want to take this opportunity to let all of you know that I found the comments to be very encouraging!  I also wanted to give a shout out to the wonderful blogs who featured my table.   Thank you so much for the features!  I added six different buttons to my feature page this week due to this one post, so check it out to see which lovely blogs featured my table!  Thanks again to all of your encouraging words.  It helps make all of the time and effort spent on a project worth it :) 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

We have a WINNER!!!

We have a winner of the Starbucks Gift Card and Book Giveaway!!!

Thank you to all 22 followers who entered!

I used randomizer to pick a number between 1 and 22.  Congratulations Number 13!  You are the winner of a $10 Starbucks gift card and a copy of the book Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks!  It was my first time using randomizer, and it looks like 13 really is a lucky number!

JKing82 was number 13 out of 22 people who entered the giveaway.  Contact me to claim your prize!

Ok, so I just published the post only to realize my randomizer box has gone blank!  I have no idea why it did that, so I'm just going to delete the randomizer box all together.  I promise you that number 13 was the winner when I published the post, so that's what I'm gonna stick with, regardless of the empty box.  Congratulations again to number 13, and maybe next time I'll figure out how to post the randomizer box correctly. Thanks again to all who entered, and have a great night!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

My Real Life Love Story - Part 1 (How We Met)

My real life love story continues with a post about how I met the one God wanted me to be with.  You can read more about the introduction here.

It was March of 2008.  I was in my second year of teaching, and a much needed spring break was approaching.  With my summer savings, I managed to get by that school year without having to have a second job.......that is until one early spring weekend…….  

As I was depositing my paycheck on a Friday night, the bank was getting ready to close for the evening.  It's important to note that this was out of the norm for me.  I usually deposited my check during the afternoon when my students were in gym class, but this particular Friday, I wasn't able to get away.  Naturally, I found myself rushing to the bank after work before it closed its doors.  I deposited the paycheck without reading a very important sign in the bank's lobby.  I would later find out that the small print on the unread sign would lead to a big turning point in my life.

What was the big deal about that sign, you ask?  Well, the sign informed the customers that all deposits made after  on Friday would not be cleared until the following Monday morning.  Now this may not be a big deal to most people.  In fact, if this were to happen to me today, it wouldn't really affect me, but at that time in my life it was a HUGE deal.  I was living paycheck to paycheck on a very tight budget.  In fact, if I told you how much my teaching income was and how much my monthly bills were, you would probably wonder how on earth I managed to live on my own.  Don't get me wrong.  I have no complaints about my teaching salary.  I chose to teach in a small Christian school as a ministry not job, so the salary had little to do with me choosing the teaching position.  All I can say is that God was always faithful to me, and He always provided my needs.  I could write a whole post on that, but that's not what this post is supposed to be about.  Anyway, back to the subject.....ah yes, I was living paycheck to paycheck…..My account was nearly drained at the time of deposit.  Once I made the deposit, I went about my regular weekend business.  I used my debit card nine times from Friday night to Monday morning.  Most of my transactions were under five dollars thanks to the fact that I lived off of the dollar menu at Wendy’s and McDonalds.  Dollar chicken nuggets were cheaper than cooking for myself, so I went through a drive-thru several times that weekend.   I also picked up a few groceries, got gas, went to the laundry mat, and paid a few bills.  Boy was I surprised when Monday rolled around, and I discovered I had nine $33.50 fees from all of my debit card transactions!  Yikes!!!  Again, let me remind you I lived paycheck to paycheck, so all of the money that I deposited was pretty much accounted for before it even got into my account!  You can imagine my devastation when a perfectionist like me discovers my account was overdrawn, and I had $301.50 in fees!  At that point in my life, I would say that I was not an emotional person, but tears quickly filled my eyes when I realized that I didn't know how I was going to fix the problem I found myself in!  I met with bank management, but they wouldn't budge on the fees, because it was my fault I didn't pay attention to the sign!  The thing that disgusted me most about the whole situation was that if I would have just cashed my check and gone about my business, I wouldn't have had one fee, but because I made the deposit after 4:00 p.m., the money was not available for me to use until the following Monday!  What kind of bank does that?   Needless to say, I canceled my account with that bank and was determined to find a way to pay them back.

         I began looking for a second job immediately, and by the time spring break rolled around I ended up finding a nanny job forty-five minutes away from my apartment.  The family needed someone to take care of two girls on Saturdays from 8-2 and Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays from 4-8.  That was highly unusual for nanny positions, and those were the exact times I was available to work a second job.  What are the odds of that?  You can say what you like, but I know that God had that job specifically set aside for me.  By picking up eighteen hours a week as a nanny, I had the means to pay the bank back their fees.  Oh, and I should mention that the family who I began nannying for is the same family that I currently nanny for full time.  If I didn't have the devastating bank fees, I would have never been looking for a second job, and I probably wouldn't have the job that I have today. 

         Over the next eight weeks, I cashed my paycheck at the bank where my school had their account.  There was a branch conveniently located down the street from my school, so it made it easy for me to cash my check each Friday when my students were in gym class.  It just so happened that at that particular branch, there was a quiet but cute bank manager who greeted me at the door every time I entered.  While all of my banking woes were were interupting my quiet life, he had just been transferred to the branch down the street from my school.  I'd later find out there were a lot of things about his life that led him to that place at that time. 

         So what was so special about this bank manager?  Well, he was definitely good looking.  He dressed well, and although he was small in stature, I could tell that he was fit.  I guess you could say there was an instant attraction.  It wasn’t just his looks that I found attractive.  There was just something about the way he carried himself and interacted with his staff and customers that drew me to him.  I'm not gonna lie, I also happened to notice that this cutie didn't have a ring on his left hand ;)  Now, while I did notice all of those things, I didn't think too much about it.  So he was a good lookin’ guy, and he was nice to me ~ but I had no idea that one year later I would make him a promise to love and cherish him all the days of my life.  You see, that good looking bank manager ended up being the one God wanted me to spend the rest of my life with, and I would have never even met him if I didn't have $301.50 in bank fees.  Sometimes God takes the unexpected things in life that we call "bad" and turns them into something so much better than we could have ever imagined. 

          Through all of that, God taught me to trust Him more as He provided my needs.  He provided me with a job that more than supplemented my financial needs the rest of my teaching ministry, and He blessed me by bringing the kindest, sweetest man I know into my life ~ the man that would eventually be my partner through life.  You know, I was loving life before God brought Matt into it, but I'm loving life in a whole new way now that God had blessed me with such a wonderful man!

This picture was taken on our honeymoon.  Not only was I lucky to marry a sweet, caring and thoughful man, but God went over and beyond and gave me a hottie!  Yes, God is so good to me:)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

An Introduction to My Real Life Love Story

        As of today, it's officially summer, which means the graduation season has past and the wedding season is upon us.  There's just something about summer that gets those wedding bells a ringin'.  Like many couples, Matt and I planned a June wedding.  In fact, we have our "fakiversary" coming up this weekend.  Yes, that's right, you read correctly.  We call it our “fakiversary”, because we celebrate our real anniversary in March on the day we legally became husband and wife before God, our pastor and our parents.  It’s sort of confusing to some people, so stay with me while I try to explain.  Even though we got married in March (for spontaneous reasons that I will share later), we had already planned and paid for a June wedding, so we went ahead and had the June ceremony as planned…...but since we were already married by the time the June ceremony rolled around, we ended up renewing our vows and celebrating our love with close family and friends ~ thus, our anniversary is March 20, and our "fakiversary" is June 26. Yes, that's right, I am the lucky girl who ended up having two weddings!  Matt kind of got the bad end of the deal on that one, but it works out great for me!  Two weddings may sound kind of crazy, but looking back on it, I wouldn't have it any other way.  It’s just another twist in a beautiful love story ~ or at least it’s a beautiful story to me.
Most of us have a love story.  Some of our stories may be happier than others, but at some point in our life, most of us will  love someone with a kind of love that God only meant for the one He wants us to be with.  Not everyone experiences that in life, and I think that’s ok.  I think there is a lot of good that can come from being single, and as someone who was determined to stay single for a very long time, I don’t think that one has to have the kind of love story I’m talking about to be happy in life….but that is neither here nor there, so I’d better get to the point of this post. 
Now where was I….ah yes, I was talking about real life love stories.  There are a lot of things about my love story that may sound kind of crazy to some people.  I would definitely be one of those people if it wasn’t my life I was talking about.  The whole idea of marrying someone after just a few months of knowing them is a little bit out there for most people.  Again, I would definitely be one of those people if it wasn’t me I was talking about.  Everything about my relationship with Matt was quick and completely unexpected!  Matt and I met in April 2008, but were merely acquaintances until October of that year when we began a fast and furious dating relationship that led to an engagement four months later.  Before I even got the ring in February of 2009,we had a wedding and honeymoon planned for late June.  The wedding was planned and pretty much paid for by late February, but we ended up getting married in March and renewing our vows in a June ceremony before family and friends.  Two years have now past, and life together just keeps getting better all the time. I guess you could call that the shortened version of my love story.  It's the little details that I didn't share with you in this post that make my love story special to me, because it’s those details that I know only God Himself could have orchestrated to bring two people together for a lifetime of love and happiness.  Over the next few days, I hope to share with you a little more about those details as I try to recall and put into writing my real life love story.

Friday, June 17, 2011

100 Follower Giveaway!!!

Thank you to all of you who follow and read my blog!  I hit the 100 follower mark today thanks to all of you!!!  When I started this blog months ago, it was meant to be a simple hobby for me to work on in my spare time.  It was a new way for me to journal the daily experiences of my life.  To my surprise, blogging has become so much more than a hobby for me ~ it has become a part of my daily life!  It has not only given me a creative outlet that I desperately needed since I left teaching, but blogging has turned into something that I really enjoy! 

To celebrate 100 followers,  I'm hosting my first ever GIVEAWAY!!!  So what will I be giving away you ask?  Well, my blog is “Loving Life”, and two things that I love in life are books and coffee.  I hope you love those things too, because one randomly chosen winner will be given a hard back copy of the Nicholas Sparks book Safe Haven and a $10 Starbucks gift card. 

If you read my blog, you know that I recently read this book, and like all of Sparks' books, I didn't want to put it down until I was finished with it.  I'm definitely a fan of his work, and if you like The Notebook, A Walk To Remember, Dear John, The Last Song and  Message in Bottle, you’re probably a Nicholas Sparks fan too.  The books are always better than the movies, so participate in this giveaway for a good read and delightful cup of coffee :)

Here's how to enter!
Leave me a comment letting me know you're a follower, and then tell me what good book you've read lately and what your favorite Starbucks drink is. 

The deadline to enter for this giveaway is at midnnight Wednesday
, June 22, 2011.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Yard Sale Rockers All Cleaned Up

I scored these rockers for $25 each at a garage sale over the weekend.

You can read more about that here.  They were pretty filthy when I bought them, so I spent my Friday afternoon cleaning them up.
Yep, they were definitely filthy.....
....until I used a water and bleach ratio of 2:1 and scrubbed for over an hour. 

The dirt was in deep, that's for sure!

Even after scrubbing them with bleach water, they still had a few stubborn stains, so I picked up two cans of spray paint to make the chairs look new again.

I love spray paint.....'s such and inexpensive and dependable solution to many of my thrifty finds:)

Now the rockers look like new!  Matt and I have spent every evening on the porch talking till the sun goes down since I cleaned up these chairs, so I'd say that's $50 well spent:)

Monday, June 13, 2011

Dining Room Table and Chairs Completed ~ Finally!

It's finally finished!!!!!!!

It seems like it has taken forever to get this dining room table completed!  We originally bought it in March, and it has been a long time coming to get it to this point!  This table was inspired by one that I saw at Ikea for $300 and $80 for each chair.  Well, I can promise you that I did not spend that!  Here's how I did it.......

As usual, I prayed to find an affordable dining set like the one I saw at Ikea.  I also needed a way to get it into my house, since we do not have a truck or a van.  So when I saw this large table with two leafs......

.....and these chairs on Craigslist for $75, I inquired about them.  After we inquired, we discovered that the people selling the table and chairs lived three houses down!  Pretty crazy, huh?  It's like it was just meant to be!  God is so faithful to us!  If they didn't live so close, we wouldn't have scored this dining set for such a great price!
Now there were two problems with this dining set....
Number 1 -
One of the eight chairs was broken and could not be fixed.  That meant that I needed to find three more matching chairs or a different set of four chairs to mix and match with  the others.

Number 2 -
The table and chairs looked like Easter eggs vomited all over my dining room and they had to be changed ~ immediately! I couldn't stand looking at them!

 Problem two was an easy fix with Annie Sloan's CHALK PAINT!  Chalk paint saved me from sanding and priming this dining set.  It took two coats of paint to cover everything, but it dried really fast.  I first read about chalk paint in the blogosphere, and I knew it was going to make my life easier.  It's not cheap, but it's worth it.  I ordered two cans of graphite paint and one can of the soft wax for this project.  You can read more about chalk paint here.
The table was really easy to paint.  It only took me an hour to apply both coats.

After the paint dried, I took a rag and applied the wax.  This wax was really easy to work with, and it dried really fast.  It also didn't have a strong scent that other waxes tend to have.

By April, the table was finished and decorated.  You can read more about that here, here and here.

Two months later, I completed the set of eight chairs after finding these three hideous things at a rummage sale.  They are the exact chairs to the set, and you guessed it, I only needed three chairs to complete my set!  You can read more about that and other garage  sale finds here.
To transform the chairs I had to first unscrew all eight seats from the chairs.

Then I began painting the chair.  The chalk paint appears greyish-blue when it is wet, but it dries much darker.  
 Painting these bad boys took forever, because the chairs had several detailed grooves that were difficult to coat.  It took me about an hour to paint each chair. 
Once the paint was dry, I took a rag and applied the Annie Sloan's soft wax.
While the chairs were drying, I worked on the seat cushions.
I took off the old fabric and staples and was left with the foam and board.
I tore two yards of my new fabric into eight pieces....
.....and began stapling my fabric to the seat cushions.....
......until it looked like this.
Once everything was dry, I screwed the cushions back to the chairs and marveled over the transformation!  I just love how they turned out!  It's a big difference from the Easter egg chairs I saw on Craigslist and the hideous things I found at the rummage sale.  But the truth is, I was overjoyed to find those things, because in my mind this is how I envisioned them!  I always saw their potential, so it was easy to look past the ugliness that they once were:)
Last but not least, let's break down the cost of this completed project:

Craigslist table and chairs:  $75
Rummage sale chairs: $20 
Annie Sloan's chalk paint and wax: $100
Two yards of home decor fabric from JoAnn's half off: $30
Ikea dishes: $40
Ikea placemats: $25
One yard of fabric for napkins: $12
Center pieces and runner -$10

I will be linking up to:
and all of the parties on my party page

Saturday, June 11, 2011

More Fantabulous Yard Sale Finds

I have been praying for specific needs and wants for our home during this year's garage sale season.  The Lord has been faithful to provide nearly everything on my list for a great price, and the season's not over yet.  I'm so glad that nothing is too small for God!  I know that it is not luck that has led me to so many great deals this year, but it's God supplying our needs and wants for our home for a fraction of the retail cost.  I really enjoy making our house a home, but Matt and I have budget that we are determined to stick to.  Thrift stores, yard sales and DIY projects have helped us get more bang for our buck.  Each week the house is becoming more of the home that I envisioned it to be the moment I walked through its doors six months ago, and I'm loving that!

Check how far $30 stretched at last weekends garage sales :)

The console table and porch swing with the chains were $10 each. I need to paint the swing white and make a few pillows for it, but I was ecstatic when I found it for such a great price.  The console table is practically new and it matches the furniture in our loft perfectly!

The large storage basket was $5, and I think it's going to end up in our bedroom.  The bird cage candle holder needs a coat of spray paint.  Bird cages are really popular right now in the home decor section of many stores, but they cost a lot more than the $2 that I paid for mine :)

I have a front door wreath for every season except spring.....that is until now! This wreath is in great shape and would have cost me a minimum of $30 to buy new.  I only paid $3 for this pretty spring wreath.

I really want to finish my dining room table and chairs this weekend!  I am so close to having it completed, and these chairs are the only thing left for me finish.  I found them at a rummage a sale last weekend.  I know they look hideous now, but they are the exact matching chairs to my dining room set that I found a few months ago.......and would you believe that I was in need of three chairs!  What are the odds!   That's not just luck!  The rummage sale was for a good cause, and all sales were by donations.  I gave them the only cash I had on me ~ my twenty dollar bill!  It was a win-win situation!

Although they are filthy in this pic, I've already cleaned them up, and they look fabulous now!  The rockers were something that Matt wanted for the front porch, so I told him we'd put it on our garage sale list and pray about it.  Although I wanted to sleep in this past Friday, I pulled myself out of bed to hit a few garage sales first thing in the morning (that's the best time to go ~ most the good stuff is gone by 10:00).   I'm so glad I woke up, because I spotted these chairs as soon I turned into the first community sale of the morning.  $25 each ~ um, yes I'll take them!   Good thing I got there early, because four other people tried to buy them after I paid for them.  I had to rope them in the trunk of my car one at a time and make two trips to get them home, but they were worth it!  The cheapest I've found them online is $78 each, and that is for the ones with not-so-great reviews.  These rockers would have easily been over $100 each brand new!  They are good sturdy rockers ~ definitely not cheapos;)   I spent three hours cleaning them with bleach water and giving them a new coat of paint Friday afternoon.  Now they are as good as new!   I'll have a post about their transformation coming soon:)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Painted Furniture

           I love a good painted piece of furniture ~ especially when the paint is what made someone else's junk my treasure.   When I graduated college and started teaching, I was on a strict budget.  I purchased most everything for my apartment second hand and refinished my findings by sanding, priming and painting each piece with a coat of black paint.  I still use all of that furniture in our home today, so it was worth the little bit of money that I spent to spruce up my findings.  Below are some of the pieces that I got for my first apartment.  I really wish the pictures were better (our camera has been taking poor pictures lately......or maybe it's just the picture taker ~ someday I will invest in a better camera).  Regardless of the blurry pics, check out what $40 and a can of black paint can do for a girl who likes all things beautiful but was on a teacher's salary. 

I bought this on clearance from JoAnn Fabrics.  It was unfinished wood when I bought it, and it cost me $30.  It's been used in several different rooms, but it's currently being used in the front entry.  I got the window the same time I got the table, but the window was free from someone who does demolition projects on old homes.  

I wish I had some before and after pics, but I did all of this before my blogging days.  The only thing I've changed since my apartment days is the hardware.   I recently added the knobs to all of these pieces.  I found  the hardware at Hobby Lobby for $3 a piece half off.  I think I may have spent more on all of the hardware than I did the furniture:) 

Ignore the ugly unfinished garage sale lamp on the bookshelf that still needs a makeover, and focus on the fact that this bookshelf cost me $1 at garage sale:) 
$3 night stand from a garage sale. 
The chest was free from my mom's attic, and it has always made a great coffee table.  It's had some wear and tear since it was first painted, and it's in need of a little touching up now.  Maybe I'll get to that in the next few months....

$5 Goodwill table not only made a fun paint project, but a fun decoupage project.
A friend gave me this for free.  It's been used in both the living room and the bedroom, but now it's being used in the dining room.
Now that we are in the new house, I have discovered chalk paint. It's fabulous!  No sanding or primiing required.  It's not cheap, but it makes big projects so much easier.  My budget is also not as small as it was when I was just starting out on my own, so to me the chalk paint is worth the money.  There will be projects posted soon that involve chalk paint.  I'm just not exactly sure when that will be.  In the meantime, the next time you see an ugly piece of furniture at yard sale or a thrift store for a ridiculously inexpensive price, ask yourself if you can turn it into something practical and beautiful with a can of paint.