Ninety Nine Pennies Well Spent

20130526-212950.jpg

A while back I found this small dresser at a thrift shop for 99 cents. It was marked down from $10. To be honest, I didn’t believe the price tag at first.  I took the tag off the dresser and took it to an employee to make sure I was seeing it right. I was assured it was 99 cents.

I saw the water damage on the top (see below) and I’m pretty sure it was marked down because nobody wanted to deal with it. But still, it was a solid wood piece with dovetail joints and sturdy construction. I couldn’t pass it up!

20130526-213119.jpg

So what? I’m not afraid. I sanded the dresser down and started planning what I’d do with it. Hubby needs a nightstand. He’s currently using a small night stand that went with his bachelor dresser that I transformed for O’s room. It does the job but is a bit small and disproportionate to our new, much taller bed. I noticed that the shape of the drawer details mimicked the design on my curbside rescue dresser. Perhaps they could coordinate in our master bedroom?

20130526-213107.jpg

Usually I am anxious to change hardware on pieces like this but I thought the current hardware was unique and interesting so I opted to keep it. Along the way I updated the drawer handles with a coat of bronze spray paint.

20130526-213057.jpg

After a coat of Kilz water based primer I started on the base coat. I didn’t doctor up the water damage… I was a little impatient and had no clue what to do to make that mess disappear. I hoped a few heavy coats of paint would camouflage it enough for it to be forgotten. Remember, I was looking to make this dresser coordinate with the larger one I had refinished for the master so I chose the same paint combination. Behr Ashes and high gloss withe trim paint for the details and top. Here is a look at in progress.

20130707-215616.jpg

The drawers also got a coat of primer and 2 coats of the gray. I freehanded white detail around the ridges and in some archectual grooves on the chest.

20130707-215624.jpg

I should add that all these coats of paint happened over a couple of weeks. You know, when I had time and energy to spare.

The breakdown:

99 cents and a good eye at St. Vincent dePaul

2 pennies found inside when dismantling for paint prep

I already owned primer, paint and supplies

So the total comes to 97 cents. Kids, you can’t even buy a Frosty for that these days.

I’m happy with finished product and I think Hubby is too. It has a much more fresh vibe and doesn’t seem so dark and heavy. Dare I say it might have a little bit of a retro revival feel?

20130707-215730.jpg

After a little closet spring cleaning and some accessorizing I will be sure to reveal a final shot of this little dude in his new home.

2 Things for Myself Friday Night

I had been looking forward to Friday night all week. I had grand plans with my good friend Greta. We were going to an art show (hello, my FAVE kind of thing to attend) and hopefully hanging out afterward. It was exactly what the doctor ordered: grown up time with a good friend, high heels, great conversation, art and likely a glass of wine. But my Friday at work proved to be a little draining and to add to my physical exhaustion, I become emotionally exhausted after learning that a dear friend of my family passed away that afternoon. Heartbroken, I sent Greta a text explaining that I just wasn’t up for going out. She explained that she had a headache… we decided to drop our plans. But then she asked me to make her a promise. No problem. Anything for her. But then she made me promise to do two things for myself that evening instead. I think she knew this was going to be a challenge for me.

I accepted and challenged her to do the same. I knew my first order of business: a manicure. When was the last time I painted my nails? I’d like to introduce you to my favorite nail polish. Sally Hansen INSTA-DRI! Oh boy, its affordable and comes in both classic and trendy colors. Those aren’t even why I love it as much as I do. It dries in record time AND it has a flat brush with a curved tip to make painting in one stroke a breeze. I also find it extremely helpful in painting my own nails. I often dread painting my right hand, as my left is undependable. I no longer have a right hand manicure that looks like a two year old did it for me. And one coat is all it takes. By far my favorite nail product  right now.

20130208-204644.jpg

{I chose Silky Slate- a deep taupe with a sweet hint of purple}

It was hard to come up with the second thing to do for myself. I wrestled with vacuuming, mopping floors and organizing some of O’s toys. All are things that are on my mile long to do list and would make me feel good (an organized home is bliss but mine is only partially there) but I was certain Greta would not accept this as “for myself”. Then it hit me: my nightstand. If you can call it that. Its a balancing act on top of Rubbermade containers. I fight with it every night looking for my phone charger, tissues and trying to keep the baby monitor from toppling onto the floor. And I trip all over it in the morning looking for my watch and rings as I fly out the door. It was an impromptu fix when hubby and I moved in…We knew we were going to purchase a new mattress (hallelujah- it arrives next week if it wasn’t held up by the blizzard) so we didn’t want to decide on a bed set until we knew if we were buying a king or queen. As much as we want a king, we felt it will make or room unbearably small. Anyway, thats why I have a plastic container for a night stand. Sad but true. So organizing this would be for me. It will make my life easier and our room a little more put together. Below is the “before”:

20130210-103532.jpg

The plan was to convert this old end table from Hubby’s bachelor days into my night stand. It was out of place in the dining room and was quickly becoming a collect all from the peninsula overflow (which I also organized this weekend because I just can’t take it anymore). Another embarrassing shot:

20130208-204428.jpg

It took a surprising amount of time to clear off the old nightstand. I sorted things for trash, needs, things that belong elsewhere, etc. Here is what I found:

20130210-103500.jpg

Some of the strange finds include: 5 paint chips for master bedroom, a plethora of pens, 2 sets of headphones, a spoon (really.), a long lost Swarovski ring (woo… glad that turned up), the Fifty Shades trilogy, “Bared to You” trashy read (and highly recommended), unknown chargers, a dangerous amount or extension cords and power strips, a sound machine, tons of lotion, a glasses case and iphone 5 package and instructions (who reads those anyway?).

Oh, and I though the container was empty. Apparently I haven’t missed any of these shoes. How random.

20130210-103512.jpg

And here is what I came up with. Once we decide on a color scheme I plan on painting it but it will do for now. I put a parfait on the top to coral my jewelry and hair things. I minimized all those cords to one power strip hidden behind the nightstand to charge my phone, computer (I guess I need an office?) and the monitor. The middle shelf is home to my winter hand lotion essentials and tissues. The bottom shelf stashes the baby monitor so now the little power and volume lights won’t be nearly as bothersome all night. It also is home to my spare glasses and both my current and regular reads: Bared to You, What to Expect The First Year, Baby 411 and Real Simple Magazines.

20130210-112142.jpg

The side by side before and after:

20130208-204413.jpg

 

What do you need to do for yourself? What have you been organizing to make life a little easier?