July 2015 | Live Pretty on a Penny

Three Year Blog Anniversary

Hey there and happy Tuesday! I am so excited because I have been tinkering around with little blog of mine for three years as of July 25!

Wow, three whole years, and it doesn't feel like it has been that long which is a good thing I guess. I love interacting with you all and can't help but to be grateful for all of the friends that I have met along this journey. Not to mention the transformation that my home has received. It sort of makes me emotional because when I started, it was purely just to share what we were doing with you all, and I can't believe the relationships that have been built and the amount of content that has been shared. I am also using this time as a reflection for myself to look back at where my blog started and where I would like it to go!

Why I Started Blogging
I really wanted to share this piece of my life that I had become so passionate about. It was important for me to show everyday people with everyday families and budgets that decorating and designing a home on a budget was possible. Prior to ever writing my first post on Live Pretty on a Penny, I had seen so many blogs floating around the web as I looked for ideas on how to decorate my home. What I found out is that there is no clear "how to." You have to first figure out what your home style is and figure out ways to incorporate those ideas into your home the best way that you can. That is what led me to figure out my own way. While the homes on the web were beautiful, they didn't look like mine. Some of the homes and budgets seemed so much more massive and the budgets seemed larger. However, after completing a few DIY projects, I realized that this was something I could do and make it fit into the style and budget of my home, and Live Pretty on a Penny was born in July 2012!

The Future
While I don't consider myself psychic, I am a planner by trade, so its natural for me to construct lists on a daily basis about the things that I forsee...projects I would love to do in my home... ways I would like for my blog to grow...ways I can interact more with readers/supporters...and ways that I can be more informative.

My goals for the blog are continuing to grow and change often, however here are a few changes/updates/additions that you can expect to see very soon:

  • Blog Redesign- There will be a much cleaner design being implemented very soon. This is a gift to my blog for being so loyal to me over the past three years:)
  • New Logo- The new design will feature the new logo. It will also be updated on my Facebook page header, Twitter header, and my upcoming YoutTube page. If you follow me on Persiscope that has been my practice in front of the camera before I can transition to an actual YouTube page.
  • More Lifestyle Posts- I have said it before and I will say it again, I want to open up a tad bit more about traveling and my family because I believe that living pretty on a penny goes beyond the home, and we practice it through our daily experiences, so why not showcase that. Home will still be the focus, but I would love to mix it up from time to time.   

Thank you so much for sticking with me over these past few years. Those of you that have been here from the beginning THANK YOU THANK YOU!! Those of you that have joined me more recently, THANK YOU THANK YOU. I sincerely appreciate all of you all and I love interacting and putting content out there, even if one one person reads it. If there are more particular types of posts that you would like to see, LET ME KNOW. 

I look forward to all of us growing together!

Kitchen Table Makeover

Hey there! This post is long overdue, as this DIY was completed back in January. I know, just terrible!

But here we go. So my kitchen is pretty small in my opinion and when we first moved it, to offer some type of seating in there, we opted for a small bistro table from Ikea.

However, as we grew in our home, and my taste changed, the Ikea Bistro table just did not seem like a good fit anymore so I sold it.

I then scoured Craigslist for a couple months until I found exactly what I was looking for. I wanted a bar height table, with four chairs, but the catch was that it had to be no bigger than 43 inches all the way around. Most bar height tables are more than that. So while I saw many I liked, they would have been too big for the space.

While perusing Craigslist one night, I came across this table...

This pic is straight from the Craigslist Ad.

I knew that this table was for me. The dimensions were perfect, it was solid wood, had the four chairs, and the seller responded quickly. Oh and it was only $100.

The next day, my husband and I headed out to get the table. It was just as I thought in person, and I knew it would look great made over.

To get it home, we had to detach the legs from the top to fit it and the four chairs in the car.

When I got home, I laid it out and got to work!

Using the exact same process from my oak dining room table makeover, I stained this table using the EXACT same process. So please refer to that tutorial for staining instructions and pictures of tools and items used.

First,I removed the varnish (protectant) from the table top, legs, and chairs. That was a lot of work. I don't think I really thought about how tedious that process would be, but I got it done.All of the tools that I used can be found in this past tutorial.

After removing the varnish and wiping the table down, I applied the stain. It was the same stain used in the past tutorial as well.

After a couple coats of stain and Poly, the base was complete.

I then had to figure out what I wanted to do with the legs and chairs. I knew that I did not want the entire table brown, as that would be waaay to dark of the kitchen since the cabinets are dark.

Using my HomeRite paint sprayer, I sprayed all four chairs white.

I used a simple sponge roller and painted the legs, and just under the base of the table white as well.

I added the green seat covers so that the chairs are comfortable. They were purchased from Ikea for $4.99 each.

Here is a peek at the table, which looks into my family room.

How about anothers side by side?

If you have a piece of wood furniture that you are considering staining, go for it! It's really not as hard as you think, and has been very rewarding for me throughout my household.

Thanks so much for stopping by. Until next time!

Quick and Easy DIY Bench Makeover

Thank you so much on your feedback of my living room reveal. I am so proud of this room and glad that you all like it just as much!

In the dining room you may have noticed the small white bench that is just off to the side to allow for additional seating if needed. I mentioned that it was a curb find and needed a little makeover.

Well, I wanted to show you what this looked like prior to its little makeover.

Yuck is right! Don't think I am crazy. I just love finding pieces that I can incorporate into my home, that with a little work, have life left in them.  I knew that this bench would need alot of cleaning, and Lysol!

With gloves, I removed the top of the bench from the bottom part just by unscrewing the screws underneath the seat.

I then wiped off the bottom part, and removed the fabric from the pad. I sprayed the pad down with disinfectant, then recovered it with some leftover gray linen fabric. I then folded the fabric pieces in the bottom and secured it to the pad with my hot glue gun. I painted the based using a sponge paint roller brush and let it dry 48 hours before moving it to a new home.

Voila, cute additional seating that can be moved wherever it may be needed throughout the house. Plus I can change the fabric whenever I choose. 

I tried to iron the fabric, but not until I had attached it, so the wrinkles didn't really go away. Oh well:) Nothing that as cute pillow can't hide!

Thanks so much for stopping by! Until next time.

My Living Room Reveal: Before and After

Hey there! I hope you all had a wonderful July 4th weekend. My mother, niece, and nephew paid me a visit from Chicago and were here for a total of nine days. I thoroughly enjoyed their visit with me and hate that they live so far. Thank goodness for holidays and quick airplane rides.

Any who, I am here with my living room reveal!!!

You may remember when I first started this room back in January and it looked a little something like this:

Well, I am happy to show you that it now it looks like this:)

 Besides the focal panel wall, I am also in love with my Craigslist score gray sofa. I purchased it for $250.
The wall color is Benjamin Moore Seahaze, color matched to Behr paint in an eggshell finish.

 The gold decorative mirror was purchased at Target a while back. It was on clearance for $39.99.

The gold and white striped pillow was a DIY from early last fall.

I love my little corner which houses my fiddle leaf fig, some free online artwork, and my Julian Apothecary lamp from Ballard Designs in Antique Brass. The frames for the free prints were purchased from Bealle's Outlet.

The rug was purchased from Rugs USA and is the Maui Chunky Loop in a 5x7.

This wooden bar cart was purchased from my local Facebook Online Yard Sale group for $20! The green candle holder and ice bucket, and gold lamp were purchased from Goodwill. The blue and white vase was on clearance for $6 at Bealle's Outlet.

 The wooden pictures on the floating shelves were purchased on clearance from Target for $8 each. The other items that adorn the shelves were purchased at Goodwill and Bealle's. The shelves are from a flea market and were $2 each. 

The table of course is a DIY.

The stool was a DIY makeover from a stool that I found on the curb. Some new paint and fabric and its like new! The plant is a ZZ plant and I purchased it a The Home Depot.

The green lamp in the corner is from Salvation Army and I purchased it for $15 and the gold foil art is from TJMaxx. 

Can you believe someone threw this chair out on the trash? Well lucky for me, I drove by and rescued it, had it professionally cleaned, and its like new.

 I love decorating with old books, and I received these during the Swap It Like Its Hot challenge.

Here is the view looking out of my living room into the walkway. The gold sconces on the wall are from Goodwill. 

Here is a peek from the walkway back into the living room.

I still need to finish off this room with a pair of curtains, but for the most part, I consider it done. If you have any curtain ideas, please share. I am not sure if I should go with a plain white or pattern. Let me know what you think! And as always, thanks for stopping by!
TDC Before and After

DIY Coffee Table


Hey friends and happy half New Year! If you follow me on Instagram, then you may have noticed that I have been working pretty diligently on completing a living room makeover. You may even remember one of my very first projects, the board and batten wall. Well, today I am back with another reveal, pretty much leading up to the final reveal of this room. I completed the DIY X Coffee Table, with the plans found on Ana White's website. While this post is not a tutorial, as I followed the Ana White tutorial pretty loosely, I wanted to more so show pics and talk a bit about my experience.

Pretty much following the plans, I measured my space, purchased the wood, and got it cut based on my own dimensions from The Home Depot. I am so happy with how it turned out.

My Tips:
Preparing to Build:

  • Make sure you measure the height of your couch along with the width, and your table should be about a third of the length size. The height of the table should be just below where your knees would be if you are sitting on your sofa. Does that make sense? If you follow Ana White's plan exactly, your table could come out too large or too small for your space, so measure your space accordingly.

  • Tools are important. Make sure you have the proper tools to build this table. A miter saw is needed to cut the wood pieces to the exact dimensions that you may need. I always get my wood cut a few inches longer than I need to to allow for adjustments if needed. I then use my miter saw to cut it truer to my necessary size at home. However, if you choose to have yours cut exactly when you buy it, that should be fine. Just remember. the miter saw will be needed to create the angles on decorative x's. 
    Additional tools needed are a Kreg Jig ( I used a Kreg Jig Jr.) , power drill, measuring tape, and I think that's it, but refer to the Ana White plan to be sure:) 

    Staining the Table

  • After my building was complete, I lightly sanded my wood using a a fine sandpaper. I then conditioned my wood using Minwax Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner, applying it with a paintbrush. The directions state that you have to remove the excess product, then I let it sit over night.

  • I then applied a few coats of these two stains Minwax Weather Oak and Minwax Special Walnut, allowing each coat to dry in between and sanding in between each coat. 
  • I let the stain dry and cure for a couple days then applied Minwax polyurethane to protect the surface from scratches or water damage.
I loved the look of the multiple stains, although Ana White's tutorial calls for a different finishing technique.

But here she is in all of her finished glory!

I just love all of the knots and detailing that the stain pulled out of the wood.

Many of the shots show a sneak peek of my living room reveal, as I consider this room done! I will be back next week with a full room reveal.

Thanks for stopping by. If you have any questions about my experience in building this table, feel free to email me.

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