18 December 2014

Dresser Renovation - Before & After

You probably don't remember, but a while ago, I posted a picture of a dresser that I got on Craigslist. The plan was to make my own chalk paint and refinish the dresser for our bedroom. But I kinda have a habit of getting really gung-ho about a project and starting it right away, and then leaving it for months unfinished. Just ask my Husband, it's a problem. lol.

But I finallllly finished it. Well, I shouldn't say it's finished, because I have some touch-ups I need to do. But it's done, for the most part! I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out, I think. I go back and forth on whether I like the color I chose. But eh, at the end of the day, I'm just glad I finished it!

 I get real lazy with refinishing things, I don't like sanding things down and all the prep work that goes along with it. But recently I read all about chalk paint, and how well it covers pretty much any surface or material, with almost no prep work. Hallelujah! Seriously, right?

So I used some latex paint I already had at home. It's called Dolphin Fin (by Behr), and mixed up some of my own chalk paint! 

This isn't so much a tutorial, but I will run you through the quick basics! :) 

  • Latex paint (color of your choice)
  • Plastic paint buckets
  • Plaster of Paris
  • Stir sticks
  • Plastic measuring cups (don't reuse for food)
  • Cool water
  • Paste Wax

Mix 1/3 cup of Plaster of Paris and 1/3 cup of cool water. Keep stirring until smooth. Add 1 cup of latex paint and mix thoroughly! 

This recipe will make enough paint to cover a large dresser (like the one above). One thing about chalk paint is that you really aren't supposed to store & reuse it. So if you need a smaller amount for a smaller project, cut recipe down, but keep the proportions the same.

After I applied the chalk paint and let it dry completely, I used Minwax Finishing Wax Paste to finish and seal the project. There are a lot of fabulous tutorials online to get more in depth details about this process! 

Lastly, I lightly spray painted the handles white. But made sure not to cover them entirely, so that I could achieve a distressed look.

And Viola! Now all I need to do is get the big huge mirror I saw at Ikea and hang it above the dresser and it'll be done! What do you think of the end result??

16 December 2014

The Santa Picture Experience - 2014

As usual, things have been busy!! I'll admit that at the beginning of the month, I wasn't really feeling the whole Christmas thing. My Husband basically called me a scrooge and told me to shape up. So, the past week or two, I've been trying to really get into it a little more. So I did a little more decorating, hopped online and did some shopping for the kids, decorated Christmas cookies and planned our outing to see Santa Claus. 

It was always a tradition for my sister & I to get Santa pictures when we were growing up. So I sort of just passed that right along to my kids. I know that the whole Santa thing isn't the real reason for the season, and I don't intend on raising my kids to believe that. But it's still fun, none-the-less.

Two years ago, Bennett threw a fit and cried during the Santa pics, which is to be expected. Last year, Easton was whiny, and Bennett started crying again, so I got in the photo with them and they calmed down just fine and we actually ended up with some cute smiles. 

But this year, I decided that no matter what, I wasn't going to get in the picture. So bring on the tears and tantrums.

I got the kiddos dressed and made sure to include Santa in our conversation that morning. I let them know that we were going to be going to visit him, and that if they could sit on his lap for a picture if they wanted. I definitely played it up, putting emphasis on the candy cane they would receive afterward. ;-)

They were in super good moods before we left, so I was hoping that meant it was going to be a good day with Santa.

We went and picked up my Mom first, and then headed to the mall. We walked right up, no lines at all, which helped, I think. They waved and said hello to Santa. They were a bit apprehensive at first, to actually walk up to him. But I led them up and they were greeted by the sweetest Santa ever. Real beard, folks. That's always a plus. 

I plopped Easton down on his lap, then nestled Bennett on the arm of the chair and viola. No tears, no tantrums. I was shocked to be honest. My kids wouldn't even approach the Disney Characters at Disneyland, so I fully expected them to make a scene for Santa photos. But, nope. They were champs. 

And here it is. How cute is this Santa? And my kids? ;-)

Until next year! :-)

10 December 2014

Oh What Fun It Is... To Win $1000!!!

Tis the season you guys!!! I have joined more giveaways in the past 2 months, than I have in the entire year I think. But Christmas gets me in the mood to give, give, give. Can't help it!

So I'm teaming up with some other amazing bloggers to bring you a ridiculous awesome Holiday giveaway!!! I'm already extremely jealous right now!!! I mean, $1000?? It doesn't get much better than that!!

Best of luck everyone!!!

Your hosts for the giveaway are:

Use the Rafflecopter below to enter:   a Rafflecopter giveaway

09 December 2014

Choosing Athletic Shoes

Let's talk about shoes! Specifically sport and athletic shoes! I'm certainly not an expert when it comes to shoes, and we will all have different preferences, but since getting back into exercising almost a year ago, I have discovered that not every athletic shoe works for every type of exercise.

I started out running, but didn't have a good running shoe, so I bought a really nice pair. But then I shifted into dance fitness, and then became a certified group fitness instructor. I quickly realized that my running shoes were not supportive with this type of exercise.  My feet and my knees were feeling fatigued and achy. So I did some research, and some trail & error and have discovered that the shoes you choose to wear during your workout, is an extremely important decision. Seems pretty obvious, but actually, a lot of people don't realize this!! I see it all the time as group fitness instructor.

*I was provided this pair of shoes for the purpose of this post, all opinions are my own.

There are things to think when you're buying athletic shoe, you should consider what sport or activity you will be wearing them for. These tips won't be a cure-all, because every person (and every foot) is different. But here are some examples:

  • Walking shoes should be lightweight, and have extra shock absorption in the heel of the shoe, but especially under the ball of the foot. Also look for a shoe with a slightly rounded sole to help to smooth the shift weight from the heel to the toes. 
  • If you're a runner, you'll want to find a shoe that has good cushioning to absorb some shock. You'll also want flexibility, and traction.
  • If you're buying a shoe for a court sport, such as tennis or volleyball, you will want to have a shoe that supports the foot during side-to-side motion and shift in weight. 
  • If you're doing aerobic activities, you'll want something light weight so your feet don't experience fatigue. You'll also want to find something that has a little extra shock absorption beneath the ball of the foot, since that is where most of the stress occurs in most aerobic activities. 

For me personally, since most of my exercise comes from high cardio dance fitness, I have chosen to wear Cross Trainers for most of my workouts. They are a great all-around shoe, because they combine several of the features I mentioned above. Cross Trainers have flexibility in the forefoot for when I want to run, but also the lateral control I need for dance fitness. The shoe featured in this post is the Nike Dual Fusion TR2 from Rack Room Shoes! These have been amazing so far! They are flexible, breathable, and super supportive. I highly recommend these cross trainers if you're looking for some :)
Okay back to the subject at hand.

Make Sure Your Shoes Fit Properly!
Another important thing to consider when choosing athletic shoes, is to make sure that they fit properly! When they do, it will enhance your performance, and most importantly, proper fitting shoes will prevent injury. 

Here are some ways to ensure you are fitting your feet correctly when purchasing a new pair of sports/athletic shoes:
  • If possible, try on your athletic shoes either directly following a workout, or at the end of the day when your feet are at their largest. 
  • When you are trying on shoes, be sure to wear the same type of socks you will be wearing during your workout. 
  • Proper fitting shoes really shouldn't need to be broken in. They should be comfortable from the first day you wear them.
  • You should be able to wiggle all 5 toes when you're wearing your athletic shoes.
  • The shoe should fit fairly snuggly on your heel. Your heel shouldn't slip out of the shoe when you are walking, running, or doing any other type of exercise. 
  • Re-lace the shoe you are trying on, applying even pressure from top to bottom.
  • If you are participating in the same type of sport several times a week, you should purchase a sport specific shoe.
Hope this helps in your shoe selection process!! 

Happy Shopping loves!!