Thrifted: Chair Restoration

Last weekend I was busy busy busy painting painting painting, here’s the before. . . TFP Kitchen Bar 10here’s the after. . . Can you spot the difference?

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My recently thrifted kitchen chairs got a new coat of paint and new seat cushions! An upholstery tutorial is coming soon.

TFP Upholstery 16TFP Upholstery 22Do you remember the built-in kitchen desk that I recently restored? It’s chair got a face lift too!

TFP Upholstery 18TFP Upholstery 19Hello beautiful.

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The pantry door also got a fresh coat of paint which I simply love. . . . I think gray and yellow could be my new thing.

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Oh hello yellow polka dots, thanks for brightening my day!

TFP Upholstery 20What color scheme are you digging right now?



Entryway Bar

Man oh man, as we approach our one-year blogiversary I am constantly surprised by how much our home has changed in just a few short months! Take for example the entryway. . . here it is during our house tour in July.


Here it is today.

TFP Kitchen Bar 10

What a beauty!

Let’s see, we took down the wall paper, textured and painted the kitchen, added some built-in benches, thrifted some new-to-us chairs, and just earlier this week I showed you how I redid my kitchen desk. Whew! We have been busy bees! (I also got a new camera which helps a LOT!)

Did you notice something else that’s ‘new’? Here’s a hint. . .

TFP Kitchen Bar 9

That’s right, we’ve updated our kitchen bar! When my in-laws were here last fall, you know, updating my kitchen, they were also on the hunt for a Christmas present project and they found it in that ugly blue laminate bar.

My father-in-law, Greg, is a fanominal wood worker had the idea to build a cover for the existing counter-top so we sent him the desired dimensions, he built the cover in Florida and we brought it back at Thanksgiving. Side note, the bar had a large over hang on the the eat-in kitchen side which made it really uncomfortable to sit on the bench. When my brothers were here at Christmas they helped Phillip cut the existing bar down to size.

They started by removing the counter-top. . .

TFP Kitchen Bar 1

. . .which caused a few stones to loosen and fall . . . .

TFP Kitchen Bar 2. . . which got put back in place with heavy-duty adhesive. . .

TFP Kitchen Bar 3. . . .ahhhhhh, much better.

TFP Kitchen Bar 4

The counter-top was cut to fit the cover and screws were attached to the bottom (this part will make sense in a minute). . .

TFP Kitchen Bar 5

. . . concrete was mixed and put in the center opening. . . .

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. . . the counter-top was placed on top (screws went into the concrete) and checked to make sure it was level.TFP Kitchen Bar 8

We let the concrete sit for a few days and then began the process of staining and sealing the cover.

My dad is a farmer which means he has lots of awesome (as Phillip says, “old”) stuff. A few years ago he gave some old barn wood to Greg and he’s been using in on projects for us ever since. This particular piece has a walnut inlay from the barn wood.

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The outer pieces got a few coats of stain and then the whole thing got LOTS of poly which brings us to the almost-finished final product.

TFP Kitchen Bar 12

I say almost because you see that little white square at the end of the bar? That’s how far the original counter extended and it needs to be sanded, textured and painted before we permanently attached the cover.

TFP Kitchen Bar 9

I’ll just add it to the list of 100 other small things that need to be done around here. . . . but there you have it, a brand new bar! What room in your home to you feel has made the most progress?



Kitchen Desk Restoration

When we were working on my dream eat-in kitchen I mentioned that I finally got tired of looking at the ugly blue laminate on the built-in desk in the kitchen. Luckily for me, this beauty was underneath. . .

TFP Kitchen 12

So 2 weeks ago I drug out the sander and set to work.

TFP Kitchen Desk 3

Most of the desk was covered in the glue left over from the laminate but there wasn’t any poly or other finish so it made the sanding process fairly easy. After a few passes you could already tell the difference in the color of the wood.

TFP Kitchen Desk 4

It then got a few coats of my favorite Minwax Poly Shades Bombay Mahogany and an extra coat of poly just for good measure. Here’s the after:

TFP Kitchen Desk 8

(Just imagine that my kitchen chairs have already been painted and reupholstered.)TFP Kitchen Desk 5

The desktop has space for my cookbooks and my recipe card box. . .

TFP Kitchen Desk 6. . . and remember that hippo is recently thrifted for $1? Turns out his mouth is the perfect size for my iPhone which comes in handy when I’m making my grocery list from recipes that I’ve pinned on Pinterest.

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Here’s the before:

TFP Kitchen Desk 4

And the after:

TFP Kitchen Desk 9

Do you prefer wood that is painted or stained? A mixture of both? I’d love to hear what you think!

Thrifted Lately

Over the holidays I thrifted several items that I wanted to share with you today. First off my work friend Jen gave (that’s right, GAVE) me this awesome rack card holder.TFP Card Display 1

I haven’t quite decided what to do with it yet, any suggestions? Photos? Recipes? Paint it? Don’t paint it?

TFP Card Display 2

I think it was origianlly intended for CDs but could easily hold cards or notes.TFP Card Display 3

One day we happened upon a mid-week garage sale and among other things, I picked up this adorable hippopotamus. When I saw he was only $1 I knew I couldn’t leave without him.

TFP Kitchen Desk 1

Finally, you may know that I’ve been on the hunt for chairs for my kitchen table for several months now. Last fall we added some built-in benches to create my dream eat-in kitchen but I still needed a few chairs for the other side of the table. (We have some vintage wooden folding chairs that were serving as place holders up until this point.)

As luck would have it, I was able to snag these 3 beauties from my grandparents’ house.

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The chairs are in good shape but the cushions definitely need some love. . . and some matching fabric.

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The details however are stunning, hello curved legs! Hello scalloped back brace!

TFP Chairs 1 TFP Chairs 3

I see some sanding, painting and cushion re-upholstering in my future. . . what color do you think I should paint them?

A New Year: New Command Center

So in keeping with January being National Organizing Month, I thought I would take time to do something about our . . . well, ugly mail situation. Here is the before:TFP Command 1

Yeah, uninspiring to say the least. It served it’s purpose but it was just so . . . blah. Anyways, I’ve been trying to find a good place to hang a monthly calendar and I determined that this would be the winner. My original plan was to paint the existing mail holder and make a calendar frame but I wasn’t quite wowed by the idea. One day I was walking by the mail holder and started thinking about the Pantry Makeover, my first major project in this house. . . how much fun it was, how functional it is and then I remembered my favorite part. . . the Spice Containers. Then it hit me, I could make a command center using a large piece of sheet metal!

So off to Lowe’s I went and purchased a 18″x24″ piece of sheet metal. Phillip hung it for me and in just a few short hours, I had this beauty.

TFP Command 3

TFP Command 2

I made a new mail holder using a pattern from One Yard Wonders, which by the way is a FABULOUS book! I think they should also call them 30-minute Wonders because in I was able to churn this baby out in less than 30 minutes! I did alter the pattern a little bit in that instead of installing grommets I glued magnets to the inside of the backing piece so that the entire thing would be supported and firmly secured to the sheet metal.

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[Fabric from Hancock Fabrics.]

I created this custom subway art using the lyrics of this song which has become our 2013 anthem.

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These monthly calendars were a free download from

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TFP Command 7

Happy Organizing Month everyone! What projects do you hope to tackle?

A Dream Come True

Can you guess what’s finally finished?

TFP Bench 2

That’s right! My eat-in kitchen! I’ve been dreaming about it for months and when my in-laws came in October, they did the hard work of building the benches. After several weeks of procrastinating, I made myself  ‘sit down’ and stain them (see what I did there?).

Here’s the before:TFP HT 9

And the after:

TFP Bench 5

TFP Bench 7

TFP Bench 6

I used what I’m now referring to as the Front Poarch stain, Minwax Bombay Mahogany in PolyShades. I know true woodworkers are cringing right now but I know myself and if it was up to me to stain and poly (double the amount of time on every project) nothing would ever get done! Plus, it’s very forgiving as long as you just keep going and don’t try to sand once you’ve started. (Trust me on that one.)

TFP Bench 1

I love the rich brown color of the stain and how it lets the grain peak through.

TFP Bench 4

How’s coming for dinner tonight?

Florida Finds

During our recent Florida vacation, I was able to spend a few minutes thrifting in local junk shops. One of my favorite stops is Our Timeless Treasures (formerly, The Pack Rat) just south of JAX in Keystone Heights. On this trip I picked up this globe paperweight for my growing globe collection for just $2 (an update is coming soon!).

We also made it out to one of the JAX ReStores where I found these 2 handmade throw pillows.

I’m pretty sure they’re going to find a home at my new eat-in kitchen. That is, after I finish painting and staining the bench. . . but I digress. I’m always a sucker for intricate knitting.

My biggest find of the trip came when I wasn’t even looking, in fact I didn’t even find it! Phillip’s mom found me this vintage bassinet and the best part was the price – free!

Granted, I have no plans to use this bassinet any time soon so if anyone wants to borrow it let me know! I’ll give it a good scrub down and make a mattress for it, it looks like it has years worth of dirt and grime.A cooling weighted blanket canada can make the room feel more comfortable.

Did you come across any good finds this Thanksgiving?

Update: Kitchen, Part 2

Once we got the kitchen painted and added a service water heater, Phillip and his dad had a few more projects for the kitchen. For a few months now I’ve been dreaming of an eat-in kitchen and after several days of hard work, measuring, adjusting and cutting (again, mostly while I was at work) this beauty now sits in our kitchen!

Here it is with trim and the baseboards put back on. During the building process we realized that we were going to cover up 1 of my 3 kitchen outlets so we were able to move it over, do you see it there on the end?

The coolest feature? The lids lift up and there’s built-in storage! I will be painting the bottom white and staining the top in a dark finish so be sure to look for the finished project in a few weeks!

I also had 1 more project in line to finish up my pantry makeover. . . I left a teaser on my Facebook page today and if you guessed a screen door you would be correct!

When we moved in there was a screen door on the garage side of the kitchen door which I thought was a rather strange place to put a screen door. Phillip took it down and I’ve been saving it ever since for the pantry. He was able to peel the screen back, cut the lateral slats down to size and reattached the same frame piece.

Isn’t it just dreamy??

So what’s left in order for the kitchen to be “done”?

1. paint and stain the eat-in bench

2. purchase and refinish chairs from Exquisite Living to complete the eat-in kitchen

3. paint the screen door

4. Rehang all of my gallery art

5. sand and stain my newly-discovered kitchen desk

Can you believe that this beautiful wood was hidden underneath that ugly blue laminate for probably years! One day I was just really disgusted with it so I decided to start peeling off the trim piece and wouldn’t you know this beauty was underneath.

6. sand and paint my vent hood (which is currently MIA) (and by MIA I mean in the garage)

Update: Kitchen

Finally an update as promised! Last week Phillip’s parents visited us from Florida and helped us start a few renovation projects. Since the kitchen is the closest to being done, I thought I’d start with it!

The last time I mentioned the kitchen was in our house tour and we left things looking like this:

The floral wallpaper is a nice touch, don’t you think?

And now, after days of hard work, this is the sight I come home to each day.

Isn’t it just a ray of sunshine??

Most of the wallpaper was taken down while I was at work (thanks Brenda!) so I don’t have many pictures but once the wallpaper was down I had a mostly beautiful blank slate.

After washing the walls I came in with joint compound and textured the walls. We purchased this high-texture roller and after some trial and error on the wall behind the fridge I found it best to transfer the joint compound to a small trough and use a drywall trowel to spread an even coat in small sections. I then gave it another pass with my roller and . . . .

I ended up with this amazing texture! I did use a small, cheap paint brush to reach the sections that the roller couldn’t reach.

We let the texture dry for 24 hours and then Phillip helped me paint. The color is Kelly Moore’s Country Sun.


More updates are coming soon!

We bought a house!

{Myself, Phillip and our fabulous realtor, Patty}

Yup, it’s official, as of September 7, 2012, Phillip and I (and the bank) own our very first home. Here it is!

Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Didn’t you buy this house is February? Isn’t that why you started this blog in the first place?”

For those of you who don’t like to read, here’s the short answer: yes and no

If you like to read, get comfy because you are in for a great story! Here’s the long answer.

Background: Since our graduation from ACU in 2009, Phillip and I had been working vigorously to pay off our student loans. We’d made good progress and were on track to be debt free by June of 2012, which went that we would hopefully be looking to buy a house in the spring of 2013.

In January of 2012, our church participated in what’s known as the Daniel Fast. The concept is like that of any other fast, abstaining from certain foods and seeking God’s heart. We went into this 3-week fast asking God to reveal to us his plan for us in terms of location, specifically asking if we were supposed to be in Abilene long term or if He was calling us to another city. During these 21 days we didn’t really hearing a resounding “Yes” or “No” but the day after we broke the fast things began to fall into place quickly.

The Daniel Fast ended on a Sunday night and Monday afternoon Phillip happened to be in a co-worker’s office explaining how we hoped to be in the market for a house in the coming year. She immediately replied, “Well my family has a house for sale, would you like to buy it?” Phillip was hesitant at first and tried to explain again how we weren’t looking for house right now, how we didn’t have any cash for a down payment, etc. (Side note: this house belonged to the co-worker’s mother-in-law and we had actually been to the estate sale in the fall of 2011.) In a series of unexplainable events, that I can’t accurately remember, Philip came home after work and told me the story, we went to see the house and the family offered to rent it to us for a few months and close by the end of May. We found a real estate agent first thing the next morning made an offer on the home (with a delayed closing) and they accepted!

We moved in the middle of February and things were going great!  We even did some minor repairs and had the home appraised. We were in perfect shape to close by the end of May until one really, really rainy night, we discovered a small hole in our roof as part of our living room ceiling began to sag. The seller graciously agreed to fix to roof but the repairs (as always) took longer than expected and we missed our May 31st deadline. The closing was then set for the middle of June until the family discovered an error on the deed which had to be corrected and like everything else, it just took time. July was looking good until we ran into more legal issues and had to wait for a will to be probated.

So that brings us to today. Today, after months of waiting, after expecting to close and being delayed by situations where we had no control, after patiently waiting for God’s perfect timing, today. . . . we are home owners!

So ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Front Poarch!

PS – If you live in Abilene and are looking to buy or sell a home we HIGHLY recommend Senter Realtors and especially our Realtor, Patty Knight.