DIY Rustic Farmhouse Table Hack

 The DIY Story:

This is my story on how I came to create a DIY Rustic Farmhouse Table Hack!

Lately all I see on Pinterest and Instagram is “white, light and bright,” when it comes to furniture and decoration. Light, airy, minimalist, farmhousemodern, boho chic are all words that can describe what is found on every style blog and lifestyle Insta. But there is only one issue with this…light and bright 2019 is completely opposite from the previous decor trends which can be described as “espresso brown,” or “contemporary.” So essentially (maybe intentionally?) the newest decor trends are the exact opposite from what is popular now!

So Behind with Farmhouse Style!

I don’t know about you, but I am SO behind, and I just don’t have an annual budget built into my life that allows for constant style trends and updates. Since I’m really not one to throw away perfectly functional furniture, I sat down one day and searched through all of the sales at big box stores. I also looked at my local online yard sales.

It was all still either WAY too much for me, or just simply not what I wanted. Many of the stuff made today is super expensive, but also made of MDF which is not solid wood; so we’re paying solid wood prices for fiberboard? I would rather use what I have and perfect it into something I actually like for, like, 1/10th of the price. 

A Handy DIY Momma

I’m pretty handy, and so after I exhausted all other options that my bank account could not possibly compete with, I decided just to re-do my existing table and chairs set. My style inspiration: rustic “farmhouse style” complete with the glorious *white* paint that has been all the rage. I had a complex design and it was going to be absolutely perfect!

This all seemed like a great idea until I realized that I was 5 months pregnant and had very limited energy. I had a table to hack, and a deadline to meet to provide a table for our AirBnB before our first renter arrived (in approximately one week, yikes!).

Is this Hack for you!?

If you’re like me and you want something simple, clean and easy to do, this is the DIY for you! The DIY Rustic Farmhouse Table Hack!

Below is my table set before. It isn’t completely awful in this picture, but at this point I had owned the set since college which I had purchased from World Market, and there were some stains on it and some of the veneer could not be repaired. The table itself was hard wood on the inside so it was a really sturdy piece that I wanted to keep.

BEFORE the Hack:

Outdated Espresso Brown Table - Before the DIY Farmhouse Table Hack!

The DIY Rustic Farmhouse Table Materials

I sketched up a quick design and determined what I would need to get the job done:

  • To build up the new table top:

The DIY Process

STEP 1:

I started by taking the measurements of the table top, and added a few inches to each side for the “overhang.” I don’t currently own a saw, so I went really simplistic with the design. I’ve seen many people with the right tools on different blog posts get really in detail and intricate with the design of a table like this. No sir, not me. I’m cooking up a baby and ain’t nobody got time for that!

What I learned early on in my DIY career is that Home Depot will make a certain amount of cuts for you (for FREE!) if you purchase wood from one of their stores. So I went in with the measurements, and voila! I left the store with perfectly cut wood and got to work. While I was there, I also purchased the above items for painting and staining the wood top that I was going to build, as well as to paint the existing table and chairs. 

STEP 2:

I started by laying out the wood pieces on top of the table to make sure they all fit before I began attaching them. The picture below shows my initial test to ensure it was a go!

After adding the pre-cut wood to the table.

STEP 3:

I started painting the existing table! Now for this step, I chose to do the paint on the legs and sides of the table before attaching the wood to the top so that I didn’t have to worry about covering up the work I had already done.

I started painting the legs and edges of the table as well as the chairs. I chose the spray paint version instead of the can of paint. because I have used this before and the spray paint goes on really evenly and dries super fast. It even has a paint and primer combined which has actually worn really well on the piece.

STEP 4:

NOTE: I’m not a professional representative of Rust-oleum, but I have used their products before and I really like the type in the spray can! (No, this is not a sponsored post. I just really like this product). The product I used was Rust-Oleum Universal Satin (Paint and Primer In One) in the color White.

It took several coats to get this done. All in all I believe I used 3 total cans for the table and four chairs for my DIY Rustic Farmhouse Table Hack. Not bad considering this product is pretty affordable (*$5.94 on Amazon at the time of this post).

Rust-oleum Spray Paint Paint and Primer in One Satin (White)

STEP 5:

After letting the paint dry on the table for a full day, I used the Gorilla Wood Glue to fix the boards to the table in the pre-designed arrangement. I set the boards with clamps, and let it dry overnight. After letting the glue dry, I took roofing screws and made sure I fixed the boards in really well from the bottom. I thought that this would be and extra layer of security for if/when I ever moved the table around. Over a year later, the screws have proven to be an amazing idea!

SIDE NOTE:

(SIDE NOTE: roofing screws!? Silly, I know…but they were self-tapping and literally becoming some of my favorite tools to use in my projects because they are easy to work with and super sturdy. No one would ever know the difference unless they were looking for it! And, look, I don’t claim to be a wood worker. I just like to make things look pretty and wear well. I don’t think my choice of screw is going to ruin anyone’s life, but it certainly has kept this piece together, if anything.)

STEP 6:

Added a layer of Minwax Water-Based Pre- Stain Wood Conditioner to prime the wood for the stain. I’m not 100% sure this is a necessary step, but it certainly helped to keep my stain in place and looking fresh for the last year! I let this dry for the recommended time on the can.

Mid-Table Hack, Stain is being applied to the top of the table.

STEP 7:

Using my Staining Pad Sponge I began to apply the Minwax Water-Based Wood Stain in the color “Slate,” which I got tinted at Home Depot. It went on really evenly and quickly, and dried fast so I had to work efficiently. I applied the stain in different thicknesses on each board to give the table a “weathered” look. You could apply it really thin or super thick depending on the look that you’re going for. I really love the way this turned out!

Mid-hack, stain is being added to this DIY Farmhouse Table.

STEP 8:

After letting the stain dry, I applied a sealant with a soft cloth. For this projected I used Minwax Finishing Wax Paste which is a soft wax. I applied a couple coats of this, and it has worn really well over the year and a half that I have since used it. I did add some more recently just to keep the texture soft. You don’t have to choose this particular sealant, but this is just the one I had on hand and that I really like to use. It doesn’t smell, and it doesn’t make you light headed when you apply it like some of the others I have used.

Adding sealant to the DIY Farmhouse Table.

STEP 9:

Enjoy! Below is the finished product in my house! It is hard to see in the pictures, but I did distress the paint a little bit on the edges. It gave it a beautiful, aged look and I feel like it could fit right into a farmhouse magazine! What do you think? Would you try this project!? Thanks for reading about my DIY Rustic Farmhouse Table Hack!

Beautiful DIY Rustic Farmhouse Table Finished Product!

xo,

Katie

Side note: I purchase as many of my products from my Amazon Prime account as possible. Also, since Prime offers free shipping on pretty much everything, I am saving on shipping costs as well.

If you click on the link below, you can get a 30-day Trial of Amazon Prime, and I get a cool referral credit at no extra expense to you.

The Home Depot Logo

Affiliate Links

I recently made the decision to add Amazon Associates links to my posts when I am promoting products that I personally am passionate about.

I don’t have any sponsorships, so you don’t have to worry about what I write and whether it is a paid post. I am writing it because I am truly passionate about it. The Amazon Associates links gives me an opportunity to earn a bit of income from readers. This allows me to continue writing and providing value to all of you.

It is all products that I have found value in that I would be promoting to you and to friends and family anyways. I hope that makes sense and that you can appreciate my transparency!

Purchase Art to Provide Relief for Camp Fire Victims

The “Camp Fire” (ironically named, I know) is a fire which has decimated the community of Paradise, CA which is part of Butte County just north of Sacramento.

The fire began on November 8th and is currently (as of 11/12/18) 113,000 acres large and only 25% contained. As of current, 6,453 personal residences and 260 commercial structures have been destroyed and more are threatened.

Our organization LiveSmallLoveBig has committed to creating art (Mini-Weavings) which will be currently sold for $50 each. 100% of the proceeds will go directly to a family who has fallen victim to the fire. If you desire to donate more, please contact us directly.

To purchase a Mini-Weaving, please click HERE. 

Thank you so much for your donation!

 

 

The Best Beauty Regimen You’ve Never Considered

I don’t know about you, but personally I have tried many, many things that I thought would make me look (and feel) “beautiful.”

I have colored my hair, straightened it, curled it, gotten a Brazilian Blowout. I have used different serums on my skin, many lotions, hair extensions, eyelash extensions, contouring, tanning, foundation, blush, shimmer, highlighting. You get the idea.

If you are a normal person living in the first world, chances are you have dabbled in some or all of these as well. We live in a world which is constructed for us; from a very young age we grow to admire celebrities and people who spend hundreds of thousands of dollars (and sometimes much more) to simply look beautiful. We see extreme examples of where women go to great lengths to have a certain body type (that they were NOT born with) by getting plastic surgery, wearing corsets, getting injections etc.

Disclaimer: I am certainly not judging those people- I am simply pointing out the great lengths, pain, and vanity we all go through in our society, in order to make ourselves look and feel physically beautiful; some more than others.

Once night, recently, I was having trouble sleeping. So I started scrolling through different videos on Facebook. Once one video ended, another would start automatically without my choosing. Then, the rabbit hole of beauty products, demonstrations and consultations began. I started watching one by one as different women, men and children started “selling” different things on Facebook Live feeds. It was like walking into an undercover infomercial. Of course I knew that these people were selling something even if they weren’t outwardly saying it; others were holding live auctions of clothes, makeup, jewelry, and even… wait for it… Pearl Parties!

Even though all of these categories were all separate, the common denominator of all these things was very much alike: If you buy/use ________, then you will feel _______.

Think about it for a second, because this can pretty much apply to anything. If you use this eyelash serum, you will feel beautiful. If you wear these clothes, you will be your best self. If you do your makeup this way, then you will find a spouse or get a good job. I’m sure we can all agree that this is true to an extent; that we have all been there, felt those feelings while pulling out our credit cards to make a purchase.

The truth is none of these things are inherently “bad,” and life is not that black and white. But if we rely solely on physical appearance and possessions, what exactly happens when we don’t have those things anymore? What happens when your physical beauty fades? What happens if you don’t have those clothes or products in your possession? What if your money or your job to provide your money was gone? What if your fame or popularity evaded you?

If all the things in your life that made you feel good went away, then You would simply be left with yourself, your thoughts and your character.

Without all of the physical things/possessions, how do you still feel beautiful, confident, secure in who you are? Well you don’t. At least not right away.

You have to get to the very core of who you are,  and search. You have to rely on something bigger than you- your higher power- to know that you were created just the way you were with NO mistakes. The same creator who made the entire universe also decided that you were needed. Every step you have made, every mistake, every blemish and every decision was pre-planned.

Yes, YOU were created to be exactly you, just as you are.

You with your height, your weight, your personality, sense of humor, loves, desires, moods, conditions, and accomplishments. None of those variables were made by mistake. The only variable that can really change within you is your desire and your drive to be internally beautiful.

If you make that choice, intentionally, every single day then you really ARE BEAUTIFUL! Please don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise. Whether you have accomplished a lot or a little, one of the biggest personal battles you can win in this life is loving YOU for who you are, with all of your perceived flaws and imperfections. If you have truly found peace with your own beauty, regardless of how the outside world views you, then you, my friend, have accomplished more than many people, past, present or future.

Share this with someone who needs to hear this message today!

The Secret Beauty Regimen for Your Best Self

I don’t know about you, but personally I have tried many, many things that I thought would make me feel “beautiful.” I have done many things which range from coloring my hair, to straightening it, curling it, using different serums on my skin, lotions, hair extensions, eyelash extensions, contouring, tanning, foundation, blush, shimmer, highlighting. You get the idea. If you are a normal person living in the first world, chances are you have dabbled in some or all of these as well. We live in a world which is constructed for us- from a very young age we grow to admire celebrities and people who spend hundreds of thousands of dollars (and sometimes much more) to simply look beautiful. We see extreme examples of where women go to great lengths to look like a body type they are not by getting plastic surgery, wearing corsets, getting injections etc. Now I am certainly not judging those people- I am simply pointing out the great lengths, pain, and vanity we all go through in order to make ourselves look and feel physically beautiful; some more than others.

Once night, recently, I was having trouble sleeping. So I started scrolling through different videos on Facebook. Once one video ended, another would start automatically without my choosing. Then, the rabbit hole of beauty products, demonstrations and consults began. I started watching one by one as different women, men and children started “selling” different things on Facebook Live feeds. It was like walking into an undercover infomercial. Of course I knew that these people were selling something even if they weren’t outwardly saying it; others were holding live auctions of clothes, makeup, jewelry, and even… wait for it… Pearl Parties!

Even though all of these categories were all separate, the common denominator of all these things was very much alike: If you buy/use ________, then you will feel _______.

Think about it for a second, because this can pretty much apply to anything. If you use this eyelash serum, you will feel beautiful. If you wear these clothes, you will be your best self. If you do your makeup this way, then you will feel confident. I’m sure we can all agree that this is true to an extent; that we have all been there, felt those feelings while pulling out our credit cards to make a purchase. The truth is none of these things are inherently bad. But if we rely solely on physical appearance and possessions, what exactly happens when we don’t have those things anymore? What happens when your physical beauty fades? What happens if you don’t have those clothes or products in your possession? What if your money or your job to provide your money was gone? You are simply left with yourself and your thoughts

Without all of these physical things, how do you still feel beautiful, confident, secure in who you are? Well you don’t- not right away. You have to get to the very core of who you are,  and search. Rely on something bigger than you- your higher power- to know that you were created just the way you were with NO mistakes. The same creator who made the entire universe also decided that you were needed. Every step you have made, every mistake, every blemish and every decision was pre-planned. Yes, YOU were created to be exactly you, just as you are. You with your height, your weight, your personality, sense of humor, loves, desires, moods, conditions, and accomplishments. None of those variables were made by mistake. The only variable that can really change within you is your desire and your drive to be internally beautiful. If you make that choice, intentionally, every single day then you really ARE BEAUTIFUL! Please don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise. Whether you have accomplished a lot or a little, one of the biggest personal battles you can win in this life is loving YOU for who you are, with all of your perceived flaws and imperfections. If you have truly found peace with your own beauty, regardless of how the outside world views you, then you, my friend, have accomplished more than many people, past, present or future.

Share this with someone who needs to hear this message today!

3 Steps to Taking Back Control

Most of my inspiration comes from observing my son. He is small (14 months) and not yet fully developed, so he struggles sometimes with daily activities; it’s so funny to think about how the struggles of a little one are not much different from the struggles of an adult. While their struggles may seem more rudimentary in nature (and almost always are) the basis for which adults struggle is almost always the same.

Today I found myself thinking back to last Tuesday morning, when I watched my son using a fake remote control to try to change the channels on the tv. I chuckled to myself about how he thought he was in control of the tv, but really it was just an illusion. I thought to myself, “is this often how I feel? In control but really not in control?” The answer was: yes! We all go through this process: Trying to control something which we are powerless over yet we fail to recognize it.   

How often do you find yourself trying to find that perfect job? Or trying to make someone like you? Trying to change or fix someone who doesn’t want to change?

I used to find myself doing this [more] often. I would find myself in situations where I thought I had control and would work myself into stress and anxiety trying to obtain the outcome which I wanted. The truth is this: we are not fully in control of the majority of things in our life. Many believe that there are bigger things at play: The universe, a higher power, God.

But all of that is not to say that we cannot control anything. We have a choice of the actions we take, the words which we choose and the situations we put ourselves in. But for those things which are mostly out of our control, we do have some influence over our reaction to those things.

Not following? Let me provide you an example.

Example: You take a job with a large company, and you do your best to meet your performance expectations and show up to work consistently. Several years later, the company lays off employees based on tenure with the company. Although you are probably better at your job than some of your more tenured peers, you are selected for the layoff and you lose your job. In this case, the layoff was out of your control. But your reaction or the way you respond to this is not out of your control.

Here are 3 Steps To Taking Back Control:

Step 1: Accepting that we do not have full control over life.

In our example, it is easy to feel down on yourself. Especially if you have worked very hard to get where you were in your life, or if you are a provider for your family. Instead of simply reacting with your first instinctual response, first, you must accept that you did not have control over this event in your life. No matter what you did differently, in the above example you were still the newest person and unfortunately the decision of a large company put you into this place. Once you spend some time thinking on the situation, and acknowledge that you did not have control over this circumstance, you can move on to Step 2.

Step 2: Process Before Acting.

Before going on a 2-day bender, or laying in bed for a month, try to process (talk about) the situation.  Processing about a situation takes away its power over you. Sometimes when we tend to stuff our feelings (primary emotions), and our secondary response (secondary emotions) to those feelings can come out [example: you can feel sadness which is a primary emotion, but if you don’t express the sadness you can express it outwardly with anger which is a secondary emotion].  You can process the situation with a close family member, spouse, friend or even a therapist if you have one! By accepting that you did not and do not have control over the situation in Step 1, and talking about the situation in Step 2, you can then adjust your actions moving forward by focusing on the things which you do have control over.

Step 3: Shift Your Perspective

Now that you have followed Steps 1 & 2, you have not only taken the power out of the looming issue at hand by talking about it, but you have also acknowledged that it is out of your control. You can now feel free to shift your perspective (in the therapy world they call this a “re-frame” of the situation). During this step, you can make a choice to look at the situation differently. Before, you may have thought that it was the end of the world, or maybe you would have scrambled to find a way to control the situation above; your efforts would have proven fruitless. Knowing all of this, your shift in perspective should come easy!

No matter the situation, there is always a different way of looking at things. By following these steps, you can be sure that your contemplative efforts are sure to provide some relief to your feeling of lost control. By shifting your perspective and seeing your circumstances for what they are rather than a raw, emotional reaction, you can take back control of your thoughts and feelings!

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Disclaimer: I am not a therapist. I am simply providing my own perspective and sharing what has worked for me. If you feel that you are in a situation which requires the support of a therapist or doctor, please search for resources local to you; if it is life-threatening, call your local emergency number.

 

Open-Faced Crab Sandwiches

As you may know, my grandmother was a large inspiration for my cooking. She always encouraged natural ingredients– butter instead of margarine, sugar instead of Sweet n’ Low etc… What’s so funny to me, is that these days we are moving back to a more basic “farm-to-fork” model– it’s like we are trying to model what our grandparents had.

I have to admit I am not always perfect at eating naturally; my budget and time don’t always allow for 100% natural ingredients and food, however, I try to emulate my grandmother’s instructions as much as I can. That’s why when I recently received this recipe from my grandpa, I immediately put it to use! Hope you enjoy!

Crab Sandwiches a la Philomena

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Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups Crab Meat
  • 1 cup Mayonaise
  • 3/4 cup diced Green Onions
  • 1 Baguette (French or Sourdough)
  • 2 slices Colby Jack cheese per sandwich
  • Salt as needed to enhance flavor

Directions:

  • Before starting, set the oven to Broil.
  • Cut bread down the middle, and then into sandwich lengths, and toast in oven both sides.
  • While toasting the bread, mix the crab meat, mayo, and onions in a bowl. Salt as desired.

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  • After the bread is warm from the oven, place the crab mixture onto the bread. Adjust the oven back down to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and place in the oven until nice and warm.

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  • Remove bread and crab mixture from the oven and add a generous amount of Colby Jack cheese.

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  • Put back into oven and bake until cheese is melted. Serve immediately!

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Enjoy!

3 Steps to Living Without Fear

This morning I sat in my kitchen trying to get a bite of breakfast before my 9-month-old began his daily ritual of tearing the house apart. I suddenly heard a sound which brought me out of deep thought. It was the sound of tiny fingernails against nylon fabric. “What do I have in this room which has nylon fabric on it?” I think to myself, puzzled as to what my son could be into.

I walk into the kitchen to find my little boy CLIMBING his stroller which currently sits folded up in the kitchen for lack of a better storage location. “Holy c***,” I think to myself, “how is this kid so fearless?” I pull him off of the stroller and try to explain to him that what he is doing is dangerous, and he could fall and hit his head. As I pick up my small boy, I realize that he literally has no concept of fear or danger. I envy his sweet, ignorant bliss.

But what my son really has me thinking to myself this morning is this: what if we all approached life in the very same way as a baby? What if fear was not an option, and everything that made us take a step back due to fear of rejection, fear of failure, or just plain fear of the unknown was cast aside as a second thought and we approached all of our life yearnings as if they were just within our reach?

That book you want to write…maybe you haven’t written it due to fear of commitment, fear of failure and fear of rejection, what if you just erased all of your fear and moved forward with it, because it was your passion? That career or business which you want to launch; the non-profit you feel would fill a void in your community; the invention you think would solve the problems of our world?

If we all just approached non life-threatening circumstances without our primal fear, we could all probably be much better off. We could probably be in better jobs, some of us in better relationships, and we might even be in better financial situations if we just stopped fighting the fear which holds us back so often.

So today, I challenge you to follow the three steps for Living Without Fear and living on the path towards fulfilling your dreams!

Step 1: Take a long, hard look at your life and ask yourself the following (heck, take it a step further and even journal about it!):

  1. What do I strongly desire to do in my life which I have not done because of fear?
  2. What type of fear do you face with this task or project which prevents you from getting it completed or started?
  3. Are your fears in this category real fears, or socially constructed fears?

Step 2: After you think or journal about this I challenge you to take it a step further by creating a goal.

  • Create a goal from your journaling. It can be a small goal to start with; whatever you think you can accomplish in a short amount of time. You can work on progressively larger goals after you create the first one.

Step 3: Write up a plan for the next 3 months about how you are going to take the first steps to executing your plan.

  • Create a plan using an awesome tool that I read about* called a SMART Goal (to read more about SMART Goals, click here for a great article!). From the website mindtools.com, SMART Goals are:

-Specific (simple, sensible, significant).

-Measurable (meaningful, motivating).

-Achievable (agreed, attainable).

-Relevant (reasonable, realistic and resourced, results-based).

-Time bound (time-based, time limited, time/cost limited, timely, time-sensitive)

After you have your plan set up, make a commitment to see it through, even if it is just a small goal. Towards the end of accomplishing your goal, spend some time creating your next 3-6 month goal. This will get you working on small advances towards a big dream! In this way, you can work towards your dreams without living in fear!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*I am not affiliated with the mindtools.com website, nor is it work which I can take credit for on my blog. I found it to be a great reference while studying it as further learning at my place of employment, and I am including it in my post.

What Kind of Diapers Should I Buy?

So you’re a new mom. There are a ton of options: disposable, cloth, organic, sensitive, overnight, swadlers, movers, groovers etc.. It is literally one of the most overwhelming things. I have heard from different mothers that different types of diapers work for different babies. I even have a friend who said that she used different types for each child. Some mothers say that certain brands work great for girls and others work great for boys. I cannot tell you what will work perfectly for you, but I can tell you what has worked great for me.

The best advice I can give you as a new mother, is to have a diaper raffle for your baby shower. Offer a drawing for a $50 gift card to whoever brings a small pack of diapers. It doesn’t have to be a gigantic pack. Ask for a variety. In this way, you will be able to try many different types of diapers for your little one.

For my son, it happened completely by accident. We tried the Pampers Swaddlers which are actually pretty pricey. Then I pulled out a package of Pampers that were labeled a little differently. They were blue and did not have an “indicator line” to show when there was a need to change the diaper. I thought maybe someone brought me an old package or something that was discontinued. Boy was I wrong. I put that diaper on my child and that thing held up better than any Costo, Target, Huggies or Swaddler combined. It was called “Pampers Baby Dry” Recently, my son wore one all night to sleep, and then took a big poo in it before I could change him. There was NO BLOWOUT! Don’t take my word for it. Try it out for yourself.