Hutch Makeover

Finally! Finally it’s done (um, eight months after I bought it?) and finally I’m sharing (six months later after I finished it…sorry!) This hutch was a beast to refinish and at times I wanted to forget it existed, which is probably why it took so long. And winter, there’s that, too. And only having an hour or two at a time to work on it. BUT, it did get done. And I’m so happy.

before and after

I was going to have a reveal post, and a detailed post, but considering it’s taken me six months to take pictures, we’ll just condense it.


The condition of the hutch was not good when I bought it. Well, it was functioning fine, but the paint job was 1. ugly 2. awful. It was peeling, cracking and had drips. So I started by scraping and sanding and scraping and patching and sanding. But there was still paint chipping off, especially by the moldings on the drawers. The last thing I wanted was my new paint job chipping off so I decided to strip it. Let’s just say I wish I hadn’t. It was awful, and I couldn’t get everything off completely, so it was an uneven surface all over. Hindsight is 20/20, as they say. I did the best I could then gave up. More sanding didn’t help much either so I decided to coat the uneven parts with spackle (I used MH Ready Patch – and used about 1/2 of the quart, which is quite a lot) and then sanded it down. I did a couple applications (spackle, then sand) – aka spackled the crap out of it – and I was pretty pleased with my solution, it was a pretty even surface! Finally I could prime then paint it. I used Rustoleum’s enamel paint in gloss, which I love because it’s self-leveling and is a hardy finish so I wouldn’t have to put a poly on.

1st backing

To the back of the shelves I added paper since the previous paint job was so drippy and it saved me time sanding/stripping. First I used a gorgeous floral paper from Paper Source, but it just didn’t live up to my vision. You couldn’t really see any of the detail of the paper, and after I already glued it on I discovered that even though the pattern was the same, the sheen of the gold was different – which you can see in the photo above (the upper right four were a shiny gold). Wah wah.


Then I found this bamboo wrapping paper at Home Goods and I loved it, and how it tied into the navy blue of the rug in the family room right next to the hutch. Perhaps the greek key trim on the hutch and the bamboo look clash and are from different time periods, but whatever, I like it. The darker background makes the stuff on the shelves pop more, too.


after_cup pulls

So, the hardware – I’m in love. I searched a good long time before I found cheaply priced cup pulls that also had cheaply priced knobs I liked in the same finish so I could be sure they matched. I did NOT want to add spray painting brand new hardware to my to-do list for this project. I ended up buying the Giagni cup pulls and cone knobs from in satin brass. I just spray painted all the existing hinges gold, which matched pretty well – and you can’t see much of them.


While the stuff on the shelves is easier to see without the doors on, I love the details on the doors so I put them back on. I replaced three panes of glass as they were super old school and bubbled out around the panes while the 4th had been replaced and flat. Instead of using the old wood trim to hold the panes in – I wasn’t about to hammer a bunch of nails around all the glass I just bought, no thanks – I used a bead of silicone around the edges, and it holds tight. The doors are old and I added another layer of paint to them, so they stick but I don’t use them all the time. And because they stick some of the paint has come off where they rub, but you can’t see it unless they’re open. Ah vell.

after_desk area

One of my favorite features of the hutch is the secret desk area that folds down. It looks like a drawer – but no! It’s a desk! Though to be honest I don’t really use it down much. Ok, fine, I’ve never used it as a desk. Maybe some day. I love the door in there too, though I haven’t figured out what to keep in there – something super secret, but I don’t know what yet. Probably just candy to hoard from the boys. I spray painted it a dusty pink/lilac. Just because.

after_too long screw

Also, a tip/solution: the screws that came with the pulls was too long for the width of all the drawer faces – but a smaller one was too short – so I added a couple small washers that filled the gap perfectly.

And that’s it! It is done, finally. I’m super happy with it, and haven’t even filled the drawers and cabinets yet! Though I try to black out the period of time I spent working on it.

after_from side







I totally had a close up photo of the greek key trim at the top but it’s disappeared – boo. That, along with the already said super spy secret desk area and the panes on the glass doors, are my favorite parts. Also, styling shelves is not easy. They look fine, and I’m pretty lazy so they probably won’t change for a while, but I’m sure they could use some help. I probably also need to put stuff on top of the cabinet as well – though super hard to dust up there? (and therefore will almost never happen?) Maybe my dream of collecting cake plates will catch on. White paint makes everything better, no?


Baby Bump #2 | 27 Weeks

27 weeks


I have grown a basketball, officially. Not that the last couple weeks weren’t basketball-ish, but this week it’s definite, all I feel like is “basketball”. Ryan has remarked how huge my belly is already, several times, says how he can’t believe I still have so long to go. I know he’s not saying it meanly, just stating a fact that still surprises him the second time around, but thaaaaaaanks. We went out the other weekend and let’s not discuss how many outfits I had to try on to find one that not only flattered but fit the basketball. So far the weight gain is about 20 pounds (perhaps 21, but let’s not get too technical), which is gaining about 15 pounds in 11 weeks, which better slow down. Or I should stop eating donuts weekly? And I was doing so good.

One big to-do was checked off the list this past week, painting the nursery. I’m so glad for that to be done, though I do still want to paint the trim (yuck). I used Valspar Signature paint for the first time (almost sprang for their new Reserve line but didn’t), and I have to tell you, I really really enjoyed the paint. It was true one-coat coverage, which has never happened to me before. Though I did prime two walls that were like a “woah, blue”, and so it was painting a light color over a light color, but still. Just FYI. I’m super happy with the color, it’s a very soft mint, and it’s bright and airy and calm and I can’t wait to get it all pulled together.

Baby boy has been moving a lot this week, (as I’ve read this is one of this most active weeks, he’s so by-the-books already — let’s aim for being on-time now, huh?), and to be honest I’m at the point where it’s good that he’s moving (because it means everything is A-OK in there) but yet I don’t want him to move because he’s just getting so big that movements are just so much and are getting quite uncomfortable. Sorry, kid. But I still love you.

But all in all, things are good! Other than my total exhaustion, all the time, but what else is new? Tomorrow I go in for my glucose test – fingers and toes crossed!





Baby Bump #2 | 25 weeks

Yes! All caught up – through all the weekly photos I’ve taken.

week 25

Henry really is the sweetest and I can’t wait to see him as a big brother. Hopefully that continues once the baby is here. Though if the way he is with Beck is any indication, he’ll be super duper sweet with kisses and hugs and make your heart melt, and in the next minute you have to tell him not to sit on the dog…

Here’s the two photo collages showing the belly progress thus far:

first collage

week collage_2-01


Unrelated: I finally took photos of the hutch I made over! Now to edit the photos and write a post…


Baby Bump #2 | Weeks 20 & 23

Well isn’t this pregnancy just cruising along. Still playing catch up with these maternity book pages though – I will be 26 weeks tomorrow, which means it’s time to start kicking it in gear to get things done.

week 20

week 23-01

I’m so excited to decorate another nursery, it’s one of the best parts about having a baby – amiright?! This time I think I’m going with a light mint green, black, white and wood color scheme, and using some geometric shapes around the nursery. It’s not a theme but a direction. I have in fact made up my mind on the color of the walls (I refuse to look at other colors lest I go back into indecision world), but I first need to prime two walls and paint some trim (and actually buy the paint, I’m trying to wait for a sale) before I can actually paint. I need to get started before I get too big. So yea, the trim, ugh. The trim around the door, trim around the closet and the closet doors are totally an off-white, while the baseboards are white. Is it necessary to paint them now? No, but if it’s not done now, I don’t know when it will be, and it’s driving me crazy. But I’m super, super excited for the nursery to come together. I’m in love with the rug and the vintage dresser I found (in such good condition), and am trying to create some art. I’ll have to share something soon.


White Chocolate Pistachio Cranberry Pretzel Bark

Perhaps the longest recipe name ever, but it’s descriptive so….ok.

white chocolate bark

Look at those colors! Maybe the prettiest bark I ever did see.

This is one of those non-recipe recipes, but I do provide measurements in case you need a guideline.

White Chocolate Pistachio Cranberry Pretzel Bark 
2 bags white chocolate chips
1/3 c. shelled pistachios, roughly chopped
1/2 c. pretzels, broken
1/3 c. craisins
Line a cookie sheet with sides with wax paper (I used a 9×12 for thick bark; larger will just produce a thinner chocolate layer). Melt the white chocolate according to package directions, then pour and level in prepped cookie sheet. Sprinkle toppings over chocolate and lightly press down toppings to help secure in chocolate. Let the chocolate set on the counter or in the fridge for a couple hours until completely cooled and hardened; break/cut into pieces.
white chocolate bark 5
white chocolate bark 3
It’s a tasty as it is pretty. Creamy, sweet white chocolate, tart and salty.
This “recipe” is so forgiving, as any bark recipe is. It’s basically: melt chocolate, put yummy things on top, cool, break, eat. I wanted a thick chocolate base so I used two bags of chips and my smallest sheet pan, but either use less chocolate chips or a larger pan for a thinner base. The amount of the toppings is totally dependent on the size of the pan you use and how covered you want your chocolate to be – though too many toppings will not stick into the chocolate, eventually. The measurements I provided are pretty accurate to what I used, and after they were all on I lightly pressed down on the top-most toppings to help secure them in the chocolate. Some still got loose when I was cutting it up, but I’m not ashamed to say I was then able to pour the leftovers into my mouth via the wax paper afterwards. Ok, so I’m maybe a little ashamed – the baby made me do it.
white chocolate bark 4
white chocolate bark 2
Almost too pretty to eat – but not quite. Just take a picture – it will last longer :)

Baby Bump #2 | Weeks 15 & 16

Hello, again. Here’s another maternity book catch-up post.

15 weeks 16 weeks

Seriously, with the tiredness – oy. So much worse than last time, I swear. I think it’s a combo of having Henry to take care of and some bad sleeping. I seriously only get like one or two good nights of sleep a week. Peeing in the middle of the night happened pretty much immediately, and some nights I can’t fall asleep, or I can’t fall back asleep after the bathroom break, or I just keep waking up…or all three if it’s a particularly bad night. Some people like to say “it’s just practice for having a newborn and being up all night” – well, please don’t let that be you saying it to me, because on this lack of sleep? I might punch you in the face. At least in my head. Here’s the thing – I don’t have a newborn yet, so I’d like to sleep. I don’t need to “practice” thankyouverymuch.

My cravings – or more like the only foods that really sound delicious to me, couldn’t be more unhealthy. How do I go about craving things like plain celery, calorie-free pickles and lettuce? Luckily I’m used to working out, well, apart from the beginning of the pregnancy when I was so tired I just couldn’t, so I’m trying to make it to the gym two times a week to counteract the carb breakfast, carb snack, carb lunch, carb snack, carb dinner and carb dessert. I think at 16 weeks I had only gained six pounds…but here at almost 24 weeks it’s definitely starting to catch up to me.

I’m also doing a collage of sorts, to see the progression of the belly. (It also shows the difference in my editing of the white balance from week to week, but let’s focus on the belly instead of my photography skills thanks). Week 16 will be on the next one…

first collage

Almost caught up!

(See the first Week 15 and Week 16)


YSM Paper

Soooooo I started an Etsy shop. Without really telling anyone about it, except for instagram when it was launched. I’ve always had plans of starting one that has sewn goods (burp cloths and blankets and pillows and whatnot), and I even have the shop name reserved on Etsy and perhaps even bought (a little bit of) fabric for pillows and such, but I barely have time or motivation to do much of anything around these parts, so sewing for an Etsy shop is just not happening. I still have the pillows on my couch that match my couch fabric, people – that is so not cool, and I hate them so much, though in order to sew new ones that means I have to make a decision on what colors and fabrics to use, then buy it, then actually sew, so my prediction of new pillows is maybe sometime never. But who knows with the thing called “nesting”. It would be great if it could kick in any. day. now. so I’m motivated for the one million projects I have to do.

YSM Paper logo

BUT, back to the Etsy shop I did actually open. I’m good at sitting on the couch and using my computer – that’s the type of project I have motivation for – so the shop is YSM Paper and it’s a shop of instant download typography prints. I’ve always had a passion for typography, and I’ve been learning how to use Illustrator slowly but surely, so I finally started creating prints for myself to fill the empty frames hanging on my walls (for months…and months…). Ideas for prints just kept coming and suddenly I had a folder full of prints – some finished, some almost, some just a placeholder to come back to. Some are simple, some are girly, some are fun, some are sentimental, but all are me. Quotes or lyrics I love, songs I sing to Henry, phrases that reflect my love for my family, etc. etc. mushy mushy. So on whim I opened up shop to basically see what happens, since I have all of these anyway. Why not? 

beYOUtiful_flowers_8x10_etsy-listing greatest-contribution_8x10_turquoise_etsy-image like-best_navy-raspberry_8x10_etsy-listing

There’s not too many prints available yet, just the few I had the most ready to launch with, but I’m constantly working on finishing the ones I’ve started to get listed, making progress on some and getting new ideas all the time – so follow me or check back! Most everything is meant to be printed and framed at 8″x10″, though a couple prints have different sizes due to already being created for myself (they can probably be sized down, though I’m happy to work with people on different sizes or orientations or even colors). Everything is an instant download only, which is honestly due to wanting to see if anyone is actually interested in my stuff before figuring out all the logistics of physically printing and mailing things to people.

It’s kind of nerve wrecking to put it all out there, but what’s to lose? At the least I’ll have a very full library of prints to fill the mountain of empty frames I have. I’d love for you to check it out, “heart” it on Etsy if you happen to be on there, and even let me know if there’s a quote/saying/idea you’ve been wanting. I also added a link to the shop in my header and sidebar, so you can’t miss it :)