My hurt

I have wanted to share my story for a while but didn't know how. How do you share the deepest details and hurts that you have experienced? How do you streamline all of that into something that's readible and makes sense when its all just a huge ball of pain inside of you? I'm just going to start....I hope I don't lose you. 
***takes deep breath***

I was raised in a small town on the Oregon Coast. I am the youngest and have one brother who is 8 years older than me. My Dad was in the Navy when my parents were first married and they did quite a bit of traveling, so they waited a while before starting a family. When my Mom finally told my Dad that she wanted to have a baby, my Dad's response was no. He didn't want kids now...sure he did when they first got married but now he didn't. No kids. My Mom was understandably upset and angry. She walked out on him and was gone for about a week..staying on her parents couch. She agreed to come home if my Dad would change his mind and start a family. He agreed and they had my brother. He loved my brother and embraced being a father. They went fishing, played sports, and really had a tight bond. After my brother was about 6 my Mom wanted to have another child. She approached my Dad again about it and my dad emphatically said no. There would be no more kids. He was done. My Mom left again...this time for about 6 months. She moved to the city, got a job and an apartment and prepared to raise my brother by herself if my Dad wasn't willing to be sensitive to how badly she wanted another baby. My Dad was basically parked on my Mom's doorstep during that time begging her to come home. 
She finally agreed after my Dad agreed to another baby. He made it clear that he didn't really want this baby but was doing it for her. That's when I entered the picture. As most of you can probably guess by now I have had some issues from that situation. I have known since I was a child that my Dad didn't want me. I don't know how I found out but I've known for a long time. As a result of this knowledge my Dad and I have always had a strange relationship. I have never felt close to him. In the beginning I tried really hard to win his approval..which was always nearly impossible. I played the sports that he wanted me to play so that he would spend time with me...although all the time that he did spend playing sports with me was spent with him instructing me on how to do things differently...not being proud of me. I spent most of my childhood trying in vain to win his affection and approval. I never felt like he loved me...although he told me he did. He honestly just didn't know how to relate to me. He thought if he was hard on me it would show that he cared...or if he criticized my sports that he was interested. A 10 year old girl doesn't see things that way though...they feel unloved and that their Daddy isn't proud of them. I grew up being very close to my Mom. She was everything that my Dad wasn't. Nurturing, caring, patient, and gave me unconditional love. She filled in the gaps in my heart. My Dad was very emotionally abusive to my mother. He never hit her or was violent with her but he told her on a fairly regular basis that she was stupid, etc. He would not let her have any say in how things went in our family. All the vacations were where my Dad wanted to go, the budget was done by him, the bills were paid by him, he decided EVERYTHING. He was extremely controlling and my Mom was a passive peacemaker. Not a good combo. I vividly remember an occasion when my Mom decided to invest in something similar to a 401k through her work (she was working part time while I was in school) without consulting my Dad. I came home just before dinner from playing at my neighbors house. I saw my brother sitting at the end of our driveway on our fence. He looked stressed. I climbed up next to him and listened...I could hear my Dad screaming at my Mom all the way out on the fence (we had a VERY long driveway and very good insulation in our house). My brother eventually had to get involved in that argument so my Dad wouldn't be violent towards my Mom. My Mom left my Dad when I was 14. They had been married for 30 years. My brother was in college and out of the house and I moved with my Mom from our small town to a big city. I started over. New friends, new house. I was damaged from so many years with an unloving and emotionally abusive father and didn't know where I fit. I carried that feeling with me all through high school and in to college. I tried to overcompensate for my pain by being outgoing, bubbly, happy ALL the time (at least on the outside). I made friends easily and kept myself very busy. I fell in love for the first time when I was in college. He was dark haired, brooding, had a major chip on his shoulder, and was pretty moody (sound familiar? Ya he was pretty much exactly like my Dad). We were serious almost instantly! He became emotionally abusive towards me pretty gradually. He would occasionally say things that were rude or very insensitive but follow them up with a couple good things to keep me from getting too hurt. It got worse...and worse. We were together off and on for about 3 years and whatever sense of self worth I had before that relationship started had dissolved completely by the end of it. He lied to me all the time. Always kept me guessing. I was a Christian and loved the Lord...went to church regularly before him and for my whole childhood. While in the relationship I stopped going to church and stopped praying. I disconnected from all my Christian friends and replaced them with partying friends. The only way I can describe it is that I lost myself. After I finally broke up with him I couldn't believe how far I had fallen. I was a miserable waif of a human being. I honestly didn't believe that I deserved better...I just knew I couldn't take any more! I changed my phone number so he couldn't contact me and I could make a clean break!

My family helped me heal and I got back into church. I knew that God loved me and wanted me to have more. More love. More consistency. More fellowship with believers. More time with Him. I went out with a friend about a week after the breakup and met a really amazing guy. That guy would end up changing my life and making me a mother!

To be continued.... 

Linking up with On my heart @ The Wiegand's

Burlap Fall banner and a harvest mantle

Hey guys! I got a little creative know...instead of cleaning my house or doing the 12 loads of laundry that needed to be washed. Sometimes the mood just strikes and you have to give in! ;) I wanted a Fall mantle that wasn't too theme-y or busy. I wanted to work with what I have and "shop the house" for the pieces to decorate with. Isn't it amazing how things that you already have can be re-invented to make something totally new? Love that! So I have a few things that always live on my mantle. I have a faux topiary in a white antiqued urn, the mirror on the wall, and a vintage cursive handwriting sheet from a college in my hometown. I wanted to add in other things that went with the season but would work with what I already had going on up there. So here's what I came up with...
I added some small pinched flowers all over the topiary in both orange and burlap...looks a little funky from that angle but its cute in person..promise! :) I also added a cream candle in a large amber glass pedestal vase, I took a small orange dish that I made in high school ceramics class and put a large pinecone in it. I added an old book that I plan on putting something on top of...any ideas? I also added my mod podged jute vase project from a year ago with some pom-pas grass from my yard. Oh and of course my new burlap Fall banner that I made yesterday! You too can make one! Sooo's what you need...
Burlap-Cut into triangles that are roughly the same size. One triangle for each letter.
Acrylic paint/small paint brush-Black for me so its easy to see but orange or white would've been really cute too!
Your computer- I printed out the word Fall in a font I liked
Mod podge-I used matte
Twine for hanging

Cut out your triangles of burlap first. If the burlap is wrinkly you can rinse it with water and smooth out the fibers and stretch it lightly when its wet. This will remove the wrinkles to give you an even surface to paint on but it also causes the edges to fray a little and looks really cute when dry.
Once your triangles are dry you want to cut two slits in each one to feed your twine through. The slits need to be parallel and near the wide edge so the point is hanging down.
Next sketch your letter on your triangle. You could use the light trick and put your paper behind your burlap but I decided to wing it. I'm crazy like that! I used a plain black sharpie to sketch it with because my paint was black and I wanted it to blend.
Fill in your sketched letters with acrylic paint and let dry.
Apply a layer of mod podge on one side of each triangle and let dry. Once dry do the same thing to the other side and let dry. This will prevent your burlap from fraying and give the triangles a stiffer and more obvious shape.
Feed your twine through your new triangles and hang! I put mine over the mirror and I love it there but it'd be super cute in a doorway or on your porch outside (keep it out of the rain though). I hope you all try this...super easy and fun!
Have a great week!!

Linking up with...
Whatever Wednesday at Mommahenscoop
One project at a time @A bowl full of lemons
Nifty Thrifty Tuesday @Coastal Charm
Anything goes party@Type A Decorating

Lets be honest...

Bloggers have a nasty habit. We always want people to see us, our homes, our families in their best light. We don't want people to know the mess that's hidden just out of sight in the picture, or the Mommy that's taking pictures of her mantle and her cute furniture redo instead of  herself because she is still in her pajamas at 2pm! That's what's real folks! I adore blogs...don't get me wrong. Blog reading is one of my most favorite ways to unwind. I have gotten into the habit though, of only posting when I have something that I feel is interesting and worth sharing. I have definately gotten into the habit of sugercoating MY reality. I recently read a post by The Wiegand's (Love her!) that really helped me put things into perspective. I realized that as a woman, a Mommy, a blogger...I haven't been helping other's by not showing the "real" me...mess and all! Instead of being honest and raw and unapologetic about my life and the ups and downs that go along with it, I've been helping to perpetuate a feeling of inadequacy. Flaws are a beautiful and magical thing and they tell a powerful story! Without our flaws we wouldn't be us! There is no one out there that is perfect. God has a plan for you and me and is going to use us....flaws and all! I found something on pinterest recently that hit home...

Or this....

I want this blog to not only be a place to share my furniture projects and creative ideas, but also a place to share my  heart with all of you! I pray that we can begin to celebrate all the flaws that make us who we are!

Lyla's rustic/shabby/fun room

Hey everyone! I wanted to share some pics of Lyla's new room in CA. We adore our new house and I've been having a lot of fun decorating her new room. Since our budget is pretty much zero I've reused a lot of stuff and used a lot of salvage items as well as "shopping the house" for a lot of stuff. I hope you all like it!
 I use a dresser for most of Lyla's clothes so her closet was pretty much empty. I decided to put her crib in there and give her a lot more usable play space. I painted the lower half of the closet a deep purple to give it some interest. The regular wall color is a light pistachio color.

 These are some rustic pallet boards with some silver house numbers scored at a garage sale.
 Pallet shelf I made with an old wall shelf screwed on top of a curb find pallet. I attached some Ikea drawer handles on the pallet to hold Lyla's dresses that would've been hanging in the closet.
 Lots of options for this pallet. I'm sure I'll add more stuff to it over time.
 The turquoise handles were SO cheap. 2.99 for a 6 pack and they came in other colors too! They reminded me of the glass handles but are more modern looking. I adore them!!
 Ikea purple curtains with Lyla's turquoise dresser made a while back.
 Shabby chic faux roman shade made from a burlap coffee sack. The curtain rod is a piece of driftwood
 Ikea expedit bookshelf and a gallery wall I made for Lyla.
 Free CL reupholstered chair that I did a while ago. Purple quilt was a gift.

All in all I'm really happy with the room so far. Its a work in progress and I need to find a rug but I love the vibe! What do you guys think??

Refinishing a veneer table...a tutorial

Hey there! I wanted to share a little project that I just completed with all of you. My next door neighbor came over the other day and mentioned how much she loved my dining table. Well I was looking to unload it and get a rectangular dining table that fit at least 6 chairs comfortably. She had the rectangular table that I was looking for....and I had the oval table that she was looking for. She suggested that we trade and I was all over it!! Her table was a rather typical farmhouse style table. Orange-ish wood laminate top over particle board, with solid wood white painted legs. I'm sure you can all picture what I'm talking about. It looks kinda like this...
Mine has slightly cooler legs and a way less cool/rustic/antique top. Even though the top was not solid wood the table is STURDY and has a leaf and I loved the size. I knew I wanted to re-stain the top of the table but didn't know how to go about that considering it is particle board with a VERY thin piece of veneer on top. Have any of you ever tried to research how to re-stain veneer? There is very little information out there! I found a great tutorial on Young house Love showing how to refinished a veneer dresser...but they cautioned against re-staining a piece of furniture that has a very thin veneer...which mine does. Well I figured I'd just go for it...I didn't have anything to lose since the table was free and I figured if it turned out horrible I could always just paint over it.
If you have a table like mine, and the top is a little worse for wear then assemble the following items and lets get this party started!!
You will need:
Paint stripper-I used Klean Strip but have used Citristrip before and liked it just as well.
Metal scraper-Mine is a husky brand scraper that I use ALL.THE.TIME. HD carries it.
Paint brush-I recommend digging out the old crusty brittle brush for this project...the stripper softens it and removes the built up gunk and afterwards you can wash it and it's usable again! Added bonus!!
Rubber gloves/mask-or you can be like me and work outside where there is lots of use gloves though!
Wire brush
Power sander and 120 grit sandpaper
Steel wool-any grade will work. I used a fairly coarse kind.
Pre-stain conditioner-Made by Minwax and a VERY necessary step of this project!
Stain-My go to stain is always Minwax liquid stain in Dark Walnut.
Poly coat-I use Minwax wipe on poly in Satin. It works great and no brushes to clean.

Ok so the first step to this project is to strip your table top. You can sand off your finish on a solid wood table but with veneer that's really thin like mine, I recommend stripping instead....much gentler on your table top!
Apply the stripper in an even layer all over your table top and use your brush to make sure it gets the top totally covered. Make sure that the stripper gets into the grooves and around the edge. (make sure you do this in your garage with the door open, or outside so you get tons of airflow...strippers are NASTY smelling and want to be safe with this stuff!!) After you've applied the stripper you want to let it sit on the top for about 20 mins. If you are in an area that is really hot you can apply wax paper in a single layer over the stripper to keep it from evaporating and getting sticky. I didn't do this step. After a few mins you will notice little bubbles starting to form and the finish will start to look clumpy and weird. That's good! After 20 mins or so has passed scrape off a little and see if it gets down to the bare wood. If so then you are good to go. Scrape off the old finish making sure to go in the direction of the wood grain. Put the gunky finish in a plastic grocery store bag as you scrape it off. Once your table top is totally scraped off then use your wire brush and scrub the grooves and edges with it. That'll remove any finish that's stuck in grooves or around the edges. If any of the finish is still clinging stubbornly to the table just add a little more stripper and repeat this step. Mine took 2 full coats of stripper! After the top is all clean wipe it down with an old towel soaked in hot water...really scrub the top and sides...use the wire brush in some soapy water if you have to. Make sure its really clean.
Once the top is fully dry you want to give it an even light sanding. I used 120 grit sandpaper but you could use 240 too and that would work great. I just used what I had. Sand lightly over the whole top and sides in the direction of the wood grain. Make sure not to let the sander sit on any area for too long as it'll wear down the veneer and the stain won't adhere correctly.
After the sanding step you want to wipe down the whole thing with a damp cloth and let it dry.
Next use a paper towel and apply a light coat of the pre-stain conditioner. This will prep the surface and make sure that the stain adhere's evenly! There is NOTHING worse than have a leopard spotted table. I have been there and it's not fun! After it's sat for a few mins wipe of any excess. 
Here comes the fun part...the stain! Slap on those rubber'll need them!
Ok so there are several schools of thought on stain. You can either apply it with a cloth, a brush, or a sponge brush applicator. I used the sponge brush because it lays down an even amount of stain with each stroke and you can throw the sucker away afterwards! Love that part. :) Lightly apply a thin layer of stain over the whole top and sides of your table...make SURE you don't leave streaks and make sure to go in the direction of the wood grain!!! Let it sit for anywhere from 5-20 mins depending on how dark you want your table. I let it sit for about 15 mins. Lightly wipe off the stain with a clean lint free cloth. I used an old tee shirt. After that I let the table dry for a couple hours. After it was dry to the touch I applied a second coat of stain in the same way. I let this one sit for about 20 mins. Wipe off again. You could apply a 3rd layer if you want but I liked the color after the 2nd layer so I stopped there. Let table sit OVERNIGHT. Do.not.get.overly.impatient with this'll thank me later!
Ok its the next day and your table has had overnight to cure! Sip your morning coffee and give your trusty can of Wipe on Poly a thorough shake! Slap on those "clean" rubber gloves again and grab another tee shirt (or if you have about 50 mate-less athletic socks like I do you can put one of those guys over your gloved hand and use it to apply the poly...kind of like a car wash mit! Works GREAT!) The back of the poly can says to apply a little to a cloth and rub on the table in a circular motion. You could do that if you want...but I'm impatient and I don't like all my poly absorbing into my cloth so I just dumped a small amount directly on to my table top and rubbed it around evenly with the athletic-sock-poly-applying-mit. Works even better that way! You will see a small amount of stain residue on your sock...that's ok. After the poly fully dries you want to rub the whole top lightly with steel wool to smooth the surface. You will see small scratches and you will have a momentary freak out moment thinking that they will ruin your finish. Don't freak. It'll be fine! Wipe down table top to remove dust and apply a second coat in the same way. Let dry...wipe even more lightly with steel wool and repeat with another coat. After your 3rd coat dries you shouldn't have to use any steel wool. If you use it in between the first and second coat then you normally have a VERY smooth surface by that point.
After your table is no longer fumy you can bring it inside. I wouldn't recommend using it for normal use until at least 24 hours after you finish it. It says on the can that it takes like 4 weeks to fully cure so you want to use it very gently for a while...or at least try!

Phew!! You guys still here?? Want to see my finished product?? I thought so!

Pretend you don't see the pile of randomness on my kitchen counter in the 2nd pic! So there ya have it! I'm gonna be touching up the white paint on the base of the table thanks to some unfortunate paint stripper drips...but that's gonna wait a bit. I adore my new table and I know you will adore yours too!!! Oh and this may seem obvious to some of you but make SURE when you refinish your table that you do the leaf too!!!!! I did most of my table before I remembered the leaf. There's nothing worse then forgetting and having everyone over on thanksgiving and being sheepish about your two tone table top! So do the leaf too ok? Ok! I hope you all have a fabulous weekend!!!!

Linking up to these parties:
Twice owned Tuesday @ House of Grace

My 9/11 story...a confession

Hey guys! I want to bring attention to the fact that today is the 10th anniversary of the biggest disaster to take place on American soil. I wanted to share with you all a secret that I'm rather ashamed of. When September 11th 2001 happened and we were attacked,  I was sleeping. I was working as a waitress and was always at work till way late, which means I slept in way late every day. I was also 19 years old and was very wrapped up in myself, fashion, parties, friends, etc...I'm sure most people can relate to that at 19. I drove to work at around 11 because I was working a lunch shift, and while on my way to work I was listening to the radio but kept getting "annoying" news bulletins instead of music...I didn't bother to listen and I just turned it off and listened to a CD. I got to work and was blindsided by the grief that my coworkers were experiencing. Everyone was gathered around the TV's in the bar watching the news footage of the towers falling and the people jumping out of those tall buildings! I was dumbfounded, shocked, saddened. I didn't know what to think or feel. I didn't know anyone that lived in New York..nor did I know anyone who was in the air that day so it didn't take on much significance to me personally. I know that's horrible to say..and I'm honestly shocked that I felt that way...but it was so surreal that it was like watching a movie! Fast forward to this morning. My husband and I watched a 2 hour documentary on 9/11 on the History channel. I can't even begin to describe how I'm feeling today and how I should have been feeling 10 years ago. I can't explain my change of heart any better than this....when you are a dumb teenager living for yourself, you don't truly understand what it means to sacrifice. It doesn't compute until you look over at your precious children and imagine what it would be like to go through that kind of disaster today...with them exposed to it! I want to sincerely express my gratitude for all the heroes that surfaced during that tragedy! I want to thank God for his grace and for fueling us with the courage that we need to get through and help those that are in need. I am SO grateful for all that I have and so grateful that I am an American!! I feel so ashamed today...knowing the kind of help that I should have been for the people suffering and all the praying that I should have done for those that were closely affected by this disaster! Thank you to our troops and the families of our troops. You all truly know what it means to sacrifice. You truly know what it means to have your loved ones in harms way! Your courage is astounding and we are forever thankful for all that you do for us! God bless you!!