Refurbish old furniture

Easy tips on how to refurbish a Goodwill $15 dresser!

One day I was strolling through Savers (which is like a Goodwill) when I stumbled upon this $15 dresser that was nothing special…but I saw something special in it! I knew I could refurbish it into something magical. With just a little paint and new hardware I made a beautiful new dresser come back to life!!

TIME: 5 or less hours

COST: $95

STEPS to redo old furniture:

  1. REMOVE– all hardware. This piece was fallllling apart so I knew I was going to need new hardware.
  2. SAND– I sanded lightly over the whole dresser with 180 grit sand paper and an orbital sander. I wanted to get the “shine” off the entire piece. Some places were more sanded down than others.
  3. FILL IN– I filled in the holes where the original hardware screws were because I had found some new ones that were slightly larger! I filled it in with wood filler- let it sit for 24 hours.
  4. NEW HARDWARE-I found new gold hardware at Home Goods for only $34!!
  5. PAINT I decided on Enchanted Forest which was most similar to Joanna Gain’s color of the year- Luxe. Kelly Moore paint from a local shop.
  6. BB Frosch paint transformer! This stuff is amazing!! I found it on instagram and was sold. For only $10 I got this and a fun new painting brush for furniture. I took two tablespoons and mixed it with my paint really well! It acts like chalk paint where it stick to any surface!
  7. GLOW UP!- I did two coats and let them drive in the living room on a paint dryer.
  8. WAX– I sealed it with wax
  9. DRILLED– new holes for the hardware and done!! SO SIMPLE!

DIY Kitchen Tile Backsplash

okayyyy my friends. I did it. I figured out how to tile my kitchen backsplash!!!! I was so scared to do it but thank the good lord for YouTube and amazing friends who helped along the way. I had a vision for this pretty white pearl vertical tile. It took me many many months to finally find my favorite tile but I finally found it on Tile Bar. I’m so obsessed with it. The tile I found looks almost like seashells. If I can learn how to tile DIY my kitchen I believe you can! My contractor friend said I saved $3000+ in doing it myself and not paying someone else to do it. I take that as a plus!!

I’m going to write out every step I took…but it could be different for you. I will also attach videos I watched, tools I used, and tricks that may not be professional but worked for me. So come along the tiling journey with me!

ALL THE DEETS ON TILING:

HOURS: 17+ hours. I’m def not a fast worker and when I do this again I will work MUCH faster. Easily done in a weekend if you have all the tools and tile.

COST: $700

Tools I used with links:

STEPS ON TILING KITCHEN BACKSPLASH:

  1. RESEARCH– do your research. I watched so many youtube videos to watch because I’m so visual and tactile learner. Here are some of my favs that helped:
  2. PREPPING the wall- I took off the granite backsplash that was already present when I moved in. I took a crow bar and hammer and went along the edges to get behind the granite. I did damage the wall a bit so we had to go back through and fix the dry wall. With Quick 5 min mud I easily patched the wall back up. I then cleaned the wall so there was no extra paint chips or anything. We scored the wall with an excto knife so the thin set can stick to something on the wall.
  3. ORDER-tile in advance so you have it at the house. Always order 10-20% more than you think. I ended up having to order more tile because I ran out. It was a bummer because I was really ready to finish. Measure your space by square footage.
  4. PLAN-You can either lay out tile exactly with spacers on the wall so you can go ahead and cut all your pieces ahead of time or just go for it. I suggest not just going for it. My wall, floor, and countertops was uneven so I had bit of a math problem to figure out. You want the first row of tile to be on a level surface. If the first row is messed up the whole project will be messed up going up. So this REALLY matters. What a friend of mine did for me was put in a cleat (wood board) measuring all around the kitchen so I had an even level surface to start from. I ended up having to start on row 2 and go all the way up. Then the next day take the cleat off and work down on row 1 measure each and every tile so it was all perfect. This was a hassle and not everyones kitchens are uneven like mine but 100% worth it in the end.
  5. THIN SET– I back buttered my tile and stuck them right on. A lot of people have opinions on how to do this but I decided to not put a bunch of thin set on the wall first. Many contracting friends who tile for a living told me to just go for it and not put too much on the wall. I slapped on a bunch of thin set and with my trow went down vertical and ones horizontal so it created textured rows for it to stick on the wall and push in for 5-10 seconds.
  6. SPACERS– My tile was actually uneven and naturally cut so I started with 1/8th spacer but some kept falling out while others stayed. I found it was just easier to do natural because it didn’t make a difference and it was easier. I did put them between the rows vertically because I found the bottom edges were cut more perfectly than the sides.
  7. CUTTING-this part was really fun but also a bitch. Thankfully I had a wet saw that could cut perfect lines but I do not cut perfect even with a straight edge. I don’t understand. haha. I always would leave a little extra room just incase because you can take more off but you can’t add more. I measured each and every tile and cut along edges and sides. This really matters. My tile was more forgiving it being naturally cut lines and the white grout hide a lot of my mistakes…but still very important to measure twice and cut once.
  8. LEVEL- make sure every 1-2 tiles you are level on the right side of the tile. The worst would be all the tiles going towards the right or left. But when you are that up close it’s hard to tell…so step back every once in a while and take a small level to check the right side and the top. Move the tile while it’s still moveable!!
  9. DRY– Let it dry for 24 hours before grouting.
  10. GROUTING-I ended up going with the already premixed grout and thin set because I wanted to save on clean up. I loved this grout it was really easy to work with honestly but you have to MOVE FAST. I worked in a small space 5 foot ish or less. By the time I was done grouting I would have to go back quickly and clean. So this is how I did my grout: I put it on the grout on grout float and went up at a 45 degree angle. I was told this helps the grout get into the cracks better than straight on. Then to take off extra grout pull down at a 45 degree angle. Try to get off as much as possible so you are not scrubbing away 10 mins later! I actually used my fingers quite a bit to get into cracks and places I otherwise couldn’t with how big my grout float was. Then take WARM water with a sponge and ring it out as much as possible so there is no extra water dripping. Then scrub to get all the grout up. Don’t wait on this!! I did one clean. Then at the end I did another one and a third to make sure there wasn’t anyyyy left over haze. Wait 24 hours before sealing.
  11. SEALING– this is a smart idea to do anywhere near tile that can get wet or grease on it!! I used this sealer with a cloth and applied it then wiped it off 3-5 mins later. You don’t want it to sit on the surface too long. Let it sit another 24 hours before caulking.
  12. CAULKING– I actually had a friend do this while I was finishing another project in the house. But I watched him push it out using a caulking gun then with a wet cloth or finger press along the edge so it goes to your desired height. Let it sit 24-72 hours before getting anything wet!

I hope all those steps were helpful!! IT WAS A LOT but also so so so so so so worth it. Reach out if you have any questions!!

YOUTUBE VIDEOS that really helped me!:

PLAYLIST we listened to most of the time: Beach music on Pandora + Spotify

DIY Wallpaper

Coloray Decor wallpaper

Give me all the tropical wallpaper vibes PLEASEEEE. From a young young age my mother taught me how to put up wall paper. We also would strip wall paper. That vinegar smell is still etched into my memory box of childhood. I’m grateful for her diligence to continue to learn new skills and teach me! WALLPAPER is a whole thing but I’m so grateful I decided to choose it for a fun accent wall for my office wall. Of course I had to do tropical vibes, there was no other way.

I searched and searched the internet for the very perfect wallpaper and I found this one on :

https://coloraydecor.com/ But I decided to do peel and stick because I wanted it to be easier haha! I highlyyy suggest.

Here are some tips and tricks for DIY WALLPAPER!

1.Grab a friend. It’s always easier to do with a friend or extra hands. Don’t attempt alone.

2.Start top down left to right. We couldn’t do this because of my angled wall…it would have been SO MUCH easier. Highly suggest to do top down instead of bottom up.

3.Get a wallpaper tool that can pop out all those bubbles!

4.A straight edge is best to cut the extra wallpaper from top or bottom with holding a straight edge.

5.Give yourself a few hours…or maybe a few more than you might think!

6.ALWAYS clean the wall down first and remove any spots that will cause damage to the wallpaper. You want a crisp nice clean wall.

Horseshoe Bend Elopement

Intimate elopement shot by Arizona Photographer

Arizona has literally some of the very best locations for elopements!! Look no further than Horseshoe Bend for some of the most magical, epic, romantic Arizona elopement shots. Some of my other favorite elopement locations are at: The South Rim of Grand Canyon, Sedona Red Rocks, Lake Powell, and the mountains of Flagstaff, Arizona. I cannot rave enough about getting eloped at Horseshoe Bend enough. I’m an wedding photographer through and through but I do love to be known as an elopement photographer in our beautiful state where there are SO many locations to tie the knot. Surrounded around nature, sunshine, and love.

Kerrian and Tony decided to get married after being together for many many years. Their love is infectious. Florida residents decided to elope on a National Parks trip out with her daughters. On New Years Eve we braced ourselves in the cold to find that hot Arizona sunshine to warm us up. Of course Jenn, from Life Passages, officiated such a beautiful wedding experience. They said vows, had a special rope ceremony done with her daughters, and kissed before the sunset! It was a beautiful evening at Horseshoe Bend surrounded around those Utah/Arizona rocks and sweet love. This destination elopement was everything Kerrian and Tony wanted it to be. Simple, beautiful, and memorable.

Vacation to Castle Hot Springs Resort

Arizona’s Top Resort Destination

Here is your next location for an amazing Arizona staycation or vacation! Castle Hot Springs Resort is located in Northwest part of Phoenix nestled in the Sonoran Desert. Amidst the desert there is magical hot springs which have been a source of comfort and magic since 1896 when they were first found. I cannot RAVE enough about this special place. One of the most magical luxurious resorts I’ve ever been to in the world. The little villas are all private with outdoor bathtub and porch, all food is farmed locally on site, and the natural hot springs are coursing through the whole property. This private Arizona resort is home to a desert oasis with natural hot springs you will be refreshed and healed by. If you are wanting to plan a hide away with your love look no further than Castle Hot Springs Resort. 10/10.

My sweet friends Maddi + Josh help to manage and run the farm which all the food is cooked and served to clients. All farmers live on site and tend to the garden all year round. Castle Hot Springs Resort is only open Sept-June. The summer months in the desert are brutal and way too hot to get into the springs. As you scroll you will see the beauty this place has to offer. Staying here does come with a price tag. But all food and drinks are included.

I promise you, you will not regret going to Castle Hot Springs!!

Arizona natural hot springs

Wedding Reception Table Ideas

Flagstaff Wedding Photographer

Kim Duncan designs are freaking amazingggg. I can’t promote her enough. She came up with all of these reception designs just for fun little shoot in the winter snow in Flagstaff, AZ. Reception planning can be hard. But always remember a few things:

  • You can hire someone to decorate your reception!! Just because you are getting married doesn’t mean you have to turn into a planner, a coordinator, and wear every hat. You get to be the bride.
  • Flowers REALLY help to add a sense of dimension on the table
  • Plate wear matters! The glasses, the plates, the napkins matter! They are functional but also look really good visually.
  • Table clothes make it pop. Whether you have color or simple always go with a table cloth!!

The vendors I worked with for these amazing designs:

Planner + Designer: @kimduncandesign 
Linens: @bbjlinen & @latavolalinen
Rentals: @brighteventrentals
Design + Styling: @kimduncandesign
Floral: @sarahsgardenstyle
Menus + Places Cards: @day_letters
Candles: @yummicandles