How to Refinish Furniture

*This post may contain affiliate links, meaning if you click on a product and purchase it, I get a portion of the profit. However, I only recommend products that I both have tried and fully believe in.

There have been many times where I have walked by a piece of old furniture, whether it be my own that has been gathering dust or a random piece at a thrift shop, and dreamed about redoing it and bringing it back to life. I’m definitely a newbie at painting and refurnishing furniture but I sure do love the process. Join me in my journey of refurbishing an antique vanity that had been passed down to my dear husband.

My main goal for this piece of furniture was to create something beautiful by using only what I had in the basement. Due to the lack of money and abundant need for diapers and other baby supplies, I didn’t want to purchase any supplies for this project.

I researched many techniques for painting wood and keeping the antique look. I tried the vaseline technique (Putting a thick layer of vaseline on the corners you want to look rubbed off and antique) but I didn’t have much luck. After failing at this technique, I decided to go with the trusty sand it down after painting the wood.

  •  The first step is to clean the wood. You want to get any dust or gunk that may have gathered cleaned off. In addition, it may be a good idea to strip the wood of any top coats that may be on it. I did not have anything to do this and my piece of furniture didn’t have much for a top coat, so I skipped that step.
  • After cleaning the wood, I sanded it down with an electric sander. If you don’t have one, that’s okay. Sanding by hand is just as effective but not nearly as quick and easy.

  • Once again you will want to clean the wood. Make sure to get all the dust from sanding off. I recommend using a wet cloth first and then drying with a lint free cloth.

 

 

 

 

  • Now begins the fun part. PAINTING! I used the cheapest white paint from Walmart that I had previously bought for the trim in my house. Conveniently enough, once finished, this paint looked very similar to the expensive chalk paint everyone loves. (Spoiler alert, you can make your own diy chalk paint with household products. Click here to see how).  I did about three layers, letting each layer dry completely before adding another (okay maybe not completely due to my lack of patients 😊).

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • While my paint was drying, I stained the top of the vanity with some old stain I had. I wasn’t sure I would like how it turned out, but I actually love it. I had to do several layers of this to get the darkness and saturation I was looking for. I used an old cloth to apply the stain. I made the mistake of doing this on a coldish night and ended up bringing it inside because the stain would not dry and was very sticky.

  • After everything dried, I sanded the paint off the corners and other places that I wanted to give that antique look. While I worked on sanding the drawers, I had the top coat drying on the top of the vanity. I used Minwax Helmsman Spar Urethane  that I had previously bought for an outdoor project. I didn’t use this on the rest of the vanity because it gave off a slight discoloration to the white paint and made it have a glossy look which I didn’t want.

Finally, I put all of the old hardware back on and snapped of few photos!

Although I had a few fails (Vaseline, stain not drying etc.) the whole process was a learning experience and was a lot of fun. I hope you have as much fun as I did with your project and can learn from my mistakes!

 


My First Blogger Award!

Recently I was nominated for the Blogger Recognition Award. This is very exciting for me as this is my first award as a blogger. I recently joined the blogging community back in April and have learned so much already. Although I still have a ton to learn, I am overwhelmed with joy to have been nominated for this award and would like to give a huge thanks to Lauren at Mothering Honestly . She has a great blog on mom life, DIY projects, recipes, and even coupons and deals all from an honest point of view!

 

So what is the Blogger Recognition Award? It’s a very kind way to give Recognition to bloggers and it is awarded by other bloggers! Once given the award, you pass it on by awarding 15 other bloggers.  And so it goes on.

Why I started this blog. 

Before passing this award along, I’d like to explain why I started this blog in the first place. I had just given birth to my beautiful baby girl a few months prior and was returning to work from maternity leave. I found myself searching the web for ways to make money from home when I stumbled along a blog post about……..blogging!  Don’t get me wrong, I love my job and before having my baby, I had never desired to work from home. However, after bringing this sassy human into the world, my priorities changed completely. I originally started this blog with the intention of making money. At the time, I thought blogging would be simple, however I have quickly realized how much time and effort is needed to be successful. I still love doing it! I have yet to earn money, however I am really enjoying learning the ins and outs and collaborating with other bloggers! With that being said, I’d like to pass on a few words of advice.

My advice to new bloggers.

First, figure out how other bloggers reach their audiences (i.e. Pinterest, Facebook, SEO etc.) and work on getting your blog out to the public!

Second, pick a day or two to dedicate to blogging. This way you have time set aside for writing, designing, researching, advertising and anything else that might need done!

 

My 15 Nominations.

 Be sure to check out these amazing blogs and pass the love on. 

  1. Callie Hawley- A great blog about crafts, travel, and living life with Crohn’s disease.
  2. Avin S Kohli- A blog with amazingly delicious recipes that all should try.
  3. Irene Houllis Juaristic- An awesome blog about parenthood, being a working mom, and veterinary content as well.
  4. Sarah Mailer- A lovely blog with interior design tips and tricks.
  5. Neel Banerjee- A vlogging blog on running tips, nutrition, and preventing injuries.
  6. Shakti Utthansingh- A very informative blog on technology products and the best offers in the technology world.
  7. Keely Ray- A new lifestyle blog on a variety of topics including fashion, beauty, health, and well-being.
  8. Akira Williams- A unique blog on self-care and life experiences from a young person that has gone through the care system.
  9. Acacia Carrington- A mental health blog discussing mental health struggles such as anxiety and how to overcome them.
  10. Gabriela Rolim- A creative blog created by 5 women, discussing lifestyle topics and product reviews as well as traveling and inspiration.
  11. Bella Miller- A blog on cooking, DIY projects, nannying, college, and several other lifestyle topics. This blog also includes ways to manage anxiety and depression.
  12. DaSean Daniels- An educational blog on money habits, investing, and building your wealth.
  13. Angela Theresa- A blog covering all mental health illnesses and advocating for those with mental health illnesses as well as removing the stigma that comes with these topics.
  14. Emily Doyen- An awesome lifestyle blog covering beauty products, clothing, food, and travel.
  15. Devesh Salunke- A great blog on generating money online including tips on SEO.

Award Rules:

Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.

Write a post to show your award.

Give a brief story of how your blog got started.

Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers. 

Select 15 other bloggers to nominate.

Comment on each blog to let them know you nominated them and provide a link to your post. 

Stocking up on Diapers. A Breakdown of Exactly How Many Diapers Baby will go Through in Their First Year

*This post may contain affiliate links, meaning if you click on a product and purchase it, I get a portion of the profit. However, I only recommend products that I both have tried and fully believe in.

Stocking up on Diapers. A Breakdown of Exactly How Many Diapers Baby will go Through in Their First Year

Buying diapers is one of the larger costs of having a baby. Luckily, stores such as Sams Club and Amazon make it easy and more affordable to buy in bulk and stock up. Below is a breakdown of how many diapers my 7 lb 12 oz baby girl has gone through so far and how many I stocked up on.

Before stocking up on too many diapers, I waited for the baby shower to see how many of each size would be given as gifts. After the baby shower I compared prices on Amazon and signed up for their free trial of Amazon prime family( Join Amazon Family 30-Day Free Trial). This gives you an additional 20 % off and free two-day shipping. On top of that, I opened a registry (Shop Amazon – Create an Amazon Baby Registry ) with them, made an Amazon purchase and received a free baby box full of all kinds of goodies. Sam’s club is however my favorite place to purchase diapers as they are affordable and great quality. They have the elastic band on the back to hold in blow outs and the yellow line that indicates wetness. Another great affordable brand is Parents Choice. My least favorite brands are Luvs (no elastic on the back or yellow line plus strong scent) and Pampers( no elastic on the back and less affordable)

Okay down to the nitty-gritty.

  • 200 nb
  • 146 #1
  • 570 #2
  • 684 #3

*keep all receipts just in case you are left with extra or your baby has a reaction to one of the brands.

I hope this information can help you prepare for your little bundle of joy. If you want to read a full list of items to stock up on click here.

 

Stocking up before the baby arrives


*This post may contain affiliate links, meaning if you click on a product and purchase it, I get a portion of the profit. However, I only recommend products that I both have tried and fully believe in.

Having a baby is an expensive life event, however the cost can be cut in half by stocking up on specific items before your baby arrives. Below is a list of items I purchased before my sweet baby girl came into this world.

The Essentials

After having a baby, neither you or your partner are going to want to run to the store. Stocking up on the essentials is a huge stress reliever when it comes to postpartum days.

Toilet paper:

I bought this huge pack of toilet paper from Amazon and I still have a few rolls left 6 months later. It isn’t the softest or nicest brand but it gets the job done and for the first month or so I used a peri bottle for most of my bathroom trips anyways.

Maxi pads:

When I was told that I would bleed a lot after delivering my baby, I had no idea how much I would actually bleed. I thought one large pack of maxi pads would cover it, however I went through at least 3 packs. You want to make sure to get the ones with the wings.

Shampoo, conditioner and body wash:

I bought three bottles of each and was so relieved to not have to buy them once the baby came. I would buy one extra when I went for groceries so I wasn’t buying them all at once.

Toothpaste and deodorant:

Nothing is worse than being the stinky person. Self care is important in your postpartum days and can be hard to fit in your day, however having the right equipment makes the task easier. I purchased two things of toothpaste and one thing of deodorant. I was very surprised at how much I sweated after bringing our baby home. I would wake up almost in a nasty puddle and would continue to sweat throughout the day. I have heard that Mitchum works best for postpartum sweats.

Baby Items

Diapers:

Not having to buy diapers after the baby arrived was one of the nicest perks of stocking up. For a list of how many diapers I purchased click here.

Diaper rash cream:

I would buy one tube each time I got groceries until I had enough. I purchased about 4 tubes total. One for the nursery, one for the living room, one for the diaper bag and one extra.

Wipes:

I purchased two large boxes of wipes and have yet to run out. I would say 4 boxes would last a whole year if you want to stock for that long.

Medicines:

You might get some of these at the baby shower, and you don’t want to stock up too much as you don’t know what your baby will respond well to. However, it is nice to have some gripe water, gas drops, and Tylenol around.

Baby shampoo and lotion:

One large thing of baby shampoo and lotion will last a long time. Samples are also often given to you at the hospital and you never know how baby will react to these products so you don’t want too much stocked up.

Food.

Freezer meals:

Freezer meals are very helpful because cooking is one of the last things you or anyone else want to do when there is a sweet baby to hold. Purchasing some freezer meals from the store is convenient, however can become very expensive. I made freezer meals a month ahead of my due date so I knew I would be prepared. Here is a great blog post from stefaniegass.com.   It’s very easy to follow and even has a groceries list already made. I highly recommend making burritos as they are easy and can be single serve.

http://www.stefaniegass.com/blog/ten-freezer-meals-to-make-before-baby

*note: When making freezer meals with pastas, slightly under cook the pasta as it becomes soggy when reheated.

Peanut butter, canned items, mac and cheese, and lots of snacks:

Once you come home from the hospital, you will likely be very hungry. Especially if you plan to breastfeed. You will need to keep nourished which can be hard when taking care of a little one. It’s nice to have easy items such as granola bars as well as quick meals such as Mac and cheese.

Paper plates, bowls, napkins and utensils.

Between bottles and pump parts, dishes were something I dreaded doing. Having paper options instead was extremely helpful for not getting overwhelmed.

Clothing.

Underwear:

Your going to want a pack of comfortable underwear that you don’t care about ruining. Boy shorts are a good option as they are comfortable, cute and have a large enough area to secure a maxi pad.

Nursing tops and comfortable pants.

I bought tank tops instead of actual nursing tops as they are easy to pull down to nurse and are very comfortable. Also, they match with pretty much anything and you can throw something nicer over the top of you need to go out. Sweat pants were my preference for about three months. Purchase some that you know you will enjoy.

Nursing bras:

If you plan to nurse, these are essential. I bought two regular nursing bras and one hands free pumping bra. They can get pretty soiled with milk so having at least two helps with the laundry situation.

Nursing pads:

I bought entirely too many of these as I did not leak very much. However a box is nice to have around especially in the beginning when your body is adjusting to how much milk needs to be produced. You can also get free samples at many locations such as target or buy reusable ones such as these however I have never tried them.

Why One Breast Produces More Milk Than the Other: The Case of Stud vs. Dud. 

*This post may contain affiliate links, meaning if you click on a product and purchase it, I get a portion of the profit. However, I only recommend products that I both have tried and fully believe in.

Breastfeeding is an amazing experience that leads people all over the world to ask many questions. One of which is why one breast produces more milk than the other, or in other words why is one side a stud and the other a dud?

Could there be a correlation between the side your sweet baby first nurses on? 

Personally, the side I first nursed my daughter on is the side that produces the bulk of my milk. This got me wondering if there was a correlation between which side your baby first latched onto and how much milk that side produced. In an online survey, out of 34 moms, 24 of them saw a correlation between what side they first nursed on and what side was their “stud”, whereas 10 of them saw no correlation. That means 70% of the moms surveyed in this online forum also had the same experience with their bulk producer being their babies first latch.

This could be coincidental, and there are obviously a lot of other factors that take place. However, you could argue that this side got more stimulation at the ideal time.

Babies preferences might be determined from the get go.

Sometimes babies simply prefer one side over the other. Because of this, that one side gets more stimulation therefore demanding more from that breast. Breastfeeding works on a supply and demand system so the more your baby takes from one side the more it will produce. Other times, your baby might determine their preference due to a forceful let down or slow let down. She might dislike the forceful let down as it can cause stomach aches and gas, along with being hard to swallow. On the other hand, like my baby, she might not like the slow let down and having to work so hard for your liquid gold.

She might have an ear infection or strained muscle.

If your baby has an ear infection she might be in pain when laying on that side. This can cause your baby to not want to nurse on that side and decrease the milk supply of that breast. She may also have a strained muscle from delivery that causes discomfort. If you think your baby might have an ear infection or a strained muscle, contact your pediatrician immediately to get it addressed. Also, try different nursing positions to see if this helps.

Different sizes and anatomy of the breast.

Like everything else on the human body, women often have one breast that is larger than the other, sometimes one of them can have more milk glands causing it to have a higher supply. However, just because one side is smaller, doesn’t mean that it won’t produce as much milk as the larger one.

Increasing supply of the “dud”.

Although it is perfectly fine to have one side produce more milk than the other, there are many ways to increase the supply on that side. Some of which include:

• Adding an extra pumping session to that side and pumping after each feed.

• Starting each nursing session with the less productive side, switch to the more productive side and then finish with the one you started with.

• Try to nurse on the side that produces less milk more often.

• Drink a lot of water!!!! And eat a nutritious diet:)

• Massage and compress the breast.

• Use heat to increase blood flow to that side.

Lansinoh has a great product that helps with let down and with engorgement. You can purchase these almost anywhere, Wal-Mart for about $13 or Amazon just to name a few of locations.

Do you have one breast that produces more than the other? Have you noticed a correlation between baby’s first latch and which breast is the “stud”? I’d love to hear your nursing experience, leave a comment below.

Please note: Information is for educational purposes only. Information found in posts should not be mistaken as medical advice.  Please consult a medical professional on matters regarding your health or your baby’s health.

 

 Amazon Offers Work From Home Positions.

I recently returned to work full-time from maternity leave. Nothing could prepare me enough for the immense amount of pain returning to work and leaving my baby all day would cause. I found myself frantically searching for ways to work from home, until I came across a 9 news article about Amazons recent decision to hire customer service technicians who can work right from the comfort of their homes.

 

An offer that seems too good to be true.

That was just my thought, until I looked into the details. I tried searching for the job listing. I found a lot of job search engines looking for you to put  your email and other information in. This was discouraging as they do not provide as much information as I wanted. I found a frequently asked questions article from Amazon their selves explaining how to apply for a job with Amazon. This led me to their Amazon Jobs page https://www.amazon.jobs/ where I quickly discovered that the news article was true.

 

Details of the job.

 There are two job opportunities that I came across in my research. One of which is a seasonal day option. This job listing even offers the opportunity of benefits given that you work the required amount of hours per week. The other job opportunity is the nights and weekends listing. This position is the option that best fits my schedule as I would not have uninterrupted time during the day ( I can’t even go to the bathroom alone during the day #momlife). They are both customer service positions answering phone calls and chat messages from customers who have questions or need help.

I for one have already submitted my application and I’m sure a lot of other people wanting to work from home have as well.

If you are interested in more details, simply click the link above and search for “work from home jobs”.

Recovering From Nipple Confusion in Three Simple Steps

*This post may contain affiliate links, however I only recommend products that I have both tried and fully believe in.

 
Recently, my dd (dear daughter) came down with a case of nipple confusion.  Below are the three simple steps I used to recover from nipple confusion.   It was very hard for her to breathe while nursing due to her having rsv, so I started to use bottles during the day. In the past, she had bottles before and easily transferred from bottle to breast.  However, after a week straight of only bottles during the day, she no longer wanted to nurse and clearly was suffering from nipple confusion.  She liked the fast flow of the bottle and did not want to nurse unless I caught her right as she was waking up from a nap.

Using nipple guards to imitate a bottle and give instant gratification.

Nipple guards can be used for multiple purposes. One of which is recovering from nipple confusion.Nipple guards are a very thin silicon nipple that sits right over the top of your nipple.  It has several holes at the tip and feels a bit like a bottle.  Because the milk pools at the end of the nipple guard, the baby gets an instant dose of milk as soon as she sucks which resembles a bottle.   First massage the breast and elicit a let down.  You can also achieve this by pumping until a let down starts. Then stick the nipple guard over your nipple and let the milk pool in the guard.  After this,  put baby to the breast and try to get her to latch. The first few times she might get fussy as soon as she has to work for some milk. Try to continue to massage the breast so that a continuous stream of milk is pulling into the guard.

* Tip: run nipple guard under hot water prior to use to help it adhere to breast. A bit of nipple cream on your breast will help keep the guard in place.

To read more about nipple guards and proper use of them, head over to KellyMom.com. She does a fantastic job of explaining use and weaning from use of nipple guards as they are meant to be temporary.

http://kellymom.com/ages/newborn/nb-challenges/wean-shield/

Filling a bottle with milk of your choice. 

I would use this method when she would not cooperate with the nipple guard and was too hungry to calm down. Fill a bottle (preferably one with a long skinny nipple) with either expressed breast milk or formula and begin to feed her. Once she starts to calm down, have your breast close to her face and have her in a nursing position. Slowly pull the bottle nipple away from her mouth and insert your nipple into her mouth.  If she starts to fuss because she is having to work for the milk, squeeze some milk from the bottle onto your nipple so it falls into her mouth as she is sucking. Keep doing this until a let down begins and she is happy.

Using the “sleepy method”.

This is what I call the sleepy method. My dd would nurse well if I caught her right as she was waking up or even if I woke her up to nurse. Don’t let her get too awake or she will realize that she would rather have the bottle. Once she wakes up, bring her into a quiet room and put her in the nursing position. Wake her just enough to get her to latch and actively suck.  If she begins to fall asleep while nursing, gently wake her again so she will actively nurse.

Patience is key

Lots and lots of patience. Breastfeeding is hard and even harder when your baby doesn’t want to cooperate.  But if you really want to breastfeed and get your baby back to nursing comfortably, keep at it. Take a deep breath and remind yourself that it will get better and you are not alone!

This is how I got my daughter over nipple confusion in three days. These methods are simple enough that I can always use them again when she starts to prefer the bottle over the breast. I hope this information can be of some help for you! Please comment below if you have any questions.

Please note: Information is for educational purposes only. Information found in posts should not be mistaken as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional on matters regarding your health or your baby’s health