How-To: Stain a Table

Happy Tuesday y’all!

I recently decided that I needed to get a hobby.  Tyler lives 1,061 miles from me and living in small town can get a little boring. Enter my friend Kathryn and an antique side table. Kathryn convinced me that I should start flipping furniture with her and when I found this little antique beauty at a garage sale for $8, I decided to give it a go. For this being my first project on my own, I’m actually very surprised (and happy!) with how it turned out. So much so, that I thought I should share my DIY instructions on how to strip, sand and stain so you all can do it too.

First, here is my before photo… YIKES. It was in rough shape! Scratches on the top, chunks out of the stain and finish. Nothing a little love can’t fix though.

IMG_0776Here is everything you will need for this project! (Except the gloves! Please don’t forget to wear chemical resistant gloves!)

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I started out by stripping the stain by using CitriStrip. Make sure you put on some chemical resistant gloves before you begin! Paint that orange goo on nice and thick and let it sit for 15-30 minutes. I highly recommend putting some thick plastic underneath the piece you’re working on because this stuff is no joke and will ruin your floors, shoes, clothes, etc. Once you’ve let the goo do its work, it’s time to bust out a putty knife and some steel wool. Start with the putty knife and just start scraping the CitriStrip off of your furniture, it should come right off and will take the old stain off with it. I like to use the steel wool for more decorative edges that the putty knife can’t get.

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Woo! Glad that’s over. I swear stripping furniture is the worst part!

Now, take your paint thinner/mineral spirits and wipe down your entire piece.  This will help you to get all the leftover CitriStrip and stain off.IMG_9431

After all of that, it’s time for the fun stuff… POWER TOOLS. If you don’t have a hand sander, I highly suggest you get one because this made things go so much faster! I used very fine sandpaper on my hand sander and it worked out perfectly. You will have to do some manual sanding on the legs or any smaller edges.

Again, wipe down with paint thinner/mineral spirits to remove any dust or CitriStrip you may have missed.

My table had tiny little metal feet that were completely tarnished.  I spent all of this time fixing up the wood that I could not just leave them the way they were.  I was never able to get them completely back to the gold, but Wright’s Copper Cream was a Godsend.  I just wiped it on the legs with the sponge, let it sit for a few minutes, then wiped them off with a damp cloth!

After that has dried, it’s time to start staining. I decided on this Classic Grey Minwax stain. I used a rag to wipe the stain onto the table.  If you’re staining a bigger piece, I recommend working in sections. I let the stain sit for about 15 mins (if you don’t want your piece as dark, you can wipe it off sooner!) For some reason, this wood did NOT want to stain.  I ended up putting a second coat on and just letting it dry without wiping it off.  If your furniture takes the stain well, I don’t recommend this! However, I didn’t have a choice and then I had to wait a week for it to dry completely.IMG_9438

I promise we are almost done! To ensure that your furniture is durable and sealed, you’ll want to use a really good top coat. I was torn between using the Minwax Polycrylic Protective Finish in matte or in the satin.  I think either would be fine but I ended up going with the matte.  I didn’t include this in the picture above but here is the product I ended up using! download

Let the Polycrylic dry for about a week before really using your piece and then ENJOY it!

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Let me see your favorite furniture re-vamp projects!!

Liv

 

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My Summer Reading List

Hey y’all! This post is going to be a little bit outside of the scope of what I usually share with you but I am really trying to get outside of my comfort zone.  I want to share my summer reading list.  One of my goals at the beginning of this year was to read more books that had meaning, not just my usual “beach reads.” Well somehow, this year snuck right by me, as they usually do and now it’s May and I have read about 2.5 books all year.  Oy vey. So, it’s been long overdue that I make good on this resolution and pick up a really good book! Today I joined Reese Witherspoon’s book club Hello Sunshine  to help me find books that will help me do just that. I love that her book club chooses books that are “centered around a complex woman and her unique story” because let’s face it, every woman loves a book with a strong female lead. It’s also Reese Witherspoon’s book club and in my world, she can do no wrong, it was an easy choice.

So, below I’ve shared those five books with you.  Each of them handpicked by me (and some by Reese) with the hopes that each of them will help me grow as the strong female lead in my own story.  Some of them are self-help, some are stories about other women, and some are just meant to provoke your thoughts. I hope that by writing this post and by ordering these books, I am held accountable take the time to stop at the end of each day and settle into the comforting pages of a really good book. I’m not convinced that there is any better self-care than getting lost in a bookstore, in the library or in a really good book. I do my best thinking in a Barnes and Noble… I wish I was kidding, I’m not. Anyway, I’m done rambling on about how much I love books and now I’m just going to share my fab five with you.

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  1. Grace, Not Perfection by Emily Ley – I’m actually in the middle of reading this right now and I love each and every page of this book. Learning to strive for grace, not perfection is not an easy feat for this Type-A girl. I constantly struggle with comparing myself to others, taking on too many projects and beating myself up when I am not perfect.  This book walks you through how to prioritize your commitments, how to simplify your life, and how to give yourself and those around you grace.  After feeling overwhelmed by life and all of my commitments, this book was exactly what I needed and I hope that it does the same for each of you.                  51oTzUGhPjL._SX325_BO1,204,203,200_
  2. The Alice Network by Kate Quinn – This was a Reese Witherspoon book club pick and I am so excited to dig into it! “A female spy recruited to the real-life Alice Network in France during World War I and an unconventional American socialite searching for her cousin in 1947—are brought together in a mesmerizing story of courage and redemption.”                                                                                                          5169YLchmiL._SX321_BO1,204,203,200_
  3. Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close – This book keeps showing up on my Pinterest and on Amazon… so I finally gave in because the description is the best description of life in your 20’s… “Isabella, Mary, and Lauren feel like everyone they know is getting married. On Sunday after Sunday, at bridal shower after bridal shower, they coo over toasters, collect ribbons and wrapping paper, eat minuscule sandwiches and cakes. They wear pastel dresses and drink champagne by the case, but amid the celebration these women have their own lives to contend with: Isabella is working a dead-end job, Mary is dating a nice guy with an awful mother, and Lauren is waitressing at a midtown bar and wondering why she’s attracted to the sleazy bartender.”                                                                                                                                                                                                51Nu-VjkudL
  4. I Thought it Was Just Me (but it isn’t): Making the Journey from “What Will People Think?” to “I am enough.” by Brene Brown – This was a no-brainer for me because Brene Brown is the QUEEN of the social work/therapy world. Her other books were phenomenal and I could watch her TEDx talks over and over again. This book talks about guilt and shame and their impact on our lives, feelings, behaviors, and self-esteem. I’m so excited to read this one and share with my clients.                                    51fRrYZt84L._SX327_BO1,204,203,200_
  5. Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes – This was a last minute find for me but I love everything Shonda Rhimes has done. (I mean you guys, Olivia Pope is life goals.) Shonda explains that she is actually an introvert and struggles with fear and anxiety. To get out of her comfort zone she decided to spend a year saying “YES!” to everything that scared her and to share it with the world… Super excited about this one as well and I’m hoping to have my own “Year of Yes.”

 

Hope you enjoy these as much as I do!

Liv

**This post may contain affiliate links.**

Kiini Swimwear

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Hey y’all! I know I have been doing a ton of swimwear posts recently and I promise that this will be the last one, but it’s almost summer and with Tyler living in FL, it finally being warm in MI, and having gone on vacation less than a month ago, I feel like I’ve been living in my swimsuits! For those of you that know me well, you know I’m very particular about how my swimsuits fit and the materials they are made out of. Let’s be honest, no one likes to sit in a suit that just won’t dry. Some of my favorite swimwear brands are Majji (I own like 6, it’s a problem really.), LSpace, Mara Hoffman, American Eagle and now we can add Kiini to that list.

This suit falls on the more expensive end of my little collection but it was definitely worth it.  The suit does tend to fit a little small, I’m wearing a small bottom and a medium top and that sucker is TIGHT.  This is what I would usually wear in a swimsuit so I would still say order your regular size, but be prepared for it to fit tightly! The nice thing about a tight suit is that it will stay in place during all of your beach or pool adventures. You also can’t go wrong with these fun colors!

I hope y’all are having a fabulous Friday!

Update: I’m so sorry, I’m not sure what happened but this original post got deleted! Here it is again, just in case. Thank you for being patient with me as I figure out this whole website/blog/computer thing.

Liv

Maaji Swimwear

IMG_5758IMG_5770IMG_5777IMG_5785IMG_8730IMG_8684IMG_5792Happy Wednesday from FREEZING cold and very snowy Michigan! I’m still dreaming of the 75-degree weather in Fort Myers that I got to enjoy this weekend, so I wanted to share a sunny post with you all to warm us up! How cute is this suit that I found at the Beach House in Naples’ Waterside Shops? I am obsessed with Maaji swimwear for so many reasons, first, the fabrics they use are beautiful and so well made. I always struggle to find swimsuits with fabric that isn’t flimsy, but I am always impressed with Maaji! Second, I love the fit of Maaji suits. They always have a swimsuit for each body style.  I have a couple of one piece suits from here and multiple mix and match bikinis.

I hope you all are staying warm in this snowy weather! I’m going to go get in my cozy pj’s and plan a vacation for Tyler and I so we can get out of this cold!

XO – Liv

Swimwear Details: Suit – Maaji Swimwear – I found it at the Beach House in the Waterside Shops – here is a link to their site and here is a link to Maaji’s | Sunglasses – RayBan | Flip Flops – J.Crew – don’t be discouraged by the limited sizes, they always bring these back in the spring! |

Christmas at My Parent’s Home

IMG_4195IMG_4194IMG_4196IMG_4188IMG_4190IMG_4204IMG_4185IMG_4183IMG_4181IMG_4186IMG_4199IMG_4200IMG_4201IMG_4210IMG_4208IMG_4224IMG_4227IMG_4229IMG_4231IMG_4218Oh, my goodness! Who else is spent their weekend running around like crazy people? Tyler and I had 5 family Christmas gatherings to go to this weekend, hence why this is just getting posted! I wanted to share with you guys my parent’s beautiful new home decorated for Christmas.  Growing up our house was always decorated to the nines for Christmas and this year was no different.  It’s so magical!  Now I know where I get my love for Christmas decor! But, even with all of the crazy running around it was so nice to spend time with each of our families, I’m so sad it’s over and it’s almost time to take down all of our decorations.

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday with your families and friends. What fun traditions do you all have?

XO – Liv

Home Decor Details:

Sofas – Art Van – no longer available but they have so many similar ones! | Dining Room Set – Pottery Barn – TableChairs | Christmas Trees – Hobby Lobby | Lanterns – Pottery Barn and Hobby Lobby | Birch Trees – Pottery Barn – no longer available | Bar Stools – World Market | Stair Garland – Hobby Lobby – no longer available but they bring it back every year! |