DIY Accent Stool – Repurposed Barstool

I purchased two barstools back in 2011 for $6.00. I’m sure you’re asking me why I still have those stools, but honestly I knew that I would be able to put them to good use at some point. I originally purchased them to move into an apartment my senior year of college, but that ended up falling through and I moved back home… But for some reason, I kept the stools.

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Fast forward to 9 years later, I finally knew what I wanted to do with the barstools, I wanted to repurpose them into accent stools for my bathroom.

I ended up using supplies and tools that I already had at home so this project literally cost me $0.00 out of pocket. I’ll admit that it did take a bit of time to cut down the legs, sand, stain, prime, and paint… but I couldn’t be happier with the results.

Here’s the before and after!

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If you’re interested in completing a project like this at home here’s what you need. I’ve also outlined the steps for you below. CLICK HERE for a visual of my entire process.

Tools/Supplies

Method

  1. If your stool is assembled, use your drill or screwdriver to take it apart.
  2. If required, cut down the stool legs to your desired length.
  3. Using your sander and 80 grit sandpaper, sand the wood pieces you plan on using in your finished stool. You want to make sure there’s no paint or gloss on the wood pieces.
  4. Once all the old paint or gloss is removed, re-sand with the 120 grit sandpaper. This step ensures a smooth finish for the stain, paint, and polyurethane.
  5. Stain the legs of your stool and let dry completely.
  6. While your stain dries, prime the top of your stool.
  7. After the legs of your stool have dried, tape of your legs at the desired height using painters tape.
  8. Once legs are taped off, use a foam roller to paint primer to the top half of the stool, remove painters tape, and let dry.
  9. After the primer is dry, retape the legs and paint the legs and stool top with your desired paint color. Remove the tape while the paint is still wet and let it dry for 2 hours.
  10. After the paint has dried, re-tape the legs and paint the top and legs on final time. Remove the tape while the paint is still wet and then let the paint dry completely.
  11. Once the paint is dry, use a foam roller to coat the stool in an initial layer of polyurethane on the legs and top and let dry for 20 minutes. Recoat two more times.
  12. Let the stool dry overnight to cure.
  13. Once dry, reassemble the stool!

4 Tips for a Socially Distant Birthday Party

My baby girl turned 1 this week. It was such an amazing day of excitement, reflection, and family… But it was much different than your typical 1st birthday celebration.

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It is crazy to think that only a few months ago I was planning her birthday party. I had a theme, guest list, and was scouting out party locations. I love hosting, entertaing, and party planning (thus the “party” in my blog name) and this was a celebration I had been looking forward to for quite some time. A few weeks into social distancing I realized her first birthday was not going to  pan out the way I envisioned.

This week, I decided that I was still going to “go all out” for her birthday. I was going to decorate, bake a cake, get balloons, take photos, and have cake and ice cream with our entire family (grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins). I just had to figure out how to make it all happen while following social distancing guidelines. I know some people might find my precautions extreme BUT because I have an immunocompromised relative in my family, I’m taking the “better safe than sorry” approach.

I wanted to share with you how we celebrated, along with some tips for throwing a safe and budget friendly socially distant birthday party!

Keep the Guest List Small

As much as I wanted to invite our entire support system to the 1st birthday celebration, it just wasn’t an option. We decided to keep our guest list to just family (aunts, uncles, and grandparents). We came up with time slots and shared the availability with the family. This actually ended up being a great approach because it kept our birthday girl from being over stimulated AND we only had a few people over at a time. If we had hosted a traditional style party we would have had 17 family members at the house at one time.2020-05-28-11.54.09-1

Keep the Budget Small

I know it seems like a no brainer, but it’s not always easy when it comes to a celebration. For the decorations I reused some tassles I had from a babyshower we hosted a few years back. I purchased the balloons from the dollar store, and made my own cupcakes and smash cake. I even made a cake stand for less than $2.00! You can find an easy tutorial for this DIY by watching the video below!

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Rethink the Traditional Cake and Ice Cream

Instead of making one big cake for everyone to share, I made cupcakes and packaged them individually. I was sure to wear a mask when handling and decorating and kept the mask on until the cupcakes were packaged into individual cupcake boxes. The boxes served a dual purpose — the packaging kept the cupcakes germ free and allowed anyone that stoped by to pick out their cupcake of choice. I ordered these adorable cupcake boxes off of amazon and loved that they were easy to assemble and super sturdy.

I also purchased individually packaged ice cream as an extra precaution. They’re the perfect serving size, don’t require separate bowls, and keep things germ free. 2020-05-28-11.53.28-1

I used Snixy Kitchen’s Spiced Banana Date Cake recipe for the smash cake (I used a whole weat/oat flour blend)! I loved that the smash cake wasn’t overly sweet. Our girl still LOVED the cake and frosting and I didn’t have the guilt of loading her up on refined sugar.2020-05-28-11.55.06-1

Offer a Live Stream but Keep Things Simple

Again, we wanted our entire family to be able to see our girl enjoy her first slice of cake but if I’m being honest, I think we all are experiencing a bit of video chat burnout.

I shared a Zoom video link and let the family know that they were welcome to log in and see our girl eat cake! I was also very open in stating that it wasn’t a “virtual birthday party”.  Folks could log in, watch her devour her cake, and then log off whenever they wanted. Everyone felt included but there was no expectation for them to be tuned in for a long virtual event.

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I hope that these tips are helpful and provide a fun way for you to celebrate a special milestone in the age of social distancing. This approach can be tailored for all sorts of birthdays and milestones, not just 1st birthday parties!

Kiddie Gourmet: Veggie Pasta with Meatballs and Mozzarella

When my baby started eating solids I knew that I wanted to introduce her to as many flavors, textures, and ingredients as I could.

I did a lot of research on baby food and came across quite a few companies that prepared flavor and nutrient packed infant meals (Yumi, Little Spoon, and Nurture Life to name a few). I loved that these companies provided healthy, organic, and flavor packed meals but the reality is that I just can’t afford to spend upwards of $7.50 PER MEAL! While the price tags for these food plans might work for some people, the reality is that we can’t afford that. I don’t even spend $7.50 per meal on our adult meal planning.

I was determined to come up with some easy meals that I could make in bulk, freeze, and that wouldn’t break the bank! I package my meals in these amazing wide mouth 4oz canning jars I got on amazon (and I love that they’re freezer friendly and reusable). Processed with VSCO with  preset

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