TV Armoire to Office Armoire

When Wayfair contacted me a few weeks back
about a DIY challenge that they were offering to several bloggers,
I was so excited!

The challenge was to turn a piece of furniture of my choice into something else.

I chose this: also gave me a $50 giftcard to buy supplies 
with which to complete said transformation.

My high school senior daughter Miss A's office armoire project
has been on my to-do list for a few months.

It had held a TV, but we made a theater space in our basement and the TV went there.
It already has a slide out shelf, perfect for the monitor and keyboard
to be slid out to make room to sit and surf work.
 Instead of selling it on Craigslist, we thought it could be put to better use.
It looked like this before I started transforming it.

When my coffee table arrived, I set to work
measuring it, cutting it in half, and turning it upside down.

I went to Hobby Lobby, Michael's, and Lowe's 
and got a few things with my gift card:
three different fabrics 
(a chevron pattern for the back, 
a houndstooth to cover the bins,
and a Parisian script pattern for a pillow),
glue and scrapbook paper to cover the ugly Dell mouse pad,
Zinsser Cover Stain primer and rollers to apply it,
L-brackets and flat brackets,
two bin handles,
a pre-made flag banner, 
a cardboard "A", 
two polka-dotted bins to organize school supplies,
and some paint:
(I was originally going to paint the inside blue but decided to use) 
Valspar's Frappe, a creamy pale greige color.

{That was fun!}

I then started assembling the table pieces to resemble a box 
that would fit up inside the armoire for shelving.
{I also had a cup of coffee. OK, I had many cups of coffee.}

I cut out cardboard to fit the inside back of the armoire 
and hot glued fabric and handles to the bins that came with the table.

I cut out cardboard and rolled cork to fit inside a door panel.
I hot-glued them together and painted it black.

The table then got hoisted into place
(with the help of my girls) and secured with shelf pins and screws.
I was relieved and extremely proud of myself that it actually fit!
All that measuring twice, cutting once stuff does work!

After sewing a pillow, 
framing some pictures, 
covering some books with craft paper and labeling them,
printing out a calendar,
painting D-A-N-C-E on banner flags,
with the help of Miss S, the college girl (thank you!),
we declared, "It is finished!"

And here are the befores and afters.

I wanted to encourage my daughter that she could finish
her last year of high school with hope for her future!

She wants to take International Studies in college
and go to Korea and teach English.

She fell in love with Korea 
when we had an exchange student from Ansan with us last year. 
We now call Hyojin a sister and daughter.
Here is the post about our year with Hyojin.

She is a dancer, and prefers Hip Hop style to anything else.
Her Senior Project is, in fact, a K-Pop flash dance mob.

You can print out your own adorable and free owl calendar HERE.

Funny friends and my daughters and my Asian children running to the Atlantic Ocean.

Bins to hold homework and what-not.

I found the polka-dotted, handled bins in the craft organizing section at Michael's.

I did some research and discovered that 
as long as it is elevated and turned in the correct direction,
the PC tower can be turned on its side.
It's OK, too, because we never use this PC to run CDs.

Miss A loves her new space 
and I am honored to have been chosen 
by Wayfair and to 
be given the items and means 
to transform this into a one-of-a-kind
Senior Project Center/Office Armoire!
Thank you!

Check out the Pinterest Board featuring the rest of the DIY Bloggers, HERE.
I couldn't believe some of the fantastic and creative ideas they came up with!

Have you got an old armoire that needs help?
Here are some more ideas:


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LET.IT.GO. Book Giveaway Winners

Hi, friends!
I apologize for not posting the winners a few days ago.
I was in Florida for Thanksgiving and unable to access the internet for days.
It's okay, though, I needed the rest.

So, as soon as I could, I went to
and had two numbers generated, and they were #1 and #5!

These numbers belong to 
(she has a great blog with lots of organizing help! Go check it out!)

Amanda (pbear) also won a copy of the book.
I have emailed you both.

Stay tuned for my next post!
I am extremely relieved to have finally finished our TV armoire project.
It is now my high school senior daughter's office!


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Holiday Perfectionism :: LET IT GO

definition: the demand for the highest standard of excellence. 

I know some sure-fire ways to lose your Christianity during the holidays
(because I have done this a time or two myself) and here they are:
give yourself and everyone else unrealistic expectations, 
put unreasonable demands upon your budget, home, and family, 
place extra pressure on this time of year to out-perform the rest of the year.

Why do we put so much pressure on the holidays to live up to 
some sort of higher standard than the rest of the days of the year?
Who sets the requirements for the Christmas season?
What happened that we allow Pinterest, HGTV, decorating blogs, BHG, or
Martha Stewart to decide our version of perfection?
Where have our priorities ended up that we are more worried about
traditions, gift giving, togetherness, religious celebrations, decorating, sleigh rides, and baking
than we are the reason for why we do it all?
How can we keep our focus on what's truly important this time of year?

I believe we need to wake up every morning 
and remind ourselves of what really happened.

Remember Mary and Joseph?
They were travelling, probably with few possessions and enough food and money to be able to 
register for the census in Bethlehem and make it back home to Nazareth.
Their plans didn't include shopping for gifts,
baking 12 dozen cookies and a ham (definitely NOT a ham),
or stringing lights on a Christmas tree.
The closest they got to spending time with lots of people together under one roof
was at the inn where they were turned away 
because there was no bed or breakfast available for them.
I've heard that there wasn't even a Hobby Lobby in Bethlehem!

My goal this season is to be less worried about perfectionism
and more focused on the Perfect One.
How about you?


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Hello, Lord.
We need to talk.
Something has been bothering me for quite some time now.
I need to air some grievances and address the injustices 
that my circumstance has caused me.

This is hard for me to talk to You about because I love to think 
that I impress people with my supreme homemaking abilities.

Okay, here goes.

It's about this house.

Others think that I always have the house immaculate and exquisitely decorated, 
the floors scrubbed, everything vacuumed and in its place. 
I don't quite know where they got that notion?
Perhaps because most pictures I take are staged?

But You and I know, that in reality,
I have piles of dirty laundry, waiting to be washed and dried.
Baskets of clean linens waiting to be ironed.
Socks waiting to be paired.
Hangers waiting to be utilized.
Someone's always staining something, which then becomes my chore.
My dilemma.
They just toss it in the pile, and I'm supposed to take it from there.
Exemption for them, affliction for me.

And since you're listening,
I also thought I'd mention something else.
I hate cleaning the bathroom, Lord.
It's gross. 
Why does my family's poop have to stink?
Why must their body waste leave me with a toilet to scrub? 
A shower to scour?
A sink to wipe?
Toothpaste splatters on the mirror to scrape off?
Hair in the corner, behind the door?
Just yuck.

Have you seen what's happening here, God?
It's unbelievable!
What about all this stuff on the counter, Lord?
What is wrong with the drawers?
Are the drawers broken?
Are their hands broken?
Can't they see the clutter and disarray?
How is anything useful when it is scattered amongst all the other paraphernalia?
Why can't they just put things where they belong?
How come they treat their things like this?

See this dust, God?
What a nuisance.
Couldn't you have just not invented it?
No matter how many times I wipe it away, it always comes back.
It just settles there, taunting me, waiting for the feather duster.
So, I dust it. 
So, what does it get me?
As soon as the feather duster is out of sight,
the particles make an even more voluminous comeback, 
only to start the cycle of
mockery once again!

Not fair.

And another thing!
These children you gave me 
never make their beds when they know that it pleases me,
nor do they come the first time I call, 
nor have their dishes land squarely in the dishwasher 
when they are through eating 
Selective hearing I've heard it called.
Honestly, where did they learn this behavior?

Since You're interested, let me ask You something else.
Why does everyone walk by the dishwasher when it needs to be emptied?
One would think they'd take the hint when I open the door!
Instead, they shuffle by, on their way to another destination that
is somehow more important at that moment.
Like the coffee maker for some caffeine, the sink for a glass of water,
or the fridge to find a bite to eat, as if that's more important than serving ME!

My life would be so much easier if I didn't have all these obstacles.

You surely know that I could get so much more out of life!

My days, 
my months, 
my years 
would go much more smoothly  if I weren't constantly interrupted by 

So, Lord, I now ask you...would it be too much 

if I even occasionally 
got a little bit of cooperation,
a smidgen of appreciation,
a whisper of praise?

A speck of love?

A fraction of gratitude?

Well, would it?

What's that?
Did you say something?

How often do I say thanks?
To You?

But haven't you seen the messes?

You've seen MY mess?

Are You blind to the turmoil this dirt causes me?

You came to clean MY dirt?
My heart?
My sin-laden soul is now spotless?

I have let my pride keep me from thanksgiving and praise to You?

Lord, I agree that I have a fading memory,
and I love to neatly forget Your mercy.
I conveniently fold and stow away Your grace.
I scrub out the remainders of Your salvation.

You don't care about the condition of my house, 
as much as You care about the condition of my heart.

Dirty dishes or dirty mind?
Cluttered counters or improper motives?
Messy martyr or sympathetic servant?

God, remind me of how wonderful You are and restore the joy of my thanksgiving!

Make me grateful, I pray.



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An Organized {& simplified} Makeup Vanity Drawer

I use my master bath vanity drawer several times daily.
And although I didn't store many things in here to begin with,
I still found myself wasting time digging in and around and under things 
to find that one thing that I needed.
What a waste of time!

Only daily-use items needed to be in this drawer.
Other products, like lotion and hair spray, are now under my sink.

I also didn't really find the white plastic bins that we bought 
when we first moved in this home to be useful or beautiful.
I used to buy a new mascara/polish/blush/fill-in-the-blank
regardless if I needed a new one or not, 
and, right before taking the picture below,
I purged quite a collection of barely used and unloved products.

So I wondered:
what if I started spending a little bit more on that one quality item 
that I know would work with my skin tone and eye color?

Would I be wasting money?
Would I be saving time?

I went to Sephora at the mall, had a makeover,
learned about the colors that were right for me,
and got a few things that I love and will use.

These scissors, combs, and clips weren't used daily,
so they went under my sink into a zippered bag
with other hair trimming/shaving items.

I threw away the fingernail files and bought a quality new one
that had several sides' worth of filing smoothnesses.

I wasn't truly fond of any of these polishes, 
so they got put into the donation bin.

I spied this bamboo drawer organizer at Wal-Mart, of all places.
And, to it, I added the products that I'd bought to go with my skin tone.

The only products I need and actually use:

Buxom mascara
NYX eyeshadow collections
NYX lipsticks in purple and red
MAC Lipglass lipgloss
an eyelash curler
nail polish in colors I like
Mac Pigment (for eyeshadow, blush, or lip color)
Mac eyeshadow
Mac Cremeblend Blush
eyeliners in brown, olive, and black
(I already loved) Smashbox High Definition Concealer
Banana Boat Face SPF 30

I also don't use parfum/perfume.
I love Aura Blends Brand, 
the scent Egyptian Goddess,
found at Whole Foods 
(it's next to the deodorant, below).

I used to have eight makeup brushes.
However, I only kept reaching 
for the all-over face brush and eyeshadow brush.
So I kept those and ditched the rest.

Pure Ice has fun nail polish colors and I only use/need these.

Nail care, simplified.

I have finally gotten to the point in my life
where I finally believe that less is truly more!

And whereas I used to say it and encourage it,
now I am actually living it, and I love it!

Little by little, I have been paring down the things in my home
to those things that I actually find to be useful and beautiful.

I have learned to discern my wants from needs,
I have learned to tell clutter from useful items,
stress from simplicity.

As I move from space to space,
I am realizing that I came to this place naked 
and I shall leave this place naked.
All my stuff ought to either 
enhance my life or enable me to bless others,
not just occupy space.

I decided that I would no longer use my precious time 
moving things from one spot to another in an attempt to "organize" it,
or continue to buy more "organizers" in attempt to neatly display
what is really clutter since I am not using it. 

And I started with this drawer 
that I use every day.

Where can you start?


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I am joining the fun over at Leanne's place for her weekly

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