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Geometric Canvas Print DIY


Happy Monday Everyone! Lately, I’ve been trying to figure out a simple but unique way to create wall art for our bedroom. I started looking online but only found things that were outside of my price range or were not really my style. This is usually how most DIYs start for me.

A couple of months ago I decided to pick up A Happy Handmade Home by the lovely ladies over at A Beautiful Mess.  If you like giving a personal touch to your projects this book is a great resource to have on hand. 

I do not consider myself to be artistically talented whatsoever so usually the simpler a project is, the better. One of the tutorials in the book – a DIY Picnic Blanket – caught my eye for that reason. With a few modifications to the steps laid out in the book I was able to use it as inspiration to DIY a geometric canvas print that would work for our space

You don’t need a lot of supplies for this project. Some of them you probably already have laying around your house and everything else can be picked up at any of your local craft stores.  The most expensive item will be your canvas.

Geometric Canvas Print DIY

Geometric Canvas Print DIY
Supplies 
  • 1 stretch canvas of any size – I used a 26 x 22
  • Acrylic paint in the color(s) of your choice – these can be the $1.99 ones
  • Small paintbrush
  • Craft foam
  • Scrap cardboard
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Ruler 

Based on the size of your canvas, determine how large you want each of your triangles to be. The canvas I used was 26 inches tall so I decided to make each triangle 2 inches tall and two inches wide.  This would give me 13 total triangles in each column.  

Use your ruler and scissors to measure and cut your triangle stamps out of the craft foam. I decided to cut out two triangles for each paint color to make it a little easier. Glue the stamps securely to the scrap cardboard and let it dry. 

Geometric Canvas Print DIY

Geometric Canvas Print DIY

Before you begin stamping, determine how many columns will fit on your canvas. With a 22 inch wide canvas, I was able to fit six columns with about 1 1/2 inches between each one. I decided to use three different colors so two columns of each color worked out well.

Using your paintbrush, apply a generous amount of paint to your foam stamp and begin applying it to the canvas. It might be helpful to move your ruler alongside the cardboard to keep it in a straight line. Keep reapplying the paint and stamp until you are happy with the design and the coverage on the canvas.

Geometric Canvas Print DIY

As you can see, the triangles didn’t transfer perfectly from the stamps to the canvas. I ended up liking the imperfections (sometimes I’m a little lazy), but if you want a cleaner look and have a steady hand, take your paint brush and fill in the triangles with a little extra paint.

Geometric Canvas Print DIY   Geometric Canvas Print DIY

This project only took about an hour to complete after collecting all of the supplies and could easily be done with different shapes. I love finding a good source of inspiration and putting my own spin on it.

What kind projects did you guys work on this weekend?

Have a great week, everyone! love, adrienne

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10 Tips to Stay Healthy While Traveling on Business


10 Tips to Stay Healthy While Traveling for Business

My 9-5 job requires quite a bit of travel. A lot of weeks that means leaving the house around 5 am on Monday morning and getting back late Friday night.  It can be exhausting and can quickly throw off any of my well-intentioned healthy eating and exercise goals.

In September, I spent the entire month traveling for work. Because of the long hours we spent working on a project my company catered the majority of the meals from chain restaurants in the area. I won’t deny how amazing this seemed at first, but after a couple of days I realized I had probably consumed more sodium than I normally do in an entire month.

I’m sure a lot of you can relate. Traveling for business often means eating out for breakfast, lunch and dinner and having less opportunities to squeeze in some exercise throughout the day. I’m back on the road again this week so today we’re talking about 10 ways that, with a little planning, can help you stay on track with your goals if you find yourself in a similar situation.

1. Research local restaurants

Do a little research before you leave on your business trip. Check out sites like Yelp and Urbanspoon to see what sort of restaurants are near your job site. Experiencing new food can be one of the greatest parts of traveling and healthy eating doesn’t have to mean flavorless food. Try to look for places that have more nutritious options on their menu.

I typically travel to the Washington D.C. area and there is a great place here (and up the east coast), called SweetGreen. They primarily serve salads, wraps and rice bowls, but what’s really inspiring about this place is that they partner with local organic farmers to use quality ingredients. Their menu changes regularly based on the fruits and vegetables that are in season. Finding places like this can give you the best of both worlds – great tasting and good for you.

2. Pack your running shoes

I know what you’re thinking. Running shoes can be bulky and take up prime real estate in an already packed carry on, but do your best to squeeze them in there. This way you won’t have an excuse to skip out on exercise throughout the week.

3. Bring a few healthy snacks for the airport

Airports can be very tempting places. Dunkin Donuts, McDonald’s, Five Guys – these are just a few of the establishments that are usually found in airports. It’s easy to wind up at one of them while waiting for your flight or killing time during a layover. Instead, try throwing a couple of granola bars or a pack of mixed nuts in your bag to hold you over.

4. Stop at a local grocery store

The first day I arrive I usually find a local grocery store and pick up some fresh fruit and vegetables to snack on throughout the week. Having a couple of apples, bananas or carrots on hand will help you avoid unnecessary sugary snacks and give you something to munch on while spending time in your hotel room.

5. Choose a hotel that offers an in room refrigerator

To piggy back off #4, having a refrigerator in your hotel room can give you a lot more options. You can pick up more of those food items that you normally buy at home. This can be an easy way to stick to your normal routine and stay on track if you are working hard to make healthier choices.

6. Request a room close to the hotel gym

This one might make me sound a little bit lazy, but I am much more likely to go to the hotel gym if its super close to my room. You can pop in and out for a quick workout or walk on the treadmill. Most hotels these days have gyms, and with a lot of companies you can include your travel preferences when you book your trip.  I usually stay at the same hotel every time, so I request a room on the first floor near the gym.

7. Look for gyms or workout studios that offer trial classes

For a long time I had a membership with a yoga studio in my hometown and I loved it, but when I started traveling for work I wasn’t able to go nearly enough to get my moneys worth. I decided it didn’t make financial sense to pay monthly for something I wasn’t using so I ended up canceling it. However, I know that a lot of gyms and other types of workout studios will offer free or reduced rate trial periods or classes. Do a little research about the area, and find out if there’s a place nearby that offers a fun workout class free for first timers.

8. Explore the area on foot

Instead of driving everywhere, make an effort to explore the area on foot. Head to the downtown area and check out the local shops and restaurants. Another option would be to talk to the employees at the hotel – ask them if there a safe walking trail nearby or a lake where you can get in a quick jog. Even a quick walk can be very beneficial after a long day at the office.

9. Do some basic exercises in your room

If you don’t feel like heading to the hotel gym or have time to find a local class, you can always do some basic exercises in your hotel room. This is especially true now as the weather is starting to get colder and the days are getting shorter. There are several types of exercises you can do even without a lot of space. Try doing some planks, wall sits, push ups or squats while you watch TV. A short workout is always better than no workout.

10. Make a plan and stick to it

For me, this meant deciding that I was going to make healthier choices when it came to meals and snacking and sticking to it. What’s convenient isn’t always what’s best. Continuous travel is definitely something that can challenge your dedication to a healthier lifestyle, but with a little planning and some good old fashioned will power you can still meet your goals even if your job requires you to be a road warrior.

What types of challenges do you face on the road? What techniques do you use to stay on track? Do you have any tips or tricks that help you make healthier choices away from home?

P.S. The beautiful photo above is by Sylwia Bartyzel and is posted on Unsplash.

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Before & After: Old Dresser gets a Modern Makeover


Before & After: Old Dresser get a Modern Makeover

There has always been this part of me that struggles with getting rid of stuff. Sometimes it can be a bad habit, but I will usually try to think of creative ways to bring new life to something that might otherwise be headed for the dumpster. 

So a few months ago, a friend at work told me she was getting rid of some old furniture and asked if I was interested in taking anything. Naturally, my wheels started turning. I started scanning my brain: what was our house missing? Were there any awkward spaces that needed to be filled?

The answer probably should have been no, but of course I came up with something. I mean, why not? She was giving it away – for free guys, come on! I quickly glanced at one of the photos she showed me – an old wooden dresser – and decided that with a little TLC it would make the perfect buffet table in our dining room. In hindsight, I should have looked at the picture a bit closer. This project turned out to be way more time consuming and labor intensive than I thought.  

Anyways, my co-worker and I made plans for her to drop off the old dresser that weekend.  I had conveniently forgotten to mention to Derek that a giant piece of furniture would soon be arriving and he would need to maneuver it up the stairs and into the house. I would be willing to bet that the word “HOARDERS” occasionally flashes across his mind in bright neon letters so I think its better to just surprise him sometimes.

Before & After: Old Dresser get a Modern Makeover

Well, the dresser arrived in all its glory.  And by that I mean, I definitely should have looked at the picture a lot closer because…

HOW WAS I GOING TO SAVE THIS, AGAIN?

Its weird how when you see things in real life they look completely different than how you remember them.  That seems to happen to me a lot. Let’s just pretend like I have a good imagination. In any case, it was too late to go back now and I had already promised Derek he wouldn’t have to lift a finger to help me restore it.

Oops.

As you can probably tell, this thing needed a lot of help.  There were dents and chips in the wood. The front legs looked like they were about to buckle and the decorative wood piece on the bottom was not my style.

For a while it just sat in our dining room. I couldn’t quite figure out where to start.

I usually lean towards the natural wood look, but there were so many chunks missing I finally decided a fresh coat of paint (or four if I’m being completely honest) would go a long way. Since we’re renting and probably won’t be buying a house for another couple years, I decided on a simple glossy white paint that would be easy to match in the future.

Before & After: Old Dresser get a Modern Makeover

Before & After: Old Dresser get a Modern Makeover   Before & After: Old Dresser get a Modern Makeover

But before we could paint, we had to sand.

And sand.

And sand some more. 

Or should I say, Derek had to sand.

And sand.

And sand some more.  

We filled in the holes from the old hardware with putty and decided to use a hand saw to chop off all four legs and the decorative piece on the bottom. At this point, I still hadn’t figured out how were were going to replace the feet but I was feeling better.

Before & After: Old Dresser get a Modern Makeover

Then came the three coats of Kilz Primer, and the four coats of Valspar Ultra Gloss White Paint. Even though the paint was also a primer, we chose to do the Kilz underneath and the white turned out very bright on the dresser. The whole painting process took a couple of weekends to complete while we waited for the dresser to dry between coats.

Before & After: Old Dresser get a Modern Makeover

Before & After: Old Dresser get a Modern Makeover

Before & After: Old Dresser get a Modern Makeover

At this point, I knew we were nearing the finish line but I wasn’t sure how to replace the legs we had chopped off. I liked the look of the dresser as it was but it was a little on the short side. We bought casters but returned them a couple weeks later. Fortunately, we found some simple legs that were the same size as the stubs sticking off of the dresser. I decided that painting the legs a different color might give the dresser a little more personality, but to keep it simple and clean I chose to do them in a glossy black. Priming and painting the legs only took an afternoon.

Before & After: Old Dresser get a Modern Makeover

Before & After: Old Dresser get a Modern Makeover

Finally, we settled on some new hardware – these knobs for the smaller two drawers, and handles similar to these for the bottom, bigger drawers.

Voila!

Before & After: Old Dresser get a Modern Makeover

Before & After: Old Dresser get a Modern Makeover

Before & After: Old Dresser get a Modern Makeover   Before & After: Old Dresser get a Modern Makeover

Before & After: Old Dresser get a Modern Makeover

A few words of advice

If you’re  interested in upcycling old furniture, make sure you feel comfortable using an automatic sander or a power drill. It’s easy for these tools to get away from you if you’re not used to them. Make sure you work with someone more experienced who can show you the ropes a little bit. Don’t worry, power tools aren’t my thing either but I’m slowly learning. I would also recommend wearing a pair of safety goggles when working with the power drill and sander, just in case. Especially if you’re clumsy like me.

This was definitely a bigger project than I had in mind when I first said yes to taking the dresser, but I am really happy with how it turned out. There are still some imperfections, but I love the clean lines and classic look of the black and white. Its something different than I usually go for.

I’m on the hunt for my next project, but I think I’ll try to be a bit more selective this time around. I imagine upcycling old furniture is similar to having kids – you forget how painful the process was because what you made was just that AWESOME!

I’m 100% joking.

TOTALLY NOT THE SAME THING!

I hope this gave you guys a little inspiration if there’s a special piece of furniture just squatting around your house. Have a good week everyone! love, adrienne