Friday, December 19, 2014

The Gate Debate

Who knew the color of a playroom gate would spark so much debate! We asked you a month ago what we should do with our playroom gate and BOY did you all give us some great ideas. To remind you, we had a structurally finished gate into the playroom (more on how we built the gates later) but we didn't really know how we wanted to finish it.

The main concerns with white paint was the dirty toddler fingers constantly touching the gate. I liked the idea of stain since we could keep a little bit of the wood grain showing and minimize fingerprints but after an overwhelming vote for a pop of color, I decided to give it a try.

I picked up a test jar of reddish orange paint (Valspar Woodlawn Salsa) and to try and keep the wood grain showing, I mixed a small amount of paint with some water.

I used a foam brush to wipe on the painty water (this is fairly messy if you try it).

Once I covered the whole gate, I used some paper towels to wipe down the gate removing any extra liquid. The result kind of a broken in look to it. 

I think I like it. I'm letting myself sit on it for a bit before I give it the true thumbs up or down. I like that the grain shows through and if when it gets all banged up from toys being pushed through, I won't care since it already looks a little beat up. I'm still not 100% sold on the color though.

What do you think? 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Playroom Table

Last week we showed you how we took a well loved playroom table and gave it a new life for Will's new room. After some dry time, we were able to finally get it into the playroom.

I feel like you can get a much better idea about the scale of the table in place. It's the perfect toddler size and it fits the space with plenty of room around the sides for walking. We have it close enough to the bench so that an adult can also sit at the table without having to sit on the little seats (although Will sometimes insists on it).

Since I didn't have any finished pictures of the buckets last week, I thought I would share them now with how we attached them.

We found these little metal buckets at Lowe's and Nate took of the metal handles off leaving the attachment pieces. He bent them so they were level with the top of the bucket.

Once I was done painting the table, I used some small screws and a washer to attach the buckets to the underside of the table. This took a few tries since the only small screws I could find turned out to be aluminum so I kept popping the heads off the screws.

After a good amount of trial and error with pre-drilling, I finally got the screws in and the buckets were solidly held in place.

I was nervous about the size of the table initially but now that it's in the room and all finished I'm loving the little table and the functionality it provides. Will also loves having his own table to play at.

We are down to a short list of little things to finish up in this space. We also have a DIY Christmas present planned for Will that is going in here so we may have to do some toy weeding out before then.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Twenty Months

Right Now I'm:
  • Loving to eat things out of something (bucket, bag, etc) 
  • Wanting to drink out of regular cups and glasses
  • Notifying mom and dad when I need a diaper change (potty training here we come!)
  • Following simply directions (when I feel like it)
  • Saying a lot but not everyone understands
  • Frustrated when I don't get what I want (see above)
  • Running into my room everyday after daycare to get "eddy" and "wovie" 
  • Singing EIEIO a lot (haven't figured out the rest of the song yet) and sometimes Twinkle Twinkle/ABC's (all you big people know that's the same song right?)
  • Pounding my chest if I want my paci

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Playroom Table Rehab

Guess What?! We're baaaack!

After a few weeks without my MacBook (and therefore all the data on it) it is now better than ever and ready to deliver so awesome posts. I definitely missed this as an outlet but my total hard drive meltdown did come at kind of ok time since I've had to study for finals and prep finals to give. As of tomorrow I'm officially on break (from 2 out of 3 jobs... research never quits) and I'm really looking forward to it.

We're still working on finishing up the playroom and a local church happened to be completely redoing their daycare and giving away all the old kid furniture. Nate and Will went to check it out and sent me pics of things while I was at work. They came home with some pretty awesome, albeit beat up, things. One of which was this play table and 4 little chairs.

It had definitely seen better day and the veneer on top was definitely not our style but it is solid wood and the perfect Will size.

We've had some issue in the past with trying to take veneer off of furniture only to find that there is particle board underneath. So, we inspected the table pretty carefully before deciding to try and pull it off. Luckily, after a few pieces chipped off, it was clear that the top was also solid wood. Score!

The veneer is held down by some pretty awesome glue and so we picked up a heat gun (I don't know why we didn't already have one... it was only $17) and proceeded to melt the glue and slowly pull up the veneer.

Having the right tool for a job is key to not ending up hurt/swearing and the heat gun was definitely the right tool. It took all of 20 min to completely remove the veneer.

Next perfect tool for the job? Belt sander. After the veneer came off we were still left with a lot of glue residue. Three rounds of sanding (rough, medium, fine sandpaper) with our belt sander completely removed the glue and gave us a smooth clean surface.

I completely wiped the table down (and you can see another project in the back). I swear I also took pictures of the staining process but somewhere in the whole computer failure process I have no idea where they went. So, after I cleaned the table, I stained it. I find getting the wood wet right before staining gives it a better color.

We also decided to trick out the table a bit. Nate drilled two of these holes in the top. I sanded them down, painted the inside and attached buckets underneath to hold legos or eventually crayons and markers. (Once again mysteriously disappearing pictures so I only have this one close up of the process)

With the top of the table in much better shape, it was time to deal with the rest. We decided to paint the chairs and the base of the table a bright fun color (that we already happened to have)

Que perfect tool number 3. We decided to finally get a paint sprayer. I've heard a lot of bad things about different sprayers but I like this one a lot. It's super easy to use, didn't use nearly as much paint as I thought it would, and was easy to clean. It's a Wagner PaintReady Sprayer and it made this next part super easy.

Bam. Wasn't that fast?

In reality, it took two coats (just under one bucket of paint for the sprayer) and about an hour to spray everything (with a break between coats). I was nervous at first because the paint looked a little blobby going on (see the chair below) but it dried perfectly! I did use this mixed into the paint to give better coverage and smoothness.

I flipped the table back over once the paint was dry and handprinted the edge of the table and the inside of the holes. Then I finished the top with a few layers of poly. Then it was time to let it really cure.

I can't wait to show you how our new to us set looks in the playroom!

*This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting Seesaws and Sawhorses

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Life Lessons + $200 Amazon Giveaway!

I'm still in grad school so it's common for me to feel like information is constantly being stuffed into my head and I'm pretty used to that. Sometimes though, life knowledge is stuffed down my throat in an overwhelming fashion. In retrospect it's a good reminder that no matter how much you know there is always more to learn but in the moment it was an emotional roller coaster.

Things I learned:

Mac Software updates hate me. I was able to recover functionality after Mavericks after a week and Yosemite seemed to update without a hitch, but the bug fixes to Yosemite officially killed my hard drive.

Whatever you do, DO NOT shut down your computer halfway through an update. Even if it has been stuck at 50% for 6 hours, just don't touch it. I know you want to. I know like it seems like it will never finish... but don't touch that power button. In my case that's what put the final screw in my hard drive's coffin although I'm told that it was on it's way out anyway.

Even if you think Time Machine is backing up your computer, it may not be so have a manual back up of important things. It's pretty devastating to have someone tell you your backup isn't anywhere and so all your files are gone.

Some creative thinking can save your files but it takes hours to back it up. Try not to bring your toddler with you to the Apple store if you have to do this since you can't leave your computer while it's backing up (luckily Nate was with me).

Having to watch Every. Single. File. get backed up makes you realize that you might want to clean out your email, trash, and downloads a little more often

It's a bad idea to wear a red shirt in an Apple store.

If your hard drive has to fail, having it fail 7 days before the warranty is up is awesome. Having Apple claim you have massive water damage to your laptop (when nothing has ever been spilled on it) that voids said warranty and will cost $750 to fix is basically the worst thing in the world. Especially when the computer worked perfectly a week ago.

Partially deconstructing a 24 lb turkey is a full workout and requires more anatomy skills than anticipated. While the results were very yummy, I don't know if it was worth the effort.

You can make an amazing GF stuffing

You can burn carrots

Spending one full day at the Apple store and then the next day cooking and hosting Pre-Thanksgiving apparently makes you sleep through your alarm ... and give a test with the answer key still attached...

There are some honest students still out there.

Information OVERLOAD. I also neglected to get any pictures of our party which has happened so many years in a row it has become a tradition right along with the party.

So if your Thanksgiving week is hitting you in the face like mine is, I have an awesome remedy for you...MONEY! Everybody wants a little spending money for Christmas right? Well now's your chance to win $200 to Amazon!!

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Safavieh Playroom Rug

I've known for months now what rug I wanted in the playroom. Young House Love found one at Home Goods last January and I just fell in love with the pattern. It is a Safavieh hand woven sumak wool rug and it took some searching, but I did eventually find it at Overstock

Now we tend to be cheap when it comes to rugs. We have dogs, we spill, we leave banana on the ground to be stepped on (well only one of us does that... ) so we tend to gravitate towards the remnant rugs at Lowe's that you can get for $80.

That's what we had in the playroom for the last few months. This cheapo from Lowe's is actually folded over in half on the floor... it worked as a temporary soft surface but it was on my scratch list.

We wanted a nicer rug for the playroom but nicer tends to include a large price tag and the one I wanted definitely did. Overstock claims this rug's MSRP is about $1200 (which I'm sure is inflated to make you think you're getting a good deal) and over the last year has varied in price from just under $400 to about $290 (it's on sale right now!). For us this is still a pretty hefty price tag for a rug so I kept watching and putting money aside for it.

Well, a couple of weeks ago it dropped to $270 and I had a one day coupon code for $30 off a purchase over $200. I still hemmed and hawed a bit but then pulled the trigger under a few conditions. Mine was that I had to be done with ALL of the painting in the room before it went down and Nate's was that we had to make a concerted effort to treat it to protect from stains.

It definitely hung out in it's packaging for about a week and a half giving me the incentive to finish the painting and then finally, I was able to roll it out.


This rug is about a foot longer than the folded in half one so it fits better in the space and it makes the room feel 10x brighter. As the reviews state, it's not really brown but more ivory and grey which was awesome because that was what I wanted and the "brown" one was $50 cheaper than the "grey" one.

I love the pattern and texture and you can't tell at all that we have foam boards under it for added playing padding. It's also great for playing with cars with the low pile. I'm so glad we decided to get it and I catch myself just staring at the room now.

We'll have more details of the playroom coming, but this is up there as one of my favorite. Oh, if you're interested, we used Scotchgaurd Carpet protector to protect the rug and sprayed it with diluted vinegar to try and keep the dogs from having accidents on it. We'll let you know how it goes!

*This post contains some affiliate links. Thank you for supporting Seesaws and Sawhorses

Monday, November 17, 2014

Opinions Needed!!

Update: See what we decided to do HERE

Here's a quick sneak peek of the playroom. It's really coming together and we are soooooo close to finishing it off. The thing I'm struggling with right now is how to finish the gate. I could paint it white so that it blends with the rest of the fence, stain and poly it so that it doesn't show fingerprints, or totally paint it a fun color to make it stand out. I'd love to see what you all think so if you could take a sec to click on your favorite idea I'd appreciate it!