Headboard Makeover and Bedroom Reveal

August 26, 2015
Today I'm sharing another one of our simple beach cottage makeover projects.  The cottage came with two double beds in each of the two downstairs bedrooms.  We were very happy that the beds were included because they allow us to house more people when family and friends come to visit.  

So far, we have only tackled the headboards in the bedroom I sleep in when I'm there.  I love the silhouette, but the original green color did not fit with our vision for the room.  Here are two photos of the room when we bought the house.  Lighting isn't great, but you get the idea.  

First, we took down the plastic blinds over the sliding door along the back wall.  Next, we painted the room Aqua Rapids by Behr.  That alone made a huge difference.  We had planned on making due with the not-so-pretty carpet for a few years, but there was water damage on the bottom floor of the house shortly after we purchased it, so we went ahead and replaced the carpet with dark bamboo from Lumber Liquidators.  

We also got rid of the entertainment center and the artwork.  We don't have any televisions at the house, so the bulky piece just did not make sense...especially in a bedroom.  We replaced that with a free dresser we got from a friend who was moving.  I also replaced the bedside lamp with a glass lamp from Target that I already owned.  For a beachy touch I filled it with coral and shells I collected or bought while living in Hawaii.

We painted the headboards with paint we had leftover from painting the baseboards of the house.  The paint included primer in it, so it only took 2 coats to cover up the green.

Here is what the room looks like now!

The white quilts are from TJ Maxx, the accent pillows and pink throw were from the Lilly Pulitzer for Target line, and I already owned the accent rugs.  The coral colored beach sign is from TJ Maxx too.  

We will replace the bedside table once we find a cute and affordable substitute.  We need a large mirror to go over the dresser (which isn't pictured) and we also need some more art for the walls.  We aren't in any rush on these final details though, so once we find affordable pieces we will make the updates.  

Isn't it amazing what a little paint and a change of bedding can do?  I'll share more of our budget beach cottage makeover soon!

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Weekly Fitness Recap

August 24, 2015
Hi folks!  I hope you all had a great weekend!  I'm officially 30 weeks pregnant today, and I can't believe I'm rounding the final stretch.  Baby boy moves around all the time, especially when I'm trying to rest.  Fitness-wise, I felt pretty good this past week.  Running has become more of a problem, but I'm back to my strength training routine which makes me happy and feel good.  I even managed to hit my goal of working out 5 times!  We are moving tomorrow and over the next few days, so I don't want to make a fitness goal for this next week.  I will try to squeeze a few workouts in when I'm not unpacking boxes and decorating though :)  

Here is a recap of what I did this past week!  I hope you all have a great week of workouts!

Monday, 8/17.  2.67 mile elliptical workout in 30 minutes.  I'm going to start doing the elliptical more often because it's easier on the bladder and my back.  I felt like I had one long Braxton-Hicks contraction the whole time.  Not the most pleasant way to do cardio!  I did high resistance and high incline on the machine.  

Wednesday, 8/19.  Hour long Body Pump class with Tom.  I felt strong and even woke up easily for the 5:30 AM class (a true oddity...I don't do mornings very well)!  I'm really happy to get back to my strength training routine.  Hopefully I'll be able to continue up until the baby comes!

Thursday, 8/20.  2.84 mile elliptical workout in 30 minutes.  I did low incline (because the machine wouldn't adjust for some reason) at high resistance on the machine.

Friday, 8/21.  Hour long early morning Body Pump class with Tom.

Sunday, 8/23.  2.4 mile run around the lake in 30 minutes.  Felt great at the beginning but I got a cramp after 1 mile and had to slow down a good bit.  Tom caught up to me after he finished his long run and did the last mile and a half with me.  I'm ready to get back to my normal running self...just a few more months!  

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On my Mind...Lately

August 21, 2015
Happy Friday y'all!  My weekend will be full of prepping for next week's move, finishing up a few furniture projects, and a Darius Rucker concert!  Next week will be busy busy busy, but I'm so excited to move and finally start "nesting" and preparing our home for a baby.  I hope you all have a great weekend!  

1.  Two Women Graduate from Ranger School.  Today the first two women ever will graduate from the U.S. Army Ranger School.  Women have never even been allowed to attend this premier leadership school, but it was opened up as a one time assessment a few months ago to see how women would do.  All the work I did while assigned to the Pentagon was focused on opening previously closed units, positions, schools and occupations to women in the Army.  I'm so happy to see that all our behind-the-scenes hard work was worth it.  Congratulations to these two amazingly strong women, who also happen to be fellow West Point grads!   

2.  DIY Fabric Wrapped Dresser.  

Do you guys follow Sarah M. Dorsey's blog?  She is a home decor DIY genius!  She comes up with the most amazing projects and she has a great eye for the potential in not-so-pretty things.  This dresser is actually from Ikea and she wrapped it with fabric and added custom knobs.  Brilliant!  You need to check out her blog and follow her on instagram and pinterest if you don't already! 

3.  Herringbone Jute Rug.

I finally decided on a neutral rug for the new apartment!  I wanted to tone things down a little bit in the living room, and I decided that switching out rugs would be the easiest way to do it.  Jute stands up well to wear and tear, and it also adds the neutrality I've been yearning for.  I couldn't go completely plain though (I think that's against my nature), so I chose this one with a subtle herringbone pattern.  Best part is that it was 75% off on RugsUSA, so I spent under $160 for a rug that's almost 8'x10'!  I can't wait for it to arrive in the mail next week.

4.  Pom Pom Basket.

Isn't this basket so much fun?  I love pom poms on pretty much anything, and this basket would be great for corralling toys, blankets or even shoes!

5.  Colorful Felt Balls.

I recently ordered a bunch of felt balls for a project I have planned for the nursery.  If you're searching for felt balls in pretty colors for a craft project, then you need to check out hello maypole because they offer a ton of pretty color combinations and they're affordable too!  My friend Laurel from A Bubbly Life told me about them, and I can't wait for the felt balls to arrive so that I can get my craft on :)

Life with a Dash of Whimsy is over on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and BlogLovin - I'd love for you to join me there!

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"Good Bones" aka "A Whole Lot of Work"

August 19, 2015
I'm notorious for finding pieces with potential and then letting them sit and collect dust in the garage.  I blame this bad habit on a few things: 1) I can't decide on what color/fabric to use, 2) I don't have a good work space and have to sneak and paint on the grass in our apartment complex and most importantly 3) THEY TAKE A LOT OF WORK!  

At the moment I have 6 projects that I need to tackle: a set of 7 Chinese Chippendale rattan chairs that need new joint wrapping, painting, and cushions, a faux bamboo mirror that needs painting, a campaign chest/hutch that needs sanding and painting, a little bookshelf that needs painting (still deciding on this one), a vintage rattan coffee table that needs painting and glass for the top, and the faux bamboo Baker coffee table needs another coat of paint.  Ugh.  Makes me tired just writing all that out...

Our lease is up on August 31st, and once we move I will have absolutely ZERO outdoor work space...which means that any of my spray painting projects will need to be finished by that date.  Being pregnant in the middle of the summer doesn't help my motivation...but I'm going to try to get these projects done!  That being said, I'm going to share my projects here with you, ranked by priority, so that you guys can hold me accountable.  Deal?

Note:  Sorry for the AWFUL photos.  The "after" photos will be much, much better!  Also, I wrote this post last week and Tom and I tackled a few of these projects over the weekend, so thankfully we don't have quite as much to do at this point.

#1.  Chinese Chippendale Dining Chairs.

These (soon to be) beauties are rattan and a lot of the wrapping on the joints has started falling off.  I received the rattan wrapping in the mail the other day, so first I'll fix the damaged joints and then I'll get to painting.  (I've never repaired rattan joints before...so we'll see how that goes...)  I'm really trying to stick with a clean, crisp color palette, so I am pretty sure these will be painted white.  They need new cushions too, but thankfully that can wait.

#2.  Campaign Chest and Hutch. 

This needs to be sanded.  Badly.  So I plan on sanding it with my electrical sander (that I've never used before).  I can paint it once we move because I plan on using a roller and paintbrush, but ideally I would finish this entire project before we move.  This will be painted white and most likely will go in the nursery.  I'm thinking about not using the hutch portion because this may be where we put the changing pad.  We'll see!

#3.  Rattan Coffee Table.  

I acquired this at the same place I acquired my beloved mid-century sofa: my parents' neighbor's house.  I think it came from another one of her real estate listings and the owners simply didn't want it.  Rattan has made such a comeback lately (have you checked out Society Social?  I love their stuff but can't afford it!), so I know this baby will look amazing with a new coat of paint.  I will also need to get glass cut for the top of it.  I need to finish this project before we move because I'll use spray paint for this.  What color do you think I should use?  I'm so torn between white and navy, but this crazy voice in the back of my head keeps saying "yellow," but I just don't know.  If I have a yellow coffee table in front of my cobalt blue couch I may start looking like a Matisse painting.  Not bad, but maybe it's not the look I should go for.  Like I said, I'm torn!

#4.  Faux Bamboo Baker Coffee Table. 

Ok so this actually can wait, because we aren't going to use it while we have babies.  I can just see the baby falling into it...and it's not a pretty result for either party.  It just needs one more coat of paint though, so I should be able to do that quickly.

#5.  Little Bookcase.  We were recently given a small bookcase that was made by Tom's grandfather.  I love the idea of using it in our home, but it isn't really the style I normally go for.  It could be cool with in our home with its current rough finish, or I could paint it to make it a little more modern.  I'm still undecided.  This project will probably have to wait until we move so that I can see where we could use it.  

#6.  Faux Bamboo Mirror.  

This will likely be my final project because I can do it entirely at the new apartment.  I'm going to paint this with actual paint because I don't want to mess with removing the mirror.  I sparked the debate on Instagram about what color to paint it, and I'm still not decided.  I'll likely use it in the entry way of our new apartment over a console table, so I want it to look cohesive with the rest of the living area.  I don't want to keep it gold because I already have too much gold in our apartment and I'm trying to tone it down a bit.  But I love gold, so maybe I'll just freshen it up?  White and navy are the two main colors I can't decide between, but maybe this would be fun with a yellow punch of color?  I just can't decide!

Well, now you all know what I'll be working on over the next 12 days.  I can't wait to share how everything turns out!  If you're not already, join me on Instagram for real-time updates :)

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Weekly Workout Recap

August 17, 2015
Well it's Monday again!  Tom and I worked on a few home projects so we didn't have the most relaxing of weekends, but we sure did get a lot done!  Unfortunately this past week wasn't all that great workout-wise.  The highlight of the week was completing the West Point Cadet Basic Training March Back, which was a 12 mile ruck march (don't worry, I hiked it without carrying anything) at the end of summer training.  The Task Force this summer was named after Dimitri, so 9 members of the del Castillo family, my parents and I went up to West Point to view the memorial that was set up, donate Dimitri's ring to the library, and to attend many events in honor of my late husband.  It was an emotional weekend, but it was wonderful to see how the cadets embraced Dimitri's memory and legacy.  

6 miles down, 6 miles to go, and 28 weeks pregnant!  The hills were a killer but I hung in there!

We marched in formation for the last two miles.

The whole crew after the march back at the Superintendent's house.

Below are the workouts I completed during my 28th week of pregnancy:

Monday, 8/10.  West Point Beast Barracks march back (hike) from Camp Buckner in honor of Dimitri with my mom, my dad and my father-in-law.   12 miles in 3 hours and 51 minutes (approximately a 20 minute mile pace).  This is normally only open to West Point "Old Grads," but because this summer was dedicated to Dimitri my father-in-law and my mom were able to do it as well.  It was really wonderful to share the experience with them, despite having to wake up at 2:45 in the morning.  The rest of the family joined us for the last 2 miles.  My pubis symphysis hurt a bit, the hills were challenging, but I felt strong the whole time.  My feet, legs and butt were really sore the rest of the day!

Friday, 8/14.  3.32 mile run in 41 minutes.  Slow morning jog around the lake by myself.  Felt pretty good other than having to go to the bathroom the entire time.  

Saturday, 8/15.  2.37 mile run in 34 minutes.  Once around Centennial Lake with Tom (after he had already run 7.5 miles).  Had to run/walk because I kept getting a cramp.  Pregnancy sure is humbling!

This week I plan to get back into my pre-summer routine.  My goal is to work out 5 times.  Even though I'm in my third trimester I still seem to have the energy I had during my second trimester.  We'll see how long that lasts!

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Mirror Mirror on the Wall

August 12, 2015
When my family bought the beach cottage it came fully furnished.  Some items were good...some were pretty bad.  We still have most of the furniture and accessories that came with the house, and my mom and I have slowly worked on making over the items that had good bones.

This mirror in the background is one of the items we tackled this summer:

I really liked the size and the style, but the forest green color had to go.  We had a bunch of white paint left over from painting the baseboards and door frames, so we just decided to use that.

We slipped waxed paper below the inner detailing and taped it off with painter's tape.  It was much easier to do this than to completely remove the mirror from the frame.  (Lots of staples were involved and that just seemed like a whole lot of trouble.) 

We used foam paint brushes because they enabled us to get into the nooks and crannies more easily than the normal paint brushes did.  The rope detailing was kind of a pain to paint, but after 3 coats everything was all covered!  I simply used a razor and my thumbnail to scrape off the small amount of paint that got on the mirror.

So much better, right?  Below is a peek at the rest of the dining room/kitchen area:  

Please disregard my mother's reflection in the mirror.  I just realized that I accidentally captured her in the photo (oops!).  I'll post about everything we did to the dining room and kitchen soon, so stay tuned!

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Vintage High Back Chair Makeover

August 5, 2015
Y'all remember the story of the chairs I found in a trash pile in New York City?  (I blogged about it here and here if you missed it.)  Well, they finally made it down to my family's beach cottage, and they look so good!  Just to recap, here is what the chairs looked like when I found them:

This was taken at the beginning of our mile-long trek back to the hotel with the chairs.

The chairs had great bones but they smelled really bad and the leather upholstery was falling apart.  I chose to get them reupholstered in this striped fabric from fabric.com.  It was only $9.98 a yard, which was refreshing because fabric is often very expensive.  Here they are now in their new home!

So much better, right?  I just think they are so much fun and they add a nice dash of whimsy to the living room.  Here is a peek at the rest of the living room:  

I'll share more of our "budget beach cottage makeover" soon!

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