Saturday, April 18, 2015

Revitalizing Vintage

I have finally (after 2 years) refinished this vintage vanity from Bryan's great-grandparents who purchased it brand-spanking new in the 1920's. At least that what I think I was told. It's been awhile. The point is that after many days, lots of work, and more money than I thought, it is now finished and sitting in our bedroom. It's the first piece of furniture to go in there since our bed--which means our bedroom is pretty sparse. But without further ado I bring you the transformation!
Before of the front
After our last attempt at redoing furniture (see red rocking chair in Everly's nursery pics) where we hand sanded the entire thing WITHOUT stripping it first, I decided to strip it and got a power sander to make that part easier too. It all saved so much time! I will never NOT use these tools again!

One of the best parts was taking off all the layers of fabric on the bench. I got to travel through time and see some of the style from time gone by.

This is what I started with. Small medallions of a greenish color.
Tiny blue polka dots. Plus is was really stained and kind of gross.
I actually really liked the original, but it was faded and smelled like an old barn. I'd barely tap it and a cloud of dust would explode from it. It was really cool to also see the tiny handmade nails that they used. No spray adhesive and staple guns for them.

And like I said, after layers of stain and poly, I present my new old vanity!
Beautiful! Isn't it?!?
I stained it a red mahogany to somewhat match our bed although this is obviously not as dark as it. However, it is a little darker than these pictures imply. But my absolute favorite part is the bench!! I made it extra cushy-looking with a 3" foam pad and then batting. It is also a faux leather vinyl so that it Everly (or me--let's be honest) spill any makeup or make any marks on it, it will wipe off.
It's so amazing!
It is so great! I'm proud of myself--if I do say so myself. Which I do. So now instead of a golden oak vanity that I only liked because it was made of real wood and was a family heirloom, I now have a piece that I actually want to use and keep in my own room--even if it is a little on the short side.

Sunday, April 5, 2015


Recently I have been going through some kind of "I-need-to-do-something-with-my-day" crisis. Well....other than taking care of Everly and the general housekeeping stuff. So of course my first stop is Pinterest. I have always been drawn to the pins about making furniture - like the Ana White website. Plus, it is usually cheaper than buying.

My focus has been the front porch. We have this big three column overhang that I thought was a little overbearing in size and underwhelming in color. And so I decided that I would build some planters. I wanted something big and colorful so that if would draw attention. I mean, it is gardening so why not add some color. Thankfully we already had a circular saw and all I needed was the wood and a Kreg Jig.

Behold the before:
Look at that fence. Ew.
Well, after two days of work (that I only get to do when Everly is napping) I present our new front porch.

The hardest part actually was finding the flowers. Our house faces north and with the second story the front lawn is in the shade practically all day so I needed plants that like the shade, but I also wanted color. So if anyone has some pointers on other plants that like the shade, please pass on the knowledge. And yes we know that our yawn is just weeds. The owners before us didn't take the greatest care of the lawn and we are slowly but surely taking care of it. We just need a super weed killer with a super grass grower because there is no grass--like literally.
Isn't is just so pretty!
Next up. I plan on making some knockoff Adirondack chairs and paint them yellow. Then, I have my eye on this large, beautiful, pink azalea bush that I hope to put in a big purple pot. After that I hope to make an actual garden with some pavers that go around the tree and along the front. And lastly since absolutely NOTHING grows on the side of our house I want to put a paver path there that leads to the backyard. Oh, so many plans, so little time.....and money. But here is my sketch that I did a few weeks ago. I think it's coming along nicely.
Please forgive Everly's marker on the back.
So far I think it looks pretty close to what I sketched.

And let's not forget that it is Easter! We stayed home and had Everly hunt in our front yard. Isn't she the cutest!

Happy Easter and Spring to everyone! We'll see you real soon!

Grandparents Stiles

So Laurel went to post a blog and a draft of this post was sitting in the queue. So I guess we'll just post it now.

A few weeks ago Grandma and Grandpa Stiles flew in to visit us for the first time since we moved to Texas. It was a great treat. I was curious to see how Everly would react. The last time she saw them in person she was maybe 6 months old or so. We've Skyped often since then but I didn't know if Everly would make the connection. So after picking up my parents from the airport we went home to meet Laurel and Everly at the house. Everly was indeed a little wary at first until we went upstairs to her room. Then it was show off time, it just took a little suggestion to show one of her toys to Grandma and Grandpa and they were best friends after that. Upon further reflection, I don't think that changes much when you get older because if you want to hear about my toys then you are my best friend too.

So I took off work for most of the week and we partied the whole time. We had our whole dinner menu planned out of what to cook for the week and everything was ready and perfect. Then we realized we would rather scrap those plans and introduce my parents to our favorite restaurants in the area. So that's what we did. We hit up any restaurant that we liked that doesn't exist in Nevada.

A couple of other highlights. Dad and I went golfing, then the next day we went to a disc golf course. Fun times. No pictures though. Dad got some good cuddle time with Everly. We had some Motown music playing and Everly just wanted Grandpa to hold her and sway with the music.

We also visited the botanical gardens in Fort Worth where Everly discovered the joys of walking on the curb.

Trying to get a good photo...

And on an unrelated note, Laurel and I went to Texas Roadhouse a while ago. Everly loves sauces. She would survive on a diet of ketchup, ranch, and barbecue sauce if she could. She is also cute in a hat.

She also has a thing where she likes to hide in cupboards. This time she wanted to hide in the play refrigerator. She almost fit.

The end.

Monday, January 5, 2015

I Didn't Make a New Years Resolution to Start Blogging

Hello… hello… hello hello…

I just had one of those moments where you look at the word “Hello” and it looks wrong. Like it isn't spelled correctly, or it’s a foreign word or something. Weird.

Anyway, Bryan here. It has been over a year and a half since the last blog post here. I don’t even know how long it has been on my own blog but I think it is time to consolidate and just post on one blog so here I am. I have mentioned starting to write my posts here before and I think Laurel likes the idea because that means she won’t have to write posts. It’s not like either of us have been doing much posting anyway. But a number of family and friends have made blog revivals as of late so I figured I would jump on the bandwagon.

So I see the last post here was May 10, 2013. That was the day before Everly was born. I wonder why we stopped blogging... So I guess this post will be a quick recap of what has happened since. Maybe you’ll get some more in depth posts about some of these events later.

Well, like I mentioned before, Everly was born. She was 7 lbs 15 ounces and made me wonder at the logic behind our imperial measurement system. 16 ounces in a pound? Lbs = pound? Oz = ounce? I’m sure at least the abbreviations have some sort of Latin base like how Au = gold on the periodic table or something but… well anyway, my daughter was born. Look at how cute she was.

Fast forward 7 sleep-deprived months and I got a new job and we moved to Texas. Yee haw! We found a pretty straight forward apartment near a pretty good running trail and became very thankful to not live in freezing cold temperatures. I found a couple of good Ultimate Frisbee leagues and Laurel and I picked up Disc Golf which we do every once in a while now.

Fast forward another 12 months and we bought a house! Awesome. Now we’re in the process of removing all the popcorn ceiling. The house was built in 2005 and it has popcorn ceiling?  So strange. I bet whoever built the house thinks the imperial measurement system makes sense too. Bah, but it’s all good, we’re taking care of that ASAP. Unfortunately I don't have any good photos of the house on hand at the moment. So you'll have to wait.

So there’s a quick revival blog. Come back soon!

Friday, May 10, 2013


Well, since it seems that this baby is never coming, I thought I would post the pictures of the nursery while I continued to wait. My original idea was to do a red and grey theme since I already had the red rocking chair, but when we started registering they had all this really cute yellow and grey stuff. I still was probably going to go with the red, but so many people actually got me what I registered for at my baby shower that I didn't need to. The yellow and grey really turned out I think.

I even had my first Ebay purchase with the net canopy. I got it for $5.50 and that includes shipping! It was awesome! I can kinda see why people get addicted to bidding on that site. The anticipation is thrilling!
The red rocking chair is still there, but I think it adds a nice pop of color.
  These ties were actually left over from my baby shower and I think they worked perfectly!
 My crowning achievement. Aunt Becky gave us some old pictures of Bryan as a baby and I suddenly had this idea to blow up the pictures of us and hang them in the room. Aren't we just so darn cute!
So it is a little small, but then again, it is just a baby, right? Now I can't wait to actually put my baby in here.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Baby Shower!

I really can't believe that my baby is due in less than 3 weeks. It's a little nerve-wracking, but exciting at the same time. I am ready to have my body back though. It's kind of annoying not being able to bend over or get in and out of the car easily. Funny how you take those things for granted. Anyway, this past Saturday was my baby shower!! My great friend Samantha threw it for me. (She's the blonde to the right of me.) Props to her! She is becoming the go-to person among her friends for parties like bachelorette,  wedding, and baby showers because she does them so well. She got together with Emily to plan the whole thing out and it went splendidly! They were even trying to surprise me at first, but obviously I had to be told at some point. It would have been really random if Sam suddenly wanted me to come over on a Saturday morning and to dress up cute. 

It was a tremendous success! We had a nice brunch with fruit, chicken salad sandwiches, brownies and some lemonade cupcakes that I made from Pinterest. Sam even went as far as to wrap the bottled water with little baby print. I was most happy about how many people showed up! I wouldn't say that I have LOTS of friends in Utah, so I was worried that we would do all this planning and then 5 people would be there. I only had 20 people on the invite list to begin with! So when practically everyone came--let's just say that it made my heart all warm and fuzzy! A big 'thank you' for everyone supporting me! The only sad part was Mom Moon was supposed to come (had the flight and everything) but her uncle past away and the funeral ended up being the same day. But my daddy came! He was the only man there, but I think he pulled it off well.

We all ate and chatted for a while, introduced ourselves and how we all knew me, and we had everyone fill out a place on a calendar of when they think the baby will actually come. Whoever is closest will get a gift card! Everyday for a week before and after my due date was filled out, except for the due date itself. But apparently less than 1% of babies come on their due date, so actually I guess it was in everyone's interest not to choose that date. Even I didn't! (I'm secretly hoping that it comes early, but then again, doesn't everyone?)

We then opened gifts! I got almost everything from my registry! Everyone was so nice and generous and the nursery is so stinkin' cute now. The colors are grey and yellow with duckies--nice and gender neutral even though we know it's a girl. I'm just being proactive and thinking of the next kid I guess.
 Sam and Me
 My ginormous 37 week belly.

 This was a nice shot of my swollen feet and cankles. I can't wait for those to be gone too.
 I just thought my face was funny in this one.

My new friend, Macy, from the ward, her mother hand made these little moccasin shoes!
 Some of the attendees!
 After all the gifts were open I was saying how hot I was (although it was cloudy and kinda cold outside).

 Sam and her mom went through all the trouble to make a diaper cake. Apparently it isn't easy.
 Me making out like a bandit!
I can't say how happy I was about everything! And I was so worried about having a shower in the first place. But, like I said, everyone was a huge support! I do actually feel like I am somewhat ready to have this baby now. My next blog might even be about the birth. Scary....

Wednesday, April 3, 2013


This past Monday Bryan decided to buy tickets to the Real Salt Lake vs. BYU Men's Soccer game--somewhat on a whim. I'm not that big of a fan of soccer, but Bryan enjoys it and I like tagging along with him. It was chillier than it has been recently since it was practicably the one day it rained, but we enjoyed ourselves. I'm sure that if I wasn't 35 weeks pregnant I would have been freezing, so I guess this big belly is good for something. The Real beat us 1-0. (Hence one of the reasons I don't get soccer--they can tie the game and it is so low scoring. Totally not fun to me.) But the real point is that we had fun!