Top That! Table Top For A Curbside Rescue

Greetings and salutations everyone, I am so excited the warmer weather is finally here.  I spent the day Friday working on a few projects that have been bottle necking on me because of the cold weather.

I had Good Friday off and my plan was just to put on some work clothes after breakfast and finish a project or two and then back inside by the afternoon for some house work. Looking back that may have been a bit ambitious, because I didn’t drive the last screw into a board until nearly 8 o’clock Friday evening.  All I can say is I thank my lucky stars I have an understanding husband. 

I started by working on the top for a night stand project for my nephew’s room.  This was a file cart that I rescued from the curb in my neighborhood to narrowly avoid what was sure to be a terrible fate at a land fill.

At the first sign of warmer weather I spent the day spray painting several pieces.  I disassembled the cart and gave it a good wash down.

I painted it using Valspar, High Gloss in Indigo Cloth blue.  I tried to keep my coats light and even and ended up having enough paint to give the inside, which no one will see, a coat of paint as well. 

I searched high and low for inspiration on what to use for the top.  I thought about melamine shelving, or a plywood top decoupaged with some kind of pirate map, but I wanted this to grow with him as he gets into the "tween" years.  So I decided on a wood top that I could stain.  Now sit down for my confession y’all because they may revoke my blogging card after this.  I didn’t make the top myself.  I chickened out of using my Kreg Jig and went for the premade table top section at the Lowe’s. 

I cut this table top to size on the table saw, seen here sitting next to my new Keter work table that I just love. 

I then cut two pieces of 1x2 that I used to create two rails that I screwed to the underside of the table to drop down inside the cart and hold the table top in place. 
The finishing sander came in handy to smooth the top and sides, and I purposefully dug into the edges to give it a worn look. Really and truly I was more concerned with not splitting any little heads on sharp edges, than I was about the decorative effect.  

I decided on a white wash finish.  I wanted to be able to see the wood grain, and have something that would pop against his red walls.  I mixed some trim paint that I had on hand with equal parts water and brushed the finish on the underside of the table top to determine if this was what I was looking for. 


When the paint was dry I gave the top a light sanding and put on several coats of a Wipe-On Poly. I lightly sanded between each coat, and applied 5 or 6 coats.

I absolutely love how the wood grain really came through.  This is going on my list of favorite techniques.

Here is his bedside table all finished in my carport.  I can’t wait to get everything in his room.

I know the 6 year old doesn’t read this blog so I would show you the lamp I purchased to go on this table in his pirate bedroom. But his mom has a Marta On A Mission icon on her iPad so I shouldn't risk it.  You'll just have to come back and see the room all put together.  I have a few more projects to complete before the reveal.  

UPDATE: Here is the finished project in its new home. 
We were all really pleased with how it turned out.  Especially our kindergartener.

Mommy Urban Legend or Safety Fact?

Today I am going to talk about something serious in Mommy Corner.  But before we begin you know how much I think confession is good for the soul, so first a confession.  Sometimes after my son finishes his breakfast I mix peanut butter and Nutella on a spoon together and let him eat it.  I know, I know, I will probably not be best friends with the woman who sued Nutella for false advertising.  But the way I see it no matter what he has for breakfast an extra shot of protein and a little sweetness in the morning will get him through till lunch.  So there you have it, confessions of this slacker mom.  Whew, I feel better now that I got that off my chest.  Now on to the car seat question.

On a more serious note, I was recently in a car accident.  I’m okay, but can I just take a moment to say how much I hate metered on ramps.  It makes no sense to me, to come to a stop before merging.  Isn’t the whole point of an on ramp to get up to speed so that you can merge fluently with the 60 mph traffic?  Look how sad the "Mom Mobile" license plate looks barely hanging on. Luckily for me I bought two of them in the event that anything ever happen to the first one.

The baby was in the second row of the van safely secured rear facing in his car seat.  Aside from being pretty shook up, I had minimal damage. There was no air bag deployment and I was able to drive the vehicle after the accident.  But all of this got me thinking, should I replace my child’s car seat?
Some years ago I sold one of my firstborn’s car seats on Craigslist and the woman who purchased it asked me if it had ever been in an accident.  I have since heard other moms mention this in conversation.  I immediately got to questioning is this mommy-lore, or is this something I should absolutely do? 

I began my search for answers with Cosco, the company that manufactured the seat.  I was able to find a wealth of information on product selection, proper installation and new advances but I did not see my definitive answer.

Cosco Travel Safety

Next I Googled the question, “Should I replace a child car seat after an accident?” That’s when I came to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.  The information that I found was indeed informative.

The NHTSA directed me to , to the information below. There was no airbag deployment and I was able to drive away from my accident, after considering all of the factors involved in my accident I decided not to replace my car seat.

However, unlike the car seats I owned before when I am done with this one I will be sure to remove the cover and label it as unusable before I dispose of it.  It is one thing for me to make an informed decision but quite another to donate this car seat when I'm done with it.
So there you have it, my Mommy’s Corner post for today.  I am currently working on a little boy’s room and hope to have some projects to share with you soon.    



Spring Has Sprung, Bring On The Tools

Wow I can't tell you how excited I am that it's springtime finally. Well it may not be spring officially on the calendar but the weather has changed and I was able to get outside and get some fresh air and work in the yard. Hallelujah. I don't think that it has escaped anyone's attention that I am a bit of a tool fanatic. So today I'm going to share with you one of my new favorite tools. It is an Agrifab Manual Lawn Sweeper, and as the name suggest it is fabulous.

 I begged the hubs for a lawn sweeper because there are two solid rows of pine trees down the side of the back yard, as well as on both sides of my corner lot, and one in the front yard. And if that alone weren't enough to warrant a happy dance at the purchase of the lawn sweeper, in addition to the pine trees, there are two large live oak trees in the front yard.
For the last several years I have done everything I can to make picking up pine needles and oak leaves as easy and efficient as possible, electric blower, gas blower, cordless blower, but this tool makes all those years seem futile. Two of the three blowers are pictured here.

We first considered a lawn sweeper to pull behind the riding lawnmower, the one I mentioned here. However, with the size of the riding lawnmower and the size of a lawn sweeper it just seemed as though it was not something that we could maneuver in the yard and around the obstacles.

After much searching on the internet, reading reviews and comparing prices I finally decided on the Agrifab.  Through the magic of Amazon Prime and a fantastic deal I soon had my very own Agrifab lawn sweeper. I couldn’t wait to put it together the moment it arrived.  After the kids went to bed I assembled it in my living room, where it sat until the weekend. Then first thing Saturday morning I took it out to the back yard and told my husband I was only going to try it out and that I would be right back in.

Fast forward 40 minutes and the entire back yard was done and a giant pile of pine needles neatly piled and waiting to be bagged.  I know my neighbors must have thought I was crazy, picking up pine needles in my PJ’s, with my hair all crazy, pacing back and forth with my new toy. I even sent a Facebook post to my Mother to show her how clean it was. 

This past weekend I used it to clean oak leaves in the front yard. You can see what a great job it does for the amount of leaves these trees can drop.   

After each pass with the sweeper on the oak leaves in the front yard, there is a noticeable difference. If you like to remove every single leaf then this is not for you, but if you don’t mind mulching a leaf or two in the grass then you will for sure appreciate the job that this tool does. 

Now after I have all the leaves corralled, how do I make light work of the bagging you ask? Two other favorites I have to mention.  First my leaf scoops, these things make a regular appearance for yard clean up, because they pick up so much and I don’t need to wear gloves. It is like having an extra pair of hands.

Leaf Scoops
Mine are bright green, they are laying here next to the rake that I use to keep my pile nice and together. 

And last, but certainly not least, a tool I borrowed from my neighbor for months before buying two of my own, the Bag Butler. Before I married the hubs I did yard work alone, and this handy tool made it possible to bag easily without someone to hold open the bags. 

So there you have it, my tool tip for the day.  The Agrifab is something I use year round, pine needles in the fall and leaves in the spring.  It is a good investment in my book.  Come back soon to see all the projects I managed to squeeze into this sunny weekend we had.  I can’t wait to share.