DIY Nightstand Project

When my husband and I started planning our pregnancy it felt like we had plenty of time to accomplish the things we wanted to with our home, especially since the baby cooks for about 9 months. Now that we are halfway through this pregnancy and have nothing done, we realize we were very wrong!

So a few weeks ago I was making a list of all the things I want to accomplish before our sweet baby boy arrives this February and at the top was buying new nightstands for our bedroom. We’ve never had matching nightstands in there. In fact, we’ve never had nightstands. We’ve always used some random side tables and at one point I had a mini ladder on my side of the bed to hold my water at night. So I’d say it’s about time we get it together in there.

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I started shopping online and everything looked short or was way over priced. So of course my next thought was, I can make night stands! So I got on pinterest and saw some projects others had done and decided to come up with my own.

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I measured the space and designed a nightstand that is simple, modern, and open with hairpin legs I purchased on Amazon. Check out my video tutorial (vlog style) below for full details on how I made these matching nightstands.

Restoration Hardware Knock Off Extra Long Outdoor Couch

Last fall as the weather turned crisp and my husband and I were bringing our plants indoors, we took a look around our second floor balcony and decided something needed to change out there. We love spending time outside when the weather is nice, but because we don't have a yard, we find ourselves on our balcony quite often. We decorate it with potted plants and hanging lights, and we love to drink morning coffee out there or have charcuterie and wine when the mood strikes. But the furniture we had just wasn't comfortable. I tried rearranging it a few times to make what we had work, but the four top bistro style table, loveseat and coffee table just felt bulky and crowded. It also wasn't very comfortable. The Iron and cheap plastic-like mesh material it was constructed out of didn't speak much of comfort. We realized we loved the space but hated the furniture. So we agreed that when spring came around we would invest in new outdoor furniture.

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We took a trip to Denver, Colorado some time after and visited the largest Restoration Hardware store either of us had ever been to. This place was 4 levels of showrooms and a rooftop garden area that displayed all of their outdoor furniture. We are big fans of Restoration Hardware and both see the value in their furniture. Most things come with a hefty price tag, but everything is well built and lasts a long time. We've purchased several items from them and have been absolutely pleased with every piece. And while their outdoor furniture is extremely tasteful, I just couldn't get on board with the cost for something that would sit outside in the elements like an outdoor couch would. So to the internet I went!

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First I decided to look at some sites I knew retailed furniture for much less. I found some similar items on Amazon, Overstock, Ikea, and Wayfair, but I was still looking at spending at least $1,000.00. Not only that, but I realized these couches were sort of short in length compared to what we wanted. I envisioned an extra long couch that would sit up against the house and face the beautiful lake and fountain in front of our home. I wanted it to be something my husband and I could both lay on together and would also seat more than two or three people at a time. Most of the couches I was finding were only 72 to 76 inches long. When I measured the space I was looking to fill on my balcony I knew I wanted something at least 96 inches long, if not longer!

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After I exhausted all of the more inexpensive sites I knew of, I got an idea that maybe we could build something ourselves. On Pinterest I found some examples where pallets were stacked beneath cushions to create comfy little outdoor spaces, but I wanted something a little less boho and a little more sturdy. What I finally came across was a video by Ana White on the Ryobi Nation website where she built a very simple outdoor couch with only 2x4s. The only catch was the length was shorter than what I wanted. The site offered some project plans with measurements that I printed, did the math, and modified to work for our space.

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I found some great cushions on the Ikea website that I wanted to order, so I modified the plans to fit these cushions which worked out great. They're 24"x24", which is a pretty standard size, so if I ever needed to replace them I shouldn't have trouble. And the back cushions worked great as well for the couch. I spent a mere $160.00 on all four sets of cushions, with the back cushions included.

In my youtube video below, I explain the difference between the original plans by Ana White and my modified ones. I also show you exactly how I made my outdoor couch,  so check that out if you're interested.

Please leave a comment if this inspires you to redo your outdoor space!

24 Hours in Washington, DC

I'm lucky to live so close to our nation's capital, but I just don't make it up very often. Maybe it's because every single field trip in high school was to DC, so I might be a little burnt out over the yearly visits to see the Washington Monument again. But with my best friend, Ashley moving soon and her not having spent much time in the district, we decided to plan a weekend up there romping around some of the monuments and museums with our husbands. They won't be a three hour drive from it much longer!

I found the cutest and most convenient Airbnb for the four of us to rent. It even had a name! The "Let There Be Light Carriage House" in Capitol Hill was secluded, clean, and modern. The only drawback was sharing one bathroom between four people, but we are all polite and figured it out pretty quickly.

There's even a macrame wall hanging in the living room! How perfect is that?

There's even a macrame wall hanging in the living room! How perfect is that?

The kitchen was amazing and for just a moment made me question whether my opinion on gold and brass fixtures is completely wrong.

The kitchen was amazing and for just a moment made me question whether my opinion on gold and brass fixtures is completely wrong.

This is what bathroom dreams are made of. Am I right? Even the exposed plumbing is attractive to me.

This is what bathroom dreams are made of. Am I right? Even the exposed plumbing is attractive to me.

We were in a great area of town, just a block back from the very hip and happening H Street Corridor. I felt safe parking my car out front for the three evenings we were staying and we used the metro system along with Uber to get around. The closest metro station was Union Station, about a twenty minute walk through a gorgeous neighborhood with lots of coffee shops, markets and interesting architecture.

After the long drive up, we settled in early, but not before a bite to eat. The H Street Country Club was a short walk from our Airbnb with Mexican fair and plenty of entertainment. Skeeball and shuffleboard were our go-to games, but the place has a 9-hole mini golf course and a giant Jenga.

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The next morning we decided to do set out for some monuments and museums. But first, coffee. 

On the way to Union Station from our lovely Airbnb, on the corner of F Street and 2nd Street was one of the best coffee shops I've been to in my life! That's a bold statement.

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But seriously, Ebenezers Coffeehouse was one of those places you wish you had the pleasure of spending time in every morning before work. If I had a place like this close to my house I'd definitely get up an hour early so I could hang out there at the start of my day. The coffee was delicious! The latte recipes hand drawn on the menu board were creative and tasted even better than they sounded. It happened to be Ashley's birthday weekend, so she ordered the birthday cake latte (iced) and taking a sip was every bit of frosting, cake, I think I even tasted the sprinkles... and coffee of course. So good! Other unique latte choices included a Vanilla Rose Latte and Spiced Brown Sugar Latte. Because I'm watching my carbs I opted for their house made sugar free vanilla latte and I added almond milk as well. So good! No chemical artificial sugar taste here! Heaven in a plastic cup.

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Clearly we had a bit of fun hanging out in here. Although I'm not sure where the sticker on my husband's face came from.

Clearly we had a bit of fun hanging out in here. Although I'm not sure where the sticker on my husband's face came from.

Union Station is pretty amazing in and of itself. It's a gorgeous building and there's plenty of shopping to do to pass the time if you're waiting to catch the Amtrak. Even if you're just passing through to catch the metro there may be something to tempt you. Personally, we got held up by the H&M and the Shake Shack. If you didn't know, Shake Shack is everything. And we don't have one in Virginia Beach, so we had to indulge.

Gorgeous Union Station

Gorgeous Union Station

Ashley exiting the Metro at Smithsonian

Ashley exiting the Metro at Smithsonian

Sometimes I watch the news, and unfortunately sometimes I go months without paying attention to what's going on around me. It's one thing I want to work on. But what I've missed on my news checking hiatus was that we were in DC the same weekend as the "Gun March." It was an interesting day to be in our Nation's Capital. While I won't share my opinions on the subject, I will tell you what we saw.

From the distance between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial, about a 30 minute walk if you stop and take in the WWII Monument and the Reflecting pool, we saw dozens of teenagers and their parents with handmade signs, sharing their passions and opinions on what's been happening in our schools. There was a young man strapped with two samurai swords and a sign on his chest that read "F*CK GUNS, SWORDS ARE COOLER." That was a little scary.

View from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial

View from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial

From here we wanted to visit the Spy Museum, but it was about a 30 minute walk, so we decided to save some time and call an Uber. What an experience. We had no idea the streets between here and the Spy Museum would be flooded with children, teenagers, and so many others who are passionate about changing our current gun safety laws. The drive should have taken 7 minutes, but actually took all of the 30 minutes we were trying to save. It was invigorating to see so  many people taking a stand on something they believe in. But we were shocked by how many people there were on the streets. We actually exited our Uber early and pushed our way through the crowd because we realized it would be quicker. 

We stopped at a poke shop, Poki DC on the way to the museum and it was amazing! No exaggerations here, it was the best poke I've had (and I've been to Maui, so that's saying something!) The coolest part is that the shop is set up sort of like a Chipotle. You get to pick all of your toppings and they assemble the bowls for you. I was especially pleased that I had the option of choosing zucchini noodles instead of rice as my base!

via PokiDC's instagram

via PokiDC's instagram

The International Spy Museum was the only museum I personally had not yet visited. It is one of the only museums in the district that requires a fee to visit, which is probably why I've avoided it. Not that I'm cheap by any means, but with so many free museums in the area, it's hard to choose one you have to pay for. But I have to be honest, it wasn't my favorite. I'm not extremely interested in espionage and the history thereof, so I'm going to blame it on that because the museum itself is amazing. The setup, themes, and amount of true artifacts were all impressive. If you are interested in the history of war spies, espionage and the tools used, you will love this museum.

Two years ago, I was in the district with my husband before we were married, attending a wedding. My husband was an usher in the wedding and was included on all of the groomsmen activities. One of them was drinks at POV at The W between the ceremony and the reception. I was not included, but my husband told me about this place and I was extremely envious! It sounded like such a cool bar. So when Ashley said she wanted to go out for drinks on our last night in the district, I immediately thought of this place. POV is a rooftop bar in DC. It overlooks the Washington Monument, the White House and several other landmarks in the surrounding area. It's a gorgeous and very swanky bar! It's pricey, but worth a stop if you're in the area and looking for incredible views. We came here pretty late in the evening, about 10 pm and the club vibes were in full effect, but I have to imagine the sunset from here is incredible and it's probably a great place for locals to stop and have an after work drink.

There's so much to do in this amazing city, but we only had a small amount of time, so our trip was short. We simply aren't ones to rush around, keeping an agenda when we travel. Better to relax, take in the views and enjoy every step and bite.

We drove back home the next morning, but not without stopping in at Ebenezer's for one last latte.

If you've visited Washington, DC recently please leave a comment and tell me your favorite places to see and eat at so that I can include them in my next trip up!