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My Inspirations

Growing up, we would go on family road trips and inevitably we would get lost. My brother and I would ask, “Are we lost?” and every time, my dad would answer, “Yes, but we have a full tank of gas.”

That became a running joke in the house – but one day we analyzed it – probably over-analyzed it and it started to make sense on a more philosophical level. The joke turned into a quote, “You can get lost as long as you have a full tank of gas.” Meaning – put yourself out there, explore, experiment in life and your desires will fuel your motivation and motivation will fuel your actions.

I’ve seen these all over the internet so hard to give credit to just one person – but here are a few sayings that get me through the day – especially if they come from my little ones.

  1. Have faith – believe
  2. Work hard. Be Kind. Stay Humble.
  3. I love you
  4. I want you
  5. Do what is right, not what is easy.
  6. Just breathe
  7. You’re a diamond dear, they can’t break you.
  8. Have no limits today.
  9. It’ll be OK.
  10. Be the reason someone smiles.
  11. Don’t let anyone dull your sparkle.
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DIY Homework Station Desks

My Latest Project

As I mentioned, I have two kids and both girls will be at the same school next year (yay!). My oldest will be in 3rd grade and my youngest in Kindergarten. Right now, my oldest does her homework at the kitchen table, which has worked OK so far. Usually she does her homework while I’m cooking, will have to stop, put everything up for dinner and then resume homework after we eat and cleaned up the table.  Now, with two kids doing homework, clean-up is twice the effort. With their own workstations, their work can be put on hold and remain undisturbed while we enjoy dinner together.

I’m relocating my corner command center and reusing that space for a homework station. It’s a relatively short wall and fortunately the girls don’t take up much space. I looked for suitable desks that would give them enough room to do their work or project but not eat up half of the kitchen nook. I couldn’t find one I liked. The solution – I made them each their own desk. The chairs are chairs I found at Walmart.com that kinda sorta match our kitchen set.

The idea for the desk was going to be a simple parsons-style writing desk with a wooden desktop. I went to Home Depot to look for the supplies, lo and behold, I found two granite slabs measuring 18” x 31” on clearance. I’m a sucker for clearance. So now, the wooden desktop was replaced with granite slabs. In the lumber section, I saw stairway spindles, like the ones you would use on a patio or deck.  Each measured 2 x 2 x 36, I needed to cut them down so it is the height of a desk instead of a counter. I also picked up some 1 x 3s to serve as braces on the desk so it doesn’t wobble around. I had left over polyurethane stain from another project. I also needed a table saw, my orbital sander, Liquid Nails, 1 1/4 inch self-tapping screws, and my mini Kreg jig for the pocket holes (coolest drill bit ever!)

In total, this project could’ve taken a day to complete. I spread it out over 4 days (after work, after dinner, after the girls went to bed) spending an 1-2 hours each day on it.

Supply List for one desk (all measurements are in inches):

4 – 2x2x36 spindles cut down to 29.5 in height.

4 – 1x3x11 for short braces

2 – 1x3x12 ¼ for braces to hold up desktop

4 – 1x3x24 for long braces

1 – 18×31 granite slab – if granite’s not available, you can cut down plywood to that size.

Box of 1 ¼ in self-tapping screws (I prefer these so I don’t have to pre-drill holes.)

Mini Kreg jig

Orbital Sander

Table saw

Your favorite polyurethane stain (I used Varathane Stain and Poly in Golden Oak)

Sponge brush for applying the stain (an old t-shirt will work too)

Liquid Nails

 

After everything was cut and sanded, I drilled the pocket holes using the mini Kreg jig. I drilled two holes for each end of each of the 1×3 boards.

I assembled the 1×3 boards to the spindles and attached the braces to the inside of the top of the desk base so the desk top had something to rest on (also needed the extra surface area to glue down the granite slab.)

Stained the base of the desk and finally glued down the top.

Introduction

Thanks to my good friend Christy at Connect with Christy, I was inspired to start a blog. Nothing special – just anything this mom of two feels like sharing with the world that day.

I have two main hobbies – building furniture and cooking. I’m not particularly good at either of them, but the furniture doesn’t collapse and the food is edible. ☺ I rearrange our house a lot – probably more than my husband cares for – you know “my inspiration is his perspiration”. I re-purpose and refinish furniture – for fun!  We’ve built a desk inside of a closet. I’ve built a kitchen island, queen-size headboard, a coat rack and most recently two kid-size desks.  I like to dabble in arts and crafts – stenciled plates, Happy Planner, sewing, etc.  I’m known for looking at and recreating Pinterest pins…some of them are awesome and some of them fail. More often than not, I’ve ended up with something completely unintended – a happy accident if you will.

You probably won’t see many posts about gardening.  I REALLY don’t like being in the dirt with the bugs and critters. I don’t do critters. If they fly, hop, slither, or wiggle, you will see me drop everything and freak out until it is scared away. Now, I have tried gardening. The first year of our own official garden, we did very well. We did not have to buy tomatoes, green onions, lemons, jalapenos, blueberries or bell peppers at the store all summer. Pat on the back!  The second, third and fourth year, not so much. So, the garden has been dug up and the grass has died (yep, the backyard is one big dirt field right now.) I can’t keep house plants alive. I’ve got an Aloe plant and a palm that is barely hanging on for life at the office (their saving grace is that they sit on a window sill).  So, I don’t see a future career in grounds keeping for me…moving on…

As a wife and working mom of two, the saying, “Working smarter, not harder” rings truer now more than ever.  I need easy, I need quick, and I need efficient. Whether that applies to home improvement projects or cooking meals or staying organized for the many extra-curricular activities – having faith, working smart, and simply loving what I do is vital for my work life balance.