Before & After: DIY- Transform a Vintage Dresser

The DC area is extremely expensive, and it is known to have some of the worst traffic in the nation. So when house hunting, you need to set your priorities. Some desire a bigger place so they sacrifice location. While others sacrifice size, to be conveniently closer to the city, avoiding hours of traffic. The choice is yours.

Our priority were definitely location, but we also wanted to make a smart investment. It was going to be tricky to find something in the location we wanted for the price we wanted to pay.

So the hunt was on for the perfect place. Location was ideal, I wanted to be so close to the city that I could enjoy a morning run around the monuments. After two years of looking, and putting several offers on different properties, finally we closed on the perfect place.

My husband and I have been proud homeowners for 2 years now.

One of my favorite things about living in this area is that Washington, DC and Northern Virginia is full of history. The neighborhood we live in is a historical neighborhood, and our house is a 1950’s duplex. Our place is ideal because of it’s location and historical charm. However, what comes along with urban living and old places is… tiny living spaces.

When we moved into our new place, we started completely fresh, leaving most of our old furniture on the curb. It was fun having a completely blank canvas to work with, and to buy pieces together, that expressed us as a couple. There was nothing from our past, everything was new.

However, our place is small, and this has been our biggest challenge.  When it comes to interior design, nothing quite fits.

Old places has limited closet space…

And this is a major problem for me.

I am a runner with way to many RunOOTD (Run Outfit Of the Day) and I am a hair dresser who has to be trendy and fashion forward at work. So as you can see, I do a lot of laundry and I have a lot of different kinds of clothes. These clothes need to be put away. My husband built me a beautiful walk in closet, but it still wasn’t enough. I needed a dresser.

The hunt was on yet again, but instead of house hunting it became dresser hunting. I started looking at the basic stores, Crate & Barrel, West Elm, Pottery Barn. But nothing fit,everything was at least 20 inches deep, when I could only¬†accommodate something a big as 17 inches deep. I then moved my search to ¬†George Town and Old Town desperately looking at each furniture store… still no luck.

I didn’t want an old antique, and I definitely didn’t want a DIY project. But I wasn’t able to find anything to fit my space, and older pieces of furniture are a lot smaller.

Turns out the perfect dresser was right under my nose, living temporarily at the boutique right down the street from where I work and live.  Turns out the perfect dresser was a piece from the early 1900s, that was crying for a make over.

In honor of Transformation Tuesday, I will share with you my new dresser… Old is on the left and new and improved is on the right.

dresser before and after

This project was not hard at all.

SANDING

  • Because the piece was real wood, we sanded down any rough edges.

PAINTING 

  • It¬†makes a huge difference. It makes an old piece look clean and as good as new.¬†So we painted the dresser with a fresh coat of white paint.

REFRESHING MEDAL DETAILS

  • We also refreshed the medal key holes with gold spray paint.

CHANGING HARDWARE

  • All of the above was great, but what really updated this piece was changing the hardware. I went to Anthropology and fell in love with the hardware they had to offer. After much debate, my husband and I decided on replacing the original handles on the dresser, with the ones from Anthro, made from amethyst stone with gold detailing. This hardware really eliminated the old antique feel that the piece once had and made it totally updated and current!dresser2

Do you like DIY projects? What do you think of my dresser transformation? 

If you are interested in seeing my fitness transformation click here.

 

 

Transformation Tuesday! Lets talk about progress and balance.

It is running season…

Which means, most runners are training for some sort of fall race, from 5K to 26.2, whichever distance it may be, us runners are out there running.

And although, running is our main priority right now, our focus… some of us runners start to worry…

I want to weight lift, but I need to run…

I want to do yoga, but I should run…

I want to ride my bike, but I gotta get out there and run…

Recently, I have been receiving tons of e-mails regarding how to balance a disciplined running plan and fit in weight lifting, yoga, etc.

Well let me tell you this…

Cross training is important.

Strength training is important.

Yoga/ stretching is important. 

I started running 6 years ago. I became so passionate about running that all I did was run. During the colder winter months after my fall marathon I picked up Bikram yoga. I loved it and became a regular, but still I ran.

When I trained for my first marathon, I followed my training plan religiously – I never missed a run. When I trained for my 2nd marathon, I did exactly the same thing, sometimes I even ran on the day that called for cross training.

However, after spending 9 months in 2012, running in a natural running shoe (newton), focussing on running form, in February 2013, I started weight lifting. I wanted to get stronger to improve my running, and I did. I got stronger, I improved my running. It was shocking I was running a little less, but I was running better than ever.

I am now running faster and further. The combination of being stronger and running with a more efficient stride/form, allows me to run faster, further, with less effort.

My point is you do not have to run every day to be a great runner. Running everyday, could actually make your running suffer, from burn out or injury. It is so important to incorporate strength training, cross training, and stretching in the mix. The stronger you are the less injury prone you will be, and the more your running will improve.

So to answer the question … How do you balance a disciplined running plan and strength training, cross training, stretching. How do you do it all?

It depends on your fitness level, comfort level.

Rookie: If this is your first race (first full marathon, first half marathon, etc.) follow your running training plan. Focus on your running. Stretch after your runs. Rest on your rest days. Cross train once a week. Strength train once a week.

Veteran: If this is your second, third, tenth, time racing this distance, then it is okay to use your training plan as a guideline. At this point, you can tweak and customize you plan. This marathon training season, I have been lifting weights on days when I run short and easy. I always do leg day early in the week after my long run has already been completed.

I also advise taking tons of photos to record your journey as an athlete. This way you can keep track of your progress visually.  Take advantage of photography. We have cameras on our phones, and we are lucky we have technology at our fingertips.

With that being said…

Because it is tuesday, I thought it would be the perfect time to honor Transformation Tuesday. So I am posting some progress pics, in hopes to inspire and motivate.

image-1The above photo was taken in March 2013. The bottom photo was taken in August 2013.

1157694_10101271945892286_1013038733_n

Arms are seeing some major gains! This photo was taken in August 2013.

Anyway I hope these photos inspire and prove to you that you can balance both training plans. And that in the end being stronger is just going to enhance your overall fitness level.

Questions for You…

  1. How do you balance your training plans?
  2. Do you sometimes do two-a-days?

© 2013 sweatdaily

 

 

Transformation Tuesday

There are a lot of different themes on Instagram. To name a few, there is Throwback Thursday aka TBT, or on Friday, Flex Friday. All of the themes on Instagram are really fun to participate in.  However, out of all of them Transformation Tuesday is my favorite.

I love Transformation Tuesday because this theme is the most inspiring. It is extremely motivating seeing people’s transformations. How far they have come. How much weight they have lost. How much muscle they have gained. It is the ultimate proof, that if you make a lifestyle change of eating clean organic food and dedicate time to training hard, you will see results.

Because you are seeing yourself every day, sometimes it is hard to notice the positive change. I find it helpful to take progress pics and I label them with the date they were taken, that way I can really compare, and appreciate my hard work.

So here it is my progress pic, my Transformation Tuesday. transformation tuesday

I am hoping my progress pics will inspire you, as much as other people’s have inspired me.

I also came across this amazing blog post,

This Trendy ‚ÄúStrong is the New Skinny‚ÄĚ Thing (and what it could mean for the next generation of¬†girls).

This is a must read so click here and read it now. It basically talks about the American tragedy of how and why a large majority of young girls spend their time obsessing over their weight.  Devoting endless hours, energy, emotions, and effort into being skinny.

This is my favorite pic from the blog.

This is my favorite pic from the blog.

The author claims that her new goal has changed from ‚Äúbe a size zero to¬†do a motherfucking pull up.”

 

254cc5b92387a31c8da38770cacaa81dIn the blog post she reveals how painfully awful it was to be 104 pounds- all skin and bones, and how amazing she feels now strong and fit.  Wishing someone would have told her sooner that Strong is the new Skinny, she is now trying to encourage girls to be strong, fit, healthy.

I love everything about this post and honestly couldn’t agree more – Strong is the new Skinny! And as you can tell from my progress pic, I was never fat, trying to loose weight, but rather I was just skinny,¬†scrawny, (even though I was running everyday)¬†Now, after adding weight lifting to the mix, I not only look stronger, but I actually am…

oh and p.s. I can do a motherfucking pull up. 

tumblr_m9q8akRDop1rty8mco1_500

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

© 2013 sweatdaily