restyle a filing cabinet

When we moved into our little two bedroom house, I was so excited to finally have a space to store, well, stuff. I had big plans for Tyler to build a desk right when we moved in. I quickly realized that was a little bit further out than I had planned. So I started thinking, what could I put files in? We don’t have many, just some tax folders and vet files for our kids. But still, these files needed a designated area. I kept thinking, why do filing cabinets have to be so ugly? Wait. They don’t have to be! I remembered something I saw on pinterest about painting a filing cabinet and putting wood on the top. The wood top was a little more work than I wanted for this quick fix, so I kept it simple with a new paint job.

I found this on CraigsList. It took me a while because filing cabinets are more expensive than I had hoped. So, I waited until I found one in my price range. $10!

First, take the drawers out and take the hardware off of the drawer faces. Wipe it down with a dry cloth to get any dust or cobwebs off. Yeah, mine had cobwebs.

Then start spraying! I used one can for the whole thing. I didn’t prime or sand it because aside from opening and closing the drawers, it won’t get banged around much. You can sand/prime if you want.

After the paint completely drys, put it all back together and put the hardware back in. Then, bring it inside and fillerup! I love this project because it took half a day, but was a huge transformation! Also, it’s so cute now, we use it as a side table in the second bedroom. It’s not only functional, but now a fun piece of furniture.

What functional but cute items fill your home??


house update – fresh paint

We painted the house! Doesn’t it look so cute? I love how it turned out so much! The yellow we picked was perfect. We went with Clay Dust (a Dunn Edwards color). It’s the same yellow Eric painted Sookie’s house in TrueBlood. Here are some photos of the day (yes, Tyler painted it in one day… He’s a professional). Trae and I “helped” as much as we could. I.e. Trae sat around smiling while I snapped photos of Tyler painting. I did help paint the porch a little though.

Peek-a-boo! See Robin inside?

How spooky does this masked off window look? It was so weird being inside while Tyler was painting.

See, I helped a little!

We are so in love with our little yellow house! It looks so much better than the fifty shades of tan it was before.

Next on our list is installing a new screen door. Our security gate is broken and we want to have a more traditional front porch screen anyway. Tyler is installing that this weekend. Can’t wait!

yellow highchair

Look what we got! I saw it at one of our local antique malls and it was marked down to $20. I couldn’t resist! All I could picture was one of our nephews or niece sitting on it at our dinner table one night in the future. The kids are all still pretty young, but one day it will come in handy. We had a blue chair that was very similar when I was growing up, and that was my chair. Like, I sat in it even when I was awkwardly too big. It didn’t matter to me though. It was my chair and it was awesome. Hopefully one of our nephews or niece will feel that way about this chair.

The chair is in really good shape. I couldn’t believe that not only was it still around, it was even on sale. Did no one really want this? I guess it was just meant to be. For a quick fix up, I used my new favorite tool: Steel Wool. It really did some magic on the legs. There is a small hole in the leather seat that had a piece of tape over it. We’re not sure what to do about that yet, but for now the damage is so minimal, it can wait.

It even had the original manufacturer tag on it! But, I accidentally got a little too zealous with the Steel Wool and it ripped right off. Oops.

I know, it seems silly to have a highchair in the middle of a childless home. But, besides the fact that we do have tons of kiddos in the family, and it’s a super cute yellow… It’s a stool! I used our other stool almost every day in our last house and this house so far. Not only am I a little short, our cupboards in this kitchen are crazy high. They go all the way to the 8 foot ceiling! So even when the kids aren’t over here, it will get tons of use.

What random, but useful, pieces of furniture do you have in your home?

vintage Cosco bar cart & the grappler

Look at this thing. I found it for $10 dollars on CraigsList. I’ve known I really wanted a bar cart for entertaining for a long time now. When I saw this I knew it was perfect. So much potential in this neglected little cart. Plus, we went on a really fun adventure to get it.

It really needed some work. Whoever owned it completely abused it. I think it’s funny how many times we find something amazing that the owner completely gave up on just because it needed a little work. And then it turned into a rusted rotten mess (aka a fun challenge for us).

The lining was really cute and unique, but in horrible shape. It peeled off so easy! And taking the cart apart was a cinch too.

Once everything was taken apart, I sanded and sanded and sanded. Most of the rust came off. The really stubborn stuff just got some extra love with the primer.

We used a white primer because we decided to repaint it yellow, and that would be easier to cover. Gray would be more ideal for a darker paint color.

Ta-da! Awesome, right? We love it! It came out so pretty.. and it was minimal work. You could even do this without taking the whole thing apart, just tape off the metal sides (unless yours is in horrible shape like ours was, then take it apart. It’s worth it). I took it apart to give it some extra love, and we bought new screws for it which will lengthen its life and improve its sturdiness.

I used steel wool to brighten up and remove rust from the metal handles. WOW what a huge difference it made! It’s my new favorite tool for restorations.

I figured if I’m sharing a post about our new bar cart, might as well make one of my new favorite drinks right? Tyler named this the Grappler. This drink was one of those accidental drinks that came from an (almost) empty fridge. It’s another easy, but flavorful drink. Just two ingredients.

the Grappler, makes one

1.5 oz Stoli apple vodka

3 oz grapefruit juice (fresh squeezed, or not)

grapefruit wedge (for garnish)

Pour vodka & grapefruit juice over ice. Stir, garnish, and drink.

This drink is pretty sweet, and the apple vodka takes all bitterness out of the grapefruit juice, which results in a really refreshing (alcoholic) drink. I was surprised by how delicious this combination was. It sounds…. weird. But it isn’t. It’s delicious.

This drink is definitely a “base” drink for something more creative. I just don’t know what yet. It will be fun to experiment. Plus, after decorating our new cart, I realized how measly our drink collection is. I guess we will need to bulk it up soon!

If you’re not much of a drinker or a party hoster, this cart is still a fun easy project that has so much potential. It could be used in the kitchen for extra storage. It could be a cute coffee bar with mugs and an espresso machine. If you have room, it could go in the bathroom to hold pretty toiletries. It could go in the dining room to hold extra dishes or serve-ware.

Where will you put your cart?

grandma’s table

workhardstayhappy.comToday I finally finished a project at the new house! It’s really nice working on things in our own backyard. We are both so grateful for my mom’s generosity with her backyard and house during the last three years, but it is such a nice feeling working on something at your own home. I started this project at my mom’s, and finished it here.

workhardstayhappy.comworkhardstayhappy.comThis is the table grandma was willing to trade for the (now) green one. Isn’t it awesome?? So many times throughout the years of owning this table, my grandpa and uncles tried to make her get rid of the set. Lucky for us, she is pretty stubborn.

workhardstayhappy.comworkhardstayhappy.comworkhardstayhappy.comI started by taking the whole table and chairs apart. Then I sanded and primed everything.

workhardstayhappy.comIMG_2019workhardstayhappy.comI decided to paint the table and chairs bright orange! It’s so bright and happy! So perfect for our new house.

workhardstayhappy.comworkhardstayhappy.comWe had some trouble deciding what to do with the seats. They have a metal frame, and the seat is actually made from this weird rope-ish material. It’s really awesome, but was really rotten in some spots and hard to paint. We decided to leave the centers as is for now, and maybe once they all rot through we will replace it with wood slats or something fun. We decided to keep all of the seat white, hopefully to not draw attention to the condition of the rope.

workhardstayhappy.comworkhardstayhappy.comworkhardstayhappy.comThe chairs sat like this for a the last two weeks while we were moving in and party planning. Today I finally put them together and set them up in one corner of our backyard.

workhardstayhappy.comworkhardstayhappy.comworkhardstayhappy.comworkhardstayhappy.comWe love how they turned out!! Thanks Grandma!


work hard, stay happy

Last week Tyler and I bought another car. We sold my Camry and I needed something right away. Tyler’s dream car has always been an old Land Cruiser FJ60. We found this 1988 FJ62 on Craig’sList and we both were instantly drawn to it. Red usually isn’t our car color choice, but we both really loved how this one looked. The main differences between an FJ60 and what we bought is the square headlights versus round, and ours has a newer engine with fuel injection.

work hard, stay happy

work hard, stay happy

work hard, stay happy

This thing is in pretty great condition. It has some rust that Tyler can easily fix himself. We also plan to paint it soon. The inside needs a little work too.

work hard, stay happy

work hard, stay happy

Apparently the owner’s dog had an appetite for tweed seats. Besides that, it looks amazing inside. The dash looks brand new, and after I cleaned, scrubbed, and disinfected the rest of the inside, it looks pretty new also.

work hard, stay happy

IMG_1695 copy

IMG_1706 copy

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We gave it a good bath too and vacuumed the inside and “trunk” area. It’s amazing what a little cleaning can do for a car.

work hard, stay happy

work hard, stay happy

Right now this is my ride. It’s actually really fun to drive! You can expect to see a lot of adventuring in this thing. Once my Datsun wagon is out of the shop, this will be Tyler’s car and we will sell his truck. All of our friends and family know we have been in this weird sort of car-limbo while my wagon has been out of commission. There has been a lot of buying and selling of cars around here, just trying to figure out what we are going to do until my wagon is running. We counted, and during our five years together, Tyler and I have bought 6 cars. Not too bad, right?

neon green and a GE update


My grandma moved here from Lake Havasu City last August, and she brought with her some really amazing stuff. Or, “junk” as she calls it. Lucky for me that means she is willing to part with a lot of it. One thing that really jumped out to Tyler was her patio furniture. It’s pretty rusted and needs some TLC, but with the right paint job it could be really fun and unique. Friday, my mom casually asked grandma if she wouldn’t mind parting with it, and she said not at all, as long as she had something to replace it with. My mom offered up some old rusted table she had as an exchange, promising it would be painted to brighten up grandma’s patio.



Keeping that promise in mind, I picked the brightest glossy green they had.

I started by sanding all of the rust and rough edges off. Luckily it wasn’t in too bad of shape.




Next, primer. I paid the most attention to rusted areas, but did make sure to cover it all to prevent future rust. After it dried I sprayed color. I used about  1 1/2 cans of color.


I really love how bright this came out! It was definitely brighter than I had imagined, but I think grandma will love it. It really brings out the green in the surrounding plants, which is perfect for her little plant-filled patio.





Tyler was busy masking, sanding, and priming. We started with a high-build primer, it was the first of many coats. This will help us see what areas need some extra love, maybe even some Bondo. After we fix any needed areas we are going to use Cover Stain as the final primer.




After we finish with primer, then it’s painting time! That’s what I am looking forward to the most.