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Saxons Down South

One Year Later

I cannot believe it has been right at a year since the last time I wrote on our blog. It really seems more like five considering everything that has happened. The Lord has worked in ways we never dreamed of and has blessed us beyond measure over the last twelve months. It’s funny how He can take a stressful season and turn it into one of the most prosperous and life changing seasons of our life thus far. Looking back now I can see all the little things that ended up playing major roles in leading us to where we are today.

We made the decision to start our journey towards financial freedom after hearing our pastor mention Dave Ramsey’s teachings during a money series last October at our church. My brother in law and sister in law had also recently completed Financial Peace University and had talked to us a few times about their experience.¬† I decided to read one of his books (Total Money Makeover), which little did I know at the time would drastically change our future and our marriage.

After reading that book, I was convinced we needed a change. We were doing things all the wrong way. I never wanted to be a couple who fought about money, but we did, ALL THE TIME! Josh had his ideas of how to handle our money and save and I had my ideas on how to spend it. I never really was much of a saver. So when I came to him and said I wanted to do this he was 100% on board and so proud that I finally decided I no longer wanted to be careless with money. We committed to the process wholeheartedly and it is amazing how quickly we began to turn things around. I never thought I would look forward to a monthly budget meeting with my husband!

While we worked the baby steps we put all the work with our house (and workshop) on hold. After six months of busting our tails to get our debt paid down we decided as reward for working so hard to save some money and finish the projects we started last summer, particularly Josh’s workshop. I cannot tell you how amazing it feels to walk into Lowe’s and pay cash for everything you need/want and not feel guilty about it!

It may have taken us a year to complete his workshop, but it was worth every penny and every lesson we have learned along the way. And the smile on his face when he is out there working isn’t half bad either.

 

The Workshop

Our to-do list never seems to get shorter, although we have nearly completed so many projects on our new home I’ve lost count. The biggest plan we had when we purchased this house was to build a workshop since the house did not have a garage or basement. It has been amazing to see the transformation go from an idea to a physical building in our backyard. I could not be more proud of Josh and all the hard work he put into building the shop. There were many bumps along the way and things that did not go as planned, but he is like a kid in a candy shop every time he goes out there now. Although the shop is not 100% complete, it is operational which means not only have I put Josh to work with furniture pieces I want for the house, but also our business, Saxon’s Deep South Woodworks is in full swing (yay!). Below I have added pictures to show the progress of the shop being built and a link to a video on our instagram that shows the inside.

Josh was originally planning to dig out the area for the foundation by hand! He quickly changed his mind after digging for a full day and barely making any progress. The bobcat got the job done in just a few hours.
Josh was originally planning to dig out the area for the foundation by hand! He quickly changed his mind after digging for a full day and barely making any progress. The bobcat got the job done in just a few hours.
We decided to pour a concrete slab so the building could be used as a one car garage later on.
We decided to pour a concrete slab so the building could be used as a one car garage later on.
Partial framing up
Partial framing up, this only took them half the day!
I got to help out and use some of the power tools too!
I got to help out and use some of the power tools too!
Almost ready for the roof! We made the pitch of the roof so high in order to use the extra lofted space as storage.
Almost ready for the roof! We made the pitch of the roof so high in order to use the extra lofted space as storage.
I love the tin roof! All that is left to do is add siding and the doors!
I love the tin roof! All that is left to do is add siding and the doors!

Our newest additions to the family, Johnny and June, are loving hanging out in the shop with us and tend to take their afternoon naps in some funny places.

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Josh calls this one "chop kitty"
Josh calls this one “chop kitty”

Check out the inside of the workshop¬†here and be sure to follow us on Instagram! The Saxon’s Deep South Woodworks Facebook page is also up and running (find it here), so be sure to like us (and share with your friends) so you can see all our projects and current pieces we have for sale! Thank you for your continued support!

DIY Dresser Flip

I’ve always loved flipping furniture, it’s something I’ve learned from my mom over the years. Finding an ugly or outdated piece of furniture and turning into something special, while also saving money by not purchasing something brand new, is always rewarding.

I originally bought this set of dressers along with a headboard from a thrift store in Georgia for only $100. They looked like they came straight out of the 70s, but I loved the clean lines and simplicity. Brown dresserI painted them brown, added new knobs, and a decorative wood applique I found at Lowe’s that matched the design on the headboard. I loved these dressers and have used them for the past 4 years, but Josh has been asking that I redo them ever since we got married. I decided when we moved that it would be the perfect time to give the dressers a makeover.

I love to use chalk paint when I’m painting furniture, mainly because there is not a lot of prep work involved. Usually I do some light sanding just to smooth the surface andFullSizeRender allow for the paint to stick well. Then I wipe the piece down with a damp cloth to remove any dust and it’s ready for paint! In this case I removed the applique that I previously added so I had to do a little more sanding to make sure the surface was smooth and you wouldn’t be able to tell where it was after painting. I’ve tried many different kinds of chalk paint, I’ve even made my own with a recipe I found on Pinterest using Plaster of Paris. Some I like more than others, but I’m always trying to save money and experiment with nFullSizeRender(3)ew paints to see if there is another brand out there that works great for a cheaper price. Josh told me that Valspar came out with their own version of chalk paint at Lowe’s, so we decided to try it out for this project. Sadly I was extremely disappointed with the quality of the paint. It took forever to dry and remained streaky even after three coats and according to the reviews on the Valspar website a lot of people had the same issues. I’ve never had to apply three coats of chalk paint when using other brands and will being doing a little more research next time before I try a new brand. I deFullSizeRender(4)finitely would recommend not wasting your time or money ($30 a quart) on this paint. Luckily I had some Blackberry House paint left over from a previous project that I hoped would cover better. It was not the exact color I wanted, but with only one coat the dressers looked perfect! The great thing about Blackberry House paint is that after 8-10 days it cures to a hard finish so it does not require a protective top coat like wax or polyurethane. That’s probably my favorite aspect of the paint, because it means less steps for me! The color is Home Cooked Bread and is a little creamier than the original color I wanted, but Josh and I both ended up loving the final color!

We chose an antique english drawer pull from knobdeals.com (they have great options for great prices) evIMG_3305en though Josh was very hesitant about any gold in our bedroom. Next we drilled all the holes for the new handles. This was a job I needed Josh’s help with because I suck at measuring and making sure it’s all even and aligned correctly. He’s a lot more meticulous than I am so I knew it would look a whole lot better if he did it. He also had to measure out a lot of new holes because originally the dresser did not have handles on all the drawers, they have a small cut out either on the top or bottom to pull them out. Josh has always hated that aspect because sometimes the drawers will stick and they are hard to open. We decided that we would add handles to every drawer to make opening and closing easier. After all the holes were drilled, I screwed in the handles, wiped the dressers down and they were done!

Here are the final photos:

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We are both extremely pleased with the final outcome of this furniture flip! If you have a piece that needs some TLC we can help, just head over to Saxon’s Deep South Woodworks for more information! Check back soon for more home renovation updates and other DIY projects!

Living in Chaos

I knew when we bought this house that there were multiple projects both Josh and I wanted to dive right into. But for this type A girl it has been awfully hard to wake up in the morning or come home from work to a messy house! Our house truly feels like a chaotic construction zone and sometimes I wonder what I have gotten myself into. I know once everything is completed we will love the house even more because it will have our special touch on it, but it seems like such a long road filled with too many trips to Lowe’s (we’ve already made 8 trips in the last week alone) and a lot of long days and nights. The best part is that Josh is home way more than I am working on things, so when I come home there’s always something new to see.

Currently we have multiple projects going on through out the house. I decided since Josh was doing a lot of work in the kitchen area I would focus on our bedroom not only to stay out of his way, but it was something I knew I could handle on my own. I did a little searching on Pinterest to come up with a color palette and decorating ideas. Finally I was able to find a few looks I really loved that I could combine, while also keeping Josh’s wishes that nothing in the house be too “girly”. I wanted to stay neutral and keep using all the same bedding and furniture in our bedroom currently, so I settled on a navy, white, light grey, and gold. Immediately Josh was against the idea of any gold, but I convinced him to trust me and that it would only be minimal accents in gold. So first thing I did was pick a new wall color, it was originally a tan that carried through the entire house. I went with a Sherwin Williams paint called Windstorm and it turned out BEAUTIFULLY! Thankfully I was able to paint the whole room Saturday and get our room put back together.

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Later this week I am planning to tackle two more projects specifically for our bedroom. I’ve been wanting to redo a set of dressers I found at a thrift store that I originally redid for my college apartment. Josh has also been asking me to repaint them since we got married. The second project involves some art work for either side of the bed with our vows. So keep a look out for both of those updates and photos later this week!

Josh has multiple projects he has been working on with his dad and a family friend for the last week including building a pantry, installing french doors and building a deck. These projects are also where my feelings of anxiety and feeling like I’m living in chaos have come from. Our house has tools and saw dust EVERYWHERE! But when your cutting massive holes in the side of your house and putting up new walls, I can’t expect it to stay clean! Below are some before photos and progress photos.

IMG_3264 IMG_3280Thankfully our kitchen had a perfect area to add a pantry and give us much needed storage space! It took Josh about two days to get the pantry to this point, and after one more day of work it will be complete!

IMG_3290IMG_3289 The idea to add the french doors in the kitchen came from my mom (thank you!). Not only does it add a tremendous amount of natural light but it is also very functional to have an additional outdoor space and easy access to the grill. The idea of the doors initially presented a challenge because they had to swing out so that we could still place an island in the kitchen. We searched for any alternatives because we quickly found that out swing doors are considered custom and special order. Our budget had no room for anything custom! Josh tried to convince me to settle on a set of sliding glass doors, as they saved space and would not break the bank.

IMG_3279 IMG_3281We decided to check out our local Habitat Restore to make sure we shopped around before making a decision and boy am I thankful we did! Someone had donated a brand new set of out swing french doors that even had the transom window that I originally wanted! It was a major blessing and took a lot of stress off finding the right doors without overspending.

As you can tell Josh has been working extremely hard this week and I am so proud of all the progress he has made. I am trying daily to remind myself that living in what I feel like is chaos will come with a great payoff in the end. The trouble is worth it and we just have to keep moving forward until we have a home Josh and I both adore!

Getting Started

I’ve been contemplating blogging for months now, but every time I thought about all the steps to get started it seemed so daunting and overwhelming. But somehow I convinced myself to begin probably during one of the busiest weeks of my life. Joshua and I bought a home and moved to Leeds, AL last weekend and I began a brand new job in Birmingham. The past two weeks have felt like complete chaos at times, but looking back I see how blessed we truly are. Although there were bumps in the road and some days did not go as planned we are here in our home and I am loving my new job. Realizing this brought me to the point where I am now, reminding myself that everything does not have to come together immediately (something Josh has reminded me of often, but I can be stubborn). It is okay that my new home is not perfectly put together and decorated like a pin on pinterest. Just because I still have boxes to unpack and projects to complete does not mean that I cannot sit and relax for a moment, reflect on my day, be thankful and write.

So, why did I decide to start blogging? Honestly there are many reasons, one in particular being for our friends and family that do not live close by to keep up with our lives as it is constantly changing and growing. Another is to have a creative outlet where I can share the remodeling projects Josh and I have planned for our new home and other DIY crafts. I want to be able to share this exciting journey that we have begun while also allowing myself to reflect. I believe reflection leads to growth, and growth is essential in life. I am constantly striving to be a better Christian, a better wife, a better nurse, and the list goes on.

I hope this gives you a glimpse as to where we are currently and please be in prayer for us as we continue forward in our journey. Check back often, I hope to write at least a few times a week.

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