Happy New Year

Happy New Year everyone.  Here’s to a happy, healthy, active 2018!  My number one resolution, is to write more.  So, with that said, please, tell me what you’d like more of from Nicol Living.  Recipe’s, DIY projects, exercise tips etc…  Actually, I’ve decided I don’t like the word “exercise”.  I’m replacing it with “movement” or “practice”. 

Tell me what you want to read more about, friends.   Happy New Year 2018

Furniture face lift….Your own style….

I’ve always liked antiques when it comes to furniture.  Whenever I see new furniture, it just looks cookie cutter like it belongs in a doctor’s office waiting area.  To each their own.  I guess my sense of style is a bit eclectic.  I’ve been looking for the right dresser forever.  If you remember an older post from the summer, “curbside treasures”, you may recall the solid cherry dresser I rescued from the side of the road.  Well, it’s finally finished.  I have to say, I love how it turned out.  The grain of the wood is beautiful.  It wasn’t too difficult to re-finish.  As usual, it’s just finding the time to just get it done.

I wanted to see the grain of the wood.  So simply using my hand-held sander, I sanded the top, sides and drawer faces.  After getting the old varnish off and eliminating the scratches, I applied a clear stain for cherry wood.  Depending on the look you’re going for, you could use a colored stain, dark stain or chalk paint.  Chalk paint does not require any prior sanding.  It can simply be applied.  It’s the oldest type of furniture paint around.

What projects do you have going on?  Do you prefer a more modern, standard look?  Do you have more of an antique eclectic style?  Let’s share some ideas….

Simple DIY….

I have so many DIY projects in the works right now.  I’ve been wanting to write about all of them, but due to hot humid temps, I’ve had a bit of a set back in terms of completion.  I like to redo my furniture projects outside.  Not happening when it’s 90 degrees out.  So I’ve taken on giving my daughter’s room a face lift.  At least I can turn the AC on and paint away.  

Like most of the rooms in my house they have an 80’s color scheme which consists of mauve with either a powder blue or mint green accent color.  Hideous!  Oh, and I must not forget that there’s only 2 rooms in my entire home that were not effected by some form of wallpaper!  I despise wallpaper.  I know it’s making a comeback, but I still hate it.  Anyhow, that’s just a personal preference.  Maybe it’s just me having flashbacks of my mom jumping on the wallpaper wagon of 1983 and me having to help her with the mauve and baby blue stripes and flower combination that plastered our living and dining room walls.  Ugh!  Anyhow, my daughters room has a border around the entire room and 2 walls completely covered with flowered wallpaper.  The good thing is, when the wallpaper was done, they did a great job.  That stuff is smooth and tight.  So rather that attempt to take it off I’m going to paint right over it.  I had a terrible time trying to take the wallpaper down in our dining  and living room.  I ended up causing more damage to the sheet rock, which forced me to bring in a professional to repair and paint.  It killed me, because I like to do my own painting.  In a tweens bedroom, I’m not too worried about the walls looking perfect.  If there’s  a slight bump or imperfection, a nice framed poster, bookshelf, mirror etc…. acts as a nice cover up.  

I asked my daughter what color she wanted to paint her room.  A blue or turquoise shade is what she was hoping for.  As a way to save money on paint, we went to the “mistake paint” shelf at LOWES and there were several shades of blue paint that were mistakes.  I had my daughter pick a color she liked.  This way I was able to get a $50 gallon of paint for $10.  The color she chose is more of a slate blue, which is nice and not extremely bright.  I can offset the color with a light gray/silver that I had left over from another room, which will look nice on the molding and ceiling.  Also on the mistake shelf was a $40 quart of lavender chalk paint that I bought for $8. Chalk paint is great.  It’s been around for years and can be used on any wooden surface without sanding or prep work at all.  I’ve redone a small bookcase with it and will paint my daughters closet door too. The lavender will be a nice pop of color.  All of the doors in the bedroom are the ugly hollow wood panel doors.  A coat of paint, change out the door knob and it will look great.  I haven’t forgotten about turquoise being my daughters favorite color.  I can incorporate turquoise in the curtains and bedding.  I believe it’s all going to come together quite nicely.  I can’t wait  to post follow-up pictures.

How are your DIY projects coming along?  Do you enjoy painting rooms?  How do you feel about wallpaper?  Do you have any money savings tips?  Let’s get the conversation started….


Mowing the lawn….

When I was a kid, mowing the lawn was my job.  Fortunately, it never seemed like a chore to me.  I liked doing it.  I still like doing it.  It had actually been a while since I’d done it.  We have a huge lawn so we purchased a tractor when we moved into our house 9 years ago.  I have no interest in using the rider, so I don’t.  My husband takes care of all mowing duties on a regular basis, until recently.  Our tractor broke and has been getting fixed for the past 3 weeks.  Luckily our neighbor had an extra push mower that she’s letting us borrow.  I have to admit, I was a little excited to take over the mowing for a few weeks.  Here’s why:
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Ladder Shelf Project….

If you recall my post last month “Curbside Treasures”, you may recall me mentioning an old paint ladder that I found on the side of the road.  I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it.  There are actually plenty of ways to turn old wooden ladders into decorative beauties for your home.  With this particular ladder, I decided to refinish the wood and turn it into a decorative shelf for a bedroom.

Continue reading “Ladder Shelf Project….”

Rainy Day Projects….


I hope everyone had an excellent Memorial Day Weekend.  Along with honoring the brave men and women who represent the United States military, (past, present & future) Memorial Day weekend is also a kick off to the beginning of summer rituals. Cookouts, BBQ, Gardening, Yard work (not fun), Family, Swimming, Boating, Parades etc….    
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Herb Corner….


So, I couldn’t  decide how to have a small portion of my deck designated to herbs.  I didn’t want planters all over the place, and I didn’t want to buy planters or build a shelf of some sort.  So, I did the next best thing.  I rummaged throughout my house to find items that I could transform into what I wanted.   Continue reading “Herb Corner….”

Curbside treasure, refinished….

I hope everyone had a great weekend and Happy Mother’s Day.  I was able to re-finish this little table.  It was one of the items I found on a random curbside treasure find.  I’m not sure if it’s an old typewriter table or a doctors table? As you can see in the pictures, it has wheels, with locks and flaps on the end.  Regardless of its original use, I like it.  It was dirty, with chipped paint and a lot of glass rings on top.  I couldn’t wait to hit it with my sander and see what the grain of the wood looked like.  I originally thought I was going to remove all of the black paint.  But, as I sanded I really liked the look of the blended paint and wood so I left it.  When I finished sanding, I applied a natural oak stain.  I’m really pleased with the results and it turned out to be a perfect end table in my living room.  At least for now.  I tend to move furniture around a lot.  Does anyone else?  

What items have you turned from trash to treasure?  Does anyone have a clue to what kind of table that actually is?  

Coffee Station

I’ve created a coffee station in my dining room.  I wish I had a before picture of the small dresser that I rescued from my mother in laws basement.  It was a mess!  It was chipped and covered in dirt.  I buffed out some of  the cracks and added chalk paint.  Chalk paint is amazing! You can paint any kind of wood and give pieces a complete face lift.  I had planned on changing the knobs, but once I cleaned up the originals, I decided I liked the white on white. I also pained the mirror.  It was silver so I went with the blue and distressed the edges.   The shelf was previously in the 1/2 bathroom I made over last month.  I decided to use it for the coffee station instead. That shelf was made by my brother when he was in high school.  I found it in the corner of my fathers basement probably 5 plus years ago. It was a little worn and coming apart.  The carved out heart just drew me to it.  I knew I’d be able to fix and transform it somehow.  My brother is a talented craftsman.  He can build anything.  When he was visiting with his family over the holidays, he couldn’t believe I rescued the shelf.  He said, “that was the first thing he’d ever built”.  Anyhow, I love how my coffee station turned out.  Otherwise, this was just a small corner of wasted space.  
Continue reading “Coffee Station”

Farmers Market Fun…


Great Saturday morning!  The season has begun!  Yesterday was the opening day of the Farmers Market where I live in the town of Bethlehem.  Farmers Markets are a great community resource.  They provide many introductions in regards to local farmers, craftsman, restaurants, musicians and more….  Regardless of where you live, more than likely you can find a farmers market within a fairly close proximity.  Take advantage of it!  If you attend the Delmar Farmers market on Saturday mornings, you know what a treat and social event it can be.  My son loves it!  He loves going early in the morning with me, trying all of the samples!  One of his favorites is “Puckers Pickles”.  We always leave with a huge jar of the horseradish pickles.  They are Delicious!  Puckers also makes a great Kimchi and Pak Dong.  I make my own which I will discuss in a future post, but if you have no interest in making your own, buying it from a place like Puckers is well worth it!  The health benefits of Kimchi are phenomenal (packed with probiotics).  New to the Delmar Farmers market this year is brilliant artist, Pam Collins.  Pam is a close friend, so I’m fortunate to own a few of her pottery pieces.  Her work is unique and absolutely beautiful.   Continue reading “Farmers Market Fun…”