Bench Makeover With County Chic Paint


Well, hello friends! I have another amazing furniture makeover to share with you!

I can’t take credit for this one, though. This beautiful project was done by my sister, Roni. She wanted to get in on the fun and see what this Country Chic Paint was all about. Plus, she has this bench in her home that she has wanted to makeover for a long time.

This bench was made by our Great Uncle Jim and given to our mother. It was an house fire and my uncle restored it. It’s a gorgeous bench but just didn’t suit my sister’s style.

I convinced her to try painting it and I love how it turned out and so does my sister.

This is the bench before:


There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this bench, just didn’t suit my sister’s style.

To makeover her this bench, my sister chose Enchanted from the Limited Edition colors from Country Chic Paint.


Before beginning to paint the bench needed to be sanded down. This bench was coated with a very thick coat of some sort of polyurethane sealer. It gave the bench a very shiny finish and that definitely needed to come off before painting.

It all came off with a little elbow grease and with the help of a palm sander.


The bench was given a good wipe down and then it was time to start painting!


The bench was given two full coats of paint.


My sister didn’t really care for the full painted look, so she took a piece of sandpaper and ruffed it up a little bit.


Without further ado… here is the bench now.


And of course, a new bench wouldn’t be complete without someone to test it out!


That is my sister’s dog, Faith. She is always great if you’re looking for a model.

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What do you think about this makeover? Leave me a comment below and let me know!


If you love this bench, don’t be afraid to pin it to your Pinterest boards!

Keep on makin' stuff!


I Have Been Given A Gift

Good evening, everyone! Well it’s Friday night and I can’t help but be a little honest with you all.

I am sitting here on my couch, in my polka dot PJ pants (my favorite) wearing an over-sized t-shirt. In fact, it’s probably my husbands — anyway, just so you know I am being honest and to give you a better idea of what my life is right now…


See? I would never lie to you. Remember that.

My house is a mess. Like a disaster zone and to be even more honest — I don’t even care. The kids and Jaime are watching a movie. All is quiet… well with the exception of Zootopia drowning out the crickets.

Even Zoey, our lovable family pup is cuddle up on the couch being completely still and silent. Which is a rare, since she is a pup and is usually up wandering the house causing chaos.

This. Is. Perfection.

Well, my idea of perfection, anyway.

If someone told me that this is what I would be doing in my 30s, I would have believed them. That’s right — I would have believed them.

My favortie orphan, Anne Shirley says it best.

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And in my life, the “you” that Anne Shirley is talking about is my family.

I always knew that the one thing I was going to be was a mother. That has always been my biggest goal.

Sure it’s nice to have places to go, travel the world and do all kinds of amazing things but in this moment in my life I am perfectly content with this! This is what I wanted.

I have been given more blessings and opportunities than I ever deserved.

And when I look at this photo, I know that I really do have everything that I need.


We had our family photos done a couple of nights ago and it’s funny how seeing your family in photos really puts things into perspective for you.

What have I been given?

My husband, Jaime, who works so hard for his family.


I am not just saying this because he is my husband — he is the hardest working man I know. A man who works 6 nights a week and never complains. He understands that he has a job to do and has an unbelievable sense of responsibility. You just don’t find this very often anymore. I admire him for all he does for us.

My children, Ava and Douglas. The two lights of my life.


I’d like to take just a moment and give you my perspective on motherhood.

I am far from a perfect mother. No one is. I have days where I lose my cool and come unglued. Days where, if I am being honest, I wish that I could pack them up and send away for just a few hours.

**If you say you have never had these feelings as a mother, you’re probably lying and these feelings don’t make you a monster, they make you human.

But then there are times, moments when your children look at you like you are the only thing that matters. Their eyes say that you are their everything. I hope that they never lose sight of this feeling for me.


Side note — In the teenage years, I am sure they won’t look at me the same, but I am OK with that. I am not here to be their friend.  Besides I still have some time before that happens.

In reality, though — that’s just it. I love my children more than life itself, but I am the mother. I am the one that needs to be the grown up, a pillar of strength and dignity. Not a buddy or pal. There will be plenty of time when they are adults for me to be their friend — that time is not now. 

I love my children so much that if I could, I would move Heaven and earth for them. I would give them their dreams and their wishes. This is not reality, though. You cannot possibly give your children everything they want. You can’t look at your child and tell them they will never feel hurt, disappointment or regret. You cannot shelter them from reality.

You can’t lie to them and tell them that there is no evil in this world and that they will never be subject to it. Lying to your children does them no service.

Naturally, I am going to protect my children’s innocence as long as I can, but I strongly believe in being real with them.

I will tell my kids that you can’t be good at everything and that you won’t always be #1. There will be other kids that can do things better than them — that’s just life. It’s real. Kid’s do not need their egos boosted all the time. Don’t mistake this for me being a mean mom.

If my kids do something very well, I believe in praising them. First and foremost, I believe in giving praise where praise is due.


I encourage my children to excel in the areas where I know they are great. If they are passionate about something and they really want to do it, but they need to practice, I tell them, “You want to be better? You need to practice.”

Hard work and dedication do pay off. There are those people, where things just seem to come easy to them but reality is, we don’t know their whole story.

I am not going to focus on someone else’s story.

I’m living my story and at the end of the day if my children fail, it will be no one’s fault but my own.


The reason for this and in looking at these photos, I realized just how much my littles rely on me. They need me to guide them and teach them how to be the best people they can be. Honestly, I could care less if my children grow up to be world renowned scholars and geniuses. Sure, schooling is important, I am not saying that it isn’t but for my children, I want their virtues to come first. Kindness, patience, charity, and humility are at the top of my list for my children. Focus on these and you will see that other things will quickly fall into place.

These are attitudes that I believe the world is severely lacking and it’s no secret.

I can’t change the world but I can certainly shape my own children.


This isn’t going to be easy and I know that I will need to make some changes of my own but that’s what being a mother is all about.

For starters, I am severely lacking in the patience department, I can admit that about myself.

This new mission starts today. I won’t be the best mom in the world, because I believe that is a role none of us mere mortals can fill, however, I will work harder every day at being the mother that my children need.


I don’t look at motherhood as some competition with some glorious prize or trophy to be won. There are no awards, medals or even a pat on the back. We don’t need these things. We’ve already been given our prize — our children.


I am going to cherish the “prizes” that I have been blessed with.

I get one shot to get this right and raising my children to be beacons of light in this scary world of ours is my goal.


Feel free to share your thoughts on all this in the comments below!


We like to be funny

Super short and sweet tonight, everyone!

Just wanted to take a minute and share a blooper with you all!

We like to be funny and laugh at ourselves over here at By The Stand

image source: Stacey Coles

So in the spirit of laughing at myself… Check out this blooper!


If you haven’t already subscribed to my YouTube channel, make sure you do!

I will be adding tons of great content!

Keep on makin' stuff!

How To Easily Clean Stains From Your Mugs


Howdy ho, fellow DIYers! I have a great little cleaning hack for you today and if you’re a heavy tea drinker like me then listen up!

You know all those grungy stains that you get on the inside of your coffee mug? The ones that regular ol’ dish soap just doesn’t clean out?

Well, I have an easy way to get rid of those stains!

It doesn’t take long at all and you’ll have your sparky clean mugs back before your next pot of tea steeps!

All you need is toothpaste!


Take a look at the inside of my mug before


That’s many, many, MANY cups of tea. I don’t even want to say how many. Let’s just say, I love my tea.

All you need to do is rub the inside of your mug with toothpaste


I tried using paper towel, but honestly, your fingers work just as well.

Let the tooth paste sit on the inside of your mug for about 3-5 minutes and then wash your mug as you normally would.

And viola!


Much better, right!?


Here’s a side by side so you can really see the difference


And sure, by now you may be thinking… “well, who cares if the inside of my mug is stained?” but I can tell you tea tastes much better out of a sparkly clean mug!

Okay, so I may have made that last part up, but is it so bad to like sparkly clean things? I don’t think so.

If you have a few minutes and you’re bored, use this neat hack!

Pin this image so you’ll have this tip for later!

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From Door Trim To Shelves


Hey folks! I have wanted to share this post with you for some time now! I am so excited about it but there was a bit of a delay and only because these shelves were a real nightmare to hang…

You’re probably confused, right? Well let’s get right into this DIY and you will soon see what I am talking about!

First off, if you don’t know, we have a store in Thamesford called Gracie’s Place. It is in a super old building right in the heart of Thamesford. My uncle bought it and we are totally gutting and renovating the whole building. At the back of the building is a turn of the century home that is filled with tons of character that is also getting a bit of a face lift.

Why am I telling you all this? Well, cause my uncle ripped out this trim that was over some of the doorways.


Now before you go getting all “why would he do that!!??” It’s because those doorways don’t exist anymore. The building is getting a full overhaul. So these beautiful pieces were no longer needed.


I thought that these pieces of trim would make some really beautiful shelves for my powder room and I was right!

I had to add a bit of depth to them because they were’t quite wide enough to make a decent shelf.




I measured and cut a piece of 2×6 wood from my uncle’s scrap pile to fit the same length of the shelf.

To attach it to the door trim, I made my own triangular braces from 2×6 scrap wood. This was super easy to do with my Ryobi Mtire Saw. I LOVE this saw!

Just turn it to 45 degrees and start cutting.


I had the hubby’s help for this one!

I used my Ryobi Palm sander to give this wood a quick sanding.


Time to attach the extra piece of wood to the trim! To do this we used a Ryobi drill with screws.


This is what is looks like from the back.


This seems like it might be difficult, but it’s actually quite easy! I didn’t bother including measurements because you would have to have the exact same piece of trim as me and the odds of that are slim to nil.

BUT … you could totally recreate this project with any piece of wood.

I wanted to paint my shelves since they were two different colours.

You will also notice that I had to cut the trim. My powder room is very tiny, so the whole piece wouldn’t fit. Cutting it left me with one straight edge cut. Although this wasn’t ideal, it is what it is and it doesn’t bother me. I actually kind of like it like this. I nestled it right up against the wall (as you will see in the after pic) and you can barely notice.


For the paint, I chose Sunday Tea from Country Chic Paint. This is probably my new favourite colour right now!! I LOVE IT!!



After the paint had dried, I went over the whole piece with Grey Wax — another one of my favourites from Country Chic Paint.

I have to apologize… I do not have any pictures of us hanging the shelves. Remember how I said earlier it was a nightmare… well, it was a NIGHTMARE.

These shelves actually ended up being super super heavy. It was quite the ordeal to hang them so taking pictures didn’t even cross my mind. Sorry!

But here they are!


What do you think?? I personally, am in LOVE!

They have totally transformed my tiny little powder room!


The front half of the powder room will be getting it’s own little makeover soon so make sure that you come back and check for that — or subscribe to my mailing list so that you don’t miss out!

If you love this, make sure you pin this image to your DIY board!

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If you guys love this DIY, don’t be shy! Share it with a friend!!

Keep on makin' stuff!

Friday Feature – Liz Marie Blog

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Happy Friday, everyone! I wanted to try out something new on my blog — Friday Feature.

Every Friday, (or at least I am gonna try lol) I am going to feature another blogger or social media influencer that I follow and think that you should, too!

This is the thing with social media and blogging — it’s all about sharing. The more we share the more we see. So I thought it would be nice to shed some light on someone else for a change.

The first up for our Friday Feature is Liz Marie from Liz Marie Blog


source – Instagram / @lizmariegalvan

I have been following this woman for quite sometime and she is one of my favorites. Her design and style in impeccable and if you love farmhouse style and you’re not following her, you’re crazy.


source – Instagram / @lizmariegalvan

A quick peek at her Instagram and you’ll be sucked in for hours.


source – Instagram / @lizmariegalvan


source – Instagram / @lizmariegalvan

But even more than her superior interior designs skills, Liz Marie shares her tough journey of infertility on her blog.

This woman has had six miscarriages and has seven babies in heaven — I couldn’t even imagine what that must be like. She shares her stories and it’s great to know that others who may be going through the same thing can come to her blog and find a little bit of hope and comfort.

I really admire her for this.

source – Liz Marie Blog

To top it off, Liz Maire has the most adorable house guest I have ever seen!

This is Grace


Grace is a sheep that Liz Marie and her husband took in because she was rejected by her mother.

So adorable! 

source – Instagram / @lizmariegalvan


source – Instagram / @lizmariegalvan

If you want to hear more about Grace, it’s best to read it straight from the source! Liz Marie has a FAQ page on her blog just for Grace!

This is just a little peek into her blog, though. I highly encourage you to check out her site and her IG! It’s just so  lovely!


Glow Stick Bath

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My poor little nephew has been having a rough go of it lately. Little Logan hasn’t been feeling the greatest.

He has been bogged down with an ear infection and fevers over the last couple of days.

My sister wanted to to do something special for him to help him feel a little better and I have to say that this little parenting hack is gold.

It’s so easy and cheap to do, too!

Kids need to have a bath, right? Make their bath time extra fun every once in a while by turning of the lights and tossing in a couple of glow sticks.


My sister said that Logan LOVED it! — “he was in there for like half an hr and would have stayed longer but past bed time and water got cold”.


He loved lining up all the glow sticks like they were his dinky cars LOL

So the next time you give your kids a bath, give this a try! You can even pick up glow sticks for super cheap from the dollar store!

If you try this, let me know if your kids liked it!

Share this with a parent that you know would totally do this!