A Stripping & Painting Weekend

Over the weekend, Mr. Rissler and I decided to take a stab at chalk painting a dresser we keep in our walk-in closet. This was our first time using chalk paint, so we wanted to test it out before taking on anything too big and noticeable. This dresser was a hand-me-down from my parents and in need of a little TLC!

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Chalk paint is known for requiring little-to-no prep work (e.g. sanding and priming), but we still needed to lightly sand it to remove the loose paint around the drawers. If you don’t remove loose paint, it can peel off soon after the new coat has dried and undo your hard work!  😥

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Mirror, Mirror, On the Wall…

Who’s the fairest of them all?


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It’s time for Home-Deco-History Post: Round 2! Ding, ding, ding! We’re taking a deep dive into mirrorhistory.com (who knew there was such a thing?), trusty Wikipedia, and an intriguing science journal to help us reflect on mirrors.  😆 #PunIntended

Mirrors are clearly an integral part of our lives. In fact, a recent study revealed that on average, women look in the mirror about 16 times per day while men look about 23 times per day.  😎

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A Reality Check for All Your STUFF

I have a hard time getting rid of anything with mediocre value. Last month I found all my high school graduation cards from 5+ years ago, looked through them, then put them all back in the Ziplock bag and back in the box. I could not bear to toss them.  🙄


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Since moving into our house, one of my biggest challenges has been finding a place for all of our stuff. You know the type – books you’ve collected over the years, knick knacks, old Pinterest projects, presents you didn’t really like, etc.

As I began unpacking more and more stuff after our move, I became more and more overwhelmed. So much stuff. So much clutter. I think those “minimalists” are on to something.

Let’s take a look at this bookshelf…

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4 Home Decorating Tricks From My Ingenious Mama

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Throw pillows. Baskets. Decorative Balls. Rugs. Do you have an elevated pulse? If so, you probably have a case of Hyperdecorism: an obsession with home decor. Look it up, it’s real. JK! I made it up.

I definitely have a case of Hyperdecorism. I also have a case of, “when I begin decorating I have a theme in mind, but it never seems to come together as I picture it.” I never feel like it never turns out “Pinterest-worthy.” Do you know what I mean? Does this happen to you?

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July Crew Member Spotlight: Meghann Welch

Members of The Crew, Rise and Renovate’s VIP list, are entered into a gift card drawing every month. The winner receives a home improvement or home decor gift card of their choosing along with a spotlight in the blog!

I’m excited to announce July’s winner, Meghann Welch! Meghann has showed such passion for winning over the past month that I was shocked and had to laugh when my Excel spreadsheet picked her as the winner. She also happens to be my sister-in-law. Congratulations, Meg!

When I first moved to Arizona 2.5 years ago, I actually lived with my brother and Meghann for about 4 months! It was an exciting time as Meghann was pregnant and they were moving into their newly built house. We took more trips than I can remember to pick up new furniture, which usually resulted in me squeezing in the back of the car wherever I could fit.

Meghann’s Gift Card of Choice: Hobby Lobby

“I always find stuff there that I just can’t seem to live without.”

About Meghann…

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I was born in Busan, South Korea – the second largest metropolis in South Korea after Seoul. I adopted when I was 3 months old and was raised in Davenport/Bettendorf, Iowa as an only child by the best parents ever. In 2012, I was fortunate enough to return to South Korea to be reunited with my birth family which consists of my birth parents (divorced) and 10 total children (4 oldest passed away as babies/children from poor living conditions, four sisters, one brother, and me).

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Hardwood Floor Adventures, Part 1: Getting an Amazing Deal and the Realistic Costs of DIY

Over the weekend we shared a few live videos on the Rise and Renovate Facebook page of Andrew and I tearing out carpet and installing new floors in our bedroom! Before we dive into all the details, let me take you back to the beginning. Last Monday I received a text from my husband…

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Such a light text for such a hefty decision, amiright??  😆

Aaanndddddddd here’s the car later that night. I painted myself in to help you understand how I fit into the car for our 25 minute drive home (that’s not really me just so you know, it’s hard to tell)…

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I want to take you down the road of how we saved 85% on our hardwood floors, but also take a realistic look at how much it actually costs to install your own flooring.

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Our 2 Must-Have Cleaning Products

Staying true to foreclosed-upon fashion, our house was really dirty when we moved in. Not just sweep-away-the-dust dirty… more like hands-and-knees-scrubbing-the-tile dirty.

That being said, cleaning is so satisfying. While it’s hard work, with each scrub I felt I was giving our house a second chance at life! Here are two of the must-haves I keep around the house for all our hard surfaces.

Mr. Clean Magic Erasers

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What’s That Shape? It’s a Quatrefoil.

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via Wikipedia

Please tell me you’ve seen this shape. I am seeing it EVERYWHERE right now! Take a look:

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I didn’t realize the extent of its popularity until we began buying home décor. Now we have two rugs and several sets of sheers with this design! And this is probably definitely just the beginning…

My curiosity got the best of me and I began to wonder… Where did it come from? What does it mean? After looking for a good 30 minutes, I was only lead to dead ends. Leave it to my superhero husband to find its name in approximately 30 seconds. It’s called…

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Carpet vs. Cat

I’ve always been a cat lover. My favorite stuffed animal growing up was “Lion King” and I treasured my first cat, “Patches,” whom I received for my 5th birthday. Among my friends I was known for my love of cats and by the time I graduated high school our family owned three of them. In college I would even FaceTime with my cats. To be honest, I never really viewed them as animals – they were always a part of our family.

On May 21st, 2016, this drastically changed. DISCLAIMER: This post is not for the weak-stomached. 

Have you ever walked into someone’s house and just knew they had cats? I wouldn’t say our house was quite that bad, probably because it was uninhabited when we first saw it, but it quickly became clear that a cat ruled this house. RULED. No joke, I firmly believe it even had its own room.

To quote our inspector…

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A Catastro-Bee

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Bees. Bees everywhere. This was the first 3 weeks of living in our house.

Bees at our front door. Bees in the wall. Bees in the vents. Bees in the bathroom. Bees crawling on the floor.

Let me tell you a little story about how bee hives get out-of-control:

A couple years ago, there was a bee hive near our roof. The owners chose to have an exterminator come out and kill the bees. No bees, no problem! Right?

WRONG. 

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