{Hannah} “Your Sister is Effing Awesome”

I have a well known trait of not liking change. I’m perfectly happy to eat the same food every day. I also refuse to adapt when the items I like and use often are no longer available, which means I find myself scouring eBay to find the same pair of discontinued sneakers, or another purse exactly like the one I’ve been using.

But this time, the issue was my phone’s battery, which no longer held a charge. I didn’t want to be forced into buying a new phone quite yet, as I’m not excited about the new iPhones that Apple sells. So putting off the inevitable, I googled, and realized that I could replace my iPhone’s battery myself! New lithium ion batteries are around $20-$25, and most come with a kit that has all the tools you need to make the switch.

I ordered a battery kit on Amazon (the exact one I ordered is no longer available, but there are quite a few others for sale on Amazon and through other retailers)…and then I let it sit in the box for a month.

But last week my phone was struggling to stay on even when it was connected to an external battery, so I knew the time to finally try had come.

Best case scenario: My phone has a new battery and lives to see another day!
Worst case scenario: My phone still doesn’t work, and I have to buy a new phone (which is the same outcome as if I didn’t attempt replacing the battery).

Of course, I waited until 10pm to change the battery, but there’s no time like the present once I decided to commit. The directions were pretty clear and easy to follow, but I did make a few errors. First, I dropped the first screw I took out. They’re incredibly small, and I wasn’t expecting it to come out so easily. Then, I got overly excited, and rushed through removing the second adhesive strip, which meant I had to pry the battery out.

The whole operation was nerve wracking, but I kept reminding myself that people do this every day at the Apple Store and other retailers. Once everything was put back together, it was time for the moment of truth: would it turn on?

YES! It did! I was so excited I texted my brother a screenshot of my phone, along with the message “YOUR SISTER IS EFFING AWESOME”.

And then I used my newly fixed phone’s flashlight to look for the missing screw, which I was able to find! So all in all, it was a pretty great night!


{Home} Scrub-a-Dub-Dub

No three men in a tub around here though. This story involves a fully clothed single woman.

There was still more work to be done after the big stripping adventure over the weekend. I had noticed a clearish brown substance coming up with the paint, which I figured to be the previous coat of polyurethane on the wood. To remove it, I coated the whole dresser with another layer of Critistrip and wrapped it in bags (this time removing the drawers and cutting the bags in half).

And then it sat like that for three days until I had time to work on it again last night. It wasn’t the smartest decision to wait that long, so lesson learned. I used the scraper on the top, and I was surprised at how much of the stuff there was to remove!

To get the rest of the dresser polished off, I used super fine steel wool.

I kept the steel wool kinda clean by rinsing it in water, and the water also helped on some stubborn areas. FYI, I used a pot I bought from Goodwill awhile back and designated it my “house projects pot” so there won’t be any food safety issues to worry about.

It took quite a bit of elbow grease to remove most of the gunk, but I’m loving that it’s starting to look like its old self!

I still have to finish stripping the legs and drawers. Then there’s cleaning it up with mineral spirits, and finishing with some oil to really show off the newly exposed beautiful wood!

{Home} Short, Dark, and Handsome

I was so excited to begin my first foray into stripping, when a friend reminded me that I had taken a Stripper 101 class in Las Vegas last year. Some how I don’t think the skills are transferable. 😉

Anyway, I had assembled my supplies, removed the hardware from the drawers (and emptied them), and laid some garbage bags underneath the dresser to protect my floor. The stripper recommends using a metal cup (instead of plastic) for holding the stripping gel when being applied with the brush. Luckily I had put off taking out the recycling, and I had a little can from corn–so there is something to be said about not doing your chores!

dresser paint strip stripper citristrip

And then it was time to apply! I’m so used to the old rule of thumb that your painting coats should be thin, but in this case you’re supposed to apply it pretty liberally. I went over the top twice just to make sure I had gotten enough stripper on it.

dresser paint strip stripper citristrip

And then I covered it with some plastic garbage bags to keep the moisture in. The stripper only works while it’s still wet, and this was a useful tip I had picked up from my research.

dresser paint strip stripper citristrip

I was on such a stripping roll that I was literally watching the paint start to slough off as I was applying it! The detailed carving on the corner actually looked pretty cool with just a touch of the paint removed.

dresser paint strip stripper citristrip

It took me about a half hour to slather the whole dresser in stripper and wrap it in garbage bags. As for the scent, it’s very mild and no harsh fumes!

dresser paint strip stripper citristrip

After patiently waiting another half hour, I took a quick peek at the top to see if it was ready.

dresser paint strip stripper citristrip

The stripper worked like magic, and whole sheets of paint came up! The wood underneath is so beautiful that I kept quoting Nicole Curtis: “Why would you cover that up?!” (the 13 second mark if you’re not interested in watching the whole thing).

dresser paint strip stripper citristrip

After the excitement of the top, I moved on to the sides and drawers which were just as exciting! I ended up using a toothbrush to work on some of the smaller and intricate spots that needed more attention.

dresser paint strip stripper citristrip

Obviously, there are quite a few areas that still need more work, but I’m so excited to see the beautiful wood that was hiding under that paint!

{Home} Stripping

Since I bought my dresser off Craigslist a few years ago, I’ve known I wanted to strip the paint off it. It’s a weird greenish color that doesn’t really go with the rest of my apartment. I’d love to expose the wood beneath it, which led me to stripping!

I did some research and came across a greener paint stripper that is also safe for indoor use! Which is great for me, since moving my dresser outside isn’t exactly practical. In addition to the stripper, I also needed mineral spirits for cleaning up the wood afterwards, plus a cheap brush to apply the stripper. I already have a metal scraper, some fine steel wool, and toothpicks for getting into the details of the dresser. To help the stripper stay moist and aid in clean up, I have a lot of garbage bags to use as wrapping and to cover my floor.

An online search for nearby retailers sent me to Home Depot. When the check-out guy asked me what I was doing with the stuff I was purchasing, I responded, “Stripping!”  He was taken aback, since he had really asked me what I was up to the rest of the night.  Oops! Stripping wasn’t on the agenda for that night, but it’s what I’ll be up to this weekend!

{Hannah} Unrevealing

Sometimes I buy a dress that I love, but the neckline is a little too revealing. Luckily, if the fabric has a little give, and there’s a bit of extra space in the bust, it’s easy to sew the neckline up to be less revealing!

Enter: fancy designer dress from eBay. The neckline was too low for my comfort (especially on a dress that is otherwise work appropriate).

A few minutes with a needle and some thread, and I had very carefully stitched the neckline closed a few inches. Revealing no more!

I had also done this a few months ago on a dress I wore to a cousin’s wedding. I had worn it in all its low-cut glory to a friends’ wedding a few months before, but I wasn’t very comfortable then and knew I wouldn’t be in front of family either.

It’s a quick and easy fix to make your clothes work for you!