Elbow Grease {DIY}

Hello everyone! So nice to be back on my own blog for a bit to chat with all you lovely people. I know it’s my spring break and all, but there’s a lot of fun stuff going on over here at my home. We’ve started to work on our dining room (more on that in a bit) and even starting to look at LCD TV stands for our master bedroom. I told you- LOTS OF STUFF going on that keeps me busy and in a frenzy sometimes.

Have you enjoyed my guest bloggers lately? They have had some fantastic things to say about body image, iPhone fitness apps and thrifty home décor. And there are still 2 more guest posts going up this week to round out my birthday week extravaganza. Go read the guest posts…after you read this blog post.


My dining room (see the inspiration pic above…gorg!) is FINALLY starting to take shape through lots of hardwork and planning. If you remember this post, you’ll know that I have a pretty clear vision of what I want this room to look like from top to bottom. I want it to ooze traditional, modern American taste. Crown moudling, chair rail, wainscoting, white cabinetry mixed with quatrefoil patterns, luxe linens and shiny chrome. It is going to be fantabulous once I am done. Which will hopefully (cross my fingers and toes) this week. I simply love working for a college because during our extended holiday/vacation time, I get a lot done over here at the Benavidez residence. Maybe it’s because we’re first time homeowners or completely clueless, but DIY home stuff seems to take us longer than most people. I always wonder how people can knock stuff out in an afternoon and it takes us 2 weeks. Oh well! We march to the beat of our own drum.

Or maybe it’s that we can’t hear the drum?

I am the kind of blogger that refuses to share images until the whole project is done, so for now all you need to know is that my cabinets are on their way from dark oak to bright, chic white. With chrome hardware. Swoon! Now all we need is some more light in our dining room, and for that sort of stuff, I like to check out my usual stores. One of my usuals is most definitely CSN stores. I’ve used them from everything from Etsy/office supplies to furniture to chandeliers/lighting. Why? Well, most items have free shipping and their prices are fantastic. And being one of their preferred bloggers is something I am proud of because I know they stand behind their products/customers.

But back to lighting. See the chandeliers in the above picture? Well, it’s a Candice Olson makeover, so the lights are by her and they’re like $2K EACH. I did find comparable at Ethan Allen for about $1500. On sale. Ouch. Luckily, CSN Stores has a few that might work for our space (click on image to go to website to see pricing, etc.):




Which is your favorite? I think dining room lighting can be tricky, especially in a space like ours. It must serve the purpose of dining room, craft room, office space and entertaining space. I want it to feel luxurious without feeling overly stuffy like some dining rooms do. What’s your lighting like in your dining room? Are you a fan of chandeliers or something more practical like track lighting? I’d love to know.

That’s about if for me today- tomorrow my lovely friend Colleen from The Fit Bee will be talking to you all about health/fitness. She is an amazing woman whom I love to pieces, so make sure to swing by tomorrow and leave a comment so you can show Colleen some love and maybe win some uber cute earrings from me. I’ll be at Lady Gaga (P-p-p poker p-p-poker face!) in my egg costume. Kidding! But, I’ll be back on Thursday with some more pictures/details about the dining room makeover.



  1. Carolyn
    March 15, 2011 / 4:26 am

    I love the middle picture. Classic and elegant.

  2. Go Against The Grain
    March 15, 2011 / 12:20 pm

    i can't wait to see how it turns out, but I agree with Carolyn, I like the middle one the best.

  3. Stephanie
    March 16, 2011 / 2:47 am

    Definitely the middle one!