Brandyn Blaze

Life Between The Scenes

How Revamping A Dresser Changed My Outlook On Life

My basement and office are both full of random objects I’ve saved for future DIY projects. I tend to come up with ideas faster than I can complete them, and it’s turned into a bit of a hoarding situation. Lately, I’ve been motivated to complete as many of them as possible to free up space, especially since my husband and I have been kicking around the idea of moving out of state. I definitely don’t want to drag so much junk along with us!

Aside from the space saving benefits of finishing these projects, there is a sense of pride and accomplishment that comes from taking old junk and turning it into treasure. This is something I’m reminded of daily when I take clothes out a dresser I refurbished a couple summers ago.

Since I can never do anything without writing about it, I had posted the following piece on my old blog and I decided to share it with you today as it was originally posted on April 12, 2015.

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Every now and then, I find myself battling envy as I’m confronted with photos of beautiful homes, expertly decorated with the latest trends. I look around my home and dream of the day when I can afford to choose the things I surround myself with. Nearly everything we own has been a curb find, thrift store bargain, or a hand-me-down. There is no “theme” to speak of in any room in our house and our worn-out furnishings serve as a constant reminder that we’re not quite there yet.

A few weeks ago, I was in one of these funks. For days all I could see was the negative. I was fixated on all the things that were wrong. All the dilapidated furniture, the leaky ceiling, the dryer that has to be run 3 times per load, the bills that are always stacking up…all of it was just eating away at me. I felt stuck. Trapped.

As I was wallowing in self-pity, I looked at my beat-up dresser and began to imagine what it would look like with a few modifications. Soon, the thought occurred to me to stop complaining and do something about it. We may not be able to buy new things, but we can certainly make the things we have better!

ugly white dresser, cheap refurbishing

 

I became fixated on this idea. Suddenly, the project took on a sense of urgency. The only thing that I needed to figure out was how much it would cost to get the necessary materials.

Luckily, I happened upon some adorable contact paper for a little less than $3 at Dollar General while I was picking up pull-ups for my daughter. I snatched it up immediately and began formulating my plan.

About a week later I picked up some blue spray paint and a small bottle of gray craft paint at Wal-Mart, bringing my project total to just under 10 dollars!

refurbishing a dresser cheap
I had Almost-Husband scrape off all the old, cracked wood veneer while I painted the knobs gray. While he was working on the top of the dresser, I spray painted the drawers. There was a little ridge around the drawers, so I taped that off before we sprayed it, then I painted it the same color as the knobs. Finally, we lined the drawers and top of the dresser with the contact paper.
Beautiful blue and gray dresser refurbish, diy project

 

It turned out even better than I had envisioned it! I finally have something in our home that I can be proud of!

So many good things came out of this simple project. I had a blast working alongside Almost-Husband while our daughter ran around the yard, and it was amazing to see one of my many ideas finally come to fruition. I had previously believed that I had no eye for design, but I managed to create something I love!

If I could take an eyesore like that and turn it into something beautiful, then I can do the same with anything in my life. Starting with all our run-down furniture! It may sound superficial at first, but I feel like surrounding ourselves with nice things will motivate us to keep working our way up. Each project we complete will serve as a reminder of what we are capable of and that if you put in the effort, you’ll see results.

Making do with what you have doesn’t have to mean settling!

 

“Snared” (Instruments of Life Book 3) Is Now Available!

The wait is finally over!!

It’s been a long process, but as of this morning, book three from my “Instruments of Life” is now available!

 

snared steamy book rockstar romance novel brandyn blaze instruments of life 1980s

 

 

Before we get into how to get your very own copy, let’s take a moment to do a brief recap, shall we?

In book one, “Broken Strings”, we joined producer Maggie Hawke as she began work with a new band, Pretty Deadly. Everything in her life seemed to be coming down around her as she found her heart torn between two rock n roll bad boys.  Facing heartbreak and betrayal, we watched as she struggled to find her place in the chaotic world around her.

“Lo-Fidelity” took us along for the ride as Maggie joined Fallen Angels on the road. Despite all the chaos, she finally began to find her own voice. When more betrayal came crashing into her life, she was desperate for a change. In a hasty move, she decides what she needs to do once and for all.

“Snared” picks up a year after the tour. With a brand new life of relative anonymity, Maggie is determined to make the best of things. When both of her exes find their way back into her life, she is forced to make a choice. Will she finally find what she’s looking for?

There’s only one way to find out!

Snared brandyn blaze Instruments of Life book cover available now rockstar romance bad boys rock n roll steamy novel

 

If you’re new to this series, you can now purchase the first two volumes in one easy download here, or separately as either paperback or eBook through the “Books” tab, which will direct you to the store of your choice.

For those of you who are already caught up, “Snared” is available as an ebook through AmazonBarnes and Noble, or the Apple iStore and as a paperback through Amazon or Createspace. You can also access these links in the “Books” tab above.

Don’t forget to check out these killer deleted scenes from this series as well here and here, and to come back often for more bonus material!

I would like to take a moment to thank all of my fabulous readers for joining me on this wild ride! I can’t wait to share more of Maggie’s story with you!

 

 

Rethinking Your Schedule: Cut Stress and Find Your Path

I’m not sure if I’ve let you in on this before or not, but I love lists. Lists, schedules, file folders…I love to feel like I have everything together.

Lately, I’ve been trying the bullet journal thing, and I have to admit it’s made a huge difference. Keeping all my lists in one place and being able to combine my diary entries and daily planner has been a great move. However, this isn’t really what I want to talk about today. At least, not entirely.

Because of my love of a well-defined routine, I decided to set out my blog schedule for 15 months. The idea was to use the time between books to write a ton of posts and schedule them out, so that I wasn’t trying to juggle both parts of my writing life at once.

This worked well for awhile. At the beginning of the year, I wrote 15 or so posts and scheduled them out. I focused on my next book, and it ran like clockwork. Then I stopped writing posts to add to the queue. Now that my book is ready for release, I decided it was time to get out in front of the blog posts again.  Until I looked at my schedule.

A few of the ideas no longer felt like a good fit, and even more of them seemed too time consuming. I know I’ll get back to the “harder” ones once my brain has made the shift out of “book mode”, but it still highlights a very common struggle in my life: overestimating what I can do.

 

de-stress, get rid of stress, bullet journal, unclutter your mind, overestimate what you can do, relax

 

One of the things my bullet journal forced me to do was shorten my daily to-do lists. I have my progress trackers for long term goals: daily word count, exercise, guitar techniques I’m working on, and so on.  I also have longer lists of various projects I want to tackle and things I must do. This cuts down my daily to-do lists considerably, so that I can focus on two to four things I know need done.

Somehow, I stayed locked into my old blog plan, though, and it seemed to be causing me more grief than necessary.

Today, I was “supposed” to share a short story I’d been working on. Because I’ve been focusing on my impending book release, it obviously didn’t get finished. I still felt that I needed to put something out, so I started this post, hoping I would find something I wanted to say.

And I did.

After thinking about the stress my rigid schedule has caused, I decided to let go of it. Instead, I have a list of possible post ideas that I can pull from. I can still write them in bulk and schedule them out like I have been, but now there’s more room for new ideas. There is also more room to move things around as needed.

The other day, I posted on Facebook that despite the fact that nothing major had happened, I was feeling very blessed. Everything has been humming along rather smoothly lately and I am constantly amazed at how much love fills this house. I can’t help but think that this new shift in my prioritizing has had a big hand in that.

Instead of constantly thinking about all I have to do, I’m focusing on what I can do today. I’m giving myself permission to relax and to let go of the guilt I’ve always felt when I don’t check off every single item on my list. I do what I can and catch up the next day if I need to, which is a big change for me.

 

don't stress, relax, all i can do is all i can do, rethink your schedule

 

I’ve been putting a lot of emphasis on getting rid of stress and mental clutter lately, and I have to say, it feels great. I’ve also been trying to focus on using the inevitable stress we all feel to propel me into action, which is tough when you’ve always used it as a reason to avoid something.  Reminding myself that doing something now will cause less stress in the long run has really gone a long way.

And that’s the point I want to get at. Never stop looking for a better way. We weren’t meant to spend our lives stressed out to the max or pushing through things that bring us no joy. Sure, there are times we have to do things we don’t necessarily like (scrubbing toilets, anyone?), but we can always change our perception and focus on the payoff instead. And if there is no payoff? We can change our course.

 

less stress, relax, change your path, quote, thousand wrong roads

 

This journey has been incredibly eye-opening. Each and every day I am working towards building the life I had always dreamed of, and I know each one of you can do the same. The trick is to not get discouraged and keep trying new methods until you land on something that works. Don’t fret over what hasn’t worked, or things that have epically failed, just keep charging forward.

Two years ago, I would have told you my dream was to own my own home, to have a happy family, to write full-time, and have time for my music. Today, all of those things are a reality. Don’t get me wrong, there’s still some kinks to work out, and the steps towards those goals started many years before that, but we got here. Now it’s time to focus on the details to bring that picture into focus.

I wrote about dreams awhile back and how important it is to have a clear vision of what you want. I still believe that’s true. You need to know exactly where you want to go so that you can create a roadmap. However, sometimes the only way to figure out what you truly want is to start hacking away at the things you don’t want so that it can reveal itself. You also have to be prepared to take the scenic route and get lost a few times along the way.

Have you figured out where you want to go yet? I’d love to hear all about it in the comments below!

“Snared” Update And Giveaway!

It’s that time again! Book three is well on it’s way to completion and you know what that means: another giveaway!

It’s been a slow process this time around, between bouts of writer’s block and bursts of inspiration for other books in the series, but we are finally nearing the release of “Snared”, the third book in my “Instruments of Life” series.  It will be hitting Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and the iStore on Tuesday, May 9, 2017, and of course those links will all be available through my “Books” tab.

I am beyond excited to share this next installment of Maggie’s saga with you and to bring back all the characters you know and love.  This particular volume is quickly becoming my favorite!

 

Snared Instruments of Life volume 3 romance series rockstar romance novel giveaway

 

 

With the end of the project drawing ever closer, I thought I’d put together a little giveaway to celebrate. Enter today and you could win signed paperback editions of the first two books in this series series, “Broken Strings” and “Lo-Fidelity”.

For those of you unfamiliar with this series, it is a romance centered around a young record producer named Maggie Hawke and follows her story as she struggles to find her place in the fast-paced rock-n-roll scene of the 1980s. Torn between two long-haired bad boys and facing a world full of doubts, she has some tough choices ahead. If you’d like a little taste of what’s to come, you can check out some deleted scenes here and here.

To enter this giveaway, simply fill out the form below! The contest will be closed for entries at 12 AM (CST) on May 3rd , and one lucky winner will be randomly selected. I will contact the winner directly via email to confirm shipping information.

Be sure to share this with your friends and to follow me on Facebook and Twitter for more goodies like this!

Best of luck and happy reading!

 

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