DIY Bathroom Remodel

I am finally finding time to reveal our bathroom remodel photos and process and it is perfect timing because we’re moving out of our Dursteler Abode in exactly one week! We have renters moving in the beginning of August and they will be here for six months. Which means we will move back in at the beginning of February. (We will be staying at my mom’s for the two months that we are not living in China.)

As it gets closer, I am actually sad to temporarily move out of our home. We’ve put so much work and love into it, it is hard to leave it, but knowing that it is temporary helps. So, here’s to the last Dursteler Abode post until next year! (Unless I decide to randomly blog old photos while we’re on the other side of the world.)

When we bought our house, the two bathrooms were so ugly, but they were liveable. We decided to put the bathrooms on hold, and remodel them when we saved enough money. We changed things here and there. And over time, we painted the walls, re-did the floors, updated the lights, re-did our master bathroom shower, and updated our faucets.

Here are some photos from before we moved in, during the process(how they looked for about a year) and after!

Master bath:

Hall Bath:

We were planning on saving money and doing our vanities last, but when we decided to use that saved money for China instead, I decided to just DIY them. Painting the cabinets and updating the hardware was the easiest and cheapest option, so that’s exactly what I did for the time being. It made such a big difference!

Steps to DIY cabinets:

  1. Take off all doors and drawers on vanities by unscrewing hinges (I used an electric drill)
  2. Tape off all walls and floors with painter’s tape and painter’s tarp.20246456_1376404302412655_841606044858428188_n
  3. Lay all drawers and cabinets in a well ventilated area on painter’s tarp.20258127_1376404345745984_2026470531331295816_n
  4. Clean with TSP cleaner (follow directions on bottle.)
  5. Lightly sand- I used our hand held sander that we already had at home.
  6. Paint in preferred color! I used Behr’s semi gloss paint in Superior Blue.
  7. Reattach cabinet doors and drawers with hinges and electric drill. And Attach new hardware.20258244_1376402495746169_393648987814987985_n

I bought new hardware and hinges since our’s were ruined with rust, but if your’s are in good shape, you can save money by updating them with a new color of spray paint.

And wa-la! After our vanities were painted and our decor was updated, Our DIY bathroom remodels were complete. The only thing that we did not do ourself was our shower. We started to do it ourself about a year ago, but realized tiling is for a professional’s job and decided to spend the money and hire someone.

Eventually, we might splurge and update the vanities and re-do the counter tops, but for now I love our bathrooms. And I think they will be perfect for the renters. It’s amazing how far a small budget goes when you update the little things like decor, lights, and faucets. If you want to re model a room in your home, but don’t have the budget for it, start small and change a few of the little things. I promise it will make a huge difference!

Updating our home together and doing DIY projects has become one of our favorite hobbies to do together. We will definetely miss doing it for the next six months, but we are so excited for our upcoming adventures!

In the near future, I am going to figure out how to link my sources for my purchases, but for now here is a list of where I bought everything

  • Rugs: Target
  • Rectangle Mirror: Target
  • Shower curtain: Target
  • Round Mirror: At Home
  • Sunflowers & vase: Ikea
  • Industrial towel holder: TJ MAXX
  • Striped hand towels: TJ MAXX
  • Hand towel metal Shelf: Wayfair
  • Beach Sign: Orange county swap meet
  • Bohemian Towels: Peshtemalart on Etsy
  • Light fixtures: Lowe’s
  • Faucets: Home Depot
  • Hardware: Home Depot

Onto the next adventure, Wren

Our 4th of July and not taking the little things for granted

“Red, White, Blue’s in the sky. Summer’s in the air baby heaven’s in your eyes.”

I know that Lana Del Rey Album is so 2012, but you bet that I still blasted it all day on the fourth of July.

There are a few things that I need to make the fourth feel like a successful one:

  • Lana Del Rey’s Paradise Album
  • Friends & Family
  • Some type of water (lake, pool, river)
  • BBQ food
  • Fireworks

Derek and I both worked the weekend before the fourth, so we didn’t really get a chance to celebrate over a span of a few days in a row, (You know me, that’s how I celebrate holidays) but we made it work. We both had Sunday off, worked Monday, and then luckily both had the fourth off.
On Sunday, we made our way out to the new Ivins Reservoir for our first time. Alyssa joined us. We were the only ones there for a while, and Harvey sure enjoyed himself in the water.



On the fourth of July, we spent the morning swimming with Whitney and the girls at grandma’s pool since they were in town for the week. We saw them for a little bit on Sunday, but didn’t get a chance to see them on Monday, so it was fun to catch up with Whit and spend quality time with the girls.

We spent our afternoon taking a nap, and then going to one of our favorite parks. We got snow cones on the way, and played fetch with Harvey for about a hour. It felt like the perfect summer day. All I needed was some BBQ food and fireworks to make it complete.


Thankfully, Demi invited us to her family’s BBQ later that evening, and of course I didn’t turn down the offer. We had fun playing croquet with her grandma Jackie, spending time with her family, and laughing at Noelle’s nephews funny stories. And of course, enjoying Jeff’s wonderful BBQ.


When it finally got dark, we all gathered on the grass to watch fireworks. As I sat there, I realized that this is the last holiday that we will spend in America this year until Christmas. With our family, with our friends, with our Harvey boy. I know that we won’t be gone very long, but I also know that a lot can change in five months and Christmas seems like a long time away. I became conscious of my surroundings, and extremely grateful that I have such a long list of things that I will miss while we’re gone.
On Wednesday night, we met up with Whitney and mom to take the three dogs to the river. Whitney was leaving town Thursday morning, so we wanted to spend a little more time with them before the left. The dogs had a blast and got their energy out, and the girls decided to even get in. They got so dirty in the mud, and thought it was the funniest thing. It felt like the perfect summer night and it was the perfect ending to our holiday celebrations.

So here’s to summer! So far, I love it. I am over this heat, but China has a very high percentage of humidity, so I just keep telling myself that somehow, I will miss this dry heat and to just enjoy it.

In fact, since the fourth,  I have been making mental notes of all the little things that I will miss while we’re in China. And I’ve been thinking to myself, “I wish I looked at every day like this.” I know that would be mentally exhausting to live every single day and moment like I’m leaving it all behind in a month, but it has felt so good to be present and to remind myself to be thankful for the smallest things.

I hope you all become more present and conscious of your surroundings, whether you’re celebrating a holiday or not. Do not take a single day for granted. Look around you, and notice the little things every single day. Your grandpa’s hugs, your nieces’ and nephews’ tiny fingers, your best friends’ laughs, the smell of your clean house, the natural beauty that surrounds your town, etc.

Enjoy it all, life moves too quickly and those smallest things change and become memories faster than we are aware of. So be present, be conscious, be aware and don’t take any of it for granted.

Onto the next adventure, Wren

According to Plan-or Not



What are you doing with your life? I find myself asking this question a lot. I ask my friends, I ask my husband, I ask my sister who just graduated high school, I even ask my parents. But most importantly, I ask myself. In the last year, the main lesson I’ve learned is that we can have an answer to this question, a plan of exactly what we’re doing with our life, a perfect picture in our head of how we want it to look, and a schedule of events to get there-to that life that we’ve imagined for ourselves. But it doesn’t always work out that way.

If you would have asked me ten years ago how my life would look at the age of 23, I would have told you that I’d be working at a high end salon styling hair in New York City and possibly studying interior design or journalism. I would be traveling to Europe and Thailand with my new friends from New York, and probably dating a bunch of random guys who had good singing voices and a lot of tattoos.

If you would have asked my five years ago, I would have told you that by the time I was 23, I would have it all figured out. By “figured out” I would mean that I would have a long list of places I’ve traveled, my dream career, a nice six pack of abs, a close group of friends that I would gather with for pilates and brunch, and a handsome husband. I’d be on my way to starting a family, building my dream home, and making a lot of money. (hahahha!)

Some of these things have worked out the way I pictured they would.  (Example: Handsome husband) Some haven’t. (Example: abs) And I’ve taught myself that that is completely okay. It is what keeps life interesting.  As we grow, our interests and wants for our lives change. Upon a series of very fortunate events, I’ve created a life that I am very proud of. And the things I am not proud of, I know that those things happened because I chose them to. I’ve finally learned and accepted that I have almost complete power of how my life goes. So let me ask you, are you proud of the life you’ve created? Did it go according to plan? Is it too late to start over?

I constantly hear, or read about people who say “well it wasn’t suppose to happen this way” or “why didn’t life go as I always hoped?” “Why couldn’t my life have turned out the way their’s did?” “Where did I go wrong?”

And to be honest, I am guilty of  thinking the same way. Randomly, I’ll ask myself why things turned out the way the did and why certain things didn’t go as planned. Why couldn’t I have ended up loving being a hair stylist like I always dreamed of, or why did I flake out and give up on my dreams of moving to New York when I graduated high school? I’ll even ask myself why things I couldn’t control happened the way they did. Like why couldn’t I have been raised by parents who stayed married? Or why wasn’t I born with thick hair and long legs?

I am constantly hearing people say that they aren’t happy with the way things happened, and it makes me upset. We all need to change our perspective, and look at the positive reason of why things happened the way they did. Because even though it’s hard to imagine sometimes,  I believe that most things always happen for very good reasons.

Instead of being passionate about styling hair, I have found my true passion in events and design. And who knows, maybe in another five years, I will find a new passion, or go back to my old ones. Instead of being a band groupie, I fell in love at the age of fifteen and never wanted anything else. I don’t have a very long list of places traveled by the age of 23. I am just starting my list, but now I have my husband by my side. I may not go to brunch and practice Pilates with my friends every week, but I have accepted that maybe that’s just not the person I am. (Just like I don’t have long legs and thick hair-and abs) I may not be on the way to building my dream home or starting a family anytime soon, but I have a healthy happy marriage, a home that I’ve learned to love, and my Harvey boy who takes up my whole heart at the moment.

Obviously, you all had a different “life plan” than I did. And your picture in your head of what your life would look like at this point may be completely opposite of mine. Maybe some of you are living that life plan, and things went right on schedule and everything worked out perfectly, (round of applause for you) but I doubt that is the case for most of you. I am here to tell you it’s okay! And I am going to sound very cliche,  but where you are right now is exactly where you should be.

So forget that picture in your head that you had five or ten years ago. Forget all of those plans that didn’t work out, work towards the ones that are still important to you, and be excited for the ones that haven’t happened yet. Accept the life that you’re living because at some point, this was your decision. You decided to live this life. If you are unhappy with it,  take a step back and remind yourself that it’s never too late to change it. We can’t change the past, but it is our choice how we choose to think about it. Instead of being upset, dwelling on it, and thinking “why did I do that, or why didn’t I do that” think of the future, and start working towards that life you want.

You may be upset that you didn’t move to New York when you were 18, but you can still move to New York. (“No I can’t because I have a career and five kids now Wren.” ) QUIT THAT CAREER AND PACK THOSE KIDS UP. If it’s something you really want and you know that you would eventually regret it if you didn’t do it,  DO IT!

If you asked me today how I picture my life in five years, I might have a long detailed answer. I can sit here and imagine how it will look, and draw up a schedule and a plan, but the truth is I have finally learned and accepted that it won’t always work out that way.  I may be very happy with the outcome, I may have some regrets, but I know that there will be lessons learned either way. None of us know when our life will make us reschedule or cancel certain plans, but we always need to remember that the reason it turned out the way it did is because we created that way.

“What screws us up the most in life is the picture in our head of what it’s supposed to be.” -Socrates

Onto the next adventure, Wren