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



Our weekend in Park City

When Demi told me that her grandparents lived in Midway, I knew that we had to plan a trip together to go visit. I was so happy when she invited us to join her mom, Austin, and her on their weekend getaway.

Park City has been on our state to-do list for a while now, Derek hadn’t been since he was a baby, and I hadn’t been since I was a kid. Like most of our short trips, we had so much fun and I wondered why we waited so long to visit.

We enjoyed our time spent with Austin and Demi, and her family. We loved the small town feel, cute little mom and pop shops, and the 70 degree weather. We rode the alpine slide, ate too much food, stayed up too late, and I reminded myself how lucky we are to live in such a beautiful state and to be surrounded by such great people.


Leaving town for the weekend has always been one of my favorite things to do, especially this time of year since it is too hot to do anything outside. In the last couple of years, Derek and I have seen almost everything we want to see in our home state, Utah, and (surrounding areas) thanks to these short weekend trips.  Some of the things we’ve done together, Derek or I had done before growing up, but it is so much different since we’re older now and get to experience it together.


Our Utah list that we’ve seen/done together: (and have spent a short weekend doing so)

  • Bryce Canyon National Park
  • Zion National Park
  • Moab (Arches National Park)
  • Camping on Cedar Mountain
  • Ice Skating in Cedar City
  • Clubbing in Las Vegas
  • See a Las Vegas Show
  • Snowboarding in Brian Head
  • Christmas Lights at Temple Square/Salt Lake City
  • Lake Powell (AZ)
  • The North Rim of the Grand Canyon
  • Park City

Things that are still on our list:

  • Horseshoe Bend
  • Camp on a house boat on Lake Powell
  • Visit the Salt Flats
  • Canyonlands National Park
  • Capitol Reef National Park

If you are like me and love to see the beauty that this world has to offer, I suggest you start planning weekend getaways. They’re fun, cheap, and a non a stressful way to travel. Especially if you stay in your home state and get to spend time with friends and family while doing so!

Onto the next adventure, Wren

Journal Entry| June 4, 2017


I can not get over the fact that this year is already half way over, but like I always say June is the halfway mark for Christmas, and I hope that brightens your day like it does mine. It has been such a crazy busy year for us, but it has all been so exciting, especially these last couple of months. Between working full time, weddings, graduations, celebrations, finishing our bathroom renovations, and leaving town, these last couple of months have been so busy, but so fun for us.

Since April 1st, I have left town every other weekend. On the weekends that I am home, I have been attending weddings or working weddings. I don’t even put away my suit case away anymore, and even though I don’t have my weekends lately, I absolutely love it. When I am not working weddings, I am traveling, and when I am not traveling, I am working weddings. These last couple of months have been an absolute dream.

At the end of April, I made my way up to Salt Lake to help my dad run his work booth at Prepper con. Ali joined us too. It was fun to help him work and spend time together. I ended up flying home early to make it to Maddy and Jace’s wedding. Like I said traveling and weddings are consuming my life lately. (I am not complaining.)


Since then, I have been to Vegas twice. On April 29, I went there to celebrate Demi’s bachelorette party. We had so much fun having girl time, celebrating her as a bride to be, and getting away for the weekend.goofdsfds


On May 13, my sisters and I went back to Vegas to celebrate my mom’s birthday and mothers day with her. (Lucky her, they fell into the same weekend this year) We went to a Blue October concert, laid by the pool, and laughed way too hard.18835565_1329153017137784_6617530104631430438_n


Vegas twice and Salt Lake was a lot for me in 5 weeks, especially since I was busy with weddings all day on the weekends that I was home. But on top of all of it, I also went to a resort right outside of Lake Powell. I was there  to work an event with Forevermore events last week. Let’s just say I had a blast, and if you didn’t already know, I love my job!

Styling and Design: Forevermore Events
Floral: Bloomers


Between all of this, we celebrated Demi and Austin getting married on May 6th. The wedding was magical, and we are so happy for our best friends to officially  be”The Beckers”.



We also celebrated Ali graduating from high school! It’s kind of freaking me out that she is old enough to not be in school anymore, and I am now understanding what it feels like to “feel older”. But I am so excited for her and her new adventures to come.


It has been an exciting few weeks filled with new beginnings and changes. I’d say I was excited to have a weekend to stay home and finish my bathroom renovations this week, but I worked two weddings all weekend, and we actually heading to Provo today for a couple of days to attend our training for China. (Yes that means I’m currently packing my suit case again.)

Speaking of China, Derek and I got assigned to our city! We will be teaching Kindergarten in the city of Changzhou! We don’t really know where that is, or what that means, but hey we’re excited. We will know more about our city and assignment after our training this week. It is coming up so fast, and we are so thankful for all of the nice comments and support that we’ve received!


(My sister’s cute senior photos by Katelyn Orme^^^)

Since we are leaving so soon, we have been taking advantage of our free time and doing the things that we will miss most with the people that we love. I am usually not a huge fan of summer time. I actually get depressed when it starts getting hot, and I like to become a hermit and stay inside or migrate to the mountains where it’s cooler. (I know most people are opposite, but I am a winter lover. Shout out to all of you oddballs like myself!) But this year is different, I want to advantage of these next couple of months and get out as much as I can when I have the time, no matter how hot it is. In the last couple of weeks, we have been swimming, camping, and we even made it to the lake with our friends.


I keep telling myself that life as we know it is about to change and that these next couple of months should be something like “THE LAST GREAT SUMMER” For some reason, I have a feeling that things will be different when we come back.  Maybe it’s because a few of our friends are moving away this fall and we’re leaving everything that we know for a short amount of time.  I guess that is part of growing up. Things change and people change, but I am so ready to take advantage of the time that we do have with our friends and family and make this summer the best one yet before we go.


This summer will mark two years of marriage for us, and EIGHT years since we fell in love. By the way that it is going so far, I think it will be my most favorite summer we’ve spent together. We are in such an exciting time of our life, and we have so many things to look forward to. So here’s to change, here’s to making memories, here’s to the people we love, and here’s to you SUMMER. I usually dislike you, but I promise I am doing my best to love you this year.18765932_1329153110471108_7695634101890183071_n

Onto the next adventure, Wren

A Year With Our Harvey

I always told myself that I’d never be one of those moms who takes a million photos and videos of their children on a daily basis, then I got a dog. I may be an obsessed dog mom, and I have accepted that I will probably be an obsessed human mom one day.  But I am glad that I am obsessed with capturing my life (and everyone’s around me) because I love looking back on the littlest moments that make me so happy on a daily basis.

It’s been one whole year since we adopted our Harvey boy. It was a spontaneous decision that Derek and I agreed on, but we haven’t looked back since. He makes our home complete, makes us laugh, makes us feel loved, and is our very best friend. Our little family just wouldn’t be the same without him.

(I fixed my narrow screen issue, so here is the new and improved video. 😉 )

Thanks for watching!



Onto the next adventure, Wren


Onto the Next Adventure

For those of you who know Derek and I, you know that we are both the type of people who always need something going on, or something to look forward to. It’s what makes us both happy, and we always have something planned in the near future. A few months ago, I posted a poll on twitter:


The results didn’t surprise me at all. Derek and I are reaching our two year marriage mark, we both have steady jobs, and we have our cute little home that we absolutely love. But a baby isn’t in our life plans for a few more years. And although we can’t wait to raise some little Durstelers that have our genetic make up, we have a few things that we would like to accomplish before that.


So Surprise! We are moving to China to teach english this fall!

Yes, you read that right. I know it’s not the social normal thing to do in Utah when you’re married and you’re 23. But if you know me at all, you know that it’s not at all crazy to me, and I am so excited. Moving to a different country and seeing the world has always been something I’ve wanted to do. Somewhere along the way,  I convinced Derek that traveling is amazing and that we should prioritize it in our life plans. We love to travel together and we are so excited to experience a different culture.

A little back story: I have been trying to leave this town since I was 18. Applying to nanny jobs in The Hamptons, summer camp jobs in Hawaii, and spending hours researching out of state schools. Unfortunately at the time, none of those plans worked out the way I wanted them to. I know now that it’s because I was afraid to leave my friends, family, and the boy that I loved, and because I never made it a big priority and just figured it would work out one day.

I went with the flow of life and did what felt right at the time. I focused on school, my career, “settling down” getting married, and buying a house. I knew I’d eventually experience the world. And since I have done most of those things, and the wanderlust in me hasn’t gone away, I know that it is the perfect time to follow my dreams and just go for it. Maybe this will be a once in a lifetime experience for us, or maybe it will be only the beginning. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, and I now have a husband, who is just as excited as I am, to join me.

Life tip: Follow your heart, things always work out when they’re supposed to. 


We don’t know the exact city that we will be living at in China yet, and we don’t know the exact date that we are leaving. All we know is that we’re leaving in August, and coming home right before Christmas. I also know that I am going to miss my Harvey more than I’ve ever missed anything or anyone else. He has so many people who have offered to watch him while we’re away, and I have no doubt that he will be loved and spoiled while we’re gone.


With all of this happening so soon, we have decided that the best option will be to rent out our Dursteler Abode. If any of you are interested in a 4-6 month lease, or know someone who might be, message me for details!


We are so excited for this new adventure, and feel so blessed with all of the support that we’ve had.

Onto the next adventure, Wren