Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Our 2015 To-Do List

With 2014 behind us, and our list reviewed, it's time for us to set our household goals for this new year. For those who don't follow me on Instagram, we found out on Christmas Day that we are welcoming a baby boy come May and are so excited! This means a lot of our to-do list will be geared towards preparing for his arrival. Here's what we have on our list...

The Front Entry:


The Stairs: Just after Christmas we both got tired of trying to maintain the carpet on the stairs. It was just dirty and dingy and hard to keep the dog fur off of it, as it seems to be where they enjoy hanging out. It made the house smell like dogs, and it was just time for it to go. B has ripped off the carpet and we are in the process of pulling staples so we can refinish them. We hope to get the risers painted white, the treads stained and some trim added to the wall side of the stairs. Hopefully this will be done sooner rather than later. 

Paint: Just after ripping up the carpet we started priming this hallway. I've found it too dark for too long down there with not much natural light, dark floors and grey walls. We plan to paint the walls the same colour as the rec room and can't wait to share this transformation.

Storage: B and I have agreed we'd like to add a seating bench with storage, and some hooks on the wall for hanging jackets. This will go on the wall by the front door close to my office. We think it will be a much better place for Halle to sit while putting on her shoes so the dogs are constantly running past her. Hopefully we can find time to do this.

The Rec Room:


Finish Painting: We completed so much painting down there between the summer and early December. All of the walls were done and we also transformed one wall into a magnetic chalk wall for Halle that she loves drawing on! We left one nook unpainted since we originally planned to fill it with some built in bookshelves for storage. However, when we rearranged the rec room to our new desired layout we discovered that nook is the perfect play area for Halle. This means in the near future we will need to move her toys out and finish painting that area.

Artwork: We have tons of artwork we need/want to hang down here - many pieces need some new frames so we're on the hunt for some affordable frames. Hopefully we can have these all hung before my parents come to stay with us for little man's arrival.

The Guest Room:

Downstairs Guest Room - October 8

All of It: I don't even know where to start with the breakdown of what we need to do in here. We put this original guest room together in October of 2013 when we were welcoming some extra guests for Thanksgiving. We put it together quickly, using what we had and it was functional. However, now that we'll be moving the upstairs guest bed down here this room needs to be cleared out and we'll start all over decorating it and making it more welcoming and comfortable for the many guests that we expect with our new baby coming!

The Master Bedroom:

Master Bedroom

Storage: I'm moving this forward from last year, as I'd like to find a long low dresser for this room before baby arrives in May. It will give us more storage space in our room which will hopefully allow us to eliminate the two dressers that are in there now (one in our bedroom, one in our closet). We may use one of the current dressers in the baby's room, or we may get him a new one - we'll see what happens.

Lighting: Maybe we'll finally address the light fixture in our room after living here for two years (Yup - it will be two years since we moved in come this May!). Fingers are crossed for this!

The Nursery:


All of It: Much like the downstairs guest room, we have a whole room to work with - essentially starting from scratch. I've found some inspiration shots and B and I have begun our hunt to find pieces we love for a good price! I can't wait to start pulling his room together and sharing it with you! So much to do and I'm so excited about it!

Monday, January 5, 2015

A Look Back at our 2014 To-Do List

Well, another year has come and gone and it's a little crazy for me to think that 2015 has arrived. We have a lot to accomplish this coming year (especially before our new little one arrives in May), but before we get to that I need to take a look back at what we accomplished from our 2014 to-do list.

Exterior: (1/2 Completed)

Front - without number
(at the start of 2014)

Details: Our original plan was to build a railing between the two posts at the front of the house in front of the window. Instead, B ended up making us a lovely porch swing, which we love! Once it was built and put in place, we learned that there would not be enough room to put in a railing as well. As nice as it would look to have one, we prefer to have a nice place to sit, and watch Halle play in the front yard! So we'll consider this item checked off our list!

Landscaping: We has big plans to fix up the front garden and fill in our lawn and come up with some really great ideas for this area to spruce it up... LAST SPRING! Unfortunately, this item was never crossed off of our list as much as we would have liked it to. B did work on getting rid of some of the moss in our grass, to allow for the grass to grow in thicker, but maybe this year we'll finally get around to landscaping!

The Dining Room: (4/5 Completed)

Our DIY Dining Table
(At the start of 2014)

Seating: When we started 2014, all we had were two end chairs (as seen in the above photo). We lucked out and in late January I found 4 pretty green x-back chairs and later in the summer we scored an 11 foot church pew off of Craigslist. We completely transformed the pew into a beautiful piece for the opposite side of our dining table, and we have officially found all of the seating we need for our dining room! We're loving how it all came together, and are happy this was checked off of our list!

Lighting: The light fixture actually came together a lot more quickly than we both expected. B put it together in a couple of weeks back in February as we prepared to host a dinner party for Brett's birthday. We always get compliments on it when people visit and the way it lights up the table always gives the perfect ambiance for dining. Check, check, check!!

Storage: We had talked a lot about building something in where our IKEA bookcase stood. Unfortunately, with so many other projects going on, this fell to the back burner. We considered it low priority since there was already a bookcase there providing some storage for us. We did however, add a small table to one corner which gave us some room for a picture frame, some house plants and lots of my books and magazines. It was a small step, but for $3 it was exactly what we needed to add a little bit of storage in our dining room. At the end of the day, I consider this step a success!
Paint: While we are getting tired of the grey in this space... and the WHOLE house, we never got around to painting the dining room as it will be a big commitment. Painting the dining room will also involve painting the family room, kitchen and upstairs hallway. For now, this has actually been moved off of our list.

Artwork: When we rang in 2014, we had no artwork hanging in the dining room. We made some baby steps (not all are permanent) by hanging a mirror, our Boston OrkPoster and a large family photo. We have some plans to add some new art in this year, hopefully this year, but for now this one is complete.

Dining Room with Pew - Nov 22 2014

Dining Room with Pew - Nov 22 2014Dining Room with Pew - Nov 22 2014
(at the end of 2014)

The Master Bedroom: (2/4 Completed)

Master Bedroom - August 2013
(at the start of 2014)

Bedding: We crossed this one off right at the start of 2014. We took advantage of the white sale at The Bay in early January. We got some lovely Gluckstein sheets for a great price and they ACTUALLY fit our bed. We love them and the steel blue colour we picked is perfect with the next item we crossed off.

Paint: This was another item I took care of early on. I started painting in February and didn't finish until March (that's real life with a 2.5 year old... who is now 3.5). I picked a dark blue called "Wrought Iron" by Martha Stewart and I'm glad I did this one when I did as the Martha Stewart line has since been discontinued at Home Depot. 

Storage: I really wanted to replace our tall IKEA dresser last year. I knew something longer and lower would fill the far wall much better, but we never got around to it. Again, this ended up low on our list as we already had a dresser that was doing it's job.

Lighting: This one makes me laugh since it's been on our list since we bought the house and we STILL have not found something we like for this room. In time we'll replace that light fixture!

Master Bedroom
(at the end of 2014)

Halle's Room: (2/4 Completed)

Handpainted Plumes
(at the start of 2014)

Toy Storage: We made some small progress on this front, but of course the amount of toys she had in there seemed to multiply - so I'm not sure how helpful our storage additions were. I picked up some small stacking boxes for a steal, and we also got some cute giraffe hooks for her wall on clearance at Target. We did make a nice change in her closet, giving us plenty of more storage room in there and that was the biggest progress we made by far!

Big Girl Bed: We had planned to build Halle a big girl bed, but it never happened. Instead we got a good deal on a bed frame for her on Craigslist. It was perfect and we got her some plain white sheets from Target, and a pretty duvet cover that matches her room from IKEA. She loves her big girl bed... and it definitely makes her seem all grown up. It happened just in time too, as she is so excited to give her old crib to her baby!

Curtains: I was worried that the curtains were too short and wanted to add some fabric to the bottoms of the curtains. Now I'm starting to think that we should just drop the curtain rod a little bit and the problem should be solved. We'll take care of this one soon!

Lighting: We still have replaced the fan on her ceiling, though we still have plans to do so. We just havent' found something we love. I'm just hoping that we can find one for her while we are making up the nursery... I'd like her to still feel special and do something for her as we are preparing for the baby.

Halle's Big Girl Room

Halle's RoomHalle's Big Girl Room
(at the end of 2014)

The Kitchen: (1/2 Completed)

(though the cupboards were almost done at the start of 2014, this was the photo I shared from one of our first walk throughs of the house)

Storage: We had hoped to get a seating bench into our window nook last year, but it just never happened. Over time the conversation of storage in here at evolved into talks of putting shelves into the other nook. It didn't happen last year, but we hope to do it this year and create a new home for my cake plates, stand mixer and growing collection of cookbooks.

Lighting: We never expected this to happen, but during a trip across the border in the fall we came across and inexpensive light fixture and made it over with a little spray paint in one night. We love the look of it in the kitchen, and I'm so happy we did cross this off our list. 

The Backyard: (1/1 Completed)

(at the start of 2014)

Gardens: We wanted to make some big changes out here, including garden beds for vegetables and expanding one of the gardens over by out covered patio. We managed to get some fabulous gardens that supplied us with tons of tasty fruits and veggies that we ate during the summer, but also froze to enjoy over the winter months. B was also successful at creating a run for the dogs along the side of the house which solved the problem of the dogs digging holes and destroying our grass.

Bonus - Sandbox and start of playhouse: Though we didn't put on our list B was successful at building a sandbox for Halle and starting construction on a playhouse for her. Hopefully the playhouse will be completed for her to enjoy this summer!

The Back Deck: (0/1 Completed)


(at the start of 2014)

Seating: We had hoped to build some outdoor seating using pallets this past year, but it just never happened. Instead, B used those pallets to create a small herb garden for us, and also build some planter boxes that we had tomato plants in. We didn't increase our seating, but utilized the space on our big deck and the tomato plants also offered us some more privacy on the deck as the summer wore on!

There were some bonus projects we completed this year, including a makeover to our downstairs rec room, and some work we've begun in our hallway. Both of these should come up on our 2015 to-do list, more as items to finish up! I can't wait to share what we've done in these two areas!

Overall, I'm happy that we finished up what we did. 11/19 isn't too bad since we had a busy year getting outdoors, exploring, travelling and having visitors here as well! 
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