2018 To Do List

The results are in for 2017’s To Do List. I wasn’t able to accomplish everything, but overall I think it was a pretty productive year, especially considering how busy work was this past year.

2017 Goals/To Do List:


  • Save up for an SUV or all wheel drive vehicle (used, preferably something that can handle all the rough weather we get up here)  I got my super cute RAV4. I LOVE it! 
  • Save for a family trip, ideally to the Gorge  We didn’t go to the Gorge, but our family trip to Newport was amazing.
  • Start contributing to our IRA accounts again

Personal Growth:

  • Get the lead promotion this summer when my manager retires
  • Get Project + Certification
  • Go to the Gym at least 2x per week, walk the dog, wrestle Piglet, or do a workout video on other days. Goal is to lose 10 pounds, but really just get back to feeling fit. (I did work out at least 2x per week, but I also ate a ton of junk at work. I didn’t gain too much, but I definitely didn’t lose any weight.)

Travel and Family Adventures:

  • Visit the Gorge
  • Take a family trip, just the three of us, not to see family, but just for us We went to Newport, and it was such a fun weekend. I’m realizing I never blogged about it, which is super sad. We went to the aquarium, the beach, and just relaxed together.
  • Visit our California family this summer
  • Hike Silver Falls

Home DIY & Crafts:

  • Build shed
  • Build porch swing  I made my own bench instead 
  • Build built in dressers or storage in master.  I still really want to do this!
  • Landscape the yard
  • Plant a garden

Here’s my list for the new year.

2018 Goals/To Do List:


  • Save up for a trip to Hawaii and set a date to go.
  • Pay down car loan.
  • Start investing for Piglet.

Personal Growth:

  • Take part in a 30 day fitness challenge
    • Goal is to get back to Driver’s License weight by the end of the new year
  • Learn how to play at least one song on the keyboard
    • Ideally take a course someday to learn more, but I’ll be happy if I can just learn one for now.
  • Take a leadership training course

Travel and Family Adventures:

  • Visit our California family/friends
  • Go on a trip to the snow
  • Go camping with friends
  • Visit the Gorge (someday we will finally do this)
  • Go on a family train ride
  • Take a trip to Hawaii

Home DIY & Crafts:

  • Build built in dressers or storage in master
  • Build a printer cover
  • Night stand for guest room or filing cabinet cover
  • Paint the exterior of the house
  • Finish mixbook for 2017, update the 2018 book regularly.

2013 To Do List Update-Finish the Backyard

So each year I write up a to do list of things I’d like to get done. I always end up crossing off a lot of the items, but more often than not, I end up just adding new projects to the list and crossing those off.  Either way, the list helps motivate me! I’m happy to report that we completed an item on the list. Originally I’d written it as plant a garden, but we realized our yard doesn’t get the right amount of afternoon sun, and because of our hot summers, this idea made more sense.

Here’s the before shots:



Our grass died out when we had some trouble with our irrigation system last summer.

Here’s what it looks like now:

P1090580 P1090583

I also managed to save up more of my Amazon gift cards from Swagbucks, and bought the rest of our patio furniture.  I love the way our firepit area looks!


We still have some work left to do. We will be reseeding the grass, and getting rid of the mounds of dirt and weeds we dug up.


Do you see that bare spot towards the back of the stones? We will be planting a Japanese maple in that spot. Right now the maples are saplings Match’s parents gave us from their yard, so it will be awhile before we plant. I love how the yard is coming together, and it looks so much better than it did.

I love working on projects around the house with Match. There is something so satisfying about a DIY project, and knowing we’ve done something to make our home our own. Now I just can’t wait to save up the extra cash to get the outside of the house painted!

Here’s a look at where I’m at with my to do list. I’m sure I’ll be adding more to this list before the year is up. I have to learn to stop doing that and focus on what’s already there!

2013 Goals/To Do List:

  • Decide on a name for Piglet
  • Pay off new upstairs windows
  • Finance new downstairs windows (thank you 0% financing offers!)
  • Pay off at least one of our student loans, pay down Jeep
  • Start savings fund for Piglet
  • Roll over old 401K to IRA-been meaning to do this for years now
  • Write our wills
  • Take infant CPR class
  • Take prenatal classes, including birth and nursing classes at Kaiser
  • Organize garage-install pegboard and built in shelving storage
  • Replace kitchen lighting with recessed lighting
  • Buy hallway light fixture.
  • Buy ceiling fan in the master bedroom.
  • Buy new dining room and front entry light fixtures.
  • Save up for an electrician to come install all of these fancy light fixtures (got a quote…ouch! This could take awhile)
  • Install a custom closet organizer.
  • Buy sideboard for dining room using Amazon coupons
  • Take maternity pictures with Match (scheduled for April 29th!)
  • Make DIY invitations for Piglet’s baby shower
  • Send Thank You cards for shower
  • Finish nursery decor by no later than April
  • Take family photos when Piglet arrives
  • Send out Piglet’s birth announcements
  • Take Piglet Camping
  • Do something fun for our 3rd wedding anniversary
  • Do something special for my 30th birthday
  • Come up with family Halloween costumes, hopefully DIY
  • Take Piglet to the pumpkin patch
  • Send out our first family Christmas cards
  • Make Piglet a baby book and keep track of milestones (in progress, will be done on his birthday)
  • Take Piglet to the Christmas tree farm
  • Take our first trip to Oregon as a family of 3
  • Have a date night at least once a month with Match, hopefully more frequently
  • Lose baby weight and get in pre-baby shape by the end of the year. (5 pounds to go!)
  • Go back to the gym-should help with above goal
  • Take Piglet to at least one Mommy & me class
  • Keep up with blogging even after Piglet gets here (Goal is at least 1 time a week check in, keeping up with it so far!)
  • Meet a blog friend in real life
  • Finish backyard
  • Have outside of house painted
  • Re-stain deck
  • Buy the rest of our patio furniture with Amazon coupons
  • Buy a digital SLR to capture all of Piglet’s antics
  • Start writing a book
  • Make mirror frame for Master Bathroom
  • Build window seat in the downstairs great room
  • Order new window seat cushion for nursery (made one instead!)
  • Read at least 50 Books this year (41 read so far)

Great Room Update

Barney: [picks up dart] Hey, guys! Guess what I got? A new dart!
Robin: Oh, wow, a new dart!
Ted: Hey, that new dart is great!
Robin: I did not know you were such a fan of “newdart”, Barney!
Barney: Oh yes, Robin, I just love “newdart”…”nude art”. “Nude art”![Barney, Robin, and Ted laugh.]
Marshall: Okay, all right, so what, you guys found the painting, huh?!?
Lily: I knew this day would come.
Marshall: How did you know that?
Lily: Because I didn’t hide it very well. -How I Met Your Mother

In this post from a few weeks ago, I asked you all for advice on some wall decorating ideas for our great room. I loved all of the suggestions. They really helped me visualize what to do with the space.

I will eventually be adding wainscoting to this wall, as a reader suggested. It would look amazing, but right now we just don’t have the time or budget to do it. So for now, I’ve put up a triptych of sorts. These are pictures that Match and I took on some of our trips, which I modge podged to canvas that I painted black.

canvas photo: www.dategirldiaries.com

canvas photo


I also got a new seat cushion for the rocking chair. That chair belonged to Match’s mom, and she used to rock him in it when he was a baby. canvas photo, triptych, decorating

great room decor
I love the way they turned out, and I think it helps separate the two spaces, as you all suggested I do.  On the right side, above the dining table I will be doing a gallery wall of family photos, with our wedding canvas picture in the middle, and maybe a family photo once Piglet gets here. I hope to find black frames and do a mix of framed pictures and canvas prints.  I also plan on getting an area rug for the left side, and one day we’ll put our couch on the other side of the coffee table. I just have to save up for a leather couch for the family room first. But for now I’m loving the way it looks, and I think it’ll look great for my baby shower next month!

Thanks again for all your great ideas, and I’m sure I’ll be asking for more decorating advice in the future!



TTUT-I Need Decorating Advice

Lilith: You should be decorating professionally.
Norm: Doing you folks a favor is one thing. Anymore of this interior decorating junk could really eat into my reputation as a lazy, beer-guzzling lump of mashed potatoes.
Frasier: But Norm, you have a gift.
Norm: A gift? Try a curse, pal. I spent my whole damn life trying to cover up the fact that I have a great sense of color and I always know where to put the ottoman. -Cheers

with Impulsive Addict and Seriously Shawn

Alright readers, I need some help. We have this beautiful great room that is a living room/dining room combo with big vaulted ceilings. The problem is I’m left with this big expanse of wall that desperately needs decorating.

I was thinking of painting a triptych (3 canvases for one painting) and centering that in the middle of the wall, and  getting rid of the photograph on the left.



I would LOVE your suggestions on what I can do for this wall;  I just need a little inspiration. I wish I could afford to go out and buy some amazing piece of artwork, but for now I’m going to need to go the DIY route. Point me to links, photos, ideas, you name it, I’m interested. Help me figure out how to make this room work!



Pin-Win: Hide Your Router With Old Books

Hodgins: So, for kicks you read —
Cam: Feminist trash. You know — woman finds her power, leaves her oppressive husband, discovers freedom and fulfillment with an artist who knows how to cry and make love like an animal.
Hodgins: So, sex books.
Cam: Pretty much, yeah.-Bones

Since we got our built ins, I’ve been completely satisfied with how they look, but for one thing: the electronics shelf. I couldn’t stand the how awful the router and modem looked. I won’t even get into the cable box, because I know that would be a royal pain to hide, and I do like checking the clock. So I went on a mission to figure out how to hide the cords, router and modem instead.

I found this great idea on Pinterest, from Apartment Therapy. She used an old book and just cut the pages out and plopped the router inside the cover instead. I decided that’s what I would do too.

Cutting books up makes me cringe, no matter how cheap. So I was careful to keep the pages intact, so I could use the paper jackets to cover them and still have the books to read, just in case. I also only had to cut two books to make this project work. The rest I either already had, or I found on sale at the used book store. Can you tell which books are hollow and which aren’t? You can if you look from the side, but straight on they look intact to me!

So here is the mess that the electronics shelf was in before:

hide your router with old books

Look at that hot mess. There’s just crap everywhere.

And this is what it looks like now:

old books to hide electronics

I think I could probably put a few more books on the shelf and hide the antenna of the router a little more, and maybe add one more book to the far right to hide the plugs. I could also find a book that’s the same size as the Playstation 3, and one for the wii and cover those up. Still, it looks so much better than before.

old books to hide router and other electronics

So what do you think? Have you had a pin-win lately?