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)

2012 To Do List Progress: Paint Kitchen Hinges

Emily: That’s amazing. What did you use?
Rory: I don’t know. We got it from one of those late night tv-ads. Apparently it also gets rust off nails and hinges, waxes your car perfectly and weather-proofs windows and doors. -Gilmore Girls

I’ve actually knocked out quite a few things on my 2012 to do list. Thank you 2nd trimester energy burst! One task that I thought would take forever ended up only taking one day, and I’m pretty happy with the result. Instead going out and buying new hinges for our cabinets, I decided to spray paint them. They don’t look perfect if you look super close, but I think they look pretty nice.


I know it’s hard to tell-but the old hinges were this bronze color, and they didn’t match our stainless steel appliances.


It’s a very subtle change, but I like the effect. Of course doing this project made me hate the color of our cabinets even more. I would love to paint them white, or stain them a dark espresso. If I went with espresso I think it would make the kitchen feel too small. Once we update the lighting and add granite counter tops, hopefully I’ll be happier about the cabinet color.

We also finally finished the lighting in the downstairs bathroom. Once we get the frame added to the mirror, and replace the paper blinds with real ones, that room will be DONE. I love how much the lighting brightened up the half bath and made it look bigger.


Ugh, I still can’t believe they put that fake “stain glass” sticker on the window. It smelled like chemicals and it was peeling. That was the first thing to go! Now it smells like soap, thank you very much.


Match replaced the light and I painted the vanity a nice espresso color to match the other bathrooms. I’m so happy with how it turned out!

I still have a lot left on the list, but I’ve made some headway. I can’t wait to make more progress on the nursery, but it will have to wait until we know if Roo prefers pink or blue. Other than that, we’re just waiting on that money tree to buy the rest of what we need for the house. 😉

2012 to do list: 

1. Replace the lighting in all 3 bathrooms.

2. Replace the hallway light fixtures.

3. Install an overhead light in the master bedroom.

4. Replace the dining room and front entry light fixtures.

5. Install a custom closet organizer.

6. Buy Monkey a new kennel.

7. Paint mural for the nursery

8. Come up with family Halloween costumes

9. Do at least 1 or 2 Halloween Crafts before Roo is born

10. Increase online earnings to pay for all the stuff we need to buy this year

11. Start a savings fund for Roo

12. Sell the Focus

13. Pay off the Subaru

14. Save up a big down payment for a truck

15. Buy a truck

16. Start landscaping the backyard

17. Start landscaping the front yard

18. Get Nursery ready by September

19. Make decorations for Sassy’s bridal shower

18. Host Sassy’s bridal shower

20. Build up savings

21. Buy new couch for family room

22. Buy area rug for family room

23. Buy area rug for great room

23. Get certified in infant CPR

24. walk at least 5 times per week as long as the doctor says I can

25. Buy VHS to DVD converter

26. Convert old home movies to DVD as a present to our parents

27. Have wedding dress cleaned

28. Carve Pumpkins with Match

29. Write up our wills

30. Meet at least one bloggy friend this year

31. Go camping at least once this spring

32. Buy a side table or buffet table for the dining room

33. Learn to light a fire in our firepit

34. Make window seat for the nursery

35. Get at least 100 readers

36. Go on at least one trip with Match this Spring

37. Take prenatal classes

38. Finish pregnancy journal and have it printed or make a homemade book

39. Order mixbook from last year

40. Take pregnancy photo shoot

41. Do something special for our 2 year anniversary

42. Survive labor and delivery and have a healthy bouncing lil Roo.

43. Take Roo to a pumpkin patch

44. Have a family photo shoot

45. Make 2 to 3 handmade Christmas decorations before December

46. Make at least one homemade canvas print from one of my photos

47.  Sew bucilla stocking for Roo

48. Go back to the Christmas tree farm

49. Make Roo a Christmas Ornament

50. Make homemade gifts for Christmas

51. Spray paint kitchen hinges

52. Paint bathroom vanities

Masterbath Updates and More Spraypaint

Tao: What makes a good marriage? I think patience.
Mrs. Tao: Patience. And separate bathrooms.-The Closer

We updated the lighting in our master bathroom finally! No more flickering humming fluorescent light bulbs. No more looking like death when I put on my makeup. While Match was busy trying not to punch holes in our wall out of frustration, I was working on our towel racks and toilet paper holder. I wanted everything to match the new fixture and new racks are crazy expensive. So for less than $8 I think these turned out pretty great!

Didn’t Match do an amazing job with the light fixture? I am toying with giving him welding equipment and a fancy set of tools for his birthday next month. But then again, that would just be a present for me wouldn’t it? 😉

We are going to stain the vanity an espresso color to match the fixtures and towel holder. We also want to build a frame to go around the mirror. I love the way it’s all coming together. With every little project we’re putting our mark on this house. It’s a great feeling!

Home Improvement on the Brain

[Tim wants to remodel the bathroom, on Tool Time.]
Tim: …Let me do this for you.
Jill: Will Al be here?
Tim: I don’t see what that has to do with anything.
Jill: Will Al be here?
Tim: I want you to understand something. Al is my assistant, he assist me.
Jill: Yeah, I know. Will he be here?                                                                                                                                                                                    Tim: Probably, yes.
Jill[getting excited]: And I can have anything I want?
TimAnything you want!
Jill: Oh, what if I decide I just want you, right now?
Tim: Well, it’ll be difficult without Al here to assist me! –Home Improvement 

I apologize in advance for all of the home related posts, but I’ve got homes on the brain. Lately I’ve been staying up late looking up home improvement ideas on my tablet pc.

I’ve decided I’m going to become a handywoman. I don’t know much about home improvement, but my Pops is a journeyman carpenter, so I figure I can ask him. I plan on taking a few classes at the Home Depot too. I have a feeling this little venture could make for some hilarious future blog fodder.

The first thing I want to fix in our new home is the baseboards. The previous owners went the cheapie route and used extra flooring pieces as baseboards and they just look odd.

I’d like to put in these simple white baseboards. I don’t think it’ll be all that difficult to do. Of course these could be famous last words. 😉

I also want to do something about lightening up the kitchen. The first thing that needs to be replaced is the kitchen lighting, and then hopefully I can repaint or reface the cabinets. Eventually I’d love to put in granite but that’s probably going to be quite awhile.

I’d like to put in recessed lighting like this:

I’m sure I’ll come up with all sorts of other ideas once we move in. Can November 14th get here faster please?!