Get it done in 2015!

With the new year comes new resolutions. This year, I have a few things on my “get it done!” list. I tried to keep the list reasonable. I work a lot of hours every week, and I need to spend some time on weekends to recharge as well. We did well in 2014 when we took on one reasonable task per month. We hit a bit of a wall when it came to updating the basement  – first with the wallpaper and then with the sheet vinyl on the floors. So the plan is to take on 10 projects this year – each of which can be reasonably completed within 1 month, with 2 months of flexibility for surprise projects and/or unforeseen circumstances that cause projects to run over.

So here’s our list for 2015

To Do in 2015


The list isn’t in any particular order! Here’s the details:

  1. Finish the Basement
    • We need to finish painting the walls and the trim we’ve already installed. Then lay the floors, add some baseboards, and paint those baseboards. Once all of that is done, we can move in the furniture and start using the space. We’ll need to add some window coverings, art, and look into storage options.Basement Progress - Support Post Bumpout - #thissarahloves
  2. Install a Basement Desk
    • One of the biggest storage needs in the basement is having a work space. We plan on installing a desk using kitchen cabinets, counter-top material (probably butcher block), and adding open storage shelves overhead. We’ll need some cute storage solutions and some counter-height bar stools to finish it up.
  3. Paint and Organize the Study
    • Our third bedroom is an embarrassing mess. We plan on moving a fair amount of things into the basement when that’s done, but we want the room to be functional and not just a storage space. So we plan on painting the walls and trim, hanging some curtains, upgrading the closet, adding a closet curtain instead of closet door, and hanging some art. Oh and then watching a few episodes of Hoarders to convince us to purge and shred.
  4. Finish updating the Master Bath
    • We removed our nasty 1980s shower doors and replace them with a cute curtain. But stopped there. We want to replace the toilet, light, and mirror and paint the vanity. Although we’d eventually like the replace the shower and vanity, we think these smaller upgrades will allow us to get another couple of years out of the bathroom.DSC04886
  5. Master Bedroom
    • Our master bedroom still has paint swatches on the wall & our curtains are hanging from the rods that were there when we moved in. So the goal is to get the walls painted, replacing the too-small dresser with a bigger one, upgrading the window treatments, and adding some art. In the long run our closet needs a serious make-0ver, but that will take a visit from an electrician and a drywall guy, so maybe in 2016?Dresser Top - Progress - #thissarahloves
  6. Basement Storage
    • Once we have the basement family room ready to go, we need to address the storage down there. There’s tons of space, but we’re not using it well.  So the goal will be to create smarter storage systems for the utility room and the under-the-stairs closet.
  7. Backyard
    • In 2014 we got rid of the approximately 75 over-grown shrubs filling up our back yard. We also had the rotting shed demolished and removed. This year we need to fence the backyard (definitely something we’ll be hiring out), figure out how to deal with the hole left by the world’s largest shed, and plant a few things. I also want to add some white river-rocks to the drainage bed outside the house.Backyard - New Bed from Back Door
  8. Re-finish the Basement Stairs
    • We got rid of the last of the blue carpet months ago, but now we have raw pine stairs leading into the basement. The plan is to sand and patch the wood & then paint them in the same color scheme as the stairs leading to the upper level.Closed Stairs
  9. Living Room
    • Our living room has been half-done for far too long. I want to sew cushion covers to go on the new couch, update the window treatments, and add a console table behind the couch. We also need another lamp or two. Once the extra couch gets moved into the basement, this will be a lot easier to accomplish.SONY DSC
  10. Kitchen
    • Other than wrapping up the basement remodel, this is the biggest project on the list. Or rather, potentially, the biggest project. The MUST dos are removing the last of the wallpaper border and painting the walls. All of our appliances need updating, the dishwasher and microwave are at the top of the list, and the fridge is not far behind. The counters absolutely MUST go and we need at least new cabinet doors, but probably entirely new cabinets. Basically, we need to figure out how much it’s all going to cost, and what the timeline is on that. Once we have the timeline, we can figure out what we want to do to in 2015.Kitchen - Drawer Cabinet Hardware Upgrade

What do you have on your “Get it Done!” list for 2015?

Sarah Signature


April To Do List & Goals

Remember last year when I would post To Do Lists and then get lots of things done?  Like my September To Do listSeptember in Review.  Yea, I sort of remember them too.  So this month they are back!  I’m trying to keep them short and attainable.  That way I’ll actually get these lists completed & use my free time more productively (rather than watching bad reality TV)!

April To Do List

You may have noticed a trend here.  There will be a big focus on walls this month!  The Master Bedroom got a gallery wall (you may have caught a sneak peek on Instagram) but the art in the frames still need to bed switched out.  There are also two blank canvases waiting for me to experiment with photo transfers hanging on another wall in the master bedroom.  The finishing touches in the Guest Room involve switching out the matting of two frames, making some scatter cushion covers for the loveseat & adding some snacks & toiletries.  I haven’t shown you yet, but the long living room wall (remember the living room dilemma?) has seen some big changes, but it’s not quite done.  The last item on the list sort of terrifies me.  We have gorgeous rattan chairs and a loveseat that were hand-me-downs from my parents.  They’re covered in an off-white cotton, which shows every spot and spill, so I ordered some iDye in Navy Blue to dye the covers.  Wish me luck.  I’m a little terrified of doing this!

And since I’m making lists, I thought it would be nice to add an April Goals list too.  Since the weather seems to be warming up, I thought it would be smart to have a list that reminds me to take advantage of the nice(r) weather & make time to see friends.

April Goals

What’s on your list for April?

House Goals for 2013

1. Redo the office nook tie into the living room!

Naked Desk


There’s the old, very messy view.  Things have started changing already.  For Christmas Andy built me a new desktop & I painted it bright blue!  Next, I plan to add a dresser to help keep the clutter at bay.  Oh and a different chair.  One that will hopefully promote more standing & less sitting!

2. Fix up the other side of the guest room before any guests arrive!

Guest Room @ ournextgreatadventure

This is the good side.  The rattan love seat is in there for the winter, so I want to add some fun scatter cushions to tie it in.  I also decided that I hate the gallery wall, so I plan on taking all the pictures down & trying something else.

3. Finish up the entryway closet organization project.

Entryway Closet Sneak Peek


We added a cheapo bookshelf & some fabric bins, which are working out GREAT.  I still need a better solution for our winter accessories (gloves, boot liners, earwarmers).  I’m thinking of adding some baskets to the wall, but I’m yet to find the perfect ones.

4. Update the master bedroom

Bedroom Gallery Wall


It’s official, we’ve lived with those scuffed up nightstands for more than 6 months.  It’s time to get a painting!  Also, that gallery wall needs fixing.  I’m thinking perhaps I’m getting tired of gallery walls, but with lots of smaller art pieces, I don’t have much of a choice.  Guess I’ll just have to figure it out.

5. Update living room fabrics

Keepsake Calico Swivel Capri Fabric for Couch CushionsI got this gorgeous fabric from Jo-Anns a while ago to make new scatter cushion covers for the living room.  This is my official promise to do that (and soon!)  I’m also playing around with the idea of switching out the ottoman fabric (but I may come to my senses).

What’s on your house to do list for this year?  I’m hoping that the items listed above will be checked off the list before Summer gets here, but we’ll see.  At least I have a public record of my goals.

A Blog Signature


November To Do List

With Halloween officially behind us, I can start decorating for Christmas right?  No?  Okay, well I can   at least start to prepare for Christmas decorating!  That way I can decorate right before we leave for Thanksgiving and we can return to a beautiful holiday-ready house.  Yay!

If you follow me on Pinterest, you may have noticed my Christmas – Decorate and DIY projects and ideas board.  I love decorating for Christmas!  I also have a Christmas – Cards and WrappingChristmas – Eats, and Christmas – Shopping board.  So in other words, get ready for Christmas on the blog!

Project #1: Felt Christmas Wreath
I spotted this Land of Nod felt wreath on Pinterest recently (on the left), shortly followed by the arguably more beautiful DIY version from Beckie at Infarrantly Creative (on the right). (Click here if you need to know what Infarrantly means, and NO, I didn’t misspell her blog name! I double-checked THREE times!)

I immediately fell in love with Beckie’s version and since she DIYed it, I decided that I can try my hand at it too.  I picked up some cheap small wreath rings at Target a while back, and I’ve been trying to decide what to do with them.  I think a fun scalloped wreath will be a perfect addition to my Christmas decor.

I plan on changing the instructions up a bit, as I don’t have a fancy pants die cut machine, but I do own scissors!  I also own a hot glue gun so I’ll probably go with that instead of pins.  Finally, since our Christmas decor around here is mostly green and silver I think the wreath should work with that, so I’ll be switching up the colors too.

Project #2: Tie up October’s loose ends

  • Sew Penelope’s crate cover
  • Re-do Canvas Art
  • Complete Gallery Wall in Guest Room

Project #3: Switch out the Halloween Decor for a few Thanksgiving/Fall items
I’m inspired by this:

And I recently added this adorable Pilgrim Turkey to my Fall Decor.  Can  you stand his cuteness?

Project #4: Take a Christmas Card Picture and order Christmas Cards

I love this picture, and I really want to try to take something similar.  Of course, we don’t have money for a professional picture, so I’m not sure how this is supposed to happen…

As for cards, here are a few I love from Shutterfly.  I sort of want to do postcard for our international cards – I’m thinking that if there’s not question if there’s anything hidden in the envelope, my Christmas Cards might actually make it to their destinations on time.  I also love all of the options below…. Decisions decisions.

What do you have planned for November?

October To Do List

1. Touch up the art-above-the desk & paint one of the parallelograms a different color.  I’m thinking yellow or a deep teal.  I also want to paint over the white tape lines with white paint to get everything nice and crisp. There are also some spots that needs touching up, like the top left corner.

2. Hang the art sitting on the floor of guest room.  I love how graphic both these pieces are.  The one on the left is a thrift store find, and the one on the right is from LindsayClaytonDesigns on Etsy.   I think they’ll look great in the colorful guest room! And works well (in a strange way) with the bird fabric.  These pieces are heavy and our stud finder died, so hanging this art will involve a trip to the hardware store.

3. Make a cover for Penelope’s crate.  I’m inspired but this cover I found on Pinterest.  I think I’ll use some of the teal chevron I have left over.

4. Make a Halloween garland for the entryway.   I still haven’t decided what I’m going to do. Probably something with bats.  Maybe candy corn.  Here’s some pinspiration

5. Line the back of the Billy Bookshelf, where we keep our fancy glassware, in chevron contact paper.  It has etched glass doors, but since it’s dark brown, the piece feels very heavy.  I think covering the backboard with chevron paper will help to brighten up the piece.  Inspiration on the left, the actual bookshelf on the right.

What do you have planned for October?

September To Do List

Happy Labor Day!  We had an awesome early labor day celebration yesterday with some friends and neighbors.  There was amazing BBQ with both a vinegar based and bourbon based BBQ sauce.  It was amazing, but unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures.  Penelope got to come too & she spent the day playing with two German Shepherds and chasing the beer pong balls around.  (Yes, we’re probably too old to play beer pong.  Don’t judge.)

Anyways.  How is it labor day already?!?! Where did summer go?  At least we got some stuff done around here (see July and August progress reports here).  Since I work from home, my schedule hasn’t really changed, but I do feel like I deserve some new pens and notepads for some reason…  I blame my mother for spoiling me with fun school supplies every year. September might be a tad busy around here as I’ll be traveling for work, but I still have a full list of DIY projects to tackle.

So here’s the list:

1 & 2. Share the new living and dining room updates I’ve made & haven’t shared.  I’ll give you a couple of hints.

3. Share what my plans are for this diamond in the rough.  Don’t worry, we only kept the frame!

4. Address that big blank spot above my desk.

5. Do something with the frames in the entryway (to the left of the desk).  Although the woodpeckers and bees have grown on me in a strange way, I don’t think the duplicate prints are the kind of fashion statement I want to make.

6. Bonus points: Figure out how to build, & convince Andy to build, a super skinny console table for the entry way.  I seriously love this one from Michelle at Decor and the Dog but I think we may go with this type of structure instead but with the beat up real wood from inspiration #1.  I’m also thinking of just using an Ikea Billy in this spot.


Well that’s what’s on my to do list.  I’ll be sure to update you on my progress.  What do you have planned for September?