Goal Keeping

Despite rarely ever completing all my goals for the year, I really enjoy taking a look back & seeing what all I accomplished & what still needs improvement. I only shared four goals on the blog & was able to cross all but one off the list. Let's take a look at my goals for last year...

The first item on my list of goals was to update the morning room. As my style transitioned, this room was stuck in it's dark & dreary past. I finished it up in November as part of the fall One Room Challenge. You can see the reveal here as well as links to all the projects.

One of the first projects I started to tackle in 2015 was my son's bedroom makeover. His room slowly evolved from a small dark bedroom to a bright spacious room with the help of new paint & space saving furnishings. You can check out the reveal here.

My daughter's room was also in need of a makeover this year, as she had grown out of the sweet, princess room from her preschool years. Her room now is much more cheerful & suited to her fun-loving personality. You can see the reveal post here.

The one item that we did not finish (or really even start) was the master bedroom makeover, which leads me into my goals for 2016! 

When we had our house built over six years ago, I didn't think we would still have rooms & projects that were unfinished. This is the year I hope to start improving on some much needed areas in our home. I don't know why, but I really want it to be finished enough that if we had to suddenly move, the house would be ready to list. (Moving is not at all in the plans at this point though! I really love our home & hope to stay here for a while longer!)

1. Master Bathroom

That being said, the first room I would like to tackle in 2016 is the master bathroom. I'm sure you can't tell from the pictures, but this room is disgusting! I would love to replace the floor & tile, but that won't be in the budget for years, so I plan on focusing on simple changes to improve this room. I hope to paint the walls & cabinets, add shelving above the toilet, replace some of the trim, & add new curtains & accessories.

2. Master Bedroom

Once the master bathroom is spruced up, I plan on moving into the master bedroom. This is another room that hasn't been touched since we moved in. Well, we did purchase a new headboard & chairs last year, when I thought I might actually get around to decorating this room, but then I lost focus! This year I hope to paint the walls, replace the dresser, nightstands, bedding, & mirror, & add art & accessories. 

I hope the main focus for us this year can be the back yard. Once we realized how sloped our backyard was (after building) we planned on building a two-tiered retaining wall to span the width of the backyard. While that won't happen this summer, getting these other exterior spaces in shape will help us prepare for those future projects.

3. Fire Pit/ Picnic Area

Two years ago we bought supplies to build a retaining wall to the right of the fire pit area. The wood is still sitting in our basement waiting to be used. This is the year, I plan on getting that out of the basement. Then, we'll add a picnic table & the hammock we got my husband for Father's Day (two years ago).

Due to a drainage issue, the fire pit stairs & patio are a mess & will need to be worked on. I also want to add a small deck behind the Adirondack chairs, to add space for more chairs & stain the fire wood storage box.

4. Deck

We need to replace several boards on the deck & it is in need of a good staining. Our umbrella & table will hopefully get replaced this year too.

5. Play Space 

The final outdoor area that needs some help is the kids play area. We really need a sandbox cover, toy storage, & I am hoping to add some additional play areas for the kids.

So, that's what I would really like to happen on the home front this year. We'll see how far we get!

A Few of My Favorite Posts

On Wednesday, I shared the most popular posts from 2015, & while they were nice, a few of my favorites slid by without much mention. Here are a few of my personal favorites that didn't quite win the popularity contest this year.

Tween Boy's Bedroom Reveal

My son's room was actually the first makeover I worked on in 2015, but I took a break from it when the One Room Challenge popped up & I decided to make over my daughter's room. I really love the way his room turned out & I think it is a great representation of him. Click on over to see how I gave the room personality & worked in some of Zeke's most treasured possessions.

During Zeke's bedroom makeover, my husband & I worked together to build this Z marquee letter. I really love how it turned out & especially the glow it gives his room at night. Zeke's room only has one window, so adding this unit really brightens up his space.

We have slowly been trimming out all the windows in our home. The last room on the first floor that needed trim had us stumped. We couldn't figure out how to add moulding around the arched window. Amazingly enough the Internet did not have an answer for us, other than basically hiring it out. Fortunately, we figured it out & shared the easy solution with you in the post.

My children are proof that keeping up your studies over summer break can prevent the "summer slide" that occurs at the start of each new school year. After participating in the school's math & reading challenge for several years, we created our own last summer, when the school decided to drop the program. I posted about it at the beginning of the summer & am happy to announce that the challenge was successful! The weekend before school started, they were able to open up that sparkly envelope for a fun weekend away. The system was easy to maintain & the mystery prize was motivating for the kids.

One of the all-time, most popular posts on my blog was written about how we celebrate the last day of school. (You can see that post here.) I find it amazing that without publicizing it at all, it is one of the top three posts I have ever written. Anyway, since that time, we have made some changes to our last day of school fun (we have to keep our kids on their toes!) & I shared about them in the above post. 

If you missed any of these posts, I hope you'll check them out & find some inspiration from them!

Favorite Posts from 2015

Now that 2016 is in full swing, it's time to take a look back & see what posts were most enjoyed in 2015. Without further adieu...

I started out the year with an updated home tour & the study was one of the most liked rooms on the tour. It has been a little over two years since I made this room over & I still love it just as much as I did when I first finished it. It is such a cheerful, happy spot to work!

The One Room Challenge is serious motivation for me to get moving on projects, so for the spring challenge, I made over my daughter's room. Many of the posts for her room were among the most popular (as you will see) including one on the inexpensive furnishings I purchased for her room.

The plans for Eliana's room topped the list of popular posts at number eight. If you want to see how bad her previously cute room had become, you can click on the link!

I painted this oak secretary desk as part of the fall One Room Challenge. I really love the way it looks & am so happy I was able to style it using things I had around the house & a little creativity!

I created a gallery wall of free art for my daughter's bedroom makeover. I used some rocks & shells from her collection, as well as some awesome free printable art I found online. Don't you just love it when talented people share their art for free???

This is a pretty boring picture, but one of the top five posts from my blog this year (um...does that say something about me?). I loved the color I painted the family room so much that I used it in my daughter's room as well!

This room went from drab to fab in the fall & now works with the rest of our main floor. I do see a few changes coming to it in the near future, so I will update pictures when that happens.

Okay, so this feels like cheating again! For the past three years, this bathroom has made my popular posts. I still really love it, so I don't mind, but I haven't done a thing but take pictures of it since I decorated it in 2013.

It took me three tries to find the perfect shade of pink curtains for my daughter's room & you'll never guess how I achieved it. Well, unless you read the original post!

Three rooms in our home received makeovers this year, but my daughter's room was the reader favorite. It has already had some slight changes, so it might be time for more pictures. I will just need motivation to iron that duvet cover, so don't plan on it until at least 2017!

So, there you have it! What are your favorites from the list? I would love to hear! I will be back in a few days to share some of my favorite posts from this year. 

Morning Room Challenge: The Big Reveal

Six weeks ago, myself & 177 others, set out to makeover a room, thanks to some motivation from Linda at Calling It Home. I chose to make over one of the few drab spaces left in our home, the morning room. If you would like to get caught up, here is what I have been up to the past few weeks:

Week One: Before Pictures & a Plan
Week Two: Painting the Secretary
Week Three: Adding Trim to an Arched Window
Week Five: Dining Chair Makeover

We have quickly arrived at week six & after some weekend table drama (that I'm not quite ready to talk about), I am happy to say the room is finished!

Let's start on the back wall with the Ikea Malm dresser. Maybe someday it will have pretty gold handles & a pair of beautiful lamps, but I couldn't quite justify spending money on those items, especially since I know the lamps would never get turned on!

I needed some pops of color on the back wall, so I painted my own artwork on a piece of poster board & placed it in a black poster frame from Wal-Mart. I'm pretty sure my husband is laughing behind my back about my masterpiece! Ha!

I picked up the black tray from Hobby Lobby. (It originally had a navy & white pattern.) I added a few books we occasionally use at dinner & some question cards in a small bowl from Target. My kids love to take turns asking & answering these questions during dinnertime & I love that it keeps us all at the table a bit longer. #momwin

The  light was an Overstock purchase when we first bought the house. And can we all just pretend that plant isn't shedding yellow leaves? (I'm sure they are just changing colors for fall!)

 The table & chair makeovers were the stuff of nightmares!

I found the six wooden chairs on Craigslist, painted them cream & recovered the seats in a cream leather. Those seat cushions... After working on those I am pretty convinced my brain has left the building! Thank goodness Mark was helping me figure out where we needed to staple.

I purchased the end chairs on Overstock & love the way all the chairs look together.

I am so glad my polyshades table nightmare is over! (sand, stain, strip, sand, stain, polyurethane...) I do love the way it turned out though. This table was in my dad's childhood home & was also the table I grew up eating at, so it is definitely dear to my heart.

Aren't we so fancy with our 89 cent Ikea plates & mismatched silverware? I think the white plates & chairs contrast nicely with the dark wood table. You are welcome to eat with us now that we have seating for eight at the table! (I don't recommend it though. We are having eggs tonight... My sister is the chef in the family!)

I'd say now would be a great time to discuss those curtains. Remember how I saved about $20 a panel by buying curtains that were too short & ripping the seams out to give me 3- 4 extra inches? Let's just pretend that's because I'm a genius, & not because I can't measure. Mkay?

 The pattern is a great modern print, much better than the floral curtains I had in the room previously. 

The secretary looks so much prettier in it's little black dress! The orange-y oak made this piece look dated, but the black paint gives it a more modern feel.

You can find all the details on how I styled it for free, as well as the links to some free printables here.

Now for the fun part! Let's see how far we've come.

The Before:

And After:



The Plan:
I would love to hear your thoughts on the space, but please don't ask me if my kids made the artwork. If you do, I will probably answer with, "Why yes they did!".

Don't forget to check out all the One Room Challenge makeovers. There should be plenty of inspiration to last you for days!

You can check out all the other spaces I've made over through the One Room Challenge here.

Easy Fall Girls' Night Out

Every month the ladies in my small group have a girls' night out. I was responsible for planning the September night, which happened to be the day after the fall equinox. I decided to host a dinner/craft/movie night in celebration of everything fall.

I didn't have enough formal dinnerware for the party, so I stopped by Ikea & picked up some of their 89 cent white plates & bowls & used some iced tea glasses we got for our wedding. The only cloth napkins I own are the ones seen here. I think the black & white buffalo/gingham print is perfect to use year round (pair them with red for Christmas & hot pink during the spring & summer).

Since I was purchasing all the food & supplies for the gathering, I decided to keep the table decor very cheap. I kept the centerpieces that are always on the table & just added a couple of mini pumpkins to be festive.

I wanted to make my friends feel extra special for the evening, so I put a "favor" at each place setting. I filled a clear goody bag with brown shredded paper & a $1 fall scented candle & tied the bag closed with some twine.

For dinner I served a simple dinner of white chicken chili (in the crock pot) along with salad & bread. Dessert was a mix of pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, pumpkin muffins, & caramel apples.

 After dinner we sat around the island snacking on dessert & used watercolors to make some fall art. I created two different prints for the ladies to paint (the other was a pumpkin). I'm not sure anyone actually used theirs as decor, but if nothing else, it was a fun, relaxing activity.

We finished off the evening watching the movie You've Got Mail (since it makes a reference about fall!).

Overall, I think the evening was a success! I just hope my friends feel the same way!


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