The New Year is Here! Time for Some Resolutions

2012 is here! And the whirlwind of 2011 has officially come to a close. I’m not a huge fan of the idea of New Year’s resolutions (sounds so daunting!) but we do have some goals this year for our home and our family.

First up is the house. As you know, we purchased our little Spanish bungalow in 2008 and have literally lived in open demolition and construction somewhere indoors from day one. To see a line up of what rooms we tackled in 2011, check out this post. We don’t have plans to stop but we do plan on taking some of the demo outdoors which will be kind of a nice break.

But before we head outdoors, the bathroom is back!

We ripped three closets and a hallway open in April of 2011 in hopes of throwing together a perfect little full bath in the middle of the house (we eventually have plans to turn the current full bathroom into the master bath so the addition of a new one was necessary). More on this soon, but it took a lot longer than anticipated. Inspiration image found here.

Next, I plan to give our master bedroom a serious makeover.

Before we moved it in was hard to picture where it would end up… and after living in it for a couple of years with our furniture and a few decorative details I finally have the start of my plan in mind. The dhurrie rug is a dog hair attractor and the white curtains (while nice and flowy) are not grounding the space really well. No big demo in here but a healthy dose of pattern should update the space.

Our office will still be working its way to the finish line with a few outstanding projects: a big, comfy wingback chair find and makeover, duvet and bedding for the guest bed, new office chair upholstery, neat artwork finds and quite a bit of organization.

Yep, the before was the original kitchen! So the room has come quite a ways, but the finishing touches are always important.

Then there’s the dining room. This room is in need of a new lighting solution, a larger rug, better curtains, new artwork and some serious patching after the bathroom is complete.

The ‘before’ pic is just before we moved in and taken from an angle in the far corner of the room. You can see into the hallway and what it looked like before the new bathroom-in-progress took over! The current state of the room is livable and homey but a design direction is needed. As for the inspiration? The ideaboard is wide open.

When we take it outdoors we’ll completely overhaul our side yard with the goal of creating an outdoor dining spot to compliment the outdoor kitchen we built from scratch in 2010.

The plans are that the new side yard will get a deck, a big arbor (maybe some neat hanging lanterns or moravian lights?), a rustic farmhouse table and right now I’m picturing some cool mismatched chairs. We’ll repaint the blue wall in the current outdoor fireplace area, add quite a bit of greenery (crawling figs, maybe a diy outdoor fountain) and a few kid-friendly details like a sand pit or grassy patch.

If we have time, we plan to work on the breakfast nook and bar area of the new kitchen. But I don’t want to get too far ahead of ourselves… after all we have to do all of the above on a super tight budget and in full on do-it-yourself style.

That ought to get us off to a good start.

When it comes to our family lifestyle, we have a couple of goals in mind:

1. Time management. Because our schedules are so unusual (with Kev being a full time student and me working from home (which means I don’t ever ‘leave the office’) we tend to let work pour into play and sometimes even vice versa. I think I’m more guilty of trying-to-get-too-much-done and I’m hoping to really incorporate a few simplifying and decluttering solutions.

2. Be healthy. Kevin hopes to take our Going Green to a new level by trying to purchase as much as possible from local farmers via CSA and farmer’s markets. His goal is to rarely visit the supermarket. I hope that means that I’m not the default for that plan…

3. Do something crazy. We know that we’ll be expanding our family soon if we hope for Liv to have a sibling close in age (and it takes 9 months to cook those little additions) so we want to do something fun and crazy in 2012. It might involve some cool traveling on a budget.

I don’t expect this next year to slow down much with what we’ve decided to try and tackle in the ways of our home remodeling project, my job and the expansion of my creative marketing business (I work full time as a marketing director for a motion control company and I’m launching a couple of ventures on the side – it’s going to be fun!), Kevin’s 4th year of school and Liv’s ever growing and developing ways, but that’s the way we like it! but as you can see from our family goal, I hope to manage it and corral it all in with some serious organization overhaul.

I’m exhausted just thinking about it all…

What are your plans for the New Year?

A Toast to 2011! And a Year in Review…

Wow this year has flown by! Before we usher in the new year (2012!?) here’s a quick look back at some of my favorite projects from 2011.

Rooms tackled in the house…

Crafts and more diy fun …

And our biggest project to date!

We wish you all a Happy New Years!! So long 2011 – you were good to us!

Bedtime Stories Baby Shower Part 1

Happy Friday! I’ve been meaning to post these pictures for a while but I’ve finally had time to sort and edit them during this mini vacation. Here’s a baby shower that friends and I threw for our good friend Diana and her little Noah – who’s due any day now.

The adorable invites were designed by Jennafer of Oh Creative One on Etsy. She contacted me to partner on the project and I love how they turned out! Jennafer was wonderful to work with and turned my broad ideas of a colorful starry sky, cute little owls and a bedtime story book into the perfect invite.

I’m not sure where the idea of a Bedtime Stories shower originated from but I loved that I could decorate with everything books. There was no intended color palette but much of the room ended up in shades of blue by the time decorating was finished.

The ‘sprinkle’ shower was held at night and on a weekday but it was an ideal time to gather the group together during the busy holiday season. Sometimes the best celebrations are the ones that include a glass of wine and yummy appetizers after a hard day’s work – that plus nannies for the evening!

I snapped most of these pics during the day, which means no food or people in these photos but hopefully a few clearer shots of the details.

Decor was simple with a few handmade details. I made two sets of fabric bunting (which I kept in soft, gender-neutral colors because I knew I would use them time and again for all sorts of parties), ribbon ‘flags’ on twine, plus a large pin board for little fabric onesies we all designed. Two friends helped me with cut-out stars which really helped to set the ‘bedtime’ tone.

It was a small shower with maybe a dozen or so of us celebrating the newest member to Diana’s family. We played silly games including one competition where we had to recreate belly bumps with small balloons. Hilarious! We ate delicious food provided by some of the guests (potluck style!), and we created customized little onesies and burp cloths out of fabric and embroidery thread.

Here are a few shots from the night of. A big thanks to the ladies that helped me pull this shower together, and a big welcome to baby Noah who will literally be here this week! (Diana’s due date was the 27th)

More details to come as I break down (and finish editing photos…) of a few of the easy decorations.

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