Category Archives: completed goals

Subway Sign

Several months ago I saw this post by Mrs. Limestone and I knew I had to recreate this project in my house somewhere. As the months went by I suddenly realized I had the perfect piece. Sitting in the storage closet off the patio was a dresser used to store gardening equipment and small tools. It was missing a drawer but that just made it all the more enticing for what I had in mind.

Over the Labor Day weekend I got the dresser out of the storage unit and emptied the drawers. I sanded it down with a palm sander and got to work painting it in Behr’s Black Suede which looks more like a Charcoal grey but I like it. A lovely friend let me borrow his drill and I was able to put a hole in the back of the dresser for power cord access.

I painted the drawers white and then added sticky vinyl backed letters in two sizes. Originally I had thought about putting stops from London, Paris and Rome but stuck with London to go with the other artwork in my living room.

I did sneak in a silly one – can you find it?

A neighbor came over this evening and helped me get my TV off the wall mounting bracket and on to the base. The top shelf area has my Blue Ray player, Wii, modem, router and a basket for my remotes. All of my DVD’s fit in the three drawers and I have room to grow. This allowed me to eliminated a shelf the DVD’s were previously sitting on.

Being non tech savvy, one thing that helped me was to label all of the cords and where they go before I unplugged them. I added my signature paisley to plump up my couch.

I am imensly pleased with this project. It makes me just a little giddy. Living room almost complete. Would like a rug and need to tile my hearth and bulk up my mantle.


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Filed under completed goals, Condo, crafts, Decluttering, decorating

>May Ramblings

>Hello blogger peeps!
I really feel bad for not posting a lot lately.  I just havn’t had much going on.  My couch slipcover is in stall mode until I can have a weekend free of plans to tackle sewing the slipcover which I spent three hours pinning as well as the back and seat cushions.

I’m excited about a few things though.  I was a little premature but updated my sidebar for some of our debt.  It’s not official or anything but this month we will have not one but two cars paid off.  The ironic thing about this is neither of them are driveable.  How crazy is that?  We are using our tax return to pay off our old daily driver my 1999 Subaru Forester which just went through engine number two and is sitting waiting for the title so we can sell it to someone who wants it for parts (car universe, please grant my wish).  That will be paid this Friday.  Our last payment to my dad for our 1987 Porsche will be a week later.  Problem is it needs a little bit of work to make it driveable. 

We got our new to us Saab back last Friday after it needing a new engine (what is it with us and engines?).  The dealership paid to have a used one with less miles put in.  We had only owned it less than 48 hours when that debacle happened.  I’m really liking the Saab.  It’s super comfortable with leather seats, dual climate control (front and back), heated seats all around (the SK’s are loving that!), a sun roof (oh how I missed that), a killer stereo system, hand controls on the steering wheel for the stereo and more.  This is more C’s car than mine so I will bide my time and save my pennies until I can get this…

I’m not gonna lie.  I kinda dig the racing stripes.  Never thought I would say that.  I DON’T dig the four fog lights on the front of this one and I would certianly love a sunroof too.  This car is so me.  Grey is my go to color in so many ways lately.  We painted the living, dining and hallway of our condo in grey.  Our Saab is silver with grey interior and I want me a grey mini cooper!

By the end of the month I will have put $950 on CC # 4 which is scheduled to be paid off in July.  In fact, all of our credit cards should be paid off by year end.  Yee Haw!  Once that happens I can relax and plan a real vacation.  A vacation to somewhere like Hawaii or Mexico.  Pretty much anyplace full of sun where I can stick my toes in the sand, drink fruity drinks with little umbrellas and relax.

I am starting a career development class in 13 days (yes I am counting) that I am super excited about.  I have a big birthday coming up at the end of July.  I am contemplating going here for the Saturday before my birthday.  Wine and Yurts, what more could a girl ask for?  They have a spa too!

The Yurts featuer King sized beds, sky dome in the center of the roof, private bath, refrigerator, iPod docking station, sitting area, patio deck, wifi and vineyard or river gorge view.

Meanwhile, I am totally addicted to this design blog House Tweaking.  Dana and her husband just bought a new (to them) house.  They have decided to downsize so she can stop working and take care of their two boys full time.  The new house is lovingly named The Underdog.  It’s a mess they are remodleing while still living in their old house that is for sale.  I am really intrigued by this because my husband and I are looking at three years until his youngest graduates from high school.  One of our ideas is to buy or build a small open floor plan house. 

Another is to sell our condo and live in an Airstream trailer like this guy (Apartment Therapy is so cool!). 

Buying a rambler we could make our own is certainly something we consider.  We are thinking of moving to a warmer climate so the house buying may possibly be put on hold for a few years.  When I look at photos online of houses for sale in my area I really try to look past the old cruddy kitchen cabinets and hideous flooring to see the potential for the four walls I am considering.  Watching Dana and her husband as they turn their Underdog in to the home of their dreams will be certain inspiration and a great guide.

Speaking of addictions, I am currently adddicted to the TV show Supernatural.  We borrowed season one from our neighbor.  Right now we are on season two which we have to get from Netflix via DVD (how old school) since it’s not streaming.

Today was a nice sunny day here in the greater Seattle area.  It got to 60 at least.  I am so ready for the grey gloomy days of winter (and even spring) to be gone.  One thing about our area is even when it’s warm during the day it cools off at night unless you are in eastern Washington or it’s August.

Well, I have rambled enough.  Hope you all are well and more more consistent posting coming soon.  Like the reveal of my slipcovered couch!

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Filed under budget, career, completed goals, debt reduction, link love, milestones, nesting, personal finance, touring washington, travel

>January Update & February Goals

>I have come to think that writing goals down are a good thing. Writing them here on this old blog makes me more accountable. Writing them down and then trying to follow them since they are aggressive can be hard when “life” get’s in the way.

Goal 1 – Complete Hallway: This was finished in the first two weeks of the month. You can see the finished photos here. We already had the wall and trim paint but I believe we needed to buy another gallon of wall paint, we purchased switch plate covers, molding to go around the doors, a curtain for the laundry center and new paint brushes including a really cool one for cutting in. We spent a total of $249.01 (part of this is shelving for our living room).

Goal 2 – Put $200 In Savings: This was a failure. We did actually put $200 in savings but had to take money back out due to my overzealous credit card payment budget. I will learn from this.

Goal 3 – Put An Additional $600 on CC#1: It was actually an extra $400 but I am happy with that. CC#1 is 62% paid off which makes me pretty happy.

Goal 4 – Actually Use Our Wii Fit: Yes we did use it last month but not nearly as much as I would like. That ol’ perfectionism streak just kills me every month!

Goal 5 – Lose A Couple Pounds: I did REALLY well at this my first week losing around 8 pounds (I’m sure quite a bit was water) but I have yo-yo’d since and in total lost 2.4 this month. Not as good as I would like but still a negative number.

I have learned that I am too agressive in paying off the credit cards and that leaves us with not enough money until pay day and needing to dip in to our savings account. Thankfully we DID NOT use our credit cards at all this month. I have updated our debt percentages on my sidebar and made some adjustments to our budget for this month.

Goals for February

  • Paint living room walls and trim (trim is done and C is starting on the walls tonight)
  • Make DVD shelving
  • Tile hearth
  • Buy couch (if tax return comes in)
  • Put $200 in savings
  • Put $300 divided between CC #’s 3, 4 & 5
  • Use Wii fit three times per week
  • Lose 5 pounds

C and I discussed what we have that is important right now and how to divy up the $1200 we have at the end of the month after bills, minimum payments and silly things like food. Some may wonder why we are doing things like working on our living room and buying a new couch when we have debt to pay off.

Our living room is where we spend 95% of our time and it’s been half finished for more years than I like to admit. Originally I wanted to complete the living room this month but that would not allow us to put money in savings or any extra on the credit cards (there is that overzealousness again). Plus, the projects in the living room will cost more than what we spent on the hallway.

Our couch is OK as far as comfort is concerned. It was a thrift store find for $30 that I was going to slipcover. It fits three people, two comfortably. We are spending part of our tax return for a new couch and the rest will go to savings. The couch is fine when it’s just C and I but when his two teenage kids are here it’s quite cramped quarters.

Our hearth has had cracked and missing tile for years and its a total eye sore. We also need to beef up our mantle, mount our TV over the fireplace and mount shelving for our components (already purchased) but that will be reserved for March and then the living room will be done.

My concession is to wait and finish our master bedroom and bathroom until after the credit cards are completely paid off.

My car will be paid off in November of this year, it’s not running the best and right now our only transportation. At least we can carpool. We suspect C’s car needs a new head gasket. C’s car is really a two seater so it makes more sense to pay off mine and replace it. That being said, we want to save at least $5000 for a down on a new car. We do plan to hang on to my car but we need to be prepared to replace it in the event we need to.

The ultimate goal is to have the credit cards paid off ASAP but our first baby step goal is just getting all five of them under 50% of the credit limit. If you combine the amount we need to do that plus a down payment that is a pretty significant amount of money.

So, this was quite a lengthy post. I feel good about the February goals and watch for living room updates to come!

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Filed under budget, completed goals, decorating, goals

>June Is Over?

>I can’t believe it but we have reached the end of June already. I had two goals for this month, blog every day and declutter my condo. I am happy to report that I completed both goals.

Blogging every day was a challenge for me to keep writing even when I didn’t feel like it. There were a few days where I had no idea what the heck I was going to write about. Then I would have a conversation with a co worker or friend, or I would read a col blog post or news article and suddenly there was a posst waiting to happen. There was even a couple days I posted twice.

In decluttering news, its done and now I am left with new projects to take up my time. I already feel so much lighter with so much stuff gone. We have another trip to the thrift store to donate ahead of us but I am looking forward to the three day weekend and having fun.

Tomorrow starts a new month and new projects. It’s also my favorite month of the year as it has one of my favorite holidays and my birthday in it.

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>Decluttering Continues

>I spent most of the weekend going through more hidden clutter spaces. I cleaned out under our bed and all the bins (six) we have in our hallway shelving unit. The bins are now organized and labeled and some of them are even half empty!

Unfortunately I do have to use under the bed for storage. It’s not good feng shui or what I would prefer but unavoidable for now. I hope to eventually elimate that when I free up more space in the other hidden clutter areas.

At least I know what is under there now and I even found my yoga mat! I have a rolling bin that has all of my craft supplies and tools with the exception of some stamps and stamp pads and 12 x 12 scrapbooking paper. Those were kept in a couple of the bins in the hallway. I will use up the paper on pages for my sister (nephew and niece books) and I still make cards and gift tags. I also have a bin and two photo boxes with all my photos. This is temporary as I want to get them all stored digitally (I have not taken a regular photo in about four years). That will be a project when I get the decluttering done. I am hoping for a digital photo frame for my birthday next month.

I came across some really old stuff this weekend. All the RSVP’s and gift cards (with notes of who gave what) from my wedding six years ago. TONS of photos, some of me when I was little. Stuff from highschool (a Christmas card from my now hubby), kids projects when they were little (we saved a small amount), stuff from a trip to California five years ago for a half started scrapbook, stuff from when I lived in North Carolina ten years ago. I filled a large garbage bag full of items I was keeping that I really never needed to. It feels like I lost ten pounds!

I even freed up a shelf in the hall closet as the four small bins of crafts supplies and tools I had in there fit in to the rolling bin under the bed. I have a few piles on my dining table that need to get in to their permanent homes and I plan to start tackling the hall closet this week.

What’s left on my decluttering list?

  • Hall closet
  • Rolling cart in laundry center
  • Storage off patio
  • Master closet (need to purge clothing)
  • Hallway bookshelves
  • Pantry

Projects that resulted from decluttering…

  • Photos need to be digitally stored (give originals to my mother or others)
  • Finish up some scrapbook pages started for my sister (nephew & niece books)
  • Find permanent homes for some items
  • Selling/donating craft supplies I no longer need
  • Bucca de Beppo wall (more on that in a later post)
  • Finally get wedding photos framed for parents and other family (did I mention I have been married for six years?)

I am hopefull I can complete the decluttering by the end of June. The other projects will be things I can finish throughout the summer. They have places to live (either temporary or permanent) and I can find everything and that is half the battle.

I actually found a journal I started five years ago and it had a list in it of goals. I am sorry to say that I only had completed 1 of them. How is that for procrastination? Yikes – so embarrasing to admit. I know the reason for it too. The clutter, even when I couldn’t see it, prevents me from getting things done. The clutter and unfinished projects throughout the condo are the reason we did complete that one goal – owning a home. We didn’t have the money to finish the projects to move so we just bought the place we were living in. Ug!

This will also make it easier to finally finish all the little condo projects around the house. We will be able to find all of our tools easily and won’t be tripping over piles of stuff to install baseboard molding etc.

I am gratefull for this blog and the blog community in general. This allows me to be somewhat accountable for things I am trying to accomplish. It’s also a journal and scrapbook, wishlist and keepsake all rolled in to one. This online way of journaling actually made it easier for me to give up scrapbooking! I will still make pages for my sister and others which makes it OK to keep a lot of the stuff I spent good money on. When I do a scrapbook page – I do it. Mucho dinero can get invested in a page. I will post some later on to give you an idea.

For now though, I am on a roll and can’t be stopped!

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Filed under challenge, clutter, completed goals, organizing, projects

>$200 Challenge

>How far can you stretch $200? That is the challenge I have given myself. The hubs and I both got paid today I paid all the bills (along with the savings bill) and what is left over is just $200. It’s a little depressing actually. But, rather than dwell on it, I am challenging myself to actually live on it for two weeks.

Debt really sucks but I need to do this challenge to see just how far we can stretch. We have the added stress of my step daughters 16th birthday on Sunday. We at least have a small amount in savings but I would like to try and not touch it if at all possible. I won’t feel I have failed if I do have to dip in to savings as long as I have done my best to be as frugal as possible.

Tonight I am going to plan groceries for the next week. I have a full tank of gas and my husband carpools with his dad some days so we should be able to stretch our gas budget as well.

If any of you have great recipies that are cheap and feel people for a long time, email them to me!

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>Small Accomplishments, Mini Quiche & Roller Derby

>What do they all have in common? Not really sure but it’s what has been going on in my world lately.

Last weekend the hubs got the rest of our baseboard molding installed in our living room. We still have to patch the holes and paint but all base and crown molding is now installed in the main part of the house (kitchen, living, hallway & dining). We technically still have to install moldings around the bedroom and bathroom doors (three of them) but narrower molding so I am calling this step in the project done!

Last night I made mini quiches with red bell pepper, mushroom, bacon and cheese. I did them in muffin tins. I was NOT pleased with how they turned out. Too small and even though it was cooked through it was too watery. I even cooked the veggies BEFORE I put them in the egg mixture.

The egg mixture probably needs to be increased in order to make enough fuller mini quiches for breakfast for the hubs and I each morning. That is a lot of eggs! I have not figured out the calories yet. Anyone have helpful tips on mini quiches?

Last Saturday the hubs and I went to Roller Derby for the first time. It was a friends birthday and she saved three of the front rows for us all to hang together. That night we even set an attendance record! It took me a while to get the general idea of the rules and I still don’t understand everything but it was fun. The medics only had to be called out once and a girl ended up on crutches.

The local league is the Rat City Roller Girls. There are four teams; Derby Liberation Front, Grave Danger, Sockit Wenches & Throttle Rockets. They have the GREATEST names like Yoko Onoudi’nt, Georgia O’Grief, X-Khan & Betty Ford Galaxy.

Oh yeah, and their “cheerleaders” and fans take things seriously! Below Skeletora or Countes De Bodies – not really certain.

A huge Grave Danger fan. He was VERY in to it.

My SD and her friend with a member of the Throttle Rockets.

Her friend (in the hat) is in Jr. Roller Derby. I think my favorite was the Sockit Wenches. Probably because I liked their uniforms the best and they kicked some serious but in their match.

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Filed under completed goals, Condo, Cooking, dieting, health, Home Improvements, recipes, roller derby, steampunk