Welcome

My name is Lisa and I'm a crafty girl with wanderlust working as an engineer by day. My blog chronicles projects in my home as well as pictures and stories from my travels.

Search

Instagram

Shop

Blog Index
The journal that this archive was targeting has been deleted. Please update your configuration.
Navigation

Entries in Resolutions (14)

Saturday
Dec012012

Resolution Recap: November 2012

2012 is really flying by. I can't believe it is almost the end of the year! November was a so-so month for my two 2012 New Year's resolutions of purging and organizing my home and finishing up some of the many projects I have going on around the house. Work has been really busy plus with Thanksgiving and some travel thrown in I didn't get done as much as I would like. That is pretty much the story for me every month, though...

Resolution 1: Purge & Organize
In November I did a good job with my goal of having a volume of at least one trash cart (between my recycling and regular trash) out on the curb on garbage pick-up morning every Monday. Here's my breakdown:

- November 5: 1/2 full trash + 1/2 full recycle = 1 total
- November 12: 3/4 full trash + 3/4 full recycle = 1-1/2 total
- November 19: 1 full trash + 1/4 full recycle = 1-1/4 total 
- November 26: Nothing (In the Virgin Islands)

On the organizing front I tidied up my collection of ribbons by winding them around clothes pins and storing them in baskets.

Resolution 2: Finish Up Projects

In getting some of my rooms updated I got a new rug for my living room and replaced my master bedroom closet light.

Outdoors I did some fall plantings of kale (they are still alive due to the mild winter) had the area behind my garage that was overgrown with blackberries cleaned up so that I can spruce that area up in the spring.

Have you been working on any projects this past month? Are you still trying to keep any New Year's Resolutions?

Saturday
Nov032012

Resolution Recap: October 2012

How can it already be November? Where is this year going? Anyway, I am back with an update on my two 2012 New Year's resolutions of purging and organizing my home and finishing up some of the many projects I have going on around the house after not providing a recap about September. I had a lot going on in September at work and personally so I just didn't get that much done.

October was a little better for me on the resolution front. I did manage to get a little more done this month and while it wasn't my most productive I'm doing my best. In the words of an old boss of mine, "Do the best you can do. That is all you can do." 

Resolution 1: Purge & Organize
My goal of having a volume of at least one trash cart (between my recycling and regular trash) out on the curb on garbage pick-up morning every Monday was up and down in October but if you look at the average it isn't bad. Here's my breakdown:

- October 1: 1/2 full trash + 1/2 full recycle = 1 total
- October 8: 1/4 full trash + 1/4 full recycle = 1/2 total
- October 15: Nothing (In Woodstock)
- October 22: 1/4 full trash + 0 recycle = 1/4 total
- October 29: Overflowing full trash + 1 full recycle = 2+ total 

On the organizing front I built a shoe organizer for my closet door and I am trying to purge a bunch of my unused craft items

Resolution 2: Finish Up Projects

In getting some of my rooms updated I got a new dining table and new sectional and moved an old beloved table into the room. I didn't have much time to devote to projects since I was focusing more on cleaning, but I hope that November is a little better.

Did you work on any projects or do any purging at your house this past month? Are you still trying to stick to any New Year's resolutions?

Saturday
Sep012012

Resolution Recap: August 2012

During August I continued work on tackling my two 2012 New Year's resolutions of purging and organizing my home and finishing up some of the many projects I have going on around the house.

Despite being really ill at the beginning of this past month I managed to get a lot of things done. My purging wasn't so great but I made up for it in spades by finishing up a lot of items around the house. I think that all in all it balanced out in the end.

I'm especially excited about what I got done on my back entry during the end of this past month and hope to wrap that up project in September. I'm having a great time in Dallas (I'm here for the Michigan vs. Alabama game) right now but I also can't wait to get home and get cracking on building the bench for my back entry. 

Resolution 1: Purge & Organize
I did not come anywhere near close to my goal of having a volume of at least one trash cart (between my recycling and regular trash) out on the curb on garbage pick-up morning every Monday in August. Hopefully I am a little better in September. Here's my breakdown:

- August 6: 1/4 full trash + 1/4 full recycle = 1/2 total
- August 13: 1/2 full trash + 1/2 full recycle = 1 total
- August 20: 3/4 full trash + 1/2 full recycle = 1-1/4 total
- August 27: 1/4 full trash + 0 recycle = 1/4 total

On the organizing front I came up with a laundry sorting solution from baskets that I hung up on the back of my closet door.

Resolution 2: Finish Up Projects
I was super productive on the projects front this month despite being really sick at the beginning of August. For my kitchen I found a vintage table to replace the island that wasn't working for me and finally hung blinds in my dining room.

In my bathroom some simple upgrades made a big difference for me. I customized a pillow for my guest room and also came up with a floating basket solution for the night stands. 

My biggest progress was in my back entry where I taped and mudded the drywall, primed, painted and hung beadboard and then built a storage shelf.

How are you coming along on your New Years Resolutions? Did you work on any home projects in August? 

Wednesday
Aug012012

Resolution Recap: July 2012

During July I made a little bit more progress toward tackling my two 2012 New Year's resolutions of purging and organizing my home and finishing up some of the many projects I have going on around the house.

Just like in June I was out of town a lot this past month, this time to Canada and then to Japan for work. I am happy with what I did manage to accomplish while I was home, though.

I should be home more in August so I have some big plans for next month and hope to make some progress on my back entry that I didn't get around to in July. I'm not always as productive as I wish, but I keep trying to plug away at it each month.

Resolution 1: Purge & Organize
I met my goal of having a volume of at least one trash cart (between my recycling and regular trash) out on the curb on garbage pick-up morning every Monday in July, except when I was in Japan and sick. Here's my breakdown:

- July 2: 3/4 full trash + 1/4 full recycle = 1 total
- July 9: 1/2 full trash + 1/2 full recycle = 1 total
- July 16: 3/4 full trash + 1/2 full recycle = 1-1/4 total
- July 23: Nothing (In Japan)
- July 30: Nothing (In Japan and sick) 

On the organizing front I did two projects. In my craft room I made a free standing organizer from a tall shutter that I found from the Ann Arbor ReUse Center. For my closet I converter an ottoman to store my flip flops. I also put casters on the ottoman to raise it up a bit so I can use it as a step stool to reach the high shelves in my closet.

Resolution 2: Finish Up Projects
Even with my limited time at home this month I managed to tackle a few little projects at home. I found an old wood headboard for $25 and made it over for my guest room with some red spray paint. In my living room I did a make over on a little side table with some scrapbook paper and sprout spray paint. Out on my front porch I finished the make over that I started last month by adding some pillows and making decor items.

How are you coming along on your New Years Resolutions? Did you finish up any big projects in July? 

Sunday
Jul012012

Resolution Recap: June 2012

June wasn't my best month for tackling my 2012 New Year's resolutions of purging and organizing my home and finishing up projects around the house. Between my vacation to Panama, a work trip and then a weekend away at a friend's cottage I was out of town a lot. I am happy with what I managed to accomplish while I was home, though.

Resolution 1: Purge & Organize
I met my goal of having a volume of at least one trash cart (between my recycling and regular trash) out on the curb on garbage pick-up morning every Monday in June, except when I was in Panama. Here's my breakdown:

- June 4: 1/2 full trash + 1/2 full recycle = 1 total
- June 11: Nothing (In Panama)
- June 18: 3/4 full trash + 1/2 full recycle = 1-1/4 total
- June 25: 1 full trash + 1 full recycle = 2 total

Yesterday I also dropped off two large boxes to donate to the Ann Arbor ReUse Center. Purging is a slow process for me but I am trying.

On the organizing front I didn't do much other than organize my spices. It is a nice little improvement that I am enjoying. It makes finding what I need when I am cooking much easier. 

Resolution 2: Finish Up Projects
With the summer weather I was inspired to tackle a bunch of little projects on my front porch including making a self watering planter and sprucing up the outdoor table, hanging a new mailbox and putting a new rug out front. Also outdoors I managed to finally eradicate the moss from my driveway. Almost a month later I am happy to report that it still hasn't come back!

Inside the house I worked on a few home decor projects like finally using my Scrabble tiles to make some wall art and making a souvenir display from sea glass I picked up along the beach in Taboga, Panama. My favorite thing this month that was checked off my to-do list was that after several years of pining for new dining room chairs, I finally found a great deal on a set of eight.

How are you coming along on your New Years Resolutions? Did you finish up any big projects in June? 

Friday
Jun012012

Resolution Recap: May 2012

Last month my 2012 New Year's resolutions of purging and organizing my home and finishing up projects around the house went by the wayside a bit but I was back on track in May. I am happy with what I accomplished, especially the garage cleaning.

Resolution 1: Purge & Organize
I met my goal of having a volume of at least one trash cart (between my recycling and regular trash) out on the curb on garbage pick-up morning every Monday in May, even on the Monday following my weekend trip to Florida. Here's my breakdown:

- May 7: 3/4 full trash + 1/2 full recycle = 1-1/4 total
- May 14: 3/4 full trash + 1/4 full recycle = 1 total
- May 21: 1 full trash + 1 full recycle + 3 SUV loads full (from garage cleaning) = tons!
- May 28: 1 full trash + 1/4 full recycle = 1-1/4 total

On the organizing front Frank helped me clean and organize my garage. It definitely needs more work, but it is so nice to have space in there to work on projects now. I also did some blog organizing creating my Projects tab with thumbnails of projects as well as my Away tab with a clickable map of where I have traveled.

Resolution 2: Finish Up Projects
I got a lot of gardening work done outside in May including new plantings in my front beds and clearing out my back bed. In my guest room I got a little more done, replacing the old outlets and making over a luggage stand that I rediscovered during my garage cleaning. I also spruced up my garage door by painting it red and replacing the door knob and worked on my application to the historic district for new shutters and two replacement windows

In June I hope to fix the trim on the garage door and maybe get some things done in my back entry/laundry room.

How are you coming along on your New Years Resolutions? Did you finish up any big projects in May? 

Sunday
Apr012012

Resolution Recap: March 2012

After doing a pretty good job on my 2012 New Year's resolutions of purging and organizing my home and finishing up projects around the house in January and February, March was pretty slow going. With going to Italy taking up a good chunk of the month, the remaining time didn't leave a lot of time for projects, especially after trip preparations were thrown into the mix. 

Although I would liked to have accomplished more, I am happy that I did manage to get a few small things done in the time I had. The important thing to me is that I keep making forward progress, even if it is slow. 

Resolution 1: Purge & Organize
For the two Mondays in March that I was in town I met my goal of having a volume of at least one trash cart (between my recycling and regular trash) out on the curb on garbage pick-up morning. Here's my breakdown:

- March 5: 3/4 full trash + 1/4 full recycle = 1 total
- March 12: 3/4 full trash + 1/2 full recycle = 1-1/4 total
- March 19: Nothing (In Italy)
- March 26: Nothing (In Italy)

On the organizing front I finally got around to organizing my small tools which made a big impact in being able to quickly find things when I am working on projects.

Resolution 2: Finish Up Projects
After finishing up my bathroom in February, March was not so productive. I did do some planning about what I would like to accomplish in my study. I also prepped the ceiling and patched a large, gaping hole in the wall. In April I hope to finish up the ceiling by getting it patched, sanded and painted and then adding some crown molding.

Does anyone else out there have any resolutions they are trying to keep? What are your goals for the year and how is it going? I'd love to hear what other people are doing to stay motivated! 

Thursday
Mar012012

Resolution Recap: February 2012

I'm just two months into my 2012 New Year's resolutions of purging and organizing my home and finishing up projects around the house. I have made some good progress in February and am feeling happy about how things are going even though it is still early on.

Having my blog has been a really good motivator for me and done a lot to help keep me on track with things. After I've publicly written that I am going to do something it makes me feel accountable to follow through and actually get it accomplished. Without further ado, here is a recap of how I fared with my resolutions in February.

Resolution 1: Purge & Organize
For three out of four Mondays in February I met my goal of having a volume of at least one trash cart (between my recycling and regular trash) out on the curb on garbage pick-up morning. Here's my breakdown:

- February 6: 3/4 full trash + 1/2 full recycle = 1-1/4 total
- February 13: 1/4 full trash + 1/2 full recycle = 1 total
- February 20: Full trash + 3/4 recycle = 1-3/4 total
- February 27: 1/2 full trash = 1/2 total

Although I faltered this past week I am still happy with what I've been able to get rid of this month. Hopefully I'll do better next month.

On the organization front I front I got my fabric in my craft room organized using things I already had. In my kitchen I found some additional storage jars to get more of my dry goods in order. Also, while I was working on my bathroom I got everything organized in my built-in and new medicine cabinet.

Resolution 2: Finish Up Projects
A month after starting work on finishing up my master bathroom I got everything done and it feels wonderful. Here's what I did to complete the room:

- Paint the outside of the tub teal: Done!
- Replace the cheap, temporary mirror with a medicine cabinet: Done!
- Add shelving to the inside of the built-in cabinet: Done!
- Jazz up the built-in with some color: Done! (Plus it is now organized)
- Make a wood vent cover to go over the ceiling fan: Done!
- Make a rug to go in front of the bathtub: Done! 
- Add some wall art and do some paint touch-ups: Done! (wall mirror + framed Japanese bath salts)
- Build a shower stool: Done! 

I'm really excited about having my bathroom completely finished and organized. I have a couple things that I want to do in my kitchen and then I think that the next room that I'll tackle is one of my first floor back bedrooms that I want to make into a study for myself.

Is anyone else trying to keep New Year's Resolutions? What are they and how are you doing on them?  I'd love to hear what you are doing to keep motivated.

Tuesday
Feb072012

Adding Shelves to My Built-In

With the top of my built-in gussied up with wallpaper it was time to get to work on making the bottom cabinet more functional by adding shelving. Just like hanging my medicine cabinet, this project also addresses both facets of my 2012 resolutions of getting organized and finishing up projects around the house.

Adding the shelves was pretty easy to do with the only trick making sure to get everything level. I started by picking up a six foot long pine 1x8 board to use for the shelves and some shelf supports from the hardware store. I measured and cut the boards to length and then held them up inside the built-in to get a rough idea of where I wanted them.

I aligned the level where I wanted my shelf to be on the left side of the cabinet and then applied a piece of painters tape directly underneath it which gave me a level guideline. I then measured up the distance from where the board rests to where the peg is located on the supports and drilled holes at that spot 1-1/2" and 6" from the back of the built-in. I put the supports in the holes and then used my level again to check that it was level.

To get the placement for the right side I put one of my shelf boards on the supports that I had installed, put the level on top of it and then adjusted the board until I got it level. I then put another piece of painters tape underneath the board to mark the level line and measured and drilled the holes in the same way that I did for the left side. I put the supports in the holes on the right side and then repeated the whole process for the second shelf.

After priming and adding two coats of paint to the shelves I was all set to start organizing my built-in cabinet. On the top shelf in the left corner I have two cardboard bins that cost a dollar from Target. One has some basic medicines and band-aids while the other has extras of things like razors and soap. Moving across the top shelf I have a little teal dish that I already owned holding my cleaning sponges and then all my bathroom cleaning supplies.

My middle shelf is organized with metal baskets that I also found at Target. The leftmost basket has things that I don't use very often like suntan lotion, bug spray and nail polish remover. The other two baskets hold my sample sized items. Whenever I stay at hotels I always take the mini shampoos, lotions or whatever else may be offered to guests in the bathroom. They are great for packing on my travels or if I have a house guest that forgot something. Over time I had amassed a ridiculous amount of hotel toiletries so I decided to pare things down to just these two baskets with liquid items like shampoo and conditioner in the middle one and dry items like bars of soap and hair brushes in the right one. 

Finally on the bottom shelf I have my extra bath towels and toilet paper. It feels good to have everything organized and by limiting myself to the space available it forced me to go through what I had and throw out a lot of things that I just didn't need. Nail polish that changes color in the sun? Gone. Twenty hotel shower caps? Maybe keeping three is enough. Now I just need to keep everything this way!

Is anyone else out there trying to get organized? How is it going? Do you have any tips to share?

If you are interested, check out the rest of my bathroom posts here: Bathroom Blog Posts

Monday
Feb062012

Hanging My Medicine Cabinet

On Sunday afternoon I finally got around to hanging up my medicine cabinet as part of my effort to put the finishing touches on my bathroom. I had considered building my own but then I found this one for half off ($115) at the Birch Run Pottery Barn Outlet and couldn't pass it up.

I wanted to liven it up a bit so I used the same technique that I used for my built-in to add wallpaper to the back of the cabinet before hanging it. To figure out the placement, I put up some blue painters tape on the wall in the dimensions of the cabinet, adjusting it until I got it located where I liked. I then hung it according to the directions, screwing the metal cleat into the wall using wall anchors and making sure it was level. After putting the glass shelves back in I was ready to fill it up.

I don't have much in the way of toiletries so I have plenty of room to keep things neat and tidy. I found cute little black and white cardboard bins for a dollar each at Target (I love the One Spot!) to use as shelf organizers. I have my disposable contacts in one, bobby pins and hair bands in another, earrings in another and so on.

I really like how the medicine cabinet looks compared to the small mirror I had before and now I can keep the deck of my sink clear of everything but my hand soap. It also helps me toward both of my 2012 New Years resolutions of finishing projects around the house and getting organized. Not bad for a project that took me less than an hour to complete!

If you are interested, check out the rest of my bathroom posts here: Bathroom Blog Posts