The Learner Observer

What do you do at the end of the year?  First you look back on all you’ve done, then you plan exactly what you want to do the following year, of course.  Duhhhhh!!  Well, not really, but I’m going to try – not in all aspects, but it’s good for “the blog” to have goals because “the blog” needs some structure and “the blog” has to actually get some big projects done soon, not just little cute boxes and wreaths, you know?  Geez… “the blog” really needs to get it together!  So far, we have a new look which I am (for now) happy with.  I still really think “the blog” needs a fresher look, but you have no idea (well maybe you do) how much work it is for a novice blogger like me to get this stuff.  The coding and plugins and options and font sizing and widget options are (to say the very least) overwhelming!

P.S. In case you didn’t know, “the blog” is really the blogger… aka ME!

So here we go.

First big project:  Alex’s studio.  I married this super cool guy who went to school for music engineering and all this other fancy music production stuff and he runs a pretty successful home studio.  Right now it’s run out of his parents’ home, but we need to change that!  Our basement is “finished”… with fake wood panneling and random walls, a terrifying bathroom and some storage.  It could be worse, but Tracktion Studios needs a home as cool as it’s main man.  Demolition has started, we have flooring hanging out in boxes on the basement stair’s landing, some artwork to put on the walls, insulation sitting in the garage…


studio collage

…what I’m saying here, people, is that we have bits and pieces of the studio but no actual walls to speak of.  It’s coming.  And when it does, you’ll be totz blown away by it’s mega awesomeness, which Alex has carefully been planning out virtually for quite some time.  We have big hopes of having a pallet wall too, which I’m super excited about.

IMG_2979_thumbPhoto Courtesy of Just a Girl blog

Goal number two: Spruce up the rest of the basement without spending a fortune.  We do have plans to eventually make the scary bathroom into something beautiful like this:

basement-bathroom_JN11Courtesy of Canadian House and Home


Until then (and “then” may not be in 2013), I will pretty it up with what I can so that guests in our home have a decent washroom to use. Plans are to:

  • Change the shower curtain
  • Add more appropriately placed shelving (the current ones are so awkward!)
  • Put in some stylish mats
  • Accessorize

Hooping for accessories like this that can transition well into the washroom once it’s all finished:

Basement washroom/powder room

Third on the list: Landscape!  Come Springtime, we have to get digging in the front and back yards to lay down some of the bricks we purchased last year.  The bricks do come with quite a story, and I promise you the story alone is totally worth the wait, but the landscaping project my dad and husband (and I) will be tackling is sure to be pretty fantastic too!

Number 4: Fix the kitchen storage.  We have very little workspace in the kitchen and even less storage, it seems!  We do have a walk-in pantry, but wait… it sounds much better than it is.  The “walk-in” is not in the kitchen, also serves as a tool storage area, recycling center, and front entrance closet (meaning it stores all coats and shoes).  Not exactly the glamorous walk-in pantry you likely envisioned when I first said it, right?  To fix the pantry conundrum, we’re going to add a pantry (think more hutch turned into pantry) unit inside the kitchen.  Truthfully, I could have already done this… but I have yet to find a unit that tickles my fancy.  I’m being picky.  I don’t want to pay hundreds of dollars for it, and ideally I’d like it to be pretty… and yes, I am willing to put in some work to make it pretty.  I’ve been scouring Kijiji and Craigslist for the right piece and price.  Still searching for the opportunity to do something like this:  (Wishful thinking??)

hutches collage1.   2.

Fifth on the list: The office.  I posted about my office inspiration a little while ago, and I do honestly need to get moving on this.  I’ve been telling myself we need to get new floors before I get this going, but the truth is, I need to stop using carpet as my excuse not to decorate an entire room!  At the very least I can paint the dresser and refinish my awesome (and FREE) desk.  Now that will be a post worth reading, folks! Here is the desk as -is.

desk collage

I can’t wait to sand it with my new tool and paint it some lovely light shade of grey.  Seriously… can’t wait!

Number 6: This will likely be a project we get to in the Fall or Winter… though I’d LOVE to say it’s the first thing we’ll get done because it’s so in my face every single day.  I’m talking about turning our “walk-in pantry” into a mudroom.  That’s right… I’m getting rid of that sad little closet with the terribly tiny bi-fold door I always get stuck in because I try to move in and out with way too many things in my hands.  Yes, I realize the doors are not to blame for my hastiness and inability to just do things slowly, but I have such a strong dislike for that inexplicably tiny door.  Here are some of my grand plans for the mudroom:


I also plan on adding a door into our garage to make the space that much more useful since we will need a new place to keep all of the recycling things and tools.  I realize we could technically have these in the garage now, but you know how it is… no one wants to put on boots and a parka to go throw out a can of tuna in the garage!  This will also hopefully increase some value in our home, on top of making it super efficient!

Last goal (for now): Organize, organize, organize.  I honestly cannot stress it enough.  I have already started on Apartment Therapy’s January Cure and I do have high hopes that this will make my goal highly attainable.  I have also started looking into the JOYS (Just Organize Your Stuff) system, which is a little bit overwhelming, but I believe it will help us get all of our important papers organized since as newlyweds and new homeowners, we officially have more paper than we know what to do with!  This is arguably my biggest goal since it will also entail organizing the things left behind at my parents’ house and either tossing them out or bringing them home.  This is a HUUUUUGE job for me, and one I have admittedly avoided because it just feels too big – but it NEEDS to get done, and WILL get done.  This year.  I swear, mom!

I’m not making any more house goals… those seven are way more than enough for right now because, after all, I do have some personal goals to achieve also, like that whole running thing I’ve been saying I’m going to start for the last 3-4 years!  If for some reason I become super efficient and get everything done by June, don’t worry… you’ll be the first to know, but don’t hold your breath! :)

December 30, 2012
January 5, 2013


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