Wednesday, September 3, 2014

It's been a year, How'd I do?

30 While 30

Healthier Me (6/12):
 1. PR a 5k  38:03 Ringing in Hope 5k, December 31
 2. PR a 10k 1:19:27 Step Sister's Ribbon Run, April 5
 3. PR a 10 Miler 2:14.50 Broad Street Run, May 4
 4. Run 1/2 Marathon Rock&Roll USA, March 15
 5. Complete a Triathlon Tri for Love, September 15
 6. Complete a mud run Lozilu Women's Mud Run, June 17
 7. Try every class on the schedule at my gym (21/62) I only went to 21 classes on the schedule, but I did 7 of the 15 different classes offered. The biggest ones missing were Zumba (which I'm not a huge fan of), and the 4 different Yoga classes (I'm not a huge fan of the instructors at my gym)
 8. Ride entire W&OD Trail from Purcellville to Shirlington - I REALLY wanted to do this one. Putting it on the back burner for another day.
 9. Try CrossFit - Kept my eye out for a Groupon to buy a month pass, never saw it, never got motivate otherwise to plop down the money for a trial class/month.
10. Lose 30lbs - NOPE. Down several lbs, but pretty much plateaued for a year. At least I didn't gain, right?
11. 30 consecutive days off from drinking - Nope, could be a reason I plateaued on the scale.
12. 30 days of Paleo - Nope, lost interest in the Paleo idea, just tried to eat better in general.

Financial Me (1/7):
13. Pay off one car - Cars have been such drama this year. Back to having two car payments....
14. No credit card debt - Nope
15. Follow all cash plan for one month - Nope
16. Make $300 outside of my day job - Maybe? I've made some cash from DietBets, EBates, and GymPact. Didn't track totals.
17. Have 3 month emergency fund - Nope
18. Build a wardrobe of 30 essential pieces - Nope
19. Donate 30 items of clothing - YES!!!! Three huge shopping bags got donated but you can't even tell anything is missing from my closet...

Experiences (3/6):
20. Travel to a new country London, September 2013
21. Take a spur of the moment out of town trip  Nags Head in March, planned it less than 10 days out.
22. Attend an outdoor concert Darius Rucker at Wolf Trap, it was an awesome show and YES, he played 3 or 4 Hootie songs.
23. Volunteer for 30 hours (10/30) Hubs and I got involved with a couple of Dachshund rescue groups and provided transportation for 2 separate pups to make it to their forever homes. I totally fell in love with each of the pups and wanted to keep them both.
24. Have professional pics taken - Nope
25. Read 30 books (17/30) Not quite 30, but I did read some good books in the past year.

Around the house (3/5):
26. Try 30 new recipes - I honestly forgot to track this one. I tried a lot of new stuff, but don't know if it was 30.
27. Get all recipes and magazine tear sheets pinned - Didn't finish, but I got STACKS of pages pinned and am pretty happy with the progress.
28. Paint powder room - LOVE LOVE LOVE IT -> PICS
29. Hang pictures in living room and fill empty frames around the house YUP, see deets here.
30. Minimum of 30 blog posts I think this is #30 in the last 365 days!!! Woot woot!


So I didn't get to everything, but I'm super stoked with what I did get to cross off. I PRed every. single. race. I ran this year. I am getting a bit quicker with each passing year, which is only to say I'm now more of a turtle than a snail, but it's progress.

I got a lot done around the house that wasn't even on the list and LOVE the progress that's been made over the past year. A couple of more rooms are still the original colors from when we moved in, but I'm getting to everything slowly but surely.

All in all, 30 was a pretty kick ass year. With another year under my belt and the wisdom that comes with age, I'm ready to tackle anything 31 throws at me.

Stay tuned for what I'm hoping to accomplish next year.....

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Put a Ring (of Stripes) On It

My other recent project has been to put horizontal stripes in our powder room on the main level. This is another project inspired by Young House Love. I pinned their powder room a while back and after creating chevron stripes in my craft room, I was ready to tackle a more public spot in the house, it just took me 18 months later to tackle the project.

I started in July by painting the base cream color. The room started as a dull blueish grey.
Photo from the house listing in 2012
Not a huge difference yet, hard to tell the color difference in this lighting
It took me about 8 weeks (I'm sensing a theme of procrastination here...) to finally get to the contrasting color. 
I had sketched out measurements to fit in 11 equal sized stripes and allowed me to have the top and bottom stripes to be the original color so I wouldn't have to tape the baseboards or ceiling as well. 
The first (and smallest wall) took almost an hour to tape thanks to slightly bowed drywall. Each stripe was 10 1/4 inches wide. Unfortunately I'd measure both sides of the wall, connect the tape, and the center would only measure 10 inches wide.
Luckily the rest of the walls only took another 3 1/2 hours to tape.
Painting went pretty quickly and in a fraction of the time it took to tape, two coats of the contrasting color were up and on the wall.
Then came the scariest part, removing the tape to see how well I did. I started this as soon as I was done painting so there wouldn't be any dried pieces to peel off with the tape.
I kinda started freaking out after the first couple of rows of tape came off. Just like the chevron stripes, I was shocked at how clean the lines were. I did learn the hard way after pulling off the first small piece, it is VERY important to pull the tape AWAY from the painted section and not towards it. A few chips of paint came off that I'll have to touch up eventually. Once I started pulling the tape AWAY, it all came off cleanly.
I've never loved the builder grade mirrors in our bathrooms, so as I'm painting each one, I'm replacing the mirrors as I go as well. While I was at Ikea shopping for Ribba frames, I had glanced through their mirrors to see if I loved any. My requirement was something big enough to cover the screw holes from the old mirror so I wouldn't have to worry about spackle and painting those as well. The only mirror I liked at Ikea didn't fit the height requirement, so back to the drawing board. I found exactly what I was looking for at Target, clean lines, framed mirror, tall enough to cover existing holes.
I also grabbed a small rug while at Target to cover up the sad looking tile since I'm not quite ready to retile yet.
Now all that is left is to find some prints or artwork to hang on the walls, maybe put up a shelf or two and I'll call it another completed room!

Phew, another project crossed off of my 30 while 30 list and just under the deadline since my birthday is TOMORROW!!!!!!


Dressing up the Walls

It only took me about 27 months to finally hang something in the living room. I don't know why the thought of putting nail holes in the wall paralyzes my decision making. We have a big empty wall that needed filling and I couldn't decide on prints or artwork that I was in love with and wanted to commit to for the long term.

When we first moved in I had envisioned several picture ledges spanning the entire length of the wall and mixing and layering in different style frames and pictures. Picking out that many frames and pictures was a little overwhelming, so I decided to go with oversized frames that would take up a lot of wall real estate.

Finding affordable frames was the next challenge. I have IKEA Ribba frames in several other spots in the house and like their clean lines. There is a 20x20 frame for under $20 that fit my vision. I wanted to be able to switch pictures out frequently and thought my Instagram would be a perfect source for the wall. I envisioned small 4x4 pictures matted inside the large frames. When I got to IKEA, the matting had an opening of almost 12x12. This was much larger than I wanted and larger than most Instagram printing sites would print.

I thought of John and Sherry over at Young House Love using different color paper when they hung smaller pictures in large frames and Googled "Young House Love, Ikea Frames" and got this post. As I scrolled down I saw how they went from color backgrounds to a fabric background. The wheels started turning and I remembered the several yards of burlap type fabric that I had bought at a going out of business sale over a year ago. The fabric background looked so much more polished, so I got excited about that idea and headed home.

Once home I ordered about 3 dozen of my favorite Instagram photos to be printed at Walgreens and got started prepping the frames. My mom was helping out with the project and she got to work cleaning all of the glass while I started cutting fabric squares for the backgrounds. Walgreens was done with my prints in about 35 minutes, so we headed over to pick them up.

After getting 5 of the 10 frames prepped, it was time to hang the first row.

With the first row completed, it was time to figure out the easiest way to get the second row lined up directly below. I came up with tying a paint key to the end of a ribbon and marking exactly where the next hook should go.

This method was so much quicker than trying to measure out and level the lower row of hooks. The second row went up pretty speedy and I couldn't get over the results. It turned out exactly how I had hoped. 

Hubs and I both agree that even though we've been in this house for over two years, this makes it just that much more 'homey' and even more 'ours'. 

You can follow me on Instagram to keep up with pictures that may make the wall in the future!