Monthly Archives: November 2011

Lining Up the Ducks with Google Docs

Does this ever happen to you?  It’s a lovely day, and you stand up from your desk and walk through your house to grab a cup of tea.  And out of the blue, you start to notice these little things that need to be done – paint touchups in the hall, that chair you’ve been “meaning to” recover for a year now, that frame that needs a new photo . . . and all of a sudden you’re surrounded by a million overdue tasks.

It definitely happens to me, and when it does, I find myself feeling frustrated by the place that is supposed to be my cozy home.

That’s not a good feeling to have, so I thought it was high time I did something to get our ducks in a row.  The only problem? I can never keep track of everything we need to buy or do, so often some lower priority items are purchased / less important taks are done, before we do the more important ones.

The solution?  Enter my favorite online tool, the always-useful spreadsheet:

It’s a little tough to read because it’s so small, but when I put the chart together I wasn’t really designing it to be legible when posted as an image on the blog. :)

I’ve basically got four charts listing the fun and the not-so-fun tasks.  I’m thinking that in order to do a fun task (such as buying a dining table) I need to check off a not-so-fun free task or two.

To Buy & Make:  This lists everything we’d like to build or buy, the expected cost (if known) and a number to help prioritize.  The prioritization is super important, since everything on this list costs money.

Free Projects:  Also known as “those pesky tasks we keep putting off.”  These jobs won’t cost a thing, either because they’re free or we already have the supplies on hand, but they’re maybe not the most glamorous or fun – hence the procrastination.

Craiglist – Items to Sell:  I think the name speaks for itself, but the thing I’d like to point out is that every item we sell means more money is on hand to put towards the items “To Buy.”

Guest Room Tasks:  This list was an afterthought, put there just so I can keep track of the order in which I need to do the projects for the guest room makeover.  I suppose I need to create a similar list for the TV room makeover, because that’s still in progress as well.

The chart is stored in our private Google Docs folder, where Ryan and I can both see it and add to it. But I’ll also print a version to keep on our fridge, as a reminder and a literal checklist.

How do you keep track of all the tasks you want to and need to do around the house? 



Thanksgiving Recap & Impromptu Unofficial Link Party

As I briefly mentioned on Monday, Ryan and I attended three Thanksgiving dinners this past week.

I spaced out for most of the long weekend, and forgot to get photos of almost everything.  However, I did snap some photos of my favorite art back home, which I’ll share later this week.

On Thursday my parents and I journeyed to Philadelphia, where we gather at my brother’s home each year.  His in-laws also come – and they’re a fantastic Polish family, so they bring all sorts of awesome dishes that my family never used to eat on Thanksgiving. It’s awesome.

Thursday evening Ryan and I drove to New Jersey to do Thanksgiving with his family.  It was also awesome.  I talked sewing and quilting with his mom for a while, and after seeing her amazing quilts ( like the one below) I was inspired to come home and start my own.

Then, my mother hosted a large Thanksgiving, which we like to call Thanksgiving Part 2, on Saturday.  All the family friends that I grew up knowing come – it’s our version of extended family.  This year, like last year, Ryan’s family also came. Continue reading

Guest Room, Part 2: Real-time progress

Having eaten my way through not one, but three, Thanksgiving meals over the weekend, I desperately needed to do a little physical labor on Sunday.  What better project to start on the beautiful 72-degree day (!?!)  than the refinishing of the antique twin beds that are destined for our guest room?

When I realized how gorgeous the weather was on Sunday – I’m talking shorts and a t-shirt, people – I grabbed the first bed frame and headed outside. Setting it down on a tarp (to protect me and the frame from the damp ground), and strapping on a 3M particulate respirator mask, I proceeded to sand down the old, totally crusty varnish. Continue reading