New House to Home: January 2012            

Saturday, January 28, 2012

2012 Goals

Can you believe it's already the last week of January?!?  That being said, I suppose I'm a bit late publishing my house goals for 2012.  In this case I believe the old saying "better late than never" is applicable.  Even though I'm a few weeks behind, I think that publishing my goals will make me more likely to achieve them.  Believe me, I need all the help I can get.  So, here they are...

1)  Update the downstairs powder room. 

My taste leans more toward the traditional, a style which I would have to guess appeals to the majority of home buyers (or at least is minimally offensive to most homebuyers).  As you can see in the picture below, my powder room does not reflect my style at all.

The photo was taken for the real estate brochure while the previous owners still lived in the house.  Rest assured, the futuristic mirror has been replaced.  Given the fact that we may need sell the house relatively soon, a universally appealing makeover would most likely pay off.  The changes I would like to make include the following:

  • Replace the vanity with a taller one and replace the distracting sink with with an undermount sink.  Replacing the vanity and sink will also require replacing the faucet.
  • Replace the lights on the side walls with more traditional lighting.  Also move the lighting to the sink area where it better serves it's purpose.  It's difficult to check your hair or see what you're doing when washing your hands if the lighting isn't in the right place.
  • Remove and possibly replace the tile backsplash.  As it stands, the backsplash looks like an afterthought.

I would love to do something dramatic like this.
Since it's such a small space, it would be easy to undo if we had to move.

Something simple like this would be nice, too.

2)  Reconfigure the laundry room.

This is what I have in mind right now, although I'm not entirely sure about it.

Pinned Image

I would love to have some laundry basket cubbies like these (image from

3)  Incorporate  more one of a kind, unique, or personal items to all of my spaces. 

So far, I have been decorating the new house with an eye toward resale.  That being said, I have used a lot of neutral paint colors and uninspired fixtures.  Even though I want the spaces to appeal to a majority of future potential buyers, it doesn't mean that I can't use unusual or personal items that can be easily removed in the event that we need to sell our home.  Colorful handmade pillows, family photos, and original artwork can all be used to add a personal feel to a space.  I'm a huge fan of command hanging strips.  They make it easy to hang photos and artwork and remove them if the need should arise.

17201-4PK Command™ Picture Hanging Strips
These are my favorite - they're like easy to remove velcro strips.
They are great for hanging canvases.

17048 Command™ Wire-Backed Sticky Nail + Stabilizer Strips
I've also used these a time or two.  They can hold up to 5 pounds!

I have big plans to break out the old sewing machine, spray paints, camera and whatever else I need to personalize the space and make it unique.  I'll keep you posted on my progress.


 Those are my home goals for 2012.  Keep in mind that these are not all of my goals for the year.  I have many other goals involving my family, friends, health, and other aspects of my personal life.  If I have some degree of success accomplishing my published home goals, perhaps I'll publish my personal goals as well.  Wish me luck. :)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Winner, Winner, Plan Your Dinner!

Although I am hoping that my blog entries will focus on decorating my new home to make it a more personal, less cookie-cutter space, I have hit upon a real time-saving tip that I feel I must share.  I'm sure it isn't big news that planning your weekly dinner menus in advance can save time, but until I started doing it, I wasn't aware of how much time it saves.  Since the start of the new year, I have been spending about 30-45 minutes on Saturday or Sunday planning what the family is going to eat all week.  For those of you who don't know my family, they are quite a busy bunch.  Sometimes we have to eat in shifts due to conflicting activity schedules, so I have to consider that when making the menu (for example, a crock-pot soup would be great on a "shift" night, where as a broccoli souffle would not work out quite as well).  I browse my cookbooks and the internet for healthy and tasty recipes that seem like they will appeal to my family, and then prepare my grocery list accordingly.  I do one big shopping trip on the weekend or first thing Monday morning, and then do one quick produce run toward the end of the week.  Here is an example of one of the weekly menus I made at the beginning of the month:

  • Monday (shift night) - copycat Olive Garden Pasta Fagioli  recipe here
  • Tuesday - Skinny Chicken Cordon Bleu  recipe here
  • Wednesday - Creamy Noodles with Ham and Peas (made with leftover Christmas ham from the freezer and milk instead of cream to reduce the fat)  recipe here
  • Thursday - Broccoli and Goat Cheese Souffle  recipe here
  • Friday - Leftovers
  • Saturday - Eat Out
  • Sunday - Chicken Salad Sandwiches
In the three weeks I've been doing this, I've found that cooking four times during the week is plenty.  Beyond that, we keep things simple (the chicken salad, for example) or finish the leftovers.  Of course, I love going out to eat at least once a week, so that takes care of one additional night. 

If you are so inclined, you could search the internet for a free printable meal planner with a grocery list to keep your information looking pretty. 

I found this one here.

Does anyone out there have experience with meal planning?  I would love to hear what recipes are in your rotation and how much time you estimate you save.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

New Year, New House, New Blog

Welcome to the year 2012 and my brand new blog!  As you may have deduced from both the title of the blog and the title of the post, I have recently moved into a new house.  Actually, the house is over five years old, but it is new to me.   I have been meaning to document my moving experiences in blog form for quite some time now, but the day to day business of settling in has left me without much free time.  At least once a day I have some small "ah-ha" moment that I think would be helpful to someone else going through the moving process.  Hopefully this blog will be a place where I can share what I've learned with others and document my successes and failures for my own future reference (in case, heaven forbid, I have to go through this process again).

You may be wondering why, all of a sudden, I feel like I have time to devote to a blog.  Like many homemakers I know, my thoughts always turn to organizing in January. So far this year, I have tackled a few small projects using some resources available to everyone on the internet.  For example, I found these some great monthly organizing calendars at  By completing one small task each day, life becomes more organized, and you are inspired to take on even bigger, more impactful tasks.  Case in point - after spending just 15 minutes cleaning out and organizing the two drawers and top of my nightstand, I was inspired to do this:

Even though most organizational experts recommend keeping
 like colored clothing together in the closet, I choose to alternate
colors.  I find that lumping all of my black sweaters together makes
 it difficult to find the exact black sweater I'm looking for. 
Everyone  has to do what works best for him or her.

Now that my closet is organized, getting dressed in the morning is a much quicker and simpler process, leaving me with more time to do other things (like blogging).

If you have an interest in decorating your home, organizing your time, and enjoying life, I think you and I could learn a lot from each other through this blog.  So, follow me on my journey as I turn a nondescript McMansion into a cozy home for my family...