By George, I think she’s got it!

Luckily for me, it appears that I’ve come up to a run of assignments that I should be able to knock out in no time flat. First up on today’s docket- Assignment #7: A Meditation and a Choice. Take a few minutes break to just sit quietly and think about a problem area and brainstorm solutions for said area. Then take a look at your list (from assignment #2) and choose one project to complete by the end of the month. Like, to fully complete.

I meditated in the kitchen (and by “meditated” I mean “sat and drank a cup of coffee alone”, thanks pocket door and closed concept kitchen I love you!!!!)

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And in case you thought I was exaggerating how pink those flowers turned that water- I was not.

Some people buy houses for the kitchen, but I definitely bought this one in spite of it. I really don’t love it. In particular, I don’t love this whole wall-

january_cure_09First of all, ignore the fact that I’ve still got Christmas cards up, most of them came in once we’d left for our post-Christmas trip and I want to get to enjoy them even if it is January.

Have a look. Looks like a pretty nice setup, right? Loads of storage, a nice little breakfast area.

BUT. Here’s the problem.

slide for the before/after

I also feel like the entire unit cramps the small space and blocks light, and if there is one thing I want an excess of, it’s light. So in a dream world, I’d rip out that entire block of cabinetry and replace it with a small breakfast booth, with some built-in storage, like this one I found on Pinterest-

I would have to somehow work in a cabinet to the back of it, because I do like having a low cabinet in which to store all the kid’s dishes. It is my lame attempt at doing anything in a Montessori fashion, fostering independence and trusting small children with real glass dishes and the like.
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And in an attempt to stop me filling that upper cabinet with junk, I stuck a new houseplant in there! Nate came home from Home Depot with 4 plants last night, it’s really nice to have some green around again. Oh, and see the “cabinets” behind my calendar? Those are false fronts, too. Because that’s the side of the appliance garage/black hole on the table side of the unit. The cabinet space on this side is also the reason for the non-cabinets on the other side. It’s just the strangest layout.

Anyways. That’s what I meditated on. But that’s obviously a gigantic undertaking, and not one I can bang out in a couple hours. So as the second half of this assignment, I’m committing to finish figuring out my storage needs in my office area in the sunroom. I’ve got a half-finished storage bench and some half-finished plans for shelves. If I can finish the bench and the plans I will consider that a completed project. Actually building the shelves would be an added bonus.

Moving on.

Assignment #8-  Timed Closet Cleanout. This one was a nice assigment, because I knew exactly how long it would take me. Or, how long it would have taken me if I didn’t have multiple false starts due to a baby who has decided that “nah, thanks mum, I don’t actually need a nap. After all, I did sleep from midnight until 6 and only woke up twice in that span!”

Blurgh to that.

But once I finally was able to jump in, I set my phone timer for the assigned 30 minutes and set out to see just how much I could do with this in the time allotted. Turns out, it was a significant amount.

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I mean, technically at the 30-minute mark it looked like this-

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But I figure you’re allowed to take a few extra minutes to tie up the loose ends. I still have to go back in and deal with the approximately 9 billion shoes that are in there, to the right side of the closet. But for a half hour’s effort, not bad at all! Those drawers are all organized, I want to make up some labels so I know what is where. And I found that remote control outlet thing that I needed for the xmas lights a month ago, so thats great.

Now a fun one! Assignment #9- Put some time into the project that you decided on at the end of assignment #7.

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My office area has come such a long way in the last week. I painted, I got a new desk, I started my storage bench, I bought a new surge protector. I still have a wall of boxes behind me, but it is showing the marks of a put together space that I will actually enjoy spending time in. My bench project was on hold while I got my act together and bought more pocket hole screws (I only had the 10 that came in the kit with the jig we bought each other for Christmas), but last night Nate picked them up for me so it was go time! This project has been a real learning experience for me, because uhhhh I fuck up a lot. My knowledge of construction is of a stage crew pedigree, so I’m real good at “good enough” and “looks decent from far away in the audience” but since this is an actual piece of furniture that I want to not look like total garbage, I’m trying to take more time and concentrated effort on it. But attention to detail is not a strong suit of mine. I have already mis-measured and had to recut 3 boards, forgot to set the Kreg Jig to the correct depth setting and didn’t realize it until I’d drilled all my pocket holes, and then today I put the shelves in and had then had to hammer the whole thing apart (thanks, wood glue) when I realized the two pieces of scrap wood I’d used as spacers were not, in fact, even. Also, that scrap of molding that I thought was the right width is actually not, so I may end up buying some and switching that out.

But.

I spent an hour on it, and I am making progress. And that counts.

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HALFWAY POINT!

Assignment #10- Have people over. Or, to be more specific, plan to have people over. At the end of the month. Call it motivation, call it a reward, whatever. Let go of things needing to be perfect and have people over in your home.

Since I can count the number of local friends I have on one hand, I decided to try and increase that number. I’ve been a member of this local mums group pretty much since we moved here (possibly even before? I can’t remember.) but I have yet to make it to any of their playdates. So, I went ahead and slapped up an invite on the facebook page. I’ll host a playgroup. That will be my gathering for this assignment. Hopefully it goes well!

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And with that, I’ve reached the assignment for today, assignment #11! Friday assignments tend to be big projects, intended to do over the course of Fri-Sat-Sun, so I’m going to call it a day for now and pick back up tomorrow. Bonne fin de semaine!

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