This month we’ve lived in this house for a full year! It went fast, but seems like we’ve been here forever at the same time. I think that’s because it really feels like this place was meant for us. You can see how God moved us here in this post.
This wall was plaguing me since we moved in. It is wide and tall and everything looked dinky in that space. Finally, I got the idea for a board and batten wall! $100 board and batten entryway with hooks
We got rid of the pocket doors from the dining room to the home office and closed in the wall. I loved the entry so much that I decided to do more board and batten here. This time I added a shelf on top. DIY board and batten wall with shelf ledge (no power tools!)
Bleached wood effect
In addition to closing in the wall and adding a board and batten wall, we added this wine cooler Marcello scored for $200. It originally had an ugly orange stain from the ’90s, but I figured out how to lighten it! How to get a bleached wood finish
I haven’t shared this one yet, except on Instagram. I haven’t added the chair rail and fames on the bottom yet, so I was holding off on posting it. I don’t know why I haven’t just finished it already! Maybe in the next month.
We use this large bonus room as the kids’ playroom. It was a big, white, empty box. Slowly I added details to make it cozy and colorful — a $9 chalkboard wall, a $100 movie projector and $1 confetti decals on the wall. A playroom with less toys and more activities
My in-laws moved into this guest house from Italy this year! It was emotional and has been a blessing to both of us. I had SO much fun decorating their house as a surprise. Guest house tour: Furnished for $2,900
We turned our home office into a bedroom. We closed in a wall and decided this room could be a blessing to others. Neutral guest room with twin beds, blue ceiling
So we moved our office into our bedroom! Office organization ideas and minimalist checklist
The baby poop brown paint was getting to me. We painted the house, but I couldn’t quite stop there. It’s amazing what you can do with paint. Porch makeover: I painted the walls, doors and floor!
Checklist for next year
The house is coming along great, but I have so many more ideas! This is our to do list for the coming year, in no particular order:
- put hardwood floors in the bedrooms (because this carpet is not ok)
- add a feature wall to the boys’ room
- add a feature wall to Clara’s room
- decorate our back lanai
- paint entry door to garage
- give master bath a mini-makeover
How I budget for projects
So how do I afford these projects? This is the first year I’ve earned any real money from this blog. (Holy six years later, Batman!) I’m always honest with you about money and real numbers, so here’s what I’m doing with the money (and exactly how I make it in this post):
- 20 percent: donate to Christian charities for children
- 50 percent: save
- 30 percent: put back into blog projects
This quarter I’m happily giving away $900 of my earnings to Young Life. This is their mission: “We invite kids to follow Christ, care for them regardless of their response, and change lives in the process.”
I am not telling you this because I want a pat on the back. I really don’t want one. I know my Father sees me and that is enough. I’m sharing to encourage others to give — and find the joy in it! It’s the most exhilarating thing you can do, I promise. This is a bit contrary to say, but a quiet giver is the happiest giver. Never expect something in return.
I’m thinking next quarter I’ll give away the money doing random acts of kindness! I’m SO excited about that.
I’m saving half of my income at this stage in life. When we moved into this house, we wiped out our savings and emergency fund. We’re building it back up. Actually, that’s a little funny because it was never very big to begin with, haha! But with two homes on the property and extra responsibilities, we’re trying to save 3 months living expenses and pay off Marcello’s car this year. It’s pretty ambitious, but you gotta dream big to make big things happen, right?
It makes sense to use some of the money to put back into my blog. Running a blog has some unavoidable technical expenses, which this money will cover, but also I need to consider the cost of my projects.
Depending on the month, I’m left with anywhere from $150-400 to tackle the above projects. To me, that’s huge! I’ve never had that kind of budget. Up until this point, my budget has been: Don’t spend money. Ha!
But because of that budget strategy we aren’t in debt and are doing things right by saving before we do them. We have renovation plans too, so we’ll have to think about how to save some of that for long-term projects (I’m talking to you, kitchen!).