Home improvement resolutions for 2012

I don’t know about you, but I get the post-Christmas blues. All the work of cooking, decorating, gift-giving is over and it just bums me out. What better to lift my spirits than to dream of crafting?!

Last year around this time I started planning out gifts for next Christmas. I’ve actually already made my list for birthdays, Christmas, and BABIES. I know of several babies who will make their debut in 2012. (Sorry, no babies are on our personal project list for the next year ;)) As far as projects for myself and around the house, I have a mental list (and it’s on Pinterest….) If you want to see pictures of all these (yes, feeling lazy this morning), check out my Pinterest.


  • DIY Ottoman. My friend Jess and I found a great table for this yesterday at Savers (like a Goodwill, except their clothes are way overpriced). It was only $4! Maybe after payday I’ll venture over there again to see if it’s still there.
  • Different living room curtains. I think they need to be longer. I might use the fabric in the curtains I have now for the ottoman… hmmm.
  • Slipcover for the couch. I found a decent one that fits tightly on overstock.com for around $50. I thought of making one myself, but to buy all the fabric and supplies would be around $200. That’s silly; I could find a different couch for that!
  • We have a baker’s rack that’s set up as you walk in. It’s always so messy with jackets, gloves, running gear and shoes. Lord, we both have like three pairs of running shoes! I’d like to take it apart and paint it, and get a coat rack. Guess they don’t believe in coat closets in the desert. 😉


  • Spice shelf, DONE. I did this one several weeks ago. So far it’s been helpful to have all my spices/herbs out where I can see them. I just have to reorganize every now and then. (I put this completed project on my list to reassure myself that at least something got done! Ha!)
  • Refinishing the kitchen chairs. After one of them broke, we actually only have three! I’ll be on the lookout for some free or cheap ones on Craigslist or the Bliss Online Garage Sales. It’d be smart to make easily removable chair covers to throw in the wash when they get dirty. I’d like to do each chair slightly differently.
  • Finding or thrifting some serving dishes. I looooove the Rachael Ray ones, but if I could find some antique-y looking ones, that’d be great too.
  • Completing my set of green 1950’s dishes. I tried looking online, and my dishes are few and far between. If I could find some of these serving dishes, that’d kill two birds with one stone.


  • I’d love to get a new light fixture, but that’s not really realistic since we’re renting.
  • Getting the family tree framed. It’s actually a printed photo that my grandpa took of the original.
  • Runners in the hallway. My grandpa has made so many rugs with his loom. I wish we had one of the looms (he had three at one point) but I was afraid it’d get damaged when moving and I wasn’t sure we’d have room for it. Now I know that it’d fit in my craft room perfectly! Anyway, I need to find an efficient way to make some rugs for this nasty brown carpet.
  • Aaron’s computer is still set up in the second bedroom, where all my sewing stuff used to be. We’ll probably try to find a futon or cheap twin bed to put in there for guests. (Ahem… GUESTS. Come visit! El Paso won’t disappoint, you, I promise!)


  • I’d like to get a cheap desk or table for doing homework. That will go under the window.


  • We need a couple red rugs in the guest bathroom. Just waiting for a Kohl’s coupon or something. 😉


  • I like our bathroom pretty well. We have a ton of storage as we have a built-in shelving unit in the wall. Just need to get fabric of some sort to hang to cover it; it’s definitely not organized at this point… maybe that needs to go on my list.


  • The curtains made a huge difference in our bedroom. Love them! The walls are still pretty bare, and I’d love a vanity. I actually saw an awesome one at Goodwill that had a flower design made from pieces of colored glass, but it was missing the chair and drawers and they still wanted $50 for it. So that was a no-go.
  • We’re saving our Christmas tree to cut firewood this year, to use for either camping or a bonfire in our fire pit out back. It’d be so fun to have friends over and grill out, especially with the semi-cool nights we’ll have in the spring.
  • I want to try growing tomatoes, peppers and herbs in pots. The soil is, well, sand, and I’m no green thumb.
  • Hanging some lights would also be a good move! Maybe some tiki torches…
I think most of these projects are definitely doable on our tight budget. This list is more for me than for you, but if you have suggestions, I’m open to it!
We’ve discussed moving into an apartment or a cheaper place this coming summer when our lease is up, but for the price we pay this house is within our budget, and even more so as our housing allowance will go up this next year. Not to mention the trouble of moving. The Army only pays for it when you have orders. We love this part of town; it’s close to our jobs and the interstate. An apartment with two bedrooms/two bathrooms would run us only about $100 less per month. To me, it’s just not worth moving. This house is perfect for us.

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