If You Make a House a Home…

I’m pretty sure we all remember those books. Whether we were reading them ourselves, reading to a younger sibling, or reading to our children, we know what happens If You Give a Moose a Muffin, or If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. You haven’t been graced by these hilarious books just yet? Well, let me give you a brief overview…

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If you give a mouse a cookie, he’s going to want more cookies. And more things…and more cookies…and more, and more and more. Get it? Now, let’s move on to today’s subject, which is “If You Give a Rachael a Blank Canvas of a Home”. Can you guess what happens? Rachael will want to paint, and fix the flooring, and get new dressers, and get a $400 dollar desk because it’s perfect and would look fantastic in the neutral haven that is her office. See the picture? Well, Rachael was given hold of the reins this past Saturday with a LOVELY trip to IKEA. While I had to hold myself back on quite a few purchases, Zach and I began with some small details for our home. We found curtains for every window (except the dining room), the perfect lamp for the guest room nightstand, a coffee table for the man den, and even picked out our table décor for the reception! We went hog wild, and I so wish I had rolled around in the mud a little bit more. But, because I’m trying to space these purchases out (and am already planning my next trip for mid-October…), I held back, and decided to make some inspiration boards for my next three victims – er, rooms.

Insert Polyvore, the website I used to try to create stylish outfits on. They actually have home décor inspiration sets now, so I took full advantage, signed up for another account, and began to dream away.

Master Bedroom
This beauty is my master bedroom inspiration. It is actually based upon a few pieces that we already have (the bed frame, bed spread, and curtains) and a few dreamy pieces (of which most are an actually possibility!). We already have a brown-grey scheme in the room and master bath, so I’d like to kind of round out the neutral tone with some wooden accent pieces. Zach has given me free reign of the rooms with the exception of his man den and the dining room, so I am going all out with the dressing table from IKEA! I love it and it fulfills all my girlish whims. The dresser is also a hopeful soon-to-be dream. We have a GIANT ratty cherry dresser in the room now, and while it is great, it is just a bit too big, and looking a little too worn for my taste. Hopefully in the next year or so we can be working towards this. In the next month, however, we will be painting this room a bit of an eggshell neutral tone!
Guest room

Now onto the guest room. This room is actually on the top of my to-do list because…we’ve got guests visiting in less than a month! I am so, so excited for my best friend and her fiancé to come down and visit us for the weekend before my birthday, and I really want their space to feel like a home away from home. We already have the curtains for this room, which honestly has made a world of a difference in the feel of the space. It is more light, and looks HUGE, which is awesome. I also have the wire mail sort from HomeGoods (it is actually a bright aqua!), and my desk is not that white beauty just yet, but it functions for now. Unfortunately, most of these items are still not in our possession. I would love to get the dresser and bed frame before they come to visit. The bedding will be purchased no matter what, and the bed is still on a rolling frame, but this design just screams comfort to me. I am actually also working on a DIY project with an existing piece of furniture we have to create a white ladder shelf for the room to hold snacks, a clock, and extra blankets! I can’t wait to share the finished product in this room.

Dining Room

Now this…this room is a completely doable project…it just means we have to finish staining all of our furniture. We are planning on putting in laminate wood flooring in the dining and living rooms downstairs, and I LOVE this darker wood color. We have the table and hutch already (not these exact pieces, but very similar ones), and they are ready and waiting to be stained. This dark color would go great with a sage rug underneath the furniture, and some brown-beige curtains hanging in front of our large window! I think that Zach will be liking this design as it is very much his style (Me? Light woods and neutrals. Him? Dark wood and earth tones. Close, but a little off). I think that in the future we can update our four seat table with some new, dark wooden upholstered seats. For now, our chairs will do just fine!

If you have any tips on how to save, where to find bargains, or great DIY projects that can work for these goals, I’d LOVE to hear all about it! At this point, any little help counts!

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I figured that, with this huge house update coming up, I would go ahead and update you all on my 101 in 1001 list! Since the beginning of the summer, we have either nailed or began so many goals, and it was about time I got it all up-to-speed.

101 in 1001 Update

DIY three things (2/3)

 [With my ladder shelf project, I’ll be bringing my total to 2 DIY projects!]

Create a work wardrobe (blouses) (dresses) (dress pants) (blazer) (shoes)

[I’ve got my work wardrobe updated! When I graduate grad school, I’ll have to update to a more professional look, but for now I just needed nice jeans and some blouses.]

Meal prep for an entire month (Week 1) (Week 2) (Week 3) (Week 4)

[Done and done. And I’m still going! This is the first week I haven’t been on point in over 5 weeks.] 

Eat something besides cereal for breakfast for one week

[Done! I did a juice breakfast for a few weeks, and now I’m all about toast, nutella, and strawberries. Yum!]

Cook dinner from a recipe (not a box) for one week

[Read: meal prep. Oh, yeah.] 

Earn master’s degree

[…duh.] 

Read 52 leisure books (6/52)

 [Still in progress, and made more fun with my badass book club!]

Get engaged

 [My fiancé is awesome.]

Move in together

[Will be done as of this weekend!] 

Go on 20 official dates (4/20)

[King’s Island and IKEA date this past Saturday. SO FUN.] 

Plan a wedding

[In the process now!] 

Get a massage

Get a facial

[Both of these happened in August. Best day of my life.] [Besides getting engaged.]

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Ten Things

Welcome to Monday, friends! I hope you all had the best of the best as far as weekends go. This past weekend was a huge upgrade from the last one; no downsides whatsoever! Spent all day Saturday exploring with my love, and all day Sunday with family and friends. It. Was. Awesome. Here, I have proof:

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Isn’t that just a beautiful family? How great. For now, I’ve decided to start a (n abridged) goal from my 101 in 1001…ten lists of ten things! Today’s ten things are…

Ten things…that will always make me smile

[one] Buzzfeed articles with silly husky pictures in them.

[two] My dad’s impression of anything. Yesterday was an interpretation of the song “Low Rider”. Interesting doesn’t even begin to describe it.

[three] A beautiful view. I snapped the picture below from the top floor of my office building.

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[four] Doggie kisses.

[five] The laughter of a baby. They are just so cute, and so hilarious! Lucky me, there are quite a few new babies expected by friends this fall.

[six] When Zach gives me a frown as I leave for work on Monday’s. It’s priceless, especially because he’s always half-asleep.

[seven] Texts from my best friend. Enough said.

[eight] Pinterest will ALWAYS make me smile. So many different interesting hair styles and tattoos and beautiful living rooms. God bless the inventors of Pinterest.

[nine] Starting the day on a chair in the sun.

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[ten] The Android emoji update The excitement of new beginnings.

What makes you smile?

Type A Tuesday (Part 2!)

Alright, y’all, Tuesday is the new Monday. Oh you say it isn’t? Well, that’s too bad! I plan to skip Monday’s for good. But not really. Only in my dreams. Basically, my mind is running faster than the speed of light, as is my schedule, on Mondays, making it a lot harder for me to get a consistent post up on the first day of the work week! So, unless I begin to write my posts pre-Monday afternoon, expect Monday to start on Tuesday. Now that that part is out of the way (my non-apology apology of sorts), it’s time to get down to business! If you began to sing the song from Mulan, we may be the same person. And we should become best friends this instant. Back to the point – I started my 101 this Sunday evening with a kick-ass DIY project that sang to my heart. I love English, I love writing, and I love organization (duh, it’s my middle name. Rachael Organization G.). And when I saw this idea for a DIY Moleskine Planner! Mine is pretty much identical, except I am using my empty pages in a different manner…that I maybe am not sure of just yet! These Moleskine hacks are literally the coolest ideas ever; I can definitely see myself doing another one (or five) in the near future! For my 101 in 1001, I’ll only count this Moleskine DIY, mostly because I have some other cool projects that are awaiting the spring time and warmer weather.

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Here is the basic gist of my personal planner. The items I used are:

1 Moleskine Large Squared Notebook (Although large seems to be too big, it is actually the perfect size for writing/purse space)

Sharpie Pens in Black and other colors (I have a serious addiction to these pens. No bleeding through, but they go on paper PERFECTLY)

Washi tape (New addiction? I think YES)

OPTIONAL: A ruler (I’ll explain further)

I decided to pretty much copy the system from the link above; I started on the second page with two empty sheets side by side for my first month view page. I counted down three blocks from the top and drew a line all the way across from left to right, and did the same on the bottom. I chose NOT to use a ruler as it really slowed down the process for me. At first my OCD tendencies came out to play and I freaked out at the thought of a crooked line. So far, the only screw up I made was writing Thursday in a Wednesday spot. Yeah, some of the hand-drawn lines are a little off the pre-positioned line, but I like it. I’m supposed to use the planner, not idolize it!

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For my days in the month, I counted seven blocks from the left, and drew one line from top to bottom border, repeating for every seven blocks. I did the same for the lines down the page; seven blocks, line from left to right. Once this was done, leaving me with 5 weeks a month and seven days a week, I numbered my days for the month and wrote the month at the top of the page.

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For the weekly view pages, I turned the page to two open blank sheets. I counted down three blocks from the top and drew my line again from left to right. This time, however, I placed my bottom line 26 squares down from the top line. I then drew my bottom line from left to right. This leaves you with plenty of space at the bottom for to-do lists, reminders, notes, grocery lists, or whatever else you might have in mind!

From there, starting at the top line, count over 9 squares for Monday through Friday. I counted 9, drew my line from top to bottom, and then continued along from left to right. At the end of the week, I had 6 squares left for Saturday and Sunday, which I collected into the same column. I don’t really have much to do on the weekends except homework and relaxation, so I don’t need as much room. However, If you are a parent or work on the weekends, feel free to switch up the square sizes to open up the weekend area. Then I put the days of the week in each respective spot, and moved on.

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For some months, you will have four weeks per month; others will have five weeks. That is OK. This journal has 192 pages, meaning you could use 15 pages per month and still have pages left over at the end.

I chose to leave two empty (side-by-side) pages at the end of each month for monthly goals/tasks/ideas or really anything that I want to write down. Even with this and every month/week view, I still have 26 empty pages at the end of my 13 month planner (February 2014-February 2015) for whatever I choose to do with them.

I love to color coordinate, so I rotated my Sharpie pens from one color to the next, and bouncing back to the same colors in reverse after August. I also use 4 different colors throughout my weekdays for events (blue)/ to-dos (blue)/ work (light green)/ homework (salmon). It’s my own personal way of categorizing so I know what is mandatory, when things need to happen, etc. You can do it however you like, this is just my way of keeping myself on track!

I still need a way to differentiate between months, and am on the lookout for cute page tabs or some other way of dressing it all up. I put washi tape on the bottom row of each monthly view for some brightening up on the pages, and I also threw a strip on the end of the month note/idea pages to get some color in there (as well as to warn myself that those pages were claimed). I love this tape because you can reposition it a million times and it never rips the paper (unless you tear it off too quickly, duh). Plus it really does give the planner a fun, quirky side!

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This planner is honestly perfect for me at this moment; I have plenty of day-to-day room, note taking room, weekly list room, blogging room, what have you! I know that in the next few months I will be making some life changes that may require me to track Zach’s activities as well, and for meal planning, and this planner does not have the space for all of that. I think I may make a separate weekly meal planner when the summer comes around and then keep it in mind when I get around to making next year’s planner. I am so confident that I will be using the template again next year because it was cost efficient for me, easy to make, and so easily personalized. I love this Moleskine hack, and I can’t wait to share more ideas with you all!

Other 101 in 1001 checks for the week:

DIY three things (1/3)

Donate unwanted/unworn clothes (This is ongoing, but I did a clothing dump this weekend!)

Go on 20 official dates (1/20)

Subscribe to the magazines you buy anyways (Cosmo) (Self) (Shape) (Women’s Health February 2014) (Redbook February 2014)

Find your beauty routine (Also ongoing, but I found a routine that I really like as far as skin care goes!)

Starting the Week On a Tuesday

I promise, I meant to skip my blog post yesterday! I totally didn’t forget…or maybe I did and this week is just gonna be a late one for me. It feels like that kind of a week. I left work an hour early yesterday because I thought it was 5 when really it was only 4! My work schedule for the week will definitely be reflecting that…

Any who, today is a special day. I took the afternoon to look into my life and figure out some things that I want to happen, and maybe some things I would like to change. I love getting to set up my monthly goals, as I told you here, so much so that I decided to add the goal of creating a 101 in 1001 list! And today, it is my great pleasure to début the list!

101 in 1001

Create 1-11

Create a 101 in 1001 list

Complete the 365 Project (either on Instagram or through the camera)

Write and publish the planner

DIY three things (0/3)

Start a photo album

Journal every day for one month

Write 50 letters (0/50)

Plan an event

Write a freelance article and get it published

Create a work wardrobe (blouses) (dresses) (dress pants) (blazer) (shoes)

Create five “101” lists for the blog (0/5)

Culture 12-17

Research one community from outside the United States

Go to three concerts (0/3)

See a musical/play/opera at the Lexington Opera House

Watch 20 award-winning films (at least 5 in a foreign language) (0/15) (0/5)

Get tattoos 2 and 3 (0/2)

Visit 5 museums (0/5)

Cook 18-27

Cook a gluten-free red velvet cake from scratch

Meal prep for an entire month (Week 1) (Week 2) (Week 3) (Week 4)

Eat something besides cereal for breakfast for one week

Take a cooking class

Cook dinner from a recipe (not a box) for one week

Try five new foods (0/5)

Can my own pickles

Get a new set of pots and pans

Have a backwards meal (dessert, dinner, drinks)

Host a dinner party for friends or family


Pocketbook & Pants Challenge 28-34

Run a 5K (beginning to end)

Get to goal weight

Keep up a normal workout schedule for at least 6 months (February 2014-)

Take five new fitness classes (0/5)

Save $4,000 dollars

Get one credit card (for emergencies and building credit score)

Buy a lottery ticket

Give 35-44

Donate $100 dollars to the charity of my choice

Volunteer at church

Volunteer at the Lexington Humane Society

Run three charity/research funding 5Ks (0/3)

Pay it forward five times (0/5)

Do a volunteer mission (Habitat, Red Bird, etc.)

Adopt a dog!

Donate unwanted/unworn clothes

Inspire someone else to do the list

Do something special for each immediate family member

Give Up 45-52

Go without chocolate for one month

Go without soda for three months

Do not buy anything that is not necessary for two months consecutively

Participate in One Day Without Shoes

Give up meat one day a week for one month

Do not look at social media over one weekend (Friday at 5 pm till Monday at 6 am)

Volunteer at a soup kitchen for a holiday meal (give up your holiday)

Go one week without hitting snooze

Learn 53-62

Learn about another religion

Earn master’s degree

Research small businesses

Continue learning Italian (post-graduation)

Read 52 leisure books (0/52)

Get CPR certified

Either find or begin my dream job

Learn calligraphy

Find out my blood type

Learn how to fold a fitted sheet

Love 63-72

Get engaged

Move in together

Create a living space together

Sleep under the stars

Go on 20 official dates (0/20)

Plan a wedding

Ask a new question at least once a week (aka, keep learning about each other)

Go skinny dipping

Go to a Sunday matinée showing four times (0/4)

Plan a surprise night

Love Myself 73-82

Get a massage

Get a facial

Solo dinner date

Write a letter to yourself in ten years

Subscribe to the magazines you buy anyways (Cosmo) (Self) (Shape) (Women’s Health February 2014) (Redbook)

Find your beauty routine

Grow out your hair past shoulder length

Get professional pictures taken

Start a new tradition

Invest in one piece of designer clothing

Go 83-92

Go on the distillery tour

Travel to the West Coast

Visit the Louisville Slugger Museum

Spend the weekend in a new city

Go on a cruise

Get a passport

Get a stamp on said passport

Visit to New York City

Go to COSI

See the monuments at Washington, D.C.

Blog 93-100

Blog for a month straight

Feature five guest bloggers (0/5)

Reach 100 followers

Create a regular link-up

Have two giveaways (0/2)

Blog post for some of the goals being crossed off/worked on

Give The Forgotten blog a makeover

Own the domain

And finally… 101

Create another 101 in 1001 list.

So there it is! Today is my official start day, making my end date November 8th, 2016. I’ll be sure to create a new page for the list so that I can keep it (and you all!) updated. I’ve got a goal to keep my posts updated with some of the goal accomplishments, so you’ll get to read all about it, too! Thank you all for reading this blog so far; here’s hoping that this list will challenge us both!