IMLP Training Recap: Week 19

Hello Monday.  Hello last day of March.  Come on Spring.  Please. Now.  Thanks.

Week 19 was a bit of a down week with the focus on the Love Run half marathon on Sunday (yesterday).  I'll do a race recap of that separately and later this week.  But I could see my coach eased up on the workouts this week in anticipation of race day.

Amy, Bill and I had a call with our coach this week to go over the plan for the next few months. Obviously we knew that we would be swim-bike-running in increasing amounts, but we wanted to get a handle on what we could really expect.  Our coach told us that these first 19 weeks of training have included a lot of really hard/high intensity workouts and that we would be shifting to longer workouts instead and maybe have just one high intensity workout per week.  The focus going forward would be a weekly(ish) long run during the week (which would max out at 3 hours) and a weekly(ish) long ride on the weekend that would range from 3 hours to a peak of 7 hours.  Yes.  Seven hours.  <-- wow.  We also talked about our plans to head up to Placid in a few weeks with our kids while they're on Spring Break and do a few days of training there.  One thing I was glad to hear was our coach prefers our weekday bike rides still be on the trainer.  It's just much easier to do them inside, vs. bang out a 2 hour bike ride on a Tuesday morning.

Onto the stats.

Week 19:

Swam: 1:48 hours (4,950 yards)
Biked:  2:26 hours (all on trainer - watch says 34.28 miles )
Ran:  2:38 hours (18.77 miles)


Monday - swim
Tuesday - bike with speedwork followed by two mile "shake out run"
Wednesday - swim: distance with speed
Thursday - easy endurance bike
Friday - easy endurance brick
Saturday - 10 minute run <-- not a typo. that says 10 minutes
Sunday - RACE! Half Marathon

See - it was a very light load.  My swims were pretty good this week.  They felt good but I noticed I was a little slower than usual in the water.  I'm not getting hung up on that though.  

Tuesday's bike + run was good.  Those bikes that incorporate speedwork are really tough but when they are done I feel great.  The two mile "shake out" run after the challenging bike also felt really good.  Doing all of these bricks and shake out runs is making my running stronger and making me feel really good off the bike.  

Thursday and Friday's endurance workouts were also pretty easy - really not much I can say about those.  50 minutes on the bike, then an hour brick (40 endurance pace bike/20 endurance pace run).

Saturday's 10 minute run was obviously a light warm-up for Sunday's race, which was the focus of the week.

Sunday.  For those of you who live on the East Coast, you know that Sunday we had a lot of rain.  It didn't let up on race day, so for the first time in my now-20 years of running, I raced in the rain.  Not just light drizzle, but full on, soak to the skin, rain.  It was bound to happen at some point and I'm glad it is behind me!  Despite the rain, I pounded out a PR on the course!  Stay tuned for that post on Wednesday.  Here I am before leaving for the race in my hat.  I *hate* my hat, but on a day like today it was necessary.  I think my expression says it all.

Rest day today!  And a well-earned one at that.  

See you swoon,

What I Wore {post 38}

Hello and happy weekend and happy end of March!  I am so.ready.for.Spring.  Beyond ready.  I have a half marathon on tap this weekend.  I'm excited about it, even if I don't feel totally ready.  I'm not worried about my fitness at all (hello: see prior 19 weeks of IMLP training posts), but this is the first time I've done a half marathon without a concentrated, running-specific training leading up to it.  It should be a fun morning.  

Here are a handful of recent outfits.  

* St. Patrick's Day! Green Top & Jeans *

This was a casual St. Paddie's Day outfit that I wore out with friends the weekend before the holiday.  This is the shirt I scored at Banana Republic outlet for something crazy like $5.  Despite my sour expression in this picture, I really was happy to go out for the evening.  

* Banana Republic Red Wrap Dress *

I really, really, really believe that a wrap dress is essential to a wardrobe.  I have several and I wear them often.  This one is from two years ago at Banana Republic.  I love the way it fits and the way it feels.  My face is a little red here because I had a 8.5 mile run that morning.  I wore my nude patent heels with the dress and kept accessories super simple.  

* Black Dress, Black Cardigan, Gold Belt *

I liked this outfit, even if I look a little ninja-like.  I wore my black sheath knit dress (from Banana Republic outlet) with a Forever 21 fitted cardigan, and black hose and heels.  My favorite part was the addition of my skinny gold belt, which I bought years ago (I think 4 years) and have never once worn until this day (which was Monday of this week).  It just worked and I loved the little pop of gold.  I wish I'd taken a picture without the cardigan.  

Three more outfits.  Yay.  I like posting these because it does force me to think of ways to use my existing pieces so that I can show them off on the blog.  

Have a great weekend!  I'll be back on Monday with IMLP training recap and, later in the week, a race recap of the inaugural Philadelphia Love Run half marathon.   The hill of death from the Philly marathon is featured in this race ... gulp.  

See you swoon,

Progress in the Playroom: Bins! Labels! New Table! New TV Area!

Hi there! Happy Wednesday to you all.

I've been making progress in the downstairs playroom, and I am excited to share it with you, which you already knew because of all those exclamation points in the title of this post.  The progress is a bit slow going, which is just the way life goes these days.  Between IM training, busy weekends and working full time, I don't have as much time to tackle and finish my projects as I used to.  But I am getting there!

I blogged about the status of the downstairs playroom a few weeks ago.  Honestly, I think that was the hardest part: the weeding through, organizing and space-planning.  Since then, I've done a bunch more.  I have: (1) made labels for the organizing the kids' toy bins; (2) brought in more bins for organizing said toys; (3) bought a new art/play table for Little; and (4) created a new TV area for the kids to play Wii or watch TV/movies.  Here are the details.

1.  Labels.  Glorious Labels!

I needed to put all my beautiful storage bins in place, and when I did, it was time to find a way to label them so the kids would know where their toys were.  I went back and forth on what to do: chalkboard like I've done before? dry erase something? use my label maker?  Ultimately I decided the labels needed to be large and easy to read.  I also wanted something inexpensive and easy to change out, and something that would work on all the bins - both plastic and canvas.  I decided to make them myself and then have them laminated.  It was easy.  First, I created the labels in Adobe Illustrator.  I was able to get four labels per sheet.

I went with the rainbow theme and colored each individual letter.  I also added a cute little border around each of the labels.  This took a little while because I really did have to individually color every dot and every letter.  It was worth it though.  The cuteness factor made it worth it.  

Then I took the sheets to Staples, where they laminated them for me.  Total cost: $9.  I just cut the labels out in front of the TV (very likely something on HGTV was on) and used velcro to attach them to my bins.

2.  More Bins

I used a mix of canvas bins, plastic tubs and open storage.  All from Target.  Behold -- organized bliss:

I already had the turquoise canvas bins (from Target).  I bought a bunch more because they work so well and are super inexpensive.  

I also bought these rainbow plastic bins from Target.  I needed larger tubs and these were perfect.  Plus, lately, I'm loving the rainbow color scheme for the kids.  It's so bright and happy.  I bought a few different sizes.

I found some other open bins at Target as well.  The white ones are from the Dollar Spot (which is my Achilles heel in Target ... gets me every.single.time) and the pretty mint ones are from the basket section - they were kind of pricier than I like to spend but I loved them so in my cart they went.  I found the green plastic magazine holders in the Dollar Spot as well - they hold coloring books and paper.  

I decided to bring down the white wood stepstool from the kitchen and put it in the playroom so the kids could use it to reach their toys.  It was a little too big for my kitchen (could not find a place to put it) so I bought a folding stepstool instead, which fits in between my cabinet and fridge and now this one works for downstairs.  Those bookshelves are securely bracketed to the wall with L-brackets, so even if the kids went full on Spiderman and scaled the shelves (which they know is not ok and not allowed and punishable with the full severity of mommy law), the shelves would not fall on them.  

3.  New Art Table

Little's old art table (Kritter from IKEA) was too small.  She is an art girl through and through and she also loves to "entertain" by whipping up delicious meals and amazing tea parties in her kitchen.  She would complain that her table was a little too small, and I agreed.  So I moved the old table to the side and it now holds her table-top easel. Under that table is her dress up bin: I found this pretty teal bin at Staples on the same trip as the laminating.  I liked how it matched all the other colors in the space, so I bought it.  And I stuck a label on it.  

I went back to IKEA for her new table.  I bought the Sansad table, which was, unfortunately for me, the most expensive one at $50.  But, it is adjustable, which I thought was a wise buy.  So as she grows, so will it.  

Of course, I hated the red and blue feet.  So I spray painted them white.  The spray paint is taking forever to dry, so I had to call it a day. Finishing the table will be in the next phase of the project.  

4.  New TV Area

Last but not least, I made some progress in the TV area.  First thing I did was bring in a new rug.  The old one was ok, but it was an indoor/outdoor rug and just not very comfortable, and if I'm being honest, I wasn't crazy about that color scheme.  I'm going to move that rug outside on my brick patio.  I found this navy and white rug at Rugs USA on clearance for about $90.  Not bad for a decent sized rug!  I also brought in a matching navy sofa - it was $200 and from Wayfair.  Do you know about Wayfair?  I am kind of obsessed.  They have great deals on home stuff with mostly free shipping.  And you get instant rewards on things you buy (with no obligation or anything).  I earned rewards on my sofa and later bought a frame for my hallway project, on which I saved $6.50 because of the prior rewards! Score!  Anyway, that digression aside, here's the TV area: 

The dresser used to be Big's.  I'm going to paint it (white) and add new hardware, which I already have.

My parents gave me the little sofa table, which I will paint white.  I've had the lamp forever (was a yard sale buy from former neighbors), and I will paint the base and buy a cute shade for it.  The basket is from Target and I'll put a blanket or two in there.

This little section between the TV area and the bookshelves is where I bike on my trainer.  I turn the TV to face the bike when I do.  I'm going to bring in a big shelf for this open wall space soon.

Looking good like a playroom should, right?  I, of course, have more to do.  But I am in the home stretch.  What's left is to paint the furniture in the little TV area; assemble the new art table; paint and hang pegboard behind Little's kitchen; bring in a few pillows and blankets for the TV area to make it a little cozier; buy some new storage baskets for Big's trains and the big bricks; hang art all around; work on the lamp - add a shade and paint the base; and hang a shelf near the bike.  

See you swoon,

IMLP Training Recap: Week 18

This week my workouts had something in common with that iconic 1980s sitcom "The Facts of Life"

God I loved this show.

Specifically the theme song:
you take the good, you take the bad
you take them both and there you have 
the facts of life, the facts of life.  

there's a time you've got to go 
and show you're growin' now you know about 
 the facts of life, the facts of life

Just like the song, I took the good (Wednesday-Saturday-Sunday) and I took the bad (Thursday-boo).  That's to be expected though.  And it's so funny how one good run (like I had on Saturday) can instantly make up for all of the prior bad runs.  This week was a milestone week because I hit 5000 yards of swimming!  Things are ok.  Just humming along.  I feel a bit like a hamster on a wheel at this point.  But I have a half marathon on Sunday (for which I feel very unprepared) and Spring is (finally) in the air!

Week 18:

Swam: 1:46 hours (5,050 yards)
Biked:  3:36 hours (all on trainer - watch says 52.10 miles)
Ran:  2:43 hours (18.19 miles)


Monday - swim
Tuesday - bike with LT & shake out run
Wednesday - long swim
Thursday - long run with tempo
Friday - easy brick
Saturday - easy run
Sunday - long bike with tempo

Monday - I woke up absolutely, positively exhausted.  I was fully prepared to go to the pool for a 5:30 am swim but I simply did not feel well.  I listened to my body and went back up to bed, where I slept another couple of hours.  It was a wise decision.  I did the swim after work instead and it was a good one.  

Tuesday was a bike with some hard fast intervals and then a 2 mile "shake out" run after.  This was pretty good - nothing crazy.  

Wednesday I had another long swim with those 500 intervals. I actually like them!  I felt like I was in the pool forever.  Because I was.

Thursday.  UGH.  OK.  Thursday's run was just not good and it was my own fault.  It was one I've done before: 30 minutes endurance pace, 30 minutes tempo pace, 15 minutes endurance pace.  It was just over 8 miles.  I ate my normal long run breakfast: oatmeal with brown sugar.  Only ... I ate it at 5:30 am and started my run at 7:30.  By the time I started my run, I was hungry.  I am not sure what I was thinking.  I can push through a 3 miler hungry.  But an 8 miler?  No.  It was just a rough ride and I was glad it was done.  I could not hit some of my faster paces, which of course demoralized me, which of course made the run even worse.  

Friday was an easy brick.  I like the easy bricks.  40 minutes endurance pace on bike; 20 minutes endurance pace on run.  Here I am after giving my (fake, horizontal smile) thumbs up:

Saturday's run was really so good.  So good!  I was visiting my parents with the kids so I could run in my hometown.  It was a 50 minute run at endurance pace, though I felt so good (and it was like 62 degrees out) that I ran 8:40 pace and it felt effortless.  My head was in it, I had properly fueled and it was just one of those magical runs where literally everything is in sync.  By the end of that run I was like Thursday what? Bad run what?  

Sunday was a looooong 2 hour ride on the trainer with a mix of tempo and endurance paces.  It was a pretty good workout and I felt good during and after.  I wore my new tri shorts by Coeur sports (full review coming soon) and I loved them.  Here I am after.  My iPhone is taking pretty bad pictures lately.  

And then after it was all done, I celebrated in the proper way by making some amazing steak, over easy eggs and asparagus in lemon oil.  

Have a great week!  

See you swoon,

Five More Things About Me

Happy Friday! Friday!  I'm so ready for the weekend.  

Oddly enough, one of the most popular posts here on the blog was my post from September with 5 Things About Me.  Well, happy day for all because here are five more.  

1.  I hate sweet potatoes.

Anyone who knows me knows that I like food.  Correction: I love food.  I love to eat.  I love to eat many things.  I love to eat everything.  Everything -- except sweet potatoes.  I think they are absolutely vile and wrong and just bad.  I hate them.  I hate when restaurants try to pass them off as fries.  I hate their stupid cousin, the yam.  I hate them and refuse to eat them.

no. just no. never.

2.  I wore "corrective shoes" as a little kid.

When I was really little, I walked pigeon-toed.  I remember wearing blue corrective shoes with those blue and white laces (although my shoes were more like oxfords vs. the high tops pictured below ... but for the most part, those shoes are dead ringers to what I wore!).  I remember not liking my shoes and desperately wanting white or red or pink mary janes.  My parents took me to a doctor who was quick to suggest surgery.  They went for a second opinion and that specialist suggested they just leave it alone and when I got older I would self-correct.  That's exactly what happened.  But if you look at little kid pictures of me, chances are, I am sporting some sweet blue shoes.

3.   I cannot sleep without white noise.

I blame my son.  Totally.   I learned early on when he was a baby that white noise was a godsend and would help him, and me, sleep.  So when he was a newborn and sleeping in his bassinet (or swing) in my room, I used a white noise machine to soothe him to sleep.   Night after night, I'd put on the machine.  Finally I moved him out into his own room and his crib, but I was hooked. I had to go out and buy another white noise machine for myself.  To this day, I cannot sleep without it.   Thankfully I have a "white noise" app on my phone too.

4.  I like my steak rare.

Yes.  I really do.  In fact, if I could get it pan seared, that would be ideal.  There's just nothing better than a big ol' rare steak and a big ol' glass of petite syrah.  Except maybe some creme brulee for dessert.

5.   I love the Copacabana and I have a dance to go with it.

Both true.  I really love the song "Copacabana" by Barry Manilow (I mean ... who doesn't?).  And not only that, I have a full on dance that accompanies it.  I made it up myself, so you know it's really special.  It's a mix of the cha cha, a reenactment of the song itself and several dances from the movie Dirty Dancing.  It is on basically every wedding video from every wedding that I attended between 1999 and 2006 where the wedding played the Copa. I also love Barry Manilow.  I'm a total Fanilow.   One memory that is now indelible in my mind is from his concert at the outdoor Mann Music Center in Philadelphia about 10 years ago.  I went with my friend Angie and we were the youngest people there by a good 40 years.  But at one point he said something like "Let's pick up the tempo!  I can get down.  I can dance.  I can shake my yes yes yes as much as anyone else."  Whereupon we died.

There you go.  Five things you always wanted to know but were afraid to ask.  Happy weekend!

See you swoon,

What I Wore ... to Julia's Wedding!

Happy Hump Day!

So this post is pretty long overdue.  Over a year ago, I blogged about what I planned to wear to my friend Julia's October wedding.  The plan was a feminine, blush-colored dress, gold shoes, a pretty purse and my hair in a messy bun.  Most of this, except for the dress, happened!

It started with the bag.  I found this cute clutch at for about $20.  It's a neutral champagne color and roomy enough for my essentials (ID, cash, credit card, lipstick, keys) but small enough that I can hold it or put it under my arm.

Next up: shoes.  I was eyeing up a pair of gold Jimmy Choos but when I went to try them on I did not like them.  At all.  Then my eye caught this golden pair.  I put them on and it was love at first step.  I won't tell you how much they cost.  It was a lot.  But they are amazing.  And I will wear them to every wedding and formal event for the rest of my life.  Like most pieces of expensive footwear, they are extremely comfortable. I danced in these shoes all night long, even after an 18 mile run that morning.

And now for the dress!  I had planned to get a pretty dress from j.crew.  But I was looking in Lord & Taylor around Labor Day and stumbled into one of their crazy sales.  I saw this emerald green dress and as soon as I tried it on, I loved it.  I took a dressing room selfie and sent it to a couple friends to get their opinions and they were very enthusiastic about it.  So I bought it!  It was such a comfortable and flattering dress.  Here I am in my room before the event:

And here I am after maybe one or two adult beverages.

That last picture pretty much sums up the night - it was a blast!  I need more formal events in my life.  It's just too fun to get dressed up.  

See you swoon,

IMLP Training Recap: Week 17

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Week 17 (how perfect - the week 17 recap on the 17th) was good workout-wise.  I notice the distances are increasing, which is fine by me.  I was also kind of glad to see a brick back on my schedule after not having one for a few weeks.  I have easily done more bricks in these first 17 weeks of training than I ever did in the prior two years' worth of triathlon training combined.

Even though I am not mentioning them here in my recaps, I am doing a lot of strengthening and rolling exercises that my physical therapist gave me.  Back in the late Summer/early Fall, I was having some weird knee pain, which was really upsetting.  I saw a PT who said my hamstrings were really tight, which was affecting the knee.  So I went through a course of weekly sessions with her over a few months and it really helped.  In order to keep injury at bay, I am doing my at-home exercises regularly.  My coach schedules them in my training plan each week, too.  Oh and it does not hurt to have a sister who is a massage therapist!  She helped in the Fall and has offered to help whenever I need it for IM training.

Enough babble, here are the weekly stats:

Week 17:

Swam: 1:42 hours (4,850 yards)
Biked:  3:39 hours (all on trainer, but my watch says 52.05 miles)
Ran:  2:56 hours (19.94 miles)


Monday - swim
Tuesday - bike with LT and "shake out" run
Wednesday - long swim with speed
Thursday - easy run
Friday - easy brick
Saturday - long run
Sunday - long bike with VO2 Max pick-ups

My Monday swim is one I've done a million times: a mix of easy long (i.e., 400 yard) intervals and a handful of shorter (100 yard) fast intervals.   There was nothing remarkable about this swim: it wasn't amazing and it wasn't awful.  It was ok.

Tuesday's workout was great.  I needed a hard bike that morning and I got it.  LT is "lactic threshold", which basically means a very hard effort where you're sweating a lot and your heart rate is very elevated.  This particular workout was 20 minutes at endurance (easy) pace followed by three 10-minute intervals at LT pace.  After the bike I had a 2 mile "shake out" run.

Wednesday's swim had me scared.  It was a 200 yard warm-up followed by five 500-yard intervals.  But, it was great.  My coach broke up the 500 yards by having me do 200 easy/50 hard/200 easy/50 hard.  It totally broke up those 500 yards and made it pretty fun!  I always sing to myself when I do these long intervals, and in this workout I changed up the songs with each 500.  I am counting down the days until I can swim outside again in Marsh Creek.

Thursday was an easy 50 minute run.  I was supposed to have my 85 minute long run on this day (and this 50 minute number on Saturday), but given my work and kid schedule, I asked my coach if I could swap the two and do my long run on Saturday.  He did so, but told me he didn't want me to get in the habit of having a long run and long bike back to back like they were this week.  It was super cold on Thursday morning, so I opted to do the run on the treadmill.  After running weeks at a time for 75 minutes on the treadmill, a 50 minute run felt like nothing.

Friday was an "easy brick" of 40 minutes endurance pace on the bike and 20 minute endurance pace on the run.  This was, well, easy.  I love endurance pace on the bike because I can catch up on my email and texts.  For the run, I hit a wooded trail near my house, which is finally not snow covered.  The trail is just over 2 miles from start to finish, so it was perfect for this workout.

Saturday.  I cannot tell you how much I was looking forward to my long run, which was 10 miles (87 minutes) -- the longest run I've done since the Philly Marathon.  I'm always happy when I'm running (unless it is a long run on the treadmill) but my long runs outside are my favorite.  I took this one to the Schuylkill River Trail, which is where I spend a lot of time training in the Spring, Summer and Fall. I love it because it's pretty, it's safe, it's flat, it's always got other people on it, it's closed to traffic so I don't have to worry about cars (but I do have to worry about bikes!), and it's loooong (it goes from Phoenixville all the way to Manayunk).  After the past few weeks, I really needed to bang out some long miles, so this was a little gift.

It was a little chilly in the morning, so I wore my new SOAS arm warmers and a short sleeved shirt.  These arm warmers are great - they have a little slit for your thumb and a hidden mitten that can fold over your hands if it's cold. I wore the mitten for the first two miles and then warmed up. 

Sunday's bike was fine.  It was 11 intervals of 9 minute endurance pace + 1 minute of VO2 Max pace with a 10 minute endurance cool-down.  VO2 Max is essentially all out balls to the wall effort -- it's intense and is supposed to fully tax your aerobic energy system.  It really did.   It was a super long ride at 2 hours.  But it flew by because when I bike at endurance pace I can email and text and read, which is exactly what I did.  

See you swoon,

Progress on the 2014 Home Resolutions

Hello!  And Happy Friday! And Happy St. Paddies Day Weekend. You can bet this girl will be celebrating with a pint or two.  Which is to say, I will be doing what I normally do every single night.

So the new year is not so new anymore.  I've been making really good progress on my new years resolutions for my place.  I share them every year in an attempt to force myself, and make myself accountable, to get the projects done.  Back in December, I posted my 2014 Home Resolutions.  Here's where things stand a few months into 2014.  

1. Blue bathroom - amount completed: 200%!

This was a total snowball/domino effect, which is often the case with my projects.  The only thing I had on my list for this was to take out the broken shower doors and replace them with a curtain. I did this and it looked great.  

So there's the 100%.  The other 100% accounts for the extra mile that I took with this room.  As I completed the project I realized that my current approach to the room was all wrong [note: I hate to admit when I am wrong.  But I was wrong. There. I said it.].  By selecting a lot of green and blue accessories in the room, I was highlighting the dated blue fixtures that I did not like and could not change.  So I did a little overhaul by taking everything out and bringing in a lot of white and pops of all different colors.  The change was truly dramatic.  We are talking Bachelor finale dramatic.  Take a look at the room now.  Here's the post about everything.  

2. Master bedroom - amount completed: 90%

My plan for my room was to finish it up: hang pictures, hang the mirror, and make it feel like a more finished space.  I accomplished all of these things.  All that is left is to refinish my jewelry box and to hang something over the television.

3. Playroom - amount completed: 40%

This room needed a total overhaul in every sense.  I needed to go through all of the kids' toys and donate the stuff they no longer play with; organize the toys they do play with; add and assemble two more tall bookshelves for storage; make the little TV area into a more functional TV watching/Wii playing area; add more curtains (already purchased); set up the DVD player and cable; and hang stuff on the walls.  I didn't take an "official" before picture because I was too embarrassed.  But this one pretty much shows the chaos.

I edited down the toys, loosely organized them into areas around the space and built some bookshelves for storage.

I moved things around in the TV area and hung more curtains at the window.  I also set up the TV, DVD player and Wii so we have a functional TV/den area.

That is all so far.  What is left:
  • buy more storage (bins, baskets) for the toys
  • organize said storage with labels so the kids know where things are
  • bring in and paint furniture in the TV area and a new rug
  • hang shelf over TV
  • hang pictures all around the space
  • play with furniture placement in the TV area
  • buy a new play table for Little - hers is too small
So, progress made, but still a lot more to do.  Finishing up this space is priority #1.  And top o' the list? Painting furniture.  

4. Laundry closet - amount completed:  80%

This space looks great!  I posted about what I've done to get it in shape.  All that's left is paint the walls  (or do some kind of renter-friendly wall treatment) and maybe hang some art.  

5. Basement Storage Room - amount completed: 3%

Ha - how's that for a random percentage?  Truth be told, I have not done much in here.  I took out some trash and moved in the painted coffee table (which I *love* but doesn't fit in any of my spaces in this house) from the playroom to here, which I will use for a little storage.  That's it.  I'd really like to do this room while the weather is so cold.  I need to pick up one more of the inexpensive plastic storage units from Home Depot but otherwise just need some time to do this space.  I really have to do it - it drives me batty that my tools and supplies are not organized in any way.

6. Little's room and closet - amount completed: 100%

Done! D-O-N-E done.  Well ... as done as any of my spaces ever are.  Here's the post where I revealed most of the work I did in Little's room.  When I posted that, I still had to finish up her closet - I needed to bring in two bins/baskets for the shelf (for storing clothes and her humidifier), which I did.  I found them at Christmas Tree Shops for $6.99 each.

I also needed to some hooks for the weird little space behind the one door in her closet.  I did and found them at Target.  This cute set of birdie hooks was on clearance for $8.

I hated the finish but knew we could paint them.  Little suggested white (be still my heart), but I thought pink was better because the wall was white.  She approved.  A few coats of Ballet Slipper spray paint did the trick.  We hung her purses on the hooks.  There was only enough room for two hooks but I have plans for the third one.

7. Stairwell  - amount completed: 20%

My plan for the stairwell in my home (which is huge and spans three floors) was to add a sort of art gallery filled with art, kids' art and family photos all the way up the stairs.  I have been slowly purchasing frames and art for this project. I bought a 10 frame set of white frames from Pottery Barn, bought a bunch of frames on trips to Target, Ikea and Home Goods.  I've been amassing my art and kids' art.  I need to order a bunch of photos, but I am going to wait to do that until the frames are in place so I know which sizes to order.  I'd really like to get this project underway.  It will make a dramatic improvement in my home.  Completing this project is priority #2, only second behind the playroom.  

8. Half Bath  - amount completed: 10%

I have some work to do in the half bath.  So far, I just painted the little stool/table and brought it back into the space.  I bought a tall vase to hide the air freshener and a small cute fake succulent plant (both from Target).

Lots left to do here.  I want to frame out the mirror (and do so in a temporary, removable way since I am renting), add more accessories to the sink area, add a shelf or two above the toilet and buy a new trashcan.  This is all easy stuff and I can do it in a couple of hours. <-- famous last words lol

9.  Dining Room  - amount completed: 60%

The dining room is looking good!  I have done a bunch of little tweaks:  I replaced the prints in the oversized frames and added some candle sconces on each side of them.  I still have to paint the dining room table and maybe hang something else on that long wall on the outer sides of the candle sconces.  Maybe.  I can't tell if it needs it.  I don't want to overwhelm the space with Stuff! On! Every! Wall! but I also can't tell if it seems too empty.  Time will tell.

10. Painting Projects  - amount completed: 70%

On my list of furniture to paint was: Big's Rast nightstand (done), Little's and my mirrors (done), little bathroom stool and kitchen stool (done), dining room table (not done) and my jewelry box (not done).  I am pleased with this progress.  I'll do the jewelry box next because it's smaller and I want to see how I like the chalk paint before I commit to using it on my dining room table. And because the dark wood is killing me.  I mean it.  It is.

11. Paint the House  - amount completed: 0.00%

Yup.  And it's gonna stay that way for a little while unless a beautiful fairy with rainbow wings rides in on her glittery unicorn with a golden horn and rainbow tail and magically creates an extra week of time wherein I can only paint and do nothing else.  But who am I kidding - if I had a magical week of time, I would use it to train and to watch Sex and the City reruns while knocking back a few beers and some small delicious treats.

As for priorities, because of course my to do lists have priorities, here they are:

#1:  playroom
#2:  stairwell art gallery
#3:  master bedroom: finish it up by painting jewelry box & hanging something over TV
#4:  basement storage room
#5:  half bath
#6:  laundry room wall treatment/paint
#7:  dining room: paint table and finish accessorizing
#8:  paint the house

See you swoon,