Top Ten of Eleven

Well hey there! Remember me? :) I’ve had such a lovely, totally lazy week…it has been absolutely wonderful. I’m still in low key mode but sure do miss you all.

The end of 2011 is here…can you even believe it? Only a few days left of the year, and that means it’s time to recap the biggest projects  of 2011 here on TDC.

I figure these out based on comments. I love ‘em. I do.  :)

So here. we. go. – the top ten projects based on you!

Up first, the most recent redo – our awkward corner fireplace that used to look like this:

Was changed (with a bit of handy men help) into this:

corner fireplace

I am SO so happy with it still. One of the best changes I’ve ever made to our house! (You can go here to see more about the process.)

I’m dreaming up ideas for a treatment above the mantel, but I love it as is for now. I don’t want to do anything till I’m totally sure about it.

Up next was a project from this summer – a little redo of our family room based around our first debt free purchase – the new sofa:

arhaus small sectional

I finished up that room during my No-Spend July, and I was able to get creative with some accessories and art that didn’t take any cash at all. My favorite kind!!

Next up was another big purchase, but this one wasn’t planned and it was one we didn’t have to pay for (well, most of it). Our fridge meltdown meant we had to replace our laminate floors in the family room and kitchen, and we decided to continue them throughout the bottom floor.

At first we were planning on going with prefinished floors:

prefinished dark hardwoods

But after reading all of your comments on this post, I changed my mind. We went with finished on site, and I’m SO glad we did. I can’t get over how much I love our hardwoods:

finished on site hardwoods

Because our laundry room was laminate previously, and we weren’t replacing it with hardwoods, we were able to apply that insurance credit toward the office, then we paid extra for the dining and living rooms.

Best. decision. ever.

Up next, I shared how I tackled the pile of papers I had ignored for YEARS. That was a very fun week around here.


organizing the paper

I used to go through the files at the start of every year, but I had avoided it for awhile and it came back to bite me. :)

That reminds me…I need to go through the files. (Shudder.)

The next big post was when I blogged about how we are NOT moving any time soon:

We got some bad news about the value of our house this year, along with the rest of the human race, and had some major thinking to do. It only took about a day to figure out we didn’t want to move and aren’t moving. You can read why here.

Next was yet another family room post. It certainly was the year of the family room around here. ;) This one was from the start of the year, before the new sofa or the redo. (Confused? Me too.)

I was so tired of the room feeling so cramped that I broke all the couch rules and removed one:

It made a HUGE difference in this space! It was less seating for awhile, but it was worth it. It also helped me to figure out a new set up for the room which is what we ultimately ended up with.

The lesson here…do whatever the heck you want. It’s YOUR home.

You all were so helpful when it came to the sofa search for that family room. I shared all the things I hated about our sofa set we had had for years:

I loved those comments because I was originally set against microfiber, but my mind was changed. I saw the microfiber light people!! We ended up with a smaller sectional from Arhaus and it’s made of micro denier – a bunny’s butt soft version of microfiber.

It is incredible. LOVE. Love love love.

The next biggest post was not about the family room. I know, shocking! It was about me being a total doofus and causing a big gaping hole in our house for a few days:

Ugh. I still can’t believe I did that. You can see how that happened and the end result (which I love) here.

Number 9 was one of my very favorite projects I’ve done in our home – the closet turned book nook:

closet book nook

With some purging and reorganizing, I realized we didn’t need the small closet in our loft space. Using almost all scrap wood that I had in the garage, I transformed it into a lovely little book nook for me the Bub.

It’s the smallest “room” in our house and one of my favorites. :)

And finally – the biggest response was to a project that didn’t include many pretty pictures, but instead pictures of my piles:

Yep. I’m a piler. A stacker. A bagger. I try to fight it and I can’t. Many of you are right there with me. (Thank you.)

And just like every year, my most popular posts were more personal ones that weren’t about DIY at all. :) The top five of those were…

When I introduced you to the dog I saw, picked up, and fell instantly in love with:

chia rat

These cat folks are now totally head over heels in love with that little bugger. :) We can’t imagine our lives without Peanut Butter.

I shared how I don’t do it all in this post.

The (mostly) pretty pictures can be highly misleading. I try to share our “real” life with you as much as I can.

Early this year I got news that a (very young) family member of mine had breast cancer. It kind of rocked my world. I shared how I was determined to take better care of myself here.

That’s when this woman came back into my life:

I’ve fallen off the wagon a bit…but I’m determined to get back on. I recently found out that a former student of my husband’s is facing cancer. He just graduated a few years ago. What a cruel reminder.

I celebrated three years of blogging by sharing how I try not to let the wonderful world of blogging get me down:

Blogging is 90 percent amazing, ten percent yucky jealousy and insecurity. That post was my reminder to remember that all the houses and blogs that appear perfect are not really perfect after all. And that’s OK. :)

And finally, the biggie. The one that changed our lives:

The one where we paid off $125,000 in debt. Everything but the house. And our lives have been (unbelievably) better for it since.

I hope that I have inspired you to take on something in your homes this year – whether it be personal or just using a hammer for the first time. ;) I love your comments and emails telling me just that – they fill me with JOY!

Next up I’ll share what I’ve got planned for 2012. It’s going to be a great year! :)

Did your favorite post at TDC this year make the cut?

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