Well, that’s it. I started back to work this morning and my summer is officially – sniff – over. It was a whirlwind of a summer and I can’t even begin to believe how quickly it flew by. I’m incredibly sad that it’s already over, but – let’s be honest – I’ve already got Christmas on the brain, so I guess it’s a good thing that December is fast approaching!
Today I thought I’d re-visit the bucket list that I created for myself at the beginning of the summer and see how I did – I definitely didn’t finish ‘em all, but I think I made pretty good progress!
1. Learn how to use (and be comfortable with) my Cricut - Mission Accomplished!
I spent quite a bit of time playing around with my Cricut over these last few weeks, and I’ve actually be able to use it to make a few things for my classroom!
Hopefully now that I’m a bit more comfortable with it – and not terrified of it – I’ll be able to get a bit more creative and maybe even use it to make a few things for the house!
2. Learn more about my camera - Mission (Kinda) Accomplished!
I still am by no means an expert on my camera, but I spent some quality time with it (and with the various editing features on free programs like Picasa and Gimp) this summer, and I feel so much more comfortable using my camera – I even made the leap into only using manual mode, which is huge for me!
Hopefully it’s also at least a little obvious here on the blog that I’ve been learning a bit more about my camera. At the beginning of the summer my images looked like this:
And now they’re looking a bit more like this:
Definite improvement, right? I fully intend to keep growing and learning more about how to use my camera, but I feel pretty happy with the progress I’ve made so far – I’m calling this one a success!
3. Finish head chairs for the dining room! – Mission In Progress!
I’m finally making some headway on this project and am happy to report that I’m actually actively working on the chairs! My amazing sister, Jennifer, is helping me out, and we are by no means done but we will be soon!
4. Find two new thrift stores to frequent in Austin. - Mission Accomplished!
When I originally wrote this goal for myself I wrote it with the intention of finding small, local thrift stores that can’t be found anywhere else. Of course, after visiting about a bajillion (that’s a technical term) thrift and antique stores over the last few months Corey and I have learned that hands down the best ones in our area just so happen to be Goodwills. We have three that are relatively close to us that we’ve had tremendous luck at (all of our change jar finds were from various Goodwills!) and we’ve been pretty disappointed with the selection found in smaller, local shops.
We still haven’t given up – we’re determined that one of these days we’ll find a few good local thrift stores, but for now we’re very happy with our Goodwills and we plan to visit them every chance we get!
5. Spend an entire day together with no technology - Mission NOT Accomplished
Corey and I still have every intention of completing this, but this summer has just not been a good time for it to happen. He’s in the process of a big transition in his career right now and things have been more than a little stressful for us (that’s totally an understatement – things have been hard, y’all). Corey hasn’t had a true weekend since before I finished the school year, and when he’s home he is so exhausted and stressed that he has a hard time mustering up the energy to do anything other than fall in front of the television and relax.
Hopefully within the next few months, however, things will pick back up and we’ll be on the right track again – and when they do, you know I’m incredibly excited to do this!
6. Go to the pool (a lot)! - Mission (Kinda) Accomplished!
I definitely intended to spend a lot more time at the pool than Corey and I actually did, but I’d definitely say that, with our cruise, we spent our fair share of time poolside this summer!
Aside from the cruise, I only made it out to the pool one time, but thankfully even though my break may be over, the pool season is not! I still intend to hit up the pool a few more times before they close down for the winter!
7. Spend lots of time outside - Mission NOT REALLY Accomplished
This one really goes hand-in-hand with the “spend a day together with no technology” one. Corey has been so busy lately that heading to the dog park or taking the dogs for a long walk in the evening have been the last thing on his mind, so we didn’t spend nearly as much time in the great outdoors as we would have liked to this summer. We did, however, spend some time in our backyard sprucing things up (and dealing with a myriad of problems with our sprinkler system!), so I’m calling this one a bit of a draw. We would have liked to hang outside quite a bit more than we did this summer, but the circumstances just really didn’t lend themselves to this happening.
8. Give the blog some love - Mission Accomplished!
In the first few weeks of summer I spent an ton of time tweaking, sprucing, and switching things up on the blog, so I’m definitely calling this one a success!
I added a projects page, updated our house tour page with current photos, updated the search function, and added a few other small details like the “Related Posts” at the bottom of each post, and an Instagram stream in the sidebar, as well as a “Most Popular Posts” section in the sidebar too! I’m constantly thinking of new things I want to tweak or add to the blog, though, so you’ll definitely continue to see it evolve!
9. Try some new, local restaurants - Mission Accomplished!
Corey and I didn’t go out to eat very much this summer (see previous “crazy job changes” statements), but when we did we were surprisingly good about changing it up a bit and trying a few new things! We managed to try two new restaurants that we had never visited before, and we added about seven thousand to the list of restaurants that we’d like to someday try!
Grabbing some breakfast tacos at a random local Mexican bakery!
10.Re-texture the walls in our powder room - Mission NOT Accomplished
Corey and I really did have every intention of getting this project done over the last couple of months, but after talking about it we realized it just wasn’t practical to do it yet. We figured re-texturing would be a quick and easy way to do a little update to this bathroom before we complete a larger overhaul down the road, but then we realized that with everything we have planned in here (switching out the vanity for a pedestal sink, raising the ceiling, and eventually adding in a pocket door), it just didn’t make sense to take the time to re-texture everything only to have it ripped up or ruined later. So, this project has officially been put on the back burner until we are actually able to tackle the whole bathroom. We did, however, manage to knock out another wall-related project – the amazing stencil in our living room – so it’s gotta at least be considered somewhat of a success!