A Race To The Finish Line — Five Goals In Fifteen Days

Can y’all believe we’re already nine days into December?! This year has flown by for me, and this time of year always feels like a race to the finish line, where I see just how many more projects I can squeeze in, and how much more I can accomplish, before the end of the year.

I like to take the last week (between Christmas and New Year’s Day) off from the blog, but I generally try to sneak in some projects during that time. This year, however, Matt has urged me to actually take the entire week off — not just from the blog, but from projects also. I negotiated him down to three consecutive days off, but I might actually take his suggestion and strive for an entire week project-free. We’ll see. 🙂 I tend to get antsy after couple of days, so I can’t imagine a whole week without a home-related project. But I might try anyway.

So in that case, that means I have fifteen days left in this year to get stuff done. Only 15 days!! So here are my goals during these next 15 days…

Finish painting my kitchen cabinets.

I got one wall of cabinets finished…


…but the rest are still green with gold accents. I’m filling the wood grain with TimberMate this time, and I ran out of it so I had to order more. I didn’t realize it, but Amazon cancelled my first order. So I was waiting and waiting for something that wasn’t even on its way. I finally realized it had been a while, checked my order, realized it was cancelled for some unknown reason, and placed another order. It arrived just yesterday, so now I’m ready to finish this up.

I think I can get that done in four days, not including the breakfast room side of the peninsula. That leaves me with 11 days.

Prime and paint the living room walls.

In case you missed it yesterday, I removed all of the picture frame moulding and chair rail from the living room walls. It left them in a complete mess…


But my drywall guys came yesterday and patched them up for me. This morning they look like this…



They’ll come back today and do some sanding, and one more very light coat of drywall mud on any areas that need it. So by tomorrow, these walls will be ready for primer and paint. I’m thinking blue, but slightly darker than the Iceberg I’ve been considering lately. The blue that’s just below Iceberg on the same paint strip is called Smoke.

I think I’ll try that one, along with a few others that y’all have mentioned over the last couple of weeks.

Once I find the right color, it’ll take me a day to prime and paint. That leaves me with 10 days.

Trim the doors and windows in the breakfast room.

The breakfast room still looks pretty much like this, except that the floor is cleaner, the walls and ceiling have been primed and painted, the recessed lights have trim kits on them, and the chandelier (the one from the front room when I was trying to make it a dining room) has been installed.




Oh, and there’s no longer plastic hanging between the breakfast room and kitchen.

I’ve been waiting and waiting for the grasscloth (which now is on backorder until February) because I thought it would be so much easier to install it before I trimmed out the doors and windows. Well, I’m not waiting anymore…and certainly not until February. Even if I do decide to stick with my plan of using grasscloth in this room, I’ve watched several great videos on how to install it around door and window trim, so I think I can manage it. In the meantime, I’m ready for this room to start looking more finished, and door and window trim will do just that.

I think this will take me three days for installation, caulking, priming (if needed) and painting. Plus, I have to remove the side and top jambs on the cased opening between the breakfast room and kitchen, rip them down a bit, and reinstall them. Once all of the shiplap was removed from the breakfast room walls, the walls were much thinner (3/4 inch thinner) than I had expected, so the jambs are now too wide.

But yeah…I’ll give myself three days on that. That leaves me with seven days.

Finish the living room draperies.

I got one panel done


…and then I had to put that project away and get my living room walls ready for the drywall guys. I want these finished so that I can get them hung as soon as possible after I get the walls painted.

I’m not fast at all when it comes to sewing. I like to take my time and get it right, especially on something like draperies. I have one more single-width panel to make, and two double-width panels to make, so I think I can get those done in three days. That leaves me with four days.

Paint and upholster the breakfast room chairs

This isn’t one of those “need to get it done now” projects, but it’s a fun project that I’ve been looking forward to working on. I bought four of these Greyson side chairs from World Market at about half price…


…and that price allowed me to buy new fabric to reupholster them with, and still come out cheaper than the original chair price. With paint and new upholstery, I’ll get a custom look for a very reasonable price. I think I can get all four chairs done in the remaining time.

So those are my end-of-year goals. We’ll see just how far I get on them. 🙂 I’m generally completely unreasonable and lose all concept of time when I make lists of goals (Matt calls it Wonder Woman Syndrome), but I really think I’ve been reasonable this time on the time allowances for these projects. I think I can do it! 🙂

I’m going to start with trimming out the windows in the breakfast room today. The main reason I’m anxious to get that done first is because I’ve chosen my woven shades (more on that later) and I want to get them ordered ASAP. But I can’t get the ordered until the windows have trim on them and I can actually get accurate measurements. I’m hoping to have those ordered by Monday.

But perhaps the first thing I should do is make some fresh iced tea and take some green tea extract. I have a feeling I’ll need the caffeine and added energy boost these next 15 days. 🙂



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  1. Wow, I wouldn’t even consider half (who am I kidding? a tenth!!!) of what you’ve listed to be done by the end of the year 🙂 And you’re thinking of taking a week off as well this month? I understand Matt’s term for your lists 🙂
    I’m happy to be in on the journey however much you’ll be doing, so if you want my advice (and of course you don’t have to follow it!) take some time off in between and relax and poss. enjoy the perks of the season (as in candlelight, cookies and hot tea 🙂
    You’re Wonder Woman indeed, even with only half or less of that list accomplished!!!!

  2. Your Wonder Woman goals are basically a gift for all of “us” too! Writing each blog post takes time, but post as you can so we can cheer you on. And know that I will referenced this Goal list frequently as I whine about how much time something is going to take, thus not even starting it. I’m already fired up!

  3. Oh my goodness, I am going to have to take a nap just from reading this. You go girl, it will be fun reading what you accomplish. Take care

  4. Wonder Woman Syndrome! So good to have a name to put with our “sickness”! You’ve got a very ambitious schedule- I hope you can get it all done! But if not, at least there’s progress! Not just a lot of wheel-spinning!

  5. Wonder Woman indeed! You are amazing and if you accomplish a third of what you have planned you will be a huge success. So excited to see some of these projects to completion. Good luck!

    You will have earned a week off between the holidays – plan something fun for you and Matt!!

  6. I hated to see all that molding removed, but Wow! It makes your room look so much bigger! I love the blue you plan to use, too. Soft and relaxing. Just a suggestion, but if it were me, I’d save the chairs for the week you plan to take off. We all know you can’t “sit still” that long 😉 and doing the chairs sounds like a relaxing way to spend a winter afternoon or two. Happy Holidays!

      1. I have Sea Salt in my newly redone bathroom….it has a lot of green in it. Really exactly the color of sea salt or sea glass. Very spalike color which is why I like in the bathroom, but don’t see it working with the tones you have going with your gray fireplace and curtain fabric. Just my two cents worth….

    1. Very pretty color. I just sampled sea salt on my hallway wall. I think it will work better for my bedroom. Now I’m down to deciding between revere pewter and edgecomb for the hall.

  7. I cant even THINK of what I should do as fast as you actually DO all the stuff on you list! You are an inspiration! And as far as ‘taking off’? You wont be happy not doing something, so why do that to yourself? If you want to work on stuff and it makes you happy- be happy and work! If you feel like playing hooky then do that! You have earned the right to do as YOU please! Well done jobs on EVERYTHING you tackle!

  8. “Aim for the stars, and at least you’ll reach the moon”. That’s an ambitious list, but with your priorities right, you’ll go far. I’ve been painting trim and touching up walls this week, and my goal is just to get the master bathroom toilet compartment walls done so they will be ready to re-install the toilet by the end of the day. LOL! Your energy inspires me to get to work, and I’ll be thinking of you as I slog away. Looking forward to seeing those walls painted, WW!

    1. I also love the green, I thought it would look beautiful against the gray fireplace. The blue chairs would be stunning in front of that color green.

  9. Lofty goals! I wish you all the luck in the world, and no issues popping up! Hope you stretch those muscles so you don’t get down with a back ache again! I know I couldn’t do half of what you do, even when I was your age! You are truly Wonder Woman indeed!

  10. We did our kitchen and dining room in Smoke! We have white cabinets, marble look quartz and wood floors. In our dining room we have a dark wood table and the smoke goes beautifully with both. I think it is one of my favorite colors ever!

  11. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love your blog. I got a good laugh this morning when I read about your race to finish by the end of the year. I am in the same race with a bathroom that I have been puttering around in. All of a sudden, I need to have it finished by Christmas. I also have calculated days left and about how much time each project will take. Nice to know there is someone else out there like me. Thanks for making my day better and good luck on your countdown. You can do it!

  12. I really enjoy reading your blog, you are so creative and you are not afraid to go in new directions when you heart desires.
    My walls are painted the same color as your new upper kitchen cabinets, have you considered that color for your living room walls? It is a color that plays beautifully with other colors.
    Keep blogging,

    1. I actually did try it, and it looks really dark. I was surprised, because it looks so light on my kitchen (with no windows directly in my kitchen), but it looks so dark on the walls in the living room, which has five windows and get a ton of natural light. But I might try it at 50%.

  13. Wonder Woman indeed. Where do you get the energy? I’m serious, do you take “secret pills” developed by some Mad Scientist? I’m exhausted just reading about all your plans. LOVE the new direction you’re taking and looking forward to all that’s coming.

  14. The Iceburg paint, while light, may look brighter on more walls. I think it looks nice and subtle next to the drapery.

  15. How do you find people who do drywall? We would like to tear out cabinets and a backsplash, but need drywall people to repair walls

    1. I always ask other people who work in my house. I found the current drywall guys through the guys who did our spray insulation in the attic. One of the guys said he had a cousin who owned a small remodeling company, so I got the info and called. So glad I found them! They’re the second company I’ve used for drywall, and they’re the best. I’ll use them for all of my drywall from now on.

  16. Kristi, I think the only way Matt will get you to stop working on the house projects, is if he takes you on a nice vacation! Remember you can still look at magazines or “do” anything. A relaxing vacation can do wonders for your body, mind, and soul.

    1. Pretty sure the paint brand was Olympic. Love your blog, you have shown me it’s not all about perfection, or nothing at all. That ideology has kept me from starting a project much less finishing one. Can’t wait to try Floetrol with next brush paint project. Happy Holidays!

  17. A few questions: where did you get the step ladder in the breakfast room? How do you ask for paint to be reduced by 50 %? Does the clerk know or do I ask for half of XXX color and how would I know? Lastly, is Floetrol used only for oil based paint and/or paint that is brushed on?
    Best of luck with your list, enjoy your Holidays

    1. I actually “borrowed” that ladder from my mom…several years ago. 🙂 I’m sure she got it at Home Depot, but the ones they have now that look similar don’t feel as sturdy. When you want a certain paint color, but want it lighter, you just ask the person who’s mixing it to mix it at 75% or 50% or even 25% of the original color. They’ll know how to do it, unless they’re new, in which case just ask for someone else to do it. Floetrol is for latex paints only, and it can be used for brushing, spraying, or rolling (i.e., when you roll large surfaces on furniture, like table tops or tops of dressers). If you’re using oil-based paint, you’d use Penetrol for the same purpose.

  18. Wow, only wonder woman could accomplish this workload, and Kristi, you are that Wonder Woman! You certainly know how to also keep us glued to your blog in anticipation to see your daily achievements. It’s going to a very exciting end to the year!!!