March Progress & April Goals

Well, folks, March got away from me. I did so well at setting goals and actually accomplishing everything on my list in January and February, but March didn’t quite go as planned.

It’s fine. I’m not sulking or beating myself up about it. And at least there was some forward momentum. But I don’t feel like I managed my time well at all last month. I need to do a whole lot better this month if I’m going to get my whole 2017 list accomplished this year.

So my goals for March were:

  • Get my kitchen cabinets painted
  • Get my concrete countertops refinished
  • Paint the kitchen ceiling bright white
  • Repair/caulk/paint all of the trim around the cased openings
  • Build a new range hood cover
  • Make and install pantry doors

And here’s what I actually accomplished…

First, I received and installed all of my woven shades. This was kind of a hold over from my February goals. I got them ordered in February, but didn’t receive them until March.

new woven shades from Blindsgalore - breakfast room

You can click here to read more about those.

I also had my concrete countertops refinished. This was a partial DIY project. I paid a local company to grind the concrete smooth, prime the concrete, and clear coat the countertops with polyurea. I did the actual painting so that I could get the exact color and look I wanted. You can click here to read more about the concrete refinishing.

March goals - accomplished - concrete countertops refinished, new sink and faucet

And although this wasn’t on my list, I also installed a new sink and faucet. (Please excuse the dirty dishes.) This time, I went back to my favorite style — a deep single bowl stainless steel sink. That’s what I had in the condo, and I absolutely loved it. That double bowl cast iron sink I’ve had for the last two-and-a-half years frustrated the heck out of me.

And finally, I installed the pantry doors. Instead of making them from scratch, as had been my original plan, I decided to use bifold closet doors and install them as double doors. You can click here to read more about that project.

pantry french doors - 21 - finished French doors on pantry using bifold closet doors

And sadly, those are the only projects that I completely finished during the month of March.

As far as painting my kitchen cabinets, I did get 25 doors and 4 drawer fronts completely sanded, grain-filled, and painted.

March goals - partially accomplished - painting kitchen cabinets

I also managed to leave the two biggest doors out in the rain, and they got ruined.

March goals - partially accomplished - painting kitchen cabinets 2

So I still have five drawer fronts and all of the actual cabinets to paint. I also still need to order new doors for the ones that got ruined. I haven’t been able to do that yet because I need to order a door for the new range hood cover as well, and I can’t order that until it’s built and I know the exact size I need to order.

As far as painting the cabinets, I’m dreading that project. I mean, really dreading it.

I sprayed the doors, which means that the cabinets need to be sprayed also. If you spray part of a project and brush the other part, the two will look like two completely different sheens. But in order to spray the cabinets, everything needs to be taped and draped. My floors need to be completely covered, as well as the countertops, the walls, the appliance…everything. And for a person who doesn’t even like to so much as use a drop cloth, the idea of having to do that much prep work seems completely overwhelming to me. But I just have to stop dragging my feet and get it done.

In fact, today I will start. I’ve run out of excuses, so today is the day I’m getting started on that.

And that’s all of the progress I made during March. I didn’t even touch the kitchen ceiling, which still needs a coat or two of bright white. I didn’t get to the trim on the cased openings. Two of them just need some caulk and paint, but this big one needs to be repaired first.

March goals - not finished - trim on cased openings

It got completely messed up when I was working on the breakfast room side and had to remove all of the jambs and trim them down.

And while I bought everything I need for the range hood cover, I didn’t get anything done on it either.

So in April, first things first. I’ll finish up the items from March that I didn’t finish or didn’t even get started on — finish painting the kitchen cabinets, paint the kitchen ceiling, build the range hood cover, and repair/caulk/paint the trim around the cased openings.

When those things are done, I’m heading back to the breakfast room because I want to get it completely decorated. I’m chomping at the bit to do something with these Ritva curtains…

April goals - breakfast room curtains

In addition to hemming and pleating them, I’m also going to be doing a little something to add some color. After living with solid white curtains for a while (three weeks?), I’ve decided that I do want to spice them up a bit. I’ll keep those details to myself for now, but for those of you who said, “There’s no way you’re keeping solid white curtains,” well, you were right. 🙂 I did try, though.

I’ll also be bringing the buffet that used to be in the entryway…

black buffet makeover - 1

…into the breakfast room, and it will be getting a new color. Right now it’s black, but that won’t do for my breakfast room.

And because I know someone will ask…yes, there’s plenty of room for the buffet. 🙂

I also need to finally get my TV hung on the wall, which will go above the buffet. I know a breakfast room seems like a strange place for a TV, but it suits how we live. The only time Matt and I watch shows is during meals, so it makes sense for us to have one in there.

And while I’m on the topic, what system do y’all use for streaming Amazon, Netflix, Hulu, etc., to your TV? We don’t have cable, and we watch everything on Amazon and Netflix. Matt just bought a subscription to Hulu last night. For years now, we’ve just watched on our laptops, but now we need a way to watch all three of those on the TV. We’re looking at the Amazon Fire (this one) but there are so many options available today, and technology isn’t really my thing. Recommendations? What do you use for streaming video to your TV?


Anyway, I’ve got lots of decorating plans and projects. I’m scrapping the idea of a TV cover (like the ideas I talked about here) and just opting for decorating around the TV. I also want to try my hand at painting some large chinoiserie-inspired wallpaper panels with birds and branches, but my mom has said she’ll step in and help me if I decide I can’t do it. And there are a few other decorating projects I want to do.

Basically, by the end of this month, I’d love for my breakfast room and kitchen to be finished and completely decorated. That’s the goal, but to accomplish that, I’ll need to do a much better job at managing my time than I did in March. So today…taping and draping my kitchen to prepare for painting. Let’s get it done!

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  1. Hey, don’t beat yourself up! My life improved when I discovered that my lists were impossible for any living human to accomplish in the amount of time I was allowing. It has worked better for me to use a 3 item list with no end time. That way I can focus more easily and not start spinning in circles. Getting your countertops and sink redone were huge, as was painting the cabinet doors. It sounds like your breakfast room plans are getting a little more reality based, always a good thing. Congratulations on your awesome progress.

    1. Ditto what Barbara said. The lists we make are only TOOLS to help us focus. They aren’t driving the bus! That said, as in the rest of life, there is a balance-that changes regularly! Our best efforts recognize the most important parts of life and allow us the shift the balance to the place it needs to be on that day, at that time. As long as we’re good about doing self-checks (how am I doing with: fill in the blank) we generally stay close to on course. So, give yourself some grace. It’s not like you were sitting on your couch eating bon-bons and watching TV all day in March! Thanks for the motivation you are to so many.

  2. When we got our n it came with “apps” installed for just about every streaming application. So I just choose Netflix from the menu and after the initial entering of our logon and password it takes me directly to Netflix for browsing. Dead easy.

  3. You’ve gotten a lot done and you’re on a roll! As far as streaming services, I have all three and have nixed cable. I’ve been doing this for the past 5 years and don’t miss it at all. Netflix has a ton of “Netflix only” movies and shows that are really good, which is the only reason I keep it. Otherwise, the movies they load are usually kind of sucky, and they take forever to load full seasons of TV shows. Hulu is great, they load current TV shows by the next day, and they have several of the same movies that Netflix provides. Amazon is fantastic too- I do the $99/year Prime membership for free 2-day shipping and all the streaming. Amazon offers free streaming movies, tv, workout programs, etc. And they also have Rent or Buy for the more current, popular movies and TV shows. I didn’t really help you narrow them down, but all three have great features, and if you buy all three in lieu of cable, you’d still be saving money!

    1. Hm, I think I misread what you were asking…. I have a blu-ray with WiFi that I use for Netflix and Hulu, and I have the Fire Stick. But I’m 95% sure you can get all three streaming services from the stick.

        1. We have two Roku TV’s and will never go back! Choosing an app is as easy as changing the channel 🙂

    1. I second the vote for a Roku device. We have two box Roku’s and a stick Roku on the three TV’s in our house, and I love them. The stick Roku will stream over Wifi and is the least expensive; the box Roku’s will do both hard-wire and Wifi streaming. The stick Roku is a clean look, as it plugs in to the back of the TV and disappears. We have only used streaming for several years now and the Roku works very well for us for Amazon, Hulu, Netflix, as well as renting movies to stream.

      1. Definitely Roku for a streaming device. We have 4 in our house and love them. We have Netflix, Amazon Prime (already had it for two day shipping),and Hulu. Cut the cable over a year ago and get local stations with a Mohu antenna.

      2. We use a ROKU. It’s all we have ever had so I can’t come compare it to anything else. But I love it!

          1. I second ROKU. The only reason I have Cable is to watch March Madness games – as many as possible. Also because I work for a cable channel content provider – need to support the biz. Apple TV is good too.

            1. I’ve had an Apple TV, a Roku and a smart Tv. I prefer Roku. The smart TV constantly wanted to update and the Apple TV had a limited selection of channels when compared to Roku.

  4. I love how the new colour in the kitchen is the same as the colour of your subscribe bar …. obviously it matches you! Looking good in there … what fun!

  5. We have a Roku and purchase Hulu and Netflix. We also stream PBS some of the news stations and other free stations. We don’t have cable so this is how we get our stations in.

    1. Hi! How do you stream PBS and the news? This is the one area that is holding us back from cutting cable entirely. We basically only watch news, sports, and then binge watch TV shows. We know how to get the TV shows, we’re just not sure how to get the news and sports. We were going to cut the cable in February, but my husband didn’t want to miss out on March Madness! LOL!

      1. We don’t stream PBS, but I can tell you that CBS News has a free app that steams live all the time. If we have a hankering for the news, we watch that or we watch it the old-fashioned way on a local station with a digital antennae we’ve attached to our television. I hope that helps 🙂 We could watch local public television the same way.

        1. Thanks! One of my coworkers has a Roku box, with a Sling TV account, and an antennae to watch the “old-school” channels. We’re in the process of evaluating our options. We live in an area where there were several disastrous mergers, which has resulted in some pretty competitive pricing and no contracts. So, we can cancel at any time once we find something that meets our needs and is even cheaper!

      2. There are several news stations apps available on Roku, same with PBS. You can also stream PBS on your computer.

  6. For streaming video onto TV…… ROKU
    Love it! Tons of apps that enable you to get free programing. We don’t have any cable or anything. Get way more that I have time to view.

  7. I think you got tons accomplished in March, Kristi! Made me look like a complete slacker. BTW, if I lived near you I’d totally help you drape ‘n’ tape your kitchen.

  8. We have both roku (on my favorite tv) and a fire stick (on my husband’s tv) So i asked him about the differences. He said both will get you amazon, but roku gets you more additional channels. I especially love that stations like Showtime Go gets me the movies and series from Showtime, without paying a fee each month…

  9. We have a large wall TV in our kitchen which is where we eat all of our meals. Seems silly to hide it. I also use the tv for listening to music while I cook.

    Another silly thing we have is a formal living room that NEVER gets used! We are always in the family room and I can’t remember the last time I entertained where we didn’t all end up in the family room. Not going to do that in my next house!

    Love your skills, inspiration and energy!

  10. Kristi, if you only got your leftover March things done in April and nothing else I would still applaud your ambition! The thought of major masking off in order to spray has always repelled me, hence I’ve never sprayed, so I admire your drive to get that task started and done with. It will look so fantastic when done.

  11. Definitely get a Chromecast from Google for streaming. You can stream from phone or laptop and they’re super cheap.

    1. Hi! Did you ever have a Roku or a Firestick before getting a Chromecast? Just trying to compare the options.

      1. I had a Roku. I enjoyed the fact that all the apps were right on it, but it’s nowhere near as convenient as the Chromecast. I can pull up literally any app on my phone and cast to the tv. I use the Netflix app, Hulu, AMC, Youtube, HBO Go, Vudu, Google Movies, Syfy, FX, etc…
        If I’m not near my phone, I can pull up something on my laptop and cast to the tv. Plus, it’s only $35.

        1. I have Firestick and Chromecast and liking chromecast more only because my home Internet service seems to hiccup a lot and chromecast seems to have a better buffer and don’t get that hesitation, especially on the CW app. I’d love something to store a few movies so I can take down to my camper where there is no Internet signal.

  12. I use a Roku and use all the channels you do plus some free ones (they play ads, but that’s a small sacrifice to be able to watch Seinfeld reruns and movies that aren’t on Netflix and Amazon). Can’t wait to see these two rooms come together. I’m like you in that I hate all the prep work but I pay the price when I skip it (paint spots on carpet).

  13. “Sadly…” you only got those projects done!!! I’m lucky to get laundry folded the same day it’s washed! Your stamina and drive are amazing! No recriminations needed on our part or yours!

  14. A smart TV has all the apps on-screen and app buttons on the remote for the TV. All you need is WiFi service. You don’t need a box.

    1. WiFi service means subscribing to cable though, doesn’t it? Help me, I’m trying to learn all this stuff but tv technology is so hard for me!

      1. WiFi is your internet service for your computer. You can buy it alone from AT&T and others (DSL) or get it through your cable company (CABLE).

        1. WiFi is actually wireless connectivity to a local network. Internet access for that network is provided through your internet service provider, typically through cable or DSL. You can have cable internet without using cable for your television.

    2. Smart tv’s are very limited, and very expensive. Roku stick is $30 bucks. All you need is to bring internet into your home. I have DSL through ATT. Then the roku pulls the signal through the air to your tv. No cable needed. Go online and see the hundreds of apps ROKU offers. You can rent movies, pay for netflix or hulu. There are many networks that have apps on ruku that allow you to watch what ever you want when ever you want like PBS, CW, FOX… PEOPLE.. you don’t need cable anymore! We just have an antenna in our attic and are able to pull in all local tv stations. (I do realize not everyone could do this as it depends on where you live)

      1. We also have a Roku box on a TV. It is nice. I don’t remember the smart TV being more expensive than regular and we needed an additional TV. The advantage for me at the time was not to have a table box. Now they do have the Roku stick which is a good alternative.

  15. Kristi, I think you got a lot accomplished! Some time management items are out of our control. Perhaps you need to consider hiring out things you don’t really like to do like taping off the kitchen. I know I procrastinate when I don’t like to do something. AND remember if you start to drag your feet or to stop what you are (or aren’t) doing you should work on your curtains. Sometimes we just have to do what we want to do to get the momentum to do what we don’t want to do. A little convoluted but you know what I mean.

  16. The four days on the countertop were out of your controls, so don’t beat yourself up! Get those cabinets, done, though! You’ll be so happy that you did!

    Out of curiosity, what did you dislike about your cast iron sink?

  17. Kristi, When you repainted your table and when you repaint the buffet, are you scraping off the old coats of paint underneath or do you paint over the old coats?

  18. Beautiful, Beautiful, Beautiful! All your colors are so beautiful!! I love the kitchen cabinet color, so happy and cheerful!
    Even if you didn’t do all of your “to do list” I’m sure tweeking it along the way is “OK”. All those extras you did took a tremendous amount of time and planning, even if they weren’t the “hands on” projects you prefer.
    Great job Kristi!

  19. Unexpected delays are just part of the DIY territory! Any progress is better than none.
    Would you tell me where you got your sink? I’m looking for one similar and having trouble finding one with the holes where I want them.

  20. It depends on the form factor and the features you are looking for. A streaming TV is ideal as it gets rid of any “device” clutter. The next choices are Roku stick, which works on WiFi only, if you want to work via Ethernet you’ll have to get at least the Roku Premiere+ and then the Fire TV Stick. You’ll want the one with the Alexa Voice remote because it’s the most useful. They all plug into a wall outlet, but both of the sticks plug into the HDMI port on the TV. You just connect to the internet and go. I have all of them as well as the Google one and I prefer the Amazon hands down.

  21. Its looking great! I still have a ton of projects that i need to get checked off my list too. We use a Roku to stream Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu. It’s a great buy, i think we payed $75 but we’ve had it for at least 6 years now.

  22. Kristi… I know you aren’t exactly pumped about your completed to-do list. BUT does said list include anything regarding planning and meeting with the contractor for the next stages… studio, etc? That alone is a big time suck. 😉

    This morning this quote was in my inbox. I thought it was good… maybe you’ll appreciate it too.

    “Time management is an oxymoron. Time is beyond our control, and the clock keeps ticking regardless of how we lead our lives. Priority management is the answer to maximizing the time we have.” ― John C. Maxwell

    Seems like you are not doing too badly with sticking to your priorities. 🙂 Have a productive week!

  23. We cut the cord and went for SLING TV
    It gives us access to Netflix, Roku, sports, HGTV, just about everything

  24. I agree! Nothing worse than taping and draping! I find if I put on my favorite music when I have to do that awful task it takes my mind off of it a little bit. If I do it in the quiet I just grumble the whole way through it😩 It’s all worth it once you get to rip it all down! Everything is coming along so nicely!
    We fired cable along time ago. We use Roku and we have amazon prime, Netflix and an antenna for local channels and pbs. We also subscribe to Sling tv ($20 mo.) which gets my hgtv, I thought it wouldn’t have current programming but it has all the new episodes! Also my husbands sports! We pretty much just use sling and local tho’.

  25. Hi Kristi
    Love your work.I know you said you are going to redo the buffet,have you thought about looking for a new one on craigslist. The only reason i’m saying that is you will still need something in the hall? Just a thought.Xx

  26. Unless you’re planning to use iTunes Store content, the Roku is still the best bang-for-your-buck set top box for streaming video. It has apps for all of the major streaming services except for iTunes. We’ve had three different models over the years and have always been 100% happy with it.

  27. We use google chromecast and absolutely love it. The only thing you can’t get is amazon. We got an amazon fire stick for that. The nice thing about the chromecast is you can stream you tube and other services as well.

  28. We have several Apple TVs, and are very happy with them. They do more than just manage apps and our streaming services. We rotate a couple times a year, between Netflix, Hulu, and HBO, never paying for all 3 in the same month.
    The Apple TVs also stream our personal music library in every room of the house, manage our HomeKit (home animation which controls the ceiling fans, and some of the light, via our iPhones/iPads), and as a general hub for a bunch of other apps (recipe, photo display, etc).
    But that only works because we’ve got a bunch of other Apple products (including the watches, which means we can control a bunch of stuff in the house from our wrist), and if you’re not tied into that platform, lots of those options won’t be available with just the TV.

    Which grain filler did you use on the oak cabinets? Is it working well? Do you mind writing a post about your experiences with it, and posting before and after pictures?

  29. We have a ROKU box and we love it. I love your countertop. Just love it. Can’t wait to see the whole deal pulled together. 🙂

  30. First – I know NOTHING about the new ways to view television. We still have cable because we don’t understand!
    Second – I bought the same drapes on your recommendation, but I have a problem you may be able to give incite on. I have them up using the tabs, but opening and closing them results in the tabs catching on the rods where they join. ( I have a 9 ft. span) I thought of replacing the “tabs” with grosgrain ribbon, thinking that would make them a bit stronger and stiff so they won’t catch as easily. What do you think? I LOVE the drapes, by the way, just need them to work better!
    Third – I am impressed that you did as much as you did, especially when some things were no fault of your own. Just remain focused, you can DO IT!

    1. We, too, have cable and would love to get anything less expensive, but frankly I don’t know what I’m doing and Direct TV works well. Just so expensive.

  31. I stream through ROKU I have the stick and boxes a total of 6. It is Awesome no issues. I have had it for 5 years I only pay for Netflix $9.99/mo.

  32. We have a Roku box and love it. We also have Netflix, Hulu and HBO Go. Watch more tv than when we had cable but better tv!

  33. About enhancing your drapes. I am in the process of sewing white side panel (no opening and closing function) drapes for the living room of my small home. The fabric is a polyester weave with a nice ‘hand’ to it. I am thinking of doing a large scale dandelion stencil in yellow. I will use the same stencil on a small hallway wall adjacent to the living room. I’m curious that you might be considering using a stencil and I might learn from you. Have you done – and did I miss – a stencil project posted it on your blog.

  34. You are a very ambitious person but I think you did just fine in March. You have two rooms that are pretty close to completion and I’m sure you can knock those out this month. I love the idea of using that buffet in the breakfast room and cannot wait to see what you do with it. I also think mounting a tv on the wall above it will work nicely for both of you. Good luck and may the decorating force be with you.

  35. I am very happy with what you accomplished in March and looking forward the finished kitchen. As far as the tv, since you will be buying a new tv I highly recommend a Smart TV, which comes with apps for all your Netflix, hulu, amazon, etc… All you need is an internet connection.

  36. I still own a ” big butt ” tv so I’m no help on streaming anything!
    But I love your fridge and I think I recall that you are selling it; as I’m in Ohio I’d have to buy one. Didn’t you mention it is a discontinued model? Figures. Also, I love the cabinet color; wasn’t sure I would but you hit another home run there!

  37. Can’t wait to see it all come together!I have to sit at home most days because I am being treated for breast cancer. Please know I love all your work and living vicariously through you and to be inspired!

  38. We had a smart tv that came with all the apps already on it. I really liked that, it was simple to use. Then we recently upgraded to a smartcast tv. I’m still getting used to it, but you can use your phone, laptop or tablet to cast whatever you want to the tv, so if you use your cell phone plan for your internet service, this might be a good idea. There is limited functionality of the actual tv remote, which is why I say I’m still getting used to it. We have to use whatever “device” we are casting from to pause, start, stop, etc. and then the remote for volume. I often forget which device is needed to do what and have found that to be a bit frustrating. Our neighbors use roku and seem to like it, but on our bedroom tvs we just use our blu ray players to basically make those tvs smart tvs and we can watch amazon prime, netflix, you tube, hulu, or whatever we choose.

  39. Maybe this has already been addressed, but will you need to spray the hood cover as well as the cabinets?

  40. So glad to hear you are not beating yourself up over not completing EVERYTHING on your March list … You still made amazing progress! And can I just say … I am LOVING your kitchen colors!

    As for streaming, we just use an Amazon Fire stick. I love that I can also access my Amazon music prime playlists as well as Prime shows, Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, WWE, and more! We went with the stick for the cost and because we only needed access for one TV. I love that it’s so low-profile and, if we want to take TV on vacay, portable.

    Can’t wait to see you April list come alive!

  41. I like the Amazon fire stick/tv for streaming it could fuction for all you need. I use/have a lot of hand-me down electronics. The stick is become what we use most. It could be newer tech keeps improving, or that it’s built for streaming.
    We have a TIVO that records antenna broadcasts, and it tells you when a show is available to stream along with recording and hoping now. The bigest flaw was, streaming was a feature. Tech (TIVOs, Blu-Ray player and smart TV) that have the streaming as a feature, tend to leave you waiting for Ads/menus to load before you could navigate.
    It took us some time to find what works best. A extra part of our issue was our internet speed wasn’t stellar, upgrading, aided the reliability across everything.
    Roku we never tried, but good if you want to reduce tv noise- the remote can have a headphone jack. Don’t forget the Amazon items has the gaming capability and remote has an Alexa button for smart house stuff.

  42. Roku! No issues…never ever any problems…love it! We have a smart Visio tv that isn’t very smart. 😉 A big hassle trying to get it to connect and stay connected. With Roku you can install an app on your phone, iPad, or laptop and use it to search across all “channels” with a keypad as well as using the Roku remote.
    In addition to Amazon, Hulu et al that others listed we subscribe ($4.95 per month, cancel any time) to Acorn. It streams British, Australian, and Canadian shows. (Midsomer Murders, Murdoch Mysteries, Luther, Inspector Morris/Lewis and our favorite….A Place to Call Home!…plus many more. It’s actually our most wanted channel.

  43. I cut the cord with cable and have both Roku and Apple Tv, like & dislike both! This is an email that I’ve sent to a couple of technically friends/family who were interested in both both but had no idea where to start- sorry might be too much info but maybe there will be a nugget that will help 🙂

    *On both platforms, *some* networks make *some* of their content available for you to stream, however you have to have a login to access it. You get a login by having a subscription to a cable/satellite provider. So to use ScyFy, AMC, Bravo, FXX, BBC, ComedyCentral, HBO, Showtime, etc you have to have a login to *someones* cable/satellite (this is where its good to have parents/siblings that know almost nothing about streaming and are happy to pay for cable/satellite. My in-laws have zero need for a login to their cable/satellite provider, so….) Also I need a separate antenna for each tv to watch local channels (cause I can’t figure out how to wire an antenna to my coaxial box that runs to all of my rooms. I think there is some way to do this, I just haven’t invested any time in figuring it out yet.)

    Roku ($99…$79 at best buy right now):
    ~Often crashes/resets itself willy-nilly(not just me, lots on google about this) #1 most frustrating issue with Roku and I think it is caused by:
    *YouTube channel on Roku constantly causes my Roku to crash/reset…its wonderful to watch youtube on a big tv, however the crashing
    makes it frustrating.
    ~Has an Amazon Prime Channel (so if you are a prime subscriber, you can watch primetv shows/movies on your roku) love this for all of the
    British Tv/Movies available. <— there is a workaround for this problem with Appletv though
    ~If you import movies into your laptop, you can watch those movies (and music, pictures, etc) using a free app/site called Plex (this works with Macs & PC's)
    ~Lots of "free" channels, only a few have anything worth watching-Crackle, CrunchyRoll (small fee for anime junkies) Vimeo for music videos.
    ~Pandora Radio Channel is really good
    ~Have to physically use the remote (geez)

    Apple TV $150-$200 (or buy a refurbished one on apple.com):
    ~Only way to access Itunes Music on your tv (if you pay for that monthly service)
    ~If you have an Iphone, MacBook, Ipad, you can access your movies and music easily using Apple TV (stuff you own and have loaded into itunes)
    ~Your phone/ipad can be your remote (an app that you can use in case you lose the remote)
    ~Pretty much same channels as Roku – except for Amazon Primetv on Roku..however see next item.
    ~Air-Play: if there is a channel not available on the AppleTv, but you can get it on your iphone or ipad (Amazon Primetv DOES have an app that I have on my iphone/ipad) you can use your iphone/ipad along with AppleTv's Air-Play which allows you to use a streaming app (PrimeTv) on your phone but watch it on your tv. Your iphone/ipad however are unusable while doing this though…so you can't use airplay to watch tv and play solitaire on your iphone/ipad at the same time-#firstworldproblems).
    ~Air-play also allows you to use your tv kind of like a computer monitor. If you want to show your technically challenged friends/family your latest blog post or pictures (or imovie or slideshow or pdfs, etc) you can do it on your big tv sitting around your kitchen table enjoying your tea.
    ~Siri works like Amazon Echo but better because it works with your AppleTv (no need to buy separate). "Siri play next episode of When Calls The Heart"…done!-can't do that with Echo.
    ~Siri hands free tv surfing….no need to stop what you're doing to change channel or change from tv to music. "Siri-play Journey" "Siri-play latest episode of The Walking Dead" "Siri-is it going to rain later today?" "Siri-How late is the nearest Home Depot open?" and if you have iphone/ipad: "Siri-text mom- Do you have a staple-gun I can borrow?" "Siri-read new text messages" (I love Siri!)

    So in summation (LOL) if you've invested with Apple (iphone, ipad, macs) you'll want the AppleTv. Everything works together and it's just great! The Roku works fine if you just want to stream tv.

    *I bought a smarttv from Costco and the "smart" part never worked straight out of the box. I bought a second tv that came with a free roku stick that never worked…into the garbage that stick went (the tv was $89, I wanted the tv for my trailer-it was the right size/price and I can't use streaming tv while camping anyhow-thats why I chucked the Roku and didn't take the entire lot back). I also bought GoogleChrome when it first came out years ago but it wasn't compatible with my router… back to the store that went, never tried it again.

  44. Where do you order your kitchen cabinet doors from? I have been looking and cannot find. ANy help would be appreciated.

  45. I have been reading your blog for several months and I am so impressed with the work you do.
    My husband thinks I should be your apprentice and learn how to do all this stuff!
    We are in the final throes of remodeling our kitchen and ended up painting our cabinets “Simply White” using the Benjamin Moore Advance paint. I used a paint sprayer for the very first time, a Fujii one and the results were fantastic. I did not spray the frame but rolled and brushed and was very satisfied with the results and I am a very picky person. The Advance paint levels out very nicely and would definitely use again, although it is not the easiest paint to apply by brush.

    I bought a Kohler Cast iron undermount sink – one bowl(Bakersfield in Sea Salt) and I am crazy in love with it. It is so easy to clean and I never have to dry it since water spots do not show. Also was able to purchase the sink grate made for that sink.
    I am using reclaimed wood for the backsplash and will install as soon as the polyurethane dries on my refinished hardwood floors. Going from no stain on red oak to classic grey… hope I like it!

    If you have a smart TV, the apps for Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu will already be on it and a Roku is not necessary.
    I use all three services and if I had to drop one it would be Hulu.

  46. I forgot to say in my post regarding streaming services.
    You could also screen mirror from an Android tablet or phone to a smart tv.
    I have done it if I want to watch something not on Netflix, Amazon, or Hulu.
    You can’t do that for free with an iphone which is why I have a love/hate relationship with Apple.

  47. You get a lot done every month that’s for sure. I’m confident you’ll catch up to where you want to be.
    I don’t watch much TV and I’ve been too lazy/cheap to get a Roku or Fire stick, I just stream from my laptop when I want to watch something, generally Amazon Prime, Netflix, or a Redbox DVD. I just hook the TVs HDMI cable to my laptop, switch to Connect to a Projector/Projector only, and leave the laptop below it. Works great. Works on the road too because I carry a 2nd HDMI cable in my laptop bag.

  48. Chromecast has worked flawlessly for several years… Mostly Netflix and You Tube, but also the network apps.

  49. I’m with you on the TV cover. Everyone knows what it is when it is closed and seriously we would never close ours. We have smart TVs that came with Hulu, Amazon and Netflix apps so all we have to do is get the TV on our wireless network and we’re good to go with that. If you are happy with the content on those apps, you could be good to go with a big Vizio LCD purchased from Sam’s Club for less than $600 (our most recent one is also 4K capable but we have never had such content.) Even our Panasonic plasma TVs (no longer made or supported) had the three big apps already installed, they were purchased in 2009 and 2011.

  50. We don’t currently have cable, we go through phases of having cable and not having cable, but that last time we had it we realized we never actually watched it so we just cancelled it again. We have Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon and have a Roku, Fire Stick, and a Chromecast. The Roku is by far my favorite for ease of use and functionality. It just seems the most intuitive. The Fire Stick isn’t bad, it just doesn’t seem quite as user friendly. The Chromecast I rarely use because it’s terrible. Hope that helps!

  51. Sadly, I’ve been stuck with cable because I absolutely adore major league baseball and the NBA. And you must have a cable subscription for those. But, I also have Netflix and I am an Amazon Prime customer, so I have access to many Amazon Prime movies and tv shows too. I do have a blu ray player that has Netflix and Amazon on it. But. The interface is so clunky and old-fashioned, I opted to get a Roku 3 when it was on a sale price. Much more modern, and a simple remote interface. It works great. My son has Apple TV and loves it. I think there are pros and cons with any option.

    Don’t waste one little watt of energy on guilt over lists not completed. They are guidelines for action to help you focus, not rules. With home improvement and home dec I always have found there are too many contingencies and unknowns as well as issues beyond your control. That’s an exercise in frustration, and, personally, I’d rather focus on my accomplishments than my so-called failures. As long as you are making forward progress and project steps are turning out with the quality and beauty you envisioned, you are succeeding in your home dreams. That said, it took me many years to finally get what I said above at the cellular level. Much happier and more fulfilled now that I dwell on the positive!

    1. Same here – the minute there is a streaming service that can guarantee that I can see every game from my local and favorite teams without local blackouts we’ll get rid of cable, but until then…

  52. I was so looking forward to your tv cover. I’ve got hubby’s huge tv hanging over my fireplace and I absolutely hate it. It’s slightly recessed so a cover of some sort would be perfect. I’m not nearly as creative as you, but I guess I’ll be figuring that one out on my own.
    I think you accomplished a lot last month. Might not have all been on your list, but they were things that needed to be done.

  53. I have 3 roku devices around my house, including the very first model they produced, which I have had for YEARS. ALL work great. I also have 3 smart tvs, the newest is about 2-3 years old. None of my smart tvs can stream HULU without freezing, and one of my smart tvs just can’t seem to pick up the wifi signal from the router at the other end of the house. Because of these issues, we always have a roku attached to each tv. I LOVE ROKU. Buy an extra remote because you will probably lose one temporarily. We buy the extras in bright yellow.

  54. Hey Kristi,

    You’ve made such great progress, don’t get discouraged! I wanted to recommend a goal setting strategy to you that I’ve been using: 1-3-5. The idea is that you set one big goal, three medium goals, then five smaller goals. It really helps me prioritize things, and I feel more accomplished if I get at least the 1 and 3 categories crossed off. Google it, I think it may help you with these monthly goals!

    Take care,

  55. We use roku and like it. A friend uses amazon fire and likes it. I can’t wait for our contract with Comcast to be up so we can go to sling tv.

  56. We use ROKU and have Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Prime. We also have an antenna for the list channels. Works great! We love ROKU.

  57. Being very easily sidetracked and distracted myself, no matter how well justified, I am finding your use of lists and goals/month to keep focused so inspiring I am doing the same for the rest of this year!
    I think we always know ‘in our heart of hearts’ when:-
    – we are truly working with focus on what we should be,
    – taking breaks only when we deserve,
    – and getting back to the task in good time
    – and fulfilling our other responsibilities be it self-care, housework, meals etc

    and no matter what our lists say, if we are doing all the above then we are doing all we can and deserve a huge round of applause for staying focused!!!

    I hope that all makes sense, I could probably rewrite it more coherently… but my browsing time is up!


  58. We steam through Roku and have for years love it! But our wireless can be glitchy so we prefer the Roku with the direct LAN connection.

  59. Roku by a mile. Simple, small, easy to set up and use. I cut my cable years ago, and I have Netflix, Amazon, HBO, PBS and YouTube. You can also access a number of other things, like Hulu. Just remember that streaming is utterly dependent on the strength and reliability of your wireless signal. If you have problems with the image freezing or signal dropping, you may want to invest in a new wireless router, and/or an extender, depending on how far your t.v. is from the router.

  60. Is there anyway your comment form can come before the comments? So I don’t have to scroll through hundreds to get to it.

    If you want All the TV and movies out there for free, look into kodi and exodus. It will change your TV viewing life. That is if you are in to things like that.