This is a House Blog, right?

Months ago, I had started to write up a post on all the big projects we’ve done in the last 7 years. Long and boring much? 

So instead, here’s the timeline:

2014 – New Water Heater installed

2015 – New Hardiplank siding installed in Natural
Big Bucket list trip to Rome, Paris and London

2016 – All windows replaced with Thermal Double case windows (22 altogether)
Big Bucket list trip to Japan

2017 – Recovery trip to Hawaii
Puppy Fitz is adopted

2018– A&Z are born
Nursery is done!

2019 – Flower beds installed
Back deck is replanked 
Landry closet is converted to a split laundry/walk-in and pantry
Doorway is widened into dining room
Escape trip to Amsterdam/Paris

2020 – Pandemic Year
Backyard is resodded 
All trees trimmed back
Bathroom lighting and chandeliers replaced/rewired
Vents, light switch plates, accessories replaced
Moving Phase I initialized

Now you’re all caught up, reader.

Moving, Phase 1

After our twins were born, we threw around the idea of passively, maybe, possibly looking for a new house. At the time, my mother was living with us and was proving to be a bit of a disgruntled roommate. 

We started wishlisting what this new house would entail: an in-law suite (priority), a big enough office space for the two of us to share, a bigger kitchen with an island instead of a breakfast nook, etc.

Then my mom decided to move out.
Then the girls turned two and started pushing the boundaries of our living space.
Then the pandemic came and house-bound all of us.
Then the market started exploding with all of these available houses?! (WTF)

We’ve lived in our home for 7 years now, and we’ve upgraded/remodeled/touched up every (reasonable) space of this investment. 
What was the real tipping point besides all of the above? The kitchen. 

The kitchen is due for its first actual remodel, and that’s not something we want to take on in a home where our time is limited. I’d rather save our time, effort, and cash for customizing our next (I’m not going to say forever) home. 

So after the back and forth and dates and Zillow-stalking, I’ve started “Moving Phase 1”. What does this entail?

  1. Decluttering, as if it wasn’t already a pandemic thing. I think I’d already done a pretty good job of letting things not pile up. I do declutter seasonally, but this is like a ruthless editor with a red pen. We went through the basement last weekend and probably donated/trashed/consolidated until we had at least 7 empty Rubbermaid totes, and a space big enough for the girls to roller skate in, if they were actually coordinated enough to skate. I went through the fridge, pantry, dining room, hall closets and Christmas decorations. Next are guest room closets and the Master suite. All of the extra basement furniture is in a temporary storage unit.
  2. Fixing odds and ends. We’ve laid sod in our backyard, trimmed back all of the trees on property, replaced air registers and bathroom vents, changed out chandeliers and ceiling fans. All little details to update the space and make it look a bit more uniform and polished. 
  3. Depersonalizing. This I got from one of the 10 home design emails I get everyday. When staging your home, you want the space to look inviting but not like you. The next homeowner needs to be able to see themselves living there, so pictures, personal collections, pet and kid stuff all has to be out of sight. 

The plan is to contact a realtor and figure out financing by February, setting us up for a move in May. Fingers crossed it won’t take six months like finding this house. 

In true Passion Planner fashion, I’ve kept a month-by-month checklist on my phone to track Phase 1 progress

New Workflow, Who Dis?

I’m writing this from a very quiet hotel room. I’m on my last work trip of the year, and after some productive alone time, I’m left with a ton of thoughts scrambled in my brain and the tiniest baby hotel notebook to brainstorm it out.

I mentioned earlier that my biggest goal for 2019 was just to time mange. I used Fringe Hours to help set my 40-hour (plus 10% travel) work week around the girls’ schedule. That meant not splitting my focus when I’m exclusively with them, and using the hours that they are sleeping or with the nanny to do the bulk of my work.

This gave me a solid window of time (9:45am-4pm) where I only have to be at work, and as soon as they wake up from afternoon nap, they are my only priority. When Troy’s time is available as well, then we can split tasks until they go to bed. Any sleeping/cleaning/me-time/us-time is reserved for 8pm-8am. I make it a mandatory that I get out of the house at least once for a longer period of time over the weekend to do whatever it is I may need to do, and Troy has the same opportunity as well.

Twelve months later, we have the girls on a very good schedule and I am able focus and be more time-efficient. While this has been great for my postpartum sanity, I also adopted a “Done is better than perfect” mindset. Next year, I want to switch gears, which brings me to The Passion Planner! (Not an ad, just really excited!)

I’ve been looking for a bullet journal/weekly planner hybrid to plan my days, but also to do some goal setting. My current planner (a standard weekly agenda from Staples) was transformed this year with highlighter for the girls schedules, color-coded pens to differentiate work and home tasks, and lots of stickers because I admittedly am a terrible doodler. I also had small Post-its for my #101in1001 goals, big Post-its for my monthly goals, and Post-it lists for seasonal planning.

All of this I want to synthesize into a workflow, a daily schedule where I can build and plan for both the short-term and long-term. Super nerdy, right?

Which brings me back to this hotel room. While I have an talent for planning and lists, consistency and motivation have always fallen by the wayside. One of my authors is a life coach, and she has really been my inspiration to help build and exercise my executive function. In the last couple days, I’ve done a deep dive into productivity podcasts, blog posts, and Pinterest tips. I’ve also been doing follow up on social media tools and webinars that I want to start incorporating into my work skillset.

I imagine the new workflow might look something like this, jk…


The Passion Planner gives me my basic weekly timetables, but leaves additional space for goals/braindumps/squiggles, anything I need to commit to paper. Some people get creative with their planners, in additional to their Passion Roadmaps.

I’m looking forward to this building process and seeing what new toys I can play with.