Fixer Upper: Home Office

Office Redo 1

This is definitely not a finished project, but I’m in the process of renovating the main office located on the first floor of my fixer upper. I only call it the ‘main office’ because it’s where the wifi router is, and it’s the only room in the house whose sole purpose is office work.

With any room, I always focus on the walls, the flooring, and the lighting. Addressing those issues can instantly transform a space.

Sometimes, when you’re working on a fixer upper, you luck out. You spend an entire day pulling up old carpeting and linoleum to reveal a beautiful hardwood floor that just needs a quick cleaning and a coat of polyurethane. Sometimes, however, you dig up the very reason that previous owners covered the floor in the first place. Sigh. This is what I uncovered in the main office.

Office Floor Before

For reasons that I can’t begin to understand, at some point linoleum was all the rage. Homeowners basically just poured tar directly on hardwood, put some kind of paper on top of that, and then finished it off with thousands of tiny nails, and then linoleum. Like, seriously, I’m not making this up.

There are ways to painstakingly remove all that crud and refinish the floors. Unfortunately, most of these ways involve floor steamers, small putty knives, and hours upon hours of work. I decided to just cover it with self adhesive tile for the time being…without tar.

Office Flooring

Office Redo After

Office Redo 2

I gave the walls a fresh coat of paint, and let the natural light from the windows work it’s magic on brightening the space. I also made that cute wall calendar out of paint swatches! No need for applause. I just lifted the idea from the internet…right before I lifted the free paint swatches from the store  🙂

My main goal throughout all of my projects is to maintain function… and eliminate clutter… oh, and keep the cost as low as possible. My three main goals… I’ll come in again! Hats off to you if you get the reference without having to follow the link!

I’m pretty happy with the progress of this room so far. Remember guys, sharing your stories and any words of encouragement are greatly appreciated!

3 Things I Learned from Failing at Meal Planning That You Can’t Learn From Cookbooks


Every once in a while I make a resolution to eat better. I rummage through cookbooks and compile every healthy recipe I see. I write a comprehensive list of all the healthy foods I can think of, and then I rush to the grocery store where I pick up enough food to feed an army for three months.

Day one goes smoothly. I prepare breakfast, lunch, and dinner, measuring out well-rounded portions, and stuffing myself until I’m nauseous with all that wholesome goodness. Day two, I start skipping breakfast again. Day three, I start noticing that all the fresh berries and greens that I bought by the bushel are starting to get slimy. By day four, I completely throw in the towel, and wait another month before I toss all of the rotten food from my fridge. Gross!

That’s the old me. I refuse to repeat that cycle again. I have finally learned a few things from my many failed attempts at meal planning.

Stock Up the Right Way

Pantry Shelves

The pantry should always have dried fruit, nuts, pasta, rice, oats, and other whole grain items on hand for quick and wholesome weeknight meals and snacks. Likewise, the freezer should have a variety of frozen fruits and vegetables for split second smoothies and weeknight side dishes. Before heading out to stock the pantry, pay attention to what you normally eat. Don’t force yourself to buy an item you don’t like just because it’s healthy. With so many choices available, there’s no use in stocking up on quinoa or macadamia nuts if you hate the taste. If the recipe calls for ingredients you know you don’t like… improvise!

Plan ahead

Seasonal Vegetables

Don’t try to come up with a menu plan to last for a year and go overboard at the store. Try to stick to weekly meal plans at first, and then work your way up to monthly meal plans. One of my biggest downfalls is wasting money on food that I end up not eating.  Now, I’m determined to use coupons and plan meals around what’s in season and what’s on sale.

Be Prepared With the Right Tools

Dishes and Cutting Boards

Cooking can be quite the ordeal if you have blunt knives, a rusty colander, and electrical tape on your small appliances. Every kitchen needs fully functioning utensils and gadgets. Now’s the time to get your brand new knife set, and your state-of-the-art slow cooker. As the presiding Chancellor of all lazy cooks, I can tell you that spending money on gadgets that cut cooking time and effort down, is money well spent.


I’m totally winning at meal planning now. I definitely have some fine tuning to do, so I’d love to hear your tried and tested tips in the comments!