2013 in a nutshell

I don’t feel great about the nearly one month that has passed since my last post, especially since  I have, in this blogger’s opinion, actually accomplished some pretty magnificent things… I made some cool bathroom art, learned to cook Pad Thai, and downloaded the new Beyonce album… you know, the stuff Hollywood movies are made of. But in all seriousness, I’m painfully aware that I’ve let the blog kind of fall by the wayside over the past couple of months. Because of the holidays, maybe? Or lack of inspiration?  Busy schedule? I can’t pin down the precise reason, but dang if I’m not going to do better in ’14, starting now with the obligatory look back at the best and worst of our escapades in the past year.

Proudest Accomplishment: Kitchen Overhaul
In April, we put the finishing touches on our once beige and boring kitchen.

old kitchen


This project is/was the most time and energy intensive DIY renovation we’ve sunk our teeth into, but it has also been the most gratifying. It started before we officially moved in when I painted the walls a nearly day-glow shade of green called “Spritz of Lime” which just seemed an appropriate if not nauseating color choice for a kitchen. From there, we—to be read in one breath now—replaced the florescent lighting, striped and restained the cabinets and added new hardware, removed the wood paneling from the wall and added custom shelving, replaced the faucet and added water cut offs, demolished the countertops, replaced the countertops, and…gaspretiled the backsplash. A project more than a year in the making, it felt indecently good to marvel at the successful culmination of a lot of hard work.

Biggest Transformation: Hardwoods in the Living Room
Thanks to a ridiculous sale on laminate flooring at our local Habitat for Humanity Restore, what started as a routine Saturday errand resulted in Heath and I throwing caution to the wind and just doing it already—”it” being ripping out the carpet in our living room and replacing it with some sweet, sweet laminate wood flooring. Oooh. That is fresh.



Biggest headache: Rebuilding the chicken coop
After finding a possum in the chicken coop one evening, we knew we had to prioritize a task we had long been delaying—rebuilding the chicken coop, a project that literally stinks, is labor intensive and painful. We  finished it in a day, and the coop is certainly in better shape now than it was before, but it didn’t go down, or rather up , smoothly. We endured cuts, scrapes, mosquito bites, sun burns and blows to our egos along the way, but at day’s end, a bigger, brighter, possum-free coup stood triumphantly in the dh backyard.



Riskiest project: The stencil wall
It was nearly a year ago exactly that I finished totally weirding out our living room by painting an accent wall with a scallop stencil. It was kind of a gamble as a floor-to-ceiling geometric pattern could potentially be overwhelming, but there is something hypnotic and appealing about the repetitive nature of geometric prints. Since geometric scribbles practically dominate all of my handouts of staff meeting agendas, I thought I should take the concept that had been gnawing away at my subconscious to heart and put that idea on the wall. A year later, I still get lost in the rhythm of the green scallops and love it as much as the day I started painting.



Biggest fail: the garden
2013 was not the year of the garden for House Doodle. Because of the heat and other various preoccupations, we slowly stopped tending to our veggies and other flora.  Next we knew, a once lush and sustainable backyard paradise transformed to a desolate and pathetic excuse for a garden. As it turns out, plants don’t respond well to gross neglect.  It is was not our finest hour.

Raised beds


Greatest discovery: Homebrew
At the recommendation of some dear friends, Heath picked up brewing beer at home as a new hobby, and boy have we enjoyed it. We cooked up our first batch in February, and by June we committed to going full throttle when we installed kegerator in our kitchen so we could enjoy draft homebrew at our leisure. Yes, we’ve officially crossed the beer snob threshold, and it’s delicious.


We saw triumphs and tribulations in our home projects this year, but 2013 was also a year of significant personal achievement, loss and transition: Heath conquered a mountain when he hiked 26 miles through the Weminuche Wilderness, we bid farewell to a beloved home from my childhood, my always bro/sometime roommate joined the navy, and I left my communications job with the school district. Good/bad/ugly/beautiful….2013 was peppered with experiences that will stick with us for awhile.

24 Comments on “2013 in a nutshell”

  1. I really enjoyed reading this! That laminate flooring and scalloped wall bring so much to that room. Amazing job!

  2. kmom says:

    I liked this look back and figure 2014 will be pretty remarkable as it unfolds. Hope I can contribute to an improved garden next year.

  3. BeingZhenya says:

    The house is so so adorable! I love it!

  4. Wow, your home is so bright and beautiful. Love it.

  5. be says:

    Hard to pick a favorite project but the biggest gutsy move was painting that wall and it was your biggest payoff. I love the kitchen re-do too!

  6. Mandii says:

    I love this! Been following for a while and it’s amazing to see a year in one shot like that. You deserve a round of applause – the kitchen looks marvellous, I adore the laminate flooring & the geometric pattern really is wonderful! You’ve given me hope that one day when I have a place of my own it’s very possible to transform it into a wonderful home 🙂
    Wishing you better luck with the plants this year!

  7. benzy55 says:

    I love all your projects but I love love the green scalloped wall and the kitchen re-do!
    That wall took guts! Sometimes the biggest moves in decorating have the biggest rewards!

  8. Your house looks great . I’m a little jealous because I’m still waiting for my for my house renovations to be finished. I like the chicken coop as well much nicer than the one I grew up with .

  9. Your living room is gorgeous – the floor boards and your bold choice of colours are amazing. Love the chicken coup, too – would love one just like it in our back yard.

  10. […] with lots of wood. One of the bloggers I follow on my WordPress Reader did a 2013 review based on how her house was overhauled and it was amazing! The coloring was a bit perky but the wooden laminate floor looks so good. I am […]

  11. katelynnrachelle says:

    Loved the overview of the year’s projects – especially the fail (we all have plenty of those!).

  12. Lady G says:

    Following in your footsteps, you are my inspiration mujer hermosa. I love the kitchen and the floor in living room definitely makes the awesome colors in walls stand out. This was my push to go full force on my renovations 🙂

  13. Vine Vampire says:

    I love your kitchen, the colours are perfect (especially the baby blue stove, just dreamy <3) and the scale motive on the wall, it´s an eyecatcher!

  14. elsalittle says:

    Your home and blog are adorable! Well done! -a twenty-something with a doodle in Dallas 😀

  15. nelia says:

    Just found your blog. Love what you have done with your kitchen and your home! We also live on the east side of Austin and have a knotty pine kitchen. I hated it at first but it grew on us and we decided to work with it. So glad we did! –a thirty something East Austinite

  16. Loved this… The wood flooring makes a huge difference, and I adore the scalloped white and green wall!

    DIY Bride x

  17. markswords says:

    is this thing still on?

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