November Monthly Recap

Usually I would write up two separate posts at the end of the month, one about my monthly goals and another recapping all the home projects that were completed. However, this month was a bit of a jumble on home projects so I’m combining the posts this month.

First up, the projects!


At the beginning of the month I participated in the Pinterest Challenge and created a unique and fun Chalkboard Frame for my thermostat. Now my thermostat is a piece of art instead of a boring, bland box on the wall.

Thermostat Frame


I shared the final reveal of my Upstairs Spare Bathroom and my somewhat inappropriate love for some jewel colored striped towels.



Sometimes in your home, the simplest fix will make a huge impact. That was the case with the kitchen ledge that was installed a while back. It was some simple primed MDF and moulding that kicked my kitchen up a notch.



Oh My Goodness, I have so much to show you regarding this project, but you’ll just have to wait a bit longer. Let’s just say, the tile removal was just the start I needed to get moving on this project.

Fireplace Demolition


Craft projects were clearly lacking in November, so I quickly wrapped up some letters for my front door to represent the last few days of the ‘Fall’ Season.

'Fall' Yarn Letter Sign

So what happened with the monthly goals?

1. Complete NaNoWriMo

I already shared my goal of ‘winning’ NaNoWriMo this month. This means I’ll be writing every chance I get for the next month which may take away from time typically spent on home and craft projects; however I still have some things up my sleeve for November.

I’m bummed to say that I did not ‘win’ NaNoWriMo this year. However, I made significant progress on my novel and I can truly say that I love the story. I plan to continue working on it and hopefully :::fingers crossed::: get it published in the future.


2. Run a 10K

There is good news and bad news with this goal. A few months back I shared that I would be running the Iron Girl Del Mar 10K; however, due to various personal reasons I will not be attending the race. However, I will still be running a 10K this weekend, even though I won’t be part of the official race. My original goal was to run a 10K, Iron Girl was just a place.

I DID IT! I finished a 10K and am so proud!

10K finishing time

3. Local Adventure/Shopping

I have a Mom & Daughter day planned for this weekend in place of my original Del Mar adventure. I have big plans on hitting my absolute favorite stores this weekend and I’ll let you know about a ‘secret’ shopping center in San Diego that is my favorite of all times.

November was full of shopping, in all honesty, my credit cards need a serious break. However, I will never pass up a trip to the Forum in San Diego.

ZGallerie_ForumPIC Revised

4. Get back to reading (Mental Dumbbells)

I know I had this as a goal last month and didn’t achieve it because all my reading was focused on the BYW course (well worth it). However, this month I really want to get back into reading and since I’ll be writing a lot this month, I’m setting the goal of finishing only 2 books.

The goal was to read 2 books and I ended up finishing 4 and found my love for relaxing with a good book again.

November Reads

5. Penny Donation for Toys for Tots

This is probably the most exciting goal I have set for this month, and I’ll be sharing the specific details later today. In short, I am planning a donation program on the blog this month and I’ll be making a donation to Toys for Tots at the end of the month. Check back later for the details (hint: I need your help, but it will cost you absolutely nothing!)


This is one of my favorite goals this month and I am so excited to share the final number with you. It was an incredibly busy month in November and nearly 14,000 of you stopped by the site. At a penny per visit, this means that I made a $140 donation to Toys for Tots today!

I can’t thank you all enough for stopping by, please know that each and every visit you made in November contributed to this donation.


6. Thanksgiving Traditions

My family is small, and there is usually only 3 of us celebrating Thanksgiving each year. Therefore, we don’t really have any traditions for Thanksgiving other than dinner. I want to start some official traditions this year that can be passed down to my kids someday.

I had an incredibly relaxing Thanksgiving which involved a lot of time with my family and puppy. I couldn’t have asked for a better holiday.

Source: via Addison on Pinterest

7. Take a Vacation

Maybe this should be considered the best thing this month. I finally have some time off planned for the week after Thanksgiving. I usually take this week off instead of the weeks surrounding Christmas because I don’t have kids. Why does that matter?

Well, most of my coworkers do have kids or family out of state/country. Since I don’t have kids and my family is an hour away, it’s easier for me to cover their workload during the holidays so they can take the time off to be with their family. It’s a win win for me since that time of year is typically very quite anyway.

So I’ll be taking the first week of December off instead and I’m thinking of going to San Francisco for a few days. Even if I don’t travel, I can’t wait to have some time off because I’m seriously burned out right now.

I am currently enjoying the last few days of my vacation and can’t say how much I needed this time off. I have slept in, read, worked on house projects, visited with friends, spent time with family, got a lot of writing done, shopped until I dropped on Black Friday, and enjoyed a mini vacation to San Diego where I saw the most amazing sunset.

8. Lose 10 lbs

After I run the 10K this weekend, I’ll be shifting my exercise goals a bit. While training for the 10K I haven’t spent much time on weight loss and I want to shift the focus back in that direction. I will be setting aside running for a bit and starting a dance related program since I am a dancer at heart. The goal for this month will be to begin focusing more on nutrition and building a regular exercise routine.

I’m happy to say that the shift in workout perspective was the right course for me. I have loved dancing everyday and I lost just under 9 lbs in November. Not quite the 10 lbs that I had hoped for, but I’m thrilled with the progress so far.

Source: via Addison on Pinterest

9. Refinish a family heirloom

My grandmother passed away a few years ago and I inherited her hope chest. It’s a beautiful piece of furniture and I hope to restore it a bit and refinish it to work with my decor. I really love working on pieces like this because of the history behind them. I have so many great memories of chest and my grandmother.

I have not yet finished the hope chest, but I have picked out the fabric which is BEAUTIFUL and the stain which is a rich Kona coffee color. I can’t wait to jump into this project soon.

10. Black Friday

Yes, I am one of the crazy people that shops in the middle of the night on Black Friday. It’s been a mother/daughter tradition that started a few years back with the same grandmother that left me the hope chest. We have a great time every year and I can’t wait to share my tips and bargain deals this year too.

WOW, Black Friday rocked this year. The stores are opening earlier and earlier and we were out for nearly 11 hours. It was a rockin’ night and I loved spending time with my mom. Can’t wait until next year!

Here is this years haul, you can read the full details, here.

Black Friday Goodies 2011


Whew, lots going on last month, and even more coming up in December. I LOVE December and Christmas, I’m so thrilled for this time of year.


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