The. List. You know, the one I showed you two weeks ago when I confessed about my freak out over preparing to be on Alexandria's Designer Tour of Homes this Christmas? With just one day until the big event, we wanted to give you a glimpse inside the walls of our home, and how and if our frantic efforts are paying off. 

Therefore, we'll circle back on the items we knew we needed to accomplish, how we're doing with the "nice to haves," and how our seasonal decorating/specific tour preparations are shaping up. We've also added a fair number of new items since last week. Ugh. So here it is, in all its glory: 

What We Were Able to Complete

1. Purchase chairs for the sun porch.

Woo to the hoo, this one is done. As we shared with you two weeks ago, we scored two great chairs for a rock bottom price from the Restoration Hardware Outlet.

2. Locate two additional frames for the sun porch, frame art in four frames, hang frames.

Our late night Target treks paid off. We secured the two additional frames we needed, and hung them on either side of the white hutch in the sun porch. As for the art for the frames, we have a little something special up our sleeves specifically for the Christmas season and home tour that will be put into place later today. We'll be sure to share photos of this art project soon.

3. Buy pillows for the new chairs.

Thanks to my lucky find at TJMaxx, we're the proud new owners of these tulle and metallic buttoned throw pillows.

4. Hang and hem new curtains in sun porch.

Done and done! My ever-so-patient husband tackled this project when I nearly had a nervous breakdown pinning them to the correct length. Here's to stepping in for your partner when the going gets tough.

5. Build shoe storage for white hutch.

After we donated our old wicker bench, we were left with unsightly piles of shoes in our sun porch. Thanks to Alex's mad woodworking skills, he whipped up this quick and inexpensive storage solution.

6. Paint outlet cover in the sun porch. Embarrassingly enough, it still retains the yellow of sun porches past.

This was one of those "why didn't we do this sooner?" projects. We ran out of steam when we were painting the room this summer, and all it took was the impending deadline of the home tour to get us to check this item off the list. I'm happy to say though, it's finally done. Alex even took it to the wire wheel to get all of the old lumpy and bumpy paint off.

7. Strip, sand, and paint door jamb in dining room.

Calling this one done gives me more pleasure than you can imagine. The old, peeling and chipped eyesore is finally gone, thanks to the diligent work of my better half.

8. Strip, sand, and paint transom in the kitchen.

Done...sort of. We took a short cut on this one and borrowed a tip from movie set designers. After covering the exposed wood with two pieces of tape, we painted over the area to disguise our previous "investigative stripping." That way, once we return to truly restore this transom window, we won't have an extra layer of paint to remove. Cheating? Yep. But in this case, we felt it was better to do a temporary fix rather than leave the exposed section of wood for the tour.

9. Install new switch and switch plate in kitchen. Nothing says "We just finished this project last night!" like missing switch plates.

Late one night this week, Alex made time for the few minutes needed to check this one off the list.

10. Change burned out front light bulb.

While nothing says, "We just finished this project last night!" like a missing switch plate cover, nothing says "Attention robbers: no one is home!" quite like a burned out front light. Thirty seconds and one new bulb later, we have this one checked of the list. 

11. Clean downstairs hallway light fixture to remove the scum.

Another relatively simple task on the list that was overdue for some attention. We're happy to say we once again have a gleaming light fixture.

12. Buy and install door stops for french doors and front door. Can you picture Alex's face if we come home and there's a hole in one of our replastered walls? Yikes.

In terms of importance, this one was up on there on our priority list. The last thing we want is to have to correct any damage caused by our negligence. We now have two magnetic door stops installed in the vestibule, and an antique door stop installed in our front hallway.

13. Have windows in the house cleaned inside and out. Finally, one item we will hire out!

I'm happy to report that our windows are currently being cleaned, inside and out. If you're looking for a local source for window cleaning, Kirk Perry's your man.

14. Scrub off vacuum marks from baseboards in downstairs. Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, please come through for me, man. This chic doesn't want to repaint trim before the tour.

Done and done! They don't call it a Magic Eraser for nothing! Just look at the clean shoe molding to the right, and the scuffs to the left.

15. Oil kitchen counter tops.

Done, I checked this one off the list last night. It's important to do this ahead of time so the counters have a chance to absorb the oil before people arrive tomorrow.

16. Clean the crap off of every surface downstairs.

Done! We stayed up until midnight making sure everything is dusted, vacuumed, Mr. Cleaned, and is looking mighty good.

17. Get the fire marshal's all clear.

Done! We met with the fire marshal this morning for a walk through of the home. All clear!

Currently In Progress and Will Be Completed Before Tomorrow

18. Scrub spider poop off the outside eaves.

19. Clean rancid pond so we can pretend we keep it clean 365 days a year.

20. Mount shutters in front window rather than having them just propped into place (the way they've been for 10 years).

21. Pick up all leaves in the back yard so dead plants and vegetables are on full display.

22. Trim the ivy so it doesn't resemble Medusa. Girlfriend needs a haircut.

23. Rake the alley to remove leaves, sticks, trash, and irresponsible pet owner gifts. It may not be our property, but nothing says "thanks for coming" like getting poop on your shoe.

24. Replant urns out front to remove the dead boxwood sky pencil. Replace with more "Christmas-y plants."

25. Polish the family room coffee table to disguise the new scratch marks from Lulu. 

26. Finish restoring Great Grandpa's chair. Buy fabric. Have chair upholstered.

Well, we're keeping our fingers crossed on this one. The fabric has been purchased, but hasn't yet arrived. Therefore if all goes well, we'll temporarily use a pillow as a seat for the chair so we can have it out for the tour.

House Projects: When Miracles Didn't Happen, Nor Did I Locate a Time Machine

Sadly, the following wish list never materialized. But even without them, the house will still look great. We'll just have to keep these items on our ongoing project list.

27. Fix grandfather clock in the dining room.

28. Paint back gate.

29. Locate, purchase, and install new copper downspout. 

30. Fix french doors from swelling left from Hurricane Sandy. Repaint french doors.

31. Trim bamboo blinds in the sun porch for better aesthetic appeal.

32. Apply top coat to kitchen floor to mask pet scratches.

33. Address floor/threshold in dining room. Another case of a WTF that we've been living with for years.

34. Re-mulch the flower bed out front so it looks less ghetto.

Holiday Decorating: All the Bells and Whistles

I'm also happy to say that the decorating is nearly complete! The items on the list below have been checked off the list, and we're in the process of putting on the final touches.

35. Buy plaid ribbon for exterior wreaths.

36. Buy command strips to hang various decorations.

37. Purchase live Christmas tree for living/dining room. Decorate it to the nines.

38. Purchase a live or artificial pencil tree for the kitchen.

39. Pull all of our junk out of the attic so we can determine what will and will not be put out this year.

40. New - Make exterior decor: swags for french doors and decorate wreaths. 

Thanks so much to designer Sarah Bohl and florist Helen Olivia for all their hard work in helping us pull together a gorgeous holiday home. We'll be sharing a wrap up of the tour on Monday, including photos of the floral arrangements, exterior decor, both Christmas trees (yep, you read that right), some of Sarah's amazing calligraphy, and more. We'll be kicking up our heels tonight at the Taste of Scotland event, so we hope to see some of you there.

Give us your two cents: did you think we'd be able to get through The. List.? Are there items you're surprised we completed, or others you thought for sure would be done by now? Have you ever had to get your home "show ready" either for a move, a party, or a home tour, and it nearly killed you in the process? We'd love to hear the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Comments 32


11/30/2012 at 12:50 PM
Good luck tomorrow guys! Can't wait to hear about how it went.
Thanks, Ashley! Now that the finish line is in sight, we're getting more excited than nervous. We can't wait to share a ton of photos on Monday!
Kelly Hutchinson Curtis
11/30/2012 at 12:54 PM
Yes, I have total faith in you two hard workers! I can't wait to see the ending details! I was just checking out the homes on the tour. So fun to read about the history in your area! Wish I lived closer & could come join in the fun!
Laurie Allen Bilski
11/30/2012 at 12:59 PM
I think you two can totally pull it off!
Thanks for your encouraging words. It was a success!
Karin K
11/30/2012 at 1:04 PM
I am so proud of you! I can just imagine the hand-wringing and gnashing of teeth that has gone on in the wee hours... I am sad I can't get up there, but I am sure I will think about you guys more than once tomorrow! Enjoy it all, and ESPECIALLY enjoy the relaxing Sunday you should be able to have in your gleaming house.
Thank you so much! We've definitely put in our fare share of effort on this endeavor. I wish we could have flown or bussed everyone in from out of town. We had great feedback and can't wait to share all of the photos this week.

And relaxing Sunday? I don't think we know what that is. Onto the next project...
11/30/2012 at 1:15 PM
Can't wait to see the house on Tuesday!
We hope you like it :-)
Heidi Schroeder Aulakh
11/30/2012 at 1:19 PM
Good luck guys! Thinking about you!
11/30/2012 at 1:49 PM
My wife and I have found that the Magic Erasers are expensive and fall apart pretty quickly. I've found that using > 500 grit sand paper does the same job and lasts a lot longer.
That's a great tip. The sponges do wear away pretty quickly and you're left with all of the sponge balls. I've got a pack of 600 grit paper that I'll need to try it with.
11/30/2012 at 2:23 PM
Good luck! Cant wait to see pictures!
Thanks. We'll be sharing them tomorrow. Hopefully we've got some good ones.
11/30/2012 at 2:48 PM
Wow, you have accomplished a lot! Can't wait to see the photos of the house all decorated.
I keep looking at the list and patting ourselves on the back with all we accomplished. Not to toot our own horn that much, but it was a massive list!
11/30/2012 at 2:50 PM
Wow! Looks great! I always get more done when I have a deadline :)
Deadlines are ultimately what inspire us to work our fingers to the bone and make our lives horrible for a short period of time just to enjoy the fruits of our labor. Without deadlines, we'd just amass new projects without ever completing old ones.
Laurie Kazimer
11/30/2012 at 4:24 PM
I'm sure it will be a great success! Congratulations! Wish I could have made a trip to see your lovely home!
11/30/2012 at 6:44 PM
I'll be brutally honest: I did not think there was a chance in hell you'd get all the items done on time. Then again, I had no idea you would have such a long and ambitious to-do list in the first place.

I'm really surprised about two of the items that got done: stripping & repainting the door trim (even though it REALLY needed to be done), and repairing the antique chair. I'm really impressed with you guys!

Also, I have to wonder: if it wasn't for the house tour, do you think most of these things would have gotten done anyways in the next few months, or "probably not"? I tend to procrastinate a LOT and things like this (a party or important guest dropping by) is about the only thing that really "puts the fire to my ass" so to speak. :D

The be brutally honest from our side, neither did we. We just figured we'd get as much as possible done and then call it good enough. Little did we know just how much we'd be able to actually work through. Both of what surprised you also surprised me. The other outlier was cleaning the pond. It's such a simple task, but so gross and time consuming I always put it off and then say "Meh, it's fine how it is."

It it weren't for the tour we absolutely wouldn't have gotten the majority of items completed. We really pushed ourselves on so many of the items that we would have been fine living with if other people weren't coming through the house. If no tour, I'd say 50% would have remained on the list for another day. As it stands, we only ran out of time to complete one item, the mounting of the shutters in the window. I'll hopefully get to that one today.
11/30/2012 at 6:55 PM
I can't wait to see your house in real life on the tour tomorrow! Amazing job on those last minute projects - well done!
We hope you enjoyed the tour! And we hope you were able to point out all of the little things we have been working on lately. We didn't get a chance to go through our own house, so we'd love to hear what you thought, and also what you thought about the other houses on the tour.
Teri Lynn
12/1/2012 at 7:13 AM
Congrats on getting those projects done, I was exhausted just reading it! I can't wait to see the final product.
We got home after the tour was over and both Wendy and I fell asleep. We simply couldn't keep our eyes open. Exhausted doesn't begin to explain it.
Carrie Cole Jolly
12/1/2012 at 8:34 AM
What a list. Maybe I can get a private lunchtime tour this week?
12/1/2012 at 11:20 PM
Wow, tired just reading about it. I'm a bit late reading it so hope all has been going great!
It went wonderfully. We had a great time and got all but one item checked off of our lengthy list.
Old Town Home
12/2/2012 at 10:35 AM
Sure Carrie Cole Jolly! :-)
Old Town Home
12/2/2012 at 10:35 AM
Thanks Laurie Kazimer! The tour was a huge success. Now it's time to sleep. :-)
Old Town Home
12/2/2012 at 10:35 AM
Thanks Heidi Schroeder Aulakh! (Lulu says hi!)
Old Town Home
12/2/2012 at 10:35 AM
We wish you could have joined in as well Kelly Hutchinson Curtis! It was a great weekend!
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