2019 Review and 2020 Goals

Hey everyone, happy 2020! So each new year I write a post about our house goals for the year and look back on how we did on the previous year’s goals. I like having goals, lists, and always having something to work on…but I’m not that type A about it. For example, it’s January 14th and I am just now thinking about this, haha. So let’s jump in and see how we fared last year.

2019 House Goals – The Verdict

So How did we do on our 2019 house goals? Not great, honestly…..even worse if you consider that many of our 2019 goals were recycled 2018 goals. Such is life, haha. I know y’all can relate. Looking back at our list of goals for last year is actually a little laughable…Why were there so dang many?! What was I thinking? I’m nothing if not optimistic and hopeful I guess, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Anyway, let’s break it down further. Here are all the things that were on the 2019 list –


Finish the RV – Yes. Nailed it, actually. The RV turned out really great…..then we sold it. It turns out we jumped the gun by a few years and camping with four little boys is actually the worst. Friends of ours bought it and they are getting plenty of use out of it, which makes me really happy. One day we will probably buy another, but it wouldn’t be for a while. Click here to read the full reveal post.

Camper redo

travel trailer remodel


Finish the laundry room – Also nailed it. Go us! See the reveal post and read the details HERE

laundry tower


laundry room with laundry. tower


Guest bathroom – This is the little bathroom right off of the laundry room, and we didn’t even touch it. It still has all the kitchen cabinet doors in it that we put in it three years ago and everything.

small 3/4 bath


Kids bedrooms – Shamefully, I didn’t get these done or even give it a good effort. I painted the younger boys room green and got matching curtains, that’s about the extent of it. I feel legit bad about this one.

A bedroom with a bed and a chair in a room


Finish the kitchen – Once again, didn’t touch it. The kitchen is actually crazy close to being finished, we just can’t seem to pull off that last 10%.

rustic kitchen with green cabinets


DIY backyard hot tub – This was on the “maybe” list for 2019, and it became our first project of 2019. No regrets. See more photos here!

adult patio

hot tub off master bedroom

Attic game room – We did clean this room up quite a bit…but then it fell apart again. Fail. I’m not even going to post a picture because it’s embarrassing. You know what, screw it…it’s not like I’m above writing about embarrassing stuff on here. Enjoy my mess.

large attic space


Living room entertainment center – I was hoping to complete this one because I feel like it would really help balance out our living room…the off-center fireplace feels very off-center without it. It just wasn’t in the cards last year though.

A living room filled with furniture and a fire place


2020 House Goals

Alright, now for the 2020 goals. My instinct is to just relist all the 2019 things that we didn’t finish, but I’m going to be realistic and show some restraint and self-awareness.

Flooring – We originally didn’t put flooring in the house because it wasn’t in the budget. Instead, we sealed the concrete floors (here is a post about it) and decided to just live in them for a while, until we saved up some money (a lot….wood flooring is stupid expensive) and found what we wanted.

sealed concrete floor

That was almost four years ago now though, and it’s time. At this point not having flooring is holding up all the other projects. We have always planned on doing a rustic engineered wood and still might, but we are seriously considering installing a vinyl plank. They look crazy realistic these days, are affordable, easy to install, and are nearly indestructible. If you have gone this route and installed a luxury vinyl plank in your house I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

A room with a rustic wooden floor

Kids bedrooms – The kids rooms are just sad, and finishing them has been on the list from day one. I mean, kids are only little for so long and I want them to have fun bedrooms. I think not having flooring is the culprit here…if we do any more than we have, it will have to be at least partially undone and redone to add flooring. So we do nothing.

Finish the kitchen – I almost didn’t add this to the list, but we are SO CLOSE. All we need is flooring (sensing a theme here?) and to finish installing some doors and drawers. Oh, and we need to build in the fridge somehow, because right now it looks like an afterthought. But that’s it. Oh, and add feet to the cabinets…and touch up paint. Eesh.

Office – I was going to end the list there, but this weekend Adam and I randomly started working on the office. It’s a teeny tiny room (see below) and should go a long way in helping our house get/stay organized.

small office floorplan

wood and glass sliding farmhouse doors

A living room filled with furniture and a large window

Also, unofficially I want to finish the boy’s bathroom, still do the entertainment center built-in, complete upstairs guest bedroom, finally get a vanity in the master bathroom, pave the driveway….

Somebody stop me *facepalm*

Anyway, that’s what you will be seeing on the ‘ol blog this year. What are your house goals for the year? And even more importantly…how many years have you recycled the same goals?!

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  1. LVP = yes, yes, yes! With 4 pets, a teenager, and a pool, we thought it was the right choice and did our entire first floor in the summer of 2018 — I could not be happier. Unless we end up buying a historical home in the future, LVP will be in every house we own. I run the robo-vac several times a week, and mop with a Bissell steam mop – that’s it. Easy clean up of the occasional dog mess with spray cleaner…these floors are practically indestructible.

    Only two minor complaints – 1) the installers didn’t do the best job, and it’s noisy in spots, so make sure you use some sort of underlayment. 2) It’s got a matte finish, so everything shows (like footprints, dog drool, etc.) – and that took some getting used to. But there may be other, shinier options these days.

    I’m sure whatever you choose will be beautiful and I look forward to seeing it.

    1. This is so great, thank you! Adam and I started out very anti-vinyl, but now I think its the best choice for us. Thanks for the heads up on the matte finish, that would have been the sheen I choose. So excited to cover up this concrete finally!

  2. We have grouted Luxury Vinyl Tile and LOVE it! We put nice tile in our last house and it was cold, hard on our feet and was not forgiving to dropping things! I can’t speak for the wood, but the LVT looks like real tile and has lots of depth and “texture” which you don’t realize is almost flat until you touch it! We do have one tile that has a long scratch on it, but it’s in the finish not the tile itself (only see from an angle, not looking straight down) I haven’t noticed any other or know how we got that one. As a material, can’t recommend enough! Due to the unevenness of our floors, we did put down an underpayment and haven’t noticed my issues with sound. It’s on a plywood subfloor. Can’t wait to see what you decide! Will change the whole look and feel of your house I’m sure!

  3. Ashley, i highly recommend floor and decor’s laminate called Aqua Guard. It is amazing. We have been putting it throughout our home in our renovations and couldn’t be happier with it. We are also in Texas and have slab foundation. Get the premium level underpayment. No hollow noise. We have dogs and cats and they can’t hurt it. It’s pretty much waterproof although it is listed as water resistant. When we did the first room my husband took a leftover piece and put it outside. It sat in the Texas heat, rain etc for 2 years. NO changes! Looked exactly the same. That was when we knew we wanted it through the entire house. Look on my Instagram for photos. Dreams of Dogwoods is my profile. Best to you in 2020!

    1. Definitly looking into that! Water damage is one of the main reasons I am wary of getting an engineered wood floor. It’s going in our kitchen, under the table (so.many.spills) and in the boys room with the aquarium. Just seems like we are asking for trouble. Just requested to follow you on instagram!

  4. Hi Ashley – what product is featured in this post of what appears to be plank flooring? (The close up at the foot of the bed) I want a rustic vinyl plank. Hardwoods just won’t cut it in our home; it’s an older house on a slab and the transitions of thickness from area to area will be too difficult.
    Or if that isn’t vinyl can you recommend one?


  5. We installed luxury vinyl plank last year (well, the landlord had it installed in the kitchen, and then I installed it in our pantry with some leftover pieces) and I love it. Very easy to install, so comfortable to walk on, and has held up fantastically despite my boys (ages 2 and 3) best efforts… they’ve put it through rigorous testing including to spill countless bowls of cereal on it (and pee on it, actually…), race cars back and forth and push each other in laundry baskets across the floor. No scratches or scrapes and no water damage that I can see. It hides dirt way better than our previous kitchen floor, maybe because of the color the landlord chose? I seriously have zero complaints after over a year.


  6. I have wood floors and would do vinyl if I had to do it over. My sister put vinyl in her house and I was so envious. It looks great and with 6 grandsons, is a breeze to maintain. Go with vinyl!

  7. My house goals… hahahaha!!! I do envy those Instagram human beings who regularly knuckle down after the kids are in bed or after a full time job to work on the house for hours every week…. that is not my life, I’ve learned what I need and it is not ignoring my low energy limits or my need for quiet space to process! Anyway. Hubby (who can do anything reno-related except finish carpentry, but would and does 100x rather work on cars) has promised me a gut job bathroom renovation this summer that we are currently saving for. Hurrah! I think I will be saving additionally so we can replace the four flat-panel doors in the adjacent hallway, which would mean I could un-blah the hallway too. That’s the concrete plan. Fantasy plans are put in a hot tub, wall treatment in the reading nook, put in a kitchen vent hood, install various lights and dimmers that we mostly have on hand already, and give a mini facelift to our tired 80’s master bath. Maybe remove some more wallpaper if I can bear to. Gah. But yay for the coming reno in the hardworking hall/girls/guest/main bathroom!

  8. I feel so much like a kindred spirit. We are 98% done with the bathroom in the basement. The guestroom is at about 50% and the hallway down there makes me want to cry.
    We have put vinyl plank flooring in the two bedrooms upstairs and the hallway. My dream is to use it throughout the upstairs. 4 years in and I still like it. We have a dog and now a toddler and it is holding up well. I love real wood flooring, I grew up with it. But, I also saw the damage dogs and children caused. And where we live it is insanely expensive.

  9. Hello from Canada! I recently renovated our cottage and used Luxury Vinyl plank flooring by Mohawk (USA) that looks like your picture. Easy to install and looks great. 12 mil wear layer durability and 4.2mm thick. It’s a floating system that has the planks click into each other and locks so it makes the floor waterproof. One issue though – it scratches and scuffs a bit too easily. So you need to add foot pads under all furniture and keep the floors cleans to keep grit from scratching it. I recommend you get a sample of the flooring you are considering and ask your boys to test its durability. My boys were great testers when they were Good luck. And don’t be too discouraged with not getting all your list done as you are busy raising a posse of boys! ;)

  10. We installed vinyl Plank and love it! I love that I don’t have to worry about water on the floor with littles. We went with Shaw for cost reasons but really liked, and originally ordered, Karndean. (DIY installation for a 2,100 sqft house ran just over $4,000 with Shaw, but would have been double with Karndean – at least at the 2 years ago with whatever promotions were going at the time!)

  11. Thanks for the post, Ashley. I am also leaning toward LVP for our kitchen renovation. I love the attitude of, “It looks good, it’s affordable, and it holds up to our life with kids and a dog.”

    I would caution you about laminate with young children and pets. My mom loves laminate, but hers is really noisy when you drop stuff– and kids are always dropping stuff. And I think vinyl is softer under the feet.

  12. My parents raised my brothers and me in a 1970s home they bought in the 1990s. The first thing they did was remove the 1970s carpet all through the house. We probably lived on painted subfloor for about four years while my parents sorted out what they wanted. They eventually ran hardwood throughout the living space and the master, but they put a wood look linoleum in all our kid bedrooms rooms and “playroom.” I always thought it was a cost-cutting measure, but my mom recently told me she knew we’d utterly destroy whatever flooring was in there and she didn’t want to murder us over hardwood. They finished out the hardwood a couple years ago…and looking at the condition of the old lino coming out of our old rooms, I think they made a fantastic call.

  13. I understand the limits of a real family budget and boy play (4 boys, 1 tomboy); we’ve been walking on OSB for years while we save for new floors. However, when I looked into the safety concerns with vinyl, I decided to pass. I also have a mold remediator friend who recommends a waterproof click system to go with any waterproof surface of the plank. Personally, we’re holding out for cork plank instead. Sooo hard to wait even longer. Have you considered DIY plywood plank? More work; kind of like DIY engineered hardwood, but budget friendly. We have 30 year old red oak flooring in our kitchen, dining, great room. Yes, it needs to be refinished eventually, but it might outlast me. Whatever you decide, I’m sure you’ll make a thoughtfut decision for your family and it will be beautiful!

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  15. I love the green barn The wdoors! What you have accomplished all looks fantastic! I can’t wait to see what the kids room looks like once you finish it. The wood accents in your kitchen are lovely- it really warms everything up.

  16. Nope. The lack of attractions is a year-round condition, not a viable explanation for why summer crowds would be lower than non-summer crowds. But you already know that; how much will it cost me to cross this bridge?Car Rental Cape Town

  17. House goals for the year (all recycled from the last, oh, 3-8 years if that makes you feel any better):
    1 – FINISH the new bathroom. We had the master bath (postage stamp sized) gutted and redone. But we are doing the painting and decor. It’s done. Except for the paint and a few things that need to be touched up like caulk and finding a way to finish out the shower edge. It’s been 98% of the way done for 9 months. It’s getting done this year.
    2 – gut and re-do the pantry. Should only cost about $150 + sweat and time.
    3 – re-do the laundry and put the finishing touches on it. Like hanging the drying rack…
    4 – outfit the “coat closet” that I want to customize with cubbies and actual shelving. And leftover LVT from the bathroom reno.
    5 – update my kid’s bathroom. It’s just a sad mix of purple, green, pink, and brown. Updates to make it cohesive would be about $1100 + sweat and time. (I’m sure the idea of not being able to take a bath for 3-4 days will break my toddler’s heart.) I’d like to gut and re-do it completely, but that’s not in the budget this year.
    6 – Add the half bath downstairs. We have tornado warnings (and tornadoes) regularly here, so not having to run upstairs to go to the bathroom would be a lifesaver, especially for a potty training toddler. Still need to price this one out, but it’s higher on my list than a new kitchen (which has been on the list for 9 years, but isn’t going to happen this year or next).

  18. I love the traditional look–you still managed to keep it modern and fresh. I am always jealous of other peoples thrift store finds . . . we don’t have many thrift stores out here, and it’s next to impossible to find anything good in the ones we do have. Those stockings are super cute! paint by numbers for adults

  19. Nope. The lack of attractions is a year-round condition, not a viable explanation for why summer crowds would be lower than non-summer crowds. But you already know that; how much will it cost me to cross this bridge?birthday photoshoot

  20. I have never done the vinyl flooring, but would urge you to consider tile that looks like wood. I will never do anything else. Dogs, mud, it’s so indestructible. The cost is a huge draw. We used Cabot series Redwood Natural. It looks like reclaimed barn wood. It has a rectified edge, so you can use a tiny grout joint that literally looks like the space in between wood planks. We don’t even need to seal the grout. You’ve been living on concrete floors for 4 years, it’s not going to be any harder than that.

  21. It’s always refreshing to reflect on the past year and set new goals for the future, especially when it comes to personal and professional growth. Your 2019 review and 2020 goals post provides valuable insights into your journey and aspirations.

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