Back from the Beyond: My Friend Staci returns!

When we last met, two years ago this week, I had literally just started my career in real estate, which has been going well so far. I was also pouring my energy into TheVoyageer.com which I’m happy to report has been doing great — at least until COVID-19 slammed the brakes on any and all travel-related web traffic.

Click here to start a home search in Southern California.

Now, participating in “safer at home” for 19 days at this point, I am naturally turning inward. Thinking about home, thinking about comfort, and looking at new corners of my home in ways that I haven’t in a while.

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Had a couples’ photo session in our home this fall preparing for Christmas cards :) 

With that in mind, Doug and I resolved to conquer a project we had been putting off for about three years. I have had the vision to use the leftover wood from our living room paneling project to do a similar treatment in the office/guest room. That room is tricky since it serves two purposes but I’ve been purging the items in there bit by bit which is helping it feel less crowded and more stylish. We are going approximately halfway up the wall with the paneling. You can watch the progress on my Instagram story highlight!

I never shared the “after” of my paneling project here, so let this casual Instagram serve that purpose for now until (if/when) I style and shoot. If coming back to myfriendstaci.com is something that comes out as a result of COVID-19, I’ll feel good about that.

What did I learn from my last paneling project that I’m implementing this time?

  • Paint the wall first
  • Paint the wood panels before installing
  • Don’t forget to paint the edges of the wood panels
  • Measure and cut the boards all at once

By using these lessons learned, we were able to cut and paint the boards on one day, and install them on the next day! The next step will be to patch, caulk, and sand, and then finally paint. I think we can do everything except the painting without any trips to the store! I call that a #stayhome win.

What have you been up to these past two years? 

Looking Back and Forward

2016 was supposed to be The Year of Focus, and it’s hard to say how that theme played out for me personally. Was I truly more focused? Hard to say. In this post I’ll do a little bit of reflecting on different areas I cover in my blog and how I feel I did last year and what I want to change (or keep) for this year.

One of my major resolutions was to blog more.¬†“More” is not quantifiable, so more specifically, I wanted to beat my 2015 blog post count‚ÄĒand I did! In 2015 I posted 15 times (shameful) and in 2016 I posted 36 times. I struggle with how over-saturated the blogging world is, and I try to create high quality posts. I am proud that I spend a significant amount of time creating each post, but I still think that this year I can speed up and increase my post frequency. So, there’s a goal for 2017:¬†Bring my monthly average to/above 4 posts/month.¬†

Shakespeare and Company

This small victory in increased post numbers certainly owes a lot to my monthly book club posts. Being part of a book club helps keep me accountable to not only reading, but processing my response to it through writing. It is easy to read a book or watch a series without processing it, and this step has been missing from my entertainment consumption so I’m excited¬†that it’s continuing this year. Goal: Keep¬†book club going.¬†

2016 Book Club Posts: 

london-8

My goal for 2016 was to focus on two big trips instead of multiple small trips. I did so-so on this goal, since we sneaked in a trip to Mexico City at the end of the year, went to Kansas for a wedding in October, and went camping a few times. I certainly took fewer weekend trips than I did in grueling 2015, so that was nice. I never blogged about my March trip to Washington, DC. I meant to do so in the fall as the weather got cooler, but now here we are. Goal: Process trip photos in less than 3 weeks from arrival back home.

2016 Travel Posts:

While travel blogging was my first love, home blogging was my second. I barely put out home posts in 2016 and one of my major goals for My Friend Staci this year is to put out more home posts. Goal: At least one home post per month. 

A Bright and Cozy Loft

2016 Home Posts:

Thanks for joining me on this little¬†journey back into 2016. I¬†feel like I didn’t blog much but now that I am reflecting, I’m proud of the high quality work I did last year and I’m energized for blogging in 2017.

As Summer Wraps Up…

If you didn’t know, I work at a school: and school has now begun! It occurred to me that my work year is split equally into thirds– Fall, Spring, and Summer! Summer seems to go by so fast, so I was surprised once I measured out that each segment is four months. ¬†(Alert the “duh” police).

School Photo

And thus! We all¬†enter our¬†last four months of 2016. Doug’s birthday is today (Yay!) and so last night we looked back on all we’ve done this past¬†year. A lot!! Super busy! You’d think I have a lot to blog about, but I’ve been too busy doing stuff to keep up. A good problem to have, I guess. :)

Poll Results

Anyway,¬†the results of¬†last week’s poll! Thanks to my high school Excel class for showing me how to make a pie graph.¬†A big thank you to those who voted. It looks like people want me to write more about interiors, which I love, so I will definitely take your feedback to heart. The¬†write-in votes for Pets and Food made my heart sing.

I hope you are having a wonderful week. See you tomorrow for my book club review of The Unknown Americans!