LIFE II 18 in 2018 Progress Update

Desert 2 District Design II Stay Sunny

Desert 2 District Design II Stay Sunny

If you found this blog through my instagram, then you probably know about my fondness for list-making and goal-setting. It's probably not a surprise that I'm a Virgo. Although I've always loved goal-setting, I haven't always been the best at tracking my goals, especially long term goals. I often set grand goals, make progress, and then decide that I did enough or I'll lose interest and move on to the next project. 

This year, I am trying to see my 18 in 2018 (AND my new 30 before 30) lists through. So, to give myself a little accountability, I'm going to do periodic updates on my progress on both lists. Tackling my 18 in 2018 list first...

Desert 2 District Design II 18 in 2018 progress

Desert 2 District Design II 18 in 2018 progress

I actually surprised myself a little with the amount of progress I made so far this year! I've made the most progress on my art and home-related projects, with a huge amount of help from my sweet and handy husband. I have my new art space all set up (which I LOVE and use daily), we made new side tables, and after a ton of deliberation and months of searching, we also finally ordered a new couch to replace our $50 IKEA couch that we've had for 3 years. 

I've also made a little progress on my travel goals--we went on our first international trip in years last month, spending a blissful three days in Playa del Carmen

I'm making progress on my monthly and weekly goals as well, although I'm doing better at some vs. others. Date nights have been a wonderful new tradition. I don't know if any of you are as obsessed with Google calendar as I am, but they have a new "GOALS" feature where you can tell it you want to set aside an hour (or any amount of time) for a goal once a week (or whatever frequency you want) and it'll find time on your schedule for you and create recurring appointments. It really made finding time for date nights easy for me, as an overly scheduled person, and we haven't missed one yet. 

I've also been doing my at least monthly spin classes thanks to Classpass, but injured my shoulder fairly seriously in the last month and am finding it hard to get back into my routine now that it's finally starting to heal. I am also really struggling with the bedtime routine. I'm great about it for a couple nights and then I'm back to somehow staying up until one in the morning and slogging through the next day.

Do you have any ideas for how to get back into a workout routine after injury or how to make a bedtime routine stick? If you have a list, I'd love to hear about your progress too!

Have a sunny weekend!



2/18: DIY Tiny Space Art Studio

Desert 2 District Design II DIY art studio


Tiny Space Art Studio

Guys, I cannot tell you how excited I am to be checking this off of my 18 in 2018 list! Thank you, Gretchen Rubin, for the idea of creating this list because it has seriously motivated me to work on all kinds of things I have been putting off. I FINALLY have my own, dedicated art space and it is just such a joy. I had put this off for a long time because I didn't think we could possibly have space for me to have a "studio." We live in a 760 square foot, 1 bedroom condo in D.C., so I was pretty certain there was no chance. But, we had a blank wall leading into our bedroom. When I started painting bigger pieces that didn't fit on my music stand or kitchen table, I would sit on the floor there and lean the canvas against the wall and I started to think that I could really fit everything I needed right on this wall if I just used the space wisely. I am SO incredibly happy with the outcome. I love having my supplies accessible, but organized. I love just seeing this space every time I walk by. It keeps me motivated to paint every day and I look forward to being here at the end of each day so much. 

My husband and I (labor was 99% my husband, but I consider myself the brains behind this design) were also able to put this together in a weekend, so it was relatively simple. The total cost of supplies was around $120, and we have some extra wood from the shelf that we'll be using for upcoming projects. 

Desert 2 District Design II Tiny Space Art Studio

Desert 2 District Design II Tiny Space Art Studio


  • Wall-mounted drop-leaf desk (we purchased this one)
  • 2x6 board, cut to the length you want (ours is 32 inches)
  • 2 brackets and screws (we got these)
  • dowel, cut to the length of your shelf (we got a 3/4 inch wide dowel)
  • 3 screw eyes that fit around your dowel
  • S hooks that fit your dowel for hanging your supplies
  • sandpaper
  • sealer or wood stain


Mount your drop-leaf desk. I have seen projects to make your own, but given that it was relatively inexpensive, we decided to buy ours and followed the instructions that came with the packaging to install it. I like to work standing up so I had M mount it so I could comfortably reach everything while standing barefoot, but you could easily set yours up to chair height.


Gather your supplies and have the hardware store cut down your dowel and board to the length you want. 

Desert 2 District Design II Tiny Space Art Studio

Desert 2 District Design II Tiny Space Art Studio


Sand your board and apply a sealant. I just used some matte spray that I already had. You could also stain it if you prefer that look.


Mount your shelf, using the two brackets and screws. M pre-drilled the holes and then used an electric screwdriver to mount everything to the wall. He also used a level to make sure everything was even.


Screw the screw eyes into the bottom of the shelf where you want the bar to be. It helps to pre-drill these holes as well if you have an electric drill. Add the dowel. You should be able to slide it through easily.


Add the S hooks and your supplies. Now get creating!

Desert 2 District Design II Tiny Space Art Studio

Heading back to the studio...

See you soon!