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A Few Good Things Happened, Too

This was... a year, to say the least. In our lifetime, I can't remember a singular moment when the entire world was having the same collective experience simultaneously. For better or for (mostly) worse, 2020 will probably go down as one of the toughest years in history. Hopefully it takes that crown and stays that way. That being said, instead of harping on some of the negative we've all probably felt in some way or another, I'd like to highlight a few of the good things that happened this year. However before getting this going, a small disclaimer, qualifier or whatever you'd like to call it: I think it's important to note that both Hugh and myself were fortunate enough to remain employed and avoid the plague that has swept the earth for almost a year now. The purpose of this blog entry isn't to humble-brag or commit some tasteless, influencer-y "look at me!" atrocity- it's solely to make an attempt at trying to retain a positive outlook on this ~thing we call life~, and to be thankful that we and our families have remained in good health. Anyway, with that said, let's begin our year-in-review rewind.

1. We Were Able to Focus On Home Projects

This one isn't groundbreaking. Pretty much everyone I know that was able to work from home also utilized this additional free time around the house to make said house work better for them and their families. In our beloved but sometimes frustrating city of Philadelphia, our collective renovation projects even sparked a response from the Mayor, asking us to please hold off until the waste management crews can keep up. Boo, Kenney. Boo. From creating a more functional, live-work environment, to various aesthetic changes, to different DIY projects, here are a few highlights we were able to accomplish this year.

We finished our home office wallpaper and layout.

We restored this antique mantle, and with some help from CS Contracting, were able to create these built-in bookshelves & fireplace as a focal point in our living room.

We switched up our kitchen! (new hardware, with some sanding and painting- check out our Instagram highlights if you'd like to see some before and afters).

2. We Got Chickens!

This is probably the most interesting life update we've had in recent memory, pandemic-aside. Hugh and I had talked about getting chickens for a while, and given that he grew up on a farm and had experience with them, we pulled the trigger on bringing four, feathered dino-birds into our family. And evidently, we weren't alone in our quest to raise chickens this year. While we kept them inside under a heatlamp, Hugh was able to construct their entire coop from scratch in eight days! This has to be the DIY "Project of the Year" for us, most assuredly. I knew a little about chickens, about as much as anyone does, really. They lay eggs. They eat bugs and stuff. What I didn't know was how quickly those little fluffy floofs would become an integral part of our family- seriously, I had absolutely no idea how cute, curious, affectionate, and smart our fluttery girls could be (more on that, here.) So, cheers to becoming our own working mini-farm and occasional petting zoo!

3. We Upped Our Backyard Garden Game

Now that we had chickens, we were motivated to perfect our backyard farm strategy in the garden department as well. We might have been slightly inspired by Biggest Little Farm (if you haven't seen it, you should). We started composting all of our fruit and vegetable waste to use for nutrient-rich soil, moved our beds in better accordance with the sun, planted a self-fertiziling apple tree, and let nature do it's thing- well, not really. We went light on the nature part and heavier on the tender love and Type-A care part. Understandably, we had some successes and some failures. Some plants succeeded and others, well, less so. Nevertheless, we learned the canning process and are still enjoying our bounty this winter! All in all, it was a learning year in the gardening department- and probably every other department. But hey, that's what life is all about, right?

4. We Were Able To Take A Few Driving-Distance Trips

I think I can speak for everyone when I say that vacations didn't go as planned this year. And that's all I'm going to say about that. However, it did allow us to focus on other types of trips we normally wouldn't have considered, and possibly never would've gotten around to without a travel-ban. So that's a positive, right? We were lucky enough to have some time off to take road trips up to New England on two separate occasions this past Fall. The first was to Boston and Salem, because witch stuff and clam chowder, duh. The second was to Maine's Midcoast, because who doesn't want to unwind in a cabin on the coast with their friends and copius amounts of wine? Nobody, that's who. So without further rambling and picture-painting, here are some actual photos.

Boston & Salem (via iPhone, sorry)

Georgetown, Maine (via DSLR, ur welcome)

There are, of course, a few other non-photographed standouts from this year as well that we're more grateful for now than ever: we were both able to safely see our respective families a few times, we got to cook and bake using our chicken eggs, we learned some new recipes, and we started this blog (I'll try to update it more next year as part of my 2021 goals or whatever), just to name a few. Lastly, I'd like to thank everyone who followed along this year on Instagram or this page. Starting this little side-journey with our home projects has perhaps been our mental saving grace this year- when we couldn't do anything else, we could always find something to work on in the house. And on top of that, it has been a really positive diversion from all of the negativity one encounters on the internet and other forms of media. We're really thankful for all of you and all of the kind words we've received this year! Cheers to *prayer hand emojis 🙏🏽 🙏🏽 🙏🏽* a New Year and a better 2021!

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We're @thisyunkyhouse! Follow along as we work through DIY projects, dive into plant-care, whip up some tasty recipes, and raise our backyard chickens!

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