You know something’s up if I’m posting on a Tuesday!  Am I getting married?  Having a baby? Marrying a baby? Eating a baby like a frog?  It could be any one of those things (oh YES it could TOO) but … it isn’t.  I’m going to get to the miraculous reason for a post on Tuesday in a moment, but to lead into it I would like to show you what you were all asking for yesterday.



You may notice that, well … I ran out of fence boards.  I need one more to finish the gates. I wish I could say that I decided to make the gates bigger than I originally planned and that’s why I ran out of wood, or I ruined a piece of wood by cutting it wrong, but no, that’s not why I’m missing a board. I missed a board because math makes my head explode and I miscalculated. I’ll be running out to pick that missing board up first thing in the morning and finishing the gates before I even check my emails because this is EXACTLY the type of thing it’s easy to put off.

And I know that putting it off doesn’t mean just forgetting about it.  It means I’ll be just barely thinking about it until it’s done.  It’ll be that tiny little thought in the back of my mind that pops up every day … “finish the gate … do the gate … you haven’t done the gate …” And those recurring thoughts will eventually become so exhausting I’ll have to have a partial lobotomy just to get rid of them.  Or I could just finish the gate.


I know what I’m talking about.  These are just a few of the huge projects I’ve tackled  in the past few years …


coopI built a chicken coop 


I redid every inch of my backyard.


I built a cob pizza oven

July-garden-2013I ripped all my front yard and turned it into a vegetable garden

Warmlyyours 13

I smashed out all my ceramic tiles and installed heated floors.

And on and on and on and on and on and on ….

So I know a thing or two about not only starting big projects, but actually finishing them.

I know how to eat a frog.

And judging by the responses to my survey a couple of weeks ago you all have a LOT of frogs that need choking down.  62% of you say you have a BIG project that you’d love to get done this summer.


So I’m ridiculously excited to tell you about The Summer of Doing Stuff.


I’ve always loved including challenges on this blog, the most famous being The Christmas Pledge.  You’ve also taken part in my Organizing ChallengesFood Challenges and even my Give a Compliment to a Random Stranger Challenge.  

The Summer of Doing Stuff is the entire summer of FUN challenges for you and I to do together. (It’s a special project on top of my regular blog posts.)

June, July and August will all be devoted to a different 30 day challenge that we’ll do together.  You can either do one of the challenges, or commit to the entire summer of challenges.  I’ll be doing them right along with you and guiding you the entire way to help make sure you’re successful.

Also, because it’s a whole GROUP of us that will be doing this together (complete with a private Facebook page) you’ll have all kinds of people to lean on, get support from and complain to when necessary.

Nearly 4,000 of you filled out the survey in the first 3 days, and let me know what it really was you wanted to challenge yourself with this summer.  The results are in, and they dictated what this summer’s monthly challenges were going to be.


Like I said, 62% of you wanted to EAT THE FROG.  Finally start or finish that project you’ve been putting off and getting it down at the beginning of the summer means you’ll have the REST of the summer to …

RELAX!  I know.  This is a hard one.  If you read The Art of Doing Stuff, chances are you’re a doer.  A person who thrives on filling your days with stuff.  Relaxing makes you anxious.  Nervous.  July’s challenge is MADE for you.  WE are going to relax.  If it kills us. Relaxing isn’t for lazy people!   Learning to relax is very important for us doers.  But sometimes it’s really hard to do.   I promise, that if you take the challenge to relax in July I will MAKE SURE YOU DO.  Even if it kills us. There will be meditative walking, sitting, reading, breathing exercises and more things to help you learn to relax.   If I do my job right, by the end of the month we’ll all be a puddle of goo.

THE FOUR ROOM CHALLENGE for August challenges you to go through 4 rooms in your house and clear them out!  Clear it, clean it, calm it.  One room per week means it won’t be overwhelming and we’ll be able to retain a lot of that July goo.   By the end of the month we will be the envy of those around us because we’ll have empty spaces on shelves and extra room in our cupboards.  We’ll be like people who live in television commercials.

 Click through any of the links above to learn more about The Summer of Doing Stuff and how you can take part in 1, 2 or all 3 of the challenges!

This concludes today’s special Tuesday post.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I have stuff to do.


  1. Becky says:

    I’m in, if for nothing else, the four room challenge.

  2. brenda says:

    I have a really big frog to eat this summer (I have to pack up my studio and figure out how to disperse the contents of a lifetime of art doing into my home, garage, spare room and little storage space) … I have until the end of August … maybe I can relax and really make a real meal out of it. hmmm

  3. Alisha says:

    Eat The Frog has been making an appearance in my life repeatedly in the last week. I’d never heard the term before and even started the audio book on youtube this morning! Maybe the universe is trying to tell me something…

  4. ellen says:

    RELAX????? For a whole month????? I am going crazy thinking about that. I can’t do that!!!!!

  5. Mark says:

    I have many frogs to eat this year….

  6. Laura Bee says:

    Oh God Karen…I need this badly. I really do. Only 4 rooms? Well, two only need paint and wallpaper (that I already have) Maybe eat those frogs & then I’ll have only 5 rooms to organize.

    This could be good…especially the relaxing.

  7. MissChris SA says:

    Count me in – even though it is winter here!
    June may be quite a big challenge because of the wedding – but I am going to give it a bash anyhow!!

    Thank you for the proverbial kick up the jacksie!!

    • Karen says:

      “kick up the jacksie”, lolol. That’s a new term for me. Love it! See you in the challenge! ~ karen

  8. jen says:

    Hmmm…great minds and all that! I actually set myself a 4 rooms challenge at the beginning of May. But 1 room a week???? That is just NOT going to happen! Even with my sister’s (Dynamo Di) help, just 2 rooms are almost finished. To add to the mix, if it’s nice weather I find myself dithering between working indoors and tackling a plethora of garden projects. Another 4 rooms worth 😉

  9. Sherry in Alaska says:

    Oh, I think so! Sounds like a great way to bring my summer into focus! The package of three is a bargain and hopefully by investing even this small sum, I’ll finally eat several of my frogs.

  10. Rhonda "Smartypants" Davis says:

    This may qualify as me eating a frog. Maybe it will seem like a pollywog to you, Karen, or even a tadpole. Trust me. The lifecycle of a frog means it’s a pollywog tonight and a full grown frog by tomorrow morning in my world.

    Here goes: you know that I love you whole bunches; love everything Karen, right? Yeah, except not loving the ads following me all over the page on your site. Pesky little buggers that will not fade quietly into the background. Get in the way I found my usual thorough enjoyment. So irritating that I fear I am developing TMJ from grinding my back teeth. Seriously, do what you can. I doubt I am the only reader this bugs, but it’s my frog and I get to daintily dab the corners of my mouth as the last bitty frog toe wriggles inside my lips. (Gulp, ‘ribbit.’)

    • Rhonda "Smartypants" Davis says:

      Yikes! One line in my previous post sounds like an ignorant backwoods relative was trying to write something but an ad got in the way. Oh, well. Proves my point.

    • Karen says:

      Sorry Rhonda! I know ads aren’t the most fun thing to see or read but I have to make a living and the 3 ads I ran before weren’t doing it. Think of it like a magazine. Magazines are filled with ads, you scan past them and keep reading, that’s all. (plus you have to pay for the magazine in the first place, lol!) ~ karen!

      • judy says:

        I see this complaint on this and other blogs and I think there has to be a glitch somewhere because my ads are completely well behaved, They sit on the right side of your post and attempt their brain infiltration into my wallet and soul but I heed them not. I am the follower with rooms full of earlier temptations and I am going cold turkey…er..chicken on buying ANYMORE Stuff! The bags of clothes are multiplying in the night dear Karen…Sob……

      • Rhonda "Smartypants" Davis says:

        Yes. I may (or not) pay for mags; however, it would be irritating if the ad placement covered the contents op FC the magazine.

        Not complaining about ads. Complaining about placement that overlaps your text.

        Okay, ‘frog’ is gone. Plate cleaned .

        • Karen says:

          You must have some sort of a glitch Rhonda because the ads shouldn’t be covering the text. Try a different browser or clear your cache. Or if it’s an ad that can just be closed like the kind at the bottom of screens, just click the X and close it. ~ karen!

        • Nancy Blue Moon says:

          I never get those ads that some people complain about either Karen..Maybe they should try an ad blocker…

        • Karen says:

          Um Nancy. You realize that with an Ad Blocker that I make even less money than I do now right? Those ads are my only source of income. 🙁 ~ karen!

        • Nancy Blue Moon says:

          No I did not realize Karen..I will have my son unblock your ads for me..what would I do if you were so poor that you couldn’t tell me what to buy at the Dollar Store?…

        • Karen says:

          It’s true! Yup. That’s why a lot of bloggers block anyone who is using Ad Blocker. There’s only a very small percentage of people who use it on my site so I don’t be bothered. My goal in live is to make enough money to actually BUY a Dollar Store, lol. ~ karen!

        • Karen says:

          Your ads do not bother me as they all appear on the right side of my page. I know you need to get paid for all your work so it (ads) are ok by me. On some blogs I formerly read ads were so “in your face” and so many, I don’t read those blogs anymore. Thanks for all your hard work!

        • Karen says:

          Did you try changing your browser Rhonda? If you’re still getting overlap email me the browser you’re using and a screen shot of what it looks like so I can send it to the ad agency. ~ karen!

        • Kelly says:

          I might understand what Rhonda means; on mobile sometimes but now always, an ad on the bottom that should be X click able just isn’t and ends up covering your post. It very may well be a problem on our side.

    • Danni McLaughlin says:

      Since you aren’t ‘paying’ for the entertainment value of Karen, and face it, it’s something worth paying for, that’s your payment. I mean, Karen can’t afford her lavish Dollarama spending habit on her charm alone!

  11. Lofty murrphy says:

    I am in the middil of fixing upmy old carvan and it tacking for ever,as the van is small pop top and I am 6’7″ so not mutch room to tern around. It is going to be white,bright yelow on all the cubid doors. Every time im in there I cume out with a stiff back.

  12. Jenny W says:

    I’m all In, but I forgot what big project, that I filled out in your survey, that I wanted to do in June.
    I need to #doallthethings & #eatthatfrog
    But first, I have to try to remember my Twitter password and finally join Instagram!
    So many Frogs-So little Time 😀

  13. Maureen Locke says:

    I wish I could join but working 6 days a week until the end of August barely gives me enough time to clean the bathrooms let alone take on a challenge. 🙁

  14. Rose says:

    You are frickin amazing! Your projects turn out looking like professionals did it. Even the garbage doors. I’m going to have to strong arm my daughter and husband into the 4 room challenge because it’s their stuff!

  15. Sandi says:

    I am IN!! Finish the Kitchen for June!!! Huge project, 1/4 done, glaring at me every single day.
    Thank You for the push!!

  16. Katie says:

    Ohhhh… I might have to Eat the Frog. My husband and I have been talking about ripping out and redoing our kitchen since we moved into our house… 7 years ago. We enclosed the outdoor breezeway off the kitchen last year so we could move a door and turn the corner with the cabinets, but we still haven’t pulled the trigger on the kitchen… It’s scary!

  17. Melissa says:

    Now I can’t remember if I answered “eat the frog” as part of my three, even though it was the first one I marked— see, I have such a frog to eat that I admitted it, then chose some of your other lovely options to avoid my frog. Then, I may have realized that running from the frog is bad, and thus re-checked that option. Anyhoo…

    I think I have lots of frogs—- will part of the June workshop involve figuring out *which frog* to eat first?

    If not, I’ll have to write stuff down on slips of paper and then choose one at random. Either way, I will show up for frog-eating =)

  18. Emily Carver says:

    I would love to participate but I just lost my job and ….. well that involves money. I love reading your posts!!

  19. Rhonda "Smartypants" Davis says:

    Yo, Karen! Count me in. Even though my three didn’t win, I’m game. Kinda used to being in the minority; yet two are close facsimiles of my choices. I know me well enough to know there is one or more lesson awaiting me in this challenge. So, onward and upward.

  20. Shelly says:

    When I die, I want to come back as one of your chickens! That’s the best chicken coop I’ve ever seen. Anyway, I’m in on your challenges this summer. For June, I’m rescreening my window screens and sliding patio door screen. Since I’m in between jobs right now, I’m pretty sure I can find tons of other things to do next month.

    • Shelly says:

      Oops, didn’t realize there was money involved! I’ll join in on spirit then! Still got to rescreen anyway:)

      • Karen says:

        Yup, sorry! It’s a lot of extra work and I can’t do everything for free, lol. ~ karen!

        • Shelly says:

          Oh, I totally understand! Blogs don’t run themselves, and with the following you have, I get it. I have a small needlework blog with almost 200 followers but I’m small potatoes! I don’t have the gift of gab like you so I’m good with my wee blog! Have a good one:)

  21. Liz says:

    Yaaaahhsss!!! I think this may be my favourite post ever. I’m the opposite of doer and the epitome of gate building leaver, frog eating avoider. I love this blog for so many reasons, but likely because I’m like a weird voyeur of you getting so much awesome sh*t done! This challenge may be the cosmic reason I read here 🙂 Excited.

  22. Ann Gray says:

    I definitely want to do the four room challenge which I should have done in the winter when I thought I would have all kinds of time. I blame the weather man – not enough cold snowy days!

  23. tiffany says:

    I have to pack and move a 5 bedroom farmhouse and decide what to take to a bed-sit granny flat in my son’s house and it needs to be done now! Each time I make the 6 plus hour journey I promise myself I will not just spend the time mooning around my three acres wishing I could just twitch my nose and have it all transported, including the ancient apple trees and my greenhouse. I am overwhelmed at what’s involved. This time its plants and soil but there are rooms of stuff that need sorting and discarding.

  24. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    I want to be just like you when I grow up….Seriously…I would like to do the 4 room challenge but right now I have to save all I can for a car…Hard to do when on Social Security Disability…If I get a car and have enough left before it starts I will send you $29.00 to pay for joining in…

  25. Flash says:

    soon as I finish reroofing the RV and installing its new subfloor and carpet, finish the sauna house and the smoker, the treehouse, put new flooring on ATV trailer and bigger wheels, inset the tv cabinet INTO the wall. make cabinet doors and install, redo moms bathroom so its elderly friendly.. remodel whole upstairs bathroom…
    I promise to join you. LOL
    lov your blog

  26. Ronda says:

    We have started our summer project, and are already a week behind due to the tree guy not coming when scheduled. But the Manitoba maples had to go! Not a pretty tree. Have had to push back everything, which is super annoying! But we shall persevere, and plug away at it. We should be finished before the end of June, so just nibbling at the frog! And Christie is on the weekend, so everything will stop for that!

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The Art of Doing Stuff