March Superlatives


Note: This is a retroactive post that I cobbled together in December of 2011 so I could make this page full of monthly recaps for the entire year (our first in our new house!). Yup, I’m just a bit type A. So here’s what we tackled throughout the month of March – high school yearbook style. Most Archeological: Digging around in the dirt next to our driveway to find all sorts of things (and eventually cleaning things up after the treasure hunt ended). Most Likely To Result In A Crack Joke: Hanging a ceiling medallion in Clara’s room (to solve a cracked drywall situation). Most Times Square-esque: Our new chandelier from Ikea, which we hung

Seven Minutes Of Your Life You’ll Never Get Back

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I don’t know what possessed me to record nearly 10 minutes of mundane family time, but here’s Clara, Burger, John and my annoying behind-the-camera voice in all of their glory: Don’t say I didn’t warn you about losing seven minutes of your life watching something so painfully uneventful that it even bores the people it stars. Haha. But for anyone wondering how we spend our evenings, sometimes this is it. Psst- My girl Amy tipped me off that Michael’s has a “25% off your entire purchase” coupon that’s good thru Saturday the 2nd. We scored a few giant canvases that were already 50% off for an extra 25% off. Just wanted to toss that out

Limbing Up Trees So You Can See The House Again


Alternate post title: Trees: 0. Sherry: 2. You might not remember what our first house looked like when we bought it so I’ll remind you: And this is what it looked like five hours after John left and I went crazy with a clipper (surprise!): Three cheers for being able to see the house. And we gained a view of the neighborhood from our front windows. You know, instead of the view of a dense “tree fence.” So much better. Plus it was free and gave me a nice little arm workout. Of course that house’s curb appeal was a pretty constant four and a half year evolution (these things take time) so when we

To Grandmother’s House We Go


A few weeks back we packed up the car, went over a few rivers, and through a bunch of woods to go see my 89-year-old grandmother (aka Granny) in Huntington, WV. It was primarily a weekend of eating and baby holding (is there anything better?) because we were joined by my parents, my cousin Erin, and her 2-month-old son Finn. But we managed to squeeze in a few side adventures that we thought you all might enjoy… which we would’ve shared sooner if most of the pictures weren’t stuck in photo purgatory on our old point-and-shoot camera (we finally found the camera cord that we lost during the move this weekend). Here’s the obligatory “Clara

Spray Painting The Legs Of An Ikea Couch For A More Finished Look


That’s right, Karl‘s legs are pale no more. After some thought we decided to give all 12 of our sectional’s cheap looking birch legs a coat of oil-rubbed bronze spray paint to deepen them and give them a subtle sheen and dimension that brown paint just wouldn’t offer. It was pretty easy except it necessitated a bit of Karl disassembly. Poor guy. But once we got all of those legs off it was as simple as sanding each of them with low grit paper by hand (I used 60 grit stuff I had around). Although the legs looked pale and stain-less, they actually had some sort of clear finish on them (here’s one before sanding):

Fab Freebie: Get Your Soapbox On


***This giveaway is no longer accepting entries – check back soon to see who won!*** Good news – everyone can get 10% off Mrs. Jones Soapbox products using code YHL10! Even better news (for two of you), has chosen our winners as… Jenna (who can’t wait to clean up and declutter her office) and Erica (who’s excited to clean her garage of all the winter cobwebs, salt and dirt). Congrats! Spring is (mostly) in the air, so we figured this week’s freebie will excite anyone who is setting out to do some spring cleaning and doesn’t want to disturb the fresh spring air with the scent of chemical cleaners. Since we’re not ones to

Petersik Hotel & Conference Center


We finally scored some chairs for the dining room, thanks to this craiglist ad emailed to us by our friend Sandra (muchas gracias!). You’re probably thinking: what are they thinking?! Parsons chairs? Yup, that’s exactly what we’ve wanted since day one. Thirty bucks? Yeah baby. Weird green and blue swirly pattern? Um… no comment. But since the price was right (we actually bargained them down to $25 per chair, coming to $200 total for all 8) and the shape/lines were right (they’re solid and very well-made) we figured it was time to pounce (with some reassurance from a few online tutorials about dyeing fabric, making slipcovers, or reupholstering parsons chairs). So in the end we

Monster Eyeballs


Three cheers for a $12 fifteen minute project that makes us giggle. Because sometimes you just gotta laugh. We switched out the old knobs on our dining room built-ins. The first step is to put on your safety goggles and protective gloves. Kidding. The first step is to unscrew the old ones and the second step is to screw in the new ones. So easy. Here’s a little in-progress action shot for ya: And here are the new ones all “installed”: But back to the whole monster eyeballs thing. When I fell in love with these greeny-yellow knobs at Hobby Lobby (for $1.50 a pop thanks to a 50% off sale), it never crossed my

Three Months In…


We finally got around to updating our House Tour page with some progress pics and it dawned on us that we haven’t really done a progress report about the new house since this one at Day One and this one at Day Fifteen, so here’s where we are at a little over three months in (Day 101 or so). Here’s the house’s original formal living room that looked into the original dining room on moving day (which we decided to turn into an entryway/dining room that looks into a home office because that better suits the way we live): Here’s the dining room looking into the converted office now, thanks to arranging those shelves and

House Crashing: Crisp & Classic


This house crashing adventure in Northern Virginia had us drooling over materials and finishes, especially in the kitchen and the bathrooms. Talk about a gorgeous place to come home to. And here’s Melissa The Homeowner now, so let’s go in. Her house was actually built in 1940, but she and her husband Jim added an awesome addition to the back of the house in 2009 which included a new kitchen. And it just happened to be one of the most amazing ones we’ve ever been in. So we’ll cut right to the chase. You can see it down the hallway near the front door… … and it’s glorious. Is it not? Everything from the thick

Oh Snap.


And now for a behind the scenes ceramic animal related story. While we were working on this… … this happened: Since I’m still not ready to talk (or write) about it in depth, here’s John’s depiction of how the tragedy occurred: Alas, my favorite giant ceramic dog (snagged from HomeGoods three years ago for just 29 bucks) sadly lost his face. In the words of the world’s most famous blogger, it sucked and then I cried. Yes, there’s a candle lit vigil in progress. Goodbye Mr. Ceramic Dog. You were a wonderful pet. Never had to clean up after you once. Until this happened. I might try to glue him back together (although some of

The Big Two Nine


Now that all the birthday bid-ness is over I can tell you guys all about it. It was sweet. Turning 29 didn’t really feel any different than the past few b-days and it involved everything from a foot massage with shaving cream (John mistook it for the lotion bottle) to Clara taking her “first crawls.” Holy cow it was amazing. Everyone, including the doc, thought she’d just go straight to walking since she has been scooting around on her butt for a while – and even recently started pulling up. But lo and behold she decided it might be fun to give crawling a go (you know, just for kicks) and we even caught it

Fab Freebie: The FLOR Seasons


***This giveaway is no longer accepting entries – see who won below!*** And the one lucky winner (as selected by is… Laura (who says “Me likey fall. The air smells so fresh and clean!”) Congrats! Everyone’s favorite modular carpet square maker is back for another giveaway, and this time it’s bigger and better than their awesome 2009 prize. This time FLOR is gonna hook our winner up with enough tiles to build a custom 8 x 10′ rug – which also breaks down to be enough tiles to create a runner and a smaller area rug if that’s more your style. Oh, you’ll be able to pick from ANY of their 100+ colors and

Not Your Father’s Dresser, Well Actually It Is


As we PS-ed in last week’s rug post, our hunt for a new master bedroom dresser recently came to a surprise end. We’d been trying to find something to replace this old Malm dresser that we’ve had for 5+ years (we literally bought it on an Ikea stop the day we moved from NYC to Richmond in a big red minivan) which will soon go live in the guest room. It’s clearly too small for the wall. It’s not 100% functional anymore (the middle drawer got little wonky during the move) and it has a few visible battle scars from bouncing around our last house (at various points it lived in our bedroom, our guest

Using Paper Templates To Create A Giant Wall To Wall Frame Gallery


We’re back with pics of our hallway that we “wallpapered with frames” for lack of a better description. We think it created some pretty quick dimension and interest that’s sure to be fun for the whole family. Literally. We love that we can work in drawings by Clara, class pictures, and photos of favorite vacations for the whole family to enjoy. As for how we did it, you saw how I cut out little newspaper templates for all of the frames that we already owned (we actually had a lot of them from various arrangements in our first house, seen here, and even had a few unused ones snagged on sale a while back that

Toe Heaven


Yup, that’s how I’d describe our new living room rug. We have a case of happy feet. It’s even more plush and amazing than expected. But before we get to all the juicy rug pics we need to tell you guys how much we love you. The overwhelming support, kindness, and hilarity that you bring into our lives – not only on this morning’s big announcement post, but on the regular – is humbling, inspiring, and completely and utterly amazing. So smooch. I just virtually kissed your face. Oh snap. Now back to Big Green (since it is St. Patrick’s Day)… Although it’s so thick that you’d think tumbleweeds of green fuzz would be rolling

Newspaper & (Some Big) Paper News


Considering that delivering The Washington Post was my first real job (because what 6th grader doesn’t like getting up at 5am everyday?), it’s kind of an “is this real life?” full circle moment for me that my current gig (this blog) has landed us in the pages of that very same newspaper. My dad (a.k.a. my newspaper delivery partner) has never been more proud. We had no idea it would be such a big write up (with a giant cover picture in the Local Living section, but after we got over our vanity (is my hair weird? does Clara look cute?) we couldn’t believe how awesome it was. Who are we and what did we

Finials (They Stay) & Art (Might Go)


Remember when we took Ed The Bed’s top rails off and mentioned needing some finials to finish things off? That’s where a finial fashion show comes in. Yup, I’m nerdy like that. I ran out to Home Depot and Lowe’s where I bought these four options and I gave them all a spin on Ed to see which ones we liked best. Here’s the spread: The long wood “finials” on the top right were actually chair legs from Lowe’s, but I just wanted to see if something long and lean was the way to go. And you know we like to use “weird” things as other things. So legs as finials wasn’t that much of

Another Round Mirror


Just can’t get enough of them these days. I think it’s because of all the rectangles and squares that abound (from windows, doors, and beams, to things like beds, cribs, and fireplaces with right angles galore). It’s just nice to add some curves to break up the square-fest. We got this guy at Hobby Lobby on sale (they were offering 50% off all wall hanging items, yesssss) for $65 – down from $130. Not bad for an ornate 30″ oil-rubbed bronze beauty, right? We know it looks a smidge small for that big expanse of wall (see first pic), but once we hang curtains high and wide on the giant picture window – and scooch

How To Conceal Damaged Tile


Sometimes I go crazy and I demo stuff without really thinking too hard about what I’ll do after the demo dust clears. See, for some reason when I stopped and stared at all those crazy towel racks in our hall bathroom for the five hundredth time… … I decided it was time to get the hammer and take a stand. Because who really needs that many towel bars? And who decided to put that one on the left so crazy off-centered below the window so it would protrude halfway out of the shower curtain? Especially when there’s room for a cute little hand towel ring on the un-tiled wall next to the sink near the

Fab Freebie: Initial Impressions


***This giveaway is no longer accepting entries – get a discount and see who won below!*** Everyone can score 10% off a purchase from Initial Presents with code YHL10 through March. And our two random winners of $75 gift credits are…Angela (who’s ARS initials sound like a pirate talking ’bout its booty) and Cecilia (who’s CRS initials are pretty run of the mill). You probably know by now that we’ve pretty much never met a monogram that we didn’t like (I know that’s a weird thing for a dude to say, but I like letters and typefaces, sue me). So if you dig that particular brand of classic personalization as much as we do, then

Come To Momma


Yes, it’s yet another rambling rug post. What can I say- our old hardwood floors give us splinters (remember this episode when I got one in the badonkadonk while painting?). And rugs are definitely great building blocks for a room – so we lean towards introducing them on the early end whenever possible. And after dragging the ol’ 5 x 8′ yellow rug back out from the guest room for Clara to play on until we got a more appropriate sized rug for large & in charge Karl the Sectional, we finally found something that made us excited enough to whip out our credit card. Yup, we ordered this amazingly textured & bright rug for



Spring is in the process of sprung-ing here in Richmond and we’re boiling over with excitement. Warm weather? Yes please. Green trees? Bring it. Flowers blooming? Duh, winning. So to those of you who aren’t on the brink of spring yet, we thought we’d send a virtual dose of the season – courtesy of some photos of what’s starting to happen around here – like the little buds that are showing up on the hydrangeas that we’ve inherited. Spring is especially exciting this year because we get to be surprised by whatever magically decides to pop up around the new house – and we finally get to see what our property looks like in all