April 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 April – high school yearbook style. Most Outdoorsy: Digging Out The Liriope That Covered Nearly 80% Of The Future Patio Area Most Domestic: Making Sue The Napkin into Sue The Pillow Biggest Crybaby: Sharing Clara’s Terrifying Slash Miraculous Birth Story Most Likely To Result In Cursing: Having An Epic Battle With My Sewing Machine And Squeezing Out A Party Banner Hoppiest: DIYing An Easter Basket

Building A Paver Patio: It Begins!


Note: For those reading this post during happy hour, feel free to turn it into a drinking game and take a sip every time you read the word liriope. Or maybe just a half-sip. Don’t want things to get crazy. Woot. We’ve officially started to attack the side patio (previously mentioned here and here) that we want to bang out in time for Clara’s big b-day bash in two short weeks. That’s right, in the words of Cee Lo we said “forget you” (yes, we prudes sing the PG version) to the insane ten-ish rows of liriope. And John only had to dig about half of it up thanks to two friends of ours who

Sew Simple: How To Make A Pillow From Two Cloth Napkins


Duuuuude. I got back on the proverbial sewing machine horse. What? You haven’t heard that expression. Whatever. The point is: Sue the Napkin is now Sue the Pillow! Or more accurately Sue The Pillows (yup, I made two of them). Here are my materials: Four Sue The Napkins (I originally got ten when we found them on clearance at Crate & Barrel, but I picked up four more so I could make two pillows using four of them and still have ten leftover to use as dinner napkins). Oh Brother (my trusty sewing machine, more on him here) Two old pillows to use as the “inside” of my new Sue pillow covers A needle and

Let’s Take This Outside


First of all, the outpouring of kindness and support that you guys showed to our family yesterday is both humbling and amazing. Thanks for the helpful words of encouragement and for sharing your stories. But enough with the heavy stuff. How about something light and fluffy? Let’s go on a looooong overdue photo tour of our yard (a la Katie B’s), shall we? You’ve gotten a few select glimpses of what we’re working with in this post about our carport/driveaway, this post about our “alley”, and this one about the magnolia out front. But there’s plenty more to show (that’s your warning that this post will be photo-heavy – so much so that it took

Clara’s Birth Story


It’s nearly a year late (I can’t believe I’m going to be the mother of a one year old in three short weeks). And the reason for the delay is simple. Thinking / typing / talking about the day that Clara was born still scares the pants off of me. Even 11+ months later. This little lady made quite the dramatic entrance. Yup, the day that Clara came into the world was the most amazing life-changing day of my existence, but it was easily also the single most terrifying one. I’ve mentioned some details a few times in comments on other Clara-related posts (many readers wanted to know all about the bean’s birth right away)

%@*@%ing Sewing Machine (Making A Fabric Bunting)


I try not to curse. Really I do. But sewing is just not in my genetic makeup. I mean I can do a little button fix by hand and even stitch the last side of a pillow closed manually, but the other three sides that you’re supposed to do with a sewing machine? Yeah, I’m I disaster. Growing up my aunt and mom sewed all the time (they made all my Halloween costumes and my aunt even sewed my mom’s wedding dress) but whenever I tried to learn on my mom’s machine I broke it. Not just jammed it or temporarily messed it up, I legitimately ruined it (at least six episodes ended with my

Easter Bid-ness


We’re pretty sure Clara has a new favorite holiday (although it could be that Easter is just the first major holiday that she’s finally old enough to really enjoy). Either way, someone had a fantastic Easter weekend. Her love of Easter could also be skewed because as far as she knows, the festivities stretch over at least 5 days. We actually kicked things off last Wednesday with an egg hunt at a local park with her older cousins Jake (who turns 13 today! Happy Birthday Jake!) and Olivia (age 10), since they’d be spending Easter weekend with their dad’s side of the family this year. She found two eggs (aka, Sherry and I handed her

Fab Freebie: If Walls Could Talk


***This giveaway is no longer accepting entries – look below to see who won!*** First, a reminder that you can always get 15% off your WallQuotes.com order with code YHL15. But the three people who are getting $100 credit to go along with that (thanks to random.org) are… Kaycie Christine (whose walls would talk about episodes of shows like American Idol and Real Housewives of Beverly Hills), Michelle (whose walls would say “these people are nuts!”) and Bette (whose walls would complain “too many photos already!!”). Congrats ladies! WallQuotes.com is hopping on the giveaway train this week and hooking up a trio of winners with $100 worth of vinyl wall quote-y goodness. They’re removable and

What To Put On A Console Table Behind A Couch


The console returns. Yes, the console is like Rocky and Batman movies. The sequels keep coming. Maybe instead of The Console Returns we should say “Console: The Final Chapter” or “The Console Strikes Again” or “I Still Know What You Did Last Console.” No? Fine. We’ll stick with The Console Returns. Yes, after many (many) posts about our big console build, this is the official finale. And this one is the most exciting for me because it’s all about the fun stuff I put on it. Haha. I’m deep, what can I say? I’m sure it’ll constantly change, but here’s what it looks like today: The lamps were more than we’ve ever spent on lamps

Buying & Installing A Rain Barrel For Earth Day


Happy Earth Day everyone! (And Happy Birthday to Sherry’s little brother, who’s also known as Almost-Doctor-Dan <– warning, very cute baby Clara pics here). In honor of this eco-tastic holiday, we thought we’d share a story about driving down the street and noticing this sign: We’d been meaning to get a new rain barrel since we left the old one that we made at our first house when we sold it. Of course we would have been happy to make another one, but we had yet to get to that part of our to-do list (and sign up for a local course to get our mitts on a large food safe barrel). So we took

How To Make New Wood Look Old


As promised, here’s the more detailed scoop on how we got our pristine store-bought whitewood from Home Depot to look worn and aged on our completed console. This was our first time really going for a weathered look, so it was a kind of an exercise in “we’ve seen this done before, so let’s hope it works out for us.” The good news: it worked. The better news: it was pretty easy to do. It was sort of a one-two punch of distressing + staining that really did the trick. So let’s start with the first punch – courtesy of my fists. Well, at least my agression. The starting point, as you probably recall, was

Giving The Gift Of Painting


Sherry, Clara, Burger and I took our little home-improvement-hungry hands on the road this past weekend to help out a few family members in Northern Virginia who, by coincidence, have also moved recently. There must be something in the water – or at least in our gene pool – that has us all relocating lately. First up was my little sister Carrie, who we managed to get zero pictures of so here’s a random shot that she sent me after the fact (that guy on the left is her boyfriend, Robert, who will be making another appearance momentarily). Carrie just rented a new apartment in Northern Virginia last month (you may remember us helping with

How To Build A Console Table: It’s DONE!


Well, it took us 3+ weeks, but our 12 foot long DIYed living room console table is officially finished! Before I get into any more pics of the final piece in place, let me back up a bit and recap some of the most recent constructions steps that got us there (since the last time you saw our console table it was stained but still topless). As you know, we had to turn to Plan B for the top since the pallets didn’t play nice (more on that here) so after lots of driving around town in search or something reclaimed that we could use (where sadly nothing was the right width or available in

Something’s A Little Off


If this post were a fable, its moral would be – when something in your home just doesn’t feel quite right, do something about it. Or wait for it to randomly die on its own accord and take it as a sign. We’ll use this light hanging in our living room as our story’s lead character. You may remember that there’s always been something “off” about it – it’s the only permanent fixture in that huge room, and it’s placed awkwardly in a corner (which is why Sherry tried to distract us from the annoying placement by adding a bit of color to the glass shade to cheer things up while I was out for

How We Made Clara’s First Birthday Invitations


It’s her party and we’ll DIY invitations if we want to. You would DIY them too if it happened to you if you were us. After all, our wedding invites were homemade… … so how could we phone it in for our daughter’s first birthday party? Even though much-more-talented-invitation-designers like Mrs. Limestone generously offered to lend a hand (so nice), we stubbornly set out to attempt to create our second party invitation ever on our own (well, with the help of a cute baby and a computer). I guess we just have a thing for doing it ourselves (ya think?). So we started out with a very familiar set-up to our weekly Clara photos like

Fab Freebie: A Break From Boring


***This giveaway is no longer accepting entries  – see who won below!*** According to random.org, our two giveaway winners are… Amy I. (who’d enjoyed a weekend away and then a few days at home for her pretend spring break) and DebbieRN (who’d go to Sanibel Island). Don’t you wish there was a no-adult-left-behind official grown-up spring break? Since many of the kids in our county are out of school this week, it made us think about how nice it would be if every adult scored the same week-long break from the office grind. Luckily this week’s prize from The Office Stylist promises to inject some fun (and function) to your desk job. They’ve got loads

How To Make A Giant Hallway Frame Gallery


Isn’t it strange how you can start a project (in this case the gallery of frames that we wanted to “wallpaper” our hallway walls with) and then just leave the other half of it undone for a month. Not weeks. Literally a month. What’s wrong with us? And it’s not like we weren’t obsessed with the results of the first half of the project (recounted here): We just ran out of frame gas or something, so we switched over to console building and chair painting and closet organizing and ceramic dog gluing and tree trimming and sectional leg spray-painting and all the other odd things that we’ve tackled since our little wall-hole-making spree. It’s so

Hanging Two Mirrors = Gaining Two Big Dry Erase Boards


In our last office we found that hanging a mirror helped keep us organized. Not just because we noticed if we had something on our face, but also because we could write on it with a dry erase marker to keep track of our to do list (and could even use it to write a welcome message to our guests since that room slept our friends and family as well). When we moved I missed that little organizational corner, so I started taping a comically small piece of paper on the wall with a list of things to do. And then it grew into two lists, one on each side of the large doorway. The

Thanks In Bloom


Woop, here it is. Our monthly “thank you” to our sponsors for making the other 30+ posts possible and keeping food Easter candy on the table. As usual, we’re sharing items that catch our eye from each one of ’em – not that we’ve been gifted anything (here’s our no-swag policy). Don’t forget to peep the special discounts blossoming (just a little spring humor) at the end of this post. Hoppy hoppy joy joy (yup, I switched to Easter humor). Fresh, inspiring, and luxurious textile collections from Lacefield Designs Fun collar and leash options for fido (like this bloom design) at Hollywoof Styles. The unique glass tile options from Design for Less, like this aqua

My Secret: It’s Goo Related


Raise your hand if you think I’m anal. (I’ll pause while you do that). Well, I probably am. I’m definitely type A. But I think there might be a misconception that our house gleams and the faucets are always shined and there aren’t any toothpaste splatters on the mirrors. Yeah right, I wish. We tried to disprove the whole perfect thing with this video (yes, we leave clothes on the floor and mail in a pile like the rest of the population- haha) and it seemed like the masses were relieved. We’re human I promise (although I’m pretty sure if I weren’t human I’d pretend that I was for assimilation purposes), and my dirty goo-related

Prying Pallet Planks Apart (It’s Hard!) & Continuing Our Console Build


How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if  woodchuck could chuck wood? What do I look like, a woodchuck expert? I have no idea. But I do know the answer to a related yet far lesser known riddle: how many pallet planks could a Petersik pry free if a Petersik could pry free pallet planks? You practice saying that five time fast while I walk you through the answer. You know by now that the plan for our mondo 12′ long DIY console table (last shared here and here) was to build a rustic weathered-looking top out of some old pallets left in our yard by the previous owners (spotted in the background of this

Painting & Hanging Big Metal Keys On Our Gallery Wall


Remember when we mentioned snagging these old iron keys for $8 in an antique store in West Virginia while visiting John’s grandma? Well I finally got around to painting them and hanging them in our hallway frame gallery (see how we made that here). Where did we squeeze them in? Well, see that card stock placeholder key? That was, well, just a placeholder. I could have easily spray painted them for a quick makeover but since I love to use no-VOC paint whenever I can (especially since I have a huge gallon of white paint around at all times), I opted just to brush on a few coats by hand. It’s the same semi-gloss Olympic

Adventures In Painting An Upholstered Chair (Yes Painting It!)


Alternate post title: “In A Minute, I Have To Hairdry The Chair” Guys, I did something crazy. Since we’d like to take our $25 hotel-ish dining chairs to a crisp not-patterned apple green (the curtains I want to make will be patterned, so I just want chairs in a fun color but without a pattern that I’ll tire of) I decided to paint them. I know. Insane. But I didn’t think I had much to lose since the backup plan is to reupholster or slipcover them (both of which would still be entirely possible if I didn’t like how the whole painting thing turned out). I went into it as a hmm-this-experiment-should-be-interesting thing. Nothing was

Fab Freebie: Give Peas A Chance


*** This giveaway is no longer accepting entries – scroll down to see who won! *** According to the always impartial random.org, our winner is… LAUREN (who dreams of a world where it is easier and cheaper for everyone to eat good, real food). Congrats Lauren! Trendy Peas is taking a spin behind the giveaway wheel this week to dish out 250 “pea” bucks to one lucky person. So if you haven’t checked out their modern kid-friendly and nursery-ready art, now’s a good time – especially if you’re already a parent, have one on the way, are invited to a baby shower, or just have a penchant for playful art, canvases, wall decals, and stationery.