Blogiversary IV: Anatomy Of A Blog Post

Ever wonder what goes into writing one of our posts? No? Well, we’re gonna tell you anyways. Consider it another peek behind the scenes and into our crazy blogging minds a bit further. We probably take our post writing a bit more seriously than most folks (but maybe we should since paying the mortgage depends on it) so we’re certainly not saying this is how it should be done. It’s just how we do it.

In general terms, most of our project-oriented posts go through these stages: from planning & prep through doing & documenting things, all the way to posting & responding to comments.

Those of you who write blogs about your home probably go through a similar process. Of course sometimes the process is fast and can happen within a day or two, and sometimes it’s quite long (as you’ll see in a moment). And on any given day, we’ll be juggling a few different projects/posts that can be at very different stages since we usually share eight of them in a five day span. The chart below is just hypothetical, but the dotted line shows how at any one time we could be writing a post about one project, while doing, planning, or responding to comments on several others.

But we already covered what any given day could look like, so let’s turn back to the purpose of this post: following the path of a post. Let’s use our bathroom mirror project from earlier this month as our example, since it was a bit of a (mis)adventure in its own right.


8:30 am-ish: Sherry realizes it’d be good to have a last minute one-day project to share in the coming week – specifically on Monday (aka tomorrow) morning. Yikes. I suggest framing out the bathroom mirror since it has been something on our list since January and it sounds pretty simple. Sherry likes it, so I scout the web for some tutorials / advice (including Layla & Kevin’s experience) to help send us down the right track.

10 am-ish: After breakfast, we all hit up Lowe’s to stock up on supplies – i.e. mirror adhesive and trim (Clara “drives” the cart while Burger rides in the back – gotta love that dogs-allowed policy). We like doing things like this together so we can both come to an agreement on materials (like trim in this case, which comes in a ton of sizes and shapes) instead of one person staying home with Clara while the other one nervously makes all the decisions alone.

11:30 am-ish: Now home, Clara goes down for a nap and I dive in by taking “before” pictures of the door and then remove it. Sherry’s in the office writing another post for that week.

1:00 pm-ish: The project is slow going since I take a few more pics of the process than I end up using, but it never hurts to have more to choose from when it comes time to write the post. I finish putting the glue on the door, Sherry helps me place the mirror, Clara’s starting to wake up… and that’s when I realize that the directions on the adhesive say to wait at least 72 hours before sealing the edges. Crap. There’s no way this will be done in time to share Monday morning (or Tuesday or Wednesday for that matter). We kick ourselves for not thinking of that. Time for Plan B.

1:15 pm-ish: Plan B is the pallet compost bin I’ve been wanting to make. Sherry’s lukewarm on the idea (afraid it will also take too long) but it wins because we already have all of the supplies (i.e. pallets & screws) on hand (and shopping for supplies and doing an entirely new project isn’t likely to be accomplished in such a short time period). Sherry feeds Clara lunch and I head outside. The rest of the afternoon is spent making, photographing, and writing about the pallet compost bin (Sherry is beyond relieved that it’s done) as the mirror sets in the sunroom.


10 am: Pallet compost bin post goes up, no one is the wiser (until now) that it was a pinch-hitter post. The mirror is still setting…


9:00 am: My mom is over to do her regular three-hour Wednesday morning babysitting, so I use it as an excuse to return to the mirror project (even though I’m a couple hours shy of the 72 wait time) while Sherry begins refinishing wrestling with her rocker. The directions do suggest waiting a full week before sealing the edges, but having had our plan to share it this week already thwarted, we’re determined to at least have it ready to share next Monday. We have guests scheduled for the weekend (because of my cousin’s bridal shower) so it has to get done before Friday.

10:30 am-ish: Taking pictures along the way slows me down a little (trying to match lighting from the previous set of photos is a bit of a challenge), so it takes me this long to realize the 3/4″ trim that we bought isn’t thick enough (looks cheap and flimsy). I hope Sherry disagrees and can convince me it’s okay, but instead she comes to the same conclusion before I can even finish my sentence. Looks like a $5 college mirror (not that we didn’t both have one of those back in the day). Sigh.

10:45 am: I duck out to Lowe’s again to find thicker trim.

11:30 am: I’m back, thicker trim in hand. Clara’s napping, so my mom has left. Sherry’s busy responding to comments and I fight off deja vu as I measure, cut, and re-take pictures of my new trim process (which is why most of the previous photos were never used).

12:45 pm-ish: Thankfully I finish gluing the trim in place before Clara’s up from her nap, meaning that I’m available to go on baby watching duty (instead of having to pull Sherry off of comment-responding duty since so many are coming in at once). Trim glue sets in place overnight.


11:30 am: Clara’s down for her morning nap (once again) and Sherry’s doing comments (once again), so I get a head start on cleaning the house before our weekend guests arrive the next day. I figure that it has been nearly the recommended 24 hours set time on the glue, so I’ll “clean up” the sunroom by getting rid of the bathroom door that’s been living in there nearly five whole days. I screw the door back onto its hinges and voila – we’re done!

11:45 am: The excitement of having privacy returned to our bathroom makes me decide to take a shower (Clara naps are extremely valuable for squeezing these in).

11:55 am: Shower done. I’m dressed and on the computer responding to emails while Sherry takes a phone call in the living room. Then I hear “BAM!” followed by “poundpoundpoundpoundpound.” I recognize the latter as Sherry’s urgent footsteps. She informs me the former was the sound of the mirror falling. Sugar.

Noon: Fueled by frustration  – both at myself for screwing up, and at the mirror gods for teaching me not to rush a project – I get right to scraping off the half-hardened glue from the mirror, door, and trim pieces. Scraping was a good way to release some anger, I’ll admit.

1 pm: Mirror is re-glued (this time with feeling!) and we come to terms with the fact that we’re just gonna have to let this thing set for a full week… and our sunroom’s gonna have a half-completed bathroom door when our guests arrive (not to mention that there will be a doorless bathroom in our bedroom). Oh well, worse things have happened.


Hurricane Irene hits and our guests decide not to travel. Bummed we won’t see them, but at least our chaos won’t be on display to them… not that we had any electricity by which to see it anyways.


8 pm: Clara has gone to bed and our one-week-long timer is about 12 hours from going off. I hesitantly jump the gun a bit, but knowing that we’ll be out of town over Labor Day weekend I have to get a head start. Plus, the sunroom is getting cramped with Sherry’s office cabinet painting which is going on in there too. So with my glue supposedly set and some “security” nails placed around the edges, I lean the door up against the wall (almost vertical) with a pillow at the base of it as an “overnight test.” I figure if the mirror is gonna fall again, the least it can do is fall before I bother with the trim a second time.


8 am:  The mirror survived the night standing up, so I take pictures of the nail system now that it’s light out again. I didn’t bother photographing it earlier because I was still unsure if it would work and already had wasted enough time taking photos of things (the small trim cutting process) that wouldn’t see the light of day.

11 am: With Sherry on comment duty and Clara napping (are you sensing a theme about when I get things done?) I lay the door back down and re-glue the trim.


8:30 pm – 10:30 pm: Being out of town for Labor Day forces us to let the trim glue set for a few days, but that means we can make progress when it comes to writing the post (since the project is nearly complete). While my siblings and I watch a movie at my parent’s beach house, I sort and size all of the photos taken so far. Then I write the post, leaving spots for the after photos that we have yet to shoot.


11 am: Traffic got us home too late on Monday to do anything but unpack and fall asleep, so I use Tuesday morning to rehang the door. Sherry suggests that I take “after” pictures before it falls again (such a comedian, my wife) but (1) the light is bad due to the rain and (2) I want to be sure it survives a night before calling it a true success.


8 am: Victory! The door looks great in the morning, so I break out the tripod (it’s rainy again, so not much light – I’ll just have to do my best) and start snapping after pictures. Sherry plays with Clara until she becomes determined to be in the photo stare at herself in the mirror.

9 am: After photos are taken and uploaded. I quickly size them and upload them into the post. Sherry trades me baby for computer, and gets right to proof-reading since we only have about an hour to go live.

10 am: The post is up. It’s two and half week’s later than planned, but at least it’s up. Sherry camps out moderating comments for a couple of hours while I entertain Clara for another hour-ish before naptime.

11 am: Sherry’s still responding to comments, so for me it’s back to sizing pictures and writing another post, this time it’s for the office desk top post (which was constructed and poly’d the afternoon before and is currently waiting to fully dry before it gets accessorized, photographed, and posted the next morning). The thing about sharing eight posts in five day’s time is that we always have to have a few in progress, a few in the early planning stage, and of course the finished ones have to be written up and those comment questions need answers. So it’s sort of like juggling eight balls… but in a fun no-day-is-ever-the-same way.


Admittedly that process was a bit more drawn out than a lot of our posts. Some are much quicker (like Sherry’s butterfly art, which only took about twelve hours between beginning to posting) but that wouldn’t have made for a very dramatic story, now would it? Conversely, some projects actually take longer (like our wall to wall desk or our patio or our laundry room – which is why we prefer to tackle them in stages and just share our progress along the way).

Was there anything that surprised you about what goes into a post? What do you do in your job or daily life that’s more involved than some might think?


  1. Liz says

    That mirror would probably have not survived my wrath, which likely would have led to cutting myself on a glass shard, which of course would have made me even angrier. Good job keeping your cool.
    By the way the Layla & Kevin link isn’t working. Don’t know if that’s on your end or theirs.

  2. says

    It’s amazing that you can essentially only really get things done when Clara’s napping! When I read your posts I totally imagine that you two do each project together, all day long, smiling and taking photos. I didn’t realize that so much of what you do is dependent on the other person doing something else at the same time! Fantastic teamwork, guys!

  3. says

    “She informs me the former was the sound of the mirror falling. Sugar.”

    Best line, because we all *know* that is totally not what you said/thought. As I was reading about the process I had to laugh because my inner super proper elegant woman was saying “mother f….” and “son of a bee sting” (name that movie). It wasn’t even my project, yet I was thinking the same things that I often say when a project goes haywire like that for me.

    It really can take that long. I’m with you on the blogging in (relatively) real time. If I did it any other way on my blog just wouldn’t work.

  4. Brittany says

    I’ve tried blogging about my craft tutorials and such but no dice, I am just not good at it. But I think most of it is my time management. These post help really put it all into perspective. We are hoping to move into our 235ish year old farm house and I would love to blog about it all like you guys have! Thanks for the inspiration!

  5. says

    I’m sure y’all get this comment a lot, but you guys seem like you’d just be fun to hang out with. Enjoying this week’s posts and graphs. Congrats on four great years.

  6. Barbara says

    I just want to thank you for your great blog. I wait, impatiently, each day for your posts.

    I think your conversational style is important in ‘hooking’ readers. I also appreciate that your projects are doable for those of us who can’t afford mini mansions. You show us that it is possible to live well on modest means. Your self discipline not only in maintaining a smooth flow of posts but in making sure that you have covered all the bases for your’s and Clara’s future is to be admired.

    I love organizing posts and would love to hear what books Clara is recommending. I have a granddaughter who is one month younger than Clara. Clara posts really help with gift buying ideas.

    • says

      Oh my gosh, she has so many favorite books right now. She loves anything with Maisy the Mouse (by Lucy Cousins) and also adores this odd little book we found at the library called “Where’s The Cat?” – hmm, what else? She loves Moo, Baa, La La La by Sandra Boynton. Really, anything by her is a favorite.


  7. says

    I used to dream of doing what you do, making a living blogging from home. Until this week. Now I’m just thankful for my 40 hour a week desk job. Because seriously, you work SO HARD. I mean, projects on a Sunday? I’m happy if I manage to change into real pants on a Sunday.

  8. says

    Thanks for this post. It’s so easy to believe that my husband and I are the only one’s who have small projects that take months to finish or have so many hiccups, especially when reading blogs or watching TV. It’s refreshing to see we aren’t the only ones.

    I also just started a blog about organizing, so seeing the anatomy of your posts is quite helpful.

  9. says

    Like others– long time reader (3years?), rare commenter. I think I found your blog when I was googling something for a house project– then when we got engaged I read all about your backyard wedding. I love your personalities on this blog– so down to earth and dorky/fun. And I think it’s especially neat for me as a ‘newlywed’ to “see” your partnership in action, and to see a generally positive one at that. Sometimes it feels like everyone expects us to be miserable now that we’re married, so it’s fun to see you two a few years ahead of us with baby in tow, still appearing to like each other :)

    Any who, I originally was going to just say how fascinating this week’s posts have been, including your descriptions of your daily activities with Clara. Love it! Also, I totally prefer the colorful twist of this house– I was never a beach house person, you know? Plus I think it’s more challenging, since the default isn’t white, and you have to juggle colors. Can’t wait to see how it continues to evolve!!

  10. Hanna says

    That was a great play-by-play! I especially liked it because it started to feel like one of my home improvement projects (AKA there is always that “what was I thinking?” or “why didn’t I read the directions???” moment in there somewhere).

    What surprised me a little was realizing that sometimes the requirements for the week’s posts actually dictate the projects that get done. You guys are so good at making the blogging part seem effortless it is easy to forget how much planning, timing, and strategy needs to go into it in order to give us a consistent reading experience every week.

  11. Jessica says

    So much work goes into your blogs – thanks for sharing. Also – your pinata idea from Clara party is on Tori Spelling blog today:)

  12. says

    Congratulations on 4 great years! Love all the inspiration on your site – cannot wait to get out of this tiny apt. and decorate a *real house haha. Thanks for being awesome guys – we love to read your posts & *dream. :) P.S. stumbled on this on pinterest (best site ever) – paint chip art anyone? we saw the first idea and immediately thought of you guys – enjoy!

    • Hanna says

      You just game me a brainstorm. My friend is decorating her nursery in a winnie the pooh theme. We picked out some disney colors from Home Depot to repaint a dresser… but maybe I will steal a few more chips and make decorations for her shower! Thank you!!!!!

  13. Debby says

    I’m loving the Blogiversary posts! One question though, would you/did you post the results of the poll on this blog? I love polls, but every time FB asks for permission to access my information, I click cancel. ( Scary internets phobia, I guess.) I would really like to see the results :)

  14. tara says

    I think I’ve commented more this week than I have in the last two years! I’ve loved reading all the behind the scenes things this week. You guys have so much on your plate with Clara and the blog and you are AWESOME at both:) I think I speak for everyone when I say we totally appreciate all your hard work!! After reading about everything that goes into YHL, I hope you guys do find that balance between work and family/relaxation time…I actually feel bad commenting because of the billions of hours you have to spend approving them:) But at least you know you are loved!!

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