Fab Freebie: Trick Or Sweet!


***This giveaway is no longer accepting entries – see who won!*** Hope everyone had a happy Halloween! The two folks getting an extra candy fix (thanks to random.org’s choosing) are… Johanna (who loves Rolos) and Clare @ Fitting It All In (who’s an M&M addict). And the winner of a pair of tickets to our local R.Home For the Holidays event on Nov 16th, featuring a presentation by Grace Bonney, is… Randa! Congrats everyone! Since we can’t giveaway goblins or ghosts, we’re celebrating Halloween with a candy-tastic giveaway instead. No costume wearing or door knocking required. The prize comes from our favorite local candy shop, Sweet Spot. Their store is not only designed in a

Cabinets & Costumes…


We knew we weren’t likely to find $1 cabinets again (like we did for the office built-ins) but we couldn’t resist checking out the Habitat For Humanity ReStore for the four cabinets that we need to create the peninsula and build in the microwave/fridge (we’re able to reuse the 36″ cabinet that used to live where the stove now sits, so that saved us some major money). The good news is that we found three out of the four we needed! And only spent $90 total. Yup, we got a corner base cabinet for the peninsula for $50 and two upper cabinets (one for over the fridge and one slightly taller one for over the

Bowers In Da House


I promised more Bower visit deets on Wednesday when we dorkily spilled the beans that Katie B and I had been together in a series of photos that can only be described as awkwaaaard (get to the root of that joke here). You know we love a good Bower Visit Breakdown (like this one, this one, this one, and this one of yore). But before we get to all the stuff we did together, we’ll share the little video that we made for ya. Because KB and I always get the same few questions: how did you guys meet? are you real friends or just blog friends? how long have you been friends? what were

Comparing A Bunch Of Counter Options (And Picking One!)


We’re inching right along in the kitchen (wish we could share kitchen updates every day but we’re doing this thing real-time). Which brings us to our latest decision: the new counters that we’ll be going with. We’ve been debating possibilities for weeks (there are a junkload of options out there with pros and cons to each one). And ten people would probably make ten different decisions, so it can feel especially hard to hone in on the “right” thing since there are so many variables. So here’s how we landed on the choice that we like best for our kitchen/family/life. But first the thing we’re sad about: although we had high hopes of DIYing concrete

Some Slap Happy Office Art


You know… slap happy. As in it makes us happy and we slapped it up on the walls without over-thinking it (to the point of what-should-we-frame paralysis – which can happen if we’re not careful). Although we did talk about a few other options and eliminate them based on certain factors, such as: one giant piece of art on each side of the window = too symmetrical for our taste, and too repetitive with the big rectangular window in the middle (so it would look like three big boxes) open shelving = too much shelving since there are two walls of it thanks to the dining room built-ins (it would be shelving with more shelving

It’s baaaack…


Yup, Katie B (and Will & Jeremy) drove up to VA to pay us a visit this past weekend. Sneaky little Bowers. And among other things, we posed in the yard holding big white signs. You know, the usual. We’ll share more what-we-did details a little later in the week, but for now we’re here to issue the second ever Pinterest Challenge (it’s not actually sponsored or endorsed by Pinterest – we’re just obsessed fans). My Pinterest addiction runs deep (as you know from this heartfelt post of yore), so a few months back when Katie called me to say that she thought we should challenge ourselves to make one thing each season that’s inspired

Reader Redesign: Bathroom Gone Gray


This latest before & after comes from one of our neighbors to the north, Kahley from Ontario, Canada. She and her husband Steve revamped their home’s only bathroom. And in the process proved that going dark and sophisticated can still be bright and airy. Here’s her letter: We are a young family of four – me, my husband, and our kids Noah (4) and Lexie (2). The only bathroom in our house dated back the 1950’s, so it was HIGH TIME to reno!  Since it was our only bathroom, we wanted it to be insanely multi-purpose. We needed a tub AND shower, some closet space, a dirty laundry area, lots of concealed storage, etc etc

Bush Fence, Begone!


We did it! Over the course of two nice long Clara naps (and with a little help from a friend) we managed to open up our front yard in what we like to call “Phase Two Of Ten Million” when it comes to slowly transforming our front yard. Why so many phases? Well it started out looking like this: Much like our first house’s yard, we figure it’ll take a few years of tweaks to get it where we want it, so this phase was just about clearing things out for a you-can-actually-see-the-house-now effect (Phase One was limbing up the magnolia). In short: we dug up/transplanted/removed a ton of bushes (with the help of a

Fab Freebie: Cameo Appearance


***This giveaway is no longer accepting entries – see who won below!*** Random.org cut its way through over 6,000 entries and picked our winner as… Stephanie (who would love to have a few hundred laughs with Zach Galifianakis). Congrats! I believe it was the renowned Dave Coulier who once immortalized the words “cut it out” on Full House… but I don’t quite think Uncle Joey had a clue what potential those words could hold when it came to the Silhouette CAMEO digital cutter. You guys may have seen Silhouette cutters mentioned around the blogosphere before (our friends Jessica at How About Orange and Nicole at Making It Lovely did some cool projects with theirs). Now

Kitchen Update


We’re back with a quick kitchen update since we promised to share every step of the process, just like we did 4+ years ago with our first kitchen makeover (which ended up taking 113 days from start to finish). So the latest news is that the electricians came by as we mentioned last week. We’re definitely DIYers who aren’t afraid to paint or demo or drywall or build furniture (we’ve even dabbled in a little bit of plumbing) but we’re happy to call in the pros when it comes to risky things like electrical work in an older home that could lead to something major (aka: a house fire). So we hired a two-man electrician

Gap On The Wall


A couple of weeks ago we were at the Gap and I spotted this on the wall. It’s a bicycle from Public Bikes that was disassembled and shot for this in-store display (thereby they’re not for sale). I thought they were pretty darn good looking. I’m more of a bike admirer than an actual bike rider (apologies to my cycling enthusiast father), so I feel like a bit of a poser saying this, but… I really want those posters to hang in our house. Not sure where, but somewhere. Here’s a better shot of one of the panels from the Public Bikes blog. I talked with the manager at my local Gap and they “made

Reader Redesign: DIY Kitchen Do-over


It’s no surprise that we’re in the mood for a good kitchen makeover these days. Okay, who are we kidding, we’re always in the mood for one. But Erin & Zach’s do-it-yourself remodel of their 1950’s kitchen is especially familiar (and inspiring since we’re just at the beginning of our current kitchen’s transformation). Here’s their letter: We wanted to share the redo of our 1951 kitchen (take note of the sweet before lamp and the heavy-duty ceiling beam disappearing act). We were so lucky to peel up the old laminate floor and the plywood to find original (albeit quite damaged) wood floors that extended into the middle of the kitchen. We found matching red oak

Four No-Cut Pumpkin Decorating Ideas For Kids


Since one year olds aren’t really “of age” when it comes to pumpkin carving, we’ve been trying to figure out a way to involve Clara in pumpkin decorating this year. And she deserved a promotion from last year’s job as hand model: So a few days ago we finally figured out a way for Clara’s hand to come in, um, handy again. But first – let’s introduce our subjects. We’ll call them Big Brother, Middle Child, and Little Piggy. On Monday night I broke out my favorite all-purpose medium (aka painter’s tape) and marked out a traditional jack-o-lantern stencil on Middle Child. Then with an exacto knife I cut out the pattern carefully (okay, not

Moving Cabinets Around & Removing Granite Counters


When our saga last left off, our heroes were being shuffled around the kitchen. That is, if a refrigerator and a pantry are your kind of hero. But before our new appliances arrived last week, we had to put the moves on a few more things. First in line? The cabinet that held the wall oven. You probably recall that we were ditching the wall oven because it was burnt on the front, bisque colored, and cooked things unevenly. We opted not to replace it with another wall oven because (1) wall ovens are expensive – usually 1K more than ranges, (2) our cabinet is unconventionally narrow – most modern wall ovens wouldn’t even fit,

Picking Penny Tile For Our Kitchen Backsplash


We did it. Since this morning’s post we made one more trip out to the tile store and finally made a tile decision (we ordered over 50 square feet of it to do the entire wall above the stove where we’ll add open shelves and a vent hood as mentioned here). Our process was visiting a bunch of small local shops and big box stores just to see what was out there. And we had the most luck finding stuff that we loved at a local tile store (The Tile Shop). The only problem was that many of their gorgeous offerings were nearly $20 a square foot, which can work if you’re doing a standard

Planning A Kitchen Wall Full Of Tile And Open Shelves


We’ve mentioned having a backsplash + open shelving + range hood idea a few times without much elaboration, so here’s the full monty explanation: we basically want to create a counter to ceiling accent wall of backsplash tile with open shelves and a range hood going on. This Sarah Richardson kitchen is especially appealing to us when it comes to the tile choice (we love white subway tile, but we’re thinking we might do something a little less white since our cabinets will be going white and we don’t want to completely whitewash the whole room). Now I will read your mind in a move I like to call “David Blaine-ing” you. You are thinking

Fab Freebie: Oooh, Shiny


***This giveaway is no longer accepting entries – see who won below!*** Random.org had a tough job of sifting through nearly 7,000 jewelry hungry ladies (and gentlemen!) but has selected two random winners as… Lisa S. (who, like many, always wears her wedding ring but never gets sick of it because her husband did a great job) and SJ (who also wears her wedding and engagement rings out everyday). Congrats! Sherry here. I don’t usually write the giveaway posts, but we’re making an exception since I was the one who twisted John’s arm into this week’s giveaway. Instead of our usual DIY & decor-related prizes, this week we’re giving away some body decor that was

Grounded: Painting The Wall Under Our Chair Rail Darker


We finally got around to painting the area under the chair rail in the office a shade darker than the stenciled wall above it so it feels more balanced (as mentioned here). It was a little top heavy with the stencil going on above the chair rail and nada happening underneath, so I slid one square down on the Benjamin Moore paint swatch with the wall color on it (which is Moonshine by the way) and landed on Gray Horse (which we also had color matched to Olympic No-VOC paint in satin). Total spent: $10 for the quart of paint. Das it. Doesn’t it look more grounded now? Hence the title. You might notice that

The Amazing Spidermum


We’ve done it again! For the second year in a row, we managed to accidentally allow the bushes in our big wooden porch planters to die. Oh the shame. Chalk it up to a miscommunication. Sherry thought I was watering them. I thought she was. Clara didn’t have a clue who was watering what (or what watering even is) and all the while Burger was “watering” plants in the back. By the time we realized our folly it was too late (although Sherry desperately dumped five cups of water a day on them for the last few weeks to no avail). So I’d say we’re equally to blame for our plants getting a bit on

Oktober Thank-fest


**Psst- We know most Fridays we just post once, but today we’ll be back in a few hours with a post that might contain our creepiest photo ever. Not for the faint of heart… The leaves are changing, the days are getting shorter, and we’re back for our monthly sponsor shout out (you know, to thank the folks who make our other 30-some posts possible). This month we’re highlighting items that we think capture the spirit of fall… or are orange or brownish at the very least. Not that we’ve been gifted anything (here’s our no-swag policy). And a bunch of discounts are listed at the bottom for ya too. Happy fall! The simple, sweet,

Reader Redesign: Lovely Loveseat


Having wrestled for an unnaturally long time with our own chair upholstery project (well, I was more a bystander while my wife played the role of the wrestler), we’re that much more impressed with Erin’s redo of her great aunt’s loveseat. Here’s her letter: A few months ago I set out to reupholster my great aunt’s old loveseat. I actually planned on hiring someone to reupholster it, as I have never done anything like this before (not even close!). But then I got to thinking “Why not try my hand at it first?” So Project Loveseat was born! It was definitely a challenge. And one that I just sort of winged. I couldn’t even write

Creepy DIY Halloween Decor (Spiders, Snakes, and More)


Clara likes little creatures (seriously, the girl thinks snakes and spiders are cute), and is currently in the midst of an apple/pumpkin obsession (which is very fall-appropriate). So we decided this year’s loose Halloween theme could be “nature” (said a la Will Ferrell as Robert Goulet on SNL). That way it encompasses things like pumpkins, gourds, and apples along with creepy things like spiders and black crows and snakes. Here’s Clara showing you just how not-afraid she is of crawly (and slithery) critters: But let’s go back to the beginning. I had some fun with Halloween stuff. First, I grabbed some $1.99 spiders and $2-3 snakes at Michael’s (the snakes were in the wood toy

Shifting Cabinets And Appliances For A New Kitchen Layout


In Monday’s appliance post we mentioned a couple switches (like wall oven out, stove in) but that was just the beginning. And then yesterday we shared that we were contemplating a new spot for the fridge. Well, it has all been settled. And we’re excited about it. But before I lay out the new layout for you, let’s talk demo again. This past weekend we found ourselves poised to purchase a slightly smaller yet not counter-depth fridge at the Sears Outlet (aka Scratch & Dent) – which was basically short and narrow enough to fit into the existing fridge spot but a bit deeper (so it actually would have stuck out into the room more

A Little Bonus House Crashing…


Remember when we house crashed Jaime’s colorful and cozy home last June (more on that here)? Well, she redid her back deck and sweetly sent the eye candy our way. And we were instantly in love. It’s so welcoming and full of awesome DIY inspiration. What do I mean by DIY inspiration? Let’s look a little closer at the daybed under that sweet breezy canopy (that Jaime made here). When you get even closer you’ll notice that the daybed… … is actually made from pallets! Check out a full tutorial on how Jaime built it (all by herself) here. And just look at this cozy eating area. I love the mix of smooth and natural