Our Grand Opening: Knocking Out A Wall


After 330 days of living in darkness, we can fiiiinally see daylight in our kitchen. And it’s nothing short of ahhhhhmazing. This whole process took Licensed Contractor Steve and Right Hand Woman Tara almost seven hours of work (more on why we needed them, how we found them, and permit stuff here). Meanwhile John, Clara, and Burger hunkered down at his sister’s house to avoid the chaos and I stayed home to answer questions, offer up snacks/drinks, spy, drool, and live vicariously through them. They were amazing and we couldn’t be happier with the admittedly-still-very-raw but super-exciting-in-that-we-might-not-sleep-tonight result! Here’s how it all went down. Literally. Of course this is completely over-simplified (and obviously isn’t a



Other potential titles for this post: Holy Schnikies I (Almost) See The Light The Sweetest Sound = A Power Saw Best Day Ever!!!! This post could be called a tease but I like to consider it a keeping-you-posted thing. So many folks are wondering what’s going on around here, so a picture’s worth a thousand words, right? More pics and deets later! Psst- To anyone wondering about the vents, there’s more info on how we’ve dealt with those here. As for the electrical wire, ours guy’s coming out to get on that.

Channeling My Favorite TV Serial Killer


Things are getting pretty Dexter around here in preparation for our wall opening. Because when walls come down, dust comes out, and therefore protective plastic must go up! So to set the mood I’ve intentionally left these photos kinda dark and eerie. I’m nothing if not theme-y.   Oh and since I affectionately call myself Captain Safety (much like Sherry wishes $herdog would catch on), it bears mentioning that old homes can have lead paint, and therefore call for extra precautions (especially if you have little ones and pets around), so you can find more info on that here. We followed those directions and had our walls checked for lead (it’s the thing to do

Seven Up


Remember how we stopped at this place in Maryland on our way to our Labor Day beach weekend? And remember how we spotted these cool sign letters there that were made even cooler when we learned that they were meant for a Dollar Tree store and were selling for $20 each? I was obsessed with them and almost took home an E, R, or A, just because (sadly there’s no P, J, S, C or B in Dollar Tree). Well, I finally got me one. Let’s give a lukewarm welcome to letter L. Why L? Well… give that L a little 180 degree spin and whaddya get? Our favorite number AND a happy John (our

Fab Freebie: Colorful Goods

Screen Shot 2015-03-17 at 11.29.58 AM

***This giveaway is no longer accepting entries (it has hit our cap of 10,000 entries) – see who won below!*** Since we maxed out on entries less than 24 hours into the giveaway, we thought we’d go ahead and crown our winner. Random.org has selected… Jen W. (who’s long had a love affair with the color grey, but has lately been drawn to cheery yellows lately). Congrats! It’s no secret that we loves us some HomeGoods. So how psyched are we to give one of you a $500 gift card this week? Answer: very psyched. And if you’re stumped on how to spend that money, HomeGoods has a new series of “Design Happy” videos to

Opening Soon


This is it. The big wall-opening week (aka: w.o.w). So… woot! The first order of business is to share a few details that we’ve been asked about a bunch: how we went about picking a contractor how we’ve dealt with permits how we planned out the exact spot for the opening (would hate to knock everything down, only to wish we had shifted it a little to the left or the right) First, here’s why we need a contractor: we love DIY as much as the next guy, but there are some things that we’re happy to leave to the pros, especially when it comes to the structural integrity of our house. We’re no strangers

October Superlatives


It’s that time again! When we take a moment to look back on all that we’ve done in the past month at a glance (and gather all the links in one handy place for ya). And of course we tossed in some never-before-seen stuff to spice things up. This month we were all over the place as usual, from doing a bunch of kitchen things to dipping into a few office projects, some landscaping tasks, and even a few Halloween crafts. So let’s take a walk down memory lane, with yearbook-esque superlatives (you know, just for kicks). Most Destructive: Demoing out our fridge cabinet, which officially kicked off to the kitchen makeover madness. Best Timing:

Reader Redesign: One Hexy Table


Will we ever grow tired of seeing a piece of furniture that has been completely transformed with a little bit of paint? Probably not. At least not as long as we’re getting emails like Jesse’s. Here’s an excerpt from his blog about the whole hexagon-tastic transformation of this coffee table that he sent our way: You can see in the photo that this was one of those over-lacquered tables that was pretty beat up. But the curves are all there, and they are nice! The top had really pretty woodwork, a nice diamond inlay. So, continuing with my recent love affair with wood AND paint rather than one or the other, I stripped this table

Picking A New Siding Color By Painting Some Test Swatches


Duuude. We painted our house. Clarification: we painted a few tiny test swatches. The creamy color wasn’t exactly hurting our eyes, but there are a few gorgeous homes in our neighborhood with gray hardboard siding + brick and we love the look, so we decided to give a few swatches a try. Having such a light creamy color on the hardboard siding (it’s solid wood) and all of the trim isn’t doing the trim any favors (it’s not popping at all since it’s all the same color). And the pairing of the light cream with the darker richer brick is sort of jarring – like it’s two houses. So we thought by going with a

Fall Pinterest Challenge: 38 Homemade Christmas Ornaments


It’s Wednesday the 2nd… so it’s time to share this season’s (completely unofficial) Pinterest Challenge (not sponsored by Pinterest or anyone else, just dreamed up by Katie to make us stop pinning and start doing). I actually tackled ornaments (since the winter edition of our little Pinterest Challenge won’t be until January), which I mentioned last Wednesday when Katie, Ana, Erin and I issued our little get-off-our-bums-and-make-something challenge. I know, I know – it’s not even Thanksgiving yet. I’m one of those one-holiday-at-a-time peeps too. But it was actually oddly satisfying to feel so “prepared” for the upcoming holiday season. And I’m kind of in love with all the happy little ornaments I squeezed out.

The Mailmum


You know this little online diary of ours is all about keeping you posted on the little stuff along with the big (and the bad and the ugly along with the good). So file this under small but good. Remember our little petunia-fied mailbox? Well, it went from this in June… …to this in August… …to this in October: Womp- womppppp. The petunias were annuals so they weren’t gonna last forever. And between rain washing out a lot of the mulch and the flowers thinning to a scraggly looking vine mess… yeah, it was ugly. But wait, we’ll get to the “good” in a minute. Fortunately I was able to pull them out with virtually

How To Build In Your Fridge With A Cabinet On Top


We learned with our first kitchen that building in your fridge is a huge help in making a kitchen look fancy schmancy. And at the moment our floating fridge was looking pretty much the exact opposite. That’s where an also less than schmancy $19 cabinet from the Habitat For Humanity ReStore (mentioned yesterday) came in handy. It’s 12″ tall and 36″ wide, the exact width of our fridge. And when you take off the don’t-match doors (we’re hoping to retrofit extra existing doors to make it seamlessly match the other cabinets later), it starts to look more like a workable piece of cabinetry to sit atop our refrigerator. For the sides of our built-in fridge,