A Giant Rooster? Who Does That?


Me. I’ve actually been hiding this $12 HomeGoods find in our playroom for… oh… five months? So it was about time I attended to him. Yup, this guy’s part of the self-imposed initiative I like to call the “Dude Get On That Already” challenge, since I’ve solemnly vowed to use it or lose it (aka: use it or craigslist/donate it) when it comes to all the things we’ve been hoarding in our full-to-the-brim playroom. At first glance you might think “he’s a fine looking roughly weathered white & tan rooster” (or “you need ceramic animal rehab” which could also be true) but I thought his distressed white finish was a little more country than my

The Latest On The Book


We’ve dropped a few mentions of working on the book lately, so we figured it was about time for another post about the process. Our post two months ago mostly covered the journey to getting the book deal and the beginning stages of writing, but now we’re really in the weeds of things so there’s definitely more to share… and we don’t have to use pics of Burger to illustrate it this time! Sorry Burger. At the time of our last book post two months back, we had turned in our 160-ish page completed outline and were beginning to coordinate the design process with our publisher. If you recall, the book is a compilation of 250-some

Fab Freebie: Your Publisher


***This giveaway is no longer accepting entries – see who won below!*** Okay folks, random.org has selected the two lucky winners of a $50 gift code. Although anyone can take advantage of the free extra pages code – GIFT3570 – through Feb 6th. That’s how I saved nearly $80 on ours! But I digress. Our winners are… Christine (whose favorite pic of 2011 is her and  her husband beside the wild boar statue that stands outside the a building at her university) and Bethany (who caught her son shirtless, wearing a cowboy hat, boots, belt & buckle, Wrangler’s while iding his John Deere tractor around their yard this summer). Congrats! Remember the Petersik Family Yearbook

Hanging An Industrial Steel Range Hood


“How’s it hanging?” That was the big question last week. Not in the “Hey, how ya doing?” sense of things, but more in the “Um, how are we gonna hang this $60 hood we found on Craigslist” kind of way. Sherry talked last week about how we planned to encase it in a DIY’d wood cover (see inspiration pics back on last week’s post). Both of us were so excited about (1) the price tag and (2) the final look that we didn’t really think through the middle part: actually installing the darn thing. So yeah… #planningfail? Here was our challenge (beyond just not having any of the installation materials or instruction): this is an

Dealing With Criticism


It was fun to crack open a little bit of our personal “stuff” last Tuesday for this post about the real $herdog (yes, I’m still patiently waiting for that nickname to catch on) and John’s J-Boom version. And a funny thing happened after sharing those. Not only did they receive over 1,200 amazingly awesome and encouraging comments (note to self: apparently you’re not a social pariah if you admit that you sometimes have strawberry cream cheese on your ear and are inclined to impersonate Cindy Lou Who) but we also got dozens of emails – not even exaggerating – asking about how to deal with criticism and respond to negative comments. And thus this post

Reader Redesign: Stenciled Seats


The soft spot we have for stencil projects has certainly grown since our office undertaking, but this one by Amy at The Casablanca Transformation would probably win over even the most skeptical stencil fans. And it actually sounds doable in well under fourteen hours! Score. Here’s her letter: No matter how many decorating projects I do in my lifetime this one will surely go down in history as one of my all time best! I am so happy I had the idea and even happier that I dared to try! Here is the plain white leather bar stool before: And the after! I used a stencil from cuttingedgestencils.com and the paint is from turtlefeathers.net and

Sure, Let’s Hang A Retro Pendant Light In The Closet


Looks like I’ve once again been wrangled into one of Sherry’s schemes. This time it’s her “Dude, Get On That Already” challenge (apparently the “dude” applies to me also) where she’s trying to actually do something with some of the items that we’ve been collecting hoarding in our spare room. It’s a use it or lose it challenge if you will (well, more like a use it or donate/craigslist it challenge). This week’s victim: the light fixture that we rescued from a thrift store in Delaware nearly an entire year ago for a mere $19. That guy just sat on the floor of the playroom since then, and it was high time we actually allowed

Hanging Two Oversized Glass Kitchen Pendants


I like big globes and I cannot lie. You other brothers can’t deny. When a light walks in with an itty bitty waist… … and a round thing in yo face you get sprung. At least I do. John just gets all blown out and looks angelic. The purpose of that photo was actually just to show you why we picked the height that we did. The common pendant light recommendation is to hang it 30″ above the top of the counter (from the top of the counter to the base of the pendant), but we went 31″  because my tall hubby didn’t want those round things in his face obstructing the view. It’s so

Our Family’s Picture Storage Solution: Yearly Photo Books


We’re working on hanging our new pendant lights so we’ll be back to share those pics in the morning. In the meantime, let’s talk about something people ask about all the time: photo storage. Ever since seeing Katie Bower’s family photo book two summers ago, we’ve been drinking the photo book Kool-Aid – starting with our very first Family “Yearbook” that we made last summer (you can read about that here). And now that another year has wrapped up, well, let’s just say this arrived last week: It’s one big glossy photo book stuffed to the gills with all of our family photos from 2011. Except the perk is that while it has around 600

Scoring A Jenn-Air Hood Range On Sale From Craigslist


Woot. We did it. We found a stainlesss steel range hood on craigslist. It’s an industrial strength pro JennAir one (valued at around $350) but we got it for… $60! Oh craigslist, I could kiss you on the mouth. The listing said $65, but you know I did the old “how about sixty, we have cash?!” thing when we got there and looked it over… and… sold! It definitely appeared to be purchased but never used (it still had some of the white sticky peel-off stuff on the underside that new hoods have) – although it didn’t look like it had been kept completely protected while it was being stored (there are some scratches on

Fab Freebie: Work Of Artichoke


***This giveaway is no longer accepting entries – see who won below!*** Ready for the names of our two random winners? Just promise you won’t get emotional or anything. Don’t want anyone getting ‘choked up over this (sorry, couldn’t resist the pun I egregiously left out in the original post). Anyways, our two winners are… Bonney (who loves celery with peanut butter) and Kelly (who says if she can grow it in her garden, then she loves to eat it). You know we’re always in the mood to browse cool, original art. And since we’ve had kitchens on the brain lately…. well Fine Artichoke is pretty much hitting all of the right notes. They curate

Planning Electrical Upgrades During A Kitchen Renovation


Remember when we shared how shiny and polished our kitchen started to look after we finished grouting?   And then revealed the chaos that ensued a hot minute later? Well, the room is all put back together and we made a whole lotta lighting cha-cha-changes. Sure our ceiling looks like swiss cheese. But it’s all for a good cause. Inching towards a more luminescent kitchen. Everyone says that lighting can make the room, but I’m here to refute that. Just kidding, it totally makes the room. If you have a gorgeous space but it looks dark or yellowed or all angry and fluorescent, well, it kinda ruins the whole effect. So we knew something had

The Real J-Boom


First off, in kitchen progress news, all of the chaotic electrical work has been completed! In just five hours actually. Woot. So we’re cleaning things up, taking pics, doing some pendant hunting, and writing a big ol’ post about it for you guys on Monday. But apparently when Sherry shared “The Real $herdog” on Tuesday there were a bunch of requests for a John version. Color me surprised (I honestly thought Burger and Clara would get mentioned before I would). And since I don’t really have a cool street name like Sherry, she has suggested that I use “J-Boom” for the time being. It’s a little too close for comfort to a certain busty Jersey

Reader Redesign: Glam-a-rama


Even though we’ve been embracing a clean-lined and colorful aesthetic lately, we can definitely appreciate all sorts of styles. And we’ve still got a soft spot for the warm, layered neutrals that we filled our first house with. So when Rhoda sent over this redo of her sister Renee’s room, it was like a shot of wow to a part of our design brain that we hadn’t exercised in a while. And we kinda want to curl up in what looks like a SUPER comfortable bed. Here’s Rhoda’s letter: Hi, Sherry & John! Just wanted to share my latest project: a redo of my sister’s master bedroom suite. It’s a big space that had not

A Strange Self-Imposed Challenge


We have a new friend hanging out in our kitchen. I found this guy at Hobby Lobby during one of their all-the-time 50% off sales for $12. You know me and faux animals. Faux sho they’re mine. Then he sat in our playroom for a while (a while = 6+ months) and I recently walked in there and had this moment where I said to myself “Self: you have got to stop hoarding things in this room. Use them or lose them.” Which led to an initiative I like to call “Dude, Get On That Already.” The dude being me. Naturally. So I’ll probably revisit this initiative over the next few weeks and months (at

How To Grout Penny Tile


Grout, grout, let it all out. This is a thing you can’t do it with out. Come on. I’m talkin’ to you. Come onnnn. (Okay, enough with the Tears for Fears reference). Let’s talk about grout, because with our penny rounds finally all installed, grout was next on the agenda. It has a way of taking things from in-progress to looks-completely-finished-oh-thank-goodness. Observe: So here’s how we got there. First I have a little “materials shot” for ya: Bucket of clean water Putty knife & another bucket to mix grout in Paper towels because, well, grout is messy Sanded grout (from The Tile Shop, $19 with discount) – ours is the Mobe Pearl color Rubber float

The Real $herdog


One of my favorite things about blogging is keeping it real. Even around the new year when the whole “be the perfect person/wife/family” voices can kick in, I try to fight the good fight and remember that authentic = awesome. And perfect = most likely impossible. So if our house is a mess I’ll make a video to prove it (without even putting my bra away first). If we don’t know how the heck to tackle a project, we’ll admit it (like this). If we fail miserably at an undertaking, we’ll blog alllll about it (like this and this, just to name a few). We actually love being a DIY diary that’s literally about the

Eight More Living Room Curtains


Remember when we cut four curtain panels that we loved from Ikea (which were sadly discontinued) right down the middle to make eight of them for our living room? Well, here’s that story, but to refresh your memory, here are a few pics: We loved the added height, texture, and pattern that they brought to the room, but I always wondered if layering some breezy sheers in there someday might make my curtain-loving heart sing. You know, so they’d be fuller and airier and sort of layered and soft looking. So I lived without ’em for a while but kept my eye out for some cheap fabric or sheers that I thought might do the

Fab Freebie: Tool’s In Session

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***This giveaway is no longer accepting entries – see who won below!*** And the random winner of lots of goodies from Liquid-Plumr is… Maria (who is actually applying for her PhD in global health diplomacy right now – a self declared “nerdfest”). Congrats! Raise your hand if you’d like a $150 gift card to Home Depot and a 145-piece tool set? Okay, hands down. We can’t see you anyways. But one of you is going to score those supplies along with two of Liquid-Plumr’s latest clog-busting products. It’s all part of their Tool School, which puts Toolbelt Diva Norma Vally behind the teacher’s desk and includes how-to videos like the one below. Enroll now and

How To Install Penny Tile (And Lots Of It)


We did it. We tiled the entire back wall of our kitchen in a counter-to-ceiling backsplash move that we like to call Project Crazy, and we lived to tell the tale. We still have to grout, add a big ol’ industrial range hood and chunky open shelves (those will just be screwed right through the tile with a special drill bit) but when we squint we can almost picture it… As for the top seam where the tile meets the ceiling, there’s crown molding that runs around the entire room (although we removed some of it on the window wall) so we’ll be adding that back around the whole room so the top of the

Oops I Did It Again


First of all, yes, we’re still tiling a few hours each day (usually from 10-midnight after getting C to bed and doing blog/book stuff). But we’re getting there – and should definitely have a holy-meatballs-we’re-finally-done reveal for you on Monday. Yay! Who wants to pet it? Just me? But back to the matter at hand: last weekend I rearranged Clara’s room. Again. And I owe you guys the details (a few of you even noticed things had moved around here and requested an update), so whoop, here it is. Let’s dive right into the moving madness. Heck, free use-what-you-have rearranging isn’t that bad, is it? No heavy breathing required. From you, at least (I did

Is It Bad Luck Not To Say Thanks?


**Psst- We know most Fridays we just post once, but every month on sponsor shout out days we double up. So Sherry will be back in a few hours with a quick tiling + furniture rearranging update. It’s time for our usual monthly show of gratitude to our sponsors. You know, the people who make the other 30+ posts possible… and generally keep us away from black cats and stop us from walking under ladders (okay, not really the last part). But since today – Friday the 13th – is a sinister day cast in the shadow of superstition for some people, we tried to find some joy in the darkness by highlighting a few

Reader Redesign: A Monstrous Duvet


Okay, okay – so we’re taking a breather from our usual kitchen-related reader redesigns to share a super cool project on a smaller scale. Well, if you call a project that involves 120 hand-drawn monsters a “small” undertaking. Now I’ve got your curiosity piqued, eh? I’ll let Jen explain: My son Daniel is a prolific artist and I wanted to showcase some of his sketches and decided that I would do so on a duvet cover. He designs his own Pokemon, complete wtih names, types, and evolutions and he chose those for the project. Here are his design sheets: I photographed each chosen design. Then in Photoshop I erased all extra marks around the edge,

Painting And Reupholstering An Old Foot Stool


This is another post that John wanted me to name Stool Boom (here’s why John likes that name). Anyway, a while back I redid a stool that wasn’t ours. It just showed up in the mail and I spruced it up. More on the mysterious mail thing in a minute. First here’s how I got ‘er done. This is a terrible before shot, but picture an old beat up periwinkle blue stool with nails and holes and a rotting wood top: The first thing I did was get all the old nails out with the back of a hammer: Then I primed it and painted it a rich navy color (I just grabbed a $3 test