Fab Freebie: Boys In The Yard


***This giveaway is no longer accepting entries – see who won below!*** After lots of love proclamations for NSYNC, NKOTB and more, random.org has survived boy-band-mania and crowned our winner as… Megan G (who says she loves the original boy band…The Beatles). Congrats Megan! In the spirit of a week of cleaning & organizing, who could use a new lawn mower to tidy things up outside? Well, someone’s getting this puppy (valued at $339) thanks to Lawn-Boy. It’s self propelled, easy to start, and features a “Blade Stop” system that allows you to turn off the blades without killing the engine, which comes in handy if you’ve got a lawn frequently peppered with sticks or

Organizing The Whole House, One Cabinet At A Time


You Down With O-R-G? Yeah You Know Me. Yes, that’s a Naughty By Nature reference. Let’s just get down with OPP for a second, shall we? But why O-R-G? That’s $herdog’s abbreviation for organizing. I’ve gotta be honest. Our house hasn’t been this trashed/chaotic/messy since we moved in 16 months ago. Seriously, I’m not talking about a little dist around the baseboards or some streaks on the windows, I’m talking about serious stuff like not being able to locate anything in our completely ridiculous sink drawer: So although we have two entire sections of our Projects page dedicated to cleaning and organizing posts of yore, there hasn’t been much of that going on lately. At

Bada-Bing It On


Two weekends ago we hit up the Richmond Craft Mafia‘s Spring Bada-Bing craft show (which we told you about via this giveaway). It was similar to their Handmade Holiday event that we checked out back in December, so since that post was such a hit with you guys, we thought we’d share all of the awesomely local craft-y goodness that we happened upon during this show too. Oh, and while we didn’t leave with the bounty like we bought last year – we did purchase one of the many things we loved (times three, actually). So feel free to guess what it was as we lead you on a little craft tour de jour (and we’ll

Reader Redesign: Four The Girls


Projects like Shannon’s almost make us wish we had four daughters running around. I should emphasize the “almost” on that. Haha. But, once you see the project Shannon took on, you’ll see why the idea of having four girls around sounds kinda awesome (and this is coming from a guy who grew up with three sisters). Hey guys! It’s so funny reading your blog. We were and are where you guys are – but we started almost ten years ago when we bought our first house. Since then we’ve brought our total baby count to five (yup, five!) and we’re still in the same house – trying to make it work. Anyway, with the birth

Post Haste (A Bunch of How-We-Like-It Updates)


There’s a vicious cycle going on. We blog about something and then we live with it. And while we do, we tackle other stuff and blog about that. Lather, rinse, repeat. So we’re not always good about keeping you posted on those older things that we’ve already talked about since we’re so busy gabbing about new stuff. Which probably explains why we get asked for updates on a handful of things nearly every day. In other words: it’s about darn time we followed up. So here’s a nice juicy post full of a bunch of those updates for everyone. Cloth diapers: Believe it or not, we’re still using the very same original 12 cloth diapers

Turning Kid Art Into Custom Fabric


Well, Clara can go ahead and add fabric designer to her resume. With her 23 month photo in the can (see the full photo project here), it means the next monthly picture in line is the big 2-4… otherwise known as age 2. And since we concluded her first year of weekly-fabric-backdropped photos… … with a custom fabric design that we made through Spoonflower by scanning her name drawn out in marker on paper (and tiling it in Photoshop), we though we’d make it a tradition and create more homemade fabric for her second birthday. We thought about doing something similar with Clara’s name for our she’s-two fabric (perhaps in Sherry’s handwriting instead of mine)

House Crashing: John And Sherry Plus 8


You know how excited we get to snoop around houses and share the goods with you guys (we’ve even crashed open houses and stores), so just picture our excitement to crash EIGHT houses on one block for your viewing pleasure. It definitely wasn’t our most traditional house crashing adventure – it was actually a home show here in Richmond called Richmond Homearama, where home builders team up with local designers to construct and decorate eight houses in a variety of styles. Most of the homes are already sold by now, but you can still stroll around for ideas and inspiration. So we thought we’d show you a few of our favorite nooks and crannies. It

How To Add Floor Trim, Transitions, and Reducers


Since sharing this photo over a month ago, some of you have asked for more detail about putting the transitions around the cork floor in our kitchen (and around the fireplace’s floor surround). Oh but remember we’re eventually going to be refinishing the rooms with the orange wood flooring to match the darker cork tone, so it should look something like this down the line (pardon the bad photoshop): Finding the right thing for the job was a bit of an effort on our part since our Lisbon Cork doesn’t come with matching transitions. In fact, the guy at Lumber Liquidators recommended against any kind of cork transition because they’re not as durable as a

Fab Freebie: The Closers


***This giveaway is no longer accepting entries – see who won below!*** We gave random.org the assignment again of helping us choose our winner and they chose… Sarah (who could think of 10 little projects that have added up that she could use this for). Congrats Sarah! Since the early days of YHL, we’ve been buddies with the foursome over at One Project Closer. Ethan, Fred, and their wives Jocie and Kim dish up tutorials, tool reviews and decor posts to help us all get (say it with me) one project closer to our dream house. Recently they’ve launched a series of “Pro-Follows” where the boys tag along with professional contractors to document big projects

You Did What Now? (Spray Painting Upholstered Chairs)


Yup. I spray painted chairs. Upholstered chairs. Dude, I’m the first to admit it’s weird. And it’s definitely not the answer if you’re sane. But when you’re a desperate woman with nothing to lose, well… stuff happens. Remember these Craigslist chairs we found last March? They were originally from an old hotel (with faded and stained eighties fabric to prove it) but we got them for $25 a pop. Then I tried to paint them a soft apple green color like a tutorial I’d seen, but didn’t have as much luck (read more on that hot-mess here). We were set on green for a while (not this neon of course) until we realized it’s a

Busted (My Run In With Eminem)


Ok, so I naively thought this day would never come, but I have been busted. I mistakenly believed that I could get through my adult life without The Most Embarrassing Thing Ever being brought up 13 years later, but people are smart and the internet is wide. So after more than a few “Who me? I don’t know what you’re talking about, haha” comment denials, I’m coming clean. My name is Sherry $herdog, and I was on MTV when I was 17. And it was easily the most embarrassing compilation of moments that could ever be edited together. I’m an over-sharer, so some folks might wonder why I’d try to hide from this video. And

Gratitude Is In The Air


**Psst- We know most Fridays we just post once, but every month on sponsor shout out days we double up. So we’ll be back in a few hours with a post that has Sherry ready to wet her pants. Figuratively speaking. It’s time for our monthly showing of thanks to our sponsors (the folks who help make the other 30-plus posts a reality). As you’ll see, we took Spring as an excuse to celebrate all the colorful things that our sponsors are serving up (none of which have been gifted to us – here’s our no-swag policy). And as always, if you’re looking to save some green, don’t miss the round-up of special discounts on

Reader Redesign: Kitchen Reboot (On A Budget)


If you ever wanted to quiet that voice in your head that says “Kitchen makeover? Are you crazy? You don’t have the money for that!” – let this transformation by Erin inspire you. Here’s her letter: I wanted to share my blog post on our kitchen remodel with you. It’s a temporary remodel, as cheap as possible, until we can afford to completely gut it and get a new kitchen in a few years (hopefully!). The biggest purchase was new appliances, besides that we spent max $100 for paint, stenciling supplies, and a shelf above the microwave. I also finished the floor by stenciling on it, and I love the results! I don’t know if

Used Toilets And Door Trimmings


And now for a fourth chapter of The Sandbox Chronicles. Just kidding. It’s time for some toilet talk. Remember the almond toilet that came with our master bedroom (which we recently switched out for a taller and cleaner-looking white one)? Well, for a while the old almond guy – who looks oddly white in this picture below – just sat in our entryway. What, is that weird? The reason? We decided to try our hand at Craigslisting it. Once John found out it was an over $1300 (!!!) toilet by Kohler (more on that here) he was convinced we could get some money for it from someone in search of an upscale almond toilet. You’d

How To Build A Sandbox: Part 3 (The Rock Box Remix)


Yes, just when you thought the sandbox-citement was over – it continues. We chatted all about how we built the base of the box here and how we made the lid with a locking system that secures it to the fence here – but it still wasn’t done. That’s the funny thing about DIY in general – you might expect a kitchen reno to run across 35+ posts and to last four months, but you never think that something like a simple sandbox will be a three part process. On the other hand, sometimes projects that we think will be really complicated end up being no sweat and we wonder why we put them off

How To Build A Sandbox: Part 2


Ready for the next chapter of our sandbox project? If you’re not, I can tell you one person who definitely was. Her name rhymes with Blara. Here’s where we left off. Box built (more on that here) and awaiting sand. But in need of a cover first. Having looked at a bunch of other DIY sandbox covers (like the awesome ones from Dana Made It, Small & Friendly, Modern Parents Messy Kids, and Dover Projects) and based on our own experiences, we compiled a mental list of what we wanted (and didn’t want) out of our cover. Our checklist was something like this: Should primarily keep out natural debris (leaves, acorns, etc) and animal “debris”

How To Build A Sandbox: Part 1


Building Clara a sandbox has been a project that was nearly a year in the making. Just check out this post about her first birthday party from last May (yes, our girl is a month away from being TWO). So much for “any day now.” My excuse, well, our excuse is that we couldn’t figure out where we wanted it. We debated building one on wheels that could sit in the middle of the patio when in use (and be pulled out of the way and stored at all other times), but with so much land around us it felt like we should just find a permanent spot for one instead of making an eternally-rolling-around

Fab Freebie: The Killer Radio Star


***This giveaway is no longer accepting entries – soon to see who won below!*** After a busy giveaway (and a surprising amount of NPR-heads), random.org has selected our winner as… Kathy (who says music is therapeutic to her and on a bad day, songs on the radio can always pick her up). Congrats Kathy! How excited are we to be giving away a Model One Radio this week? You probably know that our cheery yellow one is one of our favorite things that we’ve bought for our new kitchen (more on that here). Sure it’s been dubbed “the best sounding table radio ever made” by some (MSNBC in this case), but our love for it

Clearing Out And Cleaning Up The Path To Our Front Door


Let’s do the path (I’m not good at math, but digging up a path, I can do). And John’s good at both. Overachiever, much? Anyway, this is just a photo from before we started working on the garden beds on either side of the porch (more on that here and here) so you can see how that clump of bushes in front of the porch was kind of weird and reversed. Don’t you think plants on either side of the porch would look nice and balanced while the path to the door and the porch should be more open and airy instead of crowded by overgrown boxwoods? It was like things were backwards. Business in

Listy McListerson (Updated)


Psst- For everyone asking what we did for Easter and what Clara found in her basket – check out those details here on Young House Life. Brace yourself. This post is full of a whole lotta words. So feel free to skim. Or read this in one sentence intervals over the next two years. Haha. This actually came about when people asked how we organize all the stuff we have on our to-do list. We explained that we basically just have one long run-on document, and when folks kept asking us to share it (and update it as we went along), it sounded like our idea of a good time. So it’s high time that

Reader Redesign: Don’t Built-Ins Rock?


Linn’s built-in project is such a great reminder of how upgrading your bookshelves from furniture to attached “architecture” can really give an entire room a boost. Here’s her letter: I wanted to share a before and after of custom made built-in bookcases which my husband and I constructed! Seeing how our old bookcases left much to be desired in terms of looks but also in terms of practical storage space, and not wanting to spend a fortune having someone else custom build shelves, we decided to take on the project ourselves. I have always loved the cozy look that built-in shelving provides a home, it gives it so much more character and charm in my

How To Frost A Window With Frosting Film (& Determination)


This post is actually about three bathroom updates, the first of which concerns this baby – the window. Aka the anti-privacy device located conveniently above the place that we do our most private business. It’s kinda ridiculous that we haven’t done anything to it sooner, considering the window is nearly a straight shot view to the neighbor’s house. It’s not like we live right on top of each other – heck, we’re not even sure they can see much from this distance (we can’t see anything in their tiny far-away windows) but it’s still just a little odd to see this whenever we step out of the shower or whenever I’m standing up doing my

Can Ya Feel The Curb Appeal?


No? Me either. But it’s coming. Slowly but surely. After tackling the area to the right of the porch, next on the ol’ to-do list was: the area to the left of the porch the side lot next to our house (a giant valley full of moist soil that we want to naturalize into a pretty forest) But before we get to the planting bed next to the porch, we wanted to share this gorgeous sight courtesy of the side lot: Just kidding. Unless by gorgeous we mean just-one-reason-we-hang-our-heads-in-shame-when-neighbors-walk-by. Those are old clumps of grasses that we were told to cut back each March so it’ll grow in nice and fresh and clean this year.

From Christmas Mantel & Halloween Mantel To Spring Mantel


Having a fireplace in the kitchen is definitely something that we think is charming (it’s the heart of the home, and even though it’s not functional, just tucking a basket of Clara’s toys or books in there and having a spot to display stuff above the mantel is our idea of a good time). Well, maybe I should say it’s my idea of a good time, since I’m pretty sure John could commit to whatever we have up there at any given time for the next ten years. I, on the other hand, like to turn surfaces like the mantel into a rotating display or sorts. Not every day or even every few weeks, but