Reader Redesign: How Far $102 Can Go


Vanessa sent us her kitchen makeover that clocked in at just over a hundred beans and it made us more than a little giddy. But we’ll let her take you through the story of how she got so much bang her buck. Here’s her letter: In 11 years of marriage, my husband and I have lived in seven cities and sometimes have moved multiple times in each city. Needless to say, I have become a pro at making each house a home. One thing I have always wanted to do, but have been too chicken to tackle it – is paint my kitchen cabinets. Now, in our seventh home, I finally decided to do it.

A Clean Flush Mounted Light Near The Fireplace


Even though we declared our kitchen project done over a month ago, there are still little dangling tasks hanging over our heads. Some, quite literally. See that shadeless stick of a pendant hanging down from the ceiling in the fireplace area? That old pendant has been broken forever (despite me fixing it once already) so that half of the room has been cloaked in darkness for months. Well, or least in comparison to the rest of the room which has been light and bright since our little lighting overhaul during the kitchen reno. Our temporary lighting solution has been this floor lamp tucked in the corner. But it too has woes of its own. One

Do The Worm: Planning Clara’s Party


As we mentioned for a hot minute back in this post, Clara picked her party theme this year. What does she love more than monkeys, ice cream, firetrucks, and the mailman? Worms. The girl wakes up from a nap and here’s what she says she dreamed about: It’s the same thing every nap. Worms. And sometimes a boat. With worms on it. So the first thing on the party agenda was settling on a date (this Saturday the 12th, two days before her actual b-day on the 14th) and figuring out the guest list (our closest family and friends totaling about 30 people, ten who are kiddos under the age of four). Then it was

April Superlatives


For those asking where the April Superlatives went, here they are! Remember how last week was all about organizing? Well, we weren’t organized enough to share this post on time. Oops. So before May gets too far gone, here’s a look back at all the things we got checked off the ol’ to-do list in April (in yearbook style superlatives, of course). We even tossed in some never-before-seen stuff for kicks. You can check out all of our monthly superlatives dating back to January of 2011 right here (it’s over a years worth of projects crammed into just 15 posts). Oh, and we’re starting this round up with my latest obsession. You have been warned. Most

Clearing Up The Yard (And Calling Miss Utility)


We were busy bees this weekend. And as some of you noticed in yesterday’s post, in the picture where John was playing the role of the deck, we had already started to clear out the liriope/weeds/bushes that were going on in our future-deck spot. You might remember that we started with this: The first step was to call Miss Utility to make sure digging things up and building a deck wouldn’t endanger ourselves (or our house) by potentially hitting an electrical line or a water pipe or any other booby trap that might be lurking below the dirt. Thankfully we got the all clear. So we transplanted that big bush (seen above hugging the side

Fab Freebie: Take A Seat


***This giveaway has reached our cap of 10,000 entries so it’s no longer accepting entries – see who won below!*** After our quickest giveaway in YHL history (hitting the max number of entries in under 6 hours!), we’ve already turned to to select our winner. And it is… Azar (whose favorite relaxing activity is a tie between reading and knitting). Congrats! Does the name La-Z-Boy immediately make you think of a big ol’ leather recliner? It did for me. So color us surprised when we learned they’ve actually got a pretty darn extensive line of furniture – including sofas, loveseats, ottomans and even accessories in modern patterns and fresh colors. The kicker? They’re giving

Attacking The Alley: Planning A New Deck Build


Ah, the “alley.” The affectionate name we gave that weird void of space created between the original part of our house (on the left) and the addition (to the right). We appreciate that they left that space (so we wouldn’t lose all those windows like we would have if they joined the structures instead of creating that alley), but it’s kind of awkward. It’s currently home to an extremely short (and extremely worn) balcony overlooking a bunch of liriope, our AC unit, our oil tank, and the neighbor’s house. It’s completely useless to us. Unless of course we like the thrill of wondering when / if the wood is going to disintegrate beneath our feet.

My Shame: Revealing Our Messy Basement Workshop


This week has been all about cleaning and organizing, so it’s only fair that I take this opportunity to own up to the most unclean, unorganized space in our house (perhaps ever in our whole lives). The horror lies behind this door, in my basement workshop: Just like our first house, we have a separate entry basement that you access from a door in the back yard. Except in this house, I’ve avoided showing this space the entire 16 months that we’ve lived here. Yes, it has been kept completely off camera and video – which is almost unheard of for over-sharers like us. Why? Because I’m embarrassed to my core about its state. I’ve

Reader Redesign: Whoa, Where’d That Kitchen Come From?


In honor of this week’s organization extravaganza, we thought this makeover was a great reminder that organizing and planning isn’t just about putting things in baskets or sorting your socks. An organized thoughtful approach to your home could help a dark and dated space become beautiful & functional with a little (or a lot) of planning, penny-pinching, perseverance, and perspiration. Morgan and her husband Kevin took their paneled den and turned it into a bright and modern kitchen. The transformation is, in a word, insane. And their planning tips are awesome, like scouring Craigslist every day in a nice wide radius to save serious loot – and rethinking the placement of a kitchen to make

A Picture’s Worth… Well, You Know


Hi guys! I’ve been behind the scenes messing around with tech organization while the lady wife chats about feminine products and nail polish and whatever else she has been chatting about lately (justkiddinghoneyIloveyou) but since today is the day we said we’d get on some paper/tech org – specifically some blog streamlining (but you guys can tackle anything like digital photos, filing paperwork, or cleaning up your desktop) I’m here with the goods on that. With all the organization happening around our house this week it was bound to spill over to some blog organization eventually. And the portion of our site that was feeling the most out of control was our Projects page. You

The Simple Life: Living With Less (And Loving It)


It’s easy to crave less. Less to buy. Less to clean. Less to store. Less to chose from. Less to throw away. And we’re those people who get a rush from consolidating two items down to one or earning more space in the drawer/cabinet/closet by paring down, so this is our idea of a good time (why buy ten bottles to do ten things when one product can do it all?). Three years ago I wrote a post about how we try to keep things simple in small ways, so after more than a few requests for an update/extended list, here it is. Happily, three years after embarking on Project Simplify, we probably have fewer

Some Bathroom Drawer Organization To The Rescue


Dude, meet our disaster drawer. I know you guys already got a preview of him yesterday, but you know how a horror movie has that dun-dun-duuuuun sound effect? This drawer needs one too. It’s that bad. Like “what wild animal got in there and rooted around?” bad. So in the name of organization week (and general sanity) it was about time we got on it.   The issue is that we don’t have a medicine cabinet, thanks to the window in front of the sink, as demonstrated by this pic from our House Tour page. The drawer in front of the sink is actually a false drawer, so we can’t use that one for additional

How We Organize Our Kid Clutter


OK, it’s day two of our organizing week and we’re currently working on our crazy sink drawer that we shared yesterday. In the meantime, this isn’t one of those organizing play by plays with before, during, and after pics (that’s this afternoon’s post) it’s more a full breakdown of a system that works for us when it comes to taming the Clara-phernalia that threatens to take over our house. Around twice a week we get a question like: “can you do a post about how your organize Clara’s stuff? I could really use some ideas on how to control the chaos!” So here’s the rundown. In the beginning it was pretty simple. She was little