How To Build A Deck: Almost There!


When we last left off in our deck saga, our hero (that’s me in this case) was avoiding battling the heat as he tediously valiantly drilled in screws across the middle of our deck. Since that chapter of this drawn out harrowing tale, John The Weary Daring continued this mind-numbing history-making task. Since that’s about as exciting as I can fake my latest day of deck work, I’m just going to skip to this part where you can see the middle of the deck all laid down and screwed into place. Let’s just say I was glad the deck was finally more solid surface than it was holes for me to fall into. I could

The Run Around


After a few running-related post mentions (like this, this and this), I’ve gotten a bunch of requests to write a more in-depth post about my hobby – so I’m veering off home topics just for today (like we’ve done with hair-cutting, Eminem, nursing, and Clara’s birth story to name a few other times). But don’t worry, I’ll be back with more deck progress on Monday (it’s actually starting to really LOOK LIKE A DECK – you have no idea how exciting that is to us). As for the subject of running, I’ve hesitated to tackle this subject a few times, because although I call myself a “runner” and it’s a hobby I’ve enjoyed for over a

Reader Redesign: Things Are Looking Up


We loved Stacy’s kitchen makeover, not only because it’s beautiful (and a huuuuuuge improvement over the original) but also because we thought it was a great example of balance. Stacy found out where she could eke out the most savings and took her time figuring out what she could do herself (and where she needed a little help). And the fact that her new kitchen appraised for… well, we’ll just let her tell you the story: Hi John and Sherry, I waited about a year after I bought this house before I started re-doing the kitchen. It gave me time to save up, live with the space to see what it needed, and figure out

Oragnizing Closet Shelves With Some Simple White Bins


That’s right. I pulled a Benita Larsson. For anyone who doesn’t know her, she’s the mastermind organizer over at Chez Larsson and I adore how simple, functional, and beautiful her Swedish home/lifestyle is. So this quick little closet update totally reminds me of her clean/organized/wish-I-was-that-on-top-of-things house that I adore. Benita, among nine other super secret guest bloggers, actually pulls a little cameo appearance in our book, but that’s a whole different story (speaking of which, a million and one thanks to everyone who was insanely sweet and made me happy-cry repeatedly after our little book announcement yesterday). But let’s cut to the chase. This is just a simple tale about some simple white bins. See,

We’re One Trimester Away From…


… birthing this book baby of ours! Seriously, somebody get us to Lamaze class. Yup, it’s coming in early November (our official “due date” is the 6th, although it varies slightly depending on where you look). Excuse me while I practice my deep breathing (hee, hee, hoooooo, hee, hee, hoooooo). Perhaps the craziest part about it is that this might be the longest baby gestation ever recorded – over three whole years! Seriously. Labor of love could not apply more. So for everyone who has been asking about pre-order details, you can click on any of the logos below to pre-order from any of these affiliates. And of course don’t forget the local guys –

An Overdue Art Update (In Song)


Please sing this to the tune of The Brady Bunch Theme Song. Here’s the story… of two cheap black framies… … found at Target and then spray painted bright white… … then they both looked pretty sleek… like twin brothers… … they make me want to twirl. Ok, that didn’t quite work out like I hoped. But I’m sure you got the crux of the story. I grabbed two inexpensive black frames at Target (they didn’t come in white and I think they were $21), sprayed them with the same built-in-primer-plus-spray-paint that I always use (Rustoleum Universal in Satin White), let them dry, and then framed some prints (like the one I mentioned here) which

How To Build A Deck: Let’s Get This Party Started


What party? The decking party, that’s what. Never been to a party where people put decking down? Then you have not lived, my friend. But come to think of it, my party didn’t have any guests so maybe I’m the one who should reconsider my definition. Anyways – let’s talk deck boards, since I gave you this sneak peek of my progress last week: As you may be able to tell from that photo, we bit the bullet and went for the “zippered” seam pattern that we saw at our local art museum. But before we talk about planning for that, we actually had two commonly asked questions on our last post, which were: What

Fab Freebie: Ready, Eames, Fire


***This giveaway is now closed – see who won below!*** This giveaway hit our 10,000 entry cap just a few hours before usual closing time, so had its work cut out for it picking a winner. They selected… Kelsey (who thinks “an Eames chair is the foundation to a good collection”). Congrats on your new foundation piece! Who wants to win an Eames chair this week? Better yet – who wants to win several Eames chairs this week? Well, one of you is going to, because the folks at the Herman Miller Store are gonna hook you up with $2,000 worth of product! That’s enough to choose practically anything from their catalog of iconic

House Crashing: Swanky Panky


We made some pretty awesome progress on the deck this weekend – even with a big water main break right in front of our house, which resulted in gallons of water rushing down the road until we discovered it and phoned it in. The result? Five men working for around seven hours (with our street’s water turned off) to fix it via a giant hole that they dug in the corner of our yard/the road. Yikes! But they got ‘er done, and the neighborhood rejoiced (running water is totally one of those things you take for granted until it’s gone –  like electricity and Oreos). So all is right with the world again (the water’s

Window Shopping: Ikea’s New Stuff!


Dude, my last trip to Ikea made me weak in the knees (especially since they rolled out a bunch of new stuff) so I took a bunch of photos for ya. Not for compensation or anything – these sprees are just for fun. So here’s a little virtual store tour for ya. Let’s get down to bid-ness. Check out this gorgeous chair. I want him. Bad. This guy is the Storsele and it’s $119. The black lacquer-ish finish had me at hello. There were also these beauties: Hogsten ($89.99) & Storsele in yellow ($119.99). Doesn’t that sound like a fancy store that sells… ties? Or cigars? Welcome to Hogsten & Storsele. It has a nice

July Superlatives: Trips, Trucks & Toads


Ack. It’s August. Which means it’s almost September which means summer’s almost over which means it’s practically Christmas. Insert panic attack here. Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating, but I still can’t believe it’s August. So it always helps us keep the ol’ momentum up and avoid burning out by slowing time down for a second to take an appreciative look back on all of our happenings from last month along with some bonus never-before-seen stuff. It may not stop the Earth from rotating (only Superman can do that, silly) but it definitely inspires us to keep plugging away! Plus it makes browsing our archives a lot easier (you can read back through January of 2011 right

Mood Board: Outdoor Deck Furniture & Accessories


A bunch of folks have asked for a little deck mood board, just to see what we’re imagining when this beast of a project is actually complete (oh man, that might make our year). Of course since money is tight and we have yet to finish furnishing the patio that we built last year, we won’t have this thing thrown together overnight (which means any or all of the items on this board could sell out before we get to snag them all – wah!) but here’s what I’m loving today, just so you guys can start to picture it… 1. This fun

A Series Of Unfortunate Events


First there was a fortunate event. We found a giant piece of art in a pretty wood frame selling for $20 at a yard sale in our neighborhood. And when I say giant, I mean giant. It’s over 3 feet wide and 2 feet tall. The only issue with it was there was a small dent in the frame, which is totally not a big deal for us, so we went for it. John wasn’t really a huge fan of the painting itself, but we figured you couldn’t even get a canvas this big and build a wood frame around it for $20, so it was a good deal if only for the “base” that