Blogiversary 5: Charts, Graphs & Tina Fey’s Face


As our fifth blogiversary week comes to a close, we must first dole out a giant thank you to everyone for the sweetness (oh the humanity) and the laughs (oh the hilarity) and – well – for taking our little annual poll that we dropped into Monday’s post. This year we had over 30,000 entries. Wowza. Thank goodness Google helped me crunch the numbers (a stark contrast to our first blogiversary poll where I copied and pasted all 199 comment responses into a spreadsheet by hand). Obviously it wasn’t a scientific study, but we did come out with some fun facts and figures that we thought would be fun to share here courtesy of some

Blogiversary 5: Goal Tending


It’s time for some annual goal declaring (because nothing lights a fire under your keister like a big ol’ public proclamation). Let’s do this thang. Goal #1: Embrace The Crazy (aka Be Flexible): After five years of blogging and over two years of both of us doing it full time, we’ve learned that no two days are ever the same. But this upcoming year is about to get crazier than anything we’ve ever experienced. Between the release of our book on Nov 6th and a 15 city+ book tour along with some secret side projects that we can’t wait to reveal to you guys (no mom, that’s not a we’re pregnant euphemism) the next 365

Blogiversary 5: Post Apocalypse


With over 2,300 posts under our belts, it’s becoming a Herculean task to read all the way back through our archives (although several of you deserve an “I survived the YHL archives and all I got was this lousy bumper sticker” bumper sticker). So we’re using our fifth blogiversary as an excuse to pull out some highlights from those 260 weeks of content. Sit back and enjoy this somewhat weird trip down memory lane full of firsts, favorites, and fun times. First Makeover Reveal: Even before the kitchen reno that started this whole site, our first before and after was actually our laundry nook in November 2007 (since the kitchen was still very much a

Blogiversary 5: Since You Asked…

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…we did our best to not be completely and utterly awkward beyond belief. Did we succeed? You be the judge. Just like in past blogiversary weeks, we invited you guys to ask us some personal (i.e. non-decorating) questions over on our Facebook page last week. And after over two hundred questions came rolling in, Sherry and I sat down and answered as many as we could while Clara napped one afternoon – and then culled it down into this 20 minute video. Among all of our shocking and jaw-dropping revelations (note the sarcasm) you’ll learn: If there’s a bun in Sherry’s oven What kind of money we’re earning for our book How working together has

Blogiversary 5: The Facts & Figures Of Blogging


Fire up your laser pointers and bunsen burners. We’re back with our yearly numerical slash statistical goodness. Each year we like to break down what YHL looks like by the numbers. Some are crazy. Some are surprising. Some are serious. Some are, well, just for fun. Oh and this year we thought we’d include a few fun blog facts that might blow your mind (no guarantees though, your mind might remain intact). Fun Bloggy Fact #1: Each month the cost for us to host our site (so it loads well/doesn’t crash, etc) is more than our mortgage payment. Fun Bloggy Fact #2: We have written over 2,311 posts in the past five years, and if

Blogiversary 5: A Day In The Life Of A Blogger


As we mentioned yesterday, it’s Blogiversary Week, baby (still can’t believe that we have been at this for half a decade). So we had some fun recording an average day in the life from both of our perspectives, so you can see what each of us – and even Clara and Burger – may be doing at any given time. Woop, here it is: 6:00 am – 7:30 am JOHN: The whole house is sleeping, so I duck out for a 5-mile run down by the river. I’m home by 7:30 and no one even knows I’m gone. 7:30 am – 8:00 am SHERRY: I wake up around 7:45 and the house is too quiet

Fab Freebie: Happy Fifth To You


***This giveaway has reached our cap of 10,000 entries and is now closed. See who won below!*** It took you guys just a little under 6 hours to push this blogiversary giveaway to its 10,000 entry cap, so we’re here with an earlier-than-usual update on our randomly selected winner. That lucky person is… Britta (who’s currently living in baby/preschooler world so she hopes in five years she won’t “have to deal with someone else’s poop on a daily basis and to be able to sleep through the night!”). Congrats Britta! For every blogiversary we try to do something special for that week’s giveaway. And this year we ran with the five theme and snagged five

Blogiversary 5: It’s On Like Donkey Kong


Holy cow, have we really been blogging for half a decade?! Crazytown. It feels like just yesterday that we were creating a basic page with a big blue-background so friends and family members could drop in on our first home’s kitchen makeover. For our fifth blogiversary we wanted to host a parade complete with homeowners marching by waving hammers and paint rollers, but since we couldn’t get that together – and it honestly sounded like someone could lose an eye that way – we decided to go for the next best thing: a week of blogiversary madness and behind the scenes hullabaloo (just like we’ve done for the past few years here, here, and here).

Installing A Dual Flush Toilet Kit & Hiding Our Shredder


We made four little updates around here, so I thought I’d smash them all into a quick recap post for ya. First, we have been meaning to convert our master bathroom toilet to a dual flush version for a while (we already did it to the one in the hallway and the one in our first house – seriously we LOVE this upgrade!). Sadly when we attempted to use this kit that we bought on Amazon (here’s the affiliate link for ya), it turns out that our new toilet isn’t compatible. Apparently the angle/shape of the bottom of the tank kept it from attaching correctly. So we padded down the hall to the guest room and installed

Reader Redesign: Foxy Houndstooth


Ready for some wow? Jess and Monica really turned some out for this makeover of their friend’s guest room. Sherry has been obsessed with houndstooth ever since I met her and you’re about to see a pretty cool take on it below. Here’s their letter: Hi John and Sherry! We just finished a fun and affordable room redesign for our friends Connie & Mark, so we thought we’d share it with you. When a close friend asks you to help re-do their bubble-gum pink, non-descript guest room, you can’t say no. Our favorite part of the room is the multi-colored houndstooth stencil. We love how it’s kind of a modern spin on a classic pattern. It

First House Vs. Current House


Q: I just read an old post of yours where you compared your last house to your current one – and it looks like you preferred the old one in some ways because you had done more renovation, etc.  I think it would be awesome if you did a do-over of that post now that it has been so long and you’ve done so much to improve your new house! – Thanks for all the inspiration, Sarah A: You’re right, it’s high time we revisited this weird little comparison of our first house and our current one, so let’s get right into it. It all started when someone (ironically also named Sarah) said this about

It’s Done! Our $170 Bathroom Makeover For Granny


As we mentioned in Monday’s post, there are almost always three main steps to room makeovers (some of which take forever and a day, and some that are done fast and furiously, like this bathroom blitz): prep/planning (brainstorming, picking a color palette, going shopping, priming, sanding, spackling) bigger upgrades (painting walls, refinishing or painting cabinets, laying new flooring, etc) finishing touches (curtains, new hardware, art, accessories – all the things that add “you” to the space) So Day Three (see Day One and Day two here and here) was all about those finishing touches. Here’s how it all went down (and yes, I was writing on the back of a paper plate with a calligraphy

Momma’s Closet: 11 Ways To Save Money On Clothes


Ever since this post about Clara’s clothes, I’ve actually gotten a surprising amount of requests for a post about how I save money on my own clothes, what my staples are, and how I generally get by without spending a ton of my momdrobe – er, I mean wardrobe. And although I’m hardly a fashion plate (that idea makes me snort-laugh) I do love a deal, so here’s a rundown on how I save money when I’m shopping for myself along with some sneaky sale tricks I’ve learned along the way and a few general dressing rules that seem to work for me (slash keep me from buying stuff I’ll regret/never wear/stare angrily at in

Day Two Of Our Big Bathroom Makeover For Granny


Yesterday you saw Day Numero Uno of what I lovingly call “Operation Granny Chic.” Mission: update my Granny’s bathroom over three whirlwind days. So with all of the prep work done, our day-by-day play-by-play continues with painting and new floors. Except for one minor step that stood in our way… Notice that giant rust spot on the air duct near the floor? Since there’s no way paint would fix that on its own (it would bleed right through), we slapped some Rustoleum on that puppy before breaking out the paint cans. It was amazing how one fast coat worked like a charm. The paint color we chose for the room is “Hint of Violet” by

Fab Freebie: Scoping Out The Goods


*** This giveaway is now closed – see who won! *** Glad to hear so many of you had fun with the quiz (though sorry it had a bit of trouble loading for some). has selected our lucky winner and she is… Emily W (who thought she’d be BOHO, but ended up a mix of Sassy and Classic). Congrats Emily! It’s been a while since we’ve posted about a fun what’s-your-design-style type quiz (like these of the past). And it’s been never since our post about one came with a chance to win $500 from HomeGoods. So if ever there was time to put aside your allegiance to scientific results, this would be a

Day One Of Our Big Bathroom Makeover For Granny


There are almost always three main steps to the room makeovers that we tackle, and depending on the scope/depth of them, they can take a few days or a few months (ok, and sometimes we jump around so much that things take years). Either way, the order seems to go like so: prep/planning (brainstorming, picking a color palette, going shopping, priming, sanding, spackling) bigger upgrades (painting walls, refinishing or painting cabinets, laying new flooring, etc) finishing touches (curtains, new hardware, art, accessories – all the things that add “you” to the space) So when John’s mom mentioned his grandma’s half bathroom could use a little makeover we got to put those three steps into action.

Turning Soup Cans Into Sweet Pop Art Pencil Caddies


Soup, there it is! Come on, could I pass up a chance to include this SNL clip? The answer is no. No, I couldn’t. Anyway, I’m beginning to think that Friday posts should be called Fast & *Almost* Free Projects since we had Sir Butterfly last week and now we have a little soup can craft that I did in honor of my good friend Andy Warhol (ok, so we’re only besties in my mind…). How cute are these guys holding some of Clara’s drawing supplies on her desk? The colors make me permasmile. The first step was grabbing four of the limited edition tomato soup cans that Target is currently selling in honor of

A Lesson In Thanks


**Psst- We know most Fridays we just post once, but every month on sponsor shout out day we double up. So we’ll be back in a few hours with a post about an inexpensive project that Sherry whipped up thanks to a pretty delicious “material.” Happy Friday everyone! We’re kicking off the day with our monthly “thank you” to our sponsors, since they help make our other 30+ posts possible each month. And in honor of the start of the school year, we thought we’d highlight items that have an educational spin to them, even if they just remind us of some of our favorite – or most dreaded – subjects in school (none of

Reader Redesign: When The Walls Come Down


If you send us an email with the words “1950s ranch,” “knock down walls” and “kitchen makeover” you’ve officially piqued our interest. And when you attach before & after photos as stunning as Jessica’s, well, end of story. I’ll need a moment to pick my jaw up off of the floor. Here’s her letter: Hey guys! I know how you love a good before and after and thought you might be interested in ours. We bought our 1950’s ranch just over two months ago and have been working around the clock to get her in tip top shape. We recently wrapped up the kitchen remodel and DIYed everything but the countertops. Since moving into our

Turning Side Tables Into Benches At The End Of The Bed


Here’s a tale I’ve been dying to tell for a while, but now that we actually got it done (this has been done in my head for over a year), we can spill the beans. Because apparently doing something in your mind does not a blog post make. Ha. So without further ado, here’s how we took two 5-year-old side tables from Target (that we hadn’t used since we lived in our first house) and turned them into much needed padded ottomans at the foot of our bed (since Burger needs a little help getting up into our extra tall bed, they’re like our version of doggy steps). First we placed the side tables in

Finally! Some Book Project Sneak Peeks…


One of the things our publisher does is have each of their authors create a short video about their book. A movie trailer of sorts – but for a book. Artisan suggested we hire a little film/editing crew to do it, but like true DIYers we took it as a fun challenge to see how much we could do ourselves. So we came up with an outline, wrote a little script, hired a local video genius to shoot it for us (who also happens to be our brother in law) and edited it ourselves in Final Cut Pro back in March. And now that we’re two months away from the official book release date (Nov

Accidental Upgrade: Our New DSLR Camera


You guys get extra credit for being especially perceptive, because as some of you have noticed, we got a new camera (we weren’t paid or perked, we just bought it with our own benjamins for reasons I’m about to explain). It’s a Nikon 3200 that we purchased on Amazon (here’s an affiliate link to the same model we bought) – basically the latest version of our previous DSLR, the Nikon 3000 that we got back in early 2010. The reason for the upgrade? Well, let’s just say the resident klutz around here (that’s me) finally klutz-ed it up a bit too much for our poor camera to handle. Can I get a womp womp? It actually happened back

Let’s All Walk Around The House Together…

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We’re about to get video happy up in this hizzy. It’s once again time for a video house tour since it has been about six months since the last one and lots has changed since then. So here it is. Ten soul-stirring minutes of me and John walking around the house together while I blab and he films (John = steady hands, Sherry = the chatty one). We’re nothing if not high tech. So come on in and walk around with us… A few notes: I’ve listened to this five times trying to hear Natalie Portman or Mila Kunis (since you guys always say you hear it) and I just can’t. We filmed this with our

Fab Freebie: Moore Candice To Love


*** This contest is now closed – see who won below!*** And this week’s random winner is… Stacy (who says “when I was little, I got the local radio dj’s autograph and thought I was so cool! Looking back, it is just funny how silly it was!”). Congrats Stacy! We love us some Candice Olson (and still pinch ourselves that our faces share a webpage with her over on So we sweet talked our way into a little Benjamin Moore / Candice Olson prize for you guys – including a signed copy of her latest book, Candice Olson Bedrooms. So once you’ve torn yourself away from petting her signature (not that we’d do that,