Homemade Jesse & Slinky Dog Costumes From Toy Story


Dude, I did it! I semi-DIYed my very first Halloween costumes, and I lived to tell the tale. It actually wasn’t too hard (do you believe that I didn’t sew a single thing?). Holla! In case it’s not super obvious, Clara asked to go as Jessie (the cowgirl from Toy Story) and Burger gets to be Slinky Dog (also from Toy Story). Here were most of my supplies for Clara’s costume: a “cowgirl hat” from a local pop-up Halloween store red yarn and white duct tape from AC Moore flared jeans from Old Navy (you know I used a coupon and bought them on discount Tuesdays) The first thing I tackled was making a long

Framing Keepsakes In Shadow Boxes – It’s Our Book In A Box


Maybe we should rename our site Young Shadowbox Love. They’re just my jam. I’ve stuffed them with everything from calendars with special dates circled… … to keys from all of our past homes… … to wedding paraphernalia. I think it just goes back to loving the idea of displaying things that make for happy memories instead of tucking them into a closet in a box that never gets opened. So pretty much from the second we started writing our book over three years ago I had my eye out for things that I could save and stick in a box to forever commemorate this crazy journey that we never could’ve guessed we’d ever be on.

Fall Pinterest Challenge: Making A Large Leaning Chalkboard


Quick note: We somehow made it through the hurricane without losing power, but we have relatives up in NY and NJ who didn’t fare as well. Our thoughts are with everyone dealing with the after-effects of Sandy. Stay safe everyone! It’s Tuesday the 30th… so it’s time to share this season’s (completely unofficial) Pinterest Challenge project (not sponsored by Pinterest or anyone else, just dreamed up by Katie to make us stop pinning and start doing). Huzzah! This time John and I tried our hand at making a large chunky-framed leaning mirror – except instead of it actually being a mirror we made it into a giant chalkboard (since chalkboard paint is probably the most

Fab Freebie: The Good Ol’ Days


***This giveaway is now closed – see who won below!*** Lots of fun responses this week guys, so thanks for that entertainment! Our lucky, random winner is… Cissyrene (a child of the 80’s who believes things have been best in her lifetime fashion and style-wise). Congrats! Our friend (and House Crashing alum) Diana recently opened up a new online shop to celebrate her favorite era of vintage furniture and accessories. She aptly named it Era Vintage and cruising through it is like a walk back in time (or a channel-surf through an episode of Mad Men). It has everything from vintage modern furniture and lighting to retro-cool dishware and knick-knacks. And one lucky lady or

Organizing Tools With A Pegboard & Nails With Glass Jars


Quick note: For now we just have lots of rain and a few wind gusts thanks to Hurricane Sandy, but things are supposed to get a bit rougher later today and tomorrow so we expect to be without power for a while (although we’ll post remotely whenever we can). We hope everyone else is staying safe and dry! Since pegboards are my new favorite thing, you knew I was bound to write another basement organization post that mentions them (along with some other methods to contain/control things like screws and nails) right? Especially since it gave me an excuse to embed one of my all-time favorite Target Lady sketches from SNL – Classic Peg: But

Three Fun Pumpkin Projects To Do With Young Kids


Since Clara’s still a few years off from knife-wielding age, we still scratch our heads each year for a toddler-friendly way for her to be involved in the pumpkin decorating process. When she was 5 months old we borrowed the outline of her hand to inspire a lady-like Jack-o-Lantern (a Jill-o-Lantern perhaps?) Last year we took advantage of her new-found dexterity and let her finger paint some pumpkins that we had strategically taped off ahead of time to later reveal some designs. And since she had so much fun last year (and we loved how they turned out) we did a slight twist on that idea by making tissue paper “sticker” pumpkins this year. Anyone

My Date With Nate


A bunch of you have been asking what I got from Tar-jay for Nate’s big weekend debut, and since I’m a die-hard fan (remember when our hands almost touched here?) of course I was the first girl at the store on Sunday morning right as they opened. Yup, even though we just got back from Cincinnati the night before, I’m a Noupie (Nate Groupie) so you can bet my buns were there, and they were excited. Then I went in. Womp-womp, no Nate stuff out. And when I asked where it was, the two sweet Target girls were all “Nate who?” Instead of extolling the virtues of Nate, which I totally would have done if

How To Prep Your Lawn For Grass Seed


It’s like I have my own personal Alseed. Yes, that’s a True Blood reference. I totally called John “Alseed” the entire time that he seeded our freshly leveled and ready-for-grass backyard. Why? Because I’m corny like that. He rolled his eyes but secretly I think he liked it. What dude is going to complain about being likened to this guy? Although I tend to like my men tall, dork, and handsome. Which is why John = even better than Alcide for me (yes that’s the correct way to spell his name, I just went with Alseed for the pun). But back to the freshly cleared backyard (you can read about all the phases that led

Nerding It Up In The Nasty ‘Nati


Sorry to take so long writing this post for you guys! We know lots of you were asking about it ever since we got back this weekend, but in true Petersik fashion we took way too many pics and had to figure out which ones to use and then felt like over-sharing about the whole thing… and thus this giant full-o-pics-and-words post was born. Anyway, the first tour stop for our book in Cincinnati this weekend was, well, kind of nuts. But the good kind of nuts. The kind where it’s like a whirlwind of awesome and can’t-believe-this-is-happening experiences all jammed packed into about 36 hours. We promise we won’t pour over the details of



We’re excited to share our Cincy adventures (we laughed! I cried! we got something confiscated at the airport!) and we’ve already started our Pinterest challenge project along with having a pretty cool before & after that’s almost done (just have to take pics and write that post for ya) so there’s lots going on in our casa – both duck related and beyond! I say duck related because, well… I snagged this odd little wooden duck for $4 at a thrift store here in Richmond (Diversity Thrift). The date? Oh, about a year ago. Yes dudes, I’m about to get on something after twelve solid months of the “thinking about getting on that” stage (you

There’s something in the air…


Nope, not a crisp fall chill. Not falling leaves. Not the smell of apple pie and pumpkin spice. Ok, so maybe those are in the air too, but you know what else is floating around? A certain challenge, that’s what. So who’s with us? Here’s how to play along. Just pin some inspiration and do your own spin. Yup, this highly embarrassing collection of our old Halloween photos can only mean one thing: we were into odd things as children it’s high time for a fall Pinterest Challenge (not sponsored by Pinterest or anyone else, just dreamed up by Katie Bower to make us stop pinning and start doing). I’m laughing the most at my wolf

Fab Freebie: She’s Not Jenny From The Block


*** This giveaway is now closed –  see who won below!*** It was fun hearing all of your rap names, guys. That and seeing how many people entered “C.LO” instead of “L.CO.” That does roll of the tongue a bit more easily… Anyways, our random winner is… Rebecca (or should we say “Rebizzle” since that’s her high school nickname, which has stuck around for 15 years). Congrats! When Sherry and I were looking for some big, bold paintings to add some oomph to a few book photos back in January we turned to a local painter (and friend!) named Lindsay Cowles. And when she arrived at our house to loan us some gorgeous canvasses for

Adding Some Basement Workshop Organization


Now that we’ve cleared out our backyard’s weed & liriope convention, let’s move on to another area that has been sorely lacking our attention. Yes, let’s spend some time in our basement, shall we? Oh wait – that sounds like an invitation to get murdered or something. Um, let’s just talk about our basement. You may recall that it recently went from a shameful deck-debris-filled no man’s land… …to a slightly more presentable space thanks to our Bagster rental a few weeks ago. Well, that Bagster purge and our recent yard sale were the kick in the butt that I’ve needed to finally put some energy into this room. Because honestly, we’ve put ZERO effort

One Guy’s Take On… Fabric


Quick note: We’ll be in Cincinnati tomorrow at the Books By The Banks festival at the Duke Energy Convention Center where we’ll be giving a talk at 11am and then signing books (advanced copies will be available for sale there!) and most likely being fantastically awkward (more details here). Hope to see some of you there!  And now for a fabric-fest. I know not all husbands enjoy being as involved in decorating decisions as I do, but I’d be willing to guess that many guys are more interested than you’d expect. We’re opinionated creatures. Heck, even I fall into that I’m-pretending-not-to-care-about-that-lampshade-as-much-as-I-really-do trap sometimes (and then later I end up disputing its purchase to a shocked

Reader Redesign: When It Rains…


It’s not often that a before photo actually makes me laugh out loud. But I did so I’ll cop to it right now. Just check out the shower tile in Erin’s main bathroom for yourself. Thankfully the incredible overhaul that she and her husband did means that old tile is nothing but a (somewhat hilarious) memory. Here’s her letter: Hi John & Sherry, we’ve been working on remodeling our foreclosure mess for just over a year now, and so far we’ve completed three bathroom remodels! I’m still doing a happy dance from how this last one turned out. This room started out as bad as it could get with dirty white tile & brown grout,

Drilling Holes In Your Pumpkins For Spooky Wood Snakes


Just to be clear, that post title is meant to be said in a Dr. Dre-esque fashion like he does in this song (aw yeah, $herdog still rocks out to the clean version of this 1999 classic). And now that we have that out of the way, let’s talk about something hardcore. Pumpkins, yo. This year we got lumpy bumpy orangy-red ones instead of the usual smooth yellow-orange guys just for kicks. The coolest thing about them is that they have stems on the bottom and top, which is kind of fun. Pretty much as soon as we got them home we got to work hollowing them out, and I directed John to make a

Bushwhacking: Part 3


Update: Thanks so much for all the kind words and general awesomeness on yesterday’s post. You guys rock my socks. Ladies and gentlemen, we actually have a backyard. Well, we still need to get some grass going on, but three phases of digging and transplanting and weeding (here’s phase one, and here’s phase two) have definitely turned our Jumanji-esque backyard into a nice clearing for Burger & Clara to run around in… once that aforementioned grass makes itself at home. And we still have a ton of giant trees on the side and back of our lot to keep it from feeling too open and stark, which seems to be the sweet spot for us.



It’s Tuesday afternoon, which means it’s high time for some over-sharing (aw yeah, let’s talk about feelings, shall we?). The very first hot-off-the-presses copy of our book arrived via Fed Ex yesterday and it kind of melted my brain a little, I think. We couldn’t stop beaming at it and saying things like “It’s real! It has pages! It has a cover! It has our names on it!” – but I’d be lying if I said that “crazy-pants excited” was my only response to seeing it there on the floor looking all real and book-like. I’m also skeered. Really scared actually. And since I’ve spilled my guts about 14 months of breast feeding, owned up

Knock Knock… Who’s There?


Moose. Moose Who? Moose Lamp!!! Wait, but some of that pic is photoshopped. I can explain. It all started when I saw a moose lamp at an moving sale back in West Virginia when we were there to makeover Granny’s bathroom… I couldn’t resist grabbing him for ten bucks. His shade was an odd too-small shape and his paint was flaking off in a few places… … but I knew I could take him from log-cabin to log-cabin-chic with a little spray paint and a new shade. So guess what? Dude, I got on that (see how these odd, usually-animal-related “Dude Get On That Already” challenges started here). I got on that moose like a

Fab Freebie: It’s The Tiny Things


***This giveaway is now closed – see who won below!*** Now that the Christmas countdown clock has ticked to 67 days left, how ’bout we announced who random.org selected for this prize? That lucky person is… Janaya McKeon (who is “crazy excited for my husband and I to share our very first Christmas together as a married couple, and dreading the inevitable weight gain that accompanies me.”) Congrats Janaya! There are 70 days ’til Christmas, y’all. Yup. It just got real up in here. So if you’re looking to help keep the holiday hysteria at bay, we’ve got a great way to check one thing off your list: cards. Tiny Prints is gonna hook one of

Bushwhacking: Part 2


When it comes to our jungle-esque backyard, we last left off with transplanting/digging up one giant 15′ garden bed and leveling it all off in the hopes of growing some lush green grass. And we’re back with a little backyard update (why yes we did spend the weekend getting muddy and why no, I still don’t have Madonna arms, but maybe a third day of bush whacking will be the charm?). Much like any other “room” in the house, it’s definitely a do-it-in-phases thing, especially since it’s such a you’ll-be-sore-after-each-phase process, but there’s something awesome about digging around in the yard for a few hours while the bean naps and Burger sleeps lazily in the

How To Host A Low-Key Yard Sale


When Sherry and I hosted our first yard sale over four years ago, we remember feeling rushed to get everything outside and set up, being stressed about how to price everything, and constantly obsessing over how much money we had made as the day went on. It’s like we were both so excited to sell stuff that we didn’t like (so we could go buy more stuff that we did like) that it became a bigger deal than we initially expected. Fast forward a few years (we also had a moving sale back in 2010) and we found ourselves hosting another clear-things-out yard sale now that it’s 2012 (I guess our pattern is every two

Spookin’ Up Some Appreciation


**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 yard-sale related post. For October’s public shout out of thanks to our sponsors (the people who make the other 30+ posts possible each month) we’re “embracing the spooky” and highlighting some items that have a darker side… or just make us crave candy. And there’s a hint about Monday’s giveaway hidden in here too. As always, the items haven’t been given to us (time for the obligatory no-swag policy link) and you can browse some ghoulish discounts at the bottom too. Okay, there’s actually nothing ghoulish

Reader Redesign: Owen’s Room


Nancy’s room for her son Owen is a great example of how a nursery or kids room can be cool and sophisticated while still being playful and fun. Which is pretty awesome, especially when the price tag is a mere three hundred beans. And since we get a bunch of folks asking for kids rooms, we couldn’t wait to spill the pics along with Nancy’s note below: Hey guys! I have been living in my home for four years now, and I finally decided it was time to decorate it. I started with my two year old son’s room, and now I am questioning why I didn’t start with my room first. I may just