Some Sweet & Simple Fall Decorating


We spent yesterday painting the outside of the new doors (along with caulking and painting some peeling siding, because I’m kind of a maniac once I get going) but I thought it would be fun to go from sharing something kinda big that happened around the house (Jean-Luc the french door) to something smaller and totally free. Sometimes it’s the little things – and you guys have been asking for some fall-decor-related posts for a while now. So remember our old kinda minimalist mantel in the kitchen? Well, I decided to slap some fall into it and spend zero bucks. Call it a Use Whatcha Got Challenge if you will. And why not do it

How About A Bunch Of Photos Of Our New French Door?


Yesterday we shared a little ditty on DIYing vs. hiring things out with our busted old sliders as the star. They got stuck, had a broken screen, wouldn’t lock, and were rotting (you can read more about that right here). Then we decided it was high time that we finally sprung for a set of pretty new french doors that were the same style as the door in our laundry room to keep the house from feeling too hodge-podge. Here’s a process pic during the whole switcheroo… You can read more about the how and the why on the new french doors here. This post is all about the pictures (especially now that we’re done

Window Shopping: The Calm Before The Tour…


We’re doing our best to keep our word to those who have requested more window shopping posts, so we decided we’d keep the fun going by trying to hit up some awesome boutiques and shops when we’re traveling for our book tour in November. But lo and behold, before we have even left, we noticed that Target has some pretty awesome stuff out right now, so we thought we’d snoop around (and take you with us). For those who remember these things, we just stroll around a store and take photos of all of the things we love. Not for compensation or anything – these sprees are just for fun. So let’s all go skipping

When To DIY vs. When To Hire It Out


We get the whole “to DIY or not to DIY, that is the question” question a lot, so we thought this might be a great way to crack open our brains in a nice rambling and meaty post that hopefully makes sense of our thought process to you guys. And who better to demonstrate than our purty new french doors that lead out to the deck? Surprise! I’ll pause while you burst out into enthusiastic applause. We’ll be back tomorrow with more before & after photos and details on why we went for a french door, what the screen situation is now, and how they look open/closed/from the outside as soon as we’re done painting

Fab Freebie: Richmond Or Bust!


***THIS GIVEAWAY HAS REACHED ITS 10,000 ENTRY CAP AND IS NOW CLOSED – SEE WHO WON BELOW!*** And our VERY lucky winner this week is… Hallie (who knows that Belle Isle was once a fishing village for the Powhatan Indians – something even we hadn’t heard). Congrats – and see you in a few weeks! We’re spending today with the family for the holiday, but we had to drop in with our big giveaway for you guys. See, when we found out we’d be speaking at this year’s R.Home for the Holidays event on November 8th (which we’ve gone to for the past four years for fun, so it’s really crazy to think that we’ll

Adventures In DC


Ok, so this random Friday post is 25% about a quick little project, 25% about some house crashing-ish shots, 25% about general Clara cuteness, and 25% about Jewel. Yes, the singer. Who’s ready? It all began with a weekend trip to DC to visit my BFF Cat (who John and I set up with John’s cousin Travis and then they got married and had two kiddos- so yes I’m now related to my BFF). She, Travis, and their cute kiddos Elsa and Edison live in Arlington, Virginia and took us into the city to check out the National Aquarium in DC (John’s sister Katie along with her two sons John and Ben and her hubby

So Hot Right Now: School Nostalgia


It’s been waaay too long since the last mood board (you can see over 150 of them here), especially since a bunch of you sweetly requested their return during our recent blogiversary. And since I was in a weird mood, I decided it might be fun to whip up a little ol’ mood board full of affordable items on a specific topic. So here’s a gaggle of goods that are all under $25 on a theme that I’ve decided, kind of randomly, is so hot right now: school nostalgia. From ceramic paper airplanes to gorgeously redesigned grade school novels and trophy-esque vases, there’s definitely something in the air. Perhaps because it’s the fall – the

Our Adventures In Renting A Bagster Dumpster


So. My basement workshop. I owned up to how messy it was a few months ago. Then building Clara’s dollhouse prompted me to tidy it up a smidge – as in, look you can actually see some of the floor. And then the deck happened and it all went to crap again. A big sawdusty, scrap wood cluttered pile of it. But I made a promise to myself that once the deck was done I was going to take care of this issue once and for all. And I’m happy to report that after many hours, many calls, and some serious scrap-wood-carrying, some major progress has been made. My secret? The Bagster. I walked by

Tour Time


UPDATE: This post isn’t updated with recent tour info, so click here to see our official regularly-updated tour page. It’s heeeeeere. That fateful day when we finally get to reveal the finalized tour dates for our book, fresh from our publisher’s mouth (er, email). A few things to note are: 1. If it were humanly possible we would parasail/glacier climb/spelunk to every last crevice of the globe to thank each one of you personally for reading our blog. But given all the factors that go into planning and executing one of these things, we’re extremely grateful to be able to slide through all of the places they’ve scheduled us – especially since this was originally

September Superlatives: Trains & Travels


October is officially here, but before we dive into another month of projects, it always helps us keep the ol’ momentum up to take an appreciative look back on all of our happenings from last month – everything from making over Granny’s bathroom and building a train board to making some tables into ottomans and celebrating our 5th blogging anniversary. And since we love to throw in something never-before-seen, we’re actually revealing the first stop on our book tour below. So here’s everything in our usual weird yearbook-superlative-style that 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

The Keys To My Heart: A Quick & Personal Art Project


Last week during the blogiversary madness, there were requests for more fast & *almost* free projects – especially the ones that renters and homeowners alike can whip out in under an hour. So here’s an under $10 project that I took ten minutes, tops. Do you get the hidden meaning behind the keys? Look a little closer. See how there’s one tall key, one medium key, and two small keys (one of which is horizontal while one’s vertical)? Well, that’s our little key family. Haha. Burger’s the horizontal guy. When I saw a bowl of keys for $2 at an antique store on the way home from Granny’s, I stared at them for a while,

Fab Freebie: Portrait Of A Fido


***This giveaway is now closed – see who won below!*** And the lucky random pet parent who’s about to get a cheery pet portrait is… Kirstin (who’s excited to get a portrait of Lola, her “adorable Boston Terrier/English Bulldog mix”). Congrats Kirstin AND Lola! UPDATE: Kirstin sent us a photo of Lola. Isn’t she a heartbreaker? Somebody turned six last week around here. And his name rhymes with Schmurger (video evidence to come on Young House Life – we just have to upload it). Anyway, in honor of that exciting canine milestone, we’re hosting an exciting canine giveaway, courtesy of our good friend (and fellow Virginian) Lesli Devito. She’s got an incredible knack for turning

Bushwhacking: Part 1


Oh man, we were busy little yard bunnies this Sunday. As in, we probably logged about four hours out there. We started while Clara napped, which ended up being three hours (woot!) and then we each switched off watching Clara while the other finished a few things up. The mission? To have more than a few tiny slivers of grass in our backyard. See how that giant weedy-looking planting bed robs the yard of some great Burger & bean-friendly running-around area? The pictures don’t do it justice, but the planting bed is at least fifteen feet wide and the giant stick-like butterfly bush is around eight or nine feet tall. You think I’m kidding, right?