Archive for October, 2012
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 time weren’t of the essence (I was picturing mobs of people at other Targets a la Missoni) I ran out to the car and said “other Target, go!” breathlessly to John. Second Target: nada. Then I started to get nervous. It wasn’t that they’d sold out, nothing had been put out yet. So I started to worry it was only available in exclusive cities. We had a family par-tay to get to on the other side of town, so my hunt was put on hold until we were on our way home and passed another Target. But… they only had an unlabeled end-cap with a few towels by Nate. So I just resolved myself to the fact that maybe it wouldn’t come to Richmond or it was a week late or something. And then John surprised me by stopping at yet another Target on the way home, “just to be sure.” Yes, there about a ten Targets in our city, apparently. And when I walked in, I saw this:
And the clouds parted and I heard angels singing. Stylish accessory-loving angels. Of course I instagrammed that shot immediately, so some of you might recognize it. And I had actually taken that picture after I snatched up the two things I wanted and stood next to them protectively (I was still waiting for a stampede of people to come through and grab every last item). So here’s my “mine” shot:
I’d been ogling the white tortoise shell ever since I saw it in a preview video of his collection, and the little spiky urchin was so quirky and porcupine-esque that I couldn’t resist. When I got back to the car I was holding up my scores and smiling so maniacally that John (who had stayed in the car with Clara) actually started laughing at me. I was that grinny.
And perhaps the funniest thing was that within 24 hours Katie instagrammed her scores, and lookie what she grabbed:
Does it confirm best-friend-ness when you buy the same things without knowing it? I think it should. I called her the second it posted and we both cracked up. Good times.
As for where things ended up, this corner always felt a little heavy on the left side…
… so hanging the tortoise shell seems to balance things out a little more. It’s so glossy and ceramic-animal-esque. LURVE.
Bam. Close up. Isn’t it cute on our stenciled wall?
And here’s where the urchin ended up – on my little fall mantel. Since I already had a bronze spiky orb thing on the other side (you can check it out here), the new guy seems right at home.
So there it is, my date with Nate. What did you guys get? Did you have trouble finding things? Did anyone get any of the bedding or towels? What about those cool chains in those bold colors. I loved the yellow one, I just didn’t really have an idea of where I’d put it, so I passed (it could be a fun DIY project with an old heavy chain and some spray paint though).
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, yo. 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 to the “now” in the pic below here, here, and here).
We get lots of questions about how we seed/what we use/how we spread it, so here we go. First we raked the entire area we were seeding to fluff up the soil, get rid of rampant acorns, etc.
Then we added some top soil in a few not-as-level-as-we’d-like areas where we had dug things out (like liriope, weeds, etc)…
Then Alseed did his thang. Look at that carefree leg-in-the-air technique.
John just rolled around the yard, broadcasting the seed with our spreader (from Home Depot a few years back). We like to use Scott’s Tall Fescue Mix, which is a blend that’s formulated to work really well in our area, especially in shaded lots like ours (it’s the same thing we used to seed our first house‘s front and backyard after clearing & readying them).
Not only did we seed the areas where we dug, we just went over the whole backyard to fill in any bare spots or patchy spots where grass was already growing, but might have been thinned out. This is called overseeding. In an ideal world, overseeding each fall can lead to a super awesome lush yard without pumping it with tons of chemicals since keeping a yard lush helps to crowd out any weeds that might want to grow (a thinned out yard is a lot more susceptible to them popping up everywhere).
Oh and we swept the seed that got sprayed on the brick paths into the dirt so we wouldn’t have a whole bunch of grass springing up along the bricks. So that’s a tip if your broadcaster gets seeds all over an area that you don’t want to get grassy, like a walkway. Just sweep those babies away (optional: when done, dust your shoulders off a la Jay-Z).
Only about four days later (with quick 15 minute watering sessions each evening, just to give those little seeds a chance to sprout) we saw this:
Houston, we have liftoff! It usually takes us about a week to notice any green stuff sprouting up, but thanks to some near perfect grass-growing weather (not too cold at night, and not too hot during the day – with a fair amount of rain) we ended up with this surprisingly lush result just a little over a week later:
The funny thing is that I didn’t do a thing to the after pics in photoshop after sizing them down and slapping a “now” on them (didn’t green up the grass or up the saturation). That’s just the amazing neon-green power of fresh baby grass. Hubba hubba. Although the day I snapped the afters also happened to be after some great rain and it was a less blindingly sunny than the day of the before shots, so that might explain why other bushes and trees actually seem greener and less blown out than they do in those before shots.
Every day Clara and I look out the living room window at the backyard and I tell her that when the grass grows in she and Burger will have an awesome place to play. She loves peering out the window to check her “play grass.” See that big square window on the left of the pics below? That’s our watching-the-grass-grow window.
And yes, there are a whole bunch of bushes that need a trimmy-trim (doesn’t that sound like something Tom Haverford would say?).
Here’s the view back at the house from the end of that path. Oh and check out the vine on the tree that we cut here. See how it’s dropping leaves/thinning out? Woot!
One more b & a. Just because I can’t help myself. Man grass never looks as green as fresh new baby grass, does it? Me-ow.
So there it is, four phases of backyard upgrades that added up to one pretty amazing difference. We’ll reseed again in the spring, just to help everything get nice and thick (and to help keep those weeds away naturally). Then it’ll just be maintenance (hand-pulling the occasional weed, mowing, etc), which seemed to work well at our first house. What are you guys up to outside? Is there any last minute hope-it’s-not-too-late grass seeding going on? Or any other multi-phase projects that are finally winding down? It’s nice to tie up this backyard project just as we dive into basement stuff… and after that we have the hall bathroom in our sights!
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 every single tour stop over the next few months, but we thought checking in every week or two with an update would be a good balance along with all of the usual DIY fare (we’ve always loved sharing travel happenings). And because this was our first stop it was just too novel and exciting to keep our mouths shut… unlike this Instagram photo below from our flight on Friday (where both of our mouths are firmly shut).
We left Richmond behind around noon on Friday and headed to the “Nasty ‘Nati” (as one reader told us it was called – although there’s nothing nasty about it) by way of Philadephia. Clara and Burger stayed back at our house with my parents for the short trip, so it was our first night ever spent away from Clara. It was definitely an adjustment, but it wasn’t as bad as we feared. Most 2.5-year-olds that we know have already had sleepovers with their grandparents or other family members for at least one night, so we figured it was high time that we ripped that band-aid off anyway. And she did great!
Our flight got us in about 90 minutes late. It wouldn’t have been a huge deal had we not arranged to House Crash someone that afternoon (the flight delay meant they had to wait patiently at our hotel for over an hour – eeks!). But they were great sports about the whole thing and their house was gorgeous despite the fact that we lost all natural light by the time we arrived. Thankfully we still got a bunch of awesome shots! You’ll get the full photo tour in a week or two (we’re juggling a few other House Crashings that we’ve secretly done and still have to write up for ya) but here’s a pretty little snippet.
Note: To all of the amazing folks who invited us to house crash, we wish we could’ve visited you all!
Despite the delays of the day, we still made time for some Cincinnati staples on Friday night: Skyline Chili and Graeter’s ice cream. Locals warned us that Skyline might be an acquired taste, but I thoroughly enjoyed my “three way” (chili + spaghetti + cheese mountain) and Sherry’s chili on a potato was equally good (for anyone wondering, she dumped a gallon of hot sauce on it and said she was in love). At Graeter’s (which is famous for their massive chunks of soft chocolate chips) Sherry downed a giant scoop of the popular black raspberry chip and I got cookie dough chip on a cone. It was great, even though it was about 45 degrees outside.
But the real fun started on Saturday at The Books By The Banks Festival. We can’t even begin to articulate how mind-blowing it was to see stacks of a book that we actually wrote for the first time ever (before this event, we had only seen one of them – and there were a lot more boxes of books under that table). So there might’ve even been some tingling sensations. Sherry claimed that her nose went numb. Which might be the only excuse for the series of dork-tastic photos that we took. Like the Home Alone inspired pic that we shared here and the Where’s Waldo one below:
The festival doors opened at 10am so we were able to get our book signing hands warmed up for about 45 minutes before we got whisked away for our 11 o’clock presentation. We had only written our presentation about three days prior and practiced it maybe three times (we both don’t like to over-practice something since it sounds stiff and scripted) and it was a bit intimidating to suddenly find ourselves in front of all of these people. This was just half of the room – my pic of the other half came out too blurry thanks to my jittery hands.
We had some technical difficulties with the slide remote not working (nothing like a rocky start to boost your confidence!) but word on the street is that we weren’t terrible. Phew. A big thanks to Emily for snapping this Instagram picture that makes us looks like we know what we’re doing. Keeping it real fact: we were both nervously bouncing our knees under the table the entire time. #tablecloththankfulness
Speaking of other people’s pictures, we had so much fun snapping photos with those of you who stopped by once we were back at our book signin’ table. So please know that you don’t need to be shy about asking for a photo. In fact, we’re cool if you just hold up your camera and say “Snap snap, yo.” (Thanks Laura for the one below).
And feel free to take advantage of our weirdness by making requests for how we should pose. Annie suggested we do the see no / speak no / hear no evil thing (not sure why I did coy geisha hands) and Natasha requested her favorite: the “what’s going on?” hands pose.
Another heads up to anyone coming to a future tour stop. If you bring your child, Sherry will go into full time fawning mode. The younger the kid, the more intense it will be. Especially on stops like this where Clara isn’t with us. Ok? You’ve been warned.
We also finally got the chance to meet the awesome Dana Miller from HouseTweaking (spoiler alert: she’s actually one of ten guest bloggers that pop up in our book!). This picture was especially entertaining after Katie Bower asked where my other hand was. Oddly enough, I think it was on Dana’s husband’s back (I have quite the wingspan). Oh and if you’re looking for a breakdown of Dana’s experience, she wrote about it here <–complete with who to bring, when to get there, what to wear, and tips for making friends in line
And thanks to the many suggestions from you guys to use the blank dummy copy of our book as a tour “yearbook” (it has blank pages inside), we asked everyone to sign it. We got signatures, some sweet notes, and even some awesome kid drawings. Heck, a few adults even drew us pictures, mostly because Sherry egged people on. Allison drew a portrait of Burger, Bill drew us a castle (at Sherry’s suggestion), and then Mike tried to top everyone with a technicolor unicorn (another Sherry suggestion).
Perhaps the most shrill Sherry-moment of the day was when someone brought a ceramic animal that they wanted her to sign. How awesome is that? I think that was on $herdog’s life list.
If you can’t tell yet – it was a fun day filled with lots of fun people. We could not get over how nice everyone was. Seriously. Everybody was just so kind and happy – even after driving long distances, waiting in line, and even after finding out that we had sold out of books (our publisher only a had a finite amount ready since it was an extra early event, so we signed book plates and took photos with the people who didn’t get one). Some sweet folks even brought gifts. GIFTS people. Who are we to deserve this niceness? Or is this just how midwesterners roll? Thanks for the sweet glass bird, the print for Clara, and the Kentucky horseshoe & grass seed, guys!
One thing’s for sure: Cincy has set the bar really (really really) high, so we can only hope that everyone at our other stops are as understanding, kind, and gosh-darn adorable. That’s right. I’m a dude and I just said gosh-darn adorable. You guys were so amazing to make the drive, survive the wait, and completely understand when the book bounty ran dry. Of course no one wants these things to go more smoothly than the hosts, our publisher, and Sherry & I (we’d have 1,000 books at each event with no line if humanly possible!) but it’s so nice when folks are all laughing and having fun in line together. #giddy&grateful
Laura even thoughtfully gave me a bottle of their favorite local soda – Kentucky’s Ale 8 One ginger ale. But since it’s Aquatober (my month of only drinking water) I just tucked it in my bag to be enjoyed on November 1st. Sadly the TSA official at the airport thwarted my plan. Drat! Forgive me for not having the chance to enjoy your present, Laura! #confiscated
The sweetest moment of the day goes to Riley, the little girl who saw this Charley Harper book at another author’s table and thought “Clara would like this” and gave it to us to bring home to her. Sherry totally cried. As in, she was actively wiping tears from her eyes when the next folks in line came up to us (she’s mortified, but I told her it was cute). And Clara totally loves the book from “her friend Riley.”
Things slowed down for us around late afternoon (we were only supposed to be there until 1, but since the earliest flight home wasn’t until 6 we stayed around to continue meeting people and signing bookplates until right before the festival ended at 4). And on our way out we snuck in some time to enjoy the tail-end of the festival ourselves. For instance, we snagged this pic with Clara’s favorite bear couple to show her when we got home. Berenstain Bears for the win!
And speaking of meeting celebs, we had a chance to meet Bob and Cortney Novogratz since they were at a nearby table signing their new book, Home by Novogratz. We were all so preoccupied with our presentations that our interaction was sadly just a rushed exchanging of signed books before they had to catch a flight home to their seven kids. Though we did sneak in a quick picture too – which started off like this (Sherry likes to say that her default setting is “creepy”)…
… and ended like this:
Both Bob and Cortney were super nice and their book is great. We’re especially loving all the budget breakdowns in there (it correlates with their show, so it’s fun to see how much certain items and projects really cost). And how crazy is it to see an HGTV star holding our book? BANANAS.
In addition to getting a signed copy of the Novogratz book, we also got signatures from Gillian Flynn (author of Gone Girl) and Tad Hills (creator of some of Clara’s favorite books). It was one of those crazy whirlwind days that you almost don’t believe actually happened until you look back at the pictures.
But before we could even begin to absorb all the wacky and wonderful things we had just experienced, it was time to hit the airport for our flights home. Speaking of wacky… I guess a long day of meeting awesome people and skipping lunch to keep up with signing = hyperactive airport hijinks.
As much as we expected to just be dead tired, we were still so energized by all of the love in that room. We even had some fun in the kids’ play area before we had to board our real (and notably less giant) plane home.
We landed in Richmond shortly after 10pm, just over 36 hours since leaving the morning before. We were still riding on that Ohio-induced high, but definitely eager to get home, snuggle Burger, and catch a few winks before waking up Clara with some major hugs the next morning (she was already happily snoozing when we got in).
Thanks again to everyone who took time out of their Saturday to come on down. It made us so excited for our next leg (Manhattan, Wilton CT, and Ridgewood NJ on Nov 1st & 2nd) and everything else beyond that too. But most of all, we’re psyched (and still a bit anxious) that this book is finally in the hands of people besides ourselves and our publisher. That’s probably the craziest part of this whole thing. Two hundred of our babies are out there in circulation. Getting read, and hopefully being enjoyed. Thanks so much to all of you guys for making this possible. #whowouldathought