Fab Freebie: Under The Sea


***This giveaway is no longer accepting entries – see who won below!*** And the randomly selected person who’s starting their new year off with prize is… Jennifer (who answered this week’s question with a Canadian folk lyric – which I had to look up, mind you: “Lukey’s boat is painted green, Ha, me boys!”). Congrats Jennifer! Raise your hand if you know what a bathymetric chart is. I didn’t before this giveaway, but it’s basically like a topographic map for what lies underwater. But the more important thing to know is that the married duo behind Below the Boat turns these charts into gorgeous, laser-cut, hand-assembled works of art. They’re beautifully intricate and fascinatingly detailed.

A Few Tips From Our First Time Hosting For The Holidays


You’re cordially invited to our first ever Christmas dinner! There were 15 people here in total (and 4 of them were under the age of four) so it was lively and our house felt full in the best possible way. Not only did we not set the house on fire, we didn’t even burn the ham. Cue the collective sigh of relief. Actually, although we’ve hosted Clara’s birthday party last year & the year before (oh yeah and our wedding) they were all outside – so this was the first time we’ve had a big inside gathering. I kinda went into it worried that we’d be bad hosts/wouldn’t have any fun, but it was truly

Handmade Holiday


Does this totebag from Richmond Threadlab look familiar? If so, it may be because you caught our Instagram feed a couple of weekends ago when we hit up our local Handmade Holiday Craft Show (just like we did last year). The fair is a bi-annual craft-stravaganza put on by the Richmond Craft Mafia (we went to their Spring version earlier this year too). It’s always filled with tons of cool artists, crafters, and other handmade magicians from the Virginia-ish region. And thanks to most of them having Etsy shops, you guys can sort of virtually shop along with us. So here’s some the cool stuff that we came across, starting with some of the new

Reader Redesign: Positively Sweet Studio


Psst- We did it. We survived hosting our very first Christmas dinner at our house. So of course Sherry’s hyper and giddy about sharing all of the photos and details next week (we’re spending the rest of the week with the family, but we’re dropping in with a little post today and another one for you tomorrow too). Hope you’re all enjoying the holiday! When it comes to Reader Redesign submissions, sometimes it’s the room pictures that really get me, sometimes it’s the story behind the room, and sometimes it’s both. That’s why we loved the tale Julia and Chris’s studio tells… and the result is pretty sweet too. Here’s her letter: Hey John and

Making This Year’s Christmas Card (& Some Holiday Love)


Here she be, all ye merrymakers of the world: our 2012 family Christmas card. Obviously it’s a play on the tradition of leaving some milk and cookies out for Santa, with a nice dose of the reality that unattended food at our house doesn’t stay unattended for very long. By some miracle we were able to get this shot without having to Photoshop the two of them together. Usually Clara is all up Burger’s grill – meaning that Burger bolts before the first shot is snapped. But apparently they play well together when there are treats to be had. These are just some outtakes from our little photo session, which we actually didn’t start until

Fab Freebie: Holiday Clean-Up


***This giveaway is no longer accepting entries – see who won!*** Hope you all had a great (relatively clean) holiday week! The random winner in this week’s giveaway is… Karyl (who has “grand finale” to their present unwrapping:”we bring out a bunch of thrift store stuffed animals that we’ve wrapped in newspaper for the dog and cat. They start tearing into the packages with abandon. By the end there are two tired animals and about 3 inches of fluff, newpaper bits, and four happy kids piled across the floor. It’s a mess to clean up though, but huge fun.”) Congrats! If you’re like us, by the end of this holiday week you will have had

Live From Richmond, It’s…


…the third week of December! Okay, maybe that’s not as catchy as the opening to SNL, but for all y’all (yup, I said it) who follow our Instagram pictures (and who have requested the videos to match the wacky photos that we posted below) here ya go. Yes, we never thought we’d actually type a sentence like this, but we’ve had a busy week in the live television department. See, it sounds crazy. Also, about that pic on the right… we didn’t try to match the set. That just happened. And it was hilarious. By coincidence, two local Richmond stations actually invited us to appear on their programs – ahem – their LIVE programs, this

Reader Redesign: Bookcase To Built-Ins


I know what you’re thinking. Do John & Sherry want to marry built-ins? The answer is yes. What can I say, we’re just suckers for them (function + form = jackpot) so it was no surprise that Hilary’s project of turning cheap Craigslist bookcases into an architectural feature had me at “Hey there.” It was just such a smart use of space and such a wise way to adapt something pre-made (and affordable) to work for the room. Here’s her letter: Hey there John + Sherry! My husband and I moved into our little cape cod in Jersey just over a year ago. In the first year we tore out the old flooring, laid all

Lights, Camera, Action


Ok, more like lights, wrapping presents, teacher gifts, action. Doesn’t have the same ring to it, does it? But I have lots to tell you. Warning: this post is all over the place. A holiday smorgasbord if you will. We’ll cover: our somewhat non-traditional holiday tradition what we’ll be doing for Christmas dinner how we decorated the outside of our house for Christmas this year what we used to wrap all of our gifts (for zero point zero zero dollars) what we gave as teacher gifts for Clara’s preschool teachers Representing the “action” part of this post’s title, this year was going to be the very first year that we weren’t scurrying around like crazy

Making A Play Refrigerator From An Old Cabinet


Remember how we DIYed Clara a play kitchen last Christmas? Well, it was such a hit then (and still is – in fact it’s probably one of the only toys that she plays with every day) we immediately knew that we should add to it. More kitchen = more fun, right? What can you add to a play kitchen like ours? Well, it was clearly lacking a frigid kitchen staple. You know, a refrigerator. So we quickly homed in on that as an easy way to upgrade Clara’s setup. And the decision was made even easier by the fact that we had another cabinet leftover from the kitchen remodel that we had been hoarding saving

12 Fun Holiday Gifts For The Guys (2012 Edition)


When Sherry made a mood board of gifts that kids and ladies might like, there were actually a bunch of requests for a guy-gifts version from me. Color me surprised. But who am I to deny the people what they want? (cut to me muttering quiet profanities while trying to make a mood board). The good news is that ten hours later I emerged victorious. Fist bumps for everyone! I won’t even pretend that the items below will tickle every guy’s fancy (do men even having “fancies?”), but here are a dozen items that I wouldn’t mind finding under the tree… 1. This HOMAGE NYC tee, which I’m actually wearing right now. I treated myself

What We’d Do Differently In Our First House


Psst- We just learned about another awesome way to raise money for the relief fund for the Sandy Hook tragedy thanks to some generous Etsy artists who are donating money that they make this week from their Etsy shops to the cause. Check it out here. We’re putting the finishing touches on Clara’s DIYed Christmas present, so we’ll be back with a ton of pictures and details for you tomorrow (ahhhhhicantwait) but in the meantime, lots of folks have requested a post about what we’d do differently if we were decorating our first house now, instead of 2-6 years ago. See, back in this video we mentioned that when we look at old pics we

Fab Freebie: Christmas Lights


***This giveaway is no longer accepting entries – see who won below!*** This week’s early Christmas present is going to… Nancy (who says she “could certainly use some new lighting” and her favorite holiday glow “has to be my fireplace.”) Congrats Nancy! As much as we love holiday lights, indoor lighting is something that you stare at every day of the year. So if you don’t love your lighting situation, this is one way to “dude, get on that” without spending any cash. See, recently we were voted one of Lamps Plus’ top home blogs of 2012 (how flattering!) and it came with a $500 shopping spree prize… but you know we don’t take freebies

How To Paint A Brick Wall And Unify A Choppy Room


Note: Our heads are still spinning from the terrible tragedy in Connecticut on Friday. We’re sending lots of love to everyone up there and holding Clara close. Our friend Roo, who has three small children and only lives a few towns away from Sandy Hook wrote a post about how we can help, so for anyone looking for ways to make a small difference, here’s that link. Some brick-painting happened in the sunroom… Which we don’t think will surprise/sadden nearly anyone on the interweb since we heard so many war cries of “paint that brick!” after sharing our last sunroom post… We even got a bunch of more passionate and detailed pleas like: “I’m never

Beauty Queens, Bouncers, Crafting, & Stick Dogs


Hooray, our publisher has finally locked down a few upcoming dates that you guys have been asking for and even added a few more tour stops, so we’ll spill those beans at the end of this post! But before we get to what lies ahead, it’s time for our once-every-two-weeks tour recap of our most recent stops (the last ones of 2012 before things kick back up again in January). After our whirlwind week away in mid-November, we had Thanksgiving week off and then were back on for two separate stops in Washington, DC and one in our hometown of RVA. The first was at the FLOR store in DC. The tight footprint of a

Holly Jolly Thank Yous


**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 that involves holiday crafting, bouncers, and beauty queens (really). Oh and it has new tour stops that were added too. It’s time for our monthly showing of thanks to our sponsors (the folks who help make the other 30-plus posts a reality). And with Christmas being just over a week away (!) – and while there’s still some time to do a little shopping – we thought we’d share a few things that make us feel pretty jolly. We haven’t been gifted any of these

Decorating Our Mini Tabletop Tree & Making A Window Banner


There are a few more holiday projects going on (aka: getting crossed off the list – woot!) so let’s get right into it. Last year I grabbed four of these 3-packs of white felt tree ornaments from Target. I picked them up about a week after Christmas when they were marked down to ten cents per set instead of a dollar, which meant that in total I had 12 mini felt trees for 40 cents. They seemed kinda perfect to make a casual little banner that looks like hand-cut paper but is actually felt that I didn’t have to cut (which is win/win). Sidenote: this is my hand but it looks so much like John’s

10 Holiday Gift Ideas For The Ladies (2012 edition)


Aw, yeah. Momma made a mood board… for mommas (or any other ladies out there). Just like the kid edition for Clara, I got a bunch of requests for a $herdog version (and even a J-boom board, so he’s working on a holiday-for-him board for you too). So without further ado, here’s what I’m loving – both as gift ideas for fellow gals in my life… or even for finding under the tree myself. Oh and in the interest of thriftiness, there are five under-$15 things along with a few $30-or-less finds (with a couple spendier items peppered in there, but nothing over 65 beans). 1. This fun watch watch from Anthropologie is pretty cute.

How To Update Your Outlets (Step By Step Pics)


While our sunroom mojo was still running on high from accomplishing our most daring painting task to date, I quickly followed up with two small electrical updates to the room. The first is seemingly minor, but to us makes a world of difference in making a room feel new: updating outlets. It’s something that was especially helpful in a room like our sunroom where the off-white outlets just look dirty against the white trim. A basic new outlet and cover plate can run you as little as $2-3 so it’s not a pricey update – even for an outlet-riddled room like ours (there were nine in here). And the task of replacing them is pretty

12 Holiday Gift Ideas For Kids (2012 Edition)


We’ve received a bunch of requests for a Christmas gift roundup for kids (and some more casual “what are you getting Clara this year?” questions) so here are a few items that we’re loving (in fact, since both my mom and John’s mom asked us to send them links to things she might like, there are actually four things in this roundup that she’ll find under the tree from them). Oh and I tried to keep the price down, so most items are under $25 (some are even under $12, and nothing is over $49). 1. Clara loooves painting and definitely has an appreciation for vibrant colors, so I think she’d love something like this

Holiday Decorations All Over The House


Let’s talk about the festive-ification of various surfaces. Booyah. $herdog had some fun with the mantel… as she is apt to do. And since $herdog is also apt to share the play by play of her various surface-switcharoos with you guys, especially around the holidays, you better ho-ho-hold onto your hats. Because it’s about to get festive up in here. Spoiler alert: the console table and the built-ins weren’t safe either… The mantel makeover was pretty simple, I hung our stockings by the chimney with care, and stacked some faux presents that I made a while back on the mantel (more on how I made those here). Oh and see that glittered stag at the

Fab Freebie: Sew Simple


***This giveaway is now closed – see who won below!*** After clocking 10,000 entries under 24 hours, we’re already back to crown a random winner of the SINGER One sewing machine. The lucky person is… Angela (who says she’s a 1 on the sewing skills scale: “I can sew a straight line, but only if someone threads the machine for me first”). Congrats! I’ve never touched a sewing machine in my life, but I’ve heard Sherry’s passionate muttering from the next room while using hers. Which is why anything labeled “Our easiest to use machine!” sounds compelling. And we’re so (sew?) excited that Singer is helping us give away a SINGER One – a feature-packed

How To Paint Extra High Vaulted Ceilings


“Oh what a feeeeeeling, painting on the ceeeeeiling.” Why yes that was a Lionel Richie reference. You’re welcome. It was time to get some paint up in this heezy. And by heezy, I mean sunroom… hence the furniture being all piled in the center. But before we get to painting, let’s talk about the half-brick wall in this room – since you guys offered up lots of thoughts and suggestions in the last sunroom post. Some had suggested covering the drywalled portion in brick veneer or reclaimed wood. Unfortunately the dry wall sits in front of the brick, so there’d be this weird lip between the real brick and the veneer/wood (so we’d prefer not

November Superlatives: Rams, Moose, & Sailfish


Update: Yeesh, sorry about that oddly reoccurring Amazon/B&N.com “out of stock” message. To everyone who’s contacting us about getting our book (thank you!), you can order a signed copy here (they can ship it right to your door) or you can try calling/visiting a Barnes & Noble in your area (we hear they’re easier to find in stores at the moment). Happy Friday y’all. Now that we’ve checked off a bunch of projects this week (decorating our tree, framing our bathroom mirror, and ORBing our hardware) along with a craftsman house crash, a DIY link-fest, and a look back at a bunch of mistakes we’ve made, we thought we’d take a moment to look back