Photo Booths And Boards & Battens

So March is kinda on the way out already, but before we get too giddy for spring (who am I kidding, we’re all hyper for nicer weather) we’re taking uno momento to look back at February. We’ve learned that stopping to appreciate our accomplishments is key when it comes to keeping our momentum up, and February was a month full of travel-detox, hallway-upgrades, and big-girl-room-projects. So here’s a recap of the shortest month o’ the year (plus a peek at something new at the end) in our usual yearbook superlative style. And if you want to look even further back, we’ve got each month of the last two years summarized right here (in 25 posts instead of 840).

Thriftiest: I’d say this goes to all of you – well, at least to the 200+ of you who participated in our random little Macklemore Thrift Shop Challenge. It was quite entertaining to see all of the hilarious things you guys found with only twenty dollars in your pocket.

Most Well-Trained: We’ve gotta hand it to Clara, who seems to be picking up some of her mother’s instincts when it comes to fabric. She actually helped choose this fabric, so we brought it home and made it into curtains for her big girl room.

Most Inspiring: Our trip to the Jonathan Adler store in Georgetown, which was a feast for our color-loving eyes. And while we didn’t buy anything on that trip, we came home with lots of ideas – including a few thoughts for how we might makeover some secondhand finds in the future.

Favorite Trick: We tried out an old Candice Olson trick for hanging frame collages for the first time – drawing the layout on a big sheet of paper and using that to mark our nail holes. It was really fast and easy, so we’re glad we finally had a chance to take it for a spin.

Most Confusing: Our post on using chalk paint for the first time (to paint the backs of Clara’s chairs) created a little confusion in the comment section since we hadn’t been clearer that chalk paint is different than chalkboard paint. Thank goodness we could jam a quick update into the post to explain that chalk paint is just a different type of paint formula (like oil-based paint or milk paint) but it isn’t meant to be written on with actual chalk (although we hear you can do that if you don’t wax it).

The Worst: Nope, there’s no word missing on the end of that title. The simple description of “The Worst” goes to me, for accidentally locking our rental car keys in the trunk when we were on our west coast book tour stop in Portland. Fortunately, as you can read in this recap, the rest of the trip was thankfully lots of fun.

Biggest Help: Clara, who once again broke out her drill skills when it came to installing our post card ledges on the wall in her big girl room. Feels like it won’t be too long ’til I’m the one lending a hand for her DIY projects.

Least Remorseful: This post about buyer’s remorse explained how we make all kinds of mistakes in the decorating process (um, our dining room chairs?) but we try not to let them hold us back from moving forward. You know what they say about “if at first you don’t succeed…”

Most Thrilling: As you can tell from my expression, this label most certainly applies to when we tried out various shades in Clara’s big girl room. We took four of them for a spin (in a The Voice-ish parody that we called The Shade) and finally settled on our one true shade-love. Clearly, a good time was had by all.

Most Last Minute: The Valentines that we whipped together for Clara’s preschool V-day exchange. Fortunately, Target had the hook-up and (with the addition of a little homemade poem) we were able to send Clara off with something cute for 16 kids in under $7.

Most Transparent: This floating frame, which Sherry created by adapting a regular frame with just a few supplies that we had on hand.

Most Delayed Satisfaction: Hanging these bird cages in Clara’s big girl room as a playful art installation of sorts. Why delayed? We bought that big birdcage at a thrift store in the end of 2011, just knowing we’d find a spot for it someday.

Most Influential: Sherry, who is clearly trying to get our daughter hooked on ceramic animals as soon as possible. And in this case it’s literally hooks (from Anthropologie) that hold some of her hair accessories.

Most Quotable: I could give this award to Clara most months (like this and this) – and for this particular round I’m giving it to her for the moment in this season’s Pinterest Challenge video where she just couldn’t hold in her craving for a marshmallow any longer.

Most Awesomely Awkward: The bathroom at this restaurant in New York, which we shared as part of our final book tour recap that covers NYC, Charlotte, and Atlanta. Why is it so awesome? Because it’s a unisex bathroom with a photobooth in it. Why is it so awkward? Because five minutes of picture-processing turned us into weird bathroom loiterers.

Most Playful: This goes to the closet in Clara’s big girl room which – since she still has most of her clothes in her nursery – can act as a secret little toy & game zone for the time being. Of course that was after we cleared out all of the clutter that was in there and brought in a few new goodies.

Cutest Couple: This is a tie between me + Jeremy Bower and Sherry + Katie Bower. During our trip to visit them in Atlanta last month, Jer and I took the kids to the playground while the girls grabbed some sweet antique store scores. And while our bromance bloomed during a guys movie night, the ladies stayed up late doing some spontaneous crafting.

Cutest Couple (Toddler Edition): I can’t mention the words “cutest couple” without handing out some recognition to these two. Seriously, they had us at holding-a-balloon-while-smooching.

Biggest Basketcase: Sherry, who got her maniacal laugh on at the start of this post, after adding a dipped detail to the toy baskets in Clara’s big girl room (and knocking off a few other things on the ol’ to-do list in there).

Longest List: Our updated tally of what’s been done and what still has to be done around our house. It’s refreshing to see lots of rooms coming together, but just as exciting to think about the spaces – like our carport and our front porch – that have lots of potential for further improvement (can’t wait to box out those porch columns and add a pergola to the carport). This post also has links to just about every project that we’ve done in every room, so if you want to catch up on the history of any part of our house this is the post for you.

Longest List (Runner Up): The just-shy-of-650 projects linked up at the bottom of the Pinterest Challenge post. That’s a lot of pinspired projects to peruse, people. Well done.

Cheapest-Slash-Biggest Upgrade: The board & batten that we added to our hallway as part of this season’s Pinterest Challenge which majorly transformed the narrow space, for just $57 bucks. Why did we wait so long to do this?

Most Likely To Give Burt Wonderstone A Run For His Money: These paper tulips from West Elm that Clara gave Sherry for her birthday which magically turned into real tulips overnight, courtesy of moi. Alakazam! Double flower power for the lady-wife.

So, what did you guys pack into those 28 days of February? Were you on planes and in cars for a while and then freakishly happy to be home? That’s probably a good description of our month. Did you guys do anything especially fun? Exciting? Dramatic? Marshmallow related?


  1. says

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY SHERRY! So, I thought you actually might enjoy this…appealing to your Jersey roots and all, ha.

    Um, I leopard printed easter eggs this year. YEP, LEOPARD Easter eggs, don’t usually hear that combination of words…but they’re awesome.


    PS I’m dying to see how the fireplace turns out…we have a similar situation going on and I never have any idea which way to go!

  2. Laurie says

    You probably already know this, but Jonathan Adler is coming to JcPenney’s. My office building is across from the mail and I have to walk through everyday to get to the food court. Woo hoo.

  3. JC says

    Are you guys at YHL very religious? I know you’re not Mormons lol. How do you guys feel about the LGBT community – just curious because of the rumors of John being gay. I know John is a runner but do you guys workout/exercise regularly and/or follow diets, cleaning eating or anything? Any plans for baby #2? I know there are always rumors about Sherry being prego. How do you decide what to tell the world and what not to – I thought you guys weren’t going to blog about training? I enjoy personal post btw. I also miss Sherry writing. Do you know if your old house gets tourists or special attention because of YHL? Any new blogs you’d recommend? Anyways, I love the YHL approach to blogging. Your site is well designed, well maintained, and therefore super user friendly.

    • says

      We’re Christians, my husband is a straight man (Clara is our child, we made her together, haha!) and we would love to be blessed with a future child although I’m not currently pregnant. I feel like I get asked that every day and explain that I’m not but then another question pops up. I used to get annoyed for John about complete strangers deciding that he’s gay (do they want to be in our bedroom and watch or something? haha! have they ever even met us?) but if you put George Clooney’s name into google it says that too, so I think the internet is just a strange place :)


    • April says

      Wow – Sherry that was a very gracious response! I’m not sure I would have been so…diplomatic.

    • says

      This has to be the biggest troll I’ve ever seen on the internet ever.

      I’m seriously surprised this isn’t a spam comment hyperlinked to a website offering Lexapro and iPad deals.

    • says

      Yeah, I thought it was spam, too.

      Um, I’ve only met you guys 3 times but I DARN sure know John is not gay. In fact, John and my hubby are a lot alike (he’s not gay either). Sherry, if AND when you have #2 (it’s none of our biz), we will all be excited and happy for your growing family,. Please don’t let people like this ruin your day or birthday. As I’ve said before, you two are the sweetest, most gracious couples I’ve ever met, and anyone would be lucky to know you two :D Sending you a virtual hug (#4)!

      This person needs to troll elsewhere!

    • Katie says

      Wow…just…wow! I honestly ready this thinking it was a sarcastic comment about all of your readers wanting to know every little detail about your life (I’m guilty too!). I was waiting for the big joke at the end but it never came!

    • lees says

      Wait, John and Sherry did you write the “JC” comment above? I’m thinking maybe you wrote it to be funny since these might be a lot of questions you might get all the time, and you can answer them all in one shot….I could be wrong though.
      I just read it and instantly thought–i think they wrote this. My cousin told me she sometimes does this on her blog when people ask tons of the same questions all the time. She’ll write in as a commentor and then answer the question to make a point. haha.

    • Laura says

      OMG…sorry, but my mouth was hanging open as I read this. Don’t worry Sherry, John reminds me of my husband a lot (at least superficially, clearly, I don’t know you that well), in the sense that he’s attentive and thoughtful, takes care of himself, and generally dresses well. He has definitely had some well-meaning dudes try to pick him up, but he takes it as a compliment.

  4. Rosemary says

    That most awesomely awkward bathroom at The Smith is just a few blocks from my house and is ALWAYS awkward – but that’s why they provide the awkward shoe shine chairs, so you can wait and make friends!

    INSIDE TIP: there’s also a tiny peep hole at eye level at the bottom of the stairs and tiny videos of burlesque ladies play. Weird but true!

  5. says

    I love these recaps! I love that picture of the dining room chairs and all of the different versions. That’s exactly what goes through my head when I try to update one of my projects. Usually, I get stuck after one repurposing, but this totally inspires me to re-repurpose!

  6. Tracy says

    Am I missing something? I can’t see ANYTHING linked up for the pinterest challenge post. On all the other editions, I can see the buttons at the bottom, but not this one. What am I doing wrong?

    • says

      Hmm, maybe if your computer has a pop up blocker or some sort of spamware/malware software running it might be blocking them? We didn’t do anything differently this time- so sorry they’re incognito!


  7. says

    I swear I’m not checking out John’s butt (I’m dying with embarrasment as I type this but if I don’t ask then I’ll never know right?) but I was wondering where you get a majority of your pants from? You look like you’re the same build as my hubby and I’m always on the lookout for nice fitting pants/jeans for him. Thanks! And again I promise I’m not ogling. :D

  8. says

    Ha! I must have read over the part where John locked the keys in your rental. It made me think about our trip in Napa, for a friend’s wedding, a few years ago. Someone mistakenly took my hubby’s suit coat with our rental car keys in it after the reception. We were staying about 30″ away from Napa and had to wait for the backup key (from the rental co.) to come alllll the way from San Fran to pop the lock, so we could finally go back to our hotel. Needless to say it was a looong night/early morning!

    You were just making memories, John ;)

    • says

      My keys got locked in my car at the town hall because….my dog stepped on the lock button. We live in a small town so my keys were in the car while I ran in. Luckily this lesson was learned previously by her doing it once before so I had at least the window down far enough that I could reach in. Lesson has definitely been learned since then in that I NEVER leave my keys in the car and shut the door if the dogs are in there! The first time it ever happened we had to coax her to pretty much keep moving around/dancing around the car until she stepped on it again. *palm on forehead*

    • says

      That’s the lesson my MIL taught me when my daughter was born (in the summer). Now, I always leave the window down enough so I can unlock it SHOULD something happen in that split second. The Texas summers are brutal and you don’t want to mess around with locking a kid or baby in the car.

    • Brandy says

      On the day my parents were taking me home from the hospital after I was born, my dad was getting into the elevator with my three siblings to go get the car and dropped the car keys down the elevator shaft…they were on a big keychain with lots of other keys but they somehow found their way to the tiny opening between the doors and floor. It was also a Sunday so of course the elevator maintenance man was not there. Needless to say my mom was less than pleased but it’s a funny story now! A neighbor had to come and drive everyone home and my dad finally got the keys back the next day!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *