A Fresh Start


We’re spending today packing things up, and although we thought it would feel monotonous and tiring, it’s oddly exciting. Basically I’m Kristen Wiig in this skit. Even the act of wrapping a bunch of cups in newspaper feels like “IT’S HAAAAAAPPENING! We’re really DOING IT!” Can you believe Clara looked like this last time we moved? Three birthdays (and a significant amount of hair) later, my baby’s gone. Sniffle. But there’s a pretty cool kid (complete with an arm tat) in her place, so it’s a fair trade. Life will change with this big move, and our blog and our process for the new house might feel different to you because we’re approaching it, well,

How To Install Oak Hardwood Floors


Get on the floor. Seriously, wood, get out of those boxes and do your thing. Oh how I wish it were that easy. Turns out laying oak flooring takes some serious time. But man oh man is it gorgeous when it’s down. So it turns out wood-floor-laying, my friends, is time well spent (picture me saying that as confidently as Ron Swanson says “turkey can never beat cow”). Don’t mind the dusty little path emerging from Clara’s room. We still have a few more spots to sweep… As we mentioned here, we decided to go with solid oak hardwoods for the four bedrooms and the hallway upstairs since many rooms downstairs (plus the stairs) have nice

Reader Redesign: Farmhouse Kitchen


Something about renovating a farmhouse just sounds so idyllic to me. And Joanna’s farmhouse kitchen renovation doesn’t disappoint. She and her husband took it from closed off and dated to open and, well, check it out yourself… Hey guys! I live in Texas and my husband and I are in the middle of renovating our 125 yr old farmhouse. We have been married for ten years, have four kids, and have lived in 9 homes. All of which we bought, lived in, and flipped. After we move into the farmhouse, I am done. I hope. When my husband first showed me this house, I walked right out of it and said there is no way.

A Full Rundown Of Home Makeover Projects & Links


Packing up our current house and new-house-floor-laying continues… … but we didn’t want to scoot outta our beloved current house without one more updated Listy McListerson full of everything we’ve checked off and a few things we’d love to have done if we were staying here longer (those are bulleted at the bottom). #warningitslong Just for fun, here’s the very first list that we shared for this house back in 2010. I love how plans seem to evolve as you live somewhere and figure out what we love/want as you go. It’s also really funny how quickly your eyes adjust and you forget what you started with, isn’t it? Seriously, a week after we knocked

Adventures In Hardwood Flooring


Late last week we were finally able to start installing our hardwood floors at the new house. It’s going well (we’re getting it done with our own four hands), but it’s proving to be a time intensive project – which is not necessarily the type of project you want to take on when you’re short on time (we’re scheduled to move in this weekend and would like to be completely done with four bedrooms and a long hallway by then – egads!). So once we’re breathing a bit easier and a bit further along, we’ll write up a play-by-play of how it all (literally) is going down. ‘Til then, enjoy this still-dusty pic of the

Fab Freebie: Indie-stagram


*** This giveaway is closed – see who won below! *** This week’s lucky random winner is.. Keelan (who’s favorite picture of herself from her Costa Rican honeymoon, saying “my husband took it of me at the end of the trip while I was lying in a chaise lounge and I just look the epitome of happy – relaxed, tan and soaking in every minute of our adventure.”) Congrats! We’re spending today with our family for the Memorial Day holiday, but we wanted to drop in with a giveaway for you guys. Are you a fan of Instagram? A lover of gallery walls? A sucker for things that are fast and easy? Well, read on,

Making Fabric Tea Bags For Pretend Play


Guys, I did it. I broke out the sewing machine to make something for Clara’s third birthday. It’s a little tradition of ours to make her something instead of buying it since she gets a ton of store-bought presents from family and friends. I even used her big ol’ stash of monthly photo fabrics, which have also come in handy for making her a quilt, a table runner, a beanbag, and even a birthday banner (remember that epic battle of woman vs. sewing machine?). It all started when I saw these fabric tea bags on Pinterest and thought they’d be really fun for Clara’s play kitchen since she’s so into making food and pretending to

Curtain Call


Yup, we finally called it. The old floral curtains couldn’t last another day. So we made a few jokes about Kim Kardashian’s Met ball dress and got ready to say goodbye. They looked pretty fancy, but they just weren’t our style, so it was time to take them down and make a nice little donate pile for Habitat for Humanity. The funny thing is that when we got up on chairs and lifted them down, we discovered that these babies were pinned and even screwed right into the window at times! Cracked us up. I mean, we’re no strangers to using fabric remnants and wood braces screwed into windowsills, but seeing white pushpins sticking out

April Superlatives: Inside, Outside & Acting A Fool


Um where did April go? The shower-iest month seems like a distant memory by now, but it was filled with outdoor makeovers, bathroom updates, shades a plenty, and even a bit of rapping. So we’re taking a moment to appreciate all the things that we checked off of our list as a motivator to hopefully make the coming months just as productive. Oh and you can catch superlative recaps of the last 2+ years here (in 27 easily skimmed posts instead of nearly 900 long ones!). Plus, we’ve got a little clue about what’s happening next week in the mix below… Most Photogenic: Next Monday’s giveaway, which should make all of you fellow Instagram addicts pretty

Priming And Painting Our Trim And Doors With A Paint Sprayer


If we’ve made one thing clear about our new house, it’s that we’re not crazy about the trim colors… Somewhere between the Williamsburg Blue and the Muddy Mauve, our painting hands began to quiver with excitement. Or was that dread? Not sure. We reasoned that while all of the carpet was up and before the new hardwoods went down, we should take advantage of the can-get-painted subfloor and go ahead and tackle the upstairs trim. Correction: trim and doors. Sixteen doors to be exact… which we removed and de-hardwared first for easy painting. Attempting to quickly paint four bedrooms and closets worth of trim along with a long hallway plus nine windows (with tons o’

Clara’s Dragon Themed Third Birthday Party


Who smells smoke? Don’t panic, that’s just Clara’s dragon party, rollin’ into town (er, the internet?). Note: you can’t really smell this party through your computer, so if you smell smoke, please look into it. This year’s party was lower key than our last two (here’s her first birthday party, and her worm party from last year) and even though it was rainy and wet outside, eight kiddos and twelve adults jammed out inside. It was fun. And Clara made me cry. She’s just so big and sweet and hilarious and I’m the luckiest mom in the world. Plus, dragons. I mean if that’s not a trump card for a party, I’m not sure what

Fab Freebie: Modern Family


***This giveaway is now closed – see who won below!*** Our lucky random winner is… RLR (who jokes her wardrobe could use some modernizing, but says “seriously, I would love to do some work on our master suite”). Congrats! InStyle Modern sells modern furniture at prices that make it easier on your wallet to deck out your dining room with a full set of chairs or give your kitchen island an upgrade with a new trio of stools. And not only are they giving this week’s winner a $500 gift card, they’re offering up free ground shipping and a special 15% discount. Check out the details below… PRIZE: $500 to InStyle Modern TO ENTER: Comment on

Making A Whole House To Do List (Where To Start)


Exciting times guys. Operation Ditch The Blue Trim is currently in progress! So while we sweat our way through un-blue-ing things on the second floor – that’s four bedrooms, a nice long hallway, and at least 10 doors – we thought it was high time we shared our master to-do list for the new house (and for anyone jonesing for trim-painting info/photos, we hope to finish up and be back with a full report for you on Wednesday). These posts came about when people asked how we organize all the stuff we have on our to-do list. We explained that we basically have one long run-on document that we update as we go. Folks kept

Making A Homemade Painted Fabric Background


Clara turned three on Tuesday (Threesday?) so we’ve spent the last few days marveling at this wonderful little lady before us and wondering where the heck the time went. And just like we did for her two previous birthdays, we marked the end of another 12 months by customizing the fabric backdrop for her photo project. You might remember that this tradition started on her first birthday, when we used my handwriting to create a pattern that we printed on fabric using Spoonflower (here’s how we did that). Spoonflower came to the rescue again last year, but we took advantage of Clara’s artistic abilities and converted one of her scribbles into the fabric that time

Pricing And Picking Oak Hardwood Flooring


Let’s talk about wood, shall we? As we mentioned on Tuesday, we decided to go with solid oak hardwoods for the four bedrooms and the hallway upstairs since many rooms downstairs along with the stairs themselves have a nice medium toned oak already (pretty similar to the hardwoods in our first house that ended up being super dog/kid friendly). As for where to get it, first we looked on craigslist to see if anyone had a large quantity of something in the right tone/amount (no dice) and then we headed to Lumber Liquidators, since we’ve had luck with them when it came to buying hardwood floors for half of our first house back in 2007

Halfway Through May


It’s time for our monthly moment of thanks to the sponsors who make the other 30+ posts possible. Without them we might not have food on our tables or clothes on our backs (and hungry, naked blogging doesn’t make for good DIY morale). So feel free to check out some things that caught our eye this month, and peruse our usual round-up of discounts at the bottom of the post – plus a hint about Monday’s $500 giveaway! This “Splatter Stacks” print from Hoot Design Co. Because books make me happy. Shades of Light‘s dhurrie rugs, like this honeycomb guy that comes in five colors. Our pal Dusty’s DIY backsplash install as featured on The

Drawing Up Floor Plans & Dreaming About Changes


Just like our first house floor plan and our current house floor plan from yesteryear, a bunch of you have requested a new house floor plan. So here ya go! They definitely help visual people like us see what walls are where, and what flows into what. So we whipped this up with floorplanner.com (which is, as the name might suggest, a free floor planning site). One big difference from the last two floor planning posts that we shared? This time there’s a second level. Who’s got two thumbs and a set of stairs? This girl. The funny thing is that when we shared a video tour of the new house, some people said “wow,

Ripping Up Old Carpeting And Prepping For Hardwood Floors


Dude, removing wall to wall carpeting (and all the layers under it) is no joke. We learned that when we finally tackled that task this weekend – and lived to tell the tale. Let me just tell you, progress smells a lot better than old carpeting. Even when there’s a substantial amount of sweat involved… When we bought this house we knew that the four bedrooms upstairs (along with the hallway) needed new flooring since the once-cream (now mostly tan) wall to wall carpets were stained, threadbare, and even holey in some areas. Thankfully a few areas were so loose we could peek under them during our very first walk-through to see what we were

Fab Freebie: Talent Show


***This giveaway is now closed – see who won below!*** This week’s randomly selected winner is… Sheilagh (who’s talents lie in “all aspects of art and being crafty!”). Congrats! One of the most exciting parts of doing a project is getting to share the sweat-inducing results when it’s done. And that’s the idea behind HouseTalent, a free site where you can easily upload before pics, progress shots, and after photos of the DIYs that are going on in your digs. The friendly interface makes browsing other peoples’ accomplishments just as easy as uploading your own inspiration – from small furniture builds to major room overhauls. And to help you get some of your projects ready

How We Sold Our Second House By Owner


Holy cow, did we just sell our house? (I’ll pause while Sherry flails around since that sentence is a trigger). Now that we’re through the inspection & the appraisal (and the closing date is officially on the calendar), we’re finally at the point that we feel safe enough to shout it to the interwebs (we waited until this point to share the “we sold our house” news last time too). Of course nothing’s guaranteed until we’re all signing on the dotted line in early June, but so far, so good… First, some background: Sherry was set on selling our house FSBO (For Sale By Owner) again. She argued that we stood to save nearly ten grand –

The Spread & The Splurge


Psst- We switched up our Forum layout for you guys after getting your feedback last week. Hope you like it! Happy Friday y’all! We have some interesting house guests today (we’ll instagram/Facebook a sneak peek as soon as we get the ok) so we thought we’d have some Friday fun over here. We used to make at least one mood board each week and we’d get your thoughts every Friday with Burning Questions (little home-related “would you rather…” polls) but somehow over the years our smorgasbord approach narrowed and before we knew it things were feeling pretty our-house focused. Which is why one of our blogiversary goals was to get back to the variety that

Painting Our House’s Exterior Siding


Remember back when we debated painting the siding on the front porch way back here in fall 2011? Hence the creepy Halloween wreath on the door. We had picked a color and everything (Flagstone by Martha Stewart – the one on the right in the photo above) but before we got around to doing it, the temperatures dropped too much to paint. Then the test swatches – which lived on our porch for several months (sorry neighbors) got painted over when it was time to shoot book photos out there. The project literally became out of sight, and out of mind. Then we redid the columns. And when we did a few of you guys

Reader Redesign: Bring Your Tuxedo


As much as we love a white kitchen, there are so many other fun options out there, like my sister’s wood cabinets + white appliances combo and “tuxedo” kitchens (a combo of dark and light cabinets). So when Rita’s makeover landed in our inbox, we couldn’t believe how much she changed her space for the better, and especially liked her two-tone cabinets. Here’s her letter: Hi Sherry and John, We recently finished renovating our kitchen. The challenge was creating a kosher kitchen (two sinks and separate spaces for meat and dairy) while keeping it looking clean and uncluttered and keeping the cost down. The original kitchen was beige-on-beige laminate with very little counter space. The

Spring Pinterest Challenge: Planting & Hanging Window Boxes


Word up my fellow Pinterest playas. Hope you got down with some baking, crafting, painting, organizing, sewing, building, or knitting fun because it’s time to share this season’s (completely unofficial) Pinterest Challenge (not sponsored by Pinterest or anyone else, just dreamed up by Katie to make us stop pinning and start doing). The only rule is to pin something you’ve wanted to get done (big or small) and do it. You know, instead of sitting on your duff pinning other things… which I’ll admit happens a whole lot in my world. Our mission this season? Window boxes! I actually pinned two window-box related pics, this picture just for the eye candy of it (at $90+