Twenty Favs of Twenty-Thirteen

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2013 has been quite the year. It began with a book tour, mid-pointed with us moving into a new house, and ended with us finding out that we have a baby boy on the way. And in between there have been lots of projects, announcements, transformations, and other good stuff. So we thought we’d make our last post of the year a look back at our 20 favorites – from makeovers to personal moments – of the last 12 months. We fell off the “monthly superlative” train somewhere around our move, so we’re well overdue for a little retrospective anyways (cue the slow jazz). So here we go, in no particular order… #1 – Refacing

Fab Freebie: Monkey Business

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If your garage looks anything like ours at the moment, you’re in luck. Monkey Bar Storage is hooking someone up with over $1,000 worth of garage storage and organization solutions. In addition to eight feet of grid shelving and an assortment of hooks and hangers, you’ll also get to pick three specialty racks for whatever fits your storage needs – bikes? tools? skis? golf bags? Heck, at this rate you could even add “pick up a new hobby” next to “tame the garage” on your New Year’s Resolution list. Please use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter (it might take a second to load, but it should eventually pop up below this paragraph). This giveaway

Painting Our Upper Cabinets White

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We’re soaking up a white Christmas over here! Nope, we didn’t wake up to any snow on the lawn, but there was a dusting of white elsewhere on the premises… We used last week to sand, prime, and paint all of our upper kitchen cabinets and – shocker – we ended up going with white. So yeah, it’s a little bit different from our original plan to paint them a light gray-tan on top… and a little more like what we did in our last kitchen – but just for those uppers. We have a completely different plan in store for the lowers – and it actually involves wood stain and no paint at all

Reader Redesign: Starry Night

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Hope you guys are having an awesome week-between-Christmas-and-New-Years. We’re soaking up some family time, along with sanding, priming, and painting our kitchen cabinets (it looks like a small paint bomb went off with some random gingerbread cookies among the fray), so we’re hoping to share our progress on Monday. But today we wanted to drop by with a makeover by Katy for her son Gabriel. This transformation was not only completed on a serious budget (she estimates that it was under $200, including big things like a bed and a dresser), it was also done in a rental (and we know you guys love to see those). Bravo to the landlord for letting her give

Fab Freebie: An iPad Stocking Stuffer

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We’re still surrounded by piles of wrapping paper, but we wanted to stop by with a special holiday giveaway for you guys. The prize? An iPad 2 along with a custom iPad cover from StickyGram! You may know StickyGram already from the cool magnets that they make for your Instagram photos, but they also create fun stuff like customized phone and iPad covers (the latter of which doubles as a stand). Please use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter (it might take a second to load, but it should eventually pop up below this paragraph). This giveaway is available to residents of the United States (but we’ve got an international giveaway coming up right after

Our Annual Christmas Card

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Every year we like to drop in before everyone abandons their keyboards for Christmas (or have you already?) to share our Christmas card along with some gushy words of appreciation. So thar she blows: We had a few other ideas planned for our card this year (Clara gift-wrapping Burger, Clara riding her bike with a tiny Christmas tree on the back as Burger ran next to her, etc) but a combination of book deadlines, hospital decorating, showhouse meetings, and bad weather tied us up. Thank goodness for this shot that we miraculously got on the day that we told Clara she was going to have a little brother (I’ve filed it under “Christmas miracles”). And

Hanging Floating Shelves In The Kitchen

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Let’s take some shelfies. You know, as opposed to selfies. If only we had Beyonce around to photobomb them, they’d be the best shelfies ever… The no-Beyonce consolation prize is that we finally got the floating shelves up in the kitchen, and it suddenly feels like we’re turning a corner. We still have a few major things on the list (like painting those cabinets) but the shelves make such a gigantic difference as opposed to the dark cabinetry that used to hang on either side of that window. Here’s how it looked a few weeks ago after we removed the wallpaper. And here it is from the same POV now, after removing the cabinets, re-hanging

Our Free Annual Calendar Download

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This time of year we tend to feel behind on just about everything: projects, emails, present wrapping, cleaning, proper hygiene… but by some miracle, we’re actually ahead in one department: making our homemade family calendar. As many of you know, for the last five years we’ve whipped up a simple-yet-colorful calendar in Photoshop. A few of you (like Lauren and Alexandra) have even asked if we had this year’s ready yet (since we like to share the customizable template, in case you need a last minute gift). So I’m relieved to exclaim “the deed is done!” It doesn’t usually serve as our note-riddled family calendar (that’s what Sherry’s desktop planner is for) but it’s more

Adding A Colorful & Functional Play Area For Clara

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Step right up to the wall ‘o fun! Sounds like a carnival ride, right? Don’t worry, there will be no clowns or motion sickness. It all started when we moved Clara’s crib out of her room, and shifted the dresser that used to be on this wall to the former crib wall (more on that here). Which left the wall to the right of the bed completely bare. So we decided to bring in a lot more fun to that blank space, now that there was room for it. Clara already has some baskets of toys and books along with a play-table where she loves to build castles and draw, but things like her play

Replacing A Hanging Microwave With A Range Hood

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Hood, there it is. Well actually, for the last couple of weeks it has been more of a “hood… there it isn’t” situation in our kitchen. You may remember that we removed our over-the-range microwave before painting the kitchen. It’s the only appliance we’ve planned to replace as part of our Phase 1 kitchen makeover, since it was so front & center in the room, it crowded our stove, and we always seem to prefer range hoods over microwaves with vents when it comes to performance. So we replaced it with a stainless countertop microwave (more on that here) which we’ll eventually get “installed” into our pantry for the long haul (even into Phase 2)

Crib No More…

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Well, Clara has officially made the full transition from crib to bed. We never expected her to sleep in her crib for so long (we’ve been “at the ready” with a big girl bed for over a year now, since many of her friends started making the switch back then), but this girl just loves to surprise us and truly adored her crib. And we adored that she was sleeping soundly all night long (even after being potty trained, she was able to hold it ’til the morning). So we didn’t want to rock the boat for all of our sakes, and decided to trust our doc when he said “let sleeping kids lie –

Fab Freebie: Tool Blizzard

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If your current tool collection could be described as “little to no accumulation” prepare yourself for the virtual snowstorm of power tools that may be coming your way. The good people of Ryobi are forecasting over $600 worth of tools this week. There’s a 10″ Sliding Compound Miter Saw. A Cordless Brad Nailer. And, best of all, a Ryobi ONE+ Ultimate Combo Kit that’s stocked with six tools (including 3 more saws!) that all work from the included 18V lithium ion battery. And if that doesn’t get your head spinning with ideas, there are plenty to get inspired by in the Ryobi Nation community – where you can enter to win even more tools. Please

Our Holiday Makeover At The Children’s Hospital

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Well, you can stick a candy cane in it, because one of our favorite seasonal projects ever is officially done! To recap, we were invited to help with a very special project: decorating a family waiting room at the Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU. They contacted us in the hopes that we could volunteer our time to warm up the room so it’s more cozy and homey year-round, as well as to add some festive touches for the holiday season. Not only did it sound like a fun project, it had such a deserving purpose that we couldn’t wait to get started. Here’s what it looked like when we first visited. We set our

Holiday Gifts For Guys, Gals & Kids: 2013 Edition

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Big news, guys! We finished our makeover at the Children’s Hospital, and we can’t wait to share all the photos – hopefully on Monday! So today we thought we’d Friday things up with one giant gift guide for everyone who has been asking for it (hope it’s not too late – and so sorry for the delay!). Last year we shared our picks for lads, ladies, and kiddos across three different posts, but this time we thought we’d just smash them all into one big gifty rundown. And in the interest of thriftiness, there are lots of under-$15 things along with a ton of $30-or-less finds. Note: none of these are affiliate links, we just

Some Happy Holiday Decorating

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Nothing makes a house (especially one that we’ve lived in for 6 months) feel like a home like a little holiday coziness. So along with decorating the front of the house, and setting up our tree, each year we love to document how we festive-ify the rest of the house (here’s that post from last year, two of them from 2011, one from 2010, one from 2009, and one from 2008). This year was an especially exciting year because it’s our first Christmas of living in this house… which means I have new spaces to play with – like a different fireplace mantel, and stairs for the first time in seven years of home-ownership! For

House Crashing: Textured & Southwestern

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To everyone who has asked where our House Crashing posts have been lately, we’re sorry for the hold up and we’re excited to share this one! It’s a well overdue tour full of inspiration, affordable finds, and a really unique style perspective. Plus it’s full of transformation photos because Lindsay and her husband started with such a rough “before” of a house (they totally saw a diamond in the rough). So let’s poke around and see what they’ve done, shall we? Here’s Lindsay now. She lives in Greenville, South Carolina with her husband and her Great Dane, Gracie – and was so gracious to virtually invite us all over. This is what the living room

Making Homemade Wood Slice Christmas Ornaments

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We finally got our tree decorated this weekend… We’ve shared a bunch of different trees with you guys over the years, and each year it has been fun to switch a few things up with a new “theme” like classic silver and white, citrus inspired lemons and real dried oranges, pastel pink and soft green with silver bows, crafty paint strip ornaments and ribbons, and a fun white to pink to to red gradient tree from last year. But this year there was a new theme in town: family. We just wanted to fill our tree with meaningful ornaments. Things that were one of a kind, homemade, personalized, given to us by someone special, and

Fab Freebie: Warm Wishes

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Well, the weather outside can be frightful this time of year, so staying curled up in a warm bed sounds pretty darn delightful (and it can be your everyday reality if you’re Burger). This week Crane & Canopy is making that temptation even harder to resist with a $250 gift card. They’ve got luxurious designer bedding – duvet covers, sheet sets, pillows, throws, etc – without the designer prices. So this gift card is an invitation to transform your bed with your pick of some colorful patterns, cozy textures, and even some intricate embroideries. Please use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter (it might take a second to load, but it should eventually pop up

How To Replace Fluorescent Lighting With A Pendant Fixture

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This past week has been full of showhouse meetings and Children’s Hospital projects, but we also managed to knock three more bullets off our kitchen to-do list. We (1) patched, primed, and painted the old yellowed ceiling, (2) replaced the two fluorescent lights in the kitchen area, and (3) replaced the light over the breakfast table. So let’s kick things off with our favorite new view: Each light installation had its own little peculiarities, so I’ll dive into those before detailing the work that went into the ceiling. When it came to replacing the big fluorescent light, many of you asked for a step-by-step rundown (so you can tackle one of these beasts at home)

Baby Petersik is a….

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… HE! We haven’t done one of these posts since 2010, so it feels kind of strange and exciting to be sharing this kind of news with you guys again. We found out on Wednesday, and then scurried to tell our families over the last 48 hours. Of course, the most important person to tell first was Clara. We didn’t want her to learn the news from an ultrasound technician, so we scheduled a playdate for her with my dad during this particular appointment. Then when we were back together, we surprised her with a baby boy doll (which are surprisingly hard to find, we learned). It was a cute little “OK, look in the

Eleven Fun Holiday Upgrades For The Children’s Hospital

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It’s official. We’ve checked off 11 things and there are just seven more to go. Two weeks ago, we shared our Children’s Hospital makeover project with you guys, and this week things really got rolling. As in, we got to start actually installing the room. Holy holly jolly, Batman! The shot above is a sneak peek of the tree that we Instgrammed yesterday and, as annoying as sneak peeks are (we know, we know) the good news is that we’re 60% done with everything (woot!). And since many of you were asking what we’ve been up to in there, we thought it was a good time for an update on our progress. You know we

“Can We Make It Like The Home Alone House?”

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Psst- Today’s a big day for us. Assuming the bun cooperates, we get to find out what the baby is, and hope to share that news with you guys by Friday. We’re also doing some showhouse kitchen selections and working on the Children’s Hospital, so we’ll be running around, but will try to drop in on comments as often as we can! But back to the Home Alone house. That was Clara’s quote about decorating the outside of our house for Christmas. She loves “Kevin and Bros” as she calls them (yes, Buzz = Bros to her), and has even picked up that they have a similar type of house to ours – albeit a

Three New Kitchen Lights

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Alternate title: spending a junkload of money on lights, but feeling pretty good about it. You guys know we’ve been excited to replace the light fixtures in our kitchen, and, well, the time is now. Decisions have been made. Light fixtures have been bought. And dreams have come true. We’re planning to keep all three of the new lights after our big Phase 2 renovation, so instead of skimping on placeholders we opted to go all-in on three things that we really love – and that we’ll hopefully remain in love with for the long haul. We’d like for all three of the new lights to relate to each other and “play nice” but actually

Fab Freebie: Art For Two

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Finding one-of-a-kind art that you love isn’t always easy, so we’re psyched about this week’s giveaway from ArtTwo50. They’ve got a virtual gallery full of tons of original art from over 500 artists ranging from abstracts and portraits to landscapes and beyond – all priced at $250 including shipping. While you can browse their art on their Pinterest page, the real fun starts when you download their free iPad app, which allows you to take a picture of your empty wall and virtually “try on” different pieces before making your selection. You can even post on social media to get feedback from your friends first. And speaking of friends, ArtTwo50 is giving away a $500