Our Sentimental Bedroom Photo Wall


Our master bedroom has moved leaps and bounds over the last few days in terms of not looking like a big empty room with a bed in it. And by leaps and bounds, I mean frames and curtains. And more frames. Plus a few more frames after that.   Before we started putting a bunch of holes in our walls, this is what the room looked like (and what it has pretty much looked like since we painted it nine months ago). It was in desperate need of curtains at the very least, but we’re not done with those yet, so just ignore those and let’s talk about the frames.   We had long talked

Lighting Up The Night


There’s something illuminating going on in our sunroom. And I’m not talking about the fireflies Clara is constantly trying to catch and befriend (she told me the other day that she wants one to live in her room FOREVER). Befriend? Imprison? Potato, potahto. Yep, our sunroom – er, veranda if you’re nasty fancy – is finally sporting some lighting, courtesy of the new fixtures that we added to the posts in the four corners of the room. Our original plan last summer had been to install light kits on the two fans in the room, but we never found fan lights we liked… and then we slowly warmed up to the idea of sconces around

Fab Freebie: Art Meets Science


It’s not every day that you get an email from the country’s largest science museum, which is why my nerd-dar went off the charts after the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago reached out to offer up $350 towards some museum-worthy art. They’ve launched a photography shop offering dozens of museum images as fine art prints and wrapped canvases. The images cover everything from historic pictures and illustrations (some of my faves being old trade catalogs, like the “Types of Screws” chart below) to photos of museum exhibits and artifacts, like their iconic baby chicks, colorful architectural prints, or old timey bicycles. Please use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter (it might take a second

How You Like Me Now?


You guys have been curious about everything from how our concrete counters are wearing and how our refinished foyer grout is holding up to how our new blogging schedule is working for us. And since we’re not always great at updating you guys (blogging tends to follow an “on to the next thing!” pattern), here’s a big ol’ rundown, which marks the third one in this series (here’s our first one and our second one so you can check out if we covered other topics you’ve wondered about there). Our Ardex-concrete counters: These guys have largely been awesome, and our sealer choice has made them even more durable than we expected. For example, we thought we’d

Adding DIYed Pull Out Basket Drawers In The Kitchen


Remember how we had a trash compactor in our kitchen? Remember how we removed it waaaaay back in March? Well, we have officially filled the void with some slide out baskets. Only took us three months. Not that the hole it left wasn’t super attractive and crazy functional. I mean, if incorporating a “great Clara hiding spot” into our kitchen was the goal (and I put that in quotes because Clara’s hiding spots are frequently preceded by “I’m going to go hide in the [insert one of four usual locations here]”). So yeah, it’s time this hole worked a little harder. We debated a few options – like putting a trash or recycling bin there

Since I’m Genetically One-Quarter Egg Chair…


John described me that way in this post, and it made me laugh because let’s face it, it’s true. I’m also one-quarter dog fur (it’s always all over me) and one-quarter ceramic animal (no further explanation required). How quickly this post got off track. Anyway, now that we have a sofa and a coffee table on our back porch, the next thing on our list was a little more seating to round out that side of the room in the form of a comfy chair. Our first option was just to buy the $749 chair that matches our sofa. We liked that it would definitely tie into the color/look of the woven sofa without us having

Fab Freebie: Shine Bright Like A Diamond


How does $500 towards new lighting for anyone in the world sound? We’ve added four new additions to our lighting collection at Shades of Light, so we figured a giveaway was a fun way to introduce them to you guys. Nearly a year and a half ago when we launched our first collection with them (more on that here), we knew we wanted a cool flush mount light (you know, to fight the good fight against boob lights everywhere), which was solved with the Diamond Ceiling Light. And our yearning for a geometric table lamp was remedied with the Metal Strap Lamp Base. We also added another larger scale hanging option to the mix (these

Our House’s Original Owners


One of our favorite posts in our entire archive is this one about hearing from our first house’s original owners. It was so much fun to see photos of their family in our house back in the 60’s, and we studied every inch of each picture and relished every detail that they shared in their letter. We were also friendly with the people who sold us our second house, so although we never heard from the original owners, it was really great to know the sellers who had lived there for 22 years! So we always hoped to hear from the original owners of our current house. For a while… nothing. And then it happened!

A Patio Coffee Table Hack (And A Sofa)


Guess what arrived?! I’ll give you two hints: this and the photo below. Admittedly, both are very strong hints. Maybe I need to work on being more mysterious. Despite Sherry’s promises to throw a ticker tape parade when our new outdoor sofa showed up, its arrival was unceremonious. Sherry was on a conference call. A big truck pulled up. I handed off the baby to Sherry and ran outside. A big box came out of said truck. Yada yada. Clara was out with Grammy, but when she arrived home she declared it “perfect!” and said “I love it!” and that was that, as you can see in the video below. What you can also see in

Organizing Our Home Office


As promised, we’re back with the details of how we organized the six new shelves and eight new drawers in our office, along with the drawers in my floating desk and the filing/printer cabinet on the other side of the room. In other words: what went where. It’s awesome to have so much more storage space, both out in the open and behind closed doors, so let’s spin over to the left and face our new desk/bookcase wall first. Here are the animated GIFs that John mentioned on Monday. You were on the edge of your seat for these, right? Or were you excited about donuts? I can’t remember. Here’s the bookcase to the left

Fab Freebie: Ultra Handy


How does a fancy new tool and $500 sound? That’s what Dremel is dishing out this week with their new Dremel Ultra-Saw, a 3-in-1 tool that’s like their Saw-Max (which I own) except it’s cranked up a few powerful notches. In addition to making flush and plunge cuts in all sorts of materials (wood, metal, plastic… even tile and stone!) it can also do surface prep like grinding off old thinset or stripping paint off metal and concrete. And Dremel is throwing in a $500 Visa gift card so you can take it for a spin (literally) on whatever project you dream up. Please use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter (it might take a

Our DIY Newborn Photos


You guys have asked some questions about taking our own newborn photos, making Teddy’s birth announcement, taking Clara’s four year photo & making her annual video, and what I got for Mother’s Day (spoiler alert: it’s a super sentimental photo book of kid quotes from Clara), so this post is a smorgasbord of all that documentation. As I wrote this I thought “maybe John and I are more ‘document-happy’ than most people” – you know, to take so many photos and make a yearly video, etc. But then I realized that most people with a blog probably lean towards a love of capturing things, and a ton of our non-blogging friends and relatives have phones

I’m The Fjalkinge Of The World!


Our office has made perhaps its most significant functional improvement since we started talking about it back in March. We have six spacious shelves and six extra long drawers thanks to two tall systems that flank the desk. They’re balanced looking and full of function (our previously bare wall was sorely lacking). In short: we love them. And the soft close drawers are the icing on the office cake. It’s not finished (still want window treatments, a rug, art, a ceiling fixture, etc), but it’s inching a lot closer than it was a week ago. As weird as it sounds, I think it was having Teddy that snapped us out of our furniture placement rut

One Year In


This week marked our 1 year anniversary of moving into this house. So to celebrate that milestone (while we work on an office update to share on Monday) we thought we’d drop some infographics up in hizzere. YE-AH, BOY! As an homage to this stat-tastic “before” post, we picked out some fun facts and figures from the last 12 months-ish (and we dropped a preview of our in-progress office project in there for good measure). For a more all-inclusive rundown of the progress we’ve made over the last year, complete with before & after photos and links to each project, you can check out our (freshly updated!) House Tour page. Or if you’re in the mood

Fab Freebie: His Publisher


We’ve been buying photobooks from MyPublisher for a couple of years now, and when they offered up a $500 gift card for one of you, we said heck yeah. In addition to our annual family yearbooks, I recently bought some Mother’s Day gifts from them for Sherry and our moms. So if you’re so inclined to whip something up for another parental holiday (hint, hint – Father’s Day is June 15) there’s still time. And today is the start of our favorite promotion (free extra pages) which has saved us upwards of $80 on past orders. Please use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter (it might take a second to load, but it should eventually pop

Outdoor Sofa Searching


The combination of all this nice weather and hosting Clara’s party outside have us back on The Outdoor Update Train. Chugga chugga, baby. Just picture me wearing spit-up-stained overalls with a striped hat to shade my mom-to-an-adorable-baby-who-wakes-up-all-night eyes. It’s particularly exciting because we worked for a few months last year to renovate the sunroom by ripping up the old carpet, removing the old broken doors, lofting the ceiling, getting some electrical work done, installing a plank ceiling, hanging two fans, and tiling the floor. There’s currently a daybed out there (an indoor daybed from West Elm, which has no long-term business being outside) along with an ancient Ikea coffee table. And two of our dining

Making Five Dollar Nursery Wall Decals


If Teddy ever forgets what letter his name starts with, he now has a whole wall to remind him. That’s right, it’s always “T” time in there. Har-har. As we mentioned a few weeks ago, Sherry and I settled on a plan for a subtle accent pattern on the wall between the built-ins. Our original plan was to paint the Ts, like Sherry did for Clara’s raindrops. But after some of you suggested things like vinyl decals in the comments, we decided to give that a whirl instead. Vinyl has become a pretty mainstream option these days, especially for kids’ rooms. It’s removable and affordable, so we see the appeal. This tube – which is