Labor Day

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Just as we did over Memorial Day, we used the long Labor Day weekend to squeeze in a few days at my parents’ beach house near Bethany Beach, Delaware. It was another trip full of family, food, and fun-slash-weird finds. And you know we love a good vacation/what-we-saw/what-we-bought post. And we actually bought two pretty big items that we’ve been trying to find for a while. Our weekend adventure actually began in Maryland. Specifically, here: It’s the Ole Sale Barn in Denton, MD. We’ve passed it countless times on our treks to the beach and have always been fascinated by it. The stars finally aligned on this trip (i.e. weather, holiday schedules, baby nap schedule)

Framing Out A Mirror That’s Mounted On A Door

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Let’s talk about a mini makeover that involved a whole lot of hiccups. It was alllllll the way back in January that we decided that this mirror on our master bathroom door could stay (unlike the one on our guest bathroom door, which got the heave-ho since the person on the toilet could see THEIR ENTIRE BODY in it). But we figured the bedroom mirror could stay (since it doesn’t force you to stare at your reflection while on the porcelain throne) on the condition that we’d create a thicker frame around it to give it more presence so it looked less like one of those big flimsy $5 mirrors that you bring to college.

Outdoor Updates, Be They Ever So Slight

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Perhaps this screenshot of our old header will give you a hint as to what we tackled in this outdoor update (which is most likely number 7 of 582, since we like to tackle outdoor stuff in bite-sized stages so we don’t get too sore/overwhelmed or blow the budget)… Yup, that’s the Camellia tree that we first mentioned back in March (you guys actually helped us identify it). It’s a beautiful tree, but we’ve always bemoaned the fact that it was growing just inches (maybe even just one inch?) from our foundation… which made us tres nervous about permanent damage if we allowed it to stay. After showing it to a few plant expert friends

Making A Big Double Desk With Secondhand Cabinets

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The transformation of $6 hotel nightstands into a built-in-wall-to-wall-desk-for-two continues. If you recall, we last removed the hardware, sanded, and primed them all in preparation for painting them white. But before painting, we had to do a bit of construction (we needed to attach them in pairs and built them up about four inches so they’d be desk-height). And before doing any construction we decided we ought to look at them in the space first… … which is clearly something that we should’ve done sooner (but they’re darn heavy, so moving them back-and-forth isn’t fun – which is why we plopped them down in the sunroom and moved on to sanding and priming). Oh well,

Fab Freebie: Steam Me Up, Scotty

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***This giveaway is no longer accepting entries – see who won below!*** Random.org’s done it again and randomly selected our two winners. This week they are… Holly (who’s looking forward to wonderful fall sleeping weather) and Ida (who’s ready for anything pumpkin or butternut squash). Congrats ladies! With the pooch and the bean running around, we try to avoid chemicals, so this week’s prize is right up our alley. With only a bit of water and some fast-acting heat, the Black & Decker Steam-Mop is ready to clean and de-germify your floors, whether they be wood, tile, stone, or laminate. Plus it has some pretty handy features, like a lighted tank that turns colors when

Notice Anything Different?

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Yup, after months of working on a little behind the scenes blog makeover (not kidding, this stuff literally takes us months) we’ve FINALLY let ‘er rip. Like any project, there were unexpected delays: mysterious coding glitches, inexplicable site crashes (thanks for your patience on those, btw), an earthquake and even a hurricane to round things out. But before we let another excuse get in our way, we decided to just go for it. It’s not 100% done. It may crash the site again. There could be a blizzard next week. Who knows. It’s actually surprising to us that we haven’t done this sooner. We’ve had the same exact blog look/background/layout since the spring of 2008

Fab Freebie: Sign Me Up

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***This giveaway is no longer accepting entries – see who won below!*** Thanks to random.org, our trio of winners are…Kristen (who just signed up for Pinterest and is already addicted, but hasn’t had the guts to do anything yet), Victoria DeVaugh-Geiss (who just signed her up for a gym with her husband) and Robyn (who sadly just signed up for unemployment after having been laid off). If you’re name isn’t here, don’t forget you can still get $10 off your Signs by Andrea order with code YHL10 through September 12th. Weathered old wood? Check. Simple clean lettering. Check. Personalized and hand-made? Double check. Signs by Andrea hit a lot of our favorite decorating notes, which

Cabinet Hunting (No Store Left Unturned)

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First of all- holy cow. We just had a crazy earthquake a few minutes ago. Very strong! It was completely unexpected for our area (we’ve never had a strong one before). The epicenter was right outside of Richmond (only about 35 miles from our house) and it registered about a 5.9! We’ve even heard from friends up in NY who felt it. Miraculously nothing fell off the walls or broke, but the whole house shook violently and it was insanely loud (we all gathered under a steel-enforced doorway and stared at each other). So yes, we were all shaken up by it but very thankful that we’re ok and hope that everyone else who experienced

The Best $6 We Ever Spent

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Last weekend we journeyed two hours north to Arlington, Virginia so Clara could have some quality time with her cousin Elsa (and apparently so my cousin Travis and I could rock some daddy-plaid, shorts, flip flops, and matching Kettler bikes together (the latter of which were both his, found for a huge deal on craigslist). While there, Elsa’s mom, Cat (who is Sherry’s BFF that we introduced to my cousin back in 2007 – and now they’re married with two kids) took us to this cool shop in Old Town, Alexandra called Red Barn Mercantile. It had tons of beautiful stuff, but what caught our eye most was this bowl of vintage printing press letters.

Fab Freebie: It’s A One-derful Life

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***This giveaway is no longer accepting entries – see who won below!*** Thanks to random.org, our four winners are…Kathryn (who wants to know how long this paint will keep, since she’s in an apartment now), Kristen: Turning A House Into A Home (who wonders if it’s better to dust or vacuum first), Alisa Decatur (who’d like to get to the bottom of her daughter’s summer-time procrastination) and Kassie (who wants to know how much painting she’ll be doing when she buys a house). Congrats ladies! Toss on some old clothes, because four of you are about to get painting. This week’s giveaway will cover everything you’ll need, starting with $60 worth of Olympic ONE paint.

Making A Compost Bin From Pallets

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Ever since we started composting back in 2008 at our old house, we’ve enjoyed doing it (snaps for free fertilizer, reusing “trash,” and getting some subtle encouragement to eat more compost-able foods). But our composting adventures have been somewhat limited by the size of the DIY compost container that we made 3 years ago (we did eventually make a second bin, but it’s nothing like those bigger composting systems that we’ve seen at stores or in DIY magazines). Even back in 2008 when we created our little bin, I initially wanted to make a more “legit” system out of shipping pallets (like I read about here and here) but hunting down and transporting a bunch

Anatomy Of An Ikea Visit

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First off, this post wasn’t paid for or perked by Ikea. We just wanted to share a recent pilgrimage. And we like them (especially with this cool announcement). Anyway, some people say you can tell a lot about a person by looking in their purse, their closet, maybe even their iPod. But what may give you a good peek into our lives is a look into our car trunk… after a trip to Ikea. This was the scene after a recent trip. It was our first since my parents moved out of the same area as the Ikea (which is about 90 minutes away) meaning no more quick stops after a family visit. Clearly, we’ve

The Office Madness Begins…

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Two things first: We updated yesterday’s door-painting post with further-away exterior shots for everyone who requested those (and also updated our header- woot). Sherry knows she owes you a door hardware post (she’s editing pics and writing it up for tomorrow) but just to keep you dizzy, now we’ll dive into some office stuff. Told you we were all over the place these days! Hot on the heels of our recent nursery furniture shuffle, we decided it was high time that we got shifty with our nothing-has-changed-in-eight-months office sitch (functional or comfortable aren’t words we’d use to describe that space thus far). Actually, adding a file cabinet was the first step (other than that it’s

Fab Freebie: Talk About Home Improvement

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*** This contest is no longer accepting entries – see who won below! *** Random.org got his random on and selected our winner as… Tracey @ Tropical Happiness (who just moved into a new house last week so she has lots of shopping to do). Congrats! For everyone else, keep that chin up – you can still enter the Hometalk $500 Lowe’s gift card giveaway through Sunday. You may already know that Hometalk is a community of home improvement experts (including some familiar HGTV faces) and fellower DIYers sharing home and garden projects, advice, and even contractors. And for this week’s giveaway they’re majorly hooking someone up… to the tune of a $500 gift card

Adding Hardware To An Ikea Cabinet (And Hiding The Printer)

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So as much as you guys gushed over our temporary string handles for our new Effektiv file cabinet (note: this is sarcasm), we did scoop up some actual hardware that we much prefer. They’re black glass handles that were originally $9, but Hobby Lobby (aka Schlobby Bobby) was having one of those perpetual 50% off sales, so they were $4.50 a pop instead. As I mentioned here, I was a bit nervous about installing them, since it was up to me to make sure they were all centered and level (Sherry + measuring = meltdown). So I triple-measured and even made myself a little guide out of card stock. First, I figured out that my

Sayin’ Thanks… That Summer Ain’t Quite Over

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**Psst- We know most Fridays we just post once, but today we’ll be back in a few hours with an update on how we upgraded our new office file storage. Who’s excited? Yup, it’s time again for our monthly sponsor shout out (you know, to thank the folks who make our other 30-some posts possible). But does the fact that August is here mean summer’s almost over? Say it ain’t so! So we’re using this month’s thank you to remind ourselves to embrace the warm weather while it’s here. Most of the items below caught our eye because they make us want to be outside, bring the outdoors in, or otherwise bask in the summery

That’s Not My Signature

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Knowing we’re always game for a decorating quiz (like these of the past), our Twitter buddy Shelley sent us the link to Ethan Allen’s “What’s Your Signature” quiz a few days back. It, like any other non-scientific “what’s your style” quiz, was a just-for-fun attempt to define your decorating personality – this time in terms of Ethan Allen’s “Signature Lifestyles.” It was also remarkably speedy (style quizzes = fun, belabored twenty minute style quizzes = not fun). It just asked you to click one of two images based on what “grabs you first,” which was actually kind of a fun way to let your gut instincts take over. Heck, I even found myself randomly choosing

File Storage & Office Organization In An Effektiv Ikea Cabinet

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We haven’t given our office any love in the entire eight months that we’ve lived here (other than deciding that it was no longer the dining room and shifting that into the old formal living room nearby). Pretty much our moving day MO was to: plop old office furniture down, work away, and ignore the fact that the rug’s crazy-off-center and you can bump your head on the old dining room chandelier. Sad times. But the lack of love given wasn’t for lack of trying. We’ve been keeping our eye out for two similar/identical secondhand filing cabinets for, oh, eight whole months. So we were starting to lose hope after about twenty five visits to

Ceramic Dog Flashbacks

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To make room for our DIY-ed clothespin light, first we had to give the current fixture the ol’ heave-ho: Well, not literally. Since there’s actually something kinda charmingly retro about that puppy, we wanted to give him a new life somewhere else in the house instead of sealing his fate (aka: donating him to the Habitat For Humanity ReStore). That’s where this hallway that leads to the guest room, hall bath, playroom, and nursery comes in: Clearly our hallway screams “nothing to see here folks, move along” for the time being, so there’s certainly a lot to be improved upon. But our attention kept going to this 18″ wide (I’ll pause while you digest just

Fab Freebie: Channel No. 125

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*** This giveaway is no longer accepting entries – see who won below! *** Random.org has done it again and selected our winner as… Chelsea (who loves the smell of coffee in the morning). Congrats! The only fragrance we’re giving away this week is that of sweat and elbow grease (yummy, right?). Because this week’s prize comes from Channellock, who not only makes some of our favorite tools but is also celebrating 125 years of forging them right here in the USA. So they’re giving away 1 + 2 + 5 tools (that makes 8, btw) to one soon-to-be-sweaty guy or gal. That lucky lady or lad will be getting a five-piece Tool Roll, two

Our Finished Laundry Room Makeover (Before & Afters)

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With the addition of a light fixture and shoe storage this past week (and deciding to nix a window covering for now and just frost the window when we convert the carport into a garage), we just had one last item on our tig ol’ bist (which is how I would imagine Missy Elliott would say “big ol’ list”): Frost the side door for privacy <– seen here Remove the narrow shelving that gets blocked by the open door <– seen here Remove the old plantation shutters that block much-needed light <– seen here Craigslist the old un-energy efficient stacked top loaders and snag a killer deal on new Energy Star front loaders <– seen

Pics & Pixels

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The following images make me wish I could carry a professional photographer around in my pocket at all times. But since I can’t, at least we had the pleasure of having one over for the afternoon. Local-ish photographer Andrea Hubbell (she’s from nearby Charlottesville, VA) is doing a series of “living spaces” photo shoots and asked if we wanted to participate for fun. Since we’re (a) not too camera shy – at least when it comes to our house and (b) always excited to see our home through someone else’s eyes (especially someone a lot better with a camera), we gave an enthusiastic yes. And boy are we glad we did. Not only was Andrea

Chihuahuas Give Terrible House Tours

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Since there’s still a whole lotta action going on with this morning’s Pinterest Challenge (we’re completely blown away by all the projects you guys are sharing), we thought we’d post a crazy little Burger video like the ones we used to work in a while back (Clara and Burger are clearly the stars of this show anyway). We thought it was hilarious that this random footage of the burgmeister actually included a decent amount of our house (and some great get-oriented flow thanks to him running around like a maniac). So without further ado, here’s Burger’s poor man’s (poor dog’s?) version of a house tour video (you can even catch some peeks at new yellow

Adding Some Shallow Shoe Storage By The Door

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We couldn’t do all of this work in the laundry area and just ignore our sloppy shoe situation. Since the side door into our laundry room is our most-used entrance, it’s also the dumping ground for most of our footwear (since we try to keep shoes off in the house).  Up until now, our “storage solution” has been a shallow woven basket from Bed Bath & Beyond about five years ago (that and a pile next to it – not pictured, because I don’t want to ruin the illusion that we’re not complete animals). This system actually worked fine at the old house since the basket stayed in the sunroom, where it sort of fit