Filling Our Nursery Built-Ins & Making A Paper Mache Narwhal

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The bookcases in the nursery have officially been filled with board books, toys, stuffed animals, framed prints, and a few other random bobs and bits that I hope our little man will love feasting his eyes (and mouth?) upon. You know, in the case of those gummy blocks in the bottom right corner of this shot that Clara loved chomping on. Of course we still have a bunch of bigger toys, puzzles, and games that will probably get stored in baskets or some sort of cubby system in another area of the room, but it’s nice to have some fun kid stuff on the bookcases that’s easy to grab and gaze at. This is the

Taking Care Of Bid-ness

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That’s me these days. At least I like to think it is. Checking off those tedious and lingering to-do list items that I’ve been meaning to do forever, and taking names. So how about a Friday smorgasbord post? The funny thing is that just a few days ago we got a comment that said “hey I miss your Dude Get On That Already updates – will those ever come back?” Do you guys remember those? Where I’d finally get around to tackling something that had been sitting around waiting to get done (usually just painting or hanging something) and I’d share a little update – like this wall plaque, this box, this coat hook, and

What Do You Splurge On & What Do You Save On?

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We get this question a ton, and although it’s completely one of those varies-by-every-scenario things (we might splurge on one mirror because we love it and can’t find anything like it for less, but then save on another mirror because we fall in love with it for $5 at a yard sale), we thought we could attempt to answer it as simply as we could. With a junkload of words and bullets and lists. You know how we do. Of course the words “splurge” and “save” can have wildly different definitions according to the individual. For example, one person might consider a splurge to be hiring out some custom built-ins to the tune of $5,000

Adding Crown Molding To A Room (And Some Built-Ins)

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We hoped to have all of the nursery’s extra chunky crown molding painted, cut, hung, caulked, and touched up by the end of the weekend, and we just made it by the skin of our teeth (where did that gross expression come from anyway?). Crown is always one of the those “it’ll be nice” things on a to-do list, and then whenever we add it we’re blown away by how much of a difference it makes. Even the most basic and boxy rooms suddenly look taller and just generally upgraded in a surprisingly significant way. Which we always appreciate since a lot of the rooms in our homes have been devoid of amazing architecture (no

Picking An Exterior Paint Color

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When we last updated you on the progress of the showhouse that we’re working on for Habitat For Humanity (you can read more about it here, here, and here), its exterior was largely complete and it was awaiting some paint. Well, then it snowed for three weeks in a row, which is a complete rarity in Richmond, so while we continued to scurry around finalizing materials like light fixtures, tile, and cabinetry (more on that here), we weren’t able to update you on our color choice. UNTIL NOW! Can you tell I’m EXCITED?! Get those jazz hands up, y’all. We knew from the get-go that we wanted it to be in the navy family with

So Fresh & So Clean, Clean

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Well, our new washer and dryer have arrived! And we promised to share how the installation went, what we did with the floors under them, and how we like them so far (that’s where things really get interesting). We realized a few days ago that we’ve had a whole bunch of different laundry situations. In our first house we had front loaders with a counter… In our second house we had stacked front loaders with cubbies next to them… … and in this house we’ve had top loaders with cabinetry above them. Here are the new guys sitting pretty (although not quite as pretty as the others since we haven’t tackled the rest of this

And then our house rebelled…

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In what can only be described as a one-two punch of home-ownership havoc, our washer officially died right on the heels of the big plumbing debacle that we detailed for you guys yesterday. Yup, remember when we mentioned that we hoped it would be a simple and inexpensive fix here? Well, the appliance gods must have been softly giggling as we typed that. The repair guy took one look at the corroded interior of our old machine (rusted bolts, a broken belt, etc) and said “I could attempt to band-aid this for $200, but I don’t think it would run for very long – honestly, I wouldn’t put another dollar into this machine.” And that

Organizing Our Cluttered Craft Closet

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So it turns out I’m Monica Geller. I get questions like those pretty regularly: Q: “I was hoping you could tell us how you organize your crafty supplies…mine seem to be spread all over the house!” – Chris Q: “Can you give us a peak at how/where you store your craft stuff? Is it obvious that I’m kind of hoping you have a secret Monica Geller closet?” – Katie And my answers are usually all strained and sputtery like this: “Our craft closet is a GIANT mess (and it’s in the guest room so they can peek in there and scream). Everything is piled into a few baskets, and there are even some paper grocery

Goin’ To The Chapel…

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… and we’re gonna have a bay-yay-yay-by. Ok, so that’s not how the song goes, but it is the paint color that we chose for the walls of the nursery (which is pretty sweet considering the name of the paint that we used in Clara’s nursery in our last house was Proposal). Honestly, color names don’t sway us. We’re pragmatic pick-our-favorite-swatch-not-our-favorite-name folks. But it’s always nice when they’re not something ominous. You know, like Sleepless Nights or Zombie Spawn. Back when we shared our plans for the room with this makeshift mood board of sorts, a few commenters asked if we were going to paint the walls that bold green tone. We explained that we

Making A Tabletop Terrarium

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As a bunch of you saw on Facebook and Instagram, we went on a giant lumber run, which means there’s a whole lotta building that’s about to commence in the nursery. But first we have to paint the walls and ceiling, so we hope to knock that out today and tomorrow (and have an update for you guys on Monday). Three cheers for finally saying goodbye to those door-overspray marks on the wall! And while we get our paint on, I thought I’d share a nice and easy “anyone-can-do-it” project (involving living things, ahh!). Most importantly: there’s a tiny deer living in a tiny glass house in our house. And the good news is that

How You Like Me Now?

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Blogging is sort of a funny hamster wheel because we’ll do, buy, install, or build something, blog about it, and then we’ll move onto blogging about other projects, purchases, and updates. So it means we’re not always great at keeping you posted on those older things that we’ve already talked about since we’re so busy sharing new stuff. Which explains why we get update requests for things in our archives all the time. So here’s a big ol’ collection of them for you guys, which marks the second one in this series (here’s our first one from a few years back, so you can check out if we covered other topics you’ve wondered about there). Our

Wire Chair Love

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Maybe we should change the name of our site to WCL, because guess who found four awesome vintage wire chairs for the kitchen for $15 a pop? This girl (*points to self with thumbs, notices there’s peanut butter on one thumb, and licks it off while beaming at pretty new chairs*) Allow me to paint you a picture of chair-finding glory. We’re walking into our favorite local thrift store (Love of Jesus on Midlothian for any thrift-lovin’ locals). We pop in there a few times a month just to see what’s up, and 9 times out of 10 we leave empty handed, so it’s not like we’re always finding amazing things, but on this occasion

A Moodboard Comes To Life

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Update: So sorry for the slow loading & crashing issues all morning guys! Looks like our server had a case of the Mondays, but after two hours on the phone with tech support we think we have it all worked out. If you’re still having any issues commenting or reading the site, please let us know! Well, it’s late on Sunday night as I sit down to write this post. We just got back from a whirlwind weekend in Northern Virginia, where we did everything from helping John’s sister with a bedroom update to buying some stuff for the nursery. So today we’ll be chronicling ten things that we helped Carrie shop for, hang, and

A Painted Pattern That Only Looks Complicated

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It’s no secret that I love giving various paint treatments a try – like stenciling a pillow, two toning a chair, painting patterns on baskets, or even tracing raindrops right onto the wall – and I’ve been excited to share this one. Some of you eagle-eyes even noticed it in the background of Friday’s post and asked for details. Now that Clara’s thrift store cradle is in heavy rotation (Captain Barnacle is often found being rocked, fed, or changed in there) and Clara has clearly established her love of red, blue, and pink, I used it to test drive a deceptively simple free-handed pattern. It’s probably the most “intricate” pattern I’ve ever freehanded, but it’s

Making Old Discolored Grout Look Like New

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One question, with attitude: How you like me now, grout? That’s right. Picture me giving one of these (*strikes a talk-to-the-hand pose*) to the grout in our foyer and half bathroom. As you might recall, for the past six months that we’ve lived here, it has looked like this. Over the last half of a year, I gave nearly every method under the sun a shot to make that grout look clean. After repeatedly scrubbing the heck out of it, I knew that it was actually very (very, very) clean… it just was so discolored and stained in certain areas, that no amount of blood, sweat, or tears (I even tried a wire brush to

Cottage Crashing: Rustic Rassawek

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Ack, sorry for the late post – technical difficulties. We’re excited to share the cottage that we mentioned on Friday, especially since a bunch of you seemed anxious for us to spill all the beans (and a lot more photos). So here’s the deal: it’s about 45 minutes west of Richmond in Columbia, Virginia, it’s called Rassawek, and it’s a bonafide log cabin from 1910. It was actually moved to this location by the family who owns Rassawek (which is also a vineyard) and there were all sorts of other fun out-buildings nearby (many of which were moved as well) along with the coolest treehouse we’ve ever seen. So let’s get this tour started… John’s

And So The Nursery Begins…

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Yeaaaaaah, baby – it’s nursery time! Pun most definitely intended. The last time we shared a shot of this room (in this post) it was looking like this. Totally newborn ready, right? We started on Clara’s nursery in February and she was born in May, so it felt right to get moving in there now that it’s January (since the barnacle is due in April). We’ve had so many ideas swirling around in our brains for the last month after finding out we were having a boy, that waiting a hot second before running in there and going to town has been nice because the projects and ideas that we truly love have had a

How To Make A Fun Figurine Cubby

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More years than not we are working right down to the wire on Clara’s homemade Christmas gift (as in, things are drying in the garage on Christmas Eve)  – and this year was no exception! But the fun part about sharing them the week after we give them to her is that we get to include cute photos of her enjoying them… which is definitely our favorite part to witness. Introducing Clara’s new figurine cubby: Girl loves it. After racking our brain about what we could make her this year (a tool workshop? a fruit stand? a cardboard playhouse?) we decided that Clara still gets a lot of use from the larger things that we’ve

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

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

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 –

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