Making Homemade Wood Slice Christmas Ornaments


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

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


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


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

Another Year Of Our Thanks Jar


For the fourth year in a row we’ve filled up our little thrift store jar that we etched with the word “Thanks” back in 2010 (you can read how we made it here). So before everyone dives headfirst into the gravy bowl (what? that’s not a thing?) we thought we’d stick with the annual tradition of sharing a few glimpses of some things that ended up on the list this year. Spoiler alert: one of them’s you guys. So let’s just pause for a moment so I can tell you how good your hair looks and how nice you smell and how flattering that shirt is and most of all, how grateful we are that

Wendy’s Dilemma: Ideas Anyone?


We’re not sure how many of you are knee deep in a turkey somewhere (wait, that sounds terrible) but there’s nothing we like more than a group brainstorming session, so if you’re around, Wendy would love your suggestions. She has an exterior issue and she’s ready to dive right in (you know what that means… after pics! Hopefully really soon!) so here’s her letter: I’ve been a YHL reader since house #1 and I’m so excited that you’ve started this group advice feature!  I have a problem I hope you and your readers can help with. We’ve lived in our home for about four years, and the front needs a major paint job. It’s a

Painting Dark Trim & Paneling In The Kitchen


Y’all ready for this? Yes that was a Jock Jams reference. And yes, I can still get down to that. Not sure about the video though… Remember when the kitchen looked like this back when we first laid eyes on our house? Whelp, now it looks like this… It’s crazy how different certain angles look in person. It’s like walking into the room and wondering who added five extra lights. It’s just so much brighter. Yes, we dove headfirst into priming and painting the kitchen baseboards, crown molding, and window trim (52. freaking. panes.) and ended up just going all out and tackling the paneling and the doors to the pantry and the garage while

Weekly Crafty: Making A Playful Kid Clock


This week I was actually inspired by a request from Clara, which came by way of John’s mom. She was laughing as she told me that she overheard Clara telling her cousin that she didn’t have a clock in her room. Random, right? So I thought: I’ve never made a clock… but I bet I can make her something fun – maybe even something that she can interact with somehow. They sell those clock kits, so it can’t be too hard, right? So here’s where I ended up… And here it is living it up on the wall in Clara’s room. I originally thought it could be fun to use a birdhouse and add the

Who’s More Sick Of Removing Wallpaper Than I Am?


A: Nobody B: You guys, since this is my fourth time waging war on it C: I’m Ron Burgundy? D: All of the above The answer, my friends, has to be D. Ah, how naive and thrilled I was when this whole wallpaper expedition began. Remember these famous last words? “I was actually really excited to tackle the half bathroom’s wallpaper removal project” Well, that tiny half bathroom was just the tip of the wallpaper iceberg, and then we moved onto stripping it in the foyer (which was doubled up in a few places) and the kitchen (my biggest room yet) and there were still two more rooms full o’ wallpaper just taunting me with

Listy McListerface: Updated


So sorry to everyone who requested an update on this sooner! We first shared our new house to-do list back in May and later updated it at the end of July, so this check-in is well overdue. But one fun thing about going longer than you meant to before updating a list is getting to cross things off like crazy. Picture me grinning maniacally for a far too extended period like the people in this video who think they’re getting their photos taken while the camera’s really on video mode. These posts came about when people asked us how we organize all the stuff that we have on our to-do list and we explained that we

Weekly Crafty: Painting A Homemade House Portrait


This week’s craft project has me skeered, I’m not going to lie. For the past month and a half I’ve had fun doing a simple and quick crafty thing each week, like making a fall wreath, stenciling a pillow, painting baskets, decorating pumpkins & gourds, making vacation keepsake globes, and taking ceramic paint for a spin on a bowl full of colorful cacti. Each of those projects took under an hour, and they were pretty easy and straightforward (paint this, wrap this around that, caulk this) – so I don’t know what got into me this week and whispered “how about painting a little portrait of your first house?” It easily took me five times

Meghan’s Dilemma: Ideas Anyone?


You guys. You’re varsity. Once again, I was blown away by the 500+ awesome and fun ideas that you shared – along with some pretty amazing photoshop skillz – for Jamie’s design roadblock last week. There’s nothing like a group brainstorming session, and Jamie’s so excited about all of the options she has to explore (and has promised us after pics when she’s done). So let’s dive right into Meghan’s dilemma, because I can’t wait to hear your take. Say hello to my little friend! Yes, I have a giant Scar Face bathtub. My husband and I bought our 1987 home a little over a year ago. We have been up to our eyeballs in

Pick This, Not That: Finding The Right Paint Colors


Two weeks ago when John shared this post about the times that we’ve made bad painting decision, we received a bunch of requests for a follow up post in the comments: Q: I guess I just have a hard time picking colors because I have a hard time telling which swatches have grey or brown undertones. Maybe you can show some swatches (of say the teal from the built ins). One that has a grey or brown undertone and one that is more saturated? It might be helpful to see them side by side! – Aubrey Q: Thank you for this! I actually think tip #3 (pick a muddier color) surprised me the most because

Weekly Crafty: Taking Ceramic Paint For A Spin


Sorry to anyone looking for Weekly Crafty posts on Tuesdays, it seems that they’ve shifted to Thursdays for the past two weeks! Since my hands are still recovering from staple pulling, more wallpaper peeling, and more painting (we’re doing our stair risers today so we can hopefully install the runner this weekend and have that post for you on Monday), I wanted to pick something fun & easy for this week’s crafty little endeavor. And here’s where I ended up: with a big ol’ hand-painted planter full of succulents and colorful cacti. You know I like sharing house plants that we’re adding/loving/killing every once in a while (like this and this), and this project all

Jamie’s Dilemma: Ideas Anyone?


We’re finishing up some stair-runner prep today (painting walls and ceilings, and let’s just say the old runner isn’t leaving without a fight), so John will be back with the full rundown for you tomorrow. In the meantime, I couldn’t wait to share Jamie’s design roadblock and hear what you guys would do. We had so much fun sharing Shannon’s dilemma last week. I knew you’d have awesome ideas, but never could have guessed that 500+ comments (some with links to photoshopped ideas and more!) would come rolling in. And we’ve heard from Shannon, who can’t wait to get started and has promised to send us photos when she’s finished! So let’s dive right into

Three Oops Moments


We’ve had a few moments lately where I’ve thought to myself, “self, this is not ideal.” And you know we like sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly around here, so here are three things that fall into the latter two categories. First we have this page I saw in Domino magazine with a mixture of black and white frames, which inspired me to add some black frames to the grouping over our TV in the living room (initially I was leaning towards a few black mats and some darker art). So I thought I’d be clever and use black electrical tape on the front of a few of our frames to “get the

Weekly Crafty: Making Vacation Keepsake Globes


The last few weeks have been deliciously random and so productive for us! I think we should bounce around from room to room all the time like this… at least until we dive into a big renovation that demands all of our attention. So far this week we’ve painted raindrops & a pink door in Clara’s room, had some fun with Shannon’s design dilemma, finally finished our big sunroom floor project, and we’re actually starting to work on something in the kitchen for Monday (ahhh! that room needs more help than I did in Calculus class). And this week’s little crafty project didn’t bomb, which is a huge relief because there were definitely a few

Shannon’s Dilemma: Ideas Anyone?


After weeks of waiting for three dry days in a row to grout, Mother Nature is finally on our side and John’s finishing up the tile in the sunroom as I type this (while singing “grout, grout, let it all out”). He’ll give you the full tiling rundown tomorrow, and in the meantime, I’m more excited than Jessie Spano about this post (and she’s SO EXCITED). As we mentioned on Facebook this weekend, thanks to your suggestions during our Blogiversary, we thought it would be fun to share some ideas for folks out there who are stuck with decorating dilemmas. We also knew you guys would have a ton of suggestions to add to the

A Bright Closet Door & Some Playful Painted Raindrops


Let’s all join hands and sing “Raindrops & Rose Paint.” Yes, that’s a bad Sound of Music pun. Please forgive me, Julie Andrews. But do you guys remember when Clara’s canopy wall looked like this? Well now it looks like this. Although the door color is actually more true to life in this Instragram sneak peek that we shared yesterday (iPhone for the win). And the pink drops are easier to see in real life (they seem to hide in these pics for some reason). How did we get there? Well, a whole bunch of photoshop-brainstorming here resulted in over 900 truly amazing comments and ideas from you guys. And then we shared all of

Clara’s Homemade Jellyfish Costume (With Lights)


Happy Friday, guys! As is the annual tradition, we thought we’d share what Clara and Burger are going to be for Halloween this year, especially since I DIYed Clara’s costume for the second year in a row (without crying or cursing!) and I love how it came out. At first when we asked her what she wanted to be for Halloween she said “a lawyer!” True story. And we laughed and pictured her walking down the street with a little briefcase. Then a few days later she said “I want to be a jellyfish!” So asked her a few questions like “what color jellyfish do you want to be?” and that’s when she came out

Weekly Crafty: Pumpkins, Paint, & Pantyhose


Oh yeah, this is a weird one guys. I thought it would be fun to get crafty with a bunch of faux pumpkins and gourds that I’ve had for years, along with a few other items that have been tucked away in my craft bin for forever and a day. So all of these quirky little seasonal updates cost me zero dollars (holla!), and it turns out I’m cool with putting legwear on decorative items, so I learned a little bit about myself. Enter three sets of pantyhose, stage left. Or should I technically call them fishnets? Either way, I’ve been thinking about how much fun they’d be to slide around a pumpkin like a

How To Stencil Your Subfloor


Operation Subfloor Stencil is officially complete! Remember when the floor in our master closet and vanity area looked like this? And then we ripped up the carpet to reveal the subfloor and they looked like this? Well, five hours and $24 later, it looks like this! Our actual bathroom has tile (where the shower/tub/toilet are), but this is a separate vanity area along with an adjoining master closet – which both had old carpet that we couldn’t live with for one more day. So we yanked it up and decided to have some fun with the subfloor until we’re ready for a full scale renovation down the line (eventually we’d love to knock down the

Adding Fairy Lights To A Canopy Bed (& Photoshop Fun)


Update: Holy cow, you guys are full of so many fun ideas today! I’m having trouble keeping up with comments since they’re rolling in so furiously, but please know I’m reading them all and loving all the suggestions! Happy Friday! We’ve been all over the place this week, painting the walls/trim/ceiling in the master bathroom & closet, diving into some basket craftiness, de-wallpapering our biggest room yet (the 21′ long kitchen), and now we have a little Clara-room update along with some photoshop percolating as we plot our next move in there. But first, here’s the tiny (and twinkly) addition: Things just got a little brighter in here… Ever since we hung her canopy, we’ve

Are “Phase 1” Projects Just A Waste Of Money & Time?


Q:  You’re putting time and energy into this “temporary” job for the master bathroom (not to mention some money), so why not just go ahead and do the full gut job? I know you guys watch money really well, but isn’t this not the most cost-effective in the long-run? :) – Karen A: This is a great question, and we thought it would be fun to elaborate on the subject. Because it’s safe to say that we love saving a buck, but we also like showing an old house some love and making it feel like home, so here’s our take. First of all, I think a lot of people think like Karen does –

Peel It Like A Really Bad Sunburn (More Wallpaper Removal)


That post title is my version of “Shake It Like A Polaroid Picture” and it is best when sung at the top of your lungs while peeling wallpaper. But we’ll get there in a minute. Let’s talk about what we’d like to accomplish before this baby comes for a second. In our first house when we were preparing for Clara’s arrival, over those nine months we tackled a few rooms that were still on our redo list (mainly the full bathroom and the nursery) since so much of the house was already done (our kitchen reno was all finished, the hardwood floors had been redone, we had opened up some walls and closed off others,