Monthly Roundups

June Superlatives: Northern & Southern Fun

Since it’s a holiday here in the US (America’s birthday, no less!) we’re spending the day with our family, but we thought we’d take a minute to look back on the month of June (once again we’re late with our little recap – sorry guys!). But in an attempt to TOTALLY REDEEM OURSELVES (name that movie), we’ve also linked to a bunch of Fourth of July related posts of yore for ya (here, here, and here) and we snuck a few never before seen things into this recap – like a new family portrait that the lovely and talented Katie B snapped for us while we were in Atlanta (how is no one crying?!). If you’re feeling especially sentimental, you can also browse all of our monthly superlatives dating back to January of 2011 right here (it’s almost a year and a half of projects crammed into just 17 posts). Happy Fourth of July everyone!

Most Refreshing: The new view of our house, now that the bush fence has officially become grass. It’s nice to look back at this picture now that the summer heat has since made things a little bit browner…

Biggest Surprise: How easy it was to demolish the balcony that stood in the way of our new deck. Still kinda crazy to think how easily it came off. Glad we didn’t try to use that sucker!

Most Worth The Wait: Our new scalloped rug in the kitchen, which we found at Urban Outfitters after a pretty extensive rug search.

Biggest Pop (Indoor): Finally putting some color on our kitchen stools – they totally add a little cheer to our peninsula.

Biggest Pop (Outdoor): Introducing a new accent color to our patio – tomato red! – courtesy of these new Adirondack chairs that we saved up for (literally, cash-in-a-jar style).

Biggest Tearjerker: This plate, which we had custom made as an anniversary present to my parents. When my mom saw our family’s simple dinner grace emblazoned on this platter she (and maybe a few of us too) got a little something in our eyes.

The “Never Thought I’d Do That!” Award: Taking a power saw to the brick exterior of our house. This was the first step in deck construction, so while it felt a bit weird, it was exciting to finally dive in.

Messiest: The floor of our master bathroom after demo-ing out the sketchy tree border tile that we were less than loving.

Most Worldly: This little jaunt around our local World Market so that we could share all of the colorful and fun items that caught our eye.

Most Sparkly: The shiny new glass subway tile that we installed in our master bathroom to replace the old tree tile border that we demo-ed the day before.

Most Technical: This post about some of our favorite Photoshop tricks for adjusting photos. It was a little nitty gritty, but we loved sharing our process and learning some new tips from you guys in the comment section!

Most Sentimental: The little arrangement of frames that we put on the wall in our bathroom with pictures taken on each of our four wedding anniversaries. The 5th one comes up on Saturday, so here’s hoping we get a great decent picture for that empty frame. Update: Just as Sherry predicted, those flowers died well before they could reach our fifth anniversary- oh well, at least they were free from the backyard.

Heaviest: The auger that we rented to dig holes for our deck posts. It was pretty hefty, but definitely not as bad as my face in these pictures would indicate.

Shiftiest: The furniture in our bedroom, which got shifted around when we finally broke up our crazy symmetrical arrangement for a new layout that gave the room more flow. Only took us a year and a half to figure that out. Haha.

Biggest Risk: Cutting the posts off sweet Ed The Bed. But it was a risk that totally paid off with a much improved and airier vibe. Thank goodness.

Biggest Sourpuss: Me, after learning that we failed our first deck inspection and that two days of work appeared to be totally wasted (that is, until we got some good news last week).

Shakiest: The cameraperson at the helm of our most recent outdoor tour video (this means you Sherry). I’d say she needs to quit it on the caffeine, but there’s not even caffeine in her diet to blame it on!

Most Well-Rounded: The new rug in our office (but definitely not the two workaholics making cameos in the background).

Most Helpful: Clara – or at least that’s what we tell her, especially when it comes to keeping her occupied at the home improvement store by asking for her assistance when we’re pushing the cart (she’s happy to dive in – even for large loads like the wood for our new bedroom headboard).

Most Improved: Our bedroom, which is totally on the up-and-up (if you ask us) thanks to the addition of this new upholstered headboard.

Most Unresolved: Okay, so I’ll admit that blogging about our little tiff over an accidental (and totally well-intentioned) trip to Goodwill with a towel bar that was not supposed to end up there was partially motivated by hoping you guys would all say I was right. Many of you did, but many of you didn’t. Case officially not closed.

Most Likely To Make Situations Awkward: Us – well, Sherry in particular – at the Haven Conference where we gave the keynote address, but also grinded on other bloggers, let our kids (that included Burger) run amok, and generally had a blast while doing it.

Most Disappointing (To Some): That our post entitled “The Vow” wasn’t actually about Channing Tatum, but instead featured some 4th of July tablesettings that Sherry whipped up just for fun.

Friendliest: These “Twenty Northern Friends” that were part of my Father’s Day gift. Sidenote: In high school, I actually was voted “Friendliest” a couple of times (although that was just in band superlatives, so maybe I shouldn’t boast that much).

Smiliest: The three of us, who Katie Bower miraculously caught all smiling in this sweet little family portrait that she captured during our visit. Thanks Katie B! Total miracle worker. And yes, Sherry is totally pinning Clara’s hands down (she’s a flailer just like her mom).

So that’s what our June looked like (along with some pretty hefty book proofing stuff that goes off to be printed in less than a month!). It’s always fun to take a break from adding things to the to-do list for a second, just to look back and appreciate the things that are done-zo. We totally think it helps keep our momentum up – especially when it comes to tackling things like our big deck project, some more master bathroom and bedroom updates, other outdoor projects, and everything else at the top of our list. What are you most proud of accomplishing this past month? And what are you looking forward to checking off in July? Is it just us, or did it feel like 2012 just started and suddenly we’re halfway done with it? Oh where has the time gone…



May Superlatives: Ninja Turtles & Hairy Sherry

As our freshly painted stools dry in the sunroom (woot! pics tomorrow!) we thought we’d finally catch up on the May superlatives that we owe you (sorry to those who have been asking about them!). So here’s a look back at all the stuff that we check off in May. We even tossed in some never-before-seen stuff for kicks. You can check out all of our superlatives dating back to January of 2011 right here (it’s over a year of projects crammed into 16 posts). Plus, since I got to play model a lot this month (hair model, permit-getting model, etc) I threw in a new shot of me sporting next season’s hottest look at the end of this round-up. Just remember you saw it here first.

Biggest Party Girl: Clara, who was pumped for her 2nd birthday party this month… or at least pumped for some of the supplies we bought.

Wormiest: Clara’s birthday party, which was a fun, color, and worm filled day thanks to the theme that the birthday girl selected herself.

Most Gigantic: Clara, at least in comparison to the sweet family of pigs that reside in the new dollhouse that we built

… and decorated for her.

Tidiest: Our new and improved bathroom drawer, after it got a little re-organizing and de-disasterizing as part of our organization week.

Most Secretive: Our storage ottoman (and other kiddie storage areas), which now houses a bunch of secret surplus toys that we can cycle in and out without having a sea of toys all over the place all the time.

Simplest: Sherry’s beauty routine, along with other ways we shared for keeping life simple around here.

Prettiest: Our reorganized Projects section that’s now been beautified with the addition of project thumbnails for easier browsability.

Most Appreciated: The new light in our kitchen (Ikea’s Aläng) because it’s finally bringing some illumination to a side of the room that’s been shadowed for months.

Dirtiest: My basement workshop, which I shamefully owned up to. It’s been in a crazy state of disarray and still hasn’t improved much since admitting this, although I did share some updated shots here.

Most Likely To Embrace The Chaos: Us, as we chatted about taking your time and enjoying the journey that is DIY.

Most Level Headed: Me (but only on occasion). Like when I managed to get a fairly straight picture of our new hall bathroom fixture whilst serving as a tripod and balancing the camera on my head.

Class Shopaholic: Sherry, for this “window shopping” post where we shared our latest loves (this time at Target). We gotta get back into more store-cruising posts thanks to all of the love you guys showed for it!

Most Likely To Contain A Hosta Pun: This post, which was all about using what we had (some spare hostas) to upgrade our weedy mailbox garden…

… and add a bit more greenery to our work-in-progress planting bed out front.

Most Likely To Become A Teenage Mutant Ninja: This turtle that we added (along with some hydrangeas and petunias) to our patio. He wins the award for no other reason than being a turtle. C’mon – have you ever heard of a Teenage Mutant Ninja Hydrangea?

Oh and we also transplanted some already-owned boxwoods to the planters on our front porch (update: haven’t killed them yet!):

Math Nerd Alert: Me, for using algebra to relocate and rehang these two Alaska botanical prints between our bedposts.

Most Potential: The “alley” where our new deck is gonna go, according to this plan of attack that we outlined here.

Best Score: This giant 9 x 12′ rug for our bedroom, that we scored at a $1,000+ discount at a local tent sale. Holla!

The Brick-Breaker Award: Clearing out the area where our new deck will go, which involved hauling over 100 bricks from an area that we previously dubbed “the shrine.”

Most Noodled: Our bedroom, which in addition to the rug and art change, was sporting new lamps and pillows by the end of the month too. It’s far from complete, but our new rug is definitely inspiring us to keep working in here!

Most Likely To Get Wood: Us… for our deck (get your mind out of the gutter people) after weighing lots of options, and making the decision to skip composite and go for pressure-treated wood.

Most Chipper: This super fast and cheap ($0!) hidden clipboard project that Sherry made for our microwave cabinet (to help keep our menus and grocery lists handy). Sometimes it’s the little things.

Hairiest: Sherry, actually – at least after giving me a DIY haircut that we finally documented for everyone to see. And I got to be a hair model for the first time. Not sure how I feel about it (embarrassed. mostly embarrassed).

Best Dressed: Me, in the “permit getting outfit” that helped boost my confidence to get the permit to build our new deck. High five.

Most Likely To Rock The Runway: All of the rugs that strutted their stuff in our little kitchen rug “fashion show” to help us pin down the perfect color and design.

Worst Dressed: Also me, for this lovely look at Clara’s birthday party. But c’mon, what dad wouldn’t see the new ballerina skirt that his daughter was gifted and immediately think “this needs to go on my head.”

What’d your May look like? Any major (or minor) projects checked off? Have you ever made a list of accomplishments to look back on? Feel free to use the comment section of this post to list what you’ve done (or just toss out a few highlights). It’s always fun to take a break from adding things to the to-do list for a second, just to look back and appreciate the things that are done-zo. We totally think it helps keep our momentum up – especially when it comes to tackling things like our big deck project, some kitchen stool painting and some tile-updating in the master bathroom among at least a dozen other things at the top of our list. What are you guys most looking forward to tackling this month?