Monthly Roundups

December Superlatives

Holy cow, is it really going to be 2012 on Sunday? December flew by. So before it scoots away for good, we like to take a moment to look back on all that we’ve done at a glance (and gather all the links in one handy place for ya). And of course we tossed in some never-before-seen stuff for kicks. This month we were all over the place as usual, but focused a lot of our time on the kitchen along with tackling a few other projects in rooms like the living room and the hallway while shoving a decent portion of holiday fun in there too. So let’s take a walk down memory lane, with yearbook-esque superlatives, shall we?

Most Improved: The three switcheroos in our living room that made a big difference (a larger rug, square ottoman, and more refined office chair).

Most Memorable: Looking back at moving day 2010 in celebration of our one year anniversary of living in this house. Oh how far we’ve come… and oh how far we still have to go.

Most Artistic: Clara, after we repurposed our old desk into a toddler-sized drawing table for her.

Most Artistic (Runner-Up): Sherry’s Dad, who sketched this owl back in the 1970’s and sent it to us so it could be framed in our hallway.

Least Artistic: Us, since doing some minor paint touch-ups in the kitchen before the counters arrived required little artistic talent. At least there was a paint brush involved.

Craftiest: The vendors at the Richmond Handmade Holiday event that we hit up (which explains why we didn’t leave empty handed).

Most Advent-urous: Our homemade advent calendar that turned an Ikea scarf hanger into an ornament-a-day countdown to Christmas.

Cheeriest: The ribbon covered stars of our 2011 Christmas card. Burger should also win the award for “Best Tongue”… if there were such an award.

Merriest (Tall Edition): Our toddler-friendly Christmas tree that’s decked out in paint swatches, ribbon, and other unbreakables (see updated photos of it here as the added advent ornaments filled things in each day).

Merriest (Short Edition): Our lil’ table-top tree that brought some sparkle into the living room, loaded up with the Pinterest Challenge ornaments that we made in November.

Brightest: Our first go at exterior holiday decorating. Hello candy cane lights, Moravian stars, big glowing lanterns, and some all-red (you know, as opposed to just red-nosed) reindeer.

Brightest (Runner-Up): The twenty-something tweaks to our hallway frame wall to bring a bit of the holiday cheer to this tiny space.

Brightest (Second Runner-Up): Our new countertops! Bright white Corian landed in Casa Petersik before we knew it. Though “landing” involved a few crazy contraptions, including this device that eliminated seams.

Most Free Spirited: Okay, it’s not really spirited – but this microwave was basically free (we bought it for $84 after selling our kitchen’s original over-the-cooktop one for $90). And working with our existing cabinets (like repurposing this one to house it) allowed for splurges in other areas – like new counters, backsplash tile, a giant wall opening, and cork floors.

Diciest: Cutting up a few leftover cabinet doors so they’d fit a few rebuilt or secondhand cabinets that we added to tweak the layout. It was a bit touch and go there for a moment, but after some pro pocket holes and some heavy duty screws, they turned out totally solid. The jury’s still out on the final result (we don’t want to jinx ourselves, so we’re waiting until all the paint is cured before saying they’re seamless).

Best Backside: Our new industrial-inspired stools for the peninsula scored for $33 a piece at a school supply site (they’re actually meant for a science lab). Geek is the new black.

Most Tedious: Little pre-painting projects in the kitchen, like recreating the windowsill, adding some toekick and trim, cleaning the sunroom, and finally picking a cabinet paint color.

Sandiest (TIE): John and the kitchen, after going on a putty-sanding-deglossing spree in preparation for priming and painting.

Biggest Tool: Our tool-tastic list of gift ideas for the DIYer in your life. Maybe it’ll help you spend some holiday cash or those lingering gift cards.

Most Date-d: Our homemade 2012 calendar (you can still download a free template of it if you want to customize a version for your family).

Most Resolute: Tossing a few 2012 resolutions out there into the world, in the hope that it’ll light a fire under us to get ‘em done!

Most Transformative: Priming the cabinet doors and frames. Sing it with me: it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas a new kitchen…

Cutest Hat: Clara, who after opening this leopard print cap from my godmother on Christmas morning, refused to take it off for the rest of the day. Once we get around to posting Christmas photos on Young House Life, you’ll be seeing a lot of it. In the meantime you can check out Clara’s fun with letters and numbers here.

So there’s our last month of 2011 at a glance. Can you believe it’s about to be ’12? What did you guys eke out in December? 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 so nice to take a break from adding things to the ol’ to-do list for a second, just to look in the rear view mirror and appreciate the crossed-off tasks. HAPPY NEW YEAR TO EVERY LAST ONE OF YA! We love you. Really. We do.

Psst- You can check out July’s superlatives here, August’s here, September’s here, October’s here, and November’s here.



November Superlatives

So yeah… it’s suddenly December? Guess that means it’s time to take a moment to look back on all that we’ve done in the past month at a glance (and gather all the links in one handy place for ya). And of course we tossed in some never-before-seen stuff to keep things spicy. This month we were all over the place as usual, from doing some exterior, nursery, office, ornament, and place-setting stuff to a bunch of kitchen things. So let’s take a walk down memory lane, with yearbook-esque superlatives (you know, just for giggles).

Oddest Couple: Little ol’ Sherry and this tall built-in that we made to give our fridge a more finished look in the new kitchen. It’ll look even more finish once we get around to adding doors and painting it…

Cutest Couple: Me and the giant 7 (actually an L from a Dollar Tree sign) that a reader picked up for us in Maryland after we lamented leaving it behind. Best $25 we ever spent. Thanks again Lesley!

Most Shocking: The fact that our grass looked this green (and leaf free) just one month ago when we did a little mum-ification to our mailbox area. Let’s just say everything is looking a lot more “wintery” (aka: faded and brown) these days.

Handiest: The newest member of Sherry’s ceramic animal collection (Henrietta is rocking eight hands, which makes her the envy of all DIYers).

Most Pin-able: The results of our Pinterest Challenge, Fall Edition. We’re not talking about the 38 DIY ornaments that we made, but rather the awesome 800+ projects that folks linked to at the bottom of the post. Wow.

Easiest: Painting a few test swatches on our front porch… and then not doing anything else about them all month (we fear that it’s now getting too cold at night to paint until spring). Oops. At least we picked a color.

Strangest: Pictures from posts like this one about choosing a contractor. It’s so weird to see the opening between the kitchen and the dining room as just an idea outlined in green painters tape. Now that it’s done, we can hardly remember the room without it.

Creepiest: My Dexter impersonation whilst (yep, I just whilst-ed y’all) prepping our house for wall demo.

Awesomest (it’s a word, okay): This.

More Awesomest: This.

Less Than Awesome: This little hiccup in drywalling the doorway. Don’t worry, it worked out okay in the end.

Okay, Now We’re Back On The Awesome Train: Installing trim around the doorway so it really started to look finished.

Most Likely To Die Happy: Me, since I accomplished a fair amount on my high school “Things to Do Before I’m 30″ list before turning 30 last month. You know… important things like living to see a Real World: Washington DC.

Most Likely To Say “Thanks”: Anyone who printed & shared our free Thanksgiving card download, which included one to fill out yourself and one to pass along blank (so the recipient could pay it forward).

Most Likely To Procrastinate: Our last minute table setting ideas for Thanksgiving… just in time for us to pack up and head to New Jersey for Turkey Day.

Most Mischievous: Burger, aka our resident baguette robber (as seen in our lil Thanksgiving greeting).

Most Likely To Be Misread… With Disgusting Results: Our post title “We’re Now Officially Sinkless” which was apparently seen as “We’re Now Officially Skinless” by many. Shudder. Let’s hope that never gets blogged about (or happens). Ever.

“It’s The Little Things” Award: Small touches to the kitchen, like filling some gaps next to the stove and putting a panel on the back of the peninsula, so that our counters could be accurately templated.

Least Accurate: Clara, at least when it comes to measuring for counters. Thank goodness the real professional showed up from the fabrication company to make sure our counters will fit.

Most Musical: Our ceramic pig speaker from West Elm (just one of the random things that we covered in a roundup of four little finds).

The “Here We Go Again” Award: Just when things were starting to get put back together in the kitchen, they came back apart as we removed our upper cabinets in preparation for our new counters (which are hopefully arriving sometime next week!).

Class Crybaby: This (sarcastic) tear-jerker of a video bidding farewell to the tile we had to demo, along with the plywood walls behind it.

Most Awkward People In A Checkout Line: Us, while buying a giant piece of throwback wood paneling. Let’s just say people looked at us as if we were committing some sort of decorating sin. But we had to install that new wood paneling to match some missing pieces where our tile and cabinets used to be (and can’t wait to paint it to match the rest of the room). Whatever it takes to inch closer to a finished kitchen…

Most Demonstrative: Burger and his superb posing skills in this play-by-play of how our book deal came to be and the progress that we’ve made on it so far.

The Daddy’s Girl Award: Doesn’t go to Clara, I guess. This post about some updates to our nursery frame collage turned into an overwhelming consensus that Clara looks like Sherry (which is funny because both of our families are on The John Train). It’s music to my ears since I love the idea of a mini Sherry. And I don’t think I’d make the prettiest lady…

The Momma’s Girl Award: Continuing the theme of being a clone of Sherry, Clara LOVES pickles (which I detest). In fact, on a recent dinner out she devoured an ENTIRE PICKLE. Like, not just a spear – a whole, oblong oversized uncut pickle. Sherry was seriously impressed. And I (predictably) was disgusted.

Woo-wee, so that’s what November looked like around here? What about in your neck of the woods. Did you guys accomplish any major projects or have an especially awesome holiday? We’re hoping to enjoy more of both in December. Happy (almost) holidays everyone!

Psst- You can check out July’s superlatives here, August’s here, September’s here, and October’s right here.