Casual Friday 007

May 20, 2016

We believe we should all love where we live.

We’re a couple of homebodies, working to uncover the home our home wants to be. And we’re so happy to have you here. 




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Befores, afters, mood boards, plans, failures, wins. We’ve done a lot of projects, and they’re all here. 

We have a long-standing relationship with DIY, and love rolling our sleeves up and making it happen. 

Even when you don’t want to rip down a wall, you can make that space in your home better. Right now.

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Marble look-alike Luxury Vinyl Tile | Chris Loves Julia

We had the Pittsburgh kitchen’s reno timeline shrink a little bit. Originally we thought we’d have 9 days to execute the renovation, but that actually included 2 travel days. So that’s really only 7 days. But then, there will be 2 days of styling, shooting and filming commercials of the final space. So then it was 5 days. But one of those days will be shopping for supplies and installing appliances….did you hear that massive gulp?! We’re sweating a little tiny bit, but we’re also very good under pressure. It’s going to be a wild ride! We finalized the cabinet color, we’re going with Semi-Handmade’s Gray Shaker cabinet with white “marble” floors. This week, I found this 12″x24″, really amazing Luxury Vinyl Tile (pictured above) that looks just like marble, that we’ll be using for the floor. We might keep it as is, or cut it into thinner vertical strips and lay it in a herringbone pattern. Either way, we’re excited about the price, the install time and the durability.

Other fun finds this week!

I actually hate when people say “_____, you’re doing it wrong.” Because am I? Or am I just doing it differently than how you think I should be doing it. But then actually, Bananas–I’ve been doing it completely wrong!

The absolute best bronzing mousse–I’ve been using it for 2 years every time the weather warms up to disguise my reflective skin. No orange undertones and goes on so smooth with the mit.

Have you tried this Kolor game? My highest score is 599 and then my eyes cross.

This simple plant stand revamp made me weak in the knees! Sarah does it again!

Have you been following HONY’s pediatric cancer series? Every story has been breaking my heart, but Max. Max’s mother. I completely lost it. We donated for Max. And we bought Max’s favorite story for our girls.

There’s a great sense of happiness and pride that we’ve received from buying a home, so when I read an article like this, on a fairly large platform, I feel sad. Also, never (!) go for the small house on a big lot in the best part of a bad area.” Worst house, best area is where it’s at.

Lastly, thank you all for your kind words and well-wishes for our family this week. It’s been an emotional, anxiety-ridden week, and every comment has helped. Stay safe and hope you have a great weekend!




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What do you think?

  1. Britt says:

    I have to watch what I read on HONY at work, and I didn’t listen to my instinct this time and I read all 6 posts on him. Sobbing. Of course a coworker needs me at that exact moment, as I am literally hiding under the desk “searching through my purse”. Every. Time.

    All I can say, I am so glad Max got his millions!

  2. Kristin Rogers says:

    I have so many things to say about that article, thank you for posting it! It breaks my heart a little when I see something like this. There are a lot of people out there that just want your money. Do your research, buy in a good area and never overextend yourself. As a single woman making very little, I bought less than I wanted and less than I could afford – a 600 sq ft home! I wanted more, but this was manageable. I, and then we, lived there for 10 years. We still miss it. And I sacrificed nothing (even ended up paying less per month than rent). It can be done.

  3. Ashley says:

    Good luck here in Pittsburgh! I’ve been following for a long time now and always loved that you were from my area. Maybe we’ll be at the same home improvement store while you’re in town ;)

    And yes HONY this week was so emotional!! Made me hug my kids a little tighter

  4. Tanja says:

    The max story. I cried, the loud sobbing type.

  5. Brittany says:

    Did you catch the update specific to Max? UGH. I didn’t think I could possibly cry any more.

  6. Colleen says:

    Thank you for donating in Max’s honor. Dr. Soudewaine is currently using my niece’s tissue/tumor in his research and every dollar helps. Pediatric cancer research is grossly underfunded, especially cancers like DIPG. No family should have to go through what Max’s family and my family have gone through. Thank you so much.

  7. Janette says:

    The HONY series got me right in the gut. We donated too. I just can not wrap my mind around what Max and his poor mother had to endure. What she continues to have to deal with! What all pediatric cancer children and families must go through leaves my stomach in knots. Finding cures to these aweful rare forms of cancer must happen. No child or family should have to suffer any more.

  8. Elizabeth says:

    Thanks for finding me a new way to waste time with Kolor. I got to 641 and then I started taking too long. ?

  9. Erin says:

    I read the conclusion of the HONY story before bed and was sick to my stomach. Both of my boys were sick yesterday (one’s fever hit 104.7), so I was tired and emotional. But harder is my older son is Max. I went into their rooms three times before I could sleep last night. Such a sad story. I’m glad his legacy will live on and help others.

  10. Laurel says:

    Have you considered using linoleum instead of LVT? The adverse health affects of vinyl are really alarming. The phthalate content is the most concerning, but regardless of that LVT is full of other toxins than irritate asthma and can disrupt endocrine system. I am an interior designer at an architecture firm in Oakland, CA and we warn all our clients to stay away from LVT. The health hazards are well known, but infrequently acknowledged by the industry. I’m predicting that LVT and other vinyl products will be treated like asbestos sometime in the next ten years! I’d highly suggest finding a good alternative. I understand how that gets difficult when price is a big concern, but it’s worth it in the long run!

  11. Ruth says:

    Oh Max! I, too, was so drawn to Max and his mother. Their story really stood out.

  12. Olga says:

    I’m loving this casual Friday series! Sometimes I leave posts to read another time if my brain just can’t take in all the details (once the kids are finally in bed, yawn!). But these I always read and it’s neat to get a little more insight into your family’s life.

  13. Hannah says:

    About the house beautiful article: Yes, it is so sad! Not that buying is the only right choice. In many areas and for many lifestyles it is definitively NOT the right choice. But this author’s proud declaration about how he never has to take care of anything, someone else does it for him… it’s just one of those things that makes you shake your head. Taking care of the things I’m lucky enough to have, be it home, car, phone, all the way down… it is important to me. It comes down to personal responsibility and it’s a bummer to witness people who don’t see it as important.

    • Becky says:

      If they’re paying rent on-time, I would consider that personal responsibility box to be checked.

      Something else to consider, many people with comfortable incomes call on others to fix, clean, decorate etc.

      – former home owner, now renter, and hopefully future owner :)

  14. Kate says:

    Your family’s situation prompted me to immediately invest in carbon monoxide detectors for our home (and new smoke alarms, while I was at it!)… I’m sorry that you all had to go through that. Thank you for the PSA, though.

  15. Jessica says:

    What I have learnt from everyone going through a similar buying a house/flat situation is work out what you can afford and pay less then that. I recently bought a flat and can afford £1500 a month repayment but choose not to spend more then £1080 so that if interest rates go up (+0.25% is approx £40) I can still afford to eat!
    Also I am keen to pay off my credit card after all solicitors bills etc so am currently sleeping on a travel mattress on the floor rather then buying a bed, have £2 shower curtains on my windows rather then curtains and make do without a couch for the next couple of months. Most people are shocked by this but I find if I scratch their surface they are under financial stress which impacts the decisions/dreams they can do in their life and I don’t want to have that restriction.

  16. Justynn says:

    It’s funny because I’ve always had my parents say to buy the worst house on the block (in a gerat area) for cheap and turn it into a diamond.

    But then I come from a family of creatives and DIY’ers, woodworkers and crafters. My first place I was able to end up selling it for almost double what I paid/ mortgaged. Was able to provide me a nice reno budget for our current home.

    • Julia says:

      Yes! That’s the smart thing to do. That article is written by, what I can only describe as, a disgruntled home buyer. But he made so many mistakes.

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