Some people are surprised to hear that we illuminate our entire pool area using nothing but solar LED landscape lights. As in: the sun provides free evening ambiance with zero effort on our part. Nothing has to be plugged in. Our electric bill feels zero impact from softly illuminating this entire area of our house. So today I wanted to share the 3 solar products we use in case you want to give your own outdoor space a literal glow-up. Technically we have a porch light and in-pool lights too, all of which use traditional electricity, but we almost never turn them on. Honestly, they’re a little blinding and we like a soft glow that
How We Organized Our Small Kitchen (Hooray For Hidden Storage)
It’s time once again to throw open every cabinet, drawer, and door to show you how we organized our kitchen, which we slowly renovated over the last two years (more on that slow but steady reno here). This post should be an especially fun one because you’ll see just how much we’ve improved upon the original organization of this kitchen, which we shared in this post almost two years ago. And, as usual, we made a video walk-through of the whole thing too, which also explains a few future plans involving two outdoor cabinets that we plan to add to the nearby kitchen porch. So yeah… lots to cover. We’ll start with the video, because
Our Trip To Mexico With Kids… And A Dog!
Last week we vacationed in the Yucatán Peninsula region of Mexico with our two kids (ages 8 and 12) and yes, even our dog Penny came! This was our second time traveling internationally as a family, so we definitely don’t qualify as experienced world travelers or aspiring travel bloggers. But just like the last time we went abroad, we wanted to share the details for anyone who is considering something similar – especially if it’s your first time going to Mexico. So here are a bunch of answers to the most common questions we got. We’ll also cover where we went, what we ate, and how we navigated the logistics of bringing a pet with
Rug Sizing Tips & The “Magic Rug” That Looks Good With Everything
Rugs are hard. We get it. How do you know the right size and placement? Will it look good in your room? What if looks nothing like the photos online? If you have any of those thoughts, this post is for you. We’re going to dive into an especially magical rug that goes with basically any colored sofa/wall/room, but also talk generally about rug size and placement. Plus, we’ve listed a bunch of other favorite rugs, vetted by us (we bought them all with our own money & love them – no affiliation with any of ’em). The Magic Rug Let’s start with the magic rug. We bought this rug many years ago for one
Our Small But Mighty Kitchen Is Done!
It may go down as our most gradual kitchen renovation ever, but almost exactly two years into living here (we hit that milestone last Saturday!), our kitchen is officially DONE! New cabinets? Check. Tiled backsplash to the ceiling? Yup. Quartz countertops and a sink that’s 3X deeper than the overmount sink of yore? Affirmative. New hidden range hood? You betcha. More functional storage in the form of additional drawers, new upper cabinets, and a generously sized pantry cabinet? Yessir. Tons of before & after photos? That’s what this post is for! Plus we’ve got a full budget breakdown for you. So in the illustrious words of Tiesto, let’s get down to business. To us (and
A Beginner’s Guide To Pressure Washing (It’s Affordable, Simple, & So So Satisfying)
We’ve mentioned how we use our pressure washer to revive various things around the house – like outdoor furniture and even an indoor rug – but we still hear from people who fear that it’s complicated to set up or expensive to buy or hard to control… and the good news is that it’s none of those things. So this post is a comprehensive start-to-finish guide for anyone who’s finally ready to get their pressure washing feet wet (maybe even literally). Pressure washing is an easy, affordable, and TOTALLY AWESOME way to keep your outdoor spaces looking fresh. So I’m walking you through everything from setting it up and turning it on, to where and
Our Favorite Allergy-Busting Home Air Purifier
You know I love writing a spare-no-details product review (like this one and this one), so when enough people pointed out that when they search the blog for info about our beloved air purifier, nothing really comes up, I thought… I shall remedy that today. I know. I’m a hero. I feel like I should also point out that we bought these ourselves with our own money and nobody at their company knows us from Adam. Sherry has always suffered from bad seasonal allergies, so we were thrilled to find a home air purifier that finally gave her the allergy relief that so many companies promise. The allergy difference that it makes for Sherry is
How We Painted Our Ikea Kitchen Cabinets
We’ve painted kitchen cabinets before. We’ve done Ikea kitchen cabinets before. But painting Ikea kitchen cabinets was a new combo move for us. And despite a nagging voice in our heads that asked if it was a bad idea (paint laminate? or slick factory finished cabinets?! can that even be durable?! ), we’re extremely happy with the final result. Plus, it was pretty easy to do – no paint sprayer or fancy equipment necessary! We’re about a month into using them every day and so far they’re holding up wonderfully. They’ve been scratched, scrubbed, kicked, and real-life tested by two kids and so far no scrapes, dings, or dents to report. They look as good
Our Smart Blinds: Your Questions Answered
So last month I wrote a post about the smart tech we added, ditched, and love most in our house. And in it I mentioned that I’d share a detailed smart blind post for you “in a few days” because they’re hands down one of my favorite smart home features that we’ve added. Apparently I overshot that deadline just a smidge, but better late than never. So let’s dive into where we got them, why we chose them, how they’re powered, the upsides & downsides, and – of course – how much they cost (please note that I cannot explain why I insist on calling them “blinds” when they’re technically roller shades). Let’s start with
The Smart Home Tech We’ve Added, Ditched, And Still Love Most
It has been almost 4 years since we last detailed the ways we use smart home technology to make our household more efficient. Since then we’ve changed homes, states, and even our smart home systems. So today I thought I’d break down what we’ve added, what we’ve gotten rid of, and what still has a stranglehold on my nerdy tech-loving heart (and even one that was Sherry’s idea!). As usual, none of the products mentioned in this post are sponsored or gifted. It’s just stuff that we have bought and loved – or (in some cases) don’t love so much anymore. So let’s get into it. STILL LOVE: Alexa Voice Assistant Call us basic, but
Introducing Penny Petersik!
If you follow our Instagram stories, you’ve probably seen the news that we welcomed a new member of the Petersik family recently. But I wanted to take a moment to properly introduce her here on the blog. So… say hello to Penny! After Burger, our chihuahua of 15 years, passed away in October, we were wrecked. It was a huge loss for our family, and in the initial days after Burger’s passing we donated a ton of things he left behind (our vet was able to pass along his treats, food, crate, and heart medication to other dogs in need of those items). Of course we saved a few keepsakes like his collar and blanket,
#182: A Big Catch Up Holiday-ish Special (Surprise!)
So much has happened since we last picked up the podcast mic, so we have a jam-packed show to catch you up on all the things. We’re talking house updates, embarrassing stories, renovation plans, and we even worked in some bad metaphorical diagrams (because describing graphs and charts you can’t see always goes over well in an audio format). We’re also diving into how house projects have slowed down around here, the remaining projects on our list, and how our attitude towards having less on our to-do list has changed pretty dramatically over the years. Plus an impromptu musical exercise that captured our family’s contentment for living in a smaller home, and why Sherry can
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