April 18, 2014

Happy Friday

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So Mother Nature was laughing at all of us at the beginning of the week, when we were hanging out on the back porch with short sleeves on. Haha, she said, suckers! And then it snowed. Oh, Mother Nature, you and your sick, sick jokes.

But what’s the best way to distract yourself from crappy weather and a super stressful work week? Vacations! So we’ve booked ourselves a few awesome trips this year, and it’s really exciting. Take that, Mother Nature! So we’ll be off to California soon, Traverse City this summer, and in the fall Dublin, Paris and Zurich. Even better, we’re using points to do most of it. Yay to not spending money!

Do you guys have any fun vacations planned this year? I really think vacationing is our favorite thing in the world. Even when we say we’re going to try to stay home, we just can’t do it. There’s way too much to see in the world, and we want to see all of it!

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Have a great weekend, friends! Happy Easter!

–Kerry

(first photo, our backyard on Tuesday; second photo, the new Piccadilly Artisan Yogurt in Ohio City — both photos by Kerry)

April 17, 2014

Our “year one” book from Artifact Uprising

Our "year one" book from Artifact Uprising

When Andy and I got married, we wanted to do something that would make marriage feel different and special, so we decided to take a picture of ourselves every day for the first year and make a big scrapbook. I thought it would be a great way to memorialize what would undoubtedly be one of the best years of our lives, while also giving us something really fun — and funny! — to do together every day. I’m always disappointed when I see how few pictures there are of my parents together when they were young, because someone always had to be behind the camera. This was a great way to prevent that. Well, now that we’re about a month away from our two-year wedding anniversary I finally got around to making our “year one” book…. and I could not love it more!

Our "year one" book from Artifact Uprising

We decided to order a book from Artifact Uprising because we wanted to use square Instagram-like photos, and because we really wanted to support a company that is so focused on authenticity, creativity, and sustainability — all of the interior pages of their books are printed on 100% recycled paper. We selected a 8.5×8.5″ softcover Instagram-friendly book. It came to about $65 for 72 pages and shipping, which I think is totally worth it for something that means so much to us.

Our "year one" book from Artifact Uprising

I’m not going to lie, though, making this book was HARD WORK — mostly due to the fact that we were utterly and completely disorganized. We’d taken pictures on Andy’s phone, my phone, his camera, my camera. Some were on his computer, my computer, my old computer. Some of them were square and some weren’t. Some were duplicates. Some had the same file names. It was rough. Once I found all the pictures on our various computers (we have too many computers), I resized every non-square photo to 1200×1200 pixels. I wasn’t sure what the optimal size was for Artifact Uprising and Instagram doesn’t have a standard pixel size, but 1200 worked well. To make vacation photos special and so we’d be able to remember what they were 20 years from now, I added hand-drawn text to some.

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Then it was a matter of uploading all the images to the Artifact Uprising site and using their page templates to arrange everything in a way I liked. This part was fun, though of course I’m a perfectionist so I rearranged things like ten million times. Since we’d been so disorganized from the get-go, I couldn’t worry about putting everything in chronological order, so it’s funny to see us with wildly different hairstyles on the same page. What I did is use vacations as sort of fixed points throughout the book, starting with our wedding day, then our Cancun minimoon, Detroit, Philadelphia, honeymoon in Italy, a couple trips to NYC, South Carolina, and then ended with our anniversary party. In between each group of vacation photos, I added random photos in no particular order, and used a few of my favorite photos as full-page shots to keep things interesting.

Our "year one" book from Artifact Uprising

Despite how much work this was, I could not be more happy with the final product. The quality is fab, and I’m so glad that we’ll have this book for the rest of our lives to look back on our first year together and laugh at all the ridiculous pictures. I mean, that was a GOOD YEAR, right??!!

Our "year one" book from Artifact Uprising

We actually decided to keep doing the daily photos when our second year started, so hopefully I’ve learned from my mistakes and can put together the second book a lot quicker — and sooner, considering our anniversary is only just next month!

Our "year one" book from Artifact Uprising

What do you think? Have you ever put together a photo book and how did it turn out?

–Kerry

April 15, 2014

Retro living at its best

As soon as I saw this home, I fell madly in love, so I absolutely have to share it with you.

The front of this house in Toronto is totally unassuming, but inside is an absolute treasure trove of vintage awesomeness, virtually unchanged since the 1950s and 1960s.

retro living at its best

The 96-year-old homeowner has put this house up for sale after living here for over 70 years. She doesn’t have any formal interior decorating training, but she definitely has an eye for style. Take a look.

retro living at its best: vintage-style entryway

The entryway. It doesn’t have to be your style to be able to recognize how much style it has, and how it is perfectly done for what it is. That wallpaper is pretty fab.

retro living at its best: vintage-style living room in pink and seafoam

The living room. Most of the house is decorated in shades of pink, purple, seafoam and aqua — so basically everything I love in the world (minus purple). I just LOVE this room. Again, the furniture isn’t my style, but the use of color is perfection.

retro living at its best: vintage-style kitchen

The kitchen. It’s definitely retro, but it has been taken care of so well that I wouldn’t even call this kitchen outdated. With maybe just new appliances, there’s no reason to change anything else. And that pink rotary phone has got to stay.

retro living at its best: vintage-style bedroom in purple and teal

The master bedroom. Ahhhh!! I don’t love purple, but I absolutely love the way the complementary shades are layered, lilac on lavender, and then BAM, that teal velvet armchair just makes the room. It’s a showstopper.

retro living at its best: vintage-style bedroom in shades of pink

The guest bedroom. So. Much. Pink. This is the homeowner’s favorite room.

retro living at its best: vintage-style basement bar

And then, in case you were getting a sweet tooth from all those pastels, the basement bar. Andy was skeptical of this whole thing until he saw this room. The wood paneling, those bar stools, the royal blue and emerald green. Sold.

This house is so inspiring to me. First of all, the use of color is brilliant. I also love that this homeowner has such a sense of personal style that she hasn’t felt the need to change anything in 50 years. I like change too much to ever live this way, but I definitely am a little jealous of someone who declared a house done in 1965 and hasn’t changed it since!

There’s a lot more photos of this house on HGTV.ca, including the amazing bathrooms, and the whole thing could by yours for $699,000 CDN!!

What do you think? Do you love this house as much as I do or do you think it’s just way too over the top? I’d love to hear what you think!

(All photos by Royal LePage, via HGTV.ca, original story by Elana Safronsky)

– Kerry