The Top 10

Every once in a while, I like to comb through some of my old posts…that’s one of the beautiful things about having a blog. It’s like a little diary of all the things we’ve done to our house, along with some little life updates along the way. It’s so fun to look back and see what we were doing a few years ago, and marvel over how much things have changed.

The other day when I was doing this, I realized that there are probably quite a few of you out there who haven’t been reading since the beginning of this blog (and if you have, a million points!) and I thought it might be fun to do a round up of some of the best posts of all time. A list of our greatest hits, if you will.

So, I grabbed the stats on the top ten posts since this blog started, and I figured I’d write ‘em all down and do a quick update on the projects. Sounds like a good time, yes?

Let’s dive right in.

10. Dining Room Inspiration

I imagine this post is in the top 10 because it’s the post that preceded our most popular project/post of all time, but we’ll get to that in a minute. It was fun to look back at the post and remember the horrible, horrible light that used to be in the dining room, as well as think about all the other options we went through before landing on our current fixture – it’s crazy to think our beloved dining room light was almost something different!

9. An Island Dream Comes True

I wrote this post right after we bought our kitchen island, and I have to say I’m not sure why it’s as popular as it is! We absolutely love our kitchen island, and it still lives in our kitchen and gets used on a daily basis, so I can definitely say this was a project that stood the test of time! We recently saw in Ikea that they’ve added some different versions of this island – they have one in black – and they’re gorgeous! We briefly wished that we had the black on instead, but ended up agreeing that white is probably till best for our kitchen. But man, that shiny black island sure is pretty!

8. More Form, Same Function

Oh my word, this is an old post. Corey actually wrote this post back when we tried to convince ourselves that he enjoyed writing enough to participate in writing blog posts! The pictures are awful and all taken in our old little duplex in College Station, but I stand by that project! That dresser is still in our house and we still use it under our television, though I have to say it looks much better in this house than it did in that one.

7. Enabling Our Dogs

Another old one! This little old bench has seen a lot of love in the years since we bought it…and it has definitely reached the end of its life. It is still in our bedroom for now, only because we haven’t bought anything to replace it and our dogs are still spoiled and need a bench at the foot of the bed. But, it’s looking very rough. It’s starting to fall apart, the fabric is horribly dirty and has holes in it, and it’s clashed with our bedroom decor for a while now. We’ll be saying goodbye to this bench just as soon as we buy a new one to replace it!

6. Summertime Staples: Sangria

Mmmm, I don’t blame you guys for loving this post. This is my favorite drink recipe in the history of ever. Seriously, it’s the best sangria I’ve ever had in my life. We’ve already made it several times this summer and I’m planning on grabbing the stuff for another batch the next time we’re at the store! All of my “summertime staples” recipes are pretty high on the list of popular posts, so I’m thinking I’ll have to write up another post or two about our favorites before the summer is up – we have a killer shrimp taco recipe that goes really well with this sangria…

5. DIY Black & Gold Globe

I love this project! It was something we got the idea for when we participated in Creating With the Stars, and we loved it so much that we decided to go for it after the contest was over. This guy is still in our living room, but to be honest I’m not sure how well it fits in. I’m not ready to get rid of it because I like it too much, and I’m on a “get rid of all the things” kick right now, particularly in that room, so I’m hoping I’ll get struck with a brilliant idea for what we can do with it. In the meantime, I still really love looking at it!

4. Creating With the Stars Week 4: Home Decor

Speaking of Creating With the Stars… It’s so fun to look back at this project and think about how different that room looks now – that’s Jackson’s nursery! We loved this project but, of course, a reading room wasn’t really practical for our house. We did this entire thing knowing that we would eventually be transitioning it into a nursery. Honestly we both thought we’d leave the wall color the same, but I’m glad we ended up changing it to the more neutral gray we have now. I’m pretty infatuated with how the room looks now, but we’d never have gotten here if it wasn’t for this project!

3. Home Sweet Home

I still love this project just as much as I did on the day I finished it. It still makes me smile every time I walk down our hallway, and it’s still one of the projects I’m the most proud of! I want to do a few other updates to our little hallway so this pretty guy isn’t all alone up there, but it’s still pretty low on the priority list. We’ll get there someday.

2. A Homemade Curtain Rod

The only project that is no longer in our house! We loved these curtain rods and they served us well for a few years! I do wish we had done a few things differently – I’ve seen tutorial where people made them sit out from the wall a bit so that you can actually close and open the curtains, and I wish we would have done that. I also wish we would have made the rod more easily removed – it was a pretty permanent structure so when we wanted to replace the curtains we had to take the whole shebang down…and that’s how we ended up replacing them. We wanted something that was a little nicer looking and easier to swap out, so we ended up buying new curtain rods for the living and dining room as we replaced the curtains…but I do love looking back at these guys!

And finally, our #1 viewed post of all time…

1. A Handmade Dining Room Light

The dining room light. The one that always makes people stop in their tracks when they visit our house and ask where we got it. The one that still makes me smile every single time I turn it on. The one I will be clinging to, screaming and crying on the day (many years in the future) when we move away from this house and have to leave it behind. I’m a big fan of this light. It is a huge statement piece in our dining room and makes the whole thing feel elegant and put together. I still get regular emails about this project and have had many people tell me they’ve attempted it themselves, which I love hearing! Definitely my favorite project we’ve ever done!

And with that, if you’re new around here you are officially caught up on the best of the best posts! It’s pretty clear you guys are big fans of project posts…and I’m a big fan of writing them. I sincerely miss having more project posts around these parts, and I’m hoping we’ll be able to get back to it soon. We haven’t been putting hardly any money into the house lately, but Corey and I have both agreed that we miss it dearly and are hoping that within the next few months we’ll be able to loosen up the purse strings a bit. Our house is feeling neglected!

What kind of posts would you like to see more of around here? Any requests? Anyone else love going back and looking at old blog posts, or diaries if you don’t have a blog? I love reading what was on my mind all those years ago!

Well, hello there!

No, your eyes are not deceiving you – Love & Renovations has a new look!

I’ve been wanting to change things up and simplify the blog for a while now, but was too scared to tackle it myself. With the advice of a few friends and a lot of help from my BFF Google, I figured out how to do it and you’re seeing the results of my hard work today!

It’s still a work in progress, so you may see a few tweaks here and there over the next week or so. I have plans to re-vamp a lot of the pages and features to make it much easier to access and to add a lot more content, so be on the lookout for that!

Please let me know if you run into any issues or bugs while you’re browsing – I’m learning as I go, here!

Everyday Eclectic

I’m just popping in on this Friday morning (oh my goodness – it’s FRIDAY!) to let you guys know that I had the opportunity to set up a curated sale for Arcadian Home and it’s officially live!

It’s a fantastic home decor website that has some really amazing options, and I had an absolute blast putting it all together.  I tried to get a good amount of options and I didn’t choose anything that I wouldn’t put in my own home, so I hope you enjoy! Check it out and see if there’s anything you can’t live without…there are a few things I’m dyyyying to order!

Have a happy weekend – anyone have any fun plans?

This entry was posted in Blog.

An Announcement

You may have noticed over the past few months that things on the blog have been a bit…lackluster.

Projects have been few and far between, and nothing too complicated (or, um, well done) has popped up in a while. I’ve brushed it all off on summer laziness and being busy but that’s a lie.

You see, there’s a much better reason for my lack of energy, desire to complete projects, and the general boringness of the blog lately.


Yup. I finally get to share with all of my invisible internet friends that Corey and I are expecting a baby in January. We’ve just crossed over into the second trimester and we couldn’t be more excited.

Now that I’m finally starting to get some of my energy back (and I don’t constantly feel like I’m about to lose my lunch), I’m hoping there will be some fun projects coming your way again over the next few months. We’ve got big plans for the nursery, and once our bank account recovers from the amazing vacation we just took (more on that later!), we have a ton of other stuff on the agenda too.

So what does all this mean for the blog?

I won’t lie – things are going to change a bit. Now that we have a baby on the way, we’re going to start being a lot more responsible and careful with our money, which means less wiggle room in the budget for projects.

I also want to start focusing more on family time and step away from the computer more often. Corey and I both work full time and I’m also in grad school, so when you add in blogging four times a week I spend a lot of time on the computer. And that schedule just won’t be sustainable with a baby. So, I’m going to start playing around with it now so that hopefully come January things will have settled into a nice, new blog routine.

So, you can expect to see fewer posts around here, but hopefully that also means you’ll start to see more high quality posts and less “Crap, I don’t have something for Wednesday’s post, what can I write about?” type posts. If I’m being honest, this decision to move away from a schedule and into more of a relaxed “blog when I want to” routine is only partially fueled by the baby – it’s also inspired by this post by my fellow Weddingbee blogger, Kimberly Michelle, on the state of the blogosphere. She said a lot of things I’ve been thinking for a long time, and helped me realize that I’ve fallen into a lot of the traps she wrote about. And I’m not going to do it anymore. I blog for me, and I don’t make money from blogging (aside from a tiny check from BlogHer every month), and I feel like I’ve lost sight of that. I’ve already started to take some steps in this direction over the last few months – I stopped accepting sponsors and advertisers (aside from continuing to be a BlogHer member), and I’m excited to take a few more steps towards turning my blog back into something I’m excited about and not something I feel like I have to do.

BUT! I still plan on working on our house and slowly turning it into the home of our dreams, and I still plan on documenting that here!  It just may mean that now you hear from me once or twice a week (and some weeks I may not have anything to say), and hopefully you’ll start to see more quality and passion out of my posts because they won’t be forced anymore.

We’ve also always shared quite a bit of our personal life here as well, so you’ll definitely see more baby and family-geared posts as well. Just know that I don’t plan on turning into a full-on mommy-blogger, and I’ll keep the pregnancy and baby updates to a minimum, unless there are a ton of you who are just dying to hear all about it.

And now you know why the DIY projects have been mostly MIA over the last few months, and hopefully you’ll forgive me. I’m looking forward to this new chapter on the blog, and I’m excited to see where things lead!

I’d love to hear from you on how, if at all, you’d like to see things change with our big news. Would you love to see pregnancy and baby posts popping up from time to time, or are you crossing your fingers that this is the only time I’ll mention it?

(All photos in this post via Jessica Christine Photography)

Summer Schedule

Just a quick post today to let you know that apparently my whole schedule has fallen apart now that summer has begun and I don’t even know what day it is anymore.

I’ve been super busy with grad school work (which I’m finally just about done with!) and I have been sick-ish on and off, so not much has happened around the house so far this summer.

I think I’m going to do a slightly modified blogging schedule over the summer, which basically means that instead of blogging regularly 4 times a week, I may miss a post here or there. It definitely won’t be anything crazy like only one post a week, but there may be weeks where you only see two or three posts – and most weeks, I’ll probably still stick to the usual schedule.

I know this will probably be devastating to those of you who eagerly check for a new post from me every day (right? RIGHT?), but I hope you understand. Summer does crazy things to us teachers!

And now, I’m off to play more Zelda, watch more Desperate Housewives, and turn in the last of my graduate school work so I can finally get started on some projects!

This entry was posted in Blog.