Ch-Ch-Changes

For a while now we’ve been contemplating making some changes to things here around Little House. Big Heart.

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kev paintingAnd we don’t mean painting.

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For the summer, we’re going to try posting just three times a week (on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays). This should give us more time to plan and put together our posts and (hopefully) give you better posts to read.

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There’s a lot to look forward to this summer from LHBH. We’ll be grilling all next week with our Thrill of the Grill Week (and giveaway).

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We’ll be finishing up our long running backyard renovation.

Rosie Soaking Up The Sun

And we’ll be tackling a few other projects that are driving us crazy.

We hope you’ll stick around the Little House with us!

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Gearing Up

Just one week from today Kevin and I head are on the road again for two weeks in Europe, visiting Germany, Austria, and Italy! We’re beyond excited!

We’ve got a crazy week ahead of us with cleaning house, laundry, tree removal (tomorrow, yay!), hosting our Bible Study class (Hiya, Honeymooners!), work craziness, the blog, and even finals (for Kevin’s MBA).  Needless to say, I’ve started listing. So far this week I’ve made a home to-do list, a work to-do list, a Kevin to-do list, packing lists for both of us, and a contact list for our dog sitter. Oh, and I’ve memorized the weekday Dallas metro schedule to DFW airport.

List

Of course, we’re going to miss all of you while we’re gone. But even though we’re gone for two weeks, you’ll have plenty to read here at LHBH! We’ve got guest posts lined up from the likes of Kelly from Corner of Main, Christine from Casa de Christine, and many more! We’re so excited to have everyone here and go grateful that they were willing to take the time to guest post for us!

We did have a question for you before we go. Do you have any suggestions on where to eat, what to see, or what we absolutely can’t miss in Munich, Germany or Innsbruck, Austria? In Venice, Florence, or Rome, Italy? We know from our previous travels that the best way to see is a city is from recommendations from other people (like Annabel’s awesome tips on London), so share your best travel tips in the comments below! We’d love to explore some of your favorite places!

We’ll be back later this week with more from TREE-mageddon 2013 and some progress on our deck. Oh, and I was thinking of doing a “What’s in my Suitcase” post since I’m packing two weeks in a carry-on! And if you’re one of our guest posters, thanks so much for getting your posts into me! You really rock our socks (and the rest of us)!

2 Years and a Goodbye

Two years ago today Kevin and I got the keys to the Little House.

Keys!

But today, we’re putting her on the market. That’s right, the Little House is for sale.

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We’re just plain tired of DIY.

Wendy the Pipe Wrench

We’re tired of gardening.

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We’re tired of powerwashing.

Kevin

We’re tired of jackhammering.

Meet Jack

We’re tired of painting.

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We’re tired of the Little House. So we’re selling it.

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Who are we kidding? We love DIY and we are absolutely, positively, head-over-heels in love with the Little House! It’s been two years since we got the keys and we wouldn’t trade a single day (except maybe the one where the AC went out or the one where the bathtub backed up, or the one with the hail storm)!

Happy April Fool’s Day!

TBT

So here’s the thing.

There’s not been much going on at the Little House lately. After the flurry of getting everything ready for our St. Pat’s day boil, we’ve been completely unproductive for  two weeks (at least where the house is concerned).

I have almost finished our 2012 Beals Family Yearbook on myPublisher and am working on a new blog design (I’m so excited to share it with you), but I’ve been working on those while parked on my backside watching How I Met Your Mother and The Bible on History Channel.

Since we don’t have any projects to share today, I thought I’d get on the Throw Back Thursday bandwagon and share a few pictures of Kevin and me from way back when. Enjoy!

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Our first New Year’s Eve together – We’d been dating all of two months!

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Universal Studios, Orlando – Modeling T-Rex heads

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My junior year spring break – His guys trip and my girls trip collided for one day on Fort Myer’s Beach

Doing the Chicken Dance at Hofbrauhaus, Newport

Doing the Chicken Dance at Hofbrauhaus, Newport

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Kevin’s College Graduation (I’m so glad he shaved that goatee!)

My College graduation (sans goatee)

My College graduation (sans goatee)

Halloween as Wilson and Heidi the Tool Girl

Halloween as Wilson and Heidi the Tool Girl

Hope you have a great TBT and an awesome holiday weekend!

Hey Girl.

I was so excited to ready about Chelsea @ Two Twenty One‘s “Hey Girl” link party! If you hadn’t heard about it, it’s based on all the “Hey Girl” Ryan Gosling memes on Pinterest. Instead of Ryan Gosling, though, these memes are based on your man (or in this case, Kevin).

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So without further ado, here’s my “Hey Girls” for Kevin!

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I mean, seriously? My babies get to have those eyes and that sweet crooked smile?

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I had three criteria for picking my husband: he had to be taller than me even when I wore my highest heels, he must drive a mustang, and he must have Indianapolis Colts season tickets. And so I married Kevin.

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So Kevin has no idea I made these… he’s on a plane somewhere on his way home from Minneapolis right now and won’t see this post until I pick him up from the airport. Here’s hoping he likes them!

300

Today, dear readers, marks our 300th post here at LHBH. Can you believe it? It seems just like yesterday we wrote our first post and called our moms to tell them to read it.

Since then, a few of you have stopped by to say hello once or twice or 87, 465 times (as of this morning).

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To celebrate, we thought we’d count down the top five posts of the last three hundred.

5.

Our fifth most popular post is an oldie but a goody: Challenge… Completed! Part I, from YHL’s first ever Pinterest Challenge.  This post was on a DIY ribbon chandelier we made for our dining room, the first of two projects we made for that Challenge.

Finished!

Little House Big Heart Dining Room

4.

Coming in at #4 is Oh Baby, Baby! Part II. This post was all about the printables I made for the vintage circus themed baby shower I threw for my younger sister, Stephanie. As with all the printables I make,  I’d love to send you the files!

Baby shower

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3.

Tipping the scales at #3 is last week’s Macklemore Thrift Shop Challenge, hosted by YHL. With only $20 in our pockets we scoured local thrift shops in search of that hidden gem. We came home with some awesome mercury glass votives for our patio and a sweet vintage suitcase.

mercury tea lights

suitcase vintage

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The second most popular post in LHBH history is Challenge…. Completed! Part II, the sister post to #5 up there. For our second Pinterest Challenge project that season we made some awesome DIY abstract canvases to hand above our couch using masking tape and a sample pot of paint in an appley green.

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LHBH DIY masking tape art

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And our most popular post ever is (drumroll please)…. Raise the Woof! Another Pinterest Challenge entry, this post showed how we made DIY doggy beds for our puppies Rosie and Indy.

DIY raised dog bed

DIY raised dog bed

So there you have it: our top five posts (by views) of the last 300! We’ve had so much fun writing these and can’t wait to get started on the next 300!

What is your favorite LHBH post?

Little House. Big Changes. Maybe.

First and foremost (before I start rambling on about who knows what) I want to say thank you to all of you. Y’all are seriously the best readers that a couple of DIY/decor/cooking/how-to/cocktail/travel/puppy bloggers could ask for.

As you probably know, Kevin and I are engineers. We love numbers (well, Kevin loves them… I’m ambivalent) and both spend entirely too much time checking LHBH’s stats page throughout the day. For us, part of the fun of blogging is seeing how many people land in our little corner of the internet each day,  what you click on, which posts get searched and pinned, where in the world you come from (all these places, by the way).

LHBH Countries

Lately, we’ve noticed a trend. A upwards trend. We’re getting more views – lots more views. For some reason, y’all seem to like what we’ve got going on here at LHBH. Naturally, we’re flattered. I’m blushing right now, actually. We never expected LHBH to have any more readers than our moms (and we figured they’d take some convincing), so to have all of you stopping by makes us outright giddy.

And it’s not just you. We’ve been approached by a few marketing companies to buy advertising space and would really like to join both the BlogHer network (we’re members with Twitter and Pinterest but not the blog) and a few affiliate programs we’ve researched (but we can’t, not just yet anyway).

It’s amazing and awesome and scary that our little blog could grow that much if we’re willing to put in the time and effort… and make the transition to WordPress.org.

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We’re still waffling on the decision to move or stay. If we stay we can continue as we are, focusing on DIY and writing when we can with no pressure to crank out five posts a week. If we move and get sponsors and affiliates, it’ll require a little more dedication (and money) that we’ve had to put in so far.

It’s scary, especially for me. I’m always afraid of failure. What if we try to move the blog and loose all of our previous posts? Or loose you as followers by adding ads and affiliate links to the site? Maybe we should just stay here at WordPress.com where it’s cozy and safe.

Have you made the .com to .org WordPress switch? Have you considered monetizing your blog? Would ads and affiliate links turn you off the blog?

A Little Year in Review: 2012

Holy moly, it’s 2013! Can you believe it? Where did the time go!?

It seems just like yesterday we were revealing our built-in Ikea desks in our office from three Expedit bookcases and two Vika Amon desktops. We’ve not done much more in the office, but have big plans to replace the flooring and rip down the horrible drop ceiling!

Ikea desk hack expedit vika amon

In March, we finished and planted the Little Garden. We had big dreams, but the Texas weather had other ideas. Between 100 degree days and monster hail storms, we ended up with far less veggies than we’d hoped. We’ve got big plans for 2013 though, including a roll-up shade cloth for the tomatoes and painting our gutter gardens!

DIY raised garden

Taking advantage of the perfect Texas spring weather, we worked on revamping the Little House’s curb appeal in May. We ripped out some ugly, giant bushes, sewed some new pillows for our Adirondacks, and planted a ton of perennial flowers. This year we hope to re-sod and added even more flowers.

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In June, we shared our plans for redecorating our very brown bedroom. We’re still not 100% done, but we’re getting there.

Master Mood Board

In July, we started one of our very favorite features: Handyman Wednesdays, where Kevin shares tips and tricks for the little jobs around the house. On the first HMW ever, Kevin shared the essential tools every DIYer needs. Since then, he’s shared tips on everything from replacing an electrical plug and installing an outdoor light to bargaining tips and when to rent vs. buy a new tool. Kevin’s always looking for new HMW ideas, so if there’s anything you’d like to see this year, let us know!

Kevin the EE whiz

By September we were in full swing on our backyard demolition. We had removed the free-standing bar and were well on our way to removing the offending structures completely from our backyard. It wouldn’t be until December, though, before we’d get the last of the structures out of here. In the process, we’d used our first jackhammers, conned our friends into helping us, and eventually gave in and hired some day labor. The result? We have a structure-free back yard!

Little Backyard Sans Hot Tub

Our most popular post this year was our Fall Pinterest Challenge entry, faux pinch pleat curtains ala House of Hepworths. We set a new record for most site views ever the day we posted this project!

Pinch Pleat Curtains

WordPress.com sent out our year in review last week. We posted exactly 200 posts in 2012 and had a little over 55,000 views. When we saw those numbers, we were floored. We never imagined that anyone would actually read our little blog when we started!

Kevin and I had such an amazing 2012, both as a couple and as bloggers! We’re so blessed and so thankful to be where we are and thankful that you stop by our little labor of love every day! Have a wonderful and blessed 2013!

I’m Thankful

In case you missed it in all the hubub of Halloween and Sandy (still praying for all you up that way!), it’s November. Seriously guys, we’re only 52 days away from Christmas and 59 away from 2013 (in which I’ll be 26). Yikes!

Not only are we doing our own version of No Spend November this month (check it out here), but we’re also going to do our own little Thankful November. At the beginning of each post we’ll name one thing we’re thankful for here at the Little House to help remind us that Thanksgiving is about more than turkey and pumpkin pie (although, to be fair, that is my favorite part…note last year’s turkey below).

Today, we’re thankful for you, our amazing readers. That you keep coming back to read the ramblings of two wanna-beDIYers/engineers/newlyweds takes our breath away. You cannot imagine how much your thoughts and comments means to us.  We started this blog to let our families know how we’re faring down here in the Lone Star State and it has become so much more than that. It’s become a part of our lives and so have you. We feel so blessed to be a part of something as fun and incredible as this little blogging community. So… thanks for stopping by.

What are you thankful for today?

Goooooooal!

Kev and I have been thinking a lot about this little blog of ours lately.

About projects we have in the works.

About what we can do to make LHBH better.

And about where LHBH can go in the future.

And since I’m me (and extremely type A), I made a list of our current goals for LHBH… short term, long term, and pie-in-the-sky dreams. And yes. I made it on grid paper.

Short Term:

  • Always have posts ready the night before. I can’t write quality posts in the mornings; I don’t have enough time – and I always want to write quality posts for you guys.
  • Read/comment on at least 5 of your blogs everyday. At my old job, I had all the time in the world to read and comment on your blogs. At my new one, I don’t have that time. I really appreciate all of you reading and commenting here at LHBH and I want to return the favor!
  • Consistently average 5000 views a month. We’ve hit this mark the last two months running, but it looks like September isn’t going to quite make it.
  • Finish the new pages we added to the blog on the last makeover.
  • Have one giveaway a month. We love you guys and we want you to know it!
  • Have one “Week” per month (like Doggie Week and Blogiversary Week). These are just plain fun! We have one planned for next week and let me tell you… it’s going to be souper!
  • Get 100 email followers. We’re at 73 now. Will you hit the follow button and help us reach our goal?

Long Term:

  • Self-host the blog. We’re seriously considering moving over to WordPress.org. We’re just a little hesitant to take the leap.
  • Join the BlogHer network. We’d have already done this if we could. It’s the main reason we want to self-host.
  • Attend Haven! I’d love to get to know some fellow bloggers and learn from the best.
  • Reach 10000 views in one month. That’s four times the number of people living in the town where I grew up.
  • Get a sponsor (or two). Pretty self explanatory on that one…

Pie-In-The-Sky:

  • Become full-time (or even part-time) professional blogging gurus.
  • Have the Little House featured in one of D Magazine’s Most Beautiful Homes in Dallas columns.
  • Write a cookbook of all the Little House’s recipes.
  • The Texas Rangers win the World Series and the Indianapolis Colts win the Super Bowl.
  • Indy and Rosie quit eating things.

So that’s us, baring our ambitions (and our souls). We love making the Little House our home and telling you all about it. I never expected blogging to become what it has to us, but it’s definitely part of our lives now.

What are your goals? Any advice on how to reach ours? Any you think we should add/take away?