December 31, 2013

Best of 17 Apart in 2013

With each year end, we find ourselves wondering how the time flew by and love the chance to look back through each of the adventures, accomplishments and life changes that took place — realizing we really have come a long way over the past 12 months. In keeping with our end of year tradition, we're taking a stroll down memory lane to share a roundup of the most popular posts we published over the past year.

December 30, 2013

Christmas 2013: Gifts, New & Old

Amidst all the holiday festivities Tim and I made a deal with each-other not to go crazy with gifts this year. We've been gifted with many blessings this year — good health, being surrounded by family and friends, a new career path for Tim and finally being able to call it our first Christmas as a married couple. In an effort to have something to unwrap on Christmas morning, I think we both came up with meaningful ideas for one another we thought would be fun to share here on the blog.

Merry & Bright: Our 2013 Christmas Decorations

It feels like the holidays came in and are almost over like a whirlwind this year! We've been spending lots of time with family and friends — even getting a chance to see lots of folks from out of town along with eating all of our favorite holiday foods and taking in the sights and sounds of the season. Since we haven't had much time to stop and share all the details of what's been going on around here, we wanted to share a few bits and snaps we took over the past few weeks while getting everything out and decorated.

December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and happy holiday season this year from our family to yours. Basil is very excited to open his stocking later today — we're making him wait until all the kids are here.

Mary & Tim

December 24, 2013

Behind The Scenes: Christmas Dinner with Relay Foods

Since it's Christmas week, we couldn't think of a better time to share the final shots from the holiday meal I had the opportunity to plan and cook with Relay Foods. We already shared the table decorations and place settings we came up with to set the scene, so I'm excited to finally share all the recipes.

December 20, 2013

How To: DIY Hanging Holiday Card Display

We've been decorating away since picking up our Christmas tree last weekend and still have some finishing touches to tackle this weekend. We're looking forward to sharing how we set everything up this year, but first wanted to share the DIY idea we came up with for displaying our holiday cards this year.

December 19, 2013

Oh, Just Hanging Around

You know how you have little projects all over the house and until you get to them you just move them from room to room because they always seem to be in the way? Well, over the weekend we pulled out the step stool, ladder, tool box, command strips and spools of wire to embark upon a marathon picture hanging session around our downstairs. We knocked out 4 pieces we've been sitting on, waiting to hang over the past few months (or longer) and it feels so great to have it all done!

December 17, 2013

Printstagram Gifts & Giveaway: Personalized Memory Game for Kids

Today we've been looking forward to sharing the creative gift idea we came up with for our smaller nieces and nephews, plus we have an exciting giveaway for you so you can do the same!

December 16, 2013

Weekend Basics

It was another jam-packed weekend full of festivities for us — I'm sure you can relate this time of year! We were both glad to get back home from our week up in NYC and get a chance to snuggle with this guy (who is still recovering from his extended stay in doggie daycare):

It was our last trip up to the city for the remainder of this year and it was such a beautiful, albeit cold, time of year to take in all the sights and holiday decorations. We did get a chance to get all gussied up for the Etsy holiday party, so will look forward to sharing a few pics on the blog soon.

December 12, 2013

How To: Holly Holiday Place Settings

Yesterday we left off with some of the decorating preparations we made for the holiday meal recipe photo-shoot Tim worked with Relay Foods to create. Just as we did with the Thanksgiving meal details, today we wanted to share how we changed things up a little to create festive holiday place settings.

December 11, 2013

Decorating with Holly for Christmas Dinner

Last week we had the team behind Relay Foods come back to the house to shoot the Holiday meal I'd been planning recipes and cooking for. We had such a good time setting up the table for the Thanksgiving shoot, we wanted to do it again, but with more of a Christmas feel to change things up. One note as you read this post — I am the cook and chief bottle washer. Mary, on the other hand, has the creative vision for table settings and design. I do the heavy lifting and photographing all the while letting her know, that looks really good hunny as the setting is created. We like the idea that our different strengths complement each-other so well, especially when it comes to things like this.

December 10, 2013

Giveaway: $50 to Spend on Scarves From

The fashionable folks behind are proud to carry only the best brands and models of discount scarves on the market, all under $40 and today they are offering up a chance for one lucky reader to score a whopping $50 to spend on fashion scarves this holiday season.

December 9, 2013

Weekend Basics

Whew, it was truly a weekend filled with holiday festivities for us! As you know, we started the weekend off with a visit to the Richmond Christmas Parade...

December 7, 2013

Rudolph in the House...Almost

Hope everyone is having a wonderful start to this December weekend! It's really chilly here in RVA, but not cold enough to stop us from donning our winter coats and taking in 2 exciting local holiday events going on today.

We already popped across the street over to Broad Street to catch a glimpse of the Dominion Richmond Christmas Parade. We saw Rudolph peeking at us from between the houses across the street, telling us we needed to come pay him a visit. Can you spot him above?

December 5, 2013

How To: Portable DIY Natural Home Scents

Tim's been in the kitchen and dining room the better part of today (and week) prepping, cooking and staging food for the Relay Foods holiday meal spread — it's looking and smelling so good around here! You might remember, he'd worked with them on the Thanksgiving meal and was eager to create something totally different for the holiday meal, so stay tuned for more on that front!  Knowing we'd have some foot traffic in the house today for the meal photo-shoot, I wanted to make sure the house was smelling like the holidays (not that it really needed anything further than the leg of lamb Tim had roasting in the oven)...

December 3, 2013

Find 17 Apart on Instagram — Finally!

That's right, we finally got with the program and set up a 17Apart Instagram account! If you haven't had enough of us already, we hope to share even more snaps from our little world. Who knows, Basil might even post from time to time. For our first post, we pieced together a bunch of mismatched antique typeface letters we'd found at an antique shop going out of business on our last trip up to Harrisonburg.

And while we're in the picture-following spirit, you can find and follow Tim's or my own Instagram accounts if you fancy! Are you on Instagram? Let us know so we can follow along with your world as well.

December 2, 2013

Long Weekend Basics: Thanksgiving 2013

Wow, is anyone else feeling like December has crept up on us out of nowhere? We hope everyone enjoyed the Thanksgiving holiday — we both took a little extra time off to make for an extended weekend break and are feeling relaxed and re-energized to tackle the busy festivities ahead. Today we wanted to share a little recap of our Thanksgiving day and some of the other happenings from our long weekend!

November 29, 2013

Black Friday & Cyber Monday Weekend Jewelry Sale

It's that time of year again! Every year we look forward to offering weekend deals for Black Friday through Cyber Monday to kickoff the holiday shopping season in my Etsy jewelry shop, Contrary.

November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

We wanted to pop in to wish each of you a Happy Thanksgiving wherever you may be. Today we're spending time near Prince George, VA with family, friends — and of course food! Basil also wanted to pop in to let you know he's thinking about you too (along with all the turkeys and deer he's been spotting down here by the river)...

November 27, 2013

Brussels Sprouts Harvest & Update

Let's talk about our Brussels sprouts plant! A couple weekends ago I was finally able to harvest the plant we've been growing since mid March. You might recall how little they were back then:

We'd actually planted 2 starter plants in the front urn planters. One withered and died within 2 weeks, while the other grew and thrived through the spring, summer and autumn months. We got more questions this summer from people walking down the sidewalk and wanting to know exactly what we were growing:

November 26, 2013

Rosemary Cuttings: Winter Prep

Last week we showed you how we decorated our early Thanksgiving table with rosemary cuttings. Since we had so many new cuttings on hand after the tablescape shoot, I decided to just let them rest in a glass of water on our windowsill. I'm feeding a growing habit of trying to root herb cuttings if you couldn't tell...

November 25, 2013

Weekend Basics

It's starting to feel like the holidays around here! Both Stephanie and Brandon have the week off from college and we hit the road to pick them up early in the weekend. We left a little early so we could stop in on one of our favorite Antique spots along the way...

November 22, 2013

DIY: Fresh Rosemary Sprig Place Settings

Image by John Robinson

Yesterday we shared some behind-the-scenes shots from the day Tim cooked an entire Thanksgiving meal with Relay Foods back in September. Tim is the star of the show when it comes to planning, cooking and executing a meal. Styling the table is where my creativity kicks in. Today I wanted to share some of the smaller details from the tablescape we staged for this meal, particularly the rosemary sprig place settings.

November 21, 2013

Behind The Scenes: A Very Relay Foods Thanksgiving

Since we're just a week away from Turkey day, we thought it would be fitting to share some of the preparations that have been going on in our kitchen. Back in September, I had the opportunity to help plan and cook the entire Thanksgiving menu for Relay Foods this holiday season. All of the ingredients for the meal came directly from Relay Foods and were sourced locally and organically where possible. Find the full meal, with all recipes and more photos from the day over on the Relay Foods Thanksgiving menu page.

November 20, 2013

How To: DIY Door Snake (Draft Stopper)

We shared earlier this week some of the updates we made around the house to try and conserve energy over the winter. One of the quicker fixes we took on was whipping up a couple door snakes for the two doors in the house with the largest drafts. Door snakes are really just draft stoppers, placed as blockers in front of the bottom of the door where the draft seeps in and out. They get their name from their long, skinny shape — some are even made to look like snakes (how cute are these?).

November 19, 2013

NYC Roundup: November 2013

Week before last, we headed up for our regular working trip to NYC. While it was a quick trip, we enjoyed many of our favorite things to do and places to see, but also had the chance to knock off a couple bucket list items we've had and wanted to share.

First up, Cronuts. Oh, the cronuts. Let us tellllll you about trying to get a cronut...

November 18, 2013

Weekend Basics: Winterizing Energy Saving Tips

This weekend was a little dreary here in RVA, and with the Richmond Marathon surrounding the streets of our city home (land-locking us in from driving), it was the perfect time to take care of some seasonal home updates for saving energy we've been meaning to get to. As you know, our house is over 100 years old and while energy-saving updates aren't always the most exciting, they sure gave us some added peace of mind — and who doesn't like saving a little moolah each month?

November 12, 2013

Giveaway: Oso Free Jewellery

Today we are thrilled to be hosting a giveaway for this stunning statement necklace, handcrafted in Mumbai, India by Etsy artist, Arnaz Sunkersett of Oso Free Jewellery:

Now this is what I call a statement piece. The mix of stone, gemstones, ceramic beads and faux leather makes it a solid and edgy piece that could step up any look. Any one of these pieces could add a really nice focal point to your holiday look this year:

November 11, 2013

Weekend Basics

The leaves are falling, the breeze is in the air, and Basil declares we are in the midst of a beautiful autumn! We snagged this shot of him during an early afternoon walk down Monument Avenue Sunday — he just laid down happily in the leaves as if he could just lounge there the rest of the day.

November 7, 2013

Sunglass Warehouse: DIY Holiday Shades Face-off

Tim and I flexed our DIY guns with a little holiday creativity to bring you a fashion face-off and sunglasses giveaway today. Check out each of our projects below and learn how to enter for a chance to win a fashionable $50 to spend on sunglasses from Sunglasses Warehouse at the bottom of this post.

November 6, 2013

Our Dog Treats In American Lifestyle Magazine

Back in early spring we began working with American Lifestyle Magazine to recreate our natural carrot and banana dog treat recipe for their holiday issue. Now that the issue is finally on newsstands, we were so thrilled to see how it turned out and find a project spread of our own across the pages of a print publication! Basil even made a little cameo — can you spot him in the top right image up there?

November 5, 2013

Our New-To-Us Dining Room Rug

The last time we checked in on the dining room, we'd just updated the space with a sideboard but were still on the hunt for a rug to make the space feel a little more tied together. Well, that day has finally come!

November 4, 2013

Weekend Basics

Photo by Hunter Hopcroft

Today we're checking in from NYC — hi y'all! We're working the better part of the week in the city and spent a beautiful (and chilly day) up here yesterday, but that didn't stop us from packing in a few more fall festivities down south before heading up north...

November 2, 2013

Halloween Recap: Indiana Jones & The Skunk

After sharing our pumpkin designs from this year, we thought it would be fun to share a little of the Halloween shenanigans that went on with a little phone pic tour!

November 1, 2013

Our Halloween Pumpkins: A Squirrel & His Nut

It's hard to believe we've already made it to November this year. Even though all the Halloween festivities took place last night, we wanted to share our pumpkins since we did end up getting them carved in the bewitching hour, just in time to light them up for all the little trick or treaters that came our way.

October 30, 2013

Three Against One: A New Niece On The Way!

Yesterday we talked all about our time spent with our nieces and nephew at a local pumpkin patch. What we didn't tell you is, we are excited that my sister is expecting her 4th child come March!

That's right, my sister is expecting once again and we all just found out yesterday that we'll be welcoming another little girl into the family — this will be our 3rd niece on her side. You can see a little bit of her baby bump peeking through her coat above.

October 29, 2013

Pumpkin Patching It!

Friday we took some time off to make a day of heading out to a local pumpkin patch, Gallmeyer Farms, to spend time with my sister, all 3 of her children, my mom and aunt. It was a big crowd, and with so many of us "big kids" on hand, there was plenty of attention to go around.

October 28, 2013

Weekend Basics

Our weekend was one of those amazingly jam-packed few days filled with fun fall events and activities. We actually made it a long weekend and kicked it off on Friday by spending time at a local pumpkin patch with family, including these three little wigglers:

We'll detail more of the fun from the pumpkin patch in another post, but who can resist three little ones in a wheelbarrow?

October 24, 2013

It's About Thyme

It's getting much colder here in Virginia, which means we've cleaned up much of our late summer plantings and put the containers in storage for safe keeping over the winter. It also means we have more time to look after our more hardy, cool weather perennial plantings that will hang on with us through the winter months. This week we began prepping our thyme plantings for healthy autumn maintenance.

October 22, 2013

Origins Farm: Natural Cinnamon Apple Fruit Leather

It's apple season! We couldn't wait to share today's recipe for simple, natural fruit leather, using the fresh local apples sourced from Origins Farm. Fruit leather is such an easy (and delicious) way to preserve the bounty and flavor of ripening seasonal fruit. It's a healthy snack for little and big kids alike and when made naturally, can even be a special treat for your favorite four legged friends.

October 21, 2013

It's Golden! My Parents' 50th Wedding Anniversary

This weekend we had the opportunity to celebrate my parents' 50th wedding anniversary. These two are pretty amazing and a true inspiration — we felt so honored to get to spend this special time with them.

October 18, 2013

Our Old Friend, The Beechwood Sideboard

We've been working slowly but surely to complete the different rooms in our house. We're not in a huge rush since we're planning to be here for the long haul, and want to take our time. That being said, it's nice each time we find or make a piece of furniture that helps complete a room or fill up what's been feeling like an empty space (like our tree stump side table or locker console). Today we're talking about the new-to-us sideboard we recently added in our dining room...

October 16, 2013

Decorating with Toddlers: Painted Letter Pumpkin

Our youngest niece, Sophia, stayed with us over the weekend. She's just over 2 years old, full of energy and sweet as can be. We'd planned a couple indoor activities since it was expected to be a rainy weekend and painting her very own family pumpkin turned out to be one of the biggest hits.

October 15, 2013

Our Weekend Date with Sophia

As you already know, we had the pleasure of hanging out with this adorable little wiggler over the weekend. We were excited to have our youngest niece, Sophia, come for an overnight while her parents ventured out for a kid-free weekend. We were certainly up for the task, but also appreciated all the tips you gave us for 2 year old friendly activities to keep her busy and occupied while at our house.

October 14, 2013

Weekend Basics

Ello and Good Morning! I've been joking all weekend that we now live in London — the weather's been overcast and spitting a steady rain for what seems like days straight now. Weather aside, we had a busy weekend as usual!

October 11, 2013

Small Wonders

Meet Sophia, our youngest niece:

Tim and I are the lucky Aunt and Uncle that get to spend some time with this adorable little bundle of joy over the weekend. She'll be hanging out with us and spending the night Saturday. We've got some fun things lined up (perhaps Maymont and the Children's Museum) and a full arsenal of kid-sized fun for the house, but would love recommendations for your favorite things to do at home with a 2 year old, including any suggestions for great toddler-friendly iPad apps.

Hope you have a great weekend — ours will be filled with lots of energy and this adorable smile!

P.S. Her shirt says "Meow means I love you."

Update: Harvesting Our Horseradish Root

Early this week we saw the following comment roll in on our original horseradish plant post and realized it was high time for an update:

"Any follow-up on your horseradish planting? I've a root we picked up at the grocery yesterday, and want to get it into the ground. Would love to see how yours turned out!"

We'd actually been ready to harvest the root for the past couple of weeks, so this question was a good virtual kick in the pants to get it done! You might recall we first planted the root back in February (get the full rundown here) and before we knew it, we were seeing major leaf growth in March.

October 8, 2013

DIY Pumpkin Decorating: Golden Doily Pumpkins

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I couldn't wait to share this simple and quick way to bring a little autumn decor into your home. Tim and I picked up a few small pie pumpkins a couple weekends back and I'd been looking forward to dressing them up a little ever since — all it took was a few gold paper doilies!

October 7, 2013

Weekend Basics

It was one of those weird weekends where we reached 90 degrees on Saturday and Sunday in the midst of October. Despite the heat, we ventured out to watch our niece, Caitlyn, play in two back to back softball games. We had to leave early in order to make it in time for the surprise 60th birthday party for one my previous coworkers, but she played amazingly while we were there! As life would have it, right after we left we heard she pitched a shut out inning and drove in 2 runs with a ball hit to the fence. You go, girl!
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