The Surznick Common Room

Friday, July 21, 2017

#MeetTheMeowburgs: Save the Dates

With our wedding less than 6 months away, our planning is full-steam ahead! We mentioned in our Lately update last week that we recently ordered our save the dates and we're so excited to share them with you today.

After working with Minted for our Valentine's Day art prints and seeing the wide selection of products they offer, we knew they would be perfect to work with on this step of the wedding planning process.

In May when my best friend, Bethany, was visiting from Alaska, she shot some engagement photos of us in some of our favorite spots around Pittsburgh. I wouldn't really say that we feel like "engagement photo" people, but we did want to send out save the dates since all of our family will be coming from out of town, and a save the date would be pretty boring without a photo, right? We were so thrilled that Bethany was willing to shoot us in environments that we were comfortable in (like at brunch and a brewery, ha.)

We visited Whitfield for brunch and then hopped on over to East End Brewing for afternoon beer flights. Right around the corner from EEBC is this amazing pink wall - the photos we shot there are my favorites of the day (because PINK WALL!)

After we got our photos back from Bethany, we started looking into our save the date options on Minted. We knew we wanted a postcard style that was fun, yet simple. It was so easy to filter through the different options that Minted offers until we were honing in on our desired design.

The photo we picked was portrait orientation, so we filtered for only portrait style postcards with a single photo. The coolest part is that you can upload your photo so as you scroll through your options, you can see what your save the dates will end up looking like! You can also mark favorites along the way so you don't forget which you liked best, as there are a LOT of options.

After picking a few contenders, we narrowed it down to our final choice: Let's I Do This postcard by Jill Ellis. Since Nick and I have been together a long time (we're getting married on our 9 year dating anniversary) there's kind of a "FINALLY they're getting married" mentality around our wedding, which we totally get. We thought "Let's I Do This Thing" was the perfect message to send all of our guests to let them know that Surz and Nick are finally doing the thing.

Minted's save the dates are super reasonably priced for being custom designed and printed. The prices vary depending on the quantity you order, but for our design they ranged from $1.09 to $1.92 apiece. We placed our order and were so surprised when our bundle of save the dates was already on it's way to us two days later (super quick!)

When we opened up the package, we were thrilled with how they turned out. Our friends and family are starting to get them in the mail and we've already gotten so many compliments on the cards (as well as excitement for our wedding - eek!) If you're in the wedding planning process and looking for the best options and quality for your save the dates, check out Minted!

Just for fun, here's a few more photos from our engagement session with Bethany! Be sure to check out her blog for more photos from our shoot, plus the rest of her incredible portfolio. She'll be back on the east coast this fall, so if you are looking for a photographer, she's your girl.

Sarah & Nick

This post is in collaboration with Minted, but all opinions and design choices are our own. Thanks for supporting the companies that support the Common Room and we hope you like our save the dates!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Lately... (XI)

Hi everyone - happy July! It's been a little while so we wanted to pop in and give an update of what's been going on around these parts. We hope you all enjoyed our Year One house update - thank you for all of the sweet comments on Instagram! We have more Surznick Ranch projects in the works, so we promise we'll have more house updates to share in the coming months.

Wedding Things
My best friend, Bethany, visited us in May and took our engagement photos. We are IN LOVE with them. We'll share a few with you soon, but you can see some on Bethany's blog in the meantime. We ordered our save the dates from Minted and they're going out in the mail soon (more on that next week!) By the way, if you're in Anchorage, AK and in need of amazing photographer, Bethany is your girl!

We have our registry and wedding website about 90% done. It's a little strange registering for gifts as an adult couple that has lived together for 5 years, but I think we've put together a decent list so far! Maybe we'll share more about that process later (after the wedding) if there's any interest in what we registered for or where/why we created a website. Let us know!

With less than six months to go, there's plenty to do, but it also feels like we're kind of stuck until a little closer to the date. I've had my fair share of headaches over things that I can't control, so I'm trying to just not think about it much (ha.)

In June we went to Columbus for a quick weekend trip where Nick taught a Montessori music course. We ate and sipped our way through the Short North and German Village in our brief amount of time there, but it was a pretty cool place! We totally skipped out on Jeni's ice cream though, so I know we'll have to go back soon. While Nick was teaching, I got to spend time with my long-time blog friend Natalie of Natalie Was Here (remember our collaboration from way back when?) Getting to meet and connect with other bloggers in person is one of the best parts of blogging.

The most exciting travel news we have is that WE'RE GOING TO ALASKA! Bethany (of the aforementioned engagement photos) has lived there for the past couple of years and we've been dreaming of visiting her ever since. Before she moves back east, we're finally making the journey across the country to see her. WE. CAN'T. WAIT.

Home Projects
We've started work on our master bedroom! The old trim is ripped out, the walls are patched and skim coated, and now we're just waiting for a little electrical work to be wrapped up so we can start painting and wallpapering!

It's been a little while, so in case you don't remember, we shared our bedroom plans and inspiration early in the year. Things are finally starting to take shape and we hope to have it all completed by fall. This will be our first time wallpapering, so wish us luck!

Odds and Ends
In the beginning of July we attended the wedding of our friends Sarah and Sam. I love being at a time in our lives when our closest friends are getting married. It's so special getting to celebrate the marriage of people we love and we're so excited for our friends to celebrate with us soon! We've been living vicariously through Sarah and Sam's honeymoon travels and getting inspiration for our own! We've almost got our destinations nailed down, but nothing is set in stone yet.

Our garden is thriving! Must be all that rain PGH is getting... We have a bunch of zucchini, chocolate sprinkles tomatoes, and wineberries. Soon we should (hopefully) have broccoli, Brussels sprouts, carrots, and pumpkins. I'll admit that I didn't care much about the garden when it started, but it's really exciting to see how successful it's been. Speaking of produce... have you heard of the 412 Food Rescue Ugly CSA? Sign ups for 2017 are now open!

Last week was Sarah's annual 4th of Juluau party! She puts together a pretty great Hawaiian themed 4th of July party every year (with drinks served in pineapples!) The morning after we hosted brunch at our house for the first time. Having our friends over, making a ton of food, and eating together in our new dining room was just as fun as the party.

I just finished binge-watching Silicon Valley, while Nick is about halfway done. Have you watched it? I loved it, and honestly, I think watching it has inspired me to focus more on the blog again. It's no secret that there haven't been new posts around here, but I'm feeling really interested in creating and sharing more again soon. We're also watching Twin Peaks for the first time - Nick really loves it but I'm on the fence. Anyone else?

Finally, this weekend is Pittsburgh Beerfest! Are you going? We'll be there pouring, so stop by and say hi if you're attending!

As always, thanks for sticking by us and reading new posts (even though they're few and far between.) We hope you have a great week!

Sarah & Nick

Monday, June 5, 2017

The Surznick Ranch: Year One

The Surznick Ranch is one! It's hard to believe that we closed on our house a year ago already. We are both still absolutely in love with our home and being homeowners. We haven't had any significant issues *knock on wood* and our first year in our house has truly been a dream come true.

Since we've been living here for a year, we wanted to document the house as it is now and reflect on all the changes that have taken place in the last 12 months. When we moved into our house, we made a big list of all the changes that we wanted to make so that we don't forget about them as we live in the house and get used to it. I can already tell that making this list was SUCH a good idea, because there's already so many things I don't even notice anymore that, at one time, I wanted to modify.

At the same time, having this list sometimes makes me feel like we've barely done anything because there's a ton more to do, so hopefully this post is a reflection of how far things have actually come! If you feel so inclined, feel free to watch the videos in this post or this post for a trip down memory lane and see where things started last June.

Note: These photos were quickly snapped before we headed out of town. The house isn't super organized or styled and, of course, these rooms aren't DONE done. But hey, this is what it is (for now!)

The Living Room/Dining Room

The living room/dining room area is my favorite transformation so far. It's not fully complete, but a lot has been done. The biggest changes were adding built-in bookshelves to the living area and painting the pattern accent wall in the dining area. We were so fortunate to work with Home Depot on the dining area and are in love with this space. Our pink front door is such a fun pop of color and makes me happy every time I come home.

Posts about these rooms:
IKEA Built-in Billy Bookcases
How to Get Inexpensive, Large-Scale Art
Copper Pipe Magazine Rack
Hairpin Leg Coffee Table
Before & After: Dining Room Makeover
Modern Dining Area Makeover (Home Depot Blog)

Living Room Light
Round Mirror
Plant Shelf
Pink Rug
Dining table
Eames chairs
Door paint
Pineapple door knocker
Round jute doormat
Patterned Accent Wall paint
Cordless window shade
Floating shelves
Fiddle leaf fig (Smaller size here)

Nick's Music Room

Nick's music room was the first full room makeover we completed. He's in this room every day teaching lessons, writing and recording songs, planning school lessons, etc. I'm so glad we completed this space for him as soon as we moved in. For a little while I was worried about the navy being too dark, but this room gets beautiful light during the day and makes the blue look so pretty, especially against the piano and white trim.

Posts about this room:
The Surznick Ranch: Progress Report
Before & After: Nick's Music Room
Wooden Map Hanger
Orange Chair Makeovers
Hanging Wooden Planters

Paint - Behr Starless Night and Behr untinted white
Curtains & Rod
Harry Potter Prints
Gold Task Lamp
Chalkboard Globe - similar
Shelves & Brackets
Ceiling Light

Basement and Backyard

Painting the basement white made a huge difference in making the room feel fresh and clean. We worked with Home Depot to swap out the drop ceiling tiles, which was also a game changer. The basement is far from perfect, but the little changes we made really help this space feel nice when we're relaxing and watching tv. Outside our basement is our backyard, where Nick has been working to cut down all of the huge hedges that surround our house. It's a big task, but making a huge difference. We even cleared out enough space to plant a garden!

Posts about this room:
Basement Drop Ceiling Makeover with Home Depot
DIY Drop Ceiling Replacement (Home Depot Blog)
Geometric Patterned Planters

Thanks for spending the past few years with us - on our journey to home ownership and our first year in The Surznick Ranch. We really do love it here. We have house plans for this upcoming year, but are taking it day by day as we also have a wedding to plan and know we can't do it all. Regardless, we can't wait to see what the next year holds!

Sarah & Nick