The Surznick Common Room

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

20 Questions with Surznick (Vol. 2)

Photo by our girl B. Barton
So remember six months ago when we shared a "20 Questions with Surznick" post? People seemed to like it and we really did too, so we thought we'd do it again. Here are our answers to 20 random questions. (And in case you're wondering, we did not see each others answers until now.) Enjoy!

1. If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?
S - Watch tv with my cats.

N - Nap.

2. What fictional place would you most like to go?
S - Five way tie: Halloweentown, Hogwarts, Rydell High, Stars Hollow, Pemberley

N - Hogwarts. But not when it's "not safe anymore," and only when it's winter break, because I'm not trying to go back to school.

3. If you could turn any activity into an Olympic sport, what would you have a good chance at winning medal for?
S - Winning contests. It's my speciality.

N - Whistling.

4. What skill would you like to master?
S - Booking flights/traveling for insanely cheap - people do this, right? I'm working on it...

N - There are literally too many to name. Currently topping my list are bread making and woodworking.

5. What would be the most amazing adventure to go on?
S - An awesome road trip across/around/all over the US

N - Keeping myself awake until insanity.

6. What dumb accomplishment are you most proud of?
S - Winning the "Perfect Attendance Award" in high school.

N - Keeping myself awake until insanity.

7. What would be your first question after waking up from being cryogenically frozen for 100 years?
S - "What's for breakfast?"

N - "Pizza for breakfast?"

8. What are some small things that make your day better?
S - A new episode of "My Favorite Murder", my cats following me around because they love me, when Nick picks me up from the bus stop.

N - I love when I'm all caught up on my podcasts, so I just jam out to music on my morning commute. Coffee. Cooking a fun supper. Chilling at home with Surz and the kitties.

9. Who’s your go to band or artist when you can’t decide on something to listen to?
S - Lately it's The Menzingers.

N - Modern Baseball or The Front Bottoms.

10. What TV show or movie do you refuse to watch?
S - The Neverending Story and pretty much anything animated that was made in the 21st century (i.e. I'm cool with the Disney movies I grew up on but you won't catch me watching Frozen or Moana.)

N - Well seeing as I'm now someone who not only watches The Bachelor, but also The Bachelorette, and who makes my own bracket online in a league with my friends, I guess there's no limit to how low I'll go...

11. What’s something you like to do the old-fashioned way?
S - Read a book (like with paper pages and everything!)

N - Cut the grass, for some reason. I use one of those manual powered pushing mowers, and it basically sucks and takes forever, and doesn't look as nice as the electric mower that I currently also own and that functions properly. Yet still, I do it the old fashioned way (why?)

12. How often do you people watch?
S - Every day (on the bus.)

N - Literally constantly. It's the reason I get out of bed in the morning.

13. What’s the best single day on the calendar?
S - FALL DAY (it's on MY calendar.)

N - 10/31.

14. How do you relax after a hard day of work?
S - See response to question 1.

N - No matter how I attempt to "relax," it ends in "nap."

15. What could you give a 40-minute presentation on with absolutely no preparation?
S - A synopsis of the WB/CW classic television series, Gilmore Girls.

N - "How to Music for Tiny Kids" or something like that.

16. What is something that a ton of people are obsessed with but you just don’t get the point of?
S - Is it sacrilegious to say Beyonce? (Not that I don't "get the point" of her, but I just... don't care.)

N - Game of Thrones (don't kill me, I'm sorry.)

17. What’s something you’ve been meaning to try but just haven’t gotten around to it?
S - A spinning class (hahah who am I?)

N - Climbing Mt. Everest.

18. Where is the most relaxing place you’ve ever been?
S - The shower at the Radisson Blu Saga hotel in Reykjavik.

N - The Radisson Hotel Blu in Reykjavik. More specifically, in the shower.

19. What is the luckiest thing that has happened to you?
S - I won Nick and I a trip to an "End of the World" party on 12/12/12. It was at The Greenbrier in West Virginia. We stayed in the most amazing room with the comfiest bed in the world, drank endless beer, went zip lining, and partied in a Cold War bunker where Rev Run was the DJ.

N - When I got borned.

20. What is special about the place you grew up?
S - It has a cute downtown, it was the nation's capital for a day, and it's home to the country's first pretzel bakery. Also, Kristen Wiig was raised there and my mom still lives there.

N - There are no local ordinances. No burning laws, no curfews, etc.

Now tell us... what are YOUR answers?

Sarha & Nick

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.)

Travel
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