June 2016 - The Surznick Common Room

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Surznick Reads: June 2016

We're back! We've been extra super busy lately and took last week off from the blog in order to move into our house, unpack (a little), host family, and enjoy our new home. We'll share a little progress report for the house on Friday, but in the mean time it's the end of the month, so you know that means...

Sarah's Reads!

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
From Amazon.com: "Libby Day was seven when her mother and two sisters were murdered in 'The Satan Sacrifice of Kinnakee, Kansas.' She survived - and famously testified that her fifteen-year-old brother, Ben, was the killer. Twenty-five years later, the Kill Club - a secret society obsessed with notorious crimes - locates Libby and pumps her for details. They hope to discover proof that may free Ben. Libby hopes to turn a profit off her tragic history: She’ll reconnect with the players from that night and report her findings to the club - for a fee. As Libby’s search takes her from shabby Missouri strip clubs to abandoned Oklahoma tourist towns, the unimaginable truth emerges, and Libby finds herself right back where she started - on the run from a killer."

Dark Places was my second Gillian Flynn book (the first being Gone Girl, obviously.) I've heard good things about her other novels and wanted something quick and easy to read, but I actually didn't read this as quick as I thought I would. I didn't feel as sucked in as I did with Pretty Girls last month, or as I did with Gone Girl. That being said, I found Gone Girl a little predictable, and in Dark Places I couldn't figure out who the killer was until it was being presented to me. Once I got down to the last hundred pages, I couldn't put the book down. All of the puzzle pieces started falling into place and passing references made in the first few chapters now came back to be relevant. Overall, I really enjoyed this story and am definitely interested in reading Sharp Objects as well.

My Rating: 4 Stars

Of course our reading has dwindled significantly over the past few months while we've been working on everything it takes to coordinate buying a house. We hope to read more in the coming months as we get settled. Can you believe we're already halfway through 2016? I have to say the latter half of the year is full of my favorite things (the end of summer, my birthday, Halloween, FALL EVERYTHING, Thanksgiving, Nick's birthday, Christmas, cold weather...), so I'm not too upset about how fast the year is flying. How about you? Thanks for reading!

Sarah & Nick

Friday, June 17, 2016

Pittsburgh Penguins Stanley Cup Parade

In case you missed the news, THE PITTSBURGH PENGUINS WON THE STANLEY CUP! Prior to this year, their most recent cup win was in 2009. Nick and I were only dating a few months and still living at home with our parents for the summer, but we had a little watch party together with his friends.

Seven years later we're living together in the new house we just bought, in a city we love so dearly, with the Penguins arena just a few miles down the road. Needless to say, this win was way better. We watched the final game in Consol Energy Center with 15,000 other fans, cheering and crying as the clock counted down to 0. WE ARE THE CHAMPYINZ.

On Wednesday the Pens paraded through downtown Pittsburgh with the cup in tow for 250,000+ fans to see. This was my first time attending the parade and seeing the Stanley Cup in person, so I wanted to share some of my favorite photos from the day.

If you made it this far, thanks for reading and LET'S GO PENS!

Sarah & Nick

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Killer Heels at The Frick Pittsburgh

Last Friday I had the opportunity to attend a preview of the new Killer Heels exhibit at The Frick Museum here in Pittsburgh. This traveling exhibit showcases the art of high heeled shoes and features designers such as Chanel, Christian Louboutin, Balenciaga, Manolo Blahnik, and many, many more.

I wouldn't say I'm exactly a heels person (I love my flats dearly), but the heels in this show are works of art rather than functional footwear.The exhibit features 147 different shoes from around the world, from year 1600 to present day, and each shoe more unique and interesting than the last.

The exhibit is divided into six different sections: Revival and Reinterpretation, Rising in the East, Glamour and Fetish, Architecture, Metamorphosis, Spacewalk, and Not Your Everyday Footwear. The different sections also feature short films to accompany the shoes from that theme.

With nearly 150 shoes to choose from, it was really hard to pick favorites. The first shoe that comes to mind is the Christian Louboutin ballet slipper (pictured below.) It's the one shoe in the exhibit that I know I've seen photos of before and wasn't even sure it was real. Seeing it in person was an exciting experience - it's a shoe only a well-trained ballerina could wear.

Other favorites were all of the crazy and colorful platforms, the Marie Antoinette Louboutins, and the zip-tie bamboo heels (all pictured below.) You can see more (high-res) images of the shoes in the collection on The Frick's website, or by visiting the exhibit yourself!

Pittsburgh is the last stop on the Killer Heels nationwide tour, so you have until September 4th to see it! Exhibition admission is only $12, and well worth the money. I highly recommend attending a docent tour (Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 2 PM.) Walking through the exhibit with the curator was so informational and fascinating - you'll definitely want the opportunity to ask questions and learn more about each unique shoe!

Thank you to The Frick Pittsburgh for inviting me to attend this preview! If you visit, be sure to leave us a comment letting us know which shoe was your favorite and hashtag your photos with #KillerHeelsFrick!

xo, Sarah

Friday, June 10, 2016

Surz Style (III)

I am absolutely loving this week. The weather here in Pittsburgh is my idea of weather perfection (IT FEELS LIKE FALL.) Plus I only worked three days and will continue to have a super modified schedule the rest of the month while we work on our new house, which is very exciting.

Here's a look what I wore this week - both to the office and for my days off. Nick snapped a quick photo of me this morning before I head to a preview of the new Killer Heels exhibit at The Frick Museum (more on that to come!)

Monday - 7:30 PM

Tuesday - 5:30 PM

Wednesday - 5:30 PM (no office today!)

Coffee & Whiskey Shirt made by my friend Jordan

Thursday - 6:45 PM

ASOS Cat Flats (sold out)

Friday - 7:15 AM

ASOS Black Heels (almost sold out)

Can you tell I liked top knots this week? What are your weekend plans? More house work for us! By the way, did you see my Snapchat tour of the house? You can watch it in Wednesday's post. Have a great weekend!

xo, Sarah

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

The Surznick Ranch (Video)

Thank you so much for the likes, comments, tweets, virtual high fives, etc. on Friday's post. In case you missed it, WE BOUGHT A HOUSE!

We have so many things going on in our brains right now - coordinating a move, family visits, ordering appliances & furniture, planning room makeovers and renovations, plus working our full-time jobs and the excitement that is Penguins Stanley Cup hockey. It's hard to keep everything straight, but it's okay - we couldn't be happier.

There's obviously much, much more to come about our new house, but we wanted to give you the lowdown on The Surznick Ranch.
  • Our house is an adorable ranch-style home built in 1950, which is perfect for the mid-century modern vibe we're going for (score!)
  • Most of the rooms are a pretty blank slate - white walls and original hardwood floors. They need painted, furnished, and styled, but that's pretty much it.
  • The kitchen is, for lack of a better word, a disaster. We don't like it. Our ultimate plan is to gut the entire kitchen and get all new errythang. It'll be a time-consuming and expensive project, so it's on the back burner for now (pun intended.)
  • The other huge project we'll tackle in time is the basement. It's "finished" but not really. We'll need to remove the wood paneling and drop ceilings, scrape walls, paint, install new flooring... all of that good stuff.
  • Lastly, we love our house and can't wait to officially move in. It has the top three things we wanted for our first home: a great location, a driveway, and a yard. The last two are almost unheard of with city living, but we got lucky.
Follow me on Snapchat this morning for a peek at our empty house and plans on what we want to accomplish! (@sawissinger)

Edit: We uploaded the Snapchat tour to YouTube so everyone could see it!

Sarah & Nick

Friday, June 3, 2016

We Bought a House!

Can you believe it?! Okay, okay, maybe you can... between our giant yard sale happening this weekend, our bathroom and kitchen inspiration posts, or my utter lack of being able to keep this a secret, you probably knew. But today it's official. We are HOMEOWNERS.

When we moved to Pittsburgh, we said we weren't going to move again until we bought a house. We never thought we'd be ready to purchase a home a mere three years later. It's been a process with some ups and downs, but we are so thrilled to be the owners of a cute 1950s ranch here in the city. We got the keys this morning. IT. IS. OURS.

The house is in great shape, but it needs our Surznick touch. We'll be sharing our renovation and room makeovers over the next several months (and who are we kidding - probably years.) We're so, so excited to begin this journey and share the process with you here on the Common Room.

As you can imagine, we're going to be busy bees, especially the next several months while we settle ourselves in. Starting next week we are going to start posting only two days a week instead of three (Wednesday and Friday only.) We hope that you understand and will bear with us during this exciting but crazy busy time.

Thank you for all of your support over the past two and half years. Without this blog, I probably wouldn't have started reading other DIY/design blogs and never gotten such an itch to be a homeowner. We've been dreaming of this day for such a long time and now here we are. Thank you so much.

xo, Sarah & Nick

P.S. Make sure you're following on Instagram and Snapchat (@sawissinger) for behind the scenes peeks at the Surznick Ranch!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Highland Park Yard Sale

Paint Chip Wall Art
This upcoming Sunday, 6/5/16, is the Highland Park Community Yard Sale here in Pittsburgh. We are selling a CRAZY amount of stuff; many things you've seen on the blog before and this is your chance to get your hands on it (for cheap!) If you're local to Pittsburgh, we hope you'll come out and visit us and maybe take home a pillow or two. Send us an email at contact@thesurznickcommonroom.com and we'll let you know where we're located. Below is a list of some of the things you'll find!

White Glass-Top Table & 2 Chairs
- Red Futon (as seen here)
- 3 Purple/White Upholstered Chairs (as seen here)
- Black Chalkboard Coffee Table (as seen here)
- 2 Laminate Wood 3-Shelf Bookshelves (as seen here)
- White Glass-Top Table & 2 Chairs (as seen above)
- Orange/White TV Stand
- 2 Night Stands (as seen here)
- 6 Drawer Dresser
- 5 Drawer Dresser

Knitted Floor Pouf
Marbled Clay Coasters
Home Decor:
- Black/White Chevron Rug (as seen above)
- Turquoise Rug (as seen here)
- 12" Wire Storage Shelves
- Small Plastic Storage with Drawers
- Various Picture Frames
- Wine Bottle Lights (as seen here)
- Various Vases
- Turquoise Faux Capiz Shell Lamp
- Various Homemade Coasters (as seen above)
- Ping Pong Ball Lights (as seen here)
- Various throw pillows (dip dyed, studded, tye-dye)
- Knitted Floor Pouf (as seen above)
- Paint Chip Wall Art (as seen in top photo)

- Various Women's Clothes & Accessories
- Various Men's T-shirts and Jeans
- Jewelry (lockets, necklaces, bracelets, etc.)

Tye Dye Mugs
- Various CDs
- Hand Painted Mugs (as seen above)
- Hand-Knitted Pink/Purple Blanket
- Misc. Craft Supplies (fabric, pom poms, etc.)
- TI83+ Calculator
- Canon EOS 20D DSLR Camera with 18-55mm EFS lens, 3 batteries, charger, strap and shutter release

And there is so much more! This is a huge sale for us. If you or anyone you know lives in the area and would be interested in any of these items, be sure to email us (contact@thesurznickcommonroom.com) for the sale location! So many of these pieces are hand made with love, but it's time for us to part with them. Help us find everything a wonderful new home!

Sarah & Nick