7th House on the Left

Long Time, No Type…

posted by Ashley  /  61 Comments

First off, sorry for the delay in getting this post to the Instagram/Facebook followers. I promised an update post a few weeks ago whilst Greg was making some background site changes. (In other words, geeky code changes that I kind of don’t understand.) Long story short, the changes took longer than expected and ultimately delayed the post going live. But, here we are!

I’ve sat down to write this long-overdue update post at least 23 times, but every time I got past the first sentence, I just didn’t know where to start. I guess I’ll just start by saying Greg and I are both very happy and healthy. Oh, and Bentley too. He’s good and as cute as ever – if I do say so myself.

We didn’t plan on taking a blog break or even really had a desire to at first. We didn’t have a case of the infamous “blogger burnout” and decide to step back for a bit. When it came down to it, it was more of a matter of our priorities shifting. Since our last post a few months ago, so many things are the same, yet so many things have changed.

When Pigs Fly / 7thhouseontheleft.com

As for what is the same… Like I said before, we’re happy, we’re healthy, and we’re still living in the same city, in the same house. We are absolutely still happily married. (We actually had emails asking about our marital status!) Greg is still a geeky web developer who has an odd love for furniture with cup pulls. I’m still a working graphic designer with a notebook obsession. The master bathroom still needs to be finished and my office is still in a state of flux. I still can’t sew to save my life, and Greg still leaves a trail of guitar picks wherever he goes.

As far as the change… I’ve managed to keep a non-succulent plant alive for more than four weeks. (I mean, really, folks. That’s major.) There are 10 chairs around our dining room table (we finally made a decision!) and there are curtains hanging on more than one window in the house. Greg now has a manly hipster beard (he’s just 3 months shy of his “yeard”) and he spends a lot more time reading. I suddenly like cherry tomatoes and I’m taking on more graphic design clients. We’ve also both completely given up diet sodas. (If you know us, you know our love for Diet Dr. Pepper was real.)

The most drastic change (other than the plant I mentioned above being alive) is that Greg is now the worship pastor at our church. About three years ago, our dear friends planted a church here in Richmond. We’ve been involved from the beginning in one capacity or another, but started regularly attending last January. Greg pretty much immediately started playing in the band, and I started singing regularly later in the year. Long story short, in November of last year, he became the worship pastor/elder. That doesn’t mean he isn’t a “professional geek” anymore, but it does mean that he and I have a “family” of about 15 musicians and singers that we do our best to lead on a weekly basis. On top of that, I also fulfill some of the church’s graphic design and social media needs, Greg works with the lead teaching pastor to guide the church from a spiritual and logistical perspective and starting soon, we’ll be leading a weekly small group together.

And, guess what? We couldn’t be happier. We know this is where God has placed us and we couldn’t be more thrilled to be serving and doing life with the people in our local church. In light of these new responsibilities, our priorities have shifted from our own house and the blog to a community of awesome people. We can’t really apologize for that, but as they say, hind sight is always 20/20. We would have loved to have said, “Hey guys, we’re going to take a break from the blog for a while…”, but the “blog break” wasn’t planned. Our priorities simply gradually shifted – for the better.

So, what now? We are still planning to post house updates from time to time. (Pretty sure the next post will be about the dining room chairs!) We can’t guarantee weekly updates at this point because, honestly, we just don’t have the time to do projects, shoot/edit photos, and create 3 posts a week like we used to. However, we do want to keep you up to date. That might mean posts are shorter or spaced farther apart, but we’re looking forward to getting back in touch with all of you. If you want to be notified when we post a post via email, just type your email address in the “Subscribe” bar over in the sidebar to the right. It isn’t a newsletter or anything like that, it just notifies you when there’s a new post!

Instagram is where I hang out these days and where I’ve managed to keep in touch with the rest of the online world. (Boy, do I have some serious blog-reading to catch up on!) If you’re on Instagram, you can find me over at @AshleyBrown. I share personal/design work/organizing fun/church/Bentley/Greg updates pretty often. So, if you want to hang and see what we’re up to a little more on the regular, that’s where you’ll find me.

We so appreciate all of the virtual love that has come our way the past few months! Thank you all for sticking in there with us and being patient with us during this time of transition. We’re glad to be “back” in some sense of the word – we’ve missed you guys!


posted by Ashley  /  6 Comments

Earth Day is coming up next week (April 22nd), so Target asked us to put together a terrarium DIY that tied in the message of Earth Day for their online magazine, A Bullseye View. Being an avid ABV reader since the beginning, it’s always a little mind blowing when I see an article that we’ve written and photos we’ve taken posted there on the front page. So, this is totally one of those, “Hey, Mom! Look!” moments.

Earth Day DIY // 7thhouseontheleft.com

When rolling around ideas on how to make this terrarium project different from others we’ve done (I love me some terrariums), we finally came up with the idea to scale things down and do a miniature version reusing used spice jars. Lucky for us, the Archer Farms spice jars make the perfect little terrariums. The post goes into the process, but it turned out even cuter than I imagined and I’ve been loving having my mini terrarium sitting here on my desk. It’s a super simple way for us non-green thumbed people – raising hand – to bring in a little green.

Mini DIY Terrariums using recycled spice jars // 7thhouseontheleft.com

I had to keep my word count super short for the article (which was a miracle for me!) but here’s an extra tip: When prepping the spice jars to use as a terrarium, peel off the label and pop them in the dishwasher. If they still smell like the spice after a cycle, try the dry mustard method to remove any residual smell. It works wonders! Or you can always just start out with a dry mustard spice jar, haha!

Check out the article on A Bullseye View here!

Two weeks until Thanksgiving. Two weeks, people! I know it sounds cliche, but time has flown by this year. It seems like just a few weeks ago, we were outside bearing the sweltering Virginia heat while working on our little landscaping project. Now… we’re bringing plants inside to protect them from the 29° nights.

Happy Weekend / 7thhouseontheleft.com

This weekend, we have a conglomeration of things going on including celebrating my grandpa’s 80th birthday, working on a small update in the guest room and (maybe) going to Green Front to shop around for some furniture. Yes, we’re still planning on working on the half bathroom updates (we posted about those here). We actually hit a snag with being able to find the right exhaust fan/light combination to fit the existing fan without having to redo all of the wiring/ventilation in the attic. We think we found the right one, so now we just have to wait on the shipment. Yep. Fun stuff, right there.

Target's A Bullseye View // Not Your Grandma's Gift Basket // 7thhouseontheleft.com

Before we let you guys go for the weekend, we wanted to share a link to our latest article for Target’s online magazine, A Bullseye View. They asked us to put together our version of a Fall gift basket. Since gift baskets are one of my favorite things to give – especially during this time of year – this project was especially fun for us. I read A Bullseye View all the time, so it was super weird (and awesome!) to click there today and see our photos front and center on the main page.

Not Your Grandma's Gift Basket // 7thhouseontheleft.com

We went to Target and picked out a bunch of our favorite Fall favorites like a cozy throw blanket, coffee, pumpkin spice coffee syrup, tea, a yummy Fall candle and a bunch of other goodies. Our favorite little project inside the basket was probably the S’mores kit we made by using a tea box. Check out the full article and more photos here. Happy weekend, everyone!