Happy Friday 6/22/18 + Our Video Equipment

Happy Friday! Oh summer, how I love you! The temperatures finally rose here in central Washington, and I’m in my happy place. You too?

Who else caught Instagram’s new update, IGTV, this week? Basically it’s a channel for longer videos (ala YouTube) and we’ll be getting ours up and running soon. I’m pretty sure Instagram is trying to take over the world, but I do love the convenience of a single platform where we can share so much. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it here, but Garrett and I have been excited about creating video content ever since filming for our HGTV pilot and Home Love Network episode. We’ve been working on it behind the scenes for awhile now and our first video makeover is coming out next week. Can’t wait to share it with you guys.

In the meantime, I’ve rounded up the video equipment we’re using (and read on for Friday links too).

Camera – Sony’s A7 III is the hot new thing in full-frame, digital camera and we jumped onboard. We bought it primarily for video, but it takes stills too. Why we like it: it’s full-frame, reasonably priced, and easy to use. It’s been back ordered much of the time since it’s release (yup, it’s that good!), but worth the wait!

Lens – we opted for this f2.8 16-35mm lens because of versatility and price point. It’s awesome for interiors since you can capture so much of the room, especially on a full frame camera. If we continue to do video, we’ll probably add more lenses, but this is a great basic lens to start with for interiors.

Tripod – this is not the cheapest tripod on the market, but it’s sturdy, well-built, and produces the smoothest pans and tilts.

Lavalier Microphone – we bought these microphones after being introduced to them by Andy and Candis. We use them to capture dialog, which records straight onto our iPhones. Super convenient! Tape the microphone inside your shirt (we use athletic tape) and the other end winds underneath your clothes and into your phone.

Camera microphone – this microphone is mounted to our camera for capturing general room audio, construction sound, etc. The Sony already has a built-in microphone, but this is a big upgrade for sound quality. For interviews and general dialog, we use the lavalier mics.

SD Card – we keep a couple of these because video creates big files. Some of the advanced recording capabilities of the camera require a high-speed SD card, so this one fits the bill.

Backup drive – as I mentioned, video creates big files, so we moved all of the files onto this 8tb backup drive. Garrett edits the videos from there.

Editing software – Garrett uses Premiere Pro to edit videos. It’s a powerful program that has been relatively easy to get the hang of.

Phew! That’s the video equipment we’re using. It has definitely been an investment this year, but also a creative and fun new endeavor. I’m excited to show you guys more next week. In the meantime, it’s Friday again so I’ve rounded up lots of great links from around the web. Grab a cup of coffee and dig in!

A friend recently bought a Mosquito Spartan and I’m thinking about picking a few up for the Farmhouse. The reviews are mixed, but I’m curious if anyone has tried one…?

John Derian’s home via Cup of Jo // Photos Alpha Smoot // Styling Kate Jordan

This home gives me ALL the feels. It’s a former sea captain’s home and aged to perfection!

How to make a 5-year plan. Do you guys do formal planning or goal setting?

I could relate to Melissa’s post this week on the idea of ‘hustling’. May we all find the right balance (Garrett and I are taking steps to achieve that right now!).

This is our kind of summer dinner! Steak salad with charred vegetables. And for dessert…no-churn ice cream!

Lastly, I wanted to share this post about kids being separated from their families at the border and how we can help. My heart is so heavy.



*disclosure: We use affiliate links.  If you make a purchase through one of the links, we may receive a small commission at no cost to you.  Affiliate links is one of the ways we keep this blog running, so thanks for supporting the Grit and Polish!


Curtains, Affiliate Links, & Happy Friday!

Welcome to another edition of Friday!  This Friday is so much more glorious than the last because we finally have a couch to lounge on, and that makes movie night SO MUCH BETTER!  Even if we will have to watch the Peanuts Christmas movie yet again 😉

What are you up to this weekend?  I’ll be working on our living room, trying to find some pretty things for this space.  One thing I’ve been struggling with is curtains.  I had always imagined flowy white drapes (they just scream country to me), but now that I’ve gotten a glimpse, I’m just not sure.  Hung high or low, long drapes seem to distract from the millwork.  Perhaps no curtains at all is the answer (like Julia mentioned in last week’s podcast).  Or maybe something simpler like roman shades.  What do you think?!

The Grit and Polish - Living Rm Curtain 1 The Grit and Polish - Living Rm Curtain 2The Grit and Polish - Living Rm Curtain 3


One ‘behind the blog’ item I wanted to share with you today is that I’ve started using some affiliate links.  For those of you who don’t know, affiliate links are customized links to products that we use or love.  Those links allow this blog to receive a small commission when the item is purchased.  Affiliate links won’t affect what I use/recommend and don’t affect how much you pay for the item, so they seem like a win-win in my book…and a good first step towards making this blog profitable, a goal I set for the Grit and Polish last November.

DeVOL kitchens Instagram Inspiration

source, more on deVOL Kitchens in a minute…

Now on to the good stuff.  Grab a cup of coffee, and check out some great happenings from the internet this week:

There’s still time! Enter to win the Chris Loves Julia Lowes Spring Makeover and you could be looking at a new kitchen or bath!

Manhattan Nest is one of my all time favorite renovation blogs – do you follow it?  I cannot wait to see how this bedroom turns out!

The Academy Award nominees are out!  Have you seen La La Land yet?  I’m dying to watch it!

The most beautiful wedding.  Related: why am I still so obsessed with weddings?!

I’ve been looking for a stylish outdoor thermometer and this weather station fits the bill.  And yes, that was an affiliate link.  Just getting you used to the idea 😉

Old Home Love episodes are finally available online!  Now all you millennials can finally watch it (and yes, I realize I’m a millennial too).

In case you’re not already following the British masters of kitchen design (aka deVOL Kitchens), check them out.  And get ready for a healthy dose of kitchen envy!




Happy Friday + Links 1.20.17

I had a little IT issue this week and lost all of my work from the past week, which means all of your lovely comments on Tuesday’s post disappeared.  First off, thank you for the kind words on the paint color, and second, if you didn’t get a chance to see my answer to your question, write another comment and I promise not to let the blog monster eat it (and my response) this time 😉

Anyway…happy Friday friends!  Even in semi ‘retirement‘, Friday is my favorite day of the week, so full of potential and excitement, even though our family tends to do the same things on the weekdays and weekends (except with later bedtimes and more pancakes).  We’ll be taking a break from the living room renovation this weekend to hit up a local beer festival with friends, but I can’t wait to show you guys our progress on Tuesday.  I am still looking for the rest of the major furniture pieces for our living room (antiques, probably) so this makeover will take some time yet.  But I always think rooms turn out best when you can spend some time in the space before finishing them, don’t you?

Park and Oak Design Happy Friday 1.20.17

source: Park and Oak Design, more on them in a minute…

Now onto the good stuff…here are a few of my favorite happenings from around the internet this week:

Loved this quick guest bedroom makeover by Chris and Julia.  The layered bedding and all those textures have me ready to come sleep over!

book that both Garrett and I are into (quite the rarity).  It’s a good one!

This renovation of a 1920’s home has me dreaming of vaulted ceilings and (dare I say it) more white walls!

I’ve been looking for a jute rug for our living room, but with a floor space of 16’x15′ we’ll need something bigger than an 8’x10′.  Which rules out this inexpensive and lovely option. Dang!

This mudroom redo is pretty darn amazing.  Those cabinets are perfection!

One of my inspiration shots on Tuesday was from the design duo, Park and Oak Design.  Their gallery and Instagram account are one of my go to sources of inspiration!

Hope you have a great weekend!




Happy Friday + Links 1.13.17

Happy Friday!  If you follow me on Instagram you already know that I’m back home after a spur of the moment week in Manhattan to visit my old friend (who became my sister-in-law 11 years ago) and her brand new baby boy.  Baby Arthur was only 4 days old when I arrived, and I promptly ignored everything on my to-do list for a solid week of newborn snuggles and helping the exhausted new parents feed themselves.  It was glorious!

Now that I’m home, I promise to get back on that to-do list and dig into 2017!

Emily Sue Photo via Instagram

photo from Emily Netz’s Instagram, more on her in a minute…

A few things that have me excited this week (besides a certain newborn):

We watched the Minamilism documentary on Netflix, and I’m 100% on board.  Now I’m on the look out to see how people adapt this philosophy into family homes.

The before and after of this home exterior is pretty unreal.  Chip and Joanna do it again…and again…and again…

I have no idea if this is really true, but this article about Matt Damon is one reason why I love our hometown, Ellensburg WA.  Because even if it’s not true, it sure could be!

Ten Decorating blogs that will help you design on a budget.  And who’s not into that?!

The best swaddle blankets for babies, in case you were wondering.

This Instagram account (and her blog too) is stunning!  Emily and her husband are renovating a 1920’s Sears Kit house and I can’t wait to see how it turns out!

Hope you have a great, coffee-filled weekend friends!




The Best of 2016 on the Grit and Polish

Happy New Year!  To say that we’re excited for 2017 around here is a complete understatement, but before we dig into the new year, I wanted to look back at 2016.  Last year was a big year for my family.  There were big changes and fun renovations and lots time spent together as a family.

In no particular order, here are 8 highlights from 2016 on the Grit and Polish:

ONE // The Dexter Kitchen Renovation

The Grit and Polish - Dexter Kitchen

The kitchen at the Dexter House is one of my all-time favorite renovations.  We completely transformed a small, awful kitchen into a functional, welcoming space.  And after creating quite a few white kitchens in the past years (like this one and this one), I was happy to make a space that was less precious and a whole lot darker.  I shared the project in three posts at the beginning of the year (construction, reveal, and cost and resources).

TWO // Buying our Forever Home (aka the Farmhouse)

The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse 1 7-14-16

This summer we bought our 5th home, an old farmhouse in the country (in Garrett and my hometown of Ellensburg, WA), which we intend to be our forever home.  If you’ve followed the Grit and Polish for long, you know that in the past we’ve bought run-down properties, moved in, renovated them, and then rented them out.  We’ve actually moved so often that my 3-year-old has already had four homes.  So our forever farmhouse is a very welcome change of pace.  Of course we still intend to renovate old houses and rent or sell them, but we’ll no longer move into them.  You can read more about the farmhouse introduction, purchase, and tour (part 1, 2, and 3).

THREE // Early *Retirement*


photo by Ryan Flynn

I can’t talk about our move to the farmhouse without mentioning the other big change that took place this year: quitting my 9-5 job and making our living as full-time landlords and renovators.  We call it early retirement, but of course, it’s anything but.  We’re as busy as ever with renters and old houses but now we’re on our own schedule, spending time as a family, doing projects that matter to us, and cooking and hiking as much as possible.  You can read all about our path to early *retirement* here.

FOUR // The 6-Day Kitchen Reno


It’s no secret that kitchens are my favorite projects, but the Six-Day Kitchen Reno, was extra special because the renovation took place at our friends Julia and Garrett’s house.  Somehow with four kids onsite, no baby sitters, and only seven very long days, the four of us completely transformed their dated, inefficient kitchen, into a beautiful, bright space, which they love (and so do we!). I shared all about this quick transformation in September: design plan, construction (aka how the heck we renovated this room in only a week), reveal, and resources.

FIVE // Completing the One Room Challenge (our Master Bedroom)


This past Fall was my first time taking part in the One Room Challenge, a 6-week makeover challenge for home and design bloggers.  We chose to tackle our master bedroom, and the transformation was huge.  You can read more about it here: Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4, Week 5, and the Reveal.

SIX // Dexter House Guest Bedroom

The Grit and Polish - Guest Bedroom 4 copy

My other favorite bedroom makeover of 2016 was our tiny, Dexter House guest bedroom.  With only one small north-facing window and 77sf to call it’s own, I decided to make this room even cozier by painting it black.  I’ve never painted anything this dark, so it was a nerve-racking choice, but I’m in love with how it turned out. You can see more of the finished room here, plus the plan, finding a bed frame on Craiglist, and paint.

SEVEN // Learning to wallpaper

The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Nursery Wallpaper 1.2

One of the first projects we tackled after moving into our farmhouse was wallpapering the nursery closet, which we use as Brooks’ crib nook.  This was our first time wallpapering and I loved learning a new renovation skill.  The wallpaper is adorable and this little space is now one of my favorite spaces in the house!  You can see more here.

EIGHT // Dexter Backyard

The Grit and Polish - Dexter Backyard Enter

The Dexter House became a short-term Airbnb rental after we moved out in July and the space we get the most guest comments about is the backyard.  This small space is a true oasis from the busy city (the Dexter House is in a busy neighborhood and only a mile from downtown Seattle) and despite having 3 acres at the farmhouse, I find myself missing the coziness of this space.  I admit that the Dexter backyard renovation was not a popular series on the blog, but it was definitely one of Garrett and my favorite projects of 2016!  You can see more of this space here plus the patio door, the beginning, and a sneak peak.

That wraps up my look back at 2016.  I’d love to hear from you.  Did I capture your favorite posts and/or projects?  Did I highlight any projects that you just didn’t like?

Hope you all had a great 2016 and are looking forward to 2017 as much as I am!



p.s. Did you catch Studio McGee’s trends for 2017.  I’m on board with all of them, especially natural wood.  Okay, so natural wood is an eternal trend for me, but I’m excited to see more of it in the coming years!

p.p.s. Despite being a new build, Melissa’s (aka Faux Martha) home is one I really love.  The airiness of the interior, minimalist decor, and classic exterior are truly lovely.  Plus her office is definitely going to be an inspiration when we tackle our own.  Those green walls!

p.p.p.s. A plug for exercising just in time for those New Years resolution.  It’s almost like, how can we afford not to exercise?!


A Few of My Favorite ORC Reveals

Now that the One Room Challenge is behind us (phew!), I wanted to share a few of my favorite room reveals with you.  There are so many great ones, both from the featured designers and the guest participants, that it took me most of my flight from Seattle to New York to narrow my favorites down to a manageable six.  Granted airline internet is sloooow (and wow is it expensive), but yeah, so many good ones!


1 Jest Cafe // This living room.  It’s definitely the surprise room of the ORC for me.  It’s simple (i.e. barely furnished – I’m guessing they’ll fix that eventually) but colorful and beautiful and it had me coming back again and again to see it.  Well done!

2 Megan Pflug // I don’t like to play favorites, but Megan’s Airbnb suite is my soooo good.  It’s stylish and cozy and I’m dying to stay there!

3 coco kelley // Not surprisingly, Cassandra nailed it. Again!  Her beautiful living room is so comfortable and understated…I’m ready to move in.

4 Chris Loves Julia // I would have LOVED sharing this room with my sis growing up.  The big win in here for me was how Julia merged funcitonality and kid-friendly in such an artful way.  What a fun space for her daughters!

5 702 Park Project // Sarah’s stairs are one of my favorite before and afters of the whole One Room Challenge.  Pretty stunning!

6 Bre Purposed // I’m new to Bre Purposed, but that wood wall stopped me in my tracks.  Wow!  The whole room is beautiful, but that wood wall and bench was one of my favorite moments of the whole ORC this fall!

Check out all the designer reveals here and the guest participants here.  I’d love to hear, which rooms are your favorite!



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