It's no secret that Halloween is my all-time favorite holiday. I love the opportunity to transform myself into a costumed alter ego, adorn our home with creepy accessories, and throw a huge bash for our friends and neighbors. While many of my tried and true decorations have come out of the attic for another year of display, I have a couple new additions this year that I'm particularly excited about.

I've long been smitten with paper lanterns, as they're a cheap, whimsical, and impactful way to liven up a party. Earlier this year when I saw a set go on clearance from Victorian Trading Company, I knew I had to snatch them up. 

Using orange ribbon from a local craft store and 3M easy release tape, I hung these vintage-inspired black cat globes in the doorway between our living and dining rooms. The dining room is where we set up our buffet, and the look should create a dramatic entrance to the party and to the food serving area.

All in all, it took less than ten minutes to assemble and hang this new decor. While it looks like these particular lantern are now sold out, a similar look could be created using plain paper lantern in alternating orange and black, and a little craft paint if you're feeling ambitious. They're really inexpensive (like this 10-pack for just over $1 per lantern), and the key to maximum impact is to use them in groupings. More is more! They'd be fun hung above a buffet table, from a tree, or from a porch ceiling. You can even buy LED light kits so the globes are illuminated for additional ambiance.

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Are you familiar with the #LowesFixInSix project?

When I first saw the hashtag I thought, "Complete a project in six years...I think I can handle that...maybe." As it turns out, I was sorely off the mark. What it really deals with is the sharing of great DIY tips or tricks through a series of six second videos.

Maybe you've seen the videos on Vine, BuzzFeed, or on one of Lowe's various other social media channels. Who knows, maybe you've even seen one of the tips they've highlighted because one of your friends shared it. But if you don't know what I'm talking about, let me take a moment to introduce you to a pretty awesome concept.

As a couple of DIYers we're always looking for great ways to simplify our voluntarily complex lives. Lowe's is aiming help us achieve this goal by taking home improvement tips that are simple, unique, time saving, and incredibly useful and turning them into Vine videos (which are limited to six seconds in length) to creatively demonstrate their implementation.

With the first set of videos created back in April, 2013, Lowe's uploaded the first one along with the #LowesFixInSix hashtag and began letting the ideas flow.

The results of their efforts have been great. Everything from the "why didn't I think of that!" type of ideas...

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Beadboard is beautiful in so many ways, but it's also ideal for creating secret doors.

In a house as space challenged as our home, we're always looking for little ways here and there that can help us squeeze just a little bit more storage out of any given project.

Whether we're recessing a jewelry cabinet within a wall and behind a decorative mirror...

...or turning our basement stairwell into the one and only "coat closet" our home needs, an efficient and effective use of space has been key to our happy existence in our 15 foot wide row house.

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Last week we showed you one of the houses that is a final contender in our search for a second home. As you may have expected from our preferences and our current home, it is an older farmhouse filled with character, charm, and potential. But today we're going to share a house with you that might really surprise you. I know it surprised us.

While looking at a few different houses with a realtor in Maryland she said, "I have a listing for a house with an amazing view, great land, and tons of potential...it's just not the style and age I think you're going for, but you might still want to consider it."

I'll tell you one thing, she was 100% correct.

The house, a three bedroom, two and a half bath 1980s ranch, was situated on an inlet to the bay with sweeping and open views of the water.

Wait, what? Did I just say that? 1980s ranch? Yes, that's right, and nope, that's not a typo. You probably never thought us two old home junkies might consider buying something built after the time when home electricity became commonplace, but it's true.

When it comes to our preferred look, style and age of homes, 1980s ranches usually don't make it on the list. Alex's feeling is "the older the better," and if I had to choose, I'd say my favorite style is a 1930's tudor. But once I glimpsed the views from this home, I was intrigued. I needed to go inside to see more.

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After two years of dreaming, online scouring, and in person searching, we finally pulled the trigger and bought a second home that will be both a vacation/relaxation space, and another home for many more projects. For the long-winded explanation of our thought process in buying this second place, feel free to give our last post it a look. But if you’re here to get down to business and see house number one (of our top contenders), you’re in the right place.

This first house we’re going to take a look at from our home search is an 1882 Victorian waterfront farmhouse in Maryland.

The instant we saw this listing Wendy and I were very intrigued and a little smitten by the look of the home. Typically 19th century farmhouse style homes aren’t situated quite so close to the water, because owners 100 plus years ago didn't much care about "water views." But this house, sitting on several acres of land, has over 500 feet of waterfront visible from several rooms of the house.

The more we looked at the listing the more interested we became, so we contacted an agent (since Wendy isn't a licensed Realtor in Maryland) to show us the property and headed out on a day trip for a little weekend visit.

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