***This Reader Reward is no longer accepting entries – See the winner below.***

We're very happy to announce the winner of the complimentary tickets to the Twig's 73rd annual Homes Tour. Congratulations to "mp," who will be traveling up from Richmond with her daughter (and hitting up IKEA too). We can't wait for a new visitor to the Old Town Homes Tour to fall in love with the area.

I want to take a moment today to share a little love story with you that relates directly to a giveaway we're kicking off with today's post.

As you know, Wendy and I are completely and absolutely head over heels in love with Old Town Alexandria. I really never knew it was possible to love a city in this way, and it may be totally cheesy, but we really, truly love our town.

However, every love story has a beginning. Whether it's a first knowing glance, an unexpected encounter, or that wonderful first date that sets you on a path for bliss, the catalyst that kicks it all off is a memory that lasts forever.

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Comments 30

We have been tiling machines of late.

Well, when I say "machines" what I'm really saying is that we're tiling machines that are old and slow, but apparently still work sometimes and eventually get the job done.

I guess if we're trying to draw a comparison, we're less like...

...and more like...

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Comments 19

If you've been reading along for a while, you probably know that baking cakes and cupcakes is a specialty of mine. In fact, I've been trying my hand at perfecting various buttercream recipes over the years, as well as experimenting with different fillings and flavors. I realized this week that I haven't shared any recipes lately, in part because life has been too busy to bake (oh the horror!), and when I have been baking I've been revisiting old favorites.

Turning back the clock over a year, last June I co-hosted a major baby shower event at our home. The event was designed to honor two of our best friends as well as their impending arrival. Part of the celebration was the creation of a raspberry filled vanilla cupcake with buttercream frosting. If this doesn't make your mouth water, you might want to stop reading now.

The shower, cupcakes, and eventual birth were all a wonderful success, and then time continued to fly.

Here's the bundle of Joy at just a couple days old, modeling an outfit we gave him, when he visited our home for the first time. And as hard as it is to believe, little Liam turned one back on August 1st.

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Comments 7

Who knew it would be quite so hard to find custom fabricated marble?

Last week we filled you in on our search for that seemingly elusive bathroom tile that was just right. During his pretentious rambling, Alex also alluded to our ongoing search effort for marble and the difficulties we had been having identifying a source.

We were rather hung up on Step 2.

This whole adventure started several years ago when I saw a vintage five drawer and two door buffet at an antique store in nearby Del Ray, a neighborhood of Alexandria. Well, it really started a few seconds later when I said, "Alex, do you think you can make this into a vanity?"

His answer didn't matter all that much, I knew it was the look I wanted for the base, and at $400, it was the bargain I wanted too.

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Comments 11

I think the search for finish materials is possibly one of the more difficult aspects of a bathroom renovation.

Yes, in spite of all of the other complex, planning, and pain in the butt items, I'm totally serious. When you look at even a "simple" overhaul, you're still changing just about every major surface in a bathroom, and all of those surfaces have to come from somewhere.

In our case, by the time we're done with the bathroom, we'll have had to source wainscoting, floor tile, shower tile, hardware, fixtures, wall panelling for the closet, a vanity, a tub (got that one done 10 years ago), shower glass, crown molding, trim details, and so many little odds and ends that it's hard to wrap my mind around the whole thing. (Wendy is now reminding me that list doesn't even include any of the accessories, curtain fabric, or the eternally important paint color.)

Overall, we've been pretty lucky. We've knocked out each selection step by step, in a sometimes last minute, but typically cost conscious manner that has ended up with pretty great results. The only thing we've had to grow to like was the bead size on the beadboard wainscoting. However, there are two major items still on our list that have been giving us some major heartburn, the shower tile and the vanity (and other misc) marble.

We've long been pondering our shower tile, but one thing has been certain all along, we want subway tile. The problem today is, subway is not always just plain old subway tile. Confusing enough?

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Comments 7
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