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We are Russ and Maria, a married couple from Metro Detroit. We both grew up in the area but I didn’t meet Russ until I moved back to Michigan after living around the globe. We met in early 2015 at a local bar that had a weekly East Coast Swing night.

Our first date was a red carpet event at the Detroit Film Theater.

A year later we Russ proposed at the same location and then we married in late 2016..

wedding of maria and russ
Yes, Russ IS holding a beer walking down the isle at our wedding ceremony! We had a ‘unity beer’ instead of a ‘unity candle’, or ‘unity sand’.
russ finished framing a wall in the basement
We are finishing the basement at my house.

Ever since we met Russ and I have loved doing DIY proejects together around our respective houses. Now its time to come together and work on a new house that we can call ‘ours’. Russ’s major is in construction management. He worked for a big company managing big projects for almost 10 years. Then when the building economy took a fall in 2009 he was laid off. A blessing in disguise it became since Russ was already burned out from his job moving him around the country for 6 months at a time and working 80 hours a week. Now Russ has his own home inspection business. He loves using his commercial construction experience to not only earn a living but also help new and even seasoned home buyers learn about their homes.

image of maria standing on roof next to hole in roof where the old chimney used to be
Taking out the old fireplace starting from the roof!

My major is in textiles and fine art. I’ve had a few different jobs in consumer goods industry designing household items like furniture and bedding and automotive seating. Now I also own my own business; I’m the publisher of a big community magazine. My interest for DIY projects began when I reupholstered an old couch my grandma gave me in college. By the time I purchased my first place in 2009 I had a staple gun, an economy tool box with a few essentials, and a dinky power screw driver. I knew I wanted to spruce up the whole space without spending a lot of money. That is when I started learning how to do handy projects myself. No paying $400 for a plumber when I could pay $20 for the parts, $20 for a new wrench, and $0 with some sweat equity. The feeling of knowing you did it yourself is priceless! Now I know people by name at our local hardware stores. I can’t believe how much I have learned and how far I’ve come since my first place.

maria and russ swing dancing

In our spare time we love playing volleyball and play on a court team in the fall and winter months. In the summer we play 4s on a sand team.

We also like to go dancing. Russ has been dancing for almost 20 years. He learned to east coast swing dance in college. He also loves country line dancing, the hustle, west coast swing, chacha, and salsa. I’ve been dancing for about 10 years but have way less experience. When we met I only knew east coast swing and a little west coast swing but have since learned some hustle and chacha moves too. We love to dance and definitely recommend everyone to give it a try!

russ and maria sand volleyball team summer

We hope you can use our blog to inspire you to do it yourself. We have both learned how to do many projects along the way simply by trial and error. Russ and I try to learn from our mistakes as much as possible, and by documenting our experiences our goal is to help you learn too.

Thanks for checking out our blog!