I love, love, LOVE the trend toward neutral colors – as opposed to the kaleidoscope effect of painting every room a different bold color we saw in the past 2 decades! And am thrilled that gray is the hot color. It can be so calming and soothing while playing well with so many other colors.

We love the color so much, we’re re-painting our new house with a soft color palette of cool and warm grays with white and natural wood contrasts.

After much deliberation and testing different color samples, these are the colors we’ve decided on. Brett and I have been hard at work painting the living room (thanks for your help Dan!) and I’ve spent more time than I like to admit, painting the office. Man, painting wood trim is a tricky beast! I’ll have some lessons learned posted soon.

Popular Shades of Gray Paint Colors

What do you think of our color choices?

The living room and playroom will be painted the Tempered Gray.
The dining room will be painted Tempered Gray on top and Winter Sky Grey on the bottom to compliment the original wood trim.
The 3 bedrooms upstairs will be painted Tempered Gray and Requisite Gray with white woodwork in Ultra White.

We are still deciding on the kitchen and bathrooms. Goodness, it’s a long to-do list so I better get back to it!


12 Awesome Eater Crafts + 1 for Mom Easter is fast approaching. If you’re like me, you wait until the last minute for holidays too. Now that we’re settled back in the States, I am hoping to get better at that, but since this is the first holiday in our new house, I am still running behind schedule.

So, I’ve rounded up some of the cutest Easter crafts I found online so we can all add some festivity to our homes quickly and easily. Plus, there’s one to help us busy moms relax a bit too (wait, what?! – yep, you deserve it).

12 Awesome Easter Crafts - Paper Roll Bunnies

How cute are these! I love finding creative solutions for reusing items you have around your house and we all know those silly toilet paper rolls have a way of appearing everywhere. See the full tutorial at The Centsible Life.

12 Awesome Easter Crafts - DIY Drink Straws

We’re not throwing an Easter party this year, but I know the kids would love to have their own personalized straws if we did. See how to make your own at And We Play. Plus, you can buy a bunch of Starbucks Frappaccino bottles to use for the vintage look. You know you’ll need the extra caffeine if you are tackling hosting a party. :)

12 Awesome Easter Crafts - Carrot Footprints

These carrot foot prints are such a cute way to memorialize your little one’s feet! They grow up so fast and it would be cute to do this year after year to watch how much they grow from one year to the next. The original post is from One Krieger Chick.

12 Awesome Easter Crafts - No Sew Burlap Bunny Bunting

This bunting from Living Well Spending Less doesn’t require any sewing so even your littlest helpers can get in on the action. You can stick to the minimalist look of white bunnies or coordinate it to the colors of your party.

12 Awesome Easter Crafts - Paper Eggs

Looking for a more colorful idea, check out these paper eggs from Craft and Creativity. They are not only simple, but promise to transform any space it to a festive Easter scape. Bonus, these eggs do not require refrigeration!

12 Awesome Easter Crafts - Easter Finger Puppets

I found 2 adorable finger puppet ideas. For those of you who like to sew, these three designs are based on a simple oval shape, but they could not be cuter! Find the patterns at Fiskars.

12 Awesome Easter Crafts - Pipe Cleaner Finger Puppets

If you are not up for sewing this time around, check out the pipe cleaner puppets from Woo. These four designs can fit any size finger and would be fun to make with your younger helpers that do not have very long attention spans.

12 Awesome Easter Crafts - Paint Chip Easter Egg Garland copy

I once had someone get really upset that I used paint chips for creative projects, but I often have old paint chips lying around (I am paint and entire house, ya know!). So, I think of these projects an using up supplies rather than tossing them in the landfill. Anyway, this is a clever way to add color and pop to a space. You can see the original post at Modern Parents Messy Kids. And if you have a problem with paint chips, lighten up and leave the comments for the original creator. I’m just the messenger. :)

12 Awesome Easter Crafts - Salt Dough Eggs

Kids love getting their hands messy so get their help to make these Salt Dough Eggs from Design Mom. Once set, the kids can paint them however they wish. Ah, a good alternative to real hardboiled eggs.

12 Awesome Easter Crafts - Paper Plate Baby Chicks

Oh, these little yellow paper chicks are just adorable. I can just imagine these hung up on the wall or sitting on a mantle with their little orange legs dangling down. Head on over to Simple as That for the list of materials you need.

12 Awesome Easter Crafts - Paper Animal Masks

Do you remember making paper masks as a kid? I do, but I’m not sure they were ever this cute. Check out the details at Oh Happy Day.

12 Awesome Easter Crafts - Easter Egg Poppers

Want an alternative to an egg hunt? You’re in luck with these egg poppers from Studio DIY. Fill the plastic eggs with treats, cover with tissue paper, hang from a tree and have a blast!

An Easter Craft for Mom - DIY Easter Egg Bath Bombs

As promised, a relaxing treat for Mom’s Easter basket – DIY Easter egg bath bombs. After all your hard work, you deserve a relaxing bath with delightfully fizzy water. And the tutorial from Bitz and Giggles promises that these are easy to make at home. I’ll try them soon and report back.


It’s been quite a while since I’ve been regularly posting on this blog. And for good reason. We had a baby and I just never really got comfortable trying to turn this into a mommy blog. Then we spent the second half of 2014 traveling Europe so I was not really able to create DIY projects or work on home projects while staying in someone’s Airbnb rental.

But, now that our travels are over, we have decided to settle down in Des Moines, IA. Part of that settling down includes buying a house and luckily for us, it has a few projects that we are looking forward to working on ourselves.

Here’s our new house. It was built in 1918 so it’s just a couple of years older than Brett’s grandma. There are 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms in 1244 square feet of living space, plus a dining room and bonus room which will be Eleanor’s playroom. I am so excited to start making some updates. Stay tuned for all of our upcoming projects. Hit or miss – they will all be posted here.


And just so you have an idea of where we are starting from, here are a few before pictures:


This is the front living room. Isn’t that a lovely wall color?!? We call it salmon and will be changing it just as soon as we can!


This is looking from the living room into the dining room. Not sure why the paint looks so pink here. It really is more orange.


Another look at the living room. I really do love all the woodwork though.


A look back at the living room from the dining room.


And the kitchen that needs a lot of help.


This is one of the bedrooms upstairs. The other 2 bedrooms are painted white, but this one has not one, but two lovely shades of sea foam green on it’s walls. (You can read my sarcasm, right?)

BathroomFinally, this is the upstairs bathroom. It doesn’t need too much although I would love to change the flooring. We’ll see if we get to it. It does have a beautiful claw foot tub though. Honest. I love that about it.


Do you ever wished you’d travelled more when you were younger? Well, my husband and I do.

When our daughter was born, we suddenly felt like we were closing the door on our youth and knew that settling down was the logical next step.

Except that we kept fighting it tooth and nail. The wanderlust just would not go away. So, we did what anyone would do…ummm, maybe not.

We’re bucking convention and following our dreams. In order to satisfy our desire to see the world, we’re going out to do just that! We’re traveling to a different country every month to see how people around the world live. We’re calling it 30 Day Locals and blogging about our experiences.

30 Day Locals - Family World Travel

We’ve just begun our adventures and hope we can inspire others to live their dreams (whatever they are) and show parents that it is possible to travel with their children.

Please come on by and check it out. You can also follow along on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.


Disclaimer: I was provided a free bouquet of flowers from The Bouqs Company to review, but all opinions here are my own. This post may also contain affiliate links so if you choose to make a purchase on the sites I recommend, I will receive a small bonus – probably in the form of flowers this time…who says blogging doesn’t have some perks?!?

To say life has been busy would be an understatement. My family is in the process of moving and starting a new adventure (I’ll tell you more about it soon). Pair that with running a business, freelancing, raising a baby and all of the regular household duties, and you’ll see why time has been tight and my stress level has been way up there.

Then I remembered one of my friends telling me how getting fresh flowers gives her a fresh outlook on life. I thought, it couldn’t hurt and wouldn’t take up any of my precious time so I put in an order with The Bouqs Company. The timing was perfect as I needed a dose of beautiful freshness to brighten up my spirits.

And brighten up my day they did…look how beautiful they are!

Fresh flowers delivered to your door

But it wasn’t just these gorgeous flowers that had me smiling. The entire process was easy peasy. I mean, I love the flowers, but if it meant having to drive to the store to pick them up…forget it. I never would have done it.

So knowing that I could order these online and have them shipped directly to my home was a huge bonus. The ordering process was easy too. They have a beautiful website (very important in our household!), simple shopping cart process and good communication. The most difficult part was deciding what bouquet to order. In the end I chose the roses because I adored the bright colors and they were running a special for these at the time which meant I got 2 additional flowers in my bouquet.

I love when companies remember the little details too. Just look at how they arrived; even the packaging was beautiful.

The Bouqs Company Wrapping

Flower Subscription Services

Beautiful Bouqs Rose Bouquet

This bouquet took about 10 days to be delivered, but if you are like me you usually need things delivered faster than that. Good news is they also have a California collection of flowers that can be delivered overnight so when you remember too late that it’s Mother’s Day, a friend’s birthday or you want to say thank you quickly you’re covered.

So, how long did the flowers last? I had high hopes for the shelf life of these flowers and had about 50/50 results. The yellow roses faded faster than I expected, but the pink ones stayed beautiful long after I thought I’d be tossing them in the garbage. Not sure why they didn’t keep for the same amount of time, but either way it was way longer than the mixed flower bunch I bought at Costco the week before.

I loved the flowers so much that I’m looking into their subscription services. Of course, we’re getting ready to travel so it won’t be for me just yet, but they do have birthday and holiday flower subscription services for your loved ones.

Beautiful Bouqs Rose Bouquet

If The Bouqs Company name sounds familiar to you, that’s probably because you saw them on Shark Tank. Although they did not make a deal in the end, I can imagine it was great exposure for them and I enjoyed getting to learn more about the company through the show. They are the first company featured starting around 2:10 in.

Do you ever buy yourself flowers? If so, how does it make you feel or improve your day? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.

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