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.


So that might not be a popular statement this time of year. I mean there are usually lines out the door and the wait can take for-ev-er. All you want to do is mail your gifts to the precious people in your life – not stand in line wasting your valuable time. Come on…you already spent enough time in line at the mall, right?

Well, what if I told you that you didn’t have to stand in line at the post office. Did you know that there’s a secret, no hassle way to ship your presents? And not only do you not have to wait in line, your mail carrier will actually come and pick up the package from you. Can I tell you what a lifesaver that is for a mama with a baby?!?!

That’s right! We’re in the 21st century…the Internet age!

You no longer have to step foot in a post office. If you plan ahead you can even have them drop off how ever many priority boxes you need for free! Once your presents are wrapped and your package is ready, just seal it up and head to You can even stay in your PJs and sip a steaming cup of coffee if you want.

From there you can pay for the shipping via a credit/debit card or Paypal (another perk for me since I use my Etsy earnings to pay for some holiday shopping). Then print your label, stick it to your sealed box and schedule your pickup.

But that’s not all. The website said I could get same day pickup if I scheduled before 2:00pm CT (not necessary this time, but great to know in the future). And I also saved $1.50 by doing it all on line.

So, let me get this straight…the USPS saves me time and hassle by having someone come to me to get my package, I no longer have to wait in line, and they give me a discount for the convenience. Yep! Sign me up!!!

I love the USPS for Christmas Present Shipping

Christmas presents all set to ship!

* I was in no way compensated for this post and all thoughts and opinions are genuinely my own experience.


For a couple friend of ours, the game Scrabble has special significance. They played the game on their first date and he actually used the board game to ask her to marry him. So, when they got married, I knew I wanted to give them a special gift using Scrabble as the inspiration. Unfortunately, it took me way too long to actually turn my thought into reality, but eventually I made them Scrabble drink coasters using wedding words to send to them as part of their gift.

I was thrilled with how they turned out and hope the couple loves them as well.

Love Words Scrabble Tile Drink Coasters

If you are interested in making your own Scrabble coasters, I’ve outlined the steps below.

The first step was gathering my supplies. I used:

  • 1 Scrabble board game
  • 1 piece brown felt (with adhesive on one side already)
  • Exacto knife or scissors
  • Glue

Making Drink Coasters with Scrabble Tiles

Next I had to brainstorm words. The coasters measure 4 tiles wide by 4 tiles tall so that narrowed the words down significantly. I used mostly 4 letter words interspersed with a few 3 letter words using the blank tiles. I first tried to have words going both horizontally and vertically, but that proved too difficult using only the tiles from one Scrabble game. So instead I wrote out four words horizontally and one word vertically on each coaster. The vertical word shifted on each coaster from the first row down to the last row, just to keep it interesting.

Then I cut the felt into 4 squares and used the adhesive backing to stick the tiles down.

Scrabble Tile Love Coasters

Once all the tiles were placed, I trimmed down the felt.

Scrabble Tile Drink Coasters

In order to keep the coasters together, I glued in between the tiles both horizontally and vertically.

Making drink coasters with Scrabble tiles

Voila! Wipe them down and that’s it.

Here are the words I used just in case you cannot see them in the photograph above.

Coaster #1: Kiss, Need, Only, True, Knot

Coaster #2: Chat, Dote, Mar (month of their wedding), Zeal, Home

Coaster #3: Love, Amor, Two, Best, Vows

Coaster #4: Ring, Pair, I Do, Anew, Grow

What do you think? Cute or cheesy? I’d love to hear in the comments below.

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