One of my favorite back-to-school traditions is taking a first day of school photo of my boys. I’ve done it every first day and every last day of school since my older son was two. It’s so much fun to look back and it’s a great way to celebrate the start of a fresh new year.

While it wasn’t really the first day of school when we took these photos, the boys still got excited to put on their backpacks and pretend it was the first day back at it.

Head over to the FedEx Out of Office blog to download our free printable first day of school signs for Pre-K through 12th grade!


I loved working with Valleyfair on this sponsored post and can’t wait to share our experience with you. 

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I grew up going to Valleyfair at least once every summer, typically riding a community bus from my small rural Minnesota hometown to the big city. Seeing the rollercoasters in the distance was an exciting moment every year. Our boys are finally at the age where going to Valleyfair is beyond fun. Check out to see what’s new and notable at Valleyfair.

Bodhi went last year for the first time and this was Ezra’s very first Valleyfair experience. The excitement in the car and the moment we stepped foot on Valleyfair property was high!

With Ezra being four (or 3 and 11/12 as he liked to say up until his birthday on June 23) and Bodhi being a fresh 7, we spent time in almost every part of the park. There was fun for all ages. Read More »


This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of True Value. The opinions and text are all mine.

Spring time always has me feeling giddy to spend hours outside enjoying our short sunshine filled seasons!

We installed the teeniest tiniest patio last year and we LOVE it! It fits our dinner table and grill just fine. It has made summer so lovely. We enjoy dinner outside many days each week when we used to be stuck inside for dinner time. But, we’ve found that we haven’t always had enough space to host—no place to set food and drinks, for example. I’ve been on the hunt for an outdoor bar cart for more than a year, but I didn’t want to spend a fortune, I wanted the design to be simple and modern and something that would last for years in terms of style. I also wanted it to be a piece that could be put away when not in use since the patio is so small.

When I first saw the hot pink and bright blue bar carts/patio carts at a store I frequent, I loved them and although the colors were pretty I couldn’t imagine having one of those colors for a piece we would use nearly daily. I’m not a fan of paying full price for something I have to paint myself. So when a slightly damaged one (mostly just minor scratches and scuffs) was marked down at one of the three stores I frequent, I knew I had to get it and make it my own with EasyCare paint from True Value.

EasyCare® Premium Décor Spray Enamel is a fast-drying, durable, rust-inhibiting aerosol paint. It provides great coverage on indoor or outdoor furniture, primed wood or metal, plastic and more— in beautiful decorator colors. Whether you’re refreshing old patio furniture or crafting with the family, Premium Décor has you covered.

I’ve long been a fan of using spray paint to achieve the look I desire, but I haven’t taken the time to do that in a while. I forgot how simple it can be and how dramatic the results often are. And while the blue cart is certainly beautiful and could work for many people. It’s just not my style. Read More »


It’s been a long time since I’ve been here sharing fun, pretty things. Today I’m excited to share beautiful stationery options with you in partnership with Basic Invite. 

I have so many friends and colleagues who have kids graduating this year. I still often think Bodhi is in Kindergarten! He’s not. ;) When we moved into our new house, our next door neighbor boys were young. The oldest was in 6th or 7th grade and the younger one was in elementary school. The older one is graduating! Shocking!

I keep hearing that it goes so fast. And I’ve noticed it with my boys lately. With the boys being six and three, we are definitely in a season of life where we would freeze time if we could. Things are certainly not easy, but they are generally easier than they were when our kids were under two. And our boys are BEST FRIENDS! We love that.

We’re currently planning Bodhi’s birthday party. I just love the birthday party invitations from Basic Invite. Simple, modern and beautiful.

For my friends planning graduation parties, Basic Invite has the best graduation announcements and you can get a graduation thank you card to match. Read More »


Editor’s note: I’m working my way to blogging regularly again. There are fun things happening behind the scenes here. We recently had Tim Edwards, an incredibly talented local actor and my neighbor, cover the Midnight Sun movie prescreen and press conference for us. Tim is a senior at Maple Grove High School. Enjoy reading about Tim’s experience.

Left to right: Patrick Schwarzenegger, Tim Edwards and Bella Thorne

First, thank you so much for this incredible opportunity to meet young actors like me, who are living out their dreams like I wish to do someday.

On a Friday evening recently, my mom and I attended the prescreen of the movie Midnight Sun. Beforehand I was able to take a picture with the two stars, Bella Thorne and Patrick Schwarzenegger. This was a great experience. After the photo opp, the my mom and I went into the theater where they were handing out posters and little tissue boxes, which for some, were very much needed.

The event included temporary tattoos, professional makeup touch-ups and fun snapchat filters. After everyone was seated, the two stars and director Scott Speer came in to announce the movie and answer some quick questions about the movie and about themselves. The director said that the filming process took only 24 days; that obviously does not include post production, just on-site work. After a few questions, the three of them left and the movie started. Read More »


Anyone throwing a spooky soiree? I’m helping to host our annual Trick or Cans event this year but we seriously took it down a notch. My cohost and I have some big life changes happening lately and soon so we’re keeping it extra simple. I wanted to share my tips for hosting a simple party with a few fun details. 

I have free printable party favor tags and invitations over on the Fedex Out of Office blog plus you can download last year’s free printable backdrop with Fedex for extra fun.

Head over to the Fedex Out of Office blog to get your free Halloween printables.


Hey hey! We’re already deep into the school year. I find that a month or so in is when things become routine which is great in many ways. But, things can get stale.

Being in the swing of things means that we’ve sorted through back to school shopping, backpacks, lunchbags, messy mudrooms, figuring out new teachers, new bus schedules and new classrooms. Once I feel like I have things somewhat under control, I love to add a little fun to our days.

We pack lunches for one son every day and the other, a few times each week. To add a touch of whimsy to our world, we put together some adorable animal themed lunchbox notes for little ones. These notes are an easy and fun way to add a bit of fun and some love to their days at school.

The first time I used one for Ezra, he came home excitedly exclaiming “There was an owl in my lunchbox, mom! How did it get there?!” Just a tiny touch of magic, friends. Head over to the Fedex Out of Office blog to print yours. Then simply cut and place in the lunchbox each day. Happy lunch packing, friends!


Ultimate back to school shopping guide for boys.Today we have the ultimate boys back to school shopping guide and lookbook because boy moms love dressing their kiddos well too! I’m sharing everything you need for back to school in every price range with loads of choices including high and low options, super soft denim and all kinds of wearable looks for little boys. I included layers for any other parents out there like me who live in a city with four seasons.

Towards the end there is a section with back-to-school boy finds for under $10. The H&M T-shirts in there are $2.40 right now with the coupon code listed at the bottom plus free shipping if you spend $60! They come in sizes 18 months to 10 years and there are several adorable styles!

Please note—everything labeled (LTFL FAVE!) is something we own, bought this year or have used. Please “PIN IT!” if you love it or Share it with your friends with boys!

Our little buddy Rocco is the model in several of the Target listings. So fun! Keep your eyes peeled for that sweet guy! His mama is the best!

Are you ready to get shopping? Read More »


I’ve had the joy of running this site, freelance writing and consulting for the past five years. I’ve been self-employed and it’s been wonderful for our family. It was more than I ever dreamed possible when starting the blog and even when leaving my last company to do this work full-time. I’ve had so many amazing opportunities come up over the years. And most importantly, I’ve had flexibility when the little ones were sick or needed me to volunteer at their schools. I could throw in laundry on my lunch break and help make life work for our family.

With all of that, there have been struggles too. When you are self-employed, you are constantly selling yourself, working hard at all hours to meet deadlines, taking on new clients whether you have capacity or not, trying hard to get social media engagement from my readers (harder than one can imagine) and I often work alone. Although I’ve had some amazing collaborations with companies and photographers over the years, I spend the majority of my days behind a computer in my home or styling shoots for the site (also alone in my home).

I’ve been considering change, specifically heading back to a team for some time now but needed the right opportunity. Since my business was doing well, it really had to be just the right thing for my career and our family. In late May, the most perfect opportunity came up at the headquarters of an amazing Minneapolis-based modern American-made home furnishings company. I accepted a job offer in mid-June and join the company this week.

I’m excited and rejuvenated and ready to go. I know this opportunity is the right one. I’ll still be here on the blog and am doing a small amount of freelancing on the side, but I’ll be very selective in the companies and brands I work with going forward. Just wanted to update you on this lovely change in direction for me. Thanks for being here over the years and please, stay awhile longer.


We have some big changes happening over here and in the chaos of it all, I’m trying to create spaces and systems for calm. Our snack cabinet is stocked fully. My husband and I have a combined Instacart account for easy grocery shopping, laundry is caught up (temporarily anyway), we have removed much of our clutter and unwanted items and we are working on creating a master bedroom that feels like a space for rest and rejuvenation.

We’ve had our hearts set on a king size bed for some time now and we are finally ready to make it happen. But as a design lover, I knew we had to have a plan for the room before buying anything. I wanted our room to feel clean and bright and modern, but I want to incorporate some texture to make it feel cozy as well. The braided rug and the rattan side tables plus the woven lights add texture. The bed and chair add a modern clean feel and the bedding we are considering is incredibly soft and luxurious. We’ll also be adding a tray that will be the spot we set any stray water cups and dishes so we can easily carry them down to the kitchen. We are keeping our current dressers and some of our current art. I’ll be adding sconces above the nightstands for reading. While it’s not perfect and we haven’t actually purchased anything yet, this is definitely the direction we are going for our bedroom, our place for respite.

Our upper porch is accessible from our bedroom as well and we’ve had our eye on these swing chairs from Serena & Lily. I’ve found some budget friendly options for this look that I think we’ll do yet this summer. That’s it! We’ll gradually be making changes in these spaces and I’ll be sure to capture some before and after shots. What’s important to you in your master bedroom? For me, I want our bedroom to feel like a vacation home on Maui, to be specific. :)