Start a Family Shell Collection


Two types of people walk on the beach: those who pick up the shells and those who don't. For forty years, I didn't pick up shells. Taking home bucketfuls of shells seemed like something a tourist would do. The only people who collected shells were the ones who needed souvenirs of the beach, right? Also, taking shells home felt sort of greedy. If every beachcomber picked up the shells, what … [Read more...]

Kura Bed Hack FAQ


A few years ago we found ourselves with four kids and two bedrooms. We hacked Kura beds to give each kids a cool bed, with lots of space of their own. Buzzfeed and other sites have picked up the original hack and that blog post has had hundreds of thousands of visitors. IKEA lovers from all over the world have asked us about our hack so I thought I would be helpful to collect our answers in one … [Read more...]

The Thanksgiving of my Dreams


Our family needs a different kind of Thanksgiving this year. We need a holiday like these homemade pecan pies. Our pies took a lot of time, but these were intentional hours. Unrushed hours together. We need that kind of a Thanksgiving. These pecans were from our friends' orchard. They tasted sweeter because of the conversation we enjoyed while hunting for them. To make these pies, our kids … [Read more...]

Storyline is Disney World for Artists


Last week I was at the Storyline Conference, which is pretty much the happiest place on Earth for creative people. Experiencing Storyline was the same thrill as watching our kids experience Disney for the first time. Welcome to Disneyland, kids. Dance with the bubbles streaming out of the streetlights. Scream on your favorite rollercoasters. Laugh hard at the street theater. Eat a pancake … [Read more...]

Decorating With Signs (and IveyInspired)


As near as I can tell, women fit into two categories when it comes to our homes. The first group is those of us who have little kids and are still dedicating most of our time to physically nurturing them. Yes, we know the pictures on our walls are horribly outdated, we realize the fake plants need washing, and we are painfully aware about the ugly window coverings, but we have no energy to deal … [Read more...]

High Protein Pecan Butter Balls


Two years of eating Paleo(ish) has taught me a few lessons: 1. Condiments are never Paleo friendly.  Paleo sauces are either weird consistencies, expensive, or tricky to make. 2. Eating out is mostly Paleo-friendly. Perhaps this is where the (ish) part of my diet is obvious. Eating out might be hard for someone following an orthodox Paleo diet. I'm guessing restaurant chefs season their chicken … [Read more...]

My Husband’s Voluntary IKEA Trip (or The Best Week of My Life)


I always record our really bad weeks here, but today, I'm excited to tell you about our family's good week. For a bunch of reasons (M volunteering to go to IKEA was the biggest one), this has been a wow week. First, Nate is potty-trained. More about this later next week, but he did it in one day. So, that big, scary problem I've worried about all summer? The problem of Nate getting kicked out of … [Read more...]

Friday’s FAQ


Today's Fraudulently Asked Questions is with M. We're talking about the Hergenrader's summer hobby of launching fireballs flying lanterns into the sky. Almost August and no house fires! Fingers crossed we make it through the whole summer with no trips to the ER. At least no trips for burns. FAQ #1: Oh, wow. Is that a fire you're throwing into the sky? This looks like a bad idea. Surely, there … [Read more...]

What We Learned…Involve the Kids


When we bought Best of Times Beach House, it needed a lot of love. It had "good bones" (realtor-speak for "good luck finding the bones under all its scars and cellulite."). But the ugly scars of bad paint and the cellulite of dated wiring and rusty fixtures didn't daunt us as much as they probably should have. Like overenthusiastic house renovators before us, M and I had a plan. We would … [Read more...]

Extreme Kura Makeover!


For anyone interested, here's how our family transformed (hacked) four Kura beds into exactly what we wanted for our four kids (a pink/green garden for the girls' room and a fire engine and police car for the boys' room). So fun. I highly recommend the whole crazy process. First, we took the Kura beds out of their boxes and spray-painted all the wood. It was a spray-painting extravaganza! Made … [Read more...]