Archive for the ‘Family Matters’ Category

DIY: You Bake My Day Homemade Valentine

You Bake My Day Homemade Valentine | Bringing Design Home

I just love it when a last minute idea comes together! We were invited to a wee Valentines Day Party and decided last minute to make our own instead of travel the 30 min. to the store. Luckily Grandma had recently scored this HUGE bucket of cookie cutters at a garage sale… more than I would ever use! I was saving them for a fun party favor or something, but instead decided to incorporate them into these adorable valentines.

Each valentine contains two cookie cutters. I tried to group them together like a star and a moon, a football and a football helmet, etc. The boys had fun stamping them with little hearts and putting on smelly stickers. It was the perfect activity for an afternoon craft and the boys were really excited to hand them out to all of their friends.

Just look how adorable they are in their matching monster truck valentine shirts from Grandma!

Hope your Valentines Day was filled with something sweet!

From the Farm

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Moms & Kids Play Date Poster Design

play date flyer/poster design | bringing design home

One of my goals for 2015 is to connect better with other women in my life. One way I’m trying to do this is by opening up my house for a play date during the coldest season of the year. Thanks to my handy dandy Sharpie I sat down one night after the kids were down and had way to much fun putting this little flyer together.

If you are finding yourself going a little crazy with minions crawling all over you, plan a weekly play date so you can build relationships with other mommies in your area. I’m doing mine through our church and have invited a few other moms I have met at our local library. I promise this time of year every mom is looking for something to do with their kids besides being stuck inside! A weekly play date is a great way to get some adult conversation and interaction for your kids outside of their siblings! ;)

From The Farm

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A New Year = New Family Photos!

Shelley Lowe Photography | Bringing Design Home

After almost 7 years of marriage and adding two little minions to our family, we decided it was time for some new family photos (since we hadn’t had any professionally done since our engagement photos)! Our talented and good friend Shelley Lowe snapped these up at a wonderful Pumpkin Patch in October and we are just over the moon about them. They make us so happy every time we see them. James loved climbing all over the tractor and even though we don’t own one of our own (yet) it’s something we definitely plan on having in the future… along with pigs, bees, chickens…

Although we are still a year or two away from building our modern farmhouse we are still closer than we have ever been! In 2014 we set some big financial goals and it was very exciting to get to the end of the year and see all the progress we had made. As we begin 2015 we’ve set even more goals and it’s important to remember that every month, every little step, gets us closer and closer to our dream home.

Checkout Meg’s Pinterest Boards to see some of our ideas for the exterior design of our future home!

We’re trying our best to keep up with blog with two little minions, but it’s been a lot harder than we had expected. Be patient with us, and check back from time to time. We’re working on some fun new projects at home and through Green Couch Design that we can’t wait to share with you all!

Hope you are all staying happy and healthy! xoxo

From the Farm

PS Apparently all of our offspring come out as tiny little old men babies! ;)  

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10 Life Skills We Want Our Kids to Know Before Leaving Home

10 Basic Life Skills we want our kids to know before leaving home | Bringing Design Home

It’s always much later in life, as a young adult, when you are stranded with your first flat tire, that suddenly you find yourself wishing you had a few more tools in your life skills’ tool belt. You can read the instructions all you want, but actually doing the dirty work of changing your first tire, is the only way you’ll really know how to do it.

When Cale was growing up his parents were very intentional about how and what they taught their children. Before I was married I never considered life skills as something to look for in a husband. 6+ years of marriage later, I have to say… Cale’s been quite the catch! Not only in appearance, but the guy can actually cook (better than me when we first met!), assemble furniture out of a box, and even sew on his own buttons! Of course he’s naturally better at some things than others, but at least he’s familiar with the basics! Looking back, I’m so thankful that Cale’s parents took the time to teach him some basic life skills that have helped shape him into the amazing, well-rounded, handyman that he is today.

Although both of our boys are still in diapers, we believe that we are laying the foundation today for the young men they’ll become tomorrow. It’s important for us to think about ways we can use everyday responsibilities and mistakes as teaching opportunities while they are still under our “parental-umbrella” so to speak (just made that word up!). I know as parents we say we are going to be tough and make our kids help out around the house, but often times it’s just “easier” if we handle it ourselves. Involving our kids in the daily tasks like the laundry, the sewing (yes… boys needs to learn this too!), and the cooking provides them with key learning opportunities they’ll be thankful for later on in life (along with their girlfriend/boyfriend, roommate, and spouse).

Here is our list of life skills we plan on teaching our kids (male or female):

  1. How to… Change a Tire.
  2. How to… Boil Water (so they can cook a basic meal like pasta, potatoes, boiled eggs, etc!).
  3. How to… Wash and Fold their own Laundry.
  4. How to… Hammer a Nail.
  5. How to… Start a Fire.
  6. How to… Read a Map (the old fashion paper kind!).
  7. How to… Balance a Checkbook.
  8. How to… Store, Clean, Load, and Shoot a firearm Safely (and accurately)
  9. How to… Sew on a Button.
  10. How to… Drive a Stick Shift.

Whether we like it or not we’ve all had to learn some of these skills a bit later on in life. Even if our parents taught us we were too “cool” (or bored) in the moment to pay attention. Truth is providing our kids with life skills won’t guarantee they’ll land that amazing job or make the best financial decisions. Our goal in teaching life skills is bigger than just checking them off a list. Our hope is that through them our kids will learn how to transition better as they take on more responsibilities, not be as afraid to try new things, and remain motivated to become the best versions of themselves as possible.

And yes, that includes knowing how to drive a manual sports car so you can give your mom a joy ride or at least be able to haul sheep shit in the farm truck (whichever comes first!). :)

What life skills would you add to our list? What life skills will you teach your kids? We’d love to hear from you!

From The Farm

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Halloween Trunk or Treat Family Costume Theme: No More Monkey’s Jumping on The Bed!

No More Monkey's Jumping on the Bed! Trunk or Treat Halloween Family Costume Theme | Bringing Design Home

These days our family has turned into a little zoo! That’s why for Halloween, instead of tying the kids down, we thought we’d let em run loose and enjoy being monkeys for a day! Or at least an evening. We may have bribed them with a few pieces of candy to keep them close by, but it did work (at least for the first hour or so)!

This is the third year that Cale and I have been involved in the Trunk or Treat at our church. Every year we try and come up with an original theme that includes a large group of people; typically all 5 of Cale’s siblings, spouses, a few friends, and nieces and nephews! Since we have all been busy having more babies it’s been harder to get everyone involved and on the same page. We know we could always just go with a trunk based on the latest popular kid’s movie, but coming up with an original theme is always way more exciting!

A few brown thrift store hoodies, sheets of felt, and some fabric glue and we were good to go! Using this DIY for a monkey hoodie costume we were able to simply repeat it for all the kids involved. Plus, we got to sit on a comfy bed and pass out candy to adorable children the whole night!

This is our littlest monkey Hardy Boy. He’s nearly four months old now and if you don’t watch out he will steal your heart (and your Snickers)!

We had a few surprise monkeys show up too! The sock monkey’s from another trunk didn’t want to miss out on the party so we invited them over. :)

The tails were my favorite part! We actually just bought them as-is at a local craft store and attached them to the back of the hoodies. ADORABLE!

Of course we wouldn’t give the book justice without representing The Doctor and The Momma! I love that my little nephew (monkey #2) and I have the exact same facial expression. Let’s do this candy thing!

Girl monkeys gotta represent!

Hard to believe our oldest Monkey, James David, turned 2 this past September (tear)!

Of course my costume was really annoying to have to wear all. night. long. But, I suffered through. :)

Our No More Monkey’s Jumping on The Bed Trunk was a huge hit! It was so much fun seeing families walk through our candy line and immediately get the theme. Hearing everyone comment on how cute our little monkeys were made it all worth it. And honestly, it was super easy! We spent one evening going through thrift shops looking for hoodies and buying supplies and another hour or so creating the actual costumes. The rest of the time needed was just gathering up a few pillows and blankets, a head board, and a few toddler mattresses and we were good to go!

Did you have any monkey’s running around this Halloween? Or maybe a princess, a dinosaur, or a mini Captain America (those fake fabric muscles are so awesome!)? :)

Happy (belated) Halloween friends!

From The Farm

Get inspired for next year by checking out our roundup of 8 Easy and Adorable Halloween Hoodie Costumes

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Meet the Nabors

meet the nabors | bringing design home

For months now we’ve been looking forward to actually meeting our new friends the Nabors in person. Several months ago Craig and Michelle Nabors reached out to us via email and we instantly hit it off. An adorable family of four their dream is to farm their 30 acre plot full-time along with building their own modern farmhouse. Aiming to break ground sometime next year, they are in full design and planning mode as they layout their future homestead (sound familiar!?) We recently spent a drizzly fall day walking their land, chatting up a storm about house plans and farming techniques, and even shared a bowl of homemade corn chowder (which we have been craving ever since we left!).

Of course, James had no problem making himself right at home and running around like one of the big kids! ;)  

We even got to tour Craig and Michelle’s adorable Cob House that they built with their own hands! An experiment in sustainable building materials it is truly a labor of love. Simple and quaint it has two bedrooms, running water, and a compositing toilet. A wonderful retreat and cozy guest cottage it helps them serve the basic needs of the land until they can live their permanently.

It was the perfect kind of day that went by not to slow and not to fast. Time felt calm and easy as we enjoyed each other’s company and shared our dreams of family and simple living (outside of the sheep getting out of course!).

We are always amazed and truly grateful at the wonderful connections we’ve made by simply sharing our life online. The genuine friendships we’ve made over the years are simply priceless. We are looking forward to the next time we get to spend some quality time with our new Nabors (sorry, had to do it!). :)

From The Farm


Visit The Nabors blog to see more photos of their Cob House from start to finish!

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Around Here: New Baby/ZZZzzzz/Coffee/Brothers Sharing/Extra Cuddles/Island of Testosterone

Around Here: Baby #2/ZZZZzzzzz/Learning to Share/Extra Cuddles/More Coffee Please/Island of Testosterone

Ok, here comes the real deal! Adjusting to two kids has been harder than we thought. I honestly don’t know what we expected?! It’s double the diaper duty, double the mouths to feed (with both boys being on very different diets… milk vs. solids), double the mess, double the laundry, and unfortunately double the exhaustion. :(

The first 6 weeks of Hardy Boy’s life have been tough, but we are slowly getting caught up on sleep, house duties, and a even fitting in a few blog posts here and there (Yay!)! On top of juggling a newborn and a toddler Cale has been working 10 hour days trying to finish a big project at work so things have been beyond stressful! I don’t know how we would have survived without the support of our amazing family and friends. They’ve rallied behind us and brought us meals, played with James so I could rest, folded laundry, changed stinky diapers without even questioning what we’ve been feeding our toddler for the last few days, and been that encouraging word and/or swift kick in the booty when we’ve really needed it!

My mom has reminded us over and over again; “Focus on what you have control over and let the rest go!”

And that’s exactly what we’ve been learning to do.

It’s ironic cause “control” is the last thing you feel right after having a baby. If anything the only thing you have “control over” is letting go. We’re learning to be ok with throwing all plans out the window, no matter how stacked up the dishes may be (or stinky), and being ok with resting instead. If momma isn’t healthy and happy she won’t have any patience (or love) to take care of two little minions, let alone motivation to do anything else!

Lets just say sleep has become an important part of our nightly AND daily routine. When the heavens open up and decide to give us a few minutes to a few hours we take it! We take it and refuse to feel guilty about it!

Everyone asks how is James adjusting? Big brother is doing better and better. Other then the typical smothering and randomly hitting baby with a car… for the most part he’s learning to share and is pretty sweet about the whole thing. I’ve been teaching him how to swaddle his stuffed cow and sing him to sleep along with Hardy Boy. There are days where the details of being a mom of two are a blur, but occasionally you’ll have these moments open up where time stands still and you know you are catching a moment that will never be again. Those are my favorite moments. When I have the camera phone down and I take a mental image that I’ll carry in my heart forever.

Hardy Boy is growing like a weed. At six weeks he’s already in 3-6 month clothes and seems to be too long for even some 9 month onesies! We are thankful that both of our boys have been good eaters and breastfeeding, for the most part, has been really smooth.

Some of the things we love about Hardy… He is a lover for sure. A snuggler that likes to sleep on our chests. I picture him as this big ole Oklahoma boy with a heart of gold, who likes hugs, and has a deep belly laugh. He’s not nearly as serious as James. James is gonna figure things out while Hardy Boy will just jump in and go for it. I already see it now. It’s amazing, beautiful, and a bit overwhelming! Pray for us as we learn how to shepherd these unique spirits we’ve been given! :)

Rest and good coffee to you all! :)

From The Farm

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16 Positive Sides to Carrying Your Baby Well Past Your Due Date :)

16 Positive Sides of Carrying a Baby Well Past Your Due Date :) | Bringing Design Home

(NOTE: Our baby boy #2 arrived healthy and happy exactly at 42 weeks! Even though I wrote this a few days before that, I still wanted to share it for those mommas that need an extra boost of encouragement and humor to get them through those last few days of waiting for baby. Hang in there!).

I’ve fought against sharing with you all that I’m over my due date (again). Not just over my due date, but approaching the 42 week mark (again). A lot of people freak out about this, so I’ve been a little hesitant to share my exact status, but you know what… it is what it is. I can’t help it that for whatever reason both my pregnancies have ran late. Either way I’m thankful to be surrounded by a birth team of professionals that I trust, that are willing to wait alongside us, and do all that we can to naturally let my body do it’s thing. Apparently our babies like to bake till their extra crispy, and outside of our septic tank collapsing into a giant sink hole in our backyard, the wait hasn’t been that bad! :/

It’s true… you can plan and plan for the perfect birth and yet the most random things will happen. We are doing our best to be patient and trusting this process. Even with this being our second time around, it’s still a day to day struggle of looking at the positive side of things. That in the end, someday… we will laugh about the poop hole in our yard right now (even though I may or may not have been crying about it earlier today). And that someday, like in the very near future, all that will matter is that we have a healthy baby and a new septic tank! :)

16 Positive Sides to Carrying Your Baby Well Past Your Due Date:

  1. You get everything done on your “nesting” to do list!
  2. You get to add more to your to do list, and then even MORE to that to do list! :)
  3. You are ready for labor! No matter how hard it is gonna be, you are willing to do whatever it takes to not be pregnant one more day!
  4. You are a master at prepping meals in bulk. The last few weeks have come and gone and each week you prepare a handful of crockpot and throw together meals for when the baby gets here. They are of course quickly gobbled up within the following week of “waiting” for the baby to get here. The pattern continues… you buy, you cook, you plan, and then you eat. Push repeat.
  5. Your friends on Facebook who had their babies “early” (and were due after you!) start sharing encouraging status updates about their babies being close to a month old (awesome!)! :/
  6. Any maternity shirts that have not already been stained on, have fully been worn to the point of being worn out and covered in stains. Meaning next pregnancy you’ll be due for a good shopping trip! :)
  7. You have a copy and paste message ready to go for when people text you and want a status update!
  8. You give yourself permission to take more naps. What else are you gonna do when you’ve finished everything on your to do list and your ankles swell up like vienna sausages within 30 minutes of attempting any other kind of physical activity?
  9. You begin taking on new crafts and planning for a “Homemade Christmas”… thinking this will be the year you make ALL your gifts from scratch (until baby gets here of course)!
  10. Since you are already peeing every 30 minutes and having to switch sides every hour during the night your body is prepped and ready for the 2 1/2-3 hour feeding/sleeping cycle when baby gets here! You’re gonna rock this breastfeeding thing!
  11. You have time to visit all the antique malls you’ve been wanting to checkout all year long. Where else are you gonna walk this baby out in the heat of July!?! Plus, your husband doesn’t question any weird vintage purchases you bring home, he’s just happy that you are happy! :)
  12. You get to eat your own words about “not skipping the process” (see #4!). :/
  13. You get some extra one-on-one cuddle and snuggle time with your first born (been enjoying that a lot)! 
  14. You are an encyclopedia of momma information (experienced or not) because you’ve had time to read and re-read any and all books on baby, birth, breastfeeding, sleeping, and any other problem that could ever come up within your child’s first year. Guess you could always get a head start on potty training ideas…
  15. You get the royal treatment by total strangers who constantly offer to help you carry your bags and open your doors because it’s that obvious that you are indeed THAT pregnant!!
  16. You can sell off your newborn clothes and use that money to buy yourself a BIG FAT ICE CREAM CONE, cause let’s get real… you’re not birthing a 6 pound baby!

Whether you find yourself approaching 40 weeks, or well past… hang in there mommas! They can’t stay in there forever! ;)

I’d love to hear some of the positive things you’ve experienced going over your due date or just general encouragement really!? 

Happy waiting, and laughing, and crying… xoxo

From The Farm

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He #2 is Here :)

Hardy Boy | Bringing Design Home

Once again we managed to cook baby boy #2 till he was nice and crispy! Arriving just at 42 weeks we are so thankful we were still able to get him here naturally and have our second homebirth experience! Even with his big brother James running around, life still feels like it’s slowed down a bit. It’s quieter around here, and the days are bit more peaceful. There are not a lot of life events where you can STOP everything and truly cherish every moment. We are enjoying one of those rare life events right now, and drinking in every last drop.

Suddenly the deadlines, the stress, and the to dos don’t feel nearly as important. Somehow, it will all get done. But right here, right now, for the first time… we are a family of four.

And it’s beautiful.

Welcome Hardy Alan

Born July 24th, 2014
8 pounds 10 ounces
21.5 inches long

We are so excited you are here and feel so blessed and completely overwhelmed that God choose you to be a member of our family!

From The Farm

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Hello, Remember Me?! I’m Cale! :)

Cale & Meg | Bringing Design Home


It’s me, Meg’s crazy husband. You’ve heard of me and heard from me in the past. In-fact I was on here quite a lot at the beginning. I’ve been away working a 9-5, as you probably know. But it’s more than that, I’ve been growing, thinking and hopefully getting better at what it is I do. Architecture, design, and general creativity. When Meg approached me about writing again for Bringing Design Home I was thrilled. This is honestly one of the things I miss the most in the day to day of a 9-5. Something about sharing thoughts, hopes, dreams, and connecting to others is lost in that daily grind. You do what you need to do, what you have to do, you work hard and you focus. Beyond the surface, beyond the basic information that I’m married, have a little boy, and another on the way, and that I’m a hard working country boy, that’s all most of your co-workers ever really care to know. They aren’t looking for some deeper connection, because ultimately its just a job, its just getting things done to get home and enjoy the people that really know you.

That’s where this blog comes in. For Meg and I just the surface level info isn’t enough. We care, silly I know, but we do. We want to share, we want to connect, and we hope some day down the line, someone will come up to us and say; “Hey! “I know you, you write that funky family design blog. I just want you to know that I learned a great deal from that last post, thanks!”, or something like that. Those are the great moments for us, the ones where we actually feel like we could change the world just by being here, being honest, and having some fun along the way.

So here I am saying hi again, and looking to “share” once more. I’m hoping to focus on design and architecture most specifically. I hope to give some thoughts and pointers that might make building, buying, and remodeling your homes easier or at least more fun. I also hope to shed some light on that mysterious title “Architect” and what it is we really do. Why we are needed for certain things and why sometimes you don’t really need to consult us. ;)

So watch for my future posts, and let me know if it gets long winded or too technical.

Thanks for listening…

From The Farm

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High class design in overalls. It's the simple life of a farm through the eyes of a couple of crazy designers. We call ourselves Green Couch Design and we are Bringing Design Home.

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