Family Home Design Tips with Valspar Paint

With the encumbering cold of winter behind us, spring is the perfect time to renovate or simply refresh areas of the home with interior pain. Along with the details of transforming rooms into meaningful spaces for our children and family members, comes the importance of using safe materials.

That’s why I was excited to join Valspar paint and interior designer, Genevieve Gorder, in celebrating the first line of high-performing, GREENGUARD Gold Certified, Zero-VOC paints in the industry. Available at Lowes, Valspar’s four product collection, (including Valspar Reserve, Signature, Ultra 400 and Ultra 200) meets the most rigorous clean air standards, allowing consumers to reduce their environmental footprint and live greener lives. It also gives parents and families peace of mind that their homes are free of harmful volatile organic compound emissions.  According to the CEO of Healthy Child Healthy World, children exposed to VOCs are four times more likely to develop asthma.  Exposure to VOCs has also been linked to everything from headaches and dizziness to even cancer and developmental disabilities.


The Good News?  According to the EPA, limit chemical emissions in the home to secure healthy indoor air quality. Valspar’s approachable prices range from $15 to $45, make it easy to make simple choices that will make a huge difference and lasting impact on the quality of air that your family breathes.

Thinking of building or making changes in your home?  I checked in with our resident builder (my husband) for some great design tips to share with MB readers:

  • Make Every Room Special:  Go beyond pretty crown molding and base molding. Try to incorporate things like a bench under a window (with secret storage!).  Beautiful and functional built-ins, gas-fueled fireplaces, paneling and accent walls can also make a huge impact.


  • Look up: When painting a kids room, don’t just think about the walls. We love the painted ceiling trend in nursery and kids’ room design. Or go for an accent wall to personalize the space.
  • Go Bold in Designated Areas: While we wouldn’t recommend painting a kitchen or great room black, by all means have fun in a powder room! Select a paint color that you wouldn’t use in any other area of the home.  We love the resulting feel of black, dark purple and navy blue in powder rooms.


  • Figure out Where to Save:  Investing in gorgeous kitchen cabinets? Then save in other areas like the laundry room by choosing lower-priced cabinets. If working with a contractor, offer to supply finished items like tile, cabinets, paint supply, bathroom, and lighting fixtures. Selecting these products yourself will give you the freedom to price within your budget.
  • If Unsure Test First: Light has different effects on paint color.  If you’re having trouble deciding between those shades of pale blue, paint a piece of white poster board and examine it at different locations in the room.


  • Repurpose Family Heirlooms: Consider painting granny’s gaudy gold mirror and other decorative family pieces a color that meshes with your home design and taste.  We love decorating with family pieces that carry special meaning.
  • DIY Tip: If you are the one doing the painting you absolutely must prepare the surface. Make sure that it is immaculate by skim coating, or plastering to get rid of blemishes.
  • Stay Safe: Remember that harmful products have the potential to off-gas long after the work is done. Valspar’s Zero-VOC line is a solid, green choice without compromising longitudinal quality.

This post is sponsored by Valspar.  Opinions as always are my own. Image #1 via Valspar, Images 2 – 4 via Woodside Builder LLC. 


A Cleansing Stove Top Simmer Pot For the New Year & Beyond

Love the feeling of the fresh start that a new year brings? While new goals and rituals are setting in, we believe in starting afresh with clarity, intention and inspiration in the home.

Let’s being with clearing the air.

Like all of our simmer pot recipes, the infusion of natural ingredients smells incredible – and our cleansing stove top simmer pot is a great way to invite the new year with intention.

simmer pot recipe to cleanse the homesimmer pot recipe for the new yeara stove top simmer pot for the new year

We suggest beginning by cleaning your home.  Then grab the following ingredients:

  • Sea Salt (a few pinches): for purification and cleansing and to dissolve negative energy from the home.
  • Rosemary (a few springs): to clear the air and promote mental clarity.
  • Lemon (2 sliced): for cleansing and opening.
  • Cinnamon Sticks (2): to promote wellness.


Bring a small amount of water to boil in a small pot.  Add ingredients and continue boiling for a few minutes.  Lower heat to a simmer and add water as needed.

While simmering, be present with your thoughts – I like to focus on how love and peace and joy live here.

New Year Home Cleanse Stove Top Simmer Pot

Give it a go, and do tell us what you think!  Here’s to clarity in the new year, in your hearts and homes.


Vibrant Life With Kids: A Happy, Eclectic Home

family home design

We’ve always believed that our home should tell our collective family story.  From the pencil markings on the kitchen door frame indicating the kids’ growth and passage of time to their handmade masterpieces adorning the art table display.  If our walls could talk, they’d tell narratives of generations-old furniture; stripped, dipped and reupholstered to make our own.  They’d speak of the artwork made by my husband showcased in nearly every room – and vestiges of a vibrant life with kids frozen in their methodologically crafted messes.

We’re careful and purposeful about what we bring in, striving to make our little space a happy and eclectic mix – filled with meaning and sentiment that goes beyond our walls and a roof.


Before the start of the school year, we knew that a physical change was in order.  The portion of the living room dedicated to the kids grew far from functional.  A rarely played with train table morphed into sloppy storage, and our fuax animal hide rugs had seen better days.  So we donated and tossed and did our best to pare down, which wasn’t easy but made us all feel better in the long run.  We then transformed the space back to one that inspired us to create and use our imaginations with the help of a brand who masters this – The Land of Nod.

Land of Nod Playroom Home Design

We’re all drawn to the light in the front of the house.  I often work from the coffee table in the far corner of the living room, while the kids play (and quarrel!) and make gargantuan messes.  This is the room that gets the most action, and it’s certainly shared with much more gown-up-ish things.  I’ve always admired how The Land of Nod creates kids’ furniture and decor in ways that beautifully mesh with adult spaces.  Their pieces aren’t only for closed off children’s rooms – allowing the feeling of kids and adults to simutliansly exist in thoughtful ways.

Land Of Nod kids playtable desk with drawer

It’s amazing how a bright and colorful Land of Nod rug injects fun and whimsy into the front of our home. And small touches like garlands in window sills and fun throw pillows pull together the playful space.  The Land of Nod’s furniture makes sense boasting clean and modern designs.  We love how the large drawer in the children’s table helps to centralize a homework station, and the smart acrylic protector keeps the furniture looking nice.

Although our home rarely stays kept together as seen in these images. Functional storage helps to keep the Olympic-level toy explosions contained.  Current favorites live in the colorful toy storage dip top bins for easy access and clean up!

Toy Storage BinsLand Of Nod Toy Storage Basket Bin

We’re all so happy so happy with our little space.

The Land of Nod Throw Pillows RugThe Land of Nod Inspiring Playroom Design Rug Throw Pillow Garland

That inspires the minds of its occupants, both big and small.

Special thank you to the Land of Nod for providing us with product.  Opinions, as always, are my own. 


A Happy Holiday Home

This post is sponsored by Target. All opinions, as always are my own.

Twinkle lights are gleaming, the Salvation Army Bell Ringers are dancing and elaborate holiday window displays are popping up everywhere.  Fixtures of Christmastime in New York City make me emotional.  I can’t help but be overcome by the inherent goodness of the season.

Christmas in New York City

As they do every year, the kids have helped to pack shoeboxes of goodies to send off to other children.  And their own crayon inscribed wish lists are being carefully written. It is the togetherness intertwined in generations of love that brings a palpable sense of real life Christmas into our home.  I’m so thankful for our little lot in life.

Over the past few months, we’ve been updating our space, and Holiday entertaining is great motivation to inject cheer into our home.  We recommend functional items that mesh well into existing home design with versatility to live on past the season.

As soon as I set foot in Target’s NYC showroom to preview their Holiday collection, Nate Berkus won me over with his exclusive collection for Target.  Together with a few Target holiday items – we’re ready to entertain!  I love the casual elegance of white paired with metallic gold, and a bit of rustic wood to pull our Holiday look together.

Target Christmas decor

Now on to the cooking! Buen Provecho and happy shopping!

Gopro shopping cart family photo at Target SinTraduccion


Join us in the #SinTraducción discussion, and let us know what your Target favorites are in the comments below. Thank you Target for sponsoring this post.


Essential Wedding Registry Items

This post is sponsored by Target.  Opinions are my own. Thanks for reading!

My husband and I will celebrate ten (TEN!) years of marriage this June. It’s hard to believe that we’ve known each other for more than half of our lives – but in some ways, It feels like he’s been a part of me forever.  Amidst the excitement of friends coming off of holiday engagements, we’ve partnered with Target to share our top must-have wedding registry items. Even ten years later, we’re grateful for so many things that were gifted at the start of our marriage.  And since Target has tons of fantastic variety, they help couples register without losing the uniqueness that merged them together in the first place.  Check out our favorite Target wedding registry picks below:


Wedding Registry Essentials

Threshold Bar Cart || KitchenAid Ultra Power 4.5 Qt Stand Mixer ||Threshold Etched Glass Drinkware Collection ||Nikon P530 16.1MP Digital Camera ||Calphalon Stainless Steel Cookware ||SONOS PLAY: 5 Wireless HiFi System

From cooking delicious homemade meals and baking treats to mark special occasions.  To enjoying favorite music and documenting forever memories on film.  To celebrating at home as a couple or entertaining company – Target registry has it all.  Our favorite gift options are perfect for creating those important date nights in, with the reassurance of quality brands that will last over time. The straightforward registry process including inspirational starter lists, a 15% off registry completion discount, and no-hassle returns makes Target the ideal wedding registry one-stop-shop.

Cheers to love!


Christmas Simmer Pot

After a long weekend of hosting Thanksgiving and enjoy visits from dear friends  – we couldn’t wait to begin preparations for Christmas.  We took a trip to our favorite tree farm and little ones have been busy adorning everything with handmade, sentimental trinkets.  We always enjoy welcoming the seasons in our home with stove top simmer pots – and love infusing the nostalgic scents of Christmas.

Christmas stove top simmer pot recipe

I’ve previously shared my my favorite spring and fall simmer pot recipes  – but there is something about this particular pot that transports me back to my mother’s kitchen.  There is nothing quite like the power of a scent.


Cranberries: 1 cup
Whole Cloves: 1.5 to 2 tablespoons
Cinnamon Sticks: 3 to 4
Orange Rinds: 1 orange
Rosemary: 4 small rosemary sprigs

Optional: a pinch of nutmeg or apple cider

Bring a small amount of water to boil in a small pot.  Add ingredients and continue boiling for a few minutes.  Lower heat to a simmer and add water as needed.

Cheers to the scents of Christmas friends!