Father's Day Gift Ideas For Sentimental Dads

My husband, just like my dad was is a big softie. A wonderful, kind dad deserves a fitting, thoughtful gifts. But dads (men in general) can be so tricky to buy for. My dad used to request a new hoodie or baseball hat every Christmas. As a person who’s love language is gift giving, this didn’t sit well with me. I wanted to be creative. Twenty years later I am still the same. I love giving gifts, or more accurately, I love giving GOOD gifts, the kind you can’t find at the sporting goods store the day before Father’s Day.

Pinhole Press never fails me on occasions like this one. Ollie and I chose photos to put together the perfect “All About My Dad Book.” This special keepsake has 10 prompts for kiddos to write what is so special about their dad. Ollie and I had such a good time making this book and were so excited to give it to Kyle that we just couldn’t wait!

Keep scrolling to see my other creative ideas for sentimental dads.


Father's Day Gift Ideas
Gift Ideas for Sentimental Dads




search Etsy photo via  Unsplash

search Etsy photo via Unsplash


Baby #2 Nursery Inspiration

In case you missed the news over on instagram, we are having another boy!! I am excited, but stumped. I am stumped on names, stumped on room design. Last time around I had a boy room and a girl room designed and waiting in the docket. This time around, I am less prepared. I think I’m going with something gender neutral, and very earthy. These images are my jumping off point to finally pull the trigger on something, anything for baby boy #2.

We're Having a Baby!

You guys! We’re creating another human!! We are so excited to finally share this news with you!! It feels like I’ve known forever and I am just so terrible at keeping secrets, so chances are if we had a personal conversation in the past month, I’ve probably told you this news!

I am about to answer all your questions, but before that, I just want to give a HUGE thank you to Alyssa McElheney for taking the most precious photos of our growing family!! She is amazing and if you are local to Grand Rapids you should hire her for any of your photography needs.

Pregnancy Announcement
Pregnancy Announcement

We had been trying for a few months, so it happened pretty quickly, but not nearly as quickly as it happened with Ollie. Speaking of Ollie, he is super excited to tickle the new little baby’s feet and has already been ooo-ing and ahhh-ing over how cute everything baby-related is. He has been hugging and kissing my belly unsolicited and telling me that he’s “giving the baby love.” He also talks about his big brother duties all the time. I know he is going to be amazing!!

Pregnancy Announcement
Pregnancy Announcement

I am 13 weeks along and due in September! Officially out of my first trimester, so this is going really fast!! Just as with Ollie, I am feeling good. I didn’t have any morning sickness, just some cramps, bloating and discomfort. I feel like I’m showing so much more, so much quicker this time. Before I took the test, right after the holidays, I was so bloated, my favorite high-waisted jeans were feeling so uncomfortable. Needless to say, I had to retire them two months ago! I have been trying to maintain my exercise regimen, however the weather and icy sidewalks has curbed much of my running, which has been really rough for me. So for now, I am riding our in-home exercise bike, doing Tone It Up videos and when I can make it, the classes at the gym.

We do plan on finding out what we are having and will do so mid-April.

Pregnancy Announcement

Anything I missed? Ask away!

I’m wearing: dress: Le Fluer Boutique / coat: Club Monaco / boots: Elliott Lucca

Baby balloon

Oliver's 4th Batman Birthday

Last weekend we hosted our first party in our new house, a Batman-themed 4th Birthday Party. We had some family and Ollie invited some of his new friends for a lovely afternoon celebration. As per usual, I went a little overboard, but tried my best to keep to a budget, so I did a lot of fun DIYs to decorate.

I saved boxes from the move, painted and made a mini Gotham City for the the tablescape. I hate all the junk that kids get in goody bags, so ours consisted of the candy they got from the piñata, a quality batman mask and I bought a few yards of felt to make capes for each little guest.

Batman Birthday Party

Found this adorable batman sweatshirt for the man of the hour on super sale at H&M.

Batman Birthday Party

Our local favorite, The Cakabakery, made the delicious cake.

Batman Birthday Party
Batman Birthday Party
DIY Batman Birthday Party
DIY Batman Birthday Party

the kiddos loved the props I downloaded here printed and photo booth backdrop I hand painted on a large piece of cardboard. If you’re not as ambitious as me, I found this super cute cityscape backdrop.

DIY Batman Party

We also had a piñata and a pin the logo on batman game.

Batman Birthday Party
Batman Birthday Party
Batman Birthday Party

Happy 4th birthday, Oliver! I hope your Batman party was awesome!!

Batman Birthday Party


DIY Cut Out Kids Art

If you've been following along this summer, you know that Ollie and I have been hanging out and doing a lot more activities than usual. It has been so fun seeing his creative side come out, and watching him gain fine motor skills. Last DIY project I shared with you was a color block painting, this project was definitely less involved and less messy, we created art inspired by Henri Matisse's cut out art. 

During the last decade of his life Henri Matisse deployed two simple materials—white paper and gouache—to create works of wide-ranging color and complexity. An unorthodox implement, a pair of scissors, was the tool Matisse used to transform paint and paper into a world of plants, animals, figures, and shapes.

You can read more about Matisse's methods here

DIY Cut Out Kids Art

DIY Kids Art


  • colored paper
  • white paper
  • scissors
  • glue

Step 1: I did the prep work and cut out the shapes, in completely random sizes and colors. Do not cut white paper.

Matisse Inspired Kids Art Project
DIY Kids Art

Step 2. Lay out your shapes on white paper 

DIY Matisse-Inspired Kids Art

Step 3: Glue shapes on to paper. That's it!

DIY Matisse Inspired Kids Art

Healthy Summer Popsicle Ideas

I've mentioned my shift in diet to eat a more inflammatory foods, I've also extended that goal to the rest of the family. Cutting sugar is no easy feat when mom and three year old both have a major sweet tooth. Instead of taking away dessert, I thought my best bet was to trick my little into eating a better option. I bought silicone molds and we adapted our favorite smoothies into kid-friendly, delicious summer popsicle treats. 

Healthy Summer Popsicle Ideas
Healthy Peanut Butter Popsicle


This popsicle is a riff on our very favorite smoothie. It tastes so sweet and delicious, but it's actually good for you. For the adult version I like to add a tsp of instant coffee. 

  • 1 banana
  • heaping scoop of your favorite peanut butter
  • about two tbsp yogurt 
  • coconut milk (until desired smoothness)
  • coconut flakes (optional)

Blend all ingredients except the coconut flakes until smooth. Pour into silicone molds. If desired, sprinkle with coconut flakes to the bottom of the popsicles. Freeze!

Blueberry Popsicle
Blueberry Popsicle Recipe


  • about a cup of blueberries
  • about two tbsp yogurt
  • about two tbsp honey
  • coconut milk (until desired smoothness)

Blend all ingredients until smooth. Pour into silicone molds. Freeze!

    Summer Picnic

    Do you know about my love for picnics? It is one of my absolute favorite family activities. I love that we are outside, sharing and passing. Our entertainment is usually the people or the dogs walking by, not our screens or the TV in the restaurant bar. Picnics are generally much more budget friendly than going out to dinner, but you're still away from your everyday dining situation, which is probably our favorite part. 

    Summer Picnic

    Picnics can be as simple as filling your water bottle and making a few PB&Js, or one of our go-tos, stopping by the prepared food section in the grocery store on the way to "the spot." This particular picnic was a little more involved. We were at my family's "cottage," so we were able to utilize the grill, which you could also do at many parks, if you're okay with putting in a little leg work.

    Summer Picnic

    The menu I cooked up for the perfect summer picnic was a combo of pre-made and freshly grilled items, all kid-friendly, utilizing seasonal summer items and available at the tiny little town grocery store.


    • grilled peach and fresh mozzarella on prepared flatbread
    • Tortellini salad with pesto (pre-made)
    • grilled corn
    • watermelon
    • no-bake cheese cake topped with berries
    Summer Picnic
    Summer Picnic

    What's on your perfect summer picnic menu? 

    Color Blocked Kids Art Project

    I never quite understood what parents were talking about when they complained about finding activities for their kids to do during summer vacation, but now that I'm in transition and home with Oliver all day, I totally get it. I can't say I've been Martha Stewart mom, but I have done a few activities I'm proud of and I'm pretty excited to share this DIY color block art project with you. It was a team effort between my son and I, and a lovely way to spend a three afternoons.

    DIY Kids Color Block Art Project

    I am in love with this color block art trend I've been seeing around the internet. I am in no way claiming that our work of art is as good as Jesslyn Brooks or Ines Longevial, but I am very happy with the way it turned out. I may have inadvertently promised our son it would hang in house "forever." These are a inspiration pieces for this project.

    color block art

    art clockwise from top left: 1 / 23 / 4


    • paint, I ised acrylic 
    • paint brushes
    • canvas
    • pencil

    NOTE: I chose the paint colors

    DIY Color Block Art

    STEP 1: Have your little draw shapes on the canvas

    Color Block art project with kids
    Color Block art project with kids

    STEP 2: He picked the placement for the colors, then I painted the outline of the shapes.

    Color Block art project with kids

    STEP 3: Ollie painted the inside of the shapes.

    Color Block art project with kids

    STEP 4: I cleaned it up and painted the sides.