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


Beats and Bites Party

Earlier this month I teamed up with the insanely talented, funny and charming food blogger, Liz, from The Lemon Bowl. She started a party series called Beats and Bites, because, in addition to healthy food, her love for hip hop runs deep. Liz brought me on to style the event and after she sent me the 90’s inspired invitation I jumped at the opportunity! Here’s the mood board I pitched her.

Beats and Bites Party Mood Board

The party was sponsored by Liz’s partner, Bob’s Red Mill. She designed the delicious menu using their products. And because the beats comes first in the name of the party series, Liz brought on Adrian Butler, everyone’s favorite local DJ to spin the jams.

Bobs Red Mill Beats and Bites

I got the chance to create some really fun decor moments, including these geometric pinātas.

Bobs Red Mill Beats and Bites

I styled a Bob’s Red Mill popcorn bar, with all kinds of amazing toppings, custom plexi labels and tiny disco balls.

Bobs Red Mill Beats and Bites

How cute is Liz popping bottles in front of the color block backdrop I created.

Bobs Red Mill Beats and Bites
Bobs Red Mill Beats and Bites
Bobs Red Mill Beats and Bites
Bobs Red Mill Beats and Bites

Read Liz’s recap here and get the recipe for paleo baked chicken tenders with Sriraccha Ketchup.

Awesome Deck Update

I’ve been working my butt off getting the inside of the house up to snuff, I have not had much of a chance to tackle the outside. That and the weather here in Michigan was cold until mid April, then raining since then. My decking out the deck was set back a little. This past week I finally got around to assembling my new outdoor furniture. My one big outdoor furniture purchase this summer was an outdoor sofa. I love the one I found at World Market for a really great price. 20% right now for Rewards members. No seating area would be complete without a table top set your summer cocktail and prop your feet up. I partnered with Autonomous for this beautiful teak wood table. I loved the beautiful wood and the detail of the curved edges. Our deck stretches across the entire back of our house and this section is directly outside our master bedroom. Thanks to Autonomous, this is the perfect spot for a drink, or hanging out after dinner. This is also the place where I’m going to set up our outdoor movie night and I picture a lot of baby snuggles happening here this fall.

Next up, sprucing up the front porch!

Awesome Outdoor Deck Update
Awesome Outdoor Deck Update
Awesome Outdoor Deck Update

Wax Poetic - The Perfect Locally Made Wedding Favor

Last week I was invited to Wax Poetic, a local candle making shop with a few other wedding professionals to learn about their custom wedding favors and gifts. It was such a fun experience to choose my scents and make my candle, I can can’t wait to tell my clients about this amazing, Grand Rapids-made idea for personalized wedding favors.

A couple can come in for the candle making experience, choose their own scents, that have special meaning to them or their story. And then Wax Poetic will custom make candles for your guests starting at just a couple of bucks!

Outside of personalized favors and gifts, Wax Poetic is a great spot of a stop on a bachelorette party. They have a private room for rent, were you can bring alcohol and have a fun night making candles and a lovely souvenir to bring home.

Wax Poetic Personalized Candles

The space is so cute and well designed and conveniently located in East Town Grand Rapids near shops and restaurants.

Wax Poetic Personalized Candles

This is one of three walls of fragrances to choose from to make your candle.

Wax Poetic Personalized Candles

Then there is a lot of sniffing and a little mixing.

Wax Poetic Personalized Candles

I narrowed it down to a combo of basil, mahogany and rose petals. And because they ask you to come up with a creative name, we decided on “summer armchair” for my candle.

Wax Poetic Personalized Candles

Lindsay from Paper Hat weddings, Katie from Katie Makes and Kyleigh from By Kyleigh Rose made a great candle making crew.

Wax Poetic Personalized Candles

Here she is making my home smell lovely.

Wax Poetic Personalized Candles

Whether you are a bride or groom looking for a favor or not, I highly recomend the candle making experience at Wax Poetic.

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.

Happiness Project Month 5

When I started my happiness project back in January I was off on such a good foot. I really did spend the month organizing my life and making things work better for me, my family and my home. In February I focused on finances and a few road blocks and life circumstances threw me off. Now I feel like I’m playing catch up and trying to check all my unchecked items off my list whilst tackling my new month items.

In April I was supposed to focus on marriage and it didn’t quite go the way I wanted it to. Ironically Kyle and I had one of our biggest fights of our relationship that started over the dog eating Oliver’s Easter candy. Such a dumb fight. While we did do a good job getting out on dates and holding to our commitment of spending one-on-one time together, that’s about all I can give myself credit for. I may have sheepishly crossed off “being grateful for my husband everyday.” Technically true, I doubt I communicated those feelings to him. I’m happy that May’s focus piggy backs on April and gives me an opportunity for redemption while I focus my attitude.


  • one date a week
  • make more time for sex
  • be grateful for my husband every day
  • let it go
  • don't pick fights
  • go out of my way to do acts of kindness

Photo by  Piero Istrice  on  Unsplash


  • start each morning with a 10 minute meditation, focusing on my outlook and attitude for the day
  • take mental note of negativity and complaining
  • resist raising my voice to my family
  • do an act of kindness each day
  • let it go. Whatever it is, let it go.
  • Do all things with love

One Room Challenge Spring 2019 Favorites

The One Room Challenge is kind of like a marathon (I ran one way back 2008), you work really really hard, feel so accomplished when it’s over and come away with feel a real sense of community with your fellow runners at the end. Everyone’s walking around with their medals and you just want to hug them all and tell them they did a great job. So here is my hug to my fellow One Room Challenge participants, a round-up of my very favorite rooms from this season's crop of amazing reveals. Check out my favorite and go take a look at the rest of the rooms here.












One Room Challenge Week 6 // Sunroom Reveal

Here we are! Another One Room Challenge Reveal. I’m equally obsessed with this room and the photographs Collette from The Lipstick Lens took of the space. I have spent the last six weeks taking our sunroom room from woodsy room to a modern space that fits our home and bridges the inside to the outside. And I did all this while in my second trimester! Toot toot! If you haven’t seen the progress, you can check it out here.

A HUGE thank you to Merola Tile for helping out with the tile. This wouldn’t be the space it is without the patterned tile. And a thank you to my favorite Grand Rapids boutique, Modrn GR for outfitting me with some perfect accessories. And of course, thank you to The One Room Challenge team and Better Homes and Gardens for hosting. Don’t forget to check out all the other room reveals here.

Lauren Koster Creative Sunroom Makeover
Lauren Koster Creative - Sunroom Makeover
Lauren Koster Creative - Sunroom Makeover
Lauren Koster Creative - Sunroom Makeover


Sunroom Before
Sunroom Before


  • primed

  • painted (Behr - Polar Bear) multiple coats!

  • removed carpet

  • laid sub floor

  • tiled

  • shopped for plants and furniture

  • styled!

Lauren Koster Creative - Sunroom Makeover
Lauren Koster Creative - Sunroom Makeover
Lauren Koster Creative - Sunroom Makeover
Lauren Koster Creative - Sunroom Makeover