A year ago my friend Ruth’s boys gave my boys a new book…Mini Weapons of Mass Destruction. I know the name might raise some eyebrows, so lets move past that. Really it is a book for little MacGyvers! Page after page is full of ideas of how to take everyday items and turn them into something small and fun. My 10 year old recently ordered a second book by the author and every table in my house is a reflection of how much they are enjoying both books.

8.16guycrafting-01The boys made me a list of items they needed. Most we found around the house, but we did head to the dollar store to pick up a few more. Their building process includes a scroll saw, hot glue guns, matches, box knives…not necessarily things for tiny guys, but perfect for my crew. It is pretty awesome to walk around a corner and see them working together and creating.8.16guycrafting-038.16guycrafting-048.16guycrafting-058.16guycrafting-068.16guycrafting-078.16guycrafting-088.16guycrafting-09From experience, I know it can be hard sometimes to find things boys enjoy that are outside the realm of nerf guns, legos, video games or books. If you have a boy (I’d say 8 years old and up) you are looking for a fun gift for…I’d recommend one of these books accompanied by a gift card to an office supply store!

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  • Abby - My boy would absolutely love those books!

  • Emily - Thanks for this! You recommended King of Random a while ago and it’s changed my son’s life for the better. He and my husband have worked together on so many projects. I will definitely pick up these books!

  • AshleyAnn - Emily – if they like King of Random, they will definitely like these!

  • Shannon - My two boys will love these books! Thanks for sharing – I’m going to have to look up King of Random too

  • Byron - WHY?!? Why were these not available when I was a boy? Life is so unfair…. πŸ˜‰

  • Lisa M. - What a great book! My son would love this. Thanks for the recommendation!

    Also, maybe sometime you could do another post about your IKEA cabinets? I know you did a detailed post about them at one point, but I’m having a hard time locating it here. Thanks!

  • Tonia - Question for you… we have had this book for several years but I’ve put it away while we try to replenish every simple household item that the boys have disassembled to use to create. This was my biggest frustration. It seemed that every useful tool in the house was garnished for a project… all the pens taken apart, all the pencils destroyed, all the paperclips bent, and books cut apart. While I LOVE the creativity, I couldn’t figure out a good system. Do you keep a stash of “trash to treasure” items that they can only use to work with? We love this book, but it just needed to take a little time out while I gathered my thoughts. :)

  • Emily Bartnikowski - oh my goodness! We LOVE these kinds of books! The Don’t Let The Pigeon Finish This Activity Book was a huge hit after Christmas and I’ve been snatching up everything I can see that might be similar since then. We’re currently making a sit-in airplane out of shipping boxes from a book that is called (I believe) The Cardboard Box Book….my guys are 6 and 4 — so maybe that’s a good one for your girls? I’ll add these MacGuyver books (I LOVED MacGuyver!) to our TBR list for when they’re a little more confident with sharp objects. Thank you!

  • Amy Arroyo - Perfect timing! We have a birthday party coming up. Used your link and just placed an order! He’s going to LOVE this!!

  • MH - Got it at the library today. It’s terrific! Thank you for the suggestion.

  • Lacey Meyers - SO fun! My boys were looking over my shoulder as I read this post and they all agreed this is a book they MUST have. πŸ˜‰ They love to make creations on their own so I’m excited to see what they come up with with some guidance! :)

For the past several years my sister has drawn on a large chalkboard in my living room. Usually it is a short quote I want my crew to be reminded of or think about often. I leave the quotes up for a long time (typically over a year) because I am guessing Lesley doesn’t want to come over every week to change it up and my handwriting isn’t so pretty. When I saw letter boards by Letterfolk – I thought it would be such a perfect addition to my house AND I could change it often – you know I like change!

letterfolk-01letterfolk-02I wanted to hang the board up immediately when it arrived, but goodness it took a while to get all the letters out! Using small, sharp pair of scissors will help you get the tiniest specks of extra plastic off. I need to get a plastic compartment box to organize all the letters.letterfolk-04The kids have been discussing what they want to put on the sign. Right now it looks like our board will be full of humor and wit. We can never have too much laughter in our house!letterfolk-06letterfolk-07Every now and then I get something that I know will become a family treasure. I have a feeling (and hope) for decades to come this board will be full of messages that cause my crew to look at a life with a little more humor, inspiration and hope.Β  I think I might attempt to take a picture of it each time the message is changed. Wouldn’t that be a fun photo book to look back on one day?! I’m not too good with keeping up with projects, but I am going to give that idea a try.

You can find Letterfolk here:

Website | Instagram | Pinterest


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  • Laura J - I think it would be fun to give each of the kids a turn and let each one decide what to put up there. I suspect you might have a week or more about beans or gas…?

  • Cathy S. - Ashley I like this idea. Was wondering what size your board is?

  • Jennifer - You could just always make sure you take an Instagram photo every time you change the board, then do a chat book! ?

  • Jenn - love this. thanks for sharing where you got it. quotes are fun.

  • Amanda - Yes, always remember to share on Insta! :)

  • Deborah Melton - Yes, I would like to know the size of yours as well


  • Maureen - I really like this idea! I’d like to get my Grands involved in something like this and some sort of photo book. Lovely share- Thanks!

  • Jenny B. - Love these boards! I’ve been wanting one for a while. I might need to put it on my Christmas list. :)

  • AshleyAnn - Deborah – it is the Writer

  • AshleyAnn - Cathy – it is the Writer

  • Roxanne Blunier - Sorry you probably get tired of questions like this but can I ask what color you painted that awesome green piece of furniture? Is it a color I can purchase somewhere or a color you mixed up? I love it! Thanks!!

I’ve wanted a hammock inside our home for years. Years. I could never figure out where to hang one, but it was always in my mind every time I moved around furniture. When Corbett and I were in Ecuador we stopped by a market for about 20 minutes. There were hammocks – beautiful, colorful hammocks – everywhere. Corbett really wanted to go shop for gifts for his siblings. I wanted to skip the gifts in buy myself a hammock. Just being honest! Well…we left Ecuador with a bunch of gifts and no hammock.

Once I home I decided I’d just keep my eye for the perfect hammock. I moved out a big round chair from our living room, so I thought I could try to fit a hammock in the corner. One night I spotted a green one on Pinterest, traced it back to Anthro and now there is a hammock in my living room.

Once the hammock arrived, I snapped a few photos to text my dad with the message, “Want to come help me figure out how to hang this?” The next day the hammock was hanging and it hasn’t been empty since. It is by far the most fought over popular place in the living room.

hammock-01hammock-05hammock-03My friend told Corbett that he needed a bigger cereal bowl….and bought him this one.hammock-06For those wondering about how we hung it…just a couple hook screws attached to the wall studs.

hammock-11I didn’t think any rules were going to be needed, but…boys. No flipping in it. No twisting someone up so tight they can’t get out. No using your feet to push against the window to get the biggest swing. Please, for the love of your mother, just use it for chillin’ out, maxin’ and relaxin’.





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  • Kate - Oh my gosh!!! That last picture is HYSTERICAL!!!
    It’s great your whole family is enjoying your home’s new addition so much!

  • Ann - I think your idea of a hammock in the living room is brilliant. The second I saw the picture of it on your Instagram, I knew that we needed to figure where we could put one in our house. I love it!!!

  • Cindy - Love this!! I would love to have one in my house but can’t think of any space big enough to hang one. I love the picture on your wall in the last photo….where did you get it?

  • Jodi - Love the hammock in the house idea…jealous, enjoy!

  • Diane - Yes, yes, yes! I want a hammock in my house too! We just finished up traveling out west and anytime we could hang the hammock, it instantly became my favorite place to be. Of course I had to fight my kids for it. Your hammock is fancy and oh so pretty! Love it!

  • Jenn - when i saw you hammock in the living area it made me want one. i so love this

  • Danielle Kennedy - I’m just wondering where you got your rug? Every time I catch a glimpse of it, I’m reminded how much I love it!

  • AshleyAnn - Danielle – it is from World Market. They have big rug sales frequently…so keep an eye out for a sale!!

  • Amy D - Love that you went all creative and unconventional! Is this good for kiddos with sensory input needs? Not asking about kids with SPD.

  • Jennifer Haynes - I never knew I needed an indoor hammock until this second….now I MUST HAVE one! Its so cute!

  • Southern Gal - I love your hammocks. My son-in-law installed one in their home. He can take it down and it hangs behind the curtain. My grandkids love it and like to take naps in it!

  • Anne Marie - I love this idea! My sis-in-law bought me a hammock in Mexico and it’s been on the shelf in my closet for several years because I couldn’t figure out where to put it on the porch and besides I didn’t want it out in the weather. I think we might have the perfect spot for it in the playroom upstairs!

  • Jessie - I never thought of hammock envy, sure I’ve had floor envy and wall envy after one of your delicious blog posts, but not hammock envy. Ill admit I have even had puppy envy. Now I have hammock envy. :) But now Im laughing at the thought of pregnant me getting out of that thing…

  • Emily - We have a hammock on our deck and I have said many time it’s just for chillin’ out, maxin’, and relaxin’ and my 6yr old boy always responds with “maximum swings!” And then we start all over…At least it’s not neglected! Enjoy your hammock!

  • Krystal Wight Armstrong - …all cool, and shootin’ some b-ball outside of school!” Wait, no…

  • Em - I’ve got hammock envy right now! Love the indoor hammock idea <3

  • Lisa M. - I love this idea! And it is a beautiful hammock. Probably not, but can I ask…is it possible to get a pulled out shot of it? I would love to see what this looks like in its surroundings!

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