In the “rebuilding” of my family home in Colorado, Bill wanted to create the illusion that the “original” house had been built in 1918, followed by an addition in the 1940s and a recent remodel. It was important that the inside and the outside reflect this idea, but also to utilize green technology.

The siding was the first stop. It is our feeling that when you factor in the fact that traditional wood siding needs more maintenance vs. the durability, strength, and low maintenance of engineered wood siding, engineered definitely has the edge. We found a great company called LP that makes LP SmartSide engineered wood siding in all sorts of styles. We chose one that looks like old painted wood to the extent that you can even see the grain in each piece. Seriously, you can be standing a foot from it and you’d think it’s wood. The finish is baked on at the factory, and the paint is guaranteed for 15 years. You don’t have to worry about termites, or rot, or the wear and tear of harsh Colorado winters.

To emphasize the “remodel” idea, we did two different sizes of siding and different window treatments. The exterior of the main house is simple and the “addition” is somewhat fancier, creating the generational feel we wanted.

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On the inside, the Armstrong wide plank wood flooring (which I wrote of earlier) fits in beautifully with Bill’s Old/New house idea. The company has replicated the look of a 19th century floor, providing a hand-hewn finish and a 7½ inch width. Since it’s an engineered hardwood floor, it looks gorgeous, it fits a budget, and it installs so easily.

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Against those beautiful floors, our KraftMaid cabinets have the old-world charm we wanted. They are made of solid wood, and we chose upper cabinets with glass lights – which create a magical element and brighten the whole room.

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The soul of this house is about carrying on family traditions and experiencing history, but equally important for our family is taking advantage of the improvements that modern technology can bring to a home. Inside and out, we got the best of both worlds.

This post was sponsored by KraftMaid, LP SmartSide, and Armstrong Flooring. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.

There are a zillion makeup tutorials out there. But I haven’t been able to find one that shows what it’s REALLY like to try to put on makeup when you have kids. So I made my own. Here’s my Real Mom Makeup Tutorial. Watch and enjoy! You’ll learn a ton (no you won’t) and laugh away.

Felicity Huffman recently attended the 2014 Forbes Women’s Summit in NYC, where she took part in the “Feminism Redefined” panel. While at the Summit, Felicity sat down for an interview with Forbes to chat about What the Flicka?, feminism, and dismantling the idea of the “perfect mother.”

In the interview, Felicity discusses her process for building a community on What The Flicka? and finding the right contributors who embody the “honest, nonjudgemental, somewhat ironic voice of women.”

Check out the video above to hear more from Felicity Huffman as she weighs in on the intersection of feminism and What The Flicka? and what it really means to be a “perfect mother.”

We love creative ideas to keep kids’ brains from rotting during the long summer months. They can only watch TV for so long, right? Well, to follow up last year’s list of 25 DIY summer activities for kids (which is an awesome idea hub if you missed it), contributor Elle Davis shared with us her list of 20 great activities you can plan for your kids this summer.

1. Make rainbow slime.

2. Play with cloud dough.

3. Make recyclable tie dye crayons.

4. Pool noodle madness.

5. Ice cream in a bag.

6. Paint with puffy paint.

7. Invest in a bubble machine. My kid goes crazy over it.

8. Have fun with liquid sidewalk chalk.

9. Go to the dollar store for a cheap shower curtain and shaving cream. Lay out the shower curtain on the ground and have a shaving cream fight. They can slide around in it, squish it, throw “snowballs”, etc.

10. Go out and collect rocks with your little one. Have them paint them however they want and then display their rock garden outside.

11. Make a robot helmet.

12. Help them build a fairy garden.

13. Frequent the library and read, read, read.

14. Go on bike rides together.

15. Make a laser obstacle course. I did this with the hummingbird a few days ago and we had fun.

16. Fly paper aeroplanes. It’s a great way to wear them out when they keep on fetching them for you.

17. Play balloon tennis. This keeps my kid busy for a while.

18. Have a picnic.

19. Set up a tent and go camping in the backyard.

20. Go to a museum.

Originally posted at This Is Mommyhood


People make a lot of fuss about “summer-winter relationships” but the fact is that they can be enjoyable and fulfilling – if occasionally challenging – for both parties in the couple.

The Advantages of an Age Gap
When you’re in a relationship with someone from a different generation, there are many benefits. The younger partner can learn from their other half’s maturity and life experience. This can be particularly useful in situations where, if they had been left to their own devices, the more innocent party might have screwed up.

For his part, the older partner gets to enjoy the energy, youth and liveliness of their spring chicken “toy” boy or girl! I’m not trying to say that us more mature ladies and gentlemen don’t know how to let our hair down – it’s just that having someone young around can give you a real boost of energy, and keep us up-to-date on the latest trends. Your friends will feel this burst of energy as well – it’s infectious!

Another big advantage is that being with someone younger pushes you to make sure you’re taking care of yourself. You might be getting healthy just to remain seductive or so that the age gap isn’t so obvious, but you’ll reap the health benefits all the same. And it’s never a bad thing to give ourselves, our body and our appearance more attention!

The Drawbacks – and How to Deal with Them
For all the good stuff we get in an age gap relationship, belonging to different generations can sometimes be a weakness.

It can be hard to be on the same page about things. One person’s maturity and experience comes up against incomprehension. To add insult to injury, the younger party might find their partners “wisdom” embarrassing, as they just don’t get where their coming from. For example; the older partner might spend time agonizing over the consequences of a relationship with someone younger, while the latter might be solely concerned with living this love as intensely as possible, without spending too much time reflecting on the potential fallout among family and friends.

On top of this, it’s not always easy to get in sync with your partner when he or she is ten years younger and seems to never run out of steam. The younger party in the couple will want to go out all the time, dance all night, see the latest movie, go on exciting, noisy vacations… whereas the older party’s idea of a good time might be bed by ten in front of Netflix. Once the first heady burst of passion in the relationship wears off, this kinds of differences can raise their head.

Of course, we’re generalizing here – these are not rules by any stretch of the imagination – and they are also differences a lot of couples of the same age experience… though we must admit they seem to crop up more often when an age gap’s involved.

Finally, the big one: kids. The question of whether or not you’re going to have children is one that tends to creep up on people. You really must give this nonnegotiable aspect of your relationship some serious thought. A younger man with a partner who is nearing the onset of menopause for example needs to think about this. His partner might find herself unable to offer him the child that he wants. The lack of desire in one partner to have a child as they already have a child of their own is another big one. This is a subject which can’t be neglected in a couple. It is at the beginning of a relationship, when you begin to feel that things could become serious, that you need to think about this issue. Often the future of the couple depends on it.

Photo courtesy of Huffpost.