Indoor Pool House Renovation – Before and After


indoor pool house door

Our indoor pool house renovation is finally complete and I couldn’t wait any longer to share it! From the very first moment I walked into our pool house I knew immediately that I wanted to paint it. In fact one of the very first things we did when we moved in just over 2 years ago was purchase paint for the walls and floors…

Well fast forward 2 years later.. and it still looked the same as the day we moved in. For some reason I started second guessing my original vision for this space and couldn’t quite pull the trigger on painting it. I was worried that we would be erasing some sort of history and possibly miss the quirky and somewhat Wes Anderson feel of the bright avocado green and aqua walls. Until one day we received a knock on our door and standing in front of us was the original owners son. He was 9 when his Dad finished building our home and now much older was in town with his kids + grandkids and really wanted to show them all where he grew up.

We happily invited him in and proceeded to learn some amazing history about our home and property. When it came time to view and talk about the pool house my very first question was if the paint was original. He answer was NO! I was so happy to hear that and it gave me the confirmation I needed to feel really good about my original vision for this space. We also learned that the pool house was completed around 1957 and that all of the amazing wood planks and beams that cover the ceiling are original. He told us that every. single. one. was hand sanded and then stained before they put them up. Just hearing him talk about all of it I knew it was a huge labor of love. I was so touched by that and also so happy because I had never wanted to paint or touch the ceiling. I had a feeling it was original (as are the 1950’s schoolhouse lights hanging from the ceiling) and wanted it’s beauty to shine more by toning down the walls and floors. Here are the before photos:

1950's indoor pool house before

When it came time to paint we realized that the paint we had originally purchased a couple years ago to paint the walls with was no longer good, nor the right type of paint for the space. Since our pool is indoors it can get quite humid and we wanted a paint that would withstand moisture as well as cover the dark current colors on the walls as well. After some research we decided that the best option for paint would be Sherwin Williams Emerald Interior paint. Here’s why:

  • Emerald Interior Paint is a paint and primer in one with advanced stain-blocking technology.
  • Emerald Interior Paint hides stains and covers dark colors for a beautiful, smooth finish and stunning color for years to come.
  • Emerald Interior Paint provides exceptional coverage and advanced washability in all finishes, with outstanding resistance to water streaking and spotting.
  • Emerald Interior Paint also contains anti-microbial agents that inhibit the growth of mold and mildew on the paint surface.
  • Emerald Interior Paint meets the most stringent VOC regulations.

Basically Emerald paint by Sherwin Williams had every single thing covered that we were concerned about!

Once we knew what paint we would be using it was time to choose a color. I knew I wanted to paint the walls a white and the floor a gray-ish color. But if anyone knows white paint you know it is not that easy to just choose white. There are quite possibly a million different colors (shades) of white paint. And white paints read completely differently in different spaces. Thankfully since we use a lot of white paint around here I had several samples laying around so we were able to test the ones I was debating between. I knew I didn’t want a stark white, but more of a white that was ever so slightly warm. however not too warm of a white that could read cream especially in the evening when it’s dark or when we have the lights on in the pool house.

So after testing what my husband would say is ALL the whites, we decided on Westhighland White for the walls! And I’m so happy with how it turned out!

Every time I walk into our pool house now a feeling of complete peace comes over me. I am in love with this space. It turned out just as I envisioned it and in fact I told my husband that I just might consider sleeping out here some night because I just love it so much! Now my plan is to add a couple of citrus trees and spend as much time in here as we can!


Paint colors:

Walls – Sherwin Williams Westhighland White

Floors – Sherwin Williams Repose Gray

Girls Changing Room – Sherwin Williams Intimate White

Boys Changing Room – Sherwin Williams Sea Salt


If you’re local to me and are looking for the absolute best painters ever make sure to call Jose from Painter Bros of Weber & Davis County! They did a phenomenal job and we can’t recommend them enough!


Disclosure: I received paint from Sherwin-Williams as compensation for this post. All views and opinions expressed in this post are my own and no other compensation was provided.

Love Your Hair, Love Her Hair with Dove



As a mother I believe that it’s not only my job, but my obligation and duty to instill confidence and self love into my daughter. All the way from her sweet hair on her little head down to her cute little toes. Inside and out and all around. There is a narrow depiction of what “beautiful hair” is traditionally thought to look like and earlier this year, Dove Hair found that 8 in 10 women feel pressure to wear their hair a certain way. For many, these pressures began at an early age.






Although I grew up without a mother I was fortunate to have a Father who instilled confidence in me and not shame. I’ve never felt pressure to wear my hair a certain way or wished that it looked differently. I’m grateful that my Father taught me to love myself for who I am and what I was given, and hope to instill the in my daughter.

In todays society, where young girls and women face all kinds of societal norms, I want my daughter to feel strong and confident in not only who she is but also how she looks. I want my daughter to love her hair, to know just how unique & beautiful it is and that it can be a source of confidence and not anxiety for her.

Dove Hair believes a positive role model can greatly impact a girls confidence and is empowering mothers to be a leader in their daughter’s hair confidence by teaching them how to love their hair. In fact, a recent Dove study found that 82% of girls learn to care about themselves from their mother. That means it’s mostly up to us Mother’s to speak positively about ourselves in every way so our daughters will too.



Join myself and Dove in celebrating the beauty of your daughter’s hair today–so she loves her hair tomorrow.

You can tell her why you love her hair and inspire her to do the same by sharing your #LoveYourHair photo on Instagram and tagging @Dove. To add some extra love, visit to create your own custom animated message and share with your friends & family.


This post was sponsored by Dove. All opinions are my own. 


Photos by Samantha Broderick Photography


A backyard birthday tea party + how we manage birthday parties in our family



Last month in early September our baby girl turned “6”. SIX you guys. I’m only kind of dying inside every time I acknowledge that she’s completely out of the toddler years and fully into little girl mode. We celebrated her with the party she’d been dreaming of having for this past year. And I’m only a month late, which for me is like technically early. But, here’s a peek (actually way more than a peek) of Liliana’s backyard birthday tea party + pony ride.


Thank goodness for friends (particularly ones who own florist shops and others who are photographers, and know how to set up a party), a husband who is super handy (he built these low tables the morning of the party) and willing to do anything for his baby girl (really any of us) at any time, for family who always step in when I need it and IKEA. Seriously, between a quick ikea stop and the target clearance section I was able to find basically everything I needed to make my vision of L’s backyard Tea party come to life.

Liam had a football game the day of L’s party and it really only left me with less than two hours to prep, set-up and make sure everything was ready before her little friends started to arrive. And without all the help from my village this party would not have been ready on time. And thankfully I was able to whip up a quick crown for my girl just minutes before her party started.


Soon “tea” was getting passed around by the girls and little plates were getting filled with tiny sandwiches, fresh fruit, madeleines and the sweetest most perfect little tea party desserts one could ever dream of from The Sweet Tooth Fairy. It all looked so good that L’s big brother Aden couldn’t help himself and joined in for the tea party along with our kitten, Milo and our pup, Bella. Who are both never far away from Liliana and could quite possibly be the best little pets that any little girl could have.

tea-party-ikea tea-party-madeleines-ikea tea-party-foodfun-tea-party serving-backyard-tea-partylittle-girl-tea-party-ikea-target sweet-tooth-fairy-tea-party-desserts backyard-tea-party-cake tea-party-kitten-cookies tea-party-dress-puppy

Watching Liliana and all of her little friends just simply enjoy themselves around a table snacking, giggling and toasting their tea made me realize again just why we make such a special effort to celebrate our children’s births like this. If you follow me on instagram you may have already heard me touch on our birthday party theory. Being a large family, we only have a few select parties for our children growing up. With 6 kids, it was just completely unrealistic for us to have a birthday party for each of our children every year. So shortly after we came together as a family we realized really quick that we would need to set a precedence with birthday parties, or we’d go broke. And ultimately, I feel like doing fewer parties with more meaning just makes them all the more special.

**If you’d like to hear what’s worked for us as far as birthday party balance is concerned read on to the next paragraph. If not, keep scrolling down to the very last paragraph here before more party pictures.** 

We generally only have a handful of actual parties for our children as they grow up. And I like to start them at an age where they can retain the memories from it for forever. For us that’s usually been around age 5 or 6. The next ones really don’t follow any schedule or pattern, but usually theres another one around age 8-10, followed by one that I think is such a poignant time is children’s lives. Ages 12-13. Our go to for a party for that age has been a fun overnight hotel stay with a manageable amount of friends (around 8).

I think it’s so important for your children to know just how much they mean to you at that crucial junior high age. That can be a rough spot for them. (i mean, do you remember junior high? it was kind of the worst stage of growing up for me) The awkwardness of trying to figure out who you are while you try to not get food stuck in your braces as you’re sitting next to a cute kid at the lunch table, but then you get so nervous because they are actually talking to you that you freak out (out of fear or pure excitement. you can never be sure how to tell what emotion means what, because one minute you’re fine and the next you’re having a full blown melt down because your mom looked at you wrong that morning. you know, that side-eye look where you don’t know if you’re in trouble, or if she just found out that you got the part in the school play. but really she’s just looking at you in pure confusion because she can’t figure out how or why you cry when you can’t find your pants that are hanging out in the pile on the floor in your bedroom that could grow it’s own colony of super funky bacteria or why you get so pissed when you can’t find your band shoes that are literally sitting 5 feet in front of you, but you just can’t seem to find them so you run around blaming everyone else but yourself because you just know that your little brother touched them and did something with them when in all reality you set them right where they are eventually found by that side-eyeing mom who really just wants to tell you that she loves you, but doesn’t really want her head bit off or a cry fest to happen so she just gives you a slight smile and walks away. phew…) and bolt, tripping over your backpack on the way and spill your lunch tray all over them. Yeah, that’ why I think it’s good to do a party at that age 😉

The next age we celebrate is usually 16, and then it’s followed up by the last one of them all while still being your child but straight turning into a full blown legal adult…18. These are just years that seem to work for us and our children. And not all of them have had big parties on all of those birthdays, sometimes we have just celebrated them a bit bigger than we normally would have ;). On years where we don’t have a birthday party we celebrate as a family with a meal & dessert chosen by whoever’s birthday it is. It simple, quiet, and usually just what is needed for them at the time.

From nearly the very first time Liliana saw our backyard at our new home she’s begged to have a horse. Her reasoning is completely valid, as our excuse before was that we didn’t have a yard big enough. So, to make this party more special for Liliana we decided to grant her ultimate wish of having a real live pony in her yard. I mean, I’m pretty sure that was my dream as a little girl too at some point, and since this age seemed best suited for a live pony at her party, her backyard tea party included a pony ride as well.

backyard-girls-tea-party-pony-ride backyard-party-pony-ride backyard-birthday-party-pony-ride tea-party-gifts 6th-birthday-party-opening-gifts

After all the girls had their share of pony rides around the yard, Liliana opened her gifts from her cute friends and then they all ran into the pool house for a swim. And of course these little girls can never not end their swimming time without getting in the hot tub which was the perfect way to end any party.

Again, I can not express again how grateful I am for our family and friends. It was so nice to know that while I was sitting & watching all the girls swim, others were tidying up plates, food, etc. When my big kids were younger I used to feel like I had to do it all when it came to their birthday parties. You know, make the food, cake, cupcakes, decorate, and then run around trying to snap pictures too. As I’ve gotten older I’ve realized that delegating out things like having someone else cater food, or make the dessert is such huge help. I’m so thankful that The Sweet Tooth Fairy was there to make all of the darling sweets and cake for Liliana’s party. It truly took such a load off of my shoulders knowing that it was not all up to me. Also I can not express how amazing it was to have a photographer at Liliana’s party. It made it so easy for me to just be there and take in everything and not have to worry about capturing the magic that was happening because I knew my girl Sam from Samantha Broderick Photography was capturing it all and more.

Before we knew it is was starting to get dusk and while all of Liliana’s little friends had gone home her family and friends were still here and ready to sing happy birthday to this darling baby girl of ours on her day. She smiled and she blew out her candles and still hasn’t told me what she wished for.

sunset-birthday-tea-party birthday-cake-candle-sweet-tooth-fairy birthday-cake-wish-tea-party sweet-tooth-fairy-cake-kitten-birthday-flowers dreamy-backyard-birthday-partyhappy-birthday-sweet-girl

Happiest 6th birthday sweet Liliana. We hope you had the party you dreamed of and know just how much your mama and daddy love you. xx


Sources: The amazing desserts were all made by Megan from The Sweet Tooth Fairy. L’s dress can be found here. The tables were made from two of these table tops. We then added 4×4 in posts cut to 14 inches and attached with L brackets. Most of the party supplies (like everything on & around the tables) are from here. The cutest and paperless party invitations can be found at Paperless Post invitations. And last but not least all of these beautiful photo’s are by Samantha Broderick Photography.

ixchel triangle // giveaway



Hello there! It’s been a minute (or months) since I’ve blogged and figured it was time to come back with an amazing little giveaway for you all!

I absolutely love it when I find a company that produces lovely products with a genuine story and passion. And that’s exactly what I found when I happened upon Tory and her company Ixchel Triangle. When I was first introduced to Tory I asked her if she would share a bit with me about her company and how it came about. The following is what she shared, and why I’m so excited to share her products with you!

“My grandma moved to Guatemala when i was a little girl and i have been in love with the Mayan culture, including the amazing weavings she would send me, for years. Once i started going to Guatemala i saw not only the beauty of this country and the Mayan people but also a great need to educate the indigenous people and preserve their heritage. The idea to start a business working with indigenous men and woman came a few years ago but at that time i still had my “day job”. I taught bakery occupations to inmates in county prison, in the hopes of rehabilitation and reduced recidivism. I absolutely loved this job and the work the Lord was doing in my life and the inmates lives at this time. But we ultimately decided the best thing for our family was to have me stay home with our girls. once i “retired” to stay home with my three daughters (9, 5, & 3)  i was finally able to start Ixchel Triangle ( pronounced E-Shell).

I work with a co-op of woman weavers, these 10 woman are now able to send ALL of their children to school and teach their traditional style of weaving, using a back-strap loom to the younger generations. This is particularly important because traditional attire of huipil (blouse) and corte (skirt) is becoming less popular and therefore this style of weaving is also. By working with and paying fair wages to the weavers we are insuring the academic education of their children as well as carrying on the Mayan tradition of weaving on a back-strap loom. In the future i would like to multiply the support i am able to give but so far i am currently supporting the education of three children. three might not sound like much but Jose Mario, Emily, and Allen have my heart. I have been blessed to know them and am now happy to aid their future.

The huipil’s themselves take about 3-4 weeks to weave, then it takes our team of 5 men working together, 2 hrs to complete a bag! Everything is done by hand, the only time we use a sewing machine is to sew the leather trim and weaving together. I just had a short video done, which I filmed a few months ago while I was in Guatemala. It shows the weaving and sewing process and just how much skill and time it takes to create every bag we make. The video will be up on my site in the next day or so. I hope it will give people a greater understanding and love for our products and the culture they represent.” ~Tory

I really love her story and passion behind her products. The video she made is now on her site and is a must watch. Every one of her bags are one of a kind, no factories or mass productions are ever used. That means when you get your bag, you know no one will ever have one just like it. Also, with the release of her latest fall line, which now includes diaper bags and a mini bag, every bag is now signed by one of the artisan “finishers” so you can be sure that its authentically handmade. It is Tory’s hope that people will feel more connected to the individuals who have made their bag with love.




Did you know that there are over 20 different mayan languages? I didn’t, but Tory informed me that one of the most common is quiche. So to incorporate Mayan culture in the language of Ixchel Triangles bags, Tory simply named them Nich, which is small, Nim is larger or large, and Qas Nim, which means largest.

Lately, I’ve been adorning my Nich bag and I couldn’t be more in love! It’s the perfect size for everyday use but still has plenty of room for me to stash a sweater or two in it for these cooler fall days. If you follow me on Instagram you’ve most likely seen my beautiful Ixchel Triangle bags in some of my posts. I’ve had my bags for a couple of months now and they just keep getting better and better! The quality and craftsmanship is incredible and I couldn’t be more thrilled to have found the perfect bags. And that’s why I’m giving away a Nich bag (of your choice) to one lucky reader. Here’s how you enter:

~Head to Instagram and make sure that follow button is green on both Ixchel Triangle and my profiles, then follow the instructions on the giveaway post on my feed. (please, don’t forget to do that or we will miss your entry!)

~For an additional entry, (because you want as many as possible, right!) follow both Ixchel Triangle and me too on Pinterest, once you’ve done so come back here and leave me a little comment on this post letting me know you did!

Super easy, right! Also, if you just can’t wait and need to get your hands on an Ixchel Triangle bag right now I’ve got you covered. Use code “miko10” at checkout to receive 10% off your entire purchase now through Monday Oct. 6th at midnight PST, which is also when this contest will end. Winner will be announced on Tuesday Oct. 7th. Good luck friends, and it’s good to be back! xx

Photos: Samantha Broderick Photography 

Taylor and Addie + SBP // Senior Photos



Have you ever dreamed or envisioned something and then it came true? Actually not just true, but better than true? That’s what happened right here with these incredible senior photos of my daughters. Last week Sam stopped by with positively the most enchanting package I have ever laid eyes on! Seriously the cutest branding and packaging I’ve ever seen, plus the most sincere and genuine hand written notes to boot! I literally haven’t been able to stop looking at everything, the photos, sweet surprises and even the packaging since we received it all and I don’t see that changing any time soon either. Everything was personalized for us straight from the shoot. Talk about making your clients feel special and truly loved. I was swooning! To take a peek at what we received from Sam (trust me you definitely want to) when she so sweetly hand delivered our surprise package to our home head to her blog post here.

With my two oldest daughters graduation looming near (like just over a month away, insert crying face here) plus their impending big move out of state all on their own…I’m like a complete roller coaster of emotions. And looking at all of these amazing captures just brings it all out and right to the surface, basically I’m a bit of an emotional disaster right now. Every single one of these photos gives me a lump in my throat (not the scary kind of lump) the I’m so amazingly proud and am choking back tears lump.

Sam captured the essence of both my girls so well and literally every single photo turned out better than we could have ever imagined. I really (like reaaaallly) wanted to share all of them with you (and it may look like I did, but I promise, I didn’t) because they are all A-Mazing. I mean, I know I’m their Mom…but for realz…every single capture is just jaw-dropping. Well, just see for yourselves…


















It was so fun hearing, watching and helping my girls prep for this photo session. I was excited right along with them and happy to help them bring their visions of these photos to life. We hit thrift stores, Target and a few others shops in search of just the right outfits. And when they said they wanted floral crowns and asked me if I’d make them some I was more than pleased to. Listening to them chat and talk and share pins with each other of what they wanted from this shoot was so good for my heart. Bohemian, natural, free-people, urban outfitters inspired…but the biggest thing I grabbed from all of their chatters was how they wanted to share and show their upcoming life changes. It’s big! Right?! I mean, they’re graduating, moving out and on with their OWN lives. A huge step, and one I’m sure most of us remember as a pretty poignant time in our lives as well. They wanted these photos to be different, not the typical “senior photos” and to show all of that. But most of all they really wanted to just simply have fun with it and Sam completely nailed it.

















For 10 years now these two girls, sisters, have had a friend in each other. They were only 8 (Tay) and 7 (Addie) when Will and I started dating and new we’d soon be married. I’ve watched their relationship ride it’s own wave and settle into a perfect calm. I do not know what its like to have a sister, so I don’t have much to compare their relationship to, but I do know they are so good for each other and in my eyes have a beautiful relationship. Of course they bicker and get frustrated with each other like any normal sibling relationship, but from where I sit I would feel lucky if I were in either one of their shoes. To have someone you love to adventure your first part of living your own life with who knows you, trusts you and now matter what will always have your back…what a wonderful feeling that must be. I’m just so beyond grateful they have one another and always will.













As you can see, Sam is beyond talented and seriously is the sweetest soul you’ll ever meet. She made the girls feel so at ease with everything and was so fun to be around and work with and not to mention completely funny….always cracking silly jokes and making the girls laugh. Her and her cute helpers (her darling husbands) attention to detail and ability to take my girls visions and bring them to life was more than we could have asked for. I’m so glad our paths crossed and know it was not by chance. Sam is a true gem and I’m so grateful to call her a friend. Oh, and if you want to peek in to Sam’s personal life you should follow her on Instagram here. She’s adorable and has the best style in the world! Also, check out her latest blog post here where she shares more amazing photos from the girls senior session. She’s amazing. Seriously, I’m telling you, if you’re in the market for some photography work, she’s without a doubt the gal you want.

Aaaaand….Guess what!! We have a fun little treat for you! If you book an event or session with Samantha Broderick Photography you can get 20% off by mentioning code: “MIKO+SBP” (*code must be mentioned with initial contact to be valid). But hurry discount is only good through May 11th which also happens to be Mothers Day..hint hint (tell your families you want some amazing new photos for your Mother’s Day gift this year, yeah) So, now head on over to SBP and get on it! I promise you will get the photos you’ve always dreamed of plus have the best time while you’re at it.


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