photocopies onto clay

I remembered my memory card for the workshop so all of you screaming/crying/aching for a pictures will be appeased. Today we learned how to take photocopies to transfer images onto clay. Above, Paul Scott is taking the photo off the clay and showing the final image. Kind of blew my mind.
Definitely the most lively part of the day was when he lit the copy paper on fire. 
Look at the focus! He burned the paper to show how to know if the copy paper contains iron dioxide or not. Brown=yes. 

Thankfully, I made a friend, Elizabeth, who let me test some on her plate. You can try images onto glazed plates like this one by first using some sort of adhesive like a glue stick or spray mount.

Because the workshop is a few hours from Copenhagen, I’m staying with some gracious friends who have been kind enough to drive me to and fro and provide me with some wonderful Danish food. This also means that it’s the first time that I’ve been away from Mr. Husband. So weird. Also weird: the mice I hear running in the ceiling of where I’m staying. eeek.

How to make writing in your journal fun and creative

Why should I write in a journal?

Baby prompts journal with promptly

We have all been told the importance of writing in a journal for our posterity’s sake. If this is the reason you write, I admire you for it! Preserving history and making sure your great-grand kids know what it was like during the COVID-19 pandemic and the beginning of tik tok is a noble reason to keep a diary. Though for some of us this motivation wanes from time to time, and we find our personal history missing some pretty major gaps.

For me, I have found I am the most consistent with writing when I make it a creative project. This post is full of tips on how to make your journal writing more fun and creative, and we think it will keep you more motivated than ever! Keeping a diary can be a creative outlet that helps you  get pumped up in the morning or wind down at the end of the day. It can help you learn discipline making good habits.

How writing in a journal can improve your art

I remember reading the book Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron which discusses the importance of “morning pages.” The idea is that, first thing when you wake up, you write at least 3 pages of stream of consciousness in your notebook. No thinking of making sense, just writing whatever (whatever!) comes to your mind. Doing this regularly unlocks your creativity and trains your mind to let ideas flow freely. I love this idea! It takes all of the pressure out of writing daily.

Different types of journals

If you are stuck on page 2, it’s possible you aren’t using the right kind of journal for you! Try out a new kind from the list below:

Writing prompts

My Life In Color a creative and colorful guided journal

Wreck This Journal

(And other journal books you get to color in!)

Photo books

Write one line a day

Travel journals

If writing daily feels like too much right now, stick to travel books instead! Find one that will be sturdy enough to stay nice in your carry-on, reflects the place you are visiting, and fill it with memorabilia and travel stories to tell your friends back home!

how to improve your handwriting for journaling

Different ways to fill in your journal

If you’re the queen of filling up the first few pages of a notebook never to touch it again, I feel you. I see you. No one wants a journal that jumps from 8th grade to Senior prom to their wedding day; so when we find an old (and mostly blank) book it’s hard to find the motivation to start writing in it again. Though there are not many feelings better than starting a fresh crisp new notebook, our hope is that with this complete journal guide we can all start a brand new diary and then actually stick with it! And remember, when you reach the end you can reward yourself once again with another beautiful empty book.

The key to filling an entire journal is remembering this is meant to be a mod podge book filled with your growth, mistakes, good days, and everything in between. No one’s life is free of spilled milk and mascara stains, and your journal shouldn’t be either! As a recovering perfectionist, even I can promise that a full messy journal is a much bigger accomplishment than a half empty perfect looking one.

If you are having trouble overcoming your desire for perfectly dotted i’s and margins free of doodles – try this: abandon your perfectionism in at least one area of your life – your diary. Doodle to your hearts content. Bring your notebook with you to the breakfast table and don’t worry about spilling your coffee. Fill your book full of ticket stubs and anxious scribbles.

If we are overwhelming you, take a deep breath. There is a more structured way you can learn to love a messy journal – this Brave New World journal is filled with prompts to help unleash your inner artist. Baby steps, baby steps.

Try these creative ways to fill your journal


While trying to jog your memory of what happened this morning, don’t be afraid to doodle in the margins, or fill the entire page! This snapshots in time say just as much about your current self as your words do. Draw a daily flower in your notebook and use this to keep yourself on track with writing!

Bullet points

Don’t stress over a novel of your day, just write at least a few key bullet points at the end of your day and call it good! If that’s all you can do, it’s a great place to start. Before you know it you’ll find yourself wanting to write more and more!

Collect recipes

If writing or doodling aren’t really your things, figure out what is! One idea is to gather family recipes and write down the memory you have attached to them. Making and writing our the recipe for your mom’s infamous chocolate cake is sure to start a flood of memories you’ll be itching to get down on paper. Try keeping a notebook dedicated to recipe related memories!

Baby boy's first birthday party

For Jasper’s first birthday I filled his baby book with photos, pins, and other paper momentos from his party! I can’t wait to show him when he is older.

Our favorite journals


Simple ruled




This colorblock journal is customizable, comes in multiple color choices and page options!


Journals for kids


We promised you ways to make writing more fun, so of course we had to include stickers!

These habit forming stickers are such a fun way to keep yourself accountable (for more habits than just writing daily!)

Journal supplies

Hold all of your journaling supplies in this folio! These pastel pens are on sale in our shop now for a limited time!

Craft the Rainbow full set

All of the items in the photo above are on sale right now for Craft the Rainbow month! Click here to see the sale and start your own My Life in Color journal! 

Lars Bucket List Trip: Carl and Karin Larsson’s home in Sundborn, Sweden

carl larsson's house

larsson home

There are certain places in the world that mark your memory and change your vision of the world. Visiting Carl Larsson’s home in Sundborn, Sweden was one of those places. Sadly, when I visited a few years ago, I didn’t take great pictures, and you’re not allowed to take pictures inside. BUT! Lars contributor, Meta Coleman, captured it on a recent trip and documented some lovely details and wrote about her experience. Her story kicks off a new series called Lars Bucket List Trips where every now and again I’ll share places to add to your bucket list. Perhaps they’ll inspire you too. 

As a child I had a large Carl Larsson print in my room. It was of a girl sitting in her bedroom holding a tulip. I felt very connected to that little girl and to the beautiful day to day family life painted by Carl Larsson.

Guide to Spring City, Utah


Guide to Spring City, Utah

A few years ago I was invited to go down to Spring City with some friends to celebrate Pioneer Day, a state holiday here in Utah. We were guided around the town by Spring City native, Zina Bennion, whose family settled there in the 70s and helped turn it into the artist destination that it is today. Zina is a wealth of knowledge about many things but especially about Utah history and artists as both of her parents are well-respected artists and she grew up immersed in that community. Zina is sharing her guide to her hometown with us.

Before we start, you might be wondering why you even need to know about this little town in Nowheresville, Utah. I would have wondered the same thing before visiting. First off, this place is a little piece of magic. Second, only two complete towns in the US are listed on the National History Registry–Spring City and Williamsburg, Virgiina. Additionally, Forbes listed it as one of the top prettiest towns in America. Who would have thought?!

So, without further ado, here’s Zina!

History of Spring City, Utah

Spring City is located in almost the geographic center of Utah (the actual center is further south between Manti and Ephriam) in beautiful Sanpete County. It is known as a historic treasure with the entire town is on the National Historic Registry as the best example of a Mormon Pioneer village. In the past 40 years it has become an inspiration and home for many artists and arts enthusiasts and in 2010 Forbes listed it as one of the top prettiest towns in America!

Spring City was founded in 1852 by Englishman James Allred under the direction of Brigham Young. The early inhabitants of the town were predominantly English and Danish, (and for a long time there was a healthy rivalry between the two groups) who brought with them the architectural styles of their homelands which they adapted to the materials of the area. Many homes, and the chapel are built from gorgeous creamy off white Oolite limestone (the same stone the Manti temple is built from) quarried from nearby hills.

At one point the town boasted a theater, several stores and gas stations, but after WWII the population gradually declined and by the mid 1970’s it was officially deemed a ghost town. However, slowly people started to rediscover this hidden gem and lovingly restore the historic homes and bringing to life the town’s original charm.

Spring City is located off of Highway 89 between Mt. Pleasant and Ephriam. It is about a two hour drive from Salt Lake City, and an hour or so from Provo. It makes for a perfect day trip or weekend getaway and feels like stepping back in time with the vivid history and slower pace of life. Here is

Events in Spring City

Spring City has a number of organized events each year that are a great way to experience the town.

  • Heritage Days: Probably the very best way to see Spring City is to attend the annual Heritage Days celebration that takes place every year over Memorial Day weekend. If you enjoy peeking in other people’s homes (who doesn’t!) this day is your jam. Each year dozens of gorgeous historic homes are open for you to tour, talk to the owner, and peek to your hearts content.
    • In addition there is a silent auction called Art Squared where artists like Brian Kershisnik, Lee Udall Bennion, Doug Fryer, and more paint a 24” x 24” panels which go up for silent auction. At the Spring City Old School there is a KILLER antique sale, there is a Sanpete style turkey BBQ for lunch, wagon rides, and pottery and artisan sale, and more!
  • Artist’s Studio tour and Plein Air painting competition:  Art lovers! This event is for you! Every Labor Day Weekend artists from all over the state come to compete in a Plein Air painting competition for two days (September 2 – 4th) which culminates in a winner and a show where you can buy the paintings (September 5th). In addition on September 5th many of the artists who live and work in Spring City will have their studios and galleries open for you to tour (again, who doesn’t love to peek in someone else’s space!?).
  • Concerts at the Spring City Arts Center: Spring City Arts is a community group that is dedicated to promoting artists, and the arts in the Sanpete County community. They run a cooperative gallery where you can stop by anytime to see (and purchase!) art. In addition they help host classes and events. You can keep track of upcoming events here.
  • Life Under the Horseshoe Live Radio Show: Move over Serial . . . the next big thing in radio is Spring City’s very own live radio show Life Under the Horseshoe. Every episode is written, directed, and acted by town locals, and performed live in the historic Victory Hall on Main Street. Live shows usually run early April through mid-July.
  • Bluegrass Festival: Every summer all the fiddles, mandolins, guitars and banjos make their way to Spring City for a few days of good tunes, good, people and lots of laughs. If Bluegrass is your thing, you won’t want to miss this.
  • 24th of July Pioneer Day Celebration: The 24th of July is a state holiday in Utah commemorating the arrival of the first Mormon Pioneers in the Salt Lake valley. While Salt Lake hosts a huge parade and events, it’s Spring City’s celebration that is really worth attending. The parade is filled with local talent, tons of salt water taffy being thrown, and is just the right length. There are BBQ’s, Pioneer games, softball tournaments, fireworks and more. It’s pretty much the best day ever. The end.

Self Guided Trip in Spring City

  • Historic Homes: Even if you can’t go inside, just driving (or walking or riding bikes) around town and looking at the old homes is so fun. Here is a pretty comprehensive guide to many of the old homes and the history of each home. Make sure you click the “older posts” link at the bottom to get to all the pages with old homes on them.
  • You might also want to stop by one of the local shops like Horseshoe Mountain Pottery (it’s never locked) or the gas station to pick up a copy of the book Spring City Guide to Architecture and History which includes a detailed tour of all historic buildings, their history, architectural notes, and color photos. Proceeds go to benefit ongoing preservations projects by the Friends of Historic Spring City.
  • Or, you can schedule a tour of Spring City with local historian and Spring City expert Kaye Watson by calling her at 435-462-2211.
  • Landmarks:
    • Historic Chapel: The crowning jewel of historic Spring City is the gorgeous LDS chapel in the heart of the town. Built out of the iconic Oolite limestone between 1902 – 1911 this building has always been the center of both religious and community gathering for the people of Spring City.
      • In the 1970’s the chapel was slated to be torn down and replaced with a more modern meeting house (c’mon 70’s??? Why so many bad architectural choices?) but the residents of the town fought hard to preserve this building their ancestors sacrificed to built. Eventually it went all the way to the President of the LDS church to gain clearance to instead make a historically compatible addition to provide a gymnasium as a part of the church. Today this lovely building is considered one of the top 15 most important historic buildings of the LDS church.  

spring-city-utah-historic-chapel dsc_0546_adjboth of above photos are from


Photo from

    • Pioneer Cemetery: 240 N 100 E The pioneers of Spring City established a cemetery at this location in 1857. It is in the shape of the State of Utah. Many of the markers are made of local sandstone, and the elements have washed away some of the names and dates.
      • This cemetery was nearly covered with wooden markers, mostly children’s graves. Some graves were marked with only a square stone at the head and a smaller one at the foot, and still others with a pile of rocks. The last person buried here was Isaac Morton Behunin in 1910. PS see if you can find the grave of  Lars Alexander Justesen!
    • Old School: One of the most iconic and gorgeous buildings in Spring City is the old school. Built in 1899 this stately school was used through the mid 1900’s until a newer school was built right next to it (which has itself been replaced by a newer school and now houses the city offices).
      • In 1977 the old school was deeded to the local chapter of Daughters of Utah Pioneers (DUP) for $1.00 and ever since then a very long slow restoration project has been eeking along. In recent years great progress has been made and they are in their final push to raise the money they need to fully restore this beauty as a thriving community center. (You can help! Go here!) Here is a full timeline of this labor of love.
    • spring-city-school

photo from here 

  • Art:

    • Spring City Arts Gallery: Main street, the block before the chapel on the east side of the street in the old Strate’s Garage building. This co-op run gallery features artwork from members of the Spring City Arts organization and is run by the artists. Summer hours are Wed – Saturday Noon – 5:00 pm
    • Black Sheep Gallery: Main Street, across the street to the north of the gas station. Home and studio of Lynn Farrar aka Sophie Soprano. Lynne’s work ranges from landscapes to portraits of animals, while her alter ego Sophie paints whimsical imaginings of rural Spring City life.  
    • Horseshoe Mountain Pottery: Main Street, a block past the chapel on the west side of the street. World renown pottery (and my dad!) Joe Bennion has shown is work and taught in places like Japan, Latvia, LA, and beyond, but made the intentional decision to sell primarily from his home studio in Spring City.
      • He practices an open door policy and never locks the shop, trusting customers to pay for what they take and leave the money in a lock box in the gate that separate the showroom from his studio. If you’re lucky you’ll catch him there working, but if not just check at Das Cafe or call the number he leaves to have him come down and give you a tour. Also, bonus, all pottery is ½ off the marked priced any time you shop directly from the shop.Horseshoe Mountain Pottery

Photo from here

    • Jock Jones Windsor Chairs: Main street, directly across the street from the historic chapel. Jock Jones is a master chair builder who hand crafts some of the finest (and most comfortable!) wooden chairs and tables in America. You won’t want to miss seeing his amazing studio and meeting this living legend.
  • Eats:
    • Spring City Spring: Spring City is not named after the delightful season, but actually has delicious, cool fresh spring water- or as my family calls it ‘Spring City White Wine’. The spring bubbles up in the center of town through a historic marker located at the one gas station. Stop and get a drink and fill up your water bottles, maybe also bring huge jugs to fill up and take home with you. It’s the best water in the world.
    • Das Cafe: If you go to Spring City and miss eating as Das Cafe you have basically failed. JK JK, but really you DO NOT want to miss eating the delicious German home cooking by the beautiful Schroeder sisters and their family who run this darling and delicious place. For breakfast you can’t go wrong with Opa’s Omelette, or their amazing oatmeal (with ALL the works), or if you are really hungry the Big Max will feed you for days.
      • Lunch is all delicious (I’m partial to the Kraut Burger and the Reuben) but if they are doing their Goulash for a special do not miss it! Be forewarned they are closed Sunday and Monday and are only open till 3:00 pm.
    • Zona Barrio Grill: Guys, I’ll be honest. I haven’t eaten here yet! But I have heard RAVE reviews. It’s fresh, elevated Mexican and is only open Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
  • Sleeps: If you want to make a weekend getaway of your trip to Spring City you are in luck! There are several darling B&B’s so you can stay in one of these historic cuties and live out your fantasy of being a Spring City Pioneer.

Nearby Spring City

While Spring City is really the best town in the county, the rest of Sanpete County is pretty darling and fun to explore as well. Here are just a few of my favorite hidden gems you won’t want to miss:


  • Fairview Museum: This place is so so awesome if you love small town museums. There are two buildings, one houses a full scale mammoth skeleton that is a copy of an actual full mammoth skeleton that was found in the mountains above Fairview. There is also an amazing little art collection, and collection of local Native American artifacts and a little gift shop that has antiques at screaming low prices.
    • The other building houses any and all interesting artifacts from the city of Fairview’s history including a tree that grew through a sewing machine, old farm tools, an entire room dedicated to dioramas made by a local man, and much more.
  • Corner Station: The Corner Station on Main Street in Fairview is a darling shop filled with gifts, decorations, and children’s toys – all with a vintage feeling. This is my go to shop for children’s gifts and vintage style decor.

Mt. Pleasant

  • Nevan’s Thrift Store: Nevan’s Thrift Store is a total treasure trove. You have to dig, but one room is filled with consignment items and I’ve scored some amazing antiques there for great prices. It’s totally worth a stop, but be warned they are closed Mondays.
  • Wasatch Academy: Founded in 1875, Wasatch Academy is the second oldest educational institution in the state of Utah, and hardly anyone knows about it! This hidden treasure is an amazing college prep boarding school that boasts students from all over the United States and globe (last I checked 50 countries and 28 states!). It’s a beautiful campus to drive around, and if you are interested in a tour just set up a campus visit ahead of time.
  • The Basin Drive – In: Guys, there is nothing better than a drive-in movie. Oh wait. There is. Eating a cheeseburger at a drive in movie. The Basin is one of the few remaining drive-in theaters in Utah and it is the best. And really, their cheeseburgers are the best in the world. They usually open in May and close sometime in October. Be sure to check ahead for the schedule and what’s playing.

Getting to Spring City

If you are heading south on I-15 from Salt Lake or Utah County, I strongly recommend taking the exit for Highway 6 and heading east. You will drive through Spanish Fork Canyon, and then watch for signs for Highway 89. Head south on 89, and you will drive through a lovely winding canyon, and then descend into the Sanpete valley with gorgeous views of the mountains. You will hit Fairview first, and then Mt. Pleasant. At the south end of Mt. Pleasant watch for a brown sign (just after the Hardware Store) on your left that says Spring City Historic District. Take that left and it will lead you right into town.

You can also take I-15 south to Nephi and then catch UT 132 which will take you through Nephi canyon. You will hit Fountain Green First, and then Moroni and then Mt. Pleasant where you will head south on 89 and they look for the turn off for Spring City on your left. But really, this way is just not as pretty. Don’t do it.

About Zina Bennion

Zina Bennion is the Director of Business and Marketing for Mom’s Stuff Salve, a small business she runs with her mom, Lee Udall Bennion. Lee started making this hand-crafted salve for her family 20 years ago and it has slowly grown into a successful business helping people all over the world heal dry, cracked hands and feet, eczema and many other skin issues. A year ago Zina came on to handles all of the marketing, sales, shipping, website design, and business aspects of the company.

Zina, in addition to having an idyllic childhood in Spring City, holds a BA from Sarah Lawrence College with an emphasis in literature and visual arts; a MS from Brigham Young University in Youth and Family Recreation, and has worked extensively in outdoor education and libraries. She is passionate about Mom’s Stuff, hiking, art, cooking, travel, her husband and cats, reading and creative collaboration with friends.

Best Baby shops in Paris

Baby shop tour of Paris As you might be well aware by now because I have tendency to deluge you with travel photos and Instastories, I was in France for two weeks last month for my brother-in-law’s wedding. We planned our trip so we’d have a bit of exploration time, because you can’t just go to France and not soak in all the magic, right? At the time of our booking I wasn’t pregnant, but once we found out that the little guy is on his way, I thought it would be great fun to dedicate a couple of days to baby shopping in Paris. In fact, when I was there last year for a conference, my friend Anne of Pret a Voyager, took me to a number of beautiful baby shops, which at the time were so inspiring, but not relevant to my life.
This time around, I put in hours of online research to identify the best ones and a number of Parisian friends stepped in to offer their advice. Thank goodness for an insider’s view! Paul and I ended up spending 2 1/2 days walking around the city exploring beautiful shops and feeling so lucky we got to be there during such a beautiful time of the year. I was 7 months pregnant and all of a sudden the aches and pains that everyone talked about of pregnancy became my reality, though I’m sure walking for 10-12 hours a day had something to do with it. We decided that we need to come back annually to repeat the process…and perhaps stay for a number of months 😉 Baby shop tour of Paris

All You Need for A Midsummer Party

Even those of us not in Sweden can throw a Midsummer party to celebrate long days, the bounty of beauty in our gardens, and good food. Lucky for us, I have made lots of Midsummer-themed projects so we can have the Midsummer party of our dreams without dishing out for a plane ticket!

Midsummer Parties Past

women dressed in white dance around a DIY maypole in a green park with dappled light. A blonde woman in a white dress holds a small bouquet.

Years ago I celebrated Midsummer by dressing up and dancing around a maypole with my team, and it was truly magical. You can see more photos here.

women dressed in white dance around a DIY maypole in a green park with dappled light.

The next year I teamed up with my friend and designer extraordinaire Meta Coleman, Merrilee of Mer Mag, Sarah of Sarah Jane Studios, Melanie and Alma of Caravan Shoppe, and Eva of Sycamore Co to organize a huge Midsummer party. We called it A Midsummer Mingle and it was epic, if I do say so myself.

Women dressed in white descend stairs in a green space filled with dappled light.women dressed in white eat on a picnic blanket. In the background, a maypole stands in front of some pine trees. It's dusk.

You can find out more about it here, here and here. Wasn’t it beautiful?

Two women in white wearing floral crowns smile at the camera. It's night and the background is distantly lit with warm light. A woman in white wearing a white floral crown hangs up a picture on a clothesline

Now let me level with you. Both of those Midsummer parties were stunning and magical, and you might be feeling a little bit overwhelmed right about now. Take a deep breath. Remember that I had help on both projects, as should all party planners, and you don’t have to be a professional to throw a gorgeous Midsummer party. You can do it! No matter how low-key or extravagant you want your party to be, I have Midsummer tutorials and inspiration to knock your flower crown off.

Women in white wearing flower crowns hold hands and walk in a line in front of some pine trees.

Midsummer Projects


Brittany is wearing white and dancing around a DIY maypole with her interns, who are also wearing white.

I made a maypole for the Midsummer Party with my interns, and I know what you’re thinking: “You made a maypole?!” It was a surprisingly simple DIY that I know you can make too.  Once you’ve made a maypole, you’ll have the backbone of your Midsummer celebrations taken care of for years to come! Again, find the tutorial here.

Flower Crowns

Flower crowns are a Midsummer staple, and Amy from Amy Anne Floral made these gorgeous and simple Midsummer Flower Crowns for the Midsummer Mingle.

Goldenrod flower crown from Midsummer Mingle. A woman in a white dress holds it against her side. waxflower and laurel flower crowns are stacked in a pile.

There’s also this Crepe Paper Flower Crown and this one, this Shamrock Flower Crown, these Lady Liberty-inspired Flower Crowns, this Printable Flower Crown, and this tutorial for a Flower Crown Inspired by Art History.

A little girl wears a paper flower crown and smells some little flowers.a floral crown on long, straight brown hairA little girl with brown hair wears a paper shamrock crown and a cream colored floral blouse. The background is bold colored wallpaper.Lady Liberty Flower CrownsA printable flower crown in purple, yellow, pink, white red, and blue being held up by two hands. A woman wearing a lavish flower crown of dahlias and berries and greenery looks at the camera. The background is sky blue.

Midsummer Decorations

You won’t want to skip out flowers for your Midsummer party. Use this tutorial to make gorgeous floral arrangements that you can place around in vases or hold as bouquets.

Pink florals from A Midsummer Mingle

This paper Summer Flower Garland would look lovely draping between the trees or wrapped around your may pole. Because it’s made of paper you can keep it for next year’s Midsummer party.

Summer Paper Flower Garland

Speaking of paper flowers, I’ve compiled lots and lots of paper flower tutorials in one place here. These would be great for arrangements, cake decorations, or to wear.

Paper parrot tulips in cream, yellow, and red.Paper peony bouquet held by a person in a striped dressIcelandic Paper PoppyPaper hydrangeas in a white vase against a floral orange backgroundThe Exquisite Book of Paper Flower Transformations

For a decoration that you’ll want to keep hanging after the season changes, make this Midsummer Dala Horse Mobile. It will remind you of your delightful Midsummer party and be a great conversation starter!

Close up of a colorful chandelier with a hanging Dala horse is i A colorful chandelier with a hanging Dala horse is i

Finishing Touches

No party is complete without music, and your Midsummer party is no exception. My friend Melissa Leavitt graciously agreed to make this Midsummer playlist, and I think you’ll love it.

Brittany and her friends smile at the camera. It's dark and in the background, there are warm lights.

If you serve cake (and when do we ever not want to serve cake!?) this Midsummer Pole Cake Topper is perfect for the occasion.

Midsummer Pole cake Topper Midsummer Pole cake Topper


Look, you know that I don’t cook. Still, your Midsummer party will need food. Go traditional with pickled herring, boiled potatoes, grilled meat, and strawberries and cream for desert. For those who imbibe, Midsummer is also an opportunity to drink beer and schnapps, but as a non-drinker I’ve found that fizzy lemonade does the trick, too. Smaklig måltid (bon appetit in Swedish)!

strawberry-covered layer cakes on pastel cakestands at an outdoor party

Glad Midsommar!

I would love to see your Midsummer celebrations! Tag me in your photos with #MidsummerWithLars.

women dressed in white dance around a DIY maypole in a green park with dappled light. A graphic that says Midsummer celebration is at the top.

In the Mood For: Monet inspired Interior Design

First, a special announcement!

I’m writing about Monet for a few reasons – the first you know, the second is kind of a secret…  This summer we are launching an online summer camp to teach kids all about some master artists, including Monet! It will include daily projects (with videos!) to help kids dive deep into new mediums, art styles, and the lives of great artists of myriad colors, genders, and time periods. Stay tuned for more details!!! Sign up for our newsletter here for early access and a huge discount on this course when it is released! Now onto tips for interior design inspired by Monet:

1 – It’s all about lighting. 

Much of Monet’s passion as a painter was driven by a desire to capture light! He would paint the same scene over and over again at different times of day to capture the shadow play and different colors created. Within the walls of your home, you are somewhat limited with regard to natural light. When choosing a place to live, consider how natural light will affect your space! Select fun curtains or shutters (tres French) and outfit the windows accordingly. 

Monet inspired interior design

You may not be able to control the sun, but a lovely invention called electricity does give you the ability to control light! It is amazing how a simple lamp or light shade can transform any space. An old apartment of mine felt dingy and small. The walls were a funny yellowish color that I thought was terrible, but I couldn’t change it! Eventually I got a floor lamp with a bright, white light. Suddenly, I realized the color wasn’t as bad as it had looked before. With just a lightbulb, I achieved the same effect a can of paint would have had. While lighting might not be the first thing you think of when you hear “interior design,” it should be when the phrase is followed by “inspired by Monet.”


I’ve been lucky to see what I consider some of the most beautiful places in the world. However, rarely has a place made such an impression as Provence. I’ve been having dreams about it. It’s a place that I would love to return to again and again and again. Which means that I need to get rich and buy a villa there, bien sur. When my mom came to visit me in Copenhagen in September we took a side trip (after MUCH drama including missing our flight–my fault–and thinking we could compensate by driving–nope!) to the south of France. I’ve talked about parts of the trip herehere, and here. Gordes was one of the most beautiful towns we visited. It felt more like a museum town in that it was quite pristine and glowing as the town is built of limestone. I wouldn’t say that you need to stay here if you’re visiting unless you use your holidays to lounge, swim, and walk around. My mom and I just loved soaking in all the architecture and as she said, her favorite part was looking at all the building materials. Nerd alert! But, alas, it WAS the best part. Look at the lovely shades of shutter colors! I mean, come on! 
Some of the photos might seem a bit repetitive, but it’s because the details were so lovely. There are complicated details in the ironwork on the windows and handrails. Some I just took pictures of because I wanted to remember details for my future villa. You know.

I must also mention the kindness of the people. The French in the South of France are kind, warm, and open. That, combined with the sun was the perfect escape from cold Denmark. 

I love what this person did. The town attracts loads of tourists and I’m sure they made braids on their doors to keep peeping toms like me out of their house.

A functioning water fountain! Yes, I stopped on the side of the road to quickly get this shot.
Leading into the town of Gordes is the Lavender Museum or Le Musee de la Lavande. Provence is the lavender capital and sadly we missed it all by a month or two. BIG SAD FACE. So we had to hit the lavender museum. I’d say it’s worth it if you like factory tours and such, like Mama and me. It shows the processes of how they make it and the history. We found it quite fascinating. At the end they lead you to a boutique where you can find all sorts of lavender products including an ointment that helps alleviate aches and pains. Sign me up! 
And, of course, it wouldn’t be a trip without pictures of doors and windows. 

 Majestic, non?

 Complete with bistro lights. Sigh.

 Here are the iron-work details. See what I mean?!

 Oh, and just a laundry rack. Covered with IVY!

 Too much for me.

 Swimming anyone?

 Have you ever been to Provence? What were your favorite places? In other words, where should I buy my villa?

Cuba coloring pages


Brace yourselves, because I’m going to be talking about our trip to Cuba for awhile! We took a team trip to Cuba two weeks ago, mostly Havana, and a quick trip to Trinidad as well with a special purpose in mind. I’ll be revealing more about our special purpose soon, but I thought I’d start with a few coloring pages. It’s a great time to visit as flights are super cheap. We found ours for $250 each!  I’ll be sharing a travel guide soon so stay tuned.

About 5% of Cubans have Internet and even then it’s on dial-up so it’s slow and shaky. I knew wi-fi would be hard to find, but I wasn’t prepared for such a scarcity. I thought it might be easy to pop into an Internet cafe and tell my family I was alive, but that was not the case. And somehow instead of finding the break relaxing I found it to be a bit unnerving. But, all is well and I’m alive to write about it. #problemsofablogger Instead of Internet while you’re down there, might I suggest printing these out prior to your trip to color as your traveling entertainment. There are three to choose from.

Mexico City Guide


Growing up in Southern California, Mexican food was a staple and Spanish was second nature. I had briefly visited Mexico back when you didn’t need a passport, but I’m embarrassed to say that I really didn’t know much about the thriving culture that is Mexico. I mean, I wasn’t hiding under a rock and I knew and had witnessed many aspects, but until you live it and see it at its best, it’s really tough to comprehend how thriving a culture really is.

Abby Clawson Low, a designer whose work I’ve admired for ages, moved to Mexico City a few years ago and documented her adventures (you can check out her Instagram here and here) and I couldn’t help but gawk at every image. She revealed a side to it that I didn’t knew existed. She brought it to life! She recently released a book about it called This is Mexico City and it inspired me to finally make a visit just in time for her book signing. Along with former Mexico City resident and Utah Valley tamale maker expert, Nadia Coates of Casa Palomi, and my good friends Meta Coleman and Chaunte Vaughn, we hit up Mexico City with two babies and lived to tell about it.

I call our experience an “Ode to Barragan” because the focus of our trip was discovering the work of Luis Barragan. I am forever changed!

Here’s what to see, what to eat, and what to do in Mexico City! Lars approved!

Gunillaberg, Sweden Part 1

When I found out that floral designer/sculpture/magic maker Tage Andersen had a summer palace in Sweden, I knew I had to go with my mom when she came to visit me in Denmark last summer (yes, I’m THAT behind on blog posts). It’s about 4 hours from Copenhagen by car and it will blow your mind. You must go here before you die.
It’s called Gunillaberg and it was owned by the first Swedish representative to America before America was America. Mr. Andersen bought it a few years ago and has turned it into a museum? wonderland? farm? gallery? All those magical things. This year there’s a brand new orangerie even. I’m going to walk you through. You start by entering through two topiaries. Topiaries mean that you know it’s gonna be good.
Then you pass some cows on both sides and I didn’t get any good photos but there were then dozens of potbelly pigs. POTBELLY PIGS!
Then, you pass this beautiful barn

 before coming to this little hut draped in burlap and checkerboard. It’s the sign-in, of course.

Mr. Andersen has created a number of topiary courtyards. This one is complete with whiskey barrel planters, which makes me feel really good because our rental right now has a few in front so I feel better about having them in our yard.

No Scandinavian locale is complete without chopped wood.

 or a bunch of roosters running around.

 More of those whiskey barrels.

And here I spotted Mr. Tage Andersen. I didn’t have the guts to chat with him this time around for fear of turning into Superfan, which I had already established when I tracked him down in Copenhagen at his downtown studio.

 Swedish flag.

 And oh, the details! Nothing is basic. Stacked branches to hold the water barrels.

“I think it’s T double E double R double R double I double F double I double C, C, C”. What movie?

 And now, we get to the palace doors.

 Just a sculpture of a tree. NBD.

 Ok, that’s all I’m going to leave you with for now. And the amazing part? It somehow gets better.

Provo Mural Guide: A Lars Tour


Why Murals?

Murals have been around forever but have seen an unprecedented bout of popularity since the rise of Instagram. They can be incredibly simple, like The Pink Wall of Los Angeles fame. They can also be intricate and heavily patterned. I’d be crazy not to include our murals in a Provo mural guide! The House That Lars Built team has actually painted two pieces around the town already! In 2016, I teamed up with Dove Chocolate and painted one of their classic foil-phrases behind an antique shop: What are you waiting for? The brilliant letter-artist Jill DeHaan helped design the scripting and whatnot. I had the hardest time selecting colors, but am really pleased with how it turned out. It feels wonder-full. 

Our “what are you waiting for” mural is located behind Block 100 Antiques (145 N University Ave) in Downtown Provo.

Another mural painted by the Lars team is our geometric color wall! Everything we do is about color. You can see why in our video Hue Are You? Asking a person what their favorite color is might be a silly question, but as a person who is crazy about color, it means a lot to me! The wall we painted is a tribute to color, and our geometric patterning was designed to the let hues shine. This mural of ours is located on the west side of 111 W 600 S.

The Provo Mural Guide 

Of course, our murals are not the only ones in town. I love seeing all of the art contributed to my community by fabulous artists, and I’ve narrowed down the list to some of my favorite murals. If you ever come to town, visit the murals! It’s like a community museum with the sky as the roof. 

Colorful Provo Mural

Located at 27 100 W

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CHOM Mural

Painted on the side of the tasty burger joint CHOM, this mural is allll about line play. The wall is broken up into three segments; one has a white, rolling line wandering along a black background. Another section has a circle segmented by an invisible line. The invisible line cues a color change! 

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Color Block Wall

Located on the north side of 150 S 100 W

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Maeser Park Wall Mural

This lovely work is featured prominently in a local park, and the quasi-primary color scheme reminds me of fun childhood years. I love how the artist used a familiar color scheme, but altered the colors just enough to hold my attention. Located at 600 S 500 E.

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“This is our home” Mural

Located at 111 W 600 S Provo, UT.

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Leuven Provo Bike Mural

With its hot pink hue and white lettering and bicycle, this wall painting makes me smile and remember days when a bike was my only way around town! I still love ‘em, and am happy that Provo has its own delightful bike culture. This mural is tucked back behind FoxGlove Flowers and Rent-A-Center near 470 W Center Street in Provo.

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Musicians Mural

I love funky illustration, and these musicians are definitely feelin’ it! The proportions are silly, the colors simplified, and each person has a unique identity and emotion. I could look at this one and giggle for quite some time. This one is a must-see on any Provo mural guide. Located on the east side of June Audio, located at 39 W 200 N

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Shapes Mural

From a design standpoint, this mural speaks to me! It’s fairly simple, but the shapes are organic and brightly colored. The color scheme is consistent throughout, but no shapes near each other have the same hue. It creates a lively vibe as my eyes hop from one shape to the next!

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Fish Kiss Mural

I think I could do something similar to this mural! If you’re looking for some DIY inspo, check out the mural on the side of the Fish Kiss spa. The round bubble shapes present a casual riff on polka dots. Love it. 

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One Time in Provo

I figured I’d wrap up my Provo mural guide with a piece painted in the city’s unofficial town square. Part of why I love this one is the varied script – the cursive is simple yet elegant, and reminds me of a storybook. The big punchy block letters stand out and remind me of my excitement just to be here!  

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Take a Walk

No matter where you live, take a long walk around town and look for art. While art in your community might not be as obvious as a gigantic mural, I hope you’ll find some wonderful secret spots in the town you call home. 

And if you are local to Provo or Salt Lake City and want to visit even more colorful walls, check out our full guide here!

How to make your own mural

Want an art installation with big impact but minimal clean up? Our oversized paper-chain mural is the perfect choice when you don’t want something permanent!

Draw your own mural! We made this one in our old studio that doubled as a massive coloring page anyone could help color in! Just tape up some large white paper and go to town.

Or for another great temporary option, learn how we made a sticky note mural here! Yes you read that right, a mural made completely out of sticky notes.

Click here to see our process for painting a lemon mural in our office! We also added a dainty wall mural to Jasper’s nursery when he was first born. We are big fans of going all out for a real mural, indoors or outdoors. Don’t worry! You can always paint over it one day.