Girl Power!

Life in general

I think that it is important to share with each other not only our experiences, but how they make us feel- our innermost experiences & feelings. To be vulnerable with one another can be highly valuable. I feel like one of God’s greatest gifts to humanity is to deeply connect with one another and the intimacy that these experiences foster. Outside of my family there is no greater earthly joy than the joy of connecting with another human being, especially when that human being is a sweet friend.

In honor of all the women that have been coming forward in recent months (& years, really), I want to share an experience with you that I have mostly kept to myself. I don’t know if you would even call it “sexual harassment” & honestly, I think that’s part of the problem…sometimes we don’t know what to think. It had to be sometime in November 2015, I don’t remember the exact date, but I was super pregnant & just trying to get through another day at work. I was standing in front of the computer “analyzing data” or whatever you want to call it, it doesn’t matter. I called my boss over to look at something that I had a question about. Now when two people are sharing a computer screen it’s inevitable that your space bubble will be a bit compromised, but I realized that he was getting uncomfortably close to me. Then he moved a little closer & shifted his leg forward so that his penis was touching my outer thigh! You know, when someone you don’t know well (or even do know well) touches you unexpectedly & you want to jerk away but don’t want to seem awkward or even rude? So I didn’t immediately pull away, I just froze. I was suddenly flooded with embarrassment & thoughts like “Did he just put his penis on me?” & “Or am I crazy or just blowing it out of proportion?” & “I am a big, fat, pregnant girl, there is no way he is actually coming on to me!”. Then he proceeded to bounce his leg up & down (like we all do sometimes, letting off nervous energy or something like that) & right then I knew that it was intentionally done. I acted like nothing happened & walked away. I was quite perplexed, & after thinking about for a while I actually started to feel guilty, because hey I am a married woman & and I just pretty much let some guy, who wasn’t my husband, rub his penis all over my thigh! I really didn’t know what to do about the situation, I wondered if I should have contacted our company’s HR department, but I was afraid. Afraid that I was “overthinking ” it, or making it a bigger deal than it actually was, I was afraid that he would deny it & that I would just look like a big dumbass! Besides, did I really want to get him fired over what might have been a trivial event? I knew that I would be quitting my job as soon as I gave birth (which would be any day now) & I didn’t want to “cause trouble”, so I did nothing.

I didn’t really think about it much after that, I mean some creep putting his clothed penis on my leg isn’t what I would label as a traumatic or life-altering experience. I actually felt guilty bringing attention to the “event” because there are so many people that have suffered immensely from far worse instances of sexual harassment & abuse. But that is not the point. Why did I not feel like it was okay to jerk away & say “Hey creep! Get your dick off of me!”? I’m sure there are plenty of women out there who would have been brave enough to act differently, & I applaud those women. But what about the rest of us?

I don’t have all the answers & it’s not even really about me & my experience. The point is to support all of the other women who have spoken out. The point is to encourage the next women or girl to speak out, or better yet to say “NO!”. I want my daughter, & all girls & women, to know & feel like they can say no. I don’t think we will ever live in a world where things like this don’t happen. Unfortunately, there will always be people willing to hurt others to get what they want. But we can be educated, encouraged, & empowered to react differently! I want to encourage you to make standing up for yourself & “speaking out” normal, for yourselves, for our daughters & our sons, for the generations to come.

My inspiration for writing this was the women & girls of the world, but let’s face it sexual harassment & abuse is a reality our sons face as well. I hope we can all be encouraged to stand up & speak out for all who suffer regardless of gender or any differences we may have between us.

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed.” Proverbs 31:8

P.S. Onyx’s lovely doll was handmade by a  wonderful artist named Nae. Please take some time to look at all of her wonderful dolls!

With our love,

The Grays.


DIY's & Tutorials, Home

So I know it’s a far cry from the extremely personal posts that we have shared with you in the past several weeks, but this week we want to share one of our favorite home decor ideas with you.

I’d like to think that I have great taste, & that I’m known to come up with a great idea every once in a while. But my husband, Weston, is the true master mind, & executor of all the great designs that fill our home. He is just great at turning nothing into something. He has that “special touch” where he can make something ordinary look extraordinary just by arranging, or re-arranging it. He also has that vision- to see that something can be truly great, even if it’s not great in its current state. I will have to admit that quite often he tells me about an idea that he has, & I’m like “Um…okay?” (I myself do not possess that “vision” or “special touch”.). But when he’s done, it’s always like the most awesome thing I have ever seen, but never could have imagined. This was one of those ideas. When Weston first told me that he wanted to use old clip boards as picture frames (he is a big fan of upcycling), I was like “Ew!”. But of course it turned out to be a beautifully unique idea, & I was wrong…again!

I love old photos, like antique photos. There is something that old style photography & equipment captured that just can’t be reproduced by an iPhone camera. An essence, that not only can’t be reproduced, but probably doesn’t even exist in this day & age.

So, I semi-recently began collecting antique photos. I have found them at antique stores & malls, thrift stores, yard sales, etc.. But I needed a cool way to use these photos. I ended up sticking them in a box & forgetting about them for a few months. That’s when Weston mentioned the clipboard idea, that I wasn’t too fond of, good thing he didn’t listen to me. There is truly beauty to be found in the simplicity of this design.

All you need to put together some of these for yourselves is:

  • A few antique photos &/or books (small books, not real thick ones).
  • Some old clipboards, we got ours from thrift stores & family members, you could use new ones but I think an old beat up one has a much better look for this project.
  • A bundle of eucalyptus. We usually get ours from Trader Joe’s, but since we now live an hour from our closest Trader Joe’s , we opt for local florists. If you are local to our area we recommend Evans Flowers if you are near Anniston, Al., The Bell Ringer if you are near Heflin, & Pell City Flower & Gift Shop if you are near Pell City.
  • Lastly, you will need several sheets of printer scrapbooking paper. We always get ours from Hobby Lobby, they have a great selection.

Making them is a fairly easy process. I don’t have step-by-step instructions for you to follow, but I’m sure you get the general idea from the photos. Have fun with it, get creative and make them your own! If you made some, we would love to see them! Upload your photos to Instagram and tag us @thegraysscale.

All our love,

The Grays.

*This Post is not sponsored by or affiliated with: Hobby Lobby, Evans Flowers, The Bell Ringer Florist, or Pell City Flower & Gift Shop.

New year, new you?

Life in general

If you know us personally, then you probably already got a taste of my opinions on New Year’s & all the”new-ness” it brings. I am totally not in love with the whole “New Year, new you” idea. How many times have you set New Year’s resolutions & not even tried to keep them? Or tried really hard to keep all these newly set expectations for yourself & felt like a miserable failure when you didn’t achieve what you wanted to. Maybe you are the person who sets New Year’s resolutions and actually follow through with them. If so, congratulations! You are one of the few. According to research done by the University of Scranton, only eight percent of people achieve their New Year’s goals.

Now before you go thinking that I am trying to rain on your parade or dumb down the changes you want to make for yourself, I’m not. I am totally a fan of change & personal growth. If you are setting goals to better yourself, then awesome! I am so glad to hear that! I am just asking you to evaluate your perspective. Setting goals or resolutions to better ourselves should never be done out of tradition or because everyone else is doing it. I believe that every time we participate in that type of nonchalant goal setting, where we aren’t really that serious, or realistic, or we don’t hold ourselves accountable to actually achieve the goals that we set, it can be detrimental to our perspective on setting and achieving goals. I want to see you set healthy, realistic goals, & succeed at achieving those goals. I want you to love yourself (& those around you) enough to make the changes you may need to make, any time of the year. Don’t wait for New Year’s to do all the things that you think will make you a better person. Set realistic & achievable goals all year long!

So many times in my life I have said things like “I’ll quit smoking after my next birthday.” or “I’ll start that diet on Monday.” or “I’m going to start my gym membership after New Year’s.”, you get the picture. I was always waiting for the “right time” to make any changes that I knew would be hard, but for the better. Guess what? the “right time” doesn’t exist. I promise that there will always be some reason that you feel like it is not the “right time”. There is no time like the present! & let’s face it, if your goal is not important enough to you to make it a priority, then how important is it to you really? I am so thankful that I was able to pull myself away from that vicious cycle of waiting until next time, & the next time after that, & the next time after that, etc., etc. For the first time in my life, I am actually achieving my goals. & there are many reasons for that, but thinking this way has helped me tremendously, which is why I am sharing it with you.

We hope you had a great New Year’s eve that was filled with great champagne & kisses from the ones you love! & we hope you have a great new year that’s filled with love, confidence, & success!

With our love,

The Grays.

Onyx’s outfit:

Hat- available soon on our site.

Headbands- Target

Scarf- Target

Leather jacket- H&M

Dress- Target

Leggings- Target

Shoes- Target

No kids!!

Our family

IMG-7276This is something that I have wanted to get on paper & share with the world for a while now. After having a great time taking full advantage of a snow day, which is extremely rare for where we live. Everyone is all tuckered out & ready for bed early, leaving me a great opportunity to just that. I don’t have a spectacular tutorial to dazzle you with, or any wise parenting advice to share with you. What I do have to share with you is realness. A genuine transparency & a chance to connect as human beings. I hope you enjoy.


IMG-7274IMG-7277“WE AIN’T GOT NO KIDS!!!!” used to be our motto & favorite saying in between another couple that we are close friends with. Yep, that was us! Two young people in love, feeling like we had the whole world, & all the time in it, ahead of us. It is such a great thing to be young & have the freedom to do whatever you want to do! We loved it! We loved it so much, that maintaining that feeling was what we wanted in life. KIDS?! NO WAY!! We were never giving up our freedom to be tied down with children. We didn’t want to be “those” people, the people that had their identity consumed by being parents.

I’ll have to admit that when I found out that I was pregnant, I was a tiny bit devastated. I felt like my life was over. My thoughts immediately focused on what I would lose. I had to give up all the “fun” of going out to the bars and drinking. I had to quit smoking. I had to give up the pursuit of a career, & I had to give up the freedom to be as selfish as I wanted to be. I felt like a sixteen year old girl who had unintentionally gotten pregnant & “ruined the life that I had before me”. Except, I wasn’t sixteen. I was quickly approaching thirty & (unknowingly) needed to do some changing.

It took me a good few months to come to my senses & begin to feel a little joy about the life that I had growing inside of me. Slowly, but surely my mind and heart began to open like a morning glory basking in dawn’s first light. At this point acceptance was such a relieving feeling, then came full surrender to God’s plan for motherhood. Not too many days after accepting the impending changes coming in life, something went wrong. I sat down on the toilet to pee & realized that I was bleeding. I just “knew” that I was having a miscarriage. I immediately called my mom, who confirmed my suspicions. Devastation washed over me once again. How could this happen? After finally coming to terms with the fact that I DID want to have this child, & I DID want to be a mother, the opportunity I was given was suddenly being snatched away. This was real devastation, not the immature, selfish emotions that I experienced upon discovering that I was pregnant. I was too shaken up to drive myself to the hospital, & it would be a couple hours before my husband could get to me. So I waited. That was possibly the worst two hours of my life. We finally get to the hospital, only to face more waiting. What I knew was going to be the worst day of my life, suddenly turned joyous at the arrival of good news, that I did not expect to get. We had not lost the baby! & I was free to again bask in the newfound joy that I had in knowing that I was going to be a mother.

It was all (well, not all) uphill from there. Aside from the horrors of being uncomfortably huge, I thoroughly enjoyed the rest of my pregnancy, mentally & emotionally preparing for motherhood & the immense amount of joy & love that would take over my heart. My baby girl is now two years old, & from the very moment I saw her, I knew that she was the best thing that could have ever happened to us! I don’t mean to be corny, or cliche, but it is just the honest truth. Not that my life with my husband pre-baby wasn’t great. It was totally great! We would often look at each other & say “I love my life with you babe”. But having a child let us in on something we would never have been able to experience without her. I remember telling my mom that we didn’t want to have children. Her response was “If you don’t have any kids you will never know how much I love you.” Then I shrugged it off, thinking that it must be some corny mom thing that didn’t pertain to me. Now I know. Once again, my mom was absolutely right. There is no love like the love that a mother or father has for their child ( I believe that this is why God calls us His children, but we will save that for another day). Not only has our beautiful daughter, Onyx, given us the ability to experience this massive love & joy, but she has inspired us to become better people. Becoming a mother has helped me start to understand unconditional love. Selfless love, where you don’t just say that another person’s feelings & needs are more important than your own, but you actually live it every day. Motherhood has brought me a sense of patience that I never had before. It has brought me a toughness & a willingness to endure things I never thought possible (natural childbirth tends to do that to women, lol). It has given me a reason to stop procrastinating & get off of my ass & do better at life. Because she is watching me-I can try to tell her what is right & wrong, but it will never mean anything if my actions do not match. Most importantly, motherhood has given me confidence, which has been what I was always missing in life.IMG-7279IMG-7280IMG-7283

E902E682-B359-4494-BE07-F4B227B48243I would love to say that the moral of this story is “Have kids, even if you think you don’t want any. Because you are wrong & they are the greatest gifts ever!!!” But, there is no moral to this story & only you can make up your own mind (unless you’re like us & God says “Nope, you don’t get to choose. You are indeed pregnant.”). I just wanted to share a little bit of my heart  with you. I hope you enjoyed it, & the photos from our lovely snow day.

With our love,

The Grays.

P.S. My “Weird Mother” shirt is one of the many awesome designs by Drawings By Nicole.

Peep her other designs on Instagram or shop her store.

Turn, Turn, Turn

Our family


If you are now, or ever have been in the past, an “oldies” music fan, then you probably already know where this is going…The song Turn! Turn! Turn! was made a hit in 1965 by an American folk rock group called The Byrds. It’s a song that I have heard played many times on the radio in my mom’s car growing up. As a kid, it was just another catchy sixties tune that I was used to hearing, but now it has much more meaning.

There is a lot of truth in the lyrics of that song. I swear, each time a chapter in our lives comes a close or we experience a big change in life, the dj that lives in my mind insists of making this song a part of my mental soundtrack! All jokes aside, it has been a great reminder of hope when things may not be going our way. I am sure of the fact that the biggest reason that this song resonates with & uplifts me so much is that the man that wrote the lyrics, Pete Seeger, took them straight from the first eight verses of the third chapter of Ecclesiastes. I absolutely love when I find out that a truth that I learned as a child was born from the Word of God, even though I may not have realized it at the time.

For those of you that may have no idea what I’m talking about- maybe you have never heard the song or read the verses. Either way, me writing all this is pointless if you do not know what I am talking about. So, while I would love for you to find a bible (or a bible app) and read the entire chapter of Ecclesiastes, for now, here are the lyrics to Turn! Turn! Turn!

To everything (turn, turn, turn)

There is a season (turn, turn, turn)

And a time to every purpose, under heaven

A time to be born, a time to die

A time to plant, a time to reap

A time to kill, a time to heal

A time to laugh, a time to weep

To everything (turn, turn, turn)

There is a season (turn, turn, turn)

 And a time to every purpose, under heaven

A time to build up, a time to break down

A time to dance, a time to mourn

A time to cast away stones, a time to gather stones together

To everything (turn, turn, turn)

There is a season (turn, turn, turn)

And a time to every purpose, under heaven

A time of love, a time of hate

A time of  peace, a time of war

A time you may embrace, a time to refrain from embracing

To everything (turn,turn, turn)

There is a season (turn, turn, turn)

And a time for every purpose, under heaven

A time to gain, a time to lose

A time to rend, a time to sew

A time for love, a time for hate

A time for peace, I swear it’s not too late.

Those of you that have been following along on our journey know where we started- with an idea & a passion to “live the dream, every single day”. We started with risking a big move from Florida to Alabama (not that it was a big move geographically, but we were risking a lot mentally & emotionally to come back to a place that we thought we had left behind.)  & big ambitions to make a living as quail farmers. To take back the time that we had been forced to give away to consumerism & the idea of what the “American Dream” has become, & give that time to our family. While the core values of our dream & ideas remain, our journey has changed course. The idea of us being some kind of farmers didn’t quite pan out like we had planned, but we are okay with that. Actually, I’m smiling as I am typing this because the idea that we were ever going to be satisfied with that choice is comical- not to put down farmers or farming, I think it is a wonderful necessity of life and I am grateful to them. But, this change in course is a very welcomed change and I personally feel relieved. Even if everything would have worked out “perfectly”, I don’t think it would have been what we wanted. Right now, we don’t really know what time or season it is for us. We are not lost, we are just simply waiting. And we are not down & out. We are rising. We are hopeful & even excited at the anticipation of what the next season in life brings. And we are still “living the dream, every single day”, because that never had anything to do with a profession or geographical location. It’s more of an idea. An idea that love & time spent with the ones you love are life’s treasures to be pursued. An idea that everyday can be the dream, if  you let it- enjoy God’s blessings big & small, & to love what you already have.

I felt the need to share this with you all, because when we started this journey I made a promise to all those chose to peek in on it. A promise to “deliver an interesting story”, and I have failed you miserably. This past year has definitely had some rough patches in it! There are so many things that I thought that we were going to be able to do & share with you that just didn’t happen. Partially because we didn’t get to do all the “things” & partially because I let negativity steal my ability to share with you, and for that I am sorry. I won’t make you any more promises, but I can tell you that I know that the plan that God has for us is far greater than what we could have ever tried to plan on our own. I hope to share with you what’s coming next. Want to see?

With our love,

The Grays

P.S. We thought this would be a great time to share all of the incredible images of our family that were captured by Natalie Wippler, we hope you enjoy them. She is truly talented and our family always considers it an honor to be photographed by her.

Please take a minute and check out her instagram or visit her site

Fall lovin’

DIY's & Tutorials

IMG-6676We love fall! The smell of bonfires in the air, the crunch of leaves beneath our feet, & cold weather accessories! I think it’s a favorite time of year for a lot of folks, but growing up in Florida gives you a special appreciation for that time of year where everything goes from green to golden. You don’t get much of a scenic change in Florida from season to season (or get to wear cute fall clothes without sweating lol!), but it is a much different scene up here in northeast Alabama. Mountains covered in rows of trees moving from green to yellow, orange, & red (& mountains of leaves in our yard). Gorgeous, blushing fall sunsets of pink & purple. & lots of overcast skies, which I used to despise, but have been surprisingly comforted by this year.


Fall is a season of change. A time to shed the old away & make room for newness & growth. Change can be a great thing, & is something that we are currently welcoming into our lives with open arms. One of the changes is the fact that our Onyx is not really a baby this year. Even though growing up is always bittersweet, we have so enjoyed sharing this fall with her. While it’s technically not her first fall, it’s the first one that she has been able to get out and experience. To commemorate our fall experience, we are making leaf skeletons! It’s something we have always wanted to try and now we have a good reason.

Feeling crafty? Try it out with us:


What you will need:

-Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (this post is not sponsored by Arm & Hammer)

-A large pot & a shallow baking dish

-A small, stiff, blunt paint brush &/or a soft toothbrush (the soft toothbrush worked best for us)

-Rubber or latex gloves (the washing soda is very drying to skin & can cause irritation) & paper towels

-Some waxy leaves & some patience


Gather yourself some new (yes, new green leaves, unlike the beautifully withering fall ones) waxy leaves. We used wild hydrangea & magnolia leaves because that was what was available to us.

Mix the washing soda & some water in the pot. I have been told to use 4 cups of water & 3/4 cup of washing soda, but I doubled the water & washing soda so we would actually have enough liquid to cover our big leaves. Stir the mixture while heating on med-hi until the washing soda starts to dissolve. Add the leaves & bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.

Now, the length of simmering time was an experiment for us since I have read several different methods on how to do this, and each method gives a different suggestion. The suggested cooking times ranged from 20 minutes to 2 hours, so we started with 30 minutes & that definitely was not enough for the leaves we chose. We ended up simmering a full 2 hours (checking them about every 30 minutes) & probably could have simmered them a little longer. Once you feel that your leaves are ready ( I tested ours by gently scooping one out of the pot with a spatula & brushing it just a little to see if any of the pulp moved away), fill the shallow baking dish with about 1/2 inch or so of cool water & place the leaves (we did our one at a time) in the dish.

Get your gloves on & go to work! Start gently brushing the pulp away from the skeleton. When I say gentle, I just mean don’t go crazy! You can actually be a little rougher than I initially thought, but start slow & add pressure as needed. This is where the patience comes in handy, it was a little more work than anticipated (or maybe it would have been easier had we simmered the leaves longer?). Once all the pulp is removed from the skeleton, pull them out of the dish & fill the dish with clean water, put the leaves back in & give them a swish to rinse them (rinsing them under the faucet can damage them, so use caution if you decide to go with that method). Now, you can stop here & go to the drying process if you want black/brown skeletons, we wanted white ones, so after the rinse we soaked our leaves in bleach water until we reached the desired color (several hours).


IMG-6668To dry, pull the leaves out & lay them on layered paper towels to dry. If you want your leaves to be nice & flat put paper towels on top of them as well and set a couple of heavy books on top, we left ours dry like this over night. If you want a more naturally, curly look to your leaves, just leave them out uncovered to dry on the paper towels.


IMG-6666Behold your leaf skeletons! Thanks for sharing this fall experience with us!

Until next time…

With our love,

The Grays



Onyx’s “big girl” room


Here we are. Finally getting settled into a home we love. It has been a very long process, but it has been perfect in its own way. The first room complete in all its glory is Onyx’s “big girl” room, of course. After five months of living with Weston’s parents, who were so gracious to help us make this fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants transition a little more gradual, I knew Onyx was so done with the crib. Out of those five months she slept in her crib maybe two nights and let’s face it even if I were ever to get her back in her crib it would then be time for a transition to a toddler bed. So “big girl” bed it is, and if we are being totally honest the only bed she is sleeping in at this point in momma and daddy’s. But it is there when she (and I) are ready.

If you know anything about us then you probably figured that her room is totally monochrome. In fact, the moment I found out I was having a girl I knew that “all pink everything” and head-sized bows were not an option! For all you parents out there who want a little more than all the traditional offerings for baby and toddler rooms we have teamed up with NotSewStrange to introduce you to a collection of wonderfully modern, handmade quilts, pillows, and décor. The black and white triangle quilt looks perfect on Onyx’s new awning bed that we made for her and it has also been our new favorite setting for family picnics. We cannot wait to add one of their Black and White Minky Sleeping Bear Pillows to the pillow collection!

It was always our plan that when the time came to say goodbye to the crib to make Onyx one of those awesome house frame beds that dazzle every modern toddler room featured on the coolest Instagram pages. But that was also a problem, when the time actually came they were so popular that I didn’t feel like it was special or different anymore. So we had a brainstorming session and came up with the awning bed idea. Still an homage to the cute house frame but with a twist! I know you guys have some cool and different nursery/toddler room ideas to share! Let’s hear them!

Until next time…

With our Love,

The Gray’s




Meet the Grays



We are the Grays, Weston, Ashley & Onyx. We want to invite you to join in on our great adventure! An adventure into a world with no “norms”or nine-to-fives, our journey to living the dream EVERY SINGLE DAY. We are abandoning the “rules” and our big city life in search of some sort of simplicity, complex simplicity that is. Join us as we transition to farm life, family life & unending togetherness. We promise to deliver an interesting story, inspiration & a plethora of good ideas, all whilst looking famously fashionable!

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Our journey starts with a goodbye…

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…and a hello.

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