Tag Archives: home life

June 28, 2016

Sooo, You’re All “Natural” Now, Huh?

I have a confession to make—lately I’ve been making my own toothpaste. I think that’s the sort of thing that when said aloud signals the “Oh, you’re becoming that type of person” look, and they aren’t far from being right. I’ve always been interested in ways to eat healthier and try to get in enough movement during the day, but that’s been about where it stopped. I think as I turned 30 last year though, something started to shift a bit for me. I would wonder more than usual what was really in my food or beauty products. I would feel really guilty every time I threw something away that I could recycle. I started to really think about how I was living my life: what I was consuming, how I was consuming it, and who I was supporting with those decisions.

I don’t know if it was totally the age thing or not but I did have this burning desire to become more responsible about the things that I could control and make decisions about my life and health on purpose rather than just doing what was easiest. I had already started down a path to be more intentional about daily choices when I heard a talk given by Lindsay Leigh Bentley (local blogger and band wife) a few months ago about all the different things that they do to keep her family living a healthy and responsible life. I feel like that speech was exactly what I needed to hear at the right time and since then I have been so interested in researching as much information as I could on as many subjects as I could. I will be the first to admit that diving into a life overhaul like that is overwhelming. The sheer amount of information about everything you are doing wrong is potentially really discouraging to say the least. It feels like a mountain that you will never be able to climb (or be able to afford to climb if we are being honest—living healthier is expensive!!). I had to keep reminding myself to tackle one thing at a time, slow down and not rush into big decisions, and take a break from researching when needed.

In addition to trying to remove as many toxins from our products, food, and environment as possible, there was also a desire to be more eco-conscious as well. I realized eventually that all the “guilt” I was feeling by not recycling, etc., was really more of a growing conviction that I wasn’t treating the earth as kindly as I could be. I fully believe that God created the earth, beautiful and complex, and we are to be caregivers of that earth, to cultivate it, and to protect it. Can I totally save all the damage being done to the planet by myself? Nope. But, I can do my part and sometimes right actions will inspire others to do the same and thus actions can have a ripple effect that really does bring change.

Now, having said all that vague information about health and environmentally friendly living, I also whole heartedly admit that I am not perfect. I don’t live in a 100% green energy house or drive a Tesla or weave all my clothes from sustainable grasses in the backyard or only eat local in-season organic produce for every meal. If you are looking for things to point out that I am dong wrong or could do better, well, it’s not going to be that hard so don’t count on any gold stars for that one. As we can afford to I am slowly making small changes (although exciting ones) to how we live and eat and trying hard not to be wasteful with the resources we do consume. So anyways, I just wanted you to be aware that you may see or hear me talking more about natural products or ways to walk a little more gently on the earth. Oh, and that whole making my own toothpaste thing? Yeah, we’ll talk more about that soon…

xo. Laura

June 19, 2016
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Like Father, Like Daughter…

Happy Father’s Day! As the years go on I can see more and more how I am exactly a combination of traits from both my Mom and my Dad and I can pick out very specifically which one comes from which. Here are a few characteristics that have Ron Blumer written all over them…

-wanting the house cleaned on Friday so that you can enjoy it over the weekend
-eating healthy most of the time so you can splurge and get that pizza with no guilt
-worrying about anything and everything like nobody’s business
-a fondness for driving around nice neighborhoods just to “oooh” and “ahhh” over pretty houses
-the ability to be perfectly content alone in your house for a week and then immediately switch to being a social butterfly at a party
-a love for learning (about pretty much anything)

And last but not least

-all you want in life is just to have a long coffee date with your spouse/best friend

(I’m the one on the left with two fingers in my mouth in the top photo and fishing in the yellow dress above). So many reasons why my dad is simply the best! Happy Father’s Day!

xo. Laura

May 4, 2016

“No TV For A Week” Challenge Results

Well, I did it! I spent a full week without TV. Now, before you say something like, “Big deal. I’ve gone a month without TV” or “I don’t even own a TV” or “What’s a “TV”?” let me explain why it IS a big deal. It’s mostly a big deal because I have never in my life gone a week without TV. Ever. Maybe not even a day unless you count some crazy international travel days but even airplanes give you your own personal TV these days so those don’t even count. If there was ever a reason to fast something, I would pick some food item or shopping in a heartbeat over the old boob tube because I just love it too much. And therein lies the problem. I’m too invested and so it was time to cut the cord (pun intended) for a bit.

I think what got to me the most at first was the silence. I like to leave the TV on even when I’m not watching it as background noise which is an old habit from my time living alone in an apartment. Hearing voices from the tv always made me feel less alone in a way that music couldn’t quite do. Since Todd travels so much I still keep that habit of a low tv volume a lot of the day while I go about my daily tasks, so the first day of no tv felt weirdly quiet. Thankfully, that feeling only lasted about a day and by day 3 it didn’t seem odd anymore. The bigger issue was actually figuring out what to do each mealtime instead of watching tv or Netflix. Rather than flip on an episode of Fraiser (the perfect length for watching while you eat) I would instead read, listen to a podcast, or when Todd was home we would sit at the table like “regular” people and have a (gasp!) conversation while we ate. I read a few different books during the week, got some good online chores taken care of (computers were allowed for work or task purposes, but no surfing was allowed), made some new foods and desserts, got back into working out, had a few game nights, but there was still a mixture of being glad to be productive and feeling like a small something was missing.

To be honest, even though I enjoyed all the different activities that we did instead of watching tv, I still felt like something was missing. Since I do creative projects (making DIYs and the rest of the photographing, writing, and editing that come with blogging) all week long for my job and then in my free time fill it up with more of the same, it can be pretty draining when I don’t take a “non-creative” and yes even kind of “mind numbing” sort of break now and then. I’m constantly thinking and problem solving in my brain so I missed that sort of escape that watching your favorite show can bring. Not a heavy documentary, not a thought-provoking political show, just pure fun or a suspenseful drama can make me feel like I had a mini vacation of sorts. I am totally the person that feels they don’t have time for lunch or will have to pee for hours because I feel I’m too busy take 5 seconds and to run to the bathroom. I can go-go-go and wear myself down to the bone all in the name of getting things done or trying to make good progress on something. Taking that break is paramount to not feeling crazy and cranky when I finally do hit that wall.

Now, if you are thinking that there are plenty of other ways to get in a mental break that doesn’t involve a television, you are right. I think I just realized conclusively that when I tried to fill too many hours that TV would have filled with projects and work to be productive and not be bored, well, it just burned me out really fast and that some TV could still be helpful to take a bit of a rest. It just shouldn’t be the only thing I do to take a break. If variety is the spice of life then it’s time to learn which other things can also be that important mental break, so when it’s time to get back to that next house project or idea, I’m excited to start it rather than already feeling drained.

It is a good feeling to prove to yourself that you can go without something and that it doesn’t have to control you. Or remote control you I should say. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m got some Mindy Project to catch up on…

xo. Laura

March 31, 2016
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Favorite Hanging and Floor Planters!


Since now you guys know all my secrets for keeping cats away from your houseplants I thought I’d do a little round-up of my favorite planters, plant stands, and hanging planters! If you are ever searching for a plant stand online, make sure to look for “end tables” or “side tables” as well since those types of small tables work just as well for holding plants that are already potted in a container. I have the coffee table version of number 1 above and I just love it. I’m also dreaming about number 9 for my back patio. The whole area needs a makeover really bad. It’s so boring back there at the moment…

Hanging plants and wall planters are one of my favorite things to add into rooms and get some of that greenery up high! The gold bowl planters I made are similar to the first hanging planter (although I like how thick those chains are on the UO one) and I have a couple of number 5 that I’m going to put in my kitchen soon. They make smaller versions as well and they look really good in a grouping.

Hope you found some plant options for your wish list as well! Happy planting!signature2 copy

February 1, 2016

And This Is Just The Beginning.

In full disclaimer, I had very different copy written in the draft for this post until I deleted it. You know how people tell you to “sleep on it” before you talk to someone about an issue when you’re mad or to “cool off” before you come back together to talk? Well, I was pretty upset and started writing an “authentically real” post that just turned into a sad/weird version of free form poetry. It only took a second glance to be like, “Nahhhhhh dawg…” and hit the delete button.

Why was I so upset?

Good question. I’ve had a tough past two weeks getting back into this heavy tour season. Todd has three tours in a row that will take us into the middle of May so it’s been a rough adjustment going back to that full of a schedule. Since I was already feeling down about being apart so much it was even tougher to swallow once I heard that another opportunity opened up and now they have 3 months more of travel starting only a few weeks after the third tour in May is over. Yowza. You can bet the tears started welling up pretty quickly once I saw all the dates on the calendar flying by in a flash. I ended up sitting on my kitchen floor, listening to the Funny Girl soundtrack, and bawling my eyes out. What a picture, huh? All the old fears start to enter my head…

How can being apart so much be worth it to him? It wouldn’t be worth it to me. Once a “dream job” comes with the cavetat of being apart from the one you love for 8-9 months of the year, it stops being my dream job if you know what I mean.

Anyways, this is not the first, second, or third time I’ve had these thoughts. I know that while his job has its fun times, exciting opportunities and chances to travel, at the end of the day it’s still a job. I am thankful for all the people who have to be away from their families so I can reap the benefits of different jobs that they hold. I love seeing my favorite band/comedian/author when they come to perform near me and I realize that they go back to their green rooms and call their families to say goodnight the same way that Todd does with me.

I know that deep inside I don’t want him to quit and work in a job where he doesn’t get to use his talents. Right now this is the best spot for him to showcase his gifts and I know that he wants the same for me when it comes to my skill set too.

It’s just a hard knock life sometimes on my end though. Wah, wah, wah, right?

But you are right. There are so many people with problems in the world much bigger than mine. A good reminder. I think the best strategy for me is to focus only on the countdown until I see him next rather than the whole year laid out before me…

Thanks for the pep talk. I needed it.

xo. Laura