Author: kristen hope

Easy DIY Skull Wreath

I’ve declared it Halloween season in this house already, despite it not being fall just yet — ALMOST! I’m an autumn lover, I know so compelling, and especially Halloween. I have a lot of fond memories of decorating our home for Halloween as a kid with my mom, and I wanted to carry that into my own home now as an adult. My mom has always been big on DIY decorations, and in my opinion is a master wreath artist. I’ve never made my own wreath before, and decided after a quick trip to the craft store that I was going to make one for Halloween. Luckily, there was a sole black wreath left, so I bought it and picked out a color scheme. I got the idea from Michaels and while I know I executed it differently, it really sparked my creativity. To make the wreath I used wire cutters to trim down the flower stems, and then arranged them how I wanted into the wreath. I turned on a spooky podcast to get …

I Got a Tarot Reading on Etsy

I’ve been shopping on Etsy a lot more than I have in the past these days. Seeing other people’s creations just brightens my day and inspires me so much. One night I was browsing the internetz for occult shops and found one that really spoke to me on Etsy. Of the many things offered, tarot readings were on the list. One of my long-running traditions is to get a reading once a year. I’ve gone to many different psychics and healers in my life – the majority were very good readings with the exception of maybe two, one of which I ended up consoling the man reading my cards about a personal issue he was facing. I’ve gone to coffee shops, Renaissance Faires, the back rooms of occult shops and other people’s homes for readings before, but I’ve never done one virtually. But ya know, COVID, so I bought it and hoped for the best. Well, here’s what happened. When purchasing, the reader asks that you leave three questions in the notes section of your …

Sunday Not-So-Scaries: September 13

It’s been a rainy week, but a happy one. I enjoyed having an entire week off with my husband, even if we didn’t get out much and spent time taking turns playing Tony Hawk Pro Skater on PS4, which I am very bad at. We would have been in Germany this week if COVID hadn’t happened, but I’m dreaming up our plans to really do it big whenever we can finally get there. I just got back from spending the weekend with my sister, brother-in-law and my little sweet nephew. He’s about ready to walk and had me on my toes! It was such a special visit and I’m so happy I was able to visit with them safely. A few things I’m loving this week: I know buying jeans seems really weird right now, but sometimes I want some normalcy back in my life. Transitioning into fall clothes is about to happen and I’d like to try to wear more than loungewear while I’m working remotely, but we’ll see if I actually do. No …

PCOS Awareness Month

September always feels so fresh to me. I’ve always equated it with new beginnings and while this year feels pretty different, I’m still digging deep for a fresh start in these COVID times. It’s in there somewhere. This month also happens to be Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome awareness month. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, or PCOS, is a hormonal disorder which affects roughly 1 in 10 people with ovaries. It’s the leading cause of infertility and can lead to an array of serious health issues including Type 2 Diabetes. And if you don’t know anyone with PCOS, now you do. I’m never sure how personal I’m willing to get here, but this feels important. I was diagnosed with PCOS 10 years ago when I was 21. I had spent a decade with extremely irregular and painful menstrual cycles prior to that diagnosis but never had an OGBYN who took my concerns seriously. They would shrug it off: I was young, it would work itself out, and they would throw birth control pills at me to regulate it. After …

A Special Place

I think we picked the worst week weather-wise to be on a stay-cation. It rained 90% of the week, but we did manage to get out and enjoy one little day of sun. We took a ride down to Barnegat Lighthouse, which is pretty close to wear we live. It’s something we like to do at least once a year, especially post-Labor Day, AKA “Local Summer.” While I skipped the beach this year due to COVID, I utilized my little watermelon pool instead, I missed being down near the ocean. I was hoping to get a nice beach day in this week, but it just didn’t work out and that’s OK. If you’re taking a trip to Barnegat Light, though, be prepared to wear masks while you’re in the park. The lighthouse itself is closed, as well as bathrooms and the visitor center. We still had a nice day out in the park, and it was easy for us to social distance because we stayed away from the pathways. I try not to take for …

How to Stain and Hang a Bedroom Door

Slowly but surely Tom and I are making our way through the rooms in our house to turn them into what we want them to be. One thing we’ve done in the two rooms we’ve worked on so far is replace the doors. Obviously when renovating you don’t HAVE to change out the doors, but we did because we made drastic changes to the trim in our finished rooms and we wanted the doors to match. When we bought our home, the previous owner used very wide white trim throughout the house that just wasn’t our style. We chose a thinner trim and stained it with Varathane wood stain in espresso. We purchased an unfinished wooden pre-hung bedroom door from The Home Depot.  The one we purchased isn’t online, so I’m linking a similar version here. Now for the rest I’m giving it to Tom, because he’s the one who has the know-how here, haha: The staining process: The door was smooth enough so I didn’t feel the need to sand it or the trim …

N.J. All Day: Franklin Parker Preserve

I’ve been living in New Jersey for 25 of my 31 years now and I am still finding new places to explore here. I used to be jealous of my friends on the West Coast for having year-round sunshine and exquisite hikes, and while we are all probably Vitamin D deficient on the East Coast, we still have access to a lot of beautiful places. Over the weekend we took a hike with some friends to Franklin Parker Preserve in Chatsworth, NJ. One of the best parts of being in the Pine Barrens is there’s a lot of woods to play in, also the Jersey Devil. Folks down here are extremely proud of Jersey Devil lore, and almost everyone knows someone who knows someone who knows someone who swears they had a run in with it. If you’re unfamiliar, the Pine Barrens is an immense ecosystem of unique sandy, acidic pine forests that covers nearly 25% of the state. It’s one of the three remaining on the East Coast, and NJ is home to the …

Sunday Not-So-Scaries: September 6

I love a long weekend, and at that I took some time off to stretch it out a bit more. Can’t wait to have a week full of Sundays! Tom and I were supposed to be in Germany this week. </3 We were in the “ready to book” stages of our planning when COVID hit, though. So we didn’t have anything official in the books, but it still feels disappointing. I’m hopeful that we’ll make it there in the future. I’ve been doing my best not to dwell on it, though. I have a few things that have been bringing some joy to my heart: I got to spend time with my nephews this weekend and it was so so wonderful. Except when I told my (almost) four-year-old nephew that an empty box was a spaceship, he said: “No, it’s a box.” Well then! I bought these wooden truck and train paint kits to do together, and it was so much fun to see my nephew get messy and use his creativity. I took the …

Article Seno Media Unit: An Honest Review

I quickly want to say this isn’t a sponsored post, no one asked for my opinion BUT I’M GIVIN’ IT ANYWAY, haha. COVID has really changed the way I shop these days. One thing I’m doing more is shopping online. I definitely did my fair share of shopping online before, but not as much as I do now. If I can avoid going to a store, I do. But one of the scariest things for me to buy online, besides eyeglasses(!!!), is furniture. We’ve been working on our living room spaces, and if you haven’t read my saga of our living rooms we have had to buy furniture that will actually fit in the room. Which has meant I’ve been scouring the internet for the right pieces for our space. It’s a daunting task, which I thought was going to be fun, but was kind of wrong about because the choices can be over(and sometimes under)whelming. Tom decided this year he was going to buy a new TV. Since I don’t really watch TV before/after …

Summer Reading: August

August FLEW by, didn’t it? Or is it just me? This month was pretty strenuous in many ways, so I didn’t have as much time or mental focus to read the way I have been throughout the summer. And honestly, that’s OK! Here’s what I did read this month, though. Fiebre Tropical by Juli Delgado Lopera This was a really fun one to read, albeit a little challenging since I do not speak or read Spanish fluently. Thankfully Google Translate filled in some gaps and as the story went on, I felt more comfortable translating a few words myself. This is a coming of age and coming out story about Colombian teenager who moves to Miami with her mother, sister and grandmother. It was so funny and the author’s voice is so casual. I wanted some more closure at the end, but still absolutely loved it. Chaos: Charles Manson, the CIA, and the Secret History of the Sixties by Tom O’Neill and Dan Piepenbring I have always been intrigued by the 1960s, in fact I …