Author: kristen hope

Sunday Not-So-Scaries: August 30

And just like that, August is just about over. Time is just rolling on so quickly now, I can’t seem to keep track anymore. We’re so close to finishing our spare bedroom, which means my work-from-home space is about to change once again so we can work on that. I haven’t picked out colors yet, but I have some time to figure that out. I’d love to paint a wall mural – something I’ve always thought would be fun. Really, as long as I have a place to work that isn’t at my kitchen table I’ll be happy. Here’s a few fun things I’m loving. I recently finished Chani Nicholas’s “You Were Born for This” and I’ve been SO obsessed with reading my family’s charts. I’ve loved astrology for years but I never knew how to read my chart, so this book was so fun. My good friend sent me a link to this water bottle she’s been using and saying it’s huge would be such an understatement haha. I wanted to be sure I …

Black-Owned Businesses to Support

We live in a time of simplicity and convenience where it can be so easy to just click on over to a big box site, grab something and get super quick shipping and call it a day, and sometimes even get that thing you ordered by the end of that day. Right now it’s never been more important to buy from small and local businesses, and even more so from businesses owned and led by BIPOC. Sure, you’re probably not getting your item in mere hours and it takes a little more time to hunt around, but the outcome has a lasting impact on so many things, including helping to build up Black communities. By choosing to shop from Black creators and Black-owned businesses, you’re empowering Black business owners with your wallet, and giving a chance at more diversity and representation in markets that are often saturated with far too often problematic corporations. This year has given me a lot of pause in the way that I shop. While I know I don’t consume perfectly …

My Favorite Pet-Friendly House Plants

I guess once I hit my 30s I decided to lean fully into my dream of becoming a plant lady. I’m well on my way now. So far I’ve only had two plant casualties (RIP), but I’m learning as I go. One of the hardest things about plant lady life is finding easy to care for, gorgeous plants that are also pet safe. Winnie loves to chomp on my green babes, so it’s definitely never safe for me to buy something potentially dangerous and just hope she will know enough to steer clear of it. It takes a little bit of research before going to a nursery or any plant shop, but I also think it’s much easier to shop when you know exactly what you’re looking for anyway. I like to keep a little pet-safe list on my phone. Some nurseries do have pet-safe sections, or some kind of indication that certain plants are OK for our fur friends. A few of my favorite Winnie-proof houseplants are: Spider Plants, non-toxic for pets (though it …

My $5 Lamp Refresh

In the midst of our living room saga, I have been slowly trying to decorate the front room space, and one thing I’ve started with is lighting. While that room has recess lighting, but I’m a believer in the more light the better. I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but lamps can be pretty steep. I guess I’ve always either bought cheap lamps — not even going to be embarrassed by that, Tom and I spent the majority of our 11 years living together on a seriously (and I do mean SERIOUSLY) tight budget up until we bought our home in 2018. We had a lot of $10 box store lights bought more for function than style, thrifted lamps and hand-me-downs that didn’t match at all. Ya do what ya have to do. I recently took a trip to Home Goods for some throw pillows, another thing I’ve never been comfortable with spending money on, to be honest. I found this lamp that looked like it could fit in with the scheme of our new …

Sunday Not-So-Scaries: August 16

Hi, hello Sunday! This week was a bit busy for me, so I’m indulging in my favorite new tradition – doing absolutely nothing all day on Sunday. What a gift. Last week Tom and I finally took the plunge and ordered furniture for our new living area space. I’m really excited to see how it’ll all come together and share it here. There’s nothing I love more than being at home these days, so why not make it the coziest place to be? A few things I’m loving right now: Our new gallery wall! I have been struggling with what kind of art to hang in our hallway and decided to make a gallery wall of old family photos. I love the way it came out. Shoutout to Tom for doing all the brainwork – apparently I’m not very good at math/measurements, but I think we got it down perfectly. Teamwork! I used these frames from Target, which came in a nine pack – the perfect amount of photos for our hallway. I’ve been daydreaming …

A Tale of Two Living Rooms

When we moved into our home (almost two years ago now!!!!!), Tom and I debated over which space would be our living room. He voted to have our living room in the front of the house, I voted the back. The ceilings are high in the back of the house, it’s out of the way (aka we don’t need to keep it tidy all the time) and the natural lighting is a bit better back there. With our friends on my side and my great persuasion, our living room went to the back. Win for me! As time went on, though, I had a change of heart and had to do the slow crawl back to let him know he was right, and we should give the front of the house a try. You have to be able to admit when you’re wrong sometimes, I guess.

Sunday Not-So-Scaries: August 2

Happy Sunday, y’all! I’ve been having a lot of lazy Sundays lately and I’m not mad about it. There’s something really special about taking your time and doing absolutely nothing (if that’s available to you). I’m really glad I can slow down these days and just relax. And here we are in August! Not a ton is going on and yet a lot at the same time. We are still working on our living room — a post will come soon about this. But I just ordered some furniture for our new space so fingers crossed it works out! Here’s a few things that have been getting me by lately: Have you listened to The Michelle Obama Podcast yet? Her first episode is with Barack Obama, of course, and it’s just so lovely. I’m looking forward to hearing more of her episodes. A friend of mine just sent me this exciting tidbit: The long-awaited Action Park documentary, Class Action Park is coming to HBO this month. If you haven’t guessed by now, I am unapologetically …

Summer Reading: July

Happy August! I’d ask how we’re already here, but honestly, the days are blurring together and the only way I know it’s August is it’s HOT HOT HOT here in NJ right now. Anyway, I’ve been getting my reading ON, y’all! Just ripping through stories left and right and loving it. What’s better than sitting outside for a little while with a book and some sunblock and escaping for a bit? Or more often for me it’s lying in bed at 3 am with a blanket over my phone to kill the light and reading a library book until my eyes get heavy. I do what I have to do. Here’s what I read in July.

I’m Growing an Avocado Tree

I’m a millennial, so of course I love me some avocado. On toast, on eggs, on burgers, on salads, all by itself. I have a problem. Back in May, quarantine boredom struck me (as it does) and I decided to try propagating an avocado pit. It’s progress has been so fun to watch these last few months. It’s growing so fast! I started by cleaning and removing the skin from the pit. Next, I located the top end and the bottom end. The top end will be pointy and will sprout from there. The bottom end will be flat and will root from there. Next I put four toothpicks into the seed (don’t pierce the line on the seed) to anchor it while it grows. Be careful not to break the seed! I then transferred my new pal to a cup, submerging the bottom half of the pit in water. I changed the water every few days, and gave the plant a nice sunny spot on my window sill. Slowly but surely roots began to …

Natural Deodorants I’m Trying This Summer

Natural deodorant is something I’ve been dabbling in off and on over the last few years. But once the summer hits I usually ditch it for fear it won’t work in this unforgivable Jersey heat and humidity and go right back to my tried and true conventional deodorant. But since I’m not really going anywhere and am keeping a 6’ distance if I am around people, now feels like the best time to try again and really put these deodorants to the test over the summer.