Why We Installed an Alkaline Reverse Osmosis Water Filter

Why We Installed an Alkaline Reverse Osmosis Water Filter

This post contains affiliate links rewarding us a small commission with each purchase. Water is an essential part of our daily lives. We often hear we need to drink more water. Keep hydrated! Eight glasses a day! Take a water break! But how do we get the most out of the water we drink? And what if the water from the tap just isn't tasty at all? [caption id="attachment_2058" align="alignleft" width="300"] 26.5 pounds of water, 24 pieces of recyclable garbage when you're done![/caption] For years, Laurien and I used to load up on packs of water from the grocery store with each grocery run including two enormous 24-packs of bottled water jammed under the cart. We paid around four bucks for them and lugged them home (they typically weigh more than 25 pounds). The taste was decent and the convenience of having cold water ready to grab and go was...Read More
Is a Baby Swing Necessary?

Is a Baby Swing Necessary?

I was flooded with a torrential downpour of sympathy from my family back east when I told them I was expecting again with baby Asena. Besides asking if it was an accident or how many more kids I planned to have, all they could talk about was how much work taking care of a second baby would be and how full my hands already were with three dogs and Reila. Politely, I reminded them our sweet Rei of Sunshine is now a toddler – not a baby. My Nana insisted children are babies until they're three years old. Whatever, Nana. When I picture a "toddler," its a child between the ages of one and maybe four years old. But there was no point arguing with someone who successfully raised four human resources of her own to adulthood and has lived long to meet her great, great grandchildren. Respect your elders....Read More
Mommy Hiatus

Mommy Hiatus

Our beautiful baby girl, Asena. Moony Musing readers may have noticed my daily 5 AM posts have been irregular this February. Just look at the dates for yourself and see what I mean. But don't worry, I am doing fabulous and things are getting back to normal (whatever that means) so I decided to share the wonderful news: Spennie and I had another baby! Our second daughter, Asena, was born February 2, 2019, at 1:10 PM in the comfort of our own home. Two wonderful Kansas City midwives – Cheryl Gilman and Nicole Green – were in attendance as well as my sister and father-in-law, who did a great job entertaining our 18-month-old daughter, Reila, when she wasn't checking in on me. Click here to find out why I chose home birth with both my pregnancies. I'll save the details for a pregnancy-specific blog post but labor was only six...Read More
50 Hours, No Power

50 Hours, No Power

NO LIGHT January 12 started off like any other Saturday. I got out of bed before my sweet husband to take an undisturbed shower, got my one-year-old, Reila, changed when I heard her wake up, prepared breakfast and called my Nana. "A light dusting," local meteorologists predicted before the snow started falling the previous night. It was the first snow of the year and only the second of the season. But it was already up to my dogs' ankles when they came back inside from taking care of their morning business. And then, the power went out. It was 11:00 AM. Reila was in the middle of a bath when the lights flickered and went off. With our guest bathroom is in the middle of our upstairs floorplan, it has no windows to bring in natural light. "Hey, did the power just go out?" I hollered to Spennie, who was...Read More
Prepare for Winter Power Outages

Prepare for Winter Power Outages

Last weekend, Kansas City was slammed with snow. Local meteorologists predicted 5" but we actually ended up getting closer to a foot. Tons of branches broke under the weight of the snow and plenty of trees fell, too. One actually knocked off a transformer when it fell and caught on fire in the field beside our house! There were tons of downed lines which left more than 150,000 residents without electricity. After 50 hours passed and our power finally came back on, I thought it might be helpful to make a checklist for others to refer to if they know a snowstorm or other winter event likely to cause power outages is heading their way. Lucky for me, I married an Eagle Scout. My husband is always prepared. But for those of you on your own or new to severe winter climates, here are some suggestions to keep you as...Read More
DIY Curtain Shelves

DIY Curtain Shelves

It's been almost two years since we moved into our home and (surprise, surprise) my craft room is still a mess. During one of my procrastination sessions on Pinterest, I stumbled upon this easy curtain shelf tutorial from the blog While They Snooze and decided to give it a try. Of course, I put my own little spin on it. What You Need: Shelf/Shelves Two brackets per shelf Screws for walls and shelves Drill Screwdriver Pencil Tape Measure Set Square Curtains Curtain Rod or Wooden Dowel STEP 1: Measure Window(s) Originally, there were plain tan curtains hanging off of those self-mounted cheap adjustable curtain rods. I realized how cheap they were when I decided to hang a tapestry off of one and accidentally pulled half of it out of the wall. Whoops. After taking down the tapestries nailed to the walls to cover my windows, I measured the width of...Read More
My Work-at-Home Journey and Success Story

My Work-at-Home Journey and Success Story

DISCLAIMER: This blog post is in no way affiliated with any of the companies mentioned below. HAPPY 2018 TAKE OUR DAUGHTERS AND SONS TO WORK DAY!!! Today I accidentally learned about this holiday when I brought Reila to The Roasterie to visit her dad and grab lunch with him.  You see, I'm lucky enough to take my daughter to work every day because I work from home. This time last year, working from home hadn't crossed my mind. I was five months pregnant slaving away for the weekends at my corporate, cube farm job. If you had asked me, I would have assumed only an IT whiz or genius fluent in more than three languages could enjoy the luxury of working from home. I've never been so glad to be wrong. There was a shift in my perception when I realized daycare costs would nearly wipe out my salary. It seemed like a...Read More
Why I Chose Home Birth

Why I Chose Home Birth

On the evening of August 20, 2017, I gave birth to a healthy baby girl in the comfort of my own home. Only my midwife, Cheryl Gilman, and husband, Spencer, were in attendance. Active labor was relatively short for a first-time mom. My daughter's transition into this world was, in a word, smooth. I didn't tear or lose an abnormal amount of blood, despite battling anemia all my life. And, although labor was downright uncomfortable at times, I wouldn't call it painful. You may be thinking, "Wow, Laurien, you're so brave." Or, "Dang, Lo, you must have quite the pain tolerance." Wrong. My heart was intent on giving birth naturally, preferably in the comfort of my own home, long before I conceived. I believe this serious forethought in conjunction with my own independent research and months of reading/hearing other mothers' birth experiences attributed greatly to the success of my home birth. So before...Read More
2018 Resolutions, 2017 Review

2018 Resolutions, 2017 Review

Ah, the new year has finally arrived. January 2018. Time to wake up from our holidaze, set some goals and get back down to business. As I sit here, typing up this blog post for your enjoyment donned in my new, argyle-purple hooded bathrobe (a fantastic Christmas gift from our neighbor Charles,) I imagine you, along with crowds of people you may never see again, are hitting up the gym with your new, unscuffed 12-month membership cards, choosing a salad for lunch today instead of that delicious pork tenderloin you really want or actually taking your pet(s) on a long, outdoor walk – despite the below-freezing temperatures. Good for you! Keep it up! Before I get into everything I hope to accomplish in 2018, let's reflect on everything that happened last year. I seriously hope 2017 was as good for you as it was for me! Spence and I enjoyed...Read More
DIY Laundry Basket Wall Mount

DIY Laundry Basket Wall Mount

Want an organized space? Utilize those walls! You can have loads of fun using hanging baskets in your laundry room to separate dirty clothes, carry everything folded all at once or store soaps and detergents. The options are endless! And why limit this space-saving idea to the laundry room? These baskets are also great for storing board games, toys, stuffed animals, craft supplies – you name it. Here's what you'll need: Measuring Tape Stud Finder Drill Two long, thin wall mounts (I used two of these) A pair of shelf brackets per basket Six screws or drywall anchors Step 1: Measure the length of your basket's bottom side. Don't measure the handles, as brackets need to sit beneath them to hold the basket. Step 2: Decide where you're going to hang your wall mounts. I suggest finding a stud. If your baskets are shorter/wider than the distance between studs or you don't...Read More