Reasons to Frequent your Local Library

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As many of you may know, I am a recovering hoarder and I don’t put that lightly.
As a child I would keep anything and everything that was gifted to me for fear that I would hurt the gifters feelings if I rid of it.
My room was over a foot deep upon entering it and housed everything from clothing, fabric scraps, books, movies, dance shoes and one year even a live duck… no joke.
I once was interviewed for a job and one of the questions was “is your room messy or clean?” I answered honestly and was told by the Owner that “messy rooms equal creative minds.” I just lived out the rest of my early adulthood believing that, and continued to hoard things.

A few years ago I woke up.

Why in the hell did I have all of this stuff that I didn’t even like…nor was serving a purpose?

The great purge began and I got rid of LOADS of stuff and when I say loads, I mean VEHICLE loads.

Most things were easy for me to go through, donate and pass on until…it came to books.

As a child who was homeschooled, books were a huge part of my upbringing. Both of my parents are avid readers and I could often be found reading novels far beyond something you would think an elementary student could comprehend. Books have the ability to sweep you off your feet, captivate your imagination and take you to worlds that you wouldn’t otherwise have the chance to visit.

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I think the love and respect for books that was distilled into me when I was a child has played a huge role in my passion and commitment to them in my adult years. I always feel as though if I pass them on someone may not love or appreciate them as much as me. I know. I know, they are just books, but they played a huge role in the halt of my purging efforts a few mere years ago until….

Oakley was born and we were gifted a 1 year membership to our local library in our going home from the hospital package. The library does this to promote literacy in children at a young age…um, awesome.

I don’t know why I hadn’t frequented the library before Oak was born but after going the first time I knew it would be my new guilty pleasure. Β I am going to share a few reasons why our family absolutely adores the library.

1. Free Movie & Music Rentals: At the time that we started frequenting the library we didn’t have cable, wifi or satellite, we simply had a TV with a DVD player and lived off borrowing and renting movies to get our technology fix. We had been renting movies for $5 a pop only to find out that we could literally get any movie or tv series from the library with their Alberta Wide Trac Data Base. Winning!

2. Free Internet: I utilized this free service tons before we got WIFI, otherwise I was updating our blog and running my business strictly from my phone… If you could imagine this was not the best use of my time as it took FOREVER to edit things.

3. Cheap Printing: Before we had a printer, scanner and computer we would print things at the library for 10 cents and call it a day.

4. Programming: Our library has endless programs for people of all ages. We are most excited to start attending the children’s literacy and music programs this fall. I love the idea of building a foundation for my children surrounded around respecting and appreciating books from a early age just as my parents did for me. I want them to enjoy reading and not feel as though its something that “they have to do.”
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5. Borrow a Kindle or Kobo, Download Audio Books and E books.

6. Make connections with people in your community and visit with the amazing library staff.

7. Borrow a Book: This is my all time favourite portion of this post obviously. You can literally get your hands on any book you desire through the library. If your local library doesn’t own it another library in the Trac system will… they will put a hold on the book for you and most times it’s in within a week! So easy and convenient.

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I know that you can read almost everything online now a days but personally I love the feel of holding a real book. I like that I can bookmark and re-read portions that interest me or reference back to something that I have currently taken up studying. Previously when I would find a good book recommendation, reference book that I needed in my collection or my favourite authors would come out with something new, I would automatically order it from Chapters or Amazon read it once and retire it to my overflowing shelf. But not anymore! This is where the library really helped me save money and part with my book hoarding tendencies. I passed all of my books on to others who may enjoy them except for the select few of my favourites that I have ACTUALLY read again, reference frequently and of course my cookbooks. Now when I see a book recommendation, need the latest fermentation, minimalism, natural health guide or Kristin Hannah release, Β I check them out from the library, read them and if I feel like its something that will benefit me in the future… then I purchase it. The library saves our family loads of money… $2,344.70 since we started frequenting the library a year and a half ago to be exact. We are so thankful to have this free service at our finger tips ❀

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Thanks for reading my friends, I must bid you adieu as my weekend is all “booked” up.
See what I did there πŸ˜‰

xox

Laur

The Clean Parts of My house.

I am going to be real.
Our house Is never ever perfect, sometimes photos can depict that, but it’s not real life.
We have stains all over the carpet where Oakley eats and usually a substantial amount of dishes in the sink.
However the more minimal we become the less cleaning I have to do and the more I love our home.
I have focused on trying to keep our bedroom clean for the last couple weeks and am now adding the living room to the agenda…ALL at once. haha.
Baby steps my friends, baby steps.

I thought I would share some progress photos with you as to what our tiny ranch house has been looking like lately.
My mom always laughs because our house is different every single time she comes… If only she knew Chads evaluation of monthly changes was actually daily evaluations haha.

Enjoy the small bedroom and living tour thus far.
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First of all this is the newest space in our living room. We used to have a super big bulky chair in here that we retired and replaced it with two smaller thrift store finds that are opposite to this. This is the dresser we picked up from Ikea, that stores all of the girls clothing. I have had a lot of people ask me which dresser this is, so if you are also wondering it is the Tarva, 6 drawer dresser in raw pine. It can be found here: Ikea Dresser
I chose it specifically because the wood is raw, which means it is ready to be re-fabbed in ay way you wish. I found the inspiration for it on Pinterest, sketched it out with pencil and just painted it in after lightly white washing the whole thing.

Our art work is photography of our horse herd taken by Sam of SJ Originals. If you haven’t checked out her page you should do so, she has become a great friend of ours and takes all of our families photos.

Everything else in this photo was a gift, home sense find or re-fabbed by me, including that rad chair to the left, which was an old abandoned $5 thrift store find from years ago that I re-upholstered in a vintage rodeo fabric.

I was talking to a girlfriend earlier and I literally said “its funny how much joy something as menial as a dresser can bring you when it turns out how you have planned and isn’t crammed with “stuff”.”

Next I’ll take you into our shared bedroom.

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This is Oakleys half of the room which will also become Baby “W” side of the room as well. We co-sleep so we don’t have a need for a ton more space right now. We will be bringing the cradle back into the living room for nap time when the time comes and adding our new baby swing as well. We picked up the same dresser that you saw above for the living room to house all of mine and Chads clothes and we ditched the change table as we never used it. Oaks mobile and teepee are DIY projects that Chad and I did before she was born and we added other thrifted and locally purchased elements accordingly. Except for that Bison Print, I won that from a Facebook give-away after never winning anything in my life and what a beauty it is. If you are looking for some original art I definitely recommend checking out: Brennan’s Fine Art

Now for our half of the room, It has definitely become a space we have grown to love. We used to have a tv mounted in here but decided that we wanted this space to solely be a sanctuary for sleep. We removed lots from this space and just focus on what we need in here.

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Before Oak was born we ripped up all of the old carpet and now only have cement with an area rug which Chads mama scored for $50. Our head-board was pulled out of the loft of an old homestead building on my parents farm, our night stand is from a local buy and sell and I re-did it, the bison print was a prize from the Bison Conference we attend in Ponoka each year and then of course we have our YL diffuser. We often diffuse Gentle Baby and Lavender in our diffuser as it has really been helping not only our babe but this insomnia struggling mama sleep ❀

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This is a close up of the top of my other dresser which houses my unmentionables, pjs, and extra jewels. The small shelf was a $1 thrift store find and the hook where I hang my necklaces was left here from our ranches previous owner. We have salt lamps in each room to purify the air as well as plants. Most of our plants were either started by my Mama and brought out from Manitoba or purchased from Ikea. The little boho box was a Christmas gift from my friend and everything else is either thrifted or found in the field: aka the deer shed.

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The wardrobe was a local buy and sell steal that we got years ago for next to nothing. It houses all of my dresses, bulky sweaters and all of Chads western shirts. We use the bottom drawer as a community sock drawer. The white dresser was an antique heirloom from Chads parents. On top of the wardrobe we have a bundle of sage that was a gift from my previous Boss Neil, a thrifted vase and my wedding sash. Simple, yet so inviting.

It is crazy how in your younger years you always think that you need to work harder and harder to buy ALL the things. That’sΒ where true happiness is achieved…NO? Not in our case, we worked the full-time jobs in order to buy all the things and with more stuff came more anxiety, more clutter, more cleaning and less happiness.

The simple life, really is the best life.

Thank you for following along on this partial updated home tour. If you have any additional questions about the way we live or where we got something I would be more than happy to fill you in.

All my love & light always,

Laur

#momlife

When I was pregnant with our sweet Oakley, I was looking for a localized place to ask Motherhood related questions in hopes of getting responses from other moms in the same season of life as me. I realized the specific group that I was longing for didn’t exist in our area, so what to do? But create one myself.

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#MOMLIFE was born. It started slowly with a few members, increasing to hundreds of members in the first month. It became a beautiful, sacred space for women to support fellow women through their motherhood. I was sceptical at first that as the group increased drama would progress and things would go south.

To this day we now have well over 2000 local members and I have only ever had to remove one person from the group.

It has grown in ways I never thought imaginable.

We now have monthly business spotlights for our entrepreneurial mamas, to showcase their endeavours and passions to other mamas, while growing their businesses. We have an anonymous forum where individuals undergoing hard financial times can seek help in ways that will make their #momlife less stressful and most of all we have an absolutely beautiful community of women from all walks of life supporting each other through some of the most trying times of life.

There are lots of laughs, lots of advice and lots of love.

The point to my post is… if you are looking for something in life and aren’t finding what you need… create it.

Life is beautiful and I am so proud of the community of women that have come together to make life so much more enjoyable for everyone in the same seasons of life.

I hope you have a wonderful day Backwoods Followers.

Follow your dreams ❀

Laur

A Backwoods Opportunity

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We are young entrepreneurs, we are a young family, we are ranch oriented, ranch raised and holistically minded.
We recently downsized our own bison herd in hopes of doing something completely different.

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We now house all of our own ranch animals on our home quarter in hopes of finding the perfect individuals who have an influx of animals, whom want to expand their herd, Β or maybe want to invest in bison for the first time to take advantage of this opportunity.

We are offering 200+ acres of beautiful game fenced, Alberta prairie grasslands for rent. We are striving to find someone who would like to invest in or expand their operation but doesn’t necessarily have the time nor head space to care for said animals. We can adequately provide care for 60 cow calf pairs in a low-stress, natural environment. We guarantee you that your animals will be cared for with the utmost respect and care as our own animals receive.

You provide the animals and we will handle the rest. We have an amazing handling system and have been known to raise animals that are quiet although they are raised in their natural environment. Prairie restoration is vital to our mission. Our land and animal practices are as close to natures intentions as possible. By giving our animals room to roam without overpopulating it helps the land become restored to health.

We are equipped to run our practice year round, including pasture, hay, minerals, grain if required as well as weaning, vaccinating and calving services.Β img_8096

If this is something that may interest you, I invite you to contact us personally either at backwoodsbuffaloranch@gmail.com or contact Chad direct at 7803059253

We look forward to hearing from you throughout our mission to preserve this beautiful bovine and invite you to visit our ranch to admire our land and systems.

Thank you for your time and interest.

Laurie

A Few Small Changes for Baby #2

 

So how the heck are you guys ACTUALLY going to manage living in 600 sq. ft. with a baby and a toddler?

This is something that we hear on the daily and I am going to tell you our exact plans.

If you have seen our living room lately you would know it looks like this:

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This is our tv stand and Oaks toy corner, but this is our future idea and I can’t wait to share with you!

In our bedroom we removed the closet to fit our sweet girls crib and change table just over a year ago. Β We not only didn’t utilize the change table at all when Oak was a babe but we also didn’t utilize her crib until just recently because we co-slept throughout her entire breast feeding journey, which lasted over a year and often do so currently.

In our small bedroom, the following photo represents many of the aspects that are already there! The only thing we are going to add is an additional dresser which you can view below sourced from Ikea to house mine and Chads clothing, because we are ridding Β of the open shelf we have stashed behind our bedroom door as well as the change table! WHY? Because we just don’t need them. We change our babies everywhere and anywhere. Our bedroom is a family room and it is completely utilized by each family member and represents each and everyone of us. It’s OUR space not a master bedroom. It’s family friendly and only houses the bare minimum.

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This is our plan for the living room. We have a beautiful TV stand which we are going to keep just in case we do have the opportunity to expand our immediate living space one day and because we love it. The thing is with our tv stand: it’s under utilized, we recently binned up all of our DVDs because we don’t even have a DVD player in the house. So our TV stand currently houses, board games, books and Chads western movies which he wanted to keep in the house. We are going to replace our TV stand with the same dresser you previously saw in our bedroom. We are also going to switch out our TV that has a stand for our wall mounted one that we already own to use less of a footprint. Are you wondering whats going to be in the dresser? This is where we are going to store both girls clothing. Because we live in such a small space, we feel as though it will be very beneficial to us to house the girls clothing in the living room.

1. because we already change Oak in the living room.

2. Because if one girl is snoozing in the bedroom, we don’t have to wake them in order to change the other babe. This is a #momlife win for me. It is going to make my life SO much easier. Everything pictured below are things we already own and love, the only thing we have to switch out in this big transition from going from 3 to 4 is a DRESSER. How simple is that?
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It isn’t hard to live comfortably in a small space even with multiple children and adults. If you want to know how we do it…. drop me a line below.

All my love ladies and gents,

Laur

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