Trash to Treasure

After sharing a gelato with Len, I loved the polka dotted cardboard container so much that I washed it out and repurposed it — now it’s home to office supplies. 

The terms repurpose, recycle, and upcycle are often used interchangeably:

  • REPURPOSE: adapt for use in a different purpose.
  • RECYCLE convert (waste) into reusable material. Return (material) to a previous state in a cyclic process. Use again.
  • UPCYCLE: reuse (discarded objects or material) in such a way as to create a product of higher quality or value than the original. Give an unwanted or waste product a new or enhanced lease of life. 

I’m a huge proponent of repurposing, recycling, and upcycling. One of my favorite places in Boise, Idaho is Blooms Flower Studio. You can see in the photo below, that back in the day it was a service station. Today, it’s a gorgeous (inside and out) floral shop that also delivers impressive customer service.

What have you repurposed, recycled, or upcycled for reuse at your home?


A Twist on Impressionism

Avid walkers, Len, Willa, and I tend to rack up multiple miles per day and we never fail to see tracks of other various creatures who’ve been out-and-about enjoying nature too:





During our walks I oftentimes think of the famous adage — Take nothing but memories; leave nothing but footprints. It reminds me to respect Mother Earth and all of her inhabitants.

Both tracks and memories leave impressions:

  • Tracks in the earth
  • Memories in the mind

What kind of impression have you made?

© Laurie Buchanan

Find me on Twitter @TuesWithLaurie
Find me on Facebook

Stake in the Ground

We’ve been in Boise for almost a month now and love it here! And while our possessions are only semi-unpacked (we’re enjoying a 3-month lease while looking for more permanent digs), we’ve definitely unpacked our lives and are settling in:

  • We’ve met several people who’ve introduced us to more people — expanding our sphere of friendly people
  • We had our delightful neighbor’s over for a back porch chat
  • We got Boise Library cards and I’ve dog-eared a favorite writing table
  • We thoroughly enjoyed the Idaho Botanical Garden


    “Selfie” taken at the Idaho Botanical Garden — less than 2 miles away

  • We went on a guided bicycle tour of homes in the historic East End
  • We have Boise residential parking permits on our vehicles
  • We’ve been out to dinner and breakfast with new friends
  • We discovered the greenbelt that runs along the banks of the Boise River where giraffes peek over the zoo enclosure as we pedal by on our bikes

Giraffes peek over the zoo enclosure as we pedal by on the greenbelt

  • We’ve enjoyed a multitude of culturally diverse cuisine
  • We daily enjoy the designated bicycle lanes
  • I’ve pitched a project to one of the local newspapers and submitted an article to another
  • Our girls — Lexi and Willa — are getting their legs walked off at the dog park and on our excursions around town
Walking dogs

We live mere blocks away from the dog park

  • We walk or ride our bikes to Whole Foods daily to pick up fresh produce where we’re on a first-name basis with some of the employees
  • We’re getting ready to take the Idaho driver’s license test
  • We have “Cheap Date Night” at the River Room set as a recurring event on Monday evenings
  • We’ve potted several vibrant-colored flowers
Stake in the ground

We’ve stuck our stake in the ground

In other words, we’ve stuck our stake in Boise’s fertile soil and claimed it home!

When was the last time you stuck your stake in the ground?

© Laurie Buchanan

Find me on Twitter @HolEssence
Find me on Facebook

A Rose By Any Other Name

I love yard work! Not only do I find it therapeutic, I get a lot of head-writing done while pushing the mower.

I appreciate that the neighbors on each side of us work hard to keep weeds at bay. Last week there was a knock at the door. When I opened it, one of our neighbors said, “Please keep Willa and Lexi in for a while because I’ve sprayed for weeds on both sides of the chain link fence.”

Thanking her for her thoughtfulness, I stepped outside to see the weeds she was referring to. Wouldn’t you know it—they were the little purple flowers that I actually encourage to grow. I think they’re beautiful! I’m glad they’re still plentiful on the other side of the yard where they grow in profusion the full length of the privacy fence.

It’s been said that “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” meaning that “beauty” depends on who’s doing the looking—the “beholder.”

What is your definition of beauty?

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
— Laurie Buchanan

The Book—Discovering the Seven Selves
The Experience—Life Harmony

© 2013 Laurie Buchanan – All Rights Reserved

Find me on Twitter @HolEssence

The Aftermath

Vastly different than afterglow…we’re currently in the aftermath—wake—of yesterday’s storm that hit the greater Chicagoland area with over 200,000 people still without power this morning, ourselves included.

We live in an older neighborhood in Crystal Lake, Illinois laden with full grown oak, hickory, and maple trees. On our street alone, many of these stately giants were snapped like match sticks, or yanked up by 75 mile an hour winds and slammed across people’s homes, garages, or cars. Except for debris in our driveway and yard, we were left unscathed.

Debris from storm 07-11-2011

Debris from storm 07-11-2011

In making our way to our business—HolEssence—to assess any potential damage, we saw that the destruction was widespread, with emergency vehicles and Commonwealth Edison trucks everywhere due to trees and power lines laying across main and side roads.

After the storm roared through, we spent the rest of the afternoon clearing dangling limbs from trees and debris from our yard and driveway. The 91 degree heat and humidity made it somewhat of an unpleasant chore with no fans or air conditioning to take a break in.

Reading by Coleman Lantern 07-11-2011

Reading by Coleman Lantern 07-11-2011

Making lemonade out of lemons, we enjoyed an evening of reading by Colman camp lantern. Without power, I’m a day behind in catching up with emails and blogs. I intend to start today at HolEssence between clients because we have power here.

What was the last big mess you had to clean up?

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
               — Laurie Buchanan and our Facebook page

© 2011 Laurie Buchanan – All Rights Reserved

Mosquito – The Illinois State Bird

Summer’s here and so are the mosquitoes!

While trimming the box hedges the other day, I couldn’t dance around and swat at ’em—it would’ve been too dangerous while wielding the electric hedge trimmers. When the job was finally finished and we got back inside, my arms and legs were polka-dotted with red, raised mosquito bites.

We use natural (and sometimes otherwise) mosquito repellent—from geranium essential oil and dryer sheets, to “Off”—but our mosquitoes seem to be immune. And they’re big. REALLY BIG! I’m fairly certain they could carry off small children and most companion animals.

Summertime in the back yard by Laurie Buchanan

Summertime in the back yard by Laurie Buchanan

And smart, to boot! They’ve obviously read the school safety literature because they always travel in groups—or in this case, swarms! The thing that seems to deter them best is our citronella oil flame pots. Most evening in the back yard we “circle the wagons” and sit inside them for protection.

Citronella Fire Pot by Laurie Buchanan

Citronella Fire Pot by Laurie Buchanan

What’s bugging you?

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
               — Laurie Buchanan and our Facebook page

© 2011 Laurie Buchanan – All Rights Reserved

Moonlight Beach – Encinitas, CA

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Moonlight Beach is one of the many jewels in the beach-community crown of Encinitas, California. It’s located in a residential neighborhood at the bottom of a steep incline that gently slopes into the Pacific Ocean. The word “moonlight” in the name comes from the fact that in the early 1900s, residents used to come to the area for midnight picnics.

This well-loved beach receives a lot of face-time by local volleyball players because of the three beach courts. And with a large playground, ample picnic tables, lifeguards, and snack bar, it’s family-friendly and perfect for a picnic or a day in the sun. The icing on the cake? Plenty of clean restrooms and showers.

Thinking about hangin’ ten? Just click on this LINK for the current weather and surf forecast.

Cowabunga dude!