Author Archives: thebandwifeblog

November 16, 2017

My House Featured in “Make Yourself At Home” Book!

You guys, my home is featured in a real home book! How cool is that?!? When Moorea Seal asked me if I wanted to lend my house to her Make Yourself At Home book, I leapt at the chance. Her website is so beautiful and curated and so I knew that her book would be amazing as well. She has lots of design and styling tips in the book as well as cute DIYs so you can add some personal touches to your space too. My home appears all over the book but mostly in the plant-focused chapter and I give all my tips on how I love to use plants (real and faux) to liven up a space. If you’re wanting some home-decor tips, DIY projects, or just like looking at pretty pictures of homes for inspiration, then this is perfect book for you or a great gift for someone else this holiday season!

xo. Laura

November 13, 2017

So Much To Be Thankful For…

Sooo, we have had quite an crazy last few weeks! We were on our way up to visit Todd’s family in IL to have an early Thanksgiving and we hit a giant deer head-on and totalled our car on the dark highway. I actually had no idea what was happening as I was turned in the passenger seat and talking to Todd who was driving at the time, but I just heard giant thud as we crashed into something and I immediately started screaming as I ducked into Todd. I looked up briefly for a second and saw that the windshield was completely spiderweb cracked and all I could see out the front was crumpled white metal. I guess the hood crumpled up once we hit the deer and flew up into the windshield, cracking it on impact, but since I didn’t know about the deer yet I thought for a second that we had hit the side of another car and that they were somehow up on our hood and we had slid under them. Lola was sleeping in the back and the impact and sound startled her awake so that she was crying immediately while Todd was trying to steer us to the side of the road though the few inches of cracked windshield that the hood wasn’t covering. Once we pulled over and I could see the damage to the car but realized we were all ok, I just started weeping immediately out of thankfulness for God’s protection and I tried to calm Lola down as best I could from the front seat.

After a few minutes of trying to gather ourselves, we started the process of calling for a tow truck and our insurance to report the accident and find out what we needed to do. We were almost 2 hours away from home so there was nothing to do but wait out the tow truck arrival (about 1 1/2 hours later) and call around to find a friend who could come and take us back to our house. We didn’t want to take Lola out of her carseat since we were sitting on the side of a dark highway with trucks whizzing past us (in case someone hit us), so I sat in the back with her and sang songs as cheerfully as I could until help arrived. That was definitely my biggest lesson so far in feeling upset inside but trying to keep it together for the sake of your kid so they aren’t scared. Poor girl had to be in her car seat forever that night but she handled it so well! Once the tow truck arrived, he towed us to a nearby gas station and we grabbed everything out of our car (and I mean everything) since we knew it was probably totalled and we wouldn’t see the car again. It was such a weird feeling to be in the tow truck with all our stuff and to look back behind me and see my mangled, bloody car in the flashing yellow lights of the truck as we drove down the highway. So surreal. Thankfully our friend Darren was able to come and get us and take us home where I fell into bed as soon as I got Lola all situated. I definitely started crying as I kissed her goodnight and put her in her crib, trying not to dwell too much on the alternative scenario and what could have happened that night. I think Todd was up for a bit longer as he was still feeling rather rattled by being the driver and actually seeing the deer right before it happened. I think because he saw it a split second before it happened he had a quick moment to wonder, “Is this it??” before we actually hit the animal. It’s kind of funny because I definitely roll my eyes at Todd’s video game playing but he actually attributes his quick reflexes in dangerous scenarios to his life-long gamer habits…I guess video games are good for something!

The next morning we were on the phone again with insurance and getting rental cars set up, not sure what we were going to do about getting a new car (I was planning on just driving that one forever until it didn’t work anymore) and while I knew all of that was going to be a giant headache to figure out, but I was just so thankful for the scene that was before me that morning. Todd was playing his guitar, singing to Lola, and she was happy and carefree. That deer could have come through the windshield, the glass could have broken into us, a car could have hit us from behind when we hit the deer or as we tried to get off the road—but none of that happened and I was just so grateful.

We’ve been spending a ton of time this week car shopping and looking online and trying to figure out what to do next with that. My car wasn’t worth much and we had been planning on getting a better (and a little bigger) car now that we have a family but we’d also been trying to sell our super-cool-but-totally-impractical-for-a-baby 1974 Corvette Stingray so we could use that money for our next car. Unfortunately, the Stingray is still in our driveway so if any of you want to buy a vintage car, let me know! Taking a baby car shopping for hours at a time sounded kind of miserable, but she’s been such a trooper so far and she actually makes the experience more fun I think. Anyways, thanks to all of you guys for your kind words saying that you are glad we are ok! I definitely have a lot to be thankful for this holiday season…

xo. Laura

November 2, 2017

Kitchen Makeover (Before + After!)

If you’ve ever done a kitchen renovation before then you know how involved and lengthy that process can be. There are so many things to pick out (and research first if you are me) and since it can be one of the more expensive areas of a home to remodel, you really want to be sure that everything will look right so it’s a pretty nerve wracking project as well! When we moved in to our home over two years ago the kitchen felt dark and small with wood cabinets, black granite, dated tile and there was hardly any counter space or food storage built into the setup. We knew we wanted to lighten the colors and add larger counters but it was a bit of a slow process so we’ve lived with the space in many different stages as we did one thing at a time. Want to see what it looked like before?

As you can see it’s so much brighter overall even though we went with a darker floor. The light from that window can now bounce around the space instead of getting absorbed by the cabinets and countertop so it feels larger overall even though we added more cabinets opposite the sink for food storage.
I do a lot of faux plants on shelves (especially when they are up high) and in wall planters so I don’t have to worry about water dripping down the walls if I overfill them (that beautiful gold leg planter actually has a faux plant as well already in it!). Those gold wall planters are perfect for adding a little green next to a print or a wallhanging and they come in a few sizes as well for grouping. That cactus print is perfect for the space since it adds a pop of pink and green and stays in the “pastel California” vibe. I have a few watering cans spread throughout the house to remind me to water my plants but that brass one is probably my favorite.  Adding some open shelving gave me some more space to display my vintage glassware but also got it away from a lower shelf in the dining room where little baby hands will soon be able to get to. Not looking forward to that stage! Those shelves are from Hobby Lobby but this one is a similar look. We painted the original cabinets white and added really simple new cabinets to compliment the original pieces. We used the same brass pulls and knobs on both to help tie the two areas together as well.That pink pot is definitely my favorite piece of cookware—adorable! Gold looks so pretty against the white so I scatter gold planters around the kitchen wherever I can.
I wanted a light that had some personality without overwhelming the small space and this brass cluster chandelier is absolutely perfect for the job! I basically love everything in that shop and almost every light the in house is from them—so beautiful!
Those white dot planters are all over my house—I love them! A friend of mine had that brass faucet and it was so pretty and easy to use (the faucet pulls down into a sprayer) that it made choosing a new faucet super a snap! Like designing any room I think the little details really make a difference so I tried to find items like that brass paper towel holder to be consistent with the overall feel of the space. The countertop that we chose is Viscostone Venatino and I love that it looks like marble but it a lot less prone to staining and discoloration than the real thing. Marble is beautiful but can be a pain to live with, especially in a kitchen. I wanted some pretty seating for the counter area and those gold wire stools really pop against the white peninsula. The wire on the back of the stool can dig into your back a bit when you sit on them but a furry faux sheepskin draped over the chair looks cute and solves that problem all in one! I double love that this kitchen is now both beautiful and has the functionality we’ve been desperately missing through the renovation stages. It’s such a happy place to make coffee in the morning and cook dinner in at night and it blends seamlessly with the rest of the house now as well. I don’t want to do another kitchen renovation any time soon but I will say that this one was totally worth it!

xo. Laura

October 31, 2017

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween from my little mermaid and me!! It was so fun to make a mother/daughter costume this year (you can see the full tutorial over on A Beautiful Mess) and I can tell it will be more and more enjoyable as she gets old enough to be excited about them too!It’s a little colder than I would like tonight here in Nashville so we may be the only mermaids I know of to also wear furry coats, but we are going trick-or-treating with friends and it’s her first Halloween so I’m sure it will be fun too. We just wish Todd was in town for it but he gets back tomorrow so we are looking forward to that!!

xo. Laura

October 27, 2017

The Wheels On the (Tour) Bus Go Round + Round (Part 2)

Well, we did it! We made it through a second round of visiting Todd on tour! The thing that sucks about tour season so far is that it’s really not the easiest thing to go out and be on the road (especially for me since I sleep with her and all the nursing, etc.) but it’s also really hard in different ways to be home alone without Todd. Totally one of those situations when the grass always seems greener in whichever scenario you aren’t in at that moment…

Anyways, we got to explore the east coast with Lola last trip and this time we headed out to the west coast for a desert and California adventure! The tour rolled around to Nashville to play at the Ryman and so we got to have Todd home for the day and hang out a bit around the house. I had a short list of chores I really couldn’t do alone so I saved them all for that afternoon! As you can see, they had a little music lesson as well…At that point, halfway through the tour, I still hadn’t seen much of the show because Lola usually goes to bed before they start, but that night I decided to let her sleep in her baby carrier (still my favorite one to use by the way) and watch as much as I could. She “slept like a baby” for about an hour with her baby earmuff protectors and then woke up and enjoyed the light show for a bit before I took her to her bunk for the night. At least I got to see half the show!
Todd always tries to find botanical gardens whenever he can so we did a lot of walking to parks or Ubering to cool outdoor spots when they were nearby.
We weren’t quite close enough to downtown New Orleans on our day off to go in for the day, but there was a salt water hotel pool (Lola loves being in water) and a Cafe Du Monde nearby so I was pumped! I’ve heard so many good things about their beignets and coffee and they. are. all. TRUE! We got a second order because I couldn’t get enough! Next stop was Austin City Limits festival! Probably one of the harder days for me being at a super hot outdoor festival with a teething five month old, but all in all, Lola did so well with all the noise and crowds and even made it into one of the Mutemath interviews by accident. I ran to the bathroom and I guess they had to start the interview before I got back so he just held her while they answered questions! So funny! Also, Todd and Lola made the Best Dressed Instagram for the festival for their matching grey tops. Her face kills me…such a Todd face to make! Lola loved being out with the other band kids and Amelia especially could always make her smile. It was a perfect match because Amelia loves to sing and perform and Lola loves to watch! One of the best parts of being on the road is that you get to meet up with all your friends that live in different states and this time we got to see our friend Sarah and her kiddos for a Phoenix play date! Always glad to see them! I mentioned last trip that we LOVED using this Doona Infant car seat that turns into a stroller with the push of a button. Another band wife recommended it to me and it’s been amazing! Pricey but totally worth it for the amount we’ve used it on the road and in airports so far. On our San Diego day off we took Lola out for her first beach day! I forgot to pack her swimsuit so she just hung out in a diaper and loved being out by the water. Todd let the waves reach her feet a few times but the water was way too cold to really put much else of her into it!

I’ve been a big fan of the high waist swimsuit for the past few years but they are also great for post partum life as well. That ASOS one is from a few year back but Mara Hoffman has some patterns to die for! This one and this one are my favorites…I posted this caption for this photo on Instagram—I think it says a lot about how different touring was for me this year…

“Being out on this tour has been so different from every other trip up until now. I used to be up until 2-3 am each night hanging out after the show and now I go to bed before it even starts. I used to wake up after lunch and this week I saw the sun rise while driving through the desert and changing diapers. I used to get the best sleep of my life in the dark tomblike bunks while the bus swayed gently back and forth and now I constantly rush to nurse a baby back to sleep before the whole bus hears. I used to sit at cool outdoor cafes at night and have drinks with my guy and now I pass them as I walk the streets to distract a fussy baby. Motherhood is a constant realization of things I miss mixed in with new joys I never could have imagined in that previous life. But just a smile kills me. A laugh and I am dead. For even just a snuggle I would give it up all over again and again.”

And if you’re in California, you should probably go to Disneyland, right?! A really sweet friend of the band and his girlfriend gave us tickets and were our tour guides for the afternoon and I’m so glad we got to go. We only did a half day since Todd had a show that night but I was still glad we went since it’s fun to just walk around and we got to ride a few rides as well. Thanks Andrew!
Soundcheck baby!
San Fransisco! We had two days in San Fran so we were there long enough to walk over and see the houses from the opening shot of Full House (you know, where they have the picnic in the park?). It’s actually a really pretty park with an amazing view of the city and lots of other people taking pics and gawking as well so I didn’t feel as dorky doing it myself. We are always sad on our last day together so Todd wanted to snuggle Lola during her nap and it was just a really sweet moment between them. I was really nervous that whole day (and the night before) because it was only going to be the second time taking Lola on an airplane and we were doing a red eye overnight flight back to Nashville. Thankfully it wasn’t a full flight at all so we had a whole row to ourselves and she basically slept the whole time. Thank God!! There were actually a lot of other babies and kids on the flight so I think we all had the same hopes of taking a night flight so kids would sleep through it. Once I do a few more flights with her I’ll do a “tips for babies on an airplane” post because those were really helpful for me to read about before I flew!

We’ve been back home for a little over a week and though the tour will be over in a few days it feels like it’s taking for. ev. er. I totally know what they mean now when they say that “the days are long but the years are short” when it comes to kids. I feel like Lola was just born yesterday, but at the same time, every day that I’m caring for her alone while trying to work and keep our lives together feels like the longest day of my life. I’ll be glad for the set of extra hands for sure when Todd gets home, and ya know, I just miss my buddy too.

That Lola is already quite the jet-setting traveler and we hope it helps to make her comfortable in all sorts of environments—I think it’s working so far!

xo. Laura