The Non-Definitive Guide To Life

If you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with rain" - Dolly Parton

Posts for HOME + LIFESTYLE Category

Interview with Ashley Hosmer, Romanticizer of Life

HOME + LIFESTYLE, INTERVIEWS - September 19, 2021

Before there was a trend on TikTok to romanticize your life, Ashley Hosmer was already in the act of curating beautiful spaces within her home, relishing in the refined scents of luxury candles, and enjoying a decadent pastry at her favorite local bakery. The warmth she creates within her physical and digital space, with just enough spice that neither environment feels overly curated or cloyingly sweet, makes her one of my favorite people to follow on the internet. Known for her detailed candle reviews complete with a Google Spreadsheet and 5 point grading system, she is unabashedly bougie when it comes to her candle selection and does not hold back her opinion. If the Bath & Bodyworks YouTube candle hauls from 10 years ago scarred you, her candle chats are the healing balm.

I was drawn to her account through a giveaway she was hosting. She was transparent that she desired follower growth but was firm in the type of follower she wanted to attract. Being forthright about who she is so no one would get short-changed in the social media transaction. It’s her vulnerability with a dash of sass, along with her honest reviews and earnest support of companies and products she loves, that makes her one of my go-tos when on the fence about a purchase. I consider if Ashley has tried it? What’s her hot-take? Can she help me not waste my money? I’m a maximalist loves to romanticize my life, appreciating the little things and know the power of drinking from a beautiful glass or snuggling in a soft blanket. Ashley is extra, and her extraness makes her uniquely qualified to be an expert in luxuriating in life.

*Ashley sent this interview back to me in May, shortly after she started her journey as a full-time influencer. I am 5 months behind on publishing this interview in a timely manner for reasons that would bore you, so let’s just jump into her thoughtful responses.

Name: Ashley Hosmer

Sun/Rising/Moon Placement: Sun in Sagittarius, Moon in Leo, Ascent in Aquarius

Favorite Color: This is so hard! Lately cobalt blue but mustard always.

Childhood Hero: Lucille Ball. I grew up watching I Love Lucy with my grandma and Lucille Ball was what I aspired to be, kind and funny.

You’re incredibly honest and transparent with your reviews and seem to be pretty discerning around anything from homewares to bakery spots. It’s why I know people can trust your taste and voice. Who are voices that you completely trust?

@marielle.elizabeth is my personal style icon, following her has done wonders for my own self-esteem, and chatting with her has been a huge comfort. She is so honest and true to herself. 

@thecasaverde has the most vibrant energy, she is so kind and has this ability to make you smile even when that’s the last thing you want to do.

@dommdotcom, @wanderingmyhome and @midmodathome are so honest and authentically themselves.

I follow so many amazing people and feel so lucky to have built connections with them.

What are three trends that you love, and three trends that you hate? 

I feel like I am in such a bubble, I only see the things that really resonate with me and enforce what I like/believe so I actually feel like I am out of the trend loop. I’m seeing a lot of grid patterns which I love, a lot of vibrant colors and more maximalism styles. I love things, I love color, I love filling my home with things that make me happy. I don’t think those are trends really but I see a lot of it on social and love it. The things I don’t love are the constant DIYing, it seems exhausting and I am not handy like that so that just isn’t my thing and I don’t really want to upcycle everything I see. But more power to you if that’s your thing. I find when I attempt a DIY, I usually spend more money on the materials and am less happy with the results haha.

How long have you been raising plant babies? How many plant babies do you have? And do you have a favorite? 

My love of plants really started in our last apartment about four or so years ago. Once I started, there was no stopping me. Right now I am loving my hoyas, my tricolor is flowering for the second time and it is so rewarding. Last time I counted it was over 70.

If you could download any skill into your brain, what would it be?

The ability to let things go. I would love to care less about certain things and be able to move on from hurtful messages instead of playing them over and over in my mind.

Have you picked up any hobbies during the pandemic that you will continue into your post-vaccinated life? Are there any pre-pandemic habits or hobbies that no longer interest you? 

I got into puzzles and that won’t go away. I find it so rewarding. Pre-pandemic I had a lot of road rage, I live in LA so it kind of comes with the territory but I have mellowed out so much not having to commute and I am really hoping that zen stays with me.

What is a quality in Matty that you wish came more naturally to you? (Would be cool if Matty answered this but for you) 

His kitchen skills. He can watch a single YouTube video and make that dish but he will modify it to our taste preferences and then be able to replicate it on his own after. It’s amazing. Cooking does not come naturally to me at all and that innate ability to make a dish your own just baffles me. 

Matty said, “being able to see the messes you see”. I can see the hairs in the sink after he’d trimmed his beard and the coffee grounds on the counter, he somehow can’t see these things. I too wish he had this ability haha.

Recently, you shared how your opinion on Influencers is beginning to shift. Having worked with influencers and now being in a space where you’ve grown your own visibility, can you share what the evolution has been like and what new ideas you have around the space? 

I used to get really annoyed by influencers, thinking they were fake and constantly pushing products, and sure this may be true for some but what I have realized from my own audience growing, is just how taxing this is. You are opening up your life to thousands of people and they all have access to you –  to your comments and private messages, and they don’t hold back. I have made so many amazing connections but I have also been on the receiving end of so many hurtful messages. 

I was trying so hard to be the kind of influencer I didn’t see much of on Instagram. To share the real moments and reply to every single message I received, to really build connections with people. I didn’t understand why an influencer would go on stories and ask a question and then NOT reply to the message. Now I realize, it’s because it’s overwhelming and mentally taxing. I receive hundreds of messages daily, depending on the topic I post about. I, in passing, mentioned natural deodorant one day and received over 200 suggestions on brands to try. It’s a lot. A lot to take in. And once you build a connection, you have so many more touch points with a person, which I truly love, but multiply that by a hundred and it’s overwhelming. Then you grow your audience and it just keeps going. 

And I don’t want that to change, I don’t want to not connect with people. I just need to be ok with taking longer to reply and setting boundaries. I share a lot of my personal life which opens up a lot of criticism, I do not need to reply to those messages. I have in the past and nothing good has come from it. So setting boundaries is important and now I understand why those large influencers sometimes don’t reply. It’s honestly just not possible or healthy to reply to every single message. 

Have you always been savvy in interior styling, or have you picked up tips and tricks along the way? Any design decisions that you immediately regretted or have since learned from? 

I think my love of interiors and styling came from my step mom. Any time I went on vacation with my dad, I would come home to our home completely rearranged. It became a joke like how will the rooms be different when we get home? It was thrilling and somehow always looked better. I think that’s where it started. Then after moving in with Matty, my husband, and creating spaces that serve us and reflect us, it has been something I’ve really grown to love and it comes naturally to me. 

The only regrets I’ve had have come from rushing to design a space to finish. You’re never really finished and when you do that, you end up owning items that you like but don’t love. I want our home to be filled with things we love. So in our current home, I have really taken my time decorating.

What does the perfect day in Los Angeles look like for you, and please include some songs on the soundtrack? 

For me, a perfect anywhere involves great food, great company, and my ideal weather – sweater weather. Cool enough for a light sweater but not too cold and definitely not hot haha. Mid 60s is heaven to me. 

So a perfect LA day would be waking up early, heading to my favorite bakery, Just What I Kneaded, grabbing a mix of sweet and savory items and splitting them in the park with my husband. Then heading to some cute boutiques like Prelude & Dawn and Individual Medley, maybe finding a new candle or ceramic. Picking up sandwiches from Wax Paper for lunch. Hitting up a local market like Wine & Egg shop. Going home and watching a movie together or having friends over for dinner. 

We actually have a lot of days like that but they’re my favorite. Supporting small businesses, shopping local, and eating amazing food. That’s my perfect day in any city.

And food songs, anything upbeat. I love Haim, Borns, Bleachers, any song that’s fun to belt out.

Almost four years ago this month* you published Goals, Motivation & Manifesting My Future on your blog, and now 2021 – it looks like a few things are being crossed off the list (even if unintentional like being laid off) but as you and I have talked about in the DM – this moment feels like the universe is pushing you into new territory. What are some things you’re looking to manifest and work towards next? 

Wow, I had no recollection of writing that blog post and had to take a minute to go read it. It really shows how fast time goes by. I wrote about being unhappy at work almost four years ago and here I was thinking this feeling developed in 2020. 

Ok, shock aside haha, I am really looking forward to seeing how things evolve for me. Will I settle into life as an influencer? Will I be able to pay my bills doing this? Or will I look for part time work in a shop or go back to a ful- time corporate job?

In my ideal scenario, I will continue to grow my following, continue to make meaningful connections with people, learn to handle the criticism, and find revenue streams that make this a possible career for me. I would love to be hired for lifestyle photography by brands, be paid for partnerships, and continue to share things I love with my community.

*this month = MAY ( I was really slow to get this live)

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Add To Cart: Notebooks

HOME + LIFESTYLE - March 15, 2021

Notebook people are extraordinarily skilled at justifying the purchase of a new notebook. No ambition is too small not to receive its own dedicated log. Scribbled into several notebooks are our thoughts, ideas, “note to self” reminders, fears, and accomplishments—a group of us notebook people knowing that their half-used notebooks with blank pages outnumber the completed journals. Eco-guilt is pulling at the edges of our stationery-obsessed hearts, so we promise to finish our notebooks before buying another. And our eyes wander to stationery accessories that will enhance the ritual of putting pen to paper—the lure of a fresh notebook itching at the back of our mind.

Here are collection of notebooks and other items I would add to cart:

  1. Artists Set (Poketo) | $ 117
  2. Meadows Notebook (Erin Condren) | $16.00 / on sale: $12.80
  3. Birds of Paradise Lined Notebook (Erin Condren) |$20.00 / on sale: $16.00
  4. 60s Eye Pattern Notebook (Society6) | $14.99
  5. Vintage & Shabby Chic – Autumn Harvest Black Notebook (Society6) | $14.99
  6. Fruit Stickers (Shout&About) | $5.00
  7. Object Notebook in Sunrise (Poketo) | $24.00
  8. Self Planner (Poketo) | $28.00
  9. I Got This Notepad ( People I Have Loved)| $12.00
  10. Eye Dream Journal in Lemon (Rainbow Vision) | $26.00
  11. Make It Happen Journal (People I Have Loved) | $15.00
  12. Rainbow Waves (Papier) |$26.99
  13. n/a
  14. Flower Power Notebook (Rainbow Vision) |$14.00
  15. Stacked Shapes (Papier) | $26.99
  16. Joy (Papier) | $26.99
  17. Pencil & Paper Co. Take Note Pens (Anthropologie) |$14.00
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JOYOUS | A Christmas Aesthetic

HOME + LIFESTYLE - December 29, 2020

The clash of thunder shook me from my slumber and triggered my fight or flight response. Throwing off the covers and bouncing out of bed, putting on my boots, to run outside and remove the seat cushions from our outdoor furniture. A totally natural reaction upon hearing a thunderstorm in the middle of the night – right? Our outdoor furniture has become very important to me this year.

Pandemic party planner wasn’t a skill I was expecting to learn in 2020, but here we are and I feel like Christmas was my graduation show. CDC guidelines pushed my inner host to think in new ways and a spacious suburban backyard made distancing logistics easier. Seriously, just feel incredibly lucky and grateful that my family unit/cohort of eight were able to gather safely during this time. I have two nieces and a nephew of varying ages under 12, and I know the pandemic is going to mark their psyches. Eventually, as they grow older, the childhood trauma will manifest in some weird way like needing to have a linen closet stuffed with toilet paper in order to feel a sense of calm…or maybe nothing at all. Anyways, I wanted to influence their memories of this weird year positively and thus I became a pandemic party planner.

Back in July, I wrote down “plan a perfect pandemic backyard Christmas” in my agenda as an action item. A few ideas scribbled under the bulleted task to set me in a direction. Most of those initial scribbles didn’t come into fruition, but what did materialize achieved the desired objective – make positive memories for my nieces and nephew.

Below is a before and after of the backyard’s transformation from drab to Christmas fab!

Valuable Takeaway:

Make children have to complete a Survivor-style obstacle course in order to open their presents. For a festive flare call the obstacle course portion of the party, Reindeer Games.

Also, since 2020 will likely be the last year my husband and I live with my mom, I wanted to display all the decorations we had and make the season special. The hodgepodge of items creating our own little Christmas aesthetic – rooted in tradition, textiles, collections, and a bit of resourcefulness. A tour of our aesthetic can be found on IGTV, or maybe that’s why you’re here in the first place – well, if so, thank you for checking out my backyard transformation.

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Clean & Cleanse

HOME + LIFESTYLE - November 8, 2020

It’s a g*d-d*mn victorious amazing liberating f*kn fantastic day.

Trump was not re-elected.

And to celebrate, I’m cleaning my house.

Cause it’s a day of cleansing — we are cleaning out the White House of the hyperbolic leadership of the last four years, so I’d like to reflect that sentiment in my home as well.

p.s. Sending my gratitude out into the world for all the amazing people who created memes and Tik-Toks filled with funny, and inspired commentary on this past week. It legit got me through Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.

p.p.s. Watched this documentary today and holy mf cannoli …

I’m not one to share or talk about politics so publicly. The conversations that involve political themes require more patience and nuance than is ever allotted on the internet. It demands more empathy, compassion, understanding, and willingness to withhold harsh judgment on those that are not aligned with your belief system. I choose to not engage. However, today, in the light of all the pain, heartache, death, and despair that 2020 has endured – I participate in this political conversation and celebrate.

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Happy to Be Living With My Mom This Mother’s Day

My mother is one of the most intelligent and resilient women I know, and for this Mother’s Day, I’m going to stop being ashamed that I live with her.

Yes, I’m a thirty-three-year-old married woman with an established career who lives with their mother. For the past 15 years, I’ve carried a growing shame about living with her, and it wasn’t until I was in quarantine with my Mom did I unpack that baggage.

Shame is interesting, it’s non-discriminate, and regardless of status, it finds a way to infect our souls. A seed that is planted in our psyche and grows over time, influencing how we move through the world, protecting the little secrets we have around our shame. Movies, television shows, media, in general, has painted the picture of a very pathetic adult who lives with their parent. A person who is unmotivated, non-directional, a slacker, lazy, ungrateful, entitled, a stunted-adult who is irresponsible and has a bad case of Peter Pan syndrome. It’s a characterization that I don’t identify with and does not accurately depict my husband at all. I am absolutely terrified of being boxed in by that stereotype. If the story were flipped and my mother happened to be living with me in my house, I’d be painted with a sweet altruistic multi-generational home narrative, but that isn’t my story. I would be lying if I tried to spin that story too. Instead, I’m tangled up in my shame because except for a small three-month stint in Venice when I was 20 and living with a few co-workers, I’ve never lived on my own.

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Interior Lives from The Cut – my home expander

HOME + LIFESTYLE, WATCH - February 29, 2020

“A Bouquet of Happiness” – Inside Jonathan Adler and Simon Doonan’s Whimsical Home

I’m a firm believer in manifestation. I have been ever since I was a kid. My first manifestation was at the age of 11 or 10 and I called in our family dog Blondie. I have more manifestation stories, but maybe I’ll reserve that for its own post.

Last year I began listening to manifestation coach Lacey Phillips’ podcast and gained insights into her manifestation system, which is also very much a “how-to heal from your emotional trauma, grow, and develop new breakthroughs” system. I wholeheartedly believe in her system, as the manifestation process I’ve been fostering since I was a child is very similar to hers. However, she has some tips, tricks, and workshops that never dawned on me and I believe the universe did send her the full download. A download that allows her to communicate what I’ve known instinctually, unveiling a vocabulary and structure of how to truly manifest the life you desire.

One of those vocab words is Expanders . In her words, “Expanders™ are some of the most valuable energy you will ever have around you. They are literally who expand your belief system when it comes to Manifestation. And learning how to detect them and integrate them is a potent part of living an existence of our being in full expansion and possibility of receiving what we are calling in.”

Put simply, Expanders show you the possibilities of what it is that you can have in your life. If you want to be a mother and a CEO, then you could find Expanders by googling, “women CEOs who have children,” I did it and the article is here. Expanders can be anyone or anything, they just expand your mind and energy.

In regards to home life and aesthetics, I love watching The Cut’s Interior Lives series. Not every home is MY aesthetic or style, but the way in which people talk about their homes and how the home reflects their distinct style is how I want to feel about where I live. It is an Expander for me and the way I want to present my life and move through my space. The art, culture, and nuances of the creative soul. It helps me to increase my magnetism (another of the vocab words) in regards to calling in the home-life I want to manifest.

I’ve been debating signing up for Lacey Phillips program for months now, and I feel myself inching closer and closer to that investment. If and when I make the leap, I’ll share the process. In the meantime, I sort of love the idea of sharing what I’m already doing and what I’m using as Expanders in my life.

Are you a fan of Lacey Phillips? Do you believe in manifestation?

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Roses & Thorns: j a n u a r y

HOME + LIFESTYLE, LISTEN - February 11, 2020

One of my favorite podcasts, That’s So Retrograde, has a segment called roses and thorns where they share the best and worst parts of their life at the moment. I love this segment because it ranges from the general best life moment highlights too favorite product discoveries. Roses & Thorns is very broad-reaching in its ability to be an open category for favorites and unfavorites of the mental, physical, and spiritual variety.

I’ve decided to adopt the practice on this here blog to spotlight the roses, be transparent about the thorny parts of life, and most of all – roll out my music playlists ( 🤞 on a monthly basis)


1 hr 27 mins | blanket_fort_adventures


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Five Helpful Tips to Get Shit Done around the House

HOME + LIFESTYLE - January 26, 2020

A little Home Décor Glow Up =  the aesthetically pleasing self-care I needed this month. Here are five helpful tips that finally helped me get shit done around the house.

One Thing Leads To an Other – Home Décor Glow Up Gallery Wall, Bedside Table, and Plant Display

I wasn’t planning on giving our bedroom and home office a makeover this past weekend, but one thing led to another, and I believe I have successfully executed a little Home Décor Glow Up. The aesthetically pleasing self-care I needed this month. Here are five helpful tips that finally helped me get shit done around the house.

1) Have your home get in such disarray it causes a negative impact on your mental health

2) Visualize the perfect movie montage of joyful cleaning to get in the mood for your next big project

3) Address what isn’t working, and find a solution aka The Power of a Pivot

4) Become incredibly irritated by another thing that is 100% out of your control and be pushed to regain a sense of control through a little retail therapy

5) Be a micro-hoarder in the name of sustainability and find ways to repurpose items.

Read the full post and view Before & After pictures after the jump.

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My 2018 Trash

BEAUTY & STYLE, HOME + LIFESTYLE - January 19, 2019

Over this past year, I collected my trash in a large bag in my closet. Explore my $750 worth of trash.

Over this past year, I collected my trash in a large bag in my closet. The following is the results of said collection, with the exclusion of a few products, because I was getting tired of filming.

I am a loyalist when it comes to my favorite products, it is hard to get me to deviate from what I know works for me. So, I don’t think I will ever do an empties video again, because of this – I made my ultimate empties video.

Not shown is the amount of toothpaste my husband and I went through in 2018. We brushed our teeth. Trust me when I say a lot of Sensodyne toothpaste was used. not sponsored, but open to it

🧡 Below is a list of Amazon affiliate links to my Ride or Die Products 🧡

First Aid Beauty Ultra Hydrating Cream:
Mario Badescu Acne Facial Cleanser:
Mario Badescu Drying Lotion:
Philosophy Purity Cleanser:
Rosehip Oil: l
Serge Normant Dry Shampoo:
Oribe Texturizing Spray:

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Cool Stuff Friday | Wk. 3 – 2018

HOME + LIFESTYLE - January 20, 2018

It’s Friday the coolest day of the week, so it’s time for some cool stuff. Here is a collection of items from the internet that peaked my interest, tickeled my fancy, or made me smile – I hope it does the same for you too.

I want to explore Katharina Grosse’s blanket fort installation. If only I could zip down to Sydney on my imaginary private jet. Also, the artist wouldn’t call “The Horse Trotted Another Couple Of Metres, Then It Stopped” (the name of the piece) a blanket fort, but we all clearly know what this magical, colorful, art installation really is….

View a a full write up on the pieces & images on Juxtapoz

My friend Darcy O’Day made the cutest animations using the very candy-colored installation by Pip & Pop as the land where adorable monsters cannibalize each other. The install is showing at Corey Helford Gallery, and I must see it before it goes away February 17th.

A post shared by Darcy Yates (@darcyoday) on

A post shared by Darcy Yates (@darcyoday) on


So, Into the Gloss is one of my favorite beauty websites and I thought this article, Your Next Candle Purchase, Based On Your Personality Quirks, was funny and quite accurate. I can’t sing and I know I’d love the candle they suggested.

I constantly see trailers for movies that I want to see, that I end up never seeing because I forget what the movie was.  So maybe documenting them on Cool Stuff Friday will remind me to watch them later.

Lastly, how amazing is this friendship. I would say friendship goals, but I already have friends like this – we’re just all a little less famous.

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