Loryn is a senior at Grand Canyon University in Applied Management and Business. She has previously earned her Associates in Communications from Bristol Community College. She realized that she had a skill for writing and a passion for agriculture through her time in the FFA, writing speeches and workshops and learning about agriculture and conservation. In her free time, she enjoys reading, writing and enjoying Vermont scenery. She also loves being outside, walking, hiking and staying involved with the agricultural community.
Veterans Day is a time to pause and thank those who served or are serving in our armed forces and support the military. As part of the celebration, Vermont Woods Studios ran a four day benefit sale to raise money to donate to the Adopt a Soldier Program. With $20 of every sale being collected, we are proud to announce that we were able to raise $350 towards adopting Sgt. Peter A. Avila’s family.
Sgt. Peter A. Avila is currently serving with the 25th Infantry Division, 3rd Brigade, D Company located in Hawaii. Peter began in the military as a Marine and now is a US Army Soldier. He has served four tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan and will soon be deployed again. Peter’s wife Crystal is suffering from kidney disease and debilitating complications. Peter and Crystal’s two little boys (Kenan and Kaleb) and a baby girl (Deanna) are growing up without their father’s presence nor do they have family members living close enough to assist in times of need. Many other military families are in similar circumstances, serving their country without complaint.
Send a care package to a soldier or his/her family
Make a financial donation to a soldier’s family
Thank you to everyone who purchased from us or donated to the Adopt a Soldier Program during Veterans Day this year. And a big thank you to all of our military personnel! That staff at Vermont Woods Studios appreciates the sacrifices and dedication of our service men and women.
Thanksgiving Decorating Ideas for the Green Family
Setting the perfect festive tone in your home for Thanksgiving is the best way to get into the holiday spirit. Every year, with Black Friday and Christmas just around the corner, Thanksgiving seems get overlooked. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays because it is so relaxed and filled with love, warmth and great food. If you are inviting friends and family over to share the day with, here are some easy thanksgiving decorating ideas sure to please everyone.
DIY Centerpieces and Wreaths – After the popularity explosion of Pinterest, doing things yourself is definitely “in”. DIY door wreaths are extremely easy and can be very inexpensive to create. Then, skip the pre-made candle centerpiece from Walmart and make a unique table decoration to fit the theme of your home or your thanksgiving meal. Incorporate gourds, Indian corn or cranberries for a fall harvest vibe or if you plan on watching the game after dinner, opt for a sports-themed arrangement. Check out these football roses that are handmade in the USA!
Pick an Element of your Home to Highlight – Create an interesting mantle piece design, decorate your table with candles and arrangements, or display your thanksgiving cheer for your neighbors to see with fall themed porch decor. Don’t overdo it with your decorations or it can be overwhelming to guests. Highlight your favorite features of your home and let visitors enjoy.
Give Thanks – Incorporating the message of Thanksgiving is chic and classy. Display crafts and art made by your children, hang thanksgiving cards from friends and family or create festive collages of photos and things you and your family are thankful for. I saw a cute idea for a “thankful tree” centerpiece in Pinterest (of course) that would make a great Thanksgiving tradition. Every year, everyone hangs the things they are thankful for on the tree. This is a great way to celebrate the holiday with your family.
Showcase Reclaimed Furniture – The Thanksgiving holiday is historically significant and has a rich story behind it. Traditional reclaimed barnwood furniture also has a historically significant background and story to tell, plus they are sustainably crafted. Reclaimed barnwood is full of warmth, charm and history, making a great decorative piece for Thanksgiving. Check out our reclaimed barnwood dining tables and reclaimed barnood buffets and be enchanted by their elegance. Reclaimed barnwood is the perfect solution for the environmentally conscious family
Leave Christmas Decorating for December – Let your guests give thanks in November and worry about decking the halls in December. There are many great ways to decorate the interior and exterior of your home with fall hues and harvest idols without having to bring out the red and green. I love Christmas as much as the next person, but let me enjoy Thanksgiving first.
Be sure to check out our Black Friday sale (after you’ve finished eating and giving thanks for the things you already possess of course) going on tomorrow through Monday. We’d love to hear your Thanksgiving decorating ideas. Let us know how you decorate for Thanksgiving here in the comments or on our Facebook.
About three weeks ago, we held a one day sale for the Bonnyvale Environmental Educational Center. BEEC is a member-based non profit organization founded in 1991 with the mission to develop a more ecologically informed citizenry through education and action in order to enhance and sustain the vitality of southern Vermont’s bioregion. BEEC organizes and leads many community-based environmental research and conservation programs, including watershed stewardship, reptile and amphibian conservation initiatives, and biodiversity planning and protection.
Last Friday, Manjula and I traveled to BEEC to meet with Patti Smith and Belle Coles, two of BEEC’s amazing staff, to share the details of our sale and present them with a check for $800. They revealed to us that this money will go towards future wildlife rehabilitation efforts that they have been working on. BEEC is currently looking at the feasibility of being a hub for wildlife rehabilitation activities in Southern Vermont. If you would like to learn more about how you can help with their efforts, take their wildlife rehabilitation survey.
Part of our mission is to be involved with local non profit organizations, like BEEC, that support sustainable forestry projects. Vermont Woods Studios was founded to help protect trees and forests around the world, so we take our community service very seriously. We are proud to have been able to support such a great organization and we look forward to working with them again in the very near future!
Follow our blog to learn about how non profit organizations like BEEC fit in to our mission and how Vermont Woods Studios remains active and engaged in our community. You can also check out our Facebook to see other ways that we support local businesses and organizations.
Why Indoor Plants are Great for your Home and Health
It’s a fact that nothing classes up your home like an indoor plant or vase of fresh flowers. I’m not the tidiest person in the world, but I swear when I pick up a bunch of cut flowers at the farmers market on Saturdays, it makes my apartment look 10 times more neat. That may just be wishful thinking, but now that we’re in peak hay fever season and the changing of the climate is driving my allergies crazy, I’ve been looking for more reasons to add indoor plants to my apartment besides just for their beauty. Plants look great but have you ever thought of the health benefits behind adding greenery to your space? Here’s five reasons why houseplants are good for your heart, soul and decor:
Plants Make You Smarter! Studies show that plants have psychological and restorative effects that can lower tension and boost productivity and concentration. A new study by Texas researchers has linked these effects to college students and how plants can help to enhance performance in the classroom. Now if only they could link indoor plants to getting the motivation to actually DO your work, then we’d be in business!
Plants Help You Breathe Easier! Everyone knows that our bodies function by taking in oxygen and releasing carbon dioxide. Plants are neat to have around because they take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen. This win-win situation makes indoor plants the best roommates! Adding plants to your bedroom, especially orchids and succulents, can refresh the air at night and leave you sleeping easier.
Plants Increase Your Health! I found this really cool infograph that shows how plants have been found to help hospital patients get better faster and even aid in reducing stress related ailments for employees. Now I see why Peggy likes to keep plants at the office. No sick days for us!
Plants Can Help You Look Better! Well, this one is a little bit of a stretch, but plants have been found to improve skin tone. First, indoor plants make great little humidifiers. During the respiration process, they release moisture which can save you from dry skin during the winter months. Plants also relieve stress, which is a known factor in many skin ailments like breakouts, hives and blotches. Having plants around may just be the thing you need for a brighter complexion!
Plants Will Purify Your Air! If you’re one of our customers, then you already know that our furniture contains little to no VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds). Unfortunately, if you are still purchasing products and furniture that contain VOC’s, then the air in your home might be making you sick. Plants help to remove 87% of VOC’s in the air every 24 hours!
What Kind and How Many? My favorite indoor plants are the ones that are the least likely to die if I forget about them for a day. Spider plants are very easy to maintain, have numerous health benefits and they look great, which makes them my first choice. Boston ferns, snake plants, english ivy and jade plants round out my top five. It is suggested that for optimal health benefits to place one large plant (6+ inch pots) or two smaller plants (4-5 inch pots) every 100 square feet. That comes to about 10-20 houseplants depending on if you’re in an apartment or house. Try to place the plants in areas where you go to work or relax.
These benefits plus the fact that plants make your home look brighter and feel more inviting mean that you have no reason not to add houseplants to your green interior decorating scheme. Go one step greener and pick up a non-toxic, eco-friendly Dana Thomas Plant Stand from our online store. Made with a low-VOC, water-based finish, our plant stand is perfect for holding your air cleansing plants and adding style to your space at the same time.
Tell us about how you decorate your space with plants in the comments below or on our Facebook page!
Just over a year ago, Hurricane Irene tore through Vermont leaving much of the state flooded, damaged and powerless. Many Vermonters lost their homes, their belongings or their loved ones because of the storm. Luckily, our neighboring states pitched in and offered disaster recovery assistance on the ground, collected supplies and supported us with monetary donations. While damages from Irene can still be seen across the state, we’re much stronger thanks to the help we received from our fellow New Englanders and Northeastern states.
In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, Vermont was luckily spared minus a few thousand power outages, which is nothing compared to the devastation found in other Northeastern states. With over 8 million without power, as much as $50 billion in damages, over 3 feet of snow, and a death toll of 80 and rising, Superstorm Sandy is the costliest Hurricane to hit the Northeastern states in history. Many coastal communities are still underwater and much of the area is in the dark.
As Vermonters, it’s time to pay it forward and help out those who helped us during dark times. Vermont Woods Studios is shocked by the photos and stories that are popping up all over the news and we’ve been scouring the web looking for opportunities to lend a hand. It’s still very early to assess what kind of assistance is needed, but here’s a list of helpful links that have some great information on what you can do.
VT Flood Response – Part of the Vermont Community Foundation, this website started back when Irene hit to help Vermonters find necessary resources. The site is again working to help those affected by disaster, but this time they’re reaching out to our neighbors. Check out their blog for up to the minute information on volunteer opportunities and resources for those affected in Connecticut, New Jersey and New York.
Volunteermatch.org – VolunteerMatch has compiled a great list of information about assisting with Hurricane Sandy. This site also has a great database to find volunteer opportunities in your area. You can search by cause, age group or location and find a program that’s right for you.
American Red Cross – The American Red Cross is a major hub in disaster recovery. While the money you donate is not guaranteed to go to Hurricane Sandy victims (donations go into a fund for any disaster recovery effort), the money will help someone in need.
Food Banks in CT, NJ, and NY – Donating to a food bank is a great way to donate to victims of a storm when you are not able to physically lend a hand. Food Banks in the affected areas are working hard to feed those who lost their homes and belongings to Sandy.
When a disaster like this happens, especially one so close to home, our first response is usually to jump in and lend a hand on the ground or bring supplies to those in need. Right now, many areas are still in disaster mode coming out of this storm. Emergency crews are working tirelessly to help those in danger. If those areas were flooded with inexperienced volunteers or with mass amounts of unnecessary supplies, it would make the jobs of rescue workers even more difficult. Until the major areas affected are in recovery mode, there is not much that the rest of us can do except donate what money we can and send thoughts and words of support.
Vermont Woods Studios expresses our condolences to families affected by Hurricane Sandy. Since we have customers and employees with families in those regions, we feel a special need to offer our help and support. While we have not organized anything yet, we are currently looking for ways to volunteer or raise money to support the victims of the storm. Keep an eye on our blog as we update with new resource links as they become available and opportunities for you to give back.