Hello! I'm enjoying a quiet, rainy Victoria Day by myself at home, and have actually had time to think a little bit this weekend, as Adam and the boys are visiting grandparents. I've been wrapping up soaps, am enjoying watching the cherry tree start to bloom, and have been thinking about television, of all things. (As I watch Murder, She Wrote on Netflix.) Just to be clear before I get started: I don't think that TV is pure evil and will ruin your children forever if they watch while you make supper. (Even if I did, that doesn't matter. You know what you need to do to get through the day.) This is not meant as a judgement in any way, and please take it as I mean it - just encouragement to be mindful of how you view yourself.
I stayed at a hotel over the weekend for work-related stuff. It was lovely to have some quiet time to myself on Saturday evening to read, rest, and relax as I pleased. So on Saturday evening, I was watching Elizabeth (well done, Cate Blanchett!) but since it was on a regular channel, they awkwardly played commercials throughout the movie.
As you may know, we don't have a TV. It's not that we don't watch anything - we have Netflix and will deliberately choose which shows we want to watch, and when. I grew up in a house where the TV was almost always on in the background, and I watched a lot of it. Since I first moved out to go to university what feels like a couple of years ago (*ahem* 13 years ago *cough*) I haven't had a TV, except for a few months. And then we sold it because I didn't like having it in the house. At the hotel, I noticed something that I already knew, but it seemed clearer and more important than ever before.
Every single commercial's message, masked and presented in various ways, is telling us that we are not enough.
You're not pretty. Your hair isn't the right colour. You're too hairy. You're too fat. Your skin isn't nice enough. Your teeth are too yellow. You're too fat. Your clothes aren't right. You're not good enough. You're getting wrinkles, and old is bad. You're too fat. Your breath stinks. You're ugly. Beauty is good, and you're not beautiful.
Advertisers are depending on you to believe this message so that you will buy their products for telling you these things. Isn't that crazy?
You know what? You are enough.
Chances are, after years of hearing these messages, day in, day out, you believe that you're not good enough. Even though it's simply not true. You are enough.
Frankly, I'm not inclined to welcome a guest in my home who repeats those messages to me. And leads my boys to believe that beauty is the very superficial, one dimensional picture shown on TV. It is so, so much more than that. And so, we opt out of traditional TV. And (I think) are all the better for it.
So here's something you might like to try, if you watch traditional TV with ads in your house. Next time you see an ad, pay attention to what the underlying message is. Distill it into a few words. Do you believe it? How do you think your kids might be interpreting the ads? How are the ads influencing their ideas about themselves and others? Start a conversation with them - see what they think. It might be eye-opening. Do you want those messages setting the tone in your house? It's worth considering.
And so, beautiful you, have a lovely week.
Well, hello there! Let's recap a little bit.
We've (well, mostly Adam) has rebuilt our vegetable beds, and they're finally planted. Better late than never! Peas, carrots, kale, lettuce, onions, and sunflowers. And all of my herbs are coming back beautifully. I'm especially thrilled about the tarragon. My favourite herb!
The house is listed again.
I happily made my own Mother's Day breakfast yesterday, and I highly, highly recommend it. (Not so much the making, although I really enjoyed that. The recipe, I mean.) It was Smitten Kitchen's Gingerbread Spice Dutch Baby from her awesome, awesome cookbook. I can't even begin to describe the magical-ness that happens with the buttery crispy edges, and just the right amount of spice. It was heavenly. I want to eat it every day for the rest of my life. (With maple syrup. And we have lots - 4 litres of the lovely stuff! Scored a great deal - $45. Thanks to my aunt for picking it up for me!)
I found these while out on a walk before the rain started on Saturday, in two spots well apart from each other. During a wild thunder and lightning storm on Saturday night, as I was up with the boys several times, I was thinking about all of you other mamas out there, up with your little ones, the bird mamas in their nests, and the loveliness that is the world in spring. When I was cuddled up with Phillip, despite the thunder and the fact that it was 4am, I had the loveliest sense of all being as it should.
We had some soil and compost delivered last week, and Thomas has been the happiest boy in the county. Digging, climbing, digging, scooping, sliding, excavating and always coming in the house completely covered, head-to-toe in a thick layer of dirt. We mowed the lawn for the first time of the season today. And we need a new grass trimmer. With extra batteries this time.
I made some soap on the weekend, and will be getting some orders packed up and ready this week. Let me know if you'd like some - I'll have a bit of extra on hand.
We had an unexpected sunny day today (it was calling for rain) and I just had a lovely, productive day all around. The boys were cooperative and got along all weekend (hooray!) and Adam and I celebrated our 11th anniversary on Saturday. Things are very, very good in my neck of the woods. I hope that's the case for you, too.
Hi, folks! Happy Friday. I'm a bit bleary-eyed today, and am home from work with a pitiful little guy (see Instagram photo here) who has pneumonia. He and I spent several hours at the hospital last night. He's resting right now, and hopefully the meds will start taking effect soon.
In other news, I have a fun, inexpensive, practical quick, and super simple weekend project for you that I made last weekend. That's setting some high expectations, I know, but really - making these is worth a try. It had been on my list for weeks, and I'm so glad I finally made them!
We don't really use paper towels in our house, and use reusable glass food storage containers most of the time. But sometimes a dish of leftovers gets popped into the fridge with plastic wrap on it, which isn't my favourite thing.
Enter beeswax food wraps. They're intended as a substitute for plastic wrap. Essentially, they're cotton fabric, permeated with beeswax. Although these food wraps shouldn't be used with meat, since they can't be washed in hot water, they're fair game for covering more or less anything else. For particularly sloshy things like soup, I will probably still use a lidded glass dish, but these are great for most other kinds of leftovers.
They're simple to make. I more or less followed these instructions, using a 100% cotton dish towel I found at Frenchy's for 25 cents. Just cut the fabric to the size you'd like (you can easily trim it afterward if needed) and place it on a foil lined baking sheet. Heat your oven to 170. I found that I needed quite a bit more beeswax than pictured in the instructions I linked to, and what worked the very best was a sheet of thin beeswax sandwiched between two pieces of fabric. Place it in the oven for 10 minutes, or until the beeswax has entirely melted and permeated the fabric. Immediately remove the fabric from the foil sheet, and just wave it back and forth for a minute until it cools and firms up. You're all set!
To use, just mold the wrap around the edge of your dish. It takes a minute for your hands to warm the wax, and it's a bit tacky, but try to relax and enjoy it. They can be washed with cool water and dish soap. (Warm or hot water will begin to melt the wax.)
So far, I'm a huge fan! I'm experimenting with various sizes and shapes to fit our bowls, and am planning to make a few more sizes this weekend.
BeesWrap makes beautiful wraps, which I would love to try. They're a bit on the pricey side, so since I had the materials on hand, I couldn't justify buying them. I'm curious how the texture would be different from the straight beeswax, since they use jojoba oil and resin as well. I'll be they're lovely, and their site and photos are gorgeous. I'll happily accept donations!
Have a lovely weekend. Adam's birthday is on Sunday, and the forecast is exclusively sunny in our neck of the woods!
Frenchy's lately. The first bowl is perfection - handmade, such beautiful colours, and the ideal size. It's bigger than a regular eating bowl, but not huge like a mixing bowl. Exactly the size of two bowls that I've used a lot and wound up broken, in fact. I hope this one doesn't meet the same fate. I have steel cut oats soaking in it now for tomorrow's breakfast. The little crocheted table runner is just so cute! And I thought that the little pair of matching (also handmade) bowls would be perfect for the boys. The grand total for all of these was about $3.25. Not too bad at all.
A little bit of Frenchy's, some soapmaking this evening, and I'm on my way out of the doldrums. Yessss.