Even though there is still snow on the ground there is an excitement in the air. Excitement for the possibilities that only spring can provide. My dining room table turned into a project table filled with seeds, notes, ribbons, labels, old photos and papers of all sorts. Sorting, crafting and planning- we’re all energized for warmer weather over here and for the weekend in general. Here are some borrowed words to celebrate spring, to excite the gardener in you and to add beauty to your day.Read More
Hello March! I cannot believe you’re already here. This season of my life is just passing so quickly. Winter is passing in a flash. As my memory isn’t quite as good as I had hoped it would be, I have developed a strong urge to document. I take photographs and videos with the intention of turning them into photo books and a monthly video (so far, I am 4 years behind on the printed photo books and I make 1-2 videos per year for special occasions). Special moments are recorded in messy scrolls in baby books. I write shorthand in my journal to clear my mind.
As I mentioned in a post waaaay back in January, I also took the time this year to record reflections from 2018 and directions for 2019. It was a process that was new to me and I am already seeing the benefits of completing the exercise. I have found that the seed is set when I record an intention. It seems that information gets organized in the brain or body so that a person becomes more open to seeing things from a different angle or perhaps notices things that he or she wouldn’t have noticed otherwise. Focus becomes a given as the universe provides. This has been the case for me from reading, physical activity and career perspective.
My bedside table is filled with books that I have begun. I would secretly enjoy providing a lengthy and accurate answer to the commonly asked question in “By the Book” New York Times Book Review section of “What books are on your nightstand?” The ones that I have actually finished (and enjoyed) are:
Summer is here. Were you up late on the solstice?
Below is a favourite poem to start your summer. It is about the small things, about nature and how to live our lives out. You've likely read the last two lines of the poem many times before but I urge you to immerse yourself in the whole.
It is the last day of March! Can you believe it? One day, when I look back on my personal journal entries I anticipate that I will be quite bored with the beginning of each entry as I often begin writing with a comment of how time is going by too quickly. Or how time is my enemy as a mother. I recall thinking (not so long ago) that I would never be quite as old as the girl described in Abba's "Dancing Queen".
April Fool's Day starts and ends tomorrow morning. I have never been one to prepare a prank or joke in honour of that day. I am happy to be the person whom the joke is played on (as long as it is in good fun). In 2015, Emily from Cupcakes and Cashmere, created a Coachella flower crown in which she wrote how to construct one as part of your outfit. Part way through reading the article/looking at the photos I decided I would probably stop reading her blog as her fashion sense seemed off. It turned out to be a cheeky April Fool's joke which, I had (of course), fallen for. Let me know if you do something funny tomorrow!
Game of Thrones, Season 7
HBO just released its first trailer of Season 7 of Game of Thrones. Spoiler alert, it is mesmerizing but doesn't tell the viewer anything. We know winter is coming! Still, it is nice to see the familiar faces of Jon Snow, Cersei, and Daenerys and the music is very fitting. We're excitedly waiting for July 16, 2017!
Oatmeal Fudge Bars
Gooey chocolate plus oatmeal is another perfect combination in my mind. I just made these squares last weekend and they didn't last long! I have been a long-time reader of Kristin Rosenau's blog, Pastry Affair. There are some real gems on her site!
The Power of a Flower
The flower world has changed dramatically in the last couple of years. It is more than an Instagram trend. Demand for seasonal and local blooms as well as foraging for flowers on one's own is rapidly changing the market. Say goodbye to year-round lilies and carnations!
Join a CSA
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is growing and for good reason. Buying into a CSA supports the agriculture in your area and provides you with fresh, locally grown produce. It is connected with the farm to table movement which has thankfully, turned out to be more than a trend. How do CSA's work? Consumers "buy into" or become members of a CSA prior to the growing season. They agree to pay a certain amount of money and are provided with a weekly box of locally produced food. In good growing years, everyone benefits as a variety of foods will be grown and there will be less food waste. The farmer continues to be supported in poor growing years knowing that income is not wholly dependant on sales. We missed out joining the CSA's in our area last year but thankfully, joined Root Radical CSA this year. The time to sign up is now! For more information for Ontario residents, follow this link. Otherwise, Google "CSA" to find out what options are available in your area.
Part of a Pregnancy Survival Kit
Self-care is all the rage this year but what should pregnant ladies do with all the changes to their bodies and minds? When I became pregnant with my first child, I suddenly became much more cautious of what I consumed, how I washed my hair and what products I used on my face and body. Thinking of these daily regimes is important not just for your growing baby but also for healing after the baby is born and for your long-term health. For my third pregnancy, I came across the Pregnancy Kit produced by Wooden Spoon Herbs. I found the kit to be calming, helpful and comforting. What worked for you?
I was just about to wash up and put some of our wool things into summer storage when, it started snowing. Big, beautiful flakes which dampened the sounds coming from the street. My oldest gasped and pointed out angrily, "it is spring, it is not supposed to snow!" Such is March... and April when you live near the great lakes. Elsewhere though, it seems as though spring flowers are at their fullest. We're patiently waiting here. Until then, we'll be cozy with our warm drinks, wool, home baking (of course) and books. Here are a few things to start your weekend!
You May Want to Marry My Husband
I wasn’t sure what to make of the title, published March 5, 2017, but it intrigued me so, I read on. Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s love essay in the New York Times resonated and moved readers. Many shared their stories in a postscript published on Sunday, March 19, 2017 in the Sunday Styles section. Sadly, the much beloved author and radio host passed away on March 13th, 2017.
Consider Eco-Friendly Workout Gear
Workout gear is worn around the clock and for good reason. It is comfortable and washes up easily (some would also add stylish to this list). Workout clothing has mostly escaped the scrutiny of sustainably and environmentally conscious buyers, up until now. Consumers are now realizing how much power they have and are forcing buyers, producers and retailers to reconsider their environmental footprint.
And Sustainable Undergarments
Underprotection was recently introduced to me by a friend. The company began in 2010 and is based out of Copenhagen, Denmark. We were discussing the lack off maternity undergarments (or undergarments, in general) that weren't beige or nude in colour, itchy or made of unbreathable material. We both want something that still makes us feel beautiful while also being made from an environmentally responsible company. I recently placed an order for a maternity bra at Underprotection and will let you know my thoughts.
Follow Your Passion?
Last month, I finished Big Magic, by Elizabeth Gilbert. I found the book to be particularly applicable during this stage of my life. Anyone interested in pursuing a creative endeavour should give it a read. An article by Jodi Elliot, on her blog Dear Sabrina, expands on some of these ideas in an insightful article called "Why You Shouldn't Follow Your Passion."
Thick and Chewy Lime Bars
On Saturday, we're heading over to a dinner party (kids are invited so it is relaxed). The hosts, insist on bringing just ourselves. We of course, cannot do that so I have been dreaming of what I can make to bring over. I am still going through a maple and citrus obsession and these bars, seem perfect!
What are you baking this weekend?
Known fondly as the world’s largest log cabin, the Château Montebello offers a cozy getaway during weary, winter months. The six-sided fireplace encourages guests to relax in the company of others, often after being outside dog-sledding, a horse-drawn wagon ride, skating or tobogganing. Some guests indulge in board games with their families while others curl up with a book on one of the many grand sofas. Still, others spend time in the pool with its large windows and painted ceilings. After a weekend away, we all felt renewed and ready to begin a new week. What do you do to feel renewed and refreshed? What are your plans for the weekend? Below, are some things to things to think about.
Halva is an ingredient that is entirely new to me but, it’s another one of those foods that seem to be popping up everywhere. This flour, tahini or nut-based candy can be consumed as is or added to baked goods. Molly Yeh has a recipe for halva spread so it is a breakfast food as well. Do you eat halva regularly?
Persian New Year
Tuesday, March 21st, 2017 marks Persian New Year. Also, known as Nowruz (or, new day), it marks spring equinox and the first day of the Iranian calendar. Beginning with the first Zoroastrians, it is a celebration of the changing seasons and recognition of the bounty that nature provides. There are many preparations leading up to the celebration. Admittedly, I first became aware of the celebration because of the gorgeous food that is prepared. The use of fresh herbs is so appealing... just have a look at this recent post.
With the approach of a new season, we start to feel energized. We’re willing to take on new tasks or pick up the ones that have been put on hold. Spring cleaning acts as a rite of passage. It allows us to move on so long as we get it all the work done. Amanda Watters, the creator of Homesong, offers her cleaning tips in this blog post. Although it was posted in January, I think it is particularly applicable to the winter to spring transition.