Back to the basics

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We are already in to 2018 and so far I have been rather productive!  I am not a traditional resolution maker – in the past I have just disappointed myself after failing 3wks in to a new year and who needs that?!  So I set a mental goal list instead.  One that is loose and flexible so it is almost always obtainable.

This year my goals involve making wearable items.  I intend to knit a pair of socks and knit or sew one wearable item a month.  These things can be started in the previous months, can be larger items like pants or smaller like a hat (which I need) but the idea is I will wind up with a solid collection of handmade items to choose from at the end of the year!

January has been full of handmade.  I completed my Sew House Seven toaster sweater with a gorgeous knit I bought at Needlework, and I knitted a pair of socks and a scarf out of gorgeous Canadian hand dyed yarn from Hello Stella.  Here’s hoping I can keep up the pace!

Aside from making I also intend to me more mindful of items I purchase.  Do I need it?  How was it manufactured?  Is the carbon footprint created in it’s process really worth it?  These are the questions I am asking myself.

As a single income family it is a challenge as things made in a more ethical and environmentally sensitive fashion also come with a larger but well justified price tag.  That is where making comes in handy and shopping second hand.  Thinking of each and every item as a carefully selected piece vs just another “thing”.

We are a wildly stuff driven society and I have become accutely aware of this issue as a consumer.  When the kids were babies I was completely caught up in the “oh I need that” realm of baby world but ultimately we used maybe an eighth of what we had.  And we were broke with a bunch of useless stuff.

Having school age children can make things a little harder.  They see what their friends have and it makes you feel like they should have them too.  I am guilty of this.  So when I am out and about I might grab that package of miniature whatever’s the kids might like but I am learning to put it back more often than not.  It isn’t always easy but I remind myself that it isn’t this “stuff” they will remember anyhow.  It is the moments.  The card games.  The late night movies.  Those are the things I really remember from my own childhood and I know it’s what my children will reflect on when they too are grown.

Writing is something I also intend to make more time for.  I have a sweet project in the works with a dear friend and have already submitted my Spring 2018 article for Live Small Town Magazine!  I look forward to seeing where my written works lead me in the year ahead.

Lets not forget about nature!  Getting outdoors amongst the trees, chirping birds, beautiful landscape and enjoying the peaceful solitude.  I intend to turn to nature more this year for inspiration, it has a lot to offer and is so good for the soul.

Making things, mindful consumption, more writing and getting back to nature is a great way to summarize my 2018 vision and so far I’m off to a great start!

I hope January is treating you well!

JESSICA

 

 

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December Happenings!

bowsI have been really busy “making” Christmas but I have a few things coming up that I thought I would share!

Holiday shopping guide for gifts!  A post similar to last year with some suggestions to help you find the perfect gift for friends and family in the greater Hamilton area.  I’m hoping to post that by the end of this week!

Hello Stella 12 Days of Christmas Blog Post sooooon!  If you love yarn + gorgeous Canadian hand dyed yarn Hello Stella’s work is beautiful!  Lindsay is an artisan gem in the city and I can’t wait to share her work with you!

December 4th is the press release for the Live Small Town Magazine’s winter edition!  It will be available online that day with hard copies to follow!

“Favourite Things” Holiday giveaway on Instagram!  The date is yet to be determined but I am going to host a giveaway featuring places I love for their warm customer service and quality products to celebrate this festive season!

I also intend to share some of the baking stories and crafting projects I do with Lilah and Max throughout December but there is always a chance time will pass me by far to quickly 😉 .

That’s all for now!

JESSICA

November Hustle

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How did we get here?!  November already!  October was full of fall activities – pumpkin walk at the RBG and picking the perfect pumpkins to carve at this sweet little pumpkin patch were our favourites… well next to Halloween of course!  The kids loved dressing up and trekking house to house to collect treats.

This month making madness begins as I knit, crochet, sew and plan the perfect gifts for the people around me!  I’m hoping to involve Lilah and Max more in the process of spreading joy this year.  They both love to create and share as much as I do so I’m sure it will be a lot of fun for them!

Added in to the mix of my usual creating and mom life is planning a collaborative project with one of my dearest friends.  Since high school we imagined working side by side at some point so this is extra exciting.  It’s basically a dream come true for me and I can’t wait to watch it all unfold!

I also recently submitted my section for the Live Small Town Magazine’s Winter issue so stay tuned for that!

Lots of things going on my way this month, if you follow my instagram you will see bits and pieces as I go.

I hope that November treats you well!

JESSICA

 

 

 

Days like this

The other morning I was startled awake to Max’s cries.  He was sick and a mess so I sleepily stumbled in to the bedroom to assess the situation.  After getting him cleaned up and settled we headed back to sleep only to be woken up by the alarm clock for school 20min later.  Once again I picked myself out of bed and helped Lilah get ready for school and out the door in a timely fashion.

I’m not a morning person by any means.  I’m also not a night person since having kids… I fall somewhere in between.  10am until maybe 5pm is when I meet my best self.  All other hours have varying levels of exhaustion.  Having a sick child just adds another bump in the morning routine which lucky for us isn’t that smooth as is.

As hard as these days can be I am actually kind of thankful for them.  On these days several positives happen.  One being that I am forced to slow things down.  All plans get cancelled or rearranged and I’m ok with that.  It also gives me the time to snuggle and tend to whomever is under the weather and well… one day I know they won’t be so interested in having their mommy wipe their nose or tend to their fevers.

School Days + New Routine

FullSizeRender 22And just like that September is in full swing and fall routines have begun.  As much as I appreciate the consistency that comes with school days I would be lying if I said I am not missing the tiny voices -that drove me batty just last week 😉 – calling me repeatedly.  This year is especially strange since it’s the first time in over 6yrs I haven’t had a small child at my side day in and day out. I have already found myself asking the dog questions he cannot answer and pointing out adorable critters on our walks.  …Because my dog , Wally, finds humour in things like squirrels chasing each other through the trees as much as small children 😉 ….  Well he does show interest but that is just because he would love to pursue them on an instinctual level.

August seemed to fly by this year and the first day of school kind of snuck up on me.  One day we were planning our next adventure and the next we were waiting for the school bus!  Sending my son Max on the bus for his first day was REALLY hard.  He is still 3 and very small for his age.  The bus steps are his equivalent to climbing the escarpment for the rest of us.  But he did it and thankfully he didn’t look back because than he likely would have seen the tears in my eyes.

We are all fairing well though now that things are picking up and becoming more familiar to us all.  Max is finding JK a bit overwhelming so we are sending him part time for now with the support of his educators.  Making the transition a smooth and pleasant one for us all is our goal!

My daughter Lilah loves grade 1 so far though finds sitting a desk uncomfortable – because it is!  I think it’s awfully hard to concentrate when you’re sitting on something that feels like concrete but what do I know 😉 .  She loves the independence that comes with being in a primary grade and has made some new friends.

As  for me, I am regrouping right now and focusing on re-organizing all the things in the house – toys, books, clothes – pretty much everything I couldn’t do easily with the kids around.  My “to make” list keeps growing and with Christmas (yes I know it’s early) in the near future I have plenty to pass the childfree moments I now have.

The first week has now passed and we are all feeling thankful for the weekend to recharge.  Before we know it we will be in to a nice groove and I think we are off to a good start!

Happy back to school!

cbde7-jessica

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the love of hair + butterflies

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It was bright and cheery August morning, perfect for exploring nature so I headed out with the kids to the RBG to enjoy the gardens.  We walked past some gentlemen chatting on our way in to the gardens, said hello and carried on.

The gardens are exploding with life – full of butterflies, bees and other happy insects going from flower to flower carrying on as nature intended.  We are always on the look out for different bugs, plants and critters we haven’t noticed previously.  Today we took note in a wee little butterfly as it floated effortlessly (well in my mind – I imagine it actually takes a fair amount of effort on their part 😉 ) throughout mounds of summer blooms.

It was time for us to head on home so we said our goodbyes to the flowers, trees and insects and made our walk back to the truck.  We passed the same gentlemen as we returned and this time they commented on my sons hair.  He has a glorious mop of light blonde locks that he loves.  At first I thought they admired it but than it dawned on me that the general feeling was that I should be cutting it.  These men were not mean and I’m certain it wasn’t ill intended but it made me think of they way we as a society have raised our boys.

For the most part the reaction to my sons hair is really good.  I would say 95% of the time people genuinely love it and think it’s great that he has it exactly how he wants it.  But there is this other group of people who really feel I as a mom need to “put my foot down” and tell him his hair is unacceptable.  He is 3yrs old.  And even if he was 13yrs old, it is ultimately his hair and his body.  What am I supposed to tell him – your hair is too… too what?  Feminine?!  Because it is not.  And if that handful of people think there is something wrong with it, well than it’s on them and not me.

The sad reality is that when he starts school there is a very real chance some other child will make fun of his hair and he will want to cut it.  It hurts my heart to think of this possibility, to know that the words of his classmates will have an edge so powerful they just might alter how he perceives himself.

But this attitude is learned and we can change it.  It starts with acceptance.  Accepting that someone else’s attributes whether genetic or chosen do not affect your life in any possible way.  That long hair on a boy or short hair on a girl does not make one more feminine or masculine than the other.

So, I think back to that little butterfly and I envy it a little simply because it exists as it should fluttering about with no external criticism inhibiting it’s natural duties.  As humans I think we could all learn a lot from the butterflies that pass us by all summer long.  No matter their colour, size or shape they dance harmoniously over the gorgeous landscape.

If a butterfly choses to go left when the others go right it will be just fine.  And you know what?  So will my son and daughter and anyone else who goes against the grain (or with it!).  We are all in this together.

Go chase the butterflies!

cbde7-jessica