Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Playtime deconstructed

So before our little Bean was born, I had read a lot about Waldorf and Montessori education. I found a lot of things that I really loved, especially the simplicity and importance of play in a child's early years and development.

There have been many reports on childhood development and sorting skills. With that, the lovely Wee Folk Art gave me an idea! I pulled out all the supplies for this project, having ordered acorns and bowls way before there were little ones to play with them from Casey's Wood Products

  • I got out the acorns, bowls, the paint, beeswax and olive oil and got started. (Be mindful, whatever the sorting toy you buy, that it is large enough not to create a choking hazard for your little one!)
  • I chose six colors, painted the bowls and acorns and let them dry.
  • While they dried, I used a cheese grater to get a hunk of beeswax to meltable size and used a double boiler technique for melting it down.
  • Then I added four parts olive oil (to one part beeswax) and added it to the hot wax. I put the polish in a container to cool down and it hardened up a bit to a coconut oil consistency which I could then rub over the paint to seal it.
  • I then buffed off the excess with a dishtowel.

After an hour of silently putting them in and taking them out of the bowls, I am really pleased with the homemade toy!

I think she likes it!!!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

My "selfie" image

I've been away from this blog for quite a long time. Life has been hectic and wonderful with our daughter and I have been focusing on transitioning from a person, to a person who's focus is now wildly shifted. I'll write more about that transition later. But for now, I'd like to talk about something I've been thinking about a lot lately. 

Sass selfie
I take a lot of selfies.

I don't always post them to public media, But sometimes, if I feel like it's not too unflattering, I'll send it out. 

I've been thinking about why I do that . 

Adorable baby wearing selfie!

I think that generally, I want people I don't get to see very often to share in m life. Do I think they need pictures of my face to do that? Probably not. But as the family photographer, I have shockingly few pictures of myself. 

But I have a secret: I hate pictures of myself. I am always criticizing myself. "My hair's too gray/frizzy/short." "My rosacea is so ugly/my skin is too wrinkled." "My smile is so goofy and my eyes are to squinty."  

So I decided to take each reoccurring complaint I had about myself and turn it into something I am grateful for. 

"I have too many wrinkles" - My life has been full of laughter and tears, I have spent years focusing on listening, on smiling and sometimes I have cried. These wrinkles are roadmaps of the woman I have been. They remind me of the joy and sadness in my life that has led me here.

"My hair is frizzy/skin is too red." - My hair and my skin are mine. I can put products on them and try my best to care for them, but they are part of what makes me Magpie. Each dot, each mole and red cheek and flyaway hair are part of the whole of me. 

"My hair doesn't look good." - I have to remind myself that there are people who wish they had hair, but for various reasons do not. My style can always change, but I should be grateful for the hair I have!

"My eyes are squinty/forehead's too big/face is covered in moles..." - Everything I usually think makes me unappealing is part of me. I am alive and healthy, I see a dermatologist fairly regularly, and when I squint, it's because that is the face I make when I'm truly happy. It's my most genuine smile. 

Baby bump selfie!

Really, it boils down to hearing all this negative self-talk, recognizing it and eliminating it as part of my daily routine. 

Frankly, as much as I've supported positive self image in others, I've rarely felt it in myself. And now, I'm responsible for teaching small people that they are perfect just as they are. And the number of times in a day the hubs hears me say things I hate about myself will soon become things my children hear. 

I don't want them to start hearing me pick apart every small detail I dislike about myself. 

I am me, My face and body are mine and if I want to teach confidence and self appreciation to my children, I need to start with me. 

Show off your beautiful self and share it with the world! We need to see ALL faces and shapes. We need "everyday" to become the extraordinary we see regularly instead of the airbrushed, photoshopped images we've become used to comparing to.

Let the world see you embrace yourself. You never know who might need to see someone like them be confident!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Resolve, instead of Resolution

As the new year begins, many of us take on resolutions, hoping that a blank slate will jump start us to break bad habits and create better ones in their place.

Merriam Webster defines resolution as the following:


What I notice about these definitions is that resolutions are characterized as solutions to problems or resolving a situation. When we think of starting New Year's resolutions, we are encouraged to such things as "eat better" or "exercise more" or "set aside more time for X". While I think those are great starts towards a resolution, I think they could better be defined to actually help solve what is likely a bigger problem. 

So, I have identified five steps to creating successful solutions. 

What is important here is to find calculable challenges and goals and that they need to be attainable and healthy. Do you want to lose weight/inches? What is a healthy goal and what are healthy steps along the way? The more specific, the easier they are to follow and stay on target. (For "what is a healthy goal", I encourage you to consult a Primary Care Physician to help tailor personal goals to your life.) 

It's important to understand that when talking about changing a behavior or habit, it is said that anywhere from a full month to eight months for a new habit to be formed and accepted into your brain. So do not be afraid to take time, but stay with it and surround yourself with people who will support and encourage you to keep trying, especially if you have a setback. 

So don't just make a "resolution" make a SOLUTION!

And have a very happy new year!!!