It was Simple

Everything is so complicated these days.

I’m actually anticipating the day a teacher sends a note home with Cornelia, shaming me for the homemade chocolate chips cookies that 1. aren’t vegan 2. have gluten and sugar 3. and may contain nuts.

I just learned this week that my Instagram feed is no longer chronological but will only show me a post if it gets at least 10% engagement immediately EVEN if I follow this person.

There are a million places to shop from with all the exact same products and “benefits” for me. My smallish city has 50+ grocery stores, 60+ gas stations, 140+ places to shop for clothes. Not to mention there’s online shopping too.

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We used to not even question how we resourced things…

1. Milk was brought daily and then we left the empty glasses out to be picked up, cleaned and reused, a true recycling program.

2. Our gardens provided us grains and vegetables, we didn’t import anything fancy. Quinoa, sugar, cocoa beans, and coffee are all examples.

3. Certain minerals we had no need for or could mange it sustainably, like cobalt being mined for our phones.

…Everything was made and sourced — locally and fresh.

What happened? When did it get like this? It just makes my head spin. I want to go back to the days where you got your food in one place, gas in another, and clothes you could order in or make yourself. Simpler times.

I don’t want Cornelia’s wonder and innocence to be forgotten as she becomes a part of our fast pace society. I want her to be in touch with nature, the dirt and earth that feeds her, not screens and plastic.

When I see these photos I’m filled with deep sorrow, a loss I can’t describe. I have such a tremendous yearning for what was.

There’s so much work that goes in to being present on the internet and I’m just trying to figure out how to balance it. I don’t want to get lost in the online world, I want to stay grounded on earth. Any comments?

 

*photos are from when my parents were young

-Dawn

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3 Quick Dinners

Hello everyone! How has 2018 been going for you? So far I’ve got lots done! I’ve got a good start to my bullet journal, blog plans, and maintained a relatively clean home 😛

In my last post, Winter Beginnings, one of my hopes for 2018 was to build this blog so I’m aiming to post something once a week.

Now if you’ve been following along you probably already figured out I like things quick and easy. I don’t have much time for crazy recipes, so I’m giving you 3 very quick dinner ideas.

And I’m just going to jump into it right away!

  1. Tacos– cook your meat and add your spices. Make sure you’ve got your favorite toppings, personally I love pico de gallo and of course tortillas (soft or crunchy, your choice!) taco dinner
  2. Butter Chicken– this is a bit of a cheaters meal but so fast! Simply cut your chicken into cubes, cook it, and add your sauce and a little milk or cream. You can find the sauce in jars in most grocery stores, I get ours from Costco. Cook some rice to go along, and if you wanna be fancy pick up some naan 😉 butter chicken
  3. Fried Chicken Thighs– pull out a big frying pan, throw in a little oil and let it warm up. Spice your chicken and throw it in there! When the chickens done you could saute veggies in the pan or have them already cooking next to the chicken. I like to do yams in the microwave and then mushrooms and broccoli in the pan. For the yams, I stab with a fork a several times around and cook 5-10 minutes then flip and do again, depending on size. chicken thighs

 

These are for sure my go to meals right now. They don’t require a lot of prep and they should all been done within half an hour. Quick and Easy my favorite 🙂

If you’ve got some quick easy dinner recipes share them in the comments! I’m always looking for more to add to my recipe book!

-Dawn

Winter Beginnings 2017/18

Okay I know I should have written this last year at the beginning of December but I couldn’t. I didn’t know what I wanted for this season, I was so sleep deprived as any new mom so realistically I just wanted sleep.

I have now caught up on all that sleep as Evan and I have managed to sleep train Cornelia over the crazy busy holiday season and I’m feeling a bit like myself again.

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Although, I don’t feel the same as I had before Cornelia came to us. I forget just about everything which is unlike me, I’m starting to need coffee each morning, I want to dress differently and just my everyday everything just seems completely altered. I needed to give myself time to recover and decide what I wanted for this next year. I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on myself and just even 2017.

I felt like 2017 was a year of anxiousness. Evan and I pretty much spent the whole year impatiently waiting on our little babe to arrive in September. And there was so much pain in the world and in our newsfeeds (Trump’s inauguration, Hurricanes, Wildfires in Canada and USA, Vegas shooting, North Korea, extremist marches, the list goes on…) There was no way to avoid it.

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I was seeing was a lot of trends, things becoming popular across the globe because of the internet, everything was moving so fast (ideas, videos, memes, clothing, etc). I feel like I’m suffocating in screen time and I need to come up for air. (I think we all need to come up for air, but that’s not the point, right now).

So 2018

I need to find MY air. What do I like, I don’t want to buy a shirt because everyone else is wearing that shirt, I don’t want to listen to that radio station because everyone likes that music. Do you understand my point?

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I want to get off social media and off the internet because it drives me crazy. Not all platforms make me crazy, like this little space that is Simply Scholing. And I really can’t give up Instagram, but I don’t want those “Instagram mom models” to influence what I like. Maybe I’m insane and what I want isn’t achievable, but I really do want to try.

I want to read a book or go on an adventure, I’ve always wanted to go to the Othello Tunnels so maybe we’ll go as a family this Spring. Just get away from all the fast and furious.

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I love all things vintage and often feel like I was born in the wrong era, so maybe fill my home with some curated treasures or dress a little differently. Basically just finding what I really like not based on anyone else’s opinions.

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Another thing for 2018…

(I don’t normally share anything too personal like spiritual things, but I’m gonna share this.) In December I felt called to be more generous in 2018. I’ve never been good at sharing, maybe it’s the oldest child in me. I kept hearing God tell me I need to exercise generosity so I’m going to be working on that.

Moving on to my Winter goals…

For every season I set myself goals you can read past ones here: Spring 2017, Summer 2017, Autumn 2017

So the things I want to work on this season are…

  • A bullet journal, which will keep my thoughts together and be a diary for me, but mostly Cornelia and any of her small, exciting milestones.
  • Okay, I know I gave a mini rant about how I need to get away from the internet, but Building this blog. I enjoy being in this space and sharing, even if no one were to read my words. I simply need to find the balance of being present here but also being able to turn it off.
  • Being better stewards to the Earth in our home (cloth diapers and wipes for Cornelia, biodegradable soaps, being aware of plastic packaging, etc.)
    — Blog post about my fave products from The Body Shop, and what they do as a company.
— Vinegar is the number one best household product for natural cleaning

So yeah.

Do you agree with me? Do you also feel like our world is moving so fast and you can’t catch your breath? Are there certain things you wish to achieve this year or season? Let me know by leaving me a comment!

-Dawn

Homestead Skills

Hey guys, what’s up? It’s been awhile, oops 😛

I wrote a little post quite some time ago about my homesteading dreams, you can read it HERE, I wonder if any of you share that dream with me? I love the idea of becoming independant and being able to provide for my family with my own work, whether it be this blog or my own garden or a BnB that I’m running. The idea of living traditionally has me day dreaming!! But like I said in that post I have to wait. and I’m still waiting.

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My waiting is not a loss though, there are a few skills that I can be learning right now that will help me later when I’m living my dream. And you can learn them too! So here’s a handful of basic skills you can learn now 🙂

  • Sewing: and mending clothes is a huge part of being sustainable. In some cases it’s cheaper to sew together a blanket or an outfit. And if you’ve got a small hole that can be repaired! I’ve started to sew a few of my own clothes but I greatly need to improve my sewing capabilities before I can master sewing.
  • Gardening: being able to grow your own food is such a wonder. Vegetable seeds are so cheap and depending on your piece of dirt the seeds might last a couple years. Having a garden is so valuable for providing food, this past summer I managed a very simple one! You can read about it here!  IMG_3069
  • Cooking at home: is 1. cheaper 2. you don’t need to rely on someone else to feed you 3. not as much wasteful packaging 4. healthier. So all around a worthy skill to have and develop. One of my favorite dinners is just chicken fried in spices and sauteed veggies, easy, simple and takes just about as long as the pizza delivery guy.corn and potato soup1
  • Practice food preservation: living in Canada you can’t always get good peaches anytime of year and you’d have to buy some gross syrupy canned peaches. or fresh beans from your own garden (which saves money).  This is an area I’m not as skilled because I don’t have all the proper canning bits and baubles but would love to learn. DSC_0049
  • Budgeting: for a while I had gotten really good at this one but then when Cornelia came I didn’t have much energy to be so diligent but it’s so important. If you have no idea where your money is going it becomes difficult to have savings or to spend money on matters and not wasteful junk that fills your home. Luckily the New Year is coming and that means a fresh start.

So yeah these are just some basic skills you can work on if you’re stuck renting a small space like myself! If you want to read the first post you can find it here.

Is there a certain skill you’re working on right now or one that you’ve mastered? Let me know by leaving a comment!

-Dawn

Autumn Beginnings 2017

So it’s been a while but that’s because our darling baby girl came! Our Cornelia Joy was born September 3rd and we are so in love, but who isn’t 😉

Today is the first day of Fall so I thought it was appropriate to come back with a beginnings post! You can read my last one here! Autumn is my all time favorite season! I love the doom and gloom that we get here in the valley it just makes everything so cozy and I love that. Also it’s holiday season which makes it even better, everything up till Christmas is just my fave haha.

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At the beginning of a new season I always reflect on the past season and set new goals for myself in the coming couple months. I’m not always as successful as I want to be with goals but then I carry them over to the next season. Doing this helps me grow better with more short term goals, because if I give myself more time, chances are I’ll forget or give up.

As for the goals I had set for myself I think I really did okay, I had told myself to take it easy and sure at times I got pretty stressed out but overall I found ways to keep calm and I worked hard to trust in God and know that he’ll provide.

I had also spent the summer prepping for our new addition and a cut in our income and I think it helped that by the end of the summer I felt ready and had the basic necessities for a baby.

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In this season of Fall I don’t really have any specific goals, more just areas of life that I want to improve on.

I’m just learning what this new stage of life is. Figuring out our family of three, what does it look like being a mom. I’m so excited for it, watching our little girly grow. We are so blessed.

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One thing I’m going to be focusing on is a more conscious lifestyle for us in our home. When Cornelia is a bit bigger she’ll fit the cloth diapers that I had bought second hand, right now we are able to use cloth wipes for her. In the kitchen I’m already using washable ziplock bags and beeswax wraps. And I’ve started to work on a more conscious wardrobe for myself like by being more aware of the fabrics and the makers of my clothing. All of which I’ll be writing on in the next couple months so stay tuned for those exciting posts!

Another thing I want to try is a bullet journal. Generally I’m pretty organized, or at least I’d like to think so haha. I make lots of lists, I love lists. I live for lists, seriously. But I need to keep those lists a little more organized so I think a bullet journal is a good solution for that!

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Do you have anything you want to try this Autumn? Oh! and if you’ve got any bullet journal tips let me know by leaving me a comment!

dawn

Recipe Round up and Garden Update

Okay so I know I said I’d post a recipe every week and I haven’t done one in a couple weeks, buuuuut my mom was here so I was busy. She helped me do a lot in preparation for the baby, like a lot. My freezer is so full!

One thing she filled the freezer with was muffins, she made a few different kinds so I’m going to share the links for the muffins because they were from my recipe board 🙂

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Rhubarb Muffins

Blueberry Muffins

Banana Muffins

Double Chocolate Chip Muffins

These fancy “Third Trimester” Muffins

And my recipe for Pumpkin Muffins

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My garden has done quite well, except for the potatoes, they stopped growing two weeks after they started growing! I have so much lettuce I don’t know what to do with it, I love my fresh garden beans they are so yummy, and my carrots are giant. The onions have done okay, they’ve grown enough to be eaten but not really worth storing up cause I need three to equal one normal onion haha so I’ll have to try them again next year 🙂

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My strawberries are finally coming, and they’re perfect! My mom also brought a rhubarb plant so we’ll see how that goes next year. I also did some sweet peas and they flowered amazingly and I’m starting to collect the seeds for next year!

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If you had read any of my last posts about my garden you would know I had a problem with a mole and I manged to keep it out of the garden and it went everywhere else 😛 I had just shoved blackberry branches down the hole and it kept it away!

You can read the first post Here and then second one Here

The baby is due in the next couple weeks and I’m all set and just trying to relax, I’m still working but will be done next week and I’m hoping this baby waits and gives me a chance have some time off. At first I didn’t want to be overdue but now I feel like I can wait as long as I have some time off. I’m not sure what this looks like for the blog but I’m so hoping I will keep it up, I just don’t know what life will be like after.

So yeah! That’s a little bit of a life update 🙂

dawn

Sustainable Conscious Cosmetics

A big aspect of living sustainably and traditionally is being conscious of the impact you make on the environment. How can we be stewards of the earth if we’re only hurting it?

Did you know that a lot of the ingredients and packaging used in cosmetics are pretty harmful for the environment? Palm Oil, marine life, micro-beads, polluting chemicals, plastic packaging, and general ethics are just some of the ways the cosmetic industry hurts the earth.

I may be a bit biased when I say that The Body Shop has a great range of quality sustainable products. But they really strive to be as sustainable as they can when sourcing ingredients and packaging products. In the two years I’ve worked there they’ve completely removed micro-beads for natural or biodegradable exfoliators, created a plastic packaging from recycled methane gas, started rebuilding rain forests with Bio-Bridges, changed multiple ingredient suppliers because of more sustainable options, they even changed a fair trade supplier (because fair trade doesn’t always mean sustainable), AND right now they’re petitioning to end animal testing in cosmetics globally.

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Last year The Body Shop had their 40th birthday and they made a commitment to become the most sustainable company ever. The founder, Anita Roddick, believed that a retailer could be a force of good. Read about their commitment HERE.

I know there’s many other companies out there that also use sustainable practices, it’s just I’ve only really used and researched The Body Shop’s products. Lush has a great package recycling program, ethical practices, and vegetarian. Also a somewhat local company, Rocky Mountain Soap Co is dedicated to making their small-batch products as natural as they can.

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Anyway, today I’m going to share a few of my favorites from The Body Shop with you. These are the things I really can’t live without because I love them so much!

So starting with Body Care items…

The Body Shop tries to fragrance their products as naturally as they can using real oils and extracts, and will only use synthetic fragrance if it could harm the source. For example, the musk fragrance is synthetic because its natural alternative comes from a musk deer.

  • The best body scrub I’ve ever used, seriously, I like a really rough scrub and the Cupuacu Scrub is basically just salt with a light oil that leaves your skin sooo soft and it smells like some beautiful tropical flower.
  • Body Butters are my life, I have a giant stash under my bathroom sink and I just slather this stuff on all the time. Each Body Butter is based with Cocoa Butter which comes from a women’s Co-op in Ghana, there’s a large variety scents, each one having its own benefit for the skin. My favorites are the Shea and Peach, pictured is the Pinita Colada which is a limited edition summer scent. Another fun fact about the Body Butters is that the plastic packaging is made from recycled greenhouse gases.
  • The Showers Gels are actually a “soap free cleanser” so they’re more gentle and non-drying, which is so great because I’ve got such dry sensitive skin. There’s a lot of scent options, and I like to stock up when the limited edition scents come out.

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Next up are my skincare favorites, I’ve got a dry dull skin type so I’ve found these work for me. Also, I regularly use more then just these products but these are the products I can’t live without.

Most of the skincare products contain Community Trade ingredients, sourced from all over the world, each ingredient having its own story.

  • My go to day cream is the Vitamin C SPF moisturizer, it has a 30 SPF and Vitamin C is good for brightening and collagen production. For me sun protection is very important and I will teach it to my children.
  • The Himalayan Charcoal mask is phenomenal, this is great for any skin type and it gives the best deep clean for your skin. It smells refreshing and I am truly impressed with how “free” my skin feels after is use it.
  • I use the Pomegranate Face Wash and I’ve never loved another facial wash more then this one. It’s a gel formula so it cleanses deeper then a cream formula but it has a creamy feeling so it’s very gentle and it doesn’t dry out my skin. I think it’s being discontinued so I will be looking for a new wash soon, unfortunately.
  • This makeup remover is the best thing ever. The Camomile Cleansing Butter, is so gentle it’s ridiculous. It’s a balm that you put on dry make up and it just melts eye makeup away, and you rinse with warm water and your makeup is all gone. Traditional eye makeup remover always stung me and so I’m thrilled to have found this. And it’s great for travelling cause it doesn’t leak and I’ve never had a problem with it melting but I wouldn’t leave it in the car on the hottest days.
  • The Drops of Youth Concentrate is a best selling skincare product and I can say I’m totally obsessed with it. It’s a serum that helps with cell renewal because it has plant stem cells. I love it because it makes my skin look so healthy and fresh, I can’t not use it because I actually notice my skin looks dull when I don’t use it, oh and it’ll help with aging 😉

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Lastly, my favorite Makeup products. I am certainly not a Makeup expert, I like my morning routine to be quick and easy!

The Body Shop uses Marula Oil from a Women’s Co-op in Nambia in most of their makeup, and it’s all 100% vegetarian and cruelty free. They’re also making an effort to reduce packaging by creating refillable products and wrap single eye shadow colours in paper not plastic.

  • The Matte Liquid Lipsticks are fantastic. They’re so long lasting, I used them for my brother-in-law’s wedding and they lasted till dinner time! My favorite colours are Nairobi Camellia (Nude) and Sydney Amaryllis (Red).
  • Just this year the Body Shop came out with create-your-own eye palettes, this is so great because you can customize your colours. I love eye shadow because I feel like it brightens my eyes so being able to make my own palette is great.
  • The Fresh Nude Foundation is by far the best foundation I’ve ever used. In the past I could only use BB Creams because foundations would feel heavy or drying but these ones don’t at all. They’re great for smoothing the skins appearance but not looking unnatural or cakey.
  • This Contour Kit is a huge hit for me, because I love the colours (there’s 2 options for light and dark skin). The contour isn’t too orange and the blush isn’t too pink. I also use the contour and bronze colours for a natural eye shadow look and the highlighter on the brow bone. Seriously if I was stranded on an island all I would need is this Contour Kit and mascara.
  • And then my favorite brush is this Sun Luster Brush, it’s great to use with my Contour Kit. The Body Shop has a lot of quality make up brush, all made with synthetic hairs.

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I am by no means basic (clearly) when it comes to the cosmetic products that I use, which is why I think it’s even more important for me to be using sustainable options.

I do need to find a mascara that I love and I will soon need to find a new face wash. Also I’ll eventually need to find a new hair conditioner because the one I use has been discontinued but I’ve got a stash for now haha.

I am hoping to expand the range of brands I use, keeping in mind the company’s values and supporting more local companies, so if you have some favorites please share with me!

dawn