Does anyone even talk about lent anymore?

What’s the point of Lent if you’re just giving up chocolate for 40 days? Where’s the sacrifice?

To me Lent is about giving up something so you can draw closer to GOD. Cause that’s the point right?

It’s the lead up to Easter. The holiday of the bunnies, right? Well not exactly. It’s the time of year we remember the greatest sacrifice ever made. I think because it happened a rather long time ago it’s impact has been diluted. Someone actually died, for me and I feel like I need that reminder more then once a year to truly appreciate it.

Over the past couple months I’ve made the choice to recede from my community, and as an outlet for general life stuff I’ve turned to shopping. Which I feel has distanced myself even more from wanting to connect with the Lord. Consumerism is a sickness.

This Lent season I want to practice minimal spending and more mindfulness about where our money goes and how I spend my time and reconnect with my community.

I was looking for comfort in material things when I know that’s not where peace comes from. This Lent I’m going to TRY running to the arms of GOD instead. I’m human, I’ll probably trip on the way.

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just some evening thoughts

I’ve never been a good writer. I’ve never been convincing with the words I’ve written or said. In fact, I’ve never been much good at anything really. I haven’t had any true talents. No extraordinary skills. Nothing stands out about me, I find myself rather plain.

I’ve always been the odd one out. Never really fit in with anyone or any kind of crowd. It’s uncomfortable growing up feeling like you don’t belong. For the most part I don’t have that one female friend who is my person. Most of my friendship are because of work, or shared husband’s friends, but I don’t have that “I’ll die for you” friendship with another female that I’ve longed for basically as long as I can remember.

I’ve always been a mix of personality traits. Kind of creative but really not creative at all. Outgoing but also cautious. I would take these personality quizzes and you’re given 4 options, I ended up splitting evenly over 3 of them. I never had my own personality fit.

You know that one toy you’ve played with as a kid that has all the different shaped blocks slipping into it’s rightful spot to join the others? I feel like I’m a shape that doesn’t have a designated place for me to slip through to join the rest.

These are just some things I’ve been pondering the last few nights, along with some other things that I want to share in this space.

Iced London Fog

Hello! It’s been a little while, we had a bit of a bumpy start to our summer but now things have calmed down so I figured I’d share a recipe.

I’ve recently discovered the joy of a London Fog on ice. It was a total summer drinks game changer. I can’t get enough of them!

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I don’t always have the means to go to a cafe to get one either so I’ve learned to do them at home. So simple, which I love!

Okay so you need…

iced london fog

  1. Put your ice in a glass, I used a mason jar because all our cups are puny and I like big drinks.
  2. Add your sweetener. You can use sugar, honey, or a drinks syrup, and you can always add less or more depending on how sweet you want it to be.
  3. Mix in the Tea. When I brewed mine I filled a regular mug with hot water and two tea bags. I don’t use boiling water because that can make your tea taste bitter.
  4. Lastly, pour in your milk and stir. If you prefer you can sub your milk for almond or coconut instead for a dairy free option.
  5. Enjoy with a rhubarb square or a strawberry peach galette!

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-Dawn

DIY Cloth Napkins

Hello Everyone! Hope you’re having a lovely Saturday!

Okay so I love filling my home with meaningful things.

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I also try to be mindful of those things I’ve brought into my home, whether it’s a new shirt or a new-to-me book shelf. I am by no means a minimalist, aesthetically it’s appealing but it’s not for me, I need the 3 different frying pans 😛

So I try to be aware of what I purchase: where it comes from, the materials, or maker. But also how it impacts the environment. I wrote a post on that topic last week, read it here if you missed it.

I was needing some brighter, more summery inspired cloth napkins. I didn’t really want to just buy some, I wanted to sew some myself so they’d have more value and to work on my mediocre sewing skills.

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I found my fabric at MCC, a local thrift store, for $1.50 and I had enough fabric to make 9 12×9″ napkins.

Okay so jumping in…

Materials you need are:

  • Fabric
  • Something to measure with
  • Fabric Scissors
  • Iron
  • Somewhere to iron
  • Thread
  • Sewing Machine
  1. So step one will be to measure and cut your fabric, whatever you chose. Cotton and linen are ideal, but because I bought mine second hand I don’t know the specs.

 

I cut my pieces to 12×9″ but you can adjust yours to whatever size you want.

2. Next would be to cut a little notch into the corners just under 1/2″ like this IMG_1269 (1)

3. Then you’ll want to iron down the short length side like this (for me that would be the 9″ side), remembering to press it down onto the back of the fabric.IMG_1566

4. and then trim the corner edge like this, and then iron the other edge like this

5. Next you’ll start to sew the edges down, to make it easier for yourself when you get to a corner make sure the needle is in the fabric then lift the sewing foot and turn your fabric square so the it’s straight with the hem, put the foot down and resume sewing. Remember to back stitch at the beginning and end of each napkin so it doesn’t unravel.

6. Repeat on all your napkins, and there you have it 🙂

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They’re not flawless because the hem isn’t rolled in but they’re perfectly imperfect. Easy and so simple. IMG_1579

You can fold them like a brochure and they fit nicely under utensils.

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IMG_1583 Now you can have your very own cloth napkins that you’ll hopefully treasure because you made them yourself.

Is there anything you’re sewing this summer? Tell me about it by leaving a comment!

-Dawn

More like this

IMG_0762 DIY Wreath

Why do I care so much?

Hello Everyone! Hope you’re having a lovely June so far 🙂 It’s been a while since I’ve been on here but I wanted to share something I’ve been thinking about recently.

Last time I shared about our slow simple life that we’ve managed to attain, and if you missed it you can go here and read it 🙂

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So I wanted to share about some thoughts I’ve had about “going green”, or being “eco-friendly” and why I find it important.

Why?

You’ve all heard about climate change, Earth Overshoot Day, and all the other scientific studies of our negative impact on our world. And sure maybe that’s a small bit of why I care about the impact my family creates. But the most fundamental reason I care so much is because as a Christian, we’ve been given an amazing home we call Earth. We recently just did a road trip through the Rocky Mountains and I am so in awe of how all creation works.

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In the documentary The Magic Pill on Netflix they explain about how grass-fed cows eat and fertilize the grass, which creates deep roots and new soil and it’s just one big circle of life. This is the way the world was intended to be. Maybe I didn’t explain it the best way, so go watch it right now. Oh no wait finish reading this first!

As Christians we need to express our gratitude by actually giving a f***. Sorry strong language, but I don’t care. I just think humans in general need to wake up and realize we have this amazing planet.

How?

Okay in our house we’re not 100% zero-wasters. It’s near impossible, especially when we don’t have the resources to make it work. BUT I make an effort to be ever so mindful of what impact we make. Some examples of what we DO do are…

  • Sustainable food packaging, like beeswax wraps and reusable ziplock bags.
  • Biodegradable cleansers, like dish soaps, laundry detergents, and body soaps.
  • Composting food waste, like using eggs shells as fertilizer or our city’s composting program.
  • Buying local because of fuel emissions.

I could keep going but I’d be here for a while.

Some areas we are unable to make it work, like my extensive effort to make our cloth diapers work for Cornelia has not worked. Or we don’t have a bulk food store in our area so lots of food gets bought prepackaged. But I’m always trying to improve and be grateful for what we’ve been given and the resources we do have.

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It can be overwhelming at times, but then I just remind myself why I do it.

What kinds of ways do you try to be “green”?

-Dawn

BBQ Chicken Pizza

Hello Everyone! Hope you’ve been enjoying this beautiful weather we’ve been having! It feels like Summer 🙂 I’ve got lots of growth happening in my garden, hopefully my potatoes make it this year (fingers crossed). If you missed my latest post you can go check it out, Attaining Simplicity.

Last week I shared on my Instagram Story our BBQ Chicken Pizza and I had poll going to share the recipe or not. And obviously you wanted it, and you should have because sooo delish. So I’ll let you in on the recipe!

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Okay first you need pizza dough. I’ve been looking for a recipe that’s big enough for Evan and I to make a 14″ pizza and it needs to make the perfect crust. And I’m so thrilled because not only does the recipe that I found make enough but it makes enough for two pizzas. When I make this dough I split it into two and freeze one half for next time, making pizza night easy peasy. It’s crispy on the outside but soft on the inside, everything pizza crust should be, it really is the perfect pizza crust. The original recipe can be found here.

Pizza Dough (Recipe from Chef in Training)

  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1 tbsp yeast
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 5 cups flour
  1. Mix the water and yeast and let it proof for 5 minutes
  2. Then mix together 2 1/2 cups of flour with the proofed yeast, once that’s mixed add the remaining flour and salt
  3. When it’s been completely mixed together let it rise for 20 minutes
  4. Once that’s done, you can split the dough into two portions, either freeze one or make two pizzas if you’d like
  5. Roll dough out flat and put onto oiled baking sheet, I use a Wilton’s Pizza Pan

Now that your dough is finished you can do the fun part, the toppings!

BBQ Chicken Toppings

bbq chicken pizza

  • Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Sauce
  • Shredded rotisserie chicken
  • Mozza-Cheddar Blend Cheese
  • Fresh red onion
  • Fresh roma tomato
  • Fresh cilantro
  1. Preheat oven at 400 F
  2. Top your dough with BBQ sauce, chicken (I used about a cup) and Mozza-Cheddar (about a cup as well)
  3. Bake for 20 minutes or so, till the crust is golden brown
  4. Chop up your fresh veggies and cilantro (I did mine quite fine)
  5. When your pizza is done in the oven and your fresh veggies, cut and serve!

and voila! perfect BBQ Chicken Pizza!

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-Dawn

Attaining Simplicity

Hey guys it’s been a while! If you missed my last post, I shared a DIY for a Spring Floral Wreath and you can check it out here!

I’ve had the busiest couple weeks and it made me realize a few things about the way our lifestyle has changed since Cornelia was born. And I’m gonna share that with you guys today 🙂

For me this blog is a space where I share my journey to living a little more like our grandparents and their grandparents. That slow and simple living. Learning to be better with our resources and stewards of creation.

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Alright, so obviously life changes when you have a baby but there’s something about how it has changed for my family that I love. Our life HAS become slow and I rarely push myself to do more than one thing a day. I find the time to go out and enjoy nature with Cornelia, even if its raining. I have a weekly coffee date with friends and it’s the highlight of my week.

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The past few weeks have been stuffed full to the brim of all these things I needed to do and places to go and it really bothered me. I hated it and was anxious all week because of the things I needed to do. I’m happy it’s done and I can go back to my simpler schedule again next week.

These were a few things that I had implemented to get that more relaxed schedule…

  • Don’t pack your schedule full of ALL the things, you don’t need to do that to yourself. If you don’t work give yourself 1 thing to do every day, not 2, not 3, just ONE thing. If you do work only give yourself 1 thing per week, maybe 2, but not something on top of your job every day.
  • Go outside, get out of the house and inhale that fresh crisp air. If it’s sunny get that Vitamin D, if it’s raining go jump in the puddles. I’ve made an effort to go out for an afternoon stroll with Cornelia. Even if it’s raining, I aim for at least 5 minutes.
  • Get a crockpot and make some “dump freezer meals”, you’ll love that it takes half an hour prep and two minutes of pulling it from the freezer. There’s tons of recipes on Pinterest that you can try out. My two faves are pulled pork and enchilada casserole. Not really having to cook will make your week way easier.
  • Self-care, I don’t know about you but I’m getting a little tired of hearing this word, but it’s actually really important. I try and take 10 minutesish for myself, so I can have a nice shower or actually finish my coffee. It doesn’t need to be something grand like a mani-pedi but actually giving yourself 10 minutes to breathe is really helpful.

I am on maternity leave right now so it may seem easier, but I do think it would work for people working full time. And I’m hoping that things won’t change too drastically when I do go back to work but that’s just another season of life and so change will happen, sooner then I’d like.

I’m loving where we are at right now, and of course I’m still learning to master simple living. For example, I FINALLY succeeded (there have been many attempts) in starting a sourdough baby but then just got lazy and haven’t kept up with it.

If you’ve got anything to share just leave me a comment!

-Dawn

For more like this read these:

5 Mood Boosters                                                                     It Was Simple

mood bosters                                                   it was simple

DIY: Spring Wreath

It’s the first day of Spring! Yaaaaay!

If you missed my last post about Spring starting you can read that here.

I just wanted to share a quick little DIY to help spruce up your living space especially for this fresh season. You can also check out my Fall Wreath for more inspiration.

Okay so you need a few things to make this.

  • Grapevine Wreath (I get mine from Michael’s, they’re different prices depending on the size you use. I used a 14″ this time.)
  • Some fake flowers  and foliage in Spring-y tones (You can get these at Michael’s for $$ or dollar stores for $. I went with some dangly purple ones and then cut them in half.)
  • A letter for your initial (either Michael’s or dollar stores will have them, my sister had actually made this one for me with some twine.)
  • String to attach your letter, and give you a way to hang your wreath.
  • Scissors
  • warmed up hot glue gun

Okay now the steps…

  1. Take flowers off their long stems, you don’t want them sticking out of your wreath. Start to place them where you’d like them to go around your letter and add your foliage. When you’re happy with the placement glue them there so it doesn’t get mixed up or they fall out of the wreath. IMG_0759
  2. Next thing would be to put your letter down and tie it there, use hot glue if you need to keep it put. I reuse mine so I try not to glue it. IMG_0760
  3. and lastly tie a loop to hang it! I didn’t for this one so you don’t have to either, but I normally do. And that’s it, so easy! IMG_0762

And well yeah that’s it. Super easy like everything else that I like to do haha.

-Dawn

Spring Beginnings 2018

Hey all! It’s just starting to look like Spring here which is so exciting because I am so looking forward to being able to get outside more!

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Every season I reflect back on the season that just past and then prepare for the season ahead of me. You can read about my Winter Season here.

I’m just going to jump into this because I don’t have a lot of time!

For this year I wanted to find some space away from social media and technology because I felt like it was making me anxious and I just needed to slow down and breathe. I do feel like I found a little of what I was looking for, the slow living. I spent a lot of time with my family, and try so hard to not be on my phone when Cornelia is around, I try to have two free hands when I’m with her.

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I also wanted to find the things that I like, not what’s trendy. So I’m trying to change the way I dress or the music I listen to which takes a bit of time. When I shop I have made more of an effort to learn about how it was made or if it works in our home, instead of impulsively buying something.nov 05

I had a few goals for the winter as well… my bullet journal, which I’ve done well on I think… building the blog, which I should probably work on harder… and working on being more stewardly to the Earth, which has gone okay (I’ll be writing about this in a full post so look out for that).

For this Spring there’s a couple things I want to work on as well as my bigger slow living goal for the year.

  • Eating healthier, like eat actual fruits and vegetables, this is probably my biggest flaw but I could go a whole week without these and be okay with myself. I’m also interested in eating fermented food so I’m attempting a sourdough starter for like the fifth time and I’m actually getting somewhere with it. Yay me!
  • Getting outside every day, whether we just sit outside on our deck or we go for a walk. Fresh air is just so good! IMG_0672
  • Giving myself grace, for the things I can’t do or messed up on. I try not to feel bad about things because guilt can become such a heavy weight.

I love setting these goals for myself, it makes me work towards being a better me for my family and myself. It makes it easier when it’s in a shorter timeline too because if it doesn’t work I can try again or decide it’s not for me. pexels-photo-414620

Do you give yourself seasonal goals or a chance to work on something in a certain season? Let me know by leaving a comment!

-Dawn

 

5 Mood Boosters

Hello all hope you’re doing well!

Did you know that seasonal depression is an actual thing? So many people are affected by it and they don’t even realize it. Experts feel that its due to the lack of sunlight in the winter, you can read more about it on BC Healthlink website here. It would make sense, especially here in BC where we don’t see a lot of sunlight during those Winter but then our moods improve in the Spring and Summers.

I wanted to share a couple of my mood boosters for those Winter blues with you guys!

  • Take a nice hot shower or bath, it’ll warm you up from the cold and if you use salts in your bath it will help relax all your muscles. pexels-photo-534116
  • Go out or stay in and have a cup of hot chocolate, it’ll feel nostalgic like you’re a little kid again and make you warm inside.pexels-photo-370017
  • Go for a walk, nature has been proven to treat depression. The fresh air will feel so good and uplifting even if it’s pouring rain, just bundle up. pexels-photo
  • Take a nap and wake up feeling refreshed.pexels-photo-545034
  • Be creative, do something artsy. If it’s around Christmas make an ornament for the tree, or buy yourself some flowers and try to paint them. Do  something that promotes creativity.Kid painting Santa on a paper plate

 

-Dawn