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inspiration

Everyday

Give It Away

March 23, 2015
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Remember that Red Hot Chili Peppers song: Give it Away?

You know the one.

It came out in the early 90’s; from their Blood Sugar Sex Magik album.

It was the time period of the tube socks.

Here’s a refresher:

Was this video shot at Burning Man ’91? So much body paint! But let’s be real, those mirrored pants are amazing. I also love the glittery lips. Can glittery lips be a thing again? Let’s make it a thing!

Recently, I came across an article that talked about the origins of that song. According to internet lore this article, Antony Kedis wrote the song after being on the receiving end of an altruistic gesture. Simply put, he admired the beloved jacket of his then-girlfriend and she in turn gave it to him. He asked her why she would part with something she loved so dearly, and she replied that by giving away the things she loved, she was opening herself up to good things (positive energy, good karma, good fortune, etc). *heavily paraphrased…but overall that was the message*

This silly/ random/possibly untrue internet article totally sent my head reeling! A painfully obvious lightbulb went off. Take what you love and give it to others. Spread that love around!  Make other people happy by giving them things you love dearly! Give away your awesome jacket to your couch-surfing boyfriend who has beautiful long hair!

Now, it’s in my nature to be a bit of a hoarder. Maybe this is a trait common to most people; something that is deeply embedded in our primal being. For me, I don’t want to part with things I have attached sentimental or nostalgic significance to. Nor do I want to part with the things that *might* be of importance to me later.

My brain tells me to save it. Keep it. Store it away. WHAT IF you want that someday. Better pack it away in the closet, or in a box, for the day when you might want that special thing again. Surely I am not the only person who does this.

But, what if I stopped hoarding things for myself?

What if I stopped holding on to material possessions for the sake of nostalgia?

What if, instead, I chose to give the things I love and admire to other people; so that they too can love and admire them.

give_it_away

Real life example:

We recently parted with all of our cloth diaper stash. All the diapers, except 1 that held sentimental value to me. This diaper is the last remaining physical evidence that we cloth diapered. I remember buying it on a trip back to NY in 2012. I remember how cute this diaper looked under sun dresses that the girls would wear; and how cute it looked attached to crawling baby butts scuttling around the house. I wanted to save this weird memento with the mindset that one day I will give this diaper to my girls and say: Here! This was yours when you were a baby! Take it and love it!

Now, if my girls are anything like me, their response (when given something they wore as a baby…and something thats sole purpose is to contain poop) will be : Ew! Why do you still have that? Why would I want that? You are so weird! I can’t believe you kept that! Thank you, but Ew. 

A few weeks ago, best friend had a baby girl and asked to borrow this diaper for a photo shoot. She loved the pattern but could no longer find it in stores because it has been discontinued. She had spent many an hour scouring used diaper forums and eBay in search of this diaper with no luck of finding it; a very odd thing that only fellow cloth diaper users will understand.

Of course I let her borrow the diaper, but a part of me felt that gollum-esque feeling of I Want That Back!

How stupid is that? A diaper!

When I stopped by her house several days later to drop off new baby goodies (and to pick up the borrowed diaper), she remarked how frustrated she was with herself for not purchasing that particular pattern when it was released a few years ago.

In that moment I thought of Anthony Kedis, painted silver, telling me to: Give It Away, Now!

So I told her to keep it. She would obviously get more use out of it than I would over the next few years. But above all else, I wanted to give her something that I loved and that held a good deal of nostalgia for me. Why? Because I love her, and want to give her the things that I hold dear.

What if we all did that?

What if, every time someone remarked how much they loved or admired something of ours we gave it to them.

No questions asked. Just: Here, take it! I want you to have it.

The truth is, even when we give away our nostalgic goodies we still have the memories (and maybe a few photos saved on our computer) to remember that thing by.

…and if we’re not sure we’ll be able to remember that one-special-thing if we were to give it away, maybe it’s not actually as special as we think.

Maybe that’s where true happiness and contentment live; not within the things that we hold in our hands, but within the people around us whose hands we hold. Their happiness = Our happiness.

Maybe it’s true that we allow more room in our lives for good things to happen when we open up more physical space and free ourselves from our possessions.

All very deep, right? Half-naked, silvery, Anthony Kedis thinks so.

Life Lesson: Listen to more Red Hot Chili Peppers and give more stuff away.

Book Lists, Parenting, Parenting Resources, School Room, StudioLab

Favorite Parenting Books for Creativity and Learning

January 21, 2015

parenting

(*this post contains affiliate links)

I take a creative approach to parenting. This probably explains why I’m drawn to parenting books that encourage parents to get creative in order to evoke deep thinking in their children. We’re a very sensory and play based home. There are lots of happy messes, art projects, and various play scenes constantly being built up (or torn down) in every room of the house

In a tech heavy world, I still get most of my parenting inspiration from actual books. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Pinterest and use it frequently to get ideas for daily activities, but it’s just not the same as flipping through beautiful pages of carefully designed book on creativity. With a real book, I can feel the author’s creativity jump right off the pages and into whatever plane of existence my own creativity is pulled from; something I don’t really experience from staring at a computer screen.

When I was just starting out on my mama journey, I found You Are Your Child’s First Teacher to be incredibly influential. It helped to cement in my head just how important and special these early parenting years are. It also gave me some great ideas for play activities with a baby who was only a couple of months old at the time. Sometimes, when I’m feeling too scattered and exhausted to make another day at home count, I check out this book from the library and feel a great sense of reassurance wash over me. It’s an awesome book.

I frequently reference Seven Times the Sun for daily rhythm ideas and it was my main inspiration for putting together Mealtime Verses and a Healing Basket. I stumbled upon the book in a thrift store, and knowing exactly what kind of treasure it was I bought it as quick as I could.

Here is a list of my favorite parenting and teaching resources:

Dad’s Book of Awesome Science Experiments- Mike Adamick

You Are Your Child’s First Teacher- Rahima Baldwin Dancy

The Creative Family- Amanda Blake Soule

The Handmade Home-Amanda Blake Soule

Rhythm of Family- Amanda Blake Soule

Playful Learning- Mariah Bruehl

Festivals Family and Food- Diana Carey and Judy Large

Seven Times the Sun- Shea Darian

Tinkerlab-Rachelle Dooley

Maker Dad- Mark Frauenfelder

The Write Start- Jennifer Hallissy

The Artful Parent; Jean Van’t Hul

Baking Bread with Children- Warren Lee Cohen

Junk Drawer Physics-Bobby Mercer

Show Me A Story- Emily K. Neuburger

 Beyond the Rainbow Bridge-Barbara J. Patterson and Pamela Bradley

Art Lab for Little Kids-Susan Schwake

I usually have a combination of at least 5 of these books checked out from the library at any given time. My favorites are: Play Learning, Rhythm of Family, Tinkerlab, and The Artful Parent; with Playful Learning being my go-to reference book when I feel like I’m in a creative parenting slump or need some new ideas for play space layout. It’s a beautiful book.

Cheers!

Everyday

Name Change | Game Change

January 19, 2015

namechange

What’s in a name? Well, it turns out a lot of inspiration (or lack there of) is tied up in a name and blog identity.

After nearly 4 years of blogging with The Feel Good Foodie, I hit a wall. I just couldn’t find an ounce of inspiration to write from. I grew resentful of the name and identity I had created for myself. I no longer thought of myself as The Feel Good Foodie; making it nearly impossible to write from the perspective of my former self.

Truth is, a lot has changed in my life since rolling out The Feel Good Foodie in August of 2011. I still spend most of my days cooking, or thinking about food, but it’s such a small part of my everyday life. It didn’t feel right having a blog dedicated to all things foodie when I no longer cared as much about foodie stuff.

But just to be clear, I still care about food. I really love food. 

I felt like I painted myself into a corner and was stuck. I threw around the idea of stopping all blogging for a few years, archiving the foodie site, and not thinking about writing until I could figure out what in the world I wanted to write about.

That seemed a bit extreme, so I tried to think of ways to reinvent myself.

I wanted to have a blog that reflected my day to day passions, and show people what our life at home with kids looked like. At this stage in my life, raising our girls is my top priority. Sure, I still do all kinds of other awesome stuff; but creating a home environment where they can flourish is my current calling.

Out of the ashes of The Feel Good Foodie blog,  Growing Roots and Wings was born.

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Look! I kind of know a thing or two about design now too!

 

A few years back, I heard a quote about parenting that struck a chord deep within me:

There are two gifts we should give to our children.

One is roots, the other is wings.

It perfectly sums up how I want to raise the girls.

I want them to be independent, free-thinkers who are not afraid to go out into the world and shake things up a bit.

But I also want to provide for them an environment where they always feel loved, supported, encouraged, and “home”.

Even if the location of our family changes, our home will always be there for them to come back to.

So there is the long and short of it. Stay tuned for exciting posts, lots of pictures, and creative ideas for everyday life.

Cheers!

XO