Though I adore an old-fashioned letterpress invitation sent through the mail, with busy lives and hundreds of birthday and holiday parties, online invites have become the trend. I was gifted a signed first edition of Emily Post’s Everyday Etiquette from my Great Aunt, yet there is no chapter on the etiquette of online invitations! One of the great benefits, besides being thrifty, is that digital invites are great for the environment and are becoming more and more accepted. But what are some of the do’s and don’ts?
Nature-deficit disorder, as coined by American author Richard Louv, should be adopted as a scientific term. Research shows spending time outside delivers mental and physical health benefits, makes people feel more relaxed, less stressed, more invigorated and gives them a break from the pressures in their daily lives. Despite 55% of Canadians believing that nature relaxes them, a full 56% of Canadians feel they don’t get enough outdoor time. Ugh. Sure, we can blame technology, full calendars, or gross weather. But in the end, I would go even further. I believe that we not only have a tendency to place a higher value on structured activities as opposed to free play. But I also think that we avoid the unknown. A minute-by-minute schedule is comforting, somehow, and once it’s all done, we feel accomplished and successful. Going off to search for a four leaf clover that may never materialize is comparatively frightening. Without teaching or kids to venture into the unknown, however – without the safety net of the construct of a video game or piano lesson – we are failing them. Ourselves too.
I remember as a little girl, dressing up to go to the bank. It wasn’t as fancy as Easter Sunday, but close. I had three tiny bank books in hand: ‘chequing’, ‘savings’ and ‘long-term savings’. None of the accounts had much in them but the bank tellers assumed I was learning a ton and thought I was cute. Getting one’s bank book updated and waiting patiently in line was apparently a super-engaging kid activity. Sometimes I wouldn’t go for a few months and each interest payment would take so much time to print. Line by line. One cent, two cents…my family was very frugal and budgeted impeccably in order to save for vacations and big purchases.
The term ‘bedwetter’ is so awful. You just can’t possibly get a positive vibe as the recipient of this label. Some words come with so much baggage, and this particular one should be stricken from the dictionary. We’ll get Merriam-Webster right on that. In truth, nighttime wetting is a completely separate issue from potty training. While a parent can train their child out of diapers, nighttime wetting is something that can’t be trained and must be outgrown. It’s an inevitable and common part of growing up and we want all parents to feel at ease during this phase in their child’s life.
Families can be complicated. We love them, but they can drive us crazy sometimes/often/always. It’s nice to take solace in a Netflix marathon of families that make your family look relatively normal in comparison to whatever drama you’re currently dealing with. These are some great options if you are trying to get over the family get together blues:
Typically, I am a positive, optimistic person. Glass half full. Seize the day. But after a very long, cold winter and an even wetter spring it’s been tough to harness a consistently cheery outlook. The world political climate has been terrifying, the state of our planet is like a horror film, and it’s near impossible to get away from negative news – fake or otherwise. Pause. An intervention is required, as I despise being negative. I am making some necessary changes, including turning off the news, becoming more of an environmental activist, and focusing on joy and pleasure for the entire summer.
I love to travel, but occasionally I have to stay home. When I get the travel itch and I don’t have any trips planned, I know I can always retreat to my Netflix flicks and find a new adventure. These are a few of my favourites to pass the time until I get the next stamp on my passport:
At 70, Fred Penner’s beautiful hands strum his guitar like it’s an extension of his fingers. The twinkling eyes we remember shine out from an older, but no less appealing face, framed with the most welcoming smile—a smile that five decades of kids have loved and trusted.
We may have mommy-brain about almost everything else, but the one thing we all know is how we like our coffee.
My personal go-to has been a K-cup of an insanely dark roast cut with half and half. There is something to be said for fast, easy, eye-opening caffeine consumption that even my kid can make. (Yes, I’ve taught my oldest how to set the coffee maker and how many splashes of cream to add for it to get to just the color mommy likes.) That convenience comes at a high cost however, with a large amount of waste I’ve never felt great about.
As I age, I realize that quantity is really not preferable to quality. It’s taken me a while. My sunglass drawer is stuffed with dozens of cheap sunglasses that don’t block UVB rays. The closet contains too many pairs of inexpensive stilettos that I can’t wear because they are so uncomfortable. And I have owned so many vacuums that can’t deep clean and then break often. Throwing away a big item like a vacuum every year or two really can’t be good for the planet. It also takes so much time to shop, learn, and then dispose of big items that you either end up returning of tossing. I am thrilled to say that I have aged wisely. I now have one good pair of stunning sunglasses, a couple of comfortable designer stiletto options, and a vacuum that truly sucks. In the most epic way possible. All of these items, by the way, will last me a very long time. Cheaper isn’t necessarily wiser.