Here’s the thing. I’m not really a fan of putting any person into a particular *box.* I know these days it feels like things are getting more extreme and polarized by the minute and I definitely don’t want to be adding any fuel to that fire.
So I just want to take a minute here to acknowledge what I mean when I say my Meal Planning Workshop is for those who consider themselves to be B-Type personalities.
When investigating the research behind A and B Type personality testing, I learned that those who identify themselves as ‘B-Types’ are just simply ‘non-type A,’ in other words - everything that a Type-A is not. And they probably acknowledge it in this way because Type-A’s are very easy to identify. They’re:
By glancing at this list you yourself probably know immediately whether you’re a Type-A or not. And it looks pretty appealing to fall into the A-type category but that may not be so.
There are supposedly a couple other types (Type D and T) but they’re not that common. So for simplicity sake - I’ll just stick to A and B because I also like the duality aspect of this topic.
So to confirm - if you know very well that you do not identify as a Type-A then guess what - you’re a Type B! And that means you typically embody these kind of attributes:
Sounds like a pretty good list right? Well, except the procrastinating part… which is what makes me wonder whether it’s really a great idea to submit to staying in this category.
The thing is - I myself would consider myself a pretty solid B-Type - until recently. In the last few years, specifically since taking an intentional and concerted effort in improving myself and my mindset, I feel like I’ve adopted more traits from the A-Type (the positive ones).
However - it has been the general consensus in the world of psychology that in fact no, a personality does not change. For the longest time, researchers found that traits are inborn and they stay stable over time. The good news is that more recent research is finding that “personality traits CAN change through persistent intervention and major life events” according to this University of California article.
So what does this mean? Well I consider it to be good news because of the following: if we’re looking at personalities from the A and B perspective then we can see how there are positive and not-so-positive attributes from either end. And if humans are (for the most part) *categorized* under either A or B but they want to improve themselves for the better, they’ll likely need to learn how to adopt some of those more positive traits from the other end of the spectrum. It is nice to know that with persistent effort this is possible!
Further, I myself am proof that this change can happen. I knew I was once undoubtedly a B-Type but I just scored an assured A-Type score on a personality test (I took twice to confirm!) That’s pretty mind-blowing to me. Funny thing is, if you were to ask anyone who knows me well which category they think I fall into, I’m pretty sure most people would still classify me as a B. Which is pretty cool, I think!
It’s kind of the same thing that happened to this journalist who did a very focused study on herself to see if she could change her personality. She recounts her process in this interesting and funny article in The Atlantic and sums up her result in this line:
“The key may not be in swinging permanently to the other side of the personality scale, but in balancing between extremes”
I like this. Because at the end of the day, whoever you are and whichever *box* you fit into, there are always some positives and not-so-positives and it’s only up to YOU to decide what you like or dislike about you and whether you want to change it. It doesn't have to be All or Nothing.
To finish, if there are any B-Types out there reading this and want to get into the habit of procrastinating less, perhaps achieving a little bit more, then consider signing up for my Meal Planning Workshop (one of the ways of learned to embody more of my A-side :) The next one is happening on Saturday April 22nd. Check this page for more info and registration.
It’s a great way to exercise that forward-thinking part of your brain without totally abandoning your chilled out, go-with-the-flow, good-naturedness. And you end up eating a lot of yummy, healthy food!
Shock! Gasp! Horror! What!?! I don’t believe in climate change?!? How dare I utter such words when all signs point to - it is decidedly so.
Yes, it might be confusing for some to hear (read) me say this especially if you know the lifestyle I’ve chosen to lead (ie. backwoods pioneer-ish). And yes, I admit, perhaps this title is a bit click-baity. The honest truth for me is - I have no idea what’s going on.
It’s all just too much. It’s so confusing. And multi-layered and complex and full of information coming from multiple sources that sometimes contradict one another and I’m exhausted just by thinking about it all.
There was a moment when I was totally riding this wave. Full-on Greenpeace member, 350.org participant and anti-Ecocide advocate. I worked closely with Polly Higgins (Earth lawyer) for a few weeks before she died. She was amazing and passionate. Just like many eco activists are. Then, along with my husband, we decided that we were ready for a total overhaul and jumped in the deep end. We decided to go off-grid and move back to the land! We decided we wanted to live a ‘natural’ life. In fact, I thought it was gonna be ‘pure.’ Grow all our food, build our eco house, consume less fossil fuels, be out in nature… pure pure pure.
Haha then reality set it. And many of you are not as naive as I am so you won’t be surprised that my pristine ideals about ‘living on the land’ were eventually side swept and many compromises have been made along the way. That’s not to say I don’t love my life and in fact am still living this attempted ‘low-impact’ lifestyle however my steam from the ‘let’s fight climate change’ battle has faded. And the simplest explanation for that is just that it’s way too confusing and disheartening when you’re trying your damned best (to the point of changing your entire life!) and you STILL are put in a position of having to buy fossil fuel based materials for building, a lot of gasoline to run a bunch of tools you need to maintain a property, you justify buying a backhoe and your own body refuses carbohydrates so you need to eat more meat to fuel your body!
I wonder, what would my Greenpeace buddies say? What do my fellow eco activists think? What is justified and what’s not? Just because I ‘live on the land’ is it okay that we have two vehicles and one of them is a big ass diesel? It’s all pretty effed up in my mind.
So this is how I break it down. We all need to decide for ourselves what our OWN roles are. In a world of excessive everything - including information, we must learn to sift through the noise, the media reports and the bombardment of ‘experts’ telling us how we must live. We must learn to stop and reflect and see what we’re each capable of doing in a practical way that doesn’t cause us needless stress, anxiety and guilt.
Decide what that is for you and stick to it. Yes, there’s always the time for periodic reflection and check-ins to see what can be tweaked - what you can do more of or less but I don’t believe there is ever a need to get neurotic or obsessive about this topic. As I say, climate change is an extremely complex topic that can lead you down rabbit holes of information to stay on top of it all. And on top of that it can lead to judgement. Judgement of your own self and what you’re doing (or not doing) and judgement of others for the same reasons! This can spiral badly and end up having a terrible impact in so many ways and needless to say - climate change will not improve as a result of all this.
So yes, we’ve decided to live off-grid and we’re sticking to it. Most of our purchases are second hand however sometimes of course, we need to buy some things new. We don’t travel much. We make many things by hand. We garden. We cook. I want to preserve more and in fact do much MUCH more but I know we are at full capacity of what we can be doing. And I’m learning it is not wise to push more from ourselves. Those boundaries that everyone is talking about these days are important.
And that is what I have decided for myself and what we’ve decided as a family. I don’t do Greenpeace anymore or 350.org, guys - I even feel tapped out when I see Avaaz petitions. All of this larger, big scale kinda work requires a lot of time and concentration to truly grasp what’s happening - even if the only action requested of us is a simple signature or ‘click here’ petition. We are in a time where it is very tricky to know who to trust and to understand what’s really going on. If you have full trust and understanding of the activist groups that you support then that’s great!
From my perspective - what I suggest that could be the let’s say ‘safest,’ most accessible space to focus is in your local area. Starting from your own home, your property and then your community, town or city. This may not seem as fun, sexy or impactful as a great big anti-Monsanto protest however the saying does go… ‘be the change’ right?
As someone who has adopted an alternative lifestyle for the sake of my concern for the environment etc.. I actually do not believe that EVERYONE should or needs to live this way too. I love cities and I love modern conveniences. I appreciate technological advancements - hot running water especially!! Haha
I just think there is a middle ground that needs to be found. And if you’ve read to this point so far and might be wondering - so what do I do exactly…?! Then here’s my suggestion: start with food.
Long before my husband and I moved off-grid wholefoods were a priority for us and they continue to be. When you cook mostly from wholefoods there’s less packaging, so less waste. There’s also less processing that happens in factories, so less pollution. Less transportation of goods and materials happening from place to place - so again - less pollution! There are so many boxes that get ticked when you cook and eat wholefoods that it’s by far the best way I would suggest to help anyone with helping the planet. And of course YOUR health benefits too.
But if you’re wondering how you integrate more wholefoods in your life that require more time to process at home as opposed to the convenience of handy takeout and processed food then here is another suggestion: Join my Meal Planning Workshop!! I help you make the time and space you need to prepare gorgeous home cooked meals - consistently!
And guess when the next one is happening!! EARTH DAY. Celebrate you. Celebrate the planet. And celebrate your small but mighty contribution as you cook and eat your way through to a healthy, thriving environment and lifestyle.
To finish up, I just want to say that I know everyone is just doing their best. I don’t judge anyone’s choices and I don’t expect anyone to judge me either. I have a vision in my mind of how I’d LOVE my life to function and the life of my family. It can get pretty frustrating sometimes but we too are doing the best we can. Also, I’m not trying to dissuade anyone from signing Avaaz petitions or joining Vanda Shiva’s next campaign. I do believe there is a place for everything and everyone. For now (and maybe always) I am called to food. And to support others with food too.
In regards to climate change specifically - maybe I didn’t specifically address my position on the issue but I’ll leave this here for now. And if you’ve read down to HERE then I truly thank you. And I wish you bon appetit and hopefully see you on Earth Day!
“The wonderful thing about food is you get three votes a day. Every one of them has the potential to change the world.” - Michael Pollan
Simply put, I find something to be magical when I literally have no other choice but to stop and gawk in awe at the thing that is seemingly magical. At that moment, I feel like there is a lightness in my chest, an expansion that suddenly fills with joy, happiness, and peace. My heart literally smiles and I feel love. That for me is magic.
Many of us feel this kind of magic in a large way, often with friends. At gatherings such as birthdays and reunions, my wedding of course felt pretty darn magical! At those rare moments when you look around you and see many faces that you love, normally in some kind of special atmosphere… that’s magic.
You might feel it when you go away on vacation, to a tropical destination or a romantic European city. By candle light or on a beach. You might feel it on a dancefloor, at a concert while your favourite song of all time is blaring out the speakers. If and when you do tap into this magic, you typically find this happens when you’re away from home, away from your regular life, away from all the typical, mundane things you do day to day. And you feel like you have to WAIT for the magic to appear FOR you. Like you have nothing to do with the magic. This is something that happens TO you on some rare occasions and you believe that you have nothing to do with the happening OF the magic.
However, that is simply not true. Magic is always happening. It is just up to you to decide whether you want to be present for it or not. It is indeed easier to notice it when you’re in unusual situations, like an exotic holiday or it’s a big milestone birthday with all your old friends around you. However there are magical instances and opportunities happening all around you, everyday, you just need to learn to notice them more often. And in fact, you can even add to them! Expand the magic, MAGNIFY it.
And the BEST and simplest way I suggest to do this, is through FOOD!
With the meals that you create and the atmosphere that comes with that experience, every meal is another opportunity to celebrate. And I encourage you to take that opportunity as often as you can! Don’t know how? Well, I have good news. The best way to do this is by planning ahead. Yes, yes, I know that sounds counterintuitive. A ‘magical’ experience sounds like something that happens spontaneously right? True! HOWEVER - let’s think back to those more common, ‘bigger’ magical experiences that happen in your life, like those big reunions, holidays, weddings! Did those events just happen spontaneously?? NO. You planned for them! And the magical moments happened in the middle of all that because you intentionally made space for them.
Now I’m encouraging you to take that same theory and apply it to a mundane Tuesday night dinner. For example, imagine it’s Sunday and you have a nifty little Meal Plan template in front of you. You also have your calendar with you as the template prompts you to look at your week ahead and plug in the big things going on and notice as well the less hectic days. By doing this practice you might find that this coming Tuesday there's not much going on. Boom - an opportunity to think ahead and plan for a fun meal. Something that might take a bit more time, some experimentation, even allow you to muster up the courage to let the kids get involved and cook together! And voila - space and time have suddenly opened up to allow for some magical moments to happen on a regular old Tuesday evening in your own kitchen.
No need to wait for birthdays or anniversaries! Now, I know what you’re thinking. I know there are events that we plan for that sometimes go completely sideways. Of course there are holidays, special occasions and gatherings that can sometimes turn out disastrous. So of course there will be mid-week meals or whenever meals - EVEN when we plan ahead with the best of intentions might turn out a total flop or tantrum battles with the little ones etc. Yes, all these things can happen. But is that a reason to not plan for the meal? Maybe these challenges and battles are simply preparing us for something else that’s coming to us in the future? Maybe they’re just another opportunity to practise more mindfulness. In fact, preparing in advance for a special mid-week dinner is that chance for you to do some mindset work. Ask yourself, how can you deal with the problems that might potentially come up for you this week? How can you prepare yourself better for them? That’s an interesting approach. And I wonder what kind of magic lies ahead for you with that mindset?
Ok, so last thing you might be wondering - how the heck do you get into meal planning when you have no clue how to achieve that?!
More good news! I host Meal Planning Workshops and the next one is happening Saturday April 22nd, 2023 at 10amEST - online via Zoom! Check it out here!
So here’s to more magic and more planning and let’s say some magical planning!!
Hello friends and visitors!
I have a couple announcements to make. First of all - I'm VERY excited to announce that my very first edition of the Harvest the Day newsletter is out! This is a simple 6-page spread with plenty of spring photo inspiration to help you get excited about the season that is upon us. It also contains a few articles that align with the message that I wish to share with others, a glimpse into my work and how I try my best to 'walk my talk.' If you would like to receive a copy then please subscribe to my newsletter on here (it's on the main page of this website, scroll down to see it).
Second - we have another Meal Planning Workshop scheduled for Saturday April 22nd, 2023 at 10amEST. If you missed the first one then you're in luck! Don't miss this opportunity. Click this link for more information and to register. Check this blog post for more details as this coming workshop will be the same as the one that ran in February.
Hope you have a fabulous day! Happy reading and see you at the Workshop!
Was eating well a goal you made for yourself for 2023?
How is that going for you?
Have you ever considered Meal Planning but haven't been able to keep at it?
Are you ready to implement great EATING and PLANNING habits into your life WITHOUT overwhelming yourself about it??
Here's the SOLUTION:
My one-of-a-kind Meal Planning Workshop and complimentary Accountability Support Group!
I have searched high and low for the best way to integrate SIMPLE meal planning techniques that keep me COMING BACK to the 'planning board' AND kitchen to make healthy, delicous meals CONSISTENLY for me and my family!
When I couldn't find it - I made it! And here it is:
What: Meal Planning Workshop
When: Febraury 25th, 2023 @ 10amEST
Where: Private Zoom Chat (link will be sent to you after registering)
Who (is the for?): moms, aunts, uncles, grandparents -- BUSY people that want to EAT WELL and are READY FOR CHANGE!
Register here: www.harvesttheday.com/services
YOUR GUARANTEED RESULTS WHEN YOU REGISTER:
If you complete the bare MINIMUM of what is requested of you during the Workshop and complimentary support group - you will be CELEBRATING the following:
1. BEFORE the workshop even begins you'll achieve a good practise in looking AHEAD to get your mind into planning mode with my SUPER simple 'homework' assignments. (5-20min tops!)
2. A completed, customized meal plan created by you DURING the Workshop!
3. AFTER the Workshop you'll feel inspired and motivated to USE your meal plan and continue this habit together with other like-minded individuals for three weeks!
4. Having established the habit of planning and preparing great food for you and your family for three weeks (21 days!) you will be well on your way to sticking to this practice and in fact creating a solid BASIS for becoming even BETTER in the future!
Register here: www.harvesttheday.com/services
Ok… It all sounds great but you’re still not convinced? Here are some reasons that might make you hesitant about joining (and my following responses..):
That makes it a GREAT time! The point of Meal Planning is to help FREE your time and your mental load so you can FOCUS better on all the other crazy things going on in life.
That’s ok! You’ll see in the Workshop how I can support anyone at whatever stage they’re at. Chances are low that you’ll ever have the ‘perfect’ time when you can plan for full on home cooked meals.
In fact, I will walk you through a whole idea I refer to as ‘bridges’ You’ll be surprised at how sowing these little seeds and taking small steps will lead you to big results in the future.
At the very LEAST you will ABSOLUTELY get excited about it right after the Workshop and eat well and follow your plan for the first week and that might be it with OTHER workshops/seminars/courses etc.
BUT I’m including THREE weeks of accountability support in a private chat group! There’s nothing like the support of a group of like-minded people that are truly striving to make themselves awesome.
I have yet to see one that:
First - Let's breakdown what is a COST and what is an INVESTMENT.
A COST - Is an amount of money you spend on something that is simply to be consumed with no potential extended value
An INVESTMENT- Is a thing that is worth buying because it may be profitable or useful in the future.
With that in mind, you understand that purchasing access to my Workshop will be more then useful in the future and in fact even profitable for you!!
Yes, you will actually even MAKE MONEY after attending and IMPLEMENTING the process I will show you at my Workshop.
Especially if you currently feel like you are spending excessive amounts of money on takeout and processed food.
We can even do some calculations. For example:
a. If you currently spend more then $300/month for takeout/excessive processed food then you will recoup your $100 Workshop investment within a month's time if you create the goal for yourself to reduce that excessive spending by ONE THIRD over the course of our Meal Planning practice time together!
b. If you currently spend more then $600/month for takeout/excessive processed food then you will recoup your $100 Workshop investment within a month's time if you create the goal for yourself to reduce that excessive spending by 20% over the course of our Meal Planning practice time together!
c. If you currently spend more then $1200/month for takeout/excessive processed food then you will recoup your $100 Workshop investment within a month's time if you create the goal for yourself to reduce that excessive spending by 10% over the course of our Meal Planning practice time together!
I can go on but you get what I mean! And you see how we can work together from ANY situation you're in??
Here’s one last thing to say about this price → It will MOTIVATE you to stay on track with your goal!! Putting the money down for a habit that you UNDENIABLY want in your life is one of the BEST ways to nail it down!
Just a heads up! Please note that in fact this extremely generous price of $100 will not be available again after my February Workshop. This is the lowest price I will ever charge so please consider joining for this round!
It will be the greatest decision and ACTION you take this year that will likely domino into a beautiful cascade of improvements and outcomes that will continue to bless you through the year and in fact your life! Can’t wait to get planning with you!!
Register here: www.harvesttheday.com/services
STILL feel like you can't commit with this price? Follow these two simple steps for a price solution that meets you where you are:
1. Join my Facebook group here (Search Harvest the Day if the link doesn't work)
2. Send me a private FB message (my profile is Sophia Maslowski) and I'll send you the PYWC (pay what you can) link so you can set your own price.
A gentleman acquaintance asked me a couple of years ago - So what do you do Sophia? I replied with - well, not much, I'm just staying home with the kids now. Kindly, he responded that that is far beyond 'not much.' He at least regarded my work AS work and more then that - some of the most important work in the world.
That was nice to hear but sadly, not everyone seems to regard it in this way. And I understand the situation is quite complex. With today's cost of living, I can imagine what people must think when they hear about a mom that chooses to stay home to raise the children. It sounds like a luxury - to not have to rely on that second income to be able to pay the bills etc.
However, our life is far from luxurious and I know of plenty of SAHMs that have made the sacrifice of the second income for the sake of choosing to be present in the upbringing of the children - especially in the early years.
Most people - even those without children, can see and understand very well, the dedication, strength and patience it takes to do the work of a SAHM yet it seems our society doesn't place much VALUE on this work. Rather, instead, the pressure is placed on the woman to go back to work in order to produce value in THAT way.
Whilst my heart goes out to all the working mamas out there, my words today are for those mums that choose to stay home. I speak for them because, in spite of the financial burdens and risks that are taken in order to pursue this path, in addition to essentially taking on the HARDEST job on the planet (generally speaking), not to mention feeling like the odd one out because 'going back to work' is the norm these days - they choose to do this work anyway!
And without much social support (I mean thank you to the Facebook groups out there) but in general, SAHMs are in a league of their own, which is why I feel compelled to offer support specifically to these women. They carry the weight of the world of their shoulders. They have chosen to take direct ownership in the raising and educating of their offspring. To instill principals and values in them that matter most to their families, again, at the risk of the above. But in the end, this is not a risk.. they are in fact making INVESTMENTS. They are choosing to invest in the future of their children by being present in their lives especially in those crucial early years.
The difficulty in this work is real though and requires support. I've had my own struggles and have managed to find ways to cope with this life and in fact am learning to thrive. There are many elements to this however, especially when you want to achieve a Holistic lifestyle, for yourself and your family. I would be pleased and honoured to join you in your journey as a remarkable SAHM that has made an extraordinary decision. It is tough, yes. The struggle is real and intense, there's no doubt about it. But the suffering does not have to happen alone. Sometimes it's about gaining some practical, implementable tips. Sometimes it's just about a little mindset shift. Sometimes, it's simply about accepting the utter shitty-ness of the situation but understanding that it WILL come to an end. But again, it's also about letting someone hold your hand, making space for you to have a good cry and then having a good exhale so you can carry on to make the next meal plan, cleaning rota and hey - maybe even booking a little spa treatment!?!
SAHMs RULE! :)
It’s March all of a sudden!! And I’m feeling so lucky! I would like to spread some Good Luck too. This month I would like to offer the opportunity for folks to enter in a draw to win a completely FREE ONE MONTH Coaching Program with me!
Here are the Rules to enter the Draw:
1. You must message me to schedule and complete a HALF-HOUR, NO OBLIGATION, NO EXPECTATION phone call with me to discuss the following:
2. You must be ready to COMMIT. This is a four week program for you to engage in with all the love and motivation and excitement you have for yourself. If you’re wanting to make a change in your life for the better but need guidance to get clear on your goals and how to achieve them then I want to work with you!!
3. Our appointments are scheduled for Saturdays. Make sure you can be available for an hour each Saturday for the first four consecutive weeks in April.
☆ If this interests you then please message me for more details and to schedule that 30min consultation!
☆ Consultation calls will take place Saturdays during the month of March. Draw will take place and be announced on Monday March 28th.
Your Four Week program will then commence on April 2nd. Looking forward!😃🍀
Jennifer Aniston said something very wise a couple years ago. I saw her on a Youtube clip where she appeared on Jimmy Kimmel shortly after she joined Instagram and nearly broke the Internet after accumulating over one million followers in just over 5 hours.
Jimmy asked her, ‘So what made you finally join Instagram?’ She answered, ‘well you know, what you resist persists..’ And that has stuck deep in my mind since then. Actually, I just did a quick little Google search and it seems Carl Jung was the one that said it first. But still, very wise of her to quote Jung!
So, my point here is: What you resist persists. And it’s so true, isn’t it?! How often a new fashion trend comes up and we scoff and roll our eyes about it and the next thing we know we’re wearing scrunchies and parachute pants. Or the latest pop tune hits the mainstream and we gag but then we find ourselves belting out Taylor, Gaga and Harry.
Same goes with all these weird new age practices. Affirmations are silly, daily gratitude rituals are useless and mindfulness is just a bunch of mumbo jumbo. Right?!
Well, perhaps at some point, I must admit, I had been rolling my eyes at all these alternative, esoteric type activities as well. In honesty, I just didn’t get the whole idea of repeating these airy fairy type statements over and over again when my reality seemed to be the complete opposite. I got the idea of acknowledging my gratitude towards the blessings in my life but didn’t consider there to be a striking impact on anything. As for mindfulness, or meditation, I really just have found it to be too hard and hence threw my hands up to it.
What do all these things have in common? Self-care. They all come under the self-care umbrella (perhaps even the pop music and parachute pants… in a way..) There’s another term I would cringe at. Self-care. I myself, like many others it seems, took that term in a selfish way. Not understanding it properly, I thought it was just about spa days and manicures. Now with more knowledge and understanding, I get it. It is so much more than that and it is truly necessary in the world of Holistic Health.
In reality, it is the act of engaging in activities to gain or maintain an optimal level of overall health, which means you’re looking at more than just looking after your physical body. There are the emotional, mental, social, environmental, financial, professional and yes, physical sides to it too. Together, all these things make up the pieces of the whole. And they must all be tended to consistently.
This week in my Weekly Checkin talk on Facebook, I’ll be focusing on selfcare and what it means. Specifically, I'll talk about:
☆ Defining Self-care
☆ The 8 Main Areas
☆ 7 practical tips to start implementing today
☆ Busting meditation myths
☆ My personal Self-care resources
This talk will leave you inspired and motivated to get cracking at your own personal self-care commitment.
Hope to see you there this Thursday at 3pm EST.
I’ve been awkwardly babbling about these two ladies for months now. Referring to them as my ‘homesteading ladies’ (like they’re MY people. weirdo). I could drop something about them in literally any conversation I partake in these days. It’s strange and embarrassing. So maybe once I get all this off my chest I’ll finally stop. Or not. Who knows, either way, I want to give the world a piece of my mind about Shaye Elliott and Angela Reed.
I think it was about two years ago, I was in my rented Toronto basement apartment home. It was a lazy afternoon with my girls - two and four at the time. We might've been folding laundry or at least surrounded by it.
I wanted some TV on but not a mindless show or any kind of nonsense. I wanted the audio visual sensation but something useful. I had root cellaring on my mind. I wanted (still want) to get the design right and understand how this storage space works most effectively. So I suppose I typed in ‘root cellar’ on YouTube and up popped The Elliott Homestead Channel.
Boom. Life changed forever.
Can’t remember if I went down the rabbit hole right that afternoon or if it was days or weeks later. Either way, I started watching her kitchen tour, home tour, garden tour, thrifting adventures, garden planning, homeschooling etc etc etc. oh! And the essential makeup applying routine even as a homesteader! I was enraptured (pretty deep… I mean that kitchen wallpaper! Wallpaper must be in my life now) but I wasn’t necessarily spellbound just yet.
You know how these things go…full on for a moment, then quiet and then back again. And then she came back full force. Last year, around April 2021 when we finally moved to OUR homestead full time. I was getting into our garden and I started BINGEING. I mean, falling asleep to her picturesque montages of the spring garden, summer garden etc. I was creating my dream garden and I had an example to follow. I tried searching other channels, just to not feel like a weird stalker, and get other ideas, but I don’t know. There’s just something about this one. The beautiful woven dance of flowers, food, stunningly simple home, their modesty yet intense passion for life, it’s beauty and often unnoticable charms. They put their cameras right on the good stuff! And I know there are so many talented people that do this. The thing that makes me happy and obsessed with this channel is its popularity too I guess. It’s that I’m not the only one that is fascinated by all this and that fascinates me too. These people are on to something. Somehow glamourising a seemingly unglamourous life.
Saying that - they are humble as heck and solid to the earth. I mean, intensely solid. Her talk of hard work and her addiction to it is probably perplexing for many but it’s invigorating for me. In a world of so much monotony, duplication, automation, addiction to ease and comfort, it was literally electrifying to hear someone else - that is popular(!) and inspiring and doing really cool stuff, talk about hard work like it’s the sexiest thing ever. Ahh I can breathe! Yes!! Let’s get our hands dirty, let’s sweat and yes even toil for a bit as we create our masterpieces. Then we sit back and admire our creations, in the garden, the kitchen and the rest of the home.
Which brings me to the Homemaker Chic podcast. This is not like grandma’s copy of Home and Garden magazine, which I know has a very updated, modern feel to it now. The Instagram accounts are definitely drool worthy. But it’s this personalized touch of Shaye (that’s her name by the way) and Angela (her co-host), and bestfriend who is coincidentally another incredible successful Youtuber, blogger, homesteader, magic lady extraordinaire. I adore Angela. Her humour, her outlook on life and centered rationale. I vibe with her so much. In fact, character wise I probably match Angela more but as they say.. Opposites attract and Shaye’s super punchy (albeit delightful) attitude and intense zest has a hold on me. It was a real eye opener, listening to her unapologetic viewpoints on the podcast compared to her very docile, dreamy Youtube videos. I loved to learn this side of her.
Well so, I binged the first few seasons all summer (while working in the garden of course). The whole of the first season is probably my favourite. So many of their views, approaches, assertions, just got me, down in the gut. And I don’t feel like they speak as if EVERYONE should live like this and do what they do etc. They just love their lives so much and are so unwaveringly clear on what their missions are and they are embodying those missions to the absolute max. Profound inspirations in my opinion.
Now. What exactly IS their mission? To revive the ever so drab and dreary life of the Homemaker. In their words - To rescue the Art of Homemaking.
And what an Art it is. I had no idea it was an Art. I’ve always thought of it as a consequence, no, a byproduct of just simply living in a home. You know, like you have to fill up the home with furniture, sure, decorate it (and I’ve always been excited about that part), and then maintain it. Clean it of course, keep it functional etc.. but to Make a Home.. I didn’t realize that was a real thing and that THAT is the primary thing I’d been doing for a few years by then. I suddenly had VALIDATION. This is my main vocation. I am managing the space where my family lives and by God’s grace - actually thrives! I can do this people. I want to do it! This is my life’s passion. I make the food, the home, the garden, the whole package. I host the parties, I hold the space, create the atmosphere, the environment. This is my JOB.
Now wait. Why do I suddenly have this validation? Cause two random ladies make some fancy Youtube videos and giggle over starching their tablecloths?? (Which by the way - I do draw the line there). It’s validated because all of this is in complete connection with living a Holistic lifestyle. Cooking food from scratch, that you grew in your garden, where you also harvest your medicines, and decorate your home with the flowers that you also grew, so you can bring the nature that you’re surrounded by all day into your home to continue to admire it, respect it, marvel at it and stay connected with it. You place the flowers in thrifted vases which saves the earth from producing more needless stuff, in addition to everything else that’s been thrifted. As an Intentional Homemaker, you are aware and concerned of the products and merchandise that comes into your home. And if you happen to be a MOTHER as well - your children are watching all this every. Single. Day. Absorbing it, learning how to replicate it. To learn respect and reverence for all the details that make a house, a home.
My own mother showed me an example of this. Obviously, not to the fine detail of professional Youtubers but the glimpse was there. It was clouded though by modern culture and the lack of appreciation, heck the complete lack of acknowledgement of such a vocation.
Sure sure, there’s Martha and a few other niche circles. But what’s encouraging about this movement (I’ll call it a movement now), is that it combines everything - home, food, garden, fashion, children, yes animal rearing too, which is not yet my realm but eventually.
The world is shifting now. And it’s not about politics or climate change or pandemics or anything at all on that scale. It all comes down to what you or I or anyone else do as an individual. It starts with looking after our own minds, bodies and souls, and those of our families too. And the best way to do that - is not just to make the time for it but the space too. Dare to dream up and cultivate the space that will nourish you wholly. No matter how large, or small or even tiny your space is. We must make it ours. Real, true and authentic, perhaps even Chic :)
As a Health Coach who focuses on helping people elevate their home COOKING... I knew I would have to start sharing some of my own recipes. The thing is, is that I don't really have any recipes to share. That's not because I don't cook my meals. I can say that I've been a devoted home cook since about the age of 10. But even from that early age, I can remember paging through countless cookbooks, becoming hungrily inspired. Then, instead of going line by line through the recipe, I'd gather up the main ingredients and go to town on the proportions and details. The jist of the recipe was more or less followed but I don't think I've ever really followed specific measurements except for baking but even then, I shake things up a bit.
I won't say that my style of cooking is always the best way to go. There are mistakes that can be made and if you're feeding a crew of people, you may not want to be so bold and just cook things off the cuff like that all the time. HOWEVER, I see plenty of reasons as to why more people should at least consider being a bit more liberal in the kitchen. Or the way I see it - more intuitive in the kitchen. That's what I realized a little while ago - that's what I do! Intuitive Cooking! I cook with my intuition. When I realized that that's what I do I wanted to start writing about it and how I do it etc. But then I thought - one of my favourite sayings - don't reinvent the wheel! So I scoured the Internet trying to find some clear, concise information on this method. Surprisingly, there's barely any info on this method! However, what I did find, I will be sharing in my Live Facebook event this Thursday for my weekly Checkin. That's right, the topic is Intuitive Cooking and I'll be diving right into it. Why just give a person the fish, when you can teach them how to fish instead?! I'll be sharing information, steps and tips on how to approach Intuitive Cooking rather then bombarding you with finite, rigid recipes.
To end off, here are some reasons on why you should embrace intuitive cooking if you don't already:
If all this appeals to you then join my Facebook group Harvest the Day today, so you can make it for the free event, this Thursday January 27th at 3pm EST.
See you there!