The documentary Minimalism (watched it) has been trending on Netflix and The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up (skimmed it) has become a phenomenon. It appears a few of us have worked ourselves up to a fever pitch of enthusiasm regarding living more simply, having less, and ensuring what we surround ourselves with is useful, beautiful, and/or both.
Being stressed out by stuff is not new to me. I’m kind of terrible at organizing things like closets and drawers. I laugh at my inability to properly deal with socks and think George Carlin mocked me directly when he said, “That’s the whole meaning of life, isn’t it? Trying to find a place for your stuff.” Adding two new little humans to my life has made my struggle with stuff even more apparent.
In all seriousness, I have been feeling overwhelmed by the barrage of things I have acquired in my life, including my very long hair that’s constantly in knots. This has me interested in being a tad more of a minimalist (if that statement even makes sense).
Is my interest in minimalism partnered with privilege? Yes, absolutely. I am lucky enough to not only have everything I need, but also many of the things I want. The tendency for those interested in this trend to also have the luxury of choice is at the crux of fair criticisms of the minimalist “movement” (read some of these criticisms here and here).
There is something wonderfully personal about giving someone a book you’ve handpicked for them. So, this Christmas, with the help of Value Village, I selected some pre-loved books to give as gifts to my loved ones. Here are a few I chose which may help inspire you in your search…
Snow and a hankering for hot chocolate go hand-in-hand. So, yesterday while we enjoyed looking out at the winter wonderland outside, Frankie and I made hot chocolate with candy-cane marshmallows. Thank goodness my mom was over because making anything with a toddler is always a bit bonkers.
*Not pictured: our chocolate covered hands, faces, hair, and walls and Frankie’s fountain of toddler tears from only being allowed one marshmallow.
We dunked the marshmallows into semi-sweet chocolate melted in the microwave, dipped them into candy canes that I had crushed using our coffee grinder (mental note: I need a food processor), and put them on parchment-lined trays to dry. We made our hot chocolate to taste using roughly a 1:2 ratio of cocoa to sugar, mixed with a bit of cold milk, then topped up with hot milk. We stored leftover marshmallows in the freezer for when we have another hankering for hot chocolate, which will probably be later today, and every subsequent day until the marshmallows are gone.
This past week has really just felt like a waiting game. Being so close to my due date and likely passing it (which I will do tomorrow) has felt a bit anticlimactic. I was over a week overdue with Frankie, so I’ve been expecting an overdue baby again. By this point the anticipation feels so great that I’ve found myself twiddling my thumbs a little bit. I don’t want to go on any adventures too far from the hospital and I don’t think I can handle doing any more baby preparations. So, here’s to spicy food and long walks!
For me, preparing for our next baby has been both exciting and calming. I’ve followed a predictable course in my preparations: pack a hospital bag, gather supplies, and put together a nursery. All of this organizing has been a soothing preamble to the chaos I know is coming in the form of a tiny human.
Arranging the nursery has been my favourite part of preparations so far. Here’s a little bit about how it turned out, if you’d like to see…