Stationary Drifting


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Best of Blogs: March

best of blogs_march

I didn’t really keep up with my posting schedule for this month but I do want to keep up with my ‘best of’ posts. The monthly posts are a great way for me to record my goings on for posterity or whatever, and I really love the best of blogs posts because I really love blogs! I don’t have a lot of readership, and some of the blogs I follow don’t either (though I’m sure they all have more than me!), but whether we just read each others’ or if we have thousands of hits a day I really love these blogs and I want to give them the recognition they deserve.

This month I would really like to highlight 2 blogs that have inspired me to get back into blogging as a way to share my day to day and what makes me happy. I think that these were the first 2 blogs I really got into, and started reading daily (or whenever they posted). They both are incredibly honest in their approach to writing, which is refreshing and so so brave. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to put myself out there like they do (either on the web or in real life) but I very much admire their writing. They remind me to not fall into the trap of blogging only about beautiful things but to find beauty in the sharing the hard things too.

Click here to see February’s best of blogs – there are some great blogs on that one that I am still reading daily.

REMINDER: all the photos belong to the blogger they are associated with, click each photo to be taken to their corresponding post.

blackandwhiteandlovedallover{click blog logo, or here, to be taken to the site}

/// above photos belong to Ellen, click on each photo to be taken to their source ///

Ellen from Black and White and Loved All Over is one of the first bloggers I started to follow regularly. I really can’t remember right now how I came across her blog but I remember being really really excited about her writing style from the beginning. There are a few blogs I have come across that I loved so much that I read pretty much all their archives like the site was a novel, hers was the first one I did that with. I had no idea that I could get that into the ramblings of a fellow internet user but Ellen proved me that writing and just putting it out there can be so powerful.

These days Ellen is a mother of 2 really really gorgeous girls (pictured above!) and blogs a lot about her experience of motherhood. She is so real and honest about the joys and challenges of motherhood, its refreshing. I haven’t quite found anyone who expresses so well (what I imagine is) the complexities of loving little people so much while simultaneously acknowledging that its a damn hard job. She also blogs about home decor, DIY culture, being a freelance writer, living in Nashville, her husband, and other regular life stuff. I can’t help but having a driving need to visit Nashville and see the beauty of the place she describes with so much love.

I really suggest clicking the links and checking out blackandwhiteandlovedallover. Its a really wonderful space on the internet and I hope she keeps up the writing for a long time (no pressure Ellen, but seriously I would really miss you if you stopped).

Also, she just seems like a cool person, the kind I would enjoy sharing a beer with and rolling our eyes about life’s twists and turns.

{click blog logo, or here, to be taken to the site}

/// above photos belong to Drea, click on each photo to be taken to their source ///

I don’t know why I follow so many mom bloggers…maybe there’s something about being a mom being at home for that first little bit that gets people into it, maybe its a desire to document your child’s life that comes out of parenthood (I’ve seen a fair few dad bloggers too), I don’t know I’m not a mom. Drea from ohdeardrea is another blogger I follow that is also a mother of a really lovely and sweet sounding daughter. I think I found Drea’s blog through Ellen from blackandwhiteandlovedallover (above). She is the second blogger I remember getting into and the second blog that I got so excited about I read nearly all her archives. What made Drea stand out to me at first was that she was (at the time) a single mom blogger. Which is pretty rare, I find, in the blog world and kind of refreshing to see that people are thriving as single, happy parents out there. The other thing I really liked about her blog was how raw it was. She did not hold back at all in talking about her struggles and what was going on for her. Which is also really rare in the blog world where everything is tied up in a neat little bow that was hand crafted and photoshopped. These days she is a little more, I don’t know, restrained in her writing. Which makes complete sense to me because people on the internet can be pretty judgemental. But she still retains an honest voice, and journal quality that makes her really great to read on this side of the screen. The kind of read that makes me feel like struggle and happiness can be tied together and beautiful either way.

Besides being a mother, Drea also writes about being vegan, crafting, cooking/eating/being a foodie (ohmygod the eating that happens in her house!), travel, living in Florida, friends and loved ones, and general life stuff.

Check out ohdeardrea for a some really heartfelt and entertaining blogging, oogle her incredible floral couch, and dream about living in Florida.

Like Ellen, Drea just seems like a really great person that would be fun to go out dancing with.

///////

And that’s it for March Best of Blogs. Thanks to Ellen and Drea for their permission to use photos from their blogs. I have to admit that its a bit of a thrill to send and get emails from people who’s blogs I really admire.

Thanks for reading, and let me know what your favourite blogs are in the comments! I’m always happy to find new great and inspiring sites to read!


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Eating: Apple Cider Caramels (more from homemade holidays)

apple cider caramelsI LOVE smitten kitchen, I’ve posted stuff of Deb’s many times (like here, here, and here). The recipes she creates are low maintenance, usually from things I have around the house (depending on if I have groceries at that particular point), and always delicious. I had the pleasure of flipping through her cookbook a while back and lemmetellyouwhat. Its amazing. I can’t wait to get my grubby little kitchen hands on it.

I made these Apple Cider Caramels as part of my homemade holidays challenge. My step-dad is a hard guy to buy for but he does love candy because he can’t eat chocolate anymore. They went over well, he was touched I made something for him and happy with the gift. Their fanciness to time ratio is awesome. People are pretty impressed by all the individually wrapped and handmade candies, though I think it took me less than 2 hrs to make and all with common ingredients.

These were straight forward to make, even without investing in a candy thermometer. Mine turned out a little soft so maybe I need to reduce them down a little more next time. They were ridiculously delicious though and much appreciated in my house and my mom’s. Mars was a little sad that I didn’t make any for him so I snuck a few in his stocking.


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Craft Projects for Fall

As it gets colder I start wanting to work with fabrics again. I also really get into staying home more and chilling out with a good movie and making something. Its like I’m easing myself into winter and the dark, snowy days that leave me feeling quiet and homebody-like. Though I’m not the hugest fan of winter, I am excited for making things again (like finishing Corrie’s bday present).

Ever since I got my full time job I’ve had zero time on my hands. This week alone I’ve had meetings before and after work pretty much every day. So I’ve been leaving the house by 8:30-9am and getting home around 9:30-10pm. That doesn’t leave me a lot of time for seeing my husband, eating or decompressing (and writing my thesis) let alone making anything so I’ve picked a few crafts I want to do this fall that are relatively quick but still really nice.

[click on the blue links or on the pictures to get to the original sites with instructions]

Bed Pockets

from a case of the mundays {click photo to go to blog}

I have too much stuff on my bedside table. Books I’ve been wanting to read, sleeping socks, ear plugs, mouth guard, whatever it is I feel necessary to hoard by my bedside. M has an equal if not greater amount of stuff by his bed. While we both need to learn the beauty of less equaling more, I still want to make these to free up some surface space and tuck away the things that don’t need to be in plain sight. We’re planning on switching the office and the bedroom this month so maybe I’ll make them from our new space.

Bracelets

(gold tube & macrame)

from honestly WTF {click photo for link to blog post instructions}

 

same deal. From Honestly WTF & click photo

Honestly WTF has great bracelet tutorials, none of which I’ve ever made but many of which I’ve put up on my pinterest. Sidebar: I saw a thing the other day that said pinterest was a place for virtual hoarders and I was all “no, I totally do my pinterest stuff!”. I’ve since come to accept the fact that that meme was mostly right though. I mean, its not completely useless, I’ve made a few of the recipes that I pinned, and posted a few of the things from my ‘like’ board here. But I mostly pin things that I would LIKE to do, not things that I have the time, money or skill to do. I’m being self-deprecating here but whatever, its late and I’m tired.

MOVING ON.

I’ve gotten into flattish bracelets this year (have I ever mentioned how much bracelets with any weight or rigidity annoy me?). It started when I when on a friendship bracelet making kick when M and I decided to get married and couldn’t afford engagement rings. We joked that the friendship bracelets would be that thing so I made us some. The joke stuck around though because I’ve never taken mine off.  I’ve recently had some desire to stack my wrists with bracelets and these seem like reasonable, one-episode-of-dexter-a-night kind of projects.

Tie-Dyed Leggings

Martha Stewart. Click photo

Been wanting to get into tie-dying, and have been curious about the whole legging as pants phenomenon that I’ve eschewed for so long. While I would never wear them as pants, MAYBE with a long shirt or short dress…..god, what have I become? I give you Martha Stewart tie-dye legging instructions, the 20 year old me would be horrified. The 30year old me is both intrigued and slightly uncomfortable. In another 10 years maybe I’ll be voting Conservative. JUST KIDDING. I would never go that far.

Woven Sweatshirt

HA! fooled you. This one doesn’t have a link because for some reason the website doesn’t work anymore. You’ll just have to enjoy this pinterest photo

The site linked from pinterest for this photo isn’t working anymore so I’m just going to give you this picture, tell you its from pups-paris.com and hope that that’s enough. I like the idea of dressing up a sweatshirt. That way I can continue to wear sweatshirts AND look like I care about my appearance. Win-Win right? I mean, I guess unless I wear it with leggings as pants. I’m going to have to improvise this pattern but it doesn’t look to difficult. If I manage to pull it off I’ll post my own tutorial about it. Now to find a good, plain sweater that is cheap enough that I feel fine about cutting it up and experimenting on.

I should also work on a knitting project. I do like knitting projects…

 


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4 simple goals

/// to see the way she frames her goals and read her post click on the photo above or click here. This picture is hers, though I wish it were mine! Also, holy I want a graphics tablet for no other reason than to write all over pictures. I think I’m gonna have to analog that for now, though I did get a new scanner last month… ///

Elsie over at a beautiful mess wrote the other day about how she and her partner have been writing down and trying to stick to 4 simple goals per season. Being the type of person that makes ‘new week, new start’ and ‘new shampoo, new start’ lists frequently this obviously appealed to me. What also appealed to me is that the idea is to challenge myself to do something positive, something that can be done to enrich my life, and (of course I’m drawn to this) I get to reward myself once I achieve each goal!

So, with that said, here is mine:

I’m going to explain these one at a time, and therefore stretch out the posts! Just kidding. I’m trying not to write excessively long posts all the time because who has time for that? short-ish and sweet-ish, that’s what I always say have never once said. Anyway, expect more posts with this photo as a heading as I explain my different goals, talk about how they are going, and when I wrap them all up at the end of December. Yeah sticking goals out! (not like those other failed projects)

It was hard to choose just 4. Cut from the list (because my libra self needed a good balance and 7 seemed like a lot) was ‘quitting smoking’ – which I’m going to do anyway, ‘redecorating house’ – only one style goal allowed, ‘practice photography’ – because I didn’t want to directly copy Elsie.

so without further ado I present: ‘SIMPLE GOAL #1’ : eat fresh fruits and veggies every day

okay, so this one is a directly copy from Elsie BUT ITS SUCH A GOOD ONE! I have been falling into sad/broke eating, which has mostly consisted of carbs that fill me up and random proteins like quinoa, beans and hamburgers. I’ve been craving more fresh plants in my life so here it is at #1 on my list of simple goals. I do mean simple too, I live only a couple of blocks from a great, year round, produce market that is cheap and I really have no excuse except laziness for not taking advantage. So in honour of my soon-to-be 30year old body, I offer fruits and veggies galore!

To do this I’m going to start making my morning smoothies again, I’m going to put berries and fruit on top of my morning granola, put more veggies in my cooking, and try and have one salad a day, maybe for lunches?. Added bonus, I’m gonna have to up my salad dressing making skills!

new age, new job, new season, new start.


New Blog Categories

I’m rearranging my site (again). I’ve been thinking for a while that I should move it over to wordpress.org so that I have more/all control over how this place is set up, how it looks and be able to add some plug-ins that I would be pumped about having. I just can’t decide if its worth the work and money to do that. This is not exactly a site that generates a lot of readership (hi dad), and it doesn’t really have any kind of a concise theme, plus I’m a bit off and on about it….BUT, I do want to turn it into the kind of blog that I would be proud to show off my ranting on, and I like the idea of owning the stationarydrifting url. I’m really into other peoples blogs and blogging in general so I’ve been wanting to ‘upgrade’ as it were to play with the mid-leagues. I don’t know, thinking of a pro/con list right now, and maybe need to spend some real time thinking about what I want to do with this corner of the web before investing all this time and energy. It is worth it to make me work it?

/// I realize that Missy Elliott is not even remotely talking about the same thing ///

ANYWAY, that was all a very random way of setting up the fact that I wanted to say a little thing about how I have rearranged and updated my categories (again).

SO without further ado I give you:

About – wherein you can find some basics about me, my sketchy plan for stationary drifting (for now), and how to find me on other social media sites. Minus the book of faces and twitter because I still feel pretty private about those ones.

Write/Say – which is where I post my rants (stationary drift), my project where I try and write something good every day to maintain a certain balance and gratitude in my life and try and avoid getting depressed at times (small things project), and where I post things that are exciting me mostly stuff I want enough to take off my pinterest boards and make a big deal about in the hopes that someone who might be looking for a present for me would take notice, or just to highlight for myself ({wishlist}). Occasionally I write things worth saying in public, but mostly I just write things I want to get off my chest.

Make/Do – this category is where you can see some things I do beside ranting and/or complaining on the internet. I post pictures, reviews, and recipes of food I’ve tried making lately, mostly baked goods because let’s be honest that’s what I like to eat more than anything else in the world (eating). I also have a category about my brief/failed attempt at a cleanse this spring, I’m leaving it up there partially because I want to inspire myself to try again and partially because there’s some good information in it. Also, its the one link on my blog that draws continual attention, usually from pinterest (spring cleanse). I put all my posts about the crafting I do and remember to post about, from sewing to knitting to otherwise diy’ing my house up so that it looks like I have some sort of a life (making). ANDDD, if you know me you know that I’m pretty into alternative medicines, especially herbal remedies and home make body and cleaning products. I’m starting to get more into making stuff at home so whenever I do something new or learning something new it will go up here, remember that I’m no expert though so don’t take what I say as medical advice. Its a bit skimpy at the moment but trust, it will get bigger (healing).

Look/See – I.love.photography. So expect to see more of this than anything else under this category. I have 5 cameras and my phone which I use to take pictures nearly all the time. Most of my cameras are film so whenever I develop my latest roll or have some quality polaroids I post them kind of en masse. This is a section of the site I really want to grow to encompass my real love of taking pictures (photography). I know that this is kind of sounding like a failed project theme but I took a bit of a blogging break over this summer while I got married and found a job, I really want to get back to the photography project my brother and I were doing. I have a goal this year of challenging myself to see the world through a lens differently (52 themes). Last but (kind of) not least, I’ve been feeling like my personal style could use some updating now that I’m about to finish my MA, and married and am weeks away from my 30th birthday. I’m not really a genderqueer punk-y kid anymore but unfortunately my clothes don’t really reflect that. So I’m setting myself a whole category to document clothes I like, thrift, see, outfits I try, etc. I’m not going to pretend I have the ability to have a style section or that I have really any interest in making this into a style blog but hey, if you’re interested in talking or reading about the style of an almost 30, queer, hard femme, and how to make that work this is the category to look under (reluctant style ///under construction///).

Okay, so that’s that. Check back and tell me what you think, if you’re actually there. Comment if you feel so inclined, its nice to have something other than spam comments every now and then. And please do share your thoughts about free hosting vs. self-directed blogs. I really am trying to figure out what to do.


It Gets Fatter!

A good friend (and neighbour!), her friends, and the internet at large, have started this amazing new video project called It Gets Fatter (tumblr & also vimeo). Its a space to for People of Colour (POCs) who identify as fat, and also queer, to submit videos and written stuff talking about their experiences with fatness and body loving (or not). Its a brand brand new project that has been going on for barely a week and so far a few really powerful videos have been posted about fatness vs. health and how they are not always connected, self-acceptance and learning to love your body no matter what others tell you.

Here’s a video example that really touched me:

A lot of the videos have touched me, and have made me want to delve a little into my own feelings about my body and how I get through tough situations with my family and in life. I’ve had a blog post sitting in my drafts folder for months now called ‘On Being Thick’ but never really had the courage to work it out in words and moreover to post it publicly until now. So thanks It Gets Fatter folks for opening up that dialogue and pushing me to have the guts to put it out there.

The reason the above video struck a nerve with me is because Jackie talked about her experiences within her family and their feelings around her size. It is obviously very intense when the people who raise you talk negatively about your body, and I was lucky not to have that experience growing up. I was a very tiny child; short, skinny, and rocking nicknames like ‘squirt’ and ‘spaghetti legs’ (the last one was bestowed by my great-grandmother because I had long, very thin legs). It wasn’t until I hit puberty, and honestly not until my late teens that I started to gain weight for real. Its been a slow progress and has depended a lot on how active my year has been but I’ve been steadily gaining every since.

Comments about my weight started a few years ago, when I began to push the okay height to weight ratio in some of my family’s eyes. Its rarely been direct, mostly comments on how good I looked the last time I was home because I was thinner, or how I look good now as opposed to the last time because last time I was overweight and this time I was thinner. A lot of it has been indirect, and probably not aimed at me at all but comments about personal weight gain or loss definitely affect me, as well as comments from family members about how concerned they are about my dad’s weight followed by comments about how much I look like my dad. Most of the time it was meant to compliment me, or at least not to hurt me but its really hard not to take it personally when people look at me and then decide that a conversation about weight loss would be something I’d be into hearing.

I’m having difficulty saying this because I love my mom to bits and she has been my champion in so many ways, ways that I could never thank her enough for, but when it comes to my weight I’ve recently had a few experiences with her that have really stuck with me, they both involved shopping for clothes for me together, both in the past year. Last December I was looking for something to wear to my brother’s wedding in Vegas, it was last minute and we didn’t have a lot of time, plus my mom hates shopping even more than me. I remember going to store after store trying to find something that fit, and taking longer than she had patience for to find something because I just couldn’t get that comfortable combination of style and fit that I needed to feel good. I distinctly remember feeling like I had to apologize to her for my weight, not that she was asking me to but because I felt bad about being too big to fit most of the cute things she liked. I felt a lot of shame in that moment and that I had to explain myself. I stumbled through a few tries but in the end I didn’t really have an explanation, the truth is that by a lot of standards I’m not  plus sized, mall clothing just runs small in a totally mean way. It wasn’t my fault, but in that moment I felt like it was. The second time was when we were emergency shopping for a replacement wedding dress for me and my mom suggested I try on a girdle, something that she would NEVER consider wearing and, prior to me getting to the size that I am now, would probably have railed against. Its taken me a while to deconstruct that moment, and in the end I feel like my mom thought that I needed it in order to look ‘better’ in my dress. I tried it on, hated the feeling of it and the feeling behind it and decided against it. To her credit she didn’t push it but the idea that my mom thinks I’m too chubby to look good has stuck with me.  After many conversations with M about shapewear I’ve come to the conclusion as to why I’m not into it. Its not that I’m against other people wearing it for whatever reason they want to wear it, but for me I feel like I’m lying to myself about how my body looks and hiding the parts of my body that I’m struggling to love won’t make me love it any more.

Phew, still feeling iffy about that last paragraph so I’m going to move on to this really powerful video submitted to It Gets Fatter by msqueenly (who has many blogs) about being poor, black, queer and fat.

This video is important for so many reasons, and I would love to have, heard, or read further discussions of the intersections of all the points they brought up, especially around invisibility and how movements co-opt the voices of people struggling under multiple oppressions, but for this moment I want to highlight this particular point”

“it isn’t a journey of how i decorate my body with nice clothes, nice shoes, lingerie, accessories, you know. it’s not that type of journey. that’s not how i validate my fatness or my queerness or my blackness or how i talk about my poor experiences because, of course, being poor means you don’t have the money to do those things for a lot of people.”

which makes me want to stand up and clap. I’ve been trying to articulate my uncomfortableness with some blogging I see and also with some body positive blogging I see. I love it when people get excited about decorating their bodies, however they see that to be, and I definitely appreciate a visually pleasing outfit. I also get that when it comes to fatness and body positivity a lot of it is about challenging how my, your, their body is SEEN, so blogs of people dressing hot and refusing to hide their fat bodies is great and challenging and so wonderful. I guess I’m just a little disappointed that that’s as far as a lot of people take discussions about personal fashion and adornment. While clothes, accessories, tattoos, piercings, whatever are personal expressions of self and are rad in their own ways, I don’t feel like its the be all, end all of this discussion. ESPECIALLY when we’re trying to talk about body acceptance and inclusion. Dressing well is great and all but we can’t stop there. There are so many other ways this manifests in my life, to speak for myself. It manifests in how I eat in public, how I take up space, how and when I exercise, how I sit, how I dance, how I hold my body, how people see my body. It’s an awesome feeling to be wearing something hot and tight, but that feeling can very quickly be flipped to feeling shitty as soon as I catch the eye of someone who does not feel that I look awesome in my hot, tight outfit. And that feeling is not something that can always be addressed by more great outfits. Nor is it always possible to have the clothes that make me feel pumped about my body. Lately its been about making clothes work and/or fit because my current life doesn’t support new outfits, or really anything beyond the basics.

Anyway, I haven’t really done justice to msqueenly’s video or even that one quote because it means so much more than what I feel I can say on the topic right now but I just want to put it out there that this is a really great project, one that has made me want to talk out loud about my feelings ‘on being thick’. I have a lot more growing into my feelings and thoughts about this, and especially more growing into the wider topic but I love that this conversation is happening and that so many rad people are blasting open the body positivity conversation and making people think about how the intersections of identity change, influence, support and contradict how we talk about bodies, fatness, and self-love. So cheers to that.

And to this:

from the ‘fat acceptance! Yay!’ pinterest board


spring cleanse: days 1-3

I’m just going to do this like my small things project because frankly I can’t think of another way to do it right now. All I want is chocolate.

Day 1:

I started the cleanse today. I was doing really good too, drinking my teas, avoiding bread and dairy. I went to the gym. I talked it out with Marseau, we made a late (late) lunch and as soon as we were done BAM I wanted sugar really really badly. I rarely crave sugar anymore, mostly because I have been baking a lot, but I  really think that this will be the hardest part.

So far I’m not feeling anything else that’s all that different or hard. I feel surprisingly pretty energized given that I haven’t had any coffee today, everything else is going pretty well. I’m hungry but I don’t know if that’s because I worked out or because I haven’t had my usual filling wheat flour. 2 weeks feels like a really really long time from here. I hope that I get some good results to keep me going.

Day 2:

I woke up feeling crappy. I don’t know if its because I’ve been sleeping badly or because of the cleanse but I feel like I have a cold coming on. I think its because of the cleanse though, I’ve heard that people generally feel shitty the first few days. If that’s true I’m definitely on schedule. Could possibly be from the fact that I quit smoking cold turkey too.

Also, I’m hungry. I gotta do some research of what I can eat because I need some good snacks that fit within these stupid restrictions.

I miss coffee and I miss sweet things. A lot. I still think about it all the time. Which is weird because I don’t think I ate really all that much sugar in my daily life but for some reason the fact that I can’t succumb to a craving is making me want it very intensely.

Nothing all that great to report today. I went to the gym and did my workout, but I didn’t feel energized like I usually do. I just feel tired, cranky, and a shitty. Things better look up soon or I’m going to go back to sugar. This is no trade.

Day 3:

I still feel shitty but definitely less shitty than yesterday. The cold symptoms are still gone and I’m not craving sugar quite so much. I’m just missing caffeine and am feeling a bit slow.

I’m starting to get angry at the cleanse though and how its blocking me from having all the delicious foods that I like eating. I considered quitting it this coming weekend when Marseau and Mood started planning a soul food night (how can I live without the cheese

smoothie for my sugar cravings, tea for my herbal stuff (I think that this is the dandelion root one)

biscuits and breaded chicken?). I’m still planning on seeing it through but I’m annoyed.

I’m less hungry though, or at least I’m starting to fill satisfied with the food I am eating and can feel decent after a big meal, not still hungry. I think that this means that usually I eat a lot of carbs to fill me up. I know that I’m not supposed to have gluten but I’ve kind of cut out most carbs (minus granola) for the moment. I’m going to look for rice crackers and maybe corn chips soon though for snacking. Must also get apples