Cake and Herbs: Recipe and Retrospect

It’s the weekend, and oh my goodness am I ready for this week to end!

You know how some weeks are just a big challenge? This was one of those weeks. It started Sunday with family exhaustion after Yarrow’s Saturday evening dance recital and just continued on through the week with a bout of sickness, kids who can’t settle into their schoolwork or play well together, mopey goats, and craziness at my side-job.

But now it’s Saturday, and we’re working through the behaviour issues, feeling well again, and trying to get a Summer Rule of Life written out and implemented! And I’m tired..

So, of course, I’m baking seed cakes for afternoon tea. We love tea time, we love having simple, hearty little cakes in the house, and we’ve been trying to get back to our roots a bit as far as our family culture is concerned by resurrecting some old recipes we used to bake all the time when we were first out here. This seed cake is one of them:

  • 12 Tb soft butter
  • 1 cup fine sugar (I’ve used Turbinado with success as well)

cream those together ’til soft and fluffy then beat in..

  • 3 eggs

when all is evenly mixed. Add the dry ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 Tb caraway seeds

and if you have it, add a splash of cream or a big scoop (up to 1/4 cup) of plain yogurt.

This cake bakes well in a loaf pan at about 350 for almost an hour. And it pairs so well with the smokey, Russian teas.

We’ll be eating it at tea today, and possibly having another slice late at night, when the kids are in bed and I’ve got the lamps lit and my drafted Rule on the table. Because it’s unlikely I’ll finish it before dark today. Not with schoolwork to manage, herbs to transplant, and order to restore to the souls of my children.

I’ll be making lemon balm – lavender-yarrow tea for them this afternoon, to help with the restoration of order in their souls. Our yard used to be over-run with lemon balm, and it’s such a lovely, soothing herb. Gentle and kind and delicious too! You can make it into sun-tea with honey in the summer then freeze the tea into popcicles for an amazing summer treat, or steep it in honey to help with insomnia. Like lavender and yarrow it helps calm the imagination too and gives adults and kids a like a sense of contentment and peace.

I think the latter is what my kids need most right now. After a couple weeks of indulgence and excitement, they need to enjoy quiet and structure again. So I’ll being gathering herbs with them before tea to welcome contentment again.

And this weekend, we’ll be staying home as much as possible to reclaim the order of our daily life!

What do you do to reclaim your homelife when things get too busy, or after a holiday season?

Homeschooling for Sacramental Preparation

Earlier this month my oldest received her First Communion and Confirmation! Congratulations my beautiful Yarrow!

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Because we belong to a small, Traditional-Latin-Mass Chaplaincy, we had a few extra options:

  • We could use the local parish’s religious education program: Our chaplaincy worships at the local basilica, and a lot of us are co-registered with that parish and the chaplaincy, so our kids could go through one of the local parish’s religious ed programs.
  • We could homeschool with an approved curriculum, such as the Faith and Life series or the Baltimore Catechism.
  • We could homeschool with a conglomeration of orthodox resources.

Of course, we chose that last option, but only after trying the other two first!

Our local parish had a lovely Catechesis of the Good Shepard program for pre-k and kindergarten faith formation, Yarrow attended and loved it! But unfortunately there were issues implementing any of the other levels of CGS and so she lost the option to prepare for her Sacraments through that lovely program. We were so disappointed and completely unimpressed by the 90s-style, classroom-based religious education that was to follow.

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So we started doing more focused catechesis at home. I’ve never been a fan of the tone of the Baltimore Catechism, and most other children’s catechisms are so very saccharine that I couldn’t imagine them doing much good; but I’d heard good things about the Faith and Life series: beautiful imagery, unsentimental text, age-appropriate-but-not-immature explanations. It sounded ideal.

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It’s wasn’t quite ideal.. I would still use the first book again, though it wasn’t as clear as I’d hoped, but the second book – the one I thought was supposed to do more for Sacramental Prep, seemed rather like a half-hearted sequel. The illustrations were not at all up to the standards of the first book and the text seemed repetitive and uninteresting. We began supplementing again with selections from the adult Catechism, and edited readings from the Family Apostolate Catechism (so many references to abortion! Parents of small, still-innocent, young readers beware!).

In the end, we wrote up worksheets of our own for Yarrow, encouraged lots of questions and conversations, filled her up with straight Scripture, and only supplemented with the best of the texts we had available to us.

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Thanks be to God she went forward for her Confirmation, First Communion, and First Confession full of joy and eagerness to receive all the Grace God offers! But as I’m looking forward to Ilya’s preparation in a few years, I’ll be casting off some of the disappointing options and creating more of his curriculum at home!

Into The Desert

We aren’t moving, we still live in the lush woodlands of Maine, but my goodness! Have you ever noticed how very isolating the world is when you’re pursing something Good?

It’s a lonely road, oftentimes, and so often full of sneaky suggestions as to how and when and why you really can get away with betraying your ideals. Ideals, after all – it whispers – are well and good for day-dreamers and teenagers, but reality demands compromise!

Does it though?

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Do we always have to be selling out the Good for the ‘sorta-nice’? And why does the crowd insist on pushing mediocrity upon us instead of encouraging greatness? I’m a big fan of Soren Kierkegaard, so I’m plugging up my ears to the whispers and chasing after holiness – deeper into to the figurative desert we go!

In this spirit of interior ascetism, here are 5 little ways I’ve been trying to build a hermitage of beauty and goodness!

: Wake Early :

Waking early allows us to share in the promise of the dawn! The stillness; the soft, new air, the half-remembered early morning dreams. Rising in the pink light of a newborn day gives us more energy, I think, than sleeping late and waking to find the day half over.

Wake up early! Step outside and breathe in the newness! I’ve been trying to wake early and step outside around 6:30, it isn’t easy because I stay up so late! But the morning hours are such a delightful time! And who needs sleep, right? The desert fathers certainly didn’t! Sometimes I wonder if our culture’s preoccupation with getting 8 hours of sleep each night is healthy.

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: Read Up :

We share our bookstacks and reading piles on social media all the time, but really, if you’re just reading piles of romances or thrillers, you’re not actually developing your mind at all. You’re just stuffing it with little sugary bits of distraction. Reading is a great way to grow toward the Good, but only if what you read is actually Good, not just fun and engaging. If you’re used to reading Oprah’s book of the month, that means you have to retrain you mind to delight in what is good – like a fan of McDonald’s learning to love real food.

Most important, learn to love Scripture. Not just the Gospels and the Psalms either. Learn to love Numbers and Leviticus, Maccabees and Proverbs. Immerse yourself in the many voices of God! I’m a lazy reader these days. I get busy and distracted and just want to reread all my comfortable, old favorites. But this spring (is it summer yet?) I’ve been challenging myself to explore new opinions and new presentations – my library stack is an ever-changing bundle of exciting, new authors (new to me anyway!)

: Fast :

Seriously. Nothing distracts from the Good like the tasty. Which isn’t to say you should eschew all cakes and cookies! St. Francis didn’t! But fasting regularly and intentionally teaches your body to submit to your will. It prepares you to go without some unnecessary thing (like Starbucks’ coffee or Ben & Jerry’s ice cream) when that thing becomes morally, socially, spiritually, or financially problematic.

Fasting should be a physical, tangible thing too. ‘Fasting from harsh words’ is all well and good, but it’s not really fasting. Fasting is the giving up of some good thing, not the giving up of all my wretched sins. I don’t ‘fast’ from those, I reject them utterly (or, at least, I should!)

So find a way to fast from food or drink. Give up wine, or give up adding paprika to your potatoes, or give up snacky foods from companies who’s morals offend you. It’s simple, and it builds up your soul in so many ways! I’m getting back into the habit of having fasting days throughout the week: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and denying myself in small ways on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I love the quiet that fasting brings to my soul and the structure it brings to me week.

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: Welcome Jesus :

‘Hospitality’ is an industry now. You can even get a degree in it. But Hospitality is also a way of life: an intentional focus on the many faces of Christ in the people all around us! True hospitality is an act of mercy: clothe the naked, feed the hungry, comfort the sick and lonely, house the homeless..

Tradition reminds us of all the people who welcomed strangers into their homes and found that they were actually entertaining Christ Himself or His angels (or fairies, or wealthy, capricious goblin-kings) – lets open our doors and delight in the abundance that hospitality can offer!

Hospitality is always my intention. Sometimes it’s difficult, but as we build our own little, fairy-version of a ‘Benedict Option’ home in the wilderness, we are finding so many ways to welcome others into the joy of our woodland.

: Labor :

Daily tasks can seem so menial. So empty and unappreciated sometimes. But labor – the act of building up something sustaining – whether it’s washing dishes or waiting tables or growing vegetables or mucking out goats – is an act of hope. A beautiful way to unite ourselves to our fellow men, to Christ, and to Adam who labored in the garden before the fall.

We work at all our small tasks and build something large and beautiful with them: so much labor is going on here! Seth is building a deck against the yurt, he’s finishing off his studio building behind the yurt, and digging post-holes for an addition that will connect yurt to studio. We’ve moved the pear trees to an out-of-goat-reach yard behind the studio and are adding 2 northern fig trees and two northern peach trees to their ranks! And while he’s busy with labors at home, I’m stepping off to work nearby in the evenings: a little, local pizza shop has me filling orders and cleaning up four nights a week.

Ideally, I’d be earning money from home, but labor often demands sacrifice, and the delight of being able to fund our building projects with the work of my hands is a joy. Labor doesn’t always look as you want it to, but if you squint a bit, you can always see Christ at the heart of it.

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So that’s what I’m doing to build my domestic monastery with a bit more intention this summer. What about you? What goods are you cultivating on the path toward holiness?

Coffee Steeping and Big Plans

How do you make your coffee?

We use a french press. Water heats to a boil on the stove, then is set aside – off heat – until the bubbles still. Then we pour it over rough-ground coffee in the press and set it to steep for a while. Long enough to walk Ilya to the outhouse and back, pray the morning offering, and wonder why on earth we forgot to restock breakfast oats again this week and what will we have for breakfast?

It’s a lovely, little morning ritual. We have coffee every morning. Sometimes I sprinkle in a pinch of cardamom or a splash of vanilla before pouring water over the grounds, sometimes I whip cream to pile atop our mugs. Most of the time our coffee is simple: black, organic, fair trade, and intense.

Morning coffee time is sacred to plans and preparations. I make schedules and think over the day to come. The kids sip their little cups with minds on bananas or elves and ask interrupting questions about the lack of oatmeal in the house.

Recently, our plans and preparations in the coffee-hour have revolved around all the summer building projects: deck, studio, addition, garden beds, fencing .. as well as preparations for Yarrow’s upcoming first Communion and Confirmation.

The busy-ness of this season has kept me from writing as much as I’d like, but hopefully, as we fall into the new rhythm of the season – early mornings and late nights I’ll be back regularly again – coffe in hand – to share bits of life here.

5 Easy Ways to Live Simply

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Intentional living is like the ascetic life, like an onion, like the inner life of a tree. The more you touch it, the more layers are revealed to you. Living simply is a slow gestating, and while each person’s way of simplicity is unique, there are shared aspects.

You can build a simple, intentional life with running water and electricity. You can build one without homeschooling (though I think most of the time homeschooling can help build and sustain a ‘domestic monastery’), but these 5 recommendations are essential to rediscovering simplicity and building it into your home life:

1.

Blow up your tv.

Or, you know, just donate it. Television is really unessential. It’s distracting and deadening. It’s also kinda passé. You no longer ‘need’ tv to keep up on the news (and honestly, unless you absolutely need to be up to date on all the sorrows in the world, I’d recommend reducing your news-consumption as well); tv is merely an escape – often voyeuristic or dehumanizing. Whether the shows are appalling or merely banal, they contribute nothing to the good and distract us from engaging in our true lives.

And keeping a tv keeps us mentally, emotionally, and spiritually bound to the noise and materialism around us. We’re still on that schedule – (season___ of whatever show starts tonight!). Simplicity is being choked out by distraction.

2.

Greet the Day

As Catholics, we welcome the new day with a Morning Offering and entrust ourselves to the care of our guardian angels. However you meet the morning, make it a simple ritual of beauty and focus. Don’t let the days pass one after another without a pause of quiet gratitude at the birth of each new morning.

Starting the day intentionally – connected to the tangible world the fills our own daily life, instead of checking a phone or stumbling bleary-eyed through the morning hours is such an act of hope! It says: this day is new and real and fresh and I will be whole and mindful as I move through it!

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3.

Read Books

Real books. The kind with pages. The kind that aren’t full of angsty teenage protagonists.

Read good books.

Read novels. Read myths. Read philosophy. Read poetry.

If a book has been made into a tv show with sexy, pouting characters running around in front of the green screen, skip it, at least for a while.

Read books with attention and understanding. Journal about the books you’re reading.

Read books.

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4.

Become Acquainted with The Night

It’s easy in the country. We have so many stars! We see the moon rising behind the trees, and watch it sink low again late in the night. We meet the constellations and know their seasons. In the city, nights are lonelier. There is more darkness, more false light, more to fear in the shadows. Where ever you spend your nights, get to know them. Don’t spend all your time with false light and indoor air. Step out onto a patio, a deck, a park, a driveway and feel the dark, soft night-time air. Search for bright Venus in the sky and get to know the phases of the moon.

Night is such a restful, reviving time – full of dreams and magic. You don’t need to sleep to be soothed by the night time. You can let your mind slow down in the cool, dark, with tea and poetry, or alone under the stars.

5.

Memento Mori

Remember your death. Living Simply reminds us each day the our own lives are neither isolated nor unending. Let your life be a thing of beauty, a work of art, and let the details – all the little things – really matter.

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Today…

A collection of impressions:

Feeling : Quiet. Calm. Reflective. The rush of sudden repairs and reorganizations of this past week are past and we’re rediscovering routine.

Thinking : About the books I’m reading currently, especially The War on Boys – which rings disturbingly true to me as I watch the people around me build a culture in which men and boys are ‘canceled,’ dismissed, demeaned, or neglected. Thinking of ways to build up my boy in a world that doesn’t want him. Thinking of ways to build up my daughter to find her strength is love not in the denigration of others.

Watching : My two loves playing wild in the sunlight and soft air of spring.

Planning : for midsummer Communions, dance recitals, garden-building, new pigs, and upcoming visits from family and friends.

Praying : To the Three-Handed Virgin and the Infant of Prague.

Loving : all the green-growing world around me! The trees have finally woken up. The ferns are unfurling, the flowers are just beginning to remember themselves, and the whole woods is shifting and shaking off the cold at last!

Tell me, how are you today?

Five Freedoms of Tiny House Living

A snow-covered, mountian bungalow, tucked beside cedar trees, or a modern, American yurt on the outskirts of the Brown Mountains: nearly everyone who spends time scrolling Instagram or Pinterest will tell you of one or two tiny houses that have caught in their imagination and started them wondering: how practical are these elvish-dwellings? Do they work in real life or would they trap you in squashed quarters for years, lamenting that decision to settle in a 500 square foot cottage instead of a sprawling suburban house?

Small spaces are practical as well as magical! Really, because tiny houses get bigger the longer you live in them. Or, at least, they start to feel bigger. My 460 square foot yurt felt tiny when I first moved into it, with my husband, almost 8 years ago. I wondered how I would ever adjust to such a small house – where would I put everything? But now, with two kids, a dog, added to the mix, that same little house feels so much bigger somehow. So go ahead and indulge yourself in designing you tiny dream home! You’ll find shrinking your walls will add more freedom to your life within!

1. Freedom from Isolation:
Tiny houses build intimacy!
Ok, tiny houses can’t exactly force you to engage with your significant other, or sit down and actually listen to your 5 year old’s story, but you can’t exactly escape them either. In a tiny house, you physically close to the people you live with. All the time. And living that close to someone everyday makes getting closer to them emotionally easier, because you can’t exactly go off into the basement and watch Godzilla movies all night. You don’t have a basement, if you want to watch movies, you’ll have to do it together.
When you spend most of everyday rubbing shoulders with the people you love, you have a chance to get to know them even better than you expected to. You realize that they have habits and expressions you never noticed before. And in a tiny house, you notice you have habits and expressions too.

2. Freedom from Hassle:
Tiny houses are low maintenance.
One of the things you have to know about tiny houses is that they can start looking messy really quickly. You just don’t have a lot of places to tuck things so they’re out of sight. But while they’ll look mussed up pretty quickly, they clean up quickly as well. I can deep clean my whole house in a day. And by deep clean, I mean washing the walls, organizing the drawers, everything. And all that without a vacuum!
Tiny houses don’t demand a lot. They use less heat than larger houses, less electricity, and a 20 minute tidy is enough to have your whole house comfortably clean and ready for guests. Don’t worry, you can fit more people than you’d expect in a tiny house! Parties aren’t out of the question, they just take a bit more planning.

3. Freedom from Marketing:
Tiny houses are a minimalist’s dream!
Your house doesn’t need to be filled with things to avoid looking empty. In fact, your tiny house can’t handle all the little bits of plastic and metal at Target. It can really only hold the few things you really love. Everything else looks like clutter, no matter how cute or clearanced it was. In a tiny house, you start viewing advertising differently. You’re like a dinner guest who has eaten her fill of an amazing pomagranate and avocado salad – she can admire all the pretty cakes on the desert cart, but she doesn’t actually want any of them.
Decorating your tiny house is so much simpler too. It needs fewer things, and it isn’t overwhelming when the whole house follows the same theme. 500 square feet of vintage, rockabilly decor is funky; 2000 square feet and it starts to look a little forced.

4. Freedom from Stagnation:
Tiny houses welcome the quirky explorer in all of us!
Living in a tiny house, you spend way more time out of doors than the average family. So you’re out under the stars -throwing garden parties or bonfires and hiking or running in the summer sun instead of working out on that treadmill or watching tv.
Tiny houses were designed to make exploration easier! Some of them are portable, and those that aren’t are easier to shut down for a season while you finally take that trip to Iceland. With a tiny (or none at all) mortgage to match, tiny houses won’t hold you back from getting to know this amazing planet of ours.

5. Freedom to Express Yourself:
Tiny houses are cool. And they emphasize your unique ‘brand’!
More than the conventional American home, a tiny house lets you be entirely yourself! From bohemian yurts to mod, re-imagined box-car houses to Airstream trailers, a tiny house conforms to your personality, rather then altering you to fit a predesigned lifestyle.
Because they’re so easy to customize and so intimately connect to the energy of their owners, tiny houses become havens – little nests of creativity and individuality to help you see just how awesome you really are!

Tiny houses don’t put limits on what you can do, they’re easy to build, easy to add on to if needed, easy to care for, and the ultimate in cozy, close-knit family living. Don’t be afraid to move in and make yourself at home!

 

How We Pared Down Our Belongs to Fit in 460 Square Feet!

When Seth and I were first married we rented a two bedroom apartment in town with a lot of space and a tiny yard. It was such a pretty place! And we filled it with all our things. The second bedroom became a pottery studio, we had a dining room with a little writing nook and a bright front room full of plants.

Then we found our beloved land and we jumped into off-grid life in a one room yurt. A lot of things had to go before we could move into our tiny new house, and we had no idea how to go about reducing our belongings!

Because we were going from a conventional apartment to an off-grid yurt, we could easily give away everything that depended on electricity: mixer, toaster, curling iron.. but what about all the clutter?

*

If Konmari had been around in 2010, I would have been all over it! But it wasn’t. And honestly, minimalism wasn’t even on my radar. But we needed to downsize in a major way.

First, we took a close look at our new space. Or, the floor anyway.. our yurt was so delayed in production that we were actually tenting on our land for a week before we could set it up, with all our things tucked in a second-hand shed we threw up as quickly as possible. But we walked the platform, and decided just what we really wanted to have in our tiny, new house: a bed, the little rattan couch, a table to eat at, some shelves, books, a counter to work at and an altar. Everything we were uncertain about, or divided on stayed in that rickety old shed or was sent off to the donation box.

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We had so much extra space in that brand-new yurt and we loved it! So many things that seemed so essential in the apartment were never moved into the new house. We didn’t want to clutter up it’s fresh interior with things that we didn’t actually miss. And so they stayed tucked away in the old shed until winter came and the snowload crushed the roof of the shed and all it’s trinkets were damaged in the rust and wet of snow and metal.

Kind of wasteful..

if I’d been more thoughtful and intentional about this move, I could have donated all that stuff and saved the mess. But I wasn’t. I was new at all this and careless. I still have some of the shed to tear down, actually.  We’re going to use the old metal to re-roof the outhouse and build a pig-shed. So we’re salvaging some of the waste!

You don’t have to know what you’re doing to move into a tiny house! You just go with it and maybe realize 3 years later that you brought in too much stuff, or got rid of too much. It’s an adjustment – most of us are learning to live counter-culturally, against the consumerism we used to know. And that can be super hard. Don’t make it harder by thinking you have to do it all at once, or do it right the first time. You don’t. We certainly didn’t!

We went tiny by giving up about a third of our belongings, donating books and appliances, gifting friends with some of our extra dishes, papering the outhouse with old poetry books, and leaving lamps for the new renters at our old apartment (we asked them first!); we moved about a third of our things into the yurt and ended up culling more than half of those original belonging again a few years later; and we wasted a third, mostly books and burnable wood furniture (thank goodness!) by storing it for a while in hopes of finding or building a home for it.

If I were to do it again, I’d give up more and save less. But that’s what houses are all about, they grow with us. They embrace our attitudes and intentions, and flourish as we truly get to know them. Journeys aren’t everything, but they’re amazing ways to learn.

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End of Winter Burnout: Homeschooling During the Dull Months

March has been such a hard month these past few years! Winter never ends early anymore, we have all the blizzards and grey skies in March now and keeping our motivation in schooling is hard when all we want to do is sleep, drink coffee, and cry over each new foot of snow.

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But we’re working through it. We’re midway through Lent – Lent is all about self-discipline and we are building ours together! But “working through it” doesn’t mean we grind all our joy down in the pursuit of a consistent education, so we do take time out to rest and restart.

We try to keep a consistent daily reading schedule: Bible, catechism, history (we’ll be jumping from early American History, which we’ve been slowly working through for the past two years, to Ancient History! I’m excited to see how the books we found work out.), nature, saints, and some small fairy stories. Or if it’s a really lazy day, at least we read the Bible and some fairy tales. The consistent morning reading helps us connect and focus a bit even if the rest of the day is casual.

But in March, we don’t always do focused work everyday. Math, copywork, grammar, etc are subjects we might chose to pass by for the sake of a tromp in the snow, a painting day, or just a slow day of reading and play. These little breaks help so much to keep our motivation up and not fall too deep into the late winter blahs.

Today is one of those slow days.

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We read in the morning, and then I left the kids alone to play for a long while. They spent some of the time outside in the snow, some of the time watching Seth build the chimney at my parent’s cabin, and then some time reading together downstairs at their grandparents’ house. Late March is a wonderful time for Seth to get caught up on projects at the vacation cabin, and my parents will be up at Easter to celebrate with us, so the more he can do in Lent, the better!

I like to give the kids a break from schoolwork on days that Seth is working because they love helping him build. They’re learning something tangible and valuable by building or painting with their daddy. And the lazy days help us renew our delight in schooling. It’s lovely to build a schooling schedule around the seasons, letting the slow late-winter times inspire a bit more hygge and a little less industry.

Do you struggle to stay motivated homeschooling, homesteading, or in some other aspect of daily life? How do you deal with burnout in the cold months?

Exploring Natural Make-up

I don’t really like natural, hippie makeup.

At least, not on me. I like lots of blacks and greys and a bit of intensity.

Not too much..I’m sort of ‘yurt-goth’, I guess.

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kinda…

like all aspects of my life, I like to classify my make-up under the term Cyganeria – a sort of artistic bohemia that allows me to be both expressively dark and grounded in nature. My make up, style, domesticity, writing, and even homeschooling all fall under this sort of impressionistic translation of cyganeria.

But back to make up… I don’t want a palette of peaches, pinks, and salmons to spread on my face. I shun beiges and taupes. I like cool colours, dark colours, and intense pigmentation. And yes, I’m finally insisting on ethical, sustainable, small-scale production, ideally from people I can see and know and engage with. People who will be mixing up their colours without the help of underpaid workers in China or Indonesia.

And so far, I’m finding some awesome products!

I’m kinda surprised., honestly.

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I didn’t expect to be so impressed. But my two favorites right now are Moonrise Creek – – and Rituel de Fille. Moonrise Creek is an Etsy shop, I’ve tried (and loved!) their liquid foundation, concealer, and powder. It’s hard to find a good, natural, ethically made foundation. Before transitioning away from problematic companies, I was using Kat von D’s very-full-coverage foundation, and I loved it. Moonrise Creek’s products are very different. They cover differently and they feel different on my skin. The texture was one of the first things I noticed about their products – the foundation feels amazing – nourishing and smooth but not at all heavy or oily. It doesn’t cover as fully as Kat von D (but really, what does!) but it does provide a smooth and consistent coverage. I use the concealer primarily under my eyes and it brightens and covers as well as the drugstore brand I used to us!

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Rituel de Fille is a more prominent brand than Moonrise Creek – I think they’re even sold at a department store – but the quality and intentionality seems impressively intact. I bought three of their eye soots a couple years ago and they’ve become staples in my little make up box. Recently, I added Rituel de Fille’s Eclipse and Ghost Light pigments to my collection, as well as two of their lipsticks. I adore these products, I can feel the quality and I’m thrilled with the simplicity and witchy-intentionality of the ingredients.

 

Both brands fit with my cyganeria style, can handle our ‘out in the elements’ lifestyle and manage to avoid violating my ethical intentions! I’m still in search of some good mascara that won’t clump or feel chemically near my eyes, but I’m pretty sure I’ll find one! The world is full of people trying to build a cleaner, kinder culture by improving all the little things!

 

(This is not a sponsored post, just a personal opinion. I tried these products, liked them, and thought you all might be interested. I get nothing from anyone if you click on any links! But don’t let that stop you. Check them out!)