Amy is the crafter and writer behind MakerMama.com where she shares her passion for handmade and second-hand living, these are her good things.
Good things to read.
Good books with your kids. At this point in my life most of the reading I do is with my kids. We’re bibliophiles at our house with shelves of books in just about every room; my kids often fall asleep with stacks in their beds. I try to stock the kids’ shelves with classic children’s books that we all enjoy. My favorite children’s illustrator and writer is Allan Ahlberg, and I’m reading the old Indian in the Cupboard series with my boys right now–they can’t wait to hear it each night. Reading regularly with them brings up so many opportunities to answer their questions about things that might not have come up otherwise.
Make Your Life Worthwhile by Emmet Fox. Who doesn’t want to do that? Fox was a prolific spiritual writer during the early 1900s, with his work focused on biblical based principles for living your best life. This particular book uses bite-size sections (perfect for this busy mom) to explore the power of prayer and the effect our way of thinking has on our lives. We search so much outside of ourselves for the life we wish to have, but it’s about finding God, peace, and contentment within that really makes that happen.
Soule Mama. This is one of the first blogs I ever read, and it’s one of the few I still return to today. Written by Amanda Blake Soule, it’s a blog about her life as a maker and mother of five. They live on a farm now and live a slower-paced life than most raising farm animals and homeschooling their children. Hers is a blog I read when I need a break from the busy-ness of the blogosphere. She’s managed to stay true to herself and creates such a peaceful place online with her reflections on everyday living. She’s definitely been an inspiration to me as a blogger and a mother–even though I’ve never met her!
Good things to watch.
I just saw Joss Whedon’s new adaptation of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing and loved it. Whedon, probably better known as the creator of the Firefly series (another must-see) shot the entire film in less than two weeks from his home in California. I’m no film critic, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. With the original lines from Shakespeare, shot in black and white, and the modern backdrop to it all, it’s definitely a new favorite. And it may sound cliche, but it made me laugh and cry–not many films actually make me do that.
Charade with Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn is an old favorite of mine. My parents had it on VHS when I was growing up and it was my favorite movie to watch when I was home sick from school (when I was older–my kids are too young to watch it yet). It’s a great old-fashioned thriller. I love just about any other Audrey Hepburn movie, too.
Birds. And I don’t mean Alfred Hitchcock’s film (I’ve actually never seen it). I mean real-life birds. The ones in your backyard and around your community. We recently started studying birds with the kids, and they’re far more interesting than I ever realized. I’ve always considered myself a nature-lover (I spent my elementary years traipsing through the English countryside), but I’ve never really known the names of things. Researching and observing birds in our city has been like seeing the world with new eyes. One of our favorite spots to birdwatch here in San Antonio is at the river along the Mission Reach–there are some beautiful waterfowl out there.
Good things to use.
I love collecting vintage suitcases. I find them at thrift stores, garage sales, even on the side of the road. With a little bit of cleaning up, they’re perfect for storing my ever growing stash of craft supplies–they look much nicer than plastic bins, too. And using a mustard yellow suitcase for travel makes it easy to spot your luggage at the airport.
Apple cider vinegar. You know the dad from My Big Fat Greek Wedding who uses Windex for everything? I’m like that with apple cider vinegar. It’s good for a million things. Seriously, just Google it. I love drinking it in my tea for a sore throat (it tastes like lemon) and using it as hair conditioner.
Clear is one of my new favorite apps. It’s just a basic checklist that’s really user friendly. You can move the items on your list in any order you like, and simply swipe your thumb across to check them off. You can also create more than one list. It’s very simple, but it works for me in a way other checklist apps haven’t before. And I never have to find a scrap of paper to write on, it’s all there on my phone.
Connect with Amy on Twitter about all things crafting and thrift, @makermama.