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Sunday Reads

Recipes

niteflix

Dreams so complex in plot and rich in production value that they seem like feature length films.

Friday Jam

Courtesy of a beloved three year old

Some more podcast recommendations

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Sunday Reads

Recipes

Sunday (Cooking) Reads

Happy Easter!! Our Lord and Saviour is risen

Book Recommendation

Our Book Club read for March was Toni Morrison’s The Source of Self Regard . I was really eager to get into it because of everyone’s reaction when she passed away in 2019, there was such sadness at the loss of a great literary mind YET, I had struggled to really get into her writing. Prior to this read, I had only read God Help The Child and I quite enjoyed it.

General thoughts

  • Her command of language and how she uses it to say what she says. I felt like I was in primary school turning to my dictionary for every second word but it was worth it. As a wordsmith she contorts language to do and say exactly what she needs to do and impart the feeling she needs.
  • Her writing confirmed that you can’t be such an accomplished writer and not read widely. Girl reads. Widely.
  • How she talks about language and what it can and can’t achieve. You feel it and you enjoy the experience of it all.
  • What IS African American literature? Is it a separate thing and/or what actually defines it. Also the hoops it has to jump through to be understood or taken seriously. Gave me twice as good as them to get half of what they have vybes. But we the readers are so much richer for this because the writing is so much better.
  • I enjoyed her talking about her writing process and how she thinks of it / approaches it. 

Now to some specific themes and quotes that I loved from each of them.

The Foreign / Being Foreign

  • In the second essay she talks through Camara Laye’s book of how a white man would migrate back to Africa and how he prepares himself.  Even then, there is still some caucasity.
  • The idea of home and how layered it is. No one knows this more than me, what is home and what makes it home?
  • She refers to James Baldwin in her tribute to him as follows: “your life refuses summation … and invites contemplation.”
  • Frederick Douglass talking about his grandmother, and James Baldwin talking about his father, and Simone de Beauvoir talking about her mother, these people are my access to me; they are my entrance into my own interior life. And that is so true, we understand ourselves best by looking at our families and those nearest and dearest to us.
  • Writers, like water, have perfect memory. 
  • But writing is not simply recollecting or reminiscing or even epiphany. It is doing, creating a narrative infused [ …] with legitimate and authentic characteristics of the culture. 

the Afro-American presence in American literature

  • The so called every day life of black people is certainly lovely to live, but whoever is living it must know that each day of his “everyday” black life is a triumph of matter over mind and sentiment over common sense. And if he doesn’t know that, then he doesn’t know anything at all.  
  • I simply wanted to write literature that was irrevocably, indisputably black not because its characters were, or because I was, but because it took as its creative task and sought as it’s credentials those recognised and verifiable principles of black art. 
  • Others are “raced” – whites are not. Or so the conventional wisdom goes. The truth of course, is that we are all “raced”. 

Language

  • when language dies, out of carelessness, disuse, and abuse of esteem, indifference or killed by fiat, not only she herself, but all users and makers are accountable for its demise. 

Other themes, she covers but I did not get any specific quotes on, include, female empowerment, the press, money, human rights, and the artist in society, 

Best chapters 

  1. Racism and Fascism
  2. Home
  3. Wartalk
  4. The Slavebody and the blackbody
  5. Hard, True and Lasting

It is not an easy read at all but certainly worth the time and energy (and dictionary checking). Get it, this is a 5* from me.

Christmas / Birthday Wish List

What is on your wish list?

(Toddler-related) Sunday Reads

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Recipes

Heart Lessons From a Toddler

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We are halfway through the BSF Study of Matthew and the lesson I am getting in this season of my Christian walk is just how similar I am to my toddler. And it is a very humbling lesson.

I obviously have a toddler and spend so much time with her. Now toddlers are amazing little people. Funny, impulsive, willful, have no idea of what danger is or what could happen in ever situation. They are loveable but can also be tiring and that is exactly how I have seen myself revealed through the first 13 chapters we have looked at thus far.

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do. (James 1:22 - 25)

In the James citation above, we see that when we look intently at God’s Laws, we should our true selves magnified and this should draw us to repentance and to a deeper and more mature relationship with Christ. If we look, feel drawn to a particular response and then just as quickly forget, then its pointless. So while tough, its encouraging that I can see myself as maybe God sees me and this has two results. One, that I am striving towards God in deeper obedience to His will and two: it is helping me parent my daughter differently. Even when I mess up or frustrate Him, He still loves me. There are consequences to sin and all the mess I get into and while painful, I can trust God that His love and ways are perfect. I should and will show my daughter the right way, emphasize that, discipline when she falls short but over and above that in all ways I will continue to love her and show her that she is loved. Ultimately, my heart is filled with such gratitude that this is the God I love and serve and how faithful to me He is. What a faithful and loving God.

Sunday Reads

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Recipes

Sunday Reads

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Brene Brown’s simple advice for parenting when you feel like there’s nothing left to give. So useful for this time but a good tip to have with your partner or co parent.

Also, some productivity strategies for moms who are stressed about doing it all.

So many ethical questions in this piece but I loved reading this profile of a professional baby maker.

How people use their time reveals so much about them and their position relative to various other markers: class,citizenship, gender and other privilege.

… also, moms do not get much time to spend on themselves.

Young Mom, You Can Read the Bible

Although unpopular, I have read some very thoughtful pieces on the fluidity of gender from a Christian perspective and that has been very educative.

Because we always need tips on how to organise our kitchens.

Recipes


Oatmeal Pancakes

Salmon Patties (Salmon Cakes!)

More salmon recipes here

A Lemony-Perfect Pot of Rice

Yogurt Marinated Chicken

A Friday in July

From my favourite spot in the internet:

* a TV show, movie or book you’re into right now
* what you’re looking forward to
* something that’s worrying you
* a dessert you’ll never refuse
* would you rather have flight vs. invisibility?

Right now I am reading some awesome books: The Weekend, Good Company, Unsettled Ground. Nothing really good on TV right now.

I am looking forward to taking my daughter for a visit to my parents later next month.

Worried about whether we will ever get to herd immunity with such varied responses to the COVID-19 vaccine.

I will never say NO to ice cream. Nope!

I would rather have invisibility. All the conversations I will be able to listen to and places I can hang out and not worry about being seen.

What is your response to this pop quiz?

34 Books in 2020

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Given how crazy the year I restricted myself to very light reading and only female readers. Also, as a reminder, here are my 2018 and 2019 lists.

Key: *** Highly Recommend ** Yeah, why not read it *Nah, only read if you have nothing else (No star) I have no feelings on the book

See the full list below.

  1. What She Wants – Cathy Kelly
  2. Ask Again, Yes – Mary Beth Keane ***
  3. A Child’s Play – Danielle Steel
  4. The Most Fun We Ever Had – Claire Lombardo ***
  5. Such a Fun Age – Kiley Reid ( Overrated)
  6. The Giver of Stars – Jojo Moyes
  7. Girl, Woman, Other – Bernadine Evaristo ( BEST overall book of 2020. If I have not already said it, please read this book) ****
  8. Intercepted – Alexa Martin
  9. Fumbled – Alexa Martin
  10. Blitzed – Alexa Martin
  11. Dominicana – Angela Cruz (Such an ordinary story that was so well told) **
  12. A Thousand Ships – Natalie Haynes **
  13. Red at the Bone – Jacqueline Woodson
  14. How to Love a Jamaican – Alexia Arthurs ***
  15. Wedding Date – Jasmine Guillory ***
  16. The Proposal – Jasmine Guillory ***
  17. The Vanishing Half – Brit Bennett ***
  18. Big Friendship – Aminatou Sow & Ann Friedman ( BEST non fiction)
  19. Last Tang Standing – Lauren Ho (liked it but it kinda dragged on. Sadly, will read the sequel and again it made me want to visit Singapore)
  20. One to Watch – Kate Stayman-London ( BEST Fiction )
  21. The Guest List – Lucy Foley **
  22. All Adults Here – Emma Straub **
  23. The Hunting Party – Lucy Foley ***
  24. The Beach Read – Emily Henry
  25. The Book of Two Ways – Jodi Piccoult ( not her best )
  26. The Flatshare – Beth O’Leary ***
  27. The Herd – Andrea Bartz (Fantastic) ***
  28. The Switch – Beth O’Leary ***
  29. The Jetsetters – Amanda Eyre Ward
  30. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks – Rebecca Skloot **
  31. On the Come Up – Angie Thomas ***
  32. The Henna Artist – Alka Joshi *
  33. Three little truths – Eithne Shortall
  34. Self Care – Leigh Stein ***

For the first time this year, I decided to include a tried-to-read-and-didn’t-finish list. Here goes:

  1. Ordinary People – Diana Evans
  2. Weather – Jenny Offill
  3. The Shadow King – Maaza Mengiste
  4. The Girl with the Louding Voice – Abi Dare

Sunday (Cooks)

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Some meal prep help is alway helpful

Sunday Reads

Recipes

Parenting rituals I want to incorporate

I love Cup of Jo. The blog content and the community of readers that gather around it. It is a very beautiful space on the internet and what I secretly wish for this here little space.

She recently had a blog post on family rituals and I decided to steal a few to start with my child(ren) as they get older. So here goes and please also check it out.

To keep things simple at Christmas, we each get 4 gifts: something you want, something you need, something to wear, something to read. I am planning to use this model with my children (someday)!

My MIL had three curious kids who would shake gifts put under the tree before Christmas day. She invented Christmas “code names” to write on the presents. From then on the kids didn’t know whose presents were whose and would stop peeking. On Christmas day each kid gets to guess who’s assigned to each code name and she reveals the results at the end. My husband is now 33 and the tradition is still alive! She always chooses a different theme. Sometimes they are so abstract we spend hours just trying to guess what the theme is. Last year it was types of dairy cow (Holstein, Normande, Guernsey, Belted Galloway) and the year before it was cities in Ireland (Cork, Killkenny, Limerick, Dungarvan). One year she did locations of WWII battle sites. She keeps us on our toes and I always look forward to it.

“When my (very adult now) kids were smaller, I began asking for their self-portraits as my birthday gift. Many years later, I enjoy the most incredible archive of their growing artistic skills, evolving concepts of self, and interests at the time. It’s still what I ask for, and they happily explore new media, formats and methods each year — often their portraits coordinate incredibly well with no overt communication. Can’t recommend this enough. Only wish we’d begun even earlier!”

A nice tradition I have started with my kids is giving a special book on their birthday. Instead of a greeting card, we pick a book that means something that year (a book we borrowed many times from the library, a little story about a place we travelled to, about getting a sibling, etc) and we write a note on the front page or wherever we can fit it talking about memorable things of that year and hopes for the year ahead. I plan to give my kids a book with a love note every year for as long as I live

She doesn’t know it yet, but I invest money each month for my goddaughter, in the amount of her age. $1 a month when she was 1, $2 when she turned two, ect ect. She will be 11 next month! I plan to give her the money when she graduates high school or turns 18. It is a fairly low financial commitment from me each month, but should hopefully be a very nice gift for her one day. AND it will be a great lesson in compound interest and investing in your future 😉

The night before the first day of school we eat under the dining room table instead of on top of it. My kids are little (4 and 7) so they find this exciting and a wacky way to end summer and start the year!
Video

An 18-month olds Jam

She jams to this HARD

A 16 month olds’ Jam

This tickles me to no end because its a great song but it also highlights her beautiful East-South heritage.

Jam away ….

Of Crushes and the Bible

I grew up in Church and mostly attended Christian schools right until I completed my Undergraduate studies. So obviously when I started feeling attracted to boys, the Bible somehow also came in.

I am currently doing this study of Philippians with a friend and was reminded of this guy whom I had a crush on and would frequently send him this verse:

I thank my God every time I remember you.

Philippians 1:3

As I have since learnt, it was so out of context but boy did each text message always end in this verse and how thrilled it made me (and I hope him) feel.

Greet one another with a holy kiss.

2 Corinthians 13:12

Urgggh to be young and silly again.

Lockdown Lesson 1

two laptop computers on white table

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This being Day 8902 of lockdown (not really, it’s Day 54 here) and working remotely as we take care of the 14-month old. I wanted to share the one thing I have learnt about my Mr and new work mate:

He is really passionate about his work. He is genial and well liked and regarded by his workmates. They really respect him too. He is also very serious when at work. Less positively, he hates to do any kind of project admin. Oh and his day involves being in so many meetings / calls.

It’s been interesting to see this side of him as the last time we worked so closely together was back at Varsity.

What have you learnt about yourself or your partner / housemate(s) as you worked from home? If you and your partner regularly work from home, what have you learnt from each other at this time?