Monthly Archives: February 2010

Brands

The other day my husband brought up the topic of branding.  Some people  think we ought to do away with the brand.  You know, instead of Nike sneakers we just have sneakers.  This got me thinking.  Why are brands important?  And what makes one brand better than another?

I am a generic shopper most of the time.  I go to King Soopers and buy generic food.  But it isn’t just generic food–it is the Kroger BRAND.  And there are always things that I buy which cost more but due to the brand that produces it, it is worth the extra cash. (Right now I am thinking about Ghirardelli brownie mixes–yum!)  When I shop for clothes I tend to go to Ross and shop the lesser known brands.  BUT if I want a good pair of running shoes I am going to buy Nike, Reebok,  or New Balance.  Why?  Because they are good brands–they specialize in running shoes and athletic gear.  They have worked years to become the best and they deserve to put their brand on their product and say “yes, we produced this fine product.”  They may be expensive but they also deserve to get reimbursed for their years and years of work to become the top brand in their line of work.

Now I’m not saying I would dress my kids in Calvin Klein and myself in Tommy clothes just so we look important or  fancy.  I don’t think the brand makes the person but I do think the brand determines the quality.

When you talk about doing away with branding, you are talking about making all products equal, all companies equal and in essence all people equal.  Sounds pretty communistic to me, how about you?  Now what really caught my interest on this topic are some little rag rugs we have in our bathrooms they have this large tag (sticking out tastelessly because I haven’t cut it off yet) that reads REstyle–a Target brand.  But I have owned rag rugs in the past that did not come with a tag–well in a way they did.  They were hand made by some little German lady that sold them at a open air market in Europe.  Now that was the biggest brand anyone could put on a product–a face and a personal touch.  When you look at something someone handmade you don’t need to see a brand because you picture their face.  It is personal.  And the object itself becomes personal.

But not much is handmade these days.  In fact, unless you get a knitted baby gift, nothing is really handmade anymore.  But the brand on a product is like seeing the creator of the product.  It says that this company’s designers designed this, this company’s marketing team marketed this, this company’s factory workers made  this.  It does in a way make it personal.  There are people behind the brand.

Now how would people feel if nothing had a brand?  We would walk into a huge brandless warehouse to find brandless products and walk out with what we need.  I believe it would lessen the value of everything in that building.  Why should you value something that has not connection to a person?  Of course this sort of event would also most likely entail the government setting up the brandless warehouses to send their “equal” people to shop… See? It isn’t possible without a communistic society.  Point made.  Despite how some people despise paying for brand names it is vital to our individualistic society.  Pay for that brand once in a while–the company worked long and hard to become one of the best.

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Home Management and Organization GOALS

Ok so I’ve dedicated a page of my blog to home management and home organization but I emphasize that these are GOALS.  See, I’d love to say that I am the most organized wife, mother and homemaker but well, let’s face it, I’m not.

No way, no how. Uh uh.

So yes, while I’d love to have a blog where I can arrogantly tell the world that I know all the little tricks to a beautiful house I can’t.

As I come up with various ways to make our house a viable living space I will be sharing them with you on this page.  We will be discovering the beauty of an organized house and lifestyle together.

Feel free to leave your own comments and ideas as well.

Sadly Sterile

It has been revealed to me what a sterile world we live in.  We might as well live in white boxes painted with purell.  Our children go from home to school to home to video games to bed and so on while in between they eat perfectly sterile looking food and wash their hands to sterile perfection.  We are raising a generation of anxious germaphobic people who are afraid to leave their houses in the case of contracting some sort of illness.  I believe fear in general is the basis of this condition. Our children are not allowed to walk down the street to their friends house alone for fear of coming in contact with an evil stranger.  They are also forbidden from climbing trees, playing in creeks, running through the fields  or spashing in mud puddles  for other obvious germophobic anxiety ridden reasons.  No, this generation is trapped in the box of “perfect” society where everything must be disinfected, purified, simplified to the point of no imagination.

What interests me the most is how this has caused a dramatic loss of tradition.  Generation of generations past used to tell their grandchildren about the fun they had playing with chickens, exploring creekbeds and riding their bikes to the friend on the other end town.  It used to be that we spent time practicing certain traditions around certain holidays with certain family members.  Now we spend time alone reading internet blogs in our green (sterile) lofts.

When my child was a toddler I was studying human development and came to realize how many children my son’s age were being diagnosed with autism and sensory processing disorder–its rather phenominal.  Some say its that the symptoms for the disorders have been expanded which in part is true.  But I have a different idea.  As I began raising my son in the same sterile manner that most modern parents are following, I realized that something was wrong.  There was no introduction in infancy through later childhood to certain things.  Dirt, a tactile and healthy thing is now forbidden.  When are babies allowed to rub their hands along tree trunks?  When are children allowed to let their feet feel the cool stream run over them, under them, around them?  Without natural (normal) introductions to healthy stimuli a human is naturally going to lack the sensory ability to partake in such senses and therefore  be more sensitive to such things.  What about smells?  Are children now raised to think that clorox wipes and hand sanitizer among other things are healthy?  What about flowers? Trees? Grass?  Dirt itself?  Or even manuar?  Sweat?  These are things that allow for a healthy “sensory diet.”  How about pain?  Our children are babied now days.  When they fall down they are babied and disifected to prevent such horrors as a staff infection.  When will a child learn to endure pain?  Falling and scraping a knee (while climbing a tree) merely teaches them that pain does not kill–only makes you stronger.  Our children aren’t spanked and many not effectively disciplined at all.  They are confused between right and wrong, good and bad.  Those things don’t exsist within their box. (A different topic entirely)

Can we raise our children to appreciate beauty if we don’t let them partake in it?  Sound.  Music.  How many children do you know that can walk outside and appreciate the music of the wind in the trees?  They must be taught and exposed to such things.  Of course this also demands that we have a less busy schedule.  One where we can teach our children that is it ok to stop and relax and enjoy the moment–to be present in who they are, in where they are.

Something that made my mind fly in this direction was when I was sitting in church one day.  In the orthodox church, all the senses are explored.  The gold and bright colors, the incense, the music–everything penitrates deeply coming straight from hundreds of years ago, passed down by tradition.  They are all strong senses.  And in this environment they all point to holiness–to God.  But isn’t that true of the rest of the world?  Our being here is a gift.  Shouldn’t we at least be thankful enough to partake of what we are given?  To stop and smell the roses so to speak?  Slow down, get your hands a little dirty, your feet a little wet and enjoy life outside of that purell coated lifestyle.

Ingenuity Comes From Lack

Ingenuity only comes from lack of things–or so I’ve come to learn.  The day we took the majority of  our son’s toys away (long story) was the day he became creative and resourceful. He started making shields out of cardboard, swords out of paper towel rolls, he colored and started drawing people when previously he only drew lines.

Within a month of removing his numerous plastic and unimaginative items, he began to READ!  Now at only 5 years old, he can pass almost every 3-4 letter word spelling bee I give him.  (He even spelled ‘shadow’ today–super proud mama.)

He had been swallowed whole by a world of materialism.  The numerous plastic, battery operated toys had not given him joy and entertainment, they stole his imagination, his childish light and replaced it with a collection of things.  Oh how that changed when we dug him out of his plastic pile.  He is now a knight fighting goblins with a cardboard shield and wooden sword.  He makes up his own card games.  He tells stories of his adventures.

And now that his sister is born, he creates interesting toys for her to play with.  Out of almost nothing!  When she was a newborn, her favorite thing to look at was a strip of pompoms her brother had stuck on masking tape for her!  I love watching this side develop for my son. It makes me more apt to not collect worthless items.  My theme for entertaining my children now is “what can we do ourselves to create fun?”  Not only does this attitude save money and space but it grows a whole new imagination within my child.   Love it!

I will be updating ideas that we come up with to create fun toys in future blogs.

My Etsy Shop

http://www.enchantedtextiles.etsy.com

What’s It All About?

I love to write and I love to think so get ready for many random thoughts, revelations and ideas as you explore my blog.

I am a wife to the most wonderful man and a stay at home mom to two beautiful children: Weasley( my six year old Pokemon loving, red headed ball of fire boyo), and Wiggles (my adorable, very confident toddler girl).

Each moment is enchanting as I watch my family learn and grow. My husband and I are not observers to our children’s lives–we are partakers. We learn and grow as rapidly as they do. They teach us as many things as we teach them. Parenting is not a stagnant role it is actively changing my view of life, love, and God.

In this blog, I will share home making ideas such as home schooling, home organization and meal planning, parenting tips and tools (as I try them out on my kids), photography and other creative endeavors, and blog entries on simplifying life.

Blog Away

Finally, after about two years of telling myself I should start blogging,  well, here I go…..!