Monday, 15 July 2013

Keeping up with the Mennonites: A Life of Simple Pleasure


A Dramatic Mother’s Perspective

A while back, East End Mama was encouraging me to make a little list of what gives me pleasure. Likely because she’d edited a raft of VERY DEPRESSING blogs from me. (And she knows I’m kind of fun and jolly and wanted to bring that out, right Mama?)

Massive Pleasure Number One: The How-To Hair Girl

Here’s a very aptly titled hairstyle (and one of my faves) from HTHG:


Here’s one I did on myself today: 


This website is an antidote for us overwhelmed hair and lipstick lovers. (My hair isn’t green…though I kinda wish it was; it looks goood…gives me pleasure!) Nothing like a new “do” to put pep in my step. And it’s cheaper than my other guilty pleasure:




I know. I KNOW. My life is financial chaos. (Isn’t yours?) But J.Crew has great clothes, great sales, and a great thing going with Canada. (“Just for YOU Canada! Special Discount at Checkout!”) You can email a stylist with a name like

Leilani Bird, very Personal Stylist

who uses words like “awesome” and “if you ever feel like reaching out to me” and she’ll even waive shipping AND return fees if you push. J.Crew catalogues are inspiring and beautiful and the clothes are fricking NICE. Good fabrics, good cuts, way better than H&M mall-type stuff. Oh Topshop, you make me sad with all of your polyester elasticene flim-flam.

Plus I am obsessed with J.Crew creative director Jenna Lyons: Mother of a three-ish-year-old, millionaire, divorcee, currently rumoured to be a lesbian, as tall as me, gorgeous, AND my age — 44! Look at Her! I LOVE her.


 Except when she talks. Avoid YouTube videos of Jenna talking; it ruins it.

(Look! That’s a cigarette is her hand! Plus, her toddler son picks out which shoes she’s going to wear each day and she pulls together an outfit based on his choice!)

But I am bad and guilty (who cares!). I do the email sign up thing with J.Crew so I am inundated with sales temptation. This week they are doing a sale per day: “Seven Deadly Sales,” they should call it. Good thing I’m slow on the internet shopping trigger — I really agonize over it. But not today! I bought…

this! I thought I’d sworn off horizontal stripes for now, but isn’t it cute and versatile? And 40% off in addition to the already on-sale price! Have I mentioned J.Crew has a Tall section? Do I sound excited? I am six feet tall! It’s challenging! But not when I shop at J.Crew. They carry clothes true to size, which means when I order a 16 (for my huge post-nursing bust), I actually have to do a little altering. To make the garment SMALLER. Hello! GREAT! Which brings me to my next guilty pleasure:

My Grandma’s Singer Sewing Machine


 Which is a little bit of hard work, truth be told, but what a pleasure to learn how to alter my clothes. I haven’t yet found a great how-to sewing site, but this lady really gets me excited:

Massive Pleasure Number Four

Her name is Lizzie Lenard, she has taught me how to thread and wind the bobbin on my old Singer, and if you watch the video for just two seconds you’ll get to hear the prissiest English sewing lady voice ever, and, to make it even more pleasurable, she sounds like she’s recorded her voice for the YouTube video using an old phonograph!

For EXTRA pleasure, skip to the end (7mins 35 secs) to hear her say, “Oh Blinking! Kicked the tripod!”

Hence ending her nearly super-perfect sewing video in a total disaster.

Oh Blinking!

(Maybe I should try that rather than the “F” word in front of my kid.)

Okay, my next guilty pleasure: The MCC Thrift

Sigh.

You may be reminded of a post I wrote in which I admitted peeing into my daughter’s diaper in the parking lot. (Don’t worry; she wasn’t wearing it at the time. I was really well and truly sleep deprived is my only defence, and I really really had to go.)

What I love about Mennonite thrifting:

This: 


and this: 

MCC has a great book section, vintage and otherwise. I found this last week and it is the only book I’ve actually read since having a baby. Because really, as you all might have guessed by now, I wish more than anything that I was a pioneer. I know it’s really obvious. Which brings me to my next guilty pleasure:

Thinking up Names for My Own Little Vintage Chic Business!

“Harness in the Parlour”
If that ain’t a great store name, then what is? If that ain’t a great LIFE, then what is?

And finally. After a long hard day of pleasure, I pick up the Guppins from part-time daycare at the best daycare ever, and indulge her little pleasure:

Playing with kids at the playground. There she is. Keeping up with the Mennonites. In a bikini. Those children’s faces? Now that’s the good stuff.

Life can be so simple! And pleasurable!

Drama Mama


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