WHY BOTHER TO “DIY”?: LIFE SKILLS, YOU DUMMY!

As Jane Eyre once said, “the the more unsustained I am, the more I will respect myself. I couldn’t agree more.

Charlotte Gainsbourg as Jane Eyre in 1996

Charlotte Gainsbourg as Jane Eyre in 1996

The benefits “doing it yourself” (aka DIY) go far beyond the 90s grunge/punk aesthetic (although that may have been what got me interested in the first place), it is positively life affirming.

WHY SHOULD YOU BOTHER WITH DIY? 

  1. You provide for yourself.
    As a young Gen-Y urbanite, we are constantly confronted with our lack of life skills. But being brought up in a world of coddling and convenience makes providing for ourselves all the more satisfying. Enter every young hipster male’s obsession with curing meats & fermenting or hipster female’s affection for knitting circles and terrarium maintenance.
  2. You get creative. Okay, that novel you wrote in grade 12 might not be so great after all. And your career as a freelance photographer has turned out to be more weddings and bar mitzvahs than artsy analog collages. But you gotta eat. So you might as well channel some of that pent up creative energy to a place where it will finally be appreciated…your belly.
  3. It’s meditative. Nothing says “quiet mind” like rolling out tiny balls of healthy cookie dough.
  4. It’s cheap. Nothing grinds my gears more than overpaying for granola I could have whipped up in the kitchen in 20 minutes. And the store bought stuff won’t make your kitchen smell like honey and coconut.
  5. It’s proactive. You can make decisions about what you WANT to put in your body rather than focusing on what you’d rather avoid. No dairy? Low sodium? Sugar-free? Gluten-free? Suddenly those terms melt away and all that’s left is the foods you can enjoy and the incredible things you can do with those ingredients.

All of this brings me to the main point which is…this garlic scape pesto.

Now you know who makes a good pesto? President’s Choice. (<— Canadian grocery store brand). You know who else makes even better pesto? The local, organic farmer’s co-op near my house. Vegan kale pesto in fact. It’s not even that expensive. But this week I took the time to use seasonal ingredients to make something delicious and healthy for myself. And the results were pretty perfect.

Glowing Green Garlic Scape Pesto (V) 
Adapted from here

Garlic Scape Pesto

INGREDIENTS

1 cup finely chopped garlic scapes (or 2/3 cup finely chopped chives, plus 1/3 cup finely chopped garlic)
1/2 cup olive oil
2/3 cup raw cashews
1/3 cup nutritional yeast

Salt and pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

Pulse garlic scapes, oil, nutritional yeast, and cashews in a food processor until finely chopped; season with salt and pepper.

Yield: about 1.5 cups. If you like, freeze half the batch in an ice cube tray so you can use it to add flavour to your sauces, pastas and salads all summer long

 

Wedded Blitz.

I need to preface this post by saying that I am not a romantic. Maybe I lack a lady chromosome or maybe it’s part of my job description as a self-identified hipster but the whole chocolate and flowers game has always sent me into scoff-induced seizures. I think its the elusive combination of trying too hard whilst simultaneously appearing forced and inauthentic that just…gets me every time.

I’m saying this because I want you to understand how truly shocked I was this week when not one but two weddings left me feeling genuinely moved (and dare I say a little misty blubbering like a babe).

The first was the wedding of my dearest friend Meg, who you may recognize from her guest posts on the blog.

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This wedding was lovely in so many ways but I’ll summarize by saying that it was perfect because it was perfectly them. An afternoon picnic. Games & crafts.

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A diverse group of guests.

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Sickeningly sweet and wholesome (and obviously super nerdy). I loved every minute of it.

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The next wedding I attended was for my sisters good friends Nico and Max. A 1920s theme kept things light and fun, and again suited their personalities to a T.

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The bridesmaids stole the show (my sister especially on the far right 😉 )

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But the groomsmen weren’t half bad either. Love a gentleman in suspenders.
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And once again I was left with a case of the warm fuzzies. Not because of the “romance” per se but because I value all paths to happiness, even the more shall we say traditional ones and I cant even express how inspired I feel when I see my friends out there pursuing the lives they want in a way that’s all their own. Personally, professionally, in any other way they choose.

These weddings were full of pure, unadulterated love without stress or convention. And I’m so grateful to have been a part of them.
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How do you feel about your friends getting married? Are you a sucker or a skeptic?