Musings, Natural Living

Night at the museum

January, despite the initial thrill of it being a new year! and the excitement of tackling all those bright and shiny resolutions!, can devolve quite quickly into a dreary, blah sort of month, especially when contrasted to the glitz and glam of December.

Thus, for me, January has typically been a puttering sort of month. I get rid of excess clothes, toys, and clutter. I write thank you notes. I rearrange furniture and pack away Christmas. It’s a month of preparing, laying the way for the rest of the year to come.

Buuut early on this week, it hit. The doldrums. I was bored, my hair felt frumpy, and I felt itchy – both literally and figuratively. The dry weather was sucking every last ounce of moisture from my skin and I just wanted to do something. So I did!

First, I tackled the dry skin. For anyone else suffering like I have been, here’s your prescription:

1. Bring as much moisture as you can into your home: this means plants, stovetop cooking, bowls of water by heat registers, and using indoor drying racks instead of dryers.

2. Bring as much moisture into your body as you can. This means drinking lots of water, reducing dry foods and caffeinated drinks, and taking a supplement like Udo’s oil to nourish skin from the inside out (seriously it’s crazy the difference you can feel in your skin after a week or two)

3. Next: Shower protocol. Do not shower every day. It’s just too much. When you do shower (I’m an every-other-day kind of lady) do a scrub of sugar and coconut oil, or sugar and olive oil. This sloughs off any dead skin and makes your body better equipped to absorb moisture.

Then, as soon as you get out of the shower, stand in your steamy bathroom and give yourself a full body massage with coconut oil. This feels amazing and you will look like a Grecian goddess all slicked up and gleaming. Continue the massage until your skin won’t accept any more oil, towel off the excess and dress as normal.

4. Use my homemade lotion to follow up for any stubbornly dry spots and on non-shower days. Your skin will be approximately 800% less parched and you can thank me in the comments. (I also enjoy gifts of fine cheeses and nice linen)

Next, I scheduled a hair appointment. Then I promptly missed the hair appointment because Olive (along with the rest of her class, it seemed) was having a tough time going back to preschool after the winter break. But nevermind! I DID it, is the important bit, and I’ll do it AGAIN another day.

Then! Last night we headed out for an evening on the town. The first Thursday of every month is free night at the Glenbow museum here in Calgary. So, we got moderately dressed up and braved the -17 degree temperatures for a few hours of wandering around gawking at art, history, and our fellow museum goers, before adjourning for a drink at a sweet hole-in-the-wall lounge nearby.

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(I didn’t take this picture, I forgot to take out the camera during this Paul Hardy exhibit, but I wish I had! I would totally wear this. OK, maybe not the headgear. I don’t look great in helmets. )


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When I was travelling I could spend whole days at art galleries and museums. Walking around, sitting in front of massive paintings and working over them with my eyes, bit by bit. Eating lunch in the cafe while everything sunk into my mind, and then going back for more.

The small town I lived in had an art gallery that was, inexplicably, filled with artwork featuring mostly eagles – eagle paintings, sculptures, photographs (and occasionally some bears, too). When I moved to Edmonton I was so overjoyed to be back in a city that had art. Real art! (Nothing against eagles, but a girl can only take so much). I used to load Olive into the stroller and go walk around the art gallery, she’d sit there and babble at the paintings and look at the colours.

It’s been a while since I spent a whole evening surrounded by art – and even longer since I did it sans toddler. We were able to take our time, breeze past the crap that didn’t interest us, and pause to drink in what did.

I felt fed after I left. Filled up. It was perfect.

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2 Comments

  • Reply Maddie January 9, 2016 at 2:28 AM

    Hi there. Great suggestions. I have used many of those too for my hideously dry skin (apparently I have ichthyosis). The most life changing thing for my skin was getting a shower filter. It saved me from wanting to rip my skin off. I also have found dry body brushing amazing and alfalfa (taken as a supplement).

  • Reply Sara January 13, 2016 at 10:15 AM

    Is that a bear made entirely of rosettes? I approve.

    January is often a hard month for me. It always feels like a cabin fever-y letdown after all the holiday traveling and planning. I admire your initiative in going to a museum instead of watching weird Netflix offerings at 1 a.m. (which I’ve heard SOME people do … not me, of course).

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