Food is NOT Fun – Part Two

January 30, 2013 § 8 Comments

Back in August I did a post called Food is NOT Fun where I pseudo ranted about marketers and their quest to get parents believing that food must be FUN in order to get our kids to eat it.

Today I was reading at  It’s Not All Mary Poppins and Mary has an excellent post about snacking that reminded me just how strongly I feel about the whole issue.  In a response to one of her comments Mary said…

(And don’t get me started on junk food masquerading as ‘healthy’. Chocolate chip- and marshmallow-studded granola bars? Puh-lease…)

I’m so with Mary on this and well, I am going to get started because I think the fact that these products exist at all speaks volumes about how marketing affects not only our choices but how it shapes how we perceive reality and the subsequent beliefs this (false) perception encourages us to hold, especially as parents.

First and foremost, as a rule kids do not, I repeat, DO NOT need encouragement to eat.  Anyone with a toddler knows they will put pretty much anything in their mouths and try to digest it.  I remember sitting Daughter down on a patch of dirty grass in a friend’s backyard when she was no more than 10 months old.

She wriggled and jiggled atop the prickly grass and became fascinated with pulling the shoots out of the ground. She was even more intrigued by the clumps of dirt that would accompany her prey.

Where did most of her spoils end up? Along with all over hands, down her shirt and even into her diaper they ended up in her mouth. Her muddy, grass stained grin was all the evidence I needed that this child would never go hungry.

Kids will eat because they need to do so to live. They may not know much about the world around them but even babies have instincts that tell them food is a requirement for survival.  As a species, eating is one of our most basic needs and functions.

So why on earth do we need marketing executives to tell parents to tell food companies that they need to make food FUN so little Johnny or Suzie will eat it? (Please note the irony of the fact that said marketers are hired and paid by said food companies.)

Food doesn’t need to be fun, it just needs to be there. We are being conditioned to believe that our children won’t eat at all unless their food is stuffed with candy, covered in chocolate or accompanied by a sugar laden “dip” dressing.  The message being that plain cereal and carrot sticks are gross to kids and the only way they’ll eat them is to serve them with a side of crap that  is detrimental to their health.

The following image reflects another aspect of this “food is fun” trend that I found particularly amusing in its delivery…

blSimpsons
How many “snacks” are labeled as FUN SIZE?  Candy bars, frozen pizza, potato chips and cans of pop come to mind.  All crap, all just empty calories.  So we are being led to believe that the more FUN something is, the better it is.  Notice how “fun size” often means smaller but for the same price or even more?

Funny that broccoli and spinach don’t come in a fun size. Weird that a 2lb bag of oatmeal and a 4 pint bag of frozen blueberries cost the same as 2 packs of Blueberry Breakfast Tarts. Where the former can sustain a person for a couple of weeks, the latter might get them through a couple of days.

Where’s the FUN in that?

Okay, I think I got away from myself a little but I stand by my thoughts.  Perhaps I’ll expand later.

As Much As I’d Like to Cinderellaize

January 29, 2013 § 2 Comments

Sure it was tough going early on
Nothing was ever worth writing home about

Despite the countless attempts at
Soulful poetry I penned

I tried anyway to get my message out
I tried in my own way to express this faith

But my attempts at lyricizing
Fell flat in that I know nothing about music

Other than that it moves me
Other than banging out three chords

On my ancient guitar
On my faintest hope of relief

Because out loud is better than
Not at all

As much as I’d like to Cinderellaize
I’ve come to realize

That I make my own shoes
I’m in charge of my own dos

And whether or not on you’re on board
Is totally up to you

I’m headed where my three chords take me

Because out loud is better than
Not at all

Organize – 2013’s Word of the Year

January 20, 2013 § 5 Comments

Inspired by Shady Lady’s post The Big Reveal, I’m adopting Shady’s word for the year, ORGANIZE.

I took it a step further and came up with the following expansion…

Order
Refresh
Gather
Analyze
Neaten
Industrious
Zen
Energy

It seems fitting with what’s been going on around here the last couple of weeks. Between finishing up the library and the subsequent rearranging of our “stuff”, we’ve been decluttering, sorting, cleaning and purging like mad.

And it feels absolutely amazing!

It most definitely is an expenditure of energy but I’m looking at it like I would a financial investment.  Yes, it’s costing some now but later I’ll reap much more interest in the way of time to recharge and take stock without all this stuff and crap filling my home and my head.

It really is amazing how much our things can weigh us down, physically, mentally and emotionally. I suppose that’s why they call it baggage. In any case, I’m a huge proponent of if you haven’t used, worn or appreciated something in the last twelve months, you probably don’t need it.

Note how I qualified with appreciate?

Reality is we don’t really use everything we fill our homes and spaces with. I have books that I haven’t opened in decades but that doesn’t mean I’m about to toss, donate or gift them.  My photos don’t all get looked at yearly but I’m not parting with those either. I have buried treasure in the basement that I haven’t seen in five years but I know it’s there and finding it is an adventure waiting to happen.

So, for 2013 my goal is to sort through all of my 40 years of accumulated stuff and either find a place for it or gift it or donate it or throw it out…in that order.  I’m not spending another year putting off, avoiding and making excuses.

Who’s with me?

My Library

January 12, 2013 § 4 Comments

Six months ago friends of ours helped install a new hardwood floor in our fireplace room. Along with prepping and painting, the room got quite the overhaul and I set into motion plans to build myself my very own library.

You can read, and see pics, all about the transformation and what it entailed here, here, here and here.  If you’re up for it, I highly recommend getting a feel for what the room looked like before we started, the difference is pretty incredible.

Anyway, I was hoping for custom shelves but that never panned out and for Christmas I asked Hubby for these…

blLibraryBefore

I got two of each shelving unit and in one afternoon, BF and I got set to work and built all four units and set them in place. Of course that in itself was fun, especially after the second glass of wine, but not nearly as fun as doing this was…

blShelvesAfter

I still have seven shelves, that are just holding misc crap at the moment, to fill with books, craft supplies and my curios. Who knew building your own library could be so exciting. The best part is that as a result the other rooms in my house are becoming much less cluttered by sheer default.

Yesterday, BF and I went out area rug shopping for this part of the room…

blLibraryBefore2

Where the desk sits in the picture is where I’ve put a loveseat and chair and will be the room’s sitting area. The loveseat is a hand me down and though structurally sound, it’s cover is old, dirty and ratted. I will eventually be getting it recovered but for now a sheet works just fine.
blLibraryAfter1
Now I realize the rug is a little busy and girly but personally, I love it. Hubby said it looks like Disney barfed on the floor but I don’t care, it’s my room and I like it. The colours compliment the walls, the shelves and the lamps. It’s very cozy particularly in the evening when the lamps are on low.
blLibraryAfterfp

Of course, I still have some blank wall space that’s just waiting for paintings and pictures to be put up but all in all I can officially say, “Would you care to take tea in the library?”

I’m simply over the moon.  😀

Where Am I?

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