Last week, I came across the the concept of windows and mirrors and sliding glass doors as it pertains to literature. Rudine Sims Bishop pioneered the concept and wrote:
"Books are sometimes windows, offering views of worlds that may be read or imagined, familiar or strange. These windows are also sliding glass doors, and readers have only to walk through in imagination to become part of whatever world has been created or recreated by the author. When lighting conditions are just right, however, a window can also be a mirror. Literature transforms human experience and reflects it back to us, and in that reflection we can see our own lives and experiences as part of the larger human experience. Reading, then, becomes a means of self-affirmation, and readers often seek their mirrors in books." More
As a white family, many of our books are mirrors. My children see themselves and families like ours more often than not in the books we read. So it's really important to me that we find books that are windows and show families and backgrounds that are different than ours. We get a lot of our books from the library but I do keep a running list of books that I want to share as gifts for my boys, our niece, or friends that create a diverse and inclusive bookshelf.
Here's our reading list for little ones, full of book ideas for you to bring mirrors AND windows into your home.
I also wanted to share two of our favorites that are classics and belong in every home:
A Snowy Day - My boys love this book. We read it once a week or so and it's a good one because we can talk similarities (we love winter, sticks, and sledding too!) and differences (Peter is black, he lives in an apartment, etc.).
Last Stop on Market Street - This book is so beautiful. It showcases an intergenerational relationship with a young boy and his grandmother while they ride the bus together. "The urban setting is truly reflective, showing people with different skin colors, body types, abilities, ages, and classes in a natural and authentic manner." - School Library Journal
If you are wondering what these types of conversations can look like as you read with your children, this is A MUST READ: 100 Race Conscious Things to Say To Your Child to Advance Racial Justice.
Additional Book Lists
Coretta Scott King Book Award Winners
A Mighty Girl
Here Wee Read Diverse Books List
1000 Black Girl Books Resource Guide
Your Kids Aren't Too Young To Talk about Race
Instagram Accounts for more book recommendations
It’s been hard to find the words this week. My heart is hurting - a man is dead, the investigation is ongoing, the people are trying to peacefully protest, and my city is being looted and burned. It's been heavy.
Here are a few resources I've found impactful this week would like to encourage you to read this weekend:
A Guide to Allyship
5 Racist Anti-Racism Responses "Good" White Women Give to Viral Posts
Your Kids Aren't Too Young to Talk About Racism
It's Bigger than Buildings. America is Burning.
From Christian Cooper to George Floyd: A Letter to White Parents
My friend Kristin put together a list of additional resources sourced from friends on Instagram. Lots of extra reading material there if you are interested.
Stay well, friends.
Hi friends! We're kicking off a 21-day spring cleaning challenge over in the birch + pine facebook community this weekend.
Fill a 16oz glass spray bottle with the following:
Well if March taught us anything is that we must nourish our souls as well as our bodies to help us sustain in uncertain times.
This month in birch + pine, we'll be sharing a few recipes that will fuel your body and your heart, and the stories behind them; ways to face each day with joy; and other heart-filling way to nourish our souls.
I am calling an audible on our previously shared book club list. We were supposed to read All The Pretty Things by Edie Wadsworth but I know it's a heavy memoir and honestly, I need less heavy right now. So, we're going to pivot. I'm currently reading Untamed by Glennon Doyle and honestly, I can't wait to discuss it with you. So that's our read this month. I'll share a reading plan tomorrow.
Another fun thing we're doing this month is a 21-day cleaning challenge! I'm stuck at home (as most of you are too!) so it's the perfect time to kick-off our spring cleaning. We'll start Saturday!
I also have a Girls Night In event in the works so stay tuned for details on that! We'll also be continuing our virtual coffee dates on Saturday mornings as well as a wine night coming up.
And last but not least, Young Living has some amazing things happening this month with amazing promos and a revamped (and better!) compensation plan. I'm cooking up a way to put cash in your hand this month, even if you aren't a YL member! This business of mine has been life-giving in so many ways over the years and this community is everything to me.
You are in
the wilderness now,
but even here,
you are guided.
for your life
and your heavy,
-- Morgan Harper Nichols
diffusing | an autumn diffuser blend for those chilly days: 4 drops Thieves, 4 drops Idaho Balsam Fir, 2 drops Cinnamon Bark.
reading | burned through the fun rom-com, Red White and Royal Blue before coming up for air. for a quick motivational read, try Jordan Lee Dooley's Own Your Everyday.
listening | The Highwomen. On repeat. Every single day. A new supergroup we don't deserve (Brandi Carlile, Natalie Hemby, Maren Morris, and Amanda Shires) - I cannot wait for their album to come out and shower us with more goodness. Fun fact - the original songwriter of The Highwaymen song (i.e. Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, and Kris Kristofferson) helped this female supergroup rewrite the lyrics to create this haunting version. "and I'll take that ride again and again and again and again and again..."
rolling | valor roll-on. I'm facilitating a lot of classes this fall and this roller is my fave to apply before public speaking.
quote | "I can't put down my straight, white, middle-aged female lens and just snap on his lens to see what he sees, but I can ask, "Tell me more - what are you thinking?" and respect his truth as a full truth, not just an off version of my truth. This is exactly why every study we see confirms the positive correlation between inclusivity, innovation, and performance. Again, it's only when diverse perspectives are included, respected, and valued that we can start to get a full picture of the world, who we serve, what they need, and how to successfully meet people where they are." - Brene Brown, Dare to Lead
Ok. Here’s the deal. I love what I do. Do you? Because statistically, the majority of us are dissatisfied with our jobs and our workplaces. I run a successful business that fuels a part of me I don’t get anywhere else. I love sharing about natural living, clean beauty, and the power of plants. I love empowering you with the information you need to make good decisions about what we bring into our homes. I love building up a team of badass women to boldly chase their dreams. I love a compensation plan that rewards you for your hard work and doesn’t worry about office politics, how long you’ve been there or whether you’re a member of the boys club. 🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼
And while this is not my full time job YET, it will be one day. That you can count on. ✨
Are you clinging to these summer nights? It's the time of the year that I want to spend every minute outside. But each night, there is a that dreaded hour when the mosquitos come out and threaten to ruin our fun. But there's a wonderful natural option that keeps the fun going and the bugs away: DIY Insect Repellent!
The toxic bug spray is a thing of the past now that we use essential oils for just about everything! Our main summer essentials: citronella and lemongrass oils!
DIY Insect Repellent
In a 2oz glass bottle, combine:
5 drops citronella,
5 drops lemongrass,
5 drops purification, and
5 drops peppermint oils.
1/4 part witch hazel
3/4 part water, preferably distilled
*For little ones, use 2 drops each of citronella, purification, and lavender instead.
Boom! Bugs be gone! Looking forward to enjoying those summer nights while not having to be eaten alive!
If you prefer pre-made insect repellent, check out our DEET-free, plant-based repellent that protects against ticks and mosquitos! It smells amazing and works incredibly! Plus it also comes in wipe form so it's super easy when on the go or wrangling the kids!
diffusing | stay sane diffuser blend: 3 drops northern lights black spruce, 2 drops bergamot, 1 drop grapefruit, and 1 drop lime
reading | The Hate U Give Wow. This book lived up to the hype. I was gripped from the beginning and couldn't put it down. The reality of racism combined with gun violence in our country right now breaks my heart. For another critical look at racial aggression, read Citizen.
listening | Lizzo's Tiny Desk Concert Goodness, I'm just loving what Lizzo brings to the table. A fresh and realistic look at self-care, an unapologetic love for her body, and pipes to bring it all home. Her TDC was pure joy and I have it on repeat.
rolling | The calm cbd roller has been my saving grace this week. And cbd is going to be another huge game changer for me.
quote | "Just a friendly reminder: You are responsible for your actions, your reactions, and your inaction. May we go into this week dedicated enough to continuously stand up against what is wrong, strong enough to do so without bullshit but with kindness, and brave enough to speak up even if we are the only ones in the room with the courage to do so." - Cleo Wade
As we head into the weekend, I wanted to share a few of our favorite peaceful diffuser blends for your home. When you’re feeling scattered, off, or just need to wind down, pop one of these blends in the diffuser and let them take your restless heart and mind to a place of peace and relaxation.
A go-to blend for regular use. It’s calming without affecting energy levels. Perfect when you still have 293 things to get done.
A wonderful blend for those times when you’re simply in a funk. Sometimes we’re just feeling a little ‘off’ and can’t quite pinpoint why.
Are times when your mind is cluttered or you have a lot going on up there and struggle to focus or getting things accomplished? This wonderful blend is fantastic for when you’re feeling scattered.
Need a good calm down for kids? This blend is a perfect choice for the kiddos. Whether they’re ramped up from all the excitement of the day or you just need them to wind down, you’ll be amazed at how well this calming essential oil blend works. Talk about Mother Nature’s personal gift to all moms!
Tame The Dragon
This blend is specifically for supporting a woman’s total wellness during certain times…if you catch my drift. Plus, we definitely deserve to be able to put our feet up and let our essential oils for relaxation do the work.
This nighttime blend works beautifully to quiet the mind and relax your body and spirit so you can get a peaceful, restful sleep.