Food · Holidays

National Graham Cracker Day

Today is National Graham Cracker Day, the date chosen (I am guessing) because of their importance in the creation of s’mores, a traditional summertime treat.  These crackers were first eaten by the followers of a Reverend Graham, an early vegetarian and temperance leader in the 1800s. I always thought he had created the food, but apparently not, according to Wikipedia.  Nevertheless, his name will always be tied to this sweet treat.

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I am not a camping fan as I prefer all my sleeping to take place in climate controlled, bug free places, so my experience with true campfire s’mores is very limited.  I did make microwave ones for Fourth of July one year, but I decided they were a little too rich for my tastes. However, graham crackers have such a mild flavor that they make a great base for many pies and cheesecakes, which is how I normally enjoy them.  My mom used to make homemade cookies out of graham crackers, spreading them with canned frosting, which made a yummy, cheap, treat.

I have made my own version of lazy girl s’mores by spreading one graham cracker with marshmallow creme and another with Nutella and pressing them together to make a sandwich.  They were incredibly tasty but I discovered that I can’t be trusted with a jar of Nutella, so they don’t make my menu often.

My favorite way to enjoy graham cracker flavor is eating Golden Grahams cereal.  I think part of my obsession with this cereal is because I could never convince my mom to buy it when I was a kid.  Sadly, this is another food that I can’t be trusted with, so I don’t buy it often either, however, I may need to pick up a box since it is a holiday after all.

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Holidays · Minimalism

National Splurge Day

Today is National Splurge Day, a holiday to celebrate a little indulgence.  After a lifetime of too much splurging, I began the slow process of downsizing, decluttering, and minimizing where I spend money several months ago.  So far, I’m really happy with this decision. Less clutter and chaos is much better for my mental state.

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However, there are two categories where I still allow myself some splurging.  I still treat myself with things that smell good, for both body and home. Many days I go without makeup and tennis shoes are my go-to footwear, but I rarely go anywhere without applying some body spray.  I may look super casual, but I am going to smell great. I also use candles and room air fresheners. My favorites are the wallflowers from Bath and Body Works. Today I was luxuriating in my office, enjoying the smell of white caramel cold brew.  Almost makes me happy to be at work.

My other splurge, which I am indulging much less these days, is craft supplies.  Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, and the like are masters at separating me from my money and I have sadly wasted too many of my dollars on all the pretty things I find in their stores.  I’m working on some projects that I hope to eventually sell, but I am remaining focused on only buying the things I need when I need them. Of course, need in this context is not really a need, therefore craft supplies remain a splurge.

Since I’m currently well-stocked in fragrances and craft items, if I had to come up with something to splurge on today, it would be sleep.  An extra long afternoon nap would be such a treat. Maybe my boss would let me leave early if I told him it was a holiday?

Holidays

Happy World Otter Day!

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Yay, a day to celebrate one of the earth’s most entertaining little creatures, the otter!

This day was started five years ago by the International Otter Survival Fund to raise awareness about otters as endangered species.  

My son loved otters growing up and we have visited the river otters at The Houston Zoo multiple times and the sea otters at The New York Aquarium.  He had several stuffed toy versions, books and room decorations. Our best otter product was his Halloween costume. I used a generic animal costume pattern, because of course, I couldn’t find a specific otter costume.  It took some adapting, but I was thrilled with how it turned out (he even had a plastic fish).

Holidays

Holiday Nerd

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“Holiday nerd”- I think this is the perfect term to describe my complete fascination with all things holiday.  And it’s not just the major ones like Mother’s Day and Halloween that I enjoy, my calendar is full of all sort of lesser known holidays as well.  World Otter Day? Yes, it’s coming soon, Wednesday May 29. Food holidays? Yes, please! Pizza day was February 9, pretzel day was April 26 and doughnuts actually have two days for celebration, the first Friday in June and November 5.  I mean, if any food deserved two holidays, it would have to be doughnuts! Even kale gets its own holiday- the first Wednesday in October, though strangely, I keep forgetting to put that one on my calendar. Hmmm.

The really weird thing about enjoying holidays so much is that I am basically a minimalist and those two things seem to be in direct conflict with each other.  Wouldn’t someone who loves holidays have tons of decorations? Easter tea towels? Halloween pot holders? Christmas shower curtain? I’ve seen all of those, but am content to leave them in the store.  Maybe that actually helps a bit? My celebration of most holidays doesn’t involve unboxing and boxing all the things, which really isn’t much fun.

I am not sure where this obsession comes from.  When I was really small, I loved Halloween (and it’s still my favorite holiday).  I remember being a preschooler and dressing up in one of those cheap molded masks that come with the plastic cape.  It was a struggle to see out of the eye holes, but I kept watching the sky, sure that I might see real live witches flying around on brooms.  And I really loved Christmas too, just not Santa Claus (as you can see).


I think part of it is my work history.  My very first real job was working in a fabric store, then I moved down to the other end of the mall and sold shoes.  My next job was as an assistant manager for a card store (also in the mall, this was the 80s) and that was where I stayed until I went back to college. I was totally immersed in all the occasions and I guess it really imprinted on me.

I’m also the type of person who thrives in routine and absolutes.  That is probably another reason I like holidays so much. The transition from one to another is hard coded in our culture, even more so than the change in seasons.  I know that winter will transition to spring, but it is less exact. Will the winter cold linger or will it warm quickly? Will the groundhog see his shadow? Will there be a late freeze?  There is really no hard fast rule, each year is different. But I can guarantee on December 26th, before all the cookies have been eaten or the clearance bins have been emptied, that the stores will be putting up Valentine’s products.  And after that will come Easter and then Mother’s Day and so it will continue in the expected cycle. No matter what else happens in the world, I can count on that.


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