$10 Mood Magic

What if for $10 a month you could change your mood…at any point in time…to be more upbeat, nostalgic, joyful, comtemplative…or whatever strikes your fancy? Well, as what happiness expert Gretchen Rubin calls an “underbuyer”–someone who hates to spend money–this is pretty appealing. There’s no way I’d spend $10 a day to boost my mood, but 33c a day…I can handle that..even with my Scottish stinginess.

So what’s this magic I’m referring to? Music! Recently my husband told me that iTunes has a special feature where you can listen to any albums, any time, for any number of times, for $10 a month. You just sign up for an apple music membership, go to the iTunes store music section, and click browse. Then voilá, whatever music appeals to you that moment is yours…and I don’t mean just the 30 second soundbites, but the whole album, uninterrupted.

So I’ve been having fun indulging in highschool nostalgia like the Ally McBeal soundtrack (yup, despire my current memory-lacking mommy brain I still know all the words), college day X-files tunes, and a university favourite, the uplifting Christian singer Chris Rice, as well as classics like the greatest hits of Fleetwood Mac and eclectic things like medieval music for a feast. It’s really fun to see how the kids respond to all this new-to-them music. The way they dance, make up adventures stories and act them out to the music, and generally get down and groovy. When it’s my 15 month old bopping his head, its hilarious!

Wanna check it out? The first three months are free. And while this might seem like an ad, I’m not being paid for this endorsement…I just love it, and honestly, I could only “sell”–in the sense of promote– what I love. My husband loves this gift, which he got for the kids on his birthday (this highly impressed them), because it takes up no room. No piles of CD’s falling over and getting chewed on by the baby!

Apple Music Membership

One other cool feature…it’s so handy for homeschool music appreciation because we can listen to anything, anytime, without having to sift through tons of YouTube videos with ads. Whether it’s music for a First Nations unit study or fun bible songs to sing along with, or that “real castle music” from the middle ages, iTunes has you covered! Let the dancing begin…

“You’re pretty, Mama!” A Toddler’s Take on Beauty


“You’re pretty Mama!” My toddler said enthusiastically the other day as I stood in the kitchen in my pj’s.
“And I’m shiny!” she added beaming.
“Yes, you are.”

It’s true that she is. She shines, despite often scraggly hair and peanut butter in her face from lunch, because there is beauty within, and it can’t help but emanate from her.


It is said that the light of the eye enlightens whole body….children see beauty because they are filled with it, and they are filled with it because they can see and appreciate it.

We adults often fall into the trap of thinking that maturity means seeing primarily the darkness in the world, but often this cynicism is merely a defence mechanism. Instead of being vulnerable and enthusiastic, we remain critical and detached. We retreat into ourselves instead of connecting with the world.

The great British writer G.K. Chesterton wrote that there were two falls of man: in the first, man lost innocence by recognizing good and evil, and in the second, more recent fall, he fell again by losing sight of goodness and only seeing the evil.

The truth is that the world contains both. That reality is made up of light and darkness. That the tiniest candle burns away the darkness with an assurance of hope.


We all need to kindle this little fire inside ourselves…”Carry your candle, into the darkness, carry your candle, light up the world,” sings Chris Rice.

My little one’s candle burns brightly and joyfully. She isn’t afraid to wear all sorts of finery because she is confident of her beauty. A star isn’t afraid to sparkle, and I don’t mean an egotistical movie star, but one in the sky, which can’t help but shine.


Like a star she shares her light, and it falls upon those she sees. Recently we were playing in the grass outside the community centre where her big sisters have an art class, and we could see a class of older women dancing through the open door.


“Look at the princesses, Mama! There’s Ariel!”

Given that they were mostly older short-haired Asian women of various shapes and sizes, this was a bit of a stretch, but a lovely one. That were dancing, and that was enough to make them royally beautiful in her eyes.


She isn’t afraid to be herself, and because she accepts herself as she is, she accepts others as they are as well. Isn’t this the meaning of unconditional love?


If more of us lived this kind of love, the world would be a more beautiful place…or rather, our hearts would be open to see all the hidden beauty that is already there.

So go out and sparkle: chances are others will shine in the glow of your reflection, too.