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Tea, please. Sharing London moments.

31124295_1663502633696996_7626449985852145664_oThis Sunday, I spent some time trying out a new Oatmeal Chocolate Chip muffin recipe. The pe31117771_1663441380369788_5571328239458058240_orfect pairing with a cup of English Breakfast Tea, which I bought on my latest trip to London earlier this month. Stepping off the London Eye, I had the mad urge to enter the Gift shop, where I bought my latest, cutest new tea towel. I absolutely adore it. Do you get the idea that I happen to love all things tea?31190089_1663441463703113_2971755281614110720_o

After an eventful morning of trying to get a bird out of my house, and not having it murdered by my cat, I started in on the muffins.

I am impressed that the muffins turned out well, as I made them in the larger pan. 400c for 15mins worked in my favour. Luck was on my side.

 

Here’s what you need for the muffins:

a Splash whole bunch of Vanilla extract

a sprinkle of Epicure Apple Pie spice, if you have it. You will not regret it. 

2 2/3 cups of flour

1 1/2 cups of Oats

1/2 cup of brown sugar

4 teaspoons of baking powder

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1/2 cup of melted butter

2 eggs, beaten

1 1/2 cups of milk

1 cup of Chocolate Chips

 

Preheat your oven to 400. Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Blend the wet ingredients together in a separate bowl. Mix it all together and… viola! You have yourself some muffins. Bake them for around 15 minutes at 40030709228_1660676363979623_3759280377634488320_o

There you have it: breakfast sorted for this week.  I am trying to gradually add more fibre (and solid foods, lets face it, after that brutal bout of illness last week) back into my diet this week. Now, I think I’ll pour myself a cup of English Breakfast and enjoy a muffin…or two… as I finalize my school report cards. I can’t wait to get back to work tomorrow. I miss my friends there!

Oh, and the cat? Passed out from the Excitement.

Until next time, I leave you with some photogenic memories of London.

 

 

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Wandering the Ruins (Rome 2018)

dark_logo_transparent_backgroundGrowing up, Italy and Greece were on my travel bucket list. I feel so grateful to have experienced one of them recently. Rome will be a place that I hope to visit again in the future.

As I sip my morning coffee, with the sun shining through my window, I think back on a remarkable journey to the Roman Colosseum and Forum. The forum, where the likes of Julius Caesar, Marc Antony, and Marcus Brutus, all led their people in speeches, was, even in the blazing heat, a remarkable sight to behold. Standing there, I could almost hear the roar of that past Roman crowd, as Marc Antony gave his “honourable men” speech.

Having taught the play by William Shakespeare, the trip certainly took on a memorable teaching moment for myself, where history and education came alive for me. Here are a few photographs to share my journey with you:

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“Home for a Bunny”: A Picture Book Reading (birth to 5 years) by Sandra Harnum

I have chosen to share “Home for a Bunny” by Margret Wise Brown for a Picture Book Reading geared towards Children ages 0-5 years old. For a larger story-time session, I would recommend the big book for children’s librarians to use. That way, children can see the wonderful illustrations by Garth Williams even more clearly. The book’s intended audience is children, ages 3-5 years old. However, the board book version (which I will be reading for a public library story time) is great for babies and toddlers, 0-3 years old, as they learn to “interact” with books. “Home for a Bunny” showcases a classic example of how a book can be shared by children (as its board book form) before they know how to read and, then when they are older and beginning to read, they are able to turn the pages in a more simple way. In particular, older children, whom are beginning to read, will enjoy the book’s simplistic plot and repetition as well as the animal characters (the bunnies, the robins, the frog, and the groundhog).

Firstly, the “Home for a Bunny”’s simplistic plot will entertain children as well as teach them how to identify theme and the simple elements of plot (beginning, middle and ending). As they mature into more advanced readers, children will be better prepared to identify elements of the plot diagram (exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution) when they have first interacted with stories, such as “Home for a Bunny,” which teaches them the importance of plot and setting.

Secondly, the “Home for a Bunny” repetition of key lines and phrases (i.e., “where would a bunny find a home?”) allows for easier reading for emergent readers as well as the story’s listeners whom will follow along and even participate with the popular phrase, “where would a bunny find a home?” The simplistic phrase allows enabling adults to open a dialogue with children, expanding the child’s imagination, about different homes suitable for different animals as well as different types of animals that are found around the world, both in the sea and on the land. The book has a simplistic plot, as well as only a few characters, that will not confuse children.

Lastly, the “Home for a Bunny” characters teach children about the different kinds of animals in the “wild,” as well as how each animal has a different home setting, where they are most comfortable. In addition, with just a small selection of animals, when reading the story, early readers are able to learn and remember these diverse characters, rather than being overwhelmed by numerous characters. This helps children to quickly identify how characters interact with other characters as well as help children identify how the characters may be feeling (i.e. the groundhog’s “you cannot come in my log” reply to the bunny).

“Home for a Bunny” would be well suitable for a bedtime story. With enough light-hearted entertainment, parents (or children) can practice using expressions and voices and even read together. Interestingly, “a few months ago, Pie Corbett opened a library at Springhill Primary School. Staff, and most of the children, wore pyjamas. Hot Chocolate and marshmallows were served. Parents came and Pie told stories.

 

The Message: the bedtime book is a good thing.

 

The last time Pie Corbett asked a class of children how many of them had a story at bedtime, “only three hands went up—they were second grade children!” (Corbett, 2008, p. 107). “Home for a Bunny” is a great book for parents and librarians to share with children as well as older children to share with younger children (including babies and toddlers).

 

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Mr. Floppy always accompanies me to the library whenever I read the book to young Children. The children love to pet the bunny after story time!

 

According to Pie Corbett (2008), “it is useful to hold sessions where ‘how to share a story’ is discussed as well as different age groups where we can introduce parents [and guardians] to different books that are relevant to their children.” 

 

Happy Reading! 

 

Bibliography

Brown, M. W. (2012). Home for a Bunny. Golden Books.

Corbett, P. (2008). Jumpstart! Story Making: Games and Activities for Ages 7-12.

Routledge.

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Tomorrow’s Leaders: An informal Observation of Children becoming Readers at Stoney Creek Public Library

Margaret Fuller once said, “today a reader, tomorrow a leader.”

During my informal observation study, I wanted to discover how children became readers. Reading “Becoming a Reader” by Lynne (E.F.) McKechnie in Reading Matters: What the Research Reveals About Reading, Libraries, and Community by Catherine Ross, Lynne (E.F.) McKechnie and Paulette M. Rothbauer, I hoped to apply my gained knowledge by observing the “tips” from the reading in action.

On a chilly Wednesday morning, I took a taxi from my (then) home at London Hall and visited the children’s section at Stoney Creek Library. At 10am, I arrived just in time for “Books for Babies” which was happening in the other room. I introduced myself to the librarian at the desk, brought my assignment with me, and “camouflaged” myself at one of the tables near the children’s area as well as blended into the crowd by searching for books in relation to my fairy tale analysis assignment. Around 10:38am, parents were starting to arrive and sit chatting with other guardians. Children were gathered around the train set, playing and conversing. I observed numerous interesting points which showed me how children become readers, such as “having ready access to reading materials” as well as “having both the space and time for shared and individual reading” (McKechnie, 2006, p.75.). In my informal observation report, using my observations as a guideline, I will respond to what libraries can do to foster early reading, what parents can do to foster early reading as well as some other factors which foster early reading.

Firstly, in order to foster early reading, there are numerous ways which Libraries can help. I chose Stoney Creek Library because, given that there was the YMCA attached, I felt there would be numerous families there. I was pleasantly surprised to see numerous families interacting within the library; however, I have to say that I was a bit disappointed with the library itself. While the location was ideal, the library was small and its collection was quite small as well. Although it was interesting to see a train set in the middle of the reading area, there was hardly any room for parents and children to sit and read with one another. In fact, most of the parents were squeezed over in the corner somewhat away from the children’s centre. However, an interesting point in the library landscape was the “Winter Wonderland” theme. Children write the name of a book that they read on a snowflake and display the snowflakes all over the library. This is a great way to promote the “library as place;” a place where children take ownership over the books that they have read.

Secondly, during my visit at the Stoney Creek branch, I also observed numerous things which parents can do to help children become readers as well. For example, one little girl wandered through the bookshelf as her mother looked on from the sidelines. When she found an appropriate book, the mother sat down with the little girl and began to read to her. According to Mckechnie (2006), the importance of hearing stories is essential because “it helps children learn how narratives work; it makes difficult materials accessible; it encourages children to read a text themselves and it is a shared, social bonding experience” (p. 73). In the mother and daughter’s case, this statement is quite true because, after they read the story together, the little girl wandered off, chose other books by herself, and sat down to individually read them. The mother watched, again from the sidelines, as her daughter found her own way through the book-stacks. Given the small area of the Children’s section, there is one positive thing: parents can safely watch their children from the distance while their children search for books on their own. This becomes important because children then have “free choice of materials so that the stories are enjoyable and the experience is pleasurable” (McKechnie, 2006, p. 75).

Interestingly, a “father” (with a Starbucks coffee in one hand) came into the library pushing a stroller along with a little boy around 3 years old walking beside him. The family wandered around the stacks while the father gave his son encouraging talks about which books to read. Like the mother who earlier read to their child, the father bent down and “helped” his little boy how to read while a baby slept in the stroller. From my reading of the “Becoming a Reader” article which states: “reading aloud to children helps them see the relationship between print and speech. It gives them a sense of stories and how they work. Through being read to children learn that book language differs from conversational language” (Mckechnie, 2006, p. 73), the father was doing a great thing by having an opportunity to do “emergent story readings” with his son. The focus here was the son was reading on his own but, if he got stuck on a word, his father was there to help.

In contrast, another “father” came into the library, after dropping his kids off near the train set in the Children’s section, and sat down at the table near me. It appears he was working as he was talking quite loudly on his cell phone about Adobe the entire time. When he sat down, he took out his laptop and began working away with the person on the phone. Although he was clearly busy, I would have liked to see more interaction between him and his children while they were at the library. Although a stark reality for most “working at home” parents, it would be beneficial for the father to be more “part of a ‘readerly family’ in which parents, siblings, and extended family act as role models” (Mckechnie, 2006, p.75).

Lastly, there are numerous other factors involved which help children become readers, such as having “access to an enabling adult.” My favourite observation of the day at Stoney Creek Library was when a Grandmother came with her five year old grandson and made their way to the Circulation Desk. The little boy was browsing around while waiting for the librarian and started to wander off when the grandmother said, “[Max], you need to bring the card over here, please!” Max was so excited and exclaimed “Gram, can I do it!?” and so he proceeded to check out his books, with the help of the librarian and his grandmother. He wanted full charge of carrying his books as well. The Grandmother appeared to accept his independence and even encouraged it. This was a great moment to observe because the child clearly has “access to an enabling adult” as well as “having a sense that reading is a valuable activity” (McKechnie, 2006, p. 75).

When leaving the Stoney Creek Library, I noticed a man (who was perhaps a new Canadian), accompanied by his young son, getting help from the librarian on how to use the scanner and printer while he was working at the general computer station. His son never left his side for a moment and, after they were finished, both father and son wandered over to the children’s section together. That little boy, like the other children mentioned in this report, will certainly be one of tomorrow’s bright leaders. Working together, libraries, parents, and other enabling adults can do amazing things for our children.

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Consulted Works:

Mckechnie, L. (E.F.). (2006). 2.2 Becoming a Reader, pp. 69-81. In Ross, C. S., McKechnie, L. (E.F.), & Rothbauer, P. M. Reading Matters: What the Research Reveals about Reading, Libraries, and Community. Westport, CN: Libraries Unlimited.

Butler, D., & Clay, M. (1979). Reading Begins at Home: Preparing Children for Reading Before They Go to School. Heinemann Educational Books, Inc., 4 Front St., Exeter, NH 03833.

Chambers, A. (1991). The reading environment: How adults help children enjoy books. Stroud, England: Thimble Press.

Cullinan, B. E. (2000). Read to me: Raising kids who love to read. New York: Scholastic.

Fox, M. (2001). Reading Magic: Why Reading Aloud to Our Children will Change their Lives Forever. San Diego, CA: Harvest Original/Harcourt.

Lancy, D. F. (1994). “The Conditions That Support Emergent Literacy.” In Children’s Emergent Literacy: From Research to Practice, 1-20. Westport, CT: Praeger.

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“Where’s Prince Charming?” : An in-depth look at Snow White & the Seven Dwarves.

Introduction

Feminism is “the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. It is the theory of political, economic and social equality of the sexes” (Cole, 2015, p.1). In Opie’s “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”, the character of Snow White is portrayed as an innocent, obedient little girl whereas numerous later feminist versions of the story portray the character of Snow White as a fiery, independent young girl who takes charge of her own story while taking on the Queen and/or the dwarves. For example, Snow White in ABC’s “Once Upon a Time” television series as well as Snow White in “Snow White Wins Case in High Court” story are strong, independent females who fight for their beliefs, among other versions of the Snow White characters that will be discussed further in this research paper.

This research essay will present a side-by-side comparative study, along with a review of the literature, between the original story of “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” and its feminist retellings (such as “Snow White wins Case at High Court” and “Tale of the Apple”) in order to showcase how the character of Snow White is portrayed in a strong female role in relation to theme, events, setting, role and personalities of the characters, language and style between the various “Snow White” versions.

Review of the Literature

The feminist fairy-tale debate is not new to the modern age. Since the 1970s, scholars have argued that fairy tales have a direct effect on women’s life and dreams, presenting “romantic paradigms that profoundly influence women’s fanatics and the subconscious scenarios for their real lives” (Wanning Harries, 2004, p. 98). On the other hand, feminist fairy tale critics would have none of this standpoint. These critics argued that most popular fairy tales, like “Snow White,” had “heroines who were passive, apparently dead or sleepwalking, dependant on the arrival of the prince for any entry into real life” (Wanning Harries, 2004, p. 99). Interestingly, according to Wanning Harries (2004), children are able to “manipulate fairy tale stories with the same ease and lack of inhabitation they display in playing with pieces of cloth and building blocks” (p. 101). Thus, feminists are mainly concerned with the “brainwashing” of young girls into the “staying at home” gender role and the social construct of remaining “innocent and safe” while depending on their “princes,” or male figures in their lives, rather than venturing outside the home and working towards self independence. In fact, gender equality is the most important standpoint of feminism: the equality of both men and women without the barrier of definitive gender roles or social norms. Nevertheless, views differ about whether traditional fairy tales, as part of children’s literature, can and should be modified to protect children. According to Bolaki (2010), “it is dangerous to tamper with the genre’s emphasis on natural consequences for behaviour because these simplifications may have negative repercussions on the normal maturation process of children, on whom fairy tales are influential” (p. 182).

Another important issue raised by feminists is emerging politics in the fairy tale genre, which is “dedicated to the pleasure principle” in Angela Carter’s words, without destroying its magic. After all, magic is necessary not only for children, but adults too (Bolaki, 2010, p. 183). In Angela Carter’s “Snow Child,” “Snow White” is created out of the Count’s wish. A product of a male fantasy, Snow White is portrayed as the “perfect women,” both pure and passionate, as the white and red colors in her description suggest. Likewise, the Countess is also the product of the count’s desire, but she is aware that a younger woman can replace her at any time she stops being her husband’s object of desire. This is why the Countess immediately perceives the child, Snow White, to be a threat to her safety as the most important woman in the Count’s life. Angela Carter makes it obvious when she shows the Count pitting “his women” against one another in the tale (Bolaki, 2010, p.187). This is likely the reason for resentment of the tale from feminists. Instead of a male character manipulating a female character, feminist retellings have female characters resistant to such manipulation from male characters. Nonetheless, fairy tales are still a branch of children’s materials and merit consideration as such. However, this assumption does not automatically lower one’s expectations of their art: fairy tales must be evaluated like any other art or literature in terms of experience that they provide for both children and adults alike, male or female (Thomas, 1989, p. 270). The different versions of such fairy tales, like “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” can be further compared to feminist retellings on a basis of theme, setting, role and personalities of its characters, and language and style of the version itself.

Theme

The main difference in theme, when it comes to Opie’s “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” and various feminist retellings of the story, is that Snow White becomes a strong independent heroine in charge of her own story, rather than waiting for her “prince in shining armour” to come save her. One feminist version of “Snow White,” in The Merseyside Fairy Story Collective, showcases Snow White as the heroine of her own destiny; like numerous other feminist retellings, she takes charge of her own destiny and defeats the evil found in her world on her own terms.

For instance, when the Queen’s men ordered her to return to the Queen’s palace, after trying to kill Snow White and the Dwarves by sealing the entrance to their mine, Snow White states: “I will not go back to the castle and we will send no more diamonds to the Queen. Everyone will keep the things they make and send nothing to the Queen” (Zipes, 2014, p. 79). Whereas in the Disney’s version, Snow White complies with her orders from male figures and she remains within the homestead. According to Zipes (2012), in the Disney version, “the thematic emphasis on cleanliness, control, and organized industry reinforces the technics of the film: the clean frames with attention paid to every detail, the precise drawing and manipulation of the characters as real people, and the careful plotting of the events that focus on salvation through the male hero” (p. 207). This contrasts with the feminist retelling, as the stories are harsh and jagged, presenting a jagged view of life’s hardships.

Setting

Sometimes, the feminine world defends and establishes itself in its own right by creating a “feminine paradise.” You can see it in families where the mother and daughter get together and play among themselves, scorning the father and the brother a little, and perhaps saying that men must get out of the kitchen (Franz, 1993, p. 52). These women are a fabrication of long generated societal norms, which separate men and women, and give them gender roles while indirectly causing gender inequality. However, in today’s society, there becomes a push for gender equality, which is perhaps why modern retellings of “Snow White” have a setting where both men and women are treated equal, such as in “Snow White Wins Case in High Court” where the story takes place in a courtroom. “Snow White Wins Case in Court” has a fitting setting for the modern stage of storytelling. Taking place in a courtroom, the one place where both sides are heard equally is in turn the same as feminist today writing their stories on the writers’ platform alongside their male counterparts. They want the opportunity to tell their story in their way. There must be a common ground reached.

According to M. Franz (1993), when describing the story “Snow White and Rose Red,” he writes: “it is great thing for a woman not to be masculine, she can be too one-sidedly feminine, and then she is out of life and will not be able to cope with it. The positively only feminine world, where everything is so gentle and roses and nobody quarrels, need a world with [the character like the bear]” (pp. 56-57). So the problem lies in integrating the masculine side into the feminine side world without going an overly aggressive step too far. A woman who wakes up after being too passive, too feminine, faces the possibility of being too aggressive. There needs to be a progress of assertiveness over aggressiveness (Franz, 1993, p. 57). Furthermore, in stories such as “Snow White Wins Case in High Court,” it is important to remember that the stronger role, which the woman takes, the more offended the male characters may become. It is important to have the right amount of assertiveness, as opposed to aggressiveness, within the “Snow White” character (Franz, 1993, p. 53). Nonetheless, the courtroom setting allows each side to be equally heard. In contrast, in the original story of “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”, the primary setting is a house. This showcases the gender norm of the time with a house being a place where good girls remained.

In Sandra Gilbert and Susan Garber’s analysis, in their book The Madwoman in the Attic, the Disney film follows the classic sexist narrative about the framing of women’s lives through male discourse. No matter what they do, in the stories, women cannot chart their own lives without the male manipulation and intervention. In the Disney film, the prince plays a framing role because he is introduced at the beginning while Snow White is singing “I’m Wishing for the One I Love to Find Me Today” (Zipes, 2012, p. 204). This teaches young girls that they cannot be truly happy until they find a prince to love. In addition, the Prince appears at the end of the film as the fulfilment of Snow White’s dream. Furthermore, in the Disney films, Snow White arrives and notices that the house is dirty. So, she persuades the animals to help her make the cottage tidy so that the dwarfs will let her stay there. Of course, the house setting for the Grimms and Disney was the place where good girls remained and one aspect of the fairy tale and film is about the domestication of women (Zipes, 2012, p. 204). When the prince does arrive, later in the story, he takes all the credit and takes Snow White to his Castle while the dwarves remain as the keepers of the forest (Zipes, 2010, p. 204). The carefully arranged images in the Disney version, narrated through seduction by the animator’s hand, show how viewers (young girls) are not to think for themselves but conform to the ideologies about the domestication of women (Zipes, 2010, p. 207). This idea contrasts with “Snow White Wins Case in High Court” as the story forces young girls to think about the importance of their daily settings while forcing readers to think about their own opinions.

Role and Personality of Characters

In feminist retellings of “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” the character of Snow White is often quite demanding, ambitious and strong headed. She is in charge of her own story and knows what she wants. She is both opinionated and careful. For example, in “Snow-Fight Defeats Patri Arky,” Snow White, or Snow-Fight as she prefers, often fights with her adopted brother over chores and other tasks around the house. As well, Snow-Fight’s appearance gives her the fiery personality which somewhat mimics the heroine in “Brave”: “Snow-Fight had large green eyes and curly red hair, and her skin was so fair that her nine freckles looks as if they were painted on” (Darcy, 1989, p. 30). This appearance gives her a more determined, fiery appearance as red hair and freckles often symbolized a more independent soul. This symbolizes her breaking free from the cookie cutter image of a Disney princess. There was life respired into the female characters again for the feminist retelling. It wasn’t just Snow-Fight with the fiery spirit because, according to the story, “Ann Arky had left home years before; she could not bear the way her brothers wanted everything organized to suit themselves, expecting herself and her older sister Matri to do simply everything around the house” (Cowman, 1989, pp. 39-40). This was true to the story’s time period, as more and more women were getting up in arms about their gender and societal roles within society. No longer would they stay in the house as Disney princesses have done before them. The modern day “Snow White” was independent and took a stand for her rights, such as Snow Fight.

Language and Style

Feminist retellings of the “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” fairy tale present the story in numerous different ways in terms of language and delivery style: children’s books, poems, television series, and/or films. Some of these adaptations are geared towards an adult audience (ie. “Puce Fairy Book” or “Snow White in New York”) whereas some of these adaptations are geared towards children or the family unit (ie. ABC’s “Once Upon a Time” or “Snow White and the Huntsman” Film). Geared towards an adult audience, “Puce Fairy Book” sheds a realistic view on fairy tales. The speaker in the poem presents the fairy tales view and then presents her realistic feelings towards the unrealistic expectations of her as a woman, for example, “so you tried revisionist tale-telling / and turned them into dwarves – / you wanted happy ever after / I forgot to water the roses round the door” (Artichuk, 2002, p. 36). This passage of the poem, which makes reference to “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” showcases women having flaws instead of being portrayed as the perfect princess taking care of the men in their lives. Major’s writing style is very tongue in cheek. In addition, the poem is very much geared towards an adult audience as, at one point, she makes a very adult reference in “you wanted a lady / sleeping in a garden / no rings on her fingers / never been kissed / other princes had made it through my forest” (Artichuk, 2012, p. 36). This self-explanatory reference is not very child friendly; however, the style of writing used makes the author’s meaning very clear.

On the other hand, language and style is often geared towards adults but can remain for children too, for example, ABC’s television series “Once Upon a Time.” The television show presents a strong female role lead in Emma, the daughter of Prince Charming and Snow White, where Emma fights the evil queen and other evil fairy tale characters in Storybrooke. Likewise, Snow White is portrayed as a strong, independent woman who actually saves Prince Charming’s life on numerous occasions. Both women fit the 21st century woman mould, compared to the older version of their characters, especially in Snow White’s case. The story is presented in a multimedia television series format as opposed to a written book version. In addition, the television series is a family oriented series as Henry, Emma’s son, brings his family back together and everyone ultimately (including Henry’s adoptive mother, the Evil Queen) works together for Henry’s best interests. The three strong female roles outshine their male counterparts on numerous occasions; for example, Emma defeats jack in the “Jack and the Beanstalk” adventure when Emma and Captain Hook have to retrieve the magic bean in order to open a portal to the Enchanted Forest. Hook is defeated and, saving the day, Emma “defeats” Jack to retrieve the magic bean. ABC’s “Once Upon a Time” has the right mix of strong female and male characters that work together towards a common goal. This is the answer to feminist prayers, as they only want to gender equality as opposed to the perceived notion that they are bashing the male race.

Conclusion

As time goes on, it is quite optimistic that retellings of “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” will include more of a gender equality stance like ABC’s “Once Upon a Time.” Perhaps then, the modern Snow White will remain growing into a beautiful, independent young woman whose world is filled with both gender equality and love. Emma Watson said it best when she gave her speech to the United Nations: “If you stand for equality, you are a feminist.” However, the question remains: will Prince Charming be at our side?

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This post is dedicated to my childhood princess hero, Carrie Fisher. (Princess Leia, Star Wars)

 

 

 

Bibliography

ABC. (2011). Once Upon A Time. Retrieved March 10, 2015, from http://abc.go.com/shows/once-upon-a-time

Artichuk, F. (2002). Echoes 12: Fiction, Media, and Non-fiction.

Don Mills: Oxford University Press. Bolaki, S. (2010). Four Times Upon a Time: Snow White “Retold”. Beyond Adaptation: Essays on Radical Transformations of Original Works. North Carolina: McFarland, 181-193.

Cole, N. (2015.). Full Transcript of Emma Watson’s Speech on Gender Equality at the UN. Retrieved March 29, 2015, from http://sociology.about.com/od/Current-Events-in-Sociological-Context/fl/Full-Transcript-of-Emma-Watsons-Speech-on-Gender-Equality-at-the-UN.htm

Cowan, R. (1989). Snow-Fight Defeats Patri Arky. Sweeping Beauties: Fairy Tales for Feminists. Dublin: Attic Press, 39-49.

Darcy, M. (1989). Snow White Wins Case in High Court. Sweeping Beauties: Fairy Tales for Feminists. Dublin: Attic Press, 55-59.

Donoghue, E. (2013). Kissing the witch. Pan Macmillan.

Franz, M. L. V. (1993). The feminine in fairy tales. Boston & London: Shambala.

Harries, E. W. (2004). The Mirror Broken: Women’s Autobiography and Fairy Tales. Fairy Tales and Feminism: New Approaches. Ed. Donald Haase. Series in Fairy-Tale Studies. Detroit: Wayne State UP, 99-111.

Loose, C. (2014). Snow White In New York. Retrieved February 23, 2014, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jVXkcaZIz6Y Snow White and the Huntsman Movie – Official Movie Site. (2012). Retrieved March 30, 2015, from http://www.snowwhiteandthehuntsman.com/

Thomas, J. (1989). Inside the wolf’s belly: aspects of the fairy tale. Burns & Oates.

Walker, B. G. (1996). Feminist fairy tales. HarperSanFrancisco.

Zipes, J. (2012). Fairy tales and the art of subversion. Routledge.

Zipes, J. (2014). Don’t bet on the prince: Contemporary feminist fairy tales in North America and England. Routledge.

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Breakfast on the Go – Wellness Weekend

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We spend every day racing through life, meeting after next meeting, and, sometimes, we forget that the most important start of the day begins with breakfast. So, before you reach for that coffee and sugary donut, give the following breakfast recipe a try. I promise it will give you the needed energy to last throughout the morning and into the afternoon to help you be your very best self! My first time making baked oatmeal cups, I was really impressed with this recipe from http://www.organizeyourselfskinny.com/2015/04/07/banana-and-chocolate-chip-baked-oatmeal-cups/

These Banana and Chocolate Chip Baked Oatmeal Cups are the perfect way to start any morning off on a good start. In fact, you can enjoy them any time of the day! Packed with oats, banana, and chocolate chips (I substituted the milk chocolate for dark chocolate afterwards), they will be sure to be a hit with the whole family! Wellness is an essential part of living a healthy lifestyle. It is important to give ourselves time to reflect on both our successes and our goals. So, grab a gorgeous cup of tea or coffee (your preference, I love having an afternoon tea in my Kate Spade mug,) and get ready to take on the day ahead.

Posted in the Kitchen Adventures

Apple Streusel Muffins (Review)

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Apple Streusel Muffins

What to do on a snowy Saturday afternoon in cold, cold Canada? Why, baking and snow shoeing, of course! Recently, I bought a bag of Granny Smith apples. I came to find out it is incredibly difficult to get through a bag of apples by myself. #singlepeopleproblems.

So, earlier this morning, off I went in search of the perfect apple inspired recipe. I came across the most enticingly delightful one: Apple Streusel Muffins. A little hesitant, I started to chop the last remaining apples. I mean, cinnamon and apples! What’s not to love? Plus, I got to test out my new pastry cutter. That was excitement enough for me!

I pre-heated my oven to 350 degrees because: 1) I wanted to make 6 large muffins, so I would need to let bake longer and 2) my oven is a monster heat machine.

In my large mixing bowl, I whisked together the first five (dry) ingredients: flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. I also added in a bit of cinnamon powder. I think it worked well to bring flavour to the apple bottoms.

In another bowl, I whisked together the eggs, melted butter and vanilla. Once they were well mixed together, I added it to the flour mixture (from previous step). Here’s where things got interesting. The recipe stated that the mixture would get stiff. However, it resembles a scone like batter. I was nervous how it would turn out but I kept stirring just until moistened and then folded in the apples.

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Mix! Mix! Mix!

When done, I filled my 6 large muffin tin with paper-lined sups and filled each about three-fourths full. For the topping, I mixed brown sugar, flour and cinnamon and cut in the COLD butter until crumbly. Because I wanted to make 6 large muffins, I halved the recipe here. However, if you like crunch, I am sure you will be fine using the whole portions. #YOLO! Sprinkle over batter and watch the magic happen as the muffins bake a delicious golden brown!

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Look at those apples!

For six large muffins, I found that they baked best at a 350-degree temperature for about 30-35 minutes. Ovens may vary, so I would just recommend keeping an eye on them until a toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean.

These are the perfect little treat to warm up with, along with a nice cuppa, after a splendid little wintery hike outside with friends. Warms the soul!

 

 

 

Side note: I had all ingredients on hand this morning except the confectioner’s sugar (icing sugar), so I went without the glaze topping. However, I think it would be that nice addition to the crunchy yet sweet cinnamon topping. The muffins taste simply delightful without the glaze topping, but I would recommend it should you have the ingredients to make it!

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These would make the perfect Christmas morning breakfast, or brunch, treat!

 

Happy Baking!

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If all else fails, order pizza! 

 

****To see the full recipe (for 12 small muffins) check out the link below***

http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/apple-streusel-muffins