Thursday, December 3, 2009

VISIONS OF BAKING DANCING IN MY HEAD

Tis the season to get baking. I love to bake but I don't have much time to do it  these days. I miss baking but it's nearly Christmas and that means I need to get my bake on.

You see we give baked goods as presents for all our friends and neighbours. We pack them all up in baskets wrapped in cello and a beautiful bow. The baskets are loaded with all sorts of cookies, sweets and cakes. The girls and I put Santa hats on and load up the wagon and hit the neighbourhood delivering our baked baskets.

I start thinking about what I am going to bake in November. I try to take notice of great recipes that look easy and tasty. Recipes that are kid friendly are also important to me. I have two little helpers, one that is really into cooking and baking. She wants to be a pastry chef when she grows up. If I have a couple of recipes that are easy for the girls to help with then things go a lot smoother in the kitchen.

Last year we made a few of our regulars. My grandmothers famous no-bake cookies, they are called Queenie's Quickies. They are quick to make, hence the name. I also did chocolate dipped pretzel sticks. Another one that was no-bake but easy for the kids to do almost entirely on their own. We had a great apple cake, another family favourite. And a couple of other cookies.



This year I am hoping to make a few of our traditional favourites, along with a few new finds. I am still looking for some great cookie recipes. If you have any I would love to see them.

I hope to get some baking done in the next week or so.  I promise to post pictures of our baking session, the finished product and as we head off to deliver.

I DID IT!

So I have been absent lately. There is a reason, it isn't because I was being lazy, just the opposite actually. I found out about this thing, it is a writing challenge. November was dubbed National Novel Writing Month. I have long dreamed of writing books, novels, children's books, you name it. I have spent my working career writing but nothing as interesting as a novel. I write news. So when I heard about this writing challenge I was intrigued. So I registered.

What did I register for you ask? Well, the challenge was to writing 50,000 words in the month of November. It is considered the equivalanet of a small novel. A whopping 50,000 words. A lot right. Right! It is a lot of words for anyone but when you factor in the fact that I am a Mom to two little girls, a wife and a full time radio news journalist and freelance magazine writer it is a seriously huge amount of words. I wasn't sure how I was going to find the time to write but I committed to doing it. I was up for a challenge. I love to write and heck I needed to put my money where my mouth was. I have long said I wanted to write a book, so what was stopping me. NOTHING. So, I just started to write.

It was hard. I found it difficult to get things going but once things got rolling the story just flowed. For a while anyway and then real life started to creep in. The writing stalled as my other responsibilties were calling. As the month continued I realized I was quickly running out of time. There was a deadline that was fast approaching, 50,000 words by midnight EST November 30th.
The last week of November was on top of me and I was no where near being done. I was only at about 20,000 words. I needed to haul ass. And I did. I got to work and just let the ideas flow, I would have to worry about quality later. It was all about quantity. I was worried that I wouldn't get it done but I did. Thirty thousand words in a week. Amazing.

It was hard. There were days that I struggled with what to say, or what to write rather. It was hard to make the time to just sit at the computer, uninterupted and just write. I loved doing it but there is no doubt that writing a novel is work. There are a lot of people who say they have always wanted to write a book, but that is certainly easier said than done. It is hard work.

What now? Well, I have a few other things that need my attention, things that I was ignoring while taking on this writing challenge. And then? I will revisit what I wrote and continue on the journey to write a novel. I will keep you posted

Monday, November 23, 2009

MASSIVE CRIB RECALL

More than 2 million Canadian made cribs are being recalled tonight. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is recalling the drop side cribs made by Stork Craft. Four babies ahve died and more than 100 children have been hurt.
The manufacturer, British Columbia-based Stork Craft Manufacturing Inc., announced the voluntary recall of approximately 1,2 million drop-side cribs distributed in the U.S. and nearly one million distributed in Canada. A small number of those carry the Fisher-Price logo.

The cribs being recalled have a plastic drop side hardware that had broken, missing or deformed claws, connectors tracks or flexible tab stops.

The recall includes Stork Craft cribs with manufacturing and distribution dates between January 1993 and October 2009. It also includes Stork Craft cribs with the Fisher-Price logo hat have manufacturing dates between October 1997 and December 2004. The Stork Craft cribs with the Fisher-Price logo were first sold in the U.S. in July 1998 and in Canada in September 1998.
The recalled cribs were sold at major retailers in the United States and Canada, including BJ's Wholesale Club, J.C. Penney, Kmart, Meijer, Sears, USA Baby, and Wal-Mart stores and online at Amazon.com, Babiesrus.com, Costco.com, Target.com, and Walmart.com.

Anyone who has one of these cribs should stop using it immediately and call Stork Craft for a repair kit. 1-877-274-0277.

http://www.storkcraft.com/

Monday, November 9, 2009

THINKING ABOUT FREELANCE

Not that I have a lot of time but I have been thinking about finding some additional freelance gigs. I have a full time job in radio news, and I do some freelance magazine writing. I love freelance writing. It is a lot more creative than the news writing that I do every day. If I could make a living from freelance writing I would love it. So that being said, I have decided to repost a few of my favourite website finds.

http://www.athomemomblog.com/
http://www.sparkplugging.com/freelance-parent/
http://www.freelancewritinggigs.com/

I have to admit that I haven't been to the sites very much lately. It's been so long I had almost forgotten about the. It makes me happy to check them out again, sort of like seeing an old friend again!!!!1

Monday, November 2, 2009

OH, HOW I LOVE MY TASSIMO




So, I got a free Tassimo from Tassimo Canada. It is all thanks to twitter. OK, so it's a promotion, I get that. The company gave away more than 300 machines. It was no doubt a marketing campaign to get the word out about their coffee machines. I get that. Here's the thing, I made no promises. I didn't have to say I would write a review, didn't have to sing the praises of Tassimo to my friends to get one of these coffee machines. I asked and I got one. That being said, I do love it. So, in the end I guess I am singing the praises of the machine.(so I guess the marketing campaign worked)

Several days after finding out that I was to get one of these fancy and free machines, the box arrived via FedEX. Not only did the box have a coffee machine inside, it also had several packages of coffee and tea discs. I was set for days. Days of coffee drinking bliss. And I drank, I even served up a few coffees to several friends in the neighbourhood.

I must admit that Tassimo has been a hit with friends and with me. I love how fast and easy it is to get a cup of coffee. I am the only coffee drinker in my house so brewing an entire pot of coffee isn't always practical. When you brew and drink an entire pot of coffee the first cup is always hot and tastey but by the last cup it's stale and certainly not hot. The Tassimo allows me to make a great cup of coffee or tea every time. I love coffee but I have to say the free Chai Tea Latte that came along with my new Tassimo is awesome, I have become addicted.

The kids love the Tassimo too. I managed to find hot chocolate discs at my neighbourhood Longos. My girls love to make their own hot chocolate. That's the other beauty of the Tassimo....it's easy to use. It's so easy my 6 year old daughter can make her own cup of hot chocolate.

The best thing about my Tassimo is that it is saving me a tonne of cash. I work evenings in Toronto, about a hour drive from my home. Every day I would stop at Tim Horton's and grab a coffee and snack, spending at least $2.50 five days a week. I did the math and figured I was spending at least $750.00 a year on coffee stops. Since I received my Tassimo I haven't had to stop at Tim Horton's once. I am able to make myself a great cup of coffee in seconds just before I head out the door for work. So that's what I love about the Tassimo. It is a money saver.

So, my husband asked me if I would buy a Tassimo if I didn't get one free....and I have to say I would. So thanks Tassimo Canada!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Difference Between a Cold & H1N1 Flu

Know the Difference between a Cold and H1N1 Flu Symptoms:

Fever
Fever is rare with a cold.
Fever is usually present with the flu in up to 80% of all flu cases.. A temperature of 100°F or higher for 3 to 4 days is associated with the H1N1 flu.

Coughing
A hacking, productive (mucus- producing) cough is often present with a cold.
A non-productive (non-mucus producing) cough is usually present with the H1N1 flu (sometimes referred to as dry cough).

Aches
Slight body aches and pains can be part of a cold.
Severe aches and pains are common with the H1N1 flu.

Stuffy Nose
Stuffy nose is commonly present with a cold and typically resolves spontaneously within a week.
Stuffy nose is not commonly present with the H1N1 flu.

Chills
Chills are uncommon with a cold.
60% of people who have the H1N1 flu experience chills.

Tiredness
Tiredness is fairly mild with a cold.
Tiredness is moderate to severe with the H1N1 flu.

Sneezing
Sneezing is commonly present with a cold.
Sneezing is not common with the H1N1 flu.

Sudden Symptoms
Cold symptoms tend to develop over a few days.
The H1N1 flu has a rapid onset within 3-6 hours. The flu hits hard and includes sudden symptoms like high fever, aches and pains.

Headache
A headache is fairly uncommon with a cold.
A headache is very common with the H1N1 flu, present in 80% of flu cases.

Sore Throat
Sore throat is commonly present with a cold.
Sore throat is not commonly present with the H1N1 flu.

Chest Discomfort
Chest discomfort is mild to moderate with a cold.
Chest discomfort is often severe with the H1N1 flu.


The only way to stop the spread of the epidemic is to spread the awareness.

**this information was passed on to me via email and is the list/chart that is being distributed to Ontario Provincial employees. It is not a complete list of symptoms but certainly helps people decide if they should seek medical attention or advice. Remember if you have concerns always contact your doctor or other medical expert for advice and guidance.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

DAY AT THE MOVIES

I took the girls to a movie. It was one that they have wanted to see.  We saw Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs! I love the name and you have to check out the movie's website. It is so cool and just a total laugh.




Going to movies is a thing my girls often do with their Dad, while I'm at work in the evenings. It's just their thing. When the girls and I sat down and the movie started playing my oldest daughter said to me " Mommy, this is great. You never take us to a movie. It's always Dad!" It made me a little happy and a little sad. Happy because it is great to spend time with my girls, and a sad because there is so much I miss with my girls while I am a work at night.

We had a great time at the movie. It is a great family film and the kids just loved all the food falling from the sky, especially when a giant pancake falls on the school and all the kids scream! It did get a little scary towards the end and my youngest daughter, who is only 4, got a little scared. Overall, the kids gave the movie two thumbs up.

We already have our next movie date planned. It's is movie that we have been waiting for.  Where The Wild Things Are



We have long loved the book by Maurice Sendak. I love the message of the book and my girls love the wild rumpus!


Friday, October 16, 2009

WONDERING WHY?

I don't hate my current blog template...and frankly, I don't love it either. There is one thing I can't figure out is why my comment section for my post shows up in spanish. I guess it was created that way and was in the base template. The biggest question? Why can't I figure out how to can it. I don't speak or read Spanish. Sadly, I am a one language gal. English is my thing, I don't always speak it well but it's my thing anyway

MY SUPRISE IN A BOX

OK, anyone who really knows me knows how much I love a good cup of coffee. Well, OK a great cup of coffee. I have long been a coffee conisseur. The student centre/cafe at my university had great coffee. When I went to college I was spoiled, I couldn't even stomach the sludge they were serving at the college coffee shop. I NEED coffee to get through my day so when I heard that Tassimo Canada was on twitter giving machines away to tweeters I asked... " how can I get in on the action" and it wasn't long before I was lucky enough to get a machine.
I waited anxiously for days and then this week the lovely folks at FedEx arrived on my porch with a lovely big box.



And in that box was my perfect little Tassimo coffee machine and loads of coffee discs.


I am enjoying my machine. I have had several coffees BUT because I am so generous I served up my first cup to my friend Lisa. She had been hearing all about my twitter coffee machine all week and so when she heard that the machine had arrived she quickly came knocking at my door....two days in a row.




Thanks Tassimo Canada. I will keep you updated on how we like the machine, how well it works and how we like the coffee.

(P.S. I was given the machine free. There were no promises of reviews made and no requests made from Tassimo Canada. I will review the machine and the coffee just becase I want to and not because I have to)

Monday, October 5, 2009

WHY CAN'T I GET A ROUTINE?

I just noticed the date on my last blog post. Where the heck have I been. My plan was to post at least once a week, if not more, but I seem to find that a challenge. I understand the need to be a regular blogger if I am every going to have a chance at being successful online. Why can't I seem to keep on top of all of this.

OH YA....it might be because I am stretching my self too thin. Let's see, I have a full time job working weekday evenings, I also pick up freelance writing shifts here and there, I am a freelance magazine writer ( currently have 4 articles waiting to be written or finished), I blog here and I blog at BookieBoo.com and I am a twitter addict ( yes, I can accept that), oh and I am also a Mom and wife too. Not sure how I fit it all in. Sometimes I don't fit is all in that's for sure.

I guess it's all about balance. I don't have much of that these days. It's a challenge and something that I continue to work on every day. If you have any suggestions, tips or advice would love to hear it! Be Kind thought!

Friday, September 25, 2009

LIAR I SAY....LIAR!

So this was the year. Both my girls are in school. My oldest, Special K, is 6 and started grade 1 and my youngest, M & M, is 4 and started JK. So at least 2 days a week I have no kids at home. None. At. All. Can you smell it? That's the sweet smell of freedom. OK, I will admit it....I miss them when they are gone but just the thought of some time to myself again to do whatever I want is just too appealing (translation: clean the kitchen, the bathroom, do the laundry, vaccum, make dinner....oh and maybe find time to go to the bathroom by myself without having someone scream my name at the top of their lungs the minute I sit my ass down on the toilet). I was actually relishing the thought.

BUT.....

Since school has started way back on September 8th, my oldest daughter has had 4 sick days. Three of them this week. ( yes, that means I am very tired and kinda ready to pull my hair out. She is not the best patient but then again she is 6) And my youngest daughter has only gone to school three days so far because of some brilliant educators idea of gradual entry. What the heck is with that? They figure it's easier to drag it out over weeks. Wrong. It's torture. Every day waking up to hear you child say, "Is today the day I go to school? When am I going to start?" Heck, I want to know the same thing?

SO.........

Everyone said oh wait till you have both your girls in school you will have so much time to yourself. Well, so far that hasn't come true. I think in total I have had TWO days, that's right, TWO days.....COUNT EM! Two days without kids. OK, don't get me wrong those were two great days. The first day I got my hair cut, and then my husband and I went out to lunch. The first time in years that we have gone without kids. Just to show you that we rarely go out without the kids, when we got to the Suishi restaurant the hostess said..."Where are your girls today?" That says it all I think!

SO....

I say LIAR. There hasn't been all those days of freedom. OK, I know they are coming but I am inpatient. I think I have waited long enought. All I can say is thank goodness for a long school year.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

WHERE ELSE YOU CAN FIND ME...

...because I don't already have enough to do in my life, I will also be writing for another blog/website. You can find me at Bookie Boo.com.  I will be posting at least once a week about family and how to find more time for family time while also trying to find overall balance in my life....and everyone's life really.

I still struggle with balancing everything every day. I want to be better at it, I want to find time for myself, and my family but it is work. Hopefully writing the blog will help me find answers to my own questions, to find answers in the journey with all of you, and I hope together we can find a smoother path to health, happiness and joy.

I look forward to writing more, to hearing what everyone else has to say, and learning about myself and others.

WHERE ELSE YOU CAN FIND ME...

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

OUT OF THE MOUTH OF BABES



It is so true what they say: Kids do say the funniest things. So today I decided to go for a walk with my youngest daughter since her big sister was off at school. We hit the road and walked down to the lake only a short jaunt from your house. There is a great path that everyone uses to run, walk and bike. It's a great walk with lots of great scenery. My daughter asked if we could go to the beach at the end of the walk. Heck why not, I thought, so we hit the sand. She played around for a little while, loving the fact the entire beach was deserted and was all hers. She ended up covered in sand so we headed home so she could plop herself in a bath.

When we get home we headed for the bath. She got in the water but still had her hair in ponytails. She then asks me to pull out the ponies while she is sitting in the tub.  She says "Ouch! That hurts" and then to my surprise she says "ASS. PENIS!"  I was stunned. She is only 4 years old. I could not believe my ears and the minute she said it she knew it was a bad thing. I said, "EXCUSE ME?" Dear Daughter said, " Sorry Mommy but it really hurts." I then explained to her that wasn't proper language and that she shouldn't use those words again but secretly I thought she had a point. Heck it really hurt.

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY

Monday, September 7, 2009

MARKING A MILESTONE

As I sit here tonight both my little girls are in their beds dreaming of  a the start of a new school year in the morning. It is a big year for me this year because both my girls are going off to school. Special K is starting grade 1 and my little M is starting J.K.! 

Wow how time flies! I remember the night before my baby went off to school. It was such an exciting time. And tonight is just as exciting.

For the first time in 6 years I will have free time during the day. I am still not sure what I will do. I am hoping to get the house organized. It is amazing how messing and cluttered a house can get with two kids living in it. We have accumulated a whole lot of toys that I hoping to get ride of when the kids are away. Out of sight, out of mind. I am also hoping to get some painting/decorating inside the house. I have to finish the girls room. It would be fun to finish the girls room with paint and decals while they are at school and surprise them with it. I really have to get some cleaning done too! It seems there isn't enough time during the summer to get it all done.

This is a big year for us. I am hoping to use the free time I get to move forward, to improve myself in some way, improve my house and work toward a better, more fulfilling life. Is it too much to ask in a year?

Friday, September 4, 2009

SUMMER FUN

So we decided to go to the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto. It is a family tradition. I think we have been going every summer since I was very small and now I am passing on the tradition to my girls.


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY

Here is my contribution for Wordless  Wednesday

Back to School: Fear or Excitement

So the countdown is on. This time next week I will be down one kid. School starts and my oldest is off to grade 1. All day, every day school. It is going to be strange indeed. I am excited to have some quiet time, some time to go to the bathroom by myself and not hear kids scrapping in the T.V. room and scream "Mom, where are you?" Mom, I'm hungry!" Mom, where are you? MommmmmmmmYYYYYYYYY? (see that's where the excitement part of this post comes in)

Like just now. The kids are lying all over the place like their bones are suddenly made of elastics and of course they can't walk, calling me. "Mommmmeeeeeeeeee, we're hungry. Did we have breakfast be I think I am hungry for lunch" to which I respond, "Yes you had breakfast. It's only 10:30 it's not time for lunch" to which they respond "BUT MOMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!" OK now I am just ignoring them. It won't last long but I should be able to pretend they're not there long enough to finish this post.

I digress!

Anyway, and soon enough I will have two kids off to school. My youngest starts Junior Kindergarten this year BUT we have graduated entry here. All that means is it takes about a month for them to actually start school. We make so many short visits it gets irritating, for me and the kid. I remember when my oldest started Kindergarten and every time we went to the school for one of our short visits she would as ask " Am I staying today? When am I really starting school" Exactly what I was saying to my self, trying to hide my frustrating and need to just leave her there.
 
But here's where the fear enters the equation. After weeks of summer vacation, I once again have to pull myself out of bed way too early in the morning and shuffle two kids off to school. Mornings are not my strong suit.  I don't get home from work until 1 a.m. and that means after doing a bit of cleaning and packing lunches bedtime comes about 2:30 in the morning. Last year I slept in almost every day and practically flew out the door to get my oldest off to school. Let's just say mornings were more than stressful and we got friendly with the ladies in the school office. The late sign in sheet is in the office and we were regulars.

Well, this year we are promising to get a better grade. OK, it's just me.

I read more about my back to school worries, concerns, tips and expectations check out my articles at amotherworld.com and  www.yummymummyclub.ca    http://tinyurl.com/na7rae

Friday, August 28, 2009

NEW LOOK

So I decided to change the look of my blog AGAIN! I feel like I am searching for the right fit. It's like shopping for a pair of jeans, you just know when you try on the right ones, you butt looks great and they just feel comfortable all over. Not sure I have the right fit for my blog yet but I am going to try this one on for size for a while.

I am going to try to change the header picture and maybe add a few other elements.

Let me know what you think.

Monday, August 10, 2009

DEFINING WHO WE ARE, MOMS!



It's kinda funny this Mom thing. It's the dog days of summer and by now my girls are kind of driving me crazy. They are getting restless. There is a lot of fighting and bickering and tattling. They are getting a little bored with summer vacation. And frankly, I have been ready for back to school for days, just wanting my little darlings out of my hair for more than a few minutes.


Sooooooooooooo, I put them in dance camp. They go every summer, it's just a half day till lunch time. It is at the studio they dance at during the year so it is a good primer for them to get excited about dancing again. They love it, I love it BUT I find my self sitting hear wondering what to do with my free morning. Strange right? Or not? When I think about us Moms when our kids are around we wish we had some alone time, just a few moments of solitude, of peace and quiet and the when the kids are gone we find ourselves a little lost, wishing the kids were around.

It is like our kids become our identity, who we are. We almost don't know what to do without our kids. OK, I know some of you are laughing, saying I'm crazy but deep down you know it's true you just don't want to admit it. We Moms struggle with our identity, our identity separate from our kids. That's why a lot of women struggle with who they are when their children reach their teen years and don't need Mommy waiting on them hand and foot, or when children go off to university.

How do we as women make sure we define ourselves not just as Mothers but as all the things that we are, our whole selves and not just one aspect of our lives? We are so much more than just one thing, we are complex Right???

How do you define yourself? How do you make sure you are more than just a Mom?

Saturday, August 1, 2009

IT'S AUGUST


Wow. Can you believe it's August already. Where did the first half of the summer go?


Sunday, July 26, 2009

I NEED A VACATION FROM MY VACATION

Has this ever happened to you before? You go on vacation and you come home almost more tired than before you left? That's kinda how I am feeling right now.

The hubby went to San Diego for the Comic-con( you will find more about that at his blog www.ledkillaloves.blogspot.com in a few days) Anyway I digress. So I decided to take the week off from work and head up to the cottage with the girls. My folks headed up too. It was going to be a great week of sun, sand and relaxation. Or rather that was the plan!

Firstly, the sun seemed to take a vacation on my vacation. It made only brief appearances. The rain on the other hand, it made a grand showing. It poured rain for hours and hours on end. And you can only guess what that did for the mood in the cottage, especially when a 4 year old and a 6 year old were cooped up inside for hours and hours on end. There is only so long we could listen to the same songs over and over again as the two little dancers strutted their stuff. And even the two of them could only dance for so long before they started to go after each other. I was a mediator or rather referee more often than I was a member of the audience.

Don't get me wrong there were some good points. I did get to read a pretty good Nora Roberts book called Brazen Virtue. It was a fast read. I also got a chance to remember why I love Vanity Fair magazine once again. It seems the only time I get to really read the magazine is at the cottage. They are always old issues, like 2 years old but they are just as good as they ever were. I get up to the cottage and almost read each issue from cover to cover. This cottage visit I read an article on Katherine Heigl, Pitcairn Islands where the mutineers from the Bounty settled, a tragic piece about a couple called the East Village Suicides, just to name a few. It was a great week for reading. The weather sucked but the reading was good. I was feeding my brain after a long, long literary diet. It has been so long since I have been able to savour some good writing, or any writing for that matter. I feel much better for the chance to get some reading done, I needed the brain nourishment. My brain was starting to die of starvation, so too was my imagination I think.

The reading aside, I must admit the kids were actually starting to drive me a bit insane. They were at each others throats almost all week. The fighting, quarrelling, squabbling, whatever you want to call it, was nearly more than I could take. And by the time we go home today I was ready to lock myself in the bathroom, screaming! The fighting continued and my oldest daughter was more than a little bit emotional. I think we all need a vacation from the vacation.

Tonight at bedtime, in the quiet of their bedroom, my oldest daughter said to her sister and me, "Isn't it so good to be home?!" She must have said it 4 or 5 times in the minutes as she drifted off to sleep. What does that say? To me that says it all.

Monday, July 20, 2009

BIZ ON THE BRAIN!

I have long been thinking about starting a business. Something creative.

I have lots of ideas but haven't yet made the jump. It's a bit scary. I have long been an employee. I have been a journalist in broadcast media for the past 12 years or so. I am also a freelance writer. Starting my own business is something very different for me. It is nothing I have ever done but I have always been creative, whether in my writing, my holiday decorating in my home or lately, planning and hosting parties for my daughters.


I almost don't know where to start. Although, I have to say that there have been a few women business owners who have offered an endless amount of advice and support. These are women who don't know me at all. I contacted them via email and they responded. One of these women actually offered a phone number. Victoria Turner owns her own company making baby slings and other baby/mother accessories. Her company is called Pippalily.

Victoria offered her time and that was invaluable. Priceless. We spoke on the phone and she offered advice, tips, tricks and support. Support is an amazing thing, especially from a woman that I didn't even know. Victoria was willing to share her experiences and her knowledge with another woman hoping to start a business. That is what is so inspiring and unbelievable about so many woman who run their own businesses .

Victoria helped me in more ways that even I could imagine. While I am still working on the plan, and the business is still just a thought, I know that what I have learned from other woman who run successful business will play a big role in my own success.

Thank you to everyone who has helped me in some way, shape or form from complete strangers to my closest friends and family. It helps on the journey of life!

I am hoping this will be the start of something!


Tutus could be my future! A dream for every little princess! What do you think?


Friday, July 17, 2009

MEMORIES

So I am sitting here thinking about how time flies. The years just seem to melt away, no matter how hard we try to keep them solid, and firmly in our hands.

Tomorrow my baby turns 4. That's right 4! I can't believe it. My husband and I often joke with our kids, telling them to stop growing, that they aren't allowed to grow up. We are partly joking, but a little part of my heart -- OK, a big part of my heart -- is speaking a deep truth. All I want to do is keep my babies wrapped in my arms, safe from the world and close to my heart. As every parent knows it just isn't possible nor would we really want it to happen. Seeing my girls grow up, while it hurts my heart, warms my heart at the same time, and gives me a feeling of great pride.

I remember the day both my babies were born. When "M" was born almost 4 years ago I couldn't wait to get home to introduce her to her big sister "K". And now so many years later they are the best of friends.

Tomorrow we will have a family party for "M". A party she is now calling her dinner party!

What are your memories of your children growing up? Would love to hear some of your stories!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A TUTU FOR A PRINCESS



Here are a couple of better pictures of my hand-made tutus for my daughters princess themed birthday party!

Monday, July 13, 2009

TUTU'S FOR A PRINCESS

So my baby is about to turn 4. I can't believe it.





She is a summer baby, obviously and that means parties are now easy task when it comes to having friends come. This year was "M's" first ever kids party. We have tried before but last year we just couldn't find a day when all of her friends were in town. So this year we started asking before the school year was over, getting everyone to check their Mommy daytimers. And low and behold, everyone who was on the invite list was in town. Amazing!! Planning got underway.

We picked a theme. "M" is a true princess, in every way so it was a natural fit. She wanted a princess party.



We picked a venue. My little princess is a dancing princess and wanted to have her little party at her dance studio. Done!

We picked a guest list. All the friends, oops I mean princesses, that she wanted at the party were invited, including a real princess.

We picked an outfit: So, if you noticed in an earlier post, big sister had a Minnie Mouse party, including ears and skirts for every guest. Can you see where this is going? So "M" sprung it on us a week before the party, naturally everyone at her party would be getting skirts. Needless to say, Mom got planning, and I mean fast. I came up with the idea of tutu's that I would make. And every princess would also get their own crown.
It was actually a really fun party to plan. I had a great time and the tutu's turned out FABULOUS! I think a business idea has been born.




More pictures to come!!!!
















Friday, July 3, 2009

THE POWER OF THE WEB

This past week, the week since Michael Jackson died, has been interesting. Interesting to me because of the role the Internet has played in spreading news, rumour, opinion, speculation, you name it was spread. I work in the media in my full time working life. I was in the newsroom the day Michael Jackson died. I arrived in the newsroom just as news was rising to a fever pitch about the pop icon. Every computer in the newsroom was being used to search for information, any information, true or not, about Jackson. We weren't alone in that, there was so many people world wide searching for any word on the fate of Jackson that it actually crashed or slowed several sites, including google, twitter and TMZ.com . There are a few articles online about what happened.

I realize how much my own habits have changed, and how I find information and news. More and more I find that I am turning to my computer before I turn to the T.V or radio for news. It's an interesting admission for someone like me, especially since I make a living by working in radio news. I think many traditional news outlets/stations under estimate the importance of the Internet/websites. It is the window to the world and I think anyone not keeping up on their websites or keeping a strong online presence are missing out.

What do you think? Do you think traditional media is keeping pace in this technological age?

Monday, June 29, 2009

HEY LOOK AT MY FEET

We have a little soccer dynamo in our house. K is playing soccer again this year. I say that loosely because last year was like pulling teeth every game, more for my hubbie than for me. My husband took her to soccer nights every week and it was just painful. This year is a different story. She loves it and she's good at it too. She looks the part this year, all the way down to her toes. I discovered a NEAT product for your budding athlete, called CLEATSKINS.


They go over my daughter's soccer shoes, protecting her cleats and also protecting my floors. They come in cool colours. I got my daughter a pair of pink camo CLEATSKINS.



The other cool thing is she is ahead of the curve, no one else has a pair on her team and she is the envy of many of the kids and parents.

We have had many questions about where we got them. We love our pair, they are easy to get on and easy to get off. They just slip on and off. We can pull them off fast so K can get on the field and get playing.



The great thing about the product is that is comes in many colours and it isn't just for kids. It actually comes in adult sizes for many sports, like golf, baseball and football.
I think the story of Cleatskins is inspiring. The product was created by parents of three very active children. Rick Kay, a former college athlete, with his wife Marianne, were inspired to come up with Cleatskins out of necessity. After replacing yet another pair of expensive cleats for his eldest son, Rick was inspired to find a way to make cleats last longer. He and his wife experimented with a lot of things, including store bought sandals and rubber shower caps. With prototype in-hand, the two enlisted the talents of footwear experts Chris Walsh of CW Resources, Inc. and Erik Purdom of Erik Purdom Design to refine and perfect their innovation.
Cleatskins are crafted from state-of-the-art materials, the innovative SKINTEK™ rubber shell fits effortlessly over cleats to take them to the streets, so busy athletes can move on and off the field faster. And so Cleatskins were born.

I think this is going to be a great soccer season. K is turning into quiet the pro. She has scored at least 3 goals in every game so far.I think she has found her game. It is fantastic that she has found a summer sport that she likes, it's great exercise and a great way to meet new friends.


video

What do you do to keep your kids active?

Friday, June 19, 2009

GET READY DISNEY, HERE WE COME! AGAIN!

So we are hooked. On Disney that is.




Growing up my parents took our family, all 5 kids, to Florida every few years. A lot of those vacations included a day trip to Disney. It was a challenge I am sure for my parents to save up the money on one income to take 2 adults and 5 kids to the most Magical place on earth for kids. Now that I have children of my own, I wanted to make sure they got to experience the joy and magic of Disney. We went for the first time last year. There were 9 of us. We stayed at Disney, at the All Star Sport, a value resort. It was great value for the money and perfect for anyone with kids. The rooms were good, not huge but enough room. We had 3 rooms in total, two of them were adjoining. The pool was warm and the food was tasty, with a perfect choice for everyone in the family, even my Dad who has to eat gluten free. We were the perfect group, my parents ( now grandparents), my sister, my niece and nephew, my husband and our two children.



It was as magical as I had hoped for my kids. They were awe struck the entire two days at the park. It was so much fun we are going back again this holiday season. This year there will be 10 of us in all. This time we are going to stay 3 nights, 4 days.



I have to say I have learned a lot from our last Grand Gathering visit. This time I have done a lot more research, asked more questions and searched on the Internet more. I must admit advice, tips and tricks from other mothers has really paid off. The main Disney site was helpful, including the live chat option where you can chat live on line with a Disney agent, and a site I recently discovered that is all this Disney, unofficially that is. It's call AllEars.net . There is also fellow Mommy and twitter friend Resourceful Mommy, she has a Disney section on her blog.


This year we are putting a plan together, what park to go to first, what rides to go to, etc, in an effect to make it the most fun it can be. We want to get the most we can out of our trip.

The kids can hardly wait. I can hardly wait. There is too much excitement and we are still months away.

What's your favourite ride, story or memory of Disney? Would love to hear your tips, tricks or advice about going to Disney.


Thursday, June 18, 2009

LAUGH YOUR STRESS AWAY



Having a bad day? Stressed? Who hasn't said at the end of a stressful day, " Boy I could use a good laugh!" Well it might just be what the doctor ordered for sure. Research shows there are great benefits from laughter. It can do your body good, physically, emotionally and mentally. So it was interesting to me when I discovered something called Laughter Yoga. There are clubs and classes all across Canada, and the world for that matter. It is slowly gaining popularity.

Wendy Woods of Watershed Training Solutions and a laughter yoga instructor tells me it has great stress buster benefits. She says you won't be doing yoga stretches while telling jokes, but you will be laughing a lot and using breathing and stretching techniques to help you get yogic benefits.

Check out my article at http://www.amotherworld.com/ for more on laughter yoga and it's stress busting benefits

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

GET MOVING

So as I mentioned in an earlier post, my girls ran in a kids fun run. I was thrilled they were even interested in signing up but I was more than proud when they ran the run, finishing it all by them selves.

I will be the first to admit that I am not the most active or athletic person these days. I wish I was, and while I have excuses, none of the are really a reason that I am not moving more these days. When I was a child I was very active, I was a gymnast, a soccer player, basketball player, swimmer and there wasn't a single summer day that I wasn't out on my bicycle. Today, life and work have gotten in my way and now I am just out of shape ( I am ashamed to say). I could do with losing a few pounds but more than that I would like to be in better shape, to be able to keep up with my kids.

My children, like most children, are busy. They are up in the morning and outside before breakfast, riding bikes, scooters, skipping, running and playing.

According to Active Healthy Kids Canada's annual report on physical activity, Canadian youngsters get a failing grade when it comes to getting active. In 2008, 87 per cent of children and youth did not get the recommended minimum of 90 minutes of physical activity a day.

Despite the large proportion of children not meeting the guidelines, it's still an improvement compared to 2006, when 91 per cent of kids weren't reaching the target according Active Healthy Kids Canada. The biggest culprits? TV, computers and video games.

Those numbers are sad. Children should be active, enjoying the world. Most children are carefree. Most adults should be too. I am making a pledge to be more active, whether it's walking instead of taking the elevator or walking around the block or even going to the gym!

What are you doing to keep moving and get your family more active?

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

MY GIRLS ARE RUNNERS


Every year Burlington, Ontario holds a running race in June. It's called the Moon in June. Since I am not a runner, I have never participated but this year my girls, 3 and 6, decided they wanted to enter the kids fun run with their friends.

I must admit I was a little skeptical. I just wasn't sure they knew what they were signing up for, but they did it. They both ran the entire 1 km. I was so proud. I am so proud.


video

It is a great way to build self esteem, encourage activity and community spirit.

Special K is 6!

I have been away from the blog for a while. Not sure what has kept me from posting, life I guess. The weather here is warmer and the kids keep me outside for much of the day. Time sure flies.

And nothing illustrates that more than my baby girl turning 6! Wow. I can hardly believe it. This year she decided that she wanted a party at home. A Minnie Mouse party at home. I made special Minnie Mouse ears, my Mom sewed Minnie Mouse skirts for all the girls. It was very cute.


I even stamped plain white gift bags with my own hand cut Minnie Mouse head. I stamped it in black paint and then the kids decorated their own bows for Minnie's head. That was their loot bag to carry their skirts and ears home. Everyone even got a Minnie balloon to take home.

The inspiration for the party was of course our trip last winter to Disney. It was the girls first visit and they were over the moon.

Monday, April 13, 2009

GARDENING WITH KIDS


photo courtesty: Irena Hrzina Petal & Spoke

I recently chatted with a good friend of my, Irena Hrzina, about getting out in the garden with kids. The weather is getting nicer and the sun feels like is it is shinning brighter and with the warmer weather I start getting itching to get gardening. While at this stage it is mostly clean up from the winter, I start dreaming about warm days planting beautiful plants and flowers. I must admit with two kids, aged 3 and 5, I find gardening a bit more of a chore. My kids love to get their hands dirty but they do need management in the garden. So I went to my friend Irena who owns Petal & Spoke, a gardening and landscaping company based in Toronto.

She had some great tips and advice for getting kids involved in the garden. I think one of the key points is giving kids their own jobs to do or even give them a little plot of land of their very own. And remember, just get them involved it helps to foster a love of nature.

Check out my full article at www.amotherworld.com.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

HOPPY BIRTHDAY



It's my Birthday and Easter all in one today. I am having a great day with family and friends. There have been a few easter egg hunts

Friday, March 27, 2009

WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE



I am so happy. One of our families favourite books is being made into a movie. Maurice Sendak's sweet book Where The Wild Things Are will be in theatres this fall.

I just saw the recently released movie trailer. It makes me smile! It warms my heart. I have read the book countless times to my two girls. I have a certain fondness for anything Maurice Sendak touches. I love the look, feel and stories. Little Bear, a children's show based on the books written by Else Holmelund Minarik and illustrated by Maurice Sendak, is one of my personal favourite children's shows.
Here is one review...read up and get a sneak peak of the trailer. I hope you like it as much as I do!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

SARAH RICHARDSON CHAT



I recently got the chance to ask one of my fav designers and tv hosts some questions about work and motherhood. Sarah Richardson seems to have it all and do it all effortlessly. Check out my article at Urbanbaby & Toddler magazine

COOL FINDS

I check out Etsy often, you should too, there are lots of really neat handcrafted things there. Today I came across a few eco toys thanks to a heads up from Etsy.


These cute creations are made by kittybabylove . They are the cutest crayons. They are individually custom-molded from nontoxic wax crayons. Their faces are then lovingly hand-carved into their egg shaped bodies, one egg at a time.

They are ergonomically shaped for little hands, although they are great for all ages. They stand on their own and will bring smiles during your waking hours.

Too cute.

Monday, March 23, 2009

TRYING IT ON FOR SIZE

If you have been to my blog before you would notice that it is looking a little different. I am trying to find a look that fits. So you may see a few different looks over the next few weeks. Please let me know what you think!

Friday, March 20, 2009

CULTURE KIDS

There is no doubt life with kids can be packed with drama. What what would live be without it? But if you are looking for drama of a different kind for the family, there is no shortage of choices in Toronto. There are the sweet sounds of the symphony, or the eloquent prose of an actor? It’s all about bringing culture to kids, and to Mom and Dad too. We have found just a few creative choices to enjoy the sights and sounds of culture in Toronto.

Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People


Formerly know as the Young Peoples Theatre. Shawn McCarthy, with LKTYP, says learning is at the centre of everything the theatre does. Programs and productions are designed for young people from ages 3 to 18 years.

The Emperor’s New Threads is a new take on an old classic. It is a lively puppet and mask production based on Hans Christian Anderson's classic The Emperor's New Clothes. It runs from March 15 until March 27. Check out http://www.lktyp.ca/

Solar Stage Children’s Theatre

If you are looking for unique productions tailored to children then check out this theatre. Favorite stories (even some that you have read more than once or twice at bedtime), like The Adventures of Jillian Jigs, make up a very family-friendly lineup. The theatre is a small, intimate spot. It only seats 100 people. The best part for little theatre-goers is the cushioned areas down front near the stage. There are two locations, one in North York (100 Madison Avenue, just north of Sheppard Avenue on the west side of Yonge Street) and one in Bloor Village (The Village Playhouse, 2190 Bloor St. W).

Munsch Mischief, a play adaptation based on the stories by Robert Munsch, is playing at the North York location. It is sure to be a hit if you and your kids are fans of Robert Munsch (honestly who isn’t. I think we all have a favorite Munsch story, or two). The show runs every weekend in March.

Robin Hood runs for only two days March 28 & 29. You can also catch Princess and the Pea every weekend in April.

The theatre in Bloor Village also has a great lineup of shows, including The Adventures of Jillian Jiggs. There are two showings each day until March 22. http://www.solarstage.on.ca/


The Toronto Symphony Orchestra

I was pleasantly surprised to find out the Toronto Symphony Orchestra has concerts for kids. Let's face it, kids aren't the quietest bunch but the tso has concerts just for the budding musician. The Young Peoples Concert series includes 5 one hour concerts on Saturday afternoons at Roy Thomson Hall.

There are only a few concerts left in this year’s lineup. The Melodic Life will play April 4 and you can catch Symphony and Dance May 2.

The 09/10 season, which gets underway in the fall, has 5 new concerts for kids, including The Listener (October 17) featuring the Magic Circle Mime Company, and a musical telling of Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes in Jack and the Beanstalk (November 14). Be sure to check out http://www.tso.ca/ for all the details.

Cow Over Moon Children’s Theatre


I will be honest this theatre caught my attention first because of its name. It just sounds fun. It is also one for you west-end folks. Shows are staged at the Burnhamthorpe Library Theatre, in Mississauga, but Katherine Grainger, from Cow Over Moon Children’s Theatre, says they are still looking to firm up theatre locations in other areas, like Jane and Finch and maybe even in the east end.

Grainger says every show is different because audience participation is the key, the cast does not use a script. This years productions are still being finalized Check the theatres’ website for more on upcoming productions http://www.cowovermoon.ca/

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

MARCH BREAK IS COMING!

It's March now and that means March break is coming. So what do you do with the kids for a whole week. While some people are planning a warm destination vacation, it's not in the budget for everyone. Check out Amotherworld online magazine for some great ideas for the march break. I have a piece in this month's issue on rules of the playground.

Friday, February 27, 2009

THE FOUR AGREEMENTS

I am reading the book The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. It is about the Toltec Teachings. I am not finished yet but the book is really speaking to me.



Don Miguel Ruiz describes Toltec knowledge this way on his website... "Toltec knowledge arises from the same essential unity of truth as all the sacred esoteric traditions around the world. Though it is not a religion, it honors all the spiritual masters who have taught on the earth. Though it does embrace spirit, it is most accurately described as a way of life. Unlike our familiar experience, this way of life is distinguished by the ready accessibility of happiness and love."

These are the four agreements

1. Be Impeccable With Your Word
Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.

2. Don't Take Anything Personally
Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won't be the victim of needless suffering.

3. Don't Make Assumptions
Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

4. Always Do Your Best
Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.


I first learned about Don Miguel Ruiz and his book The Four Agreements while sitting in the waiting room at the hospital. My baby girl was having an operation to repair an umbilical hernia ( all went well by the way, and she is doing great). I picked up an issue of Oprah's magazine O, inside was an article Ellen Degeneres talking with Don Miguel Ruiz about his book. Ellen was so wowed by the book she recommended it to Oprah on the air.

I feel like the book is already helping me, changing me. Not in a preachy way, but in a common sense, ah-ha moment kind of way.

I continue to read and learn. I will keep you posted

Monday, February 9, 2009

BOY, I NEED A MEDI-PEDI

This Canadian winter has not been kind to my hands and feet. Sound familiar? I must admit, while I love to go to the salon or spa to get a bit of pampering, it isn't always in the budget, know what I mean? Well I have a few at home options, a couple of things that I love. One is old, the other is a new discovery.
First, is a Mary Kay product. I am not really one to spend a tonne on beauty products on a regular basis but Mary Kay's Satin Hands is just awesome.

This kit goes for $51 cdn. Seems expensive up front but it does last a long time. I have gotten a smaller sampler size kit in the past. It is worth the money though, you will have the softest hands you have ever had.

The second is for your feet. I got this next one as a freebie. I loved them. These socks from AirPlus are aloe infused and extra soft and fussy. Just what you want when you curl up on the couch.



Enjoy!