Wednesday, April 28, 2010


I am very excited about something that happened on my birthday, April 12. I wasn't sure about tooting my own horn, but what they heck.

A few weeks back I entered the Mabel's Labels BlogHer contest. The challenge? In 300 words or less tell the online community, the world, what I am passionate about if it was the last day for the internet. I wrote from my heart, something that is truly important to me, I wrote about family.

I was so pleasantly surprised to find myself on the list of top ten finalists. I couldn't actually believe that I was chosen. Now we are just a couple of days away from learning who will take the top prize. May 1st the winner will be announced. While I would love to win, I am just thrilled to be considered. I am just happy that people got a chance to read what I wrote and to read about how great my parents are.

Thanks Mabel's Labels!

Why is Mom Always Last?

Ok, so I have been wanting to write this post for a while. This is a topic that my friend Laurel Crossley-Byers or better known as @Optimom talk about all the time. Why is Mom always last on the list? Everyone else seems to get taken care of first.

I am as guilty of this as any mother out there. It is work for me to even think about myself. For example, when I go out shopping for something for myself I end up leaving the mall with 2 things for my girls and nothing for me. I am working to change that. I just turned 39 this year. I am planning for this to be a big year for me, before I turn 40.  I want to make some serious changes in my job/career, I want to be slimmer and healthier this year, and I want to start taking better care of myself in mind, body and spirit. It is going to be hard. I think ultimately Moms have to give themselves permission to just be a little selfish ( selfish in a good way...I know it's hard to think of it that way).

Most days I run on empty. And I mean serious empty, fumes really. I work until midnight and don't get home until 1 a.m. Sadly I don't get to bed most nights (mornings) until 2 or 3 a.m. Since my husband does dinner and bedtime duty, I do morning duty so that means getting up in the morning to get the girls ready for school and then take them to school. So ultimately I only get about 4 or 5 hours sleep a night. During the day I work toward getting and keeping the house clean, doing laundry, cook when I can, and do some yard work ( more of that in the summer months). I also write freelance for a few magazines, I write on this blog, I read for pleasure and for work and I occasionally do some other freelance writing when I can. So, as you can see there isn't much time left for myself or my relationship with my husband. We both work crazy hours.

Yesterday I did two things for myself. One was great. I regularly get my nails done. It is something I like to do for myself although I am not the best at keeping it up but yesterday was an hour by myself, getting my nails done by someone who has become a great friend over the years. The second thing I did for myself wasn't as fun but more necessary and more important to improving myself. I got a PAP TEST. Yes I said it. It is something no woman likes to get done but is essential I believe to a woman's health. Sadly it is something that I have neglected to do for about 4 years. And yes I said that too. 4 years! Once I had both my girls I just got carried away with taking care of them and working. Life took over and I forgot to take care of myself. I put on weight, I worked myself nearly into the ground. Not that I am really complaining about the work. I love to write and I am blessed to have a job in my chosen profession but I think I need to find balance. Yes the "B" word.

So I hope to keep you all update on my progress and how I am working toward taking better care of myself and hopefully moving up on that list ( especially with the help, tips and advice from my great friend @optimom

Do you struggle with putting yourself first? What do you do just for yourself? Would love to read your comments.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

WARW: The One-Week Job Project

So I finally finished The One-Week Job Project by Sean Aiken. I have posted twice before as I was reading the book. Now that I am finished I wanted to leave you with some final thoughts about the book. I  was intrigued by the authors inspiration for the project and the book.
Sean Aiken was and still is like a lot of us. He graduated from university and didn't know what he wanted to do once he was done. He didn't know what he wanted to do or be when he grew up. I think it is something that many of us struggle with throughout our lives. Sean decided to venture out on a journey to explore his options and to find out what really makes people happy and content in their jobs and careers. He decided to try to a bunch of different jobs and professions. He took a job a week for every week of the year. The book follows Sean's journey, 52 jobs for 52 weeks.

I found it difficult to get into the book in the beginning. Each job is essentially a chapter in the book, so 52 chapters, plus an epilogue. I felt there was very little flow but once the journey really got going what Sean had to say got more interested and flow a lot better.

I have a few favourite chapters/jobs as I am sure every reader will. I liked week 3, when Sean was a snowshoe guide. Sean got a chance to meet Garry, a man in his 40's who recently moved to Canada to England. I liked what Garry had to say and the lesson that Sean learned. Garry followed his passion even with a huge pay cut. "I'm finally doing a job that I'm passionate about."

Week 7 had a similar lesson to be learned. Sean got a chance to meet Henri, the owner of Lotus Soul Gym in Edmonton, Alberta. Like Garry, Henri came into this field in his later years. He opened the yoga studio when he was 56 years old. In another life, Henri was a partner in a very successful catering company but years of working endless hours left him burnt out. " The catering business was not feeding my soul" Henri told Sean. Even though the yoga studio wasn't making him rich in the pocket in the beginning, it was making him rich in the soul. Henri had found his passion.

One of the other chapters that I enjoyed was week 48, when Sean was a cowboy. Chet is a real, honest to goodness cowboy. As Sean noted, it involves long hours for little pay but Chet didn't care. He loved his job and it provided him with enough money to get by.

I enjoyed the book because it touches on a topic/issue that affects us all. I think everyone wonders about career, job and happiness. I think The One-Week Job Project is something everyone who ever questions whether they are doing what makes them happy or what they are passionate about. It is a journey worth reading.

(*note: I was given a free advanced copy of The One-Week Job Project for review)

Monday, April 19, 2010


So we have started giving our kids money for chores. I wasn't sure how I felt about it. I don't want my kids to think that they only clean up for money. I want them to feel that they always need to do their part to keep our house clean but money is great motivator.

We started small though, only 25 cents for a chore, like making their beds, putting their clothes away, or helping to clean the bathrooms. And so far it seems to be working and my kids love it. They are very proud of themselves when they finish a chore and show off their work before they get their money. We are not strict about the regiment or routine. We try to get some chores, like making their beds, done every day.

What do you think of paying children for chores? How old do you think children should be to start paying them an allowance for doing chores? When are they too young to ask them to help keep the house clean and tidy?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


So this is the second part to this week's Write a Review Wednesday. I wanted to update my reading of  The One-Week Project by Sean Aiken.

I will admit I have been slightly challenged by the flow of the writing. I find it doesn't have too much flow and I struggle with a feeling of starts and stops BUT the content of the book is great. I am so interested in the jobs that Sean takes and his journey along the way. He meets some interesting people, surprising people in my opinion. It has been so neat that there are so many kind and generous people out there. So many people just want to share their lives, loves and passions with Sean.

I am at week/job 39, more than half way through the 52 week challenge. Sean has met a lot of people, espeically someone very special. I feel like he is really discovering some things about himself. It is like the skins of an onion...slowly peeling away.

I hope to bring you more about the book, specially nuggets from the book and what I learned about Sean's journey when I finally finish the book.

Another update soon

WRITE A REVIEW WEDNESDAY: Penelope and the Humongous Burp

and the Humongous Burp
I am going to write to separate posts this week. One will be a children's book and the second will be an update on a non fiction book I am reading. ( it will follow in a separate post).

This week I wanted to review a really fun book, a book that makes my kids laugh no matter how many times we read it. That book is Penelope and the Humongous Burp, written by Sheri Radford , illustrated by Christine Tripp and published by Lobster Press .

This book is great. Firstly, my girls love this story because Penelope has lots of curly hair just like them. Secondly, it's all about the burp. The story follows Penelope and her grape soda and what happens when she drinks too much of this bubbly drink. Every time she has a burp something horrible happens but in a funny way. As the story continues, Penelope's burp gets louder and louder and yet this spunky little girl continues to ignore her mother's warnings to stop drinking the pop.

My two girls love this story. They also love Radford's other stories featuring Penelope, Penelope and the Monsters and  Penelope and the Preposterous Birthday Party

Sheri Radford is a Canadian writer. She was born and still lives in British Columbian . She graduated from the University of Victoria with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Creative Writing.  A freelance writer, she is also the editor of the visitor magazines Where Vancouver and Where Whistler. Penelope and the Humongous Burp was Radford's first children's book and worth picking up for you kids!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


An explanation of the paid tweets from advertisers that are beginning on Twitter

    Twitter is now letting advertisers pay to have their tweets appear in search results on the site. Here are some questions and answers about what the development means:

    Q: When will I see these new advertisements?
    A: You might not see them for a few days. Twitter was aiming the ads at less than 10 per cent of its audience on Tuesday. The ads should begin appearing in all relevant searches within the next week.

    Q: Will I now be bombarded with ads on Twitter?
    A: Twitter says it's going for something far more subtle than bombardment. For now, at least, you would have to search Twitter for all tweets on a given subject, such as ``Starbucks.'' A tweet that Starbucks paid to have come up first might appear atop the list of search results. This tweet would follow Twitter's usual guidelines, including the 140-character limit.

    Q: I never search for topics on Twitter. I just tweet my thoughts and read my friends' tweets. Would I see these ads?
    A: You would see that tweet from Starbucks if you ``followed'' Starbucks, which means you had signed up to get all of its updates. Otherwise, at least for now, you'd probably see one of these new ``promoted tweets'' only if one of the people in your network forwards it, or ``retweets'' it. At some point, Twitter says, it might incorporate promoted tweets into your personal ``timeline'' of messages, if they are presumed to be relevant to you.

    Q: Does this mean Twitter is more likely to stick around?
    A: Until now Twitter had only one main revenue stream. It got an undisclosed amount of money from Google Inc. and Microsoft Corp. in exchange for the rights to have tweets appear quickly in the results generated by those companies' Internet search engines. It's not clear how much money the new ad program can bring in, but advertising is likely going to be a main way that Twitter's founders can build a profitable company. It still mainly subsists on US$155 million it has raised from venture capitalists.
  Q: Twitter recently started asking me for my location. How could this feature figure into ads?
    A: Twitter says it sees a lot of opportunities in eventually allowing large and small businesses to send promoted tweets that target readers in specific places. So an airline such as Virgin would be able to reach people who are tweeting from an airport, for example. Or a restaurant could tweet about the day's specials to people within a certain distance.

(information via/courtesty The Associated Press)

Monday, April 12, 2010


So it's my birthday today. I am not afraid to say I am 39 years old...or young...depending on the day and how I am feeling. I had a great day. I got to spend the day with my two girls and being a Mom, just like I am every other day.

It is amazing really when I think back when I was younger and how important it was to take the day off work and do something really exciting and fun on my birthday. Birthday's always had to be a big production. Oh,  how things have changed. Now it is more about spending time with family and friends. I love spending my birthday with my little girls. Children have a real joy for birthdays and it doesn't have anything to do with presents and cake ( although those are an important bonuses of birthdays). Children are just excited about the day, having a birthday is just exciting. This morning my youngest daughter jumped into my bed and said " What day is it Mommy. Is today your Birthday!?". I said " Yes today is my birthday" . My daughter said with pure joy "Hurray it's Mommy's birthday today." A great present for sure. There is so much simplicity with children. It's not fancy, but pure.

Another year has come and gone. I don't get sad about getting another year older. I don't have a problem with age but what I do have a problem with is the time that passes. For me it's all about those things that come and go, like the birth of my babies, all those sweet moments with my girls, not the big milestones but all those little things that happen every day that just pass us all by. I am sad that my little girls are almost too big to slip on to my lap and cuddle with me. I miss snuggling with a sweet smelling baby. You know the smell a little bit like baby power and sour milk all mixed together. It is all of those little things that keep moving, changing and passing me by that make me a little bit sad that my birthday has come once again.

This year has been a great year though. I feel like I have made a mental shift. I am more comfortable in my own skin and where I am in my life, probably more than I have ever been before. I think that is something that comes with age, the wisdom that comes with age ( not that I am old or anything)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

WARW - Where The Wild Things Are

I love this book. Actually, I think I love this book more than my kids. It is a story that I have been reading to my kids for years. If you don't know the story it is a tale about a little boy who gets a little too cheeky with his Mom and gets sent to his room without dinner. What happens next is what every little kid imagines; sailing off into the sunset to a far off land where you are the boss. Sounds like fun? Right? but like every little kid finds out there is nothing better than the love and comfort of home and your Mom.

I love this book because it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy about childhood angst and the love of a Mother and child.

I have not seen the movie that was released recently. Like anything I think books are always better. The world created in your mind and imagination as you read is better than anything created on screen. This is a true classic.

I love the feel of Maurice Sendak's illustrations. His monsters are ghoulish but not too frightening. Sendak's seeming attraction to the forbidden or nightmarish aspects of children's fantasy have made him a subject of controversy. The monsters in the book were actually based on relatives who would come to weekly dinners.  Before Where the Wild Things Are, Sendak was best known for illustrating Else Holmelund Minarik's Little Bear series of books ( Another favourite in our house, espeically the T.V. show)  

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


I discovered this video while doing research for an article. Every mother should see this and we should do everything we can to protect children everywhere.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Raising our Girls to be Strong and Beautiful People

I love these Dove commercials. It is so hard to be a girl these days. As Moms we have to work to make sure our girls love themselves just they way they are. Every woman is beautiful.