Friday, November 29, 2013

A Smile... So Simple





Smiling people, Christy, do less and get more.

Really,
    The Universe


This was a great reminder. I have written about daily reminders and gratitude before and I can't say enough how important they are. Yesterday I was in a serious funk, angry and disappointed about a lost opportunity and lack of professionalism. I don't want to go into detail, I am trying to be professional, SO yes I am vague-blogging! That being said I let that one thing taint my entire day. I was just angry. 

I continue to struggle with shaking off negative thoughts. Sometimes that inside voice is louder than I want it to be AND that is why daily reminders are so important. They help me refocus on what is really important and refocus on the positive rather than the negative. 

What do you do to refocus and remain positive

Monday, November 25, 2013

Something To Love






Here is a list that everyone should think about. I know I should be saying a lot of things on that list more.... it is all about being kind to each other and respecting each other.

Take a look.... and thanks SoulPancake for posting such great stuff!








I have a few things I would add to the list... How about telling the people in your life that you LOVE them! Or how about "You are important to me" or how about "Your opinion matters to me" OR "I hear you".

What else do you think should be on the list??? Comment and let me know

Daily Reminders

I subscribe to a lot of stuff that comes into my inbox every single day. Most I read occasionally.... but there is one email I read ALWAYS. That email is titled TUT.... the messages are always uplifting, inspiring and motivational


You simply cannot know, Christy, what will make others happy.

But you can always know for yourself.

Go for it,
    The Universe


I discovered TUT, messages from the Universe, after reading a book by Mike Dooley. The book is called Choose Them Wisely. It is a collection of some of the greatest messages from the Universe, emails that went out to people on the TUT newsletter/email list.  It was a book that helped me get more focused and inspired. The TUT messages help me to remember every single day to stay focused, inspired and motivated. 

Thursday, October 31, 2013

We Are Raising a Tech Savvy Generation

If you are the parent of a young child you know how tech savvy they are. My two girls are 8 and 10 years old and they know their way around tech gadgets better than me.

But is this a good thing? Or a bad thing?





I am of the mind that it is really important to make sure my children are raised with all the skills required to compete in a digital age BUT I also believe in everything in moderation. I think parents need to keep the amount of overall SCREEN TIME children get limit. When I am talking about SCREEN TIME I include television, iPad, iPod and smartphones... anything with a screen that a child can park themselves in front of. I want my kids to be tech savvy but learn to balance how much media to consume.

It is essential we teach children about balance. There needs to be an equal amount of screen time and outdoor play time, family time, friend time, sport and activity time. As parents, I think we are responsible for making sure we are raising smart, kind, balanced and well rounded children who can move about the world.... a world that does include technology.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Finding Inspiration In Your Child's Books

I read an article today by Rebecca Eckler about adults turning to children's books and it got me thinking about some of my favourite children's books.


First, without question is the Dr. Seuss book Oh, The Places You'll Go!



There are so many amazing lessons in this book. It is a road map for life really.






Another great book is Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak!



And finally,  Love You Forever by Robert Munsch



I would love to hear your favourites. What children's books inspire you?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Greatness... it is in YOU!

It is true. 

It is... trust me. 

I know... I sometimes doubt it too! Sometimes I let that little voice inside my head tell me I can't, I won't, I am not great but it is a lie. Don't let that voice of self doubt sway you. 
 
We all have the potential for greatness. You just have to believe that it is in you and let it out! It can be hard to admit, accept and hold onto the idea we ARE great but if you let the idea of it sink in for a little while, silence that little voice of self doubt and embrace YOUR GREATNESS you will see it is TRUE! Show the world (and yourself ) your greatness! 



Monday, October 21, 2013

Did You Know?

Today is Clean Your Virtual Desktop Day !

I feel so bad ... I did nothing to mark this day. Did you?

I am always amazed at the days that are "celebrated", and I use that term loosely!


What did you do to mark Clean Your Virtual Desktop Day?


Oh and just in case you were wondering, tomorrow is Caps Lock Day

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Giving Thanks for Thanksgiving





I just want to say that I am thankful for Thanksgiving. I love this time of year; the colours, the turkey, all the tasty side dishes, family, friends and a day off from work. There is nothing better for my soul than family, food and a day to sleep in! That is just simply a battery charger!




It was a great weekend even though my husband was away until Monday. The kids and I spent some great time together. I had to take the car in for repairs so the kids and I walked to have lunch before heading to get the car. What a great time. There is nothing better to reconnect with kids than sharing a meal around a table. Sitting at the table with my girls was a perfect opportunity to hear about their lives, to find out how school is going and to hear all about their friends. Kids feel so comfortable sitting around the table and are more comfortable to share their lives (at least my kids do!). We walked to pick up the car, or rather I walked and the kids scootered. It was a beautiful warm fall day.


I am also thankful for TWO turkey dinners. The first was with family on Sunday. We filled our bellies full! Dinner number two was on Monday with just the four of us at home. My husband got home from New York early Monday morning and so missed all the yummy food on Sunday do the kids and I whipped up a delish turkey dinner with all the fixings, like stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, and of course turkey! It was a great meal!  For desert we had apple crisp, fruit of our labour - Apple Picking!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Thank A Teacher.... Today!

Today is  World Teachers' Day – a UNESCO initiative that celebrates teachers around the world. Since 1994, World Teacher Day is held annually on October 5, to raise awareness and address the issues pertinent to teachers while recognizing the contribution they make to education.


Teachers do so much for us. They mold young minds. They help us grow and see how great we can be. Teachers help us see the world and help us find out place in it. They help our imaginations soar and they give us the tools to reach for the stars.






Thank a teacher today... thank them for all they have done for you as a wide-eyed kid growing up. If you are a parent of a child in school, thank a teacher for all they are doing for you child.

I want to say THANK YOU to every teacher who took the time to help me, teach me, guide me, listen to me, laugh with me and talk with me. 

Friday, October 4, 2013

Mama Say What?????

 


So, here is the thing.....

There are a number of words we consider off limits in our house. All of the standard curse words are on the list....a@$, S*&#@, F*&%#, B*&%$@... oh you know all the good-bad words. There are also a few words that others might not think are bad words but we just feel they are rude so we don't allow our children to use them, that list includes, stupid and shut-up.

 OK, I just want to say one thing here....I can swear with the best of them. I do work in a newsroom after all BUT I don't think it is OK for my kids to do. I also don't swear in front of my kids. I work really hard to show my kids there is a proper way to talk. I fully believe swearing is lazy. It is easy to throw around curse words but much harder to actually think about what you are saying and choose words that are intelligent, thoughtful and thought-provoking. That is the main reason why I don't curse in front of my kids. Yes, when I swear I am being lazy! I am LAZY....I am the first to admit that.


SOOOOOOOOooooooooooooooooooooooo.... 

I am always a little put off when I hear other parents swearing in front of children. OK, not just any children but my children. Hey, I figure if you want to swear in front of your kids, go for it. There are lots of people who don't care, who don't think it is a problem and don't see anything wrong with it. More power to you. That is your right. I am uncomfortable with you doing it in front of my kids. Even my children are uncomfortable with it. They always give me a LOOK when they hear another parent swearing in front of them. The LOOK I mean is the "OH, you are in so much trouble because you just swore" LOOK. It has happened more than a few times while on the playground of the school.

But... how do I handle that? Just let it go? Or should I say something to the other parent?

Part of me thinks I should just let it go. I have had a conversation with my kids about it. I have told them not everyone has the same opinion/view about swearing in front of children. I have also told them even though some people swear in public I don't want them to think that it is OK for them to do it. 

What would you do? 

What do you think about swearing in front of your children? What words are OFF LIMITS in your house?

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Saving For My Children



Ah, kids. They are expensive BUT we love them anyway!



According to MoneySense.ca, the average cost of raising a child to 18 is an incredible $243,660. That breaks down to more than $12,000 per child, per year, or just over $1000 per month. AND.....that is before you send them off to University!
 


So, want to know how much University might cost you?
Well, the cost of a four year university degree for a child born in 2013 could rise to more than $140,000. Right now a four year university degree can cost anywhere from $40,000 to $60,000.  Frankly, that number just freaks me out. What about you? 

Well, I think I can honestly say that I am not doing enough to prepare. I have stashed some money away in a few accounts. The money there is not working very hard in all fairness. It has been mostly stashed in savings accounts or Tax Free Saving Accounts. I will admit it here that I have yet to set up an RESP. I don't really know what is holding me back. I got my girls their social insurance numbers. They have passports. I have all the identification I would need to open an RESP for them but haven't done it yet. My children are ten and eight years old. I know there is time but not a whole lot of time left to make the money necessary to send my girls off to an institute of higher learning. I think what might be holding me back might be my lack of knowledge when it comes to investing. It is a bit scary. I have never been great with math and numbers, so thinking about investing, saving and anything financial is a bit intimidating.  

Sound familiar? If you are like me it can all be a bit overwhelming. There is so many sources of information online. One great place to go for information is RBC.



As part of this Mom Central campaign I have had the opportunity to do a little reading. I have started to educate myself on what it would take to make sure that my children get the education they deserve without going deep into debt. That is the thing about an RESP really (in my opinion). I want to make sure that my children can go to college or university and not have to worry about how to pay for it or have to borrow money just to go. It just takes a little time and effort to make sure that we have the money to cover the cost of post secondary education. I think about it this way....for what it costs me to buy my favourite cup/cups of coffee a day I could be stashing that same amount of money away AUTOMATICALLY in an RESP. Over time it will add up!

You can find more great tips on saving for your child¹s education here:

Campaign page: 
Rbc.com/education 

Our product page: 
http://www.rbcroyalbank.com/resp/index.html 

RESP-matic: 
http://www.rbcroyalbank.com/resp/resp-matic.html




Disclosure: I am part of the RBC RESP blogger program with Mom Central Canada and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.





Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Look What is Coming.....Oct 1st










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This is a family favourite. OK, I think the adults in our house might love this movie a little more than the kids. OK, I will admit it I am really talking about myself. I love this movie. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside when I watch it.

Now  The Little Mermaid is coming to Blu-Ray! How exciting is that!

Here are just a few exciting things about this latest Diamond Edition release from Disney:

Bonus Features: All-New Music Video; @ Disney Animation; Disney Intermission; Deleted Character; The Real Little Mermaid: Live Action Reference Model; Part of Her World: Jodi Benson’s Voyage To New Fantasyland; Howard’s Lecture; Classic DVD Bonus Features.

 The Little Mermaid is set to be released October 1st. I can't wait to get my copy. I love the chance to add another Disney movie to our Blu-Ray/DVD collection.

Monday, September 23, 2013

My Weekend Project

So, like I don't have enough on my plate most days. I am still struggling to get a good rhythm with this back to school routine and more than just a little tired most days.....

SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooooooooo

naturally I decided to take on some serious projects around the house.

Firstly, I finally finished the painting in my children's bedrooms. I promise I will post pictures soon but you have to promise to forgive the bedroom mess. Now that my girls have their own rooms they are loving every inch of them  and so naturally that means the rooms are more than a little messy most days. I agreed to let them pick the colour and so both rooms are very bright and colourful. Bedroom one is sweetleaf green and purple and bedroom two is sweetleaf green and turquoise.

Now that that job is done it was time to move on..... painting the hall. Right now I only have the ceiling done. There is still some debate over the colour for the walls so that project is still a work in progress.

SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOooooooooooooooooooooooo,

I felt it necessary to move on to yet another project. I needed to get into my husbands office. We need to have some electrical work done and so that meant I needed to move a very overloaded shelving unit so that was the starting point for this......



 I emptied his entire office, re-painted the pink walls ( the room used to be the girl's room) white and laid this floor down! It was a solid two days!
It took a few hours to put up new chrome shelves and put everything back in. It was hard work but every time I go into the office now and stand on that pretty floor and look around it makes me happy. OH and it makes my husband happy too every time he sits down at his desk/drawing table!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Back to School... Back to Routine

School for the kids is now in full swing. We made it through the first week. I will admit it was a tough week.

And now we are entering our third week of school and I will be honest I am fading fast.  The first week of school the kids and I walked. The second week we walked a couple of days but I was forced to drive them a couple of days. Now, we started off the third week with a drive. You see I am not getting up just a few minutes later than I did the first week and that can be costly. Just think if I get up just a few minutes later every single day by the end of the week we could miss the enter school day!  Not good people.  I have a history of being late. Other parents know it, other kids know it, the school knows it, my kids know it and you know what? I know it!  

I am not sure how I am going to make it the entire school year working the shift I do, doing all the extra teaching, writing and blogging that I do. I am exhausted and it is only week three of school 

I could nap during the day but to be honest I suck at that. I always seem to find other things to do, like the laundry, dishes and painting the kids bedrooms.  Makes sense right? Ya, the tired lady working on empty would decide to paint a bedroom rather than nap? What am I nuts? (don't answer that question!)

I think it is time to come up with a plan. I need to schedule my days better than I do. I could fall over if I don't slow down this pace and gets some sleep.

How do you manage your work load, family life and all the other stuff we fill our lives with?

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Help... I think I have lost my Blogging Mojo

I think I need help!!!!!!!

I think I have lost my blogging mojo.

After coming back from BlogHer13 I was feeling inspired. I came home with all sorts of ideas, inspired by all the talented bloggers that I met in Chicago. I was excited to get writing and then.......

*sigh*

And then.... well I don't really know what happened. I just ran out of steam. I am not sure why or how it happened but I just don't have the passion right now. I think about writing all the time. I think about writing blog posts, I think about writing freelance articles, I think about writing my books/manuscripts and then when I actually sit down to write .....NOTHING!

WHAT THE HECK???????????????

It doesn't really feel like writers block....exactly BUT really what else could it be?

OK, maybe the lack of sleep is a factor.

OK, maybe the crazy schedule with kids back to school, me back to teaching a college course and still working is a factor

OK, maybe getting back into a routine that is actually draining my mind of all its creative/imaginative juices is a factor.

OK, did I mention the lack of sleep???

But ... normally I can always write SOMETHING. I have tried to write several times and every time I open a blank blog post page I end up closing it with nothing written.

 Well, there is hope. I managed to get this post written. I am actually doing what I tell others to do. Write. Just write. Write anything, it really doesn't matter. Just write and keep writing and the creativity will eventually start flowing. RIGHT?


I would love to hear what you do to keep the creative juices flowing....what do you do to keep writing?

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Weekend With My Girls















 We are so lucky. We are only minutes away from this, a beautiful beach in Burlington. It is a great place to spend a few hours with my girls. Every summer we make sure to get there for at least one afternoon. It is an opportunity to spend time together  just hanging out. I brought a book and the girls brought a ball, their shovels and buckets and got down to work.







It is so important to spend time together and just be together. I am a firm believer in the need to slow down and just be together and not running and rushing around from one activity to another.  I think kid are often over scheduled these days, running around from one sports activity to another, to piano, art and gymnastics. They rarely get the chance to just be kids, to enjoy connecting with siblings and friends, and just indulging their creativity and imaginations.  The beach gave my kids the chance to just hang out together, have fun and not worry about the time and where we had to be in an hour. They just played for hours enjoying the sun, sand and surf, together.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

More Bliss


"Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls"
 Joseph Campbell


bliss
/blis/
Noun
    Perfect happiness; great joy.
    Something providing such happiness.

Synonyms
felicity - beatitude - blessedness - happiness

One place where I can find bliss!

 


Way back in 2011 I decided to start writing a list, a Bliss list to be exact.

I wanted to write about all the things that make me happy or bring more bliss to my life. It was a short lived project. I didn't continue blogging about in list format but it is something that I have thought about and sometimes wrote about in different ways. Well, it is time to revive that project.

So every week I am going to write a post about all the things in my life that bring me bliss. It will be a great way to remind myself how great life is. And it really is. We all have days that could be better but when it comes right down to it there is always at least one thing ( and let's be honest there are often many things that we can be grateful for and that bring us bliss). It doesn't need to a big thing. Small, ordinary occurrences are usually the things that bring us the most bliss!  Things like the smell of fresh cut grass, the smell of rain on a summer day or a beautiful sunrise or sunset! The fact that you can see, touch and smell those things is something to be grateful for! I believe we all need to recognize the small and large things in our lives that make life worth living. Granted some days can be harder than others to find the blissful things but just take a minute and think about it. Everyone can find one thing that brings a small amount of bliss into their lives.

And with that in mind I start a new with my Bliss List!!

Today I am grateful for quiet moments with my girls. We spent time this afternoon just chilling on the couch together. I snoozed a bit and the cuddled up and watched their favourite show.  We shared the small space on the couch for an hour or so. Sometimes the best thing to do is just to slow down and spend a lazy afternoon chilling on the couch together. This brings me bliss. 


What brought you bliss today?




Friday, August 9, 2013

Jack Of All Trades....Master Of NONE!

Here is the Wikipedia definition of the phrase...

 "Jack of all trades, master of none" is a figure of speech used in reference to a person that is competent with many skills but is not necessarily outstanding in any particular one.

I have to admit  most days I feel like I am a jack of all trades, master of none, at home (being a mother and wife) and at work. I feel like I have become great at appearing like I have everything under control, that I know what I need to know and that I can do what I need to do and do it well. Isn't that my job after all, I am a Mom, a wife and a journalist/writer. Aren't I supposed to know it all, do it all and be all things to all people? NO, well that is honestly how it feels many days.

 
On the inside  I have to say lately I have been feeling like I am not doing a very good job at any of my jobs. I am competent at many skills but not necessarily outstanding at any particular one. I think it comes down to spreading myself too thin in all areas of my life.

At Home

I just don't feel like I am doing all that I want when it comes to my kids. Working evenings/nights I feel like I am missing out on so much of their lives. I miss soccer games, miss dinner with the family and I miss hanging out with them at night. I just feel like I am not doing enough as a Mom ( ya that darn mom guilt thing). And don't get me started on the house cleaning thing. It is just more than I can handle most days. I am clearly not outstanding at that.

 At Work (writing, blogging)

I feel like I have just been coasting these past many months. With so many things on the go, like my full time gig, the freelance writing, blogging and oh that teaching thing I do during the college year, I have just not been able to feel like I am rocking any of the jobs.


Am I being too hard on myself? Probably.

Should I give myself a break? Probably

How do I do that? 

I think my need to be in control of everything and wanting to do it all makes it hard to juggle all the things in my life right now. 

I am making a promise to do better, be better. This promise isn't really to others, it is a promise to myself. It is a promise to accept who I am, to give myself a break and to just be happy with the fact that I am a jack of all trades!

Will I be successful? I hope so but I am hopefully going to give myself permission to make a few mistakes and not be perfect. Feel free to check in on how I am doing. Feel free to ask me it might actually help me stay on track and not be so hard on myself.


How do you handle all of life throws at you at home and at work? How do you balance everything?

Thursday, August 8, 2013

New Muppet Movie...can't wait!





I grew up watching The Muppet Show on television. It was a family favourite. I have loved being able to share the movies with my kids. There are nine Muppet Movies. Soon to be ten! I have managed to share almost all nine previous movies with my kids. There are two on the list I have not seen, Muppet Treasure Island and The Muppets' Wizard of Oz, but they are on the must-watch list now!

1.The Muppet Movie (1979)
 2.The Great Muppet Caper (1981)
3.The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984)
4.The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)
5.Muppet Treasure Island (1996)
6.Muppets from Space (1999)
7.It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie (2002)
8.The Muppets' Wizard of Oz (2005)
9.The Muppets (2011)

Here is a trailer for Disney's newest  Muppet Movie, Muppets Most Wanted! ...number 10!






Not sure I can wait until Spring 2014...this looks like it will quickly become another family favourite. What do you think?

Friday, August 2, 2013

Best of BlogHer13 for Me!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin
This was my first BlogHer.



I was super excited but wasn't really sure what to expect. I have watched the BlogHer twitter feed from a far for years so I knew the conference is always  a lot of fun and there are a lot of parties. I didn't know what I would get out of the sessions and speakers.

I just want to say it was certainly worth the drive to Chicago!


First, the road trip was a blast. I got to drive with two great women, Wendy aka +Wendy S/@mapsgirl and Aeryn aka +Aeryn Lynne ! Of course we traveled in style enjoying the Ford Explorer! (more on that vehicle in a future post). The eight hour drive was painless mainly because of my road trip companions!

We arrived on Wednesday evening, a day before any BlogHer events. It gave us a chance to settle in and get out to do some shopping on Thursday and see some of downtown Chicago.  And shopping did we do! I walked The Magnificent Mile several times. Here is the main reason for my shopping trip ( although I did get a few things for myself, at a few different stores). A post with pictures coming soon with the dolls and my happy girls! 



 But I digress....


I arrived in Chicago with an open mind, eager to meet new people and learn a few new things AND BlogHer didn't disappoint.

Here are just a few of the BEST things from BlogHer13!

1. Meeting new people! I made some great new connections and friends. These are amazing women doing great things!  There are almost too many to list but here are a few great women that I got the chance to meet and chat with.

Betty Cahill - @DelishyTown
Johanna Stein - @johannastein
Cecily Kellogg - @Cecilyk
Erin Blaskie - @ErinBlaskie 
Crystal  - @crystal_lou_who
Julie Nowell - @julienowell
Fadra Nally - @allthingsfadra
Danielle Smith - @daniellesmithtv
****and oh so many more that I know I will remember and want to add in the days to come

2. Connecting with friends... people I know but rarely get a chance to spend a lot of time with in real life

Wendy Silva - +Wendy S
Ann B - @AnnBac9
Margarita Ibbott - @downshiftingPRO
Paula Schuck - @inkscrblr
Eden Spodek - @edenspodek
****and so many more

3. Learning a few new things. I had the opportunity to go to some pretty amazing sessions, like the ones on self publishing/e-publishing and the importance of comments and engaging your readers. Of course there were some amazing speakers too, speakers like The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond, Guy Kawasaki and Sheryl Sandberg

4. Inspiration!
I left Chicago and BlogHer13 feeling more inspired than ever before. I have a clearer idea of what I want to do with my blogs and with blogging. I am encouraged and eager to take what I have learned from sessions, panels, speakers, new friends and old friends and turn it into something pretty amazing.

Thanks to everyone I had a chance to sit with, talk with, eat with , drink with, line up with, ride a bus with, party with... you are amazing!!!!!!








My Little Monsters





I can honestly say that I love those two little monsters! Even when they are acting like little monsters... which really isn't all that often! They are great kids who love using their imaginations. They love to spend time creating monsters and stories to go along with their artistic creations.

One of many monster creations. It is a bookmark. It will eat your page!



They have spent countless hours on their own and with their artistic dad creating creatures, monsters and magical, mystical worlds. The monsters of their creation are more fun than they are fierce.  Much like the monsters in the latest  Kinder Surprise eggs... Kinder Surprise Monster's University



Sully is my favourtie! My kids really like Mike!

Here is the fun part of these eggs ( beside the chocolate of course) is the surprise inside.  This is the first time ever that specially marked Kinder Surprise packages are GUARANTEED to contain 100% licensed toys. I love those odds!!!!!

We are big fans of the Monster's crew, Sully, Mike and Randal are favourites in our house! My kids have seen the first movie Monster's Inc and couldn't wait to see Monster's U! I didn't disappoint. It is another family favourite.



Disclosure: I’m part of the KINDER® Mom program and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.”