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

    Perfect happiness; great joy.
    Something providing such happiness.

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!

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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.”