Saturday, 18 October 2014

Give thanks...

I'm finally getting around to finishing this post, having started it on Thanksgiving weekend.
I have a lot to be thankful for tonight, I think most of us do. A lot of us tend to sound cliche being thankful for our family, our friends, a wonderful meal with said family and there is nothing wrong with that - I am thankful for all of that too! And more...

This past week I spent a lot of time reflecting on the past year and what a year it has been! Without sounding like I'm looking for sympathy - lets just say, you name it all, it has happened. An ice storm, a power outage over Christmas which displaced us, unemployment, learning how to be a working mom, continuing to BE a mom, a move (in winter), deaths, births, marriages, bills - oh so many bills, sickness', emotional challenges... the list goes on. But I am thankful for all of this, both the good and the bad because I have learned so much from it all. It hasn't been easy. (On the other hand, it could have been A LOT worse too!)

Sometimes through those dark times you have to wait for the dust to settle to really see the light in the situation but it's there. Take the 'unemployment' situation for example - without going into extensive detail - it was hard on us and we definitely had to make some major lifestyle adjustments, things we 'wanted' definitely took a back burner, never mind some things we NEEDED took a back burner too. We budgeted, we became frugal (sometimes flat out cheap) and we enjoyed the things we already had. Yes, its hard to believe but we enjoyed those things in our home that we already owned - even if they weren't new, even if they weren't perfect - they were OURS. A lot of us tend to get caught up in thinking that they 'need' something when in fact we don't, what we have is just fine!

I have also learned that there are times in our lives where people we love dearly will test your relationship with them, we have all been there more than once. This has opened my eyes and taught me to be grateful for the experience because it tends to open your eyes to more important things that what might be disagreed upon at that moment. Relationships are challenging, and ever changing.
I once I felt like disagreements with someone would ruin and end said relationship. I have learned however that this is 'normal' and we will continue to grow from it.

I am grateful for all of this - I've learned and I've grown. Every moment is valuable and I will continue to learn and grow.

Our ability to take these experiences in life really form us, they make us who we are and without them we will not grow.

I am thankful for my other half, he makes me laugh, he grounds me, reminds me to have more confidence in myself and see's my strengths when I don't.
I am thankful for my kiddo, she lights up my darkest days and continues to amaze me with her intelligence and ability to be so happy.
I am thankful for my family who has been my rock for so many years. It is from them that I have learned how to be kind and thoughtful, funny and stubborn.
I am thankful for my forever friends, we have been through it all and will continue to stand by each other for another 20+ years.
I am thankful for strangers that post their life trials and tribulations for others to read and relate to, it has made me think deeply about myself and what I have in life. It has also helped me deal with emotion's I wouldn't have otherwise known what to do with.
I am most thankful for me, it's taken a long time, but I finally enjoy my own company, and I am proud of and love who I have become.



"Anger is like driving in a down pour. The way you see things is temporarily altered. It's always best to wait until the rain has stopped, to see things the way they really are." Andrea Ball

Friday, 8 August 2014


Well I'm less than an hour away from being 32. When did that happen?! The last two years have been a blur - but a happy blur at that!
The last few years have been some of my happiest, yet also the most challenging.

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Finding the time...

While my goal was to write a post weekly, that just DIDN'T and won't ever happen. I would love to write daily, I feel like I run through things to write as I'm driving, nursing or cooking but to sit down and actually type something is a different story.

The last few months especially have been a roller coaster in our house, we've been faced with unemployment, teething, insane weather conditions, the power outage leading up to Christmas, back to work (for me), tons of sickness and dealing with one small ass apartment!

Good news is that we are MOVING, yes finally!! And after all this chaos it really makes you appreciate the small stuff. I counting down the days until I have a bedroom door and Molly has a bedroom door... separate kitchen... oh the possibilities!! I get to have a life and normal relationship again!

Our living space since we have been together has been something only a few people I know can understand. Its difficult but amazing at the same time. The location, our landlords, you cannot beat. The size however has created some challenges and difficulties to say the least. It has limited us in what we can do and when - even when it comes to something as simple as talking... don't get me wrong we make noise when Molly is sleeping but we are hesitant to be loud when she is asleep because we want her to STAY asleep.
We don't get to sit on the couch and watch movies when she is in bed because, well, our couch is covered with toys (pretty much) and the volume is at a level that we can't comfortably hear it from there... its something we have grown accustomed to but really these things that most couples take for granted, as they should, just don't happen for us.

Being out here has also been isolating as we cannot have company whenever we want or multiple people/couples for that matter because unless people don't mind standing on sitting on the floor there is NO room to host. Unfortunately this has become an easy thing for me to accept and has driven a wedge between friends and family. The isolation of having a new baby, in itself, is a difficult thing for some and it was definitely a challenge for me; adding the isolation of our location and size of home its been a double whammy.
I'm not trying to be a whiner here but really just reaching out, both trying to help people around me understand what I have been through, why I have been how I have been and to let others know they are not alone if they are feeling the same way or in a similar situation.

I truly believe that this move is going to bring bigger and better things for us as a family, and help me heal from this emotional roller coaster I have been on.

Much love & healing,

Sunday, 8 December 2013

It's December already... WTH?!?

So apparently October was a blur, then November was too.... I have no clue what I did for the month of October, November I was birthday party prepping... I don't get where time went! But here we are, December 8th and we are prepping for Christmas, prepping for back to work with daycare trials underway... it's insane!
By January 2nd I have to go back to being an 'adult' ALL DAY, 5 days a week - whaaaaaat?!? I am forced to socialize, be nice to strangers and no more day time naps - BOO!

Don't get me wrong a big part of me wants to go back to work and socialize and get my baby brain working again but I am going to miss my munchkin... being there for every little moment that happens - good and bad. Sometimes I tell myself, 'yup I'm ready, I can handle this' and other times all I can think is 'nooooooooo, my baby!!!' :(


The very very positive side of all of this is that this past year has been amazing... nothing what I expected or had planned. But it was just plain amazing.

My baby girl went from squishy little 8 lb alien look-a-like to a gorgeous, hilarious one year old. Wait, what?!? I have a one year old?!? CRAZY!

Ok, back to being serious... so all the stories you hear about couples having kids and all the cliches that go a long with it are ALL TRUE. Having a baby does NOT make your relationship better - it tests you both to the ends of the earth and back - if you survive it all then YES, it absolutely makes your relationship better and stronger. You learn, you grow, you see each other at your ABSOLUTE worst and your beautiful best.

Every tear, every fight, every sleepless night - its ALL worth it.

I'm proud to say we made it through a really tough year as we have had other challenges on top of having a baby AND live in a 500 square foot bachelor apartment with no separate rooms (other than the bathroom which means there is no where to hide other than if we want to sit on the toilet?!? No thanks!) so if our life was a video game we would have like a million bonus points after getting through this year.

But extra bonus points to you honey, you did it, year one with baby and ME! ;)

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

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Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Conscious decisions


1. Aware of and responding to one's surroundings; awake.

2. Having knowledge of something; aware.

aware; sensible; deliberate

I have been thinking about this post for a few weeks now but with a crawling baby and less and less free time, it hasn't come to be until now. 
More and more these days people have become less conscious and these are the times when we need to be MORE conscious. We could drive ourselves crazy thinking of how something we do impacts us, someone else, our future, the environment etc. But we all have to start somewhere!
Being a new mom, I am going to do my best with my daughter to teach her how to be conscious of her decisions. 
This topic dawned on me when my 9 year old nephew picked up the new copy of National Geographic ( with this on the cover:
 Table of Contents

and asked, "Why are the sea levels rising?" Well first it was, "What is Rising Seas?" so I explained that first and then asked him why he thought the sea levels were rising (also after looking at some pictures of melting glaciers.) He went on to say that the factories were causing it (plus all of the global warming)  - BINGO. A 9 year old gets it! We kind of put in to layman's terms for him saying that factories make more stuff to keep up with demand (the more we use and buy the more they make.) So he responded with well we need to buy less stuff then! Again - BINGO! 

We need to be conscious of things and the chain from raw product to what it goes through to the product we take home. 
Like I said, we can drive ourselves crazy thinking of the processes of everything but every small step, every small, conscious decision we make to buy (or not buy) counts!

Start at the grocery store, it could be the produce we buy - where does it come from? What goes in to growing it (land, workers, chemicals used) and then how does it get to us? Ground, air, train? The costs of doing all of this? The impact on the environment? These are all of the questions that should be asked.
Is it possible to buy local or eat organic all the time for the average person, no not really. It is challenging, we do live in Ontario so we have a limited growing season but making the best choice at that moment is what I'm asking of you.
Moving onto more processed goods, most processed foods aren't usually good for you anyway BUT they are things in our every day lives that have been made/processed in one way or another. Take cereal for example, think of the process that goes in to that - the ingredients, how and where they are harvested, then where are they shipped to for processing individually, then they are taken somewhere else to be made into cereal! Then packaged and shipped to retailers... that's a lot of steps!

So food is one of those things we can't do without (surprise!) - we can make better choices but we definitely can't do without.

Every. Single. Thing. we do, use, eat, drink, goes through some kind of a process - whether it be most minimal (think - growing veggies in our own garden) to the most processed things out there, plastics, cleaning solutions... this is where things get really ugly. There was a lot of press a while back about plastics, namely plastic bags and in other articles, plastic bottles... both are still a huge problem and always will be as long as they are available. That's the thing - if these things of 'convenience' are always available they will be purchased & used, plain and simple. As long as things make money for someone they will be there (unfortunately). 

The scariest thought (for me) is when you take what you do everyday: water used, foods purchased & cooked, laundry washed/dried, garbage produced, fuels used and multiply that by how many people live in your hometown, or by your province, or even scarier by the population of your country and the numbers will make you want to cry (ok so maybe don't do the math because it will make you cry!) 

I could go on and on with examples of how to be conscious but you get the picture; just do your best, be conscious of your choices but don't drive yourself crazy thinking of all of the way you can be conscious! ;) 


Friday, 12 July 2013

TGIFF, Labels & T.V. Commercials

Well its one of those, T.G.I.F.F. - you take a guess at what the extra 'f' stands for! My weeks and weekends tend to blend a bit and every day is the same with a baby - sleep, poop, eat, play, sleep - repeat! But its fun - all fun (most of the time), minus the overtired baby or sticking foot in poop moments (not my foot, her foot!). :)
I love being a mom but at the same time I'm scared of the fact that I am a mom - I know a lot of others out there feel the same way - its an overwhelming task that you, yes YOU, are responsible for the well-being and positive upbringing of another human being. I mean I burnt toast the other day so how can I raise a child?!? Ok bad comparison there but you know what I mean... maybe?!? It's a lot and there is a lot of GARBAGE out there, especially on t.v.and when I say garbage I mean commercials. They make me sad and mad all at the same time. Talk to other nutritionists and they will refer them and their products as 'healthwashing', by definition it is: 

"Healthwashing is a term used to describe the activities of companies and groups that position themselves as leaders in the crusade forward to good health while engaging in practices that may be contributing to our poor health... A good product, campaign or service stands on their own goodness, not on a claim and offers FULL DISCLOSURE of all ingredients and activity. (If it is a product on shelf, it's always best to judge something by what's IN the box, not by what's promised across the outside in big, fabulous exciting designs  The bigger the claim, usually the more Healthwashed." 

This definition is from a great article: Healthwashing Makes Me Feel Dirty By Meghan Telpner 

While I'm not looking to reinvent the wheel here there is more and more information out there today on healthwashing and what you should look for. The article by Meghan I've mentioned is a great start. 

Being a stay-at-home-mom (and I know others can relate) and if you have the t.v. on during the day you see a lot of commercials - ever notice a trend in them? I see a lot for food (so-called food), diapers and incontinence products (Depends, Tena)! Haha the last one always makes me laugh. 

Newer ones these days that are noteworthy and make me CRINGE are food related - lets start with the Dempster's Garden Vegetable bread. First thing wrong is they have two 'models' portrayed in the commercial, one eating a salad and seems so sad (why!? salads can be sooooo good) and the other is seemingly 'indulging' in a sandwich - oooh a sandwich. The 'salad eater' seems shocked her colleague is eating a SANDWICH - I mean - how dare a model eat a sandwich?! But then the two guys at the end saying the same thing as the models does me make me laugh a little, but just a little. Ok, so that is what initially irks me, on to the actual product and the fact that you can now get your veggies by eating garbage bread?! WTF?! 

Here is the list of ingredients in that product: 

Whole grain whole wheat flour including the germ, water, vegetables (carrots, pumpkin), sugar, yeast*, vegetable oil (canola or soybean), wheat gluten, salt, vinegar, cultured wheat starch, soybean lecithin. 

Now to the average person, this list looks pretty good - to my eye, garbage. First off, I get it, a majority of the population does not eat well and do not get their daily fix of vegetables. However they DO get more than enough of their daily allowance (joke!) of over processed cards. So, this is where the healthwashing comes in and says - 'hey lets tell people they are getting their share of veggies while eating our crap bread!' 


This makes me sad. 

Let's dissect!

  1.  whole grain whole wheat flour including the germ - WTF?! Why is everything separated? Boo! This is where we bring in the over processing - totally unnecessary! Unless it comes to cost, mass production, consistency of the masses.
  2. water - yay!
  3. vegetables - carrot and pumpkin - ok not so bad (in theory) either but with the over processing of this product any nutrients in them have probably been lost!
  4. sugar - Boo! While some homemade bread recipes call for sugar which can assist with the yeast growth, its not necessary in bread and in this case is not a high quality 'healthy' sweetener. Sugar is added to products like this to make it appealing to those used to sweetened products... you may not know it until you take it away!
  5. vegetable oil (canola or soybean) - yuck! they don't even know which, canola or soybean... hmmm, I'd like to know which please? GM Canola or GM soybean? Both make me sad and these oils have so many consequences due to quality and the way our body metabolizes them... and again there are SO many better options out there!
  6. wheat gluten - oh so it was removed in the over processing stage so they thought they'd throw it back in?!
  7. salt - ok, no biggie but again lets look at quality here... My guess it's iodized? Not something our body needs or benefits from.
  8. vinegar - again, no biggie and is needed in some dough recipes but what kind of vinegar did they use - as some types are better than others!
  9. cultured wheat starch - why?
  10. soybean lecithin - It is used commercially in foods requiring a natural lubricant or emulsifier. In baking it reduces the need for other fats such as oils or eggs (read: expensive and not shelf stable), and helps even distribution of ingredients in dough, stabilizes fermentation, increases volume, and acts as a releasing agent to prevent sticking and simplify cleaning.  Here is the kicker... lecithin is ALSO used in animal feed, as it enriches fat and protein and improves pelletization, it is found in the paint industry (it forms protective coatings for surfaces with painting and printing ink, helps as a rust inhibitor, is a colour-intensifying agent, and dispersing aid, eliminates foam in water-based paints, and helps in fast dispersion of latex-based paints). Oh yummy yummy in my tummy!!! Even better lecithin may be used as a release agent for plastics, an antisludge additive in motor lubricants, antigumming agent in gasoline and an emulsifier, spreading agent, antioxidant in textile, rubber and other industries!

    Excuse me while I vomit! 

So the above is one of the many reasons why I read labels - personally I just steer clear of products like this because I know they are full of crap and make me feel horrible. But I challenge you to READ food items you pick up at the grocery store and question what you are putting into your belly (and your family's).
I have to be extra cautious with products due to my dairy and corn intolerance - you would be shocked if you started reading labels and saw how often corn is found in manufactured products and isn't always listed simply as 'corn', there are a lot of by-products of corn out there and its found in everything from salad dressings, sauces, juices, cereal, crackers, baked goods and even ice cream. :( 

Well that was a long post from me, hopefully an informative one for you. I could dissect so many products out there it isn't even funny but that would be repetitive and boring so I will stick with this one, mainly because the commercial itself irks me. But do me (ok more-so yourself) a favor and read the labels of foods you're eating! 

If you have any questions please do not hesitate contacting me! 

Happy Friday everyone! :)