Showing posts from 2015

Weather and School

So... once again, I was on a very long hiatus.  And instead of coming back thankful, rested with new perspectives on life, I have decided to open things back up with a "ranting ramble".  What's a ranting ramble you ask?  It's when someone rants to the point of making little sense... usually due to lack of sleep... like me.  So here we go....

I notice the same Facebook posts every year for the first few snow storms of the year

*Note* This picture is not from today.  I was just looking for a picture that had snow in it. :)
1- "Is there school today?"

2 - "The radio said no school in [Community #1], so is there school in [Community #2]?"

3 - (My personal favourite) "Why isn't school cancelled?  The roads are hazardous."

4 - (The opposite of the previous)  "Why IS school cancelled?  It's not even doing anything!  This is just teachers/administration/bus drivers trying to get a day off."

Here are my suggestions for some simp…

My Blogging Break

You may or may not have noticed that it has been rather silent on this blog lately.  Save for a few apologies that I posted, I did not generate a lot of content this summer.  Although I do this blog out of pure interest, I do find that I periodically need a "break" from posting.  That may sound funny considering this is an enjoyable pastime for me, but hear me out.  You may have seen people take "technology breaks" or breaks from Facebook, this was my version.  Also, I'm not strong enough to take a complete technology break yet.

I always said that this blog would be about posting for fun and other therapeutic ranting I wanted to do, and I always told myself that if it ever felt like a struggle to come up with content, I would stop.  I decided to take a break when I found I was struggling to find time to write and it was stressing me out.  That was my sign that I needed a break.

Now, I'm back on the blogging train.  I feel refreshed and ready to post again. …

Product Review: Clairol(R) Nice 'N Easy Root Touch Up

If you read my blog regularly, you know that I colour my hair freqently.   I always colour my hair all over when I re-colour, even if I'm staying the same colour.  I was given the opportunity to try Clairol's Root Touch-Up.  The beauty of Root Touch-Up is that you focus on your roots, and don't need to colour your whole head.  The products claimed a quick colour (10 minutes) so I decided to put that claim to the test.  Here is my experience.

I had coloured my hair many weeks before I decided to try Root Touch-Up.  I had quite a bit of re-growth.  I typically lighten my hair in the summer from a light brown to a medium blonde.  So my full colour, done weeks before, was a medium blonde colour.  I was worried about whether Clairol's Root Touch-Up would match the rest of my hair colour.  I chose the "medium blonde" shade and got to work.

The instructions suggested leaving the colour on for 10 minutes, and I ended up leaving it on for 15, mostly because my daught…

Give Your Car a Checkup

Summer is a busy time for your car.  Lots of family vacations and road trips.  Is your car in good condition?  You put some pretty precious cargo in your car, so it's pretty important to know what to look for in your car, and what to do if you do run in to a problem.

I was fortunate to be able to attend a Sailun Tire event at my local Coast Tire.  I learned some great tips that I would like to share with you.
Do you change your own oil?  If you do, that's awesome!  I usually take mine in to have the oil changed.  Many garages do an inspection of other elements like the filter of your car when they do an oil change - be sure to check with your garage to see what's included in your oil change.  It may not seem important, but a clean filter helps your car run better, so it's worth your while.
I also learned that inside the driver's side door of your car is a little plaque that has some pretty important information about your car.

A few years ago, I had the unfortunate…

Sorry for the Silence

I'm preparing for a little website re-design, so please bear with me as I transition.

And, yes, I have been pretty silent over the last month with no big excuse... but I'll be back soon.  I promise.

I Tell My Daughter Princess Stories

Ok, not exactly the confession of the century, but, I've been reading a number of posts lately that are very critical of sharing stories about fairy-tale princesses with their daughters.  Why?  Because many of these stories feature princesses that are rescued by a prince.  And many argue that this sends a message to young girls that they need a man to get through life.

I consider myself a strong an independent woman.  Yes, I am married, but not because I didn't think I could survive without a husband.  I love my husband, and we each bring our own strengths to our marriage.

I too was told fairy-tales as a child as well.  I loved hearing these classic stories.  I loved imagining their beautiful dresses, and I even liked the part where the Prince would come to save the Princess.  In my opinion, these are stories, not reality, and the important thing is that we encourage self-confidence and independence in our children.  If they choose to have a partner in life, great, but it'…

An "Overtired Mama's" Tips for an Unforgettable Disney Vacation

I've had Disney on the brain lately.... Actually, I always have Disney on the brain, but, these dreams of Disney that I've been having have inspired me to share a few of my own tips for an amazing Disney vacation.
Sometimes I laugh when I read titles like the one I just used for this blog post... how can a Disney vacation NOT be unforgettable, right?  Well, I do think that with any vacation, there is a chance that you can be too tired, too overwhelmed, or trying to do too much, and that can make your vacation unforgettable in a not so enjoyable way.  Here are a few things I recommend to make your vacation more enjoyable:
1 - Get a stroller - Ok, maybe not if you're travelling with teenagers - although they might not be opposed to being pushed around in one after a long day of walking - but if you have young children, or school aged, strollers can be a life saver.  When my daughter was 2, she stopped being interested in riding in a stroller, however, when we made our first…

May is Preeclampsia Awareness Month

I know, I've written about this topic a few times before, but I also know that the more I share my story, the more I help spread awareness.
I am a HELLP syndrome survivor.  HELLP syndrome is a severe form of preeclampsia that can be potentially fatal for mom and baby.  I am happy to say that my daughter was born healthy, and I, after treatment, also ended up OK. 
The signs and symptoms of HELLP syndrome are sometimes ignored or not recognized - in my own case, I chalked them up to "typical pregnancy symptoms".
Some of the symptoms include:
- Headache - Nausea/vomiting - Swelling - Discomfort in abdominal or chest - upper right side. - Pain in the shoulder and/or when breathing deeply - Change in vision - Bleeding - High protein in urine - High blood pressure
I did not experience all of these symptoms, but I had some.  Unfortunately I ignored them as I thought they were typically pregnancy pains and discomforts and my doctor did not seem concerned.
Read more about my own…

April is Cancer Awareness Month

You may or may not have known that April is Cancer Awareness Month.  I have some very personal reasons for supporting this cause, so as the month draws to a close, I thought I would share those reasons with you now.
I used to work for the Canadian Cancer Society and was fortunate enough to have met some really amazing people while I worked there.  I was able to learn so much about the many different types of cancer that exist (over 100!), programs available and research progress.  I know longer work for the Cancer Society, but the work they do still touches my daily life.
I've had family members and friends that have experienced cancer diagnoses, but it was when my dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in September 2011 that made me truly aware of how a cancer diagnosis affects a family.  Losing my dad was difficult, and an experience that I have in common with many people.  I believe that supporting the Canadian Cancer Society will ensure that people will survive cancer more o…

Mother's Day Giveaway!

I love giveaways!  And this is a fun one!  I've partnered up with some fabulous bloggers to giveaway $140 in gift cards!  And you get to choose where they come from!  I know, this is a lot of exclamation points for one post, but it's so much fun!

Check back to this post on Thursday, April 30, when our giveaway begins, to enter the giveaway!

Checkout the details below:

Tammy from My Life Abundant and Tammy from Creative K Kids have gotten together with a few of our bloggie friends to have a giveaway!

 We are so excited to be giving away $140 in cash prizes for Mother's Day to one lucky reader. The prize will consist of $140 in gift cards. The winner will choose the gift card(s) you want. Please choose a gift card(s) which comes from an online store. EX: Amazon, Target, Walmart, Macy's, Kohls, etc. You may ask for more than one gift card(s), but must add up to $140.

Now its time to meet our wonderful co-hosts who have made this giveaway possible.
Starting at the to…

Product Review: L'Oreal Paris Fibralogy

I was happy to have been selected to review L'Oreal Paris Fibralogy products for Influenster.  I received Shampoo, Conditioner and the Booster, free of charge, to review, compliments of L'Oreal and Influenster.  So what did I think?  Let me start by sharing a  "before" picture:

My hair is typically flat and dull, with very little body, as you can see.  I have extremely dry hair because I am so hard on it (hair colouring, straighteners, curling irons, hair dryers, etc).  So when I received the Fibralogy products, I was excited to give it a try.  Fibralogy products are meant to thicken your hair and provide you with more body.  Sounds good, right?
First, you begin with the Shampoo, once it's rinsed from your hair, you add a small amount of the thickening booster and, without rinsing the booster, add the conditioner, then it gets rinsed out together.   Ultimately, the products are meant to leave your hair feeling clean, thicker and softer.
I've been using these …

Easy Banana Bread!

I am no master chef, but this recipe has proved to be tried and true for me.

I had tried a number of banana bread recipes, but this one turns out every time (provided you don't forget it's in the oven... did that once), and the bonus - it's a simple recipe.

Here is what you'll need:

2 eggs
2 very ripe bananas
1/2 cup canola oil
1 1/4 cups flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp baking soda

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees, although, it may depend on your oven, I made this once outside of my own house and had to turn the heat down to 350, you may have to experiment.

In a mixing bowl, combine your dry ingredients.

 Then, in your blender, combine the eggs, bananas and canola oil.  Blend until smooth.  Poor the mixture in to your dry mix, and mix together.  Stir until well mixed.  Make sure you scrape the sides and bottom as there tends to be little "pockets" of dry ingredients.

Once mixed, poor everything in to a well-greased loaf pan.

Then put in the oven …

Talking about Serious Illnesses and Death with a Child

I realize this is a heavy topic for a Friday, but I've been asked to share, on many occasions, how we approached the topic of serious illness and death with my daughter.  Keep in mind that I am not a therapist or psychologist, and I don't claim that this is the only or best way to approach this subject.  This is just what worked for us.

In September 2011, when my daughter was 2 years old, my dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  A serious diagnosis, and a serious topic of conversation.  My daughter and my dad had a special relationship - she was the apple of his eye, and they had special games that they played, that I just couldn't play the same way he did - and believe me I tried.

We knew we had to approach the subject with my daughter somehow, especially once my dad started chemotherapy, his appearance would change, and she would have lots of questions.  Cancer is a complicated topic.  We wanted to be careful not to instill any kind of fear in our daughter - fear o…

Travel Deals of the Day - April 14

I think I've mentioned before, I love going away on a holiday.  Sometimes I take a "mini-holiday" in my mind (aka - daydreaming) by looking for great travel deals.  I thought I would share a few of the deals I came across today.

I'm sure no one wants to look ahead to the end of summer when we haven't really seen Spring yet (at least on the east coast), but it's no secret that fall can see some really great prices for holidays in the Caribbean.  Keep in mind, that fall means "hurricane season", so you do take your chances weather wise, but if you don't mind the risk, here are some great deals:

1 - Toronto to Holguin, Cuba - 7 nights at the Blau Costa Verde (leaving August 30, 2015) - $632.97/person (based on double occupancy).

Great price for a trip before school starts.  I've been to Holguin, it's a nice area with beautiful sandy beaches.  This package is all-inclusive: All meals and snacks, beverages, your room, as well as most of the…

Big Brother 3 - April 6

We're back with the aftermath of the HOH competition.  Brittnee has a plan to backdoor Graig.  At the nomination ceremony, Brittnee unleashes her plan.  Brittnee nominates Kevin and Bobby but insinuates that she has a bigger target in mind.  That is, in fact, true, however, her speech makes it sound like Johnny is the target.
We get to see some of the resulting punishment/rewards, including Graig's letter from his parents.  He cries.
On to POV.  This is a dizzying competition involves in spooling ropes on to your body, then putting the rope on another spool.   Bobby and Brittnee come out quick and lead the pack.  Johnny struggles, but not nearly as much as Sarah who feels nauseous and then claustrophobic.  She vomits and Kevin feels bad for her. So do I.  Motion sickness is truly awful.  She says she would usually have a "dube or two" to feel better but since she can't, she quits.
It ends up coming down to Johnny and Zach. .. And Johnny wins. 
Graig says he'…

Big Brother 3 - April 5

It's instant eviction night!  Kevin nominates Naeha and Brittnee.  He's not allowed to tell houseguests under threat of instant eviction, so all the house guests campaign, not knowing the nominations have been made.
Eventually, Arissa reveals the infant eviction.  The houseguests had to write down who they vote for .......  And then reveal their votes to everyone.
Ultimately, Naeha goes home.  The girls realize they're being picked off.
The next HOH challenge is a balance competition that has to be done in pairs.   Most pairs settle on hugging as the best position.... Except Bruno and Graig who pick the most awkward position possible.  Craig describes it as "like spooning".
Losers get a reward or punishment.  But the big winners.... Sarah and Brittnee.  Brittnee gets the HOH.  She gets a letter from her mom and everyone cries.
Graig immediately starts strategy talk, but Sarah is not having it.
Nominations will be revealed tomorrow!

Big Brother Canada 3 - April 1

We start with the aftermath of the nomination ceremony.  Sindy is crying and still finds a way to mention that her name is spelled with an "s". Ugh.  Of course Brittnee and Sindy talk about not back stabbing each other.  Blah.
The Bruno and Graig decide to plant some seeds of doubt in Brittnee about Naeha, and Naeha is mad. We get a few shots of various showmances.... Zach and Ashleigh, Johnny and Kevin, Kevin and Pilar, and Sindy and Jordan.
Then Big Brother decides to pull an April fools prank by making the houseguests think that one of them purposely damaged one of the cameras.  Rumours fly.  Arissa breaks the news to the houseguests that it was a prank. 
Time for the vote. No surprise, Sindy is voted out unanimously.
Big Brother has been waking the houseguests up to watch a video, and as we all know, this usually translates in to a competition.  So tonight's HOH has the houseguests face off with questions about the video.  Can I just say, Naeha was scary intense i…

Review: Stella & Dot - Chelsea Tech Wallet

You may have heard of Stella & Dot - they offer bags, wallets, jewelry and other accessories.  I knew a number of people that raved about their products, but I never experienced any of their products myself, until now.
My friend Jill was a true fan of Stella & Dot and ultimately became a Stella & Dot personal stylist!  She encouraged me to try out one of the products, and I chose the Chelsea Tech Wallet because I loved the pattern, and I liked the idea of having a wallet that could hold my cell phone.

This wallet has lots of sections and a few spots for credit/debit cards.

What I love about this wallet - it has plenty of room for money and cards.  I am notoriously famous for carrying too many cards, but this wallet was able to accommodate all of my credit, debit, loyalty and membership cards, as well as hold my cash, and still left plenty of room for my cell phone.  It has a wrist strap that was very sturdy and allowed me to go without a purse and carry this alone.  
My f…

Big Brother Canada 3 - March 29 and 30

Back at it!  Picking back up with HOH, Brittnee and Kevin are the first to drop.  Eventually it comes down to Sindy and Bobby.  Sindy's strategy is to try to seduce (?)/distract Bobby.  It doesn't work because Bobby wins.  He nominates Kevin and Brittnee. 
Sarah and Sindy commit the first sin of Big Brother and decide to have a strategy chat in the bathroom without checking to see if anyone is in there first.  They reveal their girl "alliance" and Kevin hears it all.  The girls freak out and Kevin runs to fire up some of the boys.
Time for POV.  It's a beaver themed challenge and these beaver costumes are ridiculous.  Looking pretty low budget.  Anyway,  the houseguests have to gather logs, and spell a sentence out of the letters.  This challenge reinforces for me that these houseguests would not survive on Survivor.  Everyone is cold and talking about their bodies "shutting down".  Ultimately, Kevin wins.
Next, a little mini-challenge.  Johnny has to…

Big Brother Canada 3 - March 25

I LOVE Big Brother.  I've been watching since the first season of Big Brother US, so when a Canadian version came out, I was ALL IN.  I'm going to do some recapping of this season, fully acknowledging that I didn't recap the first episode this season, but hopefully the rest of my recaps make up for it.

Recap of the first episode - The houseguests entered to no furniture or supplies and none of their belongings.  They were told they would all be HOH and each nominate too people.  The two people nominated the most would end up as the nominees so those two people were Risha and Sindy.  On the the POV Sindy takes self off block and nominates Pilar in her place.  Risha feels like she's not connecting with anyone because of her age (she's 41).

Back to the present, it's the first night in the house.  No blankets, no beds, not much for comfort, so most houseguests are using towels to sleep on.  Johnny reveals he has crush on Kevin.  *yawn*

Everyone complains about how…

Travel Deals of the Day - March 17, 2016

Are you experiencing a little bit of "cabin fever"?  For many living in colder climates, this tends to be the time of year that we all say we've had enough of winter - unless you like cold weather or love winter sports, perhaps.  For me, I always feel like a virtual hermit during the winter.  Home and work are my two destinations, for the most part, in the winter months.

Whether you're currently planning a trip, or simply daydreaming about one, I thought I would share a few deals I came across today.  
*Disclaimer* - I am not a spokesperson for any of the companies I mention in this post.  Any of the trips shared below are listed based solely on price.  Also - these were the prices at the time of my post, and prices may change as the sales continue.  
Now, with all of that out of the way, here's what I found today.
Because I have readers from all over the place, I didn't want to simply focus on departures from my local airport, so I chose a couple of "…

Tips for a Fantastic Time at Disney Parks

Disclaimer: These tips and tricks are based on my own experience, there are not endorsed by any travel company, theme park or other organization.  If you have your own tips or tricks, I'd love to hear about them. Share in the comments below.
My husband and I were in our 30s when we made our first trip to Orlando.  I didn't think theme parks were my kind of vacation, boy was I wrong.  Florida theme parks are about more than "just rides".  Each theme park offers different experiences.  I can't speak to all parks, but I can give some tips on the parks I have visited.
Some general tips for Disney parks - I highly recommend strollers, particularly for children under the age of 6.  Disney parks involve a lot of walking.  We found we were able to make it around a lot faster with a stroller.  There are strollers available for rental at the park, and I've heard of a number of companies that rent strollers as well.  If your child is under 40 pounds, an umbrella stroll…

Element5 Spa - Review

I recently had the opportunity to enjoy half a day at Element5 Spa in Saint John, NB.  If you're anything like me, it can be difficult to find the time to have a "me day", but I highly recommend it.  I have felt guilty in the past when I take time for me, but I truly believe that when you're happy and relaxed, it's contagious - a good contagious.  
I've had gift certificates before for a spa, and I usually stretch it as far as I can - multiple appointments on different days.  This time, I decided to try something different, book them all at the same time.  One big package.  And it was AMAZING.
Whether you live in Saint John, New Brunswick, or if you're planning to visit, I highly recommend a visit to this spa.  I'm going to share my experience in hopes of encouraging you to make your own "me day".  
Element5 Spa is located in Market Square, one of my favourite buildings in Saint John.  A beautiful, bright space surrounded by shopping, eating…