January 26, 2015

Red Wine and Grody Grout: Coming Clean About Getting Dirty

If you’ve ever spilled red wine on your lap (or heaven forbid, somebody else’s) you know how alarming it is. Know what else is alarming? When you cross your legs and knock over an end table, causing a glass of merlot to splash down onto your friend’s new cream carpet. It’s been over fifteen years and she’s still mad at me.

Red wine spills are pretty scary, unless you know the “stain solution.”

Watch this short video and I’ll share some stain removal hacks for dirty girls. Dirty like, avocado squashed into your pants or mustard on your collar... ahem.

I’ll also reveal a dirty little secret I’ve been keeping for over a decade…

For more information about OxiClean Versatile Stain Remover, Canada’s #1 trusted stain fighter inside and out, please visit www.oxiclean.ca or visit their Facebook Page. Find it nationally at Walmart and Shoppers Drug Mart.

This post was brought to you by OxiClean, however images and opinions are my own.

January 23, 2015

A Soft Place To Land—A Story About Friendship

I'm not calling my friends soft but, they are. Not in a doughy"Gym? What gym?" kind of way. But in a gentle, comforting, curl up in their bosom and nestle, kind of way. Not that I curl up in their bosoms. There is absolutely no bosom nestling going on. Except for that one time at that Christmas party and it was mostly innocent.

Life for so many of us is stressful these days. Like REALLY stressful. I have no idea why, it just is. Maybe it's because a lot of serious stuff goes on "mid life." Good god, we're middle aged. I'm just going to go ahead and glaze over that statement.

I don't get to see my friends very often. Mostly it's a quickie phone call here or a funny text there. Like I said, we mid-lifers have commitments and responsibilities out the whazoo.


If I should need a friend, and I have this past few weeks, I have only to reach out with a faint whimper and as if by bat echolocation or some kind of emotional ESP, they are there—with wine and wisdom and of course, their soft bosoms. Just me or is the word bosom absolutely hilarious? I challenge you to try to use it in casual conversation at least twice today. Do it! I dare you.

I saw this quote the other day and it spoke to me. We mid-lifers are into that sort of thing by the way. Quinoa, yoga, e-books, Fitbits and new agey quotes rock our world.

"There's a gift of quiet blessing only friendship can impart, for a friend shares life with gentle hands, kind words and a caring heart." 

When life threatens to knock you down, and you're looking for a safe place to land, seek out a friendly bosom. FYI, I gained a few pounds over the past few years, so my bosom is fairly ample. So feel free to land on me any time.

Here's the quote in a pretty "pinnable" form because we mid-lifers are also mildly obsessed with Pinterest. 

You might also want to read... Friendship In Our Forties

January 22, 2015

When Your Child Is Shunned


Conversations like these with my eight-year-old special girl make me want to scoop her up in my arms and then storm down to the playground, finger wagging, to kick some rude kid butt.

Me: How was school today?
Avery: Good. I made you a card. I did my letters. 
Me: Who did you play with at recess?
Avery: Katie and Susanna. But Katie say, "Go play with your own friends." 
Me: What?!
Avery: She say to me, "Go away." 
Me: Silence. Stewing. Blood pressure rising. 
Me: So what did you do?
Avery: I want to play with Susanna, but Katie say, "Play with your own friends."
Me: So who did you play with?
Avery: I just walked around by myself.

Avery adores Katie (not her real name). We've had her over to our house a lot. But things have changed. Katie who was new to the school last year and didn't speak English, has friends now—friends she's not willing to share.

This isn't a post about "mean girls." It's old news that kids can be little a-holes. It's also a fact that kids who are different are often excluded.

Different is not "cool" in elementary school.

No, this isn't anything new. I know I can't run to her defense every time she's excluded. There really aren't any options here other than continuing to build my child up so she knows (and believes) how wonderful she is.

It's my job to hold her heart in my hand like that. I'm happy to do it, it's just that sometimes, my heart needs a little holding too.

January 11, 2015

Life Lessons Learned From Loss

2014 was a year flanked on both ends by grief. Our family lost close family members in February and December. There was also the death of a pet in the middle (insignificant in comparison, but try telling that to a sobbing child who has only just recently had his first experience with losing a loved one).

I've written about how death has affected our children. Insecurities, anxiety and fears have been addressed by talking about our feelings honestly, but age-appropriately. For the most part, the kids are coping and moving forward.

Our daughter Avery, eight years old, but cognitively closer to age four, is still struggling with the loss of her Grandie. She talks about her daily. When she's particularly sad, she makes an "I miss you" card to add to the collection whose intended recipient will never see.

Avery dreams about her Grandie a lot and the mornings following those dreams are hard. She'll cry and ask "why?" There's really no good answer to that. So she'll squeeze her eyes shut like her granddad taught her and say, "Grandie is in my heart." And of course, it breaks my heart.

Avery answered the phone last week (her new favourite thing to do) and I heard her say, "Hello? Hi Grandie! Hi!!! Mummeeeeeeee! It's Grandie on the phone! It's my Grandie!!"

I picked up from the other room. It was a sales call and the woman on the line had an Irish accent, similar to my mother in law's.

I had to break it to my daughter that this was not Grandie. Avery was crushed.

We've decided not to tell her just yet about the recent loss of another very special person with whom Avery had a sweet connection. It's an emotional burden we just can't bear to place upon her little shoulders right now.

With great sadness, 2014 also brought clarity and perspective. Monumental loss has the ability to bring families closer together. I'm grateful for that. We've always been a connected family, but our busy lives have caused us to take certain relationships for granted. So this year, priorities have shifted to the life components that matter most—family, health, gratitude, kindness, giving back, and living in the moment. R and J have taught us that.


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