September 30, 2015

How Life Insurance Helps Me Breathe

life insurance commercial

Remember that (unintentionally) hilarious Canadian insurance commercial that ran back in the early 90s—the one where Patrick phones home to inform his parents that he took out life insurance?

It still pops into my head whenever I hear the name Patrick. The part where the wife holds up the hand written note, “Medical?” makes me howl—probably because my mother does the same thing to my dad, but instead of writing her “helpful” questions and comments, she silently mouths them, often with wild hand gestures. Also hilarious.

But you know what’s not hilarious?


Pardon the blunt redirect, but as the bearer of young children and an overactive imagination, I spend a lot of time contemplating the future; which often includes various scenarios regarding my death. It’s morbid I know, and I literally have to make myself cut it out or I end up breathing into a paper bag.

It’s just the idea of not being here for my family. I can’t stomach the thought of leaving them. I may not have the power to control that, but I do have the power to set up my family financially in the case of me you-know-what-ing.

My husband and I recently updated our wills and also rejigged our life insurance policies. Now that I’m amply insured, my husband jokes that he might slowly try to poison me.

Also not hilarious (but kind of).

Obviously death isn’t an enjoyable topic. But, if someone (your kids, your spouse) depends on you financially, it’s a subject you need to address sooner rather than later. In the event of a tragedy, life insurance proceeds can:

-          Pay for funeral costs
-          Help pay the bills and meet ongoing living expenses
-          Pay off outstanding debt, including credit cards and the mortgage
-          Continue a family business
-          Finance future needs like your children’s education
-          Protect a spouse’s retirement plans

In a nutshell, life insurance provides cash to your family after you die. This cash, known as the death benefit, replaces your income and can help your family meet their financial needs and continue their standard of living. FYI—there is no tax on life insurance benefits.

Term life insurance is one of the most affordable types of Life Insurance that can be tailored to fit your family's needs and budget—you can get it for as little as $1/day. It provides protection for a specific period of time (the “term”) and generally pays a benefit if you die during that term. This type of insurance often makes sense when you have a need for coverage that will disappear at a specific point in time. For instance, you may decide that you only need coverage until your children graduate from university or a particular debt, e.g. your mortgage, is paid off.

Even if you’re a stay-at-home parent like me who doesn’t earn a traditional salary, you still make a financial contribution to your family by providing childcare, transportation, cleaning, cooking, and other household activities—the replacement value of which is often severely underestimated. With life insurance, families can afford to make choices that best preserves their quality of life.

I still contemplate the future in WAY too much detail. But now that I trust that my family will be comfortable economically, no matter what, I worry less.

Start by getting a free life insurance needs analysis from TD Insurance. Their advisors are non-commission based. They can help determine how much coverage you need and at what cost.

*Until November 13th, you can be entered to win a Fitbit FlexTM  activity tracker when you call TD Insurance for a free life insurance needs analysis*

Join the conversation online by following @TD_Insurance on Twitter—hashtag #InsuranceThatFits

Disclosure: This post was generously sponsored by TD Insurance, but the opinions and images are my own.

September 29, 2015

Why I Removed The Comment Section From My Blog

Since I starting blogging I've relished every comment left on my blog. I appreciate the time and thought it takes to craft a response to something I wrote. I also appreciate the opportunity to generate a conversation based on something going on in my life. But now, a decade later, I’ve decided to remove the comment section from my blog. Don't worry, I killed it humanely.

Why would I do such a thing?!

Ask any blogger and they'll tell you that the volume of comments on their blog has dropped dramatically over the past few years. For me, despite an increase in visitor traffic, comments have decreased significantly. I get it though. I read a ton of blogs and I rarely comment anymore. 

A lack of comments does not mean that I don't have anything to say. Au contraire. I'm just as verbose and opinionated as ever. However it's WHERE we choose to conversate (it's a word) that has completely changed. FACT: Comments have migrated over to social sites like Facebook and Twitter.

Social media channels have become interactive and lively conversation hubs.

I frequently share links to posts I've written here on Forever In Mom Genes as well as stories published on in my Twitter feed and on my Facebook page. THIS is where people "like", share, comment, and most importantly, discuss.

Social platforms — it's where the chat's at!

My blog has been an invaluable way for me to connect with people and it provides me with access to like-minded communities around the world. But actual feedback from somebody who has read my words? It's gold Jerry! As a parent, I don't know what I'm doing half the time, and parenting a child with special needs guarantees I know even less. Your input helps me (and other readers with similar questions) so much. Not to mention the comfort your support provides. Just knowing you're routing for us makes life better and less "am-I-doing-this-right-ish."

And in a practical sense, when you comment or ask a question, I want to respond as soon as possible. But since I'm often mobile, responding to blog comments on my phone is tricky and time consuming; whereas responding to a comment left on a social platform is quick and effortless. It's nice to participate in a two-sided conversation that takes place over a matter of hours, not days. Ahem, often over weeks. Or, never. 

Not to mention spam. Most of the comments I get on this little blog are spammy links asking me "to for please visat my website now kindly of." Or mercy comments from family members who feel bad that my comment tally reads 0.

The comment section on my blog has served its purpose, but has now it has become obsolete. This is why I'm closing the comment section on this little blog.

Please keep chatting and commenting and sharing. Your feedback is the fuel that keeps me keepin' on.

So...this message below is what you'll see at the end of each comment-section-less post from now on. 

September 20, 2015

Life Is Better With Pizza

Some things never change. Like, how as kids we loved pizza. I still love the hot cheesy carby-ness. But what I love even more now is having dinner delivered directly into my tired hands.

Friday Pizza Night is incredibly popular around the world for that very reason. 

Exhausted parents 
a meal everyone loves 

= a dinnertime reprieve for parents everywhere

But some things do change. Life becomes more challenging in adulthood and we face hardships we never imagined existed as carefree kids.

I know. I just went from the simple joy of pizza to the harsh realities of being a grown up drowning in the responsibilities of adulthood. Sorry. But if you stick with me, there's a free pizza in it for you at the end. For real.

As an adult I've watched friends I love struggle through the difficult transition from married with kids to divorced with kids.

Right now, as I'm writing this, a dear friend who I love with all my heart is packing up her things. She's moving from the home she shared with her husband to start a new life as a single parent.

I am so proud of her—the guts and poise she has displayed during this emotional ordeal speaks to the quiet strength I don't think even she knew she had.

Next weekend her friends will clean cupboards and unpack boxes and help set her up in her soon to be happy home.

And as we organize furniture and apply shelf liners to kitchen drawers and drink wine from plastic cups (until we find the box marked "glassware") there will of course be pizza. Isn't there always pizza on moving day?

I'm going to share my free pizza code with my brilliantly brave and amazing friend. And we'll order extra pizza because lifting boxes is hungry work. And we'll order salads too because, well, grown ups eat salad with their pizza.

pizza night

Told you there would be free pizza at the end of this story.
And here it is...

This is how I got my pizza voucher—check out the details below so you can get yours too.

Visa Canada and Pizza Pizza are offering a special opportunity from now until November 1st. Everyone who orders online at or through the Pizza Pizza smartphone ordering app using Visa Checkout will automatically receive a code for a free medium two topping pizza.

Visa Checkout is the online checkout service that allows everyone to securely store their shipping and payment information without ever having to re-enter the information when shopping online. With Visa Checkout, you simply enter your username and password, and click a button to complete the purchase.

visa checkout

Ready to check out Visa Checkout? 

Visit to place your order (minimum order of $9.99) and get your voucher code valid for a FREE medium 2-topping pizza to share with friend or save to use for yourself on your next order.

The only thing better than pizza is...FREE pizza! You're ordering next Friday night anyway (you know you are), so you may as well cash in on this deal while you still can. It's only on until November 1, 2015 and while quantities last.

visa Checkout

Life really is #BetterWithPizza so why not share with a friend? Who's day would you make cheesier (in a good way) with pizza?

September 18, 2015

Clothes Off

I listen to music all day while I work and when the right song comes on, it gives me a little burst of creative energy.

When I first heard this song, I loved it instantly.

Unfortunately I didn't catch the title and I went out of my mind trying to track down this track. I Googled randomness like, "song with sick bass" and "new songs this week that are really cool." I even hummed the guitar riff into a Shazam type app. How shocking that the title didn't pop up immediately. Ha.

So I listened faithfully to the radio for two weeks—waiting and listening attentively for my song. I drove my music savvy friend Sarah bonkers by humming what I could remember over the phone. She was like, "Um, I'm pretty sure that even if that song exists, it doesn't go ANYTHING like that."

Well, in your face Sarah. It does exist. And I stand by my original "humdition." I nailed it. Give or take a few octaves/notes/basic tune/all of it.

The song finally came blasting through my mini-van speakers while I sat waiting for my daughter at school pick-up. I took note of key words in the chorus this time so I could find the title and artist.
The song is called "Clothes Off" by Ria Mae—a Canadian singer/song writer from Halifax. Her music is a unique blend of pop, alternative and folk. If you like Sinead O'Connor, you'll dig Ria. 
I'm always listening for catchy guitar snippets for my son to learn—if I have to listen to him practice, it might as well a jam I like, right? Is it wrong to ask him to learn a song called, "Clothes Off?"


But what if I tell him it's about a parent saying...

It's acceptable then obviously. 

Have a listen to "Clothes Off" and let me know if you love it as much as I do.

And here's a cool live acoustic version of Clothes Off 

September 17, 2015

The Look Of Big Girl Shoes WITHOUT Having To Tie Laces!

My daughter has always had petite feet (petite everything actually). Even now at the age of nine, she's sporting size 12-kid shoe. In one way, this is a good thing. As a special kiddo with motor skill delays, tying laces isn't an option. So, having small feet means there are still lots of shoes to choose from that have Velcro closures. The thing is, she may be little in the tootsies, but she's a big girl—grade four this year. 

Fourth Graders tie up their own laces.

Avery can't tie up her own shoes (Yet! We're working on it!). This is another thing that sets her apart and it frustrates her. So this year she went back to school with BIG GIRL LACE UP SHOES...with a helpful twist.

The two pairs Avery got for BTS have the look up lace ups, but can easily be slipped on.

1. Skechers Girl's Twinkle Toes: Shuffles - Heart N Sole

How fun and funky are these sneakers? The high tops provide extra ankle support which helps to keep kids like Avery with weak ankles more stable. Plus, they have a flexible rubber traction outsole which makes them safer for running around on the playground. And yes, the toes twinkle when you stomp. But the best part is they zip open which makes them easy to slip on without having to fuss with laces, and they fasten closed with a Velcro tab that looks like a tricky buckle. They're also roomy enough to easily insert her *orthotics.
*For years Avery wore bulky custom orthotics and AFOs. Finding shoes to accommodate them was a challenge. Now that she wears thin footbed orthotics (we bought this pair of Birkenstock footbeds from our podiatrist's office) the shoe world is our oyster! The inserts slide easily into these shoes and can be moved from shoe to shoe.

2. Skechers Appeal Ziggy-Zag
This is the sneaker Avery keeps at school as her "indoor shoes." They're bright and happy and go with everything. They too have the look of laces, but the stretchy bungee style of lace doesn't need to be tied—she can put these on all by herself after recess. It's easy independence. Woot!

*This shoe has a memory foam insert built in, so she wears this pair without her footbeds—this was a conscious choice—transferring the inserts from outdoor shoe to indoor shoe several times a day was too much. We'd rather she wears the inserts in her outdoor shoes and boots for more support while she's running and climbing.

Skechers has a huge selection of styles to choose from this year—lots with the look of laces but easy to put on for kids who haven't quite mastered the infamous shoe lace yet. 

For the full shoe view, visit the Skechers Canada website. I check-marked the pairs Avery has already, and circled the ones we have our eyes on...

FYI...this post was not sponsored. I chose these two pairs of shoes knowing they would work well for Avery this year and Skechers generously sent them to us to try out. I'm choosing to share because Avery feels so happily independent being able to put these shoes on and off by herself. Yay!

Related: Let Braces Be Gone