Archive - 2017

1
Surprise Puppy!
2
Easy Snowman Hairstyle
3
Doves Of Hope—Honouring Loved Ones Impacted By Cancer
4
The Best Cameras For Kids
5
Instagram Stories Are The New Twitter
6
Why I Became A Walker (No, not the Zombie Kind)
7
Teaching Your Child With A Disability To Ice Skate
8
Halloween Treats For Baking Cheats
9
From Sympathy There’s Gratitude
10
When We Worry Too Much And What To Do About It

Surprise Puppy!

Before you say it, I know. And I fully agree. Puppies are not usually an appropriate Christmas gift. But, when you’re already planning on adding a pet to the family, being able to coordinate it with Santa is a parenting coup.  Our daughter Avery adores animals. She lives and breathes fur. I also breathe fur, hence my weekly allergy shots. But that’s a story for another time.  Avery’s first pet was our rescue dog, a terrier/chihuahua Roger. We got him when Avery was a toddler and her physical therapist suggested a dog as motivation to get her walking. It worked.  We also had a guinea pig. Sadly, he’s in pet heaven now. RIP Ernie.  And if you are familiar with my Instagram account, you’re painfully aware that we have a big orange tabby named Kevin. He just so darn photogenic that I can’t help but share pics and videos of him. A lot. Like, a “crazy cat lady” amount.  Now that Avery is eleven and is responsible enough to start caring for a puppy—learning to feed and train her very own dog, we were happy to make this wish come true.  Though she asked Santa for a puppy (she actually[…]

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Easy Snowman Hairstyle

I’m terrible at doing my own hair. I can barely manage a simple ponytail. I’m not much better at styling my daughter’s hair, but she loves sporting fun buns and curious coifs so…. I do my best.  And no word of a lie, if I can do this, you can too! We did this snowman style in under five minutes before school this morning.  The only thing you need to prep ahead of time is the snowman decorations. I’m not especially crafty (as you’ll see) so our snowman looks pretty dishevelled. I’m actually shocked he survived the full school day.  *Note: I didn’t have any ribbon or enough felt to tie a scarf, so I pinned a scarf to Frosty’s neck. Not a great look, but it did in a pinch. If you’re crafty, you can make cute decorations. I’m not only “craft challenged” I’m also pretty lazy, so I deconstructed an ornament from our Christmas tree and bam! Snowman adornments.  Here’s a step-by-step Snowman Hair how-to: ** I am not the creator of this hairstyle. I saw it on Pinterest (isn’t that where we find EVERYTHING good?) and decided to try it. It turned out okay for somebody in a[…]

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Doves Of Hope—Honouring Loved Ones Impacted By Cancer

Childhood sleep-overs and camping trips, always there for me with a joke; wiping tears of laughter from her cheeks as she attempted (and usually failed) to get to the punch line. My aunt. Everyone has a story to tell about a person who helped shape them into who they are—someone who inspired them to be a better person. For me that person was my Auntie Jan. Jan lived each day thoughtfully, with purpose. Her relationships, her commitment to fitness, her love of the outdoors and putting family first—she lived well by valuing what is important. I sometimes forget. Thinking about Jan reminds me. She used to play this game where she’d make eye contact with a stranger passing by and smile at them. She’d keep smiling until they eventually smiled back. They almost always did.  When she was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of sixty, far too young and too healthy for the likes of cancer, we were crushed.  Her initial biopsy was on my birthday, but despite her frightening day, she still phoned to leave me a Happy Birthday message. Oh my god her phone messages were the best—veering off topic and looping back again, laughing so[…]

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The Best Cameras For Kids

We’re a society of photo fanatics. Is it any wonder our kids are obsessed with wanting their own cameras? When my son was younger we got him a chunky kiddy cam. He used it for a little while but complained, “My pictures suck!” Being a proper parent I corrected him by saying, “We don’t say suck. We say, the photo quality sucks.”  At thirteen we got him a grown up DSLR camera and he hasn’t put it down since.  When his little sister asks to use the fancy camera we smile and say, “Not a chance butter fingers. That camera cost more than mummy’s wedding ring.”  She has her own kiddy camera, but like her brother’s before, it’s chunky and the photos are complete rubbish. So what’s a parent to do when their pint-sized photographer asks for a camera? We gave our daughter a hand-me-down iPhone last year (for pictures and texting) and she dropped it about 80 times and then lost it forever.  Thankfully we found a fantastic kid friendly camera solution! Two in fact. At a recent VTech product preview I was introduced to the most kid friendly cams you’ve ever seen. They are picture perfect.  First is the Kidizoom Smartwatch DX2—a[…]

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Instagram Stories Are The New Twitter

I miss Twitter. Ya, it still exists, and there’s fun to be had, but it’s not quite the same. Twitter used to be the go-to SM hook-up for a quick dose of social interaction. You’d post a rando thought like, “I adore guacamole!” and within seconds you’d be chatting with ten people, trading guac recipes and marvelling at how crazy it is that avocados go from ripe to rank in a blink of an eye. I miss that kind of serious engagement.  Now I’ll post a funny quip  or question and nuthin’. It’s like outer space—silent vapid nothingness.  Twitter has become “The Upside Down” ala Stranger Things, but dotted with political rants and branded ads.  I miss my community!!! Where are you guys??!! I also miss the instant feedback and real time interaction once found on The Twitter.  You can still rustle up some interaction on Facebook, but it’s hit or miss. And progressively pay to play.  As for blog comments? You’re more likely to get hit by an asteroid than hit with an actual blog comment from a living breathing non-bot human.  So where does an attention seeking social person find the love on social these days? Instagram! But[…]

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Why I Became A Walker (No, not the Zombie Kind)

I love to run. Well, maybe not “love,” but I certainly enjoy the feeling running gives me. I feel like a badass when I run—like I’m young and powerful and super speedy. (Even though I’m none of those things, the happy endorphins coursing through my body make me believe otherwise).  After a lazy and lengthy hiatus from running or even walking fast or lifting anything heavy, I decided to stop making excuses. I joined a gym last year and I haven’t looked back. The bottom line is, my bottom, and other bits, are stronger and leaner than they’ve been in years. But this story isn’t about that. It’s about how I ditched running and have fully embraced walking.  I wrote a bit about how I tippy toed toward walking in a post called, “How To Injure Yourself While Exercising If Four Easy Steps” Main point of the post? I’m a mega klutz who requires constant supervision.  I’d been running 3-4 times a week on the treadmill and my hips and joints were suffering. Maybe if I stretched regularly, and started sitting properly on the couch instead of frozen in an awkward position as not to disturb the animals perched on my lap,[…]

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Teaching Your Child With A Disability To Ice Skate

I love my daughter. I enjoy skating. But I don’t love or enjoy skating WITH my daughter. In fact, I’d rather do anything else. However, she’s desperate to learn. I don’t understand her fascination, but I suspect she saw it on a television show and has taken a fancy to it. So we’re trying. And boy is it ever trying. People have said, “It’s not like skating is a vital lifeskill like swimming or something. So why bother?” I know. Skating isn’t an essential skill, but the heart wants what the heart wants… (so even if the heart’s mother can’t stand being cold, whaddayagonnado?) When I saw that Erin Oak Kids was offering a Family Skate program at a rink near us, I signed us up. Us. As in I have to be on the ice with her the whole time. Though there are some wonderful therapists and enthusiastic volunteers on the ice to help, this isn’t lessons. This is a designated block of time, a freezing cold ice block of time if I may, for families with kids with disabilities to have “fun” learning to skate. So. Much. Fun.  Do you hear the negativity here? I do. And I[…]

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Halloween Treats For Baking Cheats

It’s not that I can’t bake. It’s just with all the precise measuring and following of directions I’d rather not. I’m more of a culinary free spirit.  But, when my daughter decided to throw a ‘Haunted Halloween Hip Hop Dance Party,” I knew we’d need wicked good (possibly baked) treats. I let my little party animal choose a few treats from Pinterest. Then I adapted them to make them as easy and baking-free as possible. I’m a witch like that. Here’s what I whipped up in my cauldron (aka double boiler which I haven’t used in a bat’s age):    Chocolate Bar Mummies: Unwrap mini chocolate bars (I used Coffee Crisps) and eat at least four.  Melt white chocolate or white candy melts (also called moulding wafers) in a double boiler. Do not look at the ingredients in candy melts. The horror…  Drag the melted candy over each chocolate with a fork (the tines make nice mummy wrapping lines) or drizzle.  Add two chocolate chip eyes.  Rice Crispy Monsters: Buy a box of rice crispy squares from Costco.  Eat as many free samples as you can before you check out.  Unwrap a dozen or so rice crispy squares and set aside. You[…]

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From Sympathy There’s Gratitude

It’s Thanksgiving here in Canada and there is so much to be grateful for. But with all the awful things—the violence, the tumultuous and surreal (I mean, can you even believe this has been allowed to go on this long?) political climate, not to mention the unnerving actual climate, it feels like we have to squint to see the good. But it’s there.  I’ve been watching it fill my Facebook feed. It feels right and affirming to see all the happy today.  But then I looked out my window and saw the saddest thing. It literally squeezed the air out of my lungs and made me dizzy with sympathy.  My family room window faces my neighbour’s kitchen window. We didn’t have blinds for a few months when we first moved in here thirteen years ago, so our poor neighbours were likely privy to way too much Thornbury in various states of undress. Tall trees, a substantial generation gap, and a language barrier prevented us from becoming close with our neighbours. But they’ve always smiled and said hello over the fence whenever we’re both out in our yards. And they happily throw back the balls and frisbees that ended up underneath[…]

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When We Worry Too Much And What To Do About It

I understand the parameters of reality, so why do I worry so much? It’s pointless and I know that worrying is harmful, so why do I keep doing it? I think I have an answer. The first time I recall being really worried was when I was seven years old. My dad traveled a lot and one night his plane was late. I was convinced he had crashed and I worried myself sick. Of course he was fine. I had worried myself sick for nothing.   Over the years I continued to worry about a variety of things from A to Z — some realistic, some ridiculous.  They say only eight per cent of our worries are realistic. And of those, we can actually only do something about half. This means ninety-six per cent of the things we worry about are a useless waste of time. Why do some people worry more than others?   I have a theory that we worriers have three things in common:   1. WE NEED TO BE IN CONTROL We dictate and delegate, but then end up doing everything ourselves because everyone else does it wrong. We like to organize and compartmentalize and strategize and basically orchestrate the outcome[…]

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