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Why This Simple Diet Plan Works
2
You Don’t Want To Miss The Fall Fit Women’s Weekend
3
When Your Child’s Speech Delay Gets Worse
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Curse You Connie Britton!
5
Goldfish Swim School Oakville
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Surprise Puppy!
7
Easy Snowman Hairstyle
8
Doves Of Hope—Honouring Loved Ones Impacted By Cancer
9
The Best Cameras For Kids
10
Instagram Stories Are The New Twitter

Why This Simple Diet Plan Works

When I was in my early twenties a boyfriend suggested I could “drop a few.” Charming. So, to make him happy I restricted myself to one small meal a day for weeks. Apparently I needed to slim down my bulky 115 pound frame. That “health kick” ended when I fainted during my shift at Bootlegger (a jean store, I didn’t run booze across the county line).  In my thirties, as the parent of young children, I walked everywhere—pushing a stroller to the grocery story, the community centre, the park. I got a lot of accidental exercise. Plus as a teacher I was on my feet all day. More accidental exercise. And now here I am in my forties. I drive everywhere because the ‘burbs are spread out. Speaking of which, I work from home now, which results in a lot of ass time. As in, sitting on. The days of accidental exercise have vanished into thin air like that Costco-size bag of Chicago Mix I bought to share with the family, but ate all by myself. But recently when I looked down at my unbuttoned pants (I had to undo them for safety reasons) I took note of the alarming numbers on[…]

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You Don’t Want To Miss The Fall Fit Women’s Weekend

Last year when a friend invited me to a fitness retreat I was all, “Um, it’s not one of those meditation retreats where you can’t talk, is it? I wouldn’t last thirty minutes. And what kind of fitness are we talkin’? Are you sure you have the right vowel? I’m sooooo out of shape.”  As you can see, my comfort zone has solid borders and tall walls. It’s also comfortably decorated, so I find it hard to leave.  Sometimes the only thing that can force me out is a swift kick in the butt.  This post is me kicking you. But only if you want me to. (Don’t worry, I’ve removed my shoes.) Have you heard about She Getaways’ Fall Fit Women’s Weekend? If not, I’d love to tell you about it. Not because I’m trying to sell it to you. It sells out very quickly on its own, so they don’t need my help.  But, I found the experience to be life changing. I know, cliché, but I’m serious. During the doldrums of winter I find myself fantasizing about it—me on a paddle board pondering life, breathing deeply, laughing by the campfire, noticing the soft earth under my flip-flops[…]

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When Your Child’s Speech Delay Gets Worse

We started learning American Sign Language as soon as we found out about our daughter’s genetic disorder—one that is almost always associated with severe speech issues. We relied on a variety of ASL resources, but a favourite (and the most fun) was a PBS show called Signing Time. A friend gave us the DVD set which we watched a hundred times. It’s no longer on television, but you can find it on You Tube.  As Avery started verbally saying words, and eventually longer more complicated sentences, sign language went to the wayside. She was talking with actual, understandable words and it was the sweetest sound.  Two years Avery was formally diagnosed with a profound speech delay. We weren’t surprised, but we were hopeful that with maturity and hard work, her speech would improve. And it did. For a little while.  Since then, her speech has declined even more. Especially in the past few months. I tend to panic when I don’t know why things are happening. And for no apparent reason.  The ideas are there—she knows what she wants to say and she wants to say it, but she struggles to get the words out. Like, really struggles. It’s hard to watch.[…]

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Curse You Connie Britton!

There’s enough drama in the world. I don’t need to watch fictional shows about death and grief and horrific, “I didn’t see THAT coming!” scenarios. This is part of the reason we got rid of cable when the kids were little. But now that we have Netflix, I’m back to binge watching all the things. I forced myself to quit ‘The Walking Dead.’ It stressed me out and grossed me out. I can’t go into my garage at night now to put a tin in the recycling bin without bracing myself for a zombie attack. Zombies get trapped in garages and you don’t even know they’re there until it’s too late.  No more Walking Dead for me, especially after what happened to poor Glenn. Savage. Apparently they REEAAALY didn’t want to renew his contract.  However I may have caved and watched the rest of the season, peeking through a blanket, because I needed to know if Maggie’s unborn baby was going to be okay. I was emotionally invested. That’s the problem. Empaths don’t do well with highly emotional or violent television. And we DESPISE conflict. Real or fictional  We absorb and digest the drama until it reeks havoc on our[…]

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Goldfish Swim School Oakville

We’ve been trying to teach our daughter to swim for years—on our own and through a variety of classes, but success has been elusive.  We were optimistic about an adaptive swim class offered by the city, but once again, progress was minimal. The pool was freezing—like blue lips, could barely make it through the class, frigid. It was also large and loud, with way too many distractions. The instructors tried their best, but aside from one-on-one instruction, there was no real distinction between this “adaptive” program and a regular community swim class.  I was sceptical when I heard about the Goldfish Swim School opening near us. I didn’t believe it would be any different from past swim school experiences.  But, we decided to give it a try and holy sh…allow waters! Avery’s swimming has dramatically improved after only a few months of weekly lessons. She was swimming confidently, and with proper technique, after only four classes!  I’ve since recommended Goldfish Swim School to everyone!! Friends, neighbours, strangers on the internet, random moms in the grocery checkout line. It’s just so exciting to have found a program that is fun, safe and effective. We love it so much that my son is[…]

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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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