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The Special Needs Parenting Sweet Spot
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Easy Pumpkin Spice Vegan Latte
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Signs Our Loved Ones Are Still With Us
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Back To School, What’s Cool?
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Why This Mama Bird Ain’t Happy About Back-To-School
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Our Back To School #CartersOshKosh Fashion Picks + Enter To Win a $500 Gift Card!
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Why mindful? And what does that even mean anyway?
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I Didn’t Expect To Feel Like This When She Turned Ten
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Childish Things We Still Fear As Adults
10
Beach Babies Rejoice

The Special Needs Parenting Sweet Spot

It’s a struggle to stay rooted in the present. Memories of traumatic moments from the past seep in and thoughts of what “could” happen trickle through the cracks. These leaks can start to erode the “special needs parenting sweet spot.”  “Be mindful!” I remind myself constantly. “All the good stuff is happening now! If you don’t open your eyes and breathe, you’ll miss it.”  Sitting sandwiched between two conversations at my daughter’s adaptive soccer league last week I felt like my happy place was put in peril. As I sat on a cold metal bench watching wildly enthusiastic kids chase after soccer balls followed closely by their volunteer partners. I couldn’t help but hear the two conversations happening separately on either side of me.  One pair talked about their young children recently diagnosed with complicated disorders. The fear, the confusion, the anxiety—I remember it well. The “beginning” is a unique kind of difficult. So many questions, so much anxiety—parents reaching out in desperation to anyone who might have answers, or at the very least offer some guidance.  My stomach clenched as I listened to the despair in their voices. Though my compassion was overshadowed by my relief in having escaped the early[…]

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Easy Pumpkin Spice Vegan Latte

I know I’m late to the PSL party, but I’m here now. And this vegan pumpkin latte is so, so good. And healthy-ish. And easy! Preface… pumpkin pie is my second favourite food. I also enjoy a coffee (who doesn’t?) so you’d think a pumpkiny coffee would be my jam. However, I bought my first ever PSL from the coffee shop (you know which one) and I was underwhelmed. It was a hundred dollars and way too sweet. So I made my own version at home. Just sweet enough. Free. Vegan. And yum.  A few of my kin have pumped me for this easy pumpkin spice latte recipe, so here it is. ? ☕️    

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Signs Our Loved Ones Are Still With Us

I believe in signs. Or at least I believe that believing makes the sad bits of life easier.  One could argue that you can see anything if you’re looking for it, willing it to be there, twisting it into what you need it to be. You could argue that and you might be right.  But yet here we are. Signs all around us, even when we’re not looking for them. When my mother in law passed away she left a hole in our lives. As the years went by (it’s been two and half now) we filled the hole with time and memories.  Then this summer when my father in law sold his house and prepared to move out of the home he shared with his wife, where memories were made and her spirit was felt every time we walked through the door, the hole opened up a little. Sorting through her things brought up feelings. We felt her and missed her.  In an effort to simplify the move my father in law purged and pared down the contents of his home. He gave us their old patio table and chairs. This is the table where we ate dinner with[…]

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Back To School, What’s Cool?

  There’s a rumour going around that summer is nearly over. I refuse to believe it but we did some back to school shopping just in case… FYI—This post is not sponsored. I wasn’t paid to toot anyone’s horns. I’ll tell you if any of these items were given to us. Otherwise, I dug deep into my mom jean pockets and paid for these myself or plan to. By “plan to” I don’t mean to imply that I stole anything. I haven’t shoplifted since I was six years old and I took a tiny brush from the paint store I was in with my mum. In my defence, I thought they were free. My mother made me go back to the store to return it. I’ve never gotten a five-finger discount since. A few of this items are still on my wish list.  My ever growing, long, long, super list of wants.  TECH       BOOKS     LUNCH TIME     LOCKER LOOT      

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Why This Mama Bird Ain’t Happy About Back-To-School

A friend posted a question on Facebook asking, “Are you happy or sad about your kids going back to school?” The majority of responses were something like, “It’s been fun but I want my routine back!”  My sad face emoticon response was in the minority. I am not excited about my kids heading back to school in the least.  That might make me sound all, “Oooooh, I’m such a wonderful mother. I enjoy every single second with my perfect children, crafting and baking wholesome snacks, and exploring nature on our many hikes and adventures. Hashtag…. #blessed” As if. The last thing I hiked up was my skirt at the waterpark.  Me lamenting my kids return to school doesn’t make me some kind of earnest earth mother who savours each second with her spawn. Of course I savour some seconds, but not all of them. Some seconds/minutes/hours are loud and clingy and annoying and totally cut into my highly coveted “me time.”  Admittedly, I’ve had it easy. My husband is a teacher, off for the summer. I always have an extra set of hands. I’d be singing a vastly different tune if I was home alone with my kids for sixty-eight days straight. […]

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Our Back To School #CartersOshKosh Fashion Picks + Enter To Win a $500 Gift Card!

When my son was a baby the majority of his wardrobe was from Carter’s. OshKosh B’ gosh; he was a stylin’ little dude. He obviously didn’t care if his socks matched his overalls or if his onesies had cute sayings on them, but I did. He was my pride and joy and dressing him up in cuddly outfits made me swoon. Thirteen years later his socks no longer match his pants. In fact, they rarely match each other. This man-child doesn’t give a care about fashion and heaven forbid I should lay out a super cute outfit like one of these for him to wear… So thank goodness for my fashion-loving daughter. She loves dressing up. Hair accessories, purses and bracelets, dresses, cute t-shirts and pretty sparkly shoes…she adores all of it. A few weeks ago, before I even knew I’d be writing this post, we popped into the Carter’s | OshKosh store near our house. We needed tall socks for “Crazy Sock Day” at Avery’s bicycle camp and I knew I’d be able find what I needed. Neon star and polka dot socks in hand, we browsed for a bit. My son was with us and I felt a sudden[…]

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Why mindful? And what does that even mean anyway?

I like to hang onto things—to cling to past experiences and their corresponding feelings (good and bad) like some kind of memory hoarder.  At the same time, I enjoy time travel into the future. If only I had a functional crystal ball, then I wouldn’t need to spend so much time guessing and imagining what lies ahead. I like to know how things are going to play out so I create possible scenarios in my head. It’s a crap shoot. About 90% of my predictions are wrong. Or more often, by the time the future becomes the now, I’ve forgotten what outcome I was trying to orchestrate in the first place.  My husband started actively learning about mindfulness years ago, long before it became a trend. And man has it ever become a trendy. These days you can’t swing a yoga mat without hitting a meditating millennial or a #mindful hashtag.  Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn is the first book on the subject of mindfulness that my husband read. In fact, it’s the first book he’s read from cover to cover in our entire marriage! Clearly it captured his attention.  I’m reading it now. It’s no ‘Girl[…]

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I Didn’t Expect To Feel Like This When She Turned Ten

As her tenth birthday approached, I felt on edge. Normally the prospect of a celebration has me excited—party planning, baking buying a cake, and wrapping gifts are generally joyful. But instead of joy, I felt dread.  It wasn’t until after her party, when it was quiet and I was alone pouring over images of my daughter as a baby, a toddler, a school girl, right up until photos taken that morning of the amazing ten year old person she has become, that it all came out in a rush of emotions I didn’t expect.  I was choosing photos for a video to document our daughter’s first decade of life. You can watch it below if you feel inclined. I know, it’s kind of like me saying,”Hey, wanna watch slides of our vacation to the Grand Canyon?” And then forcing you to sit through two hours of photos of my family posing in front of various rock formations. Except, this video is only two minutes long and it’s worth watching if only for the song. God I love this song. Milestone birthdays—there’s obviously a lot of nostalgia that go along with watching your child grow up…and away. As babies, they clung to us. They[…]

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Childish Things We Still Fear As Adults

Kids naturally develop a little fear. Well, most kids. Not my second born—that kid isn’t scared of a thing, to a fault. She’s an enigma wrapped in a fearless cape. As adults, we can usually reason our way out of childish fears. I know there aren’t monsters under my bed. Monster dust bunnies maybe, but nothing deadly. And I know that if the phone rings when I’m home alone, and the caller whipers, “Have you checked the children??” it’s just my husband on his way home from work and his voice sounds creepy because he has a bubble in his throat. It’s all good. Not scary.  As an adult I’m more afraid of death and taxes. Shadowy monsters and the Boogeyman don’t warrant more than a raised eyebrow from me at this point. I have bigger fish to fry. Speaking of fish, we adults are way less afraid of sharks now than we were in our formative years. Thank you Mister Spielberg—you twisted creep. You wrecked the ocean for me for decades.  Some fears, no matter how juvenile or preposterous, follow us into adulthood. We can’t shake them no matter how hard we try to rationalize them away.  I’m not talking about sincerely[…]

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Beach Babies Rejoice

I grew up with sand between my toes—not a comment on my mother’s housekeeping, but a product of living a stone’s throw from White Rock beach. I spent every possible minute turning over rocks in search of sea critters, and digging my feet into the sand until it went from warm and dry to cool and wet.  All children should experience the joy of exploring tidal pools, building sandcastles, and running barefoot on the sand.  .  This is why I’m thrilled to share this video about “World Beach Rescue Day.” Not to mention that it combines two of my favourite things—the beach and wine. Barefoot Wines and the beach go together like Frankie and Annette (If you don’t understand that reference you might be a Millennial, in which case, you’ll have go Google it. Or like, Snapchat it). Since moving away from my beloved seashore to the land locked province of Ontario, I’ve come to appreciate the great Great Lakes. They are rather spectacular—shark free and unsalted even. I haven’t switched teams completely however. Ocean or lakes, or rivers for that matter, they all run through me. It’s more about the beach. Step barefoot onto sand, and stress involuntarily dissipates.  Beaches[…]

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