Monday, November 9, 2015

Sometimes You Need a Little Glama.

Have I ever mentioned that I'm a "Glam-bassador"? That means that every once in a while, the girls get to go to a cool event at a Glama Gals Tween Spa, which in all it's sparkly pink splendour is one of Kee's very favourite places ever. As a place that caters to girls who are just entering that awkward phase where they're trying to figure out where they fit in the world, and focuses on encouraging them to be themselves, I'm pretty fond of it too.

Just last weekend, they got to go to the Newmarket location and experience the "My First Time at the Spa" package.

My girls were made to feel special from the minute they walked through the door. They traded in their coats and runners for robes and slippers, and were led to the back where, after a snack of cupcakes and pinkatinis, they each got to choose their own scent of foaming foot bath before their pedicures.

Pedicures done, polish applied, they moved over to the manicure bar to soak their hands and get their nails done. Kee chose her favourite classic sparkly pink, while Beege went for purple and green (with a solitary yellow nail), with sparkles over top of everything.

Then they finished it all up with a relaxing chocolate facial while listening to some calming music.

When I asked them what their favourite part of the experience had been, I got a very enthusiastic "everything!" in response.

My kids know how wonderful I think they are. I tell them that they're smart, and brave, and kind, and beautiful every chance I get. Now that they are older, and spend the bulk of their time out in the world, they're starting to get different messages. They are constantly being bombarded by the media, as well as their peers, with someone else's ideas of what they "should" look like, wear, and do.

I do my best to counteract it; I tell them that the only people who really need to like them are themselves, because that's the only person who will be with them forever, and that changing for anyone but themselves is a really good way to be unhappy. I also realise that no matter how true my words are, there will always be a niggling little doubt in their minds that I'm only saying these things because I'm their mum.

So it's nice to have some backup for my "be true to yourself" message from outside sources.

Especially cool, sparkly, pink ones.

This post is sponsored by Glama Gals Tween Spas, and my girls received some super fun spa services for the purposes of writing this article. As always, all opinions are entirely my own.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Dear Daughter,

You know I love you, right? I tell you that all the time. I tell you in words, and I tell you with my hugs, with bedtime snuggles, with my kisses on your scraped knees, and my holding your hand when we cross a street.

You may not recognise it, but I also tell you how much I love you when I nag you about eating your carrots, or make you take a bath. I tell you every time I force you to get in your bed when you'd rather be playing, or encourage you to clean up after yourself, or make you think about why what you've done has made your sister cry and whether you should apologise.

It may seem to you, at times, like I don't think you're good enough; like I'm always trying to "fix" you. I want you to know that I love you just the way you are.

I love your stubborn little pout, and the way you can be fiercely loyal to a pair of socks. I love that you express yourself through cartoons. I love the perseverance that makes you smuggle books into the bathroom after lights out to get in a few more minutes reading (even though I really wish you wouldn't, because you need your sleep). I love the way you cover me with Blankie when you know I'm not feeling well. I even love the way you throw your whole being into an argument when you think you're right (although I hope you will eventually learn to save your energy for the things that are actually important to you, instead of digging your heels in just for the sake of it).

When I am asking you to eat vegetables, have a bath, or go to bed, it's because I hope you will grow up strong and healthy. When I ask you to clean up after yourself, it's because I know how much smoother things will go when you don't have to spend half your time looking for things. When I ask you to consider your actions and your treatment of other people, it's because I want you to realise that you have an impact, and that all of these small choices you make determine what that impact is.

You may not know this, but there are days when I cry after putting you to bed. On bad days, when we've fought over every little thing, from pants to homework, or not leaving your backpack on the stairs, I feel like a failure. When our nighttime routine deteriorates into you yelling that you need your bed *this* way before you can possibly get in it, and me yelling at you to just get in your damn bed already, I'm not really angry at you, I'm angry at me. (Okay, I'm a little angry at you.)

I can only hope that you know so deep down how much I love you, that things like me yelling or not snuggling you after you've screamed in my face don't make you feel that I don't.

Let me assure you, while neither of us is angry and no one is upset, that I love you no matter what. It doesn't matter what path you end up taking, or where your life lands; I will always, always love you. Even when I'm mad.


Tuesday, November 3, 2015


Last year, I somehow managed to knock out 50,000 words and successfully "win" NaNoWriMo*. I was even pretty pleased with the characters and story I had created; although, as a true Pantser**, it was nothing like what I started out to write.

Then I did nothing. It's still sitting there, on a dusty USB drive, all alone and abandoned.

This year, I am once again going to give it a go. With one major difference; I'm going to keep going when it's over. I am going to actually edit the thing, and attempt to find a home for it. That's what authors do, I hear... write things and then attempt to have them published.

With that said, of course I haven't started yet.

But I'm on it. I just found a French Vanilla coffee that some lovely coffee fairy (yay for thoughtful husband type people!) left in the fridge for me, I've dug out my clunky old laptop, and today I begin. I've got a blank page, and three and a half empty hours in front of me.

Wish me luck!

*National Novel Writing Month. Interested? Check it out here! Maybe sign up to write your own novel!
**Pantser. n. colloq. One who begins without a premeditated plan. (One who writes "by the seat of one's pants").

Friday, October 30, 2015

Be Comfortable.

Pregnancy is uncomfortable. Anyone who's been through it knows it. Even the most glowing, happy, radiant pregnant woman is beset by undignified, irritating things like sore breasts, excessive gas, and having to worry about peeing when they sneeze. Your body is changing and growing, and while yes it's a beautiful thing, it can also be  complete pain in the butt.

My whole goal in life, you know aside from the writing things thing and the making things thing, is to be comfortable.

Which is why trying out Bravado Designs, whose slogan is "Comfort Never Looked So Good", sounded right up my alley. They test each new design with hundreds of pregnant and nursing mothers, and I recently had the opportunity to try out their new design: the Body Silk Seamless Yoga Nursing Bra.

Image Provided by Bravado Designs

So. What is so special about this bra, you may be wondering? First of all, this company was started by two nursing mothers. If anyone knows what a pregnant or nursing mother is going to be going through as far as changes to her body and comfort, it's another nursing mother. The focus on comfort that they began with is still one of the company's guiding principles today.

The Body Silk Seamless Yoga Nursing Bra is a seamless design (because seams suck), has convertible criss cross straps (which are wonderful for someone with narrow shoulders like me), 4 way stretch fabric, and new Anti-microbial SilverbreezeTM* technology (which prevents growth of odor causing bacteria).

Image Provided by Bravado Designs

That's all great, but is it comfortable?

Yes! It absolutely is. As you know, I'm the kind of person who gets home at the the end of the day, ditches the bra, and changes right into my pajamas. Even if the end of the day is just after lunch. In fact, I'm in my pajamas right now. But I'm also wearing my new Bravado bra.

I've tried this baby out at an early morning yoga session, as well as over an entire weekend of running around at the Blissdom conference, and I'm pleased to say that I found it comfy and wearable the whole time. I love the adjustability of the band and straps; combined with the 4 way stretch, they've managed to make a bra that can take you through your pregnancy as well as nursing, adjusting to your changing body.

Bravado Designs are available at several retailers**, as well as online. I wasn't able to get in to a store for a fitting, and was worried about getting the fit right, as I've honestly only worn sports bras for the past few years and had no idea what size I might be. Luckily, they've got a video on their website to help you with the fit, and if you're still unsure, you can call up someone in their fitting department before ordering. Isabel helped me figure out the right size over the phone, and she was wonderful.

So... now that I've got the bra thing covered, can anyone recommend some super comfy pants?

This post sponsored by Bravado Designs. I also received product for the purpose of review. As always, all opinions are entirely my own.

*Silverbreeze™: The Body Silk Seamless Yoga Nursing Bra also features patented Silverbreeze™ technology, an antimicrobial finish that is applied to the fabric which prevents the growth of odor-causing bacteria, mold and mildew that can cause unpleasant odors, premature decay of the fabric and discoloration. The active ingredient silver ions, control the growth of odor-causing bacteria on the fabric surface, keeping it fresh through the most rigorous Vinyasa class, power walks and Pilates routine.

**Availability: Bravado Designs Body Silk Seamless Yoga Nursing Bra is currently available in Charcoal Heather and Pink Heather for $55.00 in the US and Canada at National and Specialty retailers including, Breakout, Figure 8, Bosom Buddies, The Pump Station, Yummy Mummy, and in Canada at West Coast Kids, Snuggle Bugz, and, and online at 

Monday, October 26, 2015

Aaaaaaand, We're Back.

I've not done that well in the "write every day" arena this month. I have reasons though, reasons, I tell you!

First there was Blissdom. If you've never heard of it, Blissdom Canada is a conference for bloggers and "social media influencers". Basically, a bunch of us hole up in a hotel/conference center for a weekend and meet new people who know what we're talking about, share our experiences, and learn about the business of social.

Canadian Lentils threw an epic party. I fell in love with Lentil Beignets.
There are always amazing sponsors who take part. Vaughan Mills kicked off the weekend with a shopping experience, Chevrolet Canada provided shuttles to attendees, and Blue Mountain  sent us off on some really amazing excursions (like a visit to the Scandinave Spa) to give us a taste of what the area has to offer. I got to work personally with one of the sponsors (more on that later), and I even somehow won a teeter totter from sponsor Active for Life, so my kids forgave me for leaving them for the whole weekend.

Sadly, it was announced that this will be the last year for Bliss in its current form. They will be putting on smaller local conferences though, so if it's something that interests you, keep on eye out for them!

Maybe my favourite part of the weekend.
The best part of the conference for me though, has always been the people. I've met some really amazing people over the years, who I am proud to call my friends, and this year was no exception. I met new bloggers, finally put faces to the words I've been chuckling about on Twitter, and got to catch up with friends from across the country.

It was great, but it was also a really exhausting weekend and I'm just starting to recover now.

The other big thing that's been going on around here: My sister had her baby! She makes the most adorable baby boys around.

Honestly, I'm jealous. My baby has started doing karate in there or something, and all of a sudden things are intensely uncomfortable.  If you don't hear from me for a few days, just assume I'm propped up somewhere in a nest of pillows having finally found a comfortable position that I'm refusing to leave.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Maybe In a Box?

I fell off the wagon a little bit this weekend. I started out with really good intentions about writing every day, but then I just forgot. I'll blame my family. For some reason, when you go and hang out with them, they prefer you to actually like... talk to them and stuff. Also turkey, I blame turkey (Happy Thanksgiving, Canada!).

Anyhoo! I did manage to get a start on covering that ugly ottoman.

A little tip for any of you who may be thinking about adding some additional "beans" to a bean bag anything: have your vacuum handy. Those little beans try to escape the second they feel a breeze. I am pleased to say that I managed to develop a system with a barely opened zipper, a cardboard tube, and a rubber band that minimized loss. The vacuum was still very necessary. Those things hide everywhere.

Since I'm me, I didn't bother with a pattern, or helpful things like measurements. I had to rip the whole thing down a few times before I checked in my handy Complete Guide to Needlework to figure out how to make a flat circle. It was published in 1979, so the patterns are... very 70's, but the basics don't really change, and this is my go to book any time I need to figure out a basic shape or stitch pattern.

Once I figured out the circle thing, it went a lot more smoothly. Now I just need to crochet what is essentially a giant hackey sack with no bottom. So far so good!

I've got to put it aside for now though, because it's time to frantically look for all the things I could have sworn that I knew exact locations of, and hope to find them in time to pack for Blissdom. Which is on Thursday. Things like those business cards I have two hundred and fifty of. Contact details on bar napkins are acceptable, right? Ugh.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

I Was Hungry When I Said That.

Now that the nausea is, for the most part, a thing of the past, I'm ravenous. I'm the kind of hungry that, left untended, could cause some serious problems.

Take last night for example.

Husband got home a little later than usual, but I'd been waiting for him to get home to have dinner with him. We decided we would order Chinese food. Of course, then the kids staged a mini revolt, and bedtime was extended by at least half an hour, which meant that by the time we finally got around to thinking about actually ordering the food, it was after 9:00. Which for me is past the ordering dinner threshold. If you order past 9:00, you may not be eating until 10:00, then you don't get to bed 'til 11:00, and you get up at 4:00 with raging heart burn anyway, so really no point.

So what to do? Husband is nice, so he offered to make me a sandwich. I'd had a sandwich for lunch, I'd be having a sandwich for lunch the next day, and I really didn't want one now. He offered again to order something, I declined. He offered to make anything else that was in the house. I almost cried, and told him that I hate every single thing there is to eat in the house, and I didn't want any of it, dammit.

He was also hungry by this point, and so he started making himself a sandwich while I contemplated the open cupboards, getting more and more despondent. Then I told him that if he finished off the sliced turkey, I would stab him. And I totally wasn't joking.

He finished making his sandwich, and backed out of the kitchen, where I had begun putting together a plate of veggies, yogurt and toast; none of which I actually wanted to eat.

About half an hour later, after consuming my thrown together dinner, I realised that I had threatened to stab my husband. Over lunch meat.

All this is to basically say that I'm sorry for whatever horrible thing I said to you when I was hungry. Really, really sorry. I'm usually very nice, I swear.