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6 Reasons Why

This April we were introduced to a new show on Netflix that has stirred many passionate responses from people across the country. We have heard of youth facilities that have actually banned this show from their lineup concerned about how it will be perceived by youth. This response surprises myself, my husband who works with youth and my daughter who is an 18 year old teen. She was actually motivated to write this post to share her thoughts on why she thinks we should all watch 13 Reasons Why, get into it on a personal level, and talk.  My reasons why we should all watch this show: One - Watching shows that evoke emotions is a good thing. It allows you to experience the ups or downs of life without actually having to do whatever you need to do to experience it. The show did a great job showing the ups and downs of high school. Yes, it may seem a bit extreme and I hope for the sake of any teen, tween or child that this is unfamiliar behaviour to them. But the truth is, some kids do feel this way. It’s important for that to be known. Two - Good people don’t…

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She’s on her way

I knew this day would come eventually but I never thought it would happen so fast. Especially after going through all the motions (and emotions) with my son a couple of years ago I didn't think this experience would be so hard this time. But it is. In five months baby girl will be packed up and moved into residence at her choice of college.  As a mother I feel her hardships as if they were my own. When she turns a certain way or gets a look in her eye I am transported back to when we first saw each other. Her eyes were so bright and curious and shocked by the brightness of the world. As a toddler she was always on the go, checking out 'all the things' and meeting everyone.  She's grown up so much this last year at highschool. I've seen her go from a teen who is not sure about what direction to take for her life, to one who made a decision, acted with intention and is now moving with determination in a direction she chose. That is a very tall order in today's world. Most adults don't realize how hard it is…

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5 Tips for a Flawless “She Shave”

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Gillette Venus. All opinions are 100% mine. Do you remember the first time you decided to shave your legs? I do. I ended up slicing a big chunk of skin off my ankle bone. It bled like crazy! I thought it would make me more grown up to shave but I really had no idea what I was doing. After that fun first experience I decided to wait a bit longer. Apparently 89% of girls attempt shaving for the first time without permission. shave I remember thinking that after the first time, I would never be able to stop because my hair would grow back in darker and thicker. I didn't realize this was a myth. Now I know that shaving changes the shape at the tip so it might seem to be different but the only thing that determines the kind of hair you have growing out of your legs is your DNA. With so many shaving myths out there, it can be hard to know fact vs. fiction. Check out more advice at In highschool I worked with the men's department of an international beauty company and was trained to shave men in public as…

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Fresh as a Flower

As the days grow longer certain nasty truths are being revealed in my house - like patches of yuck here and there, a behind the toilet no-touchy zone that needs some major TLC, and fuzzy dust things sticking out from the wall in the corner. It's time to get some spring cleaning started. fresh I'm not fond of housecleaning - not even a little bit. But, recently I was given a bottle of Spring Blossom Pine-Sol and figured now would be as good a time as any to "get my clean on". I dislike chemical smells so luckily this stuff smells great. I have many memories from growing up of my Dad whipping out the pine scented Pine-Sol to get some serious cleaning done and for me, that piney scent is a comfort thing. But that is really more of a winter smell in my opinion.  Now that it's spring it's nice to have the fresh smell of Jasmine, Orange Blossom and Magnolia scent the air as the spring breezes circulate through the house. I love to fling open the windows to blow away the winter blues - make everything fresh as a flower.  One of the busiest rooms in the house is the powder room…

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Watching Strong Women

Then When I was a kid I found lots of heroes who were women on tv. Most of my life lessons occurred on the small screen while I was desperately attempting to ignore the chaos around me created by my siblings. It was the only escape as I fantasized about being a "grown up".  There wasn't a more obvious option than Wonder Woman with her truth lasso. Charlie's Angels had skills I admired and it seemed to me that if you were to combine these three women you would have the perfect human. They were what I envisioned as the "Modern Woman" - able to take care of themselves yet still be beautiful and loving. women The Bionic Woman was my ultimate goal since I didn't like the idea of being a secretary like Diana Prince but it concerned me as a child that she was never allowed to be true to herself.  I always thought Marianne from Gilligan's Island was underestimated and if they had just listened to her they'd have gotten home a lot sooner. Wilma Flintstone was incredibly patient but I never wanted to have her "gift" of patience if it meant being stuck with an inconsiderate husband like Fred. women Mrs. Brady…

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Smoothie Smorgasbord

In case you are wondering, a "smorgasbord" is a Swedish buffet. Growing up we used to refer to a large quantity of yummy food as a smorgasbord and now it's a pretty good way to refer to these smoothie recipes.  Do you eat all the fruits and veggies you are suppose to every day? I know I don't. As a matter of fact, I feel like I'm in so much of a hurry most days that getting the good stuff in my diet is not very realistic.  According to the Canada Food Guide,  If you are a woman between the ages of 19 to 50 years of age you should aim to have the following daily: 7-8 servings of vegetables and fruit 6-7 grain products 2 milk and alternatives 2 meat and alternatives 30 - 45 mL (2 to 3 Tbsp) of healthy oils and fats In the last few months I have begun the process of changing my lifestyle. With help from people like the folks at Bulletproof, my family now has a greater understanding of what eating with purpose really means. It is almost as if this knowledge came to us at the perfect time when we were absolutely ready to absorb it.  And then I decided to hop on…

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As couples go, we all make sacrifices for the other person. It can be offering the last piece of cake, the larger portion of the bed, or watching with them as the same struggling hockey team loses once again. We do things for the other person that we don't really want to because we love them. cheating Then there are the TV show commitments - in the 'olden days' you had to wait to watch a show weekly and record it if someone couldn't be there at that time or get the show when it came out a year later on DVD or video. In terms of commitments to watch a show together you couldn't stray too far. And if you did it wasn't really that big of a deal. Then along comes Netflix... Now we can't start watching a series together without finishing it together - with a partner who works random shifts this really messes up my bingeing preferences. Plus I am alone many nights, so there's that.  I almost cringe at the thought of hearing about a great new show coming out that I'll have to WAIT to see 'together'. Sometimes I take a peek at the first episode or two for…

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I've just had the pleasure of watching an auditorium full of high school kids turn into Agents of Change. These future leaders came together with their teachers and school administration to donate a couple of dollars each for the pleasure of watching a movie together. Each kid in that audience learned that there are more than 36,000 kids in their region who rely on nutrition programs to eat at school or in community centres daily. toonies4tummies In this post I'm going to give you the chance to donate to this program online three times. This is the first time - click the toonie:  If you live in Canada you probably think that as one of the wealthiest nations in the world our children don't experience many hunger issues. You'd probably be shocked to know that approximately 1.1 million children rely on nutrition programs in school 5 days a week to eat during the school day. Believe it. The more I read the statistics the more shocked I am. Take a look at this infographic: All money raised is distributed to the groups in each area responsible for the programs for them to decide how best to use it. Some places such…

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The OA on Netflix

The Best Show Have you watched this series yet? Or more importantly have you finished it? IF NOT DO NOT READ ANY FURTHER. I don't want to ruin it for you! I have been waiting to discuss this show since I saw it and I can't wait any longer. I found it a bit difficult to watch at first - the back and forth in time was confusing and created more questions than answers. HOWEVER I stuck with it and at the end of each episode there was a cliff hanger that forced me to go to the next one. Then I started to catch on to the story. OMG I am glad I did. I think episode 5 was my favourite but of course waiting to find out what OA stood for was very rewarding.  Brit Marling is not only the star Prairie/OA but she also created and wrote the show with Zal Batmanglij. She even broke her nose while filming the scene with the dog when she was trying to get her video camera back from Steve.    The actor who plays Steve, Patrick Gibson, is an actor from Ireland - can you hear that at all…

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It has happened - we are engaged. By engaged I mean committed. And by committed I mean to an act of craziness that might just save my life completely - medically and psychologically. I found out last fall that I needed to make some major changes in my life "or else". Keeping an open mind for a solution this is what I found: The Whole Life Fitness Manifesto, or WLFM, is an approach to improving one's life in many ways and it only takes 2% of your entire day to be involved. 15 minutes of intentional movement, 5 minutes of personal reflection or meditation, and 10 minutes of personal enrichment or education. Any person at any level of fitness can do the WLFM, including the "couch potato" being that I was. "The Whole Life Fitness Manifesto is not just about physical health but whole-life fitness that blends mindfulness and personal development with equipment-free workouts." This is a free fitness resource with ongoing support in Facebook groups when you sign up on the website here. And this month the bonus is the people at Bulletproof are giving everyone who participates a free copy of Dai's book and the 7 day green smoothie plan.  So you…

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Last Minute Stocking Stuffers

In an earlier post here, I explained our new idea family plan for this Christmas gift giving to ensure the kids get useful and meaningful gifts that we think will be more appreciated than the old style of 'bulk' gifting. It's all about quality over quantity. In this post I want to explain a few cool ideas for stocking stuffers - for teens and adults too. These items can be purchased all across Canada. PLUS, at the end you will see a very awesome giveaway for some stocking stuffers too.  Last Minute Stocking Stuffer Giveaway! Both of our kids are teens and as such require many toiletries and self care items. I have a great pile of goodies for their stockings and am being mindful of what is actually useful. Some of these products they have used before and some are new including the following:  GRAVOL® Natural Source® Ginger Liquid Gel Capsules, Tablets & Lozenges  This product prevents nausea and vomiting with naturally sourced ginger. It is useful for going on those long drives to family homes for Christmas get togethers. My daughter has long since had travel sickness and what I like about this product is that it is non-drowse. It…

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Stress Relief in a Cup

Stress? Me?  It is the time of the year I usually want to stick my head in the sand, cocoon in my house, or stay in bed. To say I find the holiday times stressful is an understatement. And they seem to be coming earlier every year - have you noticed that? Not to mention the time change and less sun during the day - it came so fast this year. If only I could nap every day around 2pm. stress Usually I charge ahead being super human in November and December and on my first day off I crash like a dropped puppet - getting really sick just in time to enjoy my Christmas vacation.  This year I decided to do things a bit differently and get the gift shopping done before the end of November. Hilarious right!?  That way I can have more time for the fun stuff. It means using my time better to get my work done faster. An excellent theory anyway - I just needed to find a way to focus better to get more done in my day while not burning myself out completely.  Butter Coffee? I’d heard about adding healthy fats in my coffee from someone I met in the blogging world.…

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The Crown Cometh

There are so many great shows on Netflix these days I feel like I can't keep up. Especially during the busy times like, well, now. I'm definitely setting time aside for this one coming up November 4th - The Crown. I was fortunate to be able to attend a premiere of the first two episodes and had the chance to ask two of the stars from the show questions. Jared Harris plays King George the VI and Vanessa Kirby plays Princess Margaret.  They were kind enough to answer questions about getting into character, the amazing sets and costumes, and how their perceptions of these real life people have changed.  To get into character Vanessa said she read everything she could find, listened to traditional music and watched recordings of the Royals. I asked what kind of reaction they've had to The Crown from the Royal family itself and this is what they said: Peter Morgan, creator of this series as well as the movie The Queen, (starring Helen Mirren,) takes us on a journey to see the private side of this intensely public family. Claire Foy represents Queen Elizabeth in this television series and she is remarkable. She communicates so much with her face when ironically, she is…

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Protected Not Infected – the HPV Vaccine

If I could give my kids a vaccine for all the cancers out there I would. Our family has been impacted too many times from this hideous disease and 7 years ago when my son was twelve, we knew that getting him vaccinated against the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) was the right thing to do. He was old enough to understand from the discussions we had with our doctor that he was doing something important to protect not only himself but his future partners as well. Our daughter was vaccinated in grade 8, 4 years ago. I overheard her telling a classmate as they were waiting in line "you need to take responsibility for your own body and health." Out of the mouths of babes. My Story As a young woman, the news that you have 'pre-cancerous cells' on your cervix turns your blood cold. A sexually transmitted condition like this is enough to put you into a tailspin. You suffer through extremely humiliating and painful procedures to remove the dangerous cells and spend the rest of your life being tested and re-tested hoping you won’t develop further symptoms.  At the time of discovery, the doctor tells you HPV must have come from your…

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Four Legged Fur Babies

Funny story – I told a few people I was asked to write about the Shih Tzus in our family and they all laughed. I guess you could say I’m a bit obsessed with my fur babies. It all started with a little ball of fluff nine years ago who we will call Mazey. Mazey is the perfect dog for our family – she’s huggable, smart, expressive and full of personality. Oh and I can tolerate her with my allergies. Purebred Shih Tzu’s are the only animal I can be around without being in allergy agony – as long as they don’t get wet because then like the Furbies they become monsters to my allergies. Mazey became our third child in many ways – she actually thinks she is a child – not a dog and she has very little tolerance for other dogs. It’s not so much that she looks down on them, more that she doesn’t like having her butt sniffed. Cats seem to be ok as friends to Mazey – I guess they are less interested in that kind of thing. Our kids learned responsibility at an early age by having Mazey around when they were first 8…

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