IMG_5355In life, there comes a defining moment in our lives when we are hit by “The Parent Bug". I remember it like yesterday. Many years ago, a close friend had just had a baby, and I was completely enamoured by the love around her. Her joy, her elation, her sense of completeness and protectiveness at this time of her life.

Over the course of the last couple of months there has been a lot of attention brought to Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease.  Most likely, due to the movie  Still Alice and the attention it received over the award show season. Julianne Moore does an incredible job of portraying Alice Howland who was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's disease.

I just spent 48 hours on my own – no kids, ALONE…… As a single mother of two I rarely have any time without my kids.  I am the primary caregiver for my daughters.  In my world this means that they live with me full time and spend most of their time with me, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.   However, it’s not common for me to have a weekend without my daughters being at home.

Twenty Eight days ago, I decided to embark on a somewhat terrifying journey.  I committed myself to a month-long detox which included eliminating caffeine, refined sugar, gluten, alcohol, dairy, soy and corn.  Essentially, I very abruptly cut out foods from my life that reliably brought me comfort and pleasure.  No Starbucks. No cheesecake. No nothing (insert frown face).

Everyone in life has baggage.  Some bigger and fuller than others, but it’s an unavoidable element of life.  The way I see it, we all walk around with these invisible back-packs that we wear.  Inside of them are a mélange of our strengths, fears, experiences, likes, dislikes…..one could say that these are the backpacks that sometimes weigh us down heavily and other times allow us to dig deep and find the strength to get through difficult situations.  They are the places we can store our special memories and useful tricks that can help to guide us when we are feeling the need for some extra help.

There are so many terms designated to parents who are overprotective of their children.  We have been labeled controlling, “helicopter parent”, “mama bear” and a new term I just read about…the “lawnmower parent”.  As I have been reading about all these terms I realized that not only do I fall under all these categories as a mother but they also apply to me as my role of a daughter.

This is a commercial from last night's Superbowl that gave us chills. Please watch. You never know what goes on behind someone's closed doors.   If you're struggling with an abusive situation now, please call Canada Hotline: 1-800-363-9010 and Canada Abuse Directory or 1-800-799-7233 to reach the National Domestic Violence Hotline. In an emergency,...

I was hoping that I would enjoy this book—and I did.  It was well written and I liked the topic of a woman trying to find her calling in a sport that is traditionally and primarily dominated by men.  It is especially tested when said female insists on taking a stand during times of civil unrest and war.

Got GlutesIt was 1992 when Sir Mix A Lot  spoke out first when he announced that he liked big butts and that was no lie.  It came as a refreshing change considering the “skinny-obsession” in early 90’s.  Fast forward to today when every other song on the radio has at least some reference to the female behind. It’s become very in to have a larger derriere to the extent that a ‘booty complex’ is starting to emerge and women are seeking butt implants more and more.   They actually sell a contraption similar to a  push up bra for the booty, it lifts the booty up without the need of padded underwear, silicon inserts, or booty enhancing pants. 

[caption id="attachment_21204" align="alignleft" width="224"]IMG_3044 My right foot[/caption] I did it for the first time when I was 33. It was a Friday, and I was with a couple of girlfriends. And while it wasn’t exactly a spontaneous decision (I’d been thinking about it for a while), I hadn’t planned to do it that day. Armed with my design, I walked into X/S Tattoo in the West Island, by chance the artist I'd already consulted with was available, and just like that, I got my first tattoo - a stylized heart with three butterflies representing my kids - on my left hip.

I have to say I am extremely lucky to have a close group of friends.  I  met my friends at different stages throughout my life.  I have close friends who I've known for over 30 years, friends who I met throughout my teenage years and friends who I  met through my children. The older I get I realize that it isn't the quantity of friends you have but the quality of friends.  Over the last several months, I have truly seen the importance of having friends.  My friends are people who I can rely on and friends who have been there through my highs and my lows.

Entrepreneurship was not what I originally had in mind when I thought about what I needed to do to make my work/life balance come to fruition.
My purpose was to find something I could do that would allow me the flexibility to be there for my family and still have the intellectual stimulation that I REQUIRED to stay sane, while making a few bucks! I knew that I was great at my job in Human Resources and staffing when I worked full-time, and while I was on maternity leave(s) many people had asked for me to consult on a few projects; friends had sought career advice so I thought maybe I could actually make a living at this but on my own terms.

[caption id="attachment_21148" align="alignleft" width="300"]Glowing computer screen CC license timsnell[/caption] It’s 1 a.m. when I look up from my screen. I’d only meant to sit down for a few minutes and catch up on my email. That was two hours ago. I try to trace where I lost track of time - was it the link in an email that led me over to Facebook? The interesting article that led to another interesting article that led me to my Twitter feed or LinkedIn profile and back again?

I ADORE food.  I love to cook.  I’m not much of a baker, but sweets are definitely my weakness. For me, food represents more than just fuel for my body; it seems to play a significant role in my life. Not only do I eat when I’m hungry, I eat when I’m stressed, I eat when I’m sad.  I reward myself with food after a long day.  Sometimes food soothes me, while other times it fills me with a tremendous sense of guilt.  I’ve gained a bit of insight into my relationship with food over the past two years as I have struggled with infertility.  In a lot of ways, food has been my coping mechanism; chocolate peanut butter ice cream has gotten me through some of my darkest days. Food has comforted me, has distracted me, has cured my boredom.
But after I’ve put on about 20 lbs of emotional weight over the past two years, I feel I can no longer ignore this somewhat toxic relationship that I have developed with food.

The holiday season has come and gone once again, I hope you enjoyed time with family and friends.  I was lucky enough to spend the last week or so at a party here, a dinner there and family get togethers that served lots of not so healthy food and drink. It was a good time, I indulged some but I rang in the New Year and now it’s back to business!!

This novel explores the topic of two sisters in modern-day Nigeria as they grow up in their village.  It is a coming-of-age story but also a book about being able to confront your demons and express your hardships to others so they can help carry the weight of your burdens.  It is the confessions shared among the women in the family that keep them strong.

  You can do this. There are so many recipes that look complicated but really are as easy as pie. Actually, pie is quite complicated. This is easy and delicious. This recipe also freezes super well and is an excellent addition to your fridge as leftovers...