Friday Five Favourite Moments

My Friday Five Favourite Things WM

Wow.  Is this place dusty! Life and all that was terribly in my way of writing.  I missed my blog. *sigh*

Considering the pace of my living and the expectations placed upon me from family, work and all sorts of other sources, today’s Friday Five will be about my absolute favourite moments in which I felt that “Today is the day that life is excellent”  – wise words from my 6 year old son!

5.  Laughing all together as a family.

4.  Feeling the pudgy arms and legs of my 18 month old squeeze as tight as they can in response to my “I love you”.

3.  Walking down the staircase at the end of the day, leaving my children in their rooms for the night and heading down to the couch to chat with my husband, watch some t.v. or pop open my laptop.

2.  Hearing my six year old say please and thank you and excuse me and you’re welcome.

1.  Right now.  I am blogging.

What are your favourite moments where everything is just perfect?

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Bookish Thursdays: Cinderella Ate My Daughter

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Summary from GoodreadsSweet and sassy or predatory and hardened, sexualized girlhood influences our daughters from infancy onward, telling them that how a girl looks matters more than who she is. Somewhere between the exhilarating rise of Girl Power in the 1990s and today, the pursuit of physical perfection has been recast as the source of female empowerment. And commercialization has spread the message faster and farther, reaching girls at ever-younger ages. But how dangerous is pink and pretty, anyway? Being a princess is just make-believe; eventually they grow out of it . . . or do they? In search of answers, Peggy Orenstein visited Disneyland, trolled American Girl Place, and met parents of beauty-pageant preschoolers tricked out like Vegas showgirls. The stakes turn out to be higher than she ever imagined. From premature sexualization to the risk of depression to rising rates of narcissism, the potential negative impact of this new girlie-girl culture is undeniable—yet armed with awareness and recognition, parents can effectively counterbalance its influence in their daughters’ lives.

I read this book in the summer…the beginning of the summer.  While I have forgotten many of the details of what I read, I do recall how it made me feel.

I encountered a spectrum of emotions actually. I can’t quite decide whether my first emotion was fear of the world in which I will raise my daughter or the all-encompassing “duh?” of what seems to be common sense…you know, like I know this stuff already because I’ve lived it and continue to live it every day.

I felt disarmed because Orenstein offers so much insight into a culture that I feel will swallow my daughter and I have no defense against it. As my dear friend (whom recommended this book) wisely reminded me (I’m paraphrasing here): “It is the crux of feminist social analysis…the problems are clearly laid out…but there never seems to be a solution”.

Once I grappled with this feeling of powerlessness and got a grip on my fear and self-righteousness, I devoured the book. It is thoroughly researched and each argument for and against girly-girl culture is well presented and supported. While my tendencies are feminist and I believe in raising my daughter with an empowered voice and sense of self, I am also the first to buy her a cute pink outfit with cute bow to match…I mean she has gorgeous creamy skin and dark silky hair…how can I not?!?

And there is the dilemma. Or the irony. Or whatever you want to call it…moms of this “post-feminist” (in quotations because can we ever really be post-feminist?), post-girl-power age have a fine line to walk. We understand the importance of looking our best and the danger of succumbing to media-fueled images of female sexuality. We understand that being true to ourselves does not always look like the cookie-cutter version of femininity. But how do we pass along this knowledge to our daughters and help them navigate the incessant messages of what they’re supposed to be in favour of just being who they are?

This book will not offer any solutions. Not a one. But it does clearly explain the root of the marketing machine and the power of the bottom-line in the hopes that our decisions for our daughters will at least be informed ones. More importantly, it really sends the message that your support and guidance are vital when she is making her own choices.

This a quick read that will get you thinking. I highly recommend it.

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Wednesday Quotables: Being Unapologetic

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In the spirit of today’s post I will not apologize for my long absence from my blog. I will say that I missed it and am glad to be back.

I was scrolling through twitter this morning and found this awesome article posted by Women’s Health.

 

If you have a minute, watch the video clip. It’s not long and although it is ultimately a Pantene commercial, it still carries a pretty great message: stop saying sorry for everything! What a perfect topic for quotables. Here are some inspiring quotes about being yourself, owning yourself and being unapologetic about it.

 

 

 

 

 

Isn’t this the most wonderful message? Be you. No apologies. What a great lesson to pass along to our daughters. Hold on to your power, listen to your inner voice and proceed with confidence.

Have a great and unapologetic Wednesday!

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Stop! And Do This Right Now.

  1. Tell your spouse you love him/her
  2. Hug your children…squeeze them, get lost in their cheeks, dive into their necks and revel in their laughter
  3. Call your mom and dad – thank them. Ask about their day.
  4. If your parents are no longer living…say a quick prayer to them, tell them what they mean to you.
  5. Repeat 3 and/or 4 with your grandparents
  6. Reach out to your sibling(s)…let them feel how great it was to grow up with them
  7. Text your friends or send out a mass email to all of your friends letting them know they are the family you chose…
  8. Thank the universe, God, the goddess, for your life, your health, the health of those you love and all of the good things that surround you
  9. Smile and give yourself a hug
  10. Eat some chocolate

Because sometimes life reminds us in the most cruel of ways that it is short. That in an instant everything can change. It is fragile and fleeting. Nowhere on my list is there a reference to work or the bank account or the kind of car in the driveway.

Stripped down to the essentials, life is not as complicated as we make it. Lighten the load and truly embrace what is important. It is far too easy to forget and ultimately, it is all that matters when we need it most.

Go ahead. Try it. You’ll be glad you did.

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Just When…But Then…

from diynatural.com

Just when you get a chance to sit down to write…the baby cries in her crib waking from her nap much earlier than anticipated. But then she gives you that huge, toothless grin making you feel like a hero swooping in to save her from the dark.

Just when you finally get to the washroom…your 5 year old needs to talk and opens the door believing it is perfectly normal to carry on a conversation with mom while she’s on the toilet. But then he finishes that convo with “You’re my bestest mommy ever!” Wait, what? How many mommies do you have…never mind, I get it and I’ll take it.

Just when you think you might have an afternoon to watch a movie…it’s three days later and you’re still only half way through it. But then when you finally get to finish it you realize you got two movie afternoons instead of one.

Just when you’ve made yourself a steaming cup of tea…the phone rings, someone’s at the door, and it’s time to pick up your child at school…you return to iced tea. But then your child hugs you and asks that you have a snack together while he chats about his day.

Just when you grab that cable bill you’ve been meaning to get to…you realize it’s a week overdue.  But then…there’s no upside to this one except it’s only a week overdue.

Just when you’ve purchased that book you’ve been itching to read for a few months…it’s a month later and the book hasn’t left the store’s bag; it is buried under flyers and school work and all sorts of paper that life throws at you somewhere in the pile on that spot on the kitchen counter reserved for miscellaneous…which helps to explain the past due cable bill. But then that magical moment happens when hubby is out bike riding with child 1 and child 2 is napping and all is quiet and there is nothing else to do but read. Ah!

Just when there’s that beautiful sunny day…you can’t use your backyard since the swampy mess is still there because you’ve missed the landscaper’s calls because of course he always calls while you’re trying to get your baby to nap so you can get some writing time. But then that sunny day is followed by three days of rain giving the landscaper time to get to your house and figure out a game plan.

Just when you sit to watch a little mind-numbing television (or television to take away the numbing of your mind)…hubby wants to talk about work and current events and house stuff and gossip and cool places to travel or to eat…you know, normal adult stuff that your brain has trouble computing.  But then your mind wakes up a little and you remember what it’s like to be you.

Just when you think you can get a moment to yourself…it’s 9 o’clock and in your world that basically means it’s almost midnight (since you’ll be up one or two times with the baby and sleeping in has become a hazy memory of a very distant past)…it’s time to get to sleep so you can do it all over again the next day. But then the baby strangely wakes up, feeds and allows you to sleep until 6 am…almost 9 hours of sleep! Amazing. I can do anything after that much sleep!

What are your just when…but then moments?

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Friday Five: Trades I Would Love To Learn

My Friday Five Favourite Things WM

 

This week’s Friday Five is inspired by The Daily Post Daily Prompt “If I Had a Hammer”. We have been going through an extensive renovation of our basement and the more I see done, the more I wish I could get down there and do some of the work myself. In my fantasy world I would be able to…

  1. Tile, tile, tile…I would lay out the most beautiful patterns and cut each tile with precision until my beautiful new bathroom and glass shower was worthy of its own magazine cover.
  2. Carpentry – because you can do anything when you have this skill, especially build a gorgeous staircase that takes you to the level where a magazine worthy bathroom awaits.
  3. Carpentry – yes, it’s on the list twice, but I can add building cabinets for a wet bar
  4. Landscaping – (not in my basement) It is spring and that means starting to tend to the garden. I am pretty illiterate when it comes to plants, flowers, shrubs etc. I have no idea where to plant what or how to orchestrate a lovely garden that blooms at just the right time. I find the whole thing rather intimidating. I buy what I think is pretty at the nursery, follow the planting instructions on the little insert and cross my fingers.
  5. Plumbing – for purely practical purposes I would like to know how to fix a leaky faucet, a running toilet and all the other annoying plumbing issues that can occur in a house…oh and I could finish off my spectacular new bathroom!

Any special trade/skills you wish you had?

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Friday Five: Favourite Trips

My Friday Five Favourite Things WM I love to travel. There is something about travel that naturally invokes introspection. And, it always makes me appreciate my home and the place in which I live all the more.  These are a few photos of five very memorable trips.

Medellin, Colombia 2011 – the last time I saw my grandmotherIMG_4273

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London, England 2007 – kick started a great year for travel for hubby & I

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Punta Cana, Dominican Republic 2013 – first time my son visited the Caribbean

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Paris, France 2008 – cliché, yes, nonetheless my favourite city in the world

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Split, Croatia 2007 – love the Adriatic & the history!

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Where have you made your favourite travel memories?

 

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Wednesday Quotables: Positive Thinking

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It is said that we have complete control and power over our lives if we simply tap into the power of our thoughts. Our thoughts shape our reality. While I find some of the “new-agey” rhetoric a little tough to swallow, I do believe that being positive, optimistic and grateful go a long way in helping to lighten a load that might otherwise feel crushing. Every experience is made more brilliant and meaningful if we choose to see it as such. Each moment we spend contemplating negative thoughts is a moment of happiness we rob ourselves. We have one life and are constantly reminded to live it fully…well, we can. Just think positively.

from alameleadership.com

from alameleadership.com

from cordelia.typepad.com

from cordelia.typepad.com

from indiehelp.net

from indiehelp.net

from verybestquotes.com

from olivesnwine.com

from olivesnwine.com

from fhdphotos.com

from fhdphotos.com

 

Hope you have a great Wednesday!

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Spring Cleaning

It’s April 8th and I woke up to wet snow.  My backyard, which was a swampy mess yesterday, was once again adorned this morning by a layer of icy white. Not the pretty fluffy powder that warms my heart in December. The heavy, wet, chunky clumps that tighten my chest because it’s April 8th. Yesterday, I had the windows open and cool air refreshed my home as I thought of spring and not far behind…spring cleaning. Bright sunny days make me want to make my house shine. The grey days of winter mask the dust that rests on the baseboards and cloak the piles in bottomless closets. The instant the clouds give way to the sun and rays of light pour in through the windows there are spotlights on every single crevice that needs tidying, purging and a good scrub.

from beautifulhomesandgardens.ca

I have to blink several times to adjust to the light and then I simply must move.

Spring cleaning goes beyond the building in which my family and I live. I also pay attention to the body I inhabit. There is an energy inside me that has been building up all winter (in addition to the few extra pounds from all the chocolate I’ve consumed) and I must unleash it.

So it is generally in the spring that I take up one of my favourite forms of exercise. I run. I am not a runner – I do not measure my run by distance. I do not even run continuously during the 20-30 minutes I am outside. I will jog, walk, sprint and run. My heart pounds in my chest, my lungs hurt, my legs scream and I love it. I do not stop. It is normally when I am running that I do my best thinking. I purge every negative emotion that crept into my soul during the long, dark winter. I remember that life is wonderful. I give thanks for the beauty of my life and for my ability to move. I feel the sweat cleansing my body of the dust I have accumulated over a long winter.

In my mind, this is me:

from motionshoelab.com

This is probably more what I look like:

from mynextrace.com

Once I’m back inside I proceed with another favourite, yoga. I love yoga. It’s a lovely way to settle my aching muscles down after a good run. I close my eyes, breathe deeply and smile as I abandon myself into each pose (until my son decides he absolutely needs me urgently, like right now mommy because if he doesn’t get that toy on the top shelf he might pass out from boredom because he has no other toys in the house). Now, back to breathing….

Where envision myself doing yoga because my mat is normally sandwiched between the couch and coffee table and I’m surrounded by toys:

from womenshealth.com

The last part of my spring cleaning routine is to reacquaint myself with my journal. I’m sporadic in pretty much everything I do. I dive into every project with passion and find myself consumed by it, until I get bored or lose the energy to persevere or find another endeavour that enraptures me. And, so is my relationship with my journal. I look back at the journals I’ve accumulated over the years and all of them have huge chunks of time missing. It’s like I disappear for months (a few times for years!) at a time and then I dive back into journalling trying to make up for lost time. In any case, while I’ve been more consistent with journalling of late, it’s still something that calls to me more in the spring.

I’ve enjoyed enough springs to know that my home will always have corners that need a mop, my body will always carry an extra 5-10 pounds and my journal will always have gaps in time. I am also fully aware that the strange energy I feel is simply nature’s way of waking me up after a long (long) sleepy winter and that this energy will surely lead into the lovely, hazy, lazy lull of summer’s heat. Nonetheless, I will enjoy every second of polishing my home, pushing my body to its limits and my pen across the page. It’s how I shake off winter and welcome spring into my life.

What are your spring cleaning rituals?

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Wednesday Quotables: Resilience

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It’s spring – so the calendar says. Yet, it’s freezing out. My child is still in snow pants and every one I know is tired of the cold, the snow, indoor living…

This week’s quotes are all about Resilience. Because we will get through this interminable cold.  We will. We will survive the winter and all of the challenges it has carried…weather-related and otherwise…

 

from quoteporn.tumblr.com

from quoteporn.tumblr.com

 

from pinterest.com

from pinterest.com

 

from tofurious.com

from tofurious.com

 

from pinterest.com

from pinterest.com

 

from danthemans.squidoo.com

from danthemans.squidoo.com

 

Resilience is about growth and learning. We become resilient by witnessing our strength through struggle. And, yes, this is more than just about surviving the weather.  Happy Wednesday everyone!

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