"Shut Up and Do It"

Sunday, September 13, 2015

"Shut up and do it!"

A way of life I have recently adopted. It came to be on July 31, when the big fat sky lit up alongside the "blue moon" and I decided to make some personal goals for myself after reading an article on Elephant Journal.

I'm not one who believes in "hocus pocus". I do however believe in creating your own destiny
No more days should be wasted waiting for things to magically change. We are the ones that can create those changes as we have all the magic and creativity within. We just need to believe in ourselves, to be brave and rise like the phoenix from the ashes and we are capable of soaring. We can achieve everything our hearts desire with a little hard work, determination and—more than anything—self-belief.

On July 31, I practiced some yoga in the glow of the blue moon, and with a haunting storm on its way, I have made some choices:

1. I made a commitment to run three days a week, and as of last Friday, can proudly tell others I can run 5km. I am now looking forward to the 5km run Seamus and I signed up for next weekend.

2. I made the decision to terminate my working contract, early, in the data storage industry, in favour of taking on a new contract in the public transit industry. An industry I know nothing about, but with a company that is growing quickly, where I have the opportunity to work under the guidance of a successful business woman.

3. I am bringing back a bi-weekly house cleaner. She starts in two weeks, and I can't wait.

4. Cleaner eating. I have successful lost 30lbs since March 10, 2015. I feel fabulous and want to explore other areas where I can adapt a lifestyle change. It's important to me to make choices that can be forever. If it's something I know I cannot commit to, and know it's something I will not be able to sustain, then it's not for me. So while I will not eliminate animal products completely from my life, I'm going to be very choosy about what I consume. For example, if I'm going to get a burger, it better be the best damn burger.

The decision has been made, that while I have others who need my time and attention, if I continue to ignore my own health and happiness, I will one day wake up at age 60 and feel like crap-o-la. Well, that will not happen to this lady. Instead, I hope to wake up at 60 years of age, throw on my rockin' bikini, and head over to the Sandbanks and wake board with the best of them.

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It's Thursday, which means it's BEACH day!

Friday, July 31, 2015

When Eggs was just over a year, when we took him to the bluffs in Scarborough, and he was NOT impressed with the water. Nope, not happening.

When we took Miss A to the Sandbanks for the first time, she ran into the water, fell face first, and laughed her butt off. We have on our hands, a water baby, that's for sure.

The past few weeks, now that it's getting toasty outside, Rockstar and I decided that Thursday evening would be our family beach night, We pack up a picnic and head to the sandbanks, which, as I brag about all of the time, is a 10 minute drive from our house to the white sand.

While we only spend an hour there, the kids love playing in the sand, jumping into the waves, and eating our SANDwiches.

I'm not much of a sun person. Having see-through-white children, makes me that much more "meh" about the sun. That said, watching how excited the kids are to go to the beach, and having this national treasure a short drive away, not going would be plain silly. Pin It

Adventures in Prince Edward County as a Resident

Friday, July 17, 2015

This summer has been fabulous. With Rockstar no longer working every weekend, we've been able to get out and get our county on. Following are some of the highlights of our summer this far, with local favourites (and new discoveries) interspersed throughout.

Wellington is the place to be for Canada Day, and even more so when there are bouncy castles, and music by Rockstar and his father.

The Grange Winery has a Friday Night Market, and when you throw in a picnic basket dinner, you have yourself the perfect start to the weekend.

While Rockstar was getting set up for a week helping out at the inaugural Old School Bluegrass Camp, the kids and I took off to explore the yearly Lavender Festival

The local child care centre, The Hub Centre, hosts free events throughout the year. Last weekend the kids and I joined in on their water day, complete with lots of sun and tasty treats.

Every once in a while we need our "kids free" time, and last week we ended up at the annual Jamie Kennedy Fish Fry. Rockstar was trying to fit in as an adult. 

You know who is a fabulous entertainer? Fred Penner. And watching Fred Penner do this thing at The Hayloft Dancehall was a magical treat for the entire family. Although pretty sure Eggs would tell you the bouncy castle and slide was the real headliner.

Apparently this spring and summer's rain put a significant dent in the strawberry population. So when Eggs and I heard there were some "pick your own" strawberry patches open for business, we did not wait to get there.

Since The Surf Burger House opened up 5 minutes down the road, we've been there, ummm, a lot. Best.friggin.burgers. 

A friend of Rockstar's opened up Go Fish Vintage, a tasteful, addictive, barn-shop in Hillier. We went, I drooled, I came home with some fabulous housewares. I need to go back.

So there you go, since I can't tap my own maple trees, house chickens, or raise alpacas, I might as well explore the festivals and businesses of those who can. Go county or go home!

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Mr Eggs Graduates Pre-Pre-School

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

This morning the fam jam attended Eggster's pre-pre-school graduation.

Back in September, we made the decision to enrol him into a program through the Hub Centre, which runs a pre-school program two mornings a week. My original thought behind enrolling him was to get him out of the house a couple of days a week for socializing, and allow us parents time to bond with Miss A.

Since starting school, in collaboration with what we do at home and natural development, Eggs can now:

1. Count from 1 - 100, count by 10's to 100, and can recognize numbers from 1 - 100. We've been working on super simple math and counting by 5's at home.
2. Recite the alphabet and recognize both upper and lower case letters. In talking to one of his teachers, she tells me that if one of his peers are stuck on the alphabet, when asked, Eggs will help his buddy figure out the next letter.
3. Read and write his first name clearly, and can spell his full name (most of the time)
4. He's potty trained!!
5. His love of building and creating structures has exploded and is getting quite complex
6. He's now working on puzzles as large as 48 pieces

Obviously I love the idea of my son enriching his vocabulary and filling his brain, but witnessing his sense of independence continue to strengthen, and watching his desire to embrace new challenges is just as impressive.

We have already decided Eggs will return to his final year of pre-school come the fall, and Miss A will follow in her brother's foot steps the following fall. I'm incredibly grateful for this local program. Pin It

Food, Wine, and Alpacas

Monday, June 8, 2015

Yesterday was a fabulous day to explore the Hillier gems in Prince Edward County. Being my birthday today, I'm 25,  I wanted to hang out with my peeps and check out some old and new favourites.

We started the day enjoying a tasty brunch menu at Agrarian, made by another Gemini, Chef Neil. Nothing kicks off a fun day with a belly full of drool-worthy eats. From there we ventured over to family-run Broken Stone Winery, who welcomed us with a bubble wand, hammock, and wine for me. The hammock ... le sigh ... I could have stayed in that puppy all day long. And I would have, if were weren't heading to the main event .....

AN ALPACA FARM!!!! Do yourself a favour and head over to SHED Chetwyn Farms. Not only do they raise alpacas that you can admire and talk to, but they converted a chicken coop into a pop up shop, selling the most beautiful knits I have ever seen.

I want a pack of alpacas. Rockstar says no. However, when he heard that llamas, the cousin of the alpaca, scare off coyotes, his "no" had some wiggle room around it. No, I did not come home with a pack of alpacas and llamas, but it will be something we explore. And no, explore does not mean execute the addition of llamas into our family next week. For a couple of years now, we talked about possibly adding Irish Wolfhounds into our clan 10 years from now. In reality, llamas would be much cheaper, and the names I picked out for the Wolfhounds, Wallace and Dougall, will transfer well.

Decision made. For my 29th birthday (AKA 4 years from now), I will be getting more land, and 2 llamas. Or 1 llama and 1 alpaca.

Be jealous, it's ok.

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5 Things My Almost 3 Year Old Taught Me As a Triathlete

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Today was an incredible day. Eggs, who will turn 3 in 3 weeks, participated in his first triathlon, County Kids of Steel. When I decided to sign him up, I didn't know what to expect. Ok, I expected it to be an exercise in watching people heard cats, and for me to get a good laugh. I was dead wrong, and during those 10 minutes of his racing, my heart exploded at least 20 times.

{Eggs trying to intimidate one of the other 3 year old. There were 3 in total}

5 things my almost three year old taught me today.

1. Always warm up before a big race. If that means joining in on a game of tag, practicing your cat walk in front of the mirror, or pretending you're Darth Vader into a fan, just get yourself moving!

2. Don't be afraid of the unknown. Just do it! Throw on a fancy hat, jump in the pool with a bunch of strangers, and kick them legs!

{Eggs still has not mastered the tricycle and needed a little help to get moving}

3. Don't be afraid to ask for help. It's okay to struggle, and asking a stranger for a little push to help you accomplish something is not a failure.

4. When you fall, get up and keep going. Sure it may be scary, and you may need a hug from someone you love, but once you get up and keep going, that hug is only moments away.

{Crossing the finish line!}

5. It's not always about being the best. Sure winning is awesome, but sometimes just doing something new, and successfully completing that new thing is fulfilling enough.

My little dude makes me proud every single day. But today, was beyond anything I was prepared for. My little guy walked away with people he didn't know, jumped into a pool, trusted volunteers to help him swim and ride his bike, and ran all by himself to cross the finish line.

The last words my little big boy told me tonight, was how much fun he had at his race today. So, so, so, proud of my little mister.

You can watch a little snippet of his race here. Pin It

Little Free Library Prince Edward County

Friday, May 29, 2015

On Wednesday night, I was invited by the Awesome Foundation PEC to pitch my AWESOME idea. Bringing the world phenomenon, Little Free Library, to Prince Edward County. I wish I had my pitch on video so you can see the power of sticky notes to convey a message.

While I did not receive the grant, what's happened since is quite exciting. After the meeting, I was approached by one of the Awesome committee members, and was asked what we can do to install a Little Free Library outside of his business. The next day, someone who was in attendance at the meeting, emailed me telling me he's been wanting to roll this into the county for years, and was exciting someone else was interested as well. He offered up his help, and his house as a future location

There is a local community facebook page where yesterday I posted the following call for action:

Do you know what happened?

  • 2 other businesses reached out to tell me they'd love to have a library on their property
  • 2 residents in rural Prince Edward County also reached out telling me that they would also install a Little Free Library on their properties
  • A local illustrator of children's books has volunteered to donate some of their books
  • A city Councillor has offered to help in any capacity he can to help us get this movement moving 
  • A local artist offered her painting skills to help decorate libraries
  • Numerous offers of book donations
  • Creator of the PEC App reached out to tell me he will get our future mailboxes on their app
How excellent is that?

So next steps? I reached out to a few local businesses about sponsoring a mailbox. I've also reached out to the local high school about having their construction students help create some mailboxes. 

I'm toying with the idea of hosting a building workshop, where anyone and everyone can bring materials and as a team, help one another create some memorable libraries. 

Ideally we (OK, I) would love to have them custom built, although in reality, anything can become a little free library. Heck, I'm looking at our vintage gramophone, wondering how we can turn that into our own library.

I know some people who hear I am doing this will roll their eyes and say "OK, sure, another thing you're going to do" and have it end up going no where. This is different, very different. This is for my kids. This is my way of giving back to a community in a way that will cost be very little but my time. So roll your eyes all the way to my Little Free Library, and pick up some gems.

If you are interested in being part of the Little Free Library PEC Community, email me at littlefreelibrary (at) gmail (dot) com and lets get this literacy training moving!

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