Dating 101 and Uncommon Goods

Dating 101 and Uncommon Goods

Ya’ll know I have a gift guide, right? One that strives to deliver unique gift ideas at all price points, for everyone on your list?

Yeah.  That one.

So it was no surprise when an email came in asking if I’d review their wares and share my thoughts with you.

What was surprising, however, is the love affair that ensued.

Whhoooooohyyy it’s a hot one

It all started with a simple glance.  A peek, a look-see… could this be a match?

uncommon goods

OMG Glitters & Sparkles.

Because anyone who knows me will tell you – If it glitters and sparkles… it’s all me.  Following the glittery gold my eyes went straight for the ampersand cheese board.

Sold.  Done.  I’m in.

As I spent hours (!!!) going through the site I just couldn’t get enough.  If products could be soulmates, these were my soulmates.  The anywhere travel guide? It gets me.

When I got to the F-Bomb paperweight… I whispered “You complete me“.

Dating 101

As in online dating, I went CSI Google to find out as much as I can before I agreed to a date.

I found out integrity & sustainability is important to Uncommon Goods.  From providing fair wages and health insurance to their staff to being committed to selling products that do no harm to animals or people.

Find someone you can bring anywhere

Ends up you can dress this one up and take it out.

Need a birthday date (gift)? Uncommon Goods.  

Going to a wedding?  Uncommon Goods is all dressed up and ready to go, complete with personalizing.

Fiance camping with the boys pre-wedding? Send him packing with Uncommon GoodsI hear it’s great for groomsmen gifts.

A lady should never get sloshed on the first date

Better to let them see you naked before you puke on their shoes.  

It’s easy to get carried away.  You’re clicking through pages, you’re full of endorphin, and you’ve just found the. perfect. thing. for everyone you know * and * their cat.

Calm down, relax, step away from the shopping cart.  3 date rule, right?

Kidding!  (But the look on your face…)

I’m not saying don’t buy anything… I’m just saying you can come back for seconds, thirds, or however much you want!  Your credit card will thank you for showing mild restraint.

Swiped Right?

If I could have swiped right or left instead of bookmarking all the things, the following is what I would have picked.  Check them out, and peruse the site.

I’m guessing you’ll have a few new must-haves that will leave you pining till you clear up some available credit on your credit card.

Have any dating tips?  Looking to compare notes on the (uncommon) goods?  That comment box ain’t going anywhere 😉

Creativity drives innovation at Mattel

Creativity drives innovation at Mattel

Creativity drives innovation at Mattel

notes from Adobe Summit

I blog.  Therefore I conference.

It’s the nature of the beast – not that I’m complaining.  Going to so many conferences – as a speaker, an attendee, or with press credentials – I’ve seen many products come to market.

I get to hear about them months before they come out,  to see the ads run and be the cool mom who’s already played with that toy, to be the in-the-know friend who says you should wait an extra month because what’s coming out will blow your mind.

I was at Blogger Bash (#BBNYC) last month and saw many such products which you’ll hear about throughout the following months.

One product, however, made me squeal like a schoolgirl when I realized what was in front of me: the Fisher Price 4-in-1 Total Clean High Chair.

What’s so special about a high chair?  Every piece goes in the dishwasher.

You heard me.  Every.  Piece.  is dishwasher safe.  Just quickly and easily pull it apart and enjoy your baby while your dishwasher goes to town <insert cheesy ceremonial music>.

A First Look

I first heard of this high chair at Adobe #Summit2016 in Las Vegas.  Richard Dickson, President & COO at Mattel, gave a compelling keynote on inspiring experience through creativity.

I didn’t see a single blogger friend in the 10k+ attendees at Summit, but all of my blogger friends should see this keynote.

What Richard talked about – from the history of Mattel, to reinventing the image of Barbie, to inspiring a new generation while getting moms to like them just a little bit more… I was impressed.

Not in the sense that I’m now a die-hard ‘must buy everything Mattel’ fan – but impressed, and inspired, by the evolution of the brand and its offerings.

You Should Watch This

I could go on for hours recapping his 1/2 hour talk.  Instead, I’m going to put it here for you to view – it’s worth it.

Save the link and come back later if you don’t have time, but make the time.  What he has to say is important, and we should all be listening.

The #branding keynote every blogger should watch #Summit2016 Click To Tweet

* edited to add – Instead of sending you over to the Summit website, I’ve uploaded the video to YouTube.  You can still watch this and all other Summit sessions here.

Yvette Corporon Finds Her Story

Yvette Corporon Finds Her Story

Yvette Corporon Finds Her Story

I refuse to give in to the notion that celebrities, public figures, and powerful influencers are somehow above us.  That their notoriety is cause for worship, that our demeanor when interacting with them should be ‘appropriate’ and guarded – I just don’t buy into that.

My disregard of this social convention – disconcerting to some – stems not from a lack of respect.  Au contraire, regardless of where one falls in the social hierarchy we’re all made of the same stuff.  There’s a person – a human, a life, a story – behind the public persona and that’s who I’m talking to.

Everyone has a story.  That person behind the title? They were once a baby with through-and-through diaper emergencies.  They were toddlers who begged for just 5 more minutes at the park, one more turn on the slide.  They have a family, a history.  And, believe it or not… everyone wipes their own bum after going to the washroom – even the Queen.

I’ve met some incredible people, had amazing conversations.  Authors, actors, high-level executives.  I don’t care if others see you as a waiter, a CEO, or the golden ticket to the mouse ears.  When we talk, I see you.

Karmic Joke

Then life hands you the opportunity to interview an Emmy award-winning writer, producer, and author and you end up sounding like a babbling idiot – not unlike the 15 year old version of you asking a boy for his number. 

Like that time – a few short hours ago – I interviewed Yvette Corporon, author of When The Cypress Whispers and senior producer at EXTRA.

This incredible woman has interviewed just about everyone and covered the biggest stories in news and entertainment, and now I’m interviewing her.  I was prepared, I was ready… I was star-struck.  Look, it happens to everyone, ok?  It’s still a great interview, but please don’t mind the high-pitch, over-excited, my-vocabulary-has-no-synonym-for-awesome-and-amazing, voice of the interviewer.

Finding Your Story

Yvette shared insights on her new book, a story inspired by her own family and their history on a magical Greek island.  In a time of war and fear Yvette’s Yia-Yia and the people of Erikousa risked their lives to help shelter and save a Jewish family escaping the Nazis.

It’s a powerful story, one I’m excited to read.  Even more interesting, though, is what happens next.

In researching this book Ms. Corporon looked up the man her Yia-Yia helped save.  With the help of MyHeritage.com she found his family and within hours was communicating with them.

I got lost in my own history on MyHeritage.com while writing this piece.  I was able to accomplish so much in the 5 hours I spent there before I decided to upgrade to a paid account.  All I had were my grandparents’ names and even if there are many more branches to fill, I think it’s great progress for a first session.

Family Tree - Angele Lafond

You are the product of an epic story.  You may find royalty and celebrities, you may find dragons and skeletons.  But your story it is.  Have fun, do some research, and to give you a nudge in the right direction you can save 30% at MyHeritage.com with the coupon code CYPRESSWHISPERS.

And if you haven’t already, scroll back up and check out my interview with Yvette Corporon, a moment that will surely become part of my story. 🙂 

Diana Gabaldon and The Outlander Series at Indigo Green Room

Diana Gabaldon and The Outlander Series at Indigo Green Room

Diana Gabaldon and The Outlander Series at Indigo Green Room

After much anticipation Diana Gabaldon – author of the Outlander series – was at the Indigo’s Green Room event at Chapter’s Rideau.

Despite showing up early most seats were already taken and it was standing room only.  Close to 700 women (and some men) showed up to meet her and she did not disappoint.

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First – she’s funny as all hell.  Not that this comes as much of a surprise, but I’ve met authors who’s books I truly enjoyed but their personalities fell a little flat.  This woman is ALL personality and frankly if I look half as good as she does when I’m 62 I’ll consider it nothing short of a small miracle.

A seasoned professor – you can tell by the way she repeats the question to her audience before answering it – her gift of gab was a delight to witness.  She opened with a story from an anatomy course she once taught, breaking the funny ice with a poem on the history of contraception.  This was quickly followed by many other funny anecdotes from her life and the making of the Outlander series.  “Writing is the 2nd oldest profession, she says, the only difference is you can do it to more people at once!”

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Why a Scotsman?  

As she once told a reporter after a long week of back-to-back media interviews, a man in a kilt can get you up against a wall much quicker!  I can’t say I disagree #Idolikeamaninakilt

It seems a Doctor Who episode followed by images that wouldn’t leave her head inspired the man we now know as Jamie.  I know you’ve imagined yourself Claire as he took her against the wall, “punished” her for almost getting them killed, or the many times he turned to her in his sleep with a cockstand (her words, not mine – read the books).

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Instead of spoiling the new book for us Diana charmed us with her wit and outlook on life.  I just want to take a small piece of her and carry it in my pocket.

Wait!  Have you met #PocketJamie?  I got to take him home with me!  J-F refused to nooky with Pocket Jamie in our bed though – says he’s not having a threesome with another man no matter how plastic and flat he is.

Outlander (the TV series) will air Sunday nights at 10 PM on SHOWCASE beginning August 24th (Starz in the US).  In an interview with Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy Diana says the show won’t shy away from spanking.  #HAPPYDANCE

Sam Heughan, a.k.a. Jamie Fraser.  Hunka-Hunka

Sam Heughan, a.k.a. Jamie Fraser. Hunka-Hunka

Stay tuned later this summer for an interview with Diana Gabaldon – Meanwhile, enjoy the book and hunky Jamie 😉

Diana Gabaldon and The Outlander – My brush with fame!

Diana Gabaldon and The Outlander – My brush with fame!

There have been many books in my lifetime – I used to average 1 a day until adulthood got in the way of my hobby – but this series… it spoke to me.  It has everything!  History, war, fantasy, time travel, sex, romance, adventure.  I’ve read every single one of them – several times – and I’m looking forward for ‘Written in My Own Heart’s Blood’ to come out this summer.

Imagine my excitement when I saw THIS on Facebook:

Screenshot (67)

I took to the Internets – I need to know everything!  The new book, the new series, and a CANADIAN book signing tour.

Come again?

That’s right – My favorite author of all times is coming to Ottawa on June 23rd at the Rideau Centre Chapter’s.  #happydance

Did you know she’s on the twitter?  Isn’t Twitter awesome?  The ability to bring people together that otherwise may never have met… Amazing.   And then this happened:

Conversation Angele & DG

 OMG.  OMG-OMG-OMG! She answered me!  AND – she didn’t immediately reject me.  OH.  MY.  GOD!  

Conversation Angele & DG 2

Do you like her books?  Are you looking forward to the series?  Be sure to stick around and check back in late June – There WILL be an interview with the fantastic Diana Gabaldon 🙂  

The Search Angel by Tish Cohen – A book review

The Search Angel by Tish Cohen – A book review

The Search AngelHave you ever picked up a book simply because the cover looked interesting?  The silky-soft laminate of the binding, the promising weight of word-laden sheets.

It calls to you.

You don’t know why – it’s not an author you’ve ever read before and the description doesn’t spark any real sense of curiosity.

You put it back and move on.

You’ve almost made it to the other aisle when you turn around, the sense of urgency overwhelming as you rush back to the book and snatch it up lest someone get there before you.  Never mind that there’s 20 copies on the shelf.  You hug the book to your chest, anticipation building, and a slow smile creeps up to your lips.

This book – that’s what it did to me.  And it didn’t disappoint.

A story of love lost and love found, a mother’s heart and a child’s desires.  Love and sorrow, humour and sadness…. It has it all.  I may not have hidden away in the bathroom but my kids watched a lot of TV that day.

I read it cover to cover in 1 day, holding with one hand while stirring up dinner in the other.  I let the kids watch TV while eating dinner so I could read (this never happens in my house).  I heard them playing ‘Super Jasmine & Super Annabelle’, flinging themselves off the bed in attempts to ‘fly’…. And for once I didn’t care.

I wanted to know what was going to happen next, to finish my chapter.  The chapter came to an end and I was left wanting more, so I kept reading.  And reading.  And reading some more.

At last, the bitter sweet moment when you reach the last word.  You turn the page, as if making sure it really is the end.

Sigh.  Brilliantly written.  You pause and imagine how all those lives are now changed, how they play out if the story continued… Cause the story never really ends even if the words on the page do.

Yet at once feeling content, as if the saga ended at the perfect moment.

The Search Angel by Tish Cohen.  I can’t tell you why you should or shouldn’t read it – that’s personal.  But I can tell you it is a beautifully written piece that will touch your heart.

Don’t lick the Minivan – Book Review

Don’t lick the Minivan – Book Review

Don’t Lick The Minivan.  That sounds like something I would say, only Leanne Shirtliffe got to it before I did.

A great memoir of all things parenting.  Funny, real, and oh-so-relatable.

From giving birth in Bangkok, twins,  toddler shenanigans and Stripper Barbie’s funeral this book has it all.  You might even start thinking your crazy family is actually normal…  Or not, depending how much wine you’ve sipped while hiding out in the bathroom pretending to take the worlds largest crap just so you can read uninterrupted.

Yeah.  It’s that good!

After 2 hours of hiding out my husband got suspicious and my kids started banging on the door so I did what any self-respecting mother would do:  I ripped off the last of the toilet paper, flushed 4 times and got out.

“Hey Mom!  How’d you manage to make it not stink?!”

Shit.  No pun intended.

“Cause mommies are so sweet our poo smells like flowers and rainbows” #shitIneverthoughtIwouldsay

“That’s not what daddy says…” Well.  Daddy can take his comments and shove it.  At least the book was good 😉

Seriously.  Fill your favorite mug with coffee (or wine…), grab yourself a copy of Leanne’s book, and feign a flu bug of some sort.  Just try to remember to get out before they flood the kitchen or something.

Don't Lick the Minivan bookcover

 

 

Apparently I don’t know how to parent

Apparently I don’t know how to parent

Watch out world, there’s a new toddler in town!

I remember a while back seeing a link to a funny blog post.  I followed, I read, and I fell in love with some snarky, red-haired, ritz cracker hoarding, pissy 2 year old going under the name of Honest Toddler.  Apologies to my husband.

honest toddler with crackers

I know it’s not a boy but that was the original picture on the blog (back when the 3rd post went live) and when I read its abuse humour I hear a boy.  Sue me.

honest toddler large

If you have a look at this kid’s twitter feed or Facebook page you may wonder why I stand the abuse but the truth is he’s funny as hell.  Ok – his MOM is funny as hell.  Whatever.  The humour is impeccable.  When I found out that Bunmi Laditan was releasing the Honest Toddler: a child’s guide to parenting I had to get it.

This kid says I’m a bad parent.

Here’s a few ways I’m a bad parent according to some holier-than-though smart-ass kid who’s funny as hell.  Have I mentioned funny?

“Parents who get excited about sucking the fun out of their toddler’s life should have adopted a stuffed animal instead of having an actual baby…Send your baby off to live with Grandma…Use those flashcards to create a paper-mache child who will never disappoint you.  You’re Fired!”

OH!  I’m terrible with this one.  There is nooooo fun in this house considering that underwear is required – not optional – and I don’t let the little ones climb into the Big Bed every night.

“Encourage your toddler to eat yogurt/lotion naked so that the body can be nourished both inside and out.  If the mess bothers you, think of why you became a parent and get your head straight.”

Naked yogurt?  How about we go all crazy and use expensive makeup as paint and expensive designer shampoo as bubble bath for the Barbies.  Must.  Be.  Something.  Wrong.  With.  Me.

“Adults, you don’t look cute or smart when you hand your child broken anything.  You come off as rude and disrespectful”

Guilty.  I frequently give food to my kids that have 1 bite missing.  I thought that’s why we had 3 kids – so I could increase my caloric intake.  3 granola bars = 3 bites, or, my breakfast.  I guess I missed the memo!

“The best time for you to catch up on sleep was years ago, before you had a child.  Now that it’s too late, consider Hula-hooping, doing jumping jacks, or eating ice when you feel weak.  Perhaps going to bed at the same time as your toddler, instead of staying up until all hours arguing with Twitter friends and watching Netflix will help.  Just an idea.”

If I can’t argue with my twitter friends when you’re awake, and I can’t argue with my twitter friends when you’re sleeping… why am I here?!?

These are just a few examples.

I could go on but I’d end up with a novel and apparently its already been written.

If you think you may be failing your toddler buy the book – it’s worth the read.  You might start wondering if your toddler is secretly writing this stuff.

What are you waiting for?

To French or Not To French…

To French or Not To French…

To French or Not to French

Influencers.  It’s a ‘word’ seen abundantly in social media metrics and such.  But who are our true influencers?  The men and women who raised us, an older sibling, grandparents… and sometimes often a teacher.

I must admit that I truly enjoyed high school.  Not for the social aspect – I wasn’t at the very bottom of the social totem pole but it was close.  Not for the classes – though I truly enjoyed learning and had great teachers.  But for what it allowed me to do.  High school gave me a platform;  I discovered my love of public speaking and all things theater.  I discovered community engagement – I was always on some committee or another – and the gift of volunteering.  And I may have found my voice.

My life today is so different – I am different.  Better.  Happier.  One such influencer – perhaps the greatest aside from my parents – was my drama teacher and mentor, Lise.  From her I learned the value in being yourself (amongst many other things!).

Dance like no one’s watching, laugh like no one cares; be seen AND heard.  Have a voice – use it.  Be yourself.  You don’t need to be 120 lbs to rock out a pair of leather pants – you don’t need to be 20 either.  To this day I can’t look at a martini glass without thinking of her – she didn’t drink but loved how they looked and felt in her hands.  Stay true to yourself – your culture, your values, the stuff that makes you ‘you’.

So you’re weird and quirky and different and loud?  Embrace it.  Some will love you for it, some will hate you for it – but embrace the awesomeness that is you.

Plus Fort! If she couldn’t hear you whisper your lines from across the auditorium, you weren’t whispering loud enough.  Today, I can talk to a room full of people and be heard from a mile away if need be – very convenient at the park with the kids.

Oui Madame! Seriously folks, I can’t read your mind nor can I see you behind the curtains.  Acknowledge that you’ve heard and understood.  Depending on my mood…. Just do it, don’t ask.  ‘Oui Maman’ is a phrase well-known to my kids.

Parles-moi en français! I could fill pages with the life lessons she taught me… but perhaps the biggest one is to value your roots, your culture, your language.

She gave me the gift of allowing me to being me – and allowing me to embrace ME.

There are no words, really.  A well-placed M E R C I is as good a start as any, as I look over a sprinkling of memories from the stage.

001 collage (1)

Click on the image for a special message!

A teacher, a mentor, a friend – and her legacy never forgotten!  She has written a book about her years in the classroom, and I’m so excited for the launch of ‘Une goutte d’eau a la fois‘.  It will be great to relive some of the greatest moments of my youth, and read of many more who’s footsteps I followed.

 

Lost in Suburbia – get your cool back with Tracy Beckerman

Lost in Suburbia – get your cool back with Tracy Beckerman

Lost in Sub_REVISE8.20.indd

I met Tracy in NYC last summer as I was trying to get into a cool party – and was sadly denied entry 🙁  I did, however, end up meeting Tracy and subsenquently discovering her first book.  I loved it so much I asked to be part of this blog tour for her Lost In Suburbia launch.

Q&A With Tracy Beckerman

 

Angele (A) I love that you’re so real about everything parenting. I thought I was the only one who over shared about pregnancy hemorrhoids, Prozak, and pajama-clad carpool expeditions! There were so many laugh-out-loud moments while I was reading your book – is there a particular passage you enjoyed writing more than others? Why?

Tracy (T)  Since my kids are teenagers now, it was kind of fun to relive those early childhood years through writing the book. Yes, that was an exhausting, often frustrating, and extremely unfashionable time in my life, but it was also really fun and there were some really hilarious moments. I couldn’t even include them all in the book, but there were some really classic memories, such as the time I was out to lunch at a restaurant with my son who was about a year old. He couldn’t really speak words yet, but he was really good at animal sounds. He looked across the restaurant and started mooing, really loudly and incessantly. I followed his line of sight and saw a picture of a cow on the wall. Unfortunately, seated right underneath the cow was an extremely large woman, who, quite understandably, assumed my son was mooing at her. She gave me the dirtiest look ever. If I wasn’t so embarrassed, I would have laughed out loud!

(A) When I met you, you were (in my eyes) the epitome of cool. A great haircut, a tattoo, an edgy outfit. Since I never thought of myself as particularly cool, I was surprised how alike we both are. ‘OMG that’s ME’s’ were uttered more than once and obviously you got your cool back so there must be hope for the rest of us. Other than the carnal pleasures of over sharing and sticking it to the mean girls, what was your purpose behind this book?

(T) You thought I was cool? I must have been having a good hair day! 🙂

When my column was first syndicated, I would meet women who told me the same thing you did. They said they could really relate to my experiences and, in fact, often wondered if I was looking through their window. I realized that so many moms go through what I did… the challenges of parenting… the loss of identity… the struggles with weight loss after pregnancy… and also trying to make friends in a new place. It’s hard, though, to get to a deep place in 550 words or less, especially when I’m trying to be funny. So I thought it would be great to write a book about my transition from cool city chick to uncool suburban mom, to really explore what that meant to me, and be able to share that with other women.

(A) What’s with everyone hating New Jersey? I don’t get it, maybe ‘cause I’m Canadian. Possibly cause I’ve never been there. What gives?

(T) I don’t think TV did New Jersey any favors in terms of our image here. The stereotypes have been amplified for all the world to see and ridicule.

First there was The Sopranos which left everyone thinking the state was overrun with mobsters. Then we had The Jersey Shore, which was the total unglamorous extreme of Jersey shallowness, followed by The Real Housewives of New Jersey, which was the uber glamorous extreme of Jersey shallowness.

The good news is Honey Boo Boo is from another state.

(A) HAhahhahahahahahahha!

So are you the next Vicky Iovine in all things womanly? Any plans for more books? I know you just launched this one, but I enjoyed it so much I’m already wondering what’s next ! 🙂

(T) I actually met Vicki Iovine at a conference (A – So did I!  Isn’t she awesome?!?) and she was lovely. But I think she has the market cornered on the whole Girlfriend thing. Still I would love to write more books! It was a great experience and I certainly have a lot more territory to cover. I didn’t even touch on the dog in this book! He wants equal time.

If this book sells well, I’ll get another book deal, so tell your friends to buy a lot of copies!

My Favorite Quotes from her new book, in no particular order:

“It gets better, I swear”… “Once they’re all in school for a least a couple of hours a day, or as soon as you can sell them on EBay.  I got a lot of money for mine!”

To her daughter: “I think you look AWESOME!  What do you think of my skirt?”

Daugther to Tracy: “You have extra BUTT hanging out the back!”

“P” is for Parenting and Prozac

I am so the boss of you!

I am so the boss of you!

I'm so the boss of youKathy Buckworth has a new book out, and I was anxious to read it.  I’m So the Boss of You sounded like something I would say and it didn’t disappoint.

Katchy cleverly compares running our households to big corporate gigs and being a domestic manager (as I like to tell people) this resonated with me.

I learned that I was doing a lot of the right things but that I’m also not perfect. I learned that though I may agree with most of the principles I have a few differing opinions… and that’s ok too.

I laughed.

I learned that we all have our priorities and what matters to me won’t matter to you etc. I learned that I don’t need to justify my priorities to anyone but myself.

I laughed some more.

What follows are a few notes I wrote down while reading:

On dressing the family

I’ve broken some rules.  For example,  I wear pajama pants and sandals to the bus stop in the mornings.  It’s 6 doors down, I’m up all night either working or nursing the baby and need those extra 10 minutes of sleep in the morning.  I get dressed after the bus run.   My kids, however, are not allowed to leave the house in their pj’s.

On precious items

Kathy suggests you rent storage space for your antiques and such but not to include your old Aunt Dorothy.  [cue coffee spewing out of my nose I laughed so hard]

On interior design

On blue vintage toothpaste gel: someone invented blue ‘pre-wash’ mouth liquid so your kids will see if they’ve cleaned their teeth properly.  I may not have blue toothpaste designs, but I do have blue stains all over my upstairs bathroom (and possibly hallway…) as my daughter plays with the stuff when we’re not looking.  Sigh.

On delegating

I’m bad at this.  Often-times I’ve done things myself cause it’s quicker, and better, and then I bitch and complain that I never get a moment to myself.  I’m now making a more conscious effort to involve the whole family.  I’ve even stopped preparing baby bottles and changing all the kids’ diapers before leaving them with my husband and actually left the house on time every day last week!  Bonus, no one suffered for it 🙂

On ‘Dad Projects’

I’m so glad we agree on this one!  I do this all the time…

On business Trips

I’ve learned that everything bad that happens in my house is because I went on a trip, and everything good is in spite of it.  It’s comforting to know I’m not the only mom with this affliction.

I loved the book, and enjoyed meeting up with her again at #bossott.  Wine, convo, laughter… Her book is available in retail outlets as well as on amazon.  Pick it up, download it, read it, and watch your ‘home business’ thrive!

Screw Everyone – Or don’t –  But read this book

Screw Everyone – Or don’t – But read this book

Ophira Eisenbergscrew everyone screwed her way to monogamy and lived to tell the tale.  Honest and hilarious, you’ll find yourself cheering her on through the woes of avoiding – and ultimately finding – a committed relationship.

Excuse her French… She’s Canadian!  Reading this book was a true eye-opener: an education into the language of the lady bits.  There are more names for one’s weebits than I could have possible imagined!

Pondering if one should tip the Korean waxer who loudly pronounced her the monkey-girl she learns an interesting fact.  “I had a very small window of time to make the best of that expensive bikini wax” she writes, “being half Israeli, it was about forty minutes”.

LOVED the book, enjoyed her humor, appreciated her frankness and candor.  She tells it like it is, or was.  Leave your prudish shoes at the door ’cause you’re in for quite the ride.

Screw Everyone is being released on March 26th and will be available on Amazon.ca and other retailers in paperback and kindle editions.  Enjoy!

Things I didn’t expect (when I was expecting) by Monica Dux

Things I didn’t expect (when I was expecting) by Monica Dux

things i didn't expect“Pregnancy is natural, healthy and fun, right? Sure it is, if you’re lucky. For others, it’s an adventure in physical discomfort, unachievable ideals, kooky classes and meddling experts.

When Monica Dux found herself pregnant with her first child, she was dismayed to find she belonged firmly in the second category. For her, pregnancy could only be described as a medium-level catastrophe.”  Read More

 That’s all I needed to get hooked as I’ve had my own series of pregnancy horrors.  From extreme nausea and vomiting to hemorrhoids I had all ends covered.   Judging by the cover (about that…) it appeared to be something along the likes of Vicky Iovine’s The Girlfriend’s Guide to Pregnancy – A funny, quirky fluff piece about the ‘joys’ of pregnancy.

As I ventured into the first chapter I was pleasantly surprised to discover that along with the appropriate amount of humor and fluff-ness this was also an essay on women and the behaviors that shape us.  Unlike my senior year Independent Study Project this book held my attention from first to last;  I couldn’t put it down!  I had to of course – there was a husband, 3 kids, and a dying cat all fervently requesting my attention.

Had I actually taken a minute I didn’t have to read the rest of the description or the author bio I would have known what to expect, but I was so excited at the idea of reviewing books that I skimmed most of the details and picked books like I do in a store – if the cover talks to me.  Obviously this one screamed and I’m glad it did.

For 3 days I read every chance I got; while making dinner (burned it), in the bathroom (why I still can’t pee alone I don’t know…),  hiding under the bed while the kids counted to a million.

Buy it.  Read it.  Enjoy it.  Don’t judge a book by its cover… or do – you may end up pleasantly surprised!  Things I didn’t Expect (When I Was Expecting) by Monica Dux comes out March 1st 2013.  Meanwhile check out her other book on amazon.ca 🙂

The Bully Project – Film Review

The Bully Project – Film Review

bully-dvdBullying is a real problem.  We see it in schools, in parks…. even in the workplace.  The Bully Project follows 5 American families affected by bullying.  It is beautifully done and portrays the real struggle that many live through.

Two families suffered the loss of a child who committed suicide.  These boys were 17 and 11 years old.  There is a gay teenage girl who is struggling for acceptance in her community and wants to make a difference in the world;  a young teen brings a gun to school to scare her tormenters and faces juvenile detention.  Last but not least is Alex, who says he’s starting to feel like he doesn’t feel anything anymore.

It’s important that we realize that bullying affects everyone.  I was a normal kid but I had big hair, big glasses, and a quirky sense of humor.  I enjoyed school, I was involved, I liked most of my teachers.  I was terribly timid and by the time I worked through the shyness and built some confidence I’d spent years being bullied by a kid name John.

Looking back, it wasn’t really that bad – and nothing near what the kids in this movie go through.  But back then it felt like I was alone in the world and I wish someone had shown me HOW to stand up for myself.

At one point Alex’s dad tells him to stand up for himself, that people don’t respect a punching bag.  It’s not enough to tell our kids to ‘be confident’.

The Bully Project does a great job at exposing the problem – and its up to us to effect change.  Watching this movie I got angry.  Angry at school administrators who can’t – or won’t – create a zero tolerance policy.  Angry at the parents who felt helpless for their children but didn’t give them tools.  Angry at the kids who watched from the sidelines.

And that’s exactly how it should be – we SHOULD be angry.  Our teens and pre-teens need to see this.  They need to feel that uncomfortable sickening sensation creeping under their skin.

It starts with one – Let’s take a stand and change the world, one act of kindness at a time.

The DVD is available online and in retail stores nationwide.  Watch it!  Not convinced?  Check out this other review at Ottawa Mommy Club.