Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Glama Gal Tween Spa Media Event

Wow! Amazing! Two words that come to mind when I think about this spa for girls. My daughter Jocelyn (who is 10) and I drove out to the media event for the new Glama Gal location in Unionville.  I can tell you it was worth the drive for the smiles and absolute happiness on her face.  Not only was this the perfect thing for her and I to get some special mommy/daughter time, it is the perfect place for any tween girl anytime.

I could tell from the moment we arrived, how excited she was.  We don't very often get to spend a few hours together alone.  She was so happy for this time with me and I am glad we spent it at the Glama Gal event.

Now Jocelyn isn't really a "girly" girl, she is a lot like I was at her age, more of a tomboy I'd say but she does love to dress up and get pampered every once in awhile.  When we first walked into the Unionville location, it smelled wonderful.  It was like bubble gum and cotton candy.  Laura one of the owners of Glama Gal greeted us at the door and gave us an introduction to the spa and sent us on our way to the stations they had set up for the event.  My daughter decided to try out the Glam Lab.  What a great idea!  She got her choice of making lotion, lip gloss, bath scrub or bubble bath. What great choices!  She decided to make bubble bath. They give you a bottle and you get to pick what you put in it.  She chose strawberry and orange with glitter dust and silver stars.  She absolutely loves it!

I think what I noticed next as we walked up the stairs to the rest of the spa were all of the great quotes all over the walls.  They were inspiring, confidence building and just plain perfect!

The whole entire spa is beautifully done in pink and white and it's all very glamourous! I have never believed in a company and what they do more than I do this one. I love what the whole Glama Gal oath is truly about. Be confident, Be Positive, Be You!

I asked my daughter to write about her experience and give it me to put into this post so here is her experience with Glama Gal in Unionville:
"What really amazed me about this spa is that on the outside it looks like an old barn but on the inside it looks amazing! It's like the say it's not what you look like on the outside, it's what's inside that counts. First I went to the make your own bath stuff station. There are 4 things to choose from: Bubble bath, Lip gloss (not really bath stuff), this facial soap that looks like a sundae and lotion. I decided to choose bubble bath. Next I went to go get a manicure at the manicure station.  They painted my nails any colour you could ask for, I asked for green because it's my favourite.  They also put really cute bows on my thumbs too. After I was done with that they had a guest from my favourite show, The Next Step. They had brought one of my favourite characters from the show, Stephanie! I got a picture with her and an autograph. Afterwards I went to the food station. First I tried a juice they had called Pinkitini. It tasted amazing! They had a veggie and fruits table for the healthy side of things and cupcakes and everything for a little treat. Afterwards I went for a cucumber mist facial and hand massage. It was so relaxing! Lastly I went to the makeup station. There was a variety of cosmetics to choose from and the girl there put some eye-shadow and lip gloss on me. This was an amazing experience for me and I’m sure it will be for you too!"

And if all of that wasn't enough, they sent Jocelyn home with a bunch of goodies, including a gorgeous spa bathrobe with her name stitched on it.  She absolutely felt like a princess.  I can't wait to go again and try out their many different spa packages and I think this year, Jocelyn will be getting a very awesome birthday party here!

If you have a tween in your life whether it's your daughter, niece, granddaughter or neighbour, you owe it to her and you to have an experience at this spa.  You will leave feeling pampered, empowered, confident and above all uniquely you!

Thanks to my new friends at Glama Gal Tween Spa, I am so excited to announce that we are giving away A My First Day at the Spa package worth $60.00! This is valid at any of the Glama Gal locations (Vaughan, Ajax, Newmarket, Oakville, Toronto and Unionville).

Enter below for your chance to win!!

Disclaimer:  Although all the spa services were given to us for free, the opinions in this blog are all my own.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Frustration and Design Issues

Okay so this post has really nothing to do with my life as a whole but it does have to do with my blog.  I am completely frustrated by the lack of control I have over how my blog looks.  I really wish that I could write HTML code as this would really help me take design control or maybe I just need to really figure out how Blogger works as a whole.

When I first started blogging, I didn't really think that it was going to be something I wanted to do full-time, just something to keep my mind sharp when I had a few minutes.  Now I am really enjoying writing and all the social media outlets I am currently on.  My problem is, now my blog looks, well crappy compared to some of the other blogs out there.

I have tried to go in and change it but I have just managed to screw up the code and then I had to figure out how to fix it.  Thankfully, I was able to figure out where the mistake was.  I did fix it, but my blog just seems, oh I don't know, blah.

So my dilemma is, start all over and make a brand new page and then have to reset all the information I have on different sites and pages or leave this page as is and try to learn some more code so that I can get it where I want it to be?  Any input all of you may have, please leave me a comment and let me know.  Thanks and please enjoy reading my blog even if it isn't as pretty as some of the others :)

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

You've got to check this out! Anki Drive

Okay so before I start I want to state that I have in no way been paid for this review nor have I tried the product yet. This post is really just my personal opinion on the coolest new toy (and I use that term very lightly) I have learned of recently. 

It's called Anki Drive and I tell you it is the absolute coolest thing I have seen technology wise in a very long time. I am somewhat of a techie and I love all things technology based. This is better than any new product I've seen.

Let's start by saying this is not your grandpa's race car track. Not even close! I am truly amazed at this product and I haven't even tried it yet! The concept behind Anki Drive is absolutely mind blowing! AI cars that evolve as you play, what is cooler than that?

This racetrack is nothing you've seen before.  You control everything from a iPhone, iPod or iPad. The cool thing about these cars is they learn. Every time you race they get better so they can eventually kick your butt. AI at its finest. You are in total control of upgrades. Get your cars combat ready and use the garage function and points earned during races to make your car better. The more races you do the more points you earn. You can race against computer opponents or your friends.  These cars don't just try to outrun you they try to outsmart you. I guess the other great thing for me as a mom of 4 is that as long as my kids can operate an IOS device, they can play this game. 

I am in awe.  I want to put this on the Xmas list for my three boys and my hubby, okay in lie, I want it for Christmas. Honestly the price isn't even that outrageous for what you get either.  The starter pack is $199.99 and includes the track which rolls out to 3.5' by 8.5', 2 intelligent cars and charging cases, tire cleaner and fast charger.  You can also purchase 2 different tracks ($99.00 each) and they have just recently released 2 new cars ($69.00 each).

Check out this video. It's crazy!

Anki Drive

I can't wait to get my hands on one these so I can try it out for myself. I can't stop talking about it and I'm totally a fan already!  My bet is that once it's out there, this will be the biggest thing for the Christmas 2014 season.  I'm doing my part and letting you know about it now. Check out their site at and read up about it for yourself.  I know I've bookmarked the site and I look forward to the next video to come out until I get my hands on one of these myself and then I will write about it again after I've played with it.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Glama Gal Tween Spa - I'm a Glambassador

I am so super stoked to say that I have become a Glambassador for Glama Gal Tween Spa.  I am looking forward to working with them as who doesn't love a good spa day, right?

I think what I am going to love most is the chance to spend some one on one time with my only little glama gal.  She is going to love this place!  I look forward to keeping you guys posted on upcoming events and giveaways.  Our first trip is on Thursday and I can't wait to tell you all about it (from my point of view and hers).

So I will tell you a little about what I know so far and I am quite happy to say I am super excited to work with these guys. Here's a excerpt from their site:

**Glama Gal Tween Spa is Canada’s Premier Award Winning Spa dedicated to girls of all ages. We provide spa services that cater specifically to young girls. We specialize in Spa Birthday Parties, Day Spa Services, Mom and Me Spa Days, VIP Nights,  Be YOU Workshops, Camp Programs and Much More.  We also carry exclusive organic tween bath treats , cosmetic lines and unique gifts.**

I love the fact that they believe in making all young girls feel beautiful inside and out! In today's society that is such an important thing that all girls need to be told and as a mom of a young girl who is being molded by what she sees and hears, this is just what she needs, and not just her but all young girls.  I love the glama gal oath so much that I intend to make it a part of my life and hers. Another excerpt from their site.

**Their pink and white adorned walls have the infamous Glama Gal Oath where tween guests are reminded of their special time at Glama Gal and to appreciate that their inner beauty is far more important than their outer beauty. This is how the tween spa experience comes full circle in encouraging girls to take care of their inner tween as well. You can get the most perfectly polished toes and leave knowing you have the most perfectly polished positive personality too!!**
Be Confident! Be Positive! Be You!
I can't wait until Thursday and you will all know after our trip to their newest location in Unionville, but until then check them out at Glama Gal.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Parenting after Divorce

If anyone said that divorce is the easy way out, never had to co-parent with another person who's views in no way resembled yours.  Co-parenting my 3 kids with my ex is anything but an "easy way out".

He suffers from major depressive disorder, anxiety and severe OCD. It's very difficult to just stay civil with him let alone raise kids together. Every step forward becomes twenty steps back. He loves his kids, of that much I'm sure, but parenting with him is a whole other ball of wax. 

Let's take today for an example. I won a family pack of 4 tickets to Centreville for their Easter egg hunt and games for this weekend.  I figured since he has the kids every weekend, I would offer the tickets to him so he could take the kids.  That way the only expense is the ferry across to Toronto Island. Well a few days ago he was a little worried about the ferry because his brain always thinks of everything bad that could possibly happen at all times. So worst case scenario is the ferry tips or sinks and he can't swim so he can't save the kids. So I tell him that ferry accidents are rare and I'm sure that I've never heard of one happening in Toronto. He agrees that he will take the kids and we move on.  Well now a ferry has sunk in Korea and now he doesn't want to take them because it could happen here. 

It's so hard for me to judge what he will do on any given day. When things like this come up, I always tell him not to say anything to the kids so that they don't get disappointed and upset if he breaks a promise to them as he does tend to do. Not on purpose but he can't help the OCD. So after nearly 35 minutes on the phone he is taking them, he's nervous and anxious, but he's taking them because that's what he said he would do.

Then comes our conversation with respect to the easter bunny.  A very simple conversation one would think when you are raising young children but this was in no way a simple conversation.  The three kids are 10, 7 and 5 and up until Christmas 2012 all three still believed in all of it, santa, the tooth fairy and even the easter bunny, fast forward and now only 2 still believe.  Why? Well my daughter asked and he can't tell a lie, even a little one like santa because she will grow up not to trust him as a parent because he told her santa was real and then told her he wasn't.  Seriously?? You are an idiot.  I never distrusted my parents after they told me the truth.  I understand it even more now that I'm a parent.  So he has them over this easter weekend but I know that he isn't going to hide eggs so I tell him to tell them a story about how the easter bunny knows they will be home here and this is where he will hide eggs and I get told he can't possibly tell them that as it would be a lie. GRRRRRRR! They are kids and on the big scope of things, these little lies won't hurt them, they are meant for fun and a little happiness.  I know for a fact he had all of these things when he was a kid but now because he believes in God, he can't let them believe in something that isn't real because they may feel the same way about Jesus. WTF??? Anyway, I told him not to bother that I wasn't going to tell them anything because I am sure they have even forgotten for now anyway  and then that way he doesn't have to be put in a position to tell them the truth and ruin easter and I can still let my kids be little for a little while longer.

After this conversation, I am convinced that I was high or in a drunken stupor to have kids with him (although no matter what I would never change who my kids are as I love them more than life) but now I'm stuck trying to somehow make them well-rounded adults with this man and co-parent them so they can grow and prosper.  At this rate, I am sure I am somehow going to mess it up, but I will keep trying even if he can't.

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Ups and Downs of Parenting More Than One - When Sickness Hits

I am at a loss.  As a parent we want to do everything we can to ensure that our children are safe and protect them from whatever we can.  This includes trying our hardest to make sure we are being safe about bacteria.  Washing hands, sneezing into arms and generally not sharing stuff even with their siblings when they are sick. Personally, I do all of these things and yet here I am on infection god knows how many for my littlest man.  I swear this child has the immune system of a fruit fly.

If it is going around he is going to catch it and he is going to get it worse than anyone else.  I have three older kids that attend the biggest germ factory on the planet, school.  Now I get that kids gets sick and if my kids just have the sniffles I will send them to school.  I do have the luxury of being a stay at home parent so if my kids are really sick, I can keep them home.  My problem is, how do I protect the baby (who has not yet been immunized fully due to his age) from everyday illnesses that continue to plague my household?  Unfortunately, everything that goes around at the kids school, he will get.  Right now we are dealing with Fifths disease, which for my other kidlets, it's not so bad but for baby it's awful.  He is cranky and doesn't want to be put down but doesn't really want to be held either.  He won't play on his own for more than 2 minutes before he starts getting upset again and for me I have never been able to be the "cry it out" type and his crying makes me sick to my stomach and I have to go to him immediately. He is really not sleeping (add here I'm not sleeping as we co-sleep and every move or fuss he makes wakes me immediately) and I miss my happy little man.

Earlier in his little life, he contracted a UTI and viral meningitis from a simple virus that my kids came home with.  All of them only had the sniffles but baby ended up in hospital for 4 days.  Fast forward a few weeks and now he has an upper respiratory infection, a round of antibiotics and a puffer. Another couple of weeks and we are battling yet another cold.  Stuffy nose and can't eat properly, barely sleeping unless he is upright and (insert here once again no sleep for me, unless you count the 6 minutes I got sleeping upright in a chair with babe on my chest) coughing.

I want to protect him but staying home all the time with a mask on really isn't an option. So where does that leave baby and I?  Well I figure he is getting it all out of the way now, so he will be the healthiest older child I've got.  His adulthood will not be plagued with anything more than the common cold.  I could just be kidding myself and he will continue down this path for longer than I would like or I could just place him in a bubble and keep him safe and germ free for life.  But really what kind of life would that be?

So everyday we battle on, taking all the sick-free days we get, enjoying everyday we have.  I'm lucky, my kids aren't battling something much worse or even life threatening.  For those of you parents who are, I send my hugs and my love to you.  I can't even imagine being in that situation.I don't want anyone to think that for one minute I am not completely thankful for what I do have. I just want a little more than 2 weeks of a sick free house.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

It's Finally Happened

I'm not even sure when it happened.  Where was I? I'm sure it was December 25, 2003 yesterday and my chunky little Michelin tire baby was born, the little princess I waited so long for.  15 months of trying for a baby and 6 months of fertility appointments and struggles, 3 months on Clomid and finally the baby I so desperately wanted was here.  She was an amazing little girl, always surprising me with how smart she was and how easy things came to her.  But alas, she's gone and in her place is a beautiful, smart 10 year old who is growing before my eyes.  Blossoming into a young lady as I sit back and watch.  Changing into a wonderful and amazing soul.

Unfortunately, it's time.  The time that to be honest I never really was worried about dealing with. I've been pretty honest with all of my kids about lots of things.  I think that they all know that no matter what I will be there for them, listen to them and they can ask me anything.

She really started asking questions when I got pregnant with baby number 4.  She wanted to know everything.  How does baby get in your tummy?  How does baby grow? Can I be in the room when you have him?  Well that last question was something I hadn't even considered.  I thought about, talked to my husband about it and finally couldn't really come to a decision about it.  I tried to think about how she would feel seeing me uncomfortable and in pain and I wondered if she could handle that, but what about the actual birth? So I went online and found "The Miracle of Life" and after fast forwarding through the first bit (the sex part), I got her to watch.  She watched the whole thing in awe and when it was finished she says "well that wasn't so bad and by the way how does the sperm get into the girl to reach the egg?". I kind of said something about the fact that it didn't really matter how and then went onto something else without actually really answering the question. She dropped it and asked me another question, one I was fully able to answer. I just think that she really doesn't need to know how at the age of 10. I'm glad that it was enough but that changed a few days ago.

I am assuming that she has been hearing things from the kids at school, or conversations she overhears with the adults as the bus stop but she has been saying things that aren't necessarily wrong but I would rather her know things about sex from me and not the kids at school.

So I sat down with her and we started to talk.  I asked her where she had heard some of the things she had said and she immediately started getting embarrassed and didn't want to talk to me.  I tried to get her to understand that she can talk with me about anything, that I would try my best to answer her questions and that way she had information that was correct.

We had a great talk and I didn't have to divulge to much information that I really don't think she is ready for.  She is after all, my baby (even if she is the oldest) and I want her to keep a little of her innocence so that she can be my little girl a little while longer.  She has plenty of time for all the other information that I still need to give her.  I will keep her safe and informed, but for now she knows just enough to keep the questions at bay, if even for only a few more months.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Ultimate Blog Party 2014

I am new to the whole blogging thing but I am a social butterfly. I have never participated in the Ultimate Blog party before now as I only just started blogging about 6 months ago.  I am enjoying writing about my life as a busy mom of 4.  I hope to get my blog really going with reviews of brands and products that I use to make my life easier as well as giveaways too.

I am currently a stay-at-home mom of 4 kidlets who range in age from 10 to 8 months but you know kids, they are constantly growing.  My oldest is a girl and my other 3 are boys.  It means that my house is full of testosterone and my daughter and I are outnumbered but in total control.

I married my husband Chris in September 2012 after a very short but whirlwind romance that began online.  He moved to Canada from the United Kingdom in 2011 and we have been one happy family ever since. We have had a very busy 18 months, getting married, dealing with his permanent residency visa and a new baby but there have been lots of laughs along the way.

I started my blog mostly to document my life as a mommy of 4 and to connect with others and share my opinions, reviews and stories. I also hope to work with some great brands and products in the near future and share those with you.  I hope to meet new people along the way on my new journey.

Thanks for reading!

Sunshine after the Rain: Finding Happiness after Divorce

As I sit here typing this, I am wondering why am I choosing to write this now?  I think it is actually therapeutic.  I can finally tell the story about what happened and then be done with it all.  Well almost done, we do have 3 kids to raise without screwing them up but I think we may just be able to do that.

15 years.  That's what I felt I had lost, but I've gained so much more. I'll explain.

I was with my ex from the age of 18 until I was 33.  We were married almost 10 years when I made the decision to leave the marriage.  The decision was all mine.  He says he didn't see it coming but I'm not sure how he couldn't have.

My decision to end things was not made lightly.  I had 3 small children to consider.  I hadn't worked in almost 8 years so I wasn't even sure how I was going to be able to support us if I couldn't find a decent job. I stressed about it for months but finally in December 2010, I just couldn't think of any more reasons why I was still in the marriage at all.  I worried how it would be for the kids but I knew that leaving the constant fighting and tension and the loveless relationship had to be better than staying in it.  My ability to be a wife to him anymore was gone.  I had honestly begun to hate him, actually hate me and the person I was with him.  I had let him make me feel worthless, lonely and depressed.  My whole entire being was based on who I was with him.  I didn't like me anymore, I didn't like the person I was with him or my kids.  It wasn't all his fault though, I had let him.  I had given him all the power and it was time to take it back.

Then it hit me.  The person I had become was an awful mom, an awful wife and an awful friend.  The depression had taken over my life and I didn't even want to be in it anymore.  I loved my kids more than anything in the world and I had to get me back for them.  I had to be the mom they needed and I needed to do it now.  The only way I knew that I could accomplish this was to leave what was making life unbearable, him.  I didn't love him anymore.  I didn't love me anymore, so I told him I was done.

Oh my god, it was absolutely freeing.  I felt a weight lift.  It was an almost immediate sense of relief.  I could be me again.  I didn't even cry over it.  Does that make me sound cold? I hope not because I am not a cold person.  I am loving and caring and not at all cold, I just had spent the last 5 years of my life, my marriage unhappy and resentful.  I even thought in those last 5 years that having another baby would help change things, make things better.  It did not, it made things worse and then I had 3 children to deal with and depression and a crappy marriage. 

We just grew apart.  We wanted different things, needed different things.  He found God, I did not.  He made the choice to make that his priority and that's okay (now) but it wasn't enough for me.  I needed intimacy and emotional connection, he could care less.

Does that make him a bad guy? No, it doesn't.  He just wasn't the guy for me anymore.  He is a great father and loves his kids to death.  He and I can actually talk now as friends would.  No more fighting or arguing (although we do occasionally collide sometimes) and the relationship is better this way.  We still have issues but they are easier to deal with now.  I wish that it had been different, that my kids didn't have deal with a broken home but in the end we will all be happier.

So what's the point of this whole long winded post?  Well the point is, even after divorce, you can be happy again.  You can have everything you ever wanted in love.  Divorce doesn't have to be the end of giving your heart away.  You can learn from divorce.

I learned exactly what kind of a partner I needed and deserved.  I know what kind of a partner I am.  I learned what is really important to me and my life right now.  My kids are my priority and my new partner would have to accept that I am a package deal including having to deal with my ex on a regular basis.

Although I spent 15 years of my life believing I was with my "soulmate" only to realize that I wasn't, I ended up with 3 amazing kids and a truly new ability to love myself, my kids and my new husband.

This time around we are equals, partners in everything.  We truly love and respect one another.  He was divorced as well so we both had the same needs and wants going into this.  We are truly happy and life is good!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Making of Our Blended and Wonderfully Happy Family

Since I haven't really told my story, I thought I would share it.  I hope you enjoy reading it as much I enjoyed writing about it. :)

My journey started 4 years ago when I left my husband of almost 10 years as we just weren't working anymore.  We tried counselling and all the things married couples try but I couldn't stay even for the children. We had grown apart and we wanted different things.  I think overall our breakup was amicable.  We've had a few horrible moments over the past 4 years but we've acted like the adults we are and gotten through it.  

I had honestly dropped out of the marriage prior to our separation but in all honesty so had he. Although he will never admit that he did, not being there for me and the kids on any level other than "providing" for us pretty much left me alone.  I was tired of all the fighting and our kids were only 7, 4 and 2.  I had to make a choice for me and the kids.  Although I don't think that separation and divorce are for everyone, it was for me.  I was unhappy, unloved and taken for granted.  He also in the last 6 years of our relationship created a relationship with God that I chose not to partake in and that caused a lot of problems.  His OCD made life with him difficult since everything he did (including God) was all or nothing.  I struggled for some time coming to the decision as I was going to be on my own with 3 kids and I hadn't worked in almost 8 years. I was strong though and I knew it would be hard but I would do it.

During the last 6 or so months of my relationship I found a little bit of solace and friendship with people I met online.  They were great listeners and I could be me with them and not worry about judgement or criticism.  I was playing an online bingo app on my Iphone with lots of different people around the world.  They were so funny and great to talk with while we played.  This is where I met my now husband.  He lived in England and he would play bingo all the time with us. There was a little group of us that used to all play.  Most of which I still have contact with to this day.

After a few months of chatting online we all started using skype to stay in contact with one another. A few of them are in the USA and a few were overseas in the UK.  I had my first skype conversation with my hubby in December of 2010.  This led to many more conversations on skype and our friendship grew.  He decided to come and visit me in March and was planning a week here with me.  He had spoken to my kids on skype a few times but I decided that I wasn't ready for them to meet him before I got the chance to.  They went to visit their aunt for the week (it was March Break here) and I stayed to spend time with him.  We did all of the touristy stuff that Toronto has to offer.  He took me to the CN tower for dinner (it was my first time too), we spent a night in Niagara Falls and took my parents out to dinner at Stage West.  To be honest he really did all of the things that had been missing in my previous relationship.  We had an amazing week and two days before he was to fly back to the UK, we picked my kids up together as I had decided that it was okay for them to meet him.

The next time we would be together was July.  I flew over to the UK to spend 20 days there with him.  We drove from London to France and then to Spain so I could meet his parents.  We had an amazing trip (it was my first trip on a plane anywhere) and now looking back we laugh that we had the honeymoon before the wedding.  We flew back to Toronto together and he has been here with us ever since.  We got married on September 15, 2012 after only 18 months together and I am so incredibly happy.  He is the most amazing guy anyone could ask for.  My kids love him to pieces (you just have to look at the handmade happy step-fatters day t-shirt they made him) and we all get along wonderfully.  

Don't get me wrong there are a lot of things that we have to deal with that some families who are not blended have to deal with.  Sometimes discipline is an issue for us as all 4 kids are mine but he is helping me raise 3 that aren't his.  We communicate really well most of the time but we still have issues like any other regular family.  Also having to deal with my ex and some of his "issues" can become tiresome and cause problems as well.

Overall, my kids are happy, healthy and enjoy having two men in their lives that love them more than anything on the planet.  Although the new baby is technically their half-sibling we have never stated it that way, nor will we.  As far as we are all concerned, they are brothers and sister and that's it.  They absolutely adore their new baby brother and because they are older, they love helping with him.  We love them all the same no matter what and at the end of the day, that's all that really matters.