Sometimes I don't take enough time to just sit back and soak in all of the amazing parts of our life together. It's not that I don't recognize and appreciate everything. I do count my blessings! It's just that some days life gets so busy that I miss the special moments. Then I see this sweet face...
And, I am reminded of all the miracles, magic and love there is in this world. She is so very special.
Chance to get FREE straps closes FRIDAY the 30th!My daughter's favourite toys, sippy cups, and soothers always seem to end up on the floor when we go out.
I've discovered a fabulous way of keeping baby's fave things off the ground! Velcro one end of the strap to baby's car seat, stroller, carrier, or to the shopping cart and the other end (which is adjustable!) to baby's teether, sippy cup, toy, etc.
One strap fits all!
How fabulous is that? Another bonus? The straps are stylish! Sure beats the makeshift strap I made for Little One! Sophie the giraffe looked like she was hanging by a noose and the sippy cup still fell on the floor because I didn't have velcro. It's always wise to leave things to the pros when it comes to things like this.
I definitely need a zillion of these fabulous straps! Check out Simply on Board's website and join their Facebook Fan Page!
Too funny! Enjoy.
P.S. Sorry for the two or three "choice words" in the video. Not meant for the ears of young children.
Thank you to everyone who entered our Ultimately Chocolate contest! This was by far the most popular contest we've hosted so far! A winner has been chosen at random via Random.org. We are pleased to announce that Robyn is the winner of a box of 20 TOFFLES!
For those who are saddened at the thought of not winning, at least you can order TOFFLES online! Ultimately Chocolate ships their TOFFLES, but not their cakes (for obvious reasons!). If you're on the Island, you can sample some of the most delicious cakes and decadent treats ever. Just place your order and order at least a week in advance.
Robyn, please contact me with your mailing info so we can get your prize to you. You have 48 hours to claim your prize. Otherwise, another winner will be chosen at random.
I began my personal blog back in 2006. It was just my little spot in the blogosphere where I could keep in touch with family, friends, and former students as I embarked on a new journey. I left Toronto for an island in the middle of nowhere and haven't looked back since.Since then, readers (apart from family, friends, and students) have joined me in my adventures on the farm. You've been there through my high risk pregnancy and the very early arrival of our little preemie.
Thanks to the blog, I've also been able to work with some pretty fabulous companies and meet wonderful people. I've become great friends (in real life) with some of the bloggers I've met along the way.
I still keep my personal blog, but host contests /giveaways and post reviews on this blog.
With the success of the American BornFree site, I'm sure it won't be long until BornFree Canada receives an equally wild reception! Great articles, fun bloggers, fabulous products, and amazing giveaways...How can you not love that!?
Here's an introduction to the Canadian Mom Panel members. BornFree Canada is looking for a third writer/Mom panel member. Join the BornFree Canada Facebook fan page by clicking here and recommend your favourite Canadian Mom blogger!
The fun and excitement are only just about to begin!
BornFree Canada Mom Panel
Blog: Everything Mom & Baby
I started this blog on January.17, 2010, it all started with a recipe and a love to share information on everything and anything on baby and skin care (being an esthetician and SAHM). I’m a first time mom from Friendly Manitoba and now live in Ontario. Having a baby is exciting and I love researching anything and everything to do with beauty products,fashion, food and well…. BABY.
Blog: Life on Manitoulin
Christine is an English-as-a-Second-Language teacher, mother, wife, freelance writer, product reviewer, and blogger. She lives on a farm with her husband, daughter, beloved canine baby, a bunch of rambunctious barn cats and some really stubborn cattle. She lives on Manitoulin Island.
Like all moms, I also don't have loads of time to prepare fancy homemade meals from scratch. I do cook our meals from scratch, but I just don't spend hours making them. Who has hours to cook when you have young children, right?
One of Hubby's favourite dishes is Fettucini Alfredo. I came up with a ridiculously easy recipe to have supper on the table in less than 30 minutes. I kid you not.
-box of fettucini noodles
-a bit of flour
-a bit of butter
-a bit of milk
-salt and black pepper
-1 cup shredded mozarella cheese
-1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
-chopped basil or parsley
-shrimp (I put about a cup of cooked shrimp)
1. Cook noodles as per instructions on the package.
2. In a pan, melt butter and cook the flour to make a roux. Add milk and make sure the roux is not lumpy. You can also add the garlic at this point.
3. Add shredded cheese to the mixture. It's important to make a roux, otherwise your cheese will end up clumpy and not sauce-like.
4. Season with salt and black pepper.
5. Cook shrimp last, because it takes no time at all to cook shrimp.
6. Once pasta is cooked, drain well.
7. Add pasta to Alfredo sauce and make sure to coat the noodles well with the sauce.
8. Garnish with chopped basil or parsley.
Serve with a nice salad. I like serving this with salad greens and a balsamic vinaigrette.
Oh! Check this out! Some very exciting news for me and I'd like to share it with you!!! :)
The farm eats up most of our time. We don't do things as a family because we have to maximize our daylight hours to get work done on the farm. We don't go anywhere because we can't leave the farm. Hubby and I both have to work several jobs to keep the farm running.
The baby is whining and yelling "Mamamamamamama!!!" as she claws into my legs and reaches up for me to carry her. Sometimes I feel like this soooooooo isn't what I signed up for.
Then I look at this sweet little thing...
Somehow everything else no longer seems to matter. I'm in luuuuuuuv with this precious little monkey. Even if she exhausts me to no end.
Oh, alright! We do go places together as a family. Not often though. We try to go away once or twice a year. This said, Little One's childhood will definitely be different from the one I knew and this makes me sad. I grew up with lots of traveling (within Canada, the US, and overseas). My parents took us to Trinidad and Tobago, Florida, New York, Virginia, and all over the place when we were kids). I want that for Little One too. I want her to explore the world and know that there is a lot to discover outside of the world she lives in. I want her to learn about other cultures, customs, and make friends with people from all over the globe.
We may still be able to do this. With or without Hubby joining us though. Someone (not Hubby) once told me that "farmers never leave the farm". Great.
Melanie Bailey, the talented artist at Canvas Edge has a line of farm animals that are perfect for nurseries, bedrooms, and playrooms.
Her Funky Farm series includes modern farm animals for babies and kids. They make adorable baby shower gifts, birthday gifts, or gifts for new parents.
Little One has a collection that consists of a pink bunny, a blue cow, a purple horse, a yellow sheep and a pink pig. Let me tell you that many moms and dads who have seen Little One's room have commented on how much they love the farm animal paintings that are displayed on the wall by Little One's crib. At a recent BBQ party at our farm, some friends who are expecting their second baby commented on how they would love some wall art like the ones Little One has in her room.
The artist also has a very cool Safari series. Elephants, zebras, monkeys, giraffes...Oh, my! Simply adorable! If I were to redo Little One's room, I'd probably switch over from farm animals to safari animals. Too cute!
Want one? I know you do! ;) You can BUY IT on the artist's website here...
Contact the artist for a 50% off sale on all in-stock animal paintings this summer!
or WIN IT here!
Good news for you guys! Canvas Edge is giving this fabulous piece of wall art for kids to one lucky blog reader. To enter:
You MUST visit the Canvas Edge website and check out all of the artists' adorable animal paintings! Come back here and leave a comment. Let me know which animal painting you love!
-BUY a Melanie Bailey Creation and let me know which one you bought!
-Follow me (@chancesmommy) on Twitter
-Follow me via Google Friend Connect
-Grab my button and post it on your blog (leave me the link where I can find it)
Good luck, everyone! Contest is open to Canadian and U.S. residents only. Contest ends on August 13th, 2010.
Me: (in shock) Why does our daughter have a huge bruise and scratch on her face?!?!
Hubby: (rather nonchalantly) Oh. She fell off my chair and landed on her face.
Scene: The morning after our final Burns Wharf Theatre performance
Hubby: Are you going to take a shower?
Me: I can't. I'm meeting the girls for brunch at Loco Beanz and I'm late! (I did wash my face and brush my teeth, by the way!) Why?
Hubby: Oh. It's just that you've got streams of sparkles all over your face.
Ack! Can't seem to lose those fairy sparkles!!!
(Hubby looking lovingly at his wife as she puts on her make-up and fixes her hair for a friend's 40th birthday bash)
Hubby: You look beautiful, Honey.
Me: What do you want?
Hubby: We have such a good life. We have a beautiful, smart, healthy daughter. We have each other.
Me: (bursting out in laughter) You're right, Honey. We do have a wonderful life. It's just not often that you come out with comments like that :)
Hubby: OH! DARN IT! Don't take off your diaper. Hey! Get your hand out of there. Oh, no! Don't roll off the...bed. URGH! That's a NASTY diaper.
Me: Go figure! The one diaper you got to change all day and it was a nasty one. LOL!!!
Little One exits her room, smiling...and naked. Crazy girl. Toddlers are hilarious.
Growing up, we learned to always mind our manners. This something we're trying to teach our toddler too. I remember in my earliest years, my parents would be on us for being polite, courteous, and respectful to everyone.
Oh, it's not this generation's kids I'm talking about. I'm talking about ADULTS too! Perhaps I'm wrong in believing that people should treat each other the way they'd like to be treated. Perhaps it's not to be expected that if someone does something nice for you, you return the favour. It's pretty frustrating, actually. What ever happened to common courtesy? Some people are severely lacking in social skills.
Now, I am well aware that everyone has a lot going on in their lives. Life gets busy. I get that. I often wonder if it would be less effort to act the same way some people do. Then I realize that it wouldn't make things any better. I'd feel awful for behaving the way some people do. (Note: This is not directed at anyone in particular. It's just an observation)
I know it is wrong to expect others to treat you the way you've treated them. One should do things from the kindness of one's heart and not expect anything in return. Do things because you want to do it or don't do it at all. Right? Hmmm...
Obviously, I'm not talking about this:I don't believe that is the right behaviour or mentality (above). I do believe in this though (below).
I have a few etiquette questions to throw out there:
1. Do you always remember to say thank you when someone does something for you?
2. Do you say please when you are requesting/asking for something from someone?
3. When carpooling with someone (either to work, out of town, on a trip, etc), do you offer to pay for a bit of the gas?
4. Do you constantly take without giving or without offering to give?
5. If you go on a trip with someone and they drive, do you offer to pay for gas or offer to buy them a meal? Or just take, take, take and don't offer to contribute in any way, shape or form?
6. If you know of someone who needs help, do you offer to help out?
7. Do you call loved ones to check in on them from time to time or do you wait for them to always call you?
8. Do you make any effort to cultivate and nurture relationships or is it always up to the other person?
9. If you're at a restaurant and someone else pays, do you at least offer to pay your share? When that person says, "It's on me" do you at least say thank you?
Let's just say that with all the things that have been going on lately, I'm doing some purging and cleansing of things I don't need anymore.
You know how some women complain about having to lose their pregnancy weight? When I was pregnant with Little One, I gained 15 lbs in total. Granted, I was only pregnant for 6 months and Little One weighed 2 lbs, 3 oz at birth! I weighed less after giving birth to Little One, but still had weight to lose. Weight loss has not been an obsession of mine, but it does loom there in the back of my head. If only to be healthy. Not skinny. Healthy.
Those 15 lbs came off quickly with me commuting to and from the hospital during Little One's first few months. Despite the exhaustion from having a preemie in the NICU, I felt great. I was a new Mom. I had a beautiful baby girl. Despite the stress and anxiety, I was doing great physically. She spent the first 70 days of her life in the NICU, growing bigger and stronger. I spent the first 70 days of her life getting up at 5AM, commuting by bus and subway, hanging out in the NICU, nursing, pumping, commuting again, and again, and again.
The stress of having a premature baby in the NICU, the stress of my husband being on the Island while I was with the baby at Mount Sinai, nursing, being on the go all the time, and everything else just made it easy to get rid of those maternity pants quickly. Like I mentioned before, I've never been one of those women who are blessed with a fast metabolism. The only time I was ever a skinny minnie was when I was a kid (before puberty hit)! I always had a few pounds here and there that I wanted to shed. However, my focus after giving birth to my baby was not the weight loss. It was making sure she was healthy, strong, and gaining weight so she could get discharged from the hospital.
Then we finally brought our baby home. More sleep deprivation and exhaustion, but we were thrilled to have her home. One would think that with all the activity we have in our lives, we'd be super fit! We have a farm, eat healthy and well balanced meals, we eat from what grows on our farm, we're outdoors all the time, we do a lot of physical work, and now that the baby is
We're busy on and off the farm, and I go walking with the Little One and friends of ours who have kids too. Despite the activity and healthy eating, I still feel I need something more. Why? Well, my 20 month old daughter came up to me the other day and patted my tummy and said, "Bebe! Bebe!" Ummmm...no. Mommy does not have a baby in there!
Enter underWAY. When Mom Central approached me about the underWAY blog tour, I was very interested. I'll try anything and was looking forward to testing the products out. To be honest, I always believed that a healthy, balanced diet and physical activity were all one needed to stay healthy. I have never tried anything like underWAY before.
I was sent:- eight bottles of underWAY (four Acai-Pomegranate and four Grape)
- Smart for Life cookies, cupcakes, soup, cereal, shake, bagel, and crunch
underWAY is a supplement drink that is infused with special HeroFiber as well as heart-healthy vitamins. The ingredients work together to naturally suppress your appetite and quench your thirst.
underWAY's special formula curbs your hunger in two ways. It takes longer to be absorbed by the stomach and it slows the absorption of what's already there. It makes you feel fuller longer. underWAY's unique ingredients also stimulate your stomach, telling your brain you’ve consumed more calories that you really have. Good news: there are almost zero calories with underWAY. One 16 oz bottle of underWAY has 10 calories, 2% carbohydrates, 15% vitamin B6, 15% vitamin B12, 2% fibre, 15% Riboflavin and 15% Niacin.
Each bottle of underWAY supplement also has HeroFiber, a soluble dietary fiber that helps maintain normal levels of cholesterol, glucose and insulin that are already in the normal range and promotes slower absorption so we feel fuller longer.
To my surprise, I did find that I wasn't as hungry throughout the day when I drank underWAY. Shocking! It's hard to describe, but I just wasn't hungry. I continued to eat our healthy meals and added the underWAY drink to the menu. I think it does work in curbing one's appetite. For instance, for supper we had a mixed greens salad, rice noodles with zucchini, onions, carrots, and goat cheese. I was full. Throughout the day too, I didn't feel the need or urge to snack. I know that grazing throughout the day instead of having three big meals is easier on the stomach and organs, and better for your metabolism. Honestly, I just didn't feel like eating much.
I actually really like the underWAY drinks. Both the grape and acai-pomegranate flavours are tasty and refreshing.
Speaking of eating, along with the two cases of underWAY, I was also sent Smart for Life products. The kit included all natural, 60% organic products (great for snacking on-the-go). The cookies, cupcakes, soup, cereal, bagel, crunch and shake all contain necessary nutrients like Omega-3 fatty acids and HeroFiber, with zero trans fat and making you feel fuller, quicker. They are easy, on-the-go meal replacements.I tried the cookies, the soup, and the cereal. I've got to say that they are delicious! I don't know why I was surprised that they tasted good. I guess that I expected them to be chalky, bland, and texturally "weird"! No to all of those. The texture was not odd at all. The flavours were really delicious, and the food was not "chalky" at all.I really enjoyed the chicken noodle soup that was included in the package. There was even zucchini and red pepper in there! YUM!
Interested in trying underWAY and all of the other Smart for Life products I got to test out? Good news! Thanks to Mom Central and underWAY, 10 (yes, TEN!) of my blog readers will win:
a case of Acai-Pomegranate AND a case of Grape underWAY to try for free!
Not only will you win TWO cases of underWAY, but you'll also win a Smart for Life assortment of cookies, cupcakes, bagel, crunch, cereal, soup, and shake! Wow! That's quite the prize!
Oh, the fun does not stop here! Though TEN readers will win this amazing prize, ALL of my readers are able to enjoy these products with this special code: MCCAN10OFFUW to get 10% off underWAY online orders! No one will be left out!
All you have to do is leave me a comment and let me know why you'd love to try underWAY and/or Smart for Life products!
Disclosure - I wrote this post while participating in the underWAY blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Better Health Beverage, LLC and received a Mom Central gift card to thank me for my participation. The opinions on this blog are my own.
Contest open to Canadians only. Readers may enter the contest on multiple blogs, but are only eligible to win once as part of the underWAY blog tour contest. Contest ends on August 4, 2010.
As an English teacher, I pride myself on being a grammar guru. This said, I've gone from Grammar Queen to Don't-Know-How-To-Spell-Easy-Words girl. It is so frustrating!
It appears that there's a correlation between the busier and more active my little one gets and the less hours of sleep I get. This is directly responsible for my Momnesia. At least I like to tell myself that! Even the most obvious things don't seem so obvious anymore! My friends and family get a good laugh at my Mommy mishaps.
I get so unbelievably forgetful and absentminded and it really frustrates me. I'm not sure if I can name my craziest Mommy Brain Moment...because there are too many of them! Oh, alright! I guess THIS would have to be my craziest Mommy Brain Moment!!!
Can you answer the BlogHer $100 Question? What's YOUR craziest Mommy Brain moment?
Every once in a while something happens in each and every one of our lives when we realize how fortunate we are to have the love and support of the people around us. Usually, it's after tragedy, illness, misfortune, loss, or some kind of emergency situation. It really is gives reason for a time of reflection.
I am thankful every day for the family, friends, and neighbours we have in our lives. Thankful every day.
A few days ago, my husband fell down a flight of stairs with the baby. His leg gave out beneath him and he and the baby tumbled down the stairs. His Daddy instincts made him fall in a way that he would protect the baby and not crush her. As a result, he fell in a way that caused him to injure his ribs and spine. The baby is fine. She managed to escape with just a bruised face and bruised legs. Hubby is not fine.
Hubby is unable to move. This is a problem, because our livelihood depends on him being physically active on the farm. There will be no bouncing on tractors, lifting heavy objects, or doing what he is used to be doing. At least, not for a while.
He is now able to get around with the use of a cane or walker for a few minutes a day. He can now sit, but not for long. I don't foresee him hopping on a tractor tomorrow or loading bales of hay onto the wagon.
This whole Hubby being out of commission thing has been a real eye opener. On my way home from work, I thought of all the wonderful people who have helped out. I've been overwhelmed with having to get up at 5 something in the morning to get to work, plus all the deadlines I have for some of the freelance writing gigs I have, plus the farm, plus the baby, plus the housework, plus errands, plus taking care of a husband who can't do anything at the moment. After a mini meltdown, I thought of how hard it would be to manage everything I already do and take care of the farm if Hubby cannot do anything. It would be impossible. Not to sound negative or anything, but I cannot manage a farm on my own AND do everything else. I can't.
Living in a small rural community, word gets around quickly. We've had phone calls and visits from neighbours offering to help out in any way, shape or form. Some people are aware of me working out of the home and from the home and have tried to make the load less heavy by bringing meals to us. My parents and mother-in-law have been tag-teaming to watch Little One when I'm at work or performing at the theatre. My amazing friends have helped out too. My lovely friend, the Carpenter's Wife brought over lunch for us when I was at work the other day. She offered to help either watch the baby, help me with farm chores and laundry, etc. I'm kind of stubborn and a little bit proud. I thanked her tenfold, but told her I could do the chores and household stuff on my own. It is nice to know that we have the support of our good friends and family though.
I was completely floored. I wasn't expecting this kind of generosity. Many, many thanks go out to everyone. We certainly are blessed.
Good news: Hubby is now walking (sort of)! He can't take long periods of sitting, standing or walking, but he's slowly coming around! I now have a dog with a crushed pelvis, a husband with injured ribs and spine, a toddler with bruises all over her body, and the fun just never ends! :)
Just a few photos of Little One. Just because Mommy's busy with work and chores, doesn't mean she doesn't have time to play with Little One!
For Mother's Day, I ordered the Caramel Crackle from Ultimately Chocolate. It was a hit! The caramel and chocolate combination was pure decadence!
With so many mouthwatering selections to choose from, Hubby helped me decide on the Raspberry Razzle!
The Raspberry Razzle is a deliciously moist cake layered with a rich raspberry buttercream icing (we got the chocolate cake instead of the vanilla). The cake is decorated with dark chocolate truffle icing, semi-sweet chocolate pieces, and a TOFFLE.Check out the amazing detail! Everyone loved that there was even a TOFFLE placed on top of the cake! It's a smooth milk chocolate truffle surrounded by rich, dark chocolate toffee.Needless to say, our out of town guests LOVED the Raspberry Razzle. I also got each guest a box of TOFFLEs. Gotta support our local businesses! Plus, I thought it would be an amazing way for our guests to remember their trip to the Island! Beautiful sights, fresh air, the waterfalls, the beaches...and chocolate!
Ultimately Chocolate's trademark TOFFLE can be purchased at Loco Beanz Coffee House in Little Current, Ontario and Loco Beanz Coffee House in Gore Bay, Ontario. You may also purchase the chocolate TOFFLE online! Click here to order!
Ultimately Chocolate is giving one lucky blog reader of mine a box of 20 TOFFLES!!! Twenty TOFFLES! That is the biggest size box of TOFFLEs that Ultimately Chocolate sells!
1. Visit the Ultimately Chocolate site and check out their products! Come back here and leave me a comment with what cake or baked good you would like to try! Trust me...it's a difficult decision to make! Choosing ONE cake, tart, pie, or French-style pastry!
2. Follow me via Google Friend Connect (on my sidebar). Make sure to leave a separate comment here telling me you follow.
3. Follow me on Twitter (@chancesmommy) and Tweet this contest. You get two additional entries if you do this. Again, let me know in a separate comment here.
4. Grab my button (on my sidebar) and leave me the link to where I can find where you posted it.
Good luck! I know you'll enjoy your TOFFLEs! Contest ends on Friday, July 30th @ 12AM EDT.
Kady, please e-mail me your mailing info and we can get your prize to you! :)
For those unfamiliar with a Stag and Doe (Ahem! Canine!), it's basically a fundraiser for the couple before their wedding. According to Wikipedia, a Stag and Doe (aka: Buck and Doe, Jack and Jill party) is a popular Canadian/Southern Ontario tradition. Funny, because prior to moving to Northern Ontario, I had never heard of such a thing.
The entire concept is completely foreign to me. For instance, tickets are sold for the event in order to raise money for the couple. There are games, draws, and auctions for which the proceeds go to the bride and groom as well. Basically, it is an opportunity to get together with friends/family/co-workers/strangers/people in your community, dance, drink, and be merry.
Anyway, my wonderfully talented friend, Maria made this for me (as my present for the bride and groom).
Isn't she talented!?!?!
Little One is not a baby anymore.
She eats on her own.
She drinks from a sippy cup.
She talks. Okay, she babbles in a language only she understands.
Most of all, she's got so much character and a personality of her own.
She makes a scrunchy happy face and laughs when she thinks something is funny.
She puts her finger to her lips and says, "Shhhh!"
She is fiercely independent.
She's a bit stubborn (like her Mom).
She learns new things every day and is proud and excited to show everyone what she can do.
Yep. She's definitely no longer a baby.
This is where I start bawling my eyes out. How on earth did she grow up so fast?
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- BornFree Canada Mom Panel
- Ridiculously Easy Fettucine Alfredo with Shrimp
- Melanie Bailey Creations Review and Contest/Giveaw...
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- Please and Thank You
- Hooray for underWAY! Review and Giveaway!
- BlogHer $100 Question: What's Your Craziest Mommy ...
- The Kindness of Others
- An Ultimately Chocolatey Surprise!
- Mabel's Labels Winner!
- You Won't Believe Your Eyes!
- It Suddenly Occurred To Me
- In Love With Mabel
- My ORGLAMIX Has Arrived! My ORGLAMIX Has Arrived!
- Loco Beanz Winner!
- Now Everyone is Gonna Want One!
- Still a Rookie Mommy
- Summer's Here!!!
- Happy 4th!
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- Oh, Mommy Brain...How I Love Thee!
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About the Blog Author
City girl moves to the country, falls in love, and marries a farmer. She tries to incorporate her city ways with her new country lifestyle and blogs to keep in touch with friends, family & students who live far, far away :) Can this city girl go country? Watch as she learns all sorts of exciting things about life on the farm and in a small rural community. *UPDATE* We are now parents! Our baby girl was born on Nov. 11, 2008 (at 28 weeks gestation- 12 weeks premature, but she's quite the trooper)!!!