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2014 Canadian Weblog Awards nominee

Sometimes The People You Love Don’t Understand

I am afraid of the monster whose shadow twists and bends across the walls in my mind and has settled too comfortably into my bones.

I wonder if anyone knows that it’s killing me.

I hear them sigh when I panic over silly things and

I see the downturn in their facial expressions – their disappointment when I constantly mess things up.

I want them to understand that I am trying so bloody hard to survive each moment through the blackness, the hopelessness, and the suffocating despair.

I am doing as good as I can but,

I pretend that I’m doing much better.

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I feel too much and it cuts into me deeply as if the world around me is layered with shards of glass.

I touch its rough edges and watch myself bleed; staining the floors crimson red. Every day I lose more and more of myself.

I worry that one day there will be nothing left of me and

I cry because I used to be somebody.

I am KIMBERLY! Now I don’t know who that is.

I understand that this will pass. It always passes they say and

I say f*ck that because bipolar disorder never just passes. It is a ride that you can never get off of. Over and over and over. I continue to ride this hell.

I dream of cars driving into walls, into intersections, off of bridges, into the backs of my legs, but then

I try to stop. I try to breathe and then I try to find the bits and pieces that will keep me going just a little bit longer. I hold on to them. My anchors. My loves.

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Even though they don’t get why I freak out over making a choice between two cereal boxes or why I get quiet or why I don’t want to be around big crowds or why I am forgetful or why or why or why,

I hope that they know that when

I am not ok that they are all that I have to help me survive this.  

 

This is linked with this:

Dear Stephanie, We’re Gonna Keep Writing

My hands have been hovering over the keyboard for the last half hour trying to conjure up some sort of wordy magic on screen, but sadly I just can’t make it happen.

I am rather nervous actually.

I’ve never been good with introductions.

You see, I’m awkward and when I’m anxious, on a scale of 1 to 10 my awkwardness is a “I pictured you naked. Good job on the landscaping.”

Let me explain that…

I was the maid of honour at my best friend’s wedding and I was about to give my speech. My husband told me to picture everyone naked so in my nervous awkward state, I did.

Out loud.

In the microphone.

“You’re all naked. You’re all naked. Jesus don’t look at grandpa. Grandpa is staring. Don’t look at naked grandpa. Old man balls. Oh the microphone is on. SHIT!”

I wasn’t even drunk.

So you can just imagine what my insides are doing right now as I’m trying to think of something spectacular and not-so-awkward to introduce one of my favourite people, Lizzi from Considerings.Throwing the book at stigma

She is amazing.

Let me tell you why very briefly because Lizzi asked me to use my space today not for her, but for another fantastic writer who just came out with her very first book. Lizzi writes from that piece of your heart and soul that needs to come out but you are to afraid to let it. Real. Raw. Honest. Brutally honest. In her struggles, she has taught me to find – scavenge for the little bits of good despite of it and to be thankful for them. Her writing makes me think hard and feel deep. She. Is. Amazing.

Now she is an avid supporter of other bloggers and their accomplishments. Today she wants to help promote Mandi Castle, from Cellulite Looks Better Tan. Mandi is a brilliant writer. I fell in love with her post Hide, Run Away, Disappear — simple but the emotions ran deep for me at the time (and yes, for some reason I am a gigantic chicken shit and have yet to comment over there).

Her book, Dear Stephanie was just released and is getting such positive reviews. It’s on my summer reading list! Here is a bit about the book:

Paige Preston wants to end her life. After an unsuccessful attempt, she lands herself in mandatory therapy with a sexy psychiatrist. When he and an even more alluring friend begin to help her break down the walls she’s spent a lifetime building, Paige begins to see something bigger than herself. Is it enough to pull her out of her dark world and help her finally feel like a human? Or will letting someone in be the final step toward her demise?

Dear Stephanie is a sinfully addictive walk through a world of beauty, affluence, and incidental love that effortlessly moves the reader between laughter, tears, heartache, and hope with the turn of every “Paige.”

You can purchase Dear Stephanie from Amazon

And without further ado, here is Lizzi.

Gonna keep writing, whether you like it or not

This is going to sound arrogant (because it is) but usually people ask me to write MORE, not less, and I’m unused to anyone trying to tell me to stop.

I was particularly bemused when this situation occurred a week before the release of Mandi Castle’s debut novel ‘Dear Stephanie’, and the writing I was doing concerned ‘Dear Stephanie’, and the person trying to tell me to stop was Mandi Castle.

You see my conundrum.

In the end, I think I figured it out – it seemed as though Mandi, poor love, was a tad embarrassed by the amount of attention I was giving her book (not that I haven’t set a precedent with all the pimping I’ve done for other completely awesome books, like Memoirs of a Dilettante, or Order of Seven (but anywayyyy!)) – and I had to respond by informing said NearlyNewlyPublishedAuthor that I was going to keep writing about her book, whether she liked it or not, but that I’d rather do it with her blessing than without.

I think the conversation went somewhere along the lines of

ME: But Mandi, Mandi, Mandi… [insert beautifully-worded, well thought-out, balanced and completely justifiable argument for my continued promotion here]

HER: Go to bed, Lizzi. [It may or may not have been the ‘wee hours’ in England at the time]

ME: *sulks*

I continued my attack the next day, with further beautifully-worded, well thought-out, balanced and completely justifiable arguments for my continued promotion of Dear Stephanie.

They were met with resistance (I countered), offers of payment (she can’t afford me (nor can you)), proffering of gifts (unnecessary and never why I do it), the suggestion that she fly over and devote herself to being my willing slave for a week, and effusive thanks (got there in the end (wait, WHAT was that slave one? Go back, go back!!)) and in the end the blessing was given on the basis that this was my crusade for kicking the stigma surrounding mental health to the curb, and ‘Dear Stephanie’ was just along for the ride*.

The thing is, ‘Dear Stephanie’ is a fabulously well-written book. The character around whom the entire story revolves – Paige Preston – is so richly constructed that she walks off the page and into your brain without so much as a ‘by your leave’, but here’s the crux – she has huge, devastating struggles with depression, which leave her frequently suicidal and often at her wit’s end. In spite of her outward perfections, her piss-poor attitude to life and other people, she is fragile and vulnerable, and shortly after you’ve gotten over being outraged by her audacity, you find that you love her for her brokenness and the way she sometimes seems to really want to make life work, but has tried too hard for too long and not gotten anywhere, and is perpetually on the point of giving up.

Then love at the speed of plot happens, and she finds her emotional landscape subject to some serious re-framing, but whether or not it’s sufficient to rescue her is why you need to buy the damn book!

She’s relatable. Especially to anyone who has ever had, or known, or seen, or known someone who knows someone with a mental illness. Because it really can be that bad. It really can be that vicious and destroying. It really can reduce someone who, on the outside looks as if they have it all together, and are prickly to the point of ‘just fuck off then’, to a puddle on the floor, crying and wishing to un-be.

And being able to talk about it, when you’re in that place of being affected by mental illness (yours or someone else), really CAN help.

Books like ‘Dear Stephanie’, with sexy, dark, gritty storylines and engaging characters who suck you into their world and blow your mind, make it possible, no, they make it okay…no, they make it GOOD to talk about mental health issues.

And if there’s any chance that somewhere, someone who is struggling feels less alone having read this book/another like it/a post I’ve written/a post written by any of the bloggers who step up to the plate and let sunshine fall on matters about mental illness and their struggles, then that MATTERS, and my goodness, I am NOT going to let a chance like that slip by.

Likewise if someone reads one of these things and realises that they know someone like that, and are inspired to reach out, or persevere, or they gain a new level of understanding, empathy or compassion for that person, then I am GOING to keep writing.

CAN it help? You bet.

WILL it? Up to you – go buy the book and start TALKING about it.

 

Lizzi

Lizzi is a Deep Thinker, Truth-Teller and seeker of Good Things. She’s also silly, irreverent and tries to write as beautifully as possible.  She sends glitterbombs and gathers people around her – building community wherever she can.

Lizzi is a founder member of Sisterwives and #1000Speak, and hosts the Ten Things of Thankful bloghop each weekend.

Facebook Twitter  *  Google+  *  Pintrest

Pamper Mom With Crabtree & Evelyn | Giveaway

They told me that I could sleep in today.

“It’s Mother’s Day. You get your rest. You deserve it!” they said.

And I laugh because I’ve long given up on sleep.

I love them for their valiant efforts but for the last hour I’ve been tortured by the sounds of my dog’s wet snout sniffing at the bedroom door, my six year old impatiently pacing the hall, and my husband clamouring about the kitchen looking for the white sugar then the “those pod things for the coffee maker” and “Chunky where does mom keep those whatchamacallits”?. He sounds about as quiet as an elephant in high heels.

I can’t complain though. I’m blessed every single day that I wake up to those two regardless of what time it is.

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Ok and the dog.

He loves getting his picture taken

He loves getting his picture taken

If you’re anything like me, this is all that I ask for on Mother’s Day – spending time with my family.

When I ask my own mother and my mother in law, I get the same response.

This means…

WE ARE THE WORST PEOPLE TO SHOP FOR.

So what are some ideas?

How about gifts that pamper moms? Check!

These are always a good choice. Often times, we are so busy taking care of everyone else that we don’t stop to take care of ourselves. Crabtree & Evelyn has an array of Mother’s Day gifts this year – From beautiful fragrances to indulgent fine food, Crabtree & Evelyn’s Mother’s Day gift selection offers something special for mom.

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I had the chance to try their Best Sellers Hand Therapy Sampler.

Crabtree and Evelyn

These ultra-moisturising hand therapy creams are Formulated with nourishing macadamia nut oil, shea butter and moisture-locking ceramides. The gift box includes their most popular scents:

  • Rosewater Ultra-moisturising Hand Therapy (25g)
  • Pomegranate, Argan & Grapeseed Ultra-moisturising Hand Therapy (25g)
  • Gardeners Ultra-moisturising Hand Therapy (25g)
  • Citron, Honey & Coriander Ultra-moisturising Hand Therapy (25g)
  • La Source Ultra-moisturising Hand Therapy (25g)
  • Lavender Ultra-moisturising Hand Therapy (25g)

I did find these lotions to be very fragrant and that a little bit went a long way! They are thick and creamy but not sticky and greasy. They absorbed really well. I am a germaphobe and wash my hands frequently so being able to tote them in my purse is a bonus. My favourite by far is Lavender.

These lotions definitely have a luxurious feel – not like a drug store brand lotion – and with a $35 price tag, it would be a nice splurge for the moms in your life.

If you would like to learn more about Crabtree & Evelyn products, or the beautiful hand lotions and soaps, visit http://www.crabtree-evelyn.ca/. They also have several retail locations. There is a store finder on their site.

***GIVEAWAY***

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Crabtree & Evelyn has generously offered to give two lucky readers their Best Sellers Hand Therapy Sampler ($35 value) featuring six of their popular hand lotions and scents.
Open to Canadian residents only

 

 

Disclaimer: I received a Best Sellers Hand Therapy Sampler for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own. 

You Can Play Dirty And Still Live Clean

I never knew how dirty the world was until I had a boy.

Circa 2012

Circa 2012

At the end of his day there is always dirt under his nails, in between his cubby fingers, on his cheeks, his elbows, and sometimes in his ear canals and in the sticky creases of neck.

Why?

How?

And I can only come to the conclusion that it’s all because he. is. a. BOY.

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If there is a mess to be had, he will find it and make it happen. Needless to say, bath times aren’t just a nightly occurrence. They are an “any time during the day the filth exceeds the kid’s exposed body surface area occurrence”.  I’m telling you, this kid gets more spa days than I’ve had in my entire 30 something years of life.

Even though he’s a rough and tumble kid, his skin still deserves extra gentle care. We opt for products that are mild and chemical free which is not only good for him but good for our environment. This is why we are loving Live Clean Kids.

LC_Kids_groupshot

Live Clean, a proudly Canadian brand, launched four new eco-friendly, plant based shampoos, body washes and liquid hand soaps just for kids: Tropical Body + Hair Wash, Tropical Foaming Hand Soap, Mixed Berry Body + Hair Wash and Mixed Berry Foaming Hand Soap.

Live Clean contains no harsh cleansing agents, additives or preservatives – that means they are paraben free, SLS/sulfate free, phthalate free, petroleum free, dye free, hypoallergenic, pH balanced and Vegan.

Enriched with extracts like organic orange, kiwi, mango, strawberry, blueberry, and raspberry, Live Clean kids products are explosively fragrant and lather really well with just a small amount – something you wouldn’t expect with a naturally derived cleansing product!

The body + hair washes, like the Tropical Body + Hair Wash, contain rich coconut oil, which left my son’s  skin feeling soft and moisturized and his hair smooth, shiny, and slightly fragrant.

LC_Kids_Tropical_BodyWash

My son absolutely loves the kid sized hand dispenser and I couldn’t figure out just why.

Oh that’s because he could make a mess.

A “clean” mess.

live clean hand wash

If you are concerned about the products you are applying to your child and the impact that they have on the environment, I do recommend trying Live Clean Kids. They also have a line for babies, adults, and even for the family pet!

Visit Live Clean website www.live-clean.com for more information on their eco-friendly products, where to purchase, tips on going green, and so much more.

 

***Giveaway***

Are you ready to get clean?

LC_Kids_groupshot

One lucky winner will receive a bottle of each: Tropical Body + Hair Wash, Tropical Foaming Hand Soap, Mixed Berry Body + Hair Wash and Mixed Berry Foaming Hand Soap

Giveaway open to CANADIAN RESIDENTS ONLY

 

Disclaimer: I received the above products for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own.

This Isn’t Your Grandma’s Show | Grace and Frankie

From the executive producers Marta Kauffman (“Friends”) and Howard J Morris (“Home Improvement”), comes Netflix’s new Original Series Grace and Frankie, a hilarious and heartbreaking that takes on aging with gusto — definitely not what you would expect when you think of 70 year old women.

And I kind of love it.

Grace and frankie

Jane Fonda (“Grace”) and Lily Tomlin (“Frankie”) star as two spouses left by their husbands, who announce suddenly in the middle of a crowded restaurant that they are both gay and in love with each other.  As their lives are turned upside down, the uptight beauty queen Grace and the hippie Frankie find themselves forced together in an unlikely friendship.

Fonda and Tomlin are the perfect “odd couple” pairing for the leads but to be honest, I was a little worried that I wouldn’t like the show given that they were starring in it — that it would be too preoccupied with the “older” lifestyle and a “Golden Girl” sitcom show feel. I know, I feel bad for saying it but it’s true. From the very first scene though,  that was not a factor. They not only brought the funny but incredible talent.

It’s not your typical sitcom show that you’d be expecting from the producers of the hit shows of “Friends” and “Home Improvement”. The plot wasn’t drowned in knee slapping one-liners that were thrown out one after the other which was actually quite refreshing. It allowed the story to unfold and kept me intrigued the entire episode (or three).

The series also stars Martin Sheen and Sam Waterston, along with Brooklyn Decker, Ethan Embry, Baron Vaughn, and June Diane Raphael.

All thirteen (13) episodes of the series will begin streaming on Friday, May 8 2015 exclusively on Netflix.

 

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Disclosure: I am a member of the Netflix #StreamTeam and received a one-year subscription to Netflix in return for posting Netflix updates and reviews, however, all opinions are my own.

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