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2014 Canadian Weblog Awards nominee

What Fuels Me.

It isn’t because of a pill, although it’s necessary for me to function.

And it isn’t because of meditation or journaling or acupuncture or the occasional skunky beer or ice cream.

It’s because of  these arms — so little, but oh so strong.

They shove through the fortress of agonizing despair my illnesses wrought and grab hold of me — center.

Life is beautiful, momma. 

 They fuel me — FIGHT.

And I do and I will because I love him.

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Mama’s Losin’ It
Prompt: Write a blog post in exactly 7 lines.
PS. If you’re struggling, remember that there is someone (big or small) that loves you and is fighting for you always. Keep going. You are stronger than it. xo 

Not Your Grandma’s Pillbox

I’ll curse the day when my doctor added that one extra pill — that one extra pill that would confuse me at morning, lunch and bedtime. I found myself at the end of the day scratching my head wondering, “Did I take it?” Unsure of myself, I would end up dumping the pills out onto the counter and counting each and every one them to see if I did.

Tired of my almost nightly routine, my husband finally put his foot down and said, “I think it’s time grandma.”

It’s time.

For the pillbox.

Oh I resisted that darn thing for such a long time and honestly the reason was stupid — yes I admit.

It was pride. 

I didn’t want to be a twenty something year old with a pillbox.

When I thought of pillboxes, I thought of the days of visiting my grandparents.

Every meal, the pillbox came out.

After tea, the pillbox came out.

Grandma dropped her purse the pillbox rattled like a maraca and she’d have to check to make sure the lids didn’t fly open.

Sunday evening they sat at the dinning room table and refilled it — they looked like cute wrinkly old drug lords.

See — all stupid reasons.

There’s nothing wrong with taking medications or vitamins.

It’s a part of life and it’s a part of my life.

I’m not ashamed of it.

So a pillbox it was.

The pillbox made life so much easier. I was able to take my medications wherever I needed to go and I was able to REMEMBER to take them and was able to take them on time.

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That’s my trusty “double chamber” purple beast pill box. And that is my drug addicted dog. Funny story — he had surgery not too long ago and was on narcotics. When he finished his pills, he suddenly wanted mine. He sat “pretty” every time I pulled out my pills. I felt so bad for him.

It’s still ugly though.

Dawn, the fabulous amazing talent behind Inspired By Dawn, felt that the pillboxes lacked style. She used vitamins throughout her pregnancy and wanted something that was stylish and functional so she created The Style Rx Designer Pill Box Case.

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The Style Rx is made with luxe cotton canvas exterior which is wipeable and wear-resistant. It is lightweight, yet durable and is built to withstand daily us in a purse, laptop sleeve or gym bag. With its discreet magnetic closure, it ensures that the Style Rx stays closed, keeping everything in its place.

It also has a surprising capacity for vitamins and supplements. Each compartment holds 6 fish oil capsules or 20 ibuprofen tablets per day. Additional 7 day pill inserts are fully interchangeable for additional capacity.

The Style Rx is discreet and attractive enough to leave on a desk at the office, or lunch with friends for a visual reminder, and small enough to toss in purse, gym bag or carry-on for secure on-the-go storage.

It keeps your medications and vitamins close at hand!

And in a very stylish way!

It’s definitely not your grandma’s pillbox and I am oh so thankful for that.

It’s pretty and it gives me privacy because people are nosy. I love that I can even fit my PRN’s in there too (the ones I take as needed). And did I mention it’s pretty?

I love the feature of the magnetic closure too. Big time! I get really paranoid with the plastic lids on the pillbox coming open and having my pills spill all over. It’s happened before in my purse.

Did I mention the box is really pretty and I love it?

You can learn more about the Style Rx and buy the Style Rx at Inspired By Dawn

You can also follow Inspired by Dawn on Twitter, Facebook, Google, YouTube, and Pinterest.

 

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Disclosure: I received a Style Rx in exchange for this review. All opinions are my own.

 

 

What I Am Proud Of

There was this one time when I was four.

I wore my Mamie’s reddest of red lipsticks and remember my mom carefully dusting my cheeks with the brightest pink blush and I couldn’t stop laughing because the white feather’s on my outfit tickled my armpits.

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And that night, I walked onstage without them — without using their legs as a human shield against all the things that could go wrong — just like a big girl.

I danced my heart out for tons of people and not once did I cry.

But my family did.

Then there was that one time I was awarded Junior MVP for basketball in high school.

And out of all the girls that came out for tryouts, I was one of 12 to make the city wide all-star softball team.

We got creamed in the Canadian Big League tournament but I still made the paper.

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“When I was your age…I am some serious eyebrows” I’m the second sad last panda to your right in the picture

And I followed my childhood dream and made it come true by graduating from nursing school and getting a job right away as an ER nurse.

However I was never Hot Lips Houlihan material.

I saved a child’s life.

I’m proud of my marriage and how we work so hard to keep the laughter and the love ignited through the hard times — and we’ve had our fair share.

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And I’m proud of my son — of who he is and who he is becoming.

He is my heart and my world.

And undoubtedly, the best thing to every happen.

Even best-er (his own words) than soft serve ice cream on top of slush.

When you still make faces at your kid to smile and he says "Oh you mean make a face like this?" -- love him

When you still make faces at your kid to smile and he says “Oh you mean make a face like this?” — love him

And do you know that sometimes that those bad things in life that happen?

The very terrible horrible worst things to ever happen?

Sometimes those things can change the direction in which we intended to go in life.

Chronic pain, postpartum depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder — they destroyed a lot of our plans and for a long time I was angry, lost, afraid, confused, and alone. I hated able body people and sane people and pregnant people and happy moms with happy colic free babies. Nothing was fair because I, we, were suffering in survival mode while everyone else was enjoying life.

No one understood me or what I was dealing with.

So I decided to write my struggle.

This is on a display in a wax museum in Niagara Falls

Shawn came up with the title of my blog — a homage to The Simpsons. We saw this is on a display in a wax museum in Niagara Falls. It’s all in black light.

 

I am proud of so many things but this space — my words that are bathed, drenched, unfiltered in my emotions — I love.

I can heal, connect with others, educate, and maybe even inspire and offer hope.

Maybe even make someone smile.

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My pipes are intimidating — take that in the nut sack stranger in the background

I’m proud of my accomplishments as a writer.

And yes, sometimes Me.

 

What are you proud of?

To The Edge And Beyond | Netflix #StreamTeam

When Netflix sends you an awesome most amazing box full of wonderful things to create an afternoon full of adventure and your kid be like:

“I’m good. I got the box.”

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The weather here has been just as wild as my kid’s behaviour. It’s been cool and rainy which means there’s been less time spent in pools or at the splash pad and more time spent lazily lounging around the house.

On days like those, I have to get really creative. Crafts – minus glitter because nope, games, baking because I like eating raw dough…I mean testing the dough to make sure it won’t cause internal injury to my family, dinky car races, taking a walk, going to the park, reading…

I am running out of ideas!!

So when this box came, it was like Christmas in July and I was so very thankful.

My child was instantly transformed from bored Bob (which isn’t even his name) into one of his beloved characters:

Toothless, from the critically acclaimed How to Train Your Dragon films.

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This summer, Toothless along with his pal Hiccup, are embarking on unparalleled adventures in the all-new Netflix original series Dragons: Race to the Edge and inviting you along for the dragon ride.

Soaring beyond their home on the island of Berk in search of new dragons, Dragons: Race to the Edge introduces some of the most exciting dragons yet, each with its own amazing abilities — shock waves, cannon balls and fire blasts, just to name a few.

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We were really fortunate to be able to see Dragons before it was released and we both loved it. In fact, I am almost embarrassed to say that we are finished the series. Yes, it was that good! We couldn’t stop watching it.

But luckily Netflix has some more awesome titles out for those weird cold rainy summer days and those plain old lazy days when mom runs out of ideas to do things.

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  1.  BO ON THE GO: S1E11, BO AND THE DRAGON QUEEN
  2. THE ADVENTURES OF PUSS AND BOOTS: S1E6, FOUNTAINS
  3. THE ADVENTURES OF FIGARO PHO

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  1. THE ADVENTURES OF MICKEY MATSON AND THE COPPERHEAD TREASURE
  2. HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2
  3. NATIONAL TREASURE: BOOK OF SECRETS

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  1. THE GOONIES
    (ADDED JULY 1)
  2. PENGUINS OF MADAGASCAR: THE MOVIE
    (ARRIVING JULY 15)
  3. H2O MERMAID ADVENTURES: SEASON 2
    (ARRIVING JULY 15)

Have you seen any good movies or shows on Netflix?

What are you doing to keep busy this summer?

 

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Shaun The Sheep Inspired Plastic Bottle Planter

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It’s only eight o’clock in the morning.

I haven’t even seen the bottom of my first coffee cup yet, and I’ve heard “mom” called approximately thirty times already.

“Mom, I’m hungry.”

“Mom, the dog is breathing on my leg!”

“Mom, if I put my finger in my nose and turn it all around this way – no just like this, it hurts.”

“Mom, this quarter tastes funny.”

I have even considered changing my name to Linda when he asked why I was growing hair in my armpit.

“Mom!”

“Mom!”

“Mom!”

And at 8:35 am he added one last verse to his morning chorus that sounded just as about angelic as nails being dragged slowly down a chalkboard:

“Mom, I’m bored.”

I tipped my coffee mug for that final now-gone-bitter-cold gulp of coffee and whispered to myself, “I am mom. Let’s do this.”

If you’re a parent you know that this can only mean one thing.

It’s summer vacation.

Finding ways to keep your kids entertained throughout the summer holidays does seem a bit daunting especially when some summer activities such as sports and camps and amusement parks are pegged with hefty price tags.

There is so much more that you can do during the summer that doesn’t require much money being spent at all. Things like running through sprinklers, making popsicles, water balloons fights, “go bug your dad”, taking a nap (ha!), and so on.

One of the things that I love to do in the summer is going on an afternoon movie date with my son and on August 5th, we will be doing just that when the hilarious, fun film Shaun the Sheep: The Movie based on a known brand and created by a world-renowned animation house (Aardman) makes its way into Canadian theaters!

From Aardman Studios the creators of Wallace & Gromit and Chicken Run, Shaun the Sheep: The Movie is a feature film based on the beloved children’s TV show of the same name.  When Shaun decides to take the day off and have some fun, he gets a little more action than he bargained for. A mix up with the Farmer, a caravan and a very steep hill lead them all to the Big City and it’s up to Shaun and the flock to return everyone safely to the green grass of home.

Shaun The Sheep: The Movie will be the must-see film for young children during the late summer across Canada and we cannot wait!

While we wait for our afternoon movie date, we were inspired by the hilarious shenanigans in the movie trailer to create this fun and inexpensive craft using things we found around home!

 

A Shaun The Sheep: The Movie Inspired Plastic Bottle Planter

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You’ll need:

  • Empty plastic pop bottle (I used a 710 ml bottle but you can experiment with sizes!)
  • Used k-cup
  • Scissors
  • Glue gun
  • Tape
  • White spray paint
  •  Black acrylic paint
  • Google eyes
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Potting soil
  • plant

Directions:

  1. Rinse and dry out the empty pop bottle.
  2. About halfway up from the bottom of the pop bottle (there’s actually a nifty little line), cut the bottle in half using scissors. This is definitely a job for the parents!

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Discard the top portion of the pop bottle.

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  1. In a well ventilated area, line work space with newspaper/cardboard. Spray paint the bottom of the pop bottle evenly. Let dry. Ours only needed the one coat
  2. Now I bet you’re wondering what the k-cup is for. It’s for the face! If you don’t use a Keurig machine, you can definitely just paint a super cute face on your Shaun The Sheep bottom. Open the top of the k-cup, empty contents, wash, and then cut in half.

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  1. Before discarding the other half, cut out two little ears for Shaun! Then paint face and ears black using acrylic paint. Let dry.

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  1. Now the super hard assembly. Glue gun and tape. Yes. Just go to town and affix that face to the bottle.

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  1. Add some google eyes.

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  1. Take some pipe cleaners and fashion some Shaun hair and tuck it right into the k-up.

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Add dirt.

Add plant.

Add smile.

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Don’t forget that Shaun The Sheep: The Movie will be hitting theaters this August the 5th!

Make it a hilarious date with the kids!

What are your fun ideas for Shaun the Sheep inspired crafts? Tell me in the comments below for your chance to win a Shaun the Sheep: The Movie prize pack?

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  4. For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to legal residents of Canada (other than Quebec) who are eighteen (18) years of age or older and located in Canada (other than Quebec) at the time of entry are eligible to enter the Sweepstakes. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 2 business days to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 7/23/2015 – 8/15/2015

Be sure to visit Shaun the Sheep’s brand page on BlogHer.comwhere you can read other bloggers’ posts!

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