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2014 Canadian Weblog Awards nominee

1000 Voices – But Are You Listening?

 October 2011

The smell of my psychiatrist’s office turned my stomach as it always does when I’m overly anxious. I kept my focus on the tight small breaths through my mouth and the used tissue that I twirled in my hand as the elevator ever so slowly made its way down one whole floor.

The ground bounced below me then came to a halt and an elderly woman in a beige dress coat who was shaking her umbrella in the hallway appeared when the doors slid open. She looked me over noticing that I had nothing but the scarf wrapped around my neck to shield my head from the cold autumn rain and snidely remarked, “Didn’t you know that it has been raining all day? You’re going to catch a cold.”

“I’m sure I will,” I murmured as she forced her way into the elevator without letting me pass first. I bit my lower lip and hurried out towards the exit.

I was soaked by the time I got to my car in the parking lot. I stared up at the building and I regretted that I had came. There wasn’t anything – medicine, meditation, exercise, self care – that was saving me from the suffering of depression. I turned on the ignition and I firmly gripped the steering wheel.

And I drove.

At green lights I hit the gas.

The force jerked me backwards into my seat.

I didn’t care how fast I was going or where I was going – I was a reckless bird in an open cage.

Every pole I passed, every guardrail, every fence, every overpass, every truck trailer I could potentially rear end – I pictured my car as lifeless twisted metal.

They could be free, I thought as my heart raced.

Pumpkin picking

I started to panic and eased the pressure of my foot on the gas.

They’re just thoughts Kim, I remembered my psychiatrist saying earlier.

I turned off the expressway and drove until ended up in a Starbucks drive through – because whipped cream and pumpkin lattes. I was met at the window by a blonde barista who, despite the weather, the brown sludge on her forearm, the grumbling line of customers out the door, and the beeping machines, seemed to genuinely care when she asked me with a smile “How is your day going?”

And for some reason, some reason, I broke down right there at the Starbucks drive through and told her how terrible it was.

She stood there the entire time…

…and listened.

When I finished, she poked her head through the window and told me that things will get better then drew a smiley face on my cup.

She ‘shooshed’ me when I tried to apologize and suggested I try the cookies.

I ordered three and drove home to my family.

 

IMG_1433

I don’t know her name, but I wish that I did.

Her small act of kindness was such a blessing to me that day and I’ll never forget that.

**********

You never know how much you can change the course of someone’s day and can potentially change someone’s life.

And you don’t need to perform epic world-saving acts, or commit substantial time out of your day to do it.

Open the door for someone, smile at a stranger, listen to a customer in line at the drive through – remind them that they matter.

 

 

1000voices

This is a part of #1000speak - over 1000 voices from across the world speaking for compassion.

Find Me Here

My mind starves
for air, calm, and control
But they’re all elusive here in this nightmarish place where merciless voices whisper

You’re a horrible no good burden.
You’re a horrible no good burden.
You’re a horrible no good burden.

Their demon words chase me
claws dragging down every bone.
I feel fragile
as if the mere delicate touch of the sheets beneath me could erode my skin.

I downed the pills but
I can’t sedate the noise.
I can’t drink out the noise.
I can’t cut out the noise.
I can’t burn out the noise.

I am a prisoner
-a scared faceless soul running aimlessly in this dark.
So tired. So lost.

But I keep going and I keep looking
because his love always manages to find me here.
And I smile.

 

menchase

Mama’s Losin’ It
Prompt: Something that made you smile

Keep The Card. Show Me The Sweets! | Glorious Mess Makers

I told Shawn that he doesn’t need to spend a mortgage payment on a Valentine’s Day card that’s blasted with red glitter and plays our wedding song when I open it.

“I don’t need a card to remind me that you love me because you tell me that you love me every day,” I said.

Eleven years later – I still haven’t received a card for Valentine’s but I do get flowers.

2014-09-20_1411229422

And I like them better.

Today is Valentine’s Day and normally we would be celebrating with a dinner out to a restaurant where you actually have to use utensils to eat, but like I said, eleven years later…

…we order pizza shaped like a heart.

And isn’t that one of the best parts of Valentine’s Day? All the junk and sweet treats designed as hearts and that you can justify eating all of them in one day because it wouldn’t taste the same if you ate them the following day.

They would taste like guilt but at 50% off.

Or you can be super ambitious and make your own fun treats at home like these adorable and sinfully delicious heart stained glass sugar cookies that we made a couple of weeks ago and these super simple chocolate dipped pretzels, which we made today.

chocolatedipped

 

Ingredients:

 

Bag of pretzels
1 cup of pink melting chocolate wafers (or any colour you like!)
Valentine’s Day themed sprinkles

Directions:
1.Place the pink melting chocolate wafers in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds then stir. Microwave for another 30 seconds and stir again – at this point, the wafers should be melted. Keep stirring until they are completely melted and smooth.
2.Lay out a piece of wax paper on the kitchen counter. Pour your sprinkles into a small shallow bowl for easy dipping. Dip half of each pretzel in the pink chocolate then into the sprinkles. Lay flat on the wax paper to dry. Repeat with remaining pretzels.
pretzel1pretzel2

 

We mustache you... ...will you be our Valentine?

We mustache you…
…will you be our Valentine?

Super easy!

So what about you?

Do you do anything for Valentine’s Day?

 

Update:

So it looks like it’ll just be me and the little guy eating the pretzels. Shawn is sick. Don’t worry. I made him a card:

card

For tough clean ups and well, if you have to go on germ killing patrol like I do now check out Clorox Green Works® line of naturally derived, affordable products that clean powerfully without harsh chemical fumes or residue.

gw6

Green Works All Purpose Cleaner

    • made with plant and mineral based ingredients. Use it on counters, appliances, stainless steel, sealed granite, chrome, cook top hoods, sinks and toilets to cut through grease, grime and dirt.

Green Works Dishwashing Liquid

  • dermatologist-tested and made with plant-based biodegradable cleaning ingredients. It removes grease and baked-on-food, so dishes will be clean and shiny without harsh chemical residue.

Green Works Cleaning Wipes

  • 99% naturally-derived and can clean up spills and messes on non-wood surfaces, acrylic, fiberglass and vinyl.

Green Works Glass Cleaner

  • is safe for use on glass, mirrors, counters, appliances, stainless steel and sinks. It’s 98% naturally derived from plant-and mineral-based cleaning ingredients – and contains absolutely no ammonia.

Head over to Green Works Canada Facebook Page and for product information head to www.trygreenworks.ca

 

Disclosure: I received the above products and a care package in exchange for this review. All opinions are my own.

Hat Trick Plus Two

Miniature hockey players and their entourage of barely awake family members quickly filled the main lobby of the hockey arena on Sunday morning. My number forty six on the Blue Rockets showed up pulling a hockey bag that was just about as big as he was.

#46

“I’m going to work hard for today Momma. Can you sit in the same spot and cheer for me?” he asked.

I smiled nervously as my stomach turned because truthfully, I don’t particularly like sitting with everyone.

I’ve heard horror stories of arena scuffles caused by hockey parents but never ever did I imagine that the ridiculousness would begin when my son, just at a tender six years of age, started to play real games. I could tell that for a large number of parents, hockey had stopped being cute and became more of a quest to make their kid the best player on the team –  no the best player in the league.

After all, their kid, yes the one on his back making snow angels on the ice, is a future NHL star!

Do you know why they never put the heaters on in arenas? It’s not to save money. It’s because the tension caused by the crazy parents is so thick that you could use it as a blanket. Parents yell, I’ve seen them bang on the glass, hear them mutter profanities under their breaths, and they sometimes charge the bench to yell at their child in front of the entire team for their poor performance.

I’ve even had a mom admit to me that she won’t allow her son to play with his tablet and she’s denied him a favourite snack if he doesn’t play hard on the ice.

And when you happen to be the parent of a child that is on the winning team, hell even if they are on the losing team, be prepared to hear other people yell at YOUR child when he accidentally takes out the best player.

Or goes offside.

Or accidentally scores on the wrong net.

Or just stands there.

Or hangs onto the puck for too long.

Or always shoots directly at the goalie.

And if you’re brave enough, you defend him.

Then there’s the onslaught of face to face complaints and emails and phone calls that the VOLUNTEER coach has to address long after the game has ended and then there are the “it’s-just-a-suggestion-but-I-am-really-demanding-you-to-do-this-because-my-kid-isn’t-getting-enough-ice-time-and-that-other-kid-keeps-stealing-his-thunder” suggestions.

Oh my god people, these kids, KIDS, they are just six years old.

Hockey is not that serious.

****

“I’m going to work hard for today Momma. Can you sit in the same spot and cheer for me?” he asked.

I smiled nervously, “How about you go out there and -”

“I know Mom! Go out there and have fun!” he said as he turned and took off towards the dressing room.

I filed in to the arena and took my regular spot at center ice just below a heater that never is turned on.

Dad’s paced.

Mom’s shouted.

Grandparent’s banged on glass.

I snapped pictures of my number 46, with his green smile.

He scored his first hat trick on Sunday (plus 2 more goals)
He scored his first hat trick on Sunday (plus 2 more goals)

They just want to play.

Let them play.

 

Are you a hockey parent (sports parent)?

Have you witnessed anything outrageous at a child’s sporting event?

Drink Your Way To A Healthier You #BritaBootcamp Giveaway

This is my gym.

I told him that I'd give him 50 bucks if he could find green grass. 2 weeks later... ...he's still digging for it.

I told him that I’d give him 50 bucks if he could find green grass.
2 weeks later…
…he’s still digging for it.

And this is my other gym.

Don't stare directly into Gina the Giraffe's eyes. She can see right through your soul and knows that you don't always count right up to 15 when you're doing reps.  And you never floss at night. Tsk. Tsk. Tsk.
Don’t stare directly into Gina the Giraffe’s eyes.
She can see right through your soul and knows that you don’t always count right up to 15 when you’re doing reps, that you prefer to wear yoga pants as part of your wardrobe instead of workout wear,
and that you never floss at night.
Tsk. Tsk. Tsk.

 

Clearly, no sweats are broken here…

…except for taco Tuesday.

Winter can get the best of our healthy intentions. With its gloomy atmosphere and frigid temperatures, it is very easy to give up on exercise and fall back into unhealthy routines. Right now, I’d much rather park right in front of the T.V with a bag of licorice instead of chiselling my way through and inch worth of ice on the car and then driving to a gym or strapping chains on my running shoes just so I can go for a walk around my neighborhood.

99.5% of the time I choose you licorice.

Being healthy isn’t just about exercise though. Did you know that one of the simplest ways to becoming a healthier you is by drinking water.

Yes, water.

Every part of your body relies on water to function and it is recommended that we drink 8-12 glasses of it a day. Are you drinking that much?

Brita Water Infographic

 

The good folks at Brita® knows the important role that water plays in our health from weight loss to improving my kid’s circulation once he gets his head out of that snow bank…ahem…and they want to challenge you, my readers to saddle up and drink more by offering you this:

 

#BritaBootCamp

The Brita® water filtration system can remove up to 97% of common impurities that are found in tap water like chlorine, leaving you with healthier and great-tasting water. The Water Filter Pitchers come in a variety of sizes, styles, and colours (they even have violet!) to suit your fancy.

And if you’re on the go there is no excuse for you to not take your water with you when you have a Brita® Bottle – reusable water bottle with a built-in filter. They make them for kids too!

Yes, it’s gross out. It’s winter. We are 50 shades of super sloth and lazy. Let’s do one of the most simplest things that can make one of the BIGGEST impacts on our bodies, put down the sugary drinks and pick up a glass of water.

Like 8 to 12 of them over the course of the day.

So are you ready to get healthy?

Giveaway open to CANADIAN RESIDENTS ONLY

**If you cannot see the Rafflecopter box appear, click on the Rafflecopter giveaway link below to enter**

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

You can find out more about Brita® and its amazing water filtration systems at http://brita.ca/

 

*Disclaimer: I received the above products in exchange for this review and giveaway. All opinions are my own.

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