Bouncing in Photos no. 02

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This weekend we hosted my daughter’s first sleepover ever! She was super stoked and the girls had a great time, even with a little toddler bugging them occasionally! We went out to Bounce in Whistler (ps. 9 other awesome things to do in Whistler) and I took a bunch of photos with my new camera. Here’s a few that didn’t come out super blurry or silly looking!

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Helping Kids with Emotional Challenges in a Fun Way #NapkinMan

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Children are emotional little people. Most of the time, it can be difficult for them to describe how they’re feeling, and it can be even harder for caregivers to properly acknowledge a child’s emotions and help them cope.

The Adventures of Napkin Man was created by Yannick Bisson, and has a unique and innovate approach to the social and emotional challenges of being a kid. There are now three e-book apps, each one with its’ own tale of a child facing an emotional challenge. These apps are amazing – they are totally interactive, featuring different activities, songs, and games in each story.

My children love playing with these apps. My daughter enjoys reading the books out loud to her little brother, but there’s also an option for the app to read to you! I love watching them play and interact with the story, but I also love that they’re learning useful tools that can help them with emotional and social challenges in their everyday lives.

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My kids were totally immersed in the apps – the music and fun animations were a hit with both a 9 year old and a 33-month old! My daughter laughed at the silly jokes and my son had fun playing the games in the app.

The Adventures of Napkin Man wants everyone to experience their amazing e-books! To help you enjoy these great e-books with your kids, enter to win a $100 Visa Gift Card which you can put towards the purchased of an iPad or other educational materials. This giveaway is open to Canada only. Readers can enter across many blogs but can only win from one participating blog. Winners can expect their prize in 4-6 weeks! Good luck! Contest ends February 8, 2015.

Disclosure: I am part of The Adventures of Napkin Man campaign and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group.  The opinions on this blog are my own.

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Let’s talk about Female Entrepreneurship

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When I was 12 years old, our family moved from one school district to another. While my younger sister quickly made friends in our new neighbourhood, there weren’t any kids my age that lived close by. I spent that first summer hanging out with eight year olds, more often than not. That was the summer of performing Spice Girl dance routines, my burgeoning obsession with Victoria Beckham, and the overuse of the expression “Girl Power!” anytime and everywhere!

Perhaps it was our amazing dance moves or the on-cue lip-synching, or perhaps it’s something that’s always been within me, but I’ve had an “I can do anything” attitude as far as I can remember. I’ve always had huge dreams and I never thought that any of them were impossible. Over the years I’ve realized that you have to dream big and work hard, and success can be achieved.

I’ve always hated working for others. I don’t like taking orders, especially if I think my way is best (which it usually is). No matter where my career would lead me, I knew without a doubt that I would have to be the boss. It was always what I wanted, even as a bartender or a hair stylist, my goal was to own a restaurant or a salon – not simply take home a paycheque every week. I wanted to make my own schedule. I wanted to run things.

And so I did. I was an event and wedding planner for a few years, I then moved on to being a cupcake and wedding cake baker, I did real estate for many years throughout, and have always loved the thought of being a writer, and have even started getting paid for some freelance work. I want to do things I’m passionate about, things that I am good at, and I want to be successful at them. The definition of a female entrepreneur: a strong woman who works hard to do things she loves – and gets paid for it!

But trying to balance self-employed work with babies became overwhelming, and left me grasping for straws. So, instead, I stepped back a bit, and I helped my serial-entrepreneur husband with his growing businesses. I am the ‘backbone’. I create the websites, the graphics, the business cards.  I do the bookkeeping, the accounting, and the payroll. I write emails and invoice people and answer phone calls. It’s exhausting, but we’re creating this world of ours together, and it’s hard, but happy, work.

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So imagine my shock when I overhear my daughter speaking about me to a friend, something along the lines of “my mom doesn’t work, she just stays home all day.” You could have seen smoke blasting out of my ears! I wanted to shout – Are you kidding me?! I don’t work?! What about all those hours sitting in front of a computer when I’d rather be hanging out with you? What about the writing I do? The hours toiling away while you’re at school? All this while I’m raising your baby brother and trying to run a household, and make sure there’s dinner on the table, and laundry put away – why do you think I only clean the house once a week?

Through my daughter’s eyes, I was a boring stay-at-home mom that was continually stressed out. It crushed me.

It wasn’t her fault, of course. It was mine. While I was busy trying to keep it all together, I had forgotten to have conversations with my daughter about my passions, my dreams, and the things that I had done and accomplished. I never told her the excitement I felt when we lived in Vancouver and I sold cupcakes at the baker’s market and catered to weddings and corporate events. I never told her that when we moved, I had to admit to myself that the market wasn’t there and, defeatedly, closed down. I never told her that I was always thinking of what I could be doing next. And all the things I was working for now – I love writing and blogging, so I turned it into a something that I was getting paid for (that’s a job!). I even do websites when I have the time!

I want to be a role model for my daughter. I want her to know that with hard work and heart and soul, she can do anything she dreams of. Anything she desires can be hers. I want her to know that I work hard – for her, and for my family. I want her to know that women can do anything men can do, if not better! Female entrepreneurship is something that I’ve been so passionate about for so long, and I decided I have to bring it to my blog.

Writing about self-employment isn’t always easy or fun. But it’s through failures and missteps that we learn. It’s through community that we encourage each other. And it’s passion that keeps us going. It’s that little bit of ‘Girl Power’ from twelve year old me, to the knowledge and strength gained over all the years of working hard at doing things I love while creating a life I’m ecstatic with.

Every Monday I’ll be writing about entrepreneurship – it could be about mom-work balance, or business plans, or marketing strategies, or whatever sparks my entrepreneurial interest at the time. And I’ll share more on a new project I’m working on, that will hopefully come to fruition this summer.

Want to be inspired? Check out these exciting sources below for motivation, smart thinking, business sense, and passion!

+ Female Entrepreneur Association + provides a ton of resources and inspiration
+ Braid Creative and Consulting + branding & business for creative entrepreneurs
+ Kyla Roma Creative + design & strategy for passionate doers
+ Danielle LaPorte + discovering true desires to map out your life
+ Hack to Start + podcast & blog for unconventional entrepreneurs

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Weekend in Photos no. 01

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Last week I got a pretty sweet little camera, an Olympus OM-D E-M10, a mirror-less camera that’s smaller than a DSLR but still allows you to change the lenses. It’s perfect for a beginner like me who gets very overwhelmed with all the knowledge that a DSLR entails – especially since I don’t really have the time to learn!

This past weekend I finally got a chance to play with it a little bit. Sunday morning we marvelled at the fog that shrouded the ocean and our little town. I dropped my big girl off at ski club, then hit up a kid’s birthday party with my little guy, who had a great time. I stopped to take a picture of a small waterfall in town, and the sunset, although overcast, begged to be photographed.

The weekend flew by in a flurry of activity. It seems that as time goes on this year, we are getting busier and busier – with work and activities for the kids, life is non-stop! And I kind of like it that way! How was your weekend?

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My Year of Self-Care

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I haven’t taken care of myself in a long, long time. That’s not to say that I don’t allow myself to indulge in a fancy macaron or that I don’t do my hair or my nails – no, it’s that I haven’t truly cared for my health and, in turn, my self. I’ve learnt the hard way the term “self-love” is not the same as “self-care”, and telling yourself that you’re beautiful the way you are doesn’t necessarily help when the way you are is overweight and unhealthy.

I’ve been living in denial, to put it bluntly. My house of cards has just blown over and I’m left with the ruins of my health. I didn’t need to hear that I was beautiful the way I was, I didn’t need to hear that my self-worth isn’t dictated by a number on a scale – I know all of this. It’s just hard to accept the truth about my weight when the lies were exactly what I wanted to hear.

I wanted to think I was healthy by adding an avocado to a taco, which was accompanied by beer and chips. I wanted to think I was being sassy by getting rid of my scale and not living life according to how much I weigh. I was kidding myself. I was lying to myself. Self-love and acceptance wasn’t helping me lose weight or get healthy.

Also Check Out 99 Ways to Practice Self-Care <

I needed perspective. I needed to confront the reality of my bulging situation – clothes that haven’t fit in a long, long time, a body that feels more mushy than muscle, a tired, stressed out mind of a women, who would rather trick herself with indulgences like dinners out and craft beer tastings than exercise and food diaries.

A large part of this, I see now, is that I still have such a hard time with really putting myself first and taking care of myself and my health. I sometimes feel like I’m pushing my family aside if I focus on myself. That they will somehow be wronged and feel upset because I’m taking care of myself first. Even writing this, I’m not fully convinced that putting myself first is the right thing to do. But I know that it’s something I have to, for my health and for my happiness.

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I’ve been thinking a lot about my “theme” or my “word” for 2015 – have you ever done this? I read about it everywhere, that choosing a word to describe what you want this year and what you’re working for helps keep you focused and motivated.

My theme for 2015 is self-care.

“Self-care includes any intentional actions you take to care for your physical, mental, and emotional health” (source). I feel like these three aspects are so intertwined, and I’ve really lacked in providing any physical care for myself – it’s challenging for me. While I may take care of myself mentally and emotionally, when my physical health suffers, I get upset and anxious.

My weight holds me back from doing so many things. It brings down my confidence, adds to my social anxiety, and although I’m not ecstatic about staying at home all the time, eating and drinking my evenings away in front of the tv seems a better option that attempting to look good and go out and interact with people.

My body’s changed, my mind has changed, it’s time to face up to the fact that I need to do something for myself, and for my health. And not just preach about it, not just blog about it, and tell my family and friends, and then eat healthy for a couple of days and give up.

I am excited to join a 40 Pounds in 40 Days Weight Loss Program, courtesy of the Polo Health & Longevity Centre in New Westminster, BC, and Dr. Allana Polo, herself. That’s right! 40 pounds in 40 days – well, not quite. Men can easily achieve that, while most women on the program lose between 20-30 pounds in those 40 days, which is still quite the feat!

I’ll be posting my progress on the blog, and you can follow me along my weightless journey on instagram, twitter and Facebook, where I’ll be using the hashtag #PoloWeightLoss! For more information on the program, go to the official site of Polo Health, and their Facebook and Twitter pages for news and info.

Also check out 99 Ways to Practice Self Care:

99 Ways to Practice Self Care

 

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