Exercise and the Outdoors, For a Good Cause

Hop, hop, hopping my way to a healthy lifestyle- Week 1!

Welcome to the Feelin’ Fab Friday Blog Hop!

Please take a moment and thank each of the hop hosts

Please take a minute to link up your blog post about what makes you feel fab.  A couple of friends and I started this hop as a way to share weight loss tips and tricks and just some ways to feel fab each and every day.  We certainly hope you’re feeling fab while enjoying this weekly hop!!

Just a couple of rules for posting links:

Please post a permalink to your post – not just a link to your site.

Linked posts should be weight loss or fitness related or sharing what makes you feel fab

Links must be family friendly

Please no spam or sales links – they will be removed


I posted a few weeks ago about wanting to lose 30 pounds by the time I turn 30 next year; you can read that post here. Well, my post caught the eye of an awesome Tweep, @lynnsc08, and she raised the idea of doing a blog hop to help encourage others on their journey to having a healthy lifestyle. I invite anyone and everyone who has a blog, and who wants to join in, to start hopping and to get healthy! 🙂
Consumer products, For a Good Cause, Shopping and Saving

Wedding season is upon us!

Having attended a spate of weddings in the past couple of years, I don’t believe I have any to attend this year! However, having had a cousin who was married last summer, I AM aware of the immense amount of stress and preparation that often goes into these events. Dress, venue, colors, musician, food…the list goes on and on

I was made aware of the following link via Twitter the other day- Lil’ Angel Gifts– that will take a lot of the worry out of choosing that special gift for members of your wedding party or friends or family. Jennifer is an award-winning Mompreneur and mother of an adorable special needs son, for whom her company is named. Not only does Jennifer’s site showcase her amazing talents, it also acts as a source of awareness of Angelman Syndrome, the condition her son has. It’s definitely worth a visit, and the perfect place to pick up that custom gift for your special someone!

For a Good Cause, Life in general

Give a Day, Get a Lifetime

The third week of April is National Volunteer Week, and I thought I’d share a few of my experiences with volunteering over the years 🙂

It all started when I was around 11 years old and my youngest brother was a baby. I love, LOVE working with kids, and decided to volunteer in the church nursery. I “graduated” to teaching Sunday School to 3-year olds, which perhaps fueled the desire in me to become a teacher. Over the years, I have been involved with many groups and organizations, including Toastmasters International and the Saint John Regional Hospital, but the one most near and dear to me is Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Canada (BBBS).

A little aside here about volunteering: I know that people volunteer for vastly different reasons. Some are involved with a particular charity due to the lost struggle of a loved one, some need the experience noted on their resume, and others might do so because it makes them feel good (cliche, but it really does :)). Others, such as myself, have the drive, the need to do so. I can’t really explain why I volunteer; it’s as difficult as explaining why you love someone. It’s a feeling, something that just… is. I hope that makes at least a bit of sense!

Back to BBBS. I am currently a Big Sister, and have been matched with my “little” since December of 2005. He is a wonderful, appreciative young man, and always gives me big hugs and thank-yous after our outings. A couple weeks ago, I drove him 30 minutes from his home to his cousin’s for a weekend stay. He asked me if I was having a busy day, and I answered no, that I really wasn’t. He turned to me and said, “You took time out of your day to drive me. I feel important”.

That’s why I volunteer.

For a Good Cause, Hot Topics

Freedom to Read Week: February 21-27

So here we are, halfway through Freedom to Read Week here in Canada. Ask anybody who has known me for either my whole life, or just part of it, and they will tell you that I love to read. Cereal boxes, novels, labels on household cleaners, magazines; it doesn’t matter. Since I learned to devour the written word at the age of four, I have been plowing through reading material like it’s going to drop off the face of the earth at any moment.

I firmly believe that we should have the freedom of choice in what we read. I do believe that some reading materials are age-appropriate; for example, I probably wouldn’t encourage a six-year old to pick up “The Homoerotic Photograph: Male Images from Durieu/Delaceriox to Mapplethorpe” (on a Canadian challenged books and magazines list as of February 2009) as it probably goes over most kids’ level of understanding. However, I absolutely disagree that books such as ‘To Kill a Mockingbird” and “Tom Sawyer” be banned from junior and senior high schools. Kids then are at the age where they gain more and more independence by the day, and I think that discouraging them to read ANY book sends a negative message about literacy (on the other hand, teens often do the opposite of what you tell them to anyway!).

Therefore, I propose that we as humans keep a more open mind about literature, whether it relates to religion, politics, sexual orientation or race (these seem to be the most frequent hot topics). You may object to the subject matter in a particular piece, but that doesn’t mean that others shouldn’t have the choice of whether or not to pick it up because they find it interesting. Not everyone shares the same beliefs. I think that if everyone comes to this understanding, our libraries and school bookshelves can be places where learning of all sorts, not just of chosen topics, can take place.

Around the world, For a Good Cause, When Life Isn't Too Great

Thoughts for and about Haiti

Back in March 2006, I felt very privileged to be able to visit Haiti. I will add a disclaimer; I didn’t go to Port-Au-Prince or any of the other large cities, but rather to a private resort operated by Royal Caribbean International called Labadee.

However, any ideas I had that this stop would be just like any other was dispelled when I met my tour guide for our walking tour of the area. His name, unfortunately, escapes me now, but I’ll call him Daniel. Daniel was a young man in his early twenties, and he was entrusted with telling us about the history of Haiti in the span of just over an hour! We heard about how seriously Voodoo is taken there, how the unemployment rate in the country is eighty percent, and about how working in Labadee for Royal Caribbean is considered to be one of the best jobs you can get in the entire country. Daniel was one of the lucky ones; the mere fact that he could speak English attested to the fact that he had been given opportunities that the vast majority of Haitians do not get and never will.

When I heard about the devastating earthquake that shook the country, I immediately thought of Daniel and all that he had fought through to accomplish what he had done. I pray that he has gotten out of Haiti since 2006, but if not- Daniel, I hope you are all right and that your family is safe as well.


If you would like to help Haitians affected by the recent earthquake:

This link will connect you to cbc.ca and a verified, registered, dependable list of charities that are accepting donations. Unfortunately, at time like this, there will be people that will try to scam you out of your money. Before you give to ANY organization, call their 1-800 number and verify that the information given to you is correct. Be VERY wary of any organization that contacts you by mass e-mail, phone, or any that does not have contact information readily available.

For a Good Cause


Move a what? A ‘mber’? Does someone not know how to spell ‘November’ correctly? Nope, equality has finally arrived with the new month of “Movember”!

Now, before I say what I have to say, please take it with a grain of salt. According to a publication released by the Public health Agency of Canada, Stats Canada and the Canadian Cancer Society, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in Canada, with colorectal cancer following closely behind. In addition to this, according to this publication, the probability of a man developing prostate cancer in his lifetime (1/7.4) is 1.2x HIGHER than the probability of a woman developing breast cancer in her lifetime (1/9).

However, we never see a “run for the cure” for men. It’s all pink ribbons, scarves, t-shirts, bears, hats to help find a cure for breast cancer, but I never see anything saying “let’s cure prostate cancer”. Maybe it’s because breast cancer is more romantic and tugs more on heart strings, or because pink is pretty…but I always had the sense that things were a bit unequal. As well, I had a very close family member who passed away due to prostate cancer, so the disease has touched me more so than breast cancer.

However, now we have Movember. I am so very glad that someone started this to give men a voice in the fight against this deadly disease. My ultimate wish is that we can find a cure for ALL forms of cancer, and I’m glad that there are those so dedicated to the fight. Thank you.