Wednesday, 24 February 2016

WCW: My dear friend Stella

I don't write these posts with the intention to make people cry or feel all the feelings, but if that happens then I guess it happens. My intention of these posts is to showcase strong, inspirational women in my life who have pushed me to be the best version of myself, and I want people to know, especially those young impressionable girls, that the real role models, the real women you should look to for inspiration are not those girls on the covers of the magazines, but those girls and women who are living life with you, those girls who are in the trenches experience what you are going through.  I'm not saying idolizing a celebrity is a horrible thing, some of them are really quite well rounded, but a lot of them well they have lived a very different life than you or I so how could they really know what's good and they are exposed to things that many of us never see.

When I was 20 I started working at a restaurant while I was going through my first year of university. At this time I was working with my friend Kim and her sister as well as another girl.  The first thing I thought when I met this girl was "wow is she ever happy and energetic!" I was almost overwhelmed by her personality, which is no small feat if you know me at all.  I gravitated towards her, she made me laugh, she made my job so much easier, especially since it was my first waitressing job and I really didn't know what I was doing at all.

who else but a best friend would make sure your butt was good on your wedding day?
When I clued into her name, Estelle, I may have laughed out loud and said, "Oh you're Estelle, oh ok." I then proceeded to giggle some more since I knew a story about her.  I mean I grew up in a small town, my bestie's ex once came by our place to brag to us how he was dating this girl Estelle, my bestie and I being judgey teenagers laughed and said to each other, "Oh what is she 90?" because Estelle is not a very common first name, not even in my day! I told Estelle this story then too, and she clarified for me that she had never dated the ex, but had hung out with him as friends.  To this day we still laugh about that! It's funny how certain stories stick.

So not only is Estelle a truly vibrant and happy person, she's loyal, she's generous, she's loving, she's just truly amazing!

Estelle and I have a similar story, we are young moms, we have three children, we are both very much about being true to our girlfriends, I'm sure we came up with the 'chicks before dicks' saying to contract all the 'bros before hoes' sayings we had encountered. We are both romantics at heart, we love a good love story, but we also have realistic expectations!

Over the course of 17 years Estelle has been one of my constant friends, I couldn't imagine my life without her.  We've never really argued or had a fight, I mean one time she may have got mad because I was beaking some girl at the bar and the girl thought she was me.  Not sure why people always thought we were twins, but there were worst people I could have been mistaken for!! Her girls are very much my nieces, I love them to pieces and her son is my first nephew.  I would do anything for her and her family.  My door is always open to them and they each have a special area in my heart!

Estelle has always defended my honour and character when people have made comments that attack who I am.  I know I can always count on her for that, and I know that Estelle will always have my back, I know that Estelle will always help me out with my family and that my kids are her nephews and just an extension of her natural family!

Estelle is definitely one of those girls in my life who have become a sister of my heart! I love her as much as I love my sister and we may not always agree on everything but she is my sister from another mister!! And I can only hope that her girls become just like her and that my boys use her as another role model of the type of woman they want to end up with!

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Shop Local Tuesday: Jungle Farm

Spring is coming, I believe this, and I am waiting with bated breath.  There are so many things that I love about spring, but one of the things I LOVE the most is that it means it's planting season! I am an amateur gardener and I am really a potato, swiss chard grower as those are the only two things that grow well for me in my garden.  I need to get some sand in my garden, which seems like a weird statement, but my nice black dirt is so thick and gets so hard that I know I need something to help with this problem so that I can get more things to grow.

Thankfully, I live in a province that has a huge agricultural heritage, and thankfully many people have come before me and have perfected the art of growing produce that I enjoy eating.  So I don't have to become an expert yet, and I will continue to keep trying new plants but while I am doing my trail and error process I had best have a back up plan to enjoy my fresh produce.  This is where the Jungle Farm comes in!!

The Jungle Farm is a u-pick strawberry farm just outside of Innisfail.  They grow other things as well, but the strawberries is what their u-pick is famous for, but they have a whole farm or produce that is yummy.

You can go out to the Jungle Farm and pick strawberries, raspberries and Saskatoons when they are in season.  But you can also purchase different produce and jams and baked goods as well.

The owners are also great people, I used to teach two of their oldest sons. They also have a great pumpkin patch in October. So in an effort to live the 100 mile lifestyle, check out the Jungle Farm!

What are your favourite Shop Local places?

Monday, 22 February 2016

Monday Update: New Job

Four and a half years ago I left the teaching field, accidentally and on purpose.  I know that sounds like a weird statement, but I left because I needed something that was more sustainable then subbing and would allow me to not have to carry two jobs, but would give me some flexibility in my time off.  I was working a second job at Parkland CLASS at the time and a supervisor position opened up, since subbing was not going well, this felt like a good decisions so I went for it.  I stopped subbing and took a Monday to Friday job in a group home.

Now four and a half years later I have reentered the teaching field.  I am not back in middle school, which is the area I left behind, I am now in a high school (my unlikely love as I was an elementary generalist). I am now working in a specialized classroom. I classroom I have had four and a half years of training to be qualified to work in not to mention the six years of classroom teaching I had done previously.

I am working in a Foundations Classroom, it's such a nice meld of my two career worlds.  I am working with an awesome co-teacher and our team teaching is working out amazing.  I am enjoying getting to know the kids and can see so much potential in this program and with where I can take this program. It's really very exciting for me!

It's great being back in the classroom!! I am loving it so much and I am so excited about what we will be doing in the near future!

Are you loving your job? What do you do for work?

Friday, 12 February 2016

Friday Five: Five Foods Gone for Lent

It's Friday!!! So that means it's the Friday Five Link Up!! I am again joining up with You Signed Up For WHAT?!Mar on the Run, & Eat Pray Run, DC, for their Friday Five Link Up!! This week the theme is food and drink.

So since we have just entered the Lenten season I am going to discuss the FIVE foods I am giving up for Lent and hopefully FOREVER......

1) Soda Pop.....this is generally Pepsi for me, and I really do love Pepsi, the fizzy bubbles cascading down my throat, the cool caffeine jolting my blood sugar, and the sweet sugar dancing over my tastebuds!! Yes, drinking Pepsi for me is an experience, I LOVE it, but I have given it up in the past, and when I say that, this is a dance I've been doing many times with Pepsi for years, but recently something's changed.  I'm not getting the same rush from drinking a Pepsi as I once did, the quenching satisfaction just isn't there.  In September I stopped drinking Pepsi, it wasn't a conscious decision, which may have made it easier, because it wasn't easy to obtain while I was working my new job, and I won't drink diet drinks so I just stopped.  I don't crave it at home that often unless I'm feeling like I'm tired and want some caffeine at night so it wasn't something I thought about.  And when I'd go to restaurants I'd order an Ice Tea then at Christmas we had some Pepsi in the house for our Christmas fun beverages, but I'm not back onto drinking Pepsi, I do know it's a slippery slope though so for Lent, Pepsi is off the agenda.

2) Chips.... I was cursed I tell you!! Not only do I have a very large sweet tooth, I will often find myself craving salt. Two things that are not good for me and yet there you have it, I want them both, and if I can have them both together (Chicago Mix Popcorn nomnomnom) that is the best!! So I am putting an embargo on Chips in my house.  This won't be that hard as I am a chip connoisseur, and only like certain brands (Old Dutch) and certain flavours (Barbecue, Ketchup) of chips.  I just have to make sure that my husband doesn't sabotage me.  I love my husband, but sometimes I question is "good intentions", like when he knows I'm trying to eat healthy and I send him out to get groceries does he come back with bags full of chips??

3) Pastries....much like all foods that I find myself in love with, pastries are one that have to go as well. These include and are not limited to all cakes, cookies, donuts, strudels, danish, croissants and cupcakes.  I am positive this list could be forever long, but those are the main ones.  The beautiful thing about these items is that I don't find myself drawn to them that often, but now that I've put them on the no eat list of course I'll want them all the time... That's sort of how life goes right?!?!

4) Corn.... Which on one hand seems ridiculous since it's a 'vegetable' but essentially it's not and it offers really no health benefits so let's stop! This one is a little hard, and putting it on this list will be my biggest struggle, it's a staple vegetable that we eat at supper most nights, so finding a replacement that is a quick and easy will be my new challenge..... and what will I put in my shepherd's pie???

5) Coffee....sigh... I waffle with this one, because it's definitely less toxic for me than the pop is, but it isn't really healthy and I'd like to decrease my intake.  Thankfully, I'm not a three cup a day coffee drinker, and I have gone weeks without it and not really noticed.  It's also pretty lucky that there are no convenient Tim Horton's on my way to work, so going through the drive thru in the morning isn't an option either.

Do you practice Lent? What are you giving up? Have you ever given up foods before? What was easy? What was hard?

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Television Review Thursday: Scandal

I try not to spend too much time watching television but there are a few shows that I just can't miss.  I like to be entertained when I watch a show, but I also like a show to intrigue me, to get me to think.  Sometimes it's those what if questions, sometimes it's the OMG what is going to happen, but regardless, I have three things to make a television show one that I watch!  I'm a loyal viewer so as long a s a show can provide for my whimsical needs I will watch loyally.

I like drama and intrigue.  I like shows to keep me guessing, to get me thinking.

I like strong characters, not strong actors,  but strong characters, characters you could relate to, or want to emulate because they show admirable qualities.

I like storylines to be more ensemble based then strictly on following one character.

I also like my sitcoms to be funny, but to be funny because they could really happen. I really enjoy shows that mimic real life.

So Shonda Rhimes and I should be best friends, because I am loving most things that come out of Shondaland!! And Scandal is one of my favourites!! I usually steer wide of any political drama, or political comedy for that matter. Political matter shows tend to bore me or be so out there that I end up rolling my eyes, but Scandal just seems to be the right combination to draw me in and keep me coming back each week.

I mean there are things I don't really like, I'm not an Olivia and Fitz fan.  I have huge issues with infidelity and I can't respect Fitz and his whole, I can have a mistress but my wife better not take a lover attitude, I'm sorry you are an idiot!! But I love how the show is written so you can see the struggle, you know Fitz would throw it all away and move to Vermont with Olivia and screw the Presidency, but they tell us enough and base it closely enough on the American public's views that you know this would not work well for his political party and he wants to do a good job.  Aside from his indiscretions with Olivia, I actually don't mind Fitz at all.

But Olivia, what a tortured soul, but she is also smart and strong and independent! She's a great character, I'm not happy with her part in the infidelity and want to shake her sometimes, but you also see her vulnerability and 'daddy' issues that come up in her relationships with these romantic partners.   Fabulous!!

I helped my friend brainstorm Olivia Pope and her characteristics while my friend was writing a personality psychology essay and it was SO MUCH FUN!! Scandal is one of those shows that has little nuances that you don't always catch the first viewing, but you watch a second time and it's like "Wow!!!"  I love it!! And I love Jake Ballard!! I want him and Olivia to be together!! So that's another reason I watch the show.  

It's on Netflix so if you want to bing it, it's there and such a great show to bing!! To be honest that's how i prefer to watch my shows now!!!

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Woman Crush Wednesday: Uniquely Becky

Without going into a whole bunch of personal details about this friend of mine, I am going to tell you why ALL of you should have a Crush on this ferocious, but small woman!!

One of my favourite Shakespeare plays is a Midsummer's Night Dream, in it Helena says of Hermia "...And though she be little, she is fierce" I love this quote, and it perfectly describes so many of my friends who may be considered short in stature, not me, I'm usually the friendly glamazon beside them.  But this quote for me sums up so many of traits that I admire about Becky, that's her blog to learn more about her in her own words.

So here are the top five qualities I admire in Becky, and they are qualities that I think you would admire as well

1) She is loyal.  She stands by her friends, I know we've been friends for almost 20 years now (yeah I did the math) and I know that she has had friends for that amount of time or longer. But she's not blindly loyal, she's not just going to be friends with someone because of a shared past, treat her respectfully, and she will be loyal until the end, be disloyal and expect her to walk away, as is only the fair response.

2) She's a runner!  Which I think is amazing, I like to say I'm a runner, but Becky is truly a runner, and though I've always loved running, she inspires me to do more, run more, improve that skill so I can improve myself!! She's travelled all over the place for runs, San Fransisco, Vancouver, Calgary (ok she lives in Calgary so no travelling but she still goes out to run). And I know she has goals to run more and may even be thinking about the Boston Marathon.... Admirable and I will cheer her on from the finish line, but for now I'd like to just finish my second 1/2 marathon!!!

3) She is one of the most giving people I know.  Becky is always willing to help out how she can and I'm, well no longer amazed, but always so proud that I can say, "She's my friend!" There have been so many times in the past years when her generosity has amazed me, but now I know her generosity, so long as she is able, has no bounds.  And Karma is loving on Becky!!

4) She's real! In all aspects of her life, she is real. She doesn't just paint rosy pictures of her life and act like nothing ever happens that doesn't cause her to react in a negative way, she may not put it all out there for the world to see and judge on, but she's real.  She also doesn't post unnecessary, vague, sympathy seeking posts (Sorry I know I do from time to time, I'm trying to be more like Becky ;)) I love that I can read her posts and know exactly what she is saying is the truth!

5) She's an amazing mother!! She does real with her kids and that's amazing! She teaches them generosity, she teaches them to be thrifty, to repurpose, refinish, and reuse items! She loves her kids, she may not always like what they choose to do, (typical kid behaviour, fighting, colouring on walls) but she is always letting them show their personalities through their clothes accessories and choice in activities.  She doesn't try to make them perfect, because she knows they are perfect as they are, she doesn't want them to fit into a pre-made mould she wants them to excellent at being them! I think Becky is raising her kids to be amazing members of society and I am thankful my kids will have them in their sphere!!

Becky can be quiet, she can be shy, but she is larger than life in all that she commits too!! It's wonderful to see and I am so glad I get to say I've known her for more than 1/2 my life!!

Do you have a friend who is a woman Crush Wednesday contender?

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Shop Local Tuesday: little studio, big heart!!

When I was pregnant with Prince T, I was part of a dress club.  Each month we would go do something different and hang out and visit. One month we went to Hot Pot Studio! It was so much fun!!

I loved that while I was getting to be all creative I was hanging with some cool people and we were visiting and laughing.  We didn't have to yell to be heard (and the back ground noise was minimal which was good because I had lost my hearing in my left ear).  And we also got to see everyone else's creativity which was so cool!

So after the first time I went back two more times! I want to go some more, but I've had to be smart with my finances so that will have to wait a couple more months.  The first time I went I painted a little plant pot and plate.  The second time I painted a popcorn bowl for Lil Man and the third time I painted a piggy bank for Prince T!!

I really want to paint four more bowls for all of us so we can all have our own personalized pop corn bowls since we do a lot of popcorn eating each night.

When we went, it was Tuesday and it was 1/2 price sitting fee so that was pretty cool.

I also really enjoyed how quaint the shop was, but I know it's popularity was growing so they have had to move!

I also like that the owner is a local girl from Red Deer.  We have mutual friends in common!

So if you are looking for a place to go show off some creativity, check out Hot Pot Studio!! It's amazing!!

Monday, 8 February 2016

Monday Update: New Years Theme

This year I am focusing on me! It seems like a selfish thing to say but I totally don't mean it in a selfish way, I just mean I am doing me.  I work with a teacher and she says "you do you", and for some reason that really resonates with me.  I have to do me!  I've said this in past years but this year I am going to put it into action.

This is the year where I will reach peak physical fitness.  It means I have to commit to what I say I am going to do, running, boot camps, eating right.  I am not going to be a product of my genes, of my family health history, I am going to write my own health journey.  I have an uphill battle, we have a lot of genetic diseases that run in my family, especially when it comes to heart health.  So I am committing to being and doing healthy.  It means I have to be organized, no forgetting to pull out stuff for supper, no not taking a lunch, scheduling time for exercising, and following through on that exercising.  But also allowing myself and forgiving myself should life throw up obstacles that prevent things from happening, those things are ok and they happen.  I just have to dust myself off and move on.  I will run a half marathon that is 2:55 or less.  I will be able to fit into size eight lulu lemon clothing that I purchase at Seawheeze 2016!

This year I will also be mentally a better person, I will stop the trash talk, I will stop the doubting voice in my head, I will be as kind to myself as if am to everyone else.  I am going to read 12 personal growth books this year.  I am a reader so this is a very doable goal, but I like my reading to be a break from reality sometimes so I have to break up my reading and 12 personal growth books means one a month and it will also give me the opportunity to reflect on those books, without saturating my mind with too many ideas.  In January I read Excuses Begone by Dr. Wayne Dwyer.  Since reading that book I've been using affirmations and focusing on letting go of my excuses that prevent me from following my dreams.  It's not always easy to stop your doubting voice or to stop the excuses so you take those chances, but I've found I'm taking more chances and it's fantastic.  In February I will read Daring Greatly by Brene Brown! I'm so excited!

This year I will also expand my spirituality.  I've been attending church moe frequently for the last few months, and whether you are Catholic, Jewish, Muslim or paganism that's not the point of this, this developing my spirituality is me becoming more intuned with energy of the universe.  As I write that it feels very hippy dippy.  I find explaining my spirituality very difficult, maybe because the definition is bigger than words can define for me.  I want to be living a life that resonates with my soul, that as I make choices my soul is happy and there are no doubts that that choice was the right choice for me, but while I am making these choices I am not negatively impinging anyone else.  Spirituality, in part, for me, is letting go of my ego and living an authentic life.  One way I am going to do this is through yoga and mediation, and I am very excited to get my mediation and yoga practice to happen on more regular basis.  

I don't do these things so that I can ignore my responsibilities or family or friends, I do these things so that I can give more fully to my family and friends and responsibilities.  I do these to be my best self, so the people around me can also strive to be their best selves if that is what they want to do and I will help them in any way I can. It will be an adjustment period, it will take some juggling to find out what will work best for our family.  Are morning workouts better or evening workouts? Is doing yoga before work better for my schedule or is it best right befo bed? When is it best to fit in my reading so I have the most retention? Once we get these figured out and get into a schedule other things will fall into place 

Friday, 5 February 2016

Friday Five Fitness Five

I am again joining up with You Signed Up For WHAT?!Mar on the Run, & Eat Pray Run, DC, for their Friday Five Link Up!! So this week it's a fitness theme!!

Here are my Five Fitness Goals for 2016
None of these are written in the SMART format but they are summarized for you!!

1) This year will be my fittest and healthiest year to date.  I am going to focus on my health and do things to improve my life and stop sabotaging myself.  I am going to focus on my eating, eating whole foods and foods that are fresh and not processed or from fast food restaurants.  It's going to mean I have to break habits, like eating donuts with my coffee or eating McDonalds when I am feeling rushed, which truly aren't habits I'll miss but I've got to get more organized.

2) I am going to run my fastest 1/2 marathon ever.  Which as long as I beat my time from last year, I'll hit this goal.  I am shooting for a time that is under 3 hours and I know that when I start training this is totally doable.  I wasn't that far off last year, and it would be totally cool to blast that record out of the water, but I'll do what I need to do to make this happen, even if it means running in the snow.

3) I am going to commit to 3 runs a week.  Two shorter runs and 1 long run this will help with my training and my time.  I've not run since my 1/2 marathon last August so I have some time to make up but it's going to be ok, I've been playing soccer since last year and I am very much in shape that way as I don't get exhausted as easily as I did before so win for me!!

4) I will stick with my Arbonne Essential plan and cut out foods that are acidic from my diet.  So this plan is super easy and super effective. It's a plan for 30 days to help you start changing your habits, it's not a quick fix, it's not counting calories, but it's about eating the foods and nutrients your body needs to detoxify itself from the toxins that are around us all day.  It's a way to reset your body and in the long run it will make you healthier which is what I want, the others are just happy side effects.

5) I am going to join a yoga studio and really practice my yoga. I want to get better at my yoga practice, it's something I've loved doing when I do it and I think it's something that will be a total benefit to me in the long run!! So let's yoga out here and make a daily occurrence!!

Do you have fitness goals? What are they?

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Thursday: Need a theme for Thursday

I write better when I have a theme to write about, which is why Monday is Update Monday, Tuesday is Shop Local Tuesday, Wednesday is Woman Crush Wednesday and Friday is Friday Five, but I have nothing for Thursday yet.  And it's all good to have alliteration but it's not necessary, what I need is a theme, something to focus my writing for the month.....It makes things easier, and with everything going on in my life I like things to be easier.

Maybe for the month of February I will do a Television Show Review Thursday.  But please readers, if you have any suggestions please bring them forth, February isn't a long month and then it will be March, and I am slowly reducing my Television viewing......

Ok for my first television review I will talk about my favourite guilty pleasure television show!!!

I love shows that have great characters, great storylines and fun crazy twists in the plot. I also like shows that don't just have one main character to and this show has four with a fifth recurring character that I really like.  The show started 6 years ago, and probably around 10 years ago the first book was released. I only started reading the books 4 years ago, around the same time I discovered the show on Netflix!! I've been obsessed... addicted since the first page!!

Now the books and the television show went along the same story path for quite some time, but as characters came to life on the small screen things changed for the television show.  Which is often the case, sometimes two characters in the book don't have chemistry but there is undeniable chemistry between two actors and so storylines change, and it's not a bad thing.

The books ended after 16 books, and the television show still has 2 more years to go and things have diverged so far that they are new stories on the show.  I am super pumped to see where things go!!

Oh the mystery of my favourite guilty pleasure, have you guessed it yet?  It's on ABC Family in the states and M3 in Red Deer.... It has a Canadian actress in one of the starring roles (I just found this out), it has a rabid following of fans, it might not be the most watched show but the fans that do watch the show are INVESTED and tweet like crazy!!

Yes my guilty pleasure is a teen show, but hey I'm young at heart and love it, so Pretty Little Liars is one of my favourite shows. It's a must watch in I must watch it, but I don't always have to watch when it's on live, I can't watch and tweet at the same time, I don't know how people do that!! It's also a show I LOVE to binge, that way I don't have to wait to find out the secret or mystery!!

So if you have not watched Pretty Little Liars, give it at shot, if you like mystery, suspense, comedic one liners I am sure you won't be disappointed and if you are, sorry we obviously don't like the same shows for guilty pleasures and really all it will take is two episodes to get you hooked if you like it!!

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Women Crush Wednesday

For February I am going to showcase women who I think are just amazing and that need a little pat on the back for doing such a great job in life and they are inspiring to me.  And as easy as it would be to say Oprah, Ellen, Reese Witherspoon or any other hollywood star I feel these women get enough accolades from the tabloids and other news venues that I'd like to focus on the real women in my life that inspire me daily.

So today I am going to tell you about one of the most influential women in my life. It's an easy one, it's my mom!

My mom is amazing! And I am going to share her story with you, at least from the time that I've known her.

My mom is a divorcee and has been divorced from my father since I was three.  She also has two other children my sister and my brother, and she has spent our life being a single mother to the three of us.

We moved to a small town just before my brother was born, in a time when single mothers and unmarried women weren't really the norm. To be honest, none of my friends in that small town came from divorced families, some now do but when we were young their parents were all together and my mom was the single woman of the town.  But my mom never let the gossip or anything get her down (if she did, she did not let us know).  That's how my mom showed me to be proud of who you are and your choices.  She was strong in the face of people talking behind her back, she knew who she was and she didn't let it be known that it bothered her.

My mom encouraged us to do what it was that we felt a passion for, but she stressed the importance of education.  As a family we valued education, and all three of us children went to post secondary, my mom inspired us to live up to our potential to succeed in education.  We all have careers in our chosen fields.  My mom worked many jobs, but stressed education and she even went back to school when I was in high school.  Education wasn't just something that happened to us, it was something that was important for us to participate in.  I am only hoping I am showing this to my children as well.

My mom is the hardest working person I know. She's always been a hard worker.  She balanced a lot of things, my brother played hockey, my sister and I were in Brownies and Guides, my mom was always involved, but she worked many different jobs.  She did what she had to do to ensure that food was on our table and that we did not miss out on any child memories! It was important! And she's shown me the importance of hard work to get what you want in life, but she also showed us that it wasn't all about work, there has to be a balance!

My mom always showed us that family was of the utmost importance! Nothing came before family, but family wasn't always blood family, family could be those close friends who we chose to keep close.  This also put a value in family for us, and even now I know how important family is, my siblings and I are close, and I wouldn't have it any other way!

I know that everyone says their mom is the best, and they are entitled to that opinion and in their perspective it's the truth and I accept that, but for me, for my experiences and perception, my mom was amazing and she deserves to be celebrated. I am not always the best at celebrating her, and sometimes I am a bit selfish... I know this, but she is amazing and if I could get her to meet her favourite people I would do all I could to have that occur!

So for the first Wednesday my Woman Crush Wednesday candidate is My Mom!!!

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Shop Local Tuesday: Home based Businesses

I've worked in a few Home based businesses or Network Marketing Businesses.  And there are some home based businesses out there that I love their products but I'm not going to become a consultant, or whatever it is they have for names of their distributers.  But I thought today I would focus on the two Network Marketing companies that I am a part of and share with you all some of the perks of these companies.

The first Network Marketing Company I started with was Fifth Avenue Collection Jewelry! And in my opinion they are the best jewelry company out there! They use natural gem stones and Swarovski Crystals.  All their earrings are 14 karat gold posts or sterling silver hooks making them wearable for all people who struggle with earrings.  We also use the Davinci clip for clip on earrings which are self adjustable and can be set for individual comfort.

Another thing I love about Fifth Avenue is that they are a Canadian Company that has extended world wide! Fifth Avenue Collection is also a direct to you sales company meaning if you like a piece today you can buy it right off the table, no waiting, no delivery costs.  Fifth Avenue collection stands behind their jewelry and will repair or replace any damaged pieces, even if your child rips it from your neck.

My friend Tamara, got me started with Fifth Avenue Collection and it was great, it is a great company for making some extra money and staying at the Independent Jeweller level is ok because they have a great commission program (if you want to know more about your potential earnings I can direct you to Tamara).  You can move up in management positions and earn even more money but you can be quite lucrative at just the independent jeweller.

The next company I got involved with is Arbonne International.  Arbonne is a health and beauty company that started in Switzerland than moved to America.  It's been around for 35 years but only in Canada for 9 now.  The products are amazing, I love their skin care line the Re9 which is anti-aging and their Arbonne Essentials line (food) is yummy deliciousness!

I've only started with Arbonne, but I've been using their products for about 7 years now.  They are great and I would never go back to using drug store products.  Things that really sell me on Arbonne is that they are an all natural company with no preservatives, no animal products or by products, they are alkaline based and they are beneficial! I also like that they are safe for my kids so when I make my protein shakes in the morning and my youngest begs for some I can give him some of mine and it's safe for him to drink!

I've moved up the ranks in Arbonne to the first management level.  It's a lot of fun and the rewards for the management encourage me to continue moving forward. I have found that I have a passion for Arbonne that I didn't have with Fifth Avenue Collection.  It's also a company that allows me to use so many of their products in different areas of my life, and I know other people will enjoy these products as well!!

 Another thing to keep in mind with these home based businesses, is that you are then shopping local, you are supporting a small business owner within your community.  Most small business owners I know also support local so the money stays in the community helping everyone thrive and grow! So Shop Local!! For the rest of February I am going to show case other ways I shop local!! I challenge the rest of you to do so as well!!

Monday, 1 February 2016

I've read so many books these past six months

Working in a library will definitely increase your reading, if it's not then you aren't doing it right!!!!

Seriously, I was working in a High School library for four months and I am pretty sure I read at least 30 books.  I'm a reader as it is, but just being surrounded by those books every day made me want to read all the books, even those books that I would generally never touch.

So here is a list of the books I read.

Ruby Red
Emerald Green
Sapphire Blue
This is a series by Kirsten Grier, it's a sci fi/ fantasy novel about a family who has time travelling genes and certain members are able to time travel and they have this big old mystery and a little love story as well! Great reads!!

Dark Thaw
Both by a local author from the Rimby area, Kate Boorman.  Great dystopian novels!!

Orphan 8
A train in Winter
Archie Gets Married Vol 1
Archie Gets Married Vol 2
If I stay (bring out the deep sobbing ugly cry!!!)

Laurie Halse Anderson writes a lot of books for YA that are being used in schools as novel studies because they lend very well to those hot button topics.  And her writing style is great, so here are the books of hers I read.
Catalyst (NO NO NO, good book but there are certain things I do not like reading about and this one had it)
Prom (Super Cute)
Fever 541 (Interesting but not as easy to get through)
Twisted (AWESOME)
Wintergirls (Very good)

Jay Asher has also written a few books that kids are studying now and he has great writing style.
13 Reasons Why (omg this was a great book, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE it!!!)
The Future of Us (This book was amazing, it was such a blast from the past too and it's a great contrast to 13 reasons why!! Totally recommend it!!)

Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver, is so good and has such a good mind twist right at the end!!
13 Little Blue Envelopes
The Last Blue Envelope

The Painted Girls
Beautiful Creatures
Go Set a Watchman
Looking for Alaska
Bean Trees

I finished off 2015 by reading The Selection Series by Kiera Cass!! The first three books are excellent, the fourth book has a different main character and I find her to be rather bratty, I'm hoping there are more to come and we see a growth in her because right now I don't really like her all the time.
The Selection
The Elite
The One
The Heir

Great books so if you are looking for a list here is a place to start!! Happy reading everyone!!