Friday, 17 February 2017

Friday Five: Five Ways to Spice up Date night

I was originally going to have this post come out for the Friday before Valentine's Day but things happened as you can see from my posts this week so this is coming out just before my 9th anniversary with my husband. That's a long time man, but it's been good and I am happy to continue choosing this adventure with him.

So I have teamed up with Turo to come up with some ways to make Date Night more memorable!!

So Here are Five ways I think you can add a little spice to Date night.

1) Written love notes.  I love written love notes, finding messages scrawled on my white board or on post its just brightens up any day.  I feel that love notes have become something that is considered antiquated but they can help set the tone for the whole day leading up to date night. They can be little posts it proclaiming your love for the other person or your excitement to go on this date with them.  But including written love notes in your date will definitely spice things up.

2) Sending a bouquet to their work. A bouquet can be anything, flowers, lilies are my favourite and I think things other than roses sends the message that you think outside the box.  I also think a bouquet could be chocolates or fruit.  Fruit bouquets are my favourite and love the chocolate covered strawberries and pineapples so if I got a little bouquet like that at work, I'd be super pumped for date night.

3) Pick a location that will allow you to have a conversation. The art of conversation is how we get to know each other, and make a rule that the cell phones get left in the car.  If there is an emergency at home, leave the restaurant name that you will be at but leave the meal time free for you and your date to focus on each other. Depending on what your preferences are pick a location that suits those needs, maybe it's not a restaurant but a picnic meal in a quiet park with a fire to snuggle by with a cozy blanket.  In this case maybe leave the phones on the car but not within arms reach.  Spending time with date and making them feel like they are the most important thing of the evening will go along way in making the date memorable.

4) Rent a special Car for the night.  I'm not talking a limo, but hey if that's what you want you can do that, I'm talking about renting a special car for the two of you, from a peer car rental site like Turo.  It's super easy and up and coming so you can check your local area for a car to rent.  But you can totally spice up date night but showing up in a luxury vehicle that is maybe one of your dates favourites, or even your favourite. Generally the cars are reasonably priced and owners will sometimes offer to deliver.  Spend part of the night driving around or to a special location enjoying living in luxury during this date.

5) For that extra special night pick something extra special to do. Since I'm writing this around my anniversary, my thoughts are going back to what I'd like for an anniversary date (If my husband reads this he has four days to plan something amazing!! Keep these ideas for next year honey) not just a regular date, but you could incorporate any of these ideas into a regular date.  But it's a great idea to end the night on something that you don't usually get to do, something like a concert, a play/ musical, maybe you like to do extreme things and you go for a plane ride over the city or helicopter ride.  Something spectacular to put this date in the history books as one of the best.  I kid above because my husband is taking me the Garth Brooks Concert on the 19th so that is our Anniversary date, now if he can incorporate some of these other ideas it's going to be an amazing night!!

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Riverdale: Episode 1

I have found a new obsession!! I grew up on Archie Comics, they were the one staple in my life on long road trips, my sister and I would scour the gas stations and pick up new Archie comics at each stop, we'd read them, trade them and read them again and again.  To say I have an obsession with Archie Comics could be a bit understated. I even had all the novels that came out in the nineties, so when I heard that CW was releasing a new series based on the characters of the Archie Comics I was THRILLED!! And what is even better, is that Netflix, releases a new episode each week on the Canadian Netflix.  I can't see that this happens on the American Netflix, but I love that I get Scandal, The 100 and now Riverdale released each week after it airs!! So great!!

So here are my thoughts on each episode, things I really like, things I am not sure about, and things I really wish they hadn't changed.

The storyline of the series for season one seems to revolve around the mysterious death of Jason Blossom, the twin to Cheryl Blossom.  From what you learn in this episode Jason was beloved, almost creepily, by his twin sister, but ma have not been the nicest guy.  This stays true to the comic books, Cheryl Blossom, for sure is used to getting her way and is often depicted in the comics as the antagonist to Betty and Veronica.

Jughead appears to be our narrator, and the story he is narrating is the book he is currently scribing.  A real time account of the happenings in Riverdale.  Jughead is not on great terms with Archie and no one is saying why, I'm not sure I am a fan of this. Juggie and Archie are best friends, they shouldn't have secrets.

Betty lives next door to Archie, very colloquial girl next door, good girl vibe coming from Betty.  Betty chooses to do the right thing, even if it means she doesn't get what she wants.  Betty's best friend and sometimes voice of reason, pushing Betty to go after what she wants is Kevin Keller.  I don't remember Kevin from my first years of reading Archie, in fact I think he only came in to the comics after 2000 but I may be mistaken.  Kevin however is her gay best friend which I am pretty sure wasn't in the comics either.  What Betty doesn't realize is that Archie only sees her as a friend and nothing more, because Archie has a secret, a secret that could ruin lives.  Betty discovers by the end of the episode that Archie isn't into her that way and is devastated, she spent the summer in NYC on an internship with a publisher (I think) and thought about how when she returned to Riverdale she was going to make Archie fall in love with her as she loves him.  This doesn't happen, and it seems like Archie may have eyes for the new girl...

The new girl, Veronica Lodge, wealthy NYC socialite in the midst of a family shame that landed her father in prison for embezzlement.  But Veronica is no flamingo, she holds her head high and sticks with her father, but makes it known in the first few days at Riverdale High that she is a force to be reckoned with.  I'm not sure how I like this Veronica as the new girl, I am not sure I buy the fast friendship of her and Betty.  It's almost too contrived, but we will see, since Veronica and Archie cause some feelings of distraught for Betty maybe there will be more fights then friendships between these two.

Going back to Betty's family, wow there is a switch from the comics. Alice Cooper is a very domineering and bitchy mother.  She tries to control all aspects of her daughters lives (friendships, study habits, activities they participate in) and Betty believes that Alice is the reason her big sister Polly had a nervous breakdown.  If you are an avid Archie comic reader than you know Polly is a real character even though she doesn't make many appearances.  Alice even gives Betty a prescription bottle of Adderall, now I don't know exactly what Adderall is but I do know it's a drug and many people in the Big Brother house take it...

So the teachers were cast very differently in this show.  Mr. Weatherbee looks nothing like his depiction in the comics, and Ms Grundy is the complete opposite. I mean Ms Grundy is a young, first or second year teacher WHO HITS ON HER STUDENT IN THE SUMMER.  Yes this is the secret that Archie has, he had an affair with Ms Grundy in the summer!!! I get that these are plot points and some changes needed to made, but Ms Grundy will always be a matronly, mothering type to me and this Ms Grundy is NOT!

Josie and the Pussycats are also an integral part of the show.  They are an all girl band that play for different events at the school.  I really like the casting and like how they are changing the music of the original Josie and the Pussycats to be more modern and edgy.  It's a good switch.

My favourite casting so far those is the actress who plays Cheryl Blossom.  She has the nuances of Cheryl, being the Alpha It Girl down to a TEE.  She's great and I can't wait to see her in future episodes.

I know I didn't give too much away here but I am hoping I've dropped enough little tidbits to get you to tune in!! Let me know if you are loving this show and what you love about it or if you are hating it and what you hate about it!!

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Seasource Detox Line Review

Have I told you how much I enjoy the Arbonne Seasource Detox Line? NO! Oh well let me rectify this, because this line is amazing.

There are many products in this line but I am going to share with you my three favourites.  The Seasource Mud Mask, The Detoxifying Rescue Wash and Seasource Hair masque.

First let me tell you a little about my experience with the Rescue wash.  I love to use this rescue wash in my baths, and I love a bath.  It has a lovely scent, it smells clean, not perfume-y or medicinal, it just smells clean.  I try to use it at least once a week and my skin feels so smooth afterwards and I don't have to slather on tons of lotion either.  I've also used the Rescue wash as stain treater for clothing.  True story, my youngest son was in cloth diapers most of his life, and sometimes those things leak. Well one day I was holding him while wearing my favourite tiffany blue sweater and his diaper leaked all over my sweater! I was so sad because I didn't have stain treater but a thought occurred to me, if the detoxifying rescue wash takes toxins from my body, maybe it would remove toxins from my sweater.  At this point I had nothing to lose, so I gave it a go and Voila!! no more stain!!

Second let's talk about the Seasource Mud Mask! This is not your typical mud mask, the absorbing action unclogs pores and helps exfoliate dead skin cells to leave skin looking brighter and more moisturized. I use this at least monthly and it makes a noticeable difference on my skin allowing me to have make up free days where no one can tell.

Finally, the Seasource hair masque..... heaven for my hair! This is a regular part of my hair care regime, without it my hair gets dry, brittle and coarse feeling which is a pet peeve of mine.  I want long hair but I don't want it to feel like straw.  So the Hair mask helps my revitalize and repair my damaged hair. It leaves my hair smelling great and clean and soft for days.  I always colour treat my hair and usually we would take off 2 inches minimum because of damage but since using this mask I've gotten away with taking less and you can tell because my hair has grown so fast!

I love, love, love this line.  If you'd like to try this line out for yourself, check out my website here.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Tuesday Tribute: Jeff Mullan

I want to tell the world about an amazing man! A man who changed lives and lived a life full of love and excitement.  He was truly a genuine person and it is a shame not everyone got to meet him.  But he lived a life that really encompassed the song Humble and Kind.  He didn't do anything for glory or recognition, he did it because it was the right thing to do and he spread happiness like a flame.

Jeff Mullan was an east coaster through and through, he could spot another Bluenoser anywhere he went.  It's like the Saskatchewan phenomena of always knowing another Flatlander when you go out but Jeff's ability to pick out Bluenosers was almost like a sixth sense.  And East coast people have a special affinity for making people feel at ease in their presence, Jeff was no exception.

I could go through a litany of all the great things in Jeff's life, but I honestly only knew him for the short time he was in my soul sisters life.  I sometimes think Estelle dreamed him into existence, no joke.  Estelle always knew what she wanted in a partner.  She wanted a man who wasn't afraid to show affection at home, or in public places.  She loved demonstrations of love, be that in love notes or by holding her hand or even verbally admitting his love for her to people.  Estelle wanted a man who could be handy around the house, but who also enjoyed to spend quality time together doing mundane chores like the dishes or watching tv. Estelle loves to dance and wanted a man who would dance in her kitchen with her or living room or porch, whenever their song came on.  Estelle want a man who would choose her, choose her, choose her.  But she also wanted man who would embrace her already made family, who would show her girls the type of man they needed to find, a man who would not only love but would respect them.  Estelle always told me this and then when she met Jeff, I swear she dreamed him into being true, because he was EVERYTHING she wanted.

They did so many things together, travelling, buying a house, merging their families they really did pack a lifetime of memories into their short time together.  And because Jeff was so genuine there are so many stories of his humour, laugh and just going that extra mile.  He was an amazing individual.

Here are some posts from Facebook that showed up on Jeff's wall after his passing that really demonstrate the type of man he was!

 lost for words other then that was Jeff. So young man still can't believe it. And like I said I never stayed in touch so I can imagine how people like Steven Stewart his right hand man is feeling. Just typing and thinking I lost focus. I guess what I'm saying is I apologize to anyone I've done wrong to and hope to stay in touch with people I've just talked to in past day who I never talked to in years. Jeff man you were the best when we were younger and you'll be missed by all. Thanks Ant Dale I've been playing that song over and over and having a beer for Jeff. Rip buddy

It is strange how memories pop into your head when you hear about the sudden loss of an old friend. Although we haven't spent time together in a long time due to geography, there were some great times shared starting 30 years ago. Shooting archery in your driveway with little concern about the fact that we didn't know how, nor that we were aiming at your parents' house. Finding a tube of your mother's instant tanning cream and trying it out. My hands were bright orange for a week.
I remember how you always stood up for your little sister, Danielle Mullan-Allen. I remember how you were always up for anything if it sounded like fun. I don't remember ever seeing you without a smile on your face.
Recently, via Facebook, I have noticed a common theme in your posts. It has been clear that you have been in an amazing place in your life. You had a job that you loved! You had found a special woman! You were loved by your family and children ... biological and otherwise. You were living the life that many people dream about.
So, last night, when I saw a post from a mutual friend that said you were gone, I was floored. Looking at the hundreds of posts people have been posting on your wall, it's clear that my opinion isn't unique. Jeff Mullan, you touched the hearts of many people. And, you are one of the few people that I have ever known that I can't think of anything bad about. When I think about your name, I remember having fun ... things we did as kids might not have been smart, but they were fun!!!
My heart goes out to Danielle Mullan-AllenJoan Dunlop-Mullan, Terry Mullan, Natasha Weaver MullanHannah MullanEstelle May Krawec, and everyone else who will miss you and remember what a great guy you have been.
We we lost one of the good guys. RIP Jeff.

Jeff Mullan..u are so loved in this world. Still in shock but bravo to all family and friends for sharing all great photos and awesome stories of you. Give my brother a big hug for me and my family. U were diffently one of kind. #greatguy#greatdad#justplangreat

This one really got to me:
Havana Krawec feeling heartbroken with Estelle May Krawec.
Jeff Mullan had asked me since November to design him a tattoo he could turn into a half sleeve. Now that I have finally finished his tattoo I dedicate this to him. He was an amazing person, father, boyfriend and friend. He made my whole family so happy with his endless laughter and corny high jinks. Though not many know and he didn't know either, I asked for adoption papers. I had wished that I could have him sign them before our time together was up. Though our time was short, he was an amazing role model to not only me but to my little sister Reinna. I loved Jeff, and I wish I could have said that I did before I had to say goodbye. You were an amazing father figure to me. Thank you Jeff for making my mom so happy in the time that you were here. I'll miss you so much Jeff, I love you I'll see you soon.

Jeff loved so many people, his family, his friends, his coworkers and he was loved by so many!
It was undeniable the amount of love Jeff felt for his family, he was truly a family man, but the other undeniable part of Jeff's love was the love he gave to Estelle's three children and Estelle.  Estelle and Jeff were soul mates and anyone who was lucky enough to hang out with them could see it.  Jeff loved Estelle's girls like a father and included them in everything.  Here is a post from Estelle that came up last Valentine's Day:
Having memories come up on Facebook is hard every day and most I will not share.. however this one speaks volumes of the man Jeff Mullan was. Xo
 steps up to that task each and every day. And last night when he pulled out Valentine's Day gifts and Havana Krawec says great now mom is going to cry and he then handed her one of the gifts I did almost cry. I love the fact that he includes them in our every day and I am thankful for who he is. Have a great long weekend and a wonderful day of love!!

In so many ways Jeff has touched our lives and continues to touch our lives.  The picture below is one of Jeff's dog Maggie attacking a pig that came to visit.  His humour was contagious.
 I made a vow the day of Jeff's Memorial service and I plan to honour that vow, to honour Jeff.  I am going to live my life spreading happiness, being genuine and loving unconditionally as Jeff did, because for me Jeff's legacy is a legacy of love and there need to be more people like him in this world. The world is a sadder place because Jeff is no longer here.  But he is here, he is with Estelle and his loved ones encircling them with his never-ending love!

 Jeff Mullan
Father, Son, Soul Mate, Friend, Brother
Taken to soon
March 2, 1976 - February 2, 2017

Monday, 13 February 2017

Monday update!! It's a doozy!!

I started my 30 days again.  But this time I was really following the meal plans so that I could track how effective this plan was for me. My starting weight was 205 pounds, I had gone up a few pounds, but I was ok with that.  Fluctuation isn't the worst and all things considered my clothes were still fitting very well.  I was also a total of 344.25 inches which is still lower than they had ever been so you know I believe the scale lies and also I was heading into my monthly cycle.

I had a couple Instagram posts showing my packing of my foods so that I had an easy week, it was a lot of prep work but really it wasn't that much and made my mornings getting to school so much faster so worth it.  My mornings are a blur, getting up working out, doing my hair, make up getting lunches packed for the kids and getting the kids ready to leave the house.  It is go go go here, so anything to make it easier I will take it.

My first week was amazing, everything was going well, I felt amazing, I had so much energy, it was mind boggling. I gave up coffee and pepsi (which I hadn't had since Christmas time) and I was more energetic then I had ever been and this was on the Arbonne 30 days to Healthy Living Plan which I felt was unexpected.  I also wasn't getting the detox symptoms that I thought I would get so I was very happy.

Then tragedy befell my soul sister and my brother in law passed away on Friday February 2.  My heart hurt so much and I will post more on that in another blog, but it more or less derailed my eating plan.  Being sad and upset about things makes it very hard for me to focus on eating properly or following a meal plan. I often forget to eat as well, so I did my best to continue eating well, but it wasn't on a meal plan and I did indulge in a few things.

One thing I have to admit to is that my body doesn't like milk and ice cream.  My heart hurts on this one, because I LOVE ice cream, but the last few times I have had a blizzard or a milkshake I have felt so bloated and so blah and gross that I have to admit I have an intolerance to milk.  Cheese and I still get along and I think if I have small amounts, like a mini blizzard or a small milkshake, it's probably manageable.  But it's definitely not something that I will be adding back into my diet as a regular occurrence and it's something I am going to monitor in my kids as well.  Teddybear is already Lactose free and we will watch Lil Man to see how he does as we limit his milk consumption.

This photo is from last year the other two are from today, I don't know if you can spot the differences but I think it's important to point out that I can see them and I am very happy about it.

So here are some things I have discovered from my journey! A year ago I was at my largest, at my largest my waist was 36 inches, today I am at 31.  Across my belly I was 43 and today I am 32.  Across my hips I was 45 today I am 40. My thighs measured at 25 and today are measuring at 20 and my biceps were 14 and are now 11.  At my largest I was measuring 370 inches, since then I have added 2 more measurement sites and today my total inches were 338.  I am amazed!!!

My goal for the end of the month is to be at 330 total body inches and 198 pounds.  This means I have to stick with my eating plan, I know I can do this and to increase my physical activity.  I have also seen an decrease in my total body fat percentage  from 44.8% to 41.8%.  So I am going to keep working.  In a year I've lost over 20 pounds lost 32 inches and I am going to keep going. It's been long but looking back it's been so worth it!!

If you want any more information on my eating plan let me know I'm happy to share!!

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Women Crush Wednesday: SDM

I've done these profiles before and I love doing them because I think you should all know about these amazing women and why they are so inspiring to me!  

Around 8 years ago I started working with this woman.  She was spunky, and caring and hard working.  You could tell she was focusing very much on getting her life together for her and her family.  At this time she was married with one son. In all honest truth her personality and happy outlook were almost too much for me, ME! Some of you are cringing as you read this because who could be spunkier or happier than I am, well Miss SDM was, at least she could give me a run for my money.

But as we started to hang out I started to learn more about her and the things I learned, the things she had overcome, well they were amazing.  The fact is the deck was stacked against her, she was fighting her way to the top from the moment she was born.

SDM grew up in a single parent household after she was 2. For the first couple of years she lived with her mother, then situation after situation arose SDM and her younger sibling moved in with her father.  SDM lived with her father and moved with him until she was 16 when she left home and lived on her own. But she wasn't a high school drop out, no she just didn't want to live by her parents rules so she got a job, rented a place and continued to go to school and did graduate, all within the time frame she was supposed to.

Now leaving home when you are 16 isn't the smartest decision but she made that decision and continued to work to improve herself, she could have been one of the negative statistics, she could have dropped out and fallen into drugs, gone into prostitution, but she didn't do most of those things, some, well maybe only one but she still came out on top.

After graduating high school, as I understand it, SDM got into the party life, moved to Calgary started as a nanny and put herself through school at Mount Royal College.  In this time she had a one night stand and got pregnant. Being in her 20s and pregnant was scary so she moved home which is where she met her husband.  It wasn't a story of true love for SDM, it was a story of he can offer me what I seek most, stability and security.

After the birth of her son, she and her husband returned to Alberta for jobs, which is where our lives intersected.  We became fast friends.  I was with her through her divorce (it lasted four years or maybe five), I have been there through her scary possessive relationships, there was one that was certifiable, I have been there through her custody battle which has been a nightmare.

Still SDM is as spunky and positive as she was when we met.  She continues to try to see the positive in every situation, she is a leader and is so driven to reach her goals.  This is a person you need to follow and take notes because she is going places and will be making headlines!!