Heading up the 400 is a drive I take often, but never did I know that in just under 90 minutes I would be arriving at the beautiful future site of The Seasons on Little Lake in Midland, Ontario. Back in January, I was told about a great new community under development – The Seasons on Little Lake. This up and coming development will offer amazing homes in a beautiful community at affordable prices. I remember checking out the website and seeing the renderings and thinking hmmm this is too good to be true!
90 minutes away from the city
a great community perfect for young families
5 minutes from downtown Midland and Georgian Bay
located on Little Lake
featuring a 941 foot boardwalk on 2,300 feet of shoreline
surrounded by natural parkland and green space
summer time fun with boating, fishing and golfing nearby
short car ride away from hitting the slopes in the winter
maintenance included so you don’t have to worry about snow removal and mowing the lawn
10,000 sq.ft. members club with indoor and outdoor pools, fitness facility, tennis centre, recreational area, meeting rooms and more
All of that and more! So you can believe that I jumped at the opportunity when I was invited to see things for myself. At first I was going to go on my own, but after some thought, I decided that it might actually be a great thing to do with the family and so we made a day of it. We were there in no time and met up with Keith at the presentation centre. We were given a personal tour of the presentation centre and also got to head out to the site where they will be breaking ground in the coming weeks. We were able to see the location of the first phase of this 247 acre master planned community featuring up to 1,200 new homes. The location is absolutely stunning and when they say it’s right on Little Lake…it’s RIGHT ON Little Lake.
The more I got to look around and learn about The Seasons on Little Lake the more I was realizing that this could possibly be the next hot community and location for young families looking for a great place to raise their kids. With homes at just over 700 sq.ft. starting in the low $200,000’s to 2,000 sq.ft. at just over $400,000 there is definitely something for everyone. Whether it is a young family looking for a home at an amazing price, maybe someone looking for more of a cottage property, a retiree looking to escape the city life or even someone who is just looking to invest and rent out to one of the local Georgian College students, it’s a great choice. Actually it’s more of a no brainer…with elementary schools, high schools, a college, banks, a hospital and tons of shopping and restaurants, you have everything you need so why not?!
One of the things I was super impressed with besides the price and location (obviously haha) was what I saw in the presentation centre. While chatting with Keith, I commented on how much I loved the space and the finishes only to learn that everything I was seeing was standard and not upgrades…WHAT?!
So if you’re looking to make a move, looking for something different than the city life, you need to check this place out. I won’t lie I would LOVE to have one of the smaller units as my Chic Mamma headquarters…how awesome would that be 😉 haha. You have everything you need nearby like you would in the city but the serene setting by the lake like you’re at the cottage. PLUS one very important bonus to all this…you’re in Midland…home of the best Buttertart Festival which we totally checked out.
That moment when you potty train your child and the angels come down from heaven singing “ALLELUIA” but wait what do you mean that doesn’t always mean dry nights?
If you have older children you know exactly what I’m talking about and ifyou’re a parent who’s not at that stage yet you’re going to want to stick with me here.
Many parents when they start potty training their children automatically assume that it also means dry and accident free nights but I’m hear to tell that, that’s not always the case.
Recently on my radio show (The Parenting Show on Talk Radio AM640) we had child/family therapist and author Michele Kambolis join us as a guest for Better Sleep Month (May) and we talked about potty training, nighttime wetting and dry nights aka GoodNites®. I had no idea that being potty trained didn’t automatically mean dry nights. You see, I was pretty lucky with my oldest (Samantha) because it was never an issue with her. The minute she was potty trained also meant dry nights for her, I never had to worry about nighttime wetting.
You see, while all children and parents experience and eventually overcome potty training, some children also experience nighttime wetting at some point in their childhood. For some, nighttime wetting occurs later on in their childhood, while others may experience this earlier on and in some cases right after they’ve completed potty training, which makes it difficult for a parent to identify. If you want to get technical the proper medical condition is called Nocturnal Enuresis and it impacts more than 15% of 4 to 12 year old’s. It’s the involuntary loss of urine while sleeping after the age at which bladder control usually occurs. What causes this you ask? Well it’s primarily driven by development delays in bladder function so eventually it is outgrown.
With that said, my daughter Liliana (now 4 years old) was potty trained at 3 years old, however unlike her big sister her nights are not so dry and so we depend on products like Pull-Ups® to help us manage nighttime wetting at these early stages. During our show, Michele Kambolis stressed how important it is to identify nighttime wetting early on and ensure kids are using products designed to support nighttime wetting. By putting them in a bedwetting product like GoodNites® Bedtime Pants, we’re sending the message that nighttime wetting is a completely different stage from potty training (which they have already achieved), and it’s not their fault. The Bedtime Pants also offer increased nighttime capacity intake to ensure they are comfortable and dry all night long. Waking up dry may have positive effects on our little one’s self-esteem while easing the stress.
One of the early signs of nighttime wetting is when young children are dry during the day, but wake up most nights with wet bed sheets and PJ’s. It’s a common misconception that bedwetting for younger children is simply a continuation of potty training, leading kids and parents to wonder if they missed a step in their potty training process. While we as parents celebrate the milestone of successfully potty training our little ones, nighttime dryness is a completely different process and something that cannot be trained, it must be outgrown. Don’t stress thought because it’s very normal and a common part of growing up.
1 out of 6 children are affected by nighttime wetting
Nighttime wetting is more common in boys
Nighttime wetting is hereditary…there is a 77% chance that a child will wet the bed if both parents did as a child
Nighttime wetting goes away in time. Just as children develop fine motor skills and language skills at different rates, they develop bladder control on their one schedules, as well
After chatting with Michele I am now equipped with the knowledge, tips and advice I need to tackle nighttime wetting. We’ll be approaching things a little differently with having a “non-reaction” reaction which you can hear all about in the podcast and I’ll also be looking into taking the next step with using products like the new extra-small GoodNites® Bedtime Pant which are specifically designed for younger children transitioning from potty training to increase comfort.
From a young age I always knew that I wanted to work in radio and when I was 16, I made it happened! Over the years I worked at a number of radio stations (on-air and behind the scenes in promotions and marketing) and for a while I was out of the industry. 3 months ago, that all changed. I was given an opportunity that I just couldn’t say no to and so I returned to my old stomping ground at Corus Radio Toronto as the host of the NEW and much needed show on Talk Radio AM640…The Parenting Show (thanks to executive producer Sandra Carusi).
We all know that being a parent isn’t easy…it’s scary, it’s exciting, it’s overwhelming, it’s crazy but it’s definitely not easy! As the saying goes “it takes a village to raise a child” and The Parenting Show is exactly that village that they speak about. It’s your hub for all things parenting covering topics and issues for parents and parents-to-be, from getting geared up for parenthood, dealing with newborns, toddlers, tweens, teens to getting them ready for adulthood. Whatever stage you find yourself at, we’ve got you covered. It’s our way to give you the inside look on what parenting is all about with real life experiences, stories and guests. It for parents like US and I’m sure you’ll love it!
So give it a listen and be sure to join us every Sunday at 7pm EST (right before Inside Jokes with Sandra Carusi) on Talk Radio AM640 for a parenting show like no other you’ve heard before! We’ll laugh, we’ll cry and we’ll get real!
This past Wednesday was Pink Shirt Day; a day when we proudly wear pink shirts in honour and support of anti-bullying. Bullying is a major issue and sadly it’s not getting any better which is why we need to create awareness and ban together to put an end to it.
Did you know that…
Canada has the 9th highest rate of bullying in the 13-years-olds category on a scale of 35 countries
At least 1 in 3 adolescent students in Canada have reported being bullied recently
Among adult Canadians, 38% of males and 30% of females reported having experienced occasional or frequent bullying during their school years
47% of Canadian parents report having a child victim of bullying
Any participation in bullying increases risk of suicidal ideas in youth
The rate of discrimination experienced among students who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans-identified, Two-Spirited, Queer or Questioning (LGBTQ) is three times higher than heterosexual youth
Girls are more likely to be bullied on the internet than boys
7% of adult internet users in Canada, age 18 years and older, self-reported having been a victim of cyber-bullying at some point in their life
The most common form of cyber-bullying involves receiving threatening or aggressive e-mails or instant messages and has been reported by 73% of victims
Those are just a few of the many scary stats that are out there. Bullying is real and doesn’t discriminate against age, sex, religion, sexual preference, or race. I hear cases of it at Samantha’s school with kids as young as 4 years old, with my nieces and nephews who are tweens and teens and hell, just a few years back I was a target amongst a group of online moms through social media. It’s name calling, it’s shoving and pushing, teasing, spreading rumours and lies, attacking and making fun of people in person and on social media. It’s sending threatening texts and emails and sadly the list doesn’t end there.
Something needs to be done to put an end to this all and the answer starts with YOU!
Wednesday evening I had the honour of being invited to attend the very first Pink Shirt Day concert at Vaughan Mills Mall from our friends at GIRL TALK Empowerment. It was simply fantastic! The vibe and energy was amazing and positive! They had a “Kindness Never Goes Out Of Style” pop up shop set up where people were able to go in and purchase a pink tee, take some fun pics and leave an inspiring message on their pink wall. The concert was the main event and rightfully so! Hosted by GIRL TALK Empowerment founder Katie Zepperi and featuring a Q&A session with YouTube star Meg DeAngelis and music from Ryland James and Tyler Shaw. Each of the young stars shared stories, experiences and positive messages with the crowd. Their message to be kind, to treat others as you would want to be treated and to stand up against bullying whether you are the victim or a witness, was something that hit close to home for many of the people who were there. It was exactly what these young people as well as the adults there needed to hear.
Bullying needs to end here and now! No more of this crap and no more of standing by and watching it happen! WE need to do something about it and WE need to start now! We as parents need to teach our kids right from wrong and lead by example because they are watching and learning from us. Our kids are listening to the words we are speaking and more importantly are watching our actions so we can’t just talk the talk, we actually need to walk the walk. If we say one thing but do the other what message our we sending our children?
So I decided to share a few tips with you Mammas and Papas because let’s face it, everything starts at home so if we can get it right, then it will help lead our kids in the right direction.
Show respect to one another in and outside of the home
Be kind because kindness is contagious
Be aware of your words and actions especially in front of your children
When you see someone being bullied DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT and lend a helping hand
In a world where people feel entitled and it’s easy to hide behind cell phones, computer screens and social media accounts, it’s important to spread the message of kindness and love rather than one of hurt and hate. Remember it just takes YOU to make a difference and if each one of us commits to that, than think of what we can accomplish together in this fight against bullying.
Special thanks to Katie Zepperi of GIRL TALK Empowerment and Vaughan Mills for putting on this stellar event and inviting me to tag along! Much love to everyone and wishing you all a fab and oh so CHIC day xoxo.
Let me start by saying that I love my kids more than life itself. They are my life, my world, my everything! Now what I’m about to say may come as a shock to maybe 1 or 2 of you but to the majority, I’m probably preaching to the choir. People may judge…well fuck who am I kidding, of course they will because it’s the norm these days but it’s a good thing that I don’t give a shit because I’m gonna say it anyways.
I need a day, just 1 day, a fuckin day to myself, for ME, with no one around! No kids, no husband, NO ONE! As Mammas we carry these kids around for 40 weeks which is 10 months not 9 (who ever came up with the 9 month shit was probably a man), deliver them either vaginally or via c-section and let’s be honest here…neither tickle or are a walk in the park, then the minute they are born, we are with them pretty much 24/7. Our lives change gears, it’s now all about them not us, it’s about making sacrifices and doing what we need to do to make sure they are happy and most of all healthy. We go through breastfeeding or trying to and again painful as fuck in the beginning and draining like no man could ever imagine. We worry about them every waking hour and even when we sleep. At night, the slightest change in their breath (which we an hear from down the hall and 3 rooms away) has us jumping out of bed and running to their side to make sure they are ok. We pick them up when they fall, kiss their boo boo’s and do our best to raise them with a good head on their shoulders. When they are sick we want them to feel better and it kills us inside knowing that sometimes shit is beyond our control and there isn’t much we can do besides hold their hands and give them tons of hugs, kisses and let them know that Mamma is right there with them. It’s a pretty hard job being a Mamma, it’s a selfless job! It’s a job that doesn’t come with pay, vacation days or sick days! Sick days? What the fuck are sick days?! Sick days don’t exist for us. We do however get rewarded in many other ways…through hugs and kisses and the I love you’s that are said in their little voices and of course seeing their faces light up and smiles that appear when we are the first thing that they see in the morning.
Now with all of that said I’m tried, I’m exhausted and I’m not saying I don’t wanna be a Mamma anymore. I’m just saying I need a day off. A day where I can go pee by myself without my entourage, a day where I can make and eat the meals I make (warm) without little people pulling at my legs or fighting in the background. A day where I can go without getting pee’d on, shit on, barfed on or have their snot and dirty mouths rubbed all over me. A day where I can sleep in, take a shower without rushing, pick up that book I bought months ago that I haven’t been able to crack open yet…a day where I don’t have to run and hide in the bathroom just so I can have 3 minutes of peace and quiet (which by the way doesn’t work cuz the little shits always find you).
The pressures and day to day shit that we Mammas feel is pretty insane and men (well with the exception of the few who are home raising their kids) have NO FUCKIN’ CLUE what it’s like. It doesn’t matter if you are a stay at home Mamma, work from home Mamma (like me), or career Mamma, everything falls on us. The kids get sick at daycare or school we’re the first ones there. Doctor appointments…it’s us, extra curricular activities…yup, us too. We’re usually the ones preparing meals too and although it may not be anything fancy it’s food and it’s warm and they’re fed. My house is a mess. I don’t know whether I’m coming or going and worst of all, us Mammas are made to feel guilty (gotta love the Mamma guilt) for wanting some solo time.
Tomorrow is December 1st and while all the Mammas are getting ready for the holiday season I’m here prepping for my class tomorrow, grading assignments and of course getting distracted with facebook. To be honest I didn’t even realize that tomorrow is the 1st of the month, UNTILLLL I scrolled through my facebook newsfeed.
Ok seriously, am I the only Mamma out there that doesn’t buy her kids advent calendars or have the elves already in position and with a “HEY, I’M BACK!” note for the kids? I’m looking around my house and I don’t even have one single Christmas item out, let alone the Christmas Tree set up. I do have the Christmas lights outside but let’s get real that was THE HUSBAND’s doing not mine.
Does this make me a bad Mamma? Should I stop typing to go find the elves, write a note and call THE HUSBAND to stop at Shoppers on the way home from hockey to grab whatever advent calendars he can find? Is this what the kick off to the holiday season has become? Advent calendars…chocolates, toys or books? Elves…boy or girl or both? What about Elf clothes? Do we dress them up? Which outfit? And OMG how should we position them? Is all this shit really going to make a difference? Sure it’s fun, we have Elves too but do I go all ape shit crazy over them and follow a pinterest calendar to have them in cool and different positions each day? No, not really. There are days where I even forget to move the stupid things. Yes, OMG I admitted it…write me a ticket haha.
So, tell me am I a bad Mamma for being so chill about this stuff and just taking it easy and or is it perfectly fine? Please tell me I’m not alone 😉 lol.
The weight loss industry is a multi-billion dollar industry. The reason for this is because people are being misguided. Most people who are overweight agree with the following statement. “When I am sad or stressed, I eat a lot. When I am happy, I eat well.” Why then are people so focused on FOOD when it comes to weight loss? It has been my experience and reality that addressing the underlying emotions that influence food choices is most essential.
Let’s discuss some of the reasons why you are not losing weight and keeping it off.
1. You don’t do a good job at nourishing your emotions. It’s not completely your fault. You may have been raised in a family where your emotional needs were not met. From a young age, you might have realized that when you were sad or anxious, no one was there to comfort you or listen to you and so you turned to food. This pattern of emotional eating to help you cope with your emotions stays with you and the habit strengthens as you get older. Unless you make the connection and tend to your emotional needs in other ways, you may always struggle with excess weight.
2. You are too stressed out. Most people I see in my office are overwhelmed with life. They work full time jobs, try to juggle family, friends, relationships, everyday stresses etc. People today fill their days with a “to-do” list that only superwoman can accomplish. What are you accomplishing if you are stressed, unhappy and overweight? When you set out to lose weight and change your habits, you need to make yourself a priority. It involves you freeing up time for yourself and saying “NO” to the things that get in your way.
3. You lack self-love. “How can I love myself when I have a lot of fat on my hips and belly?” says my patient. “Why not? You are more than your flesh”, I say. Once you learn to love yourself unconditionally (that means no matter your size), you can begin the healing process. Here is the reality, only good can come from self-love. It is a process that takes time and some hand holding, but when you have love for yourself, all your decisions reflect that love. For example; a woman who loves herself will not stuff her face with chocolate and ice cream. A woman who loves herself will want to move her body, address her emotions and eat healthier food. Alternatively, a person who hates themselves is more likely to have negative thoughts and negative emotions which lead to poor eating habits. Make sense? Why wouldn’t you choose love?
4. You think FOOD is the problem. Food is part of the problem. More importantly, it is your relationship with food that is the problem. Food is quick, easy and accessible, especially under stressful times. It seems way easier to eat pizza and chips than to express your emotions to a friend. It might be easier in the short run, but very damaging in the long run. You don’t need another fancy diet plan that tells you to avoid gluten and wheat and dairy (unless of course you have an allergy to them). You need to assess the relationship you have with food first and fix it.
5. You keep looking outside yourself for help. So many people are looking for quick fixes, drugs, diet pills, diet plans, personal trainers, nutritionist, doctors, to “fix” them. Asking for help is great, but a lot of people don’t fully understand that they hold all the answers to their problems. I want you to feel empowered in your weight loss journey. I want you to understand that healing starts when you look within yourself to address your feelings, wants and needs. One size does not fit all when it comes to losing weight. You hold the key to your weight loss success. I just help you unlock your potential.
Why am I so passionate about this topic? For many years, I struggled with my weight and was desperately searching for ways to lose it. I tried all sorts of diets and seeked out all kinds of help with no success. When I began to look within, I realized what I needed. It wasn’t pills or strict diets. It was self-love, respect and emotional balance. I started an exploration within myself which involved addressing my emotions, negative thoughts, limiting beliefs, and poor self-image. Through a process, I ultimately created a healthier environment within myself. My outer reality began to reflect my inner loving self. Weight loss happened almost immediately and effortlessly without much concern about food. It truly was a remarkable experience and I can’t begin to tell you how freeing it is. I wish the same for you.
You’re pregnant and counting down till that 40 week mark but for some their little ones decide to come along much sooner. Today is World Prematurity Day, a day dedicated to raise awareness for all the babies who are born prematurely worldwide.
The arrival of your baby is an exciting and joyous time but for parents of premature babies it’s also a worrisome and scary time. These babies are vulnerable, sensitive and need care around the clock. The hospitals and staff have the medicine and machines which are an important part of their treatment but they are discovering just how important and critical the human touch element is when it comes to newborn care and development. Many times the Mammas aren’t able to be there around the clock to provide skin-to-skin hugs and that is why our good friends at Huggies created No Baby Unhugged. This program is an initiative designed to help hospitals ensure that all babies get the hugs they need, even when Mamma can’t be there.
No Baby Unhugged directly supports NICUs in providing premature babies with the hugs they need to thrive. We’ve all heard about the amazing benefits of skin-to-skin which include improved oxygen levels and pain tolerance, stabilized body temperatures, improved sleep, brain development and more. For premature babies, skin-to-skin also positively influences their short-term and long-term development.
(click on image above to view the full document from the Canadian Association of Paediatric Health Centres)
Through this amazing program, Huggies has provided $50,000 in funding to two Canadian hospital, with more planned. So far Huggies has partnered with Cape Breton Regional Hospital in Sydney, Nova Scotia and Southlake Regional Health Centre in Newmarket, Ontario, offering funding to cover hugging chairs and stations, along with dozens of Hugger Volunteers in the neonatal intensive care units to help ensure all babies get the hugs they need. Over 600 babies are admitted to the hospitals each year, where hundreds of hours of care are offered by trained volunteers. Click on the videos below and see for yourself on how these No Babies Unhugged hospitals are making a difference.
Our hormones dictate how we feel, think, eat, sleep, respond, urinate, defecate, menstruate, lose or gain weight….might I go on….They are essential to life! Hormones are the messengers within us that make things happen to ensure we stay alive! Now I might add, most people today are walking around hormonally imbalanced. How can you tell? Here are a few clues that signal hormonal imbalance:
Facial Hair Growth in Women
Development of Gut/Breasts in Men
Lack of Energy
Low sex drive etc……..
So what can you do about it?
Here are 6 lifestyle modifications that you can start tomorrow! If you follow these steps, you will feel happier, healthier and more energetic for sure!
Get moving. Exercise has been shown to help with weight loss and also getting hormones balanced. It does not matter which are out of balance, as exercise is a fantastic way to help balance many. Choose an activity you enjoy and stick to it. It must be consistent exercise at least 4-5 times a week for 30 minutes.
Get sound sleep. When we sleep, this is when our body comes back to homeostasis, if we allow it. Disconnect from your TV, phone, email and anything that can affect melatonin production at least 45 minutes before bed. Limit caffeine after 2pm as this can affect sleep. Create a zen space for sleep and make it a priority and protect your sleep hours. They are necessary for hormonal balance. Aim for 7-9 hours. When you dream, this is a good sign of deep sleep. If you can remember them, even better!
Enjoy a High Fibre Diet: This includes mostly fruit, vegetables, nuts/seeds and legumes. This type of diet is very high in fibre, which gets the bowels moving and helps flush out excess estrogen levels.
This is a must, especially if cortisol (your stress hormone) is elevated. Choose any form of meditation and stick to it. This has to be a consistent practice. Aim for 20 minutes a day to find inner peace and hormone balancing.
Do a Liver Detox twice a year. Our liver recycles hormones and when it becomes “sluggish”, hormonal imbalances results. If you are unsure which one to do, reach out as I have the perfect cleanse aimed to target liver, kidneys and colon.
Remove sugar, dairy and high fat foods/meat from your diet. This is a MUST! If you need help with sugar cravings reach out. Keeping a food journal is a great way to become conscious of what you are eating, when and why.
(Get the scoop on your hormones by clicking here to fill out Dr. Jen’s “Hormonal Questionnaire”)
I am a proud Torontonian! I love the city in which I live and work. It’s filled with amazing people from different cultures who embrace their roots, there are tons of great places to visit, awesome places to eat, fantastic music, artists, andddddd I could go on but I’d be here forever. Today, I really just want to focus on one of my all time fave things about Toronto…Sick Kids Hospital.
We are so amazingly fortunate to have one of the best hospitals right here in our backyard. One that many travel to from not only across our great country but all over the world. It all started back in 1875 by a group of women who rented out a house in downtown Toronto, set up some beds…6 to be exact and Sick Kids was born! This hospital has done sooooo much, the history on this place is just amazing. They are known world wide for their groundbreaking work and have a reputation like no other.
Sick Kids treats kids of all ages who are battling all different types of illnesses including the rarest of the rare and most serious. For some kids they are in and out, others have a short stay and some live there for months on end. These kids, their parents and the Sick Kids staff are truly amazing. Their reality isn’t an easy one and takes a lot of courage and strength.
Recently the hospital started to put up images of kids standing brave and tall with a big “VS” behind them and today they launched the video for their newest campaign and BEST campaign I’ve ever seen. It’s called ‘Sick isn’t weak’ and well I could tell you about it but I think the best thing to do is press play and watch and see for yourself!
To all these superheroes (the kids) and their parents I applaud you…keep on fighting the fight because you can do it! And to the staff…from the admin people, social workers, nurses, doctors, surgeons, anesthesiologist and everyone in between THANK YOU! Thank you for all that you do, day in and day out.