The Season of GIVING is here!

The hustle and bustle of Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone. Maybe it kick started some holiday shopping for you while you picked up gifts for loved ones or maybe you used it as an opportunity to purchase a few things for yourself. Now that that’s out of the way, what about helping people who need an extra hand? What about giving?

Today marks the start of the giving season. It’s Giving Tuesday, the one Tuesday in the year that thousands of Canadians give to a cause they care most about. So what is it that YOU care most about? This is the exact question that I’ve been asking myself. Of all the causes and people that I can help, who’s at the top of my list? It’s definitely something that has to do with mothers and children. After becoming a mother myself I’ve realized just how fortunate we are here in Canada. We have tons of amazing programs and support groups during and post pregnancy. We have great health care during our pregnancy and again post. And our children should they need, have one of the best hospitals around. Everything we could possibly need or want is many times just a phone call or short drive away. But it isn’t like this for everyone and that’s what breaks my heart.

About a month ago I was out with some friends and Cuso International was mentioned. I had never heard of Cuso before…what is Cuso? What do they do? What are they all about? Well let me share what I learned about Cuso that night.

Screen Shot 2017-11-26 at 11.07.00 PMCuso International is an organization that has been around for over 50 years and has been doing some great work in countries all over the world. Countries where people and communities are affected by poverty, exclusion and inequality like Ethiopia. Did you know that more than 80% of women in Ethiopia give birth without a skilled health worker which means that the majority of mothers have no help if they face complications before, during or after giving birth. This could mean serious injury, illness and at times losing their lives. A woman in Ethiopia is 55x more likely to die during childbirth than a woman in Canada. These mothers as well as babies are losing their lives from causes that are easily preventable with the basic health care and resources that we often take for granted here in Canada. Pretty scary right?!

How about this as some food for thought…

  • In Ethiopia there is 1 doctor for 26,943 people and 1 nurse or midwife for 4,237 people
  • In Ethiopia maternal mortality rate: 482 out of every 100,000 mothers
  • In Ethiopia under-five mortality rate: 59 out of every 1,000 births
  • In Canada there is 1 doctor for 484 people and 1 nurse or midwife for 102 people
  • In Canada maternal mortality rate: 7 out of every 100,000 mothers
  • In Canada under-five mortality rate: 5 out of every 1,000 births

Screen Shot 2017-11-26 at 11.10.56 PMCuso International is making a difference. Their volunteers are going into these countries and offering a wide range of skills, both medical and non-medical. They’re improving the quality of health care in their facilities and are empowering women and men to make informed health decisions. This means that with more training and better hospital protocols, health workers in places like Pawe Hospital (in Ethiopia) can recognize danger signs earlier, treat them faster and help more moms deliver their babies safely.

This is exactly what we need, we need more Cuso International volunteers to help these mothers and children. Seriously, think about it! Could you imagine what it would be like to live in their world for just a minute. To know that you can lose your life or your child lose theirs and for reasons that can be easily avoided is heart wrenching. So this Giving Tuesday, think about Cuso International and help support the Cuso CAN Fund…help save the lives of moms and babies around the world.

This is your chance to make a difference and help a fellow Mamma. To know that you are the reason she got the help, support and care that she needed in her pregnancy and can hold her child safely in her arms is a gift you can give that you can’t put a price tag on. Your monthly gift will be multiplied by 10, providing even more women and children with life saving health care.

Will you join the Giving Tuesday movement today and help support Cuso CAN Fund?

For more information and to make a donation to be sure to visit them at

Disclosure: This post has been sponsored by Cuso CAN Fund but the opinions expressed are my own.

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The Parenting Show is HERE!

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!

For more info on The Parenting Show visit us online,
“LIKE” us on facebook and listen to past shows on ourTor podcast.

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3 Things No One Tells You About Postpartum Recovery

Guest Blog Written By: Denise Chiriboga of FitTritious

You’ve heard it said before “if I knew what I know now….”
For me, it’s about my postpartum recovery and returning to fitness.

Here are three things I wish I knew about postpartum recovery before I had my children. If I knew what I know now, things would have looked A LOT differently.

ONE. I wish someone would have told me that my midwife’s 6 week postpartum checkup releasing me from her care DID NOT mean that I could go back to the same exercises I was doing before I got pregnant, or when I was pregnant.

If I had known, I wouldn’t have gone balls to the wall back to running and kickboxing and would have saved myself from embarrassing leaky bladder episodes every time I jumped, sneezed, laughed, or coughed.

TWO. I wish someone had told me that the body’s spontaneous healing happens in the first 8 weeks after birth.

If I had known, I would have helped my body heal by wearing my belly wrap Every. Single. Day.

THREE. I wish someone would had told me that it’s NOT normal for my belly to grow throughout the day making me look 6 months pregnant 5 months after I had my baby.

If I had known that this is a sure sign of abdominal separation, (aka mummy tummy) which is an actual condition called diastasis recti abominus, I could have gotten help earlier.

If I had known that all of these issues were not ‘just normal after having a baby’ and instead had known the signs and symptoms of core and pelvic floor dysfunction, I would have seen a professional right away.

And by professional, that brings more questions. Exactly what type of professional am I talking about?

Is it your family doctor?

Or that medical clinic that is promoting the latest fat freezing or tummy tuck procedure?

Or is it that hardcore ‘no pain, no gain’ bootcamp trainer at the gym who’s riding your @$$ like crazy?

The answer is none of the above.

The right medical professional to see is a pelvic floor physiotherapist, as well as a trained fitness professional like myself who is knowledgeable and educated in helping moms heal from the inside out. We’re talking strengthening the core and pelvic floor. Don’t forget that you’re baby was sitting and moving all over your womb; your organs were displaced, and everything doesn’t just snap back to the way it was. Even if you feel like everything is ok down there, you don’t want to do anything in the gym that will make you take a few steps backward in your healing process (like I did).

So I urge you, if you are pregnant, and haven’t yet seen a pelvic floor physiotherapist, go see one (you can find one near you by visiting And if you’re a new mom and experience any of the issues mentioned above, or even if you haven’t experienced any of the above symptoms, it doesn’t mean you’re home free – get checked out, and make sure if you engage in any fitness classes, that they are safe for postpartum moms – meaning there is no high intensity training (ie: no bootcamps, no jumping, or running or jumping jacks, and definitely no crunches) and ensure that the focus is on re-training the core and pelvic floor. You can be sure of this if your trainer or instructor is Bellies Inc. Core Confidence certified like myself. Find out more about my postpartum Strong Mom classes here


Bio: Vendor Denise Chiriboga, aka The FitTritionist is a personal fitness trainer and registered holistic nutritionist specializing in everything fitness & nutrition for pre&postnatal moms. She’s the founder of Strong Mom fitness classes and takes great care in helping moms heal postpartum issues such as urinary incontinence, mummy tummy, and back pain with fitness, nutrition and functional movement. To find out more about Denise’s classes and get The Flat Belly After Baby Guide visit

For more from FitTritious be sure to check them out online,
“LIKE” her on Facebook and “FOLLOW” her on Instagram and Twitter!

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No Baby Unhugged


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.

product1_alt2The 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.

Screen Shot 2016-11-17 at 11.24.46 AM

(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.

Want to learn more about the No Baby Unhugged program and become a No Baby Unhugged Mamma? Click here to sign up and show your support for hugs.

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What you need to know if you are preparing for MOTHERHOOD

Guest Blog Written By: Dr. Jen Cisternino Naturopathic Doctor

Being a mother is both a gift and a blessing. This role is an honor and divine creation. The process of procreation is so delicate and beautiful. Once conception occurs in a woman’s body, the rest of her pregnancy is taken care of by the subtle love and energy of the Higher Spirit. Have you ever sat back and been amazed at how carefully and precisely the infant develops in 9 months in the womb? From the beautiful creation of cells that come together to form the brain, ears, eyes, heart and all the organs, glands and bones that it needs to live and thrive. It truly is a miracle and a gift from above. What amazes me is that this process happens in the perfect time without the need for human interference. The mother does not need to think about creating all these tiny body parts for her child. She does not have to feed her child or make sure he/she sleeps. The one responsibility God gives a mother is to ensure that she foster a healthy environment in which the baby can grow. What does this environment look like? I will share with you my beliefs based on books by Dr. Northrup, Louise Hay and from my clinical experiences and innate wisdom.

  1. A healthy, fertile environment must be TOXIN-FREE. Most women need to detoxify the body before pregnancy and I do highly suggest this. Part of the detoxification process is ensuring that the body is clear of things like:
  • The Birth Control Pill – stop for at least 3 months before conception
  • Smoking (Tobacco and Marijuana) or any other Drug- stop for at least one year before; this includes being around people who smoke- 2nd hand smoke is just as harmful.
  • Alcohol – remove for at least 3 months before conception
  • Caffeine – remove for at least 3 months before conception
  • Remove CHEMICALS AND JUNK FOOD: Remove saturated fats, trans fats, aspartame, fast food, packaged food, artificial dyes, pesticides, chemicals, preservatives and even suspected Food Allergies (we can test for this in my clinic) for at least 6 months and continue as a part of your lifestyle.
  1. Ensure that you have all the VITAMINS and MINERALS you need to keep you and baby healthy and flourishing. There is a strong cultural belief in society that the mother should sacrifice everything for the sake of the child. A lot of women with this belief will not take vitamins because they figure the baby will take what they have leaving them depleted and this is ok. It is NOT ok. This can lead to a lot of negative health consequences like thyroid disorder, weight gain, post-partum depression, anxiety and more. How is a mother to care for her child, if she cannot care for herself? You can ensure that you are getting adequate doses of minerals by taking a good quality multivitamin. I meet a lot of women who take Materna and I will mention that it is not the highest quality vitamin out there. Most women who take this one-a day vitamin feel very nauseous; hence they stop. Overloading the body with vitamins all at once (one a day) can upset any stomach, as if the hormones in pregnancy aren’t enough. I recommend all women take a high grade Prenatal for at least one year before pregnancy. The vitamin I suggest is dosed one per meal to ensure easy digestion and absorption. (If you want to take a test to see your mineral content, we can do this in my clinic with a hair sample).
  2. A healthy environment is one that is STRESS-FREE: Did you know that when a woman is pregnant and experiencing stress, less blood flows to the growing fetus? Chronic stress can starve a child of essential nutrients. Did you also know that the stress hormones that circulate in a woman’s body can also circulate in the fetus? Can you imagine giving birth to a baby who is already stressed? We have been cultured to believe that until a baby is born, there is not much to do but wait and go for ultrasounds and take some vitamins. WRONG! With this awareness, do your best to manage your stress. It is easier to find healthy ways to cope with stress NOW before you decide to birth a being into this world. I believe this is why acupuncture works so well in my office because it gives women a chance to relax, understand their stresses and let go of any negative emotions.
  3. Get to a HEALTHY WEIGHT: Women who are overweight increase their risk of complications during pregnancy and may have more difficulty conceiving. Most women I meet who are overweight (I was there once too) tend to have a negative self- image, low self-esteem and poor lifestyle habits. If having children is a necessity then let that motivate you to take the right steps to lose weight. (I offer a lot of support in this area so reach out) The healthier you become in mind, body and spirit, the healthier your child will be. Did you know that a child born to a mother with an eating disorder will be more likely to develop one themselves?
  4. Remove TOXIC EMOTIONS: I am referring to the emotions of fear, guilt, sadness, anger, hurt, shame, jealousy, judgment. Imagine creating a pure innocent baby in that toxic environment. The mental/emotional aspect of pregnancy is often overlooked but it must not be. The only way to release negative emotions is to become aware of them and take the appropriate steps to resolve the thoughts and beliefs that tend to accompany the emotion. In your marriage/relationship, if you are having arguments, having a baby is not going to resolve the arguments. Resolve the issues before you have the child. This may take time, but it is so essential and freeing. Forgiveness is really the only way to release your past and move forward.
  5. Be prepared to BREAST FEED: Breast feeding your baby is one of the surest ways to cultivate a healthy loving environment in which baby and mother bond and the baby feels safe and secure in her world with her needs being met. Not only that, milk from the breast is the cleanest (if your diet is also clean). Breast fed babies tend to have a healthy weight and decreased risk of allergies and asthma among many other conditions. I know some women who try really hard to breast feed but are unable to produce enough milk. If this is the case, don’t hold emotions of guilt or anger. Let it go and know you tried your best.
  6. Practice unconditional SELF LOVE and SELF ACCEPTANCE: This is a must and not only will it help you to conceive, it will help you foster a healthy environment for your child to flourish. Did you know that the more you love yourself, the more people feel loved by you. How amazing is that? You wouldn’t want to withhold love from your child, so don’t withhold it from yourself.  I ask that you look back on your childhood and explore the relationship you had with your mother. What was it like? Did you wish it was different? If so, what would you change? Try to emanate those qualities that you feel would have provided you with a more loving foundation in which to build self esteem and healthy values. Most people report that they wished their mothers were more loving and supportive and less controlling and judgmental. Children are very perceptive and soon enough they will start to look and act like you. Be the best version of you for you and baby.
  7. Assess your DESIRE to have a child. Be honest with yourself. Are you ready? Are you scared? Do you feel pressured? Have a heartfelt conversation with yourself, God and also with your partner. Some people decide to have a child because it is what society puts pressure on if you are female and over 25 years old. Some people have a child out of fear because they believe that if they reach a certain age they won’t be fertile. There is a lot of information floating around about infertility but don’t let that scare you. Please don’t let this fear get into your beliefs, because trust me, your beliefs affect your physical body. If you cultivate healthy thoughts, self love and nourish yourself emotionally and physically you are well on your way to becoming a mom!

For more from Dr. Jen Cisternino Naturopathic Doctor
and to book a free 15 min consult be sure to check her out online,
“LIKE” her on Facebook and “FOLLOW” her on Instagram!

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Eviction day is TOMORROW…GET OUT!!!


Before we get started I want to dedicate this blog entry to my sweet loving husband Nick who if he touches me again and get’s me pregnant I may just kill him 😉 . I love you hunny xoxo!

This is it, around 3 and I’m soooooo done! Yes, a child is a blessing that’s for sure and what a woman’s body can do it’s crazy amazing I get that too but to go as far as saying I love being pregnant…you won’t hear me utter those words…EVER lol! I HATE being pregnant, ya I said it, HATE! Let me break it down for you so maybe you can get a better idea of where I’m coming from here.


  • No sleep from day 1 – It’s so bad I don’t even need to take a pregnancy test to know I have a bun in the oven.
  • Gaining weight – Who doesn’t love getting fat? Ya, not me and I don’t care if it’s baby weight or not.
  • Heartburn – Yes, I especially love this in the middle of the night when you want to hurl.
  • Nausea – Because wanting to puke your guts out all the time feels fantastic.
  • Swelling – I’m not complaining so much this time as I haven’t swelled up like my past pregnancies but blowing up like a Good Year blimp or the Nutty Professor (that’s what Nick called me when I was pregnant with Samantha my first) is always a great look for us Mammas wouldn’t you say? LOL
  • Peeing 24/7 – Because the most comfortable place for baby is on your bladder and especially the middle of the night for some reason. You can sit on the toilet for 20 min just for a drip of urine to come out but you feel like you could pee out a river. Someone get me some Depends STAT!
  • Getting beat up from in the inside – Awwwww baby kicks! NO, not awwwww at all it’s facking annoying especially when they kick you in a vagina…like really kid?
  • Maternity Clothes – Ugly, gross and nasty unless you find a good maternity store like Luna Maternity & Nursing (ya of course I’m gonna plug one of our Vendors haha).
  • 10 Months – 9 months is a big fat lie…do the math it’s 40 weeks and 40 weeks is 10 months. I bet you it was a guy who came up with this 9 month bull shit!
  • Labour and Delivery – Because you didn’t just go through 10 months of garbage let’s throw more pain and agony your way.
  • Recovery – Oh sweetie it’s not over yet, now you need to recover! Whether it be from a vaginal birth where you TEARRRRR or a c-section where they cut through all your stomach muscles and have a 6 week recover period…it’s fantastic 😉 . The best is when you have other children at home already and the doctor tells you to take it easy and not lift anything heavy haha.
  • Stretch Marks – Because what fun is pregnancy without a souvenir to take with you for the rest of your life.
  • GIANORMOUS UTTERS – Wait did I say utters? I meant boobs! Because being a woman wasn’t hard enough let’s be part cow now too.


  • THE ARRIVAL OF YOUR BABY – Once your little shit head is out you don’t forget the pain but they do put a smile on your face and make it worth while.

So there you have it some con’s (SOME…cuz if I were to list them all I’d be here forever) and a pro. Maybe now people get why I’m not such a fan of this thing called pregnancy 😉 . This might also explain why I told my OB to not bother tying my tubes during my c-section tomorrow but just to TAKE THEM instead lol.

Now only if science could give us Mammas a break and let the Papa’s out there experience this, I doubt they’d last long but it sure would be fun to watch! Nick dear I know you’re reading this and as much as you joke and laugh at me I can tell you that you wouldn’t even last a day in my shoes…check out this video from The Try Guys and I dare you to even attempt it haha.

(thanks to Chic Mamma Carmen for this awesome video)

Now off to pack cuz this kid is coming tomorrow and I’m the WORST procrastinator in the world. Eviction day is almost here little one and it’s time to GET OUT cuz Mamma wants her body back and remember to be nice to me cuz I’m the one with milk on tap not Papa Nick. LOVE YOU xoxo


Pregnant & Mourning


2 months have come and gone and one thing remains the same, you are not here 🙁 .

I’m not sure where to start or what to say, hell I don’t even know if I’m coming or going these days. I’ve even be debating writing about this for a long time now but I feel like it’s something I need to do, not for my readers but for myself. A vent, release, therapy…if that makes any sense. I’m not here to sugar coat shit cuz that’s exactly what I’ve been doing for the past 4 years. It’s time to let it out and be brutally honest…especially for myself.

This month will mark 4 years since we found out my father had Cancer and although I would count my blessings each and every day, smile and laugh, my life changed. During those 4 years we had many happy times like the births of my two girls and finding out I was pregnant with our third child (arriving next week) but even with all of this, things were hard as I knew my Papa’s time was ticking. We always tried to make the most of it and our time spent together but no matter what the big “C” was something that was real, there and stealing my daddy away from me. You see I come from a close knit family…2 amazing parents and 2 awesome older sisters. We have always been there for one another, see each other all the time, talk daily (numerous times a day to be honest) and end every conversation with “I LOVE YOU!”.

11807729_10154055697729838_5404111023222035475_o(taken on July 24th the day before my Daddy died…Me, My Papa & My Baby Bump)

My Papa was the world to me and still is! He and my mother immigrated here from Italy for a better life not only for themselves but for the family they were planing on having. With $100 in their pocket, sacrifices beyond sacrifices and a lot of hard work they made it happen. They provided for us and gave us the best life possible. They made sure we never went without and taught us that dreams do come true, family is the most important thing in life and if you want something go after it, work hard and never ever give up because it will happen.

My dad was a bricklayer by trade and worked his ass off for us…snow, rain, cold weather, hot and humid days, falling off scaffolds, he did it all and all for his family. I still remember my sisters and I racing to the door to see who could greet him first after a long day of work with a bottle of Molson Ex in hand. We were so blessed with such an amazing man to call our father!

I have so many amazing memories with my daddy like watching Belle and Sebastian cartoons with him after dinner, Sunday mass at St. Andrew’s Church followed visits to Grande Cheese, bike rides together at our old house, picking out my super puffy and tacky 80’s communion dress (which cost and arm and leg but he didn’t care cuz he just wanted me to happy), holiday parties in the basement, trips to Italy, learning to drive the Corsica LTZ, walking down the aisle with him by my side, our father daughter dance at my wedding, and so much more!

You see I was ALWAYS his little girl and still am at age 35…doesn’t matter that I’m now married with children of my own. Talking about my kids, I think he actually loved them more than me haha. Samantha was his little “Principessa” and Liliana his BFF was “Cookie Mia”. OMG I’ll never forget when he started to call Lily “Cookie Mia” and my mother would look at him and get mad saying stop calling her that but he would tell her to be quiet and leave him alone…well the nickname stuck and Lily loves it 🙂 .

11780061_10154075529519838_7790043093667074593_o(the last birthday card I got from my Papa)

So many memories and good times and although I’m grateful and blessed to have them I couldn’t be more pissed, angry, frustrated, annoyed, hurt, and sad because CANCER stole my daddy away from me, my mom, my sisters, my kids, nieces, nephews, son in laws, and most of all my unborn baby! I thought the past 4 years were hell, well they don’t even compare to these past few months. I’m constantly being given unwanted advice from people who are trying to help but really I could careless to hear it because bottom line is that he’s gone, he’s not coming back, and NO ONE knows how I feel and what I’m going through. I’ve heard it all let me tell you…everything from “he’s in a better place now”, “I know EXACTLY how you feel” to “try and relax, the baby can feel what you’re going through and it’s not good”. I just sit back bite my tongue and nod my head because God knows if I were to open my mouth and say what I was really thinking I would be considered the biggest bitch in the world. Yes, I know people are just trying to help and they think that by saying these things they are doing something good but let’s be honest it’s not and I don’t care to hear it at least not right now. It’s like when someone asks me “how are you?” I just wanna laugh in their face because let’s be honest they wanna hear “I’m great thanks, how are you?” not “I’m really fuckin shit and not doing well at all! I lost my dad, I’m pregnant and life at the moment is pretty crappy to be honest”. I know I probably sound like an angry, super emotional and hormonal pregnant woman and maybe I am but let’s be honest cuz what people think of me at the moment isn’t something that I’m caring about. I’m mourning the loss of one of the most important and greatest loves of my life and so I need to own this and do whatever it takes to try and get through it. It means that for the first time in a very long time I need to put myself first which isn’t easy to do as a mother.

People look at me, see me smile, laugh, continue to do my thing in the social media world and think oh look she’s doing well and she’s so strong but little do they know I’m dying inside and it’s all an act. There, the truth is out! I’m a mess, I can’t deal, can’t cope, can’t sleep at night and contrary to what people think and believe I am the far from strong.

There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of my dad. A song I hear, something someone says in passing, a memory that comes up, a photograph I see…they all remind me of him. I miss him dearly and although I was with him till the very end and told him all the time how much I loved him and he would say the same it doesn’t make things any easier. The last month of his life I was by his side…EVERY SINGLE DAY right till the very end and watching him take his final breath while holding his hand as my heart broke in a million pieces and tears streamed down my face was the most painful thing I’ve ever had to experience.

I miss you so much Daddy! Life has not been the same without you and yes at least you aren’t here suffering but I still wish you were here. We still had so much to do together…not just me and you but the kids too. I love you Papa, I always will and if the only way I can spend time with you these days is in my dreams then so be it cuz I will wait for you every night just to see your face, feel your touch or hear your voice.

Mi manchi tanto Papa e ti voglio bene assai xoxo


So, you’re trying for a BOY?!

1950s woman screaming with plugged ears annoying noise won't lis
For those of you with a girl or a few, you know exactly what I’m talking about! Hell, even those of you with boys probably get the same thing, except it’s…so, you’re trying for a girl?!

I must admit it’s one of the most annoying things to hear as a Mamma who expecting again. The minute people find out I’m pregnant it’s the first thing out of their mouth…”soooooo, you’re going for that boy eh!”. I never really did understand it and even though I smile and reply “no, not really haha” they probably see the look on me face which is really saying  “what the fack are you talking about and who even asks that?”. Or the other thing I hear a lot is “I bet Nick (that’s my hubby) is really hoping for that boy!” and again I think the look on my face says it all. I dunno maybe it’s the hormones but I’m pretty sure it’s just hearing the ignorant question again and again that sets me off lol. Why is this such a common question and assumption? Is a family not complete unless you have a son and daughter? Did I miss something? Will we have to go for baby #4 if it’s another girl? LOL

Want to know the HONEST truth? As parents of two beautiful girls we can honestly say that we would be happy with another girl or a boy. Personally, I come from a family of 3 girls so I know how amazing it is to have sisters and would love that for Samantha and Liliana. Nick adores his little girls and they go crazy for him so we both know he would be on cloud 9 to add another princess to the Papa Nick kingdom but on the same note who wouldn’t be ecstatic to have a little boy. The addition of a son to the family would be awesome! Bottom line is that boy or girl our family will be happy either way. So to answer the question of the hour, the only thing we’re trying for when it comes to a child is happy and healthy one 😉 .

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It’s FUN for the whole FAMILY!


As a parent planning fun stuff for the family isn’t always easy, so when I hear about great local events happening I always jump on them and of course spread the word 😉 .

Next weekend (Saturday, May 2nd) the Our Rugrats Expo is happening at the Trios Sportsplex Event Venue (located at 601 Cityview Blvd in Vaughan from 10:00am to 5:00pm) and we couldn’t be more excited! This family friendly event is geared towards children of all ages, parents, grandparents and parents to be. The best part is that it’s FREE!

They have so many amazing things planned for the day and of course not just for the little ones but for us parents and the parents-to-be as well. New this year to the show is the Pretty Mamma and Dapper Dad Zone where parents and parents-to-be can go to get pampered and have some fun with businesses like Arboone, Stella & Dot, It Works!, Golf Lab, Barber’s Cave and more!

Another new and exciting addition this year are the FOOD TRUCKS! Now who doesn’t love food trucks 🙂 . Everything from an ice cream to Mini Donuts and of course famous BeaverTails which aside from their signature sweet and delish pastries they have yummy french fries and hot dogs perfect for lunch or great to just snack on.  All stuff that you and your little ones will love after you build up an appetite inside running around and visiting all the great interactive activities for kids like bouncy castles, Reptilia meet and greet with the reptiles and of of course the Legoland Discovery play area which is bigger and better this year.

The Our Rugrats Expo has all your favourite vendors under one roof. It’s definitely the place to be and you can guarantee the whole family will leave happy.

While you’re there don’t forget to visit some of our amazing Vendors like VarageSale, Splashville, Juice Plus – Health and Family Come First, Petite & Posh and Glama Gal Tween Spa.

So mark your calendar because you won’t want to miss out on all the action and fun at the Our Rugrats Expo on Saturday, May 2nd.

Don’t forget to check out the Our Rugrats Expo on online,
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Creating a Beautiful Baby Nursery; Where to Splurge and where to Save

Guest Blog Written By: Yvonne Whelan of Inspired Spaces Design


Baby is on the way ~
You have a little one on the way and have to create a room for the bundle of love that is joining your world…where to start??? Some people cannot wait for this exciting challenge of decorating their little one’s rooms. Some want to run the other direction screaming as they are overwhelmed with where to begin. Regardless of into which end of the spectrum you fall, there is help and tips to make the task a little less daunting, and perhaps more cost effective. After all, your expenses are about to go up!

Where to start ~
When decorating a room, I like to start with the biggest pieces first. So for obvious reasons I think a crib and dresser are your first decisions.

Will you be buying all brand new? Is there a family/friend loaner crib? These should be your first decisions in mapping out your design.

Safety is paramount! ~
Do your homework. Well-made furniture is key to sleeping well at night, for you and for baby. Your crib should always meet safety regulations, so this is one area I would not skimp out on. Some older cribs are perfectly safe. Just do your research to make sure. You can even paint them. Paint has come such a long way and you would be surprised how safe it can be. There are new lead-free paints that are latex and washable, and guaranteed not to chip, so you don’t have to worry about your baby ingesting it. One last piece of advice on safety – as much as it dresses up a crib, stay clear of bumper pads.  Safety over style!

Fads are not here to stay ~
As much as we all love fads, it’s best to use them wisely. They will come and go so don’t base your entire room on a fad. Instead invest in some timeless pieces and add pops of the fad that you won’t feel bad about losing when it becomes dated. There are so many stores now that sell affordable accessories that you won’t mind putting them aside if you haven’t broken the bank purchasing them.

Themed Rooms ~
Be careful with themed rooms. These typically become the rooms both you and your child tire of quickly. Instead, if your child likes elephants (or whatever it might be) use them sparingly in a piece of art and a piggy bank…not all over the walls, bedding, everywhere. Trust me, their passions will change more often than you think, and this way you won’t be re-painting every 6 months.

Breathe New Life into Old Furniture ~
Don’t be afraid to scour an antique store or borrow some previous loved pieces from family and friends. Sometimes the most charming spaces are born out of mixed styles that are done right. Do not try and match a wood stain, it rarely works, instead, if you have a wooden crib and someone has given you a white dresser, paint it navy blue, or gray or pale yellow etc. Paint the frame of an old curved mirror and you will see it come alive. Change the hardware on the dressers to something whimsical. With a little elbow grease and effort you will have a very chic, unique nursery that has meaning to it.

Choose pieces that will grow with your Child ~
It may seem difficult to picture your child as a teenager, but that day will come all to soon and if you don’t choose wisely, you will be purchasing furniture again. So try and think long term as it will actually save you money in the end.

Maybe you purchase a convertible crib – I have seen some spectacular ones that are on the market. Single or queen? These are also now options in convertible cribs so consider your space and think about your child long term, you will thank yourself in the end!

The other tip I like to give is instead of buying a change table, which will be inevitably obsolete in your child’s room, purchase a dresser that can do double duty. You can put a change pad on top and when it’s no longer required just say bye bye to the pad.

Don’t Discredit Proper Lighting or Room Darkening ~
This is huge in my books if you want to truly sleep again! Make sure you invest in room darkening blinds and also curtains that are lined with room darkening material. Use these in conjunction with one another and I know you will thank me for this tip! Also, lighting brings so much to a room. So invest in a great chandelier or tasteful light fixture and always attach a dimmer to it, that way if you have to creep in at night to find something on the floor, you can turn the light on to the lowest setting and hopefully not wake up the little angel. A great table lamp is also important for those coveted storybook moments. Choose a colourful shade.

Accessories ~
Books always come to mind as they are both pretty and practical. Try and bring colour and fun into your accessories, but don’t go overboard. You want to have focal points and not a room that makes you dizzy with too much going on = sensory overload for your little one. Pick things that are stimulating and fun. After all this is a baby’s room.

Think about hiring a Designer ~
Although many people are HGTV’aholics with extreme tastes and a good eye, most people struggle with pulling things together. They know what they like but struggle with where to start. Having a plan is key to not getting side tracked. An experienced Designer/Decorator can save you money by giving you a plan to stick to. They can also steer you away from impulse decisions that will cost you in the end. They are privy to what can go wrong, what typically works and how to create harmony and flow in a room. Often, they also can purchase furniture and accessories at a discount they might share with you. You would be surprised at what can be achieved.

Have Fun ~
This is a time of excitement and joy, where every day brings a new first for you and baby. I wish you much luck, and the kind of tenderness and love only a newborn can bring.

For more from Inspired Spaces Design be sure to check them out on
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