Time passes but one thing will ALWAYS remain…


It’s a year, a fuckin year already and almost to the exact time that you took your last breath. We sat beside you holding onto you for dear life and feeling so helpless because there was NOTHING we could do to stop the inevitable from happening! It was a year ago today that I lost my Daddy, my Papa, and my Hero. No one told me it was going to be this hard, they sugar coat it and tell you shit like he’s not gone, he’s still with you or just give it some time, it will get better…you know the crap people say to make you feel better…things they think will make you feel better. The truth is that for me it didn’t but instead made things worst, especially when it came from the mouths of people who’s parents are alive and well. Sometimes you just don’t care to hear from people who know nothing about how I feel or what I’m going through. Am I still angry and upset over my father’s passing? Yes, of course…he was a HUGE part of my life and living without him hasn’t been easy.

Over the past year I’ve wanted to write about him more, not so much for those of you who come here to read my blog but for myself. I said I would blog for his birthday (June 10th) and then again on Father’s Day but I just couldn’t bring myself to it. I wanted to cherish those days and spend them reflecting back on my time with him and the memories I’m left with instead of typing away on my computer. I also debated about writing this today but here I am.

It’s been a shitty and hard year, one that I could have NEVER prepared myself for. There were days when I didn’t wanted to wake up and get out of bed, days when I was determined to laugh and smile even though I was dying inside, days when I would say up at night going through old pics balling my eyes out when the rest of the house was sounds asleep and even days when I needed a hug from him so bad that I would go to the cemetery and hug the stupid marble wall where his body lays as my tears streamed down the plaque that has his picture and name on it.

Papa I miss you so much! I wish you were here for our annual CNE visit, for Mamma’s birthday, to bring Samantha to school, to meet Marcus and watch him grown, to spend the holidays together, to share one last plate of pasta and ceci with you for San Giuseppe, to get one last Happy Birthday phone call from you, to come see you for your birthday, for you to be here for the kids birthdays, to be able to spend Father’s Day with you and for all the in betweens! I don’t want to go to mass tonight, I want you to be here so that we don’t have to plan stupid memorial masses for you. I want July 25th to be like any other boring and non eventful day, I don’t want to remember it as the day I lost YOU!

Time passes we all know that but one thing will ALWAYS remain and that is my love for you and yours for me! You are my Papa and always will be, doesn’t matter if you are here beside me holding my hand or up in heaven looking down on me. It’s all these things that will remain no matter how much time passes. Even as I sit here crying and writing I can hear you saying “ah Pina mia don’t cry, c’mon” and so I’m going to wipe these tears away for you Papa and do my best to be strong and smile because I was blessed with the most amazing dad in the world!

I love you sooooooo very much and that will never change!




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Tasty Tuesdays ~ Pounding out the Pestobilities

Guest Blog Written By: Jenny Arena from Fables and Focaccia


Tasty Tuesdays ~ Pounding out the Pestobilities

A garden full of glorious greens inspires many delectable thoughts during summer months. Scallions and scapes sautéed as a savory bed for fried eggs; zucchini grated into summer’s favorite bread, spicy green chilies adding heat to a plate of pasta; and fragrant basil leaves pounded into pesto. The recent bounty from our backyard garden prompted thoughts (and recipes) in fifty shades of green.

Glimmering emerald jars (well technically, plastic recycled ricotta containers, but that doesn’t sound nearly as glamorous) are among the most used in my kitchen, in fact pesto is a staple similar to the homemade sugo and seasoned breadcrumbs. Somehow, someway, its aromatic goodness makes its way into a myriad of meals.

download-2The word pesto comes from the Italian pestare meaning to pound or crush, referring to the original method of preparation, with mortar and pestle. While most credit this sauce to the Genovese of the northern Italian region of Liguria, it actually dates back to the ancient Romans. Moretum, a mixture of herbs and cheese (ground with a circular motion of the pestle in the mortar) combined with oil and vinegar, was a common spread that was eaten with bread. It is believed the main ingredient, basil, was introduced in India where the herb was first domesticated. The Ligurians adapted the recipe using a combination of basil, crushed garlic, grated Parmigiano or pecorino, pine nuts and olive oil, turning it into the classic Pesto Genovese.

While the word pesto conjures up images of the brilliant green and perfumed paste, it is actually more of a generic term for sauce that is made by pounding. Variations, including ones in other shades, and loaded with local flavors, exist across the peninsula. Other adaptations in verde include broccoli, mint, parsley and arugula and swap out the pine nuts with walnuts, almonds and even pistachios; the ingredients can change from region to region. Other popular pestos that hold their own alongside their green counterparts include the red pesto of Cinque Terre with its addition of sundried tomatoes to the classic basil recipe; Pesto Trapanese (also known as Pesto Siciliano) which is made with fresh tomatoes, blanched almonds and mint; and Pesto Calabrese which is made using peppers, chilies, tomato and ricotta. Another southern Italian variation is artichoke pesto made with artichokes and lemons.

The ingredients may be up for discussion, however the method is not. A true pesto purist would never use a chef’s knife to cut the basil or a food processor to blend the raw sauce, rather it must be prepared using the standard marble mortar and a wooden pestle that mashes the plant fibers into a paste, releasing the aroma and essential oils to get the true flavor.

Aside from its obvious use as a pasta sauce its versatility is incredible. It often gets tossed with spaghetti or penne but it makes a lovely layer in lasagne and adds a nice dimension to risotto. Because I make my pesto with basil and parsley it is the perfect flavoring agent for my Sunday sauce (everything that normally goes into a sauce is found in a couple of tablespoons of pesto) and even a minestrone. Adding a spoonful to bruschetta makes the diced tomatoes just sing, and it’s a dynamite dip when combined with cream cheese, Italian seasoning and chopped sundried tomatoes. It completely elevates pizza when used as the base sauce and topped with sundried tomatoes, marinated artichokes, roasted peppers, black olives and Parmigiano.

Forget the mayo (or maybe add it to the mayo) I often add it as a spread when making a sandwich or pressed panino (just fantastic with prosciutto, tomato, fresh mozzarella and spinach); and it makes a sensational stuffing (I have used it with fior di latte for a lovely stuffed chicken, layered it with prosciutto over a butterflied leg of lamb, and spooned into halved peppers). If it’s not filling my protein it’s topping it, such as my salmon before it gets baked or on my steak when it comes off the grill. It can also make sides simply shine, imparting its incredible flavors onto roast potatoes or mixed into a salad dressing. The only course it hasn’t yet found its way into, is dessert (unless of course you count my savory pesto biscotti).



4 cups fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts
2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese or Pecorino cheese
1 teaspoon coarse salt


1. Peel and chop the garlic. Pick and roughly tear the basil leaves, discarding the stalks. Finely grate the cheese.

2. Place the garlic, a pinch of salt and the basil leaves in a pestle and mortar (you may need to add the basil leaves in batches depending on the size of your mortar). Using the pestle begin to pound out the mixture. Add in the pine nuts and pound again. Add the grated cheese and slowly stream in the olive oil, stirring in a circular motion with the pestle until the sauce begins to bind. Continue to add oil until you achieve the desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper and enjoy.

3. If you do not have a mortar and pestle place all of the ingredients into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the pesto sauce comes together.

As you can see, when it comes to making use of this gloriously scented sauce, the pestobilities are endless. Buon Appetito!

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Why are Infertility rates on the Rise? What you can do.

Guest Blog Written By: Dr. Jen Cisternino Naturopathic Doctor


Infertility is defined as the inability for a couple to conceive after trying naturally for one year. In women older than 35, infertility is diagnosed after 6 months of regular, unprotected intercourse.

What is happening?

If you are a female, there are a number of the risk factors that may affect fertility.

  • Maternal age (after age of 35)
  • Medical conditions such as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
  • Endometriosis
  • Blocked fallopian tubes (often due to sexually transmitted diseases)
  • Fibroids or polyps in the uterus

If you are a male, risk factors that may contribute to infertility are:

  • Paternal age (although this does not affect men to the same extent as women, it can decrease sperm quality and levels of testosterone)
  • Medical conditions having to do with the male reproductive system
  • Exposure to sexually transmitted diseases

Risk factors for both include:

  • Being overweight or obese
  • Smoking
  • Drinking too much alcohol or caffeine
  • Cancer treatments (chemotherapy or radiation)

What about my career?

More women are entering the work force and delaying childbirth. If this sounds like you, I think it is important to consider your health, the amount of stress you have and how this can potentially affect your fertility. Sometimes we need to be reminded that the human body is not a machine and needs nourishment. Our bodies do not have any “on” or “off” switches. Being pregnant is no simple task and so the right amount of nutrients, balanced hormones, and rest is required. I advise women to think about their wants about having a child, and try to prepare their bodies and mind at least 6 months before they plan on conceiving.

What about stress?

We have all heard the saying “stress kills”, but most people do not believe this to be true or sure don’t act like it’s true. In my clinical practice, I have witnessed the causal link of how stress weakens the physical body as well as the mind and soul. There is an apparent “societal push” to work more, have more and earn more. With this mentality, there leaves little room for relaxation, play and joy in one’s life. Individually, it is wise to manage your stress and learn to trust and listen to your authentic self rather than the ego. Social media has become an open book for the way people live their lives. It is also a place where the ego decides that what you have is not enough in comparison to others and can leave you feeling hopeless, angry and sad. If you have been struggling with fertility issues, I would advise that you take a social media holiday for a few months and see how you feel.

Are you healthy?

If you have a known medical condition that might pose a risk for fertility, and your future offspring, then take some time to nourish yourself to better health and vitality. Naturopathic Doctors do a great job at helping the body heal with nutrition, herbs, supplementation, acupuncture, stress management and lifestyle modifications.

I always suggest that each partner spend time improving their health in mind, body and spirit.

Try these simple lifestyle modifications:

  • Avoid antibiotic/hormone fed animal meats and GMO foods.
  • Exercise 5 days a week.
  • Eat 8 servings of fruits and vegetables.
  • Take a high quality multivitamin.
  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol and cigarettes.
  • Find ways to manage stress. ie. yoga, journaling, meditation, acupuncture.
  • Connect and strengthen your love and bond with your partner.

With both partners healthy, not only does this increase your chance of fertility but also makes you a healthier parent for your child. The future generations depend on your health. It starts with you.

 If you are trying to conceive without success, ask yourself these questions:

  1. What do I believe to be true for the reasons I have not yet had a baby?
  2. Have I done everything I can to help my situation? Including the naturopathic options? Acupuncture?
  3. Is there a lesson in this journey I am on?

“Unexplained Infertility”

If you have been given this diagnosis, I am sure it is frustrating. Sometimes the medical community cannot come up with a diagnosis. However, if you see an acupuncturist or naturopath we see the body in a holistic way and through our means of diagnosis we can help you increase energy, balance and relaxation.

Be kind with your words when asking about childbearing to a couple.

Due to the increased number of fertility rates, I advise that people be more considerate when asking a couple about children. Of the patients I have treated, a similar report was that people are so insensitive to the topic and it bothers them tremendously. It can be very emotionally draining going through the process of trying to conceive. If you are someone who has never gone through it, what you can do is be sympathetic and avoid questions such as “when are you going to have a baby?”

Love yourself a little more.

As you know, I am the Naturopath who preaches on having more self love. Self love is the healer for all things. Miracles are created out of love. A lot of women can be hard on themselves, blame themselves and have tremendous guilt if things are not going to plan. This does not help you. Healing on a deeper level through a process of forgiving and loving is necessary. Detoxing the mind from fear can also be helpful. Fear is a negative emotion that inhabits the body and causes destruction. It starts in the mind, and finds its way into the heart and soul. Only love can conquer fear. I urge you to look at the thoughts and beliefs that shape your fears and try to work on changing them to ones that are more positive and loving. This takes time and a lot of effort but it is worth it. Here are some affirmations you can do to be more loving on your journey to motherhood (click here).

I believe that each and every one of us has been called to be more loving towards ourselves and others. Love can create miracles. Try loving yourself a little more.

For more from Dr. Jen Cisternino Naturopathic Doctor
and to book a free 15 min consult be sure to check her out online,
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Éminence Organics has arrived at Glama Gal Tween Spa


3 kids in under 4 years means doing everything for your little ones and putting yourself on the back burner…we’ll at least that’s what it’s been like for me. I used to love hitting up the mall to shop, go for mani’s and pedi’s and of course spending time at the spa for massages and facials..USED TO! It’s a whole different ball game when you travel with your entourage (the kids) or when you try to find a sitter just so you can get some alone time.

Recently, I decided that this Mamma deserves some time out of the house and so I made an appointment to visit the ladies at Glama Gal Tween Spa. I know what you’re thinking…TWEEN SPA? Yup, tween spa! Glama Gal is no longer just for tweens and now provides services for Mammas like us (as well as teens) with the newest line they carry…Éminence Organics Skin Care. They also have a new private spa wellness and facial room and it’s amazing! I was so excited to hear about this because let’s face it, going for a facial is always awesome but a facial using quality organic products is sweet bonus. I’m sure you’ve heard it all before that our skin in the largest organ in our body and so what we put on it is really important, well at least it is to me. I care more now than ever to be healthy not only for myself but for my kids so making the right choices like choosing an Éminence facial over another that uses non-organic products is something I’m always looking for.

13382282_10154855505949838_545984052_nWhen arriving at Glama Gal (Vaughan location) I was greeted by Vanessa their Head Esthetician and first thing we did was discuss my skin, any issues with it and take a look to determine what the right products for me would be. Éminence carries products for all skin types from hyperpigmented skin, sensitive skin, aging skin, acne prone skin as well as hormonal acne skin. For myself we used a combination of products from a few different lines to come up with something specifically for my skin. I was able to see, touch, feel and smell everything which I loved because you really don’t get the opportunity to do this when you go for a facial. Usually you’re laying down with your eyes closed and have no idea what they are using on you. Being able to take a look at everything before hand really amazed me as I couldn’t believe that I could see the actual organic ingredients in the products like the seeds, pulps and peels. Everything is handmade and created in a way that the vitamins from these natural ingredients are not compromised so you are able to reap the benefits of the fruits and vegetables used to make these products. Oh and let me tell you…the smell, well it made me want to eat some of the products like their Strawberry Rhubarb Masque…which if you wanted to eat you totally could haha. As for the facial, it was fantastic! I was able to kick back, relax and enjoy some alone time while Vanessa did her thing…just what any Mamma needs and WANTS 😉 .

One thing that has really stuck with me from my visit that day was the story behind the Éminence brand. The president for Éminence, Boldijarre Koronczay, is a survivor of a rare form of childhood Leukemia and thanks his mother and grandmother for being here today. When Boldijarre was undergoing treatment he was put on a strict diet that consisted of organic and Biodynamic foods which helped him get better and stronger so that his body was able to fight the illness. Boldijarre strongly believes in nursing the body both inside and out in order to achieve total health and wellness and because of this and what he endured at a young age he created the Éminence Kids Foundation. Through the foundation they donate organic fruits, vegetables and food to sick children around the world. They believe that providing organic, locally-sourced and nutrient-rich foods for seriously ill children to eat is an essential part of their treatment, healing and long-lasting health. Another amazing thing they do is give back to our earth! For every Éminence product sold they plant a tree and just this past year they were able to hit an amazing milestone of 5 million trees…now that’s awesome!

emi-starter-kits-2So next time you’re in need of some MAMMA TIME definitely check this out! And hey if you can’t find that sitter for your little one don’t stress because the amazing team at Glama Gal understand what it’s like to be a Mamma which is why they take pride in being Mamma friendly. Babies are always more than welcome to come and stay with you in the room while you have your facial…pretty awesome right?! Or maybe your little one isn’t so little anymore? Why not book facials side-by-side and enjoy some time together. Don’t take my word for it, give them a call and go see for yourself! Where else can you get an hour long facial with amazing all natural and organic products for only $80 (or the duo for you and your daughter or friend for $145). While you’re there you can also pick up some of their great products to take home and without breaking the bank either…you can get starter kits for as low as $58.

Thanks for offering this great new service for us Mammas Glama Gal..this Mamma had a blast!

For more information or to book a Éminence facial be sure to visit
 Glama Gal Tween Spa online, “LIKE” them on facebook and
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Be Confident! Be Positive! Be YOU!

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Tasty Tuesdays ~ Memories Frozen in Time

Guest Blog Written By: Jenny Arena from Fables and Focaccia


Tasty Tuesdays ~ Memories Frozen in Time

Those who know me, know that the kitchen is where I love to get creative and play and I love investing in toys for my playroom, the most recent one being an ice-cream maker. A frivolity perhaps but not a purchase I considered unnecessary, particularly after spending time creating ice cold confections with my daughters. Seeing the joy the experienced in selecting and combining ingredients and then impatiently waiting to taste the final result was yet another beautiful moment that will be forever frozen in my heart and mind, much like many others that have involved ice-cream.


I remember watching my twin daughters enjoying their very first ice-cream sandwiches several years ago. Excitedly they held the chocolaty cookie in their hands, a little unsure at first. They pondered how to go about enjoying this new taste sensation. Their confusion and bewilderment however, quickly turned into sheer bliss as they bit into the soft cookie exterior, revealing a cool and creamy vanilla interior. They savored every messy little bite licking their tiny fingers once done. It became an instant favorite; and this moment became one of the everlasting ones, where cold confections have played a part.


Like many children, I recall shrieking with delight hearing that familiar tune of the ice-cream truck making its way down the street; or riding my bike to the corner store for a 25 cent jumbo Freezie or Lola. On the home front, I can remember cooling off on many a hot summer’s day, with one of my mom’s homemade popsicles, or granita al caffe as I got older. I remember sharing funnel cakes with friends at the local theme park, piled high with soft serve and strawberry sauce; and to this day I still have to have a waffle ice-cream sandwich a the Canadian National Exhibition.


In times of stress or sadness a carton and a large spoon have been comfort, a frozen chocolate mousse has capped off a romantic dinner for two, a lemon sorbet has cleansed the pallet between courses at an elaborate meal, a frozen yogurt the go-to indulgence when watching my waistline and of course the cool treat has also been part of many a celebration, whether it’s a slice of apple pie a la mode at Thanksgiving or an ice-cream cake on my birthday.


The frosty favorite also finds its way into the chapters of my travel logs. Luscious and sweet coconut and pineapple ice-cream while honeymooning in Hawaii; my first taste of Ben & Jerry’s at the Pier in San Francisco; decadent chocolate made from the cocoa beans grown locally in the Dominican Republic; delicate vanilla bean crème glacee filling a luscious éclair while dining atop the Eiffel Tower in Paris; and the truly Canadian Moose Tracks (vanilla ice-cream with chocolate peanut butter cups swirled with fudge) while cottaging at home. But the most memorable would have to be the countless gelatos that I have relished over the years on numerous trips to Italy.


The pre-packaged gelato biscotto (ice-cream cookie) or coppetta del nonno (coffee flavored ice-cream packaged in a plastic espresso cup) which were always stocked in my aunt’s neighborhood shop; or the lemon and mint granite (Italian crystalline frozen dessert, similar to a slushee) that acted as refreshers after soaking up the sun on the Calabrian beach, making my way down the Spanish Steps in Rome or taking in the history at the base of Mt. Vesuvius in Pompeii. The cassata (Sicilian ice-cream cake) and tartufo di liquorizia that concluded a wonderful dinner with friends or the numerous cones enjoyed while imagining the horse races at the Palio in Siena; gliding along the canals of Venice; taking a romantic moonlit stroll in Sorrento; appreciating fine art in Florence; or shopping in the fashion district of Milan. From time-to-time, I have even enjoyed gelato for breakfast, sandwiched between a fresh brioche or affogato (drowned) in espresso at the local bar.


No matter the country, time of day or even season, if there is ice-cream to be had, I will make a point of enjoying it with enthusiasm and delight while creating memories that will forever be frozen in time. Buon Appetito!

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Great Gift Ideas For New Dads

Guest Blog Written By: Chic Mamma Angie Campanelli
(original source Huff Post Parents Canada)

A new born nestled against his dad
Catherine Delahaye via Getty Images

Shopping for dad is two-fold: the gift requires the right amount of meaning combined with practicality/function. When dealing with a new dad — whether that refers to your brother, son, husband, cousin or friend — the gift tends to carry even more weight. It’s an exciting time in his life and you want to mark it with something perfect!

(1) Vader’s Little Princess and Darth Vader and Son books

Don’t let the cover fool you! These books, by Jeffrey Brown, might look like they’re designed for kids but the candid, knee-slapping content is made for Star Wars fans and movie buffs. To personalize it, simply trace your baby’s hand or footprint on the inside cover, write in the date, and you’ve got a thoughtful keepsake.

To buy: (hardcover and kindle edition available)

(2) Personalized cigar holder combined with flask


Nothing says “celebrate” to a man like a good stogie. With this unique idea, you can combine cigar storage and booze in a covert, slick design. Engrave it with your baby’s birth date or your children’s initials and you’ve got a sweet memento.

To buy:
Home Wet Bar
Personalization Mall
The Wedding Shoppe

(3) Ecco Collin Retro Sneaker

2016-05-30-1464615705-5321799-sneaker-thumbI. Am. Obsessed. These shoes, by Ecco, are not only easy on the eyes, but they’re also extremely comfortable. New parents tend to go for long walks and car rides (often trying to soothe baby) so why not slip out in style? Then, as your kids age and you end up chasing them around restaurants and amusement parks, these shoes grow with your needs. They’re always perfectly comfy and chic.

To buy:
Ecco Shoes Canada

(4) Char-Broil Flavour Chamber

giftblogThe BBQing dad will love this! The Char-Broil Flavour Chamber is the best grill-top accessory. From whole chickens to roasts, the chamber system allows you to add smoke, flavour and moisture to your meats and veggies. It’s receiving a ton of positive feedback and for $50 you can’t go wrong. You’ll be the hit of the next backyard BBQ.


To buy:

(5) Noise cancelling head phones


Nearly everyone owns a pair of earbuds, but with a new baby in the house why not give dad the gift of peace and quiet? The Bose Quiet Comfort headphones are a great option. They’re designed to make music and other media more deep and intense sounding. Or, during travel, they can mute out airplane noises and banter (for more on travel gifts visit Family Travel Guide).

Different brands offer their own options and at various price points (from $70+)

To buy:

(6) Wayne Gretzky Clothing Collection at Sears

Wayne Gretzky (CNW Group/Sears Canada Inc.)
Wayne Gretzky (CNW Group/Sears Canada Inc.)

The Great One’s new golf clothing line is the it item for any golfer, athlete or outdoorsy dad. The No. 99 Wayne Gretzky collection, designed and approved by the hockey legend himself, is an exclusive collaboration with another Canadian Icon — Sears. Prices are very reasonable and quality is on-point. The modern designs and patterns (like burned out stripes, worn-looking fabrics and even brighter brights) is a great update and addition to any man’s wardrobe.


To buy:

(7) Cordless Compact drill


From cribs, toys and bookshelves to storage, desks and beds, a new dad will spend countless hours twisting and turning his way through many household D-I-Y projects. Why not save his time and his sanity with the gift of a cordless, power drill? Whether your man is handy or not, a power drill will make him feel powerful.

To buy:
Canadian Tire
Home Depot

(8) Paige Denim Baxter Joggers


These self-proclaimed, “modern answer to stylish comfort” pants are a menswear must-have. Although they look hip in the image, they’re even cooler in person. Most new dads want comfort and these pants provide just that, but they also look very put-together. They’re actually relatively slim in design and have a polished chino-style waist band. The tapered cuff gives them that sporty, contemporary feel and the fabric is soft and wearable.

They’re available in array of washes and the more wear they get, the better they feel and look.

To buy:
Paige Denim Baxter Jogger

(9) Wallet Sleeve


When down on the floor with baby or playing in a park, dad needs to shrink down that often clunky wallet. A great solution is the leather sleeve – it’s perfectly designed to hold a few credit cards, identification, change and cash. It forces your man to edit to the bare essentials. No more bulky back pant pocket.


They’re available in a variety of different brands, sizes and price points. From Tiger of Sweden to Fossil, there’s a design for your new dad.

To buy:
Tiger of Sweden

(10) Luxury Box at a Sporting Event

There’s always one major splurge item on these list and this option is definitely it. When I asked my husband what he would want for Father’s Day he immediately replied, “tickets to join a bunch of my friends in a private box at a baseball game.” Naturally, I looked into pricing and broke into a sweat. But, I wanted to include that idea as an option; if you’ve got a big group of ‘couple’ friends, this could be the ultimate gift of all time.



As my husband pointed out, for $300-$600 per person (depending on venue and add-ons), you can fully stock a luxury suite with a hostess, food, beverages and a large group of guys for the ultimate afternoon or evening out. It all depends on your local venues, suite size and add-on options. If you’re balking at the price, my husband quickly pointed out that men often don’t get many new items throughout the year so this could be the one big ticket present.

So there ya have it! Happy shopping!

For more info on Chic Mamma Angie Campanelli be sure to visit her online,
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Tasty Tuesdays ~ The Scoop on Ice Cream

Guest Blog Written By: Jenny Arena from Fables and Focaccia


Tasty Tuesdays ~ The Scoop on Ice Cream

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream. It’s the summer time staple that seems to appeal to all ages, faces and races. For its simplicity, it also offers such complexity. Have you ever wondered what the difference is between ice-cream and gelato, or, sherbet and sorbet? For a foodie like me, this is one of life’s great questions, so I’ve got the scoop on ice-cream and various other cold confections that I have come to know and love.

Worldwide, there are many variations on this frozen food, each bearing their own distinction and name, the following however seem to be the most common:

Frozen Custard: a cold dessert similar to ice cream, made with eggs in addition to cream and sugar

Frozen Yogurt: a frozen dessert containing yogurt or other dairy products, that is slightly more tart than ice cream, as well as lower in fat

download-2Gelato: is different from ice cream because it has a lower butterfat content and is produced using more air at the time of freezing. The sugar content in gelato is precisely balanced with the water content to act as an anti-freeze to prevent the gelato from freezing solid. Unlike its North-American counterpart, ice cream, high-quality artisan gelato holds its peak flavor and smooth texture only for several days.

Granita: is a semi-frozen dessert made from sugar, water and various flavorings

IceCreamIce-Cream: is usually made from dairy products, such as milk and cream, and often combined with fruits or other ingredients and flavours and most varieties contain sugar. In some cases, artificial flavourings and colourings are used in addition to (or in replacement of) the natural ingredients. This mixture is stirred slowly while cooling to prevent large ice crystals from forming and air is introduced at the time of freezing. The result is a smoothly textured and creamy ice cream. With its higher fat content, it can be stored in a freezer for months.

Ice Milk: is made with less than 10 percent milkfat and the same sweetener content as ice cream.

download-5Ice-Pop/Popsicle: frozen fruit puree, fruit juice, or flavoured sugar water on a stick or in a flexible plastic sleeve.

Maple taffy: a popular springtime treat in maple-growing areas. Maple syrup is boiled to a concentrated state and then poured over fresh snow (or shaved ice) congealing in a toffee-like mass, and then eaten from a wooden stick used to pick it up.

Semi-Freddo: is a class of semi-frozen desserts, typically ice-cream cakes, semi-frozen custards, and certain fruit tarts. It has the texture of frozen mousse because it is usually produced by uniting two equal parts of ice cream and whipped cream

Sherbet: an American term for a frozen dessert like sorbet, but containing a small amount of dairy

Snow cones: made from balls of crushed ice topped with sweet syrup served in a paper cone. They are consumed in many parts of the world, but some of the most common places to find snow cones are in North American amusement parks.

Soft-serve: is generally lower in milk-fat than ice cream. Soft serve contains air, introduced at the time of freezing which alters the appearance and taste of the finished product. When produced with low quantities of air, the cream has a heavy, icy taste and appears more yellow while products with higher air content (like soft serve and gelato) taste creamier, smoother and lighter and appear whiter.


Sorbet: is a frozen dessert made from sweetened water flavored with fruit (typically juice or puree), wine, and/or liqueur.

Whatever you call it, and wherever you enjoy it, ice cream is quite simply one of the most recognizable and popular frozen treats, that make the heart and taste buds smile.

Buon Appetito!

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COCOLILY = #CommunityOverCompetition

If you are fortunate in life, you will encounter some pretty special people. People that will empower you, inspire you, and genuinely care about you. This is exactly how I feel about my friend Renee Dimitrovski, owner and founder of the COCOLILY brand. Renee is an amazing woman, mother, daughter and friend who has helped many women over the span of her career which is why I want to share her story and share with you the wonderful things she’s doing with the COCOLILY Social coming up later this month.

This is Renee and this is her COCOLILY story…


The idea all started by Renee Dimitrovski, a single mom, entrepreneur, a daughter and a friend who is passionate about what she does, inspired by those in her life and committed to helping others. She also knows that in order to succeed, you need a tribe of amazing people who have your back.

She started producing events such as The Original Wedding Soiree and The Original Petite Soiree eight years ago.  She then launched COCOLILY Magazine which molded into a lifestyle brand for celebration and inspiration.

Renee believes in being authentic, community over competition and she also believes in The COCOLILY Social : a creative event for the female entrepreneur – and she is hoping that you will too.The COCOLILY Social is very near and dear to her heart as she is trying to bring together a community of women who will be there for each other and support one another while providing a unique experience and inspirational event.

Renee is striving to start a movement that allows for women to know that they are not alone on their journey and putting it out there that when women support each other, incredible things happen.  Society has done enough damage where we are accustomed to be catty, competitive and mean.  She is trying to change that and bring together women who also believe in the COCOLILY manifesto. Be kind, be real, speak words of wisdom, support each other and help someone – not because there is something in it for you, but because it feels amazing for the soul.

With your support and contributions, this event will be possible and it will start a new community of wonderful things to come.  An eternally grateful heart for the believers and dreamers who help make this dream come alive.  It will let others know that when you have hope in your heart, anything is possible.


The funds being contributed and received will assist towards the total bill for food & beverage at the venue in addition to event rental space.  The fees at the venue:

  1. venue rental…$8,750
  2. meals for 150 guests (breakfast, lunch and dinner and breaks) $25,410
  3. audio visual/electrical $3,500

That is just the venue alone and does not include insurance costs, decor, rentals, and printing.  The $15,500 will help to cover some of the cost for the meals – asking for over $25K is shooting for the stars. 

Coming to realize this, Renee knows she can’t do this alone. COCOLILY has been built by one person, Renee, and she does not have a team of mavens.  She is the accountant, bookkeeper, marketing manager, sales manager and logistics coordinator – and she simply doesn’t have the manpower or marketing funds to go full throttle unfortunately.

This event is not for profit and the goal is to come together as a community, build your tribe, celebrate, dream, relax, collaborate, learn from each other and share experiences.

A lot of us chase those dreams alone but Renee is trying to change that. Have your dream, take it with you to The COCOLILY Social, share it with your new tribe and know that you have a lot of support. Whether it’s asking a simple question, needing advice or letting go of those fears of failure.

You have a dream…now what? You have an idea…now what?  You’re scared and feel alone and lost…you don’t have to feel that way.  A lot of us have been there and Renee knows how it feels to turn on the computer, try to be the best mother/wife/daughter/friend, juggle everything, be surrounded by your family and friends but still feel alone. An idea pops into your head but there’s no support system like you have when working at a company.  She gets it – and that’s why she is giving this her all to make this event work and bring together all of those who felt what she felt.


With The COCOLILY Social you get to be yourself and come as you are rather than pretending to be something you are not just so others perceive you in the light you think they should.

You get to actually talk to other like-minded female entrepreneurs who ‘get you’ while having a coffee.

You get to be inspired with the workshops run by the top business-savvy women.

You get to be motivated and talk in depth about what YOU choose to attend as each session is ‘choose your own’ so you can pick which workshops and sessions you would like to take part in, that will actually help you rather than being forced to attend workshops on an agenda that don’t interest you at all. And the Tea Talks are there for the purpose of being honest and open about a topic with 6-8 other women; sharing experiences, advice and learning from each other.

That’s a true intimate and interactive experience for actually getting to meet your kindred spirit, making those connections for future collaborations and knowing that when you turn on the computer on Monday morning – you’ll have your tribe who will support you.
Renee wants women to walk away from this event saying “I can’t wait for the next one” and smile.

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Building an unparalleled event like this from scratch requires a passionate heart, creative thinking, courage and, an even greater amount of financial support.

By lending your support and your leap of faith in supporting the event and  vision to come to life, you will be a part of an incredible new chapter and movement for women entrepreneurs everywhere!

Renee has produced numerous events and some events back to back along with other challenges such as road closures one year for a St. Patrick’s Day Parade, time changes, etc. But she always overcomes those challenges and does what she promises to do and what is within her control.  While she cannot control if people attend events but she can control how she produces them – gracefully and honestly with passion.  With The COCOLILY Social she is still going full speed ahead with the marketing plan, partnerships and a PR campaign but she knows that won’t be enough.


I graciously ask that if you cannot contribute financially, then please help spread the word about the campaign by using the Indiegogo share tools to notify your friends and make some fierce noise.

Please share it with your social media portals and friends who you think might love to contribute or even attend.

By building this event, I am trying to build on the vision and message that we’re all in this together and you’re not alone – BEHIND EVERY SUCCESSFUL WOMAN IS A TRIBE WHO HAS HER BACK – that’s The COCOLILY Social. And most importantly, be your authentic self – as that will attract the right people into your life.

If I have your full support, then I will be eternally grateful.  I know in my heart that the right people will step forward and support the event.  I’m doing my best to make it absolutely wonderful – but I am only one person and I can’t do this without my tribe and community of fabulous supporters with a kind heart.

Thank you for taking the time read about Renee and her story. It’s with people like you that we can make these great events possible. Come join me and an incredible tribe of women on Saturday, May 28th at Sheraton on the Falls in Niagara Falls, Ontario. It’s going to be an amazing day and one that you surely don’t want to miss out on.

Get your tickets NOW before it too late as Monday May 23rd is the last day to register for The COCOLILY Social. To purchase your tickets CLICK HERE and get a “The Classic” full day ticket with meals for ONLY $94.50 (Reg Price $189.00) when you use promo code: chic16.

For more information on The COCOLILY Social be sure to visit them online,
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I am constantly TIRED. HELP ME!

Guest Blog Written By: Dr. Jen Cisternino Naturopathic Doctor

Exhausted business woman sleeping in front of computer

Hey you! Yes you, I know reading this is a struggle, isn’t it? You have been putting off helping yourself because you have no time. You are either a busy mom or dad, work full time, stressed out student (been there), entrepreneur or might have just had a change in your life or need a change. Or maybe none of the above, but you are still not feeling up to life.

It really does not matter the reason for the fatigue or as I call it lack of self care, my goal is to help “pick you up” so that you may take better care of yourself and resolve this fatigue.

What is the definition of FATIGUE: Lack of energy and motivation.

There are many possible causes for fatigue:

  • Low iron/minerals
  • Underactive Thyroid
  • Adrenal Fatigue
  • Sleep Disorders: Insomnia, Sleep Apnea
  • Depression
  • Stress/Negative Environment
  • Grief
  • Anti-depressants
  • Substance abuse
  • Chronic Pain
  • The list continues…

Let me ask you these questions:

  1. Do you get at least 7 hour of sound sleep a night?
  2. Do you have a well balanced diet? Eat fruits, vegetables, lean protein and whole grains each day?
  3. Do you have more water than coffee each day?
  4. Do you manage your stress by meditating, finding inner peace and relaxation each day?
  5. Do you exercise 3 x a week?
  6. Do you have positive loving thoughts each day about yourself?

If you answered NO to some or all of these questions, then maybe it is time you make some changes to your day to day routine.  If you do, you may noticed better energy and vitality.

You see, the human body is not a machine. It needs nourishment on all levels- mind, body and spirit. A feeling of fatigue is your body sending you a signal that you need to change something about how you live your life day to day. It may also be a signal that you should seek help to interrogate further the cause of your fatigue so that you may restore your body/mind back into balance.

Positive Mindset for Fatigue:

How many times a day do you say to yourself or others, “I AM TIRED”. Did you know that your thoughts have a direct effect on how you feel?  Changing your thoughts can do wonders for your energy. Each day say this to yourself instead: “I feel great. I am well rested and energetic. I have all the energy I need to do all my tasks today.” 

Sending you an abundance of energy and love!

Dr. Jen

For more from Dr. Jen Cisternino Naturopathic Doctor
and to book a free 15 min consult be sure to check her out online,
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Sexy Motha

Now who doesn’t love a little Joseph Gordon-Levitt?! Well Mammas this might make you love him just a little more…if that’s even possible haha!

Here’s your little Monday pick me up 😉 .

Have a great week!

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