Monday, March 30, 2009


I find the most ironic thing about this video is that I got the link from a tweet from Anthony Robbins...
I love twitter but I also love the underlying message of this - we too often replace "actual" contact with people for virtual contact. I see this happening in our children more and more - they can't wait to get home from school (where they have actually been with their friends) to chat with them online....What happened to meeting in the playground or the soccer field?

As parents it is our responsibility to make sure our kids are getting the social interactions they need. That might mean joining a playgroup or a swim class when they are young, sports classes or music lessons as they get older - just something so that they are having the opportunity to hang out face-to-face with other kids. This also gives us as parents the same opportunity. We too need "live" social interactions to balance our online communities. I think the idea of social media is a wonderful tool and am thrilled to be a part of it - as long as it doesn't replace me picking up the phone and calling my best friend to meet at Starbucks and go for a walk.

Enjoy the video!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Soup Nazi

So the other day we took Freckles and Frogurt to Burrito Libre (they don't have a website!) because it was "free burrito day" with a donation to the food bank. By the way, if you are in Sherwood Park, you have to check this place out - it was delicious and very generous portions!

I digress...It was the couple in front of us that caught my eye. We were standing there, family of 4, with a bag full of non-perishable donations. This young, hip, trendy couple had one can of soup. She was carrying a beautiful Dolce & Gabbana handbag to accessorize her very nice outfit and fancy hair. He too was well-groomed and stylish. Now I realize I am passing judgement based on superficial evidence, but come on - one can of soup?? In exchange for 2 large burritos (regular $7 apiece)?? Maybe it's just me, but I think they missed the point.

This of course was another opportunity to talk to our kids about the importance of giving and how blessed we are and how much we truly have. After all, we only had to go one day without a television! I am very proud of my children and their generosity. They know what it means to give and the joy that brings.

Having said that, I am not sure Frogurt quite got the concept of the food bank. As he was eating his burrito, he said "Wow! The food bank sure makes good food!"

Monday, March 23, 2009

Homer Knows Best

Our tv died yesterday. I think Homer sums it up...(gets a little off topic at the end but you get the idea....)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Time to Get Dressed

Sniff...I heard about this a couple of weeks ago but didn't get around to blogging it until now:


By mutual agreement, Steven Page will be parting company with the remaining members of Barenaked Ladies. Jim Creeggan, Kevin Hearn, Ed Robertson, and Tyler Stewart will continue recording and touring together as Barenaked Ladies. Steven Page will pursue solo projects including theatrical opportunities while the band enters the studio in April 2009, and hits the road in the fall.

Page says "These guys are my brothers. We've grown up together over the past twenty years. I love them and wish them all the best in the future."

The band also wish Steven well in all of his endeavors. Ed Robertson says: "It's the start of a new chapter for all of us. Here's to the future!"

Everyone is looking forward to making new music and thanks their fans for their support.

Bwwwaaaaahhhhhhh!!!!! It truly is the end of an era. I have spent the last 20 years following these guys. They are one of my favorite bands. As a musician - a real one with a degree and everything - I have always appreciated the musicality of these guys. Their wonderful harmonies - with the plethoric use of dominant 7th chords, et al, you can tell that someone took a theory course or two.

So Stephen, I wish you well. Ed, Kevin, Ty and Jim, I will continue to enjoy your antics and true talent in a society where such a thing is a rare gem.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

It's Just a Job

I remember years ago watching a show about "Cool Jobs". The one that sticks out most in my memory was that of the person whose job it was to arrange the cereal boxes on Seinfeld.

See them there in the kitchen? Someone got paid just to arrange those. Hmm. Part of me thinks "That is a cool job" but part of me thinks, "How fulfilling of a job could that possibly be?". And that's when it hit me. How much time did that job actually take? Probably not that much. And I would think that it paid a decent wage considering the immense popularity of the show. So then I think, "Well, if I only had to work a few hours a week and got paid very well for it, I probably would look for fulfillment elsewhere with all the free time I had left over!"

Bingo! And thus I segue into the book I am currently reading: Timothy Ferriss' The 4-Hour Work Week. I am loving this book. Not only am I learning to challenge my thinking of what is "normal" and what is "insanity" but he is quite a funny writer as well, even using the occasional profanity (which you don't normally find in the finance section....). There is a great comparison between those he refers to as the Deferrers and the New Rich. One of them says that the Deferrers are those whose goals are designed to free them from doing that which they don't like, whereas the New Rich set their goals not only for that but "also the freedom and resolve to pursue your dreams without reverting to work for work's sake....The goal is not only to simply eliminate the bad, which does nothing more than leave you with a vacuum, but to pursue and experience the best in the world." (pp23-24) He talks about "mini-retirements," essentially not waiting to the end to experience life but enjoying it throughout.

So I guess I am one of the lucky ones. I have a "job" that I love and that I find great fulfillment in. I work about 15-20 hours a week and can be at home with my kids. We get to travel as a family and it is all a tax write-off. I have networked with other people in my field in pools in Acapulco, on the Copacabana beach in Brazil and while waiting in line with my kids to go on Space Mountain at Disney. My commute is a simple set of stairs in my house and most days I can do the majority of my work in my jammies (I really hope they never perfect the video phone!) But out of it all, I get the biggest charge when I see someone else I've helped succeed/reach a goal. That is where I find the fulfillment. So for me, what I do is anything but "just a job". It is a lifestyle and one that I won't quickly be trading in for a cubicle...

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Memories Gone Digital

I'm a genius! Just have to get it out there. I came up with a great idea today - a moment of pure inspiration.

If your house is anything like mine, there is paper everywhere. Now with 2 children in school the plethora of artwork and projects that come home in any given week is mind-boggling. And that doesn't even take into account all the homespun masterpieces. And, of course, every one of them is special and must be kept and prominently displayed.

Well, I have been trying to figure out what to do with all of this. This week, we said goodbye to 2 of my daughter's school projects (both were very cool) that had been on the top shelf in her closet collecting dust. However, I did take a picture of them first. Amidst a discussion this morning with other moms who face similar dilemmas, it came to me! I am going to take all those pictures and - no, not put them in a scrapbook - put them on one of those digital photo frames! Then they can each have one in their rooms and they can have a slide show of their favorite artwork!

Whaddya think? Am I as brilliant as I think I am??

Saturday, March 7, 2009

We've Gone Bananas Over Fruit

Okay, I am all for finding healthy snacks for kids but seriously, I think we've lost our marbles:

Canadian grocer Sobeys has partnered with Disney to introduce the Compliments Junior Disney line of food products. Now I realize that this actually happened a couple of years ago but I just ran across an ad in a magazine for this and it caused me to blog.
Check this out:

Maybe it's just me....but those are just apples! Regular red apples! Do me a favor, if you do actually invest in the "Buzz Lightyear" apples, save the bag and then fill it with regular apples the next time. What are we doing to our children (and to ourselves for that matter) - this is the closest they could get to commercializing something as simple as an apple.

But it gets better. We can't make an apple look like Goofy but we can make a burger have ears!

Now I love Disney just as much as the next Cast Member but I just have to shake my head at this kind of marketing. I don't know...Am I alone here? Doesn't this seem ridiculous?

The House Fairy

Thank-you again to Julie for this tip - The House Fairy made her first appearance in our house on Thursday. Wow - Freckles and Frogurt barely made it to the end of the video before running to their rooms to clean! They have since been putting in actual effort to get their rooms clean and are anxiously waiting her return. She left a letter after their initial clean sweep telling them she would be back soon but they would never know when so they had to always be prepared with clean rooms. Well, she will be reappearing and leaving another letter tomorrow. They are both on their way but not quite there yet...Since I can't seem to get through to them, I am glad to see that manipulation and bribery are alive and well!

So thank-you House Fairy for motivating my children to clean their rooms. I am glad to not have to raise my voice. Instead, I can leave fraudulent letters around the house and get much better results!