Tuesday, May 29, 2012

New Friends

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This is me with my new friend Judy at the Dove Nourish Your Soul Retreat at Canyon Ranch resort in Tucson, Arizona this weekend. We had the BEST time!

Photos of the @DoveCanada #NourishYourSoul Retreat Participants

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This is the group of lovely ladies I spent the Dove Canada #NourishYourSoul weekend with at Canyon Ranch resort in Tucson, Arizona...

( back row- Laurie, Judy, Me, Erica, Markie, 
front row- Melanie, Diane, Cindy , 
- Jen was taking the picture)

Here are the four ladies who won the Nourish Your Soul contest from Dove....

( Judy, Melanie, Cindy, Markie)

here are the other two ladies that were invited along by the company (like me) for publicity purposes

and here are the two amazing organizers...

( Jen & Diane) 

We were a wonderfully diverse group of women and it was thoroughly enjoyable getting to know each one of them!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Day One of the #NourishYourSoul Experience at Canyon Ranch

Pin It I am at the beautiful Canyon Ranch resort in Tucson, Arizona for the Dove Nourish Your Soul retreat!!

My room is absolutely gorgeous...

and I was even greeted with lovely gifts from Dove upon my arrival in my room...

When I arrived the very first thing I got to do was go for a lovely late lunch with Laurie Jennings ( @lauriejennings - the Executive Editor at Chatelaine, Canada's #1 women's magazine) and Erica Diamond ( @WomenOnTheFence ) and a couple of the Dove contest winners.

I immediately learned that the food at Canyon Ranch is INCREDIBLE and the service is just amazing! It was great getting to know some of the ladies and to finally meet Erica in real life!

After our late lunch I checked out my room and then went to the pool with Laurie and one of the winners for a swim. The resort is just gorgeous and to be outside in this Arizona weather was an amazing thing for this Northern Canadian girl!

Last night we went out for an incredible supper and got to know each other a little better- what a great group of women!

Here are just a few pictures of the lovely ladies I'm on this great experience with...

Aren't they lovely?

And now off for day two!!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Canyon Ranch Here I Come! #NourishYourSoul

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This weekend the lovely Erica Diamond (@WomenOnTheFence) I get to head to the incredible Canyon Ranch Resort in Tucson, Arizona with the Dove Nourish Your Soul contest winners - just look at how amazing this place is...

Thanks so much to Dove Canada for inviting me along on this fabulous trip! I can't wait to see Arizona for the first time and experience the amazing Canyon Ranch :).

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Get Out of the "It's For Me" Mindset - Guest Post by Amy Bayliss

Pin It When we do something for ourselves alone, we will become consistently frustrated and unfulfilled. Even cleaning our home cannot be for us. We will not find contentment or satisfaction in only serving ourselves for our own agendas.


I clearly remember many times when I did things with the wrong intentions. In particular, I was previously married to a man who was not a follower of Christ. Several times during our marriage I specifically heard God speak to my heart to do certain things, like:
  • Write a new scripture on the refrigerator every week
  • Leave a Bible in the bathroom
  • Anoint the bedroom with oil and pray throughout it
  • Keep God's word (sermons) or worship playing at all times
  • Be completely submissive to my husband as long as it was in line with God's word
My thoughts were, "Great! That will certainly turn his heart!" While that may seem like a good thing, it wasn't. God showed me what my true intentions were. I desired for my former spouse to be a man of God, not for the sake of one of God's children turning to the heart of the Father and not for the sake of my boys' father going to heaven. Instead, my desire was that he become a man of God so that I would no longer be embarrassed to go to church alone or because I wanted to share the awesome stories of how my husband prayed for me and read the Bible to us on a daily basis. No, my heart didn't long for his salvation because God desired it or because it would save his soul. I desired it for selfish reasons. Our motives matter. We need to remain connected to the heart of the Father in order to know His heart.

If you've ever wanted to tear the 31st chapter of Proverbs out of your bible this book is for you. She is a wife, mom, business owner, seamstress, she serves the needy, speaks life and wisdom, and seems to be quite the major overachiever, perfectionist type. Except that...she's not.

Come along and journey with Amy and take a look at the real woman of Proverbs 31. She isn't as perfect as she seems. In fact, I think she is a lot like you and me. If you want the Kindle version, get it here: Pursuit of Proverbs 31 for Kindle. You can also download the free Kindle app on your PC, iPad, iPhone, or many other devices. For the downloadable, printable PDF version, get it here: Pursuit of Proverbs 31
Amy Bayliss

Amy is a small town Cajun girl living life in the big city. She and her husband Ryan have four children, all boys, ranging in age from toddler to teen! Amy is a full-time blogger and WP designer at My Southern Media. You can visit her at her personal blog, Cajun Joie de Vivre or you can follow her ramblings on Twitter and keep up with her mischief on Facebook.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

I'm Going to #BlissdomCanada '12, Are You?

Pin It HEY!


I got my ticket to Blissdom Canada today!

*Insert me doing the happy dance here!*

And to celebrate my joy I got you all some beautiful flowers... enjoy....

(photos taken by my husband Doug at our local greenhouse last night)

If you would like to read more about Blissdom Canada you can check out my previous posts.... 

PS. Are you going to be at Blissdom Canada with me? You totally should be! It is going to be SO MUCH FUN!

PPS. This is a great post by @shasherslife with some tips on how to get sponsored for a blog conference .

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day to Me!

Pin It The kids made me some great gifts at school this year. They were determined to keep them a surprise and the boys managed to do so until this morning. Olivia showed me hers yesterday but made me promise to act surprised this morning when she gave them to me again.

Special thanks to their teachers for making sure my kids made such wonderful gifts for me by the way!

Olivia made a few beautiful pictures. One was a flower that said "My love for you grows and grows and grows" and another was a picture of her and I holding hands.

She wanted me to "get dressed up" for my "special day" and the only dress I could come up with was a cotton sundress I have but she seemed ok with. Apparently I need to invest in a  few more princess dresses.

Aiden painted a wooden butterfly to put in a garden. We don't have a garden but I assured him we would find a place to put it outside near our front step.

He also made a card type poster thing with his hands on one side and the other side has a picture of an Owl and and poem type thing.

The poem says

"Awsome Mom.
My moms favourite colour is green.
My mom like to hug me. my mom likes me, Owen, & my sister Olivia.
My mom works on the computer.
My mom is allergic to chips.
xoxo: Aiden"

all in cursive handwriting!

Owen made me a beautiful book and book mark

The book says...

Top Ten Reasons Why I Love My Mom:
by Owen
Happy Mother's Day

Reason #1: She's Super nice and kind
Reason #2: She's special
Reason #3: She's polite
Reason #4: She makes really good food
Reason #5: She loves me
Reason #6: She reads me Bed time story's
Reason #7: She hug's me
Reason #8: She snuggle's with me
Reason #9: She like's me
Reason #10: She thinks I'm special

Every page is coloured beautifully.

They were all so proud of their gifts and I could tell that they had put a lot of work into them!

Thank-you for the beautiful gifts and for being my wonderful kids Aiden, Owen and Olivia. Mommy loves you all SO much!

Happy Mother's Day :)

The Mom of the Year Award #MOTY

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I don't think very many of us FEEL like Supermoms very often. In fact most of the time we feel like the complete OPPOSITE of a Supermom. 

I am often surprised by how many of my mom-friends feel crappy about themselves and their skills as a mom because when I look at them I see how incredible they are. We are often much harder on ourselves than others are. We think we are the only ones who have dishes in the sink or a pile of laundry or who forgot to send that form back to school. Again. 

One of the amazing gifts of the online community is learning that we really aren't the only one! It only takes an open admission of your latest imperfection on twitter or Facebook to discover that being human will not get you kicked out of the Supermom club. In fact- it is a requirement to be in the club in the first place!

Being a mom is hard work and Walmart wants to celebrate and recognize moms with their Mom of the Year Award

About the Mom of the Year Award

This year Walmart is launching the Mom of the Year Award to help celebrate and recognize the huge contribution moms make as role models and integral members of the family and community. This award will become an annual program to celebrate all that Mom does and shine a light on what is important to her.
Nominations will be accepted Mother’s Day (May 13) through July 8, 2012 and can be submitted through www.momoftheyear.ca. They can come from daughters, sons, family members, friends, colleagues or community members.
Eight finalists will be selected and notified in mid-August and will be treated to an award celebration weekend in September. The Mom of the Year Award recipient will receive $10,000 for personal use and $100,000 to their cause or charity of choice. The remaining seven finalists will each receive $10,000 for personal use and $10,000 to their cause or charity of choice. 

When I first heard about the Mom of the Year Award I thought about who I would nominate and the names of dozens of women came to mind. My life is filled with amazing women - both in real life and women I know only on line- who fit the category of Mom of the Year.

- Moms who deal with medically fragile children every day and continue to face each day with hope and optimism
- Single moms who don't have the support of a spouse and have to carry a very heavy load all on their own but rise to the challenge every single day
- Moms with physical or mental challenges of their own who care for their children despite daily pain and suffering
- Moms with children who have special needs who end up being advocates and therapists and teachers as well as parents
- Moms who have lost a child and have to continue to wake up each day and carry on as though a part of their heart has not been forever lost
- Foster moms who care for children that are only theirs for a relatively short time but who love them with their whole heart and then have to let them go to an unknown future
- and that doesn't even cover the dozens of "regular" moms who continue to get up every day and do wonderful things with their lives just because they can

My list of potential "Moms of the Year" is simply too long to list. I think if you look around you will see that there are a whole lot of potential "Mom of the Year" candidates in your life as well, so how about you take a minute and nominate one or two of them for this fantastic award!  

Say Happy Mother's Day to a great Mom in your life today- tell them that you SEE the great contribution they are making and that it MATTERS! I guarantee you that every mom would love to hear that someone thinks she belongs in the Mom of the Year category.

Disclosure: I’m part of the Walmart program by Mom Central. I received compensation as a thank you for my participation. The opinions on this blog are my own. Mom of the Year Award: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY Internet access and valid email account required. Nominations open May 10, 2012 to July 8, 2012 for legal residents of Canada over the age of majority. Entrants cannot nominate themselves. One (1) grand prize available to be won consisting of $10,000 cash, a $100,000 donation by Wal-mart Canada Corp. to charity/cause and a trip to Toronto (ARV $22,000). Seven (7) runner-up prizes available to be won consisting of $10,000 cash, a $10,000 donation to charity/cause and a trip to Toronto (ARV $22,000). Charity/cause subject to verification and final approval by Wal-mart Canada Corp., at its sole discretion. Odds of winning depend on how the judging panel evaluates each entry according to the criteria. For Official Contest Rules and to nominate an entrant, visit [www.momoftheyear.ca].
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