Monday, November 30, 2009

Some natural things to do for cold/flu..

With cold and flu season underway I have had lots of questions on what you can do to naturally fight of these things. I am a registered reflexology practitioner, not a naturopath or homeopathic, so please note these are my personal opinions and not the gospel. You can always check in with your local Homeopathic or Naturopath doctor. Minda Ahaju, ND is a fantastic Naturopath in West Mountrose and the one I go see! You can find a link to her information here.

So, first off the basics is lots of rest (sleep is key), plenty of water, exercise and take a good multivitamin! In this busy season make sure you keep going to your regular massages, reflexology, chiropractic or whatever alternative things you do! It is so easy in this busy season to just drop them and not do anything. Its your health, so take care of yourself! Some of the other things you can do is take extra Vitamin D and C to aid in preventing colds and flues. There has been lots of studies recently showing that vitamin D is aiding in preventing some flues. Vitamin D is also great to take in the winter due to the lack of sunshine we get.

If you feel a virus or cold coming on you can take a drop from Echinamide called Anti-cold or Anti-virus. There is a wild cherry flavour for kids too! Boiron makes Oscillococcinum which can be taken if you feel flu symptoms coming on and of course lots of people use Cold f/x too. Oil of Oregano is another great thing for sore throats and colds. This is sold in liquid form and is very strong. Just a drop or two is needed. I use it with a bowl of hot water and create a steam bath to inhale. Just add one or two drops and put a towel over your head tent it over the bowl. Close your eyes because it will sting if you have them open. Just sit there for 10 or 15mins and breathe it in deep!

These are just some tips that can guide you through some natural ideas! Contact a Naturopath or Homeopathic to find out more.

Remember flues/colds attack us when we are worn out and just plain tired. Take care of yourself. Get plenty of rest and water and eat well! It really does help!

Stay healthy this season!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

saturday quote

Happiness is an attitude. We either make ourselves miserable, or happy and strong. The amount of work is the same.

Francesca Reigler

Same amount of work and less energy spent on happiness then being mad, sad or holding a grudge. This is advice that I particularly need to heed today. That said today's quote is as much for you as for me! My reminder to let go of anger today. Move forward. Choose to be happy. If not for me .... for my family, especially my kids. They react and feed off how I behave. Important to remember that. What I make a big deal of they do. What I blow off they do. They see me happy... they are happy. Funny how kids mimic us eh?

I'm sitting here typing as the kids are laughing their heads off watching cartoons. Life is good. These are the moments I love!

Life is good!!!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

My experience with Yoga.

I remember my first yoga experience. I'm pretty sure it was about 10 years ago. It was in the basement of a local church

. I completely remember feeling terrified as I had NO clue what I was getting into. I must admit that I did not fully enjoy my first term of yoga. My instructor was amazing, but I was impatient. I didn’t want to be slow learning the moves and what helps with what. I just wanted to do it DARN IT! Although I didn’t learn as much as I should have from that first session, the breathing techniques certainly helped with the birth of my second son.

A few years later after taking a year of reflexology I had a new appreciation for a lot of things. One of them was the breathing in yoga and the slow pace of learning moves properly. I went back and tried it again with the same instructor. This time was a different experience all together. I was patient. I learned. I stretched and breathed. I learned what moves helped with digestion and what aided sore backs. I loved every moment of it. What was different this time?


Again, attitude is everything. EVERYTHING. I shifted my attitude and slowed down and took the time to hear my instructor and her here words of wisdom. I did not brush her off this time. I listened, absorbed, and enjoyed the moments. When you learn to slow down and appreciate things change.

This lesson taught me a few things.

1. To slow down and enjoy the moment. Stop rushing.

2. Listen to those who are wise in their profession. We are always students.

3. Gratitude. Be thankful for the teachers and slowing down.

I think of her and the lessons she taught me every time I do yoga. Thank you Shanta, you truly do not know how you changed my life!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

MIA, thankfulness and prayer

Wow I have been missing in action for awhile, and I need to thank Jenn for picking up the slack, she has been super busy and still managed to throw some valuable information our way. thank you Jenn for talking about the value of menu planning, gratitude and dealing with less then ideal people situations.

I have been sick my kids have been sick and now my hubby is fighting off the illness. The kids seem to have kicked it, but I still have a nagging cough, you know the kind, the tickle your throat dry hacking cough that gives you a headache and every once in awhile takes away your breath and makes you almost throw up. Yes. That kind of cough. I am on some puffers that are helping deal with the cough but it has still not gone away. My doctor assures me this is just the way it is. Everyone is having a hard time bouncing back.

Our house is still a disaster, we are digging out from under the piles of laundry that I am just to exhausted to deal with after work. Work which has been difficult because we are experiencing such a stressful time right now and it likely won't get any better until well into the new year. Work that just doesn't seem to go away so the longer I am off sick the more work I have to come back to. Work where everyone is under stress to preform above and beyond. Yes its fun.

Plus trying to get my act together so that I can plan and excute some kind of Christmas this year, since a couple of people I know so "gently" remind me EVERYDAY on their facebook updates HOW MANY DAYS THERE ARE LEFT UNTIL CHRISTMAS! No pressure!

However I do try to stop at some point in the day and say a quick thank you for all I do have and to say a quick prayer for those having a harder time then me.

I am sick, but I am not hospitalized and neither were my children - thank you
I pray for those that are at a loved ones bedside as they watch and wait
I am thankful that I am working and will be able to provide food and a special gift for my family
I pray for those who have been laid off or lost their jobs and don't know what they will do this holiday season
I am thankful that I have friends and family that have been there to support and help me through this
I pray for people who feel alone or who are alone, I pray they will find someone to count on

We are so thankful that we have no "obligations" this weekend, we have been able to relax, recouperate and have alot of family time this weekend and it has been good for us.

Here's hoping that you will be able to take some time this Sunday to be thankful and say a prayer or make a thoughtful gesture to someone in need.

Some tips for keeping this illness at bay.

Hand Washing
drinking warm liquids everyday
gargling with salt water
take a q-tip and dip it in the salt water and gently swab your nostrils

All these tips will help kill bacteria.

If you can, get vaccinated.

Take care all!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Energy Vampires...

You know what I'm talking about. The people the SUCK the life right out of you. They drain your positive energy and leave you feeling like CRAP. Yep we all have them in our life.

How they drain you?

  • they complain not stop about everything around them
  • make mountains out of molehills
  • complain about their job, their spouse, their kids or anyone else
  • don't take no for an answer
  • they nag at you till you feel yourself becoming as negative as them
  • oh and remember its never their fault. No ownership in problems. Pass the buck and pass the blame
  • they are never happy with the weather, the time of day, the season, the day of the week, you, what your wearing ect. ;)
  • any suggestion of positivity and they just get mad
  • some lie
  • gossip non stop
  • drama queen (or king what the heck equal opportunities)
  • everyone is out to get them...always
Now I'm sure many of us could add to that last too. Not every energy vampire in your life does all the above, but I'm willing to bets a chunk of them are there.

They need our positive energy, but in the meantime they literally suck us dry. We end up feeling miserable or tired, run down and worse yet, negative!!! I know for myself that after dealing with a few of these people (or even one depending on the day) I just feel exhausted. All I want to do is curl up on the coach and have the world leave me alone. Sad isn't it?

We've all been there. We will more than likely be there again.

What can you do?

Avoid them. Sometimes easier said then done. If you are able to cut them loose, do so. Why spend time with people that make you feel horrible. But in many cases, we are not able do that, so we have to deal with them. How?

  • limit your time and interaction with them
  • tell them it is a pleasant day and I'm sorry you feel that way and walk away
  • have a buffer, someone else with you so you don't get the full hit
  • avoid as much as you can
  • pump yourself up in a positive way before you interact
  • smile .... it normally gets them every time.
  • schedule some me time to rejuvenate after dealing with them if you have to
  • do not give away your positive energy, tell them to stop and say something positive right this second ;)
  • ask them if what they are complaining about is a real problem or just a gripe!
  • do not accept responsibility for their feelings
The bottom line is we have to deal with these kind of people and as we said in the past.... ATTITUDE is EVERYTHING. How you react to them is key.

Feel free to add to those lists in the comment section.

Hope everyone is having a wonderful Wednesday and has no Energy Vampires in their life today!

Sunday, November 15, 2009


It is Sunday evening as I type this. I just finished writing in my gratitude journal and I thought maybe I should share a few things on here! I really do try to write out a few times a week a list of what I'm grateful for! It helps make me happy, loved and appreicate life just a wee bit more! ;)

1. my wonderful husband
2. my kids (and yes even the ways they are changing)
3. my trip to NYC this spring
4. CHRISTMAS is less then 40days away
5. my new treadmill (yes I'm even using it!!!) lol
6. watching the boys play hockey :)
7. Gingerbread lattes from starbucks (little piece of heaven)

Whats on your list???

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Fabulous Friday....

“Life is a series of experiences, each one of which makes us bigger, even though it is hard to realize this. For the world was built to develop character, and we must learn that the setbacks and griefs which we endure help us in our marching onward.”

—Henry Ford

Love this quote! Life is experiences. The good the bad, the ugly. All of it. How we react to that experience is what matters. Builds character. Again good, bad and ugly, its all there. Life is attitude and how we view it and react to it!

Today hasn't been a balanced day for me, I cannot say it was really a fabulous friday. To tell you the truth it was far from it. I know Shannon is going through some similar experiences too! Hey at least we fall off the balance wagon at the same time! But life handed me a few things and I'm getting back on track. I have some amazing friends that help do that and I got the best email from my aunt today! A link about a new treatment for MS!!!! Very cool! You can check it out here. All in all today is ending well.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Today we remember those who have given their lives years ago and now so that we may live in freedom. Lest we forget.

I don't ever complain about anything now. Not the weather - I'm just glad we've got some. Not traffic, or too many people in line at the post office. Every morning when I wake up, I count my blessings that I'm healthy and that I was born and lived in this great country where we can make our dreams come true.

-Alan Bean, Astronaut on Apollo 12

My youngest son was excited today. For the first time in a long time our school had a full Remembrance Day Service. Normally they do something small, but today they were all asked to dress up and take part in this service. I asked him this morning why this was so special to him. His answer floored me and made realize how much children REALLY do listen to you. He said because when Papa and I (mom) talk about Great Grandpa we always talk about how he was in the war and because I've(mom) talked about my friends that are currently serving overseas in the war. Now I don't talk about this a lot, so you know it is something that he took hold of and listened too. He said he was proud to dress up to think about Great Grandpa Rhodes. Floored me. Just floored me. I had never met my Grandpa Rhodes and this out of a mouth of a 7 year old.

So today if you haven't already and even if you have. Pause, reflect and remember that there are those who gave their lives so we can have freedom. There are those who are still giving their lives, time and sacrifice so we can be free.

Thank you just does not seem like enough, but from the bottom of our hearts. Thank you.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Menu Planning...

Why is this process always so daunting ?? Maybe because I have picky eaters? Maybe some days I'm just too lazy to plan?? Ohhh its the shop that goes with it! ??? I do actually LOVE grocery stores.

Weird, yes I know, but I do. When ever we travel its one of the first things I do, is go to a grocery store to check out whats different from fresh food to processed food! Its my thing. Ask my dh. He laughs a lot but he just knows I gotta go check it out!!!!

Back to menu planning. I normally will plan on sunday for the week. Guess tomorrow is the day for me. I need to sit down and look at who is at what rink when and who is eating supper that night at home, on the road. I also factor in my client schedule. I tend to work a few nights a week as well. The slow cooker is my friend. As is McDonalds or Pizza some nights, but I really try hard to not eat out for suppers.

I'm back on track this week with more planning. This was in my list of goals to achieve some sense of balance. ;)

Good sites to check out:

Menu Planning 4 moms (but you have to subscribe)
The Pioneer Woman (has lots of great ideas here)
Eat Right Ontario (its free)
Menu planning for two weeks (has printable charts too)
Hillbilly House Wife (sounds crazy, but great ideas and easy...really good site, free)
Organized Home (easy and free too, printable shopping list too)

There is a good start if you never menu planned before with out over whelming you. The bottom line is to just start. I've listed some pointers below to help you.

  • Involve All Family Members in Menu Planning. Give each person the chance to talk about their food likes and dislikes, favourite recipes, and what they’d like to see on the family menu. Give family members tasks such as helping out with shopping for food, unpacking groceries, setting the table, or cooking.
  • Set Aside Some Time. Spend half an hour each week in menu planning. Pick a quiet time so that you can focus.
  • Get It In Writing. Brainstorm a list of meal ideas. Write down your ideas to help you remember them. Putting your menus in writing means that you can use them again in the future.
  • Start with the Main Attraction. First, decide on the main course for each meal over the coming week. Think about food your family enjoys, your budget, the time you have to prepare the food, and nutrition.
  • Mix It up. Try to introduce one new main course each week, so that your family gets to experience new tastes. Adding new main courses also makes it more likely that your family members will get all the nutrients they need.
  • Use Leftovers. Look for chances to use the leftovers from one meal at another meal later in the week.
  • Super Sides. Once you’ve come up with a main course for each meal, add on side dishes (e.g., vegetables, fruit and whole-grain side dishes such as brown rice or whole wheat pasta).
  • Mix It up. As with the main courses, look for chances to sneak in new healthy food choices.

  • Please share any tips you have on menu planning :)
    Happy planning....

    Thursday, November 5, 2009

    Paints, the flu and Chaos

    We/Me are still out of balance. Well we have IT. I don't know if it is actually H1N1 (swine flu) but it is something let me tell you. The girl started with it on Friday and me and the boy followed on Saturday. We experienced 2-3 days of fevers and now we are in the 2-3 days of coughing and stuffy or runny noses.

    Oh yeah and the best part! We are all REALLY crabby and irritable. And my house is in total CHAOS! I have been doing atleast two loads of laundry but they are still producing more. We have gone through pretty much 1-2 boxes of kleenex a day. My hubby is freaking. There are toys strewn about because the kids are too weak to clean them up and I am too weak to make them. We have been running the dishwasher ever day As I have been trying to use new cups and utensils for each meal and sterilizing everything each day. (vs just had washing them)

    I have washed all the extra blankets that we have in the tv room. I have disinfected the doors, railings, surfaces, plastic toys, my house reaks like vinegar.

    There have only been two days so far where the kids even feel like doing anything and we did a couple of crafts.

    Paints: my kids LOVE to paint! finger paint, sponge paint, paint with brushes - they just LOVE it. I knew that our paint supply was getting low and had started storing the container upside down to get the last bits of paints out of the bottles. This week of illness has drawn us dangerously close to (shhhh) running out! ahhh! there I said it. I believe I have some water color kits kicking around but I have to go looking for them. This could get serious.

    I'm hoping that my heathly supply of glitter glue and fluffy pom poms will be enough to keep them entertained. I may have to crack out some of my stamping supplies nothing like a new idea to keep them busy for a few hours.

    Yesterday was the first day I did not enforce mandatory nap time in the afternoon and that my friends was NOT a good idea! By 6pm the girl was in full meltdown mode and could not take two steps with our throwing, yelling kicking or crying. So up to bed she went and was fast asleep before 7pm. Poor sweetpea.

    So we followed with the boy shortly after at 7:30 cause he usually need the extra sleep when he's sick anyway. Because of the cerebral palsy he has to work so hard to walk and balance and when he's sick it wears him out even faster.

    Worse part is I followed and was asleep before 9pm. So tired.

    Everyone had a good night sleep except for me because I was up in the middle of the night with a totally stuffed up nose and checking on everyone.

    The kids started coughing about 5AM and we started our day shortly after. Needless to say today there WILL BE Mandatory Nap time after an early lunch.

    The plan for today is:

    • lots of fluids
    • a few extra pieces of fruit
    • changing pillow cases again
    • another box of kleenex
    • Mandatory Nap
    • Probably a full on bath and washing of the hair for the kids
    • more disinfecting of toys, surfaces, etc.

    I am very thankful that we have escaped anything worse, yes we have been uncomfortable and tired and VERY irritable but other then the incessant coughing the kids and I have not experienced very much pain. So I am very grateful for that.

    Be well my friends, take care to wash your hands and not touch your face. And for pete's sake if you have a fever of cough. STAY HOME.


    to your health -- shann

    Tuesday, November 3, 2009

    back on track....

    Today I feel like I'm finally getting back on track to living a balanced life again! I'm organized, I'm taking time for myself (had a massage today... was wonderful!!!) and I'm eating well, relaxed, just in a good spot. How did I do this??? Well just some minor changes in my life and the fact that my dh is away on business, so it forces me to get my act together!!!

    • menu planned
    • groceries are in the house!
    • eating healthier
    • cleaned up the house
    • organized school papers
    • had my mom come over and help (yep sometimes we all need help)
    • made sure I got 20mins on the treadmill this morning
    • taken time for myself (massage)
    • getting up a few mins earlier tomorrow to start my day
    • off to read for 20mins

    Even when we make small changes it enables us to get our life back on track. My list isn't anything fabulous or out of the ordinary, but its all things that allow me to feel that sense of balance back into my life. That is what matters.

    The little things really do add up, so I encourage you to change a few little things this week if your feeling out of balanced and see what happens. Does it make it difference? I'm betting it does!!!

    light and love!

    Sunday, November 1, 2009


    Well I must admit that Shannon was not the only one derailed recently. My life has been out of balanced for the past few weeks as well. What happened? In my case it was my children getting the flu. I work from home and when they are sick, it puts a HUGE stress on my work and routine, on top of being worried about them!! Since I work for myself I must cancel the clients or work around things. This puts everything out of sorts, including me. Its funny how Shannon and I lead two very different lives yet the same things can happen. We all tend to get out of balanced.

    My out of balanced life:

    Menu planning.... who menu plans when no one but yourself is eating?
    Work schedule .... gone
    Hockey... one kid going one day, then the next one gets sick, then the other goes back = just messed up
    House... one word " MESSED "
    Activity level for mom... gone. Unless you want to count running to doctors, drugstore, naturalpath, ect.
    School... running to and from one kid while healthy, homework for the next, then switch up
    Homework ... haha just realized oldest has a science test tomorrow. Never told me. Never checked his planner because I got out of that habit too. YIKES.
    Kids routines ... gone. You know like bathes?? whats that? lol
    Social life (as in mine or time with my husband) ... gone
    Blogging ... gone too
    Communication with friends... gone. For example notice that both Shannon and I blogged the other days with in minutes of each other! LOL Oh yeah!!!
    Groceries... no time with sick kids or energy.

    As you can see in a matter of a few short weeks, my entire life got out of balanced too.


    Now its time to get back into it.

    1. I need to organize my work life again. Calling clients, rebooking appointments
    2. Menu plan and grocery shop
    3. Get the boys back into normal school and sports routines!
    4. Get moving. Thank goodness for my treadmill!!!!
    5. Catch up with the real world. ie my friends, family
    6. Find time for myself every day to read/blog and relax.

    That is my starting list. I'll be back in a day or so to let you know how it is going.

    Wishing everyone out there a very happy and balanced week!