A little less judgment

Tis the season of New Years resolutions – and whether you make them or not, have good intentions or not,  keep them or not – we all have goals for the year ahead. The thought of a new year often leads us to think of a fresh start and if that is what you need for change – then great – but remember, you can change any time of the year, any day of the week, you don’t need a designated time to change.

This year, I challenge you – think before you judge, include instead of exclude. This may sound easy enough, but if it was – we would all be doing it by now. Over the last few years with my children in school, I’ve noticed that there can be cliquey mom groups and I’m sure you’ve noticed it too. Without fail, it makes me think of high school, where you would struggle to find your place, where you wanted to belong, where you didn’t want to be an outsider.

We are not in high school any more. We don’t know everyone’s story. Don’t pass judgement you don’t want passed on you. It’s a process and it’s in our nature to judge – but just think before you do. Let’s break the cycle of cliques. Let’s show our children that friends can come in many forms. Let’s show our children how to lift others up. Let’s show our children that we can be better.

We were not made to be divided into groups. We were not made to be the same. We were made to be different.  We were made to complement each other. We have different strengths and weaknesses for a reason, so that together, we can be a force to be reckoned with.

This year – step out of your comfort zone, ask another mom for coffee, talk to a mom you haven’t before, make a stronger connection with ones you have. You could surprise yourself and make an unexpected connection, or you may not. But, whatever the outcome, give it a shot, try not to judge, be inclusive.

Find your tribe – the moms that complement you, the moms that accept you, the moms that support you, the moms that raise each other up. You can find great friends, in unexpected places, you just need to be open to it. You don’t have to be friends with everyone you meet, but instead of passing judgments on ones you don’t click with, pass smiles and simple hellos instead.

Happy 2019 – Be kind and leave a positive mark on others.

Until next time….




Gluten Free Products that are actually good!!

*Note: This is not an ad. I have not been sponsored/paid by any of the below companies to mention their products. This is my personal opinion only. *

Eating gluten free doesn’t have to suck but often it can. For the last 5 years, I’ve been gluten free. I am gluten intolerant – not Celiac. It has taken a lot of trial and error to find gluten free products I enjoy, ones that aren’t too dry, ones that closely resemble the gluten filled goodness I’m missing. I’ve put together a list of my favourites below (in no particular order) – if you are looking for something new – give one of them a try, or maybe you already have – either way, Enjoy!


  1. O’Dough’s Bagels

There are several flavours available but my favourite are the Everything ones! They         are the closest I can find to a “real” bagel and to make it better they are thin and only         100 calories each!

PC Gluten Free Chicken Nuggets Coated Chicken Breast Cutlettes

2. Presidents Choice Gluten Free Chicken Nuggets

Yum, yum, yum! These chicken nuggets are delicious! If you’re jealous of your kids             getting all the fun – give these a try. If they are for your kids – they will thank you                 because you can’t even tell they are gluten free!

3. Chex Cereal

This cereal reminds me of cinnamon toast crunch – something I can’t eat anymore. The chocolate flavour is also really good – try any of them – you won’t be disappointed.

4. Glutino Rosemary & Olive Oil Crackers

These crackers need nothing else, not cheese or meat – you can add them if you want – but they are really good on their own. You can even feed them to your non-gluten free family and friends and they won’t suspect they are missing gluten.

Breton Black Bean with Onion and Garlic Gluten Free Crackers

5. Breton Gluten Free Black Bean with Onion and Garlic Crackers

Let’s stay on the cracker train for a minute. These crackers are also yummy and not dry. Although good on their own, I tend to have cheese or soup with these ones. Breton makes other gluten free flavours as well – but I think this one is the best.

6. Robin Hood Gluten Free All Purpose Flour Blend

This flour blend is the answer to all your baking frustrations. It is my go to –  I substitute regular flour for this blend in all of my old recipes and haven’t had an issue yet. And – Robin Hood has some great gluten free recipes on their website if you are looking to try out something new.


7. Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps Minis – Gluten Free

Finally! Pretzel crisps are now available in a gluten free version! I’ve only been able to find the mini version but they also make one the same size as the original ones.  A great addition to any of your favourite dips.


8. Catelli Gluten Free Pasta

There are several gluten free pastas on the market – and there are a lot that I do enjoy. The catelli brand is readily available where I live and a great substitute to regular pasta. It tastes very close to regular pasta – most can’t tell the difference. Catelli also has recipes on their website – which I just discovered as I was writing this post – yum!

Gluten Free Yellow Cake Mix

9. Betty Crocker Gluten Free Cake Mix

Betty Crocker makes some great cake mixes – I’ve had both the chocolate and yellow – they are both what you would expect from a cake – and a great solution when you don’t want to bake from scratch or want to quickly whip up some cupcakes. AND – their website has recipes too – I see a lot of new things in my future.

Natures Path Natures Path Organic Gluten Free Selections Waffles, 6 ea

10. Nature’s Path Gluten Free Waffles – Pumpkin Spice

Be still my heart!!! There really isn’t much to say here – if you need a pumpkin spice fix and love waffles – this is a must!!!


There are a lot more products I love – but I’ll save those for another time. Give some of these a try – especially if you are new to gluten-free eating and struggling to replace old favourites. And when all else fails – have a glass of wine!






Today, I’m grateful for air to breathe and a sun that shines

I’m grateful for little smiles and sweet warm hugs

Today, I’m grateful for adrenaline that keeps you moving

I’m grateful to be part of a kind community that steps up when you need it the most

Today, I’m grateful to live in a place where medical care is readily available

But most of all – I’m grateful for a sweet boy that is going to be okay and is braver and stronger than I will ever be.

Being a parent is the toughest job you will ever have but also the most rewarding. Last week, our 4 year old son fell off the school bus when he got to school – he suffered a minor concussion – but thankfully is okay. As parents, we have moments that we will always remember and images we will never forget. Sometimes they are good, sometimes they are bad, sometimes beautiful, sometimes sad. But all of these moments make up who we are, they bond our family, they make us stronger, they make us one.

Last Friday is a day I will never forget, it was one of the biggest scares I’ve had as a parent – but what I will remember most about that day isn’t the fear and worry I felt – but the strength and bravery my son had, the way he rolled with the punches, trusted everything would be okay, and picked himself back up again. And, the way a community of friends, family, and especially strangers – showed us kindness and love, so extraordinary it made me smile on a tough day and left a mark on my heart that will never go away.

Look around you – there are so many things we can learn from others. Your children can remind you that strength will lift you back up again. Your community can remind you that kindness can be shown to any one, any where. Take advantage of the lessons others teach you – it happens every day – it will make you grow, it will make you thrive, it will make you embrace a life more beautiful than you ever imagined.

There is always a silver lining – it may be difficult to find or it may be shining right in front of your eyes – but find it! Be grateful – because, my God, we have so much to be grateful for!




So, your little one is off to school….

It feels like just a few days ago you were bringing them home from the hospital – now they are off to face a new adventure – without you by their side. And whether it feels like it right now or not – you’ll both be okay – probably better than okay.

I may not be an expert – but I’ve been through this once (as my oldest started junior kindergarten 2 years ago). And for the purposes of this blog – we will pretend I know a thing or two about what this new adventure will bring for you and your little.

Let me start by saying – you have no doubt over prepared. You have likely researched every lunchbox, backpack and shoe brand out there. You have probably purchased a wardrobe for your 3-4 year old that is more stylish than ANYTHING you have ever bought for yourself. You have probably pinned so many lunch and snack ideas to ensure your child is well-nourished for their long day of learning. And, you have most definitely labelled every single thing you are sending with them to school.

So I will break it to you gently….

Kindergarteners don’t care who has the “best” lunchbox, backpack or shoes – brand names do not matter. Most of their classmates will usually love their stuff if it’s a colour they like, a beloved character, and for sure if it lights up when they run. I bet if you ask any 4 year old what brand name lunch box or shoes their friends wear they won’t know the answer.  But, they sure will remember if someone has cool shoes that light up when they walk – I learned that one the hard way. So take some stress off yourself. Buy what your child likes and what you can afford. It’s kindergarten for pete sakes – not high school.

Wardrobe is a complicated one and it doesn’t really matter what you buy them or how much you spend – I give it 2 weeks tops and most of their clothes will end up with some unremovable mystery stain. Don’t stress – Kindergarteners also don’t care about stains so don’t run out to buy them new clothes – they can continue to wear those mystery stained clothes to school – no one will notice. But beware – there will be something labelled “uncool” by a classmate or two that your child will then refuse to wear ever again. For my daughter it was blue jeans – it took one time for a class mate to inform her that jeans were not cool for her to never wear them again. And yes – that does start in Kindergarten. But take a breather – your child isn’t stepping off the runway. If they dress themselves in clothes that don’t match with their shirt on backwards – at least they did it themselves.

Lunches, lunches, lunches. You will all have good intentions. The first week your fridge will be organized – snacks prepacked, homemade muffins, everything organic. You will spend precious time cutting their sandwiches into dinosaurs and their cucumbers into hearts. You will pack a lunch that is Pinterest worthy and that you are very proud of. Then you’ll notice that your kids don’t care if their lunch looks fancy – in fact they weren’t even aware you were cutting things into shapes. Your evenings will get more chaotic with extra curricular activities, “homework”, school forms, running around to grab socks for crazy sock day – that things will begin to slide. You will throw whatever you can together in the morning – still a balanced lunch but for sure a prepackaged processed snack every day and cute shapes – they are gone too. And you know what – your child will be just fine. They will survive. And they will either eat or not eat the same way they did when you invested way too much time in packing their food while grabbing yourself an apple and granola bar for lunch.

And labels. Yes, label some of your stuff – backpack, shoes, coat, snow pants – but don’t go crazy. I am a recovering over labeller and I will tell you one thing – it doesn’t matter how much you label – they will still lose things that never resurface – even with the label. So, don’t make yourself go insane with labelling every little thing – if it was meant to get lost – it still will.

So, as you prepare this weekend – for a new chapter for you and your little one – here are a few tips:

  1. Bring sunglasses the first day – these are to cover up any tears that may leak out so your little one doesn’t panic when they see you cry. Try to keep it together until you walk out the door from dropping them off – this will be the best for both of you.
  2. Take a couple hours off of work – maybe even the whole day. School is a big adjustment for both of you – but more you than them. Us moms tend to get a bit sappy on the first day. So, take part of the day to reminisce, enjoy a hot coffee, vent with other moms, and cry if you need to. And then pull it together for when the school bell rings. Because that child of yours is going to have a lot of great things to tell you!
  3.  Do NOT and I mean do NOT watch baby videos or look at their baby clothes. This will only turn you or your spouse into a blubbering mess instead of being excited for them and their first day of school.
  4. Be easy on yourself. School is tough. There is a lot of pressure on parents to make it a perfect experience (*future post*). Just breathe. Do what you can. Don’t over-stress. Your child and yourself will be OKAY. You’ve got this, Mama!

And most of all – enjoy. It is a new and wonderful experience. You have done your best and will continue to do your best to raise your child into a lovely human being. They will make friends, they will learn more than you ever expected, they will come into their own and they will flourish. There will be tough times and challenges – but guess what? You’ve got that too! Just breathe, breathe, breathe and embrace this new journey you’re both on – it is unbelievable.

Enjoy your long weekend – and good luck on the first day! You’ll rock it!


P.S. If you’re looking for a great read – “The Kissing Hand” is one of our favourites for preparing for school.





Storybook Gardens – Bucket List #5

Storybook Gardens is not the same as Storybook Park – and there is an ongoing debate about which one is the “best”. We have yet to go to Storybook Park (it is on our list for next year) so I can’t really comment on its greatness. But…I can tell you what our family loves about Storybook Gardens – we’ve been 3 times!

IMG_8082Storybook Gardens is located in London, Ontario. It is a park aimed at young children. I would say it is most suitable for 6 and under but children a little older could find fun there too. The park focuses on classic nursery rhymes/fairy tales and is a decent size for little legs to walk (it’s not too small or too large).

core-1534724535082762-30One of the best things about this park is cost. Admission is totally reasonable – $27.00 for a family of 4 – or if you have a coupon like we did it was only $20.00. Rides are extra and parking is free. Storybook Gardens also lets you bring in your own food – so you can save money by packing a picnic lunch – and there are a lot of beautiful park locations to enjoy your lunch. They also do have little food kiosks, if you prefer, with your typical type food – fries, burgers etc.


The rides are limited. They have a Ferris wheel, carousel, large slide, flying elephants, swings and train. We don’t go on many of the rides but our children have to go on the train every time!

IMG_8101The playgrounds – there are so many! They have a playground just for toddlers, they have a pirate ship and several large climbing structures and slides. There is also a giant “jumping pillow” (name likely not accurate), that our children have consistently loved and is a must! This was definitely the year my children enjoyed the playground area the most (aged 4 and 6). If your children love their neighbourhood park – this will blow their minds :).

IMG_8105The splash pad area is large (there were a lot of kids there so I didn’t want to take pictures to post of that area) and there is a water slide – which is a lot of fun. For your convenience, there are washrooms and changerooms right at the splash pad. It is a great place to cool off if you are there on a hot day. Make sure to pack bathing suits and towels!


The village is an area of the park that looks like a little town – where children can play and explore. Our children are slowly outgrowing this area but it is a big hit with the younger children and even has a large shoe they can play in (“There was an old woman who lived in a shoe”). Definitely check it out!

The park also puts on daily plays/musicals and shows themed around fairy tales. We skipped them this time but have sat and watched them on our past two visits. When you enter the park they will give you a schedule of show times and what is going on that day. Make sure to check their website as they also have themed days in the summer (Princesses, Star Wars etc.).

core-1534724536847140-38This park has been around for a long time – I went several times as a child. In the words of my daughter “and it’s still here??”. It’s still there for a reason – it’s a fun day trip with your family without breaking the bank. Check out their website for hours this year or add it to your summer list for next year – it is definitely a classic!

Enjoy your last “summer” weekend before the start of school.

Until next time….



Sauble Beach Sandfest and Speedway – Bucket List #3 & 4

Sauble Ontario is a place near and dear to my husband’s heart, the home of his family trailer and a place our family visits at least once every summer. So, it was only natural that our summer bucket list brought us to Sandfest (which we’ve been to once before) and the Sauble Speedway (a first time experience).

Let’s start with Sandfest. Sandfest usually is the second weekend of August and this year fell on Saturday August 11. We arrived at the beach around 10 am – it was just starting to get busy but not too crowded yet. We first walked by the sand building – we were a little early, so all of the participants were early on in the building process – but it was still fun to watch.

IMG_7858We did go back on Sunday to see the finished products. Talent does not begin to describe the master pieces that were created with sand – by adults and children alike! We were very impressed with the skill and detail that went into the sand sculptures. IMG_7862Another part of Sandfest is a Classic Car show – something both the little and big man in our family were very excited to check out. Their love for old cars made this portion of the day a big success. There were classic cars parked all over the beach – it was so cool to see – even if you aren’t a car enthusiast.

IMG_7836Both of my children thoroughly enjoyed looking at all the cars. And there was a very kind lady that was handing out hotwheels cars to all of the kiddos – such a sweet gesture that made the experience even more special for the children.

IMG_7831If you can check out Sandfest next year – I would highly recommend it! Plus, when you are done you can spend the day at the beach – and nothing beats a beach day with the family!


Later in the evening – the same day – we headed over to Sauble Speedway. Our little guy is obsessed with cars (to put it lightly), the Disney Cars movies, and racing of any sort. We were excited to take him to a much smaller scale car race than a Nascar or Indy race – but still have him be able to experience it. The grandstands opened at 5:00 pm and racing started at 6:00. The cost was reasonable – $20 per adult, $5 for kids aged 6 – 11 and kids under 5 were free.  The costs and start times can differ – but the schedule on their website will give you all the details – so make sure to check it out before planning your trip.

IMG_7876The track is small and there is plenty of seating available. We were lucky enough to snag some red chairs – which definitely helped with comfort. Bringing a blanket to sit on in the stands isn’t a bad idea – and sunscreen is a must as the grandstands are not covered or shaded. One other must have for us were noise minimizing ear muffs – we wanted the children to enjoy the race without hurting or damaging their ears – you can pick these up at a local hardware store or online. The races varied in number of laps and ages (there were even 10 year olds racing!) but the excitement of watching the races really had the children in awe – and the shorter number of laps kept their interest.

IMG_7929We made many trips to the concession stands and washrooms – and were there for close to 3 hours. The kids met up with some of their friends from back home – and had such a great time that this is definitely a must do again next year! If you have a little one that loves cars, or are looking for something a little different then definitely check this out!

IMG_7903There are so many things to do in Sauble Beach and the surrounding areas. If you have never been – you should – even if it’s just a day trip!

Until next time….




This Wee Space – Bucket List #2

The summer always goes by way too fast and this summer is no exception. A couple weeks ago, we made our first visit to This Wee Space in Fergus Ontario. I was too preoccupied with kiddos to post about it until now – sorry for leaving you in the dark! There are a lot more posts coming your way soon, as we have a lot of bucket list items planned in the next couple weeks.

This Wee Space is located downtown Fergus – and is a great place for your young ones to create and explore. The space is divided into three sections. The first section is the art section.


In this space, your child can create one piece to take home with them. The items, when we were there, ranged from wooden animals, birdhouses and masks. There are a variety of paints, glitter, stickers etc. for them to make their masterpieces and also rocks and paper (at no extra cost) to create on as well. And there is even a space for their creations to dry while they explore the other spaces.


The next section was both of my children’s favourite area. This space has a tree house – such a great idea and so much fun for them to play and explore. There are also toy trucks, dinosaurs, dollhouses, a kitchen and a wide selection of books in this area.

The third space is great for imaginative little minds. It contains two stages – one very large and one smaller. The smaller stage has two drum sets, guitars, a keyboard and other musical instruments for your child to perform a mini concert or just to play.


The larger stage is great for dress up and/or performing plays. With the wide array of costumes available, your little ones imagination will soar!


This Wee Space is open Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday (hours on their website) and Tuesday and Wednesday by appointment. Admission is $12 per child. There are also couches for parents to sit and enjoy a coffee while your children explore and create. I would recommend calling ahead or checking their Facebook page to ensure they are open when you want to check it out. All in all – a create addition to a small community and a fun way to spend some time on a rainy day or meet up with friends.

Have a great Tuesday!




Belwood Lake – Bucket List #1

Last weekend, we decided to cross one place off our summer bucket list – we spent Sunday morning at Belwood Lake Park (Beach). The cost of admission for the day was $7 per adult (15-64) and children 5 and under are free – so it cost us $14 total because both of our children are under 6. Children aged 6-14 are only $3 – so it won’t break the bank. Hours on the weekend indicate “dawn to dusk” which I think were specifically 6 am to 9 pm on the day we were there. Through the week, I believe they are open at 8 am – but don’t quote me on that. Their website will give you the details you need or you can always call to be sure. We arrived around 8:30 am to begin our adventure.

It was our first time at Belwood Lake Park and we had heard a lot about the Beach, so we ventured in that direction – next time we plan to explore the other side of the park where the actual lake is. The drive to the beach area is beautiful – a ton of trees and picnic tables – plenty of places to sit and enjoy lunch or a snack and take in your surroundings.


There is parking right in front of the beach – if it’s not too crowded when you arrive. This was a perk we weren’t expecting and we loved that we didn’t have to lug all our beach gear far. When we arrived there was only one other family there – it was very quiet and peaceful – we ate breakfast right on the beach and then got right into the fun.


The shallow area (in front of the roped off buoys) is perfect for little ones to roam. There are warning signs that indicate the water is deep beyond that point – we weren’t sure exactly how deep – but another beach goer advised us that at the deepest point it is 226 ft. – way deeper than we would have guessed. We always bring the kids life jackets when around water, so they already had those on – and I would recommend this tip for all of you. Accidents happen way too fast and better have them with their life jackets on then take the risk – not worth it. We were safe around the water and the kids both had so much fun.


If you are uncomfortable with the depth, the area to the right of the fence is very shallow and your children can touch the entire way across. Also, along the fence is a great place to spot minnows (we saw a ton), and tadpoles earlier in the summer.


There are also washrooms close by and a playground – we were having too much fun in the water to check out the playground, but there is one if your children enjoy a good playground.

We also saw a few Monarch butterflies – my son’s favourite activity was chasing the butterflies and collecting rocks 🙂


By the time we left (around 12), it was starting to become busier. If that doesn’t bother you, then you can go whenever. If you prefer a quieter experience then I would recommend going first thing in the morning. All in all, we had such a fun day and will definitely be back to revisit Belwood Lake Park beach and to explore other areas of the park. We are lucky to live so close – but definitely worth checking out this area this summer if you don’t live close. Happy Monday!


Our Summer Bucket List

*Note: This is not a sponsored post or an ad of any sort.

We have officially survived the first week of summer holidays! Keeping young kids busy and having fun (without spending a fortune) is always a challenge. I’ve put together a bucket list of places we hope to visit this summer, in Ontario, and am looking forward to crossing most if not all of them off our list. Follow along this summer and I will post about these places as we end up visiting them. Take a peek below and maybe you’ll see something fun to try with your family too! Happy Summer!

1. Ontario Science Centre – Toronto, ON

As its name indicates – this is a science museum. When I was a child we went here a couple of times but we have yet to take our children. Our daughter has taken quite a liking to science since starting school 2 years ago, so we can’t wait to explore this museum and have a fun and secretly educational day trip.

2. Storybook Gardens – London, ON

This is one of our favourite places to go in the summer. We have been twice and the kids have loved it both times. A perfect place for young children, it has rides, a large splashpad, great playgrounds and entertainment! We can’t wait to go again this summer.

3. This Wee Space – Fergus, ON

This is a new place that just opened in our town and we can’t wait to check it out. It is a space where kids can create and explore their creativity. It has a craft space, a treehouse and a stage – sounds like the perfect place for a day when you can’t be outside.

4. Sauble Beach Sandfest – Sauble Beach, ON

Taking place August 11 & 12, 2018 is an annual fun-filled event at Sauble Beach. There is a sandcastle competition and a classic car show. The event takes place right on the beach and should be a blast for our car loving, dirt loving children.

5. Sauble Speedway – Sauble Beach, ON

Sauble Speedway is a race track in Sauble Beach, ON. To say our son has become very fond of cars over the last year is to put it lightly. He is too young to attend a large race like Nascar, so we thought a much smaller race would be a fun summer experience for him.

6. Truck & Tractor Pull– Elora, ON

This is a must attend summer event for our family since moving to Fergus. We initially checked it out when we first moved here and our son instantly fell in love. We can’t drive by the Grand River Raceway without him talking about the Truck & Tractor Pull. This year it is happening August 24 & August 25.

7. Belwood Lake Park – Belwood, ON

Despite living extremely close, we have yet to check out this conservation park. It has been recommended to us by a lot of locals and we can’t wait to check out the “beach”, which is said to be great for young kids.

8. Mapleton’s Organic Dairy Farm – Mapleton, ON

This is a family owned and operated dairy farm that crafts all of their own ice cream. You can explore the farm facilities and activities (including a cedar hedge maze). I think our kids will love visiting a dairy farm especially if ice cream is involved.

9. Centre Wellington Derby Nights – Elora, ON

The Grand River Raceway is presenting Derby Nights this summer with events for children including : driving a racehorse, a barn tour, and other kids’ activities. My husband and I went here on a date night at the beginning of June and think our children would enjoy watching the horses so this event sounds perfect for our family!

10. Go Bananas – Kitchener, ON

This is a kid-friendly indoor climbing gym. It was created by the founders of Grand River Rocks and comes highly recommended by several of our friends. All of the photos we’ve seen look like so much fun and make this a summer must for us this year!




Laid Off – A Blessing…

It happens a lot – budget cuts, restructuring, mergers, technological advancements – all resulting in lay offs  – sometimes just a few people, sometimes hundreds. You may be lucky and receive a severance, or you may be left to find work immediately with no compensation and no direction.

The day you receive the news that they are letting you go can be a roller coaster of emotions – how you take the news, process the news and move on really depends on your individual situation. For me, it was the people – they made it the hardest to say goodbye. Leaving behind the security was a struggle. The uncertainty about what was to come next was and still is frightening some days. But I was lucky – 10+ years at a corporate company gave me the opportunity to take some time off – I know others might not receive the same opportunity – so I was determined to make the best of it.

Regardless if you receive financial assistance or not – being laid off can be a blessing for many – especially once the shock wears off. For me, it was exactly that – a blessing in the best possible way. Though I held many positions in my 10 years at one company (it was my first “full-time” job out of university) –  it was the job I took “until I found what I really wanted to do” and 10 years later I was still there. The excuses ran deep, the compensation, the benefits, the vacation, the flexibility when we started our family, the vast knowledge of the industry. But they were just that – excuses – I had become comfortable, too comfortable – happy to do the day to day to pay the bills and not take any risks. But was I fulfilled? Not really.

Being forced out was a blessing for me – it was the push I needed and probably wouldn’t have taken otherwise. It gave me this wonderful opportunity, it gave me a chance to soul search, to spend time with myself, to rediscover old interests, to be passionate again – to bring a bit of sparkle back into my life. Don’t get me wrong – being a mom is my life, the best job I’ve ever had and ever will and I would never trade it for anything – but I lost myself a little in the last 6 years. I stopped doing the things I once enjoyed, the things that made me smile, I stopped making time for myself and dedicated it all to my children –  because they are my priority. I’ve been off 3 months (with a bit of time left to go) and I’ve learned that I can be a priority too – and so can you. The stress that has been lifted, the sparkle that is returning, it all transfers to my children. If you are happier – so is everyone around you. Don’t ever regret taking some time for yourself – I never realized how important it was until I was given this opportunity.

If you get laid off and are able to take some time to yourself – do it! If you aren’t able – embrace the change of pace, a new company and/or a new role can bring so many amazing and unexpected things. I know it is very cliché but when one door closes another one most definitely opens. Make the best of it – it can be scary but the results could be earth-shattering.

Being laid off has been a blessing for me – it came at a time when I was worn thin, when I begged for a break, for something to give – it came – and I’ve taken full advantage of it. Do the best with what you are given – try to see the beauty through the darkness.

Until next time…