R2 Says

6 Feb

R2 is still saying funny and weird things!


“I had to pee but it turns out my penis was just cold.”


“Ok. I’ll sing. ‘I want to be the very best…’ sigh Never mind. I can’t remember any songs this family likes. Except for R1. I know he likes the diarrhea song.”


walks by wearing only underpants “Ok, I’m going to work now mom.” Where do you work??? “At the nail salon obviously!”


“Some people have a driver’s license. I have a baby catching license.”


“Mom, do you want me to tell you about a fancy bird? This bird is so beautiful, if you look at it, you’ll faint. The bird’s name is Huffle-Sparkle and tomorrow we’ll go through a mystical portal to find him!”

Love is all around

25 Jan

What an interesting day.

The President of the United States is continuing with his plans to build the wall.  

He’s signing away human rights with incredible speed.  

The Dakota pipeline is supposed to start construction again.  

He’s defunding women’s health.  

What else has he already done?  What else is he going to do?  I can’t even imagine.  It’s scary.


The world lost an icon today.  

Dear Laura Petrie; dear Mary Richards.  

My dear beloved Mary Tyler Moore.

A talented actor, active in charitable causes, animal rights, and diabetes awareness.

A dancer, a model, a mother, (then a grieving mother), a wife, an author, a producer, an award winner, an enterprise owner, a recovering alcoholic, a pioneer for women in television.

For as long as I can remember, I have loved The Mary Tyler Moore Show.  I watched it obsessively as a child.  I have most of the seven seasons memorized.

Dear Mary, with your nervous laughter and your stuttering protestations.  

Dear Mary, with your strong convictions and your unapologetic living.

The real Mary may not have embraced the title of feminist, but it’s so clear that her personas on tv were in favour of strong women and breaking glass ceilings.

Yes Mary, it was your apartment, not Rhoda’s:

The secondary characters were amazing, but it was your show.  You stole the show.  I laughed hysterically and was moved to tears.


Well it’s you girl, and you should know it 

With each glance and every little movement you show it 

Love is all around, no need to waste it 
You can never tell, why don’t you take it 

Thank you, Mary.  It’s time to let someone else do some living…

You’ve done more than enough and it’s time to rest.

Love is all around.  

Even in these tumultuous and disturbing polotical times, there will be people who radiate love.  We must find them and hold them up as examples.  

We cannot let hate win.

Tattoo & Transform

18 Jan

After my marriage ended, I wanted to do something to commemorate my feelings and to signify the start of a new chapter.

Enter, the torched wedding dress.

I wrote about that experience here, but I’m going to show a few pictures again anyway because I love them.

Scott Hobbs of Scott Hobbs Photography was the man behind the camera for this particular event (makeup and hair by Scotia of Sweet Cherry Spa) and I decided I wanted him behind the camera for future projects.  

He was happy to oblige with his expertise and I decided my next series of photos would document the beautiful and transformative process of tattooing.

This was a casual photo shoot that felt just like friends hanging out and laughing.  One of those friends just happened to have a big camera!

Scott is a professional

My hope was that the camera would be able to get up really close and personal as the needle pushed ink into the skin.  

I hoped there would be a mess of ink and blood that could represent how life can sometimes be really messy and definitely painful.  

But what happens after all that pain?  

Wipe away the mess and what’s left is a beautiful piece of art.

After the mess and heartbreak of last spring began to fade away (as time passed), I felt reborn.  

I never lost who I was, but being thrust into a new kind of life, shook me. 

It was a summer of reconnecting with old friends and connecting with new friends.  My people rallied around me and new people built me up and fortified me.  My heart is so full and happy and at peace.

That’s not to say it’s easy and stress-free.  But the process of becoming more ME and more fabulous than ever before is a good one.  I’m not stagnating; something is always happening.

The pictures didn’t go exactly as I planned because I didn’t bleed.  It wasn’t a messy experience at all.  

But we are adaptable and I was rewarded with some lovely photographs.

Thank you Scott for the lovely photos and for the gift of your time.

Thank you Vanessa (of Red River Trade Company) for the beautiful art that is now a part of me.

My collection of body art will continue to grow and I will too.

A honey of a winner

17 Jan

It was touch-and-go for awhile there, trying to get a name drawn…

That’s my paper with the names of the entries…

Okay, got it!

But the baby is using my draw receptacle now!

Ok, I liberated the pot!

Now where’s my biggest helper?  

Do your job, son!  Like a boss!

Congratulations to Ericka!  

She will be feeling the bee on her face very soon!

I hope you enjoy this face balm, Ericka!

Please visit Michelle’s website and her gofundme campaign!  

I hope these fabulous products can make it into some celebrity hands next month!

Thank you Michelle!

To the Oscars!

11 Jan

A few years ago, when I was just starting out with reader giveaways, my friend Michelle was one of the first volunteers!

I wrote about Michelle and her handmade skin care line here, but let me do a bit of a recap.

Here’s what Michelle looked like when I first met her:

Ugh, isn’t she adorable?!

Michelle is concerned with the environment and living responsibly; she had a strong desire to create an all-natural product for all types of skin.

Michelle turned to beeswax to nourish the skin and BEE23 was born.

The mission of BEE23 as explained by Michelle,

In blending the spirit of today with the wisdom of yesterday, we will inspire, create and grow in consideration of our local and global community. At BEE23, our creations are borne from the natural synthesis of timeless plant essences, nuts and vegetable ingredients in a beeswax base.

We offer a collection of solid perfume alternatives that are free of synthetic chemicals and additives. We know anything applied onto your skin will go into your body, so our products are made without the chemicals that cause dryness and irritation. Our body balms are designed to nourish and heal your skin, rather than damage it. We value the ingredients nature provides for us, so you can rest assured that you’re buying environmentally beneficial products.


Since our initial giveaway, Michelle has been living in Toronto with her family, growing her business and treating life as one big magical adventure.

This is what she’s looking like now!  

Do blonds have more fun or is she trying to emulate the golden pollen upon which her namesake feasts?

The most exciting bit of honey on Michelle’s plate right now is her campaign to bring BEE23 to the Oscars this February!

You know how….  at all these big award shows, the wealthy movie stars and musicians are given gift bags full of swag?  I’ve heard some of those gift bags are worth thousands of dollars!  Well, Michelle wants in on those gift bags!

Do celebrities with stacks of cash and strings of emeralds need all those free products?  I’m gonna go with….no.  


I’m thinking a lot of the products in those elusive goody bags are items put out by small businesses, trying to make it mainstream and trying to make a living.

A small business such as BEE23.

Michelle would love it if her products could find their way into a celebrity gift bag!  

Ideally what would happen is that someone like Jennifer Lawrence will try out some BEE23 Body Balm and fall in love and DEMAND to be the new spokesperson in partnership with Michelle and her humble Canadian company.

It could happen.

But first, Michelle needs to raise some money.  

She has a Gofundme campaign and she’s halfway to the goal.  

Visit the campaign page if you’re so inclined, to learn more about it.  Throw her five or ten dollars if you can!  

Let’s help our Canadian girl get her products into some sweaty celebrity hands!

And OF COURSE, Michelle wants to give one of my readers an amazing BEE23 product.


Please comment on this post to be entered into the draw!  Contest closes Monday January 16th at midnight.  Winner announced on the 17th.

She’s the Queen Bee, my friends: a magical bit of blond pollen and she’s bringing her beeswax to all the people, including Hollywood celebrities!

Visit Bee 23 on Facebook and the World Wide Web, online shopping is available.

Best of 2016

2 Jan

A few days after Christmas, the annual Walleye reader survey of the brightest and best in Thunder Bay was released.

I, like most people, am very aware that the people, businesses, and artists mentioned in this yearly issue are not necessarily the best.  

It all comes down to who nominated who and who voted.

Some people hate this magazine and especially this issue.  

You can’t please ALL the people ALL the time.

Seeing your name (or the name of your blog) in print, is a special feeling.

I don’t think I’m better than anyone else, but I do think I’m pretty awesome.  

I’m continually striving to be the best version of myself that I can; I’m continually working to be a better me.

If it’s shallow and meaningless to some, I’m okay with that.  This makes me feel happy.  

I know some of my friends voted for me, just like I voted for them.  And that’s ok.  It still means something to me and it was a lovely way to finish up the year.

Included in the issue was a nice little write up by Kirsti Salmi.

I’m excited to keep writing and telling stories in 2017.  

If you’ve stuck around this long, please continue to do so!  

More reader giveaways, more spotlights on colourful locals, more of my side projects, and more realness.

Thank you to everybody.

Christmas ReCap

1 Jan

This Christmas wasn’t too different from last Christmas, despite almost everything in my life being different.

Last Christmas I was married and in love.  I knew life with my young little family was stressful, but I also knew it wouldn’t always be that way.

A lot changed since last Christmas, some of which still causes me random bursts of anger.  I’m ok with that.  I think it’s normal to be angry when life spirals out of control.  I even think it’s normal to be a bit angry 8 months later.  It’s not an all-consuming anger, but it’s there sometimes.  It will get better.

Am I happier than I was last Christmas?  I would tentatively say no.  I was happy last year and I’m happy now.  It’s just different now.

The boys and I had early Christmas dinner with my dad’s family on the 17th.  Then Jason and I spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and a bit of Boxing Day with the boys, including a few appearances from my parents.  It was quiet, casual, and nice.  R3 was pretty grumpy and I don’t know whether or not it was because of toddler teething, a cold, or just a whiny phase.

There was a big Christmas party earlier in the month with many wonderful friends, and lots of holiday socializing over the past couple weeks with some of the same wonderful friends and some family.  A family dinner tonight, a family lunch tomorrow, and a friendly party in the PM.  

That’s a lot of boring details, but hey, it happened man.  That’s real life, baby!

Now for a holiday photo smash!

I really wanted to give those amazing boys a great Christmas.  It was pretty quiet (compared to what I’ve heard other families do) but I think I can count it all as a success.