Girl Blogger

23 Mar

I’m still neglecting this space. 

It’s the whole, having-three-kids and having-a-new-love in my life that are occupying a lot of my time these days.  Naturally.

I’m also having so much fun with my not-so-side-project, People of Port Arthur.  Have you checked it out yet?  

It will likely be more interesting if you live in Thunder Bay or you’re from Thunder Bay.  I love talking and I love learning about people; I’m having so much fun introducing readers to the people I meet on my daily travels throughout my part of the city.  

It’s my own little Sesame Street.  

These are the people in my neighbourhood…

Now remember, if you don’t live in or work in the Port Arthur half of Thunder Bay, you can still be featured.  It’s not a hard and fast rule, it’s just a lovely little bit of alliteration (PEOPLE of PORT ARTHUR) that appeals so greatly to me!  Plus, I am not a frequent visitor to the southernmost areas of our city.  

If you see me out and about, you’re welcome to approach me and ask for a feature on People of Port Arthur.  I have a backlog of people so it wouldn’t actually happen immediately.  But it would happen eventually!  

However, if I’m with my kids and they’re screaming or running into traffic or punching each other, it’s best not to approach unless you want an exasperated eye roll for a response.  You know, you gotta feel the room.

Another little pastime that’s been consuming my hours is a new art endeavour.  

Pop Art Prints by Eating Dirt.  

It’s something fun and creative that has the potential (through commissions) to earn a bit of pocket money.  And by pocket money, I mean grocery money.

So!  Despite my neglect, it was really nice to see this article in The Argus today!

First there was Amanda Bay of Bay Awesome: 

Then me:

And Sabrina from ArcticSabrina:

Each blogger had a lovely description following the picture.  It was interesting to know that someone out there considers me a badass.  Me?  Little old me???  I think I’m pretty strong and resilient so I will take that badass label and wear it proudly.

I spend a lot of time writing about other people and I’m pretty good at writing about myself with honesty and objectivity.  It’s interesting, a bit surprising, and humbling to read what someone else has written about you.  

Thank you to the author, Leah Ching, who used such kind words to describe me and my fellow girl bloggers.

One thing is definitely for certain: I’m in great company, here in Thunder Bay.  I’m lucky and blessed to know so many creative and talented people and even luckier to be counted in their numbers.

Thank you readers for continuing to come back.  I may not write as frequently as I used to, but I’m not going anywhere.


23 Feb

My middle son is now six years old.  

Yesterday morning I woke him up by singing happy birthday.  Then I said to him, “Do you know what I was doing six years ago at this time?  Arriving at the hospital, getting ready to push you into the world!”  He smiled a shy smile and hugged me and said he loved me.

He’s such a sensitive child, so full of love.

Later in the evening, shortly before bed, I was showing him old videos from when he was a baby.  I looked over and tears were pouring from his eyes and he said, “I just love our family so much!”

He’s been having a rather difficult time at school these days.  Lots of talking back to his teachers and refusing to participate in activities.  

Last year he loved school so much and he loved pretty much everything about the school routine.  I know some kids don’t thrive in a regimented routine oriented day, but he was loving it!

I worry because I don’t want attending school to be torture for him.  The stark contrast between this year and last year leads me to believe that he’s not adjusting to all the big life changes of the past year quite as well as I originally thought.

At first I thought he was crying sad tears in response to the old videos, but he assured me they were happy tears.  I told him I cry happy tears too sometimes and that both happy and sad tears are ok in this family.

As my little guy gets bigger, I can see that the outside influences of peers and media are having an effect. We all want our babies to stay in bubbles to an extent.  Generally speaking, the bubbles of family life keep our kids innocent. It’s difficult sending them out in the world because that is where other influences are.  

With my little R2, I worry that the other influences will have an effect on who he is.  He can be whiny, he can be stubborn, and he can throw some pretty huge fits.  He tells outlandish stories that we know aren’t true, and he doesn’t like doing things if it isn’t his own idea.  

But he’s so imaginative and creative and he loves fiercely and deeply.  He’s interested in a huge variety of topics and, so far, he’s very confident in expressing his own personal style.  I feel like his love for people and the world could be a good lesson to many of the people in charge these days.

I’ve gathered up my favourite pictures from R2 at age 5 (until his sixth birthday yesterday) and I feel like a lot of these pictures perfectly showcase this wonderful child and his strong personality.

R2 hates going to bed, most food, when his brothers bug him, and going to school.  But he loves almost everything else.

Honourable mentions to:

Barbies, My Little Pony, Minecraft, candy, animals, people, his family,  going to Gramma’s house, going to the record store, going shopping, stickers, sparkly things, cars and trucks, and babies.

Look at that brand new six year old!

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.