Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I'm a Mom Central Canada Blogger Grant Recipient!


When you're a newly married couple, people always ask, "When are you going to start a family?"
When you have your first child, people always seem to ask, "When are you going to have Baby #2?"
I can't help but feel a little bit of anxiety when people ask these rather innocent questions. Though I do wish for a younger sibling for Little One, I can't help but be scared.

Being a Mom of a preemie and having had a high risk pregnancy, I worry about having a second baby. In my heart, I want a sibling for Little One, but can't get past the fear of something going wrong again. I'd like to share with other moms about the realistic fears of expanding one's family and let others know that they aren't alone in feeling anxiety over this matter.
After Little One’s dramatic entrance into the world, where she canon-balled herself into existence without the presence of a doctor in the hospital room, I have to say that the thought of having another preemie is a little bit daunting.

With her being born at 28 weeks gestation and weighing in at a whopping 980 grams (that’s just a tad over 2 lbs of butter!), life as my husband and I knew it would never be the same.  Having spent the first 70 days of her life in the NICU, we realize what a tremendous blessing and miracle she is.

Of course, our little preemie is now two years old (three years old in November) and everyone keeps asking when we’re going to have #2.
 The dates on these photos are incorrect. The settings on the camera were wrong. Little One was born on November 11, 2008.

The truth is, I’m scared.

I am terrified of having to go through that again.  There’s no telling whether I will have another premature baby, but the thought of it happening again scares me to death. I have friends who have had preemies and who have gone on to deliver their other children full-term. I've also got friends who have had preemies and kept on having preemies. We are blessed to have  had a healthy, strong, feisty little girl, but what if the next time we aren't so lucky?
  We were so fortunate that despite her prematurity and low birth weight, Little One came out unscathed.  She had no serious health complications, but was using her CPAP and NG tube for longer than I expected her to.  Two lumbar punctures (spinal taps) and a few other procedures were the biggest/most serious things she had to undergo.  Otherwise, no retinopathy of prematurity, no respiratory issues, no vision or hearing impairment.

It’s still scary to think that she might have had one or all of the above. I know we would love her with all our hearts regardless of what the outcome would have been.  ALL babies are special and all babies are blessings.  I guess the part that scares me the most is the thought of my preemie not surviving and not whether my baby had any medical issues.

Every day in the NICU was like a roller coaster ride.  One fantastic day could be followed by days of set backs.  One never knew whether Baby would survive.  Being born so early means having to do all that growing outside of Mom’s womb when Baby should still be inside.

Those 70 days in the NICU were the most challenging (physically and emotionally) days in my life. Words cannot express how scary each day was with the not knowing what would happen from one day to the next. Perhaps I've put those memories behind me for the most part. Every now and then, those memories resurface. They usually return and haunt me whenever people ask about Baby #2.  I remember how tiny and frail my preemie was and it just makes me cry.

People tell me to forget about Little One being a preemie and that I should put all of that "stuff" in the past. Little One is happy, healthy, and just like any other toddler around. I should let go of "unrealistic" fears and stop being so worried.

Perhaps I should just take a leap of faith and let whatever happens happen.

 Unless you've experienced having a baby born so early, you might not understand how real these fears are.
 My husband understands these fears and is supportive. He also feels we need to just go ahead and have faith that everything will turn out okay.
The best thing one can do is to speak with one's medical team (OB-GYN, high risk pregnancy specialist, etc) and discuss what steps need to be taken to prepare for another pregnancy and possible preterm baby. In our case, we've already had a consultation with our high risk pregnancy doctor and have discussed putting in a cervical cerclage for the next pregnancy. It will help keep the cervix closed until time to deliver the baby.

At least this time, doctors are aware that Little One was born preterm due to my incompetant cervix and me dilating at 21 weeks. Preparing mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally will make things easier this time around.

Steps to prepare for next pregnancy:
* Prepare body for the next pregnancy by eating healthy, continuing to exercise regularly, taking pre-natal vitamins, and getting enough rest. If doctor's orders call for bed rest, by all means, abide by those orders! The longer the baby is in, the better!

* Prepare emotionally by knowing what the outcomes of a premature birth can be. Know that another early delivery may or may not happen. Some women have preemies, but go on to have full-term pregnancies. Some have one preemie after another. In any case, remember that there may be many days in the NICU if you have another premature delivery.

* Use all the services available to you. There is a wealth of help out there. Everything from doctors, chat groups, parents of preemies, social workers, etc. Mount Sinai has fantastic services that I found extremely helpful for me when I was there.

Later on, after you have delivered, consider contacting the Ronald McDonald House (should you require somewhere to stay after your baby is born and you live out of town and cannot commute to the hospital every day). If you require aid in any way - for example, with paperwork for time spent away from work to care for your sick baby (that isn't included in maternity leave), social workers can also provide you assistance and information on various services available in situations like these.

* The best advice family and friends have given me is to believe and have faith that all will turn out well, but prepare for the challenges should they arise.


 I know I do want to have a sibling for Little One.  I do want to have another baby.  I’m just still a little bit scared.

I have been selected as one of the Summer 2011 recipients for a $250 Mom Central Canada Blogger Grant. I have been participating in Mom Central Canada blog tours, testing opportunities, and reviews for the past few years (since I became pregnant with Little One). Mom Central Canada also has a Blogger Grant Program where they will be awarding $10,000 worth of grants over the next year for Canadian bloggers in the Mom Central Canada network who have a compelling story and who want to help make the lives of busy moms and their families better.

I never expected to be selected, and am thrilled (and still shocked) to discover that I received the grant! Thank you so much, Mom Central Canada. You do so much for moms like me. It means a lot for me to have a place to express my thoughts, fears, concerns, anxieties and for me to be able to share with other moms who may be going through the same experience. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Round 4 of the Mom Central Canada Blogger Grant Program:
• Open for submissions: September 23, 2011
• Deadline for submissions: October 28, 2011
• Winners notified: November 25, 2011



*This blog post is cross-posted over at www.lifeonmanitoulin.blogspot.com

Fears About Having Baby Number Two



When you're a newly married couple, people always ask, "When are you going to start a family?"
When you have your first child, people always seem to ask, "When are you going to have Baby #2?"
I can't help but feel a little bit of anxiety when people ask these rather innocent questions. Though I do wish for a younger sibling for Little One, I can't help but be scared.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Back To School Snacks with Orville Redenbacher


It's Back-to-School time! I know! Where did the Summer go? It seems one day we're gearing up for days on the beach, and the next, the kids are back at school!

What goes hand in hand with Back-to-School prep? Pencils, paper, and...popcorn! We send our children to school with all the tools and materials they need to learn. This should include some healthy snacks! How about something full of fibre, whole grains, and flavour?!

What's even better is that you can get your children in the lunch and snack prep mode by having them help you out? Have them help make a bunch of  snacks for the school week on a Sunday evening and each morning, they can choose what they'd like to put in their lunch bags! Kids love being creating and doing things themselves helps them feel empowered. If they make it, they'll be proud of themselves and want to eat their creations!

In our house, Little One enjoys her popcorn like it's no one's business! Popcorn and family go together well. When we have some downtime, we sometimes have popcorn and watched "Tangled" or whatever other movie the toddler wants to watch with us.

Sure, she's still a bit young to be making Back-to-School snacks, but she does need snacks for play groups, on the road, at friends' houses, etc. She loves helping out in the kitchen, so Orville Redenbacher's® Smart Pop! is fabulous to have on hand at  home.

Here are a few quick Orville Redenbacher Smart Pop! recipes to get your kids through the school week.
Pop some extra popcorn the night before, and package them in individual snack bags (to retain that just-popped freshness). If you want some flavour, in a large bowl, add freshly popped popcorn, sprinkle with taco seasoning or Parmesan cheese, and shake until coated evenly. Little One LOVES cheese-flavoured popcorn!

If you and your kids have a few extra minutes, the following recipe is another great one for school snacks.


Orville's Power Crunch Bars
Serves: 24 servings (1 bar each)
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Baking Time: 10-12 minutes
Ingredients
·         1 mini bag (31 g each) Orville Redenbacher's® Smart Pop!® 100 Calorie Buttery Flavour Microwave Popcorn
·         1/2 Teaspoon baking soda
·         1 1/2 Cup quick-cooking rolled oats
·         3/4 Cup dried cranberries
·         1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
·         1/2 Cup margarine, softened
·         3/4 Cup all-purpose flour
·         3 *serving (1/3 sec spray) PAM® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray
·         1/4 Teaspoon salt
·         1/2 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
·         3/4 Cup firmly packed brown sugar
·         1 Tablespoon water
Directions
1.       Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray 15x10-inch jelly roll pan with cooking spray. Combine oats, flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in medium bowl; set aside.
2.       Prepare popcorn according to package directions. Remove any unpopped kernels; set aside.
3.       Combine brown sugar and margarine in large bowl, using electric mixer on high speed.  Add water and vanilla; beat until light and fluffy.  Gradually add flour mixture and blend well. Turn mixer on low speed; add cranberries.
4.       Cover hands with plastic gloves or sandwich size plastic bags; spray with cooking spray. Mix popcorn into dough. Spread mixture into prepared pan.  Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.
5.       Let cool before cutting into 24 bars.  Store in tightly sealed container.


 Discolsure- The recipes posted on this blog have been developed by the Orville Redenbacher team, and are not my own. I am receiving a sample of Orville Redenbacher's® Smart Pop! to make a batch of my own.



Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sometimes I Wish


...I could just chill out in my Snuggie all day.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Baby Banana Brush Review and Giveaway!


We pay close attention to our little one's teeth. After all, healthy teeth and gums are paramount. Oral care is so important because teeth and gums are good indicators of one's overall health. This is why we encourage Little One to take good care of her teeth. I realize she's still little, but I figure that if we start her off young, it will just be part of her daily routine and she won't think twice about brushing her teeth.

I was so excited to discover Live-Right Solutions' Original Baby Banana® Brush. The Baby Banana Brush is specially crafted from the highest quality medical grade silicone. This ensures babies are safe as they learn to brush their teeth. The material is soft, pliable, durable, and babies won't hurt themselves if they fall while brushing. It's not made of hard plastic, so you can relax a bit when your wee one is brushing his/her teeth!
The Baby Banana Brush is also dishwasher safe. You can sanitize it in the dishwasher if you wish! It can also be frozen in the freezer for teething relief.

Our toddler loves to brush her teeth and she's a little over two years old now, so I thought I'd let my friend try the Baby Banana Brush on her baby (who is in the midst of teething). No such luck. As soon as the package arrived, Little One tore into it. She got so excited and said, "MY banana toothbrush!"
Little One has been carrying the Baby Banana Toothbrush around with her everywhere she goes! That's how much she loves it! She loves the Spry Tooth Gel too. It's a delicious strawberry-banana flavour that kids love. I tried it just to see what it tasted like. It's pretty good. I can see why kids like it. It is fluoride-free, safe to swallow, and made with Xylitol (the cavity-fighting natural sugar).
I was given the opportunity to try out the Baby Banana® Brush Combo Pack, which includes one  Baby Banana® Brush and one tube of Spry Tooth Gel. They make the perfect pair! The Baby Banana toothbrush is so much fun to hold and easy for toddlers (and babies) to use. I've never seen my child get so excited about brushing her teeth! She's been telling me when it's time to brush teeth! She just loves the tooth gel too!
It is my honest opinion that these products are must-haves for anyone who has children/babies. It's a great way to get children excited about brushing their teeth!

Baby Banana® Brush products include:
- The Original Baby Banana Brush
- Baby Banana Teething Toothbrush
- Spry Xylito Tooth Gel (Strawberry-Banana)
- Baby Banana Brush & Spry Tooth Gel Combo Pack (the one I tried for this review)
- Deluxe Infant Oral Care Kit
- Baby Sharky Brush


Great news! Live-Right would love to let you know about the Baby Banana® Brush Combo Pack
too! They hope it can get your kids excited about brushing teeth as well!

Win it!
To enter, simply tell me what you like about Baby Banana Brush and why you'd like to win one. (mandatory)


Want extra entries?
"Like" Baby Banana Brush and Random Thoughts and Musings from the Island REVIEWS on Facebook and say hello! (2 entries)

Follow @BabyBananaBrush and @chancesmommy on Twitter and say hi! (2 entries)

Tweet this: "I want to #win a @BabyBananaBrush Combo Pack from @chancesmommy's blog !" (1 entry)

Follow me on Google Friend Connect. (1 entry)

Follow me on Networked Blogs (1 entry)

Post my blog button on your site and leave me the link where I can find it :) (1 entry)

Giveaway Rules:
  1. Contest is open to Canadian and U.S. Residents only

  2. The contest will run from Aug. 25 – Sept. 9, 2011 at 11:59 ET.

  3. One winner will be chosen using Random.org and will be notified at the email address used upon entry.

  4. The winner will have 48 hrs to respond and failure to do so will result in a new winner selection. 


Disclosure - I was given a Baby Banana® Brush Combo Pack (Baby Banana Brush and Spry Tooth Gel) to facilitate this review. All the opinions on this blog are honest and my own.
Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Fields of Barley


 There's nothing sweeter than bringing food from your garden to your table...

Well, perhaps maybe taking a walk through the fields can be pretty sweet.

After teaching today, I helped Hubby on the farm for a bit before heading home to prepare supper. I never realized how sweet the alfalfa smelled. Walking through the fields with the cool, gentle breeze and the warm sun made me a little wistful.

I rarely get quiet moments to myself where I can just think. I cried all the way from the alfalfa to the barley field. There was something just so moving and inspiring about being so close to the land. Smelling every scent and fragrance, feeling the tactile differences each variety of plant had...Ack! I almost felt like Anne Shirley (from Anne of Green Gables), being so dramatic and awe-inspired.

I'm not sure if it's just me being a city girl and going through my metamorphosis - being transformed into a farmer's wife and appreciating all of the amazing, miraculous, wonderful things we are blessed with just by living close to the land and close to nature. Maybe farmers' wives don't do this and it's just me being a bit overly sensitive and emotional these days. I'm probably just being melodramatic.

As a city girl, I never paid much heed to the smell of alfalfa or the texture of barley. To be honest, I wouldn't even know what either of them looked like or smelled like before!
 Combining barley

 Corn
 Corn, corn, and more corn!
 My ESL student in the corn
 Don't worry. I won't make any "Children of the Corn" jokes. That movie scared the cr@p out of me when I was a kid! I still have nightmares thinking about it!
My walk through the barley and alfalfa made me think about my family. It made me wistful and teary-eyed. I love the family I have on the Island, and I miss my family in Montreal, Kingston, and Toronto. Most of all, I miss my grandmother in the Philippines and hope to see her again soon.
Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Seventh Generation Giveaway!


 
It used to drive my family crazy when I was on the environmental committee in cegep and university. I used to hound everyone about being conscious about our impact on the environment. I was even part of an enviro group that started vermicomposting at our university! We believed that we would save the world...or at least, change it for the better.
 
Now that I have my own little family, I'm even more diligent about what I bring into our household. It really is true that parenthood changes the way we view the world sometimes. We become so much more aware of the impact of our actions. This is the same when it comes to our choices in products that we bring into our homes.

Making sure we  have safe products is important to me, especially since our daughter was a preemie. Her immune system was compromised since she was born so early and to this day, she is susceptible to catching whatever colds or sicknesses are going around.

I have to say until now, I hadn't really found any environmentally friendly products that I truly, truly loved. Then, Mom Central introduced me to Seventh Generation.

Seventh Generation believes their products are healthy solutions for the air, surfaces, fabrics, pets, and people in your home, as well as the community and environment outside of it. From their development, production, purchase, use, and disposal, Seventh Generation products make a difference.

Seventh Generation products available in Canada include:
* Free & Clear Diapers (sizes 1-6)
* Free & Clear Diaper Wipes (tubs and refills)
* Natural 2X Concentrated Laundry Detergent
* Natural Fabric Softener
* Chlorine Free Bleach
* Natural Dish Liquid
* Automatic Dishwasher Gel
* Automatic Dishwasher Detergent Powder
* Automatic Dishwasher Detergent Concentrated Pacs
* Natural Household Cleaners
* Paper Products (bath tissue and paper towels)

For those of you who have babies/toddlers still in diapers, you'll be happy to know that Seventh Generation has our babies' in mind too. Little One is still in diapers and I am excited about the Free & Clear diapers and wipes! They provide premium absorbency, and soft, cloth-like comfort. I love that they are free of fragrances, as well as chemicals like chlorine.The diapers are lighter weight, yet still provide premium absorption. The lighter weight core diapers mean less waste in landfill space!

I am happy to say that I am now a 7thGen Nation member. You can join too! Simply sign up here:
http://ca.seventhgeneration.com/community_ca  As a Nation member, you’ll have access to coupons, special offers and great tips for green and healthy living.

 WIN IT!!!

Seventh Generation is giving one of my readers a chance to WIN 
a 100% organic cotton Seventh Gen Eco lunch bag as well as coupons for a FREE package of Seventh Generation Free & Clear Diapers, Free & Clear Baby Wipes and dish washing products! 

Giveaway Rules:
  1. Contest is open to Canadian Residents only

  2. The contest will run from Aug. 23 – Sept.16 at 11:59 ET.

  3. One winner will be chosen using Random.org and will be notified at the email address used upon entry.

  4. The winner will have 48 hrs to respond and failure to do so will result in a new winner selection.

**To win, simply leave me a comment here telling me your best tip on how to be more environmentally conscious. (mandatory entry)**



For additional entries: (please leave a separate comment for EACH entry)
* Follow @SeventhGen and @chancesmommy on Twitter and tweet the following:
"Enter to win eco-friendly products from Seventh Generation via @chancesmommy & @SeventhGen #giveaway #SeventhGenCanada"  (2 entries)

* Follow me on Google Friend Connect (1 entry)

* Follow Random Thoughts and Musings from the Island REVIEWS on NetworkedBlogs (1 entry)

Good luck, everyone!

Pssst! If you're on Facebook, why not drop by the Seventh Generation and Random Thoughts from the Island REVIEWS pages and say hello?






 
Disclosure – I am participating in the Seventh Generation program by Mom Central Canada.  I received compensation as a thank you for my participation.  The opinions on this blog are my own.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

I Need Help!


What happened to my sweet, angelic, little baby? Little One was the sweetest, *gentlest, most compassionate little girl ever. All of a sudden...BAM! No, it wasn't the "terrific twos" that did it for us. She was still so easy when she was two. Now, she's almost three (she'll be three on Remembrance Day) and is really testing out the boundaries.

Being a preemie, she's always been the smallest out of her group of friends and she was always the one to get bullied. She was fine. She never pushed back or hit back. Now, all of a sudden, she's doing what all the other kids were doing. It's driving me crazy!

No matter how calmly I try to deal with the situation, it always ends up with her, me, or both of us in tears. I've tried everything. Positive reinforcement, distraction...everything. Though Hubby and I are not fans of "Time Outs", we've even tried that technique. To be honest, it means absolutely nothing to Little One. She'll cry, do her "time out", but the pushing and hitting still continue.

This has all just started within the past month. She watches her friends and soaks everything up like a sponge. She imitates her friends and tries to get away with things. Her latest thing has been learning how to spit and it drives me crazy. I do realize that children go through a stage where they learn to be independent and test the boundaries, and see what they can get away with, but this is really exhausting me. I also realize that we can't keep her from play groups, play dates, or social gatherings for fear she'll pick up unacceptable behaviour. She's a toddler. She'll go through that no matter what. It's just our job to teach her what is appropriate and what is unacceptable. I try to show her that it isn't nice to push our friends. It hurts our friends when we push and it hurts their feelings. It's still not hitting home though.

She is a really great kid, but is really trying my patience and testing boundaries now. I am at my wits' end. I was joking to a friend that I am so stressed out that if this persists, I don't know if I'll last until Little One's fifth birthday. My friend laughed and said, "Or, she won't last until her fifth birthday!"

*sigh* You've really got to have a good sense of humour if you're a parent. Sometimes it's hard to tell whether you should laugh or cry!

If any of you seasoned veteran parents out there have any tips on correcting this kind of behaviour, please (PLEASE!) share!

No, seriously. I'm begging you! :)


* The English grammar teacher in me wants to write "gentlest", as it is the proper comparative form for the adjective, but the other part of me wants to say "most gentle" because it sounds better! I suppose both are fine. I've got more pressing matters to deal with than grammar at the moment! ;)
Friday, August 19, 2011

And Then There Was Guac


 In our house, we're all crazy for guac. Well, Hubby's more into the salsa. Little One and I can devour guacamole within minutes. People are always amazed to see my toddler eat guacamole straight out of the bowl with a spoon!

With the awesome Wholly Guacamole package I received (thanks to Gingermommy), I have been on a quest to try the Wholly Guacamole and Wholly Salsa products in my recipes. Sure, they're delicious as dips with tortillas, but how do they fare in other recipes?

They are fabulous!!! They compliment any dish!

I made a Roasted Chicken-Guac-Cheese-Salsa Melt with Flat Bread on my Panini press.

-roasted chicken, shredded
-cheese, grated
-Wholly Guacamole guac
-flat bread
-Wholly Salsa (I added extra veggies by dicing up more green and red pepper)

*The Wholly Salsa has heaps of veg, but I had some green and red pepper on hand that needed to be used.

Load ingredients on top of a piece of flat bread and cover with another piece of flat bread. Make sure to put enough cheese so that when it melts, you've got loads of ooey-gooey goodness! Place on Panini press and grill until golden. Garnish with a little more salsa and if you want, a few sprigs of Cilantro.

We're addicted to the guac and salsa from eatwholly.com. I'm going to try to post new recipes as often as I can.

Friday Funnies


The Toddler was sitting on my lap and giving me a funny look. She then tugged on my shirt and felt me up.

Toddler: Mama, you have boobies in there?

Hubby was running from the bathroom to the bedroom after his shower with nothing on but a towel.

Toddler: Daddy, you have a penis?
Hubby: Ummm...Yes, [insert toddler's real name here]. I do.
Toddler: I have a vagina.
During a trip to the grocery store with family members, one member of our party let out a rather loud toot.
Toddler: [insert family member's name], did you POOP?!?!?!
Little One somehow found the items I had received for one of my product reviews. I had hidden it where I thought little hands would not find it. Apparently, Little One is far more industrious than I give her credit for. Out comes The Toddler with one of my items and she asks, "Maman, can you open this for me?"

I almost died! Thank goodness she has a short attention span and decided to go play with her Kinder Surprise giraffe instead!

Little One had a cough and was starting to look concerned.

Toddler: I need to go to hopital, Maman!
Friday, August 12, 2011

Fun in the Boudoir with Eden Fantasys


WARNING: The following post contains links to adult material. You must be 18+. 

Keep the fire burning in your relationship with some fun items from EdenFantasys. Whether you're in the honeymoon stage of your relationship or wish to bring back the smoldering embers into a roaring fire, you'll be certain to find something on the EdenFantasys webpage that will appeal to you and your partner.

What woman doesn't want to feel beautiful and sexy in some pretty lingerie? Babydolls, teddies, corsets, bustiers, and gowns from EdenFantasys will make any gal feel her finest. C'mon...every girl wants a little something sexy in her closet! I'm not talking about having Eric Northman in your closet. I'm talking something to wear that's sensual, alluring, silky, or maybe lacy?

Set the mood for a romantic soiree with some candles and scented oils (among other items!) available at EdenFantasys. There are so many fun and exciting products to try out, from tame to the wild and risqué!

I have to admit that this is the first time I have ever written a post for anything of this nature. I don't know what happened, but as soon as I became a mom, I became more guarded about the things I say or divulge. It's not that I'm a prude or anything. There are just some things I feel uncomfortable about discussing since Little One now has very big ears and repeats everything! Plus, what happens in the boudoir stays in the boudoir. Right? Ha! Ha! I don't actually use the word "boudoir" when I speak about sexy things.

When the opportunity to write this post for EdenFantasys presented itself, I figured it was a great chance to reclaim that part of me that wasn't just "Mom".

As I perused the website, I came across the Party Favors and Gags. This brought back memories of bachelorette/stagette parties for friends (back in the day!). What a hoot! Oh, boy! There are items there that are sure to make my 91 year old grandma blush!

You can also earn free products through the EdenPoints Program at EdenFantasys. Points will be awarded by rating a product, adding products to your wish list, adding items to compare, writing a review, etc...

This might spice up your love life...unless you're already too hot to handle!

Pssssst! You can also get a FREE GIFT with any order!

Disclosure: I am also receiving a Gift Certificate to use from Eden Fantasys in exchange for a review of my opinion. The opinions expressed on this blog are my own.
Thursday, August 11, 2011

Social Media and the Real World


A friend of mine once said, "I have no time for Facebook and Twitter. Those things are for losers who have no friends."

Au contraire, mon frere. I have to admit that I too, felt that way in the beginning. Things all changed for me a few years ago, when I began blogging and freelancing though. In fact, the social media world has become part of my "real" world.  I have been able to come into contact with people I wouldn't have otherwise crossed paths with. I've made lasting friendships and have secured contracts with companies and small businesses. The social media world is nothing that I imagined it would be. It's even become part of my bread and butter. Well, not really. I do have a full-time job teaching ESL. The freelance contracts are things I do on the side. Still, it's been keeping me busy!

Certain myths I'd like to bust:
1. People on the internet are all introverted computer geeks with no social skills.
Ummm...no. I'm sure some are, but the majority of people I've met are quite the opposite. What people don't understand is that social media helps boost your number of followers and maintain a "relationship" with your followers. It's the opposite of being anti-social. I've met a few bloggers and Tweeters in person, and it's like hanging out with friends I've known all my life!

2. Online relationships are so impersonal.
Again, I disagree. I've become close to some very interesting, intelligent, amazing people via Twitter and the blog. Friends (like Canine Cologne, PhotoCaptiva, and others) have become part of our family. I have just as good a relationship with them as I do with friends I've known from college, university, working abroad, and from work. We visit each other, send each other birthday and Christmas gifts...it's the opposite of impersonal.

3. You can't trust people you meet online.
Sure. Use caution when meeting people. Don't divulge all your information to everyone. Just be smart and be safe. This said, most people I've "met" are just like me. Work-from-home or working-online-on-the-side people who use social media to help grow their businesses and and increase work opps.

I wouldn't tell you to just invite some random person into your house. We've done it, but after getting to know people for a while. When Gingermommy mentioned that Mapledipped was going on a cross-Canada tour, shooting photos of people she meets in her coast to coast travels, I told her she should come to Manitoulin Island. It's one of Canada's hidden gems. In fact, it's so hidden, most people have never even heard of it!

Mapledipped and I organized her trip to Manitoulin Island, where she camped out on our farm, photographed some of the locals, and hung out with us for a few days. It was like visiting with an old friend. Not awkward at all! You're probably wondering if I was relieved that she wasn't some psycho ax murderer. After corresponding with people for a while, you get a feel for them. If I had even the slightest doubt or bad feeling about meeting up, I wouldn't do it. You just know.

What's your take on social media? How involved are you in the social media scene?

Check out Naomi Harris's take on social media and traveling in Canada Goose.  

Pssst! Check out that family in the second photograph. Recognize them? :)

Eat Wholly: Dinner in a Pinch!


By now, most people know that our family is crazy for guac! In fact, our toddler is a little guac monster! The kid eats guacamole straight from the bowl...with a spoon! No crackers, tortilla chips, veggies, or other accoutrements. Just guac.

Thanks to my friend, Gingermommy, we're big fans of Wholly Guacamole...or as our toddler calls it, GA-KA-MO-YEE! Our toddler's a Purist and loves the guac on its own. Me? I love it on burgers, with veggies, in a layered dip with tortilla chips, and on grilled chicken-alfalfa sprout-tomato sandwiches! YUM!

Did you know that Eat Wholly also has salsa? Salsa and guac! The perfect marriage!

Today, I was in a rush and needed to get lunch on the table within minutes. I concocted some Wholly Salsa Pasta and served it with a fresh cucumber salad. I'll post my Grilled Chicken alfalfa-tomato-Wholly Guacamole Sandwich recipe next time.

Wholly Salsa Pasta Salad




Ingredients:
Whole wheat pasta (I used Conchigliette, small shell-shaped pasta)
Wholly Salsa (medium)
2 tbps olive oil mayonnaise
cilantro 

Cook pasta as per directions on package. Drain. In a bowl, add Wholly Salsa, pasta, olive oil mayo, and mix so that the pasta is completely coated. Garnish with chopped cilantro. Serve and enjoy!


I don't usually use mayo in our food, but was craving a little something creamy today. I served this pasta salad with a fresh cucumber salad (with homemade vinaigrette). The meal took less than 30 minutes (prep and cooking time).

 

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About the Blog Author


City girl moves to the country, falls in love, and marries a farmer. She tries to incorporate her city ways with her new country lifestyle and blogs to keep in touch with friends, family & students who live far, far away :) Can this city girl go country? Watch as she learns all sorts of exciting things about life on the farm and in a small rural community. *UPDATE* We are now parents! Our baby girl was born on Nov. 11, 2008 (at 28 weeks gestation- 12 weeks premature, but she's quite the trooper)!!!
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Life on Manitoulin: Just a bunch of ramblings from a city girl gone country!

Life on Manitoulin: Just a bunch of ramblings from a city girl gone country!

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