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being away from home


Monday, August 22, 2011 by

This has hands down been the hardest day of my life.  I left for school this morning, had Norelle and Daryl on my mind throughout the day; yet I stayed busy with school work.  But as soon as I left class, the tears came-a-streamin'!  I think it was the thought of going back to my empty hotel room. Classes are insanely intense, and keeping me busy, but thank goodness for Skype.  Seriously.  I would either have insanely expensive long distance phone bills, would drive back and forth and exhaust myself, or die; literally die.  Kudos to parents who have to travel for work. I don't know how you do it.  This is only 2 weeks for me (with them coming for a visit on Wednesday, and me going home after class on Friday). But seriously, Skype, I love you more than you'll ever know.

I love you so much baby girl (even though I have been acting more like the baby today!). Let's just hope my eyes will return to their usual shade of white, and my Rudolph nose will go down in time tomorrow!


the things we must do


Friday, August 19, 2011 by

This has been a very interesting and busy week for my family and I.  We were lucky enough to be able to head up North again, and Norelle had a great time swimming in the lake and pool.  This trip wasn't about wanting to get away, but needing it.  This upcoming Monday, I will be starting the first of two "mini sessions" for my Masters of Education.  I am going to be gone Monday-Friday, which means no family (and little blogging)!  I know that it will be a huge adjustment being away from Norelle, but I suppose I will survive.  After all, this is something that I really want to do, and cannot wait for.

Wish me luck, as I'm sure I'll need it being away from my baby girl. Sunday night's bedtime routine with Norelle sure going to be a weepy one!


how to survive being away from your child


Monday, August 15, 2011 by

I've always been a (sort of) stay at home mom.  After Norelle was born, I took a year off school to stay home with her, and the September following her first birthday, I started to go back to school part time two evenings a week.  It was definitely a huge adjustment; a lot harder than I anticipated.  My mind was always on her, and as she got older and actually asked for my time herself, it was even more difficult!!  But, I made it, and graduated this past Spring.  I have always felt so extremely lucky to have been able to stay home with her, and it is something that I would never have changed.  I toyed with the idea of putting off furthering my education even more, by putting off teachers college; but I thought, what the heck, I'll apply and see what happens.  What happened is, I got in.

I am so excited to become an (official) educator {I say official since aren't all us mom's and dad's educators!?}.  Teaching is something I've known I wanted to be since I was little (which sounds cliched), but I remember sitting in my first actual history class in grade 6 and knowing this is it; this is what I want to do for the rest of my life.  I am even luckier to be going to a school that the majority of the "in-class" in only two days a week!  But for 2 week at the end of the summer, I will have to attend 8:30-5pm Monday-Friday.  Since I will have to travel to the US, it involved a bit of a drive (not too bad though), but I've heard it includes a lot of group projects, etc.  I had originally planned to just drive home every night, and maybe stay over the Wednesday night if I was starting to feel burnt out.  A friend, who has gone to the same school, informed me that I would be crazy to commute, since I'll have so much stuff to do.  So I made the decision that it's best for me to stay the week.  The only thing that is getting me by.... is that my husband, who is also a teacher, is still off on summer holidays then, so he will be able to come visit me with our daughter!

Have any of you moms (or dads) out there ever have to spend a lengthy amount of time away from your child? How did you cope and get by?  I'll be thanking my lucky stars for my long distance minutes and Skype, that's for sure ;)


the oxygen mask principle


Friday, August 12, 2011 by

We all love Etsy; it's no secret.  Not only is Etsy great for finding homemade, vintage, and fun pieces, they offer a blog, How-To Tuesdays, and a online community.  While looking through Etsy's blog, I stumbled across this article in their parenting section.

This article talks about life from a parenting perspective and how we all try to be super mom's and dad's, but we are in serious risk of burning out.  Caleb (the author of the article), says how date night's are not a luxury, but a necessity in his household.  As much as we want to do everything for everyone else first, it all comes down to the oxygen mask principle; just like when you're in an airplane, put your mask on first, THEN others around you.  Because without you getting your 'oxygen', you'll be no use to anyone else around you.

I love being there for my daughter, family and friends; but sometimes I need a little Allison time, or just Allison and Daryl time.  Also, please check out my blog again next week, as I will be in desperate need of advice; how to survive a Monday-Friday away from your child.  

Don't forget, you were a Sarah, Elizabeth, John or Matt before you were "Mom" and "Dad"; don't let one overshadow the other, it's all about balance, and keeping your sanity.





Wednesday, August 10, 2011 by

Here in Hamilton, there are many of us who love the old beauty of the downtown core.  For years it lacked funding and interest, but thankfully, attention is finally being paid to an area that well deserves it.  James Street North in Hamilton is full of vintage shops, media stores, pubs, cafes, restaurants, and art galleries.  Every second Friday evening, they hold "Art Crawls" where the local businesses stay open until 11pm or later, and galleries feature different artists.  My sister-in-law and her best friend own the sweetest little shop, White Elephant, which features the most amazing and creative window displays at each art crawl.  Also, don't forget to check out and follow their blog, Love It A Lot.

This year Art Crawl is expanding and holding their 3rd annual Super Crawl, which will be taking place on Saturday September 10th from 1pm-12am.  A huge section of James Street North will be closed off for a free evening of art and music.  Two stages will be set up with bands such as: Broken Social Scene, Junior Boys, Said the Whale, Dinosaur Bones, Young Rival and Monster Truck

via supercrawl's facebook page

What is also exciting, one of my best friend's is going to be debuting his new company, Food Troubadour.  He will be making up smoked pulled pork sandwiches and coleslaw, and even if pulled pork isn't your thing; don't forget to stop by his tent to fill out a ballot to win gift bags, or a gift basket.
via food troubadour's facebook page

Not only will Super Crawl be taking place on September, but also the Canadian Country Music Awards Fan Fest just up the street at Jackson Square, and the Locke Street Festival just a short transit ride away. So Come out on September 10th and for some free fun, and support local artists, shops and musicians!

ten things


Friday, August 05, 2011 by

It's no secret; I LOVE Fall.  It is hands down my favorite season.  One of my most favorite things about Fall; sweater weather.  I love warm Fall day, when you can still get away with shorts, and the cooler pants and a t-shirt days.  Here are some cheap fashion inspirations for this upcoming Fall season.

1. Forever 21 Cowl Neck Panel Top $21.80 
2. Forever 21 Basic Woven Shorts $12.50
3. Forever 21 Knotted Suedette Cone heels $29.80
4. Forever 21 Wayfarer Style Sunglasses $6.80 
5. Forever 21 Sophisticated Briefcase Bag $41.80
6. Forever 21 Woven Flounce Top $21.80 
7. Forever 21 Cuffed Twill Skinnies w/ Belt $27.80
8. Aldo Shoes Masloski Bootie $80.00
9. Forever 21 Olive Green Nail Polish $3.80
10. Forever 21 Metallic Braid Headband $1.50

I really think that 5 & 9 are two items that will carry you throughout Fall.  I'm sure that I will have even more inspirational Fall inspired pieces again soon!


ps. Sorry if you though that I disappeared.  First to blame was a debilitating back spasm, then was a much needed last minute vacation North.

mabel's labels


Wednesday, July 27, 2011 by

Can you believe summer is almost half way over?!  Now, my Miss. Norelle isn't quite school aged yet (she'll start junior kindergarten next September), but I can't help but think of all the supplies she'll need.  I always remember my mom labeling everything of mine; we even had a special fabric marker handy in one of our kitchen cupboards in case she needed to label something of mine quickly.

Labeling is a smart way to keeps kids stuff organized, and to insure they come home with the right stuff!  As much as my mom's marker trick worked for me as a kid, many kids clothes now a days have ironed on labels, and the marker would bleed right through ruining the clothes; boo!

If thinking of labeling is stressing you out... have I found the site for you!? Mabel's Labels is a increditible online store FULL of iron-on labels, waterproof labels, shoe labels, clothing labels, baby labels, ALLERGY labels, household labels, stationary products... you name it, they have it!  Their designs are so cute, and colourful; trust me, your kids won't be embarassed of these labels!

They even have combo packs starting at $30.  Also, Mabel's Labels is such a charitable company, they often do fundraisers.  If you plan on browsing, or purchasing anything, please visit  The procedes from this fundraiser will go my my cousins, cousin's daughter who has Lukemia.  Kaitlyn was 2 1/2 years old when she was recently diagnosed with Lukemia, but with the strength, love and support from her family, she has proven to be an extremely strong and brave little girl, and this is a battle she can surely win.  Here is more information on Kaitlyn's story.  My cousin Stacey has done such an amazing job rallying for Kaitlyn, holding benefit parties, fundraisers, and working with Mabel's Labels for Kaitlyn.

Why not help your life be a little less stressful and get more organized, all while helping out a great cause.  As for Summer slowly disappearing, soak it up while it's here!



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we all have places go to, things to do, and people to see. i am a mom, a forever student, a soon-to-be teacher, an earth sympathizer, and a want-to-be do it yourselfer. this is the way i see life, with all the things i love about it.