It’s the Most Wonderful time of the Year! No, it’s not Christmas but if you ask any parent that’s (lovingly) been home with their kids all summer long…you guessed it. It’s back to school! It’s the time when you might find me skipping down the isles of the office/school supply store to the sounds of my kids dragging their feet through the aisles. Somewhere in the near distance you’d hear sounds of “Can we buy this, but Lisa has one and I’ve always wanted one!”

The Shrine Circus is in Montreal! My kids could not have been more excited to attend the opening night in Lasalle as special VIP guests. We joined Ringmaster Richard Curtis and his beautiful wife Kimberly Zerbini as they gave us a special behind the scenes tour of the circus. We were thrilled to see Marie and Shelley the elephants bathing before the show and even catch a glimpse of some of the 400 pounds of hay they consume every single day!
There’s something magical about seeing a giant yellow and red tent set up on the side of the highway. I experienced the sheer joy and excitement as a child when my parents would drive by a circus tent and now my own children shriek with excitement when they hear the circus is coming to town.
I’ll let you in on a little secret. You gotta keep it on the down low though okay? Ever since I was a kid, I’ve always enjoyed a nice warm cup of milk before bed. I went through my uber cool phase when I’d drink a latte or cappuccino with friends and then kick myself while I stayed awake all night from the caffeine.  Before kids it was cool to stay up all night. Sleep was for the weak. Now a lack of sleep makes me weak. 

About nine years ago my husband and I were expecting our first child. We were relatively newly married, just bought a house and saving everything we could to start building our new life together. It was a special occasion and we had gotten an amazing coupon to a great restaurant in downtown Toronto that our phone service provider had sent us in the mail as a thank you for being a valued customer. We figured we’d make a night of it, got all dolled up and headed downtown for supper. We knew that we’d get to eat at this great, trendy restaurant and have a wonderful night. We got a great seat right by the window, overlooking downtown Toronto, ordered carefully off the menu, perusing each item, taking in the ambiance but also silently adding up the total, making sure that the bill and tip at the end of the meal was within budget as young couples starting out their lives together often do.

Here’s a message from an amazing brand doing awesome work:

On Saturday, May 31, the ninth annual TELUS Day of Giving happens across Canada. On this special day, TELUS team members and retirees will volunteer at the activity of their choice to make positive, heartfelt and lasting connections within the community.

Celebrating a child’s birthday can be a simple affair, anything from cake, chips, veggies and dip to a much larger fiesta with caterers, entertainment and maybe even a DJ. One thing that Canadians share is a sense of community. Growing up, as a second generation Canadian we never had a clown, magician or petting zoo at our birthday parties. Traditionally, my parents would prepare a large feast and invite all of their friends over along with all of their children. It would be a large scale dinner party, with cake, party hats (they were HUGE back then) and the occasional noise-maker, as if 70 people in the house was not loud enough.

Life is hectic, crazy, busy and non-stop most days. That is until or unless you or someone you love learns of a serious life altering medical condition. First it’s panic, sometimes denial, then eventually acceptance. Along the way, if you’re lucky you do some reflecting, you may find that it changes the way you look at things. Here are some of the Top 10 Life Lessons From the Eye of the Storm that I have come to in recent weeks.

The birds are chirping, the days are a little longer and slowly but surely the weather is warming up. That must mean that the Spring Made by Hand Show is around the corner. It’s an amazing place to find unique gifts for the special person in your life. It’s hosted at the International Centre in Mississauga.

My anger at the ludicrousness of Bill 60 when I wrote my Open Letter to Pauline Marois has transformed over the past few months into a frustrated feeling of sadness. Watching our current government rule my place of birth is the equivalent of watching your childhood home be infested by termites, eating their way through the wood.

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