What 31 Looks Like

I am going to warn you now I have a serious case of verbal diarrhea. There is going to be little to no structure with this post…

Those of you who know me well, are aware I had a bit of an “issue” with the idea of turning 30 last year. (Those of you over 40, stop rolling your eyes.) I don’t know what it was about it, I just kept repeating it in my head over and over again…I’m going to be 30…So this went on for months and then I decided: Screw it! I am going to throw a party. So that’s what I did.  I rented a hall, invited all my friends and made it a “Roaring Twenties” theme. Clever or dumb? I thought it was clever. For the most part everyone dressed up and had a great time. I turned 30 May 20 of last year and literally the next day I thought: Meh. So what. I was over it just like that.

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So with all of that said, 31 was also: Meh. Okay, I’m 31.

So what does 31 look like? I find myself reflecting on where I am versus where I thought I would be at 31. Here is what I would have pictured 10 years ago: Married, 3 kids, Accountant (or Interior Designer, which is just a pipe dream it seems, but it’s actually a passion…), making decent money, owning a nice piece of property where my kids can run around…etc. You get the idea.

I have watched my parents go through a divorce, watch my Mom battle MS AND fight off cancer – this is real life. Life is precious, our time here is short and can be snatched away in the blink of an eye. I lost a friend a week ago. She passed away from Cystic Fibrosis at the age of 31. She was given 3-5 years to live about a year-and-a-half ago and never made it that far. She cherished every moment and lived life to the fullest, or tried to at least. How would you live your life if you were given a an approximate estimation of when you would die? Would you live it the same or differently? Quit your job? Spend all of your money? Travel? She did none of these things. She just…lived. I really don’t know what I would do.

I am not going to predict where I will be 10 years down the road because I really have no idea. Life is a mystery and ultimately we write our own story but the universe plays a huge part in that, I believe. You never know what will come knocking at your door. Strength is my motto these days. Live one day at a time. The past is the past and your future is dependent on what you choose your now to be.

That’s all for now guys.

H.

 

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Cruisin’ to END MS

Today, August 21st, visit any A&W across Canada and purchase a Teen Burger, and $1 of the purchase will go to the Multiple Sclerosis Society.

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In 2013, Cruisin’ to END MS raised over $1.5 million for the MS Society of Canada. This was the largest single fundraising event for MS in Canada. Amazing!

As you know, my Mom has MS, and any fundraising event to help find a cure for this disease means a lot to me. So my Canadian friends, head out to A&W today and purchase a Teen Burger or two. Every $1 counts!

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(Images courtesy of A&W and the MS Society of Canada)

Video Baby Monitor Review

When I was pregnant with Maxton, I never really thought about purchasing a video monitor. I didn’t want to have the option to spy, because I was afraid I would just constantly stare at the monitor. He slept in our room for the first six months, so at that time I realized I wanted something great and reliable. I liked the idea of the Angelcare monitor, because it had the pad to put under the mattress to detect their breathing. We ended up coming across the same type of monitor by Tommee Tippee, The Closer To Nature Sensor Pad. It was the same idea as the Angel Care monitor but had a great two-way audio feature so you could talk to the baby from the parent monitor. This comes in handy to this day! We love it.

So when Miss Everly came along, I decided I wanted another great monitor. This time around we decided it would be nice to have a video monitor. It would be fun to spy on Everly in her crib, and we figured we could use it on Maxton when we move him into his big-boy-bed, to see if he actually STAYS in his bed without us having to go in every five minutes.

About a month-and-a-half ago there was a sale on some monitors at Babies R Us, and one caught my eye. The Summer Infant Baby Touch Plus Digital Colour Video Monitor. It retails for $269.99CA, but it was on sale for $169.99CA.

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It seemed like a great deal so I purchased it. I had read some reviews online beforehand, and a few mentioned the monitor would go “out of range” often, so this concerned me, but I thought I would give it a shot.

What a piece of CRAP! I cannot believe this item retails for that price. Within less than a month of purchasing it, it stopped working all together. All that would display was “Out of Range”, and the audio would not work either. Even if I was outside the door, the same message appeared. I wanted to throw it out the window. Also, from day one, the temperature gauge was off by ten degrees. So it would say 81 degrees, but it was actually 71 in the house. I loved the size of the screen, and that the touch screen allowed you to pan the camera, but this product is horrible and I give it a 3/10 based on the fact it costs so much and stopped working within a month. I read further reviews and the majority of them seemed to have this issue, so I can’t say it was just a dud. Back to the store it went.

PROS: Great video quality, being able to adjust the camera angle from the parent unit, compact, large screen, two-way communication

CONS: Epensive, horrible range, stopped working, temperature gauge incorrect

I then decided to try the Vtech Safe & Sound Video Monitor, which retails for $99.99CA.

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I give this monitor a 0/10. This one didn’t even last 24 hours in our house. There is nothing I liked about the monitor. The screen is small (which I knew when I purchased it), the quality of the picture is awful (both night and day), there is no temperature display (although it shows it in the picture), it lost signal within hours of being on, and the audio does not stay on. It automatically shuts itself off if there is no change in the sound in the room, which also shuts the video off – so you cannot hear that white noise sound of the monitor. (Some people may like this feature, I don’t.) The monitor kicks back in when your baby cries, although in the little time it did work, there was 15 second delay. Not acceptable to me. To me it’s enough time for a babe to cough and choke, or throw up, without me knowing (perhaps it seems dramatic, but still). Fail.

PROS: None

CONS: Poor video quality, sound is only activated when child cries, poor range, small screen, no temperature display

At this point I was feeling defeated, and feeling as though I wasn’t going to find a decent video monitor at an acceptable price point.

I thought I would try one more. I came across the Lorex Care ‘n’ Share Video Baby Monitor. This monitor retails for $149.99CA and I purchased it on sale for $129.99.

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I wasn’t familiar with this brand but decided I would go for it.

I am giving this one a 9/10! It’s a keeper! I am impressed with the monitor overall and would recommend it to anyone looking for a video monitor.

PROS: Large screen, great video quality, good range, good battery life, two-way communication, temperature display, nature music that can be played through the baby’s unit

CONS: Cannot change camera angle from parent unit, nature music cycles through various sounds, rather than being able to choose one sound only, parent unit is on the larger side (Steve jokes it’s like an iPad mini)

The “cons” really aren’t anything major, and I was just picking at things that I would change if I could.

I hope this helps for anyone out there looking for a decent video baby monitor!

A New Venture

I am moving away from my usual posts today, to discuss something new.

I consider myself to be a fairly busy person. Working full-time (currently on maternity leave), being a full-time Mommy to two little ones, and everything in between. So why not add something else to the mix?

An opportunity recently fell into my lap, that I decided to jump on. An opportunity that would allow me to make some extra money, grow as an individual and a business woman, and share amazing healthy products with others. Are you curious yet?

I am pleased to say I have recently started my own business as an Independent Arbonne Consultant!

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A little background about Arbonne: It is a Health and Wellness company that offers an array of skin care, healthy living nutritional products, and cosmetics that are pure, safe and beneficial. All of our products are Vegan certified, botanically based, paraben-free, hypoallergenic, dermatologist tested and formulated without animal products or by-products, mineral oils, dyes or chemical fragrances. Our products are never tested on animals; and our skin care and cosmetic products have results comparable to the highest-end products available in department stores! To top it all off, the packages are earth-friendly! How can it get any better?!

Since becoming a Mom, I am more aware of the harmful chemicals and additives that exist in what we put in and on our bodies.  The last thing I want to do is feed my kids foods that are full of anything but nutrition, or put anything unnatural on their skin. That goes for Steve and I as well. So, the decision to bring these products into my home, promote them, and sell them was more than easy.

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I am beyond excited for this new opportunity and hope you can share in my enthusiasm.

If you are interested in improving your skin, nutritional wellness and caring for your body with all natural products, or if you are interested in starting your own business as an Independent Arbonne Consultant, feel free to contact me (see contact box below) and I would be more than happy to help you!