Let’s Not Make It A ‘Season’ Of Giving

I’m happy to have my first post live on Hello Creative Family – and it’s all about one of my favourite topics! Right now we are being bombarded by messages of this ‘giving season’ which is GREAT because, yes, it’s a good time of year to give. But so is the rest of the calendar year.

So, how do we make it a lifestyle? And what about when we can’t afford to give? How do we get our kids in on it? I answer all these questions in my contributing post, and I really would love it if you would have a click-through. I’m always happy to share posts I write on other sites with my Let ME Out!! readers; you will love the content on Hello Creative Family so take a look around while you are there.

Have a read and leave a comment – I’ll be checking in to see your thoughts. Thanks for all your support!


taslim jaffer, let me out creative

Why I Think Toy Mountain At Guildford Town Centre Is A FABULOUS Initiative @shopGTC

There’s a lot of giving going on this time of year. I’m sure you’re being asked everywhere you turn for a donation to make someone’s Christmas brighter. From hampers to food drives, you most definitely are contributing to your community’s needs. Here’s something that I think needs a little attention, though, and if it gets your support too, I know there will be some extra twinkly eyes on Christmas morning.

Once again, Guildford Town Centre and incredibly generous sponsors Alpine Credits and King of Floors are building Toy Mountain – literally a mountain of unwrapped, new toys at the base (and upward) of a Christmas tree which will then be collected by the Salvation Army and distributed to the perfect recipients.

toy mountain, guildford town centre, the salvation army, king of floors, alpine credit, let me out creative

What I love about this is that the focus is on toys. Yes, toys! The families receiving these items are doing their best to meet the needs of their growing families and securing food, shelter and clothing for their loved ones. But play is a child’s work and vital to their growth. It contributes to their cognitive and motor development, their speech and language development, their social skills and…puts a smile on their faces!

When I was a speech-language pathologist my therapy style was as play-based as possible. It’s how normal language development occurs. And I always had a bag of toys with me! It’s amazing what kids can learn when given these perfect tools.

That’s why I am thrilled that Guildford Town Centre, the Salvation Army and all these incredible sponsors are doing their part in making sure kids have toys to play with. Take a look at some of these mind-blowing donations (yes, even cars full of toys by a local dealership)!

When you’re out and about this weekend getting your shopping done, and if you can pick up a toy/book/puzzle/game, then we’d love to see you drop it off at the tree. Make it a family event; I know you’re talking to your kids a lot about giving at this time of year. This is the perfect opportunity for them to be completely involved. After all, who’s a better shopper for toys than a kid? Give them a budget and ask them to pick something that another boy or girl like them would appreciate on Christmas morning. The moment they place that gift under the tree at Guildford Town Centre will be even more meaningful to them.

This is all happening next week and I can’t wait to be there to take it all in! Here are the details:

THURSDAY DEC 10, 2015 5:30 am – 9:00 pm

FRIDAY DEC 11, 2015 5:30 am – 7:00 pm

GUILDFORD TOWN CENTRE 10355 152 St. Surrey, BC (Centre Court)

I’ll be there on Thursday morning right after I drop the kiddos off to school until just before lunch. If you’re going to be there during that time, tweet me and let me know! Oh, did I mention Triple O’s is serving up breakfast sandwiches, hashbrowns and coffee to anyone who donates until 10 am? (I promise, my timing is just a coincidence – ha!)

And hey, take a selfie beside a heaping pile of toys and tweet me @taslimjaffer and the mall @shopGTC so we can see you in action! Use #GTCtoymountain with any of your social media posts. If I’m not there, I don’t want to miss the joy 🙂

If you can’t make it to the mall during those days/times, there are other drop offs which you will find on CTV’s article here. There will be personalities from CTV news, 103.5 QMFM, 94.5 Virgin Radio, and TSN 1040 Vancouver broadcasting live from there as well, so if you have a favourite, please look for them and say hi!

I’m excited to be working with GTC to spread the word about Toy Mountain and hope that this year’s campaign reaches new heights!

taslim jaffer, let me out creative


‘Tis The Season To Give! But Be Careful…

You know I love charity. But there are some things about ‘giving’ that irk me. Like when the dignity part gets left out. I’ve talked about that before, that dignity is key to the whole process. Without it, charity becomes something we don’t really want it to be.

There’s something else that gets under my skin: when an organization ‘saves’ a group of people while selling them on an idea/religion/philosophy. I understand that it’s often these things from which we draw our values of giving, but I don’t think it’s justifiable to impose our own thoughts on to someone else. Ever. And when it happens in charity, when people are at their most vulnerable, it really bothers me.

I almost published a blog about a charity last year and then ended up deleting it when I took a closer look at what exactly was happening. There was a heavy overtone of ‘read this holy book, believe in this person while I give your children these culturally inappropriate toys.’ I couldn’t help them spread awareness for their work, even though I know they are doing it with the best intentions, because it totally didn’t jive with my values.

It wasn’t the religion I had a problem with. It was how it was being used.

So, get to know who you are. Understand your own values and form your own philosophies about charity…and then don’t let anyone or anything compromise that.

By all means, give! But give in a way that makes you and the recipient feel dignified and fulfilled.

taslim jaffer, let me out creative


An Inspirational One-Year Old Whose Family Needs Our Help

Every once in awhile a story comes my way that touches me deep in the heart. It’s not that there’s a lack of stories that deserve our attention, but when someone comes to me personally and opens up about a friend in a situation like this, I feel thankful that I can use my voice to share their message.

Today’s post is about Skyler Kash Kendall, just over a year old, who is undergoing treatment for a golf-sized malignant tumour that was recently removed from his brain. At the time of his diagnosis, the family was living in Spain where his dad, Levon Kendall, played basketball for Gran Canaria. I’ll let you read all the details about little Skyler’s treatment requirements, his successes and his continued needs in this article published in The Province.

As a mom, my whole world turns upside down when my kids are going through something with their health. I’m fairly used to the common cold now, but it still isn’t fun to see my kids fight bugs. So, imagining cancer treatments and driving back and forth from Ronald McDonald House every week as the Kendalls have to do, and all of the uncertainty that goes with a diagnosis like this is very difficult. My heart goes out to this mama and papa.

And of course, there’s little Skyler. Seriously, what a cutie…

I have faith that Skyler is going to do really well. He just learned to walk recently which is astounding for someone in his condition. Sounds like a real tough cookie who is always making his parents smile and giving them reason to stay hopeful.

I know there are many ways you can help your local community with what you have after taking care of your own family; I encourage that thoughtfulness and hope those blessings are returned to you and your family manifold.

If you are looking for a way to help out another family, please consider giving to Skyler’s GoFundMe account. Treatment is expensive and the family has to have it done across the border at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance Proton Therapy Center.

On behalf of Skyler’s parents and their friend who brought this to my attention, thanks for reading and for your positive thoughts!

skylar kash kendall, levon kendall, basketball, gran canaria, cancer treatment, kids with cancer, ronald mcdonald house, the province

Kayak, Bike And Run For Canuck Place Children’s Hospice – #CPCHAdventureRace

When I became a mom, the world began to look a little different. I care about new things, I worry about things that never crossed my mind before. I see miracles in minutiae and I hold my breath as I learn to let go. Most importantly, I have learned that parenthood is an alliance and we’re all in it together, no matter what our individual stories are.

That’s why Canuck Place Children’s Hospice is special to me. I believe my first connection to this pediatric palliative care facility was via Michaela Evanow and her beautiful daughter Florence Marigold, now an angel in heaven. When Florence was still with us, I joined Michaela in her campaign to collect more cheerful-looking mugs for the kitchen at Canuck Place, frequented by the parents whose children receive care there. I know how much this place means to Florence’s family and to the many, many families who require its services.

I’m always happy to spread awareness about Canuck Place – what they do and how you can support them. Please read about their fundraiser adventure race and enter below to win a race entry or an 8X10″ signed poster of Vancouver Canuck, Henrik Sedin!

About Canuck Place

Canuck Place Children’s Hospice is British Columbia’s recognized pediatric palliative care provider. Over 600 newborns, children and teens with life-threatening illnesses and their families receive care from CPCH through outreach programs and two provincial hospice locations; Vancouver and Abbotsford. Services include clinical respite and family support, pain and symptom management, 24-hour phone consultation support and in-house clinical care, art and education, recreation therapy, grief and loss counselling and end-of-life care. Through the investment of the community, our talented team, and over 325 energetic volunteers we make a lasting difference in the lives of children and the families who love them.
About the Adventure Race
The Canuck Place Adventure Race is the ultimate celebration of outdoor athleticism, offering participants the opportunity to kayak, bike and run at beautiful Jericho Beach. Adventure Racers can attend training sessions and participate as individuals or in teams. There will also be a Teen Challenge heat, an updated Kids’ course, and an adaptive course for Canuck Place children. The event will raise much needed funds for Canuck Place Children’s Hospice (CPCH).
Last year, 140 Adventure Racers helped to raise over $130,000 which directly impacted the complex clinical care needed by over 600 newborns, children and teenagers with life-threatening illnesses and their families.
“We are thrilled to launch the 2015 Canuck Place Adventure Race,” said Margaret McNeil, Canuck Place CEO. “This is truly a unique event, allowing entire families to participate together. It is amazing to see the community come together to take on an athletic challenge, all in support of children facing life-threatening illnesses and their families. We look forward to seeing our community shine on race day this September!”
Join them on Sunday September 13th at Jericho Beach – for more details, please visit them HERE.
The Children You’re Helping
I read about Kaitlyn Sidhu in a newsletter update from Canuck Place and wanted to share about her here.
Sidhu family, Canuck Place Children's Hospice, #CPCHAdventureRace, I-Cell, lifethreatening diseases, pediatric children's hospice

Like many six year-olds, Kaitlyn Sidhu loves music, but unlike most girls her age, Kaitlyn has had to endure a lot in her short life. At birth, she was diagnosed with a rare life-threatening condition called semilobar holoprosenchephaly, which meant her brain was not fully developed. She has also undergone several rounds of extensive chemotherapy to treat cancer.

So for Kaitlyn, music is more than singing along to the radio from her car seat. She works with a music therapist at Canuck Place, where she can enjoy making music, using specially designed instruments to help express herself.

Kaitlyn also enjoys playing with her adoring older siblings, Sean and Brittany. But with three children to care for, and Kaitlyn’s complex health challenges, her parents Amanda and Robert often find themselves stretched to the limit.

This is where Canuck Place steps in. In addition to bringing music to Kaitlyn’s life, Canuck Place has opened its doors to her entire family.

“Kaitlyn has spent almost half of her life in the hospital,” said Amanda. “This meant our family was living apart, until we were welcomed into Canuck Place. The clinical team has done everything possible to help Kaitlyn. They literally saved our family from a very difficult time.”

Enter the giveaway below! Don’t forget to enter separately for each prize by using the arrow to scroll to the next one. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!


Video: The Story Behind Make-A-Wave Cards And How You Can Help End SMA

I’m back after a bit of a hiatus! And first thing I’m doing is jumping way the heck out of my comfort zone by a) playing with technology b) watching and hearing myself on a video camera and c) sharing the results with…everyone.

Some of you know that I created a line of cards a few years back that have travelled the world. These inspirational cards have been passed on to loved ones and strangers, sharing messages and making people smile.

But did you know that Make-A-Wave cards do more than that? I share the longer story in this post, but in a nutshell, every time I sell a pack online I donate $5 to a charity. Some of the charities have been readers’ choices, others have been mine.

From now through July 15, 2015 I am supporting The Gwendolyn Strong Foundation in honour of Florence Marigold Evanow who I wrote about here. The GSF provides research dollars to finding a cure for Spinal Muscular Atrophy – and they are never giving up!

I got over myself and created this video because I really believe in the power and magic of these cards. Have a look and share! Also if you have a charity that is close to your heart that you would like to see benefit from the sale of these cards, please contact me.


There’s So Much Good In The World – #3ThingsThursday

Let’s focus today on all the amazing people out there who are doing incredible things because they really give a darn about creating positive change. They’re doing it not just so they feel good (although, that really can’t be helped: serotonin is released in our bodies when we are being kind and it happens to be Nature’s antidepressant) but because they want to make life easier for people they might never meet. Today I want to increase YOUR serotonin levels by telling you about just 3 of these organizations (because learning about/witnessing acts of kindness also gives you a natural high) and if you are so inclined to get involved with one or all of them, well, that would make me so happy!

This love-fest is brought to you by #3ThingsThursday, a linkup hosted by Pink Chai Living, The Write Balance and Love Laugh Mirch. If you’re a blogger and want to link up, please visit one of their sites and add your link! I look forward to reading it!

1. Ruben’s Shoes

Remember I went to the inaugural SheTalksYVR event in March to hear my friend, Jamie, speak? Two of the other speakers were best friends Kelly Strongitharm and Desiree Dupuis of Ruben’s Shoes. This organization, run by five besties, was founded by Kelly after a trip to the Dominican Republic had her concerned about the fact that kids were missing school because they didn’t have shoes to wear. These kids were walking around on all kinds of terrain without anything on their feet which is dangerous, unsanitary and uncomfortable. Kelly was in the Dominican Republic with her mom, and meeting a boy for the first time who they were sponsoring: Ruben. Once Kelly was inspired by the idea to collect shoes she got her friends on board and they hoped to gather a couple hundred pairs of used shoes. They ended up collecting 12,000 pairs for the Dominican Republic in 2013. Since then that number has grown and so has the number of countries reached.

What’s really cool is that TODAY my daughter’s school gets to meet this amazing non-profit at an assembly! I was so excited when I heard this was happening, because I had told her about them after hearing them speak at SheTalksYVR! This weekend we are going through all our gently-used shoes (from babies to adults and including cleats) and sending them to her school next week for the drive.

You can help by dropping off shoes at a location nearest you or by donating financially.

Image Credit: rubensshoes.com

2. Cause We Care Foundation

Last September I went to the Leading Moms presentation – but only caught bits and pieces as I had 9 month old Alyzeh with me! But still, I came away with 5 awesome lessons that I hope motivate you to do something!

The presentation by Andrea Thomas Hill about the foundation she started to help single moms went through my head several times this past week during my short but eye-opening experience. In fact, Andrea was inspired to create this organization after she became a new mom and recognized the challenges that faced mothers who didn’t have access to help.

They have several drives and initiatives to meet the needs of single moms in the downtown eastside area of Vancouver, but one in particular stood out for me as I perused their website: The YWCA Cause We Care House. In yesterday’s post I mentioned the efforts of the YWCA in supporting single moms. The YWCA of Vancouver, Cause We Care Foundation, the City of Vancouver and the Vancouver Public Library are teaming together to build a housing and library facility due to open in 2016. The housing component will be subsidized so women and children can have a safe place to live.

Check out their donation page to be a part of their initiatives. They are also running a Mother’s Day drive to provide hampers to single moms, so if you are being hounded about what you would like for Mother’s Day…there’s an idea.

Meet the amazing moms you’ll be standing in solidarity with:

3. Feed the Hungry

Canada’s poorest neighbourhood is the downtown eastside of Vancouver. Members of the Muslim and Jewish communities of Vancouver came together 5 years ago to initiate a monthly luncheon program for the residents of this area. Close to 300 guests are served a meal prepared for by volunteers. Over the past 5 years, they have had more than 1500 volunteers of all different faith backgrounds participate in this endeavour – and they are always looking for more help! If you are interested, please join their Facebook page to stay posted. You have to sign up to take part in food prep/hall setup or welcoming/serving/hall cleanup. I’m not kidding, but every time I take a look at the eventbrite invitation for volunteers, both shifts are full!

If you want to make sure you don’t miss anything, please be in touch with them directly through their Facebook page!

Above all else, please remember:

Every single initiative I mentioned today (and all the gazillion ones that are out there) all began from a single question: How can I make a positive difference?

One person, or one group of people, asked that question.

You can ask yourself that same question every morning, and remember that touching just one other human being is like starting a ripple that will affect more people than you know.

8 Days, 3 Kids, 1 Me & An Incredible Lesson.

You may have read on my Facebook page that I pulled an 8 day stint with all 3 kids, on my own. It was honestly like a great emotional/spiritual/physical journey by the end of which I felt totally unraveled. The purpose of this post is not to complain about the woes of parenting, or to get pats on the back for undertaking what some people thought was a crazy feat. I’m sharing this experience because it changed me in so many ways, and the conclusion I came to has opened my world to new possibilities of serving.

When my husband asked if I’d be cool with him going to Mexico as part of a work recognition, I didn’t hesitate to say, “Of course.” This is an honour he has been given for several years and every year he turns it down without even asking me. This year, I thought, would be as good as any for him to be away for a week.

I honestly thought it would be a breeze.

I made plans to help my week go smoothly: Only take them to their Saturday, Monday and Thursday activities, have a friend babysit the toddler during the Monday activity so I can take a ‘break’ for an hour, order enough pizza to last two dinners, and have chicken nuggets on another night. Basically, limit activities and increase take-out.

I actually thought this would be a relaxing week. After all, I do 7:00 am – 5:00 pm on my own anyway…what’s another couple hours in the evening until bedtime? Then after they go to bed, I could read books! For like 2 hours! I’d get a lot of reading done.

What I didn’t know was that in the span of those few days there would also be: a clogged toilet that overflowed, a little boy up till midnight with an earache and heartbreak (over his dad’s absence), a trip to the doctor, suuuuper sad kids, a fridge door left open…all night…You know, life stuff. Stuff that happens to everyone, all the time. But stuff I never had to encounter alone.

What I realized was how much I need my partner home in the evenings to help with the post-activity aftermath of tired children, dinner clean-up, laundry, baths and bedtime. We do the whole she-bang together so, though it’s busy, it’s manageable. We divide and conquer. Without him, I felt like I was the one being conquered. And the dishes got left to the next day. Again.

I tried to catch up on housework during the day, specifically during the toddler’s nap, which meant no time left over for my work. Also, the fact that she missed two naps during the week so I could take care of things outside the home meant I had less child-free time to catch up on housework. Or simply to catch a break. I felt like I was in this cycle of can’t-do and never-gonna-get-to.

There was no reading whatsoever. I was dysfunctional by 8:30 pm.

When my dad texted on Tuesday afternoon that he and my stepmom were coming over with some food for that night’s dinner, the kids were so thrilled they were tripping over themselves helping me tidy up. The spontaneous visit was totally welcomed but I feel more comfortable when people can walk through our home without risk of injury due to toys strewn everywhere. It was a good excuse to push through and get ‘er done, and honestly the three of us had a lot of fun doing it. Anticipating a visit, listening to music…even the toddler felt the change in mood and was giggly.

But I caught them – those thoughts that tried to sneak around in my consciousness without me noticing. The ones that said, “You’d fall apart if you ever had to do this gig alone. You wouldn’t be strong enough to do this.”

My dad and stepmom came and we ate, and they left after a couple hours. Then, it was just me plus 3, with baths and bedtime looming ahead.

I won’t even pretend they bathed as much as they normally would have. And neither did I.

I held my breath through the rest of the week and got done what I could. But it was all coming to a head. And this is how I came undone.

Late Saturday morning (Day 8), my older daughter was at a class and the other two were playing together in the living room. I decided to take a couple minutes alone in my studio to just take some deep breaths.

But I wasn’t really alone. I had my thoughts to contend with.

“I yelled at them so much this week.”

“I could never do this alone. I’m not that strong.”

“I am totally failing at motherhood.”

“Why couldn’t I have been cool and collected? It was just a week! People do this every single day!”

“What a whiner. Nadir’s coming back tonight and I’m out all day with a friend tomorrow – how many people can do that easily? Suck it up!”

You get the picture. It was super painful going through that. My friend, Saira, had single-parented her two children from Sunday-Friday for 7 months. I felt terrible that I hadn’t known exactly what she had gone through. I texted her: How did you do it?? I’m totally failing at motherhood. She encouraged me to lean into it, just go through the process. (She is an excellent therapist, by the way!) So much came out of those few minutes, as I lay in child’s pose on my rug.

I went through the shame of complaining about a temporary situation, I felt the burden of my disparaging thoughts and self-judgments of my mothering, I felt frustrated that I had never truly empathized with others who were doing this daily. The emotions happened simultaneously and I was stuck in child’s pose, taking it all.

Once my head got a little quiet, I went back to the living room where the kids were playing and asked my son if he wanted to open his mail. I had picked it up the day before but forgot about it. He had received a newsletter from Canuck Place Children’s Hospice, which he fundraised for earlier this year. I said I’d read it to him.

He hopped into my lap and this was the message inside:

The tears started up again and my son looked from me to the letter and back at me, as I continued on in a broken voice, face wet. This time I didn’t feel shame or guilt. I felt compassion and solidarity. We all have our challenges and heartaches, and they don’t need to be the same as the next mom’s, but that can’t stop us from reaching out and helping each other. I have heard this exact sentiment expressed in countless blog posts and social media feeds…but never had I actually felt those words so deeply. I finally understood that we may be mothering different children, we may be living some very different realities, but as mothers we all have our sappy moments and wish-I-could-start-over moments.

While all moms need help, I understand that single moms don’t always have access to it. 

I shared this insight with my friend Jamie this morning and she sent this to me.

Please click on the pic to read the stats of single mothers in Metro Vancouver, how you can help and what your donations give to these women. The best way I know to embrace this truth is to serve. I know exactly what I want for Mother’s Day.

I’m no longer chastising myself for complaining about my temporary situation. I’m super grateful that I was able to progress a little in my solidarity with all moms: single, attached, working, stay-at-home, and mothers of kids with all kinds of needs.

Thank you for reading.



Fashion, Food & A Fair – #3ThingsThursday

You guys, it’s been one of those weeks. I actually don’t even have the energy to tell you about it right now – not when I have more interesting things to share with you! Hope you are all doing well – let me know something about your week in the comments. What has been a highlight for you? I’m linking up again with Pink Chai Living, The Write Balance and Love Laugh Mirch to bring you 3 things this lovely Thursday. If you are a blogger and wish to link up, please do so by visiting any of the hosts!

1. Shopping with Salma #SalmaAndTaslimGoShopping

Some of you will cringe when I say this, but I don’t actually like shopping. I don’t know if it’s because I am always rushed through the process by 1 or more children. Or if it’s because of the whole trying on clothes in stuffy change rooms part (and realizing I have the wrong size, but feeling too annoyed to go back and grab another size). One person who doesn’t understand this part of me is my friend Salma from The Write Balance. She loves to shop – and not only does she love it, but she is GOOD at it! This girl knows her stuff, and I trust that she won’t make me go broke spending an afternoon with her at Coquitlam Centre. She’s trendy AND thrifty, and I think that is a good combination in a friend, don’t you? She has promised me snack and water breaks so I don’t make like a toddler and melt down. All joking aside, this is something I really need to do. My body has changed sizes so many times over the last few years that I literally don’t have any Spring/Summer clothes left. I am starting with 2 T-shirts and 2 pairs of shorts, and a handful of tank tops.

Check out our board on Pinterest where we’ve been pinning outfits we like. This was Salma’s brilliant idea, her way of analyzing my style before we dive in. (Smart girl!) Follow #SalmaAndTaslimGoShopping on Twitter and Instagram to see what we’re up to on Sunday!

What would YOU recommend we add to the shopping list?

2. A Fair and Shred-A-Thon

If you have a mountain of paper threatening to take over your home or office, you need to bring it down to Newton Town Centre on Saturday May 2 between 9 am and 1 pm. Hollywood 3 Cinemas and Amenida Senior Care Home are teaming up to raise funds for Variety – the Children’s Charity. They will have Super Save Shredding onsite, ready to shred your bags/boxes of paper by donation. 100% of proceeds go straight to the charity. In addition to that, there is a family-friendly fair right in the parking lot! Plenty of food, drink, live entertainment and of course, cartoons running throughout the day in the theatre. Check out their poster below for more details!



3. Zomato

Sometimes things float across my desk (Don’t you just love that image? Like actual paper slowly floating this way and that like a feather, until finally landing softly on my keyboard)…anyway – sometimes things come through my inbox that I think you might like to know about, and #3ThingsThursday is the place where you will find those things. Here’s what I learned about Zomato from the email:

Zomato is an online and mobile restaurant search and discovery service, providing in-depth information for over 1 million restaurants across 22 countries. It only just launched in North America last Friday! So, if you hadn’t heard of it before, no worries – you can say you heard it here first!

Zomato’s core content features include menus, photos, and geocoded coordinates for restaurants. The Zomato team works hard to make sure this information is all up to date for you – and if you live in the Metro Vancouver area, they have nearly 7500 cafes, restaurants and bars listed.

Users can rate and review the restaurants, as well as create their own network of foodies. Photos can be uploaded and friends can be tagged. You can download the Zomato – Food & Restaurant Finder app for free and go from there.

Bon appetit!

What Do A Ladies Night And A Classroom Have In Common? – #3ThingsThursday

You know what Thursday means! I get to share 3 things from my world that I hope inspire you or at the very least, entertain you. If you’re a blogger and would like to link up, please visit hosts Pink Chai Living, The Write Balance or Love Laugh Mirch to add your link! These are some of my favourite posts to read and write!


What do a Ladies Night and a classroom have in common? Both can be places in which you find…inspiration!

1. Ladies Night at Sullivan Optometry

I love the relationship between business and charity. I think it’s a win-win on so many levels! So when I hear of stories like this one, I can’t help but share. And I’m glad I’m going to be able to attend this, too! Drs. Moison and Nurani are hosting their third annual Ladies Night featuring local businesses and the theme Update Your Summer Look. With a focus on fun, fashion and a little glam, women are encouraged to come out, shop and mingle – all while benefiting the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. For updates on the event and sponsors, check out their Facebook event page. RSVP to drmoison@telus.net. Did I mention there’ll be wine and delicious eats?

2. Speaking in my daughter’s classroom

So, this morning I spent half an hour in my daughter’s grade 2 classroom, talking about my career as a writer and speaker. As I was planning for this, I wondered how on earth I would fill 30 minutes with information targeted at 7/8 year olds about what I do. (Normally when I plan for a speaking gig, I have the opposite problem – I wish I had more time to share my messages.) Turns out, I had nothing to be concerned about. They were totally engaged, asking questions that really got me excited. I still had ample time to explain the different types of jobs a writer could have, show them examples of publications, and my favourite part: talk about authenticity, creativity and kindness (which make up a large portion of what I write/speak about). As a token of my appreciation for sitting through it – and to spread a little inspiration and magic – each child received a Make-A-Wave card. It felt really good sharing myself with the class this way. Perhaps I left a little more inspired than I imagined I would!

3. Reconnecting with my former teacher

On my Facebook page awhile back I shared with you that I was on the search for my former grade 8 Humanities teacher. When I called my old jr. high school, the admin had no record of her there! When she asked what year I had been there, and I told her, we both kind of laughed. Guess it’s been awhile. Anyway, I reached out to my former band teacher who suggested I try my former math teacher…and I am so happy to report: a connection has been made! In fact, I feel like we have picked right back up after all these years. Not only was she an incredible teacher who inspired me to accept myself with all my quirks (very important, at a time when I was impressionable and insecure), she was also the first teacher who encouraged me to write. I sometimes ate lunch with her because I literally had no friends that year and I remember distinct moments/words that we shared. I now think, Wow – what would have happened if she never took that extra step of just being there? In grade 10, two years after being in her class, I had my heart broken for the first time. A huge milestone, if you will, for any young girl. My teacher was the only adult in my life I could talk to about that. I remember running up the stairs to her classroom before the morning bell rang, pushing past the younger students waiting outside her classroom, bursting through the door and crying. She said to me, “I know. You can actually feel the pain in your chest.” YES, I could, and she gave me a safe place to land. I am thrilled to have her back in my life.

Thanks for reading – have a fabulous Thursday!