Getting out from behind the screen


In the early 80’s being a child meant you could watch television till noon on Saturdays and then go outside to play as nothing would be good on TV until Sunday night when the Disney movie would start on CBC.

Your days would be spent outside with friends or alone and your only social tool was the land line you could not monopolize, or your dad would pull the plug. Bullying was in the school yard or on the bus and you would post pictures to your bedroom wall.

Today many children are unfit due to reduced gym time in schools, less physical activity at home with the family and increased time in front of their screens. Many of them do not know how to have a face to face conversation and would rather be playing video games or chatting on snapchat instead of being outside in the sun.

According to Emily Price’s article Childhood Obesity rates have gone up considerably since 2013 and are still on the climb.

Now don’t get me wrong social media may be keeping some children in their rooms in the dark but some influential people have decided to use it to help fight childhood obesity and educate children and families on the importance of physical fitness.

In the United states, former First Lady Michelle Obama created the “ let’s Move” initiative.

Michelle Obama

WORKING TOGETHER: Our First Lady Michelle Obama talks with Joshua Wilkins-Waldron during an event at Winfield House in London, England.


In the following published article, Mrs. Obama mentions how now more than 1.6 million children are attending healthy daycares and over 30 million children are eating healthier in schools. 9 million children attend let’s move schools where they have 60 minutes of Physical activity per day.

Here in the Province of Quebec, An Iron man athlete and dedicated father Pierre Lavoie, created Legdpl after loosing two of his children to a rare hereditary disorder called Lactic Acidosis.

defi pierre Lavoie

In over 10 years he has created a brand well known within his province and country. He has over 85k Facebook followers, his yearly 1000km bike challenge has over 15k views on YouTube and schools across the province have connected to get active, collect energy cubes and teach children about physical wellness.

Social media can help you:

  • make friends,
  • stay connected,
  • find healthy recipes,
  • get motivated to stay fit,
  • connect to social groups
  • and share knowledge

Now its your turn to use what you pin, you read, you post and what you see to make a difference. How will you put social media to good use?


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Blended, today’s new reality.

blended family

A few weeks ago, when I started this class, I was asked to introduce myself. One of the first things I mentioned was that I am a mother of 6.

In fact, I am a mother to 6 children, mother of 5 and stepmom to 1.

Growing up, my mother wanted her girls to get an education, career and eventually by the age of 25 get married and have children.

By the age 25, 2 of my children where born, I was married and completing my BA in administration. A few years later, I went onto the job market and my third child was born. Fairy-tale accomplished …that is what I thought.

Like   Winston Groom wrote in the Forest Gump novel: “…life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”

14 years in to my marriage it ended.

My sons first comment to me about our divorce was: “it’s ok mom lots of kids are like me in class…I will have 2 homes, 2 bikes and twice the gifts” thank god for his positive attitude.

According to here the divorce rate in Canada from 2000-2017:

stats chart

Now with higher levels of divorce will also come, higher levels of blended families, single parent homes and even grand-parents becoming guardians.

In my case I met a young man who had a 2-year-old daughter, so my children then got a stepsister. A few years later we decided to continue the family and had 2 more children.

We now have my children, his children and our children. With blended families comes many ups and downs. Raising children of our own is a challenge but helping to raise someone else’s can be even harder.

Children must deal with visitation schedules, holiday sharing, constant traveling, sometimes fighting, etc.

I decided to do a bit of research online and found a great blogger Scary Mommy, 10 Things Nobody Tells You About Having A Blended Family. Some points in her blog were accurate and others not so much. I am set in my ways, I do get upset when he criticizes my kids but hey he does too.

This is sadly a bigger reality these days, life is not always what you had planned, and you need to adapt and make the best of it.


Where you part of a blended family or do you have one of your own?

Facebook: Blended, Today’s Reality # what’s yours?

Twitter: Blended, Today’s Reality# BigFamilyFun


My Fixer Upper

My Fixer Upper

Over the past few month, my spouse and I embarked on an exciting and stressful adventure. We decided to sell my old house and purchase our first fixer upper. With our family of eight, we needed a house with a large lot for the children to run and play. Ample square footage for us to fit everyone in their own space and for this house to fit within our budget so we could make it a home with the help of a few renovations.

At first glance this house was perfect, my spouse and I own a construction business, so no hurdle should be to hard to jump…at least we thought. We purchased the house as bank repo at our own risk and peril.

A few things to know when you make such a move, be sure to do a thorough inspection and to negotiate the price accordingly. Once you own the house all unfortunate discoveries will be too late to negotiate or even get compensation.

In our case, the inspection was good. All the big-ticket items had been updated within the past few years: Roof 5 years old, windows 7 years old, fully finished basement 7 years old, septic system 3 years old.

We noticed some electrical that would need to be updated but the inspector could not open walls to asses at what expense.

Feeling confident we went ahead with the purchase and I embarked on my Pinterest quest to find renovation and décor Ideas:

  • Open concept kitchen
  • Country style bead board ceilings
  • Garage conversion to Master suite
  • Addition of a third bathroom

With 6 girls under one roof, you can never have too many bathrooms…

Let the fun begin

Day one, we needed to re-open the house as it was winterized and had been inhabited for over 7 months. This meant flipping all the breakers to on, opening the water, starting the pump for the well.

We brought in our electrician to help put power back on and our first issue appeared. Electrical fire in the basement. Luckily it was caught on time and no major damage occurred.

When putting the water back on we noticed an accumulation on the bathroom floor…little did we know the toilet was a decoration and had not been connected.

We then pulled out the sledge hammers, to tare down walls for the new open concept kitchen. All was good until we uncovered loads of mice droppings. Lesson to be learned: When you live in the country get a cat!

So can you see the trend…as we moved on to more of the kitchen reno we soon realised our budget would be blown on unexpected issues. We had to rewire the entire first floor of the house as the electrical was clearly not done by a professional and was a severe fire hazard.

We soon uncovered water on the basement floor coming in from where we still are unsure but will be tackling this issue as soon as the kitchen renos are done.

We used our network of suppliers to get great deals on appliances, materials and technical support. We also used communities like Houzz to find new suppliers for some of the projects we were not willing to tackle do to lack of time.

For the DYI lovers we also used Kijiji to find great salvage pieces like a 100 year old door for our new pantry.



Here is our kitchen, as you can see it is not done yet but a wonderful work in progress.


Here are a few words of advice when taking on a fixer upper:

  1. Have a budget for each of your renovation projects and be sure to include a buffer for unexpected expenses like electrical, plumbing or even exterminators, etc.
  2. Prioritize the projects by importance and ROI (Kitchen and Bathroom renovations will bring you the biggest returns when done well)
  3. If you decide to live in the house while you are renovating, take one project on at a time and do not start another until the first one is complete. Your sanity and family will thank you.
  4. If you are not handy or knowledgeable in construction or renovations, hire a pro who will be sure to do things right.
  5. Make sure you have loads of patience as small or big hurdles may arise. This does not mean your fixer upper is doomed but you may need to put some of your projects on the back burner for a while.



Now will you be brave enough to try a fixer upper?


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My Kardashian chicks!

A few months ago, on my way in to work I heard a reporter talk about a study done in the United States, where they discovered that many Americans today do not know where their food comes from.

The following article is a prime example:

“The surprising number of American adults who think chocolate milk comes from brown cows” By Caitlin Dewey June 15, 2017,retrieved from :

When discussing this article with my spouse, we realised it was time to teach our children where their food comes from and to give them some new responsibilities. Having just purchased a home in the country to get away from the busy streets and noise, we decided to get some chickens.

We are both city kids who have never lived on farm and know nothing about these curious little creatures…but it is never too late to learn.

Do we buy or build a coop

Pinterest is always a great place to start, you can find everything from how to build from scratch to how to convert an old shed into a fancy coop. But do you have the building knowhow? Do you have the time to build or do you have the budget to buy one that is suited for your needs?

We opted for the buy…

Using the help of Google, we searched the web for a place to purchase a chicken coop and found . This small, local and family owned business has a website with videos showing their products. The coops are made by hand the owner, his wife and their children. Easy to clean and safe from predators. Our chickens are now in their Fancy home.


Do you name your chickens?

The answer for us was yes, after discussing with our children they decided these fancy chickens deserved some high-profile names so they were baptized our Kardashian Chicks: Khloé, Kim and Kourtney.


How to learn more about raising chickens

With the help of a blog on hens and a local chicken farmer ,we are now getting 2 dozen fresh eggs every week.

Here are a few 5 facts you may not know about chickens:

  • You do not need a rooster for your chickens to lay eggs
  • Chickens are very social
  • Chickens can lay eggs without shells or membranes
  • A hen can lay more than 300 eggs per year
  • Fresh eggs can be left on your counter for 2 months before you need to refrigerate them


The experience is enriching and has been beneficial for our family. Its has now been a month and we are all loving it. Would you try this social experiment with your family?



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