From the category archives:

It IS all about me

It went something like this…

*Ring, ring*

Hello?

Hey DaniGirl, it’s the Universe calling.

Oh hey, Universe! It’s been a while! Always a delight to hear from you, though. What’s new?

Oh you know, the usual – lately I’ve been entertaining myself cooking up theories on black holes with Stephen Hawking. He’s a riot! But that’s not why I’m calling.

I wouldn’t think so. I love cosmology and am fascinated by quantum physics, but I never did take any high school science.

Speaking of things you never did – that IS why I’m calling. I saw you out there on the slopes at Calabogie yesterday with the Grade 6 ski trip.

Ha, did you? I had So! Much! Fun! I had chaperoned last week, too, although I have to tell you I was pretty much in it for the drive up and the photo ops. Watching the kids last week inspired me, though, so I screwed up my courage and tried it out.

You’d never been skiing before, right?

Not really. I went out once with some friends when I was 23 or 24, but I hated it. The chair lift intimidated me, I never got the mechanics down and I think I might have quit after one or two runs down the bunny hill, during which I barrelled straight down the hill screaming the whole time. Years and years passed and I never had the opportunity to try again, and as I got older my knees got quirky and I kind of wrote off skiing as something that I just couldn’t do.

So what changed your mind?

I was hugely inspired by the kids last week. Many of them had never skied before, including Tristan. A few of them were so frustrated and discouraged after an hour they wanted to quit and go home. But they got some one-on-one help and I could see them making amazing progress during the day. One of the moms in particular went out of her way to help Tristan and a few others, and by the end of the day he told me not only did he have an amazing time but he wanted his own skis for Christmas.

Sounds like a good lesson in perserverance for the kids.

It was! Tristan is like me – he doesn’t like to do something if he won’t be good at it right away. So I had that in mind when the second day of skiing came up. It was a little bit embarrassing being so clueless to everything, including how to get the ski boot into the bindings and even how to attach the ski pass to my jacket. But everybody was terrific, from the friend who attached my ski pass to my jacket to the instructors who seemed to take a special interest in getting me through the basics.

Lookit me, I'm a skier!

So how did you do?

I had only one goal in mind for the day. I wanted to ski once down the bunny hill, preferably not barrelling straight down and out of control like I did 20+ years ago.

And?

Well to my great surprise, after an hour or two I was feeling pretty comfortable on the learning side of the bunny hill. I moved through the drills pretty much at my own speed, and instructors would stop me every now and then with corrections and pointers. On the other side of the bunny hill was a little test course, and the kids had to ski it to the instructors’ satisfaction before they were allowed to on to a lesson on the big hill. I started out the day with no real goal beyond one run down the bunny hill, but after a while I thought maybe I would even try that out. The first time I tried it was a little embarrassing – it was too steep for me and I lost control. Rather than sweeping down the slope in big turns, it was 1993 all over again and I was shooting straight down like a cannon ball.

Trust me, it's scarier than it looks. Bunny hill indeed!

But you didn’t give up.

Nope. Back to the practice run I went, over and over again. I had to convince myself to go inside and get some lunch, I was having such a good time. By mid-afternoon I was getting tired, but I’d become comfortable on both sides of the bunny hill and could control my speed and direction far better than I’d ever expected at the beginning of the day. I only fell once, and I was nearly at a dead stop when I did – I just lost my balance and tipped over sideways. Getting back up on my feet was the hardest part of the day!

So did you feel like you’d done what you’d set out to do?

Oh, way way more than what I expected. I was ridiculously pleased with myself not only because I exceeded my own expectations of myself, but because I wasn’t done yet. The wonderful friend who helped Tristan and his friends get their ski legs last week had remarked on my progress and offered to accompany me on the chair lift for a run down one of the big hills. Although the logical part of my brain was telling me to quit while I was ahead, I knew I had to try it once.

Good for you! Were you scared?

Terrified. But sheer donkey-ass stubbornness has gotten me through a lot in life, and this was to be no different. As it turns out, one of the instructors who had been helping me on the bunny hill hopped into the chair lift line beside us, and between him and K they offered me tips and advice on the ride. What I think they were actually doing was distracting me, because the chair lift brought us up about three times higher than I thought it would from the ground. As I often do, I was imagining my fate splayed across the front page of the Citizen: “Mom of three maimed in freak ski accident.” I’m glad they were there to distract me from myself.

My ski instructor, protector, human security blanket, videographer and new BFF!

Where are the scenic photos from the top of the hill?

Ha, that’s a measure of how freaked out I was. It never even occurred to me to pull out my camera, although the views were stunning. In fact, I hardly took out my camera at all during the day – that, too, is a measure of how much fun I was having. There’s very little that will pry that thing out of my hands for long!

So how did you do on the big run?

Well I don’t know how people do this without their own personal ski instructor and safety blanket, but I really felt like K made all the difference for me. She told me what to expect from each section, warned me on the steeper bits and even told me not to be surprised if she grabbed by jacket to slow me down if she thought I was out of control.

And were you out of control?

Only a couple of times for very brief interludes, but K never had to intervene. I wiped out once, and pinwheeled my arms frantically another couple of times to get my balance back, but I think I was pretty good most of the time. The hill was way WAY bigger than I’d anticipated. By the time I hit the bottom of the run I was positively drunk on adrenaline, pride and terror – that is a powerful cocktail!

So you hopped right back on the chair lift and went for another run?

Hell no. My knees were shaking so badly I could barely make it back to the chalet. I kicked off those skis and called it a day, but I was beaming the whole time. Turns out you can teach an old dog new tricks!

Well done! You proved something to yourself.

I sure did. In the grand scheme of things, learning to ski down one hill may not seem a huge accomplishment, but I really feel like I proved something to myself. I overcame my fear of being embarrassed about not knowing how to ski – or even attach my ski pass! – and proved to myself that I am perfectly capable of doing something physical like this “at my age.” I’m pleased that Tristan saw the whole thing, too. It was a great day all around. And maybe, just maybe, we’ll consider a family ski trip before all this infernal snow melts. If nothing else, I’ve still got two boys’ worth of class ski trips to look forward to!

You were worried about being sore today from the exertion. How are those knees?

My knees fared better than I expected. They’re a little tender today, but I was expecting worse. My shins and the tops of my feet ache from the ski boots and my core muscles all the way up to my shoulders are a little tight today, but I feel pretty good. Heck, I even got a bit of colour from the sun – didn’t even cross my radar to put sunscreen on my face as it was supposed to be cloudy verging on rainy, but we had hours of blazing sunshine. I never expected to soak through my clothes in sweat, either. It was a day of unexpectedly pleasant results!

Great to hear, DaniGirl. Now don’t be so quick to assume you can’t do something – or worse, are too old to do something – in the future.

That’s the best thing I learned yesterday, Universe. Thanks for calling, always a delight to hear from you!


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Sometimes a blog post needs to percolate in my head for a while. This one started out as a vaguely apologetic examination of why I’ve gotten out of the habit of wearing makeup lately, but the more the idea fermented, the less apologetic I was feeling. In fact, I’m feeling rather defiant about the whole issue now, perhaps in part thanks to an article I read on Jezebel called Please don’t tell me that I look better without make-up. It’s not so much that I disagree with the author, or that I have some moral opposition to makeup and those who wear it – I am just over feeling apologetic about my choice to not to wear it.

For me, this is about overcoming insecurity and the ridiculous notion that I must wear makeup or else appear like I was “letting myself go” or the idea that women of (ahem) a certain age need makeup to make up for the loss of dewy youthfulness. It’s the idea of makeup being mandatory that irks me – that you would feel like you couldn’t leave the house without it, or that going around without makeup is like going around in a stained shirt and torn trackpants.

If you wear makeup and love it, great! I’m glad it works for you. It has never worked for me, though. I wore makeup for years because I felt like I had to, because I was supposed to, because I wasn’t attractive enough without it. Except I was never particularly good at applying it, so I never felt terrific when I was wearing it, either – I felt self-conscious either way, but I was self-conscious AND uncomfortable when I was wearing makeup. Up until recently, I felt obligated to wear makeup to the office in the same way I’d wear work-appropriate clothes. Except I love dressing up in my work clothes, and I just felt hassled by remembering to put on makeup.

Now that I’ve more or less given it up entirely, I’m feeling rather liberated. Here’s five reasons why I’m happy that I finally got over the idea that I was obligated to wear makeup:

1. It’s expensive. I learned young that you pretty much get what you pay for with cosmetics, and when I did wear makeup I was a sucker for the higher-end brands. It’s especially expensive if you follow the recommended guidelines and replace it every few months but you only ever apply it often enough to use 1/10 of the container. I can’t tell you how many mostly-full eyeshadows and mascaras I pitched because I couldn’t remember how many years old they were.

2. It’s a hassle. You have to remember to put it on, and you have to remember to take it off again. Getting eye-makeup off is an even bigger PITA than getting it on properly. And you have to remember not to rub your eyes, or cry, or lick your lips. And you have to carry a patch kit, and have spare makeup stashed in your desk or purse for the days you forget to put it on before you leave the house. And it doesn’t stay on your face – you get foundation on your pillow cases and lipstick on your coffee mug. Ick.

3. It’s unhealthy – or, at least, my skin is healthier without it. “U.S. researchers identified 10,500 industrial chemicals used as cosmetic ingredients, including carcinogens, pesticides, reproductive toxics, endocrine disruptors, plasticizers, degreasers and surfactants,” according to the David Suzuki foundation. Sure there are toxin-free alternatives out there, but they’re usually even more expensive. And sure, there are chemicals in my shampoo and moisturizer and everything else I touch all day long, but if I’m eliminating one more source of toxins, so much the better, right?

4. It changes the way you look. I know, duh, that’s the point, right? But I don’t like the idea that how you see me is through a layer of paint. I don’t like the fact that if I wear makeup nine days out of ten on that tenth day you see me and say, “Wow, she looks like shit today” because I’m not wearing my war paint.

5. It’s a self-perpetuating tyranny. This is linked to the previous point. The more often you wear makeup, the more you feel obligated to wear it and the more like you don’t feel like yourself if you aren’t wearing it. You-in-makeup becomes baseline you, so you without makeup is somehow not as good.

This is me, unvarnished. No make-up – and no Instagram filter, either. (Not even with the white balance and exposure adjusted, which is way harder for me than not wearing makeup.)

Ha, it is so much harder to take and post a photo like this than to leave the house without makeup! Eek! But I have to admit, unlike the author of the Jezebel article, I DO feel like I look better without makeup — and I’m more than happy to hear you tell me so! ;)

So what do you think? Why do we feel apologetic about NOT wearing makeup? Do you feel makeup because you love it, because you feel like you have to, or you don’t bother? Is it about being pretty, or your sense of self? Does it bother you to leave the house without fixing your face first?

What say ye, bloggy peeps?


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One year with Fitbit

by DaniGirl on January 10, 2014 · 10 comments

in Me, only better

Just about a year ago, I bought my Fitbit Zip. What’s a FitBit? A funky little pedometer with its own app and social component. I like the pedometer part, but it’s the stats and bar graphs that I truly love. (Beancounter much?)

So far I’m as impressed with the fact that I’ve stuck with it for a year as I am with the Fitbit itself. My original intent was to spurn myself into moving more often, one of my perennial goals. I am a slothful person by nature and can easily go hours without moving more than my mouse hand and shifting occasionally in my chair. Although there is a social component, I don’t find myself particularly motivated to move more because of any competitive aspect (two of the people in my circle are high achievers in the step department, one training for a marathon and the other found 10K steps per day too easy so she’s aiming for 15K per day) but because I like to count things and I like the little pat on the head I can give myself when I achieve or even approach my daily goal.

On a day at the office, I put in 5,000 to 6,000 steps in fits and starts, and walking the dog is good for another 1500 to 2K – less lately since I hate how slippery the roads are right now. I’m aiming for 10,000 per day, which I reach about once every 10 days or so. Since our house is relatively small – 10 steps to the kitchen and 30 to the bedroom from the living room – I don’t put in a lot of steps if I’m just puttering around the house. Cutting the lawn is good for about 4K, though, and a walk into town is good for 2K, so I’m trying to do that more on my days off. You can also add other activities like folding the laundry, shovelling the driveway or using the rowing machine so you get credit for extra calories burned and “active minutes”. I’m beginning to focus more on the active minutes each day than the steps themselves – Fitbit monitors the intensity of your movements and sets a baseline goal of 30 active minutes per day which I seem to reach most days, so I’m bumping my goal up to 45 minutes for the new year.

It’s interesting to me that I am more accountable to the little hunk of plastic and circuitry in my pocket than I am to myself for the sake of better health. If I am wearing the Fitbit, I will take the stairs or take a circuitous route to my destination, but I am more likely to slack off if I know the steps aren’t being counted. I’m pretty good at remembering to put it into my pocket each day and it has survived at least (ahem, ONLY) three trips through the washing machine.

So what are the results? You can see how my activity has gradually increased during the year, for the most part. (The big gap in the middle is where I misplaced it for about six weeks when it got tucked into a hoodie pocket on a cool day in June and rediscovered it on the next cool day in August, and I’ve had the Fitbit die on me a few times, which accounts for the other significant gaps in the spring and recently, but Fitbit has been awesome about replacing the unit free of charge when I had trouble.)

I’m much more conscious of my daily activity level, which is excellent (as long as I am goosing myself to move to achieve my daily goal.) During a two month stretch in the fall when I was particularly active and reaching my 10K steps a couple times each week, I dropped three pounds – but then the weather crapped out and I kind of ate my progress back in shortbread and Beloved’s chocolate chip cookies over the holidays. The coincidence of holiday baking and icy sidewalks has not been kind to my progress.

It’s a new year, though, and my three main goals for myself (I don’t really favour resolutions) are more veggies, more real (as opposed to pre-packaged) foods, and more walking. Here’s hoping you’ll be seeing less of me by spring. Even if I don’t loose that pesky 10 lbs or so, though, I’ll be healthier and happier because I’m taking care of myself.

Lots of people seem to have picked up a Fitbit over the holidays – ping me if you want a buddy who isn’t training for a marathon or a compulsive long-distance walker!

Edited to add: While this is a spontaneous and un-sponsored post, I just noticed that Rebecca from Playground Confidential has a giveaway starting today for a FitBit Flex, which is one version up from my Fitbit Zip. Check it out!


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Ah, the selfie. Celebrated. Reviled. International word of the year for 2013 and also at the top of words to banish for 2013.

Clearly it’s a polarizing idea. People love them or hate them. I love them and hate them. I really appreciate a well-done selfie – when they’re insightful and show something about the person both holding and in front of the camera. I love the creativity involved, especially when someone is doing a year-long 365 project of selfies. I love seeing what people want to expose about themselves, and I love when people who are usually behind the cameras are brave enough to step in front.

So what do I hate? My selfies. Ugh. I can count on one hand the number of photos I’ve taken of myself that I truly love, and maybe there’s another dozen that I like because I’m framed with the kids. Every single time I try to set up a photo of myself, I feel self conscious and ridiculous. To be honest, selfies play to my most visceral of fears: looking foolish. I cringe at the idea of someone looking at my photo of me and thinking, “Oh that’s so sad. She’s way too {old, fat, boring, plain, ugly} to pull that off.” While I don’t lack confidence in so many other areas of my life, I cannot imagine why anyone might want to see any more than the occasional photo of me.

Which is precisely why I joined the #365feministselfie project. Sometimes, ya gotta do what terrifies you, right?

Don’t worry, you’ll not have to suffer through hundreds of photos of me posed coquettishly with lips puckered and chin raised. There’s no way I have the tenacity to make it through 365 of them, but I am aiming for one a week for a year. One of my main inspirations is this article that I shared last year, something I want all my mom friends and photo clients alike to read. I read it last year and it has stayed with me, because it is oh so very true:

I’m everywhere in their young lives, and yet I have very few pictures of me with them. Someday I won’t be here — and I don’t know if that someday is tomorrow or thirty or forty or fifty years from now — but I want them to have pictures of me. I want them to see the way I looked at them, see how much I loved them. I am not perfect to look at and I am not perfect to love, but I am perfectly their mother.

When I look at pictures of my own mother, I don’t look at cellulite or hair debacles. I just see her — her kind eyes, her open-mouthed, joyful smile, her familiar clothes. That’s the mother I remember. My mother’s body is the vessel that carries all the memories of my childhood. I always loved that her stomach was soft, her skin freckled, her fingers long. I didn’t care that she didn’t look like a model. She was my mama.

So when all is said and done, if I can’t do it for myself, I want to do it for my kids. I want to be in the picture, to give them that visual memory of me. I want them to see how much I am here, how my body looks wrapped around them in a hug, how loved they are.

I plan to play just as fast and loose with the definition of “selfie” as I did with the idea of a 365 project after the first year was in the can. A photo taken any time during the week, posted maybe on Instagram or maybe Flickr or maybe Facebook. Maybe of my feet, or my reflection, or my shadow. But me, once a week, for a year. Let’s see where it goes!

Easing into this #365feministselfie thing cuz Angela dared me to. Apparently I am still 14.  Oh and #mo365 too!

Want to play along? It’s not too late!

What do you think of the whole “selfie” argument? Do you see them as narcissistic or celebratory? Is the selfie any more self-indulgent than endlessly loquacious blog posts? Should there be a “best-before” date on turning the camera regularly at yourself? What would keep you from doing a project like this?


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My old friend Nick, who has endured this rant more times than I can count, was asking for this on Facebook last week, so you can blame him for the recycling yet again of this hoary old favourite seasonal post of mine.

Did you think might get through one Christmas season without the annual Donder reindeer rant? Sorry to disappoint you. As long as I have pixels to purvey my message, the reindeer rant will play out at some time in the month of December.

New around here? Darling, this one is for you!

“You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen;
Comet and Cupid and DONDER and Blitzen…”

As you might know, my last name is Donders. As such, it has been my lifelong quest to set the record straight and right the wrongs entrenched by Johnny Marks and Gene Autry.

Here’s a little history lesson for you. The poem “A Visit From St Nicholas”, commonly known as “The Night Before Christmas”, was written back in 1823 and is generally attributed to American poet Clement Clarke Moore (although there have been recent arguments that the poem was in fact written by his contemporary Henry Livingston Jr.) The original poem reads, in part:

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name.
“Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! on, Cupid! on Dunder and Blixem!

As explained on the Donder Home Page (no relation):

In the original publication of “A Visit from St. Nicholas” in 1823 in the Troy Sentinel, “Dunder and Blixem” are listed as the last two reindeer. These are very close to the Dutch words for thunder and lightning, “Donder and Bliksem”. Blixem is an alternative spelling for Bliksem, but Dunder is not an alternative spelling for Donder. It is likely that the word “Dunder” was a misprint. Blitzen’s true name, then, might actually have been “Bliksem”.

In 1994, the Washington Post delved into the matter by sending a reporter to the Library of Congress to reference the source material. (In past years, I’d been able to link to a Geocities site with the full text, but sadly, Geocities is no more.)

We were successful. In fact, Library of Congress reference librarian David Kresh described Donner/Donder as “a fairly open-and-shut case.” As we marshaled the evidence near Alcove 7 in the Library’s Main Reading Room a few days ago, it quickly became clear that Clement Clarke Moore, author of “A Visit from St. Nicholas,” wanted to call him (or her?) “Donder.” Never mind that editors didn’t always cooperate. […] Further confirmation came quickly. In “The Annotated Night Before Christmas,” which discusses the poem in an elegantly illustrated modern presentation, editor Martin Gardner notes that the “Troy Sentinel” used “Dunder”, but dismisses this as a typo. Gardner cites the 1844 spelling as definitive, but also found that Moore wrote “Donder” in a longhand rendering of the poem penned the year before he died: “That pretty well sews it up,” concluded Kresh.

So there you have it. This Christmas season, make sure you give proper credit to Santa’s seventh reindeer. On DONDER and Blitzen. It’s a matter of family pride.

Donder

Okay, time to ‘fess up. Have I convinced you yet? Or do I have to roll this one out again next year too? :)


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We drove down to London to visit my family a few weeks ago. It was a grey, blustery November sort of weekend, and while the boys were plugged in to their various devices to pass the time, I had some quiet time in my head to reflect on another long drive I took to London, one that changed my life forever for the good. It followed one of the scariest, hardest and ultimately best decisions I ever made: to leave my first husband.

Rainy day

I was sixteen when I met him. A year older than me, he lived in Sudbury and had been visiting his cousin and my friend one March Break. We kindled a long-distance romance between London and Sudbury through the end of my high school years, and I was blissfully oblivious to ridiculously obvious warning flags like him dropping out of school, moving erratically in and out of his parents house and losing a string of low-wage retail jobs. We got engaged while I was still in high school and moved in together in Ottawa the weekend after I finished Grade 13, ostensibly so I could go to Carleton, but I had applied only there because he was already living in Ottawa with his family.

My poor mother. She asked only that I live with him for a year before deciding to get married, which I did. We were married the month I turned 20. By then, I had quit school to work full time at Zellers. I’m surprised to this day that my mother still speaks to me.

It was a long time ago, and re-hashing those five years serves no real purpose. There were good times and bad, and some horrifically bad choices were made. Eventually I realized that not only was he lying to me and cheating on me, but he was rather relentlessly abusing me as well. On the eve of his best friend’s wedding, his marital advice was “Keep putting her down until she stops fighting back,” which pretty much sums up the last two years of our marriage.

Even though it was now fully two decades ago, sometimes I want to go back and shake that girl. I was so stupidly obtuse to my own situation that I had no clue up until the month before I left him that there was anything amiss. My friends could see it, and eventually worked up the cajones to tell me, and my family could certainly see the effects of the situation on my shrinking, fading personality even if they didn’t know the details of what was going on. Somehow, though, I rationalized some things and overlooked other things and willfully ignored still other things. Hindsight may be 20/20, but I was legally blind to my own situation at the time.

When awareness finally dawned, I did not waste much time. I remember being obsessed with a single thought: “This is how it’s going to be? For the rest of my life?” And that’s what motivated me. I remember calling my parents and asking, “Would you be angry if I were to get divorced?” I found out later my mom did cartwheels around the kitchen, but at the time she was remarkably stoic. “Of course we wouldn’t be angry. Why don’t you come here for a week to get some space to think?”

And that’s exactly what I did. I packed up my little Mazda hatchback and made that long drive back to London with my tail between my legs, with the idea of “trying on” not being married anymore. I felt a strong sense of failure for not being able to make my marriage work – at the time, I still had no sense of how ridiculously one-sided the apportioning of blame really was. I was also astonished at how happy all our mutual friends were to see me “trying on” being unmarried. At the time, I thought it took me until the end of that week of safety and breathing space in London to make my decision, but really, I think my mind was made up the minute the car was packed, and it took me the rest of the week to let the idea settle in.

It was a longer drive back to Ottawa, but I was lucky enough to have a friend to share the ride and distract me from my anxiety. I never went back to the apartment that was “the marital home.” Instead, and more than a little ironically, I moved in for a couple of months with the same friend who had introduced me to my now ex-husband, until I could sort out a place of my own.

I was all of 24 years old and pressing the “restart” button on my life. It was, to this day, one of the scariest and best things I have ever done.

Over the years, and with a little bit of therapy, I’ve come to terms with what was a pretty dark period in my life. It took many, many years to let go of the anger and resentment that brewed after the fact. He still pops up in my nightmares when I’m feeling particularly stressed, but I finally feel like I’ve matured enough to let the negative feelings go.

I saw him on Facebook through a mutual connection recently, and for just a moment my fingers hovered over the keyboard as I contemplated sending him a friendly message. Twenty years is a long time, after all, and we were in love once upon a time, however misguided that love may have been. Altruism aside, I can’t deny that I was more than a little bit motivated by the idea of showing off how wonderfully my life had turned out without him. The impulse passed, though, as I recognized that I had nothing to gain from sparking that connection. It was, like leaving, the right and obvious choice.

What were some of the transformative moments in your life? Did you realize their significance at the time? Did you make the right choice?


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This week in pictures: A long and rambly catch-up post (part one of two)

3 August 2013 It IS all about me

Oops! Didn’t I used to post a weekly post with all the photos of the day? I got a little sporadic with the daily photos around the end of June and although I’ve been posting most days, I kind of forgot to do these posts. We’ve been having too much fun for me to get [...]

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Royalty Free Images Aren’t Free: Finding and Using Photos to Use Without Getting Sued

1 June 2013 My 15 minutes

Have I ever mentioned that I won our school district’s speech competition when I was in Grade 7? I have always loved public speaking. I’ve been really lucky in the last few months in that I’ve had a terrific number of opportunities to do what I call my “blog and pony” show to internal GoC [...]

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Featured in Ottawa Parenting Times magazine

27 May 2013 My 15 minutes

This is fun! A couple of months ago I was asked to contribute an article about why I blog for Ottawa Parenting Times magazine. The article was published this weekend, so I can finally share with you. How fun is this? The issue is jam-packed with other great info about family activities around Ottawa – [...]

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In which she clearly illustrates that she is NOT a graphic designer

8 May 2013 It IS all about me

Hey! Did I mention I’m doing a presentation at Social Capital Ottawa this year? I am so excited about it! And it’s a topic that is becoming more and more dear to my heart – how to find and use images for your website, blog and social sharing without violating copyright and getting sued in [...]

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