Friday, August 19, 2016

This New Journey...

Becoming a mother, I thought, was my biggest change to happen in my life. Transitioning from a selfish point of view to completely putting others needs first (from a taking care of standpoint that is), is something that seems like a huge change.  It was, that is for sure. However, I was semi-prepared and, albeit nervous, was just ok with whatever unknowns it came with. 

Now I realize that is not the biggest challenge or new feat. I have taken on a new challenge, a new journey, a new feat...if you will.

After maternity, we decided it was best for me not to return to my job. The kids are so young and with daycare demands, the fact Caiden will be starting preschool, and scarce babysitting,  is it ideal?  I, however, need to work. That is a given. Do I now go back begrudgingly and unsure of my next steps in my career? Wonder if it is still in the right direction for me, quieting that voice in me saying you aren't following your passion and path? Or continue feeling uncertainty in my true self? 

The answer was no.  

It was screaming NO.

However, loud that no was, I needed courage and a plan. I realized quickly that what I needed was to work from home. Regardless of that, I needed to do it on my own...part of all that came writing.  Writing is what I love. I love to create for people, for myself and for my mind.  

I need to do this. I mean how long am I going to wonder what I can do and/or should do next? It is fine to follow a path, but when it is time to re-evaluate that path, one must listen.  For your happiness depends on it.

I need to reignite my passion for helping people through really finding ways to share my tips on how to stay healthy, even for the busy moms out there. I need to explore my drive to write, for people and myself. I need to continue looking at managing projects and events,  planning and organizing, as some skills I excel in.

I need to finally become a freelance writer/ contractor. 

So I did.

This is so new, this start of my life doing freelance writing, editing, projects and, possibly, events.  It is scary to not know what type of income it will generate and if I will be a success. However, I need to try.  And it is time I try.

So many moments I thought, "am I crazy?"  Who leaves a corporate job with a steady pay cheque for a world of the unknown and unsteady?

A lot of moms.

It may be tough but if this is something I have been thinking about forever, and I want to teach my kids to do what they love, then it is about time. 

So here I am.  On this new journey, scared,  nervous, and optimistic. I will need to network,  hustle, be creative and market. I will need to work late hours on many nights and penny-pinch at first. I will question my sanity along the way. However, I am finally following what I feel is right, at least for now. It may change,  but this is me, at this juncture in my life.

I conquered the new mom phase, and now it's time for me to do the new mompreneur phase. 

So here we go...

For any writing, editing,  or project/event management needs please feel free to message me directly. 

Look for me on,

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Smoked Salmon Spaghettini

Turning Mommy: Smoked salmon spaghetti Summer pasta

Recently my parents took a little vacation over to Queen Charlotte Island, good ol' West coast Islands.  Whenever they go away to the island, they often return with some fresh goodness for all of us.  They didn't disappoint, with fresh (I mean super fresh) smoked salmon.  It was delicious, perfectly pink, soft, cool, separates with a fork and so moist.  I also love salmon because of the fact you are getting your Omega fats, essential fatty acids, so easily.  

I enjoyed the salmon multiple ways: with eggs for breakfast, in a summer salad with greens, in a wrap, or just as is.  However, I wanted to try something different with the remaining amount.  I set out to make a summer smoked salmon pasta...spaghettini to be specific.

You guys...delic!!  De-fricking-licious.  My kids ate it up, and my 3-year old actually said "mmm momma decious" (him trying to pronounce delicious is insanely cute).

So if you are a smoked salmon lover, why don't you try this family friendly recipe out.  Super easy, healthy (of course), filling, and even kids will eat it.  All of my meal goals - check.

1 pkg whole wheat spaghettini
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
5-6 garlic cloves, pressed
1 large tomato
1 handful baby spinach
1 handful kalamata olives
2 filets smoked salmon
garlic powder - to taste
salt - to taste
pepper - to taste
oregano - to taste
1 tablespoon basil pesto (optional)
2 teaspoons lemon juice
feta cheese - to taste


Make whole wheat spaghettini, ensure you add olive oil while boiling it.  Drain, and set aside.

In a seperate pot, sautee garlics and onions (optional to use margarine or none).

Once sauteed (onions are translucent), add chopped fresh tomatoes, chopped baby spinach, and kalamata olives.

Add the smoked salmon, shredded.

Mix and cook until vegetables are slightly soft.

Add the pasta back in.

Add seasonings to taste:  garlic powder, salt, pepper, oregano.

Mix well. 

Optional tip:  Add a tablespoon of basil pesto at this point as well and mix.

Add lemon juice, drizzle slightly.

Once everything is coated, mixed well and cooked together, top with feta.  Close the lid and take off the heat.

It's done, it's great, it's's so yum.  Serve with a side salad, this makes a perfect summer dinner.


Tuesday, August 9, 2016

5 Foods I Love That My Kids Love

Turning Mommy Foods Kids Love for Picky Eaters

At some point, all, well I don't know about all, but I hear, kids go through a "picky eater" phase. When they are learning to eat they are blissfully unaware and open to putting basically anything in their mouths. As they get older, they develop more resistance, despite your best attempt to expose them to everything.

Caiden had recently gone through that and just starting to come back around, though still a few hurdles to go. I noticed my anxiety of him getting enough nutrition getting quite high. Though this is a common stage, I couldn't help it. Well, I am always on the hunt for healthy snacks and creating simple things in the kitchen, that is still yummy and nutritious.

Here are 5 things that I am so thankful that both kids enjoy, because I can always jam pack some nutrition in there.

1.  Pancakes and/or French Toast This is great, so I can pack in some wholesome items in the batters. I opt to add things like chia, flax, and berries and other fruit. Doing so, they eat it up without flinching. A really great item to use here is Seedibles. A tonne of fibre and protein, makes a one-dimensional food more versatile in its nutrition profile.

2.  Crunchy Foods They love things that go "crunch". So I try to include some crunch in snacks to make sure they have snacks they will actually eat. Things like cucumbers and carrots go over well.  Popcorn and chips are of course what I learned to do is make things like pita chips and kale chips at home.  It's a hit!! Just take these items, break into chip sized amounts, place on a baking sheet, add olive oil and choice seasoning and back to a crisp.

3.  Smoothies Not much to say here. They call it milkshakes, I use only fruit and milk and/or yogurt...add some extra stuff like flax or Seedibles and awesomeness!! Add in a nut butter and BAM you got yourself some healthy fats and protein to boot!

4.  Rice or Pasta This is kind of a hidden trick. I'm not big on trickery...but hey, it has made me sigh with relief, so whatever!  For some reason, starch was never a questionable food to Caiden, but he went through a phase of not wanting to eat meat or eggs etc. Now when I make rice or pasta, I mix in the veggies and the protein food all together and it goes down pretty easy. Works well with eggs, meat, fish, legumes or lentils and any cook-able veggies.

5.  Yogurt I love yogurt, not the sugar packed kind, it has such great things like calcium, protein, and probiotics.  So knowing they enjoy it, makes me super pleased. I make it fun still by doing things like mixing it with fruit and freezing it, so they think its yogurt can be fun too.

So that's 5 things that help with even the pickiest of eaters at my home.  
This mom can go to bed happy that they got some nutrition during their day...I can't help it.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Why I Started Letting my 2 year old Sleep in Our Bed - a guest post

I recently had the pleasure of talking with Bee, of Smart Baby Activities. This website is awesome, it shows various sensory and developmental activities great for your babies (ranges from newborn to 12 months), as well as all milestones (cognitive, motor, language). I had to ask her to do a guest post here, as we shared a lot of similarities in views of child rearing.

Here is Bee's post, about "Why I Started Letting my 2 year old Sleep in Our Bed"

Sleep is really important to me. Wait, let me start that over. That sounds really selfish.
My baby’s sleep is really important to me. And, yes, you got me, so is my sleep- but it is secondary….seriously…

Sleep to me was very important because I believed it to be an essential part of my baby’s growth and development- both physically and cognitively. I imagined sleep was when everything she learned was reinforced, gave her mind a chance to relax from that day’s experiences (cuz let’s face it, this world is a LOT to take in), and give her body a chance to grow. I knew I wanted 3 things when it came to her sleep:
1. Have her be able to sleep in her own crib and eventually bed
2. Not have to rock her all night when she woke up
3. I did not want to achieve 1 and 2 via the cry-it-out method

A few reasons behind the 3 above. #1 was because I felt sleep was important for her developmentally, so I knew she would need to be comfortable enough to sleep on her own- aka not rely on me or other means, such as rocking- which leads to #2, which is a blend of the reason behind #1 and selfish reasons. But, I also didn’t want sleep to be such a BIG deal. I wanted it to be a natural, no fuss thing for her that she could do independently. As for the cry it out method, I do not judge negatively parents that implore this method. I just knew I, personally, didn’t have the heart for it.

So, with these 3 goals in mind, I began to read and read and therefore, became more educated on the subject. My #1 goal equated to people saying babies need to “self soothe” themselves when sleeping. I also learned about object permanence and how it makes baby’s falling asleep on their own near impossible. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you’ll also want to read more about what other parents don’t tell new parents about.

Long story short, my husband and I ended up using the swing method, which is essentially: let the swing rock her to sleep, wean down how much it swings until it is at 0 and she still falls asleep, and then transition her to her own crib. Sounds easy and straightforward, but man was it a grueling process. We had to be very disciplined even when failure felt like it occurred every week with all the sicknesses and set backs. But, we did it! And, at a year, we transitioned her into her own room (which was heartbreaking for me). Prior to that, her crib was in our room. I only “let her go” because again, sleep was important to me for my baby.

Then she turned 2 years old. She started sleeping in our bed. What happened?

Well, first we achieved our goal. So, that allowed a bit of wiggle room, meaning it allowed a bit of what I wanted to happen- I love cuddling with her. She’s the most adorable girl in the world, who, impossibly gets more adorable when she sleeps. I know this phase won’t last long, and I want to soak it all up and build wonderful memories for as long as I can.

So, I’m sure you’re going to ask: “well didn’t this thought apply at the very beginning?” Yes, of course it did. But, I didn’t let my selfish reasons supersede what I thought was best for her. At that point, I did what I had to do, to achieve what I, as a parent, decided was important for my little one. When she reached two, however, after a good year of solidifying the habit of her falling asleep on her own and putting herself back to sleep when she wakes up without crying, I figured….why not?

So, I balance it. Well, at least that is my justification. She still has to go to bed in her own room by herself- so we still practice this. And then, when she wakes up in the middle of the night, we bring her to our bed for some cuddles. It’s so funny now. She knows what will happen because she pops up, calls Daddy to come get her, and sits their waiting to be picked up (all stuffed animals in hand). And, every now and then, we tell her it’s still too early to come to Mommy and Daddy’s bed, and she has to fall back asleep in her own bed. When this happens, I tell myself that she still has the skill that she can flex any time.

Who cares if she’s a little dependent on us and wants to be with us. I can give her that. The only thing I have to remind myself is that I need to be sure I double check myself and make sure things are balanced. I have to ask myself: “Am I doing this for her betterment, or will this be enjoyable for her and/or me for this period of time but in the long run not be the best for her?” And then I act accordingly. For me, this same concept applies to other things, like spoiling her (when, how, and why) or giving her candy….

Yeah…I know you know what I mean. That’s a tough one. Especially when she sees all her nieces and nephews getting it so easily. I would love to cave in 100% of the time because it makes her so happy, but I know, in the long run, it is not a good habit for her body to always taste sugar. And, that it’s a good thing to delay gratification some times.

Clearly, my thoughts on sleeping will differ from others. Both my sisters had their kids sleep in their bed from day 1 until they had to wean them to their own bed around age 4/5 years old and up. And, obviously they got quality sleep and have grown to be amazing, intelligent kids. My point is that every parent will have different thresholds or different areas that this applies to. And for me, it is important to keep my personal goal as a parent in sight.

So, even though my quality of sleep isn’t the best compared to when she sleeps in her own bed because I wake up to check on her, cover her up, and she kicks me and my husband in the eye- I love having us all 3 sleep in the same bed, with the best part being when we all 3 wake up together. Her smiling, just-woke-up face is the best thing to open my eyes to each and every morning.

About guest blogger, Bee- I am one of the contributors/founders of smartbabyactivites. I love being a Mom. It is hard and challenging…and…I love it. I also want to help other parents as I think community and helping others is key to life. We focus on activities you can do with your baby that contributes to their growth and development. Here is an example article series on vision in babies and developmental activities.

Thank you so much to Christina for letting me contribute to this wonderful blog.

Smart Baby Activities, baby with books, guest on Turning Mommy

Monday, August 1, 2016

"What I Have Learned" Series - Featured Mommy: Neelam Bains

This month's feature mommy is beyond someone special. Not only is she one of my closest and dearest friends, she is someone I personally seek mothering advice from often.  She is a special soul with ummph amounts of positivity and always with the biggest smile. You would never tell she has bad days, but she is as real as they get.

I am so excited to share this interview, and for you all to get to know, if you don't already, my friend, Neelam Bains.

Neelam is proud mom to Sunam (8) and Anaiya (6).  She is a very hands-on mom, participating in school items, exposing them to various extracurricular activities, organizing new adventures for her and her family, and finding fun things to do with the girls, such as making crafts etc. That is when she isn't pinning away on Pinterest, going on walks in her neighbourhood, doing yoga or exploring the newest coffee shops in the community. She says when she finds a new gem of a shop, she likes to open up the 24 paper, skip all sections and go straight to the crossword. Simple pleasures is what it's all about to this mommy.

Neelam is an avid fundraiser for Breast Cancer.  While battling and fighting this disease herself,  Neelam and her family started the charitable organization, "Punch C in the Face." Here they have an annual dinner and silent auction, to raise awareness and funds for Breast Cancer. They participate in the CIBC Run for the Cure, yearly as a group and are amongst the top fundraisers for this event. She is always seeking ways to be an advocate for those fighting cancer and has also participated the the Ride to Conquer Cancer

Through her tenacity for the fight, and her love for people, and especially her family, Neelam is just an amazing person.

Here is my interview with Neelam...

Did you always know you wanted to be a mom?
I always knew I wanted to be a mother. I wish I could elaborate here, but simply I just knew.

What would you say is your biggest learning since being a mom?
That patience is an attribute I will never attain!

What was the hardest thing about transitioning to mommyhood?
Just coming to terms with the fact that there is no real schedule. You have to be ready to be flexible when you are a mom. Your schedule revolves around them now!

What is your favourite thing to do with your children?
Morning and evening cuddles! Who can say no to waking up that way?  Our bedtime routine has become a favourite. The days are so hectic that our downtime has become "our" time. Daddy and I both read a book and then he will say goodnight, then I will sing "skinnamarankidinkidoo, I love you" and a goodnight tune that I came up with.

Any particular funny or insightful stories?
It felt like I was always rushing and in a hurry to get someplace, to run errands, meet people, doctors appointments, etc. etc. When one day, while walking up the block to my parents house, I, of course on full charge, was walking in front of Anaiya when she suddenly says, "Mama, let's just stop, I want to stop and smell the roses." I had an epiphany at that moment.  My, then, 4 year old just had the most insightful thing to say without even knowing it!

How do you balance everything, family, hobbies, etc?
I don't. I just run around like a mad woman! I wish I could say I have's difficult to achieve, but I'm still working on it.

What advice would you give to new moms?
Take advice, but you know yourself and your child best. Do what works for you.

Is there any item, or anything in general, you would say is a must-have or a must-do for parents? and why?
Don't be afraid to ask for help. We have all been there!! It's OKAY to accept the help.

Any other comments, stories or tidbits to share?
I just want moms out there to know that it's okay if you can't make the cupcakes for the birthday party, attend the PAC meeting, take them to swimming, help them with their homework, pick up the groceries, do your threading, yoga, have playtime, bath-time and read a book...everyday. If you have to cut something out, it's okay! I learned that the hard way. On my daughter's first day of Kindergarten, I thought I could drop her off, run some errands, go grocery shopping and be back in tie to see the look on her face as she came out of the classroom. Stupid me, I thought I could accomplish all that in an hour and a half! Well, I made it to Superstore, got my threading done, and got a speeding ticket! Yup, that's right, mother of the year. I got the speeding ticket, because I was rushing to get back to pick up my baby from her first day of elementary school. So take it from me, it is okay not to get everything done always.  

Being a mom is definitely busy, and life can be unpredictably crazy. Neelam shows us that it is just fine to do what you can, when you can; that sometimes we try to do it all...but we all need a reminder to stop and enjoy what is in front of us.  Stop and smell the roses...if you will (what a smart girl she has).

Turning Mommy - Mom interview Neelam Bains
Neelam with her beautiful girls, Anaiya (left) and Sunam (right)