A Shared Journal · Stiletto Vlogs · Travel With Me

A Fresh Place to Shop

Another very interesting week of up and down weather. BIT I’m still not complaining! I’ve been looking forward to coffees outside in the mornings and afternoon barbecues.

I decided to go to the local farmers market (Trails End) for some fresh produce. This is my favourite place to shop, I like to travel to small towns to shop, I find so many great deals! This visit, I purchased some smoked mackerel fish, broccoli, asparagus and mushrooms. This is one of the kids’ favourite meals, of course with a side of rice, lol.

I browsed around the furniture section ( I’m redecorating the basement ) and got some great ideas. There were also some beautiful summer dresses for sale that I found. I’ll definitely be going back to stock up. The resort will be open this weekend so I need to get prepared!

If you get a chance, please support the local farmers in your area and fill yourselves with some fresh fruit and veggies!

SS

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A Shared Journal

My Nest Won’t Empty

A subject that has come up quite a lot but I really feel strongly about. Strangely a topic that seems to peak the curiosity of many and that is… “Don’t you think you’ll miss them terribly when they move out?”

The answer in every fibre of my being is N-O! Some msy say I’m “cold” but I honestly feel that is my job as a mother. To raise and release our children into the abyss of adulthood. I’m ancient enough to know that if we have any expectations of our children we will feel that low blow of disappointment, so I choose to stick with hope and a prayer.

I believe that is truth in all our relationships. Life has an interesting way of keeping us grounded and my children ground me and keep me going ensuring that I’m guiding and leading and on top of my parenting game at all times. Once they’re ready they will let you know.

I touched on the subject a bit on my last livestream. Now that things are more steady in my life I will be able to share more and it’s going to be so fun!

For now here’s my last livestream I will have videos uploaded very soon too so hold tight!

Thanks guys and cheers to a new and fabulous week!

My Nest Won’t Empty

SS

A Shared Journal

10 Things I love about Summer

10 Things I love about Summer

For many of us Canadians, the winter of 2017-2018 has been a long and bitter journey so when the Weather Channel reported high double digit temperatures, I immediately began packing up the winter gear.  I feel like this summer is so long awaited that I have spent a few sleepless night planning all the things I want to do with the boys once school is done.  In the meantime, here are the 10 Things I love about Summer.

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  1. Pedicures. The cold winter days had us covering up with socks and leg warmers so every year, I look forward to my first summer pedicure.  I always purchase the package that includes all the extras like leg and feet massages.  I’m booking an appointment as soon as I’m done writing!IMG_4082
  2. Sandals.  Goodbye to clunky heavy winter boots and HELLO to sandals and flip flops.  As much as I love the fashion of layering clothing, nothing beats being able to slip on some fancy slides.  That flip flop sound is like music to my ears.IMG_4081
  3. Summer Clothing.  I tend to be in denial throughout the winter months and I wear my summer dresses under layers of sweaters and hoodies.  Now that summer is bringing on some humid high temps I am all about wearing next to nothing flowing breezy clothing.  I can’t wait to be lounging around in my dresses outside instead of a pyjama option.IMG_4080
  4. Napping Outside.  Ahhh that fresh summer air and the sounds of birds chirping and leaves dancing in the breeze.. Yup, one of my absolute favourite things to do is NAP!  BUT the option of being able to sleep outside in the shade is no doable!  I just purchased a new patio umbrella and am waiting on some new furniture.  No, there will be no dining furniture, just straight up lounge chairs and sofas this year.IMG_4079
  5. Picnics.  With a crazy busy schedule over the last few years, I really haven’t had a picnic with just my family in a long time.  We used to go to the city park, buy a bucket of KFC and play football and frisbee.  I think I’m going to implement that in my summer routine.IMG_4078
  6. Beaches.  Canadian beaches have been hiding under blankets of ice and snow so once all of that melts away I can’t express how beautiful the beaches around the Great Lakes are in my country, yes, some have white sands.  I hope to get on a boat this year, I haven’t been sailing in years!IMG_4077
  7. Campfires.  After a full day of sun, it’s almost a given that there will be campfires in my summer future.  The smell of burning wood and the sound of the crackling fire are so relaxing.  It’s guaranteed that my hair would catch all the wood burning scents, but it’s worth it.IMG_4076
  8. BBQ. It isn’t a summer without a good cookout.  I make requests for feasts of charcoal BBQ treats every year from my family and they never disappoint me.  Not only do the children love fresh noms off the grill, but I love that there are no pots and pans to scrub after a BBQ dinner at my house.IMG_4074
  9. Quiet Days.  I am very blessed that I live in a quiet neighbourhood and since I’m early retired, the mornings get so quiet with everyone at work.  I have a new cardinal bird that has been showing off his vocal skills lately and it is the most beautiful sound to hear.  I named him Mr. Wallace (*Pulp Fiction reference) and I look forward to hearing the breezes from right outside my bedroom window.  I know my quiet days are numbered, the kids will be on summer holidays so I’m going to soak up every bit of silence I can get!IMG_4075
  10. Windows Open.  I know it may not seem like a big deal, but being able to leave the windows open at night and in the early morning is a dream to me.  I don’t hear traffic or people.  Just the sounds of wind through the leaves of the trees, birds and crickets chirping.  Oh Summer, thank you for waking up!

Think about all the things you love about Summer.  If you, like me, realize that you haven’t done some of your favourite things in awhile, I hope you put it as a priority on your Summer To-Do List!

Cheers!

SS

A Shared Journal

Whoa! That was close!

A follow up to my las Vlog about my skin reaction to my new drugs.

I called my doctor on Friday and explained all the problems with my skin, night sweats, etc. As part of the neurological team of specialists working with me, I have never experienced a doctor, let alone a specialist, drop everything to get on a 3-way call with his nurse and me to instruct me to reduce my meds immediately. It’s pretty scary since I’ve been on these meds for a year!

I was in the early stages of Stevens-Johnson syndrome and basically was chemically burning from the inside out and my organs were starting to shut down.. in a nutshell I was dying and days away from being hospitalized. The syndrome would’ve meant I would’ve been treated in the intensive care burn unit and would take months to recover! I describe the rash pain like when you scrape your knee, for example, it starts to heal but is tender to touch during the process. It’s the same feeling only the pain is from under the skin. It’s the weirdest thing. The human body is amazingly resilient and efficient. It was trying to get rid of all this chemical crap that was in my system.

The trick to this whole MS disease is the delicate balance of medication which changes and can easily be thrown out of whack. The hard part is that as soon as I feel good I don’t want that feeling to go away despite the side effects. I guess my balance has to be found in not enduring through the side effects. I’m not much of a complainer, but I’m gonna have to start writing some issues down.

Travel and events in the next year are already in full swing, contracts signed, staff to hire, etc. I need to be in medical healthy balance now more than ever! I hope this is the last hurdle I have to jump through.

I would say that’d be my Christmas miracle this year. Being with my whole family for the holidays has been awesome despite my medical scare. My family has completely fallen into abundance. Being around friends who share the same core values, interests and enjoy a good game of cards or pool 🎱 has been so fun. I’ve seen a whole different side of Canada and I’m going to see even more in the new year. I will definitely share that here.

Hope everyone is having a great week! Stay healthy, listen to your gut feelings and always love yourself and your life! Take care my friends ❤️

SS

A Shared Journal

Therapy for healing

The first time I saw a reborn doll I instantly fell in love. As a doll lover I was so intrigued at how artists could express their own vision for each doll kit. Here’s my story:

In 2010, my whole world crashed, I went into the hospital expecting a quick fix instead, I was admitted immediately and fought for my life for 5 weeks away from all my family and friends. After those long weeks of not knowing, I was finally diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. That wasn’t the worst part, my neurologists, specialists and physicians informed me that I was no longer able to return to work, I had physical limitations, mental limitations and I would only get worse… oh, and that there’s no cure.

As a mother of 6 children, a wife, a sister and a daughter; giving up was not even a thought in my mind. However, I also knew I was going to go bananas if I didn’t have anything to do during the times when I would be bedridden. That’s when I thought about the reborn doll that my mother in law showed me. I, admittedly, became obsessive over every bit of the reborn doll process. I watched documentaries, read articles and spent hours self teaching, practicing painting and hair rooting. Working on reborn dolls became, and still is, my therapy.

I introduced the world of reborning dolls to my friend in New York. She loved my dolls so much and was so intrigued by them I decided to send her 2 of my reborn dolls, 1 for her and 1 for her mother who suffers from dementia. I knew about the therapy values of these dolls but nothing prepared me for the video chat from my friend showing me her mother’s reactions. Her eyes lit up and to this day, she holds and changes her babydoll every day. It was transforming for me.

A few months later, I was contacted by many who were curious about the dolls. One woman in particular reached out to me about her story and how she suffers from PTSD. We developed a bond and I put all me heart into a doll for her. Once her babydoll arrived, she sent me pictures of her family holding the doll and they were all crying with happiness, yes that included her husband. My husband and I were moved to tears. In that moment I knew the power of healing that these dolls have. My therapy can now help others and that is my goal for as long as I can create these works of art.

The first time I stepped into MacPherson’s I was speechless. It is an artist’s and doll collector’s dream! On my first visit I was lucky enough to have met Brenda. She is one of the most positive people I have ever met and her staff is equally friendly and sweet. As an artist, being able to physically look at and touch the different kits is invaluable to my reborning process.

I look forward to any chance I get to visit the store in St Marys which is only a 45 minutes away from my city.

Dear artists, this is a remarkable community and with the help and encouragement from the MacPherson’s staff, you can go through your own processes with ease. You will always be welcomed with open arms.

MacPherson’s always signs off with a “Have a beautiful day” and every time I visit, I do indeed have a beautiful day.

Thank you, Brenda and your wonderful staff for all your support for me and many other reborn artists, you are all beautiful inside and out.

A Shared Journal · Gadgets · Reviews

The iPhone game

I recently purchased an iPhone 7 and I absolutely love it! The size, the weight, the features etc. I agonized over whether I should get it as soon as it was launched. I finally had my chance to upgrade to the 7 and I have no regrets.

Now, the annual iPhone has arrived. This version… iPhone 8.

As a gadget lover I love following the technology trends and watching how far we’ve come. From Bluetooth connections to drones, green screens to flat screens we’ve seen all the developments. Of course I was excited to see what Apple had to offer with the iPhone 8.

Hmmm…

I read all the specs and watched the forever genius ads and videos about the iPhone 8, but I didn’t expect the newest development Apple had to offer was made of glass!! What the..? This took me back to the iPhone 4 when the glass would crack on both the front and the back of the phones if dropped. Why, Apple? Why?! I celebrated the fact that a phone case is optional but now I look at the future of iPhones and I’m confused as to why such advanced phone technology is contained in glass. This is such a disappointment. I’m sure the bells and whistles are amazing, however if it’s housed in glass how could that technology be protected without a case? It just seems odd that the engineers picked this kind of packaging. It just doesn’t make sense.

I don’t see the iPhone 8 or the X in my future. The seduction of the camera advancements almost had me, but the glass design totally lost me.

Who knows? I may change my mind after a few demos and unboxings or I may jump off the iPhone bus. For now, I’ll be cuddling my iPhone 7 doing selfies, making videos, running my businesses and playing on social media for as long as iOS allows.

*sighs

SS

A Shared Journal

My Happy Place

I’ve been going to my “Happy Place” almost every weekend and I fall more and more in love with it. It’s one thing to support my art, but it’s another thing to receive the equal, if not more, support I have had lately.

My dolls are on display at MacPherson Arts & Crafts and I’m so excited!

I can’t explain how happy I’ve been too! My customers have given me amazing feedback and it’s such a gratuitous feeling to know that my art is helping people.

I’ve also seen many new artists’ work and children to adults are very intrigued by what I do. Yes, I am excited about the talent that has emerged from the love of baby dolls. As a Canadian woman, the joy of being able to go to a physical store that is the largest brick and mortar store in North America is something to be proud of. Every time I go to it I feel like a kid in a candy store!

I can look at any doll kit, supplies, clothes, etc all in one day. In this world of online shopping it’s such a relief that it is possible to shop and physically know what I’m buying. Since I’m very impatient it also makes getting the things I need instantly. I don’t have to wait for my order and stalk my tracking numbers.

It’s nice to know that my Happy Place is just around the corner.

I’ve made some vlogs lately so check them out on my YouTube channel so you can see the what the store looks like.

I love it so much!

Vlog #15 Doll Central