Where Did Everyone Go?

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What exactly is baby blues or post partum depression? Wikipedia describes it as:  “Symptoms may include extreme sadness, low energy, anxiety, crying episodes, irritability, and changes in sleeping or eating patterns”

Now I don’t have this – but many do and I can’t imagine their pain and I can only hope that most have amazing support systems. 

Just because I don’t have PPD, doesn’t mean that having my babies didn’t come with any low’s. Mostly high’s – which everyone knows about and see’s on Facebook. The happy and joyful times. But there are so many sad and helpless times that don’t get talked about. It got me thinking about all the emotions I am currently feeling and ones I have been holding back for long enough. 

There’s a common saying “it takes a village to raise kids” but what happens when you feel like your village has fallen down around you?

If you’re reading this and are in my inner circle, how well do you know my children? When is the last time you saw my children (or us)? When is the last time you bothered to come visit us? When is the last time you’ve helped us in a time of need when it wasn’t only convenient for you?…

There’s no greater excitement than having your first baby – and not just for us as parents to be, but for everyone around us. 

When you get married, everyone is on baby watch from the moment you say “I do” and then finally the time comes when you are pregnant. Such joy! 

Everyone close to you talks about their predictions for gender and how they can’t wait to spoil him or her, babysit and spend time with baby to be. 

Then comes the baby shower – everybody comes…family, friends, extended family that you hardly talk to, co workers….and they not only bring the best gifts and everything that baby needs, they continue to talk about baby and how they can’t wait to meet her and love her, spoil her and babysit her. 

Baby is born and everyone comes to the hospital to visit the new awaited baby. People bring more gifts and visit our home frequently the week after, showering us with food and more gifts. Baby is loved and cared for so much! 

As those first few weeks turn into months, it gets quiet…less fuss, less people. The honeymoon phase of baby is over and the showering of love goes away. With the exception of a select few family and friends, no one comes to visit, no one offers to help, no one is available to babysit, and no one seems to notice any cries for help. 

Baby’s first birthday arrives and suddenly everyone appears again – that one special day, when most of those people who were excited from the beginning show up again and talk about baby like they know her all to pieces – when in fact they probably had only seen her 5-6 times and really only know her from Facebook.

You feel hopeful and excited! You make plans to spend time together – but then the celebration is over and you know deep down…those plans won’t come to fruition – why? Perhaps we don’t have much in common anymore…many reasons I suppose. 

Baby becomes an active toddler and joins activities. Everyone comments on the Facebook photos in excitement but then no one actually shows up to watch a practice or a recital besides immediate family. 

Baby’s second birthday comes and people come to celebrate – but they wonder why baby is nervous of them or too shy to go near them. It’s because you know her from Facebook but not in real life and so she doesn’t know you. 

Baby is 2 and a half and people are starting to question why there’s no baby number 2 yet. 

The truth? We always said we’d have babies 2 years apart and no more. But then baby turned 2 and I wasn’t ready for a couple of reasons. Firstly because I didn’t feel like I was ready to share the love I had for baby number 1. How could I love another baby as much? How? And secondly, because it’s a lot of work! When you feel like you don’t have much support and how most of those close to you barely know baby number 1, how can we survive with 2 babies and not a lot of support? People would keep telling us about activities or vacations “you know you won’t be able to do that when you have 2” – What that really meant is that they wouldn’t be interested in entertaining both of our kids together as it would be a burden.

Finally we decide its time. Baby number 1 is two and a half years old. We find out we’re pregnant and it’s a very exciting time. 

We find out it’s a girl and have a gender reveal party that some people close to us didn’t bother to attend. The baby shower came and I decided to have a small one with just close family and friends as we didn’t need much.

People gathered and it was a lovely day talking about baby to come and spending time with baby number 1 (who had recently turned 3 by this point) People laughed and enjoyed each other’s company and how they couldn’t wait for new baby to arrive and discuss their predictions of if she was going to look like her sister. 

One thing I’ve noticed is that at these sort of functions people tend to say things like “oh if you ever need a babysitter…” “if you need a break…” “I can’t wait to see the two of them together”  and so on. Unfortunately I’ve also noticed that these are statements of false hope. 

Baby number 2 arrives and I found the love that I thought I didn’t have to give. Oh the joy! This hospital stay was much shorter so almost no one came – understandable.              

 Some people came to visit at home and brought gifts, food or offered help – but certainly not as many people as when baby number 1 arrived. 

Having a toddler turning preschooler and an infant is hard work. Sometimes hubby and I want some time to ourselves to go out or even to just stay home and clean the house – but reliable babysitting is hard to find. Memories flash back of all those offers of help and babysitting that people gushed about – but no one was around when help was actually needed.     

 Almost no one makes much of  an effort to see or spend time with baby number 2. People offer to help with older, baby number 1 when it’s convenient for them – but it’s too much of a burden to spend time with both. 

Suddenly irony sets in. I recall thinking about how I couldn’t love another baby more than number 1  but I had so so much love to give to baby number 2…but now people are saying baby number 2 is too much of a burden and it hurts deeply – how can people favour baby number 1 over baby number 2. If hubby and I want to go out we’re forced to take baby number 2 while baby number 1 goes for a sleepover…..we’re asked to pack up everything and bring both somewhere, when it would be much simpler for a babysitter to come to our house where all of babies things are. Alternatively, the only other option would be to call one of those people “who couldn’t wait to babysit” who have made no real effort to get to know our kids – it’s a losing situation to be in. And then when a person would come to babysit we have to decide:  Do we go out and enjoy ourselves only to come home to a huge mess a babysitter left and have to clean for an hour – or do we just stay home. 

It’s not all bad – we’ve had some great support and have appreciated that great support so much – but nothing lasts forever. 

Of all the times we need help or support with the kids, nothing bothers us more than when we ask for help and the answer is “oh well I don’t know what we’re doing yet” – like what does that even mean? I’m here crying for help and asking you if you’d help out by spending a few hours with the kids  or come visit my house to entertain them for a few hours – and you don’t have plans but you might so, no, you can’t help. Then you find out that those people done absolutely nothing and didn’t answer your cry for help simply because they didn’t want to.   I’m the type of person who would help anyone at any time if I could -so that just don’t sit well with me at all. It’s just as well you gave me and our kids a big fu*k you. 

Maybe some people reading this will understand, maybe some will feel rather defensive, and maybe it’ll be eye opening for some.

Unless people are a big part of your daily life, they are oblivious to your problems.

The sad part? We have family who live a thousand miles away who would love to be able to spend time with our kids and help us – and who are probably jealous that the people right here in front of us get to see our kids all the time – except they don’t. We hardly see anybody. No one comes to visit, and it’s hard to go anywhere else with a baby who tries to put everything in sight in her mouth and nothing is babyproofed.

We host parties and I tell people to come early to see the girls before they go to bed…they show up later….is is personal? Do they not like our kids? Are they embarrassed that they don’t know our kids as much as they should? I’ll probably never know the real reason. 

People tend to compare the kids… it’s a constant comparison.. “oh baby 1 was doing that long before baby 2”… “baby 2 is much more whiny than baby 1”…. “you sook baby 2 too much”…. “baby 2 is much more difficult than baby 1”…. “oh baby 1 is jealous a lot lately because of baby 2”……those comments are so hurtful. It’s not a competition. Every baby is different – and your feedback and comparing my kids is hurtful.

I’m not mad or feel hatred toward anyone – I’m mostly just sad.

 Sad that people judge my children

Sad that people compare my children

Sad that people favour one over the other

Sad that none of those once excited people even bother to come around 

Sad that it takes its toll on me and hubby.

Sad that hubby and I only truly have each other when really it takes a village 

Sad that our close and extended family will never be close to our kids because of distance when our close and extended family and friends in our area will never be close to our kids because of pure choice. 

Sad that we can’t rely on hardly anyone to help or babysit for a few hours even if we ask weeks in advance

Sad that people close to me are oblivious to any cries for help

Sad that I make a post on Facebook saying there’s additional tickets available at the door for Our oldest’s dance recital but no one shows up 

Sad that only 10-15 people came to Baby 2’s first birthday party as opposed to 40 or more at Baby 1’s first birthday party

Sad that our friends and family don’t make an effort to spend time with us

Sad that people may judge me for writing this

Sad that people will probably think “wow she thinks she’s the only person in the world to have two kids and struggle”

And finally: 

Sad for the people reading this who are feeling like this is about them. I want them to know that it’s never too late to change. Children thrive when they can get all the love they can get!

All we can continue to do is to be the best parents as we can be. Teach our girls love, not hate. Teach them to be strong and independent and not to pickup bad habits or attitudes, and to always be kind. We need to teach them to use their voice to speak up about anything they feel the need to and most importantly to cut the bullshit and be honest with them.

Everyone needs love and support, and help to grow. If you have friends or family in your life who could use some help, please don’t alienate yourself – what kind of friend or family member would you be? Make yourself available to love and support as much as you can.

We’re all in this together

 

Spring Brings New Beginnings

March 20, 2018: The first day of spring. Phrases like ‘spring ahead’ and ‘spring brings new beginnings’ come to mind. It’s the day that I said goodbye to the newspaper media industry after 8 years and decided it was time to spring ahead in my career and start my own new beginning.

Effective March 20, 2018, I assumed the Director of Sales position at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites St. John’s Airport. I am so excited to take on this amazing opportunity and look forward to fulfilling this position!

Some recent changes in my previous company had me feeling like I needed a change. I have made so many great friends throughout the province in my 8 Year’s there – many of those have come and gone and many are still there. Going into the office Monday morning to tell my friends and colleagues that I was deciding to move on was crushing. I was so excited for the new job but I also knew saying goodbye would be so difficult. As the tears rolled down my face, I said it. I don’t think anyone was completely shocked. I haven’t been my usual happy self since returning back to work from maternity leave in January and I think it was evident to some that I wasn’t completely happy anymore.

Making the decision to move on was hard in some ways. Saying my goodbye’s around the building was emotionally exhausting. These people have been with me for almost my entire adult life. They celebrated my engagement, my wedding, my pregnancies, and then celebrated and showered our two beautiful girls with so much love and gifts. It felt like I was saying goodbye to family. Luckily we have social media to keep in touch and I know I am welcomed back to visit any time, so I take comfort in that. Just before I left, the regional president had some amazing, uplifting words for me and she was genuinely so happy for me to be taking this major step in my Sales career. That means so much. All the support I received from everyone means everything to me.

So now I move upward and onward to my new adventure as a Director of Sales. I’m new to the hospitality industry so learning all the jargon will be a little learning curb but I’m excited to dive into my new world right away!

Today I met the team and had a thorough tour of the property and started to get settled into my new office. I look forward to all the days to come. I turn 30 in a few weeks, so as I am about to enter into a new decade of life, I am embracing this new journey with an open mind and open arms.

Thank you to everyone for your kind words and support!

‘Tis the Season…for Babies!

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It’s Baby Season! Not for me of course – I’m good. (and we’re only a week or so away now from hubby’s vasectomy!)

Most people like to engage in a bit of mid-late Summer lovin’ which of course equals an abundance of pregnancies and birth’s in the spring (My newest addition Carrie’s birthday is May 4 so do the math there people…amirite)

All these moms-to-be are preparing, and probably getting a million different recommendations on everything from feeding to sleep, toys and diapers. If there’s one thing that a preggo momma knows, it’s that people have strong opinions when it comes to babies and what’s ‘right’ or wrong’. This can really confuse and upset new moms. They are preparing for the biggest journey in their life and sometimes it has a damper put on it because of all the stress of all these decisions they feel like they have to make.

I am in a ‘mom’ group on Facebook. A group where you can go and vent or talk about anything mom related with no judgement. And honestly, it’s like a breath of fresh air. Some people can be so harsh so it’s great to have a safe environment and community to talk to!

Enter Heather Delaney – this is a momma in this group who honestly should be a Life Coach or something. She gives the best no-judgement advice that one could ever ask to hear. She has 3 beautiful children (8, 10, 14) bless her soul – and she seems to have this whole mom thing FIGURED OUT. She recently made a post that really hit home – about new moms and all the ‘advice’ and pressure they are often given. I reached out to her and asked if we could collaborate on this blog and if I could use her post and she was totally on board. I think it’s such an important message that needs to be shared, especially this time of year when people are dropping babies like flies! LOL.

Heather and her Hubby and 3 kiddos on a trip to Disney a couple of years ago.

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Have a read and give her some love in the comments!

“You Guys. I’ve been paying attention on social media to something, and it is driving me bonkers.

Current day new motherhood can be complete and utter bullshit.

I see mamas-to-be stressed out about diaper brands, wipe brands, nursery decor selection, monitor choices, what to choose to ‘baby wear’, whether to supplement, or whether to not, and dealing with the fear of backlash from either. Co-sleep or not to co-sleep. The latest gadgets; the latest fads. What to eat, what not to eat. Feeling guilt for allowing a baby to watch tv, feeling shame for not constantly being on the floor doing ‘baby play’. Pregnancy classes. Baby groups. Play dates. And then of course trying to teach sign language. because duh.

I mean, there are some seriously sweet mamas-to-be out there who are consumed by all of these worries. Like, keeping them awake at night sort of deal. Taking away the joy that is building a human; nurturing another human being inside of yours. One of the greatest gifts we’ve been given. Or taking away the joy that is waiting for that moment when the department calls, to say that all of the paperwork has been cleared by the courts, and the little one that you’re holding is now yours forever. The greatest form of unselfishness known to (wo)mankind.

And it breaks my heart. It truly, truly does.

It’s okay for this time in a woman’s life to be filled with some stressful moments. Like, how can I ensure I love them best? How can I ensure that when they are a teenager we don’t disconnect?

Not feeling effing fear for what the world is going to think of you if you supplement at night in order to just get a few hours of god damn sleep.

Let me tell you all something:

My son, Jack, is now 14yo. I breastfed him for 12 months, but tried shoving ten different formulas in his mouth. I co-slept for a year, and he hasn’t slept in my bed not one night since. He ate baby food out of a glass jar (that was not organic 🙊). He laid on the floor by himself, and watched tv, while I laid on the couch and read People and Cosmo (bless you, Elmo). I never hosted one baby group in my home. I never so much as owned a baby monitor. If Vaseline didn’t cure it, I just tried more Vaseline. Every toy was Fisher Price (#melissaanddougwho), and they were loud, and plastic (perhaps bursting with freaking BPA), and obnoxious, and did not match any form of decor in my house. His nursery resembled more of a storage room, and was more like a #pinterestfail of a nursery, to be honest. I knew nothing about LEAP (frog? stages? say wut?!), nothing about sign language (does stretching out his arms to me when he was with another human count?!), and he also slept on his belly (#gasp).

But you know what?

He’s okay. More than okay.

He’s quite literally the greatest human I know.

Smart. Athletic. And kind. So incredibly kind.

Next time you see a mama-to-be stressed out, friends, try to convince them to cancel out the bullshit that modern day tries to tell them is important. And just tell them there’s only one thing they have to do…

And that is to just love that little being with everything they got.

The rest? Well, it’s complete and utter bullshit.”

-Heather Delaney

So there you have it. Amen sista. I hope that any new moms or moms-to-be reading this take a breather and know that you are doing a great job no matter what and any decision you make will be the right one for your child and your family. If you are reading this and you know someone who is about to welcome a baby, please be kind to them, try not to overwhelm them with advice and just support them in any decision they make.

 

 

Celebrating Women…AND Men

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March 8, It’s International Women’s Day. All over the internet we see messages, posts, quotes, photos and more celebrating Women. This is great, BUT When is International Men’s Day?

Well apparently It’s November 19 – I haven’t even heard of it. Thinking back to November 19, I don’t remember seeing my social media flooded with quotes and photos to celebrate men. I love that there’s a day to celebrate both women and men, but why do people tend to only really celebrate Women?

Feminists are hard-core rooting for gender equality, but don’t that mean equality for both? In my opinion, Women and Men should be equal. I understand that years and years ago this was not the case, and so we are still celebrating the achievements and milestones of women’s rights from times gone by – BUT men are amazing too and I feel like that should be celebrated much more than it is.

In the world of women and men we typically hear amazing things about women (and not much of the bad), but switch to men and we mostly hear all the bad and not the good. Where is the equality in that? There are SO many good men out there who also need to be celebrated! We need to celebrate the amazing achievements of both!

Husbands, for example: YES I carried my children and birthed them which is AMAZING, BUT husbands and dad’s deserve so much credit. They stand by their chosen woman every step of the way and deserve more credit than they are usually given. My husband will teach our daughters how men should treat women and how women should treat men – we both will. We often hear the phrase “men should treat women a certain way” well I think that women need to treat men a certain way too. It’s not a one way street.

I want our daughters to grow up to be strong, independent women who above all, are kind and positive. I want them to be nice to people and have great attitudes, and that starts with our parenting and showing them unconditional love. Teaching them that men aren’t better than women and women aren’t better than men.

We need to start celebrating International Men’s Day as much as International Women’s Day. I don’t want my daughter’s to grow up thinking that only women are celebrated – what kind of message does that give? That men aren’t as important? That men don’t have achievements worth celebrating? That men are mostly negative or make bad choices? Let’s start a real movement of gender EQUALITY and celebrate BOTH. 

Equality by definition means: the state of being equal, especially in status, rights, and opportunities. I think our society does a great job of almost everything, except opportunities could probably use some more work for women – HOWEVER, that doesn’t mean that men don’t also face the same issues in some areas too.

Let’s shift our focus to celebrate people in general everyday! Not just March 8 or November 19. Let’s be proud of the achievements of one another, let’s lift and support each other and always be kind, uplifting and positive.

-M

Getting Motivated with Modere

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I recently made a new friend! It’s a rockin’ mom of one of the kids in my daughter’s preschool class. The first time we officially met, was at my daughter’s birthday party at a play café –  when I was looking at all these new parents and kids like they had 10 heads because I had no idea if they were there for Scarlett’s party or just there to enjoy the place center (LOL)…Of course, as each parent RSVP’d, I creeped them on Facebook so I at least had an idea of who each parent and kid was! THANK GOD for Social Media. Enter my new friend, Kara Roberts! A Social Media QUEEN and fittingly enough, an awesome Social Marketer!

We connected on Facebook and I found out that Kara is a Social Marketer with Modere, a clean living, health and wellness company. I was very intrigued by her Facebook live videos and product posts and had some great conversations with her about the product lines and how they could work for me. Kara is a wealth of knowledge and knows her company inside out.

I decided to purchase, test and try out some products and I am thrilled! Modere really offers products for everyone from dish soap to weight loss supplements. Here are just a few of the great products I am testing out!

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Recently I had the privilege to interview Kara to get some insight into her Modere business. Check it out to learn about different products, the upcoming Modere Newfoundland Launch Party, lifestyle tips, and even how you can become a Modere Social Marketer (like I plan on doing!)

(PS: After reading about these awesome products, you have a chance to WIN some Modere swag! (No Purchase Necessary!) See instructions at end of interview below!

Exclusive Interview: Getting Motivated with Modere

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Melissa: How did you first hear about Modere?

Kara: I found out about Modere from a friend of mine who I was previously in business with. He is well versed in business as a physiotherapist so I trusted his judgement when it came to health and wellness and he brought this opportunity to me!

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M: Why did you decide to get involved with Modere?

K: Initially I wanted to try Modere because they have all clean living, all non toxic, plant derived products.  That is something that I tend to buy anyway because I have super sensitive skin and eczema issues. I decided to give Modere a try because the products I was using weren’t really working and I was also looking for a new business venture.

M: With so many products to choose from, how do you determine what a customer may benefit from the most?

K: That would be determined in my individual conversations with people. First and foremost – I have great relationships with my customers and through chatting with them I can find out what they need,  whether it’s a healthier lifestyle or household products, or products that they can use safely around their kids, each person has wants and needs with their everyday essentials, We talk about the benefits and features of the products and then we can narrow down what they want and place their order.

M: What is your go-to Modere product? You can pick your Top 3!

K: So hard cause I love them all!

  1. Collagen Line – it has changed my skin within a month, It’s a liquid collagen that tastes amazing. It also helped with nasty joint issues I had from sports injuries
  2. Moisturizing shampoo and conditioner – they smell great, don’t irritate my scalp, and my hair feels great
  3. Anti-Aging Facial System – feels like little champagne bubbles on your skin! Cheers to that!

M: What is the M3 pledge

K: The M3 Pledge is our Weight-Loss System.  It is a lifestyle change kit – not a meal replacement. M3 is our first weight loss system developed around the Mediterranean lifestyle. Research suggests people who follow a Mediterranean diet lose 52% more weight than the standard low-fat diet because it isn’t just a fad or limited list of foods. You use 3 products (Burn, Sustain & Sync) daily for 3 months. Additionally, you make 3 lifestyle changes.

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M: Modere suggests eating a Mediterranean diet – why is that and what are your favourite go-to Mediterranean inspired foods?

K: A Mediterranean Diet is recommended because it’s very low carb, low sugar, and high in fruits and vegetables which are great for fiber intake. They have a lot of lean protein and not very much red meat. These things combined help you to get the antioxidants that you need, the vitamins, the minerals, the fiber that you need AND you can have a glass of red wine with dinner! My favourite meals are seafood like salmon and cod, avocados, tomatoes – I never feel deprived, never hungry. Great foods to fuel your body.

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M: Lots of people seem to have results on the M3 Pledge Program without exercise. Obviously, activity is recommended in anyone’s life, but for those who don’t have much time to exercise or those with mobility problems, could this be the answer they are looking for?

K: If you can’t exercise, you can still see weight loss results and see inches being lost with the M3 program. A lot of people have mobility issues or injuries and they can’t physically move in the speed or way in which you would have to –  to lose weight.  The system provides you with a metabolism booster, ingredients that attack your stubborn fat, filling protein shakes (that curb your hunger so you’re not eating as many snacks and sugar). The shakes also provide you with the vitamins and minerals you may not be getting from your food or help the process if your body don’t absorb things effectively on its own. There is also a fiber drink that fills you up in the evening to prevent snacking at night and gives you the fiber that you need that you may not be getting in your meals or at the right time of day – its recommended to take the fiber drink in the evening because that is when you’re supposed to have the bulk of your fiber so it continues to work overnight – then in the morning you get a good clean out! And it cleans out toxins. We also have a lean body sculpting system which has our Trim product (we like to call it our liquid waist trainer). Made with clinical-strength Clarinol® CLA from natural safflower, Trim inhibits cellular fat storage, reduces fat cell size and reduces fat cell formation. It goes beyond weight management with a unique combination of clinically-tested ingredients to promote a sculpted, lean body. Trim also includes award-winning Collagen/HA Matrix® Technology to promote youthful skin and flexible joints, delivering a full body transformation experience. Take it in addition to the M3 program (Burn, Sustain and Sync) to boost overall beauty and accelerate your transformation by further reducing body fat. Plus, enjoy the zero-sugar, zesty, lemon meringue-flavored liquid shot.

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M: So you’re having the Newfoundland Launch of Modere the first weekend in March – tell me a bit about that and what people can expect

K: We are having our launch at Fairfield Inn and Suites, Kenmount Road on Sunday March 4, from 2-4 pm. We will be doing a short overview of what the brand is and the products that we have. A couple of people will tell their story and I will talk about mine: what the products have done for me and what the company has done for me. There will be a lot of mingling and tasting and smelling, touching – everyone gets to have a coffee and a chat and has a chance to try some of the products.

M: What would you say to the haters out there who there who say things like ‘you don’t have any formal nutritional training’ or ‘this is just a money grab’ or ‘there’s no way this actually works’

K: I love a challenge and I love to educate people on our products and our brand. I do my research, I do my due diligence and before recommending a product or posting about it, I use it for an extended period of time. It is tried and tested by me. Our products have been certified by doctors and board-certified specialists who know what they are talking about. When they formulate a product for us, we are trained with product videos and information that educates us about all the different ingredients in our products and what each one of them does – so that we fully understand how it works and we can further bring that to our customers. If someone said to me that it doesn’t work, well the proof is in the pudding really! – it works for me and then I share my story.

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M: Where do you see yourself with Modere in two years?

K: This business has opened a lot of doors for me. I truly do believe in the vision that Modere has and the products. I can only hope that in 2 years we are continuing to reach different people and opening their minds to these products and a cleaner, safer living environment and healthier lifestyles – and of course I’m hoping my customers are re-ordering!

M: If someone was interested in becoming a Social Marketer with Modere how would they go about that?

K: They can certainly reach out to me and then we would get together one on one. I outline the compensation plan and different ways you can earn. Share information, answer questions, then they make a decision on if they want to start a business or not – I’ve had a lot of great start-up conversations with people and I’ve got about 100% success rate! I just love educating people on our business and helping them achieve their goals.

Make this your Year with Help from Modere! Get motivated to live and feel your best with help from our products. Contact us!

For everything you want to know about Modere check out:

Online: www.IAMKARAROBERTS.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kara.roberts.562

Instagram: @karameroberts

Email: kmeroberts@icloud.com

Want a chance to WIN!? Go to www.IAMKARAROBERTS.com and register a customer account, no purchase necessary. Of those who register, Kara will give away two prizes! Each consisting of a body butter and $10 off your first purchase.

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Have any questions or comments about Modere? Drop them in the comments! If you’d like to learn more about Modere’s products or business opportunity, let us know!

 

30 Day Healthy Lifestyle Check-in

It’s February 21, 2018…Exactly on month ago I decided to get serious about creating a healthy lifestyle for myself and my family. One month ago I made a goal to eat better, drink water, and bought a 3 month-gym membership…it’s going pretty good!

As each day passes, I am starting to feel better about myself, but it doesn’t come easy. Trying to juggle a preschooler, an infant, husband, work, cleaning, playing, grocery shopping, birthday parties, dance class, gymnastics, sleep, seeing friends and family, and whatever else I’m missing (my memory maybe?) is NOT easy.  My hubby Paul has been a fantastic support – we make a pretty great team. He’s actually pretty into getting fit and changing his lifestyle as well. He regularly walks over 20,000 steps a day and has been killing a 30 day push up challenge where he does 100 push ups a day.

The hardest part is the fatigue. I am tired – All.The.Time. At least 3 times a week I usually try to get two work-out’s in per day. The other 4 days I do a workout too. I don’t often take a day off but usually it’s Friday if I do. In the first couple of weeks I was happy to be going to the gym, but I missed our typical evening couch time where we would just relax on the couch from 8pm onward – catch up on our recorded shows or a movie. Late evening work outs don’t leave much time for vegging out on the couch, but one month in I don’t even miss that anymore. We usually sit down to relax for an hour or two around 9:30 or 10 after our workouts are complete…besides, bedtime / sleep is for relaxing! I’m glad we’re on the same page about the journey to a healthier lifestyle – it makes it more exciting and achievable when your spouse is onboard 110%

Having a FitBit has been the best motivation. Tracking steps, exercise, water, sleep, km’s, calories helps the process a lot.

In 1 month I have achieved:

  • 381,745 steps
  • 298 kilometers
  • 47 work outs (26 elliptical workouts and 21 walks on treadmill / outside / walking track)
  • Lost 4.1 lbs

I still have a  L  O  N  G   way to go. This past week has been a little challenging. I have been craving some of the bad foods I have given up. I have given in to a craving here and there but I try to control it the best I can. The one thing I am consistently stern with is my liquids – I have ONLY consumed water. No pop, milk, juice, coffee, tea, only water. Well, the only small exception to this is using a little original almond milk in my fruit and protein smoothies that I have for breakfast a couple of times a week.

Food can be challenging. I haven’t started counting calories, and to be honest I don’t know if I’m going to. I think small changes here and there will make a difference. I am finally in a happy place with my workouts and going to the gym isn’t a chore anymore, but it’s still a lot of work. I’m afraid that if I start going crazy with the food tracking it will be too much on me and I will regress in some aspects of the lifestyle I’ve created for myself.  I am trying to be conscious of my meal and snack choices – just being more aware of serving size, carbs and sodium. Every now and then I’ll have a treat. As a mom, I spend a lot of time at McDonald’s so just having the will-power to make better choices at restaurants and especially fast-food restaurants is super important. Usually I have a bottle of water and a grilled chicken wrap (no fries or pop).

Overall I am feeling good about my progress so far. My endurance is getting better with more and more workouts and my clothes is starting to feel better and not so tight. I don’t get winded as easily as I did a month ago and I’m generally happier!

Have you made a health and wellness lifestyle change this year? Tell me about your changes / progress / challenges in the comments.

PS: See this blazer? It’s one that hasn’t fit me comfortable since 2013! I wore it recently and it felt great 🙂

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Travel Bucket List

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If you know or follow me, you likely know that I love to travel. I would love to see as many places as I can on this earth in my lifetime. It’s crazy to think about how inaccessible the world was in our grandparent’s and their parents lifetime. The world’s first Trans-Atlantic flight was only 100 years, and even then, major air travel didn’t really become streamline until decades later. Fast forward to today when jumbo jets can fly upwards of 500 passengers at a time and offer long duration, non-stop flights. Technology has come so far in these 100 years, starting from humble beginnings with a small Trans-Atlantic flight from St. John’s, Canada to Galway, Ireland covering 3,105 km that took over 15 hours to now having a non-stop route that covers a distance of 14,200 km from Dubai to New Zealand in 14 hours.

The world has never been more accessible and is getting more so every year. With so many options for travel (air, train, car, ship, etc) it’s never been easier to visit your favourite places and make plans to visit places you haven’t seen yet. I have been fortunate enough to be able to travel to many places and have great experiences in Halifax, Montreal, Toronto, New York, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, San Francisco, Orlando, Nassau, Varadero, Cayo Santa Maria, Punta Cana, Dublin, Kilkenny, London, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Rome, Pisa, Venice, Zermatt, and Paris BUT there are still so many places I’d like to experience before I die – enter My Bucket List!

My Bucket List consists of my travel ideas for things I’d like to experience with my husband, our daughters, our family and our friends throughout our life. I feel like they are attainable goals, that with hard work and time, I can accomplish. It starts now! Let the adventure begin!

Travel through my 15 Bucket List items and let me know your bucket list in the comments!

Amalfi Coast, Italy

This place is out of a postcard. It looks so beautiful, all the colour and culture and romantic vibes make it so attractive! plus, across the bay in Palermo there’s a series of water slides that go into the ocean! I just want to see the whole southern coast of Italy!

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Disney World!

When our girls are about 5 and 8, we would love to do a big family, Disney World Vacation! We feel like they will be old enough (but not too old) to have interest in everything there and truly experience all the magic of Disney.

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Eastern Caribbean Cruise

I would love to see some of the countries and islands that are part of an Eastern Caribbean Cruise. We have done a cruise before, but only to the Bahamas. EC Cruises typically go to US Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and St. Maarten. Great way to experience another (larger) cruise, the activities that come with it, and those countries all at once!

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Trek to Everest Base Camp

This is a huge goal, and I may not get there, but I aspire to! This would be an amazing experience to trek for 14 days and see the way of life in extreme mountaineering, the culture, and see the highest peaks in the world. To stand at Everest Base Camp looking up at the summit would be an out of body experience. So surreal and magical.

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Germany

While I’ve been to a few countries in Europe, so far, Germany has not been one of them. I would love to travel Germany to see the ancient castles in the countryside, experience the culture in Berlin and Oktoberfest in Munich.

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The Grand Canyon

While I don’t have a HUGE desire to go to Las Vegas, I probably will at some point, given it’s pretty inexpensive and there’s a lot to experience. The #1 thing on my list in going there would be to see the Grand Canyon in person. I think the views would be breathtaking!

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Hawaii

Aloha! Ever since I was a little girl, I wanted to go to Hawaii. I’d love to travel there to see the stunning beaches, landscapes, and places such as Honolulu, Maui, and Pearl Harbour.

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Morocco

Going to Africa would be a dream! I’d love to go there and experience the culture and Marrakech, Morocco seems like the place to do it! Ryanair offers a cheap flight there from many cities in Europe. Visiting the large open-air markets and experiencing the culture would be an amazing experience, and of course going on a camel ride in the desert! Once in a lifetime type of experience!

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Netherlands (again)

I’ve been to Amsterdam and it was AMAZING. omg seriously, if you’ve ever thought about going there – do it. The culture and vibe in the city was so awesome. I stayed in the city on that trip. I’d like to go back to experience more and get out into the dutch countryside to see the smaller towns, windmills, rivers and tulips.

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Stay in an Over-the-Water Bungalow

I’d love to go on a romantic vacation with my husband sometime (mabye for our 10 year anniversary?) and stay in one of these over the water huts. The seclusion and experience sounds wonderful. I don’t even care where it is! (Bora Bora, Jamaica, St. Lucia) don’t matter, they all look magical!

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Rome, Italy (again)

The first (and only) time I’ve been in Rome, I was there for 3 hours. We were waiting to catch a train to Pisa and had some time to kill, so of course we didn’t waste it! We went to see the Trevi Fountain and the Colosseum. I would love to go back and experience more of Rome. To go to Vatican City, see the Sistine Chapel, experience more culture and re-visit the Colosseum.

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Santorini, Greece

This is another of those magical from a post card places. The greek culture and cuisine are very appealing and experiencing that first-hand in Santorini would be a dream come true.

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Go Skydiving!

If you’re a thrill seeker at all, you probably have this on your bucket list. The excitement, adrenaline, and views of landscapes below make this something to look forward to!

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Saint Lucia

I’d love to experience the luxury and beauty that is Saint Lucia. Everyone I talk to who has been there, loves it and had the best experiences. It’s just so beautiful.

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Thailand

Southeast Asia seems so exotic and going there would be a unique experience. I’d love to go there to experience the beauty and culture.

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Drop your Travel Bucket List in the comments and let me know where in the world you want to go! ↓

15 Ways to Make the Most of Your Vacation (and save money while doing it!)

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If you love to travel and like to make the most of your time and money, this blog is for YOU!

“I haven’t been everywhere yet, but it’s on my list” is the quote I LIVE by.

I love travelling, with my husband, the kids, with friends and family. With my love of planning, knack for finding hidden gems and saving-money, I am the go-to travel planner among my friends and family. I’d like to share some of my ideas and tips with you! I will separate this into two sections: All-Inclusive Vacations and Adventure Travel. Both are very different! (I happen to LOVE both, of course)

*Please note that these tips are just my personal advice and from my own personal experiences!*

All-Inclusive Vacations

  1. When travelling with kids (especially), try to book direct. It may be a couple hundred dollars more, but it will be SO worth it when you don’t have to drag yourselves and your luggage at your departing airport and then again through customs as your connecting airport. Plus downtime at airports generally means you are spending more money at lounges, restaurants, gift shops, etc
  2. Insurance. Many of the travel providers offer you the option to purchase insurance directly through them, and you usually HAVE to purchase it at time of booking. Plan ahead and call your credit card company. I have an AMEX Travel card and it turns out that if I cancel my trip for ANY reason, they give me a full refund as long as I paid for at least 75% of my trip on that credit card. That can be big savings – for example, travel insurance direct through the provider would have been an additional $200. Better in my pocket! Each credit card is different, so be sure to ask questions about your policy and travel plans
  3. Don’t be afraid to leave the resort (from experience in Punta Cana, Varadero, and Cayo Santa Maria) Get out and experience the real local culture! Take a bus, taxi, rent a moped or car and go enjoy the sights. Stop by a market to buy your souvenirs and contribute to the local economy. Go to a night club and catch a salsa show, check out local attractions.
  4. Take advantage of the Amenities! Do the daily scheduled activities, do some workouts at the gym, enjoy the water sports that are included, take advantage of the Kids Club – babysitting included all day, everyday for when your kiddos need a break from the sun to play and make crafts with other children.
  5. Research excursions available in that area and decide what you think you’d like to do while you are on your vacation. This will give you an idea of how much money you will spend and help with budgeting. Wait until you arrive to the resort to book your excursions, unless you had a trusty travel agent recommend and book them for you.

Adventure Travel

  1. Research your destination. If you’ve always wanted to go somewhere, say New York, Paris or London, then there’s a reason you want to go, right!? Look up points of interest, familiarize yourself with the city on google maps so you have a general idea where things are located. You don’t need to pre-plan everything, but knowing which places you’d like to visit and where they are located will save you a lot of time.
  2. Use Public Transportation. This is huge – OMG I can’t believe how many people I hear of that go on vacations and take expensive cars or taxi’s everywhere and are stuck in traffic jams not moving. The subways/metro systems are SO easy to use in most places! Most have apps that you can download and use without even using data! You can do everything on the apps from plotting destinations to checking out schedules and where each station is located and how far away from your point of interest or hotel. Metro systems are also usually much faster than travelling in a car, which means you can fit more into your day. Metro systems offer combination day cards – average you’d pay for a week is around $20-$30 in most places. Taxi’s and private cars will cost so much more than that.
  3. Don’t be afraid of the Star System. Different countries have varied elements of the hotel star system. I wouldn’t recommend you stay anywhere below a 4 star for an all-inclusive, but travelling around the world to various cities is different. Typically in the United States, a 3 star hotel is perfect. Clean, not too fancy but offers a good size bathroom, comfy bed, deposit box, TV and more. Perfect for a place to wake up and go to sleep as you’ll be out exploring most of the day anyway! Why waste your money on a super fancy hotel room that you are hardly ever in? In Europe I’ve even stayed in 2 star’s, which were basically the same as most American 3 stars. Look up photos of the hotels and skim through some reviews but use your own judgement and form your own opinion! I use booking.com for all my accommodation bookings. I’m considered a ‘Frequent Traveller’ and receive a ‘Genius’ discount for my bookings! LOVE it. ACTUALLY, I just got an email giving me a Friends cash code! Use this link to book your accommodation and get $25 Cash! https://www.booking.com/s/21_8/f40fb1ab
  4. Book Hotels with Breakfast Included. This don’t have to be a huge hot-food breakfast buffet, I’ve stayed in plenty of hotels where the breakfast is continental or with a twist and the food is perfect – many choices of cereals, bagels, toast, fruit, danishes, milk, juice, tea, coffee, everything you could want for a good, healthy breakfast to gobble up before heading out on your daily adventures! This is also a great cost savings because then you’re only buying a lunch and dinner. Typically we have a light lunch in a café or street food and then go to a restaurant for dinner.
  5. This can be a huge budget blower. My advice is to pick a souvenir or two that you want to collect (we chose shot glasses and fridge magnets) and only buy those things AND try to only buy one of each per city or destination. Many times shot glasses come in a pack of 3 for cheap which is nice too because you can bring 2 home to family. That’s another thing, buying souvenirs for everyone you know. Talk about a budget blower. Think about the last time you went on vacation, now think about the amount of crap, er I mean souvenirs you brought back to your whole family and all your friends. Some people can afford this and that’s great if you can, but I certainly can’t. Plus, most people appreciate it when you give it to them and then it gets placed at the back of some cabinet collecting dust, never to be seen again. Spend your money on experiences for yourself, not stressing over buying trinkets for everyone. (I buy for my kids, something small for parents and grandparents usually from only 1 place, not every city)
  6. Walk as much as you can. When I’m not taking public transit, I walk probably around 10 kilometers a day while vacationing in various cities. It’s a great way to see the sights and landmarks and you will likely find hidden gems along the way like quaint café’s, street vendors and more. Plus, it’s great exercise! Bring a couple changes of great footwear!
  7. Don’t be afraid to stay away from the “touristy” areas. Typically, in the main tourist areas, things are MUCH more expensive – everything is, from accommodations, to restaurants, markets, souvenir shops, and some attractions. Pick an accommodation that’s a little off the beaten path and explore the area and neighbourhood! You’ll fine inexpensive café’s and bakeries and meet more locals. You can walk or take public transit to the high-traffic tourist areas any time of any day! Save some money and pick a hotel that’s not right in the middle of the action.
  8. Make a Grocery / Liquor run! Look for a local grocery store and / or corner store and load up on some staples for your room for the week. Snacks, water, fruit, chips, beer and liquor! The alcohol at stores like that is SO cheap and it makes it so FUN and inexpensive to have drinks in your room with friends after a day or exploring or even priming in your room with your local booze before hitting the town for a night out.
  9. Check out the seasonality of your destination. Find out when high-season is and low-season. If you are flexible with your travel dates, booking in low-season can save you a lot of money!
  10. Attraction Prices. Before you go on vacation, it’s a good idea to a) make a list of the place you want to see and b) find out the prices of admission for those places. Many companies offer oodles of different variations of a “City Pass” (there’s also 100 different names for said pass) Sometimes they are worth the money, but you got to do your homework on them. Start by making that list – say you are going to New York for 4 days, come up with a reasonable amount to things you want to see and do in those days. Google them to find entry prices. Then search a city attractions pass for that city. Pick one and look at what is included. You may find that only half of the things you want to do are on there, or perhaps all of them are. Then do a price comparison. Most of the cards offer consecutive day options (2 day, 3 day, 4 day, 5 day) The higher number of days usually means more savings. Each one typically goes until midnight. Be mindful of time and distance when you select one – if you pick a 3 day then all the attractions you want to do that are available with that pass HAVE to be completed within 3 days, even if you are on vacation for 7. So just be wary of that. ALSO another important note is that a lot of attractions are closed a certain day of the week (like Monday’s) or have limited operating hours for passes to be used.  I have considered city passes for New York, Los Angeles, London, Paris, Amsterdam, Venice, and Barcelona. The only ones I ended up purchasing were New York and Los Angeles because the passes included everything we wanted to do and it was a savings of over $100 for each destination as opposed to purchasing admission at each individual place. The others didn’t work for various reasons: the main one being we didn’t stay in that city long enough to make it worthwhile or we only wanted to do 2-3 things in that city. ALSO search attractions that are 100% FREE – there are SO many.

 

I hope you enjoyed my travel tips and they help you save money and time on your next vacation!

Tell me where you’re planning on visiting in 2018. Drop your cities or resorts in the comments!

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Kiss & Make-Up

With the news of Kylie Jenner confirming she’s given birth, what better time do to a make-up review of my ‘kollection’ of Kylie Lip Kits!

I’ve always been a huge Kardashian-Jenner clan fan.  Whether you love them or hate them, I’m sure you can appreciate the business empire they’ve built for themselves from fragrances and clothing lines, to best-sellers and make-up.

Enter Kylie Cosmetics. I LOVE that this lipstick does not come off. In a world with Kylie Lip Kits and even Lipsense WHY would anyone still want / buy lipstick that rubs off on your coffee cup, kids, husband, and drinking straws? I even have the best method for taking it off at the end of the day! (Keep reading to find out my best kept cleanser secret)

I picked 7 of my favourite Lipsticks to show you what they look like on and tell you a bit about them!

You can purchase Kylie Lip Kits or singles Here

(BTW: The shirt I’m wearing in my photo above is a creation of one of my favourite Boss Babe’s, Dana, who just started her own little business, called Harbour Local! You can check out her page, products, and order a branded Tee! → Harbour Local )

LIPSTICKS REVIEW

Damn Gina

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This is a neutral colour but also on the orange-y side of neutral. I still like it, but I feel like if it were summer and I had a tan wearing this, I’d resemble an oompa-loompa

Okurrr

(watch this video for pronunciation)

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This is a VERY pink lip colour. Very bright and bubbly. Cute for Girl’s Night Out, Baby Girl Shower or Gender Reveal, and of course Valentine’s Day, Okurr!

Candy K

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I love this soft light pink. It’s perfect for everyday wear or if you want to achieve a softer, feminine look.

Khlo$

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This is my absolute favourite neutral. I wear it almost everyday and it goes with everything. Subtle hue, not too nude and not too pink – perfectly in the middle.

Kristen

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This is such a perfect Red! A staple for the Christmas season or Valentine’s Day

Dolce K

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I wasn’t sure about Dolce K first when I tried it, but now I love it! It’s just so different! I think of it as a brown mixed with neutral. Love pairing it with a choker for a night out.

Gorg

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This is a fun one! I don’t wear it a lot, probably once every couple of months for a night out. Deep purple’s are SO in right now and this one is a winner.

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(ignore my hairy arms LOL)

The lipsticks dry in a matter of seconds and do not come off!

CLEANSER

When it’s time to remove the lipstick, I always rely on Cleansing Milk from TVAL Skincare. TVAL is a local store in downtown St. John’s. They have the best products and sweetest staff! Visit them on Water Street or click to shop online at TVAL Skincare

I rub the cleansing milk over my lips and let it sit a minute or so. Then I take a Q-tip and gently rub it over the cleansing milk on my lips and the lipstick comes right off!

I use cleansing milk for my entire face. It gently washes away all makeup and is so soft and fresh feeling. I highly recommend! Not greasy or oil-y feeling at all.

Let me know which is your favourite lip colour in the comments! ↓