Hey, look, I know things are a mess. I took a hiatus from blogging and decided to switch up my design before returning. Please be patient, because if you can wait out the mess it means REGULAR POSTING WILL RETURN SOON! :D


Friday, December 31


Traveling is always more work than I expect it to be…which is part of the reason the Proactiv winners have not yet been announced. They have been chosen, and their info sent to the contest coordinator. And don’t worry, I’ll announce them soon, very soon.

Traveling threw me off the Proactiv routine for a little while. It was interesting to observe my skin when that happened. For a little while my acne was worse than before I started using Proactiv at all. So, note to all, follow the routine religiously!

In other news, Lucy is TWO now. Two. Two whole years. I wish I had half the energy she’s got. She’s as cute as ever and talking up a storm. And we hit the WHO 2 year nursing minimum mark! It was a personal goal of mine so I’m very happy to have reached it.

In addition to being two years old Lucy now sleeps all by herself. What the what?! What happened to the little baby who slept by my side all night? As much as I might miss my nocturnal snuggle bug I’m happy for her. She’s growing more and more independent. And to celebrate that independence she’s getting her very own big girl bed, and big girl bedroom; a bedroom I’ve been planning for over a year, a Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds room.

Oh yes.

It will be all kinds of adorable. The adorable-ness will be EPIC.

Here’s a sneak peak:

SUNUP HereComes lucydiamonds

These prints will be hung on the wall as 8x10s. Each one is taken from a Beatles song that I’ve always associated with Lucy, and that have a sky theme. I’m trying to decide if and how I want to share these designs. Part of me wants to be selfish and not make them available for download at all so they’re one-of-a-kind for Lucy. Part of me wants to offer them for sale. And part of me wants to just say “screw it” and offer them for free. What do you think?

Other projects I’ll be working on feverously in the next 10 days or so (before heading back to work) include an i-spy quilt, lots and lots of super fun pillows, wall decals, and…well…how about I just show you when (if?) I get it all finished?

One more thing before I close, if you’d like to see our family’s Christmas newsletter you can view it here. There’s more family photos from our recent session and they’re super cute.

See you next year! ;)


Thursday, December 2

30 Day Proactiv Challenge

You know how when you hit puberty everybody warns you about the changes your body will go through and how you’ll grow out of the awkwardness, and the crazy hormonal mood swings, and the acne? Well, everybody lied. At least, in my case, when it comes to acne, there was no growing out of it. There was also no respite from it during pregnancy (did you get the magical pregnancy glow? Because I most certainly did not). I’ve tried tea tree oil; I’ve tried honey and baking soda; I’ve tried some acne wash systems from the local store; I’ve tried switching to mineral make-up. But still the acne won’t go away (the mineral make-up really does make a difference, but it only does so much). Which is why I signed myself up for the 30-day Proactiv Challenge (with a giveaway for YOU, details below).
I’ll be using a new 3-step system:
The 3-Step System: Designed for daily use in the prevention and treatment of blemishes, it gently cleanses and exfoliates while targeting blemish-causing bacteria in the pores.
Step 1: Renewing Cleanser: A unique oil-free formula, with exclusive micro-crystal pharmaceutical-grade benzoyl peroxide, that contains smooth, tiny beads to gently exfoliate dead skin cells and other impurities.
Step 2: Revitalising Toner: A refreshing, alcohol-free toner with glycolic acid that helps balance skin tone and remove dead skin cells to reveal the vital, radiant skin beneath. Its special formulation to balance skin's natural acids includes witch hazel to refine and purify pores and aloe and chamomile to soothe and soften.
Step 3: Repairing Treatment: A light, oil-free lotion containing exclusive microcrystal pharmaceutical-grade benzoyl peroxide. The Repairing Treatment penetrates deep into the pore to help heal blemishes and help prevent future breakouts. The advanced delivery system is safe for the entire face and any other blemish-prone areas.
The new exclusive micro-crystal pharmaceutical-grade benzoyl peroxide (BPO) is refined to be small enough to penetrate pores and help clear blemishes, without causing irritation. These finely milled particles allow the medicines to work quickly and more effectively than ever before. The new 3-Step System (Renewing Cleanser, Revitalising Toner and Repairing Treatment) are the same proprietary and effective formulas as Original Proactiv, with the same luxury skin-care ingredients – only the active ingredient (BPO) has been improved. New Proactiv also has the same great texture and fragrance as Original Proactiv.
Okay, let’s be honest: I’m really not interested in all that “fancy new formula sciencey-stuff blah blah blah.”  What interests me is what my skin is going to look like 30 days after my package arrives. If you have adult acne you probably understand completely that after a while results are all you care about. I’d rub my face on a smelly cow flank every day if I thought it would give me clear skin. So I’m going to find out if this suped-up new system walks the walk. I’ll keep you up to date on Twitter (under the hashtag #NewProactiv), and at the end of the 30 days I’ll post my final results here on the blog.
In the meantime I’d love to hear your experiences with Proactiv. Have you tried it? Did you like it? Most importantly, did it work? Do you want to try it? Why? Tell me in the comments, and if you’re a Canadian resident you’ll be entered to win a full size, Proactiv Green Tea Moisturizer (valued at $33 CAD). Contest is open through December 17th. You must leave your e-mail address in your comment. You may enter this contest on the blogs of other bloggers doing the 30 day challenge, but you can only win once. I will choose a total of 5 winners via Random.org!

Now closed to entries. 

Disclosure - I am participating in the New Proactiv Canada program hosted by Mom Central on behalf of Guthy-Renker. I received a 30-day trial kit and a gift card as thank you for my participation. The opinions on this blog are my own.

Share A Smile

There are so many ways to “share a smile.” You can do random acts of kindness for strangers (try paying for the order behind you in the Starbuck’s drive-thru). You can help out a friend, or neighbor (I bet there are some snowy walks that could use shovelling). You could donate time or funds to a cause in need (during the holidays there are all kinds of food drives). But one of the easiest ways to share a smile is to do just that…share your smile! When others smile at us it’s often a reflex that we smile in response. And when we smile we trick our brains into thinking we’re happy (even if we are maybe not in the best of moods). This holiday season, instead of wearing a grumpy sour puss when I’m out navigating the shopping and flying crowds I’m going to make an effort to smile. And I hope you will too.

Another thing you can do to share a smile is check out the Snack Pack Share A Smile Campaign. I usually don’t accept pitches from huge companies, but I don’t mind getting behind something positive. So when I got the heads up about the campaign from Mom Central I decided to sign up. Snack Pack Canada is donating $1 to Food Banks Canada for every “smile” shared on their Facebook Page. They’re aiming to donate $20,000. Check out the page, “Like It,” and follow the easy instructions and $1 will be donated on your behalf. You can even send “smiles” to your friends and $1 will be donated on their behalves as well.

ETA: Oops! I forgot to mention! When you “share a smile” via the Facebook page you can choose to be entered to win weekly prizes!

Disclosure – I am participating in the Snack Pack program by Mom Central on behalf of Conagra Foods Canada. I received a gift card as a thank you for my participation. The opinions on this blog are my own.

This holiday season I hope you’ll share a smile, in whatever way works best for you.


Sign Language And Speech Development

I was recently approached by Misty at Baby Sign Language to ask if I’d like to host a guest post on the topic of baby signing. I took two years of American Sign Language in high school (and loved it) so, naturally, we used sign with Lucy. It was awesome. Do you know how convenient it is to have a baby who can tell you they have a wet diaper? It’s very convenient. Lucy seemed to grow out of signing once she found verbal words (she’s a talker, just like her mum was/is)! But sign really helped us as parents before she learned to communicate with spoken language. That’s why I was very happy to accept Misty’s offer to guest post. I was fortunate enough to have a background in signing. But if you don’t then you should add Baby Sign Language to your bookmarks folder straight away. And now, without further ado, here’s Misty:

Sign Language And Speech Development

Babies communicate in many different ways. Even though they can’t talk, their repertoire is vast. Through facial expressions, crying, babbling, or moving nearer to Mommy they make their needs known. The ways in which babies communicate their needs are as individual and special as they are. Baby sign language can help a baby’s communication – it is a two-way thing, from mommy to baby and back again.

How Babies Learn To Talk

One of the best ways to encourage language development is to simply talk to your baby. Babies learn by imitation and repetition. Whether he is playing, watching or listening, your baby is learning from you and from the world around him. Imitation and repetition are important if he is to develop any new skill – how to talk, how to sign, or just how to interact with the world.

Baby Sign Language gives babies and parents another tool for communication. Many studies show that Baby Signing does not replace speech, but actually aids its development, by improving a baby’s confidence in his ability to communicate. Speech plays a very small part in communication before the age of two, but baby sign language can play a big part in communication from a very young age.

Communication And The Confident Child

Babies who able to communicate their needs successfully will become more confident than babies who struggle to be understood. Every time you respond to your baby correctly – validating his efforts at communication – his confidence grows. As your baby’s confidence grows, so does his ability to communicate. This is a positive spiral. Sadly the opposite is also true – when a baby is not shown that his efforts at communication are working, he may withdraw. Some babies go on to develop very extreme ways of getting your attention – also known as tantrums!

Responding To Your Baby

To help with speech development, babies need to know you have received their messages when they try to communicate with you. Nod, smile, or pick him up, but make sure your response fits what your baby is trying to communicate.

Does Baby Sign Language Interfere With Speech Development?

The short answer is no! Talking is only one small part of communication. For pre-school children it is often only a small part of their range of skills. Children – and adults – communicate with each other through touch, facial expressions, tone and volume of voice. Babies instinctively communicate by using hand gestures. Learning baby sign language can help your baby make sense of the world in this natural way.

Speech development is a natural progression for children as they listen to what’s going on around them. Talking to your baby, reading stories, explaining every day chores and activities, are positive ways to encourage speech. Adding sign language gives your baby another tool for communication. There is no evidence to suggest that Sign Language For Babies slows down speech development – but the opposite may in fact be true.

All Clear?

I think we’re all clear in the Dork Household. I think the Great 2010 Vomit-Fest is over. *furiously knocks on wood* And now I’ve got some blog stuff to tackle! We leave for Ohio on December 16th and won’t be back until the 29th. And you know what?

I’m not blogging while I’m gone.

Well…at least, I’m not planning to. Maybe I’ll make a short update here or there. But no promises!

I am, however, already working on ideas for this blog for next year. Lately I feel like I’ve just been barely keeping the blog alive, but I’d like that to change. But first, a vacation to visit my family! But before that…I’ve got some cool stuff for you (including giveaways)!

Unfortunately, I’m afraid a CSN giveaway will *not* be happening as soon as expected. The Canadian shipping situation on the CSN network is a little tricky so we’re re-evaluating some things.CSN sponsors giveaways on lots of other blogs, so keep your eyes open while you’re waiting on me.

I’ve got a great guest post going up later today, as well as some promo posts later this week.

Here’s hoping your family avoids the bugs going around!


Wednesday, December 1

When It Rains, It Pours

My week has not gotten better.

Just as Lucy seemed to be getting well again it was my turn to be miserable and pukey. Then I felt better but Lucy got sick again.

I’ve missed three days of work again this week (last week I missed work because of the car vandal, boooo!). Which is especially sucky because this is my boss’s busy season and she is swamped. Not to mention, um…we need the income (helloooo student loans)! I have serious, SERIOUS cabin fever from being cooped up with a very sad, very whiny almost-two-year-old for nearly five days.

My birthday is Sunday. Is it too much to ask that it be vomit free?


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