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Childproof your home

Check out the quick video below for 5 ways to childproof your home when the grandbabies come for a visit

a family having bonding together
Photo by Mikhail Nilov on

If you have had the opportunity to raise a baby, then you probably already know that the elation and fear can be absolutely overwhelming. I mean, you brought a new little human into the world and you immediately have a deep sense of purpose and a huge obligation. Your promise to that little bundle of joy is to give 100% of your time, energy, knowledge, and skills to help them to become wonderful adults. If you were like me, you probably photographed every single moment as they learned to roll over or to lift their heavy little bobblehead for the first time. You document everything from eating a fistful of chocolate cake to watching them chase a chicken while laughing hysterically.

toddler crawling on floor
Photo by Rene Asmussen on

As you watch your children grow up, you wish for them nothing but peace, happiness, love, and contentment. You know that the trials and tribulations that they will go through are going to be heartbreaking. Each time they make a new friend on the school grounds just to come home to say “I hate Billy! He is so mean to me!” can really rip your heart out. As children do, in a fleeting moment, you watch as they take their bike out to the end of the driveway to see Billy and give a high five and ride off together. Being a parent is an emotional rollercoaster.

child touching mirror in bright room
Photo by Владимир Васильев on

As babies, they are little reflections of us and an example of our parenting skills. They learn to crawl, then walk, then run all in preparation to go out and become functioning adults. The bumps and bruises, the tears, and the drama will eventually subside into more manageable emotions as they grow up. Sometimes, they shut down or stop talking to you so you rely on the outside world to help a little. What you don’t expect as you watch your children grow up is that someday, they too might become parents.

photo of toddler smiling
Photo by Alexander Dummer on

The pressure to make perfect kids starts to subside into a realization that they will go in the direction THEY choose, no matter what you want them to do. Even if you know you have done your best to raise them right, you don’t know what is in store for your child. And that is where the magic truly lies; in not knowing. Watching them blossom into confident, smart, stable, and functioning adults is all in the waiting. Teaching them dignity, strength, common sense and respect is the gift we give them. Unfortunately, we have to let them go. It is hard to watch them go out into the big world alone. They have no idea what life has to offer and you pray that they continue using the tools that you gave them as a child.

Self confidence is beautiful

The exciting part as you watch them go is seeing them discover themselves. When you see your confident child paying attention to their actions and staying strong in their convictions is a testament to your awesome parenting. It can be absolutely terrifying and at the same time, truly invigorating when they venture to new countries, take on a challenging career or even decide to become a parent themselves. What you don’t expect, is the feeling you get when your grown daughter tells you she is pregnant. It is a full circle of beauty and miraculous karma.

It is the chance to watch your child do exactly what you did (or the complete opposite) and is it ever-life-changing. The deep connection that they make with their baby might be the exact feeling you had with them. It is a new feeling though, to be a grandparent. To step aside and watch new parents navigate the same things you had to navigate. The understanding between parent and child becomes deeper.

5 ways to babyproof your home and keep those grandbabies safe!

Our first grandbaby arrived in February!

When our first grandbaby was born in February to our beautiful daughter, Kyndree, and her wonderful partner, Zach, it brought us to tears. It is the most wonderful feeling to look into those little baby blue eyes for the first time and to get a smile. It was probably gas but any smile will do. Her name is Jade Carter and she fills us with joy and she just melts her grandpa’s heart.

We knew we both did our best as parents to establish some of the foundations that would make Kyndree a good mom. Well, she and Zach have blown all of our ideas of good parenting out of the water and they’re only 3 months in. Their promise to protect, love, and care for baby Jade appear even more evident than we ever expected. They have embraced parenting fully and are such a sensational example to others.

We have only had the pleasure of spending a few days with our new granddaughter, as we recently moved to a different city, but we cannot wait for the next visit to see what new and amazing things Jade has accomplished in these few short months. It’s fun to now sit with our grown children and compare parenting skills. You’d be surprised how similar we are. We are proud, elated, and will now, forever be called “grandparents“. I can tell you one thing for sure is that having grandchildren really does make life grand.

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A Calm Home Environment

How can you make your home a refuge of peace, tranquility, and comfort? Come along as I show you 3 things to immediately change your environment into a relaxing place to unwind. I learned years ago that my environment was directly connected to my state of well-being. As a mom of many teens, I always felt compelled to remind them that home was a safe place. A place to let your hair down, kick off your smelly shoes, and just be yourself. I was a very “casual” mom. We didn’t have too many rules when the kids were teenagers. What we did have was a loving and calm environment. I did my best to make sure you felt welcome when you stayed in my home. Over the years, we’ve lived in many types of settings. From a farmhouse to a condo to a mobile home and now, a fifth-wheel trailer, I always took what was offered and made it my own. I have compiled a list of 3 things I always do to make my home feel comfortable. A calm environment really matters to me and I still keep these simple things in mind to keep my friends and family from feeling chaotic in my space.

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3 things you can do immediately to calm your space

  1. Scents can be beautiful albeit sometimes overwhelming. Be cautious of what you put into your air. Since my kids were small, I tried to avoid any harsh chemicals or scents in the house. I love to create my own gorgeous scents in a pot on the stove, full of orange and apple peels with a hint of cinnamon. You can combine rose petals and lavender or whatever smells that appeal to you. Instead of scented toxic candles, I prefer beeswax candles with a drop or 2 of orange oil. You can experiment with sprays by adding a safe essential oil to a spray bottle with water. I honestly use orange or citrus for most of my sprays. Get creative.
  2. Soft Lighting sets the tone of a room. When you walk into a room flooded with incandescent lights or spotlights it can almost give you anxiety. Strategically placed soft light lamps and non toxic soy/beeswax candles give a nice hue to the room. Try to avoid electronic devices being on in the space that you sleep. Even a tiny light can disrupt your circadian rhythm.
  3. Binaural Beat Music is my new “go to” music when feeling anxious. I usually keep a calm and soothing tone in the background as I work and rest. The importance of high vibrational sound is immense. It calms you at the molecular level. Just take a look on YouTube to find some amazing music in the 432 hz range. They have everything from piano playing to drum beats. Enjoy.

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I remember the day I graduated from high school. At the time, it was the most exciting thing I had ever done. Being one of the first in the family to get through public school was quite a feat. Back in my parent’s day I am sure there were more important things to do than learn about sedimentary rocks. Little did I know that almost 20 years later, I would graduate from college with my care nurse diploma. Still the same feeling of pride and excitement came over me. No matter what age I was. I was talking to my mom a few years ago about school and being educated in a new field and it was hilarious to hear that she (at age 60) had just finished another course in something. I thought “you are still doing courses and graduating at age 60?” Yes, she was. Now, at 72, she still does training for things that most people her age probably wouldn’t normally do. Her latest venture was becoming a notary public in her town in Ohio! I am flabbergasted at how casual she is when she says she just finished another course. Her man, also in his senior years is ready to graduate from real estate school! I absolutely love the idea that learning can happen anytime and anywhere and at ANY age. My son is graduating from film school this month and I wonder if this is it or will he pursue, yet another educational adventure. I recently spoke to my other son and he is showing interest in surveying. I mean, why not? We have endless amounts of learning at our disposal 24/7. When I graduated from high school and went off to college to learn sign language, horticulture, highway flagging and first aid, I had no idea that 30 years later, I would be interested in getting more education. If you are graduating from anything right now, just know that this huge step is just the beginning. It doesn’t ever have to stop. The learning can go on until you can’t do it anymore. So, to anyone graduating from anything this year, congratulations! I wish you success in your journey and cheers to doing even more in the years ahead.

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These are some pretty funky glasses!

prescription, non-prescription, bifocals safety glasses with style

The past 5 years have been interesting for Dave and I in regards to eyewear. We used to get away with sharing the same magnifiers but that is not the case anymore. I was recently fitted for bifocals so now, I have my very own special pair of glasses that Dave can’t see through. I think we buy 20 pairs of magnifiers a year because most of the time, when riding or motorcycles, we put a pair or two into each saddlebag, leather jacket or around the neck. Well, you know what happens in most cases. Destruction. They are never strong enough. I keep my very fancy expensive glasses in the original case but Dave has to wrap his around his neck. How many times has he pulled the flimsy pair apart when taking off a hoodie? Dozens. I am always at the ready with tape in hand to put them back together. If only there weren’t a more durable safety glass for people that work hard and play harder. I think we might have found the answer. Available in tons of styles and frames.

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Cambodia – Angkor Wat & Thom

When we first landed in Cambodia, I truly did not prepare myself for what I was about to experience.  The first thing I noticed immediately was the color of the sky. The bright sunlight was unlike anything I had ever seen before. It was golden.  It was spectacular.  That was just in the first five minutes! ​

Here is a brief history of Cambodia and why Angkor Wat is a wonder​

Let me say, the country of Cambodia is steeped in such horrific and brutal history that it was hard to imagine the exquisite beauty that would be presented to me in those next few weeks.  I was ready to dive in.  Dave and I had been gifted this trip of a lifetime by his mom and the fact that it was on our bucket list, is even more incredible.  We could never thank his mom enough for this opportunity.  My mind was about to be blown!  The first morning, we got together with the rest of our party to go over the itinerary.  It was going to be a busy day! We were off to Siem Reap, a resort town in northwestern Cambodia and the gateway to the temples of Angkor, the seat of the Khmer kingdom from the 9th–to 15th centuries. Angkor’s vast complex of intricate stone buildings includes preserved Angkor Wat, the main temple, which is currently on Cambodia’s flag. Were able to stand amongst the giant, mysterious faces that are carved into the Bayon Temple at Angkor Thom. Angkor Wat is the world’s largest religious structure, covering four hundred acres.  The religious motifs were procured from Hinduism and the temple was created for the gods Shiva, Vishnu, and Brahma.  The walls of the temples are covered in the most detailed sculptures imaginable.  The faces that surround the towers are some of the largest and most beautiful carvings I have ever seen.  There are over 200 giant smiling faces covering these buildings.  It’s so cool.  I felt teeny standing next to them.  The five towers atop Angkor Wat signify the peaks of Mount Meru, according to Hindu mythology, and are the dwelling of the gods.  The moat around the temple is a comparison to the ocean.  The second temple, Angkor Thom, was built by King Jayavarman VII after the Cham people of Vietnam dismissed Angkor in 1177.  This temple is strictly Buddhist and now, much of the Hindu original raised art has been replaced with Buddhist symbolism.  Our beautiful guide in Cambodia, named Lucky, was a wealth of information.  Not only did Lucky drive us around, show us the sites, and recommend the best restaurants but he was also directly involved in the brutality caused by the Khmer Rouge.  The Khmer Rouge is defined as a radical communist movement that ruled Cambodia from 1975 to 1979 after winning power through a guerrilla war.  The outstanding thing is that Lucky lives to talk about it.  Hence, the name Lucky.  He told us of groups of people lined up to have their fingernails inspected…dirty nails, you lived.  Clean nails, you did not.  If you had clean nails, you were probably an intellectual and were not necessary for the take over of the country. The main target was men, ethnic minorities, Chinese people, and Muslims.  Farmers and laborers were spared more often.  The Khmer Rouge was led by Pol Pot from 1975-to 1979.  They eventually killed the wives and children of the slain men to avoid revenge against them.  They forced children to turn on their own families and they destroyed the family structure.  All in the name of communism.  Whoever fought against this regime, died.  It was a massive and absolutely devastating genocide against the peaceful people of Cambodia.  This is one of the reasons that this trip changed my life. I came back to Canada with a heaviness on my heart but much more understanding. As I look back at these amazing photos, I can only imagine how many more stories are out there and need to be told.  Each part of Cambodia was very different to me and the entire nation has taught me so much.  I thought we would go to visit incredible sights. I had no idea I would get a history lesson that has resonated with me to this day.  We had the opportunity to walk through both Wat and Thom and feel the energy among the ruins.  The trees are taking over and rooting down into the stone that once held royalty.  The shrines inside are teeming with people carrying incense as they worship both the Buddhist gods as well as the Hindu gods. The sights and sounds of monks and chanting were all around us.  Now, as much as I love to advertise certain travel destinations, I feel compelled to mention that as a tourist, out of respect for the country you are choosing to vacation in, you should do some homework.  There is abject poverty in Cambodia. Some people have survived the millions of landmines in that country but did not come out unscathed. The amount of people missing limbs is astounding. The street children are everywhere and I always wondered, if they too, lost their families and parents.  Many children beg and it is such a sickening feeling to not be able to help each and every one of them.  I suggest researching what you can do as a tourist, to help the people that you see.  We were constantly reminded that many parents keep children from school to work for money on the street. I did buy a flute from a beautiful little boy in Siem Reap.  I had to.  It had such a nice sound.  We saw so much more than we expected to see.  Dave and I were honored to be escorted around the ​military museum in Siem Reap.  It showed us a bit of everything.  From the machine guns and tanks used to the photos of the most horrific things being done to humans, it was all that we needed to see to understand a bit more about what happened in this beautiful country.  I believe we will return to Cambodia someday.  We will be armed with so much more knowledge the next time.  I’m looking forward to maybe seeing Lucky again.  He was a highlight of our trip. If you ever get the opportunity, see Cambodia.  Study first though. It makes things easier to understand while you are touring.   To learn more about Cambodia and the other wonders of the world, check out my link below for books and audio. You can message me if you have any questions.  Now, go out there and enjoy our amazing planet.  


Just a disclaimer: I am an affiliate marketer with some great companies. If you check them out, I get a little monetization but it does not affect your purchase or add to your cost. Thanks everyone.

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