Thursday, December 7, 2017

Happy birthday to me!

Thank you for all the wonderful
birthday wishes!

As an 80's girl, this seemed fitting, although add on several more candles. lol
Sixteen Candles

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Gut Feelings And More

When I am talking about gut feelings, this blog is not necessarily referring to our intuition. It’s actually about the steps I’m taking to support my digestive health along with figuring out more natural ways to sleep.

After visiting with my gastro doctor and going through all the wonderful tests and rule out various things, he suggested that I start taking a daily probiotic called Culturelle, which is good for promoting good bacteria in our gut. This particular brand has a lot of evidence behind it, compared to some other brands. He gave me a few samples to try out and to be honest, i’m not sure if I immediately felt a difference, but after a couple of weeks, I did notice a lot less bloating and all that fun stuff. I’ve been taking the vegetarian capsules for several months now. My only beef, even with coupons, it’s expensive!

I will be the first one to say that I've never been one for taking pills, but as I age (ugh), it seems like i’m not able to absorb all the nutrients that are really essential to our health. Initially, I just added Vitamin D3 to my daily regime. However, last year, I felt like a total zombie and I had no idea at all that I was low in B12.  I went to my doctor and she suggested to check my levels and although they weren’t extremely low, it was not as high as she would have liked and so I was advised to take a daily supplement. I could have also taken a B12 shot, but I rather not take shots, unless totally necessary.  There are many different forms of B12 that you can get in supplement form. I found Jamieson's B12 fast dissolving sublingual tablets worked best for me.  When I went for a blood test a few months ago, my B12 levels were great, so it's a good idea to keep an eye on that.

Along with taking a suitable probiotic, trying digestive enzymes was next up on the list after  being advised to see a new practitioner who could help with these issues and also aid with nutritional counselling. I think they helped a bit, but honestly, I didn’t see that much of a difference in symptoms, so instead of getting a refill, it was suggested to try a loose leaf tea that had a lot of de-bloating and gentle herbs, instead of swallowing a supplement. Tummy-ease is fantastic!  I really love the minty flavour and with the various herbs, it actually seems to work as a calming agent as well.
Loose leaf teas

Also, I was advised to change the way I prepare food. For a lot of us, it’s interesting to note that raw food is not all it’s cracked up to be.  I used to snack on raw carrots and veggies, so that has changed. Everything is warm. Even fruit, I either chop up to cook on the stove or microwave. A few extra steps, but worth not having a stomach-ache.  Although no pic, I also take a nice heap of ground flax with my cereal in the morning, which has been a great addition.

I'm still for the most part dairy-free, which I do think has helped and I've cut back a lot on red meat since it can be quite difficult to digest. I'm eating more plant-based style, but I still do incorporate chicken, pork and fish a few times per week.

Sleep. We’ve had a weird relationship over the last few years. I’ve been in “fight or flight” mode for a long time. I really started to notice my quality of sleep decline and if you’ve ever woken up feeling like someone took a vacuum and sucked all the life force out of you, and not even a cup of java helps, you get my point. I was advised to try a natural sleep aid called Pascoflair, which has a well-researched herb in it with passion flower. The product is supposed to calm down your nervous system and promote a restful sleep. After taking it for several weeks consistently, I did feel a lot calmer, maybe too calm at times. Within about a half hour of taking it, my eyes started to close and that’s all I remember.

Truth be told, I did notice some heart palpitations after taking it and then once again when I woke up in the morning, so I am not sure if that is from my normal anxiety or if there was an ingredient in there that didn’t jive with my system.  It’s a bit of a mystery there. I tried to take it only a few times per week and that symptom weened off a bit, but I still felt a little uneasy.  Also, I don’t doubt that maybe there is some level of "placebo effect" happening in some form or another, but i’m okay with knowing that.

To be on the safe side, we swapped the tablets for a gentler sleep remedy.  I was given a sleep tea called Nighty Night tea in loose leaf format, which has ingredients like: skullcap, valerian root (known for aiding in sleep), passion flower and other herbs. I cannot say that it has solved the sleeping issues for me entirely, but when I take a cup, it does relax my body, so then I proceed with my nightly stretches, meditation and guided imagery to quiet my mind for sleep. It also helps having some nice cuddles.

I am feeling positive that my body is slowly healing from a physical and emotional perspective. I still have bad days, but i’m human. Stress really is the ultimate destroyer. Whatever you need to do, get it under control. I am fortunate that I found so many great resources to guide me along the way.

I will update again soon!

*I should mention my usual disclaimer to make sure to always consult with your trusted  healthcare practitioner(s) before starting any kind of vitamin, supplement or sleep aid.*

Baby Talk with Jordynne Sharp!

It’s always a great experience when I can meet new people. By “meet” that doesn’t always mean face-to-face either. No matter the distance, the Internet gives us the opportunity to connect with others in all sorts of ways.

Although my blog is not usually on the topic of parenthood, I thought it would be a nice change of pace to collaborate with another blogger and talk about her adventures of being a Mom! :)

I’d like to give a warm welcome to Mommy blogger, Jordynne, for taking the time to do this Q&A with me on my site!

Q&A with Jordynne:

Any favourite baby brands that you are passionate about, and can you tell me why they're a staple in your home?

One of my favourite baby items that I honestly never thought was something I would want to splurge on is the baby jogger stroller. It is so smooth and I rave about it all the time to my mommy friends. It folds up so easily and it has big wheels on it so its great for getting through any rough terrain (not that I'm offroading with a stroller!). I love that the straps are so comfortable for my son and really hold him in snuggly since he is a climber and will try to climb out of everything.  The only thing I dislike is that it's a little heavier than other strollers

It's interesting to note that some women don't experience any morning sickness or any bizarre food cravings, like the most commonly talked about pickles and ice cream! Did you have any issues and if so, how did you handle them?

I experienced morning sickness that lasted around 3 weeks. I lost weight during that time in my pregnancy since everything seemed unappetizing to me. I found that sour gummy candies really helped me through the nausea or any kind of food that was very watery, such as watermelon and cucumbers. Luckily the morning sickness did not last very long with me, however, I did get very bad swelling in my feet later on in the pregnancy. I had to make sure I was elevating my feet when I slept, to help bring the swelling down. I even bought bigger shoes.

Did you consider a home birth with a doula at any point during your pregnancy, or did you want to just stick to the traditional way of going into the hospital?

I never considered a doula or home birth because I was already so comfortable with my doctor. Everything was so sudden and brand new for me that I basically just did as my doctor suggested. I think for my next child though, it would be something I would consider now that I have already gone through the process once.

You must be armed with diapers galore right now! Are there any other must-haves that you stocked up before the baby came?

We had so many different brands of diapers before the baby was born; Huggies, Pampers, Kirkland and No Name. After he was born, we found that he leaked out of EVERYTHING! We ended up trying The Honest Company diapers and had very little issues with them. We now subscribe to them and get a package sent to us every month with diapers and wipes. We never need to worry about picking any up at the store. It just comes right to us and the prints are adorable!

How did you pick your baby's name?

My boyfriend and I could not agree on a name for our baby boy. It wasn't until about the seventh month that we finally agreed on the name Cohen! Someone suggested it and we both lit up and looked at each other and we just knew. It was perfect. This might be cheesy, but if you've ever seen the show the O.C. the main characters last name is Cohen and we both really love that show. He originally wanted to name our son Falcon, but I was very against the idea.

What is the biggest fear about being a new Mom?

I am such a worrier, everything scared me about being a new mom! No amount of reading could prepare me. I think my biggest fear as a new mom was SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) because it is a common thing and so heartbreaking. I was constantly going in his room and making sure he was breathing. To be honest, he’s 14 months old now and I STILL go in and place my hand on his chest and belly to feel him breathing.

Thanks Jordynne for this great Q&A!

Here are a few adorable pics to enjoy!

Family time!
Cohen & Mommy

Being a new Mom is quite a journey and so whether you're looking for the best products to buy for your baby, how to deal with finances, or just want to get a new perspective of the crazy yet excited world of Mommy-hood,  you’ll want to check out Jordynne’s blog: JWS Rant.  

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Heating Up The Kitchen With Club House Organic Spices!

I received complimentary packages of Club House's Organic Kung Pao and Taco Seasoning Mix from a great site that I belong to called Influenster.

These are the two packages I was sent in the mail.

I couldn't take the heat from the Kung Pao rice dish, so I enjoyed the tasty fries!

My honest thoughts: The packaging was okay, although I would love to have a re-sealable option so I don't need to transfer any leftover spice mix into another container for later use. The spice definitely packs a punch, so a little goes a long way for any recipe. I could smell it a mile away. lol The heat is very much present in each bite for the rice dish that I made but Bill found that despite the heat, it didn't have a lot of flavour. I wish there was less sodium in each package too because that is a bit of a deterrent. This won't be a staple spice product for our home, but it was good to try out.

The Taco mix though was really tasty! A lot of flavour and a great blend of spices. My baked fries turned out excellent. It had a bit of a zesty taste, but still tolerable. I would definitely make them again and we still have quite a bit left of the mix to enjoy!

So there you have it. These goodies that I got in the mail was a nice surprise and if you haven't already joined up, I would encourage you to check out Influenster (totally free to be a member!) so you can have an opportunity to test out all sorts of cool new products that launch.

Have you tried any of these organic spices out yet? If so, let me know your thoughts!  Influenster Canada #HelloFlavour #Complimentary

Friday, November 3, 2017

My Love Book

Over the last several years, life has been rather challenging and I'll honestly say that not every day is great, but I am learning to cope. It's a slow process and if you've been reading my blog, you're getting a glimpse into some of what I've had to deal with, both with physical pains and emotional ones, as well as all the different things I'm doing with trying to heal.

I think for many of us, we get those moments where we feel really useless, maybe not as a person, but due to the fact that we cannot be the ball of energy that we used to be. Dishes don't get done, laundry doesn't get put away, and trying to have a job never mind a thriving career seems futile because we just never know how we are feeling from day-to-day.  There are moments when I feel like I am contributing nothing to my relationship and then I give my head a good shake, pop open this book, and realize that despite my issues, I'm awesome, just like you are incredible in your own way too!

This Love Book that Bill created to celebrate our 9 year anniversary back in September, reaffirms not only how much he loves and appreciates me, but that we complement each other wonderfully.  A lot of the pages are personal and I tell you that tears well up in my eyes every time I read it!

Here it is, enjoy!

Love Book from Bill.
Custom Music: "Sunrise" by Bill Nuvo

If you want to create your own personalized lovebook for someone special, just follow the link here and get started:

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Happy Halloween 2017!

Bill and I would like to wish everyone a Happy Halloween!

We're ready for all the spooky boils and ghouls tonight! :)

Our "Halloween Tree" is now done, as shown below!

You can also check out the cool video back in 2016 when we did some video of what happens when Dead Fred and our new prop Jean-Claude Buckplug get activated!


Spooky doorbell

Inside decorations of some of our spooky crew and "Halloween" tree. :)

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Heart and Stroke Volunteer

Hi everyone!

There are so many worthy causes and it's hard to be active in everything. However, I have chosen this time around to volunteer for the Heart & Stroke Foundation.

I would be thrilled if you could drop by my page and make a donation!

If you would rather donate by cash/cheque in-person to me in Windsor, that can certainly be arranged as well.

My current goal is $100,but I am hoping with the generousity of others, I can surpass that.. :)

Thanks again!

PS. Please leave a comment, if you have any questions at all or to arrange dropping off a donation!

Monday, October 23, 2017

We're getting married!

Planning is something that has been very difficult for me and a bit of a fear to be honest. However, re-framing my thoughts and continuing my own personal healing journey, having things to look forward to is important, knowing that adjustments may need to be made because life doesn't go in a straight line, it is certainly a winding road.

We're quite the quirky couple and so this was pretty fitting, plus we both love the 80's! :)

Can you guess who is in the photo and the movie?

This is not the official wedding invite that our family and friends will get, but something fun to post at the moment.

As an entertainer, Bill's weekends are busy and so we both liked the idea of a week-day wedding. Plus this means he won't miss out on any prime-time gigs!

Friday, October 13, 2017

Why "I Love You" Makes a Difference

Well it’s been over a month or so of intense physiotherapy and I am seeing some improvements with my pain levels, not to mention my flexibility. Strength, well that ranges from day to day. Sometimes I can easily open up a jar and other times “Bill, can you come please help open this!”  Side note: one of the best presents Bill ever got me for the kitchen: This gadget rocks when i'm solo and no one is around to assist me: Easy Twist Jar Opener

My personalized physiotherapy program was designed exactly for the issues that I asked for help with, along with problems that they saw when I did my assessments. I won’t go into a ton of detail on what I’m doing because it may not be what you are actually needing for your own recovery. I will though include some parts that I think are really helpful for everyone, but I would encourage you to book a consultation to assess your individual needs. 

For pelvic floor physiotherapy, you need to be comfortable with your physiotherapist. If you’re not, it’s going to be a clenching fiasco, which for most of us who suffer with tight pelvic floor muscles is a nightmare.  The internal exam and on-going internal “work” is really important. I did ask Catherine if she sees patients who forgo the internal part and she said yes, but when that is the case, there is only so much she can do. 

I’m past the point of being shy. I cannot count how many specialists have seen my tush and other intimate areas. It still is a bit of a source of trauma for me on an emotional level because of what I have been through, but in order to heal, those trigger points inside need to get some much needed tlc and external only does so much.  I am doing a lot of work at home because let’s not kid ourselves, therapy is expensive. My coverage has ran out for the year and so everything now is paying out of pocket.  This is why I am really happy with my time at Physiofit because they realize that we’re not all money trees. I have plenty of exercises to do daily at home between visits, so it’s kind of like Santa Claus knowing if you are awake or have been good or bad (not in the same creepy way though). The physio team knows if their clients have been diligent in the exercises or slacking.

Just some of the exercises that I do on a daily basis at home and also at Physiofit (amongst others that they have special equipment for). I get assessed and different exercises get put in and others get taken out, depending on how my body is responding and what they think I should work on next.

Now for the physiotherapy part that doesn’t involve any internal work, there is still a lot of parts of the body that I knew I had some pain but didn’t realize the difference when I started to activate those muscles properly.  Posture, a big one. I have “sitting syndrome” which I think a lot of us can relate to, whether we’ve worked in jobs that have us sitting a majority of the day or have been in bed-ridden situations where our muscles just become very weak from lack of movement.  My upper back is super duper tight, which is part of the area where I hold my stress, and so with the all the targeted exercises I have been doing, I can really feel a positive difference and Bill also uses his magical hands when i'm really achy. Incorporating everything and also making the time to book with my amazing RMT, Carrie, works well for me.

I recall my first time on the treadmill, which has been my warm-up, and I didn’t realize how much I swayed with my hips and shoulders. Being aware of these things helps to break the habit, although most of us probably don’t even realize that we’re walking incorrectly and causing so much extra pain.  The best part though is investing your time with a professional team and giving a whole stack of effort, it can get better.

Now I am sure you are wondering about my title of “I love you” and how that relates to this blog.  While positive words of affirmation are always encouraged, I am actually referring to a specific exercise that I have been taught a few times now called the I love you massage.  This helps with cramps, gas, constipation, and all those fun digestive symptoms. I have a video here to show you basically how it’s done. It may not work the first time for you, or the second, but keep at it. It’s simple to do and really helps to move things along. Some videos you will see show immediate relief, but from my own experiences, it can take a few hours to even overnight. It just depends on how congested my body is. 

A great video that shows how the technique is done.

I am doing a lot of other things along with physiotherapy, so i'll have another blog up on those details soon!

As always, thank you for the on-going support.

If you have any questions, feel free to connect with me over e-mail, leave a comment on my blog or find me on Facebook.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

A Middle Eastern Delight: Windsor Palace

Not all Middle Eastern restaurants are the same. We have an abundance of them here in Windsor and they all have their own unique style, whether it’s a totally different take on traditional hummus, or even how certain dishes are prepared.  This time, we tried a new family-owned place called Windsor Palace, on 755 Wyandotte St East, here in Windsor, Ontario, which was highly recommended by our friend Matt, who dined with us.

The menu is fairly large and so you can get everything from chicken and lamb to falafel plates and shawarma sandwiches.

To start with, we had this delicious half and half soup, which was a combination of lentils and chicken.  Very mild taste with a nice thick texture and so tasty.

Our appetizer plate consisted of a mix of hummus, tabouli, fattoush and baba ghanouj. Also to note, their pita bread is incredibly soft.  The worst is hard, stale tasting pita that you have to gnaw into and eat. We pretty much polished off most of the appetizer.

Instead of ordering individual meals, Matt suggested that we just split the BBQ chicken with biryani rice and curry.  A great choice and wow was there a lot of food! The chicken was perfectly cooked and I just love biryani rice.

The service was excellent and the prices are reasonable for the quantity and quality, so I really cannot say there is improvement needed in any way from this experience.

Windsor Palace is ideal for just about any occasion. It has a casual elegance and cozy atmosphere. The restaurant was rather busy when we arrived, so go early or make reservations!

They also have another new location out in Tecumseh at 12 Amy Croft Drive, which I am certain will make the residents of Tecumseh very happy.

Oh and we are currently scoping out spots for the ideal place to host our wedding reception, so I think we are definitely keeping this one in mind!

Have you been here before? Did you like it, loathe it? Tell me about YOUR experience!

Make sure to "like" Windsor Palace on Facebook!

Windsor Palace gets 4/4 Muse's.
*All photos taken by me. Please ask permission if you wish to use any, as it's the right thing to do!