November 23, 2011


I am in preparation mode.

I have prepared the bedrooms by getting rid of old toys and clothes. (Even though my preteens are growing like crazy in their sleep)

I have prepared the cupboards by throwing away all old medications, makeup and samples.  Not to mention any food we never eat or don't care for.  We did an inventory too.  Menus are on our mind now.

I have updated all the accounts to see how we are on track for seasonal savings.  Ask me how we never pay for the holidays.  It's brilliant.

I have handed out the wish book and let the circling begin. (Different colours for each child)

I have attended a cookie exchange and have put them in the freezer (so that I don't eat them from the Ziploc bags) for the first lucky guests who decide to stop by.

I have all the hot drinks and their accompaniments on hand for cold weather warm ups.

I have emergency preparedness kits complete and placed in their homes.

I am busy at work preparing for all the events we have organized for various parties and celebrations.

I have peeked through the stores too.  My list is the hardest to make.  As I told Mike, I am at the stage where I don't really want much.  I am happy with dark chocolate covered food and then exercise clothes to work it off.
What do you ask for when you don't need anything? Really?

I eagerly await my sister who is coming to spend the holidays.  I can't wait!

Oh and it's one week until Meaghan turns 11.  I am preparing for her too.  In more ways than one.

Stay prepared my friends.  Tis the season to make lists!

November 14, 2011


Well Helllloooo There.

What a ride we have been having at the Boland house.
Family emergencies all over the country.  Traveling for health issues.  Exhaustion and Boredom, sometimes all in the same day.

I am going through a growth phase and needed some time to sit still and absorb what has been happening in our lives.  I am not good at sitting still for lengths of time.  OK, not at all.  But my body and brain keeps trying to make me. 

What's Up

1.   I have an office outside the home now. 
2.  I am organizing events as well as the organizing of homes and offices.
3.  I started writing a book.
4.  I joined a Writers Club.
5.  I created a new newsletter for the Women in Business Network.
6   I realized that I don't want anything for Xmas except junk food and exercise equipment. Yes, I realize that those two things don't go together...but really they do.
7.  My kids are normal, happy individuals.  Just thought I should write that down in case I don't say it often enough.
8.  I love my husband. Same reasoning as above.
9.  I am a great list maker but sometimes procrastinate on getting things done.  I love the idea process but not the messy, do it part.  I am working on the "do" part of my lists.
10 Netflix and Pinterest are addictive.  Seriously.  They are great for #9.

I am working on myself a little at a time.  
What are you working on?

September 26, 2011

Monday Message

Back on track.  What do those words mean to you? 
For me it means I am not binging on junk food and sitting on my buttinski instead of running or biking.

Sunday we got the family out for a walk.  We went prepared.  Lots of water and distraction tools.  We played "I Spy" and " Would you rather" for most of the walk home to keep Paisley from reminding us how hot it was.

Then, because I told my friends to invite me if they work out, I went for hill training with Whitney.  Over 8km of running and hills to learn that I am not running properly on hills.  Tiny footsteps and on the front part of the foot only.  I was hitting the ground with my whole foot.  Oops.

So I'm going to bike to work this week and keep on track. 

No need to wait until January to get on track.  What are you doing "on track"?

September 21, 2011

Watch This Wednesday

I remember "Organize" magazine coming out last year but I thought it was cancelled.
I was fooling around and found the website and it is current.

I am particularly fond of the lists.  Tee hee.

Tools and tips for getting organized. 

Love it.

Do you purchase organizing items online?  Where do you shop?

September 19, 2011

Monday Message

I have moved!

What changes are you ready to make?

September 16, 2011

Fun Friday

It's another Friday night and we are all feeling tired tonight.  

Three weeks into the school year and schedules are being resumed and now homework has been added to the schedule for the first time.  Learning to create balance with time management can be hard for a twelve year old.  Goodness, it's hard for anyone at any age.   Track and field has begun try outs which means being at the school for 7:15am.  No slow down for Mr. Mike who is working long days and into the nights.  He has had to settle for a five minute day in review before I pass out at 9pm since I have been biking to and from work everyday.  To my new office.  With a desk.  ... But I'll tell you more about that on Monday.
So with emotions high and energy low we are settling in for an easy night of movies on the couch.

We recently got rid of the cable television and switched to Netflix.  I couldn't help but love the affordable cost ($7.99/month) along with the choices that make me feel in control of my television for a change. 
Air popped popcorn-free and it can be made while everyone dons their blankets and pillows in their preferred spots.  Italian sodas made from Torani syrups and Soda Water-healthier alternative to pop but still feels special.  Maybe some kitkat bars that I have kept hidden. 

Fun Friday doesn't have to be high energy activities.  Sometimes the low key events are the best.

PS.  Congratulations to my friend Rhonda Steed who welcomes her fourth child, Oliver, into the world! 

What movies do you like best?  Is there a particular family favorite? 

September 15, 2011

Thrifty Thursday

I have to admit that I'm not great at using my coupons.  I enthusiastically cut them out and put them into my purse to have ready at the checkout but regularly forget they are in my purse or wind up buying a better priced item.  I also see many items in the store that I do not see a coupon for in the paper or flyers.

Yesterday I tried something different.  I found my local store online and after doing my research ahead of time I looked at what was on sale. Almost all stores have an online flyer section.

I found my Presidents Choice products here.  You can even find your specific store which may have local deals.

I was on the hunt for school snacks and quick meals for my panty refill.  I see Astro's Balkan yogurt on for $1.99 and Danone Creamy or Silhouette yogurt for $4.99.  Both regularly used up at our house.  Maxx Scoop multi-cat litter is $5.99 which is a $2.99 savings.  Excellent.  Unico tomatoes are .99c which is awesome.  Stock up on that item.  Catelli Healthy Harvest is $1.99 which is great if you are switching from white pasta.  Raspberries for .97c ... oh my.

Update:  The yogurt was gone so none for me.  Tomatoes were plentiful so I stocked up.  Found the pasta no problem.  The raspberries were dark and mostly going bad so I skipped them. 
Overall I stuck to my list today and got out of there under budget.

Do you coupon?  Do you use sites to download coupons?  What ones?

September 14, 2011

Watch This Wednesday

Here is an article from the Vancouver Sun that caught my eye.
Would you watch this show?  Would you be involved in a show?

I think that the more disorganization is put in the media, the less shame is attached to it's disposition.

September 13, 2011

Tips on Tuesday

Meal Planning.  We all think it's a good idea but most of us don't put it into action.  Why not?  Does it seem like too much work?  One more thing added to a list that is already overwhelming you? 

Let's take away some of that stress and break it down into steps you can manage. 

Inventory.  Do you ever find yourself standing in front of open cupboards, gazing like a deer in headlights, wondering what to pull out of your hat for supper?  In order to make great meals, you need to know what's in your pantry.  Before everything else, take a pencil and paper to do an inventory of what you already have in stock.  I like to break the page into categories familiar to a shopping list:  dairy, meat, grains, fruit/veg, misc. canned...  Do all cupboards, fridges, freezers and storage spaces.  You might be surprised to find that you are hoarding canned chickpeas and have no fruit whatsoever in the house, like I did.

Basic Supplies.  Start to make a shopping list based on your inventory to fill in your lack of basic supplies.  Remember all the food groups or better yet, remember all meals and snacks for each person in the house.  These will be items that you need all the time to make the most basic meals.

Meal Selection.  A new list includes favorite meals, go-to meals, quick meals, frozen meals, crock pot meals etc....   Any meal that you regularly make and those that you would like to add to your repertoire. Ask the family members what they would like to have or if they would like to help out in the kitchen one evening a week to help with this family chore.   Everyone needs to learn to be proficient in the kitchen. 

Meal Planning.  With a calendar in hand as well as your shopping list, start to fill in what meals go where.  It's like a puzzle.  What meals will you eat on nights that you don't have much time?  What meals will be slow and simmered to make the house smell good when you get home?  Once the calendar is filled in, top up your shopping list to include any items that are not in your inventory or basic supplies. 

We have done meal planning and we have flown by the seat of our pants.  I much prefer the meal planning.  It takes away that extra stress during the witching hours and lets me enjoy the family instead of the kitchen.  The children like that they get a say in what is going on the table too.

Do you meal plan?  Do you go to any websites or blogs to get help? 

September 9, 2011

Fun Friday

As a crafty and organized Mom I tend to have many ideas on what I want to do with my time, my children and my husband.  If I forget to write it down or put things to the back of my mind for another day then I may not remember my great idea when I do have an unscheduled moment.

Lately I have been using some down time to gather my ideas, likes and personality on Pinterest.

It's a spot to make as many topic boards as you like and "pin" what you find into those boards.
For example, I have one to inspire me to get off my chair and go running.  Or maybe the one for DIY crafts that lets me indulge in fun, tested activities that will match my energy level.

The children have gotten involved too.  They like to review my picks for Animal Love, Food, Cupcakes and Cake Pops.  Be cautious when pinning in front of children.  Every once in a while a Rude and Crude, but maybe funny to an adult, pin will show up that you might not want them seeing.

Be prepared to get lost in the pins.  At first I had to be tapped out of gazing at the computer screen for love of seeing all those great ideas in one spot.  I suggest putting a timer on to keep you in line.  Besides, what's the fun of pinning unless you get up and do the activities you find?

Do you or someone you know "Pin"?  Share and I will follow.

September 8, 2011

Thrifty Thursday

I like a good deal.  No let me rephrase that.  I get a giddy, hand clapping feeling when I get a good deal.  I have been known to get side glances from my husband when I giggle in public when I get a good deal.  Saving money makes me happy.  When you have a family of five you have to watch the budget carefully.  Especially when your children have growth spurts and drive you crazy. Like with the shoes that don't fit that you just bought or the pants that look like floods that were suppose to make it at least until the winter break.

What are we buying today? 

I am on the hunt for summer shoes.  Yes you read that right. 
Summer shoes for 2012.

Seasonal clearance is going on and you can get amazing deals on things that you will need every year.  My husband found a pair of sandals for $3.00 so we picked up two pairs. That's two years of sandals for a man who is very particular about his footwear.
We also found sandals for my youngest at $3.00 each and we got them in two sizes so that they will last the whole summer.  Her feet will be the next to spurt so I don't want to get the same size that she is in now. 
Sneakers are also in clearance so that new styles for school can be displayed.  Last year's style will fit just as well on my children's feet and with a 50% - 75% savings, I am a happy camper as well.  Let's just call them "vintage" to make everyone happy.

I noticed that the summer clothing is now marked down but there is so much of it that I will wait a little longer to get a few things. 

Next week we will be looking at school supplies.  Stores have to make room for Halloween so I'll be taking advantage of their clear outs. 

What have you bought to stash away for later? 

September 7, 2011

Watch This Wednesday

I turn to many different people and places to get and stay organized.
Today I want to share a few websites from magazines that I like. 
As I was waiting at the check out counter the other day I  wrote down a list of magazines that caught my eye but that were not in the budget. 

Real Simple  - my favorite
Good Housekeeping
House and Home
Style at Home
Family Circle
Today's Parent
Whole Living
Martha Stewart
Woman's  Day

Every month we can find clutter solutions by reading how others are dealing with everyday problems.  We can also read what the experts in the industry have found to create simplicity where chaos once reigned.

What websites do you visit for inspiration? 

September 6, 2011

Tips on Tuesday

Back to school also means back to bedtime routines. 

We are fairly relaxed in the summer and tend to let each child listen to their own internal clock (within reason) to go to bed and feel rested the next day.  As September approaches we taper the late night owl habits and instill a healthier schedule with a 7am alarm clock in mind.  Each child is different and has specific sleep needs.  On the weekend Dan is the guy that I have to go into his room and flash the lights to get his attention and send to bed at the early hours of the morning as he is entranced by a book or game. He needs a good 8-10 hours of sleep to be in any kind of good mood on a school day..  Meaghan is dead tired at 9pm and passes out long before anyone in the family.  She is fairly easy to get up in the morning and is happy with 10-12 hours sleep.  Paisley is a mid-night sleeper.  Not midnight though.  She still needs at least 10 hours sleep and is quite happy in the morning.  Personally,  I need at least 8 good hours of sleep to be awake and friendly in the morning.  Anything extra is nice but not necessary.  I used to love lounging in bed and reading before getting moving but as I get older I tend to jump out of bed faster.  Resting in bed is now reserved for special occasions.

How do you schedule bedtimes?
Communication and Consistency.

We talk about the upcoming bedtime schedule and prepare the children for the changes.
We make their bedrooms a retreat so that they are comfortable and capable of going to sleep happily.  This may mean new books or a good reading light or small toys to keep them quiet.  No electronic devices before bed except music.  None.  We have always had quiet time before bed to encourage reading and as the kids have gotten older it really does make it easier for them to fall asleep.   I know many parents with televisions and DVD players in their children's rooms, not to mention gaming systems.  Do what works for your family.  For us, this was not something I was ready to do and I have very strict rules about Nintendo DS systems that they do have.  Friday and Saturday nights only and if your chores and homework are done.  I have had a few meltdowns about how "other kids" have much more lenient parents and they get to "play" more often.  "Oh well" is my response.  I want to raise readers not gamers.  I want to raise children who play well with real people and not just imaginary characters.  Most of all, I want sleepers.

As for consistency, we have the same schedule each night but each child has an age appropriate bedtime.  Bedtimes are open to negotiation at the beginning of each school year but can always be revoked if actions do not reflect a well rested child.  Flexibility for special events or holidays is always a choice.  Rigidity can be stressful.

You are the parent and have the child's welfare in mind.  Sleep is extremely important.  Get them to bed!  The added bonus is time for you to relax with your partner or doing your own reading.

What are you doing to help your child get to bed?  Do you have a special routine?

September 2, 2011

Fun Friday

After a week of school, work, obligations and stress, it's nice to come home on Friday to relax.  Yet the house is full of people who also are wound up and need to relax.

How do we open up and connect?

We have Fantastic, Fabulous, Fun Friday Night!

What's that you say?
Tell me more.

Well, it usually starts at dinner time. 
1.   Sit down together to a scrumptious meal (made by daddy because mommy is better at the baking).
2.   Next we do a check-in.  Each person (even Mom and Dad) gets a chance to talk about their week.  Uninterrupted. They have to say at least one thing that was good about the week and one thing that was hard or frustrating.  This is a great time for life lessons or tales of "when I was young" to relate to your child. Be ready for eye rolling and laughter.
3.   Finish your table time with a lovely dessert that will keep everyone Mmming and Ooh-ing for a few minutes.
4.   Last but not least, end the night with an activity.  We have a list of activities to choose from at our house.  Crafty Mommy has actually made them into a deck of cards.  Each week a different person gets to choose a card. (We go from oldest to youngest to be fair)  The parents get to veto one choice in case of budgetary restraint or weather conditions etc...

Our cards include the following activities:  Go for a walk, Play card games, Bake, Movie night, Road trip, Play with the cricut, Play video games, Read together, Play in the garden, Do a craft, Board games and the ever popular Wild Card in which any card comes into play.  Feel free to add any other activities to the list.
Since this is on a Friday night we usually are a little more lenient with the bedtime structure too.

Fun Family Night Card Set
I made this out of peel and stick cards meant for business cards.  I found them at the dollar store in a pack of 10.  Then used the Cricut machine to create the titles.

We used to do this as part of our Family Home Evening on Monday's but it always felt rushed.  Moving it to Friday gave us more freedom and peace.

After a while the kids start asking about Fun Friday and I may even throw in a "check-in" on other days if I see that we need it.  We have even been known to keep a special Fun Friday a secret to keep the kids on their toes.  Kids like structure and they like to know that they are special.  They also like to see that Mom and Dad are working each day to be better just like them.  Our struggles help them realize that they are not alone.  Together we communicate and connect so that our family stays strong.

Connect with us:  What would you add to our list of Fun Friday activities?  What are you doing to stay connected and to relax with your families? 

September 1, 2011

Welcome Back!

It's time to take off the sandals and get back into work mode.  Especially because we had frost this morning.

This summer had it's ups and downs and I am ready for regular scheduled programming.
I need to work on myself, my family and my business.

I have some new ideas to try out so that I can share my organized life as well as some of your lives too.

Monday Message-I will share a tidbit about myself and what's going on in our lives.
Tips on Tuesday-Get organized a little at a time with tips from myself and other organized people.
Watch this Wednesday-See who or what's organized in various media.
Thrifty Thursday-Coupons, Upcycling and other saving on a dime.
Fun Friday-Lighten Up and learn something new.

Join the fun and send me an email if you would like to be a guest speaker on a specific topic or if you would like to add to a discussion.

Upcoming topics: Pinterest, Bedtime routine, Date on a Dime, Meal Planning

Happy September everyone!

No one is good at everything. 
Everyone is good at something. 
Live your passion.

August 25, 2011

Stay Tuned...

Things are about to change around here.
I have been on the road all of August and am home
with new ideas and a fresh frame of mind.
All will be revealed on September first!

See you soon.

July 25, 2011

Summer Activities

Summer fun for everyone.  Here's the highlights of the past week...

Cleaning up bedrooms and getting rid of stuff we don't use anymore.  Like this guitar.  Anyone in the Cold Lake area need a guitar?  Anyone?

Getting my nails done in a new fun summer way.  Thanks Brandy from Kix!

Adding something I've always wanted to the backyard.  A new-to-me water barrel from my friend Teresa.  Thanks again!  A storm that night filled it too.  Yay!

Making treats with my young man.  Great job in the kitchen Dan.

Harvesting lettuce from our garden to offset the cookies.

Watching this guy find his creativity again.  He has always drawn so close to the paper. I wondered if he had a visual impairment when he was younger and now I know it's just his intensity.  PS...I love the freckles.

There is so much more but these are my favorite photos that I remembered to take.  Mike built me a foot rinsing station outside and filled it with stream rocks too.  He is awesome.  I bet you're jealous.

Summer camps are done and everyone is back home.  Tanned and looking a slight bit taller.

We have tickets to our first football game this Friday in Edmonton.  Edmonton vs Toronto.  This should be fun.  Then we are off to Drumheller for a dinosaur visit.  

What are you doing with your free time?

July 18, 2011


What is a great way to teach your children to give to
their community and to those in need? 
Get them to volunteer.

Luckily my daughter Meaghan loves animals and asked me earlier this year to volunteer at the Humane Society.  Since she is only 10 she needs an adult to go with her.  Hence "we" get to volunteer when time permits.  Lately we have taken in a few dogs to foster so that they get  a break from the cages as well as an opportunity for our dog to socialize.

This past weekend we did something we don't usually do.  We fostered puppies.  They were brought in on Thursday and cannot be adopted for 10 days.  

A. Dor - A- Ble

I was hesitant at first but Meaghan did amazing.  She stayed up when they whined and cleaned up after them quickly with no complaining.  I was so proud.  Man, they poop and pee a lot.  We got Rico when he was older so I never went through this with him.  The poor babies had worms too, which I also had never dealt with.  Good thing the kids were on "pick up" duty.

Today they go back to the Humane Society so that they can find their forever homes.  All good puppies and all a treat to take care of....and then hand back.

If you are looking to volunteer or just want to take home a great pet, please visit the Lakeland Humane Society in Cold Lake, Alberta or one close to you.  You won't regret it, and neither will your children.

July 11, 2011

Stress Cleaning

When I need to think stew about something or just want a little space, you can usually find me cleaning or organizing something.  I think this is how I became a Professional Organizer in the first place.  

This weekend I was under a little stress and felt the need to get some things in order.  I worked on the budget, which helped me focus a bit more.  Then worked on the gardens which just makes me want to cook more.  (Tons of lettuce, spinach and mesclun mix is up!)  Then I tackled the garage.  I have been putting off the garage because it is grimy work.  At the end I had a huge pile of recycling to go out and a good pile of garbage too.  Whew!  Not to mention that I had breathed through some thoughts and feelings.

On top of it all, I spotted some trees that were cut down across the street for the new electrical lines going underground.  Well.  I had a thought of upcycling one or two for my backyard.  So over went with the vehicle and picked out a couple.  One proudly sits at the front door for a seat and the other is my new end table in the backyard for my plants and decor.  (I'll take a photo today now that the rain has stopped for a minute)

I slept well last night.  

Next time you need time to think a few things through, dig into a pile of stuff you are avoiding.  You are productive and can figure out how "important" those stressors really are.

July 5, 2011

Running List

As I am getting ready to road race again I am reading a few great books:
Triathlon 101 and The Thrive Diet
I'm sure there are some updated versions around too.

One of the exercises is to write out 50 reasons to Run and if you can 100.  This is to keep you motivated on those days you don't want to get up and out. 
So here's my list:

I'm 40. I need a challenge. I need a goal. To do something with my husband. To be alone. For weight control. To say I did it. To be a good example. For the end. For the beginning. For the celebration. For the attention. For the music. To be in a crowd. To get off facebook. To get off Pinterest. To get off my butt. To share my success. To get abs. To make a point. To see my results. To improve my pace. For strength. To calm my demons. To forget. To get rid of the "should have, would have, could have". To be with friends. To be a part of something.  To be healthy.  To stay healthy. The rain won't melt me.  The snow won't kill me.  There is an indoor track near me. There is a trail beside my house. To breathe easy. So I can eat pasta.  So I can eat cheese. So I can drink ice tea. So I can eat treats. So I can eat pizza.  To sit and relax on my days off. Because the glass is half empty.  Because the glass is half full.  I'm 40

What are your reasons to run?

July 3, 2011

Just Breathe

It has been a busy few weeks.

Mike was away.  Taking another helicopter to Montreal with an airshow stop along the way.

The kids finished school.  Great grades and effort for everyone.  I can't believe I have a child going into junior high next year. 
The weather was wet to say the least so I ran outside during a short break in the rain and put grass seed on the lawn.  It has since gotten much greener.
One night we had a storm creep up on us that brought this:

Yup.  That is hail bigger than marbles.  I just went back inside and didn't look until morning.  Last time we lost the gardens and had huge holes punched into the greenhouse.  This time....nothing.  It was like it never happened. Awesome!

Mike got home and had to do a parade the following day.  Change of Command.  For the first time I was escorted to the front seating.  It was so nice to see him in his dress uniforms.  I rarely see him out of his relish.

He's dead centre being passed by the big guys.  Sorry about the light.  The hangar door was open to the right and I don't know how to take photos in that light.

The airshow went by and Canada Day too.  Here's what my wonderful husband made for me over the last few days:

 Right outside my back door so we have a place to relax in the shade.  Dan brought me the tree stumps for my planters and the rock was dug up by Mike.  I love it.

So you can see that I have been taking it easy...ha ha.

We are going to embrace the summer and all it's activities.  Take each day at a time and take photos.

June 22, 2011

Summer Love?

The kids are counting the days until the last moments of school.  I have to say that I am too but not in the same way.  I find summer stressful.  It's suppose to be a relaxing time of renewal and peace but the last few years I have felt like a camp councilor.  Find activities for 3 children to participate in so that they are not left behind.  Not all children will participate in the same activity because they are all individuals with unique talents and interest. Make sure said children get to said activities.  Keep grass from dying in Alberta weather but be environmentally friendly with the water.  Spend time with husband away from children on a regular basis so that we don't go crazy.  Arrange play dates with friends because no one lives on base near us for the girls.  Pray that friends move in close to us for the girls and watch incoming moving trucks like a suspicious crazy neighbor.  Fit in time to workout and run so that I can wear a bathing suit and not be self conscious....ha haa.  Keep gardens alive so we can eat from the 0-mile diet plan.  Read at least one book.  Stay on budget for a mini vacation to wherever we decide to go when we can't stand the sight of this place for one more second.  Don't drown.  Don't get run over.  Don't Don't Don't....

And it goes on.

Am I alone in thinking it's so much nicer when the bus pulls up at 8am and takes my children away to the teachers who are paid to make them grow each day.  Then they come back at 3:45 and I get to support and love them. 

Seriously.  I think I need to approach it better this year.  It shouldn't be this stressful.

How do you keep calm and carry on each summer?  What drives you crazy?

Update.  The elimination diet did not make my nausea go away but I did lose 8lbs.  I have a  few new ideas to take to the Doctor thanks to the responses on facebook and here.  CVS (Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome) and an infection in the lining of my stomach are at the top of the list.  Thank you for your sincere thoughts and prayers.

Meanwhile I'll be over on my new addiction....Pinterest!  Come join me....tee hee.

June 15, 2011

Elimination Diet

Ok so here's the dealio.

I have been sick for about 5 years with a mystery illness.  I could give you the master list of tests we have already done but that would frustrate me.  Short story...I am constantly nauseous.  It feels like early pregnancy nausea that you think you could just eat crackers and it will go away but it doesn't.  I get it cyclically each month for about a week at a time every two weeks.  Nice eh?

I am desperate for a diagnosis.

My friend asked me if I had done an elimination diet to see if it is a food allergy.  No I hadn't.  What's the harm?  So I have spent the last two weeks eating a very basic diet that reminds me of a toddlers meal plan.  Here's the kicker.  I'm still nauseous.  I am suppose to start introducing new foods this weekend and I am not feeling it.  I want a pizza, some pasta, lots of cheese and a cup of green tea.  All at once.  No big cravings for meat or milk though which surprised me.

I will keep it up until Friday and then take the results to the Doctor yet again. 

Anyone else out there in the blog world having constant cyclical nausea?  Help!

On the good side....eating this way helped me lose more weight.  I haven't been this light in at least 5 years.  Maybe vegetarians are onto something.

June 9, 2011

What's Next?

You know I can't sit still for long so here's what's up this weekend.

My neighbor Melissa and I are having a yard sale and BBQ in support of the Walk of Hope for Ovarian Cancer Canada.  100% of the proceeds will go towards this cause.  People have been dropping off items to sell to help support us for a few weeks now.  The garage is getting full.  Yay!

If you would like to help us out you can go HERE to donate or to become a team member.

Every little bit helps.

Just for fun, here is a pre-race photo (it was 7 degrees Celsius) of Mike and I before our race and in the finish line.  Oh and the foot is healing but still hurts to walk.  Good times....

What are you doing this weekend?

May 31, 2011

Accountabilty Program

I am launching a new program on June 1st,
to get your small business organized!

Do you need someone to help you set goals, organize your time, set priorities
and move to the next level in business?  Then you need Kathleen Boland. 
Be accountable to someone who will push you out of your comfort zone
and into new territory.  You've talked the talk and now you get to walk the walk.

I am only taking 10 clients into this program, so don't wait to sign up.

Sign up for three months and receive a savings of $25.
Sign up for six months and receive a $50 savings.

What are you waiting for?  Get your small business organized today.

Call or email Kathleen today.    780-815-5010

May 30, 2011

Rest and Semi Relaxation

I took a week off after the run to eat and rest.  My body was sore for a few days and then after the thigh pain subsided I noticed that my foot was still sore when I walked more than ten feet.  Turns out that I have a stress fracture in my metatarsal. (small bone in my foot).  I cannot run for a few weeks.  Although this may seem like a good idea I'm actually a little sad about this.  I want to run.  I want to be healthy.  I could easily let this be an excuse to stay sitting and not active but I have a life and children and clients and....stuff to do.  So I will not run but I will exercise.  I did some gardening on the weekend.  I have weights in the basement and I will plan a night of swimming which I hear is good for healing.

I am already planning our next big run for July.  I think the kids would benefit from learning to run so I may take my oldest out with me when I get going again.  He has taken an interest in track and field and participated in his first activity last week earning him a ribbon.  Congratulations Dan!

In the meantime I enjoyed the break and the treats that came with it.  While I was in the US I picked up a little appliance.  Yes another small appliance.  Here's what we made this weekend.

Awesome mini doughnuts!
Dad helped by making the glaze.

The kids think I'm fa-bu and it's much healthier since it is baked and not fried.  Not so much guilt now.
I think we will make a new tradition of doughnuts on Sundays. 

For those wondering about my family, Diana is well and taking care of Dwayne.  His condition is terminal.  We will enjoy him as long as we are lucky enough to have him on earth with us.  My oldest sister Debbie is taking time each month to travel from Ontario to NY to help out.  Thank you to Deb.  You rock.   Thank you for all the kind words and prayers.  The biggest think you can do to help is to take care of your own body and that of your family so that you are around for a very long time.  Be your own advocate at the Doctors office and do not hold back and conditions or symptoms.  Get an annual checkup if you need it or not.  

See you next week when we talk about getting organized for a yard sale which is also a fund raiser for Ovarian Cancer Canada.

May 24, 2011

Marathon Goal Acheived

Most of you know that I am a runner.  I started running almost six years ago with my husband Mike.  We needed an activity to keep us connected and to keep in shape.  I still remember crying as I came through the finish line on my first 5K road race in NS.  I never thought I would ever run further than that. 

This past weekend we participated in our first 1/2 marathon.  That's 21K for those of you wondering.  It was a beautiful course in Red Deer, AB.  Here's a short video explaining how I feel before and after the run.  I didn't know that Mike was in the background of the video for the ending so I laughed when I reviewed the shots.

Would I do it again?  Maybe.  Probably.  Yes.  Even after a post run massage I am still in a lot of pain.  I now know what parts of my body need more training.  I think I can take 20 minutes off my time in the future.  I am not in the frame of mind that I could do a full marathon.  Those people are crazy.

I never thought I'd be a runner.  My chest always seared with pain after a light jog and my legs screamed "no" at me.  Nothing comes without hard work.  I trained.  I got frustrated.  I gave up a few times.  In the end it was only myself who could get the job done. 

I cried again as I went through the finish line on Sunday.  I was proud of myself.  I was proud of my husband.  Yes.  I'll definitely do it again.  Just leave me alone for a week to heal please.

May 8, 2011


Every once in a while life throws you a curve ball.
I am making a few changes this week so that I can concentrate on family.
Life can be hard and you will be thrown out of your comfort zone.

I am off to the US to see Diana and Dwayne. 

Go love your family. We are on this earth for such a short time.

Here is a video for my kids to show them what it's like to fly!

May 2, 2011

Monday "Winning" Message

Congratulations to....

Melissa N!

She is the winner of a package of organizing products.
(I had my daughter pull the name so that I couldn't see the stubs.)

Thank you to all our giveaway participants.
It was nice to see all the new comments. 

I do have one extra giveaway for the first person to leave a comment today!

I will be traveling this week to work on paper chaos as well as to a workshop to get families and children organized.  Do you know how long to keep your papers and which ones can get shredded or burned or tossed?  What could you stop getting sent to your mail box and what could you cancel altogether? 

How much paper could you do without this week?

April 26, 2011

Foster Parents For Fuzzy Friends

I've always wanted to be a foster mom.  My sisters spent quite a few years in foster care due to our lovely family circumstances. Their situation made me want to be a special mom to someone in need.

Alas, life sometimes puts an idea in your head and you cannot accomplish that goal.  It was not the right decision for our family to foster children.

Years I am volunteering with my daughter Meaghan at the local humane society.  There is a need for the dogs to take a break when they have not been adopted quickly.  The dogs get depressed and have anxiety after being in cages too long.  We have already adopted a dog from this humane society so I know they do great work.  The option was put forth to foster a dog during the Easter Holiday so he could have a break.  A family conversation ended with us filling out an application and us going to pick out a dog. 


Introducing Toby, on the left.  Our Rico on the right.

We picked him because he was a similar breed to our own but just a mini version.  We brought Rico with us when we picked out a dog so that we knew they would get along.  As well as being foster parents we also got to fill out an evaluation sheet on Toby and his habits so that an adopting family could know more about him. 

Toby-Eager to please you he loves to fetch a ball, or a sock for you.  He is a good indoor dog and knows when to tell you it's time to go outside. He plays well with other dogs, children and adults but is not too sure why there is a cat in the house.  He his fast when the door is opened so be careful that he doesn't run.  He loves a good walk and will probably run well when his stitches heal.  He is nervous when you grab him by the collar to keep him safe and will roll over onto his back. He will make a good pet for a family or individual.  To adopt Toby please visit the Cold Lake Humane Society.

Toby goes back to the Humane Society today.  The kids said goodbye before they left for school and I will take him back after lunch.  I know he had a good time with us and had a good break.  I hope he finds his forever home soon.

Sometimes it feels uncomfortable to put yourself out there and do something new.  Your habits will be disturbed and your space may have to change a bit.  If you never try you will never know how it will all turn out.  I'm glad we tried.

What would you like to try?  What is stopping you?

Don't forget that this is the last week to leave comments to win a prize pack of organizing gifts!

April 18, 2011

Monday Message

 I have been cleaning out my closets as well as my accessories.  My girlfriends and I are getting together to have a wardrobe swap.  This is a great way to let go of some items that you may not use anymore and freshen up your own collection with someone elses hand me downs.

Another place I have been getting organized is in my make up case.  I was listening to the radio a few weeks back and I heard Gill Deacon speaking about how we can go green even in that department.  I thought that my supplies were pretty healthy until I looked up her little cheat sheet online to see where I was going wrong.  Holy Moly.  I was very surprised.  More surprising was the items that I was letting my children use with so many toxins in.  A quick purge and one shopping trip to balance out my beauty needs and I felt like I had simplified my war paint as well as helped the environment.

Check out Gill Deacon to get a free copy of your cheat sheet to give your make up a makeover.
What will you throw out? 
What will you replace? 
What will you give a try?

PS.Right after I read this I found a hair gel for Dan that now reads Paraban Free. 

Don't forget to leave a comment so that you can get your name put in the draw for May 1st!

April 12, 2011

Sorry ...

I haven't been around lately.
My heart has been busy.  
We have been wishing and waiting and hurting for this man:

Dwayne Ogden
This is my sisters husband.
They live in Stuyvesand NY (outside Albany by 45 min)

Dwayne has been ill for years and they could never really put their
finger on the cause.
They found diabetes, edema, and other symptoms...
Two (almost three) weeks ago they found out the answer.
It is his heart.
He is very, very ill.
He is in the hospital in Albany.

Years ago I wished that a man would come into the life of my
sister Diana that she could love with her big heart and that would
love her back the way she deserved.
We were answered with Dwayne.
The first time I spoke with Dwayne on the phone, I thought
I had woken him from a sleep.
He was just so laid back that he always had that "relaxed" voice.
We were finally able to meet him in our home in Nova Scotia
when they came for a visit.
I loved him before I met him and he became family that special week.

We were also so very happy to have them visit us last Spring here in Cold Lake.
We could see that he was sick but still had no answers.
Same old Dwayne, relaxed and enjoyed the company and food. 

As Dwayne lays in a hospital bed so far way and Diana tends to
him with the rest of his family,
I send our love.

I hope that he knows that he is loved by so many.

Go hug those you love and don't fret over small messes.
Life is about love and the connections you make, not about the perfect house.


April 4, 2011

Spring Break

We are enjoying spring break this week.
Taking time to enjoy each others company and some road trips too.

Something to think about until I come back next week:
How much time do I spend on the computer with my back to those I love?
Sometimes boredom puts us in a place that isn't healthy.

See you next Monday!

March 28, 2011

Monday Message

Let's do a quick check in on how our "resolutions" are going.
I think our internal language needs to change.
How about you?

What are you saying in your actions and small inner voice
that isn't healthy?

Let's help each other get out from under all those
heavy words and thoughts.

Please leave a comment.

March 21, 2011

Monday Message

How do you get your children to help out around the house? 
Do you have a formal chore plan in place or do you work on the fly? 
Do you bribe or do you pay?

Leave a comment and tell us if you are the tidy up soldier in your home or if you have a crew to help you.

Don't forget that every comment you leave here gets your name on a ballot (twice)  for the draw for the big basket of "stuff" on May 1st!  Comments left on facebook will get you one ballot.

March 15, 2011

Monday Message

This Monday Message is brought to you by the weekday Tuesday.

I had a full day yesterday and did a little volunteering at my kids school.  We took a bus trip to the local Music Festival.  It was fun and nerve wracking.  It's hard to get 50 kids to sit still in a church to listen to all the other groups!  There was one girl from the home schooling group who hit an amazing note that brought tears to my eyes.

I have also been spending a lot of time with my friend Melissa who is starting her new business.  Check her out over here I'm so happy that she has found something that she is passionate about.  I know how hard that is.  Are you doing something you are passionate about? Why or Why not?  Share.

I am ready for Spring.  The temperature has been as high as zero degrees this past weekend.  Snow was melting off the roof and I was chipping away at the ice on the sidewalk so my feet could touch the ground again.  How about you?  I have some seeds and earth ready to start some seedlings.  I just need to move a table upstairs in front of the sunny window...or maybe I'll leave that as a task for Mike since he's the one who gets to use and eat all my home grown treats.

I'm thinking of doing a linky link day for all my fellow bloggers.  Is this something you would like to do?

Let's try it.

First.  Follow Me. 
Second. If you have a blog, please leave a comment including your blog address.
Third.  I will gather all the blogs and make a link page the following day.
Fourth.  If you don't have a Google account but still want to play along....send me an email here
Fifth.  Tell your friends and family.

If this works I will try to get this going each week. :)

This was quite a random post.  I'm off to gather receipts for the tax people.  

Enjoy the week!

March 7, 2011

Monday Message

Hi everyone.

No video for me today since I'm not feeling well and no one needs to see that.

I have been giving a lot of thought as to what I want to say on Mondays to help people get organized at home or work or wherever they need it.  I get many questions about getting organized from my workshops so I thought I would share a question each week.

Question:  How do you decide which toys stay when your children are at different stages and are planning to have another?

Response:  I have to ask this first "Does more toys mean a happier child? "  Are we teaching our children from a young age that they need a toy to be imaginative or creative?  What are we trying to achieve by having so many toys surrounding a child from day one?

When we are choosing to get rid of toys we will get usually look around and ask the following questions:

1. Is the toy of good quality?
2. Is the toy in good working condition?
3. Will the toy fit into our lifestyle and space easily?
4. Will this toy eventually be able to be used by the grandchildren?
5. Did the other children like to play with this toy?
6. Is the toy loud and obnoxious?

A good rule of thumb is to look at the space you have and put out a reasonable number of toys for the age bracket you are dealing with.  Save toys that can be used at a later stage in a sealed bin, out of site (closet, basement...) I have two Rubbermaid containers in storage for my eventual grand-babies. One is labeled soft toys and the other is hard toys. 

You and I both know that when a new baby arrives so do new toys from loving family and friends.  If you don't want new toys then be specific when others ask what you want.  Choose items that you will definitely need like diapers, bottles or formula. 

Toys are a great tool to teach children coordination, sharing and educational lessons.  As you lighten the toy load remember to keep the best and get rid of the rest. 

Leave a comment and tell me what toys you remember as a child?  What did your children love the most?  Thomas the tank engine was huge at our house! 
PS.  Don't forget that any comments left gets your name put into the draw for a box full of "stuff" on May 1st!

February 28, 2011

Monday Message

Sometimes when our lives get busy we can let charity go by the wayside. 
By taking a few moments to cherish those around us in need
we can actually replenish ourselves.

If you could volunteer, what would you do?
If you could give to a charity, which would you choose?
Why aren't you?
Maybe it is easier than you think.

February 21, 2011

Monday Message

I love feedback and I know you are out there.
I checked my stats and there are quite a few lurkers hiding on me.
Come out of the shadows and leave a comment.
If you don't have a Google account leave your email/blog in the post.

I will follow you back if you have a blog.

One ballot for each facebook comment starting today.
Two ballots for each comment on this blog starting today.

You have until May 1st to participate!

February 14, 2011

Monday Message

Sending the love all year round takes the pressure off Valentines Day.

Do you stress out to make the perfect holiday celebration? 
What are you doing to make each day special for those you love?  

February 7, 2011

Monday Morning Message

A bad start doesn't mean the day is a write off.

What kind of things can really derail your day?  How do you pick up and keep going?

February 5, 2011

Playing Hookie...for a good Reason!

This guy here is now 12 years old.  12!  Man. That kills me.

He didn't want a party for his birthday.  He's not into that.
Just having the guys over for pizza and video games is good enough for him.
Like his mom and dad, he likes good food.
Like his mom and dad, he agrees that this town has no good food.

What's a mom to do?
(Insert evil laugh here)
We take our kids out of school for a day.
(because one day's not gonna make a difference in elementary school)
We head into the city to try a new hotel which turned out to be the best one so far.
I mean it, go to the website and go. Don't forget to pick your discount on the side bar.
We had the double king suite. It has an awesome pool with a slide aaaand it included breakfast!
(I told you it's all about the food)
Anyways, on with the story...
Then we spent the next day at the West Edmonton Mall Water Park  
Four hours doing a semi-squat in the water so that my six year old doesn't drown from the waves is hard on the ankles. Then there is the stories of stairs to go down the crazy slides which is lovely for the calves.  Never let it be said that a day at the water park isn't a workout.

That boy was very happy.

Oh wait the best is yet to come.
 He has his choice of any restaurant in Edmonton and what does my culinary little man pick....
I love that kid. 

You should have seen the face of the server when he ordered the "Coast to Coast" which is a boat full of sushi.  Of course we shared it but her face was priceless.
To top it all off we went next door to the Marble Slab Creamery for ice cream.

OK. Enough already. My belly is stuffed.

We drove the three hours home and collapsed in bed.

Thank goodness I didn't have a client the next day but the kids had to go to school because it was ski trip day! Ha Ha!

Sometimes being organized means taking time out of our regularly scheduled lives to have a little fun.
I know that I always wished my parents would pull me out of school. I also know that Dan will remember this for a long time.  It's the  time we spend together that matters in the end.

What special things do you remember doing with your parents?  Are you trying any new traditions that you hope will stick?  Leave a comment and let us know! 

PS.  Hello to all my new readers!  Hello to all my lurkers too!  I will be having a giveaway soon so come back next week to see what's up!