31 December 2011

2011 in Review: Top 10 Songs

This has always been my favourite list to compile.  I love music.  I have a passion for it.  I may not be able to play an instrument (or Rockband) but I have a respect for musicians who can release fantastic music.

Nonetheless, here are the top 10 songs of the year (in my mind):

10. Zombie Song - Stephanie Mabey
9. End of Line - Daft Punk
8. The Cello Song - Steven Sharp Nelson
7. Rescue - Tyler Ward
6. Perfect - Jake Coco & Julia Sheer
5. Michael Meets Mozart - Jon Schmidt
4. Party Rock Anthem (Tyler Ward Version) - Tyler Ward & Crew
3. I Do - Colbie Caillat
2. Raise Your Glass - P!nk
1. Heartbroken - Meaghan Smith

Late Editions:
Into the Black - Jessica Ketola (the violin player is a colleague of mine, Stephanie Varriano)
Little Ukelele - Harry Manx & Kevin Breit

25 December 2011

Christmas on Youtube

Here are some of my FAV Christmas songs this year.  Try clicking the snowflake button for some added special effects!

Carol of the Bells (for 12 cellos) - Steven Sharp Nelson

Sean Quigley - Little Drummer Boy

Lindsey Stirling - Celtic Carol

Meaghan Smith - Silver Bells

24 December 2011

Carols for the Psychologically Challenged

A colleague sent me this.  Thought it was hilarious and a must share!  These are the carols for the "psychologically challenged". Enjoy.

1. SCHIZOPHRENIA: -- Do You Hear What We Hear?

2. AMNESIA -- I Don't Know If I'll Be Home for Christmas.

3. NARCISSIST -- Hark the Herald Angels Sing About Me. 

4. MANIC -- Deck the Halls and Walls and House and Lawn and Streets and Stores and   Office and Town and Cars and Buses and Trucks and Trees and Fire Hydrants, and…

5. MULTIPLE PERSONALITY DISORDER -- We Three Queens Disoriented Are

6. PARANOID --- Santa Claus Is Coming To Get Me.

7.  BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER -- Thoughts of Roasting on an Open Fire.

8.  FULL PERSONALITY DISORDER -- You Better Watch Out! I'm Gonna Cry; I'm Gonna Pout! Maybe I'll Tell You Why.

9.  OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE DISORDER -- Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells,

10. AGORAPHOBIA -- I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day, But Wouldn't Leave My House.

11. SENILE DEMENTIA -- Walking in a Winter Wonderland -- Miles from My House in My Slippers and Pyjamas

12. OPPOSITIONAL DEFIANCE DISORDER -- I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus So I Burned Down the House.

13. SOCIAL ANXIETY DISORDER -- Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, While I Sit Here and Hyperventilate.

14. ATTENTION DEFICIT DISORDER -- We Wish You a  Hey Look!!!   It's Snowing!!!  

Have a great Christmas!

23 December 2011

Finding the courage within

I recently had a group discussion around the word courage, and what it means to be courageous. However, I sometimes think we look to the extremes and too far into history to be able to recognize courageous behaviour and actions in our own lives.

When talking about courage we usually hear of the story of David and Goliath, among other biblical stories, and also someone like Columbus sailing across the sea. These are valid examples of courage; however, they are sometimes disconnected from us, that is it is hard to have those stories resonate inside and for us to relate to.


Read the rest at the News Optimist.

03 December 2011

De-Twilight Your Relationship

It is that time of year again, Twilight! The Twilight fans and moms are currently getting their Edward or Jacob fix at the local movie theater.

I may have once upon a time recommended the Twilight series as wholesome material, and as they way a man should treat a woman.  However, the more I am exposed to the series by the films and the synopsis from my wife, I question my original thinking.

01 December 2011

Stas Canada: Change in paid and unpaid work over generations

I love when Statistics Canada releases their Canadian Social Trends stats.

The first one I glanced through was the changes over the generations of unpaid and paid work.

The one part that sticks out to me is that men, finally as a whole, are doing more unpaid labor.  I really do believe this is a step in the right direction.  However, what always sticks out to me, and I got reamed by a feminist marker in one of classes for pointing this out in a paper, is that overall, men do do more work, and there is never credit given there.  Now, I am not downplaying the value of the work that woman do. Not at all.  But there is never a hint of, "oh look, men work on average 30 minutes more a day."

For example, here is the chart:

  • Late Baby-Boomers
    • Men: 5.0 + 0.7 = 5.7
    • Women: 3.6 + 1.9 = 5.5
    • Difference, 0.2 hrs more for men
  • Generation X
    • Men: 5.3 + 0.9 = 6.2
    • Women: 4.0 + 1.8 = 5.8
    • Difference, 0.4 hrs more for men
  • Generation Y
    • Men: 4.6 + 1.0 = 5.6
    • Women: 3.5 + 1.4 = 4.9
    • Difference, 0.7 hrs more for men
From the late Baby-Boomers to Gen Y we have an almost doubling of more average work per-day being done by men.

Now, I do realize this is a grand generalization over all 20-29 year old's. Of course it doesn't take into account: marital status, education, children, and so on.  For a more detailed look at those kind of numbers.  This is the average number of hours spent in paid labor, and this is the average number of hours spent in unpaid labor.

24 November 2011

Polygamy is accepted in modern society via divorce

I find myself at an unusual agreement with the Globe & Mail on an article about the polygamy ruling yesterday in BC.

To sum, the article brought out some of the same shared concerns that are found in polygamous relationships that are found in common, society accepted, relationships.

I remember bringing such a topic up in my undergraduate, and of course, shot down.  While true that polygamy has caused damage to many of people.  What about something like divorce. Think of it for a second, in a snapshot high school graduation picture.  We have a man, who with his first wife is celebrating the graduation of his child, however, this man is now on his third marriage, having children in each relationship.  The second wife is present with three kids, the third with his youngest child.  Does that image not look like a scene from Big Love?

Now also think of those three woman, all of whom have sacrificed career opportunities to raise his kids and take care of domestic duties.  He is probably also paying spousal and child support.  So simultaneously he is maintaining three relationships, that involve children, all at once.

All those women and children are in a vulnerable position..

Anyhow, its just food for thought. And No! I am not a supporter of Polygamy.

20 November 2011

Pornography & Intimate Partner Violence

The following is a literature review poster on Pornography and Intimate Partner Violence and it was presented at the Washington Counselors Association, on October 17.

This topic is going to be my thesis, and I will be conducting research in 2012. (stoked!)

14 November 2011

09 November 2011

Food Allergen Labelling in Canada

by Carol T. Culhane, P.H.Ec. MBA

Food allergies affect an estimated 5 to 6% of Canadian children and 3 to 4% of Canadian adults. A much larger percentage of the population suffers from a food intolerance, which does not trigger a defense response from the body’s immune system following ingestion. A food intolerance, however, may exhibit symptoms similar to that of a food allergy.

Therefore, the accuracy of the ingredient information on the label of pre-packaged food is a very important safety concern for consumers.

04 November 2011

Jodi King Music Video - Happy

This is my favourite Jodi King song, glad to see a music video to go along with it!

03 November 2011

Manitoba Home Economists Launch New Blog!

The Manitoba Association of Home Economists (MAHE) is reaching out to families everywhere. Their new blog, Homefamily.net is a consumer focused blog written by Professional Home Economists to provide tips, techniques and information to consumers to help improve their quality of life.

26 October 2011

Favourite Moments of Rugby World Cup Final

First Fav Moment: Hayley Westenra singing God Defend New Zealand. Hayley Westenra is one of my ALL-TIME favourite singers and to see her singing at the final, just awesome!

Second Fav Moment: France approaching New Zealand as they do the Haka. Ultimate intensity.  I felt that it built up the seriousness of the moment, however France was fined for "breaching a cultural ritual protocol".

25 October 2011

Tyler Ward - Rescue

I have been debating whether to share this in fear that it may cross some religious boundary.  However, I have come to the conclusion that we are all spiritual in our own unique ways, and this music video, I find is very inspirational.

23 October 2011

Emma Watson

I have always enjoyed the character that Emma Watson plays, Hermoine.  But this little quote just makes me have more respect for her.  She has a good head on her shoulders.  This quote is regarding sexuality and modesty.

Brothers & Sisters: How Our Siblings Make Us Who We Are

There was a great article in the National Post (October 22) about how our relationship with our siblings make us who we are.

The author makes some great points about how the dynamics of life's longest relationship influence us as we get older.  In a sense that how we learn to interact in the playroom of our own house is how we will interact in the playroom of life.

The article ends, hollywood-like, that the author still has long lasting relationships with their siblings.  But what I always ask is just because someone still has a relationship with their sibling, does that make them nice? Of course not.  We know siblings fight.  We know personalities clash.  We know people can be toxic.  Sometimes I feel that it takes even more effort to de-friend a sibling due to toxicity than it does to maintain a relationship. So just because someone is or isn't friends with their siblings is the litmus test for being nice, it is the coping mechanisms developed, and the reactions to stress that make someone nice.

Nonetheless, as the title suggests "siblings make us who we are" despite the quality of the relationship.

19 October 2011

How Birth Order Can Influence Childhood Development

Have you ever wondered if the order you were born in impacted your development?  Do you think the birth order of your children impacts them?  What do you think would have happened if you were the oldest or youngest in your family instead of your current position?


Read the rest on Notes on Parenting.

18 October 2011

PowerSmart - "Two Chickens to Paralyze" - Without Electricity There Would Be No Internet

At BC Hydro it is currently "Power Smart Month".  As such they have released some commercials related to what life would be like without power (in a sarcastic way).  This commercial is by far one of my favourite commercials.

Visit here to see all of the commercials.

12 October 2011

Pumped about the sledding potential

This is a freelance piece that I wrote for the SnoRiders West magazine.  It was a great opportunity to reconnect with some fellow Manitobans.

With snow covering the land from early November to mid-April, the Swan River Valley provides ample opportunity to enjoy getting out on your snowmobile. 

If the season’s length isn’t enough of a draw, this region boasts 800 kilometres of groomed trails. Around 453 kilometres of trails to the north are maintained by the North Mountain Riders and 320 kilometres to the south are groomed by the Swan Valley Snowmobile Club. The riding areas range from open fields to lake crossings, and rugged hills to bush trails, as well as powder-filled areas to play in. With only about 6,000 people living in the valley, there is a lot of room for exploration of the scenic sites here.


Read the rest at SnoRiders West.

08 October 2011

Teaching that there is more than appearance

There was an article on the Huffington Post called How To Talk To Little Girls.  Having a little girl, I was naturally interested in this article.  Read it.

From the start it had me realize how often I point out my daughters appearance more than other qualities.  With statements like:


Read the rest at Notes on Parenting.

07 October 2011

What if all that’s left is what you are grateful for?

With the season of Thanksgiving upon us, it is a wonderful time to reflect on the many reasons we should be grateful. Sometimes I think we don’t take seriously all of the things we can and should be grateful for. We state that we are “grateful” as if we are trying to win a Miss Universe pageant. It sounds corny and fluffy. We forget to encompass the grandness of what we are grateful for. What would you have tomorrow if you woke up with only what you are grateful for? What would be left in your home, life or planet?


Read the rest at the Battleford's News Optimist.

23 September 2011

The Passing of Common Sense

I came across this statement, and had to share it.

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as: - Knowing when to come in out of the rain; - Why the early bird gets the worm; ... - Life isn't always fair; - And maybe it was my fault. Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies, don't spend more than you can earn and adults, not children, are in charge. His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition. Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children. It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an aspirin to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion. Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims. Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault. Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement. Common Sense was preceded in death, by his parents, Truth and Trust, by his wife Discretion, his daughter Responsibility, and his son, Reason. He is survived by his 4 stepbrothers - I Know My Rights, I Want It Now, Someone Else Is To Blame and I'm A Victim. Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone. If you still remember him, pass this on. If not, do nothing.

22 September 2011

Canada takes stance on salt, sugar, fats in processed food

After reading that Canadians on average consume about 26 teaspoons of sugar daily, it was refreshing to see Canada sign onto the UN agreement to combat chronic diseases.

Dr. Margaret Chan, the general director of the World Health Organization, and also a Professional Home Economist, slammed the tobacco industry for trying to "subvert this treaty".  She also said:

"Processed foods, very high in salt, trans fats, and sugar have become the new staple food in nearly every corner of the world. They are readily available and heavily marketed. For a growing number of people, they are the cheapest way to fill a hungry stomach,"

21 September 2011

The NHL needs to address Depression

With the three deaths this year of Derek Boogard, Rick Rypien, and Wade Belak who fought personal demons has brought to light the darker side of professional sports.

At times it is difficult to understand why someone who makes well over $500,000 a year would suffer from depression.  However, we know from many professions, money doesn't heal all wounds.

The NHL needs to wake up and realize their players, their product, are human.  They have issues.  Some as severe as abuse as a child, others have parents or family members who are ill, they become parents, they have to deal with the stresses of moving, and so on.

We know of the familiar stories of Theo Fleury and Sheldon Kennedy.  Neither committed suicide, but they were close.... and the NHL never really addressed the issue, they put a band-aid over the situation.

But this all has me wondering who is next?  Is it another "fighter"? Or is it someone who is depressed due to performance stress or concussions? Which I immediately thought of Marc Savard and Sidney Crosby, two players who have been on the injured reserve due to prolonged concussion symptoms.  Concussions to star players are a dark mark on the league.  But could you imagine if a star player took his life?  Could you imagine the ramifications?  I wonder if the NHL would act quicker in implementing a program if it was one of their elite products that committed suicide?

It just makes me wonder.  It has been a dark summer, compounded by the plane crash, for the NHL.

Let's see some action to protect this from happening in the future. Please.

20 September 2011

It's Your Life... Own It!

Jessie Clark, now Jessie Funk has turned from releasing music to writing motivational books, specifically for youth.

I got my, surprisingly, autographed copy from Jessie Funk telling me to remember the power I have.
This book includes personal stories from Funk, activities, and motivational quotes. Her book is broken into 10 parts, with an intro activity called Frisbee Face.


Read the rest at Notes on Parenting.

SpongeBob is guilty.... along with other shows

SpongeBob has become a victim of the "protect-our-children" movement.

A study performed on kids measured their problem solving abilities after watching SpongeBob, Caillou (an apparently "calm" show said the researchers), and colouring.

The kids who watched SpongeBob performed significantly worse compared to the other to categories.

Of course colouring will produce the better outcome.  What I can't understand is why Caillou was used.  Yes, I understand it is calmer in the sense that the screen isn't bouncing around.  However, the quality, while at times education, promotes whining to get stuff.

I admit SpongeBob is banned in our house, as well as Rugrats, Alex, and Caillou. For reasons Angeline Lillard, the lead researcher said, it isn't just about how much TV children watch, it is the quality.

Be aware of what you are putting on in front of your kids.

13 September 2011

Time to Revive Home Economics

The New York Times recently had a piece promoting the need to bring Home Economics education back into the school system as we fight decaying families, teeth and an ever growing waste line.  Here are some excerpts that I enjoyed.

"NOBODY likes home economics. For most people, the phrase evokes bland food, bad sewing and self-righteous fussiness."

"Indeed, in the early 20th century, home economics was a serious subject. When few understood germ theory and almost no one had heard of vitamins, home economics classes offered vital information about washing hands regularly, eating fruits and vegetables and not feeding coffee to babies, among other lessons.
"Eventually, however, the discipline’s basic tenets about health and hygiene became so thoroughly popularized that they came to seem like common sense. As a result, their early proponents came to look like old maids stating the obvious instead of the innovators and scientists that many of them really were. Increasingly, home economists’ eagerness to dispense advice on everything from eating to sleeping to posture galled."

07 September 2011

Dealing with a Peanut Allergy

Finding out that your child has a severe peanut allergy can be a very stressful concern.  From worries about what kids are bringing to school in their lunches to trade with your child to what is in the food you just ordered in.

Discovering that your child has a reaction to peanuts may happen intentionally or accidentally.  For my family, we learned my daughter was allergic when she got her hands on a delicious peanut butter cookie.  Her lips began to swell and she got spots.  Mom took her to the doctor immediately.


Read the rest of the post at Notes on Parenting.

25 August 2011

Ambiguous Loss

Ambiguous Loss is a term formed by Pauline Boss.  Here is a clip of her discussing her term and her book.

Thanks to NCFR for posting this in their Zippy newsletter.

24 August 2011

Math Ability is "Pre-Destined"

If you are bad at math, blame your gene pool.  Apparently math ability, in this new study, is pre-destined.  In the sense that children have a "number sense" built into them.

So your number sense is something you are just going to have to live through throughout your life. Go Math!

Jack Layton, you will be missed.

It was a sad moment when I was flicking through my news feed that I read that Jack Layton had died from his fight with cancer.

I have always found him to be an inspiring leader.  He always had so much passion, desire and sincerity when he delivered his messages.  His charisma will truly be missed in Canadian politics.

Layton wrote an amazing letter to Canadians, two days before he passed.  I am always fascinated with people's last words.  His last paragraph stated:
My friends, love is better than anger.  Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic.  And we'll change the world.
Again... AMAZING.  The CBC compiled together a nice obituary about the man, so did the Globe & Mail.  The Edmonton Journal pieced together a simple timeline of his political career. This article in the Toronto Star is just worth the image displaying Layton's connection with Canada's younger generation.  Rex Murphy also spoke perfectly about Layton and his contribution.

Jack Layton, you will be missed.

22 August 2011

Can I Really "Forgive & Forget"?

This, I feel, was a brilliantly written article by Jon Swinton, and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.  He attempts to address the topic of letting go and building.

I 100% agree with him about the adage of "forgive and forget", I hate it as well.

One thing not covered in the article is sometimes breaks to trust can be so damaging, so harmful, and so traumatic that it will be hard to even forget about on a daily basis, let alone forgive the perpetrator.  Sometimes breaks in trust kill a relationship.  So there is no point in resurrecting the relationship.  Know that that is an option as well.

However, if this a violation of trust that can eventually be repaired, follow the three steps/phases outlined by Swinton.

21 August 2011

More F-Bombs Slipping Into PG-13 Movies

I have never been someone to trust the movie rating system.  I sometimes think an R-rated movie (or 18A as it is in Canada) may be a better quality movie, have a morale to it than some of those PG-13 (or 14A) movies.

I know some people who just write R-Rated movies off as inappropriate, and I respect that.  However, I am an advocate of a rating system that is so wishy-washy.  I prefer using Kids-In-Mind.com.  It lays out on a ranking scale the sex, violence, and profanity content.  However, if you don't want to just go by the ranking, there is a list of each of the events in the movie that falls into the category.  Very informative, and it allows us the viewer to make our own judgement on a movie, instead of relying on someone else.

This thought is spurred from this Globe & Mail article that discusses how more PG-13 movies are having F-bombs dropped. There are a lot of nuances in determining whether or not the movie should be PG-13 or R.

20 August 2011

How to Understand Brain Differences Between Men and Women Better

Kevin Hinckley, and Licensed Professional Counsellor recently gave a presentation at BYU's education week.  He spoke on the differences between men and women's brains.

He eventually broke things down into key points of how men can better understand women and how women can better understand men.

  • Women read and evaluate everything that men do including words, tone of voice, facial expressions, behaviour etc.
  • Men are "fixers" and need to realize that women want to be listened to, not fixed.
  • Women will keep up on men because they want to take care of you.  For example a wife will worry if her husband doesn't go frequently enough to the doctor's.
  • Sometimes men do stupid things, where a woman may attribute the action as malice.  Women need to realize that men just think differently
  • The man's brain is sometimes not equipped or attuned to pick up communication nuances, such as hint dropping.
  • Allow men to go to their "Man Cave" so they can stew things over and better prepare themselves to solve the problem and cope with stress.
The full article review can be read here.

18 August 2011

Children of Cohabiting Couples Fair Worse Compared to Married Couples

A recent study released showed that children of cohabiting couples have a greater risk for negative outcomes compared to children of a married couple.

The great question is why?  Most of the factors are similar between the two couples: living together, in a committed relationship, have children, sharing expenses, sharing wealth, etc.  However, for some reason because married mom and dad have a certificate of marriage their children are at a lower risk for having negative outcomes?  It is an interesting phenomenon.

I recall once having a University professor who called those who cohabit a different breed of human relationship expression compared to married couples.  It could be that cohabiting couples have a different way of expressing and showing love.

Now I am not at all saying cohabiting parents are terrible and married couples are exemplary.  Of course cohabiting couples can raise fantastic children, and married couples can corrupt theirs.

17 August 2011

Have age appropriate media at home when children are around

With my daughter getting older, she frequently has play dates with the neighbourhood kids.  Of course when the neighbours kids come over we let the parents know.  We also have a little talk to with the friend setting ground rules, such as clean up one mess before going to another room and making another mess.  Most recently we have had to add a rule of no-swearing in an attempt to keep our daughters language as clean as possible.


Read the rest at Notes on Parenting.

16 August 2011

Culture of Violence

This is not about poverty. It is about culture. A culture that glorifies violence, that shows disrespect to authority and says everything about rights but nothing about responsibility. - Prime Minister David Cameron.
 I love that quote.  We do live in a society, or as he says, culture that glorifies violence. We have shifted from the fake wrestling brought to us by the than WWF (now WWE) to the gladiator type of fighting on UFC.  The most popular video games are first person shooter games, even though the recommended age is higher than those playing the games.

This article in the Deseret Morning News, I feel, is well written, until the second last paragraph where poverty is claimed to have more relation to the riots.  Such a simple thing it is to blame the poor for causing such a ruckus in the neighborhood.  But as we learned in Vancouver riots, the ring leaders were not the simpleton, they were youth with scholarships to universities, children of stable and well-to-do families.

Parents need to teach children right from wrong.  Not that this means joining a religious group, this means teaching children to respect rules, laws, authority, elders and human kind.  Parents need to be aware of where their kids are.

Although I am not advocate for charging parents when minors are being prosecuted, it sometimes make sense.

This is not about poverty, this is about parents being accountable for their children.

15 August 2011

Does Having Children Prevent Divorce?

In the USA couples who are childless experience a 66 percent divorce rate, compared to 40 percent among couples with children.

Having a child can add an extra layer of commitment to a relationship.  However children do make the divorce process complicated and messy, so therefore it is "simpler" to get a divorce without children.

The article fails to mention what classifies as "childless".  Is it marriages that have no kids at all, or are empty-nesters included?  If empty-nesters are not included and are part of the have children category, we do know there is a spike in divorces when all of the children leave the home.  So in this case, having children in general is not the super glue that keeps a marriage together.

We also can't discount the value system of marriages without children.  The reasoning for not having kids is economical, in that they cost too much.  These marriages tend to be for socioeconomic status.  So there could be a peak in these type of couples having a divorce due to the recession.  In the sense that it may be more economical to be single, instead of paying for an unemployed spouse.

However, have a read of the article here.

Also, check out 21 factors that increase ones risk for divorce.

14 August 2011

Women likely to suffer mental health issues after violence

Not to make light of this issue, but this was one of those studies that made me go "Really, we needed a study to come to the conclusion that women who suffer violence/abuse in their lives experience some type of mental health issue during their life, and that the more violence/abuse happened the more likely there is to have more mental health issues?"

Nonetheless here is the article talking about the study involving over 4,000 Australian women.

13 August 2011

Keeping track of your Finances may save you Money!

Do you keep track of your bills or spending?  Do you know where your money is going?  Would you know if someone else even took money out of your account by accident?

This article gives tips of how to better keep track of your finances in just 30 minutes, which may help prevent the loss of monies.  The article title, I do admit is a little misleading "How to improve your finances in just 30 minutes" almost in a way declaring financial freedom in 30 minutes.  But it is more of a money tracking method that is beneficial.

Have a GREAT 30 minutes.

12 August 2011

Affair advertised on Kijiji

I know I write about sustaining relationships, however, I came across this picture on Facebook and couldn't resist sharing it.

11 August 2011

Bitterness can influence your health

Are you still hanging on to that grudge from when Suzy made fun of your clothes? Are you still blaming your previous boss for not giving you a big enough pay raise? Are you still bitter about a lot of things in life?

It turns out that your bitterness, negative emotions in general, can have a have negative impact on your organ functioning to also making your immune system less responsive and also making you more likely to contract a disease.

Read the complete article here in the Ottawa Citizen.

If bitterness is impacting, or even controlling your life, seek help in subduing those feelings.  Holding grudges and pursuing bitter moments can have long term affects, not just on your physical health as mentioned in the article, but also on your relationships with your spouse, kids, siblings, nieces, nephews, parents, grandparents, and so on.

What to do when the power goes out

You are home watching a movie with your family when they power suddenly goes out.  You scramble to check to see if you blew a fuse. They are fine.  You wonder how long it will take to restore the power.  Your children are getting frustrated because they don’t understand that the TV isn’t working because the power is gone, repeatedly asking for you to turn the TV back on so you can finish watching your Netflix movie.

You scramble and find your 3G, 3GS or 4G device.  You huddle around your gadget and attempt to watch the rest of your show while waiting for the power to return.


Read the rest at Notes on Parenting.

10 August 2011

How a rock pile is similar to our support system

I recently went to the park with my kids.  While at the park, my daughter built a “rock castle”, which is just large pile of rocks.  My assignment, given to me by my three year-old, was to drop rocks on the top of the pile, one at a time. I did. And I noticed something.  Sometimes a rock that I dropped would bounce right off of the top and dribble its way down the pile.  I could drop another rock in that exact same spot and it would land right on top of the pile, supported by the rocks around it.  I could take that rock that bounced, and drop it in one of the other piles created by my daughter, and it would stick.

08 August 2011

Learning to recognize others in our lives

Today, let’s do a little exercise.  Don’t worry, not a physical one! I want you to use your imagination.  Let’s pretend you are the driver of a car.  You can have three other people in your vehicle.  I want you to choose three names.  They can be friends, family, coworkers or relatives.  Got them? Good.  Now assign one to front passenger side, one behind you, and the other on the rear passenger side. Assigned your seats? Fantastic! Now let’s go for a cruise!

06 August 2011

Where are the fathers in times of need?

Ever since the result of the Casey Anthony case, there seems to be a flash flood of mothers making the news because of the harm they have caused their children, as if the media is trying to find a new love affair.

For example, there was the woman who used her kid as a weapon on a Toronto bus, another tried drowning herself and her child in a river, another woman locked a child in her custody in a closet, and a woman in Perth who flung her child into random objects. All of these are sick and disgusting acts, all of which I am sure is related to some sort of mental illness or chemical imbalance.


Read the rest here at the Battleford's News Optimist.

30 July 2011

Stop Labeling Kids with Bogus 'Mental Disorders'

I came across this video and was very impressed by it. I have always been uncomfortable with how common mental disorders are being diagnosed. I sometimes feel that if all the aspects of an individual don't fit within the box that society creates, that those "appendages" labelled as an issue until it gets corrected within the proper realms of society. It's improper pruning of someones personality and traits. (Yes, I do understand that there are the "occasions" where there are chemical imbalances that influence the brain and medication is needed, but I am talking about labeling someone who is sad as extremely depressed, or a child who gets upset easily as bipolar)

Here is the video.

26 July 2011

Calgary Plane Crash

There was a plane crash in Calgary last week.  As explained in the article Nathan Anderson, who is the mayor of Crossfield, crashed his small aircraft. He and someone I know from when he lived in Winnipeg, went in on the aircraft.

I was in Calgary when the crash happened, and my friend was tasked with removing the aircraft from the crash site.  Since I was visiting, he some how got me to tag along and help disassemble the aircraft.  I tried explaining that I have only worked with aviation software not with the actual planes themselves.  Nonetheless I went.  Needless to say the PHEc and counsellor that I am was useless in removing the aircraft, but I did the best I could.  Plus, it was a lot of fun to be a part of taking the airplane apart.  I learned a lot about aircraft's that day.

I must say that I am AMAZED that no one was seriously injured.  One of life's miracles.

18 July 2011

Are We Meeting the Demands for Job Skills

I came across an interesting article in the Deseret Morning News about how we are failing to meet the needs of the market with our current education.  Now, I do realize that not everyone can have, or may want to get at bachelors degree, because if 80% of people had a bachelors they would become obsolete.  But something like graduating from High School and entering a college for some sort of higher education, I think is vitally important.  What stands out to me most in this article is this paragraph.
Consider these national statistics from the report: Of 100 students in ninth grade, only 75 will graduate from high school and, of those, only 51 will enter college. Within six years, only 22 will have a degree and many of those will enter the workplace lacking the skills needed to be hired or have a successful career.
Canada is usually similar to stats pumped out from the USA.  So this is something that needs to be considered worry-some, that 25% of kids will NOT finish high school, despite it being free.

 Read the entire article here.

16 July 2011

Doris Badir PHEc

There was a nice article brought to my attention about a PHEc who passed away recently.  The Globe and Mail did a feature obituary on Doris Badir called Expert on Home, Family Issues; Doris Badir redefined woman's role.

Have a read to see the impact a woman can have when you give her an education. Absolutely brilliant.

08 July 2011

Schools Out For The Summer; Now What?

Exams are completed, graduations are coming to an end, and your children are now piling home for the summer. For nine months the home was yours, now your offspring and co. are invading your premises. It is a transition that comes every year, some parents dread it and are like the father in the Staples back-to-school commercial from years ago: ‘It is the most wonderful time of the year!’ Also, your children, who are used to having their planners filled from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., now have eight hours at their disposal and they aren’t 100 per cent sure of how to invest that time. School is out, now what do we do? All of us: children, students and parents need ideas.


Read the rest on Notes on Parenting.

07 July 2011

StarPhoenix:Storm brewing over gender issues

I have debated writing about this "gender-less" child Storm, but haven't figured out a way to say it.  Until today, when I came across this column, Storm Brewing Over Gender Issues in the Saskatoon Star Phoenix.

I just think it's funny that it got classified under "technology".

06 July 2011

No Transition To Fatherhood Course in 2011

I have noticed that my Transition to Fatherhood class posts have been getting serious attention.  I also have received phone calls.

So I must say again that I am not offering a Transition to Fatherhood course this year, 2011, for reasons stated in a previous post.

I do regret not being able to assist those who are seeking help.  Here are some helpful resources:

It's always important and helpful to look to your support system while having a child (like your family and friends).

Farm to School Manitoba

To all Partners, Advisors, Schools, Teachers, Parents, Family, Friends and Others with an interest in the Farm to School Healthy Choice Fundraiser,

My name is Lindsey Mazur, Executive Coordinator of the Farm to School Manitoba Healthy Choice Fundraiser (FSMHCF). For those of you who have not heard of the FSMHCF, it is an exciting, new fundraising program available to all schools in Manitoba, K-12, using Manitoba grown Vegetables. It will held from September to December 14, 2011. It is a partnership between the Manitoba Association of Home Economists, Peak of the Market and the Government of Manitoba.

With FSMHCF schools will have a fundraiser with great profits and the opportunity to:
  • get fresh, local vegetables at or below supermarket prices
  • offer healthy food choices & support school nutrition policies
  • support local producers
  • connect the fundraiser to classroom resources available at www.farmtoschoolmanitoba.ca
  • try new recipes with Manitoba vegetables available at www.peakmarket.com/recipes

I invite you to read the attached document where you will find out more about the FSMHCFand an easy step-by-step guide of how to run the fundraiser. Please also visit the website at www.farmtoschoolmanitoba.ca. (For enrolling visit www.farmtoschoolmanitoba.ca/enroll.)

Finally, please feel free to forward this email far and wide to parents, teachers and schools or any others who may be interested in promoting this great opportunity. If you have any questions or comments, please email me at info@farmtoschoolmanitoba.ca or call me at
(204) 885-0718 or toll free at 1-866-261-0707.

Thank you in advance for your support.

Happy fundraising!


Lindsey Mazur, PHEc, RD

02 July 2011

We're failing our most vulnerable

I found this article, We're Failing Our Most Vulnerable in the National Post today.  I felt it took a different spin compared to my blog post on Failing our Children.

While I agree with her last statement in this case:
The people and agencies who failed the youngsters have learned bugger all. Why are they still charged with protecting children when the guy in the trailer or apartment next door is better at it?
I do disagree that the fault is primarily the government, ministers and workers.  I do believe more responsibility falls on the families, if not the parents, than the uncles, aunts, grandparents, who usually when their sibling or child succumbs to addiction and can't raise the child rarely does anyone step up to the plate.

Nonetheless, it is an interesting read.

01 July 2011

Happy Canada Day!!!

Happy Birthday Canada!  This is the one day that happens every year where Canadians become very patriotic.  I love it.  We have a wonderful nation where we can live, play, work and grow together.

In celebration of Canada Day, I recommend you take this Canada Quiz from the National Post. The best Canada test I found among the papers I read/subscribe to (Which are many, I have a digital subscription to The Province, Edmonton Journal, StarPhoenix and the National Post all under one subscription, thanks Canada.com.  But I also keep tabs on the Winnipeg Free Press, Toronto Star, Globe & Mail, New York Times, Deseret Morning News, and the Battleford's News Optimist among many other small market papers.... just to name a few).  So when I say it is the best Canada Test I found, I mean it.

Also, to celebrate Canada Day, I have to share my favourite moment of someone singing O! Canada.  It was during the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics.  Chandra Crawford had just won a gold medal in her event, and when it came time to raise the flags, she BELTED out the National Anthem.  It is beautiful.  I admire her for her work and passion, so much so that I tried to get my daughters name to have Chandra in it.  But alas, it didn't happen. But watch this:

Happy Canada Day!

30 June 2011

First Aid & CPR Training: Urgent Response

I need to recognize an organization since I am not running my transition to fatherhood course this year.  I have been in contact with the instructor of this group and need to do a plug for them.  This is a service I would have talked about in the class as a way to further prepare for baby coming along.

Urgent Response is a First Aid and CPR instruction institute.  They offer a wide variety of training to suit the needs of the participant.  Whether you need entry level CPR or child care worker type training, this place can offer it.

Go ahead and have a look at their website, and if you need training, sign up!

29 June 2011

Cricket & Life: Run Out. Don`t Forget To Listen To Others

A run out happens in Cricket when the batsman is trying to run to the other side of the pitch, but in the process a fielder has grabbed the ball thrown it at and hit the wicket.  A run out usually happens because of poor communication between the two batsman; and due to that poor communication someone is now out.

How often has something gone wrong or been done incorrectly because there was improper communication.  How many times have we said “I thought you meant…” when we didn’t completely understand some ones directions.  Has anyone ever said that to you?

When we communicate well with others success can be had in a relationship, whatever that relationship may be.  It is because the messages are being sent clearly and concisely.  There is no beating around the bush, watering down of the message, or expecting others to rely more on our body language than what we are actually saying.  We can understand each other best when we verbally communicate our desires and wishes.

Let’s take it another way. Do you listen to you parents, friends, or ecclesiastical leaders when they give you advice? 

When we communicate well within ourselves, and start realizing that our parents, family, friends, and other people in our lives have an outside-in vantage point, it can be beneficial for us.  They may be seeing things that we can’t.  They may know something is happening on the field that is in your blind spot.

How about your inner-voice, gut, or conscience, are you listening to them?  The more we listen to our gut, the more it will talk to us.  Our gut feeling is a safety mechanism that lets us know that what we are doing may not have the best outcome.  Listen to your gut; it is a vital tool for your own communication.  Learn to understand it and follow it better.

As we begin to communicate better, we will be able to prevent ourselves from being run out of relationships and ourselves.

28 June 2011

Reap what you sow in moods

GETTING CONNECTED: Attitude is key

Alison Graham is a networking specialist, and has great advice on developing networks to enhance ones own business.  Sometimes her articles cross over into how the professional self should coincide with the personal self.  Or sometimes referred to as the public vs private self.  She shares some great insights from her latest flight in her most recent column.

You can learn more about her at her website or via twitter.

27 June 2011

OHEA: Back to School with New Nutrition Standards

The following was written by OHEA Member Amy Snider-Whitson, PHEc.

While students and teachers wind-down from another busy school year, many others are gearing-up for back to-school with new nutrition standards come September.

Childhood obesity rates have tripled in the last 25 years while diabetes is on the increase. Clearly something has gone wrong. Improving health is a major goal and the provincial government has stepped in with legislation geared toward making healthy eating more accessible in Ontario schools.

22 June 2011

Candy for the Ears: Meaghan Smith

I recently got to see Meaghan Smith in concert. (Sorry to the people in Vancouver who's show got cancelled because of the rioting, what a let down)  It was superb!

Meaghan Smith is the most recent Juno Award winner for Best New Artist.

She has a brilliant voice.  So original, that listening to her live sounds better then the recorded version of the songs.  I heard a lot of other people see that too!  Best part of the show was that the encore that audience pleaded for.  She came back on stage and said comically "Are You Sure? Do you remember that Juno I won, it was for best NEW artist. I only know so many songs."

I love that she was personable and wanted to meet her fans after the show.  You had better believe I took my wife with me to go meet her.  She also responded to one of my tweets before the show.  Just an absolute delight.

I didn't have cash at the show to buy a t-shirt.  When I got home I ordered one online, because I would rather support examples like her for my kids, then Miley Cyrus. You can imagine how distraught I was when the order was cancelled a couple of days ago because the t-shirts were no longer available.  One day when new products are listed, I will be all over that site.

If you haven't heard of Meaghan Smith, check her out at her website, her MySpace page, Twitter, or on Facebook.  She is Canadian talent that you need to hear. Candy for the ears.

20 June 2011

My Human Ecology Story

I recently had the opportunity to be one of three individuals to have my Human Ecology story recorded.  The question was simple: why did you choose Human Ecology?  There was also a secondary question of: what do you plan on doing with your degree?

Here is my answer to that question.  I apologize for the camera angle, I had no control over that.

My favourite part is the little summary of me:
 Josh is another recent graduate who is inspired to help people with his knowledge of family dynamics and issues situated in the contemporary society. He works independently as a freelance counsellor. 
You can read more here about this project, and also see to other peoples stories.

17 June 2011

Fathers Day Gift Giving Ideas

I usually don’t write about gift giving ideas for Mother’s Day, because most people are aware of how to make this day work, and know what to give for gifts.  However, when it comes to Father’s Day, there is mass confusion, and a distortion in the media for gift giving ideas.

We are told to get dad the latest set of tools, a new computer, a car wash, socks, or the latest movie.  While these may be great gifts, it doesn’t provide the best gifts for Father’s Day.


Read the rest of this column at the Battleford's News Optimist or at Notes on Parenting.