Gratitude for 1000

When I started my blog in January of 2013, my 12-year-old son threw out a challenge:

“Mom – I think you should try to get 100 followers by the end of the year.”

I immediately started adding in my head: I knew I could count on my mom and dad, my husband, my sister and some close friends- but 100?! That seemed like a very tall order. But I agreed to the challenge and set about writing my posts as honestly as I could – about my plant-based diet, my family, my own personal struggles and successes and my thoughts on everything from dog food to dance makeup.

As the numbers slowly started to grow (20, 50, 60) I liked to imagine inviting everyone over to my house for a cocktail party. “How did you find me?” I’d ask – and “Here – have a glass of wine and a vegan appetizer!” I fantasized about how cool it would be to bring everyone together to learn from each other and to share our common interests.

Much to my surprise the numbers just kept increasing. After many months of learning, I dipped my toes into the worlds of Facebook and Twitter and the numbers jumped again. Sometimes I’d write something that I thought was totally brilliant and all I’d get back in return was a handful of hits and the sound of crickets chirping in the background. Other times, I’d reluctantly hit publish on a particularly sensitive topic and you would respond with a flood of support, insightful commentary and “likes”.

I know 1000 doesn’t sound like a lot when compared with the millions of followers garnered by celebrities and blogging superstars but it really feels like something special to me. A milestone of sorts. I was scared to death to start my blog but it was worth every misstep and falter just for the opportunity to express my creativity and to share a bit of myself with all of you.

Truth be told, I still don’t really know what the heck I’m doing. I’ve got the bare bones hosting software, a free platform from Word Press and very basic tech skills on a good day (and frankly I don’t know a hashtag from a hashbrown). But I’ve learned all of that matters less than just sitting my butt down at my computer and writing straight from my heart. This in turn has resulted in a connection with 1000 followers from around the world and for that I am deeply grateful.

Thank you so much to everyone on Word Press, on Twitter and on Facebook for reading, commenting, liking and following me on this journey. Your support means the world to me! There is really only 1 big problem – where do I find a venue big enough for all 1000 of us to get together for that cocktail party : )

 

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Summer Family Fun & Learning

Over the years as I’ve learned, read and taken courses on a variety of wellness related topics, I have often thought about how much I would love bring my children along to these classes or find age-appropriate ways to impart the valuable information I’ve received. I believe in general kids are much more open-minded when it comes to learning new things and although I appreciate the education they are getting at school, it would be awesome if they could also take courses in subjects like mindfulness, kindness, manifesting, self-acceptance, gratitude and health eating.

meditation

Since no such program exists in my area (although my friend Leslie is working on something for the fall- woohoo!), I decided that I would take it upon myself to dream up a fun learning experience to undertake with my kids during some of my time with them this summer. I know, I know – “no more pencils, no more books, no more teacher’s dirty looks!” I’ve already promised them that this won’t be like school and we will still have lots of time for chillin’ by the pool, playing crazy 8’s and hanging with friends. I’ll only list a theme for the week and together we will brainstorm ideas for a couple of things we can do to explore that topic (and yes, I am prepared for some sighing and eye rolling as we get started).
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A Happiness Challenge

Thank you so much to fellow blogger Cathy Laws who wrote to let me know she had also just completed a 21-day challenge and she is feeling amazing. Not a food cleanse however – but a Happiness Challenge! How cool is that?! She found this challenge courtesy of Shawn Achor- founder and CEO of Good Think Inc. Check out his TedX talk below and get ready to laugh and be inspired.

You can learn more about Shawn at his website (www.shawnachor.com) and by reading his book The Happiness Advantage.

This is one challenge I am definitely going to try. Thanks for the tip Cathy!

Love, Gratitude, Guest Posting and Granola

Happy Valentine’s Day!!!

valentine

I hope your day is filled with  homemade Valentine’s cards, tons of hugs and kisses, dozens of roses, lots of chocolate and perhaps even some champagne to celebrate this day of love.

As a special Valentine’s treat for me – my very good friends over at the Parenting Network invited me to do a guest post for their blog and they have put it up today. I am so grateful for this amazing opportunity to combine two of my passions – family and food. Thank you Beverley and Doone!

You can read my guest post  here to find out how I use their principle of LRC (Love, Respect, Confidence) around meal times at my house and also get my yummy recipe for Vanilla Cinnamon Granola. You might also want to check out some of the courses offered by the Parenting Network – their live classes for those who live in the Toronto area and teleseminars and audio learning series for those farther afield.

Happy Valentine’s and here’s wishing you and your family lots of love today!