Changing the World

Changing the World

I am Feeling the World.

World love

Mom Says:

I am stuck.

Dozens of blog posts sit unpublished. Friends have checked in to see what’s wrong given how “quiet” I have become on social media.

I haven’t felt much like talking lately. There is more than enough dialogue out there.

Social media has taken its toll.

I am worn down.

The shouting, screaming, threats, complaining, and rants rage mixed against the stream of selfies, outfit of the days, food porn, product shots and a continued run of superficial moments feel wrong. So wrong.

On one hand, the world is strife with so much anger, sadness, hurt and heartache and on the other, the world continues to move by, seemingly oblivious to what is happening. We are draped and protected by our world of privilege that allows us to consume these moments when we want and turn them off, just like that. I am ashamed.

I am worried.

For friends experiencing difficult commentary, opinion and aggression towards them because of their beliefs. I am concerned for people feeling the rebound effect of what happened in Paris. My friends from Ketchup Moms Moms concern over anti-Muslim sentiment in Canada and CanadianMomEh  Terrorism Has No Religion both give incredibly great perspectives.

I am curious. 

What would I do, if caught in a situation where my home and my country no longer felt safe? What lengths would I go to protect my children? I think I would lie, cheat, steal, sleep with, bargain, comprimise and do whatever it took if it meant my kids were OK. Imagine violence and terror surrounding you daily and leaving EVERYTHING you have (yes, the SUV, the Pet Shops, the Xbox, the clothes, the Macbook, The iPhone, the shoes, the memories, the Starbucks cups, all the insanely ridiculous amount of STUFF we have here in the Western World.) EVERYTHING.

Come on people.

Imagine that.

Imagine what it would be like to lose EVERYTHING to move to a new country, just to feel safe.

And then shut the fuck up.

I am heartbroken. 

Is it helping or hindering when the connection you feel to everyone allows so much into your world?

There has always been war. In my mind, there is no reason to take another’s life. Ever. Adding a religious postscript does nothing to validate the position.

Is the introduction of social media creating a new kind of anger, rage, sadness or have those same feelings been as strong pulsing through our veins in the past? I don’t think so. We are so exposed to it now that its creating a ripple effect.

I think its slowly chipping away at this gentle earth of ours and in turn all of us.

Kindness and Joy.
Kindness and Joy.

I am hopeful.

The only way that anything will CHANGE is by you helping change it. Today, you can look at the world and be angry or you can look at the world and think of how you can make it better. The best work you can do is to spread joy and kindness. The worst you can do is add to the anger.

Make a good choice today.

Dad Says:

The medium allows for it. In fact, it was built on it. Real time discourse, monitoring and yes commenting on events that previously you needed to wait till Noltan read the news to disseminate.  We went from one journalist to 1000’s. Each of who can comment, argue or spew their thoughts & feelings to a world of many in a matter of seconds. It’s real time war. Is this affecting us more deeply or has it desensitized us to mankind’s base indignities?  The cradle of civilization has been fought over since before we could write about it, and it seems everybody has a historical stake.  This is the war that never ends, and we just get it streamed to our devices now. You cannot turn it off, there is no filter. Its 24-7 depression.

Vietnam brought the war into our living room, and the internet brings it into our lives before we get out of bed.  CNN chases hurricanes and global upheaval, with the facts trickling after.  I don’t know if its right, but I know I don’t like it. I don’t like the way it makes me feel. I am going to go for a walk.

Spread love in every way you can. Every day.
Spread love in every way you can. Every day.


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Changing the World

My #LifeReady Moment means the world

My #LifeReady Moment means the world

The comforter is warm and cozy and as I wake up to the sweet sounds of the Cowboy Junkies I look over to see the angel faces of both my children snuggled up beside me.

My children.

There is so much love and so much responsibility that go with those words. I often wonder how I possibly have kids when at times I still feel like a kid myself. I remember growing up thinking how very much my parents had it together in how they planned for everything. Planning for a trip, planning house moves, planning for their retirement and for our future. My dad especially focused diligently on maxing out his investment opportunities every year to see it through that they were covered as they got older. As they are finally in that stage of life, it’s paying off. Large. They don’t have to sacrifice the world to sustain their living. He had set it up beautifully so that they had a quality life full of travel and opportunity when they got to this life stage.

Dreaming gave us this view of the Indian Ocean #LifeReady
Dreaming gave us this view of the Indian Ocean #LifeReady

It makes me nervous. Coming from a different generation and philosophy, we don’t concentrate nearly as much as they do on financial matters. We are in far more debt. Our house is more expensive. The impact of interest rates from credit cards don’t seem to create the same concern that I saw with my folks. We are doing ok for saving for retirement but by no means are we maxing out each year. (And we have NO end goal as to when that is).

We are doing well on RESP contributions and because of Autism in our world, we are also adding contributions to RDSP’s to ensure the care of our child when he’s older. But we also hold the philosophies of “Come Before Winter” and “Tomorrow can easily become never”, which continually drives us to travel, seek experiences and have adventures that will create amazing memories for us and the kids more so than feeling financially safe as we get older.

And this experience in Stonetown, Zanzibar #lifeReady
And this experience in Stonetown, Zanzibar #lifeReady

We have a major #LifeReady moment we are starting to prepare for. It’s an idea of taking our kids on a world-wide trip. We want to teach them to be global citizens, help them understand and embrace all cultures and learn on the road. I am a dreamer, a live life to the fullest kind of gal whereas my husband is the responsible, collected one of the two of us. The only way we can get to this moment is to bring down our debt and meet at an agreed upon a level of financial preparedness and risk for both of us to be comfortable to go.

Being #LifeReady took us to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro
Being #LifeReady took us to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro
Took us on obscure adventures
Took us on obscure adventures
And brought us this close to moments that took our breath away #LifeReady
And brought us this close to moments that took our breath away #LifeReady
We can't wait to explore more of what the world has to offer #LifeReady
We can’t wait to explore more of what the world has to offer #LifeReady

This program couldn’t have come at a better time in taking stock of where we are.

We want to explore so many more beautiful sunsets
We want to explore so many more beautiful sunsets

I took the Manulife Readiness Quiz and discovered I am in the 45% of Canadians that feel we are on our way to being financially ready but we still have a ways to go.

Manulife Life Ready Quiz
My #LifeReady Quiz Results

Think about taking the Manulife Readiness Quiz to see how financially #LifeReady you are.

AND…Be sure to join us October 28 at 9pm EST for our @Manulife #LifeReady Twitter Party to talk financial preparedness and see what you dream of being #LifeReady for. Must RSVP to win over $2500 in Cash prizes!


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Changing the World

Almost There! #WalkForSickKids

spencer the early years 006

I lie down beside my little guy, stroking his hair as he drifts off to sleep. All I can think about is how grateful and how blessed we are. Life has shown us this year how quickly it can change. When you least expect it one moment can make all the difference. Going when we did to Sick Kids was a major part of our son’s successful recovery.


We are so jazzed to be taking our whole family (& our family dog) on the #WalkForSickKids this Saturday, September 26th! We’re so close and would love your help in getting us to our fundraising goal!

SickKids is a world leader in patient care, research discoveries that are changing the field of health, and global knowledge. Their goal this year is $2 Million and with your help, with all our help, we can get them there!

All funds raised for the Canaccord Genuity Great Camp Adventure Walk will be directed to the Possibilities Fund at SickKids, the biggest opportunity to help support children’s health.

If you’d like to participate yourself in The Great Camp Adventure Walk, there’s also still time to sign up! Use promo code “Social” to get $10 off the registration fee.

Personally I think you should join us, TEAM COOL GREEN because we are a lot of fun and are bringing our new puppy on the walk as well. Love so much that PetSmart is involved this year!

Everything you need to know about how to register is found at! The concept is a challenge-by-choice event–which means you can walk 5, 10, 15, or 20 km, what better way to get your FIT BIT steps in.

If you can’t make it, there is still there is still time to DONATE to our  Canaccord Genuity Great Camp Adventure #WalkForSickKids  page and be sure to follow along on the hashtag on Saturday. We will be actively posting from the event about all the amazing things #WalkForSickKids does to help children.

Have you entered?

The Great Camp Adventure Contest gives you a chance to win 1 of 5 $100 donations to a team of your choice and an additional $100 for you to decide what to do with.

Simply sign up below for a chance to spread the joy.

The Great Camp Adventure Walk for SickKids Promotion Contest

Disclosure: I am part of the Canaccord Genuity Great Camp Adventure Walk for SickKids campaign with Influence Central and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.
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Changing the World

#WalkForSickKids helps all of us

‘if you extend your neck you look slimmer…’

WHY we’re doing the #WalkForSickKids Canaccord Genuity Great Camp Adventure Walk.

I’m pretty sure every new mom sits at about Defcon 2 most days when it comes to watching over their new baby.

The worry and the unknown consume you. Every baby book tells you something different. Every baby book says trust your instincts, you know your baby best.

That moment when you vow you will do anything to keep them safe
That moment when you vow you will do anything to keep them safe

Three weeks in to the birth of our new son, something changed very quickly. Every feeding he would projectile vomit.  All over my shirt, down my bra, his jumper, couch, EVERYWHERE.

It started happening too often so we went to the hospital clinic to be sure he was ok. We will always remember the new-parent-you’re-an-idot-eye-roll of the doctor, who thought nothing was the matter.

He must just have caught a virus.

We went back home feeling foolish, except that when we fed him next, he pulled an epic Linda Blair.

We looked at each other. Packed up and went straight to the emergency room.

The first hospital I won’t even get in to except to say that watching your sons 3 week old eyes pleading with you as a set of nurses clumsily try to get an IV into his hand will truly be one of the worst moments of my life. The night got worse from there. I sat the night in a chair, alone, told to calm him down when he wanted to feed (Ha!) watching my son in a crib that looked like a jail cell.

The next day we discovered that he had Pyloric Stenosis. To put it simply the valve between your stomach and intenstine never opens up making it impossible to digest anything.We were immediately sent to Sick Kids Hospital to check in there and await surgery.

Our experience at Sick Kids was 1000X different than that of the other hospital.

The nurses and doctors at Sick Kids get it. They offer calm and reassurance when your world seems steeped in throat-tightening anxiousness.  They get that you are terrified, exhausted, need a coffee break, and how hard it is to simply be there, in a hospital, with your child.  They know you would do anything to trade places.

We lived at SickKids hospital for over a week, and never felt anything but comfort and support the entire time. The rooms, the staff, the communication, the kindness, the research, the care were all because you knew that those who worked there WANTED to be there. If it hadn’t been for the staff, I don’t know how we would have done it.

We met other families, many who were going through such difficult times for their children. Our hearts ached for every one we met. Regardless of the reason, there was a common thread.  They had come for the best care for their child, and they were so grateful for receiving it.

This is why we are doing the Canaccord Genuity Great Camp Adventure Walk, and why we are asking for your help to raise funds on behalf of SickKids Hospital. They put so much positive energy into making the worst time ever bearable, and we want to give back.  With a goal of raising over 2 million dollars for SickKids, we are joining Toronto’s greatest adventure walk on Sept 26th.

To give a nod to the best Sequence team at the cottage and our Gym Riot days as teens, we have affectionately named our team #TeamCoolGreen. And we want YOU! ..To JOIN us in supporting this incredible cause.

How Can You Help?

  • Come on our team, raise $500 and get fit walking up to 20km in a challenge-by-choice (you can do 5k, 10k, whatever you like) Nike says JUST DO IT!
  • Use promo code “social” to receive a $10 discount off The Great Camp Adventure Walk registration fee! Adults are $65 for a whole day of food and fun, Children are $35.
  • Donate to our #WalkForSickKids Donation Page 
  • Enter the The Great Camp Adventure Contest where you have a chance to win 1 of 5 $100 donations to a team of your choice and an additional $100 for you to decide what to do with ( I would donate it to SickKids…#JustSayin)
  • Share all over social media to support the incredible work that #WalkForSickKids does for sick children & for their families
  • Check out

To enter The Great Camp Adventure Contest, simply enter below for a chance to spread the joy.

The Great Camp Adventure Walk for SickKids Promotion Contest

Disclosure: I am part of the Canaccord Genuity Great Camp Adventure Walk for SickKids campaign with Influence Central and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.
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Changing the World

#CentsAbility Savings for a Month Gave a Salary for a Year

a cup of coffee with a heart shape toned with a retro vintage in

What you need to know about Chris and I is that we are firm believers of equity among all people and have a tremendous discomfort in being “class-ified.” As Canadians, being catered to or receiving privilege when others don’t, just doesn’t feel right in our world. So on our Mt. Kilimanjaro climb, it was important for us to get to know our guides leading us on the trip.

Thanks to Intrepid Travel we had an incredible group of professional guides on our team. Simon (our lead guide), Soster, Dismas and Joaquim were our saviours on the climb. They got us to the top and kept us going through the 6 day trek. As we walked, we talked about their families, their village, their way of life.

Our Kili crew
Our whole Intrepid Kili Crew

It was surreal for us discovering how high Tanzanian unemployment was, how grateful they were to pick up these treks up the mountain (Guiding Kilimanjaro expeditions being their only source of income), how essential it was to them to provide an education for their children and how for them, family was everything.

When we came home, we looked up and found the average annual salary in Tanzania was $1500 for the year.


Take note the next time you think of hashtagging #FirstWorldProblems.

We have been working with The Intrepid Foundation to match any donations we raised with our #TeamPowell Kili Climb on a quest to support, (Village Education Project Kilimanjaro), which provides educational opportunities for boys & girls in Tanzania. This rings so true in our hearts.

So this easily became our goal for the @Manulife #CentsAbility Challenge.

To fund a year’s worth of salary for and help bring equity and education to an area that 100% needs our help.

Here is a rundown on how we changed it up for October to help create change.

1) We had a Garage Sale.

There is something other-worldly coming home to so much stuff when you meet children who have no bed. So we immediately set out to have a garage sale and get rid some of the “stuff” suffocating us here at our house.

Next time your kid whines about not getting something, talk to them about children their age having nothing… no clean water, no extra clothes, no bed, no school. Funny how that quiets them down.

Money Raised: $240

 2) Changing up my “office”

Working as a mobile office, Starbucks tends to be my stop between meetings ,which I have to say is not good for my wallet or my waistline. I started actively seeking out libraries or common areas to head to to do my work as an alternative to the usual.

Library over Starbucks 15 Days/mth X average bill of $10/visit

Money saved this month: $150

(Cost Savings per year say at $100/mth = $1200)

 3) Active couponing

I am not a great couponer but after I was introduced to the Flipp App at the Manulife #CentsAbility lunch at BlissDom Canada, I am feeling a lot more game to give it a try. The cool part of this app is that it collects all of your favourite shops in one location and provides you their weekly flyer. This gave us the ability to flag the coupons we wanted and add them to our shopping list so it was RIGHT where when we needed it. PERFECT. Over the last 4 weeks, the hubs and I have managed to save at least $20/week via smart coupon decisions.

We also have been accumulating cash on our PC Plus Card for Loblaws (a grocery store in Canada) which provides savings offers and a cash back on all your grocery purchases. Perfect time to redeem that accumulating cash on the card.

Money Saved this month: $ 80

(Cost Savings per year $ 960)

Using our PC Plus Rewards to redeem at Loblaws $30

4) Cancelling a number of our monthly auto pay subscriptions

Listen, if I was using problem but when I realized that I had been paying for a Weight Watchers Subscription ($20/mth), a GoodLife Membership ($50/mth), a monthly magazine subscription ($10/mth), too many royalty free stock image sites to count ($20/mth) and we weren’t using any of, it was time to shut ‘er down.

Money Saved this month: $100

(Cost Savings per year $1200)

5) Changing up work habits

I do a lot of client meetings and find the best form of meeting is a casual one over a meal.

However, explaining what we were doing, I found common place with a number of clients who were tired of the usual lunch meetings and were game when I suggested we meet for exercise or a walk instead. Rather than spending an average bill of $35-50 taking them out for a meal, we got healthy AND I stuck to the #CentsAbility Challenge.

I also made the simple effort of switching lunch meetings to coffee meetings which greatly changed my daily work spend.

The last part was while travelling for business to Vancouver.  I was introduced to the benefits of the Fairmont’s President’s Club  (Many Thanks Rob!).  As I was staying at two different ones for two conferences this couldn’t have been better advice. Signing up for the President’s Club provided free wifi, a host of value adds & because their customer service is so epic, they shuttled my luggage to the other hotel saving me the cost of a taxi to take over my stuff across town.

Hosting 2 meetings while suggesting exercising vs lunch $70/week

Money saved this month $ 280

(Cost Savings per year $ 3,360)

Switching 1 lunch meeting to coffee meeting $5 vs $35/week

Money Saved this month $ 120

(Cost Savings per year $ 1,440)

Fairmont’s President’s Club Benefits

Money Saved this month  $55

So the month has come to end as has our #CentsAbility Challenge and we are SO very proud to say that with the efforts we put towards being financially conscious in October we managed to raise/save $1,055.

With the Intrepid Foundations match we will be sending $ 2,110 to help support this worthy cause!

It also showed us what saving money better could do for us on a yearly basis and help us strive for our next goal….

To go back to Africa with our kids.

I can’t thank Manulife enough for putting this out there as a goal for us to try to achieve. It has truly been life-changing.


Our Intrepid Guides - Simon, Soster and Joaquim
Our Intrepid Guides – Simon, Soster and Joaquim


For information on the @Manulife #CentsAbility Challenge .

Other #CentsAbility Challengers: CommonCentsMom , DaddyBlogger, MyDirt, CristaClips, Shasherslife, 3Chickensanda Boat

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