Monday, August 29, 2011

My very exciting news!

This weekend was busy and fun and filled with exciting news. We were blessed with hot and sunny weather on Saturday (while our thoughts were with those battling the hurricane on the East Coast) so we were able to spend the day swimming and enjoying a nice BBQ. That's what summer is all about, right? I was also invited to take part in the Volkswagen freedriving tour. I've been a Volkswagen driver since the day I got my license when I was 16 years old, and my family has only ever owned German made vehicles. We brought the kids along with us, and they had a blast. You can read all about my experience on my Yummy Mummy Club blog!
Now for the really exciting news! I recently applied to be the new co-host of a lifestyle talk show here in Ottawa called Daytime (on Rogers). It's a wonderful show that's all about the great city I live in. It covers entertainment stories, community events, cooking, and so much more. I was on the show a few months ago as a guest, speaking about being a mom blogger.

On Sunday I found out that I am a finalist for the position of co-host for Daytime Ottawa.

I'm in the TOP TEN, baby!

I'll be co-hosting the show on Wednesday, September 7th! If you're not able to watch me live, don't worry - I'll send out the link so you can watch! After the ten finalists have all co-hosted, viewers and friends will get to vote online for their top three favourite co-hosts from September 17th to 22nd. The top three will then be showcased between September 26th and 28th. Of course, I'll be reminding you every two minutes on Twitter so you don't forget. You're welcome.

I am so excited and so happy to have made it this far. When I got the good news, there was a lot of 'squee-ing' going on in my house. And I sort of forgot all about the housework I was doing. I did manage to cook dinner, though, with shaking hands.

Years ago, I was a reporter for a show on Rogers called Ottawa Living - I was the "girl around town", and I would report on the events taking place in the city every week, from different locations around town. I spent a few years working as a reporter for a news talk radio station, and I also worked as a news writer for another TV station. With degrees in Communications and Broadcast Journalism, you could say that I am definitely passionate about the news and media world.

I interned in the fast-paced newsroom at CBS TV in Washington, D.C. and sat in Mary Hart's chair at Entertainment Tonight in Hollywood, California. Both those internships taught me a lot, and confirmed to me what I already knew - working in TV, both behind the scenes and in front of the camera, was a great place for me to be.

Even if I don't advance to the top three (but believe me, my fingers are crossed!) I'm thrilled to have been given this opportunity. I hope you all have a chance to watch when I co-host, and I hope I'll have your support so I can advance to the next round!



In other news, I was one of three fashion bloggers chosen to be featured in the fall shopping issue of Ottawa Magazine.


I'm so excited, and wanted to say thank you for your kind words on Twitter, Facebook, and through email. I appreciate it a lot!


Monday, August 22, 2011

Reasons to celebrate

As a mom, I find reasons to celebrate every single day. I'm a very enthusiastic person, to say the least. I started doing a happy dance complete with jazz hands the first time my oldest son wrote his name by himself. I'm the loudest cheerleader at my children's swimming lessons, or when I'm watching my son play soccer. "YOU KICKED THE BALL! IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION! GOOOOOO CHRISTOS!" Yeah, you could say I'm overly enthusiastic and always in the mood to celebrate my children's little—and big—victories.



I am always proud of my children. Well, except when they say bad words in public, really loudly, or throw epic temper-tantrums in the grocery store. At times like those, I don't feel much like celebrating. At times like those, I want to to disappear into a black hole.

But I digress... We're talking about celebrating, right?





Here's a reason to celebrate: I've been selected to work with Mom Central Canada as part of the KINDER Mom ambassador program. Me and chocolate working together? That is a beautiful thing. Me and chocolate my children absolutely love working together? Even more of a beautiful thing! Kinder Surprise has recently been re-lauched—same great chocolate taste, but this time, bigger, better, and more playful toys than before—as if the chocolate wasn't enough of a treat, right?

Kinder Chocolate has been around since 1968, but my first memory of Kinder Chocolate was when I was six years old, during a summer vacation in Greece. It was a treat I always looked forward to every time we'd go to Europe. Whenever I indulge in Kinder Chocolate today, I'm reminded of summers in Greece, and of my youth. I dare say it has kept me young... at heart! And in spirit, of course.

I love treating my children to Kinder Surprise, and not only during Christmas and Easter, but whenever I feel the need to celebrate.

Like when my son graduated from kindergarten, or when he was the "Student of the Month" several times throughout the year.

Or when my three year old took off his floaties and swam underwater in the deep end a few months ago, to be like his older brother.

Or the time my youngest son drew his very first stick person.

Or when I see my boys playing happily together, or with their cousins.

Of course the biggest celebrations are celebrated through hugs and kisses, but a chocolate treat always brings on huge smiles, too!

This summer, I celebrated extra time off work with my family. Whether on our vacation to Maine, sunny days spent by the pool, or afternoons at the museums, I enjoyed every day. I celebrated my new nephew being born, BBQ's and evenings out with friends, and a blogging conference in San Diego.

How have you been celebrating this summer? What are you looking forward to celebrating in the coming months?

Disclosure: I’m part of the Kinder® Mom program and I receive compensation as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I carried a watermelon, and then I cried.

You know when you hear news so shocking you're left reeling in disbelief? And you're so shocked, you don't know what to do? I've experienced this type of shock many times before. So many times, I can't even tell you. In real life situations, and in stories I read about about in the news. Of course, nothing sucks as bad as when it happens in real life, and you're left gasping for air, as if the wind has been knocked out of you.

I was shocked when I found out that Ben Johnson lost his gold medal in the 1988 Calgary Olympics because he was taking steroids. I was listening to the radio in my parents bedroom when I heard the news. For some reason, the story really affected me. It was hard enough for Canada to even get a gold medal in the summer Olympics, to have it taken away from us seemed so wrong.

Of course, there is also shock on a much larger scale, like BIG shock, shock you don't really get over, shock that affects the entire world, like the Challenger disaster, Columbine, 9/11, the 2004 tsunami, and, on a lesser scale, but still shock-worthy, nonetheless, the death of Princess Diana and JFK, and finding out Casey Anthony was found not guilty. Oh, and OJ, too. I could go on forever, but I'll stop there.

There is also shock in the entertainment world. Like finding out the truth about Milli Vanilli. And discovering that Nick and Jessica were breaking up. My best friend called me long distance to break the news to me, and at first, I didn't believe her. Sadly, it was true, and no, I'm still not 'over' Nick and Jessica breaking up. I like to think that one day, one day, they'll get back together again? Maybe?

The most recent shocking news I heard was that 'they' were going to remake Dirty Dancing. Dirty Dancing coming back to the big screen? I can't even... this news just... it's so wrong. It's just so wrong.





Kenny Ortega, who choreographed the original film, will direct the remake. This doesn't sit well with me, even though he played a huge role in the original film. I mean, he also played a role in High School Musical, okay? And while it's a cute movie with teenagers dancing and singing, it's no Dirty Dancing. And I fear that the new Dirty Dancing will be more High School Musical than it should be. It's just a really, really bad idea to try to make Dirty Dancing again. Are you listening, Kenny?

Who will play Baby? Jennifer Grey was an unknown actress in 1987, a fresh face on the big screen. She was Baby.

That was the summer of 1963 - when everybody called me Baby, and it didn't occur to me to mind. That was before President Kennedy was shot, before the Beatles came, when I couldn't wait to join the Peace Corps, and I thought I'd never find a guy as great as my dad. That was the summer we went to Kellerman's.

And please don't get me started on who could possibly play the role of Johnny Castle. NO ONE can replace Patrick Swayze... NO ONE.


Nobody puts Baby in a corner. *swoon*

No one can dance like Patrick Swayze, yet still be such a... man. You know? He was sexy. He was cute. He could dance.

Dirty Dancing is one of my all-time favourite movies. Some movies should never be remade—like Stand By Me, Goodfellas, The Breakfast Club, Gone With The Wind and Ferris Beuller's Day Off. These movies fall in a category called 'untouchable'. Don't mess with a good thing. There is no need to see these movies made again, when they were so perfect the first time.

Rumors are now swirling about who will play Baby and Johnny in the new film.

Here are the names being considered to play the role of Baby:

Lea Michele.
Miley Cyrus.
Demi Lovato.
Selena Gomez.
Taylor Swift.
Ashley Tisdale.

No. No. No. No. No and um... No. Since when was Dirty Dancing a musical? There is no need to cast a teeny-bopper singer! Baby doesn't sing! She dances! And she's not 15!


And Johnny?

Justin Timberlake.
Justin Bieber.
Zac Efron.
Ryan Gosling.
James Franco.

Sob. Really, Justin Bieber? Oh yes... he just screams Johnny Castle to me!


And... Zac Efron? NO! He's a pretty boy who is just... not right for this movie. James Franco could have been a 'hmmm...' but then he hosted the Oscars and his image was tarnished forever.

Ryan Gosling is a great actor, and Canadian, too, like the Biebs, but still... can he replace Patrick Swayze? I don't know. I don't think so...


Justin Timberlake? No. There is no Johnny Castle in Mr. I'm-bringing-sexy-back.

I read that George Clooney was in talks to play the role of Baby's dad, Dr. Houseman. (He can totally channel his old E.R. days, and play a doctor again!) This makes me feel old, but anyway. I'd be down with that. Clooney in any movie is never a bad thing. Alec Baldwin and Jon Hamm are also names that have been mentioned for the role of Dr. Houseman. Okay, and okay.
I heard that Blake Lively might play the role of Penny. She's tall and lean and gorgeous, like the original Penny, so I don't see this as an awkward fit at all.

But still, you guys. A remake of Dirty Dancing is NOT OKAY. It is absurd! And wrong! And will fail terribly at the box office!

Are you with me?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

What a difference a year makes...

The hardest part about going to BlogHer for me was not about what I was going to pack. Or how many shoes I was going to bring. The hardest part for me was getting on a plane without my children, praying I get home safely and in one piece.

So when my husband received this text message from me as I boarded my last flight home, I had a minor panic attack. Was it some sort of premonition?


Stupid auto-correct.

Anyway, the good news is, I'm back from San Diego. And yes, I packed too many shoes. But! I did manage to wear at least three different outfits a day, making good use out of all the clothes I brought with me.

My experience this year was different from last year. I had expectations this year, whereas last year, since it was my first time at BlogHer, I didn't really know what to expect. Maybe it was a little more fun last year, but still, this year was worth it and I have no regrets. I think the fact that I was so far from my children made it that much harder for me to just relax and fully enjoy myself, you know?

The best part about blogging conferences is meeting up with old and new friends. It's the connections that make travelling all those miles well worth it. It's the late night discussions by the pool, or eating pizza in the lobby at 2 a.m. with other awesome bloggers. It's hanging out outside and having a heart-to-heart with a friend. It's telling strangers you're in San Diego for a blogging conference, yes, a blogging conference, um, YES, a blogging conference, that's right, with 3,000 other women, and a few men.

Blogging is a very personal thing, and we are all connected in some way, so to meet the people you read about daily is sort of like meeting your best friend and a celebrity at the same time. (Jim actually explained it to me like that, and I totally agree!) Blogging conferences are a reunion of sorts. The depressing part is when they end. It's sort of like going to that high school dance on Friday night, having a great time, and having fuzzy memories come Monday morning. It's already getting excited for the next time, even though it's an entire year away.

Of course, BlogHer is also about the fabulous parties on the roof-top patios of very cool hotels. It was kind of hectic going from party to party, but I am not complaining! Sitting in the VIP section with Mario Lopez, Danielle, Julie and Caitlin at a Softcups party was pretty hilarious. A period party with A.C. Slater? I mean, how can you not have fun?



Other highlights of San Diego included...

Getting the chance to sit down and talk to Britt for over an hour, sipping strawberry daiquiris in the sun. She's even more awesome to talk to in person. Equally awesome to talk to is Tanis.



Hanging out with Summer at the Clever Girls party, and walking all the way back to the hotel in our poor, tired feet. But laughing all the way...



Travelling to San Diego with the awesome girls from Mom Central Canada made my flight to San Diego go by super fast (well, that and the two Ativan I took) and attending the Canadian Embassy party—that was one of the best parties of the entire weekend. So many fabulous people all in one place!



I am so glad I spent more time with Jill this year. Last year we barely had time to say hello, but this year we finally had a chance to catch up at the Moms Fashion File party on Saturday night.



Attending Sparklecorn for the first time was very... sparkly. And fun.



And Stephanie and I hung out with Suzy from Hot Comes To Die Saturday afternoon. Did you know Suzy has been on both Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm? She's so cool.



Of course, I went to the annual Cheese-Burg-Her party. I had to see it to believe, but yes, it was really a party with... cheeseburgers. And fries. And drinks and music. It was very cool. Now I regret not eating a cheeseburger! But I did have some fries. Mmm... fries....



Danielle and I spent a lot of time hanging out in pedicabs that almost killed us, and at all the fabulous parties drinking really yummy drinks.



Late night gatherings in the hotel were also really fun...



And getting to hang out with and rock out with the gorgeous Amy...



I also enjoyed spending some time alone. It's always important, I think, to get off and do your own thing for a while. BlogHer can be very overwhelming!



I loved meeting Kat for the first time, and hanging out with these funny ladies a few hours after I arrived in San Diego.



I bumped into Amy and Ann walking from the convention centre to the hotel, and of course we had to take a picture, because Ann is one of my favourite bloggers ever.



I can't believe I didn't take any pictures with my roommates Lotus and Leslie! What's up with that? Anyway. BlogHer'11 was great. The Voices of the Year ceremony was incredible, and Bon (whom I love) made me cry, and Britt made me smile. Everyone did a fantastic job, as usual.

See you all in 2012... back in New York City, which is only a very SHORT plane ride from home!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Six

August 1st, 2005.

Before, and after.





Nothing changes a person like the day they become a mom for the first time. My life completely shifted the day my son was born. I always knew I wanted to be a mother, I just didn't know how powerful the love would be. I was in a definite zombie-like state for at least the first six weeks, scared even to sleep, for fear of something happening to my baby.

I look at my child, still very much my baby, and am amazed at the things he knows and understands. While he loves to do normal six year old things like build with LEGO, make sand castles on the beach, read books, play with his army people and master Angry Birds better than his parents, he's different. He's wise, wise beyond his years.







"In World War II, moms and babies and people who were not bad died, too, right mom? How did Hitler die? Why was there a war?"

(I usually tell him to ask his father when the questions are too hard for me to answer.)


"Mom, what exactly did Einstein invent?"


(Dear God, you never told me I'd have to answer these types of questions!)

"Mom, do pregnant people have to go to jail, too?"
"Yes, sweetie,"
I replied.
"Then what happens to their baby after?"

(This is where parenting gets hard...)

As the days and years go by, not only does my love grow for my children, but I realize more and more that parenting is not easy. It's rewarding, sure, but it's also very challenging. It's a 24 hours a day job, but a job I am very thankful for, every single day.

My first-born son is compassionate and loving, doting on his baby cousins, taking care of his little brother.

This morning, the two of them were fighting.

"Why is Chirstos only nice to me when we're at camp, mama?" my little Dimitry asked.

This made me smile, because I know how much his brother looks after him when I'm not around. I see him, a pro in the swimming pool, cheer on his little brother as he swims across to the deep end, without floaties on, proud smile on his face.


He knows the Elements, and asks me which one my favourite is.

"Um... diamond?" I respond.

"MOM! Diamond is not an element!" he'll laugh at me.

My big boy is now six - SIX! years old. I still can't believe it myself. How does time go by so quickly, and why isn't there a pause button?



Yes, my son is six. Starting grade one in a month. And I am just... in awe of him. And of course, worried. But I know there is nothing we can't handle together.



Happy Birthay to my beautiful little boy... I love you (and your brother!) more than you'll ever know!

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