family travel,  Giveaways,  Health,  parenting,  special needs

The Ultimate Blog Party #UBP13

Ultimate Blog Party 2013

This is the second year I have taken part in this great event hosted by It’s a fun annual event and a great way to get to meet a few new bloggers, expand your circle and build some connections.
So what’s involved, you ask? Well over $20,000 in prizes and a massive group of bloggers who write about various topics: from review bloggers to niche bloggers that focus on special needs. There are Dad bloggers and Mom bloggers and even some parents in waiting bloggers. So, for those taking part in the party who are new to this blog allow me to tell you what is all about.
What niche are you?
I am a health blogger. That is a vast topic which encompasses healthy living, fitness, reviews and giveaways and travel spots that are good for my health. I like exercise, and I commit to the plank a day meme over on twitter, but I am more than that. I write a lot about caregiving. I am a sandwich generation Canadian Mom, just over 40, with two kids, parenting a child with special needs and caring for my Mom now too, a senior citizen with failing health. Last year we moved my Mom out of her Guelph condo during a devastating emergency health crisis and into hospital here. Once she was diagnosed, then we moved her into a retirement home nearby. 
I am a juggler. I mean a Mom, like many of you, my readers. But I am also a journalist and a social media strategist. I write magazine articles for numerous magazines. I help host twitter parties and I am a community manager for many companies, non profits and brands. I started out in this business as a trained newspaper reporter and won some awards chasing train wrecks and following police when they busted local businesses fronting as massage parlours. That was a fun and exciting night. Nights that were less fun: when a Rottweiler mauled a three year old and killed him in the middle of the winter one year; covering boring stuff like farm toys show (Snore!) and covering strikes by labour groups, or the latest A-Thon every week of the entire summer one year. But riding around in a police car at midnight isn’t extremely healthy when you have your own health issues and two little people at home. I loved it and then moved on to be stay at home Mom to two gorgeous girls we adopted in London, Ontario, domestically.

After we adopted our girls I connected with several other adoptive parents and foster parents throughout Canada and we formed a non profit called the Canadian Coalition of Adoptive Families. We advocated at every level for changes that make our families stronger and help our children succeed in their forever homes. I speak sometimes nationally and internationally about our experiences.

Us then
How long have you been blogging?
I started this blog in 2009 after I attended a workshop on writing for electronic publications. Gah! We called them that back then. Anyways the speaker made a lasting impression on me. I have always  lusted after front page bylines. The thrill of seeing your byline on the front page, or bagging the biggest interview of the day, was a great career. But, I could easily see the writing on the wall for traditional publishing and didn’t need a sledgehammer to see the cuts were coming deep and fast at newspapers everywhere. So my blog was started. I made no money for a long time and it was okay because the blog was a hobby and when my children were very small my health was not good. Then I started getting reviews and giveaways and books too. It began to become a part-time business. Now, almost four years later, my blog brings me full-time work, and it is a full-time business. I got several of my first consulting jobs building full social media strategy for non profits that fit my world vision and philosophy as a result of this blog and a direct result of all my advocacy work with adoptive families. Funny now to think that it actually got me noticed by other non profits and patient groups.
For a while I juggled magazine writing and blogging. I let the writing take me wherever it leads now. That’s my philosophy. Now I community manage a Canadian toy company called Learning and I community manage three infertility awareness associations in three provinces of Canada. I love my job and I never ever would have seen it coming. I mean who knew four years ago that writing about children and their daily meanderings would lead here? 

Journalism made me good at writing fast. That works well when you are a blogger and community manager. Waitressing in university to pay for tuition made me excellent at multi-tasking which is a skill I use every day of my life. So I can juggle a lot – like PTA and doctor’s appointments for my Mother while slotting specialists for my children and booking new clients. 
And a year ago.
Five things you might not know about me….
1. I have a fear of heights. 
2. I love to travel and fly but I hate the take off part. I am a big old fraidy cat.
3. I choose writing every time over all other past-times.
4. I have more grey hairs than I would like to have, but not today thank you, John Frieda.
5. I ran a daycare in my home for awhile and loved having busy kids around all the time.
Now I am everywhere the Internet leads. Follow me on twitter:
and all over Pinterest. I pin for a lot of clients and brands and set up their boards. 
I help cohost a chat almost every Wednesday night on twitter via
Once in awhile we have some pretty spectacular prizes. But at 8 p.m. EST every Wednesday we have sparkling conversation. 
Two final thoughts.
Blogging is a business.
Manners are not optional.

Mom of two beautiful active girls, traveller, fitness junkie, social media consultant, and keeper of the sanity.