Come Away With Me Contest Entry!!

“This blog post is a contest entry for Harlequin’s Come Away with Me Bucket List Contest located at

I was on facebook when I noticed a friend shared a link. A contest link!! I’m all about the contest entry. A wonderful woman I follow on twitter, Karma Brown, wrote a book. About experiencing life at its worst and trying to move on by experiencing the adventures life has to offer. The contest – win something off of your bucket list. And then I had a ‘hmmmmm’ moment. While I have thought about things I want to accomplish in life, I never ever have written a bucket list. Maybe there is some truth to the Karma’s hashtag #‎WriteItDownMakeItReal‬.

So I present – my top 10 bucket list. It was a lot harder than I thought putting together the top things I want to accomplish.

1. Go to Hollywood and pretend I’m famous – result of childhood dream never coming to fruition. I blame NKOTB for this one. I was supposed to go on tour with them and be the kid sister of the group. (Girlfriends come and go but family stays forever!) They obviously never got the memo.
2. Sleep in an underwater hotel – I’m a water baby, the sense of tranquility, the environment of helping me think anything in life is possible – priceless.
3. Pay for the kids teeth in one shot – bucket lists have weird items once kids come along
4. Pay off student loan before I’m dead – previously in my head this was within 5 years of completing school. Once kids come along I think bucket lists are more fluid as well.
5. SWIM WITH DOLPHINS!!! Will they think I’m fluffy? Will they think I’m pregnant? These are science based questions I want to know!!
6. Get a picture published – that they paid me for. In my head this is followed by someone paying me to travel the globe with the kid (dd13) and sidekick (husband), creating photo essays. Pictures to share with everyone on how I see the world……but no snow pictures. I can’t do that anymore. My bones are getting too old for this Canadian ‘cold’ crap every winter. I need heat.
7. A class at Second City – whole pretend I’m famous theme again……….
8. Vacation on the pink shores of the Bahamas – water baby theme here and PINK SAND!!!
9. Have time to write, have someone believe, get published
10. England, Ireland, Scotland – kiss the blarney stone and have hope that things I speak of, things I want to experience and explore, that someone out there will listen and help me on my way. Okay – maybe just touch the stone …. Acrophobia .. but I am going to try to kiss 🙂 And seeing castles, history, and attractions!!

PS. I’m the first one on the library hold list to get her book when the order finally goes through!! It sounds like a good read!!
PPS. Including my PPS, I did this whole post in 2786 characters. I rock.


What the landscape can teach you

My view this week.


Very blue ...


Where does the earth end?


Fires for food


La luna


The age old "dark vs light"


The clouds so low


....see forever


Clouds ... no witty caption.


Everyone driving somewhere


Holy crap we found an awesome hill.

….brilliant huh?  They are nice pictures.  I used to think I wanted to live on a farm or be in the country..  Honest truth, I now know that’s not me.  I prefer concrete and streetcars.

What’s your landscape taught you?

Disclosure:  no laws were broken in the taking of these pictures.  My hands stayed on the wheel and the kid took them.  

kids + travel = learning .. no matter how short or far the distance

I think the past year we’ve been here we’ve run out of places to go within driving distances of coming back home within a reasonable amount of time for school/work.  Which is really hard for a family that likes to travel and view the world … as much as they can on a very limited limited non-existent budget 🙂 I think that’s the biggest culture shock living in the middle of the country.  Before we had an abundance of places to go and people to see.  Here…well here not so much.

I remember last year a couple kids told me they hadn’t been out of Saskatchewan…ever.  While socio-economic and life factors may play a part for some – it still bowled me over.  Manitoba is literally an hour away.  Trust me – the sidekick and I do not have money.  However, the sidekick and I have always believed that the kid is learning things about life when we travel.  It took years and years to come up with the money to go to Australia, but the perspectives she gained from being in a new culture – priceless.  And I got to hold a koala – AWESOMENESS FOR ME!!!  Walking downtown Toronto and watching her give her own coins to a homeless man – priceless.  (Hopefully she continues to know she isn’t the center of the universe).  Even going through different neighbourhoods in different provinces she is learning about different standards of living.  We went to the Buffalo Zoo for $34 .. for the three of us .. and that included parking.  So many opportunities to learn.  Traveling is an education in itself. I think my dream would be if someone bankrolled me to travel for a year with the kid documenting everything.  We would both be in heaven … though the kid might not pass school if I home-schooled her.  …..  That could be a problem.

After staying near to the house since we’ve been back, the need to view the world was intense.  So we had an adventure, the kid and I.  The sidekick was not able to come.  We decided to head back to Minot, North Dakota.  We haven’t been there since last October.  Both of us love love love finding those cool items we don’t have in Canada.

The following pictures are not good for your health at all – but I imagine when it’s time for a treat I’m going to be very happy 🙂  Though walking the stuff off is gonna be a drag 😉

photo 4

I think I drooled in the aisle.

photo 3

The kid asked for a treat for dinner. We picked up Nacho Cheese and Cheese Pizza Gold fish Mac and Cheese.

photo 2

Drooling … We have healthy stuff too as you can tell by the walnut cranberry salad topper next to it 🙂

photo 1

Because who doesn’t want their mouth popping in the morning?


We window shopped.

photo 5

Wishing for cool expensive toys 😦 One day I told her – when she becomes a doctor or something 🙂


We went to an amazing restaurant called Mi Mexicana.

photo 3(1)

I wanted to steal the chairs. How totally cute?

photo 2(1)

Even the table was cool. I had my first chimichanga.  It was DELICIOUS!!  From the service to the decor – go.  It was superb.


We took a drive through the city, exploring places we hadn’t been.  We relaxed at the hotel.  A waterpark was attached to the hotel.  The waterpark was a little worn in.   No life guard was present, (a fact written on the wall), so it was a little chaotic with all the people not following my rules for safety.  But deep breaths to keep the anxiety down helped to make it a great time for us.

photo 4(1)


And when it was time to leave …. we got lost.  I thought it was a straight road from the border to Minot as I remembered going there.  Apparently not – there’s a road that breaks off somewhere to go back to the border.  I had no clue where we were.  A fact which had the kid laughing and taking out the GPS.  I am amused it didn’t rate highly on her take of the weekend.

A 4 hour drive enabled us to talk about things we hadn’t been able to in the rush of life.

We made it home.  The sidekick was waiting.

Travel – even if it’s to a new town by you.  Travel with your kids.  The time together is amazing.






The soothing sounds of water.

Today’s adventure saw the sidekick and I heading north to meet up with another couple about 40 minutes away.  The town they live in has an ice cream bar that has something like 50 different flavours of soft serve!!  50!!!  I had banana… yuuummmmmm….drooooooool …………

I had met with her before, and was most excited to be able to spend some more time getting to know each other better.  What started as a cold morning, ended in a warm lovely afternoon.  Seriously,  it was cold.  It was nuts.  I belong in the south somewhere.  Banana soft serve was calling though 😉 Plus they had identical baby girls.  Gorgeous little wee ones!! The sidekick, (aka the baby whisperer), had one of the babies smiling and cooing.  I gave them back before they could have started screaming – cuz you know it would have happened.

One of the topics of conversation was where they were from.  The coast of BC.  They spoke about the lifestyle, and the ocean.  It really hit me how much I miss living and being by the water.  Water you can walk in and that moves without fear of leeches or something.  This whole afternoon I’ve thought about the calmness I have felt around water.  The calmness of hearing the ocean waves when we were blessed enough to go to Australia.  The calmness the sidekick felt while we were on the riverboat in the middle of Saskatoon.  The calmness of watching the kid play at Wasaga Beach.  The calmness of walking through the waves in the North Atlantic Ocean.  In a world gone to fast and to confusing at times, I can feel at peace and more connected to our creator by just listening to the soothing sounds of water.

Off course I was a dork and bombarded the sidekick with plans of moving to the BC coast now  on the drive home 🙂 …. I miss water.


The View

One of the things that I’ve been extremely lucky about, is I have the most fantastic people in my life.  Sometimes I don’t know what I did to get so many people who love and cherish me, the kid and the sidekick.  When the smoke is drifting out of my ears, family and friends have been there to point the water hose at my head.  It’s hurt a few times, and they’ve knocked me on my ass a few other times – but isn’t that what loved ones are for? 🙂

This past year I’ve had a lot to think about.  Somethings have made me angry.  Somethings have made me smile.  Somethings have given me joy.  Some things have brought sadness.  This past trip home to Toronto to visit, to talk with so many loved ones had me thinking more though. Of how I allow things that aren’t good for our family to invade.  Of how I’m apparently awesome in my humour.  Of being able to smile despite painful situations.  Of letting go to love life again.  Enjoying time with them, I was able to relax and bring closer things that make me and my family happy.

Things still tick me off – make no mistake.   By the end of my adventure home though, they helped me enjoy the view more then I was.  The view of what I’m seeing – whether it be nature or the human condition.  These awesome people helped me to realize I need to have good things in our life.  I need to have positive communication.  Otherwise our little family will suffer more.

Thank you family and friends 🙂   Best trip ever home ever – my world is a little calmer for it.

My view was awesome the past week.  Gave me so much joy.  Here’s to a boatload more.  Hope your view is great too!!

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You can always go home

Holy Amazeballs it is LOVELY to be home 🙂 While I’m grateful for Saskatchewan to giving us affordability and safety, Toronto will always be home.   One of the students I worked with remarked upon home and how he missed his hometown in Saskatchewan.  He too didn’t like where we were. Home is where your heart is  –  whether it be province, city, town, or house.  One of the biggest things I’ve learned on this journey, is I’m a city girl. Born and bred.  I am not a country girl.  Even after a year I still suffer from culture shock which leads others to laughter 🙂

Ontario Travel – I think I’ll be emailing you something awesome.

Seeing the kid after two weeks was also amazing.  I missed her so much and it was the most amazing feeling to be able to give her a hug.  Our adventure has been great.  Friends, family, Toronto, so much to do so little time.

I leave soon.  But the memories are forever and we will be back to stay one day.

……or maybe BC, Alberta…. the skies the limits huh?  To dream perchance to go where your heart takes you!!


Pearson Airport. Felt alive stepping out into the chaos


Strange as it sounds, driving in traffic was exhilarating. What you miss is wierd sometimes.


Family to see 🙂


NIghts to sit outside and just be.


Sights to go down memory lane with.


New attractions to experience. Ripley’s Aquarium Toronto. Loved it.


University Avenue in Downtown Toronto – chillin watching the traffic.


Queen West – Eatons Centre just up the road.


Spending time with old friends.




Sometimes I’m amused by what I see on the internet.  Tales of family shame, friendship horror, kid over-sharing, marriage unbliss or opinions that make my jaw drop seem to have quite the presence online.  Then there are the people who only put on tales of happiness and the audience have a skewed perception of what the true reality is.

It’s kinda like real life too though.  If you have an idea you think is awesome, rational and brilliant others may think you are totally insane.  And they aren’t afraid to tell you.  Or you may be going through a phase that others don’t have the comprehension to even begin to understand what your road is like.  Advice is offered – those ones I smile at.  Or you may say something that someone doesn’t agree with.  Suddenly it’s filtered though the ‘grape vine’.  I’m guilty of all these things too.  I wish I wasn’t.

Being by ourselves in a new province, technology has given us the ‘feeling’ of closeness with those we love back home.  While I share somethings, I’ve learned to keep a lot of things to myself though.  The internet is forever and people like to sue.  If not sue, suddenly it goes viral and one has a type of infamy they weren’t in the market for.  Whether online or in life, I think sometimes we should be quiet as much as we want or need to vent.   Others may not want to hear, or they just don’t understand.  Which to each their own.

I came across two quotes that I absolutely love.

10509743_765570366833444_6624068444580661647_n Abstract, fractal colorful birds  wing on the black backgrounds

I guess this post is to say to all the people online and off- be careful what you write and say.  You have have no idea who is reading or the reaction of someone who is listening.  I know for me I’ll probably be a lot quieter.

Leaving on a jet plane …

This past Thursday morning saw me handing over the kid to strangers.  It’s okay though – I paid them to take her.  HAHAHAHAHA!!!  Okay – joke over.

The kid for the past month has been extremely excited.  The past year has been extremely difficult.  She’s been bullied, started two new schools (one because of the bullying), hasn’t made friends to chill with during the weekends….it’s been the same for all of us…this move hasn’t been the best experience for any of us….its affordable here though.

To give her a bit of break, we clipped the rope and let her go on her own to Toronto.  Okay – not on her own – we used Westjet’s unaccompanied minor program.  The days leading up to her flight she had the biggest grin knowing she was going home.

Wednesday saw us in Regina at the Days Inn – Airport West for the night.  With a 6:20am flight, I had no desire to travel 2 hours in the morning from our town to the airport to catch said flight.  That would be a big con of living in a rural far away city.  With the airport literally 4 minutes up the road from the hotel, it was perfect for the kid to get a bit more sleep before.

I sadly did not get the guys name who check us in, but Days Inn management – please see who it was.  He was absolutely fantastic.  He was jovial, he was professional, he was amazing at this job.  He also was from Ontario!! From London he said.  He came to Regina for the jobs that are available.  Days Inn, if you need me to work at a hotel let me know!! I loved the vibe there…..I need full time though 😉


The hotel room was clean, spacious and decorated so well. The kid is ‘hiding’ under the burgundy foot blanket :l

After checking in we decided to go for a walk around the neighbourhood.  We ended up at a fast food place called Five Guys Burgers and Fries.   I honestly wasn’t expected it to be as good as it was.  It was amazing.  I love Harveys, and have been missing it since we moved to Saskatchewan a year ago.  These hamburgers were actually better then Harveys.  And Harveys hamburgers are amazing.  The only thing that made me go hmmmm, was on twitter @AshworthPR told me that the Scarborough, Ontario location had peanuts to snack on while you wait.  For the life of me I couldn’t remember if the Regina location had peanuts.  And I like food – so it’s kinda weird I don’t remember appetizers.


A regular hamburger – is TWO hamburgers in the bun!! AMAZING BURGER GO!!!

On our walk we saw some nice foliage in the city.


Lovely flowers in front of Lowe’s home hardware.


At the front of a construction site.

Back at the hotel we went for a lovely evening swim.  Had the whole pool to ourselves.  It was wonderful.  As a 4 am wake up call was coming we went to bed quite early.

Thursday morning, the kid was so excited to go home.   The sidekick stayed at the hotel and slept as we only had one gate pass.  He gave her a big sleepy hug good bye.  My heart was breaking because I was going to miss her, but I was so excited for her as well.  I knew she was going to be surrounded by her aunts, uncles, cousins and friends who missed her all to deeply.

Westjet‘s unaccompanied minor program is fantastic.  From check in to passing her off to my brother, we have nothing but good things to say.  The kid was given the best treatment from Westjet employees.  It’s hard sometimes to give your child to people you know to look after,  it’s even more mind numbing to give them to strangers.  Thank you Westjet for the best experience.


Smiling – the tag they gave her meant she was leaving to go home soon!!


Last mom/daughter selfie before she boarded.


T for Toronto – literally her hometown. That’s where she was born!!


My last view of her as she followed the westjet employee to the plane.

I asked her on when she landed how the flight was, and she told me the crew were amazing.  They asked how she was doing and kept an eye on her.  She had a lovely flight and it was all over to soon she said.  I think the smarties had something to do with it … 🙂

I fly out with Westjet later, and I look forward to seeing the kid.  Going to give her the biggest hug.The sidekick sadly due to health was not allowed to fly or drive.  He could have taken a train I think, but a sleeper cabin is more money then I make in 3 months probably…This trip is look at jobs and rents back home.  Like I wrote before, this past year has been very challenging.

I know the kid is having the best time.  On skype she told me she didn’t want to come back.  Her friends and family have given her the love and support she’s been missing this whole year.  As I write this, she is staying with a friend for a couple of days just basking in the glow of being home and being with the girls!!

Faith, hope, work, and luck – it’ll all work out 🙂


Disclosure: I was not paid for this post.  All my own opinions.  This is to let family and friends know our experiences as we travel the road of life 🙂

You know you live in a small town when…

When living in a city that is far away from…well everything, one must embrace experiences as they come.  So this past week saw us go to the Yorkton Exhibition.  Walking up to the fair, it reminded me of a scene from a movie … a Reece Weetherspoon romantic comedy I think 😉  ….you know minus cameras and the funny dialogue that happens in a movie.


You know you live in a small town when the view walking into the fair is so ‘countryish’ 🙂 

The sidekick and kid fearlessly conquered ride after ride…


A bird’s view.

….while my stomach went up to my throat each and every time.  I can’t do rides anymore 😦 They make me nauseous beyond belief.  It wouldn’t have been pretty.

Though it was small town, the prices were not.  That surprised me a lot.  Just to get into the park was $40 for the three of us.  Parking was $5 – which is what I was expecting.  Then for the sidekick and the kid to get a braces so they could do all the rides was $40 each.  I really missed my childhood…. heck I missed 5 years ago when it didn’t cost so much.  The prices are a bit of a stumbling block for lower income families sadly.


This is the only picture of me that day. Proof I was there darn it 🙂

The next day was the Yorkton Parade.   Honest truth, I have no idea why there was a parade.   Maybe for the exhibition?  As entertainment is hard to come by without traveling for hours (LOL), we asked no questions and made our way down for a bit of free fun.


I thought this only happened in movies LOL. You know you live in a small town when …..


The RCMP started off the parade. Awesome men and women who protect us everyday.


You know you live in a small town when a tractor is a float by itself 🙂

It was a short parade … you can walk the main road in twenty minutes … but it was an enjoyable time out.

A not bad start to the summer.  Here’s hoping for a great continuation.



My first flood

The past couple of days has been grey, cold, wet and depressing.  Heavy rain was non-stop for a little while.  Sadly we’re under heavy rainfall warnings until Tuesday last I looked.  This morning the mayor of Yorkton declared a state of emergency.  I’ve never been in a state of emergency zone before.  Thankfully we live on a ‘hill’, so our basement is fine.  A lot of people in the province though have been hit pretty hard though.  I was reading on one facebook site, that due to the heavy rains that have been falling the past couple of years, the deductible on basements is something like $25 000………I am thankful to live on my ‘hill’ right now 🙂


Road by our house that has become a lake.


Ford Dealership waterlogged


Road closed off by downtown Yorkton.


Jubilee Park underwater.


Worms have been left homeless as well. Massive amounts of them in the water the kid said.


To the baseball diamond ….. nope … canoe there.



No way my little Yaris could have gone down the road to home.


Grass should be there. It’s like a lake.


Just outside of Yorkton.


The Regina Leader Post found my picture on instagram 🙂

For a better view of my now ‘famous’ picture on the Regina Leader Post, please click this link.  I was quite surprised and thrilled to see my picture in the paper 🙂 Can I put this on my works listed page?  I wonder if they would hire me to be a photographer out here.  My  delusions of grandeur now have visual confirmation.  One day soon I think…one day soon 😉

In the meantime, I will continue wearing my sexy rainboots and building my boat….you know – in case my ‘hill’ is breached.  Sunshine on Wednesday can’t come soon enough.

In other news, I did not win the guaranteed million in any of the Lotto 649 for the month of June.