My Irongirl

I have been thinking about writing about my friend Belinda for a long time but it’s one of those things you have to be ready for. This Valentines Day will mark three years since she left us. If there could be a perfect day for a person to leave this world, Valentines day would be it for her. I’m sure she chose that day. I’m sure she did it as her final message to everyone to always remember to love and be kind. That’s what she would want for everyone in her life because that’s what she gave us all everyday.

I remember exactly where I was sitting when I got her email almost four years ago. It was a group message to her friends to let us know (but not to worry) that she had been diagnosed with melanoma that had metastasized into several large tumors in her organs. It was numbing. We knew she hadn’t been feeling well for a few months but never thought this 33 year old, beautiful, vibrant new mother could be sick like this. I think the news knocked everyone to their knees, except Belinda. She was nearing the end of her maternity leave after the birth of her first child Parker and instead of preparing for her return to work; she changed her to focus to fighting for her life.

Our friends banded together and formed the BStrong team in an effort to make Belinda feel supported and also because we felt helpless and just wanted to do something. There is nothing worse than watching someone you love suffer and all you want to do is take their pain away. Her family circled around her with so much love and her husband was what would Belinda would call “a rockstar.” Their support for her was something that has touched me forever and was a true example of what real love is.

Belinda got really sick, really fast. Her cancer was so aggressive and so ruthless but when you talked to her, she never let you see it. She never complained, she never stopped smiling and she never.stopped.fighting. I can say with 100% certainty that I will NEVER meet a person that is stronger then her. We would tell her this all the time and her response was always the same, “what other choice does a Mama have then to fight for their babe?!.” As a parent I can understand wholeheartedly what she meant, but as a bystander there is just no way to put into words what strength like that looks like.

I have this vivid memory of somberly walking through the halls at the hospital with my friends to go see her after it was discovered her cancer had spread. We were SHOCKED when we walked in her room and was greeted with her usual Belinda cheer and huge beautiful smile “Hi Girls!!!!!!,” she literally sang to us. She proceeded to chat away and tell us all the good news she got from her doctor that morning…..and by good news I mean, she was about to start radiation for 10 straight days because her fight wasn’t over. You know when you hear about people choosing joy and that it’s not about the news you get its how you deal with it? Well Belinda chose joy in the most dire of circumstances. She was incredible. It was impossible not to get caught up in her positivity and we all left the hospital looking at each other like “so is it not that bad??!!” It was. Two months later, on a day set to celebrate love, she chose to rest. Her will to live to the very end was iron, she just knew when it was time to stop fighting.

I still think about her all the time and I know I always will. When you experience the loss of a life so big like that, your grief changes you forever. It leaves an imprint on your heart that will always be there. I think it reshapes your path for the future and the hope is that in time, it will make you live with more purpose and more fight. I’m trying for her.

At her funeral, the priest said, “there are some answers to that three letter question (why) that we won’t find an answer for in this world.” That gave me so much peace because deep down I knew it was true. I didn’t need to look for a reason because I’d never get one good enough. What I have taken from it is that every day that we wake up in good health, is the most incredible gift. We need to take that gift and make it our duty to live the best life that we possibly can. This is what inspired me to pursue a career change and go after the life I wanted for my family. Belinda’s favorite color was purple so when I was designing my logo for my new business, there was no question on what the color had to be. My purple logo is a daily reminder to me how precious this life is and to live with that in mind always. How can I not when I’m lucky enough to have today? That message is too powerful to me to waste.

On Belindas headstone the inscription reads “there is nothing more beautiful than a person who goes out of their way to make life more beautiful for others.” That was my friend. Her message to us all; be a light. Be kind. BStrong.

Love you forever Belinda xo

-T-

My Olympic Idea

My first real memory of the Olympics was in 1988 when I was 8 years old. Canada was hosting that year so my first introduction came when they were running through PEI with the torch. In case you don’t remember or weren’t born yet, this was the Olympics that Elizabeth Manley skated the performance of her life, staged an upset and won the silver medal in figure skating in her home province of Alberta. I remember her coaches hoisting her up on their shoulders and every single person in the stands was on their feet screaming. The first words out of her mouth as she finished her skate was “Mom.” She had a blond bob, a pink dress and fire in her eyes. It was amazing. It was also probably the first time I was really inspired by sport and I went on to idolize Liz for years to come.

As the 2018 Olympics are approaching, 30 years later (OMG seriously what the heck?!), I find myself starting to get caught up in that Olympic fever again. There is something so powerful about your entire country binding together to cheer and support their athletes. When Canada won gold in mens hockey in 2002, my university friends crowded into a few of our vehicles and drove through the city beeping the horn and waving Canadian flags. We pulled up to a red light and looked out our window at a police officer who had pulled up beside us. Instead of pulling us over and telling us to stop beeping and disrupting the peace, he simply gave us a grin and a thumbs up. Oh Canada!

Olympic fever also has had me reflecting lately on a sport that is not represented, or maybe even called a sport, but I feel totally should be. It’s called “Momming.” If you have never heard of it, it’s because I just made it up but I do think it’s legit. Just like how skiing, swimming etc have events, so would Momming. Being a parent is one of the most physically exhausting activiites you could ever partake in. Although ultimately rewarding (much like Olympic sports), the physical demands it places on the body are like none other.

Some of the events that could be represented are listed below:

Lego running: This involves a 50 m foot race barefoot across a room full of lego. If you are a parent, you have mostly likely at some point stepped on a small toy. It hurts. You carry on.

Child carrying: This also would be a foot race carrying a child or children. Preparation for this event happens when your child tells you they are about to vomit and you have 1 second to make it to the bathroom. You’ve been there. Given that this is the winter Olympics, this event would take place outside in the snow and up a hill. You are also required to carry a child’s sled and look for buried mitts in the sand as part of the event.

Coffee chugging: No explanation needed

Child dressing: This is a race to see who can dress their children in full snow gear the fastest. Canadians would clean up at this event. There is literally no parenting activity that makes me sweat more then this one.

Child folding: This event involves folding a tantrum-ing child into a car seat the fastest. Bonus marks if you stay patient and calm. I have to change what I said in the last event description. This makes me sweat the most.

Laundry folding in the company of a toddler: Cut off time for this event is 4 hours. I seriously don’t even attempt to put those two together anymore. As fast as I fold, their laundry tossing is faster. As much as I’ve always been obsessed with the chance to wear the red and white, this would not be my event.

Bedroom creeping obstacle course: This event involves creeping out of the dark room of your sleeping child. You can crawl or walk. I’ve done both. If you have done either of these before, you have probably almost gotten to the door and kicked or knocked some random toy across the floor and woke them up. It’s a freaking tough one. For this event, there would be heats over the course of the Olympics and with each heat, the difficulty level would increase Ie. more toys and creaky floor boards to pass.

Picture posing: Getting your children to pose for a family picture without bribing them with sugar. Bonus points if all children are looking at the camera and double bonus points if none of them are crying.

Lastly- the ‘Ironmama” event. This would take place on the final day of the 2 week Olympic schedule. It would involve staying awake for the entire 14 days and then have to feed, dress and parent your children, meanwhile remembering their names, birthdates, your own name and all the names of your immediate family members. The kicker- caffeine is a banned substance for this event. (Shudder)… not trying out. I usually do good to remember first names only after a few long days. This one is not for the faint of heart.

From left to right: Attempting to have children pose for picture with grandparents (7 children in picture), Meeting my childhood idol Elizabeth Manley, a Momming moment with 3 of my 4. 

In all seriousness, I’m very much looking forward to cheering on the Canadian athletes in a few weeks. I’m always inspired by the dedication, spirit and determination of the athletes and the unity it can bring our country. However…. in the 30 years since Elizabeth Manley’s power skate and Canada’s hockey gold, I have a whole new appreciation for some real true sport heroes I’m surrounded by every day. #momsforthewin Go Canada go!

T

PS- I found Liz’s performance on youtube. It inspires me as much today as it did thirty years ago. Take a look

Joy and Gratitude- the Perfect Pair!

I was listening to a podcast the other day that talked about how joy and gratitude go hand in hand. Today, as I sit here typing this, I am (so gratefully) feeling both. This past Monday at 5:30 am, I taught my 100th class for reset:breathe Fitness. I had 37 people that joined me live and many more chimed in throughout the day that they have completed it. Getting up at that time of day is not easy for me, by any stretch of the imagination, but I can say with complete honesty – that this business, this community and this job, give me so much joy, it’s hard for me to put it into words. I actually can’t really believe I get to call it work because I truly love it so much.

I remember so well going to work early on after my oldest son was born and struggling through the 8 hour day because I was so unhappy with what I was doing. It wasn’t a fit for me and I wasn’t very good at it to be honest, but I just felt I had to be there to contribute to my family. I literally was watching the clock all freaking day. There were times I actually left in tears because I felt like I was wasting my days away while someone else looked after my child.

Three weeks after my second child, my oldest daughter was born, I found out the contract I had at this job wasn’t renewed. I was so stressed about it at the time because what would I do!? But I know now, it was both a blessing and a message of “wake the heck up.” It may sound crazy, but I have come to believe so strongly that we are guided by the universe, and for me, this was a big message from something bigger that I needed to do some major evaluation.

For the next 5 years and through two more babies, I worked part time teaching fitness classes and doing personal training because this is what I loved to do. I worked a few days a week and then otherwise taught in the early mornings or evenings around my husbands schedule so I could be home with my kids. It was exhausting but I regret none of it. There were days at home with my kids where I wanted to hide in closet with a pot of coffee and a lot of chocolate but there were also days…ok maybe more like moments, that I will cherish forever.

This past year was a bit of a transformation year for me. Actually it was hugely transformational. When my fourth son was born in August 2016, I knew I had to change things. What worked before was just not going to work anymore and I had to seriously figure some s*** out. I remember exactly a year ago, reading about a day in the life of this person who had created her dream job. She wrote out and shared her schedule and what each day was like for her and I remember thinking; “Damn!!!! I wish so much that was me, but yeah, no, it wouldn’t work.” But I couldn’t shake that article. I wanted her day. I wanted to create a life that would benefit my family. I wanted to get up everyday and be so excited for what I would get to do. I just had no idea how to do that and the thought of what it would take to get there was terrifying.

I have had a lot of “guidance” over the past year, and here we are, 100 classes in to a “job” I never could of dreamed of. That other part of the picture, the grateful part, there are no words for that either. The people in this community, the positivity, the motivation and the little daily successes are beyond what I could have imagined and yes- I’m just so grateful.

Joy and Gratitude. Imagine if everyone in the world felt both of those everyday? My belief is that we get to choose. Maybe not in every moment of the day, like when your child is having a meltdown in a parking lot, or bigger moments that life sometimes presents you, but there are times we do get to pick. There is also an opportunity on every single brand new day, for us to change things so we can find it. My hope for anyone who reads this, is that you feel both of these on the daily. If right now it’s just not happening, PLEASE know that it is absolutely possible for you. I believe that so strongly. Find your guide and you will get there. You are worth it. You are awesome.

T

Beautycounter Charcoals

CHAR-GOALS

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CHARCOAL SOAP

If the idea of cleansing your face with charcoal sounds a little counterintuitive, we’re here to clear up (pun intended) any doubts. Our Charcoal Cleansing Bar works to clarify and detoxify your skin without dehydrating it. Read on for five reasons this charcoal soap is the essential you never knew you needed… until now.

1. Safety First

Soaps are often made with surfactants, which are ingredients that help lather, foam, or cleanse; and some of them are harsh, overly drying, and can disrupt the pH balance of your skin. Many conventional brands use harmful ingredients like parabens and fragrances that can act as hormone disruptors. That’s why we prohibit more than 1,500 questionable or harmful ingredients from our products, and use surfactants that are milder and gentler to your skin. We’ve chosen charcoal, witch hazel, and organic green tea extract as safer choices to formulate our Charcoal Cleansing Bar.

2. It’s Trendy for a Reason

Charcoal has gained a lot of attention lately as a buzzy ingredient in skin care. Our bar is made with a special type of activated charcoal powder called Binchotan that comes from Japanese Ubame oak. Created through a rapid heating and cooling process, it has increased adhesion properties and thoroughly cleanses by acting like a magnet to draw out impurities.

3. Deeply Cleansing Doesn’t Mean Super Drying

The fear with any deeply cleansing and detoxifying product is that it can leave your skin parched. Although charcoal and witch hazel help absorb excess oil, our formula helps maintain moisture thanks to hydrating organic coconut and sunflower seed oils.

4. It Reduces the Appearance of Pores

Antioxidant-rich green tea extract and witch hazel work to refine pores and balance skin, so it’s perfect for those with combination skin. These ingredients help give you a clearer, healthier-looking complexion, and who doesn’t want that?

5. It’s Perfect for All Skin Types

Our formula works well on all skin types. We even have a following of men and teens who can’t live without it. Plus, it’s gentle enough to use daily on both your face and body!

No. 3 Balancing Facial Mask

This nutrient-rich kaolin clay mask purifies and balances, absorbing excess oil and drawing out impurities. Activated charcoal minimizes the appearance of pores, giving skin a smooth, refined appearance while salicylic acid stimulates exfoliation. Perfect for all skin types and those concerned with congestion and oily skin.

*Made with the same formula you love, No. 3 Balancing Facial Mask replaces best-selling Purifying Charcoal Mask and features new packaging design.

Consumer Panel Test Results
In an independent consumer study, after two weeks of use*:
97% said mask refined and smoothed skin.
94% said mask absorbed excess oil.
87% said mask detoxified pores and purified skin.
87% said mask helped clarify complexion.
84% said mask made skin look clearer and more even-toned.

Beautycounter.com/jodyhollis

Healthy Home

The new year gives us the impetus for a fresh start. We often think of making personal resolutions about our health, but why not do something healthy for you and your home? Consider a health check-up for your home.

The easiest place to start is with the tasks that require the least effort.  Check the batteries on the smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors that should be installed on each floor that there are bedrooms if you have a fireplace. Change the furnace filters. Open some windows in the daytime. We tend to keep our windows closed in the winter, which lowers the air quality in our homes. Fresh air lowers the airborne household contaminants as well as the dust, pollen, mould and even viruses in our homes.

Get organized. Tired of some of the décor in the room? Too many knick-knacks received as gifts and feel guilty you should display? Inherited furniture? You don’t have to keep everything! This is the year to sell it or donate it. Extra furniture and excessive decorative items (knick-knacks?) collect dust and make your home feel smaller.  Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, offers a simple philosophy about how to decide if you should keep the many items in our homes, “The best way to choose what to keep and what to throw away is to take each item in one’s hand and ask: “Does this spark joy?” If it does, keep it. If not, dispose of it. This is not only the simplest but also the most accurate yardstick by which to judge.”  Try it this January!

Renovations may be in the works for 2018, but they too can make your home healthier. Consider removing vermiculite, asbestos and lead paint.  Professionals should do the removal of toxic substances. Don’t risk the health of yourself and family by attempting to do it yourself.  If you are considering painting some walls this year, be aware that manufacturers are now making higher quality paints that are durable and are low in volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The lighter the colour is usually the safest bet, as darker pigments contain more VOCs. The market also now offers drywall that absorbs VOCs.

All the Best for 2018!

Sandi

https://www.boldsky.com/home-n-garden/improvement/2014/six-things-that-clutter-your-living-room-055337-055337.html

 

New Year, New YOU with doTERRA

As we begin a new year with fresh motivation and fresh perspectives, doTERRA has announced their favourite promotion has returned- the New Year, New You promo is back!  If you are looking to up level your health and clean up your home, this is a wonderful incentive for you. Enrol with doTERRA this January with a 100 pv order, place a loyalty rewards program order of 100 pv in February and get 100 pv FREE. This is over $100 US in free oils of YOUR choice.

Its been just over a year since I began my journey with doTERRA and I have never looked back. Using doTERRA essential oils has empowered me as a mom of four kids to use safer, cleaner products in my home and on my children. doTERRA’s dedication to purity and ensuring you are getting a certified therapeutic grade oil in your hands is what has locked me in forever. What parent doesn’t want the opportunity to have natural solutions to almost everything, right at your finger tips?  For me that was the game changer. I no longer use toxic cleaners in my home (I make my own with essential oils) or use the OnGuard all purpose cleaner, I always check the ingredient list of cosmetics and other household products before I purchase and I regularly use the EWG website as a back up if I’m unsure of their safety.  What amazed me is just a few weeks after switching to cleaner products, my youngest daughters eczema had basically disappeared.

In a typical day I use a variety of doTERRA essential oils, but a few of my staples and favourites are:

1-2 drops of lemon, wild orange or tangerine in my water to help detox and cleanse the body. (doTERRA essential oils are the only ones recommended for internal use). They are also high in limonene.

A roll of peppermint across my forehead and temples to wake me up and give me instant natural energy. This is my favourite early morning routine and is so invigorating, you literally feel an instant boost.

Wild orange and peppermint in my diffuser when I teach my fitness classes and to welcome everyone in to the kitchen for breakfast. Its uplifting and energizing, it purifies the air and  helps with morning cranky faces. lol

A drop of Frankincense under my tongue for cellular health benefits.

A drop of Balance in my palms to inhale to help ground me when I need it. I can feel the tension melt away.

Peace in the diffuser in the evenings because, well….everyone wants peace.

A roll on diluted OnGuard on my kids feet or spine before school and bedtime to help boost their immunity.

Lastly, easy air in the diffuser mixed with lavender to help open their airways during cold and flu season and to get a more restful sleep.

If you have any questions or would like to know more about this amazing community, please send me a note at resetbreathe@gmail.com or check out my website for more information. I promise you will never regret opening yourself up to these powerful tools.

T