Saturday, 31 August 2013

Friday, 30 August 2013

Arielle: Immortal Awakening- Review

Any fantasy or paranormal romance fans out there?! I would like to highlight Arielle: Immortal Awakening by Lillian Roberts as a must read.  I love the bond between Arielle and her two friends. It is very realistic and their connection is a unique one.  Arielle meets the mysterious Sebestian while vacationing in France.  Both have secrets that they need to deal with. Additionally, Sebestian has a problem from the past that could be fatal for Arielle. 

I love the bond between Arielle and her two friends. It is very realistic and their connection is a unique one. Arielle meets the mysterious Sebestian while vacationing in France. Both have secrets that they need to deal with. Additionally, Sebestian has a problem from the past that could be fatal for Arielle. 

I agree with a fellow poster  (on Goodreads) about this quote: , "I know that I cannot live without you, but if you decide to walk away because you cannot accept me, I'll not stop you. I love you, and I think I have loved you all my life - even before I knew you.". It was terrific. 

All in all it is a nice paranormal/ fantasy story. It is well written and rich in detail.

For readers who prefer electronic reading, it is also available on kindle. It is part of a series and I cannot wait to read the next part. It is a very decent length as well. 

Here is a part of the blurb: A mortal soul… 
From the time college co-ed Arielle Lloyd had been young, she had been able to hear the thoughts and feel the pain of certain others, and those she comes to think of as her special group. One friend’s dabbling with spells and magic showed her the power of love that can endure beyond the grave. But another friend’s terrifying encounter with a warlock left Arielle wary of those who claim otherworldly powers. On holiday in the south of France, a chance encounter could change her mind. Or could cost her life.

Visit Lillian Roberts on Goodreads and Amazon:

Disclaimer: I was given a review copy of this. The free gift didn't sway my decision. 

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Co sleeping

Co sleeping 

Co-sleeping is not for everyone. There are certainly people who sleep better when they are alone in their beds. 

However, the arguments that co-sleeping is unsafe astounds me. Mammals tend to sleep with their children. Gorillas, monkeys, orangutans sleep with their young in order to protect them. Dolphins and elephants keep their babies by their side to protect them from enemies . For centuries, humans slept with their babies for the same reasons. There is both a biological need and safety concern when it comes to co-sleeping. It is advantageous for breastfeeding as well.  

What is it?

It is important to define what we are talking about. Co-sleeping is a range of possibilities
  • Room sharing- Crib is kept in your room so you can easily attend to a baby's needs and frequent wakings- very common in infancy and later on
  • Side car-arms reach reach sleeper (bassinet or crib so babe is next to you
  • bed-sharing- Sleeping with babe in the bed.


Many of the deaths associated with co-sleeping are over-exaggerated. Unsafe sleeping practices are lumped in with deaths from sleeping in car seats.

Risk Factors:

  • Smoking- increases baby's risk of SIDS
  • over fatigued
  • Consumption of drugs and alcohol- do not sleep with your baby if your senses are dulled
  • soft pillows, waterbeds,  soft bedding
  • Not breastfeeding- it is thought that is less of a hormonal connection between mom and infant. Safe Co-sleeping Practices, James Mckenna

Reduce Risks:

  • Arms Reach Sleeper
  • side car the crib
  • Breastfed
  • Don't smoke
  • Put bed on the floor
  • Put long hair in elastic
  • Light sleeper? Have you rolled onto the floor on onto your partner?  Generally your body knows the baby is there. If concerned there is always the arms reach sleeper. 
  • concerned about baby rolling off? Use pillows, hold onto baby, put mattress on floor- there are solutions :)
"It may be important to consider or reflect on whether you would think that you suffocated your baby if, under the most unlikely scenario, your baby died from SIDS while in your bed. Just as babies can die from SIDS in a risk free solitary sleep environment, it remains possible for a baby to die in a risk-free cosleeping/bed sharing environment. Just make sure, as much as this is possible, that you would not assume that , if the baby died, that either you or your spouse would think that bed-sharing contributed to the death, or that one of your really suffocated (by accident) the infant. It is worth thinking about." Maximizing the chances of Safe Infant Sleep in the Solitary and Cosleeping (Specifically, Bed-sharing) Contexts, by James J. McKenna, Ph.D. Professor of Biological Anthropology, Director, Mother-Baby Sleep Laboratory, University of Notre Dame.
That said, babies have survived thousands of years by sleeping next to their parents. 

I have co-slept successfully for 17 months.  We sleep better together and dream nurse. One he was small (8lbs), he slept on my chest. But man that size didn't last long. He graduated to sleeping on my side. Then, my arm underneath him and my arm across his chest and his face tucked into my body. Now, I don't always held on to him. Yet, he remains close by. One day I woke up and he was nursing upside down. His head was downwards and his legs were at the head of the bed. It also helps so much that my fiance is on board with our child co-sleeping. 
If you do not like TMI look away now :)

Bedsharers are asked in horror, "But what about your sex life?" :O
Well bedsharing allows creativity in romance. The bed isn't the only place for intimacy. :)

As always- do your own research and do what works for you! Some babies, like bigger people sleep better alone. I only wish to demonstrate the co-sleeper can be done safely and is a normal activity. 

Did you co-sleep with your infant? 

Read more here:
Doctor Sears: 

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

What's On your wish list giveaway

What's On Your Wish List Event
Organized by: Mom Powered Media

Prizes: $1,000 {visa gift card, amazon gift certificate or select your favorite store}
Event dates: 11/1 - 12/1
Open Worldwide
Referral prize: $50 Amazon E-Code or Paypal Cash

Requirement to join:
* No more than 2 blogs per person allowed
* Agree to post the giveaway html on the date the event begins and promote at least 3x a week

Bloggers: Sign Up HERE

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Reading in Twilight Giveaway 2013

Reading in Twilight is hosting a give-away in honour of her friend, Rachel's birthday! There will be six winners! Woohoo! This is a great way to pick up some books (if you are international, you may need to pay shipping costs!)

Here are some books you could win!!! 

One winner will receive a $15 GC to the book depository! That is so cool! The book depository has so many options!!

Check out Reading in Twilight~~ Good luck!

Disclosure: I created this blog post as an entry into the giveaway. I am not responsible for any prizes.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Boston Pizza- Review

As someone with Celiac Disease, eating out can pose a bit of a challenge. One of my favourite places to eat is Boston Pizza? Why Boston Pizza? Generally, their staff seems knowledgeable about what is gluten free. Also, they are not afraid to check with the kitchen to make sure food is gluten free.

Boston Pizza received a lot of criticism for removing their gluten free menu. However, they didn't completely get rid of gluten free items. A new menu, called Glutenwise appeared in its place. They do not guarantee against cross contamination however you can be reasonably assured that what you are eating is safe. For example, I ordered a Ceasar Salad without croutons. It arrived with croutons, however, I explained my predicament and they willingly made a fresh salad. It is always a good idea to tell the server about your concerns. For example, if giving a Caesar Salad removing the croutons does not make it gluten free.The glutenwise menu has gluten free pizza and pasta options.

One of my favourite food to eat is the gluten free pasta. You have to double check what sauce you cang et though. 

As always, talk to your server or manager. Make sure people are aware of how to prevent cross contamination. The risk of eating out can be minimized. Even though restaurants are not perfectly safe, it is nice to have the option. It is even better when you can feel secure in that choice!

What is your favourite gluten free restaurant ?

Learn More below:

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Vamps VS Zombies Giveaway Blog Hop Link

Mythical Books is part of the Vamps versus Zombies giveaway blog hop. Their prize is Double Dead, written by.. Chuck. This giveaway is open internationally as long as the Book Depository delivers to you. Celebrate Vamps vs Zombies and enter the giveaway.

Who do you think would win- vampires or zombies?

Disclosure- I am sharing this giveaway for an entry into the giveaway supported by Mythical Books. 

Monday, 19 August 2013

The Normal Bar- Review

The Normal Bar: The Surprising Secrets of Happy Couples and What They Reveal about Cheating; A New Normal In your Relationship by 

Chrisanna Northrup, Pepper Schwartz and James Witte

I was lucky to win a copy of the novel The Normal Bar in a give-away. I find it a very fascinating look at relationships. Basically as the title suggests, it is about what is normal in relationships in different countries. It is based on research, which you can learn more about on the website.

Each topic has advice for various problems. Communication, Intimacy, Infidelity are just a few of the topics discussed in the chapters.It has activities to help you with these issues in your relationship- for example how to communicate effectively.

It is worth a read to learn more about how cultural differences influence and change the ideas of relationships. Also, the practical solutions are helpful. There is a lot of research but it is broken down in an easy to read format. At least it is much easier to understand than some of  my theoretical international development textbooks . lol.

Therefore, I suggest if you like reading non-fiction  try reading the Normal Bar and tell me what you think! Do you enjoy non fiction?

Amazon link:

The Normal Bar Website:

Disclosure: I received this book for free in a giveaway. I decided to give my independent review of the novel. 

Friday, 16 August 2013

Blog Posts:

The Next Two Weeks:

  1. A book review - The Normal Bar 
  2. The benefits of Co-sleeping and how to be safe
  3. How to deal with a teething baby
  4. Gluten Free at Boston Pizza (
  5. Yoga and meditation challenge
  6. Doula Studies update

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

#Green Your School Year Blog Hop 2013

The #Green Your School YearHop blog hop and giveaways in now live! There are some great prices open to US and Canada. Some Call it Natural at Some Call It Natural is giving away 3 Lunchskins. This is a perfect prize for kids of any age. When you are done entering for this prize, you can try to win other great reusable prizes! Living green starts early with the Green Your School Year hop!

Monday, 5 August 2013

Breastfeeding Journey #WBW 2013


Few things in life create as much as controversy as the simple act of a mother nursing her child in public. The way breastfeeding is depicted it is a wonder why anyone chooses to breastfeed at all. It is sexual. It is pornographic. Your baby is too dependent on you. You produce too much milk. You produce too little milk. Your baby is colicky because your breastfeed. Aunt Flo/ Pastor John. MR Smith doesn't approve.....
With these myths in my head and in society in general, why did I ever choose this journey?BF is a bond between a woman and her child. (That is not to deny the fact the people who use formula also bond with the children) However bf is responsible for causing an burst of hormones (oxytocin for example) that causes you to connect with your small infant.
Additionally women with PPD can benefit from BF because of this release of hormones.Looking back at the 16 months of my child;s life, I am so glad I chose to breastfeed.

     There has been ups and downs. In the early months, my son knew exactly what to do. He had a perfect latch. I was blessed to have a child without a tongue tie or facial weakness. He was born safe and healthy. I will forever be grateful for my miracle. After 6 hours of labour, my son came into the world on his time. Being able to hold him, moved me in ways you never imagine. (Or at least I never knew I could feel so happy and want to cry at the same time) What was even more amazing was watching my little bug crawl up my chest to master breastfeeding. He came prepared. I was the one who needed to adjust.
Nipple soreness lasted about a month. Some of it was normal (nipple stretching) but 

I also developed a milk blister and a plugged duct. Luckily, I only had a minor case of mastitis. Frankly it sucked!! I tried all sorts of ways to remove the clog. Dangle feeding, hot showers, massages and even a Tylenol to lower my fever. I knew mastitis was a sign of trying too much. So, I started to rest more. It is also an easier time to do because my son was not mobile yet. Even though I do not like taking medication, the Tylenol made me feel human again. NO antibiotics (yay!) Its good to avoid if possible in order to prevent thrush. My advice for this period of time is to drink a lot of water and take care of your breasts. Use cream if they are sore. It really helps! So does warm showers, massages and dangle nursing. Also, breastmilk can help sore nipples. It sounds like a folk remedy but breastmilk is actually quite helpful for a number of problems not limited to eczema, stuffed noses and sore nipples. 

I should also mention, I was finishing university at that time. That meant I had to write 4 essays and one exam while taking care of a nursling. I have the utmost respect for women regardless of age who manage to complete their education while pumping, nursing or both! Adjusting to a baby and their nursing needs can take time- even if you are a seasoned mama simply because every baby is born with their own unique personality.

Food poisoning- Ugh this was awful! Thank goodness it only lasted a day and night. I don't know I would have coped otherwise. At the time, my mom, grandma, little brother and fiance also had food poisoning. It was different food items but still it was horrible~ I had to hydrate myself to make milk and I usually ended up throwing it up anyway. This is a good time to have a strong support network. At this stage, my brother who was unaffected was nervous about helping out with the baby. He was afraid of hitting him. A lot of men (and some women) feel this way until baby is better. Thankfully, I could keep my little guy in bed with me.

Migraines and Mobility. One of the benefits from pregnancy was that I had no migraines. Well, I had one but that was it. It was amazing! I have been a migraine sufferer since I was a little girl. Many parents write in about how to deal with a baby and migraines. There are different levels of migraines and truly this can be applicable to any headache.I cannot speak on medication but it is possible to breastfed with a migraine. When a migraine is severe, and noise and light are painful, it is helpful to have a support system to help take care of the little guy while you concentrate on getting better. Then they bring the baby to you when you need to nurse.
 Touched Out-
 I have seen many moms wonder how it is possible for moms to feel this way about their nurselings? I have to admit, I felt like this. I wanted to stop nursing but felt so guilty and selfish. I wasn't depressed. Just tired. Breastfeeding is exhausting at the best of time. Add in sleep deprivation, a teething baby learning to walk and it causes conflict. I had to work out my feelings. I was lucky to be able to do this with my mom and fiance. Journaling helps me too. A practice that I have fallen away from- yoga and meditation help as well. I know not everyone can stand the 'passive nature' of this but everyone has to find what relaxes and centers them. For me, keeping my mind still, concentrating on my breath and stretching helps me find peace.
 It also came when my little guy was having a growth spurt- mentally and physically. Taking care of a newborn can be exhausting so it is very important to take care of yourself. Do not feel guilty if  this happens to you.  For some this is a sign of depression. It is so important to have peer support at this time.  Whether local or online, find something that works for you~~

Nursing a toddler- definitely makes breastfeeding a journey. Each day is a different blessing. Some times he has nurse a lot. Other times, he is happy with water and diluted juice. Comfort nursing, nap nursing and night nursing is still big. However, I remember how scared I was when he went through lunch without nursing. Later, when he fell asleep without nursing. I was so worried he was done nursing. I have learned nursing is a cycle and to go with the son's needs. He knows them. I am excited for our future. Breastfeeding is such a beautiful way to nurture your child. Over all, I was so incredibly blessed. My son has a perfect latch (the hospital LC was very impressed) . He was unaffected by the epidural, which is good.  Even with some teeth, he still latches well. 

Sleepy bubz
<I hope the above picture doesn't offend- He decided to move during the taking of this photo. 

That said -everyone has a different breastfeeding experience whether its your first or fifth baby. Don't be afraid to learn more about breastfeeding by reading books like Jack Newman's Guide to BF or LLL book. Find a support group and create peer support. It is always easy to be overwhelmed by information.  No journey is perfect. And remember- watch the baby, not the scale or clock.  What advice would you give a new breastfeeding mama? 

I was inspired to write this post for #WBW13 and's Blog about Breastfeeding event: