Mundane Monday Morning Music: Cyndi Lauper – “Girls Just Want to Have Fun”

Hey Readers!

I know, I’ve been away too long! The holidays, then the start of the New Year have really disoriented me, and, unfortunately, this feature became neglected the chaos. Thankfully, I carved out some time this morning to get back on devout some time to posting a new song to start off the year right.

Some of my fellow bloggers have posed the question, “What word would you use to describe your year?” After a bit of thought and an impromptu family dance session with my family last night of 80s music, I came up with my word of 2016. It is fun. Whether it be in learning, becoming more successful or getting out more, I want to have fun doing it. Besides, what’s the point of living without enjoying the journey you’re on?

Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” encompasses my sense of fun and is such an amazing song to use to start off 2016 for this feature! Besides its unforgettable beat, the lyrics are all about girl empowerment. Lauper is encouraging her parents to not treat her differently because she is a girl. She is also saying that girls should not shy away from their greatness and should be allowed to shine.

So I have decided to take a page from Cyndi Lauper’s playbook this year and have fun, no matter what I’m doing and to make me a better me this year! I hope that “Girls Just Want to Have Fun”has inspired you to be your best you, to have fun, and to take the blahs away on this mundane Monday morning.

Do you have a word that would describe how you want to live this year, or your life?

Until my next post, Readers!

Reese

Favourite Fall Memories, 2015

Reese_Speaks_Fall_Chicken_11302015Hey Readers,

I know, it’s been a  while since I’ve shared anything with you. Life got a bit crazy, and this is the first chance since my last post that I have been able to check in.

It’s the last day of November, and for me, it is the last day before the holiday season begins and it is full steam ahead with getting our family and our home ready for it all! It kicks off with Grandma’s (my mom, but she doesn’t have kids anymore,or so she says) birthday, and it snowballs from there.

So to say goodbye to fall, I thought I would share some of may favourite Fall memories from this year with you through pics I snapped.

My little guy is in love with this time of year. We learned this year that he is a huge Halloween fan. He loved every pumpkin and gourd that we passed, wanting to take them home with us. If he had his way, our home would be forever full of them!

 

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Speaking of Halloween, my guy rolled up his sleeves and dove in to getting ready for day! He carved pumpkins, made decorations and dressed up our porch, and took the kids out trick-or-treating. Once back, the kids rocked out in my past Halloween costume wigs before putting and end to the day.

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We had a mixed bag of weather this autumn. Some days were warm and gorgeous, while others were, well, blah! On those good days, we made sure to get the kids outside and to enjoy what nice days we had left this year. My other half even had the kids out with him while he raked up the leaves. The job took a bit longer than expected, but the kids had a lot of fun!

 

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The leaves were exceptionally gorgeous in our backyard this year, so I had to capture their beauty in pics! We also had a pumpkin in our backyard that did not make it to Halloween to rest for its final days, so the shutterbug in me had to get a pic of it while it still looked good.

 

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The Japanese Maple lost its leaves early, but there were still a few of them in our yard. Their leaves always alive with colour, no matter the time of year they are present on the tree, and this one just stood out from the rest of the crowd present.

 

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Then, high above the ground in our backyard, there was the golden sea of gold that still shimmered to us from below. It was so stunning. I can’t wait to frame this one!

 

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This little critter decided to visit us on our front porch before getting itself ready for its long slumber. My kids and I got a big kick out it.

 

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Oh, food! The Jack of All Trades in our home whipped together some amazing food for us this season! He loves trying to make delicious dishes from what is left in our Mother Hubbard cupboards as well as some ingredients he picks up from the grocery store. We ate really well this season!

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My family had an amazing autumn! We worked hard, played hard and ate well. It is sad to say goodbye to the vibrant colours and warm weather, but it was great to look back and see all of the fun we had!

What were some of your favourite fall memories this year?

Until my next post, Readers!

Reese

Reflecting on Remembrance Day

Hey Readers!

It’s Remembrance Day and it means many things to many people. It is the anniversary of the official end of two great wars fought. It marks the sacrifice of many lives. It is a day of reflection. It is a day to say thank you to the fallen and to veterans who fought for what they believed in. For me, this day is also about thinking about the fallout of these great wars, the history it caused and the lives that were forever altered.

As a kid, I never thought about what happens after a conflict is over until my fourth grade teacher read us the book Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes by Eleanor Coerr. This book is based on the true-life story of Sadako Sasaki, a girl whose life changed after the atomic bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in World War II. Sadako becomes sick and later finds out it was due to exposure to radiation from these bombs when she was an infant in Hiroshima. After being diagnosed with leukemia, she keeps hopeful that she could turn her fate around. She decides to put her belief in an old Japanese legend where the folder of  one thousand paper cranes will be granted any one wish they desire. Though she does not reach her goal, she inspires many other people to her cause, and becomes a heroine in Japan for her efforts.

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Readers, this book changed the way I looked at the world for so many reasons. It opened my eyes to the other side of war: To those who are not on the front lines fighting, but become directly affected by the conflict. It also let me see that kids are not immune to acts of war, either, and that even one person can make others believe in hope for a better future. Every time I read this book, I am moved by Sadako’s story and bravery. It is also one of the shortest books I own; it’s only 80 pages long, but it’s a powerful and moving story, and I have to read it over and over again.

Most people also sport poppies to commemorate Remembrance Day. Since my kids are all over me, I decided that maybe wearing a poppy may cause more harm than good this year. I decided to show my gratitude for this day in another way by folding origami paper cranes. Besides the legend I previously mentioned, cranes are a symbol of health, hope and longevity. They are not the easiest creatures to create, but they are so much fun to fold.

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Whenever I see a paper crane, I take in everything I have learned about Remembrance Day: The sacrifice of many people, John McCrae’s poem In Flanders Field (which is also such a moving piece of writing), and the lives, both past and present, of so many who are forever changed by these conflicts. These people and this poem all make me thankful for what I have and am still trying to achieve. Besides taking in the ceremonies and reflecting, this is how I am choosing to pass Remembrance Day.

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Journeying with Terry Fox at the Canadian Museum of History #FollowTerry

Vision. Modivation. Determination. Vision . These words describe Terry Fox and what he startedto help benefit Canadians with cancer perfectly. The Canadian Museum of History is marking the 35th anniversary of Fox’s Marathon of Hope Run by presenting an exhibition that focuses on this momentous event as well as the legacy that continues today. Terry Fox – Running to the Heart of Canada opened on April 1, 2015 and runs until January 24, 2016. This exhibit is organized by the Canadian Museum of History in partnership with the Terry Fox Centre.

When I found out about this exhibit, I knew I had to check it out! I have admired Terry Fox since I was a child and became involved with the Terry Fox runs held at my elementary school. I was in awe of someone so young doing what he did. I also wanted my children to learn from Fox’s example and to come into closer contact with pieces of his memorabilia and other items that show how amazing this man was.

My kids did not know what to expect when they saw the entrance of Terry Fox – Running to the Heart of Canada. They liked the banners that stood outside of the exhibit welcoming visitors and my younger kids began asking so many questions about Terry Fox.

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The exhibit is split into four zones. The first one introduces visitors to Fox so they can get a feel for who he was and the all of the energy he put into the Marathon of Hope. The second zone is called ‘’The Runner and the Run,’’ which focuses on why Fox wanted to create the Marathon of Hope Run and what he hoped to achieve. There were also numerous items that let visitors in on Fox’s daily life on the road. The third zone was called ‘’Dear Terry’’ which displays the love and respect that Fox earned from Canadians during and after the Run. An interesting feature of this part of the exhibition is a searchable database that was put together especially for this exhibit of over 60 000 letters and cards from Canadians to Fox letting him know how much they admired him and what he was doing by putting this Run together. It also displays the many honours he received, including his induction into the Order of Canada. The final zone looks at how Canadians have kept Fox in their minds and hearts after the Marathon of Hope and visitors can hear how Fox’s example made a significant impression on them over the past 35 years.

We were all wide-eyed at how well this exhibit was laid out, as well as by all of the information centres you can visit and learn form. My eldest spent most of her visit taking in the information from as many of these stations as she could to hear the information they were sharing. For my younger children, this was their first encounter with Terry Fox, so they were excited to see a lot of the items and the information this exhibit shared. They also listened to some of the information centres and were intrigued by all of the maps and items displayed.

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For me, I was in awe of the whole exhibit. I loved being greeted by the sounds of Fox’s footsteps as he ran as we entered this exhibit, and seeing all of the maps and information displayed easily for visitors to look at. I got a clearer picture of who Fox was and I felt I was going with Fox through is journey throughout the Run.

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I was also able to get a better idea of what it was like for Canadians at this point in time throughout this exhibit. I was very young when the Marathon of Hope took place, so it was amazing to be taken back in time and to see what was happening all over the country and to see the love that they all share for this young man and his mission.

Reese_Speaks_Terry_Fox_Inspire_Collage_PhotoThere were two big thrills for me as we went through this exhibit. The first one encountered was getting to see what it was like during Fox’s daily grind of the Run. Seeing the Marathon of Hope van Fox lived in on the road, looking at snippets of his journals and gazing at his personal effects made me feel as though I could understand some of what he was going through at this time. Another favourite stop in this exhibit was see some of the items Canadians from all walks of life gave to Fox to show their appreciation to him. The letters and cards were also a hit with me. I did not send him a letter, but it was fun to look at these pieces of history and snippets of the hearts of Canadians.

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Terry Fox – Running to the Heart of Canada is an exhibit I will definitely be making a point of visiting again with my family. All of us were captivated by the displays and the information shared, and we got to get a little closer to a remarkable Canadian. No matter your age, this exhibit is one to visit, and is one that will touch your heart.

For more information about Terry Fox – Running to the Heart of Canada, you can connect with the Canadian Museum of History on their website, as well as on their Twitter and Facebook pages.

Disclaimer: I received admission to the Canadian Museum of History in order to write this review. The views expressed are my own.

Mundane Monday Morning Music: Lil’ Bow Wow / Kurtis Blow – ”Basketball”

Mornin’ Readers!

I know, I took a week off! Last week I was celebrating a Long Weekend, so I was kicking up my feet and running away from being too connected to my laptop! It was a needed rest, and it was great to get away from the city for a few days with my family in the country.

Now that it is Monday morning and back to the status quo, I need to be motivated to get my butt in gear and get moving! I have my usual duties to get through, as well as a milestone birthday to plan for my other half. This week’s pick was inspired my by eldest and her love for just about anything basketball related, so during one of our ”music appreciation” classes, I introduced her to the Space Jam soundtrack. It was a favourite of mine when during my teen years.

We then watched Lil Bow Wow video ”Basketball” and I knew I had to use it as a pick for a MMMM feature before the summer ended. This song is so much fun! I love this song on my workout mix because it the beat is awesome and catchy. This video is also nostalgic because it is taken from the iconic Kurtis Blow song of the same name 20 years later. I had to include his video in this post as well because of the memories it brought back, and, well, it’s such a fun video to watch!

Though you may not be inspired to pick up a basketball and start hoopin, it up today, I hope ”Basketball” helps to get you fired up and motivated on this mundane Monday morning!

Until my next post, Readers!

Reese

Happy 3rd Anniversary, Reese Speaks!

Happy Anniversary!

Hey Readers!

Three years have gone by quickly for this blogger! It honestly seems as though I am still in my first year of starting this blog and sharing my world with you! So many things have happened, and the adventures and opportunities I have had in this year have been fabulous and priceless!

One of the biggest opportunities I have had this year was becoming the Editor for the Ottawa Mommy Club. Lyne Proulx has been wonderful to allow me to do what I do for her blog, and she has taught me so much more about the ins and outs of the blogging world.  She has also given me so many experiences to write about and share on her blog. It has and continues to be such an adventure. I cannot thank her enough!

I also did a lot of fun things on my blog this past year. As I mentioned in my ”Year-End Wrap” post, I met a soap opera star, I got engaged, and I have had spent some great times with friends and family, sharing experiences and reviews on my blog. I have a lot of fun, and there are better thing to come with this coming year!

Being a part of the blogging community has just been wonderful for me! I have met some of the nicest people who are so helpful and giving! They are always there for each other for support or to answer questions others may have. I got to know a core group of them while blogging for Ottawa Mommy Club and being the Community Coordinator for BConnected Conference for the past two years. This year, there were so many more bloggers involved with putting this conference together, so I go t to know them better. It is sort of like being a newbie getting to work alongside some of the best people in their field. I do get a bit star-struck by them, and it also pushes me harder to want to be a better blogger.

Being a parent, I think the learning never ends! My kids can be at different ends of the spectrum in the same moment, so I have to learn how to figuratively sit on my hands a bit more and let situations ride. I am also amazed by my kids day after day with the achievements they have experienced, and the adventures they have no matter where they are.

The ''Bosses'' during a VERY important business meeting.

The ”Bosses” during a VERY important business meeting.

Another person who has been a great part of my blog has been my fiancé. He does so much for our family, and has been such a supporter of me and allowing me to do what makes me happy. He is also a wiz at just about everything he does, and I have showcased some of his amazing dishes on the blog and my other social media channels.

Finally, you, Readers, have been so awesome to Reese Speaks since I started blogging. I have more readers than I did last year, and have been commenting and sharing my experiences as well. It is such a rush to see you reading and engaging here. I really cannot thank you enough.

Mundane Monday Morning Music: The Rolling Stones – ”(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”

Mornin’ Readers!

We’ve hit the middle of the summer, and it has been scorching hot around here! It has made getting sleep a little tougher and being outside harder to bear.

This morning was not a fun one, either. I was awoken by one of the ”Bosses” at 4:30 AM, and it took a while to fall back asleep, so I am not in the greatest of moods today. I had a song in mind for today’s MMMM pick, but at last minute, I decided to go in a different different direction. This week, I chose  The Rolling Stones’ ”(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” because, well, the title sums everything up nicely. I need to get in a good mood, and this song is helping me turn my frown upside-down while I get through the rest of my day.

Hopefully, ”(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” can help you feel better about whatever comes your way on this mundane Monday morning!

Until my next post, Readers!

Reese

Mundane Monday Morning Music: The Birthday Edition

Morning Readers!

As spring is now upon us and the Easter Weekend comes to an end, I am so happy that I am getting to start to celebrate my birthday this week! I like doing little things over the next week to make my birthday feel that much more fun and special.

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For this week’s MMMM, I decided to choose a few of my fav B-Day songs that are fun and will start off this week in an awesome way!

I love the Beatles, and the “Birthday” song from The Beatles or “The White Album” is a fun one to listen to!

 

For more of a chair-dancing experience, I added Katy Perry’s “Birthday” song. Who would not want to be treated like every day is your birthday?!

 

Of course, being the HUGE Stevie Wonder fan I am, I HAD to had his version of “Happy Birthday” on this list of birthday songs!” A birthday is not a birthday for me listening to it about 40 times on repeat! 😛

It will be a fun week, and I can’t wait until the big day arrives and all of the surprises that are in store for me. These songs are certainly putting me into the birthday spirit!

I hope that these songs make your day a little bit brighter and make you smile today!

What is your favourite version of “The Birthday Song” to hear on your special day?

Until my next post, Readers!

Reese.

Make October Sweet and Bright with Purdy’s Diwali and Halloween Chocolate Treats! – Review

Hey Readers!

I know that Thanksgiving is behind us, but there are plenty of celebrations on the way where you can indulge in some chocolatey treats.  Purdys Chocolatier has not forgotten this, and are ready to help satisfy your sweet tooth with chocolate creations for Diwali and Halloween.

Here is what Purdy’s sent me to help celebrate Diwali and Halloween this year:

  • Diwali Favourites
  • Happy Skulls Tin
  • The Spider’s Collection

 

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Since Diwali is on October 23rd this year, we decided to start off by trying the Diwali Favourites treats. My family had never tried the Coconut Burfi treats before, so this was a new experience for all of us.  It was a great blend of coconut and cardamom. Coconut lovers will love this coconutty and spicy treat! Another new treat my family had not tried before in this assortment was the Coconut Mango Cream chocolates. It was a creamy blend of mango and coconut, and the chocolate was the cherry on the cake of this treat.

 

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We then jumped into the Happy Skulls Tin. My other half loves the tin! The skulls are reminiscent of cute Day of the Dead skulls that are perfect for storing Halloween treats, or for just having out to add to your Halloween decor at home on on your desk at work. Inside this mini assortment of chocolate treats were some a chocolate I had been waiting to try since I tried Purdy’s Java Jazz. It was so good! My daughter and I loved the milk and white chocolate blend, along with the creamy center that was heavenly! We wished there was more than one of them in our tin! My eldest also enjoyed her favourite Purdy’s chocolate treat: The 70% Dark Chocolate Petit Chocolat! it was gone seconds after I shot this piece. Our little ones got to gobble nibble on the foil milk chocolate treats in this tin. They thought it was very funny to eat an eye ball! My other half polished off the rest of the chocolates in the tin.

 

Assorted Tin Collage

 

I thought that The Spider’s Collection was very cute bag of treats. I kept the sheer organza bag to help decorate my home this Halloween. There is a Foiled Milk Pumpkin, a Pumpkin Lolly, a Sugar Skull and other milk chocolate treats! Let me tell you, Readers, that I did not eat any of these treats. Not One! By the time I took pics of these treats for this post, my family had divided them up and stashed away! For the next few days, my eldest and my other half were very happy with their snacks as they were noshing on their Halloween treats from Purdy’s!

Foil Covered Treats Collage

 

So, Readers, if you are attending a Diwali celebration with family and friends, or if you want to give a special someone a great Halloween treat, then you should pop into a Purdys Chocolatiers to get something that is sweet and that will brighten the moment!

Until my next post, Readers!

Reese

 

Disclaimer: I was compensated with product by Purdys Chocolatiers in return for a review. The opinions expressed in this review are honest and my own.