If you have not had the pleasure of learning about Jamie MacDonald's story, please let me introduce you to this inspiring, brave and dedicated young man.
I learned about him a few months ago, as he was in the middle of his Canadian trek across Canada. He was running, unassisted, to raise money for Children's hospitals in each province he ran across.
So where did he come from and why is he doing it? His story is quite amazing...
As a child, Jamie was in and out of Gloucester Royal hospital in the UK for nine years with a rare spinal condition known as syringomyelia, as well as a very weak immune system, and the Pied Piper’s help was invaluable. He also spent a great deal of time at Great Ormond Street.
On March 9th 2013, Jamie began his attempt to run Canada coast to coast, more than 5,000 miles unassisted, jointly raising money in aid of UK charities Great Ormond Street Children’s Charity and the Pied Piper Appeal and children’s hospitals throughout Canada.
He’ll become the first person in history to run it alone if he completes it, facing snow storms, -40°C temperatures and grizzly bears, all whilst pushing his belongings in a baby stroller nicknamed Caesar.
He will be arriving in Vancouver on Monday, February 3rd. The details of his arrival (which I will be attending) can be found here:
I've also booked him to come and speak at our school at South Meridian next Thursday at 12:45. I can't wait for the kids to meet him.
I'm also working on a great celebration for him this coming Friday, February 7th in Vancouver. I will be posting details shortly and encourage anyone who would like to meet this amazing UK man, to join us on Friday. :)
In the meantime, You can read more about his adventures on his website here and also to donate:
When I first entered 4 Angels Beauty Care located on 1342 Burrard Street in Vancouver, I was immediately taken back by the sheer beauty of the salon. It felt like I'd walked in to a small piece of heaven, enveloped in azure blue.
What's more, is that the owners Navkiran "Kiran" Sokhi and Kulwinder Malhi, greet all their clients with a hug. And with the day I was having, it was perfect timing! ;)
As best friends, both Kiran and Kulwinder have 35 years combined experience in the beauty industry. Kiran is a Master Brow Specialist who trained many of the city's brow sculptors over the last three years..
They opened their doors in the summer of 2013, and have had tremendous success with their establishment. Their specialties services are waxing, relaxation massages and facials.
I could hardly wait to try out my services, which included an Illu-mini facial with an Indian Head Massage and EyeBrow threading.
From the moment I laid my head back, I felt relaxed. The Illu-Mini facial was fantastic, and left my skin feeling very soft and supple. This was something that had been an issue for me for quite some time (dry skin is rampant right now with our weather). I inquired what products they use to make my skin so soft (and rid me of some of my soft wrinkles around my eyes). I was told it was France Laure skincare that they used.
After my facial, my face was wrapped in warm towels. The perfect end to a wonderful, relaxing facial. Then, my Indian Head Massage began. And if you are not familiar with it, you HAVE to try it.
The head massage (which helps heal aching shoulders, a tight neck, tension headache, eye strain and stress) includes oil being rubbed in to the scalp - you can choose from castor oil, almond oil, olive oil or baby oil (scent-free).
I had almond oil and it was bliss. Although I don't recommed you have anywhere to go afterwards due to the oil in your hair, I do highly recommend this treatment for anyone looking for a great way to unwind.
And finally, my brow threading. It's a unique way to rid yourself of those unsightly brow hair that's gone awry. Within minutes, their threading cleaned me up perfectly. There is no pain, no mess from wax and what's best is that they educate you on your brows. But what would you expect from one of the best teachers in the business?
There was a girl who was sitting next to me who had come for her very first brow visit. After receiving her treatment, she couldn't stop gushing over her eyebrows.
What's even better, is their prices. So reasonable, considering the experience that both these women have to offer up to their clients.
I left purchasing the skin cream from France Laure they used on me, and the promise I will be returning soon, with my mom in tow. She's gonna love this place. ;)
Oh, and I also got a hug on my way out too. Who knew a spa could also be the best place to arrive feeling welcomed, but also leave feeling like family. :)
To check out all their services and prices, visit their website here:
Last night represents the first time the kids actually stayed up until 12:00 to celebrate New Year's. In the past, we've watched the ball drop in New York at 9 pm, and they are asleep for 10:00.
This year however, both of them were quite aware that it was only 9 pm, and insisted on staying up for the REAL New Year's celebration.
So, my daughter and I got dressed up, and the whole family watched movies together. We grazed on all our favourite foods throughout the evening, played games, and celebrated with clackers and horns at midnight.
It was so much fun to celebrate with the kids, as they ran to the back of the house to let the old year out, and then quickly run to the front of the house to let the new year in. ;)
The kids finally went down around 12:30. And the house went very quiet.
I sat up for a bit reflecting on 2013, and thinking about what 2014 holds for me. It was a perfect end to the year, and I'm glad I had the peaceful time to myself to reflect and really think about my goals for the year ahead.
Anyone who really knows me, knows I don't believe in New Year's resolutions. (Heck, I wrote a 40 under 40 column from 2011-2012 and did crazy things the whole year through). ;) But I do believe in goals.
So make this year, the year, you choose a goal, find a way to measure it (so you can track it) and just go for it.
Here's hoping your 2014 is the best one yet!!!!!!
Every year when December rolls around, we have a set of traditions we follow that makes the holidays special to us.
The first thing is that on December 1st, our lights go up outside and we decorate our home with all the festive trickets. Each year, after putting up our decorations, I go out and get a couple of things to add to the displays, both outside AND inside.
This year, I went with a new holiday teddy bear for the front of the house from Home Depot, and inside, I purchased stocking hangers for the mantle, so we don't have to use push pins or nails in the mantle for the stockings (also from Home Depot).
Each year, we also attend Santa and Mrs. Claus breakfast at Hazelmere in south Surrey. The kids look forward to this yearly event, and can't wait to give Mrs. Claus and Santa a hug. This year, my son (who is 10) was the same height as Mrs. Claus! ;) LOL.
There's also the Christmas card writing (uggh - it takes me days to write all of them) and the making of the Ginger bread house, which is proudly displayed in our kitchen.
Tonight, we will drive around and look at all the homes lit up with Christmas lights. It really puts us in the holiday spirit (we take along hot chocolate, money to donate and food, and blast the holiday music in the car!) ;)
On Christmas Eve, we order in Chinese food and open the gifts from one another. (This is a ritual that I had growing up on the Prairies, and it stuck). Christmas day is for gifts from Santa for the kids.
Christams day dinner is usually at our home and includes a turkey, ham and WAY too much food.
One of my favourite things though each year, is watching the movie "Elf"with the kids. And then when they go to bed, I watch "Love Actually" on my own. I love this movie because of what it represents - the good in everyone, the love we feel for those in our lives, and those we wish were closer to us. I also am addicted to this song from the movie, which I HAVE to listen to each year: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XVSmT4nNEkQ
I also like sitting quietly with a glass of egg nogg in front of the Christmas tree - and reflecting on my life, and how blessed and lucky I feel for everything I have.
From my family to yours - Merry Christmas! And hoping you are feeling as blessed and lucky in your life, as I do in mine. :)
I wanted to share my own family's story of War and why we continue to remember those who fought on our behalf so many years ago, and those who continue to fight today.
Please click on the following link and read how my own family was affected by war.
And pleae take the time to REMEMBER today.