Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Digital Book Review GBSMM - Social Media Mastery

Excuse me while I stray a bit from the topic of all things Mama. I am currently enrolled in an online course  - Social Media Marketing at George Brown College. What can I say... Maternity leave has left me doing a complete 180. I founded The Mamalicious Mamas, run their Meetup board and maintain a Twitter account and Facebook presence online. In the meantime I had discovered that businesses actually hire individuals to manage their social media engagement. #awesomeness!

So voila! I am now working on obtaining a certificate in Social Media.

My current project is a Digital Book Review on my reading choice Social Media Mastery (A Daily Actions Guide): 75 Daily Challenges to Help you Expand your Reach, Build your Platform, and Establish your Online Authority.

I chose this book because I learn well through practice vs theory. The author Dr. Tara Ross applies 75 daily challenges to "help you expand your reach, build your platform, and establish your online authority". Some of the areas that I've expanded my knowledge:
- integrating social media accounts
- embedding content
- interacting with groups.

 Tara Ross' daily challenge format assists you to take small, actionable steps that will help toward developing social media mastery.

I took in my first Kindle purchase on my smart phone and tablet.  On my half hour lunch at work I was able to read, absorb and on occasion - quickly complete a challenge.  On Fridays I would go on Twitter, retweet and #FF (Follow Friday).  I registered on and was able to update my Facebook page with relevant information.  My Pinterest account became a business account and I learned how to Instagram.

(Notice that I bolded those platforms?  They link to my accounts.  Some would call this a shameless plug... I like to refer to this as "Pushing my Content". A technique learned in this book)

I took a moment to thank Tara Ross on Twitter, and she replied!!

Wondering which type of social media platforms to use, how to engage with others, advice and links for how-to's?  Social Media Mastery (A daily Actions Guide) is definitely the book to read.  I would recommend it for anyone who is already at ease with any of the social networks discussed in this book.

I created a Tag Cloud highlighting key elements taught within this book.

Please visit me on Pinterest and view my  Pin Board on titled: Social Media Mastery - Digital Report GBSMM.  It contains links and images that support the information I've learned reading this book.  Take a look and let me know what you think.  I was definitely able to better grasp the ideas and findings of Dr. Tara Ross as I read and pinned the links to my board.

I found the book Social Media Mastery to be both relevant and timely.  Not only was it published this year in January, it also referred to the most current platforms.  

So have you read this book?  I would love to know your thoughts.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Mommy Discounts

This was one of those crazy weekends. I am pooped... Feeling behind with my school assignments. Not getting enoug sleep. Worried about C's Mom. And I believe MIssy Miu is having her first bout of diaper rash at 23 months.

On the bright side, I actually did my nails (successfully) since returning back to work 10 months ago. I am always in a rush and wake up with the bed sheets imprinted in the polish. This time I bought a new polish instead of pianting my nails with an old bottle from 4 years ago. Which is why my nails never dried properly.
Loreal's "Royal Reinvention"
I am posting a picture of the finished look even though it is a tad sloppy. I had to tend to Missy Miu after her bedtime due to the rash. I am just proud I put myself first still to get it done.

I am also thrilled because tonight I sent out a communication to the group that they are now eligible to join a membership program and receive a group discount when purchasing tickets for events, attractions or hotels.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014


I'm not too sure what she's thinking about. Maybe it's the fact that we picked up this outfit at Winners Scarborough - McCowan location at an amazing value. 

Straw hat $5.99, Yellow Toddler Dress $9.99.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

H.E.L.P. City of Toronto

I love this house.  It's about 30 years old with lots of original everything.  We would love to have some energy efficient upgrades done, but it is so expensive.   One of my concerns is our original air conditioner.  It's working but I'm not sure for how long.  I hate that summer feeling of fear when the hydro reading comes in.

I came across some info on H.E.L.P.  The Home Energy Loan Program.  The three year pilot plan is a financing tool offered by the City of Toronto to help you improve your home's energy efficiency and save money.

" available in specific neighbourhoods in Toronto. The program will be expanded to additional areas in later phases of the pilot program. Current eligible areas include the following neighbourhoods:
- Black Creek: postal code that starts with M3N
- Toronto Centre/Riverdale/Beaches: M4E, M4L, M4M, M4J, M1N, M4C, M4K, M5A
- Junction/High Park: M6P, M6S
- South Scarborough: M1M, M1E, M1C, M1L, M1K, M4B"

It offers low interest loans to qualifying homeowners interested in improving their water and energy efficiency of the home.  The homeowner repays the city through installments on their property tax bill.

The potential savings may offset the cost of your monthly repayments to the city and you will be better protected against rising energy costs.  You have up to 15 years to pay it off.  By the way...  The loan is in the property name not the owner.  #nocreditcheck!  If you move during the repayment process the new owners oversee the payments.

We applied and have been approved for a dollar amount. This week we will phone a certified energy advisor who will do an assessment of our home's insulation, heating and cooling systems and detection of air leaks and drafts.
The wonderful thing about this is we could also be eligible for rebates that could be used towards our repayment plan.

I will keep you up to date on the steps, but thought you should really know about this.  I'm all about saving money, energy and living green. More information can be found at Programs for Residents Home Energy Loan Program.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Canada Day Style 2014

Happy Canada Day! A year ago Missy Miu was in a stroller and I was trying to stop her from eating her Canadian flag.

I've kept up tradition by having her wear a Canada Day themed outfit. I decided to join her.  Picked up these cool Tees from Old Navy.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014


"It's about learning to dance in the rain." 
During daycare pick-up...  We got caught in the rain.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Ode to L.B.

That feeling after a long day at work...  I just want to get home and get some me time.. A moment to myself.

That feeling during that long commute home.  So tired...  So dozey...  That feeling of can I make it to the daycare 20 minutes early?   Maybe I can enjoy a coffee at Tim Horton's...  in the car...  Parked.

That feeling of what it was like way back when when I had a bit of time to wind down.

Then I enter daycare...  Go to her room and watch her in action.  I put my finger to my lips  indicating to the caregivers not to let her know I have arrived.   I watch her.  She's so happy.  I'm so happy.   I guess this is what one feels when their heart is full.

She sees me...  Big smile...  From her to me..  From me to her.  She runs towards me.  I crouch down and open my arms.  Big sloppy kiss...  She hugs me and pats me on the shoulder,  points to me and says "Mommy".

Those feelings earlier are gone.  I am with her and thankful to experience this feeling...  This me kind of time.  My moment for myself...  My daughter time.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Tonight's Meal

Hubby made tonight's dinner. Red snapper, spinach ravioli and salad. Actually he does the majority of the cooking.

We are really trying to curb buying take out. It's crazy expensive and not very healthy.

Missy Miu enjoyed it for the most part. We give her the same meal, but chopped up and with steamed carrots and corn instead of salad. We can successfully feed her the veggies and fish when hidden under the pasta. Then it's gloves off. She takes over and diggs out the pasta only.

The goal... No take out til Friday.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

I'm Last, I Worry, I'm Sorry, I'm a Bother

I am always putting other peoples needs first, preparing for the next minute,
apologizing because I think I'm a bit of a "bother".  I'm not sure why I am like
this, but it is bothering me immensely. There is so much  would like to
accomplish.  School, my group etc., but I put my needs second to last... and I
haven't quite been able to get ahead. 

So what should I do?
 - Me first... Tell hubby I need a couple of hours to work on my assignments during the
weekend, give him a list to get my s*** done... heaven forbid if I forget his

 - Live in the now... Stop worrying (so much) about tomorrow.  Like I've got to
get us to save more money... I've got to lose 15lbs... I've got to make sure
Missy Miu has no cavities by the time we get to her first dental appointment. So
I'm changing my thoughts to...
 - take the 407 only twice per week, go to bed earlier and buy two cups of coffee
instead of three, get on my bike two times per week, Have Missy brush her teeth after each meal.

- Stop thinking I'm a nuisance... tone down the pride thing.  I act like I can do
everything on my own and when I need help, I think no one will be there for me.

She's sleeping.. what do I do?
Of course I have been over thinking how to get this started... for like a month.
Then my daughter fell asleep just before we were to head out to an event.  Hubby
said, "I'm going to take a nap."  I thought it would be a great opportunity to
get a head start on laundry and do a detailed grocery list for the rest of the
month. I kid you not.

I looked over at her, saw her sleeping peacefully and decided to do something for
me. I caught up on my course assignments watered my garden (I do love gardening). 

An hour and a half later she was up and I had an amazing day with her. 

Hanging out at the Highland Creek Festival
Sharing our first ice cream cone.
I can honestly say I enjoyed my time with her more because I took care of me.

Monday, May 26, 2014


Finding time in our day to day lives for a mother is like searching for the Holy Grail, trying to find the Lost City of Atlantis or capturing the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow…
I think you get my point.
It seems pretty impossible at times. Whether you work outside of the home or you stay at home, the majority of your day is usually spent accomplishing goals other than your own and ensuring that the health and well-being of people other than yourself is well taken care of. By the time you can squeeze out a moment for yourself, you’re usually so tired that your only achievement is brushing your teeth and crawling pitifully into bed.
Okay, that may sound a bit dramatic. But you know what I mean.
Time is fleeting and even more so when you are a mother; when you spend most of the time you have each day caring for other people. You do this without resentment (most of the time) and without expectation of repayment (usually); but it is not always the easiest thing to accept that your time is not your own and not always considered or appreciated.
Not even in the bathroom!
Come on, I can’t be the only one who’s had an audience of at least one precocious preschooler while in the ‘loo’! I hope not, or else I just revealed a tad too much. Ahem…moving on!
While sacrificing personal time is one of the things that makes mothers the subject of many poems and recipients of gratitude in acceptance speeches all over the world; it can be a detriment to our health and happiness. You end up neglecting your own goals like reading that novel; writing your own novel; working out; going back to school; getting your hair done; running a marathon or climbing Mt. Everest. Big or small, they’re your goals and important to you. Even if it is as simple as going out for coffee with a friend without the children along for the ride; it is essential that you take some time for yourself to do the things that may be important only to you.
It helps to take the edge off and helps you to go back to being the ‘Super Mom’ that your family needs you to be.
Well, that and a glass (maybe a bottle) of wine.
I’m just sayin…

Joya is a married mother of 2. Aside from her family, her passions are writing and shopping. She blogs about motherhood at  She has also just started a gift basket business called LIFE HAPPENS GIFT BAGS & BASKETS; where her goal is to help people celebrate even the smallest occasions. You can check out her Facebook page at .

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

This Mama's Back In School

Hi Mamas.  I really have to do a better job updating this blog.  Mamalicious Mamas is still going strong, but with being back to work and family time it is sometimes difficult to maintain that ooomph.  I have some great Mamas assisting me, but my communication skills have been lacking a bit.   (Sorry Mama Jen and Melanie).

Enough beating myself up.  This blog also discusses the "behind the scenes"... so let's go there for a bit.

Announcement! I am working on obtaining my Social Media Certificate!  (Yea Me!).

I am using this post for my first assignment: The Digital Book Report.

We are required to choose a social media book of our choice for this course.  I have chosen Social Media Mastery by Tara Ross PHD.   This reading offers "75 daily challenges to help your reach, build your platform and establish your online authority".

Here is my book review via video where I share information about book and the value I have gained from reading it and the challenges offered.   And by the way, it is my first video EVER.  Pardon my nervousness.... But I feel good about the end result.

Here is my tag cloud that I created on These words refer to what I learned and the value gained.

You can catch some of the quotes that stood out for me in the book on twitter. You can find them using #GB2014

So Mamas... Are any of you currently going to school or upgrading your skills? What are you taking?

Saturday, April 26, 2014

I'm Not Perfect...I'm a Mom!

I had no idea what type of mom I would be, but I did assume that patience would be one of my strongest assets since I’ve always been a fairly patient, low-key person.


Becoming a mother not only exposed me to the most powerful and enduring love I will ever experience in my lifetime…but it also made me feel inadequate, inexperienced, insecure and at times, like a total nut job!!!


How the heck was I going to do this mom thing? Which hospital staff in their right mind would send a baby home with me? I had absolutely no idea what I was doing!

I felt completely alone and at a loss sometimes. Even though I had so much love and support around me; I felt as if I should know everything and be able to do everything on my own…and do it well.

But no matter how much of a ‘super mom’ you are or strive to be (and I just happened to leave my super hero cape at the cleaners…), you are not perfect and you will make mistakes. Here’s the crazy part…

It’s okay!

You don’t have to be perfect!

So, you might burn the dinner one night because you were busy tending to a ‘boo-boo’ or trying to stop your kids from strangling each other. Just call it a BBQ and enjoy.

You might forget that today is PYJAMA DAY at the daycare and have to spend the next 10 minutes consoling a very distraught toddler while still trying to make it to work before lunchtime! You were on time yesterday…almost!

You could be sewing a costume at 11pm because you forgot that your child’s first play is tomorrow!!! Sleep is overrated anyway.

There may even come a time when you break down into a sobbing mass of frustration at the tantrum your preschooler just had in the middle of the grocery store…sigh.

Let’s face it…you may have more than one of those break downs. But Mommy’s have tantrums too, you know. (Please tell me that’s not just me?!)

Between caring for our kids, our partners and possibly our parents; we will get some things wrong. We’ll get tired, fed up, frustrated and grumpy. Did I mention emotional?

That’s called Motherhood!

I am learning that my kids accept me with all of my imperfections. I've learned to acknowledge my mistakes. Mind you, my girls are kind enough to point them out to me.

Over and over and over….

There’s nothing like a 3 year old telling you that you have a ‘really, really bad memory’ or your 7 year old that rolls her eyes because you can’t remember where you left your keys.

But I do remember to tend to the scrapes and bruises; hug away the tears and nightmares; soothe hurt feelings and celebrate all of their accomplishments and at the end of the day, when my kids are happy to see me; when I get hugs and kisses and ‘I love you Mommy’, I know that I’m doing something right.

So when you’re having a rough day and things may not be going well; stop trying to be perfect and give yourself a break.

You’re better than perfect…YOU’RE A MOM.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Monday, April 21, 2014

Joya... Our New Blog Contributor

I am super excited to add Joya to our Mamalicious Blog Team.  Here is her bio:

I am the mother of 2 gorgeous, smart and rambunctious girls. One soon to be 7 year old that is more like a teenager than you could imagine. In other words…Drama! But so affectionate too. Then there is my 3 ½ year old who is the baby, the princess, the comedian and the trickster…and that’s all in one day!

I’m a working mom still searching for the manual on motherhood (can I borrow someone’s copy?). Each day is a test, challenge or triumph on how to keep it all together and still be ‘mamalicious’ (Ha! Like how I worked that in there?).
I am also a writer and a blogger.
 You can visit my blog at Feel free to drop by and leave a comment!
My blog is where I am able to share all the anecdotes of my life as the very imperfect mom of two perfectly awesome (did I say rambunctious already?) kids!
But if that’s not enough on my plate, I’m also starting a new business called “Life Happens Gift Bags and Baskets” (website coming soon!).
“Am I crazy?” you might ask…
Of course I am! Isn’t being a bit crazy a prerequisite for motherhood?
Wait…is that just me?

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Maybe One Is Enough

Recently Cee and I came to a difficult decision.  To stop at one child.

Why would I consider this a difficult choice?  Well, because society tells us otherwise. Apparently:

-Missy Miu HAS to have a sibling or two.   She'll be lonely...
...  She attends daycare everyday with 9 other classmates Monday to Friday.  When I pick her up after work her I observe her from afar before I let her know I've arrived.   I see her colouring at a table with the other children or I watch her acting out songs with her teachers.   When she does find out I have arrived I get the biggest hug and sloppiest of kisses and she shows off her use of toys in the room.

Now that the weather is nicer, I park the car in the driveway after the pick up and Missy Miu and I walk on the sidewalk to catch Dad driving by. He joins us, we maneuver the cracks on the sidewalks and catch up on the day.

Nope... not too lonely at all.

-She needs family when we "move on"
Hmmm... hope I don't offend any family members who may be reading this.  I have four siblings and let's just say we are not beating down each other's door as often as we "should".  So I think I will focus on fulfilling her life NOW and teach her the value of friendship so she can learn to build lasting relationships.

-One is an adjustment, two is a piece of cake
Yeah... maybe... but sometimes it's a huge adjustment when you are near middle age and you are struggling to prepare for retirement, pay off that mortgage and build your little one's RESPs.

Honestly I would like for us to be able to be fiscally responsible and comfortably provide for her.  It is my worst nightmare to have issues doing so.  And to work past 65 because I have to and not because I want to?  ( insert  picture of me gasping for air here...)

Before I hit submit on this post I feel I should be honest... It took 3 weeks to decide to publish my thoughts on more children.  Today I think I would like another, and I wonder how, when, if I should even present this to my hubby.   Next week I may feel differently again.  But I thought it was important to say... It's ultimately up to you.

Friday, January 10, 2014

WIN! Lil Tights By Skights!

The wonderful thing I love about being a Mamalicious Mama is the unique items I get to review for our group. Our mamas are based in Scarborough and Pickering, so you can imagine how happy I was to find product created by a Mama in the Durham Region.

Canadian Mom and designer Julie Thompson has created "Lil' Tights by SKIGHTS". They are like tights... But better than tights. I like to refer to them knee high tights.

It would have been awesome if I had them when Missy Miu was a crawler. I love the padded knee feature that would have protected her knees as she crawled on the floor and carpet.

When we are home I want her to feel unrestricted, but to remove her leggings would have her feeling chilly. With Skights that it a non issue.

Oh... And Diaper changes are much easier. No hassle of removing her pants. Just the diaper.... Just the diaper.

With Toronto 's latest cold Snap, these sure came in handy beneath her pants.

Lil' Tights have a stay put design so they are not easily removed by your little one.
And may I add... Potty training will be much easier.

Skights are made of stretchy Lycra and Spandex (75% Cotton, 22% Nylon, 3% Lycra). They come in three colours:
- small - 9 to 18 months
- med -18 to 30 months
- lg - 30 to 48 months

You can purchase Skights online for $14.99. Purchase 3 or more pairs and save 10%.

What is even more awesome is that this week Julie's Skights are heading to Hollywood to exhibit at L.A.'s exclusive, invitation-only Boom Boom Room Pre-Golden Globes gifting suite. This is where baby and kids' gear is showcased for celebrity moms and dads!

Great news though... Thanks to Skights we have an exclusive contest for the Mamalicious Mamas.

1. Visit Skights Facebook page and LIKE it.
2. Click on this LINK and comment on the pic what you love about Skights
3. RSVP on the event board after completing steps 1 and 2.

You have until Thursday, January 16, 2014, 3pm to compete for the a pair of Skights. Remember... to be eligible you must follow instructions to a T.

Good luck Mamas!

**The products for this review and giveaway were provided for free. All opinions are my own and were not influenced in any way.**

Monday, January 6, 2014

Debt Free - Like Really

I have been really serious about becoming debt free....  For like the last 20 years.  

Made you laugh.  Right?

But seriously.   Now that I have a daughter I so have to get my act together.   I lose sleep thinking that  she may have to go without as she grows up.    I remember how my Mom "struggled" make ends meet.  I would like Missy Miu to see me "budget" to make ends meet.

In order to become debt free I have to have a plan. So I have decided on the following  route.

1. SNOWBALLING - From most to least expensive interest rate I am listing my consumer debt with the amount of months left.  Here's an example...  err...  Not mine:

1.  Furniture Store       32   %       6000     84
2.  Dept.  Store Card   28.8%       600        22
3.  Dept.  Store Card   28.8%     1100        48
4.  Car Loan                   9   %    25000     600
5.  Family                        0  %      2800         0

This list allows one to list their most expensive debt (using the interest rate).  Pay the minimum payment required on bills 2, 3 etc.  On the first bill you throw more than the minimum amount.  Every time you move down the list you snowball.   The payment used to pay off the most expensive debt will be applied to the next most expensive debt on the list.

2.  Start Now  Procrastination is not helping to pay down my debt.   How is it working for you?

3.  Make a Budget and get it to balance.

4.  Trim Down Where can you cut spending.   Does it mean bringing your lunch 3 days of the week instead of buying for 5 days?  Maybe that's an extra $65  month.   Take the $65 and apply it to the first loan on the top of the list.

5.  Make A Payment No need to wait for the due date.   If money is owing...  It's always owing.   Each time you apply a payment, you reduce the interest added on.

6.  Empty The Pockets
Got change in your pocket? Under the couch  cushions? I collect loose coin in a jar and stash it way in the back of my closet.   Every couple of months I count up the money and apply it to debt.  You'll be surprised to see how much money this can add up to.

Next week we will discuss making a budget.   In the meantime I ask that with me you create your snowball list and make a payment.

Until next week Financial Mamas!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Year... New Events

Happy New Year Mamas!   Just wanted to give a heads up on January 2014 events:

- We have coffee at Debbie's Boutique Café and Café Mirage

- We will  have two Storytime sessions at Ray's Café

- Stroller Walking at Scarborough Town Centre and Markville Mall

- Hat Day at Creative Play Indoor Playground

We have room for 5 more events. Let us know if you have and suggestions.

We've just added Stroller Walking at the indoor track at Stephen Leacock Community Centre

Please visit our Mamalicious Mamas board for more information.