Let’s Dance

Blog Post #168

I probably never told you that I LOVE to dance. In fact, when I’m alone in the house, I usually dance up a storm — chores get done a lot faster when there’s singing and dancing involved. Growing up, I dreamed of being a professional dancer — but it didn’t work out because I am severely rhythmically challenged. I know… so sad.

But I still love to dance, and I can’t resist watching other people tripping the light fantastic.

One of my favourite dance songs lately is Uptown Funk from the studio album, Uptown Special, by Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars. Everytime I hear it, I just want to jump up and start moving.

Uptown Funk is popular with a lot of other people, too,  as I discovered from a search on YouTube. From graduating ceremonies to wedding flash mobs, this song is a big hit with dancers everywhere.

The single’s debut was in November of 2014, when Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars were the musical guests on SNL. Read this to find out more about the song.  Learn the lyrics.

To show you what I mean, here are a few versions of this choreographed song — starting with the original by Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars then followed by three of my favourites.

Michelle Obama and Ellen do the Uptown Funk to promote the #gimmefive  challenge to encourage people to exercise more.

This amazing flashmob was performed by dozens of dancers in Sydney, Australia.

This amazing production was created by students at a high school in Texas. They asked their teacher to participate in the video which was shot in one take. Dozens of students worked on the project and the result went viral on YouTube with more than 3 million views.

This last version is my top pick (I previously posted it on A Few of My Favourite Things — A Short List)

It’s a movie mashup that was compiled by Nerd Fest UK who put together 66 clips of movies from the Golden Age and paired it with the electro-funk sound of Uptown Funk. It is fascinating to watch all those stars dancing to this song — the compilation is flawless and so much fun to watch!

You’ll want to get up and dance if you check out even one of these videos. Don’t believe me? Just watch (come on)!


A Stroll Down Memory Lane — TBT

Blog Post #167

I was leafing through some old photo albums the other day. Looking at pictures of my girls when they were babies, toddlers and school children.

That brought back so many lovely memories — moments of joy, laughter and yes, even, tears. They are both young adults now, so there are a lot of family stories and favourite events that come to mind.

I was reminded of the  Christmas when Bailey got Ernie and Bert dolls from Santa. They were her favourite characters from the kids’ show Sesame Street. She loved them both, but Bert was definitely Number One, She would happily share Ernie with anyone — but no one was allowed to play with Bert — he was hers alone.


I had almost forgotten how much Brynne loved the swings in the playground — she would grin from ear to ear when she was swinging back and forth, but the tears would start the minute we tried to take her out of the seat — that kid LOVED the swings (still does as far as I know!)


I was deep into nostalgia as I peered over every photo in the book — it was pleasant way to spend a bit of time remembering my daughters when they were young. I miss those days a little.

Just as I picked up one last album, a photo slipped out from between the pages. It was an old, grainy, black and white photo of me! I looked to be around 2 years old and I’m laughing at the funny antics of a puppy that I see in the distance. I’m holding a ball in my hand. Of course, I don’t remember that at all, but I recall my mother telling me the story. When I look at this photo, I can almost envision that silly puppy!


My daughters love to go through our family photographs. Every so often, when we are all together, we drag out all  albums and look at them while remembering and retelling the stories. We each add our remembrances and fill in the blanks as we point out where we were at that moment — describing the scene in detail. These are the stories of our lives, who we are and what we mean to each other. Every photo has a tale to tell and we never tire of hearing them over again.

Those albums — they are a testament to our family— to love, laughter and life.






Happy Haikuesday!

Blog Post #165

Autumn’s bright colours
red apples hang from the trees
leaves crunch underfoot


Fall is a beautiful season — it’s a time for celebrating life’s abundance, gathering with family and friends to enjoy cozy evenings around a fire, sipping wine or hot chocolate. It’s a time for tromping through corn mazes and choosing big, bright, orange pumpkins from the field ready to be transformed into Jack O’Lanterns. Weekend walks through carpets of red and gold leaves and marveling at the beauty of nature.

It’s enough to make you want to write poetry! (wink!)

Speaking of haiku — did you know that the Vancouver Haiku Invitational 2016 Winners  have now been posted?

The winner in the Vancouver category is:

double cherry blossoms
I breathe in
the entire sky

by Rachel Enomoto from Burnaby, BC

Find more information about the Haiku Invitational and the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival on the website.

Read all the winning haiku and the judges’ commentary on the poetry.



It’s Monday — Inspire Me

Blog Post #165

Who inspires you?

Are you moved to do more, and be more by the actions of someone you admire?

What about you — are you an inspiration to others? What makes a person inspiring?

Hands and a Rose

You don’t need to be a super hero to influence and motivate those around you — think about these 5 actions that will help you make a positive difference in someone’s life.

Be kind and caring. Showing the people around you that you genuinely care about them and acting with kindness everyday can make their day. When people are treated with care and kindness they are inspired to do the same.

Be enthusiastic. A zest for life is infectious — people are more likely to feel good and happy when they are around someone who is joyful and shows it

Try to catch someone doing something good! Develop the habit of building people up, not tearing them down. Commenting on positive actions and behaviours instead of criticizing builds up confidence and inspires others to be positive too.

Acknowledge and take responsibility for your own errors and missteps. Everyone makes mistakes — the key is to be honest and admit them.

Hone your listening skills. Pay attention when people are confiding in you. Make eye contact and restate what they have told you. Ask follow-up questions to let them know you have heard and understood what they said.





10 Ways to Help You Feel Happier

Blog Post #164

Everyone wants to be happy — we’re all searching for that elusive emotion. Just look at the self-help section of your favourite bookstore — there are any number of “manuals” on happiness and how to attain it. Try a google search using the phrase “how to be happy” and you will come up with around 319,000,000 hits!

After reading various lists and articles, I found some common ideas, thoughts, and principles on achieving happiness. I must confess that I did not look at all 319,000 them — but I’ve listed ten of those concepts that resonated most strongly with me.

What are some of the ways that help you feel happiness?

Live in the Moment image

Practice humility

Smile genuinely

Listen intently

Express gratitude

Forgive wholeheartedly

Foster acceptance

Give generously

Live in the moment

Spread kindness everywhere

Love unconditionally







Sharing is Caring – 10 Places to Get Free Photos For Your Blog

Blog Post #163

I love writing these blog posts and I also love taking pictures to add interest to my posts. But as I have said previously, I’m no photographer and while I try to use my own photos as much as I can, it is somewhat difficult for me to get a great photo. Also, since I am trying to write a post a day, AND I don’t always plan what I am going to write ahead of time, I quite often don’t have a photo that “goes” with each day’s piece.

So I usually turn to photo sharing or image repository sites to help me out.

It occurred to me that other people may be interested in the sites that I use. Below is a list (alphabetical) of photo sharing sites that I browse and use regularly. These sites offer high quality, free images with no attribution required.

I hope you find some photos and images that you like in these collections. Do you have a favourite photo sharing site?

Foodies Feed

If you love beautiful photos of food, this site is for you. The photos are available for use in blog posts, websites, articles, templates and more. You can download the images one at a time or you can download all photos at once. Sign up to receive free photos right in your inbox.


Free Jpg

Free Jpg has many high resolution photos sorted into various categories on their website. Images are free for commercial or editorial use, blogs, creative and designers’ high quality photos. You can read their blog for tips and sign up for their newsletter as well.




Offering new high resolution photos weekly for use in your personal and commercial projects. You can find some quirky photos for your most fun posts.



Life of Pix

This site offers free high-resolution photos with no copy right restrictions. You can use them for personal or commercial projects. New photos are added weekly. Photos are from Leeroy Advertising Agency.




Over 350,000 free images available in a searchable database



New Old Stock

Do you love vintage photos? Then check out this photo bank which has old photos from the public archives that are free of known copyright restrictions. You can also purchase photo packs  — collections of vintage photos that are optimized and edited ready for use.




All Pexels photos are free for use in personal and commercial projects. Over 10,000 high quality images that are tagged and searchable. You can also sign up for their newsletter and read about the photographers in the blog.




With a large repository of photos and hundreds of high resolution images added weekly, you will have lots of choice from Stocksnap.io, including a nice selection of black and white pictures.




Stokpic has beautiful high quality photos that are free to use. Attribution is not required, but requested. You can sign up for the newsletter and Stokpic will send you 10 new photos every two weeks directly to your inbox!


Photo by: Ed Gregory



All the photos published by Unsplash can be copied, modified and used however you like. Attribution is not required (but appreciated)

Photo by Wolf Broadcast









This is Us

Blog Post #162

I just finished watching the pilot of the new NBC show, This is Us.

I had recorded it on the premiere night — I wasn’t too sure that I wanted to watch it — the trailers piqued my interest, but I wasn’t sure if it would be worth watching. I don’t trust trailers all that much. They can be misleading. I decided to record the program so I could watch it when I had some spare time and I hoped that I would like it.

I’m still wiping the tears from my eyes.

The show was great — at least, the pilot was amazing! It was more than I expected — the writing was solid, the characters were genuine and their stories felt true. (The show earned a “fresh tomato” from critics with a rating of 91% on the tomatometer. I’m with them. )

This ensemble drama is filled with moments that run the gamut of human emotions —  heartwarming, heart breaking, funny and brutally honest. The strong performances from every cast member adds a depth to this story, making the narrative emotionally impactful without being overly saccharine or cheesy.

And the twist! I did not see it coming — I love when that happens! I’m hooked!

Did you catch the show? What did you think?

If you haven’t seen the show — give it a try. If you enjoy dramas that you can relate to with impressive, likeable characters and compelling stories, you may love this show.  This is us.


3 Things I Found While Surfing the Net

Blog Post #161

I ran across some interesting things on the internet this past week, as I usually do. I find the World Wide Web a fascinating place.

There is an overwhelming amount of “stuff” out there — articles, essays, news, gossip, photographs, videos, music — whatever you want to see or hear — you can find it by surfing the net. Some of this stuff is interesting, valuable, entertaining and hilariously funny. Some of it is horrible, nasty, mean-spirited and just plain stupid. I try to stay away from those places!

I love to discover new ideas, and find things that I love to look and at learn about. These are some of my favourite things I found this week.

Women’s Work

YouTube is one of my favourite places to poke around on the web. The video below was posted on a friend’s Facebook page. I love when a good point or important message is conveyed through humor. Watch this short video on “Pinksourcing” featuring Kristen Bell — tell me what you think? Does it get its message across?


One Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Pexels is a photo-sharing website that I discovered a while back. I love including photos in my blog pieces and I like taking my own pictures, but I’m no photographer. Sometimes it’s difficult (or impossible) to get that perfect shot for my posts. Photo sharing sites, like Pexel, are a godsend. They offer high quality photos that can be used in social media for little or no cost. This is one of my favourite images from the site.



Out of the Mouths of Babes

This last item is one of the sweetest things that I have ever seen online. Six year old Alex wrote a letter to President Obama, offering to give *Omran Daqneesh, the little Syrian refugee, a home with his family, saying “He will be our brother.” If only we could all have that same compassion and kindness.








Let’s Bake Some Cookies

Blog Post #160

Do you know what I’m thinking about right now? Yep, that’s right — ooey, gooey, chocolate chip cookies! Or maybe soft, warm, peanut butter cookies — the kind with peanuts AND chocolate chips.

I’m trying hard to forgo sugary treats, especially ooey, gooey chocolate chip cookies — I can never have just one!

Luckily, when I checked my cupboards, I was missing a few key ingredients: chocolate chips, flour, peanut pieces … so, there will be no cookies tonight. Sad…

This is my favourite recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookies. They’re even healthy, if you can believe that. Whaaat??!! Maybe I will bake these tomorrow. *Drool*



1 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 egg
5 tablespoons dark brown sugar (or sweetener of your choice)
5 tsp coconut oil (melted and slightly cooled)
1 1/2 cups oat flour (I make my own by grinding regular oats in a food processor)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of sea salt
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips or peanut butter chips if you’re feeling zany.


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine the vanilla extract, egg, and brown sugar in a bowl. Add the coconut oil and beat everything together until just combined.

Stir in the oat flour, baking soda, and salt.

Fold in the chocolate chips.

Chill the dough for at least one hour.

Scoop out tightly packed balls of cookie dough onto a cookie sheet.

Bake until lightly browned around the edges, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Transfer cookies to a wire cooling rack.


Makes about 20 to 30 cookies depending on the size of your cookie scoop.