GIVEAWAY! Win a copy of Worry-Free Money by Shannon Lee Simmons

If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you know that I’m really excited about the release of this amazing new book, Worry-Free Money by Shannon Lee Simmons.

Shannon is an award-winning financial expert with a heart of gold and a really great laugh. She’s a Certified Financial Planner (CFP), Chartered Investment Manager (CIM), the founder of The New School of Finance in Toronto and an all-around amazing person. After leaving her job on Bay Street to pursue her passion for providing real-life, accessible, understandable finance, she started New School and naturally, it took off. She appears regularly on radio and television, and because the craziness of balancing a successful business and media appearances wasn’t enough, she decided to write a book. Oh, and while she was writing it, she was pregnant with her first child.

Woman, you are insane (and I love it).

The book and the baby were due on the same day, and while the book was complete a few days before the baby was, both turned out to be pretty incredible.

Worry-Free Money explains everything you’ve ever wanted (and NEEDED) to know about personal finance in an interesting, engaging read that makes sense for everyday people. It’s perfect for parents, young couples, single young professionals, or anyone trying to gain control of their finances and their lives. It’s entertaining but more so, it’s empowering. This is one of those books that people will call “life-changing” and actually mean it. If you use money – and I’m willing to bet you do – you should be reading this right now.


You can buy Worry-Free Money on Indigo or Amazon right now (it was launched TODAY) or you can hop on over to my Facebook page to win a free copy. Simply follow my page, like and/or share the post (each action counts as ONE entry) and wait until the end of the week. I’ll announce a winner and your copy will be in the mail soon after!

Whether you end up with a free copy or not, READ THIS BOOK, PEOPLE. It’s worth it.

Learn more about Shannon and The New School of Finance here.


Monday sucks/Monday is awesome

We have been taken over by head colds. They are upon us, in us, all over us in every way and honestly, I’m over it. I don’t want to blow another nose or feel the hot, germy breath of a child who has coughed directly into my mouth. Is it spring, yet?

NOPE. But it’s almost Christmas – only a week away. YAY! And today, this gift – my first post on Scary Mommy, complete with this nice little bio page on their website.

I’ve been reading Scary Mommy for years and honestly, I’m excited that they’re sharing my stuff. It feels good…almost as good as not having this cold would feel.

So hop on over there, read my post, share it all over social media and then come physically pat me on the head, because I need your love and affirmation to get me through this week.

xoxo and Happy Monday, friends.

Love more, judge less

Confession: I’m better at consistently writing on my Facebook page than my website so sometimes, I steal material from FB and repost it here. IT’S NOT LAZY, IT’S PRACTICAL. xo

I love my friends – all of them. I love my friends who are moms, my friends who want to be parents one day, and my friends who choose not to have children. My male friends, my female friends, the friends who are much older or younger than me, the friends who happen to be family, my neighbours and the friends that I work with. I love my friends who work in science, medicine, education and business, and my writer friends who are up at 3am because honestly, that’s just what we do.

It doesn’t matter who you are or how we met. It doesn’t matter what your family, career or bank account looks like. When life is hectic, I’m pulled too many directions and my kids are making me crazy, all I want is a friend who doesn’t judge.

This is the friend we all need.

A friend who listens when you talk about the challenges of motherhood, and doesn’t make you feel like you’re doing it all wrong. Who understands that when you vent about one of your kids, you still love them with all of your heart. Who knows that being driven crazy by your children isn’t a sign of a bad mom, but a mom who cares.

A friend that can laugh when you tell a story about some ridiculous thing your child did, but also understands that on some level, you’re anxious about it.

A friend who encourages your dreams, whether they’re about career or family or something else entirely, but also lets you unload about how chasing those dreams is sometimes frustrating and exhausting.

A friend you can confide in, speak freely with, and be silly or sad with. Who knows that sometimes, you need a good heart-to-heart and other times, you do better communicating in memes.

The friends that sometimes, you talk to three times a day and sometimes, you don’t see for three months because LIFE.

These are the friends we all need – the village we always hear about. These are grown up friends handling grown up shit.

Don’t be the unsolicited advice giver or the one-upper. Don’t be the friend who always needs something but gives nothing. Don’t be the friend who is always on her phone during dinner. Don’t be the friend whose eyes speak judgement, or who speaks it aloud, or says it all behind your back.

Be the friend who looks someone in the eye on a hard day, smiles, and lets them know that they’ve got this. The person who gives tough love, but never at the wrong time. Who calls you on your shit but does it with kindness. Who wants you to live your best life, even if it’s very different from their own.

Be that friend, and surround yourself with versions of that friend. They’re out there, and they’re wonderful. #momlife #adulting#lovemorejudgeless

How to be the hot mess on the school yard in five easy steps

From my Facebook page.

1. Don’t wash your hair. I mean, wash it sometimes, but never before taking your kids to school. Dry shampoo is fine, but make sure it leaves that ashy dust on your hair so you end up looking even dirtier than before. Also, make sure your yoga pants have that subtle look of maybe-being-slept-in. People enjoy a little mystery.

2. If you DO wash your hair before hitting the school yard, make sure you show up with it sopping wet. You will not have makeup on, because you spent five minutes washing your hair and there is obviously no time for both. This is what sunglasses are for. Be frazzled, because that shower really threw you off schedule. Haha, kidding, you were never on schedule.

3. Forget at least one important thing per week, like a photo for the classroom family tree or your daughter’s pizza day forms. Bonus points if you forget something charitable, like that Terry Fox run sponsorship stuff. Also great: forgetting a themed clothing day, so your children get to walk around as a visual reference to your incompetence. Sorry, kids.

4. Ensure that one of your kids is crying, whining, yelling, or all three. If you have more than one child, this becomes almost inevitable. If they all freak out at once, you’re really winning. The only thing that really tops any of this is if you cry yourself – rare, unless you count breaking down in your car as you drive to Starbucks, but it does happen. I’ve seen it, and one day I will do it myself. Godspeed.

5. Don’t be on time. I cannot overstate this enough. There is no better way to look like an absolute shit show than doing all of the above and STILL not getting your kids to school before the bell. Walk into that office exactly four minutes late and wear that tight, defeated smile like it’s your job. You live three blocks away and everybody knows it. You just disrupted the school secretary’s morning AGAIN because your kids hate socks and you can’t figure out how to get them out the door like a normal, functioning adult is expected to. At this point, your best bet is to give each child a hug, mumble an apology to the office staff and run for the nearest coffee shop. There’s always tomorrow.

Good luck and solidarity, disasters of the school yard. I’m with you.

What I Did on My Summer Vacation

September was crazy. It always is – the insane annual sprint in the marathon that is motherhood – and I am definitely feeling it. The chaos, the struggle to fall back into routine, the exhaustion and the relief. I’m tired, and I’m ready for things to chill out as October hits. While so many people are hanging on the summer, I’m dreaming of crisp autumn air, fall colours and Thanksgiving at the cottage. We’re almost there.

I’ll be honest: summer kicked my ass. Yes, we had some good times, but it also totally, completely ran me into the ground and now, in the unexpected heat of its dying days, it continues to throw me or a loop. By week three of school, we all had head colds and my oldest was throwing up. I’m having issues with my kids’ after school program. Our appliances keep dropping dead without warning. The cat won’t stop destroying everything I own.

I didn’t write as much as I wanted to last month, but here are a few new things I shared on The Mabelhood and SavvyMom over the summer. I loved writing these posts, which were all fairly personal and therapeutic, and I hope you’ll like them, too.

My Secret Weapon Against Mom Guilt is School – The Mabelhood

I’m a Good Mom, But I Suck at Playing With My Kids – The Mabelhood

Let Them Be Wild – SavvyMom

Life may return to a healthy rhythm soon, or it may continue to be crazy. Either way, I’ll write about it here, Instagram it here or tweet about it over here. Follow along with me, won’t you?




A shout out to every struggling parent on a Monday morning

(Posted on my Facebook page earlier today)

Shout out to all the parents who simply cannot get their shit together before 9am on a Monday morning. Whose kids were late for school again, or barely on time, or on time only because you lost your patience and threatened something unimaginably terrible, like taking the Bear Paw cookie out of their lunch box unless they put on their damn pants.

Shout out to all of you who know that Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday probably won’t be any better.

Shout out to all of you who had every intention of being Mary Poppins this morning but instead, sounded like Mother Gothel. I know you tried.

Shout out to every parent who has a routine that works well sometimes, but fails spectacularly other times, with no obvious rhyme or reason to it all. The parent who does everything right on paper, but still can’t get their kids out the door without an epic battle at least twice a week.

Shout out to the parents who aren’t morning people AT ALL but fake it as best they can, because school starts at 8:30 and you’re powerless to change that.

Shout out to all of you whose children are not morning people, either. God help us all.

Shout out to to every mom and dad who feels terrible rushing their kids out the door every damn day, herding them like cattle in order to beat some stupid bell that means nothing in the grand scheme of things but still stresses you all out to no end.

Shout out to the school secretary, who is kind but stern as hell. She sees your weekly shit show and knows exactly how many times your kids have been late this week. She is the one person you’ll never fool, and you know it.

Shout out to all the parents who love their kids more than anything, but dream of the day when they’ll be responsible for getting themselves out the door independently.

And finally, shout out to the parents who wish their children all the joy, love, success and wonder this world can bring – the sort of unbridled happiness and security we all dream of for our kids – but also sort of hope that their own kids will pull this shit on them one day. I hear you. I get it. We all get it. You’re not alone.

Happy Monday, everyone. Four more mornings to go.

That weird job where you write about your feelings on the Internet

Oh hey, friends. Nice to see you. How’s your summer going?

My latest excuse for not updating my website is that it’s August, and I’ve been very busy with camp schedules/work/road trips/family/reading and then binge-watching Big Little Lies, but let’s be real: I can use those excuses year round, in one form or another, and I will.

But there’s always Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, which I actually use, and these posts that I’ve had published recently. I’d love it if you’d take a look and share any that hit home for you or make you laugh. If my life can’t be perfect, at least it can be funny.

Here’s what I’ve been up to lately:

When Did Birthday Parties Get So Pinterest? (Urban Moms)

Summer is a Special Kind of Torture for Working Moms (Urban Moms)

8 Reasons Baby Wipes are Still Magical Even When Your Kids Are Out of Diapers (SavvyMom)

Realistic Road Trip Hacks (SavvyMom)

No, I’m Not The Nanny (YMC)

I’m a Hot Mess Type A-OK (YMC) (This is not what I titled it and I don’t even know what it means but people are really connecting to this article so let’s just go with it)

I’ve got some other things coming up soon for The Mabelhood, YMC, Urban Moms, SavvyMom and Our Homes Magazine, plus a piece on Scary Mommy (my first on that site). Busy times and plenty of excuses in the making…plus, I still have three episodes of Big Little Lies left. (I can’t name a single show I’ve watched more than two episodes of in like, the past five years, but I’m obsessed with BLL right now. I blame the book for getting me hooked.) I can probably be counted on for an update sometime before Christmas, I guess? Place your bets.

(And thanks for reading. xo.)



The Latest!

It finally feels like summer is actually going to happen. I’ve ordered teacher gifts online, started pulling out shorts for my kids and donating the endless pairs of pants they outgrew over the winter, and am readying myself for summer camp. You can read about that here, on The Mabelhood.

Have you got a girls weekend planned this summer? I don’t – just a slew of weddings and children’s birthday parties that fill my Saturday and Sundays, plus a family road trip that will be both amazing and incredibly exhausting. But a girl can dream. Here’s a post I did on why Mom Friends Make the Best Travel Friends.

Do you want to read about how I swear all the time, but talk like a nun in front of my kids? Here’s a post I did for – please check it out, and let me know what the worst thing you’ve said in front of your kids is! I also wrote this post on raising adventurous eaters, and how it was a total fluke that involved no parenting skill whatsoever.

Thanks for reading, and please follow my new Facebook page – I’d love to connect and appreciate your support. Have a great weekend!

Published: A whole bunch of stuff

Oh hey there, stranger. Where have I been? Around, thanks for asking. Really busy, actually – writing everywhere but here. Remember when I made a New Year’s resolution to update my own website consistently, and not just write for other publications? Yeah, I meant well.

Here’s a bit of what I’ve been up to lately, should you be interested:

On The Mabelhood:

Six Things That Are More Relaxing Than a Vacation with Kids

Sweet Six(teen): A Love Letter to my Daughter

I’m That Hot Mess Mom in the School Yard

To Dads With Sons: Please Don’t Stop Hugging

On Urban Moms:

Hey Working Moms, You Don’t Owe Anyone An Explanation

Motherhood, and All The Ways I Plan on Failing

Our Homes Magazine:

Home Feature: Halton Hills Chateau

In other news…I’m working on a LOT more. Stay tuned, and I’ll try to post again sometime before Christmas. And in the meantime, follow me on Twitter and Instagram, where I’m actually consistent!

Published: Come visit me in The Mabelhood


If you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed that I started writing for The Mabelhood this month. This is exciting for me for a few reasons:

  1. I love Mabel’s Labels. I have them on everything. Seriously, if they wanted to pay me in labels, they could. (My husband is pleased that they pay in money, but I could probably be swayed.)
  2. It’s a good blog. I read it and I like it. You’ll like it, too.
  3. It’s something new and allows me to switch things up, which is always fun.

So, I’ll keep ranting and raving on here and have an article coming up for Our Homes Magazine, but in the meantime, check out my first post for the ‘hood, here. Thanks for reading!