first goal

My amazing daughter, Caleigh, is six and a half years old. She has now played soccer for two years and before that took soccer “lessons” in the form of Playball (which I highly recommend to any parents looking to not only get some activity in their child’s lifestyle but also to learn the real skills of soccer).

Each week on the way to soccer we have recited the following:

“I’m an awesome soccer player! I’m going to play hard! I’m going to run fast! I’m going to pass well! I’m going to score a goal! I’m going to have fun!”

It’s become somewhat of a tradition, much like our bedtime routine.

For two years, Caleigh has wanted to score a goal. Two years of practice both on the field with her team and at home with us. Two years of manifesting the ball going into the net and then practicing her celebratory dance. (That dance is awesome. I don’t have video but imagine her hips shaking, fingers pointing into the air, and head bobbing side to side with a big goofy grin.)

Also, though, two years of no goals.

Which, let’s be honest, is also the situation for 85% of her teammates. Not many of these amazing girls have scored a goal. Watching six and seven year olds play soccer is great because they are no longer the beehive of kids chasing the ball aimlessly BUT strategy is still not a strong point. They basically like to kick it as hard as they can and hope it goes somewhere in the vicinity of a teammate or the net.

Tom and I have never put pressure on her to score a goal – our focus has always been fun. However I don’t know anyone who has played soccer without dreaming of making the perfect shot. Caleigh included.

Last night her scoreless streak ended. With just a couple of minutes left in the game, Caleigh had the opportunity to run with the ball. With two of the opposing team members on both sides of her, she stayed focused and bam – one final kick and in the ball went.

Big cheers from everyone on the sidelines. Tom and I high-fiving one another (yes, we are THOSE parents). Caleigh with a big kool-aid grin on her face. She’d done it!

Best part for me was on the way home, she piped up from the backseat “Mom? You know what? Now that I got a goal, I don’t think it will be hard to do it again!” I couldn’t agree more. I find that in life once I reach a goal, it’s easy to do so again AND set higher goals for the future.

Bend it like Beckham!

Bend it like Beckham!

Best part for Caleigh? A stop at the ice cream shop on the way home for a celebratory cone.

Two lessons from my 3 year old Philosopher

Blake, my three year old son, has two life lessons for you this morning.

1. “Today is a new day.”  This is the statement he exclaims each morning as he comes bounding down the stairs.  He usually stands on the second or third step and declares: “Mom?  You know what?  Today is a new day.” and then continues on his merry way to do whatever his beautiful heart desires.  Each day is a new day.  It reminds me of the old saying “Yesterday is history.  Tomorrow is a mystery.  Today is a gift, that’s why they call it a present.”  Don’t get caught up in what happened in the past.  Learn from it and move on.  Today IS a new day and you can do whatever you want with it.

2.  Yelling “Yahooooo!” while running around in your underpants or on the way to the bathroom or when you find out you’re going to get to play outside in the snow is a perfectly acceptable thing to do.  Blake’s most favourite expression is “Yahooo!” and he yells it with such gusto, such excitement, such fervor.  He sees the simple and absolute joy in every moment.  Do take time to smell the flowers today.  Do take time to find a moment where you can, and will, yell “Yahoooo!”.  I dare you to not smile while doing it.

Blake Collage

I’m back. I’m healthy. And I’m sharing dinner.

All week, I would look at my blog and draw a blank.  I had NO IDEA what to write about.  I had lots of amazing things happening but I didn’t feel like I had much to share.  So I went with the thought that “no post is better than a pointless post” and chose to give it a break for a week.

A week and a half ago, I had the 12 hour gastro “thing” that is going around.  I usually pride myself on the fact that I rarely get sick.  I get adjusted.  I eat well.  I move regularly.  I get my sleep.  I take my vitamin D and other supplements that I know support my body.  I manage my stress well and don’t let it overwhelm me.  So, rarely do I feel run down and I have never had any form of the flu virus take over in my body.

Well, apparently I dropped the health ball at some point because the gastro “thing” won.  And then it was if we were in the movie, “Contaigon”.  It went through our home pretty quickly and pretty violently.  It took out my daughter, my son, and then finally my husband.  Maggie, the monster breast feeder, didn’t succumb and I credit the lifestyle of a breastfed baby to that fact.  Breast milk (hello to the best immune system support food!), getting adjusted, sleeping when she needs to, smiling all the time, and getting lots of love.  A pretty good life, if you ask me.

It may sound silly but each time I had a date with the toilet (or a bucket if I couldn’t make it to the toilet), I would afterwards recite over and over to myself the following affirmation “I am so grateful for my body’s ability to heal”.  Because that’s what it was doing.  It was choosing the best response to  the stress that it was faced with.  Gastro “thing” = upset stomach = puking = get rid of gastro “thing”.  Pretty smart of the body, right?  I love how it all works.  (Follow up thought – why would anyone take a drug to stop the body from puking?  Sure, it’s unpleasant but it’s your body’s innate intelligence working beautifully to rid the body of an unwanted stress.  Don’t fight the natural inborn brilliance of your body!)

In continuing with the theme of listening to my body’s needs, I took the next three days off from my regular schedule.  I slept until 6:30 (forgoing my power hour), I didn’t eat much at all (body wasn’t hungry, why force it), and didn’t work out.  Basically other than playing with my kids and working, I chilled out and rested my body.  On day four, I was ready to go again and have been back at my normal routine for the last six days or so.  It makes a huge difference in my productivity.  When I am able to wake up early and get my day started on the right foot, the rest of it unfolds the way it should.  When I was off my game, the lack of efficiency was creeping into areas of my life I didn’t realize I had been executing so well lately.

Onto something fun, I am shamelessly taking this next idea from Happy Is the New Healthy. I share with you “It’s What’s For Dinner Wednesday”, a version of her “What I ate Wednesday”.  I’m only sharing what I ate for dinner because it’s the only thing I took a picture of.  And it was really really delicious.  My leftover chili for lunch and my three fried eggs and green beans at breakfast would not have cut it.  And while all of you would love a pic of my By Design Starbucks (grande Americano misto using heavy cream), I will keep it to dinner alone.

By Design Sausage, Shrimp & Veggie Stew - with kale, tri colour peppers, onion, garlic & chicken stock.

By Design Sausage, Shrimp & Veggie Stew – with kale, tri colour peppers, onion, garlic & chicken stock.


6 sausages, cut in 1/2 inch pieces

20 shrimp (tails off)

2 cups kale

1/2 large red onion, chopped

3 small peppers (red, yellow, orange), chopped

6 cloves garlic, chopped

4 cups chicken stock


Sautee the sausages, onion, peppers, and garlic in a large stock pot.  Add chicken stock and kale and bring to a boil.  Add in shrimp.  Let simmer for 20 minutes and serve.  Top with a dollop of full fat greek yogurt.  Enjoy!!

I also want to say a big thank you to the random emails, discussions in the grocery store, and comments from those of you who read my blog.  It means a lot when I hear that I’m reaching out to different people and that you’re enjoying it.  Thanks!

Bedtime Routine Part Deux

I had a great question from a friend of mine after reading my blog post from yesterday.  She wanted to know if I repeat the same things to myself before I go to bed.  It’s a great point.  What are you filling your mind with, both conscious and subconscious, prior to going to bed?

One of the things I talk about in our Think by Design seminar  is the power of our thoughts.  It should not come as a surprise to you that your thoughts control your actions.  Humour me for a moment.  I want you to think of an orange.  Imagine holding that orange in your hand, the weight of it sitting in your palm.  As you begin to peel back the rind, the smell of citrus hits your nose.  Imagine taking off the rest of the peel and then taking it apart into its slices.  As you bring one to your mouth and bite into it for the first time, its juice squirts onto your tongue, opening up your taste buds to the tangy flavour.

Did your mouth water a little bit?  It’s the power of our thoughts controlling our actions.

Now ask yourself what you are filling your mind with before going to bed.  Do you read murder mysteries or empowering books full of wisdom and intelligent thought?  Do you watch primetime TV that is focused on murder, suicide, rape, violence, and illness?  Or (if you do choose to watch TV) do you choose comedies that make you laugh?  Or even better do you play a game or spend quality time with your children or pets?  Or do you meditate, go for a walk, or stretch?  All of these are great ways to wind down, quiet our mind, and prepare for a night of sleep that is restful.

Hey, you might even want to recite to yourself the five affirmations that I wrote about in my last post.  There is nothing wrong being well into your 30s, 40s, 50s or beyond and still being excited about what you will do when you grow up.  Right now I am a chiropractor and I love what I do.  I wouldn’t change it for the world.  However, in twenty years from now I may want to do something different.  I can picture myself being more mobile, with the flexibility to live where I want to live and be able to serve people in a different capacity than I do now.  So, when I ask my kids to repeat “When I grow up, I can be anything I want to be.  When I grow up, I can do anything I want to do.”, it’s for me just as much as it is for them.


Bedtime Routine thanks to Robin Sharma

I read an incredible excerpt from Robin Sharma’s “The Greatness Guide” about the routine he has set for himself and his kids before bed.

First of all, I really like Robin Sharmas stuff.  I mean, not only is he Canadian (eh!) but he speaks and writes so eloquently and creates simple yet profound ideas for people to grab onto in order to help make their lives better.  My morning power hour is a result of his readings.  I don’t know about you, but sometimes I have to hear things multiple times before I really listen to the message.   In this case it was Mr. Sharma’s book.  I’ve been told many many times that getting up early (like 5AM early) to have an hour dedicated to myself is an exceptional life changing strategy.  However it wasn’t until I read it in TGG that I finally put it into practice.  And yes, it is a life changer.

Another nugget I’ve taken from his book was the missing piece to our kids bedtime routine.  Each night, after we have read our bedtime stories and talked about what was good about our days, I ask them to recite these five affirmations with me:

1.  When I grow up, I can be anything I want to be.

2.  When I grow up, I can do anything I want to do.

3.  Whatever I do, I will do it well.

4.  I will never give up.

5.  I will always remember how much my mommy loves me.  

It brings a smile to their faces.  It brings a smile to mine.  I truly believe that imprinting my kids with those empowering thoughts will make a huge difference in their lives.  I want them to know that they can achieve anything they want if they truly put their minds to it.  Right now Caleigh wants to be a part time ballerina and part time chiropractor.  Blake wants to be the guy who drives a firetruck.  When I asked him if he means to say a fireman, he says “no, just the guy who drives the truck.”


And you know what?  I know he’ll be great at it.

Start Your Day Right

Six months ago I wasn’t pregnant.  Now that I am, I relish sleep like never before.  Probably because I have to get up four times a night between using the washroom and replenishing a sippy cup of water for my 3 year old.

Six months ago I spent 60 minutes each morning going over my goals for my day, mymonth, and my year.  I recited to myself my vision, my purpose, and my mission in practice.  I read aloud my personal affirmation.  I visualized how my day was going to go at the office.  I planned the rest of my day with regards to how I would spend time with my kids and my husband, how I would work out (either at the gym or at home), and what needed to be done to prepare healthy meals for my family. I knew how many pages of my current book I would read to cap my day off before heading to bed.  I journal my thoughts, my feelings, my ideas, and my plans.  I would read passages from books that inspire me to be a better chiropractor, a better wife, a better mom, and a  better friend.  It was 60 minutes of ME.

Then I got pregnant and that incredibly powerful hour in my day went to the wayside.  I wasn’t feeling great in the morning or night (or afternoon….) and so I took every opportunity I had to get some extra rest so that I could feel as alive as I could be with my family and work.  I knew though that I was missing out by not planning my day and going over what I saw for my future.

This morning, I got back on that bandwagon.  I woke at 5:30 AM, stole quietly downstairs, sat on the floor of my living room and while I stretched I went over all of the aforementioned things that used to make my day well planned and successful.  And it felt great.  I still feel great AND surprisingly awake.

Think it can’t make a difference in your life?  I challenge you!  Here are five tips to make the most of your morning and start it off right.

1.  Have a space in your home that you go to each morning.  Have a journal, a book, a pen, a glass of water, and whatever else you need (think simplicity though!) to make the time you create for yourself a success.

2.  Write down what your vision, mission, and purpose is in life.  (If you have no idea what I”m talking about OR if you feel lost, attend our Think by Design seminar at our office this October)

3.  Write down your personal affirmation.  An affirmation is a short, powerful, positive statement that literally affirms your thoughts.  For example, “I am physically strong and I work hard each day to improve my strength.”  or “I look for opportunities to grow as a human being and become more exceptional in the relationships I have with myself, the people I love, and the people I serve.”  (Hint:  This can be something you already excel in OR that you want to see for yourself in the future)

4.  Find books that inspire you to read from.  You can check out My Reading List for suggestions or come up with your own.

5.  Choose a time that is one hour earlier than when you normally wake up.  Yes, it is early.  Yes, it still may be dark out.  Do this for 30 days (even on the weekends), no excuses.  See how different you feel.  Watch for changes in your productivity.  Chart your success at work and at home.  Observe your greatness and chalk it up to the time that you make YOU your top priority.

Let me know how this goes for you!  Post your experience and your successes in the reply section – as this community grows and more people share, the ripple effect will be extraordinary.