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The time I exposed myself to a room full of strangers...

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Back in May I was introduced to a FAB-U-LOUS bra while at Mom 2 Summit, a conference for bloggers, from one of the sponsors, Vanity Fair Lingerie.  I knew I was deeply in love when I sprinted back to their suite the next day, pulled down my shirt and exposed myself while yelling, "I LOVE MY BRA!" 

I may have been a tad excited.

But seriously, 
 have you ever owned a bra you didn't want to WHIP OFF 
the moment 
you got home at the end of a long day?!

Me either.

Until now!

This is me now...  in my dreams

Body Caress Full Coverage Underwire Bra

When I crawled into bed at midnight the other night, I realized I still had my bra on. It is complete comfort and the girls are extremely happy!

Other bonuses: I no longer have back fat and the full coverage in the front means no more boobie muffin top. You will no longer find me readjusting my straps in public. Everything stays where it's supposed to.

I must have left an impression with those ladies in the Vanity Fair suite at Mom 2.0 because just the other week, two more bras showed up on my doorstep! See what happens when you flash someone?! (this is not an endorsement to do so) 

Beauty Back Smoother Full Coverage Bra


If you're in the US, you can purchase these beautiful and comfortable bras online, try Kohl's right now, buy one get one 1/2 off. You could get one in every color, I wouldn't judge.

What's also really cool about Vanity Fair is their #GiveBack nature.

Vanity Fair + Dress for Success Partnership 

Dress for Success – Brightening the Lives of Women across the World. They are dedicated to promoting the economic independence of disadvantages women by providing professional attire, career development tools and a network of support. They noticed a need for more intimate apparel to provide to its clients. Vanity Fair saw a welcome opportunity to lend its expertise, resources and extensive product offering to help replenish the lingerie of the non-profit organization. Through this partnership, Vanity Fair hopes to provide women with the support they need to be successful.

Dress for Success Facts: 
  • 850,000 women served globally since the inception of Dress for Success in 1997 ​
  • 9​0 Dress for Success Affiliates across the U.S. 
  • Approximately 50,000 women served through the Dress for Success program in 2014 
Through the effort of the Vanity Fair LiftTOUR in 2014, Vanity Fair was able to donate more than 5,000 brand-new bras to the non-profit organization.

In 2015, Vanity Fair’s goal is to donate 50,000 brand-new Vanity Fair bras to Dress for Success with the goal of providing one to every woman who walks through their doors in 2015.

So you feel great TWICE when you wear a bra from Vanity Fair Lingerie. 

Mmmmmmm Meatballs!! | #WhatsCooking

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I'm so thankful to be a part of Kraft Canada What's Cooking Ambassadorship. I love the new recipes I get to try and share with you and not just for the compensation I receive.  All of my family participates when it's #whatscooking time! :)

Meatballs are one of the easiest things I can make. They don't take much preparation and they can take even fewer ingredients, it's all about your taste-buds.

Before it gets to warm to use your oven (we BBQ more in the summer, keep the heat outside), seriously give these recipes a try. Our kids LOVE them and they're easy enough for them to make them themselves. That's even better for this full-time working momma of 4!!!

My Mmmmmmm Meatballs! 

 What you'll need:

1 lb lean ground beef
1 egg
1 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
1 package of Stove Top Stuffing*
1/3 cup milk
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

What you'll do: 

Mix ground beef, egg, Worcestershire sauce, chopped onion, stuffing mix, milk and cheese into a bowl. Shape into 12 (2-inch) meatballs. Place on foil-covered rimmed baking sheet.

Bake 15 mins. or until done.

*I've used Stove Top Stuffing instead of plain crackers or bread crumbs for over a decade, it comes with all the seasonings you'll need too, the perfect mix.

I often toss in a can of diced tomatoes (Italian or Garlic/Basil seasoned) and sprinkle it with Parmesan before serving for supper to my family. 

If you're not a big Beef or Pork eater (sometimes I mix 1/2 beef and 1/2 pork for my meatballs), try these super-easy-to-make Turkey Meatballs.

"Hail Caesar" Turkey Meatballs

What you'll need:

1 lb. Extra Lean Ground Turkey
1/2 cup finely chopped onions
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1 egg
1/4 cup Kraft Creamy Caesar Dressing

What you'll do:

Heat oven to 450F.

Mix turkey, onions, bread crumbs, egg and dressing just until blended; shape into 12 (2-inch) meatballs. Place on foil-covered rimmed baking sheet.

Bake 15 mins. or until done (165F).

Serve with Caesar Salad.

ENJOY!

WHY AM I NOT... ENOUGH?

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WHY AM I NOT... ENOUGH?
A few weeks ago my oldest son, Quinton (16) preached to his peers at our church. I have an audio copy if you'd like to listen, but in the meantime... I stole his notes. He did this all on his own. #ProudMama here! :)

--------------------------------------------------------------

Why do we feel like we are not... STRONG, SMART, TALL, PRETTY, ATHLETIC, CONFIDENT, KIND, LOVING, DECISIVE, SKINNY... enough.

What are some things that you feel are areas of your life that you are, “Not Enough?”

This list can go ON, and ON and ON… but I ask you again, WHY do we feel like this about ourselves? Is there anyone who has ever felt like they have never been enough… I certainly know I have struggled with thinking...


... enough...

For me the biggest one that I have struggled with is not being tall enough.

There have been parts during school where it felt like I was being picked on or made fun of EVERY SINGLE DAY because I was never “Tall Enough” for my age.

I’ve been bullied multiple times from people who look down upon me, simply because I am shorter than them. I remember coming home the one day in tears because I had been pushed into a locker, teased verbally and physically shoved just because I was not the average height of a boy my age.

There have been dozens of days where I have asked God, “WHY DID YOU MAKE ME SO SHORT?” “WHY AM I NOT TALL?” “WHY AM I NOT… ENOUGH?”

I think I play one of the worst sports for a person like me… Volleyball. Where if you’re not six foot tall, you can be cut from a team before you even try out. Sure I’m not six foot but where I lack in height, I make up for in skill, hard work and hops. See the thing is though, the world is like that, when you’re not enough they remind you of it constantly, trying to put you down! “Sure you’re smart but why are you so fat?”

Society is always trying to find that “BUT.” Reminding you of your flaws and exposing them trying to make you feel WEAK.

This is the world we live in. If you’re a woman and the world considers you "not enough" to be on the cover of a magazine, then the world tries to make you feel like you’re nothing special, a nobody.

Guys, when you don’t have the muscles of “The Rock” or the face of David Beckham then the world looks down upon you. While researching, I came across multiple articles where the titles were this; "8 Traits of a Perfect Women" - "10 Qualities that Define a Great Man" - "9 Ways to get a Sexy Face."

What the heck?!?!?! 

Who decides “PERFECT?”

Who defines “GREAT?”

Who decides all of this???


This struggle has gone on since Creation… It all started with Adam and Eve in the Garden. They had literal paradise at their disposal, every living thing you could imagine, and they had control over it. It was the devil that made them feel like they didn’t have enough. After they sinned, what did they realize? In Gen. 3:7, they were suddenly aware they were naked… The whole idea of the word naked is that we are missing something, why do we feel that this is “not enough?” After Adam and Eve realized they were naked, they made coverings for themselves.  

We do the same thing where we put masks on trying to cover up the things about ourselves that we feel are not enough. This only separates us from the people who care and want to help. We feel if people saw underneath the mask, they wouldn’t like what they saw, and we are afraid people won’t like us if they saw who we truly are.

In Gen 3:8-11, God asks two questions:

First was, “Where are You?” Are you putting a mask on to cover up the real you, there needs to be those people in your life that know the REAL you, there needs to be those people in your life that accept you for you.

The second question God asks is, “Who told You?” This is so powerful because we can choose to let society, celebrities, the world tell us that we are NOT ENOUGH or we can let God tell us that we are HIS CHILDREN, HIS CREATION! Have you ever thought about this? When you think of yourself as “NOT ENOUGH” then are you saying that God’s creation isn’t enough.

When you change who you let tell you “who you are” than the glass looks a lot more than half full...  THROUGH CHRIST I AM.

Who does God say you are?

These words come to mind...
  • Confidant, 
  • Wise, 
  • Beautiful, 
  • Strong, 
  • Gracious, 
  • Loving, 
  • Kind, 
  • Thoughtful, 
  • Generous, 
  • A Leader, 
  • Loyal,
  • Truthful, 
  • SPECIAL, 
  • Peaceful, 
  • CONQUERORS, 
  • Victorious 
Galatians 3:26 I am God’s Child
2 Corinthians 5:17 I am a whole new person with a whole new life
1 Corinthians 5:17 I am a place where God’s Spirit lives
Ephesians 2:10 I am God’s Incredible work of art
Ephesians 4:24 I am created in God’s likeness
Matthew 5:13 14 I am the Salt and Light of the world
Romans 5:8 I AM GREATLY LOVED
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me
1 Corinthians 1:2 I am a Saint
1 Corinthians 1:30 I am Wise, Righteous, Sanctified and Redeemed
2 Corinthians 2:14 I am Triumphant
Ephesians 1:43 I am blessed
Ephesians 3:12 I am Bold, Confidant
Philippians 3:20 I am a citizen of Heaven
Colossians 2:10 I have been made complete - I AM HIS - God does not look at your flaws and your failures!
First Samuel 16:7 - God looks at what is in your heart and if Christ is the centre of your thoughts, actions, your heart then “Who are you?”

Will you let the world and the devil tell you that you are not enough or will you let God tell you that you are HIS?

Easiest After School Snack. Ever | #WhatsCooking

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Easiest After School Snack. Ever | #WhatsCooking
I'm so thankful to be a part of Kraft Canada What's Cooking Ambassadorship. I love the new recipes I get to try and share with you and not just for the compensation I receive.  All of my family participates when it's #whatscooking time! :)

It's 4:08pm.

All four kids have made their way through the front door and one by one they enter the kitchen. Each takes a turn staring at the contents inside the refrigerator. 

"I'm hungry" is quickly followed by, "There's nothing to eat!"

By the way... the fridge is full.

It's kinda like when I open up my closet (each Sunday morning) and say, "I have nothing to wear!"

Time to teach the kids how to make a super easy after school snack.

Peanut Butter Snack Bites with Sprinkles


What you'll need:

1/2 cup CRUNCHY Peanut Butter
1/4 cup honey
1 cup large flake rolled oats
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 Tbsp. coloured sprinkles

What you'll do:

Mix peanut butter and honey in a bowl until blended. Stir in remaining ingredients.
Refrigerate 30 minutes.
Hand roll into 1-inch balls. 

These super easy, no-bake, Peanut Butter Snack Bites can be refrigerated up to 1 week before serving.

I challenge you to have some fun and take a #Housie

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I challenge you to have some fun and take a #Housie

What do you get when you take a Selfie in your House?

A #Housie! :)

We bought our first home in 1996, five months after we were married. Instead of spending a whack of cash (or credit) on a massive blow-out wedding, we invested in our life.

I was only 24 years old when I signed my first title deed. My parents were a big influence in our financial investment decisions but I'd also spent six years leading up to this point working in financial institutions.

Our first Christmas as a married couple was spent in a sparsely furnished living room of our very own place. Two of our 4 children were born there. I very much enjoyed our six years in that near century home but in 2002 we felt it was time to find something a little bigger, we had baby #3 on the way.

By the time baby #4 was in the oven, Dave's parents were in their later years and needed to be cared for, so we sold and moved again and this time they came with us. We were now a family of 8.

It's hard to believe it's been almost TEN years since we built the house we're currently in. Dave's parents have gone on to glory, I have two kids in high school, one in junior high and the baby is in grade 4.

Our houses have varied in style and size, our first had boatloads of character, it sat on a 1/4 acre in a little village 7 kilometers outside of the city. Our 2nd home was a cookie-cutter bungalow placed in the perfect neighbourhood in the city. The one we're in now backs on to a beautiful green-space and everyone has their own room. But more important than the particular postal code or the size of the baseboards, if we had carpet or hardwood, for me, a house is special because of the people who fill it.

I challenge you to take a 360 short video of your favourite part of your home, just like I did below.


Here are 5 easy steps to participate:
  1. grab your phone, 
  2. turn on the camera towards yourself, 
  3. spin around 360 degrees, 
  4. tag with #housie, 
  5. share on Instagram or Twitter.

Share your #Housie video with us during our #Housie Twitter Chat on April 14, @ 1pm ET and you could win ONE of FIVE TEN :) $50 amazon.ca gift cards. 

Read the full Rules and Regs here.


It's from the words others speak over us that we begin to believe we are average. #ChooseBeautiful

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It's from the words others speak over us that we begin to believe we are average. #ChooseBeautiful
Have you noticed that children are born with a natural confidence? They don't care what their hair looks like, if their outfit matches, or if their belly hangs over their pants.

Then slowly over time it changes. Not by the child's doing, but by the people around them. Most of the time it's ever so innocent, ever so slight. A comment meant as a joke, a comparison between siblings, or whispers from friends just out of arm's reach.  Even a sincere grandmother's comment about the second helping of mashed potatoes you just took...

Words are like darts.

I was around eight when I realized I had "monkey ears."

My older sister was double my age, her boyfriend at the time thought it was funny, "LOOK AT HER EARS!!" It was easy to make fun of a little girl who was born with ears that protruded from her head.

What would happen if you put Shannon's head out of a moving vehicle? was a joke I often heard him tell.

Do you want to hear the punchline?

Her ears would beat her to death! and the laughter roared.

I grew more and more self-conscious.

Do they flap? Like Dumbo's!

I started to hide behind my hair. It was never up and it was never wet, in public.

Swimming lessons were torturous. Giggles from those along the wall.


My parents didn't know how much damage had been done until I was 13. They wanted me to get baptized (submersion style) at our church but I refused. For no other reason than I didn't want anyone to see my ears.

I later underwent plastic surgery to have them reconstructed.

Looking back at the photos, they really didn't look that big! Not as big as others teased me for.

It's from the words others speak over us that we begin to believe we are average.

At some point we have to take responsibility for the words we choose to use. As a society, we have to realize that our words hold power. The old saying goes, "Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me" but it is a painful lie.

I prefer the proverb, which says,
"Words kill, words give life;
they're either poison or fruit - you choose."

At some point we have to realize that those words spoken over us, albeit they sting, they don't reflect who we really are. As much as I believe words are powerful, I also believe we have to choose to not let them hold us captive.

Dove is doing another amazing, tear-jerking, heart-wrenching, make-you-think, campaign. It's called #ChooseBeautiful" and I'm proud to be a part of it.

If two doors stood before you, one said "Beautiful" and the other "Average, which door would you choose?



EDITED:

Dec 2013 (she bends down to hug me)
This post is dedicated to my niece. 

The reason I am so passionate about this campaign and about changing how we talk to one another, is partial because of the pain I experienced as a child but more recently --- and it always hurts more when someone else you love goes through it --- last week my 14 year old niece, who is 6 feet tall and doesn't look anything close to her age, was at a concert with her older sister and their friends when she started having an anxiety attack. She went to the back of the Colosseum to get away from the crowds and to stand by the security guards where she'd feel safe. She was taken to the first-aid room, the lady in charge (who thought my niece had done something wrong) made a comment which could have life-long lasting consequences. She said, "Thank you for the proof that you don't have to be old to have cellulite."  

And we wonder why our teens and then our women have low self esteem!

My darling niece, you are one of the MOST beautiful people I know. Don't let people put words into your head. You ARE beautiful. Now it's up to you to #ChooseBeautiful.
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Cool Mom of 4, Married to the Preacher Man, but at times I'm a little more Sass than Saint! [Shannon Mischuk] (http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Ycq3lF9Vc2c/VS_0yrZDnWI/AAAAAAAAKEI/BGjRSm5zvX8/s1600/ShashersLife.png)