About Trish

social justice advocate, blogger, amateur photographer, reader, cyclist, runner & swimmer, mom of two

Family traditions

What family traditions do you have and share?

There was a time when one of our family traditions was that I wrote a lengthy newsy letter to include in Christmas cards that I mailed. I’m not sure when or why I stopped the practise. It wasn’t just that I stopped mailing cards. For a while I sent my annual family newsletter via email.

Holiday cards

My mom used to do so as well only she called hers “Holiday cards”. They never made it in the mail in time for Christmas.

We’d run through the past year chronicling the highlights. We’d share the highlghts of each family members’ adventures and misadventures.

This year in an effort to connect better with loved ones I decided to revive one of the family traditions. Only I chose to go back even further to the days when we hand-wrote most of our correspondence. Rather than send the same family newsletter to each recipient, we wrote a personal note to each.

Snail mail

I wanted to include a short hand-written note with each card. After about 4 cards I had to mail them off as is, in order for the rest to arrive on time.

If I were to revive the whole tradition I’d write a newsletter about our bi-annual family New Year’s Eve party (kid-focused); my oldest’s learning to drive and her new-to-her car; my youngest’s move to the much bigger English high school, but remaining in French (immersion instead of francophone); how the girls continue to perform: signing in music productions; and their busy schedules with dance and part-time jobs; they’ve added tutoring to the repertoire this year. And I’d share how lucky we’ve been to have a new member of our family since summer of last year; and how his family includes us all and makes us feel like part of their family.

For the first time in years I planned a vacation (without kids) and had a great travel companion to come with me. My youngest did some of her own traveling this summer, flying unaccompanied for the first time and spent two weeks away from home.

It’s really been a pretty fantastic year!

What family traditions mean the most to you?

——————————–

Drop me a note in the comments below, or connect with me on Twitter @ceilidhontherun or email me at trish at trishblogs dot com!

I invite you to subscribe to my blog using one of the options available on my page (email, rss, Google Connect, like my page on Facebook, etc.)

If you enjoyed this post, please do like/share it. You can do so using the easy share button below

GIFT GUIDE for Chronic Pain Sufferers

A Gift Guide for Chronic Pain Sufferers

*This post contains affiliate links.

 

Wellness GIFT GUIDE for Chronic Pain sufferers

 

wellness gifts for chronic pain

I have researched nearly every tool that I use to help ease my chronic pain. Some help more than others, but following are tried and true products that help to make my life a little more bearable…

Aside from massage therapy, which I highly recommend, and being completely buoyant in water, heat probably provides me with the most relief. So, I love both my microwaveable heat packs, and moist-heat heating pad. The long magic bag that can wrap over my shoulders, and the large size heating pad that will extend from neck down to tail-bone…

1. Magic Bag Extended Combo Pack

2. Theratherm Digital Moist Heating Pad – Large

There are a number of products on the market for topical pain relief, extra strength Voltaren provides me with a bit of relief…

3. Back Pain Killer Extra Strength Relieve Cream Voltaren 2.32% 30g / relief gel muscle joint

 

For more targeted pain relief I use a tens machine on trigger points that just won’t stop aggravating me…

4. TENS MACHINE (TENS 7000) FOR PAIN RELIEF AND MUSCLE STIMULATION

 

My sleep suffers significantly as does many chronic pain sufferers’, so I have found a few tools to help including aromotherapy essential oils and blue light blockers…

5. ArtNaturals Aromatherapy Essential Oil and Diffuser Set

6. Amber light & reading glasses – Ultimate Sleep Bundle

Somnilight Ultimate Sleep Bundle

There is something soothing about a warm cup of tea, whether for sickness, pain, insomnia, etc. Davids Tea are my favourite…

7. DAVIDs TEA – Organic Cold 911

DAVIDs TEA – Organic Mother’s Little Helper

 

We all need to stay hydrated for optimal health, but pain sufferers especially need to keep those toxins flushing. I really like infusing my water with lemons or different varieties of frozen fruit. A travel bottle and infuser in one is a great gift for someone who needs to keep the water handy and wants to add some flavour and/or additional health benefits from infusion…

8. 2-in-1 Infuser Water Bottle,CLINE Sport Water Bottles BPA Free Gym Water Bottle with Fruit Lemon Squeezer

I take a lot of medications and supplements, and with the brain fog caused by meds, lack of sleep and the pain itself, I need a lot of reminders. I use an app that serves both as a reminder and a log, and still need an organizer for when I forget to log my meds and have no recollection if I took them or not…

9. MEDca Pop-Up Weekly Pill Organizer, Single Box and 4 Daily Compartments

 

I have found hydrotherapy to be the ultimate in pain relief, before purchasing a permanent hottub with therapeutic jets I had an inflatable hottub. I used it outdoors in the summer, and in my basement in the winter…

10. AQUAPARX 600SPA 155 cm Inflatable Hot Tub

I’ve been listening to a number of podcasts dedicated to improved health and chronic pain. Dr. Joe Tatta has a fantastic podcast focused on functional medicine and non-opioid treatment of pain. He recently published the book “Heal Your Pain Now”. I am just reading it now, but find it easy to read and like the focus of mind, movement and nutrition.

11. Heal Your Pain Now: The Revolutionary Program to Reset Your Brain and Body for a Pain-Free Life

 

When I spend a lot of time on the couch, or in my recliner I love my lap desk. I have a Sofia & Sam, that includes a task light (but not the extendable mouse pad). I don’t use the task light often, mainly because I am trying to reduce the bright LED light exposure to try to help my sleep…

12. Sofia + Sam Multi Tasking Lap Desk with USB Light (Black Top) | Supports Laptops Up To 15 Inches

Finally, an extra gift idea, simply a basket or bin comes in really handy. I had set up a draw in the coffee table with all of my necessities, but have recently filled a tub with the things I most need close by, and now can move from recliner to couch without having to move more than my bin and perhaps my lapdesk if I am computing…

13. LARGE ROUND BIN – 15×16″ with O-ring and thick, sturdy material that holds shape and gives structure, simply collapse bin and store when not in use

Hopefully this Gift Guide for chronic pain sufferers gave you some great shopping ideas!

——————————–

Drop me a note in the comments below, or connect with me on Twitter @ceilidhontherun or email me at trish at trishblogs dot com!

I invite you to subscribe to my blog using one of the options available on my page (email, rss, Google Connect, like my page on Facebook, etc.)

If you enjoyed this post, please do like/share it. You can do so using the easy share button below

Wellness GIFTGUIDE for chronic pain

 

Social Worker burnout… not just talk

I read the Minister of Community Services’ recent response to Child Protection Social Workers’ circumstances and the concerns that the Union has identified.

“We want to make sure our social workers are well supported and we believe they are,” – Kelly Regan

I have kept quiet long enough.

I was reluctant to speak out after ending my permanent employment with the Dept. of Community Services for fear that I may jeopardize things if someday I wish to regain employment with the Province. After reading the Minister’s recent comments about the supports in place for our Social Workers, and her absolute lack of concern for their wellbeing, I feel compelled to speak out and likely end all possibility of returning to work for the Provincial government.

I apologize for jumping around a lot, however my thoughts are all over the place as I am so stricken by the lack of empathy, compassion or UNDERSTANDING demonstrated by Kelly Regan.  The practices of our current government and its restructuring have done little but exacerbate an already dire situation.

I’d challenge the Honorable Kelly Regan to go back and conduct exit-interviews with the MANY social workers who left permanent government positions in the last few years (including myself) for jobs with less so-called stability and much lower pay grade before making any further speculation about the support provided to our social workers. In my small office alone I can count 4 of us who did just that during the time immediately surrounding my own resignation. Perhaps it would also be enlightening to spend just a few weeks sitting in the chair of today’s child protection social workers – it wouldn’t take a day to see just how undervalued social workers are.

[Read more…]

Coffee Gift Guide – a gift guide for COFFEE SNOBS

(Coffee Gift Guide)

*This post contains affiliate links.

GIFT GUIDE for Coffee Snobs

I’m a self-confessed coffee snob.

When I chose to move from the city to a small rural town that had no coffee shops that didn’t offer anything but large chain drip coffee, I got a little desperate.

So I started setting up my home espresso bar. These are some of my favourite products that coffee snobs like me will love:

For those times when you need more than one cup at a time, french pressed coffee tastes like the closest thing to espresso, because it keeps the largest amount of the oils in a coffee bean in the finished product. It also doubles as a great tea pot for loose teas: Bodum Thermal French Press

But I really do love my Americanos so I was anxious to find an espresso machine I could use at home.

I’ve heard that this fully-automated machine makes a real great cup ‘a joe: Breville Dual Boiler Espresso Maker

 

When my first espresso machine bit the dust, I upgraded to the Breville Duo Pro Espresso Machine

Price: CDN$ 302.87
Was: CDN$ 308.87

 

 

 

That machine makes a much nicer micro foam than my first machine, a great entry level DeLonghi that made a great espresso shot, as long as I stayed on top of timing and shutting it off: DeLonghi EC155 15 BAR Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Maker

 

Some coffee snobs prefer the old school stove top espresso maker and I always liked The Original Bialetti Moka Express

 

 

If using a stovetop, then a coffee snob may also need a milk frother to make a nice latte with. I chose to heat my milk and froth it with an electric frother like this PowerLix Milk Frother

 

If working with an espresso machine that makes the froth for you, a frothing pitcher  and a thermometer are absolute necessities: Myvision Stainless Steel Milk Pitcher comes in various sizes, it’s usually best to work with the smallest pitcher possible, so it may be good to have two different sizes.

 

Insta-Read Beverage/Frothing Thermometer

 

While a knock box is not a necessity, it sure makes everything easier. I love my: Breville Mini Espresso Knock Box

 

The best tasting coffee is made from the freshest of beans that are the freshest roast, and ground immediately prior to pulling the shot, or pouring over the grinds. I love my burr grinder by Bodum: Bodum Bistro Electric Burr Coffee Grinder

 

Aside from the MOST important item (the coffee beans), there is one thing left that a coffee snob appreciates, a great mug.

I like a mug that I can hold comfortably in my hand, so that my whole hand fits comfortably in the handle.

 

My favourite travel mug is the travel press by Bodum, it can be used for loose tea, pressed coffee, or with a regular lid for perked coffee.

 

So that leaves the beans and storage for them. Beans are best kept at room temperature in an air tight container away from light.

 

I’m the coffee snob who prefers locally dark-roasted, organic fair-trade beans. While these aren’t locally roasted to my home province of Nova Scotia, they are roasted in British Columbia, Canada: Kicking Horse Coffee, Grizzly Claw

 

 

Hopefully this gave you some great ideas for shopping for the coffee snob in your life!

——————————–

Drop me a note in the comments below, or connect with me on Twitter @ceilidhontherun or email me at trish at trishblogs dot com!

I invite you to subscribe to my blog using one of the options available on my page (email, rss, Google Connect, like my page on Facebook, etc.)

If you enjoyed this post, please do like/share it. You can do so using the easy share button below

Coffee Gift Guide Pin

The Finishing School

The Finishing School by Joanna Goodman

*The following post contains affiliate links. TrishBlogs receives a small percentage of compensation for purchases made via these links.

 

The Finishing School – murder mystery? Coming of age story? This reminds me of an interview I heard with Marg Delahunty on CBC Radio recently!

An easy read with a somewhat predictable ending, yet she was pretty good at getting the reader to head down another path briefly.

Not wanting to spoil anything for anyone considering reading the book…

All I really want to say is how much it disturbs me that these kinds of scandals get covered up for so long in the real world. Speak up! Speak out! Inaction is only supporting the action whether or not you agree with it internally.


——————————–

Drop me a note in the comments below, or connect with me on Twitter @ceilidhontherun or email me at trish at trishblogs dot com!

I invite you to subscribe to my blog using one of the options available on my page (email, rss, Google Connect, like my page on Facebook, etc.)

If you enjoyed this post, please do like/share it. You can do so using the easy share button below

Eyeglasses from GlassesShop.com

Eyeglasses from GlassesShop.com

*Sponsored post

I’m sure you’ve heard of the websites where you can purchase eyeglasses online for a fraction of the cost of your local ophthalmologist and eye wear shop. I know I had, but was always skeptical as to the quality of the prescription eyeglasses. Besides that’s what I pay all that money towards benefits for isn’t it?

Then I was approached by GlassesShop.com to collaborate on their blogger program. I was given a link to follow to order free glasses online. I was impressed by the “Try on” feature where you upload a photo and try the glasses on your own face! It was easy and gave a pretty good idea of how the glasses really would look in the mirror.

I tried a few for fun:

 

I even considererd prescription sunglasses, but I only wear mine for reading and computer work, so the one pair I already have is plenty!

My glasses took just a few weeks to arrive and when they did, I was not disappointed. The only thing was that I hadn’t noticed the nose piece on a style of glasses that I didn’t expect them to be on!

Here I am actually wearing my new glasses that I could have bought at a fraction of the cost of my regular provider:

Now I keep my new glasses at the office or in my purse and I keep my other pair at home. J

If you’re interested in giving GlassesShop.com a try, I have a coupon code for you!

Use GSHOT50 which gives 50% off all eyeglasses and sunglasses with free lenses only throughout their website, with the exception of sales frames.

Share your success with me! I’d love to see your new glasses pix too!

 

——————————–

Drop me a note in the comments below, or connect with me on Twitter @ceilidhontherun or email me at trish at trishblogs dot com!

I invite you to subscribe to my blog using one of the options available on my page (email, rss, Google Connect, like my page on Facebook, etc.)

If you enjoyed this post, please do like/share it. You can do so using the easy share button below

Life plan? A plan without action is just a dream…

Life plan? A plan without action is just a dream…

Have you been stuck in a rut? A never-ending cycle of planning, researching, and starting-but-not-quite, only to end up back at the drawing board?

Take action

I have heard this time and again as I have followed several influential side-hustlers/entrepeneurs… “take ACTION”… *don’t wait until you are ready* … take action now, and adjust the plan as it unfolds…

There are so many aspects of life that this is true, but probably most importantly when you are trying to affect change in your life. Action forces the envelope, pushes you outside of your little comfort box, and is how we learn! So go ahead, make mistakes! Then learn from them, and continue taking action!

Taking action, with all of the imperfection that comes along with it, is better than finding yourself in the same place only years older…

I recently stumbled upon aAction blog post of mine from years ago. Written back when my blog was more of a journal. Upon reading, I realized a few things. My life plan was nothing more than a bunch of partially realized or unrealized dreams. AND most of those dreams remain true today, more than seven years later.

There is one significant difference. I am now desperate to take action.

 

I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts, reading a lot of books, and doing a lot of researching, learning, thinking… and I know that I must take more significant steps than I have in the past. I need to stretch beyond my newer comfort zone, and THEN keep stretching.

There are a lot of great leaders out there. Each has their own way of doing things. Many have a philosophy that they have come to follow. The most common thread among those I have been drawn to: ACTION is much more effective than planning, goal-setting, dreaming. While it is important to have the eye on the prize, it should be evolving, and it cannot evolve without taking steps in a direction beyond the current state.

 

Resources that I have found useful:

Chris Guillebeau – Sidehustleschool.com; $100 Start-up; Born for This

Marie Forleo – B-School; MarieTV

Cathy Heller – Don’t Keep Your Day Job (podcast)

——————————–

Drop me a note in the comments below, or connect with me on Twitter @ceilidhontherun or email me at trish at trishblogs dot com!

I invite you to subscribe to my blog using one of the options available on my page (email, rss, Google Connect, like my page on Facebook, etc.)

If you enjoyed this post, please do like/share it. You can do so using the easy share button below

Nineteen Eighty-four

Nineteen Eighty-four

*The following post contains affiliate links. TrishBlogs receives a small percentage of compensation for purchases made via these links.

Nineteen Eighty-four

 

George Orwell was certainly ahead of his time. He envisioned a future much like it became. Although I find beyond the references to Big Brother and how surveillance physically took place that there is so much different (thankfully).

Manipulative Politics

Another very poignant and disturbingly familiar theme is that of manipulation. Politicians and Politics which usually aim to address the needs of society at the start, become more and more manipulative in nature as Government becomes more Knowledgeable and prescriptive in what is best for the People.

Citizen surveillance

It makes you wonder though – could we be headed down the path lead by Big Brother (thankfully NOT a reality TV show) since we are using technology that so closely resembles and in many way surpasses his visions of surveillance? OR can we learn from the book as well as from history and prevent the worst of it?

One thing is certain, Nineteen Eighty-four could have been written much more recently and would still become a classic.

——————————–

Drop me a note in the comments below, or connect with me on Twitter @ceilidhontherun or email me at trish at trishblogs dot com!

I invite you to subscribe to my blog using one of the options available on my page (email, rss, Google Connect, like my page on Facebook, etc.)

If you enjoyed this post, please do like/share it. You can do so using the easy share button below

Starting your sidehustle momentum, using Pinterest

Do you find yourself running in circles?

Are you working hard at a sidehustle and getting nowhere?

*This post contains affiliate links. TrishBlogs receives a small percentage of compensation for purchases made via these links, at no cost to the consumer.

I have been doing a lot of learning about how to finally go somewhere with a/my sidehustle. I have been blogging/social media marketing and playing around online for years. I have built klout and have fun getting to know other bloggers. But I have failed to monetize it yet. I have pursued many ideas. Taken courses. Read books and blogs. Followed gurus. But I just haven’t taken bold enough action to actually be going somewhere.

Pinterest Ninja

One of my areas that I have been challenged by is Pinterest. And along comes Megan’s ebook/course! I noticed her posts about Pinterest Ninja and started following her. I finally decided one day to purchase and see how it/she might help me!

Click for access to Pinterest Ninja

Megan’s book is easy to read and tips are easy to follow. My favourite thing about Pinterest Ninja is that so much of her advice helps in general with building traffic and an audience, not just using Pinterest. Simple tips about finding popular keywords, for instance.

I love that she continues to update and offer more resources to current and future readers.

I have been using these tips to monetize my blog and build my audience. In fact I had my first payout from an affiliate in the last week since doing so!

I have been a lifestyle blogger for years, with a focus on Making Change in the world. My passion is for social justice; mental health; and women, children & families.  I have always been known to speak up/out when others aren’t always willing. I share personal stories that others often keep hidden. It is my hope that my stories will help someone else to see that they are not alone.  I want to help others have a larger voice in whatever challenges they may face. And to use those challenges to Be the Change they want.

Coaching

I am launching an online coaching service.

While not limited to – my areas of strength are in: parenting/childcare and family; as well as mental health; overall health & wellness; social media marketing for the small business / not-quite-luddite; and curating photos to tell your/their story. I am a generalist at heart, which is why I studied Social Work after Early Childhood Education, Psychology and English.

Pinterest Ninja is helping me expand my reach, and stop circling my target.

If I can help you make change in your world, I can be contacted via most Social Media channels, my blog www.trishblogs.com  or old-fashioned email at trish@trishblogs.com

——————————–

Drop me a note in the comments below, or connect with me on Twitter @ceilidhontherun or email me at trish at trishblogs dot com!

I invite you to subscribe to my blog using one of the options available on my page (email, rss, Google Connect, like my page on Facebook, etc.)

If you enjoyed this post, please do like/s

What is Coaching with Trish and how does it work?

Have you been considering coaching to get some help with setting and/or reaching your goals?

Coaching is a great way to improve your chances of success!

Many people have heard about life and/or health coaching but aren’t really sure how it works. So, if that is you, you are not alone. Just about anyone can benefit from coaching, including other coaches.

Coaching helps individuals and groups to establish goals in different areas – whether it be life in general, career, business, finances, health and/or fitness, etc.  With the help of your coach YOU will determine what you want to work on. You will set goals that are reachable, and YOU will decided how to work towards them.

So what does your coach do?Trish - Coaching for Change

Before answering that, I must share with you one thing that coaching is NOT. Coaching is not therapy. If during your coaching sessions, therapy is determined as one of the resources required to meet your goals, I will assist with the process of finding the right therapist for you.

As your coach my goal is to help you work through that process. I will ask you the questions that will point you in the right direction. I will assist with researching both the issues/presenting obstacles and how to overcome them. I will help you to find the resources needed to be successful. And I will walk you through the process of setting the goals and objectives required to meet those goals.

Now once you have a clear idea of where you are wanting to be, and how you want to get there, we will decide together what support you require in moving forward. Primarily I will be your accountability partner. I will be looking for updates and helping to assess how your progress is coming. I will work with you to determine if there are new goals of reaching higher and/or maintaining the successes achieved.

How long will you need to work with a coach?

The answer to how long is completely up to you. You get to decide when we are done. You also get to decide how flexible the accountability will be and what will happen if you do not hold up your end of the bargain. Have you reached the goals you hoped to? Is the coaching relationship successfully assisting your journey?  Have you determined new goals to work on? Many people work with coaches for at least several months. Some people work with coaches for years and move through varying stages and or issues as they go.

I will “meet” with you via email, or virtual chat (text or audio) on a weekly basis (or otherwise, as determined in your sessions). I will help you navigate through a series of questions and conversations. The first session is a get to know you opportunity about where you are today and where you think you’d like to be headed, or what issue(s) you’d like to work on. This will also give you an opportunity to learn a little more about me and whether I would make a good fit for the coaching you are looking for.

What will be expected of you?

During sessions you will find yourself sharing/talking a lot more than listening. And you will be the decision-maker on this path.

In between our sessions you will have assignments, determined by you – with my assistance. I will be looking for an update during or prior to our next session(s). I may offer to provide resources to help with your journey. Most importantly, we will determine outcomes that will help us to know if you have achieved the desired objective and/or goal. And we will set a timeline by which you will work on them.

Coaching should not be stressful, but will be a bit uncomfortable. The only way to achieve change is to step outside of your comfort zone and do something that is at least a little bit of a stretch for you.

We will also determine what your learning style is and what will help you to be motivated to make the necessary changes to move forward. If this involves some sort of reward(s), we’ll establish what those rewards should be, and later, if they worked for your desired outcome. That way we will be able to set effective outcomes and rewards (or consequencWellness, parenting and social media coachinges if appropriate) going forward.

So what can we work on in our coaching sessions?

 

My areas of specialty are health and wellness; parenting/family/relationships/child care/and child development; social media marketing; curating family stories; and more. That being said I am able to work with you on just about anything that you identify as being important. My role is to ask you the questions that will help YOU to identify WHAT and HOW to work on the issue(s)/goal(s).

If you are ready to get started, or would like speak with me for a short consult to learn more, please complete my contact form. Or… you can join us on Facebook for a closed discussion about how coaching works.

I look forward to working with you!