Imagine you love to bake and it turns out you’re really good at it.

Imagine you decide to start baking, giving most away, but suddenly people start asking you for orders.

Imagine that at the end of the day, you barely make enough money to break even, but what you do make you are able to put aside.

Imagine you do all of this with one leg.

This is my friend Patty’s story.

She started her own little home bakery, initially as therapy, to put money aside is to buy a new prosthetic leg, which cost about $60,000.

In 2007, Patty was diagnosed with cancer (malignant melanoma) and lost her leg, just above her knee.

Patty is a single mother of three kids.

And she has been cancer free for four years now!

She is strong, selfless, creative and inspiring. She’ll be the first one to have your back and the last one to ask for help.

After the Health Department forced her to shut down her hobby bakery, her friends and neighbours stepped in and started a GoFundMe page.

Patty needs this leg.

She deserves it.


Please watch the video and donate what you can. Every little bit will help. Then, please share so we can make her dream of walking again come true!


Blue Jay Fever #cometogether



So it’s on! It’s do or die time for the Toronto Blue Jays.

I am not a huge sports fan (anymore). I barely watch or follow any team, but will fully admit to jumping on the baseball pennant race bandwagon. It’s a pretty exciting time in Toronto.

The city is draped in blue and white, and you can’t escape it. And we’ve won this race before; twice – in 1992 and 1993. So we’ve tasted victory in the realms of baseball, and we want it again!

In fact, I can honestly say that I was a true fan back in the day. The team was amazing, with the likes of Roberto Alomar, Dave Winfield, Joe Carter, Pat Borders and more.

I have fond memories of a kid and going to baseball games at Exhibition Stadium, then SkyDome (now Rogers Centre) with my family. So watching the games was a family affair back then.


I was in my senior year of high school and remember watching the winning game with my parents! It was amazing, exciting and fun. My father was super excited! So when they announced that the Blue Jays would do a fan celebration at SkyDome a couple of days later, I was going. No matter what!

Except that I had a test in my Business class.

I decided to skip the test (something I had never done before) and went with my brother to cheer on our new champs! We had so much fun cheering our favourite players, in the streets and a packed stadium.
Photo by: BERNARD WEIL/TORONTO STAR The celebrations for the Toronto Blue Jays 1992 (pictured) and 1993 World Series transformed the downtown core into a sea of true blue Jays fans.

Of course, the next day, I went back to school and had to face my Business teacher. So I thought I would ask her if she would let me write the test again.

I will never forget the look on her face at my request. And then she asked me, “Well Tania, I will let you write the test depending on your answer to my next question.”

“Okay,” I said.

“Were you sick yesterday? Or did you have Blue Jay Fever?” She asked me.

I remember looking her right in her eye, contemplating for a single second on if I should tell her the truth or not. She was an admitted fan of the sport and the Blue Jays, so I sucked it up and told her the truth, “I had Blue Jay Fever.”

She nodded and said, “Alright. You bring me a note tomorrow morning that your parents knew you had a test, but let you go to the parade anyway, and I’ll let you rewrite the test.”

No problem!

I brought in my note the next morning, signed by my dad and she honoured her word and let me write the test again.

Win-win all around!


Go Jays Go!


One decade

Happy Anniversary to the love of my life!

10 years!

10 years? How did that happen?

CN Tower
The night D proposed

D has made me so happy these past 3,650 days. Yes, there are moments, but aren’t there always; in every marriage? At the end of the day, as my head hits the pillow at night, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

He was meant to be by my side. He was meant to listen to me yap and tell my stories, even if it’s the 27th time he’s heard it.

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He makes me laugh, often.

He is such an amazing father and partner.

He’s also a great brother, son, in-law and friend.

He’s picked me up, dusted me off and pepped-talked me back into the world.

He can do a mean load of laundry and keeps us well-organized with his mild case of OCD. And I wouldn’t have it any other way, seeing as I am on the opposite spectrum, with my mild case of organized chaos.

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In the past 10 years, we have done a lot together!

First and foremost, we created two beautiful girls, who love and adore him with all their hearts.

We have renovated a house and build a home.

We have survived two job losses (mine) and a stolen car (his).

We have seen St. Maarten, Cuba, New York, Florida and France together.

We have driven a total of 6 cars between us.

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I consider this a major milestone! So when I looked up ideas on what to do, I was puzzled that the traditional gift is tin or aluminum. But when I saw the reason why, I understood:

Tin or aluminum. The pliability of tin and aluminum is a symbol of how a successful marriage needs to be flexible and durable and how it can be bent without being broken.

Makes sense, right? You don’t get to 10 years, without being flexible. Everyday can be a challenge, and I know that there are days when we don’t make time for each other. But I love our daily emails. It makes me happy to know he’s there, on the other side of that send button.

I count my lucky stars every day that I met him. I can only hope that I make him as happy as he makes me. I know that we don’t have the time to express it like we used to; there are no hours alone, talks over dinner or drives in the car, without a Little Bird chirping or a Little Mouse squeaking in the back seat. It’s hard to squeeze in alone time, with so many activities for the kids, or things to do around the house; but I hope that he can look back on the past 10 years with a smile.

Our family of 4.

I wouldn’t change the path we’ve chosen, the road we’re on or the direction we are headed for anything else.

A decade down, D! Bring on forever!


Adjust – part 2


Adjust [uhjuhst]

verb (used with object)

  1. to change (something) so that it fits, corresponds, or conforms; adapt; accommodate:

to adjust expenses to income.

  1. to put in good working order; regulate; bring to a proper state or position:

to adjust an instrument.

  1. to settle or bring to a satisfactory state, so that parties are agreed in the result

to adjust our differences.

The definition of adjust is to change (something) so that it fits, corresponds, or conforms; adapts; accommodates. Well, sometimes in life, that takes time.

No, you’re not seeing things. This is how my post started yesterday. I thought I would continue on the theme of adjusting and explain a little about why I haven’t been around here much lately.

It’s not that I don’t want to write; or think about pretty much every single day, it’s just that I decided after almost six years at my place of employment, to find a new job.

While I needed a change; a new challenge, I didn’t realize how much it would impact my life.

I learned a long time ago, that humans are creatures of habit. We like to sit in the same GO Train seat, get on the same subway car, even eat the same thing on Taco Tuesday. So for the past five years and 10 months, I’ve gotten up at the same time, brought my kids to school/daycare and gotten to work at 8:00 a.m.

Then I did my job. I did it well, I would like to add. And went home at 4:00 p.m., in an easy commute home to make dinner at a reasonable hour for my small children and went on with my life, getting them to after school activities, such as karate and swimming.

Well, I guess I’m not in Kansas anymore, Dorothy.

Now I’m waking up earlier, which means waking the kids up earlier. They are not really big fans of waking up early on weekdays. Only on the weekends, it seems. I drop them off earlier at school and make my way to work. I still like coming in at 8:00 a.m., so I can get myself sorted for the day, but I don’t leave until 4:30 p.m.

Since I’m in a different location, I have highway traffic to deal with, major city construction and I’m not getting home at my usual descent hour anymore. It’s a rush to get dinner cooked and eaten, so we can then rush off to the above said activities.

Then it’s back home, rush to get things organized for the next day. Most days I try to prepare the kids’ lunches for the next day, so I can eliminate one thing to do in the morning. Some days, I’m too tired.

I know, I probably sound like a brat. Whining about rushing around with my kids, when I know full well that there are moms and dads who do that on a daily basis, and they work longer hours and farther from home than me.

But this is my world that has changed, and it’s really taking some time to adjust to it all.

By the time I get the kids to bed, and sit on the couch, I’m honestly not in the mood to do anything. I don’t want to write, I don’t want to clean, and sometimes, I don’t want to talk.

I can see that my kids are tired, don’t really like all the rushing and running around. I don’t get to cook anything too complicated or time consuming, since we are usually on the clock three days a week, so it’s been quick and easy meals.

One positive is that I’ve started experimenting with my slow cooker. It’s time that I get an extra set of hands, and having dinner ready when you get home has been great. I just need to find some more recipes.

The truth of the matter is that I am happy for the change. I was looking for a new challenge, and boy did I get one. The new job is going great and now it’s just a matter of everyone getting used to the new normal.

It will take time, I’m aware of this. But I guess I’ve just never been much of a patient person.

Do you have any tips to surviving the chaos? Any great slow cooker recipes?

I’d love to hear them!




verb (used with object)

  1. to change (something) so that it fits, corresponds, or conforms; adapt; accommodate:

to adjust expenses to income.

  1. to put in good working order; regulate; bring to a proper state or position:

to adjust an instrument.

  1. to settle or bring to a satisfactory state, so that parties are agreed in the result

to adjust our differences.

The definition of adjust is to change (something) so that it fits, corresponds, or conforms; adapts; accommodates. Well, sometimes in life, that takes time.

The Little Mouse’s “First Day in JK” sign she held for pictures.

Let’s take the Little Mouse and school. Her first day of school was on the Friday of that first week and she was so excited to go. I made her pose for all the obligatory first day pictures, as I did with her sister and packed their lunches and we were off. We dropped the Little Bird off first, in the school yard. The Little Bird put her backpack in line for her class, and the Little Mouse put hers right behind it, thinking that’s what she was supposed to do. After telling her that her classroom was in the front of the school, she looked a little sad to say goodbye to her sister.

We slowly walked to the front; she let me take pictures of her at the kindergarten gate and then went inside. She saw a couple of friends from daycare, which was a nice surprise and instantly I knew that would be a good thing to help with her transition.

On our way!

Then it happened.

She started to cry. She came up to the fence and asked to come home with me; told me she didn’t want to stay.

So she made me cry. (This was bound to happen anyway, however I had been okay up until that exact point).

I tried to show her that her friends were there, as by new she knew three kids in the class, and encouraged her to go and play. That she waited a long time to see everyone and now it was time for big school. It wasn’t working.

Luckily one of her little friends came over and gave her a hug, and told her it was time to get into the line; which she reluctantly did after going to the gate door to give me one more hug and kiss. She got her bag and followed her friend to the back of the line, wiping her tears as she waved goodbye and went inside to start the adventure known as kindergarten.

Well, I was a mess afterwards! A few parents poked fun at me for crying, but I don’t care. I wear those tears proudly.

She came home that night in a much better mood. She ate all her lunch and loved that her friends were in her class. Maybe we’ll all adjust okay to big school after all.

Of course, that was a Friday, which then meant that she had two days home on the weekend, so when Monday rolled around, I got the usual question she asks me every morning; “where am I going today?” And when I told her to school, the tears started.

You see, she was used to either going to daycare, or staying home with my mom. And now that Nonna wasn’t coming to our house anymore, I think she’s having a hard time adjusting to that. But we forged on. Got dressed, ate breakfast, packed our lunch and went to school.

I have no choice but for my kids to go to the before and after care program at the school. I feel bad, not because it’s a horrible place; on the contrary. They love going to that program, as they get to eat breakfast (or have snacks in the afternoon), use the computer, play and read and do activities. I feel bad because I have to wake them up at 6:20 or 6:30, if I can feel like pushing my luck some mornings. It’s early.

And they are not morning people!

(I wonder where they get that from!?)

That first Monday, the Little Mouse came home with a note that due to a number of last-minute registrations at the school, they were moving her to the other class.

What!? It’s been two days?

I wasn’t too happy about that, and went to the school first thing in the morning to discuss it with the principal. Well, she saw me coming, as she armed herself with the only thing she knew would diffuse my thoughts and emotions, and that was they also moved two of the three friends she had from daycare.

Okay. I was satisfied with that. She didn’t have any other attachments aside from that, so we were now in the other class.

The Little Mouse didn’t seem to mind. She liked the teacher (as do I) and since it was really only two days, she didn’t know any different. So I waited to see how she was going to do.

A typical lunch for the Little Mouse.

Here we are, a month and a half into the school year, and she seems to have adjusted well. Once they are fed in the morning, they have the routine down, they bring their bags to the front door, put on their shoes and coats and we go to school. I get big hugs in the morning, kisses all around and the Little Mouse always tells me to have a great day!

Who doesn’t want to start their days like that? Even if it is dark and dreary in the morning, that is guaranteed to put a smile on my face.

She eats her lunch and tells us about the times she gets to do Show and Share, or be the Cubby Cleaner or the Line Leader. She brings her artwork home and is so excited to share it with us, and gets even more excited when she sees her sister at an assembly or when in school!

So the definition of adjust is to change (something) so that it fits, corresponds, or conforms; adapts; accommodates.

I think the Little Mouse fit in just fine. I think it was mommy who had to adapt and accommodate a little to get this year off to the right start!