Friday, December 31, 2010

The Best is Yet to Come in 2011

Enjoy your celebrations!
Festivities are coming to an end, decorations are starting to come down and the kids are back to school soon … ahhh the week after Christmas … a time of relaxation, regrouping and rejuvenating. With the New Year around the corner it's the perfect time to reflect on the year that's past and look forward to all the great things to come. This time I’m going to keep my New Year’s resolutions too! Top of my list: Finally get to a hot yoga class (I've been trying for months!) and stick to my workout regimen (already started ... slowly). The biggest excuse ever is that there's no time with kids, career and everything else in life. But I have a feeling that this is going to be a year of new beginnings... I'm very excited. Happy New Year to you and yours! Be safe. ~ KLB

Monday, December 20, 2010

It's time to focus on family

Don't let the season pass you by.
'Tis the season to be merry .... or is it? For most of us it's a time of running around getting last-minute gifts, sending over-priced Xmas cards, figuring out what to get grandma (because she has everything) and fighting traffic at the malls. Sound fun? No matter who you are and what traditions you hold ~ if you've got a full-time job and kids it can get crazy.
I decided to cut down on printed holiday cards this year. Not only to save some trees but with the convenience of social media outlets such as Facebook I can say hello to friends and family in one shot. Easy. Yes I'll admit this might seem lazy but Christmas seems to have crept up this year and with only five nights until the big man in red comes, I better get crackin' with gifts to wrap and trees to trim. I've always loved this time of year! I just wish it wasn't flying by without a moment to think about the true meaning of the season. So from me to you, when it's time to shut off the computer and say good-bye to the office for the holiday, just do it. You won't regret it. Happy Holidays! ~KLB

Monday, December 13, 2010

Exercise balances you inside and out

Exercise is essential to a good life.
You'd think that because I've worked in the health and fitness industry for over 10 years now that I'd be full-on into my workout routine 24-7. Well, think again. I find it tough to fit in too! After changing career paths, changing houses, two kids, and a killer commute to the city everyday, I'll admit my training regimen hasn't been up to snuff lately. So my husband and I have recently agreed to jump right in ~ there's no time like the present, right? We're not waiting for our New Year's resolutions to start. Why wait? Here are some tips to help you get in the swing of things too, good luck!
1. Stop procrastinating! Working out and eating healthy are essentials to a good life. If anything else, do it for your kids or they'll always have more energy than you.
2. Find a workout partner. If you're flying solo, no problem! Take up a Yoga or Pilates class with a friend or go for a fast walk three times a week with a neighbour.
3. Set a specific time to work out and stick to it. After the kids are in bed, after the lunches are made, after homework is done, after you've checked your email. Instead of watching the finals of your favourite reality show, DVR it and watch another time. Believe me, you'll probably lose interest anyways which means more time to exercise. Hey, there really are no excuses so get moving! ~ KLB

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Working women: Just the facts, ma'am

Today working women are a driving force in our country's economic recovery. Some interesting facts courtesy of The Women's Enterprise Centre, 2010:
> Women contribute over $18 billion annually to the Canadian economy
> Women make up a larger share of the self-employed than any other country
> There are more than 821,000 women entrepreneurs in Canada
So remember if you're a working mom who wonders if you're making a contribution outside of the home, well you are... in more ways than one. ~KLB

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Perfect Gift ~ Custom Creations

Swag Barn creations by Caren Brown
Talk about innovative ladies ~ my sis has been making jewellery for a while now and she loves it! What started out as a nighttime hobby has now turned into a small business of Christmas craft sales and home parties. If I do say so myself, she is extremely talented and her designs rock! With the holiday season upon us, homemade gifts are the perfect idea for that special friend, grandma, mom or daughter.
Check out Caren Brown's jewellery-making blog at for some cool, custom creations. She's also now doing girls' birthday parties ages 6-12! What fun! Now if only I had girls...  ~KLB

Friday, December 3, 2010

Yo Mama, it's that time of year again

The holidays can be hectic
Ever feel like a yo-yo? Back and forth to hockey games... to birthday parties... to play dates... to the park? No matter what time of year, moms (and dads) are always on the go. After all, it comes with the job description. :~)
So there's no surprise that with the holiday season upon us there's even more excitement in and around the household... at school... the office... and in the malls. Hey, wouldn't it be nice to have a stress-free December? Here's an idea Mrs. Claus, perhaps instead of a million little toys for the boys this year, why not pick up one big gift and spend the rest of your efforts on their stockings? Or better yet, plan a special outing for everyone to the science centre, ice skating, or to a movie to replace a bunch of prezzies. This way not only will you be spending more time as a family, but you can pick the day that works best for your schedule, and you'll have less wrapping! Ta-da!  Here's a nice little website with some neat gift ideas and thoughts on how to kick it up a notch with the family this season ~KLB

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Balancing the Mother Load

When I started this blog, a friend of mine recommended that I check out a site called Balance the Mother Load. For those of you who feel like you’re in a rut and need someone to speak to who isn’t in your immediate circle of friends, family or the local mother-goose club, Carly Cooper is a Life Coach for “ambitious, high-achieving working moms.” Whether you want to chat on the phone, online, or join the Ambitious Working Moms Meetup group, this busy lady can help you become the master of your own unique mama plan. It's wonderful to see so many ambitious moms out there following their passions and helping others do the same. :) ~KLB

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

What is Your Guilt Factor?

Hey ladies, let's be honest... if you’re a mother you most likely feel guilty about something. If you’re a working mom, like me, you most likely feel guilty almost all the time. I know I feel it when I have to work late or when I’m rushing the kids to bed after only being with them for a short time during the evening. Or on the weekends, I feel bad because I’m already thinking about what’s coming up the next work/school week, or the flip side, when I'm smothering them to death. What’s wrong with us? We feel bad when we’re with them and bad when we’re not. And how come celebrity moms make it look so easy?

If you’re struggling with what’s expected of moms today ~ and what’s supposed to help you rear the best possible kids ever, you’re not alone! Check out this article entitled Mother Madness recently published in The Wall Street Journal.

My fave quote by writer Erica Jong: “As long as women remain the gender most responsible for children, we are the ones who have the most to lose by accepting the ‘noble savage’ view of parenting, with its ideals of attachment and naturalness. We need to be released from guilt about our children, not further bound by it. We need someone to say: Do the best you can. There are no rules.” ~KLB

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Not a cook, but here's a yummy recipe!

If there's one thing I'm not's a cook! Yep I'll admit it, I can survive on the few things I can prepare, but if truth be known, it definitely wasn't my skills in the kitchen that landed a marriage proposal (despite that old saying "a way to a man's heart is through his stomach"). But for those busy moms who don't have the patience or time to take Martha Stewart classes, luckily there are many wonderful websites and lady bloggers out there who are culinary gifted. Check out this great recipe for Cinnamon-Swirl Coffee Cake from two moms who know what they're doing in the kitchen, just in time for the holiday season. Enjoy!
Do you have any cool recipes to share? ~ KLB

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Stress "less" tips and study

According to a study out of Harvard Medical School, women who said their job requires them to work "very hard" or "very fast" but who have little say over their day-to-day tasks -- a combination known as "job strain" -- were 88% more likely than those in less-stressful jobs to have a heart attack. They were also 43% more likely to need heart surgery. In addition, women who were stressed out by work or worried about losing their jobs were more likely than those with steady employment to be physically inactive and to have high cholesterol, according to CNN's report of the research. My two cents? I say that if you're a mom on top of this ~ you’ve got even more chance of being stressed, which is not good for your health at all.

My 3 tips to relieve stress in your life:
1.    Don’t take your work home with you (although I’m the worst culprit for this: working on the train, jumping online at night or on the weekends… agh!!)
2.    Schedule your vacation days as “important appointments” and give yourself something to look forward to with your family. Don’t ever cash them in (if your company allows). You deserve the time off.
3.    Divide and conquer with your significant other ~ one of you go grocery shopping and to the bank, while the other takes the kids to soccer and so on. -- KLB

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Planning 101

Do post-it notes rule your life?
Just returned home from a much-deserved weekend away. The perfect escape from reality ~ relaxing and unwinding in the tropics. But despite being miles away from the hustle and bustle of the city, and the hecticness of school agendas and sports with the boys in the 'burbs, I found myself anxiously writing my "to-do" list on the beach, continuing on the flight home. Yes, I'm a self-proclaimed "planner." Always have been, and most likely always will be. And for some odd reason, this soothes me. However over the years, I've had to learn not to get too disappointed if my days don't turn out as planned. After all, we're only human. Here are my top five ways to stay on top of your game at work and play:
1. Prepare the kids' lunches the night before; set their lunch bags on the kitchen counter for easy pick up.
2. Determine what you will wear the next day in order to save time during the morning rush, and if possible shower (wash your hair) when the kids are in bed.
3. Listen to the news for commuter information. If you take a train, subway or brave the traffic on your own, schedule your route accordingly and avoid problem areas so not to start your day off on a bad note.
4. When you have some down-time during the day, on your lunch break or the ride home, jot down notes for the next day as reminders so you're already thinking ahead.
5. Get your kids into the habit of finishing their homework at the beginning of the week or the day they get their assignments. This way you'll be teaching them not to procrastinate and your weeks will go a lot smoother without having to rush projects the night before they are due.  Less stress for everyone. ~ KLB

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Are you a commuter? Join the club

The average Canadian spends more than an hour a day (or 12 full days a year) trekking to and from work. Are you one of them? I am, and I know some people say I'm crazy. However, there are several reasons why suburbanites might make the long haul every day: 1. There tend to be more corporate or "head office" opportunities 2. Salaries are generally higher to balance off the cost of living in urban centres 3. Depending on your role, you may need to be closer to the so-called action re: financial or fashion districts 4. And lastly, you may have simply been transferred. But no matter what your reason, commuting has its ups and downs. Personally, I enjoy the time alone on the train to catch up on some work without interruptions, or simply to chill out and close my eyes. On the down side, delays are inevitable and unpredictable. Whether they are weather-related, transit-related, or human-error-related -- delays can add unwanted stress to your life. Like today for example, it took me 3 1/2 hours to get to my office this morning (no kidding), but I will spare you the ugly details. My daily commute involves driving to the train station, taking the train an hour, then the subway uptown. Yep, there are good days and bad, but luckily I've made the appropriate adjustments at home to accommodate. Moral of my story? Whether you commute or not, you've got to love what you do for a living to make it worthwhile. Here's to a better trip tomorrow! ~ KLB

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Tips to Taking Time Out

No matter how busy life gets, it's so important to take some time for yourself. I know, I know, I'm probably one of the worst culprits for having too much on my plate ... but the truth of the matter is that the best thing you can do for your kids and your productivity at work is to have energy to be the best you can be. The more rested, alert and less stressed you are ~ the more you'll be able to give of yourself in the areas that mean the most to you. Here are my top "me time" tips:
1. Book a spa day (or at least one self-indulgent service) 4-6 weeks in advance so you're more likely to make arrangements. Ask your spouse, a friend, a parent, a neighbour or your daycare provider to give you an extra couple hours.
2. If you've got little ones who nap, forget about getting the laundry done while they're down, a cat nap for you can go a long way. There will always be more laundry. 
3. For those of you in the corporate world, make sure to close your office door or go for a walk at least once during the day. The fresh air and break from the computer will help you rejuvenate big time. ~ KLB

Monday, November 8, 2010

Multi-tasking = Job Prerequisite

pic courtesy
If there’s one thing moms with careers have in common it’s multi-tasking. Not only are we used to juggling priorities at the office during the 9-5, but we’ve got to be pros at home too. After all, it’s what we signed up for! When I looked up the definition of multi-tasking, the Merriam Webster Dictionary defined it as: the concurrent performance of several jobs by a computer. I thought this was hilarious. A computer? I admit, sometimes I feel like I’m just going through the motions, but at the end of a very long day at work, and the kids are safe and tucked in bed, I’m positive I feel a lot more satisfaction than a load of microchips... KLB 

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Movie Pick of the Week

I must admit I never thought Will Smith's offspring would ever bring me to tears in a film, but he did this afternoon. Connor and I watched The Karate Kid and I was touched by the story of a dedicated, single mom trying to make ends meat who gets transferred to China for work ~ and the trials and tribulations of her son fitting in this new society. Watching the flick with my son (who is 6) was not only inspiring, but we both learned a value lesson about discipline and focus. My fave quote in the film: "Kung Fu is not about fighting; it's about making peace with your enemies." -- Jackie Chan       Enjoy! ...KLB  

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Quote of the Day

“Life is not a fairytale, it is a reality show” – The Naked Mom. 

Busy Hollywood Mom Tells All

Hollywood mom Brooke Burke can now add book author to her CV. The Dancing with the Stars co-host and mother-of-four knows life isn't perfect. She's excited to share her take on motherhood in her new book, The Naked Mom“As a younger mom, I used to strive for [balance]," she recently shared. "Today, I am more into managing the chaos if my life. There is never a day when all my kids are in harmony. There is ALWAYS one of them who has an issue, a challenge, an attitude, or an unfulfilled need. What I do now is embrace that, and do the best I can to make the most of even the difficult days." For more visit

Friday, November 5, 2010

I'm a working mom just like YOU!

This is the first time I've ever posted on my blog, or any blog for that matter. Yes, I admit I'm not the most tech-savvy person on the planet, but I have written and published many articles during my 10+ years in the magazine business so I thought this would be a good place to air my new found thoughts on life. I want to create a place where working moms can share stories, offer advice, provide motivation, and have a laugh or two. After all, I know many working moms who are trying to balance work and family ~ and they all have their own stories. My blog can be a place for us women to "chat."

Who am I? I'm a mom of two young boys (Connor 6, Brock 18 months), a professional in the marketing-communications field, an editor, writer, and now blogger. I've always enjoyed helping others, in particular, motivating women to reach their health and fitness goals ~ and for those who know me, I'm someone who's always looking for more out of life. I'm a Libra (go figure), a "to-do" list person, and now that I've reached my late thirties I'm starting to think about what I want to do when I grow up.

So I've started this blog to basically see what happens. I hope to meet other working moms who can relate to the guilt of leaving work early to make your son's hockey game... or the guilt of leaving your son at the before-school-program way too early in the morning so you can make a breakfast meeting at the office. Perhaps we can help each other get through some tough decisions, or at the very least, make it through another hockey season. Who knows where this will lead. All I do know is that work is a part of life, and my kids are my life, so let's figure it out together. Until next time, cheers to all you SUPERMOMS! Let me know how your life is going... KLB