Worlds collide: pajamas and jeans

I am all about fashion and comfort colliding. At home on the weekends, I live in yoga pants, a variety of sweats, ball caps and sneakers or flip-flops. When I head out to catch a movie or see friends, I toss the comfies aside and although I don’t go high fashion, I usually shower, toss on some make-up and fix the hair, whip on a pair of my favorite jeans, cute top and some heels.

But what if these two worlds COULD collide?

What would I give to have my favorite jeans FEEL like yoga pants?

Does such a world exist?

Apparently it does. Hubby fired me a cryptic text on Saturday that said “blog post…pajama jeans…” I was stumped but my fav gal pal knew exactly what he was talking about.

OMG I’ve totally heard of those,” she said. “They are jeans that fit and feel like pajama bottoms.

SHUT THE FRONT DOOR?!?!

Online I went and lo and behold, there is such a thing as Pajama Jeans (US site here & Canadian site here).

Creaters claim that Pajama Jeans are the most versatile jean ever; made for work, play, working out, travel, and even sleeping. Wrinkle resistant they are tailored with high contrast top stitching, brass rivets, and back and front pockets that give them a “European designer” look. They have a mock fly, no buttons and a hidden front draw string.

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Ummm…these are sounding a lot like the comfy jeans that my bestie mistakened for maternity jeans.

They are made with a cotton-spandex-denim blend and lined with Dormisoft that not only stretches (my fake maternity jeans do that) but is also super soft on the skin. Ummmm…tempting!!!

In Canada, they come in boot cut and cost around $50. In the US you can get them in boot cut or skinny jean and they cost around $40. They are available in sizes from XS to 3X.

Unfortunately, they only come in 31 inch inseam (for all sizes) so that sort of sucked the excitement out of me. I don’t buy a pant, comfy or not, that has less than a 34 inches inseam. I might be comfy and able to roll out of bed and onto the runway in Pajama Jeans but with a 31″ inseam, I’d be looking like I was prepared for the next great flood. No thanks.

I am not so sure about the infomercials claim that they are“the fashion sensation that fits every figure perfectly” but the “smooth butt lifting design” is certainly appealing. Who doesn’t want their ass lifted while wearing something that feels like jammies?

Anyone try this “fashion sensation” yet and care to share a review? Would you be happy to combine fabulous jeans with comfy PJs? What’s your favorite multi-function fashion must-have? Come on…share the wealth…

More blog deliciousness here:

Strap on shoes???

As you know from my “what do your shoes say about you?” post, I have a slight love affair with shoes. I try not to discriminate; I love everything from sneakers to flip-flops to boots to stilettos. All shoes deserve love…right?

This week, Jansen Schmidt sent me pictures of the most insane shoes I’ve ever seen (I love it when you guys send me the crazy stuff you find online). These pushed even my shoe boundaries. I draw the line when I can’t stand up straight or run from potential assailants. I’m all for fashion and flirty but these seem downright dangerous. And I have to say it…there’s nothing sexy about walking like you need to hit the washroom ASAP (while moving at the speed of smell and like a zombie).

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I think they’d give some of Lady Gaga’s wackiest shoes a run for their money.

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Standing next to Gaga, there’s nothing in my shoe closet that’d even compare. And I’ve even started branching out. Dang…do I need to step up my game? Have I lost my shoe edge? I mean, the fashion police say you can wear just about anything with a black pant suit, right? Maybe I should invest in some of these sparkly shoe fashion statements. Think I’d turn heads at the office walking in with a pair of these bad boys on? Perhaps not the image I am trying to elicit.

Good for Gaga. Not so good for Natalie.

After watching the first shoe video, I couldn’t let it go. I had to know…why? For who? Seriously? I wanted to poke some serious fun at them.

But it turns out, their insanity was on purpose. They are a collaboration between artist Leanie van der Vyver and Dutch shoe designer René van den Berg to serve as a visual representation of today’s impossible standards of beauty. Ummmm.

When you put it like that….making fun at this point would seem slightly…ummmm…. tacky?!?!

Good job gentlemen – powerful visual (might I suggest some text or voice over to ensure your message gets across…just a suggestion…I’ll shut up now).

Don’t I just feel like the world’s biggest ass.

What are the craziest shoes you’ve ever worn? If comfort and ability weren’t an issue, what’s the most outrageous shoe you’d wear? How do your different shoes make you feel? Come on…share the wealth…

More blog deliciousness here:

Missed Connections…the truth revealed

Yesterday, Jenny and I shared a little Missed Connections fun with y’all and I have to say, you guys leave the BEST comments. Here and over at Jenny’s, I’ve been rolling on the floor laughing my butt off. Love it!

So today, as promised, the truth shall be revealed.

Let’s start with my post.

Which Missed Connection was fake?

  1. REAL: I missed you…shit  23.53% voted for it being the fake…But it’s real (although the post has been deleted by its author, it was the real deal).
  2. REAL: The big blue box  11.76% voted for it being the fake…But it’s real. I can’t even begin to imagine what this big blue box is…a new term I am unaware of? Must investigate further!
  3. FAKE: To the cute guy in lime green tank at gym by 6 am  41.18% voted for it being the fake…You guys are BRILLIANT and totally picked me out. All I did was write about what I want to do to hubby…all the time…growl! Maybe that was the dead give away as Gloria suggested in the comments…dang! I am so transparent.
  4. REAL: Just can’t get my head around  5.88% voted for it to be fake. But it’s real. Sounds like this lady has had a bit of a rough time. I’d say go with option 1) the guy is a jerk.
  5. REAL: You stuck my flash drive in your vagina  17.65% voted for it being the fake…but it’s real. I know?!?!?! Who does that and who then WRITES an ad about it?!?! Although this post is from 2010 and no longer featured on Craigslist, it is/was definitely real.

And which one did y’all find funniest?

Now…let’s have some fun with Jenny’s Missed Connections.

Which Missed Connection was fake?

  1. REAL: I Saw Your Thong  13.04% voted for it being the fake…But it’s real. I give the guy points for his sense of humor. Perhaps if he paid homage to Bathtub Jesus, the God’s would shine on him and answer his Craigslist prayer.
  2. FAKE: Naked In The Trash  26.09% of you nailed it – total fake! Well, partially. This Missed Connection was inspired by Jenny’s hubby who did see a naked lady change in the trash area outside his work. Although it was not a missed connection experience…more like a 16-year-old boy getting his first show!
  3. REAL: My Next Happy Meal  43.48% voted for it being the fake…But it’s real. I know…like who posts on the web only being able to last 2 minutes?!?!
  4. REAL: Strong Legs On Kelly Drive  17.39% voted for it being the fake…But it’s real. I hope he helped the poor girl up after her near miss of duck poo!

And which one did y’all find hilarious?

  • I Saw Your Thong  52.38% outstanding choice y’all. I’ve been busting my gut all day about this one.

Be sure to visit Jenny’s Blog on Friday where she’s going to do a compilation of all our Missed Connections fun so you can vote on your ultimate favorite. Then…stay tuned for Monday’s post here where I…with all my esteemed experience and knowledge…will offer some dating advice to the winning Missed Connection. Of course with my own urban redneck flare. Should be…interesting!

And since it’s Twisted Tuesday, I leave you with this Craigslist Missed Connections parody fun:

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It’s your turn…why don’t you take a crack at writing your own Missed Connection – fake or real? Or take a few minutes and find a favorite or outrageous one to share with the group…there are so many out there ripe for the picking! Come on…share the wealth…

It’s Twisted Tuesday and that means it’s time to enjoy a smile, giggle or laugh…here’s hoping I’ve provided it in spades…enjoy!

More blog deliciousness here:

MADD about virgin drinks

It’s summertime. We are hosting BBQs, family get togethers, and parties of all shapes and sizes. Everything we host is BYOB (bring your own booze) and I always have some pop, water or juice on hand for the non-drinkers and designated drivers.

Then I realized what a douchebag hostess I was being. Yes. A douchebag!

Water. Pop. Juice.

Come on….I can do better than that to support those people who are committed to driving sober.

Meet the MADD Virgin Drinks! Aren’t they PRETTY?!?!? Love!!!

MADD Virgin Drinks are mocktails – delicious non-alcoholic drinks that are just as fun and fizzy as their sister cocktails. You can get red or white wine, different varieties of specialty wine like sangria, margaritas and mojitos, champagne, and lime beer (one of my personal favs)!!!!

The company was inspired by MADD Canada. In acknowledgement of the work the organization has done to educate the public about impaired driving not to mention the thousands of lives that have been saved from their efforts, MADD Virgin Drinks was conceived to support the work of MADD Canada both philosophically and financially.

Philosophically, MADD Virgin Drinks provides a fresh and fabulous non-alcoholic drink option that still pumps up your party. Financially, the company contributes 10% of their net sales to MADD Canada.

Shut the front door!

That is fantastic.

I went on the company’s website and was totally blown away when I read the information about Corporate Social Responsibility and Responsible Entertaining. It warms my heart to think that there are companies out there that are not only trying to create a financially successful and lucrative venture but are also giving back. I am blown away by companies that are keeping the communities in which they live and work along with the fundamentals of social responsibility at the top of mind; ingraining those ideals into their corporate philosophy. Total win-win!

For Canadians, you can find MADD Virgin Drinks in a number of retails stores in Albert, BC, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec. Check out their store locator to find a retailer near you.

For those of us who aren’t near a local retailer, or are in the USA, we can still purchase and support MADD Virgin Drinks through their online store. They have a Canadian online store and a USA online store. SWEETNESS!

They also offer trade and volume discounts. Love that!

What are some of your favorite mocktails to serve? Have any fabulous recipes to share? Know of a company that’s making a social difference in your community; giving back in some fab way? Show them the love and pimp them out here in my comment section and be sure to link to their website so we can all shower them with support.

On August 1, 2009, my beautiful mother-in-law’s life was cut tragically short by an impaired driver and my stepson’s life changed forever. In honor of Donna and Jordan Kennie, please don’t drink and drive. Impaired driving is 100% preventable. Think about it.

Support MADD Canada and follow them on Facebook, Twitter (@maddcanada), YouTube, and on the Web.

More blog deliciousness here:

Talking toilet encourages people to call a cab!

Well call me crazy but I just love this latest impaired driving awareness tactic in the US.

According to the news story, federal funding paid to distribute talking urinal cakes that encourage patrons not to drink and drive to around 200 bars in 4 Michigan counties.

Shut up?!??! I know!!!

Picture this. You’re a guy (ok…just hang in there with me…). You are at a bar. You’ve had a few too many. You are planning to head out and drive yourself home but first, you need to hit the loo. As you stand there draining the lizard, a female voice pipes up and says:

Listen up. That’s right, I’m talking to you. Had a few drinks? Maybe a few too many? Then do yourself and everyone else a favour: Call a sober friend or a cab. Oh, and don’t forget, wash your hands. Call a ride…get home safe!

I love it!

Talking Urinal Cakes

Imagine the surprise customers would have. It’d be like a voice from God giving one last reminder.

The cakes also have the “Call a ride. Get home safe.” message imprinted on them.

You know, it’s the same message but it’s a completely new and unique way to get it out there. And quite frankly, anything that will get people’s attention, get them talking, and maybe even take pause before getting behind the wheel is uberlicous in my books!

Would a talking urinal cake make you think twice about driving impaired? Do you think it’ll be effective at getting the message across in a new way? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

On August 1, 2009, my beautiful mother-in-law’s life was cut tragically short by an impaired driver and my stepson’s life changed forever. In honor of Donna and Jordan Kennie, please don’t drink and drive. Impaired driving is 100% preventable. Think about it.

Support MADD Canada and follow them on Facebook, Twitter (@maddcanada), YouTube, and on the Web.

More blog deliciousness here:

Parole hearing; not just a rubber stamp…who knew?!?!

First, I have to start off by saying a HUGE thank you to everyone who emailed, posted on Facebook or tweeted me in the last week to say “we are here for you and pulling for your family.” Hubby and I were just blown away by the outpouring of support, thoughtfulness, love, and encouragement we received from our in-person and virtual friends and family. Your notes and prayers were appreciated more than words could ever begin to convey.

YOU. GUYS. ROCK!

Thank you will never quite capture our humbled gratitude….

Ok, so on to the good stuff; the parole hearing that we attended Wednesday. If you are not up to speed on our impaired driving story, check it out here first for all the deets.

Buckle up because I fear this could be a lengthy post. I want y’all to get a real sense for what a Canadian Parole Board hearing looks and feels like.

Westmorland Institution

We arrived at the Westmorland Institute (a minimum security jail) at around 8 am. We met up with hubby’s two aunts and their husbands and hubby’s youngest sister. We were all shocked to see the accommodations for prisoners are rows and rows of townhouses (no fencing or anything).

We later found out that each “townhouse” or “unit” as they are called houses 4 to 5 prisoners. They are two to a room with a shared bathroom, living room (with TV) and kitchen. Each unit is allotted a weekly budget and the 4-5 men have to arrange/negotiate to buy their own groceries (from the Institution’s grocery store), cook and clean for themselves.

If any of us thought that Trent was sitting in a 6X9 cement jail cell like you see on TV, we were sorely mistaken.

But I digress.

We were ushered into the main administration complex. There we gathered in a boardroom with a communications liaison from the Parole Board of Canada (PBC) who walked us through how everything would proceed and answered all of our questions.

We found out that Trent was applying for either of 3 types of parole:

  • Temporary Absence: This is usually the first type of release an offender may be granted. They can be escorted (ETA) or unescorted (UTA). Trent was applying for 3 UTAs each for 72 hours (think a weekend at a halfway house). ETAs and UTAs are granted so offenders may receive medical treatment; contact with their family; undergo personal development and/or counselling; and participate in community service work projects.
  • Day Parole: This is to help prepare an offender for release on full parole or statutory release by allowing the offender to participate in community-based activities. Offenders on day parole must return nightly to an institution or a halfway house unless otherwise authorized.
  • Full parole: This is when an offender serves the remainder of the sentence under supervision in the community (in his own apartment etc). There are usually conditions associated with this type of release (curfew, alcohol/drugs abstinence etc). An offender must report to a parole supervisor on a regular basis.

While on any kind of these parole programs, if an offender commits a crime or doesn’t meet any of the conditions set, they can be remanded back to the Institution to complete the remainder of their sentence.

Enough with the boring tech stuff, right?

Ok, so we find out that Trent is applying for either of the 3 but we also find out that his parole officer who supported his pending application for parole back in December 2011 has since withdrawn that support. Likely due to the fact that Trent’s psych evaluation came back in February 2012 showing him at a high to medium risk to re-offend. Neither the psychologist nor his parole officer were supporting his application for parole.

This peaked our interest. Why would he go forward with the application? Cynically, I think most of us assumed it was because the process was rubber stamp approval.

Little did we know.

The Hearing

At 9 am, we were escorted into the parole hearing room. At the front of the room, sitting facing the observers (the Kennie family, a couple of students and a few cops) were 2 parole board hearing officers; one a retired warden of 30 years and the other a long-time police office/parole officer. Trent, the offender, was sitting facing the parole board accompanied by his assistant (this is someone who sits beside the offender and is granted the opportunity to make a statement on the offender’s behalf – Trent had his mother as his assistant).

Another thing we didn’t know is that at the parole board looks at the offender as whole. That means they don’t take into account only the offense that landed the person in jail, they look at the entire criminal history (if there is one) along with all circumstances. They parole board can ask the person next to anything; childhood, any and all criminal activities, recovery etc. The board is there to assess whether the offender presents a risk to re-offend.

We knew Trent had something of a sketchy past with a couple of assault charges and failure to comply with some probation orders but that was the extent of our knowledge. To our surprise, the assault charges became the crux of the discussion between Trent and the parole board.

Assault Charges

For over an hour, they grilled him about the incidents (both involving women); why did his life take a turn to violence in his 30s, why women, how has he changed, what happened, did he drink, did he abuse drugs, what contributed to his destructive lifestyle choices? They didn’t stop or let up. Question after question.

Trent’s responses were mostly that he had been out of control, financially strained, unhappy, had unreasonable expectations, and that the abuse only happened towards the end of the relationships (even though the parole board had testimony from both women that it had been ongoing and lengthy). He was evasive when it came to admitting to specific details of the assaults and dismissive about the level of violence he demonstrated. When pushed by the parole board with conflicted reports from the women, he would answer with “well…her recollection is likely better than mine…” but would still admit or own to nothing.

Psych Evaluation

Then the board turned its attention to the psych evaluation and how the psychologist deemed Trent to be egocentric with anti-social tendencies, that he was evasive, dismissive, and minimized his offences while blaming and justifying his choices and actions.

Trent said he didn’t agree and couldn’t understand where the psychologist was coming from. Again the parole board pushed him. If he disagreed with the evaluation, why did he sign off on it, why didn’t he appeal it, why didn’t he ask for changes to the wording? In signing it, he essentially “okayed” the report but now claimed to disagree with it. And exactly what points did he disagree with? They grilled him.

Trent’s Overall Defence

Trent talked about how through his one-on-one counselling and doing the programs at the jail, he had learned better coping mechanism, to not let things build up but to address issues as they arose, to manage his expectations, to negotiate, to express himself and his feelings while listening to and taking into considerations how other people think and feel.

He said he felt his career in construction also led him to the lifestyle choices because the people he worked with drank and did drugs and upon his release, he wanted to go back to school to become an electrician and to be a better father to his daughter. He talked at length about how the Trent that walked into jail and the Trent today were two very different people.

Impaired Driving Causing Death

When they asked him about the impaired driving cause death, he admitted that he had drank 4 to 5 beer and shared a joint with 2 people and just “wasn’t thinking” when he got behind the wheel of the truck. He wanted to go so he left. He said he didn’t consider the safety of others on the road or even if he was ok to drive. He said any negative consequence never occurred to him at all.

He said he was sorry. He didn’t intend to hurt or kill anyone that day. He did set out with that in mind. It just happened.

Our Thoughts

It was tough. It was very emotional. We felt very much on pins and needles. We’ve never felt like Trent fully accepted responsibility for his choices that day. Or that he truly understands the depth of our loss, the nature and ripple effect of his choice; the impact.

We were hopeful at the parole hearing we’d see remorse and devastation and deep sorrow for what he’d done. But we were left high and dry once again. His words fell flat and seemed devoid of emotion and sincerity. It felt like because he believes he didn’t “intend” to kill someone, that it was an accident truly out of his control that he’s sorry for.

It’s pretty clear that he hasn’t accepted that it was his choice to drive impaired that killed a woman. What his intent was or wasn’t is a moot point, the fact of that matter is he murdered a woman. And THAT realization has obviously not happened yet.

Victim Impact Statements

After an hour and a half of questioning, it was time for the victims to have a say. Hubby’s sister got up and addressed the board with her heart wrenching victim impact statement. She talked about how haunted she is and how tortured her family is. How she fears for Trent’s possible retaliation upon his release. How she fears for the likelihood that he will drive impaired and kill someone again. How her children miss and mourn their nanny and how her youngest daughter will only ever know her nanny from a photograph.

There wasn’t a dry eye in the house. Well, except for Trent and his mother who seemed to sit like stone.

Then hubby got up and read his statement. He did so well. He read from his heart, his words and voice filled with emotion. Tears running down his face, he laid his soul out raw for the parole board to see.

Assistant’s Statement

Then it was Trent’s mother’s opportunity to speak.

Sitting in a pink blazer wearing pink, lace Madonna gloves, she talked about how sorry she was for the Kennie family but how we “need to understand that they aren’t the only victims here” (I believe at this point my jaw dropped).

That her family has suffered greatly as well. That they are victims too. That since Trent has been in jail, her husband has suffered heart problems from the stress of it and that they “have no one to help with yard work” (NO JOKE – her words!).

She talked about how they are a Christian family and that she has never seen a beer in Trent’s hand, let alone him do drugs.

WAIT….it gets better!

And in regards to the assaults and violence against women…”well…you know how girls are today?!?!…..after break-ups, they will lie to get revenge.

WHAT THE F*CK?!?!?!

I near fell off my chair.

I wanted to leap over every chair and every person and bitch slap this woman upside the head.

I really did. It took every ounce of self-control not to.

I was stunned. The show of total and blatant disregard for our family’s suffering at the hands of her son, the total and complete egotism and self-centeredness, coupled with the derogatory comment about “girls today….”?! It was nearly too much to handle…

Are you for real lady?!?!?!

It became crystal clear in a matter of seconds. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Her complete and utter lack of empathy and sensitivity not to mention the will for her son to take responsibility and accountability for his choices and decisions made it clear where Trent learned his lessons.

How sad is that?

Hubby felt like if anything, Trent’s mother put the nail in his parole possibility coffin. Who would release him to that?!??!

Trent’s Final Words

So after that lovely display of ineptitude, Trent got to have the last word. He talked about how he felt he had changed, that he would not re-offend, he had “earned” his parole, and that he was sorry hitting and killing Donna.

I never set out with the intention to hurt anyone…

Ahhh yes Trent. We know you didn’t mean to kill her. We know you didn’t intend to kill her. But ya did buddy….ya did!

Adjournment and Decision

We adjourned for about 10 minutes.

When we came back, one board member addressed Trent and said that they felt like he hadn’t accepted responsibility for his actions, that he was still very much centred and focused on himself. I am paraphrasing here but it went something like:

You never once talked about your victims. The women you assaulted or the family sitting here today and how your choices and decisions have affected and hurt them, you never mentioned them or talked about an understanding of what you’ve put them through. You are still focused only on you, you, you.

They told him they felt he had a high chance of re-offending and that he had a lot more work to do before he was ready for society!

The parole board came back with a big red DENIED stamp; for all 3 types of parole.

Uncle John started to clap. Hubby and I were fist pumping. We got hushed pretty heavily. Perhaps a bit insensitive but after that Shit Show, we couldn’t help it.

What Happens Now

So what happens to Trent now? Does he serve the remainder of his 3-year sentence? NO!

NO!??! No!

The parole board representative told us that he “could” reapply for parole but it’s unlikely. She said that there’d essentially have to be a second coming of Christ for him to get approval. Once denied, they usually don’t re-apply. Also, by the time he’d complete a few more programs and be ready to apply, he’d likely be close to his statutory release date.

STATUTORY RELEASE?!?!?!

Yes, you read that right.

In Canada, by law, most federal inmates are automatically released after serving 2/3rds of their sentence if they have not already been released on parole. This is called statutory release. It’s not the same as parole because the decision for release is not made by the Parole Board of Canada (PBC) however the PBC can impose conditions and restrictions to the release (curfew, halfway house etc). Although offenders serving life or indeterminate sentences are not eligible for statutory release.

Nice, eh?!

Now you’ll know in Canada when you hear someone sentenced to anything that is 2 years plus a day (meaning a federal jail sentence) the likelihood is they will never actually serve the full sentence in jail since they can apply for parole after serving 1/3rd and if not granted, are released after serving 2/3rds.

Trent’s Statutory Release date is April 14, 2013.

Which will be mine and hubby’s 3-year wedding anniversary. How quaint. Luckily, we will be in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic to celebrate and won’t let Trent ruin our day.

What Are We Left With?

Quite frankly, impaired driving causing death sentencing in Canada is inadequate to begin with. A sentence of 3 years for driving drunk and killing Mamma K and injuring the Dude will never be “enough” in our hearts. He should be serving a life sentence. Period.

That being said, it is what it is right now. And our family rests a little easier knowing that the man who killed Mamma K will at least serve the maximum amount of time that he could have.

We can live with that.

Going forward….we continue to mourn, heal and honor Mamma K. We keep fighting the good fight for stiffer penalties and more awareness and prevention. Ultimately, our dream is that someday we won’t need any of it because impaired driving will be eradicated entirely. It’s good to have a dream!

If you are still reading (God love ya….) thank you – for your support and your encouragement.

What do you think about offenders’ ability to apply for parole after only service 1/3rd of their sentence? What do you think about statutory release after serving only 2/3rd? Do you think our laws/policies should take into greater account the victims of crimes or sway more towards rehabilitation and reintegration of offenders? I’d love to hear your thoughts…

On August 1, 2009, my beautiful mother-in-law’s life was cut tragically short by an impaired driver and my stepson’s life changed forever. In honor of Donna and Jordan Kennie, please don’t drink and drive. Impaired driving is 100% preventable. Think about it.

Support MADD Canada and follow them on Facebook, Twitter (@maddcanada), YouTube, and on the Web.

More blog deliciousness here:

The power of social media blows my mind

Hubby and I with our I Promise Campaign bracelets. We wear em’ loud and proud! Click on the picture to be taken to my post about the campaign with deets on how you can get your uber cool bracelet and support the cause!

The power of social media truly blows my mind. Amber West wrote about using social media for good here and here and it’s not like I didn’t believe her. I know it’s true. But I’ve had the opportunity to experience it in a real and profound way myself as of late.

As you know, this Saturday Hubby and I will be joining thousands of Canadians in the fight to end impaired driving by participating in MADD Canada’s annual Strides for Change walk-a-thon. The 5 km walk supports MADD Canada Chapters and Community Leaders in their efforts to educate and create awareness about the dangers of impaired driving as well as help victims in their community. Uberlicious or WHAT?!

So far, Hubby and I have raised close to $600 (that I know of…there could be more online donations that people didn’t even TELL me about…) A huge amount of that support came from my new-found blogging and writing family. Your generosity and support has been simply outstanding. Most of you I’ve never met face-to-face and yet…you are there week in and week out reading my Friday’s post, sharing an encouraging comment, cheering from the side lines in spirit, ReTweeting my efforts out into the blogosphere and twitterverse…and some even donating your hard-earned cash towards our walk-a-thon. It blows my mind! It leaves me speechless (ok…maybe not quite speechless but you get the drift).

You guys humble me. You honor me. And your support and love touches me deeply. We’ve really become quite a little family, haven’t we?! I had no idea I would achieve this level of friendship and family when I put the pen to this virtual paper nearly two years ago.

All that to say, y’all FREAKING ROCK my world!!! Thank you…each of you…for being YOU because you are truly a blessing in my life and I can’t ever put into words adequately how much you all mean to me. Seriously. Coolest freaking people on the planet!

I can’t WAIT to see what the next year brings…squeee!!!

If you want to donate to Hubby and mine’s Strides for Change walk-a-thon, there’s still time (no pressure!!!!)

  1. If you are located in either Fredericton or Saint John, NB, fire me an email (Natalie at nataliehartford dot com) and I’ll make arrangements to pick up your pledge.
  2. You can send us a pledge via an email money transfer (if bank supports that option) to my email Natalie at nataliehartford dot com.
  3. Email me your intentions and follow-up with a cheque via snail mail (yip, there’s still such a thing). I can cover your cash for Saturday knowing the cheque’s on its way.
  4. Make an online donation via MADD Canada’s secure website here and put Hartford in the “I want to make a donation in support of the following Strides for Change participant” box. Be sure to send me an email and let me know you’ve made a donation because MADD Canada won’t be able to tell me donation amounts submitted this way until after the walk.

And if a financial pledge isn’t your thing that is totally cool. Seriously. Just knowing you guys are behind me every step of the way makes all the difference in the world!

Oh and one more thing (God help me)…stay tuned for Monday’s post. It’s that time of the month again…no…not Aunt Flo…but something equally as distressing (just teasing Hubby). It’s HUBBY’S CORNER time and he’s delving into some of our marital bliss fun. You won’t want to miss it!

How has social media and/or blogging changed your world? What positive experiences have touched you? I’d love to hear…

On August 1, 2009, my beautiful mother-in-law’s life was cut tragically short by an impaired driver and my stepson’s life changed forever. In honor of Donna and Jordan Kennie, please don’t drink and drive. Impaired driving is 100% preventable. Think about it.

Support MADD Canada and follow them on Facebook, Twitter (@maddcanada), YouTube, and on the Web.

More blog deliciousness here:

Remote control fun for the pool

Ok, so I don’t own a pool or a hot tub but man…when I saw the remote control and snack float all I could think is THAT would be perfect for my “someday” pool parties!!!

I can picture it now….hubby loading drinks and there I can be, sunning myself, relaxing pool side while at the SAME time being the world’s best pool party hostess delivering refreshments to my guests from the comfort of my lounger.

This bad boy will let me send 5 floating deliciously divine drinks AND some munchies around the water via remote control. With a simple push of the button, my guests can let their cares drift away maxin’ and relaxin’ in the pool and when the remote control snack float sputters by, they can take their refill and leave their empty aboard.

Talk about the hostess with the mostest!

And…imagine the fun I can have bringing drinks within inches of their grasping little hands only to whisk them away. Squeeee…gotta keep guests on their toes!

The cost of this floating fabulousness is about $75.99 US (plus shipping) and is a must have for anyone planning a pool party this summer. At least until the R2D2 drink waiter gets created.

What pool gadgets catch your attention? Think you’d enjoy this remote control bad boy?

It’s Twisted Tuesday and that means it’s time to enjoy a smile, giggle or laugh…here’s hoping I’ve provided it in spades…enjoy!

More blog deliciousness here:

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