A Valentine's Day Breakup with Winter

It's Valentine's Day, and here in Canada's Niagara Region, a frosty breath away from Buffalo, New York, we are once again getting pounded with snow. Another six inches on the ground this morning, and more to come. Tomorrow's not looking much better, with the temperature set to struggle to get to -19C. Monday's looking like a wash as well. So, I'm celebrating a somewhat snow-bound Valentine's Day (no posh dinner for us, unless we make it!) and our Family Day by sharing this blog post with you....more

The Best (and Worst!) Christmas Songs

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, and with just under two weeks until the Jolly Old Elf arrives, it's really beginning to sound like it, too.It's at this point in the year that I really begin to enjoy Christmas music (for the most part, anyway), and love hearing the strains of O Holy Night or Bono belting out "well, tonight thank God it's them, instead of you" from my iPod or the all-Christmas station several times a day....more

Black Friday Shopping? Don't Leave Home Without (Reading) This

So, it's Black Friday week.It used to be a day -- Black Friday, so-named because American shoppers spent so much money Christmas shopping the day after Thanksgiving that companies literally went from being in the red for the year to being in the black in a single day. But now it's an entire week. Oh, heck, you know the story. Some stores get the jump on things, and offer Black Friday sales a week or so early. So I guess that makes it Black Friday Fortnight....more

Why Did No-one Protect Rehtaeh Parsons?

This is an updated version of a blog post I submitted to Huffington Post in April, 2013, in the wake of Rehtaeh Parsons' suicide.  Yes, I know I should not say her name, as it is covered by a publication ban her parents say prohibit them from sharing her story, but #RehtaehParsonsIsHerName. #EveryoneKnowsHerName.  #RememberHerName....more
IsoldeAvezaAllaire Hi there - sorry, I guess the sarcasm didn't come through. There is not an ...more

Celebrating World Teachers' Day by Remembering a Remarkable Woman

This is a reprint of an obituary I wrote for my former gymastics coach, Lenke Szathmary, after she passed away 18 months ago. I thought it would be appropriate to share it in time for World Teachers' Day, which is celebrated annually on October 5. ...more

Janay Rice Can Do What She Wants - But Here's Why She Shouldn't

At the risk of sounding glib, I really don't care what Janay Rice does in the wake of the disturbing video of her (then-fiance) Ray Rice cold-cocking her in an elevator in Atlantic City earlier this year....more

Under Pressure: How to Raise Resilient Kids Who Handle Pressure Like Pros

So, that’s it. Pretty much anywhere you are in the northern hemisphere, kids are back in school. It’s always a shock to the system when you return to the chores of lunches to pack, homework to oversee and the myriad of activities that begin anew.While we get caught up in the pressure of our day-to-day doldrums, we forget that our kids are often under pressure as well.The adults in their lives expect them do as they’re told and do well in school....more
That's great! Often kids find it overwhelming to shut down at the end of the day, and exercises ...more

Would You Give Your Spouse a Hall Pass?

So I had the house to myself tonight, and although I could have done many things, I found myself over on the Huffington Post reading about the failed ALS Ice Bucket Challenges and Sarah Jessica Parker's participation in her friend's weekend wedding, when this story of a cheating suburban mom caught my eye. ...more
OlderAndWiser Well, how did it all go? I hope you do come back and share your experience.more

Why I Drove My 16-Year-Old Halfway Across Canada

When I was 15, my parents took me "back home" to Scotland.The quotes are for emphasis. I was not born there, my brother was. But I grew up hearing Scotland referred to as "back home," and often (and still, sometimes) forget that I am the family's one and only Maple Leaf baby.As 15-year-olds are wont to do with new and exciting locations, I promptly fell in love. I wanted to leave behind my boring life and boring school and create myself anew. My parents, of course, were having none of that. I would return home, resume school and continue the life they had imagined for me....more

Vacation - Planning the Summer Getaway that Fits Your Family's Style and Budget

 Last summer, I wrote a blog for Huffington Post  about the perils of planning a family vacation, particularly in a year when money is an object and you’re dealing with varying wants and needs. We opted for a staycation, which is great if the weather co-operates and you can hit the beach or a pool every day (as it did). ...more