Monday, September 28, 2020

Keep the courage, Ronell!

"My cousin, my hero" is another heading that could aptly title this post. Back in February, I spoke about my cousin Ronell and how much he suffered after he was diagnosed with bacterial meningitis. He was critically ill and on life support for almost a week. I don't think I've ever prayed so much or so earnestly for anything or anyone in my life. 

Thankfully, by God's Glorious Grace, he regained consciousness with his beautiful spirit and energetic personality intact. However, there were multiple complications: septicemia and multiple organ failure; his heart, lung, kidney and  liver have all suffered. He had to learn to move his hands and fingers again to do basic tasks like feeding himself.


Vasopressors and purpura fulminans have caused severe damage to his legs, feet, hands, fingers and toes. He is currently undergoing daily wound care and limb salvation treatment while still continuing to pursue his PhD! Despite vigorous wound care and multiple surgeries, doctors were forced to amputate several fingers and half of both feet leaving him unable to walk.


Ronell is a brother to me. He has been there for me and my family through our celebrations and harder times. We grew up together. He is the life of the party wherever he goes, has so many friends and is such a strong spirit and soul. He is a dancer and a musician with a love of singing and playing the tabla (twin hand drums). To say this is life-altering is really putting it lightly. 


But despite all of this, my cousin is the bravest person I know. Ronell was my light in this Covid tunnel, always making me and my family laugh in some dark times. He wrote this beautiful message telling the family about his amputations on our family whatsapp group (after the fact, as he didn't want us all to worry through his surgeries) but telling us all thank you for our support and not to worry about him, that he will be fine and  he is grateful to the great architect of this universe to be alive and blessed. In fact, when we spoke after I found out about his amputation, I was tearful and he comforted me. 


So I've never this on my blogging platform, but his university has set up a GoFund me page, to  aid in his recovery and re-institute his independent mobility. He has so many ongoing health care costs and prosthetics are very expensive. People have donated as little at $10 or as much as $1100. Every little bit helps and I would be so grateful to anyone who gives anything. You can donate here.

Thank you so much, friends and family. And my cousin, my brother, my hero, we are here for and with you on this road to recovery. Love you, Ronell. 


Friday, September 25, 2020

Friday Favourites- fully loaded

Happy Friday! This has been the first week of school and extracurricular for us so we are ready for some weekending. Mama and babes (and always dad) are ready for some R&R. 

Summer is officially gone. Like with everyone else this summer has been a different ones but so many different things have brought joy to us.... listed below in no particular order!

1- After many frogs, we found our ideal patio set. We sat on many, many different sets and looked at many different sources. My problem is that for the aesthetic we are looking for, wicker didn't fit into the look and feel we are going for in our back yard. This mid century modern one fit the bill. 

Forgive the not too expert pictures.

2- After many fitbit years, I converted to the Apple Watch and never looked back. I think it's a more accurate representation of overall fitness vs just steps. And I love looking at how many miles/km we walk. 

3- Speaking of walks, we've never done so many walks as a family. In our hood, using Alltrails, and exploring different neighbourhoods and trails. 

C is getting so big! She looks like me in this pic.

4- Looking for a small to mid size dog and can't find one so the kids became obsessed with getting a hamster instead. Hello Mochi... she has been a welcome addition to our family - hamster bedding everywhere and all. And yeah, D is still out numbered. Shout out to C who did all the research and budgeting before and is the primary caregiver. Honourable mention to A who is obsessed with her!!!

Yep, she is on my head

5- And finally yay for home grown and locally grown food. We have enjoyed the spoils of our garden this summer. Our plethora of tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, yellow beans, Swiss chard, kale, strawberries and herbs brought us so much joy! The watermelon, blueberries, canteloupe, pumpkin, snow peas and squash... not so much. It's a learning process for sure and we can't wait to try again next year :-)

Have a wonderful weekend, loves!!

Linking up with Andrea. 

Friday, September 18, 2020

First Day of School after what seemed like the longest six months in the world ;)

We are back at it!! For now at least.... who knows what this year will bring? 

We decided to send our kids back to school in person. No one in our region that I've spoken to made the choice to do online learning as our numbers are cautiously low.... things (like everywhere else ) will look very different this year though.

We usually do a back to school dinner out but instead, we did takeout and salads and sat in the back-yard (at this point, my kids are like "Mom, enough with the salad!"). 

They chose pyrogies 

Lunches all packed (the night before as usual)

We have a sixth-grader!!!

I didn't get my kids new backpacks this year as ours were in pretty good shape... also, they barely mentioned it. 

Look at this little lady!

Their homeschool teacher had to step in for the obligatory shot! LOL

I didn't take pics of my kids with their masks like most people did. Also, I didn't take pics at the school but it reminded me of a movie. So serious, quiet and morose... none of the excitement that usually accompanies the first morning.

We always take some time to grab breakfast together after we drop them off but not this year. Breakfast sandwiches for the win! 

The kids are there three days this week and then five days begin from next week. It's so different but they are cheerful. A is in a 3/4 split with only a very few grade 3's- same as C was and she can only play with people in her class. It will be some learning and personal growth for sure! C who is Ms. Leadership doesn't have extracurricular within. It's not the most ideal last year of elementary but we are happy to be back at it! Praying for safety, abundant learning, growth and a whole lot of fun in this school year.

Monday, September 14, 2020

Not Just a Mom- Skin Care Routine

Yay for Monday! Especially when it's the first day of school. Like everyone else, we are a mixed bag of emotions.... but more about that on my first day of school post in several days.

 On the Not Just a Mom linkup that I cohost with AdrienneLaurenAshley and Dara, we are talking skin and makeup tips today.... I'm all about skin and makeup but haven't done one of these posts in a while.

Here are a few of my favourite skin care tips as makeup is its own separate post:

1- I wash my face first thing the morning when I shower and right before bed. I like a foaming face wash that's not too harsh as my skin is getting drier as I age. Consonant is my favourite and I usually look for a sale and then buy in bulk.

2- I use a combination of exfoliant (AHA/BHA) and anti ageing serums/creams (Vitamin C&E) before I put on sunscreen during the day. The Skin Medica line from medical spas is one of my favourites but I've also switched it up with the Ordinary line for a budget-friendly solution. 

3- I recently started on a little resveratrol as well to brighten my complexion.
1 oz/ 30 mL
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4- I take a break in the summer, but I also use a retinol at night.

5- I follow that with a moisturizer especially in the winter time.

6- I've also been loving face oils recently.

7- Because of all these exfoliants, I use a moisturizer with sunscreen every single day that I'm getting sun exposure. Origins is a favourite as it is also very moisturising                                

8- I also follow up most times with Jane Iredale Pure Pressed Foundation Powder with an SPF as well to increase sun protection and to even my skin tone out. It's been many, many years that I've been using it!  You can really build your coverage or just use a very light sweep. 

9- I use an eye cream as well whenever I remember :-).

10- Water is my love language. So much so I wake up way too many times at night to use the bathroom but that's another story!!

There you have it? What are your favourite skin care tips?

Have a magical Monday, friends!!! 

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Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Books Lately

Happy September!! Usually it would be the first week of school.... as with everything in 2020. not this time around though! Ah well...

My library card has been overused these past few months. Here are just a few of the books I've been reading this summer

In Five Years: A Novel by [Rebecca Serle]

In Five Years - Rebecca Serle

She is nothing like her lifelong best friend—the wild, whimsical, believes-in-fate Bella. Her meticulous planning seems to have paid off after she nails the most important job interview of her career and accepts her boyfriend’s marriage proposal in one fell swoop, falling asleep completely content.

But when she awakens, she’s suddenly in a different apartment, with a different ring on her finger, and beside a very different man. Dannie spends one hour exactly five years in the future before she wakes again in her own home on the brink of midnight—but it is one hour she cannot shake. In Five Years is an unforgettable love story, but it is not the one you’re expecting.

What would you do if you get a glimpse five years into the future and see a totally different life from the one you have right now. Another masterful read by the very talented Rebecca Serle. I loved this beautifully written, poignant book and devoured it in a couple sittings in less than twenty four hours.

28 Summers by [Elin Hilderbrand]

28 Summers- Elin Hilderbrand

Based on the classic film Same Time Next Year (which Mallory and Jake watch every summer), 28 Summers explores the agony and romance of a one-weekend-per-year affair and the dramatic ways this relationship complicates and enriches their lives, and the lives of the people they love.

I read Elin's books every summer and have bought most of them as I reread them. This was well written and though I had problems with the books premise if it were  to be my life, it was another poignant captivating read. I did find myself thinking that Jake was a bit weak though and wanted as my grandmother would say " to have his cake and eat it too."

The Tattooist of Auschwitz: A Novel by [Heather Morris]

This beautiful, illuminating tale of hope and courage is based on interviews that were conducted with Holocaust survivor and Auschwitz-Birkenau tattooist Ludwig (Lale) Sokolov—an unforgettable love story in the midst of atrocity.

This might be my favourite book of the entire year. Lale and Gita's story was so exquisitely written. It was a very hard read for me-- more graphic than what I'd ideally like but the beauty of the human spirit stood out. This book has touched my soul. 

The Trouble with Hating You by [Sajni Patel]

Liya Thakkar is a successful biochemical engineer, takeout enthusiast, and happily single woman. The moment she realizes her parents' latest dinner party is a setup with the man they want her to marry, she's out the back door in a flash. Imagine her surprise when the same guy shows up at her office a week later -- the new lawyer hired to save her struggling company. What's not surprising: he's not too thrilled to see her either after that humiliating fiasco.
Jay Shah looks good on paper...and off. Especially if you like that whole gorgeous, charming lawyer-in-a-good-suit thing. He's also infuriating. As their witty office banter turns into late-night chats, Liya starts to think he might be the one man who truly accepts her. But falling for each other means exposing their painful pasts. Will Liya keep running, or will she finally give love a real chance?

This was the first Indo chick lit that I've read. It was a long read--- sometimes too long and dragged on a bit. It was cute but lacking. I found Liya annoying and antagonistic but I did identify with some of the dynamics within the Indian family and temple settings. There were some good parts for sure, some shocking ones as well and some beautiful little bits. 

My Oxford Year: A Novel

This passed the time just fine. It was a cute fun read that all of a sudden got pretty serious with a life threatening disease for one of the main characters and that's when I got more sucked in. I would have loved this book in my twenties and I could see why it is such a hit. Cute and an engrossing read but with some issues. 

What have you been reading lately?

                                                       Linking up with Steph for Show Us Your Books.

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