Thursday, September 29, 2016

Build a Better Smoothie

We are now well into Thomas' adventure in Kindergarten and even though I did morning radio for years, I am finding some days tough!  We all have to shower, eat, get ready and go! This week I decided to simplify our morning routine by making smoothies.  Is it just me or can smoothies be intimidating? Some recipes are filled with seeds and powders and nuts and things I've never even heard of!  Why does it have to be so complicated? Oh wait! It doesn't!
I've been using Vega One powder for years. 
It's vegan, gluten-free and contains 20 grams of protein! Honestly, you could just mix this with some Silk Almond Milk and you'd be good to go! The almond milk I used in this smoothie this morning has as much calcium as dairy milk (without the scary casein etc!) and is packed with Vitamin D. I am very conscious about Vitamin D as it's known to help ward off colds and give you a little boost during those dull winter months.  Our family also loves the Silk Cashew milk, not only for smoothies but in our coffee, cereal and more. 
All the ingredients in the first photo I found at IGA. Simple, easy and a super healthy start to the day. I also turn to a smoothie for a mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack. 
The smoothie I am sipping on as I write this has blueberries, banana, coconut milk (full fat from a can for a little extra boost), Silk Almond Milk and Vega One in French Vanilla. I just throw it in a blender, no measurements required! Remember, this is all about quick, easy and healthy. 
I hope this post encourages you to try throwing some ingredients in your blender on your way out the door. It takes no time at all and will give you and your family a much better start to the day then a trip through the drive-thru. 
Yesterday I posted a video that corresponds to this post (total coincidence!). 
(Silk and Vega graciously sent me these products to try, but honestly I haven't even opened the ones they sent because I buy them myself regularly!) 

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Wise Word Wednesday

Thursday, September 22, 2016

A Letter to Parents

As Thomas continues to be a rockstar settling into Kindergarten, I thought I would share something Jeremy and I will be sending to the parents of his classmates.  I wanted to share in case you also have a child with special needs.  It can be difficult for adults to understand our little guy, let alone five year olds! 
We wanted to tell you a bit about our son Thomas, because you probably have have a question or two! Also, we thought it might help when your children are wondering about him.  His dad Jeremy will be coming in answering any questions one day soon as well.  Thomas is a very happy 5 year old who loves snack time, the playground, Elmo, going on van rides and coming to school. 

When Thomas was born he failed the newborn hearing screening test and by 4 months he had his first hearing aids. Over the next 2 years his hearing got progressively worse until he was legally deaf. This is when he had cochlear implant surgery at Children's Hospital in Vancouver to restore as much of his hearing as possible. He now wears a cochlear implant on his left ear and a hearing aid on his right. We like to explain that Thomas needs these two pieces of equipment to hear, just like other people need glasses to see. 

Thomas doesn't talk but it isn't because of his hearing loss; it's because he is also on the autism spectrum. We found this out when he was 3 1/2 and for the past two years he has been working with the wonderful folks at the OSNS Child & Youth Development Centre.

Thomas is usually very chill but can get loud and flap his arms when he is excited. If you see him doing this, don't worry, he's fine...he's just really excited!!  You may think that autistic children get aggressive and violent, but not Thomas.  While he doesn't talk and lacks a lot of social skills, he will gladly sit next to other kids in class or play on the playground.  He has a full time Education Assistant in the classroom but will no doubt disrupt class from time to time. We ask that you be patient with Thomas and we're sure you'll become very fond of him. It sure seems like the other kids in class have! 

We wanted to share this with you so that you got some insight into what makes our wonderful son Thomas tick. If you ever have a question, please ask. We're always happy to talk.

Jeremy and Mare

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Wise Word Wednesday

This quote is starting to become a running theme in so many conversations I've been having.  I actually did a whole video on this answering a question from a subscriber who was having a tough time with this very thing:
oxo Mare 

Thursday, September 15, 2016


Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Wise Word Wednesday

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Jer Reads: Jim Gaffigan

If you are caught up on Vlogust 2016, then you will know my husband Jeremy quit his successful career in radio to join me and work from home on Redhead Mare Media. I've been asking what posts and videos you would like to see from Jer and the most requested topic is Jer Reads. So, welcome to the first one:
oxox Mare

My favourite standup comedian is Jim Gaffigan, so when I found out that he released a book called Dad Is Fat, I was as happy as Jim eating fries at McDonald's:

I don't have a problem with swearing (butt, hell, crap) but one thing I love about him is his comedy isn't vulgar. It's easy to drop F bombs but it's much harder to be funny and clean. Here is a great example from Dad Is Fat:

"At times, it seems we elected to have our babies at home mostly to make other people feel uncomfortable. I quickly learned that people don't want to hear about home births. Their first reaction always seems to be, 'Oh, you had your baby at home. Yeah, we were going to do that but we wanted our baby to live'."

If you love his standup, you'll love Dad Is Fat

If you've never heard of Jim, don't worry. Do you like food? Do you have kids? Do you like to laugh? Good news, you'll love this book!

P.S. I'll review his second book Food: A Love Story at a later date.
- Jeremy

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Another Year Goes By

 Every month I get multiple messages from people who have found this video and say it's helped them. The purpose of my channel and creating my Mare-athoner community is making sure you know you are not alone. 

I posted this video one year ago today as September 10th is the anniversary of my dad passing away.  I wanted to leave it here today as another year has gone by.   

I hope you too find it helpful and if nothing else, gives you some peace to know it will get better. 
oxox Mare

Friday, September 9, 2016

Healthy #PSL

It's #PSL Season and instead of drinking the Starbucks version with 50 grams of sugar, try this one with just TWO GRAMS of sugar (naturally occurring in pumpkin). 
Find the recipe on Vanessa's website

Thursday, September 8, 2016

New Channel Trailer

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Wise Word Wednesday

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Into a Butterfly

 There was a point when I couldn't ever imagine Thomas attending school and here I sit on the eve of his first day of Kindergarten, writing his name in his new indoor shoes.  

I saw a baby this morning and honestly can't remember T ever being that teeny-tiny! 
(Ok but maybe he wasn't...after all, he was 20 pounds at four months!)  

He has a new shirt.  
He has a sharp haircut.  
He has all the school supplies.  
Tomorrow he begins a new chapter in Kindergarten. 

The above photo is the framed gift we presented to his teachers and aides at the end of preschool in the Spring.  The Very Hungry Caterpillar is one of his all-time favourite books and there was a memorable moment one afternoon in preschool when he tried to take over as the teacher was reading to turn the pages on his favourite tale.  

I realized this is a fabulous metaphor for what his team has done for him in the past few years.  Thomas really has morphed from a caterpillar into a butterfly.  If you aren't familiar with our story, let me catch you up:

After his cochlear implant surgery, Thomas lost so much of his balance that he couldn't walk.  

He stopped making eye contact at about the age of two, even with Jeremy and me. 

 T completely turned inwards into his own world.  

At one point T Bone had a vocab of 50 words. Then he stopped talking. 

I could go on and one about what happened and how our world was rocked to the core as Thomas' hearing loss progressed rapidly and his Autistic traits began to emerge.  

But that's not how I operate.  I don't wallow in the sadness and the battle that has had us literally clawing at anything we could grab on to as we were pulled further and further into an abyss of unknown.  

Instead, I want to tell you about how amazing Thomas is doing and how much his expansive team has done for us.  Jeremy and I always say that no amount of gifts or cards or kind words could ever convey our gratitude. 

To sum it up: we are not at all worried about Thomas as he enters Kindergarten.  Our loving, inquisitive, happy soul is as ready as he will be.  

We are well aware this new chapter will bring with it new stressors and issues.  It will also open his world to new members of the team, many of whom we have already met and they are warmly welcoming our family to the school.

Our little butterfly will be spreading his wings tomorrow.  He may not understand the magnitude of the day, but I sure do.  

My gratitude overflows. 

oxo Mare

Monday, September 5, 2016

Mare's Music Monday

Well this probably comes as no surprise to you, right?  If you watched Vlogust, then you know I went on quite the hunt for this Britney Spears album.  If you missed it, here's the video:
Glory is Britney Spears' ninth studio album debuted at Number 3 when it came out last week.  Now I am a die-hard Britney fan and have been since day one.  But, that being said, I didn't really know what to expect with this release.  I've been listening to Glory now non-stop for a week and can definitely say it's a triumph.  It's a quintessential pop album with light lyrics, sexy beats and that signature Britney sound.  There's even some riffs and aspects that throw back to old school, "Oops I Did It Again" sounds.  Usually when I post Mare's Music Mondays, I single out songs that are my favourites, but this time I'm not going to.  Glory is a well-rounded piece of pop history that I like listening to as a whole.  I don't think any of the songs will be number ones or get major radio play.  I do, however, enjoy this release in its entirety.  You can definitely see me chair dancing while driving my mini van, because that's exactly what I've been doing all week long ;)
oxox Mare

Thursday, September 1, 2016

This Sums It Up

I stumbled across this screen shot while editing a recent video and it struck me as an accurate representation of what August was for me.

Thank you for joining me for the second year of Vlogust.  Vlogging every day and posting a new video every day was so much fun.  It definitely was an action-packed month with lots of trips and changes and even some tears. (I feel like I cry a lot on the internet ;)

If you missed any episodes in Vlogust 2016, you can see the playlist here. (You can also see what I was up to in Vlogust 2015 here.)

This photo represents how I am making a point of looking forward and seeing the endless possibilities. Yes, I realize even as I type this that it seems ridiculously cheesy.  But it's true.  I've become someone who endorses not only being present and in the moment (a daily exercise for me) but also in manifesting some incredible opportunities.  I can't wait to continue to share this journey with you as Jeremy and I blaze a new path together.  

Not only am I looking ahead and being open to the future in this photo, I've got one hand on my camera.  I am hoping, if you will allow me, this is where my hand will continue to be as I grow my channel.  

Here's to the future!

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