Wednesday, August 31, 2011


My mom ,Vanna, and I embarked on an adventure to the beautiful city of Vancouver thanks to my business partrner Brett Wilson for hooking us up with The Power of Women Conference tickets.  It was such an amazing chance for us to get away together. 

The balcony of our hotel. 

The view of the city. 
I guess no matter how old your child is you are still always parenting.  My mom literary would not let me go out there. 
And yes I did listen to her.  I kept one foot in the room. 
I told my Mom, "Do not turn around."  She is afraid of birds and one was living in the window behind her. 
The hotel staff sent us down the street to Vancouver's best Greek restaurant where there was usually a line up but we were eating lunch at 3.  The food was great and reasonable to say the least.  We do get our share of amazing Greek in Swift Current so it was kind of odd for us to go to another Greek restaurant.  Felt a little like I was cheating. 
Vegtable lasagna. 
The name of the restaurant was Stepho's. 
We strolled down the street and came to this interesting group of statues! 
Vanna and I did some laughter therapy. 
He was so Happy about Snappy Socks! 

An interesting place for a tree. 
We were brave and got wet. 
The bravery ended in a showdown between Vanna and a bird.  The bird won. 
I felt like this was the first time I really breathed in the last month.  I could have stayed there all day. 
Serenity Now!

These beautiful flowers were just growing outside an appartment!
My wild and crazy travelling companion. 
Our hotel was on Davies Street.  It was one of the most colorful and interesting places I have ever been.  We had so much fun exploring.  We worried about going out after dark and some locals told us, "You are as safe as in your Mother's womb in this neighborhood!"
The line at Stepho's later for supper. 
We went to a fun little pub. 
My mom ironing my dress for the conference!  Thanks Mom!
The hotel was so funky. 
The kids would have had a blast playing guess which elevator is coming. 
Even the lamps had style. 
Next I will share with you all pictures from the Conference!

Have a great Day!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Kindergarden Cry Fest

Today is the first day of school.  Are you sending someone on the bus for the first time?  Is your baby starting Grade One and you are having anxiety over them being gone everyday?  Middle School, High School or even dropping them off at Residence at University.  No matter what the age the first day of school can cause a few tears!

You are not alone.  If you know someone who is sad today please share this with them.  I would love to hear from you. 

First Day of Kindergarten

Everyone has a first day
When they feel sad and all alone
It can be scary
when you are on your own
And I know that a first day
Can be full of doubts and fears
But they are full of new beginnings
Take my hankie, dry your tears

You'll find lots of things to do
And you'll probably make new friends
I promise we'll be together
When the school day ends

Here comes the teacher
Blow your nose and be brave
Come on now and wipe your eyes
This is no way to behave

Well, Good Morning, Teacher
We really do beg your pardon
No, Mommy doesn't always act this way
But it's my first day of Kindergarten!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Happy Birthday Kelsey and Goodbye Summer Holidays.

Friday at suppertime, I found myself at the table with four hungry kids eating Taco Time (we had already visited The Modern, Tim Hortons, McDonalds and Subway all in one day.  That's what happens when Dad is golfing and Mom is exhausted).  It was our last day of summer holidays when I was manning the fort alone and my strength was dwindling.  With a giant bite of beef burrito in my mouth and a fistful of mexi fries, I looked at Ellie who was completely naked at the table and the other three kids were fighting.  The kids asked me, "Mom are you laughing or crying?"  Even I wasn't sure.  All I  know was that I was trying my hardest not to spit beef burrito out my nose, there were tears coming out of my eyes and I was also laughing.  Yes the end of Summer Holidays Mental Breakdown.

It had been a lonnnnnng day.  Pat and I had a fantastic time the night before accompanying our neighbors to the Lyric Improv Night where we drank wine and laughed and laughed.  It was worth it but 6:00 came very early as we woke for the traditional birthday breakfast at The Modern Restaurant!  

 Earlier...... (7 am to be exact)  We arrived at the Modern before the doors even opened which gave us time to phone Magic 97 for the birthday of the day.  It's just not the same when Ryan's not at work but we gave K-Rok a shout out over the airwaves just the same.

Here is the eager birthday boy.  Future Innovation Credit Union employee.  All he needs is a briefcase and then he would be Alex P Keaton.  8 years old and following in his Dad's footsteps. 
 What's the hold up people?
 Oh a photo op before going in.  Either they are saying Kelsey is 8 years old or this is the new Swift Current Gang sign. 
 The other three kids picked sleeping over breakfast.  You snooze you loose!
 Carson "reading" the menu like his big brother. 
 Who needs a Happy Meal with a toy or a playland?  We make our own fun!

 Love our waitress! 
 Make a wish. 
 Now normal people send out invitations a week before, make plans, buy cakes and balloons and goddie bags.  Not me.  We called everyone at 10 and said Party at 1 be there!  Then I quickly cleared a path through the house and baked a cake.  I was going to make it from scratch but the chocolate pancake bandit used all the cocoa in the house.  This is a cake from a mix and a super Yummy Brown Sugar icing from the Breast Friends Cookbook. 
 After slip sliding, baseball and jumping on the trampoline (which resulted in one bloody nose) we were ready for the cake. 
 And back outside for more baseball. 
 Olivia made her brother the sweetest birthday card and gave him 8 coupons for him to use that would make her "Go Away".  They were not valid in her room she added. 
 So I thought I was doing pretty good.  I kept it together, organized a birthday party, cleaned the house, and even organized things for my Snappy Sock tradeshow for Monday.  I went to the green space for the last hour of the party to watch the kids play ball.  I was ready to give myself a gold star for parenting when the neighbor girls came over.  I thought they were coming to join the baseball game.  They said to me, "Excuse me Corla, is your dog supposed to be on the roof?" 

WHAT???  We have just moved our bed to under the window after we got our new flooring and I guess Daphne wanted to know what we were doing in the green space.  So she walked out the window and was watching us from the roof. 
 Either that or she was sending me a message.  Don't worry Daph they are going back to school on Monday.  I guess we have to get the screens back on the windows after the renovations! 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Dragons' Den Update

Our show is rerunning tonight across Canada.  It is fun to watch the stats on my site as it first airs in the maritimes so we have had a lot of visitors from those provinces in the last hour.  When our show originally aired in February we did not have our product to sell.  This time and when they air our update in the new season we are ready to ship socks across Canada!

 People really want to know how things are going since the show aired.  We had to keep the fact that we got a deal quiet until February so it was such a relief to finally be able to talk about the fact that YES we got a deal with Saskatchewan's own, the lead deal making Dragon, W. Brett Wilson.  Originally Arlene Dickinson agreed to be a partner in Snappy Socks and I was so pleased to have her support but after long discussions with her on the phone we both decided I would be better served with just one partner, keeping 75% of my business and Brett had better connections in the area of manufacturing.  So the Monday before our show aired $25,000.00 was wired into our account and we were official partners.  You can follow us: Snappy Socks on Facebook

It has been an amazing adventure and Brett has not just invested time in our company he has invested in us.  He welcomes comments and questions, he likes to be involved in things like a product launch and is always ready to tweet to 27 000+ followers what you are up to.  He has had us to his home for a charity event, to the Premier's Dinner, he sent my me and my mom to a Power of Women Conference in Vancouver with speakers like Ellen DeGeneres and Suzanne Somers where Brett sweet talked someone into letting us put together Swag Boxes for the speakers.

 The whole experience from start to finish has been wonderful from the amazing producers who came to Saskatoon for our audition, to the staff in Toronto who made us feel right at home, the taping itself was fun and exciting and the follow up crew and Producer Molly made taping the update lots of fun.

We are stores all across Canada and planning our trade show itinerary to places like Saskatoon, Toronto, New York and Vegas.  We are listed on Todays' Parent Magazine as one of the top Canadian Mompreneurs.  All of this I couldn't have done without my rep Karen who is such a great cheer leader, hard worker and jill of all trades.  Our next adventure is going to be to accompany Brett and a group of volunteers to Mexico to build homes through an organization called Homes for Hope

We went to Toronto hoping for someone to invest in our business idea but left with Brett as our partner and he has certainly lived up to his nickname, "A Dragon with a heart!"  I know he will be missed on the show this year but we are very excited for his new show,  "Risky Business" Which premiers on Slice on Sept. 12.  Follow on Risky Business Facebook 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Summer is Slip Sliding away!

This weekend the weather was beautiful!  And what do you do with restless kids on a sunny Sunday?  Let them slip and slide.  This bad boy was on sale for the end of the season and like most things at the Circus House it was used, enjoyed, and destroyed.  Pat nearly had a coronary trying to get the T rex to stand up straight and finally improvised a brilliant "Dadgyver" solution of bochee balls in a garbage bag. 

Our next door neighbor asked what was wrong with the hose and some plastic but what fun would that be?  Pat wanted to make sure the kids had a fun fabulous summer day.  Mission Accomplished.

I positioned myself just out of reach of the water and played around with action shots.  This is a great way to try out action shots of your own.  With the action coming towards you there will be less blur.
 Ellie made it quite easy for me on this one crawling down the slip and slide. 
 Olivia goes full force, while Dad sits in the background and enjoys watching the kids play.  Most of these shots were taken at an ISO of 800 the shutter speed was 1/1000.  This is a fast shutter speed which is what makes the drops of water so crisp and clear.  Because the shutter opens and closes so quickly, not letting as much light in you have to go to a higher or more light sensitive ISO and/or a smaller aperture setting.  These are 2.8-4.5 .  That is why Pat is so out of focus in the background. 
 Fearless Kels. In photoshop you can create your own actions.  I have an action that sharpens and slightly lightens the center of the image and then slightly darkens and blurs the outside of the image.  This brings focus into the subject.  It is a type of vignette.  You should really, really try to avoid a heavy black or white vignette on your image.  I always make a separate action for a horizontal or vertical image. 
Here is the original SOOC (straight out of the camera).  I punched the color up by making a new layer and then changing the blending mode from "Normal" to "Soft Light".  Then of the soft light layer I lowered the opacity way down to 20%.  All of these things you can create as an action for yourself to save you time if you do the same thing over and over to your pictures.  Then you can do a large number of step quickly to one image or to a whole folder.  Like when I put my name on the bottom corner. 
 Dad decided Ellie was too slow and needed his help. 
 She wasn't a fan of the sped up version of the slide. 
 That's it I quit. 
 The goal is to wear them out so they are in bed before us but the more times they ran the farther they went!
 Eventually clearing the entire thing and ending up skidding on the grass. 
 Our neighborhood daredevil that just happened to be biking by.  You didn't have to ask him twice to join in!
It was the best money we have spent in a long time!  The kids had 2 full days of fun and exercise, the grass got watered and they even cleaned it all up!  Thanks Dad!