Latest Posts

After You: Why to Read Books in Order

Screen Shot 2015-09-28 at 7.23.30 PMI can’t believe it is over. In After You, for pages I followed Louisa’s new reality proceeding after Will’s death. Grief is so different for everyone. Sometimes you turn to destructive behavior to just forget, wear an article of clothing of the departed to try and recall their smell, or you just can’t get out of bed for days. For anyone who has walked the dark days after a loved one is gone, you may relate to her path.

Then, a stranger showed up at her door that changed it all.

Me Before You is where we first met Louisa and Will, as employee and employer. Their story deepened, as did their relationship, through pure joy to utter heartbreak. I was left devastated at the end of Me Before You. Because of that, I was eager to read the long-awaited sequel to find out if Louisa kept her promise to Will.

I won’t giveaway any more spoilers to this exquisite follow-up. I strongly recommend reading Me Before You before this one. You will not regret it.

Both books are available at your favorite bookstore.

Thank you Jojo Moyes for reminding us that there is life After You.

You can find out more about her at:

Or follow her on Twitter: @jojomoyes.

Will I Blog Again?

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This year has been filled with obstacles left, right, and center. From the surgery, the constant medical tests, the diagnosis, the waiting for results, and the persistent worry if history will repeat itself. Did I overstay my welcome here on Earth?

While some drifted away when the tough was going on, I wouldn’t have gotten through it without a few things along the way.

My Village Grew

It felt odd to be reliant on others. Yet, it was necessary. I am so grateful for all the messages, care packages and love and support I received during this challenging time. It helped in ways that I never truly expected.

Never Stopped Writing

I pre-scheduled my blog before school let out. I stayed offline, as recommended by my therapist. I cut the digital noise down. Yet, I still scribbled down random thoughts. I filled up a journal that became one of my lifeboats. I couldn’t seem to formulate thoughts for the next book. I couldn’t find my words to structure a simple blog post. My brain and keyboard weren’t connecting.

Will I?

I stare at my blog on my iPad screen. I used to post and write several times a week without a struggle. As each month passes I drift farther away from my prSAe-diagnosis self, and more toward the new me.

In the meanwhile, how are you?

Happy Reads #amreading

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The Road to Happiness is Always Under Construction.

By Linda Gray.

Growing up I longed for Friday nights. It was the one night my mom would let me stay up late to watch Dallas with her. It was our special time together. Whenever I miss her I pop on a Dallas DVD, and the opening theme song transports me back to those nights with affection.

When the opportunity to review Linda Gray’s book, The Road to Happiness is Always Under Construction, I’ve began it immediately. To celebrate her 75th birthday, Linda shares her tips, life lessons, and personal stories. I never knew what she went through till she became Sue Ellen Ewing. From getting polio as a young kid, to raising her younger sister when her alcoholic mom couldn’t and her emotionally abusive marriage, it’s inspiring as what she has overcome.

Life is about making choices. To be unafraid and authentic. Face your fears, because fear ages you. She keeps a rejection letter from Glamour magazine in 1960 framed on her desk for motivation.

Linda dishes on her lifestyle, career, sex and offers sound mom advice. Her writing style made me feel like she was telling me the stories over a dinner party.

Be sure to always toot your own horn. Never stop being grateful and treat yourself with kindness.

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This is Happy.

By Camilla Gibb

As I’m finding a new path this year, books have become essential for my education. Sure, there are the how-to-books by experts. However, I prefer to learn from those who have lived it.

This is Happy by Camilla Gibb is an honestly raw memoir. She lays her heart among the pages about her childhood that was filled with grief. Camilla uses her powerful writer’s voice as she goes through college, travels, gets married, motherhood and more.

“Our blind spots are of our own making.”

As she fights through her way to build a family of her own, she teaches me there is much power in a notebook and a pen to finding answers within the warm moments of the day.

I Like Being Motherless

Mother Holding Child's HandI can’t move. I came back from serving my girls their breakfast. We are having a great chat when I went to put the milk away. The fridge handle feels hot under my right hand and my left is cold by the half-full milk jug.

I almost forgot what today is. Stunned, I can’t believe it has been 31 years ago today that my mom died. For the first time in all those anniversaries, today is the first time I didn’t wake up crying.

I always hated the term ‘motherless’ ever since I saw Bambi’s mother got shot in the first minutes of the film. It reminds me of what I’ve been missing since I was 10 years old. My childhood ended the day my mom died of breast cancer at 38 years old.

Two weeks after she died, school started. As we walked to class it felt like there was an arrow sign above our heads announcing ‘Motherless Kids Coming Through.’ Kids would stop talking when I would get to my desk, to the library and to play at recess. I felt like a circus act. Friends would corner me in the playground going on and on about how they felt and how they would hate to lose their moms.

Over the next few years were dark, going through the beginning of teenage hood, I always wondered what mom would have told me.

When I got married, being motherless had grown into a thorn in my heart. I also had endometriosis, which meant I couldn’t have conceived naturally. After all the heartbreak, I didn’t want to have kids anyways. My two girls changed that plan.

The minute the doctor confirm my pregnancy, my first, I was wrapped in fear. I didn’t know what else to do to care for my baby, other than the books I devoured. When my first baby arrived the motherless grief return instantly. I had trouble breast-feeding. The baby would cry and cry. I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t hear my mother’s voice anymore.

I became what is known as a helicopter parent before it was a label. I focused every ounce of energy I had for my baby. I am all too aware how painful it is to want your mom.

On the good days, I do not hate being motherless anymore, I am going to do what Bambi did and move forward. But if I had that other life, one with her in it, would have I have met my children, I wonder.

“MOM!!!” My thoughts are interrupted by my seven-year-old beauty is yelling from the kitchen table.

I jumped out of my thoughts and answered, “What is up?” My heart starts beating again. The feeling of my legs and voice returns.

She is looking at me with a look of curiosity in her smile. “Close the fridge. You are wasting energy, remember?” I nod as I close the door with a smile on my face.

I know that my mom was there for me for as long as she could. There is one exemption; I haven’t let my kids see Bambi, yet. All this time I worried about being a mom when the whole time I already had the best mom to model by.

I hug my girls with the familiar arms that I once craved. I will always miss my mom. I didn’t need a parenting book to rely on after all. I have my children’s hugs to remind me of what I can do.

Being motherless does suck and that is okay to say. Motherless may be what got me here now, but it doesn’t define who I am today.

My New Favourite Therapy #MindfulColoring

We are always trying to stay within the lines in life. When I searched for ways to handle stress this year, my therapist recommended to try to do something mindful every day.

When I was sent a copy of Mindfulness Coloring Book, I knew was a great place to begin. The best time of day for me to start was during the evening Netflix time, when snack cravings are high. Time to change that bad habit.

It became very easy to be in the moment while coloring. You don’t focus on anything else except what color to use next. My therapist was right. By filling in the 70 floral, rolling waves, and more designs it really made me lost track of time. All it took was 10 minutes to do that. The feel of the pencil crayon in my hand was very meditative. I personally prefer using watercolour pencil

I’ve begun to slip the small book into my purse and pop it out during long doctor waits or a long grocery line-up. It’s been delightful to say no to the kids if they wanted to help. This is Mommy’s!

Mental Health therapy doesn’t need to be expensive.. You really don’t need to stay in the lines. You have my permission. Enjoy! Get yours today at :

Emma Farrarons is an illustrator and graphic designer. Born in the Philippines, Farrarons grew up in Paris before studying illustration at Edinburgh College of Art and École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs. After completing a textile and printmaking course in Sweden, she developed a particular love for pattern and print, and is inspired by French, Scandinavian, and Japanese design. She illustrates and designs books, posters, and stationery. When she is not drawing and designing, Farrarons enjoys cooking, sewing, traveling, and practicing mindfulness. She lives in London with her Danish husband.

Back to School #LMinspire


As I label my kids’ new school supplies I’m feeling giddy: it means soon I will be attending Leading Moms on September 25. For the past few years I have watched the tweets fly through my timeline. I feel like I am going back to school myself.

Why should you go?

  1. Easy to get to venue. This year it’s at Science World, just off of the Sky Train.
  2. Complementary childcare is available for a limited time.
  3. All-Star speaker lineup.
  4. A chance to network with 200 moms looking for inspiration!
  5. Go now to register using promo code lmfriends to save 15% off the regular ticket price. Early bird tickets might still be available!

On September 15th at 8 pm, @Leading Moms is hosting a Twitter Party and there are prizes to be won! Use hash tag #LMinspire to join us!

Thank you, Entrepreneur Mom Now, and JellyBeen for this amazing event (and getting me out of the house).

Connect with them online:





Twitter: @leadingmoms

When was the last time you got out for you? Hope to see you there and/or at the Twitter Chat!

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Lessons From My Mom

cropped-Me-and-Mom-Header-2.jpg“Mom, can we watch some TV?” My eight-year-old bellows from the living room. I am at the kitchen sink at the other end of the hall.

“Sure.” I yell back.

I retreat back into my thoughts. My 6 ½ year-old is struggling in two programs at school. The school team and I have been brainstorming on how to turn it around for her. One thing I appreciate with a diagnosis of autism is I can try many types of therapies for her to see what sticks.. It makes life a lot easier.

Not having a mom to ask “ What should I do?” really hurt some days. I didn’t have enough time with my mom to even know how to ask all the questions to last for a lifetime. I hear the afternoon cartoons and the giggles from my girls. Yet, I still feel I’m doing all the wrong things when it comes to parenting. My Mom let us watch television frequently. If it was a bad day or just needed to chill, she let us relax the way we wanted to.

Nowadays there’s a big hubbub about limiting screen time for kids. My girls get out a lot for outside time, some days it’s for several hours. Moderation is key, to save it for when you really need it.

That reminds me of how I was taught to save money. Before the debit card era, my mom taught me how to spend, save, and share money. My mom would give me $20 to shop with my godmom. When I got home, I would hand over the receipts and count out the change. Mom would let me keep what I didn’t spend. Then, it happened again on the next shopping trip. I got to keep the change. I learned quickly to only buy what I really wanted. We have passed these lessons to our girls. It is a challenge as they are in the debit card generation, which is evolving quickly into the e-commerce future.

This makes me realize another lesson that carried over from my childhood – Life can be made sweeter by the small things. It can be about a special toy, bubbles or dance party in the living room.

Wiping my hands on the towel, the sink draining the suds away, my mom guilt is a bit repaired. I’m nor a cook or crafting mom, but I’m honored to be their mom. That’s the kind of mom I had and I have become.

Thank you, Mom.


Cheat Sheet on Stages of Grief

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Every time that I am hit with the overwhelming power of grief, I forget that there are stages. The gives all of us the power to give ourselves permission to grief and not hold it in. This is also good for those who want to help their loved one who is in pain.

Here are the crib notes:

  1. Denial and Isolation. This stage makes us shut the outside world. It is hard to do simple things like go to the grocery store in fear of running into someone and have to talk.
  2. Anger. When denial fades away our defense mechanism takes over. Anger is a magnification of our own pain that can be aimed at those who still have their loved ones, strangers and other loved ones. Give the one in pain time and don’t fight back in anger.
  3. Bargaining. This is the ‘what if’ part that can be the hardest to get out of. ‘What if’ is normal. The best thing to do is write out your questions and observations to talk to a grief counselor.
  4. Depression. This is the slow uphill peak that envelopes you in sadness and regret. Pay attention to yourself or your surroundings if anyone has thoughts of suicide. Journal your pain. Ask for help.
  5. Acceptance. This is the stage that may never come for some living with grief. The dark and awful truth is that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Yes, your loved one is gone. They will be with you in your heart and memoires forever.

As I said, with my many losses, I forget to allow myself to grieve. It also helps if those around you know these stages and can help nurture your feelings.

I wish you the best support. And you can always connect here with me online or many others who have lived through their hard grief.