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Social Media Kids

I read a ton, actually I probably read more articles than anyone I know and it probably gets in the way of my productivity, but I digress... I read about what affects growing up in this generation and how lack of being kids; my kids will get to be because of the age of the Internet.

And then my children started asking for phones, because every kid in their new private school and their younger siblings had one. But I refuse to pay for a phone for children, who, if are not in my presence, are either at school or at home. So getting them a phone to reach me seemed redundant. But they have tablets at home which they get to use for fun. They play endless hours of Minecraft or Roblox if I don't notice. My eldest has taught my 2 youngest to play some Minecraft also.

But then they asked to download I permitted it. They have occasional fun on it. They make silly videos and if you have kids they do the hands near their face dance moves even when not doing the videos. Which I keep saying if you are going to sing something can you sing it like you aren't on

But then they asked for Instagram... and every parent I knew almost blew chunks at the idea that I let them get it. Like I crossed the parent threshold of permission and made my community of parents look down on me with such disdain. I don't have a quick quip on why it's OK for kids to be on Instagram... but prepare for it my kids DO NOT HAVE A PRIVATE ACCOUNT.

Ohhhh goodness, did I say that out loud. Yes I did. But do you skateboard? Let's say you do, did you put your kid on a skateboard before they could fully run? Maybe you did. Why because you believe yourself to be a skilled skateboarder and why not teach them early. Well the truth is I live on Social Media and my kids know I do. I run an account for my 3rd, I post and pick all the pictures... I have my own account here and I run my business account also. But I am active and have been since Facebook opened it's doors to non-University kids. My 3rd child was an active hashtag the year she was born and I will easily say the first baby to be live birthed on Twitter. #babydoings in case you want to look it up.

But I do social media... am I the best at it, no clearly not. But do I completely get it. Yes, should I be the one to teach my kids the weird ways it works, how they can connect with people online and how they can understand that not everyone is going to love every picture or comment on everything. But they clearly will encounter haters... which they saw me get my first just recently. You see all the time on social media how teens are being cyber bullied, and instead of hiding them from Social Media I plan on equipping mine with the faculties to deal with it head on and what are the expectations and realities of it. Also their account is open on my phone so I see everything they get before they have a chance to jump on their tablets.

So I am not here to tell you how much social media your kids should be exposed to... mine see a ton of it without them being on it from me. Ohhh and if you want to follow my 2 oldest on their adventure you can here

May it May!

May is always a kind of beginning month for our household... being from Toronto it is the start of better weather, when you start to plan new adventures and when our second daughter was born.

Now here in LA, it feels like a different kind of new. A relish in the difference. This is our first May here... We have gone into full assault into our business this month, not the month one usually works a product based business as Summer is about to come. But we feel anew, refreshed and a new vigour and purpose.

What does May mean to you?

What is in a name?

I am part of a group of Entrepreneurs on Facebook and recently someone asked if it's ok to be referred to as a #GirlBoss and a bunch of women went into a tirade of how they felt about the term.

And then as usual I couldn't sit idle and not comment. It is hard being a mother of girls... with all the new feminism taking over. It's ok to be a feminist like this, doing feminism like this... and trying to navigate how to make sure they are being raised without social tendencies that lessened them for being a girl.

And then I realised, what is in a name? Do we need to hate on names like Girl Boss, Lady Boss, She-EO, and whatever plethora of female related power terms there might be out there. While I am sensitive to the argument that we currently need to demand equality but the truth is at what cost?

But then I really can't get behind that thought... why? What about these names bother us?

Truth is we suffer from an inherited narrative that came from some social situation that has skewed the way we see the world. And we may never want to be called girl by a male peer because who is he to declare us a word that is seen as someone younger that 18.We may never want anyone to point out that we are females while we are making a deal of some sort.

But the women who coined these terms did so for a bigger reason. #Girlboss was coined by Sophia Amoruso after having launched Nasty Gal clothing, it changing the course of her expected work life and then writing a book about her raise to fame. Her first book was named  #GirlBoss... and currently you can even see the show bases on her life on Netflix as well. But most people know she became an overnight sensation at such a young age, maybe even a transitional age where she was an adult but hadn't prepare to do all the adulting she needed to do.

But what if  #Girlboss was meant everything she needed to say to herself to feel empowered. May she woke up in the morning and looked herself in the mirror and said today I will rock being a Girl Boss. And now other women see it, and it inspires them to be more or do more. The word, the title, the name now is multifaceted. It also gives the person who associates with it another avenue, another push or tilt into a direction that they might have been to afraid to pursue if it wasn't for the display

If it does that for 1 single individual, is it not perfect than for them. Should we not be encouraging people to be their best version and if it does, we all are extremely happy for their new ambition. At the end of the day my odds in my household is that some of my girls will not be able to assoiciate with the term. But maybe 1 does an she uses it to inspire herself to go for more and she finds inspiration where others don't.

Where have you been?

I love writing and sharing... and then I stopped. I didn't stop because I stopped feeling the loved; so where did I go?

I think I got lost where many women/mother's disappear to. I found myself in the abyss of not sureness. That place where you aren't sure what you are doing is of any interest to people, that the mundane collects all the creativity you have and hoards it deep inside your brain but refuses to let it go for others to see it.

It doesn't look the same on many people... actually it is the fact that it looks so different on so many women, which is why I was compelled to write about it.

We women do so much, we don't know how we get stuck with all the tasks we take on but sharing becomes far down on the totem pole. We clean, and cook, pay the bills, watch the kids, do fertility treatments, we try and get a better job, we try and get a degree and much more. And all in the attempt to just keep afloat we stop communicating and sharing.

I am guilty of just doing a social media dump of what I have been doing, here it's all out there for you all to see. But I am not talking to my best friends, not laughing and sharing,  And clearly I am not writing down any of my experiences either. 

I arrived in California confident that I was happy and had great friendships back home. Truth is I do, and I can only say that because being lost in my mundane mental hoarding, my friends have patiently stayed on the sidelines, expecting very little from me while I tread water. But then I ended up in Toronto again in January to which I found something... I clearly was missing the interactions of real conversations. 

We go to work everyday, talk to our coworkers in superficial communication, we parent and have very simple conversations just to keep the day running on schedule, and so on. I am guilty of being at home working with my husband... we talk so much about simple things we don't get to share much as our feelings and thoughts as often as we can, also we know what each is doing on a daily basis there isn't much to learn from each other. 

I just thought I would share it's OK to hide in the mundane, it's OK to go and find yourself or at least set the list of what you want and being in your head. But as some point coming out for a breath of fresh air and communication is truly what is needed. 

And with that I plan to share, and welcome all the engaging conversations from this moment on.

New Year... New Horizons

Happy New Year!

Many of things have happened this last year... many leading to our greatest adventure.

The say change is hard... and I never got scared of change. Actually many will say I am heartless because rarely am I affected by change. But here I stand perplexed by the feelings bombarding my psyche as we speak.

I appreciate the confused feelings I am having... they are the reality that change is hard. The other day I shared a Facebook Status describing investing in one's self. But the truth is... how can you invest or do anything different if you aren't willing to change?

We are in embarking in a career and family adventure... it will take us out of the country and we will seek sun and sand while just being more in tune with growing ourselves spiritually, mentally, physically and personally. Many have told us we are insane to take our 4 kids away from family and friends... we've also been told how insane it is to leave Canada during financial instability while the Canadian Dollar isn't worth much.

Many years ago I followed along on the adventures of Heather Greenwood Davis as she took her 2 kids on a whirlwind trip around the world. And I always pondered at the thought, could I, would I??? And then I sat with my Real Estate agent and told her I always assumed my kids would live parallel teen years like I did. And I had a pretty awesome life right here so why rock the boat... to which she responded so perfectly in that moment that it resonated deep in my core: "but what if they have an even better experience there?" How could I deny them what could be better.

While I wish you a Happy New Year, I want to remind you that change really hurts but I do believe that you have to climb the mountain to reach the peaks. So may you all soar to your personal peaks, may you also embrace change and emotionally grow. Invest in you and your dreams... because while I am petrified over here, I am about to hit the ground hard trying.

xo Angie

Taking deep breaths!

People always ask how it is to be a parent of many children... while I usually feel like saying it is just what it is; I understand that our lifestyle/household isn't the norm.

So most people don't have 4 kids. So most people who have 4 kids don't live in a home in a downtown core with limited space. But I don't deem my life any different than those with 1 kid or 2. The only truth I know is I relish my deep breaths.

I know my moments of quiet are limited and I have documented that sleep is something I tend to sacrifice for sanity or work. And many will say better sleep equals more sanity but it doesn't feel that way much lately. There are many moments in the last year when sanity seemed fleeting but when I could sneak in a pause, a deep breath... I enjoyed every millisecond in it.

Life is short, it isn't an understatement. You need to look, take a deep look, and appreciate your kids at the age they are, the clean counter while it's clean, the smell of baby skin, the sound of that cackling giggle coming out of your child. Just let it seep in with your breath, feel it in your pores, absorb it in with all 5 senses.

And I promise for that moment, that breath you are exactly the same as the girl without a care in the world but your life is slightly more full. Filled with people, filled with noise, filled with love.

Parenting: Self esteem and pride.

It's an interesting day when you walk into your local Starbucks and one of your favorite barista starts her greeting with your kids are the best.

The last time we were in there my daughters followed her around the store talking to her about themselves and learning about how the coffee shop runs itself. That day in particular my daughter was beaming from ear to ear because she had beat her fellow classmate, who happens to be the fastest girl in her class, in a race.

I encourage these moments of pride because they balance out a world where a child is down on themselves for lack capabilities in other areas.

But then barrista turns to me and says she was telling me about her race and I say to her it must feel good to beat someone and my daughter without a beat turns to her and says:

"No, I was fast because I believed in myself."

Now here is the barrista in front of me gushing about my daughter, I'm trying to stay beyond humble... but inside I'm wanting to high five my girl.

The world is full of constant reminders that girls have a chance of self esteem issues. That we need to foster their strengths. Ohhh and having 4 girls makes those messages 4x more valid.

But today I get to have the pride. I get to relish on the good moment, I get to balance my own mother moments with a check mark of a win moment.

Giving Thanks!

Our house has been in a chaos that hasn't quit since May. Almost every detail has been painted, renovated and primped.

This is the first time since having babies that Thanksgiving is being put aside. We are prepping our house and it's just almost done but not enough to be up for sale. Yes, I just wrote that down SALE.

Can't pull off a large dinner and prepare to give our house to the real estate agent to be listed.

I know we've been toying with you all about a large adventure in our midst but it is slowly about to unfold, but I have to give thanks. Thanks to my husband who has worked tirelessly to make our home a beautiful living masterpiece, my brother in law who has dedicated to help my husband finish and my children who have coped and are extremely excited about our future adventure ahead of them. Also my mom who has helped out with being a second mom to my girls while I am running around like a chicken with her head cut off.

The loving people who have made this a reality is huge, yet I am just thankful of how wonderful things have fallen into place. It's so easy to expect things to fall into place, to be entitled... but what I am is extremely grateful for how all the hardwork has payed off. How soon I will be able to join another adventure.

I am thankful to future doors opening.

Pink, brass and all of that sparkle.

Today I stared at my kitchen almost in disbelief... not because it's so awesome (though it totally is) but because I got a lot of backlash for some of design decisions I was going to make when putting the whole thing together yet all together it seems to fit together perfectly.

Pink Ceilings

I am a true girl at heart... I've envisioned a pink kitchen and one day will get it but I had seen a beautiful bathroom with a pink ceiling and new I needed to get that feeling. Now when you are the only female with a bunch of men workers, a very dark and cold design choices husband the backlash about a pink ceiling happens. I played the wife card, I'm also the one who cooks in our house so my kitchen. So pink ceilings it was and surprisingly all the men who weren't sure have come around and even compliment how well it works in the space.

Brass walls/backsplash

It has never been done. I couldn't find anything even close anywhere online. But when you live and breathe brass daily because we design brass jewelry... there had to be something that represented us. After talking with our metal supplier and being informed that stainless steel sheets are put on walls we knew we just had to. And it couldn't be more awesome.

9ft. island

We don't live in a huge house. Actually we live in our well loved 105 year old Toronto standard 3 bedroom, being told that 9 ft of island is too much. That we almost took up our whole slab of quartz to cover it, 4 people to lift it into our house. But when people are over, my kids are colouring it couldn't be a better decisions.

Brass details and monster chandeliers

How do you pitch crystal chandeliers and brass details without scaring people off. We actually went into Home Depot to pick up brass vent covers and as my daughter ran over to the brass one a lady standing near them said: "Ohhh no no honey no one puts brass in their house anymore." I responded with, "...we have brass in our house."

We knew we'd do brass fixtures actually we planned on designing our own but we couldn't decided what we wanted to make. Next kitchen for sure. Also we knew we were going to do brass even before the wall. It made our decision to go brass backsplash easy which then confirmed our chandeliers needed to be brass as well. We planned on creating a modern light fixture on our own but our kitchen no longer felt remotely modern so classic monster crystal chandeliers read far more the elegance our kitchen was starting to become.

I really love how different our kitchen turned out, how gorgeously sparkling it is. So many fun details that all tie in. Gold/Brass being so fresh and not remotely outdated. My handmade hooded vent cover that my father made me. The tiny desk under the window that my 3 year old loves to colour at. It has provided more to my heart strings than anything and it was mine and my husband's collaborative spirit that made it so.

A Kitchen to love

Where does one start about the maniacal adventures of a home reno, but through the kitchen!?!?

We knew we needed to update our old and tired kitchen and it just never seemed to fit us. After the cruel winter, the burst water pipes, the decision to make a coffered ceiling in the space... we went looking for advice and was told that what we had on our hands was the ultimate space for a kitchen.

Doing a kitchen with kids in the house is an utter nightmare and if I never have to see take out again I'd be beyond happy. So many little details make the kitchen the most grand part of our reno and I plan to share it in multiple posts.

But our kitchen is the feature room of our house; I like to call it the jewel of our home and my prized possession.