Tag Archives: Questions

Getting to Know You: Mother’s Day Edition

This month we’ve got a Mother’s Day Edition of our Getting to Know you series. We’ve also get to introduce you to our new Blogger Laura, and Misette from our Board of Directors. Welcome!

Laura

Mother’s Day is spent honouring Moms…aside from a special day, what do you do to honour your mom year-round?

I try to honour my mom year-round by spending quality time with her and bringing her small, thoughtful gifts ‘just because’.

Dance-Like-Nobodys-Watching-at-the-AirportWould you share a funny story about your kids……or about your mom?

Funny stories come to mind involving her dancing like nobody was watching….like in the aisles of grocery stores when I was an easily-embarrassed teenager.

What gift of knowledge on motherhood would you give to women?  This question is not just for those that are mothers either.

There are few more influential positions to hold in this world than that of ‘mom’; remember how much impact your words and actions have on who your children are, and who they will become.

We all know you can’t pick your family…but if you could pick anyone in the world to be your Mom (and I’ll take the pressure off right now, it can’t be your own Mom) who would it be?  And if you could share why?

I honestly can’t think of any one person I could answer this question with because I am lucky to have many other great women who are fantastic moms in my life.

Mom-ism’s – we all got them, those certain words, gestures, little sayings, that when we hear, or find ourselves saying and doing – we are reminded of our moms – can you share your Mom-ism?

You’ll never know if you don’t try! 

Misette

Mother’s Day is spent honouring Moms…aside from a special day, what do you do to honour your mom year-round?

Visit my mother at the cemetery with family and friends.

What gift of knowledge on motherhood would you give to women?  This question is not just for those that are mothers either.

It would be patience and forgiveness.

We all know you can’t pick your family……but if you could pick anyone in the world to be your Mom (and I’ll take the pressure off right now, it can’t be your own Mom) who would it be?  And if you could share why?

Any one of my mother’s sisters because they are matriarchs.

Donna

Mother’s Day is spent honouring Moms…aside from a special day, what do you do to honour your mom year-round?

Laugh, the humour may be a bit offbeat, but I think I got the ability to laugh at myself and situations from my Mom. We still share that deep belly, tear-producing laughter that has your cheeks hurting when we get together.

Would you share a funny story about your kids…or about your mom?

Hard to pick just one story…which tells you a lot about my child-rearing skills, or lack thereof! There is one infamously funny morning that stands out, that I am sure 18 some odd years later Emilee (my youngest) will let me share in this space.

Ground work:

Car Rule #436 – Arlee rides in the front seat on EVEN days. Emilee rides in the front seat on ODD days. Admittedly, my desperate solution to the age old problem of having two children that constantly fought over the front seat status of riding shot-gun!

Kids fighting in the back of a car That is, until one fateful morning – let’s say June 1st – already running late for school, we three left the house in a flurry of activity, and proceeded to the car – where Arlee promptly sat herself down in the front seat. Stating at 9 years old, that this even, odd solution isn’t working for her – as when a month ends in 31st the new month begins on the 1st – Emilee unfairly get two days in a row of riding in the prestigious position of shot-gun. Well, she had me, apparently I hadn’t thought this rule through thoroughly enough.

However, Emilee, 7 at the time – let’s just say she took issue with her sister sitting in the front seat…on June 1st! Clearly her turn.

So at the top of her lungs,  – while others in the neighbourhood were also rushing into their cars – Emilee (and although small in stature, Emilee had, and still has, a great set of lungs) Yells, “Arlee get out of my seat” (and in reference to our Car Rule #436, which only means anything to the three of us), continues yelling “I am ODD, and I ALWAYS have been ODD!”

So, I had one smug daughter sitting in the front seat, and one clearly self-proclaimed ODD daughter. Think Donna – you have to get these girls to school and yourself to work within the next twenty minutes.

Car Rule #437……NO ONE sits in the front seats until they get their own car.

What gift of knowledge on motherhood would you give to women?  This question is not just for those that are mothers either.

My Mom never claims to be perfect, and would apologize to me if she made mistakes – I never claim to be perfect, and have a few apologies to my kids under my own belt, so I hope this gives my daughters the freedom to make mistakes, learn from them and move on – knowing I love and support them.

If I can share one thing – it would be don’t be hard on yourself, your mom or your children, it is okay to be imperfect.

And, that whole Even/Odd front seat car ride strategy, yeah that doesn’t work, 🙂 don’t do it!

Getting to Know You – Back to Basics

Every month our Bloggers choose three responses to a series of Questions we compile, called Getting to Know You. This month is all about getting Back to Basics, so we wanted to know:
  1. Name one modern convenience, the generation before you did not have, that makes your life easier.
  2. Recommend the one beauty product (natural or not) you cannot live without, and please tell us why.
  3. Finish this thought – I feel I get back to basics when?
  4. Have you ever experienced a time when you thought you were using something “natural or organic” and found out you weren’t?
  5. Finish this thought – I will never try to get back to basics by ____ ever again.
  6. Looking forward, what hasn’t been invented that would make your life easier?

CarliCarli

Name one modern convenience, the generation before you did not have, that makes your life easier.

They call my office the Tropics. I think it’s why I’ve managed to keep the one and only plant that I’ve managed to keep alive, alive. Sometimes when someone stops by they almost physically recoil – sometimes they come for that purpose— to bask in the warmth of my mighty, incredible, soul warming space heater. I seriously don’t think I could get any work done without it—which is probably why no one has tried to steal it.

Recommend the one beauty product (natural or not) you cannot live without, and please tell us why.

 Two words: Coconut Oil. I’m new to it, but just absolutely amazed.

Seriously it’s everything from moisturizer to cooking oil and between. Want some tips? Check out Courtney Luper’s post on the “80 Totally Awesome Uses for Coconut Oil” here.

Looking forward, what hasn’t been invented that would make your life easier?jet

It’s a toss-up between a dryer that folds and sorts the massive amounts of laundry that miraculously three people in my household go through, or the Jetson’s “oven”. You know—the one that when I want something, but I don’t really know what I want, I can decide by just pressing a button to have it magically appear. (Let’s be honest nine times out of ten when you are indecisive it’s because you don’t feel like cooking) Or when my kid or husband is whining cause he’s hungry and I truly don’t feel like cooking- BAM, dinner is served.

Seriously, someone please get on this!

Rachaelrachael

Recommend the one beauty product (natural or not) you cannot live without, and please tell us why.

Klorane Dry Shampoo. It saves me from washing and blow-drying my hair at least once or twice a week!

Finish this thought – I feel I get back to basics when:

I sit down to work on a piece of beadwork, and use stitching techniques that are thousands of years old.Cairo-collection

Looking forward, what hasn’t been invented that would make your life easier?

I’m totally cheating. But, I want what Carli said. 🙂

Ellen

Name one modern convenience, the generation before you did not have, that makes your life easier.

 The Internet. The Internet and faster computers make my working life much easier, while at the same time, likely more complicated. I can do my banking online for example, and even deposit cheques without having to go to the bank. Well, I could if I set that app up on my phone, which I will do after I set aside some down time to finish updating all my programs on my many computers and electronics devices for the upteenth time this year. But seriously, it is difficult to believe the Internet has only been accessible to ordinary users for a little over 20 years. It has entirely changed my work and the industry I work in. Sadly, a lot of work now has to be done on the fly, with my deadlines shrinking in half. If only I was paid as fast as I work (I’m not)! Of course, there is the worry that work isn’t as thoroughly checked and rechecked as the old days when more time was allotted (it isn’t). But hey, on the Internet I can check a fact (most often correctly if I use my brain) in moments. And because I am so tied to my computer working all day, I can also do my shopping — ordering a book, or a pair of pants and have them delivered to my door the next day. How’s that for making life easier? Of course, I am a little worried about my ability to converse with a salesperson when shopping in person. Spend enough time on the Internet (for work or for pleasure) and you will start confusing inner monologue with public discourse.

Recommend the one beauty product (natural or not) you cannot live without, and please tell us why.

 DSC_05671-1024x682My hair care stash. It takes goop to tame my curly mane. And let me tell you, the days before creams, potions, mousses, de-frizzifiers, oils, treatments, serums and haircuts designed for kinky, wavy, curly, or frizzy hair, were not good days. They were the dark ages. Just go to the Internet and punch in Janis Joplin, or Tiny Tim. They died before “moisturizing curl cream” was invented. Curly tops of the past do not look like the lovelies so romantically depicted in film and television today. It takes a bit of goop and some “method” to make curly hair look good. So, do I have one product I can’t live without? Nope. I have a stash of products both “natural” (whatever that means) and produced via the most up-to-date chemical processes known to humankind. I can battle (sometimes successfully and with great ahem, “stability”) humid weather, rain, dry winters and indoor heating, the frizzes, limp sections, two days after cleansing, and four days after cleansing. You name it and I’ve got it or tried it. Although, if you want to know an actual product, of late, some of my favourites are: organic coconut oil (I can bake with this stuff too, or slather it on my body), John Masters Organics citrus and neroli detangler, John Masters Organics Shine On treatment, and Bumble and Bumble curl conscious defining creme.

Franziska

n608437755_584356_6494

Name one modern convenience, the generation before you did not have, that makes your life easier.

Spell Check

Finish this thought – I feel I get back to basics when..?

I put on my big, warm boots, go out to the backyard, grab the ax and split myself some fire wood

Looking forward, what hasn’t been invented that would make your life easier?

Teleportation

Getting to Know You

Valentines Day has passed, but relationships are still on our minds! This month, our Bloggers chose three of five questions about all forms of relationships.

Evelyn

YWCA pictureTried, Tested and True – your best piece of relationship advice you want to share with the world is..?

Communication and respect. When we’re angry, some of us can say some really mean things and the filter that we usually have is ignored. There is a reason why that filter is there. I think we need to try and see through all of the “red” and decide on what is best for the long-term of the relationship rather than try and hurt the other person as best as we can in that split second. Communication is key on defining what needs to be compromised on or what makes us uncomfortable, etc. but without respect, there will be more harm done than good.

What do you think makes any relationship stand the test of time?

I think relationships will last if both sides reach out to each other. Nobody wants to feel like they’re the only one trying in a relationship!

What I love about my best friend is ..?

I’m close to my sister because even though we are not in the same city, we still communicate on a daily basis and share our fears and achievements.

 

Donna

Tried, Tested and True – your best piece of relationship advice you want to share with the world is…

Don’t keep score.

 You knew you were in love when..?

It wasn’t the flowers, dinners out at fancy restaurants or even the weekend away during our first few months of dating.  These were all lovely and very much appreciated.  It was the moment he stopped, looked concerned and then easily fixed my front door screen from slamming shut, so the girls and I wouldn’t get hurt by it. 

That small gesture, melted my heart.

What I love about my best friend is ..?

I know, without a doubt that she will tell me exactly what I need to know – not always what I want to hear.  She is my sounding board, my champion and partner in crime!

 

Cate

Tried, Tested and True – your best piece of relationship advice you want to share with the world is..?

Appreciate the little things; and this applies to any relationship, be it romantic, familial, platonic or professional. Oftentimes as we grow within our relationships, we can lose sight of why we enjoy spending time with that person or what drew us to them in the first place when we initially met. Sometimes our focus can be redirected towards how we can benefit from our relationships in a material way; unfortunately disregarding the other person is as an innate and caring individual. We tend to expect more out of people who we’ve known for a long time and as time goes on, this can build up to astronomical levels where your efforts, or theirs, don’t seem to meet the expectations anymore. Instead, I focus on the little things, such as bringing extra food to share in the office, giving them a ride to school, or setting aside an entire day or weekend to do things that we both love. It’s the little things, I find, that I remember the most.

You knew you were in love when..?cate

I caught him looking at me for an oddly long time, once during our first summer together. We were driving around in my hometown and as we stopped at a red light, I could feel him looking at me, so I looked at him in return. He wouldn’t break his gaze with me and at first I thought that there was something on my face, or there was something wrong with my hair or clothes. So I asked him, “what is it?”, to which he replied, “Nothing. Can’t I just admire you?” Three years later and he still does this periodically, each time reminding me how much I love him.

Fill in the blanks: I’m close to __________ because _________?

I’m close to my little sister because she is the most compassionate and patient person I know.

 

Marilyn

marTried, Tested and True – your best piece of relationship advice you want to share with the world is..?

My best piece of relationship advice is to remember to continue growing with your partner!  We all change and evolve over time and if we don’t embrace these changes, we risk growing apart. Keep each other in the loop about new and interesting changes or opportunities that are happening in your life. Continue to grow as an individual and learn new things to share with your partner. Take an active interest in your partners hobbies.  Date nights and romance are very important! Make time to pamper each other. Treat each other to thoughtful gestures or meaningful gifts to create beautiful lasting memories. And lastly, be kind to each other!

What I love about my best friend is ..?

What I love about my best friend is his loyalty, dedication, and sense of humour. I love having him for my trusted companion. 

What do you think makes any relationship stand the test of time?

I think commitment and hard work is what makes any relationship stand the test of time. You have to be willing to ride out the tough times without turning on each other. 

 

Joan

What I love about my best friend is ..?

What I love about my best friend is that she is funny and she is always there for me. She gives me realistic advice and always has my best interests in mind. 

Worse relationship advice you ever got, and from who?cosmo

I think Cosmo gives unrealistic and terrible flirting/relationship advice. To further prove my point, here is a BuzzFeed video that shows girls trying these tips on guys.

What do you think makes any relationship stand the test of time?

I think communication is important for a relationship to be able to stand the test of time. By communicating with your partner, you guys get a clear understanding of how one feels towards an issue and how to best resolve an issue. 

Michelle

What I love about my best friend is ..?

I love that my best friend is as completely crazy and insane as me and we are able to cry laughing while doing completely mundane things like grocery shopping. It doesn’t matter how often we see each other because I know regardless of my circumstances she is just a phone call away. She’s the person I can call at 4am from across the country and she would find a way to pick me up. 

What do you think makes any relationship stand the test of time?

I think common interests and goals are very important when considering if a relationship will work out long term and I think too often we try to sell the mantra that “opposites attract”. I think that while opposing perspectives might initially bring you two together, I think being able to find common ground will likely KEEP you two together. 

carrieBest relationship advice you ever got, and from who?

The best relationship advice I have received would definitely be from none other than Carrie Bradshaw (#sexandthecity), who showed us that life can begin again after a disastrous relationship and that best friends are our true soulmates in life. 

 

Sami-Jo

Tried, Tested and True – your best piece of relationship advice you want to share with the world is..?

SAMIErase the illusion of perfection. Everyone likes to brag about their significant other. What you say to others is your business, but the expectations you hold to each other should include room for imperfections. Whether that be in ways you handle anger, sadness, or happiness, how you fail to pick up wet towels from the bathroom floor, or how you suck at cooking and wouldn’t be alive if the other didn’t take time to feed you every day, flaws exist and should be embraced. Sounds easy, but we tend to put the toughest expectations on the ones we hold the closest. They should be the ones we shower with forgiveness for not being perfect human beings, yet still the one you’ve chosen to build a life with. Remember, you’re not perfect either, and at some point, you’ll need understanding more than an anecdote to brag about.

You knew you were in love when..?

My sixteen year old heart thought I was in love the moment my husband – then boyfriend – grabbed my hand in the lobby of the movie theater back in 2000. And maybe I was. I do remember him leaving on the train for basic training in the army less than two years later and thinking if I never saw him again that I would be compromised as a human being, that I wasn’t sure I was equipped to deal with that loss. I wanted him in my life day in and day out and the separation was near unbearable. At some point between not shying away from holding his hand to crying in the train station, love had formed without me pinpointing the moment, but I knew it existed.

What do you think makes any relationship stand the test of time?

I should have a great answer for this because I’ve been in a relationship for 14+ years, but I’m not so sure I do. Over the years my husband and I have had issues like any couple. Maybe the difference between us and others who have since fallen apart was our refusal to give up on each other. Understanding can be the most difficult, especially when you disagree so wholeheartedly with whatever issue you’re facing. Reminding ourselves that the other thinks the way they do and acts the way they do for a reason, and that there’s much more to the person you love then this current debate or perceived ‘irreconcilable difference’, can get back to the core of the relationship and find a way to move on. As long as you’re not compromising your base values, a solution is always possible for those who would rather fight to be together than take the easy way out by ending it all.

Happy New… Changes!

2015; New Year, New Changes!

Our Bloggers have been hard at work behind the scenes to come up with new stories, new content and now, new features! This month we’re excited to launch three new regular posts to our Y’s Women Blog:
Monday’s Creative Corner where you can come to find recipe, DIY, or any quote or poem that inspires us to be CREATIVE!
Friday’s Friday Finds posts will be something one of our Bloggers would like to recommend; a new restaurant, a book, movie, or product we love!
Lastly, we want you to know that we’re real women, with real opinions and stories, so we’re introducing our monthly Getting to Know You feature. We’ll pick 3 of 5 questions to answer that relate to our theme of the month. We would love if you weighed in and answered them too.
To kick us off, here are January’s Getting to Know You questions about Happiness!

Donna

If you could choose one word to describe yourself, (and only one) what would it be?

HOPEFUL (printed in all capital letters, and in the brightest of colours found in the crayon box)

List five things you couldn’t possibly live happily without.MyGarden2

In Order: My Family, My Closest Friends, the Sunshine, My Garden, and A Sense of Humour.  Everything else, I consider a bonus!

Finish this thought, Happiness is…?

A heart filled with gratitude.

 

 

Ellen

Which of the four seasons makes you the most happy? And why?

Summer, because the days are long and warm and everything from getting dressed to travelling (with the exception of gardening) requires less effort and forethought. Summer passes quickly, so I appreciate the long sunny days (even when they are humid), fresh produce, sounds of crickets and cicadas, and everything else the season brings. There’s also spectacular thunderstorms to watch over the lake, and fireflies in the backyard (or sometimes, magically, millions of them in the Niagara Glen). 

What do you do to change a bad day around?

It depends on what constitutes a bad day. Sometimes its a negative or fear-filled interpretation of reality and that’s something that I can work on (as opposed to getting devastating news, which oddly I don’t think about when I think “boy, this is a bad day”). So, If I don’t think about it as “I am having a bad day” and reframe it as a rough morning, or something like that, I can work on making it better. Often, I go for a walk or a hike. I may start out feeling anxious or frustrated about something but an hour of walking in my neighbourhood can make me wonder why I was all worked up (or sad or disconsolate) in the first place.

Finish this thought, Happiness is..?

So many things. But not always easy.

Carli

Carli

If you could choose one word to describe yourself, (and only one) what would it be?

Optimistic. While I freely admit that I am one who can easily become stressed out and bogged down, I’m also one who tends to look on the brighter side of things and can usually find some optimism for most situations.

List five things you couldn’t possibly live happily without.

My family and close friends

My memories

Personal photographs/mementos

Moments of peace and quiet

Hope

Finish this thought, Happiness is…?

Sitting down at the end of a long day in a clean and organized home relaxing with my husband and son—glass of wine in hand! 🙂

 

 

Franziska

n608437755_584356_6494List five things you couldn’t possibly live happily without.

  1. Family
  2. Beer
  3. Music
  4. Faith
  5. Sunshine

What do you do to change a bad day around? 

Vent. Cry. Laugh. Eat chocolate cake. Or chocolate cookies. Or both. Turn up TNT by ACDC and turn into dynamite in the living room. Do my dance routine to the “YMCA” tune in the living room (although in my version, it’s YWCA of course).

Finish this thought, Happiness is…?

…feeling loved.

…a hot, moist double chocolate chip cookie.

…a cold beer on a hot day.

Evelyn

Which of the four seasons makes you the most happy? And why?

YWCA picture

SUMMER! It’s almost always sunny and I can go outside whenever I want without worrying about wearing a jacket, scarf, gloves, etc. I also don’t have to worry about temperatures dropping later in the day and getting sick from it if I don’t have warm enough clothes on. I also love that everything is in full bloom; trees and flowers line the gardens in the neighbourhood, birds are singing, and people just seem happier in general and that makes me happy! Towards the end of the season, if it gets cold enough, the leaves start to change colours which is beautiful too.  

What do you do to change a bad day around? 

On a bad day, I look up really great movies to watch! It doesn’t even matter what genre the movies are, as long as they’re really good. It gives me a chance to live somebody else’s problems and struggles as well as their happier moments; movies really put my own issues into perspective! 

Finish this thought, Happiness is…?

My reason to live!

Rachael

rachaelList five things you couldn’t possibly live happily without.

My family, a hot cup of tea, Jane Austen’s novels, naps and peanut butter.

Finish this thought, Happiness is…?

Winding down at the end of the day by beading (making jewllery) on the couch!

What do you do to change a bad day around? 

1. Call my Mother. 2. Chase a little black ball around a squash court (and sometimes hit it a little extra hard!)

 

 Marilyn

marIf you could choose one word to describe yourself, (and only one) what would it be?

The one word that I would use to best describe myself is SURVIVOR! In spite of everything I have lived through, I still get up every day and keep moving forward. I continue to better myself through education and commitment.

List five things you couldn’t possibly live happily without.

The 5 things I couldn’t possibly live happily without are: my family and husband, reading and collecting books, regular visits to the beach, my writing and music.

Which of the four seasons makes you the most happy? And why?

Summer is my favourite season because I feel and look better. The sunshine tints my skin and reflects my Italian heritage. I don’t look pale and pasty, like a plant that wilts and loses colour when they don’t get enough sunshine. My arthritis and fibromyalgia isn’t as painful in the warm weather so I am more active. I have more energy in the summer and participate in more activities when the weather is warm. I am happier all around in the summer months. I truly believe I would thrive in a warmer climate like California, but I still make the most of my life year round regardless of the weather.

What do you do to change a bad day around? 

Sometimes I have a difficult time turning a bad day around, but I do have some coping mechanisms I use. I listen to music and sing my heart out to relieve stress. I love dancing to my favourite songs. I love to take a long ride in my sporty little car, singing along to one of my favourite CD. I meditate to alleviate any anxiety I am suffering from. Sometimes cooking a really tasty meal for my husband gives me great satisfaction. I use writing as means to express myself and release pent up emotions. I also like to work on creative projects like starting a new quilt for myself that reflects my true personality.

Finish this thought, Happiness is…?

Happiness is being content with the life you have created!

 

Joan

If you could choose one word to describe yourself, (and only one) what would it be?

Quirky

List five things you couldn’t possibly live happily without.

Starbucks, phone, Macbook, scented candles, Twitter.

Finish this thought, Happiness is…?

Happiness is coffee. 

 

Sami Jo

SAMIWhich of the four seasons makes you the most happy? And why?

My favourite season is Fall, always has been. The moment summer tapers off, leaves start to turn, and I can pull on my leather jacket, is the moment I can take a clean breath of fresh air and cozy in. Give me a book or my computer, a snugly blanket, and cool drink and I’m in my own personal heaven.

What do you do to change a bad day around? 

To turn around a bad day I drop my stuff at home and escape into either my writing, a book, or a hot bath with Epsom salts. Sometimes taking even 30 minutes to myself to recalibrate is all I need.

Finish this thought, Happiness is…?

Happiness is…Home. I don’t care if I’m doing anything important or half-way interesting, if I’m at home, I’m a happy girl. Boring? Never, I’ve got everything I need under one roof.

 

Michelle

Which of the four seasons makes you the most happy? And why?

Fall, because of sweater weather and my birthday 🙂

What do you do to change a bad day around? 

Do some yoga and getting in touch with my inner chi

Finish this thought, Happiness is…?

 Happiness is Ben Affleck.