Thursday, December 12, 2013

Lovable Labels - Holiday Specials and a Giveaway!

The countdown to Christmas is on! Are you ready? 

Lovable Labels is offering you a chance to not only finish off your  holiday shopping, but also protect the rest of your holiday purchases!

Along with all their great products offered all year round, Lovable Labels is offering these two great products, just for the holidays. 

The first is set is Stocking Stuffers that come in packs of three. You can pick one name or three different ones (based on the number of kids you are shopping for). Each set comes with 6 Sticker Labels, 8 Press N' Stick Clothing Dots, 2 Shoe Labels, and 1 Mini Metal Tag, all for only $15 - that's just $5 per child! 

We got to pick a set to review. I chose the Ice Ice Baby theme. We love Penguins around here! There are 7 designs to choose from.

I loved these. Even the packaging was holiday themed. And the Penguin was easy was even cuter in person. 

So what can you do with these? Well, you can make sure that your holiday purchases stay safe and make it back home. Got a new sled, the hottest one on the market, so looking exactly the same as everyone elses? Make sure yours comes home by labeling it. Those hand knit gloves from gramma made to look like a puppet? Use a label to make sure they come back home. And what perfect time for more shoe labels. Winter boots are tossed in a pile every time; make it easy for your child to find hers. 
Dishwasher and Microwave Safe, UV Resistant, Peel & Stick, Clothing DOTS washer & dryer safe. 

The other set out this year had me excited. While my kids have lots of things that are just theirs, we also share lots, like the food containers that we take to every holiday potluck or get together. Enter the Holiday Fun Stickies.
These are 16 labels for only $9.95. There are 4 different designs included in each pack. And you have four colors to choose from.

These labels are Dishwasher and Microwave Safe, UV Resistant, Peel & Stick

These labels have gone on all our food containers and everyone has made it back, even if I forgot to ask about it! 

And there is more! Lovable Labels is giving one lucky Canadian reader one of each set! That's right, one set of Stocking Stuffers and one set of Holiday Fun Stickies!

If you want to order now, you can get 10% off with my special discount code ChrisFLB2

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Have a Great Christmas for Free

Is it possible to have a fabulous Christmas and come out ahead? Yes. Join Avon as an Independent Sales representative right away and you can.

Christmas is the biggest selling time for Avon. I joined at the end of August. This was good, because it let 'get my feet wet' with smaller orders, learning what works and how to find customers. My first order had 1 customer - me. My most recent order was for 18 customers. They were slow to acquire at first. mostly friends, but now they are coming out of the woodwork, approaching me because I've made it known I sell Avon.

My first order, where I bought only for myself was just over $100. But that's okay, I joined with 3 hours left in the current campaign. I shopped smart and got almost $200 worth of products, between the sales and representative discounts. How do I go from spending $100 to getting Christmas for free?

As a new representative, you are guaranteed a discount of 25% on beauty and jewelry items (except watches) and 15% on everything else. This is for your first 7 campaigns so will take you past the holiday season. This means you save 25% or 15% on all your personal purchases and EARN 25% or 15% on all your sales to friends, family, neighbors, coworkers and Avon generated customers.

How does that work? Can you make money with Avon? Yes. Full disclosure here. This is my most recent order due to arrive this week. My Avon invoice is  $593.39 after taxes.

Line ItemCost after TaxPersonal Discount
Shipping 8

I saved 33.96 on my gifts and personal products. I spent 44.83 to grow my business in the future. Because I had a massive order, I spent $8 in shipping. 

Then, I have customers who will pay $606.11 after tax for their purchases. But wait you say, my Avon invoice was only $593.39!!! This means once my order is delivered and the customers pay me, I'll have $12 in my pocket and my entire gift and supply costs are covered. 

I earned over $160 in free products. I could have just as easily not made any personal purchases and pocketed the profit. 

So you've seen how you can make money with Avon. You can use the money to grow your business, buy gifts for yourself, friends or family at a discount, use the money for a vacation, pay of debts etc. It is your choice how you use it. You can also earn more than I do. There are people who support their family with their business.

I am a single mother of 4 year old twins, with a full time day job. I do my computer work at night, when the kids are asleep. They help me sort and delivery orders. I'm woken up almost every morning with requests from them to "put stickers on books" (labels on my brochures). I network on Facebook, through this blog, at the playground and any time I'm anywhere with my kids.  I carry a bag that says Avon on it. I wear and use Avon products. I used Avon nail art this Halloween and with the compliments I get every time I pay for groceries, do my banking, or show my bus pass, I say "It's Avon, would you like a brochure?" 

With 2 campaigns a month, starting only 3 months ago I'm earning $320 with just the basic work, and not interfering with my time with my kids. I'm also a leader, in that I help other people start their own business with Avon. I earn from that also. Currently, I'm earning between 200-350 a month that way. My goal when I joined was to earn 500/month by the end of the year. I'm already there.  Now the sky is the limit. 
(phone numbers on shirt are from day camp, not my number)

And now you know how to earn money and how to save money this Christmas. For only $10, you can start your own Avon business. You set your own hours and you take it as far as you want to. There are no quotas and no minimums to spend. You can use it to earn money or even just save on your own purchases. What are you waiting for? You can join from anywhere in Canada. 

Still not convinced??? If you have $100 in qualifying value (this is the pre-discount amount) in your first campaign, you will earn this incredible palette, an $80 value, for free. Avon Mega Mix 'N Go Palette

While it would make a great Christmas gift, I have to warn you not to plan on it arriving in time, depending on when you sign up. Avon will wait 3 campaigns to send it to make sure your invoice is paid up and to process any returns. But you will get it with your 3rd order after the one you qualify in. This is only available if that first order is $100 (before discount and before taxes). 

Campaign 23 closes off Nov 6, tomorrow. That is not a lot of time, especially if you want to qualify for the palette. But if you have looked through the online brochure and see things worth $100 or more that you'd like to buy your family, then it's plenty of time! You will get your discounts (25% and 15%) and then Avon will also send you catalogs for your next two campaigns so you can boosts your sales faster. 

If that's too soon for you, Campaign 24 closes November 20th.

Ready to join now? Follow these simple steps. (It's recommended you do this step from a computer, sometimes the captcha-type code doesn't work well on tablets or cell phones). 

Go to:

Complete Steps 1, 2 & 3, click SEARCH FOR SPONSOR
Enter my name: Christine Fretwell
Enter my email:

Avon will invoice you the $10 joining fee.  You can pay for it online after. 

If you're still not sure, leave me a message at Avon in Vancouver by Chris with any questions. I'd love to help you save and earn this Christmas and going forward.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

A Home for the Holidays

It's that time of year again. Reece's Rainbow Angel Tree has started.

This year, I jumped on board before it started, committing to raise funds for a child needing a family, needing, if not a home, a promise of a home for the holidays. I first picked a little boy I was able to provide the alias for - he went by Corwyn. So you see why I picked him. Within a week, he not only had a family committed to adopting him, they were already traveling to his country to meet him!

So I picked another child to help. Shawna was a cutie in Asia. 2 days later she was 'on hold' followed 3 days later moving to "My family found me". I was overjoyed.

So again, I was going through the children still looking for sponsors on the Angel Tree. I happened upon Christian He is in Eastern Europe, has Down Syndrome and an unspecified heart condition. He is also 4. A mere month older than my own boys.

From his profile, he can walk and feed himself. He can talk a bit. He LOVES music. He is a bit shy and sensitive. He sounds very much like a pair of 4 year old boys I have at home. But he needs a family. He needs someone who can sing him to sleep at night. He needs someone who can play games with him, help him develop his speech. Someone who can teach him to ride a bike. Someone who can help him reach his potential. Someone to say "I love you".

Please share this blog post. Please share Christian's story. As his Angel Tree warrior, I'm committed to raising $1000 for Christian. This can help  his new family bring him home. But more than the money, I would really like to be 3 for 3. I want Christian to find his family before Angel Tree is over. To do that, people need to know he exists. Sharing his page helps!

If you can, please donate. Talk to your friends, families, bowling team, knitting circle, Church group. everyone and see if they can help. The more money in his grant, the easier it will be for a committed family to get him home.

To donate, click on the giant button on my page. It will take you to the Angel Tree. Search for Christian (match the picture to be sure). Click the blue donate button under him. You'll see 2 will be 'buy ornament', this is a 35 donation. It will get you a great Ornament for your tree with Christian's picture on it. $5 of your donation will go to the ornament production and shipping costs. Ornaments can be shipped to anywhere in the world! If you don't want an ornament, click here and donate

Again, even if you can't donate, please share Christian and the other children on the Angel Tree with everyone.

Some of you might remember last year's post . Sweet Serenity met her goal of 1000. Unfortunately, she lives in a country that first banned adoptions from the USA and now from Canada. She will remain in an institution for the rest of her life, what little there is likely left. Her grant was transferred to another child, one that still has hopes of a family. I had input into where it would go and picked Mick

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Lovable Labels Turns 10! 10 Days of Deals!

Starting today (Oct 10) and running through to Oct 20, 2013 Lovable Labels is having their amazing 10th Anniversary Sale!

Each day there will be a new deal so make sure you check back daily. And to add to the celebration, there will be surprise launchings of NEW products.

To find the daily deal check the Gift Tree every day.

I love our labels. We use them for everything and they have paid for themselves 10 times over. Every container we bring to a potluck or party comes back to us. Water bottles and snack containers at the playground make it home every time (okay, some don't make them home with us right away, but they end up with a friend who know right away from the Lovable Label that these are our!)

This year, for the boys' birthday party, our gift bags were centered around the Party Packs. These were a huge hit and I'll do them again for our next kid event. These would also make great stocking stuffers for kids and grandkids.

With so many sales over the next 10 days, now is the time to stock up and save!

Sign up for the Lovable Labels newsletter to get the daily offers delivered right to your inbox. Newsletter Sign Up

Monday, September 30, 2013

A bonus day with Mommy

Our caregiver was sick today so I had a bonus day with the boys. The weather sucked so we had to find indoor things to do.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Swimming Update

For those of you who followed along, the start of this will be a repeat, re-posting my FB posts updates after swimming eac week. This is for the benefit of those I'm not FB friends with. The most recent data is at the end, so you can either review or skip ahead.

Swimming classes with infants/toddlers required 1 adult per child. I didn't have that so we didn't take lessons. Nathan loves water. Corwyn loves the beach but only up to his waist. If I even tried to swim past that point, he was known to stomp off the beach in the direction of home! After a very short time we got to the top of the waiting list at the Y for the independent lessons.

July 16 - 5:10pm
First five minutes of swimming lessons. About what I expected, Corwyn still not in water. I consider feet a good first step.

We're not allowed to take pictures in the pool so this is probably the only one for a while

July 16 - Evening
Nathan had a blast. Was crying when we had to go home because he wanted to stay. Corwyn had his own instructor the entire time, she played games with him, ball, with some floating toys etc. By the end, he was at the edge of the pool with just the edge of his butt hanging on. I considered it progress. Not bad for their first ever lesson.

July 23
Week 2 of swimming went well. Nathan enjoyed it as much as week 1, hopping right in the pool and doing all the bubble blowing, kicking and floating exercises. Corwyn started the same as last week, on the edge, only his feet in the water. He almost was willing to go in with his arms wrapped around the second instructor, but nope. Then the other little water resister agreed to go in the 'boat'. Corwyn joined her and they spent 20 minutes being dragged around the pool in a closed in boat. It was a huge step for Corwyn since last week, he wouldn't even do that. The staff were great, since when class was over, they let Nathan go in a quick tour in the 'boat' too. Thanks Y! His progress is slow, but Corwyn will eventually go in.

July 30
I am totally stoked! Week 3 of swimming was fabulous! Nathan was totally Nathan and practiced floating on tummy and back, he kicked against the wall, jumped in and blew bubbles. Corwyn made huge progress. He let the instructor get him in the water (for less than a second but it was in). Then when they were all holding the wall blowing bubbles, he lay on his chest with his lower half in the water. We suggested this last week, but no go, this week he went and did it all on his own. I almost cried. Sure he still has not put his feet on the bottom of the pool but even the instructor was amazed. Even if he slips back next week, it's progress.

Aug 6
It's Tuesday, that means some of you are expecting a swimming update. After last weeks success I was guardedly optimistic. On Wednesday, when we woke, up Corwyn started telling me about a dragon he wanted, a dragon and a horse. I asked why and he said if he went the whole way in the pool he should get a dragon and a horse. Um, okay. So I found a Playmobil dragon that had a saddle and hid it.Today there was no hesitation or fear on the way to swimming, it took no coaxing at all on my part. He was all ready. Right away, I noticed something different at the pool. They had the middle down and the floor was lowered, the kids would not be able to touch bottom. See our local Y has a pool with a raise/lower floor to change depth and it was stuck. Crap. So kids in groups like mine where they were not competent floaters had to wear life jackets. Then their regular instructor was sick. Even better. Nathan initially resisted the jacket but went along with the crowd and in the end, of course loved it. Corwyn does not like life jackets. He had to be coaxed into it with the promise of a boat ride. He kept protesting the jacket but loves his special 1-on-1 volunteer and so it was fine. Then he got out of the boat, took his jacket off and lay down and kicked again (still impressive) and then the best, the boat had floated to the middle and he was willing to let the woman hold him, in the pool while they walked over to get the pool. This is huge, he would not do that before and freaked at even the attempt. When they brought the boat back he had the biggest smile on his face ever. He was very happy to get his dragon (Nathan got a spy gear set with a regular and a black light flashlight on a head band). Again, slow progress, but again, progress.

Aug 13 - Gibsons
Ha! You probably thought being at camp meant no Tuesday swim update. But there is a pool here. Nathan put on a set if water wings and those gave him the confidence to swim everywhere, even the deep end. He practiced his floating too. And Corwyn. Wow. He went to the bottom step, which is actually as deep as the y pool. He played around a lot, even going as deep as his neck. He let me carry him, not just across the pool, but all the way around the inside including the deep end. He put some of his face in the water. Yup, more progress. We will probably swim tomorrow too.

Aug 20 5pm
Corwyn is in the water. Holy crap!

Aug 20 Evening
So those who saw my sudden status update from while at the Y will know that Corwyn went all the way in today. Once he accepted that the pool was no deeper than where he stood at the pool in camp, he was okay. He did not float or hold onto the 'rafts' but he did walk from one end of the pool to the other and sit on the side and kick. If he got water in his face, he typically came screaming over to me so he could wipe his face, but otherwise it was great. Nathan was going under the water (full head, not just face) several times. It was pretty much my two and another boy, with a fill in instructor, as the two girls would only go in with their parents. When it was time to leave, I had to coax (bribe) Corwyn into leaving. He found his groove and wanted to stay. Then of course, timing being everything, the pool is closed for repairs the next two week. Following that, Corwyn has to take a break from swimming for recovery from minor surgery (more on that another time) so it will be weeks before his next lesson. So now I need to find time until Sept 5 to get him into a pool where the water is no higher than his underarms as many times as I can. I guess that means second beach pool. Who wants to come with us after work any (every) day? How about on weekends? I think if he can keep the momentum up, missing class for 4 weeks wont be so bad (I'll also need help the weeks that Nathan can go and Corwyn cant go swimming).

Aug 21
Is Kits pool as young kid friendly as second beach pool? Does it have a ramp entry or is it ladders and stairs etc? It opens 3 hours earlier than second beach pool but is further away so I'm torn as to which to try tomorrow morning with Nathan (he needs to have lunch and be back at WECC by 1:30). I will probably be taking Corwyn Friday afternoon so same question still applies. (I did take Nathan swimming but Corwyn had other plans for his day with me)

Sept 10
While he thinks he's fine from the surgery, Corwyn still has an open wound and couldn't go in the pool this week. Nathan could. It took two people. Originally, we offered to let Corwyn go with E (our caregiver) and he could play in this pond he likes that comes up to his knees. But no go. He wanted me. So E went with Nathan. Corwyn and I watched from the lounge. He kept wanting to go in. I told him I didn't have his bathing suit. He said, he just wanted to put his feet in, or sit on the edge. I was a rough 30 minutes keeping his mind off swimming, and he would not leave the area. Nathan has a new instructor, it looks like they changed a few around after break. His instructor is the one who spent so much 1 on 1 time with Corwyn.

Sept 17
How would Corwyn do after so many weeks away? Both were happy to get there and get changed. The first small hiccup happened when they were put into their groups. It turns out Nathan had gotten his last badge, passed the level and was in the next level up (that's his new instructor). Corwyn needless to say didn't move up. Neither seemed to mind though, so this was good, although they kept an eye on each other. Last night, it was just Corwyn and another little girl in his group. This made for less splashing and fewer complaints. He was happy to get in the water (would only put feet in the shower). But he didn't really want to practice floating. He got a bit of half floats in but panicked when his feet left the bottom. The same thing with holding the wall and kicking on his stomach; he kinda just kicked one leg out behind while the other stayed on the bottom and switched. Still, for him this is progress. He had no problem initially with sitting on the side and kicking until he got water in his face, then he was less enthusiastic. He put his lower jaw in to blow some bubbles (another first) and walked back and forth across the pool. He almost forgot his fears and came close to getting his hair wet a couple of times during ring-around-the-rosy. Overall it was a success for him. Nathan is totally in his element. His group kicked up a massive storm of water, they practiced floating moving themselves forward in the water. Then they put on life jackets and went to the deep side, where they 'swam' through tunnels and kicked to move themselves forward instead of walking. He talked about it non stop the whole way home.

I think for us, the setup at the Y is the best one. They have 6 levels for the 3-5 year olds in the same time slot. Kids move ahead (or not) at their own pace. There is no fixed 8 week schedule where you either pass into a new level or fail (even by one thing) and have to repeat it all. So they can stay in this same time slot until they turn 6, even as they move at different speeds. No one is forced to do anything they are not ready for, and they are very patient. They build water safety into the lessons without it being preachy. And there are lots of games and fun to keep them involved. It's included in our Y membership too. For now, I sit and watch them during the lesson as time goes on, I might venture into the hot tub and watch them from there instead. 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

A rough day

I know, I know, I'm really behind on posts. Almost an entire summers worth. They will come. But for now, you get to listen while I unwind and decompress.

Corwyn had day surgery today. Surprised? Yeah me too, and I had almost 2 weeks notice. After a different problem (sore boy bit) took us a to walk in clinic we ended up at a pediatric urologist. See, Corwyn had one testicle that was massive compared to the other. This can happen, or it can be a problem. In his case, it was a problem, an inguinal hernia. He needed surgery as soon as possible.

All surgery comes with risks. But this time, even Google offered hope with no doom and gloom for the surgery type.

Fast forward to today. We had a 12:30 surgery time and were asked to be there at 11am. Not the end of the world, but no food after midnight and no liquids after 9:30 am. Um yeah. So the second my caregiver arrived to watch Nathan, Corwyn and I left.

First stop was my office. Good place to waste a bit of time. He played Foosball, some Lego, games on my phone and Ipad. He drank almost none of the apple juice he was allowed. Then off to the hospital.

We were a bit early, so we played a bit then off to the gift shop. He picked out the biggest stuffed snake every. Like I was going to say no!

Registration went fast and we went into room 1. We met our nurse. I wish I remembered her name. She was AMAZING. She did the vitals, answered his questions (let him play with the levers on the bed). She put the cream on his hands to numb them for the IV. They had a first Then in only undies and shoes (he refused the gowns) it was out to the play area.

She brought me some Tylenol to help him relax. I had already explained the struggles to get him to take anything. So she saw first hand. He didn't just spit it out, he kept his mouth open and drooled any in his mouth out. They decided to give him some Tylenol rectally when under and Advil via IV.

By now we had only an hour to wait. Or did we.

Corwyn was actually amazing. He had no food, was in a strange place, had used odd equipment (blood pressure cuff, etc) and he was taking it in stride. He played with every toy, several times. He watched the TV (it was on mute). He sat on my lap, he sat on the floor. He cuddled his monkey and his giant snake. He was getting bored. But he wasn't noticing what I was. Everyone else who was there when we arrived were still waiting too. Sigh.

One family was sent home. Their surgeon (different from hours) had a complicated 1st surgery of the day, putting them almost 2 hours behind. Then another family went in, and I heard that they were the same Dr as ours. Since it was already past time for us, I asked what time they had. 11:15. It was 12:45. Sigh. So we waited some more.

Around 2, he had enough. He wanted to go home. I had to carry him (standing up). That worked for a bit. Then he was struggling to leave. They tried bubbles. Nope. Stickers. Nope. Computer. Nope. Wiggles. Nope. Nothing but lots of crying "I want to go home now!" Nothing worked. I got hit more than once. I felt so bad. They understood, along with the fasting the extra almost 2 hours wait had did him in.

Finally, it was our turn at 2:20. Given his struggles and refusal to be distracted they opted to put him under via mask instead of the IV. I had to help get him and hold him on the table. But it worked fast. Almost as fast as I got out of there, tears in my eyes.

While waiting, I ate. At least I think I did. I don't remember eating. I remember getting the food and coming back to wait, and then throwing the garbage, but not sure what I ate or if I liked it. (I hadn't eaten either, since I wouldn't eat in front of him).

Finally, it felt forever, but was around 30-40 minutes they came to get me. He woke up, exactly how he went under, crying and fussing. Along with Tylenol and Advil, he had morphine. He was still crying and anxious. In there, rubbing his back through the bars, listening to the beep of the monitor, singing softly to him, I couldn't help but be transported back to seeing him in the NICU all wired up, unable to help him then either.

Eventually, they moved him back to day surgery recovery area. Here was our favorite nurse again. He even fell asleep for a while.

 He seemed a bit better when he got up. He took a sip of apple juice and had 1/8 of a Popsicle, but was sitting up and wanting to get dressed and go. He got all excited at the wheelchair that we could use to leave. He got dressed. He picked out a sticker for him and one for Nathan. They removed his IV with no issues. Then he puked all over himself and the wheelchair.

Back in the bed. With the IV out, no gravol. We tried this other one that just melts under the tongue but he clamped his mouth shut. Then he got sick again.

Eventually we left. Being the enigma he is, he insisted on wheeling his own wheelchair. They didn't think he'd have the strength, but he did.

He got sick again in the cab on the way home. Luckily,  he told me, and I had the bowl and towel ready.

Once home, he sat a bit then wanted more food. Apple juice and apple sauce. 20 minutes later, in the bowl and all over him.

Finally, he wanted a yogurt. He was 'allowed' dairy by now based on his surgery time, but only if he could keep clear fluids down. He was insistent, and got his own. He had a drinkable one, that I let him sip and wait and sip and wait. Then he ate 2 baby mum-mums. Then 2 bowls of dry Cheerios. So far so good.

8:30 was Tylenol time (11:30 will be Advil). Into the apple juice. Guess it ruined the flavor too much. He gave it back. Tylenol in liquid yogurt was a hit though.

The next hurdle was when they peed before bed. Both saw the incision area. Both freaked a bit. Corwyn started crying, saying it hurt. But got his undies back on and I got him into bed. They wanted extra stories, so I made some new ones up. Eventually, both dozed off.

He is due for Advil at 11:30. Not sure if I will wake him or not. I'll hide some in a yogurt, just in case, or the morning, whatever comes first.

We have some healing to do, different stages to return to activity. But I'm so glad this day is over!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Strike a Pose

Sometimes I just take a whole series of pictures, to get the one good one. I know kids don't want to hold still or always 'smile nice' for the camera. So we have fun. Often the 'outtakes' are just as good if not better than the 'nice smile' picture. Normally, I 'click' for each pose, but this time, I thought I'd do a video of their responses to my pose/face requests. Nathan was a bit hung up on the flower, but it's cute that way.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Join Avon Canada for FREE!

Ding, dong, Avon calling!

Avon? Did she say Avon?  Yes! I make it no secret that I love Avon. While I rarely wear make-up, people don't realize that Avon is so much more than lipstick and eye shadow (although those rock). Avon also sells home products for decorating and entertaining. It has a great clothing line (seriously). Their kids products are inexpensive and well loved. And they are even sellers of exclusive licensed NHL products. My absolute favorite has always been the bubble bath. 
Years ago (pre-kids), I was an Independent Avon Representative. I was not a great representative, but I did okay, eventually my obsessions desire to have kids took over and the business fell to the side. Fast forward and I found out Avon was having a promotion where I could join for FREE. That's right free. Hmmm, okay, but what about the minimum order I used to have to do? Gone too. Wow, I jumped right in and joined that day. 
avon banner
Right away I was amazed and happy by all the changes since the last time I was an Independent Representative. Avon must have listened to us because there was a new website that made everything from ordering to tracking to learning much easier. They dropped the requirement for a minimum spend every campaign (although you need to submit something every 3 to stay active). They added new incentives and bonuses. They added e-brochures so I could reach more people, faster. 

Once I got going, I had to share this with friends and readers.  For a limited time, you can join Avon Canada absolutely free! There’s no inventory, no parties and no quotas to meet, just huge savings on your purchases, free product promotions and the ability to earn extra income!
There’s nothing to lose and a lot to gain with this fabulous offer, so if you have ever considered signing up for Avon, this is the time to do so! You can earn savings of up to 50% on your own purchases, an assortment of great products to help you fall in love with the brand and the chance to make extra money…all without spending anything! With so many great perks, there’s no reason not to give Avon a try this summer. This offer ends when August is over so act fast to take advantage.
You can email me at crfretwell @  (minus the spaces) for information on how you can get started today!
Whether you are looking for a discount on products for personal uses and gifts, a way to fund raise for a cause, a chance to actually earn money this is a great time to join. It will cost you no money. 
Being an independent Avon representative is a business. How well you succeed will depend on how much work you put into it. Avon and I will give you all the tools you need to succeed, you just need to put them in place. 
What are you waiting for? Email me now - crfretwell @ (no spaces).  Can you tell I'm eager to share my success? 

If you are in the USA and interested in becoming an Independent Avon Representative, let me know. I'm know I can find you a good leader there to hook up with. 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Three

As I'm usually holding the camera, it's rare for us to have a picture together. A friend took this a few months back (Nathan now has a mohawk). It's too nice not to share (even though I hate having my picture taken)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Here Comes the Sun

Sorry, not a lot of posts right now. Enjoying a wonderful summer with my boys. 

Happy Canada Day

Catching some waves

Can you dig it!

Food tastes better in the sun

Monday, June 17, 2013

Summer Lovin'

Nathan came home 4 years ago this weekend. That summer was one of the hottest I remember. We spent many an hour with them just in a diaper on the nursing pillow, me sweating wherever the cute little bodies touched mine. This summer is setting up to be just the same and I love it!

This picture is his last day in the NICU (Corwyn was allowed to visit). It's one of his first pictures without the NG tube in.

We went to family camp again for our 4th year. The first 3 were overcast or raining, but still fun. The sun and heat this year were amazing. Add to that, they are now 4 and able to enjoy so much more, a bit more independently.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Where's the Beef???

Apparently it's in my home. Yup, you read this right, this almost lifelong vegetarian, sometimes vegan is now an omnivore. It was an evolutionary decision and one I of course have the right to change at any time.  I know some of you are cheering, some are booing and others are thinking, who cares.

I became a vegetarian originally for mostly health reasons. And it was easy. I didn't really like 'red' meat (except ground or smoked) so there wasn't much there I was giving up. I loved exploring all the new  options being a vegetarian offered over the meat, starch and veggie meal I grew up with. Plus I found a wealth of information touting how great and healthy a vegetarian diet is. I think I read every book the library and book store had on the subject.

The books still exist, they are still worth reading. But there are many other books out there that promote the opposite  that a meat based diet (low or now grain) is actually the best. Both 'sides' support their positions with studies, statistics and anecdotal information. The web is also full of reviews that praise and slam each.

So what do you believe? You believe what makes the most sense for you that you can work/fit into your life. I think there are benefits and drawbacks to both ways of eating. I will continue to read and explore and adapt based on how my body and that of the kids respond to the changes.

The kids. Whole other subject. I'm in my late 40s now. And while I may want more kids, it's incredibly unlikely that they would come from my body. So while getting extra hormones in my food supply might cause mood swings or a more difficult menopause, it won't affect my growth and development, but it will theirs. To that end, meat sources that come into the home won't have them. Poultry in Canada can't have hormones, but the red meat supply can. Antibiotics in meat are another concern. Nathan has had antibiotics once, Corwyn never. If they ever need them, I want them to work. Too many infections are becoming antibiotic resistant and having it in our food chain is part of the problem. No meat with antibiotics at home.

That means very limited choices for meat that enters the home. And what does is expensive. So there will not be meat at every meal, or even every day. But it will be an option some days. When eating out, unless its Oceanwise or organic, they will be eating vegetarian.

So far, for me, it's been a couple of weeks. I'm fuller longer. I'm not sure if that is because of the meat in general, or because my body has not had to digest it in almost 2 decades and doesn't know how. I still don't like steak or similar cuts of beef. Chicken is wonderful. I roasted one last week and all but devoured it. And bacon, ah bacon. I've found some great no added nitrate bacon and am loving it. While all the official problems I had with my digestive track were official over a couple of months ago, some things never returned to normal. This seems to be helping (so far).

Corwyn is my little protein fan and loves eggs, yogurt and tofu. He's tried fish and thinks some of it is good (not all, so need some mild ones). He's had some chicken 'nuggets' (not from the place with the big yellow arch) and thinks they are okay. Nathan ate half a nugget, but he doesn't like eggs, yogurt or tofu either (at least not at the moment).

My friend Monika over at is another recovering vegetarian for a few years longer than I am. She is also a mom to a selective eater. I'm looking to her for food ideas and sources of the protein without hormones or antibiotics.

Anyway, for those who follow along with us, that's what's new in our life. I'm not saying a vegetarian diet is bad or unhealthy. My kids are 4 now and at the top of their physical growth and developmentally normal so clearly, they are fine. I'm just saying read everything, then decide what works for you. Feel free to change your mind later.