Tagged: london

Doul-ing with Doulas

Hi friends! Hoo boy, do I have things to write about!

A few days after I returned from my California vacation, I went to a birth conference, hoping to learn and make some connections to start me on my doula journey. This was my first real life jump into the birthing world as a profession and I was terrified! However! That feeling quickly washed away when I was greeted by so many welcoming and cheerful women who were knowledgeable and inspiring. Most of the attendees were doulas, public health nurses and midwives. The conference was the first to be hosted by the woman at Vesta Parenting, after not wanting to travel long distances to see some of their favorite speakers they decided to invite them all to London and host their own conference! Some of the more recognizable speakers (at least, the ones that I have heard of before the conference) included Robbie Davis-Floyd, Dr. Jack Newman, Dr. James McKenna and Gloria Lemay.

My notepad and program for the day.

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Moving Day!

I’m back at Starbucks making another post. You know what that means? It means we’re still without Internet at home – and it’s starting to get on my nerves! I was really hoping we’d have it up before we left for our getaway at a cottage next week so that I could line up a bunch of posts to go up while I’m away so there isn’t ANOTHER week of radio silence around here, but it doesn’t look like that is going to happen. What is going on with the wiring is a long and complicated story, but suffice it to say it should be (SHOULD BE) all fixed on Monday. Which, hopefully, means that when we return from our vacation, we’ll be wired for service. On the plus side, there is no shortage of computers for me to still write my posts out on, which I then save to a USB stick and bring over to the nearest (or, least crowded) Starbucks.

I couldn’t bear to wait until we returned from our vacation to post about our moving day, as it would be over 3 weeks old news. So, I wrote this up yesterday – and it totaled out at just under 1600 words. Now I can work on shortening it and adding a bunch of pictures so it doesn’t feel that long.  Here goes nothing!

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Moving Update!

We weren’t sure if it would work out this quickly but the stars lined up for us today and it’s, honestly, such a huge relief. We are getting possession of our new apartment tomorrow! We’re going to have lots of time to make the move happen which puts us in a really good position. The big stuff will all go on Saturday in a U-Haul, followed by a few trips back and forth to tie up some loose ends (turning off utilities, selling some Kijiji items, etc.)

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Photo Booth!

Hi folks! It’s been a crazy couple of days and I missed my every-other-day posting streak once again! I guess that goal was just too lofty (even though I’ve got a whole line-up of posts ready to go!) Saturday evening we had our Block Party wrap-up meeting followed by a potluck. I spent some time cuddling my nephew who was working his way through some kind of sickness (he threw up at least 8 times that evening – this is foreshadowing.) We stayed outside for awhile after dark, which always always always ends up in me getting attacked by mosquitoes. (I have no less than 10 bites on my hands/wrists from that night.) If anyone in a room is going to get bit by something, it’s going to be me. What isn’t typical is waking up at 6 am the next morning to a burning hand. It was itchy and puffy and red, oh my! Recently, Dave had a swollen hand/eye flare up and we rushed him to the doctors only to be given Benadryl and some hydrocortisone cream. That made me feel not as nervous about the current appearance of my hand. But, I was without Benadryl! I took a Claritin and got an icepack on it and tried (unsuccessfully) to get back to sleep. When I was finally able to get myself out of bed, I headed straight to the drug store and bought some Benadryl. I got home, took some and passed out for most of the day. I woke up, put ice on it again and fell back to sleep. I woke up with a frozen hand, which was a little bit scary at first. Before I went to bed for the night, I Benedryl’d it up again and I was out until the late morning on Monday. My, my, how time flies!

When I got around to looking at my phone, I saw that my sister-in-law and her husband had caught what their son had on Saturday and didn’t have a good night. So, I went and collected him for a bit so they could have a break and maybe catch a nap. Everything was fine until I got back home from dropping him back off and then I felt nauseous; Dave informed me that he was having stomach cramps, as well. I won’t get into the gory details, but suffice it to say that Dave and I were pretty much out of commission all day yesterday. I was SURE I had a fever, but my thermometer only told me lies. We spent the evening in bed, catching up on our weekly shows and eating toast for dinner. Today I am on the mend and am able to work through some packing and purging and cleaning (with lots of breaks in between!). We made some decent progress today. Yesterday was Dave’s last day working from home, so he packed up his work computer and now I can use that space to stack boxes!





But, anyway, enough of that update! Here are the results from our Photo Booth from the Block Party. That backdrop was hand painted by yours truly with the help of my dear friend Rebecca who is never afraid to freehand her own font.
We had a LOT of participants on this photo booth, I’m only going to show you my most favorite pictures:

I loved all the ones of just a solitary kid hanging out. It helps that I’m close to this little lady, too.

He’s nice.

This is Mike (brother in law/head honcho/dude in charge) and our music planning volunteer, who was just as happy as a clam!

And there’s that whole, nice, Campbell clan! Each of them showcasing their own, special personality. 🙂

A crowd favorite. This is the first blog appearance of a nephew of mine!

Hi Dave!

Ken’s shirt should have said “I heart Dave”

I get it!

New to the neighborhood & first-year volunteers!

Bailey offered to take a “love picture” of us. I wish we would have gotten more together during the day but we were both pretty busy.

Some more of our happy volunteers

This was after he changed out of his wet, dunk tank clothes.

Ken’s crush slowly moved to Fraser. This is how Fraser responded to that.

These were the guys that we rented the bouncy castles from, they really REALLY had a fun time. They kept telling me all day how much fun it was.

Tweens! These ladies were a handful. They kept trying to get more of our free raffle tickets and I kept asking them where their parents were.

Another family photo that encompasses some individual personality.

And, finally, one of my favorite photos ever taken of the Dave-ster.


Now, I’ve got to get back to my laundry list of to-Kijiji items. Stay tuned for that post, another that involves space planning for our new apartment and maybe some window shopping thrown in. It’s practically August which puts us on our final 2-week countdown!

July 21st, Pt. II

The Old East Village Block Party!

It happened; it really, really happened! It had been such a crazy roller coaster of a planning process, but it all came out perfect in the end (and any hiccups we had on the day-of didn’t seem to matter as much.) It takes a lot of help from the people around us, a lot of planning and organizing (two of my specialties) and a lot of time (something I’m also gifted with, these days). We started the planning this year around April and the party happened this past Saturday, July 21st.

So, one of my ideas was to have a Photo Booth. Which meant I had to manage that from the idea to the finish product. I think I did a pretty good job (pictures from the photo booth to come in another post.)

Let’s get to ’em!



Here are two people that I somehow tricked into helping me set up the photo booth

And from the front.


Here are a few pictures of the set-up:

One bounce house


The stage!


The other bounce house. Looking good!

This was right as the party started.



The dunk tank being filled up. Oh yeah – two hoses!

This is our ward Councillor, the Mayor and the (former) President of the OEV. (With the two ladies who were helping me in the Welcome Booth that the Mayor insisted were in the picture)

The crowd is filling up!

We had community booths:

One of the booths we had – trying to save a local school from being closed down the school district.


Another booth – helping share the history of the neighborhood.


This was a booth where you could write what you wanted out of the community on a “brick” and they made a Wishing Wall.


I had Dave take this picture of us at the Welcome Booth


We also had local artist booths:




More paintings

We had a kid’s area that had tables for crafts, hair braiding and face painting, relay racing and hand stamping:

Kid’s Tent







One of our volunteers, who spent a lot of time on that small shelf…

I finally got a picture of him going in!


Look at that crowd filling up! It must be food time.


We had food sold to us at cost from the local farmer’s market and some of it donated completely. We’re talking 1,000 pieces of sausages, 100ish pizzas (cooked on the BBQ), veggie burgers, local corn, garlic bread, spring rolls and caramel corn!


There it is!

And don’t forget the snow cones!


The omnipresent Kenny D


Flash mob dancers!


This was Mike’s idea – and boy, was it a good one!

There was more than just the one guy watching; I just thought it was a cool shot.


This was all her idea.

Her view.


Block Party mascot?


A couple-a volunteers.

You never saw him without it!


The night is winding down.

Final band


Final crowd


The group shot we got of (most of) the volunteers!



Phew! There was like a million and one pictures. I think it captured the day pretty well.

We had an estimated 2,200 people show up (grown from 1700ish from last year) and raised $537.94 in donations, $194 from a raffle and at least $1,200 from selling t-shirts (with a big list of people who are interested in MORE t-shirts.) We have a wrap-up meeting and potluck planned for this weekend to talk about everything that happened on the day and get together for some fun, downtime with all of our volunteers.
And that, my dear readers, is what I’ve been spending my time on for the last few months. It was worth every second!

July 21st – Pt. I

First things first, I just want to apologize for the radio silence around here at Broader Borders. These last few days have been absolutely crazy and we are now finally getting back to our regularly scheduled life. Some updates you might be interested in knowing: we were accepted into our #1 apartment choice and have been working through those details for the last few days (stay tuned for a post showcasing all of the apartments we saw before we found The One), we threw a yard sale (what this post is about) AND we threw a Block Party (this will be another follow-up post). Then we spent a day, just the two of us, relaxing at the beach and enjoying some Folk Fest music and eats. I spent today cleaning up the damage done to our apartment after a busy weekend and now, finally, we are back to “normal.” Normal for us, anyway. 🙂

When I say Yard you say Sale. Yard! (Sale!) Yard! (Sale!) I did not take nearly enough photos to properly convey how our yard sale turned out. Here’s the main game plan of what we did to make it happen:

-Have someone convince you to have a yard sale instead of just taking everything to Value Village

-Sign up for the community yard sale happening on the same day as as the block party that you are helping to organize

-Immediately regret the decision to have a yard sale but realize it’s too late to turn back

-Make piles all over the house of items you know are useable and will probably sell

-Decide that you do not care at all about any amount of money you are getting from this sale <— this really helped reduce the stress of the event

-Find someone to be in charge of gathering up the goods at the end of the sale to take to donation so they will not, I repeat: WILL NOT, come back into your house

-Sit in your driveway for an ungodly amount of hours, sweating your life away and wishing you were still sleeping/preparing for the really busy day you have ahead

-Continue regretting your decision to throw this sale and ask people what THEY want to pay YOU for items

-Around 12 pm decide that you are D O N E; have your husband bring your furniture to the backyard and resign to putting up a “FREE” sign on your front door and walk…away…

-Take a shower. Put on your I ❤ OEV volunteer shirt for the block party and get that party started

Here are the very few photos that I did get, revolving around the sale:

That’s not so bad, right?


WAIT WHAT. Sorry about the blur, it was a shocking scene and I didn’t take more than one photo.


The single photo I got of our Yard Sale.

This is what it looked like after the sale  and block party. Yikes.

We made about $80, which I suppose is pretty good. I still would have just as happily sent everything to VV two weeks ago, but it is what it is. And other phrases that mean exactly what they mean.

Stay tuned for more moving posts and a metric tonne of block party photos.

Packing, Pt I


I honestly don’t know how many posts will come of this. I’ve been slowing packing things, but realizing more and more that if we end up getting a much smaller apartment, my desire to keep many of things I am packing will greatly lessen. So, I’ve been working on it, but working on it with caution. And labeling things really well so that if I need to tear through a box to get rid of more things, I have that option.

First, let me show you some progress I made in the bedroom. Heyyo!

First, you may remember this from our home tour?

Just a few days ago, this was our new view:

Thanks to this happening:

p.s. These boxes also contain our DVD collection. The boxes would be too heavy to pack with just books so I topped them each off with something lightweight.

Here’s where the real accomplishment takes place: these are all of the books we’re putting into the yard sale! And to think, we’ve been staring at those over-stuffed bookshelves for this long and didn’t do anything about it. Ahhhhh. Feels nice.


It might not look like much but those completely filled up a plastic tote box from the basement. 🙂 And, after a few more days of work (I’ve been trying to pack 3 boxes a day, minimum), she looks like this:

 Those newly packed boxes had to go somewhere! Three from the living room and two from the bathroom.

Combine those with the stack I packed containing books and DVD’s and now our bedroom looks more like this:

I had to pack up half of my closet to shove those boxes in there (there’s another stack behind the one in the front.)

One thing I did accomplish today was going through one of the orange boxes that we use as a coffee table in the living room. These babies fill up with the most random things. I was able to fill a plastic shopping bag with garbage and another one of things for our yard sale. I fit the remainder of what was left into a box, with spare space around it. I failed to take any pictures, but I have three more boxes in the living room that need to be gone through, as well as the bottom of the hutch and four more drawers in our TV cabinet. So, I have a feeling you weren’t missing much.

Here is a current photo of a corner of our living room. There is a bucket with our yard sale books, a bucket with Kijiji items, a mostly-empty hutch and a piece of furniture that I may or may not have taken from the side of the road when we were apartment hunting and I feel bad about it but what can I say, I love it?


And some of the empty (or, mostly empty) drawers in the TV unit. Good thing I didn’t pack up all of those Wiimotes; we had a house guest today and the three of us played Mario Kart.


Speaking of Kijiji!

I’ve sold 2 items on there (for a total of $25 that I didn’t have before) and I have 2 more items leaving on Monday. (Well, three, if you count the lamps separately). I’ve still got more to add; today I put up Dave’s pre-health science textbooks. If I don’t get any bites on the rest of my goods, I’m dropping the prices dramatically. I want it all gone! And that was today’s edition on: How to Move.

For the curious: we still do not have a new place to move into. 32 days until we have to be out of here. (Ideally, 20 days.) There’s so much pressure I might turn into a diamond. Wish us luck and apartment availability!

Fun Underground, Pt. II

First, I just want to make a note that I had more hits on this blog with Dave’s post than I have with any other posts made. Good job, Dave! Maybe you should get your own damn blog.

Time for an update! We had quite an adventure on Monday and Tuesday, viewing no less than 13 apartments! It was a really exhausting experience; we’ve got a couple of irons in the fire but I wont do a full update until we find out what is going to work out for us. (We should know by this weekend, otherwise we’ll have to go back for Round 2.) In the meantime, here are some other moving updates: I currently have nine posts up on Kijiji with various things. I’ve got a large (and growing) pile of things for a yard sale (scheduled July 21st!) and I’ve got sixteen boxes packed and stacked up in my bedroom. I hope to get some more of those, today.

Now, here’s the second installment of our basement cleaning. You may remember where we left off, with Part 1. What a mess!

This time I requested Rebecca’s help and we spent a solid 3 hours down there, working through each of the boxes in the keep pile, after a short tour of what Dave and I had already done. She helped me sort through clothes and I got rid of at least 30% of what was down there, all of those items went straight to the yard sale pile! Anything that doesn’t get sold will go to Goodwill.

This is the new “Keep” pile. My how you’ve grown! The purple and gray box in the front, to the left, are boxes that are not completely full.

Also I should note that the two end tables stacked up (one upside down), on the right, should be in the “maybe” pile. I love them so much (1960’s Lane) but I may have to leave them behind. They’ll be going up on Kijiji if that happens.

This is our new Yard Sale pile! This pile didn’t exist before, but now it does! That’s what I call: progress.

This is our current “Maybe” file. I’ve got beat-up orange chairs, a small table with two chairs, a worm composting bin, a shovel (let’s hope we don’t need this!) and a huge drumshade.

This is a pile of packing supplies (plastic bags, old towels, empty bins, etc) and my computer box.

And, finally, my dutiful helper. After she stopped playing dress-up with my clothes and changed back into her own!


That’s all for now. I’m off to do some more packing and purging!

It was looking rough there for awhile (hadn’t made it out to do a full grocery trip in a couple of weeks) but now, we are back on track! This week I used the crock pot, we had a classic, not-traditionally-vegan, bar menu item turned vegan for a quick dinner AND had festival chomps. What a nice week for food, it was. Onto the photos!

Here we have a grilled “cheese” sandwich and tomato soup. Pretty sure this tomato soup made both of us sick, so I wouldn’t recommend buying soup in tetra packs and forgetting about them in the back of your pantry.

A pretty typical lunch around here: blueberry soy yogurt, half a bagel with a slice of Tofurkey, mustard and half an avocado.

Nachos! This was our “bar food” night. I’ll let you use your imagination to see how it turned out; I wasn’t satisfied with any of the after photos.

Crock pot meal! Put a pound of spinach (not exaggerating) and a bunch of Indian spices into your crock pot for 6 hours on low, add a can of chickpeas and what do you have? Chana Saag! A crowd favorite.

Here’s what we had for dinner tonight. Dave’s meal makes an appearance for the first time! Usually if we have different things for dinner (i.e., eating at a restaurant) his is typically not vegan. That wasn’t the case for today!  He settled on a Veggie Roti from a Caribbean booth (which was delicious) and I chose Veggie Noodles and a spring roll from a South Vietnamese joint. We shared the jumbo lemonade. Perfect!

I don’t always dessert. But, when I do: I churro.

That’s all for now! Hope you’re staying cool in this hot, hot summer heat.

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Baby, You’re a Firework

Hi people! To celebrate my third Canada Day in this country, we did what any typical Canadian does: we watched a fireworks show, we swam in a pool, we attended a BBQ, we talked about how nice the weather was and we complained about stores that were closed!

First, let’s see that fireworks show:

An inappropriately low-quality picture of Dave and I before the show starts.

Most of the crew.

He was showing me the tricks he could do with a stick and a couple of glow necklaces.

“These ones are LED” – Dave informed me.

“That one was huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuge.”

Two very satisfied customers.

Now onto BBQ and swim time. We were invited to tag along to a family friends house for their Canada Day celebrations. If I’m being completely honest, these were taken the day after Canada Day, but it was still a celebration of the holiday. There are mostly pictures of the kids at the par-tay enjoying themselves. The adults jumped out of the camera’s view when they saw me coming.

Everyone is near each other and no one is being choked? This was a rare sight!

They started playing a game involving collecting as many pool noodles as they could; they didn’t like when the adults would play.

Which meant that this would happen. Wouldn’t want to lose a noodle to your brother while you were enjoying a water slide!

Head first!

All of the kids went down the slide; no matter how sad it made them.

Nap time!

This one fell asleep in the pool and had to be carried out (by me).

She sure was tired!

I had/have my nails painted red with a gold glitter accent nail, but I couldn’t get a picture of them that I was satisfied with. I also painted my toenails blue. Shhhhh – don’t tell the Canadians!

By the time you read this it will be the 4th of July – Happy Independence Day, America!