30 Dec 2015

Bright 2015!

Christmas came and went without a hello from me.

Now, 30/12, the night before New Year's Eve, I'm in a hotel room in BRONX,  the children are fast asleep, my husband can't sleep and he is watching a show on Netflix. The commuter train mixed with late night rain, the occasional siren, the next room loud TV, laughs and my children's rhythmic snoring is the backdrop sound as I tap my thoughts on my 'new' Mac (hubby's old one and I wonder when he will ask it back again).

On one of my 2014/15 vision board I envisage a night in New York city, the vision was a bit more grand but I'm more than happy to be in this little hotel room with the three people I love the most two days shy from the new year. Just to know that most of the things that I had on my 2015 wishlist came true is mind blowing.

The dream as a published writer turned into a reality, I did  more photography gigs and started to take on freelance jobs. I was invited to a local writing conference that I've always wished attending as participant and I was over the moon when I was invited to be a panelist.

We bought a new house, traveled more than I wished for. Spent summer with my sister in NYC at the @blogher15 #sheknows conference, wow! Had my in-laws over for a lovely long holiday with us, the kids enjoyed it some much, camped in new places in Saskatchewan, visited Edmonton twice, reconnected with old friends and connected with new friends. Friends that are more than happy to help me reach my dreams.

AMI and I celebrated 10 years of marriage, during those years we've learnt so much about each other and about ourselves.

AMI got awesome opportunities in his career and he just said 2016 is going to be even more amazing for him. AOI became aware of who she is, she had ups and downs when it came to her mood. TOI started the journey of the tantrum stage. They both had awesome time. My brothers are doing fine, my sisters-in-law are doing and working towards their dreams. My cute sweet little niece was born 19 days before Christmas, our holiday baby. Spent holidays with my sister and her lovely family.

Deciding to go visit my mother on New Year's Eve made us come to New York now and not earlier.

Outside is dark, I can't tell from the shadows what dawn will bring to my sight but I wish for the best, just as I wish for a BRIGHTER 2016 for myself and everyone!

8 Dec 2015


The light was beautiful as I took the camera to capture this still life.


I feel like my role as a mother is on the downhill.

I get upset when my daughter acts out in public, cries for things that I view as silly but that maybe to her is a big deal.

It was time to show all the parents what they've learned from dance classes during this autumn. She was doing some parts beautifully and energetically, other other parts were done halfheartedly. Then it was time to roll on the mat, she was called last with her friend CB and something happened. Maybe she wanted one spot that she couldn't and tears started down. I was sweet initially then I wanted to cry because all I could think of was she's always the one crying. I felt so sad, because it's not nice to have your child cry at every event. I felt bad when I told her I was taking her home if she was crying. She didn't stop crying but she didn't want to go home either. She went back into class but kept on crying. Though the other parents were smiling and encouraging her I felt like she was disturbing everyone and everyone was thinking the worse of us. I wiped her tears encouraged her as much as possible but I didn't feel like cuddling her for her crying, I just wanted her to stop right away. I was so upset I could have cried myself. I took her out from the class to give her the proper ultimatum. Of course I did something I dislike doing but it's so easy to do, I pointed out the fact "Look, you're the only one crying here. It's not nice."

Then I feel like the worse mother in the world, this stage I'm in with my daughter is the worse stage yet because it make me question my role as a mother. Maybe the answer to all this is that I shouldn't think what people maybe think and do what I feel comfortable doing.

Also after everything was done and it was evening and I was still pondering on the matter I concluded that maybe she's only getting shy when it comes to people observing her doing something. Or I'm only over thinking.

Tomorrow is another day, I'll do better tomorrow.

1 Dec 2015

Welcome December

Yesterday for the very first time in ages the kids are both napping. AOI doesn't usually nap. She saw me going to her school and she called my name she was in a very good mood. I even managed to talk to her teacher about what I'm doing at home to help her control how badly she takes it if her friend CB want to play with other children. It's hard to learn to adapt to different situations when it comes to giving her friend the room to choose but she's learning.

All in all, November was amazing to me. I'm happy and grateful for everything that brought to me.  It was a busy month but full of new and rewarding experiences. Celebrating my daughter's birthday and launching my book. The cherry on the cake came when YM told me that my book reached the bestselling chart of my local bookstore. It was AMAZING!

December is going to be a month for
pure celebration and thanksgiving.

23 Nov 2015

Our Everyday Life: The Eventful Week

 The Bliss before the party

November 16th to 21st was an eventful week for us.

This month has been exciting in many ways. Launched the book, celebrated my girls 4th birthday and finally started to find a light at the end of the moving house tunnel. Also witnessing my friend's husband music band smashing it on X Factor UK 2015. 

I'm happy.
Today, I felt like my mind was settling into a blissful state again. Since the summer it has been on the go go state and I’m looking forward to enjoying a month of thanksgiving and peaceful state. Monday November 16th I had my book launch {which was photographed by talent friend Kerrie Oliver, the photographer behind Llyod Told George}. It was exciting, the company and so much support. I'm so thankful.

Talking to a reader at my book, Wasting Away, launch photo credit Kerrie Oliver at Lloyd Told George

Wednesday 18th AOI turned four and you should all have seen her. She was so over the moon when, after she started complaining about not finding something I don’t even remember, I asked her “Guess what day is today?”
“What day is today?”  “Today is your special day” “Is it my birthday?” “Yes”. She jumped out from the bed {she was chilling next to me} and did amazing jumps. It was snowing as I wished for my little girl’s special day. We all  took her to school together, on our way we stopped to play in the snow in the nearby park for a bit.

The play before school day

It has been challenging weeks for AOI, she got more frustrated and didn’t use her words like she’s capable of doing. For instance at her birthday party {which was joint with her best friend} she cried because there were some games that she didn’t want to play, but instead of telling us she run away from the place. I laughed from nerves. I sometimes wonder if she’s the only child acting out or it’s normal for kids to behave like that at four. What we noticed is how she was seeking for reassurance from her friends. She kept asking her best friend “Are you still my friend?” 

Today she was happy.
When at church, she participated in all the activities without fuss, she came home and was a bit shy when one of my friends from Italy I haven’t heard in a while facetimed me. She was nice and cheerful. She had one of her friends over for a playdate and she was content at that moment too. We went to play in the school and she had a little I'm leaving you and going alone somewhere with her little brother trailing behind her. I kept eye but made sure she came back to me instead of me following her. I would love her to understand that she can talk about things instead of leaving. 

Throughout last week she kept asking for her daddy and today I noticed how she wanted to have her daddy attention. The time he dedicated to her helped her mood and in the end I was able to play with her without her refusing my attention. 

Yes, November has been busy and maybe, though we think she’s alright, she need more reassurance and we're all really looking forward to some recharging time. 

 Elephants are a girl's best friend

13 Nov 2015

Pray For Paris

Today when I woke up and realised that it was Friday 13th, I thought "Isn't today the day people call the unlucky day?" I didn't make most of it because I'm not supersticious.

At around 9:15pm (Paris Saturday 14th 3:15am), I was browsing instagram when  I saw many of the people I follow on Instagram hash tagging #prayforparis. I went to google to look what was happening and it was BREAKINGNEWS on BBC.com
France has declared a national state of emergency and has closed its borders after at least 120 people were killed in gun and bomb attacks in Paris.
Some 80 people are reported to have died at the Bataclan concert hall in central Paris. Gunmen took many hostages there before being overpowered by police. Others died in a reported suicide blast near the Stade de France and gun attacks on city centre restaurants. Seven attackers are reported killed. Paris residents have been asked to stay indoors and about 1,500 military personnel are being deployed across the city."

On CBC.ca I read

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he has spoken to members of his national security team to ensure the safety of Canadians in the wake of a series of attacks that saw dozens of people killed in Paris Friday night.

"These terrorist attacks are deeply worrying and obviously unsettling to people around the world," Trudeau said before leaving for the G20 summit in Antalya, Turkey.

"We will keep people apprised as more unfolds but I have been speaking with our national security team to ensure that everything is being done to keep people safe."

Trudeau expressed solidarity with Canada's "French cousins" and said Canada has offered all possible assistance to the government of France in wake of the siege at a concert hall in Paris.

"We have offered all of our help and support to the government of France, to the people of France at this time. And we'll continue to engage with our allies around the world in ensuring the safety of Canadians and others both here at home and around the world."

My heart goes to all those who have lost their lives this early morning in Paris. To those who are suffering, may Lord keep you under His mantel.

Thinking of you Paris.

2 Nov 2015


My my, I'm so behind on this project. I hope to catch up. In fact I hope to catch up on many projects in November. 

"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2015."

TOI: Mr green thump, he loves to destroy the leaves.

AOI and TOI: summer mischief, moving the cooler everywhere on the deck and just sit or lay on it for fun.

AOI: we did this crown together and when I asked to take a photo of it she started to pose and put on her dramatic/romantic face on.

1 Nov 2015

My Book Launch

Happy Sunday and first day of November.

To say I'm over the moon about this month is understatement.
My daughter is turning 4 and two days before that awesome day I'm launching my debut novel at one of our well known local bookstore. I'm so happy, I'm going to have a silly grin on my face for the rest of the month.

31 Oct 2015

This Last Week Of October

So much has happened in this last week of October that my mind finds it difficult to process everything.

Sunday 25th October, we packed everything we've accumulated over the past ten years of our lives into a uhaul truck to bring into our new home. We will now make this house work for us. We don't have everything in the right place but that will come over time. It takes time for me to adapt and make everything about a new place work for me. It takes time for me to get used to the smell in a new house, I can be picky like that. Today we started organising the basement and most of the boxes we brought with us are unpacked.

I'm happy the move is over, it's really hard to move with two kids, but they were excellent. They adapt so easily. They love their new home and though it's small they don't care because it's huge to them. This week, everyday until 29th October, after AOI and AMI were gone TOI and I went to the old house to clean and pack the remaining items. I felt sad because that was the house we've called home for the past three years - the longest since we moved to SK in 2011. Over those years I came to love it and appreciate everything about it - yet I never loved the laundry/boiler room, that always gives me the shivers now I miss it because the laundry/boiler room in our new home needs a desperate tlc, hubby is going to fix it up nice for me but that can take about who knows how long.

This week I loved walking together as a family to take AOI to school, in total I walked about 40 minutes  and I go living a walking distance to my daughter's will just improve my fitness. We went to our friend's Halloween party about ten blocks from the house and we could walk there. We're definitely going to be more green.

This week we started to make a new routine in our new house: having breakfast as a family in the corner area assigned to our dinning table and chairs, children having lunch and snack in the kitchen and then family dinner in the dinning area again. I have to explore the natural light in the house and adapt that to my photography.

This week I received the date to my book launch in a local bookstore.

I'm excited for everything God is doing in my and my family's life. I want to give praise to Him for this new chapter in our lives.

17 Oct 2015

The New House


My feet are killing me. I'm tired in a good way because we were busy renovating our new house. Yes, after three years, inconsistently, looking for a place to purchase we found what we want to call our own home last month.

It all happened when my sister in law was visiting at the end of August, AMI decided to let her help us find a place to buy. She did a great job and in just few days she had selected some potentials. We view some and then AMI saw a place on the way to work. On paper it didn't sound like our ideal place, small square feet, shallow basement, outdated. But we opened our minds and saw the potential behind it. It's close to all of our friends, especially AOI's best friend (she's very happy to point that out to anyone who asks her about her new house)  the children playgroups and preschool is few minute walk away. There's huge room for future extension, as the kids grow. But right now we can renovate and put our own style into it (that means my own style).

We have a huge garage that can accommodate both AMI's wood workshop and winter play-area for the kids.

Today we invited some of AMI's work colleagues to come help us paint the house. We've primed the whole house and tomorrow we're going to start painting with the final coating. I'm getting excited, ideas about how to bring the best of the house are floating in my mind. More than anything

In the afternoon, whilst we were busy brushing the everywhere white, the children with their babysitter were running, playing, laughing their bold jovial laughs in the garden, TOI looking at the cars driving by, all happy. I smiled to myself and thought. "I'm looking forward to enjoying and making this house a magical place for children and our family memories."

12 Oct 2015

Canadian Thanksgiving

Long time no hear from me on this little blog, life is hectic but I'm not going to bore anyone (the few who are still around) with a long update I'll get to that later on in the month.

Today Canada celebrated Thanksgiving.

We spent it with our friends, sharing a meal and drink. Having the kids play together. AOI with her best friend and TOI tagging around them.

27 Sep 2015


"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2015."

AOI and TOI: harvesting some of the tomatoes they planted in the spring. She loves tomatoes so much, he just loves to be loud, lol!

AOI: this summer daddy tried paddle board and little girl, as brave as she is, wanted to sit on the board too. I was the only one who fell in the water.

TOI: let's say he loves sand, soil and dirt. This summer he enjoyed all of that

26 Sep 2015


AOI: This week we went to the swimming pool and just like that my daughter started to show me how she can swim underwater. I was so impressed.

TOI: As soon as we got into the canon he was shy at first, but soon he was climbing unto the seat freaking out daddy, lol!

AOI and TOI: "I'll take him to the car." This moment when she offers to help her brother is priceless and I'm glad I was able to document.

25 Sep 2015

Our Everyday Life: Week 2-3 of school year 2015


Today the kids had a nap. The weather was a bliss out there, crunchy autumn leaves, golden summer heat (+27degrees) - all is good.

Last week my book Wasting Away became available to the world, for everyone to read and tell me what they think. I hope with all my hear that the words in that book touches somebody's soul like many books have touched my soul.

If you would like your own copy, I would be delighted. The simplest way is through AMAZON.com here.

So, these lately Thursdays come by and I wonder what I'm suppose to be doing. Thursdays are for TOI and me to go to our local playgroup but two weeks in a row, I drop AOI at preschool and I'm about to go home until I remember our morning activity.

This week my little girl started dance class, she loves it. Saturdays, starting from tomorrow will be family swim time.

13 Sep 2015

Our Everyday Life: Week 1 of School Year 2015

So I'm starting a new weekly updates starting from September because during the summer I was out of routine. It's really hard to get back into a balance state of work and living life and blogging because it's still my personal release from everyday duties.

I also thought it's more reasonable to start a school year updates.

This week (07-12), AOI started her full week preschool year. She goes away for two and half hours. So I have the morning alone with TOI. This week, because grandparents are visiting, we didn't set a proper routine apart from going to playgroup on Thursday. Having grandparents over is so helpful because I squeeze in some work or giving a ride to AOI's best friend, because TOI can stay at home with grandparents. On Friday while TOI had a nap, I worked and grandparents took AOI and her friend to the playground.

AOI was excellent. She adapted to the full week so easily. She started early learning music lessons. She's over the moon to have her best friend with her the whole morning in preschool and this week they also had two afternoons after school play-dates.

The leaves have started the turn. Crunchy, chatty and chilling is the atmosphere.

3 Sep 2015

Pick the Cover For My Young Adult Book

Good morning friends,

Ahhhhhh, I am so excited to let you all know that my young adult (ages 13-16) book will officially come out on September 15, 2015.

I know it's just twelve days from now, but anything is possible. I've been working on it and had the final proof for the interior. Now I need help with choosing the cover. Can you vote for your favourite among these four?

The book is about a young girl who is going through a hard time accepting herself, to fit and win her ex boyfriend back she decided to lose weight. Soon her eating habits turn into an obsession. Everyone around notices her weight loss but she doesn’t accept her image in the mirror. She’s never thin enough. She begins a long journey towards self-acceptance.

If you have a daughter or know anyone in the age range of 13-16 years old, ask them to weigh in and pick their favorite. You more than welcome to cast a vote too. As a thank you, I’ll draw for two winners among those voting and give each winner a copy of the book.

Voting ends this Sunday morning!

Ready, set, go!

2 Sep 2015

What Hope Do You Hold For The New Season That's Upon Us?

September 2, 2015

I hope...

to take every day a minute at a time
to cherish every little detail of my life in full

to dance with my children bare feet
to jump into autumn leaves and breath their crunchy smell
to capture the golden light and many smiles
to wrap myself warm with beautiful words
to share my joy with my loved one
to see my daughter happy in her new school year
to capture our precious and unique life
to forgive and forget quickly as if I'm stupid
to love like today is my last.

1 Sep 2015

Describe a moment from today that you want to remember always.


I smiled as I made my way to upstairs to get ready to go to AOI's preschool AGM with my husband. Last year he couldn't come because we decided he would stay home and I would go to the meeting (which I didn't pay much attention to).

I smiled as I went to the car, we were going out leaving the kids with their grandparents. AOI was clued to her grandma and TOI wanted to read a book with his granddad. When they're gone we'll miss these simple moments.

In the afternoon the grandparents offered to take the children for an afternoon nap-time walk. This gave me the time and space to do some work.

Having the children spending quality time with their grandparents was one of the precious moments from today that I want to remember always

31 Aug 2015

The Adrenaline

 Wondering what is he up to? Me too.

Do you ever feel adrenaline rushing through you when you sit in front of the computer to type your thoughts?

That's what I feel as I sit here five minute shy away from 5am. All alone with spider on the right corner of my computer screen making its web.

This morning I woke up early, after my daughter woke me up because she wanted to use the loo. She then fell asleep next to me. I was deep in slumber she told me that her little brother is awake. I went to pick him and he whispered "Peepee." meaning he wanted his wet diaper taken off. I did that changed him and then went back to bed with him. I couldn't sleep even after I fed him, so I decided to try the routine I was doing long ago when he was little and I would wake up to dash off to the gym. This time I wanted to do some work in preparation of a busy month ahead. September is knocking at the door and I have so much to prepare for. Like photography work (can't believe I have the number of session I planned for filled out God is amazing.) and my book is coming very quick. I have some people lined up to get a copy as soon as I say go.

 I really feel blessed. Yesterday I went to bed early after a very fun photo-session I did for a couple who are expecting their first child. They reminded me of my excitement when I was excepting AOI. We wanted to meet her so fast and every braxton hick felt like the moment was nearing. They made me laugh and I believe I even went over the time allocated, but it was fun and I only hope that the light was good for the later one.  

I've always been so scared of getting out of my comfort zone and since I'm letting go of my usual familiarity when it comes to work, my dreams are turning into reality.

My friends if you have a dream please don't be scared to turn it into reality because the universe will make it work for you.

Ah, ah, playing with camera.

  Cheeky, cheeky. Awww, your smile, want to eat you.

25 Aug 2015

Summer Vacation Is Nearly Over

It's all good over my side how about yours?

Sitting here writing, it's a bit scary because I haven't done it in ages. And to think that I kinda promised to be consistent with my blogging after my awesome experience @Blogher15 conference.

Our summer vacation is coming to a close. Next week we will all get into a school year routine. AMI starting teaching on September 4th and AOI starting her second year of preschool. TOI and I will be going to playgroups and in the afternoons during nap times and quiet time for AOI I'll work on my creative projects. 

Well, this month has been one of the busiest and fun summer moments for my family. Traveling every other day. Since my last entry I've been to Waskasiu, Lake Dienfenbaker, Edmonton and on Wednesday I'm taking another quick trip to Waskasiu. Family visiting, me squeezing some time to complete my book {MORE COMING OVER THE COMING WEEKS (you can read a piece on my IG account)}.

I'm excited beyond belief. And scared so much because this book is my little baby that has been on my heart for so long and finally I'm going to give it to the world.

Can't wait, it's so close that some days it feels like a dream. 

Stay blessed!

7 Aug 2015

Your Questions Answered: Final Part

I know I'm late with this but forgive me. Last month was uber-hectic over here. With traveling, photographic jobs and editing, I couldn't really answer thoughtfully to these beautiful questions. But here are the final ones

okeoghene  asked:

From your welcome note you said you are a virtual assistant, how did you get to be that?

My position as virtual assistant is fairly new, but I’ll get to where I’m supposed to be.

After nearly ten years of blogging I knew I had something to offer people but I didn’t know what and how. This was the case until I ran to Elizabeth Bradley, the awesome lady behind Savouring Simpicity, for help. Elizabeth was so helpful, for taking the time to coach me and help me pinpoint the resources I have to offer.

I have Elizabeth Bradley to thank for this great opportunity to be able to work with people throughout the world. She is my virtual coach and helped me pinpoint what I can offer to busy working people that are in need for an assistant to run their blogs and websites.

What kind of jobs do you assist with?

I work with new bloggers to build up an attractive blog that they can’t wait to show off to their friends or clients. I also work with busy business owners who want to have a solid online presence, providing guidance and sometimes blog content.

How many pictures in average do you take in a day?

That depends on the mood, but anything between 50-100 photos, then I eliminated nearly all of them. I’m always practicing and getting to know the light and composition I love most.

What kind of camera do you use?

I use Canon6d on most portraits here on my blog and my Facebook business page. On my IG account {{lifeoftoi}} I use my iPhone, so convenient and easy to share photos on social media in that way.

Did you learn photography from a professional or everything you know you taught yourself?

My very first proper job was as a photo-developer, so I worked with various professional photographers. My boss was a photographer, and he allowed me to use top end photo-cameras on my school and weekend trips or capturing weddings for my family or their children. I would observe and then try to emulate the way they captured. I practiced a lot capturing friends, family members and doing self-portraits. Before starting my current small photography business I started taking online classes through @CreativeLive. They offer FREE photography (and more) classes with world class tutors, you can then purchase their courses to have them always on your computer. I’ve been also taking some courses through @clickinmoms to enhance my creativity.

The short answer is yes, I'm self taught photographer. 

 Mrs. Pancakes asked:

Where do you see your photography in five years?

I love photographing people and the emotions that may experience in that moment, telling their story through my photography. I hope that in five years I will be capturing precious moments for many people around the world. Thus combining two of my many passions: traveling and photographing. 
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