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I’ve been AWOL for a while from the blogosphere, but I’ve been cooking up some fun new things to tell you all about. Recently, I took a big step and became a Pampered Chef consultant!

For those of you unfamiliar with The Pampered Chef, they are the leading direct seller of premium kitchen tools in North America. More information is available on their website ( and you call also browse all the wonderful products there. With my interest in making quick, healthy meals for my family and my love of Pampered Chef products, the move from customer to consultant just made sense for me!

Now that I have taken this big and exciting step, I’m turning to all of you for a little helping hand during the first few months of my new business. How can you help me? Easy: host a cooking show!

At a Pampered Chef cooking show at your home, I will demonstrate a quick, easy and delicious recipe for you and your guests. You’ll learn tips and tricks to make your time in the kitchen fun and more rewarding and then I clean up all the dirty dishes! You’ll receive personal service (something you just can’t get at retail stores these days) and as a host, you’ll earn rewards too. My hosts NEVER pay full price. As a host, you get:

  • Free and discounted products
  • Half-price products
  • Your choice of our monthly host specials (up to 60% off)
  • FREE shipping on your order
  • 10% off Pampered Chef products for an entire year

With my help, you can select a recipe or party theme that your friends and family are sure to love. If you’re interested in learning more about Pampered Chef or about how you can host a fun, interactive party, please leave a comment below (or email me) and I’ll get in touch right away!

For all those Pampered Chef fans outside of Ottawa, I can process your individual order (or you can host a “catalogue show” where you collect orders on paper and still receive some host benefits) via email and have it shipped directly to your home.

Thank you for all your support and happy cooking!


And so 2010 begins!

First of all, apologies for the lack of December posts. The weeks pre-Christmas are always a little hectic and Joe and I were busy preparing for our vacation in Florida and North Carolina (more on that later this month along with pics!).

But on to “bigger” and better things – the newest season of the Biggest Loser. Honestly, I can’t get enough of this show. I love the premise (people learning about healthy eating and exercise as a way to – shock – lose weight), the trainers (I heart Jillian!), the host (Ali is super sweet and gets so emotionally invested in all the participants…and she’s looking totally fly this year post-baby), and the feel good inspiration/motivation that comes with watching people grow emotionally and mentally while they shrink physically! I even love reading the recaps over on Television Without Pity.

The only problem is, Joe worked at the Sens game last night and we didn’t get home (I picked him up) until after 10:00 p.m. Then we decided to “just watch a little bit” of the season premiere. Before you know it, it’s midnight and we’ve laughed and cried (okay, that was just me) through the whole show. And now we are exhausted! But I think it was just the motivation I needed to put in a good workout tonight!

I read an article today called 15 Ways to Stop Worrying and Sleep Better. Before we get to that, though, isn’t it funny that self-help articles always claim that there are a “pretty” number of steps/tasks to do in order to accomplish something? I always wonder how many items on these lists are padding to bring it up to an even number. Or, God forbid, what crucially important thing was cut out to get it down to a good count?

Anyway, the most useful and interesting thing I pulled from this article was #4 – Put worry on a schedule. The idea is not to try to stop worrying, but to set aside some time regularly to deal with your anxieties so that they don’t interfere with your sleepy time.

“In today’s busy world, we don’t have time to do normal worrying until the lights go out,” says Dr. Mary Susan Esther, director of the Sleep Center at South Park in Charlotte, North Carolina, and president of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. “Yet everyone needs a worry time,” she adds. The trick is to schedule it on a regular basis, early in the evening—any time before 8:00 p.m. 

The article goes on to suggest quickly jotting down each worry you have on a separate index card brainstorm-style. Then, go back through the cards and think about each problem. Is there anything you can do about this situation? If the answer is no, rip up the card and throw it away. If it’s yes, write down some possible actions you can take, put the card in a “worry box” and then give it some more thought the next day and decide what you’re going to do.

I like this approach. As someone who does what I feel is probably more than my fair share of worrying/obsessing/panicking, and often about things I have no business worrying about, I think it would be unnatural NOT to worry. Instead, this exercise would focus on getting things down on paper (already reducing their scariness by making them tangible) and then clearly thinking about them. If I can’t possibly do anything to change the situation or issue, I should just rip up the card and maybe hope for some of that serenity thing people talk about.

I would go a step further on the action side, though. Goal-setting experts always stress the importance of forward motion, or inertia, when accomplishing tasks. So if there’s something that can be done about a worry, I would say that your best bet isn’t to write those things down and then set it aside. Take a few minutes to estimate how long such a solution would take and write down the various tasks involved. Then, schedule something you can do the next day or at the very least this week. That way, you don’t have to start a whole new “worry box” for all the worrying you’ll do about the stuff you’re not doing about your original worries. Or maybe that would just be me…

Coming soon to simplysonya, “10 Things You Can Do at the First Sign of a Zombie Apocalypse”.

Sorry for the delay since my last post. I’ve been focused on other things for the past few weeks…some of which involved a major positive change I was hoping to make. I found out yesterday that I came a close second for something that I really, really wanted. I got excellent feedback but I was still quite disappointed.

I suppose I’ll treat it as a “sign from the universe” that I need to stop and reassess where I’m at and where I’m going. It’s better to be running towards something than running away from something, after all. I’m better to set my sights on a goal and focus on developing myself to get there, as opposed to whining about the place I’m at now.

I do know that lots of positive vibes can be had simply by accomplishing small things on the way to a goal (the act of forward motion is quite powerful to your state of mind). But as I warned Joe, I am allowed to mope for a few days until the dust settles. Then, after enough self-pity has been had, I can pick myself up, dust myself off and start again.

I came across the most disturbing photographs today, courtesy of the website Life Without Plastic. Chris Jordan is a photographer who recently spent some time on Midway Atoll, “a tiny stretch of sand and coral near the middle of the North Pacific” as he describes it on his website. There, he found a few of the tens of thousands of albatross chicks who have perished with bellies full of human plastic waste fed to them by their parents.

If there exists a more powerful visual cue of the horrific impact that we ignorant humans are having on this planet, I don’t want to see it. I warn you, it’s pretty heart-wrenching. Please see Mr. Jordan’s website here and click on the “Midway: Message from the Gyre” link to see the collection.

Please – stop using disposable plastics! And for the love of the planet, RECYCLE!

Sesame Street begins its 40th season today, can you believe it? The Ottawa Citizen explores all the famous guest stars on the ‘Street, including Michelle Obama, in an article today.

And OH MY GOODNESS if you ever want to re-live your childhood, check out the wealth of clips on YouTube. Have you seen the latest clip? A Mad Men parody featuring Guy Smiley as Don Draper…a perfect muppet match if there ever was one!

Here are a few of my favourites from childhood: Fishing with Ernie and Bert, The Count counting sheep, and those Yip Yip Martians! There’s also Kermit’s News Flash (there they are again!) and a skit about cooperation that my husband and I were just talking about the other day, the Geefle and the Gonk. And one to scare my brother…Cookie Monster’s nightmare!

Was there anything that Sesame Street didn’t teach us?

I’ve had some great ideas for blog posts the past few weeks but very little time to write them down. Hopefully that will change soon; in the meantime, I’ve added a new page called “Quotes and other tidbits” where I can drop all those little things that strike me as I find them. The kind of things that can be so powerful when you discover them but can get lost along the way if you don’t collect them in one place.

Please feel free to add your own favourite quotes or thoughts in the comments!

Well, I’ve been at it for more than a year! Not writing as often as I would like, mind you, but it’s always nice to leave some room for improvement, right?

Joe and I are in the process of starting a master to-do list for the house – we’ve decided it will be much easier to organize and far less overwhelming to get everything down on paper and start assigning some deadlines to the top priorities. Otherwise, the winter will pass just as quickly as the summer did and we’ll still sitting around saying “gee, we should really…”.

Maybe I’ll post a few things just for fun so everyone can see if we’re really accomplishing what we’ve set out to do. Nothing like making yourself accountable to your plans to ensure you get things done!

Hey guys. Just a short one today. Someone (a genius) has decided to compile photos of the glorious people and things you’ll see at a Walmart across the US of A. Check it: So. Hilarious.

I went for coffee last week with a local writer named Erika who stumbled on my little corner of the “blogosphere”. Turns out, we used to work together many moons ago when we were both in university. Small world, eh?

Anyway, it was great to catch up and chat with someone who has made the leap to full-time freelancing. *gulp* That takes courage and guts. Good for you, Erika! We exchanged book recommendations and talked about how funny it is that we both married men named Joe. I left our coffee date totally inspired to set aside some more time for my writing. It’s always nice to be reminded you have company out there!

Please take a moment to check out her blog: From now on, it’ll also be in my links list off to the left.

Why I’m here

My name is Sonya. I live with my husband and our cat in the suburbs of Ottawa. I started this journal to document my thoughts and experiences and share them with friends, family and anyone else who happens to pass this way. My hope is that it will help to keep me focused on the simple things I value most in life and, above all, keep me writing.

Freelance Writer

I'm available for freelance writing gigs of all kinds. Please check out my Portfolio and feel free to contact me.

Pampered Chef

Please visit my Pampered Chef page for more information about how you can host a cooking show and earn free and discounted products.