Tag Archives: children

Public School or Private School – York Region


Hello everyone,

It has been a while since I wrote something but I thought for this purpose it would be a good idea because I have noticed that many people that I know are now looking into whether or not private school is something that they can afford or look into. Understand that I write this post based solely as my experience as an OCT qualified teacher with more than a decade of teaching experience and as a parent.

In Vaughan there are quite a few public schools and to be honest they aren’t great. They have entirely too large class sizes in my area with 20+ students to 1 teacher. They may say that there will be a teachers aid in the smaller classes but what about when there isn’t? Also why is an aide at the same level as the teacher? In addition to that in York region the sheer lack of diversity in the teaching staff is almost laughable. There is very little diversity and it certainly doesn’t match up with the student population. When I initially went into the school that my son was supposed to go to it was unbelievable the way I was dismissed, I didn’t once mention that it was my field, because I wanted to see if they treated me well or not. In fact they treated me poorly from the very first person I spoke to, to the very last. So I said forget it.

I was ready to homeschool my child, because he was 2 at the time of this, and he could already read. So I discussed this with my spouse and he flat out refused, and said I had to look for another alternative. Since marriage is about compromise I had to find a middle ground so I looked into private schools.

In Vaughan there are three private schools that are somewhat affordable; King heights, North Hill Private and Woodbridge Private School (formerly Woodbridge Montessori)

King Heights: They have an IB program, and personally I found quite a few problems with this school as a parent and an educator.  Any school activity whether it is Gym or going to the library or something like that has to be done off campus at another place. So the children have to be bussed there. That means a lot of time is given to transportation and my kids would be in a bus without car seats regularly when they could be learning. I won’t even let my mother drive my kids to school, they have to have their winter clothes off when in the car, so this wouldn’t have worked one bit for me. On top of it when I asked why the school was IB in elementary since in my professional opinion it isn’t necessary at the primary level, I was given the lame excuse that all work should tie back to world and global studies. I wanted to say all GOOD curriculum already does that but I hadn’t told her that I was a teacher, so I made note of the BS answer she gave me. I personally didn’t like the vibe of this school nor the fact that I didn’t get a straight answer as to whether or not all the teachers were OCT certified.

North Hill Private School: Food is included with this program and it only goes up until a lower elementary level and I wanted to put my children in a school once and not have to change them for a while to a different school. The problem with food being included is that my children have allergies and I wouldn’t trust any other source than mine.

Woodbridge Private School: This turned out to be my winner for many reasons. First the school recently went through a complete overhaul. I am very happy with it as a parent. The religious aspect was removed from the everyday school curriculum, which was beginning to be a problem for my kids.

Secondly they have brought in a music and piano teacher to teach both of my children, on site, which is great for them to get the basics of music being taught at such a young age. They have physical education on site and extra curricular activities such as Mandarin, Italian, French, Taekwondo, and Tennis, so that we as parents don’t have to schlep our children around to this activity or that activity on the weekends.

The staff work with each individual kid and they truly make them feel safe and happy which creates a great learning environment for learning. My younger son, literally cried every day going to school for the first 3 months, and they never made him feel bad for it, nor me, they just encouraged me to continue on and that he was in good hands. I would come in some days just to check in, and there he would be happily playing and learning.

The kids are in split classes JK & SK, 1-3, 4-6 are all grouped as such to have plenty of peer learning and the ability for children to gain social skills and understanding from each other, which has been proven to be the most effective learning tool for primary aged children.

Here is the best thing they have recently implemented tutorial from 3:30-4pm so all children will have a chance to complete their homework on site at school, so that we as parents can just have a good time at home discussing their day at school instead of struggling to complete endless mind numbing tasks of trying to get a tired kid to complete a bunch of busy work homework at home when all you want to do is talk to them.

Even when you have a concern about children not getting along or every day concerns the principal is so quick to figure out a solution, and sure you can say it is because you are paying for it, but truthfully I don’t think that is the case here. I ask my kids every day and even when there have been conflicts how they feel about school and they both love it and love seeing each other in school too.

They do offer a hot lunch program too, with great food options, the school is also a nut free school. I know that because my youngest son has an egg allergy they also accommodate for that and various other allergies too based on other students needs.

As a visible minority, I find it very important to add that the school population is very diverse and much more diverse than I have seen of other schools. This is very important to me and to my children so that they aren’t constantly surrounded by one type of person, and you can truly see the diversity of Canada in the school’s population.

If you are looking for an affordable private school I highly suggest looking into Woodbridge Private. A certain percentage of tuition can also be written off as child care expenses also. For me my children are my greatest investment, of my love and work. I give them the best car seats for their safety and even though it meant I had to go back to work to pay for them to be in private school, I was more than willing to put that income entirely towards this school.

I know I had a hard time trying to find any information on this topic so if I have helped you I am very happy!



Are you a Natural Mother?


Are you a natural Mother? I sure as hell am not!

Being a Mother has been the only job I’ve ever had in my life that brought me to my knees begging for mercy on multiple occasions.


My husband recently brought it to my attention that other people he knows (sometimes himself included) feel inadequate when around me as a parent. This made me sad. Never since becoming a Mother have I EVER tried to force my opinions or ideas on another Mother because I know people parent from their own experiences. What may be important to me, may not be for you.


Here is a perfect example. When my husband and I were about to become first time parents, I had actually gotten my ideal job offer, BUT, it wasn’t meant to be because my husband was on a trajectory that would make him 3 times more money than I would ever make, but it would require him to leave for long stretches of time, and IF I took my job offer, it would have meant that my baby would be without either of his parents for most of the beginning of his life.

My own Mother’s words rang in my ears about how much she had wished she could have stayed home with me when I was small instead of leaving me in daycare or with various babysitters and I made the decision to stay home, because I wanted better for my son than I had. I wasn’t sad about it because I have faith in myself and know if I went back to work tomorrow I know I could get a full time job, without much headache.


I think this is what makes me come off to other Mothers as being a natural. The opinion that others have of me, doesn’t bother me. I will tell you it is entirely because of the fact that life has taught me, when others find fault in you, it is because they don’t have the bravery to look at themselves and figure out what is driving them to criticize others. I know I look crazy to others and I know others think I should care more about their opinions but I just walk through my life to my own beat, looking a touch crazy on a regular basis, and I’m proud of that!


I parent my children without apologies. I make every bad situation into a teachable moment for them and myself. I’ve turned every meltdown that my kids have thrown in public into a teachable moment for me, sometimes I learn my lesson and say, “No way am I gonna attempt that shit again” other times, I just am hurting to solve the issue and try and try and try again! I hear the criticism from others, I just don’t care! Also I have developed this amazing ability to tune out people, I mean if I can tune out the screaming banshee of a child of mine throwing a tantrum about having the wrong spoon colour, tuning our a mean mommy wannabe is easy peasy.


Back to my original point, I am not a natural Mother, nope not me, you must have me mistaken for someone else! My house is constantly a mess, I swear in multiple languages, multiple times a day! Everything about Motherhood has been difficult for me, I just stepped up, and did my best, researched the shit out of everything I could and then applied what I could to my own situation. Now I will make a list of the things that didn’t come easy to me.



Recovery from childbirth (two c-sections that had open holes for over two months, and terrible nurses making me cry in hospital both times)

Sleep (the fact that none of my kids slept for more than 3 hours at a time for more than a year a piece) I am not a morning person.

Breastfeeding judgement

Pumping problems

Judgy Grandma telling me to give formula because my kid was too skinny

judgy relatives thinking that both of my kids were on the Autism spectrum (even though I am trained to find markers of learning disabilities and they are trained to be gossipy Aunties, please give me your unsolicited and uneducated opinion)

Hormonal imbalances

Infertility issues when trying for my second

Miscarriage when trying for my second

Dealing with having my health deteriorate due to complications from childbirth

Weight gain for someone like me who used to be athletic!

Dealing with postpartum depression

Despising my husband for not helping because of his and our culture’s chauvinist ways.

My husband not standing up for me to people who constantly criticized me in his circle of people

My husband not stepping up to the plate once we became parents

Recognizing my children have allergies, and then having to step up to the plate and change everything that I had learned to about cooking and relearn to make everything from scratch. A whole lifestyle change.

Even now, I get so much judgement for REFUSING to hang around people that despise me, because it isn’t worth my emotional sanity to give toxic people even a moment of my time.


The point of all this is to show you, or someone you know that even when you suspect that someone is perfect, chances are they aren’t. I struggle EVERY Day! I am constantly learning how to deal with life so that it doesn’t tip me back into depression. I don’t want your pity because I deal with my emotions, I have balances and checks in place to ensure that I don’t fall back on hard times. I am emotionally intelligent enough to ask for help when I need it, but I am very cautious of whom I ask.

I hope you take a good hard look at yourself today and just be happy that you have made it this far!


Nut Free, Egg free weekly dinners for the whole family! Keto, Paleo & Gluten friendly


I’ve decided that sharing one recipe at a time can make it difficult to plan for a whole week. So this week, I made 4 different meals, and it is now Saturday and I still have leftovers! Some tweeks can be made to make these follow the Keto or paleo or gluten free diets 

The meals were as follows: 

White fish cooked in lemon butter with couscous and mixed veggies.

This one I pan fried the fish in the juice of one lemon and half a stick of butter, I just dipped them in breadcrumbs (since I don’t use eggs) and made the couscous and veggies in another pot at the same time. I used one package of frozen veggies the carrots and peas mix. Couscous is super easy to make, if you have some tomato sauce laying around it would taste really nice on top of the couscous and veg mix. That’s it, super simple. Follow the directions  on the box for couscous and throw the veggies in at the same time bring to a boil, cover and let sit. 
Chicken thighs with quinoa in a red pepper sauce (one-pot meal).

This I sautéed the chicken thighs in my new non stick pan with butter, turmeric and garlic and minced half a red onion. I puréed three peppers and once the chicken was browned I threw in the puréed peppers and 1 and half cups of quinoa, covered it and simmered it for approximately 15 mins. If the quinoa isn’t soft and fluffy at the end of the 15 then add a cup more water, stir it and cover again for 7 mins. Repeat that as necessary until the quinoa is fluffy! Serve it with cheese for the kiddos and hot sauce or cayenne pepper for the adults!
Vegetarian black bean chilly in lettuce wraps for the adults, and cheddar tortilla wraps for the kids.

There are 4 wraps on this plate and two people ate them lol in case anyone thinks I’m a pig, I am usually but I controlled myself lol

I mean was my masterpiece for the week, made in the instant pot! I soaked a whole bag of black beans or approx 3 and 1/2 cups in a bowl for 30 mins. I sautéed minced garlic, red onion, and mushroom and garlic salt, onion powder, turmeric, and cayenne. Once sautéed I added puréed Roma tomatoes (I’ve also made this with a jar of tomato sauce) and then added frozen organic corn. Covered the instant pot and set to chilli. While that was happening I made two cups of quinoa with vegetable stock! For the adults I served this on top of lettuce sprinkled with pepper, avocado slices then quinoa and the chilli on top sprinkled with cheese and a small bit of Greek yogurt. The kids I did in a cheddar wrap, they ate it and asked for more. We also ate this on leftover day, and today for dinner! Winner, winner, vegetarian dinner!!!

Tex mex style casserole over rice for the kids and without carbs for the adults

This was easy since I had my seasoning made, which consists of garlic powder, onion powder, garlic salt, sea salt, turmeric,  and cayenne pepper. I browned the ground beef in butter and red onions garlic and seasoning. Then threw it in a casserole dish,  threw in chopped Roma tomatoes, package of shredded cheese, and chives I grew and baked it for 30 mins at 350degrees. You could serve it over rice, or even leftover quinoa! 
This really helped me in the week not to be stressed and well fed. In case you didn’t already pick up on this, I use whole fat ingredients for myself and the family. It’s very close to the Keto or Paleo Diet, and I do personally take from them for myself alone, but I don’t make my kids eat super clean. Unfortunately tree nuts and eggs are basically in everything so I am forced to make almost everything from scratch. 

School lunches, both Nut Free & Egg Free!


So I’ve now completed making lunches for the first two weeks of school. I must say it has been a successful week, because NOTHING, I REPEAT NOTHING HAS COME HOME!!

What I did was on Sunday while I was making dinner, I refused to sit down, and make my kids two varieties of wraps. 

For the wraps I used spinach wraps and regular wraps or tortillas. They both had no added sugar, and not as much salt as regular or even most whole wheat bread. We always accompany with two fruits and one veggie in the small planet box compartments. 


I had was slow roasted beef from natural selections, with old cheddar cheese and sliced dill pickles! This was a big hit with my kids, like Huge! Either on spinach or plain tortilla. 


Natural selections turkey with sliced Havarti and green apple slices! Again Boom! Huge hit!

Then I placed all ten wraps into a large bag and kept it in the fridge pulled a new one out every day and sliced on the diagonal, or you can slice it in pinwheels if your kids like that fancy schmancy stuff!

This weeks wraps were amazing! I know because we all taste tested


Apple butter, turkey, shredded mozzarella, cucumbers in an ancient grain wrap!


Apple butter, Black Forest ham, cucumbers and feta!

I forgot to take pictures of all the wraps but here is one lunch

My kids LOVE cucumbers! I gave them Ontario peaches and strawberries and a cup of yogurt (Liberte strawberry 2%)mixed with half a cup of Motts fruit and veggie sauce (mostly because my little one loves the combo and there is quite a bit of fibre in it) 

I write this for people who get mad that they have to deal with kids allergies at school, or parents who don’t know what to pack, or parents who want to get out of the norm of package foods, or even want to have their kids eat healthier. I really hope it helps!

Happy Back to school!!

Stay tuned for more homemade snacks without packaging!

Lebanese-esq ground beef and couscous


So I was in the mood for something with a reminder of Middle East tastes, then I realized I have never exposed my kiddos to some of the flavours that I used to and still adore. What I made was a Lebanese style ground beef with couscous. I wanted to add spinach to this, but it had gone bad and the only frozen veggie I had was corn…it turned out fantastic!!!
What you need:

1 and 1/2lbs of lean ground beef 

1 red onion chopped 

1/2 bag of organic or regular corn (I find the organic tastes more like corn) 

1 tbsp of cinnamon

1 tbsp of all spice

1 tbsp of turmeric 

1 tbsp of garlic salt 

1 tbsp of Italian seasonings 

1 tbsp of onion powder

1 tbsp of sesame oil

4 tbsps of olive oil

Salt and cayenne pepper to taste!

With the ground beef and onion sauté all the seasonings and oil, once the beef is brown and the onions translucent then add the corn and 2 cups of water and simmer for about 20 mins or until the water has thickened up a bit, and serve over couscous. 

If you have never made couscous, it’s waaaay easier than rice. You boil 1 and 1/2 cups of water for every cup of couscous you  want. Boil the water with salt and 1tbsp of olive oil or butter and then once the water is boiling toss the couscous in, STIR, REMOVE FROM HEAT, cover and let sit for 5 mins. Fluff and then put the meat on top and ENJOY!!!
This meal has a subtle sweetness with no sugar added and it is very filling and flavourful!

Don’t Hang Around Toxic People!


Recently, within the last few years or so I have come to the realization that I don’t have to hang around people I don’t like, nor do I have to make my kids be in their presence. I’m not under this impression that you should see people to keep up appearances, because well truthfully that is utter bullshit. People who force themselves to be around people who they don’t like, just come off as disingenuous, and fake. When my son was born I make him a promise that I would attempt to put as much good into this world as possible and this is one of the ways that I intend to do that.

The problem with this decision is that I’ve been faced with so much backlash from people that I should make an effort and keep putting myself out there and quite simply I now say; “No.”


People show you who they are with the way they treat you, and sure someone can have a bad day every now and then and be a bitch, but when someone continuously insults, degrades, questions, demeans or just straight up puts you down in front of others, no matter how many chances you give that person they are going to keep treating you this way because you are Allowing them to treat you this way. You show the aggressor that it’s okay to keep treating you like garbage and they will continue to treat you like garbage until you show them otherwise.

I find that people want you to be a part of the status quo, and the second you decide to do better than them in life, they begin to attempt to bring you back down to their level. The crabs in a bucket theory. The theory being that if you put crabs in a bucket, and they see one crab escaping, they will jointly pull that crab back into the bucket, basically telling that one lonely crab that it should know its roll and fall in line.

We as humans are the same for the most part. It is very rare to find real friends, even family. I have so many family members that told my mom and I off when she was divorced, then there were friends that stood by us. I’ve even had people, tell me off and degrade me in front of my spouse and children, on numerous occasions and then still be expected to hang out again with this person. I’m proud of myself for not doing it. This person is a family member, and the betrayal that I felt when I was degraded cut me deeply. I mourned our times together and then I reminded myself, if that person could do that to me, truly they may not have ever been genuine towards me. I haven’t spoke to this person in years now and when mutual friends or family tell me about them I literally give zero fucks. I smile and nod and don’t feel a thing. It’s sooo fucking liberating to give zero fucks!! I highly suggest it, it is the best medicine for a tortured soul!

Losing a parent or having a great loss in life usually wakes up fake people. This is another observation I’ve made. I lost multiple people whom I was close to at every single developmental stage of my life, and every single one of those people, taught me great lessons in life and their deaths all changed the course of my life for the better. The last person I lost was my mentor. He was my best friend if I’m totally honest one of my greatest life teachers. I used to refer to him as my Canadian Dad. He would always tell me that I just cared too damn much about what everyone else thought about me. It was very true, and in his life he encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone, and I always did knowing that he would be there with pizza, gin & tonics with reruns of the sopranos to make me feel better. When he passed, after a long, painful batter with brain cancer, I went full force into living life with less of other people’s expectations on me. I’m sure there were some points in my life where he was cheering me on like “Fuck Yes Leena Jump!” I think I really heard him sometimes, I feel like I still do!

So I guess the point of this long drawn out post today is that I want you as my friend to feel my freedom. Life doesn’t have to be about bullshit toxic people. Cut off people who only bring bad shit to your life. You will feel liberated. You will be happier not having to worry about how someone is looking at you or what they are saying behind your back. Surround yourself with people who tell you what they think of you to your face. Life is too short, to waste on fake friends. Do you and be good to others, just because they are humans like you and I promise you only good things will come your way. If you put goodness into the world, and stop putting bad vibes and Bullshit drama, your life will improve immensely.

Try it and please let me know how it works out for you!Zerofucks

Never Say Never


To all you new Mothers & Moms to be, I see you. I see you saying all this judgemental stuff, saying I would Never do this or let my children do that. I have been you. I get it. Let me say this that eating crow was the Hardest thing that I’ve ever had to do!

Don’t judge the mom with one kid, when you have none.

Don’t judge the mom with two kids when you have one.

Don’t judge the mom with three kids until you have three, etc etc because until you have walked a mile in that Woman’s (or Man’s) shoes, you Really and truly have no clue! Like none, really and truly, being a parent is like the Hardest Job in the world, and you have to do it for the most part on little to no sleep, and you are trying to take care of this living, breathing piece of you, that has his/her own ideas and personality that sometimes refuses to be tamed.

Many parents don’t even agree on taming young children so that their true personalities can come through. It’s such a crazy thought to me personally, let me make my child like everyone else so that they are more pleasing to other people. Really? No Thank you!