Sick as a Dog Plus a Tooth Abscess = Invalid Julie

I am horrifically sick, like teary-eyed, body aches, nose running and sinus inflamed gross sick. Lovely use of English grammar there I know but you’ll have to forgive me as I’m typing through a haze. This haze isn’t one from pain killers, no-no…although that would be a relief this alcoholic won’t take any kind of addictive medication.

This all started with a gentle sniffle a few days ago and overnight progressed into a cold that knocked me to my knees. One would think that’s enough but nope, add to it some pain in my jaw and you’ve got my current situation. On the morning when my sniffles had turned to the Monster cold I began feeling tooth pain in one of my molars. I put it down to a popcorn kernel, flossed and said a prayer it wasn’t a major sinus issue.

Off to the Dentist

Later that day I was immobilized by the pain in my upper left jaw, I couldn’t even talk anymore. I’d been taking Ibuprofen and Tylenol cold remedies and although my sniffles were in check the jaw pain was not. My husband had enough of my whining and insisted on driving me to our dentist’s office before they closed. Note: I have a serious anxiety issue with the dentist, I wouldn’t go there unless it was a DIRE situation….and this was.

I sucked it up and went in, thankfully they squeezed my aching self in for an Xray.

SoberJulie at dentist

As I sat there one part of me was hoping the Dentist would put it down to my sinus pushing on the nerves because of the cold, another part hoped it would be tooth-related. I had no idea what was wrong but I needed relief from this awful pain.

The Dentist’s Verdict

In the end the X-ray showed that I had a filling which was too close to the nerve. This means that the nerve becomes irritated over time and forms an abscess at the root which sits against the nerve line. Voila = wicked pain and a root canal in my future. (Sorry to the dental professionals of the world for my horrible explanation.)

SoberJulie tooth

The Dentist was in a quandary when it came to helping me with pain-relief. I cannot take codeine and won’t take a narcotic so in the end I’ll have to make do with Tylenol and Ibuprofen based meds. Thankfully she prescribed a strong antibiotic which seems to have begun working I was getting slap-happy from not sleeping. Funny how a lack of sleep can diminish functionality so quickly.

As someone who lives with chronic pain on a daily basis I thought I was pretty hardened to discomfort and pain. Nope, this pain created the perfect storm in my body to over-whelm me. Suddenly all the chronic pain flared up, a wicked migraine came along and I was in the depths of something I can’t properly describe.

I’ve missed a bunch of plans we had a as a family this weekend, lost sleep and am left so tired and weak. But through this there was a lesson….the obvious one is to go to the dentist more regularly because they could have caught this….but the other one is how fortunate I am.

I’ve been too ill to care for my kids or myself and my family jumped in and filled that gap. My husband readily gave me cold cloths, made me cream of potato bacon soup and loved me in every way he could. My Mum (who lives here with us) made sure the girls were loved and was there if we needed anything. Our wagons circled during this time and once again I’m grateful.

Ok now I’ve learned a lesson me thinks it’s time for this freaking cold to move along…..

Newly Re-Imagined Disney Magic Sets Sail @DisneyCruise

Disney is at it again, they’re making magic aboard the Disney Magic cruise ship. We have never been on a cruise, it’s on our family holiday wish-list. When you combine Disney and cruising it seems you can’t go wrong!

Captain Mickey on the Disney Magic

There’s an extra dose of magic aboard the Disney Magic, with new spaces, re-imagined areas and exciting additions for the whole family. Guests can now experience new adventures from bow to stern throughout their journey on the cruise ship that set the standard for oceangoing majesty and family fun.

Marvel’s Avengers Academy

From a new grand atrium lobby and a children’s area of “super hero” proportions to a three-story water thrill slide and a spa to stimulate the “Senses,” there are plenty of new and magical surprises in store for cruise guests. The ship features fun new experiences with Marvel characters—the first time super heroes from the Marvel universe have been introduced on a Disney Cruise Line ship.


The upper ship decks of the Disney Magic have been redesigned for plenty of splashtacular fun, with waterful adventures that include a three-story water slide for thrill-seekers and a Huey, Dewey and Louie-themed toddler splash zone for smaller ducklings.

Disney Magic Animator’s Palate – Drawn to Magic

Animator’s Palate, one of the most popular restaurants on the Disney ships, is updated with all-new, animation-adorned walls and larger high-definition flat-screens to provide the best views of the animation magic that takes place all around. New furnishings all around the interior of the restaurant, including custom-built Mickey Mouse chairs, provide a fun feast for the eyes, while the delectables and dishes provide a feast for the palate.

Disney Magic Upgrades at a Glance

  • A Grand First Impression – When guests board the Disney Magic, they enter the grand atrium lobby that is redesigned to be “elegant art deco, inspired by elements of the sea,”
  • Disney, Disney-Pixar & Marvel Characters Join the Fun – With Marvel now a part of the Walt Disney Company family, this marks the first time the super hero icons of Marvel have been introduced on a Disney Cruise Line ship. Marvel and Walt Disney Imagineers have created a new space for children to enter into the Marvel Universe.
  • Disney’s Oceaneer Lab – 3 to 12-year-old children go on a journey of discovery, exploration and adventures. At this new pirate-themed area, children are encouraged to create, play and explore. An animator’s studio, a pirate workshop and lab lets kids get hands-on to create experiments and art projects, and Navigator Simulators let young buccaneers steer a ship through the mysterious waters of the Caribbean.
  • H2  … OH! – The upper ship decks of the Disney Magic have been redesigned for plenty of splashtacular fun, with waterful adventures that include a three-story water slide for thrill-seekers and a Huey, Dewey and Louie-themed toddler splash zone for smaller ducklings.
  • Disney Dining With an Extra Dash of Pixie Dust – New restaurants and new technology are on the menu for the restaurants aboard Disney Magic.
  • The Fun’s Just Begun When Nighttime Comes – After a day of soaking in the sun on the decks and enjoying activities around the ship, Disney Magic offers big city-style fun in After Hours, the nighttime adult entertainment district. An all-new lineup of clubs includes venues for dancing, comedy, music and variety shows. After Hours replaces Beat Street, formerly on the Disney Magic.
  • Open Up, and Say ‘Spa’ – For the ultimate in relaxation and pampering, the enhanced Senses Spa & Salon offers many indulgences. Redesigned with a sleek and contemporary style, this haven of personal harmony provides an unmatched ocean-view environment. The size of the spa has been expanded by 725 square feet, to a total size of nearly 11,500 square feet.
  • Family Fun in the D Lounge – Another re-imagined area, D Lounge, offers a variety of family-friendly games, shows, dances and activities designed for all ages. Colorful and contemporary, this space encourages creative and kinetic fun. Families can enjoy entertainment, game shows and activities together in D Lounge which replaces Studio Sea, formerly on the Disney Magic.
  • Putting more ‘room’ in staterooms – Disney Cruise Line knows that traveling families always need more space, so features are included in each room to provide more usable space. Bed frames are elevated to provide storage space underneath. The bathrooms include the split-bath feature that Disney introduced to the cruise industry—providing even greater convenience to guests.


Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post, all opinions are my own.



Smoothie Recipe & 2K Giveaway from Almond Fresh

Anyone who visits often knows how I love a good smoothie recipe. One ingredient I commonly use is Almond Milk so when I heard that Almond Fresh is giving away some AMAZING prizes I jumped on the chance to share the Almond Fresh Giveaway with you.

Almond Fresh Facebook Contest – $2000 Value


Product images are for illustration purposes only; products may not be exactly as shown

Almond Fresh has a contest live on Facebook where you can win a daily Almond Fresh prize pack along with a grand prize of a Kitchen Aid Countertop Appliance Prize Pack complete with a year’s supply of Almond Fresh. The contest runs until November 1st.

Entering is simple, go to the Almond Fresh Facebook Page, like them, and send a refreshing smoothie recipe to a friend and enter the contest.

Smoothie Recipe

If you’re looking for some delicious smoothie recipes you can see my recipes by clicking this link, try the one below or head over to the Almond Fresh recipe vault to see more.

Energy Boost Fruit Smoothie



  • 1 cup of pineapple, peeled and chopped
  • 1 medium orange, peeled
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 1 medium banana, peeled
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 cup crushed ice


You just cannot get more simple than this! Place all ingredients into the blender and blend on medium/high until it reaches your desired consistency. Pour into glasses and enjoy!


Disclosure: This is a sponsored post, all opinions are my own.

Twitter Party Alert #MexicanFiesta

We all know how I love a good FIESTA and now She’s Connected and Chicken Farmers of Canada are holding one on Twitter! Yes folks it’s a Twitter party you don’t want to miss.


We will be talking all about delicious Mexican foods which have chicken in them, such as…

Screen Shot 2013-10-30 at 1.08.24 PM


Screen Shot 2013-10-30 at 1.08.08 PM

Twitter Party Alert #MexicanFiesta

Date: Thursday November 7, 2013

Time: 8:00pm – 9:00pm EST

Hosts: @ChickenDotCA @SimplyStacieNet @MyChaos @MommyKatandKids

Hashtag: #MexicanFiesta

Prizing: 10 (ten) $50 AMEX Gift Cards

RSVP: She’s Connected


If you’re looking for more recipes for your own Fiesta night,  check out the website.


Disclosure: I am participating in the Chicken Farmers of Canada campaign by ShesConnected. I received compensation in exchange for my participation in this campaign. The opinions on this blog are my own.

Understanding Auto Insurance #AutoXplained

Three and a half years ago I was in a car accident which changed my life. When an accident like this happens to you, suddenly you can see the value of car insurance. So many of us resent paying car insurance premiums, thinking that we’ll never use it but the reality is we don’t know when an accident will happen. I certainly didn’t think I’d EVER be involved in a serious one after 20 years of driving.

Where payments go and how claims are paid out

Each person who pays car insurance premiums are actually putting the money into a pool. This is the money which is used to assist folks who have contributed with costs associated with a claim.

How Car Insurance Premiums are Calculated

The premium you pay for car insurance is calculated based upon your unique situation and the chances that you’ll actually make a claim. If you fall into a category where you’re unlikely to ever make a claim you pay less.

Tips to Help Control the Cost of Auto Insurance

  • Dropping collision coverage on an older car
  • Getting package deals for insuring your car and home, or more than one car, with the same insurance company
  • Installing an approved theft deterrent system in your vehicle
  • Buying a car with a lower–‐cost insurance rating

Considerations Before You Insure Your Car

  • Where you live – Collisions and auto theft are more likely in urban areas, which may affect your premium.
  • What car you drive – Your car’s make, model, year, value and potential repair costs are associated with risk factors. Your insurance company may consider the CLEAR system to rate your car.
  • What you use your car for – The more you drive, the higher your collision risk. Your insurance company will want to know if you drive often or for long distances.
  • Your driving record – A long, collision–‐free driving history can help you qualify for competitive insurance rates.
  • Your driver profile – Depending on your province, the claims history of the group to which you belong as a driver – for example, drivers of the same age and driving experience – may be factored into your rate.
  • Your premium may be impacted by how often your group makes claims.
  •  Your coverage (and endorsements)The more comprehensive your coverage, the higher your premium may be.
  • The listed drivers of your vehicle

I cannot stress how important it is to have your car insurance up to date. As a person who has had the unfortunate opportunity to see its benefits up close and personal I assure you I would have been lost without it. I know it’s not a cushy feeling to be paying for something you haven’t used…but chalk it up to peace of mind and hope you’ll never need it. By doing a bit of research before you purchase your car or insurance you can save yourself some costs on premiums.


To learn more, head over to the IBC website where you’ll find everything you need to know.

Isn’t your peace of mind worth it?

Disclosure: Although this post has been generously been sponsored by IBC, the opinions and language are all my own, and in no way do they reflect Insurance Bureau of Canada.




Banana Pina Colada Mocktail Recipe #YouMexiCan

As you know I’m an ambassador for Old El Paso and someone who is always on the hunt for delicious, fresh Mocktails. Combine the two and you’ll have a need for a delicious Pina Colada Mocktail recipe. Today I proudly bring you my Banana Pina Colada Mocktail recipe which I know you’ll love.

Pina Colada Mocktail

Pair this frozen drink with any of your Mexican meals and you’re in for a Fiesta! Need some ideas for a Mexican dinner? I can help, here are a few of our favourite recipes.

Chicken Fajitas


Crescent Roll Tacos


Banana Pina Colada Mocktail

Pina Colada Mocktail

  • 2 frozen ripe bananas
  • 1 cup pineapple chunks
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/2 can coconut milk – frozen into cubes
  • Fresh pineapple wedges for garnish


Add the first 4 ingredients into your blender. Blend until smooth and creamy.Pour into 4 glasses, garnish with a fresh pineapple wedge and serve! It’s that simple to create this delicious, Mexican Mocktail!

Banana Piña Colada Recipe #YouMexiCan
Author: Julie Elsdon-Height
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
  • 2 frozen ripe bananas
  • 1 cup pineapple chunks
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/2 can coconut milk – frozen into cubes
  • Fresh pineapple wedges for garnish
  1. Add the first 4 ingredients into your blender.
  2. Blend until smooth and creamy.
  3. Pour into 4 glasses, garnish with a fresh pineapple wedge and serve.

Disclosure: I’m part of the Old El Paso Ambassador program and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.

Easy Halloween Dessert – Timbit Spiders

In preparation of our Halloween festivities I was on the hunt for an easy Halloween dessert when I came across these Easy Halloween Eyeball Donut Holes from What a GREAT idea, she uses donut holes (Timbits here in Canada) instead of having to make her own cake pops…brilliant I say!


Following her lead, I went out and grabbed a 40 pack of Timbits from Tim Hortons, some icing and candies to become the BEST Mom ever!

Timbit Spiders – Easy Halloween Dessert

easy halloween dessert collage


  • 40 donut holes, no glaze or powder from your favourite donut spot
  • Icing
  • Food colouring of your choice
  • Assorted candies of your choice (string liquorice for legs)
  • Appetizer sticks (we used forks)
  • Toothpicks
  • Cupcake cups
  • Coloured sugar


Put your icing into a bowl and drop in a few drops of food colouring and mix well until you reach your chosen colour. Place your Timbit onto the appetizer stick (or fork) and ice it all around. Pour some coloured sugar into a cupcake cup and the iced Timbit into it, coating it well.

Use the toothpicks to apply the spider’s legs, simply put one end of the toothpick into the liquorice and one end into the Timbit. Put on candy eyes/mouth and you are done!

easy halloween dessert timbit spiders


Recovery from Alcoholism – Wordless Wed w/Linky

Today’s wordless Wednesday post was a no-brainer for me when I scrolled across this photo which was taken at a recent photo shoot. I was struck by the lighting, the warm tones remind me of my perspective.

In this image I’m standing in a horribly dirty alley with trash strewn all around me and yet….there’s the perfect lighting which ended up in a lovely photo.

Beauty in the mix is what I’m always seeking in my recovery from alcoholism.


SoberJulie Recovery from Alcoholism

Please feel free to link up your Worldless Wednesday posts and thank you for your comments!

Peanut Butter Brownie Recipe

Easy recipes are the key to my dessert success, I openly admit that I’m not the most amazing cook but I’ll tell you when I nail it, I nail it! This Peanut Butter Brownie recipe is ridiculously simple and sure to impress anyone you share it with. This past weekend was Thanksgiving here in Canada and my sister generously offered to host 22 of us in her home. I offered to bring a dessert and had planned to make my Cheesecake Cups when my nephew asked for brownies.

Well I’m not one to back down from a challenge so I did what any good net-savvy woman would do and turned to Pinterest. Once again I was drawn to images of Peanut Butter Brownies and so here I am offering you what I ended up developing after trying a few batches (much to the delight of my neighbourhood children samplers).

Peanut Butter Brownie Recipe

Peanut Butter Brownie Recipe #recipe



  • 1 box (18-19 oz) Brownie mix
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup chocolate frosting


Peanut Butter Brownie Recipe

Preheat your oven to 350° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl combine brownie mix, butter, cream cheese and egg. Mix until dough becomes very thick and sticky and spoon into bottoms of 18 paper-lined muffin pan cups. Place in the oven for 18 minutes. Transfer to wire rack to cool.


Peanut butter brownie recipe filling WM

In another bowl stir together peanut butter and powdered sugar.

peanut butter brownie recipe in cups WM

Spoon approximately 1 tablespoon onto the top of each cooled brownie cup, frost and enjoy!

peanut butter brownie long WM


Peanut Butter Brownie Recipe
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: Julie Elsdon-Height
A delicious Peanut Butter Brownie
  • 1 box (18-19 oz) Brownie mix
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup chocolate frosting
  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. In a medium bowl combine brownie mix, butter, cream cheese and egg.
  4. Mix until dough becomes very thick and sticky and spoon into bottoms of 18 paper-lined muffin pan cups.
  5. Place in the oven for 18 minutes.
  6. Transfer to wire rack to cool.
  7. In another bowl stir together peanut butter and powdered sugar.
  8. Spoon approximately 1 tablespoon onto the top of each cooled brownie cup, frost and enjoy!




Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party 2013

Each year Walt Disney World is transformed overnight into the ultimate Halloween experience one can see. Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween party takes place on select nights from 7:00 PM to midnight, September 10 to November 1, 2013.

mickeys not so scary halloween party image

In typical Disney style the transformation is magical, it’s more than a few decorations; over 20 truckloads of Halloween regalia is set up to create a magical setting for memories to be made. People leave the park at night and return in the morning to find the entire 30,080 acres has become something different and oh-so beautiful!

Mickeys not so scary halloween party

As we stepped off of the boat at the entrance we actually gasped as we gazed upon the amazing decorations, how could one resist this photo op?

mickeys not so scary halloween family

As you can see my husband was into the mood with Sydney, their “Scary” factor was higher than that at Magic Kingdom.

mickeys not so scary entrance

We arrived in time to catch a good ‘ol fashioned marching band playing down Main Street USA, if you get this chance sit and enjoy, they’re brilliant!

mickeys not so scary halloween main street

We enjoyed the day at Magic Kingdom but we happily headed back to the hotel to get changed into our costumes, the party started at 7pm and we wanted to be ready! Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party entrance is not included in your day pass, it is a separate ticket to purchase but it is one add-on I’d highly recommend. Our Canadian children who attended #HalloweenHaunt were really happy to be dressing in a Halloween costume sans a snowsuit…at home that just never happens.


Image Courtesy of

Mickey’s Not-S0-Scary Halloween Party

When you enter Magic Kingdom for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween you’re immediately surrounded by fog, lights, decorations and even eerie sounds. The mood is set, the kind Disney folks hand you a bag when you enter so you can also Trick or Treat while partying!

mickeys not so scary halloween dancing main st


The park is filled with sights and sound to entertain but there are also extra special things for everyone to enjoy! We were strolling through Tomorrow Land when we came across a surprise! Sulley and his friends from Monsters Inc. were holding a dance party! The joy on our little Chelsea’s face was palpable and my heart jumped as I watched her overcome her shyness and get into the groove.


Even the reserved Miss Sydney got into the dancing spirit once she saw that it was cool by Sulley’s standards! During the Halloween Party there are 2 of these dance parties happening every night so mark it down on your itinerary.

Image Courtesy of

Image Courtesy of

Disney Villains Dance Mix and Mingle! 
Some of your favorite baddies from Disney films rock you with this thrilling opening number in front of a ghostly Cinderella Castle. When the number is over, the villains veer into the crowds for meet and greets.

Venture into Frontierland where you might even meet a barbershop quartet of dead cowboys who sing songs in the style of the Dapper Dans. They like “axing” Guests questions and answering with puns as part of their “dead pan” humor.

Mickey’s “Boo-to-You” Halloween Parade 

paradeDuring the party there are 2 Boo-To-You parades you simply must see. It’s a treat to the eyes, with floats, characters music and more!

Happy Halowishes

Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

Get ready to be impressed by Walt Disney World’s Happy Halowishes, a special fireworks party to commemorate the haunting season! With music from past spooky Disney films, a fast-paced light show and fireworks to set you on edge this is a MUST SEE!

mickey no so scary halloween fireworks castle

Trick Or Treating

Throughout Magic Kingdom there are locations where you can offer up your bag to receive some treats. When I say you receive treats, I mean HANDFULLS of high-quality treats (Disney didn’t scrimp on this one). Again the children were thrilled as they watched their bags fill quickly. These treat locations are marked on the party maps which you can find throughout the park. If you don’t have a map, just watch out for cast members carrying the tell-tale Halloween Mickey sign.

trick or treat

If you happen to get caught up in all of the Halloween magic and forget to find the treat stations, don’t worry there’s one on the way out and the cast members are generous!

Mickeys not so scary halloween trick or treatMeeting Disney Characters

Another nice thing about Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween party is the lessened size of crowds. This means the lineups to meet Disney characters is much smaller than they normally would be. At different locations in Magic Kingdom you can find your favourite characters waiting to meet you, sign an autography and even get a picture or 2. If you’ve forgotten your camera, no worries check out the PhotoPass feature, Disney will snap photos of your family for you to enjoy later.


If there was one character I was going to get a photograph with, it had to be BUZZ! To Infinity and Beyond!

soberjulie with buzz

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween party was a total hit with our family and friends. We all agree it far exceed our expectations and is truly something one must experience to believe. If you’d like to learn more about the party, head over to the Disney website which is stocked with info.

Disclosure: Our stay was provide in exchange for sharing our experience and truthful opinions.