Using social media to distract me from an incurable addiction to chocolate

Right where I need to be

May 25th, 2015 | Posted by Melany Gallant in musings - (1 Comments)

I’ve been working on focusing my attention on the present and not the ever-growing to-do list. The pressing deadlines. The next obligation activity. The next-next, whatever it may be.

I’m sure you know from experience how difficult it can be to just be. It can take real effort.

So I’ve been practicing.

And in that practice of being in the moment I’ve discovered something key. (more…)

felt spring rolls

As a working mom, I don’t get to volunteer at my daughter’s school as much as I’d like to. You know…on the bake sale days, or the winter carnival fun days or come what may.

So when my girl’s teacher put out a call to parents asking if anyone could help make pretend food for the children’s Chinese Restaurant, I jumped at the chance.

Wondering what this restaurant is all about?

My daughter’s Senior Kindergarten class has what’s called a dramatic play area. Every month or so they switch up the theme: from a veterinarian clinic, to a birthday party to a costume dress-up place, etc.

The cool thing about this dramatic play area is that the children decide together what the theme will be. For January and February, the children decided they wanted it to be a Chinese Restaurant. (more…)

I love soup

January 27th, 2015 | Posted by Melany Gallant in domestically yours - (3 Comments)
I love soup

Knee-deep in cold, blustering winter it should come as no surprise that I source comfort and warmth at every turn.

Peppermint tea is my coffee mug’s best friend. I wear slippers like they’re a runway fashion.

Scarves and woolly sweaters adorn my neck and torso like a koala baby to its mom.

Oh and the soup. I savour a hearty a bowl of soup almost daily.

Sunday is my meal-making day for the week ahead. And soup plays a starring role on my stove top. (more…)

#365feministselfie example

Late December 2013, just a day or two before New Year’s 2014, I came across some chatter on Instagram about the #365feministselfie project and I was intrigued.

@VeronicaEye had put forth a photo challenge to women everywhere: take a photo of yourself every day for a year. This photo challenge wasn’t just in response to the anti-selfie movement, though certainly it played a part.

What Veronica invited us to do is share the many facets and layers of womanhood through our own eyes and on our own terms. (more…)

Holiday traditions rock

December 15th, 2014 | Posted by Melany Gallant in musings - (4 Comments)

Last year, my girl and I started a new holiday tradition…decorating a gingerbread house. So much fun. So much candy.

Because we’re in the midst of a kitchen reno, this year’s gingerbread house was decorated at my parents’ place and that made it fun too since Grandma got to add in her artistic touch.

This activity is definitely a holiday favourite. And look how proud this gingerbread house designer looks:


Another holiday fav? The Christmas stocking

Growing up we definitely hung our stockings up by the chimney with care. I don’t know what it is about them but my siblings and I would be so excited to tear into them Christmas morning. (more…)

When I was five years old, I walked to school. Sometimes on my own and sometimes with my brother. While it was a short distance — less than one kilometer — we walked to school un-escorted. No parent or care provider or even an older kid…walked with us.

I know times were different back then. Like, really different. Because my daughter is five years old and I can’t imagine sending her off to school on her own. Not even at six years of age.

But the very act of walking to school? No, I don’t have a problem with that idea at all. (Although if you’d asked me when I was 12…whole different story I’d be telling you.) (more…)

I’ve started incorporating protein powder into my diet. My trainer suggested it years ago but I’ve never liked the taste, and so have resisted. I’ve tried a few different brands and – blegh. Even burying the taste in a smoothie filled with berries, yogurt, etc. No thanks.

But I’ve noticed since incorporating protein powder into my diet, I feel better in the mornings. Less sluggish. More energized. And if it helps me develop lean muscle mass…then good.

The brand I’m using is Vega Protein Smoothie (viva vanilla!). I’ve been mixing it with almond milk. I’ve also been mixing it into my oatmeal – delish! But one can only eat oatmeal so many times before it becomes a bit too much of a breakfast yawner.

Enter the geniusness of protein pancakes

Last week my friend Kelly from work gave me a recipe for protein pancakes. A nice alternative to a protein powder smoothie or oatmeal combo. You can still taste that distinctive protein powder taste but the trick, as Kelly says, is to eat them with lots of fresh fruit, maple syrup or honey. (more…)

I’m vincible

October 19th, 2014 | Posted by Melany Gallant in musings - (2 Comments)

Did you ever watch the Flight of the Conchords TV series when it aired back in the day? One of my favourite songs from the show is “Hurt Feelings (Tears of a Rapper)”.

This line: “The day after my birthday is not my birthday, mum.”

Honestly. Hilarious.

The song has been on replay a bit – both on my iPod and in my brain. It makes me laugh.

Every bit of this song makes me smile, but these two lines have snagged my attention of late:

Some people say that rappers are invincible

We’re vincible (We’re vincible)

It’s not just the way Bret and Jemaine say “vincible” and sing this song full of funny. It’s that word itself. Lots going on these past few months that have me realizing…I’m vincible too. (more…)

This Saturday I’m participating in a Women in the Workplace panel at the #StartNow Student Leadership conference taking place at the University of Ottawa.

Organized by the Her Campus UOttawa chapter, I’m pretty darn excited to be included. My fellow panelists include Karen C. Wilson of Wellman Wilson Consulting and Alicia Natividad, Barrister and Sollicitor.

We’ll discuss our career paths, including the pressures and successes we’ve faced and achieved in the workplace. I’m sure everything from the glass ceiling to family-life to our own career mistakes hiccups will be shared.


Tickets to the #StartNow conference are $12 and on sale now. There’s a great lineup of speakers and learning – you should totally go!

#StartNow Conference 2014

When I was 11 years-old I did a terrible thing.

I shoplifted a Sweet Valley High novel from my neighbourhood discount department store. It was spring time and my jacket had these giant pockets on the front perfect for slipping a paperback novel into.

I don’t remember what volume of the series it was. Most likely something to do with Jessica getting herself in trouble and Elizabeth needing to bail her out. You know, like almost all of the novels in the series.

Although in Dear Sister, Elizabeth and Jessica kind of switch personalities… That novel was one of my favs.

svh007-dear-sister - Sweet Valley High series

Anyway, back to my thieving ways…

I was filled with trepidation when exiting the store. But no one stopped me. I was actually quite surprised by this. But I guess no one was paying much attention to the girl wearing the large-pocket white spring coat  hanging loitering around the paperbacks section.

On the walk home I felt relief at not getting caught and excitement at having a new book to read, albeit undeserved. And I knew it was undeserved because coupled with that relief and excitement was a tremendous feeling of guilt. Because I knew better.

Did I confess and bring the book back? No.

And no one found out about me stealing that book. Until…well, now.

Not proud of this shoplifting story. Not proud at all.

I was an avid reader as a child. Money was tight in our family. And while the library was in walking distance it didn’t have the latest and greatest in the Sweet Valley High series. None of these reasons are a valid excuse for taking a five-finger discount that spring day.

Not at all. Just fact. And poor decision-making.

We all have un-proud moments in our histories. Perhaps not about shoplifting but rather some other less than a stellar example of human goodness.

This story is one of mine.