Sunday, May 13, 2012

What my Mother gave to me


Today is Mothers Day, and being a Mother myself , I woke up this morning with the excitement of what this day was going to bring. A few of my children are still young and with this brings all the little drawings and hand made gifts they have been preparing for the last week or so. They cannot contain their excitement at the thought of me seeing what they have created for me and in return I get to see their sweet faces filled with love.

After ceremony of opening my gifts, my husband went down street and came back with a morning Latte for me and then took the kids out to breakfast, leaving me to drink my coffee and read my magazines in the quiet of the house hearing nothing but the birds singing in my ear through the window. I did not however read my magazines but instead found myself wanting to pick up the phone and call my own Mother like I had always done. We would chat about everything and everybody and I would feel fulfilled. Sadly, this was not to be as my Mother passed away 10 years ago at the age of 62 from Ovarian Cancer. I did not feel sorry for myself, I did not shed a tear, but instead I spent the time reflecting on what she gave to me.


  • My Mother gave me Life: she gave me life at a time when her own life was difficult. When she should have been worried about having another mouth to feed but instead she said I gave her such joy and fulfillment at such a pivotal time in her life.


  • My Mother gave me Love: my Mother, who was a mother of 4 and a single Mother for the most part of my first 7 years, who worked all day to just get by would never fall short in the love department. She loved us unconditionally, even when I knew she was hurting inside.


  • My Mother gave me my red hair: No, my mother may not have had my red hair but it came from her family genes and I am incredibly proud of that. I never liked my hair as a kid, I wanted straight beautiful blond…or brown hair but anything but red hair! She would always tell me not t touch my hair, that I was special because of it…it made me who I am, it made me stand out in the crowd. I never did touch my hair, although now I need to fix the grey a little Winking smile but she was right, It does make me who I am…can any one of you imagine me without it?


  • My Mother gave and and gave: My mother may not have been able to afford all of the '”brand” name items the other kids were wearing in school but she would go out and try to find us a “like” brand of the same item to make us feel a part of the crowd. I do remember us complaining about this at the time…”These are not real Cougar Boots Mom!! and her saying “they are the same!” it will be OK. I remember asking her why she didn’t wear all the newer style clothes that my friends mothers wore and her saying “Because I like my clothes and they still look good. This haunts me to this day…. as I now Know she spent every extra penny she had putting u in those “almost” cool clothes and because of that she did without….


  • My Mother gave me strength: My mother gave me strength and courage when I was having trouble in school. She was there for me when I was just becoming a young woman and was having trouble with adjusting to myself….she was so strong when I know I could have broke her. She was there through the tears of broken hearts and she would always say there is someone out there for you Sonya, this is just your journey to him……she was so right. She was there when I could not conceive a child after years of trying and she was there for the joyous news of my first pregnancy….and picked me up after the loss of it.


  • My Mother gave me my Children: No, she did not give me my children physically but inside of each of my children is a piece of her that I see every day…..

388473_252093234852086_100001542337235_665392_563620405_nWith Emma I see my Mothers love in the way that she can not stand to upset anyone purposely. It eats her up if she knows she has. I also see a lot of my troublesome self in Emma and in return I am dealing with the same things she did with me….she gave me the strength to be able to do this.

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I was pregnant with Gracie when my Mother was being taken from this world. My mother never saw her but she did feel her in my tummy in the last few weeks she was with us. Mom was leaving this world and Gracie was coming……..can it be just a coincidence they look so much alike? I get to see my mothers face in Gracie each and every day.


My Mother never got to meet her grandson but she knew how much I wanted him and I truly think she sent him to me. This boy gives me so much love….and yes a little heartache LOL but she would not let me off that easy.


  • My Mother gave me a Family: My Mother gave me 2 big brothers and a sister and when we were young this was not such a good thing…fight, fight, fight but in the end, when she left us, she left us with each other. We are a family, we are her family, we are her……and I thank her every day for giving them to me.

In closing I want to leave you with something she wrote about a perfect day for her. This poem she wrote is so simple, its not about winning the lottery or spending the day in Paris its about the simple things in her life that make her who she was…..A daughter, a sister, a wife, a Mother and a Grandmother …enjoy

A Perfect Day…

There would be warm sun on my face all day & just enough breeze to bring the sweet smell of my flowers to my nose or the fragrance of my freshly washed laundry blowing & flipping on the clothes line.

I would be at home amongst all the personal treasures of my days here on this beautiful earth.

I would have prepared in my head all the meals for the day and be satisfied that they will be as imagined & good.

I would sit out from time to time with a book, though probably not read but instead listen to the voices, inside of the people whom I love, whose love in turn sustains me & warms me past knowing.

I would listen to all the hustle & noise around me of life going on, being lived as God intended and every now & then a little chorus of birds & chipmunks & crickets would punctuate the message of Peace & Hope & Home.

I would water my flowers & smell them & if I’m really to have a complete & perfect day, over the air or around the corner will come the words that sooth my soul....

”Hi Mom, Hi Nan or Hi Bette....that’s me, just me.....

Written by Bette McClelland-Thompson (Mom)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Spa Design- The Concept



I have recently been hired to totally gut and redesign a Salon/Spa for a client. This is a HUGE undertaking for both myself and the Owner of the Salon. Her request is to have an addition onto the spa and redesign the existing Spa area, Bathroom, Kitchen and colour rooms entire salon area and the exterior of the building.

This Salon/Spa is well known not only for its forward thinking in fashion, but for a salon that truly is a comfort to its clients. The shop owners clients say it is a sanctuary that feels like home.

When designing for this space I had to reflect that in the design. The space was warm and cozy but was out-dated and did not reflect the forward thinking of the owner. My goal is to create a space that is old in feeling, reflects its country surrounding yet is a bit more modern in form. I seem to recall explaining my design plan in these words….. "Gentleman's club meets old world glamour with feminine accent and form...and a modern twist” I know….I have lost you now ; )

Here are a few pictures of the existing Salon area


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My Proposal

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The New Salon Area


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The New Manicure and Makeup Area


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The New Pedicure Area


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The New Facial Rooms


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This is an incredible project to work on and I hope I capture the warmth and the spirit of the former Salon & Spa that the customers love so much but have given them something new to appreciate.


Follow me on this project from start to finish and watch how it all unfolds!



Thursday, March 1, 2012

Its a Wrap!



As they say in Hollywood It`s a Wrap!



Photo Credit: Danielle Lynn Photography


On Friday February 24th my team and I but the finishing touches on this years Extreme Makeover Kindness Edition at the Foster Farm Family House Homework Club for the REVEAL the following day.

This years Extreme Makeover was a whirlwind of excitement. It was the second year and we were being recognized for our efforts. We received Media attention that we did not get in 2011, way more than what we expected (but secretly hoped) . I was lucky enough to be asked to go on CTV Morning Live and discuss the makeover, and put a call out for companies for donations of kind to the cause. This interview set everything in motion and the next thing you know I am being interviewed by several magazines, newspapers and TV, view one article in the Ottawa Citizen!



Photo credit: Charlene Burnside Photography

This years Extreme Makeover at the Foster Family Farm Homework club was something that I felt very strongly about. The Homework club provides underprivileged kids with a space to come to do their homework and get the support they need to succeed in life. This is something these kids need and the space I saw on my first visit was not a place that I thought could make these kids feel creative or motivated in their work. They had incredible support from the staff but your environment and surroundings play a huge role in what makes you who you are…..this space was not going to do that.

I was told, I would be making over one room called Homework Room and this is what I saw……




Does this look like a Homework room to you? There was a TV and cabinet, Sofa, bad lighting, bad flooring and a piano…..No tables, no chairs, nothing except a few items on the wall that were educational. This Homework club gets 30-40 kids 3 times a week!! were do they sit? when I asked this question they told me they would pull a table in from the kitchen area and some chairs…..but I guess the rest sat on the floor.

I then noticed a doorway into a room filled with computers, it was dull and uninviting but it did have computers for both the kids and the adults in the area who need to use it. 




Being me I couldn't`t let this room go unnoticed, so I quickly told them I was going to do this room too……and then blurted out “And lets throw in the bathroom”



Did I just say that?


As soon as I got back to the Office I drew up a floor plan and elevations of the space. I showed the Extreme Makeover Contractor, who just happens to be my husband (lucky guy) and sent it off to my team for viewing. Just an FYI, D.E. Kinkade Konstruction LTD supplies all the labour and construction materials for Extreme Makeover Kindness Edition, this is HUGE folks!.

Once the design plan was done it was time to start tweeting and emailing for donations. Extreme Makeover Kindness Edition starts with a ZERO budget beforehand…..yes I said ZEROOOOOO. Everything has to be donated!

The tweets and emails were sent out and the donations started pouring in. We received above and beyond what we expected to receive, Ottawa truly is a kind City and I am so proud to call it home.

I have rambled on enough and its time to REVEAL….

Extreme Makeover Kindness Edition 2012!



Photo Credit: Danielle Lynn Photography


Photo Credit: Danielle Lynn Photography


Photo Credit: Danielle Lynn Photography


Photo Credit: Danielle Lynn Photography


Photo Credit: Danielle Lynn Photography


Photo Credit: Danielle Lynn Photography


Photo Credit: Danielle Lynn Photography


Thanks to everyone who participated in this years Extreme Makeover Kindness Edition at the Foster Family Farm House Homework Club. It would not be possible with the community involvement. I think we met the needs of the kids to have the best possible learning environment and  am sure the kids will enjoying it for years to come.



Photo Credit: Danielle Lynn Photography



Photo Credit: Danielle Lynn Photography



See you this time next year


Extreme Makeover Kindness Edition 2013

Thank You 2012 Contributors to Extreme Makeover Kindness Edition

The Designers

The Contractor

The Contributors


Sunday, February 26, 2012




Yesterday, Saturday the 25th of February was the “REVEAL” of Extreme Makeover Kindness Edition 2012 at the Foster Family Farm House Homework Club for Kids. The day was everything I hoped it would be and more.

I was Surprised to see Michael O`Byrne host of CTV Ottawa's News at Noon there but assumed he was there to cover the story of the Extreme Makeover……I was wrong.

Michael was there to present me with the United Ways Community Builder Award.

I was overwhelmed and speechless but so very happy to receive it. Michael had a wonderful speech for me and I wanted to share it with you.

Good Morning, Everyone.

I`m Michael O`Byrne, host of CTV Ottawa`s News at Noon and a member of United Way Ottawa`s volunteer recognition team.

United Way is all about building community. One of the things that we like to do is recognize people who have made a real difference in the lives of others through their volunteerism and commitment to their community. These people truly demonstrate the ability to give, speak up and take action on the things that matter most to them. Today, we are here to honour Sonya Kinkade as an outstanding Community Builder.

As some of you know, this past week was Kindness week here in Ottawa. Kindness Week is a city wide initiative that encourages community members to choose to be kind and recognizes those who engage in everyday acts of kindness. For the past two years Sonya Kinkade has been a shining example of the kindness in action.

In her day job, Sonya is a formally trained Interior Decorator and Owner of Sonya Kinkade Design. With her keen sense for style and her attention to detail, Sonya can transform any space into something amazing. After hearing about Kindness Week, Sonya Decided to use her incredible talents to spread the kindness.

Last year Sonya launched Extreme Makeover Kindness Edition, a weeklong project that aims to redesign and makeover spaces for community agencies that wouldn`t normally be able to afford a makeover. Not only do they make the space beautiful, they make it much more functional. The first project that the Extreme Makeover team took on was the lobby at the Good Companions Seniors Centre. They took an institutional looking room and made it into a warm and inviting place for the staff and clients of the Good Companions Centre.

This year Sonya and the Extreme Makeover Team took on an even bigger challenge, here at the Foster Farm Community House. The Foster Farm Community House acts as a resource centre where a variety of services and activities are offered. One of those resources is a homework club for kids. Sonya saw a need for the kids to have the best possible learning environment and made this the focus of this year’s makeover. As we can all see Sonya and the Extreme Makeover team have hit it out of the park again this year, creating a beautiful and functional space that children will be enjoying for years to come.

What really makes the Extreme Makeover projects amazing, are that they wouldn't`t be possible without community involvement. They have ZERO budget, everything you see here today was donated by community members. One of Sonya`s biggest supporters has been her husband Daryl, not only has he been there to support her but his company D.E. Kinkade Konstruction LTD has donated an amazing amount of time and labour.

Sonya, it is my very great Pleasure to present you with a United Way Community Builder Award. The plaque reads: “Thank you for helping to build a stronger, healthier and safer community for all of us.”

United Way has a permanent display at City Hall, called the Community Builder Wall of Inspiration. Your name will be added to this display so that everyone will know the wonderful contribution you have made to this community for years to come. Congratulations!


Thank you to Everyone who was a part of the Extreme Makeover Kindness Edition 2012 Team. I received the award but you all played a part in making it happen and you make me look good. I love you all

“Coming together, sharing together, working together, succeeding together.”

The 2012 Dream Team:

The Designers

The Contractor

The Contributors



Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Life, it is what you make it…..




I woke up this morning, being my 43 Birthday feeling a little sorry for myself. There were things that have changed in my life that I have been having a hard time with lately and being “one more year closer to death” as I always say, was not making me want to jump up and yell “Happy Birthday to Me!!!”


For one, a Gray streak now runs through my hair where my once red hair gleamed


My eyes were full of life and are now a little droopy and are showing the years with the bags, dark circles and a few little wrinkles… OK, maybe more than a few


With the pressure of my daily life for the last 2 years I have added on some extra baggage in all areas of my once not to bad body (picture was 2 years ago)…not in one spot, not in two but EVERYWHERE! at least I am proportioned…


Where there once was muscle from years and years of being a jock (that's me 4th in from the right) there is now bad hips, bad knees and boobs that no longer can be contained in a sports bra without slipping out and knocking me in the head….


I will never again get that morning call from My Mom & Moe wishing me a Happy Birthday…..something I never dreamed I would live without


My babies are no longer babies and the special hugs and cuddles are slowly fading…..


I have been married for 19 years now and can barely remember my husband and I looking like this…..is this real?


But then I turned on Facebook and twitter this morning and was reading all my Birthday messages from Old friends, new friends, business associates and my family members and something happened…..Like the Grinch my heart  suddenly grew 3 sizes…..and I had a look on my face like this…


And I realized…

  • My gray streak in my hair was a sign of years and years of learning and loving and being on this beautiful earth and I am alive and healthy…. ( and there is a thing called hair dye….halleluiah!)
  • My eyes that are puffy and droopy and showing the tell tale signs of aging are no longer naive and insecure but are now full of wisdom and have seen enough in my 43 years to give me the strength to be my own person.
  • My weight gain that creeps up on me is not from laziness but from having a job that I love that keeps me busy, that consumes my days…. but how many of you can say you are living your dream, working at something everyday that fulfills you….
  • My sore muscles and joints are a sign….telling me I have been living a full life and not missing a step along the way
  • My Mom & Moe are no longer here but I have grown into a 43 year old woman who has overcome many things in my life from the wisdom they gave my and the lessons they taught me and even though that phone call never comes….I still hear them….I still feel them…They are still here
  • My babies are growing but with that is a feeling of accomplishment, each day is new and each day they are growing into the person I am shaping them to be….my babies will always be my babies
  • My wedding dress may no longer fit and the white has faded but my husband loves me still today and I believe loves me more then on the 23 of January 19 years ago….yes we no longer look the same but we are growing old together and I am grateful for him everyday



Last but not least, I have great friends and family who love me and who have helped shape who I am today….I love you all!!

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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

IDS12 impressions from a designer


This past weekend I attended the Interior Design Show in Toronto with 5 of my girlfriends who just happened to be design professionals too.

Catch my Impressions of the IDS12 here at Ottawa at Home Magazine!

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Click on picture to see the Post in Ottawa at Home Magazine


Here are a few pictures I took of the show, enjoy the eye candy!

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  • Small scale Living- Dee Dee Taylor Eustace

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  • Fun design- Nordsouth & Living Lighting on King


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  • BY_LISSONI & Gresham house


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  • ELTE


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  • Showstopper - Bloomsbury Kitchen  

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For more great blog post on IDS12 visit the links below

Lisa Goulet Design  and  JAX does design  & Maureen at modecor muses



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