Why I took a break from TV and my career

In 2014, I decided to take a much needed break from the television broadcast industry.  I started my career in the early 90’s and I didn’t stop!  I had my sons late in life because I wanted to establish my career.

On the set of Canada AM

Soon life caught up with me and I needed to slow down and realized my sons needed me.  Soon the television make up and designer suits were replaced with Lulu Lemons and a baseball cap. I was officially in mommy mode.

My Boys

I worked part time at CTV and CHCH in Hamilton.  The work was just enough to ease me through the transition.  Twelve months later, gears switched quickly to full time mom.  It wasn’t easy but I didn’t miss my alarm clock going off at 3am.  I enjoyed waking up before my boys, drinking my first cup of coffee in the kitchen alone and soaking up the silence that fell upon my sleepy household before all HELL broke out. Making breakfast for the family was a hoot, I was literally  a short order cook, pancakes for my youngest, toasted western omelette sandwiches for my husband and french toast for my eldest. This is all for one breakfast.

Breakfast of Champions

 

 

On the way to school the boys had their playlist set up for the drive, these were the moments I missed and craved when I was at work i the early mornings. Now I am able to cherish every single moment.  During the time my boys opened up to me I heard about all the playground shenanigans and grievances.

During the few years I took off I was able to attend various field trips with the kids. My eldest started participating in Track and Field meets. It was a joy to see him compete and to be on the sidelines to cheer him on.  I juggled weekly hockey and soccer practices like a pro!

Travel is something our family truly enjoys.  Last December we were able to travel with my parents back to their home country of Sri Lanka and India.  They had not been back since their departure in 1966.

Family dinners are a big thing in our household.  Friday night everyone had to be home that was our family night.  No guests, no cell phone, no iPads and no interruptions. Just the four of us and my parents.

During this time I had ample opportunity to catch up and reconnect with some very special ladies in my life.  

In 2016, I decided it was time for me to head back to work.  Even though I truly enjoyed spending time with my boys I felt like I was missing something from my life.   I needed to go back to work.  It was easier said then done.

The industry had changed drastically, employment was scarce and the rejection letters came in all forms.  Just when I thought I may have to hang up my weather clicker and expertise a friend sent me a post for a position at CBC.  At first, I dismissed the post, then my friend asked if I had applied yet.  I was feeling beaten down and rejected from an industry I loved.  I honestly didn’t know if I could handle another rejection letter.

Just before we left for our summer holidays my eldest son sat me down with a very serious face.  He told me that I was the greatest mom in the world and that I shouldn’t give up so easily on finding my dream job.  He assured me that he and his brother would be fine if I went back to work and if I didn’t apply I would never know if this was the dream job I missed out on.  So with my son’s blessing and a prayer I applied to the CBC.

The Interview process was fast.  We were still out west when I received an email regarding a pending interview.  I think I reread that email ten times.  I flew back two days earlier then my family to attend the interview.  I passed by the CBC offices on many occasions but never in my wildest dreams entertained the thought of ever working there.  It’s an institution for goodness sake.  I don’t belong there.

On Friday, August 27th I walked in with my head held high and butterflies in my stomach.   I was the first candidate to interview for the position and I was nervous.  It was a panel of three.  I actually lost my nerves quickly during the interview and truly enjoyed myself.   Even though I thought I did well I knew it was a long shot.  A week went by and we were continuing our vacation down south.  I received a call from the CBC recruiting officer, they wanted to meet with me again.  I flew back and went through another round of interviews , phone calls and emails. The rest is history.  I will not lie , I was so overjoyed I cried, tears streamed down my face as I listened to the voice on the other end of the phone welcoming me to the CBC.  I was in disbelief. It took all of my strength not to let on the joy my whole body was overcome with.  Once the call was over , I put the phone down and melted into my parents arms.  The dream has finally come true.

I truly landed my DREAM JOB!  I’m working with an incredible journalist Dwight Drummond on the CBC Toronto 6pm news. I am working with Mike Wise for CBC Toronto at 11pm.   I’m the weather specialist for CBC Windsor at 6pm and I’m part of the Here and Now Crew on CBC Radio from 3-5pm.  In addition, I also get to do some reporting.

My first day on the air with this amazing journalist and friend Dwight Drummond. Sept 5, 2017
On the Air CBC Radio Here and Now. 3PM-5PM.

The best part: I am able to continue my morning routine with my boys including the drive to school. (I do experience mommy guilt from time to time)

So what have I learned from this experience.  Don’t give up no matter how many doors are closed . Have faith in yourself , Everything happens for a reason.

I’m BACK and it FEELS SO GOOD!

Lemon Chicken and Spaghetti Squash

I’m continuing my journey in the kitchen during this long cold winter.  The troops have requested some new additions to the family menu.  Last week I introduced you to a hearty bowl of Cauliflower Chowder with Bacon.

This week I tried out Spaghetti Squash.  I have never heard of this vegetable.  I have been passing this delightful veggie in the produce section for years.  My girlfriend Suzannah Handscombe Trudeau an amazing mom and teacher,  introduced me to the vegetable last year.  I saw her preparing it and asked her what the vegetable was.  She told be it was a great way to replace pasta that is high in carbs. She adds tomato sauce to her dish.

I myself have been fumbling with recipes for months.  I finally found one with some fine tuning to serve at our dinner table.  Here you go! I would love to hear what you think.  My family had no idea they were eating squash and loved it!

 

RECIPE

SERVES: 4

INGREDIENTS

1 Spaghetti Squash

Olive Oil

Sea Salt to taste

Black Pepper, to taste

2 Chicken Breast, cut into 1-2 inch pieces

 

FOR THE SAUCE

1 Medium Yellow Onion, Diced

4 Cloves Garlic, Minced

3 Cups Cherry Tomatoes, halved

1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt

1/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper

1/2 Lemon, Juiced

1 Cup Chicken Broth

8 Ounces Baby Spinach

 

PREPARATION

  1. Preheat oven to 375F/200C.
  2. Poke several holes into the spaghetti squash.  Microwave on high for 5 minutes .
  3. Cut squash in half along the holes. Remove seeds with a spoon. Drizzle squash with olive oil. and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Place squash upside down on baking tray and bake for 40 minutes until soft. Let cool.
  5. Using a skillet, cook the chicken  breast on medium-high heat with a little olive oil for 6-8 minutes until the chicken is golden brown and cooked through.  Remove chicken from the pan and set aside.
  6. Sauté onions for a few minutes. Add garlic and cook for a minute. Add tomatoes and cook for a couple of minutes.  Cook until onions are translucent. 
  7. Add lemon juice and chicken broth, and cook until the liquid partially reduces, about 20 minutes. Add chicken and cook for 2 minutes. Add spinach and cook for 2 minutes. 
  8. Using fork, shred the inside of the squash.
  9. Pour sauce over the squash. Serve Immediately

 

Europe Here we Come …….

EUROPE HERE WE COME….

This year my folks celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. So we thought it would be fitting for a family trip to Europe.  In August we packed up the kids, hubby and of course my parents and headed off to Europe for the adventure of a lifetime.

We decided on a 12 day cruise it was the best way to hit various ports of call without packing and unpacking.   The last time I went to Europe was on my honeymoon 16 years ago!  It was time to see what I have been missing.

We arrived a few days early in Barcelona, Spain.  The city really comes alive in the area of La Rambla.  It is a street in central Barcelona, popular with tourists and locals alike. A tree-lined pedestrian mall, it stretches for 1.2 kilometres connecting Plaça de Catalunya in the centre with the Christopher Columbus Monument at Port Vell.  It is home to many tapas style restaurants .

The Barcelona Port at night with out door mall and restaurants
The Barcelona Port at night with out door mall and restaurants

We stayed at a beautiful hotel in the heart of town called Hotel Catalonia Passeig de Gracia.  Located on Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, 644, 8007 Barcelona, Spain.  We booked on-line with  www.Bookings.com.  Very easy to book on and you can cancel without penalties at a reasonable time frame.

The hotel was family friendly, clean and modern in decor.   The breakfast was amazing.

 My boys became major soccer fans during World Cup this summer so it was a must to stop at FC Barcelona museum & Camp Nou stadium.

 If you can see Barça play a home match, then that is the best Camp Nou experience but the museum is worth a visit. The Camp Nou stadium and FCB museum are among the most popular attractions in Barcelona attracting millions of visitors a year. Camp Nou has the one of the largest Nike stores in Europe packed with Barca merchandise. Unmissable for football fans. Visitor tip. You can buy cheaper FCB shirts and scarves at market stalls outside the stadium on match days.

 

Biggest Nike store!
Biggest Nike store!
on the grounds of stadium
on the grounds of stadium

The Font Mágica Fountain.

The Magic Fountain is a “must see” Barcelona attraction. You have never seen a fountain like this. It really does feel magic to experience the beautiful show of water, light and music. The Magic fountain was built in 1929 as one of the main attractions for the Barcelona World Fair and the Font Magica is still one of the most famous spots in Barcelona with an estimated 2.5 million visitors annually.

Quite a show at night!
Quite a show at night!

These were just a few stops we enjoyed in Barcelona there are many things to see in this beautiful city.   Our next stop was the Port of Barcelona where we embarked.  Our home for the next 12 days was the Celebrity Equinox Cruise ship.

Next week I will continue our journey through Europe……..