Thank you to everyone who followed this blog faithfully – I have started some new and exciting projects.  If you would like to continue to read posts from me, please follow the following –




I will no longer be posting on this blog.  Thank you!


I recently received an email with the following passage –

“Lovers of the English language might enjoy this…

There is a two-letter word that perhaps has more meanings than any other two-letter word, and that is ‘UP’.

It’s easy to understand UP, meaning toward the sky or at the top of the list, but when we awaken in the morning, why do we wake UP? At a meeting, why does a topic come UP? Why do we speak UP and why are the officers UP for election and why is it UP to the secretary to write UP a report ?

We call UP our friends. And we use it to brighten UP a room, polish UP the silver; we warm UP the leftovers and clean UP the kitchen. We lock UP the house and some guys fix UP the old car. At other times the little word has real special meaning. People stir UP trouble, line UP for tickets, work UP an appetite, and think UP excuses. To be dressed is one thing, but to be dressed UP is special.

And this UP is confusing: A drain must be opened UP because it is stopped UP. We open UP a store in the morning but we close it UP at night.

We seem to be pretty mixed UP about UP! To be knowledgeable about the proper uses of UP, look UP the word in the dictionary. In a desk-sized dictionary, it takes UP almost 1/4th of the page and can add UP to about thirty definitions. If you are UP to it, you might try building UP a list of the many ways UP is used. It will take UP a lot of your time but if you don’t give UP, you may wind UP with a hundred or more. When it threatens to rain, we say it is clouding UP. When the sun comes out we say it is clearing UP! When it rains, it wets the earth and often messes things UP. When it doesn’t rain for awhile, things dry UP.

One could go on and on, but I’ll wrap it UP, for now my time is UP, so………it is time to (hush) UP!”

I found this really fascinating.  Mostly, because I had never thought of the word ‘up’ being so versatile before.  I think it’s mostly habit that we use it the way we do.

But, let’s face it, English is an incredibly complicated language to learn – you just have to try to teach a child to read to be reminded of that.   Did you know we actually do have the most complex language when it comes to speech and pronunciation?   We  have more than double the sounds than we do letters, where most languages are equal in sounds/letters or characters.

Not only that, we use various spellings to convey the same pronunciation as well as the same WORDS to describe different things.  No wonder kids are falling behind when it comes to literacy in school.  It takes an incredible amount of commitment and love to properly instill the english language into our little ones, but it is possible.  I promise.

And, just when you think you’re going crazy, re-visit the fact that you’re NOT crazy, in fact, it’s the language that has lost ‘its’ mind!!!

Not exactly the same thing - but close enough...

I was surprised to see the family bed debate hit prime time on CNN yesterday.  It is a topic of intense personal-impact and very little societal impact.  Whether or not a family co-sleeps warrants the topic of hot-debate just about as much as whether or not a Mom chooses to babywear.  It’s intensely personal – purely a family choice.

But on CNN, Psychologist Lawrence Shapiro stated that the family bed, “is not giving children what they need”.  He goes on to explain that kids really should be sleeping in their own beds from two years on.   And many medical ‘experts’ mirror his opinion, stating reasons like, autonomy for the child, space for the parents, fostering individuality and positive sleep habits, and the list goes on.  Autonomy at 18 months of age?  Now that comment, I disagree with… but that’s a whole other post, isn’t it?

As for me, I don’t take a stance for or against co-sleeping because our family does what is right for us, and I cannot worry about what other families do. If I did, I’d be insanely nosy, and – truthfully, I’d go crazy.  What strikes me odd is that National News programs feel the need to critique attachment parenting practices like this, yet, issues like children spending hours de-tached from their families in daycares and schools, and the over-obsessive media-culture our kids live in are left untouched.  I mean, really?

Do we co-sleep?  No.  Not if I can help it.  We use many attachment parenting methods, but the family bed was never one of them.  For me, sleeping with our kids past newborn/infant stage just did not work.  I almost lost Audrey off the side of the bed when she was tiny due to lack of sleep and delusional night-time nursing.  Personally, I felt (and still feel) our kids sleep much better on their own.  We did have a bassinet/crib in our room for a long time with our two youngest (up to 5-6 months?) but not in our bed.  Our eldest was in his own crib, in his room, at one month old because he was such a loud sleeper and I was such an over-anxious new Mom that I was getting NO sleep.

When our kids are in our bed, no one sleeps.  They toss and turn and talk and giggle and whine and drive me and my husband crazy.  The two of us have never been able to understand how people claim to sleep BETTER in the family bed.  It just isn’t the case with our family.  Do our kids crawl in after a bad dream or for a cuddle?  Sure.  Do we sometimes cuddle our kids to sleep in their beds?  Sure.  But most of the time, it’s just Wes and I in our own bed, and we’re very happy about that.

For us, fostering our quiet time and time alone is crucial – especially with three babies really close together.  That is our sanctuary, our space, our time to be in each other’s arms.  Also, I home school our kids and spend extensive amounts of time with them everyday.  Were I to sleep with them too, I honestly fear I’d lose my mind.

Now, I’m sure a co-sleeping parent could give me a long list as to why sleeping with their munchkins WORKS for them… and I don’t mean to make this seems like and anti-co-sleeping post, as it’s not at all.  I’m simply taking the spin from our family perspective.  (If fact, I’d love to hear from you in the Comments!!!).

It does offend me when co-sleeping parents say things like,”How can you deprive that closeness?”.  It bugs me because it insinuates that, by having my children sleep in their own beds, I’m somehow depriving them of something.  I don’t feel I deprive my kids of anything – and certainly not love, attention, and affection.  In our home, if we co-slept, I feel I’d be depriving our kids of a proper sleep and a happy Mommy and Daddy.

Here’s the clip from CNN.

I kept a journal almost every single day for nearly ten years.  And, although much of the content of those diary entries was private (as in, I’d be in HUGE trouble if my parents ever read it), often embarrassing, and seemingly pointless to save – I saved them.  Every. Single.  One.  Sounds silly, but I always knew, deep inside, that I’d need them one day.

It is a rare gift to have these daily accounts of my life age 13 through 22.  I also have two huge poetry books that were written throughout the same years.  In these pages I find laughter, pain, confusion, growth, tons of immaturity and ridiculousness, and a wealth of insight into the insanity (literally) of the teenage mind.

I’m very excited about my new project (as if I needed another one, ha!).  A brand-new blog, titled, “Letters to my Teenage-self…” will allow me to open up

These long-buried diaries and share them with today’s teen girls.  Sure, it was a few years ago – but the struggles are the same.  I’ll couple the shared entries with my responses to them now – in many cases, ten years later.  If only I could have really been there to give myself the advice I can lend now.

My collection of 16 diaries and 2 poetry books...

Kind of like Taylor Swift says in her song “15”, “…wish you could tell yourself what you know now…”.

In many instances, I’m nervous – no – petrified – to share the content of these entries.  Many of them are raw, humiliating, and some are even down-right stupid.  But, they were me in another time.  And so much of what will be read is relevant and painfully real.  Kind of like an under-ages Soap-opera told by a neurotic, incohesive, obsessive, sporatic narrator who never knows what craziness the next scene entails.

The purpose of the project is to reach out to teen girls by reaching back in time to when I was them.  By making myself vulnerable and opening up, I hope to speak to and, hopefully, inspire teen girls to not make the same mistakes I made.  Or maybe to make them if they need to – but to do it more wisely than I did.  I hope to touch the hearts of today’s teens in a way I couldn’t if I weren’t endeavouring to journey back to that “head-space”, so to speak.

I can only pray that my mistakes and lessons-learned can shed light, offer a giggle, a tear, a pin-drop of inspiration to the beautiful hearts that lie in the bodies of today’s struggling teen ladies.

This project goes very closely hand-in-hand with my current book and speaking work, entitled “Project LIGHT” where I endeavour to encourage teen girls to defy the norm by rejecting negative Media messages about women, felinity, sex, and the value of these precious beings called ‘girls’ in our world by shedding LIGHT on the lies and darkness of current media attitudes and trends.


To see the first post, visit:


To participate in an online interview, or to contribute your thoughts, experiences, etc. to the current project I’m working on about girls, teens, and women and how we’re affective by negative media messages, please, email me at cldorman@sympatico.ca and let me know you’re in!

I’m very excited and also a little nervous about a huge project that I’ve been working on for, well, way too long.  I’ve been an aspiring writer since I could put pencil to paper and I feel it’s time to truly put my money where my mouth is, so to ‘speak’.

There’s nothing “low-profile” about this project… in fact, it’s a bit controversial (to those who like to go with the grain…) and involves a lot of the kind of digging most people tend to avoid.  But, I’m pumped.  And I need your help.

Speak your mind!

I’m working with a seasoned, published writer to sketch the first three chapters of a book about the media and how it affects girls, women, and society as a whole.  Now more than ever we are bombarded with messages – all around us – we’re being told what to say, what to wear, what to buy, how to act.  We are sent so many messages, often we don’t even realize they’re being received.  Teen lives are filled to the brim with multi-media and peer influence – more than any other generation in history.  And teen girls have a lot to say about, well – everything.  And I’m asking them to share it.

We’re opening up about beauty, popularity, sex, celebrities, music, faith, Facebook, and all things ‘media’.  The soul of this project is to truly hear the hearts of today’s teens and women and dig deeper into the root of media influence.  As a Media Comm grad, I know very well that there are so many lies we are told through TV, movies, music, print media, etc. and it is my hope that we can all inspire and encourage each other to uncover the falsehoods.  ‘Counter-culture’ is maybe the phrase that would most closely describe what I’m going for.  We can choose to defy the norm, and learn how to live in true power and freedom – with a real sense of self and affirmed, deeply planted ‘identity’ and purpose.

The book is mostly geared for teen ladies but I’m looking for input from young girls all the way to senior women.  Your opinions, stories, ideas, and experiences are CRUCIAL for the raw, reality-based, no-secrets style I’m hoping to achieve through this revealing non-fiction eye-opener.

I also need some male voices – particularly young men (teens – early 20s), so if you’re a guy and you’re interested, or you know some one who may be willing to share his insights, please let me know.

I’m hoping to publish many of your stories, ideas, journal entries, experiences, etc. in the book, online through a website and blog, and also through a speaking series I plan to do.  I have full interview questionnaires available by email.  I could also interview you over the phone or in person, if you’d prefer.

All information shared is confidential and if/when your ideas and stories are used, your name will be changed for safety and privacy reasons (unless you ask otherwise and prefer to be fully credited by name.)

I truly hope to involve as many teens and women as possible in this project.  I’m looking for ladies from all backgrounds and walks of life.  I need your stories and opinions!

Also, if you are the leader of a Youth Group or a group that involves young people and/or teens – I’d love to talk to your group and involve them in a round-table discussion about these current issues and thought-provoking topics.  Please, contact me, and we can chat some more!

Please, contact me right away if you or other teens/women in your life would like to answer the survery and/or share your stories and insights!

Email –


Phone –

905-870-4856 (If I don’t get to it in time, please, leave a message with your phone number).

Thank you so much.

When I was a little girl, I had visions and dreams (yes, real dreams) of living in a house filled with walls of children’s books.  I don’t really know where those thoughts came from, but they’ve stayed with me.  I’ve always had a love affair with reading and writing – spending hours in my room creating and re-creating plots and characters for various novels, series, and short stories.  It started at age 8.  By 13, I published my own mini-magazine about my favourite band, Hanson (still the best!) and had my Dad drive me around the city hand-delivering monthly releases to my subscribers, who paid $3/copy.  (For what it’s worth, they cost me $2.87 or something like that to PRINT).  Haha.

I’ve worked at two bookstores and spent the past six years writing with the Children’s Institute of Literature and trying to convince myself that a career in writing IS possible (still waiting…).  Truth is, books are in my blood.  I’m sure that’s what brought me to Usborne.  When I read online (completely by chance) that Usborne was seeking consultants, I practically jumped out of my chair.

And I was right to be excited.  As I soon discovered, for book lovers like me, Usborne literally is a dream job. In a nutshell, for me, it’s like this:

I receive large boxes of books at my doorstep, most of which are for me to give to an ecstatic party hostesses and their guests, all eagerly awaiting their piles of Usborne Books.  That’s fun in itself… but it gets better!  Many of those boxes are usually filled with countless free books we’ve picked out for our family to keep.  My kids scream and squeal with delight at the sight of every new box brought by our beloved Canpar Sir.  We all sit together on the living room floor, ripping at packing tape and gushing over the new titles.   We (myself, my children, my husband)  fall in love over and over with every Usborne book we experience, adopting these beautiful books into our home like new family members. 

I then have the amazing privilege of getting PAID to share my love, understanding and knowledge of these fabulous books with other parents, children, families, educators, and members of the community. I watch in complete delight as the people around me fall just as hard as I have for these incredible books that have earned the right to be called “USBORNE books”, not just “books”.

The nitty gritty – what Usborne Consultants do (in much more technical terms):

  • personal sales and consulting with families, educators, homeschoolers, etc. to aid in a child’s reading journey or the teaching needs of a parent of educator
  • Home Book Parties where the hostess receives large amounts of free or highly discounted Usborne Books for having her friends and family over to see and hear about the books, their educational layers, and appeal to kids and adults alike
  • School Sales, Literacy Fairs, and Fund-raisers within schools (pre-schools, daycares, private, Catholic, and public school boards) and some educational institutions
  • Community events such as festivals, literacy events, community fairs, school open houses – you name it – to promote literacy, the love of reading, and our fantastic titles!
  • Online sales
  • Corporate sales
  • Use your imagination…  there truly are no limits…

Usborne Books at Home is a business that offers freedom, flexibility, great income and rewards and bonuses that truly feed the soul of the whole family with wonderful books to inspire more time together, open minds, life-long learning, and sound literacy skills.

I look around at our house, and it is truly the home I envisioned when I was a child – shelves of books over-flowing onto beds and sofas.  Children (and parents!) curled up with their favourite titles here, there, and everywhere.  We’ve filled our home with these amazingly educational and entertaining titles and our kids LOVE reading.  And now, I’m also able to give books away to kids in need, organizations, charities, and family and friends.

I love that our children see, on a daily basis, how important reading is to me and what value I place on inspiring others to enjoy books as well.  They’ve asked many times if they can ‘come to the book show too’ so they can show the titles they love.  Maybe when they are a little older, we’ll do just that!

I’m not a sales person.  Actually, I hate sales.  I’m just a lover of books with an entrepreneurial spirit – and I know there are many others just like me – seeking something like Usborne Books at Home.  This is a company with a 30+ year reputation as one of the most respected publishers of educational children’s books.  This is the type of business that supports family togetherness and a parent’s freedom to choose when and how much to work.  This is an opportunity to inspire others with a strong, incredibly timely and worth-while message and product.

The doors are WIDE open for more Usborne Books at Home consultants, Educational Specialists, Team Leaders, Supervisors, and beyond in our area and in all of Southern Ontario.  This is such an incredible opportunity, I’d feel like I was being greedy by keeping it to myself.  I love working with others and I love sharing success.  As a Team Leader in the Hamilton/Dundas area, I’m here to help in so many ways – training, moral support, practical advice, meetings, shared events, the lending of my books for parties and literacy fairs, racks, banners, supplies, and the list goes on.  I love to help!  We also have a team of knowledgeable, open, kind-hearted people who are always willing to encourage any new team members.

If you are looking for a fun way to make friends, have fun, run your own business, earn income, make a difference in your community, bless your family, and grow as an individual – Usborne could be for you.  We offer low start-up costs, easy start, and lots of support.  You could have a blast falling in love with and sharing a fabulous product that is already in high demand!


Fall is the busiest season for us – and there is a fabulous Start-up Kit on sale RIGHT NOW.

If you would like more information about the Usborne opportunity, please check out the following ways to hear more:

  • We are having an Usborne Info Night on Tuesday August 24th, 2010 at 7:30pm @  William’s Coffee Pub at 1250 Brant St., Burlington!  If you would like to attend, please RSVP by emailing me or calling me at 905-627-5080.
  • Download the “What a site!” kit sale flyer by clicking here.  Or view the site info at Usborne Books at Home by going HERE.
  • Download the current Kit Sales (book bundle images) by going here.
  • EMAIL ME at cldorman@sympatico.ca and ask for more information (I have files I can send you that will help you understand the business more clearly)
  • Check out more information and view a VIDEO by visiting my personal website.

Please, contact me directly with any questions or if you decide you would like to join our team!

Cassandra Dorman

905-627-5080 or 905-870-4856



I love cooking and eating good food!  I’m always looking for delicious recipes that are easy, family friendly, and delicious.  A couple nights ago, I made a Vegan dish (though we’re not entirely Vegan but would like to be again) from a fantastic cookbook called, “Vive Le Vegan!” by Dreena Burton.

Sweet Curry Chickpea Casserole

2 1/2-3 cups   cooked chickpeas (garbonzo beans)

1 13.5 ish oz can   light coconut milk

3/4 cup   red onion (chopped)

1- 1 1/2 cups   sweet potatoes (peeled/chopped)

1- 1 1/2 cups    apple (peeled/chopped)

2   small-medium cloves of garlic, minced

1 1/2 tbs   freshly grated ginger (I just used ginger spice from a bottle…)

1 – 1 1/2 tbsp   mild curry paste (I didn’t have this, so I supplemented about a tsp of curry powder)

2 tsp  mustard seeds

1 tsp cumin seeds (didn’t have this either – used regular cumin)

1/2 tsp   turmeric

3/4 tsp   sea salt

1/8 tsp   allspice

Preheat over to 375F.  In a large, deep casserole dish, combine all ingredients (I used a big salad bowl and then transferred to a dish because I tend to be sloppy at mixing).  Stir through until well combined.  Cover and bake for 30 minutes.  Stir through, cover, and bake again for another 30-40 minutes, until veggies are tender (stir through again once or twice throughout).

This is a super yummy, “feel good” meal that fills you right up and leaves you feeling satisfied and energized. It heats up great for left-overs too!

We love to serve this with wild rice and/or toasted/baked pita bread.


Check out Dreena’s website/blog –


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