Thursday, October 29, 2009

Sweet new beginnings

Last month my family celebrated the new year. It’s always made sense to me to celebrate the new year in September. Doesn’t it seem like that’s when the year starts? Back to school, back to business, back to life.

As a part of our New Year celebrations we dipped apples in honey to symbolize a sweet year ahead. And just like the January 1st New Year, September gives me pause to think about how to make my year a little sweeter.

A new year reminds me that I have everything I want and need – how lucky is that? And it makes me think about the people who don’t even come close to being able to make that claim. It occurs to me that what I could use a little of in my life is a little more giving back. I blogged not too long ago about how I wish I had time to give blood (and I do, and I will) – but maybe it’s more about wishing to just give in general.

Then I came across this web site If you’re not familiar with Charity: Water, the story is that a 30-year-old in New York decided that he had some giving back to do, and started an organization to provide clean drinking water to the one billion people on this planet who don’t have it. In just three years, Scott Harrison and his team have provided clean water to 700,000 people. Wow. Not only does this story inspire me, but it makes me feel like I’ve got some work to do…

I showed the trailer from Charity: Water to my four-year-old daughter this morning and explained that kids around the world don’t have clean water to drink. She immediately said, ‘How can we help?’ She was so excited about it that she ran to find her brother and explain the problem to him. It reminds me that the spirit of giving back is contagious. So this year I’m resolving to give more of myself in the coming year, for lots of reasons, not the least of which is to be an example to my very fortunate children.

How sweet is that?

Friday, October 23, 2009

Snuggle Season

Well, it’s officially ‘that time of year.’ At Admiral Road, ‘that time of year’ is Snuggle Season. We LOVE Snuggle Season. The leaves are changing, the temperature is dropping and people are turning their thoughts to keeping cozy.

Snuggle season is when we hear from our favourite customers. And it’s when we get to meet lots of new customers too.

But snuggle season also hectic! We’ve got lots of shows on the calendar and new products on the site. Plus, we’ve got to get our kids to their swimming, gymnastics, karate, piano and dance classes. Whew!

We’ve got two great shows on this weekend. Please stop by to say ‘Hi’ at the Heart of Country Show in Richmond Hill.

We’re also excited to be at the Shop Til You Drop sale on Sunday.

One of the most fun things at Admiral Road right now is the response we’re getting to our new line of Treasure Tees. We’re having trouble keeping them in stock – so if you see us at a show this weekend, make sure to snap one up. They’re sure to keep your little ones cozy during Snuggle Season.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Changing Weather

It's gotten cold where we live. The winter jackets and even hats, scarves and mittens have come out. But as sad as we are to see the leaves fall, we're always happy to ring in snuggle season!

Here at Admiral Road we're busy working on Holiday orders already, not to mention keeping our heads about us as our cozy blankets, adorable scarves and amazing Treasure Tees are flying out the door. If you haven't seen them, be sure and check out our 12 amazing scarf styles - there is something for everyone on your list, and at only $12, the price is right! We've added two great new Treasure Tees to our collection too - our Space Tee features a funny toy alien (they're all different) in an extra terrestrial setting, while our Farm Tee has a lovely pony toy on a beautiful farm. All of our Treasure Tees are just $20 (they're going fast - so grab one now).

Finally, because we want to blanket everyone you love this season, we're offering $5 off your next blanket order between now and Nov. 6th. Just enter the code ARDFALL09 at check out on our web site.

Give Fleece a Chance!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Sorry, I've got to run

I used to be a runner.

When I was in my twenties, my mother inspired me to run. Although she had never been fit, she trained hard and then ran the New York City Marathon at age 51. She and I went on to run countless road races together from 5ks to marathons. We talked while we trained together. We had a blast when we travelled to races together. And it turns out she was a great racer! Uncovering a hidden talent, she consistently won her age category in all the races she entered. It was truly inspirational.

And then she died.

That was it for me. I hung up my running shoes – for good, I thought. The idea of training by myself was too painful. It wasn’t joyful anymore. I wasn’t interested. And then life happened: work, pregnancy, nursing, repeat. For several years it didn’t even feel like my body belonged to me. It was on loan.

One year ago Danielle and I travelled to a trade show in Las Vegas. We had been eyeing that show for years, but last year was the first time that it was feasible for us and our families. I think it was also the first time that I starting feeling like my body belonged to me again. Having forgotten my cross-trainers at home (Freudian?), I popped into a mall and picked up my first pair of running shoes in a decade. While Danielle was working at the trade show, I went back to the hotel gym and climbed on the treadmill. Listening to tunes on Danielle’s borrowed iPod, I rocked out on my run and it was great. In a hotel, in Las Vegas, by myself. (For a busy mom entrepreneur, it’s the stuff dreams are made of.)

I’ve kept up the running ever since. This spring I ran my first, post-babies 10k. This summer I ran a 10-miler. And this past weekend I accomplished my goal for the season: I completed a half-marathon. It wasn’t the fastest time I’ve ever run – there is room for improvement. And I had to choke back the tears at the start line when I looked over and found that my mom wasn’t there. But I did it, and running still feels great.

I miss my mom more than I can say. It’s been eight years, but sometimes I still can’t believe that she’s actually not here. I lose my breath when I think about the fact that she never met my children. But I also think that it might be time for me to run again.