Wednesday, 11 March 2015

I Left My Heart in San Francisco

Living in San Francisco. What is there to say? Where to even start? When I was younger, I could only see the city through the eyes of a San Francisco native, who, like many (I'm sure), come to see the bay area culture as ordinary. It wasn't until I had spent 5 years in another country that I began seeing my hometown differently. Perhaps how some outsiders see it. When they talk about the things they've seen, or want to see, and get starry-eyed, with that tone in their voice that says it all. Almost as if San Francisco were something magical. I knew I was missing home when I was watching movies like the Pursuit of Happyness, or Just Like Heaven, eagerly awaiting each glimpse of San Francisco scenery they offered. But then I started wondering: Was San Francisco really that great? Is it all its cracked up to be? After all, I had been away from the SF bay area for 5 years, and in a lot of ways I felt like I had become a different person. The stark contrast between living in a major U.S. metropolis that's well-known worldwide, and living in a Canadian city with a fraction of the population and opposite type of climate, left me feeling like it was all in an entirely different lifetime. What if it wasn't what I remembered?

It was 2009 when I had left SF, for what I had only intended to be a few months. What I had thought would be a brief excursion transformed into an adventure that would change my life. The recession that seemed like nothing but a myth at the time was starting to hit the U.S., and it felt nice to be somewhere that gave me a bit of distance from things that had been going on at the place I used to call home. So instead of returning to the bay area, I stayed in Canada. Having only briefly lived anywhere other than the SF bay area throughout my childhood, I can't tell you how strange it was to feel that I was associated with something famous. In passing conversation, I would mention where I was from, and peoples voices would change, sometimes their eyes would get wide, and they would either be in awe or burst into a series of questions. It bewildered me, to have people acting as if San Francisco were something special. It was just another city, no big deal! Okay, it has the Golden Gate Bridge and cable cars... but otherwise, aren't all cities pretty much the same? I had dreamed in my younger years of moving someplace far from San Francisco, and imagined that in this place I'd be happy to spend the rest of my days. Yet as the days turned into weeks, and the weeks turned into years, I came to the conclusion that the place I was in was just that... a place. Despite all of my attempts to find contentment where I was, it never felt quite right. I was floating in a limbo that was only temporary, and I wanted to go home. It took me years to realize and acknowledge a cold hard fact: that I'd left my heart in San Francisco.

Finally, after a long and painful immigration process that spanned December 2012 to August 2014, my husband finally had a visa in hand that would allow us to move to the US as we had been planning for years. On the one hand, I was terrified that I would be disappointed---that I had worked it up so much in my memory that the real thing simply couldn't live up to it. Yet I was anxious to share my childhood home with my husband and son, hoping to show them everything that I knew and loved.

My very first time back in San Francisco since 2009, I took a deep breath and absorbed the sights around me. I was standing in downtown San Francisco, and letting the humid air fill my lungs. The streets were jammed with cars, nearly bumper to bumper, and the sidewalks were crowded with bustling foot traffic. My ears were nearly ringing with the whir of buses and honking from taxis in the street. I listened to the clicking of heels and gentle tapping of sneakers against the cement as everyone hurried to their destinations. The sun was shining down, but a gentle, cold wind brushed against my face as it went on its way. Although the recession had taken its toll and some things were different, it was everything I had remembered. The sounds, the sights, and most importantly, the feel, were all still exactly as they were. I could finally exhale.

When I had left San Francisco five years ago, I had felt that something was missing. I had thought it was the city, but instead it was I who was incomplete. But standing there, in the heart of the city, I couldn't help but smile... I had returned to the city of my childhood more than whole, I had come back with a family of my own. I was home.

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Disclosure: The written content and any/all watermarked photos above are the property of Found Frolicking. It may not be used, sold, or distributed in any way without first gaining permission to do so. Any links above were provided only because they are relevant and may be beneficial to my readers. I was not asked to share them by any source, nor was I compensated for sharing them.

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Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Winter Awards Giveaway

You won't want to miss this amazing giveaway with award winning goodies from some of the best brands on the market!

We are excited to work with Green Scene Mom for another awesome giveaway! Each of these items received a Green Scene Mom Award, celebrating Eco-friendly product design and creative innovation. This fabulous Winter Awards Giveaway is sponsored by the winning brands, and one lucky mom will win them all!

Winter Green Scene Mom Award Winners

Winter Awards Details »

Enter to Win this Amazing Gift Set, valued at $750!

FunBites Cutter of winner's choice - $12.99
b.box Essential Travel Bib - $15
BabyHome Side Light Bed Rail - $99
Pure Care Home 4-in-1 Megacare Kit - $39.99
Buttons Diapers 2 packs of Flannel or Velour Wipes - $14
Konfidence Babywarma Swimsuit - $29.99
Wristy Buddy Teething Wristband - $15
Beautiful Earth Baby Box - $59
Pack 'n Potty - $39.99
Bebe au Lait Organic Nursing Cover - $40
PacaPod Napier Diaper Bag - $170
Pacific Baby Natural Feeding Bowl & Cup - $10.99
MAM Anti-Colic Bottle - $6.99
OTO Ice Cream Truck Playhouse - $59
Yummi Pouch Reusable Food Pouches & Snack Bags - $25
Silikids $40 Assorted Gift Set
Naturalmat Fitted Organic Cotton Percale Crib Sheet - $45
Ava Anderson Baby Powder & Diaper Cream - $25

green scene mom winner badge
green scene winter award winners giveaway



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Disclosure: I received no compensation or product of any kind for this posting. The content was shared only because I thought it would be of value to my readers. Found Frolicking is not the host of this giveaway and is not responsible for anything associate with the giveaway itself, or the winner receiving their prize. This post and all photos with the watermark are the property of Found Frolicking, and should not be used or distributed in any way without first receiving permission. If you would like to work with Found Frolicking for a review, giveaway, advertising, or promotion of any other nature, please email Lalia at found.frolicking@gmail.com.

If you like what you just read please click to send a quick vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs- The best mommy blog directory featuring top mom bloggers

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Doctor on Demand, Wherever You Are #FeelBetter




This is a sponsored post with Mums the Word Network and Doctor on Demand. All opinions are my own. For more information please see the full disclosure at the bottom of this post.

It's bound to happen to us all at some point: feeling awful due to symptoms from a cold, flu, or something else more severe, but either you're not able to work up the energy to go out to see your general physician, or they don't have any available appointments when you need them most.

Doctor on Demand is here to help. They can assist you with your non-emergency medical needs, with board certified physicians specialized in pediatrics, lactation consulting, psychology, and general physicians available 24/7. You pay per visit, with no hidden costs or fees. Using your location, Doctor on Demand connects you to a physician in your area, right from the comfort of your own home, or on the go. Doctor on Demand is available on iPhone, iPad, Android, and on the web from a computer with a webcam that includes a microphone. Your doctor will work with you to diagnose and work out a plan to get you on the path to recovery, and they can even order prescriptions for you to pick up at your preferred pharmacy!

[Image 1] Pediatric Video Visit 1

When I went to Doctor on Demand to get advise about my son, I did not book an appointment and instead opted to speak to a physician right away. I waited only 2 minutes! I spoke to a pediatrician, Dr. Raveena Rihal. She asked approximately when I started to notice symptoms, and about which symptoms I had observed. She spoke with me about the best ways I could help alleviate the symptoms, and then evaluated my son herself through the video chat. It took me only 12 minutes to receive all the information I needed, and I left the visit feeling very satisfied with the service.

I also loved that Doctor on Demand follows up email. Notes from your physician including their recommended treatment are always available on the website after your appointment, making it easy to access the information you need at any time. Especially convenient considering how much information can be given to you during a doctor's appointment.

[Image 1] Doctor Video Visit Laptop


Doctor on Demand has a great offer throughout the month of February! To book an appointment today, simply go to doctorondemand.com and enter the coupon code "found15" to receive a free visit.

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Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. I received monetary compensation and a free visit (to be able to review the service) in exchange for writing this content. All opinions expressed are my own, and were in no way influenced by the brand or any other sources. The post and all photos with the watermark are the property of Found Frolicking, and should not be used or distributed in any way without first receiving permission. Found Frolicking is in no way responsible for prize shipment, but will work with the sponsors in all ways possible to ensure the winner receives their prizes. If you would like to work with Found Frolicking for a review, giveaway, advertising, or promotion of any other nature, please email Lalia at found.frolicking@gmail.com.

If you like what you just read please click to send a quick vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs- The best mommy blog directory featuring top mom bloggers

Monday, 26 January 2015

Oh My! It's Twins! Giveaway Event - Little Partners The Learning Tower Giveaway

Welcome to the Oh My! It's Twins Giveaway Event!
Hosted By: Ramblings of Mama


To kick off the event, our first giveaway is one of Ramblings of Mama's favorite kiddo tools.

HUGE thank you to our Sponsor Little Partner's for providing one lucky reader a Learning Tower (ARV $200)

Special thank you to Budget Earth for helping to co-host this event. 

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Beautiful New Smile Sweepstakes

Welcome to the

Beautiful New Smile Sweepstakes

Sponsored by Smile Brilliant

Organized by Budget Earth

Cohosted by Dreaming of Leaving

Looking for a teeth whitening system that will give you beautiful, naturally white teeth with the same system used by your dentist? If so, we think you will love Smile Brilliant! This custom-fitted teeth whitening system is hand crafted by dental lab technicians and designs to give you the best teeth whitening experience – without the dental visit. Since they are identical to what most dental offices use, you can save up to 70% off what you pay at the dentist by using Smile Brilliant. Best of all, it is risk-free, allowing you to get your money back if you aren’t happy – they are that confident you’ll love the results! To learn more, make sure to check out what Budget Earth think of the Smile Brilliant Teeth Whitening System here!

Would you love the chance to try this teeth whitening system for yourself? Budget Earth and some of their favorite bloggers are excited to be working with Smile Brilliant on this fantastic giveaway! One lucky reader will win a Smile Brilliant Custom Teeth Whitening Kit (avg $139.99). To learn more, make sure to read the rule below and the enter through the Rafflecopter!

Beautiful New Smile Sweepstakes
  • One lucky reader will win a Smile Brilliant Custom Teeth Whitening Kit.
  • Open to US Only.
  • Winners will be chosen at random through Rafflecopter via Random.org.
  • Sweepstakes ends February 8th at 11:59pm ET.
  • Winner will be notified via email.
  • Winner will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen.
  • Budget Earth and associated bloggers are not responsible for prize fulfillment.
  • Must be 18 years or older to enter Rafflecopter.
  • Only one entrant per household.
  • Void where prohibited.
  • Entering the Rafflecopter means you agree to terms above.
  • Good Luck!

Disclosure: This blog did not receive compensation for this giveaway. Facebook, Twitter, & Pinterest are in no way associated with this sweepstakes. Prize fulfillment will be handled by sponsor. Would you like to have your products featured in a giveaway event? Want to increase your social media exposure? Contact susan.l.bewley@gmail.com to see how I can help YOUR company today!  

If you would like to work with Found Frolicking for a review, giveaway, advertising, or promotion of any other nature, please email Lalia at found.frolicking@gmail.com.

If you like what you just read please click to send a quick vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs- The best mommy blog directory featuring top mom bloggers