September 4th, 2012
I’ve been away for a couple of weeks. We had the wonderful opportunity to head “across the pond”.
First stop, London England.
Londoners are still on high spirits from the Olympic Games 2012, every one was very helpful and pleasant. Always willing to help us with directions, offer advice how to take the underground trains, and tell us the best places to go. I guess, really, the only pesky thing about London are the pigeons. They’re like our magpies, not really afraid of you, looking for your scraps. Oh… And the one who dropped on my father-in-laws arm. Sorry about that Dad. (“They” say it’s good luck”.)
We stayed in the heart of Picidilly Circus at The Thistle. Fortunately for us, at the time of booking, we got a 50% discount for paying up front. Our room way big with lots of room to move around. (Windows were a bit thin though… As we heard every conversation on the streets below.) But after a busy day of sight seeing, we were too tired to really notice. There were only two things I would have liked to see at the Thistle was better wifi. It was pretty pricey, and it was only for one device. And there was no one to take a call at 11:30 pm. (Which is something I would expect from a smaller hotel, or Bed and Breakfast, not a big hotel.)
Taking a bus tour is certainly the way to go to get the history of London. I would recommend though, make sure you have a “live” tour guide, instead of a recorded tour. Loved the extra “personality” of our tour guide. Plus another way to “catch up” with the extensive and impressive history, is to take your time and stroll through the British Museum. By far, the most impressive thing in London was Westminster Abbey. No photos inside, but you get the idea from the outside shots. The Abbey was a spiritual experience! Take the time to visit this magnificent place.
London is busy. Full of people who walk briskly, and men who dress sharp. Be sure to have your walking shoes on. That’s what you do there. Don’t drive (especially if you’re not used to driving on the left side of the road). And ladies, if you need your pumps, pack them in your bag to wear at your event. I hardly saw women wearing high heels. Maybe that’s why they we’re looking at me like I was crazy. But I quickly learned that flats are the way to go. We certainly did a lot of walking. But we didn’t walk far, stopping at a pub every 2 blocks! They take their pubbing very serious!! I loved it!
I don’t want to overwhelm you with information overload, I’ll write more in my next entry. Be ready for the British Theatre, The War Horse and Billy Elliot! Here’s a hint… phenomenal!
Bonus code walk.
I know it’s not August 6th yet, but this just couldn’t wait. If you’ve been following my blog for the past 5 years, you’d know that August 6th is an extreemly important date for me. I call it a Celebration of Life Day, in honor of my big brother, James’, birthday. 5 years ago my brother passed away. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about him. But I made the promise that from here on out I would celebrate is birthday and not the day he passed. And on his birthday, I also made a promise to myself, that I will do everything I can to get the word out and support Mental Illness Awarenesses. Even if Mental Illness doesn’t directly affect you, it affects everyone around you. The one thing I ask you to do is not to judge anyone, as you don’t know their story, and you’ve never walked in their shoes. And at the end of the day, tell the ones you love the most how important they are to you.
With this years celebration, I wanted to share an amazing campaign that everyone can get involved in!
Calgary Entrepreneurs Put a Colorful Spin on Mental Illness Awareness ~ $25,000 fundraising campaign to raise awareness for mental illness gearing up
Calgary small business entrepreneurs are showing up with generosity, compassion and willingness to advocate and open up the conversation around mental illness.
On Tuesday July 31st, three Calgary entrepreneurs are creating a sea of blue. A mental health advocate, blogger behind the popular website SimpLeeSerene.com, and the founder of Going Blue 4 U, Lee Horbachewski is on a mission to put a colorful spin on the blues. To build a bigger and better 2nd annual campaign, a fundraising campaign created on Calgary’s own Katipult.com is gaining momentum.
Catherine Tkach of Cat’s Eye Vintage & More and Karri Egan of The Hot Yoga Lounge are working with Horbachewski, to create a sea of blue.
Cat’s Eye Vintage & More will be hosting a BLUE Sale event from 2:00pm – 6:00 p.m., with 20% off everything in the store and 20% being donated to GB4U. Snacks, entertainment, and a table featuring BLUESock Dolls, created by Horbachewski’s 12 year old daughter and her friend will be available.
The Hot Yoga Lounge will be hosting a BLUE Glow Yoga in the Dark event at 7:30 p.m., yogis will be getting bendy in the dark. Well not completely in the dark, they will be glowing. Glowing BLUE. A minimum $5 donation will be donated to Going Blue 4 U.
Other entrepreneurs have been making blue waves with campaigns, and initiatives to raise funds and create conversation for mental illness.
Kim Page Gluckie of MPowered Marketing shared this masterful insight: Going Blue 4 U: A Philanthropic Study in Success. Susanne Alexander-Heaton, author of ABC Field Guide to Faeries is donating 40% of all online book sales. Linda Kiernan, created a SOLD out private screening of I AM at Self Connection Books on Sunday July 22, 2012 in 3 days, raising $590.00. Robin Havlicek of RAD Printing created TRUST banners, creating a visual display of support and trusting in GB4U. Robin has also committed to dyeing her hair blue if the $25,000 is raised by August 15th. Jaclyn Olsen of Diffusion Solutions has created a Dream Big – Believe in Better Series event with her donations as a speaker benefiting GB4U. If Jaclyn’s friends donate $1000 by August 15th she will dye a strip of her hair blue.
“I’m thrilled to say that $3,838 has bee raised to date and we have met our first milestone of producing a video by Calgary based storystudio.tv which will be key in spreading this life-saving message” says Horbachewski. “We are off to a great start, but additional funds are required to ensure the success of the 2012 campaign.”
Mental Illness impacts 1 in 5 Canadians (20% of the population)
- According to the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 43.3% of Albertans believe depression is a weakness.
- Age with the highest rate of depression symptoms: Under 20 years of age
- Every 4 minutes, a call for help is received, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year at Distress Centre
About Going Blue 4 U
Launched each year in conjunction with Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW), this year September 30th – October 6, 2012, we will create a sea of blue, for everyday people affected by mental illness and suicide. By providing resources and avenues for inspiration and empowerment, GB4U is armed with the vision of encouraging people to reach out and ask for help, thereby realizing they are not alone.
About Lee Horbachewski
Lee Horbachewski is an author, speaker and certified coach with a deep passion for serving and empowering others to shine bright and steady. Lee has been featured on Global TV, CTV, ET Canada, The Calgary Herald, and MetroNews. She was featured as one of Mompreneur Magazine’s (2009) top 5 Mompreneurs in Canada and is a spokesperson for the Distress Centre in Calgary and the founder of Going Blue 4 U. To see her full story click here for the video.
Bonus Code is Jamie.
July 24th, 2012
If you’ve ever wondered if you’ve found your soul mate
~ have a child.
If you’ve ever wondered if you’ve been blessed in your life
~ have a child.
If you’ve ever wondered if you’ve made a difference in the world
~ look through the eyes of a child.
If you’ve ever wondered if you are loved
~ be a mother.
|Photo by Corrina Walker Photography|
It’s been said before, being a mother is the toughest job in the world. And yet, women become mothers everyday. It doesn’t pay much (infact sometimes nothing at all), but most will tell you it’s the unconditional love that is payment enough. Most mothers are willing to take a hug from their children for a days worth of work. Something just changes when you become a mother. There’s a deep sense of committment to wanting what’s best for your children. And along the way, there comes another sense that she wants to give back to her community, to show her gratitude for all the blessings in her life. That is a Role Mother.
Role Mothers, Empowered by Market Mall, is a mom-powered online community and forum that supports families in weaving the spirit of giving into their daily lives to inspire future genterations of philanthropic Calgarians. And now is your chance to nominate a Role Mother!
Do you know a mom who’s dedicated to giving back and inspires her family and friends to do the same? Whether she champions her own philanthropic activies, has turned her birthday parties into charity affairs or spearheads family outings to volunteer at the food bank, Role Mothers wants to know more about the moms who make Calgary such a giving community. If you know a Calgary-based mom who makes community an important part of her family’s fabric, they’re asking you to nominate her as a Role Mother!
To nominate someone, (or even yourself… and yes, it’s okay to do that), simply visit http://www.rolemothers.ca/ and fill out the nomination form by Monday, August 13th, 2012. A panel of community leaders will narrow the submissions down to ten finalists and then Calgarians will vote for the top four Role Mothers whose stories inpire and encourage them to get more actively involved in the community.
The top four Role Mothers will become the faces of the 2013 Role Mothers campaign, receive a $1,000 Cadillac Fairview shop!card® from Market Mall for themselves AND a $1,000 donation will be made to their charity of choice. What a GREAT way to tell these AMAZING mothers you appreciate everything they do for not only their own familes, but for making this world a better place to live!
Bonus Code MOTHER
July 17th, 2012
While the rest of the city was busy wrapping up the 100th Celebration of the Calgary Stampede, I was putting the finishing touches on my son’s 5th birthday. Like all parents say, time sure flies once you have kids. Hard to believe that my oldest starts kindergarten this year!
The party was a hit! I put up party decorations, filled the goodie bags with Dollar Store gifts and ordered our Sonic The Hedgehog ice cream cake from DQ. But what would make this 5th birthday party be a hit? A magician of course.
I’ve blogged about this young man before, but he did such a good job, I thought he was worthy of another mention. TriXtan from Our Next Show does home parties too. And not just for kids, he could spice up a 40th birthday party too! He was so great with the kids though. He’s even inspired my son to try his own magic tricks. (Mind you his tricks are putting his toys in his socks and pretending that they’ve disappeared… lol). TriXtanwas interactive not only with the kids, but with the parents and grandparents too! Plus he showed off his amazing talent of balloon art too. He showed up with a 3 foot Sonic The Hedgehog for my son. (Only took him an hour before coming to make it!!) Plus the kids got what they asked for. One child wanted Spiderman, another wanted a Lobster. Yes, a Lobster balloon. (That was from my youngest). Sorry didn’t get a picture of it. I’ll see if it’s still around.
And his tricks had you asking, “how’d he do that”. And rolling on the floor laughing!!
So if you’re looking for something different for your party, this guy delivers. A young man making a living entertaining others with a craft that he’s worked on for the past 10 years… and he’s in his early 20′s!
You can also visit TriXtan with his production Our Next Show, July 18th and 19th at Cardel Theatre in Quarry Park. The shows you’ll see are full of magic, illusions, variety arts and inspiration! Go to www.ournextshow.ca for more information.
Bonus code is magic.
July 9th, 2012
Are you tired of the same old? I know we are. With the hot temperatures, no one wants to turn the oven on, or cook inside! Why not add more colour to your dinner and cook outside!. This delicious salmon is light and full of flavour. On the BBQ make sure you put it in a foil pan as it may stick to the BBQ (unless you carefully brush on oil first). Salmon doesn’t take long to cook. Once it flakes off your fork you’re ready for the dressing! I got rave reviews for this easy dinner!
Here’s what you need for your salmon and the dressing.
2 Wild Salmon planks (cooked in foil pan on BBQ) (Finished when it flakes off your fork, watch it closely, as it doesn’t take long to cook.)
2 Cups fresh baby spinach
1/4 Red onion sliced
Fresh Strawberries sliced
Fresh Cucumber slices
1 Large Grapefruit sliced (no skin or pulp)
1/4 cup fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Clove Garlic
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp Dijon Mustard
1 Tbsp fresh Parsley
Enjoy! Bonus Code: salmon
July 5th, 2012
When you were a kid it was up to your parents to make sure you followed the right path in life. Teaching you manners, presenting you accountability with chores, introducing you to sports and team work. But as soon as you move away from your nest, it’s up to you to find your way.
It sounds simple. But in reality it’s one of the most difficult choices you’ll make. And if you make a wrong turn along the way, it’s okay. That’s the tough one, being okay with a choice that didn’t quite work out for you. Every life experience makes you up to who you are today. And who you’ll become tomorrow. In the moment, however, it may bring you down. But finding that strength and courage to pick yourself up again will only make you stronger for what’s to come. Life isn’t easy. And would you expect it to be? If it was, we’d live a pretty boring existence.
At some point, you’ll come to the realization that in order to find the right path, you need to follow your passion. A passion is something that makes you breathe easy. A passion is something that you wake up to everyday and are thankful for this wonderful opportunity. A passion makes you smile. A passion will give you butterflies at first, but as soon as your realize the potential you’ll be calm. A passion is a choice you make to fulfil your hearts desire. But in order to follow that path, you must discover what your passion is. Everyone has it in them. And you’ll find it by listening to your heart. And once you do, your heart will smile.
I took this picture in Kananaskis, Alberta Canada. Enjoy it’s beauty.
Bonus Code PATH
July 3rd, 2012
|Wrapped Up In Love Silk Scarves by Lisa Kubik|
But it’s not just about looking my best, adding colour to my wardrobe is a must! Whether it’s a pop of colour on my shoes, a bright purse or an elegant scarf to make me feel as happy. You can’t help but smile when you see it.
That same smile came to me when I saw Wrapped Up In Love hand painted scarves by Lisa Kubuik.
by Lisa Kubik
Her artistic creations are all unique and hand painted. Lisa has a studio set up in her home (right smack in the middle of her dining room), where she masters up these beautiful silk scarves. At first I thought, she must paint a design then photograph it some how and then she has it printed on the scarf. No! Not so!. Lisa will spend, sometimes, up to 16 hours painting just one scarf.
I had to see this for myself. I’m always in awe of someones unique talent, especially when it involves passion, love and colour. Lisa conducts not only her life, but also her work through heart, intuition and compassion. She takes on a spiritual talent to create each scarf as not only a work of art, but healing therapy through colour. Each piece is meaningful and mesmerizing creations of beauty.
On her website, she walks you through the colour energy. Suggesting that colour energy can be the catalyst for the healing process and encourages normal and healthy workings of the body. Now that’s a way to go to work! Just imagine the positive energy you’ll exude in the office!
|Wrapped Up In Love by Lisa Kubik|
|Wrapped Up In Love iPhone cover|
Each hand painted silk scarf is unique and is a true piece of wearable art. The art is created by a woman who too shines a bright light of passion, happiness and love to each masterpiece.
Not only can you get Wrapped Up In Love, but she can also dress your cell phone with covers, decorate your coffee table with table art and fill your walls with unforgettable colour.
I don’t just like this, I love it! And now I can feel even more confident, vibrant and beautiful everyday.
Bonus code: Scarf
June 19th, 2012
GREAT PEOPLE, EVEN GREATER CAUSES!
Katipult was introduced to me through my friend Lee with Simplee Serene. And they have always been interested in philanthropic efforts in and around the city. Something they strive to work on is creating awareness for non profit and charitable organizations that bring meaning and hope to the lives of others. Luckily for Katipult, their job allows them to meet amazing people with extraordinary stories, all who want to make a difference.
The premise behind Katipult has always been to give back. Through crowd funding, a growing trend that “for profit” companies have been using to gain funding from individuals, non profits can also raise funds from people who are compelled to their cause.
We have become more aware of the organizations in the city that share a common goal, but aren’t getting the recognition they deserve. As of 2003, there were approximately 160,000 incorporated nonprofit and voluntary organizations operating in Canada. In Alberta specifically, there were 19,356. Many of these charities are volunteer based and need funding to be able to continue to help others in need.
The following 4 organizations have recently launched onto www.Katipult.com, and hope to raise funds for each of their individual initiatives:
A Song for Africa Scholarship Fund is a campaign sponsoring young people living in Kibera, Kenya. These young individuals are given the opportunity to complete their education. funding raised also helps to provide career development workshops for the recipients and other children from the community. These workshops are intended to motivate Kibera’s youth in aiming to further their education.
Going Blue 4 U started in 2011. The first campaign spanned across Canada and included participants dyeing their hair blue to raise funds for Crisis Lines and build awareness for the almost 7 million Canadians impacted by mental illness. The initiative this year is to create a bigger and better campaign encouraging conversation around mental illness, sharing the important message “YOU are not alone”.
We Did it! is a charitable organization that was created to respond to the growing needs for quality and affordable programs that take place in an educational environment. We Did It provides children with a safe and nurturing environment encouraging them to learn new skills while exposing them to unique opportunities.
H(OM)E is a charity focused to raise funds for the Om Disable Child Care home in Kathmandu, Nepal. The “Om Disable Child Care” home was an orphanage started by Ratna, a mother of a mentally handicapped child. It was intended to be a day home for children with similar conditions but eventually people began to drop the children off and never come back for them. The home became an orphanage. This mother currently has 14 mentally and/or physically handicapped children living at the home and only 3 care givers. There is no government aid and the only financial assistance comes from local volunteer agencies.
Bonus Code: GIVE
May 29th, 2012
“Take a Hike with Your Children” by Lynda Pianosi is an easy to read book, intended to get families active, outside and interested in nature. And we certainly have one of the most beautiful playgrounds in our back yard, The Canadian Rockies! There are more than 40 hikes within a two-hour drive from Calgary. This is the perfect book for young families wanting to get out and appreciate what Mother Nature has given us!
In this easy to read guide, there’s picture icons that let you know if the trail you and your young family is about to embark on is stroller friendly, if there are bathrooms, fire pits, shelters and more. Getting ready for your outdoor adventure was never this easy! Now you know what you and your family are in for. No more guessing if the hike is suitable for your family! I love it! It also gives you an outline for all walking abilities, to competent walkers through to advanced walkers. Parents are the best judge of their children’s walking abilities and you can use these guidelines to help you know where to go!
In this guide ,”Take A Hike with Your Children“, Lynda had done extensive research on Banff Hikes, Canmore Hikes, Kananaskis Hikes and Lake Louise Hikes. Plus there is additional information on other local adventure hikes for your family. Plus the whole book has photos, so you can actually see what you and your family are getting into!
at Larch Valley Hike, Lake Louise AB
Thank you Lynda Pianosi for the tremendous amount of time and energy you put into this outstanding book. Full of useful information and resources. Now, no more excuses for not getting out with the kids! You have one of the most amazing opportunities only minutes away!
Bonus Code HIKE
May 23rd, 2012
Not long ago, I blogged and told you about Alexander’s Quest. Read the blog here.
Alexander Edwin Brown IS a hero, and now that hero has a quest of his own. This family may have a broken heart, but they certainly know how to see The Brighter Side of life.
And now you can make a difference and have FUN doing it at the 2nd Annual Kids Knight Fundraiser at the Aerospace Museum in Calgary on Sunday May 27, 1:00pm to 5:00pm. I have two sets of 4 tickets to give away! Bring the kids for clowns, balloon animals, a magician, face painting, glitter tattoos, crafts, cookie decorating, petting zoo by Butterfield Acres, bounce house, photo booth, princesses, Star Wars characters, cupcakes, snacks and door prizes! Plus since it’s at the Aero Space Museum you get free access to all the aircraft!
Thank you to everyone who entered! And thank you for your beautiful comments. We made the draw, and have contacted the winners. Please keep Alexander’s Quest on your bookmarks for future fundraising events. This event is now sold out. For more information visit Alexander’s Quest online http://www.alexandersquest.ca/Events.html