Archive for the ‘Life Lessons’ Category
Thursday, July 26th, 2012
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.
Tuesday, 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
Tuesday, 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
Monday, May 7th, 2012
It’s Mental Health week – May 7 – 13, and in honor of that, I wanted to share a feature that will be running on our sister station 660News. It’s important to me, personally, that we talk about depression and the effects it has on so many. Having delt with family members who suffered from depression, I know first hand the impact is has on everyone around them. Please listen every day this week for this ongoing feature from Craig Lester on 660News.
The World Health Organization believes by 2020, depression will be the second leading cause of disability globally.
Many experts say one in four people in Canada will be impacted by some form of depression in their life time, and one in 10 will suffer from a severe form of it.
As part of National Mental Health Week, which runs May 7-13, our sister station, 660News, is running a five-part feature on depression, speaking with people who suffer from the mental illness and experts who see and treat it on a daily basis.
The feature will wrap up with a live online chat on 660News.com with a counsellor from the Calgary Counselling Centre on Friday between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m., which is open to anyone who wants to talk about depression, are looking for information or just need someone to talk to.
For Carol, her life journey took a dark turn during an abusive relationship.
“I had no self-worth, I didn’t put myself first, I gained a hundred pounds in four years, I left the relationship myself with my daughter, moved to the city; had to move back in with my parents,” she said. Read more here.
Depression Information and Resources:
Calgary Distress Centre – www.distresscentre.com/ – Crisis Line – 403.266. HELP (4357)
Calgary Counselling Centre: www.calgarycounselling.com
Alberta Health Services – http://www.albertahealthservices.ca/mentalhealth.asp
HealthLink – 1-866- 408-5465
Thursday, April 26th, 2012
A recent study suggests that if you’re worried about prostate cancer, order pizza or anything Italian.
Researchers in New York found oregano, a seasoning used in Italian cooking, contains a powerful chemical.
When added to prostate cancer cells in the lab, it wiped them out over a 40 span.
Researchers say the chemical doesn’t do much good when eaten because it is digested too quickly, but they hope to use this as a blueprint for a range of new drugs.
So, when they discover how it can help us when we eat it… here’s a GREAT recipe with oregano I use all the time. My kids love it too!
1 large organic chicken breast cut into bite sizes
1/2 cup flour
1 cup Panko bread crumbs (you can get them at most grocery stores)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp dried oregano
1/4 cup flax seed
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 Tbsp cooking oil
Use three separate bowls. 1 for the flour, 1 for the eggs (beat with fork) and one for the dry ingredients.
Cut the chicken breast into bite sizes. First in the flour, tap off the excess, then in the eggs, then coat with the dry ingredients.
Heat oil in frying pan or wok.
Cook each side until cooked through. (Watch as the flax seeds like to pop, so make sure you use a grease shield)
Bonus code: OREGANO
Friday, April 13th, 2012
What an amazing night! On Wednesday April 11th, I had the opportunity to spend and evening with some of Calgary’s top chefs for the 10th annual Art Gallery of Calgary’s AGCcooks fundraiser celebrating the art of cuisine and raising funds for The AGC’s renowned public and education (K – 12) programming.
Six of Calgary’s elite chefs competed to create a superior four-course meal featuring a secret ingredient – selected by restaurant critic and local food writer John Gilchrist and disclosed to them only days before the event.
The Chefs in the event were Chef Kyle Groves ~ Catch, Chef Dan Norcott ~ Charcut, Chef Ausuma Mansay ~ Raw Bar, Chef J.P. Gerritsen ~ Sky 360, Chef Dave Bohati ~ Rush, and Chef Geoff Rogers ~ Home Tasting Room.
We were invited to sit at Chef Kyle Groves’s table from Catch. Here’s a list of the secret ingredients and how he incorporated them. First was Van Houtte coffee, and the main course was Bison. Thank goodness for Chef Kyle Groves who took the time to write out his menu for me as I was busy sipping the wine..
Soup: Caramelized onion veloute with cappuccino foam. (Van Houtte Coffee secret ingredient). Paired with Lake Breeze Pinot Noir.
Salad: Zucchini with Indonesian lemon vinegar and preserved lemons. Roasted bell pepper with maple and balsamic ~ fairwinds chevre. Confit Shiitake mushroom with truffle powder. Eggplant puree ~ fennel pullen dusted potato chips. Grilled asparagus ~ grana padono. Olive oil and balsamic reduction. Paired with Bokisch ~ Albarino
Main: Braised Bison crespelle ~ sweet potato puree. Bison Short rib with gremolata birch syrup and sriracha glaze. Bison tortellini ~ glazed cippoline onion. Paired with Terrazas Cabernet Sauvignon.
Dessert: Buttermilk and orange panna cotta with Chinook honey comb. Paired with Ben Rye.
To start, I wasn’t sure about the cappuccino foam in the onion soup. But after a few bites WOW! I loved the bitter taste of the cappuccino with the salty taste of the soup. If Catch adds that to its menu, I’d order it again! I’m a BIG fan of unique salads. Although I wished it was a bit heartier, this was a delight. Now I’m not one to usually order Bison when I got out for dinner, but this time I was glad I had it. Especially with the maple glaze. I loved the touch of sweetness to the delicious taste of the bison. As for the dessert… WOW! That was my favorite. And believe it or not, I’m actually not a dessert person, and rarely finish it. But this was spectacular. I almost licked my plate… but then realized that wouldn’t be appropriate. Very tasty.
Great job by all the Chefs. And a great turn out for a great cause.
And the winners of AGCcooks: The Art of Cuisine are:
AGCcooks People’s Choice Award: Home Tasting Room
AGCcooks Food Critic Award: Home Tasting Room, Runner Up: Rush
AGCcooks Sommelier Award: Rush
Bonus Code: Cook
Wednesday, March 21st, 2012
The Power Within is an awesome experience. What a way to spend the day. Listening to inspirational speakers and absorbing their knowledge and wisdom about life purpose and how to find your own Power Within.
I had the amazing opportunity to also introduce the guest speaker Chris Gardener. In the early 1980’s, a series of adverse circumstances left Chris Gardner homeless and the
sole guardian of his toddler son. Unwilling to give up Chris Jr. or his dreams of success,
Gardner climbed the financial industry ladder from the very bottom, before founding his
own firm. Today he is the owner and CEO of brokerage firm Gardner Rich LLC., a
bestselling author and inspirational speaker. In 2006 he wrote his autobiography, The
Pursuit of Happyness, which became a New York Times and Washington Post #1
bestseller. His book was also the inspiration for the acclaimed movie starring Will Smith.
His second bestselling book, “Start Where You Are: Life Lessons in Getting from Where
You Are to Where You Want to Be”, was published in May 2009. Chris Gardner’s aim is to help others achieve their full potential.
Backstage, before introducing this remarkable man, I had the opportunity to speak to him. WOW! What a genuine, gentle, sweet, and huggable man. He held my hand through our conversation, knowing I was a bit nervous going on stage to introduce him. He noticed my wedding ring and asked me how long I’ve been married, and asked about my children. I got the sense that his heart is huge. He certainly made me feel more relaxed before heading to the stage. He has what I call “an infectious personality”, if ever given the opportunity I would love to spend more time with him in conversation one on one. What a wonderful chance of a lifetime I was given.
Once Chris took to the stage, he instantly won the hearts of the audience. First and foremost, he is a father. He made that very clear from the beginning. After growing up with out a father, Chris made a promise that when he became a man and had his own children that he would make sure his children would KNOW their father! After having his first child, Chris Jr., little did he know that LIFE had other expectations of him. In the movie The Pursuit of Happyness, we see Chris with his 5 year old son. But in real life he explained that his son wasn’t 5. They did that in the movie for the dialogue. While Chris was trying to “survive” being homeless and a single father, his son was actually only 14 months old. And everyday for a year he brought his son in tow, diapers and all. Chris is truly a remarkable and compassionate human being. I really don’t know if I can explain it in words how incredible this man is. Chris Gardener is the true definition of extraordinary. The message I walked away with from Chris was, first be a good parent and love your children, and second work your butt off to achieve success. Success doesn’t come from waiting for it to happen. You have to go after it yourself! I’ve always said, “It’s your life, and YOU are the only one who is going to live it. So if you want something, go after it yourself!” For more information on Chris and his foundation, visit his website http://www.chrisgardnermedia.com/
Before Mr. Gardener was on stage, we were treated to a moving speach by Leigh Anne Tuohy. The power of one who can make a difference. Leigh Anne Tuohy is the woman Sandra Bullock played in the move “The Blind Side”. What I loved about Leigh Anne was her ability to stay true to who she is. And let me tell you, if I was her daughter-in-law, I may be scared… until you see the true beauty that’s inside. On the outside is a really tough, and loud shell. But every time she spoke about giving back, and giving someone a chance, her tone changed. She went from a business woman who “GETS IT DONE”, to a big ol’ softy. I have to honestly say, I’ve never met anyone who is as blunt as she is, and at the same time would make everyday Christmas if she could. Her heart is more than huge, it’s out of this world. If you haven’t seen “The Blind Side” yet, make it a date! You won’t want to miss out on this beautiful woman and her remarkable family. Here’s a link to her foundation http://www.makingithappenfoundation.com/
BONUS CODE: POWER
PS – pictures coming soon. Please check back in a couple of weeks. Christina
Thursday, February 9th, 2012
One of the perks of being a girl is to have great hair. Our mother’s fuss with it for us when we are little, then we fuss with it when we are older. We spend hundreds at the hair salon to try to make it perfect. But imagine losing your hair. And not just when you are older. Vanessa McWilliams, founder and owner of Confident Curls, knows all to well about this.
Her story starts at 9 when she was diagnosed with Alopecia. It’s a medical condition in which hair is lost from some or all areas of the body, usually from the scalp. And by the time Vanessa was 11 she had lost all but a little of her hair. I can’t imagine what she went though at that age to have such a huge loss. To most, it’s just not comprehensible.
Throughout her tween years she wore wigs that were too old, and too heavy for her small frame. It wasn’t until she was in her late teens where she took it upon herself to find the right wig. Not only did the wig fit, but so did the idea. She knew, based on her own personal experiences, she had to help other women and children. As Vanessa says, “Discreetness without embarrassment, a comfortable atmosphere, and getting properly fitted with your ‘Dream-Do’ by another wig wearing woman, is the ultimate ‘personal’ shopping experience!” That’s how Confident Curls was born.
The one thing I’ve seen through Vanessa is her passion. And I’ve always said that in life we should always do what comes natural and what we know. And Vanessa is doing just that! All at the same time helping other to put smiles on their faces! Thank you Vanessa for sharing your gift from the heart.
For more on Confident Curls, visit http://www.confidentcurls.ca/ Here you can find out more about her great products, more about Vanessa and how you can donate.
Monday, November 7th, 2011
When I moved to Calgary almost 17 years ago now, my first impression of this city was; it’s a big city but a small community. Meaning, this city is SO giving. And 17 years later, that hasn’t changed. It’s only gotten bigger and better! And better at giving to those who need it the most.
Most recently, I was introduced to a program called Role Mothers. It’s a program designed to celebrate and encourage women; just like you; busy, active moms; who find the time to give back to the communities in which they live. All the while teaching their children the importance of giving along the way.
Being a “Role Mother” is as simple as identifying an opportunity, giving back to our community and sharing your story. Weather it’s a small gesture or a massive undertaking, your ideas may inspire other mothers to become “Role Mothers”.
On their Facebook page, other “Role Mothers” are sharing their stories on how they give back in their families. Talk about inspiring. Being a mom myself, and not always having the time to just breathe, let alone volunteer, this organization has given me the push to get out there and help. AND to instill the importance of giving back to my two boys. Even if it’s just donating gifts at Christmas for Toy Mountain , or baking extra food for Made by Momma. But it doesn’t stop there! The volunteer options are endless for us in this city. You just need to find the right one that fits your family and your life! Thank you Role Mothers for reaching out and helping us to give back to our beautiful city and the wonderful people we live with.
Bonus Code : GIVING (expires Tuesday Nov.8.2011 at midnight)
Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011
Living life by seeing the Brighter side isn’t easy. To the average person, we can make it a choice. But not everyone can make that choice. I’m talking about Mental Illness. Not long ago there was a Mental Illness campaign that tried to get the word out about who Mental Illness affects. It was a commercial that showed a drawing board with a pointer. On the drawing board was a picture of Earth. The message was, Mental Illness can affect anyone, but you can’t always see it. It’s not a condition you can see. It’s not a condition you can put a cast on to fix. It’s not a condition you choose to be in either.
<Just talk to Lee Horbachewski. She’s a suicide survivor, who lives with depression. And now Lee is taking a stand to help reduce the stigma and build awareness for Mental Illness and Suicide Prevention. Her Going Blue 4 U campaign is passionate about raising $40,000 to be donated to local charitable organizations that provide resources and support for Mental Illness. In Calgary, the funds will support the Distress Centre. The entire team will all dye their hair blue if they reach their goal. There are 10 days left for the Going Blue 4 U awareness campaign putting a colorful spin on “The Blues”.
Mental Illness impacts nearly 6 million Canadians, which is 20% of our population. Suicide accounts for 24% of all deaths among Canadians aged 15-24 and 16% of all deaths for the age group 25-44.
“Together we have the Power to Change and Reduce the Stigma that surrounds Mental Illness and suicide. The only way we will is by more and more people talking about it without judgment and fear.”
Lee Horbachewski has a vision: “To Empower You to Shine Bright & Steady, to be Aware, Accept and take Action by living life authentically and realizing you are never alone.” Truth that you CAN live on The Brighter Side. It’s not always easy, and you may need a helping hand along the way!
Hold Lee’s hand, and please help her with her vision. To donate to the Going Blue 4 U campaign, go to www.goingblue4u.ca
If you require immediate assistance call 9-1-1 or call a 24 Hour Crisis line http://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/
In Calgary you can contact the 24 Hour Crisis Line provided by the Distress Centre 403.266.HELP (4357) www.distresscentre.com