August 2014

Aug 31 2014
September 1, 2014 Luba Goy, Danny Wengle and Mark Breslin make a living dispensing hilarity in one form or another. They share how they cope with the “joys” of the aging process. more...

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Aug 31 2014
September 1, 2014 Courtney Carroll shows us how even managing our finances requires a sense of humour. more...

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Aug 31 2014
September 1, 2014 Seeing the humour in a situation or a joke often requires the ability to see things from an alternate perspective. This is certainly true of the following books, which Etta Kaner hopes you’ll share with your children. more...

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Aug 31 2014
The Staple You ShouldBe Wearing Now:The Drop Waist DressA drop waist dress has proven to be a timeless style.  We love it because it is sophisticated and effortless at the same time.  A girl with a collection of dresses in her closet will cer... more...

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Aug 31 2014
The Staple You ShouldBe Wearing Now:The Drop Waist DressA drop waist dress has proven to be a timeless style.  We love it because it is sophisticated and effortless at the same time.  A girl with a collection of dresses in her closet will cer... more...

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Aug 31 2014
September 1, 2014 Vera Held helps clarify issues of team building, coaching, and human ethics in the workplace. more...

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Aug 30 2014
When I first told Chatelaine readers about overcoming years of depression, they started bringing me their most secret stories and fears because they didn't know where else to turn, so entrenched was the stigma surrounding mental illness. Now this once-taboo topic is finally on the public agenda. Kudos to National Speakers Bureau for making it the focus on a panel at the upcoming Engage Speaker Talks. I'm excited to be part of the discussion. more...

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Aug 30 2014
    Video of the Week: I came across this week’s video when I stumbled upon Life is Beautiful. When we think the problems of the world are so complex or we can’t possibly make a difference, these leaders remind us … Continue reading more...

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Aug 30 2014
Stress comes from lack of trust that things will work out. If we genuinely trusted in our future, we would experience less anxiety and fear of what could go wrong. But simply having trust can be really hard to grasp … Continue reading more...

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Aug 29 2014
August 29, 2014 This photo was taken by Christina Mazzulla of the Bell Box mural she created on McLevin Ave in the Malvern neighbourhood of Scarborough, Ontario. more...

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Aug 29 2014

My mother and aunt were quite superstitious. So I grew up hearing warnings that it was bad luck, for example, to spill salt and when you did, you had to toss some over your left shoulder.    When you gave someone a wallet, you put a penny in it for good luck, or putting shoes on a table was bad luck, and so on.


But my aunt’s favourite was that when the cows were lying down, it was going to rain.  Now this one, may have some semblance of truth to it, and I thought of her the other day when I drove past our field and noticed that all our cows were lying down, and sure enough, later it did rain.


So what are the signs that you need to look out for in terms of your business. My mother would tell you that itchy palms meant money. Hearsay is that if it is your left hand, the money was going out, whereas if it’s your right palm, it was coming to you.  So is this a sign that your business may be about to take a nose dive or more positively, just take off?


Certainly tracking your numbers is the obvious first way to predict what may be going to happen, yet many business owners don’t. 

Studying your figures and where you make the most money is one way to tell you which program/product/service to pursue further, and those where, when you do the math cost you a lot to provide and are slow to sell, are perhaps the ones to drop.


And it is something you need to do on a regular basis, not just once in a while, because things change and what was popular one month, may not be three months down the road.  Everything has its season.


There are other signs around us too that are indicators of how business will be.  When it is a tight economy and people are scared about the future, there’s less funds available to spend on what may be considered luxuries.  This may be the time to introduce lower-priced items or services or to bundle your offering.


When you see local retail businesses close down, you have to wonder what is happening?  Have the landlords put the rent up? Have property taxes gone sky-rocketing?  If you own a store and those around you are literally closing up shop, you need to pay attention.  When there’s empty spaces around you, people have fewer reasons to come shop in your area.   


Another sign to pay attention to, is what your gut is telling you.  Too often as women we ignore our instincts, and yet, when we reflect back about doubts we may have had, we find we were right.  So pay attention to your intuition. 


None of us has a crystal ball about what the future holds, but often there are signs to watch for, we just have to pay attention.


As for our cows, I am watching them carefully as then I will know when to bring my umbrella with me. 

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Aug 29 2014

My mother and aunt were quite superstitious. So I grew up hearing warnings that it was bad luck, for example, to spill salt and when you did, you had to toss some over your left shoulder.    When you gave someone a wallet, you put a penny in it for good luck, or putting shoes on a table was bad luck, and so on.


But my aunt’s favourite was that when the cows were lying down, it was going to rain.  Now this one, may have some semblance of truth to it, and I thought of her the other day when I drove past our field and noticed that all our cows were lying down, and sure enough, later it did rain.


So what are the signs that you need to look out for in terms of your business. My mother would tell you that itchy palms meant money. Hearsay is that if it is your left hand, the money was going out, whereas if it’s your right palm, it was coming to you.  So is this a sign that your business may be about to take a nose dive or more positively, just take off?


Certainly tracking your numbers is the obvious first way to predict what may be going to happen, yet many business owners don’t. 

Studying your figures and where you make the most money is one way to tell you which program/product/service to pursue further, and those where, when you do the math cost you a lot to provide and are slow to sell, are perhaps the ones to drop.


And it is something you need to do on a regular basis, not just once in a while, because things change and what was popular one month, may not be three months down the road.  Everything has its season.


There are other signs around us too that are indicators of how business will be.  When it is a tight economy and people are scared about the future, there’s less funds available to spend on what may be considered luxuries.  This may be the time to introduce lower-priced items or services or to bundle your offering.


When you see local retail businesses close down, you have to wonder what is happening?  Have the landlords put the rent up? Have property taxes gone sky-rocketing?  If you own a store and those around you are literally closing up shop, you need to pay attention.  When there’s empty spaces around you, people have fewer reasons to come shop in your area.   


Another sign to pay attention to, is what your gut is telling you.  Too often as women we ignore our instincts, and yet, when we reflect back about doubts we may have had, we find we were right.  So pay attention to your intuition. 


None of us has a crystal ball about what the future holds, but often there are signs to watch for, we just have to pay attention.


As for our cows, I am watching them carefully as then I will know when to bring my umbrella with me. 

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Aug 29 2014


Miley Cyrus Showed off her real "assets" this time at the VMA's and shined a light  on the issue of poverty and homelessness in America. Even though her date has legal issues that are now out in the media and some people consider it just another PR stunt. Miley did a good thing that celebrities should imitate often. In Writer Carrie Arnold's post "I Dream Of A Selfie Free World" she discusses how celebrities and just your average selfie taker can start to reflect attention and use our resources to focus on what really matters.

" it's time for us to stop focusing on self and instead, focus on what is going on around us... Miley has won some of my respect because she chose to use her Video Music Award (VMA) to shed light on the social justice issue of poverty and homelessness. She could have used it to self-promote in a usual celebrity fashion. Instead, we saw political activism. This is what I wish to see in place of every selfie. What would our world look like if we stopped gazing at ourselves, broke out of our proverbial narcissism and turned our camera phones to the multiple issues of social injustice that have begun to fade into the background like old wallpaper?". 

"The New York Times reported that Miley's campaign for the homeless youth nonprofit My Friend’s Place amassed over $200,000 in less than 24 hours following the VMAs, in addition to God knows how much since then."



Arnold goes on to discuss the Ice Bucket Challenge. "The ALS association has received 70.2 million dollars in donations compared to the 2.5 million they received last year."  Even though the small things seem silly, we can all come together to use our platforms for good. Action comes when we start turning our camera phones around and working to resolve issues that can be helped in our little corner of the world.


What issue will you get behind? I agree that we can join Carrie in making September Selfie-free!!
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References:
http://www.morguefile.com/archive

April D. Byrd is a Resident Support Staff for The Christian Women's Center A Non-Profit Organization dedicated to providing  shelter for women in crisis, believing they can receive physical, emotional and spiritual wholeness through the love of Christ. She is on Twitter.
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Aug 29 2014


Miley Cyrus Showed off her real "assets" this time at the VMA's and shined a light  on the issue of poverty and homelessness in America. Even though her date has legal issues that are now out in the media and some people consider it just another PR stunt. Miley did a good thing that celebrities should imitate often. In Writer Carrie Arnold's post "I Dream Of A Selfie Free World" she discusses how celebrities and just your average selfie taker can start to reflect attention and use our resources to focus on what really matters.

" it's time for us to stop focusing on self and instead, focus on what is going on around us... Miley has won some of my respect because she chose to use her Video Music Award (VMA) to shed light on the social justice issue of poverty and homelessness. She could have used it to self-promote in a usual celebrity fashion. Instead, we saw political activism. This is what I wish to see in place of every selfie. What would our world look like if we stopped gazing at ourselves, broke out of our proverbial narcissism and turned our camera phones to the multiple issues of social injustice that have begun to fade into the background like old wallpaper?". 

"The New York Times reported that Miley's campaign for the homeless youth nonprofit My Friend’s Place amassed over $200,000 in less than 24 hours following the VMAs, in addition to God knows how much since then."



Arnold goes on to discuss the Ice Bucket Challenge. "The ALS association has received 70.2 million dollars in donations compared to the 2.5 million they received last year."  Even though the small things seem silly, we can all come together to use our platforms for good. Action comes when we start turning our camera phones around and working to resolve issues that can be helped in our little corner of the world.


What issue will you get behind? I agree that we can join Carrie in making September Selfie-free!!
----
References:
http://www.morguefile.com/archive

April D. Byrd is a Resident Support Staff for The Christian Women's Center A Non-Profit Organization dedicated to providing  shelter for women in crisis, believing they can receive physical, emotional and spiritual wholeness through the love of Christ. She is on Twitter.
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Aug 29 2014
It's not everyday you get to meet trailblazers. Glass ceiling breakers. It's not every day you get to meet people who were doing things FIRST. I have been fortunate enough to have met and interviewed some remarkable people over the years since starting this women's lifestyle brand 5 years ago, next month. more...

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Aug 29 2014
Happy customers make for healthy bottom lines. If you want to build a customer service culture that gets real results, you need the reliable, proven guidance of Dennis Snow. Drawing on the expertise he honed as a customer service leader throughout his two decades with Walt Disney World’s “Disney Institute,” Dennis shares his secrets to... more...

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Aug 29 2014
Publication Date: August 26, 2014
Publisher:  Harlequin MIRA
Formats: eBook, Paperback


Genre: Historical Fiction

Acquired:  Through Historical Fiction Virtual Tours 

Teaser
When Eva Gouel moves to Paris from the countryside, she is full of ambition and dreams of stardom. Though young and inexperienced, she manages to find work as a costumer at the famous Moulin Rouge, and it is here that she first catches the attention of Pablo Picasso, a rising star in the art world.  A brilliant but eccentric artist, Picasso sets his sights on Eva, and Eva can’t help but be drawn into his web. But what starts as a torrid affair soon evolves into what will become the first great love of Picasso’s life. 

Praise for Madame Picasso


“Early twentieth century Paris and Picasso’s lost love come to enchanted, vivid life in Madame Picasso. With a deft eye for detail and deep understanding for her protagonists, Anne Girard captures the earnest young woman who enthralled the famous artist and became his unsung muse.” – C.W. Gortner, bestselling author of THE QUEEN’S VOW


About the Author:


Anne Girard was born with writing in her blood. The daughter of a hard-driving Chicago newsman, she has always had the same passion for storytelling that fueled his lifelong career. She hand-wrote her first novel (admittedly, not a very good one) at the age of fourteen, and never stopped imagining characters and their stories. Writing only ever took a backseat to her love of reading.


After earning a bachelor’s degree in English literature from UCLA and a Master’s degree in psychology from Pepperdine University, a chance meeting with the acclaimed author, Irving Stone, sharply focused her ambition onto telling great stories from history with detailed research. “Live where your characters lived, see the things they saw,” he said, “only then can you truly bring them to life for your readers.” Anne took that advice to heart. After Stone’s encouragement twenty years ago, she sold her first novel. When she is not traveling the world researching her stories, Anne and her family make their home in Southern California. When she is not traveling or writing, she is reading fiction.


Anne also writes historical fiction under the name Diane Haeger. For more information, visit www.dianehaeger.com. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.


My thoughts:  You didn't think that I wasn't going to actually review the book did you? I want to thank Amy Bruno from Passages to the Past and HFVBT for inviting me to participate in the blog tour for this fantastic book.  When I received the email from Amy, my first thought was "I'm not really fond of Picasso as an artist or as a person," but I've read Anne's previous books written under the name Diane Haeger and enjoyed them. She was even kind enough to be interviewed during the early days of the blog, so I thought 'why not?' I adore Paris and this book takes place in an intriguing time in the city's history, just before the start of WWI.  Mata Hari and Isadora Duncan were taking the city by storm with their innovative dance performances.  And the book involved scenes at the Moulin Rouge with a young Maurice Chevalier.  Sold!

I was charmed from the very first paragraph when Eva shows up late for her appointment at the Moulin Rouge but manages to talk her way into a job working as a wardrobe assistant.  I wasn't sure that I was going to like Eva, at first she seems a bit timid and uncertain of herself but Paris begins to work its magic on her, and she slowly grows as a person and as a character. She changes her name from Eva Gouel to Marcelle Humbert to sound more Parisian, to leave behind the provincial girl from the provinces. Almost immediately she meets a charismatic artist who turns out to be Picasso.  

I confess that some of my feelings about Picasso stem from the Merchant-Ivory movie starring Anthony Hopkins hamming it up as a middle-aged Picasso.  That Picasso was at the height of his fame and was a total asshole, especially to women. Girard gives us a glimpse at the young Picasso, just about to turn thirty, who after years of hardship is finally making a name for himself as an artist.  This Picasso has just begun experimenting with Cubism. I liked this Picasso, he's still in touch with his roots in Spain, but he's known tragedy.  His younger sister and his best friend have died, and he feels their loss keenly. 

What I liked about this story was that both characters were flawed.  Eva is feisty but she's also a bit of a martyr.  At first I thought that she was going to be a totally passive character who just allows things to happen to her, who gets swept away in a grand romance with Picasso. I liked the fact that she tried to respect Picasso's relationship with Fernande Olivier, even though the passion between her and Picasso was so strong. I also liked the fact that Picasso, although he loved Eva, still had the decency to not want to hurt Fernande even though the relationship was dying. He didn't just chuck her out, he had moments where he reflected on how much they had gone through together. 

In Girard's hands, the world of the Moulin Rouge and the South of France come alive in vivid colors like one of Picasso's paintings.  Seriously, after reading this book, all I wanted to do was hop on a place to Paris to walk in Picasso and Eva's footsteps. Reading this book was like taking a master class in historical fiction.  She doesn't overload the reader with details about the clothes or furniture, she focuses more on the emotions of the characters and how they react to having a new dress or moving into new flat. The experience of getting into a motorcar for the first time. Of course, all the usual suspects are here, Gertrude Stein and her life partner Alice B. Toklas (who actually comes alive in this book and is not just wallpaper or an appendage to Stein), Mistinguett, Matisse and Guillaume Appolinaire.  

Books about real people can be tricky. Particularly when the real-life person has so many famous friends. It can sometimes feel like dropping names into a story. For the most part Girard avoids that trap. There was a moment at Gertrude Stein's apartment where it felt a little name-droppy but that couldn't be helped. The best parts of the book are of course the intimate scenes between Picasso and Eva.  I don't know if Eva really was the love of Picasso's life, but Girard certainly made me feel as if she was.  Eva seemed to understand him in a way that Fernande Olivier didn't. Particularly in the last 1/3 of the book. Girard even made me feel for Olivier who could have come across as just the scorned girlfriend or a bitch, but Girard reveals the layers beneath the surface. Girard points out that life wasn't plain sailing for Eva and Picasso, that their relationship had consequences, friendships were lost. 

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I was sad when I finished it. I could have cheerfully spend more time with Eva and Picasso.
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Aug 29 2014
Publication Date: August 26, 2014
Publisher:  Harlequin MIRA
Formats: eBook, Paperback


Genre: Historical Fiction

Acquired:  Through Historical Fiction Virtual Tours 

Teaser
When Eva Gouel moves to Paris from the countryside, she is full of ambition and dreams of stardom. Though young and inexperienced, she manages to find work as a costumer at the famous Moulin Rouge, and it is here that she first catches the attention of Pablo Picasso, a rising star in the art world.  A brilliant but eccentric artist, Picasso sets his sights on Eva, and Eva can’t help but be drawn into his web. But what starts as a torrid affair soon evolves into what will become the first great love of Picasso’s life. 

Praise for Madame Picasso


“Early twentieth century Paris and Picasso’s lost love come to enchanted, vivid life in Madame Picasso. With a deft eye for detail and deep understanding for her protagonists, Anne Girard captures the earnest young woman who enthralled the famous artist and became his unsung muse.” – C.W. Gortner, bestselling author of THE QUEEN’S VOW


About the Author:


Anne Girard was born with writing in her blood. The daughter of a hard-driving Chicago newsman, she has always had the same passion for storytelling that fueled his lifelong career. She hand-wrote her first novel (admittedly, not a very good one) at the age of fourteen, and never stopped imagining characters and their stories. Writing only ever took a backseat to her love of reading.


After earning a bachelor’s degree in English literature from UCLA and a Master’s degree in psychology from Pepperdine University, a chance meeting with the acclaimed author, Irving Stone, sharply focused her ambition onto telling great stories from history with detailed research. “Live where your characters lived, see the things they saw,” he said, “only then can you truly bring them to life for your readers.” Anne took that advice to heart. After Stone’s encouragement twenty years ago, she sold her first novel. When she is not traveling the world researching her stories, Anne and her family make their home in Southern California. When she is not traveling or writing, she is reading fiction.


Anne also writes historical fiction under the name Diane Haeger. For more information, visit www.dianehaeger.com. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.


My thoughts:  You didn't think that I wasn't going to actually review the book did you? I want to thank Amy Bruno from Passages to the Past and HFVBT for inviting me to participate in the blog tour for this fantastic book.  When I received the email from Amy, my first thought was "I'm not really fond of Picasso as an artist or as a person," but I've read Anne's previous books written under the name Diane Haeger and enjoyed them. She was even kind enough to be interviewed during the early days of the blog, so I thought 'why not?' I adore Paris and this book takes place in an intriguing time in the city's history, just before the start of WWI.  Mata Hari and Isadora Duncan were taking the city by storm with their innovative dance performances.  And the book involved scenes at the Moulin Rouge with a young Maurice Chevalier.  Sold!

I was charmed from the very first paragraph when Eva shows up late for her appointment at the Moulin Rouge but manages to talk her way into a job working as a wardrobe assistant.  I wasn't sure that I was going to like Eva, at first she seems a bit timid and uncertain of herself but Paris begins to work its magic on her, and she slowly grows as a person and as a character. She changes her name from Eva Gouel to Marcelle Humbert to sound more Parisian, to leave behind the provincial girl from the provinces. Almost immediately she meets a charismatic artist who turns out to be Picasso.  

I confess that some of my feelings about Picasso stem from the Merchant-Ivory movie starring Anthony Hopkins hamming it up as a middle-aged Picasso.  That Picasso was at the height of his fame and was a total asshole, especially to women. Girard gives us a glimpse at the young Picasso, just about to turn thirty, who after years of hardship is finally making a name for himself as an artist.  This Picasso has just begun experimenting with Cubism. I liked this Picasso, he's still in touch with his roots in Spain, but he's known tragedy.  His younger sister and his best friend have died, and he feels their loss keenly. 

What I liked about this story was that both characters were flawed.  Eva is feisty but she's also a bit of a martyr.  At first I thought that she was going to be a totally passive character who just allows things to happen to her, who gets swept away in a grand romance with Picasso. I liked the fact that she tried to respect Picasso's relationship with Fernande Olivier, even though the passion between her and Picasso was so strong. I also liked the fact that Picasso, although he loved Eva, still had the decency to not want to hurt Fernande even though the relationship was dying. He didn't just chuck her out, he had moments where he reflected on how much they had gone through together. 

In Girard's hands, the world of the Moulin Rouge and the South of France come alive in vivid colors like one of Picasso's paintings.  Seriously, after reading this book, all I wanted to do was hop on a place to Paris to walk in Picasso and Eva's footsteps. Reading this book was like taking a master class in historical fiction.  She doesn't overload the reader with details about the clothes or furniture, she focuses more on the emotions of the characters and how they react to having a new dress or moving into new flat. The experience of getting into a motorcar for the first time. Of course, all the usual suspects are here, Gertrude Stein and her life partner Alice B. Toklas (who actually comes alive in this book and is not just wallpaper or an appendage to Stein), Mistinguett, Matisse and Guillaume Appolinaire.  

Books about real people can be tricky. Particularly when the real-life person has so many famous friends. It can sometimes feel like dropping names into a story. For the most part Girard avoids that trap. There was a moment at Gertrude Stein's apartment where it felt a little name-droppy but that couldn't be helped. The best parts of the book are of course the intimate scenes between Picasso and Eva.  I don't know if Eva really was the love of Picasso's life, but Girard certainly made me feel as if she was.  Eva seemed to understand him in a way that Fernande Olivier didn't. Particularly in the last 1/3 of the book. Girard even made me feel for Olivier who could have come across as just the scorned girlfriend or a bitch, but Girard reveals the layers beneath the surface. Girard points out that life wasn't plain sailing for Eva and Picasso, that their relationship had consequences, friendships were lost. 

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I was sad when I finished it. I could have cheerfully spend more time with Eva and Picasso.
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Aug 28 2014
Mike Walsh is a leading futurist and authority on digital trends in emerging markets who advises many of the world’s top corporations on what’s coming next in their industry. Mike expertly distils his insights into tailored keynotes that allow any audience to influence the future direction of their industry. Below, Mike discusses the importance of... more...

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Aug 28 2014
“Just what does your day look like?” “How do you stay out of overwhelm?”   These are questions I get all the time and, at my workshop last week, it was obvious that many entrepreneurs are lost when it comes to some of the fundamentals of growing a […] more...

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Aug 28 2014
We are excited to announce that our new signing DVD is now available for sale! It’s been a long, fun project in the making. Fireese and I had a blast working on this video project together. It’s been such an amazing experience seeing Fireese grow up into a very smart little girl from a cute(...) more...

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Aug 28 2014
Nutrition guru Julie Daniluk is a trusted source for health related information in an age of over-processing, unnatural food products. She has a knack for breaking down complex scientific research into practical, real solutions that everyday people can relate to. In the article below, Julie tackles misconceptions about popular sports drinks and offers a practical,... more...

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Aug 28 2014
Ten Ways to Build Great Leadership in Turbulent Times (Including Over 600 Bonus Links) © Irene Becker, Just Coach It-The 3Q Edge™ | (IQ-EQ-SQ) Reach-Resonance-Results 3Q Leadership™ Blog- 42,000+ Social Media Followers & Growing!   Delighted to be speaking on this topic at Leaders Connect UK Conference October 3, 2014.  If you are a leader or emerging leader, please …

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Aug 27 2014
Two paramount priorities to consider when pondering any renovation – Location and Location!  In the case of this project, these fabulous clients had an opportunity to privately purchase a 25+ year old home on a quiet street, in an estate property, in a booming community.  Take that criteria and overlap your families specific needs within […] more...

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Aug 27 2014
While serving as the Director of Mental Training for the St. Louis Cardinals, Dr. Jason Selk helped the team win their first World Series in over 20 years, and in 2011 he assisted the Cardinals in the historic feat of winning their second World Championship in a six year period. Considered to be one of... more...

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Aug 27 2014
Becoming Supreme is a lot of fun but it’s also a responsibility. For a Not Far From The Tree volunteer like myself, being “Supreme” means getting specially trained as a Supreme... Read more > more...

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Aug 27 2014

25 5 Simple Ways to Start a Weight Loss Regime

 

 

We are often asked about weight loss. Hey, it is what we do! The hardest part of getting started is taking the first step. There are five things you can do right now that will empower you to start a weight loss regime with either us or on your own. These five actions will also help you stick with your plan.

Read more on 5 Simple Ways to Start a Weight Loss Regime…

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Aug 27 2014

Want to know how I get “so out there”?

As promised Monday I told ya I would let you know what I say to contacts when I’m reaching out. If you missed Monday’s blog that was all about taking action check it out here.

Lets get down to the nitty gritty!

So now that you have your set “branding time” set aside in your schedule, spend about 60 minutes asking our friend Google…

“Hey Google what are some badass opportunities by brand needs to be involved in?” (Click here to tweet this and I will personally send …

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Aug 27 2014
Enter the wonderful world of ASL in this super entertaining video. My Smart Hands has created this DVD to teach young hearing children the beauty of American Sign Language. Kids around the globe will enjoy this mother/daughter take on learning ASL. Developed by Baby Sign Language expert, Laura Berg and starring her daughter Fireese, this(...) more...

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Aug 27 2014
An award-winning doctor, researcher, and lecturer on human motivation, Dr. Shimi Kang offers the keys people of all ages need to succeed in the workplace and at home. With over fifteen years of clinical experience and extensive training in the science that lies behind motivation and mental wellness, Dr. Kang shows people how to cultivate... more...

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Aug 27 2014
By Ajike Akande

Guess what, folks?  Wife and I managed to get away for three whole days (4 nights) without our kiddos!  We went to Las Vegas aka Sin City and the most sinful thing we did was take extra towels to provide major cushioning for the chaise lounges we glued ourselves to all day, every day.  Being there was pure bliss; we literally did exactly what we wanted.  The Lazy River experience was actually too much activity for us! (Do you know how hard it is to relax and float through the water in an inner tube?)  Point is, we did it.  We went away.  Of course,  we almost didn’t.

This trip had been planned since January.  Wife convinced me to leave the kids to fulfill my big and admittedly questionable dream to see Celine Dion perform in Vegas.   I am an out Celine fan (this was almost a deal breaker for Wife) and after careful consideration, I decided she was worth leaving my babies for.  You may know that, without warning Celine Dion cancelled all of her shows from August to at least March 2015.  We found out five days before we were scheduled to leave.  I was so upset and quite honestly I had many friends, Facebook and otherwise, who were upset on my behalf.  Look Celine, I’m all about putting one’s family first, but for you, I was prepared to put my family second! 
After hearing the news about Ms. Dion, Wife and I waffled about whether or not we should actually go to Vegas or change our destination or just postpone the trip all together.  Okay, only I thought we should totally cancel the trip, because without Celine, what was the point?  (By the way, it is bad form to say to your partner, the day after your 8thwedding anniversary, that without Celine Dion, there is no point in going away together.  Don’t say I never shared keys to relationship success!)

Added to the my mental list of reasons we should not leave the children was the age of the grandmothers who would be staying with them.  You would never know to look at them and they certainly seem to forget that with their age may come possible limitations, but Nanny and Bubbie are 77 and 84 years old!    After the heroic grandmas, that mothered Wife and I, convinced me that they would be fine, Wife thought that the discussion was over and we did not have to use the cancellation insurance.  She is so naive.  What is she, new?  I was still compiling a list of reasons not to go away. 

As though my lovely five-year-old twins and I had planned it, they pulled out their most obscene and off-putting behaviour in support of my quest to cancel our Vegas vacation.  And yes, I do mean obscene and off-putting.  There is no other way to describe it.  I’m not being mean, I know they struggle with a number of things and that their undesirable behaviours are often (but not always) not on purpose, but seriously, they didn’t hold back.  They did not want us to leave.  In my totally-afraid-to-leave-my-kids opinion there was no way that anybody would be able to manage and support them while we were gone – even the heroic grandmas.  I just didn’t think that anybody would be okay without us.  We have some tricks that sometimes work to help keep the girls calm and reassured.  Of course these tricks often don’t work, but we are used to their quirks.   And it wasn’t just the girls I worried about.  Mr. Lee has severe allergies and a really unfortunate obsession with kneading the breasts of any woman caring for him.  Grandmothers are not fond of breast kneading (as far as I know).  And Z, well his two settings are cartwheeling and sleeping.  Unfortunately he regularly forgets to check his surroundings before kicking his legs into the air.  I couldn’t risk someone suffering a cartwheel injury while we were away.  Oh and F-Jammie is certain she’s an Olympic swimmer and will plunge into any water in her sight.   You need to be quick with that one.  Without Celine as my departure reward, leaving the kids seemed like a horrible idea. 

I couldn’t even pack until about 30 minutes before we had to leave for the airport.  I sat on my floor and sought Facebook friend support to manage my fears about leaving and of course, many of my lovelies came through with encouragement and suggestions regarding how much Ativan I should take and which alcoholic beverages I needed to order before boarding and while on the plane.  I have really good Facebook friends.  Finally, I abandoned my list of reasons not to go away, and packed up and headed to the airport with Wife. 

I said all the prayers as the plane took off – oh, how I hate flying, and tried to settle into vacation mode.  After an uneventful flight (prayers answered) and the arrival at a fancy hotel without a casino (ahhh, the peace) it wasn’t too hard to get into the we’re-away-without-our-kids-which-means-sleep spirit!  We slept, read, ate good food and drank tasty drinks by day and enjoyed relatively calm Vegas activities by night.  We saw two Cirque Du Soleil shows and Wife proposed to me again.  That’s right, a second marriage proposal - no big deal.  Except it was a totally big deal!  My sweet asked me to marry her again in public, at a piano bar, in front of all sorts of strangers, after singing to me off key, offering a new, sparkly, sticky-uppy ring!  It was amazing!  I was so surprised.  I am never surprised. 



Okay so listen folks, here is the take away.  If you are a parent, at some point you should leave your small humans.  The time away will be likely be blissful and if you are parenting with another exhausted soul, who you love, the time away together will help you remember why and how the heck you ended up in this exhausting parenting predicament.  Please know, however, that you will not return with a new lease on life.  You will return and realize that your children are the sweetest, most miss-able, incredible people you know and all the reasons you totally needed a break from them are still there.  They will be the same and you will be the same only with a hangover, I mean well rested (unless you take the red-eye home).  Best part? Kiddos are almost always so much better for other people.  Our little ones were no exception, which means our awesome care-giving team are able and willing to sign up to ensure that we get to have some time away again. 


Thank you to Nanny, Bubbie and Tita Liza (our caregiver) for giving the kids and us a much-needed vacation.  And Silverman-Akande young folk, don’t be afraid to sleep through the night for Mommy and Mama the way you did for Nanny, Bubbie and Tita while we were away.   You will be appropriately rewarded for your efforts! 

XO Ajike


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Aug 27 2014
By Ajike Akande

Guess what, folks?  Wife and I managed to get away for three whole days (4 nights) without our kiddos!  We went to Las Vegas aka Sin City and the most sinful thing we did was take extra towels to provide major cushioning for the chaise lounges we glued ourselves to all day, every day.  Being there was pure bliss; we literally did exactly what we wanted.  The Lazy River experience was actually too much activity for us! (Do you know how hard it is to relax and float through the water in an inner tube?)  Point is, we did it.  We went away.  Of course,  we almost didn’t.

This trip had been planned since January.  Wife convinced me to leave the kids to fulfill my big and admittedly questionable dream to see Celine Dion perform in Vegas.   I am an out Celine fan (this was almost a deal breaker for Wife) and after careful consideration, I decided she was worth leaving my babies for.  You may know that, without warning Celine Dion cancelled all of her shows from August to at least March 2015.  We found out five days before we were scheduled to leave.  I was so upset and quite honestly I had many friends, Facebook and otherwise, who were upset on my behalf.  Look Celine, I’m all about putting one’s family first, but for you, I was prepared to put my family second! 
After hearing the news about Ms. Dion, Wife and I waffled about whether or not we should actually go to Vegas or change our destination or just postpone the trip all together.  Okay, only I thought we should totally cancel the trip, because without Celine, what was the point?  (By the way, it is bad form to say to your partner, the day after your 8thwedding anniversary, that without Celine Dion, there is no point in going away together.  Don’t say I never shared keys to relationship success!)

Added to the my mental list of reasons we should not leave the children was the age of the grandmothers who would be staying with them.  You would never know to look at them and they certainly seem to forget that with their age may come possible limitations, but Nanny and Bubbie are 77 and 84 years old!    After the heroic grandmas, that mothered Wife and I, convinced me that they would be fine, Wife thought that the discussion was over and we did not have to use the cancellation insurance.  She is so naive.  What is she, new?  I was still compiling a list of reasons not to go away. 

As though my lovely five-year-old twins and I had planned it, they pulled out their most obscene and off-putting behaviour in support of my quest to cancel our Vegas vacation.  And yes, I do mean obscene and off-putting.  There is no other way to describe it.  I’m not being mean, I know they struggle with a number of things and that their undesirable behaviours are often (but not always) not on purpose, but seriously, they didn’t hold back.  They did not want us to leave.  In my totally-afraid-to-leave-my-kids opinion there was no way that anybody would be able to manage and support them while we were gone – even the heroic grandmas.  I just didn’t think that anybody would be okay without us.  We have some tricks that sometimes work to help keep the girls calm and reassured.  Of course these tricks often don’t work, but we are used to their quirks.   And it wasn’t just the girls I worried about.  Mr. Lee has severe allergies and a really unfortunate obsession with kneading the breasts of any woman caring for him.  Grandmothers are not fond of breast kneading (as far as I know).  And Z, well his two settings are cartwheeling and sleeping.  Unfortunately he regularly forgets to check his surroundings before kicking his legs into the air.  I couldn’t risk someone suffering a cartwheel injury while we were away.  Oh and F-Jammie is certain she’s an Olympic swimmer and will plunge into any water in her sight.   You need to be quick with that one.  Without Celine as my departure reward, leaving the kids seemed like a horrible idea. 

I couldn’t even pack until about 30 minutes before we had to leave for the airport.  I sat on my floor and sought Facebook friend support to manage my fears about leaving and of course, many of my lovelies came through with encouragement and suggestions regarding how much Ativan I should take and which alcoholic beverages I needed to order before boarding and while on the plane.  I have really good Facebook friends.  Finally, I abandoned my list of reasons not to go away, and packed up and headed to the airport with Wife. 

I said all the prayers as the plane took off – oh, how I hate flying, and tried to settle into vacation mode.  After an uneventful flight (prayers answered) and the arrival at a fancy hotel without a casino (ahhh, the peace) it wasn’t too hard to get into the we’re-away-without-our-kids-which-means-sleep spirit!  We slept, read, ate good food and drank tasty drinks by day and enjoyed relatively calm Vegas activities by night.  We saw two Cirque Du Soleil shows and Wife proposed to me again.  That’s right, a second marriage proposal - no big deal.  Except it was a totally big deal!  My sweet asked me to marry her again in public, at a piano bar, in front of all sorts of strangers, after singing to me off key, offering a new, sparkly, sticky-uppy ring!  It was amazing!  I was so surprised.  I am never surprised. 



Okay so listen folks, here is the take away.  If you are a parent, at some point you should leave your small humans.  The time away will be likely be blissful and if you are parenting with another exhausted soul, who you love, the time away together will help you remember why and how the heck you ended up in this exhausting parenting predicament.  Please know, however, that you will not return with a new lease on life.  You will return and realize that your children are the sweetest, most miss-able, incredible people you know and all the reasons you totally needed a break from them are still there.  They will be the same and you will be the same only with a hangover, I mean well rested (unless you take the red-eye home).  Best part? Kiddos are almost always so much better for other people.  Our little ones were no exception, which means our awesome care-giving team are able and willing to sign up to ensure that we get to have some time away again. 


Thank you to Nanny, Bubbie and Tita Liza (our caregiver) for giving the kids and us a much-needed vacation.  And Silverman-Akande young folk, don’t be afraid to sleep through the night for Mommy and Mama the way you did for Nanny, Bubbie and Tita while we were away.   You will be appropriately rewarded for your efforts! 

XO Ajike


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Aug 27 2014
A few weeks ago, I had the great privilege of vacationing in Mont Tremblant, a beautiful vacation resort about 90 minutes north of Montreal in the Laurentian Mountains. My family has been skiing at Tremblant for years, and while we are used to going during the wintertime, this was our first vacation there during the summer. more...

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Aug 26 2014
The night before the Olympic game, in the race to the gold medal, Sami So Small was told that she would not be on the ice. At first, she was devastated and angry, but eventually, she chose to rise above those  feelings and embraced her new role with enthusiasm―she became a force of positivity in... more...

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Aug 26 2014
Every year, I commemorate this day by either showcasing pioneering women who are breaking glass ceilings, or I discuss the significance and importance of women's equality. This year, however, I decided to do things a little differently. Today, instead of honoring how far we've come, I decided to celebrate womanhood as a whole... celebrate our similarities, but also embrace our diversities and differences. My girlfriend Tanya sent this to me a while back, and it really struck me. more...

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Aug 26 2014
If you’ve ever won a free coffee, a donut, or even a television because you “rolled up the rim to win,” you have Ron Buist to thank. The former marketing director for Tim Hortons for 24 years, Ron help turned a once little-known donut shop into one of Canada’s leading franchises. Ron stopped by BNN... more...

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Aug 26 2014
Doing one small act helps. Taking the action that is needed now. We love giving people what they don’t need. Like advice. Or ideas, but so much of the work of our lives to do what is right here right now in front of us. My friends at Green Coalition work directly with the impoverished Read the full article... more...

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Aug 26 2014
Hello beautiful people, Happy Tuesday:). As we kick off an amazing week ahead, some are headed back to school while others are returning to the “regular routine.” Wherever you find yourself today, this post is dedicated to making you smile. … Continue reading more...

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Aug 25 2014

Dictionary online says branding is…

  “The process involved in creating a unique name and image for a product in the consumers’ mind, mainly through advertising campaigns with a consistent theme. Branding aims to establish a significant and differentiated presence in the market that attracts and retains loyal customers.”

 Your brand is YOU. Get comfortable with this. Period.

As for myself,I have single-handedly (as in all by myself with no secret genius behind the scenes) built my own personal brand. I did it very strategically and I am currently still on a very calculated journey to …

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Aug 25 2014
Denise Lee Yohn is a brand building expert and the author of the new book, What Great Brands Do, which illustrates how the world’s greatest brands have elevated brand-building from a niche marketing function and how they use their brand as a strategic management tool that guides every aspect of their business. Denise looks at how both... more...

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Aug 25 2014

VICTORIA VILLAGE – Gwen Broda developed The New Mom Project as an initiative to support other moms. Its purpose is to provide new moms with necessities such as blankets, wipes and soaps to assist them with the raising of their newborn. Having raised her kids in Toronto, she’s found that many moms needed support when [&hellip

The post The New Mom Project featuring Gwen appeared first on Toronto Mom Now.

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Aug 25 2014
Times have changed, and it’s time for sales leaders to take action. Making basic changes to the way you manage and motivate your team can lead to big results. Sticking with the status quo means getting left behind. Business performance expert Ryan Estis challenges conventional thinking on corporate culture, communication, client acquisition, brand ambassadorship and change.... more...

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Aug 25 2014
Hello Amazing Folks, Happy New Week! I hope that you had a fantastic weekend and are set for an extraordinary week ahead. Whether you are a fellow foodie or find yourself stuck on meal ideas, here is “This Week’s Menu.” … Continue reading more...

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Aug 25 2014

With TIFF right around the corner we’ve compiled our TIFF picks of must see flicks...

The post RfR TIFF Picks and Red Carpet Predictions appeared first on Rent frock Repeat.

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Aug 25 2014

10 300x211 100 calorie fruit muffins

These delicious muffins are only 100 calories each. Plus, each one of these muffins is made with apple cider vinegar, which helps to improve hair, skin and promote weight loss.  If you make these muffins, please share your review and photos of the final product on our Facebook page!

Read more on 100 calorie fruit muffins…

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