January 2015

Jan 31 2015
NEW SS15 STYLES
AVAILABLE NOW



VIEW OUR LOOKBOOK


Photography by Soundslikeyellow
Model, Sarah Curd
Hair by Amber Fairlie, The Manor Salon
Makeup by Vanessa Baudner


SHOP OUR SS15 LOOKS
ON ETSY

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Jan 31 2015
NEW SS15 STYLES
AVAILABLE NOW



VIEW OUR LOOKBOOK


Photography by Soundslikeyellow
Model, Sarah Curd
Hair by Amber Fairlie, The Manor Salon
Makeup by Vanessa Baudner


SHOP OUR SS15 LOOKS
ON ETSY

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Jan 30 2015
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Jan 30 2015
My clients know I’m rabid about them being bold and unique in their small business so… more...

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Jan 30 2015
IMPORTANT DETAILS ABOUT YOUR UPCOMING WEBINAR PLEASE BOOKMARK THIS PAGE NOW! PROMOTIONS Please send us… more...

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Jan 30 2015
Preston Manning tirelessly championed the cause of democratic and political reform throughout his impressive career as one of Canada’s great visionaries. His presentations provide a dynamic and substantive discussion of both current issues and an outlook for the future, all imbued with a surprising dose of humour that you might not expect from a politician.... more...

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Jan 30 2015
Preston Manning tirelessly championed the cause of democratic and political reform throughout his impressive career as one of Canada’s great visionaries. His presentations provide a dynamic and substantive discussion of both current issues and an outlook for the future, all imbued with a surprising dose of humour that you might not expect from a politician.... more...

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Jan 30 2015

Average reading time: Approximately 4 minutes As I read the book, Why Motivating People Doesn’t Work…and What Does: The New Science of Leading, Energizing, and Engaging by consultant Susan Fowler, I take note that I can best serve my executive clients by having those coaching conversations about tapping into their employees’ basic drives: Autonomy Relatedness […]

The post The Motivational Trifecta appeared first on Maestro Quality Inc..

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Jan 30 2015
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Jan 30 2015

As busy parents making and keeping New Year's resolutions is almost impossible, one month into the new year and we have some tips to help you meet your goals

The post New Year’s Resolutions: How Are You Doing? appeared first on Toronto Mom Now.

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Jan 30 2015

Best Frocks for Diamond Shaped Bodies In a world of ever-changing trends, knowing what to wear to flatter your shape can be a challenge. With so many rules and restrictions the media makes it hard to feel good in what we put on our bodies today. However, with our help our ladies with a diamond […]

The post HOW TO FROCK: Best Frocks for Diamond Shaped Bodies appeared first on Frockology.

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Jan 30 2015

Foodie Friday: Restaurants to Try This Winterlicious Just as winter becomes more cold and more harsh Toronto has something to offer to warm your spirits. 2015 may have sparked resolutions of eating healthier and trying new things – Toronto’s winterlicious is a way to take a break from our diets and get outside our eating comfort […]

The post FOODIE FRIDAY: Restaurants to Try This Winterlicious appeared first on Frockology.

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Jan 29 2015
Title:  Rodin’s Lover

Author:  Heather Webb(Becoming Josephine)

Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group

Publication date: 1/27/2015

Pages: 320

How Acquired:  Through Publisher


What it’s about:  As a woman, aspiring sculptor Camille Claudel has plenty of critics, especially her ultra-traditional mother. But when Auguste Rodin makes Camille his apprentice—and his muse—their passion inspires groundbreaking works. Yet, Camille’s success is overshadowed by her lover’s rising star, and her obsessions cross the line into madness.


My thoughts:   I initially had trepidations about reading this book. I did a great deal of research on Camille Claudel for the chapter that I wrote in Scandalous Women, and I feel a bit proprietary about her. She was one of several women that I was just obsessed with.  I related to her struggle to be an independent artist, to forge a separate artistic identity from the man that she loved passionately. Her mental breakdown is heartbreaking.  Was she schizophrenic, bi-polar? Or was she even mentally ill at all are just some of the questions that come up when you read about the life of Camille Claudel. I wondered if a single novel could capture the complexity of this tormented genius.  And a genius she was.  All you have to do is look at the photos of her sculptures on line to see her amazing talent.


I’m happy to report that Rodin’s Lover calmed all my fears.  Heather Webb miraculously brings to life the volatile love affair between Rodin, arguably one of the era’s greatest artists and Camille Claudel.  When we first meet Camille, she is eighteen years old and bursting with talent.  Her one aim is to escape her provincial village and become one of the greatest sculptors of all time.  But from the very beginning Camille has to fight tooth and nail to develop her talent.  While her father believes that she will one day bring glory to the family name, her mother believes that Camille is unnatural for wanting to pursue art instead of marriage and children.  When an opportunity arises for Camille to study in Paris, her father insists that they move to Paris.
 

Camille struggles with feelings of loneliness, her devotion to her sculpture has left her with few social skills. Although she shares a studio with two other female students, Camille knows that unlike her, they will eventually marry and give up sculpting.  We don’t really get to see any of Camille’s relationship with her sister Louise, she’s something of a cipher in the book. Her most complex relationship, in a way, is not with Rodin but with her brother Paul.  Both are artists, Paul longs to be a writer. But while Paul is willing to compromise, taking a job in the diplomatic corps while writing on the side, Camille refuses to even countenance taking on pupils.  Even though the money would go a long way towards paying her bills. While Paul finds solace in religion, Camille’s religion is her sculpture. It's what she holds on to, even in her darkest hours.


But then she meets Auguste Rodin. She tries to fight her undeniable attraction to him but she can't ultimately. She senses immediately that their passion will consume them.  Camille believes that she is just as talented as Rodin, and that she will one day to etch her name in history despite society's belief that women can't be artists. However, her ambition and her need to forge an independent identity soon comes between them. And the dark voices in Camille's head grow louder with each passing day,  threatening her ability to work.


Webb’s writing is flawless.  She gets under Camille’s skin, refusing to shy away from the more negative aspects of her personality, her stubbornness, her jealously and her ego. There were times when I was reading the novel that I wanted to shake Camille. In many ways, Camille was her own worst enemy.  Webb gives the reader a glimpse into constant sexism that female artists faced in the 19thCentury, particularly those artists like Camille who refused to limit themselves to scenes of domestic life.  There is a scene late in the book when Rodin and Camille have reunited after a short break when they attend a dinner where they run into one of Rodin’s frenemies who makes it clear that he would love to take Rodin’s place.


Then there is the matter of Rodin’s long-term relationship with Rose Beuret, the mother of his only child.  Despite his love for Camille, he cannot bring himself to break it off with Rose. Camille cannot hide her jealously of Rose. She wants Rodin all to herself.  The book is told through both Camille and Rodin’s point of view which allows the reader to see Camille through someone else’s eyes. She’s particularly good at detailing the struggle that Rodin has between the two women in his life.  Rose, who has been with him since the beginning, and Camille, his passionate muse. Webb also adroitly illustrates the personal toll of being driven by great ambition. Despite Camille’s successes, she’s constantly compared to Rodin, the sensuality of her work which is unheard of in most female artists, costs her commissions. She struggles to maintain her own identity, to not let herself be submerged in Rodin’s.  Despite Rodin’s successes, he still struggles to get his vision across without compromising too much.



Anyone who is interested in la Belle Époque Paris will find much to enjoy in Rodin’s Lover.  I don't think I'm giving anything away by saying that the love story doesn't end happily for many reasons. There is not false moment in this novel, a moment that I could have pointed to as out of character for what I know of Camille from my own research. Unlike the movie Camille Claudel, Webb never blames Rodin for Camille's misfortunes. You never get the sense that he's actively using her. In away, they are using each other but not in a negative way.  There are hints in the book that Camille may have inherited her mental instability from her mother. Webb builds Camille's madness slowly, from just little things like her uncontrollable temper and her jealously, eventually escalating to paranoia and the voice inside her head. In the end, this book is heart-breaking in it's portrayal of one of the art history's most fascinating and complex women.

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Jan 29 2015
Title:  Rodin’s Lover

Author:  Heather Webb(Becoming Josephine)

Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group

Publication date: 1/27/2015

Pages: 320

How Acquired:  Through Publisher


What it’s about:  As a woman, aspiring sculptor Camille Claudel has plenty of critics, especially her ultra-traditional mother. But when Auguste Rodin makes Camille his apprentice—and his muse—their passion inspires groundbreaking works. Yet, Camille’s success is overshadowed by her lover’s rising star, and her obsessions cross the line into madness.


My thoughts:   I initially had trepidations about reading this book. I did a great deal of research on Camille Claudel for the chapter that I wrote in Scandalous Women, and I feel a bit proprietary about her. She was one of several women that I was just obsessed with.  I related to her struggle to be an independent artist, to forge a separate artistic identity from the man that she loved passionately. Her mental breakdown is heartbreaking.  Was she schizophrenic, bi-polar? Or was she even mentally ill at all are just some of the questions that come up when you read about the life of Camille Claudel. I wondered if a single novel could capture the complexity of this tormented genius.  And a genius she was.  All you have to do is look at the photos of her sculptures on line to see her amazing talent.


I’m happy to report that Rodin’s Lover calmed all my fears.  Heather Webb miraculously brings to life the volatile love affair between Rodin, arguably one of the era’s greatest artists and Camille Claudel.  When we first meet Camille, she is eighteen years old and bursting with talent.  Her one aim is to escape her provincial village and become one of the greatest sculptors of all time.  But from the very beginning Camille has to fight tooth and nail to develop her talent.  While her father believes that she will one day bring glory to the family name, her mother believes that Camille is unnatural for wanting to pursue art instead of marriage and children.  When an opportunity arises for Camille to study in Paris, her father insists that they move to Paris.
 

Camille struggles with feelings of loneliness, her devotion to her sculpture has left her with few social skills. Although she shares a studio with two other female students, Camille knows that unlike her, they will eventually marry and give up sculpting.  We don’t really get to see any of Camille’s relationship with her sister Louise, she’s something of a cipher in the book. Her most complex relationship, in a way, is not with Rodin but with her brother Paul.  Both are artists, Paul longs to be a writer. But while Paul is willing to compromise, taking a job in the diplomatic corps while writing on the side, Camille refuses to even countenance taking on pupils.  Even though the money would go a long way towards paying her bills. While Paul finds solace in religion, Camille’s religion is her sculpture. It's what she holds on to, even in her darkest hours.


But then she meets Auguste Rodin. She tries to fight her undeniable attraction to him but she can't ultimately. She senses immediately that their passion will consume them.  Camille believes that she is just as talented as Rodin, and that she will one day to etch her name in history despite society's belief that women can't be artists. However, her ambition and her need to forge an independent identity soon comes between them. And the dark voices in Camille's head grow louder with each passing day,  threatening her ability to work.


Webb’s writing is flawless.  She gets under Camille’s skin, refusing to shy away from the more negative aspects of her personality, her stubbornness, her jealously and her ego. There were times when I was reading the novel that I wanted to shake Camille. In many ways, Camille was her own worst enemy.  Webb gives the reader a glimpse into constant sexism that female artists faced in the 19thCentury, particularly those artists like Camille who refused to limit themselves to scenes of domestic life.  There is a scene late in the book when Rodin and Camille have reunited after a short break when they attend a dinner where they run into one of Rodin’s frenemies who makes it clear that he would love to take Rodin’s place.


Then there is the matter of Rodin’s long-term relationship with Rose Beuret, the mother of his only child.  Despite his love for Camille, he cannot bring himself to break it off with Rose. Camille cannot hide her jealously of Rose. She wants Rodin all to herself.  The book is told through both Camille and Rodin’s point of view which allows the reader to see Camille through someone else’s eyes. She’s particularly good at detailing the struggle that Rodin has between the two women in his life.  Rose, who has been with him since the beginning, and Camille, his passionate muse. Webb also adroitly illustrates the personal toll of being driven by great ambition. Despite Camille’s successes, she’s constantly compared to Rodin, the sensuality of her work which is unheard of in most female artists, costs her commissions. She struggles to maintain her own identity, to not let herself be submerged in Rodin’s.  Despite Rodin’s successes, he still struggles to get his vision across without compromising too much.



Anyone who is interested in la Belle Époque Paris will find much to enjoy in Rodin’s Lover.  I don't think I'm giving anything away by saying that the love story doesn't end happily for many reasons. There is not false moment in this novel, a moment that I could have pointed to as out of character for what I know of Camille from my own research. Unlike the movie Camille Claudel, Webb never blames Rodin for Camille's misfortunes. You never get the sense that he's actively using her. In away, they are using each other but not in a negative way.  There are hints in the book that Camille may have inherited her mental instability from her mother. Webb builds Camille's madness slowly, from just little things like her uncontrollable temper and her jealously, eventually escalating to paranoia and the voice inside her head. In the end, this book is heart-breaking in it's portrayal of one of the art history's most fascinating and complex women.

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Jan 29 2015
Frans Johansson has electrified and inspired audiences worldwide with his thought leadership on innovation, diversity and success. The bestselling author and thought leader shows organizations how to innovate, grow, and create a self-sustaining culture that can withstand even the most volatile conditions. His approach redefines unpredictability as opportunity, diversity as profit, and execution as strategy.... more...

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Jan 29 2015

Top 5 Places for Finding the Best Printable Coupons As a mom it is important to spend your money wisely, and save when and where you can. Luckily for all you on the run mommy’s, living rich with coupons is our motto, and finding them is our favourite game to play. With coupons, we find […]

The post Top 5 Places for Finding the Best Printable Coupons appeared first on Frockology.

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Jan 29 2015
Allan Hawco, best-known as the roguish star of Republic of Doyle, now imparts his high-wattage charisma into his keynotes, emceeing, and endorsement activities. Is Gwyneth Paltrow Wrong About Everything? That’s the question Professor Timothy Caulfield asks in his new book debunking the health myths espoused by celebrities. Pamela Meyer’s riveting TED Talk, How to Spot a Liar, has... more...

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Jan 29 2015

Red Carpet Style Steal: Jennifer Aniston Want to steal Jennifer Aniston’s style? Here’s how — and on a wallet-friendly budget! ‘Twas the night before Oscar nominations and on the red carpet was Jennifer Aniston looking like an absolute knockout! For those of you who don’t know.. We truly LOVE Jen. She is the epitome of […]

The post Red Carpet Style Steal: Jennifer Aniston appeared first on Frockology.

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Jan 29 2015

Where & Wear Event Listings:  Booklovers  Ball, Motionball, Sens Foundation — and More! We’re back  in the new year with our weekly Where & Wear event listings to help you fill up your social calendars and help you with the  dilemma that arises every week; Where are you going and what are you going to […]

The post Where & Wear Event Listings: Booklovers Ball, Motionball, Sens Foundation and More appeared first on Frockology.

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Jan 29 2015

Get Ready For the new Diet Fad — The Pegan Diet It is the end of January and you have probably been bombarded by hundreds, if not thousands, diet industry advertisements. Between, being told to cut out fats, add healthy fats, eat no carbs, add lots of whole grain carbs, avoid gluten, have gluten, all […]

The post Get Ready For the New Diet Fad — The Pegan Diet appeared first on Frockology.

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Jan 29 2015
Whether it’s helping millions of Canadians achieve personal financial success or investing in low-fat cookbooks, David Chilton has always had a knack for recognizing great ventures, a skill he proudly leverages as a “dragon” on CBC television’s #1 hit show, Dragons’ Den. Called “charming, unpretentious, and funny,” by The Chicago Sun-Times, David puts his business... more...

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Jan 29 2015
ne of America’s favorite pastimes is gathering for the Super Bowl, which often involves a spread of unhealthy food options. But you know what? Spending time with your friends and cheering for your favorite team should not have to add to your waistline! Eating clean can be easy, even at parties. You just need the tips and tools, and I'm excited to share them here for Women On The Fence readers! My method is simple: I trim food decisions into a simple guide to eating right. The concept: 51 Food Laws to take with you to the grocery store. Perfect for Super Bowl Weekend! Just a few of the Rules highlights: more...

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Jan 29 2015

I have always been a groupie.  


Like when we emigrated to Canada and actively sought out other ex-Brits, because we shared a common background, perspective and a dry sense of humour.  I found there was comfort in sharing observations of our new lives.


Or when I was a young mother, home alone with my first baby.  I’d always dreamt of being the “good mother,” ever-patient and loving every moment with my child.  Well, maybe not.  But that was my expectation and it wasn’t until I met up with some other young mothers, who fast became friends, that I realized how unrealistic my vision was.  These women were brave enough to remove the mask and we were able to share the good, the bad and the ugly with each other.


I was reminded of all this at this week’s re-launch of the Durham chapter when Jenny McKee, my new chapter leader, was quick to encourage the women to be real and not to put on phony fronts that all is well, when it isn’t.   It is when we are authentic and honest, both with ourselves and others, that we truly gain.


As I watched the women connect and open up to one another, you could see the heads nodding.  It is a relief to know that you are not the only one to feel isolated and alone when you run your own business – heck, that’s why I started Company of Women in the first place.


No matter what your business is, I’ve found that the issues are the same – finding customers, cash flow, keeping customers, cash flow, staying positive, and more -  and when we can open up and share our challenges, we can then draw on the wisdom of the women around us. 


Years ago I worked on a research project – Double Jeopardy – which was looking at how best to support women who were super-stressed and turning to drugs and alcohol to cope. What did we find out?  The women said connecting with others who had been in similar situations or were on the same path was what they needed.  It could be one-on-one or in groups, but the key component was that the women shared similar experiences.


As women we like to belong, to be part of a community and at Company of Women I’d like to think we’ve created a safe, non-judgmental environment where you can be Suzy, entrepreneur or just Suzy, depending on the day. 


Both are welcome. Let’s face it, the different segments of our lives are so intertwined, and each impacts the other.  So no matter what, just know that we support you and we’re here to help you succeed. 

Remember, there’s strength in numbers.







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Jan 29 2015

I have always been a groupie.  


Like when we emigrated to Canada and actively sought out other ex-Brits, because we shared a common background, perspective and a dry sense of humour.  I found there was comfort in sharing observations of our new lives.


Or when I was a young mother, home alone with my first baby.  I’d always dreamt of being the “good mother,” ever-patient and loving every moment with my child.  Well, maybe not.  But that was my expectation and it wasn’t until I met up with some other young mothers, who fast became friends, that I realized how unrealistic my vision was.  These women were brave enough to remove the mask and we were able to share the good, the bad and the ugly with each other.


I was reminded of all this at this week’s re-launch of the Durham chapter when Jenny McKee, my new chapter leader, was quick to encourage the women to be real and not to put on phony fronts that all is well, when it isn’t.   It is when we are authentic and honest, both with ourselves and others, that we truly gain.


As I watched the women connect and open up to one another, you could see the heads nodding.  It is a relief to know that you are not the only one to feel isolated and alone when you run your own business – heck, that’s why I started Company of Women in the first place.


No matter what your business is, I’ve found that the issues are the same – finding customers, cash flow, keeping customers, cash flow, staying positive, and more -  and when we can open up and share our challenges, we can then draw on the wisdom of the women around us. 


Years ago I worked on a research project – Double Jeopardy – which was looking at how best to support women who were super-stressed and turning to drugs and alcohol to cope. What did we find out?  The women said connecting with others who had been in similar situations or were on the same path was what they needed.  It could be one-on-one or in groups, but the key component was that the women shared similar experiences.


As women we like to belong, to be part of a community and at Company of Women I’d like to think we’ve created a safe, non-judgmental environment where you can be Suzy, entrepreneur or just Suzy, depending on the day. 


Both are welcome. Let’s face it, the different segments of our lives are so intertwined, and each impacts the other.  So no matter what, just know that we support you and we’re here to help you succeed. 

Remember, there’s strength in numbers.







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Jan 29 2015
I wanted to draw your attention to something that Aeroplan announced today. For those that might not remember, I have proudly been Aeroplan's Brand Ambassador for two years now. And why would I not be proud? I've been a loyal member of this program for TWENTY YEARS! A reminder if you don't know how it works, it’s simple: sign up for an Aeroplan number, accumulate miles, and redeem them for practically anything you’d want! Beside redeeming miles for Flights around the world, Car rentals and Hotel stays, Aeroplan also has 12 categories where you can also redeem: Activities & Entertainment, Fashion & Accessories, Eco-Friendly, Electronics, Gift Cards & Ideas, Health & Wellness, Home & Garden, Luggage & Totes, Media & More, Sports & Outdoors, Travel & Getaways and Money Can’t Buy. Today, Aeroplan announced their new American Express card called the American Express AeroplanPlus Reserve Credit Card. more...

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Jan 28 2015
Special Offer to the Profit Domination Audio Series Includes 12 audio download training series Bonus audio… more...

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Jan 28 2015
I have a confession to make: I get really annoyed with people who are always nice, positive… more...

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Jan 28 2015
No job in the world of sports is as intimidating, exhilarating, and as stress-ridden as that of an NHL hockey goaltender. Now imagine doing that job while suffering high anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder and depression, and having your career nearly cut short by a skate slicing across your neck. Clint Malarchuk shares his extraordinary and... more...

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Jan 28 2015
I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Nikki Fotheringham, a green living writer and founder of greenmoxie.com – a lifestyle blog for everything green. We chatted about the unique twist... Read more > more...

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Jan 28 2015
“Being a champion is not just about winning,” says six-time Olympic medalist Clara Hughes. Believing that actions off the track define us as much as those on it, Hughes inspires people toward success in all areas of their lives. Her candid, personal talks range from how she believes sports can change lives to her struggle... more...

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Jan 28 2015
The JUNO Awards, Canada’s Music Awards, yesterday announced its list of nominees for 2015. I was invited to the media conference at the Danforth Music Hall. Here’s some snapshots:   A number of female artists , in particular, are up for awards, including Lights, Nikky Yankofsy, Marianne Trudel, Sarah McLachlan, Molly Johnson, Diana Panton, Elizabeth […] more...

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Jan 28 2015
I can't believe how the time has flown by. Two years ago today, on a Wednesday morning at 8:45am, I started a new job as the Weekly Parenting and Lifestyle Correspondent on Global TV's The Morning News. I was nervous, somewhat green, and didn't know how our chemistry would actually carry over after my screen test. more...

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Jan 27 2015
Sometimes, running your own business can be a crazy roller coaster ride. Frankly, we just want to get off.  Your life as an expert may not always feel awesome and the stress levels can get to some people. The plus side of working for yourself is selecting when, where, how and who you work with. […] more...

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Jan 27 2015
Indoor Landscapes: Interior Plants, Office Landscaping, image montage by wobuilt.comImage Montage by Wo-Built: Indoor Landscapes
Image Credits: Travels with Zen-Aida +
Plantscape - Interior Plant Service, Indoor Office Landscaping


What is organic landscaping?
... working with nature to help it achieve its highest expression, so that it can freely give back all it has to give.

I know it is really difficult to imagine that it is going to be warm and sunny again, especially if you just were visited by Jack Frost with Arctic cold and a dump load of snow. But now, in the middle of winter, is the time to plan for a gardening project, because spring is only a few months away and time flies. Also you may be surprised on what is required during the planning process.

The best time to do the new garden is in spring, so you can enjoy it during the summer months and if the changes are significant it has time to grow to weather the next cold season.

In our opinion organic landscaping using natural stone and materials is the best way to go. It creates harmony, flow and a positive energy. These are spaces that you want to spend time in and relax. Your own oasis in the City!

We have already written about our project in Toronto's Bloor West Village last year (peapodlife blog - Organic Landscaping: Better than “Man-made;” more than “Nature’s Way”) and our definition of organic landscaping, but here we would like to talk about the necessary steps required to make a project like this successful.

Image Collage by PeapodLife, Division of Wo-Built Inc: Organic Landscaping in Bloor West Village, Toronto

Image by PeapodLife, Division of Wo-Built Inc: Front Yard Garden in Toronto featuring Rhododendrons and Real Stone

Image by PeapodLife, Division of Wo-Built Inc: Image: Backyard Garden in Toronto with integrated sprinkler system

What is required during the planning process for a gardening project?

First, like any project you need to figure out what activities and how you would like to use the space. From there you can plan the layout.

Organic landscaping does not mean you cannot have your separate distinct areas. They just flow into each other seamlessly, creating a harmonious flow. This is more difficult to achieve than a structured geometrical layout which many landscapers prefer. The aim is to achieve balance between the spaces and this is partly an intuitive process.

Nevertheless, the first step is to produce concept drawings and then detailed drawings, outlining size, level changes, type of material, type and number of plants etc. This is important as it is very easy to get carried away in landscaping. Much more so than in a building renovation!

The detailed drawings will fix the budget, form a baseline for the contract and will give an indication on the length of project. The project above took several weeks for the front and several weeks for the back.  

And yes, you do need to sign a contract for the work with the company you hire. The scope of work, timing, payment schedule and obligation of the parties have to be defined like in any other renovation contract. You have to have ways of resolving issues and conflict.

Also, prior to starting extensive landscaping work which will include level changes you need to see if you require permits for the level changes, change of use etc. You should also check out the location and state of your underground services (water, gas) to see if they would be effected by the landscaping or if they need repair. Access to the services afterwards may be more difficult.

The next step is the tender. Ideally you already have a design and build landscaping outfit that specializes in organic landscaping. However, if you are tendering, visit prior projects of the different firms. This should be possible as the landscaping is outside the house and most likely can be seen from the road. Try to compare ‘apples with apples’, so to speak.

The steps above should make your landscaping project a success and provide you with the best garden in the neighbourhood. We had many positive comments from the neighbours while we were doing the above project, from ‘love it’ to ‘wow’. It was certainly noticed.

We can make this happen for you and make your own amazing oasis in the City!


Martina Ernst
President/CEO
Wo-Built Inc. - Innovative Design and Build more...

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Jan 27 2015
Indoor Landscapes: Interior Plants, Office Landscaping, image montage by wobuilt.comImage Montage by Wo-Built: Indoor Landscapes
Image Credits: Travels with Zen-Aida +
Plantscape - Interior Plant Service, Indoor Office Landscaping


What is organic landscaping?
... working with nature to help it achieve its highest expression, so that it can freely give back all it has to give.

I know it is really difficult to imagine that it is going to be warm and sunny again, especially if you just were visited by Jack Frost with Arctic cold and a dump load of snow. But now, in the middle of winter, is the time to plan for a gardening project, because spring is only a few months away and time flies. Also you may be surprised on what is required during the planning process.

The best time to do the new garden is in spring, so you can enjoy it during the summer months and if the changes are significant it has time to grow to weather the next cold season.

In our opinion organic landscaping using natural stone and materials is the best way to go. It creates harmony, flow and a positive energy. These are spaces that you want to spend time in and relax. Your own oasis in the City!

We have already written about our project in Toronto's Bloor West Village last year (peapodlife blog - Organic Landscaping: Better than “Man-made;” more than “Nature’s Way”) and our definition of organic landscaping, but here we would like to talk about the necessary steps required to make a project like this successful.

Image Collage by PeapodLife, Division of Wo-Built Inc: Organic Landscaping in Bloor West Village, Toronto

Image by PeapodLife, Division of Wo-Built Inc: Front Yard Garden in Toronto featuring Rhododendrons and Real Stone

Image by PeapodLife, Division of Wo-Built Inc: Image: Backyard Garden in Toronto with integrated sprinkler system

What is required during the planning process for a gardening project?

First, like any project you need to figure out what activities and how you would like to use the space. From there you can plan the layout.

Organic landscaping does not mean you cannot have your separate distinct areas. They just flow into each other seamlessly, creating a harmonious flow. This is more difficult to achieve than a structured geometrical layout which many landscapers prefer. The aim is to achieve balance between the spaces and this is partly an intuitive process.

Nevertheless, the first step is to produce concept drawings and then detailed drawings, outlining size, level changes, type of material, type and number of plants etc. This is important as it is very easy to get carried away in landscaping. Much more so than in a building renovation!

The detailed drawings will fix the budget, form a baseline for the contract and will give an indication on the length of project. The project above took several weeks for the front and several weeks for the back.  

And yes, you do need to sign a contract for the work with the company you hire. The scope of work, timing, payment schedule and obligation of the parties have to be defined like in any other renovation contract. You have to have ways of resolving issues and conflict.

Also, prior to starting extensive landscaping work which will include level changes you need to see if you require permits for the level changes, change of use etc. You should also check out the location and state of your underground services (water, gas) to see if they would be effected by the landscaping or if they need repair. Access to the services afterwards may be more difficult.

The next step is the tender. Ideally you already have a design and build landscaping outfit that specializes in organic landscaping. However, if you are tendering, visit prior projects of the different firms. This should be possible as the landscaping is outside the house and most likely can be seen from the road. Try to compare ‘apples with apples’, so to speak.

The steps above should make your landscaping project a success and provide you with the best garden in the neighbourhood. We had many positive comments from the neighbours while we were doing the above project, from ‘love it’ to ‘wow’. It was certainly noticed.

We can make this happen for you and make your own amazing oasis in the City!


Martina Ernst
President/CEO
Wo-Built Inc. - Innovative Design and Build more...

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