Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 According To Google

A Year In Review

I really love seeing all the different Google doodles when occasions happen.  Being that we are approaching the beginning of 2012 I was certain there would be something special on the Google today.
I found this pic and being so colourful I took an extra second to wait to see if it animate, but that extra second made see this line Watch and remember ......


So I did.  I clicked the link and was given instant chills with all of these memories



Not only because I was reminded of these events, but it brought back memories of what I was doing when I first heard/saw about them.  Next I started to think of what my own year would look like?
How I laughed & cried, and sometimes cried when I laughed because I was so happy.
I am so blessed.



Friday, December 30, 2011

Facebook Timeline for Non Techies Like Me

Finding Timeline
So Facebook timeline was a headache for me for such a long time.  I couldn't figure out why everyone was able to get it except me.  I thought hmm what does Mark Zuckerburg have against Tiaras?  How come I can't find this GET TIMELINE Button that everyone is telling me about?

Out with the OLD
I know tons of people will argue this choice, but I still use Internet Explorer. Yes I'm stubborn like that.  I like being low tech, but apparently my browser was version 7 & they were now at version 9.  I thought I'd give it an upgrade.  After that I was also able to upgrade my Adobe Flash Player and BINGO I was able to access Facebook Timeline

With a couple of clicks and some upload of pics ...



... BINGO I had Timeline

With that means that I can finally see everyone else's timelines, and spent the better part of an evening going through what my facebook friends chose to do with theirs.  I got to see pics taken from all over the world, family photos, works of art and business branding.  I love how each one is so unique! I'm hoping that this will soon start on Facebook Pages, because I already know which one I'll put for the Those2Girls cover photo !

If you have a Facebook Timeline, what inspired the pics you chose for it?
Leave a comment with your Timeline theme, or if you like link it!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Ten Things To Do With Reusable Bags

Because I attend a lot of events, I get a lot of bags.  Back in the day (& by that I mean less than 5 years ago) everything (swag) came in plastic bags.  It was easy enough for me to repurpose them as can liners for my garbage cans.  Now that many businesses have switched over to reusable bags, I have way too many for my household needs.  I know there's lots of crafty things to do with these bags, but really I just want the excess to be useful or out of my house.  I will keep going to events, so I will keep collecting them. To manage this fabric bag cycle, here are some ways I repurpose my reuseable bags.

  1. I give gifts in my bags.  Not ones that have hand groceries in them, but more like flyers, coupons & stuff.  They are clean & they go to a new home without me spending $ on wrapping paper or paper gift bags.
  2. Lunch bags.  Many people have large containers that don't fit well in a lot of the lunch bags. Put your lunch in, add a freezer pack, tie it up & it's that simple.
  3. Extra carry-alls. If you have a desk at your workplace keep a couple in there.  You never know when you or a co-worker could use one.
  4. Magazine holders.  If you have any with a wide bottom you can use it as a magazine rack of sorts
  5. Gym Bags. Not that I go to the gym, but if I did I would just throw everything into a cloth bag that way when I would wash my sweaty yoga pants, I can wash the reusable bag too.  Believe me I know what hockey bags smell like, I'm guessing gym bags would get the same way.
  6. Food Bank donation collection.  If I see something on sale like Pasta sauce for $1 I'll stock up, not only for myself but for the local food bank.  When I get home I put the extras in a cloth bag that I've designated for food bank items.  When I go to the next event that's collecting food bank items, I just grab the tote bag donate the whole thing.
  7. Travel bags for your souvenirs.  I put extra rolled up shopping bags in my suitcase and use them to pack up souvenirs that I've bought.  Nothing is worse than realizing you have to stuff more items into your already full suitcase.
  8. Seasonal decor.  I put things like wreaths, window clings, noisemakers, basically anything that isn't breakable in reusable bags & pack them away with the holiday decorations
  9. Car organizers. I have bag that I keep my jumper cables in so they don't sprawl all over the trunk. 
  10. Pay the reuseable bags forward.  When I still have too many I take a few extras with me shopping. If I hear a cashier say "Do you need to buy bags?" and the customer replies that they do need to purchase some, I offer my extras.
Do you have extra reuseable bags that are in your way?  What things have you done to give them a purpose?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Good Deeds = Great Feelings

If you follow any of my posts you already know that I find joy in my role as a VolunTIARA, but I posed the question to Twitter and Facebook

What's 1 good deed you did this year?

Answers from twitter
@hedremp I was an angel to a little boy this Christmas - his mom requested some learning materials so I sent a whole box full!

@LHMaintenance client was in a difficult spot and needed work done. #gratis

@adomesticmomma Paid for a little boy's product at cash when he thought he had enough money for it. He felt so proud of himself.

@KidsGummyMum donated vitamins to Africa, to teens in Kitchener, donated $$ to Childrens Aid for bikes & kids schools for Healthy Snack Program

@HighstickHarry good deed pulled over when I saw a car in the ditch then called tow for her

@edrivefanpeg my friend was posting on kijiji a bed 4 sale, found a single mom looking for 1, and gave it to her :)

Answers from Facebook
Lisa S. An elderly lady in front of me in line at Walmart had her credit card declined. It looked like she was buying Christmas gifts for grandchildren. I paid for her. I can't tell u how good I've felt about that ever since.

Jenn W. donated to #50teens, the Goderich toy drive, MCC..... paid for a few coffees for others (anonymously), tried to just be a good person and help others. Hope that helps!

Maria W. started the Brampton chapter of Christmas for seniors ! Lots of fun, but you should see my apartments with all these Christmas gifts....lol

As you can see from all the exclamation points, LOLs & happy face icons all these wonderful people enjoyed themselves as well.  It's one thing to bring to joy to others with your help, but the real gift is how great it makes you feel.

A few years back I watched a film called THE ULTIMATE GIFT. 



The trailer for it doesn't do it justice.  It's a movie basically about how it's never to late to change, and how by helping others it helps you as well.  Although I was already volunteering the movie made me realize that giving good was also bringing me good (if that statement makes any sense to you, then you too should join the #TiaraARMY)

Looking back on 2011 I'm very proud of the many things I accomplished.  Many of them were not goals that I set out to do at the beginning of the year.  It's amazing how quickly things can change over the course of 12 months.  Not only did I manage to do a few good deeds, good deeds came my way as well.  I'm very thankful for that and for those who were there along the way.  If you're reading this there's a good chance you fit into that prior sentence.

Yes I'm ready start 2012 with a bang, but I can't wait to see the wonderful surprises it will bring as well.  Happy New Year everyone.  Make sure to tell someone that they made you feel great today!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Time to Reveal

This is what happens when we join forces with those in the #TiaraARMY!




DO YOU SEE HOW WONDERFUL Craig Silva aka @BigDaddyKreativ MADE US LOOK? The "Girl" on the left is Diane & the "Girl" on the right is me. You can tell because I'm talking with my hands!


I was so excited when I saw this logo he designed for us!  I couldn't wait to share the news with all of you!
So if you're in need for a sparkley new logo to kick off your 2012 make sure to visit his Craig's website
http://bigdaddykreativ.com/
& while you're there you may want to check out his T-shirt shop! Who wouldn't want to unwrap one of these? Hmmm what's next Happy New Year? Happy Valentines Day?

If you have a big monitor just click the logo & I'm almost LIFE SIZE!

Monday, December 5, 2011

International Volunteer Day 2011

Not many know this but today (Dec 5, 2011) marks the 10th Anniversary of International Volunteer Day .  This initiative was started by the UN and today they are asking what did you do to volunteer in your country?
Although I cannot say I was able to help the UN in anyway, I can say I was able to help many of my friends & made many new friends in doing so.

Here's my list

& in addition I attend lots of fundraisers & events & am the first to say, if you need anything put me to work! I also try my best to get the word out about other great events happening.
Why do I do this? BECAUSE I LOVE TO!!!!

@JuliaRosien: Love what @those2girls said about volunteering - what your give
to the world comes back when you give from the heart #SCCTO

That's what I stood up & said at a conference with 200 women in attendance.
I meant every word of it.

Last month Erica Ehm actually called me out on my passion for helping at #Tweetstock6 check out the 38 min mark below



(note to self for 2012 resolve to take a compliment without getting embarrased-Thankyou Erica!)

So it seemed natural to create one more event before the end of 2011.
This Sunday, Dec 11, 2011 is the #ToydriveTweetup/Meetup
I want to go into this holiday season on a positive note & I hope you will as well.  I hope you'll join me on Sunday & bring along a friend or 3!!!!!!!!! :)

I'd love to see your list of volunteering for 2011 make sure to either leave a comment or link your post here

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Movember is going to be a BALL

Where did the month of Movember go? Truthfully I guess I can see it on the faces of the Mo Bro participants.  What started out as some clean shaven fellas, has become a group of 70's cops, or the members of the Village People.

My year two Movember experience has been very different than Movember 2010.  Last year I had to explain what Movember is.  This year was more about encouraging the participants to get prostate exams and encourage a healthy lifestyle.

This year Movember went to 2 new venues, MeFest & Tweetstock.  Both spots encouraged many to sign up and become CITZENS OF MOVEMBER.  Infact our STACHE TO THE FUTURE group extended from Guelph to Oakville (hitting all points in between, Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Brantford & more).  I was even able to get my boss in on the Mo Growing efforts of the local region!

Being that the END OF MOVEMBER is just a week away, we need to start some celebrating!  Next Thursday Dec 1, 2011 Kitchener Waterloo is holding their first MOVEMBER BALL
There will be fun & games to be had, all with a MOUSTACHE theme!
Your ticket price includes admission, hot hors d'oeuvres, dancing & entertainment, as well as the chance at some free drink tickets.


Make sure to bring some extra cash to ensure you can participate in the raffles & draws and who knows perhaps you'll be crowned Mr/Miss Movember!

WAIT........ I've got just one more surprise.
I have a discount code for YOU! Just head to http://guestlistapp.com/events/77493
and enter the CODE those2girls then watch the magic happen (& by magic I mean you'll save 20% on your purchase)

So go get your tickets before they are gone & look forward to seeing you next week!


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Movember Year Two MO-tivation

Today is Day 2 of Year 2 of my Movember participation.  Everyone has different reasons for participaiting in Movember.  Some are survivors, some are supporters, some are remembering others that have passed away & many are wanting to partake in the fun & festivities.
The real reason behind Movember KW (_/\_) is to raise awareness & motivate prostate exams.

Here's Rick Mercer explaining the importance of the exam



I have a Son, a Dad, a Brother & so many guy Friends & I want them to be healthy for a very long time.
That's my Mo-tivation

Are you participating in MOVEMBER?
Then write a post about your MO-tivation & link it here

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Speed Networking For Women In Kitchener Waterloo

Find You Fuchsia

As you know if there is an event happening, I want to be involved.
If there is a networking element you can be sure I am involved :)
If there is a networking event revolved around the colour Fuchsia, then you know it's a perfect fit!

The Fuchsia Factory is a fun speed networking event for women & it's hit Kitchener Waterloo full force!
Our first event was held at Gibsons Sound & Vision & hosted by the lovely & talented Annie Tran.

It involved business cards, a tambourine & of course a TIARA
But don't think it was just fluffy fun, these ladies got right down to business!

They made connections quickly in an enviroment made for engaging women.  The pace was quick, informal & fun.  What else would you want from a Speed Networking event?
Well maybe these



We capped the night off with CUPCAKES (Thanks @bourbonbaker) & Convos!
We all were excited by the new connections we made & ideas of how to expand our networks.

But don't worry fellas, we want to see you at our next event!

Building on the success of the first #FuchsiaKW we will be hosting CO-ED events as well.  With a mix of both Ladies only & Co-Ed Fuchsia Factory events, gals you can decide where your comfort level is!
 
Want to know more about The Fuchsia Factory & other great events in the area? We list all events on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Those2Girls6DegreesOfUs &

SIDE NOTE - many of the ladies wanted to know about twitter, so here's the post

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

My #GGBliss Factor or the Newbie Girl's Journal of #BlissdomCanada

Where do I begin?
I can write a full post about one day event, how am I ever going to create a post about an event that spanned close to 4 days?

I guess I'll start at the beginning.....

Blissdom Canada
A conference of EPIC proportions geared for women involved in blogging.  (I tried looking it up in Wikipedia for the actual definition of the conference & can't find anything about it, so for now we'll just go with mine ok?)

This was to be it's return to Canada after the success of last year (which I missed).  I had heard so much about it that I knew that I need to be at the 2011 event.

Then it happened....

Tickets went on sale on a day I was out for a lunch meeting = sad face.
ENTER GoGirlfriend.com
They were holding a contest & I entered & WON!

& later found out that the original ticket owner was someone I knew & she got another ticket so we'd both be there!

Being that I was a newbie this year I called in some experts to make sure I got to experience it to the best of my abilities!
From that page I found a carpool in a vehicle sponsored by GM Canada!

Flash forward to event day....
As we arrived we noticed Blissdom vehicles ready to whisk us away to CBC.  We were treated to a Red Carpet welcome & a whole lot of awesome!
Let me first start by saying I waited until FIVE people asked me where the tiara was before I propped it on my head.  Soon after followed by many others saying "oh now I recognize you" -I giggle every time I hear that!

I met John who made me travel back in time.  I got to climb on to Mr. Dressup's Tree & peek my head through the Friendly Giant's Castle Window.





I didn't get the opportunity to meet Steven & Chris because I was very busy chatting with all the fabulous people there.
BUT I did get to meet the FAB Mama Yama & she joined the #TiaraARMY (really all you have to do to get in is have a pic in a tiara)


From there we met another Lisa who said she'd make arrangements for another CBC return (but I'll save that for another post).

When I ran into Julia I may have consumed my limit of delicious beverages, but I did tell her..... I believe this is what heaven is like.  Beautiful white curtains, lots of food & drink & surrounded by wonderful people.
I told her I'd write that in my post & so I did.

After the party I met up with some friends, had a bite to eat at a restaurant that I will not name (= not great) followed by a bit of aimless wandering when I was told to GO LEFT (certain readers will definitely giggle at that).

Now that the pre-party was over, it was time to get ready for the actual conference. There were so many panels to choose from so I went with my gut & chose the ones that DIDN'T have anything to do with writing.  It's not really my thing.  I don't get paid for my blogging (unless you count the one I created at work) so I figured I'm not a professional writer.  Plus I knew many who would be attending those so I figured I could get info from them.  My presence at Blissdom Canada was more social based, along with learning about topics that peaked my interest.
Conference DAY 1
After opening introductions of the Blissdom Team, @herbadmother gave a fantastic keynote that I'm sure could win you a scrabble game with.

We started off by breaking off into tribes.  Being the newbie I am, I had no idea what that meant.  I learned that it meant round table discussions about topics.  So my first one lead by @capitalmom & it was for newcomers.  I quickly said I picked this one being a newcomer to this conference (not a newcomer to blogging or attending events).  For my second tribe I picked Don't Niche Me In hosted by @bonstewart because I am so random with all my activities.

My first session
Working with Brands & PR.  I don't do either of those, so why not learn about them?
It was an informative panel & I really liked that when the panel didn't agree with each other they explained why & never created an tension (I don't do well with arguing & drama).  I learned a lot.  I'm not sure if that is an avenue I want to pursue, but if I do I feel I'm prepared.

BREAK which included me getting a massage, a manicure, a blissdom necklace & a pic of me on a Corn Flakes box (yes I love all things crazy fun & unpredictable)

My second session.
Social Good
Something I preach all the time.  Want to know why?  Just watch this (thanks @zchamu)



Needless to say I came out with red swollen eyes & may have killed a tree with the amount of tissues I used, but felt great to be in a room with others who also felt this was an important topic.

Next I found my way to some of the sponsor tables.  That's where I created a Young Driver's video that can be found on their blog

After that there was a discussion about being Canadian-ish (lots to do with Canadian bloggers living in USA & keeping a Canadian perspective).

THEN IT WAS TIME TO PARRRRRR-TAY
Hello #mabelbliss hosted Mabel's Labels.





Let's just say I felt very spoiled!
What's better than being spoiled? Being spoiled & having your BFF come join the party!
Two Tiaras are always better than One


After that we grabbed a dinner (or not really) at the restaurant that shall not be named.  Followed by some socializing with new pals.
Conference DAY 2
(also Tweetstock Tshirt day)
First session Viral Topic
The day started out with smiles & laughter because of this (thanks @thatericalper)

But there were some tears too (happy tears are always the best).  The panel talked about all their experiences brought them to "viral status" very different ways.  It was all about emotional connections.

BREAK -we ended up finding what I refer to as Adam Squared (the two Adams of @atomicspark) we created a little shout out to our friends at Tweetstock (since they appeared our vid which was in my winning post that got me there in the 1st place).  We also got to see the promo vid that they made with Kitestring.  You know you have arrived when a Muppet gives you a shout out!

Second Session Personal Branding

Which could also be called the funniest panel I've ever had the opportunity to hear.  The were honest & hilarious.  There were tears too, inspirational ones.  The ones that make you appreciate things.
I also took away some great advice from Dee.  Your twitter bio is free make the most of it.  So I did.

Third Session Transmedia
I picked this one because I didn't know what it meant.  It was more for those looking to run a business, but I had some great takeaways. Not a $20 takeaway that was offered up to anyone in the room that wanted to run up & grab it.  A takeaway from Laura who told me I was right not to just take anything that was presented in front of me.  That was worth more than $20 any day.

BREAK - somehow I ended up in para fin wax with mitts on, then learning salsa, followed by a mini workout session (so you know I loved all of it)


Final Session
Old vs New Media a panel about ways people find news & how different medias influence each other.

What's that time for another PARRRRR-TAY!
& a Costume Karaoke party at that!


Somehow both Diane & I ended up in "WHO WORE IT BETTER?" pics (but the fun & friendly kind, not the rude & judgey kind).




& just when you think the party can't get any more amazing.....

@JordanKnight shows up!

...... & he dances with  MEEEEEEEEEEEE



On the days following I find out I'm on the websites for CBC, Entertainment Weekly & ET Canada
This is just my quick recap.  I have stories about the wonderful people I saw & chatted with, how much fun I had, & how much I learned.
BUT what I will be known best for is being the girl who danced with Jordan Knight while wearing a tiara & dressed as Supergirl.

What did you takeaway from the conference?  Leave a comment & let me know.  Have a whole bunch to say? Then write a post & add it to my Blissdom LINKS
To see all my pics head over to my facebook

I have so many people to thank that made this experience happen for me.  I appreciate the kindness that was bestowed upon me & hope I can make all I learned useful for you as well.

#IAmSoBlessed

Monday, September 26, 2011

Make the Most of MeFest

Tips To Make MeFest Memorable

  • Bring a reusable shopping bag! Much more enviro-friendly, plus stronger to hold all your freebies!
  • Take a look at who's on your Holiday Shopping list!  I bet your can find something for everyone on your list
  • Address labels are handy to have to fill out draw prize ballots
  • Make sure you're camera/smart phone has fresh batteries/fully charged for all the fun photos you'll capture
  • Clear out your cupboards! Food Bank donations will save you $2 on admission
  • Tell a friend to meet you there! We're all about making new friends & reconnecting with pals at the event
  • Bring your positivity! You'll be contributing to the great energy in the room
  • Round up the family! We have something for everyone
  • Not sure about all the stairs? We have an elevator that enters right into our event area!
  • Build your connections! We always love hearing all the great connections created at MeFest
  • Stay dry & comfortable! Even when the weather does not cooperate we don't worry, we're an INDOOR event
  • Look for the TIARAS!!! We want to meet you!
For more info on MeFest check out our event page
https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=220393731318776
& watch the video below

Saturday, September 24, 2011

#140confONT Speaker vids

I'll do my best to keep them in the order that they appeard. 
Each video is about 10 mins, so although you might not be able to watch this all at once, remember this happened all in one day, in one room, filled with passionate, inquisitive & intellegent people.  Although the energy of that day can not be re-created, it can be re-lived.

Warning it goes from Pole Dancing Fitness Beginning to A Comedy Skit (That I'm betting will soon by Viral) Ending.  It's about Business & it's about Charity.  It's about celebrating the Seasons of Life & the Challenge of moving forward after a Death.  Be prepared to be inspired, rejuvenated, emotional and full of joy and laughter.


























The above one w/Craig also included Jeanette Joy













































So now that you've made it through the list, what has changed in you?  Did it spark something? Will you do something differently? Are you motivated in a new way?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

What Happened @ #140confONT

SO MUCH HAPPENED!!!!

I can't even begin.  I just keep saying OVERwhelmed is an UNDERstatment!
I know eventually I'll get it all down, but I keep being more & more inspired by reading all the comments & posts about it.
We want the Spirit of the #140 Characters Conference to continue on.  So just like the summer, we'll be organizing tweetups for it!
In the meantime I want to tell you about all the awesome stuff I've been reading, but I can't keep track of it all, so I'm asking for your HELP!
If you have a Post (feel free to link more than one), a Picture or even a Tweet that lets people know about your personal #140confONT experience please link it below.

Friday, September 16, 2011

#140confONT The Power of Now AND THEN

I'm a waterfall, I can't stop crying lately.  I don't mean that I'm suddenly always sad, it's the exact opposite.  I'm constantly overwhelmed.  I'd like to say I don't know when I became this over-emotional person, but I've always been her.  She's just been tucked away for a few years. I refer to them as the ICE QUEEN era (a nickname I was given).  When did that era end?  A few months ago when Jeff Pulver said "I believe you can do this"

Fast Forward to Sept 15th 2011

Here I am standing in the Tannery listening to everyone speak about the Power of Now, but for me it's bringing me memories of the recent past.

Now this didn't happen the whole day, just certain things made me realize how quickly your new acquaintances can become some of the most important people in your life.

Here's a glimspse of what was going on in my head yesterday (read on if you dare).

On walks Julia, she's dressed in big black hat, over coat & sparkly shoes to match.  It makes me instantly think of her purple cowboy hat, sundress & cowboy boots telling the world about the plan to bring the 140 Characters Conference to Canada.

Next I see Jeff take the stage.  I'm suddenly I think of that day in Burlington when he told me we weren't thinking Big enough.  We weren't just a Local #140conf we were the VERY FIRST CANADIAN #140conf.

I see Kevin coming down the middle of the audience & I find myself wondering if he wants Diane & I to jump in as his groupies, like we did in Tweetstock.

Next I hear Dee talking about her new house, which makes me think how different Boobfest will be next time around.

Then Jodi comes on.
I guess you can imagine what happened then.  Sobbing Lisa in the Green Room.
In walks Ben he immediately sees I am in need of a hug.  I start going on about how much it's killing me to know that she was homeless, & how if I was in that group of  friends then, I wouldn't have abandoned her like the others did.  While stammering this out I realize Ben has now been exposed to other bouts of my watery eyes.  The night our group 1st met Jeff, the Wine & Cheese at Gibson's & now this.  Remembering that didn't help the cause of getting myself to stop blubbering.

After that I'm not sure what order it all happened in as I buzzed around the building. 

So now I'm back in the moment & on comes Neil with his Poster Boy T-shirt.  I'm back in "oh this is Fun" mode except that I'm still thinking of the past. How the billboard he became known for has been torn down (as I was informed that morning).  How this building we were in wasn't really anything for decades.  Wow things really do change.

On comes Craig.  I see he's nervous.  I'm thinking he's going to blame me.  I'm wondering what he's thinking right now.  I can see something's wrong.  I want to rush out of the green room, jump on the stage & hold his hand & say what if we just talk. We're pals.  We'll just pretend the others aren't around.
There's Tricia to the rescue.  She did something magical in those few seconds.  He's back on track, telling the story I knew he had to tell.
No one tells it like Big Daddy does! I knew he was meant for that stage.

Hey it's Scott Stratten!  Phew this is going to be great!.  Scott always ensures fun is had by all, but then I start thinking about the first day I met Scott was also the first day I met So Many Of The People That Are In This Building With Me Today

Okay it's lunch-Just Breathe

After lunch Matt is acting like he's kind of nervous & he needs me to be in the room while he's speaking.  Off I go to be their for him to have a friendly face in the audience.  Wait a minute he's cool as a cucumber & he's not even looking my way. Then it comes.  What may have been the most accurate description of me ever  "probably the best height to noise ratio of anyone on the planet"
So funny! Except now he's got me thinking about how we met. 

Next comes Taylor.
He's on the stage telling the story of how his life changed so quickly.  Dear Internet, you've changed my life.
I hear that!
Then I start thinking about when I was convincing him to apply to speak (convincing might be more like harrassing, but that's not here nor there).  He spent his Birthday with us launching our #140 idea & ended up in a huddle of Moms telling him how much his blog means to people & that he better apply to speak!
(you might want to go back to Matt's noise to height ratio & I'm sure you'll get the picture).
Then I think about how much has happened for him since then & how he could already be in California, but stayed to speak for the 140 (sniff sniff).

This is the big one.  I warned everyone I would be mess during this.
Heather is telling her story of Zack's dream.
You would have to have a heart of stone to not have that affect you.
While Heather is saying that she was tweeting about Zack walking, I'm thinking about our 1st real convo we had the day she tweeted that.  Then I'm recalling Jeff telling me that 140 needs to have stories of love & I told him this one.  I knew it would touch everyone.
It did.
Heather received a standing ovation.  I don't know if I know anyone else as strong & brave as her.
Jeff walks by & say "yup that was a good story"

I walk back to the green room & see the Kitestring gang & try to act like my eyes are not red & swollen, but it doesn't work.  Thankfully they are all so nice & made me laugh the rest of the day!  All the way to their finale act!

Again the blur starts. We rush to the after party at McCabe's & see so many people that I admire so much.  All I can say is "did you enjoy it?" & "thank-you"
Somehow we leave there end up in the sketchiest bar I've ever been to KW, but we're having a fantastic time!
Chris says to me, how do you feel now that it's done.  I told him I didn't want the day to end.

I'm sorry I didn't do the gazillion tags that everyone does deserve in the post, but my eyes are really sore.

Now this won't be my only post about the 140. I definately have to thank all my fellow organizers, speakers, sponsors & volunteers, but that's for another day.
When I can think about what everyone did to pull together for the event.
Oh no, pass the tissue.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Most Are Remembering Sept 11th but why I'll remember Sept 10th

I was married Sept 11th 1993 (that status has since changed).  We chose that date because Sept was a great time to travel.  We always went away for our anniversary in the years following.

10 years ago we flew into St. John's NFLD on Sept 10th and stayed with (my then) husband's family.  After a long flight with a two year old we headed to bed early (remember NFLD time is ahead of Ontario).

We we awoke the next day there were already reports of the 1st tower being hit by a plane.  At that point most suspected it was some sort of plane malfunction.  I was watching the updates about it & as they went live to the spot to show the damage.  As they were showing a live spot of the smoke coming from the first tower the second tower was hit.

I froze

I couldn't believe it.  

and then I freaked.  I went running through the house tellling everyone what just happened.

That's when our vacation became so different.  No longer a holiday, no longer celebrating our anniversary,but a place of worry far away from home.

You see the planes were diverted from airspace to Newfoundland.

All the phone lines were jammed.  If you picked up a phone there was no dial tone just dead air.

We were to go visit the St. John's Arena as the Maple Leafs were to hold a practice there in preseason.  That's when learned that the arena was now being used as a shelter for those who were stranded.

I mean stranded!

Then it hit me.  What if we had flown in one day later.  Where would we be?  We couldn't land in St John's because their airport was full.
It it hit me like a ton of bricks.  What if I had to stay in an arena with a toddler.  What would have happened?  All the crazy things that run through your mind.

Thankfully the people of St. John's opened up their homes to the people who had been on the diverted planes.  Everywhere we went people were asking us if we had a place to stay (because we didn't have an East Coast accent).  It was overwhelming the kindness that I saw.

Then we learned we too were stranded on the island.

A monsoon hit the area when we were there.  With the planes' wings hitting each other the City of St. John's annouced that no planes would be leaving until all the USA diverted planes leave.

Thankfully I'm a prepared Mom & brought an extra medication that my son requires daily.

Every morning for days I had to call into the airport, be put on hold for hours to figure out if we could be on a standby list.

I can't even remember how many extra days we were there. Most of what took place during that time is a blur.
Thankfully we were staying with family. 

So while everyone else remembers Sept 11th I'm always thankfull that we had flown on Sept 10

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Why MeFest Means So Much To Me

This October we are hosting our 7th MeFest. 
Seven different times we will have created something special for the community we love so much.

We've had many challenges along the way.

Questioning of our marketing, copy cat versions of our shows, and the use of our pics to promote a totally separate event that we are not affiliated with at all. Yes all of these have happened.

But guess what?

It won't stop us.  The accomplishments out weigh the challenges every time.

We choose how we run our event.  We don't listen to the critics and we steer clear of those who can't see why we would want to invest so much of our time into a KW project.

Instead we focus on the fun that the day brings.  We create an event we are proud of each time.  We fill our hearts with the positive vibes inside our venue. That's what sets us apart.

We create something we love.


Saturday, August 20, 2011

ShesConnected #SCCTO 2011 & Why I'm Excited

This week I was happy to hear that @Those2Girls have been selected as part of a group of the Most Digitally Connected Women in Canada to take part in ShesConnected Conference #SCCTO for the 2nd time!!!

Some people are happy and some are not.  Some are calling it a popularity contest and others are saying its only for those that are willing to push products.

I don't believe any of that. 

If anything, I'm dorkiest gal in the room, & I'm okay with that.  As for pushing things, if I like something about it I tell people about it because I want my friends to know about good stuff too!  No one pays me to do that (even though I've been asked if I'm on @Trevor_Cherewka 's payroll with all my Tweetstock tweets!).

Popularity & Appreciative are two different things.  Once I saw that they were preparing for the next conference I was happy to interact with them & tell people about it.  I know when I arrange events I really APPRECIATE those who help me get the word out and try to help them with their endevoures as well.

As for the Speakers, last year and my favorite speaker was @SidneyEve.  She was well prepared, entertaining and knew the audience she was speaking to.  I don't think many of the Brands at the 1st one knew what to expect, and I expressed my concern about it for this Conference.

 I had a very public conversation on twitter asking if the Brands this time really want to hear what we have to say?  I told them it was frustrating that some Brands asked for my opinion and said they would love to find out more and never implemented or followed up with me (even though they gave me business cards & I did email them). 
I get upset when someone picks my brain for ideas & then does nothing with those ideas.  When I give someone my time I expect them to appreciate it.
I was assured that the Brands taking part in this year's #SCCTO are Brands that are wanting to connect with the attendees, and that great people are involved in organizing it.



Now THE REAL REASON I'm excited.....

I get to meet women from across Canada!!!!

Last year I met so many wonderful people that I get to chat with online. I remember meeting Deb Lowther .  She was still fairly new to twitter and I loved her tweets!  She was there as attendee as well.  Since that meeting we became fast friends and I have told so many how AWESOME her company is!  Why, because she's wonderful and I want to support her.   I have so many stories of 1st FACE TO FACE meetings that day.  That's what's important to me THE FRIENDSHIP










Monday, July 18, 2011

#140confONT Tweetups

Everyone knows I'm very excited to be on the team bringing Jeff Pulver's 140 Characters Conference to CANADA!

Sept 15th can't come quick enough for me, so we're celebrating all the way up to the Conference!

Our 1st #140confONT included our ticket launch & our SPOKESMODEL Julia letting everyone know about our BIG plan to have the VERY FIRST CANADIAN 140 Characters Conference in Waterloo Region. 



Next we headed to Brantford to announce our FIRST FIVE confirmed speakers

Well we're not finished yet!

Come find us
Then we're on to the BIG DAY http://guestlistapp.com/events/59826 Sept 15 at the Tannery in Kitchener Ontario








Friday, July 15, 2011

There's Better Ways To Build Buzz

I just arrived home from work when I saw a tweet that mentioned this article http://bit.ly/nrsePL

What sense does it make to write something like that?

Let's just say there's A LOT of baloney in there.

1st off 9-5 at RIM & the City of Waterloo is untrue.
Where did he get the info that no one works past 5pm at RIM (or anywhere else in KW for that matter?)

Move to Toronto? Really? I like Toronto (so I won't write a bash Toronto rebuttle like he's hoping), but how would that make such a difference? We're 45 mins from Toronto.  Not even kidding!

Let's talk headquarters.  Bet he doesn't know that Home Hardware has it's headquarters in St. Jacob's (10 mins outside of Waterloo).  They seem to be doing just fine being based out of town even smaller than Kitchener Waterloo. Wonder if he'll pick on them next.  Oh wait he's a web writer not a business profiler.

A web writer with 500 followers on twitter.
Does that tell you something?

I won't comment on his blog & I won't follow him.  That's what he's looking for.  He could have found something positive to say, or found a picture that didn't show snow in a July column -who does that? Yeah a WHOLE lot of effort went into that article.  There's other ways to create a buzz.  Try helping out somewhere.  I could make a BIG list of all the great things that happen here, but I don't have to.  You just have to follow any person from KW on twitter to see all the great things going on.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Cocktail Party With A Cause

What will happen at SIP FOR HOPE ?

We know you always want to go to new events in town, so a new fundraiser was created this summer! 

It's a DOUBLE FUND/FOODRAISER! It will support both the Grand River Cancer Centre as well as The Food Bank Of Waterloo Region

Where else can $25 help TWO local centres?  Sip For Hope is creating a STIR!

It's featuring
and more silent auction items than you can shake a stick at! We're talking Restaurants, Gourment Foods, & so much more!

But as of today there is a new item being added!

Win a Dinner Date with Trish at The Bauer Kitchen
- that will not be so much of silent auction as it will be a LIVE AUCTION!

So how do you get in on all this awesomeness?

Pack up your FOOD BANK DONATIONS & BUY YOUR TICKET

http://sipforhope.eventbrite.com/


Sunday, July 3, 2011

Sip For Hope

Who new this fluke one year ago would lead to my involvment with Marcel's Journey?

Close to a year ago (Aug 28/10) I noticed something strange in my neighbourhood.  I saw some temporary fencing going up at the Roundabout.  Later when I was home, I read on twitter that Lance Armstrong was in town so I put 2&2 together and figured the RIDE WITH LANCE would be coming through.  I grabbed my trusty FlipCam & was able to catch a glimpse



Flash forward almost one year later.  I receive a tweet from someone asking if I would like to be involved in a fundraising effort in Kitchener-Waterloo for the Grand River Cancer Centre.  Of course this peaked my interest & suggested we should meet for coffee.

One day later I'm having coffee with Trish, Meghan & JoAnne.
They tell me all about Marcel's Journey .  Trish explained that she is Meghan best friend & she was the one that contacted me on twitter.  Marcel is Meghan's Father & JoAnne's husband.  Marcel is a cancer survivor wanting to give back to the Grand River Cancer Center through the RIDE WITH LANCE  . His goal is to be the TOP FUNDRAISER & earn the chance to wear the covented Yellow Jersey during the ride.

In order to make this happen they have hosted several Fundraising events all over Waterloo Region, and wanted to create an orginal event in the area to make Marcel's dream a reality.

Wheels Are Always Turning

If you know anything about me, you know I love Brainstorming & Events!  I think if you would have looked hard enough that day you would have saw smoke from the little hamster wheel in my head going into overdrive.  It didn't take long to lightening to strike and Sip For Hope was created.

This fun event is starring Cocktail Deeva , who does so much to #beatcancer and it's being held at the Victoria Park Pavillion on July 21st 2011.   Dee will be showing us all how to make FAB Cocktails that can you can re-create for your summer entertaining.  Along with that there will be fun raffles, door prizes & silent auction items galore!

Where else intown could a $25 ticket promise so much Fabulousness?

So please visit the NEW Sip For Hope registration page on Eventbrite http://sipforhope.eventbrite.com/ & grab your ticket! (if you prefer to pay cash for your ticket please contact Trish through twitter or leave a comment with your email address on this post).
There are a limited number of tickets, so make sure you GET YOUR SEAT!

To keep up with the fun make sure to follow the hashtag #Sip4Hope
Also make sure to visit all the links on this page to appreciate why everyone is working so hard to see Marcel RIDE WITH LANCE !

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Cambridge Towel Canadian Made

Made In Canada 

Last week we learned there is more to a towel than meets the eye.  Cambridge Towel is the last TRUE manufacturer in North America.

We spoke to Jason of Cambridge Towel last week and learned a lot about what makes a Cambridge Towel so great!

  • All of their dyes are safe
  • They create the whole towel from start to the packaging finish
  • They use only high quality materials to create their towels
But don't take my word for it.  We went to visit Jason at the Cambridge Towel Tent Sale and he told us all about it!



Look out Vanna White!  Diane's stepping in!

For more info on the great things happening with Cambridge Towel make sure to Like them on Facebook
and follow them on Twitter
With Canada Day quickly approaching, what better way to celebrate than buying CANADIAN?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Where Do I Find The Words?

I Can Do This

This post will be all over the place, thought wise.  Just a warning. Normally I tag a gazillion things but not for this post. If spelling and grammar are important to you, please just shut your eyes as I dump my brain all over this post.

Amazing things happened tonight, to me.  I saw a hug.  Not one where someone gives you a squeeze and says see ya soon.  This was different.  I felt the warmth of a community wrap there arms around me, and it moved me to tears.

What happened is really kind of blur to me.  There were so many things happening after that, I must have had some sort of emotions pushing me through to carry on for the remainder of the night.

Afterwards I went out with a small crowd for a post event snack.  There I got to sit with Stephanie who asked me all about the events that had me so overwhelmed.  I explained how my day started with the realization that someone broke into my car and stole my GPS, & how I sent it out to the tweeps & facebook pals about what happened & their  received thoughtful messages which was so nice to hear. From there how after taking my son to school I cried on my way to work because I didn't want to end up being over emotional when I arrived, and figured that was the best way to let it out.  Well that didn't help. I found myself on the brink of tears for the 1st hour of my work day.  Being that I work with all guys I knew I had to come up with a new plan of attack.  I decided to change my outlook about it and try to add humour and see the good that can be found in what had happened.  During my break I wrote a letter to the new owner of my GPS. So many people said that my post made them laugh.  That was what I needed to hear.  I could now face people I knew with a smile and a giggle.  Flash forward, I arrive at the Gibsons event I'm speaking with a group of my friends and then they asked to come & see Annie.  I figure we're getting picture before the event starts.  Then Jacki (who you may also know as the Snicker Fairy) comes in from behind & says that she has something for me, from everyone because of my rough day.  Okay what a nice gesture I'm thinking, a little pick me up.  I was wrong when I thought a little pick me up.  How about a LIFT MY SPIRITS TO THE CEILING & BEYOND!!!!  Here in this gift bag is a GPS for me.  I tried to shove it back at Jacki because I was in TOTAL SHOCK.  When I realized that she was telling me how many people were involved I broke down into tears for the 2nd time today.  These tears were different.  Happy tears.  Now remember I just met Stephanie face to face for the 1st time tonight.  She learned a whole lot about me in just a few minutes BUT I told her the whole story with out any tears.  So I figure okay I'm good.  I can go home and thank all that were involved without needing tissues.
Then I saw this.....



I take back what I said about not needing tissues, and I hope red puffy eyes are a good look for me, because I think that's the look I'm sporting for tomorrow.  So how do you say Thank-you when this happens?  I thanked people that I saw, but what about the others that weren't there?  People that have met me a handful of times but I talk to everyday?  When Jacki gets me a proper list and I get my head on straight, then I'll do it right.  No more rambling, no more tears, just .... I don't know what that "just" is right now, but when I figure that out it will mean something!

Open Letter To The New Owner Of My GPS

A Recap of My Wednesday Morning

Dear New Owner/Thief, or Person Who Bought/Traded for my GPS from said Thief,

I hope you are navigating around much easier since your new found TomTom has arrived in your possession.  I thought you might want to know the History it's had since in case you need to ever know where its travelled to & how much great it was to be it's previous owner.  This way you'll come to appreciate it as more than the "piece of HOT merch" you now have.

Our story begins several months ago when I purchased "her".  Yes it's a she.  If you plug it in, you'll hear the female voice that it's set to.  I believe her name was Isabella by voice call.  I should have gotten to know her better, but I guess I took for granted that we'd be driving buddies for years to come.

Back on track... she came into my life as I rescued her from a cage in Canadian Tire and brought her home for Christmas.  She and I have had our battles.  I have ignored her even though she has tried to make me see it her way, and make me turn around, but she eventually takes my stubbornness into account and re-evaluates the situation.  She is also a confidence builder.  I have never driven anywhere Hamilton way because I am always confused in the QEW area, but because of her earlier this month I made the trip to Burlington and was planning a trip to Niagara next month.  She'll also make you giggle.  She describes Roundabout as a Rotaray & she pronounces Weber St. as We-ay-bar St.

I was also looking forward to giving her a full make-over next month.  You see she was about to become a he.  For surprise for my son's birthday I was about to change her over to become Darth Vader, but I'm sure you will decide what is best for her now. As her new owner and I'm sure you will cherish her as much as I did, being that you wanted her so badly that you couldn't wait to go to Canadian Tire and adopt one of your own.

So here are my thank-yous I must extend.  I DO THANK-YOU FOR NOT DAMAGING MY CAR.  It's been through enough this year, so I do thank-you for not breaking any windows & being kind enough to let me know she was gone by leaving my glove box & arm console open for me to realize she had been relocated.  Also I thank-you for being professional enough to know how to do this without setting off my alarm and not causing me to freak-out during the process of her being removed from my premises.

I also thank-you for giving her a place in history.  She now has a police report number.  I knew that they would not go looking for her, but felt she needed to be recognized.  The officer was really nice to speak to this morning & said she will most like be bartered for, perhaps for something prescriptive, that's what he must have meant when he said Drugs.  He also asked me if I'll be claiming it through my insurance, but I said no as my deductible would be more than the cost to buy a brand new one.  This leads me to my next thank-you.

Thanks for giving me something to look forward to for Christmas 2011.  My son is in the process of getting braces and I'm hoping to make a trek to Great Wolf Lodge this year as we haven't gone away to an overnight vacation since 2008, so I won't be replacing her anytime soon.  Now I don't have to worry about what I will get myself this year. 

But I really want to thank-you for challenging me.  I always try to look for the good in every situation.  This one was tough, but when my supportive friends on facebook and twitter immediately sent me messages to make me feel better, that is the silver lining that I am going with.  No one was hurt, everyone is healthy and this situation will be just a hiccup in the grand scheme of things.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Donating Daily

Cure for Clothes Clutter

My house is so cluttered with clothing.  I have an 11 turning 12 year old & at that age they grow like weeds.  I also am guilty of of clothes clutter myself.  With the strange weather we've had for the month of June I've worn t-shirts, sweaters, shorts and jeans over the last few weeks.  It's wreaking havoc on my laundry baskets, and overflowing my washing machine.

Ceasing this Opportunity

So while I see mountains of clothing that need to be folded and put away, I am making a pact to rid myself of items I no longer need.  I live 5 mins away from a Salvation Army and I work 5 mins away from a Value Village so I am going to donate daily. 

Everyday until I feel the task is completed I am going to pack up 1 garbage bag of clothes to donate.  Instead of undertaking a MASS CLEAROUT which I never seem to get around to doing, I'm going to break it down to an achievable task.

On the days I don't do it (because I tend to run, run, run) I will force myself to double up the next day, because really 2 bags is not a lot either.

Readily Rewarded

For my 1st day I rewarded myself with Swiss Chalet for dinner (being that it's in the same plaza as the Salvation Army it was just meant to be).  I won't reward myself everyday, but getting started requires some motivation.

So pals I'm asking you to keep me accountable.  I'm going to check in everyday on this post and will let you know if I completed my daily task.

How do you tackle an overwhelming task?

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Is Brantford the Centre of the Universe? #Tweetstock5

Tweetstock 5

This week entailed another adventure to Brantford for Tweetstock 5 - Art Of The Community.
What does that mean?  Kevin Magee said the idea came to him at a Chamber of Commerce meeting.  It's about creating something in Brantford that will change how the people there feel about their city.

But I don't live in Brantford

(Although most people think I do)

My community is created online and extended to the places that it takes me to.  My last Tweetstock post spoke of how I came to meet the creators of Tweetstock and became sucked into the GREATNESS they have happening there.

The community they are creating reaches far beyond the Brantford city limits.  They are creating a movement.  Its something that everyone can take part of.  It can be incorporated in any part of the world where passionate and caring people live.
THEY JUST HAVEN'T REALIZED IT YET.

Walter Gretzky says that Brantford is the Centre of the Universe.
& I'm starting to think he's right.

video

Friday, June 17, 2011

#GGBliss could have been a miss if I lived in Saudi Arabia

Travel Post?
This is not your typical travel post, but then again what is typical about me anyway?
So to start off GoGirlfriend.com is having a FIND YOUR BLISS Contest & for the last couple of weeks I've been trying to think of something AMAZING to write.
So far that hasn't happened, but something did spark this post.

When I woke up to the radio on my alarm clock this morning, I heard them joking about how Saudi Arabian women are breaking the law by driving.  Apparently they are uploading videos of themselves driving around.  Although I have a VERY odd sense of humour, this didn't strike me as funny at all.  Infact I never thought about it being against the law for women to drive in other countries.  Then I thought how different my life would be if I wasn't allowed to drive.  How many friendships would have never came to be?

I love going to events and meeting people Face to Face.  When you can take your online friendships and create an IN REAL LIFE HUGFEST nothing tops that!









So I rely on my car to travel, whether it's to get to Toronto, OakvilleBurlington ,or HIGHLY EXOTIC locales like Brantford or Cobourg I am thankful that I have the right to drive.  So as of today my favorite place to travel is Highway 401
It takes me to HUGS.

(I have always said that Bon Jovi songs tell the story of my life)


So that is my @GoGirlfriend contest entry & like I said not your typical travel post.  I leave that to the experts.
 
If you're still not convinced that I need to go to Blissdom Canada, we also put together a little presentation with the help of our good friends from Tweetstock














Monday, June 6, 2011

Life Changing Moment

Do you ever have one of those moments that you know will change your life forever?  I've been fortunate to have had a few of them.  It happened again tonight.  The moment lasted 4 hours.  It included
  • a dinner
  • a dessert bar
  • an Educational Assistant/BFF & friend of all things Tiara 
  • a Social Media Strategist/Travel Specialist/Connector & someone I truly admire
  • a Mortgage broker in transition to a new online identity. Who lives far away but just close enough
  • a Mediator with a knack for always taking it all in & knowing all the right things to say
  • a Real Estate Agent with a big heart. Who is always ready to do what he can to help
  • an Apple Specialist that applies his knowledge to help people on the other side of the globe
  • a Software professional that taught us all to Think Big & Then Think BIGGER
  • Brantford Royalty, who always make me feel like I belong & included & appreciated
  • A Social Media professional who loves travel books & easily fits in with our crew from all walks of life
  • A Rock Star who believes in our goal & willing to give his name & reputation to what we will accomplish
Tonight we went from the "small potates #140confSWO" to the "Larger Than Life #140confONT"

Tonight we were taken seriously by 140 Characters Conference creator Jeff Pulver. 

Tonight we listened to the stories of events past, and felt like we there.  Four hours passed quicker than five minutes tonight.  I could have stayed and listened for hours and hours more.  Jeff shared what his conference started out as, and what it has become. 
There was something in the air tonight.  I think all of there felt it.  It was a sense of pride.  We are doing this here, in Kitchener, in Waterloo Region, in Southwestern Ontario, for all Ontario and are the first in Canada.

The 140 Conference is coming to Canada.  Sept 15, 2011

We have Jeff's blessing and will take pride in becoming the first team to bring it North of the USA border.

This night will be remembered as a moment in time.  A time where someone who didn't already know me and my group of extrodinary friends and gave us a gift of trust.
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