Saturday, December 28, 2013

Battery Backup - Lifesaver II Review

We'll start with the Disclaimer - Yes I did receive a complimentary Lifesaver II, but this just means I'm able to offer you a chance to win one too! Enter the contest at the end of this post!

I'm All Charged Up Over This Product

With ice storm 2013 still causing power outages around Ontario I thought this would be a great time to talk about an emergency battery backup.  Take a moment and watch the clip of @NeilHedley talking about the impact of the storm in his area and how the Lifesaver II was able to assist him during the ordeal on this CTV News Channel clip
Ever wish you could just get that extra little bit of power before your smartphone dies? Tired of looking for an outlet to charge your device? Well I put the Lifesaver II by Mio to the test thanks to the folks at Everik. See in the videos below how easy it is to have a backup battery on hand.

Part 2 doesn't have the hairstyle malfunction

You can see by the images below that the red light indicates that the Lifesaver II is charging and when the red light no longer appears it means it is fully charged.




I've Got The Power

As you can see from the videos and pics above the Lifesaver II by Mio is very simple to use. My smartphone started working almost immediately. I was able to text Diane on my smartphone while the Lifesaver II was in the midst of charging my device! 

As mentioned in the video be sure to follow my twitter feed @Those2Girls where I will be tweeting out other reviews by some of Canada's top bloggers and just like I promised you can enter the Rafflecopter contest below for a chance to win a Lifesaver II by Mio

One of the bonus entries is about how your get POWERED UP! Leave your answer in the comments below the Rafflecopter widget (it may take a minute to load)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Pin It Forward - Top Five Ways To Help Others On Pinterest

As Pinterest becomes more and more popular there are many ways to keep Pinterest a positive experience for everyone. The best way to be helpful is to PIN IT FORWARD

Top 5 Ways To Pin It Forward

  1. Create a board with helpful tips and tricks that you have learned to help other that are trying something new.
  2. Start a shared board with a friend to pin things that they are interested in. IE I do not crochet but my friend does and I see lots of cute crochet projects on pinterest. I pin them for her and she can easily access the board.
  3. Tag a friend in a pin that you think they will like. When you tag someone in the comment section they will receive a notification.
  4. Make a board for a cause you support. You will be adding awareness to the cause
  5. Take that extra second a LIKE the person's pin before you repin it. Obvisously it caught your fancy if it's worth a repin
For more information on Pinterest just type it in my search bar, you'll find all of my Pinterest related posts!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Year In Review Time Of Year Again - How Social Sites Help You Reflect

2013 Online Wrap Up

This is the time of year when everyone starts posting their resolutions.
Although I usually come up with a few unique ones, I tend to look back at the year to see what stood out for me.

How Social Sites Help You Reflect

As a reader of mine, I am sure you are aware I post a lot on social media.  This comes in handy when it comes to a personal year in review.

Earlier this week Facebook complied some of my most interactive moments in MY FACEBOOK YEAR IN REVIEW

Another great way to see how your year was is to look back at your blog posts, pinterest pins and twitter hashtags that you use often.  They are a great indication of what you participated in over the last year.

Still looking for something to inspire your year in review?
YouTube posted their 2013 Rewind video as a reminder of what happened in terms of viral video over the past twelve months

And I expect that soon the 2013 Google Zeitgeist will be out with many moments from 2013 that made you both laugh and cry.

Updated Dec 17 2013 Google Zeitgeist is Live

How do you find ways to reflect on the past year? Did something stand out for you? Leave a comment below so we can both share in your memory!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Fans Of Fifty Shades - Are Your Ready For SPANK From Just For Laughs?

Just For Laughs and Mills Entertainment Present SPANK! At Centre In The Square

We'll start with the Disclaimer - Yes we did receive a complimentary tickets, but this just means we're able to offer you a chance attend too! Enter the contest at the end of this post!

Fifty Shades Parody For The Fun Of It

SPANK! is a very funny play based on Fifty Shades of Grey from EL James
The show is from the well known Just For Laughs and Mills Entertainment and it will be on stage at Centre In The Square Sunday December 1 2013

Kitchener Is About To Get Spanked

This live action comedy is for an adult audience with a fun and racey sense of humour! So if you loved Fifty Shades grab your book club and get your tickets for 50 times more fun than your regular Sunday nights (well at least in my case anyway)

Ready for the next bit of excitement? We have a contest for SPANK!
Let us know your favorite nevel in the comments below for a chance to win tickets to SPANK! A Fifty Shades Parody!
So gather the book club or the library gang and get them to enter the Rafflecopter contest below (it may take a minute to load).
  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Blissdom Canada - Mentors Moments And Memories

I Am Thankful For ...

As I am sitting in front of my desktop computer this 2013 Thanksgiving weekend, I am trying to sort out the best of the best from last weekend's Blissdom Canada experience.  Trying to break it down into the most memorable events is very difficult making me realize just how thankful I am to have been part of this year's conference.

Blissdom The Second Time Around

The last Blissdom Canada event I attended was in 2011.  I was unable to go last year because I was in Las Vegas for work.  That was an opportunity I did not want to miss!  When I read the follow up from Blissdom Canada in 2012 I had realized that the blog conference had changed quite a bit from the one I attended the year before, so I was very curious about the new format.

Being what I like to call a serial volunteer, I was thrilled to be asked to assist with registration at Blissdom Canada this year and to be able to meet and greet so many of the attendees!

When I arrived at the registration desk I quickly scanned the name badges.  I saw that I knew about half of the people that would be attending and the other half were new names to me.  I remember thinking "what a great mix" because I love to reconnect with those from other events and meeting new people is something I enjoy as well.


Mentors Moments And Memories

Instead of writing my takeaways from each seminar that I attended I decided to do a roundup of all the events that took place during my weekend at Blissdom Canada. (give it a minute for all the pics to load)  
  • Smelling scents of the wonderful soaps that Jeannine of Wlyde Rose Soaps created for the Handmade Marketplace in the car ride there.  Yes we carpooled!
  • Arriving to the wonderful smiling faces of friends
  • Meeting many at the registration desk
  • Blissdom13day1-69
  • Seeing Anna snapping pictures out of the corner of my eye (majority of the pics in this post are embedded images from the Blissdom Canada flicker account which Anna snapped)
  • The arrival of my roomies for the weekend
  • Running around the hotel trying to figure out which meeting room to be in and when
  • Wearing Our Tiaras!
  • Blissdom2013day2-389
  • Not Wearing Our Tiaras and almost being incognito
  • Conversations around tables whether it be in a workshop, a keynote or a meal
  • Learning how bloggers can change the world
  • Seeing Jully Black perform for the second time that week! Then getting to go on stage with her!
  • Blissdom2013day2-944
  • Jamming as many people as we can in for the last photo of the night
  • Finding a way to get a picture with Jully Black.
  • Late night guests
  • Being taken a-back by a gut check moment
  • Knowing where Team Naked Polo Perfume originated
  • Hearing about the Power created by others
  • Lollipop Moments
  • Blissdom Canada
  • Swimming! Hello Hot Tub!
  • Dancing in my PJ's
  • Blissdom2013day3-778
  • Being part of a stealth mission for beverages and snacks
  • Once again Finding My Bliss
And these are just the ones off the top of my head.  If I was to really stop and reflect this post would become a journal of just one weekend.  I would love to hear your most memorable moments! Leave them in the comments and I'm sure it will help spark more memories for everyone! Then we can all be thankful for the time we spent together at Blissdom Canada.

Cityline Celebrates Tracy Moore's 1000th Show - My View From The Front Row

A Little Twitter Told Me

I am often asked how I find out about the great events we get to attend.  My answer is almost always "I found out about it online!" The same is true for this fabulous occasion!  A while back I saw a tweet about applying for a commemorative Cityline episode so I immediately let Diane know.  She is a big Cityline fan and I knew she would be able to create the perfect writeup for the application.

Soon after she found out that we did make the cut and we would be in the audience for Tracy Moore's 1000th Show on Cityline!  We knew it would be big once we were asked our t-shirt size and that they would be worn during the taping, but we had no idea about all the fanastic gifts we would receive along the way!

Blackberry Z10's, Cadbury Chocolate, Pandora Bracelets, Modern Muse Perfume and get this a Swatch watch (doesn't that take you back?)

Before all the gift giving and show recording began, Tracy was wonderful enough to come out and greet the audience and made a point of talking about how she had been tweeting with us (mostly Diane who suddenly found her voice on twitter) since the annoucement we had been selected to attend.  When she realized that we were the "tiara girls" she started to tell the audience members that she has met us at many other social media events (hence the I found it online statement that I am best known for).

Being part of Tracy's special day was wonderful and we can't wait to run into her again, but for now you can catch us tweeting with the always fabulous Tracy Moore!

Congratulations Tracy!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Four Great Kitchen Hacks

Be A Little Crafty In The Kitchen

Are you on the look out for tips and tricks to make your life easier? Try these four How To's for your kitchen and see if they help you take charge of your kitchen.

1. Cook Chicken Breasts In Your Steamer
The easiest way to cook chicken breasts are by putting them in your steamer.  No more dried out chicken with this simple switch.  Need a recipe to that uses steamed chicken? Learn how by reading the make a meal in about 20 minutes with chicken that has been steamed.

2. Make A Bread Basket From A Cloth Napkin
Take a look at this video demonstration of a napkin being folded into a basket in less than 30 seconds!

3. Open A Jar Using A Butter Knife
I remember being amazed the first time I saw someone do this.  Perhaps I am not the only one who didn't know how simple it is to use a butter knife to open a tightly sealed jar.

4. Tie A Tenderloin Roast Before Grilling
A tied tenderloin helps when grilling. The roast cooks evenly and will not break apart. For instructions on how to properly prepare a tenderloin roast for grilling what the video demo below

Now I'm not sure if I can do that last one in under 3 minutes yet, but I know practice makes perfect!

Do you have a great Kitchen Tip? Let me know in the comments below!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

How To Make A Sock Cupcake - With Demo

Easy Fuzzy Sock Craft

Looking for an EASY CRAFT? Look no further. I'm not crafty but was able to make Fuzzy Socks look like cupcakes.

As you know from my earlier video, crafting does not come easy to me. I lack in the coordination department which is a skill that is required for most crafts......

..... except this one!

Great Gift Topper

I needed a great gift topper and by searching Pinterest I was able to find an easy craft called a Sock Cupcake.  Below I have a quick recap of how it was made, along with the steps I took and the video that I based them on.



My Sock Cupcake Assembly Steps

  1. Everything you need = 2 pairs of fuzzy socks, 2 Elastic Hair Accessories with flowers attached, and cupcake holders
  2. Mismatch the pairs of socks, this adds to the cupcake look
  3. Roll the first mismatched pair. See video below (it took a few attempts for the first pair)
  4. Wrap hair accessory elastic around rolled socks
  5. Separate the layers by pulling some up & pushing some down
  6. Place in half of the paper cupcake holders (paper baking cups)
  7. Repeat with the 2nd pair of socks
After you watch the video on how to make these, see below about my improvisations and what I will do differently next time. (this is not my video but how I first learned to create these)

As you can see I managed to skip the need for tape, ribbon and plastic flowers just by using the hair accessory with the flower attached.  This also adds to the gift as they end up with 2 pairs of socks and 2 hair accessories!

Because my paper cups were smaller they did fit the sock cupcake, but did not stand up and immediately flattened when I put it in one paper cupcake baking cup.  In order to make the baking cups stable enough to hold the sock cupcakes I ended up using half of the package of paper cupcake holders for each pair of socks.

Next time I think I may try those silicone baking cups instead of the paper ones to see if that makes this even easier!

Here's the final result!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

How Hashtags Work On Facebook

Web How To - Easy Explanation Of Hashtags

In 2011 I wrote a post about how hashtags work called Twitter Hashtags & Twitter Parties! Are you in the LOOP? It was to get people to understand twitter parties and how they can participate.

Now that Facebook has added click-able hashtag capabilities I thought I should write an update.

A hashtag which is essentially the number sign # and it makes whatever is right beside it searchable.
On Facebook if you click on the hashtag, a screen pops up & lists every post with that hashtag in it. 

Give it a try. Copy and paste this to your status bar

Ok I'm getting the hang of this hashtag thing thanks to the post Go #TiaraARMY

After you click post on the status you should see the #TiaraARMY characters turn blue. Now you can click where it says #TiaraARMY and as more and more people start to use this hashtag, the pop up screen will have more and more facebook peeps on it. 

It shows you who you have common interests with and perhaps you will make a new connection and you know I'm all about that!

Hashtags are became popular through Twitter but are now also used a lot on Instagram and Pinterest.  How will you use hashtags?

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Manageable Mondays

How To Make Mondays More Manageable

That dreaded day of the week.

When it comes to managing my Mondays I take the "keener" approach and start tackling it on Friday.

I look at my work pile Friday morning and do my best to get it all done.  While most are celebrating the end of the week, I have my nose to the grindstone pushing through the paperwork pile.  I do this to give myself a rest over the weekend.  You see if I leave anything left undone at work, then I spend all weekend knowing that the unfinished paperwork will be haunting my desk Monday Morning. By completing all my tasks Friday I know that I'll have a fresh start to my work week. I'll be prepared for whatever comes my way.

Wait did I say prepared? Ok I will be realistic I am a procrastinator when it comes to Monday mornings. I stay in bed as long as I can and then rush to get ready.

That may be why I implemented NO MAKEUP MONDAY. Basically Mondays involve no makeup and my hair in a ponytail (there are exceptions to the rule, but for the most part this is my Monday look).  I don't want to look disheveled but I have lowered the bar for the beginning of the week. Think of it as casual Friday moved to a different time slot.  I appreciate the relaxed look more so on a Monday than a Friday so that is what works best for me.

I posed the questions to those on Facebook about how they make manage Mondays and here are the responses.

Great Ways To Start Manage Monday

Bruce Barone have a monthly and weekly and daily goal sheet
Rebecca Palmer Get the small stuff out of the way early.
Sandra Kennedy Prepare mentally as well as a to do list Sunday night so you are starting off in the right direction and with focus
Darleen Witmer New start. Eat good breakfast. Dress in fab outfit. Kickass shoes or boots. Don't stay up late Sunday. Have clothes and lunch ready to go night before. Schedule in calendar for your week's goals. Suppers made ahead or have slow cooker prepped
Marianne Wales lots of coffee when I wake up,...then watch out here I come
Ian Archibald Believe that today is the best day ever, and make it happen.
Frankie Leclair Kekes Plan ahead the night before. Put out your outfit, make your lunch, plan what supper will be, pack kids
Backpacks (if applicable). Basically do as much as you can the night before. Some even set the breakfast table the night before.

Jennifer Rebecca Fallis What's Monday? Just another day of the week like all the others. Rest on Sunday, and then Monday doesn't seem so bad after all.

Plus a few that will have you grinning!

Suzy McNeil Sleep till Tuesday
Elaine Jasvins Only work 1/2 days. I don't mind Mondays at all.
Jennifer Van Huss Pray it is a Stat holiday!
Blanche Gillis take a nap after work
I think I'll take a few ideas from both lists for more Manageable Mondays!
I would love to hear what you do make it through Monday.  Leave a comment with your best tips and tricks!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Influence Marketing And How I Participate

Disclaimer Sponsored by

I began blogging years ago as an extension of twitter and facebook.  It was a way to stay connected with my audience back when a facebook status had a maximum length and I needed more characters to express my thoughts. Most days I can sum up my thoughts in 140 characters, but to get a broader picture of my ideas I wanted to bring in several media sources (such as images and youtube videos) into my posts and blogging allows for that as well as links to other resources for my readers to learn more about my topic.

I enjoy fruitful conversations and have helped many people connect with my experience in networking both on and offline.  One of the best examples of this is the Tweetstock franchise out of Brantford Ontario.

Several years back I had the opportunity to be quoted in Scott Stratten's UnMarketing book and I attended the launch of his book in Oakville Ontario.  There, Lindsey Jacobs (who I had met via twitter) introduced me to Trevor Cherewka, who had started holding meetups/tweetups in Brantford Ontario.  With a mutual like for networking Trevor invited me to speak at Tweetstock 3.  A few months later I found myself gathered with about thirty Brantford residents explaining how important twitter was to businesses and how it would become the next level of networking.  I really enjoyed the event and quickly connected with the majority of the people in the room (many of which I am thrilled to have as my friends today).  After the event I let Trevor know how impressed I was by what was happening in Brantford and would do my best to support his next event. When he announced the Tweetstock 4 event I went to work spreading the word about Tweetstock to my audience.  Because of my posts Tweetstock 4 had several out of town attendees and the audience quickly grew. Each event after came with it's own unique twist and I would find ways to incorporate what was happening into my online conversations and blog posts.  Coupon codes that were spread through my network became very popular and helped persuade readers to buy tickets for the event.  Several Tweetstocks later the Tweetstock franchise has grown from a meetup to an event to an all day conference.  This is just one example of how word of mouth advertising through online networks can evolve something that started out small to something much bigger. Influence marketing was used to amplify awareness of an event that takes place in Brantford Ontario but has attendees that drive several hours just to be in that room.  This then turns the conference into a room full of influencers broadcasting their messages to their networks and continuing the topics of discussion for days following Tweetstock.

Connection is key.  You never know where it may take you (perhaps to Brantford Ontario for the next Tweetstock Conference!)

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Is Somebody Singing With Col. Chris Hadfield On #MusicMonday

Social Media In Space

If you follow any of my feeds you know that I am fascinated by Col. Chris Hadfield's tweets from the International Space Station.  Everyday you get to learn about the earth from the perspective of an astronaut by watching his @Cmdr_Hadfield twitter account.  Of course I was very excited when he tweeted our pics of Kitchener-Waterloo and Southwestern Ontario.  Another great moment was when he spoke to University Of Waterloo Students from space but my favorite moment was when he sang a duet with the Barenaked Ladies.

Watching this video always gives me chills!

Yesterday Commander Hadfield added to my enjoyment of this the I.S.S. watching with a rendition of ISS - Is Somebody Singing by participating in #MusicMonday.  #MusicMonday is the first Monday in May and celebrates music in Canadian schools.
This year #MusicMonday was extra special with schools from coast to coast singing along with Col. Chris Hadfield through a livestream from the I.S.S
(if the video below doesn't work you can watch it here )

Now that is cool!  If only they celebrated #MusicMonday when I went to school. 
It looks like I would have participated! Here's the scene from the elementary school I went to A.R. Kaufman Public school with their school celebration.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Five FREE Sites To Clean Your Twitter

Keep Your Twitter Clean - Yes Go Ahead And Giggle At That One

Near the end of every month I try to check my twitter network to make sure that it is free of spam and content that shouldn't be there.  I also check on what was popular that month and see what topics would great opportunities going forward. If things don't look fresh on your twitter feed you could end up looking like a spammer.

Five FREE Sites To "Clean Your Twitter"

1. Untweeps is a site that lists stale twitter accounts.  Just login with your twitter account and click the List Stale Tweeps button.  Within a few minutes you will receive a list of twitter accounts that you follow, that have not tweeted in more than 30 days. Just click the check boxes beside the names on the list and at the bottom click the unfollow button.  This will take another couple of minutes and then you will see that you no longer follow those inactive twitter accounts.  ** Note you can only use once every 30 days.

2. Faker

Faker by Status People is great way to ensure you have true twitter followers. Once you login with your twitter account it will give a list of how many fake and inactive accounts follow your twitter account and will give your account a rating. You can also put other twitter handles in the search bar to see how many fake followers other accounts have. When people have oodles of twitter followers you would think they would provide you with great info, but some buy fake followers to increase their ranking. You can learn the importance of Faker by Status people over at SocialNorth.

3. Social Mention

Social Mention can give you a lot of info about your twitter account, the things you tweet about and who you tweet with.  Just put your twitter handle in the search bar, and soon a list will be populated with your recent tweets.  Make sure to pay close attention to the left side bar.  It gives you a snap shot of what is going on with your twitter account.  Another great use for this tool is any hashtags you are using or topics that you mention often online.

4. Kurrently

Kurrently is another listening tool for twitter. It is great way to get a 2nd opinion about hashtags and topics you are tweeting about.

5. Trendsmap

Trendsmap lets you know what people are tweeting about all over the world in real time.  You can search by topics and cities to see what those in your area are talking about.  This can be handy when looking to connect with other people on twitter that live near by.

Do you have any sites that help you "KEEP YOUR TWITTER CLEAN"?
Did you try out any of these sites? Be sure to leave a comment about your experience with them.
Do you have any suggestions about twitter? Make sure to leave them in the comments!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Find The Inner And Outer Beauty

Am I Pretty?

Several years back I watched a video called PRETTY.  Many of the statements Katie Makkai made in the video have stuck with me.

If you haven't watched it yet please take 3 mins and watch this poetry slam

It was the moment when she said the word pretty should never be used on it's own that has always been my memory of this video.
You should not just be PRETTY
instead you should be
Those are the statments that have always propelled me forward.

I think this is why I resonate with the Dove Realy Beauty/Self Esteem Campaigns.

Through the years there have been some very powerful Dove videos.  This is the one from Dove Canada always stands out for me.....

..... until I saw this one today

How Do You Find The Inner And Outer Beauty?

The latest Dove video goes to show that many do not know that beautiful they are in the eyes of others.
We often talk about focusing on our inner beauty, yet so many don't realize that their inner beauty does show outwardly.  I truly believe that our inner beauty can be seen outwardly as well.

I do my best to surround my self with positive people.  The ones that are cheery and helpful.  Those are the people I think are PRETTY AMAZING! You can tell who they are.  They are the ones that always are smiling and have kind words to share.  They are taking their inner beauty and showing it outwardly. That is the outer beauty that I am speaking of. 

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Are You A Social Influencer?

Four Years On Twitter (Double that on Facebook)

Earlier this month I celebrated four years on twitter.  Many people didn't even realize that twitter had been around for so long. From the time I began to present day I have noticed quite a shift in my thinking about social networks.

I have always been a big fan of connecting whether it be for networking purposes or for social interactions.  This is why I took to facebook right away. Soon after came twitter. Next came this blog, which turned into a few other blogs and guest blogging.  I have dabbled in the land of youtube and over the last year or so I have started to enjoy using, pinterest, foursquare and instagram. Ok I'll admit I'm on linkedin and google+ but I don't really put a lot of effort into thoses sites.  All the while I thought of it as making connections.  Soon I was winning Tassimos, receiving tickets to events, and getting prize packs in the mail.  I was thrilled to be so lucky.  I had no idea that my status posts and tweets were thought of as marketing tools for others.  What I know now is that I was adding my influence to those campaigns. I am careful what I talk about online. I know it gives people a sense of who I am.  What you say online leaves an impression on others.  See what I mean in my TV WATCHING of social media below.

What Social Media Influence Means To Me

I think of social media as broadcast tv network and if I don't like something I change the channel

  • Nightly News
Many know that I don't watch the news. I find it filled with so many negative stories. If I see a lot of that coming out of your social media sites, then know I don't watch you. What you are saying about yourself (and your company if you have one) has no influence on me.

  • Comedy Channel
I have a strange sense of humour so if you keep it funny, without being too vulgar, then I'm your audience. I am the one that tries to re-tell the joke to others. In other words you'll see me hitting the Share Button a lot on your content.

  • The Food Network
I love food, so if you talk about it chances are I'm watching. Many times you'll have influence over my weekly grocery shopping.
  • Sports Television
I may not be an uber fan, but I'm not a bandwagon jumper either. If you're talking about the teams and sports that I watch, then I will the one to interact with you.

  • The Weather Network
I am Canadian which means I talk about the weather. If you do as well then there is a good chance we have been in contact when I hear about severe storms heading this way. Your expertise helps me prepare for what might happen. I see you as a go to source of information.

Should I be watching you?

What does your Social Media Channel line up look like? Let me know in the comments below! Do you fall into any of the "CHANNELS" that I'm currently watching or should be? Let me know what you are a great source of info for.

Below is a great infographic about how influential word of mouth marketing is.  In other words this is what your influence on social media can mean.

Social Influencers
Image compliments of MBA in Marketing Degree Guide

Thursday, March 7, 2013

International Womens Day

What Do You Do To Show Your Feminine Side?

I'm the first to admit that I don't know much about Politics or Feminism, but I do know that they are two areas that are of great importance.  That is why I always vote.  Women before me made many sacrifices in order that females in Canada had the right to vote.  This is not something I take lightly.  I know so many other women around the world do not have the opportunity to vote.  Infact many countries do not give women rights at all.  That is why I always recognize International Women's Day.

It Is A Day To Celebrate and Conjugate

International Women's Day is a day to celebrate everything women have accomplished and figure out what initiatives need to begin to better the world for women everywhere.  You see there is still much work to be done when it comes to women's rights.  I always go back to the ARE WE EQUALS? video from the 2011 International Women's Day.  I think this video will always strike a chord with me

Conjugate on that.

What Will I Do To Help Make A Change?

I always seem to have a problem with this one.  You see I don't run into gender inequality issues much in my daily life and I know I should make it more top of mind. This year I have started attending Women Powering Technology events in my area and it has been very eye opening.  I hope by helping to make changes where I live, it will have a ripple effect. I'm not saying that its an answer to worldwide human rights issues, but when I see a problem I do my best to create a solution.  Who knows what changes will be made by next year's International Women's Day?

I would love to hear about ideas and events you attend when it comes to making changes where you live.  How do you support local initiatives? What do you do when you see a problem?

If nothing else I hope this post made you ponder these questions, even if just for a moment.

Source: via Lisa on Pinterest

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Angel Investors VS Venture Capitalists For Newbies

Finding Where To Fit In

Last month I attended my first Women Powering Technology Pub Night at The Huether Hotel.  It was one of the first times I had ventured out beyond work and groceries after feeling so ill for so many weeks.  I really enjoyed myself and although I do not work in the tech industry I talked about how I loved being online even though I have no idea how it works, and mentioned that I would be going home to Google most of the terms that were used in the True Stories. The always wonderful Julia Rosien spoke up and put me on the spot about organizing the the first 140 Characters Conference in Canada, and suddenly I was in a rapid fire of questions. Truthfully I prefer Q&A over public speaking at an audience any day!  I didn't find an opportunity to fully express how immediately accepted I felt by this great group, but I was taken aback by the amount of women who approached me to say they were in the same boat I was.  One of these great ladies was Roshan Grossman who did a wonderful job of recapping the event over at .

This month I was again walking in as newbie.  The topic was Angel Investors.  I knew the term, I knew what the general idea was behind it, but I really didn't know much else about it.  Being the curious sponge I am, I wanted to soak in all the info I could.  Why? I'm really not sure.

That was one of the first questions Golden Triangle Angelnet (GTAN) Chairperson Randall Howard asked.
  • Who was in a startup looking for an investment?
  • Who was looking to see how to become an investor?
  • If you didn't put up your hand, what made you come to this session?
I didn't have an answer other than I loving this community and wanting to connect with all the great people who do so much for it. I really enjoyed the session and although I am not a big note taker here are a few of my takeaways from the event.

Angel Investors VS Venture Capitalists - What Is The Difference?

The big difference is the investment structures. Venture Capitalists (think Dragon's Den and Shark Tank) were once the first round of funding for new companies, but with less and less VC companies in the Canadian market (due to VC regulations and the dot com downfall) it was becoming harder and harder for small startup companies to find funders. This is where Angel Investors step in.  Angel Investors are sought out for their seed funds and knowledge of the business industry. These Angel groups are in for the long haul.  They know companies need time to grow and they are there to mentor them on their journey.  Some companies start with a small investment from the Angel Investor group and after experiencing some business growth they are able to apply for a second much larger round of funding.

Another way that Angel Investors differ from Venture Capitalists is the motives behind their investments.  Venture Capitalists are generally there as profit seekers looking for the next big thing.  Angel investors know that in order to keep their communities in good standing, companies in the area need to be profitable to keep residents working. Angel Investor groups want to see their communities thrive.

The last way to compare Venture Capitalists and Angel Investors is how startups and growing companies apply for investments.  Most VC companies in Canada are based on Bay St. in Toronto. Their meetings as usually setup through a banker or lawyer and done in very structured way.  Angel Investors take a different approach.  They screen applicants through different sources.  Here locally GTAN connects with Communitech's HYPERDRIVE and University of Waterloo's VeloCity.

The applicants that make it through the preliminary screenings are able to present to Angel Investors group and matched up with investors that are interested in pursing the investment opportunity.  In both cases due diligence investigations are performed before any money is invested.

To find out more about Angel Investors, make sure to visit the GTAN website and read the articles under each heading.  To see what is next for WPT be sure to visit the Women Powering Technolgy Facebook Page and click on the events tab. 

Did I Cover The Basics of Venture Capitalists VS Angel Investors?

I hope these takeaways give a you a good idea of how Angel Investors and Venture Capitalists work in Canada. Obviously attending one event about this topic still makes me a newbie. Do have some great information about Venture Capitalists and Angel Investors? Make sure to leave it in the comments below or send me a tweet!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Pinterest Link-Up

Post Your Pinterest Link

Last year I did a link up post for Facebook Fan pages and it went very well, so I decided it would be a good idea to do another Link-Up.  The theme for this 2013 hop is Pinterest.  Not sure what Pinterest is all about? Be sure to read my Top 10 Reasons To Join Pinterest.  On that post I did a link-up for those who were joining Pinterest Pals on Facebook

This time I thought I would make it open for all.  If you have a Pinterest Page then join the linky below.

Here are the FIVES RULES for this Pinterest hop!

  1. Add Your Pinterest Page Name To The Linky Below IE
  2. Put your email in the second field (required by Linky, but will not be displayed)
  3. Post your Pinterest URL in the third field IE
  4. Click submit link (it may take a few minutes to appear
  5. Repin this post from this link

Make sure to visit the Pinterest Pages on this Link-Up.  You may just discover a new interest!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Fries Stuffing (Dressing) And Gravy - Coupon Cooking

Food Flashback

FYI this IS NOT A SPONSORED post, it's just something I came up with in hopes it can be helpful!

If you read my  Coupon Cooking post last week you will see that I'm posting recipes based on my coupon purchases.  Please note that I don't eat like this all week, as packaged foods are usually not the healthiest of choices.  Moderation is the key. 

Sundays are now Republic Of Doyle night for me.  I got hooked on the CBC series last season.  When growing up, some of my favorite TV shows were with adventurous Private Eyes.  Think of MagnumPI and Simon & Simon.

Republic of Doyle reminds me of that.

Whenever I see one of their car chases through St. John's Newfoundland. I think of my trips there.  The second Newfoundland trip was a bit more vivid in my mind, but it was the first one where I discovered FRIES DRESSING AND GRAVY

Even just saying it makes my mouth water!

I couldn't believe that even the Food Court New York Fries served Fries Stuffing and Gravy.  They called it George Street Fries.

Today I'm making Fries Stuffing And Gravy otherwise known as Newfoundland Fries.  What's even better? I'm spending next to nothing to make it.

  • I bought McCain Superfries on sale for $1.99 and Checkout51 was doing a $1 back = 99 cents
  • I grabbed Stove Top stuffing right around Christmas for $2 a box (usually cheap whenever stores are selling turkeys/holiday times which makes it a good time to stock up)
  • Club House Gravy that I bought when it was 88 cents.  At the same time I used this coupon to buy two packages of Gravy and get a Free Slow Cooker Seasoning.
  • Frozen Green Giant vegetables when they were on for $1.79
Plus I bought all of it at Sobeys so I earned Club Sobeys Points!

Making this recipe is so easy.  I'm actually baking the fries while I'm writing this post

  1. Bake fries in oven.  I leave them in longer than the package says because you want them to stand up to the other toppings being piled on.
  2. When you can see the fries getting golden brown shut off the oven but keep them in there to crisp up while you make the additional ingredients
  3. Follow package directions for Stove Top Stuffing BUT there is no need to add the butter/margarine and in a separate pot following the package directions for the Club House Gravy. When the gravy is cooked add a couple of spoonfuls of gravy to the already completed Stove Top stuffing,  This adds some extra moisture (because you have excluded the butter)
  4. I also steamed up some frozen veggies (in this case frozen peas) to make at least one part of this meal healthy
  5. When the stuffing and gravy are done, plate it all. Fries first, then top with stuffing  pour gravy over. I prefer my veggies on the side, but I have saw peas added to the mixture (choice is up to you).
Did you try this recipe? Let me know, but I won't be able to respond until after tonight's TV episode Repulic Of Doyle.
For more ways to save make sure to visit my Online Coupons For Canadians Pinterest Board. I do my best to update it daily!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Coupon Cooking - Creative Culinary Couponing

FYI this IS NOT A SPONSORED post, it's just something I came up with in hopes it can be helpful!

Relatively Easy Recipe

Over the last few weeks I have been on a mission to achieve some goals for this year. One of those goals is improvements around my house.  I am they type of person that saves up for a project.  Last year I saved up for a new roof on my house and wrote the cheque on completion of the project.  I know too many people who just buy now and pay on credit.  Let's just say for the most part that never ends well.  This year I have two home improvement ideas in mind, so that means I need to cut back a lot on my spending.

I have really taken to couponing! It started last summer and I have save a lot of cash that way. I try to only use coupons on products that I would normally buy or have wanted to try.  I never just go and buy something because I have a coupon for it.  

Last week I made a full meal with products that I had bought with coupons.

The Ingredients Included

  1. Barilla Pasta that was on sale and I had a coupon, so I paid next to nothing for it
  2. Maple Leaf Prime Chicken which you can see is regularly $10.94 but I had a $2 off coupon
  3. Philly Cooking Creme which was on for $1.99 and I had a $1 off coupon (was wanting to try)
  4. Sobey's vegetable mix which I received bonus Sobey's Points for
Plus I had enough Sobeys Club points saved up that I didn't really end up paying anything for these ingredients!

I have been wanting to try the Philly Cooking Creme and because I would end up getting it for 99 cents I figured this would be a great way to try it.  I wasn't sure how to use it so I went on their website and loosely followed their Creamy Chicken Florentine recipe. I tend to only cook with what I have so I change recipes around all the time.

  • I started by boiling the pasta in a large pot Note* I always boil pasta longer than it says on the box so if you like a softer pasta like I do then make sure it has been cooking for quite a while before you continue on with the recipe.
  • Normally I either boil or steam my chicken before using it in any recipe  but because I was already straying from the original recipe I didn't want to really mess it up, so I did fry the chicken in a large frying pan
  • When the pasta was basically done cooking I added in close to half the bag of frozen vegetables (they are smaller bags than most store brand vegetable mixes)
  • I let that come back to a boil
  • When everything was cooked I poured/scraped the entire tub of Philly Cooking Creme into the frying pan
  • Then ladled in some of the cooking water from the pasta pot into the frying pan with the chicken making sure to stir over a high heat to make a quick sauce.
  • I drained the pasta/veggie mix and added it to the frying pan and kept stirring it so that the excess water would boil off and thicken the sauce a bit.

Here's the end result!

Note* I will make this again, but I will steam the chicken first before adding it to the frying pan.  It was a little dry because it didn't have time to absorb too much of the sauce,  That being said the left overs the next day had absorbed the sauce = YUM!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

How Axis Of Awesome Motivates Me

If you are a regular reader of all things me, you know I post about random things, have a warped sense of humour and I am Jedi in the art of sarcasm.  That is how I stumbled the Axis of Awesome 4 Chord Songs video years ago

It has always been one of those "Go To" videos for me.  Whether I'm having a bad day, or just looking for a way to pass some time, the 4 Chord Songs video always puts me in a great mood.

Last week I posted about ways I am going to work on being organized in 2013 and made a list of ideas to keep myself on track.  I am happy to report, so far so good!  That is up until today.  I needed a little boost to keep me motivated.  I went back to my list and realized I forgot to put PLAY AWESOME MUSIC when you need to recharge!  So I headed to youtube to find some of favorite tunes and decided "awesome music" was what the doctor ordered.  When I typed Axis Of Awesome 4 Chord songs into the search I came to find that I had missed an updated version of the song!  Take a look

I have to say the second version did not disappoint.  In fact it motivated me enough to write a post about it.  So when you need that little extra push to get things done, remember a little bit awesome can go a long way!

How do you motivate yourself on the days you feel exhausted? I would love to hear your tips and tricks in the comments!
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