Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Personally I make resolutions each year and I keep it simple: I want to be a better person than I was the previous year. Sounds simple, right? Let me put it in perspective. To be a better person for me means that I have to be a better mother, a better daughter, a better sister, a better mate, a better friend and a better business person. Now that sounds like a lot, doesn't it? It is but it's not impossible. This year I have a plan to make it all work...I will avoid all the unnecessary things and people, in other words: Prioritize!
I have decided to create a vision board to see where my future will take me ahead of time. I will not have only one but multiple boards. One of them will be created with my children to make sure they will understand where we are all going in life. One of my long time goals is to provide my children with opportunities I never had before. I want to make sure they understand what success is and what it means to fall through the cracks sometimes because what it really comes down to is how we get up after we fall that makes us who we are. Therefore, my priority this year, just like few years that past, is to become a better person, not only for me but for the people in my life!
What are your priorities for 2012?
Saturday, December 10, 2011
Holidays are here and the new year is just around the corner. I'm really excited about what the new year is going to bring, most importantly what I have planned for myself:
* New Opportunities
* New Ventures
* New collaborations
Yes, that excites me about the new year. What excites you? What plans do you have for the new year?
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Guest blogger Stephanie Titus-Andrews, Professional Trainer and Life Coach from Created to Excel.
Stephanie is a great coach to women and men providing support when escaping an abusive relationships. She provides a monthly FREE call on a variety of related topics in addition to empowering workshops. For more information or to get in touch with her for an anonymous consultation please check out her website at CreatedToExcel.ca
If you would like to support women and their children escaping abuse please visit www.ernestines.ca to support the 10 Great Men Campaign which will end on December 10.
Thursday, December 1, 2011
This picture has nothing to do with the content of this post yet it kind of fits.
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Our 1st Holiday Pop-Up is Here!From Friday November 25 to Sunday November 27th, YouLuckyBird will host our first holiday pop-up shop. Come out and get your vintage fix with our curated selection of sweaters, coats and dresses galore! If you're a size 8-18, this will be the ONLY place where you'll find vintage from the 60's, 70's and 80's that fits and looks fabulous.
To mix things up, we'll be inside JangBang, one of the coolest bar east of Bathurst. Come out, grab a drink and shop till you drop. We'll have music (no cheesy carols here) spinning and the eggnog flowing.
Grab a Drink and Chill
YOULUCKYBIRD SHOPPING PARTY
When? NOVEMBER 25 - 27TH
Where? JANG BANG
Address? 430.5 COLLEGE STREET (E. of Bathurst on the north side)
See You This Weekend!
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
- Liberates you from blocks and transforms you in every session.
- Empowers and opens you up to a world of renewal and possibilities and personal empowerment.
- Clears away the mental clutter that holds you back.
- Provides you with the skills to create calm, joy and fulfillment in your life.
- Rejuvenates and restores you to wholeness.
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Family photos by Mike Fiechtner Photography
A hungry child in East Africa can't wait. Her hunger consumes her while we decide if we'll respond and save her life. In Somalia, children are stumbling along for days, even weeks, on dangerous roads and with empty stomachs in search of food and water. Their crops failed for the third year in a row. All their animals died. They lost everything. Thousands are dying along the road before they find help in refugee camps.
At my house, when my three children are hungry, they wait minutes for food, maybe an hour if dinner is approaching. Children affected by the food crisis in in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia aren't so lucky. Did you know that the worst drought in 60 years is ravaging whole countries right now, as you read this? Famine, a term not used lightly, has been declared in Somalia. This is the world's first famine in 20 years.12.4 million people are in need of emergency assistance and over 29,000 children have died in the last three months alone. A child is dying every 5 minutes. It it estimated that 750,000 people could die before this famine is over. Take a moment and let that settle in.
The media plays a major role in disasters. They have the power to draw the attention of society to respond--or not. Unfortunately, this horrific disaster has become merely a footnote in most national media outlets. News of the U.S. national debt squabble and the latest celebrity's baby bump dominate headlines. That is why I am thrilled that nearly 150 bloggers from all over the world are joining together today to use the power of social media to make their own headlines; to share the urgent need of the almost forgotten with their blog readers. Humans have the capacity to care deeply for those who are suffering, but in a situation like this when the numbers are too huge to grasp and the people so far away, we often feel like the little we can do will be a drop in the ocean, and don't do anything at all.
My friend and World Vision staffer, Jon Warren, was recently in Dadaab Refugee Camp in Kenya--the largest refugee camp in the world with over 400,000 people. He told me the story of Isnino Siyat, 22, a mother who walked for 10 days and nights with her husband, 1 yr-old-baby, Suleiman, and 4 yr.-old son Adan Hussein, fleeing the drought in Somalia. When she arrived at Dadaab, she built the family a shelter with borrowed materials while carrying her baby on her back. Even her dress is borrowed. As she sat in the shelter on her second night in camp she told Jon, "I left because of hunger. It is a very horrible drought which finished both our livestock and our farm." The family lost their 5 cows and 10 goats one by one over 3 months, as grazing lands dried up. "We don't have enough food now...our food is finished. I am really worried about the future of my children and myself if the situation continues."
Will you help a child like Baby Suleiman? Ask5for5 is a dream built upon the belief that you will.
That something I knew I would need to do became a campaign called #Ask5for5 to raise awareness and funds for famine and drought victims. The concept is simple, give $5 and ask five of your friends to give $5, and then they each ask five of their friends to give $5 and so on--in nine generations of 5x5x5...we could raise $2.4 Million! In one month, over 750 people have donated over $25,000! I set up a fundraiser at See Your Impact and 100% of the funds will go to World Vision, an organization that has been fighting hunger in the Horn of Africa for decades and will continue long after this famine has ended. Donations can multiply up to 5 times in impact by government grants to
help provide emergency food, clean water, agricultural support,
healthcare, and other vital assistance to children and families suffering in the Horn.
I need you to help me save lives. It's so so simple; here's what you need to do:
- Donate $5 or more on this page (http://seeyourimpact.org/members/ask5for5)
- Send an email to your friends and ask them to join us.
- Share #Ask5for5 on Facebook and Twitter!
A hungry child doesn't wait. She doesn't wait for us to finish the other things on our to-do list, or get to it next month when we might have a little more money to give. She doesn't wait for us to decide if she's important enough to deserve a response. She will only wait as long as her weakened little body will hold on...please respond now and help save her life. Ask 5 for 5.
Thank you on behalf of all of those who will be helped--you are saving lives and changing history.
p.s. Please don't move on to the next website before you donate and email your friends right now. It only takes 5 minutes and just $5, and if you're life is busy like mine, you probably won't get back to it later. Let's not be a generation that ignores hundreds of thousands of starving people, instead let's leave a legacy of compassion. You have the opportunity to save a life today!
Saturday, July 23, 2011
I am still thinking of this woman and how difficult must have been for her. Her English wasn't all that good either. I remember when I came to Canada seventeen years ago and how tough it was for me too. I didn't understand what people were saying and that was frustrating enough. I was isolated because I was somewhat afraid of getting lost in the unknown. How would I be able to get home after that? It was scary!
As a society we have become so isolated into our own worlds that we fail to take the time to lend a helping hand to strangers. Media had made us believe that everyone is bad and all of that just made us feel more isolated. We fail to think that that lost person could be us someday. Just imagine being in a place where the language and people are unfamiliar. How difficult it could be! How scary! If we just try to put ourselves in other people's shoes we realize that helping someone could also mean that we help ourselves. We gain a lot more from helping others rather than ignoring opportunities of supporting each other. The world will be a better place if we take the time to show compassion. It will be returned to us in more ways than we can possibly think of.
I encourage everyone to take the time to help at least one person that asks for help. Analyze how it feels. Do not look at reward from that same person as they might pay it forward to someone else, do it just because you are training yourself in the art of helping others. After some time stop and look at how much you gained out of this experience. You might be surprised to find out that you have also receive help from someone else and it felt good. Do it! Just Do It!
Thursday, June 2, 2011
- Who is going to pick up the bill
- Past relationships
Saturday, April 30, 2011
On February 19 I wrote a blog entry about Romania. Little did I know that people actually read my blog and that there is an interest in my life's experiences. Shortly after the blog entry was posted I had received a friendly email from a woman, Sage Tyrtle, asking me if I am interested in being interviewed regarding my experiences in Romania.While reading the email my heart started pounding with joy and disbelief . For a second I thought she was mistaking me with someone else. Could this really be? I pulled myself together and I started to believe it. Yes, it really was happening. I had asked the Universe for many things and when I stopped asking I received more than I expected. I am deeply thankful to the woman that had made all of this possible, Sage Tyrtle .
Check out the link below for the interview. Please do comment but if you remain speechless I understand!
Saturday, April 16, 2011
I find myself to be quite the multitasker and when it comes to my own needs, I rarely follow up. I do work quite hard and being a single parent of two very small children it does have it's challenges. Although this should be of no excuse, my children ought to be more of an incentive where I become their role model to a better, healthier life.
I realized lately that I feel over stressed. I yell at everyone because of the littlest things and my patience level is running on minimum. I try to discipline (for lack of a better word) my children and when I come up with a grounding solution it seems that it is easier, at that moment, to just let it go only because I can't stand the thought of having to raise my voice at my children once again. Yes, life would've been easier if I were to have the support needed or if I were to live in a society where we would all understand that It takes a village to raise a child , literally. I sometimes feel that everyone around me has very high expectations of me and if I ever dare to fall through the cracks once the same people seem to be quite happy to throw an "I told you so" expression in my face. And if it isn't the good old fashion "I told you so" I get the classic "Your children, not mine". Don't even get me started on the sperm donors because that's a whole other blog entry.
So how can I be everything to everyone? It is simple. I will not!
My life changing experience starts NOW and the solution is simple. I will follow the blog entries of Coverground.ca to help me in making the lifestyle changes I need to help me better my life. In addition, I will make a commitment to exercise my favorite workout at least three times a week to start with, which will also help me rid of stress. Nutrition will also be a big part of this transformation helping me to a healthier success where I will start by eliminating the toxic food and replacing it with healthier alternatives. And to make it more official, follow my blog to make sure I keep my word and to give me a push if and when I need it.
Saturday, April 9, 2011
Although I have seen tweets on Twitter from people I have never met before in person regarding the #usguys tweets, I am not usualy the one to jump into a conversation uninvited.
Let me share with you how it all happened. I was on my way to a networking meeting that I had signed up for a while ago. As I left my house, walking to the bus stop, I was checking Twitter on my Blackberry to see what is happening in Twitter Land. One of the tweets that caught my attention was from wonderful @DebWeinstein, the prestigious president from @SO_pr firm. I looked at the tweet stating that someone from the group could not attend last minute and there was a Free spot available for the first person to DM the interest request. My mind and my heart was telling me that this is such a great opportunity and to give it a try. I did manage to send a DM to @DebWeinstein and to my surprise she answered back with a few details about the event. Ultimately it was confirmed: I was the lucky opportunist to attend the big event. I have been to many events similar to this where people from the same line of work get together to share experiences, however the uniqueness of this event is that the majority of people in that room started a virtual acquittance that led up to the yesterday's event. To meet people virtually and to always wonder what would they be like in real life, is now something of the past. The internet had given us the opportunity to interact and connect globally and that is why I love Twitter . Although Facebook is great Social Media tool, I believe that Twitter is a better tool to access information and to connect with great people at the same time even though there are only 140 characters allowed to be used per tweet. Many things are said in fewer words and more information is spread when less is said. After all less IS more.
Here is a list with just a few of the people that I have met at the #usguysEh tweetup:
We were already Down Town Toronto so I thought it would be best if her and I would start with an early lunch together, outside of the house. We went to Sushi Inn in Yorkville so that she can experience food from a different culture (Japan ) and most importantly a culture that had been talked about in the media lately due to the tragic Earthquake and Tsunami. As soon as the waiter came with the food at our table (and no, she did not have sushi) my daughter wanted to try using the chopsticks, something she is not necessarily good at. It was hilarious to see her trying to manage the two wooden sticks while the rice was practically going back in her plate. We couldn't stop laughing!
|Sarah having her miso soup|
|Sarah trying to manage two chop sticks|
|She decided to go with one...|
|And she got it!|
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Saturday, February 19, 2011
- We were not allowed to vote and if we were voting there was no other choice but the Communist Party;
- · We were not allowed to express how we felt or say out loud what we thought of our rights;
- · Artists, writers, poets, newscasts and any other outspoken people were tortured and killed for speaking their minds and demanding their rights ;
- · School curriculum was washed out to the point that we did not know what our real history was;
- · Religion was practiced at our own risk and if we wanted to be a part of certain careers such as army or medicine for example we were forced to take an oath that that person and all members of the family will not be entering a church or practice religion of any form;
- · Women did not have rights over their own bodies. Any form of contraception was nonexistent and women were forced to have children; it did not matter whether the woman had a planned or unplanned pregnancy. As soon as the doctor would confirm a pregnancy the communist security would come to the residence and check on the woman every month until she will deliver the baby to make sure she would not have an abortion. After the baby was born however, no one cared whether the baby would have the basic necessities to survive not to mention to give them the support to strive.
- · Many women were forced to have underground abortions as they could not afford the baby or they might’ve been raped. Because the procedure was not done in a hospital setting many women have died as some of the men that were performing these abortions were not even close to being qualified to being doctors. Some were mechanics. When a woman would have an underground abortion and the things turned for the worst if the doctors realized the reason why she needed assistance she was left to die in the hospital as those were the orders from the communist security. Those incidents were supposed to teach other women a lesson.
- · Food was not existent in the stores. Although we had the advantage of appreciating fruits and vegetables that were in season, we couldn’t even buy simple things on a daily basis such as bread, eggs , milk and cheese to name a few. When we were lucky enough to have some of these foods in the stores there were huge line-ups and in some cases a few people died while in the line-ups because they were just too hungry. People became wild and they were walking on everyone to that would stand in their way from feeding their families.
- · Clothes and shoes were somewhat of a rarity as well. We would have to know someone that knows someone that knows someone in order to be able to buy regular clothing, nevermind brand names. Most of the times we would wear hand-me-downs from older cousins and/or neighbours. Fortunately we didn’t have the media to make us jealous of what others would have and we couldn’t even get to see up close and personal.
- · I remember growing up my mother telling me how I will get in trouble for asking so many questions. I would always want to understand everything and not just accepting what others would tell me. Yes, I was a rebel from long time but that was a bad thing growing up!
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Thursday, January 27, 2011
- Today I am thankful for all that the Universe had granted me.
- Today I feel powerful because I have allowed my inner self to see ME for who I AM and be grateful for it!
- Today, while I look back at mylife, I am pleased to say "I have done that!"
- Today I feel peace within my soul because I know that I can go as far as I allow myself to go. There are no boundaries for what I can do and for how much I can accomplish.
- Today I am letting go of my fears and I am allowing my strenght and powers to take me where I need to be.
- Today I will BE!
- Today I AM!
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
My oldest daughter, Sarah, is acting like a little lady and a pre-teen all in one. Yes, she's a package! She wants to have the privilege of being a little lady when it comes to making decisions for her. At the same time she does not know what the best decision to make is. I believe that children her age still need guidance in order to make the best decision. She also is a little hesitant in accepting consequences. She believes that there shouldn't be any! As a parent, I am a firm believer that children should have the option to make their own decisions in SOME cases. There are however situations when she does not have a say in the matter, especially when it comes to her safety. What I hate the most is that some people like to come in and tell me what is the decision for her to make and what is not...that is for ME to decide as I know best especially when it comes to her personality. My only fear is that I may fail at being a good parent. I was watching a show last night and the teenage boy in that show was a good kid and the mother (single mother just like me) was trying the best she could but she still was making mistakes as to the decisions of disciplining she was choosing to follow. Will I know what to do when the time comes fro me to raise a teenager? I guess time will tell!
My youngest daughter, Maya, had moved from the toddler room to the junior preschool room in the daycare. I went to the toddler room and I am not seeing her there. I ask about her and the care taker tells me that she had not returned for the day when she went visiting the preschool room. A feeling of joy mixed with sadness had filled my heart. Really? Where did the time go? I went to the preschool room and as I am there looking at her enjoying herself I just wish that she will stay the same, but that means I am being selfish. Is it wrong to not want my children to grow up? She is giving me hugs and kisses all the time. She sees me as the center of her world. Would that change as she will grow? May be but I do love my children enough to allow them to grow and not just in age. I know that I will miss the hugs, the kisses, the closeness, the need to have mommy close by and all of that good stuff that I am getting now from my children. Maya is still allowing me to enjoy all the things that a baby is giving their mother although Sarah is all grown up and wanting her independence. What I know for sure that as babies and as grown women my children will bring me the satisfaction of being their mother as they will grow themselves and different stages will show up, sometimes unannounced.
I love my children; anyone that knows me well enough will know this. I love the fact that they are in my life to allow me to parent them, to teach them and to help them grow. I feel blessed to be able to be a parent, the best one that I know how. I feel blessed to teach my children what I know and be there for them when they need a shoulder to cry on and laugh with them when we all share our good memories.
And the memories together will be the ones that I am blessed to have because I am their mother.
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
On my mother's side of the family I have some great people that have thought me the basics on survival and how to make it in Canada although most of them have never even been in a plane to get here themselves. They provided me with that backbone that everyone must have in order to be great human beings. My mother's side of the family was very close and showed affection towards me growing up. While spending time with them I could be myself and although there was occasional bugging it was never with poor taste. I remember many times while spending summers at my aunt's place in the village and how she was making me work so hard but at the end she always made sure she gave me money and the tears that were coming out of her eyes were just too much to bear so I would cry too wishing I never had to go back home even though I miss my home so much. The memories that I have made while with my mother's side of the family are the same memories I wish my children would experience at least in a day of their life time. At the same time there are some mess-ups that are part of my loving family from my mother side that were ( they are dead now) alcoholics. The fights that I have seen taking place while my uncle was drunk, I had made a vow to myself to never endure such thing from anyone I am with. I have learned how to survive in this world and how to stay true to myself because of the loving side of my mother's family but I have also learned that whenever I mate with someone I do not like and approve of the overdose of the alcohol consumption. I am an occasional drinker and that is good enough for me. The first time in my life I got drunk I was 27 during my birthday party. Many of the people that came to my birthday party have bought me a drink. There were about 30 people and after the first 7 have got me drinks, I don't remember much, in fact most of the memories are from pictures and from what my friends have told me. Everyone had called me the next day to tell me that they wish to see me drunk again as I am a happy drunk. I didn't get drunk since, I did get tipsy though and I do know when to stop. I got drunk recently while I was at my friend's house, but let's just leave that there as I was responsible enough not to drive under the influence and I know my friend will not let me do that either.
On my father's side of the family there are some people that I miss not keeping in touch with but most of them I was not that much associated with as there was this distance between them and I am not referring to kilometers. My father was never around much when I was a child, he was working as a sailor and that kept him away from us most of the days. And even those days he was home he wasn't around much especially as I got older, he always had to go somewhere partying and keeping up appearances he did not have. He was also a womanizer trying to screw every woman that was alive and he never hid it from my mother and she had to endure it because "those were the times" as she always says. A recent side of my father that I have discovered since he was away for about 10 years as he moved to Canada, is that he is racist beyond words and he is an abuser as he abused me in more than one way, and I am not ready to go into details at the moment. I always felt as an outsider when I was around my father's side of the family. The positive side is that my father is the one that thought me how to read and write, math and how to use my critical thinking. He always kept his word when he made a promise and he loved to dance with me. One of my cousins, unfortunately he is dead now, was the person that I was looking forward to seeing and spending time with when I was around this side of the family. Everyone else was just too much for me to handle. I remember times when I used to beg my mother not to go visit my father's mother because she would always wine about something and she would favor my other cousins. That was not the environment I wanted to be in but she would always make me go even though tears were coming down my cheeks begging her to change her mind. Now, if I know myself well enough to say that although I do have faults the part that I took from my father's side is the positive way I spend with my children teaching them the love of books and to keep their word. We also dance a lot.
So, to analyze myself, I can say that I have taken many good and bad attitudes from both my parents but does that mean that I have to be compared to them? I don't think so as I am an individual and I am not them or the family that I come from. I am definitely not an alcoholic and I am not a distant person. I am not an abuser and I have never cheated on someone I have been with. I have, however become this woman that does not care too much for a relationship as I have been through trials and tribulations with my past relationships and, unlike my mother, I do not believe in "the times" being the way they might be as I have taken myself away from two relationships where children were involved because I refused to be in the same situation as she was. Just as my mother, I have accomplished many things when it comes to survival. Coming to Canada alone has given me the tools to survive in any situation I am in and, as one of my friends says all the time, "I'm not too proud to beg" either. I can definitely keep up appearances that I DO have. I do take time to spend with my children and I make sure that I tell them I love them on a daily basis.
If there is ever an occasion arising, where you might meet me, do me a favor and don't ask me about my family unless you are ready to hear the truth. And don't judge me by their life as I am NOT them. A piece of advice: get to know ME first. See who I AM. See what I AM about and then and actually not even then judge me. I am sure that if I get to turn the tables around the story is not better off than mine so think again before wanting to know so much. Take your time!