Friday, August 31, 2007
Tomorrow I am going to the Jays game. I have decided to give them another chance despite their dismal and incredibly un-entertaining performance the last time I saw them. Then it is off to the EX, ooh baby! Hopefully I will not be too tired to go to the Lantern Festival at Ontario Place after that but since I will be working the farmers market at Withrow Park tomorrow, 8 AM, I have the feeling that the Lantern Festival might have to wait.
I tried to skip the Ex this year, really, becuase it is so expensive and I always end up eating food that is bad for me. I used to get stuck bringing home cheap toy prizes that I did not want, too but a couple of years ago I wised up and just started giving them to random kids before I left the Exhibition grounds. Most of the parents do not look too thrilled with me but, to be honest, that part pleases me the most. Despite my objections this year, all of the forces were against me and I am going to the Ex with the boyfriend and another couple. I am betting we will have a great, albeit fattening time!
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Apparently WalMart attempted setting up a "back to college" page on Facebook and the masses spoke. Something like two or three hundred comments appeared, calling WalMart out for their their unfair labor and business policies and actions.
So, while my faith in Facebook is not entirely restored and I still don't want to be friends with creepy neighbour from that place I lived for three months about ten years ago, I am at least happy to see people being given a platform to stand up for issues they believe in.
Source: Facebook Users Protest Walmart
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Not only does Coke zero feature real taste with no sugar, it is also offering some interactive video fun. On the Coke zero site, you will be able to manipulate video and direct clips, then send your masterpiece to your friends so they can bask in the glory of your creative abilities. Your video will be pitted against others, of course so you will have a chance to prove your superiority once and for all!
Sunday Night Live performs all new material each and every Sunday and some of the sketches are really pretty funny. The funniest sketch for me was the news updates. One of the first news stories that the actors brought up was Michael Vick and I cringed and held my breath. Vick is a real sore spot for me because he is such a big giant ass but I actually stopped cringing and started laughing over their jokes about the story.
So, here are some notes from my experience at the Diesel Playhouse, Sunday Night Live:
1. Anand Rajaram was the host this weekend and all I can say is that that guy has really pick nipples. That is an image that will be burned in my memory for a while!
2. The bartender looks like a bad ass but is actually very friendly. And patient. And great at coming up with sweet, girly concoctions when I can't make up my mind because the bar does not stock Sloe Gin or Galliano.
3. As typical, the fat guy is the funniest cast member.
4. The Diesel Playhouse is also showing Evil Dead, the Live Musical. My friend saw it and loved it, and now I want to go.
5. There is a free Evil Dead photo machine in the bar area. You can take a million photos of your self and still will not find one good enough to post on your blog.
After the show, we tried to go to BuskerFest but it was too late and we missed it. Ah well, it was a pretty fun end to an otherwise busy weekend. This weekend, the long weekend, I hope to finally go see the Simpsons!
Monday, August 27, 2007
Friday, August 24, 2007
When the opportunity presented itself for me to review RegOnline, an event software package that includes conference payment software, I jumped at the chance. Finally, I can review something I know a little bit about!
I took a look at RegOnline’s Conference Payment Software and I was pretty impressed. I viewed two different invites with two different looks and feels based on the mood of the event. One invite was for a marketing conference and I briefly forgot I was supposed to be looking at the program and I instead started looking for more details about the event. Yep, I am ashamed to say that I immediately transitioned into the registration process! Does that mean the invite was a success? lol!
Anyway, the registration process was simple and seamless enough. The only possibly suggestions I could make are based on my personal preferences. For example, I like to have the conference price right on the home page and I like to see my progress at the bottom of every page. Once I complete the first page, a message on the bottom reads: You have finished step one of six. I like to have that just so I am not thinking to myself, “when is this going to end? I just want to go to a stupid conference already!” Again, that is just my personal preference.
All in all, I would have to say that this was a pretty cool conference payment software package. I am sure I am going to be getting many more examples in my inbox (of events I can actually sign up for).
I have friends coming over tonight and one of them is bringing a dvd, I think it is called 13 Days. I have the BirchCliff Village Farmers Market tonight and the Withrow Park Farmers Market tomorrow. I am hoping to sell out on treats. Wouldn’t that be great? Anyway, other than a dentist appointment and the obligatory 3 hour weekend walks with Stella I think that about sums up my weekend plans. Gosh, for someone who does so much stuff, I sure lead a boring existence!
I personally think she would do so well in real estate classes so when I came across th link for Real Estate School Directory - FastClass.com, I knew I had to forward it on to her. I am not sure I she is thinking about focusing on real estate, mortgage, appraisal or whatever, but I am sure that FastClass.com Real Estate Classes may be able to help her jumpstart a new career.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
To all my UK friends (you know who you are) looking for an awesome credit card deal, (and who isn’t really?) why not apply for a low interest credit card from Mint?
With an especially low rate and a really great introductory offer, not to mention a bunch of other benefits, Mint seems like a great choice when looking for a credit card deal.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
As most of you know, my boyfriend, cat and I recently moved in together. We also adopted our adorable Boston terrier, Stella. One of the thorniest issues we had to deal with when moving in, has been insurance. Vehicle insurance, condo insurance, life insurance and all of those sorts of things. Obviously, it only makes sense to merge all of our plans together under one company but neither of us felt like being in charge of that task. Eventually we worked it out.
If any of you out there are looking to lower your Car/SUV insurance, then why not go take a peek at Advantage Auto Quotes? They are said to offer better car insurance rates and the lowest auto liability quote.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
In an effort to get my article views up, I have decided to post links to all of them here. Hopefully there will be something of interesting that catches your eye.
Are you bored of the same old sandwiches
Not everyone in my household has a microwave at work so I usually end up making sandwiches everyday. I have learned to be pretty creative with my s...
Has political correctness undermined free speech in the US?
Are you kidding me? I spent 5 years living in the States and, don't get me wrong I absolutley LOVED my time there but heard more politically incor...
How to make a Shirley Temple
A classic mocktail, one that most kids love (and adults, too, although we won't admit it in public) is the Shirley Temple. I serve this easy to mak...
How to spend wisely on holiday gifts
I would like to divulge a very personal and embarrassing secret about myself. A secret so incredible that even the most open minded of people whom ...
Teens and car insurance: Who should pay?
"Mom. I want my own car" One of the many sentences, uttered from your teenagers mouth with, the ability to inspire both fear and exhileration....
How to prevent indoor cats from scratching furniture
Preventing indoor cats from scratching furniture can be a frustrating - no - maddening experience! Even if you are lucky enough to catch Fluffy in ...
Boarding kennels: Pros and cons.
Most pet owners think very carefully about where and with whom they would like to leave their pets. Luckily there are many options to choose from a...
Road trip tales
My boyfriend and I were just two days into our two week road trip. Our plan was to drive through Alberta and British Columbia before crossing the b...
Ideas for great vacations
A great destination spot for families, couples, and international backpackers is Banff, Alberta. Located in Banff National Park, Banff is known as ...
How to save money while eating at great restaurants
Even those of us who are not flat broke find that it is wise to implement and carefully follow a budget. Budgets can help us pay off debt, save f...
Should girls be allowed in the Boy Scouts?
My younger brother is currently enrolled in Cubs. There are about four or five girls in his troop and one of his three troop leaders is a woman. I ...
Tips for using waste wool
There are several ways to use up waste wool but I would simply like to share my favourite tip. When I was a child, my grand mother would save al...
Is your trash can a treasure chest for identity thieves?
Can trash cans be a treasure chest for thieves? Let me answer that question with a short story. When I moved in with my boyfriend he had papers ...
Great ideas for fundraising bake sales
Bake Sales are a wonderful and traditional way to raise funds and community spirit. I have organized and implanted several bake sales and I can hon...
When and how to end a friendship
Breaking up with a friend is often more difficult and more emotional than breaking up with a partner. This is because romantic relationships fail m...
How to pamper your pet in style
After centuries of unwavering loyalty, affection and service, our canine companions are finally being awarded in the lavish manner they deserve. It...
How to cut food costs as a retiree
There are several ways for retirees to save money, some of them innovative and some more traditional. When trying to conserve cash, one of the firs...
Recipes: Your best invented dish
I absolutely love sushi. Unfortunately, it can be somewhat time consuming to make and rather expensive to eat at a restaurant. I created the recipe...
Deciding if a business degree is right for you
The decision to earn an undergraduate business degree did not come naturally to me, nor did it come over night. This is because I had never really ...
True gardening stories: My funniest garden experience
Having spent the better portion of my life living in an apartment in the city, I had absolutely no gardening experience whatsoever. This fact did n...
Smart spending vs. being a cheapskate: Tips for telling the difference
I love getting a good deal. Although I can be somewhat impatient when it comes other areas of my life, if it comes to getting a deal, I can be a ve...
I wrote tese articles for fun, really. More to stay in practice. Since I am writing them, though, I might as well share. Feedback is appreciated
Centre Island is so much fun. Mark, Stella and I go over all the time and I am sure we will eventually have a boat over there. We have a couple of friends who have boats over there now and we love visiting them for barbeques. The view of Toronto at night from Centre Island is amazing and I will definitely upload photos of that later.
Sunday, August 19, 2007
I am a small business owner and I have a virtual office set up. It helps me look very professional and it is really inexpensive. For a surprisingly small monthly fee, I have a receptionist remotely answering phones in my company name and then forwarding those calls to my cell phone. I also have a prestigious mailing address and I access to offices and meeting rooms (I rent them hourly), and fax machines, etc. It is very cool and can make any business seem bigger than they are.
InParadise.com is popular in many states, so if you are in the United States and interested in setting up a Nevada corporation or Texas Corporation or Arizona Corporation, or….well I think you get the idea, contact them and see if they can help.
I guess I am at the point now where I can no longer casually accept writing assignments for a nominal fee because, for example, a friend of my cousin’s is starting a pet shop and needs a website. It is time for me to register a business, and get formal. As a marketing communications expert that pretty much preaches the importance of the Internet as a corporate communication tool, perhaps I will even take my own advice and get a website and corporate blog going. Maybe send out some advertisements to small business owners and such.
Oh, and I accepted the speaking invitation, btw. It is not for a few months yet but I am already freaking out just a little!
Friday, August 17, 2007
I have a friend from college that underwent a very successful lap-band procedure. She lost at least 100lbs and it was obvious she felt a lot better when the effects of the procedure started to set in.
There are lots of clinics that offer lap-band procedures for the surgical treatment of diversity, including JourneyLite locations in LA, Houston, and Tampa.
I will be sharing a booth with a really cool girl who sells amazing home made granola. It will be hard not to spend all my earnings on her creations. Last time I visited the market, I spent $20. I would've spent more, I am sure but it was all that I had in my wallet at the time. I baked a bunch this week so I would have enough for both the Withrow Park Farmers Market (Saturday) and the BirchCliff Farmers Market (Friday) but I received a rather large order in the middle of the week so now I will only have about 10 bags for each market. Not that I am complaining. Hopefully I will sell out!
There are so many great Farmer's Markets in Toronto. If you have the time, visit one (or both) of the ones I have mentioned. Here is a link to info about the the Withrow Park Farmers Market. I will update the info about the BirchCliff Farmers Market soon.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Ah well, the tickets went to good use and my bf told me all about it when he got home. I am not going to give any spoilers but the he described the show as "disturbingly funny" and, from what he told me about the sketches, I am pretty sure this sketch comedy show will not be aired in the daytime.
Nikki Payne is a hilarious Canadian comedian, one of my boyfriend's favourites.
Here is a video of her stand up routine.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
I remember a few months into my trip, as I was sitting outside of a castle overlooking Prague, eating my lunch of Nutella sandwiches leftover from breakfast at the hostel, I thought to myself “Well this is kind of silly. I spent all this money and time checking out what Europe has to offer and I haven’t even seen Canada yet, my home country!”
So I caught one of those Toronto Flights home and (almost) immediately embarked upon my first of many holidays in Canada. I spent about six months traveling westward from Toronto. I went to Niagara, Calgary, Banff, and Vancouver just to name a few Canadian treasures. Actually Vancouver was my last stop because I managed to catch one of those super cheap Vancouver flights home.
I had so much fun on my European trip and I plan to one day to go back. Now, though, I am at an age where I want cushy hotels, day spas and rental cars instead of hostels, unisex washrooms and, well, aching feet.
Actually, so many Canadians travel to Europe on vacation, I think that Europeans should start taking advantage of all of those return Flights to Canada! There is so much to see and do here. The UK based website, http://www.dialaflight.com/ has lots of great ideas and helpful information about holidays in Canada. All of my European friends, look up this site and come visit me. And bring me some of that new white chocolate Nutella when you come. I have been dying to try it!
Monday, August 13, 2007
We had such a great time, I was designated the camp cook. I am a vegetarian so that meant a tonne of grilled, veggies, fruits, potatoes, etc. Every one seemed happy with my meal selections although my boyfriend did grill up some burgers on Saturday night. Sigh.
Friday, August 10, 2007
There are two glorious dog areas at Sibbald Point. My boss took his family and German Sheppard puppy to Sibbald Point on a day trip a couple of weeks ago and they had a great time. The "doggie" beach was rockier than the "people" beach but they did not think it detracted from their experience at all.
It was my boss' dog's first time in the water, as it will be Stella's, and she (the boss's dog) had a ball. I will try to get a photo of her to post.
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
There is a new blog in town, one that I am looking forward to visiting often. It is a well-written stock market and securities blog called The Wizetrade Blog. I do not know a whole bunch about investing but I am learning. In the last couple of years I have started reading every personal finance book that I can get my hands on. All of them seemed to have at least two ideas in common:
1. Have a plan that includes realistic incremental goals
2. Invest in real estate (don't rent).
Well, I got myself a plan and, as part of it, got the real estate (as modest as it is). Now I am on to the next part of my plan. To invest as much and as wisely as I can. I have the feeling that The Wizetrade Blog may be able to help me with the "wisely" part of that last sentence. I have just finished reading a recent entry called 10 Common Mistakes that New Traders Make. I am looking forward to reading more helpful tips and hints like I found in this entry.
My latest assignment is working the Toronto FC matches. How cool is that? I have worked two of them so far and will probably be working another three. The last match I worked was this weekend (yes I worked the infamous game that featured a benched Beckham) and the next match I will be working is during the CNE.
As far as assignements go, this one is pretty darn cool. The Toronto FC fans are crazy! The matches are really high energy and believe it or not, the BMO field is really clean. Even the washrooms were in good shape half way through the game. A lot of the fans I have talked to are season seat holders and definitely plan to hold on to that status for next season. I hope they have already purchased though, I hear there is already a waitlist for that privelege.
I have the feeling that soccer mania is going to hit Toronto hard next season. Frankly, with Leaf ticket prices so high and the Blue Jays lukewarm performances, we need a new sports team to cheer.
For more info on the Toronto FC, click their logo.
The bf and I were visiting my mom last night, borrowing stuff from her for our camping trip this weekend, and she asked me how I managed to get a summer cold. I told her my boss gave it to me and she replied "well, stop sleeping with your boss!" I, of course answered back "I knew the hazards before I took the job". We both had a good laugh at the absurdness but my bf did not get the humour. The look on his face made us laugh even harder. Poor guy!
Speaking of my bf, I bought us both tickets for the Musical "We Will Rock You". There was a Civic holiday special going on so I got both tickets for just $50 + taxes and fees. I knew my bf secretly wanted to see this musical, based on the music of Queen, and I could see he was pretty pleased when I presented him with the tickets. Of course all he said was "Sure, I'll go see that with you, if you want". Mr. Cool.
My bf thought the musical was great. I thought it was ridiculous and silly and thoroughly entertaining.
I seem to have some sort of understudy-inviting karma about me because whenever I go to musicals, at least one understudy ends up filling in. I thought I had ended my understudy streak with Chicago in Spokane, WA a few years back but then two understudies came out for the second half. We Will Rock You was no different. The role of Killer Queen was played by Kelly-Ann Evans instead of Alana Bridgewater. I thought Evans was a great fot for the role. She had such and amazing voice.
I think the $25 per seat special will be back for labour day weekend so, maybe we will go see it again with some friends.
Photo Courtesy of: I'm a Happy Little Vegemite
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
I got my driver’s license in the States but, while I have been to both Rhode Island and Massachusetts, I did not get my license in either of those places. I obtained my driver’s license in Washington State while I was in college. I was not keen on getting my license and had put it off the whole time I lived in Toronto but alas, the huge distances between everything in America (namely my home and my school) made obtaining a license a necessity. Perhaps I would have enjoyed the experience a whole lot more had I signed up for some drivers ed lessons at Labonte’s Auto School?
Thursday, August 2, 2007
This is where we ate breakfast after dropping our poor Stella at the vet. The decor has not been touched since the 70's. My bf thought it was great, I was not so keen. I ate the eggs florentine which was not good but I bet their french toast is amazing. I was going to order that but I felt fat that day. Not that eggs florentine is low fat or anything but at least it is loaded with protein and iron. The fried potatoes (potassium, right? Who cares about fat, I need my potassium!) were very good and the fresh fruit was a nice touch.
View from my seat
Ceiling covered in record album covers
Disco Stu is in the building.
What, every restaurant doesn't have a giant Shrek-esque Dragon's head protruding from the wall?
She is back at the vet now and they gave her X-rays and Barium. We can bring her home tonight but we will have to bring her back tomorrow for more X-rays. She has some sort of a blockage in her lower intestine. Oh, my poor dumb baby. I am really worried about her.
Wednesday, August 1, 2007
Or sparse decorations?
And one more Simpsons themed photo from a couple weeks back:
My mom and I at a book expo.