Birthdays are for paying it forward

1930948_31690493010_6993_nSix years ago on my birthday, I started a new personal tradition. For every person who took the time to think of me on my special day by sending me a greeting via social media/text/call/card, I donated $1 towards a charity or non-profit that had special some special significance. Over the years, WE have supported the Haiti Relief Fund, Humane Society, Canadian Cancer Society, Heart and Stroke Foundation, the World Wildlife Federation, the MS Society of Canada, and the Ottawa Mission…As you can tell if you did the math, there were a couple of years where we supported more than one foundation.

This year, I’d like to say thank you again to the 109 people who made my day extra special. I grappled with what this year’s cause would be, but after some contemplation I realized that it was pretty obvious. This year’s special cause is the Canadian Mental Health Association and will be in memory of our friend Adam.

For those of you who have been active in my life over the past couple of years, you know how much my life has changed! I’ve been learning to manage anxiety, stress and depression all while seeing some of the people closest to me go through similar battles but opt not seek outside help. Despite all of the PSA’s educating people about mental health, you can’t force someone to seek help. Sometimes this can really be heartbreaking. This year, we also said goodbye to our friend Adam who had his share of struggles but unfortunately we had no idea about them them until it was too late. I’ve also selected this cause to honour my daughter. Yes – that’s right – I’m a mom! Two years ago, Byron and I become the parents to our beautiful niece/daughter who has been impacted by the domino effects of mental illness and addiction.

I’d better end this post off here before I start getting all emotional… Being a mom has made me a big old softy and now I can’t laugh at my sister Giselle anymore for tearing up while watching Tim Hortons commercials…oh Asian grandpas make me tear up every time!…In any case, I want to say THANK YOU to all of you for being in my life and I wanted to let you know that I’ll be making this donation on behalf of all of you!

A chat with Barista Brian (the creator of the milk foam Gem)

I had the chance to chat with Barista Brian…If you’re not already following him on Instagram, then you need to check out his account! If you don’t yet have an Instagram account…then we seriously need to talk!

Brian has quite the interesting background! After studying Opera Performance and Health Science at UPEI and Dalhousie University, he completed a program in Audio Engineering at the Banff Centre in Banff, Alberta. Then moved to Toronto where he now makes a living as a singer/songwriter and latte artist!

While I am a hardcore tea fan, I do enjoy my coffee and lattes as well. I asked Brian for some tips for Canadian amateur latte artists who want to try something cool at home. Here’s what Brian had to say…

Learn how to pour shapes into the espresso. Look at the shapes and use your imagination! Use a toothpick or something sharp to draw in the latte, and see what you can do! The possibilities are endless, and don’t give up! Think of the espresso crema as your canvas, and the milk is your paint!

A photo posted by Brian Leonard (@baristabrian) on

Lisa Charleyboy : host of CBC Radio’s New Fire

You may recognize Lisa Charleyboy from her blog Urban Native Girl or from the new CBC Radio program New Fire.

If you have yet to listen to CBC Radio’s new series New Fire, I strongly recommend you give it a listen! It’s a summer radio series featuring ten episodes that are full of conversations and stories from an Indigenous youth perspective. Each episode has a theme that is topical for all youth – dating, identity, and education – but there are surprising stories revealed when hearing them covered from an Indigenous youth perspective. For example, what happens when a young Mohawk woman uses Tinder with her Indigenous name?

You can read the full interview here.

Rebranding the BBC

Loving these videos! Next time someone asks me what I do, I’ll tell them to watch this! Way to go BBC!

We need to update the face of public broadcasting!

Struggling with building your website?

One of the most common questions that I receive from friends is “what is a reasonable price for a website?”… Talk about a complex question! In order to get a fair quote from a developer/designer/programmer, it’s important to think about what you want your website to look like and what type of content you’d like it to contain. This will help give your designer/programmer/developer an idea of how much time will be required to develop your site. Also, it will shed light on the type of programming language that will best fit for your site.

This is a great poster that I came across on Pinterest that will help you walk through the process and translate your vision into language that programmers/designers/techies need in order to create your site.

One of my fave ads from 2014 comes from BBC

This time of year, you’re likely to be inundated with countdown shows… I personally love these, especially the ones that feature that best ads, viral videos, music, film, books and bloopers from the previous year!

Among my favourites when it comes to videos for the web from 2014 comes from the BBC when they launched their music service earlier this year. I still get goosebumps when I look at it…!

 

 

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