Jan 5 2015

Social Media Pro Not Very Social

social media canada

So this is my “personal” blog. You can see from the content that much of what is written here is about my life or my kids or the dog or yoga or skiing or other junk that isn’t really appropriate for my “business” blog.

I like to write so I created this several years ago when I used to say “I’m a writer” but realized I didn’t actually write.

There are something like 84 posts on this page, all of which I’ve written myself. Some are political, some emotional, some about raising amazing kids, some about the frustrations of getting older but mostly they’re about just how awesome life is.

This one is a bit more serious but, perhaps, the most important.

About 20 months ago my youngest daughter was diagnosed with Crohn‘s disease. It’s a pretty “shitty” (pun intended) disease. I won’t go into details here but, suffice to say, she was really very sick.

At the time we did everything possible to make sure that she not only got better but that she didn’t allow Crohn’s to stand in  her way. Since her diagnosis (she weighed 48lbs on May 3, 2013 at 11 years old) she has battled her way back to be a world-class, elite athlete, an accomplished Grade 8 student and an all-round epic kid. She even counsels other kids with Crohn’s.

We put as much of a positive spin on her sitch as we could and she has taken that positivity and run with it. No joke, this kid is amaze-balls.

It’s taken me about 20 months to realize that as much as I like to think I’m teflon, her illness has had a profound effect on me too.

Perhaps it’s timing. I’m 48 so my hormones think they’re hilariously playing silly-buggers with my body. But I think there’s more to it.

I’m only now starting to recognize that my decline in health started around the same time as the diagnosis. Since then I’ve gained about 20lbs, broken my foot, herniated a disc in my neck. I have constant pain in my extremities and my usual workout routine had to be scrapped. Three weeks ago I got the great news that my thyroid was hypo (not hippo) which was just another piece of the puzzle.

Its January 5th and I’m finally figuring out that much of these issues has to do with the latent stress of having a kid with a chronic illness. Its no ones fault, it just sneaks up on you and BAMB! 20 months later you look in the mirror and realize you’ve lost the plot.

The good news is, its all fixable.

If you find that you’re in a similar boat, I have a couple of suggestions that may help. First of all, don’t listen to any western doctors! I went to the doctor, he said “women your age often have a general feeling of malaise”. WHAT THE FUCK?! I, somehow, didn’t tear his head off but, come on! (I also didn’t go find him and flaunt my thyroid test in front of him. He’s old. That would have been mean)

Go see a naturalpath. Seriously. Best thing I ever did. Someone who will listen. Not all NP’s are the same so find someone who has experience with your, particular, issues. I found Julie Durnam and she was amazing. She listened. She had a hunch. She tested me and proved her hunch. Now, she and I are working together to figure things out. For the first time in a long time, I feel like someone actually gives a shit about what’s happening with  me.

(this post is getting a bit too long so….)

Look, if you have a sick kid or you’re freaked out about money or you’re in a crap marriage, don’t sit around thinking you can fix it yourself. You need to go talk to someone who will listen to you. I found Julie. You can definitely find someone who can help. If you don’t have the cash try to do a contra deal. (trade) Dr’s are busy people, they need stuff done too. Who knows, you might prove invaluable to someone who could really help you.

My 2 cents. (the next post will be much better. I think I’ll chronicle the “journey” (hate that word) to recovery…we’ll see.)

Feb 28 2012


customer: Do you have any cameras?

cashier: Camels!?!?!?!?!?!

customer: Haha no I said Cameras. Do you have any Cameras?

:) By Shaye age 10 :)

Mar 31 2011

Tim Horton’s Get’s a Failing Grade for Sustainability

I am a die-hard Tim Horton’s fan! I love the coffee. I love the prices. I love that Tim Horton is a Canadian hockey hero. I love that they put kids through camp. I’m a fan.

As a fan, I can no longer sit idly by and watch as my beloved Tim Horton’s continues to ignore the environmental crisis that they’re causing.

I’m so sad to say that Tim’s is a failure at sustainability. It breaks my heart but it’s true.

Now, I’m not saying that the Tim Horton’s corporate people are not unaware of this and have not made an effort to do something about it. I get it. They’ve put recycle bins in the restaurants and have china available to people who eat in. These initiatives are great but they are NOT WORKING!

First of all, the bins that have popped up all over Tim’s in BC has a place for “waste” and a place for “recyclables” but the image on the “recyclables” does not include cups. Obviously the #1 culprit for waste.

There is no where to recycle the cups.

But that is not the worst part. Not by a long shot. Not so long ago, when you stood at the cash and placed your order the cashier would ask “eat in or take out?”. If you replied “in” they would serve your coffee in a mug and your food on a plate.

Now there is no question. (I can list the several restaurants I have tested to see if they do or do not ask) Every cup of coffee is served in a paper cup unless you are like me and insist that it be in a mug or you have, at the ready, your recycle cup.

Today, I was at Tims. (as I am almost daily) I ordered my coffee “for here, in a mug”. The cashier keyed it in and the girl next to him put milk in a paper cup then started adding coffee while I was practically yelling at her to put it in a mug!!! I was so upset that a cup had now been wasted by my order. I pride myself on the fact that I have not used a paper cup in over a year. I use only my recycle cup for take out and mugs for eat in. What’s worse is, she threw it away because there is no paper cup recycling behind the cash at our local restaurant.

My passion is well-known at our local Tims. I am quite sure that I am considered a nut job by the staff but this is serious.

Tim’s head office professes to be doing something about the environment. They have tons of posters asking people to recycle and/or purchase a cup. But they are grossly negligent in educating the staff and customers on these initiatives.

I would, gladly, volunteer to visit Tim Horton restaurants across the lower mainland and perform a sustainability assessment on them to help the mucky-mucks in Toronto understand that they are failing miserably at sustainability. Tim’s is meant to be a Canadian success story. We want to be proud of the brand. For now, I’m quite disappointed in their complete lack of follow-up and social and environmental responsibility to the citizens of Canada.

(and don’t even get me started on Roll Up the Rim! What a joke.)

Mar 21 2011

Can Social Media Buy Me, Us, You a House? Part 3

So a few things have happened since my last post about Social Media having the power to buy one a house (one being any”one” not just me)

The first thing that happened is I put an ad on Craigslist. I said that I am the mom of 2 cool kids and that I want to move to the area. I didn’t really expect anyone to come back with an offer to buy me a house but I did hope that someone who was looking to rent their place would find my ad and ring me up.

A really cool thing happened! A woman, in the right part of town, answered my ad! Now, her home is big, really big and it’s beautiful, really beautiful and, well, it’s just too expensive. That said, we had a great chat and found out we have similar business interests. Who knows, it might end up that we become great friends and business associates.

So while the CL ad did not find me a house…yet, it may very well have found my a great new business contact and friend.


The thing about the house offer got me thinking though. At the moment I pay about $1300/month in rent. I expect that, in the new part of town which is more expensive, I’ll have to pay somewhere in the area of $2,000/month for something a wee bit nicer than where we’re at.

My business is going very well and I don’t expect that the added expense will be a lot to contend with. What burns me up though is that I would be more than happy to up that if it meant some sort of equity share.

There must be people out there who are in a situation where they cannot sell their home for what they want or who are downsizing and want to enable someone else to own their own home. I am pretty confident that these people exist, we just have to find them.

This week is going to be about networking. I’m going to a major networking conference in Vancouver on Thursday called Twestival and am hoping to make the kind of contacts that will propel my business to the next level.

I’ll add them to the myriad of very cool people I know already and I will work all of them for a solution to solve my housing expectations.

I can do this because I am always, without fail, ready to help anyone who asks. To me that’s what social networking is all about. Provide value, provide value, provide value….and don’t expect anything in return.

If you show people that you want to help them just for the sake of helping you’ll get it back in droves in ways you never considered. That’s what I love about what I do. I see random acts of kindness every day and it empowers me to pay it forward.