Grind for Kids

Earlier this year, our team at JCI Vancouver committed to dominating the Grouse Grind for the BC Children’s Hospital.

How? Grind for Kids! An awesome organization that is raising money for sick kids around the province via EXERCISE {or physical death — depending on your stance}.

The process is as easy as 1-2-3!

  1. Register for Grind for Kids and complete the Grouse Grind on a regular basis {2830 stairs, 2,800 feet of vertical gain — oh boy}
  2. Ask friends, family, etc to pledge $1 or more for every Grouse Grind you do between June and October
  3. All proceeds are donated to the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation

Our team aims to do the Grouse Grind once or twice a week. So far I have completed FIVE… many of them sucked but all of them counted! Hey, it’s all about completion right? I have noticed that the Grouse Grind, coupled with running and power yoga has had a lot of impact on my body. The Grouse Grind is a haul — I’ve learned a lot about my breath and it’s definitely helped my training. Lean machine!

Grind for Kids is particularly close to my heart because I was a patient at the BC Children’s Hospital back in the day. To learn more about my journey and support our team fundraising, visit my superhero page!

Interested in joining us for a Grind? AMAZING. We’d love to have you join us. We either head up after work at 5:30pm-ish {and have a beer at the top!} or we head up Sunday morning around 8:30am. Check out our Facebook event or follow @JCIVancouver‘s tweets to stay in the loop!

Magic in the Sky

I am in love with Vancouver every moment of every day.

But last night I was extra in love.

Magic in the sky.

The beauty powered me through a personal best for my 10K too! 1:02:16.

Note: This photo was taken from the seawall in between Monk McQueen’s and Granville Island on April 23rd. If you steal the photo and don’t give me credit, I’ll destroy you. :) Oh yes, no special equipment, iPhone 4S.

International Women’s Day

Today is International Women’s Day {IWD}. A day where the world can celebrate the achievements of women, inspire other women and reflect on the progress women have made over the past few years.

In honour of IWD, 189 events are taking place in Canada this week. Everything from conferences to networking events to speaker series and more. The conversation continues on social media through the hashtag #IWD2012. Women and men are talking about who inspires them, what they are doing to make changes in their community and what the biggest milestones have been over the last few decades.

In 2007, I enrolled in Introduction to Women Studies at the University of Lethbridge. To be honest, I had to take an options course and that is the only one I could get into. The Instructor was Brittney Price; an incredible young woman {maybe late 20’s} who had completed graduate education in Political Science, worked by day in oil & gas and was extremely committed to changing the way young women define feminism. I was expecting the class to be loaded with women and Brittney would provide an old school look at women in business and politics. Instead… this class was mixed with men and women — and the content was current and refreshing. We learned a lot about 1st wave, 2nd wave and 3rd wave feminism. We used real life examples from media on how our opinions were being skewed and how women were being portrayed. We talked about the political scene and what was working and {clearly} not working. We would read articles, paying close attention to tone and stance.

I learned so much from Brittney that semester. She taught me that everyone should be a feminist. Yes, every single man and woman in the world. That, feminism means equality.

That single point hit my heart and my head. I immediately thought… “Yes… that’s the kind of movement I can stand behind.”

All the time I go to local events targeted towards young women. Often the mentality in the room is “rah rah I’m a woman hear me roar.” These young women bash men, bash past history and commit to taking over the planet. They want to be given opportunities because they are a woman. They want to be treated differently because they are a woman. They think that if they are continually given chances… ratios, statistics and the ongoing uneven representation of women in the world will correct itself.

To me, feminism isn’t about privilege or elitism.

You shouldn’t be given something without working hard for it.

What the world needs is for women {and communities} to stop putting up with bullshit.

Yep, bullshit. Case in point:

  • If you are told you will not get the job because you are a woman — that is a problem
  • If you are told you will not get a pay raise because you are a woman — that is a problem
  • If you are told you will not get a promotion because you are a woman — that is a problem
  • If you are told you cannot run for office because you are a woman — that is a problem
  • If you are told you cannot purse education because you are a woman — that is a problem
  • If you are told you cannot leave the home because you are a woman — that is a problem
  • If you are told you will be beaten and raped because you are a woman — that is a problem

These situations happen every day all over the world. The good thing is that many people and organizations are working hard to correct the Gender Gap and create global equality. We still have a long way to go, but if we {as a world} start paying attention, creating awareness and offering solutions, I believe we can make the changes that are required to reach equality.

Regardless of your race or gender, you deserve respect. That’s what we must fight for.

“My idea of feminism is self-determination, and it’s very open-ended: every woman has the right to become herself, and do whatever she needs to do.” – Ani Difranco

On this International Women’s Day, I am working out of a hotel room in Toronto. Tonight I have dinner plans with one of my favourite me in the world. Yep, a man. Crazy! ;) I have no plans to high five women in the street or follow a forum preaching how fabulous I am to the world. Instead, I plan to reflect and give thanks.

Reflect on how I live a blessed life.

Appreciate all those that have shaped my life and expanded my mind.

I have access to everything I would ever need. I have clean water, healthcare and a safe home. Every day I have the privilege of working with outstanding individuals. I work with women — and men who I truly respect and look up to. I have opportunities to travel and learn about the world. I am involved in the community and continually give back to causes I believe in. I have friends, family and a network of colleagues I admire.

Blessed.

Over the past few years, I’ve have had the privilege of learning about these organizations. They do a whole lot of good in growing girls and providing awareness on equality:

Happy International Women’s Day babes. Always expand your mind and strive high.

PS – Years ago on Twitter I made 2 lists. The first one being ‘Women to Watch‘ and the second, ‘Men on a Mission.’ Check them out for some movers and shakers in the global community!

PPS – I really super love these women. They may not know it, but these women push me to be better — every single day: Chantelle Alberts, Corrinne Austin, Judy Brooks, Chantelle Buffie, Reagan Burwash, Jessica Cartwright, Lisa Charleyboy, Ashley Dasent, Izabela Domachowski, Christine Donohoe, Cassandra Dux, Jill Earthy, Bridgette Engler-Newbury, Melissa Godsoe, Alida Hagemeyer, Amanda Hamilton, Amy Harder, Tara Hunt, Brenda Ikenouye, Cadi Jordan, Katie Jeanes, Haley Lonsdale, Claire Masikewich, Kymme Paul, Jessica Pauletig, Ashley Petryshen, Brittney Price, Kittima Raksarat, Julia Rosien, Fannie Roy Smith, Sabaina Saif, Jen Schaeffers, Katie Schaeffers, Dawn Smytaniuk, Heather Stang, Arpen Thandi, Elena Verlee, Natalie Viselli, Bethany Wall, Doris Wilson, Fiona Walsh, Shannon Ward, Tasha Westerman, Stephanie Wiriahardja and Melissa Wusaty. {… the male version will be published on International Man’s Day. :)}

Stellar Saturday: Holiday Edition

Every Friday, the Twitter nerds like to do a little thing called “Follow Friday.” You can recommend other people to follow — and yah, for the most part it’s lame. Why? Because people like to go “#FF: Friend A, Friend B, Friend C, Friend D, Friend E, Friend F, Friend Get the Hell out of my FEED.” Everyone has their own way of doing things, but I’ll only follow your suggestion if you tell me 1) who to follow and (most importantly) 2) why I should follow them.

So anyways, 2011 was a year of absolute disorganization and chaos. I found myself always missing Follow Friday. Sometimes I would get a #FF or two, sometimes I wouldn’t… sometimes I would thank people, sometimes I wouldn’t… it was all very stressful. For the most part I avoided it all together. Instead, on Saturday… I would tweet #StellarSaturday to the masses. My recommendations would come — always heartfelt, just not timely.

As we near the end of the year… there are so many people to thank. I’ve chosen 20 people that I had the opportunity to meet in real life this year. Some of them I met online and took the relationship offline and others the opposite. I can vouch for every single person on this list. They are incredible souls that the world is lucky to have.

Amanda & Ashley – Quite the duo in my opinion. By day, Amanda is Amanda Hamilton Interior Design — and by night, she’s having dance parties in hibiscus flower pyjama pants, hot yoga-ing or not sleeping. Amanda and Ashley are best friends — and they work together! Ashley has some funky title that I can’t remember, but the jist is she designs her day away at the AHID firm. Follow Amanda if you want to have some serious laughter in 2012 — also for crazy rampages and capital letters. Follow Ashley for tweets about life, design and to keep tabs on her gorgeous hair.

Arpen – When I moved to Vancouver, Jill {another one on the list} had recommended that I meet Arpen. She said that we would get along perfectly and be instant friends. Who doesn’t need cool friends? Anyways, Arpen and I went for coffee early this fall and my gosh, she is divine. She’s entrepreneurial, has mad style and is quite the energizer bunny. We talked like, love and the future. Since then we have laughed till the wee hours, discussed joint business ventures and filled our bellies with wine. Arpen doesn’t tweet too often, but follow her if you want to keep tabs on Popchips {she’s the Marketing lady for Western Canada} — and you can also peer pressure her to tweet more.

Cadi – The lovely Cadi Jordan. Cadi and I had been following each other for quite some time prior to my move to the coast. She consults in the spa industry and is the mom to 2 angelic little children. We went for lunch on the Glowbal patio in late summer and conversation came naturally. She is an ideas person — but unlike many {me, included}, she can turn ideas into action! Over the last few months, Cadi and I have connected on so many levels. I’m grateful we had the chance to meet and excited for what we will create together in 2012. Follow Cadi for everything to do with the spa world, health/wellness and the latest in the world of social media.

Chelsey – The first time I met Chelsey was when she arrived at my condo to spend the night! Chelsey and I had been following each other on Twitter and Instagram for quite some time. She reached out to me in early December asking if I had a hotel suggestion for an overnight stay in Vancouver. I told her she could stay with me! Took a risk, but I had good vibes. Chelsey is a journalism/communications student at Royal Roads in Victoria, a fashionista and a charming young woman. Follow her for the latest on the RRU campus, travel, community and everything fashion.

Dan – I have no idea when I met Dan, but I think it was 2011. We had been following each other on Twitter and I practically fell in love with him. The next thing you know we’re having pizza at Una, then tea at Higher Ground and dining with the Perogy Boyz. By day he manages Higher Ground in Kensington. By night he is a food blogger, food journalistic, food geek, food die hard — and is the bright mind behind Start from Scratch. Follow Dan for pure entertainment {he often tweets to himself from his multiple accounts}, delicious recipes and for making the best London Fog in town.

Derek – So this one time… in August… I received a BLOG COMMENT… from a STRANGER. Whoa, eh. I read skimmed the comment, thought it was well thought out — and immediately thought, I must know this man. I emailed Derek telling him that I appreciated the comment and that we should go for coffee. He blew me off for ages, until one day in November I get a random text from him saying that he’s spotted a girl that looks like me. That leads me to learn that we live in the same building and he’s totally a stalker. {… kidding, kind of.} His positives :) are: Founder & COO at Foodtree, connector at Startup Drinks Vancouver and he also holds up a decent conversation. Follow Derek for random tweets about food, music and the community — oh yes, and for being a loyal Summify fan.

Erin – Well well well… this Mrs. Erin Kelly is the leading lady behind Team Kelly. She sells you a mortgage, gives you a mortgage, lends you a mortgage, hell I don’t know. I didn’t go to her for a mortgage. On the side, Erin has a knack for cards and she has a company with her sisters called Card Sisters (clever, eh?). During my final weeks in Calgary, I made a point to turn Erin and my online relationship into IRL. She started off our date at Starbucks by buying me drugs {… Tylenol, obviously} and water! How sweet is that! Anyways she’s an absolute riot. Follow her if you want to be part of the cool crowd — and also for everything to do with mortgages?, real estate?, neurotic behaviour, family and love love love.

Harry – Harry used to have a Twitter bio that was too cool for school. He seemed like a hot shot, so although we regularly chit-chatted, I refused to follow him. One day I was at Club Monaco buying pleather pants and Harry made a hot shot comment. Well, that was the beginning of our relationship. Not too long after, I went with Desiree Dupuis to see a band play in Kits — and Harry was there. I was obviously prepared and had my pleather in full force. Harry has a good soul. It oozes out of him. He’s a family man — with a wife and 2 gorgeous children. He owns Digital Smart Homes — the best way to make your home digital and smart — again, catchy. In 2012, Harry is going to teach me how to be more organized with email. Follow Harry for the usual day-to-day, plus tidbits of everything surf, snow and family.

Jen – Jen is the Founder of NetworkinginVancouver.com and the Executive Director of the CKNW Orphans’ Fund. She is a connector and knows practically everyone in this city. More importantly she has a great heart. She’s a mom, wife and a friend to so many. I met Jen {briefly} at the Art of Marketing this summer in Vancouver. Then shortly after I moved here, she took me under her wing. She kept me in the loop on what events to attend and ensured I had a social life! Jen is a game changer in regards to the community. She’s associated with fantastic initiatives and always has a great new idea. Follow Jen for everything related to Vancouver, constant support and also a refreshing perspective on life — also get in touch with her if you are hosting an event in this city!

Jeph – For whatever reason a pile of people from Saskatchewan have ended up in my Twitter feed. Jeph is one of them. He was in town for Grey Cup weekend, so I told him we needed to meet. After all, we were pretty tight on Twitter… gotta put an in real life face to a name. Jeph and I went to Glowbal’s Coast for dinner {btw, he was scared to eat fish} and had 5 hours of brilliant conversation. Pretty sure we both won ‘best dressed’ that night too. He’s smart and sharp — 2 great qualities! He also inspires me to be better {sap} and has quite the head on his shoulders. Follow Jeph for fresh marketing content and to see what he gets up to in 2012 — amazing things, I’m sure of it!

Jill – Earlier this year, Judy Brooks sent me an email saying that Jill was going to be in Calgary for a conference and that I must meet up with her. We had a double Jill date at Taste {miss you Brendan, Shawn and Bill} and I fell in love with her spirit. Jill is the CEO of Forum for Women Entrepreneurs, leading lady behind momcafe Network and the mom to 2 brilliant young girls. She is a connector, entrepreneur and fantastic human being. I feel absolutely blessed to have met Jill this year, she is a bright light. Follow Jill to stay in touch with the local community and learn about fellow entrepreneurs.

Katie – One evening I was at a Stella & Dot party and this tall looker caught my eye. She was wearing a statement necklace and had a glass of wine in her hand — my kind of lady! Katie spends her days producing TED events and giving back to the community. She’s always in the know with the latest change the world initiative and previously was the Co-Chair at YES Vancouver. Time with Katie always leaves you full of love, light and learning. She has lots to teach, so book her for coffee and soak it all up. Follow Katie if you would like to learn new words and be corrected on your grammar — or is it grammer. ;)

Marley – Marley and I have buckets of history… here’s the story (part A and part B) of how we met online back in 2010. This year I had the privilege of meeting her in person. Then shortly after (cause it’s a small world and all), she started working with the fab crew at The Art of Productions in Toronto. Marley is on a mission to change the world and my gosh, you should be along for the ride! She is a regular blogger and is always meeting the latest celeb… yes, she has a whole album of celebs on Facebook. Follow Marley for to learn about the life of a 20-something, gain support in your fitness goals and be randomly inspired.

Michelle – I met Michelle through the Amanda & Ashley duo… I think. Michelle is one of those crazy Asians that just seep into her life. {Except that one time when she unfollowed me on Instagram…} She plays the guitar, wears plaid well and has a great sense of humour. She’ll bust out a move anywhere and Asians all over the world want to be just like her. I met Michelle in Calgary, but it’s important to note, that she’s the 1st person from Calgary to visit me in Vancouver! Follow Michelle for the latest on music, design {yes, she’s a Designer too!} and life in Calgary.

Rob – Rob and I met at JJ Bean on Davie! We are very like-minded when it comes to HR and decided to meet in person. He’s the Founder of Gowerk — performance management done differently {and an excellent tool for small businesses}. He challenges the norm when it comes to HR, understands business problems and solutions and always pays for lunch… ha ha. Follow Rob to keep tabs on Gowerk’s new products, sarcasm and most importantly, to watch him pick fights with all those awful HR people that exist in this big bad world.

Sandra – Opposite to the story of Chelsey, I first met Sandra at the Chinatown skytrain station. She waited for me at the escalators — what were we doing? We had never met in real life, but Sandra offered for me to stay at her place for a week in June! She gave me a heart duvet, Cachaca and bucket loads of laughs. Sandra is a Fashion Consultant, Writer and red-haired dynamo. Follow her to experience storytelling in the streets of Vancouver, random adventures and fashion inspiration.

Shannon – This fall, I invited myself to an event with Women of Whistler (tag-a-long with the wonderful Jill Earthy). Long before I officially met Shannon, I knew who she was… She’s one of those bright people who absolutely light up a room. I had my eye on her throughout the evening, thinking… I… must… know… her. Shannon works for a media company — but MORE IMPORTANTLY, she’s behind a brilliant concept called Pretirement Living (and Diana too!). Shannon is absolutely captivating. Check out the Pretirement blog (… hell, join the movement!) and follow Shannon to learn more about life as a Pretiree.

Tara – In February, Tara and I were both invited to Toronto to star {ha ha} in a Dove Canada promotional campaign. To watch the video, click here. She’s the CEO of Buyosphere {if you’re a fashionista or buyaholic, you must check it out!} and an inspirational woman entrepreneur. I’ll have to admit, she intimidated me at first… but my gosh, she is so down to earth and just oozes with transparency. It has been fascinating to watch Tara grow this year. She writes books, speaks all over the place, blogs on aging and lives life authentically. Follow Tara to learn about the good {and bad} that comes with being entrepreneurial. She is 100% on my must watch list for the years to come; such an amazing woman.

Stephanie – By day, Stephanie is an intern at Hootsuite — and by eve, she is taking over the world of graphic design, supporting SIFE Simon Fraser and trying to come up with a better Twitter handle. I officially met Stephanie in 2010, but she was on my life of people to get to know better when I moved to Vancouver. I love her honesty, quirkiness and dedication for continual improvement. She has no idea how much she is influencing her peers — and it’s honestly refreshing. Follow Stephanie to learn about the life of a 20-something goal-setting, food eating, mover and shaker, graphic designer.

Well there you have it — some of my favourite people of the year.

I’m friends with some, business colleagues with others and acquaintances with a few. You can be guaranteed that I stand behind each and every one of them. I privileged to have met everyone on this list and look forward to all those I will meet in the coming years.

Happy #StellarSaturday and NYE.

Jillian xo

Singing in the Rain

Earlier this year I was invited to be involved with a music video for Dove Canada. I was whisked out east to meet 14 incredible women from across the country. It was a whirlwind few days… I had the opportunity to go for dinner with Yukari Peerless from Victoria, spend a day on an actual set (never thought that would happen!), learn dance moves from celeb choreographer “AJ” Jones and have my hair cut by the one and only Mark Townsend. We learned all about a new product Dove was introducing to the Canadian market — Dove Nourishing Oil Care with Nutri-Oils. We all looked smashingly on set, but more importantly I’ve been using the product since early spring and I love it. I am really particular on hair products (and even more so since I added length), but the Nourishing Oil Care line keeps my hair looking great!

About a month ago, Tara Hunt posted on social media that she randomly came across this article in Strategy Magazine. I have had it kept in my ‘tabs’ since then wanting to write a post about our day with Dove!

Take a look at the music video:

Dove will donate $100,000 to the Dove Self-Esteem Fund if they have 1 million views of the video by December 31, 2011. The Dove Self-Esteem Fund was created to change the way women and young girls perceive beauty. The fund is on a mission to change the way society and the next generation stereotypes their peers and themselves. I’m a big believer in youth education and challenging past norms — so I can’t not support. I love what Dove is doing in regards to girl education and beauty awareness in Canada.

Since the commercial, I have stayed in touch with Julia, Katia, Lisa, Tara and Yukari. Incredible changing-the-world women. They continually inspire those they touch and I feel blessed to call them friends.

Thank you to Dove for an fabulous experience.

Related posts:

Note – Dove did not tell me to write this post. I just did. They put no expectation on us to promo their product or the experience. :)

lovey dovey

Singing in the Rain - "Our Song"

A few days ago I blogged about Dove Canada and how I’ve been given the opportunity to head to Toronto to be in a promotional music video.  Well… today is the day the ladies & I get down to business. It’s 7:30am in Toronto and I had an absolutely dreadful sleep… tossing and turning until 4am. I blame it on a bad case of nerves.

Last night I got to thinking about how so much has changed in a single year and a bit. Since November 2009, my life has been a rollercoaster – in an absolutely fantastic way. So many things have happened, changing my perspective on friends, family, and health. A few big decisions need to happen this Spring – major, life-changing decisions. As much as I’m nervous, I’m excited.

Thinking about life and this experience with Dove Canada only reinforced how I’m truly blessed. I’m continually presented with opportunity. Opportunity to meet amazing, inspirational, fabulous people; opportunity to make a difference in this world; and opportunity to become the best person I can be. I cannot help but stand back and think – wow, I’m lucky.

Through a big yawn and sand in my eyes, I’m committed to saying Tuesday, February 22, 2011, will be incredible day. :)  Here are a couple people we will be working with:

  • Aakomon “AJ” Jones – Choregrapher: Aakomon has done choreography for Madonna’s Sticky & Sweet Tour, Center Stage, Dream Girls,  and various Academy Awards. I stalked him out — he has worked with Madonna, Jennifer Lopez, P.Diddy,  Jamie Foxx, Uma Thurman, Usher, Johnny Depp, and so much more.
  • Mark Townsend – Hair Stylist: Mark is a Hair Stylist to the most beautiful people in Hollywood. He has styled the hair of Penelope Cruz, Natalie Portman, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jessica Biel, and the Olsen Twins. He has done the magazine covers of GQ, Glamour, Elle, InStyle, and Lucky. Mark is the official new Dove Hair Celebrity Stylist!

These two men terrify me. Today, 15 women from across Canada will sing and dance their hearts out. As much as we will learn choreographed moves, get our hair styled, and be spackled with makeup… we also plan to do Dove Canada proud.

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.” Helen Keller

Wish us luck and stay tuned for the video.

With love, xo.

beauty of a night – and err morning

Nicole & I

Last night was Melrose’s Fire & Ice Party – in honour of Heritage Classic weekend and the looming Calgary Flames and Montreal Habs outdoor hockey game. Melrose decked out both sides of the venue (restaurant and bar sides) with DJ’s, living statues, fire dancers, and blue/red decor.

Anyways, like usual it was a fabulous time. The night was a bit of a reunion of sorts… the usual’s were there, as well as the girls, and some friends I haven’t seen in forever. With smiles ready and heels on, the girls & I mingled and met new friends.

My lessons learned on Saturday, February 19, 2011:

  • Beware of alumni hockey players. Resist all urges to fall into their charming – cough – creepy ways.
  • Don’t let any guy who is over 4’11” pick you up and hold you in the air above their head.
  • When entering a venue, pay close attention to the ceiling. Take into consideration ceiling beams, cement, or anything that looks like it could be a situation if you had a run in with it later.
  • Always ALWAYS partner up with a random in the bar to help them win a contest. With you on board, they will always win (for example, a Habs jersey) – and you will have made an instant friend!
  • Never ask a sober person of the opposite gender to be your Alcohol Consumption Advisor.
  • Raise your guard up when someone says they want to give you “three kisses and one hug” as a pick up line.
  • Don’t let anyone that you associate with, party with their jacket on. The excuse of “I’m from Australia and always cold in Canada” just doesn’t fly in your fashion forward scene.
  • Give yourself a high five when you have finished your “big night out” and 99.9% of your text messages are spelled correctly!
  • Take video whenever possible; capture all the hardcore dancers so you can learn some moves for next weekend.
  • When the lights come on, shade your face, squint, and beeline for the exit.
  • Hold onto your pizza tight when having a bite in the car on the ride home. If you’re not careful, that pizza will fly right into the face of the driver.

Alex & Alex

It was wonderful to have a fun night out. It felt like it was so long overdue, like potentially five years. Going out with friends without having to worry about university workload changes everything. The only problem with having absolutely no cares on a Saturday night was that I was flying out to Toronto this morning… and I needed to be up at 6am… and there is no way I was home before 3:30am. When I finally arrived home, my best guy friend came up for awhile. He drank wine, I drank gatorade and ate pancakes. I love pancakes. Seriously. LOVE PANCAKES. He left a little after 4am and then it was time to pack…

Sleep is for the weak. Scowl.

I slept for an hour, finished laundry, cleaned my room, tided up the house, and packed my bag.

The limo arrived at my house early and of course, my flight was delayed.

Why am I headed to Toronto?

Dove Canada invited 15 women from across Canada to make a promotional music video to the theme of “Singing in the Rain.”  The video will be used to promote a Dove product and show REAL women using the product.  All shapes, sizes, and skills will be featured, as Dove always uses their own demographic in their advertising.

So yep, I have no dancing or singing skills, but I’ve been invited and couldn’t be more excited. I arrived in Toronto today and I don’t need to be ‘on duty’ for the video until Tuesday. Let me just tell you – thank gosh for that.

Tomorrow I have the day to myself and I’m going to hang out with a girlfriend, hit up the usual Victoria’s Secret and Urban Outfitters, and then fingers crossed meet Yukari (fellow Dove invitee!) for a cocktail.  We are staying at the Hotel Le Germain, which is absolutely gorgeous. I just about died and went to heaven when I saw the rainfall shower and king sized bed. I have now been in this heaven of a bed for the last 5 hours.

On Tuesday, the girls and I’ll head to breakfast. Then Dove Canada will ship us over to the studio for a day of rehersals, hair styling, wardrobe, and filming. Dove had already asked for our sizes (everything from bicep to waist to shoe), so I’m excited to see what they have planned for wardrobe! There will be a media party, and then I’ll be off to the airport. It should be an awesome day to meet new people, learn more about Dove products, and support Dove in doing what they do best… campaigning for real beauty.

Dove Canada is new to Twitter, feel free to follow them here – or follow the #SingingInTheRain hashtag. I’m sure the girls will be updating throughout the day.

The Morning After

This morning I looked like this. No shower. Makeup and hair from the night before. Generally unpleasant with scowl on face. I kept my sunglasses on in the airport as the lights were hurting my brain. For the first time in forever, I travelled with my baby blankie. Yes, the blanket that I was born with, I still own and often sleep with. Today I needed it. So there I lay on the floor of the airport, while people stared. STARED.

REAL beauty defined? Frightening if I do say so myself.

I’m looking forward to getting dazzled on Tuesday. My thoughts are the people they are shipping in from the States to do hair and makeup sure have a lot of work to do ha ha.

It’s best I get my beauty sleep. ;)

Peace and love. xo

boxing day deals

Friends and strangers… tomorrow is BOXING DAY! The day generally means people storming stores for the best deal they can find.

Is that my plan? Absolutely not. I want to be strategic. I am easily overwhelmed in crowds and impatient in lines.

My recommended deals (in no particular order):

  • RW&CO: Take an extra 50% off the last ticketed price on all sale merchandise (Dec 26 – Jan 4).
  • Gap: Everything 40% off until 12pm, 30% off 12pm to 3pm, 25% off 3pm to close (Dec 26 only).
  • Urban Outfitters: 50% off all sale items – instore only (Dec 26-31).
  • Obakki: 50% off everything online and instore. Promo code: bigfifty (Dec 26 only).
  • The Bay: Up to 70% off fashion clearance, 50% off women’s boots, 50% women’s fall & winter fashion (Dec 26 only).
  • Banana Republic: 50% off sale items until 12pm, 30% off sale items from 12pm to close – instore and online. Online promo code: BRBoxing (Dec 22-31).
  • Mexx: 50% off everything instore (Dec 26-Jan 2).
  • Guess: 30% off regular price, 50% off sale price instore (Dec 26-29).
  • Jacob: 50% off everything instore (Dec 26).
  • Esprit: 50% off everything instore (Dec 26 – Jan 5) and 40% off everything online (Dec 23-26).
  • Sterling Shoes: 50% off sale items (Dec 26-31).
  • Espy: Up to 63% off checked items, up to 43% off brand new merchandise, up to 63% off samples, 39% off bags/purses/boots, and $3/9/19 bins (Dec 30 only).

I’ll be spending my time at Core Shopping this Boxing Day and then a stroll through Kensington.  The plan: The Bay, Gap, Banana Republic, and Tristan. Then Sole Comfort [solely because I have a gift card – and might buy myself some Uggs (I know.. shocking)] and maybe Purr in Kensington.  In a few days I’ll head to Espy for their delayed – but wonderful – Boxing Day extravaganza.

For those in Calgary… mall hours:

  • Chinook Centre & Market Mall – 8am to 7pm
  • Sunridge Mall – 9am to 6pm
  • Core Shopping – 10am to 6pm

If you’re heading out I wish you good luck and sanity. A few tips: take transit to avoid a parking nightmare, wear leggings and a tank so you can try on clothes in the aisles of the store, and stay hydrated!!

Lastly if you were planning on booking a trip to Vegas this Spring… Expedia‘s Boxing Day bonus is $100 savings off a 4+ night hotel package. Book by December 31st, for travel until March 31st. Use promo code BOXING2011 at checkout.

a single vote

 

2010 Mayoral Candidates

 

Today I voted.

No big deal right?  Today I voted for the first time in my life.

I am 26 years old and have been legally allowed to vote for 8 years.

Why have I never voted?  I felt uneducated.

Some people believe that education is up to the individual.  My thoughts are that not everyone is going to care about politics.  Not everyone is going to realize the impact that political decisions can have on themselves, their family, and the community.  Society and candidates cannot expect citizens to educate themselves.  We must teach people [and especially the incoming generations] the value of elections. I truly believe that if education increases, voting numbers will increase.

Anyways, for me, Calgary’s municipal election has been different… and perhaps my approach to it has as well.  I find the Calgary Twitter community to be very active compared to many other cities in Canada and the looming election has taken the intensity and local interest up a notch.

Twitter has “put” the election in my “face” for the last however-many-months.  Twitter has given me no choice but to learn.  Even if I had chosen not to vote, I still would have been somewhat educated on who was running in the election.

In the past, I wouldn’t have known a candidate’s name, let alone anything about their platform.

So I know what you’re thinking… well not every candidate is on Twitter… there is bias etc etc.  Well regardless of the candidate being on Twitter or not, they are surely talked about.  Some accounts are used solely for promo of their platforms, some are unresponsive and send auto-tweets, and others truly try to engage with their audience.  One aspect of Twitter (at least from an organizational point of view) is managing reputation.  A slight side note… but if candidate’s are not on Twitter, they are not able to manage (and defend at times) their reputation.

I don’t believe I’ve educated myself from the candidates themselves, instead the community has educated me.  The #YYCvote community has done an excellent job of asking hard questions, reviewing platforms, and educating the masses on forums, events, and community initiatives.  I have had the opportunity to dig deeper into candidate websites, raise questions when I didn’t understand, and learn a lot about the municipal politics.

For me, Twitter filled the gap… Twitter has made the election convenient.  Do I read the newspaper anymore?  No I check @calgaryherald and @metronews every morning.  The hard copy newspaper is not “convenient.”  Neither is traditional election marketing.  Regardless of priorities, we all have busy lives.  As we move into the future, candidates will have to work even harder to reach their audience.  Let’s not assume that everyone is a 20-something, social media activist… candidates need to educate everywhere from nursing homes to corporate to the slums to universities.  An effective candidate will realize that in order to be successful they truly need majority vote.  Majority vote encompassing everyone aged 18 to elderly.

My experience today?  I visited the advance polling station at the Municipal Building.  There was no line, I was whisked to a station and greeted by an elections lady.  She doubted that I was of age and reviewed my ID in detail.  Few quick questions and I was on my way.  Please note that she did ask me if I aligned with public or separate.  I had no idea what this meant and eventually said public. I headed to the next station where another elections staff person asked me a few quick questions, made me review the elections rules and sign on the dotted line.  At this point I informed him that I have never voted and had absolutely no clue what to do. [You would think the bewildered look on my face would have made that clear].  He laughed and walked me through the process. I asked him if I was allowed to non-vote for the school trustee and he said yes.  He showed me how to mark a big X on the ballot and I was off to the little voting station.  I had already decided who to vote for (both mayoral and aldermanic) so a few quick X’s and I was on my way.  In and out in less than 5 minutes; feeling slightly empowered I must say.

A brief statement about the school trustee vote.  It COMPLETELY caught me off guard.  No where through my process of “educating” myself did I know that I needed to vote for a school trustee.  There were 2 candidates on the piece of paper – I had never seen their names and more importantly, I had NO IDEA what a school trustee even does or how the role impacts a school.  I chose to spoil my vote because I did not feel comfortable endorsing someone I had absolutely no clue about. I felt like grabbing my iPhone and googling what it all meant [no idea if that’s allowed or not in voting stations]; instead I walked away.  Surprised and taken back.

I know how serious people take politics and by no means want to turn my thoughts into political debate.

The point is today I voted.  Educate yourselves and vote too.