Happy Labour Day!

Hey everyone, as I said in the title….Happy Labour Day.

For those of us up here in Canada, that means moving trucks and a final day off before schools start up for the 2014-2015 year. For most kids, it means the official end of summer vacation. When I was growing up, I always had a part time job that forced me to work on Labour Day. This took me back to my very first part time job when I was in high school. 

There was a local mini golf course near our local rec center in Victoria, and I worked there both as a cashier and as the birthday party person. Ironically Labour Day was my last day on the job and it was crazy. I guess families were wanting to get their last blasts of summer in before school started and routines were back. It was an amazing group of people that I got to work with, the atmosphere was really fun and to my surprise, my co-worker was an old classmate of mine from elementary school that I hadn’t seen in a long time.

Looking back, I am glad I had such a great atmosphere to start my working career. It taught me some valuable lessons about teamwork, organization and helping others that I still use to this day. I don’t know if the course is still there, but if it was I would take my kids to it. I want them to know that earning your own money as a teen doesn’t have to be a bad experience or something that you have to drag yourself to every weekend.

To all you parents, enjoy your day off today. To the University students(new and returning), welcome back and good luck to you. Finally, to all of you lovely students still in elementary/junior high and high school – Here comes yet another year…make it a good one.

Till the next time guys!

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It’s Doctor Who Week!!!!!

My inner Fangirl is getting hyper and excited. I have been waiting for this week since last Christmas.
The new series of Doctor Who (with Peter Capaldi at the controls of the TARDIS) premieres this Saturday night. To celebrate, this week is ‘Doctor Who’ week on the blog and I’m going to kick it off with a throwback piece that i wrote…..just before the amazing 50th Anniversary special last November. But before I go, here’s a promo photo of the newest Doctor and the current companion Clara. (Thanks to BBC America for posting this photo!)
*Article below photo*

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November 23,1963 was the day that the science fiction world changed forever. All thanks to some brilliantly brave people at the BBC studios. This was the day that the first episode of a little show called ‘Doctor Who’ hit the airwaves.

‘An Unearthly Child’ introduced us to a peculiar man, known simply as ‘The Doctor’. He was a time traveler from the planet Gallifrey and came from a race known as Time Lords.  Accompanied by his granddaughter Susan, they were cut off from their home and their friends. So they traveled the stars in search of adventure and companionship. Their first guests were Barbara and Ian Chesterton, teachers that were worried about Susan and stumbled upon the Doctor by accident. So they all took off in the Doctor’s machine, his TARDIS (aka Time And Relative Dimension In Space for her full name) and lived through some amazing adventures.

The Doctor and those adventures…..became a pop culture phenomenon. Since then, we have been introduced to historical characters (Queen Elizabeth, Shakespeare, Van Gogh), Companions that have stuck in our memories (Sarah Jane Smith, Brigadier Lethbridge Stewart, Captain Jack, Professor River Song) and 11 different incarnations of the Doctor – all through a process known as ‘regeneration’.

This coming Saturday marks the 50th anniversary of this amazing show, and as both a classic AND modern day “Whovian”, I am truly excited to see what the anniversary episode entitled “The Day of the Doctor” will do to tantalize its fans. Also, for all of us classic Doctor Who fans, “An Adventure in Time and Space” (which was written by the massively brilliant Mark Gatiss) takes us back to the days and weeks leading up to that life-changing day back in 1963.

I personally CAN NOT WAIT for either special… I know I will be parked in front of my TV with my sonic screwdriver and getting ready to say “Allons-y!” and “Geronimo!” one more time. What about you? Where will you be……

Cause it will be……Fantastic!

Championing Causes

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Growing up, I helped fundraise for different causes through school events (Jump Rope for Life for the Heart and Stroke Foundation, UNICEF boxes around our necks at Halloween). But I was just a kid and the appeal for doing this was to see who could raise the most and get the coolest prizes.
As I have gotten older and have gone through some life changing events, there is one cause that I will lend my voice to without a second thought. With all the charities and causes out there for people from all walks of life, this cause hits the closest to me.

Cancer is a terrible disease that doesn’t discriminate, doesn’t give up and is very aggressive. I have seen what it can do first hand, as this evil disease has claimed the lives of both my in-laws and put my own father through the toughest fight of his life (thankfully for me, he has survived.) But after seeing Cancer’s devastating nature and how it also affects the surviving family members, I will happily lend my voice to the fight to cure Cancer once and for all.

If you believe in a cause, a particular charity or just believe in something, you don’t need to spend a dime to help (if you don’t have it). Just get the word out, either by writing about it, talking about it or using whatever social media that you are familiar with. The power of your voice is just as strong, if not stronger then any dollar signs.

Here is the link for the Canadian Cancer Society: http://www.cancer.ca

RIP William Drane 06/16/2010
RIP Martha Drane 08/24/2013

Till the next time guys!!

Coming out of the Shadows…..

It’s always a sad thing when a celebrity passes away, but it’s even harder when it comes out of the blue. Like it did last night.

Today, the world is mourning the loss of an iconic comedy legend in Robin Williams. To some, he was Captain Hook, to others he was the cheery radio DJ from Good Morning Vietnam. For me personally, I grew up knowing him as Mork from Mork and Mindy. He was a man of comedic genius and was willing to share it with the world. But that was the side that we were allowed to see.

What was so shocking, at least to me was the fact that he was struggling with depression and he saw no other way out besides ending his own life. I get it, being in the spotlight must be hard, especially when you have been in it for so long. But he was well loved by many and looked quite happy with his wife and proud of his beautiful daughter.

Let me stress something. Suicide is never an answer, or even something to contemplate. No matter what you may think, there will always be someone, somewhere that will miss you. If you are suffering from depression, are depressed or thinking that you have no where to turn….please remember that you do.
All you have to do is ask.

Turn to a friend, a mentor or someone you trust and just confide in them. Depression, Suicide and Mental Illness as a whole needs to come out of the shadows and not be known as being taboo. I know in the past, I had mentioned that I had one cause that I was championing, but I realized now…that I actually have two.

I suffer from depression personally and it put a massive strain on my family as well as my marriage. My husband tried for a long time to get me to talk to someone, but I needed to come to this realization myself before I could ask for help. I’m glad that I did though, because between the support of my family as well as the assistance of my doctor I was able to start to find myself again.

I beg of you, if you know someone who is depressed or not themselves, reach out to them. Ask them if they’re ok, if they want to talk or if they just need someone to be with. If you are suffering from depression personally, just know you are not alone and just ask for help. You are not weak or less then a person for doing it.

YOU ARE NOT ALONE
YOU CAN GET HELP

Kids Help Line: 1 800 868 6868  kidshelpline.ca
Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK   suicidepreventionlifeline.org

Procrastination Vs. Planning

The age old question has come up yet again. Which works best? Procrastination….or Planning everything out.

My answer?…. Depending on the circumstance, both will work.

You confused yet? Let me explain.

Procrastination (or flying by the seat of your pants as I like to call it), works well for me when i am writing or designing gifts. It allows me the freedom to do what I would like, without maneuvering myself in a corner creatively. However, I have noticed that since I became a mom and have to keep track of a million things at once, that planning has become something of an important skill to learn and utilize. Between meal planning, shopping lists, doctor/dentist appointments, not to mention school dates just for examples…if i didn’t plan for these it would be a disaster.

Planning has made my household life more streamlined and less stressful. Yes, there is still those last minute requests from the kids (“Mom, I need a cake for school tomorrow” while asking at 9pm the night before) or changes in work schedules (“Sorry, I picked up an extra shift and totally forgot to mention it.”) but now I just go with the flow on those.

So I truly think that you can use planning and procrastination hand in hand. I don’t think it has to just be one or the other and I also do not believe that one is better then the other either.

Till the next time guys!!

Fab Five Friday – Tablet Apps

Everyone has their favorite things. Whether its food, places to shop, books to read or places to hang out at with your friends, you most likely have a favorite something. With my first Friday Fab Five, I have decided to share my five favorite tablet apps that make my writing and working life managable and streamlined.

When I realized that I could bring my Sony VAIO netbook everywhere I went, I knew I needed a tablet. But with my writing and work projects, it needed to be something with space, decent speed and honestly……Google Play Apps store. So I managed to snag a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1.

It was the best investment EVER.

So here are my fave five apps on my tablet. These five apps are ones that I use on a daily basis or close to it.

5. SPlanner
     – This app allows me to keep business orders, blog posting schedule and my personal/family schedule in one spot. Syncing with Google Calendar, this app allows you to view your calendar on a monthly, weekly, daily or in an agenda style format. Plus with a simple task list and widget, I couldn’t be more impressed with this stock app.

4. Facebook Pages Manager
     – Now, for those of us who have small businesses or are writers (both categories that apply to me), Facebook is almost a necessity to reach out to potential readers, clients or networking with other people within the industry. Since you can not use Facebook Pages from either the app or the mobile site, the Pages App is the only option and it works fairly well. You can add photos, schedule posts and move between different pages that you either own or are admins on. My only criticism on this app is that you can not make or edit photo albums. Other then that, I will consistantly use this app.

3. Google Docs
     – To put it simply, this is the word processor that is connected to Google Drive. I like to call it the Little Engine that Could. This word processor is really good.  It allows for editing, minor formatting and you can send  copies via email or convert to PDF right then and there. I currently use this app for the manuscripts that are still in progress and do not see myself using anything else in the near future.

2. Dropbox / Box
     – ALL HAIL THE CLOUD!!!! I love the Cloud, let’s just make that clear now. Whether it’s for photographs of my family, written articles or book manuscripts or mp3’s, i have them all in the cloud. Dropbox is my main cloud app and I have been using this for a while now both on my tablet and smartphone. I was introduced to Box from my Dad, (who is a Tech Genius in his own right.)
That will be my large holding site. If you are needing free space to hold various files, then i would recommend these two based on security, space and seamless sync capability between devices.

1. WordPress App
     – Speaking of seamless capability, the wordpress app is a fantastic all in one. You can change your theme, read other blogs in the reader, schedule and immediately post articles as well as see your blog all in the same app. Being able to use the app on both my smartphone as well as my tablet allows for ease of access and that is a big deal for me. I have nothing against Blogger (Which is where i started blogging), I just believe that WP is the better blogging platform. For that reason, it is my #1 app.

Till next Friday guys!!

Summer 2014 Playlist

There’s nothing better during the summer then cranking some tunes. Whether your cleaning your house, driving around or even just kicking back in the yard, here is my summer playlist for this year.

10. Summertime – Fresh Prince and DJ Jazzy Jeff
9. Slow Down – Selena Gomez
8. Dance Again – JLo feat. Pitbull
7. This Means War – Nickelback
6. Talk Dirty (Radio Edit) – Jason Derulo feat. 2Chainz
5. Adrenelina (Remix) – Ricky Martin feat. JLo and Wistin
4. Dark Horse – Katy Perry
3. Mosane – E.S. Posthumus
2. Happy – Pharrell
1. Come With Me – Ricky Martin

This list isnt set in stone, obviously it could change through out the summer as new music hits the airwaves. But for right now, this is the start list. As you can see, there’s dashes of old school and rock thrown in with hip-hop, latin pop and dance as well. If there is a song or two on this list that you enjoy as well, tell me about it in the comments below. I would love to hear your thoughts. Also, if none of these stike your fancy, then add your two cents in…what is on your summer music playlist for summer 2014?

Till the next time guys!