Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Go Go Go Go!

"Go, shorty
It's your birthday
We gon' party like it's your birthday
We gon' sip Bacardi like it's your birthday
And you know we don't give a (bleep)
cause it's not your birthday!"

Not that I'm a huge (or any kind really..) fan of 50 Cent - but IT'S MY BIRTHDAY and last Saturday night we did party - like it's my birthday!! Homemade Chinese food dinner made by my friend Christina, then we all headed over and rocked Ray's Karaoke like it was nobody's business!!!!

So it's December 22nd, 3 days before Christmas, and it's my birthday .. yup, I know what you are all thinking 'geesh, that sucks...' and I know my Parents think that is what I think too .. that some how (I think) I got ripped off growing up with my birthday being so close (3 days...) to Christmas ... So this blog is going out to them. And Brent. Why? Because they've made sure that even though my birthday is so close, I've always had a party, I've always had separate presents to open - that aren't wrapped in Christmas paper - and that I celebrated like it was the middle of June (or February, you know cause it would be more convenient then ....)

I have some pretty awesome friends - and family - and because of them having a birthday 'so close' to Christmas is pretty cool .. all that extra attention and stuff... you know us Capricorns, we love attention!!


".......Go, go, go, go, go, go
Go, shorty
It's your birthday
We gon' party like it's your birthday
We gon' sip Bacardi like it's your birthday
And you know we don't give a (Bleep)
cause it's not your birthday!...................."

Amanda
Inspire Marketing

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

'Christmas (or Holiday..) Card List' .....

Christmas (or Holiday..yeah I am being PC here..) Card list ... or what I like to refer to as the Popularity contest!! This is two-fold as well...you know - if you receive a lot of cards then you MUST be popular right?! And if you send a lot - well then that makes you the Uber popular person too - I mean really, you have so many people on your list that everyone is rushing to their mailbox in anticipation of seeing YOUR card in there ... well that is what I like to think when it's my card in their box!

I love cards .. love getting them, sending them, designing and making them! So everyone - yes, all of you - in turn must LOVE getting them from me too right? RIGHT??!!

Ahhh, the popularity contest.... really - does quantity matter? Do you jump up and down when you open the card from your 'friend' you haven't heard from since..well last Christmas - and they live 10mins (or even 30mins for that matter) away? .. or the person who you know only contacts you when they are 1) trying to get information (that would be they are NOSEY..) or 2) pumping their ego because they have so many people on their card list that are waiting in anticipation to hear all about their wonderful lives .... no you probably don't .. but it's a nice gesture right? .. sure... we will go with that.

I've come to realise a lot of things in the last few years .... egawd!! now I'm sounding like I should be writing this from my retirement home (and not the one in Cabo that Brent and I will have!!) - but yes, I am getting wise in my (getting older) age.... what matters, or more importantly - what (who...) doesn't. Real friends, important family even great acquaintances. Life is busy - really, truly, honest to goodness BUSY - for all of us - and I for one can appreciate that - so these gestures are really great ... but what I suppose I am (trying) to say is that - sometimes a little effort in between (and I too should listen to my own advice..remember the procrastination post below?? yeah - I've got so many 'good intentions...') goes a long way... that way when after I open my popularity cards this season and say 'aww that was nice' - then deposit into Abby's craft box (hey don't be offended - it's a nice box!) well you won't be - offended..... because chances are those ones that make it to her box are because it really has been that long since we've heard from you.. and I'm not sorry to say that there isn't room on the same table for all the other ones (and there are a lot!) from the who(s) and what(s) that matter.

It's not too late for you to change what people do with your popularity cards next year - so when you are sending them out this year - follow through on your 'nice gesture' and pretty words you write .... it's not quantity - but quality. And because no post would be good without a plug - if you're looking for some cards to send out - give me a shout, I can create some beautiful ones for you - ones that even if they deserve to be put in the craft box - won't - why? because they are that nice!!

Amanda
Inspire Marketing

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Procrastination!!

Oh yeah.. I am all too familiar with that word - Although I know I shouldn't be bragging about it!! So many things to do - yet I am quite content to sit here, sipping my latte, doing the square root of Zero (that would be nothing for those of you who are as mathematically challenged as I am...) and say - quite confidently too I might add - 'oh yes, tomorrow I will do that' ....

Projects around the house, for clients, things with the kids - all of them seem to be taking the back burner lately - to what? well me being lazy is at the top of the list. I received a call last week from UFMA .. you will recall who they are right? The kick my you-know-what place? yeah them .. seems it's been quite some time since I've been there too .. and the reason? (yes I was sick and yes Brent was away - In October!!) I've been lazy... yeah - that was pretty embarrassing giving that excuse..I was so caught of guard that they actually CALLED me to find out what was up - that even I couldn't think of something better then 'yeah, no excuse, just to lazy to walk the whole block to the class....even if it IS a big long block......'

Nothing like a dose of reality to snap me back into attention...that and realising time IS going by too fast.... Mid-November already?? Come on! I'm still wearing my flip flops and longing for Summer......

So what have you been procrastinating about? Well get to it will you - time is running out!

Amanda
www.inspiremarketing.ca

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Giving Back...

Happy Wednesday!

Why Happy? Well that means this week is almost over - and I could not be happier...oh yeah, it's been 'one of those' weeks...Brent has been away for work and with the impeccable timing they seem to have - Ashlan was sick throughout the night on Monday. That meant I was up at 1:22am (yes, I did check the time...) and got a whole whopping 2 hours sleep that night ... but who's complaining right??!! So Happy Wednesday - Brent will be home tonight and I've got my fingers crossed that Ashlan is on the road to recovery....I heading away for a few days and want to be able to go with a clear conscious (Nana and Papa are watching them for us.....)

To add to my already rotten week; I received the news that the house I wanted (that already had a conditional offer) on would not firm up - did. Apparently Brent decided he didn't want that house anyways....so this news was in fact 'okay' ... no comment. But I got to thinking about all that IS good in my life - and this week .. hey, why not focus on the positive, I can't change what HAS happened, but I can influence (well strongly suggest?) what is to be.....

In the spirit of giving back I'd like to put the spotlight on a few local people / groups that I believe are Worthy of exposure.

"The Meaning of Home" Contest
(Perfect timing no?!!) I've copied the body of an email that I received earlier this week - and I encourage ALL of you to spread the word about this fantastic Contest:

When asked, "what is the meaning of home?" everyone has a different answer. "Home" inspires a broad array of memories, emotions, thought and imaginations. As adults, we sometimes simplify the meaning of home to ‘where we live’. But ask a child what the meaning of home is, and the answer will amaze you.

On that note, I want to let you know about an inspiring contest being held by Genworth Financial Canada and Habitat for Humanity Canada. Between October 5th and November 13th, they’ll be asking Canadian students in grades 4, 5 and 6 what ‘home’ means to them.
As an influential blogger we need your help in sharing The Meaning of Home Contest with your readers and their families.

Here’s an overview of how the contest will take place. Students in grades 4, 5, and 6 can submit their choice of written composition, essay or poem describing what ‘home’ means to them. There will be a First Place Winner and five Runner Ups.

The First Place winner will:
* Take part in the ultimate gift - a new Habitat home for a deserving family. Genworth will donate $60,000 towards the building of a new Habitat home in a community of the winner's choice*.

* Receive a high-performance Dell laptop with 80 GB hard drive, 3 GB RAM and an extended warranty, loaded with Microsoft Office.

*The winner will select from a list of eligible locations.

The Five Runner Ups will each:
* Help a family to get a home of their own. Genworth will donate $5,000 to a Habitat affiliate of the winner's choice - which will support the building of a new home in that community.

* Receive a $100 gift certificate to Chapters Indigo.

You can find the Meaning of Home Contest in the following places:

Website: http://meaningofhome.ca

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Genworth-Financial-The-Meaning-of-Home/128454964162



And what do you need to help make your home personal? ART! I'd like to introduce all of you to a very talented, local artist - and share with you the upcoming events that Gordon will be part of over the next few months:

The Jordan Art Gallery, an artist collective located in the picturesque Niagara village of Jordan, will be the locale for his next exhibition. Entitled "Citified", he will be exploring his usual motif through the use of pastel and paper. Opening reception is on Sunday, Nov. 8, 2009 from 2 - 4pm and will run until the end of the month. Admission is free and all are welcome.

Gordon has been invited to take part in the Art Gallery of Hamilton's annual Autumn Sale from Nov. 5 - 8, 2009. Held in the beautiful Joey and Toby Tanenbaum Atrium Gallery, this sale features a wide assortment of great local art as well as free admission to the gallery. If you would like to attend the opening preview party on Wednesday, Nov. 4 (6 - 9pm), RSVP GORDON at the contact below.

His super juicy Holiday Open House is coming up again and this year he has added an extra day. Drop by his house on Sat. OR Sun., Dec. 5 and 6, 2009 for wine, munchies, music and other festive activities. Located at 114 Stanley Ave., Hamilton, ON (near Locke St.)

The deadline looms for The Little Art Show, an annual benefit for the Artists Network in Toronto. The Artists Network is a resource centre/gallery run by artist-members through fees and donations. This year’s event will be at Mercedes-Benz Downtown, 761 Dundas St. E., Toronto on Sat., Nov. 14 at 7:30pm. Many dozens of works will be available for sale - bidding starts at $80 – and Gordon has selected an acrylic piece to donate to the cause. Special guest emcee this year is Canadian Idol judge Jake Gold!

Finally, Gordon is happy to announce his involvement with a new gallery, Venus Gallery – 15221 Yonge St. in Aurora, Ontario. He is particularly happy with the roster of artists, including John Ovcacik, Laurie Skantzos, Nava Waxman and Chris Hayes. Go to the grand opening on Thurs., Nov. 5 at 7pm!

www.gordonleverton.com
http://leverton.wordpress.com/
gleverton1@gmail.com

So while I am disappointed I won't be hosting Waborita and pool parties in our new house and pool this summer .. hmm perhaps I can convince the people that DID firm up to do it instead?! .. I am grateful for what I do already have - and encourage all of you to spread the word and support both of these Worthy initiatives. Good things come to those who bring me a Starbucks.. err .. those who wait and those who give without asking for anything in return.

Happy Wednesday!
Amanda
www.inspiremarketing.ca

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Everyone has a Story....

I've been asked to write a monthly blog for a truly great website: www.wondermoms.ca , founder Tamara is a wonderful person which I am very fortunate to have crossed paths with; and even more flattered that she thought I worthy of including on her site. I'm going to be a 'Wonder Blogger!' .. hmm, I wonder what my uniform will look like?!!!

What is your story? ... Here is mine: juggling being a parent, wife, daughter, sister, friend, business owner and well I'm sure I've left many things out!! This is just the beginning....

The decision to become a parent was an easy one .. Brent and I knew early on in our relationship that we wanted to have children and when we got married in April 2004 we wasted no time (heck, we went to Cabo for our honeymoon, then Greece a month an a half later for work ...pretty hard NOT to feel inspired in such beautiful locales!!) so when we discovered that I had a bun in the oven that June we were elated! We told everyone .. and when I say 'everyone' I really do mean everyone.....even if they didn't care to know, they heard our great news anyways!

As a first time mom-to-be, I am sure you can imagine how erratic my behaviour was. If you are single and want to become a parent, and are male, please read and take notes: yes your partner WILL go back to normal (whatever normal was)..somewhat.. but you need to tread very carefully and know that everything being done is 'for the sake of the baby... YOUR baby!!' heehee .. I bought books, I bought clothes, I bought food ... lots of it - but couldn't eat it sadly.. Then one day I felt different. Couldn't place my finger on it, but I knew that something wasn't right. I read all those books I bought for signs of what was normal .. what wasn't .. and then I went..gasp..online! This will prove to be a source of many sleepless nights as I will, no doubt, continue to read any and everything I can 'online' ...

I was nearing the end of my first trimester when I started to have this feeling, so when I started to bleed I started to freak out. We went to the ER and were able to bypass the waiting room crowd (I was crying pretty hard at this point and the intake nurse took pity on me, being a woman and perhaps a mom herself....) where we waited for 7 hours .. yes 7 hours to be seen by the ER Doctor.... Poor Brent, if you think I am a witch (hey, I've gotta keep this PG!) at times .. you really didn't want to cross my path then. There were no prenatal exam rooms available this night, so I was moved into the supply cupboard room, on an ambulance stretcher - apparently no beds were available either - for my 'exam' ... yes I was bleeding, no there was nothing they could do, please go home and if it gets worse, well come back. Thanks for nothing.....

This part of the story does go on, and unfortunately it doesn't get better.. I had a miscarriage and we lost the baby. To take some words from Ann Douglas and her 'mother of all pregnancy book' I felt like I was kicked out of this special club - only to be granted membership into a new one, one that you really do not want to be part of.

Having gone through this awful experience - and let's face it, it sucks. No amount of pretty words or cliche phrases 'it was meant to be....' made either of us feel better... but we did move forward, heal and grew closer as a couple. Brent is pretty amazing, and I am so grateful that it is him that I am on this journey with; I couldn't imagine it any other way.

After our hearts had time to heal we decided to 'try again' .. and were blessed to discover I was pregnant that December...Abby was born on August 9th, 2005 - and things have not been the same since! She is incredible - and one of the (3) best things that either of us have created...and I'm pretty crafty I'll have all of you know!!!

We thought that we were busy - you know, how everyone that has their first child thinks they are... HA! We decided that Abby should have a brother or sister.. because 'that would be really great.....' So when I was 20.5 weeks pregnant (yes, that is 1/2 way through my pregnancy...) we went for our first ultrasound .... to discover that 'there are two babies in there.....' Yup .. TWO! We were having TWINS.. a boy and a girl.. pretty amazing isn't it?!!.... (or if you are one of the many strangers that felt the need to offer your comment(s): 'oh no, poor you .. well better you then me...' Yes, I do have to agree, better ME then you - clearly...) Brent and I started to laugh... to say we were in shock .. well that was a huge understatement!!! That part of the story is actually pretty funny - but it's long - so I will save that for if you want to ask me all the wonderful details yourself !! We left the ultrasound in a daze.. and now more than 20 months later, I still feel like most of my time is in a daze!

There were some complications with their birth ... it was down right scary if you really want to know... after being on bed rest since just after Christmas I started to hemorrhage and had a placenta abruption which resulted in an emergency C-Section at 36 weeks - I delivered Ashlan weighing 5lbs9oz and Reid weighing 6lbs1oz on February 26, 2008. The following 6 months are a blur, not just because we were adjusting to life with a 2.5 year old and newborn twins, but also because both were in the hospital for 3 weeks - when Ashlan was released - then another 2 for Reid when he was transferred to McMaster Children's Hospital. All in all, there were so many things that were going on - during those first 5 weeks, and then next 5 months afterwards of out-patient treatment .. that first year is a write off... Yeah I am bitter - but I look at him now and I am so grateful that he is healthy, his heart condition is manageable and that for the most part I am just exhausted due to managing life with a 4 year old, 20 month twins and growing my business. Yeah I have to cook and clean sometimes too.....

So my story is far from over - and it's a good one; well we think so anyways! and I can hardly wait to get more of it in print!! Yes I'm busy, and yes I juggle many hats - and yes, I love my Starbucks and Wine and Wabo's .... you will soon have a better understanding as to why!

Everyone has a Story.... thanks for reading part of mine! ...... What is yours?

Amanda
Inspire marketing

Monday, October 19, 2009

Great Customer Service...

No joke - 'Great Customer Service' - or Good Business Practice.... yes, it does still exist! Albeit scarce and often non-existent, I want to spread the word about a few businesses that truly know what this is all about - and could give some pointers to many others out there...

You are all aware of my love affair with Starbucks....and sad to say I really haven't been there that much lately - tragic, I know... So to find out that ** I ** was the lucky recipient of a $25 Starbucks gift card (yeay - that's a whole month's 'budget' for me!!) all because I spread the word about a business (group of very talented people) that I am truly happy and perhaps secretly (not any longer!) envious of - that are doing what they love - Kitestring Creative Marketing + Design ... I was very excited. They have this cool contest going on "What was I thinking" - which I expect everyone's vote in the next little bit on my behalf! - that marked their 2nd Anniversary and I 're-tweeted it' ... how cool is that? Very I'd say!!

From my favourite drink .. to my favourite food: The Keg

Yes, you read right The Keg. I love steak - heck I LOVE food period, but give me a good steak, nice wine and goat cheese - and I will do pretty much anything you want me to (but that's a different post on a different blog!...no, not really...) but when you have a life-threatening food allergy eating out is really difficult - and depressing... I'm allergic to shellfish - sad, but true..and it really stinks..so I have to be very careful and conscious of where I eat because unfortunately, not all restaurants care that I could die if they don't adhere to the health and safety guidelines they are suppose to. Brent and I went out for dinner Saturday night - yes, we had a 'kid-free' night! - and The Keg was the restaurant of choice. Anywhere we go, we always tell the server of my allergy, and sometimes they acknowledge it .. but Saturday night the Chef came out to my table...and the Manager (who brought out his ingredient binder just to be sure as they've added a few new items to their menu) ..and the Kitchen Manager...perhaps they even sent the dishwasher over too, but by this point I was enjoying another glass of Pino Grigo to catch his title - and well, this was great! I really do love the Keg (steak, wine, cheese....) and we always have great service there - but Saturday night was fantastic.

And back to business: Mabels Labels. If you haven't checked out their website, you need to .. if you have kids or clothes or bags or (you get my point..) - you need to. These are the.best.labels.ever. Yes, I said that with my best 'like ya' accent. I had some cards printed through them - 'mama cards' they call them .. only I really liked their design so I had my business information printed on it, and have given them all away - only to remember I have an event on Thursday - and I need business cards... So I sent an SOS out to Julie Cole, co-founder and fellow mama-of-many (ok, she has 3 more then I do .. so I'd say she is REALLY busy compared to me!) but, also someone that I admire and have started to talk more to (thanks twitter!) she responded within a 1/2 hour with the awesome news that Martha on her team was waiting for my call to help me out..... And she did - my business cards will be ready tomorrow - and they are 'on the house' ... yes - no charge to me... WOW .. now that is Great Customer Service. Have a look at their website - and place an order; you will NOT be disappointed. Oh yeah, did I mention that they have been named finalists for the Women Entrepreneur of the Year Awards: http://tinyurl.com/yhv3a6k - THAT is what Great Customer Service will get you!

While I am sure I could, no doubt, fill pages and pages detailing all the rotten Customer Service out there - I wanted to point all of you in the direction of some really great businesses that offer exceptional service - and I hope you too take the time to acknowledge people that deserve to be.

Amanda
www.inspiremarketing.ca


Friday, October 9, 2009

What are you Thankful for?

Turkey weekend is here! Are you thankful for that?! An extra day off work, a full belly, time with family and good friends? Yes, that is certainly something(s) to be thankful for....

I've been feeling under the weather this week...'under the weather' .. nice way of saying 'downright miserable' really... so I am thankful that my Mom asked to host our family Thanksgiving Dinner this year; even though at first I wasn't impressed - you know, because I really do love cleaning, prepping and cooking for apx 35 people (I really do!!) but Brent is heading out of town for work next week..ALL WEEK..so her having dinner was a way to help me out - and now because I am sick, I am especially thankful...

I spent last weekend with some of really great friends; women who I know that if I needed them I could pick up the phone and say 'come.right.now' - and they would... Just like the "SOS" I sent out yesterday for some homemade Chicken Noodle sooth my soul, make my miserable cold go away-Soup, Dan answered that call - now THAT is a friend. Just knowing that - makes my heart swell - friends ... really, truly, amazing Friends ... yes, I am thankful.

I look at my beautiful children and I am so thankful they are happy, healthy and {{good}} .. well when they aren't busy 'building their character' that is! .. and know that things could certainly be a whole lot different...

...An extra day off work...A full belly....time with family and good friends.... 3 things that might seem insignificant, but looking at the big picture these 3 things are the most important... I am thankful for the extra time I can spend with Brent and to be able to work from home and enjoy my beautiful family.... to put on a dinner for 35 people and to have them to share it with...and to have amazing, true friends that I know would do anything should I ask....

I could write a list as long as my block for all the things that I am thankful for - can you?

Happy Thanksgiving,
Amanda
www.inspiremarketing.ca

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Perfect Timing.....

I had the great pleasure of attending a talk that Ann Douglas, renowned author, parenting guru and really wonderful gal gave last night titled "The Dirt on Discipline and Other Secrets of Successful Parenting' ..... It could not have come at a better time.

This was Abby's first week of JK - up to this point she had only attended twice - once to meet her teacher and then one full day last week .. they call this staggered start - I mean, I can't understand why her teacher wouldn't want to be bombarded with 20-some 'Abby's' all at once???!! So this week life as I now know it started .. Monday, Wednesday and alternating Friday's I pack her lunch and the twinnies and I walk her to and pick her up from school. I suppose I should say that I will be having Wednesday's 'to myself' .. ahh, I love the sound of that....

I mean, how sad for me that I will have a day to myself that I can go to Starbucks alone and not have to struggle to open the door myself to 'just' get my Stroller through, holding Abby's hand - while everyone else just sits there blissfully ignoring me and my struggles... maybe browse the shoppes, run some errands ... or sit in my creative area (that would be the scrapbook room in my basement...) and perhaps the best of all - - do nothing! Because this is the day that Brent takes Ashlan and Reid to Kimmies (who I am eternally grateful for - she is THE BEST day care lady on the planet.... 'day care lady' does not do her justice..she is an extension of our family...) and Abby is in school all day ... life is good on Wednesday's!!

Well it was until the bell rang at 3:30pm yesterday and there I stood with a smile on my face waiting for my happy, wonderful, {{good}} Abby to come bounding out to tell me all about her day!! Yes... there I stood .. waiting ... waiting... still waiting ... all the other smiling kids came bouncing out to their smiling parents ... then appeared Abby .. and Mrs. F ... waving me over ... 'Great!' I thought - she wants to tell me how awesome Abby is and what a pleasure she is to have in class!! right? - I mean, this is ABBY we are talking about .. had this been Ashlan's first day of JK .. well ... hmmm .. I think I might have some one else do the picking up!! Up the steps I go - smiling - because this is ABBY we are talking about! To hear 'Mrs K .. we've had a few issues with Abby today.........' - Issues? No, not with MY Abby! 'issues? really? what kind of issues?' .. 'well she had a few (A FEW??!) time out's today because she was pushing other children in the dress up area' .... okay - I will give you all a minute to clean your monitor's off as I am sure you've spit out what it was you were drinking....

I can say that before this moment I can't remember a time that I have ever been as embarrassed..read: mortified .. then I was right then. There have been very few times in my life that I have been speechless (yes, hard to believe - me, speechless....) but there I stood, tears welling up in my eyes - and feeling a thousand eyes on the back of my head (all the other parents with their perfect, happy {{good}} children trying not to listen but silently thanking god it was me and not them no doubt!...) staring at me ... 'pushing??? Abby?? oh....umm..ok... well no not okay..butyouknowwhatimean...stumbling out of my mouth .. I will ..umm .. talk to her ... '

Mrs F is a really great person ... I've been fortunate enough to have several people from different areas in my life speak very highly of her - so when she said to me 'I found that telling Abby if she can't play nice she will not be able to play in the dress up area worked..her face fell and her lips trembled...so let's hope she had the last of her time outs now that we found her soft spot........' yes.. her soft spot ... like my heart that is now in my stomach... thinking 'great, this is a great, fantastic, superb! start to the year.....'

With reassurances that I would in fact reiterate that this type of behaviour is not acceptable, I turned, put a smile on and faced the sea of judging faces ...

The walk home which really isn't that far - seemed like we were walking uphill - in bare feet or worse high heel shoes, me on the verge of tears. Abby happily running ahead with her little friend, me walking beside mine - I was glad to have her say to me 'well..don't sweat it, she is used to ruling the roost at home, so now she just needs to establish pecking order at school' .... Right .. makes sense .. except for the fact that this is MY ABBY!!!

I began to 'tweet' with Ann on Twitter about 2 months ago - and find all she has to say very funny as well as informative - so when Brent told me about an article in yesterday's Spectator about her being in Dundas giving a talk at the Ontario Early Year's Center, I jumped at the chance to go!!! Imagine - this was before my dreadful 3:30pm bomb went off.... walking home my thoughts all over the place, thinking 'god help me .. oh wait - ANN help me!!!.....'

"The Dirt on Discipline and Other Secrets of Successful Parenting" .. a lot of words that translate into: how to get your happy, wonderful {{good}} Abby back again! Her talk was filled with lots of really great, practical, common-sense tips and techniques...and best of all, listening to her share her life experiences - and those of a room filled with about 100 other parents of perfect children like my Abby, I know that life as I know it - is just about to get a whole lot better.... Right?


Amanda

www.inspiremarketing.ca

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Relationships...There are all kinds - and the importance of them..

I've been thinking about Relationships - the many different kinds of them - a lot recently ... and the importance of them in our lives. I'm not just talking about the one that Brent and I have, although I do have to admit we are pretty lucky in what we do share. He is my soul mate - I truly believe that .. I mean, really - who else would actually WANT to be married to someone who happily professes that 'she is the kind of woman that, when her feet hit the floor each morning the devil says: 'Oh Crap... She's Up' ;o) .... but of ALL the relationships that are part of my life.

I'm sitting in my chair on the second floor of our home looking out the window at my neighbour's rose garden...she takes such pride in her gardens - yet when my oldest daughter Abby asks her if she can have one - she gladly cuts one off for her; in fact, most (sadly not all...) my neighbours are really awesome people - and they are more then just 'neighbours' they are friends...that kind of relationship can't be bought...

Recenly I've partnered up with The Waterfront Banquet Centre to do custom gift baskets...so if you have an event coming up, Mike Georgakopoulos has something special for you! I believe in the importance of growing these kinds of relationships; it started with a conversation he and I had at a Chamber event last year ... and while it's taken some time to reach this point, (I was a little busy forming a 'relationship' with my twins Ashlan and Reid....!) it was worth the patience - on his part! - and the follow up on mine...

Twitter has become a really great resource for me .. I've stumbled across some really entertaining and aspring blogs (who knew that Perz Hilton really doesn't look good in Green??!! ha!.. although I suppose I should say >> who cares?! ) , and have started to form relationships with some truly awesome people - which I hope to grow my network over the next few months and form more mutually beneficial partnerships, as I have with Mike at The Waterfront Banquet Centre.

Yesterday was a pretty important day for our household...it was Abby's 'meet the teacher' day.. and she could hardly wait to go....again, another relationship being formed; not only between her and Mrs. F; but also between us, the other parents and their children... exciting times ahead no doubt.

After this 1 hour meeting, Abby and I had a Mommy-Abby day .. we went for lunch at what I think is Abby's favourite restaurant (Ray's Boathouse) then headed out for a whirlwind shopping afternoon .. I love that Abby is as much in awe of Chapters, Carters and Michaels craft store as I am (lots of new stamps and inks were purchased....Hallowe'en is just around the corner you know!) then back down to Locke Street where we actually got to go into all the chi chi stores that I normally have my nose pressed up against their windows (amazing what one can do with just ONE child who walks, talks (a lot..I wonder where she gets THAT from??) and isn't in a double B.O.B stroller!) ....

Our mission was to get a lunch bag for Abby and to visit the new CHOCOLATE STORE: La Chocolaterie Forrat - that recently opened up (see this article in the Hamilton Spectator).... I'm happy to announce it was a complete success .. One Electric Blue LUG lunch bag purchased - thank you LULU & LAVIGNE Home Studio and some very delicious and decadent chocolates purchased - and some consumed - from La Chocolaterie Forrat... Abby chose the one she wanted, and when it was handed to her she smiled proudly and announced to all "I looooove you truffle" and gave it a kiss .. yes, most definitely the relationship I have with this child of mine is built on our love of shopping, the finer things in life - and chocolates! Since we already had our Starbucks fix whilst at Chapters earlier in the day, I thought it would be a bit much if we visited the one on Locke (sorry guys..) .. that, and I am on a Starbucks budget remember!!!!


I know this entry has become somewhat long-winded .. (I know .. you're thinking - somewhat??!!!..geesh, come up for air, please!) but I really wanted to stress the importance of relationships in our lives; Making new ones or perhaps ending old ones - because to be happy in life - and you only have this one, so make it a happy one - you need to surround yourself with positive and healthy Relationships. As well, I wanted to acknowledge the many very different but equally important ones that make up all that is my life.

I am grateful to Brent - this relationship is my most cherished; and to my children - for they are the reason I am doing what I am doing; my Parents because without their unconditional love, support and enouragement - always - I would not be where I am at... And my girlfriends - with out them I would be writing from a nice, quiet room.....probably painted white.....and there would be no sharp objects >> and really, what fun would THAT be?!!! although.. I would be forming NEW relationships there too right?!!!

With that in mind, a shout is going out to everyone that I have a relationship with - past or present - because like an elephant I remember everything, so you've undoubtedly impacted me in some shape or form; and to all the new ones I hope to make - how exciting that will be!

Wow .. just think of what this scrapbook album will look like!

Amanda
www.inspiremarketing.ca

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted... Aesop

We have inventory!

We are making progress towards solidifying our programs for Read to Succeed; a used childrens book distribution network - to benefit those in the community without the means to stock a library for the children in their lives. Brent and I are very fortunate to take our kids up to Chapters regularly and let them buy books for their growing libraries .. not everyone is that fortunate.

"No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted" : Aesop .... A very special thanks to Jill Genno: Rogers TV Listings and also the Hamilton Chamber Ambassador's Committee Chair; Jill has generously donated two boxes of children's books to begin our inventory!!! We are working on building relationships with a distributing agency: Big Launch Event and other initatives rolling out soon!

I've recently joined the ranks of tweeting - and with that a whole new world has opened up!! Fellow Mommies (and Daddies too!) check out www.WonderMoms.ca and www.opti-mom.com - they are just a couple of the many great websites I've come across on this new journey!

Another shout out goes to Little Bird Hamilton - a little Gem on Ottawa Street here in Hamilton that has just recently 'hatched' - they celebrated their GRAND OPENING this past Saturday and if you missed it, be sure to stop by and check them out!!!

I had some trouble getting this post - well .. posted! .. and had to call on the expertise of a friend - without his assistance - my blog would have ended with just 2 entries - how sad that would have been.. so very kind, and I thank you Ross!!

Thanks again to Jill; your contribution has jump-started our program, for that we are grateful... If anyone else has books they would like to donate, we will gladly accept them! And if you know of student in high school that needs some volunteer hours, send them our way - while they need this to graduate, I still firmly believe that helping others is the best act of kindness!

Amanda
www.inspiremarketing.ca

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

We are now on Etsy and Twitter!

http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=7950263

twitter.com/Inspirehamilton

It makes one wonder how we got by with just the phonebook and flyers!!

I went to my first Aero Kickboxing class last night :: check out www.ufma.ca, Dundurn St. location and stop by for a class that Mr. Gord Waddell is teaching - you will not be disappointed!!! As a complete novice to kickboxing, to say I was nervous about my first class would be an understatement.. I was SCARED! I am grateful to my friend Heidi (Gord's beautiful wife) who went with me this first time - and for Gord who literally kicked my you know what - all with a smile - reassuring me and reminding me to 'go at my own pace' .. fortunately I do have some pride, so sitting and watching (my own pace..) is not what I did - and I had the best workout I have EVER had (and no this wasn't my first ever attempt at exercise!!)

I love our neighourbood - and all it has to offer; www.ufma.ca located across from Zarky's on Dundurn and a block away from trendy Locke Street - you know, where my office should be >> at the Starbucks!

I'm going to take tonight off from my new workout regime - and get to work on some cards that you will want to get your hands on - nothing better then receiving (and sending) a beautiful card in the mail - and I plan to send one to congratulate Gord on his brand-new location; You should too!

Amanda
www.inspiremarketing.ca

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

We've hung our virtual sign!

Our website is now up and running - and the timing is perfect! Our creative juices are flowing and our clients are happy - Life is good!

Why wait until a new year comes along to make positive, healthy changes to your lifestyle? Browse through our website and see all the fun and exciting services we can help you with; whether you are planning a party, looking to improve your diet, want to get together with some friends for a fun night - we are here for you!

So grab your favourite drink - depending on the time of day I am blogging, mine will be a Caramel Machiato from my nearby Starbucks on Locke Street or a Waborita that was graciously waiting at the end of a long day - and enjoy the ride; 'you only have one life - so make THIS ONE the best!'

Amanda