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A Valentine’s Day Family Day
Life
A family friendly alternative to a commercial Valentine's Day celebration.
February 17, 2015 0

Every year for Valentine's Day I prefer not to embrace the commercial side of the holiday. Instead I spend the day baking with my family.

This year was extra special because my (almost) 3 year old LOVES baking, and she was so excited for the whole experience. Here's what happened. 

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How to Get Money Back From the Bank
Life
How to Get Money Back From the Bank
February 2, 2015 0

If you're paying big monthly fees, credit card interest, or annual credit card fees, there's a good chance you can get your money back. Here's how!

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The Good, Bad & Ugly of Doing a Detox Diet Cleanse
Life
The Good, Bad & Ugly of Doing a Detox Diet Cleanse
January 19, 2015 0

Doing a detox cleanse can be a great way to kickstart your health, lose weight, and feel great. It's also a good idea to know what you're getting into, and see if what you're feeling is normal.

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Detox Cleanse Diet Update
Life
Detox Cleanse Diet Update
January 16, 2015 0

It's been 15 days since I started doing my cleanse and it seems like a great time to do a check in.

The first few days of the cleanse were relatively easy, with a few tinges of hunger...and random thoughts of what I would like to eat, but not necessarily cravings.

I would catch myself several times about to pick something up and pop it into my mouth only to realize I can't graze like that. It makes me wonder how much snacking I'm doing during the day that I'm not even aware of! 

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A Different Way to Celebrate a January Birthday
Life
A Different Way to Celebrate a January Birthday
January 14, 2015 0

Having a birthday in January is no fun. It's usually cold, and all your friends are too poor after Christmas, too tired after all the holiday parties, and too busy at the gym keeping their resolutions.

And of course, I'm doing a detox diet cleanse, so can't do the typical celebrations.

So this year I threw out the notion that I could have a normal drinks & dinner celebration, and did something a little different. 

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How to quit your job nicely (and keep all your key relationships)
Life
5 Easy steps to quit your job, keep your work friends, and move on to better things.
January 12, 2015 0

If you're dying to quit your job screaming and yelling and pointing fingers at the "bad guys" in your office, that's one way to do it. But, you'll destroy so many relationships and goodwill that you'll pay for it the rest of your career.

So how do you quit graciously...even if you hate your boss, or your job?

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The Essential Clean Eating Detox Diet Grocery List
Life
The Essential Clean Eating Detox Diet Grocery List
January 8, 2015 0

When I started doing this detox cleanse I wasn't really sure what we were going to eat. Well it turns out we've been eating healthy, filling and fresh meals...not to mention super affordable. And we've been loving it!

Since I'm all about convenience in the kitchen I try to bulk buy ingredients, and cook and prep as much as I can ahead of mealtime. It saves a ton of time. Avoids any temptation. And makes lunch (our one meal per day while on the cleanse) a total breeze.

This shopping list is based on the Clean diet from Dr. Alejandro Junger. The basic philosophy is to heal your body through what you eat.

CLEAN EATING GROCERY LIST

Here's our basic detox diet grocery list: 

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The 3 Kings Day Gift Snafu
Life
The 3 Kings Day Gift Snafu
January 7, 2015 0

Yesterday the 3 kings came to our house. It's the first time they've ever come. And it didn't go that well.

You see, my husband is from Argentina...and there it's common for the 3 kings to come and leave a small present for children in their shoes on January 6th. It's actually the 12th day of Christmas, and is known as “Feast of the Epiphany” or "Three Kings Day".

It's a whole new tradition for me!

So after I tucked myself into bed and I started to drift off I realized I forgot to put the present out! But I also really didn't know what to do. Where do you put the present? In the shoes? On the shoes? Under the shoes? Are the presents wrapped? And where do you put the shoes? 

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Life
Great tasting and easy to make detox smoothies are a perfect fit for a clean eating cleanse. Make these in 2 minutes or less.
January 6, 2015 0
berrysmoothie

Following our "kickstart your health" cleanse plan here, we're having a smoothie for breakfast and dinner everyday. That means twice a day we need to come up with exciting, delicious and easy to make smoothies that will be a satisfying meal replacement. Here are a few of our favourites (plus the combo that really didn't work so you don't make that mistake!). 

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How to Get Out Of Debt Fast in 7 Easy Steps(And Still Have a Life): The 2015 Edition
Life
Want to know how to pay off a student loan or pay off osap asap? Need to save for a down payment? Follow these 7 easy tips, and you'll be debt free fast!
January 5, 2015 0

Whether you just graduated from university with a big student debt, are many years into a good paying career (with a side of expensive shopping as a hobby), or are a stay at home mom, getting out of debt quickly can be fun. 

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An Easy Detox Diet: The 2015 New Years Cleanse
Life
An Easy Detox Diet: The 2015 New Years Cleanse
January 2, 2015 0

Every year starting January 1st I do a New Years Cleanse. Sometimes I do it for one week, sometimes for 3 weeks. Every time...I feel amazing. Below I share details of how it works, what it is, and the results I've gotten. 

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If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun.

Katherine Hepburn
Craft: How to Make A Christmas Cookie House
Life
Craft: How to Make A Christmas Cookie House
December 10, 2014 0

This year I wanted to do a Christmas activity every week to try and bring in the season. One of our activities was making a Christmas cookie house. Here's what we did and how it turned out.

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Just don’t give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong.

Ella Fitzgerald
A Perfect (And Easy!) Turkey Recipe: Ina Garten Recipe Review
Life
A Perfect (And Easy!) Turkey Recipe: Ina Garten Recipe Review
October 5, 2014 0

For the first time ever I'm making my own Thanksgiving turkey. Eeeks! That's right...I'm 37 years old and I've never made a turkey. And Thanksgiving is my favourite holiday of all time!

This year I decided to take the plunge. We invited my parents in law, and I created a big menu for our turkey day. Very ambitious!

The day before Thanksgiving we will drive up to St.Jacob's market for a free range, hormone free, super happy turkey.

And to make my turkey I'm following Ina Garten's recipe from the book Barefoot Contessa Parties. I love all of Ina's books and shows, but is it really as easy as she makes it look?

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I have come to realize making yourself happy is most important. Never be ashamed of how you feel. You have the right to feel any emotion you want, and do what makes you happy.

Demi Lovato
Life
How to Stop Existing and Start Living (Existential Bummer)
December 3, 2013 0
With the holidays coming up it's an easy time to get overwhelmed and overstressed. Luckily I found a short video online that has really put things in perspective for me...and maybe it can for you too.
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5 Fabulous Things
Life, Style
5 Fabulous Things
November 29, 2013 0
 

This past week I came across a quote on Facebook that really got me thinking.

It really is true, right? How we spend our time, regardless of how mundane the task, or totally average it seems...when we pile all these things up over the years...they represent our life!

And, if you're like me and you work a lot, you make your family a priority, and you have a million things going on, it can be REALLY difficult to make sure you fill each and every day with a little joy, a little glamor, and a little spice!

So this week, I'm starting a new regular post on "5 Fabulous Things".

Here goes! 

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How I made $100,000 last week
Life
How I made $100,000 last week
November 11, 2013 0
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This week we passed another great event – the sale of our third investment condo. And as we finish the math on how much we made, we’re nearing the $100,000 mark.

And yes, I’m being totally serious, and no I’m not being braggy. I just want to be honest. In case you’re a girl that’s tired of slugging it out in your day job and scrimping together for your RRSP’s wondering how it’s all going to work out, or if you’ll even have enough money. If that's you, listen up.

This condo was not technically an investment condo, since we actually lived in the unit for a while, but it was bought with the intention of being an investment.

We bought the unit in 2009 and I wouldn’t exactly say it was easy. I knew investing in condos was a great way to make money…because I’d done it before and made $50,000, but as the date to sign our papers got closer at the showroom in that fall of ’09 it was seeming more and more scary to me. You know, all those naggy, scary, “oh my god, what if I lose everything” kind of thoughts.

And to categorize them properly, I’ll say they are fears…not just thoughts. Thoughts have more logic and reason. Fears are not logical at all, and they prey and amplify your biggest worries.

Pushing through them is hard work.

But, I did.

So, we bought our condo, and pulled together our pennies (literally) for our down payment. Then we waited for the condo to be built. We waited 4 years. And finally it was ready. Here's what happened.

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Celebrating Like The Stars – For Less
Events, Life
Celebrating Like The Stars – For Less
August 22, 2013 0

Ah, the final lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer! Well, I’m not so sure about lazy, but crazy is a good way to describe my family’s summer! Between packing and unpacking suitcases for family trips, chauffeuring my kids to play dates, and keeping up with my own hectic work schedule, I barely get any time to relax and unwind.

My girlfriends and I decided that this summer was going to be different, and that we were going to make it a priority to spend more time having fun together. After reading a few articles about how celebrities revel in style, we came up with a few fun ways that we could whoop it up just like the stars! Below I put how the stars are celebrating, and then below what you can do to celebrate celebrity style for less! 

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The Littlest Lunch Date
Life
The Littlest Lunch Date
August 16, 2013 0

Every Friday my daughter and I run errands, and as a little treat, we go for a lunch date together after.

We usually pick a casual place close to wherever we need to run errands. Once we choose our place we sit down, chose something we can share that will arrive pretty quickly, and then we play with straws or cutlery until our food arrives. 

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Style
Stylish & Affordable Outfit for Under $100
August 13, 2013 0

I love dressing up and looking put together...even to do things like run errands, do some local shopping, or lunch with my daughter. It's part of my mission to incorporate everyday glamour into my everyday life.

But of course, like every frugal fashionista, I want to watch my pennies while I'm still looking good. My trick is to buy summer dresses and trendy and affordable jewelry every summer, and then mix this with my older more expensive or quality pieces. Most of my outfits cost less than $100...unless I'm wearing a designer purse or really quality piece, which I'll do for evenings. 

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Life
The House Is Sold!
July 30, 2013 0

For 3 years we were living part time in the city, and part time in the country. We had a big gorgeous country house with 2 wood-burning fireplaces and a huge lawn on 21 acres. Our house was surrounded by vineyards, and some of the best wine from Niagara on the Lake was within a 3 minute drive from my house.

In many ways it was heavenly. Quiet days, natural beauty, a wonderful break from our insanely busy city lives. Of course, like every experience, there were good things and bad things about it.

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Style
To Die For Fashion: Join us on Pinterest
July 25, 2013 2

If you're looking for the ultimate in temptation I've picked out my very favourite fashion pieces on Pinterest.

I love looking for new styles, different ways to style great pieces I already have, and dreamy "If I had a million dollars" pieces.

I also love that it shows what my real style is...so I won't get distracted when I go shopping and find something that realistically, I'll never wear.

Click here to see my Pinterest fashion board. 

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Life
3 Delicious Chicken Recipes for Healthy Summer Dinners
July 23, 2013 0

It's summer, it's warm and it's the perfect time to gather friends and enjoy dinner on the patio with some wine, music and laughter.

Here are my 3 favourite chicken recipes that are delicious, diet friendly and easy to make:

Zesty Mexican Chicken Soup

Delicious & Light Chicken with Creamy Sundried Tomato Sauce

Scrumptious Baked Chicken With Lime & Mustard Sauce

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Life
Tell me what you want (what you really, really want)
July 22, 2013 0

This fall we've got some awesome giveaways, contests and events and I want to make sure I'm offering you what you really, really want.

I put together a few questions (it should take you 2 minutes or less) to help me get the right prizes for you. Click here to tell me what you want: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/XJRP5B6 

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How to Travel to Europe  Comfortably with a Toddler
Travel
How to Travel to Europe Comfortably with a Toddler
July 18, 2013 0
 

On our recent trip to Greece so many people were amazed that we were taking an unconventional trip with our one year old. After all, an all-inclusive trip would have been much easier, right? But I rarely go for easy, and I really wanted some adventure, so Greece it was!

Here are my travel lessons I learned that can make for an easy & enjoyable European vacation with kids: 

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Events, Life
Calling All Ladies Who Want More Out of Life
July 12, 2013 0
Since I stopped working for other people and started working for myself I can honestly say that I've had very little "work stress". I love what I do, I love my clients, and I love helping people who have a hard time figuring out how to actually get clients to buy from them, how to do it. When I was starting my business, I made the VERY smart decision to learn how to sell. After all, without sales, you don't have any money, and without money, you'll have way more stress, and way more worries than you ever had working for someone else. Not exactly what you signed up for, right? The first training program I ever took was a program that taught me how to give great sales presentations from Lisa Sasevich. It was a mental stretch for me to get this down pat, but after my 5 week course I gave my first presentation. There were only 4 people in the room, and that's much less than I normally present to. I was a tad worried nobody would buy, even though I knew that my marketing training would help them immensely. Lo and behold, I presented, and followed Lisa's advice step by step. And when I went home, I had a total of $2,600.00 in sales. Not bad for 2 hours of work! It was the beginning of a big (and very profitable) transformation in my business. And it keeps on getting better and better. I'm not telling you this to brag. I'm telling you this in case you're in a job you hate and you don't know how to step out and start your own thing, or you really want to start working for yourself (maybe even while you still have the "security" of your regular job) but don't know where to start, or even if you have already started your own business, but you're not making the money you want, and you just want an easy step-by-step way that tells you exactly what you need to do to get people to buy from you. If your ears are ringing and you're thinking "Hey, that's me!" I'd like to introduce you to my friend Lisa Sasevich, the Queen of Sales Conversion. Lisa has been able to actually accomplish what everyone else only talks about -- she's grown a multi-million-dollar business from scratch, from home, in 5 short years with 2 young children in tow. And the best part is she's spilling the beans in her complimentary 6-Figure Teleseminar Secrets "Love Your Life" Blueprint Training Series. http://tinyurl.com/mof86v6 It all starts with the first content-rich video: "How to position yourself." This is the #1 thing you MUST do in any selling situation (and chances are you either aren't doing it at all or -- no offense -- but you could be doing it WAY better.) PLUS you'll learn the #1 tool Lisa has ever found to build your list fast, expand your reach and create your first information product while getting paid for it! It won't be up for long so I highly suggest taking the time to watch now: http://tinyurl.com/mof86v6 I wish you all the success, prosperity and personal and lifestyle freedom! Ingrid P.S. As you may know (and may have experienced yourself first-hand) growing your business while balancing the rest of your life is easier said than done. Let Lisa walk you through her steps to making BIG money and a BIG difference doing what you love (and without compromising your life). Here's that link again: http://tinyurl.com/mof86v6 P.P.S. The 6-Figure Teleseminar Secrets "Love Your Life" Blueprint Training Series is free and there is no cost or obligation, but you should know I am an affiliate of Lisa's, which means I believe in what she's doing and if you invest with her one day, she may float me a commission. Stay up to date with all things Cashmere Clutch – join our mailing list here: http://eepurl.com/tArTj
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Life
Getting Over Baby Blues (and Back on the Blogging Horse)
June 25, 2013 0
I've been making a big effort to "take back my life" after a big year with baby blues, and change of life, and so much more. Just to recap in the last year: - I had a baby - moved to Niagara on the Lake - I changed my business completely into one that was more "me" (which takes thousands of hours) - suffered from loneliness and big bad baby blues after moving to the middle of nowhere with a newborn baby - decided to sell our house and move back to Toronto - went to Amsterdam - went to Mexico City - went to LA - moved into a small condo (that we originally bought as an investment, but I just couldn't handle living in the country anymore) - went to Greece Originally I started a blog as a creative outlet. I was in a corporate job that we very frustrating, and I really didn't have that much creative freedom (and the office politics were downright toxic & totally ridiculous). So, Cashmere Clutch became a way for me to be "me" online, and a creative project where I got to talk about everything that interested me at the time. Fast forward from 2008 to 2013, and life has changed dramatically. I started my own company, got engaged, sold my condo (and made nice big profits), got married... and then all the stuff mentioned above. In reality, I had SO much going on, that I really didn't want a creative outlet. Everything that was happening in my life was a direct result of my actions...everything became my "creative project" - some much more successfully than others. So, I started blogging less and less, and just focused on my business, and raising a family, and traveling, and staying sane. I would think about Cashmere Clutch and want to do something with it, or think of blog posts...but it never really happened. Is that the baby blues coming out? It may be. I'll be honest, last year was SHITTY. It was a tough, tough year. Moving to Niagara was a bad decision for me. And my husband was working really long hours, so I was at home alone, with a little baby, and nobody to talk to. It was such a lonesome period of time. I could feel myself becoming a shadow of what I wanted to be. When my husband would come home, it was hard for me to have a basic conversation, because I was so numb from boredom and loneliness. Everything seemed to be spiraling in the wrong direction. Until one day, I said "We need to sell this house. I can't live here anymore". My husband listened patiently and after hearing what I had to say, said "Let's sell it". It was a big relief for me. The next week we got it ready to sell, and made plans to move on with our lives. Since then we've been making a big effort to only doing stuff that makes (both) of us happy. We're traveling more. We're starting to come up with some lofty investment choices that will pay off huge in the long term. We moved back to Toronto. I'm doing a nanny share with my girlfriend. My business is coming along really well. When I was in Greece I was thinking really hard, about what my "Passion Project" is. And Cashmere Clutch kept coming up. This is my thing. My outlet. My way to share. So, from now, on, I'm getting back on the blogging horse. What about you. What's you're experience with getting over the baby blues, or getting back to yourself after a big change in your life? If you enjoyed this article and know others would too, please share it on Facebook & Twitter (links are below) And of course, Join our Newsletter to make sure you get regular updates on living a balanced, fulfilling and fabulous life the Cashmere Clutch way! Join our mailing list here: http://eepurl.com/tArTj Toodles! Ingrid
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Life, Travel
The Ikea Monkey Returns
June 18, 2013 0
When I was on a ferry from Mykonos to Santorini on our Greece family vacation, I had an episode of the Ikea Monkey Returning Me, my husband, and my daughter were all sitting next to each other. When the ferry took off, we realized there were a lot of empty seats, and my husband wanted to take a nap, so he layed out and we went to the empty row in front of him. We played, and read a book, and did lots of things you do to keep a one year old entertained on a boring ferry ride, and then she just couldn't take it anymore and need to crawl around. I'm pretty relaxed, so I let her scramble along the floor and meet the other ferry patrons (including a French lady who kindly let her eat all her cookies and play with her jewelry). This lasted about 45 minutes. Then it was time to go back to our seat. When I went back, there was a man sitting in our place, and the monkey and box of wipes I had left behind were gone. My husband was sleeping soundly in the row behind, so he didn't see anything, and he definitely didn't have our goodies. What was I to do? So, we marched up to the store on the ferry, and I asked if they had a lost and found. The conversation went like this. me: Do you have a lost and found? ferry guy: yes. me: I've lost my daughter's monkey. Have you seen it? ferry guy: Was it alive? me (looking very confused): Oh, Ikea Monkey! No, it's a stuffed toy. ...... Luckily, they had our *stuffed toy* monkey and box of wipes, we all laughed, and then I went back to our seat, where my husband was still napping. If you enjoyed this article and know others would too, please share it on Facebook & Twitter (links are below) And of course, Join our Newsletter to make sure you get regular updates on living a balanced, fulfilling and fabulous life the Cashmere Clutch way! Join our mailing list here: http://eepurl.com/tArTj Toodles! Ingrid
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3 Must Visit Places in Greece
Travel
3 Must Visit Places in Greece
June 10, 2013 0
 

I have wanted to go for Greece for about 20 years, so when Air France had a ticket sale this past winter (and it was -20C in Montreal), I jumped on the opportunity, and booked a ticket for our family holidays for me, my husband, and the freebie tickets kids under 2 get (for our daughter Sephora).

I searched online for greece vacations, read family holiday travel guides and quickly came up with a Greek travel itinerary for what we were going to do for 17 days in Greece, with a one year old on board. 

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Life, Travel
5 Days in L.A.
March 10, 2013 0
When I found out that there was a big entrepreneurial women's conference from my mentor Ali Brown in LA I was delighted - that meant I not only got to learn lots of cool business tricks, but that I would get a chance to go to L.A. for business (i.e. it's a writeoff!), and a girls long weekend. So, after convincing my husband to watch over the baby for 5 days, I bought my plane ticket, reserved my hotels, and made plans to learn, meet other cool business women, and spend some time with friends in LA. For the first few days I stayed in Beverly Hills. For me, it's the simplest things that bring me complete joy. On this particular day it was being able to wake up early, and walk - in the warm weather!- around this gorgeous neighbourhood. The palm trees swaying in the breeze, the smell of fresh cut grass, the view of the ocean from my hotel room. All intoxicatingly wonderful experiences.

With my friend from highschool, Jenn

After my walk my friend from high school, Jenn, picked me up and we walked all day long in Venice Beach. We had some lunch, strolled in the sand, and then sat by the ocean chit - chatting. After 5 hours walking in the ocean air, I felt like an all new person! The second day I walked around Beverly Hills some more, and then went to my friend Matt's house for a barbecue. I met Matt in 2003 in Korea when I was teaching English. I actually met him through my ex-boyfriend. We've always gotten along well, but for a few years we haven't seen each other. I thought maybe I lost him in the "boyfriend divorce". But I saw on facebook that he's in LA as a comic illustrator and I thought, what the heck, I'll message him and see if he wants to hang out. And it turns out he did! I helped him like a sister would, we cleaned up his apartment together, and then his friends came over and we hung out, and then after everyone left, we decided to get some sushi, since LA is famous for it. This was a great idea, the sushi was indeed incredible! On the third day I went to the conference hotel, and met with some of the ladies. We decided to hire a driver, who took us to Malibu, Santa Monica and for a mini-tour of LA. It was a complete blast getting to connect with these girls, almost all of them that I had never met before, but were so open, inspiring, and ready to have FUN! The next few days I had my conference, where I go to connect with really cool women business owners doing awesome stuff. I really hit it off with one girl in particular, who is franchising her wedding make-up business in Australia. It's so inspiring to connect with other business women that have families,and regular lives, and on top of it they run hugely successful businesses and make great money (in the hundreds of thousands), working totally on their terms, in a business they love. That stuff feeds my soul. After our conference days we would go for dinner, or drinks, and chat about what we learned.

With some girls from the conference

On our last night we rented a limo, who took us to a nearby beach town for dinner. The ladies, chit-chatted, giggled, and just had loads of laughs and fun. Again, that stuff feeds my soul. We weren't talking catty, or backstabbing, or any other ridiculous bottom-feeding behavior that you see women do to each other. We were all incredibly supportive, sharing ideas on how to make things better, and making sure everyone got something great from the experience. When I left LA I didn't think it was such an awesome experience. But now that I'm writing this, and I have a chance to re-collect, I can definitely say it was a good one. Sometimes, all we need is a little distance, to really appreciate what we have! If you enjoyed this article and know others would too, please share it on Facebook & Twitter (links are below) And of course, Join our Newsletter to make sure you get regular updates on living a balanced, fulfilling and fabulous life the Cashmere Clutch way! Join our mailing list here: http://eepurl.com/tArTj Toodles! Ingrid
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Style
WIN a Natural Highlight Package (Value $50)
January 23, 2013 0
If you're like me, you care about the products you use on your face, hair and body. After all, drop dead gorgeous shouldn't kill you! So, when my friends at Tints of Nature offered up a Natural Highlight Package for one lucky Cashmere Clutch reader to win, I couldn't resist! The best part? These gorgeous highlights are: * free of ammonia, resorcinol, nonoxynol and parabens * certified organic * earth and animal friendly And now that we're dead in winter, there's nothing that lift spirits like a beauty break and fresh highlights. HOW TO ENTER: -Subscribe to the Cashmere Clutch e-newsletter here >>>>> http://eepurl.com/tArTj (you must be an e-newsletter subscriber to be eligible) -Leave a comment on this blog post on your #1 winter beauty survival tip WHAT YOU CAN WIN: 2 Permanent Blonde Ammonia-Free Hair Colour Kits 1 Highlighter kit from Tints of Nature HOW THE WINNER IS SELECTED: -randomly by random.org LEGAL MUMBE JUMBO: - must be 18 years to enter - not valid where prohibited by law - your chances of winning depend on the number of valid entries Good Luck!
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Events, Life
Is this your chance?
January 16, 2013 0
So far 2013 has turned out to be a pretty amazing year so far. It started out with an Easy to Follow New Years cleanse that has left me lighter, brighter and sleeping so much better. I'm still essentially doing the cleanse, I guess you would say it has become a part of my lifestyle. I'm so excited to not look tired everyday, and if I didn't do this cleanse I would have realized this. Then, I had lots of personal realizations about my life, my dreams, and I set myself a totally outrageous goal - I want to be a recognized media personality for small business marketing by 2017. There, I've proclaimed my intentions! I am so excited to step up, step out and make this dream a reality! What about you - what's your "big dream"? If starting your own successful business, or elevating your current "hobby" in a profitable business, is one of them I've got a real treat for you. My mentor, Ali Brown, is hosting a free 4 hour session where she's going to show you what you need to do to start your own business, or finally turn a profit on your hobby. You see, like me, Ali was working in a corporate job, and she just wasn't finding it fulfilling. Sure, it paid well, and she got to work on cool projects....but there was something missing... One day she met a freelancer who came into the office worked on some projects, got paid extremely well, and then he'd be done his project and he'd take his family on long vacations. And it got Ali wondering...why can't I do that? The cool thing is, there's actually no reason why you can't do it! If you dream of more freedom in your life, determining for yourself what your income will be (instead of a grumpy boss who never wants to give you a promotion), and being able to live flexibly; whether that frees up time for travel, more time with family, or just a different lifestyle...this is your chance. Here's the link to join this free session: http://bit.ly/UROkwV Ali has helped thousands of women transform their lives and their businesses. She's helped people start businesses that are worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, and some that bring in millions a year. And if you're thinking that's something you want for you life, I'm thinking 2013 is your year! Here are some details to consider: - today at 5pm EST (Wednesday, January 16th, 2013) - it's free (i.e. you have nothing to lose) - Ali has built her own million dollar business so you are learning from someone who knows how to do this, and what you need to avoid (man, I wished I'd learned this at the start of my business!) - for women only (that means no boring and ego-y guys that dominate the program talking about how awesome they are, or going bananas talking only about numbers, charts and graphs...yawn. Thankfully it's not like that!) - for people wanting to start a business, if you have a business and want to make it bigger/more profitable, or if you're an experienced entrepreneur that has hit the income ceiling that happens around $150,000.00 and want to break through into the millions Here's the link where you can sign up: http://bit.ly/UROkwV If you're wondering why you're getting this invitation let me be honest - starting my own business was the best decision I've made in my life. It has been totally transformational. I have freedom over my time, a great income, and I'm totally in control of how I live, what I do, and when and how hard I work. I love being in control! I also love seeing other women achieve this freedom in their life. It's truly unmatched in terms of *gifts* you can give yourself. So I share this invitation with you in case you're the kind of girl that have always wanted to do something for yourself, but weren't sure how to go about it. If I had to give my top 3 reasons why I love working with this mentor here it is: 1. I've put some of her advice into action and made about $20,000 more because of it 2. She's nice and fun! That may seem like a silly reason, but I want to have guidance from someone who makes me feel good, who laughs, and who genuinely cares that I'm successful. I don't want to learn from some super boring numbers guy that is going to give me advice that is not "girl friendly" or tries to push me to be or do something that just doesn't feel like "me". 3. Surrounding myself with other successful entrepreneurs is incredibly fulfilling. I love having a network of women that I can ask questions to, get support from, and learn from, and they're all really nice, fun, fashionable and cool people! I hope you'll join me at this free training - it's made a big difference in my life and it can in yours too. Here's the link again: http://bit.ly/UROkwV xo Ingrid
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Events, Travel
Roasted Icewine Marshmellows Anyone?
January 11, 2013 0
The Icewine festival is in full swing in Niagara on the Lake, and this week I'll be at Peller Estates roasting icewine marshmellows. Yummy! Since I just finished my cleanse, it seems like the perfect time for a reward like fire roasted icewine marshmellows! If you're interested in this event here's what you need to know. Important Details: Location: Peller Estates Winery, Niagara on the Lake, Ontario Dates: January 12,13,19 & 20th Cost: $10 per person, $5 for Wine Club members Reservations: Can be made here
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Life
Update: 7 Day Cleanse Results
January 7, 2013 0

At the risk of sounding like a wacko, I have to confess this 7 Day Cleanse has changed my life.

When I started the Easy to follow New Years Cleanse I thought it would be a cool way to start the New Year...maybe I would lose a little weight, maybe I would feel a bit better, something like that.

Instead, it's changed my life. Here's how. 

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Life
Looking ahead to 2013
January 4, 2013 0
2013 is a year that I'm very excited about. Now that all the craziness of 2012 is behind me, I'm looking forward to all that 2013 promises to have in store. Here's what's got me excited: - In March I'm going to LA - and planning a hiking trip with a girlfriend from high school. I'm going for a work conference (it's actually with Ali Brown, my business mentor that I mentioned last year), and I'm mixing business with pleasure before the conference. I'm so excited to see my long-time friend, and to escape the chilly Ontario winter! - In April we're finally getting our condo in Liberty Village, Toronto. We bought it pre-construction in 2009, and after 1.5 years delay it's finally ready! Our unit has appreciated in value a lot, so it's been a fantastic investment so far, but Holy Moses it's been a long wait! I can't wait to be back downtown, and I guess patience gets rewarded since my husband's office recently moved 2 streets away from our new condo, so he'll be home at a decent hour again (yay!) - In late May/early June my family's planning a trip to Greece. I can't wait for this. Ever since seeing the movie Mamma Mia I've been having dreams of being on a Greek island, eating delicious food, and getting lost in the beauty of the landscape. - In August I'm hoping to take a weeklong vacation with my family and my brother's family somewhere in the West Coast of Canada or US. Last year they came for a week to our place in Niagara on the Lake, and it was an excellent visit. We went to the beach, had barbecues, drank great wines, played for hours, and really enjoyed having our two families together. This year I'm hoping we'll be able to do it again, with us going closer to BC this time. (I'm rooting for California!)
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Life
An Easy to Follow New Years Cleanse
January 3, 2013 0

At the end of the holiday season I was feeling extremely bloated. I was eating without being hungry, and I was drinking enough for a group of 20 year olds during Spring Break. While that was fun...it didn't feel so awesome, and it didn't look so good on me. On December 27th after having friends over for drinks, and really struggling to button up my jeans I decided to start a cleanse on January 1st.

I found a cleanse that seemed pretty interesting through Gweneth Paltrow's blog Goop, but I wasn't going to pay $425 for a box of vitamins and shakes, so I decided to tweak the plan slightly.

It's based on Dr. Junger's book, Clean, (which I ordered online in time for a January 1st delivery) but without all the dietary supplements, and yucky tasting shakes. Let's call it the Cashmere Clutch Cleanse.

Here's the lowdown of the Cashmere Clutch Cleanse: 

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Life
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
January 1, 2013 0
Happy New Year Everyone! I'm super excited about 2013...there's so many great things on the horizon, and so many possibilities. Here's wishing you a happy, healthy and wealthy 2013! xo Ingrid
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Travel Plan: 5 Days in Amsterdam
Travel
Travel Plan: 5 Days in Amsterdam
November 10, 2012 0
 

Recently my little family went on a short vacation in Amsterdam. My husband had to go for a work conference, and so my daughter and I went along and turned it into a mini-trip.

What an awesome city. This was one of the best trips we've ever taken, and the whole experience was incredible.

Here's the low-down. 

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Life
October Resolutions
October 1, 2012 0
I've been feeling like I really need to get my life back on track lately - and there's no better way to do that than to make "mini resolutions" every month. I used to do this, and then I sort of let it slip away. Now I'm getting back to it, since it's so easy to float through life and not really fill it with intentional things that I want for myself. 1. Take a long walk 2x/week - alone. I love taking long walks. It's time to reflect, digest and make exciting new plans for the future. There's something that happens when I take long, long walks - I clear up all my problems, figure out what I want for the future, and get totally inspired for what's next in my life. It doesn't happen when I'm running, and it doesn't happen for any other form of exercise. I've been a bit off track recently - and having just started getting out for my walks - and it shows in my life. Everything seemed overwhelming and I never took the time out and left the baby with my husband to go for a walk. It's time I took my time, went for a walk, and got stuff figured out! 2. Book regular "maintenance" Before I got pregnant I was in the middle of making a deal with a beauty place for a set amount of services on a monthly basis for a set price. It was a great deal, and would make sure that I actually went in for my services. Well, when I got pregnant I had to stop, since you're not supposed to do anything that's rough on your skin. Now it's time to get back on track. 3. Have a girls night out. I desperately need more girl time in my life. There's no substitute. It's just a part of who I am, and I need more fun, laughter, fancy dresses and silliness in my life.
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Life
3 Things People Never Tell You About Having a Baby
September 28, 2012 0
Having a baby is lovely - they are cute, they smell so good, they're fun to play with, you can dress them in delicious clothes, and when they look at you, it melts your heart. Now lets get real. 1. You don't forget. I have no idea why people say "when you see your little baby, you forget about labour". WRONG! It fucking hurts, really, really, really badly. For me it was like having someone rip my body in half - and I had an epidural. If I could have been given morphine, tequila, and a joint I would have taken it. 2. It takes months to recover. I was very lucky, and lost all my baby weight within a month after having my baby. But...my body hurt for months after. My shoulders were super stiff, my lower back was in agony, my joints were all tight and painful, and I felt like a senior citizen. I would lean over to clean up, weed the garden, or pick up the baby, and I would have a hard time getting up. When I got up, I was bent over reeling in pain for 2 minutes. It takes a major toll on your body, and I wasn't expecting the four or five months of recovery time. 3. Your hair falls out. Lots of it. Three to six months after you have a baby your hair will start falling out in shocking amounts. Every time I wash my hair I pull out a full hand full of hair. When I brush my hair clumps come out. I have to vaccuum and sweep almost every day to pick up all the strands that randomly fall out. Apparently when you're pregnant none of your hair falls out. I didn't notice, but now when I see pictures of myself before I can see it looks like I have a weave in my hair from it being so incredibly thick. One the baby comes out, your body lets go of all the hair it was holding on to - and you lose massive amounts of it. My hairdresser couldn't believe what happened when she felt my hair last week.
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Life, Style
Top 3 Emmy Dresses
September 24, 2012 0
The Emmy's were on last night, and although I didn't watch them I am scouring all my favourite sites to find out what everyone was wearing. I don't know about you, but I wasn't that excited by most of the outfits - with three exceptions. #1 Leslie Mann in Naeem Khan This dress actually hit the Worst Dressed list over at Perez Hilton, but I think they're dead wrong. I love the crocheted top, with the bright yellow skirt, and the draping of the outfit. If I had a big fancy, schmancy event to go to, I'd love to wear something like this. So fun! #2 Juliana Hough in Georges Hobeika Couture I love this mermaid dress. It fits her perfectly, has lots of coverage and is still super sexy! I also love all the detailing and the colour. Not your typical dress, but I love, love, love it! #3 Claire Danes in Lanvin Figuring out what to wear when you're pregnant is not easy - but Claire Danes does it so well! Not only is the draping on this dress gorgeous, but she made such a gutsy colour choice! It looks amazing.
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Life
5 Reasons Why I’m Quitting Breastfeeding
September 21, 2012 0
This topic is so controversial, and I've never understand why. When you have a baby there are posters everywhere on how good breastfeeding is for your baby, every nurse and doctor asks you if you're breastfeeding, and pretty much once a day random people will ask if you're breastfeeding. It seems so strange to me that everyone has an opinion. For me I was fine with nursing my baby - I didn't really think about NOT doing it, until I was bombarded with the messages about how good breastfeeding is, how you must breastfeed, how it will help you lose weight etc. All these messages actually made me want to quit breastfeeding. But for a solid 5 1/2 months I've been doing it (with the exception of a few days that I've been at conferences, or events etc). And now I'm ready to quit! For 5 months I've been (without realizing it) thinking about all the things I'm going to do when I stop nursing: 1. drink many, many, many margarita's 2. whiten my teeth (it’s unkown if it’s safe for the baby, so you can’t do it while nursing) 3. get microdermabrasion or fraxel (your hormones are out of whack while nursing, so you have to wait until you’re done) 4. go out for a big, long, girls night of dancing, drinking and giggling & sleep in until noon without having to wake up & feed the baby (now, my husband can do it!) 5. go out for a super long walk or hike without thinking my baby is at home screaming of hunger It's funny, when I read through this list it makes me think that this is so superficial & silly. But that's what gets me upset about being a mother. There's this very subtle message that's spread online, in whispers, and straight to your face, that doing "self - care" things after you have a baby are frivolous, selfish and dangerous for your baby. It's a terrible message, and it makes motherhood really seem like a big pain in the ass. Enough with the guilt, enough with the propaganda, and enough with the judgements. I'm going to have a margarita!
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Events, Life
You’re Invited
September 4, 2012 0
I know there has been some serious radio silence from my end - all due to 2 moves, running a booming small business, and a newborn baby - but I needed to end this silence to send you an invitation to something that could seriously change your life. If you've been tempted to start your own business then you MUST join this free video training program from Ali Brown. She's my mentor, and keeps me on track to get motivated, increase my income, stay organized, and also stay sane while working and taking care of a 5 month old baby girl! Here's the link where you can sign up: http://bit.ly/Temr2u

click to view

When September rolls around many of us see the kids go back to school, the leaves start to drop, and we start to get motivated to make some positive changes in our own lives. For me, that motivation came in the late summer of 2009, when I started my own Marketing company for the Real Estate and Personal Finance industries, and I've never looked back. I have total freedom, great clients, and I can make a nice living for myself. One of the main challenges is finding a support group of like minded, business savvy, fun-loving, and super supportive women who are in the same boat, and understand exactly what you're going through. That's why I joined Ali Brown's program. I had a 2 week old newborn, and I moved from Toronto to Niagara on the Lake, Ontario (a tiny historical town that has mostly seniors if you're not familiar). It was a big change! I knew no-one, I had a baby the slept about 20 hours a day, I needed some adult stimulation, and to keep my business on track. When I found this group of ladies I couldn't have been more excited. They all have well-rounded lives and huge businesses that provide them with 6 and 7 figure incomes; they travel the world, take great care of themselves, have money to spare, are genuinely nice and extremely supportive, they want to see everyone succeed and they'll help you build your own success story, and live life totally on their own terms - my kind of ladies! So, if this is ringing true to you too, make sure you sign up for this free training program. It could be the best thing you've done for yourself in many years. Here's the link again: http://bit.ly/Temr2u Some details to consider: - it's today - so check it out as soon as you get this - it's free (i.e. you have nothing to lose) - Ali has built her own million dollar business so you are learning from someone who knows how to do this, and what you need to avoid (man, I wished I'd learned this at the start of my business!) - for women only (that means no boring and ego-y guys that dominate the program talking about how awesome they are, or going bananas talking only about numbers, charts and graphs...yawn. Thankfully it's not like that!) - for people wanting to start a business, if you have a business and want to make it bigger/more profitable, or if you're an experienced entrepreneur that has hit the income ceiling that happens around $150,000.00 and want to break through into the millions I hope you'll join me at this free training - it's a life changer! http://bit.ly/Temr2u xo Ingrid
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Life
I bet on the farm…and lost
August 23, 2012 0
Those of you who have been following my rather sparse posts over the last few months heard that I was making some big changes...and giving up the apartment in Toronto to live full time in Niagara on the Lake. I bet on the farm, literally. And after 5 months of living here full time I can say that I lost the bet. We moved here for a few reasons but the main ones being:
  • my husband really hated renting an apartment. Paying someone else's mortgage is not for him and he thinks it's a total waste of money (and I can't disagree)
  • our landlord was annoying. She would call to see if we were home, because if we weren,t she'd use our parking spot. And she only ever called us when she needed the next batch of rent cheques. We paid six months up front, and when we were at month 5 she's start calling, emailing, visiting. Of course, when anything was broken in the apartment she never answered her phone, or email...
  • the rent was paid by my business, and I wasn't sure how running a business was going to work with a newborn baby. So we played it safe and stopped shelling out rent every month.
  • Now, these are all pretty solid reasons when you think of them on paper (or on screen in this case). But, there's a big factor that we really didn't think of realistically. It's called everyday living. And we didn't think about how our everyday life would be, if we lived in a totally new place, where we didn't know anyone, we had no support, and we would have to drive to do anything. And wow, that was an eye-opener! It's like my life literally stopped. I was alone in a big house all day, where I knew no-one, and nobody knew me. I had a baby that slept all day, and was pretty much home-bound. Yes, of course, the house is gorgeous - If I could move this house to Toronto tomorrow, I would. And the land is beautiful - I look out my window sometimes and I'm still in awe of how gorgeous it is to have grass for miles, nice big trees, a huge pond, and a clear view of the Niagara Escarpment. But that in no-way compensates for the isolation, slow pace, and total calm that this life offers. When I moved here I had visions of gardening everyday, cooking beautiful, gourment meals, and having friends coming over every weekend to enjoy the local vineyards. None of that really happened. Having a baby is like being in a serious car crash. Your life stops, and physically you can't do all the stuff you did before. I tried, but ended up really delaying my recovery... I somewhat feel like a fool for moving all the way out here to realize it's not for me. But, that's life, right? And as long as I can "course-correct" and get myself back to a happy place, it doesn't matter. And, you know what? I can still garden, cook gourmet food, and have friends over for wine from my condo patio or backyard in Toronto!
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    Life
    Is everything we do a form of self expression?
    July 24, 2012 0
    For the last few years I've been driving my husband's car. An Audi A6. It is a great car...and I'm not even a car person! But, the car is getting older, the fixes are getting more expensive, and it's time for something less expensive, more reliable and family friendly (sort of - don't worry, I'm not into mini-vans). We started searching for cars. As a totally "not car" person, I really didn't care...but then I slowly started caring. In my mind I wanted a BMW SUV...I just think they're cute! But, I didn't want the expensive maintanence. And, my husband takes really good care of his things, and I like to "live" in my car. He'd go crazy if he saw a Cheerio on the floor, or Starbucks napkins in the backseat. I really didn't want to hear about how I was abusing my car every other day. So a luxury car was out (plus, my husband is a car guy and is getting a fancy schmancy Mercedes something-something in the next little while, so he'll get his anways). I know that I want something that I can haul my baby around in, and looks stylish enough, without a huge price tag. And I really love being high up while driving - I have no idea why, but I just love it! I tested out a Ford Escape and a Jeep Patriot. And right before I was about to sign the paper I started to think about what my car choice means for me. Is it a form of self expression? I remember when I painted the wall in my apartment hot pink - a huge form of self expression - and started treating myself to the super fun jewelry and shiny, girly things I love. It was a real coming out for me, and I feel like I literally blossomed into the person I was supposed to be. But recently, I have been making very "safe" choices, ones that aren't necessarily reflective of my personality, but of my desire to not spend a ton of money. And yes, that's part of me too, but it's a small part of the big picture. I would hate for that to be my driving force. I'm wondering...maybe I need something fancier and more fun than a standard SUV. Here's what the facebook verdict was: What do you think? Is everything we do a form of self expression?
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    Life
    Big Changes…and some smart money choices
    March 28, 2012 0
    Recently my husband and I made some big choices...and some big changes. This summer we're focusing on getting rid of "stuff" in our life that isn't taking us in the direction we want to go...mostly financially, but also life and business wise. That means we're: - giving up our rental apartment in the city - moving to Niagara on the Lake full time for the summer (which I've dreamed of doing for 2 years now!) - dramatically increasing our savings starting April 1st - controlling our spending and watching where we're actually spending our money - cleaning up our businesses...so they run smoother, and hopefully with less intensive involvement from either of us - starting to look for a rental house to buy in Toronto (where we'll hopefully live rent free or very inexpensivley, as our tenants will pay most of the mortgage!) - making enhancements to our house in Niagara on the Lake that will hopefully increase the property value ( a big part of living there this summer will allow us the time we actually need to do a lot of the landscaping)
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    Life
    Spring on the Farm
    March 20, 2012 0
    This year in Niagara on the Lake we're being treated to one of the earliest, warmest, and mildest Spring's that I can remember in my 16 years of living in Ontario. On the farm, flowers are coming out, the fruit trees are starting to blossom, the grass is growing quickly and the birds are incredibly active!
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