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Events, Life
You’re Invited
September 4, 2012 at 11:53 am 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

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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, Style
Ali De Bold: Fearless and Fabulous Female Entrepreneur
May 5, 2010 at 10:30 am 2
Ali De Bold - cofounder of ChickAdvisor.com Our latest Fearless and Fabulous Female Entrepreneur Series feature is Ali De Bold - co founder of ChickAdvisor.com. Equipped with a great business idea and loads of hard work she and her husband and business partner, Alex De Bold, started www.ChickAdvisor.com - Canada's first user generated reviews community for women to share advice on their favourite products and local places. It was launched in September 2006 and has reached over 3 million women since. How did you start your business? I was planning my wedding out of province and was researching for hair salons and spas for the big day. It was 2004 and there weren't any websites in Canada that had reviews for those kinds of services. In fact, most salons didn't even have a website. My only option was to flip through the yellow pages and choose the prettiest ad - and pray I picked well. I complained to my husband that there should be a site like that where women could give each other advice and he suggested we start one! Did you always know you wanted to work for yourself? No. I didn't have any specific desire to start a business. I always thought I could work equally well for myself or someone else as long as I was passionate about what I do. What’s your typical day like? I get up at 6:30 and go to the gym. That's the only time I can squeeze in a workout and it helps with energy and productivity. If I'm not in meetings, I spend a lot of time preparing proposals for clients, writing articles, chatting with members in the forums, testing and reviewing new products and attending press events. I also have a strategy session with the team once a week to discuss new ideas, then do testing and tweaking until it's ready to go live. What was your biggest worry when you started your own company? What if I fail? I always believed in the concept, but it's an incredible risk to work for yourself with no safety net. I'm very lucky that my husband is my business partner. He's a web veteran and incredibly smart, He supported us while we got the company off the ground. If I didn't have him, this wouldn't have been possible. How long did it take for you to feel confident about working for yourself? I didn't have much time to ever reflect on that. When we started the company I was in school full time in my second year of a 4 year degree program. I worked hard out of necessity because failure wasn't an option. I wasn't going to drop out of school, and since money was tight, I had to get strong grades so I could get scholarships every year. I wasn't going to let the business fail either. I don't start something only to get a C+. I wanted an A and I really pushed myself to get that. What surprised you the most about working for yourself? I'm more capable than I thought. I've learned so much in such a short time. I would never have believed this could be possible in 3 years. Was there a moment that you thought you wanted to quit and go back to a 9-5 job? Never. Being an Entrepreneur is incredibly challenging and there are more ups and downs than you could imagine, but it's all worth it. I've never regretted doing this and unless it was failing, I wouldn't be able to quit. What have you sacrificed? Social life, sanity, lifestyle, money… a lot. I've never worked so hard in my life. It took a long time for my friends and family to understand that working for yourself doesn't mean you have more free time, it means you have less. If you don't sit down and do the job, it won't get done. Even if you hire someone to do it, they may not come through for you and so you'll be the one working into the wee hours to push it across the finish line. I've sacrificed a lot but I've also gained a lot. It's a crash course in business, marketing, management, logistics, accounting.. you name it. What advice would you give to other women who wanted to start their own business? Start it for the right reasons. If being rich is your ultimate goal, you may be lacking the passion and vision to actually create something of value. If you are passionate about what you do, the money will come. If it doesn't, you'll still be happy along the way because you are doing what you love. I also think it's extremely important to have several mentors you can turn to for advice. I've learned a lot from my mentors, one of the most important being: Hire slow and fire fast. Having the right people on your team is critical. If you haphazardly hire someone you will pay for it later. Is there anything you would have done differently? I'd trust my instinct more. It's so cliche, but it hasn't led me astray. There have been cases where I've ignored it, whether it's hiring someone I didn't feel 100% confident about or entering into business discussions with parties I don't completely trust, and inevitably I would have been better off trusting my gut. ---- If you enjoyed this interview you should check out our interview with Lisa Ng - DJ, Fearless & Fabulous Female Entrepreneur and blogger at Hip and Urban Girl
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Life
How To Taste Wine Like A Pro
April 14, 2010 at 11:33 am 1


Put your palette to the test with a wine tasting

Put your palette to the test with a wine tasting

Ever tasted a wine and have no idea if it’s the fanciest Chateaux Margaux or the dregs of a home brew? Not to worry, here’s some easy advice on how to taste wine and have fun while doing it! There are three basic senses that are used in tasting wine. 1. Sight 2. Smell 3. Taste That’s right, it’s not just the guzzle, guzzle that you use to figure out if a wine is a five star! First, you are supposed to look at the wine. Check out the Colour and Clarity (so similar to diamonds…no wonder girls love wine!) Pour a glass of wine into a wine glass and have a good look at it. Tilt the glass away from you and check out the colour of the wine from the rim edges to the middle of the glass (it's helpful to have a white background like a white napkin or tablecloth). Look beyond red, white or blush. If it's a red wine is the color maroon, purple, ruby, garnet, red, brick or even brownish? If it's a white wine is it clear, pale yellow, straw-like, light green, golden, amber or brown? Next look at the wine's opacity. Is the wine watery or dark, translucent or opaque, dull or brilliant, cloudy or clear? An older red wine will often have more orange tinges on the edges of color than younger red wines. Older white wines are darker than younger white wines when comparing the same grape at different ages. Next it’s time to smell the wine – seriously, this is like a wine seduction…so take your time! To get a good impression of your wine's aroma, swirl your glass for about 10-12 seconds. Some people say it matters which way you swirl your wine, so if you want to look super sophisticated hold you wine between your index and middle finger of your right hand, and swirl your glass counter clockwise. Swirling helps vaporize some of the wine's alcohol and release more of its natural aromas so it’s important not to skip this step. Now stick your nose down into the glass and take a deep inhale through your nose – this may sounds silly, but it’s interesting to see what you smell when you really get in there! Do you smell oak, berry, flowers, vanilla or citrus? A wine's aroma is an excellent indicator of its quality and unique characteristics. Swirl the wine and let the aromas mix and mingle, and sniff again. Entertain whatever comes to mind. There’s even a smell referred to as “barnyard” so don’t be shy trying to figure out what’s in your glass! Finally, take a taste – you’ve been so patient thus far now you finally get to try it! Start with a small sip and let it roll around your mouth. There are three stages of taste: 1. the Attack phase 2. the Evolution phase 3. the Finish The Attack Phase is the initial impression that the wine makes and does not display a specific flavour. Instead the flavours meld together to offer impressions in intensity and complexity – is it soft or firm, light or heavy, crisp or creamy, sweet or dry? The Evolution Phase is the wine’s actual taste on the palate. In this phase you are looking to discern the flavour profile of the wine. For red wine you may notice fruit, like berry, plum, prune or fig or spice like pepper, clove, cinnamon, or maybe a woody flavour like oak, cedar, or hickory (smokey). For white wines you might notice apple, pear, tropical or citrus fruits, or florals like honey, butter, herbs or a bit of earthiness. The Finish is the final phase. The wine's finish is how long the flavour lasts after it is swallowed. Did it last several seconds? Was it light-bodied (like the weight of water), medium-bodied (similar in weight to milk) or full-bodied (like the consistency of cream)? Did you like the taste and want to drink more, or was it bitter and you want to rid your mouth of the taste? All of these things combined create a “proper” wine tasting. So next time you’re opening a bottle of wine make sure you look, smell and taste the wine. And have fun with it – invite your friends over, make some score cards and have a tasting party. Who said wine tasting needs to be serious and stuffy?
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Life
Doing Good Feels Good! How Helping Charities Helps You
March 26, 2010 at 7:17 am 0
This week has been a bit of a whirlwind of charitable events - it's pretty tiring but so great to get out, meet new people, and help raise money for great causes!

make new connections at fundraising events

make new connections at fundraising events

Last night, along with other great bloggers like Lisa and Wendy who run The Hip and Urban Girls Guide, Ali and Alex from Chickadvisor, and Sandy from Reinventing Sandy B we attended the TwestivalTO event which raised an amazing $20,000 for concern. You can check out The Hip and Urban Girls Guide coverage of the event here. On Wednesday night there was also a super cool fundraiser at O Noir restaurant - where you dine in the dark which helped raise money for Angels in the Night - a charity that raises money to help the homeless. Not only do these events help raise money for great causes, but they are also good for you! They provide an excellent networking opportunity, a chance to meet new people, and you never know - you might make a business connection, make a new best friend, or get a new date.

charitable events are a great way to meet new people

charitable events are a great way to meet new people

If you find it hard to meet new people or talk to strangers, it's almost like trying to meet guys - here are some great tips on how to talk to guys that you can also use to meet new people or network at events. To make sure you actually go up and introduce yourself to strangers set a goal for how many new people you are going to meet - say 3 for your first time. Look around at people that are alone, that look interesting, or that look like someone you would like to get to know better. It's easier than you think and could be the start of something great in your life! Photo Credit: altru world and #twestivalTO on Flikr
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Life
Girls, Go Out There And Get the Life You Want!
March 8, 2010 at 2:12 pm 0
Today is International Women's Day, and for all women, including you....yes, YOU, this is a great day to sit back, reflect, and find out what you really want out of your life. We have so much more freedom than before, so many more opportunities and so much more access to pretty much everything. So what are you going to do about it? GIRLS, GO OUT THERE AND GET THE LIFE YOU WANT!!!!!!

sit back, relax, and plan your dream life

sit back, relax, and plan your dream life

Today is a day to dream large. Always wanted to open a spa, climb Everest, set up a date night with your husband every two weeks? Whatever it is that will help you achieve your dream life go out there and get it! Don't make excuses, and stop thinking about all the reasons why you can't do it, or it won't work out. Everyone has a chance at a dream life. Do you have the courage to live yours?
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Life
How to Host a Great Holiday Party
December 18, 2009 at 12:01 pm 0


As the holiday season approaches there’s no better time to get together with friends and family and celebrate together. Here are some simple holiday tips to help you host a great holiday party. Pick a theme. Holiday parties don’t just have to be about Christmas. Pick a fun theme to boost your party this year. Think Bad Santa and come up with games and activities where your guests can play, laugh and get to know each other better. Your party will be the hit of the season. Invite a wide mix of people. A fun mix of people from different backgrounds with different interests can add some serious spice to your party. Instead of inviting the same six people why not make it ten, and add some new people to really stir things up? Stock up on liquor and spirits. Deviate from the everyday and come up with unique cocktail combinations to serve your guests, or have a wine or beer tasting party where your guests have to guess which is which. The more creative you get, the better your results. Provide some light and tasty snacks. When your guests are sipping and chatting make sure you’ve provided a fuel up station for them. Some nice, light, tasty snacks will go a long way. Try not to go with the super heavy and complicated snacks that will be hard for you to make, and leave your guests feeling bloated and sleepy. Decorate. Some festive ornaments and funky decorations will go far. Show that you put some effort into your party and add holiday accents – such as silver cocktail glasses and table decorations. Just add music. Before your guests arrive put the final touches on your soiree and put on some music. Have a few choices nearby that can help to elevate, or slow things down if needed. Since you’re setting a whole scene for your party make sure the music compliments the vibe you are trying to set with all the decorating, games and cocktail mixes. Go with the flow. Instead of forcing games and seating plans on your guests let them set the pace for the night. If your guests aren’t interested in your games drop it and move onto something else – and if they seem like they are ready for something different bring out the wine tasting. As long as things flow nicely it’ll be a great party.
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