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How to Stay Sane During Back To School Madness in 3 Easy Steps
Life
How to Stay Sane During Back To School Madness in 3 Easy Steps
August 25, 2015 at 10:00 am 0

If you're a parent of school aged children, chances are high that first week of "back to school" is a stressful, sleepless and thankless week. The kids don't want to wake up, traffic is insane, you can barely get yourself together, never mind the kids.

It's a whole new routine when school starts and it throws everyone right off. Here's 3 easy tricks to staying sane. 

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Life
Multi-Tasking, or Multi-Time Wasting? Women & Work
December 8, 2010 at 3:28 pm 0

Multitasking


Women are famous multi-taskers. You know the kind. She's having a shower, brushing her teeth, planning her outift for the day, and sticking one hand out of the shower texting her client to confirm their meeting time. Sound familiar? Chances are if you are a woman, that's what your life is like. But does it get you anywhere faster, make you achieve more, and MOST IMPORTANTLY....does it make you happy? How much of the multi - tasking is truly essential? How much is keeping busy? How much is wasting time? And how much is leaving you totally exhausted and unfulfilled? In an effort to achieve everything imaginable (because you've been told you can have it ALL), women are pushed and pulled and stretched to do all sorts of things at all times of the day. But is it necessary? What if we just sat back, did one task at a time. Focused on what we were doing. Said no to helping everyone out all the time. Just took care of what we are supposed to take care of, instead of doing loads extra on top. We would feel less stressed, less stretched, we'd actually complete projects, instead of having a million loose ends at all times, and we'd feel pretty accomplished. Are you ready to take a pause, figure out if it's essential and then just FOCUS? It could be the start of a less stressed, higher achieving and happier you. ....That seems to be something worth trying out!
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Life
Workaholic Gets A Life
September 9, 2010 at 9:54 am 2
Yoga Recently we came across a great article from a former workaholic who has since reformed and continues to be abundantly successful and has time and energy to spend on some of the simpler things in life - like growing tomatoes, sipping lemonade on her porch and reading inspiring books. Here's Jennifer Kushell from Your Success Network --- This summer there were a lot of changes in my life, both personally and professionally. In short, I got a life. I’m not missing my workaholic self one bit either. For 17 years I’ve worked non-stop. An entrepreneur since I was 13, I hit my stride at 19 while starting The Young Entrepreneurs Network…and the rest is history. I’ve been obsessed with succeeding as a social entrepreneur ever since. It’s such a tricky balance. And when you’re trying to make a serious impact, no matter how much you accomplish, you always seem to feel like you’ve barely just scratched the surface. Taking myself outside of my workaholic self, I’m now taking a hard look at the toll this lifestyle has done to me personally and it’s frankly kind of scary. Sleep deprivation. Unhealthy eating. Embarrassingly sparse exercise. Excessive amounts of caffeine. So little fresh air or vitamin D (sun). Countless all-nighters. More missed parties, holidays and special occasions than I’d dare try to count. While I’ve traveled for work over one million miles now, I’ve had 2 two-week vacations to speak of since that dreamy and wild month off with my high school BFF all over Spain, Mallorca, Menorca and Ibiza way too long ago. Adventures and private get aways since have been great, but usually no more than quick 2, 3, 4 day stints. Always, time stolen, riddled with guilt and stress over the opportunity cost of what I’d be missing, delaying, neglecting at work. Somehow I have managed to make a lot of friends over the years who’ve tried their best to look out for me. As you can imagine, I’ve gotten a lot of slack over the years for not having any real balance too. Like a true addict, I always knew I had a problem, but didn’t quite understand how all encompassing or harmful it had been. Yes, business always came first and I last, but besides me, what else got squeezed out more times than I’d like to admit? Family, close friends, personal time, fun, life. Even the closest relationship in my life suffered irreparable harm…even though we were in it all together. A few months ago, I kind of restarted my life. I confronted a battle to let go of the stress, confusion, complication and negativity that had consumed me for years. I ended up in a pretty deep dive of depression, I’ll admit to you now. (That’s kind of why you didn’t hear a lot from me for a few months. Sorry.) But with the help of the most wonderful of friends and loved ones, I fought back. Survived. …and now, I smile again,. Constantly. I have officially taken my life back. I have one. And it’s so nice. Now I struggle with the same challenges that everyone else does – how to do it all, have it all. Before, it might have looked like I did, but I didn’t. I was missing too much of the “me” in the equation. What am I doing differently today? I cook, create, walk on the beach, sit on the beach, watch less tv, read more, spend more time online with an incredible array of new friends from Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and of course, YSN. I exercise, shop, stroll though farmers markets, sit on my deck with friends for hours getting lost in engulfing conversations, get consumed by laughter, clean my house, maintain a garden (with tons of fresh herbs and tomatoes), fill the house with flowers, bask in the sun, catch up on reading, nap with the kitties, walk my neighbor’s dog. I now take photographs like I’m afraid I’ll miss a single moment. Work, I love again. I dream, invent, conceive, collude, collaborate, and create every chance I can. I write more because I’m constantly inspired now. I’m more connected, more transparent. I want to learn, listen, share every minute I’m alive. And yes, I am committed to succeed more than ever, even in the most traditional sense. I’m ready to profit, and not just give everything away as I always have. I deserve it. I know I do. In this new zone of mine, I’ve been more present. I’ve reconnected with tons of old friends and colleagues. I’ve also been thanked daily. People who’s lives I’ve touched in some way have come out of the woodworks lately to make their experiences known. I’ve been humbled and awed by this profoundly. Every day is rich, robust, calm, exciting, joyous, adventurous. I could still use more sleep. And a lot more exercise. But I’ll get there. For now, I’m quite at peace. The other day, I was downright euphoric. Now, I’m ready to tackle the challenges ahead and feel infinitely stronger setting out to do so. To all you workaholics out there: Those of you who can’t stop yourself from truly giving your work your life, all the time, I understand. I really do. Try to make some room for you, for whatever matters to you, not just in the big picture and the big scheme of things, but for the here and now. Start by focusing on the little moments that fill your day and your life. The simple things that inspire you to smile, laugh, feel warm and fuzzy inside…and connect with those things over and over. Try to infuse them in your work too. Let me know how it goes. Maybe we can help each other. After all, we always have. Photo Credit: Solazzarre.com
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Life
5 Tips To Deal With Office Conflict
July 16, 2010 at 4:32 am 0

Ready for boxing

Recently Ali de Bold of ChickAdvisor asked me to write an article on office conflict. Office conflict is soooo incredibly stressful, and how you deal with it determines how successful you will be in your career. For the article I wrote about how to deal with office conflict, escalate to senior management, and when it's time to move on. Check out the article here
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Life
Animal Shows & Strange Ways To Blow Off Steam
June 30, 2010 at 1:25 pm 0

lion

Like most stressed out students it was not uncommon to watch animal and nature shows to unwind at our Bloor Avenue student apartment during the university years. The lions would sit, lounge, lick each other, wrestle and walk around until they finally pounced on their prey and filled their tummies. In the background the birds would whistle, the trees would sway, and life would flow on for all the other animals. Seeing the whole cycle of life, and daily goings on of the safari animals was an oddly soothing way to spend time. And it worked. It was so nice to just let thoughts of stress escape my mind and just observe the animal world as a way to decompress.
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Life
How To Deal With A Diva Boss: Get Ahead Tips
May 17, 2010 at 11:00 am 0
Bitch I'm Da Boss With all the craziness in the economy over the last two years even the top bosses are feeling insecure in their jobs...which doesn't bode well for the underlings. Crazy deadlines, no praise, damnation for small errors, and ignored emails are tell tale signs that all is not well with your boss. Here are some great tips on how you can deflect the bad energy that's being downloaded on to you from the levels above. Your boss says: It's late I know, but have this ready for me tomorrow by 8am" What she means: I know this is a crazy request, but my bosses are on my ass to get this done ASAP, so help me out and get it done! What you do: Involve your boss in the process and ask her what she would do to make it a success - by asking her and getting her advice it's harder for her to blame you later if things don't go well. Your boss says: Zip, zilch, and she never replies to any of your emails. What she means: I'm really, really, busy and very, very stressed. Keep me in the loop, but don't ask for direction unless it's urgent What you do: Don't leave all the decisions in her hands. You can keep her in the loop, and tell her the actions you are going to take by a certain date - just make sure you've given her enough time to read the emails and respond if necessary. If you really need something set up a meeting so you can have your questions answered, but make sure you come in with clear questions and have strict objectives for your meeting. The last thing you want is for her to get annoyed because she thinks you wasted her time with an unnecessary meeting. Your boss says: You haven't finished that yet???? What she means: I'm stressed, very busy, have lots of pressure to make miracles happen. Since I'm overwhelmed and you're standing in front of me, I'm taking it out on you! What you do: Take it. Sorry, that's the truth. Sometimes you're boss is going to need to vent, and if you happen to be the unlucky person standing in front of her, than you just have to take it. Don't get weepy, and don't take it personal - we've all freaked out at someone because something else was bothering us. *Image courtesy of Jewlzbailey
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Life
Spring Clean Your Life: 7 Secrets To A Happy and Healthy You
March 17, 2010 at 1:10 pm 0
find balance in life Like most career girls, there comes a time in life when you step back and take inventory or your life, health and everything else. For too many women when their career takes off their health and wellbeing suffers. Suffer no more - it’s time to put some balance in your life and get healthy! 1. Find Balance Between Work and Life. Set aside work free times when you are enjoying your friends, family and relaxing. 2. Get Some Exercise Everyday. Instead of meeting up with your friends for dinner have exercise dates. Make sure you spend a minimum of 30 minutes being active everyday. 3. Avoid Regular Restaurant Meals. The amount of salt and fat in your food will creep up on you slowly. Restaurant meals should be treats, not daily occurences. 4. Think Before You Drink. Many beverages are hidden calorie bombs – read labels and make sure you know what you are drinking. If you are thirsty water is your best choice. If you want a treat proceed with caution before sabotaging your diet. 5. Enjoy Your Down Time. Reduce stress and remind yourself of the simple pleasures in life – relax and unwind in your favourite healthy way. 6. Prioritize Your Life. Too often we spend most of our time responding to the latest crisis instead of living consciously. Step back, remind yourself what’s most important, and plan accordingly. Make sure you are spending the majority of your time with things that matter to you most. 7. Enjoy The Fruits of Your Labour! You have worked hard to get to this point in your life, and there’s no point in continuing if you can’t enjoy it. Stop thinking about what you don’t have, and embrace all the great things you do have. Don’t sweat the small stuff…it really doesn’t matter. You’ve worked too hard to have a lost button or cancelled plan ruin your day. Start Enjoying!
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Life
A Great Date Night At Lucien Restaurant
February 24, 2010 at 12:26 pm 0
Last night my fiancé and I went out for our first real date in a long time. Our winter vacation, my condo sale, moving in, and planning a wedding have all added up to us having almost no time. Remember when I wrote about when there's even too much change for me? Scratch that. Life has thrown us sooooo many balls to toss at the same time and we just have to learn to juggle! After weeks and weeks of non stop action it was starting to take a bit of a toll. So we took a step back, set up a date night and finally we had a proper date...and it was wonderful! We went to Lucien Restaurant in Toronto. Thankfully for us (not for the restaurant) it was an Olympic hockey game yesterday, so the restaurant was empty. It was us and one other table.

lucien_restaurant
We could hear the music, talk quietly, and really enjoy a great date night in peace. The restaurant doesn't have that many tables, so it feels like a nice intimate dining experience. The decor is gorgeous, the lighting is dimmed, and the music and nice and calm...all the elements are set for you to have a nice, relaxing time with unbelievable food and wine!

lucien_seating area
For dinner I had a heirloom beet and carrot salad appetizer and roasted chicken main dish. The salad was great but the roasted chicken was outstanding. Almost every time I go out with my fiancé I taste his dinner and always secretly wish I'd chosen his dish. But not last night! I was thrilled with my choice and I think it was better choice than my honey's beef bourguignon. His was good, but I think the chicken had so much more depth of flavours and the dark meat was presented like a warm terrine which was wonderful. Of course we had some wine too....a gorgeous Amarone that was one of the best wines we've had in a long time! It was so nice to sit down, spend some quality time, laugh together and forget about all the craziness for a few hours. Of course, it really helped that we agreed not to talk about work at all, so we could focus on the sweet things in life instead of thinking about mounting to do lists!
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Travel
Need a Vacation But Don’t Have the Time or Money?
November 12, 2009 at 12:27 pm 0
A mini staycation may be the perfect fix for you! It doesn’t take a ton of planning and can be really inexpensive too. Step One: Set aside a day or two and make it into a mini staycation. It could be right now, or if you’re slammed with work/life within the next little while. Step Two: Think of all the great things in your city that you just never get to see. Remember that art gallery that re-opened that you have never been to? That amazing Swiss restaurant that you have been dying to try? Make a list of what you want to do, and then figure out what you can reasonably do within two days...but make sure you save some time for relaxing so you’re not burned out from your mini staycation. Step Three: Make any reservations that need to be made, and contact your friends if you’d like to include them in your plans. Step Four: Based on what you want to do, and who you want to do it with, build a basic schedule for your mini staycation. Step Five: Enjoy! Here’s an example of a staycation plans and budget for a 2 day mini vacation in Toronto. For me I love to tour around and get exercise, so those are central to my plans. Friday night: - Nap after work - Meet up with friends and try out the cheese fondue place on Elm Street for a late dinner ($60 per person) Saturday: - Sleep in - Grab a coffee and go to specialty book store with big fluffy coaches and classical music playing. Select a few books that will set my imagination on fire! ($30) - Go for a light lunch on Front Street ($20) - Drop by St. Lawrence Market – pick up some flowers and wine ($40) - Take a long walk along the Toronto Harbourfront – get some exercise and sit on the beach chairs watching the waves pass by while letting my mind wander - Return home, have a hot bath and get all sassied up for tonight. - Date night! Go to the new French "communal style" restaurant I’ve been dying to try out ($120 for 2) Sunday: - Sleep in - Go for a swim and steam - Head up to the Art Gallery of Ontario for lunch ($25) - Tour around the gallery and get art inspired! ($20) - Go to High Park for a walk and duck watching - Head home, order sushi in, read new books and relax! ($20) For a total of $335 I've lived like a queen for a weekend, seen the scenes, and had a lovely mini staycation.
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Life
Fall Cleaning:Rid Yourself of Stress and Find Balance in Your Life
October 5, 2009 at 10:29 am 0

Like most career girls, there comes a time in life when you step back and take inventory or your life, health and everything else. For too many women when their career takes off their health and wellbeing suffers. Does this routine sound familiar? 1. Go to work at around 9 am every day 2. Sit down all day 3. Buy something convenient, and unhealthy for lunch 4. Get home 5. Continue working 6. Eat a convenient dinner as fast as possible 7. Continue working while watching tv 8. Spend a few minutes around the house before going to bed If that's you it's time to put some balance in your life and get healthy! 1. Find Balance Between Work and Life. Set aside work free times when you are enjoying your friends, family and relaxing. 2. Get Some Exercise Everyday. Instead of meeting up with your friends for dinner have exercise dates. Make sure you spend a minimum of 30 minutes being active everyday. 3. Avoid Regular Restaurant Meals. The amount of salt and fat in your food will creep up on you slowly. Restaurant meals should be treats, not daily occurences. 4. Think Before You Drink. Many beverages are hidden calorie bombs - read labels and make sure you know what you are drinking. If you are thirsty water is your best choice. If you want a treat proceed with caution before sabotaging your diet. 5. Enjoy Your Down Time. Reduce stress and remind yourself of the simple pleasures in life - relax and unwind in your favourite healthy way. 6. Prioritize Your Life. Too often we spend most of our time responding to the latest crisis instead of living consciously. Step back, remind yourself what's most important, and plan accordingly. Make sure you are spending the majority of your time with things that matter to you most. 7. Enjoy The Fruits of Your Labour! You have worked hard to get to this point in your life, and there's no point in continuing if you can't enjoy it. Stop thinking about what you don't have, and embrace all the great things you do have. Don't sweat the small stuff...it really doesn't matter. You've worked too hard to have a lost button or cancelled plan ruin your day. Start Enjoying!
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Life
The Simple Pleasures of After Dinner Walks
September 2, 2009 at 1:25 pm 0

After dinner walks are the best. After our lengthy winter up North I rejoice every time I'm able to step out after dinner for a long walk. It's one of my favourite ways to get some exercise and just let my mind wander. It's almost like taking a mini mental break...my thoughts just weave in and out, thinking about things that upset me and how I'm going to figure things out, thinking about how beautiful the branches look against the red brick, just thinking about anything. love. money. sex. happiness. goals. problems. food. stress. weather. summertime plans. When I get home I feel totally refreshed mentally, and when I go to sleep I drift into lovely thoughts having cleared all my stresses. It's the perfect way to end a day.
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Life
Stolen Moments
August 19, 2009 at 2:03 pm 3

Sometimes we’re given stolen moments of time, when our appointments end early and we have no pressing plans. Of course we have things we could do to fill the time, clean, go to the bank, call our boss, check work emails……..but really since no-one is expecting us at this time why are we in a hurry? These are the stolen moments that help restore some of the peace in our lives. So sit back, look around, sip a cool drink, and relax. Take some time to reflect and cherish your stolen moment. It will help to restore some of the balance in your life and you won’t feel so hurried in your life all the time. Feeling guilty? Don’t! You’ve earned it.
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Life
Hello Sleep, Where Are You?
August 13, 2009 at 12:03 pm 3
Like most people, I’m a pretty good sleeper, but whenever I’m stressed, it always affects my sleep. Over the last little while work has been quite intense and I’ve been putting in lots of time to make sure all my work is taken care of properly. When the nighttime comes I do some exercise, spend time with friends or my boyfriend, and then relax before going to bed. Usually, I’m asleep by 11 o’clock or midnight…but then at 230 in the morning I wake up again and can’t fall back asleep! I’ve tried everything: Counting sheep Imagining myself sitting on the beach watching the waves come to the shore Visualizing the even strokes of painting a cottage deck Breathing in one side of my nose and out the other But, what ends up happening is my little sheep wake up and start dancing around and kicking their legs up and having fun! The waves gain more energy and come crashing into the shore line. The even strokes of paint eventually become erratic patterns with multicoloured patches…and the funniest of all…..I discovered that I can’t breath out one side of my nose…literally one of my nostrils is broken, and no air comes in, or goes out!
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