It’s Time to #GetYourColourON and Help Canada Conquer Cancer

If you have ever seen the hashtag #cancersucks. I can tell you first hand it does. As a survivor and as one who lost my dad, stepfather and grandmother to cancer along with watching my best girlfriend suffer from ovarian cancer I can say it sucks big time. From watching them suffer as well as my own treatment I know how important the work of the Princess Margaret Hospital is. The research work is important, which is why each May I support their fundraisers any way I can. This May is the inaugural Colour Your Hair to Conquer Cancer. It’s a new fundraising program that challenges Canadians to colour their hair and raise funds to help Canada Conquer Cancer In Our Lifetime. Are you up for the challenge? Have you ever wanted to try colour? The time is now.

There are many different ways to Get Your Colour On. Colour your hair with teammates or just do it solo. You can do what I did and colour a few streaks, or you can be like my daughter who will be colouring her whole head to raise funds–her friends get to decide her colour if they donate. You may even think an under colour is cool.If you have always wanted to go blonde, here’s your chance and it’s for a good cause too! Choose your colour and commit! Let me know what colour you would choose.

Now here is a harsh reality check.

Nearly 1 in 2 Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer. It’s a sad fact.  In this inaugural year of Colour Your Hair to Conquer Cancer we are reminded why we take on bold, and in this case fun challenges, and fundraise to support cancer research at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. The funds you raise or the donation you make will be supporting The Princess Margaret, one of the top 5 cancer research centres in the world. We need their research.

My daughter is thinking of trying something like this.

 

There are some great temporary colour products you can pick up from Trade Secrets.

temporary hair colour

 

 

Find out more at the #GetYourColourOn Twitter Party

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#GetYourColourOn Twitter Party

May 8, 2018 | 8:00 p.m. ET
Host: @ShesConnected
Co-Hosts: @Colour2CC @thePMCF
Special Guest @TradeSecretsCA to answer all of your questions about colouring your hair.
No RSVP | $1,000 in Prizing

Please visit the Colour Your Hair to Conquer Cancer website: http://colour2cc.ca/

Follow them on Twitter: https://twitter.com/colour2cc/

Like them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Colour2cc/

Follow on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/colour2cc/ 

This is a sponsored post and I am proud to partner with The Princess Margaret Charitable Foundation. As always, the opinions here are mine!

 

 

Join Us at the Inspired to Action Conference this International Women’s Day

Have you ever experienced a moment, met a person, read a quote that propelled you out of a rut or dark space and made you see possibilities that you couldn’t previously conceive?  Ever sat in a room of like-minded women and think yes, I can do this and my idea will work. Inspiration is a very powerful thing. It often needs to action. I have been so blessed in my life that as I thought of launching different projects and ideas inspiration has come just when I have needed it most.  Do you have an idea germinating in your head? Have you ever thought of taking a huge leap and leaving the corporate world to do something that means something to you? This International Women’s Day take the day for yourself. Gather with like-minded women and let’s get inspired together at the Inspired to Action Conference at Joey in downtown Toronto. 

Inspired to Action

Inspiration is the seed that is planted in our hearts and souls and we need it to fuel the fire under our butts when we hesitate to take a chance or make a change.  Ever needed that slight push, that encouraging word? I know I have. When I have needed in inspiration that can lead to action I surround myself with a tribe that will get me there. I go and seek inspiration.

In early February I attended such an event. I was able to not only get inspiration but practical advice. I came away with a network of new friends who can help me along the path.  This is what happens when you take the first step and attend events like Inspired to Action.

This March 8th, I would love for you to join me at Inspired to Action.  You can purchase your ticket and get a 20% discount code to attend, which includes access to the entire event and buffet lunch. Simply use the code HollieVIP.

Want to attend the event with me for free? I am giving away one ticket. Leave a comment on this post. I will pick a winner next Friday at 6 pm EST.  Not only will you attend the event for free but I have a special little something for you as well. Just let me know why you want to attend in the comments.

For more information on the conference be sure to check out these social profiles:

Instagram Handle: https://www.instagram.com/i2aconference/

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/I2AConference/

Facebook Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1124244907678231/

 

Give the Gift of Maternal Health with Cuso International #CusoCAN

At this time of year, our family is grateful for all we have especially each other. As a mom, I am especially grateful for my daughter. She has been such a huge blessing and I was blessed to give birth to her with the best of care from a wonderful team in New Mexico. My niece recently gave birth and my family has been enjoying spoiling the newest little one who has blessed our family. Some mothers are no so lucky. Those of us who live in North America are blessed to have the best care possible. In places like Ethopia that is not the case always. Cuso International is a charity making a difference in this area.

In Pawe, a small community in rural Ethiopia, mothers like Abeba have their babies in health centres that aren’t equipped for unexpected circumstances. Simple challenges that seem like a small hiccup in the labour process here can lead to tragedy. The health professionals don’t always have specialized training, and infection and life threating complications are common. Thankfully something is being done!

 

A Canadian midwife is making a difference

 

Jennica, a midwife from BC, volunteered to live in Pawe to help share her skills and knowledge with the doctors and midwives at Pawe Health Centre. She worked with the doctors and midwives to use monitors to help identify babies in distress. Digital monitoring is so common place here, you’d probably have a hard time finding someone who wasn’t monitored for at least part of her labour at the hospital. So, it’s easy to forget that this simple process can mean the difference between a life saved and a life lost.

Trained volunteers like Jennica save lives

 

Cuso International is a charity that has been sending volunteers around the world to help communities thrive and grow. The Maternal Health program, like the one in Pawe, is helping to save the lives of moms like Abeba and countless other women and little ones that are home with their families this holiday. With more training and better hospital practices, health workers in Pawe can recognize danger signs earlier, treat them faster, and help more moms deliver their babies safely.

 

You can help too

While you’re sharing this time with your family, you can help ensure that mothers around the world can do the same. The Cuso CAN Fund was established to give you the chance to support Cuso International’s high priority maternal and child health projects in Ethiopia, Benin, Tanzania, Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo. In all these places, pregnant and labouring moms need the kind of trained, compassionate care you had when you delivered your children. Help send Canadian medical volunteers into communities to save the lives of moms and babies this holiday season and through out the year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total Eclipse of My Heart

Today was a special day here in Toronto. There was a partial solar eclipse. What made this day, even more, assume then the scientific and earthly beauty was they way it brought the community together.

All over the city and on the path of the eclipse, for a few brief hours, politics, the news was put aside to join together and view a beautiful event.

My teen and I headed down to Sunnyside Beach here in Toronto. She had brought a cereal box viewer she had created this morning and we waited for this celestial event. The best part, thanks to Fido’s new data byte deal we also got to watch Bill Nye the Science Guy explain the facts from a location that was getting the total eclipse in the USA. As the sun and moon traveled across the US and Canada, today, people of all stripes, colors, creeds, and affiliations gathered together to share an event. After what has happened over the past few weeks, we needed a moment like this, a moment that would draw people together without thought of politics for a moment in time.

The beautiful part of the day here for me was the sharing of the many ways to watch an eclipse. From a cereal viewer to certified watching glasses, to welders masks, everyone shared what they had brought with them so all could get a view. This is the way it was down on the beach today, on street corners across the US and Canada, in parks and at official viewing events. It brought joy to my heart as something as scientific and as beautiful as an eclipse would draw people together.

 

My daughter had a great time talking to an astronomy student who was down on the beach next to us, then we had some welders pop by, and a little group gathered sharing all the tools we had so all could participate in a magical moment.  Here locally it was kind of expected. In the US, where there has been much hostility I was unsure but it was a blessing to see genuine community sharing a great moment as the NASA cameras went from coast to coast.

We need more of those ordinary moments on camera. More of the simple acts of kindness.

Because this song has been going through my head and since it was 1979 when I saw a total eclipse thought I would share this song.

 

Celebrate Canada all of July at Canada’s Wonderland #CWBestDay

 

We love heading to Canada’s Wonderland. My teen loves the thrill rides so much so that we are season pass holders. We will get there at least 5 times this year. We have already been twice to the theme park, once to celebrate Mother’s Day and the second visit had us studying the velocity of rollercoasters. The second being a fun school field trip. This long weekend we will be headed back to the park because we can celebrate Canada all of July at Canada’s Wonderland. Who wouldn’t want to celebrate all things Canadian all month long as we celebrate 150 years of Canada?

So what is going on at Canada’s Wonderland?

Besides a great Fireworks display on July 1st there is:

o West Coast Lumberjack Show, Arthur’s Baye – July 1 – 15: Internationally recognized for their daredevil skills, these lumberjacks will entertain guests of all ages while competing in Log Rolling, Tree Climbing, Axe Throwing, Chainsaw Carving, and more!
o Freestyle Ski Aerials, Arthur’s Baye – July 16 – 31: Skiers and Kayakers will fly off a massive ski jump overlooking Arthur’s Baye during Celebration Canada. Will they stick the landing? You be the judge!

o Flying Frontenacs Stunt & Dive Show, Arthur’s Baye – Daily June 24 to Labour Day: Don’t miss the Flying Frontenacs as they stunt dive off a 70ft (21m) platform and display their athleticism on trampolines with incredible flips, turns and dives.

o Cirque Canadien, Wonderland Theatre – June 30 to Labour Day: Prepare to be mesmerized by a magical display of acrobatics, mystique and athleticism as the performers of Cirque Canadien bring you on a journey through the seasons of Canada.

o Starlight: Northern Reflections, Royal Fountain Nightly June 24 to September 2: A breathtaking nighttime spectacle that celebrates the natural beauty of Canada through a stunning display of lighting, music, lasers and water effects, set to the backdrop of 3D projection on Wonder Mountain.

o Fireworks Canada Day – Saturday, July 1: Come enjoy Canada Day with some of the best fireworks in the Toronto area, featuring a unique design set to an original soundtrack and over 6,000 colourful explosions you won’t want to miss it!

o The Great Canadian Fiddle Show, Arthur’s Baye – Select dates in July: Join in the fun in this energetic show celebrating Canadian fiddle music and step dance.

o White Pine Dancers, Arthur’s Baye – Select dates in July: Experience the magic of First Nations History through song and dance. Each performance will captivate you with their gift of song, vibrant colours, flowing movement and thundering drums!

o Celtic Dancers, Arthur’s Baye – Select dates in July: The sights and sounds of traditional Irish dancing and music will take over Celebration Plaza with several performances daily.

o Street Performers, Arthur’s Baye – July 1 – 31: Enjoy the antics of stilt walkers, jugglers, and more in Celebration Plaza throughout the day!

o Earth Rangers, Arthur’s Baye – Select dates in July: The Earth Rangers are returning to the Park during the month of July to educate children and families about biodiversity, sustainable behaviours, and protecting animals and their habitats!

o Live Music & More! Arthur’s Baye – July 1 – 31: Great live bands playing some of Canada’s best tunes from the east coast to the west coast.

o Traditional Canadian Food, Arthur’s Baye – July 1 – 31: Poutine, Nanaimo bars, bacon, maple syrup and so much more!

Remember as well there are 2 new rides to enjoy. My teen enjoyed the Soaring Timbers. We are looking forward to trying the Muskoka Plunge on our next visit. We here this 60 ft tall waterslide complex that features four slides is pretty fun.  These four slides twist and turn for over 300 ft and each slide takes a different path to the bottom. My daughter can’t wait to try it out.

With so many things Canadian a trip to Canada’s Wonderland is a great way to celebrate Canada 150. To get your tickets or to download the Canada’s Wonderland app please visit the Canada’s Wonderland site. 

* We have been season pass holders for years and we pay for our passes. With that said we have been blessed this season by the park in partnering with us to offer some sponsored posts in return for compensation. We really do love being Season pass holders and love all the fun that happens at the park all season long. 

 

The Best Alternate Places to Watch the Fireworks in Toronto

Can you believe our great country is turning 150 this year? With this huge of a celebration, there are lots of places to watch the fireworks on Saturday and the weather forecast is great!

With this list of great fireworks displays, it is hard to decide where to watch the fireworks.  You may not want to get caught in the crowds so I have some alternate spots close to the action that you may want to watch from, so where are the best places to watch the fireworks in Toronto?

 

CN Tower

To celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday, the CN tower, a structure that has been around since 1976 will have a spectacular display.  The fireworks are slated to kick off at 10:30 p.m.Want to take in these and skip the crowds? Head for a walk along the waterfront, yes it will be busier than normal but there are lots of small parks where you can spread a blanket and have a great spot away from the crowd.

Nathan Phillips Square

Make your way to City Hall during the long weekend for four consecutive days of Canada Day celebrations. The fireworks will be going off each night! They start at 10:55. My choice for seeing these away from the crowd has to be the top level of the Kensington Market parkade. It has a great view of downtown.

Canada Day conveniently falls on the same day at Ribfest in Etobicoke, so if you want dinner and a show, this is ideal. The fireworks will start at approximately 10 p.m.

Canada’s Wonderland

We are season pass holders so these fireworks that happen at 10 pm are a must for many who are on the north side of the city. If you have been in the park all day and want to avoid the crowd about an hour before they go off grab your blanket and head to the parking lot hill. I promise it is a great view and you are not in the crowd.

Downsview Park

I did these fireworks one year and found the best place to see them was not right in the heart of the park but on the edge. We were away from the crowd and still had a great view.

 

With fireworks from the CN Tower, Ashbridges Bay and Humber Park West. The waterfront will be the best place to be, but where on the water. We are thinking the new Trillium Park based on the old Ontario Place lands may be the best place to get the best place to take in all the shows.

Another good spot that we enjoy is Cherry Beach because it rarely gets a crowd.

Ashbridges Bay

Q107 puts on a great show during the day and with over 2000 blasts, it is a great show to see. When we lived on the east side of the city we always hit this one. The best place to avoid the crowds is the beach by RC Water Treatment Center

Humber Bay Park West

As part of the city’s great line-up of acts for the day, these ones will go off at 10:55 as well. I would say take a walk along the board walk just east of the park and you may have one of the best views  of the city.

Prepping for Summer Fun with Netflix #StreamTeam

 

Do you remember those long road trips to the cottage with nothing to do but play car games? Do you remember camping and it starting to pour? When I was younger summers were full of books, drive in movies and family movie time. These days you can prep for a summer of Netflix hits and watch where and when you want too.

I love that we can now watch what we want when we want. There is no more waiting till Sunday night for popcorn and movies at 6 pm. Who remember those days? That is when we would settle in to watch the best of Disney. Now there are many Disney flicks on Netflix. You can watch them when you want.

To prep for a summer of Netflix, there are three tools that Netflix offers that help you prep for a summer of fun.

My daughter and I both use individual profiles. This works for us as we have different tastes.  On my account, we have 3 profiles set up.

Here is what my list looks like:

Here is what her list looks like

By each of us having our own must watch list we are ready for watching opportunities. There are some shows I can’t wait to binge watch while I am on vacation next week. We also have a profile for the ones we want to watch together. There is nothing like family bonding over a favorite show. Often our favorite movies get placed in this account.

To best prep for watching opportunities especially if you are going to be offline, you can download that favorite show you want to watch just look for the download icon, Many of the shows and movies can be downloaded. Right now on my commute, I am enjoying the new episodes of Orange is the New Black.

Now haven’t indulged in Netflix yet? You can win 3 months of FREE Netflix over on my Instagram account. Please go and enter, just nominate a friend who needs Netflix as much as you.

Let me know what are you looking forward to watching this summer.

 

 

 

 

How to Handle Hard Conversations with Your Teen

I am blessed. I have a teen daughter who is doing well. For us, life has not always been easy, we have had to tackle some hard things. Life has thrown a few curve balls. In all my years I never thought it would be my child who would suffer at the hands of other children, who would say out loud she wanted to die, who would need mental health assistance.  We have had to have hard conversations along the way. So how do you have hard conversations with your teens?

My teen and I have developed great communication skills over the years with a few bumps along the way. So how do you have those hard conversations with your teen? For us, those conversations often begin while we are watching some of our favourite tv shows. These are the ones we watch together. For us, that time on the couch together seems to bring on the perfect time to talk. Over popcorn, candy and soda come conversations that are hard to have. Because my teen and I are both so busy those times when we do slow down and have a Netflix chill night allow us to have real conversations.

For us, I normally let my teen take the lead. Often there will be a part of the show that she wants to talk about.  Currently, we have been watching two favourite teen dramas: Breaking Bad and the new Netflix teen drama 13 Reasons Why. Having a teen who has had mental health issues, as a mom, it was important for me to watch these with her so I could see if there were any triggers for her. For us watching shows like these have given us reference points for real conversations.

Recently Netflix brought parents and teens together to ask them what they would watch. The conversations can and will happen when we purposely put ourselves in our teen’s shoes. Shows like these allow us to connect deeply and powerfully.

If you are of my generation, you may remember the ABC after school specials or the episodes of Degrassi that tackled hard topics. Everything was dealt with from drinking, drugs, sex, rape, death and even suicide. For me, it was when watching a movie I first learned the word rape, the words childhood sexual abuse. It was while watching a made for tv movie I learned I was not alone. I learned it had happened to others and it was okay to talk about it. I was my daughter’s age when that happened and in my first year of university before I had my first hard conversation. It was not with my mom; it was a professor. I wanted my teen to know she was not alone. That she could always talk to me and we could have these hard conversations. Yes, having a community you can talk to is a need, but I wanted my teen to know they were loved and supported by me.Netflix recently released an infographic that talks about this.

Now Netflix has been criticized for 13 Reasons Why because it could trigger a young person. That is to be expected when you are bringing up topics like mental illness, bullying, rape and suicide. So as a parent I was glad that Netflix went a step further and not only produced conversation- starting content but met with mental health experts and created the 13 Reasons Why Talking points and the after show 13 Reasons Why: Beyond the Reasons and if you are concerned about your teen they also have the 13 Reasons Why Global Resource.

How do you have hard conversations with your teen? Yes, this mom wants to know.

*I am a member of the Canadian #StreamTeam which means I do receive free Netflix, some swag and often a sneak peek at what is ahead. As always though my opinions are my own. I have loved Netflix long before I was a team member and will watch long after I am no longer on the team. 

 

 

Roma Boots are #GivingPovertytheBoot

Here in Toronto, April rains have been happening with a frequency that made me want to don my rain jacket and new Roma rain boots and head outdoors to do some puddle jumping.  It’s so much fun to be a kid again and jump in those puddles. It makes it seem that all is right with the word because we know those April showers will bring May flowers.  The other great thing is knowing your purchase of a pair of Roma rain boots ensures a child in need has a pair of rain boots as well. Both my teen and I just received Roma boots.

Both my teen and I just received Roma boots. My teen loves the tall lace up boots while I am loving the shorter black boots.

Supporting Roma boots simply makes sense right now. Roma or Amor spelled backward, was started back in 2010 by Romanian Samuel Bistrain. The first to receive the boots were Roma Gypsies who are a poor marginalized group. These days over 50,000 pairs of boots have reach over 25 countries across the world.

Roma boots also donate 10% of its sales back to the ROMA Foundation who uses the funds to build learning centers. They want to help and educate. Besides the learning centers, they want to give one million pairs of rain boots away by the year 2020.

Just recently, Roma Boots launched in Canada and have partnered with World Vision to let us know how we can help #givePovertytheboot

Join the #givePovertytheboot Twitter Party

CELEBRATE SPRING. WE ARE #GIVINGPOVERTYTHEBOOT TWITTER PARTY.

Date: Thursday, April 27, 2017
Time: 8:00pm ET
Hosts: @ShesConnected (asking questions) @RomaBootsCanada
Guests: @SamuelBistrian, @WorldVisionCan
Hashtag: #GivingPovertyTheBoot
Moderators: @SimplyLindaBlog, @InfluentialMama, @ShesInfluential@BloggerWomen, @SherrieMae23, @HomewithAneta, @OlderMommyStill
Prizes: 5 pairs of Roma Boots
No RSVP
Canada Only excluding the Province of Quebec

Anyone can participate in the Twitter Party but only Canadians excluding those in the province of Quebec can win prizes.

Twitter Party Newbies

New to twitter parties? Don’t worry – we’ve got your back. Just log in to http://twubs.com/givingpovertytheboot with your twitter account and it will make it easier for you!

You can always check out Roma boots on social:

 

DISCLAIMER: I was compensated for this post. All opinions are my own.

 

Join the #BeFraudSmart Twitter Party

BeFraudSmartTwitterPartyPromo4

March is Fraud Prevention Month in Canada.

March is Fraud Prevention Month in Canada. Tangerine Bank will be hosting a Twitter Party to help Canadians better understand how to deal with fraud with a focus on “phishing”. Join the “Be Fraud Smart” Twitter Party to find out how to protect yourself from fraud.

Twitter Party Details

#BeFraudSmart Twitter Party

Date: Thursday, March 23, 2017
Time: 7:00pm ET
Host: @TangerineBank
Guest: @KelleyKeehn If you have any fraud related questions, please direct them to @KelleyHeehn and include the hashtag #BeFraudSmart.
Moderators: @ShesConnected @SimplyLindaBlog @CommonCentsMom
Prizes: $500 in Mastercard Gift Cards (Prizing:  for Canadians only  except those in the province of Quebec)
Twitter Party Newbies: If you are new to Twitter parties, then use TWUBS, the Twitter party platform. Click here to join: http://twubs.com/BeFraudSmart

No RSVP Required

 

About Kelly Keehn

Kelley Keehn is a financial literacy advocate who has been on a mission to “Make Canadians Feel Good About Money”.The author of 8 published books Kelley served on the National Steering Committee on Financial Literacy and is a consumer advocate for the Financial Planning Standards Council. You can learn more about Kelley at her website: KelleyKeeehn.com.

SPONSORED POST

This a sponsored post by Tangerine Bank. As always opinions are my own.