Thursday, April 24, 2014

Get Inspired at #WeCapella May 6

Blogging is something that requires inspiration. Sometimes I get inspired to write by things I read, or things that I hear, or see, or feel. I just can't predict what will set me off, but when it happens, I grab the nearest electronic device and start writing. But there's more to inspiration than an idea for a post. There's the little push I get to keep going when I get a positive comment on the blog, the big boost when I get comments in person from people who read it. Then there's the buzz I get when I meet other bloggers and hear their stories. When I talk with other writers like me and listen to their ideas.

This buzz, this inspiration, is the reason I attend and get involved with blogger meetups. Just like a good writer has to also be a prolific reader, a good blogger can't do it all from home in isolation. You have to get out there and talk to people. So here's your chance: WeCapella, May 6, 6:30-9pm at Scotiabank Dance Centre. It's going to be an evening of engaging speakers who you'll have a chance to ask questions. There will be networking aplenty with other content creators. You'll leave inspired, I promise you!

Speakers at WeCapella include:

Manda Aufochs Gillespie
Manda Aufochs Gillespie is The Green Mama. In her 20 years in the field she has “greened” one of North America’s only urban ecovillages, one of Chicago’s largest daycares, a multi-million dollar residential project, a Guatemalan orphanage, and has been dubbed the “green guru” by the media, appearing on HBO, ABC, and CBC. She engages directly with hundreds of parents through classes, consulting, and through writing. She is the author of the first green parenting book for Canadians, Green Mama: Giving your child a healthy start and a greener future, and publishes the popular

Jaeny Baik
Jaeny Baik transforms women entrepreneurs from “zero to hero” on video. For a decade she dug up stories for the CBC as a reporter and TV host. Her first show won a Gracie Allen Award from New York, and after hosting “Living Vancouver” viewership shot up by almost 50%. Now Jaeny coaches on-camera performance, directs YouTube videos, and crafts stories with authentic *’PUNCH!* She’s trained clients around the world, including Doha, Qatar via Video Skype.

Prem Gill
Prem Gill is Director of Original Programming & Production at TELUS, where she drives the development for Telus Optik Local community programming. She has worked in media and entertainment for almost 20 years and is a passionate ambassador for local content creation. She also loves to community garden.

Heather Hawthorn Doyle
Heather Hawthorn Doyle is a multiple award-winning television producer and director (Gemini, NHK Japan Prize, $50,000 Shaw Rocket Prize, Leo Award, Silver Chris) who, in the past eight years, has developed and successfully run six new series and four specials for North American broadcasters, including HGTV, Animal Planet, OWN, W Network, OLN, BIO channel, Comedy, CITY, and CBC. Now with business partner Brian Adler, and their newly formed television and digital media production company Mom and Dad Productions, HHD is committed to bringing her passionate and highly visual storytelling to businesses and the digital space.

Marc Smith
Marc Smith blogs at 30 Day Adventures, which takes him to new locales and activities every day for 30 days, including working with the Marine Mammal team at the Vancouver Aquarium, to sipping wine and learning the history behind several of Langley’s vineyards - and most recently Hawaii. Marc’s desire to connect with people and his community is evident. To get involved in an adventure or series, visit or follow on Twitter at @TheMarcSmith.

Linda Solomon Wood
Linda Solomon Wood is founder, publisher, and editor-in-chief of The Vancouver Observer. Winner of the 2012 Canadian Journalism Foundation Excellence in Journalism Award, and the 2010 Canadian Online Publishing Award for "Best Online-Only Articles," The Vancouver Observer's West Coast-centric reporting has global reach and impact, person by person, reflective of the brave new landscape of inter-connectedness.

Additional speakers to be announced.

Sounds pretty good, right? Register for WeCapella here. Follow WeCapella on Facebook and Twitter. See you there!

WeCapella is sponsored by 
Chatters -
CanAccord -

Disclaimer: as a WeCapella Ambassador, I receive free admission to the event, but was not otherwise compensated for this post. The opinions above are my own.

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: #365FeministSelfie Week 16

Another week of theme-less slice-of-life selfies. What is unusual about them is that only one of them is taken at home, partly because we were visiting Oma & Opa in the Okanagan for the long weekend.


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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Jane Goodall's Unique Life & Experiences

Me, B & my cousin Mikey waiting for Jane!
Jane Goodall is more or less a household name all around the world, famous for her decades of work with chimpanzees in Tanzania, as well as her conservation work around the world. I was lucky enough to see her speak when she came to Vancouver as part of the Unique Lives & Experiences speaker series in March.

Despite turning 80 April 3 of this year, Jane Goodall travels about 300 days per year, visiting 22 countries last year alone. She makes friends wherever she goes, so it wasn't surprising when the Tsleil-Waututh people performed a special welcoming ceremony before her talk, draping a blanket over her shoulders and claiming her as one of their own.

Jane spoke eloquently but with a self-deprecating humour about her beginnings, attributing her path in life in no small part to her mother's unwavering support of her ambitions to work with animals. The audience laughed along with her as she told us of hiding in the chicken coop to see how exactly hens laid eggs. Her talk was peppered with personal anecdotes and I left feeling like I got to know her a little bit.

To read my full review, including the four major takeaways from her talk, please visit One Smiley Monkey.

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Monday, April 21, 2014

Book Review: On Becoming A Mother

Having a baby is such a huge milestone in a woman's life, which is marked & remembered by many different customs around the world. On Becoming A Mother: Welcoming Your New Baby & Your New Life With Wisdom From Around The World is a lovely collection of traditions, folk songs, stories, crafts, lessons & advice from mothers around the world, from varied economic, spiritual & cultural backgrounds. From yoga-inspired routines for resting during pregnancy to favourite proverbs printed on the kangas used to carry African newborns, from the origins of the baby shower to the Japanese ritual where Sumo wrestlers are asked to make babies cry, each page is filled with inspiration, humour & insight about the beginnings of parenthood.

I really enjoyed reading it, particularly the pages all about idioms related to being pregnant--that was probably my favourite. I liked that it doesn't just read like an anthropology textbook--it was a mix of personal stories too.

The book will be published in time for Mother's Day this year, so it's the perfect gift for a new mother or mother-to-be. You could get some great ideas from the book for planning a unique baby shower too. Proceeds support the White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood. You can buy it on the OneWorld Publications site for $11.89 USD.

The White Ribbon Alliance aims to inspire & convince advocates who campaign to uphold the right of all women to be safe & healthy before, during & after childbirth. Find out more online at or follow on Twitter @WRAglobal.

Award-winning journalist & filmmaker Brigid McConville is the global creative director of the White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood, which is based in Washington, DC, & London, UK. She travels the world to ensure the alliance's mission that pregnancy & childbirth are safe for all. She organizes international conferences, & frequently meets with world leaders, the UN, & women from diverse national, economic, & cultural backgrounds. Brigid lives in London.

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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Mount Pleasant Farmers Market Returns!

Just in case you haven't heard yet...

I was very pleased to receive a letter in the mail (actual snail mail--imagine that) with the news that the Mount Pleasant Farmers Market will be returning this summer!

Due to overwhelmingly positive feedback (thank you if you wrote a letter or email in support!), the Mount Pleasant Farmers Market will be returning to 2300 Guelph (at Mount Pleasant Elementary) on Sundays June 15 - October 12, 10am-2pm. There will also be live music & the Food Scraps Drop Spot.

To kick off the market, there's going to be a Community Bunting Project on Opening Day, June 15. All vendors, shoppers, & neighbours are invited to design a triangle that will be attached to a string of bunting to decorate the farmers market. Stay tuned for more details & workshop announcements.

Until June 15, you can get your Farmers Market fix at the Winter Farmers Market - Saturdays, 10-2 until April 26 at Nat Bailey Stadium (30th & Ontario), or Yaletown Farmers Market starting May 1, or Trout Lake starting May 10. All the markets & dates are here on the website.

Hope you're having a lovely Easter weekend!

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Saturday, April 19, 2014

Tips for Living Small with a Baby or Two

Stokke makes a great new chair/bouncer seat combo for small spaces
Though we live in a house, we only have the upper floor to ourselves--not quite 1100 square feet. It's more space than many of our friends but still less than half the North American average family home size. Oli & I both have some pack rat tendencies & adding two children to the mix... well, I feel like I've learned a few things over the last three-ish years about living small, so I wrote an article all about it for One Smiley Monkey.

Read the full post, Tips for Living Small with a Baby or Two here on One Smiley Monkey.

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