I have always been someone who appreciates creativity; it inspires and excites me. What continually blows my mind is knowing that the end result started from a simple idea. Add in a lot of passion and hard work and it blossoms into something extraordinary.
I often catch myself thinking “Wow, someone thought of that!” I suppose it is because I understand what it takes to get there. Brilliance certainly takes time.
I was recently reminded of that again as we attended our twins graduation from the 3D Animation and Visual Effects program at the Vancouver Film School. As part of the graduation, we finally got to see the results of the last 6 months worth of blood, sweat and tears.
These 38 students shared their demo reels with us as we sat in a movie theatre for an hour and 20 minutes. It was incredible. I was surrounded by all of these young brilliant minds that are about to be released into the industry and I found myself blown away once again. Watch out world, here they come.
Our sons have far surpassed any ounce of creativity I may have and we could not be more proud. I want them to “grow on”. We are just so excited for them as this is simply the beginning of what will be an awe-inspiring journey and career for them.
I could not resist sharing some of their work. Here are the links to the twins’ videos (make sure you watch till the end after the credits with Nathan’s) and some other awesome ones! Sit back, grab a small bag of popcorn and enjoy!
How did this happen so fast? Our kids are all grown up now and are launched into worlds of their own. We love them, we miss them and are so excited for them to begin to shape their own lives.
Well, what does that mean for my husband and I? A new chapter, that’s what.
As part of that, we recently moved from our big family acreage in Sherwood Park into a downtown condo and every day I am discovering new things.
I decided to check out the river valley. Now that seems to be like a normal thing to do being an Edmontonian and all but to be honest, I’ve never done it. For the last 22 years, my life has consisted of commuting from Sherwood Park to Edmonton > Work > Back to Sherwood Park > Do family things > Sleep > Wake up the next day > Repeat.
For my first river valley adventure, I parked next to the Royal Glenora, ran up the stairs, headed across the High Level Bridge, down to the Kinsmen Rec Centre and worked my way through the trails.
I remember being in absolute awe, looking around like I was in a strange land. What? Where did these trails come from? I had no idea these were even here. I could not believe what I was seeing. It was during that run, that I had my next blog topic pop into my head:
Country Girl Moves To The City To Experience Nature
I felt silly that I didn’t know but more excited that now I did. I just couldn’t believe these hidden gems were right here, right under my nose and ready to discover.
So if you want to get a new view of Edmonton like I did, check out the River Valley Trails and while you’re at it, check out the Parks too.
Perhaps you already have and I was the last one to know.
Either way, get out there and enjoy what our beautiful City has to offer especially now that summer has arrived.
Even when I travel, I can’t turn it off. I always find myself checking out the local marketing and advertising. I find it to be just so amusing.
Case in point. I came back from a little getaway to Maui in February and there were three things that left me both laughing out loud as well as thinking, “Oh my. Somebody approved that.”
I couldn’t wait to share the front page of the Hana Side News with our graphic designers. Apparently there is a fire ant invasion and it looks like those fire ants are moving awfully close to shore.
Now what makes this even funnier is knowing that it is humpback whale season and you simply can’t look anywhere towards the water without seeing whale sightings. Perceptively speaking, it appears the fire ants on Maui are the same size as the 50-foot, 30-50 ton whales. Everyone better run for the hills.
Next, we passed a serene ocean side graveyard where the sign on the building noted it to be a “Zen Cemetery”. Then I spotted it; the sign located right on the property promoting an important upcoming event. Immediately I thought, “Huh. Why yes, that is bazaar all right.”
The last one I wasn’t able to get a picture because we passed it too quickly but I burst out laughing when I saw a big sign in front of an ocean side house promoting a “Bed In Breakfast.” Now in my experience, I always thought it was a Bed AND Breakfast. I could be wrong.
Well, perhaps the owners were trying to promote breakfast in bed and simply got their words mixed up. I should have gone back to ask.
Our family is a very diverse bunch with unique interests and passions. And even though I love that about them, it does pose a challenge when searching for that perfect gift because it is definitely NOT one size fits all. Call me practical but I want to give my family something I KNOW they will love and use versus something I THINK they might and then it just gets shelved. I don’t want a “Gift Fail”.
Now I did do some creative investigating. For those that didn’t offer their ideas, I reached out and said “Hey, the North Pole called and the elves need your help. They are standing by to get to work on your gifts but they need a bit more direction. Do you think you could drop me few hints that I could pass along to them?”
She also likes to the great outdoors and mentioned she needs a new sleeping bag and a hiker daypack. So a MEC Gift Card could be the perfect gift for her.
Our 23 year old is the creative one who LOVES music. His favorite color is also brown. He is the kid that would rather save for something that is higher quality than cheap out on something that will break down so asked for some high quality headphones. For his big gift, we may invest in something like this for him:
His twin brother said “Mom, I don’t know what I want, but I know what I need. I am desperate for new clothes but it’s been so long since I’ve shopped, I don’t even know my style anymore.” I think that means we need to cut him loose in the Mall to go figure that out. For him, a WEM Gift Card will be perfect.
Our 24 year old son just bought his first house and since he has been tackling some of the renovations himself, he is in dire need of tools and house stuff (plus, we are finding things going missing at our house…hmmmm). So for all those little house necessities, we should just go practical with him and I think a gift card from here would be ideal.
Lastly, there is my husband. A number of years ago I bought him some slippers and he wears them everywhere including outside in the yard and the garage but its time. They need to be retired. So for him, I’m thinking about these:
I also really enjoyed looking at gifts.com for inspiration and think some are really great ideas.
So hopefully these might inspire you as your wrap up your holiday shopping! Happy Holidays everyone!
We lifted boxes, we pushed heavy thingy’s around, we flexed all our muscles (including the patient ones) and we worked as the rock star team that we are, to get it done. We are officially in our new space and it’s ah-maaaaaazzzzing!
I can’t believe we’re here; in the heart of it all. Feel free to stop by at #301, 10154 – 104 Street and check out our new digs. All I can say is, if you thought our last office was cool, wait until you see THIS place! (Insert squeal of joy here)
I love this neighbourhood already. Credo Coffee is below us (I anticipate frequenting it even more than I did before). Kelly’s Pub is also our new neighbor and if you haven’t heard, they have jamaoke on Thursday night where you can sing karaoke with the band. Why do I know this? Well, I may have partaken in this maybe one or two times before. Maybe.
There are so many places to eat or grab some wine after work too. Tzin is across the street, which is a lovely little wine bar and Dauphine Bakery & Bistro is a hop, skip and a jump away for fabulous European delectableness. While unpacking boxes last night, we picked up a burger from The Burg just down the way. I’m still full.
We are so happy to be here and can’t wait to discover the rest of our new neighbourhood.
I love inspiration. In fact, during some professional development courses a number of years ago with a coach, together we determined that one of more foundational core values is inspiration. For those that don’t know, a core value underpins the way in which you behave, act, and how you live your life.
I realize that inspiration is really important to me and it is just the way I am wired that. I love being inspired and when I can, I love to inspire. Inspiration as a whole, brings me great joy, it broadens my mind and emotions, it renews my faith in the world and in people and frankly, being inspired makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. It’s one way that kind of makes me feel alive.
Well knowing that, it explains why I experienced a range of emotions when I watched the theme of overcoming obstacles in Adweeks Top 5 Commercials.
I found myself cheering. I found myself laughing. I found myself being informed and educated and during the last one, I found myself welling up with tears. A number of tears.
Unless you’re the Tin Man, I don’t know anyone who isn’t inspired by folks overcoming obstacles.
Everyone has their “thing”. You know the “thing” that gets you all jazzed and excited?
Well one of my “things” is awesome creative. I just love the stuff. I absolutely love stumbling across clever and creative workmanship. I just find it so incredibly inspiring. I believe it is because I know all too well what it takes to create that work. We all just get to experience the end product but I know that each and every one of these amazing ideas began with a blank piece of paper and an end goal. The rest is pure creativity and crazy hard work.
Let me share with you my latest finds.
I absolutely loved this. Check out the award-winning “Back to the Start” campaign from Chipotle communicating the world of industrial food production and how they choose to use only sustainable farming for their products. Not to stop there, they came back with one more. I also love that they also created message extension through a free, arcade-style adventure game for the iPhone and iPad as well. So brilliant.
We’ve come a long way from the ads from the past, haven’t we? I mean really? A short film to promote a product? I love it. I also have a personal reason for my excitement. In August, our twin boys got accepted and are now attending the Vancouver Film School where they will be learning how to create workmanship like this and I am so excited for them. I can’t wait to see where their imagination takes them.
When an important and compelling message needs to be conveyed to the public, there are a number of approaches that can be taken.
We’ve all seen many examples of campaigns consisting of strong visuals coupled with static facts, figures and impacts statements. This appeals to our intellectual side as we process the information and consider whether we want to become involved or not.
Another approach is to place the unexpected consumer in a situation where they are forced to “feel” the message. The thought being, if one can be impacted emotionally, it is more likely to persuade them to action.
I came across a very strong example of that recently.
The question that comes to my mind is; has this gone too far or is this important enough of a message that it needs to be taken this far?
What do you think? I’m interested in hearing your thoughts.
I work with Ronald McDonald House® Northern Alberta as one of the Board of Directors as well as Chair their Communications Committee. Yesterday I was coming out of our communications meeting held at the House when I was suddenly stopped at the door, with a little hand “halting” me.
“Hi” said an adorable little girl stopping me in my tracks.
I crouched down and said “Hi back. What’s your name?”
“Alexis” she said as she started to play with my jewelry.
“How old are you Alexis? (Five) Where do live? (I can’t remember). What’s your favourite room in the House? (The Magic Room!) I asked “So what brings you to the House?”
“My baby brother is really small and needs to be in the hospital” (I found out later she was talking about Baby Levi who is 2.5 months old and has spent over 60 days in ICU at the Royal Alex).
Asking me a stream of questions like any 5 year old would, she said, “I really like those (as she played with my bracelets). Can I try them on? Where did you get them? I really like your necklace? I really like your ring too? Can I try that on? Can I have them?”
I had 2 necklaces on and gave her all my bracelets, ring and one of my necklaces to try on for size. She spotted one I was holding back on; my very special necklace given to me by my husband on our anniversary, which I never take off. “I really like that necklace with an “R” on it. Can I try that one on too?”
I said “But then you’ll be RA-lexis”
She said, “I don’t care” waiting with outstretched palms. So I shared that too.
After I took all my jewelry off, putting it on her, she asked, “Can you take a picture of me?”
So I did.
Then her 3-year-old sister Mikaila came running down the hall to join us. We had to stop the impromptu photo shoot so she could share some of her/my bracelets with her sister.
I was then directed to resume the picture snapping.
She said, “Wait a sec, I need to pose. Let me lift my left.”
So she did.
Then dad came down the hall to check out all the commotion. We engaged in conversation as he proudly showed me pictures of all his 4 kids and shared about baby Levi. Turns out they are from Saskatchewan and he and his wife along with their 4 children have made Ronald McDonald House their second home for quite some time now.
Then Alexis and Mikaila’s brother Kyler joined in. Kyler is also sick as he waits for a kidney transplant and was recently featured in this video shot at the House.
When Kyler introduced himself, he reached out to shake my hand with a big beaming smile. At one time, all 3 of them Kyler, Alexis and Mikaila, were trying to shake my hand, check out my jewelry, ask me 18 questions and talk to me all at once. It pretty much felt just about as amazing as being tackled by a pack of puppies.
Kyler asked, “Where are you going? (I have to go to work) Where? (Downtown) Why are you here? (I work with the House; I work on something called a Board). Well if you are going downtown to work, how can you work here at the House? (We have meetings and we all just email each other).
Then I giggled to myself as I realized this spectacular kid was interrogating me. I loved it.
As I tried to inch my way out the door, they all asked, “When are you coming back?”
I said “Very soon.”
Just added to my To Do list; stop by the toy store to grab some jewelry for the girls and something for Kyler because they pretty much penetrated my heart.
Hey you can help too!
Play I Spy with us on Twitter and send us Home for Dinner in support of Ronald McDonald House® Northern Alberta.
My friend loves to take as many pictures as I do (oh, you know who you are).
As my networking buddy, when her and I go out to events which we often do, we have to capture the essence of the evening. We have to capture our friends capturing the evening. We have to capture our friends enjoying the foods as they capture the evening. We actually even capture each other, capturing the evening.
Recently, we took a trip to New York City and her and I had two cameras going which provided two completely different perspectives, which was awesome.
What better way to lock a moment in time but through photos. Sure, we get teased for all the photos that we take however, everyone loves looking at all of the pictures later as it takes us back to those special moments all over again.
I suppose this is why I enjoyed this so much. I have to remember these fun tips on our next photo-fest.
I’ve also been on many a photo shoot where we’ve had to encourage the talent to relax. From now on, I’m going to share this link with them before the camera starts clicking.