Mixing Business with Pleasure

I’m not new to mixing my business life with my personal life.

  • I met my husband on my first day working at a high tech company. He was sitting in the cubicle next to me.
  • Before we had kids, we attended the same conferences and turned the trips into mini-vacations.
  • We are currently working together at a mobile app company.

Given our history, it was not surprising that we planned our family trip around the yearly BlackBerry World conference. Our plan was to head down early, spend a week at Disney with our family and attend the BlackBerry Jam developer conference.

It was a challenging experience…

We were having so much fun! We really got into the groove of heading to the parks in the morning and relaxing by the pool in the afternoon. To be honest, I had a hard time leaving the resort to go attend my sessions. I wanted to stay with kiddos and keep having fun.

I somehow managed to leave the family. Well, perhaps my husband was my motivator. Regardless, I did go to the sessions and I felt focused the entire time. I found that I did learn a lot and enjoyed the conference immensely.

My only regret? We traveled back to Canada as soon as the conference ended. If I were to mix a family vacation with a conference again, I think I would ensure that we took extra time after the conference to decompress. I wanted to have that last hurrah with the kids before flying home.

Flying to Disney May 2012

Disney Hollywood Studios May 2012

Disney Ice Cream Fun!

Mickey Mouse Ice Cream

Posted in BlackBerry, DisneySMSMoms, High Tech Life, Walt Disney World | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Wordless Wednesday – A Spring Sneak Peek

Taken with my iPhone using Camera+

Posted in Wordless Wednesday | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

My Hunger Games Movie Experience

Last Thursday I attended an advance screening  of The Hunger Games! I received free tickets through @shesconnected and went as a guest of @ToshibaCanada.

I read all three books and couldn’t wait for the movie to be released. I was really happy with the casting of the characters, Woody Harrelson made me truly believe that he was Haymitch. You wouldn’t know that Elizabeth Banks played the character, Effie Trinket. She did a fantastic job. I must admit that I was also very smitten with Lenny Kravitz. He made a very good Cinna.

In my opinion, the screenplay was a good representation of the book. I noted that Suzanne Collins was a producer and it was reported that she adapted the novel for the film herself. The credits include her name with other Hollywood screenwriters.

I truly enjoyed the movie and part of the enjoyment was based on what I knew from reading the book. I knew what the characters were thinking and their motivations behind their actions when time constrictions of the movie didn’t allow for more detail. If you love to read, then read the book and go see the movie! The two mediums mesh well together.

The movie (and book) offer a lot of food for thought in regards to class, politics, violence and reality tv. Yes, reality television. The Hunger Game that the tributes take part in is considered source of entertainment for the citizens of the Capitol. It is their “reality tv”.  Makes you think about the parallels in the reality tv shows that we enjoy today with the Hunger Games of Panem… but without the death and violence.

I am already looking forward to seeing the next installment, Catching Fire. Looks like I’m going to be waiting until Fall 2013, according to Wikipedia! I have a feeling I’ll be rereading the book before the movie to brush up on the facts.

I would like to thank Toshiba Canada for the preview tickets and to She’s Connected for making this happen.

Posted in Movies | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Tweeting Myself into Action: A Lesson Learned

  1. Two weeks ago I attended the Blissdom conference in Nashville. One of the sponsors, ConAgra Foods, has a commitment to end child hunger and was raising funds by having the Blissdom attendees tweet about ending child hunger. I took part in this fundraiser but along the way I learned a little something about myself through a series of tweets.
    I saw this tweet in my #Blissdom hash tag stream and I responded by doing my part.
  2. Share
    Don’t miss your chance to help! For every #childhunger tweet during #Blissdom @ConAgraFoods donates a meal- up to 40k- to Feeding America
    Fri, Feb 24 2012 18:05:02
  3. Share
    Thank you @ConAgraFoods for dinner and sponsoring us! Let’s stop #ChildHunger together.
    Fri, Feb 24 2012 22:11:27
  4. Then next evening I read this tweet from PhD in Parenting and it hit me. I needed to do more than just tweet about ending child hunger. I shouldn’t be depending on a company to donate simply because I tweeted out a hash tag.
  5. Share
    If u can afford 2 go 2 #blissdom12, surely u can afford $20 donation to a food bank. That will help so much more than propping up @ConAgra.
    Sat, Feb 25 2012 11:00:40
  6. Annie was right. I could afford to donate to my local food bank. I am very fortunate that I could travel to Blissdom in Nashville. I knew that I could do more. I wanted to do more.
  7. Share
    @phdinparenting okay then, when I get home I’ll donate $20 to the food bank. How do I go about doing that in Ottawa? @conagra #ChildHunger
    Sat, Feb 25 2012 11:09:31
  8. Share
    .@kristahouse Excellent! Just Google the Ottawa Food Bank’s website or you can donate via the @canadahelps website.
    Sat, Feb 25 2012 11:13:45
  9. Share
    . @phdinparenting has inspired me not 2 just tweet about #ChildHunger but 2 donate actual money to my local food bank #blissdom #blissdom12
    Sat, Feb 25 2012 11:25:32
  10. Share
    @phdinparenting @kristahouse @canadahelps Great! Thank you! Or you can go directly to our side ottawafoodbank.ca and donate online there!
    Mon, Feb 27 2012 14:24:19
  11. I returned home and made my donation to the Ottawa Food Bank via an online form. It could not have been easier to donate. I encourage anyone that is able to donate cash to their local food bank to do it.
  12. Oh and ConAgra Foods agreed to match 20k tweets worth of meals to Feeding America, making it a grand total of 40k!
  13. Share
    Yay! RT @ConAgraFoods: #BlissDom helped donate 20k meals 2 @FeedingAmerica w/ #ChildHunger tweets. B/C of your help, we R going 2 match it!
    Sun, Feb 26 2012 19:33:41

One of the biggest lessons I learn was that donating money to the food bank goes a long way. Annie from PhD in Parenting has created an eye opening infographic. I encourage you to read her post.

Hunger Equations — What Is The Best Way to Help Fight Hunger?

Infographic by Annie @ PhD in Parenting. The code for the Hunger Equations INFOGRAPHIC can be found at the PhD in Parenting Blog.

Posted in Blissdom | 4 Comments

The Curators of Sweden

Last week I was listening to The Social Hour with AmberMac and Sarah Lane. They spoke briefly about the @Sweden twitter account. This is not any ordinary head-of-state or country twitter account.

Every week a citizen of Sweden takes over the account and tweets as if it is their own, only the tweets are in English instead of their native language. Upon hearing this, I was instantly intrigued. I mean, who doesn’t like Sweden? The land of ABBA, Swedish meatballs, IKEA and Ottawa Senator’s Captain, Daniel Alfredsson!

The creators behind the account have dubbed @Sweden as the world’s first democratic twitter account. The idea is that every week a different Swede takes over the account to give their recommendations of things to do and places to see. Sharing diverse opinions and ideas are encouraged. The tweets are not proofed in any manner but political opinions are suppose to be tagged as #myownopinion. Based on the tweets, I gather that they sign a contract of some sort, with a list of rules. I would assume that this would be a given.

They are officially called The Curators of Sweden. I spent some time on their Web site checking out past participants and their archived twitter streams. It is quite the diverse collection; a marketer, an organic sheep farmer, a lesbian truck driver and a teacher. To become a Curator of Sweden, the participant must be an active Twitter user and they cannot nominate themselves.

This week the @Sweden account is curated by Daniel Swedin (nice last name) who works at a newspaper and lives in Stockholm. He describes himself as a David Bowie know-it-all and card-carrying member of the Phantom Club.

I invite you to follow this account and see for yourself:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sweden
Web site: http://curatorsofsweden.com/

Posted in High Tech Life, Twitter | Tagged , | 3 Comments

My Blissdom Canada Hangover

So, I’ve decided that I am not going to recap -what-I-learned-from-the-sessions while attending Blissdom Canada in Toronto last weekend. There are quite a few recaps floating around the Interwebs that sum it up a lot more eloquently.

If you are curious of what many of the attendees thought, may I suggest that you head over to Everything Mom where they have a Blissdom Canada blog roll. You can also roll on over to Those Two Girls for another blog roll. You can even catch on to a few links from the #BlissdomCanada Twitter stream.

I am going to recap what it’s like to attend Blissdom Canada for the second time and it’s long lasting effects. For those of you that went through the ritual of getting married or for people that simply threw a big party for whatever reason. Do you remember what it was like? I do. I remember walking around my party trying to visit with all my friends and family. People who are part of my life but I never really get to see often because they live far away or those who live close by but life just gets too busy to visit in person. It was simple, my task at my party was to visit every person giving them hugs while trying to fit in quick and meaningful conversations. To me, that was how I liken it in attending Blissdom Canada.

The day after my wedding reception I recall feeling sad. It was like an emotional hangover. I was sad because I wanted to chat a little longer with some relatives that lived far away. I was sad because I didn’t have a chance to give an extra hug to that long time friend that I hardly ever see anymore. I wanted that connection to last. That, my friends, is exactly how I felt last Sunday morning.

I have an emotional hangover from Blissdom Canada and four days later I still mourn for the time that I wanted to spend with the lovely people at Blissdom Canada. I resolve that next year, if I have the opportunity to attend Blissdom Canada ’12, that I will make sure that I will spend more time trying to reconnect with my peeps. I so desperately want to avoid that feeling, that emotional hangover.

My Shining Moment? It’s a no brainer, it was meeting AmberMac!

Blissdom Canada with AmberMac!

Posted in Blissdom Canada, Blogging | Tagged , , | 9 Comments

Wordless Wednesday – Old Mac Meets New Mac

Posted in High Tech Life, Wordless Wednesday | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments