Attend the BConnected Conference Twitter Party March 29, 2017, at 8 PM EDT! #BConnectedTO

 On the Leading Edge of Social Media!

The BConnected Conference will be held on Saturday, April 22nd and Sunday, April 23rd, 2017 at the Renaissance Toronto Downtown Hotel. The conference offers amazing components: interactive sessions, keynote speakers, one-on-one speed networking with sponsors, an exhibitor’s hall as well as Social Networking Events, and more surprises!

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They will have speakers who will be sharing their skills and experience with attendees to help obtain hands-on and useful information to enhance their social media and blogging skills. Attendees will also be able to increase their network by connecting with fellow influencers and entrepreneurs, after all, being connected is what the conference is all about!

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Join us on

Wednesday, March 29th, 2017

at 8 pm EDT

for the #BConnectedTO Twitter Party!

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BConnected Conference Twitter Party Details

When: Wednesday, March 29th, 2017

Time: 8 pm EDT

Hashtag: #BConnectedTO

Where: TwitterTwubs or Tweetdeck!

Follow your Host: @BConnectedConf and Moderators: @OttawaMommy Club and @CanBlogHouse

To learn how to participate in a Twitter Party, check out this page!

Prizes

Fabulous prizes from BConnected Conference sponsors will be drawn at the end of the Twitter Party! Prizes will be announced the week of the party.

Please RSVP by adding your Twitter handle to the linky below, so you will be eligible to win!

 More information on the BConnected Conference, visit the website!
Questions: Contact us at bconnectedconference@hotmail.com

Fine Print: 

In order to win a prize, you must be a legal resident of Canada who are at least 18 years or older in their province/territory of residence on the date of entry, follow your host, BConnected Conference, have filled out the linky entry form and participated in the Twitter Party following the hashtag #BConnectedTO. You must be a registered user on Twitter (a third party Web site) to participate. If you do not have a Twitter account, follow the onscreen instructions to register for a free Twitter account at www.twitter.com. Prizes will be drawn at the end of the Twitter Party using Twitter Twitter Chicken Dinner.

At this time, a random draw will be held from among all eligible entries received to select a Twitter Party participant eligible to win a Prize. The entrant eligible to win will be requested to fill out a winner form by April 2nd, 2017 with his/her your name, shipping address and phone number for prize delivery. The Winner will be contacted via email within 7 days of the conclusion of the Twitter Party Period.

Odds of winning depend upon the number of eligible participants registered and that participated during the Twitter Party Period. Winner must accept the prize as stated. Prize cannot be substituted, transferred or exchanged or surrendered for cash, except at the sole and absolute discretion of the Twitter Party Sponsors, who reserve the right, at their sole and absolute discretion and for any reason, to award a substitute prize of equal or greater value, including without limitation, a cash award. Unclaimed prizes will not be awarded. Allow up to 6 weeks to receive a prize. By entering this Twitter Party, you agree to the terms and conditions. No purchase is necessary to win and void where prohibited by law.

By participating, a participant who win a Prize consent to the use of their Twitter account name, first and last name, and likeness for advertising, promotion, and publicity purposes related to the Twitter Party without additional compensation, unless prohibited by law. By participating in the Twitter Party, participants release and agree to hold harmless the Twitter Party Hosts, Sponsors and their respective parent companies, affiliates or related companies, directors, employees, officers and agents, including without limitation, her advertising/promotion agencies from any and all liability, injury, loss, or damage of any kind, including but not limited to personal injury or death, arising from or in connection with participation in the Twitter Party, or the awarding, receipt, possession, use or misuse of any prize and/or with respect to participation in any prize-related activity. Entrants agree to abide by these Official Twitter Party Rules, and decisions of the Twitter Party Hosts and Sponsors, whose decisions are final in all matters relating to this Twitter Party. 

Enter your Twitter URL (eg. https://twitter.com/BConnectedConf) in the URL Field and your Twitter Handle (eg. @BConnectedConf) in the Name field.

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Click here to RSVP on the linky widget for the Twitter party!

We hope to see you there!

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Feeling at Home at the Courtyard by Marriott Mississauga-Airport Corporate Centre West!

Hey, Readers!

It had been a while since I had been home to see my family in Toronto. Since my aunt who I have not seen in about a decade was visiting “Grandma” (it’s actually my mom but she does not answer to this since she no longer has kids) for a few weeks, we decided to go home for a weekend to see her and my other family members! Instead of staying with one of my relatives, we decided to stay in a hotel. After doing a bit of research of hotels close to Grandma’s home, we decided to book a room at the Marriott Mississauga-Airport Corporate Centre West.

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The Courtyard by Marriott Mississauga-Airport Corporate Centre West boasts the following amenities for its guests:

  • Free high-speed Internet
  • Fitness Centre
  • Pool
  • Airport Shuttle

They also have four different rooms available to book:

  • 2 Queen-sized beds guest room
  • 1 King-sized bed guest room with a sofa bed
  • 1 King-sized guest room with a Whirlpool bathtub
  • 1 King-sized suite with a sofa bed.

We felt that the 2 Queen-sized beds guest room would work best for our family since it had two beds that were the same size we could all sleep on and enjoy.

After our long drive, we were so happy to reach our room. My little ones made short work of making themselves right at home in our room. They made sure that their entourage was comfortable and that our clothing was put away in their proper places. There was plenty of room for our clothes and my collection of shoes.

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The next things the kids and I had to try out were our beds and I am a HUGE fan of a tall bed. Each bed was firm and comfy. I had so much fun climbing into our beds every time I wanted to sleep or wanted to sit back and relax. As you can see, my kids found our beds adequate for our stay.

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This was one of the nicer bathrooms I have had in a hotel room in a long time. I loved that there was a privacy wall between the vanity and the toilet. There is literally enough room for three people to be in the bathroom at the same time (if this was necessary) without bumping into each other. The counter had so much space. It was able to hold all of our toiletries along with those that are complementary to the room.

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After a good night’s sleep, our tummies were grumbling. Since we had a few hours before meeting up with family, we decided to grab a bite at the hotel’s eatery, The Bistro – Eat.Drink.Connect™. I loved the set-up of their seating area. There were tables for those who wanted to get a bit of work done while they ate as well as three banquettes for families or small groups of people to share their meal. Each of the banquettes housed a television set so you could catch up on the goings-on of the day while you ate.

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Since we are used to a hearty sit-down breakfast on weekend mornings, we each ordered a scrambled egg breakfast. It came with strips of bacon, home fries, toast, and a cup of fruit (juice was separate). We were not disappointed with our morning meal. It was warm, yummy and ever so filling. This meal got us fueled well for our big day of fun.

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While our food was cooking, I had time to check out the hotel’s business centre. This area of the hotel was for guests to work if more space is needed to meet and work. Boarding passes could be printed off, desks and chairs are available for guests to set up shop to work. It is a comfortable and spacious work area.

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On the other side of the wall from the business centre was the hotel’s lounge area where guests are able to meet and greet friends. It is set up like a stylish living room with a roomy den side-by-side. There was so much room in this area that several groups could be there without feeling as though they would disturb each other. The two-sided fireplace was one of my favourite features of this room. It was warm and inviting. I wish it had a roaring fire in it when I visited, but the weather was too warm for it to be on.

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Our weekend was such a whirlwind affair that we did not have the chance to check out the fitness centre or the pool area. We were sad to check out of the Courtyard by Marriott Mississauga-Airport Corporate Centre West at the end of our mini family vacation. We enjoyed our breakfast at The Bistro – Eat.Drink.Connect™, the business and lounge areas are great for meeting and working, and our room really made us feel at home. The next time we visit our family in Toronto, we will be sure to book another room here!

For more information about the Courtyard by Marriott Mississauga-Airport Corporate Centre West, you can visit them on their website!

Until my next post, Readers!

Reese.

Disclaimer: I was not compensated in any way by the Courtyard by Marriott Mississauga-Airport Corporate Centre West to write this post. I’m just sharing my great experience with you!

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To Toronto and Back in 36 Hours

Hey Readers!

For those that haven’t read my bio, I have lived in Canada’s capital for quite a few years. Even though I have been here for a long time, I always say that Toronto is my home. Up until I was nineteen, it was my center of, well, everything. Since moving away, I don’t get to visit home that often, and it is a treat whenever I go back. The blogisphere gave me a rare opportunity to make a quick stop in my hometown this summer. By quick, I mean 36 hours. It was supposed to be only 24 hours, but I’ll explain more about that further on down in the post. It was action-packed, and a lot of fun!

Here is my entourage for this visit:

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As you have probably noticed, the VP of Cuteness is not present for this adventure. She stayed behind with my other half and had a Dadu-Daughter Day filled with shopping, movies and relaxing.

Besides being excited about my “mission,” I was over the moon about this trip being the VP of Cuddles’ first trip to Toronto. We ventured to and from Toronto via train, my little guy’s new favourite method of travel, and he could not sit still in his seat. The Senior VP of the family was excited as well, but you would never guess it by the look on her face in this pic! I also love traveling by train. I love being able to use the train’s wifi to work or relax.

Since we took an earlier train form Ottawa to Toronto, the kids passed out in their seats about half way through our trip. I then took a break from what I was doing and took some pics of the scenery from my window seat. At this point in the trip, we were pretty close to the Lake Ontario shoreline. Despite the speed we were traveling at the time, some of my pics turned out alright.

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After a few delays, we hit the Toronto city limits! Out of the three of us, I was the most excited. It was amazing to watch my son see my hometown for the first time. He loved seeing all of the cars, buses, and trains, as well as all of the buildings parks and green spaces (yes, there were a few) on our way to the station.

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Once at Union Station, my big sis, Mandi, and my nephew, J, were on hand so my daughter could hang out with them while my little guy and I went to complete our “mission.” We had to cab through noon traffic (yes, that is a thing in downtown T.O.) to and from our destination. It was so good to see the sights and be a part of the energy that is Toronto once again.

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Once back at Union Station, my little guy and I waited for remainder of my entourage at the “big clock”. This was to be a familiar sight on this visit home as we kept landing here throughout this visit.

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After a LONG day, this girl needed to relax. We headed for the closest Second Cup for my favourite warm beverage: A Vanilla Bean Hot Chocolate! Oh, whipped cream was a must to mellow me out.

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I booked an early train for my return back to Ottawa the next morning, so we made a mad dash back to Union Station. This race against the clock was made more challenging as the first five subway stations were closed for the weekend due to maintenance. We had to take shuttle buses to the next open subway station along with several thousand other people. Needless to say, we missed our train. After re-booking ourselves on a later train that afternoon, we decided to become tourists in our hometown! We revisited the same Second Cup at the corner of University and Front Streets to figure out what we were going to do for the next few hours. It was good to be able to take a moment to breath and let the stress of the morning go.

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After our break, we decided to venture close to Union Station by strolling over to one of my favourite areas of Toronto: The St. Lawrence Market Neighbourhood. We stayed along Front Street, and it was so full of life! My little guy decided to take this time to patrol the streets while protecting his aunt from danger. We also took in Berczy Park for a bit of a rest, and then some of the many hot spots along the way. It was so good to be back in this part of town. I really didn’t want to leave.

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Since time waits for no one, our time in Toronto had come to a close. We were all sad to say our goodbyes and go on the train, but we knew we would be together with our family soon. I’m not sure who enjoyed this trip the most as we watched the Toronto skyline fade away into the distance. Now that my son has had a taste of Toronto, he cannot wait to go back, and my daughter is already suggesting for us to return soon. As for me, I am always up for a trip back home! I can’t wait to visit my hometown again.

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Monday Mundane Morning Music: DJ Kool, Featuring Biz Markie & Doug E. Fresh – Let Me Clear My Throat

Hey There Readers!

This week’s pick was inspired by all of the political shenanigans that have been happening in my hometown of Toronto over the past few weeks. Its mayor, Rob Ford, other City Councilors, and the media have cleared their throat quite a bit before sharing their thoughts, so I thought that this song would be most appropriate to share with you! I also picked this song because it makes you dance in your chair, and it will stick in your head for the rest of the day.

Enjoy!

Until my next post, Readers!

Reese.

Mayor Rob Ford – Sincere Apologies?

Hey Readers!

If you did not know this about me, I am fiercely proud Torontonian.  I love so much about my hometown! I miss it a lot, so I like keeping tabs on what is happening there.  When I originally saw the first apology Mayor Rob Ford made this week (November 5, 2013), I wasn’t going to comment on Mayor Rob Ford’s crack smoking because my sentiments had been said by many of other Torontonians: Maybe he shouldn’t be in office anymore.  Since this new video of Mayor Ford has surfaced of his erratic rant, it made me think that this sincere apology he made to the city of Toronto was a plea to anyone out there with more dirt on the mayor to keep it quiet.

This is not the first time Rob Ford has caused Torontonians to shake their heads at him, and I have a feeling this will not be the last.  What bothers me the most is that he is telling the people of Toronto to move past his indiscretions, and to let him continue to let him do his job.  No, no, no! Rob Ford cannot apologize, then ask the people of Toronto to forget what he’s done in the same breath so easily, especially after all of the other apologies he’s given so sincerely, saying he won’t let Torontonians down again.  Here is a short list of things Rob Ford has been sorry about since being in office:

  • Overspending during his 2010 campaign to become mayor
  • Unwittingly accepting donations for his football foundation (using ignorance as a defense…didn’t read the manual?)
  • The crack smoking video
  • The violent rant video.

How can the city of Toronto continue to put their faith into a mayor who is constantly making excuses for his actions, yet has not done anything to change his ways?  If I still lived in Toronto, I would be worried about how the city is going to be affected due to Rob Ford’s actions.  Right now, Toronto city council is dealing with what to do about their mayor instead of how to take care of their city, again!  The people of Toronto should not have to deal with this anymore.

I just want all of these  issues Rob Ford keeps having to stop.  Maybe he should be more careful of the company he keeps, as they are recording all of his indiscretions, then they somehow become public to further ruin the mayor.  It is a gray area to tell a grown adult who they should and should not associate themselves with, and what they should and should do in their private life, but if these individuals are constantly dragging you down, and you just happen to be the mayor of a city, then maybe I am not so wrong in voicing my opinion.

I know that everyone has their demons they have to contend with.  We have no idea as to the extent of how serious Mayor Ford’s issue run.  But when your demons are affecting your ability to run a city, especially one as big as Toronto, you need to get yourself in check, and get yourself better first. Then you can worry about your position as mayor.  Mayor Ford’s refusal to leave office, to me, is a selfish move in his part.  Not dealing with whatever he has going on in his life will then affect the people he claims he wants to help: Torontonians.

Maybe when Mayor Rob Ford actually starts living up to the sincere apologies he has been giving to the people of Toronto, then maybe he might gain back some of the trust he has lost with them, making it easier for them to move past all of his past actions.

Again, these are just my thoughts and opinions on the matter…

Until my next post, Readers!

Reese.

Related Articles:

Elizabeth Church and Joe Friesen – Toronto Mayor Rob Ford apologizes, but will not step down, after admitting to smoking crack cocaine (Globe and Mail) http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/toronto/rob-ford-councillors/article15263319/

CBC News (No Author listed) – Rob Ford: ‘I’m not an Alocoholic, I’m not a drug addict’ http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/rob-ford-i-m-not-an-alcoholic-i-m-not-a-drug-addict-1.2355543

Margaret Wente – Our Toxic Mayor is a crisis for the city (The Globe ad Mail) http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-debate/our-toxic-mayor-is-a-crisis-for-the-city/article15308596/

Erika Tucker  – Rob Ford’s apologies: Stop us if you’ve heard this one before (Global News) http://globalnews.ca/news/950796/rob-fords-apologies-stop-us-if-you-think-youve-heard-this-one-before/

James Armstrong – Mayor Rob Ford: many questions still not answered (Global News) http://globalnews.ca/news/950724/mayor-rob-ford-many-questions-still-left-unanswered

Steve Kupferman – The Supreme Court of Canada Puts an End to Mayor Rob Ford’s Conflict of Interest Case (Torontoist) http://torontoist.com/2013/06/the-supreme-court-of-canada-puts-an-end-to-mayor-rob-fords-conflict-of-interest-case/

Reese Speaks – Rob Ford Pulls a Rabbit Out of His Hat! He Stays on As Toronto’s Mayor https://reesespeaks.wordpress.com/2013/01/25/rob-ford-pulls-a-rabbit-out-his-hat-he-stays-on-as-torontos-mayor/

Update (November 14, 2013):

Mayor Rob Ford made some colourful remarks, that he was sorry, again for these comments, that he was receiving treatment for his issues ( he did not wish to specify what kid of help he was getting), and that he was moving forward.  Ford made these remarks in regards to the Toronto City Council meetings that were held both today, and on November 13, 2013, where various Councilors were asking him to leave office to seek help for his issues.

He also made these  remarks in regards to the Alexander Lisi court documents which lists former employees of the Mayor’s Office stating that they had witnessed Ford in the following situations:

  • Drunk in public
  • Taking drugs
  • Drunk driving
  • Having a woman in his office, who that person thought, was a prostitute
  • Being physical with a staffer while at an event during St. Patrick’s Day, 2012.

Whether any of this is actually true, time will tell.  Regardless of all of these shenanigans, I still do not believe Mayor Ford should ask the people of Toronto to move on and allow him to be their mayor.  I thought we were told by Ford that everything was now out in the open…let’s just see just how many more apologies he’ll be making in the future.  For his sake, I hope he’s finished, but we’ll soon see, won’t we!

Additional Related Articles:

CTV News.ca Staff:  Mayor Rob Ford apologizes for lewd language – http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/mayor-rob-ford-apologizes-for-coarse-language-1.1542963

Andrea Janus: Staff allegations against Rob Ford: cocaine, suspected prostitutes, drunk driving – http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/staff-allegations-against-rob-ford-cocaine-suspected-prostitutes-drunk-driving-1.1541374

CBC News: Rob Ford documents: 11 shocking allegations – Police documents reveal more about Toronto mayor’s allegedly inappropriate behaviour –  http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/rob-ford-documents-11-shocking-allegations-1.2425952

Showwei Chu and the Associated Press: Mayor Ford getting help from professionals after admitting crack, excessive drinking – http://www.citynews.ca/2013/11/14/mayor-ford-getting-help-from-professionals-after-admitting-crack-excessive-drinking/

Rob Ford Pulls a Rabbit Out His Hat! He Stays on As Toronto’s Mayor.

Hey Readers!

Here’s another news story I just had to comment on! If you had the chance to read my About Page, you’ll know I’m a Torontonian, and proud of it.  It shaped me into the person I am, and I continue to keep tabs on what’s happening in my fair city.  When Rob Ford became the mayor of Toronto in 2010, I wanted to give him a chance as mayor because it’s a tough city to run, and if the people elected him in, then he should try to run the city and try to make it better for its people.  I felt this way until, I think, he started becoming a polarizing figure for Torontonians, losing their faith in his abilities to lead the city in the best interest of its people.  The straw that broke the camel’s back for me was his decision to vote on a council issue he had a personal interest in, gaining money for it, then claiming he was unaware he was breaking the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act.  What upsets me more is that he went to an appellate court to rule on a decision where Justice Charles Hackland found him guilty of violating this rule he swore to uphold when he became mayor to overturn this ruling this morning, and he will get retain his position as Toronto’s mayor.

For lack of a better, or more profane term, I’m pissed off about it!  Mayor Ford broke a rule.  Sure, he testified, stating that he was unaware he could participate in the council’s ruling of this decision, where his football team received over $3,100 because he did not read this rule in the councilor’s handbook when he became mayor.  Claiming ignorance to skip out of a mistake, especially as mayor, is pretty low.  What kind of example is this setting to other public figures, or to the kids he is helping with his charity?  I can’t say whether this was the best defense he could come up with to explain why he did what he did, but this would make me feel, if I were still living in the city of Toronto, that my mayor thinks rules don’t apply to him, whether he is aware of the rules or laws which he is bound to uphold.

Should he actually loose his job over what he did, that’s a gray area for me.  Yes, he did violate the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act, but the punishment for what he did was not applied either because he did not directly receive the funds he solicited from 11 lobbyist groups and one corporation.  It went to the Toronto Community Foundation, which runs his charitable work for him.  Sure, he did not get the money himself, but he solicited the money from these groups, then went to Toronto City Council to ask to be excused from punishment for his actions and then voted in favour of being let off the hook.  Saying he was not aware of the aforementioned Act he violated is not acceptable, especially for the mayor of the city of Toronto.

An example should be made in this instance, but it should follow what is laid out as punishment in the Act.  These punishments are that the offender should be reprimanded or that the money must be returned to the appropriate party or parties.  Since he did not directly receive the funds, the panel found that Rob Ford is exempt from punishment.  No, no, Readers! In my eyes, if your foundation receives money, it is you getting that money.  Some form of punishment should befall Rob Ford in this instance.

I know, he’s not a monster.  The money went to a foundation which runs a charity football league for kids who otherwise wouldn’t get the chance to play.  You usually don’t get to hear about what mayors do outside of their job as head of a city, and it’s good to know he takes time out and does some good.  Do the kids deserve receiving the money?  Yes, but not in the manner it was obtained.

Clayton Ruby, the lawyer who brought this case against the mayor, is now trying to appeal the decision the appellate panel made today to the Supreme Court of Canada.  I’m not sure if they will find any differently than the appellate court just has.   And what was learned by Rob Ford from this situation?  Nothing really.  He said he learned he had a lot of public support.  This just set off alarm bells for me.  So what if he has become humbled by this situation.  That’s crap!  He didn’t say he wouldn’t do something like this again, nor has he apologized for doing something so simple as read (or have an aid read and inform him) of what he can and cannot do as mayor and a member of Toronto City Council.  Today’s ruling just sets a worrisome precedence for other mayor, letting them know that rules and laws can be broken.  You just have to know the right loopholes to access.

As usual, I have put links below so you can read some of the reports on this story and make your own judgement call on this case.

http://cbc.sh/80dLdbD

http://cbc.sh/Sbh0bTW

http://news.nationalpost.com/2013/01/24/toronto-mayor-rob-ford-pledges-to-just-roll-with-the-punches-should-he-be-removed-from-office-friday/

http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article/1319970–mayor-rob-ford-wins-appeal-will-stay-in-office

Until my next post, Readers!

Reese.