Happy Victoria Day!

Today is Victoria Day in Canada!

I work for ICUC, a Canadian company – and lots of my co-workers are Canadian as well.  And now that I live so super close to Canada (I’m in Western NY, near Niagra), I feel like I’m just surrounded with all things Canadian.

And, I love it!


I love our neighbors to the north, my wonderful co-workers, Tim Horton’s, Labatts, Molson, maple syrup, hockey (both Duggs and my cousin Nick LOVE hockey – they both play, we watch it all the time, I’m getting pretty into the whole hockey thing)…

i know that it was just yesterday that i professed my love for dunkin donuts, but i’m learning to love love love tim horton’s too – in fact, duggs just walked in the door with some fresh tim horton’s! woo hoo!

duggs is a huge nj devils fan

nicky likes the red wings, but since they’re out already – he wants the kings to take it this year. boo!

Seriously though, stereotypes aside, I have enjoyed getting to know more Canadians through work and learning more about Canada.  I love the people I work with, their spirit, and I envy aspects of their way of life up there – the way their system is designed to take care of their citizens (and I’m not trying to start a debate here, I LOVE America and being American as well, there are just certain things about the Canadian quality of life that I wish we could emulate here; I’m sure there are Canadians who feel that way about us, and there are things about the American way of life they’d like to have goin’ on).

Funnily enough, as I was drafting this here blog post Duggs just walked home with Tim Hortons AND a case of Labatts! Awesome timing.

our kitchen counter right now

So I guess we’re having a mini Victoria Day celebration over here, enjoying some Canadian goods.   I live for a good cruller and honestly the Tim Horton’s cruller beats out the ole Dunkin Donuts equivalent.  It’s softer in the middle and sweeter on the outside, all good qualities if you ask me!

so stoked for this here cruller, and un-doing all the hard work of running and working out i’ve been putting in lately. doh!

what’s that? my nails look pretty? thanks! i just did them about an hour ago. i think they look really great (for once).

As part of my job with ICUC, I write for our company blog, Snoo.ws, and today in honor of Victoria Day, I wrote about another Canadian company that’s recently made the news for gaining speed, users, recognition and success: HootSuite.  (Here’s the article I wrote on HootSuite for work).

the hootsuite owl

If you don’t use HootSuite yet, you need to get on that.  It’s amazing, it’s my favorite way to organize all of my social media outlets – I use my account to keep both my personal and work stuff organized, to schedule posts and the analytics are pretty sweet too.

a screenshot of hootsuite, different tabs for all your different pages – it’s so easy to use, and a great way to stay organized.

Okay.  That’s enough time spent in tangent city – sorry, you know me… I get all excited and one topic reminds me of another, and next thing you know I’m prattling on about the most random of things.

Victoria Day.  That’s what this post is about!

Originally celebrated to mark the birthday of Queen Victoria, the holiday now is considered to make the start of summer.  A day off of work for many, parades in some towns, even fireworks, and a lot of excitement that the long Canadian winter is “officially” done and warmer, lighter days are here – is what I’ve come to understand about this holiday.  (According to my very diligent online research and chatting w/ my co-workers).

My boss has been camping with her girlfriends all weekend.  Not only am I so jealous (I haven’t been camping in so long, I’m dying to go!), I’m really happy for her to get some relaxing time away from gadgets, emails, social media and the stressors of our modern lives.  There are few people I know who work harder than my boss, and she really deserves this time to kick back and have fun!

So – to all who have been celebrating today, I hope you had a great time, had fun, got to celebrate with family and/or friends, or just did something nice to make the best of your day off.

Happy Victoria Day! 

I’ll be back tomorrow with a post on some eco-friendly household practices- the ways of hippie living that I’ve been able to maintain during our move (if you read yesterday’s post about how much of an eco-slacker I’ve been lately, you’ll know what I’m talking about.  I’ve fallen off the green wagon a bit, but it hasn’t been all bad and I have a few nice-to-our-planent habits that I haven’t totally ignored).

As for now – I’m off to go eat some more donuts and remotely soak up as much of Victoria Day as I can.  Of course, ALL opinions expressed here are my own – even though I work for ICUC, this blog is my person place of ramblings and ideas.

As always, thanks for reading!! xoxo, hhr

Photo / Image Sources
Canadian Flag Image
Detroit Red Wings
HootSuite logo and screenshot
NJ Devils player image
Tim Horton’s
Victoria Day Union Jack image


Today is #Shop4Siloam – Help My Company Feed The Homeless

Today is Shop4Siloam! 

The amazing company I work for, ICUC, is based in Winnipeg, Mannitoba, Oh Canada.  In their fair city is Siloam Mission, a resource for homeless people and those living in poverty.

Today is a drive to raise money for Siloam Mission!

Details are here: link to ICUC’s blog post about the event (Snoo.ws)

Donate Online here – just please choose “#Shop4Siloam” from the menu.

Use social media to share about the event – #Shop4Siloam is the Twitter trend @ICUC and @SiloamMission are involved.  Say hi to my boss @alishaizanne who’s at the event right now.

The Mission is wonderful – they offer all kinds of services from hot meals, emergency housing, to job training, health care, therapy, classes, and more.

In planning Shop4Siloam this year, I was able to work with the Siloam team, and they’re all so great.  The passion for their work is so tangible in everything they say, the difference they  make is painted all over Winnipeg.

Easter Sunday is this weekend and ICUC is helping to provide the folks at Siloam Mission with a hot Easter Dinner.  A feast, even!  Every since cent and every dollar collected goes straight to the Mission and into funding food, programming, everything.  We’re just the messengers and the organizers of this drive.

Donate Online here – just please choose “#Shop4Siloam” from the menu.

It’s actually our 3rd annual Shop4Siloam event.  I know you’re thinking shop – well, right now, in Winnipeg, the ICUC crew that lives there is hanging out with some good folks from Siloam at a local grocer (Sobey’s St. Anne’s on Bishop Grandin from 11am – 2pm CST) today to collect food and donations. See what they’re up to on Instagram (search for Siloam Mission) and of course FB and Twitter has real time updates about today’s drive.

Also known as “Winterpeg,” the snowy winters up there are no joke.  Thus, protecting the homeless and vulnerable populations has an urgency to it not seen in various other cities with milder climates.  Just keep that in mind, please!

For less than $24 you can provide food and care for eight people. EIGHT PEOPLE.  What an incredible gift to offer someone.

Donate Online here – just please choose “#Shop4Siloam” from the menu.

Even if you’re unable to donate at this time, please post about the project on social media to keep spreading the word.  Part of the twist is that we primarily use social communication to propel the project every year – harnessing the power of the platforms we work with everyday.

Thank you everyone for your kindness and generosity!  

30 Days of Blogging Honesty: I’m Doing It!

I’m going to do one of the blog-a-day things, in conjunction with other bloggers.  It’s this one, called “30 Days of Blogging Honesty.”

Instead of just linking it and getting started though, I somehow de-railed, let my fingers fly, and I cranked out this massive, twisty, tangents-a-minute, intro post that is one of the most convoluted things I’ve ever typed, but I’m feeling silly enough to just let it fly.

Here goes:

I know I’m not really one for bandwagon blogging or photo day-by-day thingies.  But… but… let’s get real here: I am in dire need of some regularity with my posting, some accountability, structure, framework.

I made a hot minute comeback last week with a post or so, and then I went and got wicked sick.  No worries, it’s nothing hardcore serious, I just have a nasty chest cold that’s had me laid up, blah, tired, yucky, coughing and voiceless.

waaaah, i'm sick! see, i'm all swaddled in a throw blanket - it's a visual affirmation of the nasty cold i'm harboring.

Yep, voiceless. Hooray for Duggs, right?  I can only whisper, and even that is quick to bother my throat.  Talking seems to trigger crazy cough attacks, so I’m FAR quieter than the ushje. (How do you phonetically spell uge? Like an abbrev for usual? Yooge? Yooje? Who knows).  Anyways, I’m not talking much and my personal blogging has been slack for at least a month – so, the ideas and thoughts are getting cram jammed, back logged, and I have lots to say and lots to write about.  So this 30 day + a dare challenge seems like a good idea.  I’ve read through the topics and there are ways to post about pending ideas I’ve been mulling over as well as some creative new thoughts that the prompts have prompted.

I did not make this game up, create the image, start the trend, or anything!

A blog I sometimes read is actually doing this 30-day game, and I got the idea from reading this post.  I followed a link back to the original creator of the idea and read this (NSFW) post, the full list for each of the days (sans dare choices, I haven’t found those yet), and decided that I’m in!


-The first blog I just linked, West End Singleton – I’m not really sure how I feel about that blog.  I started following it because she liked a couple of my posts, and when I went over to check out her stuff, I liked the gist of what she was saying.  But as my subscription goes on, I’m just not so sure how I feel… I don’t really relate, and a couple things have totally rubbed me the wrong way.  I’m not saying this for the sake of being a bee-otch, I’m just being open with anyone who may click on over because I’ve posted a link.  I’ll tell y’all when a blogger is my pal or when a blog is one that I really enjoy, respect, turn to for info; similarly I’ll point out when it’s a blog that I don’t always jive with, just to give some context.

I know I’m being more tangential than usual – THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN MY CREATIVE TYPING GETS ALL COOPED UP.

this is my brain on drugs. and congestion. really!

-The second blog that I’ve linked, this one, who made up this 30 day honestly blogging fun: I put the ole NSFW disclaimer on earlier.  Well, i’m playing safe > sorry.  Tom’s blog is a new one I’ve recently had the pleasure of coming across.  His actual content is rated PG, if that; he does admit to an occasional PG-13 or R-rated post every now and again – to which he dutifully indicates with a warning.  The name of his blog, a harmless, natural, term for a most regular and sturdy of human behaviors, might be posted in a big enough font to make you wish you hadn’t opened it two feet away from your boss, though.  I always link to stuff that’s not work-place friendly, and after nearly causing heart attacks in a couple corporate readers, I’m trying to be a bit more aware of these things.  Witnessing my personal growth and selflessness is nice, right?

Anyways, I keep things family-rated here. I know that I have family who reads my blog sometimes (well, to offend my biological family would take both extreme acts of determination and lewdness, and I probably could only get like half of them to blush. maybe.  but my husband’s dear sweet family pokes their heads in here from time to time and they deserve better than most!  also, I blog about my faith and Christian children’s crafts, and thus I like to just keep things easy on the eyes over here as you never know who’s reading and their own sensibilities and so on).

But now I’ve piqued your curiosity, and you’re dying to check out Tom’s blog – aren’t you?

Oh go on, click and come back.  I’ll be waiting!

you don't want to leave this behind now, do you? so open the links i post in other windows or tabs but don't you dare leave me here. i'm wearing the couch throw blanket as a shawl of sorts now. it's like half regal, fancy, smarmy and half loony toons hobo-chic.

Hurry up.

Welcome back.  Yeah, as I was saying, I like Tom and his blog.  So far, the best part about this 30 Days of Blogging Honesty ordeal is that I found him and nicely made web place.  His blog is extensive, his writing is great, I like the kind of content he’s creating and the community he curates.  It’s good stuff.  I hope you’ll go check him out for the freaky name and then stick around for the good reading.  I did!

I did, also, however, commit a major faux pas while I was over there.  Great first impression, I’ve joined up to the 30 days blogging tandem, and I had to go act like a weirdo right away.

You see.  I was reading his blog, just cruising around and checking it out, skimming, site seeing (heh! did I just make up a new term?  I love that, I’ve been making up SO MANY terms lately)… okay, so I was checking out Tom’s blog of manly, early-day expression and I saw this post about his blog’s legalities.  And what do you know- one thing just honestly led to another.  My wheels started turning, the ideas start cranking, and I had an ideagasm that honestly erupted.

Here’s my train of thought:

I was thinking about intellectual property as defined in Tom’s legal disclaimer,


then I thought about this other recent new blog I’ve discovered, BornAtTwentyFive, a lovely, upbeat, beach-y, honest blog, that I really like; but that nonetheless, I awkwardly butted in and gave some unsolicited advice to the blogger about citations, copyright and intellectual property…


Which of course is just calling to mind all the hubbub on the recent Kristin Ruiz plagiarism debacle,


and the subsequent work-blog posts I wrote about her cheating ways and their industry impacts (Part 1 and Part 2);


and with all this hulking chain of a thought free-wheeling through my dayquil-encroached mind, I just went all nutso loose cannon, and I made this HUGE IMPOSING comment.

So yeah.  That was weird. and probably a very weird outlet for the many recent thoughts I’ve had in regards to Internet plagiarism, intellectual property, citations, copyright, for-profit vs. noncommercial, public domain, and other such condundrums of the web-based self publisher.

For anyone interested in the fallout, Tom was really cordial about it all.  Whew!

I do have so many questions, though.  If you thought I’d already posted enough open-ended, my-voice-goes-up-as-I-ask?, over-curious kinda sentence fragments, then just stop reading now.

I has questions?

Tom’s 30 Day Blogging Honesty event is a series of prompts that he has created, and every day I’ll use one of his prompts to write a post.  So is that me using his intellectual property?  Since he just made up the skeleton and I’m creating the flesh, is it my intellectual property?  Both his and mine? I don’t advertise on my blog or make any money directly from it (at this time) – so am I exempt, according to Tom’s specifications of fair use, from not being able to re-use his material?  Is my tie dye ‘biz an indirect means of commercial gain affiliated with this blog?  Is the fact that I’m paid to write on another blog important?  Since he’s encouraging others to use the contest and play along, is it a moot point?  He’s asked that we link to him and use a graphic he’s provided – am I required to cite anything else?

And not to mention that the whole name of this contest is BLOGGING HONESTY – and I’ve been so preoccupied on that goal, its pursuit, those who fall short, my own mess ups and so on.  It’s all about being honest vs. lying.

So circle of life, right?  Comeuppance.  Circular thinking.  Justification.  Great minds think alike.  My own preoccupation and/or fixation.  Regardless the light the idea is bathed in, It all links back to where I started.  Such continuing idea cycles are totally my jam.

And, end scene.

You’ve just experienced like twelve seconds in my brain.  Honestly!  A couple more tangents about gummy bears and the lot of it expressed in a weird tuneless singy-songy way would have totally brought you into my dome.

In summary:  I, as of now, haven’t even started this Blogging Project and I’ve already gone bonky all over a stranger’s blog and had an almost manic episode on my own.

I’ll be an optimist and choose this to say – well, that’s how you know it’s gonna be a good ole time!

nothing to see here, everything is fine! (oh, you can disregard the crazy person, the disarrayed couch, all the latent weirdness and just see the VERY VERY CUTE pooch).

Coming up next, and right away – I’ll actually start my participation in this 30 Day of Blogging Honesty. Woohoo!

As always, thanks for reading! xoxo, hhr

P.S. – who cares about my lame-o apology posts and regurgitated old content.  Today’s random intellectual train wreck felt like a proper comeback! Hello!