March 2020 Issue 149
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Go Get 'em, Tiger KELLY WOODHOUSE FALARDEAU
May 28, 2009 is a day I’ll never forget. Usually I don’t remember when people die, but this date I’ll remember forever because it was the day my dad died. My dad lived on one end of Canada and I lived at the other end and I only saw him every two years since the age of 9. But in 2009, I saw him three times in five weeks. The first time was because I was participating in a trade show for my business and I spent 12 days with him. The longest amount of time I ever spent with him since I was nine. When he dropped me off at the airport, I thought to myself that I should get a picture with him, but I didn’t. That is definitely one ‘selfie’ moment that I regret. His last words to me were “go get ‘em, tiger.” Little did I know that that would be the last time I would actually get to hear my dad’s voice and those famous words he said to me at the end of every conversation I had with him. The second time I saw him was ten days later when I got a phone call from my sister saying Dad had a heart attack and we needed to be with him. We did and spent five days with him while he was pretty much in an induced coma. The nurse woke him up long enough so he could see us for about 30 minutes.
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The third time was less than two weeks later when we got another call saying we should come back because he wasn’t going to make it through the night. My sister and I ﬂew back and within half an hour of our arrival, he passed away. In five weeks, I was there three times and I found it so interesting to spend those 10 days with him and to hear him say one more time, “Go get ‘em, tiger.” My life as a burn survivor definitely hasn’t been an easy one and I’m constantly reminding myself that life is worth fighting for. That’s what makes this picture of him boxing in the Pan-Am Games so special for me. It’s a reminder to never give up and to keep the inner fight going. Many of us will use our tragedies to block ourselves and halt our lives, but it’s up to us to see the gift in them and propel our lives forward. Here’s three tools you can use from my Perseverance Tool Kit: Visualization Tool – Visualize in your mind a 30-second movie of yourself in your “ideal” life & play this movie in your head whenever you’re feeling stressed. Musical Tool – play only songs that empower and energize you. Make sure they really energize you to get up and move around. I have one song that I play over and over until I’ve shifted. Sometimes I play it five times in a row. Whatever it takes to shift from stressed to empowered. Video Tool – Google “motivational speakers” and watch videos of your favourite ones.
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And remember as I do…. Keep your inner fight going and “go get ‘em, tiger!” Kelly Falardeau, multiple TEDx Speaker is a burn survivor since the age of two-years-old on 75% of her body and constantly struggled with her self-worth and confidence. She found a way to go from near-death to success; from the ugly scar-faced girl to the Top 10 Most Powerful and Inﬂuential Speaker, Fierce Woman of the Year, an International Best-Selling Author (5x), recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and a YWCA Woman of Distinction. She has been featured on National TV multiple times and has graced the covers of magazines and newspapers around the world. She has also travelled to Africa to help burn survivors recover from their tragic injuries and the documentary about her life story (Still Beautiful) launched on national TV. You have to ask yourself, how? How did this single mom entrepreneur persevere to overcome all the challenges to having a documentary about her life story and viral video that impacted over 9.5 million lives? You have to read her books or watch her speak or watch her 'Still Beautiful' documentary to learn how she did it and so much more. ~ Kelly Woodhouse Falardeau
See Kelly's ad on page 6. Kelly is a Women Talk Member and will be talking at the Langdon Firehouse on April 9th
Sharing Your Story is Important for You 1) It affirms the importance of your story. If you have dealt with an eating disorder or with addiction, you know it to be one of the defining experiences of your life. Sharing your story lends credence to that. 2) It also makes your recovery more real to you. No longer is it just something you hope for; it’s something you’ve spoken aloud, passed around with friends and strangers, and laid claim to as your very own. 3) It helps you find your voice. Putting your recovery into words can be a richly cathartic, immeasurably therapeutic experience. Sharing your story will very likely yield some words of encouragement and affirmation, all of which can strengthen your resolve and your commitment to recovery. By the same token, it can provide you with greater accountability. 4) Sharing your story can be a great path toward self-love: It affirms that you are worthy of having a voice, worthy of being heard, worthy of being cared for, and worthy of being loved. Finally, it can be helpful to others, which enables you to turn a very dark and difficult part of your life into something that is actually positive and meaningful.
Sharing Your Story is Important for Others
1) Hearing your story can be a tremendous encouragement to those who are wrestling with comparable issues—proof that they are not alone. 2) It also gives them hope: If you can start down the path to recovery, perhaps they can as well. 3) It forms instant bonds of solidarity between you, which may even blossom into something like friendship. It can also be highly practical: Not only can you share your story, but you can share specific strategies, toolsets, and coping mechanisms that have been helpful to you. 4) There may be times when you are simply not ready to talk about your story—and that’s okay! But when you are ready to share, do so—for everyone’s sake The Newsy Neighbour Magazine
Big Country from Small-town Alberta
Finding a Good Place to Start with Drew Gregory Throughout all the years I’ve spent listening to and writing about music, one thing that never fails to impress me is the power a few simple chords can have. Music possesses this unique ability to bring people together in song and dance. It creates communities, stirs passions, and lift spirits. It galvanizes movements, fueling the sort of change and excitement that can lead to amazing, incredible results. Most inspiring of all, though, is that music can come from anywhere – even a small village on the Canadian Prairies. Now, that village could be any small settlement in western Canada, but in this story, it’s Standard, Alberta: population 353. In addition to having a nigh-unbeatable 1A Girls’ Volleyball team (go, Rams!), Standard is the hometown of Drew Gregory – one of Canadian country’s brightest rising stars and 2019 Alberta Country Music Male Artist of the Year, who just so happens to be performing right here in Langdon at the Firehouse Bar and Grill on March 6 (don’t miss it!). As big a name as Gregory is in country music now, though, he started out from humble roots, growing up on the Prairies like so many of us did, surrounded by golden fields of wheat, big open blue skies, and a love of all things musical. “We’d have dance parties when we were kids,” Gregory told me when I got the chance to sit down with him and talk about where his passion for music came from. “Dad always had a huge vinyl collection, and mom always had the radio on – I think it was 66 CFR back in those days (the golden oldies!).” Gregory laughed as he reminisced, and I could practically hear the classic sing-song “66
CFR” soundbite playing in my head, taking me back a good couple of years. “They always loved music,” he went on. “Neither one of them played an instrument or anything, but there was always that love of music as a family.” I couldn’t help but wonder, then, how Gregory had made the leap from enjoying music to playing it. As it turns out, it all went down during the summer before Gregory started high school. “I’d been over at a friend’s house quite a bit,” he told me, “and he had a guitar in the corner, and I always picked it up and played it. Finally, he said, ‘Why don’t you get a guitar?’ and I thought Hey, that might be an alright idea. So, I saved up some money, and my parents helped me out a little bit, and I bought my first guitar. And I could. Not. Put. It. Down. I’d play it from the minute I got home from school right until I went to bed.” There it is: the power of music. It really is incredible how strong a grasp a simple six-string can have on the soul. Gregory didn’t just pick up the guitar and start strumming songs about pickup trucks and broken hearts, though. No journey is ever a straight line, and his was no different. “I was probably a little bit more of a rock fan originally,” Gregory confessed to me with a chuckle. “Mostly because my parents listened to so much classic rock. Dad always loved his southern rock – and there are country roots in that, for sure. I’d say the country really came along more when I started getting into songwriting maybe a few years later, kind of after college. You just start writing what you know – and growing up in a small town and on the farm, it was pretty hard to write anything other than country music, so that’s kind of where that came from.” If you’ve listened to anything Gregory’s written, this bit of info will likely come as no surprise. Gregory’s music – while it is, without a doubt, country through-and-through – is dripping with southern rock inspiration. In fact, the very first track on his most recent album, Good Place to Start, opens with a wailing slide guitar, giving way to a raucous country LP full of big, boisterous guitar licks that give a nod to that underlying rockn-roll inﬂuence. “With a lot of my albums, I kind of worked that classic rock feel in with more country-style lyrics and really developed my sound through that, which is definitely the tone I want to set, for sure,” Gregory told me as we dug into the details of Good Place. “Country’s how I grew up, and it was an easy choice to fall into that genre.” It’s that authenticity – that lived experience – that I believe truly causes Gregory’s music to resonate with people. Gregory’s no pretender to country. He IS country, right down to his bones. So many “country” artists out there seem to be dabbling in the genre just to cash in on the sound and make a quick buck. Gregory’s music stands apart in no small part due to that real, genuine understanding of what it’s like to grow up in the country. “I love singing songs and hearing songs about the Prairies and farming – that’s my day job, after all,” he mused as we came to the subject during our conversation. “That’s where I come up with a lot of my ideas. You get a lot of time out there to just drive back and forth and a lot of time to think. Some of the first tractors we were driving just had the AM radio, so you’re out there all day listening to some of that classic country, and you’re just singing along, and that’s actually where I developed a lot of my vocals. The farm’s been a big inﬂuence that way. It also very much keeps me grounded. You go on tour and then you come back for seeding season, and you’re kind of just back on a tractor again! I worked in the oil patch for a little while, too, and there’s a couple songs I’ve got about that facebook.com/TheNewsyNeighbour
– being in Alberta, that kind of hard-working, blue collar mentality has found its way into the music big time. In this business, talent is important, but who you are as a person counts just as much.” The way Gregory ended that thought really struck me. I’d done my homework before we got together to chat, and I had learned that Gregory embodies that very Albertan spirit that he admires so much (and then some) by recently taking part in a charity concert to raise money to help support those affected by the devastating Australian wildfires. “I’ve been partnered with Cervus for a few years on the farm, and they’ve worked with me on my music a little bit, too,” Gregory began when I asked him to tell me a little bit about that selﬂess benefit show. “The guy that runs the Calgary office is actually from Australia, and it was his whole idea to put this night together to see what they could do to help everyone suffering from the wildfires. They called me to play music, and that was no question. I’d gone to Australia in college to do some backpacking, so it’s got this special place in my heart. I know it seems like every year, you hear about wildfires, but obviously this year it was substantially worse. I just actually found out that they raised over $40,000 (!!!) that night during the show. That’s exactly what I love about Alberta: even when times are tough here, we recognize that there are still people who’ve got it worse out there in the world, and we’ll open up our wallets and give and help out. I love that spirit of this province, for sure.” There it is, in full effect: the extraordinary power of music at work. What else but music could rally a community to a cause to such great effect? A cause – to Gregory’s point – that isn’t here in Alberta, or even here in Canada, but halfway around the world? It truly is incredible, which might be why Gregory was able to kick off 2020 by adding two more awards to his already-impressive list of accolades: 2019 Alberta Country Music Awards Male Artist of the Year and Song of the Year. “It’s kind of funny,” Gregory began modestly when I brought these stand-out achievements up. “I had six nominations the year before and we didn’t win anything, and I’d put so much music out and done so much – and then this year, I put out just one single and pushed it pretty good, and I wasn’t really expecting too much, and then I ended up winning.” He paused for a moment, considering. “It’s not that I’m in it for the awards or anything, by any means. But at the same time, when I think about that night and the celebration we all had, and the joy from the whole team – because they’ve all worked so hard all year for me – and my family, for all the sacrifices they’ve made for me…that to me is the coolest part about it. You’ve got physical proof that all this is for something, and it drives me to be better. It motivates me to go onto the next thing, knowing that we’re on the right path.” Luckily for his fans, that exciting ‘next thing’ isn’t too far off now: “There’s definitely new music coming!” Gregory told me eagerly
when I asked him if we can expect to see a release in the near future. “That’s the big thing we’re working on this winter: just writing like crazy and making sure that what we’re putting together is the next level up. We’re taking our time with this one and just making sure it’s a project that we’re really proud of. It’s getting harder and harder to top the last one because it feels like we’re setting the bar that much higher every time, but like always, we’re just loving every minute of it.” Don’t miss Drew Gregory when he tours through town to visit the Langdon Firehouse Bar and Grill on March 6 with his signature, award-winning brand of authentic Albertan country. Visit the Firehouse Page on Facebook to learn more – don’t miss your chance to experience one of the biggest acts in Canadian country today, right here in Langdon! ~ Kyle Penn
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A Contract for Children and Youth who use the Internet: 10 Agreements for Online Safety Our children are growing up in an online world, where the internet, apps and interactive gaming is as common as television, books and movies. From their context, the technology has always existed, and they don’t view their online activity with the same concern and caution we do. Children and youth only see a screen that interacts and responds based on the buttons they tap. They have no regard to the risks that may be playing out in the background. Our role as parents is to educate our children to the risks and to establish solid safety strategies for ongoing best practice in the online world. Children need safe and rewarding experiences, and parents must help to guide their behaviour and ensure protection. Here is a list of 10 Agreements for Online Safety for Children and Parents
1. My parents and I have set up rules for using the internet and mobile devices; we agree to the time of day I can be online and appropriate sites for me to visit. 2. I will check with my parents before downloading or installing any software or apps on a computer or mobile device. 3. I will never share personal information such as my name, address, phone number, email, school name, parent’s work information, credit card, photos or passwords without my parent’s permission every time. 4. I will tell my parents immediately if I come across a message or comment that makes me feel nervous or uncomfortable. I do not respond to the message. 5. I will always talk with my parents if someone I have ‘met’ online wants to meet in person. I will make sure one of my parents or a trusted adult comes with me and we will meet in a public place. 6. I will not give out my passwords to anyone (even my best friends) except my parents. 7. I know that things I read online aren’t always true, so I check the information with a parent or trusted adult. 8. My parents and I agree on a time in the evening to turn off computers and mobile devices. I do not use phones and tablets after bedtime hours. 9. I share my passwords and online activity with my parents whenever they ask for it. I understand they want this information to make sure I am safe and protected. 10. I always treat people nicely online. I make sure my comments are polite and friendly and never rude, threatening or against the law. facebook.com/TheNewsyNeighbour
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Wedding Advice Always Speak Directly to Your Spouse: Don’t try to send your spouse a message by having fake conversations with your children or dogs and pretending he or she isn't in the room (i.e. We wouldn't have been late if mom hadn't taken that phone call, etc.). Don’t compliment your wife for how she used to look in outfits that no longer fit. Tell your wife she looks great NO MATTER WHAT. Go to Bed Angry: It's better to go to bed angry than stay up all night fighting – you'll need your rest in order to win the fight tomorrow. Don't Expect Dinner to be Made: Do not come home and ask your wife “What’s for dinner?” Implying that she's responsible for dinner will surely anger her. This isn't the 1950s. Both sexes are capable of preparing a meal.
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Dads Are Not Babysitters: If you're spending time with the kids while your wife is out, do not refer to it as babysitting – not unless you want to piss off your wife. The Thought Doesn't Count: Don't tell your wife about the gift you almost got her. Although it's nice to know that your spouse was thinking of you, it's nicer to know that he thought of you and brought you a present. Women Lie: When your wife says, "I won't be mad" she's lying. When she says, "I want you to be honest with me – do I look fat in this?" she's lying. Don't Sweat the Small Stuff: If you insist on putting your foot down about everything, you're bound to get exhausted. Instead, let the small stuff slide and save the big fights for important stuff, such as finances, children and picking the movie. Help Him Improve Himself: If your husband is a hunter or fisher and brings home some sort of trophy, say, "I thought it would be bigger." It will encourage him to try harder next time. Correct His Driving: How will your husband know he's going too fast unless you continuously slam the imaginary brakes on the passenger side of the car? Play the Damsel in Distress to Get What You Want: When you need an unpleasant job done around the house don't ask your husband to do it. Instead, attempt the job yourself, do it badly and let him show you the "right" way to do it. He gets to be the hero, and you get to go relax.
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THE WEDDING DANCE Around the globe, couples celebrate their unions with a wedding dance of some sort. Most religions,
with the exception of those who still frown upon dancing, have some sort of wedding dance that is a part of this joyous event or the celebration of this event. This is much more than a simple dance. It is the dance that will begin your life as husband and wife. For this reason alone, many couples spend a great deal of time and effort choosing the perfect song to symbolize their love for each. Once decided, this is the song that is to be played for their wedding dance.
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Your wedding dance is one of the few memories of your wedding that you will have forever. Most of your wedding day will go by in such a blur of faces that there will be few moments that stand out above the rest. Your wedding dance, however, is the one time during your wedding reception that you and your spouse are truly alone within the crowd. All eyes may be on you both, but this is your moment together and no one else in the room should matter at this moment. This is the reason that most people will remember their wedding dance long after they’ve forgotten other details about their wedding. Some couples take wedding dance lessons in order to make sure that nothing goes wrong during their wedding dance. Many instructors often suggest that you use the shoes you will be wearing for your wedding as well as a skirt that is very similar to your wedding dress in order to actually get an honest feel for how you will be dancing on your wedding day. It is amazing how much of a difference the height of your shoes and the length of your skirt or train can make when it comes to dancing. These classes are very important for couples that truly want to have the fairy tale wedding experience, though not necessarily practical for couples that are already working at the end of their budget constraints. Ballroom dance lessons will often suffice for wedding dance lessons and in many cases are much less expensive if you can take them at a local community center rather than taking private lessons. Group lessons are almost always more economical and can be a great way for you and your future spouse to learn to dance together in time for your big night and your wedding dance. The Newsy Neighbour Magazine
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Otherwise, you can always wing it. Pick a song you love, a dance you like and have fun without worrying about getting it perfect. You are beginning your new life together as a couple and who really needs the pressure of dancing perfect, right? It is also your day and that is one thing that far too few brides really realize when getting caught up in the pressure of creating the perfect wedding within a limited budget.
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The thing to remember when planning your wedding and your wedding dance is that you and your spouse to be are the most important people in the process. Do not allow yourself to feel pressured into something that you don’t want in order to appease others. Make your wedding day and your wedding dance completely your own if you are not interested in or comfortable with the idea of taking lessons from someone else. You and your partner will be glad that you did what was right for you when all is said and done. Newsy’s Aleesha’s first song at her wedding: Whatever It Is by The Zach Brown Band Newsy’s Denise and her husband Ryan’s first song at their wedding: Come Away With Me by Norah Jones.
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FUNNY MARRIAGE STUFF Always Speak Directly to Your Spouse: Don’t try to send your spouse a message by having fake conversations with your children or dogs and pretending he or she isn't in the room (i.e. “We wouldn't have been late if mom hadn't taken that phone call”, etc.). Don’t compliment your wife for how she used to look in outfits that no longer fit. Tell your wife she looks great NO MATTER WHAT. Go to Bed Angry: It's better to go to bed angry than stay up all night fighting – you'll need your rest in order to win the fight tomorrow. Don't Expect Dinner to be Made: Do not come home and ask your wife “What’s for dinner?” Implying that she's responsible for dinner will surely anger her. This isn't the 1950s. Both sexes are capable of preparing a meal. Dads Are Not Babysitters: If you're spending time with the kids while your wife is out, do not refer to it as babysitting – not unless you want to anger your wife. Just because she gave birth to them, it doesn't mean that she claims sole responsibility of their care. The Thought Doesn't Count: Don't tell your wife about the gift you almost got her. Although it's nice to know that your spouse was thinking of you, it's nicer to know that he thought of you and brought you a present.
If budgets won’t even allow for this indulgence to make your wedding dance a little easier to handle, you can always opt to purchase an instructional video or DVD. It would be great fun to practice your wedding dance together before the big night and it is a great way to have fun together as a couple even after the big night. You can find videos and DVDs that teach all manner of dance steps that you may find appealing.
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Yo u r
Checklist! Nine to Twelve Months Before • Start a wedding folder, box or binder. Something you can keep all your ideas and inspiration in. Magazines and Pinterest are a perfect place to start. • Work out your budget. • Book your officiate. • Pick your wedding party • Start the guest list. Make a list to use throughout your planning process, make sure to include contact info, RSVP s, gifts, and any other relevant information in your list. (Want to keep costs low? It may be tough to do, but the best way to save money is to reduce your guest list.) • Reserve your date and venues. Do you want to have separate locations for the ceremony and the reception? If so, factor in travel time between the two places. • Research photographers, caterers, florists and bands/DJ’s (there are a few great suggestions in this issue!) • Throw an engagement party, if you wish. Make sure to only invite people that are also going to be invited to the wedding.
Eight Months Before • Purchase a dress. If you are ordering a dress, it’s fairly standard for it to take 3 months to come in. Plus, you’ll need to schedule time for fittings. Veil shopping can be postponed. • Book the entertainment. Attend events of potential entertainment to see if you will like them before you hire them. • Hire the photographer and the videographer. • Meet caterers. If your wedding venue doesn’t offer its own catering service, look for one right away. Booking them this far just takes one less worry off your plate. • Reserve a block of hotel rooms for out-of-town guests. Pick hotels at different price points close to the reception venue. See if the hotels will give you a discount for booking multiple rooms. • Launch a wedding website or blog. Create your personal page through a free provider – there are so many online. Make sure to include the date of the wedding, travel information, and accommodations. Then send the link to everyone you are inviting.
Six to Seven Months Before • Shop for bridesmaids dresses. Just like the bridal dress, you will need time for fittings. • Meet with the officiate. Plan out the ceremony, what everyone is going to say and confirm that you have all the official documents for the wedding. • Order you invitations. There are countless options when it comes to invitations. They can also be very expensive. Do your research before deciding who to order them through. • Arrange transportation. Consider limos, buses and town cars. • Start planning a honeymoon if you plan to take one right after the wedding. Make sure that your passports are up-to-date. • Reserve structural and electrical necessities. • Book portable toilets for outdoor events, extra chairs if you need them, tents, an altar, lighting components, etc. • Book a florist. Florists can serve multiple clients on one day, so make sure to find a florist now and book your date. • Start composing a timeline. Do up a schedule of how you would like everything to play out that day like cake cutting, first dance, late night snack, etc.
Four to Five Months Before
• Schedule hair and makeup artists. Make a few appointments with local salons to test them out. Take a look at their portfolios and it wouldn't hurt to snap photos at each trial so you can compare results. • Send your guest list to the host of your shower. Tell her who you would like at the shower and let her send out the invitations. • Book the rehearsal and rehearsal-dinner Venues. Negotiate the cost and the menu. Take into consideration the day-after brunch for guests, and the gift opening. • Check on the wedding invitations. Are they getting close to being done? Did you get a sample of one before they were ALL printed? • Select and order the cake. Some bakers require a long lead-time. Remember to book some taste tests. • Purchase wedding shoes and start dress fittings. Bring the shoes along to your first fitting so the tailor can choose the appropriate length for your gown. • Choose your music. What should be playing during the ceremony? During dinner? To kick off the dancing? Keep a running list of what you want—and do not want—played.
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Three Months Before
• Purchase the rings. This will give you time for resizing and engraving if you desire. • Finalize the menu and flowers. You’ll want to wait until now to see what will be available, since both food and flowers can change with the season. • Order favors. Wedding favors are small take-home tokens that will help your guests celebrate and cherish your special day. • Finalize speeches and make a list of the people giving toasts. What would you like your speech to say? How do you want to thank everyone for supporting you on this special day? Which loved ones would you like to have speak at the reception? • Purchase your undergarments. Want to wear something special for the night of the wedding? Start thinking about that now. • Schedule another dress fitting. • Finalize the order of events for the ceremony and the reception. • Print menu cards and programs. You can easily create these on your computer at home. You could also get these designed to match your invitations. • Send your event schedule to the vendors. Giving them a first draft now allows time for changes and feedback from your vendors.
Two Months Before
• Send out the invitations. Four weeks’ notice is best for simple, in-town weddings. If it is going to be an out-of-town wedding, then at least six weeks’ notice is best. Make the RSVP cut-off at three weeks after the postmark date. • Touch base again with all the vendors. • Meet with the photographer. Discuss specific shots and ideas, and walk through the locations and start planning now. • Review the playlist with the band or DJ. You probably don‘t want to dictate every single song played, but you should come prepared with a list of songs to play and NOT play. • Submit a newspaper-wedding announcement if you wish to do so. • Enjoy a bachelorette party. Arranging a night out with your girlfriends generally is the responsibility of the maid of honor. But if she hasn’t mentioned one to you by now, ask her about it and get a date settled that works for you. Start getting excited! This pre-wedding celebration is just about YOU (...and him)!
One Month Before
• Write vows, if necessary. • Get your hair cut and coloured, if desired. • Finalize RSVPs. Phone people who have not yet responded. • Get your marriage license. If you are changing your name, remember to change it on your Canadian passport, social insurance number card, with the Canada Revenue Agency, your health card and your driver's license. • Mail the rehearsal-dinner invitations or send the emails. • Purchase bridesmaids’ gifts. There are so many great ideas online of the perfect gift to remind your bridesmaids how grateful you are. • Visit the dressmaker for your last dress fitting. For peace of mind, you may want to also schedule a fitting the week of your wedding. You can always cancel the appointment closer to the date if you feel it is not needed. • Stock the bar. Now that you have a firm head count, you can stock the bar accordingly. • Send out as many final payments as you can. • Confirm times for hair and makeup and all vendors. • E-mail and print directions for drivers of transport vehicles. This gives the chauffeurs ample time to navigate a route. • Assign seating. Draw out table shapes on a layout of the room to help plan place settings. Write the names of female guests with pink and the names of male guests with blue. Sticky notes are great, as you can move people about without re-sketching the entire setting.
Week of the Wedding • Pick up your dress. Do a final fitting JUST to make sure. • Book a spa treatment. Make an appointment for a manicure and a pedicure the day before the wedding. (You might want to get a relaxing massage, too.) • Reconfirm arrival times with your wedding party, parents and vendors. • Delegate small wedding-day tasks. • Choose someone to be in charge of gifts (especially the enveloped sort), someone to hand out tips, and someone to be the point person for each vendor. • Send a timeline to the bridal party. Include every member’s contact information, along with the people you’ve asked to deal with the vendors and other things. • Check in one last time with the photographer. Make sure you have all your locations and times set up and agreed on. • Set aside cheques for the vendors. And put tips in envelopes to be handed out at the event. • Send the final guest list to the caterer and all venues hosting your wedding-related events. Typically, companies close their lists 72 hours in advance. • Break in your shoes. You don’t want your feet killing you on the day of your wedding. • Pack for your honeymoon.
JC May What do Your Wedding Flowers Say About You? 19 Unique Plants and Flowers to Symbolize Your Love
Symbolize your new life with your partner by including a lotus in your wedding. These ﬂowers are perfect ﬂoating in a glass dish or in a pond or pool.
Flowers are a magical detail that can make your wedding more beautiful and representative of you. Your choice of arrangements for your reception, ﬂowers used during your ceremony and your personal bouquet are all expressions of your love for your intended and a message to everyone celebrating your union. Most brides opt for traditional wedding ﬂowers like roses and lilies, but you can choose ﬂowers that reﬂect your own unique style as well. Plants and ﬂowers have symbolic meanings based on folklore, literature and cultural traditions. What do your wedding ﬂowers say about you? What would you like them to say? Take a look at this list of distinctive and special ﬂowers and their meanings. You might want to incorporate one or more of them in to your wedding ceremony.
This incredible purple ﬂower is formed on a vine and grows in amazing, hanging groups. Wisteria means welcome, and this plant would be perfectly beautiful over an archway welcoming guests as they step into your ceremony or blooming on a canopy as you say your vows.
The delicate, white blooms of the almond plant are a symbol of making a promise. This can have a special meaning as you and your future spouse promise your love to each other.
The beautiful lupine comes in blue, purple, pink and white. This ﬂower is commonly found in the northeast and represents imagination and creativity.
Do you have a playful nature with just a hint of a dangerous side? The early spring begonia represents that mischievous attitude toward life.
Lovers of fantasy may want to consider adding mauve carnations to a bridal bouquet. A mauve colored carnation represents magic and fantasy.
The silky, white moonﬂower is symbolic of dreams. If you and your intended are daydreamers at heart, consider adding some moonﬂowers to your ﬂoral décor.
The gorgeous lotus has an unusual appearance and represents new beginnings.
Bells of Ireland
Bring some of the luck of the Irish into your union with this pretty green plant that represents good fortune and blessings for your future.
Lovely pink and white peach blossoms represent the hopes and dreams of the bride to be. If you want to celebrate the innocence and sweetness that is in your heart as you get married, carry peach blossoms.
This tropical looking ﬂower comes in variety of orange, red and yellow hues and is much prettier than its name. Nasturtium is symbolic of patriotism, making it a great choice if you or your future spouse serve in the military or want to express a special connection to your country.
Protea is an unusual and eye-catching ﬂower that looks great as a focal point in a bouquet or arrangement. This fantastic ﬂower symbolizes courage and makes a wonderful statement for a couple that has successful come through adversity or is currently facing a challenge.
Vines of ivy are not traditionally seen in wedding ceremonies, but they bring a dark beauty that is both unique and surprising. Ivy represents faithfulness.
Do you and your intended serve as protectors to each other, or do you need special protection for your marriage from something difficult in your life? Add some white heather to your wedding ﬂowers to symbolize protection.
What are your aspirations for the future? Do you and your partner spend countless hours discussing your dreams and personal goals? Lovely purple violets represent dreams for your life and for your marriage. Your ﬂoral arrangements and wedding bouquets are more than just pretty decorations. For centuries, ﬂowers have been used as symbols and communication. Choose ﬂowers for your wedding that perfectly express your style and the story of your love. The Newsy Neighbour Magazine
What You’ll Need for a Wedding Reception Wine Tasting • Table - A separate table, preferably off to the side of the reception area that will strictly be the wine tasting table. • Sign - Some sort of sign that identifies the table as a “wine tasting” table, since this is a unique wedding reception idea... guests might not be familiar with the format. Perhaps another sign (or printed papers) listing the wines available to taste, including producer, vintage, region where it is from, etc. • Glasses - Several tasting wine glasses are necessary. Extras can be stored under the table (cover table with fabric that drapes, so it is hidden) so they don’t take up too much room on the table surface. • Wine - Offer at least four different wines. You can offer two reds, two whites, or mix in a fruit wine. You could offer all reds from the same wine region, or an assortment of wines from the same vintage. Select wines that compliment your wine wedding theme. Have several bottles of each wine you are offering, depending on your number of guests. Remember, these wines are for tasting, not for gulping down, so you don’t need to have enough to get everyone intoxicated; that is what the other booze is for. • Ice Buckets - If you are offering white wines at your tasting table, you will need ice buckets for each different white to chill them. • Host - Someone needs to supervise and “host” the wine tasting table so that guests don’t simply poor huge glasses of wine to gulp down and walk away. A host can be a hired person provided by a catering service or a special wine enthusiast friend. This person can pour the wine and even answer questions about
them, if needed. • Optional: Spit Buckets, Bread, Water - A spit bucket is offered so that guests can spit out the wines instead of swallowing. This is optional and most likely since it is a wine wedding theme reception, not needed. A small basket of bread can be available for guests to cleanse their palate and water can be available to rinse glasses in between wines. These items are optional. This unique wedding reception idea was used at a wine wedding theme reception I recently planned. It went off without a hitch and the guests had a blast! They served two reds and two white wines all from Bandol (a southern French wine region), which complimented their Provencal wine wedding theme. The wine was selected and purchased by the couple, but served by a host provided by their caterer. Lonnie Christensen 403.382.1499
Tammy Arbuthnott 403.934.0678
Western Wedding Decor
LAST MINUTE WEDDING FAVOURS Couples who are in the process of planning their wedding and neglect to shop for wedding favours early on in the process may find themselves scrambling at the last minute for wedding favours. This often happens as the wedding planning progresses and the couple gets caught up in other details. Time can often seem to ﬂy by during the process of planning a wedding and the couple may keep putting off the process of shopping for wedding favours until the last minute. When this happens, it can seem stressful but it is important to remember that all hope is not lost and the couple can still provide great wedding for their guests even when shopping at the last minute. This article will provide some great information on how couples can still give their guests great wedding favours even when they are shopping at the last minute. The first thing to remember when shopping for last minute wedding favours is that you will likely have to face the fact that personalized wedding favours will not likely be possible. This includes favours that include the names of the bride and groom as well as the wedding date such as candy bars with customized wrappers or candle holders with a personal message. Purchasing these types of wedding favours often involve a lead time of at least a couple of weeks. This means you will have to order the items a few weeks before you need them. If you are last minute
shopping for your wedding favours, you will not likely have this much time available. While there are many wedding favour distributors who will be willing to rush the order for you, they will also likely charge you very high fees for this service. The cost of rushing the wedding favour may more than double the price of the favour. If you are seeking last minute wedding favours, one great idea is candy. Giving candy as wedding favours can be incredibly quick and easy. You can purchase gift bags from stores that sell wedding supplies and fill these bags with some of your favourite candies. You can purchase the candy in bulk and divide it up into the smaller bags. Candies such as miniature chocolate bars, hard candies or other individually wrapped candies are all appropriate for this use. Flowers are another great last-minute wedding favour idea. If you are already planning to have ﬂoral centerpieces, your ﬂorist may be able to supply one additional ﬂower for each guest in attendance. This is a very simple gift, but it is also extremely appropriate as a wedding favour. Flowers are often used as symbols of love so giving a favour of a ﬂower is an excellent idea for a wedding. It will also likely closely match the centerpieces so the wedding favours will actually help to contribute to the décor at the wedding reception as well as serving as a favour for the guests. Finally, if you are in need of a last-minute wedding favour you can have keys made for each of your guest. You can use a ribbon to attach a note to each key informing your guests that you wish they will keep in touch through the years and that your home will always be open to them. The key you give them does not have to be an actual copy of the key to your house but can rather serve as a symbolic gesture that you will always be available if they need you.
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1. Have a pre-wedding field day so your groomsmen and bridesmaidscan get acquainted with one another. 2. Add a line for a DJ song request on your RSVP cards. 3. Give out sparklers as favours. 4. Hire a food truck for a late-night snack. 5. Decorate the bathrooms with childhood photos. 6. Keep the program simple and to the point. 7. Put crayons at the kids table. 8. Forgo confetti for pom-poms. 9. Have a ball pit. 10. Enlist your grandmas to be your ﬂower girls 11. For a midnight snack, serve up a waﬄe bar.
THE DO’S & DON’T FOR BRIDES, ONE WEEK BEFORE THE WEDDING DO:
• Write your spouse-to-be a love note! • Start breaking in your wedding shoes. • Get a massage or pamper yourself. • Start packing. • Get your wedding day emergency kit together and organize all your accessories and make-up. • Get your vendor tips together into envelopes, then give them to a trusting family member or friend to hand to the vendors the day of.
STANDARD COMMUNITY HALL
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For bookings please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org | 403-324-8180
• Get your face waxed, unless you have done it a thousand times before. • Use a new facial product. Breakouts and random rashes are NOT welcome on your wedding day. • Get a haircut or dye your hair. Especially if you are trying out a new look. • Get your dental work done. You just never know what could happen.
To keep your marriage brimming with love in the wedding cup, whenever you’re wrong, admit it; whenever you’re right, shut up. - Ogden Nash You’re the PEANUT to my BUTTER You’re the STAR to my BURST You’re the MILKY to my WAY You’re the FROOT to my LOOPS You’re the GHETTO to my BOOTY You’re the BEST to my FRIEND And all of that means I LOVE YOU!
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11 IMPOSSIBLY FUN WEDDING IDEAS
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"A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person." - Mignon McLaughlin
WEDDING PROPOSAL IDEAS Photo booth proposal As the shutters start to click, pull out the ring and surprise her. There's no way she can hide that surprised expression and you can get it on camera as well. How convenient!
Scavenger hunt Turn your proposal into a treasure hunt by scattering clues for your partner to find. It can be done in your home or neighborhood, depending on how grand you want the hunt to be. Be sure to give relevant clues and ask for a family member or friend to guide her as well! Destination proposal Another way to make a proposal worth remembering, do it during a holiday trip with your loved one. It doesn't have to be somewhere far away, a weekend getaway to a nearby city is also a good idea! A walk down memory lane Create a collection of memories of you and your partner, beautifully kept inside a box. Leave a note behind each photo and let her immerse in a nostalgic bliss before she gets to the question. Love poem If you are one of the literary couples, this idea would suit you very well. Create a poem or short story ending in asking for her hand in marriage. Patiently wait for her surprised expression as she gets to the end part! Wall climbing If both of you love extreme sports, this idea might be suitable. You can put your proposal on top of the wall or do it after she comes down.
Just Remember... The cake gets eaten, the flowers will die, butthe photos will last forever! Amalia Zarokostas dirtroadprettyphotography.com | 403.934.7997
Flashback movie Woo your partner by creating a short movie from your memories from pictures and videos. Then at the end of the video walk up to her and pop the question. Jigsaw puzzle Put your question on a customized jigsaw for an added sense of fun. Imagine how intrigued she will be to finish up the whole puzzle!
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Important Tips For A Successful Marriage 1. Talk to your spouse more kindly than you talk to anyone else in the world. Too often we speak the most harshly to those closest to us. 2. Remember that marriage is less about marrying the right person and more about becoming the right person. 3. Don’t forget to laugh. Most couples spend the majority of their time talking logistics: who’s doing the grocery shopping, who’s calling the repairman, who’s picking up the kids. A relationship can’t survive on logistics. Have a water fight instead.
10. If it’s not solved at 2:30 a.m., it’s not going to be solved at 3:00 a.m., either. Go to sleep. You can deal with it tomorrow, assuming you even remember what the fight was about. 11. When you’re having an argument, listen to understand; don’t listen to find loopholes so you can win. Marriage is either a win/win or a lose/lose. You can’t win by beating someone else down. 12. If you haven’t fully committed to your marriage, it won’t succeed. If you’re always testing your spouse, your spouse will always come up short. No one is perfect. 13. Don’t bug him if he doesn’t cry. Some men just don’t show their feelings. 14. Don’t say EVERYTHING that is on your mind.
4. She needs you to be her best friend. Everyday, talk to her and tell her what you’re thinking. Even if you don’t think you’re thinking about anything. She needs to hear your heart. 5. He needs you to be his cheerleader. Let him know you believe he can take on the world. 6. Find ways to say “I love you” that don’t involve sex. 7. When you dress up, make sure the main person you’re dressing up for is him. 8. Leave the toilet seat down. 9. Forgiving means not bringing that old infraction up every time you have a new fight. Let it go. facebook.com/TheNewsyNeighbour
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A DAY IN THE LIFE OF LARRY AND ROGER:
A Pair of Diabetic Feet
Written by: Vicki L Myhre CPOD (I) CMP PFRP. Enlightened Soles. Internationally Certified Podologist. Registered through the Canadian Examining. Board of Health Practitioners
Hello Everyone, Larry here. Happy March! Roger and I are loving the fact that the snow will be leaving us soon, and the plants will start sprouting, the geese will start ﬂying overhead, and we will soon start putting our steps on OUTSIDE, instead of at the indoor walking track. We love it. Roger tends to get pretty grumpy through the winter months. He doesn’t always enjoy the walking, and sometimes I have to really push him to get out and get our steps in (after all, I can not do it without him). Roger was happy when he heard that March was once again the wedding issue. He absolutely loves looking for recipes for diabetic treats. There is no better time to look for a special treat than Wedding Season. After lots of internet surfing, he came up with a delightful and totally simple recipe that would appeal to most people, not just diabetics. So, we gave it a try, and it is just as delicious as it looks. This cake would be great for everything from a spring wedding, to a gift opening event, to a picnic in the park, and everything in between. You must give it a try. A big thank you goes out to Rose at rosebakes.com for this little piece of heaven. Keep in mind that it is a NO SUGAR ADDED recipe and not sugar free; there is sugar in pineapple, and the carbs in the cake convert to sugar, but a little piece of this “Heaven on a Plate” every once in a while will be ok for most diabetics.
JESSICA MORDY Owner/ Program Facilitator
Supporting seniors and individuals with special needs
403-361-0443 firstname.lastname@example.org 53 Hillview Road Strathmore, AB www.milestonesupports.com
Volunteer opportunities within the community Daily, Weekly and Monthly participation is offered
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SUGAR-FREE PINEAPPLE LUSH CAKE Light and moist Sugar free Pineapple Lush Cake! INGREDIENTS 1 Pillsbury Sugar-Free Yellow Cake, (or any other sugar free yellow cake) prepared according to package directions in a 9×13 pan • (you’ll need eggs, oil, and water for the cake mix!) • 1 (8 oz) container of Sugar-Free Cool Whip • 1 (20 oz) can of crushed pineapple in juice (undrained) • 1 (1.5 oz) box of Jell-O Sugar-free Instant Vanilla pudding mix (just the mix, do not make the pudding!) INSTRUCTIONS 1. Bake the cake in a 9×13″ cake pan according to package directions. Allow it to cool completely!! 2. In a mixing bowl, stir together the dry pudding mix, Cool Whip, and pineapple. Mix it until it’s thoroughly combined! 3. Spread over the chilled cake (right in the pan!) and let it to chill for at least an hour! 4. Enjoy!! Roger and I hope you all enjoy Rose’s cake as much as we did. Happy Spring, everyone. Congratulations to all of you Bride and Grooms out there. Happy wedding planning to others. As Roger and I sign off, we think about that piece of Pineapple Cake that we are going to have later in celebration of meeting our fitness goals for last month. Talk to you all next month, and until then… Make your Footprints Count. Larry and Roger
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I am a Registered Provisional Psychologist located in Strathmore. I reside in town with my husband, three kids, and our cat and dog. I am an active volunteer with the Community Therapy Dogs Society, going into schools and diﬀerent community events with my dog Jezzie. I am also active with the Special Olympics Airdrie club, volunteering as the Secretary and coaching the young athletes (3-8) programs. When I’m not
SURVIVING THE WEDDING TIFFANY MITCHELL, PROVISIONAL PSYCHOLOGIST Within this magazine issue, there are lots of amazing ideas and businesses wanting to give you that dream wedding you are hoping for. You have found Mr. or Mrs. Right and want to make sure the world knows it. The piece no one tells you though, is the stress and fights that often arise when trying to plan that perfect dream wedding. So, the question becomes, “How do you ensure your love is as strong on the wedding night as it is today?”. And yes, I say ‘wedding night’ as the day of the wedding is often filled with its own stress. What is the point of the wedding? It is only one day and in 20 years, are you really going to remember every tiny detail and event that took place? Probably not. But let’s be honest, it is not 20 years down the line. It is the present, where you are excited to have your big day the way you dreamed it. There are key pieces to help you and your significant other survive all the planning: communication, awareness, assertiveness, patience and love. The art of communication. No one ever wants to talk about money and the limits of what they can afford. Nor do they want to be told that their dreams do not line up with their partner’s view. Having open and honest communication is important, being willing to step back and actively listen to the other person and not hear only what you want to hear. Engaging in active listening can be hard when it is a topic that garners high emotions. The best way to achieve this is to pull out pieces and repeat back your understanding to give your partner the chance to correct any misconceptions. Awareness comes in two key places: desires and finances. With desires, it is important to remember this day is for both of you. Before you start talking to everyone else about your plans, sit down and talk about what you both want and see how similar and dissimilar your ideas are. How do you ensure both sides feel heard and understood? One strategy is for both to separately write down what you want for the wedding. Yes, write it down! Then exchange pages and quietly read the others’ thoughts; after, discuss the points that are similar. Discuss that one piece that you really want, the piece you would be heartbroken to not have. Maybe this piece is small like an accessory, maybe it is much larger like the venue. Knowing each person’s key item is important; it allows both of you to understand what (apart from each other) will make the day truly special. Secondly, figure out your finances, even just a rough estimate. Are you paying for the wedding yourselves, or do you have financial help from parents, friends or relatives? One of the biggest stressors of a wedding is the finances. Going over budget, or the realization that not all parts of your ‘ideal’ wedding are affordable, can put huge
Helping you take YOUR health into YOUR hands! LIVE BLOOD CELL ANALYSIS An established science to examine the health of your blood cells. We take a small sample from your fingertip then examined under a microscope. The cells are magnified onto a computer screen. This technique gives results revealing conditions that may be missed by standard blood tests. You see a clear image of your condition on screen rather than some numbers on a page, like you see at your Dr. Office. Denise and Aleesha from The Newsy Neighbour experienced this in February and the results were fascinating and unbelieveably accurate. We highly reccomend you take the time to take YOUR health into YOUR hands! Call Tessa Jones: 403-638-7478 www.tntanswers.ca
stresses that need to be dealt with and/or to be conscious of. Walk the fine line between Assertiveness and Aggression. In planning, remember to talk to one another, and acknowledge what do you both want. Stand up for yourselves and be assertive, this is your wedding. Being assertive does not mean that you are being demanding and trampling others’ feelings; rather, you are listening and being aware that, at the end of the day, it is a day for you, your family, and friends to celebrate love. No one wants a ‘bridezilla or groomzilla’ but you also do not want to become swallowed up by others’ opinions. Rely on each other and encourage each other to stand up for what you want and at times step back and take a deep breath. Be true to yourselves. Remember, everyone will always have their own opinions and expectations, and it is impossible to please everyone. Patience and Love. Well, you have survived the planning and are still happily in love and the wedding day approaches. How do you survive the jitters and stress of the day? Simply, rely on one another for support, be there to calm your partner when their Uncle does something embarrassing, the ﬂowers get mixed up, or you lock the rings in the truck (true story). You are about to declare your commitment in front of your family and friends and seal your promise(s) to one another. Now is the time to put that love to the test and lean on each other. With everything going on and everyone vying for your attention, remember to take time to just be you two. When the decorations are down and everyone goes home, all that will matter is your relationship, not the grandiosity. Yes, the wedding is a big glorious day, but it is a day. You will remember the wedding, but there will be many days in the future worth remembering as well, regardless of how you choose to live your life together. facebook.com/TheNewsyNeighbour
THE BEST WAY TO FEED YOUR CAT
their meal too excitedly and regurgitate. METHOD 2: FREE FEEDING Free feeding is when a large bowl is left out for cats to graze on throughout the day. This method addresses your cats desire to have multiple, smaller meals per day on their own schedule. Drawbacks of this method include competition between cats or “resource guarding”, gorging, obesity if your kitty has no self-control, and difficulty determining how much your cat is actually eating.
ANIMAL CARE CENTRE DR. JEN
When talking with Cat Parents, I commonly get asked, “what is the best way to feed my cat?” The answer is not as simple as you may think, and often varies with the family and the cats’ needs. Issues we may be working on in the household (e.g.: obesity, frequent throwing up, inter-cat aggression, etc) impact how we choose to feed them. There are many ways to feed your kitty, and lots of reasons to choose one method over another. Each method has its benefits and drawbacks. Lets explore them below: METHOD 1: MEAL FEEDING. This is when we feed two or three meals per day – typically breakfast, (lunch?) and dinner. This method of feeding has many benefits- especially if your schedule is fixed, your cat is on a strict diet, or perhaps needs medications at a certain time (such as a diabetic cat requiring insulin). With this method you are able to have good control over how many calories your cat is eating. However, this method can leave them feeling unsatisfied and bored in the long period of time between meals. It may also cause your cat to eat
METHOD 3: FORAGE FEEDING Forage feeding is a way to feed your cats that speaks more to their hunting instincts. It involves using treat-dispensing toys, puzzle feeders or even hidden kibbles around the house to make your cat work for their meals. It provides mental stimulation throughout the day and slows down the speed of eating. It can also make your kitty exercise more throughout the day. This method can be challenging with multi-cat households if there is one cat that is better at foraging than another. You are not able to monitor exactly how much each cat is eating, and it makes giving medications on a schedule challenging. SO WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO FEED YOUR CAT? The answer is – it depends! The “best” way is what works best with your budget, your schedule, your lifestyle, and your cats’ particular needs. You can always do a combination of methods in your house as well! Possibilities are endless. Personally, in my two-cat household, I have adopted a combination of Method 1 and 3. I meal feed a small portion of wet food in the morning and evening and provide foraging toys during the day while we are at work. The toys are filled with a mixture of their normal kibble, some larger dental kibbles, and treats,
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to provide variety. This combination allows me to administer medications on a schedule, but still gives my cats the opportunity to hunt throughout the day.
If you have any questions or want to create a feeding plan for your cat-family, schedule an appointment with one of our “Catvocates” at the Animal Care Centre of Strathmore! Happy Feeding! Dr. Jen
ASK THE VET!
The Newsy Neighbour Magazine
TAKING CARE OF YOUR DENTAL HEALTH DURING PREGNANCY LANGDON DENTAL Pregnancy - an exciting time that ushers in many changes to a woman’s body – including the mouth. Normal hormonal ﬂuctuations that happen throughout a pregnancy can increase a woman’s risk of developing gum disease – a condition that impacts the health of the mother and her unborn child. Why is dental care so important before during and after pregnancy? The hormonal changes that prepare a woman for delivery and breast feeding also changes the pH balance of the mouth – increasing the formation of plaque and causing puffy, bleeding gums. Pregnancy Gingivitis Gingivitis isn’t any fun regardless of whether you’re pregnant or not – but the condition is heightened during the months of pregnancy due to the varying levels of hormones. Diagnosed by red, puffy gums that bleed easily when poked – this condition is probably the number one dental concern during gestation. During pregnancy, the hormone progesterone can be 10 times its usual level – increasing the formation of bacteria (plaque) that irritates and inﬂames gums. Add to the mix that a woman’s immune system is working twice as hard during pregnancy - making fighting bacterial changes and increased inﬂammation an additional strain on the body. And it’s the increase in oral inﬂammation that can contribute to gestational diabetes, premature birth and low birth weight. Controlling and preventing gingivitis is important to everyone’s health – including the unborn child. Dental Cleanings Throughout Pregnancy Regular professional dental cleanings are never a bad idea, as during a cleaning, deposits of plaque and calculus are removed and periodontal pockets are irrigated. Plaque and calculus are merely deposits of bacteria, one being soft and the other being a hard deposit. Removing bacterial deposits reduces a source of irritation for gums – and helps lower inﬂammation – which is not just occurring in the mouth, but also systemically. During pregnancy regular cleanings are recommended to maintain oral health and prevent dental issues that may impact mother and baby’s health. Taking care of your oral health while pregnant not only helps keep you healthy, but also contributes to the health of your unborn child.
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Shamrock Shake • 6-8 cubes of crushed ice • 1/3 cup cream base dairy or non dairy (I used sour cream) • Sweetener of Choice to taste • LorAnn Oils Cream De Menth ﬂavour • Sugar Free Chocolate chips of Choice (I used CocoPolo Sugar Free Dark Chocolate ) • Blend and serve
How to Make Puffy Paint It’s super easy to make and the texture is so neat! We love that it’s just 3 simple ingredients:
• Shaving Cream • White School Glue • Food Colouring Pour a generous amount of the white glue into a small bowl or container. Add an equal amount of shaving cream to the bowl. Just guess with it; you can’t really mess it up. Add a few drops of food colouring to the mixture. Keep in mind, that as the puffy paint dries, the colour will get darker, so don’t be too worried if it looks too light at this point. I add about 10 to 15 drops of food colouring into each puffy paint bowl. Use a Popsicle stick to stir it all up and there you have it: PUFFY PAINT!!! Repeat the process for as many colours as you’d like. Such a simply yet exciting way to making craft time fun and enjoyable! Sabrina @ Early Minds Preschool
The Newsy Neighbour Magazine
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The Pouty Puppy Going for walks is no fair anymore. You see, mom broke her wrist. She’s in a cast. And walking 2 dogs with 1 hand is apparently difficult, since that dumb dog Stella keeps running around like a maniac, making the leashes get all twisted. Funny story: I HATE walking when my leash isn’t taught. So I don’t. I just stand there, completely helpless and unable to move until the leash is fixed. I like what I like and I shouldn’t have to apologize for it. SO, when we walk, mom’s been letting Stella off her leash. She stays close by and LOVES running through the snow and she’s no longer getting twisted up in with me, but does mom let ME off the leash? NO!!!! And it’s not fair!!!! She let me off once, because it was icy and she was focussing more on not slipping but she got mad at me because apparently smelling some pee on some snow for 22 minutes wasn’t “part of her schedule.” I was trying to figure out which dog it was!! But nooo, mom got mad and put me back on my leash. Did she put Stella back on? NO!! She lets that dog do zoomies all around us. She said it’s because Yampa was gone for the month and not able to take care of us during the day, so we were home alone all day so getting Stella’s energy out was integral. But whatever. She just walks around the house destroying things anyway. Things aren’t fair around here. Bauer
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A little bit of everything Gaylene is a Strathmore resident that has trouble taking life seriously and can usually be found making inappropriate or sarcastic remarks around town much to the embarrassment of her family and friends. (of which she has both – honest!)
THAT’S HOW MANY ZEROS? Today’s Lotto Max is worth something incredibly outrageous like 70 million dollars. Who needs $70 million? Apparently, I do as I bought myself what I hope (but realistically know I have the most minuscule chance of having) is the winning ticket. It’s fun to dream. Dream big they say! 70 million! That’s a seven followed by seven zeros. Even exchanged to pounds or US dollars, it’s an obscene amount. An obscene amount that I would be so willing to win. But what the heck would I do with it? Buy a bigger house. But that just means more rooms to clean and ﬂoors to vacuum and dust to – well, dust. I could afford a housekeeper if I had that kind of bank account but then, do I really want someone seeing my messes or knowing that I tend to splatter the mirror when I brush my teeth? Or judging me for the amount of fur my four-legged family members sprinkle around the house like fairy dust? Oh, dust – Lord forbid someone look on the top shelf of my kitchen counters. And really, I don’t think I’m comfortable with someone not legally bonded to me through wedding vows knowing my preference for underwear, or my husband’s preference for underwear (his or mine!) for that matter. I’d get a new car but really when people ask me what type of car I drive now, I say white. Not really keen on vehicles other than having one that gets me from point A to B and is uncool enough that my 16-year-old will occasionally leave it in the driveway for me to use. I’d like to travel, but my dog is old and doesn’t do well in a kennel. The same can be said for my husband. We just ad-
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opted two new kittens and I am sure if I left them home alone, I wouldn’t have a house (dusty or not, housekeeper or not) left standing so maybe travel would need to wait until retirement. I know that with 70 million smackers in my account, I wouldn’t need to work but really, I don’t think the world is ready for me to have that much free time. I need to keep busy. I love my job. There is only so much daytime tv and housekeeping I’m willing to endure. And let’s face it, my amazing husband deserves the break from me and that happens when I’m in my office. In all honesty, I think if I was blessed enough to be a big winner, I wouldn’t be a big spender. I still have $16.42 left on my Amazon gift card account from my $75 Christmas gift three years ago. I keep looking but have yet to find that thing I really have to have and my hubby says I have to spend it on me. Who made that rule? One thing for sure that I would like to do, and have talked about for as long as I have been purchasing the occasional lotto, is give a lot of the winnings away. Just think what you could do with $70 million dollars? I could randomly pay for the groceries for the person behind me at the store whenever the mood struck. Heck, I could randomly buy the guy stalled in traffic a new car – a white one even. Ever pay for the coffee for the person behind you at Timmies? Isn’t that a great feeling? Now imagine that bigger – much, much bigger. $70 million dollars bigger. Imagine a pay-it-forward charity where people were given cash but couldn’t spend it on themselves but had to give it away to someone in need. That’s what I’m dreaming about. Winning the $70 million dollar lotto max would go such a long way. But you know what Even if I am lucky enough to win $5, I think I’m going to buy the guy behind me a double-double and the rest I’ll put on my Amazon account because you never know, someday there might actually be something I want. Please note that the odds of me actually winning the lotto is an estimated one in 28,633,528. If you see me ahead of you at Timmie’s wave – I’ll get you a coffee, but if you see me behind you, I prefer a chi tea with two creams. NOTE FROM THE NEWSY GIRLS: If Gaylene wins the lottery, we would GLADLY let you buy our groceries. At Costco. New beds for everyone! The Newsy Neighbour Magazine
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Bathing Suit Shopping I have just been through the annual pilgrimage of torture and humiliation known as buying a bathing suit.
Back in the 1940's and 1950's, the bathing suits for women with a mature figure were designed for women with a mature figure boned, trussed and reinforced, not so much sewn as engineered. They were built to hold back and uplift and they did a good job. Today's stretch fabrics are designed for the prepubescent girl with a figure carved from a potato chip. The mature woman has a choice - she can either front up at the maternity department and try on a ﬂoral suit with a skirt, coming away looking like a hippopotamus who escaped from Disney's Fantasia - or she can wander around every run-of-the-mill department store trying to make a sensible choice from what amounts to a designer range of ﬂuorescent rubber bands. What choice did I have? I wandered around, made my sensible choice and entered the chamber of horrors known as the fitting room. The first thing I noticed was the extraordinary tensile strength of the stretch material. The Lycra used in bathing costumes was developed, I believe, by NASA to launch small rockets from a slingshot, which give the added bonus that if you manage to actually lever yourself into one, you are protected from shark attacks. The reason for this is that any shark taking a swipe at your passing midriff would immediately suffer whiplash. I fought my way into the bathing suit, but as I twanged the shoulder strap in place, I gasped in horror - my bosom had disappeared! Eventually, I found one bosom cowering under my left armpit. It took a while to find the other. At last I located it ﬂattened beside my seventh rib. The problem is
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that modern bathing suits have no bra cups. The mature woman is meant to wear her bosom spread across her chest like a speed bump. I realigned my speed bump and lurched toward the mirror to take a full view assessment. The bathing suit fit all right, but unfortunately, it only fit those bits of me willing to stay inside it. The rest of me oozed out rebelliously from top, bottom, and sides. I looked like a lump of play dough wearing undersized cling wrap. As I tried to work out where all those extra bits had come from, the prepubescent sales girl popped her head through the curtains. "Oh, there you are!" she said, admiring the bathing suit...I replied that I wasn't so sure and asked what else she had to show me. I tried on a cream crinkled one that made me look like a lump of masking tape, and a ﬂoral two-piece that gave the appearance of an oversized napkin in a serviette ring. I struggled into a pair of leopard skin bathers with ragged frill and came out looking like Tarzan's Jane pregnant with triplets and having a rough day. I tried on a black number with a midriff and looked like a jellyfish in mourning. I tried on a bright pink pair with such a high cut leg I thought I would have to wax my eyebrows to wear them. Finally, I found a suit that fit...a two-piece affair with shorts style bottom and a loose blouse-type top. It was cheap, comfortable, and bulge friendly, so I bought it. When I got home, I read the label which said "Material may become transparent in water." I'm determined to wear it anyway.... I'll just have to learn to do the breaststroke in the sand. Author Unknown
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PEOPLE HAVE THE POWER Change. Whether you are for it or against it, history reminds us you cannot stop it. Thankfully, it remains one of life's constants.
Further, history bears witness that illegal actions can be done in the name of justice. Sometimes, change requires people throwing themselves against and beyond the boundaries of the law, pushing those limits beyond what is legal towards what they believe is just. While protests are perplexing and disruptive, they draw attention and challenge us about our values and alliances.
Justice and the law are not the same
It is important to recognize that though something may be legal, it is not always ethical or just. Sadly, at one time slavery was legal; however, it was never ethical. Global history records many times when a small group of individuals, through acts of civil disobedience, agitated for what they believed was right and created change. Their acts often resulted in legal sanctions and incarceration. "Civil disobedience becomes a sacred duty when the state has become lawless or corrupt. And a citizen who barters with such a state shares in its corruption and lawlessness. " Mahatma Gandhi Activism is heart work. It is not about money, despite what mainstream media and propaganda machines proclaim. The overwhelming majority of people involved in protests are motivated by their values and sense of justice. Democracy exists because of those who put themselves on the line for what they see as just and necessary instead of complying with popular beliefs.
Women Weren't Always Persons
Prior to 1929, women in Canada were not considered ‘persons’ – at least not in the fullest legal sense of the word. This outraged suffragists, like Alberta's Emily Murphy. Determined and ready to
fight, Emily discovered a little-known provision in the Supreme Court of Canada Act that said any five persons acting as a unit could petition the Supreme Court for an interpretation of any part of the constitution. On August 27, 1927, she invited four bright and determined female activists to her Edmonton home. On her veranda, these five signed a letter petitioning the Supreme Court to investigate the matter of whether the government could appoint a female senator. Known as the ‘Persons Case’, it was debated on March 14, 1928, with the Supreme Court eventually ruling women were not “qualified persons,” as it related to Section 24 of the BNA act. The now Famous 5 knew of one authority higher than the Supreme Court of Canada - the Privy Council in England. They petitioned it to rule on the matter. On October 18, 1929, to the relief and joy of women across Canada, the Privy Council said yes, women were indeed persons and could become Senators. Lord Sankey further stated, “The exclusion of women from all public offices is a relic of days more barbarous than ours.” This sent reverberations throughout the British Empire (later the Commonwealth), as anti-suffragists could no longer suppress women’s rights through clever legal arguments and prejudiced traditions. I honour and am thankful for mighty female protestors, who were dissatisfied and disrupted the status quo gaining the freedoms women enjoy today.
Change Didn't Come for All Women
Unfortunately, a sense of privilege remained. Asian women (and men) were not granted suffrage until after World War II in 1948, Inuit women (and men) were not granted suffrage until 1950 and it was not until 1960 that suffrage was extended to First Nations women (and men) without requiring them to give up their treaty status. Sadly, the racism behind this behaviour remains.
Stand for Justice
Current actions by our provincial government threaten hard-won rights and our future. Growing numbers of Albertans are waking to this reality and using their constitutional right to protest. Sadly, impending change feels threatening to some. Accompanied by an erosion in human decency, it reveals itself in disgusting images, vile language and threatening attacks on fellow citizens. The memory of protests from my youth remain. Visionaries whose tenacity and perseverance led movements resulting in change continue to inspire me. Non-violent protests of injustice changed nations. “People have the power to redeem the work of fools.” Patti Smith Celebrate International Women's Day March 8th. Recognize the positives in your life resulting from the actions of those willing to protest injustices. The Newsy Neighbour Magazine
Need to cancel plans with a family member or friend? Here are some GREAT excuses! 1. My brother-in-law's friend's father's grandmother's sister's aunt's turtle died, and yes, it was a tragic death. I simply cannot go into the details! 2. My fortune teller advised against it. 3. I promised to help Ashley clean the toilet at the same time. She doesn't like doing it alone; she gets nervous that she will fall in! Some kind of toilet phobia( a weird name I can't remember for some reason...). 4. Unfortunately, there is a disturbance in the force, and it is not with me right now. I never go anywhere without the force’ Skywalker strongly advises against it. 5. Harper is coming over tonight for some tea and crumpets. At least that is what his text stated. And like they say, never ditch the Prime Minister; he likes his tea time! 6. My hamster needs a good washing! He was playing with the pigs in the mud today. Silly hamster! 7. I need to double check all of the expiration dates on my milk. You can never be too sure. And I love my Cheerios in the morning! 8. Sorry, but I can't do anything for the next few hours. I am allowing my food to digest. You can never play it too safe! 9. My comfort zone and I are sipping our coffee and enjoying some bonding time. I don't like to leave my comfort zone. 10. I left my body in my other clothes, and those clothes are currently in the washer. 11. The ceiling tiles in my living room need to be recounted. Susan and I were having a debate on the count last night, and I must prove to her that I am right! 12. I am being deported Friday night; sorry, I will not be able to make it. Oh, the boring and lifeless event is Thursday night? I am getting deported Thursday night; that is what I meant to say. Sorry, the wine must be getting to me. 13. I have lost my lucky rat's tail. Sorry, but I never go out without it! 14. I must get to the bottom of this Cracker Jacks box so I can play with the toy. I heard it is a slinky! I love slinkies! 15. I have to go to the post office to see if I am still wanted. 16. I am trying to be less popular. Someone has got to do it! 17. My cat, Mr. Spinkles, just fell up the stairs. Can you believe it? Up the stairs?? "Mr. Spinkles, I am coming, just gimme one minu......" 18. I need to study for my upcoming history test. You didn't know I was taking summer school this year? I didn't either, just started today actually! :)
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A German Shepherd, a Doberman and a cat all died. All three are faced with God, who wants to know what they believe in. The German Shepherd says, “I believe in discipline, training, and loyalty to my master.” “Good,” says God. “You may sit on my right side.” The Doberman responds, “I believe in love, care and protection of my master.” “Ahh,” says God. “You may sit to my left.” Then, He looks at the cat, and asks, “And what do you believe in?” The cat answers, “I believe you’re sitting in my seat.”
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(403)934-3212/(306)320-7372 Leela Sharon Aheer MLA
I am thrilled to be part of the Newsy Neighbour family and honoured by the trust you have placed in me by electing me as your representative in the Legislature. Please contact me at Chestermere.Strathmore@assembly.ab.ca.
HELLO NEWSY NEIGHBOUR READERS! As always, it is a true honour to be able to reach out to you in this article. I do not need to describe to the magnificent folks in this riding the turmoil that we have seen in the last 6 years. There are many factors that contribute to the situation we find ourselves in. Many people point to the collapse in oil and natural gas prices and say this is the reason for a lack of investment. This puzzles me because if you look at the global picture, there are massive investments being made in oil and gas in other jurisdictions. Many of the companies that have scaled back or stopped investment in this province are putting money into other jurisdictions. They know that demand for oil and gas is projected to increase at least until 2030. My assistant Pete, a geologist, was recently in New Mexico and told me that within a 25 x 25 mile county, there were 79 rigs working, pipelines being installed, and a vibrant local economy. So, what’s different about our province? A short answer: market signals. Let’s look at the Teck Frontier project. When Teck announced that they were suspending this project after spending over $1.1 billion dollars, they were sending a message to the investment community. Market signals are important to investors, and Teck’s pulling out from their project sends the wrong signal to investors. Let’s unpack that decision for a moment and look at the day Teck announced they were withdrawing their application to proceed. That morning, both our Environment Minister and our Indigenous Affairs Minster had just received the blessing and sign off from Chief Allan Adam of the Athabasca Chipewyan Nation and the Mikisew Cree First Nation on Teck Frontier. Teck Frontier would have created 7000 direct jobs and a $20 billion-dollar private sector investment that would have expanded opportunity for our First Nation friends and other Albertans and resulted in over $70 billion dollars in
benefits to Alberta and Canada. That’s a lot of schools, hospital, and roads, folks. All 14 affected First Nations were behind the project. The project protected bison and caribou habitat, had strict regulations on emissions, and had the approval of our First Nation brothers and sisters. Teck met or exceeded every Alberta and Federal regulation surrounding the project and we have the strictest environmental and other standards in the world. In their letter announcing their decision to abandon the project, Teck stated that they lacked clarity on agreements around climate policy. They were being diplomatic. When they abandoned this project, they sent a clear market signal. After jumping through every regulatory hoop, creating bonds, friendships and working relationships with our First Nation partners, having equivalency with the TIER program, having the best human rights, the most responsible resource development, and every other hurdle, Teck had zero confidence that they would not be faced with further roadblocks from a Federal government that prioritises virtue signalling over Canadian jobs. Teck did not abandon this lightly. No company will make a multi-billion-dollar decision to invest without confidence that the government will not change the rules for short-term political reasons. That’s the real market signal that Teck sent and I am afraid we are having to pay the price. To add insult to injury, we are subjected to seeing offensive posts from the David Suzuki Foundation among others celebrating the end of a project that could have provided employment to so many Albertans. Your government and I personally reject this. I will continue to stand with the people of Alberta and our resource sector. This province is the heartbeat of the country, and when our economy is healthy, the entire country benefits from that. And now, some good news! The Alberta Court of Appeal (appointed by the Federal Government, by the way) sided with our Government, ruling that the carbon tax is unconstitutional. It was a 4-1 decision that said “The tax erodes provincial jurisdiction”. The decision called the Federal Carbon Tax a “Trojan Horse”, basically saying that if it was allowed to stand, the Federal Government could order you to stop driving, turn your thermostat down to 10 degrees, etc. A quote from the National Post: “The Judges said the carbon tax law gives the federal cabinet endless expansive powers” (National Post Feb 24, 2020). This is simply wrong, and I urge the Federal Government to do the right thing, stop collecting their unconstitutional tax, and refund the money already collected to Albertans. As always, I love to hear from you. The Newsy Neighbour Magazine
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Why Do You Want A Divorce?
Q: Doctor, I’ve heard that cardiovascular exercise can prolong life. Is this true?
A: Your heart is only good for so many beats, and that it... Don’t waste them on exercise. Everything wear out eventually. Speeding up your heart does not make you live longer; it’s like saying you extend the life of your car by driving faster. Want to live longer? Take a nap.
Q: Should I reduce my alcohol intake?
A: No, not at all. Wine is made from fruit. Brandy is distilled wine; that means they take water out of the fruity bit so you get even more of the goodness that way. Beer is made of grain. Hence, it’s all healthy. Bottoms up!
Q: How can I calculate my body/fat ratio?
A: Well, if you have body and you have fat, your ratio is one to one. If you have two bodies, your ratio is two to one, etc.
Q: Aren’t fried foods bad for you?
A: YOU ARE NOT LISTENING! Food are fried these day in vegetable oil. In fact, they are permeated by it. How could getting more vegetables be bad for you?!?
Q: Will sit-ups help prevent me from getting a little soft around the middle?
A: Definitely not! When you exercise muscle, it get bigger. You should only be doing sit-up if you want bigger stomach.
Q: Is chocolate bad for me?
A: Are you crazy?!? HEL-LO-O!! Cocoa bean! Another vegetable! It’s the best feel-good food around!
Q: Is swimming good for your ﬁgure?
A: If swimming is good for your figure, explain a whale to me…
Q: Is getting in shape important for my lifestyle? A: Hey! ‘Round’ is shape!
A judge was interviewing a South Carolina woman regarding her pending divorce and asks, “What are the grounds for your divorce?” “About four acres and a nice little home in the middle of the property with a stream running by.” “No,” he said. “I mean what is the foundation of this case?” “It is made of concrete, brick, and mortar,” she responded. “I mean,” he continued. “What are your relations like?” “I have an aunt and uncle and 12 cousins living here in town, as well as my husband’s parents.” The judge took a deep breath and asked, “Do you have a real grudge?” “No, we have a two-car carport and have never really needed one because we don’t have a car.” “Please,” he tried again. “Is there any infidelity in your marriage?” “Yes, both my son and daughter have stereo sets. We don’t necessarily like the music - all that hip hop and rap tap - but we can’t seem to do anything about it.” “Ma’am, does your husband ever beat you up?” “Yes, he gets up every morning before I do and makes the coffee.” Finally, in frustration, the judge asked, “Lady, why do you want a divorce?” “Oh, I don’t want a divorce,” she replied. “I’ve never wanted a divorce, my husband does. The damn fool says he can’t communicate with me.”
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benefit, a Q&A session at the end of the presentation and networking before or afterwards gives you a feel for what customers are looking for and what their concerns and needs are.
Join The Chamber The Chamber of Commerce offers a number of unique business levels to suit your current size and stature. As you grow, your plan can grow with you.
CHAMBER MEMBER BENEFITS • Chamber Health Plans • Payment & Banking Solutions • Audio Conferencing, Web Conferencing & Webcasting Program • Chamber Merchant Services • Shipping Discounts • On Hold Marketing Program, Members Save 20% • Email-Events-Social Media-Surveys • Maintain Control, Save Time & Money with Esso Business Cards • Fuel Discount Program • It’s Easy With VersaPay! • Best Rate Home & Auto Insurance
READY TO GET STARTED? Put the Strathmore & District Chamber to Work for Your Business Today
Phone: 403 901 3175 Email: email@example.com
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Jill Crossland is a Business & Marketing Consultant with over twenty years of business experience. She is the owner of Jill Crossland Consulting & editor of Entrepreneurial-Life Magazine. From business strategizing to marketing plans and social media, Jill knows how to put the pieces in place for her clients. firstname.lastname@example.org | 403 901 6147 https://entrepreneurial-life.today
TO TALK OR NOT TO TALK JILL CROSSLAND
The phone rings and you ﬁnd yourself agreeing to give a talk to a local organization. Then, slowly ‘speakers’ remorse is setting in – was this right decision for you, your business and your schedule? The answer to this lies with how long you have been in business. For a start-up, it is crucial to get yourself out there to establish yourself as ‘an expert in your field’ and meet face to face with potential clients/customers. In turn, the community gets to know more about you and your new business. As an added
Fast forward a few years; growth is the priority. So, while you still need to get yourself out there, don’t be quite so eager in your reply. Make sure the time of day, location and subject requested are in line with an increasingly busy schedule. Next, a thriving company with an established presence in your community and industry. By now, you know your demographic and your services/product line is honed down to the most profitable level. The days of trial and error are over. Decisions must be more specific; “Capitalizing on the success of your business, you may need to capture a larger market share and find new revenue.” The person who wants you to speak is pushing the, ‘It will be so good for your business’ angle. Remember this person just wants a speaker, so “Thank you but no” or “I’ll let you know in a day or two” are perfectly acceptable responses at this stage. Finally, maturity. Business is robust and growing but no longer at the substantial pace of those earlier years. You have settled into a comfortable level of profitable operations or are possibly thinking of an exit strategy. You have the luxury of choice now, give a presentation or don’t – the days of guilt and pressure are over. What about the presentation itself? Remember the hidden factors; prep time, travel time and actual time at the venue including networking, Q&A plus those attendee(s) who wants an overabundance of free advice. It is alright to have a few key presentations ready to go; just check them before you are due to speak. Economic, political or industry changes may call for some alterations to the tone and wording of your talk. If you can prepare your own presentations, giving a talk or workshop puts a spotlight on your branding, company goals, services/products and your own personality and ability to connect. The process therefore allows for an assessment of each. Don’t upsell or be overly promotional, as this puts people off. You are there to share your expertise on the topic requested. A brief mention of an upcoming special or a discount for attendees can be offered at the end. No matter what age or stage, your business be open to the opportunities to talk to ‘people’ not just future customers. Sharing your story with youth, seniors, veterans and listening to theirs may not translate to new business but you will gain a lot more.
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PASSION. PRIDE. PURPOSE. Have you ever thought about contacting a mortgage broker for advice? For years, people wishing to purchase or refinance a home have always gone to the same place…their bank. Is this the best option for everyone? Not necessarily, but it is the one alternative that most people have been aware of, or felt obligated to use...perhaps until now. In the past, mortgage brokers were often called upon in cases where a client did not qualify under traditional criteria, or they needed money quickly, and hence had to borrow from a “loan shark”. While mortgage brokers still assist clients with bruised credit or other qualifying challenges, the vast majority of our clientele is made up of clients with good job stability, and excellent credit history. So what are the advantages of working with a dedicated mortgage professional? Firstly (and perhaps the biggest reason for most clients), is the interest rate that can obtained. When you go to your bank, more often than not, you will be put into the uncomfortable situation of having to negotiate with your banker for a better rate. When you work with a broker, if you qualify for the best rates (based on your credit history), you automatically get the best rates. No tied selling. No moving all of your other banking and investments to the new lender to get the better rate. And the best part…it doesn’t cost you a thing. There is no charge for our service we work on your behalf with either a chartered bank or regular financial institution. Even a 1/10% reduction in your interest rate, can save you thousands of dollars in unnecessary interest costs. Secondly, you have more lenders and options to choose from. When you go to your own bank, you only have access to their mortgage products. Mortgage brokers have access to over 30 lenders, including many of the chartered banks, so we have access to a vast array of mortgage options to suit your particular needs and goals. While there can be subtle differences, something as simple as better prepayment privileges or a lower prepayment penalty(if necessary) may be a reason for choosing one institution over another. Thirdly, mortgage brokers cater to your schedule, not the other way around. Don’t you enjoy the process of calling your bank and then you are told that they can’t see you for a week or so because they are already “booked up” with appointments? Mortgage brokers will meet with you where and when you prefer, or at the very least offer you the convenience of arranging your financing via phone, internet, fax and/ or email. Generally speaking, you can be pre-approved for mortgage financing the same day you apply. Finally, mortgage specialists are able to offer their clients a more ﬂexible qualifying process. If you don’t happen to meet all of your bank’s criteria, they will often turn you away, whereas a broker will continue to source your application to as many lenders as required to find you the financing you require based on your personal situation. Being a mortgage professional for over 17 years and with an additional 10 years working for the chartered banks, I have a vast knowledge of both the chartered banks and other financial institutions as well as their product line up. Often today, there is high turnover among staff within the banks, and with the sales team representing the banks being responsible for selling so many products and services, one might ask if they have the knowledge and experience to assist clients with perhaps the biggest investment and loan of their lives. At the end of the day, it is my commitment to my clients, and determination to work on their behalf to find them the best interest rates and mortgage products available based on their individual needs and requirements…I work for YOU and NOT the BANK! If you are looking for a change, and would like to experience the convenience and value of working with a dedicated mortgage professional, please ensure that they have their proper accreditation. As a mortgage specialist working with Axiom Mortgage Solutions, I am governed by the Alberta Mortgage Brokers Association(AMBA), the Real Estate Council of Alberta(RECA) and Mortgage Professionals Canada(MPC). As always, I welcome any questions or comments you may have regarding the information contained in my articles. - Jason Eldridge
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A believer in the power of sharing knowledge & expertise, Darlis-Keily has been gathering (and passing along) information for more than 20 years through conversation, presentations and workshops. Knowing that one simple ‘learning’ can be a critical turning point, she shares ideas, insights, referrals and solutions with those looking for new ways to be seen, heard and be exceptional in a noisy world. Through her business, True Turning Point, she trains entrepreneurs and organizations how to grow by sharing who they are and what they know. www. True-TurningPoint.com
What Business are you REALLY in? “No one buys what you sell, they buy what is of value to them.” –Peter Drucker Often when entrepreneurs are asked about their business, they describe it by the products they sell or the services they offer but is this really the business they are in? If you own a business, or are thinking of starting a business, stop for a moment and ask yourself, “What business am I in (or will you be in)?” Once you have an answer, read on… First, let’s consider why this is important. When a business owner is clear about what it is that people are actually buying, they know what direction to grow their business in and are able to make wise decisions about new products or services to offer. They build a stronger, recognizable brand that does not confuse consumers. It
also provides a clear picture of who their ideal target markets are so they can focus on the best prospects and maybe even identify new markets. It also allows them to stay focused on the core of their business, which minimizes distractions (anyone have shiny object syndrome?), lowers marketing costs, and increases efficiency, sales, profits and referrals. Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? Now, let’s look at some large companies who ‘thought’ they were in one business but the consumer was buying something else and as a result, the companies experienced serious financial and market set-backs. Almost everyone has heard of Polaroid. They believed they were in the business of instant pictures, so when digital cameras entered the market, they stuck to their ‘business’ of providing people with instant hard copy photos. What they didn’t realize is that people were actually buying ‘instant photography’ and the company lost huge market share as many of their customers made the switch to digital. To date, they have not regained all the market share they lost when they were leaders in the photography equipment industry. Another example is Lego, who believed they were in the toy business. In the early 2000s, Lego decided to innovate with numerous other toys, including some that required very little construction and others that contained electronic computer components to teach predesigned learning. They built expensive theme parks and had a very short run in the candy business. The result of their misguided understanding of what people were buying was a financial disaster that almost shut down the company. Fortunately, new leadership realized Lego was in the business of imagination and creativity. Today, their mission is ‘to inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow’ and they are the world’s most valuable toy brand. They then diversified with a variety of products including Lego movies, a Lego House in Denmark and a popular YouTube channel. Everything they now do is focused on the business of imagination and… it works! Now a fun quiz for you. What business do you think these companies are in? Michelin Tires, Nike, Molson, Red Bull and McDonalds. Many people would say tires, footwear, beer, energy drinks and hamburgers. Truth is, they are in the business of auto safety, unleashing the inner athlete, parties, living life to the extreme and real estate (if you wonder how McDonalds is in the business of real estate and not food, watch The Founder movie). In your own business, start by looking what the industry you are in is selling. Car washes may be selling self-esteem. Buying a home might represent independence, security or investment. Franchised fast food establishments sell convenience and consistency. Once you have an idea of what you are selling and what people are really buying, ask yourself deeper questions (and give honest answers) in order to help you identify what business you truly are in. You can also use a variety of methods to gain insights directly from your customers and clients. Get answers to questions such as… Who is your ideal client or customer? What problem are you solving or needs are you filling? How do repeat clients and customers describe your business to other people? What triggers people to be interested in seeking out your product or service? What do they value (low cost, high quality, fast delivery, friendly service, online access, exclusivity, name brand, personalization, status, familiarity, etc.)? Why do they choose your business? What do you believe consumers of your type of product / service are looking for in the marketplace but are having difficulty finding? Can you provide it? How do you believe your business makes people feel? And finally, the million dollar question… What business are you REALLY in? If you would like to chat about what business you are in or to bring this topic to your network as an interactive workshop, email Darlis@True-TurningPoint.com and request a no-obligation chat. I look forward to hearing from you. The Newsy Neighbour Magazine
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