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Tips for selling your clothes – It’s a clothing crisis!!

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Clean your closet

Back in the day, the best options for selling used clothing was limited to schlepping to a consignment store or having a yard sale. The emergence of direct shopping apps make the process a lot easier, for both the seller and interested buyers. I’ve recently started using a few services (Depop, TheRealReal, Poshmark) and here are my tips for getting the most from your older items.

1. Popular brands should be posted first. Think about brands that don’t have many sales. Those are the labels that kill it on consignment sites. However, certain brands perform better on different platforms, so do a little research to see what is doing well for popular sellers. For an app like Poshmark, Lululemon and Zara perform well, while high end consignment sites like The RealReal is where many people go for discounted Balenciaga or Celine.

2. Think like a retailer and a shopper. Think about the details that you consider before making an online purchase. I usually check the material, the height and size of the model to get a sense of how the item would look like on me. When selling an item you need to think about information you need to share (i.e. fabric, size, etc.), but also, what are some of the questions a buyer might ask? Include photos of the label, care instructions and close up images of any “damage”.

3. Style the clothing. Some pieces don’t look as good on a hangerso wearing them is essential to giving the buyer a better idea of how the clothing looks. Style the piece the way you’d normally wear it, shoes and all. Take photos against a neutral backdrop, or do a selfie in a full-length mirror. If you are going to shoot items on a hanger, bet sure to iron/steam out wrinkles so shoppers see the true color, fabric, and wear.

4. Bad pictures can be a deal-breaker. Most people aren’t aware of lighting, but it’s the most important aspect of a good photograph. Natural, diffused light is preferable, but if you only have time in the evenings, try using a room with white light. Yellow light can make images look sallow. Clear out any visible clutter in the background or choose a location where the items aren’t competing with the environment.

5. Be flexible with price. I usually charge about 60%-70% off of the original price, but if a piece is in great condition, a brand that is highly sought after, or was a limited edition, I may change the percentage to be closer to 50%.  My price usually includes the shipping and the percentage the app takes, but remember to be flexible. If a person makes a reasonable offer that’s less than the listed price, I’ll often accept it, just to clear the item out of my inventory.

6. Read all the T&Cs/FAQs before you start.  Educate yourself before you use any service. I wasn’t surprised when a portion of my sale was taken out by the app, and I knew exactly how to retrieve my balance, print out my shipping label, and interact with people who had questions. It makes the process much smoother.

7. Have a goal and timeline for unsold items. Have a backup plan for items that don’t sell. I give myself a sell-by date and when that day comes, I take whatever hasn’t sold to my local donation center.

My favorite re-sale apps and sites: Poshmark, The RealReal, Depop, Thredup,Tradesy

As posted in Cupcakes and Cashmere August 2015

INAUGURAL YEAR OF AU GALOP A RESOUNDING SUCCESS!

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Au Galop St. Lazarre

The inaugural year of the Saint-Lazare Festival au Galop took place on August 7, 8 and 9, 2015 and attracted over 10 000 festivalgoers. Saint-Lazare succeeded in booking the only appearance in Quebec in 2015 of the RCMP Musical Ride and took advantage of the opportunity to create a region-wide equestrian festival.

“The first equestrian festival in Saint-Lazare was a great success and we passed the test with flying colours! ‘Wow’ was written all over everyone’s face during the presentation of the Musical Ride! Hearty thanks to all the festivalgoers, exhibitors, artists and all those who made the festival possible. It will be back next year on the first weekend in July 2016!“ Pamela Tremblay, President of Saint-Lazare Festival au galop.

The 3-day program showcased horses of every type and in all disciplines. Everyone was awestruck by the instructional workshops, horse-hugging sessions, equestrian performances and demonstrations, including horse-ball, gymkhana and carriage driving.

For this first year, the Festival was privileged to host many distinguished guests, including the prestigious RCMP Musical Ride and its 36 riders, singer Yoan Garneau, winner of the 2014 La Voix competition, Charles-Étienne Ménard, acclaimed artistic coach for Cavalia, the Canadian Horse-ball Team, the Société d’attelage du Bas-Canada and the Club d’attelage de Saint-Lazare.

Philanthropic mission accomplished

A sum of $ 40,000 for the Care Mission of the Cedars Cancer Centre plus $2,000 for Centre Équestre thérapeutique Marie Laurence. Each year, the Festival intends to call upon the generosity of festival goers to support local and regional causes through the sale of tickets for the RCMP Musical Ride and Centre Équestre thérapeutique Marie Laurence in Sainte-Justine-de-Newton through voluntary donations in certain parking lots near the sites.

Do You Know Liz?

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Suzanne Reisler Litwin
‎This picture is before I gave birth to my third child, Duke. There was a mirror on the ceiling in the room. As you can see, he held my hand for reassurance that everything was going to be fine. My husband took the picture of our reflection. Priceless.

This blog post originally appeared in Wise Women Canada.

I really don’t know Liz that well. Although, I feel like I’ve known her since she was 7 years old. How is this so?

by Suzanne Reisler Litwin

Liz’s father was my doctor. From the age of 17 until his passing, he was my gynaecologist. More so, he was a passionate medical professional and loving family manWhen I first met Dr. Daniel Wiener he was a young tall doctor with a mop of dark hair and a great tan. I was young, dumb and stupid!  Basically we met because I needed a prescription for a birth control pill. After I got my prescription he made me promise that I will “never ever never” marry a person who is a Tay Sachs Carrier. As I promised, I looked around his perfect office and noticed the pictures of his children and beautiful wife. Liz was around 7 at the time. She was so cute and full of gorgeous curls.

Without having to go into length about Tay Sachs, simply when a male and female carrier of the gene pass it onto an embryo there is a 1 in 4 chance of creating a Tay Sachs diseased fetus. If the fetus is diseased it will grow into a child which will die within 3 years of life as a required enzyme will fail to develop. It is a slow and awful death. Prenatal diagnostic testing is required to identify the gene and it is followed through the fetal stage. Enough said! I find it hard to write this even though our discussion happened over 30 years ago.

I promised Dr. Wiener that I would NEVER even date a Tay Sachs carrier. Who needed that? So I dated and dated and met a really great guy. We fell in love. A serious kind of love. After about a year of dating I asked the dreaded question, “Are you a Tay Sachs Carrier?” He replied, “Yes! Are you?”

HOLYSHIT!!!!!! NO WAY!!!!!! F*CK!!!!!!!

My immediate response was, “I’m so sorry I can’t see you anymore! I can’t because of the problems we might have. I just can’t. I made a promise. I’m really sorry.”

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 11.56.50 AM
This picture is of Dr. Wiener with my sister Janie. I had just given birth to my first child Allyn. He was so relaxed and casual. Look at that mop of hair!!

I tried to break it off but I couldn’t. My love said we would go through this together and be stronger from all of it.  So, I broke my promise and we got married.

The next appointment I had with Dr. Wiener was difficult. I told him that I broke my promise.

He accepted the challenge and said, “We will, also, go through this together”.

Now Liz was around 13 in his family pictures. His family was growing up.

My first and second pregnancies were disasters. We produced Tay Sachs diseased fetuses. I chose to terminate both at around 18 weeks gestation. A terrible, heartbreaking experience. My whole body, world, and life was altered.

Dr. Wiener was with me every step of the way. He cared for my body, mind, and soul. His reassurance was always present. I felt safe.

After the second terminated pregnancy he reassured me that I would have children of my own. I looked at the pictures of his children in his office. He held my hand and reassured me that “I” would have beautiful children just like them. Liz was around 16 in the pictures at this time.

In March of 1990, I was called out of my classroom to take a call.  It was Dr. Wiener who received the prenatal diagnostic results of my current 3rd pregnancy. He told me my pregnancy was going to be “GOOD!” I cried and thanked him for the call. We were in business, he said.  I asked if he would be at the delivery of this child. He said it was a promise! He was there to deliver my daughter Allyn.

My next pregnancy was also successful. He delivered my son Taylor.

He commanded the madness of the deliveries like it was a normal event. I always felt safe and assured that the babies and I were going to be fine.
I became exhausted from the process. I didn’t want to be pregnant anymore. I wanted to have an IUD to prevent pregnancy.My 5th pregnancy produced a diseased fetus. Dr. Wiener was there to help me through that terrible disappointment. Then,  I miscarried the 6th pregnancy. He was there for that too.

Just before the IUD install appointment I wasn’t feeling well. To my astonishment, I was pregnant for the 7th time.

He said, “7th is a charm!”

I was 37 at the time, Liz was around 27. His family was growing and expanding and the pictures told the tale of celebrations and happiness.

Dr. Wiener was at the delivery for my son Duke. He didn’t miss a step. That was the final chapter of my pregnancies. My back gave out during that delivery and it hasn’t been the same since.

Non-obstetrics appointments followed and routine examines.  My family was growing and so was his. I saw pictures of his children married and with children. I saw him go from a dark thick mane of hair to salt and pepper. Always with a healthy tan and always smiling.  He was a Grandfather now.

Then…the tan faded too fast. He became ill but still worked as though everything was in place and fine. Always the perfect medical professional. Right down to his adorable handwriting. The pictures of his family kept showing happy expansion and celebration. I still felt safe and that everything was going to be fine.

One day my neighbour told me Dr. Wiener passed away. I sunk. NO! What about all the promises? Who will take care of me? This isn’t possible! I felt lost. My safety net was gone.

I went to the funeral and wept. I went to the shiva and wept. I went to his then dismantled  office to pick up my medical chart and wept. I read and studied my medical history in his adorable handwriting and wept.

This was a disgustingly, terrible loss to everyone associated to him.
And…Then life went on. I see his face all the time now on Facebook because Liz looks just like her father. Liz’s son looks like his grandfather now, too!  His face lives in them. When I see them, I feel comfort in knowing he’s still present in some way.

To answer the titled question. Do I know Liz? Not really. I’ve only seen her grow up through her Father’s office pictures. I see her now through Wise Women. I feel totally connected to her in a familiar way.

We shared a similar experience. She loved her father and so did I. I wasn’t “in” with him. I loved how he cared for and about me. With him I felt safe and confident. We went through the most difficult journey of my life together.

Our lives have moved forward, our families have  grown  in our pictures. Yet we are bonded together via this man. He would be so proud!

 

 A note from West Island Blog founder Rhonda Massad:  This post is compliments of Suzanne and Wise Women Canada – one of my favorite blogs. Truly inspirational. Thanks to Liz and Lisa.

 

 

suzanne-litwinSuzanne Reisler Litwin is an author/writer/columnist/educator.  She has a featured column on West Island Blog called Keeping it Real. She is an instructor at Concordia University in the School of Extended Learning-Centre for Continuing Education.  She has a featured writer at  The Suburban – Magazine. She is the author of the children’s book, The Black Velvet Jacket.  She lives in Montreal, Canada with her 3 children, Allyn, Taylor, and Duke and her husband Laurie. Please visit her website:www.suzannereislerlitwin.com to read more of her published articles, books, and poetry.

Leucan Shaved Head Challenge at Fairview Pointe Claire

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Shaved Head Challenge
Michael Tomazos. Photo credit: Thibault Carron

For the 9th edition, the Leucan Shaved Head Challenge, presented by Jean Coutu will take place at Fairview Pointe Claire on Sunday, September 13th from 12 p.m to 3 p.m.

During this event, nearly 40 participants will put a price on their heads and face the clipper to rally around cancer-stricken children and their families.

 This major fundraiser not only raises a significant amount of money for the association, but it represents a powerful act of solidarity for all children who have lost their hair from chemotherapy treatments.  When the participants are revealed their transformation in the mirror for the very first time, their reactions are often touchingly emotional.

 Witnessing the bravery, generosity and compassion of all participants is truly the highlight of the event.

 At one of the challenges, Michael, the 6 year-old spokesperson for the Montreal-Laval area, diagnosed with Wilms tumor at only 4 years old shaved his hair despite having just grown it back post-chemotherapy. His bare head brought tears to his parents` eyes. But now, his shaved head no longer represents his sickness, but his courage and selflessness to help other children in his shoes.

 Last June, inspiring 18 year-old Brontë Poiré Prest sat on the barber chair and had her long brown hair shaved off stating, “I’m doing it to show that one’s beauty isn’t in her image, but in her strength.” Participants like Brontë help prove to cancer-stricken children that they are still beautiful, despite the disease.

 Leucan Shaved Head Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 3.19.09 PM

Brontë Poiré-Prest. Photo Credit: Thibault Carron

 Leucan invites everyone to come and cheer on such heroic and noble participants like Michael and Brontë. It is still possible to take on the Leucan Shaved Head Challenge individually or in groups. For more information, please call 514-731-3696 or visit shavedheadchallenge.com

 Its History

The first Leucan Shaved Head Challenge took place in Montérégie in 2001, thanks to Mr. Serge Tremblay. He wanted to show solidarity towards these children and support them in a significant matter. For the first edition, 65 participants raised $10 500, The Challenge successfully grew and in 2004, became a Provincial Event. Since its very beginning, more than 60,000 participants from the four corners of the province took on the Leucan Shaved Head Challenge. The 13th edition in 2013, to which thousands of participants took part, helped raise $4.7 million for children with cancer.

 About Leucan

For more than 35 years, Leucan has been supporting cancer-stricken children and their families. As a loyal ally of hundreds of families and thousands of members across Quebec, the Association provides specific and personalized services to its members, in addition to funding clinical research. Leucan`s skilled staff developed a cutting edge expertise in the following areas: support and emotional assistance; financial assistance; referral services; massage therapy; hosting in hospital playrooms; socio-recreational activities; school awareness; end-of-life and bereavement follow up services; support to cured patients; and the Leucan Information Centre.


September is Childhood Cancer Awareness month. What better time to participate in the challenge. Register or donate today at www.shavedheadchallenge.com

The event will be hosted by the talented Alex Despatie, one of the world’s most skilled divers, three-time Olympian and now host on Breakfast Television.

 Support to the pediatric oncology centres

Leucan is active in the 4 pediatric oncology centres in Quebec: CHU Sainte-JustineMontreal Children’s Hospital of the McGill University Health Centre, the Centre mère-enfant du CHUQ and the CHUS. Every year, the Association is contributing close to $1,000,000 to help financing clinical research, and finances the Leucan Information Centre located in the Centre de cancérologie Charles-Bruneau at Sainte-Justine UHC, which provides services for the whole province.

What’s Good For the Goose is Not Good Enough For the Gander

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Suzanne Litwin - Keeping it Real

by Suzanne Reisler Litwin – Keeping it Real

While on a summer vacation in Ogunquit, Maine, USA I noticed something inclusive and wonderful. Upon entrance to Ogunquit Beach I  noticed these 2 new signs. To my amazement the signs are written in both English and French. How thoughtful of the town of Ogunquit, Maine to welcome their Quebec visitors with a public sign in their French language.

So here’s what is so upsetting. This sign is completely “illegal” in Quebec, but in Maine, USA it is a welcome mat.  It is illegal in Quebec because it  has both languages English and French in equal font sizes. This causes me such aggravation.

In Maine, USA public signs are permitted to be written in other languages as long as English appears. So to encourage Quebecers to come to Ogunquit, the signs are in both English and French. How kind and considerate.  The town of Ogunquit wants to encourage French speaking visitors to come and vacation in their town. Let’s welcome Quebecers to spend their Canadian money even when the US dollar is over $1.30!

Their attitude is wonderful and inclusive! This is what is so wrong with Quebec !!!! Instead of encouraging American tourists to come to Quebec, they discourage them by not welcoming them with English signage.   Quebec does not have a welcome mat! They exercise dis-inclusivity. Therefore, they discourage English speaking tourists by not providing them with English public signs. In turn, this is a bold “NO” to the American dollar also. Just another way of dis-encouraging the economy too.Suzanne Litwin

All for what? The fear that the French language is going to be eaten alive from all the American English speakers? As if while your sleeping the French language you know will be sucked out of your brain and replaced with English words when you awake. That French will die a slow painful death along with Yiddish!

French is perfectly fine in Quebec! It’s time to encourage American tourists and their American dollars. Say “Hi!” and “Bonjour!” and print, “Welcome to Montreal!” and “Bienvenue Montréal!”

If Quebec really wants to keep their population as “lobster’s in a pot”, they should go to Ogunquit, Maine where they are encouraged and full-heartedly welcomed! Bon Appetite mon frère !

‎Suzanne Reisler Litwin is an author/writer/columnist/educator.Suzanne contributes regularly to West Island Blog under her column Keeping it Real.  She is an instructor at Concordia University in the School of Extended Learning – Centre for Continuing Education. Suzanne is a freelance contributor to The Suburban newspaper.   She is the author of the children’s book, The Black Velvet Jacket. She lives in Montreal, Canada with her 3 children, Allyn, Taylor, and Duke and her husband Laurie. Suzanne contributes regularly to West Island Blog under her column Keeping it Real.  Please visit her website  www.suzannereislerlitwin.com to read more of her published articles, books, and poetry.

Good Girl Gone Green – Meet the Business

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Good Girl Gone Green
Good Girl Gone Green

Stephanie is a Young Living Platinum leader and is very passionate about sharing and helping others live a life of wellness, purpose, and abundance. She is the mind behind Good Girl Gone Green. She is a tree hugger; a plant-based real foodie; and an oily addict. She is trying her best to make a difference on this planet. She wants to continue to promote green habits, environmental values and healthy and non-toxic living, as well as be the voice of change that will help others make their positive contributions to the environment. You can find her collecting trash on the streets or along the water, creating raw treats in the kitchen, diffusing her favorite essential oils grounding or simply changing lives with Young Living.

 Come learn healthy habits and join us for an hour of fun and information to learn about Young Living’s therapeutic grade essential oils. Learn about how to make all kinds of natural do-it-yourself beauty products and home remedies! The best part, you get to take your products home with you!

Young Living has over 150 all-natural, 100% pure therapeutic-grade essential oils to help you live a healthier lifestyle. Young Living is the world leader in producing and guaranteeing 100% pure and genuine essential oils. You’ll laugh, learn, and go home smelling great!

Below are our upcoming DIY workshops on the West Island:

August 15, 2015 

SPA DAY

 
August 19, 2015

SPA NIGHT

 
August 22, 2015

DIY CLEANING PRODUCTS

September 16, 2015 

DIY BACK TO SCHOOL WITH ESSENTIAL OILS

Please RSVP for all the workshops here: www.goodgirlgonegreen.eventbrite.ca

 

For more information about essential oils.

Please connect with Stephanie on FacebookInstagram and Twitter or via email stephmoram@gmail.com

 

 

Stephanie Moram Good Girl Gone Green

I woke up today and I was fifty

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Turning Fifty Rhonda Massad
Love and Lessons fill my back pack of life as I head into the next fifty years.

By Rhonda Massad

When you are a kid fifty is sooooo old.  Do you remember feeling that way.  Having to respectfully kiss the old people hello even though you really didn’t want to. 

I am that old now.  I really don’t mind.  I actually like it.  I would prefer time slow down just a little though.  It is going by really really fast and I feel like I am just getting the hang of it or maybe I realized I will never get the hang of it and now choose to flow with it?  

For the most part I love the feeling that being seasoned gives.  A little twinkle in the eye that only age can give you.   A settling of the soul. A realization that you are not perfect in any way but learn to love your imperfections.   A confidence that it is up to me to get where I want to go with a little kick of destiny worked in. Rhonda Massad Turns Fifty

The thing about growing older for me is that there is a bit more water in my wine as they say.  Oh, don’t worry,  I will never be a push over. That is simple genetics.  By no means will I let something I believe in go by without proper concern.  I am still me, just a little wiser.   Me knowing I won’t win every round but am still willing to give it all I’ve got.

Somehow I have learned to pick my battles. Life taught me that –  along with my kids.  I try pick the battles that really mean something to me and let the rest be part of my life but not banner headers.  

I take our troubled environment seriously and try my best to do what is right in hopes we can leave our grandchildren a healthy place to play. 

Uniting the community when so many factors try to drive us apart has been a persistent goal.  Ever notice established ethnic communities stand together in storm? Their union is defined by their nationality and culture.  As Canadians we are happily all mixed but we need that thread that joins us together to stand for one another.  Everyone of us needs to look out for each other.  That is how a community stays strong. That is how a community wins.  We need to stand as Canadians.  

My wish for my next fifty years is that I will see my children and grandchildren grow older, our environment kick back and our communities join hands as one. 

I love being fifty.  A fresh chance to do better.  Half a century of love and lessons in my back pack of life to carry me forward.  It feels as though the world is bright and hopeful. The sun shines that much brighter, the night stars twinkle that much stronger. 

I wish you happiness on this day that is special to me.  Join me in being thankful for all we have, for living in one of the greatest countries in the world and for all we can give to each other.  Kiss your kids, kiss your parents, love that puppy, talk to that bird, enjoy your cat.

Take a minute to wave to a neighbour as they pass by. Even if you don’t know them. I do that all the time.  Some people think I am a little woo woo but most happily smile back. 

I like that being fifty means I don’t mind either way.

Rhonda

xoxox      

Rhonda Massad Turns Fifty

Meet the Federal Candidate – Ryan Young NDP Lac-Saint-Louis

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Lac-Saint-Louis riding, NDP, Ryan Young

by Rhonda Massad

With a federal election coming up earlier than expected, it is important to get to know who we will be voting for. I invite all candidates to contact West Island Blog to allow our readers to get to know those who intend to lead us forward for the next federal term.

Ryan Young

Young: “I believe in strong social programs and strong environmental policies.”

Father of two young girls Raya 3 and Violet 1, Ryan Young has thrown his hat into the ring for the NDP in the Lac-Saint-Louis riding.  As a councillor and teacher at John Abbott College his wife Kate likes to say that he already operates at 110% and so she doesn’t see this election being that much different.

As a hometown boy (his words) Young feels he can offer voters what other candidates cannot.

Citing his deep roots in the riding he said “I grew up here, I continue to work here and I live here.”

Young is well-known for being an outspoken environmentalist with local groups like the Green Coalition.  He was on their board of directors from 2004 to 2009.  He strongly believes in restoring and strengthening our federal environmental protection legislation that the Conservative Government has gutted.  Public transit is an important issue on the West Island and he said the NDP would transfer $500 million from the federal gas tax to fund municipal infrastructure and create a national public transportation strategy.Lac-Saint-Louis riding, NDP, Ryan Young

“Canada is the only country in the G7 with no national vision whatsoever for public transit and this cannot continue to be the case.”

We have situation in Canada where health care has not been funded adequately and its quality has deteriorated. The NDP can claim to be the party that got free medicare installed and we want to make sure the Canada Health Act is respected which is not the case right now. Quebec or any province does not have enough funds coming from Ottawa to properly fund health care. Lac-Saint-Louis has a lot of seniors and they depend on quality health care and they don’t have it. It is an important issue.

Favourite Hobby:  Bird Watching and Gardening

Greatly influenced by David Bird who was Young’s Scout leader as an adolescent.  It is important to Young that he impress upon his children the love of nature.

“He introduced us to so many things up close and I have consequently passed that on to my daughter Raya.  She knows birds quite well, she cannot use binoculars yet.  But at the age of two she could pull out a bird book and could identify 45 different types of birds.  Now she has moved on knows the names of the ones she might see.”

Having been bitten by the gardening bug while working on a farm in his 20’s he has been participating in the Ste. Anne de Bellevue community garden since 1998.

“I do not have a large enough property for a garden so the community garden works well,” Young explained, “this year we planted tomatoes, cucumbers, sugar snap peas, onions, and carrots.”

Cooking

“I am not a bad cook but not a good cook. I married a women who went to cooking school.  When it comes to cooking I generally tend to feel inadequate next to her.”

Latest Read: Building the Orange Wave by Brad Lavigne

Levine was Jack Layton’s campaign manager.  The non-fiction book discusses insider political views of the Layton campaign  where Lavigne had a front row seat for the ride to the federal opposition leader’s office. Lavigne shows how a dedicated team helped Layton revitalize the party and win 103 seats in 2011.

Favorite Dessert

Young’s favourite place for dessert is a restaurant called Crudessence at 2157 Mackay. The restaurant specializes in dairy free gluten free desserts.

“This guy can pull off making fantastic desserts with no sugar, using other sweeteners such as agave nectar. The desserts just blow your mind.”

Favorite Restaurant

Liverpool House on Notre Dame West

Owner David McMilan grew up in the West Island and went to Macdonald High with Young in Ste. Anne de Bellevue.

“Liverpool house is right next to it’s sister restaurant, Joe Beef, but it’s easier to get reservations,” Young said, “ the menu changes every time but I usually order the fish. I am not a vegetarian but have been at various times in my life.  I care about how the food is raised.  If I eat meat I usually go for local and organic.”

Lac-Saint-Louis riding, NDP, Ryan Young

The Chess Game of Outsourcing

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Ken Ingram

By Ken Ingram

Cost reduction is no longer the sole reason for any business to outsource because outsourcing in itself has changed. In the past, companies had all the talent, skills and abilities needed to reach the businesses goals and objective. However in today’s constantly changing environment, our capacity to maintain those skills has become scarce. Organizations are under pressure to evolve at a much faster rate than in previous years and this may be the most compelling reason to outsource due to survival and business performance.

When I became a black belt in Six Sigma, many of the employees in the company looked at the new methodology as a strategy not for the purpose of becoming more efficient and competitive, but as a strategy to eliminate jobs. Those of us who saw it as a methodology to improve cost, customer satisfaction and to become more competitive were able to increase both our value and the value of the organization. By getting involved in the process we became a catalyst and were recognized as change agents. Forget the myth that people have an inherent resistance to change. What people are resistant to is being changed. Change can be energizing when communicated in an effective manner so we became agents of change.

If a business is not constantly making adjustments and corrections in all areas of the business, it becomes complacent. Complacency leads to extinction even for businesses that have been around for decades. One area often overlooked is the workforce and unless a consistent effort and investment is made, even people will depreciate. It is imperative to constantly challenge the status quo or risk becoming a part of history.

When you have great people, cross-training can be a solution to the changing business dynamics in lieu of outsourcing. You may already have the right people in your organization but they might lack the knowledge and know-how to become the absolute best that they can be. They may resist change and you may resist change because of the investment. In Quebec, the government offers subsidies of up to 50% to keep your business and its people running at optimum. In the book Management Challenges for the 21st Century Peter Drucker describes how the old paradigms will need to be replaced by new ones. In the book ‘Good to Great’, Jim Collins talks about why some organizations make the leap and others do not. What is important with all of these concepts and ideas, is that you put them into practice, because the future is not what it used to be and more than any year in the past, your leadership, teamwork, sales and business development skills will be put to the test. In summary in today’s competitive landscape There are now several things that your organizations may want to achieve and cost reduction is just one of them, but it may not be the most important goal anymore. You may be looking for ways to bridge the gap by providing additional capacity and skills that are in scarce supply to reach the businesses goals and objective.

 

Ken Ingram, MQA, President TAC Montreal
www.TACresults.com

How to Make an Effective Bug Spray with 5 ingredients

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Joanna McDonald

By Joanna McDonald

Summer is a time for exploring, having fun and relaxing!   This handy, make-at-home concoction is perfect to bring along to all your activities to help to keep the bugs at bay, and allow you to have more fun, without the worry of harsh chemicals and toxic smells.

What you’ll need:

3 oz.  bottle with “Spritzer-style” top

1/2 – 1 cup filtered water

1/2 tsp. melted coconut oil

5 drops of the following essential oils (available at health food stores)

  • Lavender
  • Lemongrass
  • Melaleuca (tea tree)

Fill your spray bottle to 3/4 of the way full with water.  Depending on the size of your bottle, adjust amounts accordingly.  Carefully add coconut oil.  Add essential oils.  Close and shake well for 30 seconds to blend.  * Coconut oil may be replaced with grapeseed oil if a nut allergy is present.Joanna McDonald

If by chance you have been bitten recently, this recipe is also anti-bacterial and anti-itch to help those bites heal.  Simply apply as needed.

* Please use caution and/or seek medical advice prior to using if you are:

  • immune-suppressed
  • pregnant
  • have diagnosed illness
  • have nut allergies
  • have chronic health issues
  • elderly
  • using product with children and pets
  • have allergies and skin sensitivities.

* Please avoid contact with eyes, ears, nose and sensitive areas.  Discontinue if irritation occurs.  When using essential oils, please test prior to use on a “test area” of skin and use caution.Joanna McDonald

Joanna  McDonald is a natural health pioneer, medical-intuitive counselor and energy practitioner
as well as a freelance writer and is currently working on her first book about food and the Chakra system.  When she isn’t creating a new recipe or finding the latest scoop on healthy living, you can find her hiking, biking or practicing yoga in the great outdoors.
Joanna McDonald; MT, Rp, FSm
Soul Food – Blending Divine guidance & holistic nutrition for healthy lifestyles

www.joannamcdonald.ca