Frivolous Friday

For our Frivolous Friday post this week, let’s talk about colouring! And not just your average adult colouring books, but something fancier, something artistic…something that will make you feel like you’ve done more than just relax. How about a collection of colouring pages that are museum quality?!

#ColorOurCollections was a special project from February of this year that featured a week-long colouring spree, put together by libraries, cultural institutions, and archives using social media as a way to bring people together. The collections of colouring pages are unique and cover a wide range of topics, from classic paintings, to floral works, to pages from medical journals. Colour your own choice, and share on social media using the hashtag, or see what other people have done in their spare time. It’s fun…and you can claim to be doing something cultural.

You can find all of the colouring pages right here. Print one off, and grab your coloured pencils. It’s time for a relaxing weekend!

A little fun for Monday

Have you ever wondered what goes on in the heads of little ones?

We haven’t had a good laugh in a while on the blog, and this is too sweet to pass up. A dad decided to put a microphone on his four-year-old at hockey practice. It’s a long video, but worth an entire watch.


Journey to Justice

February marks Black History Month, and we’ll be showing a film on Thursday, February 7th called “Journey to Justice” by filmmaker Roger McTair. It’s part of our National Film Board Movie Night series, which we run all year round.

The film is about 45 minutes long and pays tribute to a group of Canadians who fought for Black civil rights from the 1930’s – 1950’s.

The film will start at 7pm. Admission is free and popcorn and drinks will be provided, so make sure to get here a few minutes early to get a good seat! It’s going to be an interesting night!

Frivolous (or not so frivolous) Friday

Can you imagine posting your salary, and then listing what you spend for an entire month for anyone in the online community to read?  Me either. But Refinery29, a space touted as a “modern woman’s destination for how to live a stylish, well-rounded life”, regularly asks women to track their spending for a month, and send them the gory details to post. Then, the backlash begins.

Often, the site receives letters from people who make judgments about the women, and comment on what they are doing right–or very wrong—in their lives. It can be brutal. BRUTAL.  I have no idea how some of these women recover from this. You can follow one such participant’s experience taking part and find out what changes she made (if any) as a result by clicking here.

Beware, once you read one of these money diaries, you’ll fall down the rabbit hole and spend the next hour perusing the spending habits of women you don’t know. This is brave stuff. And it makes me wonder why they don’t also track the spending habits of men who’d like to participate. It would be as equally revealing, I think.

Would you participate in something like this and allow your spending habits to be viewed by the world?

Get Ready for 2019!

The new year should be about doing a little bit of work up front to make your life easier and more enjoyable. Forget resolutions…start planning!

Aim to close out the year and get ready for the new one, both at work and in your personal life. Focus on what you really need in your life, and get rid of the rest.

Figure out the numbers

Do you care about statistics? You might, it if means something to your productivity or directly for your business. But what about all of those stats you haven’t even thought about? Take a few minutes and go through your records for things like the number of lunches you have to make in a year, or how many times you shopped at the grocery store outside of your regular weekly visit (you can check your online banking records for this). Knowing the numbers can make you more aware of the time you’re spending doing tasks, and might help you plan better (and even save some money) in the year to come.

If you’re looking at work stats, make sure you collect everything you need before you start back in January. Know your numbers—including costs for items, number of visits to your store or website, and how many people followed up after a conference visit or show.  If you do the work now, you can think of better ways to do things the next time. It’s worth all of the work.

Revisit the trends on social media

We’re not talking about unfriending people on Facebook, but rather, taking a close look at your personal and professional social media accounts. Are there people you never see posts from? (Yes, we know the algorithms can be frustrating.) Take a few minutes to look through their accounts to see if they are interesting enough to keep following. Then, like a post, or comment on something. Your social media accounts will start looking better really soon.

Unfollow or hide any accounts that aren’t in line with your business anymore, or those who don’t fill your feed with a positive vibe. It’ll also give you room to follow others. Don’t be afraid to try some new social media as well. Not on Twitter? Join, and find conversations and people who are aligned with how you think! Not sure how to take great photos on your phone? Join Instagram and start looking at accounts you do like, and figure out what they’re doing that you enjoy. It’ll make you a happier person to learn something new.

Review your accomplishments

This is a great idea. Look back over the year and think about all of the great things you’ve done, even if it doesn’t feel like a huge noteworthy accomplishment. Had dinner with old friends? Paid off your car? These things make us feel good, so go ahead, get those endorphins flowing!  And plan a few new things you’d like to accomplish for the upcoming year. Goals are great to have, even if you don’t meet all of them.

Start listing the books you’ve read

This might feel like a library thing, but it’s fun to be able to look back on a year and think about the great books that kept you entertained, educated, and moving forward. It’s also a great way to remember authors that might have upcoming books, and recommend books to your friends when they ask what you’re reading.

Making a list of books you’ve read is also a great way of visualizing an accomplishment. Did you read one book a month? Five? Set a new goal for the new year and try to beat your previous year. Reading is escapism, and it’s also a stress reliever. Incorporate more of it into your daily routine and you’ll start to see a difference in your life.

Once you’ve organized your social media, set reading goals, drawn up a plan for chores, and started an accomplishments list, you’ll be all set to ring in the new year with excitement and purpose.  Happy New Year!


Small Talk

Small talk. It should be an actual course in school, say, in Grade 5. Way before high school, at the very least. It’s not hard to make small talk with friends or co-workers you know fairly well, but get stuck in a room with strangers, and it’s tough! For our Friday Frivolous Post, we’re going there.

As Canadians, we seem to learn how to make small talk about the weather from day one. But what happens when you have more time to kill, or want to chat up that fascinating person across the room during a conference? You can’t rely on the other person to do all the talking–you need to learn how to have conversations, especially in this world of social media and cell phones.

But how? Do you memorize a list of general questions you could ask anyone? (What type of work do you do? Have you been on vacation this summer? What do you think of all this construction? Do you like this restaurant/hotel/yoga class?) After a while, you’ll lose someone with those run-of-the-mill questions. To really engage a stranger, you need to keep a conversation going. But it would be nice to also glean a few tidbits of interesting info from them as well.

When I came across this list of 16 Interesting, Better Small Talk Questions, it was something I had to share. Some of these are BRILLIANT, and I plan on using them the next time I’m lost for words.

How about something like:

  • What are you reading/watching/listening to right now?

We ask this question casually at work all the time, just not in this particular way. When people ask us for book recommendations, we often ask them about the last great book they read, or what type of book they usually enjoy. Why can’t this be a “regular” conversation question? You might find your next favourite book or Netflix binge-worthy show.

  • What are you doing this weekend?

Okay. This seems like a no-brainer, and we often go through this conversation with friends or family right before the weekend. But what if we did it with strangers? (I don’t recommend asking someone on the bus, or in line at the bank…seems a little weird.) I could totally see a conversation like this playing out with someone sitting beside you at the doctor’s office, or the cashier at the grocery store. Just an easy question, and it gets the other person talking about things THEY’RE excited about. Plus, you might get a great tip on something fun to do!

  • What’s the best thing that happened to you today?

I feel like this one is for people you know a little bit already. Otherwise, it ends up sounding like one of those inspirational Facebook posts by a self-help author. (List the five best things that happened to you today! Wasn’t that an Oprah thing?)  But with someone you know…an old friend, your kids, etc., and you could totally pull this off.

There are plenty of other great questions to ask, with lots of wiggle room and the obvious…segues into more conversation! Give them a try and let us know what you think? Or….do you have some favourite conversation starters that work well? Leave us a comment!