Thursday, March 31, 2011

Happy Birthday! Are You Celebrating?

Happy Birthday to all who was born on 31st day of March! What a fabulous day that was!

Yes, I am one of the people that is celebrating birthday today. Thus today, I'd like to discuss something that has been bothering me for the last couple of years. Why is it when we get older we are not as excited about our birthdays?

I am mostly a very positive person and love life. Every day is a new adventure and there are so many things to discover (I wonder I go to bed so late). Every March the count down to my birthday begins on March 1st. It is a "happy" countdown: I get to spend time with my family, hear from friends that live abroad and the ones I do not see or hear from very often, and perhaps have a little party (OK, they were pretty big when I was young and I planned them myself). With our busy lives it is tough to do that more often. I also like to celebrate the fact that I am another year wiser! Yes, year wiser. I reflect on the year that past and see what have I accomplished, where have a failed and what have I learned from that.

It always surprises me when people do not want to recognise their birthdays or even mention them. My birthday was a big deal until last year. So, what happened? Why is that for the second year in a row there is no countdown, no parties?

Well, I had a chance to think about it last night. There are few things that have been on my mind for the last couple of years. One of them is getting closer to another round number, 40. Numbers never bothered me before, even now I still consider myself 20 something. But mind and body sing a different song. I am feeling that my body cannot keep up with my mind. I sure am wiser and there are many more ideas in my mind right now. My body though is more lazy and tough to get along with (sometimes it feels like not cooperating with me at all). I am sure some of you know exactly what I am talking about.

And than, my son is growing older (what happened to my precious little baby, he is 16). He is planning his own life now, thinking about his future, does not need his Mom as much. And of course knows better then Mom (oh brother).

So, should I get back that countdown or does it really matter? Well, I think I'd like to get that countdown back. And here is why:

1. With years, we get wiser and that is the reason to celebrate.
2. With years, we accomplish more and that is the reason to celebrate.
3. With years, we get to know ourselves better and that is the reason to celebrate.
4. With years, we understand the elders better (now I know why my Mom used to say: "Wait till you have your own kids!") and that is the reason to celebrate.
5. With years, we understand why we are here and that is the reason to celebrate.
6. With years, we are able to share our knowledge and that is the reason to celebrate.
7. With years, just our "shells' get older not our minds and that is the reason to celebrate.

So, please join me in celebrating yourself! It does not matter if your birthday passed or just to come. You are here and there is a reason for that. Celebrate yourself! You deserve it! And it's never too late to have that BIG party!

I'd love to hear your birthday approach. Please don't be shy, share with us.

Have a fantastic day and remember,

Be Active! Be Involved! Be a Current Woman!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

100 Reasons for 100 Years, Reason Four

Today you will discover a pioneer in the haircare industry. A woman that revolutionized business formula and changed the fate of many women.

Martha Matilda Harper was a Canadian businesswoman. Born is 1857 in Oakville, Ontario she was sent out of the family by her father to work as a domestic servant. She was just 7 years old. So, how did this servant girl impacted the world. Here are some facts:

1. Martha was very concerned with the quality of the hair products available on the market at the time. She had a floor length hair and that encouraged her to create an all natural hair tonic. After working in servant's position for 25 years and saving enough money, Martha focused full time on the creation of her tonic. Later she opened a salon that used only this particular product. Over the years business had developed a full line of natural hair care products. Harper salons did not use any of artificial products or do chemical perms.
2. In 1891, Martha, following a successful launch of several salons, created first ever business format franchising system. At he pick of the business there were 500 stores. This system revolutionised the business world. Look at all the franchises we have now, McDonald's anyone?
3. One of the most significant contributions was Martha's interest in poor women and her willingness to change their lives. She hired only former servant women and helped them either through training or providing them with flexible financing to open their own salons. This significantly improved women's lives. Martha's business offered women flexible hours, paid personal leave, and profit sharing. This was revolutionary at the time.
4. Another of Martha's contribution to the world is the reclining shampoo chair. From now on, I'll be thanking Martha every time I get my hair done.
5. Martha's salons took customer service to the all new level. They offered scalp massage, evening hours and even a childcare. Among one of her famous clients was Jacqueline Kennedy.

Martha Matilda Harper was an amazing woman entrepreneur. She revolutionised the women's world and the world of future business. The first Harper Method Founder's Shop continues to operate in Rochester, New York and considered to be the countries oldest, and longest running beauty shop. She certainly is a Current Women of her time.

I wanted to thank for suggesting this name for my "100 Reasons for 100 Years" series. My gratitude is also extended to Wikipedia and Martha Matilda Harper Organization. There is still room for your suggestions. Don't be shy, comment or twit me at Also, don't forget to participate in the poll (see bottom of the page).

Have a fantastic day and remember,

Be Active! Be Involved! Be a Current Woman!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

100 Reasons for 100 Years, Reason Three

Last week we lost one of the most beautiful women in the world. Yes, she was known around the world for her physical beauty but that is not all she had to offer. This woman had a glow from within. I would like to share my thoughts about this remarkable woman with you today.

Her name is Dame Elizabeth Taylor.

Dame Elizabeth Taylor was born in England in suburbs of London in 1932. Her American parents brought Dame Elizabeth back to USA in 1939 and settled in Los Angeles, California. Hollywood was a perfect residence for this beautiful child. Universal and MGM were fighting for a chance to sign Dame Elizabeth. At the end, MGM succeeded and the world was introduced to Dame Elizabeth Taylor.

From a child star and adolescent actress to adult roles, this tireless woman took each day as a treasure and lived it to the fullest. Just like her large collection of jewelry, her many films or her several marriages, her life was big and unapologetic. She has made a tremendous impact on the film industry and world itself.

Let's have a look at what Dame Elizabeth has been able to accomplish in her 79 years and how did she effect the world:

1. She has been first celebrity to support HIV/AIDS movement and in 1984 organized and hosted a first fundraiser for AIDS Project Los Angeles. Within 30 years, she helped to raise over $100 million. Dame Elizabeth stayed dedicated to the fight against decease throughout her life. Even after her death she has a contribution to this fight, her glamorous jewelery collection is going to be auctioned. The approximate worth of the collection is $150 million and the proceeds will benefit Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation and amfAR (charity she helped found in 1985).
2. In 1987, Dame Elizabeth was the first celebrity to break into the celebrity brand merchandising. Her first venture was presented in perfume "Passion" which followed by "White Diamonds" and "Black Perls". "White Diamonds" is still considered to be the best selling perfume of all times. How does it fit into giving back formula? Well, many celebrities followed Dame Elizabeth's example and raised hundreds of millions of dollars for charities through the sale of their celebrity brand merchandise. Yes, one of them is Lady Gaga.
3. In May of 2000, as a British citizen (through birth) Dame Elizabeth received a prestigious title of Dame (equal to Knight for males) for her contribution to humanity.
4. Throughout the years Dame Elizabeth struggled with addictions to pain killers and alcohol. She did not hide these problems. She wanted to show regular women that there is a way to overcome these issues.

Elizabeth Taylor: My Love Affair with JewelryDame Elizabeth Taylor has made her life a public affair, with hopes to improve the world. Either it's equality of women in acting world, either it's a fight against horrible decease (HIV/AIDS), or simply contributing to the world through her movies. Her interests in jewelry, art, antiques and fashion brought a lot of awareness to the charities Dame Elizabeth was supporting.

It is with the sad heart that I would like to say that she was a Current Woman. Her unique beauty and approach to life will always stay in our memories. And her movies will introduce new generations to this beautiful woman and the causes she supported. Thank you for your life and R.I.P. Dame Elizabeth Taylor!

Please let me know if there are any women that you would like me to consider for "100 Reasons for 100 Years". We are still looking for more names of the women that contributed to the world in some way. I'd love to hear from some of my readers from abroad. I know that there are many women in your country that are worth mentioning.

Have a great day and remember,

Be Active! Be Involved! Be a Current Woman!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

100 Reasons for 100 Years, Reason Two

Ok, let's see if you can guess who is the Reason Two of the series.

This woman is a television host, actress, producer, and philanthropist. Any idea? Try again. Her talk show has become the highest-rated program of it's kind in history. Anything? Ok. She has been ranked the richest African American of the 20th century, the greatest black philanthropist in American history, and was once the only black billionaire in the world. So? Last hint. She is considered the most influential woman in the world!

Of course! She is Oprah!

"100 Reasons for 100 Years" series will not be completed without mentioning this fascinating woman. She is after all one of my future mentors (well wishful thinking never hurt anyone, although I am not sure about never part).

Oprah Winfrey overcame many obstacles in her early life. It ranges from wearing dresses made out of potato sacks to pregnancy at 14 years old. There were also many moves and inconsistencies in her life. But ability to speak and speak well, with the encouragement of her grandmother as well as determination and strict rules of her father who pushed her to education, made Oprah who she is today. Her journey has been remarkable! This year she started a new one, her own network - OWN.

So, how does this amazing individual impact the world in a positive way. Here are just few facts:

1. In 1998 Oprah created an Oprah's Angel Network. This charity provided grants to non-profit organizations around the world and supported charitable projects. This organization alone raised more then $80,000,000.00
2. Oprah personally gave $10,000.00 to Oprah Angel Network Katrina. This donation helped to build homes in Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama before the first anniversary of the Hurricane Katrina and Rita.
3. In 2005 Oprah became the first black person as one of America's 50 most generous philanthropists. The estimation of her donations is $303,000,000.00
4. In January 2007 Oprah opened the doors of the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa. She invested her time and $40,000,000.00 into this project. She teaches a class at the school via satellite.
5. Oprah is a strong supporter of LGBT. Her show is one of the popular media outlets that supports this organization and shines light on the problems that lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people encounter in every day life.
6. In the summer of 2006, Oprah treated her employees and their families to a trip to Hawaii. That was her way of thanking them for their dedication as well to celebrate 20 years of the show. That was 1065 people in total.
7. And how can we forget all the presents that she has given away during the 25 years of Oprah Winfrey show. That made a lot of people very happy.

Should I go on? I think I'd leave it up to you. This woman is fascinating and if you want to find out more about her just google "Oprah".

Is she a Current Woman? No doubt! She is the Current Woman of the 21st century.

Hope you enjoyed these few facts about Oprah (thanks again Wikipedia). Although I have a long list of outstanding women, I am still far from 100 required for the series. Don't be shy, nominate! I know you could be one of the women I am looking for. Let's me tell your story and help your cause, even if it's just one.

Have a great day and remember,

Be Active! Be Involved! Be a Current Woman!

Friday, March 18, 2011

100 Reasons for 100 Years, Reason One

Rah, Rah, ah, ah, ah...
Da da doo-doo-mmm....
P-p-p-pocker face, p-p-pocker face....

Does this sound familiar? Honestly, I'll be surprised if it does not!

Yes, it is! The fabulous, the magnificent, outrageously creative and talented, Miss Controversy, Miss Trend Setter, Miss Fashinista, Miss Philanthropist, the one and only - LADY GAGA!!!!

She is the Reason One of my series. This young woman is fascinating. So, let's find out why.

Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanota (yes, that's Lady Gaga's real name), was born on March 28th, 1986 (us Arieses tend to be very talented) in New York City. She is of Italian decent and the eldest child. And so the story begins: learned to play piano at 4, wrote first piano ballad at 13 and first performance at the open mike at 14.

She was a dedicated student and that brought her an early admission to New York University's Tisch school of the Art at the age of 17. There Lady Gaga studied music and improved her song writing skills. After winning a New Artist Award at 2009 MTV Video Music Awards and being named A Rising Star of 2009 by Billboard magazine, her career took off. And the rest is a history and a very bright future!

We can go on and on and on discussing of how she became who she is today. I think, I will leave that to Wikipedia (thank you for the info by the way). What I'd like to focus on is how this amazing woman effects the world.

1. Lady Gaga was the first celebrity to ask for support in the devastating situation in Japan . In the first 48 hours this effort raised $250,000 (please continue this support)
2. Lady Gaga donated all of the proceeds from her concert and on-line store sales on January 24th, 2010 to the relief fund of Haiti. The amount donated was $500,000.
3. Lady Gaga along with Cindy Lauper teamed up with MAC AIDS Fund's VIVA Glam campaign to raise an awareness for young women about HIV/AIDS. To the date the sale of lip gloss and lipstick from this campaign raised over $160 million. All of the proceeds go directly to the fund for support of those infected with the decease.
4. Lady Gaga is a huge supporter of LGBT. She considers fans of this community to be her most loyal. After all she contributes her earlier success to the popularity of her music among this group. In her own words: "They'll always stand by me and I'll always stand by them. It's not an easy thing to create a fanbase."
5. Lady Gaga is a huge inspiration for young people around the world. Here is just one recent example. This young girl already visited Ellen Degeneres Show and shared the stage with Lady Gaga in Toronto. I am proud to present a new Canadian Talent - Maria Aragon.
6. And let's not forget the main reason we love her - her music. Music inspires people and makes them happy. She has been compared to Madonna. Lady Gaga is the pop-culture of our era.

Hope you learn something new about this fascinating lady from this post. I know there are many more things that she has accomplished in her still very young music career. Just couple of weeks ago I've attended her concert in Ottawa. This was my second Lady Gaga concert just within a year. And I was amazed once again: there are a lot more fans, the show is more theatrical, the costumes are incredible, overall experience - I cannot wait till the next concert! I know it will be bigger and better!

Lady Gaga - Reason One of "100 Reasons for 100 Years". She is truly a Current Woman.

Have a fantastic day and remember,

Be Active! Be Involved! Be a Current Woman!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Canadian Real Estate News March 2011

Hello, hello, hello!

97 Tips for Canadian Real Estate InvestorsHope you are having a nice day. I am not sure what happened to the beautiful sun that we had in Ottawa for the last two days. It is sooooo glooooooomy today.

But it does not matter today. There are some good news coming your way about Canadian Real Estate.

This month issue includes Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) stats as well  as stats for Ottawa real estate market. Thank you to CREA and Ottawa Real Estate Board (OREB) for this information.

The good news is that this is a balanced market in Canada. So, you do not have to overpay for the house you like (well, if someone else likes "your" house that could be few extra dollars). I am still in shock from last February, March, April and May. That was a fantastic time for sellers! But my poor buyers were in tears!

Another item to consider, is that due to the unfortunate events in Japan (please help if you can), demand for housing in Canada will increase (we are neighbours after all). And I am sure most Canadians in Japan will consider a move back to Canada. There could be some Japanese nationals as well. It will most likely effect British Colombia  but the rest of the country will follow as always.

It is still a great time buy or sell real estate. Interest rates are still low (yesterday, RBC lowered it's mortgage rates again) and economy picking up. This is a good time to look for your first home, investment or think about downsizing.

Speaking about downsizing. Today's newsletter also gives some tips to seniors or to people that care about them.

Without any further delay here is Canadian Real Estate News March 2011. Please do not hesitate to contact me at (613) 270-8200 or if you have any questions or interests. Also, I could connect you with reliable Real Estate professionals around the world (US still looks very attractive for real estate investments).

Have a fantastic day and remember,

Be Active! Be Involved! Be a Current Woman!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

100 Reasons for 100 Years

Oh, what a beautiful March day in Ottawa! Lots of sun and all that snow that we got last week is melting! The sound of melting snow is a magical tune to my ears! Ah! Spring is almost here!

This year the world has celebrated 100 years of International Women's Day. So, in the event of this wonderful celebration we are going to discover or re-discover 100 women that somehow influenced the world in a good way.

Every week we will talk about four outstanding women. I consider everyone of them a "Current Woman" of their time. The only sad part is that I could not come up with 100 names. I know that there are lots more then just a mere 100.

So, I ask for your help. Please let me know about a significant woman that you might know. Let's make her a Current Woman of our time. It does not matter what country you live in. I'd love to hear from you. Let's show the world that it is full of fantastic women, Current Women!

Looking forward hearing from you!

Have a fantastic day and remember,

Be Active! Be Involved! Be a Current Woman!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Secret Identity Revealed


Hope you had great couple of days. I certainly did. My cold is completely gone, I still have a great tan and it's very sunny in Ottawa (sun always makes me happy, even in the winter).

So, today is the day that I will reveal the identity of the blogger who has a blog similar to mine. As I mentioned in one of my posts, I got very disappointed when I found this blog. But as you know (if you read my blog of course) I quickly got over it. Besides, this accomplished woman has been blogging since 2009 and as you know my blog is just a baby. It also occur to me that I can learn from this person as well as collaborate (I hope) or contribute (I hope again) in the future.

Finally, this is the time that I am going to reveal the name. Drum rrrrrrroll (Russian in me) please! The name of the blogger is - Erica Diamond, the name of the blog is - Women On the Fence.

When I started reading about Erica it took me back to my early years, you know, the time when you full of energy, ideas, freedom and feeling like nothing can stop you. Well, I still am full of ideas, the rest is lacking somewhat (oh, this getting old business). I can very much relate to her, the only difference is that I grew up in Russia and came to Canada as a young adult and with a child.

What does that mean? Well there was not that many opportunities at the time in Russia. Sure I had a great life, I knew language and it allowed me to be working with foreigners and learning from them. But I always had this drive to be ahead and different. My ideas were ahead of time in Russia and the only way you could have gotten anywhere then was to be somehow associated with criminals (I am talking about mafia). Well, that did not sit well with me. It felt that I just did not fit in Russia. Thus came the move to Canada (although it was not exactly planned).

But enough about me. Let's get back to Erica. This woman is a true inspiration for all the young women (and perhaps "older" ones as well) in Canada. This country offers many opportunities and if you have "it" you are in luck. And people like Erica can help you guide your way through the entrepreneurial jungle.

I urge my readers to visit Women On The Fence. I became a fan and a friendly rivalry I hope ;) (competitor in me). There is room for all of us and we women are great at supporting one another. Isn't that right Erica? ;)

Let's make a difference in lives of many women! Start with listening of what we have to say!

So, now you know the Secret Identity of one of my favorite blogger. Visit Erica at Women On The Fence and @WomenOnTheFence on Twitter.

Have a fantastic day and remember,

Be Active! Be Involved! Be a Current Woman!