Friday, December 30, 2011

#PositiveThurs - Week 31 (Last one of the year!)

Friday, December 23, 2011

#PositiveThurs - Week 30!

Friday, December 16, 2011

#PositiveThurs - Week 29

Friday, December 9, 2011

#PositiveThurs - Week 28!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The UN-Guilty No

'Tis the season... the season of parties, get togethers, old friends, new friends, family..etc. Your Facebook event invites are ridiculous, your friends are sending you tweet-vites, messages, texts, e-mails all inviting you to this that and the other. I hear people saying all the time how everyone is so busy!
If you're anything like I was as recently as a few months ago, you would probably feel guilty for not going to your friend from high schools party that you haven't seen in a couple of years, or your coworkers shin dig, or your best friends CandleLight party and finding the time is stressing you out. 

WOAH WOAH WOAH. Calm down there sunshine.

First off, let's take a moment to appreciate that you have this many friends and acquaintances that want your attendance. Stop stressing yourself out and bask in the moment of feeling loved.

Secondly, stop feeling guilty for saying no. I know this is the hardest thing I'm asking you to do. This season is meant to be about friends and family - but it's also about YOU. Yes, YOU. It's about YOU being surrounded by friends/family and your family/friends being surrounded by YOU.

This is what I challenge you to do: Go only to the things you want to go to. You'll end up enjoying the season a whole lot more. Plan only what your schedule can hold. Don't worry though, you'll end up seeing the people you wanted to see, and if you don't get to see some one write yourself a reminder to pop up around January 15th that you want to meet up with them! They will probably be really stressed around this time of year anyway because they didn't read this post. ;)

Final Thought: Remember that the point of meeting up with people is to share in their company and for them to share in yours. If you aren't feeling it, don't go. You should never feel guilty for saying no.

Friday, December 2, 2011

#PositiveThurs - Week 27

Friday, November 25, 2011

#PositiveThurs - 26

Friday, November 18, 2011

#PositiveThurs - Week 25

Friday, November 11, 2011

#PositiveThurs - Week 24

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Mobile Technologies & My Family

I’m always amazed at how quick my parents are to adopt new technologies. Thanks to my dad’s job, growing up we always had at least one computer in the house.

Photo Credit:
In today’s society, everything is moving at an incredible pace. Changing, evolving into version 2.0, 3.0, 4.0... I hear stories and see first-hand those 1-2 generations ahead of mine struggling to adopt new technologies and understand their usefulness. Not my parents – nope! In fact, my dad has usually heard of the newest app, program, gadget..etc. before I have and is informing ME about them. Not the other way around – and I love it!

What sparked this post was that my mom and dad are leaving on a trip this Saturday and my mom created an itinerary to send to all us kids. She created it in Excel and it is very well put together. When we all went out to dinner last night to celebrate my dad's birthday (Happy Birthday Daddy!), she apologized that it wasn’t viewable on our iPhones. Yes, that ACTUALLY happened. My mom realizes the convenience and use of mobile technologies. So what was waiting in inbox this morning? A PDF version of their itinerary viewable on my iPhone.

Although, admittedly, my favorite part of last night at dinner was when the waiter came over and said "Do any of you NOT have an iPhone?" and when I looked up from my phone we were all on our phones checking in, reading twitter or playing a game. We were still all talking, so I don't think any of us noticed!

My family is so cool. I love how I don’t have to explain tech to them and I can just geek out with them.

Friday, November 4, 2011

#PositiveThurs - Week 23

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Moving Sucks. Do your friends suck too?

Photo Credit:
Why is it that nothing ever seems to go as planned when you move? Aside from all the things that went wrong, I learned that the people in my life are AWESOME.

The night before the move I found out that the person driving the truck couldn’t anymore and I had to find someone on short notice – for a Monday morning. I called @Shelter68 Sheldon. He got up early and rearranged his morning for me and for that I couldn’t be any more thankful.
During the move, my mom came by to drive us to get food. A much needed necessity at that point of the day. 

In the evening between moving out and moving in I was so exhausted that I just burst into tears and couldn’t stop crying when I got to my boyfriend’s house. I have to be thankful for my AMAZING boyfriend who hugged me and listened while I complained like the whole world was against me.
When you're in need,
Call Woody!
In the morning the next day, we went to start the truck to return it… and it wouldn’t start.
My sister raced over to help us jump start the battery. After 30 minutes of trying to get it to start I called the rental company and I learned something new: You have to jump start a diesel vehicle with a diesel vehicle of equal or greater size.
We called Woody’s Towing. Not only is Woody awesome but he has a new BEHEMOTH truck. Our truck was so dead that it took Woody’s TRUCK OF DOOM (as I will forever refer to it as) 20 minutes to charge it enough that the frozen cold engine could turn over. Or that’s at least what I gathered. Lol

The guy at Uhaul was nice enough to wave the late charge, my old landlord was super nice during the exit inspection and of course my new roommates Brian and Liz who helped move all the stuff to our new place and helped me clean my old one.

So the moral of the story is this: Surround yourself with awesome people try to be awesome yourself and maybe when YOU need a truck driver, a mover, a jump start, some lunch...etc there will be someone there to help you out.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Hot Topic: Klout Scores

Klout announced a new scoring system today: "A More Accurate, Transparent Klout Score".
Admittedly, when I looked at my new 'accurate' Klout score, I just about cried. I dropped from a healthy 61 down 10 points. First thing I did was take to twitter and see what people were saying:

As you can see, there are mixed feelings. I mean, @IAmTimBaker is right - We are not our Klout scores. However, a lot of people have worked hard to get to where they are. I know there are a few 'camps' of opinions about Klout. Personally, I reside in the "I love Klout" camp, but just on the border of the "I'm obsessed with my Klout Score" camp.

I may be a little disappointed, but it just means that I have that much more room to improve. That's the way I'm going to look at it!

What do you think of the changes? Did your Klout Score drop?
I'd love to hear your thoughts below!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Smiles are infectious!

Every morning when I'm walking to work I see the same people. Among them are the gas station attendant, the man walking his dog, the woman who power walks past me and the old man who is always walking up the hill.

When I first moved to the area, whenever I passed the old man on the hill we'd slightly smile at each other. The polite kind of smile which means that you won't bump into the other person. We progressed to a bigger smile and head nod. One morning, I was in a particularly good mood and I said "Good morning!" in my chipper cheery 'You'd hate me if you're not a morning person' voice. His smile got SO big! Ever since, we both always say Good Morning as we pass by. 
Photo Credit:
I've started getting up a little earlier and didn't see him for a couple of mornings. I was actually a little sad because I enjoy our short exchange. The next time I saw him he was on the other side of the road. I guess he must cross the street further up the hill. DILEMMA: Do I still smile? Will he be able to see me smiling since it's getting to be so dark in the morning? Do I just ignore him now that we're not on the same side of the road?

My decision? I waved. Yep, you read that right. I waved. You know, the kind of wave like you know the person. He stopped, turned to me and with a giant smile he waved back while yelling "Good Morning!" MY smile was so big. Now, every morning, we wave to each other and yell "Good Morning" over top the traffic.

Today, I felt my heart fill up a little. Corny, I know... but I actually felt it.
If a wave and smile can have that effect, think of how easy it would be for you to positively affect others

My elementary school principal used to say "Smiles are infectious, so go out and spread some!"
What are you waiting for?

Monday, October 17, 2011

Facebook: How do YOU use it?

When I use a tool in one way, I sometimes forget that the way it is used is as unique as the person using it. I've recently had a few discussions with friends and acquaintances about Facebook. Here are a few uses that have come up in conversation.

Staying "In The Know"
I had lunch with a couple of high school friends this weekend and one thing they said stuck out. "Facebook makes the idea of a 10 year reunion pointless." While I would still love to see everyone in the flesh for a reunion, they make a good point. Facebook is a great way for staying informed on what your friends are doing. Same is true for a reunion, finding out what your friends have been up to. For my generation, it would be strange to see one of my fellow graduates not on Facebook.

There are those that have a Facebook account, but the only thing that seems to bring them back there are their Farms, their Restaurants and Monopoly. You won't see any updates from them unless they need your help to unlock the next level!

                                      Business Page
One of my favorite uses of Facebook that I've seen recently has been by Tourism Nanaimo. They ran the "Amazing Nanaimo Getaways". It was a great way for people to see the things that Nanaimo has to offer and to bring some new people to the city. The only thing I didn't like about this contest was that I didn't win!

Daily Ritual
Yep, there are those people for which Facebook isn't an option. They log on every morning, noon and night. They don't live without it and it's their source for the news. They love to tell you exactly what they're doing and they are active on commenting and liking your posts.

There are so many different ways that Facebook is used. I actually don't fall into any of these categories. Do you?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

3 Free Ways To Keep Your Employees Happy

We all know that businesses are struggling. This isn’t breaking news, we’ve been in this boat for a while now. You don’t need to hide it. It’s time to come out of the shadows and embrace it. This is your current reality and until you accept that, you won’t make it better.

I am a millennial. I have a lot of the traits of a millennial, but because my parents are baby boomers they have instilled a lot of their work ethics in me as well. While I work hard to achieve the best in everything I do, if I’m being honest, a good – genuine - pat on the back or thank you will make me bend over backwards for you. I’m passionate. Whatever company I work for, I’m in - 100%. I want them to succeed and will do whatever it takes to do so. It’s an easy equation: If my employer succeeds – I succeed. Do I have to clean the dishes in the break room? Done. Do I have to dust the shelves? Done. Do I have to teach myself a new skill? I’m there.

These are all things that as a leader or management is important to know about your employees. How to get the most out of your talent while still keeping them happy will be your golden ticket.
Here are 3 suggestions to keep your employees happy, without spending a dime.

Ask for their input/feedback. These are the people that work in your trenches every day. Maybe they have an idea that will help increase sales or productivity. The more they feel that they are a part of the solution, the more they will want to help you achieve it.

Give them praise. Be sure that your employees know that you see that they are working hard for you. Make sure what you say is genuine and if you can, do it in the moment.

Keep them in the loop. I can’t stress this one enough. Is the company not doing as well as last year? Let them know. It’s not anything to be embarrassed about. They will be more understanding about the increase in workflow and more willing to go above and beyond for you.

As an employer, what are you doing to keep your employees happy?
As an employee, what is something your employer is doing/could do to keep you happy?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

For the night time look - you just pop out the lenses! Idea courtesy of Sean!

Celebrate The Small Things

I have weaknesses. Yup, more than one and I can admit it! The one I’m going to share with you is my eating habit. I enjoy eating things I shouldn’t. Main Course, then dessert! Isn’t that how all meals go?

Over the past 2 months I’ve gotten serious (as serious as I get) about getting healthy. I asked my boyfriend, who used to teach nutrition to his martial arts students, to help encourage me to eat healthier and to teach me how. It works great when I’m with him. We eat healthy dinners all the time now. However, the problem has been when I’m at work. There is always some sort of consumable sitting around which, for someone who is trying to eat healthy, is a source of constant temptation. My willpower to resist these things is pretty much non-existant.

My boyfriend would ask me what I ate when I got home from work and I would look sheepishly to the ground. He obviously couldn’t sit beside me smacking my hand when I reached for a Gummy, TimBit, Mini Chocolate bar…etc… so he came up with a rule for when I’m about to eat something unhealthy.
I’d have to text him and ask his permission.
When he said it, he was only half kidding and I know what you’re thinking – and no, I didn’t hit him.
Of course, being the strong & independent (stubborn) woman I am, I wouldn’t agree to such a ridiculous rule. However, just the suggestion ended up helping. When I am considering eating something unhealthy, I think of that ridiculous rule and it gets me thinking if I really need to eat it.

Yesterday, I turned down the offer of TimBits – not to mention their resting spot is 5 feet away from me. I know to most that won't seem like much of an accomplishment – but here’s the thing I realized in that: I am very much allowed to celebrate the small accomplishments. Get this: SO ARE YOU!

No matter what you are excited about, no matter how insignificant others may think it is, it is most certainly in your right to celebrate it... and I think you should.

Today, on twitter and facebook I'm encouraging people to celebrate small things, big things, people, sunshine, smiles... WHATEVER you want to celebrate. Include the hashtag #PositiveThurs and I'll be putting a story together of all your posts.

So get out there and START CELEBRATING!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

To improve yourself, do something for someone else.

On Monday I was downtown just to transfer from one bus to another and on the way to the other bus stop there was a gentleman holding a sign. This is fairly common in the downtown area with most signs explaining why they need your money, but this one was different.

He was holding a “FREE HUGS” sign. Now I’ve see these pop up from time to time and honestly never even had the urge to go up to them to redeem the offer.
However, I wasn’t in the greatest of moods and felt like I could use a hug… but a hug from a complete stranger?

I took a big gulp, walked up to him and said “I could use one of those”. The hug was fantastic. It was long, deep and connected. I could feel that he genuinely wanted to spread love and it lifted my spirits. After the exchange HE said thank you, but in a way that made me feel like he needed the hug more than I did.

“To improve yourself, do something for someone else.”

I challenge you to live out this statement today. One way that you can do this is by participating in #PositiveThurs on twitter. Write a positive/happy tweet, maybe even direct it @ someone. Include the hashtag so others can follow the “stream of love” and you’ll also be featured in my Storify post tomorrow.

Reach out to someone, or just remain positive today. It will not only do wonders for them, but for you as well.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

You are what you choose to be.

I was at a BBQ the other day and ended up in a conversation with a gentlemen that got me thinking. I really don't put myself in enough situations where I have truly intellectual conversations.

Self discovery is different for everyone. I've always found that for me, it's not in reading or studies that I find out more about myself, it's in discussion.

In the conversation I made a statement. I said "People decide for themselves how they feel in the moment. You are what you choose to be."
People have the choice of how to react in all situations.

For example, I went to go to hang out with a new group of my boyfriends' friends. The first time I went there, I was so uncomfortable I asked my boyfriend if we could leave early. My boyfriend acknowledged the fact that they were a bit "different" but asked me to perhaps give them one more try and to go in with an open mind because they really liked me and kept asking when I was coming back! So the next time I went I thought to myself: These people are all people. So I just decided that I was going to have a good time. Do you know what? I did. Not only that, but I ended up having great conversation with a couple of the people there.

It was all in the decision. I found out that if I just treated those people like we were already friends then I was able to accept them for who they were. They are a little rough around the edges... but aren't all our edges a little rough?

Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Power of Positivity

The other day at the bus stop, I had an awesome chat with this 60ish year old guy about the power of positivity.

He mentioned that he had watched this movie/documentary where 4000 people had gone to Washington DC and by being positive people, meditating and using the 'power of prayer' they lowered the crime rate by 25% in the summer. The 4000 people made up less than 1% of the population!(I found a YouTube video about it here.)

I told him that my take-away from that story was that as one person in a group of people, I could act as those 4000 people in DC. My attitude and what I put out into the world could potentially affect one person (OR MORE!?!) and could possible (if I'm lucky) have a "Pay It Forward" effect!
The gentleman got off the bus and thanked me for the engaging conversation. Which made me think of how easy it is to be just as engaging OFFline as it is ONline. (That's another post for another day.)

Here is an example of 1 thing I do each week to be those 4000 people in DC:

#PositiveThurs, where I invite twitter to write positive tweets and tag them with the #PositiveThurs hashtag. So not only can I curate a storify for everyone to read, but people can share/be inspired by other tweets.

Choose to be those 4000 people. Join me in #PositiveThurs. If today is just not your day, follow the hashtag and share others' tweets.

We have a choice in every action. We can CHOOSE to approach things negatively or positively. Positive is not always the easiest choice, but it IS always the one with the biggest pay off.

People ask me why I am so happy all the time and I think of 2 questions.
1) Where the heck are you when I'm crying or mad (or crying because I'm so mad)?
2) Why aren't YOU so happy all the time?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Have You Ever Seen the Rain - CCR (Ukulele Cover)

This is my newest #MusicFriday video! I hope you love it! :)
Find me on twitter @Nikki2987 or

I post a new video every Friday on my YouTube channel!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Excitingly Scared

Have you ever been so excited about something but at the same time nervous and scared?

A chapter of my life is about to complete and I am about to start another one. I am so excited for all the new possibilities it can bring me. There is always a catch to 'possibilities' though, don't you think? You have to set them into action yourself. You have to commit to those changes and you have to stick with them. I am nervous about failing myself and my expectations of myself. I'm also scared of the unknowns.

I am feeling stressed thinking about the work I will need to put into this month, and the changes to my life beginning the next. How I want to make all these changes for the better. Thinking about how I'll feel if I don't succeed in those changes.

However, as I stood in my room folding the clothes I have decided to keep but can do without for this next month, I decided to make myself a deal. Now, this deal is kind of strange, but stay with me here...

I have made a deal with myself to be positive.

Being positive makes me happy. So if I can do my best to stay positive through all these changes, no matter how stressful or frustrating life may get, then in the end I am still happy. Of course I'm still going to try hard and achieve all these goals I have for myself. I just don't want to dwell on what can go wrong. I want to focus on all the good things this change means for me.

So there you have it. Another Ramble from a girl named Nikki.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Too Transparent?

Hello all!

It's been a while since I've sat down to write a blog post. I got the overwhelming urge to type tonight and have a topic!
Here we go!

So the other night, someone asked me to tell them a secret about me. Which I was all too willing to do... until I realized that I don't really have secrets. I'm a very open person. I share things. Lots of things... and outside of really personal things that I wouldn't tell my own mother I don't have secrets.

The question that came to mind from this is "Am I too transparent?"

When I was a teenager, I would go into chat rooms online. Random ones, I think there used to be a site called (?? I think) that I would go chat in! I loved meeting new people.
I loved 'playing' 20 questions. A 'game' in which people ask questions back and forth until they've both asked the other 20 questions.
I found that you can tell more about the person by the questions they ask then the answers to the ones you ask.

Then Facebook came along and not only did I get to share what I thought and was feeling, I got to read others doing the same!
Then Twitter came along. Oh Twitter, I like you a lot. You allow me to connect with people and read about what they are thinking and feeling in a short, 140 characters or less.

I love sharing about myself and, in turn, getting to know others! Human connections are the most valuable thing in my opinion.

As a society, have we gone too far? Do we let the world know a little too much? I personally think that the more we share, the more we learn.... what do you think?

Friday, January 14, 2011

For Good - Wicked (Cover)

Hello all!

#MusicFriday yet again! Be sure to check out this great video with my SISTER!!! Woooooot!

I can't wait to read your (non-existant) comments! (I'll pretend they're there lol)

<3 Nikki

Friday, January 7, 2011

Sunday Morning - Maroon 5 (Ukulele Cover)

Hello Everyone!

I hope you'll share around this video if you like it!

You can put requests here too in the comments!!