Happy 2nd Birthday Blu

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To celebrate my toddler’s second birthday this past weekend, we had a Blues Clues themed party. As he gets older and more aware of his surroundings, planning his birthdays becomes more exciting. I was pleased with the effort I put into this party on a low cost budget, so I thought I would share with you some photos and planning tips.

 

 

 

Invitations

Paperless invites are the easiest, most efficient way of reaching all your invitees. For your kid’s first few birthdays it’s nice to have actual paper invitation to keep as mementos. I wanted the perfect invitation to fit the theme of the party so I created my own invitation on Vistaprint, which allows you to pick and edit a template. Invitations can be expensive, so to save money I simply scanned/saved the invitation template and printed them out for .30 cents at the photo kiosk at Walmart. They came out perfect!image7

Venue

Deciding on the right venue really depends on the season, the child’s age, and the number of people attending. Unlike my birthday, which is in the summer, throwing his party outdoors is not an option. Throwing the party at home allowed me to save the cost of renting a place. It’s a more comfortable familiar place for my son and since most of the guest were adults I didn’t have to worry about space for kid activities.

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Decorations

The entire colour scheme were the two different blue shades of Blue. I decorated the place with balloons, photos of all the characters, Blues paw prints, the Thinking Chair, painted a purple mailbox, and of course a stuffed Blue, which I also ordered from Ebay. I even went as far as to dress my son in a similar shirt as Steve and Joe.

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Eats and Treats

The party was in the late afternoon, so that called for appetizers rather than a full meal. The food menu consisted of tinfoil ham and cheese buns, fruit, veggies, chips and bean dip, poutine bites, empanadas, and eggrolls. The food went pretty quickly. For sweets, I had blue colored candy, and for his red velvet cake I hired an old co-worker and the owner of Dolce Bake Shop.  The cake wasn’t exactly how I had ordered it but it still tasted great.

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Favors

This year we had a few more kids attend the party then the last so I strictly only made take-home baggies for them. I ordered Handy Dandy Notebooks, with the matching jumbo crayon, and Blues Clues stickers for every child, which I also ordered from Ebay.  I also included blue crystal candy, party noise makers, fruit snack and a paw print clue cookie made by the same baker as his cake. I had a few extra treats that I handed out to other guests to snack on.
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One thing I wish I had done and will think about the following year is to hire a professional photographer to snap some better quality photos. With every year that passes I plan to out-do myself a little more than the last. Overall the party turn-out was great, and most importantly Blu had a lot of fun.

Leave a comment below on your thoughts of the theme, and if you have any other cost-saving party tips!

xo

Dj

Meeting with mentor David Bell – Dash Agency

After having to take time off school, it took me almost two years after my sons birth to decide what I was going to study, whether it be to finish the degree I had previously started, or go into a new field of study. I decided I was going to pursue my dream and study Public Relations. Before enrolling back into school and the new program I first did my research on local careers in the industry. The agency that caught my interest is Dash Agency.

Who?

I have been lucky enough to meet, and interview David Bell (one of the founders and president of Dash Agency), on two occasions. David has been named in the Marketing Magazine’s Top 30 Under-30 list, and is on the board for Calgary’s Ad Rodeo Association, and Manitoba’s Advertising & Marketing Association. Dash has done some incredible work with clients that include The Canadian Museum for Human Rights, EPH Apparel, Aveda Canada, and Variety Manitoba.

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http://www.dashagency.com/about

In high school David had started a YouTube channel, which eventually led him to having millions of followers. This lead him to learning all about subscribers, and how to create content, how to market, and engage it. He eventually wanted to turn this into building clients, and to generate more revenue. One thing he wishes he knew before going into his career is that when seeking clients, one needs to know how to set expectations on what you believe your results will be, whether it be good or bad. That it is also important to focus on culture, and emulate those you look up to.

Advice 

David, including all my professors have told me the most crucial advice when it comes to PR and getting your name out there is by networking, and building relationships with your clients. Because PR is a very social career it is important how well you’re engaged, what content you produce, and how big your following is. Being optimistic is the number one thing, because in this business if something goes wrong it is important to be able to handle the situation every single time, while always having a smile on your face.

He also shared that when he is looking into hiring new candidates he looks at a person’s portfolio, and if they have any freelance work. This helps you stand out from others, it is important to know how to pitch to new clients and how to persuade and contact the media. Depending on where you’re working you need to focus on culture, and emulate those you look up to, and study what other agencies and people are doing in bigger cities across the world.

It is great that an agency I look up to, and aspire to work for takes the time in their busy schedule to meet with students like me. Although meeting with him I got a little nervous and lost, he still made the entire experience comfortable, and easy.

If any of you aspire to work for any agency or company and want to get a little more info or feedback, I strongly suggested speaking to someone in the field, you’d be surprised how willing and eager they are to help you.

Dj.

My Fitness Journey

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Being a busy, single mom while studying full time can make it hard to always find the time to work out. At the end of the school day I am tired, hungr and usually have an assignment or studying to do. However, I know that when I take the time and pride in my health and fitness, that it has a more positive impact on my daily life.

Finding My Motivation 

Growing up I never had the problem with being obese, but I was never happy with my body. I labeled myself as “skinny fat”, that’s when you have a small build, don’t weigh much, have zero muscle, and a high body fat percentage. Before my son was born I didn’t really care as much about my eating habits, or making time for the gym. Although, I still thought I was eating healthy (I really wasn’t) and I was going to the gym a few times a week (or month), I was limiting myself to strictly cardio and ab workouts. I had no knowledge about living, and maintaining a healthy, fit lifestyle.

Before I became pregnant I always pictured how I would handle my pregnancy with the cravings and weight gain. I always said I would measure and track my food in order not to gain too much weight. That didn’t happen, I gained about 20lbs. Throughout my entire pregnancy I was going through a very bad breakup with my then boyfriend, my sons father. I had become very depressed and stressed with my life. Once my son was born I turned to health and fitness. I was determined to get out of my slump, and turn that into my motivation. I was ready to do something for myself, and to show my ex what he was missing out.

Getting Started 

Since I was new and inexperienced, I hired a trainer and good friend of mine Rj Padua, from NLT (No Limit Training). I have him to thank for teaching me all there is to know, for pushing me and motivating me. I also was able to teach myself on how to diet, and other workouts with the help of Instagram and the internet. Once I began working again I unfortunately wasn’t able to make the time to work out with NLT.  I had to plan my days and meals in advance, and work a schedule out with my mom, in order to maintain the new lifestyle. Thanks to the internet and Instagram, I was able to teach myself further on fitness and venture off on my own.

It has now been two full years since I began my fitness journey, and it doesn’t stop here. Being healthy and fit has allowed me to become a much happier, confident woman, it has truly helped me in all aspects of my life. Yes, it is costly and time consuming but don’t think of it as taking time away from your family, think of it as giving back to them with a more energetic, vibrant, and healthy you.

xo.

Dj.