Monday, February 28, 2011

Canadian Real Estate News February 2011

Hello, hello.

This is a feature that will become a monthly update for my readers and any one else that is interested in real estate.

It's a monthly newsletter that will offer you some real estate stats for Ottawa area, graciously provided to me by Ottawa Real Estate Board. It will also feature real estate articles related to Canadian real estate market. This month there is an interesting article about buying a home for your adult child.

This is a particularly interesting subject since more and more cities become increasingly expensive and many parents (including me) are concerned about their children ability to buy a home in the near future.
But there is always a solution. Federal government offers some incentives for this particular option. And there are still many opportunities in Ottawa area and some of my clients are taking advantage of this opportunities.

I'll let you judge. Please read Canadian Real Estate News February 2011. I'll be very interested in hearing what you think about this idea. Also, do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions. You can reach me at my office (613) 270-8200.

Have a great day!

Be Active! Be Involved! Be a Current Woman!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

It's Never Too Late

Ok, I am back to work.

My vacation as well as extra almost a week off (due to very nasty cold, welcome back to Canada) is over. Feel almost perfect and ready to attack (any one has a problem with that ;)).

I'd like to discuss something that I am sure some of us have come across many times. You know, the time when you think of some great idea, start dreaming and then realize that some one else already ahead of you? Well, it happened to me again.

Couple of days ago I was checking some of the tweets and something from Oprah caught my eye. It was a tweet about a lady that Oprah was praising. And since I do follow "current women" to stay on top of women's issues I absolutely had to check this one out.

To my amuse it was a blog (I will not mention the name just yet). It was a blog that I am trying to create. And it has been around for couple of years. WHAT???????? So, as you can imagine, my first reaction was disappointment: " Well, I am too late again! I cannot believe it! All my plans crashed! All my ideas and business plans are going in the garbage!"

But, reading about the author and some of the articles, I quickly realized that this is not all bad. Sure it is a blog that is similar to mine but it is not my blog, it's not my idea. My blog is a "baby" (jut 3 month old) and I am still in the process of streamlining it. Ok, there is still lots of work to be done. And guess what, the other blog helps women like me.

So, I quickly realized that this particular situation is not the end of my idea. It is actually just a beginning. Perhaps, I can become one of the contributors. There is some material that can help you, my readers. There is simply a lot of positive about finding that blog.

This brings me to the subject of my post from January (Happy New Year! Part Two). DO NOT GIVE UP! Just make adjustments. I know that what I am trying to accomplish has it's own niche. Yes, there are people like you that like my writing style, my stories and even my mistakes. And you come to read my blog from everywhere: Canada, USA, Russia, UK, Ireland, France, Malaysia, South Africa (thanks cuz), Poland, Vietnam (welcome), Australia and few more. So, as you can see there are still quite a few countries to cover.

I would like to thank the creator of the blog that I found (I will reveal the name of the blog and the name of the creator in my next post). Thank you for reassuring that what I am doing is needed. Big THANK YOU to all of you that are reading my posts, you are my inspiration.

Please let me know what subjects you would like to discuss. I am always on the search for new interesting material. Also, don't forget about the pole, it's just at the bottom of the page. I'd like to know what you like.

Have a fantastic day, afternoon, evening! And remember...

Be Active! Be Involved! Be a Current Woman!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Thank You Sun! I love you!

I know, I know, I know!!!

I promised to talk to you soooooo much more often but it seems like I've completely disappeared. I really tried to stay on top of things (see photo on the right). Well, as I like to say: "Life got in the way!" But it was a good "in the way" situation. I've escaped cold Canadian winter to sunny beautiful Mayan Riviera. Ahhhhhh!

It was fantastic!!!! What can be better then sun, beautiful Caribbean water, white sandy beach and way above 0C outside? I cannot think of anything else. Especially on the cold winter day. Oh wait, I just did. Here it is: getting relaxation massage on Valentines Day, on the white sandy beach, in front of the warm waters of turquoise Caribbean Sea, with Palm trees around you and hot sun in the gorgeous blue sky, beside my husband. Yes, that's exactly how it was. My lovely hubby and I experienced precisely that, and it was fabulous! This will be a Valentines Day to remember. It might be tough to top though.

Seriously, both of us needed a nice break. And we got exactly that. This was our third time at Barcelo Maya Beach Resort. It is a fabulous place with delicious food and superb service. This time we had seven full days on the beach. It has not rained once and the sun was hot, hot, hot!!! Just the way we love it. We got some nice ten to show (well, my son thought I look orange (?????), funny teenager).

Couple of things to mention if you ever decide to visit Barcelo Maya in February. IT IS VERY BUSY!!!! Honestly, this is our third time there and we never seen the beach sooooooo busy. Every morning when we went for our run, we brought our beach towels to claim chairs! After run, we shower and change, have breakfast and go to the beach to our claimed chairs. One of the mornings we were very surprised to see someone else lounging on our claimed chairs. See, the problem is, we knew these were the chairs but there was no way to prove since there are no markings on towels. After few unpleasant verbal exchanges and $40 later we got our new towels, found a pair of different chairs and learned our lesson. From than on we were marking our chairs not just with towels, we added water bottles and sunscreen bottles (oh yes, we had lots of those). 

Another interesting thing we've noticed this time, there were lots and lots of Europeans. There were many Spaniards and Italians. We could not figure out why would they be at the Caribbean Sea while they have Mediterranean. Right, Mediterranean Sea is cold in the winter.

We were quite surprised to see another large group - Scandinavians. This was very interesting. There were Finns, Swedes and Dens, may be few groups from Norway (how do you call them, Norws???). These were mostly families. I figured they were part of a special tour since resort even had Scandinavian kid's groups organizers. It was  pretty cool to see all these very blond people. They really looked like they did not belong. And the sun was hot. Photo on the right has a combination of all of the nations that I mentioned.

There was another new item on our trip this time - water camera. Wow! Very impressive! You can have fun in the sun, sand and water and not worry if your camera gets some sand or water on it. And the pictures and videos are of a very high quality (as you can see one of them on the right).

As you already know, my writing style is unusual. So, I'd like to mention the beginning of our trip now.  Nothing can be better then starting your trip with a glass of champagne on the plane (courtesy of Sunwing Airlines). And even though the plane was late an hour and a half and we did not get to our hotel lobby till 1 am, we were looking forward to sandwiches (they are delicious), "Barcelo Maya" green marinated olives (yam) and a Caesar at the bar that is opened 24 hours (new this year). And it's all waiting for you in the lobby, just register and enjoy (as you can see on the right I really did).

I also discovered that travelling in the evening is great since you do not loose any daylight with that beautiful hot sun. Of course, it also helps that we know the resort (we knew there will be food and drinks on arrival).

All in all it was a successful trip. We are tend, re-energized and eager to get back to business (well, may be not that eager). I am looking forward to the time when we can take more time off and enjoy warm climate. Perhaps a move is on the horizon?

Remember, we all need a break. Please make sure that you do that. It is very refreshing. I know that I feel like "Current Woman" again.

Have a fantastic day!

Be Active! Be Involved! Be a Current Woman!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Oh, Canada......

Hello, hello.

Chinese New Year Gifts - Chinese Zodiac Symbols - Dragon (Chinese Dragon Symbol)This "life got in the way" business is really trying my patience this year. Oh well, it's just another little challenge. Besides, the New Year, Chinese New Year (Year of the Rabbit), starts tomorrow. So, I'll be looking at this as if January has not really gone yet. You see, that's the way to approach challenges. I am still "in business". There was just a little delay!

Today, I just simply could not resist but talk about Canada. Why? Couple of reasons.

First, it's all that snow we are getting. Ok, I am not in Atlantic Canada but hey, I feel your pain!!! How much more snow is coming your way? It seems that as soon as you dig out there is even more to clean. Ottawa had a record snow fall two years ago. And boy, am I glad I lived in the apartment at that time. All the snow has been cleared by someone else. What a pleasure! I am having a tough time finding the exact amount but I am sure there has been close to two meters so far.

Blame it on the Weather: Strange Canadian Weather FactsSecondly, it's the wonderful temperature. No kidding, -1C on New Years day (all of the snow in Ottawa was gone just in few days) and then -36C couple of weekends ago (all the snow came back and it was not wise to be outside). Sometimes we don't know if the spring is near or the winter is just beginning.

I keep going back to my post "Elegant Winter Boots". I believe that I have proven that it's practically impossible to wear sexy boots in this weather. Well, unless you bring them in your handbag (may be I should talk to "Slip Ons" inventors about that).

Recently I had an interesting experience with someone out of country. Our visitors were here that very cold, -36C, weekend. Now, they have winter with cold weather and snow in their native country but it's not Canada! Our female guest was elegantly dressed and I could not bare to think how cold she must have been. She was very pleased when I offered her one of my warm coats. Eventually we had to buy her a warm coat. Thank God for "End of Season" sales (Really? Is the winter over????).

Winter Sports 2 The Ultimate ChallengeAll this snow and cold temperatures bring me to one interesting subject, is Canada really for me. Well, I had this discussion with many people. As most of you already know I am not a fan of winter. I simply do not do well with cold weather and snow. And older I get worse is my winter tolerance. Yes, I am originally from Russia. And loved winter as a kid: ice skating, tobogganing (invented in Canada by th way), even cross-country ski racing. I used to love going cross-country skiing with my Mom and Dad every weekend. So, what happened. Well, I got older and developed an allergy to cold.

This brings me back to the question if Canada is really for me. I have to admit, it is! It is a wonderful country! It is great to it's residents, there are plenty of opportunities for anyone, and there is plenty of ways to tolerate the cold (you can simply run away to a warm country for a week or two).

I have considered to move to a warm country but as of today have not decided exactly which one. They too have weather problems, rainy season.

The History of the Greatest Canadian Entrepreneurs - Hill and Arden (The History of the World's Greatest...)All in all I find myself very fortunate to live in Canada. Especially as a woman. We have a freedom of speech,freedom of press (even if it has grammatical mistakes), free education (not post-secondary of course), free healthcare, freedom to be whoever you want to be. And here, I am exactly who I want to be.

Despite Canadian winters, at this point in my life I cannot imagine living anywhere but Canada. Thank you Canada for letting me move here.

I think this is enough praise for Canada for one day.

Please let me know if you have any questions about Canada. Also, I'd love to hear about your country and why you love it.

Have a fantastic day! And remember....

Be Active! Be Involved! Be a Current Woman!