Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Canadian Real Estate News May 2011

Can you believe it's almost the end of May already? But what's up with this rainy cool weather? I guess spring was not meant to be this year.

Well, with the strange weather patterns Canadian Real Estate still chugging along. Sales are slightly down comparing with April of 2010 but the average price is up. It is tough to compare last year's sales to the spring of this year. Introduction of HST in July 2010 and changes to the downpayment requirements for investment properties created a buying frenzy that started in February 2010 and did not end till June 2010. So, I think it is not a true comparison. But numbers are up from March 2011.

Ottawa market is healthy. There is a good balance between sellers and buyers. One interesting fact, there is an increased interest from the first-time buyers. With increased inventory of re-sale homes this provides many great buying opportunities for this group. So, if you are one of those people, I could help you to find that first home. A big thank you is going to Ottawa Real Estate Board for providing this information.

By the way, if you still not sure if you've done all of your house spring checks just refer to Canadian Real Estate News May 2011.

Don't forget to contact me at or (613) 862-1366 if you have any questions relating to real estate.

Have a fantastic day and remember,

Be Active! Be Involved! Be a Current Woman! 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Are They Even Listening?

We talk and we talk, and we talk some more. But do they listen?

You are probably wondering who I am taking about. Well, they are in the news again, the "monsters". Yes, this is another post about teenagers.

I simply would like to share another of my observations with all of the parents out there. As a mom of a teenage boy, I know that at times it is frustrating not knowing if your child is just like another teenager or completely different.

Today's subject is "Listening Skills". Do they exist in teenager's brain?

So, let's see. You are a responsible and caring parent who wants the best for your child. And so, you would love to help your child to make better choices in life. And of course in your mind the best approach is communicating with your child. And what is the best way of communication? Conversation of course.

You as an adult mastered this trade. So, you put on your professor's hat and start the conversation. You start with careful approach and step by step come to climax of the story, while all of a sudden you hear something like this: "Mom, are you talking to me?"

WHAT? What do you mean if I am talking to you? Who do you think I've been talking to for the last ten minutes? Have you heard a thing I said?

Or here is another one. You are absolutely sure that your words are heard loud and clear. You are emphasizing every important letter and phrase. You are inspiring! Oh so you think. Your object's of affection ears are occupied by earphones from IPod. " Are you even listening?"

Guess what, they are listening. Look, it might not be "cool" to show you that they are listening, it might not be the "good time" for them ("I am chatting with David about the new Dirt III:) , the "right words" ("Mom I dont' even know what it means") or even the "same language" ("OMG! LOL! Rents r in."). There is no need to go on. If you have one of these "monsters" in your house you know exactly what I am talking about.

The point is, they are listening. They hear every word you say to them. And one day they surprise you with what they actually heard and how they actually applied what they've learned from your one-sided conversations.

Now, approach this matter with caution. You would not want to scare away this extraordinary creature with your knowledge. So, here are few tips for you to follow:

1. Talk to your teenagers. You are the best source of useful information for them (although they do not think so at the time).
2. Do not be afraid to tell them about the mistakes you made ("When I was your age..."). This will bring you down from the pedestal they think you are on.
3. Do not try to be "cool". ("Really Mom? Really?")
4. Do not try to use their lingo. You might use it incorrectly. (LOL means "laugh out loud", not "lots of love").
5. Do not try to bring up important subjects at the dinner table (you might loose your appetite).
6. Do not bring up important subjects before school or before bedtime (I don't think this needs explanation).
7. The best time to talk to them is when you're one-on-one. (In the car to a hockey tournament, in the car to the shopping mall, in the car to visit a friend, etc. They have nowhere to run and all they can do is listen).
8. The last and most important tip. Talk to them, they are listening!

Hope you can use few of my tips. What I'd like to know now, is how do you approach your conversations with teenagers and how do you "make" them listen? Do you have any tips to share? What are your tricks?

Please let me know. There are many parents that will be very grateful for your input.

Have a fantastic day and remember,

Be Active! Be Involved! Be a Current Woman!

Monday, May 9, 2011

In ......... We Trust!

Remember the last weekend of April? It started with an absolutely beautiful couple in love getting married and concluded with the most wanted man in the world being killed. Enough excitement for you?

Today, I'd like to discuss something that has been triggered in me by my son. I'd like to talk about trust. Yes, just that.

It's a small word but with a lot of meaning. The most interesting part of this word is that it can be interpreted as a believe or believing in something. And that's exactly what I'd like to discuss.

There are many things people believe in. They believe in God, karma, power above, energy of the universe. People also believe in what they hear, well most of the time.

So, what got me thinking is my son's comment on the situation with Osama Bin Laden. Daniel and I were watching Celebrity Apprentice when the breaking news informed us about Bin Laden's demise. We switched to the news and with every minute we were discovering more details. There was an announcement that Bin Laden has been killed and buried in the sea. It's at that moment that my son said following: "How do we know it's not US government conspiracy?"

Very good question! How do we know it is true? Well, we don't. We believe that this is true because American government told us so. Because we live in the world that taught us that government and media something to believe in. And we are taught that media is the place to get the most current information from. So....

Another interesting aspect is religion. Is there really a proof of God? Is the Bible, Quran or Torah really the historical facts? Is there one God or is there one for every religion?

Here is something else. We've all been kids. And the word of a parent or of an adult was the word of truth. Now, as adults we realize that some of the things our parents told us were not necessarily true (yes, most of the lies were white lies to protects us).

And what about exrtaterestial life? Is it out there? There are many interesting facts that seem to prove so. There is even a theory that we originated from ETs. How do we know if this is true or not?

Look, I am not trying to cause any controversy or bash any beliefs. I am a believer in many things. As a matter of fact, I think I am pretty gullible, I trust a lot of people (well, I got better with age). Growing up in the Communist regime I believe that anything outside USSR boarders was evil. Because Soviet Union government told me so. Now I laugh about it.

Also, I have a great respect for people's beliefs, whatever they might be. I am very lucky to live in Canada that allows people to follow their beliefs. I think it is absolutely wonderful that there is so much diversity in the world. It will be pretty boring if all believed the same.

In conclusion, I'd like to encourage you to believe. Believe in what you think makes you happy. Believe in what you think makes you healthy. Believe in what you think makes your life wonderful. Believe in what you think is best for you. Most importantly, believe in yourself!

I'd love to hear what your thoughts are on this subject. I love and embrace diversity and would love to hear your opinion.

Have a fantastic day and remember,

Be Active! Be Involved! Be a Current Woman!

BTW, thank you again Wikipedia.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers in the world!

Well, not the whole world is celebrating this holiday today. England's, Ireland's and Nigeria's Mother's Day was celebrated on April 3rd. Spain, Hungary and Lithuania continued on May 1st. Russia will be joining the party on November 27th (hey, I just learned that!). And of course, Canada and the United States celebrating Mother's Day today.

Yes, Mother's Day is celebrated around the world and all year round. But do we really need to wait for that special day to celebrate Moms? Do we really need to wait for that special day to give them presents? Do we really need to wait for that special day to thank our Moms?

If you still don't know the answer to these questions, here is a tip for you - if not for your Mom, you will not be here. Is it clear enough for you now? Seriously, it all starts with your birth. Oh wait! It actually starts with your Mom's egg.

Yep! Imagine you as an egg. Hahaha! Now imagine your Mom. Yes, your Mom just realized that she is expecting you. She is ecstatic and scared. She cannot to wait to meet you but also very worried, she wants to be the best mother there is and trying to figure out how to do that.

She has nine month to do some serious sacrificing. No nice relaxing bath, no glasses of wine, no sushi and no coffee. Now, can you imagine going without any of these items just for a couple of weeks?

Next, Mom's clothes is getting smaller. It is getting harder and harder to go up and down the stairs. It's tough to find a comfortable position to sleep in. And don't get her started on those gas issues. Yep! It's all thanks to you.

We are finally at the end of it all. You are on your way. Sure it's not the most comfortable ride for you but what about your Mom? Can you imagine her situation? Displaced internal organs, body stretching to the unimaginable sizes and pain. Ouch!

Ok. I can go on and on, but I think you get the point. This is the beginning of your life and it was given to you by your Mom. This adventure with your Mom started way before your birth. You have a special connection. It's not just physical, it is also emotional and spiritual. You complete each other.

I know, I know! Some of you are going to say: "Oh common!" That means you have not matured yet. It takes time and experience. And guess what, your Mom has it.

So, call your Mom. Thank her for bringing you to this world. Tell her that you love her. And do it more often. Your Mom has done a lot just to bring you to this world. You owe a world to her!

In closing, I'd like to wish all the mothers in the world HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY. No matter when you celebrate it. You are beautiful, sophisticated, courageous, hard working and all around amazing. Thank you for giving me life! I LOVE YOU!

To all the Moms out there, enjoy your day and remember,

Be Active! Ba Involved! Be a Current Woman!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

100 Reasons for 100 Years, Reason Five

Today, I'd like to re-introduce you to one of my favorite Business Woman, Mompreneur, Author, Blogger, Radio Correspondent, Speaker, and Mentor. I was very fortunate to score an interview with this very busy amazing woman. So, without any further delay, re-introducing Erica Diamond.

Olga: Erica, in a short period of time you've accomplished many endeavors. What drives you to be a business woman of your caliber?

Erica: This is a very good question. I've never been asked this. Honestly, I think it's genetic. My parents are very accomplished individuals: my Dad is a successful businessmen and my Mom is a Therapist. So, from the early age I've been exposed to "drive" in the flesh. And I kinda live by the motto "Go hard or go hard".

Olga: It is very important to have a mentor in any endeavour. What is your advice on finding a mentor and what to look for in one?

Erica: Mentors are very important. The best thing to do, is to find someone that is an expert in your field of interest. This should be a person that has accomplished success before you and is a good teacher. Your mentor should also be able to open some doors for you.

Make a wish list of who you would want as a mentor, and start there via telephone or reach out via email.  There are many resources on-line as well.

Olga: Just like a Woman on the Fence, you carry many roles. How do you find the time?

Erica: Hahaha! It is hard! Very, very hard! My keys are focus, discipline and the support of my loved ones. One of the most important thing is to take time for you. Schedule that time! It is very important for your sanity, health and creativity.

My escape comes in the form of the gym 3-4 times a week, or whenever I can schedule in an hour of "me time". Trust me, there are days that I literally have to drag myself to the gym. But, this is my time, no Blackberry, no email, no phone, just me and the gym. A little bit of nightly "me time" comes after my boys go to bed - I have a nightly bath, watch some TV and spend time with my husband. There are a few other things that you can do to keep a healthy mind and body: ask your loved ones to take care of kids once in a while, get together with your friends, take that walk, treat yourself to a manicure. As multitasking women and moms, often the pace is so frenetic, so "you time" becomes extremely important.

99 Things Women Wish They Knew Before Starting Their Own BusinessOlga: I understand that you recently published your first book. What urged you to write the book and was it difficult?

Erica: Funny story. It all started with my husband getting sick and needing to go to the hospital, we suspected that he had    H1N1. In the waiting room I was sitting next to a woman that brought her daughter in for exact the same reason. We started chatting, and Helen Georgaklis, the founder of 99 Book Series reached out to me the very next day to write a business book for women. I loved the whole concept of the Series, I jumped at the opportunity. The hardest part was writing the outline. Once that was done, the words flew out of me at lightning speed.

Olga: As one of the reasons of "100 Reasons for 100 Years", what would be your definition of a current woman?

Erica: A Current Woman is a woman that goes through life with honesty, integrity, hard work, poise and grace. We all have busy lives and many responsibilities. I do not believe in the perfect woman. Instead of striving for perfection, strive for excellence, and do the best you can, with what you've got.

Olga: Erica, you have knowledge, experience and success. How do you give back to the "world"?

Erica: I give back to the universe in a few ways:
Firstly, my time. I’m a serial volunteer in my community, working on many charity efforts, as well as sitting on the board of my sons’ school. I give back through money – charity. I give back through my work- speaking, blog, book, radio... hoping that my words, as well as the words of the experts on my site will help women realize greatness and help them to become the best they can be.

Olga: Last question. I am sure all of your followers will be interested in this question. What is the near future for Women On The Fence?

Erica: The goal is to spread The Women On The Fence message and brand, and continue to help women around the world in all aspects of their lives - career, health, marriage, with kids, friendships, etc... You can already find Erica Diamond and Women On The Fence online, in book format, in speaking format, in radio format. The next area I would love to conquer would be television. Let's wait and see. I have a few things brewing.

Olga: Erica, thank you very much for your time and sharing your experience. I know I am one of the women that will continue following you and your endeavors.

And so, here you have it. Once again Erica Diamond, Current Woman of our time, graciously shared her knowledge and experience with us. Hope you enjoyed the interview, I know I did.

Please let me know about women that you think deserve to be in "100 Reasons for 100 Years" series. You might want to share your story. Let me know. I'll be happy to consider that.

In the mean time, keep up the good work, stay focused and healthy.

Have a fantastic day and remember,

Be Active! Be Involved! Be a Current Women!