Photo Organizing

by Christina Rowsell
The Brighter Side

Last summer you promised you'd make time to organize your pictures.  If even, just get them off of your camera and print them, and put them in an album.  Then by the fall you didn't get a chance to work on that.  Now the kids are in school, you'll have more time to not only organize your pictures, but you'll put them in a book, you'll put them in frames and you might just get to make a professional book!  And then... that didn't happen either.  Now it's the new year, and you keep taking great family memories, but you find yourself showing off your pictures, from your camera.  You have thousands of pictures on there!  Which is why you bought a bigger memory card.  Right? 

Okay, it might not be exact, but you get the point.  We always WANT to organize our great pictures, but time keeps on slipping away and your picture file just gets bigger and bigger!  It's time to hand the work over to a professional!!  Photo Savvy with Cindy Browning! 

As a former Executive Assistant with over 20 years of experience, being organized just comes naturally to Cindy. She was organizing her family, friends, colleagues and bosses long before she realized she could make a career from it.

Seven years ago she decided to take a chance with her talents and ability to organize and started her own business.  This led her down the path to becoming the savvy photo organizer that she is today.

Cindy was not afraid to try many different avenues of work to find where her passion lies. She has worked as both a corporate and residential organizer, and has also coordinated many events in between. Along the way, she came to realize that there were still many possibilities that had been previously unexplored, such as photo organizing. She immediately loved the idea, and photo organizing quickly became her specialty because of her passion for photos, and that you can tell a family history through photographs. It became more apparent to Cindy how important telling that family story through photographs was when her father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

Cindy’s interest in organizing led to her becoming involved in the Professional Organizers in Canada and has sat on the board of directors for the past three years. Cindy has ‘organized’ the organization’s annual conferences, and she currently sits as the Director of Development.

In addition to becoming a member of APPO she continues to explore many ways to market and promote the unique service she provides as a photo organizer. Cindy strongly believes in the importance of enjoying what you do, giving back and having fun along the way.

HIRED!  That's what's so GREAT about Photo Savvy.  Cindy helps you not only START your project, but she'll help you finish it!  Even if that means she has to do ALL the work. 
Get those pictures off of your camera and put them out so everyone can see them!  Make your own coffee table book.  It's that easy.  All you have to do is make the call (or click) to Cindy Browing from Photo Savvy!

Here's your own check list to see if you NEED Photo Savvy:

Do you ever ask:

“Where in the world is that photo?” OR “What in the world do I do with all these photos?”

Do you have:
  • stacks of old photos crammed in a Rubbermaid container,
  • trays of slides you don’t know what to do with,
  • thousands of unorganized, digital prints on your computer?
  • old albums that are yellow or faded?
  • home movies on tapes you can no longer watch?

Cindy can help you with all of these!  (From anywhere in the world!!) She can help you create a digital scrapbook to give as a gift!  She knows how overwhelming it can be at the thought of organizing your photos, or feeling guilty because you haven't done anything with them at all.  You are NOT alone.  She can help!!

The Brighter Side is all about Good News, Great Ideas and Amazing People!  Photo Savvy is all 3! 

Photo Savvy Online
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Photo Savvy Pintrest

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Top Inspirational Quotes

by Christina Rowsell
The Brighter Side

Wish big, live life to the fullest and smile so the whole world can smile with you! ~ The Brighter Side

Smile and the world smiles with you
Photo by Christina Rowsell
Wish big, live life to the fullest and
smile so the whole world can smile with you!

Enjoy all the little things in life.... One day you'll look back and realize they were the big things! ~ Unknown

Enjoy the little things
Photo by Christina Rowsell
Enjoy the little things in life,
one day you'll look back and realize
they were the big things.

Never be afraid to fail.  Be afraid of not learning from mistakes.” – W.Brett Wilson

W. Brett Wilson

No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas CAN change the world. ~ John Keating

Words and ideas can change the world
Photo by Christina Rowsell
No matter what anybody tells you,
words and ideas CAN change the world.
John Keating

Adopt the pace of nature.  Her secret is patience. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Adopt the pace of nature
Photo by Christina Rowsell
McKenzie Lake, Calgary AB Canada
Adopt the pace of nature. 
Her secret is patience.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Life is made up of the little things that make us smile.  Live, Love, Laugh ~ The Brighter Side 

Things that make us smile
Photo by Christina Rowsell
Calgary Zoo Butterfly Exhibit
Life is made up of the little
things that make us smile.
Live, Love, Laugh

Let us be grateful to people who make us happy;
they are the charming gardeners who make our soul blossom.

Charming gardeners who make our garden blossom
Photo by Christina Rowsell
Crowsnest Pass, Alberta, Canada
Let us be grateful to people who make us happy;
they are the charming gardeners who make our
souls blossom.
Marcel Proust

To find the right path in life, follow your passion. ~ The Brighter Side

Find your path in life, follow your passion
Photo by Christina Rowsell
Mt.Kidd, Kananaskis Alberta, Canada
To find the right path in life,
follow your passion.

A blessing is born the moment we're thankful for all the wonderful things in our lives. 
By having an attitude of gratitude, you can create these amazing blessings.  ~ The Brighter Side

An attitude of gratitude, creates blessings
Photo by Christina Rowsell
Having an attitude of gratitude,
you will create blessings.

"Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.
Life is beauty, admire it.
Life is a dream, realize it.
Life is a duty, complete it. 
Life is a game, play it.
Life is a promise, fulfill it.
Life is sorrow, overcome it.
Life is a song, sing it.
Life is a struggle, accept it.
Life is a tragedy, confront it.
Life is an adventure, dare it.
Life is luck, make it.
Life is too precious, do not destroy it.
Life is life, fight for it."

Mother Teresa quote
Photo by Christina Rowsell
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico


Wonder Girls Camp

by Christina Rowsell
The Brighter Side

I always said, "if there was a time I wouldn't want to live again, it would be my teen years."  But I now take all of that back, IF I had Wonder Girls Camps when I was younger.  I truly believed that I was the ugly duckling who would never grow up to be a beautiful swan.  I was never really comfortable in my own skin as a teenager.  It wasn't until I was in my early 20's that I really had the confidence to believe in myself. 

Ugly duckling
waiting to become
a swan
It's not easy growing up.  No one ever said that it was.  But, now there's an amazing organization that wants to at least let girls be heard and express themselves.  Through dance, creative expression, laughter and making new friends.  

Wonder Girls Camps is a place your daughter between the grades of four to nine can go to build her confidence, think she's beautiful and feel empowered to come out of her shell and achieve greatness.  Now THAT sounds like a GREAT IDEA.  It's an hour of dance/movement, creative expression, laughter, making new friends and so much more!  It's a safe place for your daughter to be herself, not feel judged, and to have fun!  

Wonder Girls Camps creator Aime Hutton is on a mission to have no girl be left alone feeling that she's not beautiful, powerful, or creative due to something that has been said or done to her, in her past, by others.  As a youth, the same age as the girls in this camp, Hutton was severely bullied at school for six years. She invites you to connect with her at aime@wondergirlscamp.com.  For more information, visit Wonder Girls Camp online.  

Let the Ugly Ducklings blossom into the Swans they are meant to be!! 
(This coming from someone who used to be the ugly duckling!)

Wonder Girls Facebook
Wonder Girls Twitter
Wonder Girls Online


Enjoy the "little" things!

Through all the tough and heartbreaking news of late, it's time for some inspiration!

"Enjoy all the little things in life.... One day you'll look back and realize they were the big things!"



Having kids is so inexpensive ~ said no one EVER! 

From life necessities to growth spurts to your teenager not wanting to do that sport anymore... it's expensive.  But it doesn't have to be.  Thanks to KinderSwag.  But it works both ways.  Once you get everything you need, it just keeps piling up and taking up storage space.  Why not make some money off of your gently used furniture, toys, clothes, sports equipment!!

Especially with the holiday season upon us, you're only going to get more stuff.  With KinderSwag you can make room for the new and out with the old.  This is a fantastic way to clear out your old clutter, and start the new year with a few extra dollars in your own pocket. 

Or maybe you are looking to SAVE!  You know how fast kids grow out of stuff, and paying full price for something that another child hardly used is worth it.  Best part, you decide if you want it or not. 

KinderSwag is super easy to use!  It only takes a minute to create a posting and submit it.  KinderSwag Mom will check it to confirm it's in the right place (as spammers are not welcome), and then everyone in your own community can see it.  Buyers and sellers then agree to connect and complete the deal!
And the best part is, you'll see who is in your own community (by distance - not names or addresses).  So if you live in Hidden Valley in Calgary, you'll see how far away it is to the product you want.  It could be your neighbour down the street, or 25 km away.  And this works in Vancouver, Victoria, Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, Montreal, Ottawa, and Toronto. (But not limited to those cities ~ as it works through your postal code if you're in smaller cities)

You'll search by category or search by keyword, it's up to you.  And because KinderSwag is all about "local", you're not sifting through thousands of items that you have no interest in.  You can even sort by distance to find stuff that's really close to you. 

KinderSwag is a Canadian parent-driven networking website dedicated to finding new homes for your great used kid gear.  They're also ad-free and all their listings are screened or, as they like to say, ""Mom approved."

And for those looking, KinderSwag can help with everything from high chairs, cribs, clothing, toys and sports equipment.  SIGN ME UP!  I have been "stocking" up on our gentle used boys toys and clothes! 

**Pictures shown are actual items up for sale (as of Dec.6/2012 and are subject to being sold.)**

That's NOT all... KinderSwag is also about giving back.  And with initiatives like Toy Mountain, which brighten the holidays for so many families, KinderSwag is doing their part and will be taking NEW Toy Swag Bags to add to the mountain of toys! 

KinderSwag Online
KinderSwag Facebook
KinderSwag Twitter


Gratitude Rocks Motivated by Nature

Gratitude - defined as thankfulness, gratefulness, or appreciation.  A feeling or attitude in acknowledgment of a benefit that one has received or will receive.  The Brighter Side believes that by having "An attitude of gratitude creates blessings".  And if you feel the same way, you'll LOVE these Gratitude Rocks. 

It all starts like this... Meet Susanne Alexander-Heaton.  She's the author of the Award Winning book called The ABC Field Guide to Faeries, which is dedicated in loving memory of a courageous young girl named Sarah Lisa Foidart, who lost her fight to a very rare brain tumour.  The book is full of love and passion with incredibly stunning images.  It's a book everyone should read, full of encouragement - urging readers to be kind to ourselves and this planet we call home.

And now, building on her gratitude, Susanne started (what she thought was) something small.  She hosted a celebration evening where she wanted to give her supporters a "thank you", Motivated by Nature.  Collecting from nature, she paid artists who utilize the Calgary Drop-In and Rehab Centre to paint key words connected with each of the 26 faeries in her book on these rocks and give them away at the celebration.  And now, it's your chance to support these artists!  These Gratitude Rocks are now available through 6 stores in Calgary!  The proceeds from EVERY rock sold goes directly to the artist who painted it. 

Take a look at these pictures!  They're beautiful and full of love, passion, and dedication!  They may be a gift for yourself and your home to lift your spirits, or you give them to someone whom you feel would benefit from the message.  Whoever is on your giving list, let Susanne know how you (or they) benefit from the message on the rocks, then tell your story at gratituderockscalgary@gmail.com, which will then be shared with the artists who created them. 
Know that by purchasing these rocks, you will help the faces behind the words.  The Calgary Drop-In Centre philosophy is this "To compassionately be ‘the voice’ for the marginalized, disenfranchised and homeless population of our city. Regardless of the circumstances leading to their current situation, to be of service, without judgment, and to fairly and appropriately provide programs and support that assists each individual in their efforts to move forward with their lives."  And with your support to Gratitude Rocks, you could be lifting these artists spirits.  Letting them know their words touch home with you and those you give them to. 

How many people in our city are affected by homelessness?  Read the statistics here.  And each and every person who is at the Drop-In Centre has their own stories, their own life lessons.  Get to know these artists behind the words they've written on these Gratitude Rocks.  Their words speak volumes.  And with your support, who knows, the next word they paint might just be SMILE!

Gratitude Rocks are available for purchase in Calgary at these locations:

7th Chakra 1301-17 Avenue SW, phone 403-668-1743
Glenbow Museum Shop130 9 Avenue Southeast, phone 403-268-4100
Self Connection Books 125-4611 Bowness Rd NW, phone 403-284-1486
Soul Food Books 3-213 19 St NW, phone 403-270-0410
The Divine Mine 222, 11566 – 24th Street SE, phone 403-279-9555
Our Angels Centre for Well Being #3 2009-33 Ave SW (Marda Loop), phone 403-226-7665

For more on The Drop-In Centre visit them online at www.thedi.ca
Join Susanne Alexander-Heaton on Facebook



It certainly is hard to find The Brighter Side of life if you don't know where to look.  And not every one can just take in all that life has to offer and enjoy the day at hand.  My dad use to say to me, tomorrow is another day, and you can find the happiness in the days ahead.  Today may not be your best day, but there's always tomorrow.  Unfortunaetly not everyone sees life as the "glass half full".  Which is where UMatter2.me comes in.  Studio Gorgeous has teamed up with Partners for Mental Health in support of Teen Suicide Awareness to say UMatter Thursday November 29th, 2012.

Local business owner Karen Judge, in cooperation with Partners for Mental Health, is launching a day of awareness and action in support of teen suicide awareness called UMatter to help reduce the stigma of mental illness and encourage teens to reach out for help.

The day’s events include a morning pep rally at Western Canada High School, sales of Mental Health awareness merchandise and will conclude with a Stand Up Because UMatter event at The National Music Centre (Cantos). Attendees will enjoy various stand up performances from a variety of local talent. Net proceeds from the event, in addition to merchandise sales, will be donated to Education Matters in support of the Arts within our public schools.  “The Arts are a great way for all of us to express our thoughts and feelings”, says Studio Gorgeous president, Karen Judge.

Teen suicide is the second leading cause of death among our youth. We don’t talk about it, understand it or support it. Partners for Mental Health is a national, non-profit organization dedicated to improving the way we think about, act towards and treat mental health.

Judge is an avid supporter of Partners for Mental Health and is a member of their Calgary advisory team.  “I want people to understand that mental health can no longer be ignored, we’re all affected and touched by it. That’s why I’m seeking the community’s support as together we can make a difference.”

“Start the conversation about the cause with your friends, your family, and your co-workers. Spread the word for real, lasting change.” says Judge.

The goal is to prevent teen suicide. And we can achieve this by raising awareness and  informing people about one simple preventive action – to get parents and teens to understand there is help and hope by calling 211, where everyone’s story matters.  Help other's know there is The Brighter Side out there!

For more information visit www.UMatter2.me
Other links:


Best Sugar Cookies EVER

Sometimes finding The Brighter Side is as simple as a delicious treat.  So we have a treat for you!  This is a recipe that I get asked for all the time.  I'll admit, when it comes to baking, I'm not the best.  Especially cakes.  But these cookies have been a hit EVERY TIME!  You can't mess it up.  The decorating is my favourite part.  I hope you enjoy these cookies as much as my children do... and my husband!

Desi's Delicious Sugar Cookies

Desi's Delicious Sugar Cookies
Photo by: The Brighter Side YYC
1 1/2 cups butter, softened
2 cups white sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
5 cups all purpose flour
2 tsps baking powder
1 tsp salt

1. In a bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla.
Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover, chill dough for at least 1 hour (or overnight).

2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

3. Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick.
Cut into shapes with cookie cutter.
Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely.


Stage West Two Hit Wonders

I was reminded this past weekend why I absolutely love what I do!  For 20 years now I’ve been an announcer (or DJ) on the radio.  I’m more of the announcer type than the DJ type.  Especially with the definition of a DJ in today’s world.  When I think of a DJ, I think of a Club DJ.  They are exceptionally talented individuals who keep the music going, keep the party going and spin the records sending your adrenaline running. 

But as an announcer I have the opportunity to talk about things to make you laugh, smile and forget about your problems. AND that message also comes through with the music we play on our shows.  Music is really the “soundtrack to your life”.  It’s about the emotions your feeling when you hear a specific song, it’s the relation you have to the words, and it’s the time and place you are in your life when you hear it. 

Stage West Calgary
Two Hit Wonders
Two Hit Wonders at Stage West reminded me what it is about the music that sends peoples emotions on a whirl wind tour.  Two Hit Wonders could be an artist who had two number one hits on the Billboard charts, or reached the top ten twice, or reached the top forty twice, or had 2 hits in a specific genre, or a song that was a hit twice by different artists.  The cast and band of Two Hit Wonders at Stage West did an AMAZING job of these hits.  The costume changes were awesome and the singing was outstanding!  Elena Juatoc (www.elenajuato.ca) you really blew me away with your incredible voice and dancing.  Andrew McGillivary was in character for each set, and made me laugh out loud several times.  And Kraig Waye, I have to say, this is as a compliment, I really loved your personality… and you had me wishing in the end you were my little brother.  There’s something very charismatic about you.  (I hope you take this as a huge compliment!)  I really enjoyed the entire cast and band.  I had a GREAT time out.  Thank you.  (And the food was terrific!! As usual.)

Stage West Calgary
Two Hit Wonders
Stage West Calgary
Two Hit Wonders
The songs that really brought me through memory lane were Game of Love (Wayne Fontana & the Mindbenders) thinking of my high school friends singing that around the campfire, What The World Needs Now is Love (Jackie DeShannon) and I Will Survive (Gloria Gaynor) takes me back to the short life I had working at 66CFR Good Times and Great Oldies, Glory of Love (Peter Cetera) was one of the first songs I wrote out as a teen so I could sing it over and over and over… and the theme song to The Karate Kid Part II, (I Just) Died In Your Arms (Cutting Crew) reminds me of one of the first dances I went to as teen through Air Cadets, Funky Cold Medina (Tone Loc) was just a party song in High School, and (I’ve Had) The Time of My Life (Jennifer Warnes & Bill Medley) reminds me of where I was when I saw “Dirty Dancing”.  They all reminded me what people feel when they’re listening to music and to the radio.  We all have that song that brings us back to a moment in time.  It sends an emotional wave, either good or bad, through our souls.  With that being said what a wonderful world we live in for having music touch our hearts. 
Stage West Calgary Two Hit Wonders
For those making music, keep doing what you’re doing!  Your songs touch everyone, no matter what the genre.  Thank you Stage West!

Stage West Calgary Facebook
Stage West Calgary Online
Stage West Calgary Two Hit Wonders


Smart Betty is a Smart Choice

Smart deals are everywhere it seems.  You sign up for coupons, they give you a deal, the retailer is happy you're in their store hoping you'll come back for more.  But which coupon deals do you sign up for?  Which ones are the real deal?  Who can you trust?  And which one doesn't overwhelm you with constant emails!?!!  Let me introduce you to Smart Betty.

They not only offer amazing deals with discounts of as much as 50-90% off to local, hand picked businesses, BUT every time you buy, Smart Betty gives back to the community by donating 10% of their portion of revenue.  THEY GIVE BACK TO LOCAL CHARITIES!!  Yes I'm yelling!  That's awesome.  It's a win win for you and for your local organizations looking to get more revenue for their charities. 

And if you're the retailer it's good business for you!  The 10% comes out of Smart Betty's revenue. 

Smart Betty is all across the US, and now Canada too!  You'll find her in Alberta, BC, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec.  So you can get amazing deals, and give back to the communities that mean the most to you, in your own neighbourhood! 

So how does it work?  You'll get emails letting you know about the discounts and deals, you click "buy now", you'll get a link with your voucher for the discount, print and present the coupon.  Then the 10% will go to the charity within your community that YOU have chosen to support!

Seriously?!  Why wouldn't you sign up?!  It's the real deal.  The Brighter Side has signed up to use this! It's not only a GREAT deal, but the Amazing People behind Smart Betty GIVE BACK to your charity of choice.

Have a look for yourself.  Visit Smart Betty online and start saving, and GIVING today!
Here's a list of all the community organizations that have partnered with Smart Betty in Calgary!

Listen to internet radio with Brighter Business Empower on Blog Talk Radio

Smart Betty Online
Smart Betty Calgary Online
Smart Betty Facebook
Smart Betty Calgary Facebook
Smart Betty Twitter