Candy Bouquet ~ GREAT Gift Idea!!

One of my favourite things is to accidentally run into a GREAT idea!  It was mid afternoon, the day before Valentines day and I still hadn't bought a thing for my family.  I know, I know!  I'm always prepared.  But this time I wasn't.  I needed something for my boys, their caregiver AND my husband.  But what?!

Then, when working very hard... wink wink... a message popped up on my Facebook.  It was a message from Candy Bouquet # 6775.  The message said "Open House for Candy Bouquets until 8pm - It's still not too late for Valentines Day".  PERFECT!  I'll stop in on my way home!

When I arrived it wasn't just a Candy Bouquet, it was a Candy Forest!  An explosion of AMAZING candy bouquets from Candy Bouquet #6775!  (That's their franchise number).

The pictures I was looking at on the internet did NOT do these creations justice!  They were beautifully hand crafted with delicious candies.  From chocolates, to candy rockets, to suckers.  You name it, it was on it.  Tricia Spruit, owner of Candy Bouquet hand makes every single one.

What a GREAT, delicious alternative to flowers that will never fade, wilt or die.  It's a unique, one-of-a-kind gift that will make a lasting impression... AND can be enjoyed for several months.

I got this beautiful soda glass one for my children's caregiver.  She LOVED it!  And the ones in the milk box containers were for my boys.  What I loved about those ones was that inside the box wasn't MORE candy, it was a puzzle and crayons!  This way they had some candy on top, and a toy to keep them busy.  The soda glass one was $18 and the puzzle boxes were $10.  I didn't get a picture of my husbands AWESOME bouquet, but he said he loved it.  It wasn't girly.  It was outdoor themed.  But if I knew she could custom make them... I may have picked the one with the Crown Royal for him instead!

Delivery services are available in Calgary for just $10!  And if it's a last minute idea, like a gift at the hospital, Candy Bouquet has a selection of bouquets ready to go when you need it.  And remember, these arrangements do not contain any latex, and they are great for allergy sufferers in the hospital.  And I'm told the nurses LOVE it when patients share their sweet treats!

So, as I browsed through Tricia's amazing creations, I asked her what her goals were and why Candy Bouquets? ... Because every business has a story.

Their candy adventure started out as an opportunity for Tricia to help put a smile on someones face with a Candy Bouquet.  She knew that her own smiles were tough to come by as her and her husband were going through a difficult year.  Their beautiful baby boy was born with a complex form of spina bifida. And in order to provide him, along with their other 2 children, the best possible life, they needed to make some changes to accommodate the several ongoing medical appointments.  As Tricia had a strong background in management and creativity, Candy Bouquet seemed to be a perfect fit for their life.  For this family, being able to create these beautiful bouquets and make people smile was a blessing.  In the long run, they hope to have a successful company, enough so they can expand and employ a mom facing the same restrictions as they did.  How wonderful would that be to pay it forward.

With that note of paying it forward, Candy Bouquet (#6775), also has a strong passion in helping out with charities and providing donations to the Children's Hospital on a regular basis.  In particular, the Neuroscience Unit is very near and dear to their hearts (understandably).

The next time you or your company is looking for that next unique gift idea, think of Candy Bouquet (#6775).  What a GREAT corporate gift, house warming gift, baby shower gift, birthday gift, congratulations gift... it goes on and on!  Thank you Candy Bouquet for your beautiful creations from the heart that satisfy our sweet tooth!  (Or teeth :)

For more, find Candy Bouquet (#6775) on Facebook!
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Family Day with Alexander's Quest

For most of us, celebrating Family Day is about spending time with family.  Getting outside to skate, or sitting in the living room catching up.  But for one family, their family has a broken heart.  Alexander Edwin Brown IS a hero, and now that hero has a quest of his own.  This family may have a broken heart, but they certainly know how to see The Brighter Side of life.  

This truly is a remarkable, TRUE story, and it all starts like this...

Once upon a time, not that long ago lived a little warrior, named Alexander.  Alexander was a beautiful, brave and precious two year old little boy, who lost his life to an aggressive, rare and cancerous brain tumour.  Sounds like such a sad story.  Well, sad as it may be, little Alexander will live on forever, through Alexander's Quest.  

Alexander's Quest is just that.  It is Alexander's "bucket list" that started this outstanding organization.  A list that will help other children who are terminally ill with cancer gain life experiences that fill their final days with joy.  As tough as this story is to cope with, it truly has a happy ending, through the ongoing love of Warrior Alexanders parents who have dedicated their time to full filling his quest.  Mom and Dad (Jonathan & Tara), were NOT about to let his cancer win!  

With that being said, not only are they helping children with cancer enjoy the brighter side, they are also on a mission to find a cure for cancer!  As Alexander's tumour is still alive in a lab, they are confident they will find a cure!  (Bless them for all they've been through)!  Remarkably, Alexander's tumour is growing in the lab and is the first ETANTR tumour in HISTORY to do that!  (I seriously just took a deep breath, held it, and released in my awe of the strength of this family and of the Warrior known as Alexander!)
This is an ongoing story, that will only get bigger and better.  To find out more about Alexander's Quest, visit their website.  Thank you Alexander for coming into this world to teach us so much.  A Warrior for sure, a Teacher no doubt, but most of all a Hero.

Alexander's Quest online http://www.alexandersquest.ca
Alexander's Quest Facebook
Alexander's Quest Twitter

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Email info@thebrighterside.ca


Happy Valentines Day Sugar Cookies

Sugar and Spice and everything nice!  That's what we are ALL made of!  Well -- at least I'd like to think so! Happy Valentines Day to you and to your loved ones.  Naturally, Valentines Day is for couples.  But, that quickly changes after you have children.  Then the special day is all about the fun crafts and goodies you can put together for your kids, Daddy, Grandma and Grandpa.

And one way to please EVERYONE is with Sugar Cookies.  Plus it's something the whole family can help with.  Mom puts the ingredients together, the kids stir and make a mess.  Mom rolls out the dough and the kids place the cookie cutters.

Mom cleans up... and Dad... well he eats them!

            1 1/2 cups butter, softened
            2 cups white sugar
            4 eggs
            1 teaspoon vanilla extract
            5 cups all-purpose flour
            2 teaspoons baking powder
            1 teaspoon 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.

I cheat a little with the icing and use the ready made icing from the grocery store.  To make the swirls, outline the heart with white and then red and use a toothpick to swirl together!  Enjoy!

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Happiness is Contagious!

Is it possible to be contagious to happiness?  If you were asking me, I’d say yes.  I catch it everyday!  But mind you, that’s my job.

What if it was your job to make people laugh, smile and just forget about their problems everyday?  Well, it’s not technically in my “job description”, but it’s how I chose to do my job.

So what kind of job forces me to be happy everyday?  Being a Radio Host.  No one wants to hear a grumpy announcer… well not where I work.  You certainly can find your share of grumpy commentators, announcers and hosts in the world of radio.  But that’s not the type of show I choose to do.  We have enough grumpiness in this world.  There’s enough bad news, sad stories and depressing things in this world, so why not try to be uplifting. 

By actually smiling everyday, I find it’s a bit contagious.  By no means do I wake up happy EVERYDAY.  Only sometimes.  I am human after all.  I have my fair share of rotten things that happen in my life, but I make a choice to put a smile in my voice to try to brighten up your day.  You’d be surprised!   If you faked a smile in your conversation, it’ll actually make you happy.  Ever listen to a commercial on the radio and think, “Man, that announcer sounds so happy!!”  You’ll actually catch yourself smiling along with the announcer.  It’s contagious. 

This is how the idea of The Brighter Side was born.  Being in the media, I have to comb through all the stories from the news and on the internet to find the ones that will actually make you feel better about your day.  I see the bad news everyday.  I hear the sad stories all the time.  I watch the devastation that’s all around us.  But does it have to be so much doom and gloom ALL the time?  There are good news stories that will make you smile.  There are great ideas that people have all over the world.  And this planet is full of amazing people that brighten our days!  And those are the things I choose to share.  If I can make one person smile, I’ve done my job.  Try smiling.  Go ahead, even if you have to fake it.  SMILE!  Now hold that smile!  Hold that grin!  Keep it there for another second!  Doesn’t that feel good!  I told you it was contagious.

Now go into the world, and be contagious.  See how many people you can make smile today.  It feels good!  The world is a pretty great place to be!  Celebrate it with The Brighter Side!  Good News, Great Ideas & Amazing People.

The Brighter Side

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Memories for a Lifetime!

So what do you do with a box full of old 8mm slides, or VHS home videos, or even old photographs?  Technology is always changing, and it's getting harder and harder to find an old projector or even a VHS, and even those old photographs are now too fragile to touch.  Take them to That's Entertainment in Okotoks!

Last year for Christmas, we dug through the old slides and were holding them up to the light to see what was on them.  Most of them giving us a good chuckle of memories from when we were kids.  We decided to have them converted to a digital file and found That's Entertainment in Okotoks.

That's Entertainment offers a wide range of technical and artistic services in the audio-visual realm.  From old film stock, video footage, photographs, negatives or audio recordings, they handle your memories with care.  They can create an even more beautiful memory than you remember.  What a nice way to look back on the days that made you smile and even laugh.

What a GREAT gift idea too.  Maybe for a 65th Birthday Bash, or a 50th Wedding Anniversary.  That's Entertainment puts heart and soul into your personal project.  And reasonable rates.

So if you're wondering what to do with all those 60's and 70's pictures of your dad in a moustache, check out That's Entertainment!

That's Entertainment online at http://www.tevideo.ca/

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Making Your Dreams Come True

Making Your Dreams Come True
by Marlana Prowal

Well...sort of.

What if you could put an end to nightmares (if you’re prone to them), improve your sleep, and make the impossible become realities? You can if you train yourself to lucid dream. Lucid dreaming is the state of awareness while you sleep, giving you the freedom to control your dreams.

For the last twenty years, I have been trying different methods to lucid dream. It’s not always easy to achieve at first, but once you learn how to control them, they really are wonderful experiences. Think of Tom Cruise manipulating his dreams to create the love of his life in Vanilla Sky, or Keanu Reeves immersing in an alternate reality in The Matrix. Our dreams are personal, and therefore they can be whatever we want them to be! When you have the ability to control what you dream, you can enjoy a state of consequence-free dreaming that looks and feels like the real world.

It can be done, but requires a lot of patience, and some determination. Here are the basics to get started:

• Remember your dream
• Keep a dream diary
• Think of your dream before sleeping
• Embrace the awareness

The first thing you need to do is remember what you dream. To do this, you need to log your dream each time you remember them. Keep a journal by your bed (I originally kept a journal, and now blog my dreams online), and as soon as you recall your dream, write it down. This will train your mind to eventually want to remember as you will be subconsciously awaiting to journal your dream.

Once you can remember your dream on a nightly basis, you can then move on to the next step, which is mindfully telling yourself what you’ll be dreaming tonight. While you lie in bed waiting to sleep, clear your mind of the day’s stresses to only allow your mind to think of your last thoughts of the night—which is what you’d like to dream about. With repetition, the better chance you’ll have to dream it.

The last step is to acknowledge the consciousness once you know that you’re dreaming. You will notice a heightened awareness at that time which eliminates your inhibitions. Once you follow this dream map, you can continue to flow with your dream, enjoying the ride wherever it may take you.

In our busy lives, our thoughts are often cluttered with so much that goes on, that it really can influence what we dream. Think about it: pleasant dreaming does allow for better sleep. Being in a state that you enjoy is something your mind will want to prolong, giving you much needed sleep, in a much more relaxed state.

Sweet dreams!

Marlana Prowal Website, Facebook, Twitter

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