Little Miss Opinionated.

Say it like you mean it.

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My little visitors.

The munchkins are (almost) here, the munchkins are (almost) here! Couldn’t be more excited to know that my two little (okay, not so little) teenage cousins are currently sitting in the Munich airport at this very moment waiting for their connecting flight to come visit me!

When you’re living abroad, you meet all kinds of new and interesting people. And I’m lucky enough that a few of these people have even become friends. But that doesn’t dismiss the fact that, on a daily basis, I miss my family and North American friends dearly.

I’m looking forward to spending time with my two little munchkins over the next 11 days. We’ve got a week of exploring Germany and then a four-day fest in Paris on the schedule. They’re growing up way too fast. And sadly, there’s nothing I can do to slow it all down. I can just be there, and enjoy it.

Happy Friday! Here’s hoping friends and family time are part of your weekend plans.

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The week ‘Cannes’ do you good

Re-freshed. Re-inspired. Re-charged.

It’s amazing what a week in Cannes can do.

Besides the obvious (Croistette-galivanting with friends), I look forward to Cannes for many reasons: the seminars, the workshops, the work (of course) and the many new people there are to meet every year. There’s always a new Director, a new Producer, a new Creative Manager with a cool story to share. And then there’s the chance encounters that leave you speechless and in awe (aka the time I spoke to Sir John Hegarty at lunch). 

I truly love what I do. Always have. And I love that Cannes is also a great chance to share stories and gain perspective from one another. We might be a self indulgent industry when it comes to awards (so what), but (I also believe) we’re a really great group of smart people that love challenges, new experiences and I’m grateful every day for my job.

Move mountains? Sure. But I’d much prefer to help move businesses with creativity.

-missopinion8td-

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Get your Friday on…

It’s Friday!And what a week it’s been. Work, work, work.

Looking forward to recharging this weekend, and filling my soul with rest, creativity and inspiration.

They say what you put in is in direct proportion to what comes out.

I’ve got a book, brunch, a museum visit, a hike and a night at the opera all lined up.

In other words, time to binge!

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A wise woman once said…

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RIP, Maya. Thank you for your generous thoughts and open soul. Your words have greatly touched me. Especially the ones above.

You taught me to spread the light, spread the love, spread the laughter.

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I ain’t no hollerback girl. Er, wait. Yes, yes I am.

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When you live far away from your family and most of your good friends, you reply a lot on good ole technology to get you by. It’s why most nights I have a hard time getting to bed before 1am…I blame…oh hell, I blame no one but myself. Except maybe my fingers. They’ve learned to type at ridiculous speeds and most evenings, the convos’s get so good/funny/touching, I lose track of the time.

Don’t get me wrong, living in a new city and having the fortune of discovering many others has its definite perks that surround most of your days with infinite gratitude. Top that with the self pride one feels everyday for taking the scary plunge to have moved in the first place and there you go…but then again, some days you just can’t help but miss the loved ones and the comforts of back home.

Which led me to realize that long distance relationships of all kinds are had by people like myself everyday. Lovers missing lovers, siblings longing for their older/younger counter part, and even BFF’s (the family we make for ourselves), wishing their goofy clone was nearby, etc.

And while I completely believe that the saying is true — “the most exciting, challenging, and significant relationship of all, is the one you have with yourself” (made all too famous by SATC), it’s nice to finally realize that another saying is also every true: “I carry your heart. I carry it in my heart’.

And I have to say, it’s even nicer when you realize that those special few carry yours right on back.

Thanks, loves.

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Get ‘er done.

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I’ve discovered that blogging is a lot like working out. You go crazy at for a few weeks, even months, pouring everything you’ve got into it and then, boom, you work late one night, or decide to you go out for drinks or take a break and somehow fall off the cart. 

It’s all about momentum. And discipline.And planning.

Note to self: schedule in time to keep ‘er (the blog) going.

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A little discovery goes a long way.

I’ve discovered so many things about myself since moving abroad, abroad. I say “abroad, abroad” because even though I moved to NYC for a few years, home was just a hop, skip and a plane ride away. So whenever I was feeling lonely or needed a little family lovin’, I could easily get it. And trust me, I did.

Here in Germany I’ve really had to rely on inner strength and character to get me through the “I miss my friends and family moments”.

Hoping on a plane to get back to NYC or Toronto isn’t an every month opportunity, so my friends and family fixes are less frequent. I’ve had to rely a lot more on Skyping or talking on the phone (which, for the record, I hate).

The new challenge has been positive though. I’ve refocused my thoughts and energies and realized along the way that there are so many things I’m no longer willing to tolerate in my life – friends that don’t put in the effort to say in touch being one of them.

I’ve also discovered there are many new things I am willing to tolerate.

Guess that’s the beauty of discovering a whole new country. You get to discover a new side of yourself while you’re at it.

Giddy up.

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Alright, alright, alright.

Last night, Matthew McConaughey won the Oscar for Best Actor for his role in Dallas Buyers Club and I think his acceptance speech was one of the highlights of the night. 

People have criticized his “scripted’ approach, but as one of my friends said today, I’d rather listen to something well-thought out, than a bunch of rambling and hard-to-follow jumbled thank-you’s. 

Mostly, I was touched by the three things he said he needs every day: something to look up to, something to look forward to and someone to chase. 

It’s inspired me to try to evaluate things through this lens as well. What an interesting approach. One that leads to gratitude (something I’m big on). And keeps you going. 

Alright, alright, alright. Let’s try this, shall we. 

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Where have all the posts gone?

 

It’s been w while since I’ve written. Over a month. Which usually only happens during the Christmas holidays. So what’s my excuse this time? Well, I’ve been settling into a new job, a new routine, a new travel schedule.

I made the move to BBDO Germany in early January and it’s been go, go, go ever since (minus a week spent in the hospital where a bad bout of tonsillitis took me down for the count). Despite all the anxiety I felt leading up to this move, I’m so happy I took the chance.

As someone who’s an over thinker and an over analyzer and an over “pros/cons” list-writer,  I’ve learned that sometimes you just gotta grab adventure by the balls (sorry grandma), and go for it.  Sometimes, the best things for you are where you least expect them. And that the more risk you take, the more times you step outside your comfort zone, the bigger that zone gets.  And that’s an awesome feeling.

My new year’s resolution was to live more in the present.  Sure, I’ve still got my goals and dreams and visit that list often. But I make a much better effort to live in and enjoy the moment.  After all, it took a lot of hard work and determination to get here.

(And for someone who’s pretty Type-Am I’m doing a pretty decent job of ‘going with the flow’ - if I do say so myself).

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Lego Love

Growing up, I was quite the tomboy. I lived for sports, hated makeup and  loved puzzles, my calligraphy set, my Big Wheels (remember those?) and, most importantly, LEGO. It was the one gift I could count on my parents to “surprise me with”, no matter the occasion. 

It delights me to see LEGO still has the love. I think it’s a wonderful toy for children (or anyone for that matter) as it encourages my two favourite (they go hand in hand really) things: creativity and imagination. 

In case you haven’t heard, the LEGO movie is out in North American theatres right now, and I stumbled upon this clever little TV stunt out of the UK today. http://www.adweek.com/adfreak/entire-ad-break-made-lego-delightful-stunt-toy-companys-movie-155617

Enjoy! May the love of creation and imagination always be with you. 

-missopinion8td-

p.s next time you’re in NYC, stop by the Lego Store, it’s an hour of fun, guaranteed. http://stores.lego.com/en-us/stores/us/rockefeller-center

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Ka-boom!

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Wow.

That’s all I have to say about my current opportunity. 

I’m so blessed to be able to experience European lifestyle in a great country, travel weekly and work at one of the best agencies on one of the biggest global brands there is. Not to mention challenge myself daily and meet super cool, smart people along the way. 

I work hard, damn hard. But I also take time to express gratitude every single day, And I believe (corny as it may sound) that the Universe gives you back as much as you put in. 

Sorry Jack Johnson, in the real world there’s no such thing as hoping, waiting, wishing. Just working, accomplishing and appreciating. 

Am I right?

-missopinion8td-

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Deutschland

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So, here it is.

Today marks the official day of a new adventure.

Time to step out the comfort zone (which I’ve done many time before) and embark on an experience that will open me up to new people, places, opportunities and memories.

I always make sure to express my gratitude for the amazing opportunities I’ve been blessed with. Sure, I’ve worked really hard for them, but that doesn’t mean a moment of thanks need not happen.

My plan for the next while: work my butt off, do some really cool work, enjoy and travel Europe, and relish in the awesomeness that is my life.

To all my friends and family: I love you to pieces and I’ll see you soon. 

Another friend of mine just made the move to Calgary (where I was born) and a friend of hers left the best advice I’ve read in a long time: “enjoy the experience. Breathe it all in, love it all out.”

And that’s exactly what I plan to do. I hope 2014 is full of adventures that encourage you all to do the same. 

- missopinion8td

p.s. and yes, I plan to root for Deutschland in the 2014 World Cup ;-)

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The Other Fam Jam.

On the heels of my last post “The Fam Jam”, and my rocking NYC weekend, I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge the family I’ve been lucky enough to make for myself. That’s right, we all get two families: the one we’re born into, and the one we joyously get to pick for ourselves. 

I’ve been blessed with a wonderful family on both sides of the coin.

To my friends, near and far, you’re the family I’ve chosen for myself. And let the record show, you’re some of the best decisions I’ve made in my life.

Love,

Me. xo