World Pancreatic Cancer Day

“Assumptions Can Be Deadly.” Today is World Pancreatic Cancer Day. Please take time to learn the symptoms of this cancer that is often found when the disease has already metastasized. Thinking of my Junior League of Toronto friends Bryna and Shelley who recently lost their husband and brother Kevin. Kevin was committed to helping provide a greater awareness of pancreatic cancer and its symptoms – as well as increased research funding. A wonderful legacy to leave this world. Please take time to read this article – http://www.cp24.com/mobile/lifestyle/health/partnership-hopes-to-make-progress-on-pancreatic-cancer-with-research-network-1.3680012 – and share with those you love.

A Evening with Finnish Studies – 100 Years of Finnish Design

I absolutely love my University of Toronto Finnish Studies class on Finnish Architecture and Design. This week we get to explore more about one of my favourite things – Finnish Design. If you live in Toronto and love Finnish design or would just like to learn more, join us this Thursday evening to listen to special guest Pekka Korvenmaa – author of Finnish Design: A Concise History – from Aalto University in Helsinki, Finland. Coffee and pulla will be served after the lecture. Everyone welcome. Tervetuloa! 

Back to School – FIN 270 Modern and Contemporary Finnish Architecture and Design at the University of Toronto 


I love to learn. While I may have left formal post-secondary education more than two decades ago, I have continued to be a lifelong learner both formally and informally. The University of Toronto’s Finnish Studies elective courses have always been on my learning wish list since both my parents emigrated from Finland to Canada as well as most of my family were born and continue to live in Finland. When I read about the Finnish Studies and the Embassy of Finland to Canada’s brand new course in Modern and Contemporary Finnish Architecture and Design, I knew I had to enroll. I grew up surrounded by Finnish design and on a construction site too. I believe both inspired my love of architecture, design and photography. I work professionally full time, I decided to audit the course by creatively using three vacation days to attend this class to learn more. My first class completed and I am very excited about the lectures and guest speakers including a few who will travel from Finland for this course that celebrates Finland’s 100th anniversary of Independence. Finland is a young nation but it has made an amazing impact through its architecture and design in both Finland and around the world. Look forward to all my learnings and sharing my insights in the weeks ahead. Join me on the journey. Tervetuloa.

FIN 270 Modern and Contemporary Finnish Architecture and Design at the University of Toronto 

I love everything Finnish and I love to always be learning. This autumn I am creatively using three vacation days and heading back to school. The University of Toronto Finnish Studies Program in partnership with the Embassy of Finland to Canada are introducing a brand new course – FIN 270 Modern and Contemporary Finnish Architecture and Design to celebrate Finland’s 100th year of Independence. Finnish Architecture and Design is well known throughout the world and is forefront in Finland’s identity. The course will welcome guest lecturers from Finland which is very exciting. Since I don’t need an undergraduate credit, I decided to audit the course which means all the joys of learning without the stresses of studying, assignments and exams. If you love design and architecture or everything Finnish, definitely consider joining this course or one of the other courses offered by the Finnish Studies program. I am very excited to learn more about Finnish Architecture and Design and hope to share some of my findings and insights along the way. 

First Impressions 

On our daily travels, we interact with many people including those we share space with on our commute to work, to the barista we purchase our coffee from to our team members and prospective clients. It takes 1/10 of a second to form a first impression based on facial impressions and non-verbal communication. Do you smile and make eye contact? Do you cross your arms and come across at standoffish? People tend to trust their gut reactions when meeting someone. What impression are you making to others on your travels? 

Palliative Care is about living well 

Palliative Care is about living well. 

Dr. Desmond Leung is a Palliative Care Doctor at the Freeman Centre for the Advancement of Palliative Care at North York General Hospital. I have known Dr. Leung for the last six years and am lucky to be able to volunteer with him on the NYGH Palliative Care Steering Committee. For National Hospice Palliative Care Week, Dr. Leung was interviewed on CBC’s Metro Morning with Matt Galloway as he works to change the face of Palliative Care. Amazing interview. Please take time to listen to it. 

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/programs/metromorning/palliative-care-1.4106136

Oprah’s Lifeclass on Gratitude 


“Focus on what you have and you will always have more” ~ Oprah.

Five years ago today, my sister-in-law and I saw Oprah live when she brought her Lifeclass to Toronto, Canada. As a lifelong Oprah fan, this was a dream come true. Only when Lifeclass began did we know that the theme would be gratitude. I knew immediately we were meant to be there. 

I reflected back on my notes from the Lifeclass on Gratitude and share a bit of my food for thought with you. 

* Gratitude Journal – What five things are you thankful for everyday. Power in the words.

* Change your state of being and start to be grateful. 

* You see your life as a gift. Look for the blessing.

* Gratitude – you can change your contentious. If you are thankful for what you have, you will always have more. Life in the present. Embrace the now. 

* PAIN – Iyanza Vazant – Pay Attention Inward. Get grateful in all paths along life. Each stop will teach us along the way. Pay attention to how we respond to the stop.

* Gratitude – We cannot be grateful and hateful simontanously.   

* Giving thanks helps you connect to what you deserve ~ Tony Robbins

* Wherever there is appreciation, there is duplication. ~ Bishop James

* Gratitude = abundance ~ Deepak Chopra

* Gratitude can be a lifesaver when you do not have anything else. 

* Change the story from pain to a gift

* You get what you tolerate. Change your story. ~ Tony Robbins

* When you are a giver, you will always have gratitude 

* Operate from a new belief life happens not to me but for me. If you have been down that road, you can reach people that others cannot. Share your story ~ Tony Robbins 

* Everyone’s story is either an absolutely warning or an example. 

* Everything we go for, we learn something ~ Bishop T.D. Jakes

* The energy and attitude you bring to your past and how you describe it. ~ Oprah 

* Saint and sinner exchanging notes. Use our keys to open up our prisons and to do something great to escape. Who you are matters and gives people HOPE.

* Flood yourself with positive moments. Give them an experience 

* “Live to give” – I am more than my circumstances ~ Tony Robbins

* Attention, Appreciation, Affection – ways to give to children ~ Deepak Chopra

* Energy you bring to the room – your presence is enough ~ Iyanza Vanzant

* I am the universe – infinite potential

* Best lesson on gratitude – go back into your own life where you can be more grateful and appreciative 

* All is a gift. Hope you can leave here and rethink how you see your life. 

* Clear understanding others are teachers – appreciate people everyday 

* Whatever I seed will grow. 

* Your inner vision makes your special.

* Always remember everything connects to gratitude. 

Grateful I had the opportunity to enjoy this special day and thankful it has kept me focused on finding gratitude in the simple joys of life. 

What are you grateful for?