Huntington Beach, CA

Huntington Beach, CA
Making Waves

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Surrounded by little (and big!) Angels

I am one of the luckiest people in the world and I didn’t realize it until these past two years. Over the last year I have really determined what is important in my life and who I share that life with. And so I would like to tell you a little about the extra special ones that don’t seem to get the recognition they deserve.

My friend Tiffany is such a strong woman going thru one of the more horrible diagnoses ever, Multiple Sclerosis (MS). She was diagnosed a year or so after her mom died and doesn’t have too much family behind her except her sister. She lives alone through her struggles but has recently been with a really nice guy, and she deserves everything he has to offer her, finally. I’ve seen and heard the struggles and think that she is one of the strongest women I know and for that I am proud to be her friend. I am hoping she will conquer her fear of writing and will write something for us in our feature blog because I think you will find it inspiring and uplifting. See my pledge page for MS in the Average Way.

My friend Rebecca & Wanda, Rebecca is 10 years old and her mother is Wanda. They have lived with Cerebral Palsy for Rebecca’s whole life and they roll with the punches. Just last year they remodeled their home to accommodate Rebecca’s wheelchair and to give her some freedom by adding an elevator directly into her room with access to the other floors in the house. Recently Rebecca has undergone surgery on her hips and she has blogged about the experience on her own personal blog ( She still has another month and a bit to go in Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital but she is always smiling and Wanda and her husband Peter are there every step of the way. This Family has really opened my eyes and inspired me through their positive outlook on life. See my pledge page for Easter Seals in the Average Way.

My cousin Elizabeth and Janet, Elizabeth is 8 years old and her mother is Janet. They say that when Elizabeth was in the womb she had a seizure so when she was born the seizures never stopped and she had limited function in her left side. A couple of years ago, Janet and David (her dad, my uncle) had to make a risky decision when doctors approached them with an experimental surgery to take out the left side of Lizzy’s brain. Their thought was to avoid the storms in the right brain from disturbing the left brain and that it would stop the seizures. They went ahead and Lizzy has made progress by leaps and bounds, she is a joy to be around and full of life. Janet and David are so proud of her and the progress she has made, it has been a tough 8 years but they are starting to see some light.

Last but not least, Kenadie Jourdin Bromley. You will hear a lot from Brianne but I wanted to talk about my experiences with Kenadie. She doesn’t ever stop amazing me, you see I have known Brianne and Courtney since before Kenadie was born and therefore had the wonderful experience of knowing Kenadie before the whole world did. I saw her for the first time when they all came over one New Years and she was the tiniest most delicate thing I have ever seen. Brianne and Courtney as resilient as they are were so positive and doting on their daughter it was heart warming to see. Through the years I have watched her grow, welcome a baby brother into her life and persevere. She is constantly smiling that goofy grin, and has been so brave and fearless when you would think that no one that size could be. She has endured, made the most of her
Life thus far and seen the world all in a short 7 and a half years of her life. Kenadie and Brianne give me life everytime I see them, and the sunshine that beams from Kenadie’s smiles are priceless. See Kenadies website at

Goodbye Cellulite! By Nivea

What words come to mind when we think of cellulite? Gross, dimples, annoying….most of us women have this totally unnecessary and self conscious body flaw. We will all spend money on treatments and products to try and get rid of the dreaded “cottage cheese”, but do they really work?

I have tried a few things in the past to get rid of this pesky flaw and was always so skeptical. One day I was watching the Tyra show right before her last show and I love what she has done for females as far as lifestyle changes and body image. She even fully admits that she herself has cellulite but that she embraces it. So, this show was about cellulite and how they had partnered with Nivea Worldwide - NIVEA to market their new product called “goodbye cellulite”. It is a new serum they have concocted to combat the dimples on our skin. Along with some nutritional advice, exercise advice and a 14 day challenge the results that some of the women had were amazing.

Unfortunately for us Canadians (unless I am completely blind) we can’t get access to the 14 day challenge to find out what the nutritional and exercise advice is, but we can buy the product for approx $12 in local stores.

Since I watch what I eat and exercise on a daily basis (or try anywayz lol) I decided to pick me up a bottle and do my own 14 day challenge. I am at day 8 using it once a day and I am already seeing a difference, the gel has a nice smell to it, it goes on smoothly and is not sticky. I will start to use it twice a day and see if I can get even better results,

I give this product thumbs up and if you have cellulite you should definitely try this product!

Before my boyfriend part I: When he breaks all the rules and gets your number from the records at work

As mentioned in my bio, I am currently with my boyfriend of several years and am very happy but I wanted to write about my single days and some of the horrific dates I went on just a few years ago.

My first story is about my car. I was driving down a country road at night and drove over what I thought was just a paper bag. When I rolled over it doing 80kmh the crushing sound of denting metal was all you could hear. There was no way I was going to pull over on this dark dank road by myself so I cursed the whole way home and to my dismay whatever was in that retched bag had scratched the passenger side of my car and put a huge dent in my rear wheel well. One week later I was up early to go to a volleyball tournament and lo and behold I run over a metal “thingy” in the middle of the highway and make matters worse. In the end I saved up some money and took the car to a local body shop that was recommended to me.

I honestly don’t remember too much of the experience except that the staff was very nice, the reception area was clean and orderly and they did a fantastic job on my car. A couple of days later I get this call from the guy (who apparently) I dealt with at the body shop; he got my number from the records and wonders if I would like to meet up for some dinner. Well, I thought this was a really sweet thing to do and agreed to go out with him the following Saturday.

Saturday rolls around and he picks me up. On the drive he asks if I golf so I said that I like the driving range, and that was perfect because we were going to his golf club for dinner. During the drive he begins to tell me a lot about the business problems he and his dad were going through and that he doesn’t have a car currently so the car he picked me up in is a loaner.

Business man? Check, Cute? Check Owns his own car? No check.

So we pull up and get out onto the driving range and I start cranking the ball (my previous baseball experience may have helped a little), well doesn’t he start complaining about how I sure knew how to take the romance out of a date….Seriously buddy if you thought you were going to come in behind and show me how to swing a golf club he had another thing coming. So, we proceed to dinner and have a great time. Despite his earlier tantrum we make arrangements for another date the following Saturday.

Fast Forward to the following Saturday at 8pm and I have called his cell a couple of times and I’m wondering what to do because of course there are other places I could be on a Saturday night! He finally calls to say that he is at a golf tournament in Pickering and he completely forgot our date (how important WAS I??) so he was going to have to cancel….well I NEVER! I told him to enjoy his tourney and off I went to party with some friends of mine.

Doesn’t he call me the next day tells me he has a surprise for me and he will pick me up in an hour….so I told him no, pick me up in 2 hours.

He shows up in this red prowler sports car, no flowers no nothing, says HI to my parents who gave him the jab about forgetting about our date the night before and we get in. Before we even pull out from the driveway he says to me that if I even think he is going to beg for my forgiveness about last night then I am sadly mistaken (who is this guy!). Then, if I thought it couldn’t get any worse he then tells me that he needs to find a wife (hello second date!) that is religious and goes to church on Sundays because golf is his religion and she needs something to do while he golf’s. After I subdue the shocking look on my face, I casually turn to him and tell him that shopping is my religion and as long as he gives me his credit card I would have no problem shopping while he golf’s.

His answer? As long as I came home with something for him. I WAS FURIOUS!

He then proceeds to take me to another golf club for dinner where the dining room is closed and we had to sit in the clubhouse to eat. I am not so prissy as to have this affect me but there was golf showing on the big screen TV and he was in heaven knowing he could watch golf on our date!


I ordered what turned out to be my burnt grilled cheese and left for the bathroom. As I am pacing back and forth trying desperately for my phone to work (oh yes absolutely no cell service to boot!) trying to figure out what to do I head back to the table. At this point he really had been sulking the whole time so when I sat down I shoved my finger in his face and told him that if he didn’t stop sulking he would be taking me home because I was sick of it. He THEN started to apologize about everything but I told him I didn’t want to hear it. So, he took me for ice cream to make up for it.

It is 7pm, on a Sunday and we are sitting there eating our ice cream and he gets a phone call…..


He needs to return it as they have to go out! I was floored, first of all who thinks that a car for a girl is a surprise and the fact that he didn’t spend any money to rent it for me was sooo unclassy. I mean, does this guy spend his money on anything other then golf?!?!?

Oh yeah, it’s not over yet…..

When he dropped me off I casually told him he wasn’t going to hear from me for awhile (if ever!) because I had all sorts of playoffs coming up for volleyball and baseball. Wouldn’t you know he calls and leaves a message (after I refused to answer my phone) about how he and the guys at the shop would take coffees if I am in the area (as if! Who says that anywayz?). Then calls again the following weekend, He starts laying into me about the fact that he doesn’t understand why he hasn’t heard from me and that when he likes someone he goes out of his way to make contact and who do I think I am. Do I think that he is going to sit there and read a newspaper and wait for me? I basically told him that I wouldn’t suggest doing that because he would be waiting a long time and that I would call him when I felt like it. Needless to say that night he kept calling my cell and I just cursed at it the first few times but then ignored his sorry ass.

All u Can Eat: to be healthy or not so healthy

My boyfriend loves this concept because he says that he always goes for quantity over quality.

Such a GUY response, don’t you think?

There are so many to choose from; Chinese buffet, All u can Eat Sushi, All u can eat seafood. Now I must say that ours are not as bad as the USA because not everything is fried, however it is still the concept of eating until you are so full that you have to undo a button….or two.

For someone who is trying to maintain or lose weight these places can be torture! It’s a great place to go with the family because of the variety and everyone will like something, but there is so much grease, msg, carbs, sodium and not to mention those delicious desserts that come in all shapes and sizes.

Where do you begin?

I don’t know about you but if I start with salad everyone at the table looks at me like i'm crazy because and I quote “you don’t go to a buffet to eat SA-AH-LAD” who needs that kind of pressure?!?! So, I scour the menu or the buffet tables for some vegetables, non-saturated meat or fish and then I’ll complete my plate with a little bit of naughtiness. I usually only have one plate plus salad and a dessert and I keep telling myself that as long as I am not going to buffet everyday…..oh who am I kidding I will be catching up at the gym all week anywayz!

All u can eat sushi is a little better, I try to have the low sodium soya sauce (yes it’s the one with the green lid…I was sooo happy when I figured that one out!), the white rice is a killer but I don’t think we are going to have that changed anytime soon but the rest is usually raw fish which is enriched with omega 3 and vitamin B. I will also indulge in some shrimp and veggie tempura because you have to have SOMETHING fried right?!?!?

Next time you are out at a buffet or all u can eat pick wisely, go a little overboard and stop fretting about the gym in moderation because life is about living and we all have our limitations so just respect them.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Opening Your Eyes to Opportunity

As the single career-driven friend, I have been finding opportunity following me wherever I go. The trouble with this is the matter of sorting out what is truly an opportunity and what will leave me feeling as though I have sucker written on my forehead.

Beware of the so-called “gurus” in the business of simply telling you seminars instead of the business of sincerely wanting to see you succeed. You know the ones I speak of. You sign up for a free two-day seminar and the Guru stands at the front of the room, says all the right things and completely wins you over, You’re a believer. You are so pumped that there’s a more “in depth” seminar! It will only cost you $997, you fly to LA and enjoy the seminar in the Guru’s house…and for the WOW factor he will even take you to his box at the Staples Centre for a game! You buy it and make arrangements to go to LA. The seminar itself isn’t bad, but needless to say you never get to go to the Staples Centre, he is selling more and more…WHEN DOES IT STOP? When will me, myself and I good enough? To teaching? To be the one making money with this?.

Everyone knows the key to opportunity and success is knowledge, and to never stop learning, once it starts costing you more and more, it is time to take a step back, analyze and research what best suits you and your needs.

I didn’t let that one Guru’s initial subterfuge deter me, and I have recently bought into a program that works with you personally to ensure that you succeed. They said all the right things but they did one thing no one else seemed to ever do….THEY FOLLOWED THROUGH.

Look for the follow through. Now, Im not saying not to go to an event, because by all means GO-this is the essential opportunity to network and build your connections (we will talk about that next week). The larger your network, the more opportunities you will have to partner, support, utilize and learn from.

BE AWARE that not all seminar “Guru’s” are bad but when they say that your seat is the last one, well you might want to think twice……..

To Mint or not to Mint

Did you know there is now available mint flavored water? Believe it or not there is! It’s Metromint a no calorie, no preservative, no added sweetener – a unique taste in a cool, retro styled 500ml bottle.

Refreshing, Cooling and Soothing, I could definitely see this helping to give you that “pick me up” we all need at least couple of times a day!

It left me feeling refreshed and revitalized after I picked one up in the subtle spearmint flavor at my local Whole Foods store
It was like drinking water while chewing gum without having to worry about swallowing the gum and having it waste away in your stomach for 7 years, my breath was fresh after the experience and my thirst quenched.
With their modern/ retro packaging and reasonable price, no calories and organic ingredients this alternative to fruit flavored water is a winner in my books.
There are a few more flavors to try: Original Peppermint, Tangy Lemonmint, Citrus Orangemint, Cherrymint and back by popular demand Chocolatemint so stay tuned as I review the other flavors.

For more information, please visit their website:

Continuing Education

“If you want to be successful, don’t let hard work deter you….Learn as much as you can.”
As mentioned in my bio, I took courses on and off by correspondence for 10 years some of them include a diploma International Business and a diploma in freight forwarding. I took and completed my certificates for CIFFA (Canadian International Freight Forwarding Association which led into my FIATA diploma ( knew this was not something I wanted to do for the rest of the my life but it related to the industry I was in and as it turns out (depending on what sector you end up getting into) Freight and Brokerage is an integral part of most everyday business. I don’t know everything there is to know but I know enough to hold up a conversation and get by. I tried my hand at brokerage but after one course I KNEW this was not for me and I moved on to try purchasing and supply chain, again related and there was one section out of the whole course I remembered. That was learning about how each different culture has unique ways of dealing with business, family and socializing….i.e: What is acceptable and not acceptable. From there I started my long journey to obtain my FITT diploma, meanwhile I was working in the operations department and then starting my career in sales. It was NOT easy, I failed a couple of courses and had to retake the tests, it took 3 and a half years which was a year more then I was hoping it would have taken and there were a few times (not many) that I was at home studying while my friends were out partying.
I guess what I am trying to say is that for the average person who isn’t good at everything first time or has to work hard to achieve, perseverance is everything. I didn’t go to college or university purely because I thought it was a waste of money and I educated myself while working at the same time, it truly allowed me the freedom to live life and try different things to find out what I truly believed in and wanted to do with my life.
Even after I had finished my diploma I still dedicated myself to continuing education through books and cd’s. Whenever I am in my car I pop a cd to learn about Communication, public speaking, financial education, sales and anything else I can get my hands on. By maximizing the prescious time I have available, I am able to expand my learning even more. Before I start work for the day and before I sleep at night and I alternate between self educational books again on public speaking, communication, working from home, world domination and the 4 hour work week (sadly only a titles) and Fictional Novels that I love to read. Besides allowing me to expand my knowledge and read more books then I would normally by rewarding myself with the fiction.!

Knowledge is key in any interaction whether it be business, family or social. It provides you with the power of wit, the winning upper hand and furtherance.Always Remember you can do anything you put your mind to, just try, try again.
Don’t get me wrong there are days where I get sidetracked and just wanna listen to the radio or put in my favorite Melanie Fiona or Michael Buble cd. At the end of the day I will allow myself these luxuries but for the rest of the time will always push myself to learn as much as I can.

3 closets and only 365 days in a year

According to my boyfriend I have too many clothes...and then I buy some more, because we as women can ALWAYS use some more work clothes, another tank top, one more pair of sweet pumps or a different color running shoe!.
He also says the instant I buy something new I have to wear it the next day, I beg to differ….I wear all the new stuff within the following week NOT just the next day because I usually buy too much. That’s because WE (who’s with me?) cant pass up a bargain, am I right girls?
Why don’t they (men) understand that if a pair of shoes is $10-20 why not buy 3 or 4 in different colors, SERIOUSLY what is WRONG with that??? The only problem I see is that there are only 365 days in a year. How do other women cope with this lack of time to wear everything in your closet? Twice a year when I change my clothes over for the seasons, yes there are only two seasons: summer and winter here in Toronto, I have to do a purge for goodwill because there are just garments/shoes/purses that I didn’t get around to wearing….its such a shame and things go out of style SO quickly.
Sometimes I feel that I have to change at least twice a day regardless of where I am going so that I can wear the clothes I love, I mean I cant even begin to imagine what it is like for new moms. Not going to work and having all those work clothes sitting in the closet until the dreaded day and then after the baby having all those maternity clothes going into a box to wait for the next time around.
And then there are shoes, when do you say goodbye to a pair of shoes? I seem to be a bargain hunter when it comes to shoes….even designer ones. This allows me to buy shoes at VERY competitive prices and therefore leaves me with more shoes then I can count. Every year we vacation in Florida, well between Marshall’s ( , Ross ( and Target ( (If you have never been in one, can I say find one NOW!) and their FANTASTIC prices I usually come home with 3-4 pairs of shoes at least and then there is my annual trip to the UK to visit my family….well, you would think with prices in UK pounds (approx 1.59 to Canadian dollar) shoes would be much more expensive. Think again! There is this wonderful department store over there called Primark, they sell anything from shoes (of course!) to bedding to Jewelry. Their shoes are priced anywhere from 10 to 25 uk pounds and everyone who has been to Europe knows that what is considered cheap quality in Europe is actually good quality here in Canada.
So, how do you deal with all the clothes in your closet and only 365 days a year to wear them? We’d love to hear from you.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Good Samaritans

A lot of you read my post that I submitted in to the Mississauga News for the kind man that helped me when my car caught on fire. After I had posted this article to my facebook page, I had a couple of people comment and tell me their personal stories of other good samaritans that came to their rescue.

After reading those stories, I couldnt help but feel inspired from these acts of kindness because I find that in the world we live in there is so much noise and negativity and not enough "thank yous" or positive messages and you start to feel that there is nothing good in the world.

Here are a couple of my own personal stories that I would like to share:

Just Last Month Allan and I were in the Superstore close to our house and their was an older gentleman in front of us who was struggling to pack his grocery bags. We helped him pack them and carry them to his car, he thanked us profusely and I left feeling wonderful that I had taken the couple of minutes to help someone.

Over a year ago Allan and I were in a car accident that totalled my car, we were ok but my car was a write off. We were amazed by the amount of people who wanted to help out in case we needed witnesses. One guy drove the lady who hit us home to get her husband and then he stayed with us for 2 hours until the cops came, to tell them his account of the accident, we were amazed that he would stay until 12-1am in the middle of a snowstorm to make sure that we received the justice we deserved.

I open the forum to hear from everyone about their experiences with good samaritans so we can share with each other the goodness that there really is in the world. I cherish these stories as I will go back to them whenever I am feeling discouraged and look to them to empower me and surge forward.

If I can help anyone in any way, by connecting you to someone in my network, or promote you or your company through my blog, facebook, twitter and Linked In page please let me know, I only ask for a cut of the profits......LOL just kidding!

Sarah C Barnes

Follow me on:
Twitter: sarahbarnes77
Facebook: Sarah C Barnes
Linked In: Sarah Barnes

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Infrastructure in Canada

As an Account Exec for a total logistics firm in Mississauga, Ontario I get complaints all the time from customers as to the delays on their import shipments.

This complaint is one of the most frustrating for me as we are bound in place by the privatized railways, slow action of the minitry of transport and the lack of pressure from the steamship lines.

One of my only responses to the customers are to write a letter to their local MP in the hopes that if they receive enough complaints and letters that they will make a difference.

Let me ask you: How does such a prominent country with so much to offer have such a poor system of infrastructure that we can be compared to a third world country?

In 1995 CN Railways were privatized and in 2008 made market capitalization of 21 billion usd. How can a company make that much money from all the imports our industries provide and not do something about helping their customers.

It is hard enough for companies to import into Canada or start an importing business in Canada, without having to deal with delays and added storage charges (CN only offers one day free time including weekends and holidays) that brings more pressure for offloading containers etc.

I would hope that the Ministry of Transport would look to step in at some point to improve on the state of our infrastruture to make it easier on industries to import and provide for our communities through job creation etc.

Maybe one day, when its really too late the government will realize how important this issue is and will start putting some pressure on the parties that can make the difference for all Canadians.

Sarah C. Barnes