Winnipeg Is Definitely A Lovely Place to Live

I have lived in Winnipeg for eight years now. The one thing that I hear people say literally every single day is how this place sucks. If we are being completely honest, I too have said that on several occasions. Many times, in fact.

Winnipeg is small. I find that most people live in their little cocoons connecting with only the people they’ve known all their lives. I am guilty of that too. I mostly stick with my family, and friends that I met when I first arrived.

But when I go out to explore different events and interact with people outside of my usual circle, I find that Winnipeg has so much to offer. I have decided that the reason why a lot of us complain about this cute little town we live in is because we don’t give it a chance. And we definitely don’t go out  to explore it.

Lucky for y’all I connected with an amazing photographer @gyk26 who is bringing Winnipeg right to your screen. The Peg is beautiful and it is full of life. Enjoy these incredible photos today. Tomorrow, step out and explore for yourself -after all the winter is behind us. 

Also tell us about your favourite spots at the Peg in the comments section.

Assiniboine Park Conservatory is Now Closed

Assiniboine Park Conservatory
Photo by @gyk26

The Assiniboine Park Conservatory has officially closed today.

The Conservatory has been a part of Winnipeg since 1914 (yikes!). That is a long time.

It was certainly not easy to say goodbye to Winnipeg’s Assiniboine Park Conservatory this past weekend. Continue reading “Assiniboine Park Conservatory is Now Closed”

Ice Castles Winnipeg

You’ve Got to Check Out Ice castles Winnipeg 

IMG_8947
The moment one sets foot into Ice Castles Winnipeg all thoughts about the deep freeze that is our city vanish from the mind. The tunnels, slides, caves, lights, music… are such a delight. It is the perfect place to take new Instagram pictures. Trust me, I know. I may have taken ahem, ‘a few’ photos. Continue reading “Ice Castles Winnipeg”

A Kindhearted Stranger Apologizes for The Acts of Another

A Kindhearted Stranger

We were on our way home after a long day at the office. We animatedly discussed the day’s accomplishments among other trivial things. As we hastily walked across the parking lot and towards the arcade, we were completely oblivious to the happenings around us.  I reached out to open the arcade door and suddenly noticed a young man standing right in front of the door from the inner side. Almost as if he was plastered to the glass door. I did not want to bother him or much less to walk into him. I moved to the next door and let myself and my friend in.

“He is probably waiting for his ride or someone”, I thought.

I could not have been more wrong.  Continue reading “A Kindhearted Stranger Apologizes for The Acts of Another”

PART D: LENNARD TAYLOR: MENTOR OF THE MONTH OF JUNE

Fashion designer & oil painter. Store Location: 393 Portage Ave, 2nd Floor. Website: http://lennardtaylor.com/
Fashion designer & oil painter. Store Location: 393 Portage Ave, 2nd Floor. Website: http://lennardtaylor.com/

As you may know by now, today is a very exciting day as Lennard will be sharing a few tips. In this final article with our dear mentor of the month, we will read pieces of advice that
Lennard Taylor very kindly shared with me at our interview. We will also look back into the month to pick up a few take-aways from his mentorship.
helpful tipsIn his own words… Continue reading “PART D: LENNARD TAYLOR: MENTOR OF THE MONTH OF JUNE”

Meet James Pottie: New Team Member

"I'll be writing about careers and hopefully more for Memoirs of a Kenyan. I'm a university student, student of the world, free thinker, lover and fighter of everything worth loving and fighting for. My interests include film, mental health initiatives, music, good wine and good food, living a good life, meeting beautiful people, and grabbing onto fleeting moments of joy. Honesty is the best policy, poutine and smoothies come tie for second."
” I’m a university student, student of the world, free-thinker, lover and fighter of everything worth loving and fighting for. My interests include film, mental health initiatives, music, good wine and good food, living a good life, meeting beautiful people, and grabbing onto fleeting moments of joy. Honesty is the best policy, poutine and smoothies come tie for second.”

When things happen, positive things, I love to make a fuss about it. This blog is like a baby to me. One that I have nurtured and with a lot of help from some very kind writers and friends, I have seen it grow each day. Not too long ago this baby was only an infant, now he can crawl and soon he will walk and run. I cannot help but feel that build up of excitement in the pit of my belly simply from the prospect of someday making it really grand.
But first, baby steps!
Today, I take a lot of pleasure in introducing the newest member to our team, James Pottie. James will be writing on career topics and other topics that interest him. In his own words,

“I’ll be writing about careers and hopefully more for Memoirs of a Kenyan. I’m a university student, student of the world, free-thinker, lover and fighter of everything worth loving and fighting for. My interests include film, mental health initiatives, music, good wine and good food, living a good life, meeting beautiful people, and grabbing onto fleeting moments of joy. Honesty is the best policy, poutine and smoothies come tie for second.”

I am excited because James has a powerful voice, a great sense of humour and a strong presence in his writing. I am certain that we will tremendously enjoy reading his work and benefit from it. Like every member of the Memoirs of a Kenyan team, we got James to tell us a little about himself:  Continue reading “Meet James Pottie: New Team Member”

Lennard Taylor: Mentor of the Month of June

Fashion designer & oil painter. Store Location: 393 Portage Ave, 2nd Floor. Website: http://lennardtaylor.com/
Fashion designer & oil painter. Store Location: 274A-393 Portage Ave. 2nd Floor Portage Place near Skywalk to Hydro building. Website: http://lennardtaylor.com/

Lennard Taylor is a vibrant fashion designer and oil painter based in Winnipeg Manitoba. Prior to embarking into the world of fashion, Lennard played football in Scotland. On returning to Winnipeg where he was born and raised, he began his career in fashion. Lennard’s style is futurist, hip and very classy. His passion for his work is infectious. I first met him purely out of my love for fashion. I was taking a walk at my lunch hour in the mall when my eyes suddenly rested on a brand new store with a dazzling display. I was instantly excited and dragged my friend into the store with me. Inside, the room boasted of a vast selection of unique garments and accessories. After that first visit, I returned to the store every chance I got. Continue reading “Lennard Taylor: Mentor of the Month of June”

Part D: Marianne Curtis: Mentor of the month of May

A newspaper journalist in Manitoba, Canada. Nearly 20 years of media, publishing and freelance writing experience.   1st book,  a personal memoir Finding Gloria hit #1 on the best sellers list on Amazon in Canada, USA and the UK several times.  2013 - Received a YWCA Woman of Distinction nod for inspiring others by sharing her story of struggle and survival after recovering from childhood abuse, bullying, and sexual assault.  Other titles: Moondust and Madness: a collection of poetry, Behind Whispering Pines, and Brian's Last Ride. November 2014 - Curtis will be releasing Rae of Hope: Stories of Survival, a collection of stories written by bullying survivors from around the world.  
A newspaper journalist in Manitoba, Canada. Nearly 20 years of media, publishing and freelance writing experience.  
1st book,  a personal memoir Finding Gloria hit #1 on the best sellers list on Amazon in Canada, USA and the UK several times. 
2013 – Received a YWCA Woman of Distinction nod for inspiring others by sharing her story of struggle and survival after recovering from childhood abuse, bullying, and sexual assault. 
Other titles: Moondust and Madness: a collection of poetry, Behind Whispering Pines, and Brian’s Last Ride.
November 2014 – Curtis will be releasing Rae of Hope: Stories of Survival, a collection of stories written by bullying survivors from around the world.

Marianne Curtis has been incredibly kind to let us into her journey as a writer, sharing her experiences and her plans for the future. In today’s issue, she leaves us with a few tips on writing successfully.
What pieces of advice would you like to share with our readership should they venture into writing as their profession of choice?helpful tips
“Write because you love it; or have a story burning in your soul. I run into people every day who say “I’ve been told I should write a book” – Don’t just talk about it – DO IT!  Everyone has a story to tell and nearly every story is worth telling – I say nearly because I hear a lot of “news” but not everything is “news worthy”. Don’t just start writing a book, actually finish it. Continue reading “Part D: Marianne Curtis: Mentor of the month of May”

Part C: Marianne Curtis: Mentor of the month of May

A newspaper journalist in Manitoba, Canada. Nearly 20 years of media, publishing and freelance writing experience.   1st book,  a personal memoir Finding Gloria hit #1 on the best sellers list on Amazon in Canada, USA and the UK several times.  2013 - Received a YWCA Woman of Distinction nod for inspiring others by sharing her story of struggle and survival after recovering from childhood abuse, bullying, and sexual assault.  Other titles: Moondust and Madness: a collection of poetry, Behind Whispering Pines, and Brian's Last Ride. November 2014 - Curtis will be releasing Rae of Hope: Stories of Survival, a collection of stories written by bullying survivors from around the world.  
A newspaper journalist in Manitoba, Canada. Nearly 20 years of media, publishing and freelance writing experience.  
1st book,  a personal memoir Finding Gloria hit #1 on the best sellers list on Amazon in Canada, USA and the UK several times. 
2013 – Received a YWCA Woman of Distinction nod for inspiring others by sharing her story of struggle and survival after recovering from childhood abuse, bullying, and sexual assault. 
Other titles: Moondust and Madness: a collection of poetry, Behind Whispering Pines, and Brian’s Last Ride.
November 2014 – Curtis will be releasing Rae of Hope: Stories of Survival, a collection of stories written by bullying survivors from around the world.

In the previous issue of Mentor of the Month, Marianne Curtis told us that she began writing as a source of release, a way for her to keep sane during very challenging times in her life. Her writing now not only helps and fulfills her but also assists and encourages others who may be experiencing difficulties in their lives.
Today Curtis shares, in more detail, her experiences as she wrote her books. She also has an upcoming book (this November), which is a compilation of stories shared by people in the hundreds who are trying to find healing. Many of them sharing their stories for the first time.
Tell me about your experiences while writing your novels? (Both Finding Gloria and A Discreet Betrayal) Was it challenging to get started and then got easier or vice versa? Continue reading “Part C: Marianne Curtis: Mentor of the month of May”

Part B: Marianne Curtis: Mentor of the month of May

A newspaper journalist in Manitoba, Canada. Nearly 20 years of media, publishing and freelance writing experience.   1st book,  a personal memoir Finding Gloria hit #1 on the best sellers list on Amazon in Canada, USA and the UK several times.  2013 - Received a YWCA Woman of Distinction nod for inspiring others by sharing her story of struggle and survival after recovering from childhood abuse, bullying, and sexual assault.  Other titles: Moondust and Madness: a collection of poetry, Behind Whispering Pines, and Brian's Last Ride. November 2014 - Curtis will be releasing Rae of Hope: Stories of Survival, a collection of stories written by bullying survivors from around the world.  
A newspaper journalist in Manitoba, Canada. Nearly 20 years of media, publishing and freelance writing experience.  
1st book,  a personal memoir Finding Gloria hit #1 on the best sellers list on Amazon in Canada, USA and the UK several times. 
2013 – Received a YWCA Woman of Distinction nod for inspiring others by sharing her story of struggle and survival after recovering from childhood abuse, bullying, and sexual assault. 
Other titles: Moondust and Madness: a collection of poetry, Behind Whispering Pines, and Brian’s Last Ride.
November 2014 – Curtis will be releasing Rae of Hope: Stories of Survival, a collection of stories written by bullying survivors from around the world.

Why did you choose to get into the field of writing?
“I don’t think I chose writing, it chose me.
When I was a little girl, I was held hostage by an abusive adoptive mother. Without television, radio, outside influence or contact with others (other than school), I had no one to talk to and no support. I got into the habit of pouring out my feelings in every margin, and on every scrap piece of paper I could find. It was a way to keep sane and still is.
Many years later, when my marriage fell apart,  a friend of mine introduced me to another freelance reporter, who was looking for some extra help. I was suddenly a single mom of 4 (used to being a stay-at-home mom); on welfare, needing to find a way to make money (and not wanting to stay on the system). Not wanting to abandon my kids (who were used to me being home), working freelance worked perfectly. A year later she quit, and I moved into the position of head writer – that was 18 years ago.
About eight years ago, I considered going into health care (I was a paramedic, then health care aid at one point to make extra money while writing) and while preparing for applying to be an LPN[Licensed Practical Nurse], I discovered that what I really wanted to continue doing is write, and I haven’t looked back.
Writing has become a way to change people’s lives for me.”
You have been a journalist for a good portion of your life, what are the most fulfilling things about being a journalist?
“I average about 45 articles a month on everything from hard-core news to fluff pieces; nothing is off limits. The most fulfilling thing about what I do is when people come to me and thank me for either passing on important information for them, giving a voice to those who felt they didn’t have one, and being a difference maker. Stories I’ve written have directly changed laws (even provincially), helped write Bills (in government), helped families get medical care they have not been able to, and raised awareness on a number of important issues to my readers.
Even if I don’t do a story on someone or something, if readers need help finding information, or help fighting for something, I try to help whatever way I can, and if I don’t have the answers than I find someone who does. When I am successful (which does happen a lot) it gives my job meaning and keeps me motivated. I find it very personally satisfying.”
© [Valerie Chela N, all writers herein] and Memoirs of a Kenyan, 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s authors and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to appropriate author of content and Memoirs of a Kenyan with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Marianne Curtis: Mentor of the Month of May

Marianne Curtis PicI came into contact with Marianne Curtis by mere chance a few months ago. When I first sent her an e-mail introducing myself and explaining my reasons for writing to her, I hardly expected a reply. I picked up my cell phone as soon as I woke up the following morning to check my e-mails and social media as is my ritual. I was quite surprised to read the name staring back at me. I quickly tapped the New Message icon and instantly began reading with excitement. Not only had she responded and so promptly, but she also agreed to be featured as the mentor of the month! I was thrilled and immediately set out to write the interview questions. Continue reading “Marianne Curtis: Mentor of the Month of May”

Letting the Cat Out of the Bag, sort of..

write-a-bookOne of my biggest dreams is to write books. Thought-provoking books with captivating story lines and fascinating characters. Inspiring books that speak to those who want to make a career in writing and any other of the fields I have, and intend to explore in the near future. I spend a ridiculous amount of time writing, tossing and rewriting, hoping for a masterpiece to something incredible. And with each article I write, including those that never make it to a second pair of eyes, bring me closer to that dream. Because in doing, you experience. It is from that experience that you not only get the courage to step out boldly and fulfill your dream, but you also learn from your own errors, and discover your greatest attributes. To top that, it helps you to either work around your weaknesses or work on them to become better at whatever you are pursuing.  Continue reading “Letting the Cat Out of the Bag, sort of..”

PART B: Mentor of the Month [April]: Interviewing The Abstract Artist

What is your best part when creating? And what is the most challenging part when creating abstract art?

Founder and Owner of the blog 'I am Dark, But Lovely', the magazine 'Awakening: A Bold Love Story Magazine' and the newsletter 'I am Dark, But Lovely'.
Founder and Owner of the blog ‘I am Dark, But Lovely’, the magazine ‘Awakening: A Bold Love Story Magazine’ and the newsletter ‘I am Dark, But Lovely’.

“It’s so hard to distinguish one thing about creating that I most enjoy. Art is not a thing I do, it is melded into who I am, who I am called to be, before anything I do. It enhances my way of life while allowing me to be the person I am created to be. But there are several things that I want to mention here, things that the creative process has helped me discover.
Creating is primarily a place of safety for me. I was introduced to the powerful medium of self-expression through paint, during some of the hardest years of my life. I had to slow down, stop and listen. I had to pay attention Continue reading “PART B: Mentor of the Month [April]: Interviewing The Abstract Artist”

Mentor of the Month [April]: Interviewing The Abstract Artist

Shayani Ann Turko is an emerging writer and visual artist, currently completing a four year degree in Communications at the University of Winnipeg. She is also the Facilitator and current team leader of the Awakening A Bold Love (page available on Facebook), which is a grassroots group of creatives, who desire to lead the way in ushering in a new paradigm for faith, community, missions and life. Apart from organizing and directing multi-dimensional, multi-artist, art shows for the Awakening, she is also the editor of “I am dark but lovely”, which is the digital magazine of the Awakening, as well as its main web page.

Sometimes it is through our darkest experiences that we discover our deepest passion. At times, when we have struggled, suffered and perhaps even failed a few times, is when it gets crystal clear. What we desire out of life, the ambitions we want to fulfill and the life journey we would like to embark on, suddenly glares right into our faces.
This is true for Shayani Turko who at a very trying time in her life, discovered her love for abstract art. As a staunch christian, Shayani boldly states that God is the center of her creations. Shayani explains that she used art and poetry to express her pain through which she gradually experienced deep healing.  In her exact words Shayani says that through abstract art, ” suddenly, I found my voice!”
For the month of April, Shayani will be sharing with us her narrative as an abstract artist from an angle like no other; a perfect combination of faith, passion and genuine love for others.
In today’s issue the artist shares her challenges expressing that by having patience, focusing on a specific goal, resisting discouragement & realizing that she does not have to prove herself to anyone, she has been able to overcome many difficulties in her field. Continue reading “Mentor of the Month [April]: Interviewing The Abstract Artist”

Stimulate Your Passion for the Job

To be more successful we need to recognize that it is our own responsibility to find fulfillment in our careers.
To be more successful we need to recognize that it is our own responsibility to find fulfillment in our careers.
I strongly believe that emotions towards what we do for a living are a great motivator for success or failure. Many successful individuals repeatedly point out the importance of passion. As much as the purpose of the job is to provide a source of income, we spend an awful amount of time working each day. While some of us may be business owners and others employees at a variety of organizations, it is important that we recognize that to be more successful, we need to make it our responsibility to find fulfillment in our careers.  Continue reading "Stimulate Your Passion for the Job"

Mentor of the Month [February]:Seeds of Leadership

Yves Vandal is the Director of Communications and Client Services at Manitoba Student Aid. Over the past several years, Yves has been a leader in multiple industries which he mentions in our interview below. Let us welcome him to Memoirs of a Kenyan, as he shares with us some tips to becoming successful inspiring leaders. 

I believe that a leader should try to balance professionalism while being a real person to the people he/she serves.
I believe that a leader should try to balance professionalism while being a real person to the people he/she serves.

You have managed people for a good length of your professional life.  What have you found to best motivate people to excel in their careers?
I’ve found that the best motivating factors include a chance at an opportunity to expand on one’s experiences and a chance to prove one’s ability to his/her co-workers and leaders.
I’ve had the privilege contributing to the development of a number of team members, doing the organization’s part in helping them achieve their personal and professional goals while being able to congratulate a team member on a job well done or due to their ability to accomplish something out of scope of their normal work is very rewarding.
In developing team members, you become an employer of choice.
In developing team members, you become an employer of choice.

I think that many leaders in many sectors often fear developing their team members because they believe that their efforts will be for not, and that the team members will move on to other opportunities resulting in an effort lost.  I don’t believe this.  In developing team members, you become an employer of choice and thus, increase the quality and quantity of candidates that want to compete for positions in your organization.  Increased competition always equates to high quality candidates.
If you had the ability to change how most professionals approach their work and plan out their careers, what would you change?
If I could change how most professionals approach their work and career plan, I would try to let younger professionals understand that their goals at the beginning of their careers more often than not, are not their goals at mid-point or at the end of their careers.
I think many people, including me, thought they’d follow a specific path from the beginning to the end of their careers.  We underestimate the transfer-ability of our skills and knowledge from industry to industry.  Throughout my career, I’ve led people in the restaurant industry, the health industry and now in student assistance industry.  When I first started out, I never would have believed it, if I was told where I’d be at this point of my career.
It does create an enormous amount of excitement.  I ‘m still considered a young leader and I can’t even imagine where I’ll be 10 or 15 years from now.
What are some of the key leadership lessons you would like to pass on to others?
The most important leadership lesson I’ve  learned, is that as a leader, you are here to serve your team members and not the reverse.  It is the responsibility of a leader to find out what tools and supports their team members need to do their jobs as effectively and efficiently as possible in a way that is inclusive of their own ideas and not solely based on a leader’s observations.
Creating an environment that fosters positive experiences and a chance that on any given day, people will have fun at work.
Creating an environment that fosters positive experiences and a chance that on any given day, people will have fun at work.

This should be accomplished while creating an environment that fosters positive experiences and a chance, that on any given day, people will have fun at work.
How is a good leader expected to carry him/ her-self? And why is this important?
I believe that a leader should try to balance professionalism while being a real person to the people he/she serves.  The importance of maintaining a certain level of professionalism is that it sets an expectation for others to conduct themselves in a similar manner.  It’s also important for your team members to know about their leader’s life so that they feel like their leader can relate to their life/professional challenges.Leadership
© [Valerie Chela N, all writers herein] and Memoirs of a Kenyan, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s authors and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to appropriate author of content and Memoirs of a Kenyan with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Good Ol' Memories

As many of you know, this past Wednesday was our first anniversary. I still cannot shake the rush that came over me Wednesday morning when I opened my e-mail account to find, staring back at me, a congratulatory message from WordPress.

Why, thank you WordPress!

First, I was humbled by Continue reading “Good Ol' Memories”

A Fizzy Drink, Midnight and Me!

Bed Jump
“and land mightily on the ground, my drink flying about it the air. (Photo credit: jamesjyu)

This is ridiculous! It’s the middle of the night yet I am wide awake.

I shift and turn under the covers. Two minutes this side, one minute the other and still nothing feels quite right. Total discomfort.

I sit up. Continue reading “A Fizzy Drink, Midnight and Me!”

"Middle Tabler"

 

Criticism
Criticism (Photo credit: Celestine Chua)

 

Daily Prompt: Tell us about the harshest, most difficult to hear – but accurate – criticism you’ve ever gotten. Does it still apply? 

 

As a member of the armed forces, daddy was a rather stern individual with extremely high expectations.

 
I vividly recall as a young teenage girl, and well before that too, always working so hard to impress my insatiable father. I wanted to be top of my class. I wanted to be the best. I studied daily, spent countless hours after school with teachers asking never-ending questions, and redoing my homework multiple times even when there was no need to. All that, was simply to make sure there were no errors whatsoever in my work. I even submitted extra assignments for revision. I desperately wanted a clean grade. I needed it to make father proud. Continue reading “"Middle Tabler"”

A Woman is Much More Than her Power to Seduce

successful business woman on a laptop
(Photo credit: Search Engine People Blog)

This article is a counterargument to an article written by SovietLover on The Reporter and The Girl blog. He talks about how women have the essential tools; smile, cleavage, high heels and humor that enable them to accomplish their goals. Check out SovietLover’s article for more details. Here’s my take.
True, a woman has all the necessary tools at her disposal to get ahead in life. These tools, to strongly point out, entail a lot more than sexuality and seduction. A woman is much more than her body and her power to seduce. Instilling this ideology in women is a step in the wrong direction. Continue reading “A Woman is Much More Than her Power to Seduce”