Monday, July 26, 2010

I Heart Travel Alberta!

Wow.......who knew that the MPI World Education Congress would be so much fun! Tonight I attended a reception hosted by Travel Alberta and only one word could describe it....AWESOME! The fun and laughter was contagious and the smiles were genuine.

After being greeted by the wonderful Jennifer Holly of Travel Alberta who was waiting at the Pan Pacific Hotel, we were bused to the marina. The boat was wonderful.

Food and drinks were plentiful, everything was geared to beautiful Alberta. We had Alberta beef, Alberta Bison, spicy caesars (a drink invented at a bar/hotel in Calgary) and many other great creations.

You would think that the evening couldn't possibly get better...but it did. We were entertained by the Edmonton music group, the Be Arthurs and they were fabulous!

I can't say enough about the Travel Alberta group, so I will just simply say, "Thank you"


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Yes, it's a Big Deal started reaaaaalllllly early this morning as I set off to go to the MPI World Education Congress 2010 in Vancouver. I was pleasantly surprised by a genuinely friendly Flight Attendant for Air Canada Jazz (I am going to send in a comment card). She was attentive and friendly and really seemed to enjoy her job. That translated into a very pleasant trip for the passengers.

After arriving in YVR, I took the Canada Line to my hotel. Why Vancouver didn't build that years ago, I don't know. It is fabulous. I wish that Edmonton would build a high speed rail service to YEG!

I went to the opening reception and the food was fabulous. All local fish, veggies and fruit topped off with BC Wine. Outstanding!


Monday, July 12, 2010

Moving on and moving up!

Summer’s here and many of you will be moving on and/or moving up. Moving to your first home or apartment is an exciting time. Moving from your first home to a larger, new home is exciting too! Friends and family will be anxiously waiting for the invitation to a housewarming party so that they can get a tour of the new home and maybe bring you a little something!

Here are some tips for throwing a stress free housewarming party!

Change of address cards can double as invitations. Send out postcards with your change of address, directions to your new home and the time and date of your housewarming. Personalize the postcard by taking a photo of your new home and print them out on 4 x 6 stock. On the reverse you can provide the details. Only use traditional mail for those few individuals who live out of town and aren’t connected via the internet, as there are definitely “greener” options.

“Facebook” them with the details. For your facebook friends, create an event on your facebook page with all the housewarming details, directions, etc.

E-vite them! If the majority of your friends and family are connected via email, send them the information via an email message. You can still attach the photo, directions, etc.

No need to decorate, your new home is the decoration! You can create a welcoming atmosphere with candlelight and fresh flowers (never leave a candle unattended).

Set up a no-host drink station so that guests can serve themselves. (You will be too busy giving tours) Don’t go overboard with the choices. Why not come up with a signature cocktail and call it the new “Hometini”? The mix can be prepared ahead of time and sitting in pitchers. Have a little index card with instructions on how to create the cocktail. Beer and/or coolers can be sitting in buckets of ice for easy access. Always ensure you have something non-alcoholic available for guests who are driving.

Create a coffee station that is extraordinary. Brew both a pot of caffeine free coffee and of regular coffee and set them out in pump pots or carafe’s clearly labeled. Rim your coffee mugs by dipping them first in either a simple syrup or a liqueur, then press the rim into a mixture of cinnamon sugar (just like the kind you would put on your toast in the morning) Provide coffee cream and milk for the coffee as well as a selection of sugars (including splenda, equal, etc). If you wish, you can also set out a selection of coffee liqueurs such as Irish Cream. Tip: Rolo candies are delicious dropped into hot coffee and stirred!

High Impact – low effort appetizers. No one has to know it is takeout! Order an assortment of sushi from a local restaurant and display it beautifully. When you place the order, drop off your own serving platter(s) and ask them to use them instead of takeout containers. This will save time for you and be more eco-friendly.

Lollipop’s are fun! We are all kids at heart and can’t resist anything on a stick. Make Rice Krispie treats, mold them into small balls, insert a lollipop stick and dip in melted chocolate. Display them by inserting one end of the stick into a watermelon (you can have watermelon the next day)

Are you invited to a housewarming party? Here are just a few ideas for gifts that will set the new homeowners on the right “green” path:

§ Purchase recycling bins and print out instructions on what is recyclable and how to sort.

§ Sign them up for curbside recycling – pay for the first 6 months

§ Water saver faucet attachment for kitchen sink

§ Water saver attachment for shower

§ A bucket filled with an assortment of green cleaners such as Seventh Generation and a collection of “pre-loved” rags

§ A compost collection container for under the sink (provide a cheat sheet on what is acceptable for compost)

§ A backyard compost container.

§ If they have teenagers, purchase a shower timer that sticks to the shower stall (4 minutes!)

§ Purchase them a replacement shower curtain that is not made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

MPI World Education Congress here I come!

I am so excited about attending my very first MPI World Education Congress and it is being held in my home Country and Province!

I am not sure what I am most looking forward to.....checking in with friends and colleagues or all of the great workshops, seminars and featured speakers! I am particularly looking forward to hearing Ed Begley speak.

I think that any time we have the opportunity to connect and network with colleagues we should take advantage of it.

Can't wait!

Friday, July 2, 2010

I spy with my green eyes......

The Hyatt Regency Boston! I just was reading about how they sliced their annual energy consumption by 42%!!! It didn't happen overnight, but happened as a result of improvements to infrastructure, equipment and systems to improve efficiency. Read more about it here on Green Lodging News.

Way to go!