Good Bye Retail

Saying Farewell to Retail and Embracing a New Journey

As I sit down to write this blog post, I can’t help but reflect on the journey I’ve been on since 2013, a journey that has defined a significant part of my identity.

When we first opened in 2013

For the past decade, owning retail shops, specifically vape shops, has been my life. It’s been a rollercoaster of experiences, challenges, and growth. However, as 2023 approaches, I find myself at a crossroads, ready to embark on a new chapter in my life.

Owning retail shops, especially in the vape industry, became more than just a business venture for me. It became a part of my identity. I poured my heart and soul into creating spaces where customers could find the products they sought and a sense of community. Over the years, I have met incredible people, built lasting relationships with customers and suppliers, and had the privilege of helping people make healthier choices for themselves.



This past year, I realized that retail was no longer where my heart lay. The industry was changing, and my passion for retail was fading. The daily grind, the ever-increasing regulations, and the constant challenges began to take their toll on me. I had more joy in fighting laws than following them.

I knew it was time for a change, a shift towards something that would reignite my sense of purpose and fulfillment.
I did carry a bit of regret that I paused to make this decision. I felt like I was holding on to something important. Even though the universe gave me so many signs, I kept ignoring them. It’s often the case that we cling to the familiar, even when it no longer serves our best interests. But sometimes, it takes a leap of faith to move forward, to leave the comfort zone behind.


Four hours after sending that email to the building management, letting them know that we are not renewing our lease, a phone call came, and I was asked to speak in Panama in November! The universe said, Yes, Maria, you made the right decision.” It was a clear sign that I was on the right path and that letting go of my retail business was the right choice. The timing of this opportunity couldn’t have been more perfect, and it felt like a reward for having the courage to take a step into the unknown.



As I prepare to let go of my vape shops and retail business, I want to express my gratitude to everyone who has been a part of this incredible journey. I’m thankful for the experiences, the lessons, and the relationships that have shaped me into the person I am today.


The road ahead is uncertain, but I am determined to face it with courage and enthusiasm. It’s a journey of self-discovery, growth, and reinvention. And although it’s scary, the prospect of embracing a new adventure fills me with excitement and hope. Here’s to the unknown and to what the future holds. It’s a reminder that sometimes, you must let go of what no longer serves you to embrace something better.

Open Letter from V. Bailey to Cobourg


Northumberland Women is a place where all women within our community are welcomed with open arms. We understand that some of the topics we discuss might stir discomfort in certain hearts. It’s natural for these conversations to evoke a range of emotions – discomfort, anger, sadness, and more. It’s possible that some will remain unaffected, while others might find solace in the fact that steps are being taken.
Regardless of where you stand in this spectrum of emotions, I kindly urge you to dedicate a moment to read a heartfelt letter composed during a time when one of our fellow community women is engaged in a relentless battle for her survival.
I implore you to delve into Virginia Lee Bailey’s open letter, a profound message that deserves to resonate with all of us. In times like these, everyone’s voice holds significance, and this holds especially true for Virginia’s.


I’m now one of the homeless.  

As of Friday, July 28–that joyous day when I was removed from my home.  Given an hour to pack up what I could of my life, not even able to access the boxes or totes or bags ordinarily used to pack up. Given a hotel room to stay in for 72 hours.  Given a prepaid credit card amounting to just under $300. 

Rushed and herded onto the waiting school bus.  We were bussed away from any and all support networks.  All on a weekend, leaving us with the 2-3 hours, on Monday morning, between the start of a work day for most agencies and hotel check out time. Left to scramble for shelter—all because the Town and Police needed to shut up the ignorant. 


Alright.  Enough already.  Please just STOP.  for a few minutes, stop and think.
Think of the people.  The TAX PAYING, VOTING HUMANS that are part of YOUR COMMUNITY.  The people displaced, exhausted, frightened, alone.   Humans that are being denied their human rights. These are the people that “Community Policing at its Finest” has targeted. 

Yes.  It’s true.  Some of us do live with addiction.  It is, undeniably, a very real demon.   One that many battle daily.  However, some of us are simply poor or mentally ill or even just old.  

We are, actually, very much like you.  We are daughters and sons, nephews and nieces. Grandparents and grandchildren. We are business owners, contractors, hairstylists, PSWs, plumbers and electricians. Nurses and respite workers along with carpenters, custodians and ironworkers.  We are paramedics and security guards.  Surveyors, linesmen and heavy equipment operators. Cashiers, tellers, servers and bartenders.  Chefs, estheticians, tattoo artists, musicians and photographers.  General managers, firefighters and masons.

We grew up with you.  Joined the same sports teams and attended the same schools.  We played on the same swings and slid on the same slides.

There are varied reasons we now find ourselves in such vastly different places than you.  Too many to list.  Ranging from the COVID pandemic that cost so many Canadians their jobs to (yes,I know, you’re waiting for it ): addiction.  With mental illness, abandonment, age, the housing crisis and inheritance in between.   

I’m sure there are many of you shaking your head at my “excuses”.  Those of you lacking compassion. The individuals who enjoy the benefits that come with community.  The feelings of belonging and safety. The very same people that actively and purposely ensured so many others were denied the same.  Enjoying the perks while bringing malice, fear and ignorance to a situation that should be handled instead with some social responsibility.  

Consideration.  Compassion, care, and effort, which also are supposed to be part of a community.  That’s fine; you can shake your head and scoff at my words.  I will still be one of many that will accept and care for you sister, son, friend, grandchild, if they ever find themselves lost or alone.  If their community ever decides they just don’t wish to see them any longer.  If they suddenly just aren’t worth anyone’s effort anymore. 

Even if it’s you, reader. Even if you end up alone outside, desperate, or frightened. Still…. I’ll be there to help you find shelter or to share my food, to give you a hand when I’m able, and to lend my shoulder when you can’t stand being alone anymore.  

I’ll help you–so will 21 others who come to mind, and so very many more individuals affected by this crisis. Regardless of the seemingly, hate-driven prejudice shown by ‘Your’ Community, we now can rely on ‘Ours’. We still stand. Together. Strong.  Daily growing together.  

Growing, unfortunately, in numbers as the housing crisis continues but more importantly, growing acceptance, ideas, strength, love, compassion.  Those areas I just can’t see when I look at the vast majority of so-called ‘normal society’.  Instead, I see the majority of self-proclaimed “good” or “decent” or “upstanding folk” escalate your own concerns.  

Reflect on this…

No meetings are being held by the community demanding solutions for their neighbours that have fallen on the hardest of times.  No, instead, this noble community of ours comes together with our local police, meeting to add to the suffering of these same people.  I see you gossiping.  Smiling.  Patting each other on the back as you enjoy this victory.  Happy that finally someone has helped get rid of the eyesore you just can’t stand to look at.  

You can claim it’s not the aesthetics–it’s drugs.  It’s crime.  Come on.  Use your heads.  

We’re talking about real survival now. Did anyone in that meeting stand up and mention the risk of heat stroke, or just a few months from now, the hypothermia… can you even imagine that?  Dying … freezing to death because your fellow Cobourgians didn’t want to look at you.  

You think the best plan to lower crime rates is to take a bunch of already desperate people and put them in a life-or-death kind of desperate situation? Yeah… clever. You believed that the solution to the toxic drug crisis is you removing places that allowed people to remain together. To not use alone.

How is it that you combined so many minds, and dreamed up ways to keep drugs off the streets, by denying safe places? Thus, ensuring that there will, instead, be a whole lot more drugs on the streets. These were your solutions.  

What exactly do you believe about the 6 people you have celebrated adding to the streets? I already don’t understand how the streets are thought to be safer than my home. The home that offers the things that the majority of your community members don’t bother with.  The home that, on the coldest night of the year, when the warming room was short staffed and just closed for the night, welcomed 40 people into my space.  40! But I’m a bad person, right? 

The same police officers hosting your meetings and enforcing evictions have many times relied on our assistance locating missing persons. They have dropped off individuals that were incapacitated–knowing they were safe with us. They have called us, refusing to release people to anyone else–knowing we would care for them.  

My partner has resuscitated at least 28 people–the lives of your neighbours.  But, he’s not a hero, right? No, he’s “just another junkie”, an embarrassment to the community–right?  

Well, I gotta say…

I think that y’all are the embarrassment.  You should be ashamed of your prejudice.  This witch hunt initiated and supported by the good citizens of this community is, in my opinion, really nothing short of a hate crime. It’s been reported that this all began due to my hero attending to another person’s wounds and then calling 911. Yep, his righteousness in helping a seriously injured man led to this.  The same man so many of you drove past as he struggled to make it to the one place he knew was safe.

Yet, others decided in advance what our fate would be. I encourage every person reading this to look up Pete Fisher’s YouTube video of the July 2023 Police Community Meeting that shows the police representative–actually, lets call a spade a spade–make that the Chief of Police , clearly stating that they had already decided to displace the tenants of 413 Division Street. That place was safety to many. Laundry, showers, a place to rest in safety, to escape the effects of exposure, to cook or eat food, to let down their guard. To smile – free from the malicious glares of ‘normal’ Cobourg residents. You go ahead and pat each others’ backs. Feel really accomplished. Excuse me if I don’t shake your hand!

There are of course, exceptions. I know there are people in Cobourg with caring and concerned hearts. Please understand you aren’t the target of my anger. There are also exceptional people that have made social responsibility their calling–without the incredible support we have received from Missy along with David, Marisa, Bronwyn and the others I’m too emotional to recall names of. I thank you.  Without you we would have been completely lost.  My gratitude is beyond words.

Sincerely Yours,
Virginia Lee Bailey 

Let’s Lead with Love not War

I am not writing to convince anyone that drug use is OK; that is a moral issue with no place in the argument for the effectiveness of public health initiatives like TweakeasyCBG and the Overdose Prevention Site (OPS) they have established in Cobourg. OPS will benefit people who use drugs and our community. This program will reduce the harm and minimize the impact on our community.


Don’t believe me… read the evidence:




I owned a retail store 500 feet from Toronto’s first unsanctioned OPS, this was our experience:

  • A vast decrease in needles and consumption of tools waste
  • Zero vandalism on our building
  • Increase of foot traffic in the area
  • Community kindness and caring
  • Zero incidents of  harassment threats or crime

As business owners, we met so many incredible humans. People who were pushed to the darkest corners of society for decades were reunited with sunshine and humans that lead with compassion. For many of them, it was one of the first times in years that they didn’t feel alone.

People across this country are dying. Parents, children, and siblings in Cobourg are dying from drug poisoning.

There seems to be a divide in our community on how to help. One group wants to help based on what they think works, and the other takes the lead from those that use drugs.

I am part of the latter.

Imagine you are on the roadside and running out of gas. Someone stops and says, “Hey, I have a can of diesel in the back of my car. I can help you out.” You turn to them and say, “no, thank you, my car takes regular.” They then look at you and say, “I am helping you; don’t be picky,” and then proceed to empty the diesel into your regular tank. They leave believing that not only did they help you by solving your problem, but they also found you ungrateful. However, by choosing not to listen to what help you need, they left you in a worse position than before.

This happens when we don’t listen to the people we are trying to help.

The group behind the OPS in Cobourg, have listened and heard, and are meeting the needs of those whose lives are at risk by providing a space that is not is tucked away in a dark corner of the community. They are giving people a place where they can use knowing that they are not alone. A space where they are treated with compassion and caring. A space where they are not judged by what they do, but appreciated for who they are.

Addiction treatment comes in all shapes and sizes. From the abstinence-only approach to various degrees of harm reduction. The reason is choice. Like most other diseases, the patient is part of their treatment plan. Why should it be any different for drug use?

We can no longer arrest our way out of addiction. The drug war has been going on for decades. It has failed, and it is not working.

Over the last two decades, there has been a movement of end-user lead help, and it has been a game changer for addiction.

For those of us that grew up during the Nancy Regan/Solei Moon-Fry “Say No to Drugs” era, it takes work to break down the systemic belief that drugs are bad, the user is bad, and the only road to redemption is abstinence.

Who can forget that commercial with a frying pan and a cracked egg.

“this is drugs, this is your brain on drugs.”

OPS does not remove access to treatment.

OPS does not take away anyone’s recovery.

OPS is step in the spectrum of recovery.

OPS gives choices to heal.

If your position is one from a moral stand point on addiction, then I implore your moral code and treat people who have used drugs with respect. Take a moment and read the following from Health Canada :

How you can help. A small change can help reduce the cycle of stigma

Stigma around substance use can prevent people from getting the help that they need. You can help by:

Listening with compassion and without judgment, so a person who uses drugs feels heard and understood

Speaking up when someone is being treated disrespectfully because of their substance use; and

Being kind with the words you use. Words Matter. Use people first language.
  • Instead of “junkie” use “a person who uses drugs
  • Instead of “addict” use “people who have used drugs
  • Instead of “drug abuse” use “substance use

One of the first things I learned when I walked into a 12 step meeting was the definition of insanity.

“Doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results”

It’s time to lead with love not war.



Spring in Northumberland County


As winter slowly fades away, Spring brings in fresh air and renewed energy. 

Northumberland County (NOCO) is one the best places to enjoy this Spring! All across the county, there are some great activities that people of all ages can participate in! Put your winter coat in the back of your closet and get ready to indulge in fun and exciting activities that help you make the most of the season.

Here are some great activities you can try out in NOCO this Spring.


NOCO is home to over 45 km of hiking trails. The trails explore the rolling terrain and visit the forest, wetland, sand barren, woodland, savannah, and tall grass prairie.

We can all agree that Spring is a great time to explore the outdoors! You can enjoy scenic trails and the beauty of blooming flowers, lush greenery, and chirping birds. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced hiker, there are numerous trails to choose from, depending on your skill level and preferences.


Spring is the perfect time to get your hands dirty and start gardening. Plant colorful flowers, vegetables, or herbs in your backyard or balcony, and watch them grow into beautiful plants. Gardening is a great way to connect with nature, relieve stress and get some exercise. I find that the Farmers Almanac give the best guidance when it comes to planting! Check out their guide for Cobourg here


As the weather gets warmer, it’s time to pack a picnic basket and head to your local park or beach. Bring snacks, games, and a blanket, and enjoy a relaxing afternoon with friends or family. You can also organize a potluck picnic and try different cuisines while enjoying the outdoors. NOCO is home to so many beaches and park lands and plenty of hidden gems! The waters may be a bit too chilly to swim, the land around them make for a perfect picnic. 


Spring is a great time to bike and explore the city or countryside. Cycling is a fun and eco-friendly way to exercise, explore new places, and enjoy the scenery. You can also join a cycling club or organize a group ride with friends. Northumberland County is the perfect cycling destination with its Rolling hills, lush forests and crystal clear waters. There’s so much  space to explore.  


Mark your calendars for May! It’s outdoor Market Season across the county! From Port Hope to Hastings, there is plenty of small business you can go out to support and enjoy their good! Market season is one of my favourites in NOCO! Walking around listening to live music as you peruse homemade and local goods is one of my favourite ways to start my Saturday, Sunday, or both days off! Markets are an excellent opportunity to socialize, try new things, and have fun. Take a look at a full list of markets

Enjoy these next few months as the cold winter melts into a beautiful spring season! Put your winter clothing into the back of your closet and go outside to enjoy the season in Northumberland County. 


Addiction a Fundraising Opportunity?


I know that this is going to sound harsh.It might even sound rude. But, I have to say it. I am done with health groups praying on addiction. Dry February is nothing more than hype. Dry February is praying on addiction.  When did addiction become a fundraising opportunity?

If you want to stop drinking, you must do it for yourself. If you want to stop drinking, no gimmicky campaign from an out-of-touch NGO marketing team that thinks it’s “woke” to pray upon addiction will give you the support and help you might need.

Let’s be clear, if the NGO behind Dry Feb understood addiction, there would be tools to help. There would be warnings, more support than a list of mocktails, and the fan favourite advice: “Keep yourself busy – make the most of your weekends! Try a new hobby or go on an adventure outside” (DRY FEB)

This is predatory behaviour that must stop. 

If you think your drinking has become unmanageable, you can get help. There are tools, resources, and support!

Here are some resources to help

Wellness Together Canada

  • Immediate, free, and confidential mental health and substance use help
  • 24/7
  • Virtual services in English and French
  • Interpretation services are available during phone counseling sessions in over 200 languages and dialects

Drug Rehab Services

  • Free, confidential professional help and resource for drug and alcohol addiction in Canada
  • Referrals for clients seeking support with substances

Alcoholics Anonymous

Free meetings and support for people who come together to solve their drinking problem

There are also many more resources on the Health Canada Website. 

I am not writing to stop you from removing alcohol from your life. I am not here to stop you from living a sober life. On the contrary, I want you to succeed in whatever you do. Especially when it comes to your health.

I will not sell you anything or try to capitalize on your fears. I want to encourage you. Live the life you want to live, with or without alcohol in it.

As someone living in recovery, I will be honest and tell you it will be the hardest yet more rewarding thing you will ever do. I am also going to say your relationship with drinking is yours, and you need to discover what place/role it has in your life.



Alcoholism is a chronic disease characterized by the compulsive need to drink despite the negative consequences. It is a progressive disease that can lead to serious health problems, including liver damage, brain damage, and heart disease. In severe cases, it can even be life-threatening.




According to Canada’s Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines, you will find their recommended consumption limits. I have listed them below. 


  • limit alcohol to no more than:
    • 2 standard drinks per day
    • 10 standard drinks per week
    • 3 standard drinks on special occasions
  • avoid drinking alcohol on some days


  • limit alcohol to no more than:
    • 3 standard drinks per day
    • 15 standard drinks per week
    • 4 standard drinks on special occasions
  • avoid drinking alcohol on some days

Pregnant women:

  • avoid drinking alcohol

Alcohol addiction is a disease, not a fundraising initiative. 

I know I have said this a few times, but again, why are we okay with addiction being used as a fundraising opportunity? If stopping drinking to you is essential, it’s something that you want to do, I applaud you, and I am going to say talk to someone. Addiction to any substance should never be minimized.


If you started Dry February and have realized that stopping drinking is much more complicated than you thought, don’t feel bad about dropping out. Your addiction or relationship to alcohol is not a profiteering opportunity for others.  It’s okay if you feel that Dry February is nothing more than Hype. 

I want to also say shame on the Canadian Cancer Society, which after all these years, still hasn’t figured out how to lead with compassion for all Canadians that suffer illness.  Actions like these makes me wonder where the money is going if they are so desperate as to prey upon one illness to find a cure for another. 


ground Hog Day

Ground Hog Day

ground Hog Day

Groundhog Day is a holiday celebrated on February 2nd in the United States and Canada. The holiday is based on the belief that the groundhog will come out of its burrow on this day. If it sees its shadow due to clear weather, it will retreat back into its burrow, indicating six more weeks of winter. If the groundhog does not see its shadow due to cloudy weather, it is believed that spring will arrive early.

How It Started

The holiday has its roots in the ancient Christian holiday of Candlemas, which was celebrated on February 2nd and marked the halfway point between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. The holiday was later combined with a pagan festival that celebrated the end of winter and the arrival of spring.

The modern celebration of Groundhog Day began in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, in 1887. A group of groundhog hunters called the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club held the first official Groundhog Day celebration. Since then, the Punxsutawney groundhog, known as Punxsutawney Phil, has been the most famous in the United States. Thousands of people gather in Punxsutawney each year to witness the groundhog’s prediction.


Locally in Northumberland, we have Warkworth Wilma, the first and only female prognosticator. Wilma arrived in Northumberland roughly 15 years ago with Patrick Muldoon, a former teacher from Campbellford and current librarian at Warkworth Library. Wilma resides in her burrow in the parking lot behind the library. Follow Wilma year-round and learn some cool groundhog facts by following her on Instagram!

The February 2nd celebration has also been popularized in popular culture. The most notable example is the 1993 movie “Groundhog Day” starring Bill Murray. The movie tells the story of a cynical weatherman stuck reliving the same day repeatedly in the small town of Punxsutawney until he finally learns to appreciate the people and events around him.



The accuracy of the groundhog’s prediction is not scientifically proven, and the holiday is primarily a light-hearted tradition. I hope Wilma does not see her shadow, because who isn’t wishing to welcome an early spring?

Galentine’s Day

What is Galentine’s Day?

Galentine’s Day is a holiday celebrated on February 13th, the day before Valentine’s Day.
The holiday was first popularized by the television show Parks and Recreation, in which the character Leslie Knope (played by Amy Poehler) declares it a day to celebrate and appreciate women’s strong, supportive friendships.

Galentine’s Day is all about celebrating the bond of female friendship. It’s a day to appreciate the extraordinary women in your life, whether they are your best friends, sisters, mothers, or any other woman who has positively impacted your life.  A time to tell these women how much they mean to you and how much you value their friendship. It’s not just limited to women. Men and non-binary folks can also participate in Galentine’s Day and celebrate their friendships with other men and non-binary folks.

Since this day of celebration falls on our broadcast day, we took this as a sign from the universe, and took notice and decided to join up The Nooks and put on a Northumberland Galentine’s party!


Starting at 7pm The Nooks will be the place to spend the night with your best friends.

Chef Seb will have some delicious shareable available, which can be all washed down with a signature cocktail created exclusively for the occasion.
At 8 pm, Maria Papaioannoy Duic will hit the airwaves live for Northumberland Women. Guest will include business maven Colleen Imrie and Social media influencer Tasha Cook!
Not local to Northumberland County?  Don’t worry, there are still ways to celebrate! Here are a few ideas for you to celebrate Galentine’s Day with your besties!

Host a girls’ night with your closest friends. You can make it a potluck-style dinner party where everyone brings their favourite dish and pop in your favourite movie!

Book some time at your favourite spa, go bowling, hit a rage room or simply plan a fancy dinner out.

Giving thoughtful gifts to your friends. You can give them something personal, like a homemade card or a photo album of your memories together. You can also provide them with something practical, like a book or a journal they’ve wanted to read. Or something simple, like a thoughtful message or a heartfelt letter. It doesn’t have to be expensive, its the thought that counts.


This is one thing I will be doing this year! Expressing gratitude to the incredible women that I have in my life. This can be done by popping a card in the mail, sending an email, or picking up the phone and telling them how important they are to you.

Galentine’s Day is a special day to celebrate and appreciate women’s strong, supportive friendships. It’s a day to tell the extraordinary women in your life how much they mean to you and how much you value their friendship. It’s a day to celebrate all forms of love and connection and to give back to your community. Mark your calendar for February 13th and celebrate the bond of female friendship.


Why I LOVE Toastmasters

Toastmasters why love toastmasters

In 2020, I finally bit the bullet and joined the Cobourg Toastmasters group. I went to my first meeting, and I was hooked!

Even two years of zoom only meetings did not deter me from working toward becoming a better public speaker.

As I enter my third year in the program, I am still learning skills that are helping me be a better communicator.

Also I have made friends!

For many people, Toastmasters sounds like a place for older people or for white-collar executives.


Yes, the organization has to shake things up with its image and be more “with the times.” Still, I am here to tell you that this is a place for anyone and everyone looking to become a better communicator.

Before starting Toastmasters, I was a good presenter. Competing in speech competitions and creating and delivering many speeches, I know now that I have improved and will continue to improve because of the group I surround myself with. 

What I get from my Toastmasters group is shared experiences with others. I can watch and listen to others give speeches, take what they do, and incorporate it into my future presentations. 

Now that we are back to in person meetings, I am excited to see how much more I can push myself to becoming an even greater speaker and presenter!

If you are interested in joining the ONLY local Northumberland Toastmasters club (meetings are free) send an email to


For those of you asking what is Toastmasters? 



Toastmasters International is a non-profit organization that provides a supportive and positive learning experience in which members are empowered to develop communication and leadership skills. Some of the benefits of joining Toastmasters include:

Improved communication skills

Toastmasters helps you develop your public speaking skills through prepared speeches, impromptu speaking, and evaluations of other speakers. You can become a more confident and effective speaker by regularly practicing and receiving feedback.

Enhanced leadership skills 

Toastmasters provides opportunities to take on leadership roles within the club and complete leadership projects. These experiences can help you improve your leadership skills and become more confident in leading others.

Increased self-confidence 

The supportive environment of Toastmasters and the opportunity to practice and improve your skills can help boost your self-confidence. As you become more comfortable speaking in front of others and taking on leadership roles, you are more confident in other areas of your life.

Professional development

Toastmasters can be a valuable addition to your professional development plan. Employers highly seek improved communication and leadership skills, and participation in Toastmasters can be a great way to demonstrate these skills on your resume.

Personal growth

In addition to the practical skills you will develop, Toastmasters can be a fulfilling personal growth experience. By participating in the club, you will have the opportunity to learn from others, make new friends, and challenge yourself in a supportive environment.

Networking opportunities

Toastmasters clubs are located worldwide so that you can connect with a diverse group of people. These connections can be personally and professionally valuable, as you never know who you might meet or what opportunities may arise through your involvement in Toastmasters.

Fun and enjoyment

Despite the focus on skill-building, Toastmasters is also a lot of fun. You will have the opportunity to be creative and try new things. The supportive and positive atmosphere of the club makes it an enjoyable place to be.



Vision Board Work Shop

Build your Vision Board Workshop

Vision Board Work Shop
Click here for tickets

Happy New Year!  

Are you ready to manifest your dreams into reality! 

Well our vision board work shop may be what you are looking for!  You can get tickets HERE

A vision board is a collage of images, quotes, and affirmations representing your goals and aspirations. By surrounding yourself with visual reminders of what you want to achieve, you can increase your motivation and focus on turning your dreams into reality.

Here’s how to create your own vision board:

Identify Your Goals

What do you want to achieve in the next year or beyond? Make a list of your goals and aspirations, including both long-term and short-term objectives. Consider areas of your life such as career, relationships, health, and personal growth.

Gather Materials

You can create a vision board physically using poster board, magazine cutouts, markers, and glue, or digitally using a software like Canva or Adobe Spark.

Find images that represent your goals:

Look through magazines, print out pictures from the internet, or use your own photographs to find images that represent your goals. You can also include quotes or affirmations that resonate with you.

Arrange your images:

Once you have a good selection of images, start arranging them on your poster board or digital canvas. Consider the layout and balance of your board, and try to group similar goals together.

Display your vision board in a prominent place:

Hang your physical vision board somewhere you will see it often, such as on your bedroom wall or in your home office. If you created a digital vision board, you could set it as your desktop background or screensaver.

It’s important to review your vision board regularly and make updates as needed. You may find that your goals and priorities change over time, and that’s okay! Remove any images or affirmations that no longer resonate with you and replace them with new ones.

Creating a vision board can be a fun and inspiring activity, and it can help you stay focused on your goals throughout the year. So why wait? Start manifesting your dreams into reality today by making your own vision board!

For more inspiration and ideas, check out these articles:

Here’s How to Make a Vision Board for Manifestation 

The Reason Vision Boards Work and How to Make One

What Is a Vision Board and Why Make One?



Yippity, Yappity, blah blah (YYBB) the term I have coined when people share their perceived failures of someone with everyone but the person they are talking about.

I see value in the YYBB.  I see an opportunity to lean into the gossip about oneself and realize there is something there. Do I wish that these people would come and share their opinions with me? Absolutely! I have so many follow up questions!  How can I get better without feedback?

Our lives of full of sideline people. You know who I am talking about those who spend time on in your peripheral, commenting, and saying things about you to others.  I have been a sideline person, and if I want to be completely honest, I still catch myself wanting to slip into that role.

I have really thought about this from my perspective for a while. For me, being a sideline person and sharing my own YYBB, was because I was envious of their courage to try something that I feared to do.  So yes, I was jealous that they could go out there unapologetically proud of what they are trying to do, and the voice in my head was stopping me from trying. I craved and wished that I too could find the courage to try similar things.  It’s easy to be a sideline person.

As Oprah says, if you know better, you do better!

So that’s what I did. I hear the chatter, I am aware of the criticism, I know the gaps. How may you ask? I know my short comings better than anyone else.

I have spent many seasons in my life of choosing silent and not so silent self-deprecating talk. I have had years of fearing the YYBB chatter about myself and gave it way too much power. It stopped me from trying new things, it stopped me from learning, it stopped me from being happy.

That was before recovery, before rehab, before my 12 step meetings, before me loving me. I found a way to come to terms with YYBB, stop it from being a trigger, and just go out there and explore and learn without fear of criticism of others, but mostly my own self-criticism.

Now I know better. I know that I must be honest with me. I know that I have the power to decide what role this YYBB will play in my decision making. What role others’ opinions of me will have on taking risks and following my own dreams. And the answer is NONE.

So, if you find yourself YYBB’ing about some to someone else. Stop, and ask yourself why I am wasting my time talking about someone else, when I can spend that time working on me.

If you are afraid of the YYBB of others about you.  Ask yourself what value someone else’s opinion that is not shared with you holds in your life? Do their opinions really matter in your life? Take that time you spend fearing what others may say behind your back and surround yourself with people that have the poise to share their opinion with you. Be okay with feedback from others.  Those people that have confidence in being honest with you.

To those that are Yippity, Yappiting, blah blahing about me and anyone else, please don’t send us a bill for the space we have taken up in your head. You moved us in.