Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Around Boston



Just for the record, I did NOT go into Tiffany & Co. It was closed and I was sad ;)

Cape Cod




Darryl and I took a trip down to Cape Cod while we were in the Boston Area. It was stunning with white sand beaches, beautiful weather, and quaint, charming towns all along the seashore. Definitely a place you could while away some time if you were inclined to do so!

USS Constitution



Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Mike's Pastry and the Italian Quarter

Flag on the Harbor Hotel - probably 100 feet high

Boston's Finest

Cannolies

Yes, this was the line for Mike's Pastry. It was worth it.


Bostonians have a small obsession with Paul Revere...

Freedom Trail
Darryl and I hit up the Italian quarter the other night. It is conveniently located off of the harbor and is absolutely FULL of beautiful restaurants, bakeries, and bustling people, even late at night. We waited in line for Mike's Pastry, which serves up authentic-style Italian cannoli and other truly Italian treats. It was absolute chaos with the line stretching all the way down the block and what would be a claustrophobic's worst nightmare inside. But oh, man, was it worth it.

Fenway Night





We exited the train to the smell of roasting peanuts and beer. The buzz of people gathering on the streets surrounding Fenway hung in the air much like the humidity of the day. Street vendors hawked their wares, children clung to their parents, and everywhere you looked the camaraderie of people who believed in something bigger than themselves was evident. This is baseball in America.

Big Papi Hits a Homer



Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Sparlings Do Harvard

John Harvard

Darryl: Admittance Denied.





We went this morning to the historic Harvard Campus and walked the grounds. We also went to Harvard Square where we had lunch in an Italian Bistro. It was really neat to see all the students arriving back for this year's classes as well as all the worried moms and dads following them around ;)

Welcome to Boston



We checked into our hotel (Wyndam Chelsea) and then headed into Boston to Legal Seafoods for supper. Darryl had fish and chips and I had sea scallops and it was amazing! I don't think I have had seafood that fresh in my life - I totally recommend Legal Seafoods if you're ever in the Boston area!

Vermont and New Hampshire




On our way to Boston we drove through Vermont and New Hampshire. Vermont specifically was absolutely breathtaking. It was so heavily treed on the interstate we were driving on that I couldn't even tell there were towns to the right or left the entire time we were in the state. The hills were rolling and there were lush valleys everywhere you looked - I think this is definitely a place I would like to return some day and get better acquainted with!

Montreal

Our Car Stella. (I named her :)

Poutine with Bacon
Downtown Montreal from the Wharf

Vieux Montreal

Expo Centre



After a long night of travel (we very nearly missed our connection in Toronto because of delays), we arrived in the beautiful city of Montreal in the wee hours of Friday morning. Check in at University Bed and Breakfast went smoothly and after a short sleep we hit the town on Friday.

We started with a walk through the McGill Campus with the destination of Old Montreal. I'm not going to lie to you, it was a long walk. The four kilometers seemed like about ten because with the humidex, the temperature felt like 43 degrees celsius. It was like breathing in water it was so muggy and we had to change throughout the day because we sweated so much!

Old Montreal is so fabulous. It has a distinctly european feel with narrow cobbled streets and cafes on every corner. The waterfront is lovely with a view of the Expo centre and downtown Montreal.

We returned to our B&B in the afternoon to cool down for a bit and then went to Patati Patata, a local hole-in-the-wall poutine shop for lunch, a stereotypical french canadian dish. After some more wandering and sightseeing, we ended up on the waterfront for a nice dinner and were serenaded by buskers who did covers of the Beatles amongst others.

We sadly had to leave Montreal the next morning to head to Boston, but getting the rental car made it feel a bit better. We're driving a cherry red 5.0 Ford Mustang, and it's going to be hard to go back to driving our Kia, that's for sure!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Taken from FastCompany.com

Ten Things Your Employees Wish You Knew About Them

BY FC Expert Blogger Roberta Matuson

Mon Aug 23, 2010

If you think it's tough being a manager these days, try being an employee. Most are in the position of having to go with the flow because of the current economic conditions. But that doesn't necessarily mean they do so with a smile on their face. Here are ten things your employees wish you knew about them:

1. They are happy to have a job. But that doesn't necessarily mean they are happy in their job. Big difference. People who are happy in their jobs act a lot different than those grateful to have a job. They are highly engaged and will do whatever it takes to delight the customer. The other group simply floats along praying for the day they can tell you really what they are thinking. Most likely they will do this as they hand in their notice. That is if they even give notice.

2. You're not the boss of me. My five year old used to say this to me all the time. That is until I corrected her by telling her that actually I was the boss of her and that what I said goes. You may be the boss, but you don't own your people. The minute you start playing the, "Because I said so" card, you've lost the game.

3. Your girls don't like being called girls. I remember how shocked I was when my first client started speaking to me about the girls in the office, as he pointed to a sea of silver haired women. That should have been a sign that the problem was right in front of me. It is disrespectful to call females over the age of 18 girls. They are women. Keep this in mind when referring to female employees or you'll soon find yourself managing a team consisting of yourself. Then you'll be free to reference yourself in the manner that best suits you.

4. We are no longer going to take one for the team. That is after the senior team has just awarded the departing CEO an exit package that certainly could have been used to restore salary cuts.

5. We are tired of picking up the slack from the non-performers. We know who is not pulling their weight and so do you. Do something about it before we throw ourselves on top of the dead weight pile.

6. That was our idea you just shared with the CEO. We understand that tough times call for tough measures, but that doesn't give you the right to take credit for something that is not yours. Now go back in there and give us the credit we are due.

7. Measure us on results, not face time. Stop penalizing us for our ability to get work done quickly or we will give you what you want. More face time, and that's about it.

8. Stop wasting our time with surveys. You already know what's wrong. Now start fixing things before we find a work place that is willing to take action.

9. Stop micromanaging us. Micromanagement is a sign of mistrust. You've hired us for a reason. If you don't trust we'll get the job done then by all means, either find people who you think will, or leave us alone to do our jobs.

10. We are never going to act like business owners. Stop complaining that we don't act like business owners. We are not business owners nor are we compensated the same as the owner. And by the way, if we really wanted to act like owners we would have started our own businesses.

I'm sure there is a lot more your employees wish you knew about them. Perhaps they'll be brave enough to add their comments to this list.

Roberta Chinsky Matuson is the President of Human Resource Solutions and author of the forthcoming book, Suddenly in Charge! Managing Up, Managing Down, Succeeding All Around (Nicholas Brealey, January 2011). Visit Roberta's Blog on the Generations at Work or her Linked-in Group Suddenly in Charge! Sign up to receive a complimentary subscription to Roberta's monthly newsletter, HR Matters

I want to go to there.

That's one big lobster.

Free Stuff

I totally got this free scent set at Sephora today as a part of Benefit's promotion of their new line. I LOVE FREE STUFF!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Vintage

We drove all the way to the north end to get this suitcase from someone off kijiji but it turned out to be moth eaten and smelly inside. It took some nice pictures though :)




Backyard Happenings August 2010