Archive for July, 2010


September Issues Coming Soon!

 The days may be sunny and warm but in the next few weeks a chill will settle in the evenings and thoughts will lead to sweater weather again. An end of summer ritual for many is spending time with the September issues. Traditionally, the September issues of fashion magazines, appearing in mid-August, have the greatest sales and the most significant heft of the year.  The record breaking edition has been September 2007’s American Vogue magazine at some 840 pages and weighing in at over 5 pounds. After a dramatic decrease in advertising last year, the advertisers are optimistically back and the editions will be back to their impressive September presence. Understandably, the cover model is an important decision for these issues. The Huffington Post recently released the list of fall faces for this 2010 year:

Vogue – Halle Berry

In Style – Hilary Swank

Elle – Julia Roberts

Harper’s Bazaar – Jennifer Aniston

Vanity Fair – Lady Gaga

For entertaining insight into the behind the scenes development of not only a magazine, but one of these iconic issues, view The September Issue. This documentary follows Anna Wintour, Editor-in-Chief of American Vogue, during the entire process. View the trailer here and then plan to hoist a big September issue onto your lap and snuggle up to watch the video on a cool late summer evening.


Pretty Restrooms – Gain Customers and Retain Employees!

Restrooms at the Cactus Club on Burnaby’s Byrne Road have comfy chairs and television sets. Photograph by: Glenn Baglo, PNG, Vancouver Sun

It is a competitive, globally oriented business world; there are literally millions of organisations and individuals with brilliant ideas, products, and services. How does one stand out and achieve success in such a crowded marketplace?  The answer is proven time and time again – the ones that succeed are the ones that are memorable. What makes memorable?

If you are a restaurant, memorable could mean having chandeliers, TVs and comfy chairs in the washroom.

Cintas Corp., a company whose business it is to make sure public bathrooms are spotless and well-supplied, is asking Canadians to vote on their favourite restroom. Why? Because Cintas has “a pile of information that shows there’s a direct, clear and concise correlation between having clean and appealing restrooms and having a high level of customer retention and satisfaction,” said David Brandt, survey editor of Canada’s Best Restroom Contest.

While in its first year in Canada, the contest has been running since 2002 in the United States and according to David Brandt, it has been wildly successful. The washrooms can be “quirky, thematic, luxurious, anything can make for a great restroom”, he explains.

Two local businesses have made the final five: the Shangri-La Hotel in downtown Vancouver, with its private washrooms featuring two-storey ceilings, crystal chandeliers and lighted mirrors, and the Cactus Club Cafe on Byrne Road in Burnaby, with its comfy chairs and televisions.

To see the restrooms and vote for your favourite, go to Voting is open until the end of August and the winner will be announced in September 2010. (Sourced from Vancouver Sun)

After listening to one of Sook-Yin Lee’s “Definitely Not The Opera” (DNTO) episodes on CBC Radio on office bathrooms, we realized that prettying the restroom is more than a trend, with positive effects not only for customers, but for employees as well.

“Office bathrooms are key indicators of a team’s culture” says Kate Runner, a consultant at Adaptive Path (washroom guru). She used the following graphic to look at the different levels of a bathroom experience — from the ”Basics” to a “Cultural Experience”.

After Kate Runner gave the CBC washroom a simple makeover, the results were dramatic. Their experiment proved that having a nicer bathroom can reinforce a positive atmosphere in the workplace. People interacted more, were walking around smiling, felt happier. “It has an affirmative, transformative effect. The small touches change everything – little plants, tic-tacs… it puts me in a better mood, it totally changes my day, it changes everything” one CBC employee explains.

You can listen to the full episode here: (Sourced from



Behaving at the Beach

The sun is shining and the heat waves are reverberating … time to hit the beach! And time for a refresher in Beach Etiquette …

  • Respect personal space and be sure to leave adequate space between your “camp” and your neighbours’.
  • Be conscious of the scenery and avoid blocking the view for others.
  • Avoid casting shadows onto sunbathers.
  • Be careful of kicking or spraying sand downwind onto your neighbour.
  • Keep voices and music at a respectful level – noise pollution is among the most irritating.
  • Dress appropriately. Naked is fine for a nudist beach but at family beaches, cover your bits adequately!
  • Keep tidy.  Windy conditions can be challenging but keep your papers and wrappers contained. Follow the rule of pack-in-pack-out. Go further and do a litter scout – help leave the beach cleaner than when you arrived.
  • Do not bring glass to the beach.
  • No smoking. This has become law at many beaches.
  • Use the provided facilities when “nature calls”.
  • Respect the beach and its ecosystem – admire and enjoy but leave creatures where they’re found.  Do not disrupt natural habitats.
  • Be aware of  how and where you play – keep your kite, your frisbee, your football, your small children, your splashing, away from others.
  • Be safe!



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