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Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

106 Excuses That Prevent You From Ever Becoming Great (Cross Post)

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

Yes, that’s right-106!

I love this highly readable guest post by Tommy Walker on Somehow, it only takes a few minutes to scroll through for a quick jolt of “just do it” juice.  At least that’s what it did for me. Enjoy.

Green Weddings – A Refresher on How to Make That Special Day as Earth Friendly as Possible

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

We first posted this last year and it’s that time again. Just some refresher ideas on how to “green” your wedding.

With Earth Day not long ago passed, and wedding season starting to kick off, we thought we’d focus on the ways couples are planning eco-friendly weddings. Becoming more popular and more mainstream – “Green Weddings” are the latest trend in wedding planning. Here are some tips for planning an environmentally friendly union:

With the economic down-turn, many couples are reconsidering that ice-sculpture or the 10 white doves being released at the ceremony. If budget isn’t enough of a reason to trim your wedding, hopefully the environment is. Consider whether or not you really need all the pomp & circumstance – often it’s the small touches that are remembered.

Alternative Venues
Getting married in an unconventional setting like the beach or at the entranceway to your favorite hiking trail is a great idea. It is a perfect opportunity to draw attention to the beauty of the great outdoors and strengthen your environmental commitment.

The logistics of an outdoor wedding without the basics can be a nightmare, so plan carefully. Also, remember to look into permitting from your local municipality.

Also, having your wedding and reception at the same venue will save time and money while reducing the carbon footprint of your wedding. Being able to move outside while the space is being made over from ceremony to soiree is a great help, and your caterer will thank you too.

Now more than ever people are finding that their friends are scattered all over the globe. Rather than sending invitations via snail-mail, why not send out an e-vite instead? Without the costs of embossing, envelope addressing, stamps and of course the carbon footprint of mail, you’re going easy on your wallet while also going easy on the earth. There are many websites tailored specifically for wedding invitations, check out Wedding Tracker, Wedding Window and EWedding.

The Menu
Food is a hot topic – how do you plan for an eco-friendly meal? The best bet is to try to use local food whenever possible. Encourage your caterer to shop at farmer’s markets and local grocers. If you aren’t a complete carnivore – consider a vegetarian or fish-based meal. Not only will it be lighter, meaning your guests won’t be feeling sluggish when it’s time to hit the dance floor; but you won’t have to navigate through the meat debates (Organic? Free range? Grass fed?). Consider serving organic wine at your table too.

Some people have made beautiful arrangements with wild flowers. If you haven’t got the time to go flower picking, the next best option is to look for locally grown, fairly traded, organic or Veriflora flowers. Veriflora is a sustainability certification program for flowers that are grown in an environmentally and socially responsible manner and meet the highest standards for freshness and quality.

Bridal Registry
We’re a little biased here, but we think DreamBank is the best option when it comes to an eco-friendly alternative in the world of gift registries. Not only does posting your dream gift ensure that you get what you want – but it also means that no unwanted ‘stuff’ is going into landfills and automatically help a charity in the process. Check out some of the great wedding ideas other dreamers have posted: South East Asian Honeymoon, A Bunch of Cool Things, and a Piece of Original Art.  If you want a straight cash registry (without the charitable benefit), there is also, and

Other interesting options are gifts in kind. Consider creating a list of duties that guests can volunteer for. You may know a graphic designer who might agree to design your e-vite and there are always friends that will help decorate your venue.

Keep it Casual
Keeping it casual works well for weddings where green is the theme. If you are married to the idea of a traditional wedding with all the trimmings, then going green can be prohibitively expensive. Renting as much of what already exists in the world is your best course of action.

The Honeymoon
According to a Wedding Bells Magazine survey, a typical honeymoon lasts 8.8 nights; 67 percent plan to spend their honeymoon outside of the country, and 56 percent plan to stay at an all-inclusive resort, spending $3,735 on average. This involves flying and that means more carbon emissions. What can you do? Consider purchasing carbon offsets (carbon offsets are where you trade off one activity that contributes to greenhouse gas emissions with a financial contribution to an activity or cause that saves emissions).

You may look at offsetting the CO2 generated by the air travel of guests attending your wedding by buying credits in a green technology. Visit a site like Carbon Fund or Offsetters where you can use a handy calculator to tally up your entire carbon footprint for the wedding. You can then buy credits in anything from renewable energy, energy efficiency and reforestation projects.

For more resources on how to plan the perfect green wedding, check out:

Suite101’s Green Wedding Article

And check out some of the more popular wedding sites like and, as they have “green” sections. Just type in ” green” in their search area and you’ll find some more ideas.

Happy planning and please let us know what else you’ve found or done to keep your special day “green”.

Travel Planning: Saving for Your Dream Trip (Cross Post)

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

So many dreams gifts on DreamBank are somehow related to travel. Whether it’s a honeymoon in South East Asia, surf camp in Costa Rica, or an urban adventure in big city London,  we humans seem to crave discovering new places and experiences.   I found the post below about strategies to fund that special trip on Your Wisdom, and though maybe the dreaming community could use some inspiration and pointers to help fulfill that travel dream. The blog is target to women but there’s a tip or two for everyone. We add  DreamBank to the list too, of course:).  Happy planning and bon voyage in advance!

By Mimi Bullock – Tue, Nov 9, 2010 6:50 AM PST

The hardest thing about travel planning is saving for your dream trip. For me, putting enough money aside was the difference between a one star and a five star trip. Small sacrifices I made paid off huge when I had my backpack ready and was holding my ticket to Java in my hand. My travel planning began long before my plane ticket purchase. I didn’t have a large bankroll or “sugar daddy” to fund my trip; I did it on my own with some practical travel planning.

There are four main ways to save for your dream trip. Allow yourself some time, up to a year, to save all that you need. Try these practical ideas and get to your destination quicker.

Earning Extra Moolah

It’s the greenbacks that you need lassie! Use your creative noggin to make some extra cash to place in a savings account. Open your account to prepare for the extra cash you’ll be bringing in with these extra ideas.

• Take a second job

• Moonlight on the side by getting some private work and private pay

• Do some weekend babysitting, bartending or personal shopping

• Sell things from your home on eBay or Amazon

• Teach a craft or skill for a fee

Expense Slashing

Besides making more, you will need to trim your current budget. Look at your monthly expenditures and start snipping. Remember today’s sacrifices will pay off tomorrow!

• Stop ordering and eating out

• Quit smoking

• Skip the bar, have a drink at home

• Brown bag your lunch

• Trade down on your car

• Turn off cable

• Cancel magazine subscriptions

Save, Save, Save

Manage your savings with smart girl savvy. Use these tips to help you save, save, save!

• Stash loose change daily in a piggy jar or travel jar

• Review your travel plans and select the less expensive options

• Store your travel savings in an account that draws you interest

• Keep a spending journal

• Create a budget for you trip

• Make a goal poster featuring pictures of your destination

Offset Travel Costs

Consider taking a non-standard trip. You can offset your trip costs by doing a little “work” along the way. Offset travel costs by trying these money saving travel tips.

• Divide your trip into legs and assign each “leg” a budget amount

• Visit travel forums and ask other travelers about their trip costs

• Volunteer along the way and get free room and board

• Consider alternative travel like train, bus or sailing

Dream Trip Tips

• Keep your money with you at all times

• Carry small bills of both US and local currency

• Put your money in a money belt, neck or leg wallet

• Travelers checks are good to carry too

• Carry a prepaid credit card

Budget Travel Insurance

Whether you dream of dancing around the Pyramids or exploring Pompeii you may need travel insurance. Travel insurance protects you when you lose your belongings, your money is stolen or your trip is cancelled. Review the pros and cons of travel insurance before making a decision.


• If you don’t know the local language and you are hurt, medical insurance will give you medical advice in your native language.

• If you have an accident while trying the bungee or get sick eating a foreign delicacy you will be covered.

• If you have limited personal assets that would be depleted if you were hospitalized.


• Travel insurance can be expensive.

• The insurance coverage may be confusing.

• You may never have occasion to use it.

Alright, adventurous woman, the open road lies before you. Don’t take it by foot; travel in style using your travel savings!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! (Turn up the sound for a minute of instant energy)

Friday, December 24th, 2010

Wishing you a fun and festive holiday with friends and family!  We’re planning some exciting changes in 2011 and will keep you posted for your information and feedback.  For now, here’s an instant injection of energy to start the holiday party rolling!  See if you can watch and not start bobbing up and down….(so far I am zero for three).

Dancing Christmas Lights

All the best to you and yours.

Dawn and the DreamBank Team

The Power of Giving Thanks-A Ted Talk

Sunday, November 14th, 2010

In honour of the  “Thank you’”  holidays recently passed, and coming up, here’s a 3 minute Ted Talk video on the power of that magic word:

Laura Trice suggests we all say thank you

And to all you DreamBanker’s out there, “thank you”,  it is truly a privilege to witness the exciting and inspiring things you are up to each day.

FIXED(FINALLY!) –Contribution Bug on Explorer–

Friday, June 11th, 2010

Hi Everyone,

You should now be able to contribute on IE 7.  It was a very elusive bug but our clever Technical Director figured it out in the end! Sorry for the inconvenience and thanks for your patience.

Dawn and the DreamBank Team

Hi Everyone,

We’ve just found out there is a problem contributing  for people using Internet Explorer.

It’s working fine from Firefox so if that’s an option for you, try access the site from another browser and you should be able to make the contribution. Otherwise, please bear with us while we find out what the problem is and fix it!

We’ll modify the post “fixed” when it is.  Sorry for the inconvenience and thanks for your patience.

Happy Friday.

Dawn and the DreamBank Team

Heads Up to Our Dreamers– We are Doing Some Testing- Please Read!

Monday, January 25th, 2010

Hello to the DreamBank Community,

Just a quick heads up that over the next few days we are testing out Facebook Connect on the DreamBank site. We do our best to test everything thoroughly before we bring new functionality to the live site but it’s never foolproof. If you experience any problems signing in, setting up dreams, contributing or doing anything at all, please please let us know. We’re trying to make DreamBank better but sometimes that mean’s it’s worse first. If you do happen to experience a little problem please bear with us. Well make it bug free as quickly as we can.

A big thanks from the DreamBank Team!

Back To Basics – Time Banking To Get Great Gifts

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009


When I met a girl who was involved with TimeRaiser, a project that combines an art auction with time-banking, I was amazed: What a great idea! You bid on a piece of art, but not with money- instead with a pledge of hours to volunteer at different charities & social projects.  So not only do you feel warm & fuzzy for doing some great volunteer work, but you also get to take home a great piece of artwork!

Talking to Dawn about this, she mentioned that the concept of time-banks and micro-volunteering has been around for some time now. Not necessarily volunteer hours, but paying for things with time instead of money.  It seems we’ve gone back to our original bartering roots, and I love it.

I did a little hunting on the web, and wikipedia of course had quite a bit to say about the concept of time-banking and time-based currency.

In economics, a time-based currency is an alternative currency where the unit of exchange is the man-hour.

Some time-based currencies value everyone’s contributions equally. One hour equals one service credit. In these systems, one person volunteers to work for an hour for another person; thus, they are credited with one hour, which they can redeem for an hour of service from another volunteer. As a result, there are few doctors or dentists. Other systems, such as Ithaca Hours, let doctors and dentists charge more hours per hour.

The modern conception of using time as currency was thought up by Edgar Cahn, though the idea has been around since the beginnings of society. It seems to me that this is a great way to get yourself a nice gift – from pieces of art (time raiser) to courses ( I found quite a few different types of time-banks, so if you’re interested in getting involved while earning yourself a little something special, here are a few to check out:

Giving Is The New Getting: How It Changes Everything

Saturday, July 18th, 2009

Sometimes we need to take a step back and think about why we’re feeling the way we are. Most of the time I find that my negative thoughts are quite ego-centric. Nothing is easier for a quick pick-me-up than to shift the focus from me to someone, anyone else. With that in mind, I saw this great post on about doing just that.

Cross-posted from for your viewing pleasure..

How Giving Changes Everything

Give and you shall receive.

Article by Zen Habits contributor Jonathan Mead; follow him on twitter.

We often think that our success depends on focusing on ourselves. But this simply isn’t true.

Every successful person knows that you become successful because of how much value you give to others.

Yet, we often forget this.

It works the same way with our happiness, too. When I become overly focused on my goals and my feelings and my desires, I start to feel down. When I become focused on myself, it’s easy to think that everything is about me. But it’s not. And when I’m so focused on myself, I start to become easily offended by others. I think that others do things that I don’t like because of me, when they’re really just doing those things because of themselves.

See how easy it is to become depressed when you feel overly self-important?

That’s why it helps to turn your attention to others, and put your focus on giving, rather than receiving. You would think that by giving all the time, you will never receive. But the exact opposite is true; it’s because you give so much that you attract the desire for others to give back to you.

It’s crazy how this works:

  • The best way to be interesting is to be interested in others.
  • You gain more physical energy by burning energy when you exercise.
  • The way to be loved is to be lovable.
  • When you seek to understand, others are more likely to want to understand you back.
  • By helping others, they are more inclined to help you in return.

I think it’s interesting how we intuitively know these things, but somehow our ego gets in the way. Our self-importance makes us think that we need to receive to justify giving. This is the same part of you that seeks to be right instead of happy. Is it worth it?

I think it’s a much more empowering position to be the one that gives first. Otherwise, who knows how long it will take the other person to initiate, if it even happens at all. To wait for others to give is like waiting for someone to give you what you want. Why not just ask and find out what happens?

Giving yourself away.

When you can give without expecting anything in return, you have mastered the art of living.

Is it any wonder that the most successful people in the world are masters of giving? The most successful people are the ones that provide the most value to others.

So the question is: How can you give more of yourself away?

I think you’ll find, as I have, that you’re most fulfilled not when you’ve done something really cool, or when you’re doing something that excites you (not that those things aren’t important). You are most fulfilled when you’re serving others.

Here are some suggestions for small, but powerful ways you can give to those around you today:

  • Drop the expectations that you have for your partner and your family. Instead of expecting them to behave a certain way to you, see how you can show them how much they really mean to you.
  • Give away your attitude. This is really one of the most awesome ways you can give to others. Your attitude and positive energy has an amazing effect on those around you. Darkness, when approached with light, becomes illuminated. In the same way, low energy, when approached by higher energy, dissolves. Help dissolve others’ lower energy patterns by bringing your higher, positive energy to them.
  • Gift your intention. Whenever you encounter someone, say a silent blessing or send them a positive intention, instead of judging them.
  • Show your gratitude. Write a simple note or letter expressing to someone how much they mean to you and the reasons you love them. The impact this will have on the receiver is amazing.
  • Simply offer your help. If there’s nothing specific you can do for another person, simply let them know that if there is ever a way you can help, you would like them to let you know.

These things may seem small, but I think the world is changed by a profusion of micro ideas. Revolutions start with small actions.

So what I’d like to ask you now is, How can I help you? Let me know!

This article was written by Zen Habits contributor Jonathan Mead of Illuminated Mind.  For more ways to give back, grab a copy of Reclaim Your Dreams.

Dream to Run Your Own Business – Dawn and Forum For Women Entrepreneurs

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

We’re in the business of dreams – big or small – and of providing the vehicle for which they can be fulfilled. So what if your dream is to start a business? Well, it just so happens, that’s something we know quite a lot about..

There are so many resources available on the internet as well as locally to help you plan and decide how best to implement your great business idea. There are organizations for young entrepreneurs, for women entrepreneurs, for every ethnic minority you can think of, and all kinds of different industries and niches. From boards of trade to universities, the information has never been more readily accessible for planning and executing your business dream.

In that same vein,  Dawn was recently acknowledged for her work in creating and launching DreamBank. She was accepted into the FWE’s e-series program, a rigorous program with a mission of providing female entrepreneurs educational exposure to successful business persons and professionals, enhancing their ability to take their company to the next level.

After completing the program, FWE hosted a gala event to celebrate the graduates – what a night!

The Graduates53

photos by Sara Bork Photography

Kudos & Thanks from Dawn and DreamBank to FWE  for such a great program and to the women of the  e-series 2009 for all their support!

First photo:Joana Barbulescu, AXIS Technical Services; Dawn Bowles, DreamBank Katherine Campbell, Cartwheels Inc. ;Ainslie Cyopik, AinslieWear; Deanna Embury, Licious Living; Karen Engelage, Beauty Solutions; Georgy Good, Motion Foods; Sandra Hass, Mothers Choice Products; Sarah Morton, Backbone Systems; Nancy Mudford, Spa Boutique; Sonja Picard, The Sonja Picard Collection; Alexandra Samuel, Social Signal; Andrea Scott, skoah & chiiki munki; Lisa Thompson, Cartwheels Inc. ; Elayne Wandler, Bopomo Pictures
Second Photo: Victoria & Dawn showing off DreamBank!
Starting your own business stems from an idea and the determination to see that idea bloom. There are people everywhere who will be able to help you, so leveraging your network – local and international – will be one of the most important things you do. You’d be surprised at how many resources you have directly at your disposal!

For more on starting your own business: