Resolutions Giving You Trouble?

New Years ResolutionMaking New Year’s Resolutions is easy. Sticking to New Year’s Resolutions is hard.

I should admit that I am not big on New Year’s Resolutions. The last time I made any resolutions was at least 10 years ago, and I found it hard to stick to them. If you made any New Year’s Resolutions for 2015, this is a friendly end-of-January reminder to keep working on them!

When it comes to New Year’s Resolutions, setting the goals is the easy part – following through is where things get hard. When January 1st rolls around you’re hit by the reality that this is going to be a lot of work.

So many common New Year’s Resolutions are total lifestyle changes, so they end up being overwhelming. It was really easy to say you wanted to exercise more and lose weight, but suddenly you’re halfway through January, you haven’t followed through, and everyone else has given up on their resolutions too. Maybe it’s time to forget about the novelty of “New Year’s Resolutions” and focus on how to reach the goals we set for ourselves.

New Year’s Resolutions seem so strict. If you don’t start them January 1st or you slip up once, it’s easy to give up and say you’ll try again next year. Sometimes you need to start over. Life changes. Goals need to be adjusted. Don’t put off starting over until you’re thinking about next year’s New Year’s Resolutions! You could make some pretty big changes in the months between now and next January.

If you made any New Year’s Resolutions this year, keep focusing on your goals. So what if you started a few days after January 1st or forgot about them for a few days? Start over if you have to, change them when you need to, and don’t give up on them!

“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” 
― Thomas A. Edison


Christmas Elves are Stalking You.

The_Elf_on_the_Shelf_bookElves are everywhere apparently. On your bathroom vanity and beside you creepily when you wake up in the morning.

Elf on the shelf is one of the most disturbing new holiday traditions and they are slowly taking over one house at a time. Women are lining up and stores are sold out of these creepy little minions and it is all purposed to manipulate young children to behave.

The phenomenon started with a simple children’s book published in 2005 by Carol Aebersold and her daughter Chanda. A Dr. Suess-style picture book to remind children that Santa is watching and knows all of their dirty little secrets, so they better straighten up.

The book has gained a cult following around the holiday season and the strange little creatures have their own line of clothing. Once the elf is named it inherits a magic ability to fly to and from the North Pole and nark on you every chance it gets.

Personally the elf gives me the creeps, so we obviously don’t have one. I am not sure that it sends a really good message to children either. It basically tells them that it is okay to tattle on everyone and that if you’re really good someone is going to give you whatever you want.

Then again I think the whole message of Christmas these days is completely lost. Commercialism has consumed us and parents feel obligated to live beyond their means to please their devil children and give them their hearts desire, even though the other 364 days they are complete jerks.

Did I mention that children are not allowed to touch the elf or all their magic will disappear! Intelligent children do whatever misdeeds they wish and just smother the elf when no one is looking, that way they have all their bases covered. At least that is what my niece would do, but she’s a clever little bugger.

The women who started the story of the elf are laughing. The crazy little doll won a best toy and two best book awards in 2008. It has even gone on to star in its own film, has been in the Macy’s parade and has released a birthday book. Although it has had some not-so-nice reviews.

Prominent publishers have called it a parental crutch and a new way to obsess over the penal code, along with some other negative statements defending the rights of children. All I know is I feel the same way about that elf as I do about gnomes. No thanks and I’ll burn them to ashes before they come in my house.

Even creepier are the people who come up with all different scenarios for the elf so they can wake up doing something new every day. That is an open invitation to some pretty messed up dreams and imagine how your kids must feel when they find out it is all a lie.

Between Frozen and the elf, I’ve had enough marketing for this year and I think part of us all are just counting the minutes until the holidays are over and we can go back to crying about all the snow.

Respecting Veterans on Remembrance Day

Remembrance DayIt seems like the second Halloween is over the commercial world is throwing up Christmas on everyone, but many people forget that there is an actual <em><strong>important and meaningful</strong> </em>holiday in between them. Every year I see fewer people supporting the poppy, something that in light of recent event should spark support easily.

Remembrance day is the time where we as the free people of Canada can give respect and properly thank the who have fought for our freedom.

This year the NDP is pushing forward a bill that will make Remembrance Day a national statutory holiday. Currently six provinces and three territories have November 11th as a paid holiday, except Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba and Nova Scotia don’t recognize it as one.

Remembrance Day celebrations will be on the forefront, as it falls only a few weeks after two attacks on soldiers in Ottawa, including the death of soldier Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, who was only a young 24, as he stood guard of the War Memorial. Attacks like these are hard for Canadians because that type of action rarely happens here.

Some Americans, such as <em>The View </em>host Rosie O’Donnell, have spoken out that the amount of media coverage and outcry over the Ottawa shootings is outrageous and hyperbolic, because “86 people a day are killed in America with guns, and you know what? That is terrorism here,” according to O’Donnell.

These types of statements do nothing for anybody, and the fact that Americans can live with this as their day-to-day living only makes it easier to see thy they constantly try to justify their right to bare arms and the constant conflicts overseas. Lets make a vow to see all violence for what it really is no matter the ethnicity behind it and stop constantly naming people terrorists when we ourselves commit the same unneeded acts.

Regardless, Remembrance day, Veterans Day, whatever you call it in whatever country you celebrate it, it all comes down to putting down the electronics, putting problems on the back burner, taking those two minutes of silence and remembering those who gave their lives for your freedom.

So keep Christmas at bay for another couple weeks. Refrain from the consumer Hallmark holiday and mark November 11th with national pride, because your house might just get egged if you put up you Christmas decorations this week. Seriously, everyone, despite their nationality, should be sporting a poppy for the next couple weeks, <strong>at least. </strong>

Then we can get on to the whole <em>whose festive celebrations are better </em>debate that goes along with the numerous religious holidays in December.





Port Hope designers up for CCMA Award


Photo Credit: DARKO - New Port Hope residents Brandon Heard and Sheila Hash, who run Mediavandals, are nominated this week for a Canadian Country Music Association award for Album Design of the Year - Jess Moskaluke's Light Up the Night.

Photo Credit: DARKO – New Port Hope residents Brandon Heard and Sheila Hash, who run Mediavandals, are nominated this week for a Canadian Country Music Association award for Album Design of the Year – Jess Moskaluke’s Light Up the Night.

By JEFF GARD, Northumberland Today
Wednesday, September 3, 2014 2:14:49 EDT PM

PORT HOPE – Still being new to town, Sheila Hash and Brandon Heard may not yet be well known in Port Hope, but they certainly are making a name for themselves nationally.

More specifically, with their company Mediavandals – a website and graphic design agency – and on the Canadian country music scene.

They are headed on Thursday to Edmonton where they are nominated for a Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) Award this week for Album Design of the Year (Jessica Moskaluke’s Light Up the Night).

This is the third CCMA Award nomination for Mediavandals following previous album design nominations for Chad Brownlee’s Love Me or Leave Me and Hey Romeo’s Twist of Fate.

“Everyone who makes the final ballot has excellent work. It’s nice to be recognized by our peers for the work that we’ve done,” Hash said. “It’s a great feeling and we’re really proud of the work that we do for all of our artists – not just the ones that are nominated.”

To get through the balloting system with several rounds of voting and emerge as an award nominee, Heard said it’s rewarding to be considered “one of the best in Canada” in that category.

After arriving in Edmonton today, there are a few different award shows leading to the main televised broadcast on Sunday night. The awards ceremony that will include the Album Design of the Year award will be held on Friday.

Hash and Heard said there are plenty of conferences, seminars and showcases to attend. The CCMA nomination only helps them grow their business.

“When we go to the award shows, you’re bumping elbows with some of the best in the industry,” Heard said. “This gives (the artists) even more exposure too.”

While they work with numerous country music artists now, Hash and Heard started out with independent of any genre.

“We got Chad Brownlee when he was just starting out and everything just kind of snowballed from there,” Hash said.

“Typically we offer website and all different types of graphic design and album artwork,” Heard noted. “We’ve worked with musicians since the very beginning and musicians need albums design, poster design, logo design, all the social media banners and of course the website. We can offer them the full package. Not only musicians, we do work for small businesses, lawyers, accountants, NHL players.”

Now Mediavandals is based out of Port Hope after the couple relocated from Oshawa. Heard likes that the work can be done from any location while Hash appreciates still being close enough to Toronto and have the chance to meet with clients face-to-face on a regular basis.

They certainly are enjoying being Port Hope residents since moving here in July.

“Absolutely amazing. People are great, friendly – big difference from big cities,” Heard remarked.

Added Hash, “mainly just the small-town vibe,” is what they enjoy.

“I mean, it’s obviously not a small town with 16,000 people but it’s got a small-town vibe,” she continued. “Everyone is really friendly, the landscaping is gorgeous, we love the community. When we were doing our house hunt, we pretty much went everywhere between here and Toronto and all the way up to Peterborough and something kept bringing us back to Port Hope.” | [GO TO FULL ARTICLE]

Mediavandals featured in Reflections Magazine

Mediavandals was featured in this months issue of Reflections magazine on page 16, check out a snippet below!

For Durham College Web Developer grad Sheila Hash, success isn’t just about being your own boss — it’s about doing something that you love to do. And, in her case, what’s not to love? After all, her company, Mediavandals, has successfully synergized the music and web design industries and scored a nomination for the 2012 Canadian Country Music Awards album design of the year for Chad Brownlee’s Love Me or Leave Me. [Read full article here]