Bean Salad with a twist

I have been experimenting with different beans and trying to find different ways to use them. One recipe that works well and gets rave reviews is the one for Bean Salad. I have received numerous requests for this and here it is. Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures.

If I have some time I cook them in the pressure cooker however the canned beans work just as well. If you do use the canned beans then make sure that you rinse them, let’s just say it makes for better digestion : )

As with most of my recipes the proportions are not exact and are subject to taste. In this case you can use as many different kinds of beans that you like, it works best if there are at least 3 different kinds of beans.


1 can of each, minimum 3 different kinds of beans e.g. kidney, black, chickpea, cannellini, garbanzo or navy beans
1 cup of frozen or canned corn
2 peppers chopped e.g. yellow, red, orange or green
1 ripe mango diced
1/2 red onion diced
1 tbs chives
2 green onion thinly sliced
3/4 cup mango juice
1 cup spicy salsa
1 tbs honey
2 tbs olive oil
salt/pepper/paprika to taste
1 tbs fresh herbs chopped e.g. basil, oregano, parsley


  1. In a medium bowl, toss together beans, corn, peppers, red onion, chives and green onion
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together mango juice, salsa, honey, olive oil and herbs
  3. Season with salt, pepper and paprika
  4. Add the dressing to the beans, toss to coat.
  5. Cover, and chill in the refrigerator for 8 hours, or overnight.

It’s best to make this the day before as the flavors have time to blend. Enjoy.

In a medium bowl, toss together black-eyed peas, tomato, red bell pepper, green bell pepper, red onion, celery, and parsley.
In a small bowl, mix balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Toss into the vegetables. Cover, and chill in the refrigerator 8 hours, or overnight.

I got a feeling

I got a feeling…. no I am not talking about the Black Eyed Peas song but how I felt a few days ago at a recent workshop.It was a social media workshop for OCRI’s e2 plus. There were about 14 in the room. As with all workshops most of the people were at different levels and it’s always a challenge to find middle ground and not bore the advanced people and not loose the beginners.

There were a good mix of people with a fair number leaning towards advanced. I started the session off with something new, social media introductions. This idea came from the most common problem that my clients have when it comes to social media.  So I digress to tell you more.

Most clients want to participate in social media as they vaguely realize it’s value especially reaching the younger demographic. Often there is this perception that it’s something instantaneous and magical. The reality is that it could be all that however the key word is that it’s “social”. So if the only medium used is text then it’s very boring. To make it interesting and social photos and videos need to be incorporated into the mix.

Well easier said than done. In the past these photos and videos were taken by professionals and were for organizations with large budgets. However with the evolution of mobile and online technologies the door is now open for user generated photos and videos. Thus taking the message you need to communicate with your audience from a medium of text to photos and videos. The problem is that as individuals, who in turn make up organizations, are not used to doing this from a professional capacity. We have no problems taking photos/videos in our social life, however when it comes to business this is not generally in our thought process.

So my goal was to challenge the group from just sitting and saying who they were to actively generating photos/videos while introducing themselves.Hence the name social media introductions.

Well no sooner had I explained myself I got the P word…. privacy…..

I get this from ALL my clients, it’s this mythical or should I say false sense that our lives are private. That’s a whole other blog post. I did explain that it was part of the workshop and we would discuss it. Long story short we go on with the exercise.

I took both a video and digital camera and asked the participants to exchange these items while the person sitting next to them introduce themselves. I delliberatly did not give them too much instructions as I wanted them to go with the flow. At first people were very conscious of the cameras however as they made their way round the room people relaxed and began to have fun. The started to pay attention to what they were saying, what the lighting conditions were, camera angles etc….

In other words although they were not happy with what I suggested in the begining they participated and had fun. The feedback I got afterwards indicated this. I did ask if I could edit the video and put both the photos and videos online and I got no objections!!!

So back to what made it so awesome? For me it was the workshop participants, they asked questions regardless of what level they were at and also shared their social media experiments. Both beginner to advanced they participated actively not just one or two but a fair number of them.

So everyone participated and that’s what made it fun. So thanks to everyone who attended and thanks for participating and making the session interesting for everyone.

Vote for me

It’s been ages since we have had a demo camp here in Ottawa and there’s one happening on Monday 19th Oct.

To spice things up the organizers asked for people to volunteer to be MC and if there was more than one candidate to place a vote.

It turns out that 6 of us feel up for the task, I being one of them.

The voting has started and I am asking for your vote.

Why should you vote for me?

Well I am a huge fan of Demo Camp and for the past few years I have attended most of them. I thought that this time around I would be on the other side of the fence so to speak and help out by being the MC.

So what qualifies me for this position?

I have been a guest speaker since university talking about various topics that I am passionate about. I love to inspire people into trying new things. I have never had the opportunity to be MC and looking forward to it.

So do VOTE for me. Thanks.

BlackBerry manners

Having a deviced attached to our hands seems to be common place these days.  This article made me laugh and I thought that I would share it with you. Shawn Kahandaliyanage is one such indivitual with a device attached to his hand and had the perfect strategy of walking and texting.

“I’d latch on to the brightest coloured shoes I could find, and follow behind that person, keeping their shoes in my peripheral vision while keeping my eyes [and attention] glued to my BB,” says the director of business development for Waterloo, Ont.-based mobile video company Metranome Inc.

All well and good until he got off a plane in the Ottawa airport one day en route to a business meeting. Trying to catch up on his e-mails, he followed a pair of red high heels. Suddenly, the shoes came to a halt and turned in his direction.

“I looked up, and was met by the dirty stare of the woman with the red heels. I had followed her straight into the ladies room,” Mr. Kahandaliyanage says.

You see what I mean. All kidding aside, mobile manners is something that we need to take into consideration and here are some great guidelines from Linda Allan an office and technology consultant.

  • Take charge
    Set times during the day when you choose to check messages; otherwise put the gadget away.
  • Shut it up
    The “new message” reminder or sound can tempt you, so turn it off.
  • Filter priorities
    Set up your e-mail filter during busy work hours to forward messages only from specific, high-priority contacts. Save the others to read at less hectic times.
  • Say I shall return
    To allay expectations of an instant response, set up an out-of-office message that promises a well-thought-out reply as soon as possible.
  • Talk rather than text
    Text messages beget more text. A phone call can often solve problems more quickly and completely. A bonus is that vocal messages are more personal and can carry more authority than written words.
  • Hide the face
    If you need to have the device out in a meeting to reference calendar or memos, place it face-down so you are not tempted to look and to show you are paying attention to the gathering.
  • Schedule text breaks
    At meetings, set ground rules for checking PDAs. Instead of an outright ban, consider a 20-minute break in mid-meeting.
  • Ask permission
    If you’re waiting for an important e-mail or call, let others at the meeting know ahead of time that you’re expecting it.
  • Take it outside
    If you must answer a message or take a call during a meeting, excuse yourself from the room to avoid distracting everyone else.
  • Set boundaries
    Avoid replying to messages on evenings and weekends, or contacts will be conditioned to always expect instant answers.
  • If you really must…
    Don’t succumb to stealth. Keeping the device under the table and typing sneakily will only make people think you are hiding something; better to let people see what you really are up to.

Lead to Win

There is a drive to massive innovation in Canada’s Capital Region, this is through the Lean to Win program.

This is for talented individuals who wish to establish and grow successful businesses in Ottawa. They are accepting people from a range of backgrounds including sales, business development, product managers, design engineers, systems analysts and management.

They have a good success rate with this program.

The first sessions start on May 19th. The best part is that its’ FREE.

This program is supported by the City of OTtawa, The Talent First Network, alunmi from the 2002 Lead to Win program community expertise, faculty members and graduate students fo Carelton University’s Technology Innovation Management program.

Apply via their website.

Mashups and open APIs’ the new entrepreneurship

I was at MESH last week in Toronto. Mayor David Miller gave a very inspirational talk about the future of technology in Toronto.

Here is a video of the presentation that I would like to share with you.

Listen to it as it is very inspiring and talks about the possibilities using mashups. This does have a Toronto focus but the point is to see the possibilities and start something of your own. Open source is not just free software it also means new ways of doing business.

What’s your opinion on this?

Startups and the Minister of Research and Innovation


I was at The Code Factory for a great session with John Wilkinson, Minister of Research and Innovation for Ontario.  It was a great discussion between the minister and various start-ups in Ottawa.

The start-ups present shared their experiences and woes.  John talked about the great work his team is working on and future developments.  He also brought to attention the challenges governments face with coming up with programs as they have to be fair to all.

So if you are one of those that recently graduated from you past job and now looking to start a business the next areas of growth are clean technology is huge globally so is digital media.

A couple of great sites to check out are and

Ian Graham will share his thoughts on this on The Road less travelled.

7 Productivity Tips for Freelancers

I recently launched my Social Media business and it’s been very exciting.  As a business owner one has to wear many hats so to speak one day you are the worker bee, the next moment you are the bean counter, sales person, marketing etc… So how do you get through your day and stay focused on what needs to be done.

Elliott Kosmicki is a productivity and personal development consultant and shares his tips with us.

Get it out of your head and onto something, he recommends mindmapping.  I have been exploring mindmapping online and find it very useful in sorting out my thoughts and plans.

Look at each email once, this is a great idea and I am actively working on this.  I have started tagging them so I can scan and know who I need to respond to.  I do say that the filtering is something that I don’t care to do yet.

Let calls go to voicemail, not a problem so far.  For more tips and tricks check out his post on 7 Productivity Tips, plus tools for freelancers and web workers.

Launching Virtual EyeSee, a Social Media Company

For the past few months I have been focusing a fair bit of my time in setting up a new business.  It’s to do with New Media marketing or Social Media marketing.  Given the developments in open source software and free social networking sites it’s a great way for corporations to take advantage of these communication vehicles.  They can be used internally within a company or externally to communicate with customers.

With this in mind I have founded Virtual EyeSee a Social Media strategy and training company.  The goals are very simple to educate people about the trends in this space and inspire them to use these communication tools to increase their bottom line.


The website was design and integration is by R-Cubed, who worked their magic to maintain a common look and feel for both the corporate website and the blog.


EyeSee is where I blog about my adventures in Social Media.  You can become a fan of Virtual EyeSee on facebook and ask all your burning questions on Social Media.


For the more advanced tweet me on Twitter.


So do join me on my advetnures on line and learn how to participate in these spaces.  If you are looking for a guest speaker for your organization, team building, conferences or networking groups, I would be happy to talk about social media, web 2.0 or whatever you want to call it.

C.U. Game Day

Carleton University is having a Game Day and it looks like a lot of fun.


It’s from Fri. Jan 30 to Sunday Feb. 1 2009. What looks particularly interesting is the Game Jam.  This is for artists, programmers and designers to work together in small teams on a game project.  The games will be based on a theme that will be announced at the start of the Jam.

So don’t miss out and join in on the action.