New article for Red, White, and Blue Foods for Independence Day

( Independence Day is a great time for parties picnics, potlucks, and barbecues. Unfortunately, these celebrations tend to be heavy on fat, salt, and sugar as we tear open bags of chips, bottles of soda (or beer), tubs of potato salad, and cartons of ice cream. This year, why not mix in some healthier options that show off your patriotic spirit by mirroring the red, white, and blue of the flag?…

Read the rest at

Paris: Find Your Connection (A smashing story of love, a bridge, and a boat)

Expedia has a series of short videos about how travel bloggers have “found their” meaningful travel moments. One of my favourites features Trish Friesen (aka TripStyler) talking about how an early travel experience to Mexico shaped her view of travel — and of life. This got me thinking about the key moments in my own travel experience. Over the last five years, travel has become a fundamental part of who I am — as a writer, yes, but also as a person.

My “find yours” destination would have to be Paris. It’s the place my husband I return to again and again. It’s where we got engaged. It’s where we went on our honeymoon. I’ve written about Paris for iloho and for The Globe and Mail.

More specifically, my “find yours” place, the place that means more to me than any other travel destination, is the Pont des Arts. This was where my not-yet husband surprised me with a tiny lock he’d purchased at a local market, so we could join the tradition of lovers marking the permanence of their love by securing a lock to the bridge and throwing the keys into the river — something we’d seen on many trips, including our first, to Prague, years before. It’s where we returned a year later to mark our engagement with another lock, this time engraved with words that captured how we felt about the new journey we were embarking on together. And a year after that, it’s where we returned again to look for our lock, only to find the entire panel we’d secured it to had been removed. We thought perhaps our connection to the bridge was gone, though we consoled ourselves knowing our keys were still at the bottom of the Seine. And later that trip, we found the bridge still had a hold on us when the Batobus we were riding crashed right into it — quite a feat given the flat-calm waters and utterly straight path the Batobus takes along the river. Youch — that left quite a bruise.

If I were to have a “find yours” video, it would surely be the story of that bridge, and how it has featured in my life. What did I find, exactly? I found connection. First, of course, with my husband — and then, quite literally, with the bridge itself. It’s a special place. A place to which we will certainly return.

And really, isn’t finding connections what travel is all about? With a place, with the people who live there, with the people who travel with you — connections make travel (and life) richer and more meaningful.

Ah, it’s surely time to return to Paris soon. I wonder what the Pont des Arts has in store for us next…


New project: Ageless Living Magazine

agelessI’m excited to announce that starting with the September issue, I’ll be taking on the role of Editor at Ageless Living Magazine while current Editor Liberty Craig steps away to welcome her new baby. It’s a great magazine produced right here in BC, and I’m thrilled to join the team to bring the latest information about living an ageless life to readers both in print and online. You can find the current issue and the archive of back issues at

Login vs. Log In

I often have to explain to clients why two “versions” of the same word appear in the text I provide to them. To some, it looks like an error to use “login” and “log in” or “backup” and “back up” in the same document. But it’s not an error. Why the differences? “Login” and “backup” are nouns or adjectives, whereas “log in” and “back up” are verbs (or, if you want to get technical, verb phrases). So:

I use my login to log in.

I back up my computer to my backup drive.

That “log in” and “back up” need to be two separate words when used as verbs becomes immediately clear when you think of them in the past tense.:

I logged in (NOT I logined)

I backed up my hard drive (NOT I backuped)


I logged out (NOT I logouted).

So, if you’re adding a prompt or a button to your website to ask people to log in, it should say “Log In,” not “Login” (and ditto for “Log Out”).

Most of the big sites (PayPal, Google, eBay, Facebook) get this right, but many do not. Have you got it right on your site?




My book: The Hands-On Guide to Surviving Adult Children Living at Home

There’s been The Hands-On Guide to Surviving Adult Children Living at Home by Christina Newberrysome media attention recently for my book, The Hands-On Guide to Surviving Adult Children Living at Home, so I thought I would provide some information here. It’s packed with great information for families with adult children living at home or planning to move home. It’s available in an eBook format that you can read on your computer, iPad, or other device at (where you can also find a great blog with loads of free information and resources). If you prefer a book that you can put on your bookshelf, you can buy a copy  here.


Here’s all the key info:

The Hands-On Guide to Surviving Adult Children Living at Home by Christina Newberry

Second Edition published June 2012 by Nuru Guides
Available at

Comes with a downloadable family contract template and budget calculator.

Avoid errors by giving your online marketers a style guide

I saw this Google ad in my GMail window today:

Asphalt Paving – – Patches, Driveways, Parking Lots. Call the “Zar of Tar” 604-922-2314

I was intrigued enough to check whether this company really does not know how to spell a word (czar) in its tagline. I clicked through to the website and saw this:

Vancouver writer and editor - tar tagline

So, the company knows how to spell czar properly, which is a relief. So how did a non-word (zar) end up in the Google ad? My guess is the ad was created by a marketing person who had only ever heard the slogan, and had never seen it written down. Is that possible? If an external person was hired to create the ads, it certainly is.

So, how can you avoid having key words like those in your tagline misspelled in your online advertising? Create a style guide for all external (and internal) personnel to use. It should include your preferred spelling of any words that are important for your business, as well as entire phrases that really matter. (For instance, the tagline here — and a registered one, at that — is “The Czar of Tar,” not “The Tar Czar.”) Even if the marketing person had not created a non-word, he or she could still have used the spelling “tzar,” which is not incorrect in general, but IS incorrect when your tagline uses a different spelling. You’re paying for the work, and for the clicks, so you might as well get it right!

Articles, articles, articles

Apparently I’ve been a bit of a slouch lately when it comes to blog posting, at least here. I’ve been much better about posting on my other blog at Adult Children Living at Home. But I haven’t been a slouch about writing! Here’s a list of some of my recent articles, if you want to find out what I’ve been up to!

Plus, new stock photography is up at Dreamstime.

For more regular updates, you can always follow me on Twitter.

A freelance travel & lifestyle writer/editor in Vancouver, B.C.