January 26, 2020

The Play - Magical Mystery Tour Revived

(Part Two of the Magical Mystery Tour Revived)
(Posted January 25,2020. Part One you can read here.)

How it played ....

A family tradition that was revived last night goes to show that we do make a difference in our kids lives. I have always felt that all the love and effort we put into raising our kids comes around full circle! There are no rules on how to parent and we always just did so from the ❤️ heart.

We felt the love right back.  We came home with a new family hashtag #cellylikeakelly

4pm and it starts with an IPA and a couple very creative clues carefully written and presented in numbered envelope. Later the clues kept coming; using audio texts, code breaking challenges and word problems! We explored Gastown, Vancouver hitting many of the local spots and despite the uncertainty of the unknown, it was an absolute riot.

We even got iced! 

3 clues and a puzzle we discover our destination 
Escape room - Smartypantz  
Crazy creative hockey caper 
Awesome dinner and drinks at Calabash  
Puzzles and Beer 🍺 confusing 
You guys got us big time ❤️

Our hope is that the tradition continues and that others start one in their own families.

January 25, 2020

The Magical Mystery Tour Revival

The journey through life continues to amaze me. The web that we weave with others gets tighter as we age. My family is the tightest thread I have.

Life is full of adventures.  New paths we form as we all navigate new opportunities. I work to keep my feet grounded but I am always up for new experiences, especially if they are packed with fun and with playful people.  The mystery tour for example- a tradition that our close friends started with their kids when they were little.  Just a creative way to add some family time and build traditions.  Typically it is a surprise outing, being told to “save the date” and prepare to do something but receive no details (intended to build excitement).

I remember one mystery tour when our kids were preschool age.  We had won a night at a hotel in New Westminster at a preschool fundraiser so thought it would be fun to tie this into a mystery tour and a visit to the Vancouver zoo. Well let me just say that these are a great way to uncover ones deeper personality:) We told the kids to pack their own bags which were like suitcases full of treasures from home! One brought a number of favourite stuffed animals, books and all things that give comfort.  The other brought similar including a soccer ball. Little did we know the mystery tour would have ups and downs of emotions and later recognizing that uncertainty of a situation, mixed with long drives, doesn’t land well with everyone. The unknown can be frightening. You’ve heard of  “when will we get there”, well mix that in with one not even knowing where “there is”!

Well great minds think alike. Not having had a mystery tour adventure in years, my husband decides we would host one in Jan, and sent out a “save the date” invite early Dec to the Magical Mystery Tour.
Well tables have totally turned because for Christmas this year our millennials gave us a mystery tour, which was apparently in the works before they received our invite! Complete with a 5 clue scavenger hunt Christmas morning which told us to “save the date” in Jan.

Well today’s the day and I must admit I’ve been feeling somewhat anxious myself about what to wear, where we are going and what to take! I guess the jokes on us now:)  We have to be ready at 4pm. 

They even hid a clue in my favourite album! 

You can read part two here and how it all played out.

Our Biggest Mystery Tour Yet!

I have that feeling you get right before you are about to cry but I know in my heart (and want you to know) that these tears will be tears of joy. Honest. 

I have lived and continue to live, an incredible life for which I am truly greatful and one of my greatest gifts are my two kids.

They have given me the opportunity to explore motherhood, (for which I am no expert) but they have always shown respect, patience and love during this time as we all moved through the various ages and stages!   I must say my husband and I worked very hard to create a warm, safe and loving home where the kids were encouraged from a very early age to express their feelings, opinions and to take risks knowing they could always find safety in our hugs. I believe in part, this helped them build the self confidence they have today as they develop into incredible contributing adults with empathetic hearts who will make a difference.

If you know me, I myself have grown as a woman and my role has changed also as I have navigated the years raising them at home, choosing not to work during the early years and later carving out work that always allowed me to meet their needs first. I remember as a family reading the Berenstain Bears picture book Mama's New Job shortly before I started teaching preschool, my first job post kids. It is important to note this job allowed me to teach my youngest all while on the grounds of my daughters elementary school, my first step to letting go.

We have come to a place where I have to admit the roles are reversing as I likely may need the loving support and patience from you, my kids, as I navigate through this next year. I am heading into uncharted territory as an  empty nester and a house that will definitely miss the kids laughter, music (the record game!) and activity that comes with a busy household. It's no secret I have been missing my daughter during her past three years away at university but this year my son will be joining her, yes at the same school across the county.

I have read much about this phase of life and I am living it now!  I however have to say I am not unprepared for such but the sensitive and emotional gal I am, means that you can expect more tears this next little while as we all work through this new journey together.

Thank you to my husband and my kids who have been my strength when I felt I was unable to achieve my dreams and goals as I moved through self discovery and many challenges to become who I am today. I myself have strategically carved out and created my work career of which I feel is only going to blossom with opportunity in the next while as I have found my passion and living it.

As a family we have shared many what we called "mystery tours" together and this guys is really no different but the only change is that we know where we are going or where we want to be,  so it becomes the reality of how we accept the opportunities and  challenges that will likely present themselves to us as we journey there. I have to say, for me,  knowing I have you standing proudly behind me reciprocating the love, patience and empathy I have taught you,  that I will survive (and maybe even blossom) as you both go off to further expand your knowledge at university.

Have fun and as I have told you before, this is the time of your life and that you may not realize but you are creating a little piece of your own story each and every day.

Originally posted 2013

November 16, 2018

I’ve got to be mobile

I’m doing a test to see if I can blog from my mobile.  I love my computer but I am looking for a way to increase the frequency of my posts and find a “better way” to do so.

My life seems like it’s always on the go but not in a negative “everythingitis way” just purposefully designed to doing the things I love (and generate revenue).  I never take for granted how I worked hard to gain the knowledge and the value that allows me now to work remotely for clients in the franchise space.  I am able to pepper in play and consciously focus on my side hustle TheBoomerVine brand focusing on active aging.

It’s that flexibility that allows me to do my best creative work on my terms. Only certain personalities thrive working from home or remotely and I’m definitely one of them! Most recently one of my millennials has started to work some days from home as well, having a flexible client who trusts the creative coding process.  More employers and clients really just care that the job or project gets done and ongoing communication in the process.  Respect and trust are key. Mobile cloud based programs support such.  My other millennial BTW has settled into work she loves in an environment that speaks to her athletic passion.

It is a proud moment when you see your millennials finding meaningful work on their terms.  I often wonder if my journey shared openly with them along the way has influenced their choices. Sure they must put in the time to “figure it out” ( heck I’m still shifting)  but when you listen to your heart and follow your passion, it can work out. Sure there are those on the other side of this fence but I’ve seen it work:)  If you want to go mobile ask. If you don’t know what makes up your DNA, figure it out as it just might open up new opportunities that get you away from the desktop.

My point is that if you don’t design your life, someone else will.

Mobile wins over desktop.
Just sayin’

Add caption

August 12, 2018

When we fall off our bike, we need to get right back on!

As many of you know, I have jumped into my midlife (aka my next 50 years) with both feet.  I am working to build a joyful life that is sustainable such that it will allow for income as I age (I love my work), good health mixed with lots of play with my husband, family and friends!  

Taking control of your own life, and living a meaningful one is something that requires hard work and focus.  No different then working with my franchise clients. When I take my own life as seriously as I do those of my clients then this is when the balance is achieved.  I learned a long time ago that you could only be at your best when you are being true to yourself, meeting your own wants and needs first. Strength comes when there is balance both physically and mentally. 

I was off kilter these last few weeks. My friend helped me identify the problem that I think was weighing me down.....  "Self-doubt is shit. Chews up our precious energy and blocks our progress. Don’t let it own you".

I've been training for the Ride to Conquer Cancer in August, which is a 200k ride from Vancouver to Hope over two days.  We are raising funds for cancer and this year I am riding for two of my pals who are deep in the throws of this awful disease.  While it is presented as a social experience (I am on the largest team called the Brainiacs), it is no doubt a gruelling hard cycle over mixed elevation with cyclists of all ages, stages and health levels.  

This week for some reason, I thought I couldn't do it.  Despite having donations and notes of support from amazing people who see that I am pushing myself for the benefit of others and observing me training physically, I still felt off.  Self-doubt began to pop up for me and I went off my regular training schedule and my positive mantra shifted. 

I kept these thoughts inside until I did the right thing and shared them openly with my loved ones. People who I can trust and are there for me.  Of course, they opened their hearts and took time to listen, offered support and have since helped steer me back on track. I realized that my mental strength needed as much love as the physical strength.  

It is times like these that we need to really look inside and determine what is holding us back.  The self-doubt will ripple into your work, your family and for me, my energy level and playful karma is affected.  I am now in the process to explore the mental side to see what shifted and why the self doubts about the ride?  

I am surrounding myself with people, experiences and things that I love.  I am giving myself downtime and permission to do things that feed my soul this week.  I've done a deep dive (like I would with a client) into my health (added some fish oil and some vitamins) despite my good eating habits and by sharing it with others, have opened up deep conversations that matter.  

I wanted to share that we are not alone.  In a time when mental health has become top of mind, we all need to know that we have people that care. I know that I try to show up for my family in this way and we have very open conversations that help each of us move though challenges and times of insecurity.  While I often show up as a confident, outgoing and joyful soul, I still have the same insecurities and self doubt as others.  

When we fall off our bike, we need to get right back on!  You will find me there this week as I continue my training both mentally and physically for this huge goal, which I am very proud to be part of.  

I will cross this finish line.  

June 01, 2018

The story of Mitzi and Chapter 12

This day is special for me.  Today is June 1, 2018 Intergenerational Day Canada.

This is a day which is officially a reminder, a yearly invitation for every person regardless of age, to take one small respectful step to bridge generations within their local community and ideally starting with family. It only takes a smile between generations to break through isolation and loneliness, the number one health concern for children/youth and older persons.

I am excited to tell you about how we try to do this with my extended family every day.

Our story goes like this.

My Mom Mitzi, lost her husband, my Dad in 2013 whom was her soul mate and understandably left her feeling isolated and alone in a world that at the time, felt empty and cold.   At 80 years old, my Mom had lived a full life together with her best friend so this loss created deep sadness, loneliness, and fear.  She wondered if her emptiness would dissipate and focused on just getting through each day.

I am 1/4 siblings and we don't all live in the same city.  We found that the worry and guilt of not being able to be there for Mom on a daily basis to support her weighted heavy.

The power of online social media became a solution.  It helped our family to stay connected to Mom.  It became a tool for my family, keeping us close. We created a private family Facebook group called Chapter 12  where my Mom became inspired to journal every night for the past 5 years!  No lie....honestly she posts every night as part of her nighttime routine!

Post #1 - the group was live!

As a close family we  wanted to be "together" during this difficult time.  It was also very important that Mom felt she could be vulnerable to share her inner most fears during this healing process.

Unfiltered messages were shared by all ages 

"Chapter 12 is the best thing that could have happened to me"

Here she found expression for her own voice, openly and authentically writing about her fears, joys, challenges and stories, all shared across the generations.  Her posts at the beginning were of sadness but over the years describe her healing and a testament to the stages she went through on her self discovery.   

"I am always floored how many read my posts"


The most recent posts have been more joyful and happy and she is posting pictures of her own new found playfulness with friends.   The posts continue to unite the family, including across the generations leaving a legacy to be shared.  

Stay tuned, this story is just beginning..... 

April 07, 2018

When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

I admit I have habits that aren’t the best.  However since hitting my 50’s you can bet I have worked to add some new ones that are.  I’ve always been young at heart, but as I age this really takes shape.  

We all have to manage our own lives and navigate tough decisions, because ultimately it is our own life we are screwing with.  With social media today, there is so much that is pushed at us in all directions from health, beauty, weight loss, mindfulness and how to get rich quick.  Depends on which pages you "like", but analytics will ensure you don’t go a day without more and more of what you want (or don’t want) pushed into your face.  

I went through a fact finding phase on social, where I strategically followed bloggers, companies and joined groups whom I thought were like minded: Baby boomers just looking for ways to make the best out of life.  Mind.  Body. Spirit. Business. What I did learn was that there is an entire population of midlife folks both male and female (corporate executives, solopreneurs, 9-5'ers and retired folks) all digging for direction and information on how to live the best life possible.  Included in this, is how to have a successful business that allows room for healthy habits.  

They are all looking for the perfect pill, the perfect leader, the perfect diet.
Well guess what - NOTHING IS PERFECT.  

I have since stopped following the pack on social media and beyond as it causes me stress and makes me feel defeated. I courageously take the step to own my life and to listen to and follow my own instincts.  I follow bloggers and groups I trust like the International Council on Active Aging who post and share well researched articles and info that is relevant and actionable in my own life.  I respect the founder Colin Milner and he himself is an influencer in my life.  

I surround myself with like-minded, honest, health focused, fun loving, playful folks who design their life and their business around such values.  I also feel grateful that I have two millennials (and their friends) living at home because I can tap into their fresh beliefs and outlook on life which helps me remain grounded to what is important as we age. 

The ability to share my real life challenges and stories on TheBoomerVine, as I navigate through my 50’s, makes me happy and it is my hope that I might help others find more joy and happiness too.  

I will never drop my chocolate habit. 

August 22, 2017

Just keep showing up.

Just keep showing up and I don't mean in your new shoes with your hair curled.

Showing up is hard sometimes.  We all show up to life, the party, to work and to others in so many creative ways.

I know, because right at this moment I pushed aside my fears and uncertainty to dig deep so I can share my thoughts and show up here at TheBoomerVine.  Knowing the value of being honest and being real was what gave me the courage to sit back down to write here.  

I want to show up for those that need me.  I feel compelled to share my thoughts and fears and uncertainty that I face everyday as I go about being a mother, a wife, an entrepreneur and financial contributor to the family, thinking that I am not alone as we age through this process.  It's been a long time since I sat to write here but there has been so much going on in my mind, my life, my work and in my family.  All the energy that I had was spent elsewhere, not writing here.  

I've missed it.  

The big question is "Who is it that we are showing up for anyway?"

Sometimes I can't show up here because I just don't have the energy.  As an entrepreneur I am often deep in thought or processing an opportunity that somehow appears before me.  Rarely is it such a big idea that it wants to pull all of my energy towards it but recently I let it.  Any energy that is left is then shared with what is right in front of me - my priorities.   

My priorities are for my self and my family.  My incredible family whom without their love and support, I wouldn't have the courage to continue on this journey of self-discovery during this shift in midlife. They encourage me to speak from the heart because they know it is raw, yet authentic and that the messages are to be shared with others on this same journey who are not as confident and also looking to live a meaningful life with more purpose.  It is no secret that some of those in society today are running on the hamster wheel filled with so much guilt they can't even articulate it. They have no time to stop and reflect but perhaps they know what the outcome would be if they did.  Not always pretty.  Maybe they are showing up for someone other than themselves.

I give credit to the ones who have the courage to step out of situations that hold them back (going against the scripts); be it a job, taking a break from university, or from a relationship that forces them to show up for someone other than themselves.  Years and years of this routine can be devastating to our health and others around us unless you have found that balance and living a life you helped design.

I was asked the other day "where do you lose your power" which digs right down to the core uncovering situations that hold you back from being the authentic you and perhaps living a more fulfilled life.  

This has nothing to do with feeling any regret for my past but this is all about showing up during the rest of my life with the openness and adaptability to accept opportunity and continue the design of a more purposeful, playful life. I am openly taking this journey because I strategically want my own children/family and others around me to gain new insight on what is really important.  It is my hope they too will be courageous enough and feel supported to design a life and make choices that reflect more about their happiness and not following the scripts that are placed on us.  

My message goes out to those who have identified the need to make a change (a tiny step or a gigantic jump) and are looking for a friend or a cheerleader. 

June 22, 2016

It's not about me. It's about you.

I'm often asked for my opinion.  I know it's because I am honest and sincere with my answers.  I show up differently.  I take risks.  I work hard to design my life and live the best I can. I care. 

I take time to review the situation by often throwing myself in to experience it so I can empathize with the buyer or individual at hand.  My thinking is unique and my view is out of the box.  I don't hold back and know honesty is integrity and integrity and courage help us grow.  

Relationships are the real currency in life.  I'm not perfect at them, but I think I get how people think. I am forward thinking, empathetic, and focus on helping make others feel valued.  I also like the word authentic.

It's not about me.  It's about you. 
Moving you or your business forward. 

That's all it is. 

Denise teaches entrepreneurs and companies how to authentically
and creatively CONNECT with their customer,
ACTIVATE the relationship and DELIVER results to drive
participation and REVENUE while increasing the customer experience. 

You can find her here www.DeniseAKelly.com

February 22, 2016

A day without Darcy

I knew it was the right decision to bring a puppy into the Kelly household again after the loss of our sweet and well loved Mel.  Mel was with us for 11 years but we lost her to cancer, having only 11 days with her once the vet gave us the news.  Mel's spirit still quietly roams around the house. She still takes up a big place in my heart.  I remember her laying in the sun on the back deck, sleeping at the back door or completely taking over my bed all day looking out our big front window to the street.  She brought calm into my life.....

Then we met Darcy.....

Darcy joined our family in October at 8 weeks. She was another Labradoodle, and came to us from a wonderful family (where we met her Mom and her Dad) at WindyRiverPets in Mission, BC.  A first generation Labradoodle, she is a gem.  Her personality is blossoming - we now communicate through our eyes - and I swear I understand what she is saying.  You only know this if you have a dog, but thankfully there is a massive tribe of other crazy dog owners in this world.  They get it....

There isn't a day yet that I can say has been as calm as those enjoyed with Mel, but today feels empty and for the first time, I decide I don't want calm.  As someone who loves activity, calmness sometimes makes me feel old - maybe bored. Today, Darcy is being spade and at the vet.  I dropped her off early this morning and now wait for the call to retrieve her sleepy body who will surely need some family love.

I thank you, Darcy, for bringing such great joy into the house again.  I love that we get out hiking together for hours on end exploring the trails together, and that you are my partner in my quest to age well and ensure a healthy active lifestyle.  I love that the kids also look forward to coming home because you greet them with that massive swinging puppy tail. You've introduced me to many other dog owners who are a  special breed themselves.  I don't mind that the house is baby proofed and we have to keep the counters free of food.  We hide our socks and put our shoes in the cupboard.  Sorry about the baby gate we have between the kitchen and our family room, but for now Darcy, it's maybe short term but sometimes the others need a little bit of calm....

Many of our friends are now thinking of retirement or deciding what their next 50 years looks like as they downsize and live with the empty nest.  While we also wonder what our future looks like, for us, we have  a lot of life left to live and the energy and love you receive from a dog adds so much to the journey.  Funny I know a couple others in the same boat as us who lost family pets and are doing it all over again.  Thankfully we aren't alone, and it helps that our adult children are so helpful.

Funny, Darcy, now at 6 months, like Mel loves laying in the sun on the back deck, sleeping at the back door and completely takes over our bed as she rearranges the duvet and pillows into one pile that she sleeps on (and deposits her sand from the day).  Sometimes I think Mel is just guiding you along as you too settle into our family.

I love you both and I absolutely believe every family should reap the rewards of owning a dog.

You can learn more about Darcy on my social media channels
@TheBoomerVine on Twitter
@TheBoomerVine on Instagram
and check the hashtag #WhatILearnedFromDarcy

October 31, 2015

People ask me all the time why I don't have a website .....

I know, I know, I know.

So, here's the thing.  As a smart and strategic self employed entrepreneur who has taken on risk over the last 15 years, and dabbled into a number of strategic projects with others, I fully admit I need one.  The problem is, do I need just one and how do I crossover my offerings/interests into one fantastic site?

I am aware of the value of a great website and brand.  I have a number of domains that I have reserved for various new business ideas I have on the go and some which may just become an expense.  I even picked up domains for my own kids, in their name, because I believe it will be all about branding as these millennials try to stand out from the crowd.  

Am I the only entrepreneur who has a number of projects on the go, working with a variety of different clients (some pro bono and others paying) in a number of different lines of work that combines their passions?

I have been told that I do represent my brand well, so at the very least, that's a relief! I represent myself and my core values authentically when I meet people or prospective clients.  I show up as who I am and not pretending to be someone else. I have over 15 years working for strong award winning brands like Nurse Next Door, Kids & Company, Kumon Canada and CEFA (Core Education Fine Arts) to name only a few.  

Thus the twitter profile photo that keeps changing..... for me, it is a true reflection of me and who I really am.    

My twitter profile picture might have some shock value, but hey, the reality is that I have a passion for hockey and at 45 I started a female hockey team (I play D) and it is all part of my story.  In this other photo of me on the ice with my girlfriend, it too shows that I enjoy life outside of work which I feel is valuable to a corporate culture. 

Meet my LinkedIn and business profile photo.  Yes, this is me showing up as the professional that I am.  You can see the other (more serious) side and read more about me here.  It's about relationships and building trust. I love collaborating with companies and clients.  Each client themselves show up to me in a variety of ways too.  Some like to meet in the office setting formally while others like to meet over a beer at lunch.  You see, I do respect differences and I am thrilled to continue to collaborate with (and meet more) interesting people, doing remarkable things as I continue this journey. 

So, yes, I do need a website where I can pull it all together to tell my story about how I can help connect to the customer,  activate the relationship and deliver results across a variety of target groups.

Stay tuned.  I commit to making this happen by 2016.  My various mentors tell me it's time.


Follow me on Twitter 

October 03, 2015

Looking for a cheerleader?

Describe your business:

I am a high energy CONNECTOR and ACTIVATOR (also a fun feisty Boomer aka Zoomer) who combines integrity, leadership and resourcefulness with proven achievement in Franchising, Marketing, Operations, Strategic Partnerships and Social Media to drive measurable results. A BIG thinker and visionary with the ability to build out an idea successfully! First you need to figure out your WHY and determine your core values to ensure alignment at all levels.

Over 15 years working with a variety of strong brands including Nurse Next Door, Kumon Canada, Kids & Company, CEFA and Heart & Stroke Foundation.

Looking for a cheerleader, I can help!

 I wear #4 on my female hockey team called the Stanley Cupcakes
Started road biking at 50 and rode the Ride to Conquer Cancer
Love the outdoors and my meetings are at Starbucks or on the trails

Passionate to empower women to design and live their best life

Contagious enthusiasm for connecting and empowering others

What business tools do you need?

I can't go anywhere without my iPhone/iPad and my music. Both help me to stay connected to my world of family, friends and clients. Music gives me energy and keeps me dancing and my mind firing....

Fav Books:
Strength Finders
Million Dollar Consulting
Fire Starter Sessions

What advice would you give to other business owners?

Buy Danielle LaPorte's Truthbomb Deck!

She is a firecracker and her daily inspirations are awesome reminders to crack open each day. They inspire as we courageously dig deep to run our own business or follow through on starting a new one.

Connect with me on twitter @TheBoomerVine
You can read more about me here Denise Kelly on LinkedIn

September 30, 2015

Don’t tolerate what steals your energy!

Ali Davies has been writing about her philosophy of “Design Your Life. Redefine Your Work” and it is a great resource for those of us who are in the depths of creating work that is based on our value and choosing to participate on teams that share such.

“You definitely want to create lasting change to live and work on your own terms based on your values, your own definition of success and what is most important to you.” Ali Davies

Years ago, a mentor friend of mine helped me grasp the tools needed to handle confrontational situations in a more controlled manner with less emotion.  You need to pull yourself out of the situation and take time to gather your thoughts and courage to dive back in. 

Maybe others too know the feeling when someone in power tries to control you by manipulating the conversation and the situation.  In my house early on, it was the strong father role (whom BTW was amazing) but he grew up an only child, so he parented “his way or the highway”.   No physical punishment but mostly emotional control, which I didn’t know existed and would affect my relationships, until early adulthood. 

I was recently in a situation that was manifesting over time and I saw was becoming a trend.  I knew that my balance was off and that my core values were being challenged.  That is a big red flag for me to regroup and evaluate things.  Similar situations have happened before which I believe were presented as learning opportunities, which I have turned around. 

Ali speaks about tolerating what doesn’t serve you.  In this case putting up with and tolerating gets in the way of how you really want to show up.  It drains your energy and wastes your time. 

I dove in full force with confidence, initiating the conversation and presented the facts and how the situation was evolving.  I kept my calm and after much heated discussion we were back on a positive productive track.  Thankfully there was a sense of openness and maturity with the other party whom I do respect, so that we were able to find clarity and move on.

This is how my passion shows up.  I can’t let things ride.  It is liberating to take control and move through situations like this and I hope everyone has the courage to do similar.

Check out Ali Davies and her online program Clear the Decks for Success