DIARY OF A DISGRUNTLED ROOMMATE – VOL 1 : First Impressions

My lovely readers it’s been too long since I’ve posted, but it’s not you its me.

giphy-downsized (1)

It’s been awhirlwind of a year with doing my Masters degree in Communications this past year, but also living with the roommate from hell. I started this blog as open space for me to share my life with you, both the highlights and the low ones. This past year failed to do that, but better late than never right? The root of 98.9% of my stress this year was my roommate. For this series, we shall call Sarah.

440126

So let’s start from the beginning. It was my first time living officially on my own and as I was moving to the big, scary, and EXPENSIVE world of Toronto I thought having a roommate would be a fun experience. But just like when you order a product online at Kijiji where there is no return policy if the product is defective, finding my roommate on a well-known roommate Facebook group (BHZ) was just as high risk. Looking back I should have been more vigilant about my screening process for roommates, because I couldn’t have guessed the level of mayhem my roommate of choice would unleash.

1pmvs6

I posted on this Facebook group outlining my desire for a roommate, my monthly rent budget, and the little facts about me in hopes of finding decent girls with compatible interests. Then Sarah messaged me, as she was also coming to Toronto to do her Masters at Ryerson and she seemed like a sweet enough girl. I even took measures such as asking to Skype a few times before living together, and my first impression of Sarah was that she seemed like your typical 22 year girl – nice enough, hides certain things from her parents, is serious about grad school, and likes to party. So I thought perfect we are in business!

After that I felt at ease that I thankfully secured a place in Toronto and was excited to really get to know my new roommate, and potential new friend! Little did I know that signing that lease agreement would be a decision I long live to regret

Because the moment I signed my life away, I saw immediate red flags, starting the day that I introduced her to my older brother and cousin,but that’s for Vol 2.

giphy

 

Tune in soon to find out the next chapter of my chaotic journey! I promise it will not disappoint 🙂

giphy-downsized.gif

Advertisement

My Thank You Letter

Thank you. Seems simple enough yet in today’s fast paced world everyday people are so busy barreling through life that we forget to appreciate the hardworking people around us who provide us with the services we take for granted every day.  Whether it’s the polite cashier or waitress taking your morning coffee order, the local hard working garbage man, and the most overlooked profession teachers spending their lives to expand the knowledge of so many children, we often forget how important the hard work that these men and women do and forget to say two simple words that can show how much you care : THANK YOU.

Jarret J. Krosoczka’s Ted Talk “Why Lunch Ladies are Heroes” discusses the hard work done by devoted cafeteria lunch ladies, serving thousands of students all with a smile on their faces while they worked. Krosoczka stressed how important it is to appreciate the good work that these dedicated workers do, and it’s simple as saying THANK YOU. Appreciating the work that someone else does to provide with your school lunch, give your mail for the day, and pick up your trash may seem like an easy feat but we often forget.

stock-illustration-45512948-mailman-delivers-a-letter-or-message

So with that in mind, I wanted to take this moment to write a quick thank you letter of my own. To the lovely postal workers who have delivered government cheques to my doorstep, acceptance letters for grad school this Fall, and even the odd random bill, you have no idea how much I appreciate the hard work that you do. I know it must not be easy, but just know that without all that you do I would never have found out which grad school I was going this year!

1297446553190_ORIGINAL

Now, to all you awesome waitresses and cashiers you hard work does not go unnoticed! All those lovely Timmies workers, who accommodate my regular Iced Capp purchase after a long day of volunteering downtown (and even give me a more than full cup because I’m a regular) and great me with such a pleasant smile you are all ROCKSTARS!! All the kind people I have met at Tim Hortons, plus the awesome Iced Capps, is why if I had to pick between Timmies and Starbucks I would pick Timmies EVERY SINGLE TIME.


The last thank you is a lot more personal, but just as important. My parents. For 22 years you have stood by me during the good times and the bad, financed by undergraduate career and even stood by me this past year when I was having trouble finding a job after school. More than the financial support, your words of encouragement and believe in my talents make so proud to be their daughter, and I know with your faith in me and my talent I will do big things. I know  that nothing can come close to repaying for all the sacrifices you have made for me, but I just want you to know you mean the world to me and I will NEVER FORGET IT. Thank you for being parents, I can look up to 🙂

Who would you write your thank you letter to?!

Until next time,

Creativity in a Bottle

 

The Mixtape of My Life

124028_1305388

In life, we all go through ups and downs that ultimately shape us into the person we were meant to be. The choices we make and the unexpected events that occur : such as being in the middle of your undergrad and then choosing to drop out to pursue a different passion, getting into the grad school of your dreams, or even unexpectedly losing your job and struggling to make ends meet shows that life has its highs and its lows. However, what is most important is when you reach those lows that you rise above it and realize that it can get better.

  1. The Lion King – Hakuna Matata

Growing up in the 90s easily = BEST CHILDHOOD EVER. I grew up obsessed with all the great Disney flicks that are still well known today, I even remember singing all the popular Disney movie songs in my room! From Aladdin and Mulan to the Lion King, us 90s kids scored the jackpot when it came to Disney movies accompanied with epic soundtracks. For me, Hakuna Matata is my favourite because it is truly symbolic of my early childhood. At 7 years old I had no cares in the world, my biggest worries were spending my days playing games outside with my friends and watching television, I mean life was good. Hakuna Matata, am I right?

2. Aqua – Barbie Girl

When I was a kid if you were girl, you probably had a Barbie. I remember when I was young getting Barbies as gifts from friends and family and spending more time than I care to admit, brushing my Barbie’s blonde locks and setting her up on dates with the Ken doll. It’s  funny to look back at now. LIFE IN PLASTIC, IT’S FANTASTIC 🙂

3. The BackStreet Boys – Everybody

As a tween I was obsessed with so many infamous boy bands and girl groups like Spice Girls and N’Sync, but my favourite group was hands down The Backstreet Boys. It had everything a tween girl would like, from catchy music and cute boys.

4. Pink – So What

Heartbreak. Dating and relationships are always a tricky thing no matter what age you are. Breakups are never fun because you are saying goodbye to someone that meant a lot to you, and it can be really devasting if the relationship ends badly. For me, this truly song speaks to a particular moment in my dating life. In my last year of high school, I was in a relationship for nearly two years with my first boyfriend, but one day in March 2011 he broke with me, and I felt completely blindsided and heartbroken. To make matters worse after we broke up, he started to treat me horribly and since we had friends in common it got a little rocky and opened my eyes to his real character.Even though I was mad, I didn’t want to give my idiotic ex the satisfaction of seeing me hurt and decided to refocus on the few good friends who stuck by me and just ENJOY my last few months of high school. I threw some crazy parties which left with unforgettable memories with good people, and refocusing on school activities reminded me that life could be amazing without him.

5. Down With Webster – Rich Girl$

When I was 17 years old I went to my first concert. It was my first year of university and I was living in the dorms, and I went with a bunch of my floormates to an on-campus performance DWB was having. It was EPIC!!!! It was a great first concert experience, because DWB is amazing, and made some really cool friends.

6. Clean Bandit – Rather Be

While I have experienced a heartbreak or two through dating I have to admit, as mushy as it sounds, I am quite the hopeless romantic. I am OBSESSED with this cutesie love song, and it just reminds me of all the great times I’ve had with great ex-boyfriends and how nice it is to have someone to have by your side, during the good times and the bad.Not too sound too sappy, but we all want someone who looks at us with adoration and appreciates us for our individually unique and beautiful qualities.

7. Gavin DeGraw – Fire

I am a huge Gavin DeGraw fan but Fire has to be my all-time favourite song. Growing up I never felt supported by my family when it came to wanting to go into the arts (specifically communications) for school, my whole family always used to laugh “What can you do with an arts degree?”Also when trying to get summer jobs to make some money for school instead of trying to help me and show support I can remember my brothers, constantly telling how unskilled I was to get hired anywhere even Mcdonalds.While most might break under such negativity, I let it fuel me towards academic success which to me is the symbolism of this song proving to others you will succeed, even if they don’t think you can! In September, I will be moving to Toronto to start grad school and I cannot wait to continue proving to them that I am smart and talented.

8. Vitamin C – Graduation

Graduation is an important milestone in a person’s life, be it a graduation from 8th grade, high school, or university. I first came across this song when I sang it at my 8th graduation, but it really stuck with me and I’ve listened to at every academic milestone (most recently my undegraduate convocation) in my life because it celebrates the end of one chapter and the beginning of another.

9.  Taylor Swift – 22 

As cliche as it is I couldn’t help but jam out to this song when I turned 22 last December! It was without a shadow of a doubt the best birthday I have had to date. My closest friend Dylan threw me a surprise shindig getting all my friends together and we went bar hopping! It was a crazy and unforgettable night,filled with great music and good friends, the best part was and I didn’t have to spend a dime 🙂

10. Aleissa Cara – Wild Things

I’ve always considered myself someone who dances to the beat of my own drum. I mean I’ve always had friends, but I’ve never been super “popular”, whatever that really means. But while 16-year-old me may have secretly wished I had more that three good friends, today I am so thankful to have four close friends that I know will always have my back. From causing hijinks whenever we go out to the bars, having epic wine and board game nights, and knowing that in my sad moments I can always call one of them, it’s a great feeling. They may not be the coolest group, but they are cool enough for me.

So there you have it, the mixtape of my life! What would your mixtape look like?

Cheers for now,

Creativity in a Bottle

February, the month my life turned a corner

This past year has been a little sour, after not finding a job after university, but I have not let that stop me. After going to school for communications in Ottawa, the field of public relations really fascinates and is where I want to pursue a career. However, since moving back to home to London where the city is remarkably smaller, my hopes of finding a job in this field have quickly faded.

i-dont-know-what-im-going-to-do-with-my-life

Feeling like I had no direction, the month of February changed everything for me! Now for some February signifies a time of love as there is Valentine’s day. For me, this month was so impactful because it was the first time since I closed the books on my university life, that I truly felt things were coming together. What happened you ask? Well I’ll tell you!

  1. VOLUNTEERING AT THE YMCA

logo

I  can still remember the day I saw the volunteer posting for a Marketing & Comms Assistant at YMCA. It was like a dream. I mean it was EXACTLY what I had studied, and it was falling into my laugh. Without even thinking twice I completed the online application and handed in my resume, simply hoping for a chance to interview. After not hearing back for two weeks I assumed that they had found someone else, but I checked my email and I got the response I was waiting for. I got an interview! After the interview, I got the position and for the last two weeks have been volunteering in the marketing & comms department where I have already begun learning a lot. They even let me write there branch’s blog to help gain experience!

2.  GOING BACK TO SCHOOL

image

From the stressful and exhausting all-nighters at the library studying for exams and finishing assignments and juggling a social life, my undergraduate experience was fun but also trying. I never thought I would CONSIDER going back but after having coffee with an old friend everything changed.

She told me about Western University’s Diploma in Public Relations and after hearing about the program I thought it was the perfect fit for me! Updating my public relations education would also help me to build a professional network in London, that could help with a job in public relations one day. Now the application process was no picnic,  having to mail my high school, university transcript, and other documentation, simply because I did not go to Western for my undergrad. But the most important thing is I DID IT! I GOT IN. I  am so proud of myself! To know that I am starting to take control my situation and that my life will finally go a direction I can be happy with is a beautiful thing.

Well there it is, while February was a time to revel over new relationships, or appreciate lasting ones, it meant for me a new beginning!

So if you are like me, out of school and unemployed, and trying to figure out where to go from here just focus on your passion and figure out the steps to accomplish it. NEVER GIVE UP!

giphy (3)

 

 

 

Erasing the cost of Valentine’s Day : Fun Activities for Couples and Singles That Don’t Break the Bank

candyhearts-1

Well as you all know, February 14th, commonly known as Valentine’s Day is fastly approaching. A day for people to go that extra mile to show that special someone in their life, how much they mean to them. From chocolates and stuffed animals to fancy dinners and jewelry, I feel that the true meaning of Valentine’s Day has been overshadowed into another materialistic holiday.

With that in mind, I thought I would take a new approach to this blog about V-Day and point out some fun and romantic things that couples and even singles can do on this special day, that do not break your wallet and  bring the day back to what it’s all about, loving one another:)

FUN AND AFFORDABLE ACTIVITIES FOR COUPLES

  1. Cook a Meal Together

tumblr_n1kgioII141sgijyeo1_500

Spending time with your special someone and making fun memories should be core motivation. Instead of going out and spending over a $100 on a pricey dinner, why not try making dinner with your loved one? This fun and light-hearted exercise is sure to bond you as you see your partner in a different light, and get those sparks going as you work to create a meal together! A little home-cooking is sure to spice-up your evening and maybe even create an exciting new tradition for Valentine’s Day!

2. Mason Jars Stating What You Love About Your Partner

B83aehyCAAA9st7

Valentine’s Day is not just about showing a person how much they mean to you, its about actually SAYING IT. With that in mind,couples can bring out their crafty side on the 14th day by writing down all the reasons you love your partner and putting it in a decorative jar. Then over a nice glass of wine or cuddled up on the couch together, exchange jars and take turns revealing what that person loves about you. As share in laughs, smiles, and maybe even a few joyful tears going down memory lane, you will feel even more connected to your partner and is wonderful way to spend your night. Now I know guys may not love writing down their feelings, but this inexpensive and a truly meaningful gift shows your partner how much you care about them, and is sure to put a smile on there face 🙂

3. Build a Fort and have a Movie Marathon

e4af2d1e3d19d071c9104565f763ca47

Whether you are kid or an adult building a blanket fort is an amazing way to create a romantic atmosphere on Valentine’s Day, and really any night. All you need are some blankets and comfy pillows, twinkle lights to add to the ambiance, and stack of movies and snacks that you and your partner can cuddle up and enjoy together (such as comedies, romance, or even horror movies if that is what you is your thing). This easy and romantic idea costs virtually nothing, and is guaranteed cuddle fest that you can enjoy from the comfort of your own home. Now that’s a win-win of all of you looking to making special memories with your significant other but are on a budget. Fort it up!

4.  Go for a Walk
 n-ROMANCE-EDMONTON-large570

 

Now normally February would be an uncomfortably cold and snowy time in Canada, but this year seems to be rather pleasant. With that said, take time out of your busy schedule to take advantage of this relatively pleasant weather and go for a walk with your loved one on Valentine’ Day. Be sure to keep bundled and carry some hot chocolate as you walk hand in hand with your loved one and strolling down a path that you do not normally take. This activity allows you spend quality time together, reminiscing about your memories together, and take in the beauty of the world around you. If you take this experience to the next level, on your walk you could watch as the sun sets which is breathtaking and a true recipe for romance!

Now you lovely singles! Valentine’s Day may seem like a holiday just for couples, but just because your single does not mean that you cannot have awesome day as well and have it be cost effective. Singles, this list is just for you!

HOW TO HAVE FUN WHEN YOU ARE SINGLE ON VALENTINE’S DAY

  1. Go to the Movies with friends

Deadpool-Feel-the-love

A guaranteed fun time for singles on Valentine’s Day, I personally think, is grabbing your friends and heading to the movies. Some good casual entertainment coupled with delicious movie popcorn and wonderful company, is sure to create a fun and enjoyable Valentine’s Day experience. Also, this suggestion is perfect for this year as Deadpool featuring the very handsome Ryan Reynolds comes out right around Valentine’s Day, so ladies that movie I’m sure will perk you right up 🙂

2. Catch up with someone you may miss

How-to-check-your-iPhones-data-usage-for-each-FaceTime-video-or-audio-call

As Valentine’s Day is about letting that special person in your life know how much they mean to you, just because you are single does not mean you cannot do that same thing. Reconnect with an old friend even a friend that may live across the globe, or family member that you may lost touch with and let them know how much they mean to you! Thankfully due to the transformation of the digital age, connecting with people worldwide has never been easier with apps such as Skype, Google Hangouts, FaceTime, Viber, and many more at our disposal. So call up that special person you may miss in your life and spread the love or simply want to say hello, because FRIENDSHIPS are just as fulfilling and important as romantic entanglements.

3. Volunteer your Time

volunteer_clip_art_186193719_std-e1395284250912

If you find yourself having free time on that 14th than rather than dwelling over your singleness, do something for someone else and give back. Spend the day volunteering at a soup kitchen, retirement home, a pet shelter, or many other organizations that require assistance. The wonderful work you can do to put a smile on the faces of others is sure to warm your heart, making you forget how insignificant your being single truly is. A meaningful and fulfilling experience, like volunteering, is an activity I strongly encourage for all those who have the time on the 14th or any day really. Giving back is the best thing you could do, as no amount of money donations can truly replace going out and actually volunteering your time.

4. Throw a Party!

Beyonc-in-Party-music-video-beyonce-30701535-800-449

Who says couples have all the fun? If you are single this Valentine’s Day call and invite  over your favourite single guys and girls and celebrate the day with some good food, drinks (beer, wine, vodka, or even just pop, etc) and blast some hit music to party the night away together! Who knows what a crazy night of party and alcohol can bring? Maybe you will connect with a special someone, or at least make tons of funny memories drunk dancing or simply watching your other friends make fools of themselves.

Ultimately, Valentine’s Day is what you make of it. Whether you are single or in a loving relationship, you can have a memorable Valentine’s Day it is your choice to make the occasion a special one so just that!

tumblr_mi8atnAlLM1qdvumko1_r1_500

The Crippling Reality of Sadness

Is it possible to be constantly surrounded by people but, still as if you are completely alone? This is a question I have been asking myself lately and I have come to the conclusion that the answer is YES.

tumblr_ns2swueRdn1uwphmio1_500 (1)

I come from a relatively big family of six, there is my mom and dad, myself, and my three brothers. With that many people living in the house at one time, there was always constant noise in the house, so might ask yourself how could I feel alone? Well, there may have been people move around and talking to each other in the house but no one ever talks to me in my family unless they need something. At family dinners, I will sit quietly at eat my entire family talk to each other and completely disregard my existence. They’d all go to the movies together and leave me at home alone, and when I ask anyone simple questions to any member of family like “How are you?” I am shunned as the program they are watching on television takes precedence over conversing with their child or sibling.

Years of hearing words like “why cannot you be more like your brothers” and “I wish I never had you”, from the people that are meant to love you the most are my painful reality, and have cut me down making me feel as if there really is something wrong with me. Is trying to spend time with your family members asking too much?

maxresdefault

Every day I come home from a day of volunteering at Rogers Tv or from a casual walk to get some fresh air and as I watch the four of them all gather at the dinner table talking about their days I simply grab a fruit and head to my room, knowing all to well that sitting with them would be an unwelcome addition to their harmonious conversation.

I now spend hours in my room alone with my headphones on blasting music or skyping with old friends, who now live elsewhere, putting on a seemingly happy face for the hours we are conversing until it ends and I curl up into a ball in my bed in tears, crying till I fall asleep. When I look in the mirror I ask myself what has happened to me? What happened to the outgoing and energetic girl who loved talking to people, going out, and having adventures? I feel like the chaos of my family and life after graduating university not being as positive as I had envisioned, has turned me into an empty shell of a person feeling absolutely alone and overwhelmed with immense anxiety from the moment I wake up until I cry myself to sleep.

I am a good person. I have a kind heart with good intentions I deserve to have people around me who love and support me in all the decisions I make. What is truly heartbreaking is to know I do not have that. I have to be content with the uncomfortable silences, the rude statements about my intelligence or my appearance, all because my parents support me financially giving them and the rest of my family license to break me down emotionally.

66962d4d82e06ad20f59f8a7d66fba21

Now I am not writing this piece as a means to generate sympathy from anyone, I am doing it to hopefully, finally give myself some peace of mind. Telling myself that by writing about all my anxiety and the dark hole my life seems to currently be, will allow me to free myself and start to find a light at the end of this endlessly dark tunnel. It may not be instantaneous but I have to believe that letting all this out can help not just me, but anyone else who feels or has ever felt utterly ALONE. Helping others not feel as alone as I do, is the only solace for the emptiness in my heart at this moment.

For all those who feel as I do, try and stay strong and focus on anything positive in your life because as cliche as it sounds, all you do is take it one day at a time 🙂 I know it seems scary right now and you think that no one can understand how down and dark inside you feel, just know you are not alone, because I am right here with you. 

Power of the Podcast – 10 TED TALKS That Made My Year

With the holiday season upon us and 2015 coming to an end, I thought of exciting topic for this blog post, that I hope you enjoy!. I have always been a fan of podcasts, specifically Ted Talks, because they are the perfect blend of informative and entertaining. With topics ranging from social issues, depression, science, and technology to name a few it provides me an opportunity to learn something new in a fun and engaging way. I’ve always encouraged those who have not heard of Ted Talks to check out lat least video. Having seen a lot of talks I wanted to write about the 10 most inspirational Ted Talks I’ve come across this year. For those of you have never heard of it, this will give you a chance to learn what it is all about. For my fellow Ted Talk enthusiasts, maybe you can tell me some of your favourite talks too!

Now I want to preface that the talks I have chosen are from different years (2011-2015), but they are all talks I watched this year

10 most inspirational Ted Talks I’ve seen this year.

  1. Monica Lewinsky – PRICE OF SHAME

I enjoyed this talk because it brings forward the important issue of cyberbullying. Now Monica Lewinsky recounted her own experience, along with a few other examples but the greatest takeaway I got from this talk was the power of the internet. The internet allows us anonymity that would not have if we said mean comments to someone in person, thus making our comments harsher because we are free to say what we want behind the comfort of our laptop screens. However, we never stop to think about how our comments on someone’s photo or story, saying such things as “You are a slut” or “You are ugly!”, can have on a person. Our harsh words, both on and offline, have consequences so please be nice to each other!

shame-vs-guilt-pathology.gif

2. Nancy Lublin : The Heartbreaking text that inspired a crisis help line

Children face very real struggles in their every day lives, from eating disorders and bullying to unsafe home environments, and they often feel that they have no one speak up for them. This heartwrenching, but yet insightful talk looked to tackle this problem with Crisis Text Line, as teens are always on their phones but rather than text there friends they could reach out to real counselors and talk through their anxieties. Its not say that are able to save everyone, but I know especially in the digital age, bullying and insecurities have heightened making the need for these types services crucial to ensure children can have some to speak with without feeling judged.

cVcc9cF

3. Chris Bliss: Comedy in translation

          Being a communications graduate and I was truly captivated by this talk as Bliss himself as a child always had a passion for communicating with others. However, as Bliss points out often times we may want to impart random facts of knowledge that we know to the people in our lives but it may not always be willing received. Comedy has changed that though because if you present even serious issues with a grain of humour people are more likely to listen, with Bliss using the example of The Daily Show. I know from personal experience when I’ve tried bringing up political issues with my family at dinner or a new development in technology I read about, If I make a little bit of a joke while explaining I got more of a response. Moral of the story – Laughter allows people to REALLY listen.

comedy-central-trevor

4. Chieko Asakawa :  How New Technology Helps Blind People explore the world

This was a beautiful story of how someone did not let their disability, in this case blindness, stand in their way. It was inspiring to see that she still pursued her passion of rock climbing, skating, and swimming despite being unable to see. It was also admiring as she took her struggles as a child with having to have her books read to her, to create technologies such as digital braille library so that others who are visually impaired would have the ability to read with ease. It is a truly breathtaking story about a woman’s drive and technologies power to make a difference!

5. David Steindl-Rast – Want to be happy? Be grateful

Stop.Look.Go. The simple and beautiful principle of this talk, really spoke to be because in our daily lives we rush through life kill584dfdeef81326481cc7d0558ce9a8ceing ourselves with work or extracurricular activities to keep us busy, but we never stop to enjoy the world around us and open yourselves and your hearts up to the joy in that surrounds you. Then you simply go and being to really live in the moment, because as Steindl-Rast states everyone moment is truly a gift. This gift is something that should not be wasted, and while one might think being happy means having the latest apple gadget, we need to remember that its the people in our lives
and the experiences that make us happy. NOT INAMINATE OBJECTS!. Simply put, if you want to be happy just be appreciative of things in your life and when you think your life is empty understand that it truly is full.

6. Marina Abramovic : An art made of trust, vulnerability, and connection

I am a huge fan of performance art, and its overwhelming power. This TED Talk reaffirmed my love it because the engaging concepts that Abramovic offers in this talk is intriguing. Performance art pieces allow us to take a moment out of our digitally engaged lives and be one with ourselves and the world around us which I feel is a refreshing concept.

8. Nicole Paris & Eden Cage : A beatboxing lesson from a father-daughter duo

I loved this performance because of the talent that this wonderful father and daughter team displayed. What truly excited me about this talk was its fun and light nature, focusing on the beatboxing while still telling a story to the audience. The relationship between Nicole and her Father Eden was just a beautiful thing, showing the power of music to bond people.

9. Danit Peleg: Forget Shopping. Soon You’ll Download Your New Clothes

This talk really brought home the evolution of technology today, and the kind of world we are heading towards. Discussing her experience with fashion and her introduction to 3D printing to develop clothes, like the skirt she wears in her talk, shows us just evolved technology has become. I hope I learn to 3D print clothing, it would be fun and hopefully not nearly as expensive as buying clothes from a store!

10. Charlie Todd: The shared experience of absurdity

I enjoyed this TED Talk because it was hilarious, whilst sending the important message of joy. Todd’s love of doing improv with the intention of creating a shared experience that people could enjoy, and tell a story about later was a truly fascinating concept. His ideas were brilliantly done with innovative improv gags, such as the No Pants and Best Buy projects. The No Pants gag was hilarious mainly because of the women’s reaction in the video. Priceless. I’ve always wanted to be part of a spontaneous art form such as this and this TED Talk has made want to go out and do something crazy such as this! Maybe I’ll get kicked out of a Best Buy?

 

I hope you enjoyed my list and that these TED Talks speak to you as much as they did me. The wise words of all these talented speakers have changed how I approach life, and maybe it can do the same for you! Check it out!

May you all have HAPPY HOLIDAYS 🙂

Dog-snow.gif

Finding Joy in the Little Things

Happiness. Often times people because of stresses in their life, be it a hectic work or school schedule,  fail to appreciate the amazing little joys that are in their lives. I myself have been guilty of that, thinking that my life was as dull as everyone else’s but then after reading the blog post by Neil Pasricha called “1000 Awesome Things”, I have begun to change my tune and appreciate the little things in life.

That being said, I decided to generate a list of “Awesome Things in my Life”! Now I do not know if I can think of a 1,000 carefully crafted ideas, I have thought of 20.

20 Awesome Things in My Life

  1. Cuddling up in a cozy blanket and watching a cheesy movie

6e62c584-fa7b-4948-985f-148bc23f470f       just-me-my-blanket-and-netflix-tonight-_-t

Their is nothing like just kicking back in bed all cuddled up and watching a cheesy movie that makes you cry. For me a movie that really gets me is “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”. It’s just such a touching and heartfelt movie I cannot help but tear up whenever I watch it. The purity of the movie is so movie that it is my got to movie when I am feeling down or when I am sick. Plus a handsome Dylan O’brein does not hurt!

2. White Hot Chocolate is back!

Tim-Hortons-Canada white hot chocolate

For me the best part of enduring a long Canadian winter is getting to have a nice white hot chocolate from Tim Hortons! When it was discontinued my heart broke a little but, this year its BAAACK!!! The sweet and delicious taste makes your forget that its cold outside, and it is the best treat in the winter!

3. Jamming out to music while waiting at the bus stop

anigif_original-grid-image-2738-1379319094-13

Nothing like when you are just standing at the bus stop by yourself and your favourite jam comes on your playlist! For me this week I was waiting on the bus to go to my volunteer job at Rogers TV when Charlie Puth’s song featuring Meghan Trainor called “Marvin Gaye” came on (I know don’t judge!). It’s just so catchy that I could not help rocking out at the bus stop like this lady in the image above.

4. Having pleasant conversation with a stranger

266854 conversation with a stranger

I found lately that the most memorable conversations have been with strangers I met along my route. The other day I was downtown and walking to the library when a lady walked up to me and needed assistance finding a bus location. I offered to walk her there so she would make her bus and along the way we had such a pleasant conversation where she told me about her family and that she’s lived in London all her life. She also gave the best advice since I just graduated university and am looking for work “It might seem dark right now, but before you know it a light will shine and all your dream job will appear”. She was just sweet!

5. Taking out warm clothes from the dryer

2OYrpP4 warm clothes out of the dryer

My family and friends do not understand it, but I love doing laundry!. The feel of putting on a nice and toasty sweater that just came of the dryer, the best feeling when you are someone  who is cold old the time like myself. It is like a warm hug <3.

6. Double-dutch jumproping with friends in your driveway

tumblr_mxhhp3Uj5j1r713xdo1_500

Who would not be happy jumproping its just so entertaining! It was my favourite activity growing up. Me and my friends would spend hours outside jumproping, and would not stop until it got dark. I double dutch from time to time these days but, I’m not as skilled as I once was.

7. Going to the grocery store for sensible foods, but instead buying chips and chocolate

gty_grocery_store_tk_130506_wmain

We’ve all been guilty of this. Going to the grocery store to buy healthy food but then stroll by the snack aisle and a bag of chips or cookies catches our eye. I know for me Smartfood is my weakness and I’ve definitely go into the store with a checklist of healthy foods to buy, but only walk out with chips in hand. But honestly who cares right? Treating yourself to junk food every once in a while is awesome!

8. Blowing bubbles with chewing gum

tumblr_m61dafLdxA1rug5vao1_500

Bubbles are half the reason I chew gum. It might seem childish but, trying to see how big you can get your gum bubble, before it pops is one of the simple joys in my life. Whenever I chew a piece I cannot help but blow a bubble!

9. Random allnighter board game nights

board-games-1

I LOVE BOARD GAMES. Whenever my friends come over we each bring a board game be it, Settlers of Catan, Scrabble, Risk, trivial pursuit or many more, and have an epic night of wine and board games. It’s always the highlight of my week whenever we get together because we play for hours and with us all being competitive it can get intense, but funny at the same time!

10.When your friends give you goofy nicknames!

nicknames

I love giving my friends funny nicknames, but what’s interesting are the names the come up for me! My really close friend Melanie, who I call Melly Mel, calls me Betty-licious:P. While my other really close friend Dylan who I call D – money, calls me B slice. Oh the names we come up with! I would not change it for anything because they are special to me because of you they are from, but it is funny.

11. Having a parent pick a number between 1-20 to settle who gets the last piece of cake in the house or has to do a chore

In my house because their are six of us their can be a lot of dishes in the sink at one time and when we buy cake, muffins, or any sort of treat they can go quick often with one person in the family not getting a piece. That being said, whenever their are lots of dishes to do, none of us kids want to do it so we make our mom write down a number between 1-20 and the winner does not have to do it, and then second round where the loser is stuck with washing. You might think that it sounds silly but it gets INTENSE at my house with my one brother asking for a re-do one time because he thought I cheated because I got the number right on my first try. Oh good times!

12. Taking random hour stroll and appreciating the scenery

IMG_0946

Who doesn’t love a nice warm stroll. It’s just nice to take time to appreciate the world around us and breath the fresh air. I love taking these walks because I usually get to see lots of cute dogs along of the way.

13. Wasting hours scrolling through Buzzfeed

buzzfeed-landing .png

Buzzfeed is the ULTIMATE time waster. Their have been many times where I say I will only go on buzzfeed for a few minutes to check out one video as a break from my studies or work, but then 5 quizzes, 3 articles, and 2 videos later and I’m still on the site and sharing my results to quizzes and compare our answers. It’s silly and hilarious fun that is kind of addicting. I mean I’m even on buzzfeed right now while I write this blog post! But in all honesty, Buzzfeed is just an amazing relaxation tool, so for all of you out there who may be cramming for exams take a moment and watch a video or take a quiz on buzzfeed. Relaxation guaranteed!

14. Having an ice cream sundae for dinner

47042-M-m-Ice-Cream-Sundae

Having an unhealthy treat like a sundae for dinner is FANTASTIC! It’s just the perfect medicine when you are having a bad day or just want something sweet to eat. I love making myself an ice cream sundae, especially when I watch my favourite tv shows Survivor and Amazing Race because it always to have an enjoyable treat while I watch the insanity. All the M&M, Ore Ice cream and marshmallow goodness is just the best!

15. TAKING A NICE LONG HOT BATH

enhanced-buzz-10050-1364932589-3

I feeling that this GIF of Chandler from Friends says it all. I love after a stressful day just kidding back in a nice long bath with soft music on and just soak. How can anyone be upset when they are that comfortable!

16. Coffee dates with good friends that last for hours!

tv-pitching-1 coffee with friends

My friends are really important to me so when ever I make a coffee date with a friend I may have not seen in a while, I’m never shocked when it ends up lasting 3+ hours. Once I got together with my friend Craig for a coffee and we spent 3 hours catching up on each other’s dating life,school and plans after school, I goofed around on his Tinder for him, and much more. Time just flies by when you are with good company, and its those effortless conversations that mean the most because that is REAL FRIENDSHIP.

17. Bing-watching a new tv show series

TV

Their is nothing like stumbling upon a new tv show and then watching it for hours. I chose the House of Card image because I recently began watching the series am already halfway through season 2! It is absolutely mindblowing and has me hooked. The feeling when its 2am and you have to decide “do I want to sleep, or watch the next episode?” and even though you should call it night you cannot stop watching.

18. The look of pride in my parents face when I do something right

tuOMeoh

All I have ever wanted to do is make my parents proud, because they gave up a lot for me to have a chance at a better education. So when I graduated from university June and saw the look of pride in my parents eyes as I got my diploma it was amazing, because that moment was just as much about me as it was about them.

19. Tackling a new recipe in the kitchen and feeding it to your family

anigif_enhanced-25288-1434998070-8

I would not call myself a chef by any means, so whenever I try to cook something at my house my supportive family always puts their brave face on hoping for the best but ready for the worst. I am happy to say I made them a lovely fish, potatoes, and broccoli meal last week which they loved. Success!

20. Running around in the rain for no reason!

rain-photography-5

Playing in the running is just the most relaxing feeling. It makes you feel like a kid again. I remember last year it downpoured when my friends and I were returning from Wal-Mart back to our university campus and instead of running for shelter we just ended up dancing in the rain and goofing around. That is a moment I look back at with such fondness.

Well that is my list I hope you appreciate it and take a moment to think of list of your own. Their are so many amazing moments in our lives that we overlook, so take a moment and reflect 🙂

Till next time!

 

The Red Poppy : A Symbol of Remembrance & Marketing

Poppies_by_Benoit_Aubry_of_Ottawa

A Red Poppy. What do you think when you see that? Now for some it may just be a flower, but for Canadians this is a symbolic image which triggers a collective memory as it is signifies the commemoration of the brave Canadian soldiers who sacrificed their lives in the First World War to give us the freedom that we all enjoy today. That is why November 11th, commonly known as Remembrance Day, Canadians proudly display this red flower on their lapel paying homage to these brave individuals.

silver 20062014 037

Lest We Forget. This is a symbolic phrase which has been etched in the minds of Canadians every Remembrance Day, creating a feeling of national unity. National unity is derived from the shared experience that all Canadians exhibit when observing this iconic day, as we all take a silent moment at 11am to honour those fallen creating an unspoken bond with fellow Canadians.

canadian-remembrance-day-ceremony-held-at-war-memorial-in-ot2-e1446487651139

However, when taking a closer look at this ritualized behaviour one can see the marketing strategies set in place to personify a feeling of Canadian nationalism, through a simple flower. For Canadians  purchasing a poppy (be it at school, your workplace, or even grocery store) and wearing it proudly by displaying it on your lapel for the entire day, as well as attending remembrance day ceremonies has become a ritualized phenomenon. This is because on this day being “Canadian” means to be wearing a poppy, and not doing so goes against the fabric of Canadian identity. An example of this normalized behaviour can be seen in the picture above as poppy’s are placed on the Tomb of the Unknown Solder every Remembrance Day by Canadians which is a common practice. Another instance of unspoken expectation of wearing the poppy can be seen in the image below where students are all putting on the red poppy in honour of the occasion, as they are taught that is part of what it means to be Canadian.

EDMONTON, ALBERTA, OCTOBER 29, 2009 - Vicki Torrie(left) from Kingsway Legion pins a poppy on Devon Kuzik, 8, and Meghan Doig, 8, arranges her poppy during the Poppy Fund launch for 2009 at Kingsway Legion Thursday afternoon. The two were members of The Singing Ravens Choir from Mills Haven Elementary School in Sherwood Park. In Edmonton, October 29/09. (Rick MacWilliam/Edmonton Journal)

The Red poppy as a symbol of Canadian remembrance is not simply present on November 11th, but rather is a part of our everyday lives. This is because the poignant red flower appears in so much of our daily activities from it being present on our nation’s banknotes,as its found on the $10 bill along with an image of the war memorial as well as the infamous Highway of Heroes.

10_dollar_bill poppy symbol

Money being a commonly utilized object in citizen’s daily life the $10 bill is a perfect example of how the poppy is marketed. Appearing casually in the left hand corner of the banknote and passing from hand to hand in countless daily transactions, with this one can see a never-ending circulation of tangible commemoration of those who perished. As we today, carry this memory with us in our back pockets never forgetting those who fought to protect us.

The Highway of Heroes is another symbolic example of how the poppy has become central to Canadian identity. In August 2007 The Royal Canadian Legion created the “Highway of Heroes to commemoration to further acknowledge the bravery of our veterans. This highway still fosters a feeling of collective remembrance, because we Canadians drive by they will undoubtedly teach their family or friends of the story of how Canada came to be. This touching tribute to Canadian soldiers is fantastic, but only further emulates how it has been marketed to the public as an everyday aspect of Canadian life.

Now I myself am a proud Canadian as I wear the red poppy with pride, knowing how strong and brave my fellow Canadians were during a time of undeniable danger. While this symbol is phenomenal in paying homage to the fallen, one cannot deny how mass-produced it has become in Canadian life creating the belief that Canada is a nation founded by war. I on the other hand like to think of this another way.To me this vibrant red flower is symbolic of new life and hope for the future, which is something that diminished because to me where there is life and hope there is always the ability to want to strive for peace. The Canada we know today is one of the most peaceful nation’s in the world, with a diverse culture and rich history.

CANADIAN

I hope you all take a moment out of your busy days today, to honour those who have fallen!