Crest Whitening Strips

Crest WhitestripsLately I’ve been trying to put a little effort into my appearance.  I tend to throw on what’s most comfortable.  I always look put together, but never like I really care.  I’m in a position now where I want to look… powerful.  I own my own company and our branding relies on me, so I don’t want to forgot the way my physical appearance affects my clients and colleagues.

Because it’s been awhile since I actually took time to look at myself and see what I can improve, it was a strange few days.  I always keep myself clean and as healthy as possible, but I’m not big on image improvement just for the sake of image improvement.  I was a little stuck.  I didn’t want to just blindly spend money on products.  So I had a look at the people I admire on social media and other companies.  People like Ella Woodward.  Everyone has a unique image and they look effortless.  But we’ve leaned that none of it is effortless.  Everything is a strategic move for their image and company.

What does my image say?  I quickly snapped my own picture, just a simple selfie.  If I saw this on my newsfeed, what would I say?  How would I judge it?

1.) Roots!!  I have to do my hair again 😦  Oh man, that really sneaks up on me every time!  I have to start coming up with a system or something to get it done.

2.) I look a little tired.  Well that’s something more sleep or a tiny bit of photoshop could fix.

3.) My teeth could be whiter.  Hey!  I can fix that!!

So I started there.  Hair and teeth.  Let’s do those two things and see where we are.  But I’ve never actually whitened my teeth before.  Once at the dentist they offered a free teeth-whitening for new clients, and I got that.  It was great!  I mean absolutely painful, but I walked out with whiter teeth.  But who can spend that kind of money on teeth whitening? Continue reading

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Vega One Vanilla Chai Tea Milkshakes!

Vega One Vanilla ChaiAll I have to say about this is…. oh my god!!!  I just randomly tried something that I swear is the best treat I’ve ever had.  Now that I’m mostly Vegan, I do try and pick up some protein boosters once in awhile.  I get plenty of protein through beans and grains, but every once in awhile I’ll top myself up.  The Vega One protein smoothies are a great option.

Walking through Whole Foods yesterday, I noticed there was one of those individual Vega One packs.  This one was Vanilla Chai flavoured.  I like Chair tea during the cold days, so I grabbed one, thinking I’d heat it up and make it warm.  But when I got home all I wanted was a milkshake.  As I’m not eating any kind of dairy, I obviously couldn’t have one.  I don’t know where the craving came from, but it was there.  I had a quick look through my cupboards and found a few ingredients that sounded good in theory.

Vega One Vanilla Chai

Coconut Milk

Ice

Water (ice cold)

Stick it all in your blender and blend until frothy.  Holy crap, it was a smooth delicious goodness!!!  I took one sip and got my milkshake fix as well as that wonderful warm Chai feeling from the spices.  I’d accidentally made a desert that was healthy and so delicious I ate the whole thing.

Here are a few things to note!!  Coconut milk can be fatty.  Add more water, but don’t skip the Coconut milk!!  It’s what makes it smooth and creamy.  Almost over blend it.  The ice will crunch down, but it’s that frothy that makes it feel like a dessert.  This could be a meal!!  It packs a lot of punch.  I would make half a pack if you’ve already had most of your portions for the day and are just looking for a tasty treat.  Those Vega Ones have a ton of stuff in them.

I find that the Vega Ones don’t always dissolve all the way.  Make sure you stir it ones in awhile, or you might end up with a sludge at the bottom that is really strong.

Want to make it even more like a dessert?  Whip some coconut cream on top, or use a thicker Coconut milk to make it thicker.  Put it in the freezer for a short while to freeze it up even more than the ice!

It’s all in my Head

inyourheadA few years ago when I was still with my ex, I used to have this argument with him in my head.  I would anticipate him saying things and figure out how I would respond.  I’d have entire arguments without him even being in the room!  Do you think I’m crazy yet?

It took me a long time to learn that the reason I was it was because I was hoping for an argument to get out the things I needed to say.  I was afraid to be the instigator, but certain things were weighing so heavily on me that I was hoping for reasons to get them out.  I wanted him to give me an opening so at the end of the day, I wasn’t the one always bringing up issues.  This speaks to both an issue with me and him.  I was too concerned with being considered a ‘complainer’, and he avoided confrontation at all cost, even if it meant we never talked about a single issue we had.

It went on and on.  Even after we broke up I kept having them.  If he called today, this is what I would say.  If he forced me to tell him what went wrong, this is what I would say.  It took months to get over doing this.  Months of just letting those issues go, and realizing that being happy with myself was more important than teaching him a lesson.  If he didn’t want to learn, it wasn’t my job to teach him.  I’m happy to say that it’s been two years, and I’ve stopped having arguments in my head.

Yesterday I realized I was doing it again.  For the past few weeks, I’ve been having arguments in my head with my business partner.  At first they were conversations.  I would go home and have logical conversations with him, all in my head.  But after awhile my frustration with him grew, and I would wake up in the morning and immediately start having these arguments with him.  They get me so angry!  I work out my frustration by almost becoming hysterical at him, sometimes crying, and yet I’ve never once actually said anything to him.  When I get to the office, I smile and go about my day like I’m not actually angry.  How is this healthy? Continue reading

Red Christmas Cups

Starbucks Red CupsI’ve hesitated writing this for the last few days.  When such strong opinions start to surge through social media, pointing out the absurdity in them can often come across just as belligerent and uneducated as the original argument.  But I feel strongly with this one.  I feel we’re missing the entire point.  Instead of accidently offending everyone of one believe we’re missing that this entire debacle speaks directly to how far we still have to go to accept all the people of this world.  This is my opinion, and if I offend you, I am profoundly sorry.

From what I understand, Starbucks is under fire for being ‘anti-Jesus’ by refusing to celebrate Christmas with simple red cups.  Because they haven’t written ‘Merry Christmas’ on them (which they haven’t done in years), they’ve inadvertently sent a message to all who celebrate Christmas that they no longer support the Holiday.

I’m going to skip this overreaction and go directly to the simple fact that ‘not everyone celebrates Christmas.’

My best friend is someone I love with my whole heart.  She’s loving, caring and above all else, compassionate.  I honestly can’t say two words together negative about her.  If I were going to give a list of the attributes that make a wonderful, beautiful person, I would be listing her virtues.  We’ve been friends for ten years and the memories we’ve created together are magical.  Why do I bring her up?  She doesn’t celebrate Christmas. Her family is Vietnamese and they celebrate Chinese New Year the way we celebrate our Christmas.  I don’t know enough about Vietnamese culture to know if this is true generally, but it is true of her family.  When she and I first met working at a movie theater as teens, she quickly agreed to work Christmas Day if I would work Chinese New Year.  I immediately agreed because Christmas was such an important thing for my family.  I  never once thought anything of it.  She used to tell me about her families celebrations and once I even got to participate with her family.  It was so much fun!  I was absolutely thrilled to take part in something that means so much to her.  Every year I get her something for Chinese New Year, and every year she and I go do something Christmasy together, like see the lights at Van Dusen Gardens or see VSO choir singing Christmas Carols at Saint Andrew’s-Wesley church.  She loves the lights and festivities, and she loves the beauty of the songs and laughter.

My friend is not a judgemental person.  She’s never once walked through the thousands of stores that pour Christmas out in waves and complained that they were offending her religious beliefs.  She’s never said that she felt excluded.  She doesn’t care.  She sees our culture of Christmas and sometimes participates, but it’s never been part of her life.  When she walks into Starbucks right now and is handed a red cup, she knows it’s because of Christmas.  No one is hiding it.  It doesn’t matter to her.  Maybe it should.  Maybe she should get angry that they don’t incorporate any of her beliefs.  But instead she drinks her coffee and does the most important thing; she thanks the barista!

When I heard that this argument was taking place I was stunned.  I love Christmas!  I was raised Christian and I understand what Christmas is supposed to be about.  I’m not a practicing Christian anymore, but I grew up with nativity scenes and stories from the Bible.  I also love Starbucks.  They have gotten me through many a long day and I like their coffee.  I know there are people who prefer other companies, but that’s not the point of this.  I personally like Starbucks.  And as a raised Christian, I don’t feel offended in the slightest at their red cups. Continue reading

My Face is a Roadmap

Sugar AddictionSince I was a teenager, I’ve worn everything on my face.  I mean that it a few different ways, but today I mean in terms of pimples and acne.  It took me years to figure out that what I put in my body, and how I treated myself, directly contributed to how much makeup I would need to wear to cover blemishes.

In the last two years, I have conquered the chaos that was my face.  Into my late 20’s I was still getting pimples and I was starting to give up on ever being clear-skinned.  But then my life turned around and I figured out how to rid myself of the ugly red spots for good!  How?  I found my triggers.  Mainly they are sugar and dairy.  I learned to deal with stress in a natural way without binge eating, and I studied hormones to slowly start to repair my imbalances.  I figured out an all natural cleaning regime using jojoba or coconut oils instead of chemical moisturizers.  After these steps, I officially became a person who can walk outside without makeup and look clear and fresh!

These last two months have been total chaos.  One day I looked in the mirror and I just knew I needed to start focusing on me again.  The stress of starting a new business and opening new offices was taking its toll.  I was stress eating, binging and forgetting to take care of myself.  My entire chin and jawline felt like sandpaper.  I’ve never been this bad!  I’d fallen off the healthy wagon hard and my face was exposing it to the world.

Determined to turn it around, I did a quick google search on the areas I was seeing the most problem.  The main causes?  Stress, sugar, eating before bed and hormones.  Bam.  The first four were like yup, yup, yup and yup.  In that moment, I stopped the horrible habits cold turkey.  My main focus was to clear up my face naturally again.

Sugar be gone!  Dairy went back to small amounts.  I went back on the pill and started walking and doing soft meditation to deal with the stress.  One week later I’m seeing visible differences.  Mainly there’s nothing new popping up!  I’ve carefully exfoliated with baking soda and found a good clay mask for my nightly wind-downs.  I drink water until I pee every five minutes.  I’ve borrowed my sisters juicer so I can basically inject myself with green veggies.   One week and oh what a difference.   Continue reading

Veggies for Breakfast

Veggies at BreakfastBreakfast is one of those topics that just doesn’t go away.  Every person who Googles some sort of ‘weight loss’ or ‘up your energy’ search will eventually get to the same thing.  Breakfast is what makes the world go round.  Without it, you’re screwed.

I’m not a breakfast person.  I find it hard to force myself to eat in the morning.  It’s not one food over another, it’s just that I never seem hungry first thing.  I’ve tried to bring things to work and eat at my desk, but if I forget or get instantly busy I’m screwed!  I’ve tried preparing things the night before, but I tend to crave something at night that seems gross in the morning.  I’m 29 years old, and I’ve never figured out breakfast.

Finally, my mom bought me a Magic Bullet for my birthday and I discovered veggie smoothies.  Every morning I wake up and throw together a smoothie full of green goodness, sip it while I put on my makeup, and then go about my day.  Let me tell you, veggies in the morning is fricken amazing!

I’ve noticed this trend lately that I thought I’d bring up.  At the gym yesterday I was reading a Women’s Health while on the eliptical.  Elizabeth Banks is on the cover.  There was a breakfast recipe in there that I was sort of stunned by.  It had squash and turnips or something like that (I can’t find it again now!).  What got me is that the entire dish was all veggies.  If I hadn’t seen it in the breakfast section, I would have thought it was a dinner side dish of roast veggies.  But this was a veggie mash meant to be like oatmeal.  I thought at first that it was weird.  Why would I wake up and make a bunch of roast veggies for breakfast?  But then I realized that my morning smoothies had become pure veggies so how is this different? Continue reading

Neighbour Shaming

EscalatedA little over a month ago I got new neighbours.  I usually love meeting new people, so when they moved in a did the friendly ‘how are you’ in the hallway and received a very strange response.  My new neighbour, a 20-something tattooed girl who speaks too loudly for small spaces, responded to my ‘Hi’ by showing me her arm.  She had a cast on. She said ‘I’ve had better days’.  Because I care when people are hurt, and this seemed like a great opener to get to know each other, I asked what happened.  This was her response…

‘I fell out of a tree having sex on my birthday’.

…okay… well… at least you have a good story!

‘that’s what everyone says, I’m not sure what they mean.’

….at this point I said goodbye and walked away feeling a little taken-a-back.  I’m not usually so awkward when people turn a conversation to sex.  But I’d just met this girl.  Her second sentence to me was about sex.  I have no idea if the tree-sex story is true, but she certainly introduced herself in a very specific way to me.  But hey, I’ve never had tree-sex so maybe I would want to tell total strangers about it as well.

That night, they had a party.  I’ve mentioned in this blog before that I’m okay with neighbours having parties.  We all have people over and as long as we’re respectful, it’s no big deal.  But this one stood out for a couple of reasons.  One, it started at 3:00AM.  Obviously whatever bar they were at closed for the night and they just migrated to their place.  The second reason it stood out to me was it was Wednesday night.  Friday and Saturdays I don’t care, but Wednesday?  On a work week a respectful neighbour takes it inside at a reasonable hour.

I let it go because it was just one night.  We all do things once in awhile that probably piss our neighbors off.  But then the next night they watched a movie at 1:00AM so loud I could hear full conversation sequences lying in bed.  It’s Thursday night, I now haven’t slept in two nights!  I’m a Monday to Friday worker, so I was getting pretty exhausted.  Continue reading