Jane the Virgin: An Addicting Flick

Netflix has the power to hold my attention for hours on end and when I say that I was addicted to this show, I mean my entire spring break revolved around watching Jane The Virgin.

For the entire week of spring break I was up until about 4 am in my room, cozy in bed, laptop propped up on the mattress beside me clicking “play next” ever 50 minutes and it was worth every second of lost sleep.

Jane The Virgin has all the good makings of an incredible TV show. The drama, the life lessons, the romance, highlighting serious political issues, family relationships, and so much more. It’s hard not to get hooked, even if you’re not into certain parts of the show the quality of the rest of it will pull you in. I’ve been sitting in the living room binging and my father has come in and stood for as long as 20 minutes watching along with me having no prior knowledge of what’s going on in the show because it’s that good.


The show focuses on the life of Jane Gloriana Villanueva, a young waitress in Miami. She is an incredibly organized individual, in college with a 2 year plan with her boyfriend so you can imagine how her life is flipped upside down when she becomes pregnant by being accidentally artificially inseminated. And let’s not forget that she saving herself for marriage because of her Catholic upbringing.

The show often flashes back and forth to the present Jane in her mid twenties to the past when she was an adolescent and times when she’s a teenager. It’s packed with family drama, relationship drama, even some crime drama which was very unexpected for me, but I love how it all ties together so well.

The show first aired in October 2014 and the final season is airing on Netflix now, with new episodes being released every Wednesday. Back in 2014, the world was in a better political climate than it is now, but with events that have since taken place in the past 5 years, with a new president taking the lead in the US and many different tragedies happening throughout America, the show has touched on certain topics which makes it that much better. Jane’s grandmother is undocumented in the states and the series highlights her application process and then goes on to show some of the horrible things that are happening in the country. A dramatic show that focuses a lot on romance and family is using their platform to talk about serious issues happening and I think it’s brilliant.

And of course, let’s not forget the incredibly attractive human beings that star in the show. First and foremost Rafael Solano played by the beautiful Justin Baldoni. And his character, Rafael is a womanizer at first and then after certain life events he turns into a caring, respectable hunk which makes him that much more attractive. 

Jane is played by the young and successful Gina Rodriguez and her mother in the show, Xiomara is played by the unbelievably attractive Andrea Navedo, who is 41 I might add and looks amazing for her age.

Both beautiful women with very attractive love interests in the show. Their chemistry as mother and daughter in the show make them even more lovable. Jane has a few different love interests throughout but hands down Rafael takes the cake for most gorgeous and Xiomara is often focused on telenovela star the charming Rogelio De La Vega who is played by Jaime Camil and he is pretty fantastic looking also. 

 

I think the main reason I’m so in love with the show is because even though my life is crazy and I have a lot of intense things going on, I can tune it all out and focus on Jane and the craziness in her life. It’s nice to see because it often brings me back to the reality that although my life may be crazy I’ll find a way through it, just as Jane does. She is a good person to look up to and I see a lot of myself in her and it’s nice to see someone I can relate to on screen. 

Vaisakhi a.k.a Not Halloween

This weekend marks one of the most important days of the year for the Sikh community; its Vaisakhi.

Vaisakhi is a harvest festival for the people of Punjab, where farmers pay tribute and take time to thank God for their harvest while also praying for good fortune for the coming year.

Vaisakhi

It is also the celebration of the birth of Khalsa. Khalsa is a branch of the Sikh religion where those who are faithful are baptized and must not cut their hair and carry certain religious symbols with them. One of our Guru’s, Guru Gobind Singh Jii founded Khalsa and baptized the first ever Singhs. For more on the birth of Khalsa this page describes it excellently: https://www.canteach.ca/elementary/sikhism3.html

So to celebrate, every year thousands of Sikhs gather for the parade, there is lots of food, dancing, prayer and everyone is welcome.

Vaisakhi

The biggest Vaisakhi parades outside of India happen right here in our backyard, with Surrey’s parade attracting over half a million people last year and the same if not more will be expected this year. With the Sikh community large and still growing in BC, Vaisakhi is a parade that has become something everyone can enjoy regardless of religion or race.

This being said, there are still some misconstrued ideas about what Vaisakhi is. Much to my dismay, I found this article in The Cochrane Times and the Vancouver Sun, thanks to a friend who tweeted out this screen grab of it:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yes, a sacred holiday, celebrated by millions was compared to Halloween, a day where kids walk around receiving candy. Now while I’m not super educated on the history of Halloween, I know enough to be offended by this comparison. The writer of this article highlights Halloween because of all the food that is given out, but what they may not have known is that at temples we have something called Langar. Langar is a meal and it’s given to anyone who visits the temple, regardless of race, gender or social class. Everyone eats together and everyone also has the opportunity to serve the food because equality is practiced in the Sikh religion. The same goes for Vaisakhi, while we may be outside on the street, Sikh people still make the effort to make food, chai and snacks for those who are out to celebrate. In fact there are many people who are not Sikh that come out solely to enjoy the good food that is shared at the festival and they are never turned away.

Vaisakhi parade 2017

Comparing the festival to Halloween wasn’t the only thing about this article that caught my attention in the wrong way. The writer then goes on to describe the pretty cherry blossom trees that happen to be on the route for this years parade in Vancouver. The line reads “One of the best places to see the cherry blossoms at their best is during the Vancouver parade route”. So instead of talking about the importance of Vaisakhi or the history or the rich culture, he instead decides the focus on something else that’s happening that day, which in my opinion kind of discredits the Sikh festival making it seem less important.

The title of the article is 5 things you need to know about the Metro Vancouver Vaisakhi Parade and this writer could have written about many different things that would have honored the Sikh community, instead he chooses facts like the route the parade takes and the fact that it’s the largest single-day festival.

While talking with some friends about the article, one of my friends referred to the article as “tone deaf” and I think that pinpoints it. The writer mentions it’s an important festival once and then goes on to talk about how traffic is really bad and for the people trying to get around to take transit. They aren’t really taking into consideration that Vaisakhi is a big deal to many Sikhs around the world, it’s not just about the traffic and eating. All in all, I was very disappointed while reading about something that is hugely celebrated in my culture and has been celebrated here in BC for years. You would think Vaisakhi would be a well known about event but I guess we’ll have to wait and see what the articles next year will say about it. Here’s hoping.

Vaisakhi

Link to article in The Cochrane Times:
https://www.cochranetimes.com/entertainment/festivals/vaisakhi-day-parades-in-metro-vancouver-five-things-to-know/wcm/59240025-6d80-43c0-98ac-f1c1c4c21a50

Link to the same article in The Vancouver Sun:

Vaisakhi Day 2019 in Metro Vancouver: Five things to know

Declutter Your Life

I am someone who is notorious for changing the layout of my room at least once a month. I’m talking full rearrangement of furniture including bed, desk, sofa, sometimes I’ll even move my posters to different walls or rearrange my collage of pictures of me and my friends and family. I mean that’s what a collage is, a collection of pictures all put together but in the past few years of my life I’ve noticed small changes in my habits and what I keep in my room and my surroundings.

Less is more. That’s what I’ve learned about a lot of things in my life. The objects/clutter/nicknacks one has in their house, the amount of clothes in ones closet and just the general amount of possessions any person has. I noticed that the clutter was getting to me and throughout the last few years I’ve majorly decluttered my life. Purging clothes and objects is so relieving. When you have too much stuff it can be annoying and make you feel stress that’s unnecessary.

When there’s a constant pile of things to pick up or dust around your house, you’re going to feel stressed about it. There’s no need for some of that stuff so why put the energy and effort into cleaning it.

Same goes with things on your desk. Maybe you have your own cubicle or computer area where you work and if it’s full of clutter how are you supposed to get any work done and not be distracted and annoyed by all of the clutter on your desk. The only thing on my desk is my laptop, my pen cup full of pens, my notebook and my lamp and when I feel like it flowers in a vase. The less clutter the better you’re going to feel about yourself. Say you have lots of work to do, lots of things around you isn’t going to make that better and will add to your stress.

Even taking 5 minutes a day to dust off or declutter your work area can make a huge difference so set aside that time and watch as you become not only a cleaner person but a less stressed person with less clutter in your life.  

And if you’re finding yourself with just too much stuff that you don’t have a use for anymore; donate it! If it’s still in good condition why shouldn’t someone else you could find a use for it, use it!

I find myself in stressful situations a lot being a student, having a job, maintaining relationships with friends and family and having less clutter has helped immensely. It’s less stuff to clean, pick up after and worry about. So go ahead and donate those dusty things that have been sitting on your shelf for far too long, you’ll feel a whole lot better afterwards trust me!

Pros and Cons of Long Distance Relationships

Throughout my short lifetime, I have been in total of 4 relationships. Two that have been serious, one that was an inconvenient, dreadful decision on my part looking back at it now and one that was that perfect high school romance that lasted a grand total of 4 months. The two serious ones lasted longer than a year and in my opinion that’s a respectful amount of time to be involved with someone for an early twenty year old. Now of course on of those relationships has ended, and yes it was sad. I cried and experienced true heart break. I was in love and then dumped. It’s not a pleasant feeling, but it can be years later. Looking back on it now, if I hadn’t been in that relationship I wouldn’t know what I look for, what my type is and I wouldn’t know what being loved felt like. He loved me, as deeply as one person could love another and while that love has been lost, I believe it existed and burned brightly during that time. However as the saying goes, thank you next.

Along came my next and current man and I have been head over heels for the past year and a half we’ve been together. I mean I already know the location of our wedding so you could say it’s pretty serious. It hasn’t been all easy though I’ll admit, mostly because of one thing; living 1.5 hours away from each other.

Now I know what you’re thinking, “Amara, really? An hour and a half is nothing, that’s not even long distance at all”. And while you’re right, it’s not really long distance, when it’s love, even 10 minutes away can feel like far away.

Take my mini dilemma of an hour and a half and throw it in the garbage, because my brother wins hands down when it comes to long distance. We live in the lower mainland here in BC, Canada. You know that BC is in Canada but I had to specify because my brothers girlfriend doesn’t live in this country. That’s right, they’ve taken long distance to another level. She is from Toronto originally so yay for being Canadian, but currently resides in Kentucky. Yes Louisville, Kentucky in the United States of America. That’s a 38 hour drive. Their relationship consists mostly of Face time dates, which can be super cute at times, but come on, if you want a hug you can’t have one! Unless you jump on a plane, which in theory would be super romantic, but not super realistic.

 

While there isn’t a large supply of hugs with the whole long distance thing, there are some perks. That’s why I’ve decided to compile a pros and cons list on long distance relationships.

Let’s start off with why it sucks.

Cons:

-don’t see each other often (pretty obvious I know, but it’s a big one)

-limited supply of physical contact

-no one to go with you on outings (dinner/clubbing/out with friends/plus one to events)

-expensive phone/internet bill

-more fighting because you get tired of not seeing the person

-lack of/mixed communication (sometimes it’s hard to decipher what people mean through texts)

-don’t know what they’re like during everyday life, only during the special weekends when you see each other

Pros

-you can hang up the phone and walk away during an argument and they won’t be around to stop you/chase after you

-you can do what you want, when you want (no I don’t mean cheating, I mean like getting Chinese food at 2am because you want to and you don’t have to cater to your significant other not wanting Chinese food at 2am)

-having the bed all to yourself (I hate sharing my bed tbh)

-being able to be out with friends without having someone at home worried about/nagging you

-more time to spend working on yourself or to do things you enjoy doing by yourself

-not having to watch what the other person wants (it’s your Netflix, if you want to re-watch The Office for the 6th time do it, there’s no one around to tell you not to)

-distance makes the heart grow fonder…you’ll miss each other so much which means when you finally see each other it’s even more special

And there will be many more pros and cons dependent on your long distance relationship situation. Some people can make it work and good for them, it takes a great deal of patience and understanding. For those who can, I commend you and for those of you who can’t, I’m with you. I can’t stand to not see my man at least once a week, life gets busy but remember to make time for that special someone in your life, it’s worth it.

Where to NOT get stuck in traffic

I’m someone who spends a lot of time driving. Everyday I spend on average about 2.5 hours in my car, so you can imagine just how much traffic I’ve sat in, the highway I take is now etched in my brain and whenever I get the opportunity to not drive I take it!

All of this driving has also given me lots of time to think. I think about everything from normal everyday things like my schedule and things I have to get done to my future, and coming up with crazy scenarios in my head that will probably never happen like when I get the chance to meet Elias Pettersson.  

Anyways, you get the picture, I think a lot. The one thing my mind, for some reason always wonders to, is all of the awful places to be stuck in traffic. Makes sense considering how much I sit in traffic, but there’s a lot of negativity when I hit this subject, mostly related to death, being crushed or severely injured.

Everyday I cross the Port Mann Bridge. For a while it was the widest bridge in the world, being 10 lanes wide, but has since been dethroned. Regardless of its size, I’ve found myself stopped on it many times. It’s a cable bridge so I’m thinking of the havoc that would ensue if an earthquake were to ever hit while I’m on it. BC has been due for a pretty massive quake for a long time now, and I really hope I’m not on the bridge when it does. It wouldn’t be the worst place but still with the amount of cars and people on it, it would be disastrous. The Fraser River runs below, so I could just jump and make a swim for it but then again, that’s not exactly a safe alternative either. I’m a positive thinker, so every time I’m stuck on the bridge I don’t automatically think “Okay Amara, get ready to jump” but I wouldn’t be happy if the last place I existed was in traffic on the bridge I drive on to go to school everyday.

And I can only imagine what the Lions Gate bridge would be like. With the location being directly underneath where the Fraser River pours out into the ocean, a tsunami would probably hit if there was a giant earthquake so everyone on the Lions Gate would probably be toast. Have you ever seen the movie San Andres? If you haven’t, it’s a stellar flick and I recommend it because it’s pretty wild with the amount of chaos that happens after a natural disaster that causes more natural disasters.

This last location is the worst in my opinion; a tunnel. But not just any tunnel, the Massey Tunnel. It’s a tunnel located in Richmond, near the coast and the tunnel is long. When you enter the tunnel it descends downwards. It’s like you’re going further down into the earth which is scary in itself. And it keeps going downhill until you’re deep into the tunnel and you cannot see the other side which is the worst part. This part of the highway in Richmond can get pretty busy, but I can’t imagine being stuck in traffic inside the tunnel. You can’t see the exit, it’s dark except for the fluorescent amber lights lining the concrete walls. I can’t help but think of how insane I would go if something like an earthquake or a flood hit. Being trapped in a long tunnel with nowhere to go, being blocked in and slowly dying would be my worst nightmare. Every time I drive through it I hold my breath and count my blessings.

Playing Sports in High School

Growing up, one thing in my life has always been constant. And that is playing sports in school. From a very young age I started playing pretty much anything I could play. That was something I loved in primary school, no matter what your skill level was you could play and participation was encouraged.

Basketball

Of course I am not upset that changed in high school, I can’t imagine having 30 girls on the team in high school and expect to be competitive, but nonetheless it was awesome to play all together when we were young.

I played soccer, basketball, volleyball, cricket, and flag football in elementary school and going into middle school. Grade 6 is when I realized I sucked at soccer and unfortunately football wasn’t something offered to girls as much so I was left with basketball and volleyball. Which worked out for the best considering I thrived in both.

Playing sports in school can help you make friends, get you involved with other people with the same interests, keep you active and help get you out of the house after school with can help with development in kids and their social well being.

Basketball was that sport for me. In grade 6, I met my best friends because of basketball and I’m still close with those girls to this day. We went from grade 6 all the way to 12 playing on the same team. You can imagine how many practices, games and tournaments that is. We also traveled to the island a few times for tournaments and being all together in one hotel brought us a lot closer. We did a lot of crazy stuff over the years and those are memories I will always cherish.

I also believe playing sports helped a lot with my mental health. I was generally a very happy kid throughout school but during the last few years of high school I went through some tough times, as a lot of teenagers do and the fact that I had basketball to focus on helped so much. Looking forward to games, even practices after a full day of classes was nice to have. It was a release for me and I didn’t realize how much it helped me until I was in university and didn’t play anymore.

Kids can benefit so much from being involved in school team sports, so if you have kids this is something to think about. Or if you’re like me and just like to remember the good times, go ahead and reminisce.

A Canucks Miracle

Sunday March 24th, was one of coolest nights of my life as a hockey fan. Keep in mind the Vancouver Canucks lost 5 – 0.

My father has some connections and long story short, we were hooked up with tickets to the game Sunday and a tour of the Canucks locker room afterwards! Being huge hockey fans this was super exciting for all of us, but especially for my brother who is a Canucks fanatic.

The game was anticlimactic to say the least, with the Blue Jackets scoring 5 goals and us having scored none, we weren’t super amped up but that was all going to change very soon.

We waited in the arena for a bit before we were instructed to go down to one of the lower level gates to access the locker room after the game. This is when the excitement finally hit. Even walking through the tunnel was riveting, so many times I’ve seen it on TV, reporters interviewing players, the after hours shows are held their and just walking through was special.

 

Then into the locker room – which did not smell as bad as I thought it was going to, to be completely honest. It’s a wide, round room, benches all along the sides, with each players designated spot for their gear. Virtanen’s gloves and helmet places on shelves above his name, Markstrom’s goalie pads propped up on the bench, Boeser’s pads hanging on hooks under his name, the whiteboard on the front wall where they come up with plays and the inspirational words along all the other walls. It was awesome seeing where our favorite players got ready everyday, before and after wins and loses, both past and present.

Our cameras were clicking away and we were all excitedly talking amongst ourselves, just when I notice in the corner of my eye, the slicked back blonde hair, the slim and pretty physique and my eyes widen and my jaw drops. I rush to my brother who’s only standing a few feet from me and whispered as excitedly as one could that that was Elias Pettersson! “OMG Larry its Pettersson! That’s him look, OMG dude it’s actually him!”. That’s roughly what I said and I’ve said his name about half a dozen times so he’s realized we’ve noticed him and begins to laugh. He turns his head, laughs and says “you know you guys can ask for a picture”. My brother walks up, shakes his hand and starts talking hockey with him and at this point everyone else has realized who just walked in and is talking to my brother. He was super sweet, taking the time to talk to each of us, take pictures and sign a couple autographs as well. It was wonderful to meet one of the most talented rookies in the NHL right now and even more wonderful to see that he is a very humble, polite and well spoken human being.

My family have always been big Canucks fans so you can imagine our excitement just getting to tour the locker room, and now we’re meeting a player who could take us to the cup so we were pretty amped! We said our goodbyes to Elias and unfortunately I couldn’t pluck up the courage to ask him on a date but nonetheless it was something we’ll never forget.

When we left the arena we were all buzzing from the experience and couldn’t stop talking about it! Regardless of the game being kind of disappointing, we will always remember our locker room tour and surprise meet and greet with Elias Pettersson!

How to Stop being Indecisive

You’ve been there. You’re sitting in the car with your significant other, staring at each other because neither of you can decide where to go to eat. I know I have, and as someone who is super indecisive, and dating someone who is the same way it’s beyond frustrating.

Decisions

I’ve gathered that my indecisiveness comes from a few different things.

First would be growing up with three other very opinionated people, and being the youngest too. You’re probably thinking, what does being the youngest have to do with anything . Well I’ll tell ya, whenever I decided something, like where to go to eat or what movie to watch that weekend I was always criticized and then overruled either by my big brother or my mom. My dad and I always enjoyed similar thing so we usually agreed on where to go and what to do, but the other two; no way! They would never agree to anything I suggested and I think that’s why I became less confident when it came to making decisions.

That’s why I love doing things alone. If I’m alone and I want to go somewhere to eat, easy I go there, I plan according to what I want to do and that’s that. There’s no one else to please. And I think that’s why so many of us are indecisive, we like to please those around us.

Best Funny Quotes : This is absolutely me - lol! #Decisions

That, or sometimes there really is too many options to choose from. I know I can never decide where to eat cause I am a foodie and enjoy so many things.

If you’re someone who’s indecisive, I have some tips for you, so you can be confident in your decisions and don’t need to worry about pleasing everyone else. And if it’s because you’re scared of responsibility, well I have news for you, suck it up; responsibility is inevitable.

Tip number one: make a schedule. If you’re finding yourself indecisiveness within a group of people, every time there’s a decision to be made go through the cycle. One day you guys go out it’s one person’s decision, the next time it’s the next person and so on and so forth. That way everyone has the chance to make a decision and choose what they want.

Tip two: don’t think about the repercussions of your decision. Don’t sit there thinking “what if this person doesn’t like what I pick”. Don’t doubt your decision and think about what others think of it. Own your decision and who cares what people think, they’ll get their turn to decide!

overthinking

Tip number three: do what scares you! If you find yourself stumped and really can’t decide, choose the option you wouldn’t normally pick. Sometimes trying new things can be really exciting and lead to some really fun moments!

Here’s an important one for number 4 -get rid of the idea of perfection. There’s no such thing! I do this all of the time, me and my friends are going out and I decide where to go, I’m constantly wondering if they’re having as good time and if I made a good decision. You have to stop this, there’s no such thing as a perfect night out and just because you chose what to do, doesn’t mean it’s your fault if the night ends up being kinda meh.

And last, trust yourself! You’re a fun person, you have fun by yourself, what’s to say other people won’t have fun doing the things that you enjoy. And if the people around you are constantly bashing the decisions you make, it’s time to consider changing who you have around you. Give yourself some credit and find some people that enjoy doing the things that you like!

I’m indecisive as hell and I’ve really been trying to change it, maybe I’ll be confident in my decisions eventually but it’s definitely going to take some time and effort!

The Greatest Mac N Cheese Dishes To Ever Exist

Now I don’t know about you but when I participate in a friendly circle of “puff, puff, pass”, it’s about 20-30 minutes later that I start to dream about all of best meals I’ve ever had. And as I grow older and become more experienced with the devil’s lettuce, I’ve become more and more and picky with what I eat when I get the munchies. My go to’s consist of pizza, pasta, jr chickens, Nutella and any other chocolate I can get my hands on. Now when I say pizza and pasta you’re probably thinking that seems simple enough and I wish it was but my high maintenance taste buds won’t settle for anything less than a culinary masterpiece.

My mind somehow remembers all of the best pizza and pasta I’ve ever had -from places that specialize in deep dish that I would never be able to get at that hour or that one mac and cheese dish I adore so much from Burgoo that I couldn’t get because I was in Abbotsford and it was 11 pm and the closest one was downtown Van and closed. My mind likes to make my mouth water and crave those amazing meals while in reality I’ll be stuck with whatever is left over from dinner that night, oh and the jar of Nutella sitting in my room for this exact situation.

Nevertheless, when I am older and more wise, I will make sure I blaze up during the day, within walking distance to Burgoo in order to scarf down that mac and cheese while high as a kite.

This is why I will be providing the best list you’ve ever read; the best mac and cheese dishes you will find in the lower mainland.

This list is not cost sensitive, I take my mac seriously and some of it is on the expensive side, but trust me they’re worth it. This list is also not a ranking, these dishes are all superb and we don’t discriminate, all mac and all cheeses are equals on this list. And finally, no, Kraft Dinner does not make the cut, have some class would you.

 

First up, Burgoo. There’s a few locations around Vancouver and they are the masters of comfort food, with so many options it’s hard to choose but their mac is nothing short of scrumptious. It is literally so gooey, it’s an adventure just eating it. 

BURGOO

Macaroni & Cheese – 14.50

 

Second we have The Witchcraft Pub located in Maple Ridge with their buffalo mac dish. It is huge and so, so filling. I had to take it to go and I’m so glad because at 2 am when you stumble into the house after a long night of dancing this mac SLAPS.

Keystone Bar & Grill

Buffalo Mac & Cheese – 13.95

 

Next up we have Brodeurs Bistro in Abbotsford! This place is really well known and a favorite among lots of Abbotsfordians, including myself. There is a ton of stuff on their menu and the restaurant itself is super cute and comfy. Cheesy goodness is the best way to describe their mac and cheese dish!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Baked Mac-N-Cheese – 14.75

 

Coming in next, also located in Abbotsford is Lou’s Grill, a favorite of me and my friends and when we go we almost always share just because their portions are so massive. There is two incredibly delicious mac and cheese dishes on their menu. One featuring chorizo with some cajun flavour and the other is a truffle lobster which is my weakness and I’m not joking when I say it provides me with three meals; however much I finish there, and two more servings that I pack up and take home.

Lou's Bar & Grill, Abbotsord, B.C.

Porters on the Lane - Lobster Mac and Cheese

Chorizo Penne Mac and Cheese – 17.95
Truffle Lobster Mac and Cheese – 26.95

 

Now we have a place that’s known for it’s beer, but the mac and cheese is pretty stellar too, its Craft located in Olympic Village in Vancouver. This place is hug, a giant bar in the centre of the place and you can tell all of the people there have a great time. I first tried their mac and cheese after a Canucks game at Rogers Arena right across the water from Olympic Village. It’s not too heavy and those peppers  and bacon make it perfect.

Roll out the red carpet  (2010 Olympic Village Plaza)

CRAFT Beer Market on West 1st Ave

CRAFT Mac & Cheese – 17.50

 

Now last and certainly not least is technically not a mac and cheese dish, but actually mac and cheese bites. They are an appetizer featured at cocktail hour at Glowbal Restaurant in the heart of downtown Vancouver. I don’t know how to describe them they are that good, they come with an aioli dipping sauce but it’s not even needed they are so good on their own. It’s like they take a scoop of mac and cheese and deep fry it and somehow sprinkle on heaven and serve it to you. Just try them, I promise you’ll be very satisfied. And it’s a cocktail hour appy -saving you some cash or what?

fried mac and cheese bites, Treehouse Truck

Mac’n Cheese Bites with truffle aioli – 8 

 

My mouth has been watering this entire time so I’m gonna hit up Lou’s for lunch and do yourself a favor and get going on this list of mine. Sorry in advance for all the major mac and cheese cravings you’re gonna have!

Who Run The World?

It’s international Women’s day and I am celebrating by listening to some of my fav feminist anthems! There are so many songs out there about women being bad-ass. Regardless of how you spend the day, make sure you take some time out to tell the women in your life how amazing they are and jam out to some of the best, most empowering songs made for those strong, wonderful women in your life!

Run The World –  Beyonce

I think this one speaks for itself, a true anthem about how strong women can be and that yes, we run the world.

 

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun – Cyndi Lauper

This one’s a classic for my party girls. And it’s true, we really just do want to have fun and don’t want to be bothered about it.

 

Girls Like You – Maroon 5 ft. Cardi B

This video features so many strong, inspiring women paired with a kick ass verse from Cardi. Maroon 5 is always delivering -it was the most watched music video in 2018!

 

Nice For What – Drake 

Drizzy delivered with this one, because we don’t have to be nice for any reason and again the video is so bad-ass, featuring all sorts of women that inspire. “Call the girls, get em gassed up!!”

 

God Is A Woman – Ariana Grande

Again, the song title speaks for itself. And the video is beautifully done, with cool graphics and images to really speak to the message that God may in fact be a woman.

 

Work Bitch – Britney Spears

Britney is all about that hard work, “Work Bi*ch” is pretty inspiring when you need some motivation to get up and get going cause if you want to accomplish anything… you better work bi*ch

 

Confident – Demi Lovato

What’s wrong with being confident? A proud, confident woman can be scary for some, to me it’s freaking awesome. I’m all about that empowerment and so is Demi.

 

Flawless – Beyonce  

Wake up? Yes, Flawless is the answer. Just listen to the song and you’ll feel like a bad bi*ch!

 

Independent Women – Destiny’s Child

I first heard this song when I was eight years old, and it’s impacted my life so much. Every relationship 50/50 and everything I have, I buy it myself. A very great way to be raised.

 

Miss Independent – Ne-Yo

This is the only song on my list by a man, but it’s a bop. I commend Ne-Yo and his song for praising business women who have it all together and did it themselves!

 

Ain’t Your Mama – Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer Lopez is a queen and this song is perfect for all of the women out there tired of their boyfriends treating them like they are their moms.

 

No Scrubs – TLC

We don’t want no scrub, scrub is a guy that can’t get no love from me.

 

Tightrope – Janelle Monae

Janelle is such a bad-ass and I love that she sends such awesome messages through her songs!

 

Don’t Touch My Hair – Solange Knowles

It’s a song geared more towards black women but that doesn’t mean you can’t jam, such a good message!

 

Masterpiece – Jessie J

Jessie J’s vocals are heavenly and she highlights how she lives a busy, tough life and it might be an uphill battle, but she looks good when she climbs.

 

Stronger (what doesn’t kill you) – Kelly Clarkson

It is very true, everything you go through does make you stronger.

 

Girl On Fire – Alicia Keys

We are girls and we are on fire. It’s a song simply about how beautiful we are and I support it.

 

Till It Happens To You – Lady Gaga

This song has an incredible message and almost always brings me to tears. A strong message about sexual assault, give it a listen and prepare to be moved.

 

Scars To Your Beautiful – Alessia Cara

Our Canadian girl has a lot of empowering songs to choose from, and this one is a song that I’m sure so many girls can relate to, including myself.

 

Man, I Feel Like A Woman – Shania Twain

We needed a strong country song on the list and what better to rep than Shania Twain and I love belting this one out. Try it “Man, I feel like a woman!”

 

I Was Here – Beyonce

I get goosebumps whenever I hear this song, it’s inspiring and makes you realize all of the amazing things you can accomplish throughout your life.

 

HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY!

Why there should be drive thrus for different things

One of my favorite things about living in the lower mainland in the amount of drive thrus there is where I live. You in Vancouver want a Starbucks Caramel Macchiato, well if it’s raining you have to walk outside and into that sbux on the corner, whereas I simply drive thru, roll my window down and bam, hot coffee in my hands. And let’s not forget the countless fast food drive thrus that are oh so convenient. Big cities? Y’all could never. This got me thinking, what else could do really well and would be amazing to have in drive thru form. With the help of my Evolution team we’ve come up with a few products/places that could use a drive thru component and it would make it that much better.

First off, and this was all me because I am the queen of period cramps and legit not being able to walk; a drive thru for feminine hygiene products. Now I know we can just ask our moms, boyfriends and brothers to pick us up our supplies but that’s not always possible. I’m thinking it could be an addition to a grocery store. A side building stocked of tampons and pads, all brands and sized with a window where anyone can drive up, let the clerk know what they need, pay and they’re off. Some chocolate and ice cream might not be a bad idea to have there too, I know I would take full advantage.

The preferred choice for feminine hygiene.

The next one I would love to see is a drive thru for slurpees! It could be so easy -just add drive up window to gas stations and there you go! Unless you’re one of those people who mix in a bunch of weird flavors and have to do it your way, this is something that could be very successful. You don’t want to get out of your car if all your doing is going to get a slurpee -if you’re getting gas then yeah sure but it’s hot out, you don’t want to get out of your air conditioned car and into the heat! I think it could work and maybe along with slurpees, they could also do some basic convenience store items like snacks, gum, lighters, soda, anything you’d find in a 7-eleven really.

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Now this one might be hard to get started based on laws and what not but I think it could make bank, and be very successful. A liquor store drive thru. I mean we all drive to the liquor store anyways, what would be wrong with having it be a drive thru experience. And most of us know what we want, whether it be hard alcohol, wine or beer, an attendant would take your order, go grab it, check ID’s and take payment. For those who want to browse and maybe try some new stuff it’s nice to go in and maybe talk to one of the store clerks but those who need to make a quick trip before making their way downtown, it would be perfect.

Liquor store in Brooklyn

I’m a big smoothie fan and one things I’ve noticed is that none of the Booster Juice locations are drive thrus. They could do so well if they had the drive thru component because there are actually no smoothie places that are drive thru. The other places you can get smoothies in drive thru are McDonalds or Tims and while they’re good, they’re not the authentic yummy ones from Booster Juice or Jugo Juice. I know I would use it so I’m sure others would too.  

Booster Juice

Another idea I had, and it may already exist in some places are pharmacy pick ups using a drive thru. When people are sick they don’t want to go inside the pharmacy and wait 20 minutes for their prescription to get filled so why not drive thru? Maybe people could drop it off inside just in case there’s any instructions that go with the medication but a window could be put near the pharmacy that the pharmacists could have patients pick up their meds there after they are filled.

Prescriptions

We’ve all ordered pizza and they always ask, pick-up or delivery. I live on a farm so delivery has never been an option so I always go pick it up. I don’t mind it’s only about 10 minutes away but what would make it even better? A pick up window at the pizza place! Drive up, collect the za you ordered, pay and you’re gone!

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And my last super amazing idea, again might be difficult to start up because of laws but a drive thru for marijuana. Now that’s legal there are lots of dispensaries popping up and I’m telling ya, a drive thru could do so well! Drive up, talk to the clerk and tell them how much and what strain, pay and there you go. Again you’re driving to the dispensary anyways so why not drive thru. It would be so convenient and I know people would use it and love it!

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So those are my multi million dollar ideas and I really think they could take off. Okay maybe not millions of dollars but there’s money to be made.

You’re scared of what?

There are many things in this great big world we live in to be scared of; poisonous insects, the vast undiscovered ocean, earthquakes, heights, flying, even needles or small spaces. While a small space can’t technically hurt you, it still makes sense to be afraid, it can cause anxiety and therefore can become pretty scary.

Now I’m not saying people can’t be scared of certain things, because everyone is scared of something but there are some pretty unusual phobias out there. To give you a good idea, I’ve picked out 6 that I found incredibly surprising.

1. Arachibutyrophobia

This is the fear of getting peanut butter stuck on the roof of one’s mouth. Now in my peanut butter experience, getting it stuck on the roof of your mouth is almost inevitable, it’s sticky and bound to end up lingering in your mouth. Now I can understand having a fear of choking and this is where the fear of peanut butter and it’s stickiness comes in, but I like the sensation personally, that’s what makes it so good, it’s gooey texture!

peanut butter

2. Omphalophobia

This is the fear of belly buttons. People’s fear of their belly buttons differ. Some of them are fearful of just seeing them, others become incredibly uncomfortable when their belly buttons are touched, and then they also become scared when other people touch theirs. I can say that I really don’t like my belly button touched by anyone but I wouldn’t say I’m scared of them.

Belly button

3. Xanthophobia

This is the fear of the color or the word yellow. Now my favorite color is yellow so I can’t relate and I really don’t understand being afraid of a color or a word because I’m not sure what negative experiences one can have in association with a color or a certain word. But it exists nevertheless so I’m sure there are people who suffer from it. It’s said that the color is related to some horrific experience so seeing a flash of the color can bring up memories of that time, which can cause the fear.

yellow

4. Pogonophobia

Now this fear might be considered silly, but I can see how one would be afraid of beards. A fear of beards can stem from past experiences -maybe the person was mistreated by another/assaulted or harassed by someone with a beard. Maybe the person associated beards with uncleanliness and illness, therefore fear it and then there’s cultural norms. Beards are becoming more “mainstream” and are looked at as attractive, but for someone who isn’t used to it or doesn’t see it often can develop a fear.

Bearded

5.. Ombrophobia

This fear is actually pretty common, which I found surprising -its the fear of rain. It is a common fear among children which makes sense because rain can mean storms. Storms can be scary when there’s loud thunder and lightning but just rain I find relatively peaceful.

Rain

6. Alliumphobia

The fear of onions is a real thing. Onions are delicious in my humble opinion, but there are people out there terrified of them. I actually have a friend who is horrified by onions, even if there is one around she’ll run away or scream. Others like to poke fun at her (myself included) but I’ve realized it’s a real fear despite how silly I think it is. One rather cruel friend slipped some onions into her food once and it ended with lots of tears.

Onions

 

Now all of these fears may seem irrational, but they are legitimate fears people suffer from. They can become ill, have panic attacks and even be prescribed medication for certain symptoms. Even though these aren’t things that the average human are scared of, we can’t bash what someone else is scared of, so don’t throw onions at your friends that are scared of them, maybe avoid people with beards when you’re with certain people, and don’t touch anyone’s belly buttons. 

Girls Need Love Too

Men and women are not equals. It is 2019 and women have fought for equality for centuries in all aspects of life but unfortunately we will never be looked at as such. I could rant about equal pay, under representation in government, being a minority in so many business sectors, inequality in sports, being at greater risk of rape and domestic violence. Point is, I could go on forever about a bunch of different things but today, right now I’m gonna focus on one way women are degraded and shamed for having similar behaviors as men and that is sex.

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A remix of a song came out recently by an artist named Summer Walker. She released the song titled “Girls Need Love” back in the summer of 2018 and Drake hopped on the track and that version came out last week. After taking a listen and then playing it on repeat all week I’ve thought about the lyrics in depth. It’s not just another song where a girl sings about wanting sex. It’s about the sexual double standard that’s always existed, that praises men for the amount of girls they’ve been with but shames women for having sex to begin with or even wanting to.

The chorus of the song is as follows:

Girls can’t never say they want it
Girls can’t never say how
Girls can’t never say they need it
Girls can’t never say now

Hearing this I can’t help but agree with how true it is. Girls can never make comments about sex/wanting sex without the automatic assumption that they are “sluts” or “freaks”. We as women can’t simple desire something without being labeled and that’s just another behavior that males are rewarded for.

Women are brought up in a social climate where talking about their sexual relations is taboo and must be done in private. This is bewildering to me because the social climate men are brought up in is the complete opposite.

Summer Walker also says in the song: what’s a girl to do when she needs love to. Because truly what is a girl to do when she can’t talk about having sexual desires without being thought of as a slut, can’t have sex with an acquaintance because she’ll be labeled as a whore who’s easy and then of course can’t wear anything suggestive because she’ll be a slut or a whore or any other derogatory term you can think of oh and she’ll be “asking for it”.

Here are the lyrics to the full song:

https://genius.com/Summer-walker-girls-need-love-lyrics

Visiting the Motherland

Traveling is something I’ve been fortunate enough to do from a young age. Thanks to my parents and their desire to see the world, our family has visited a different place almost every year. However, this was when I was in elementary school; there was not a lot of responsibilities and no part time jobs to get time off of so it was easy to pick up and go when my parents had time off.

As my brother and I got older, things got busier. We started playing sports in high school and became more attached to friends. The traveling slowed and we spent lots of time working on the family farm and put a lot of money and time into building our family home. But one place all of us knew we had to visit was where we come from; India

My mother and father were both born there but left when they were very young, my mom moving to London when she was a year old and my father moving to Canada with his parents when he was three. My mother had never been back, my dad hadn’t been back in more than 20 years and my brother and I had never visited so we were definitely due for a trip. It took a while to decide when considering we were full time university students and had a lot going on but we decided winter 2017/2018 was the time, otherwise we would keep putting it off. In all honesty I didn’t mind putting it off because I was beyond scared of going.

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India is a third world country, that’s nothing new. Almost 30% of India’s population is below the poverty line so you can imagine what the country is like and how much of a shock it was going from somewhere like Vancouver -very multicultural with progressive government systems, modern technology and overall cleanliness and civilization. Whereas in India it’s very common for cows, water buffalo’s and monkeys to be in the streets of big cities and the entire country is under a constant cloud of pollution.

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Stepping out of the airport I remember being riddled with fear, taxi drivers staring at us, knowing we were foreigners sent a chill down my spine. Then walking a few steps to our tour bus seeing stray dogs; dusty and malnourished, almost brought me to tears. And I had only been in the country for a total of 60 minutes.

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Our trip was three weeks. My mom being the avid planner she was, layed out exactly what we were doing and what days we would do them. The first week would consist of lots of traveling. We were taking a guided tour through New Delhi -the capital of India, Agra -where the Taj Mahal is located and Jaipur in Rajasthan. All very populated and popular locations with lots to see.

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We spent hours walking through the Taj Mahal, one of the wonders of the world and learning the history of it. A few things I found very surprising were that foreigners visiting had to pay a very high price for admittance compared to locals and the difference between inside the gates and outside.

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Right outside the walls was a bustling, polluted city, with an abundance of homeless people and I just found it shocking that the Indian government puts so much effort into maintaining the Taj Mahal and the grounds surrounding it and then not even 2 minutes outside there is so much corruption and the government does nothing about the mass amounts of garbage on the streets. Regardless, I tried to enjoy how beautiful the Taj is and how much history the country has.

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Next we visited Jaipur -the capital of the state Rajasthan. It is home to one of the royal families in India and they still reside there today. It is a very popular tourist destination and I found is considerably cleaner than other places we visited. This probably being due to the fact that the royals were residents.

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We visited a few palaces, rode elephants and did some shopping so it was definitely one of my favorite parts of the entire trip. Also probably because the sky was actually visible! The pollution wasn’t as bad there so the sun shone down on us and that’s something I didn’t know I could miss that much. Never once in my life did I think I wouldn’t be able to look up and see the sun on a clear day. But the clear days in India were accompanied by a thick layer of haze shielding the warm sun and that blue sky I love so much.

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That first week of the trip consisted of seeing some incredible yet terrifying things. And it wouldn’t have been as amazing as it was without out tour guide; Chakradhari Singh Rathore. We called him Mr. Singh and he became like family for that week. We swapped stories about our homes and the four of us developed a strong bond with him and now if I ever go back I know I would have a good reason and a place to stay, which always helps!

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After that week and saying goodbye to Chakradhari, we trekked from New Delhi to Punjab which took about 7 hours in the bus. Remember the roads in India are insane, so for someone who isn’t a resident should not be driving or ever drive for that matter, so we had drivers and got shuttles.

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Christmas day we spent in the capital of Punjab; Chandigarh. Punjab is where we’re from so I think I speak for the four of us when I say we all sort of felt at home there oddly enough. We were surrounded by people whose ancestors all grew up on those lands with ours and they still resided there.

From there we went to the holiest temple that exists in the Sikh religion; Harmandir Sahib, also known as the Golden Temple. It was a very surreal experience for me, seeing where my religion was born and taking in all of the history that lies there. It was a place my grandfather told me about as a young girl and that I read about in books and now I was here, to experience God’s essence for myself.

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Unfortunately, I felt judged and displaced, in a place that was supposed to radiate acceptance and love. I quickly noticed the stares from other visitors and the guards patrolling with judging eyes. I concluded it was because I wasn’t the typical Sikh girl -having my hair cut short was a big no no and we were foreigners and it’s considered normal for locals to stare at those visiting from out of the country. Despite my disappointment, it was very fascinating seeing the place I learned so much about when I was younger. It really was just as magical as it looked in pictures, if not more so and just the sheer quantity of people was incredible. The four of us sat silently for quite some time taking it all in and that day I knew, regardless of being far from home, feeling judged, unsafe and not well that God was always with me.

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Despite God being with me, I still got very ill. The next three days we visited the villages where my parents were born and the land they have there. It was very peaceful in the villages compared to the bigger cities, farm land taking up most of the space with groups of houses scattered throughout. It was really neat seeing our land being farmed and tasting the sugar cane growing there. But like I said I was very ill for most of this time, constant stomach aches, fatigue and it ended with a visit to the local hospital for some meds. Getting sick wasn’t surprising, it was a third world country and despite being careful of what I ate and drank it still got me. If I’m being honest I had a stomach ache the entire three weeks we were there so I accepted defeat and just dealt with it.

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That next and final week was wedding week and we spent it in a city called Bathinda. Like I said earlier, we had always wanted to visit India and this wedding gave us the perfect opportunity. We checked in to what would be our final hotel we would stay at and got ready for a hectic week ahead with lots of wedding functions to attend and lots of dancing to be done! Weddings in India consist of many different ceremonies so it was a busy time, spending most of it between being with the bride and her family at their home in city and hanging out in our hotel and the mall near it. The reception the night before leaving was the perfect way to end the trip, being with family and friends and talking about the exciting past few weeks we had.

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And of course because it wouldn’t be a trip with me and my family if something didn’t go wrong… our bus that was taking us back to the airport in Delhi had to turn around on the highway and drive into oncoming traffic. Here’s why: There are tolls on all of the main highways in India and some random bus driver and one of the clerks at the toll we were going to cross got into an argument. This bus driver decided to rebel and gathered up all of his bus driver friends and they all blocked the toll with their buses. This caused a giant traffic jam and I’m not lying when I say everyone was turning around and driving against traffic on this highway like it was completely normal. We ended up taking a side route through some very sketchy villages but thankfully ended up at the airport on time.

I’ve never been that happy to sit in an airplane for 14 hours. That flight back, I was beyond excited to be going home but for the first time I reflected on the trip in a positive light. Maybe it was because I knew I would be landing in Canada, but I really sat and thought about how people don’t get to leave India and must live in that environment of pollution and corruption. I am glad I went and saw what the country is. While many places are beautiful and full of history, lots of the country is infected with corruption and still relies on backwards policies.  

My trip was incredible, terrifying, saddening, exciting and overall taught me a lot about myself. Over this past year I have been so much more appreciative of what I have and where I live. I am able to educate myself, I have access to clean water straight from my tap, I have a fair and just government, and I don’t have to live in fear. Comparing where I am and where I could’ve been was a humbling and necessary experience.

“And we’ll never be royals”

I’ve always known her as Rachel Zane. She was an intelligent and sexy paralegal working at Pearson Specter Litt alongside Mike, Harvey and Donna and all of sudden she’s marrying a prince. Watching her on TV, walking down the aisle at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor to be married to Prince Harry of the Royal Family was something else. I never thought I’d see something like that, the wedding including so many Black traditions like the incredible gospel choir and the very inspiring black pastor. I thought to myself, wow, maybe they were giving her a voice and she would be able to do things without all of the added pressure that being a Royal comes with. And now, almost nine months later I realized I was very wrong in thinking that could be possible.

 

 

 

 

 

 

While I grew up watching Meghan Markle, my mother grew up watching Princess Diana and how her marriage to Prince Charles fizzled out and that drama that entailed. We all know she had a tragic ending but there was so much more leading up to it. She was constantly under scrutiny for everything she did, whether it was what she wore, how she acted or who she chose to support. And it was no secret her relationship with the Queen wasn’t a good one.

PRINCESS DIANA
PRINCESS OF WALES
1996 WASHINGTON DC
PHOTO WAS ON THE COVER OF US NEWS MAGAZINE AND WAS THE BEST SELLING ISSUE IN 70 YEARS.

Lady Diana often found herself alone in that great big palace; she wrote that she felt “extremely isolated” and “continuously misunderstood” by the Royal family.  Her and Charles crippling relationship didn’t help matters and she continued to talk to the press about her troubles which just pushed the Queen and Diana further apart. After her death, her Majesty addressed the nation and talked about Diana’s passing but the speech was dry and emotionless, really questioning the Queens true feelings for her late daughter in-law.

Now we come back to the present and I myself see a lot of similarities between Lady Diana and Meghan Markle. The Duchess of Sussex has had to give up all of her social ties, she can no longer make statements to the press and can no longer share any parts of her life with fans. She was someone who spoke her mind and supported what she believed in using her voice and her actions, however her voice has been taken away. Just as Diana’s had been. Diana chose to speak out on what she supported and I would like to see Meghan do the same. Harry and Meghan will be moving out of Kensington Palace and with a little one on the way, they will both be the center of attention. Let’s hope a new baby will bring together the family opposed to tearing them farther apart.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more on Lady Diana, Meghan Markle and the Royal Family:
https://www.eonline.com/ca/news/997857/what-princess-diana-discovered-the-uncomfortable-truth-about-joining-the-royal-family

TV; Bringing People Together

When you walk into my house there are a few things you’ll notice right away. Its open; from the front door, through the family room and into the kitchen, it’s pretty much one giant room. Then you’ll notice the sofa, it’s big and very wide because there’s four of us. Four grown adults in one house and you can imagine we got really tired of sitting so close to each other. Don’t get it wrong there’s a lot of love here, we just like our personal space. The third thing you’ll probably notice is the television; unless your really into electronics in which case you’d probably notice the TV first. 82 inches, perched up against the wall, usually playing some sort of documentary on Netflix that my mom put on.

I’ve thought a lot about TV. Some people don’t have TV’s because it makes them less productive or they don’t like watching the news…  there could be many reasons but I feel differently about TV and in some cases, I think it brings people like me and my family together at the end of each day.

Now as a child, my mother wouldn’t let us watch for hours on end. Of course they say it can affect a kids mental development and I’m glad I wasn’t allowed to because I wouldn’t trade those hours spent playing outside for anything but now that I’m older I can binge an entire season. My mom still walks by saying “I don’t know how you can sit there for that long” but I’m an adult now and she can’t stop me.

Because I’m the youngest in the family I have some influence on what we watch and what we do, maybe it’s my charm, maybe they just love me but I’ve gotten my mom, dad and brother all hooked on shows.

I remember Christmas break 2016, my parents and I spent the majority of it watching thirteen seasons of “Grey’s Anatomy” and it was such a good way to bond. We talked about all of the characters, chatted about the medical marvels and the crazy stunts in the show and now that new episodes are on cable, every Wednesday night I look forward to going home to watch with my mom and dad.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My brother didn’t love all of the extra relationship stuff that came along with “Grey’s” so we started a show called “Prison Break”. It took awhile to finish it considering our busy schedules now that both of us are in university, but whenever we had some free time we always made some popcorn and got through a few episodes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While it may not be much, they’re still good memories I have of spending time with my family and whenever I see anything to do with either of those shows, I’m reminded of my family and all of those hours spent with them.

You have to remember, watching TV isn’t all I do, I promise. I mean I’m 21, I go out on the weekends, study all week but I regardless of all of this I always look forward to evenings on the couch with my family. In fact I’m sitting on the couch right now as I write this. My dad next to me, mom next to him and brother on the other end. They’re watching some documentary on honey bees and while I could be upstairs at my desk writing this I’m not because why do that when I can be near them, even if what they’re watching is super boring.

TV isn’t all bad, who knows maybe it’ll bring your family closer together one day.

The Best …and Worst Dressed at this years Grammy’s

If you’re like me, one of the main reasons you watch award shows are to see all of the different looks on the red carpet and on the stage! All artists showed up and showed out and there were some awesome looks on the red carpet at last night’s 61st Grammy awards. However, there were some flops -in my opinion at least. Check out my top ten and then you can take your pick. 

NUMBER 10

Lady Gaga
Gaga came at us with more of a “normal” look last night, in a fresh silver gown with lots of side detail and a perfectly placed slit. It’s nice seeing Lady Gaga in something more natural but I’m not saying I hated that meat dress either. 

NUMBER 9

Hennessy Carolina
Hennessy is Cardi B’s sister and she knows how to perfectly accent her sibling, never taking the attention away but still commanding enough to be noticed. As she should be in this bold beautiful orange. The sleeves are magnificent and very flattering on her.  

NUMBER 8

Wilmer Valderrama
Mr. Valderrama, don’t mind if I do. He is a stunning man and knows how to work a red carpet and this suit is serving him well. I’ve always been a big fan of a detailed blazer and a black pant and he does it perfectly. Nothing over the top just the stripping detail on that jacket is spot on and I’m glad he didn’t go with a tie. It’s the perfect fit between sexy and elegant.

NUMBER 7

Jorja Smith
Details, details, details. Jorja is a singer/songwriter from the UK, nominated last night for Best New Artist. She didn’t go home with the win but wowza her dress is Grammy gold and she looked stunning. It fit her very well, and the details are impeccable. Her makeup was flawless and if you haven’t heard her sing, do yourself a favor and look her up.

NUMBER 6

Swae Lee
Swaeeeee. His skin and tatts popped in this white lace dress shirt, paired with embellished grey pants makes for a great fit. And of course, Swae is never seen without some bling and I’m here for it. 

NUMBER 5

Cardi B
The winner of Best Rap Album, Cardi B showed up and showed out in a vintage Mugler dress that was so extra and I loved every bit of it. I mean her hair is wrapped in pearls and she’s literally blossoming out of her dress. And that bodice, for a woman that gave birth a few months ago, she is looking fierce.

NUMBER 4

Miguel
The white and the purple is a perfect pair and and Miguel pulls it off so nicely, with the bling along the trim of the collar and of course a rose always adds elegance. He is fresh and clean and I would take the spot next to him on the red carpet any day.

NUMBER 3

H.E.R
Different is not always good on the red carpet but H.E.R pulled it off and did it well. This multi colored jumpsuit is form fitting and the exact amount of simple. Her hair is giving me life, with that jewelry placed in her parting and of course her infamous sun glasses. Also an artist you need to check out if you haven’t yet! 

NUMBER 2

Janelle Monae
This is an angelic look and I expect nothing less from Ms. Monae. She was nominated for 2 Grammy’s last night and while she didn’t win, she won in the fashion department because I’ve never seen such elegant, high fashion from anyone else. Janelle Monae always delivers on her looks.

NUMBER 1

Dua Lipa
And my number one pick is this years winner of Best New Artist… Dua Lipa! She is beaming in this silver gown. It’s just the right amount of bling and detail, the bodice is sleek and it falls perfectly. She’s stunning and I would love to try on that dress. 

And because there’s the best dressed, some people had to be the worst right? There weren’t too many awful looks but some were pretty bad, in my opinion at least and well I think you’ll agree with the one I put as the very worst. I decided with 5 because lets not offend a whole 10 people.

NUMBER 5

Meghan Trainor
I don’t love the shoulder pads and the plunging neck line is a little too plunge for my liking but I will say her makeup is stellar as is her voice.

NUMBER 4

Katy Perry
Wow, Katy’s hair is fierce and it makes me want to cut mine. That’s about the only thing I like about her look. The dress is scary, all the puff on the bottom is weirdly shaped and looks like cut up ramen noodles.

NUMBER 3

Shawn Everett
I’m not really sure what to say about this one, so I’ll let it speak for itself.

NUMBER 2

Tierra Whack
Fur is a bold choice on the red carpet and if it’s done right it can be an unforgettable look. This is not one of those times. Either I will forget about this look very quickly, or remember it for being awful. I don’t mind the makeup, the bold eye/highlight but it stops there. The multi colored trench is a little crazy along with a long shapeless dress doesn’t make a good combo.

NUMBER 1

Joy Villa
Here is the winner for worst look of the night. I’m sure most of you can understand why, I understand feeling so strongly about something you want to wear it, like the rainbow flag for example, maybe a logo for a company/organization you like but this isn’t a good cause or a positive message.

Familiar Fake Faces

The golden globes were a few weeks ago now and coming up this weekend will be the 61st Grammys which means celebrities have been in the media a lot lately and it’s got me thinking, are all of them really that flawless and perfect looking? The answer: plastic surgery.

Growing up, I was taught that plastic surgery had a lot of negative repercussions and that it could seriously mess with your health, and then knowing just how many celebrities who have had work done is insane.

Don’t get me wrong, some musicians, actors and models are naturally beautiful and have very nice features but many of them enhance those features. Whether it be lip fillers, eyebrow lifts, breast implants, tummy tucks or complete face lifts, there is so much one can get done to their bodies, it makes you question what is real and what is false.

Let’s look at some examples

These are just a few examples, if you look up some of your favorite celebs, you’d be surprised at how many have gone under the knife. And this begs the question, could it really be that unsafe? I’ve done some research.

All surgery comes with risks. Regardless of whether you’re going under for a routine medical procedure or doing something cosmetic, the risks are about the same. There can be infections, swelling, blood clots and very rarely death. This is normal for medical procedures and expected even but would you willingly go under the knife with all of these risks. Plastic surgery is a choice. Some medical procedures are necessary for survival and ensure that you can go on living healthy but all of those lip fillers and face lifts you hear about are by choice. I don’t know if I could bring myself to out myself through that willingly with the chance for complications, no matter how much I hated a certain feature.

Another thing I think about is that these celebrities have the funds to change whatever they want to. And the funds to fix any surgeries gone wrong if they do end up botched. So all of you naturally beautiful human beings, you’re lucky, be proud of your features because all of the people you see on your screen are beautiful but with some help.

Social Media Affects Us All

The world is a very different place than it was 10 years ago. This isn’t groundbreaking information, it’s very different in good ways and bad. In 2009 I was twelve years old, in grade eight, a year shy from entering the scary world of high school. For a teenage girl, going into high school can be daunting but I am so glad that I am done with it because being in high school in today’s climate would be insane.

 

 

 

 

I can’t scroll through my Instagram nowadays without feeling like I need to alter something about myself. Whether it be my face, my body, my hair, my clothes or even my personality. And to think it’s hard for me, a 21 year old with a good sense of who I am and a respectable amount of confidence and self esteem, I can only imagine what it would be like for a young teenager still discovering who they are.

With social media being such a big part of our lives it’s hard to avoid the content constantly coming out that portrays a perfect lifestyle. The girls with makeup pages always looking flawless with a ton of makeup products that aren’t always affordable. The fitness pages run by people who can afford to work out everyday and eat super clean. And the tons of traveling accounts that show people jet setting around the world and visiting some amazing places. In reality a lot of these things/activities are not realistic for the average person.

All of us have dreams and aspirations. I know that I want to travel and visit different places, experience different cultures and hopefully be a homeowner one day, but I could not imagine being a young girl still figuring out who I am and what I want then having so many unrealistic lifestyles to look up to. The thing with these pages is they motivate people to do the same thing. While they offer good tips and tricks for people who are into makeup or working out, it’s really hard to maintain a lifestyle like that. When average high school kids are exposed to these kinds of luxurious lifestyles, they grow up with very high expectations, often disappointed with their mundane lives.

Now don’t get me wrong, I would love to have perfect skin and have time each day to hit the gym and when I do have the time I like to try new makeup tricks or work out because these are things I enjoy, but to revolve your whole life around these things as many social media figures do isn’t practical. I am very glad I am done with high school, that I’ve found my passion and don’t have to go through adolescence with the daunting task of having a perfect life.

Mr. Sun, please shine down on me!

If you’re like me, when you woke up this morning and saw that it wasn’t raining for once, you were instantly in a good mood. Imagine how happy I get when the sun is out! The sunshine makes everything better. It’s warm and bright, walking 15 minutes from my car to the Evolution building is better, and just the feeling of being outside since it’s been a long and cold winter is great. And there’s actually science to prove it!

During fall and winter, some people tend to feel low and have less energy simply because it’s dark and gloomy outside and the rain is constant. But if it’s ever more than just being sad it’s raining, it could be seasonal effective disorder. It’s a real thing; becoming moody, losing interest in activities you usually enjoy, being tired and losing energy all because of the weather and the season. It’s called seasonal effective disorder or SAD and when I first realized it was a thing, it made a ton of sense but was also kind of shocking.

There are many reasons as to why someone might become down and depressed but lack of sunshine never entered my mind until I noticed such a drastic change in my mood once it started getting darker earlier and the rain was non stop. I guess that’s what I get living in BC but at least now I know that’s what it is and I’m not just being a moody for no reason.

Sunlight increases serotonin which is the chemical that makes us happy, so naturally it makes sense that being outside in the sun boosts our mood. Vitamin D also helps the body increase happiness. The winter can be long and gloomy but every once in a while were blessed with a sunny day. Yes they are usually freezing, accompanied by frost on the ground but the sun makes everything better.

So if you’re feeling sad try not to sit in the dark -light therapy is a thing for a reason. Even turning the lights on in your room while you sit around doing nothing is helpful! Try not to let the clouds and rain get you, remember that the sun still rises everyday regardless of being covered with clouds or not and sometime soon it will shine through. And before you know it, it’ll be summer and we’ll be complaining about the heat!