Happy 2019 folks

Enough of this awkward silence – I’m finally finding my way back to the interweb!

I feel like I owe you an explanation for my long silence. The last two years have been super intense.

Back in 2017, I took on a new role at work which was amazing and also very demanding. A few months after I took on my new role, my partner and I found out that we were expecting a baby. The pregnancy was rough on me, but thanks to my amazing family and friends I made it through it. Thank you to everyone who pretended that my morning sickness sweat somehow resembled a “glow”. I know that you were lying but I love you for it. Last year, we welcomed a little baby girl to the family.

While this was going on, I also started going through a major reflective period where I started lighting a fire under my own butt so that I would go force myself to figure out what I want to be like when I grow up. I was fortunate enough to be paired up with an incredible mentor who turned out to be such an amazing down to earth person. I also made it a priority to spend more time focusing on my offline relationships, rather than my digital connections.  And, I also kicked it into high gear and devoured as many good books as possible.

In any case, I’m still enjoying mat leave but I have finally found my way back online. Thanks for finding your way back to my page.


Birthdays are for paying it forward

1930948_31690493010_6993_nSix years ago on my birthday, I started a new personal tradition. For every person who took the time to think of me on my special day by sending me a greeting via social media/text/call/card, I donated $1 towards a charity or non-profit that had special some special significance. Over the years, WE have supported the Haiti Relief Fund, Humane Society, Canadian Cancer Society, Heart and Stroke Foundation, the World Wildlife Federation, the MS Society of Canada, and the Ottawa Mission…As you can tell if you did the math, there were a couple of years where we supported more than one foundation.

This year, I’d like to say thank you again to the 109 people who made my day extra special. I grappled with what this year’s cause would be, but after some contemplation I realized that it was pretty obvious. This year’s special cause is the Canadian Mental Health Association and will be in memory of our friend Adam.

For those of you who have been active in my life over the past couple of years, you know how much my life has changed! I’ve been learning to manage anxiety, stress and depression all while seeing some of the people closest to me go through similar battles but opt not seek outside help. Despite all of the PSA’s educating people about mental health, you can’t force someone to seek help. Sometimes this can really be heartbreaking. This year, we also said goodbye to our friend Adam who had his share of struggles but unfortunately we had no idea about them them until it was too late. I’ve also selected this cause to honour my daughter. Yes – that’s right – I’m a mom! Two years ago, Byron and I become the parents to our beautiful niece/daughter who has been impacted by the domino effects of mental illness and addiction.

I’d better end this post off here before I start getting all emotional… Being a mom has made me a big old softy and now I can’t laugh at my sister Giselle anymore for tearing up while watching Tim Hortons commercials…oh Asian grandpas make me tear up every time!…In any case, I want to say THANK YOU to all of you for being in my life and I wanted to let you know that I’ll be making this donation on behalf of all of you!

A chat with Barista Brian (the creator of the milk foam Gem)

I had the chance to chat with Barista Brian…If you’re not already following him on Instagram, then you need to check out his account! If you don’t yet have an Instagram account…then we seriously need to talk!

Brian has quite the interesting background! After studying Opera Performance and Health Science at UPEI and Dalhousie University, he completed a program in Audio Engineering at the Banff Centre in Banff, Alberta. Then moved to Toronto where he now makes a living as a singer/songwriter and latte artist!

While I am a hardcore tea fan, I do enjoy my coffee and lattes as well. I asked Brian for some tips for Canadian amateur latte artists who want to try something cool at home. Here’s what Brian had to say…

Learn how to pour shapes into the espresso. Look at the shapes and use your imagination! Use a toothpick or something sharp to draw in the latte, and see what you can do! The possibilities are endless, and don’t give up! Think of the espresso crema as your canvas, and the milk is your paint!

A photo posted by Brian Leonard (@baristabrian) on

Lisa Charleyboy : host of CBC Radio’s New Fire

You may recognize Lisa Charleyboy from her blog Urban Native Girl or from the new CBC Radio program New Fire.

If you have yet to listen to CBC Radio’s new series New Fire, I strongly recommend you give it a listen! It’s a summer radio series featuring ten episodes that are full of conversations and stories from an Indigenous youth perspective. Each episode has a theme that is topical for all youth – dating, identity, and education – but there are surprising stories revealed when hearing them covered from an Indigenous youth perspective. For example, what happens when a young Mohawk woman uses Tinder with her Indigenous name?

You can read the full interview here.

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