A photo I took on my recent trip to Calgary.

A photo I took on my recent trip to Calgary.

Hello Internet,

I’ve been having a low-key weekend after a hectic and rather stressful first week at my new job. Here’s what I’ve been up to:

  • Dishwasher shopping. My husband and I have been living in our house for nearly a year and getting a dishwasher is long overdue. But for a blissful four months in an apartment with one, we’ve been dishwasher-less for our entire adult lives, and dishes, are among the things we hate the most. But we’re close. So close. I think we’ve settled on a Bosch model. It’s exciting stuff.
  • Dinner out at probably my favourite vegetarian restaurant in the city, Delicious. Their deep-fried mushrooms with spicy salt are what dreams are made of.
  • This is probably the wrong time of year to be thinking about getting a tulle skirt. I’ve wanted one for a long time and have been eyeing these beauties, but can’t bring myself to pay that much. This could be a nice alternative.

Hope you’ve had an excellent weekend.

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A Tale of Two Moisturizers

photo copy 4

Over the last year or so, I’ve been trying to be more conscious of the ingredients in my skin care, hair products, and make-up. One of the first products I’ve focused on is face sunscreen as this is something I use everyday and is intended to absorb into the skin. 

  • My first foray into natural sunscreen was the John Masters Suncare SPF 30 Natural Mineral Sunscreen. This was highly recommended by the authors of No More Dirty Looks, the book that started my interest in natural or green products. I am not a fan. It is extremely thick so does not spread well and I required a good amount to cover my entire face. I also found that this sunscreen does not sink in and left my skin looking greasy. Further, near the end of the day, this sunscreen would collect in certain areas of my face so I would be left with small white marks on my forehead.
  • I picked up Devita Solar Protective Moisturizer SPF 30 at the recommendation of one of my favourite natural beauty blog/vloggers, Ecoholic Beauty. I have just started using this, but already, it is miles ahead of the John Masters sunscreen. It is thin so I only require a small amount to cover my face and it applies beautifully and fully absorbs leaving my skin matte. It holds up all day and wears well.

(If you’d like to pick up your own bottle of the Devita sunscreen, please feel free to use my iherb code – QZC051 – to save on your order.)

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Trip Planning: Morocco

My friendly, neighbourhood mosque.

My friendly, neighbourhood mosque.

I am currently in Calgary hanging out with family and friends. It’s been an excellent trip so far, but I am looking forward to going back to Winnipeg and starting my new job.

My husband and I are deep into planning for a trip we’re taking to Morocco in October. We’re both very excited.

Of concern to me right now is what I am going to wear. The weather is suppose to be fairly warm (high 20’s) during the day, but because Morocco is a Muslim country, I should keep my shoulders and knees covered.

I just ordered these two items from the Gap:

  • This dress in dark blue, which I’m hoping covers my needs. (That model is probably tall, right?)
  • These sweat/track pants, which I hope are lightweight; it’s difficult to tell.

Also, is it unreasonable to bring three pairs of shoes for a trip like this? I feel like I need my sandals, Sperry’s, and a running shoe.

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A Slow Week

I harvested this from my garden last week. As a first time gardener, I'm pretty proud of myself.

I harvested this from my garden last week. As a first time gardener, I’m pretty proud of myself.


Hello internet.

I’ve been having a low-key week. I’m starting a new job soon and decided to take a couple of weeks off in between my old job and new job so have been trying to relax and get some shit done.

Some bits:

  • I’m reading Emma Donoghue’s Frog Music which is pretty disappointing, particularly as it follows up the wonderful, award-winning Room.
  • I’m watching the second season of Parenthood and am getting more and more into it. (I also get very excited every time a character from Friday Night Lights shows up.)
  • I’m wondering if I should buy this blazer for my new job. Kendi pulled it off so well.
  • Making a Thai red curry with tofu for dinner tonight. This is one of those easy weekday meals I make way too often.
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Confessions of a Transit Commuter

transit is the worst

Having never owned my own car, I have been a transit commuter for the last two decades or so. (I realize this makes me seem super old. I am not. Thirty-two isn’t super old, is it?) I have had to become familiar with transit systems in the four Canadian cities I’ve lived in and have become very well acquainted with all the types that make transit commuting one of the worst parts of my day. Without further ado, I present to you, the most annoying transit taking archetypes:

  • Oblivious/Rude Music Listener. Perhaps the most ubiquitous of the TTA, everyone knows this person, blasting usually terrible music out of their headphones. These people usually will not make eye contact when you turn around in your seat and give them the death glare. In a subsection of this category, the loud cell phone conversation person. Bonus obnoxious points for talking on a headset or Bluetooth.
  • Back Door Hangers On. Yep, just going to hang out right in front of the back door and be totally oblivious when you’re trying to get off. NBD.
  • Standing Backpack Wearer. How many times have I been whacked in the face by some clueless standing backpack wearer? I haven’t actually counted, but it’s lots.
  • Troglodytes. Why yes, I’m sure your penis is so big that you have to spread your legs so wide that one of them takes up half of the seat I’m trying to sit on. Thanks so much.
  • Aisle Feet. No explanation needed.
  • Trash Leavers. I never see these people, but all the nearly empty coffee cups and Metro newspapers tell me they exist.
  • The Early Riser. The person sitting beside you who quickly stands up as if to say “it will be my stop in 5 seconds, get out of the way!” so you quickly put the bookmark back in your book, and awkwardly hold it to your chest, and position your purse strap so it won’t fall off when you stand up, and grab your lunch bag from the floor, and stand and get out of the way while awkwardly holding your stuff and trying not to fall. And then the person who was so desperate for you to get out of their way, stands at the back door while three stops go by.
  • The Wait for It. Ok, maybe I’m the only one who finds this obnoxious, but you know those people who wrap their hand around the cord you pull to indicate you want to get off, and just hold it, gently, waiting until the moment they pass the previous stop so they can pull it immediately? Or, they hold the cord and for some reason have to wait until the bus starts moving to pull it? These people annoy me.
  • Newbies. “Excuse me bus driver, is this the bus to this destination? Do I need to catch a different bus? Across the street? And transfer where?”. Obviously these people have never heard of the internet.
  • Change Payer. Always one nickel short. How is that?

I could go on (the people who wait until the bus is totally stopped to get up and get off; the people who sit in the aisle seat and place their backpack on the window seat and then refuse to make eye contact with anyone getting on; the not so old people who are not enfeebled or frail or have mobility issues, but still believe they are entitled to sit at the front of the bus; the people who take the bus one stop….), but this is probably enough.

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Books on Instagram: Self-Help by Lorrie Moore

Lately, I’ve been instagramming all the books I read. Is it redundant to cross-post the same thing on two different social media platforms? Meh.


It’s a strange thing to re-read a book you fell in love with years ago. When my MA advisor recommended Lorrie Moore’s first collection of short stories, I had never heard of the author and dove in, finally discovering a writer whose voice was so close to what I hoped to do with my own. On re-read, it fell short of my memory. Sure, “How to Be an Other Woman” is probably one of my favourite short stories ever, and Moore’s wit and wordplay still makes me smile, and often there are sentences that are so perfect that I have to stop, pause, and re-read them. But, this isn’t the same book I fell in love with. It’s still a wonderful collection of often second-person stories offering cheeky advice on being a mistress, talking to your mother, and becoming a writer, but I don’t think Moore really hit her stride until her follow-up, Birds of America, which is probably my favourite book of short stories ever. Eight and a half slightly off-kilter thirtysomethings out of ten. 

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hello again


Oscar is well and enjoying the summer.

This always happens. How many times have I re-started this blog after months and months of silence? I’m going to give it another shot with a totally reasonable goal of one post per week. Bear with me. Maybe this time it’ll stick.


Some Things About Me


Me, skating on the Assiniboine River, a few years ago.

1. I’ve lived in Calgary, Montreal, Winnipeg, and London (Ontario).

2. My cocktail of choice is gin and tonic (lime essential).

3. I’m awful at sleeping.

4. My favourite TV show of all time is Seinfeld.

5. I have one filling.

6. I will take -30 weather over +30 weather any day.

7. I have three degrees.

8. I generally prefer fine tip pens.

9. My first job was at a video store.

10. I volunteer at a prison library once a month.

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Friday Links


To buy: really in need of a pair of nice work shoes. These classic mary janes look perfect.

To eat: avocado fries. Need I say more?

To do: can’t wait to see Her.

my handsome cat, Oscar

Cooking : Made this for the first time yesterday and it was so good. Definitely adding it to the regular rotation.
Drinking : The usual suspects: Stash’s Double Bergamot Earl Grey tea, French press coffee made with local Black Pearl beans (when my husband’s around in the morning to make it for me), and water.
Reading : The Best Laid Plans. Found it in a paperback spinner at my local library and thought I would give it a shot while I wait for my gazillion holds to come in. I like it, but it is very Canadian.
Wanting: A new grown-up bag to replace the utilitarian MEC one I carry around.
Looking: At the snow fall outside and wondering why I bothered to shovel.
Playing: Candy Crush. Still. All the time. Somebody break the spell.
Enjoying: The Body Shop’s olive body butter. So fresh and clean smelling and so moisturizing after a long, hot shower.
Liking: All the beauty vloggers “best of the year” posts.
Wondering: When this cold weather will end. I read a news story recently that said Winnipeg has had 18 days of temperatures lower than -30.
Needing: Some big-girl work clothes for my new big-girl job.
Wearing: My usual uniform: jeans (Jessica Simpson skinny), a t-shirt (Joe), and a cardigan (H&M).
Feeling: The effects of all that snow shovelling in my shoulders and arms.

Currently: January Edition

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