Day 49: Stress eating my way through unemployment.

Stress eating is a real issue for me. I’m sad to even say that out loud. When I get stressed I start to eat. And when I start eating, I don’t stop.

Last night I ate an entire bag of fuzzy peach candies at 2 am. Why? I can’t tell you why as I don’t even know myself.

After I was unceremoniously fired on New Year’s Eve, I remember going home and eating an entire pie. The feeling of stress that I felt that day hasn’t really gone away, or even lessened for that matter. I would say that, if anything, it’s increased.

On paper I have an extremely strong resume. In person I am an even stronger candidate. Somehow, though, I can’t seem to figure this job market out. And I’m noticing that I really like to stress eat. Most times not even realizing that I am doing so.

My mom, bless her heart is going through chemotherapy treatments right now, has been continually trying to pump up my mood, every day. Every day. I do have some incredibly loving and wonderful people in my life. I do. And when I am around them, it’s a welcome distraction and what I need to keep myself moving forward.

Those moments when I am alone, though… those are the moments I don’t trust myself. Those are the moments when the stress eating happens.

I wish that I could retrain my psyche to tell me I need to spend 5 hours in the gym every time I get stressed. I wish I could retrain my mind to stop reaching for food. Oh, we’re all a little flawed somehow. Me, I have no will power. When things go wrong, I reach for food.

It’s not good. I know. I’ve been lectured on it enough in my life. But hey, at least it’s not cocaine or something stupid like that. That’s all I’m telling myself for now. At least until life calms down a little…. until my mom’s cancer is in remission, until I’m a member of the working class once again… until I can wake up in the morning and be excited for the day ahead.

For now, in the words of Dory, I ‘just keep swimming’.

Pet Peeve: “Don’t be such a girl” and so on and so forth.

It makes me angry when I hear people say things like “don’t be such a girl” or “you fight like a girl” or “you throw like a girl”. As a female it gets thrown your direction so dang much that eventually you just start to believe that being female is a bad thing. You just accept it. You know what it means and you don’t argue with it because arguing would take far too much time and effort on someone who doesn’t want to understand.

I am a girl. I have a short stature, and long hair, curvy hips and small hands. I’m proud to be a girl. I do fight like a girl – because I am a girl. Fighting like a girl doesn’t mean that I’m a bad fighter, or that I’m weak, or that I’m incompetent. I’m extremely competent and if it came down to a physical fight I could hold my own with many men. 

I do throw like a girl. It might not be as far as my male counterparts, but that doesn’t stop me from sinking baskets, or clinching that out at home plate. It doesn’t stop me from hitting the waste basket EVERY…SINGLE…TIME.

Being a girl is not a bad thing. It pisses me off when people throw it around as though it’s an insult. Just because I was born female does not mean that I am slower, dumber, weaker and not as good as a man. I make my own money, I pay my own bills, I work, I work out, I fix broken pipes, change flat tires, lift heavy boxes, and can turn around and put on a dress and heels after it’s all done.

I am not weak. And being who I am is not less than anyone else in this world. 

Being female is not a bad thing. It’s not a weak thing. It’s not something that we should be ashamed of, sad about, or made to feel as though we’re not good enough when a man wants to put down another man. And women do it to, don’t get me wrong. I would say that infuriates me even more – when women say it to one another. I just want to hold a playback button to their ears and ask ‘do you her yourself right now?’

As a gender, we should not be treated as though we’re lesser than because we don’t grow up to play in the NBA. ‘You throw like a girl’ is not an insult and should not be used as such. ‘Don’t be such a pussy’ should never be used as a means to make someone look weak.

Firstly, do you really need to insult this person? Could your efforts be put forth to something more positive? Secondly, if your insulting someone is coming at the cost of degrading or demeaning an entire gender then you need to work on your insults. Tearing other people down is not a way to get your point across.

You know what, save the insults all together. When your girlfriend beats you in an arm wrestle, I hope you’re proud of her. When you’re daughter hits a home-run at bat, I hope you’re extremely proud of her. If you really, genuinely, must make reference to someone you know as being weak, just use the term weak. That’s it. Nothing more. Leave women and girls out of it.

Let us throw how we want to throw and live how we want to live. The world is a much nicer place when we’re not verbally or physically beating up on one another for the gender which we’re born into.

Travel Diaries: Ice Magic Festival of Lake Louise

When you grow up in Canada, one of the things you hear about every year is the Ice Magic Festival of Lake Louise. That and also that Niagara Falls is a must see in your lifetime. For me, though I’d lived within driving distance of Lake Louise for almost my entire life, I’d never actually been to the festival.

I love Lake Louise, and try to visit several times a year, but I’d never managed to make it in late January/early February when the Ice Magic Festival is taking place.

Fast forward to 2019 and the year that I’m making things happen. Knight and I decided to take the weekend to see the Festival. It was supposed to be bitterly cold, but I convinced him to come anyways, knowing that the colder it was, the less tourists there would be out.

We began at a little bakery in Lake Louise called Laggan’s Mountain Bakery. This place had a line up that was almost out the door. The Baked Goods were delectable. As someone who eats strictly gluten free (Celiac Disease) finding gluten-free baked goods in a tiny little town in the mountains was quite a score. I ended up picking up a few, eating one then and saving the rest for home.

To the lake we went.

Despite my best hopes, there were still quite a few tourists out to bare the blistery -31 degree weather. I guess they, like me, decided it was still worth it, no matter how cold.

It had snowed quite a bit since the sculptures were made, but I still made my way around the lake to try and make out what each of the sculptures were. Some of them were difficult to tell due to the sun being behind the mountains and the snow having fallen. Even still, it really amazes the talent people have to create such intricate statues and sculptures out of ice.

Though it was tempting, we decided to not stop at the Ice Bar and opted to wander into the hotel to shop and warm up. There’s so much history in the Fairmont Lake Louise, wandering the halls just makes you feel as though it could be filled with ghosts of guests past.

There’s a gorgeous restaurant inside the hotel that overlooks the lake, the festival and the mountains in the background. It might be a little too rich for my blood, though. So, after checking out the sights of inside, we made our way back out to the lake. My desire was to walk far enough onto the lake that I could get a photo without anyone in the background.

Saying that you’re walking out to the middle of the lake is a weird thing to speak. But when you get there the view is so, so, so very much worthwhile.

About a third of the lake was plowed from what I could see. A portion was arranged for public skating (I wish I had brought my skates) a portion was arranged for playing hockey (it is as picture perfect as the photos showcase) and a portion was arranged for cross country skiing. Basically, it’s an outdoor lover’s dream.


To me, Lake Louise is the prettiest place on earth. It really is. Of all the places that I’ve ever been, my heart always comes back to Lake Louise and those incredible mountains shadowing over the picturesque lake, the forests, the animals, the majestic world that is the Rocky Mountains.

It was a perfect day… a picture perfect day wandering the festival, eating incredible food, watching the tourists in awe of how much snow there was.

There’s something I used to tell my friends a lot, that still stands true to this day. If ever I lose my way, that’s where you’ll find me – the tiny little town in the mountains. The place where everything’s good and everyone knows everyone. To me, that will always be Lake Louise.

Tired and uninspired.

2019 has been kicking my ass. That’s become a phrase that I’m using a lot this year. At 1.5 months into this year, I’m wondering where the time went while also wondering why everything is going so slowly.

This just in – I am still unemployed. And it’s not for lack of trying. I even had a professional writer take a look at my resume to tell me what was wrong with it. It’s good. Trust me, it’s good. Somehow though, that doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter that I have ten years experience, a degree, or anything that’s listed on my resume. I am just another one of the bunch. And since the bunch is plentiful, here I am… serving as the token unemployed millennial. Such a stereotype. Such I am.

In other news, my mother’s chemotherapy has been delayed. The poor woman seems to be allergic to just about everything, so, I guess the doctor’s are hesitant to completely destroy her immune system until they know that she’s not going to adversely react to the medications she’s required to take through the process. Knowing that this process is being prolonged is affecting my anxiety in copious amounts. It’s hard enough to have to watch your mom go through something like this, but it’s getting harder knowing that it’s so much more complicated than we originally thought it would be.

I’m still homeless. It’s been difficult. Though I’ve lasted 12 days at this point so I am pretty proud of myself for that. I find myself missing simple things… like being able to open the cupboard and see exactly what I want to eat in there… or being able to leave the dishes in the sink and wash them later. Or just sitting down on my own couch. Things are just things, I am aware of this. I am now realizing though just how much comfort some of these things can bring… especially when you might just be in a frail state yourself (and not wanting to admit to it).

I have a CT-Scan booked for Saturday. I was quite amazed that I actually got it booked so quickly. Hopefully though, they’ll be able to see what’s really going on inside of my head and provide me some relief to this constant pressure in my face. The doctor thinks it’s internal damage from a broken nose, but needs a CT-Scan to see the extent of the damage. I guess we’ll find out on Saturday. As if there wasn’t enough to worry about in my life already…

To take a moment and talk about the bonuses – Knight and I travelled to Lake Louise to see the Ice Magic Festival this past weekend. It was magical, and everything I’d ever wanted it to be. I’ve had dreams of seeing it since I was a kid, so being able to be there and see it up close and personal was a pretty big check off my bucket-list.

Here’s to trying to see the positives through all the mess.

And self-care. Self care is very important.

Honestly, remember:

Even the prettiest people feel ugly at times, the happiest people feel the need to cry themselves to sleep at night and the most independent people feel alone… whether they admit it or not.

As much as we all might lead different lives, we all deal with the same demons. The best thing you can do for yourself, and for everyone else for that matter, is to remember that we’re all dealing with the same demons. Compassion and people skills go a long way in this crazy crazy world.

Tips for travelling on the cheap.

If you’re anything like me, all you want to do is wander the world. It’s hard to blame anyone for Wanderlust when there’s so many places to go and so many things to see. Travelling is an expensive hobby, though. And, if you’re not smart about how you’re travelling, things can get really out of reach, really quickly.

A desire to see the world should never be haulted by cost, though. So, if you’re like me and not independently wealthy, then steps need to be taken to ensure that you can get where you want to go without suffering for it for months before, or after.

So, without further adieu, here are some vague tips that I frequently use when planning trips, when looking for new places to see, or when helping friends/family (who aren’t independently wealthy themselves) book trips.

TIPS FOR TRAVELLING ON A BUDGET:

Be flexible with your dates. Obviously this isn’t always possible. If you’re needing to get to a wedding, or some sort of an event somewhere, you have to go on a certain date. But, if time is your oyster, the world can be too.

Example: I was hellbent on the idea of being in Las Vegas for my thirtieth birthday last year. Flights to Vegas for my birthday were $350 there and $395 return. Flights nine days after my birthday were $100 there and $78 back. That’s a savings of more than $500. Just for going nine days after my birthday. When I thought about it I reminded myself that Vegas is still Vegas, and no one’s going to hear I went nine days after my birthday, they’re going to hear that I went to Vegas for my birthday.

Uses travel-friendly booking websites. Though it may seem as you’re selling your soul a small bit when you give your email address over to websites like Expedia or Trivago, these sites can actually be incredibly helpful. Being able to see hotel prices all in one place can allow you to know which hotels are more within your budget and what places to avoid. These websites can also, often, have cheaper prices for reservations than booking on an individual hotel’s website.

Ask a local. Whether it through a blog, or asking someone on a street when you get there, ask someone where the best places to eat or shop are. Tell them you’re on a budget, tell them you’re trying to save. There’s no one who is going to know more about a place and where is cheap to eat or shop then someone who lives there.

Pack our own food. Where possible, this can be a huge money saver. Prices are marked up extensively at restaurants and cafes, especially in overly touristy areas. Wandering into the grocery store and grabbing some food, even if it’s a pre-packaged veggie or meat tray, can be a lot cheaper than a restaurant or a cafe. I quite often opt for this route. I prefer to spend my money on things other than food when I travel, where possible. 

Don’t shop at the airport. Don’t do it. Ever. Even something as simple as a Starbucks coffee can be 2-3 more dollars just for purchasing it in the airport. Also, those cute and dainty little shops that line the halls en-route to your gate… they’re there to suck you in. Resist the temptations.

Skip the frills. Things like airline wi-fi can seem really intriguing when you’re bored on the plane. But, if you think ahead and bring a book… or a notebook… or a sleeping pill, you won’t need to purchase that wi-fi and can save yourself some dollars.

Ask ahead. Finding a hotel that’s reservation includes breakfast in the morning and access to a laundry room is possible. If you’re going to be staying somewhere for a longer-stint of time, having access to a laundry room can be a life-saver. And, if you don’t have access to a laundry room, it’s a lot cheaper to find a laundromat ahead of time rather than using a laundry service.

See what public transit looks like where you’re headed. Using public transit in a new city, if you can wrap your head around it, can be a lot cheaper than taxi and uber trips. Plus, public transit can allow you to see more of the city if you’re willing to try.

Do your research about free, or cheap, attractions. These are out there. They do exists. Pinterest can be an incredible assistance in this process because people who’ve been there before share their stories about where to go and what to see, what is fun and what is not worth it.

Use coupons, sales, discount codes. There’s a local airline near me that has sales on holiday’s. Doesn’t matter the holiday, every holiday you can bet there’s going to be a sale. Usually it involves waking up early in the morning to be one of the first ‘x’ amount of people to purchase the ticket under the sale price. If you can wake up early and get that discount, DO IT. And if you don’t wake up early, still see if there’s a discount code for you to be able to use to cut costs just that much more. Even if it’s only 10 percent off flights, 10 percent off flights still counts.

Take advantage of loyalty programs. I joined the loyalty program of a car rental company about a year ago. I don’t rent cars a ton, but when I do, I am earning points for them. Those points can add up over time and, eventually, I can redeem those points for free rentals. Taking advantage of a loyalty program for purchases that you have to make, or rentals that you have to have, will help you in the long-run when you take a trip you don’t have to incur those costs on. This works for hotels as well.

What causes people to do bad things?

This is something that is of genuine interest of me. Are people inherently bad and can, at times, just do a really great job of fooling us? Are people not smart enough to realize what they’re doing is wrong? Or, do they simply not care? Perhaps there’s more to it. Something that I cannot wrap my head around. I’m no perfect person, myself, but, I would like to believe that I make the right decisions when I go about my life.

Someone that I know (or that I thought I knew) has recently been charged with doing something really bad. On the scale of one to murdering someone (I can’t believe that I just made a scale for that) he did something the courts are rating about a five. And that’s a big deal all in itself, but, he did it multiple times.

I’m dumbfounded. I genuinely thought he was a good person until I found out about this last year. Until the investigation began, I really thought that he was a good person. Learning what he was capable of though? While I’ve hear people say ‘I’m shook’ before, I’ve never felt the need to use it. But he left me shook.

Why would someone do something so horrible… so many times? What causes people to do bad things? How did he fool me for twenty years? I would like to think that I see people for who they are, but perhaps I just looked past who he really was, who he really is.

Now, as someone I know heads off to prison for a long time, I can’t help but think that I need to readjust the way that I view people in my life.