Blog

How To Keep Your House Tidy All The Time

The secret here isn’t much of a secret, but it is a mindset. In short summary – stop making your life harder for yourself!

Mindset Adjustments

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Changing your mindset around things can be difficult and you can’t change other people but changing the way you handle your household can make a huge impact on how much work you have to do in the home. Setting things down to “put them away later” means you have to handle the item twice instead of putting it away the first time. “Don’t put it down, put it away” is a common piece of advice, and man is it a good one. Seems like an easy thing but it isn’t. Start repeating that mantra to yourself and see how quickly you stop turning around to things you didn’t finish earlier.

Acrylic Containers Everywhere

Sure it is trendy to keep everything you own in acyclic containers, but at what cost? Avoid unnecessary upkeep when you can. Sure it looks nice to have everything you own kept in elaborate jars and containers but is it practical to load and re-load every tray every time you go grocery shopping? If your products come free of packaging sure, this makes sense to do and if you try to live waste free you need containers to keep things in, but do you really need to dump your laundry scents from their original packaging to a jar? Do you love the added work of cleaning another set of things every week for an aesthetic? Do you own way to many Tupperware containers that you don’t need? Get rid of the things that are filling up space, adding more work and not providing actual benefit to your life.

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Keep A Cleaning Chart

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Write out the things you actually want to clean every week, every month and periodically throughout the year. Make a spreadsheet and post that thing in your cleaning closet. Mark off every time something is done and you will quickly notice which tasks are being pushed aside. Even if you don’t complete your list every week, at least it lets you see where you should set your priorities for cleaning in the upcoming week. This doesn’t have to only be about cleaning though, property maintenance, oil changes for your vehicles and other periodic chores can slip your mind, but not when it’s written out and easy to check.

Stop Buying and Holding Onto Stupid Products

I mean it. The chances you are actually going to use a tool designed only for cutting avocados enough to validate the space it takes up is not high. You don’t need every new gadget and gizmo on the market and you really don’t need to keep the box your iPhone came in three years ago. Be critical with yourself when you are buying things and consider if you really have the space for them.

You Don’t Need an Air Fryer

Not just air fryers, but man are there a lot of countertop appliances these days that we just don’t need. Most people don’t have the space to store their Kitchen Aid mixer, the food processor, the immersion blender, the normal blender toaster, toaster oven, microwave, pressure cooker, air fryer and what ever next weeks new hot cooking tool will be. If you want a tidy kitchen, stop filling it with large unnecessary items. (And small ones too, looking at the mountain of stained tupperwear lids you have hidden in a cabinet).

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Knick Knacks Everywhere

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Let’s be honest, it’s a lot easier to clean when you don’t have to displace an island of items to clean the surface underneath. Sure keeping a memento is nice, but they really pile up. Try to opt for fridge magnets over figurines. I am a huge fan of going through everything I own twice a year and purging the things I don’t need (with the exclusion of books). Clothing you don’t wear, mementos, old makeup, worn out shoes, packaging, etc don’t need to take up space in your home! (Also, less items on the ground make it a hell of a lot faster to vacuum and mop!)

Sheds

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Where does one keep their lawnmower, snowblower, weedwhacker, shovels and garden tools? Probably the garage – the same place you store your bikes, Christmas and Halloween decorations and all the other things you just don’t seem to have room for. If this sounds like you, it might be time to throw in the towel and get a shed for your outdoor items. While you are at it, look at all the household items that have found their way into your garage for “Storage” and donate them.

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Commitment and Re-Commiting

Is it easy to keep everything clean all the time? No, no it is not. Are you going to have bad weeks or months? Yes you are. That’s okay, life happens and sometimes your best isn’t what you want it to be. When you are able to re-commit to your household cleanliness you will, but it’s not a bad thing to give yourself a little room for dirt on the floor.

Dealing With Sciatic Nerve Pain

Living with pain in the spine is unpleasant at the best of times but managing pain can make it much more bearable. Like most injuries and sore spots on our bodies, there are ways to reduce pain and make it easier to live a normal life.

I have been having issues with lower back pain and nerve pinching in my spine since I was a teenager and over the years I have figured out ways that work for me to reduce the pain without immediately grabbing painkillers.

Disclaimer, I am not a medical professional, these are methods I have used personally to deal with my pain that I have found helpful. Please talk to your medical professional before trying any form of treatment.

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When it comes to reducing pain I have always found that laying down on couches and sitting for more than a few hours a day has often spurred more aggressive pain in my spine. Skipping stretches also leads me to more discomfort. I would recommend paying attention to your daily routine to see if there are things you can adjust to reduce pain. For example, I try not to sit for more than a couple hours a day, I purchased a vehicle with very good adjustable lumbar support (you can find seat covers with additional support as well) and changed my office chair to one that tilts towards the floor a little as it forces me to keep my spine straighter while I sit.

Inversion Table

Healthline

While these tables aren’t the cheapest or most stylish piece of furniture to have in your home, they do wonders to release your joints. Every time I invert I can feel the compression in my lower spine lessen, as well as in my knees, ankles and hips. I typically use the table for no more than two minutes as it does become very uncomfortable after a time to be upside down.

Flat Back Relaxation

Guides – Brit + Co

When sharp pain starts to form in my spine I have a position I lay in on the floor (any hard surface will work, but the floor is easy). With my knees bent and feet flat on the ground I lay on my back, pressing my spine into the floor until it feels flat as a board. I typically lay there for five to ten minutes until the sharp pain dissipates then continue on with my day.

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Stretches

It feels like every doctor recommends daily stretching and there is a good reason for it. Doing stretches like touching your toes, side bends, hip openers and bridge positions really warm up the muscles in your lower back.

EMS Machines

When the discomfort changes to pain in the evening I have often used EMS or STIM machines on my lower back. The lower electric current flowing through the muscles has always been a source of relief for me and I’ve found it to be a great way to get my back ready for bedtime.

Sleep Positions

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The human body is designed to sleep on its back with the head elevated slightly, but most people sleep on their sides. If you are a side sleeper who can’t make the change to being a back sleeper, a pillow between the knees and a firm mattress can do wonders. The worst position for back pain is to lay on your stomach.

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If you have any other suggested ways to manage this pain please feel free to share in the comments below.

Creating Short Term Goals

Short terms goals act as a milestone in your journey to reach the long term goal of your life. They help you gauge how far you have come and how long you still have to travel to reach your ultimate destination.

Columbia College

Short term goal setting is not just a skill required to achieve small tasks but as a tool and routine used to achieve larger and broader goals. This is something we know.

It is my belief that building short term goals and achieving them helps build better routines and discipline. To me it seems the ultimate goal of personal growth is to become disciplined, healthy and productive. People tend to set goals that better their life quality, physical health, mental health and financial stability. These general categories all lead to … discipline, health and productivity. One could say that all roads of personal growth lead to a routined and healthy lifestyle.

Now setting goals can be very difficult and that is okay. It’s hard to find purpose in life and harder to build your own when you don’t feel good following someone else’s path. This is why short term and small goals are so important. When I say small, I mean small! Setting goals like “brushing teeth every morning” or “put the TV remote in its proper place” are still goals and building the routine of making and achieving goals is an important thing to establish in life. How big or small you have to start with doesn’t matter, it’s building the routine that matters.

Types of Goals

Financial

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Financial goals are very common and broad. Weather it be to build up a personal savings account, start investments, start a college fund for your child or save up for a particular expense these goals have the potential to be easily achievable given a guaranteed income.

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Fitness

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Physical health is important not just for the actual health of the body, but the health of the mind as well. Common goals around fitness include increasing weighted lifts, better flexibility, increased endurance and general better physical health. I don’t recommend weight loss goals be the primary goal.

Mental Health

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These goals are hard to write as a list as they are very personal. General goals typically include better communication with the self and others, time spent reading, creative projects, gratitude and developing healthier habits. This is really an area where talking with a professional is very beneficial in setting goals.

Career

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Career based goals are often tied to financial goals like getting a raise, a promotion, a new career or starting a company. Other career goals often include skill building, mentorship opportunities and networking.

Beauty

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Beauty goals are often based around looking healthy. Well moisturized skin, toned muscles, hydrated appearance and a “youthful glow”. While some of these are achievable, not all are reasonable goals. Good beauty goals are set in routines around hygiene, nutrition, skin care, physical exercise and skills around enhancing natural beauty.

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Relationship

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Relationship goals are common but it takes two to tango. While personal goals in relationships are achievable, a lot of relationship goals have to be a group effort. More or better communication, planning, lifestyle changes, intimacy and attitudes are common goals in romantic relationships. In platonic relationships increased communication, time commitments, events and projects can be helpful goals to set.

Nutrition

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Goals geared towards better health are very common and helpful. Increasing protein, vegetables, fruit as well as decreasing sugar intake and reducing junk food are all great goals to set. Goals to safely adjust to new diets are also common but should be done while consulting with a physician. Ensuring one has a balanced and nutritionally dense diet is a key to good overall health.

Spiritual

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Spiritual goals commonly include assigning time to reading affiliated literature, attending in person ceremonies, allotting daily time to prayer or meditation and following the rules, oaths, moral guidelines, etc. Personal spiritual goals may also include volunteerism, community time commitments and added or avoided actions. If you are looking to strengthen your spiritual connection, seek advice from others within the community.

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Educational

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Educational goals vary wildly depending on what you are doing. In the case of goals for your children education, time commitments to tutoring and joint time working through homework are great goals to set. For personal education goals when in school, goals geared towards grades, time commitments to studying and hands on time are great. Sometimes the educational goals are more so for learning new skills, starting an education or expanding personal knowledge.

In all cases, short term goals are great and it is worth your time to set them.

Quarter Life Crisis

Hello dear, firstly, thank you for clicking on something called “Quarter Life Crisis”, secondly, I can’t believe I’m having one.

We used to scoff at the idea of a quarter life crisis but with increasing life spans and stresses in daily life, they are becoming very common. Mine started when I left my fiancé, or perhaps a little before. Since then it has been a series of what feels like meltdowns and incredible highs.

There is a definitely a feeling of being lost, a lack of purpose and no path in my life. I have a career, a home, short term goals and dreams an aspirations, but they don’t seem to be satisfying my life, so changes have been happening quickly.

We are going to gloss over the romantic relationship aspect because I believe it is a little too personal to share here, but it isn’t the only relationship in my life that ended. I’ve been cleaning out my life and that includes people. Getting rid of a lot of people who felt like a constant drain on my mental health has been a huge relief, but also quite sad. Grieving the end of so many relationships has been difficult but ultimately the best decision I think I could have made.

Regardless of the removal of so much stress, there is a loneliness to having a large amount of people removed from my life. After so many years of being in stable relationships it’s hard to be alone again. But that difficulty also comes with freedoms and opportunities.

Removing items from my life has also been a way of cleaning out my life. Clothes that never fit well have been given away, jewelry that I’ve outgrown has been gifted to the next generation, books I’ll never read again now sit on the shelves above children’s beds. It feels easier to breath without all this stuff in my way.

Investing in myself has been a welcome return in my life. Buying good quality items, like wool coats and proper winter boots has been contributing to a high quality of life. While they cost more upfront, I recognize that I won’t have to replace them in the next five years and that they are warmer and more comfortable.

I did buy one thing that I can’t argue wasn’t essential to a better quality of life, but does make me very happy and that is a new (used) car. I drove my old Santa Fe for many years and her problems were just getting worse. So I looked at it and decided that instead of sinking money into it to keep it on the road for another couple years, it was time to buy a newer vehicle. Now I could have purchased a more reasonable car, but hey, sometimes you have to get what you want over what is cheapest. I bought a 2014 Charger SXT AWD. For those who don’t know what the car is, it’s a fun sport car that isn’t completely unreadable to drive in the winter.

2014 Dodge Charger – SXT AWD

I think I’m reaching a point in my life where quality and enjoyment are taking a priority over “in the moment” feelings. Relationships that cause me stress and strain aren’t increasing my quality of life, clutter stresses me out and a fun vehicle turns a chore into a fun time every day. It may have been a difficult couple of months but I believe my choices will lead me to a happier life.

The End of 2020 – A New House, Old Friends and So Much Stress

Ryan and Eva in front of the new house.

So 2020 has ended and I’m a month late on this post. To be fair we were buying a house and getting everything figured out over January so I did my best here.

But hey, now it’s 2021! We have just moved into a house we bought, we got to celebrate New Years Eve via Discord with our friends and even though we are stressed, it seems like things are taking an uphill climb.

I look forward to showing you guys our new home and bringing you along with me for renovations, painting, decorating and of course, baking! It will be wonderful to be able to have my own kitchen that I can do what ever I want with. Ryan is excited to have a “nerd room” and I can’t wait to set up my office again. (I am writing this on my phone).

Before and after under kitchen sink.

Renovations are going well, though a bit slower than I had hoped. Who knew that framing is difficult and water is an angry beast?

All in all 2021 looks like it might be a good year in our household. Even though there is always dread and anxiety in my brain I feel like having a little more independence will be good for us in the long run even though home ownership is incredibly stressful and frustrating. Did you know it costs $700.00 to have your pipes augured? I don’t even own trees, the city does but I have to pay to not have my basement flood because of their stupid roots! It makes no sense to me but hey, that’s what owning a house is. A lot of frustration and confusion.

Ryan and Eva renovating the basement.

All in all January was a very stressful but productive month and February looks to be on track to be about the same.

A Short Summary of My New Apprenticeship

Hey guys, I know it’s been a while since I have posted anything and that is for good reason. I haven’t had internet in my home for quite some time due to some issues in my building. Things have been happening though!

At the end of September my bought of unemployment came to a ceremonious end when I got a job painting residentially. Thank goodness because my increasing loathing of job searching was taking over my life. The stress of not having work, the constant anxiety around money and the isolation of the pandemic had me going a little nuts.

So what does a residential painter do you might ask? Let me tell you. So far I have learned that painting is the smallest portion of a painters day. Before you ever open a can there is the set up, mudding, sanding, more mudding, more sanding, etc. Once you feel like it is finally time to paint, you still have to set up your drop sheets, your painting materials and double check your previous work. Then you finally get to the painting! Nope. Then you get to the priming. Priming can either be a breeze, or it can be oil based at which point you may want a mask to avoid the constant nausea of working in the fumes of it.

Then once the primer is dry, you can get to the real treat, the painting. There is something so very satisfying about seeing the paint roll onto the wall. You can feel yourself breathing new life into a space. Painting old yellowed ceilings bright white again makes the room so much brighter, cleaner and taller! Seeing dark or bold colours cover beiges changes the whole room! Not to mention that a mirror on a charcoal wall reinvigorates a space in a way I can’t even begin to describe.

I think the short summary here is that I like my new career and I hope to continue learning and experiencing for a long time to come.

Another positive about this career is that I get to meet a lot of new people every month due to the nature of the work. I’ve got to connect with people I never would have met otherwise and that has really helped with the feeling of isolation during the last couple months. (We do require physical distancing and masks at work, don’t worry). The cutest part of my job has been getting to know clients pets.

This is Duke. A very sweet Great Dane who loves back scratches and following me around while I work.

I will admit I thought perhaps I would try my hand at something else after I received my Red Seal and Journeyman ticket in Ironworking, but I didn’t expect my next adventure to be painting! As a somewhat artistic and creative person, I can’t think of many careers more fun than painting. Every house has its own quirks, every client their own story and each project it’s bumps, but that is what makes it so much fun.

Boss Lady Energy

Intimidating Women

Do people call you scary? Intimidating? Loud?

Then we have something in common. 

I see myself as a sweet lady but other people seem to see me as some tough biker lady who doesn’t spend her days baking and day dreaming of adopting dogs. Externally I understand that I wear mostly black and I stopped smiling at strangers when I moved to a big city because it was inviting the wrong kind of attention (I grew up in a town where a smile and a good morning was normal, but when I moved to Edmonton I found out that smiling at most people will lead to them asking inappropriate questions). From a distance maybe I even look mean.

I didn’t realize how intimidating I am until people started telling me that I am. My old roommate, friends, ladies at the bank and even neighbours.

I realize though that I am a loud person. I speak freely and my opinions are not something I hide but rather enjoy talking about. I speak with my shoulders back and I am physically larger than most women. I have cold blue eyes and I understand that some people still see tattoos as a bad thing. Combine all that together and you get the kind of person who scares people even though I’m not trying to. 

Not long ago my friend made an outdated joke while I was in the kitchen and I realized the amount of power I hold due to being intimidating woman because all it took was me to lift an eyebrow for that man to sit right down and apologize for the inappropriate jest. There is a balance to this though. I do not find joy in intimidating others, actually when people make that commentary it hurts. I don’t want to be known that way, I want to be known as someone who is kind and loving. At the same time though, I like that being intimidating makes my conversations easier and more direct. People don’t waver in conversation with me and my questions are answered promptly and respectfully. 

While there is power in intimidation, I don’t think it is wise to actively try to intimidate people nor do I think anyone is always scary. When I am frosting cupcakes I don’t think anyone would be intimidated, but when I’m swinging an axe, I can see why people might want to keep their distance. 

We now hear about girl boss moves, female empowerment and using our voices to make the world better and I want to see that become the norm. Be loud, take up space, call out bullshit and support the people around you in a healthy and sustainable way that is built on respect and empathy. Use your loud voice to help other people, to speak with and listen to those around you. Shine bright. Know your worth and understand the choices you make are your own. No one else can make them for you, so 

If you want to be a kick ass working mom, then do it! We see women at the top more and more and we are slowly changing to understand that a woman with kids isn’t worth less than a man with kids. 

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You want to start a company? Do it! Employ others, build communities, provide worth and profit from your drive. 

You would rather travel the world freely than have kids? Good! Go find yourself and explore the world, engage in culture and find joy in your travels. 

Be proud of being loud. Be proud of who you are and you are becoming. Be kind and embrace life. 

Reviewing My Hot Sauce Collection

Hey guys, today we are looking into all of the hot sauces I own. I did this based on flavour, not heat measures. I believe that hot sauces are only good if they taste good, and I tried to recommend foods that these sauces can be paired with. Please enjoy and let me know which is your favourite sauce or recommend new sauces to me, because I love sauces and will likely buy them off your recommendations.

I can not tell you how long it took to write this, as I re-tried every sauce to be accurate and it did give me a very strong stomach ache after ingesting 20 sauces in a row. I strongly recommend never doing that. It’s okay though, because I love hot sauces, so below are somewhere around 40 sauces that I have and have taste tested for your reading pleasure.

Paddy O’s Potion is a very mild sauce with a watery consistency that makes a wonderful vinaigrette for salads. Its prime flavour is carrot, though the grapefruit can be found in the medley of flavours and there is a sharpness with the vinegar.


Crystal Hot Sauce is a true Louisiana sauce with a sharp vinegar flavour that is followed with mild heat. It makes for a wonderful wing sauce and bakes well on chicken breasts. If you like franks, this tastes very much like it with the addition of a tomato flavour. If you wanted a spicy gumbo, this is the perfect sauce for it.


Dirty Dicks has a vulgar name but a sweet flavour. It has a lot of fruit flavours as it has mangoes, bananas and pineapple in its recipe, but it is evened out with garlic and tomato, which makes it a wonderfully balanced sauce. It’s sticky, sweet and moderately spicy that can be put on just about anything. Hot dogs, pork, vegetables and cheeses all pair wonderfully with this sauce.


Once again with the vulgar name but a sweet taste. This Caribbean Dream sauce embraces smokey flavours mixed with the richness of a thick mustard. It’s sweetness comes from the pears, peaches, apple and pineapple in the recipe that are counterbalanced with smokey habanero, mustard and apple cider vinegar. This sauce sticks me as good for sandwiches, meats and roasted vegetables.


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El Yucateco produces a lot of hot sauces, but their Chile Habanero is a smokey masterpiece perfect for ground beef, grilled fish and roasted potatoes. It has a strong smokey flavour that veils most of the vinegar flavour in the sauce. The flavour is simple as it tastes almost entirely of habanero and garlic which makes it versatile, as garlic and habanero compliment most flavours.


Marie Sharp’s Belizean Heat is another Louisiana style hot sauce without the strong vinegar flavour that has a good tomato flavour backing it up. The lime comes through subtly as do the carrots, making it an upgraded version of Franks.


Rogue is a sweet and fruity sauce with heat to back it up. The pears in the sauce come through quickly and the heat follows up in seconds. It mixes well with mayonnaise to make a quick and simple dip for vegetables and chips.


Bigfat’s is a company that leans into smokey flavour and this one follows suit. With a strong chipotle flavour mixed with smoke makes for a fantastic addition to meats.


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Black Garlic and Carolina Reaper has strong heat, deep pepper flavour and is very versatile. This sauce goes well with just about anything. With the flavour being nearly entirely that of peppers, it can be added to most dishes, as it won’t muddle the flavour while adding heat. There is a slight black garlic flavour with it’s caramelized umami, but it is by no means overwhelming.


Ako Miso is perfect for anything that needs umami and soy flavours. It is great in ramen, on fish and in rice dishes with fish in them. Not versatile outside of this realm, but if you like this flavour palette, it’s worth purchasing.


This sauce doesn’t actually seem to be a hot sauce as there is little to no heat in it. It is milder than Sriracha and Franks. It does have a pleasant tomato flavour that is perfect for adding to a boring or chunky salsa.


Truff brings the earthy flavour of truffles into your sauce. While the flavour could be compared to a sweeter and spicier bean flavour, there is a complexity to the sauce that makes it incredibly delicious. The consistency is thicker than most, making it an excellent sauce addition to pasta as it sticks well. This sauce is often unfairly judged on its first tasting due to the unfamiliar flavour of truffle, but you will quickly change your mind and learn to love it.


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Shaquandas has a sweet pickle flavour that is complemented with the carrot, tomato and lemon that sneak along with it. While it is a sweeter sauce, I have enjoyed it coated on baked chicken, on pork and as a dip for chips.


The first thing you taste when you try Kat’s Eye is the smokey lime flavour. It’s a simple sauce that uses cilantro as a driving flavour force. If you enjoy smokey flavour and herbaceous notes, this sauce is for you.


The driving flavour is this sauce is tomato, but it doesn’t outshine the turmeric, mustard and carrots that make up the rest of the flavour. A mild and versatile sauce that is rightly held in high opinion.


As you might have guessed, the more potent flavour is the ginger. It pairs well with the scotch bonnet to make this mild sauce that pairs well with jellies, cheeses, cured meats, chips and mangoes.


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Joy Ride is a simple and mild sauce that tastes mostly of bell peppers and oregano. It’s simplicity makes it incredibly versatile as it is a good addition to every meal I have added it to. It is also thin enough and flavourful enough to make for a lovely salad vinaigrette.


A very strong tomato flavoured sauce that has a little heat. It marinates chicken well.


This sauce stays true to its chipotle flavour, adding a little smoke and sweetness that balances the whole flavour well. It is a little spicy but makes a great addition to chicken burgers, fries, sandwiches and cheeses.


The first time I tried this sauce it nearly killed me with heat. To this day I think it is a very hot sauce that bites without any sweetness to even it out. If you like a sauce that is harsh and very peppery, this one is for you.


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Dawsons is the one sauce I have where I can taste an oil. The first thing I taste is olive oil, quickly followed by sugar and habanero. It has a sharp vinegar heat that we find in Louisiana style sauces.


A sweet pickle flavour that’s mixed in a chipotle flavour that mixes beautifully with mayonnaise to make chip dips and it marinates well on chicken.


This is a truly unique sauce that brings a lovely minty flavour forward on a herbaceous base. This pairs so well with pork, especially cured pork. The spicy level is perfect for nearly everyone.


This is an incredibly hot sauce that should not be used unless you are very used to very spicy food and shouldn’t be used undiluted. It has a simple earthy pepper flavour that lends well to mayo based sauces and mustard bases.


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The primary flavour that comes through on this sauce is the cherry flavour. It isn’t overly sweet and it has a lovely minty-ness. It pairs well with hard cheeses and the odd dessert item.


This sauce is the perfect blend of sweet sauce, smokey flavour and almost chipotle. It comes together to taste like a fantastic hot rib sauce.


This is my absolute favourite Louisiana sauce. It has a strong smack of tomato, followed with sweetness from the sugar, a little kick of tamarind, a bite from the vinegar and a great smokey garlic flavour.


This sauce is not good. It actually tastes like battery acid.


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Very simple sauce with a earthy pepper flavour. It is very hot and should not be used by those who can’t tolerate spicy food.


A very fresh habanero and pineapple favour that hit hard with heat, the sweetness sneaks in and it ends in a smokey finish.


This sauce has the indentical flavour to the 708 7 Pot. Its a sweet chipotle flavour that is marginally hotter than the original 708.


A simple sauce that includes oranges, carrots and tomatoes to combat the heat of the ghost peppers in this recipe.


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A strong sauce with a simple blend of ginger, cayenne, habanero and guava. This sauce uses an extract so expect a strong burn.


This is an interesting sauce that combines avocado and ginger to little success. I find it to have a dirt flavour mixed with a vinegar bite that just isn’t pleasant.


This sauce has a sweet blueberry flavour that is matched by a wall of heat. I haven’t found a lot of good pairings for this sauce outside of making dips for plain chips.


A smokey sauce that has a creeping sweetness. Don’t be fooled though, the heat builds slowly but steadily. It has a bit of an artificial flavour that makes it hard to pair.


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A neutral sauce that has sweetness equal to heat and savoury taste. With mustard, sesame, onion, garlic and honey, this sauce makes for an excellent wing sauce.


A sauce with a very natural medley of pepper flavours that doesn’t compromise heat. With lime and garlic it is a very versatile sauce that adds a healthy amount of heat.


A well balanced sauce that has strong heat, a natural fruit sweetness and a raw pepper that makes for a great sauce.


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A sauce that immediately hits with some spicy but follows up with a mild honey and pineapple flavour. Its simple and yummy.


Book Review : Let That Sh*t Go – Nina P and Kate P.

Initial Reaction

I have just finished the first thirty pages, so I am going to write this before continuing. The structure and tone of the writing is playful, a little vulgar but honest. There is no feeling of “this is a scam” or “this couldn’t possibly work” when they talk about taking control of your observational mind (a recurring message in the book) because I recognize that that is something I do and I know the difference between my “chatty brain” and “observational brain” from living in my own head. I can see the value in building up the mental force and skills to become a stronger observer of my minds needs and reactions rather than being emotionally driven into being actively chatty to myself. I look forward to continuing to read, which I am going to do right now even though it is incredibly late and I should really be in bed.

If happiness existed in objects or experiences, then the same objects and experiences would make everyone equally happy.

Nina Purewal & Kate Petriw ; Let That Sh*t Go, (Page 8)
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Score : 7/10

While I think the book has a good overall message, there is a finicky part to it. Nina Purewal minored in Psychology but majored in Business. This is a little questionable to me as she didn’t specialize in psychology or even major in it, so her book immediately becomes more of a “personal recommendation” rather than a “professional opinion” to me.

Kate Petriw is also a business lady with Bachlor of Commerce, Marketing and Sustainability from McGill University as well as Environmental Communication Planning from Duke University. Neither of these are psychology courses, though the communication planning does focus on changing human behaviour through study and evaluation. Again this does not leave me with the impression that I am reading a professional book meant to aid individuals as much as a passion project between two Toronto women who touched on the subject from different angles and related the material through anecdotes.

Now while I have said this seems like less of a professional book, I still think it holds water and can help people through their anxieties and interpersonal issues, hence why I rated it so high.

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Notable Moments

“Menial tasks will become calming ones”

Nina Purewal & Kate Petriw ; Let That Sh*t Go, (Page 23)

This stood out to me. They were commenting on how mentally speaking yourself through your tasks helps keep you in the moment and I realized that I did this when I was driving to keep my mind from wandering when I was in a bad mood. The idea of tasks becoming calming also rings true to me as I think of how much I hate washing my hair, but when I turn it into a treat to give myself a good scalp massage it feels very soothing.

This is just my mind getting stressed. I notice it, and I understand why I might be stressed, but really, there’s no reason to go down this spiral for the tenth time.

Nina Purewal & Kate Petriw ; Let That Sh*t Go, (Page 31)

This quote required the context of the “observational mind” which is the internal voice we have that comments. I like the idea of being self aware enough to recognize when you are leading yourself down a dark spiral in your mind and actively working to stop that spiral from taking hold. I think there is a lot of merit in working against your anxieties and depression internally, no matter how frustrating and exhausting it can be.

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Replacing your negative thoughts for a day, a week, or a month is just the beginning. It takes content effort and awareness to change these thought patterns and create new ones.

Nina Purewal & Kate Petriw ; Let That Sh*t Go, (Page 83)

I also agree with this sentiment. It is as irritating as it is true. Mental fortitude and health are not short battles easily won, but rather wars that last lifetimes that must be conquered slowly and mindfully.

Closing Thoughts

While I enjoyed this book I do not think it is one I would re-read any time soon. The sometimes crude natural of the writing is a little jarring as it is not written for a young enough audience for that language to catch hold and seem mature. As the intended audience is adult, the crude language seems immature for the audience but perhaps the editors for the book thought it would help the book stand apart. While one could argue that with a title that includes “sh*t” in it, I should have been prepared for cursing I do not agree. Since the asterix was included I thought the loud design of the cover was simply to attract the eye of a reader who is tired of titles like “The Secret” that coddle the reader into a fairly comfortable mentality while reading.

Aside from language, the constant recollections and commentary being mixed together was a good choice that I felt helped the narrative of the message to be more easily understood by the audience. All in all, I think you should read the book. I know I am going to lend it out to a few people, which I only do if I think the book is good.

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I would love to hear your thoughts on the book in the comments below!

The Cardigan, the Shirt and the Splendid Jeans

Hello guys! If you know me you know that I love fashion, but I don’t live by labels or trendy items. As a plus sized woman I don’t often have a lot of selection when purchasing in person and most trendy, lower cost stores don’t carry my size. This makes keeping my wardrobe up to date a rather expensive endeavour. Honestly though, even if I could afford to fill my closet with every new piece, I don’t find a lot of this years fashion suits my body type or size. I am not one for showing off my stomach and this year has been another year of crop tops and side split dresses. When I do find sales on clothing that suits my body I buy because I don’t know the next time I will find something again.

This week we had a little time to wander around so Ryan and I visited the mall. By sheer luck this coincided with the first time I wore this adorable floral skirt. I bought it last year and after a day of wear I will never put it on again. The skirt may be cute but paired with the shape of my hips and the shape wear I chose, the skirt was jumping six inches higher than I wanted it to as I walked, showing off my black shape wear and my butt if I didn’t keep a hand on my skirt.

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Shopping.

I quickly grabbed a sheer black sleeveless dress shirt from Ardenes for $6.14 (who does now carry a small selection of plus sized pieces in their Basics Collection). In the spirit of wearing more colour though I asked Ryan to pick out a sweater for me in Urban Planet that wasn’t black and came back to find him debating between a peach and maroon cardigan. Not a sweater but he insisted that I would look “super cute” in it and to be honest, I think he was right. It was $12.00 which I think is a pretty good price for a gilet length knitted cover, though I do wish there was a little more volume to the bottom to give it a nice a line effect. I do think a triangular white lace insert in the bottom centred could give that shape while also making the piece unique.

Eva Blakeman – Cardigan

I also wanted to get a cute pair of boots while we were there but due to “no try on” policy combined with their “final sale” shoe policy I just couldn’t justify throwing money at a pair of shoes that I couldn’t even try on.

The splendid jeans though, man am I happy I found these bad boys. It feels like it’s impossible to find jeans and I know I am not the only lady who has cried in the fitting room trying to pull any self esteem together while trying to button the pants. In this case I was very lucky as I couldn’t try on the jeans in store but they fit beautifully. I did the old trick where you pull the top of the jeans around your hips to see if they will fit and it worked. I love stretchy jeans in the warm months and these have really good diagonal and vertical stretch. I can pop down into a squat without any strain in the fabric. Did I mention these jeans were $20.00? It is so hard to get fun jeans under $60.00 a pair and these bad boys (in a size 16) are awesome!

Books.

Today wasn’t just a couple of clothing items as I got my hands on three books! The first being “The Fork, The Witch and the Worm” which is a series of short stories that take place after the events of the Inheritance Cycle written by Christopher Paolini. For those who didn’t read the series, they are also known as the Eragon Series. The first book had a large blue dragon on it and if you are under 30 I would wager you saw it in your junior high and high school libraries. I have read and re-read the books many times as I love the universe and when I found out there was a little more story I had to get a copy. I have read 50 pages so far and it is almost exactly what I wanted to read without being the story I expected. A good middle group between fan service and genuinely adding to the story.

The second book is very much not a fictional story but it is a useful tool. I think most adults I’ve ever met could get something out of reading “Let That Sh*t Go” but Nina Purewal and Kate Petriw. From a quick peruse while standing in the book store trying to stay away from other patrons, I gathered that the book concentrates on mindfulness and mastery of your own consciousness, which I can say is something I dearly need. If I love the book I’ll make sure to write about it in the future. This style of book, the self-help, had always seemed to dull to me until I read “Tools of Titans” by Tim Ferris. That book changed my view on the non-fiction narrative that these books often follow in a fractured state. I also think the shift from books that were ornate and called something like “Self Care for the Modern Women” to things like “Get Your Sh*t Together” has made an impact on sales within in my generation. Being a “millennial” *shudder* means bold statements and ruthlessness catches our attention more than kindness on the cover. Uh millennial. I don’t know why the news still portrays millennial as 18 year olds who can’t figure out their taxes… if you aren’t of my generation, we are not children but rather adults in our mid twenties to our late thirties. Yes we react more positively to this kind of marketing, but I believe a lot of that has to due with our perception of modern imagery. We have returned to the “pop art” era where bold colour choices in simple designs paired with bold black text embodies the late 2010’s and early 2020’s. Anyways..

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It was a fun and unexpected trip that was very fruitful for me, but not so much for Ryan, who got a coffee but none of the books he wanted due to them not being in stock in stores in our city.

If you want to chit chat about this post or about anything else, please feel free to comment below and I will get back to you as quickly as I can.