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.

Walking My Way Through Depression

Though parts of the world are opening up, cases continue to increase, so social distancing and taking precautions is still very much required. This has been and still is a scary and saddening time in our history. Personal health has become an issue for a lot of people, especially mental health.

I can’t pretend to be an expert on mental health, nor am I a doctor, so this is based on my own experiences.

I am prone to both seasonal depression as well as the garden variety depression. I have always lacked Vitamin D, which has been linked to my depression by my doctors. Vitamin D production requires sunlight. I have worked night shifts for a good portion of the last couple years and I live in Canada, a country where our winter long outlasts our summer. Sunlight hours are short in the winter and cloud cover is common. For all these reasons I take Vitamin D supplements to help fight my bodies reluctance to provide me with it naturally.

On top of that, I have been unemployed for some time, which has left me a lot of time to spiral internally without distraction and nothing to wake up to do. No purpose to fill my days and no income to provide the ability to be financially stable. As you can tell at this point, negative things seem to be pilling up when it comes to my mental health.

So how have I been fighting my depression?

In the past when I would sink back into the darker parts of my head, I would sleep 16 hours a day to shorten the time I needed to be conscious and aware of my life. I would eat terribly, gain weight, feel worse about myself and drink perhaps a little more than I should have. My hygiene would decrease and my willingness to talk to anyone would fade away.

I know that story isn’t unique. Most of the behaviours I displayed were common for people with depression. Chances are if you have been depressed, you understand the mindset I was in.

This time around I decided to fight it.

To those who have tried to fight their depression, you have my sympathy. I know it’s incredibly hard to try and fight your brain that keeps trying to pull you under. You aren’t weak if you get pulled under, but you need to keep kicking to breathe again.

Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t easy. It’s exhausting, painful and I don’t wish it on anyone. I feel like curling up in bed all day, I don’t want to leave my house, I don’t want to call anyone or drink water.

Then I started to walk. I put in my headphones and just walk. I think a lot about the life I want to live, the person I want to be. I forced myself to smile at the elderly gentlemen watering their flower gardens and day by day it has become less forced. In the beginning I had to wrestle with myself to get out the door, but now I look forward to my walk. It gives me time in the sunlight. It lets me move my body and force some endorphins. If nothing else, walking gives me time out of my apartment.

I call my family at least once a week, and while I’ve been receiving a lot of bad news, it feels better to be in contact than to hide from them. Just hearing the voices of people who care about me changes my day.

The rest of my day still feels slow and without purpose, so I get myself to write, bake and read. These are things I normally love to do, but don’t find as much joy in these days. Nonetheless, doing them helps me feel normal. Even if my writing is less inspired and I’ve re-read the same four books for weeks, I feel more like myself.

It isn’t easy to force myself to do these things and my enthusiasm has disappeared, but I wake up at seven every morning instead of sleeping my day away. I have been losing weight by keeping an eye on my food and haven’t let myself dive into food as a coping mechanism. I drink water all day, no coffee, no tea and no alcohol. It feels forced, but I’m not drowning this time. It feels like I’m treading water. I can breathe, but I’m not walking on dry land.

I didn’t think I could do this. Every time I’ve fought my depression I failed. I would wait until I had purpose again and obsessively throw myself into things to stay stable. I didn’t think I had the strength to stop myself from sinking, but as it turns out, I just needed something more important than my depression. I’m not saying this is the way for everyone, I don’t even know if it’s the healthiest reason to fight, but I realize now there are people in my life that I can’t disappear from. I am running out of time with my grandparents, my parents are isolated, my friends are scared of the pandemic and my fiancé needs someone to come home to. I can’t fall apart anymore. I need to be there for the people who love me. I need to be there for the people who have saved me from drowning.

Pokemon : Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution- A Rant

This is purely based on my opinion and I understand not everyone will agree with me.That is perfectly okay, everyones opinion is valid.

This is essentially a remake of the greatest pokemon movie made, but without the heart and likeability of the original. The change in animation style doesn’t make it lose it’s heart, but it seems like they chose a new style over substance.

They also decided to make Mewtwo a much more black and white character than he was before. Instead of him being confused, hurt and angry from the way he was treated leading him to escape and try to exact revenge, they simply threw him into his mech suit and had Giovanni belittle him. Not at all the same effect. They leave no room for doubt about him being inherently evil and then with one line we are to believe everything has changed.

They also seemed to rely strongly on the original scripted lines that made the original so good, especially the word for word monologue about life and it’s purpose. (Seen below). As well as the original imagery of the movie to try to enact the same response. I won’t lie to you and say I didn’t cry, but it certainly didn’t have the same effect on me as the original does.

I understand wanting to expand a franchise to a new audience, and in doing so you have to adapt to said audiences expectations. 2D animation is no longer the standard for TV and young children are used to seeing 3D shows. So I won’t fight that Pokemon will likely move towards 3D in its new seasons.

What is unforgivable is Pokemon re-doing another story! We had the movie where Ash meets Pikachu, which just copied the first couple of episodes from Indigo and added legendaries. That story at least made the video game legendaries come to screen. But in this case, they simply flattened out characters to make a copy of my generations introduction to Mewtwo.

Brock was admittedly always chasing after ladies, but in this rendition he is incapable of doing anything but standing in the background, cooking and talking about how pretty ladies are. Did they forget that he was witty, intelligent and incredibly knowledgable about all kinds of Pokemon?

Misty was always a little short tempered but ultimately a good trainer. In this movie she was simply a character to stand in the background with no ability to do anything but have a poorly written dialogue about living creatures. What happened to her spunk?

Ash has always been stubborn and stupid, but his actions were driven by the goal of being the best trainer and to help those in need. In this film they forced the relationship between him and Pikachu to the point where he didn’t care at all about anyone or anything but Pikachu. His only goals seemed to be with Pikachu while disregarding the rest of his Pokemon.

Team Rocket, while playing the bad guys, have never been great at succeeding, but when they were needed they would lend a helping hand. In this film, it would seem the only reason to include them was to have Meowth translate a few lines and to stumble upon the lab…. where they just stand for a long while doing nothing but staring at the clones?

I know this isn’t going to bother everyone, but it really bothers me to see something great be remade into something really lacklustre.

Why not make a new story to entice young viewers to get into your franchise? Sun and Moon was a great run in Pokemon that tried something new with the story. Instead of traveling to each gym, this time he was in school and training for the Island Kahuna Challenges. The whole show was about the relationships between people and Pokemon and it worked great ( though some would say the Ultrabeast story line got a little strange in the second season.)

We usually get a new series with a new game, but the last couple of games released really haven’t added much to the lore or to the Pokédex. I played Sword and Shield and while I don’t think there wasn’t enough pokemon available, I don’t think they introduced enough new Pokemon. We usually get a whole new regional pokedex, but this time we barely got any new additions. Perhaps this movie was supposed to be an introduction to first gen Pokemon for a new, young audience, which would then get them to watch Indigo as it too is available on Netflix. Which brings up, why did they partner with Netflix to put out a movie anyways?

As you can tell I am overall just frustrated by this new rendition. I don’t feel they added anything to the original story and they lost a lot of the heart along the way. I would have been happy to see a new series come out, but this, this is not what fans like myself want from Pokemon.

Alright, my rant is over. Let me know what you think of all this in the comments, because I am pretty sure I’m not the only one who is disappointed about this.

Things To Do In Edmonton

Edmonton is a sprawling city with a plethora of available activities to partake in across the seasons. With City maintained rinks, parks and trails every season is an outdoor season! With endless shops, cafes and restaurants it is a foodies dream. Celebrations, events and festivals occur all year round. It is a very fun city to visit and to live in!

Cross Country Skiing

Photo by Gustav Lundborg on Pexels.com

The River Valley trails are excellent for cross country skiing! Keller road leads into trails that reach Snow Valley, allowing hours of skiing without retracing your tracks.

Hockey / Free Skating

Photo by Arthur Brognoli on Pexels.com

With 7 city owned outdoor rinks and countless school rinks, opportunities for playing hockey or just getting out for a good skate are always just around the corner. For a list of Edmonton rinks click here.


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Whyte Ave

Source – Edmonton Commercial

Wandering down Whyte Ave can be a splendid day. With ice cream stands, comic stores, clothing boutiques and bizzars it’s a shopping dream. When in the area it’s always worth taking a walk through the enormous Strathcona Museum, an incredibly diverse store to find just about anything in. The Whyte Knight is also a favourite, being host to decades of collectables and comic books.

The Legislature Building

Source – Toronto Star

Tours are available through the building that go over the history of the Alberta government as well as the building itself. Be aware though, there is a haunted painting that might creep you out a little. Outside the building there are a couple seasonal wade pools, beautiful gardens, fountains, an outdoor stage and often food trucks in the summer.

Jasper Ave

Source – Transforming Edmonton

If you like good food, fun atmosphere and a good time dancing on a Friday night, Jasper Ave is the place for you. During the day the cafes and restaurants are a wonderful place to enjoy a meal, as night takes over, the dance clubs and bars come to life. Each has it’s own vibe and crowd. The downtown mall, City Centre, hosts a movie theatre and a lot of shops.

Art Gallery of Alberta

AGA – 2013 Eva Blakeman

With changing galleries, each visit will be different. With a variety of forms of art varying from paintings, sculptures, video and audio it’s always a thrill to visit. Not to mention a lovely little coffee shop on the third floor and a wonderful gift shop.

Edmonton is a great city with a lot to offer visitors and residents alike. With shopping, activities and entertainment to spare, your time here will be a lot of fun!

The Alberta Royal Museum

Source – Edmonton Consulting Engineer

The museum certainly got an upgrade! With it’s new downtown location the geology exhibit got a great upgrade. The dinosaur exhibit is interactive and the changing exhibits are a lot of fun to check out. Don’t forget to take a look at the bug room!

West Edmonton Mall

Source – Retail Insider

Waterslides, glow in the dark mini golf, rollercoasters and endless shops this mall will enthral you! After a long day playing in the waterpark or Galaxyland, you can even go upstair and catch a movie in the Scotiabank Theatre. You can find almost anything here from clothing to kitchen appliances to wedding dresses to comic books. This mall has it all.

If you have visited Edmonton or live there, let me know anything I missed that people should check out while they are there!

Things to do in Edmonton, Alberta

Great Young Adult Books

I have always loved young adults novels, I feel like they touch more into the struggles of developing into an individual than adult novels tend to. Their romances are more pure, and filled with the human emotions and reactions that exist in the real world. The stories are often more fantastical, filled with trials that cause for character development. I guess what I am saying is that young adult books are for all audiences, not just young adults.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series – Rick Riordan

Percy Jackson Series

This series takes place in our modern day world, with the twist that the Greek Gods not only exist, but effect our world wildly. Percy, our protagonist, must journey through perilous adventures, battling and outwitting various Greek monsters with his friends. A wonderful series for anyone 10 +. Rick Riordan certainly made a world come to life in these pages.

Poison – Chris Wooding

Poison

This fantasy short novel takes us into the world of faeries, magic and curses. We follow Poison on her journey to rescue her sister from the Phaerie King in a world filled with darkness with only her friends to keep her going. This imagining is both heart wrenching and wonderful.

The Inheritance Cycle – Christopher Paolini

Inheritance Cycle

I cannot recommend this series enough! This adventure into a empire ruled by a tyrant king is simply a wonderful read. We follow young Eragon as he journeys into troubled lands, filled with wars. We meet dwarves, elves, dragons and kull throughout the journey. Some are friends, many are foes and Eragon must find his place in this mad world where all leaders try to pull him under their power. Don’t be intimidated by the size of the books, as you won’t be able to put them down.

The Heros Of Olympus – Rick Riordan

The Heros of Olympus

This series follows the Percy Jackson series, but one does not have to read the Percy Jackson books to understand the story. It carries on in the same universe, but the universe expands from Greek mythology to include Roman mythology. It introduces new characters and keeps a lot of characters from it’s predecessor series. Once again our main characters must keep the world from being consumed by the evils that fester by going on a life changing quest.

I would recommend Goodreads to any reader of any age. It allows you to see countless novels of any genre you are interested in, read reviews on the books, and a lot of the books on the app allow you to read a preview to the novel. You can also set books as ones you’ve read and rank them, which allows the algorithm to pick better books to show you. It also encourages you to set a reading goal for the year, which I find very helpful to keep me steady in my reading when Netflix starts calling me to binge tv shows.

Dark Secrets – Elizabeth Chandler

Dark Secrets

This novel is actually split into two stories. The first of the two follows a young woman who has been sent to visit her grandmother for the summer. Something about the house is eerily familiar, and her grandmother is unnaturally cold. We follow her in her journey to discover her family ties that dip into the paranormal. I won’t spoil anything in the second story, but trust me when I say this book is absolutely worth a read.

Let me know which young adult novels you loved and would like to see others read! No email is required to leave a comment so please share your favourite literature!

All Occasion Sugar Cookies

Every time I make these cookies they disappear before my eyes. A simple, enjoyable treat that goes over well at parties. Unfortunately this means people will try to steal cookies before they even hit the table, you’ve been warned.

Our “Festive” Sugar Cookies

The best thing about sugar cookies is that they can be customized to any occasion. You can cut them into any shape and colour your glaze and sprinkles! Above is our New Years Eve cookies, so I didn’t colour the glaze because I wanted the gold sprinkles to steal the show.

Ingredients (Dough) :

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 1/4 cup white flour

Ingredients (Glaze) :

  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 3/4 to 1 cup powdered sugar (depending on thickness you want)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • Any sprinkles you want!
Our “Festive Sugar Cookies

Instructions :

  1. Mix wet ingredients then add sugar. Mix until no large clumps of butter remain. Mix in dry ingredients. Finish by hand to completely mix in flour.
  2. Roll out dough on a very liberally floured surface to a 1/4 inch. Punch out your cookies. Don’t worry about introducing more flour as you re-role your dough out, it won’t change the flavour or texture if there is a little more flour. ** Alternatively you can make small balls and press them down for rough circular cookies.
  3. Set your oven rack to the centre of the oven. Pre-heat to 350 degrees.
  4. Set cookies a minimum of 1/2 inch apart on the sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the bottom is golden brown.
  5. Let cookies cool completely before glazing.
  6. Apply a thin layer of glaze (I used the back of a spoon to avoid glaze running down off the cookies).
  7. Shake on your sprinkles and let dry before stacking for display.

Other Recipes You May Like:

If you loved this recipe let me know in the comments! No need to put in your email, just let me know how you customized your cookies!

One Year In – 100 Things You Did Not Know About Me

This blog has been up and running for just over a year and I feel like it’s time to get deeper. I think it’s interesting to do this kind of thing and read it years later to see how things have changed.

Are you a morning or night person? As I am a shift worker, I am what ever I need to be at the time! While working away from home, I am the definition of a morning person, because waking up early means not having to interact with other people before work. At home I am a night owl, in fact I have to stay committed to my bed time to make sure I don’t put myself in a “night shift” sleep schedule, as it’s what I naturally shift too.

Are you afraid of the dark? I wouldn’t say I am afraid of the dark at all. I see pretty well in low light and dark areas. (I have light sensitive eyes, so darkness is more comfortable.)

Are you an extrovert or introvert? If you were to ask this to my man, he would tell you that I am very extroverted, as I enjoy interacting with strangers, but in my own mind I would put myself more as an introvert, simply because human interactions physically exhaust me and it takes a lot of inner strength to go out into the world.

Are you double jointed? Oddly enough, most of my toes are double jointed. It creeps people out as it isn’t a commonly seen thing, so I try to avoid showing people unless they specifically ask about being double jointed.

Are you left or right handed? I am right handed. In my family it seems to be a toss up on which hand will be dominant as we have a pretty even mix, and even some ambidextrous relatives as well!

Photo by Element5 Digital on Pexels.com

Are you more of a tidy person or a messy one? I am a tidy person, but when stress gets high I can fall into a “dirty nest” mode. If I am stressed and spending most of my time at my desk, my desk is bound to have old coffee cups and pens everywhere. My nests don’t last long, as I get annoyed with myself for leaving a mess. But you would be hard pressed to find a dish in my sink for more than an hour.

Are you on time or always late? Neither. I tend to be a half hour early to everything, which generally works out well for me, as I often get in and out of appointments before my actual appointment time hits. I would recommend always arriving a little early, as often other people cancel or are late and you get in early.

Are you ticklish? Unfortunately yes. It has been my downfall any times.

Can you curl your tongue? Yes I can.

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Can you ice skate? I am Canadian, I’m pretty sure I was born with skates on. I don’t play hockey, instead my mother (a once very proficient figure skater) taught me to skate on figure skates and I never made the switch over to casual or hockey skates, even though I’ve been told a million times that they are more comfortable.

Can you wiggle your ears? Yes, something I didn’t realize some people couldn’t do until I reached adulthood.

Photo by Thought Catalog on Pexels.com

Coffee or tea? Both, why would I chose between two vastly different but equally lovely beverages?

Cookies, cake or donuts? Always cookies. Donuts are great and all, but they get your fingers dirty, and cake cannot be eaten while walking down the hallway without a plate.

Did you ever participate in a talent show? Yes, the true talent show did not go well for me. Granted, if my friend and I had actually practiced it might have gone better for us.

Did you go to prom? In Canada we don’t do the “proms” but we do a high school graduation ceremony and dance, and that I did attend. It was the day after my 18th birthday (the legal drinking age in my province) so a lot of people bought me “my first legal drink” even though I kept telling them I was holding a drink. Safe to say my mother drove home a drunk daughter who giggled the whole way.

Did you like school? I enjoyed some parts of school, mainly the education portion. I wasn’t the biggest fan of the drama and angst parts, which might be why I enjoyed post secondary more than high school.

Do you believe in ghosts? It’s hard to say if I believe in them. As a child I had interactions with ghosts, but as an adult I haven’t been in those situations again, so it could have been an active imagination, or maybe I blatantly ignore them now? In summary, I’m not sure.

Do you bite your nails? Yes, but only when they break, because I don’t have the ability to wait till I get home to file a broken nail and the feeling kills me inside.

Photo by Element5 Digital on Pexels.com

Do you consider yourself a good cook? I think I’m a better cook today than I was a few years ago, and I certainly take more time to prepare my foods than I used to. I think I’m a good home cook, but I don’t think I could rival any individual who has worked in a commercial kitchen.

Do you enjoy dancing? I love dancing, even though I’ve gotten hurt countless times due to dance mishaps. To this day I throw in my headphones and dance in the hallways of my home when no one is home.

Do you enjoy DIY or crafts? I love DIY and crafts. I got into making my own soap that better suits my angry skin years ago, and if you were to walk through my house you would find a lot of re-used objects and “art” pieces made of what ever I had available at the time.

Do you forgive easily? It’s something I need to work on. I forgive small things quickly, but it can take a year or so to heal a hard burn.

Do you have a nickname? I have had many nicknames over the years, mostly in construction. My favourite was “Deevs” which was given to me by a man I worked with for the better part of last year. In general, people just call me Eva, as it is the shortened version of my first name that I introduce myself by.

Do you have any allergies? I have a fish allergy, which may be why I enjoy the concept of sushi so much. You could say it’s my food fantasy.

Do you have any phobias? I don’t believe I have any phobias, unless there is a phobia for absolute silence, which now that I think about it, there probably is. If you know what it’s called, let me know.

Do you have any piercings or tattoos? I have a double pierced ear, a single pierced ear and six tattoos.

Do you have children? I do not.

Do you have pets? No, unfortunately my partner is allergic to most pets, and I work out of town a lot, so it just isn’t a good fit for us.

Do you have siblings? I have two brothers. They are tall, and I look like a dwarf beside them.

Do you prefer dogs or cats? As a pet for myself, I prefer a cat, but I love all pets.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Do you prefer Mac or PC? I have been a Mac user for well over a decade and I can’t imagine switching back. The only thing I miss is the gaming capability of my old PC.

Do you prefer the beach or the mountains? I love the combination of the two. At the bottom of most mountains there are lakes or rivers which is the best to dive into after sweating your way up and down a mountain.

Do you prefer to a have bath or shower? Well that depends on if I need to wash my hair, which is miles easier to do in the shower, but it lacks the long term relaxation of reading a book in the tub.

Do you sing in the shower? Only if it’s a duet. It’s much more fun to sing with my partner, as neither of us can carry a tune well.

Do you smoke? I quit smoking last year, but I do still vape. No more coughing every morning and no more stressfully lighting a cigarette while driving.

Do you speak any different languages? I speak English and French, though I have been trying to work on my Italian, with little success.

Do you still have your wisdom teeth? I have two left.

Do you still watch cartoons? Does anime count as a cartoon? Kidding. Yes I still watch the occasional cartoon.

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Do you/have you played any sports? I played volleyball for years, tennis through high school, and I did try to play soccer, but didn’t actually every try out for the team. I did dance for most of my life, even though it kept causing many injuries for me.

Does your name have a special meaning? My name caries family ties, but it does mean “First Light”. I always thought there was an eerie beauty to that.

Have you ever been hospitalized? Not in the long term, but I have had my share of sitting in emergency rooms.

Have you ever been on a diet? I don’t know if I would say I’ve gone on diets. I just try to live by the 90%. 90% of what I eat should be healthy and I try to keep my portions fairly small to avoid over eating.

Have you ever been to a concert? Many concerts. Not many big names, as concert tickets are expensive. I always loved seeing the Arrogant Worms, a comedy band.

Have you ever gone camping? Yes! My family has been camping at the same spot for over 65 years, and it’s a trip I have always loved. Aside from that, my father and I used to search for new camping spots every summer and we’d go on adventures together, hiking through the hoodoos, playing in the lakes and going to every mini golf course we came across.

Have you ever met any celebrities? I met a local celebrity Josh Clausen many times over my life. Actually when I was a teenager I ran into him while I was trying to pay for parking downtown but didn’t have any change, so I went to find somewhere to make change and I came back to a note from him, wishing me a good night with a gift card and my parking paid. Super nice guy.

Have you ever skipped class? Many many times. It never came back to bite me and my grades were high so it didn’t seem to have mattered.

Have you ever won something? I have won a lot of hats and mugs and hoodies from companies and my union over the years.

Have you had braces? No, I was lucky to be born with straight teeth. I did want them in grade school because everyone else seemed to have them. When I transferred schools in grade 5, everyone asked if I had just gotten my braces off because my teeth are incredibly straight on their own on the top.

How are you feeling right now? Bloated and crampy. I think I’m dehydrated but my water bottle is in the other room and I don’t have the motivation to go get it right now.

How tall are you? I am 5’7″. I call it the perfect height because I can wear ridiculously tall shoes without being taller than my partner but I am not so short naturally that I can’t reach my shelves.

If money were no object what would you get for your next birthday? A house… I would want a house.

Golden Ears Park – British Columbia

If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be? I would love to live in British Columbia, but I since I haven’t visited a lot of the world, I think I would have to do a lot more traveling before answering this question.

Were you ever a scout or a brownie? No I was never part of these organizations.

What city were you born in? Edmonton. A city I moved back to when I became an adult and have lived in for the majority of the last five years.

What did you last eat? A kinder chocolate because Ryan had it unshelled for me and I couldn’t say no.

What did you want to be when you were younger? I wanted to be a graphic designer. In fact I wanted it so much that I went to college for it, and then realized how badly paid designers are and got a trade ticket instead.

What do you do on a typical Friday night? About once a month we host a party, where we game and catch up, but on the Fridays when we don’t host, we generally binge watch some anime and play Pokemon.

What is one food you refuse to eat? I refuse to eat mushrooms. I may one day try them if I am starving to death, but likely not short of that.

What is one item on your bucket list? Attending a Broadway show. Wicked is coming to town this year .. but tickets are around 300.00$ for mediocre seats, so I think this goal will be achieved somewhere further down the line.

What is one item you can’t live without? My phone. How else would I call in for jobs and find information I don’t already have?

What is your shoe size? I wear a ladies 9 or a mens 6 1/2 D. The funny thing is that I hadn’t bought a pair in shoes in so long that when the lady at the store asked my size in womens I couldn’t remember, but since I buy new work boots fairly regularly I could remember my mens size. I also found out that day that all unisex shoes from Doc Martens are in mens sizing.

What movie have you watched repeatedly? As a kid I watched The Lion King 2 about a hundred times. My friend and I also watched House Bunny every day for about half a year for some unknown reason.

What phone do you have (Apple or Android)? Apple! All my tech is Apple and has been for about a decade. This causes conflict with my Android loving partner, but when ever we are working on his podcast, thumbnails, graphic design or audio editing we do it on my Mac, so I feel like this house will eventually transform into a 100% Apple house.

What should you be doing right now? Sleeping. But I am a night owl, and when my man is sleeping I get a lot more done, so it works pretty well.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

What’s one goal you would like to accomplish this year? I would like to read 20 new books this year. I am notoriously bad for re-reading the same ten books for years at a time without picking up a new story. To me a well known tale is the literature equivalent of comfort food. I did read one new book so far and I ordered the rest of the series off of a thrift book site (thank goodness those exist) so I am on a good start.

What’s one of your pet peeves? Trash sitting on surfaces. I really can’t handle garbage of recyclables sitting around. I have garbage cans in every room of my house for this very reason, as there is no excuse not to throw out trash when you barely have to move to do it.

What’s the last song you’ve listened to? I’m Not Alright by Loud Luxury. It has this wonderfully cheery sound for such a sad song.

What’s the most expensive item of clothing that you own? I don’t own a lot of higher end clothing. My graduation dress was under 200.00$ and I think that’s the most expensive clothing I have. Shoes on the other hand, I have some beautiful Jeffrey Campbells and Steve Maddens that reach as high as 400.00$ a pair. I don’t feel so bad buying more expensive shoes as they last decades if they see the cobbler every once and a while.

What’s the thing you can’t leave the house without? My keys! How else would I lock my door? I’m kidding. I can’t leave the house without my phone, vape and wallet.

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What’s your best physical feature? I would call it a two way tie between my eyes and my nose. I have blue eyes and a rounded, up turned nose and I think both are aesthetically pleasing.

What’s your Chinese sign? I believe I am the Rat. The most wholesome and admirable sign… It really doesn’t feel like a compliment.

What’s your current obsession? Playing the 3DS Pokemon games. At the moment I’m halfway through Alpha Sapphire. Have to say, I was grinding too much early in the game and gyms are one hit fights.

What’s your dream car? A fully refurbished 67 firebird. I would like it to be bright cherry red (yes I know it isn’t one of the original colour options for the car) with the original black leather seats and no alteration to the radio area. I would like to run all extra wiring for phone interfacing to the glove box, and I would hide Bose speakers to augment the audio as the car runs too loudly for the original speakers to really come through over the sound of the engine. I would make some alterations to the rear suspension and replace the drum breaks with disks. The only problem is that I live in Canada, where that car can only be enjoyed in the short summer months.

What’s your favourite book? I absolutely love the Eragon series (The Inheritance Cycle). I have re-read the books so many times that the binding and glue is giving away.

What’s your favourite animal? The snow leopard. I have always found them to be an elegant and beauty creature, which I recently found out share a flexible hyoid with other large cats, but unlike other large cats, it cannot roar, but can purr.

What’s your favourite colour? I do love to wear black, but aquamarine blue is my favourite colour to observe.

What’s your favourite dessert? Cheesecake! Years ago we created our own cheesecake recipe that makes it a lot lighter by replacing half the cream cheese with yogurt and it feels like a breakfast cheesecake. It’s so light and fruity that it’s almost impossible to stop yourself from gulping it down.

What’s your favourite drink? Cosmopolitan. For many years I was a rum and coke kind of person, but lately I’ve been loving having a cosmo. Heavy on the cranberry.

What’s your favourite food? Anything with horseradish. Don’t ask me why but this condiment is my favourite food. A common snack I throw together is babybell cheese and horseradish on a stonewheat cracker. It’s the yummiest little flavour sandwich.

What’s your favourite foreign food? Gyozas. We often have fried gyozas at home, but anytime we eat out I search the menu for those delicious dumplings.

What’s your favourite gadget? Probably my Fitbit as it tells me how lazy I am at home and how ridiculously active I am at work. I remember checking it halfway through my day to see I’d already walked 28,000 steps and 104 flights of stairs.

An actual page from my bullet journal

What’s your favourite hobby? Writing or journalling. Both bring me peace and make my anxiety calm down. I’ve loved writing since I was a kid, back when I wrote cryptic poetry that upon review should be burned. I have attempted to write multiple novels but all have been left as unfinished projects. Trying to write a book has given me a great respect for authors, because it’s not nearly as easy as it would seem.

What’s your favourite movie? The Kings Speech. I found it to be such a beautiful story, and the relationships seemed very genuine. I realize it isn’t considered an “exciting” film, but the physical acting and dialogue keeps you so invested in the characters and their development that when the credits show, you are disappointed there wasn’t more film to enjoy.

What’s your favourite restaurant? A restaurant in Edmonton, AB called &27. They have a lovely ambiance and will let you order a ridiculous anti pasta plate. We chose the meats we wanted and they paired the most lovely cheeses, jellies and mustards. A little pricier than your burger joint, but worth it.

What’s your favourite sandwich? An Italian sub. Mortadella, rosemary ham, marinated artichokes, red pepper dip and provolone cheese on a crunchy baguette.

What’s your favourite season? Fall. No sunburns, no sweating, no soggy ground conditions, but lovely working weather.

What’s your favourite series? I do love Avatar the Last Airbender, but I also deeply enjoy The Good Place. So I will call it a tie.

What’s your favourite snack? It is mentioned above.

What’s your favourite sport to watch? I don’t particularly enjoy watching sports, so none.

What’s your favourite thing to have for breakfast? Either a mango protein gelato, or a fruit parfait.

What’s your full name? I rather Eva Blakeman.

What’s your longest relationship so far? I honestly couldn’t tell you, as I don’t remember very well, but I would assume around two years.

What’s your lucky number? Seven, it seems like the most probable number to come up in a mental draw.

What’s your star sign? Taurus, which apparently makes me stubborn and hardheaded.

What was your favourite birthday? I would say my last birthday. Even though I was at work for my birthday up in camp, when I came home I was spoiled with love and it was an emotionally wonderful time for me.

Which city did you grow up in? I moved around a lot, so I didn’t really grow up in one city, especially considering most placed I lived were in the country on farms or acreages.

Which city do you live in now? Edmonton, AB. The oddest combination of beautiful art and terribly ugly architecture.

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My man and I

Who do you miss right now? My man Ryan. He’s in the other room sleeping, and I wish I could have spent more time with him today.

Who is your celebrity crush? If you tubers count as celebrities, it would be Jenna Marbles. She seems like a genuine person who loves her pets more than the world. Pet lovers tend to be nice people.

Who’s your favourite fictional character? Eragon from the Inheritance Cycle. His character development is lovely and the way he builds relationships feels very real even though his universe is one of fantasy where dragons and elves roam the earth too.

That is 100 things you didn’t know about me. This took an incredibly long time to write but it was nice to write it all out. I look forward to next year when we will do another get to know me post.

Great Apps In 2020

We live in a technology driven world that allows for almost everything to happen online. This is a list of the best apps I have found in the last while. As you guys know I love tracking activities so expect to see some tracking on here. I did exclude most social media or social media assistant apps due to the fact that they are the most downloaded apps, so I would assume everyone knows about them already.

Goodreads

This app allows you to log books you’ve read, read introductions to other novels and it’s algorithm provides you with novels you would enjoy based off ones you’ve read before. It allows for rating and reviews of books, which you can use to determine if the book is for you or not! It is free and the app even encourages you to set a reading goal for the year!

iMal

This MyAnimeTracker app is the apple version. It has a rating system for anime and allows you to track your anime! You can read reviews and see community ratings on shows as well as stats from each show as well. It also has a manga sections that works the same way!

Pintrest

This may have started out as a DIY site, but is has shifted over the years to include recipes, fashion, fandom, fan art, beauty, etc. I have come across so many great blogs, cleaning hacks and recipes on this site over the years that I couldn’t recommend it more. I would say almost every dinner we eat is inspired by something I saw on Pinterest.

AllTrails

This app will tell you every obscure and main trail in the region you are in. When I was in British Columbia I loved using this app to not only find new trails to hike, but directions on how to get them even when they didn’t show up on Google Maps. They give excellent information on trail conditions and the difficulties you may find on them. They even include casual walking trails suitable for small children and elderly individuals.

Sephora

Keeping an eye on this app can help you save so much money on your cosmetics! Items go on sale all the time and you can check it out without having a million spam emails hitting your inbox daily. It also lets you keep track of your Insider points and you can shop online on your account with the sale prices without having to get shouldered and bolstered around in the mall.

NFB Film

This is the National Film Board of Canada app. The short films are always worth a watch. I have found this app has helped introduce me to art I never would have found on my own and cultures I didn’t understand before plunging into the content created about them. There is a wide variety of projects that appeal to nearly every audience.

Reminders – Apple

Anyone with an iPhone has this app, but do you use it? I keep track of my bill payments, rent, grocery lists, to do lists and more in it and it’s incredibly convenient. Until last year I was still doing a paper grocery list that I lost constantly and never had a pen handy to mark off products. I love using this app.

OpenTable

This is a restaurant reservation app that allows you to gather points when you eat out. It has community reviews of restaurants and always link to restaurants websites so that you can check the menu. People are welcome to share photos of their meals, so you can see an accurate representation of the quality available before walking through the door.

Have you tried any of these apps? What were your thoughts on them? What apps do you think should have made the list? Let me know in the comments!

Save Your Money – Shop Sephora

I will point out that this is not sponsored, I just really love Sephora Brand make up.

Over the years I have experimented with a lot of cosmetics. I have combination skin that loves to react very visibly and it loves to itch when products don’t work. I have very dry skin in some areas, very oily skin in other areas and in the middle is just red from sun and wind.

I have tried a lot of drug store brands and have found a lot of them bother my skin, even the $25.00 dollar foundations at the drug store often bother me. So I started trying Sephora brand make up, because it’s also very affordable but it’s quality is certainly higher than drug store.

Sephora 10 HR Wear Perfection Foundation

The 10HR Wear Foundation is my go to foundation. It costs $26.50 and it has very high coverage, very little scent, it’s incredibly bendable and it comes in a pump bottle. It has 0.84 oz, which may not seem like a lot, but one bottle will last me months and months of daily wear because it takes so little to cover your whole face.

Sephora Pro Palette

I have one of the Pro Palettes. The pigment is incredible and the pans are very large. It’s 28 0.04 oz pans and it comes at $85.00 for this massive palette. Thankfully, this palette goes on sale fairly often so you can get it 15% or 25% off depending on the time of year. Again, with the amount of pigment, a little goes a long way with this product. I have found that it’s a well matched palette, as almost every shade can be thrown in with another and come out looking polished. They are very easy to work with and I found blending was a breeze. There are three very light shimmer shades in the top left corner of the palette that are almost pigment less, and they make for a beautiful addition over other matte shades in the palette.

Sephora Tinsel Time Liquid Glitter

When I got these I doubted they would be any good because the set of four cost me $9.00, but low and behold, they pack colour on your lids so quickly. One quick pass for a little shimmer, two passes for very visible glitter, three passes and you can’t see the skin underneath! They usually go for $18.00 and they are worth it. I have found after multiple uses that they come off very easily if you just let your make up remover (or micellar water) sit for a moment before trying to wipe them away.

Sephora Make No Mistake High Coverage Concealer

This product called itself high coverage, and it is. A small drop under each eye covers my entire eye region, my nose and forehead. It’s $18.50. I compared it to the Nars concealer when I was in store, and the Nars most comparable coverage was $20.00 more! Save your money, and get this non creasing concealer instead.

I won’t claim to have bought every product in Sephora, but being the little animal I am, I swatch everything when I go to the store, and I have thoroughly enjoyed their holiday palettes this year. I once owned their lip glitter stick and it was just a joyful product, that I admittedly used on my eyes rather than my lips, but I loved it. Do you love Sephora brand? Let me know in the comments. I do just love that they maintain a high standard in their quality, they keep a diverse collection available all year round and they don’t bump up the price to match the brands they carry in their store.

Tell me which products of theirs you love, or which ones you are dying to try!

How To : 5 Minute Make Up

I can quickly throw on a face, some leggings and a pair of booties and run out of the house to get things done.

As you guys know, I LOVE COSMETICS. I love playing with make up, I love wearing it and more than anything, I love hiding my acne with make up. You can watch the video, or read how I get my daily look so darn quickly.

5 Minute Make Up

Please remember that all steps are really optional. If you don’t like wearing foundation, skip it, if you prefer fake lashes to mascara, go for it! Customize to your face!

Step 1: Clean the skin – exfoliate your skin to ensure your cosmetics will sit well and last all day. You can exfoliate quickly with a little hypoallergenic soap and a clean face cloth.

Step 2: Astringent and Moisturizer – I use Clean and Clear Astringent to keep my black heads at bay. I then use a hyaluronic face oil and a medicated moisturizer that also helps with my acne. I usually let this sink in while I am doing other things for a few minutes.

Step 3: Primer – For daily use I use the Revlon Rose Glow, because it works and it’s cheap. On days where I have an extra minute, I’ll use a pore filling primer on my t zone and then use the Rose Glow every where else. Unfortunately pore filling primers take a minute to work into the skin. Press it into your skin, don’t be an animal like I can be, primers like to be pressed, not rubbed into skin.

Step 4: Concealer and Foundation : Concealer on red spots and dark circles, foundation over the concealer. I use a moist beauty blender because it’s incredibly fast. Remember to blend the sides of the nose up to the brow, as it’s a often forgotten spot.

Step 5: Throw powder on your face. I use a combination of beauty blender and brush for quick application. Beauty blender for the eye area, brush for the rest. Don’t forget your neck! Brush off excess, check your shirt and move forward.

Step 6: Contour : Build some bronzer under your cheek bones, in the hair line and along the nose, blend it out to a more natural look. Hit some highlighter on the cheek bone, tip of nose and cupids bow.

Step 7: Use a light shade on your entire lid up to the brow bone. I used white, but a light sand or bright white would work as well. Fill the crease with a medium-dark brown. Blend it out. Cover the lid in a light shade. I use a Champagne shade.

Step 8: Liner and Mascara – Grab a liquid liner, throw on a quick cat eye then double layer your mascara to get stacked lashes. Alternatively, a pencil liner can be used on the top lash line if you aren’t going for a cat eye.

Step 9: Grab your favourite shade of lipstick, because we used very nude colours on the eyes, any lip shade will work. I use bright red matte, because it stands out and I love it.

Step 10: Use some setting spray and start your day!

There is a time and place for complicated make up, and for me, early morning is not the time for it. I like having a simple routine with my products already waiting for me. the only thing I really have to think about it dampening my beauty blender while I fill my water bottle and then I can quickly throw on a face, some leggings and a pair of booties and run out of the house to get things done.

If you do like more complicated and longer routines, check out my channel and see if you like hitting up the glitter and brows too! I tend to put out videos once a week and sometimes the looks get a little fancy. I tend to stay in the “wearable” looks lane, as I don’t tend to go too glam in my real life. I would like to try out some more glam looks in the future, but we’ll see.

If you are looking for some great products to try out, check out this post on my favourites. I would love to do another favourites post soon, so keep an eye out for it!