Things I’m Thankful for

This past weekend was Thanksgiving weekend in Canada, and I spent the weekend with colleagues, friends and family. The past few months have been a whirlwind, so it was nice to reflect back and think of all the things I’m thankful for this year.

1. My home

I’m so blessed and happy to be back in Vancouver, as I’ve made abundantly clear as of late. Not only that, I am thankful to live in Canada. I am thankful for my country, my province and my city.

2. My family

I’m thankful for family that loves and supports me, I’m thankful for their health. I’m thankful that I can still call members of my family and tell them about all the happenings of my life.

3. My friends

The family I chose. The sisters I wasn’t born with. My tribe. My squad. All my goals rolled into one. I’m so blessed to be surrounded by so many strong women, who I know love and support me and who know I love and support them.

4. My freedom

This year I walked away from an industry that I poured my soul in to. This year I moved across the country. Twice. I’m free to do these things. I have the most amazing support network to help me navigate me through all the craziness that’s happening. I’m so so so grateful for this freedom this year.

5. All of you

My followers and subscribers. You have given me the outlet to share my true self with the world, to post about my life and to try to inspire people. Words cannot express how thankful I am for every single one of you. Every one who reads, likes, comments, or follows along with my crazy path. It means the world to me, truly. Thank you for allowing me to express myself and pursue my passion. I’ll never take this for granted.

Happy Thanksgiving and happy harvest. I love you all so much.

Brett Alton Photography

I Want to do Something Meaningful

I want to work hard for something I believe in. I do, though. Every day I work my butt off for things I believe in. I blog about things that I feel like matter, I work on campaigns that run on causes I care about and I wake up every morning and remind myself that money doesn’t buy happiness.

It’s hard sometimes though, as I know that I can easily fall back into my old ways, collect a paycheque I can live off of comfortably and repeatedly slam my head into a spacious L-shaped desk. I can go back and plant myself in an ergonomic chair that will have been specifically adjusted for my posture and also have great extended health benefits. In exchange all I would have to do is give up on my dreams, swallow my pride and admit that all the work I’ve done to change my life was for nothing.

The catered lunches aren’t worth it though, neither is view from the top of the financial district. I will happily go the next 5 years of my life without a fancy steak dinner. I don’t want to push papers for large corporations and constantly be reminded that I am a have not. I want to work with and for my community. I want to help people and fight for real change. I want to work with other strong women and inspire people everywhere. I want to show people that you can leave your “noble” job and actually, truly thrive.

I could retire one day, and live out my final years finally pursuing my dream, or I can struggle and put the time in now, while I’m young, and spend my entire life pursuing my dreams. I might not retire, but if I’m successful in building my perfect life, would I even want to?

You’re Doing Enough 

You’re doing great. I know it feels like sometimes you should be doing so much more, but probably not.

The past week since getting home has been stupid busy for me, and I keep feeling like I should be taking on more in all aspects of my life. The reality of it is, I barely have time for myself as it currently stands and if I try to take on more, the things I have already committed to will start to slip.

I already forget to post on Instagram, I’m already writing this post in the middle of the night before it goes up. I’m already stressed about tomorrow, and I’m already behind on everything else. It’s so important to be mindful of your limitations, and that they fluctuate. What can be absolutely under control one week, can cause chaos the next. Listen to your body, listen to your mind and don’t push yourself past what you’re capable of.

You need to remember this too. You’re doing enough, you’re doing great and don’t be so hard on yourself. We only have so many hours in a week, and we all need sleep. Make time for self care, drink water, take care of your skin and don’t beat yourself up if you eat Cheezies for lunch.

The Comfort of Coming Home

I’m back in Vancouver, and my heart is calm. Being home has absolutely not been traditionally relaxing, but emotionally and spiritually my soul has found comfort. My first view of the city from the airplane sparked strong feelings, feelings of joy and belonging. I became emotional as my anxiety cleared and I knew I was home.

I was welcomed by family and my amazing friends who surprised me at the airport with signs. I am so blessed to be embraced in so much love here. People like this are the reason I knew I had to come home. The city itself presented me with the most breathtaking sunset the following night. Watching the sunset from my favourite place over my absolutely favourite view of the city was the most welcoming feeling I could have asked for.

I found a campaign to work on immediately, in an office chalk full of my kind of people. It felt as though within moments of touch down, my life began to fall into place. After what felt like an eternity of chaos and disorganization, within hours I felt like I had gotten my life back together. Everything has been busy, I haven’t had much free time, and I couldn’t be happier. I’m the amount of busy I’m comfortable with and I’m happy to be falling back into my routine and allowing myself to focus on my passions and and my future.

For the first time in months feel like I’ve made the right decision, and I will not tell you it was easy. But today, I can tell you with all seriousness, it was the correct decision. I sleep better now, I feel better now, it’s all better now.

Best Gluten Free Eats in Vancouver 

Having been diagnosed as Celiac two and a half years ago, it has taken some getting used to. Travelling to new cities is always hard because I have to find new places that can accommodate my needs but also don’t taste like cardboard. I’ve found a few here and there, but now that I’m back in Vancouver, I can revisit my favourite places for a bite.

1. Scandilicious

Okay. Gluten. Free. Waffles. What more could you need in the world? There’s like a gazillion things you can eat here and they know what they’re talking about when it comes to gluten. These waffles are crispy on the outside, and light and fluffy on the inside. They’re a little bit sweeter than your average waffle, which I swear makes the savory waffles so much better because it balances out the salt.

My Pick: Savory – The West Coast Waffle (sub GF waffle) | Sweet – Veganessa

Image result for scandilicious gluten free

2. The Mexican

This isn’t specific to the Mexican, I suppose. But it is my favourite spot for Mexican eats. The nice thing about Mexican and Latin cuisine is that they tend to use corn flour for most things rather than wheat flour. This makes it waaay easier for us gluten free girls (and guys) to have a large selection.

My Pick: Enfrijoladas (add chicken)


The nice thing about SMAK is that everything there is gluten free. I don’t love anything there, but I do enjoy that it’s a quick spot for lunch, with a nice atmosphere and a strictly gluten free menu. I also love that it’s local to Vancouver, because who doesn’t love supporting local businesses?!

My Pick: Coconut Pork Bowl (sub for Quinoa)

4. Freshii

Okay, I know – I didn’t try Freshii actually until I was in Ottawa. I actively avoided it because it sounded like just another healthy chain, which I was not on board with. The nice thing about travelling though, is that you try new things. So I tried Freshii for lunch one day.. and then went back the next day.. and a couple more times that week. Freshii is not dedicated gluten free, but they know exactly what they’re talking about. The food is fresh, feels good for you but doesn’t TASTE good for you. The winning combination.

My Pick: Oaxaca Bowl with Chicken (No wontons, sub for cilantro-lime sauce)

5. Cartems Donuterie

Cartems was like a god send when I discovered it. I had just been diagnosed and therefore very disappointed with every gluten free product I could find. I had heard some babble around town about a shop downtown that had gluten free donuts. I was obviously intrigued. When I tried it I knew immediately it was going to be a problem. Their donuts are dense, yes – but they are also moist and delicious. No cardboard here.

My Pick: Honestly, they’re all good. Try all of them.

6. Two Daughters Bakeshop

I have found few really good gluten free bakeries over the years. Two Daughters is the only one I have found in the Greater Vancouver Area that I would genuinely recommend. I have by no means tried everything they offer, but everything I have tried has been delicious. The kind of delicious where you forget you’re eating a gluten free dessert.

My Pick: Banana Bread and Chocolate Peppermint Sandwich Cookies

There’s also so many good chains that offer great gluten free menus. I tend to frequent Cactus Club, White Spot and Carlos O’Briens for an easy night out with friends or a working lunch.

What are your favourite Gluten Free spots on the Lower Mainland?

*none of the photos used in the article are my own, and I do not assume credit for them*

I Didn’t Always Feel like a Feminist

I know, this sounds bad. I never felt that men should be superior, but I did feel like the feminist movement was following a trend I wasn’t on board with. I didn’t like the feeling I got that feminists were fighting for woman to be greater than men. I always have completely believed in equality and for a point in my life I felt like we were.

Sure, I was young and naive – but mostly, I was wrong and I didn’t understand. I believed being a woman gave me an upper hand in certain aspects. I looked at my life and how for what I did, we were all women, and men were rarely seen doing what I did. As time went on I started to notice that the reason men didn’t do what I did, was because I was working for men. The men in my industry were the executives.

I had a traditionally good job as an assistant. A career fully saturated with strong women, but we kept our heads down and did our jobs. I felt that I accomplished this amazing feat because I was a woman. What I didn’t think about was that if I were a man, I would have people like me working for me.

That was when I took a step back from the industry I was working in and started looking for ways I could be a boss. A lady boss. I started down a few different paths, where I could see strong women leading the field. I’ve found multiple passions since then, and I’ve been so amazed to look to other independent women as role models.

Through politics, I learn from women who are outstanding in our field. They taking every task by the horns, and do an amazing job time after time. I’m beyond impressed with the drive and determination of the ladies I work with on that side. Through social media I am exposed to hundreds of bloggers and influencers who have come together to build each other up and help each other grow. I’m in awe of what we as a gender can accomplish by working together. I don’t feel like these women are using me as a stepping stone to success, I feel like these women are my teammates on our way to the top.

I’m so excited to continue down this path, and let the fierce female in me shine.

Listen to the Signs the Universe Sends You


I love being in control, but some things are so far out of my hands. This is the case for all of us. In these moments it’s important to accept that it’s time to step back and look at what they could mean, and re-evaluate your path.

When you find yourself continuously knocking at the same door and having no one answer, it may be time to consider knocking on another door. This is not at all to say give up on your dreams, just take a step back and re-evaluate. It’s so easy to get so absorbed in chasing your goals, that you forget why you were passionate about them in the first place. I like to remember to check in with myself from time to time and make sure my goals still align with my core values.

I had goals to find a job in Ottawa, and I kept feeling so close. I had an offer that got revoked and I had promising interviews that never lead anywhere. In those moments I wanted so desperately to just not fail but I didn’t know if succeeding was what I wanted either. At the end of the day, I didn’t succeed in landing an impressive job in a city I don’t love. I did, however succeed in making a decision to trust my heart and making the best decisions for me.

I kept asking myself why I thought these things didn’t work out. I know that there must have been applicants who were more qualified than I am – if I was the best applicant, I would have landed the jobs. But I also reminded myself that the universe works in mysterious ways, and if I was meant to be here doing that, I would have been the best applicant.

Anti-Lifestyle: Staying True to Yourself vs. Staying True to Your Brand 

I knew from the get go that moving to Ottawa would be great for my brand. I kept reminding myself that the market here is less saturated so there’s more room to stand out. I knew that I would generate great content by adjusting to a new city and I knew you guys would love the realness associated with big changes. I even went as far as writing myself a list months ago about all the topics I could write about once arriving here.

I also knew that doing something because it would be good for my brand, even though it was against my truest wishes was very against brand for me. I found myself torn, I knew that I would have great opportunities to work on my passion if I stayed in Ottawa, the kind that I can’t get in such a big city like Vancouver. There are blogger events and companies that want to work with someone my size in Ottawa. That’s not the case in Vancouver.

It has become clear to me though, that if I stay in Ottawa to grow my network, I would have to put on an act, and lie about how I was adjusting. I would have to go back to being the girl who advertised her perfect lifestyle when some things didn’t feel perfect. I could recreate the narrative of falling aimlessly through space and time. I could tell you that it feels like flying rather than feels like spiraling out of control. I could tell you that I’m finding myself in the new hustle and that I finally found a place to land.

That is very strongly against my brand. My brand is staying true to me and being an advocate for honesty and reality. I’m not here to sell you a lifestyle that isn’t real, raw and full of passionate joy and passionate pain. At the end of the day, I have to stay aligned with my beliefs not because it’s my brand, but because it’s myself.


The Art of Settling In

I’m not talking about settling, or settling down because I’m absolutely not doing either of those. What I am talking about is settling in, adjusting to changes. This period of my life has been full of changes, from moving to not moving and back and forth I have been making adjustment after adjustment until landing exactly where I am. I’m not settling into Ottawa, I’m settling into the idea of what my life is now. My life is in Ottawa, and my life is in Vancouver. I’m settling into the idea of my life not going perfectly according to a certain plan.

I’ve always taken a while to settle in. When I moved to Victoria my heart was in Vernon, when I moved to Vancouver my heart was in Victoria and it hurt me so much to settle into a new life. This time I’m in Ottawa, but my heart’s in Vancouver and I’ve decided I don’t want to settle into a new life. I’m happy with where I am, and I’m happy to settle into my new normal but in my old home.

Settling in is about accepting where you are, and adjusting to the changes, big or small. Settling in is finding your routine amongst all the moving parts and finding where your heart sings the most. It just so happens for me, my heart sings in Vancouver, and I’m happy to settle in there. Not settling, and not quite settling down – which is what I would be doing if decided to move. I’m settling into a life, where for the first time, I put myself first.