Tag Archives: Yorku

This Weekend!

So I absolutely meant to post last Friday, as I was having a bakeathon for my upcoming weekend.

However, that upcoming weekend – which included; a bakeathon that lasted into the wee hours of the morning, two long barista shifts, and most importantly being on the crew for my first film of the year!

Expatriation is a film written and directed by my good friend Alex Laird. I’ll be editing the picture, and I already know it’s going to be fantastic! Because I’m editing the picture, I served as set caterer/photographer/general help/person who got in the way this weekend.

Here are some pictures from set this weekend!

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This weekend I learned a lot about filmmaking, in that way you only can understand from actually getting out and doing something.

More than that, I was reminded of the importance of “good sleep, good food, good thoughts”. This reminder that my parents like to throw at the end of conversations is a mantra for healthy living. Despite the stress of the weekend, I made a point of cooking as much of my own food as possible, sleeping well, taking the time to “recharge” myself and generally promoting self care.

I do know that there was a time in my life when this weekend would have been entirely unmanageable, and I’m proud that I can now enjoy hectic weekend like these.

With midterms and holidays on the horizons how are you managing the stress?



Overcoming Lecture Anxiety – A Guide in Four Steps


The first time I stepped into a University lecture hall I was terrified.

Not for my class, not because I was worried I couldn’t keep up, not even because I did not know where to sit.

It was just so big – the lecture hall, the number of students, the screen that my Professor used to start up his presentation. Instantly my anxiety skyrocketed. I couldn’t breathe properly; my hands shook and I had to leave early. I felt embarrassed, confused and even more nervous as the tape of the chronically anxious played over and over

“What if It Happens Again?”

Since that first lecture, over two years ago I’m doing better. I don’t skip lectures for anxiety based reasons. I feel proud to speak up when the Professor asks a question, and I can focus – which means I can learn.

So here are my tips for Lecture Hall Anxiety, I hope they can help!

1. Identify Your Anxiety – When I first asked this question I thought the answer was simple – I have anxiety disorders. However, this just means that I’m more prone to anxiety. My anxiety still has a root cause. For me, it was the adjustment from a class of 30 being a huge class to classes where the students range in the hundreds. Once you understand the cause of your anxiety you can begin to unpack it.

2. Find What Works – From stress balls, to progressive muscle relaxation and (my personal favourite) box breathing there are tonnes of ways you can reduce your anxiety without causing a scene in a lecture hall. Spend some time finding an area of the lecture hall where you are the most comfortable (for me it’s the very back) Try taking a mug of decaf tea, or a cosy sweater to your classes, though it may take a while to find the perfect combination, you’re worth the time to figure it out.

3. Practice Kindness – Treat yourself as you would treat your best friend, little sister or child. Positive self talk, gentle reinforcement and patience, patience patience. You are not going to get everything “right” all the time, sometimes you will “fail” and that is going to be okay. Practice realistic thinking, a great example of which can be found in this chart

4. Set Small Goals – Overcoming Anxiety is a monumental and sometimes lifelong task. By setting small goals, you can reward yourself for the HUGE steps you are taking. Start small “I will attend my entire lecture today” and work your way up to things like “I will participate in class discussion” Don’t forget to reward yourself! Buy yourself a fancy coffee drink, a new notebook or a scarf, that way you have a double reward for the work you have done to move forward.

What are your experiences with anxiety at University or College? How did you combat them?

Thoughts on Blogging


It’s Sunday night, and my brain is very busy.

When I was thinking about how I would define this blog, I placed it under the “blog genre” of lifestyle blogging. I’ve been thinking about this because a snarky favourite of mine the forum “Get Off My Internets” describes lifestyle blogging as

“You don’t know how to live, they can help”

I would like to state for the record that most of the time I have no clue what I’m doing.

My last post, a cake recipe, shows my second attempt at that cake (as my instagram followers probably already know) in two days. When I went to pick up ingredients, my anxiety levels were through the roof because sometimes I find grocery stores overwhelming.

Our blogs are like our lives, some things we choose to share, and others we hide. For me, this blog focuses on the good things, the lessons I’ve learned and the things I have made.

I want to create a brighter spot on the internet, the way that writing this blog has made my life a little brighter. This blog doesn’t gloss over the bad days; I want you to know they happen, but I’ve learned that dwelling on them outside of phone calls home or therapy sessions doesn’t make them any easier.

I tried to write a manifesto before I started this blog, I don’t think I’ll ever post it, but I do like this quote.

“I believe in living ethically, truthfully and beautifully.”

I’m going to continue to work at it.

PS. I would like to thank the fantastic people at effyeahnerdfighters for featuring my doormat DIY post. If you’ve found my blog through them, I would love to hear from you!

Let’s Make a Thing – Monogrammed, Printed Notebooks

Sometime this summer I sort of became obsessed with Monograms.  They just add this beautiful, personal touch which immediately make everything look incredibly luxurious.

This newfound love combined with my love of pretty school supplies and a University student’s budget created my latest DIY project.


I picked up some cheap notebooks from the Dollar store and after some extreme couponing at Michael’s (seriously, check their website before you go) which allowed me to create a collection of one of a kind notebooks for under thirty dollars.  However, if you’re a crafty type there’s a chance you have the supplies at home.

So let’s make a thing!


  1. Notebooks
  2. Scrapbooking Paper (two sheets per notebook)
  3. White Glue
  4. Varnish
  5. Stencils or Stickers
  6. Cardstock


The first thing I did was make my monograms. Using a teacup I traced out four circles on the cardstock, Then I cut them out and used a sparkly pen to fill in my stencils. I highly recommend using stencils over stickers, you can pick your own colour and use them again and again! I used this kit from Martha Stewart

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Here’s the final product

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Once the monograms are done you can start on the notebooks.


Apply a line of glue at the edge of the notebooks binding and place the scrapbooking sheet overtop of it. Then at a thin layer of glue overtop of the first layer and smooth.

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Open your notebook and fold the excess onto the inner cover. Follow the same gluing strategy as you did when attaching the paper to the front of the notebook.

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After this you can open your notebook halfway and rest it on your crafting table (or floor) and apply your first coat of gel medium and allow to dry.

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The trick to durable notebooks is a bunny helper and many thin layers of protectant.

After your first layer of gel medium dries you can glue on your monogram and cover with another layer of gel medium.

Once that dries you can start applying layers of a matte varnish to seal it all in. I used three layers to finish it off, but in the end it’s your call.

Allow to dry overnight and then enjoy having the coolest notebooks in class!

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I think I was fairly naive about this move. I thought it would be like residence part deux, not that big of a deal. But as the week continues I have discovered that there’s a lot more to setting up a home. Though I do have a back to school DIY planned (see you Monday!), and a few house crafts, I’ve yet to start them because it’s enough work just making this house liveable. However, the house became a lot more homey yesterday when this little girl arrived. Meet Wheatley! Though she is named after a (presumably?) male character from my favourite video game series (Portal) I’ve had the name in my head for too long to ignore. … Continue reading

Honey, I’m Home!

If I said we didn’t move much when I was a child, that’s an understatement. From the ages of three to seventeen I stayed in the same place. My parents and sisters still live in the same house, but I have started to move around.

The experience of packing is strange you put your whole life into boxes, put the boxes in a truck and then try and start your life again.

My father, the supermodel.

My father, the supermodel.

I’ve learned a few things from this move; I’ve learned that taking possession of a house is complicated and messy (literally and figuratively) and I’ve learned that no matter how “grown up” you think you are, having your dad in your corner makes all the difference in the world.

But despite the challenges, above all I am grateful. I am grateful for this roof over my head, grateful for housemates who feel like family, grateful for going back to a wonderful school where I can learn to my hearts content.

I’ve also learned that I’m excellent to putting IKEA furniture together, and I’m an absolute wizard at unpacking. While my housemates are living out of boxes I’m pretty much set up, there’s still painting to do, and art to put up, but the place looks good if I do say so myself.

I don’t have many tips for moving, but I know a place doesn’t feel like “home” for me till I put my books away, so that will always make even the most difficult move a little easier. This and setting up my desk and computer mean that I can actually get some work done, and feel productive.

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In the end a move is a fresh start, it’s new paint and colour schemes. It’s brand new furniture and it’s one of the most “grown up thing” one can do.

I’m sort of at a loss for words today, though the list of DIY projects that I have planned for this house are exciting, they’re also kind of scary. There’s a lot of work to do, but we’re going to make this place a home.

I was feeling a hell of a lot more eloquent the night before I left, so I’m finishing this with an excerpt from my journal.

It’s rare that we can look back and pinpoint the day when a change happened. Usually change is gradual, but this one seemed to begin all at once. February Eighth, when that big snowstorm, as everyone rushed to get home all I wanted to do was stay in the dorms.

I knew then it was beginning, first it’s a dorm room, then it’s a house with friends, your first apartment, the first time you move in with a partner, the first property you own. Each of these things changes you, just a little bit. Then one day “home” becomes “Where I grew up”

This is a beginning, this is an end.

This is a change, and I think I’m ready.

If not? Well I’ll figure it out.

I’m posting a lot about this move over on my instagram like this mini “room tour video”

What do you do to make a new house feel like a home?

First Week and Beyond : A Guide For Introverts, The Socially Anxious and General Misanthropes Upon Their First Year of Postsecondary Education



If you’re an incoming college or university student, chances are your first week will be “special”. Whether it’s called Freshers, Orientation Week, Frosh or Hell Week,  your first week as a student of postsecondary education will be more like camp than school. Depending on who

I’ve been a participant in two orientation weeks (more on that later), and I think I have the thing down pat. So without fail, here’s my tips for surviving your orientation week in style.

  1. Throw Out Your “Shoulds” – The first thing you need to do is let go of the idea that you “should” be doing anything. You’ll hear time and time again that you need to be doing something in order to get the so called “Full College Experience”. Real talk time : You’re technically an adult now, you’ve chosen to go to college, and that’s all you need to create the full college experience.
  2. Find The Schedule, Then Make Your Own – Chances are your school will provide you with a schedule of events for your first week. Instead of throwing this away along with the thousand other flyers and brochures you’ll get, take your time to go through the schedule and find the events you actually want to go to.
  3. Know You Can Always Leave – Unlike highschool, there’s nobody who is going to “tell on you” if you choose to leave any event early. If you show up and something isn’t what you expected feel free to go back to your dorm room.
  4. Get Out of Your Comfort Zone (Even Temporarily)- Truth is, other than free meals I only attended two official frosh week events and attended them for a few minutes. The first was a typical “getting to know you day”, and the second was one of the nightly courtyard parties. Neither were to my taste and I ended up organizing my bookshelves and watching films, but it was better than wondering “what if”. My mum always told me to try everything on my plate, if it turned out that I didn’t like something, well then at least I would know. So try opening your dorm room door for half an hour a day, or making an appearance at a party. Chances are you won’t like it, but at least you’ll know for sure.
  5. Find Your People-  At my academic orientation I instantly connected with a group of people, many of which whom I had never seen before. When I asked them where they had been all week they responded “In my dorm room, watching movies”. Whether it’s your first big class, clubs day or a meetup for people who share your major, trust that you’ll find the right people.
  6. Be Safe – This should go without saying, but I’ll say it anyways. Don’t binge drink- not only are probably underage as a college freshman , but it’s a horrible unsafe idea – legal or not. The allure of a few drinks to relieve some anxiety can be strong, but it’s a dangerous pattern to fall into.
  7. Remember, You’re Here For School – Having a first week off is great, and it provides fantastic opportunities to get ready for your first day. So take a day to prebuy your textbooks, find where all your classes are and get a feel for campus. It’s hard to make a better first impression than arriving early to class looking cool, calm and collected.
  8. Stock Up – People will be handing out so much free crap it will blow your mind.  I suggest carrying a tote bag, or just waiting for someone to hand one to you. Do you really brake for pigeons enough to warrant a notebook emblazoned with it’s slogan? I don’t know but you just saved 99 cents plus tax.
  9. Enjoy – I know, every single list of “life tips” ends with advice to enjoy things. But really, let’s think about this. You’ve worked really hard to get into the school of your choice, you probably didn’t have the easiest time in high school.  But you’re here now, facing down four years that some say will be the best of your life. I’m not sure about that yet, but celebrate, stay open to change and make the most of things.

You’re gonna be okay sport.

Now I know someone is reading this so let’s talk. What advice do you have for Freshman, and if you’re going to school this Fall what would you like to know?