Life Update: Burns, Breaks and First Aid

Hey Guys!

If you follow me on social media (Twitter, Instagram or Facebook), you may have noticed that I have been rocking a new accessory:

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I mean… you may not have noticed my break from TBGB at all… but if you did, and you don’t follow me on social media… that is why. On May 9th I did a number on myself and grabbed a 345 degree Celcius skillet handle, straight out of the oven. If you’re wondering where my pot mitten was… it was on my left hand. Who knows why. Fast forward about an hour later, after I determined that my bubbling skin would in fact NOT go back to normal if I “just kept it under the cool water a bit longer”, a ridiculously attractive urgent care doctor informed me that I had sustained second degree burns.

There’s a reason why my personal directive (yes, I have one… you should, too) states that if I have sustained serious burns over a certain percentage of my body that I just want to be kept comfortable until I pass. Burns are no joke. I knew this from volunteering at the hospital, at times meeting patients who were being treated in burn units. Skin grafts, tissue debridement, the chance of infection, compression garments… it’s all been explained to me. I don’t even like lighting a barbecue.

But accidents happen especially when you’re hungry and just want your damn chicken. I’m embarrassed to say that when this accident happened, I didn’t have a fully stocked first aid kit. I had about ten bandaids, hydrogen peroxide and expired Motrin and Polysporin. Not exactly batting 1000, and I know way better from the multiple advanced first aid courses I’ve taken. Accidents happen in life, yes, and the last thing you want to be is ill prepared to treat an injury that occurs in your home. So, here’s what you should have in your home first aid kit:

  • Bandaids of varying sizes
  • Butterfly style small wound closure strips (often called Steri-Strips)
  • Non-stick gauze pads in small, medium and large sizes
  • Standard gauze pads and rolled gauze (small and medium)
  • Iodine or Hydrogen Peroxide to sterilize
  • Sterile gloves
  • Instant cold compresses
  • Medical tape
  • Sharp scissors
  • Tweezers
  • A bottle of sterile saline (contact lens solution, for flushing/cleaning wounds)
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Anti-Inflammatory and/or pain relieving medication

As you can see… I didn’t have ANY of this stuff that I needed! Thankfully… my much more responsible parents did, and given that I still need help cutting my food and doing things, I basically have lived with them the past couple of weeks. I know not everyone has family nearby that they can turn to so easily, so if you want a quick takeaway from this, go purchase a premade first aid kit (it’ll cost you 17-50$, depending on how fancy you get) at Walmart or Superstore or stock up on the supplies you don’t have.

My hand is getting better, and I’m getting better at doing things with my left hand and changing my bandages myself. I’m now firmly entrenched in the part of the process where things aren’t fully healed but I have to start re-acclimatizing all of this new skin to air and water while simultaneously trying to not break the skin. It’s great. For the forseeable future, if you see me out and about, it’ll probably be with my hand wrapped to protect it. Try not to make fun of me.

 

Have you ever had a crazy mishap that landed you in the urgent care, or with an injury you’d rather not explain to everyone? Let me know in the comments!

About my mom…

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Hi guys! And a very Happy Mother’s Day to anyone reading this that is a mom! So many moms are amazing individuals, and there are so many women who step into mothering roles that are amazing individuals, too! I really believe that it takes a village to raise up awesome kids into happy, healthy adults and moms (and what I like to call “extra moms”) are so important to that. I hope you’re all being appropriately showered with love today!

I started contemplating what I’d like to say in what I jokingly referred to as “my ode to my mom” about a month ago. My mom is a bonafide badass. She’s done everything from being a political lobbyist, to working with the elderly, to being a solo parent, to holding down the fort while my dad was away (a lot, for work), running a successful business with my dad, and caring for a family. Not the least of which being caring for our family, which at times included extra people like our friends.

I know my mom is incredibly proud of my sister and I. With her steady influence, we grew up as fiercely independent, educated and motivated women. Both of us achieving degrees and then some (my sister is a chartered accountant, now a CPA!). Both of us transitioning into home ownership, without spouses, before thirty. Both of us pretty nice people (arguably my sister nicer than me, haha). Go Mom! While other moms from our social circle have shared stories of their kids getting married and having children of their own (which is awesome), despite totally wanting to be a grandma, my mom has proudly pumped our tires right back.

I would not be the person I am today without my mom. Not in a sappy, my mom built me kind of way but in a serious, my mom has held my hand through this life and continues to pick me up when I’m down kind of way. My mom encouraged me to pursue my education (despite my objections), she encouraged me to continue into home ownership (despite my objections AND my wanting to stay in her basement… maybe forever) and she encourages me all of the time to continue with this website and career goals. She has sat on the floor with me when times have been tough and I’m sobbing my eyeballs out and she has done flaming sambuca shots with me when times have been awesome.

My mom is a bonafide badass. That’s what I want the world to know about her. Not about the tears she’s wiped away, or the kids she’s raised, the husband she’s supported, the meals (oh so many meals) she’s made… But that she, as a person is a bonafide badass and the best cheerleader and mentor in life that I ever could have asked for. That anyone could have ever asked for.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom! I love you.

No-Buy Update

 

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Well, I made it around a month. Not my best but… there were 3$ pints of strawberries that I just couldn’t deny myself. I also really wanted fresh dairy. So after thirty days of not buying groceries, I bought a few things. This no-buy isn’t firmly over, I’m still trying to work out of the meals and proteins I have frozen and my shelf stable items, but I’m running out of things like eggs and in my house… that just won’t do.

March was a pretty easy month to not be buying groceries. I had a hospitality suite at work for three days and lots of invites out to my family’s place. I also did a cooking class that sent me home with three+ days’ worth of food.

I think as I go forward my “no buy” will just be modified- if I need eggs or a fresh item, I’ll buy it, but I’m still working through frozen items and enjoying them. Being that it’s spring (sort of… it’s been snowing for hours as I type this) I’m also not going to deny myself things like salad greens or fresh burratta if I can get my hands on them.

So what did I make and eat during this time?

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Freezer Mushroom Risotto

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Easy Ramen

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Spaghetti Squash Puttanesca

White bean dip and focaccia (post coming soon!)

Cauliflower rice and shrimp (at Mom’s, but post still coming soon!)

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Chicken Pesto Burgers with Rice

Vegan Spaghetti and “Meat” Balls (post coming soon!)

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Italiano Breakfast Bowls

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins (post coming soon!)

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Lentil Ragout with Isreali Cous Cous

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Butternut Squash Risotto Nourish Bowl (gifted, affordable re-make coming soon!)

Baked Rigatoni Bolognese (post coming soon!)

…and lots of eggs, guacamole toast and overnight oats!

 

Strawberries were the straw that broke the camel’s back for this no-buy. I really wanted them and life is short. I also wanted lettuce, ground meat and fennel. I have everything but the ground meat now! The spare time that eating pre-made meals gave me allowed me to work on other things in life, work items, visit family more and even start baking bread!

February 2017 Favorites!

Hey guys!

Another month has passed, and I had some super fun favorites! Not a whole bunch of things, but a few that I have really loved. As a side note, I had this video edited all nicely with titles and the like and… when it uploaded, they disappeared. I clearly need to start editing in a new program. Sorry! Instead you get random clips of me drinking and swearing. Not the worst, right?

Food:

Oikos Yogurt

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These snack sized “dessert” yogurts have been amazing! I often crave something sweet at night or am hungry after getting home from my periodic evening job. These greek yogurts fix both of those issues! And the portion control helps me not overeat.

Wholly Guacamole Minis

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Ok. These are amazing! I know loads of people would love these for a quick snack with chips dunked right in the package, and yes, I’ve done that too! But how I really love to use these is spread over toast with a hard boiled egg sliced on top. It’s a super easy breakfast that I can meal prep up a few days in advance in baggies and take to work with me. It’s just as delicious at home with a fried egg, too!

Clothes:

Dynamite pants

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These pants have been a major life saver this past month! They’re comfortable, made out of dress material, but cuffed at the ankle to avoid them getting dirty when I’m walking around campus. They look super cute with a sweater or a tucked-in button up.

No Champagne No Gain Sweater

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This sweater by Brunette the Label is a favorite of mine. Not only does it have a funny saying on it, but it’s cute, comfortable and designed by Canadians. Nobody needs anything else, right?

Makeup:

It’s been a minimal month for me on makeup, my skin is trying to peel from the cold and dry weather so it’s been a lot of days of concealer, light lipstick and mascara.

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Marc Jacobs Mascara

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Bare Minerals Lipstick

Book:

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The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Dinnertime also check her out on her blog!:

Favorite People:

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Katey McFarlan over at Chronicles of Frivolity– I have SO been loving watching her journey from single girl, to engaged, to married and NOW a new mom! Katey has a way of brightening every morning for me, I read her posts on the bus on the way into work and she has the BEST attitude and a sunny disposition that helps me start my day off right.

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Casey Holmes of the Casey Holmes Youtube Channel (and she also has a blog!)- I love all of Casey’s videos (even though our makeup and skincare needs could not be further from similar) but especially how she is a great example of work ethic for young, entrepreneurial women. She recently had a collaboration come out with Smashbox and it seems like girl is allllways working. I really respect that and am always so happy when I see her excited about an accomplishment.

That is all! What did you love this month? Let me know in the comments!

New Year, New Goals

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Hi guys!

Happy New Year! I hope that 2017 brings new fun, new promise and new opportunities for everyone reading this. I often feel that we make our own luck in many ways, either through hard work to create good things or a good attitude to make mediocre situation awesome. Every year, I try to set some goals to help guide me through the year towards doing positive things. I’m not a “resolution” type of person because I find they just don’t work for me, but when I set goals and try my best towards meeting them, I find the outcome is always positive even if I don’t meet my goal fully.

My 2017 Goals

  1. Focus on the positives: 2016 was a tougher year for me, as it was for many people, with my roommate moving out unexpectedly due to her own hardship, the loss of my job in November and the loss of a family member in early December. Despite this, a ton of really awesome things happened and I would like to spend 2017 focusing more on the positives than the negatives. I would like to actively write down a few awesome things each day so I can go back and look at them when I need encouragement, as well as do a weekly post (I’ve seen people do them where they’re Friday Favorites and the like) about good things I’ve found, seen or done. People have been so supportive of my personal posts here these past few months- I have always tried to approach this blog with a mindset of providing a service in every post. If a post didn’t check the mark of teaching something new, sharing a great strategy, or sharing an opportunity to save money or spend smarter, I just wouldn’t post it. What I’ve learned is that not every post needs to be like that. It’s important to share with intention, but it’s also important to just share the truth, too.
  2. Continue writing: I am one of those people where if I’m sad or stressed, completing things seems hard. My motivation just goes into the toilet. But, I also am the type of person that feels instantly better when something is accomplished, even if that something is as simple as cleaning a bathroom or finishing a blog post. My goal for 2017 is to push through these moments and keep writing (which is most often the thing I just avoid like the plague when I’m feeling down). This blog is where I spend my time, the thing I don’t feel guilty about investing time on. I think about time as money- it has a value (anyone who studied accounting or finance and understands opportunity cost will know where this mindset came from, dangit).  You won’t find me working out 2 hours a day because that 2 hours could be $30, which five days a week could be $7800 over a year. But I give myself this time, so I don’t want to squander it. I try to aim for 3 posts a week, I’m hoping that this year I make good on that goal!
  3. Get back on track financially: I feel like this seems like a pretty standard item, but given that I’m currently working a 50% job (which is an awesome job I’m grateful for), I am not in a great financial position. I don’t know many people that could take a 50% salary cut and still pay their bills and guess what- I can’t either. A major goal for me for 2017 is to replace the remaining 50% of required income to cover my expenses (ASAP) and earn back what I’ve lost in this period of time to replace my emergency fund. I would also like to work towards overall earning more- the catalyst for starting this blog was being broke, and even if I replace my income I still will be. There are things in life that I choose to not do because it’s not financially prudent- for instance, I don’t really date (don’t go on dates if you can’t afford the drink you’re ordering, or if you need the time you’d otherwise give to someone you’re dating to earn income). I don’t go out and socialize very often, as this also often costs money, even though it can be isolating (I’d love to drive to my mom’s whenever I feel like it, but I can’t haha, although I’m lucky to have friends that don’t mind popping over and a family that will pick me up to visit). There are ways to live an awesome life without loads of money and that’s what this blog is mostly about! But recently, I’ve really been thinking about how to not have the stress of calculating outings (or red meat) into my budget on the fly when they come up, or flatly turning down social opportunities because don’t know what the financial cost will be.

Please tell me what your goals or resolutions are for this year! I have loads of other goals (like trying to bike commute in the summer) that I have for this year, but these are the big ones I’m really focusing on. What are you working on? I’d love to know.

 

*photo by Kirsten @ https://kirstenkolada.wordpress.com/

October Favorites

I know I know… This is so late! I have such immense respect for videographers, editors, producers, and Youtubers because editing something takes so long for me. I get really frustrated and I’m not the most skilled to begin with, but I love just sitting down and talking about the things I love naturally rather than writing it all out and putting in pictures. Unfortunately because I get frustrated I kind of walk away from the process a lot, which I should stop doing. Or start filming videos two weeks before I want to post them.

 

What are some things that you’ve been loving recently? Let me know!

 

Info on what’s mentioned:

Similar Charger

ban.do Agenda (via Chapters Indigo, where I bought it)

Similiar pink coats:

Pockets wool coat by Mango
LAPELS WOOL COAT by Mango

Similar Boots:
‘Winsor’ Block Heel Bootie by Treasure and Bond
LYRIQ heeled ankle bootie by Sole Society
‘Feina’ Bootie by Vince Camuto

Bumble and Bumble Pret a Powder

Bite Beauty Matte Cream Lip Crayon in Glace 

Caitlyn Covington:
http://www.southerncurlsandpearls.com/
Insta: https://www.instagram.com/cmcoving/

Marie Ernst:
http://www.mariesbazaar.com/
Insta: https://www.instagram.com/mariesbazaar/

Life Update – Handling Job Loss

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Those who follow me over on Twitter know that on November 1st, my position was eliminated due to restructuring and I lost my job on the spot. The timing was not what I was expecting, but I can’t entirely say that it was a surprise to me that changes were coming to my business group and that it could effect my job. My situation isn’t one that is unfamiliar to a lot of people, especially in Edmonton and Alberta right now, and sadly could continue to become other people’s reality.

It’s weird to wake up in the morning prepared for a full day of work, starting that work, and by 7:30am having no purpose to the day. While admittedly my first day off of work was full of drinking coffee on the couch petting the family dogs at my parent’s place, there’s a number of things beyond looking at your employment insurance options that I’d recommend focusing on in the near future if you find yourself out of a job.

  1. Check your expenses- One of the first things I did when I got home that first night was take a look at my personal budget and isolate areas that I could control. I looked at things like my cable bill, cell phone bill, even utilities like power and considered how I could cut back and made an action plan. If you have Government of Alberta or Canada student loans, I recommend looking on your NSLSC portal to see if you qualify to rewrite your terms to lower the payment- or directly apply for relief assistance. Things like gym memberships and cable bills often have a provision to be able to “pause” the service for up to 6 months, which allows you to save a considerable amount month-to-month while you’re getting back on your feet.
  2. Control your spending- This seems similar to checking your expenses, but in reality this is making the hard choices day in and day out that will help your severance and/or savings last as long as possible. I’m going to be going on a modified no-buy again here soon to try to lower my grocery bills to as close to 0$/month as possible. I would suggest against going out, shopping etc and confiding in your friends that you are and why. The good friends will understand and support you fully.
  3. Search for jobs like it’s your job – I have a personal goal of applying for five jobs a day. These are usually custom resume, custom cover letter jobs that I can see myself spending the next 2 years of my life at. While I’m doing that, I have been getting out 2-3 times per week to literally pound the pavement handing out the handout version of my resume to restaurants and retail stores I would be happy to work at for an undetermined amount of time if my job search takes a while (or forever if I love it!). You have to be prepared that your job search could outlast your nest egg- it’s better to apply for these jobs and make some money while you’re off work than panic the week before a mortgage payment is due that you can’t cover. One added benefit of this is also that it provides structure and purpose to your day, which if you’re like me, you could be severely missing.
  4. Stay Positive (and enjoy the positives)- There are so many reasons in life to be positive. Literally a few hours after I got the news, I came across a story online about a young woman struggling with some life altering and truly difficult circumstances that were far more serious and difficult than finding a new job. It was an important reminder that there’s always something to be grateful for. Maybe your job wasn’t as great as you thought it’d be when you started it, but you were too afraid of the financial strain to leave. Maybe this is your chance to re-evaluate who you want to be professionally. Maybe this is the opportunity to take a bit of time off to be with your family or rest your mind that you’ve been needing. Maybe this is the kick in the pants that you needed to pursue something great for yourself. Who knows! All I know is that attitude is everything, and can change a scary, hard experience into one that can change your life for the better.

While I focus on these four things, I’m enjoying no more 4:30am mornings, extra time to spend with my family, onesie mornings while I apply to jobs and all the promise that the next adventure in my life will hold.

 

What are your tips for someone who is experiencing job loss? Let me know in the comments.

*Photo Source: BRUCE EDWARDS / EDMONTON JOURNAL