Monday, December 31, 2012

What True Feminism Means

True Feminism:

Simply put a feminist is someone who believes in gender equality. So why do people assume feminists are sexists? Probably because the word has been misused so often that people have forgotten what the true meaning is. 

Back to the word “feminist.” I am a feminist. My boyfriend is a feminist. Anyone who truly believes that women and men are equals is a feminist. What a feminist isn’t is someone who hates men, thinks women are better than men or looks down on men. That is called sexism and it isn't any better than discriminating women. That really isn't fair, and is based on stereotypes like most discrimination is. 

I also think that people are a little mixed up with calling themselves a feminist, yet acting on old traditions. For example, “the man should pay for the date”, “a gentleman holds the door open”, “he should get up and buy me a drink.” Yes, that’s all very nice when it happens, but that doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t do the same back. I often offer to hold the door open for men and women. I pay for our dates all the time, and even go up to the bar to get the drinks! Sometimes he does it, sometimes I do. And who knows, maybe I’ll take Nick out to a romantic place and pop the question. Why not?

I strongly believe that someone who claims to want gender equality should really think about what that means, because it isn’t just about voting, or wagesit’s about the every day little things like cooking dinner or changing the baby’s diaper, who should mow the grass and clear the snow off the car. Throw out those old traditions and make new ones. 

+ Buy your daughter a toy fire truck and play dinosaurs with her! 
+ Show your son how to care for a baby doll, showing him 
affection and emotions through make-believe. 
+ If your little girl wants to be Spiderman for Halloween, 
support her! Because Spiderman is awesome, 
and saves people and being the damsel in distress sucks! 
+ If your little guy is sensitive, don’t tell him to man up! 
Let him cry on your shoulder. 

I am fortunate enough to live in a country where women are treated equally to men for the most part, but that’s the catch; “for the most part.” I will admit that there are still a lot of kinks in our system here, where men seem to make more money on average than women in the same job roles, but that’s not what this post is about. 

What it is about:

Feminism = Equality!


Sunday, December 30, 2012

9 Teen Mom Stereotypes, Part Three

7-9 Teen Mom Stereotypes

Stereotype: “a set of inaccurate, simplistic generalizations about a group that allows others to categorize them and treat them accordingly”

This is Part 3 of my list of 9 Teen Mom Stereotypes. You can read 1-3 here, and 4-6 here.

Teen Mom's Families Disown Them

It was during pregnancy that my family and I grew closer. I began to respect my mom more, and looked up to her as a role model. I started spending time with my family, and they quickly became my support system.

My mom was thrilled to help me with Sidney. My dad was proud to be a grandfather. They all believed in me, and that I could still succeed.

Same goes for my friends who were teen moms.

I’m not saying there aren’t teen moms who have been disowned, because there are probably a lot. I just don’t know any, personally.

Teen moms are too immature and inexperienced to properly raise a child

Okay, okay, so maybe I was immature and inexperienced when I got pregnant but by the time Sidney was born I was a whole new person.

I never thought I could become the person that I did. I never knew I had that in me. I went through my high school days thinking I was insignificant, stupid and worthless. Sidney gave me a reason for living, a reason to succeed and motivated me to become a better person.

Ive noticed this in a lot of my friends. After they found out they were pregnant they changed their entire lives around. If they werent already responsible and experienced they quickly became those things.

Teen moms on welfare are lazy

I had to go on welfare once. It really sucked because the amount of money they give you is barely anything. You cant even afford an apartment unless its a grungy bachelor apartment, or youre lucky enough to stay with family or friends. I was fortunate enough to move back in with my parents and pay them rent, otherwise I dont know what I would have done!

Teen moms on welfare are more motivated, because who wants to live off $900 a month when the average two bedroom apartment costs $850? Unless youre fortunate enough to get a subsidized apartment or townhouse (which is a two year waiting list, on average), youre screwed.

However, welfare helps young mothers graduate high school, puts them in work training programs and gives them resources to become successful. They also point you in the direction to get any other type of assistance you need whether its diapers, baby clothes, Christmas gifts, or food. It's a good option when you don't have any others, and most of the young mothers I know who have been, or are on welfare have taken advantage of these programs and were able to find better employment.

Yes, Im sure some young mothers cheat the system (in fact I know some do), but so do a lot of other people.

Teen moms are just like any other person in society. Some are good, some are bad. Some will graduate high school, some wont. Some will continue to post-secondary, others wont. Some will become rich, others will remain in poverty. Some will stay with their babys daddy, others will split up. You can say the same things about any type of person, no matter what their situation is or their age.

And to be perfectly honest, before I became a teen mom myself I had a lot of misinterpreted assumptions of them, too.

Whats your opinion on teen moms?


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Free Ebooks For Kindle

Free Ebooks?!

I love reading! I love reading a lot

So I absolutely love it when I can get free ebooks for Kindle Cloud Reader. 

A great site that lets you know when certain ebooks are up for free is eReaderGirl. Keep in mind that a lot of these books are aimed at women, especially mothers. 

Recently I got some craft books, recipe books, books time management, reducing stress, and a lot more through her site! 

So if you're an avid reader, check it out and maybe you will find some awesome free ebooks you like!


Save 15% Off

Hey everyone!

I just wanted to let you know that from now until January 1, 2013 
you can save 15% off any item in my shop! 
All you have to do is use the coupon code save15 when you are checking out.

Monday, December 24, 2012

A List of Winter Break Activities For Kids

What To Do With Kids Over Winter?

With Sidney off of school for the next two weeks I've been busy trying to come up with fun activities to do. Unfortunately, I can't spend a ton of money so we are limited. However, our region has a strong focus on family and offers many enjoyable things to do with your kids. 

I know first hand that a lot of young moms aren't exactly rich. We are dealing with school,  starting a career, saving for a house and our children's college funds plus so much more. Money is tight, but we still want to enjoy our time with our little ones while they are young. So hopefully you can get some ideas out of my list and even though a lot of my listed activities are specific to the region we live, in your city might have similar programs. All you have to do is look it up online.

Things we might do that cost us basically nothing:
  • Free skating at the mall (my mom bought Sid skates for $2 at the thrift store)
  • Free skating at Central Park downtown
  • Drop-in craft program at the library
  • Rent a movie from the library (popcorn and juice is the only money we'll be spending on this!)
  • Play at McDonald's indoor playground (costs me the price of a coffee and hot chocolate)
  • A trip down to the farmer's market (spending money is optional, however I can't turn down delicious food - especially local produce!)
  • Tobogganing (if we even get snow! Haven't seen much yet.)
  • Play at the park, all wrapped up nice and warm
  • Baking at home
  • Walk the trails through Riverside park and feed the birds
  • Playing with all our new Christmas toys of course!
Things we might do that cost us a little more:
  • Drop in pottery class ($10)
  • Indoor playground ($5 on Tuesdays)
  • Indoor mini-golf ($5 each = $10)
  • Region Museum all day pass ($5 for Sid, $10 for me = $15)
Things we might do that cost more:
  • Tubing ($20 each = $40)
  • Movies (about $10 each plus popcorn = $30)
There is a lot more around here we can do, but we only have two weeks and our funds are limited. I try to find and think up as many amusing things that are free, or cost very little. 

What are some things you like to do with the kids over the holidays/winter?


PS - Because Sidney is on winter break now, I might not get around to blogging as much for the next two weeks.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

2013 Printable Calendar



2013 Printable Calendar
Feel free to save and print my calendar. Each month features a photo taken by me.
Designed to be printed as a 5 x 7, would look good in a picture frame either on a desk or table top, or mounted on the wall!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Friday Fitness - New Year Resolutions and Bad Eating Habits

Well it's December 21, 2012 and the world hasn't ended (obviously). But we already knew everything would be fine, right?
With Christmas just a few more days away our house is filling up with food and presents, and our freezer is filling up with baked goods (mmm, banana bread!). I've never been one to "deprive" myself on holidays, or any other day actually, but I know that once it's the New Year it will be time to make some resolutions, or goals I should say.

Every year my resolutions are quite similar: lose weight, get organized, make more money blah blah blah. And even though my "goals" are usually achieved it's never for very long. I can manage to lose weight, but I can't manage to keep it off. I can manage to get things organized, but I can't manage to stay organized. I can manage to make more money, at least for a little while - until I get laid off, or end up quitting. 
I guess that means I should be rethinking my resolutions (or goals). I know now that losing weight isn't an issue. Instead I need to focus more on being healthy.
But for some people, like myself, it feels so difficult when in reality it isn't. I know that eating fast food is a no-no. That you need regular exercise; a combination or cardio, strength training and stretching to be healthy. I know which foods are good and which ones should be avoided. Don't we all? I mean really, it's not that complicated.

What I lack is self control. When I really want fries it consumes me. If I get the idea of chocolate in my head it will drive me insane until I finally get it. My food cravings can last a week or more.

I have struggled with maintaining a healthy weight for as long as I can remember. And I actually believe I may be addicted to food, and eating. I'm an emotional eater. I eat when I'm bored. I make plans to go out to eat with my friends instead of other activities. Life isn't about eating.

One of my New Year's resolutions will be to gain a better relationship with food, and to try and break my bad eating habits.


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Five Things Freegan Can Teach Us


What is a Freegan?

If you know what the word "freegan" means I'm sure you have an opinion on it. If you haven't heard about it let me explain. The word freegan comes from the two words free and vegan. Someone who considers themselves a freegan is typically a vegan (but not always), who refuses to purchase most of their things, opting for taking things out of the trash or receiving it for free.

Now I'm sure you're thinking "take it out of the trash?" Yes, freegans typically dig through trash cans, dumpster dive and rummage through garbage to find food, clothing, toys, housewares, books, furniture and basically everything else a person needs and wants. 

Why do they do this? 

Surprisingly, not for the reason a lot of people think. Whereas a lot of freegans are by no means rich, that's not the reason they prefer reusing other people's "garbage". Freegans are also usually not rich by choice, believing they shouldn't have to work most of their lives for material possessions instead of personal freedom. Freegans believe that mass production of products and food has been lead by greed, causing environmental harm, abuse of humans and other animals. Sweat shops, animal testing, pollution, deforestation - for what? Corporate greed. 

By reusing things that are still useful we can hopefully have a positive impact on our world.

Why You May Not Want To:

For a lot of people, digging around in other people's garbage is something they would never do for many reasons such as:
  • embarrassment, 
  • fear of germs, 
  • potential health risks 
  • and also, not surprisingly, laziness 
  • and preference of owning new things. 

Don't worry, if you were thinking the same thing for yourself you're not alone. 

There are a lot of things we can learn from a freegan lifestyle, though.

1. Don't Waste Food:

I don't blame you for being skeptical about eating food that's been thrown out, but the truth is a lot of people, restaurants and stores throw out food that is still good instead of donating it to the less fortunate or consuming it themselves. What can you do about it? Not waste food yourself. Of course, animal products such as meat, dairy and eggs are never something you should risk eating after the expiration date (probably why most freegans are vegans!), but fruits and vegetables are some of the most wasted foods! 

Limp celery, lettuce, peppers or other vegetables? Try cutting them up and placing them in a bowl of water in the fridge. By the next day they'll be perfectly firm again and ready to eat. 

Bruised apples, bananas, pears or other fruit? Google recipes online to find out how to make your own pies, breads and muffins, jams or how to can food. Recently I made grapefruit jam with some old grapefruits that were almost destined for the compost, but who knew you could make jam with them? 

A lot of food can also be frozen, and if all is lost and there is no way you would want to eat it, compost it.

2. Don't Throw Away Clothes:

A lot of people will throw away clothing once it's ripped, stained or no longer wanted. Obviously, if it's still in good condition donating it is the best option, but if it's stained or ripped there are other things you can do with it. 

Small tears in seams or in unnoticeable places can be sewn, or patched. If you know you'll never wear it again because the stain or rip is too noticeable you can tear them up for rags or make new things out of it (i.e. doll clothes, shopping bags). If you're not crafty, there are plenty of people who are who would love to use up your old scraps! 

3. Electronics:

There are now a lot of places that accept old electronics that no longer work, so looking these up is a great idea. If it does still work, no matter how old it is thrift stores will always take them and believe it or not there are people out there who would love that old radio from the 1980's that you hate. Antique electronics are highly valuable, so there's an option as well.

Some people are great at fixing things up, or need the parts, too.

4. Furniture:

Again, donate! If you don't think it's worth donating, try giving it away. Some people want an old couch for their garage, cottage or rec room. Or maybe someone is looking for something vintage that they can fix up. A lot of people are into that sort of thing. Never just assume that your old furniture is unwanted by everyone just because it's unwanted by you. Or if it's just the fabric you can get it reupholstered. 

5. Everything Else:

Books, CDs, movies, picture frames, crafts supplies, pet supplies, jewelry, housewares, everything can either be donated, sold or given away. There are people who love old items: to collect, to make things with, to fix up and sell. You could always fix them up and sell them, too.

Sites like KijijiEbay and Craigslist are perfect places to sell things you no longer want.  is a site where people give things away, or ask for things for free. Yard sales are always an option and places like thrift stores and charities are always looking for donations. So, please, even if we can't fathom living a freegan lifestyle, there's a lot we can learn from it.


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Inspiration Through Another's Art

I am super excited because the print I ordered arrived! The reason this print is so important to me is because it's a reminder to follow my dreams. I've put it up on my gratitude board and can read it over and over again.

It's a print of an original mixed media art piece done by Mandy Thompson. You can purchase her art from her Etsy shop: Mandy Thompson Art. The words written on it are from The Artist Manifesto by Jeff Goins.


The Best Banana Bread

Our Christmas Breakfast


Banana Bread Recipe

Every holiday I make banana bread the night before, for breakfast. 

Three reasons why:

1) It's easy and mess free, leaving plenty of time to enjoy the day.
2) It's filling, healthy and yet it's light enough that you can still enjoy all the holiday goodies throughout the rest of the day.
3) It's delicious of course!

My favourite banana bread recipe of all time is from the cookbook Vegan Planet by Robin Robertson

And even thought it's a vegan recipe, the banana bread is still delicious! In fact, my friends and family agree - vegan or not. 


  • 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 medium very ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup soy milk
  • 1/4 cup corn oil
  • 3/4 cup sugar or natural sweetener
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly oil a 9x5 pan.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. In a food processor, combine bananas, soy milk, corn oil, sugar and vanilla and process until smooth. Add to the flour mixture and mix well, then transfer it to the prepared pan.
  4. Bake on the center oven rack until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes. Allow to cool in the pan on a wire rack before removing from the pan and slicing. 
Makes 1 loaf.

Robin Robertson also adds 3/4 cup chopped peanuts or other nuts, 1/4 cup semisweet vegan chocolate chips, 1/4 cup drained crushed pineapple and 3/4 cup dried cherries. Fold into the mixture before transferring it to the pan. I prefer just adding walnuts to mine. 


Monday, December 17, 2012

Anxiety And Lightening The Load

I've started blogging at a time in my life where I just feel like everything I want, all of my goals, are not yet accomplished. I'm not already successful. I haven't lost a large amount of weight already, and become a much healthier, fitter person. I haven't graduated college and landed my dream job. I'm not married with a beautiful house. I don't have any great tips and tricks to share with the world on how to be the best person you can be.

I'm just a 22 year old woman, living a simple life full of hopes and dreams and I am no where near successful. I have a 5 year old daughter. We live at my parents' house. I haven't even been able to find a part-time job making minimum wage yet. And even though I have a very clear picture in my head of what I want in life I am no where there. I was once pretty close to that goal, but in the past year I've fallen, and I've fallen far. 

I'm at a point in my life where I'm only a few more steps to rock bottom, but I don't mind because I just keep looking up and trying to be grateful for all the things I have. 

Yes, I struggle every day with different choices. I question myself constantly on how I got to this point and how do I get back up? What's my next move? 

And while I push all of these goals on myself, my shoulders get heavier and heavier. I think it might be time to lighten the load.

Because my anxiety is through the roof. My chest hurts every day. I get migraines on a daily basis, popping Advil like Tictacs. I chew on my bottom lip, bite my nails and worry and worry and worry. My energy is completely drained, and everything seems like too much work. 

Well, like I said, it's time to lighten the load. Yes, I have a lot of goals, but do all of them need to be accomplished at once? No, so I should try not to worry about it so much. I can tell myself this all I want, but will I ever learn? Will I ever take my own advice? Doubtfully. 

However, thanks to the internet there are so many resources to help me. Blogs, articles, forums. One of my favourite blogs to read right now is Zen Habits written by Leo Babauta. Leo Babauta talks about motivation, goals, health and fitness, family, simplicity, frugality, inspiration and living in the moment. It's a really great blog, and I highly recommend it.


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Joys of Thrift Shopping

1950's Butterprint Pyrex Bowls

One of my favourite pastimes is shopping! But not at just any type of store. I love THRIFT shopping! I just find it absolutely thrilling to go into a thrift store and find the most amazing treasures amongst all the other items. For example, just the other day my husband who is a great appreciator of old art and artists discovered a painting by the British artist Henry Cooper. It’s old, worn and flaking but to Nick it’s an amazing find.

I’m a lover and collector of vintage items. Mostly house wares and home décor, but also jewellery, furniture and board games when I can find ones I like enough. I guess that’s why my mom and I decided to open our Etsy shop, Little Shop of Treasures; we both love vintage shopping! I have the hardest time walking away from an item without purchasing it. I think it drives Nick crazy.

A lot of people think negatively about second-hand items, like having something that’s been previously used makes it dirty, unwanted or useless. In reality, vintage items are typically built much better. I mean, if a coffee pot has survived 50 years without a chip or scratch, it must be built well. To consider something dirty is just silly. Everything gets dirty and yet it can be washed to look just like new.

Not to mention the money you will save by shopping second-hand. Most thrift stores offer items at a quarter of it’s original price, sometimes even less. Toys, clothes, shoes and purses, furniture, appliances, home décor items, books, movies and music. You can find anything at a thrift store! And don’t forget about yard sales, those things are awesome!

What’s your favourite pastime? Do you collect anything?


Tuesday Treasury - 1970's Groovy House

'1970s Groovy House ' by shemonster31

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