Saturday, July 12, 2014

One Earth

A scene from Morocco where we order several products from
I've been a terrible blogger lately! Absolutely terrible. What, have I posted like once every 2 weeks? Yikes... I could make up some excuses but I'm mostly just lazy & uninspired lately. Same story for the past year. I've also been watching a lot of Orange is the New Black. Oh, and I started a new business.

I'm an independent consultant for One Earth now & am really excited about the products I'm selling. One Earth is a small Canadian company that sells ethical, handmade products made by artisans in developing countries. We sell spa products, shoes, scarves, jewelry, tea and more. And these products are seriously gorgeous!

One of the products I'm excited about is the Moroccan argan oil. It's great for both your skin & hair - for fine lines, wrinkles, hydration, split ends, etc, etc, etc! We sell it infused with essential oils (like lavender to help you sleep), in a bar of soap or you can mix the oil with our clay for an awesome mud mask.

Our argan oil is produced by a women's coop in Morocco

And the purses are to die for! Beautiful, soft leather that is organically tanned & naturally dyed. The best part of buying leather from Morocco is that animals aren't harvested just for their skin. Unlike the leather products produced closer to home, every piece of the animal is used and a prayer of sacrifice in thanks.

See the Earth Satchel... to die for!

Take a look at our catalogs & let me know if you'd like to host a "party" (I mean that in an online sense)! Gather orders from your friends, family & coworkers and reap the hostess benefits! If your party sells as little as $201, you get 10% of sales in free products + 1 half-priced item; the benefits only get sweeter the more sales you have at your party.

 Visit my Facebook page!

Wanna chat more about this? Email me at


Thursday, July 3, 2014

What you need for an awesome camping trip

Scene from a tiny town called Salvage close to where we were camping.

In celebration of Canada Day (or, rather, a long week), Steve & I headed out of the city into the woods... to a campground where strangers sleep 3 meters away from you. And it was awesome. Tuesday was the holiday so we took Monday off work so that we'd have a solid 4-day trip which was the top thing to do on my 29 in 29 list.

The trip was so good - comfortable & enjoyable - in comparison to camping trips I've taken in the past that we would've stay another week given the chance. In my younger days, I just threw a few things in a bag and went. Silly me... I didn't understand the value of an air mattress or good food. I was a snob back then; I thought air mattresses & clean dishes were for the weak. They are not. They are smart. This trip, I was able to move when I woke up in the morning & sleep past 6pm... 'magine that.

So, now that I'm a grown-up, I'm here to share my camping wisdom. These are my camping must-haves.

1. Game time - Do not go camping without games. Just don't. Steve & I started out with a little Yahtzee & then he got sooky because I beat his ass three times in a row. Then our friends arrived a couple days later with Farkle, the best game in the land. I wish I was playing right now!

2. Something pretty to look at - Heyo! Look what we found! We took a little drive to get some ice in a community about 10 minutes away from the campground and got a glimpse of the tip of one of these bad boys. So, we kept driving & driving and came across an incredibly tiny, totally Newfoundland town with a beautiful view of these berg twins. That was definitely a highlight.

3. This breakfast - I will never go camping without this breakfast. Never ever ever. Homemade Egg McMuffins. How to do it? First, you should bake a few potatoes the night before you go on your trip. Then, in the morning, cut them up & throw them in a pan with some butter to fry. At the same time, throw on some bacon (maple bacon, preferably). While that's cooking, beat up a couple of eggs in whatever clean container you can find. Wait till the tates & bacon are almost done & then start cooking your omelet. You can make scrambled eggs in the pan if you want but I like the omelet because it's just one big piece that I cut in half for our two sandwiches. Finally, cut up a couple of English muffins, butter one side and lightly toast them on a pan for the last few minutes. Kraft Singles are also necessary. I put them on the muffin to melt while still in the pan. And, voila! The perfect b'fast to keep you going till you start eating chips & hot dogs again.

4. Clean & organized stuff - I foolishly used to underestimate the power of having an awesome campsite. A table cloth, dish washing station & canvas closet organizer did the trick. I hung a shoe organizer from a tree to put my roll of shit tickets & crib board in. (Thank you, Pinterest.) And my dollar store dish tub was... awesommmeee! Yes, I am approaching thirty.

5. A helpful little friend - What is a camping trip without a furry friend? This is our friend's gorgeous little guy, Henry, who likes to lop up spilled Guiness for us. Thanks, Henny boy! (Note: Before Henry came along to provide entertainment & kisses, we would make it a practice to befriend chipmunks.)

And that's what you need for a wicked camping trip. Oh, and the longer the trip the better! 4 days was awesome. I wish I could do 6 or 7!


Thursday, June 19, 2014

Betcha don't have one of these down the road...

It's iceberg season! Yayyyy!

I look forward to this every year. I'm pretty sure everyone in Newfoundland does, actually. How can you not get excited about these majestic, ancient chunks of ice that find their way into our backyards?! Some people might think that after seeing a few, you've seen them all... but that is so not true. From April to June, you never know when you're going to take a drive around town & spot a giant white spot in the water.

This berg here is literally just down the street from my house. I'm not even lying. Drive down to the other end of our street (the main street in this city) and, bam! Giant, magnificent ice beast!

And for the grand finale? Awwww yeahhhh. Now that is amazing.

Just kidding... I'm not done. Let's have a little blast from the past, way back to my first year in Newfoundland. I'll take you on a little journey back to 2008 when I was a leader of an awesome national youth leadership program called Katimavik. (Unfortunately, the gov't has sinced axed this amazing program that helped shape young people into awesomer older people...)

Part of the mandate of this national program, aside from learning relevant life skills, practicing a second language, and learning about our country's cultures, was to explore the province. I once had a participant put her feet in the ocean for the very first time in my presence; how cool (& bizarre) is that?! Anyway, one weekend we took a road trip to see more of the province. We visited some small towns &, lo and behold, we came across icebergs... the first icebergs of all of our lives! Holy smokes, was it ever exciting! And seeing tiny outport communities was a first for each of us, which left us almost equally awestruck.

Here I am, little ole me with a crap load of super old ice. These are known as "bergy bits" around these parts... the little chunks of ice that follow icebergs around like little groupies. But look up - that's a massive berg in the background! Whoaaa!

While I'm a total city girl, I absolutely love visiting the small communities throughout this province. I don't do it enough. I get stuck in city stuff... like sitting on the couch, watching countless hours of Orange is the New Black... But really, though.,where are you going to see scenes like this? 

Visiting more of the outports is on my to-do list. I'll be back with picks... if I ever get off the couch long enough.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

1 dress, 2 dress, red dress, blue dress

Ohhh how I want all of these dresses (+ shirt & skirt). Aren't they gorgeous! So summery, so pretty, so perfect for work.

When eShakti asked me if I'd like to review their product, I took one look at their website & said, hell yes! They let me pick my own dress from a special collection for bloggers, asked my fit specifications & had the dress made for me.

So, I picked out the dress I liked, picked out my specifications - I was even able to pick sleeve length & skirt length - & then the dress was made for me. That's pretty cool. When I got notification that the dress was being shipped, I noticed it was coming from India, and started to feel a little uncomfortable. I immediately got images in my mind of the people in Bangladesh who were affected so horribly by the terrible factory tragedy. I'm glad to see that eShakti had already addressed my concerns on their website. They say that, "[they] will never allow anything that is opposed to human dignity or the laws of the land where [they] operate" and assured their customers that Indian laws are very strict about minimum age of labourers. Hopefully that statement is trustworthy & the companies abide by these laws.

When I got my dress, the fit was perfect. The style was totally unsuited to me but the fit was great. I wish eShakti had some kind of "try it before you buy it" option where you can see the dress on different body types; I feel like that would be really useful for most people, kind of like how lets you upload a pic of your face to virtually try on their glasses. I, clearly, don't know what looks good on me by looking at a pic of the article, so this would've been helpful. I love shopping online, though, & probably won't let this deter me from doing again.

Know what looks good on you & wanna order your own custom dress? I have a little treat for you! Use the coupon code "lightes" to get 10% OFF! Valid until 07/14/2014.

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Saturday, June 7, 2014


I'm usually quite skeptical of buying the new albums of artists who have disappeared for a few years; basically, I don't trust that they'll live up to the fond memory I have of their earlier work (ahem... Backstreet Boys, my childhood loves, were just not so hot in my adult years, or, on a much less embarrassing note, Sarah Slean's earlier work is among my fav albums but her style has changed way too much over the years for my taste). I loved David Gray's album "White Ladder" back in high school & still listened to it in university. Then, I kind of forgot about him... until being offered an advance copy of Gray's latest album, Mutineers.

You've probably already heard "Back in the World" on the radio by now. It's a great tune (aside from the one line that makes me cringe "naked like a tree" since his lyrics are usually more thoughtful than that) but I feel sorry for those youngins who are scratching their heads wondering who this guy is; no doubt a lot of people think he's a new artist & that's a tragedy since he released so many hits over 10 years ago.

I've gotta say, "Beautiful Agony" is my fav track on the album even though is a deep track. It's got his classic soulful yet catchy style that makes you want to put the song on repeat & sit back with a glass of wine. The album is perfect to enjoy alongside a good book, a nice dinner or maybe a stress-relieving bubble bath. Gray's style is mellow  and oh so soothing. And, lucky for us, he's back in the world again! I don't think this album will ever live up to "White Ladder" but it's still worth a good listen.

Need a little more Gray in your life, too? You can pre-order your copy today! Or... just listen to this.

I received a free download of this album to review from One2One Network but all opinions are my own.

Monday, June 2, 2014

29 in 29

It's that time again! June 3. The only thing I'm enjoying about turning 29 is making my yearly to-do list.

In a previous post, I admitted that I love making these lists but rarely follow through on them so Beth from the blog Printcess & Living a Goddess Life gave me some great advice. She said, "...a to-do list shouldn't be a pressurized countdown, but an inspiration to fill each day with an extra side of awesome (and make plans for more)." So, that's what I'm going to do. I'm going to live an awesome-charged life this year with the guidance of this list.

1. Go on a 4+ day camping trip Done! Canada Day weekend in Terra Nova National Park

2. Read 2 ethnographies - maybe some Wade Davis since I've always loved him.
3.. Read 3 classics
4. Complete my 90 volunteer hours for Timeraiser- 33 hrs done July 1

My prize for completing my 90 hours
5. Update my recipe box
6. Visit Brigus July 5
7. Take an art class - maybe pottery or art journaling
8. Make Steve something for Xmas - I'm thinking some old school wool socks
9. Run for 45 straight minutes
10. Go ziplining
11. Donate blood at least twice
12. Have $500+ saved for a trip That was way easier than expected... Done July 4. Let's go for $1000 now!

Hoping to go back to Thailand
13. Take 2 trips - probably NB + Montreal
14. Try snowboarding/skiing
15. Use my snowshoes
16. Take a golf lesson
17. Spend a day yard sale-ing
18. Go see a musical
19. Make strawberry jam
20. Visit 3 new restaurants
21. Win some money at bingo - $106 June 8

Yep. This is what I do on Sunday nights now.
22. Save all of my Swagbucks for the whole year
23. Learn to do a mean crow pose
24. Become a morning person again
25. Tone my arms so that I actually like them
26. Work out lots so I can be confident & comfortable
27. Knit some awesome baby clothes for my bff's little one

Here's the little monster I made for the baby so far
28. Up my cruelty-free product usage to at least 95%
29. Go camping at least 3 times

What do you think? Going to be an awesome year, eh?

Monday, May 26, 2014

Attention dog lovers!

Image source
Did you know that American labs test on dogs? Me neither.

I found an organization called Beagle Freedom Project that I just can't help but share. Their mission is so beautiful that I'm hoping to inspire some new support.

All you have to do is watch this video and you'll understand why this project is so important.

I had no idea companies tested on dogs. I was under the impression that testing was done on rabbits mostly. Not that testing on rabbits should be any more acceptable than testing on dogs, but this has  opened my eyes in a new way.

Here's a pretty disturbing bit of information, taken directly from Beagle Freedom Project's website,

Beagles are the most popular breed for lab use because of their friendly, docile, trusting, forgiving, people-pleasing personalities. The research industry says they adapt well to living in a cage, and are inexpensive to feed. Research beagles are usually obtained directly from commercial breeders who specifically breed dogs to sell to scientific institutions.

To take advantage of these trusting creatures like this makes me sick. I need to get my act together & support more companies who are cruelty-free. I admit that I used to be a lot better at choosing cruelty-free; I used to only use Tom's of Maine toothpaste, I'd use a lot of herbal & organic vegan soaps, cleaners & creams. I don't not look for vegan & cruelty-free labels these days but, as much as I hate to admit this, my budget plays more into my purchase decisions than my conscious does. And it has to stop.

I'm proud to call myself a new supporter of the Beagle Freedom Project. And, no, they didn't ask me to write this blog post. I did this because I think more people need to know what's happening.
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