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life

Why I Quit Coffee for 30 Days

I am passionate about coffee. Coffee is beautiful. Fresh-ground + French press = eternal happiness.

Spoken like a true addict. That is one of the main reasons I decided to quit coffee for 30 days – to see if I could release coffee’s death grip on my life.

I don’t know if I’m going to quit coffee forever and ever, but I’m quitting it for 30 days to see if it makes a difference in my skin, my energy, my stress levels, and my hormones. More on my 30-day trial here!

Take note that I am not wildly addicted to coffee. I have 1 – 2 cups a day, and seldom if ever do I drink it later than 4pm or so.

I’m also replacing those 1 – 2 cups of coffee with green tea (which I’ll talk more about tomorrow), so it’s not like I’ve gone completely caffeine-free.

So why quit coffee? Let’s talk about some of the reasons that compelled me to jump off the bandwagon!

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life

A 12-year Old Girl Watches Titanic

Let me start this blog post by mentioning that I’m not a hoarder. I’ve moved a dozen times in adulthood, each time learning how to pare down to the bare essentials.

That said, my parents haven’t moved much, so until recently I kept a big (and I mean big) box of old notebooks in their storage room. Now that I have a house of my own and intend to stay put at least for a little while, I hauled back the giant box and rifled through old notebooks and diaries like a treasure hunt.

(A cringe-inducing treasure hunt.)

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The Best Albums of All Time
life

The Best Albums of All Time, According To Me

So I’m not Rolling Stone magazine, and I don’t have any authority to make sweeping claims about the best albums of all time. I tend to vote more with my heart than my head in these situations, and I am nowhere in the realm of being a music critic.

That being said, as a rock musician, piano teacher, and overall music enthusiast, I was inspired to compile this list of my five favourite albums for you here, the five that I consider the best albums of all time, whether or not anyone else agrees. In fact, I invite you to disagree – or, at least, to share your own favourites in the comments below, and what makes them your favourite. Let’s get to know each other a little bit better, and share around some truly amazing music to kick off a great week!

So here we go. These are the albums that I’ve sat in a room listening to, nothing else but me and my headphones or stereo. The ones that have followed me on countless walks and drives. Albums that have defined me, shaped me, and moved me.

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makeup
life

Your Body is a Temple (Or, my makeup story)

Like many girls, I’ve been wearing makeup since I was a pre-teen. It started with nail polish, evolved into mascara, and soon, it was a full face – foundation, gloss, eyeshadow, the works.

And, like many girls, I made a lot of mistakes. I remember borrowing my mom’s foundation – my mom is several shades darker than me – and looking like what I can only imagine must’ve been an oompa loompa. I remember getting glittery green eyeshadow and loading it on, to which my male friend replied as we sat in our desks, “That’s a lot of eyeshadow”. I remember (lightly) filling in my brows, a decade before that really became a big thing, because my very beautiful friend did.

So why wear my mom’s makeup, why load up on eyeshadow? Was I trying to impress boys, was I self-conscious? Was I trying to get attention, or trying to blend in?

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life

If I were a millionaire

If I were a millionaire, and money was absolutely no object for the rest of my life, what would I do?

I would totally live in this house.

Why I ask this question

I love this question, it keeps me real. If what I’m doing now is completely different from what I’d do if I had financial freedom, then maybe it’s time to re-evaluate my life. Having financial freedom means not working just to get by, just to pay the bills. It means having the space to pursue passions in life.

You don’t have to be a millionaire to pursue your passions – that’s the point. But sometimes we get into the mindset of, “If I had X amount of money, I can do this,” or “maybe one day”.

And yes, from a practical standpoint, many of us need that job we don’t love, but if you don’t love what you do, maybe it’s time to start transitioning to that which you do. Maybe that means picking up a hobby or taking night classes or starting a blog. Maybe it means baby steps in the direction of your most exciting life.

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life

Why Be Vegan? – 3 Good Reasons That Aren’t About You

I could come up with 100 reasons to answer the question “why be vegan”, but instead, I’ll just list off 3 that have nothing to do with you. You will find nary an answer on the health benefits, nor the environmental impact. The reason? The heart of veganism is about them – the animals, and not about what’s in it for us humans.

So let’s hop right into it, then.

1. Because You Like Animals

This is a fairly self-explanatory point that tends to get lost in translation. You like animals – you pet cats and are against whale hunting and marvel at unique species of birds. You’re probably quite against kicking a dog or punching a cat. In fact, if you saw someone do that, you’d call the cops on them. But then someone lights up the barbeque and all reason goes out the window.

What’s the major difference between a cow and a dog? Sure, they’re a different species. They’re different shapes and sizes with different genes and a different sort of behavior. But is it logical that a dog is worth loving and a cow is worth killing? We’re all animals, after all.

Chances are you’re also not cool with how things go down on factory farms – most people aren’t. You know that behind those humongous walls there’s some seriously deranged sh*t going on. So if you like animals, why not put your money where your mouth is and stop paying people to kill and torture them for you?

2. Okay, You Don’t Like Animals, but You’re a Reasonable Person

So not everyone is an animal lover, I get that. I’m pretty far from being one myself. Aside from enjoying the company of low-maintenance cats, I’m not one of those people who just “gets” animals and loves playing with them.

With some fairly basic reasoning skills, however, you can probably deduce that other animals don’t want to suffer or die. People still like to argue about this with me and I’m like “for real?” I thought we were past all that Descartes nonsense. If you kick a dog and he squeals, it’s not because he’s a machine creaking, it’s because he’s a mammal with a central nervous system and it hurt.

The cow doesn’t want to die any more than your dog does. So why do you eat the cow and pet the dog? Does it make any sense to be sympathetic to one animal and not the other?

3. Because It’s Not All About You

Most of us were raised to share our toys, say please and thank you, and help others when they need it. Happily, most of us still practice these behaviors well into adulthood. So why is it, then, that when it comes to the suffering, torment and death of other animals, it’s all about us? It’s about our taste buds, our social conveniences, our personal interests, not theirs?

Let me give you an example. I punch you in the face. You’re rather cranky about this and say, “why the hell did you just punch me in the face?” I respond, “because I felt like it.” You then call up your friends and tell them that I’m wacko.

Here’s another example. If you ate your neighbour’s dog because you were “craving him”, people would basically consider you a psycho and you’d be put behind bars. Yet you can pay someone to rape, torture and kill a different animal and it’s not only acceptable, it’s the norm. Where’s the sense in this?

Okay, so you’re addicted to cheese and you savor flesh, I get it. But I want you to realize that you’re claiming that your taste buds override an animal’s will to live. And whether or not you’re someone who likes animals, or someone who claims to be reasonable, that just isn’t a very good reason.