April 2014


When I need someone to stand by me the comfort of love is incomparable

I’ve never been good at dealing with loss. Losing someone just doesn’t make sense to me; how does someone go from being there to just not existing anymore? I’ve never been able to reconcile myself with that feeling. I’m 26 and, fortunately, I’ve only lost three people that really affected me, that changed me.

When I was in high school my friend was hit by one of the trains that snaked behind our subdivision, it was Christmas time and I remember it because we were at my grandparents house and my mum had to wake me up and tell me in a room that wasn’t mine. I remember walking home with him from school two days before that and I couldn’t understand how someone could walk home with me one day and be gone the next.

When I was 20, six years ago this June, I got the news that my first love had passed away. I remember getting the message from Jamie, I remember thinking that she was playing some kind of joke and I remember the exact moment when I realized it was real because I stopped being able to stand. My chest felt hollow and all I could think was how badly I wanted to call him one last time. People you love aren’t supposed to stop existing, they just aren’t.

So this week when the news came that a close family member had passed away after a long battle with cancer that feeling came back. He’s not supposed to die because people you love are supposed to stay. I texted Boyfriend the news in a kind of numb haze his response was perfect, “OK, I’ll come over after work and we’ll cuddle doge.” I didn’t ask for anything but somehow he knew that I would need him and that I wouldn’t be able to ask.

Boyfriend let me cry it out, he let me watch the terrible TV that he hates, he helped me walk the dog and he insisted I consume something other than wine; not everyone agrees with my theory that since wine is made of grapes it’s basically a liquefied fruit salad that is totally good for you. I’m usually self sufficient, I usually know what needs to get done and I do it but there is something about the finality of death that I don’t think I’ll ever be able to handle. I wish I believed in heaven or a god, that would make things so much easier but unfortunately all I believe is that people come into your life for a reason and they leave because we don’t all get to stay as long as we like.

At the end of the night as I lay with my head in Boyfriend’s lap I tried to get him to promise that he would let me die first; I realize how morbid that is but I don’t ever want to have that empty feeling about him. Maybe that’s what love really feels like, realizing that you’d like them to outlive you so that you never have to live a day knowing that they aren’t there anymore.





The best tweets from #DayOfPink



My superhero alterego

Growing up, I think everyone had at least one favourite superhero, right? I, myself, grew up with a lot of male cousins, so there were always comic books lying around, Saturday morning superhero cartoons, and we watched it all. I was an X-Men girl, and I loved all things Storm. I still do, to some extent, and I think I channel that superhero energy and persona when I’m feeling particularly intimidated or anxious with anything at work.

You see, Storm, even being surrounded by the likes of Wolverine, Cyclops, and the other strong male personalities of the X-Men team, was a powerhouse in her own right. She has the foresight to remain cool in heated situations, the intelligence to devise complex plans and lead her team to victory when needed, and the power to manipulate and control the elements around her and her enemies. She’s strong, smart, beautiful, and let’s face it, she kicks major butt. She may not be a living, breathing example of a powerful business woman, but for me, she’s become a very tangible symbol of female empowerment within a male-dominated industry or team.

So when I’m in a meeting dominated by males who are speaking loudly and laughing at jokes, I think of how Storm’s voice can cut through the din in the calmest and most powerful manner, bringing the team back to focus while maintaining her aura of cool, collected control. When I’m walking into a business situation where my confidence is lacking or I don’t feel secure or superior, I walk like Storm, as if the winds follow at my heels the sun shines because I’ve told the clouds to stand at bay.

The fact is, while I stand firm behind my assertion that businesswomen must be capable, competent, and confident, the latter is not always a given. We’re human, after all, and sometimes that confidence wavers.  So, why not channel your very own superhero and borrow that strength, that power, and that killer instinct, for the task at hand?

So, my superhero is Storm.  Yours might be another comic book heroine, but it could very well be your mom, your sister, a celebrity, an old colleague, or your dearest friend.  The best part is that in 2012, there is no shortage of positive examples for female business empowerment around us, so the list is long and the choice is ours.

I’m especially excited at the prospect of the generation of business women who’ll come after me; the little girls who won’t be restricted to one of a handful of super heroines on a team predominantly led by males.  Maybe – just maybe – if I play my cards right, when it comes time for them to channel their own superhero example, they’ll choose me!


Meet Valeria Lukyanova — the ‘Human Barbie’

Some girls like to play with Barbies and dream of becoming her, and for Valeria Lukyanova that apparently became a reality — with a little help from plastic surgery and makeup.


See a resemblance?


Valeria is known not only for her Barbie doll looks but also some of the more, um, interesting views she has. For example, in February she announced she acheived her thin waistline when she converted to Breatharianism, the practice of only absorbing water and sunlight for nutrients (also known as anorexia).

human barbie

She also came clean in August, 2013 to the Daily Beast about her contact with extraterrestrials. “My communication with aliens is not verbal — we speak the language of light. I have learned a lot from my contact with them. Now I know that my spirit is very old. And also that humans are the least sophisticated civilization — we’re on the lowest level of evolution.”


She also said some vaguely racist stuff to GQ in April 2014, stating that “ethnicities are mixing now, so there’s degeneration, and it didn’t used to be like that. Remember how many beautiful women there were in the 1950s and 1960s, without any surgery? And now, thanks to degeneration, we have this.” Um, what?


Finally some evidence that you need food to think properly.


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RECIPE WEEK: Healthy hot cocoa

Woman of the Week Ann Barnes, has provided us with her delicious recipe for healthy hot cocoa. Give it a try when you’re looking for a tasty, guilt-free treat.


  • 2 Cups Rice Milk (raw nut milk)
  • 3 Tablespoons Cocoa Powder
  • 2 Tablespoons Maple Syrup (or raw Agave Nectar)
  • 1.5 Tablespoons Roasted Hemp Hearts
  • 1 Teaspoons ground Chia
  • 1/8 Teaspoon vanilla extract (1/4 tsp raw ground vanilla)
  • Pinch of both pinch cinnamon and nutmeg

Cooking instructions:


  1. Blend the roasted hemp hearts along with 1/4 cup of the rice milk in a blender until smooth.
  2. Add cocoa, syrup, chia, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg & blend.
  3. Add the 1.5 remaining rice milk to a sauce pan and place on stove top element.
  4. Put on medium heat.
  5. Take the blended mixture and add while stirring to the rice milk.
  6. Heat to desired temperature.
  7. For a frothy “top” place 1 tablespoon hemp hearts and 2 tablespoons water in a blender – blend until fluffy and top off the hot cocoa with it.
  8. Note: For a “new flavour” try adding 1 tablespoon of orange juice.


Newsflash: April 8,2014

Quebec has a federalist Liberal government and Pauline and the PQ are out out out, fourth time could be the charm for man continually charged with murder of Hamilton woman, Theresa Spence was allegedly not idle when he dipped into band money, and some guy totally lost it in a Vancouver Tim Hortons.


Pauline Marois and the PQ lost yesterday’s Quebec election, essentially handing a majority to their Liberal opponents. With the PQ’s defeat many are saying that the vote was also a loss for the concept of Quebec sovereignty and the proposed charter of “values” (read: racism), although as reported in The Beaverton, since Pauline Marois failed to secure her own seat she was the first public sector employee to lose her job as a result of the charter.

Robert Badgerow is facing charges for the murder Diane Werendowicz for the fourth time. Hamilton police are certain that this is the guy who, after having sex with the nursing assistant, strangled her and threw her in a ditch by her apartment 33 years ago — although no conviction has stuck — and another woman who was attacked by the same ravine identified him. After 33 years this case might be forever stuck in OJ territory.

The partner of Theresa Spence, vocal leader of the Idle No More Movement, has been charged with fraud and theft. While Harper didn’t seem to care too much about the outcome of the Quebec vote bringing in a federalist government he no doubt enjoyed this news quite a bit.

Some guy leveled a downtown Vancouver Tim Hortons after he was asked to line up before placing his order. The man threw chairs through windows, ripped a debit machine off the counter, and destroyed the furnishings of the coffee shop. Funny, he seems to be acting out the rage felt inside everyone who has ever seen some asshole bypass the line they are patiently waiting in to place their order like they are the Queen of England. Jerk.

7 makeup tips for women living with illness that every woman can benefit from

Spending 10-15 minutes a day putting on make up is a normal part of the lives of most women, often becoming barely noticeable from day to day — but what happens when your  daily routine gets shaken up, kicked around and generally trampled on by an illness?

When daily tasks become energy sucking and something as simple as putting on make up could zap everything you have for that day. Over the years I’ve trialled and tested the best methods when it comes to being ill and make up. Here are a few tips I’ve come up with.

1. Try to use it as a pick me up rather than a necessity

Put on a bit of sparkle when heading out for a special occasion or as a confidence boost when bad news has reared its ugly head. Changing from the daily to the every so often not only saves you energy, but also turns the boring routine of applying beige products to a rewarding treat, meaning your more likely to reach for the bright, shimmering glitter than the pale pastels.

2. When it comes to actually applying  make up try to think what works best for you

If  you have pale, deathly looking skin, don’t go running to the orange foundation. As you grow tired your face will pale even more, leaving you looking like a ghost wearing an orange face pack rather than healthy.

3. To make your face a disguise to your ill health concentrate on the eyes

Eyes are what most people will first see, make yours wide and alive. Try to find a mascara that is comfortable to wear and doesn’t clump up those long eyelashes. Use no-irritant, waterproof eyeliner in black to give a statement which won’t leave you uncomfortable in the long run. If you are unable to apply eyeliner try bold eye shadows. Placing deep rich colours at the outside edge of eyelids to give an allusion of larger eyes.

4. Try to find products which won’t irritate or disappear after an hour

Too much energy could be wasted re applying make up throughout the day, and nobody likes to be discomfited, especially when you ill. If eye make ups a no no for you don’t despair.  Stand in front of a mirror and practise getting your eyes to smile. I know it sounds ridiculous, but trust me, nothing is more beautiful or healthy looking than a smiling eye.

5. Use moisturising lipstick

Lipstick is a major problem for me and is usually avoided like the plague, due to my having chronic dry lips. But when the lure of lipstick becomes to much I use moisturising lipstick. Making your lips plump and fresh is never a bad thing. Choosing the right shade can be a bit of a dilemma. My advice, the brighter the better. No one wants nude lips when their skin is pale and there eyes tired. By using a brighter shade your suggesting health and confidence. The nuder you go the more it will wash out your features. Lip brushes are a god send for those who find hand control a bit of a bother, and if your lips need a bit of help in the fuller department use a clear lip liner to give shadow but without running the risk of the colour bleeding.

6. Foundation can be a girls best friend, and a girls worst enemy

Over the years I’ve tried and embarrassingly failed to find the right foundation. But finally I think I have found the answer. Don’t use a foundation. For my dry, pale and oily skin I use a long lasting, non  allergic tinted prima. It gives the cover and look of foundation without the heaviness. Avoid pilling on the concealer over those tattooed on bags as this will only draw them more attention. Instead apply as much as you would to the rest of your face to give an even look, then make those eyes do all the work. Try using a sponge for a better finish and the wider surface to hold can be easier to control than a brush. Using a prima with SPF in it means on those summer days your already covered.

7. Be realistic

My last piece of advice is to be realistic. If you really don’t need the make up don’t waste the energy, less for the ill is always more in the long run and nothing is more beautiful than a smile.


Stay tuned for more blog posts by Beth Morse.

Change up your cardio with interval training

I saw this on a card from a gag shop: two hamsters standing in front of wheel. One hamster is saying, “First I do one hour of cardio then I do two hours of cardio then I do one hour of cardio…”. Funny, isn’t it? There’s truth to it. So many people put in time at the gym working up a sweat, eyes glued to the calorie counter, desperately hoping that their hour of cardio is over sooner rather than later.

In the first column I wrote for Women’s Post, I put forth the idea that doing more weight training and less cardio would help women reach their typical goals (fat loss) quicker and reduce stress on their bodies comparatively. Despite favouring weight training, I still think that it’s important to train your heart. However, I think that you can do it in far less time than the typical hour of low-intensity cardio and you can do in a way that gives you a hormonal boost which will trigger fat loss.

What I’m hinting at here is interval or “burst” training. It takes no time at all to do but it sure is ugly. If you’re unfamiliar with it, interval training is alternating short bursts of intense cardio (one minute or less typically) with recovery periods of approximately equal length. Interval training is short on time and high on intensity. For example, after an adequate warm-up, you might sprint for one minute and walk for one minute (local tracks are a perfect spot for this) and repeat five times or so. An interval workout can be as short as 10 minutes. It tends to be less popular among gym-going people because the effort level is decidedly uncomfortable. Most people would rather cruise on an elliptical for an hour than endure 10 minutes of all-out effort. That’s a shame because the effects are totally different.

Firstly, interval training conditions the cardiovascular system much more effectively because it presents a legitimate challenge to the heart and lungs that requires them to adapt. When you’re cruising on the elliptical, you’re not demanding much of your body so none of your tissues are required to change for the better. Secondly, interval training prompts a cascade of hormones that give you a metabolic edge. Among them is growth hormone which is known to help the body burn fat and build muscle. Moreover, because interval workouts are so short they don’t let the body get to the point of releasing cortisol, the major stress (and fat-packing) hormone, which can happen during longer bouts of cardio.

I suggest that you give interval training a go, provided you slowly build up your intensity level so that your body can handle maximum effort. You’ll see better results in a shorter period of time. But don’t expect to look pretty doing it.

Marketing, socially speaking

Like most entrepreneurs, I approach social media profiles from a strictly business perspective. I advertise my articles, my listings as a real estate professional, my book, I network with other professionals, advertise events, and update with what I consider to be valuable industry information religiously. With the saturation of this type of branding though, I’ve been wondering lately if marketing like this actually works.
Nowadays, it’s become common place to see the ads strategically placed on the right hand side of my Facebook profile or the “Sponsored” trending topics on Twitter, but I have to admit, I don’t think I’ve ever clicked in to one of these advertisements, and apparently I’m not alone. According to customer satisfaction analytics experts, ForeSee Results, who surveyed 300,000 consumers on more than 180 websites across a dozen private and public sector industries, reported that fewer than 1 percent of website visits come directly from a social media URL. So, when it comes to how much money I’m willing to invest in this type of marketing, I’m a bit confused.
Granted, most social media advertising techniques cost nothing but time. Setting up a Facebook page costs nothing, and if you can build up a solid fanbase of “Likes” from relevant and possible consumers, than you have a direct line to speak to people who can influence the bottom line of your business. But as far as the paid advertisement spots on these social media sites, I’m still not convinced that this investment would result in actual money being made for my company.
Of course, there’s also the concept of brand awareness, and any entrepreneur knows the worth of a recognizable brand. Perhaps the key with social media marketing is getting your name out there enough times to enough people so that when they do require the services you provide, your name will be front of mind and, even more than that, you’ll probably be pretty easy to find.
I’m not sure what the balance is exactly between how much energy and resources to put into social media marketing and how much return to expect in terms of website traffic, brand awareness, or sales, but I have a feeling it’s just like any other channel. There’s no panacea here – just another marketing tool that we’ll all need to grasp and learn and use appropriately for our business needs.

Sunday night fever

It’s usually around 4 o’clock on a Sunday afternoon when it starts. It’s worse in the winter when days are short. Dark, slippery, and foreboding it’s difficult to explain exactly what this feeling is about without sounding slightly ridiculous.

Given that it happens so often, I should be less vulnerable but getting sucked in is part of the problem. It’s a little bit “first day of school” tremors, a little bit “I’ve-just-been-lucky-so-far-that-no-one-has-noticed-that-I-resemble-a-Komodo-dragon” and an unwavering conviction that I cannot face my job in the morning.

Much has been made of Monday morning blahs, but I venture to suggest that I am not alone in my experience of the more menacing hours that occur before Monday ever gets started.

I first noticed this pattern after reading an article about anxiety – although this is more rumination than specific worrying – but anyway, the author suggested that close observation of one’s thoughts would reveal that most of our concerns are the same movie we watch repeatedly. It’s exactly the same set of random thoughts. I need to hit the gym more; this week I really will eat better; I should look into that dance class I’ve been meaning to find out about and actually, why, unlike other people, do I never have all of the ingredients for a kale smoothie? (Including kale, which seems especially important).  I find this fascinating; and all the more so since, as a self-help devotee, I should be striving to eliminate such destructive thoughts patterns. Instead, I not only allot them top billing in my mind, but throw in a dressing room and some complimentary kindling as well.

Personally, I believe that the Internet has a lot to answer for. What better way to nobly distract yourself from Sunday Night Fever than by spending hours reading about how to make your own soap or – less nobly – looking at Jessica Simpson’s pregnancy photos? Suddenly, the light is failing and once more you haven’t been to the store to buy steel cut oats and blueberries.

Interestingly too – and I mention this here as evidence that the problem is universal – Buddhist literature calls this phenomenon the “monkey mind.” Thoughts fly from one branch to the next (I like to imagine a penetrating chimpanzee shriek here) and the meditator is supposed to wait until they subside. The only flaw here is that by that time, it could be Sunday night again …