The power of a hashtag

Today there was a hashtag on Twitter that got my attention, it was was #FreshFaceFriday.

The “fresh face Friday” hashtag was started by TLC (The Learning Channel) and fashion expert Stacy London to repress a new episode of Stacy’s show called Love, Lust, or Run which airs Friday nights. The show aims to help women shed their “disastrous” “over the top” looks and replace them with a style that better suits their lifestyles or where they want to go in life.

I LOVE what Stacy does and I can’t argue with the results, the women she chooses are amazing and all so deserving! I hope to see a guy on there one day!

Earlier today I posted a selfie using the hashtag #FreshFaceFriday and I mentioned that putting my picture out there can be scary. The amazing Stacy London responded with kind words and I started getting a lot of kind words! It got me thinking I’ve been very lucky when it comes to Social Media not once have I posted a picture that as gone in the wrong direction, I have never been told that I’m ugly, or laughed at, nor have I found any pictures manipulated in to a hurtful meme. I’m forever thankful for that and it reinforces my will to continue to advocate for those living with a visible difference.

One of the statement’s I’ve heard Stacy say on the show was that someone will judge you by your appearance within the first 3 seconds. I know that she was speaking specifically to the type of outfit one wears, and the image that the outfit projects, however I can’t help but internalize that. Knowing that for some no matter how well dressed I am I will be judged in 3 seconds and that may not go my way, I may not get the chance to make a second impression.

I have found this to be true in job interviews and have known I wouldn’t get the job only because of the way I looked, because I have a facial difference.

I dress defensively but in the opposite way that is featured in Love, Lust, or Run. When I’m having a low day I dress up, either wearing a suit, or just simply a blazer and nice jewellery because I know I will get compliments that I look nice. I NEED those someways because it’s the only thing that gets me through the day. When I have to go out in public alone sometimes I will wear my headphones and blast my music to distract myself from seeing people in hopes they don’t see me.

I live in a world where looks matter (I’ve said this before) I know this, I don’t always accept it but I know that it’s a reality. All I can do is project hope that as a society we will continue to evolve and continue to redefine what is acceptable behaviour because we are ALL different, we ALL matter!

Happy Chinese New Year!


If you were born in 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, or 2015 you fall under the year of the Goat (or sheep, or ram…there seems to be some confusion) and this is YOUR year! I personally fall under the year of the Rooster, similar traits!

One of my favourite memories as a kid was eating at a restaurant across from where we lived called Sing Lee’s and I loved the paper place-mats that had all the descriptions of what each animal represented and all the years that aligned with which animal. I think I like the Chinese zodiac more so than the traditional one I wrote about some posts ago.

I came across the following website and it is awesome; you can learn all sorts of interesting facts. Where do you fall in the Chinese zodiac? (

Well this will go on record as being my shortest blog entry. Sorry for those who support me and read this blog everyday. I’m so dizzy tonight so going to go and lay down! Also I’m going to start thinking about possible topics for public speaking and best ways to “brand” myself. Need to create a new more polished website and may call on a few friends for help with that!

Cooking Class #2

Last night I was really tired and so I posted some very cute pictures of our dogs. The reason why I was so tired was because after work my friend Donna, her mom, and I attended another cooking demo/class at Sobey’s.

Last night’s theme was Thai comfort food, I have to say it didn’t disappoint. Chef Patrick created a menu that is easy to replicate and tastes so divine. It gave me the chance to hear him speak about his experiences on Chopped Canada that aired this past Saturday night. Any regular reader of this blog will already know that I love all the behind the scenes info and I was glued to Chef Patrick’s every word about how it works off camera. The other awesome thing about last night was that I got to meet his lovely fiancee Andrea Lauren who was super sweet and I am so thrilled for the both of them, they are busy planning their wedding and planning a honeymoon in Thailand!

Last night’s dishes in order in which they were served were:




1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted

1 thumb size piece fresh ginger, minced

1 stalk lemon grass, white bulb minced, stalk reserved for soup pot

2 teaspoons red curry paste

4 cups vegetable broth

3 tablespoons fish sauce

1 tablespoon light brown sugar

2 cans coconut milk

1/2 pound fresh shiitake mushrooms sliced

1 large tomato, chopped

1 pound medium shrimp – peeled and deveined

1 lime, zested and juiced (need about 2 tablespoons of juice)

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

3/4 cup chopped scallions


Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Cook and stir the ginger, lemongrass, and curry paste in the heated oil for 1 minute until fragrant. Slowly pour the vegetable broth over the mixture stirring continually. Stir in the fish sauce, brown sugar and lime zest simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the coconut milk, mushrooms and tomato; cook and stir until the mushrooms are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the shrimp and cook until no longer translucent about 5 minutes. Stir in the lime juice and states; soup should have equal balance of spicy, sweet, salty, and sour. Garnish with cilantro and scallions and enjoy!

I have to say that when I looked at the ingredient list, I had reservations about liking this soup. I’m NOT a fan of cilantro but for some reason the flavour of the cilantro did not over power the rest of the flavours. I would have eaten a huge bowl of this if I had been able to. I would love to make it at home but no one but me would eat it, which may not be a bad thing.

Nest up:




2 red or green Thai chiles, with seeds, chopped

1 clove garlic chopped

1/2 cup fresh lime juice

3/4 cup fish sauce

2 tablespoons avocado oil

2 teaspoons light brown sugar

4 green mangoes julianned

1 cup of bean sprouts

2 medium shallots, thinly sliced

1/2 cup unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves

1/4 cup fresh mint leaves

1/4 cup fresh basil leaves

1/4 cup dry unsweetened coconut

2 tablespoons toasted dried shrimp (optional)

2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

kosher salt


Puree chiles, garlic, lime juice, fish sauce, oil, and sugar in a blender until smooth.

Toss mangoes, bean sprouts, shallots, peanuts, coconut, cilantro, mint, basil, dried shrimp if using, sesame seeds, and dressing in a large bowl; season with lightly with salt, enjoy!

The hardest part about this is getting everything sliced and diced once it’s all tossed up it’s SO good. You can make the dressing ahead of time and it keeps for a while.

This salad was served alongside our next recipe:



The pork all marinated ready to grill (or in our case broil)


1 cup coconut milk

3 tablespoons chopped lemongrass

2 tablespoons coconut oil

1 tablespoon chopped galangal or ginger

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

1 tablespoon dark brown sugar

1 tablespoon yellow curry paste

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

1 teaspoon fish sauce

2 limes, cut in half

12 oz. pork loin, cut into 1″-wide, 1/4″ thick slices


Wooden skewers soaked (this is only for presentation so feel free to skip)

Puree 1/2 cup coconut milk, lemon grass, oil, galangal (or ginger), sugar, garlic, spices, fish sauce and curry paste in a food processor. Toss paste and pork in a large bowl and marinate for at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours. Don’t leave any longer than 4 hours as the the texture of the meat will change.

Set a grill over medium high heat. Thread a couple slices of pork on each skewer, brush with remaining coconut milk and grill turning once until charred and cooked through, about 7 minutes total. Remove from the grill and squeeze fresh lime juice all over satays. Enjoy!

These were simply fantastic!

Up next:




1 200g package pad Thai noodles

4 chicken thighs cut into bite size pieces

1 cup basil leaves, preferably Thai

2 shallots, chopped

2 scallions, white and green parts chopped

3 large cloves of garlic, minced

2 Thai bird chillis finely chopped (if you can’t find these just use good old Jalapeno)

2 eggs beaten

2 tablespoons peanut oil


3 tablespoons oyster sauce

1 1/4 tablespoon mushroom soy sauce (or just plain Thai soy sauce)

1 1/2 tablespoons normal dark soy sauce

2 teaspoon sugar

1/4 cup Sake rice wine


Cook noodles according to instructions on package. Drain when ready. Make sure to rinse noodles under cold water.

Put Sauce ingredients in a small bowl and mix to combine.

Heat oil in wok or pan over high heat. Add garlic and chilli and cook for 10 seconds. Add the eggs and cook stirring constantly until just set. Add chicken and fry until cooked partially through, about 2 minutes.

Add the shallots/scallions and about 1 tablespoon of the sauce and stir fry for 30 seconds, just to coat the chicken. Add the noodles and sauce and cook for a couple minutes until the sauce has coated the noodles completely and they start to brown.

Remove from heat and immediately add basil leaves, stir until just wilted, then serve immediately. Enjoy with a cold Tiger Beer.

Chef Patrick gave a great tip for this one, make sure ALL of your ingredients are ready to go, all cut up and the sauce is mixed ready to go. Don’t wait until the end to cook the noodles have those done before starting to fry.

Last but not least:




1/2 cup desiccated coconut

1 can coconut milk, well stirred

1/2 cup whole milk

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 cup granulated sugar

4 egg yolks, at room temperature

vegetable oil, for frying (don’t use olive oil, use a neutral flavored oil)

2 tablespoons brown sugar

3/4 cup hot water

3/4 cup rice flour

1/2 cup desiccated coconut, toasted

1/2 cup coconut milk well stirred

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons baking powder

8 ripe baby bananas or 4 large normal bananas

1/2 cup salted dry-roasted peanuts, roughly chopped.


FOR THE COCONUT CREAM SAUCE: Toast the desiccated coconut in a small saute pan over medium heat until just browned. combine the coconut milk, toasted coconut, whole milk, and kosher salt in a small saucepan and bring up to a simmer over medium-low heat. Simmer for 5 minutes, and then turn off the heat and steep for 30 minutes.

Strain the coconut mixture through a fine-mesh strainer and into another small saucepan, using a wooden spoon or spatula to press down on the solids. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat. Whisk together the sugar and egg yolks in a mixing bowl, and then whisk in 1/4 cup of the hot coconut milk mixture to temper the eggs. Gradually whisk in the rest of the hot coconut milk and transfer the mixture back to the saucepan. Using a wooden spoon stir over medium-low heat until the mixture thickens and coats the back of the spoon, for 10 to 12 minutes. Strain into a mixing bowl and place plastic wrap directly on to of the sauce to prevent a skin from forming. Allow to cool at room temperature while you make the fried bananas.

FOR THE FRIED BANANAS: Fill a wok with 3 inches of vegetable oil or a large dutch oven with 2 inches. Heat the oil to 375 degrees F over medium-high heat.

Put the brown sugar in a small bowl, add the hot water and stir until the sugar is dissolved. In a baking dish whisk together the rice flour, desiccated coconut, coconut milk, all-purpose flour, baking powder and the sugar/water mixture to form a thin batter. Allow the batter to sit for 10 minutes while you prep the bananas.

If using baby bananas, simply peel and slice each lengthwise, if using normal bananas slice each in half and then again lengthwise. Dip the sliced bananas in the batter, shaking off any excess and fry the bananas until golden brown and crispy, turning occasionally for 1 to 2 minutes. Place the fried bananas on a baking sheet lined with paper towels to absorb any excess oil. Serve with chopped peanuts and coconut cream sauce for dipping. Enjoy!

I would eat this meal again in a heartbeat! So good. please let me know  if you end up trying any of these, I would love to see your pictures and know what you thought.

I’m tired so here are some pictures of our dogs


Ellie after I dumped all the toys on the floor. She was one happy puppy.


See, lots of toys!


Ellie is too cool for my hat!


If you put a blanket down on the floor they will come!


Extreme close up of Daka.


Ellie being way too cute.


They are always willing to help me finish my food!


Cuddle time with Dorje.


Can you guess what they are waiting for?


Anywhere I am these two are pretty much always with me. Well within the house.

LOVE our doggies! Feel free to post pictures of your beloved animals.

Must have…products

In an effort to share with you, so that you can get to know me better I thought today I would go over my “must have products” I don’t have many but here are a few things I would be saddened if I had to do without.

I will mention before this gets going that I know how lucky I am to live where I do, that I have a job, a house and a family. This list isn’t of things I can’t live without because at the end of the day I could, these are just things and in no way replace what is truly important to me.

First up from the awesome store that is Bath & Body Works ( their line of deep cleaning soaps are the best I have ever used. When I wash my hands I need them to feel super clean which is why I love to use soaps with micro beads that help really get in there and get the dirt (or whatever) off my hands. Also it has to smell so nice, but I’m not a fan of the fruit scents nor vanilla.


As with my hand soap I need to use a body scrub in the shower instead of simply a shower gel, or bar of soap. It really does need to feel that I have taken a layer of skin off my body when I get out of the shower. Right now I’m using one from Bath & Body Works that they don’t carry anymore which saddens me as now I need to find a new favourite.

While on the concept of personal hygiene and shower my shower puff scrub thing has to come from The Body Shop ({AdID}&Matchtype=e%22). So they call them bath lilies…I find the texture of these puffs to be far better than with that of other ones I’ve seen from other companies.

must have 1

Also from The Body Shop I love using their hemp mitt as an exfoliate in the shower, mostly for my feet but usually give everything a once over. I don’t have one currently but it’s on my list of things to get.

must have 2

I’m not big on beauty products and I only apply moisturizer after a shower so as to not put too much product on my face. I generally look for a more natural option and I’m currently using Nivea brand that I do like but it’s almost done so I think I may try another brand so if you have any suggestions please leave them in the comment section.

must have 3

For moisturizer on the go I have found that Lush’s ( message bars are great. They have no bottles so they are super great for the environment and you only take from the bar what you need. I currently have 2 and I love them both.

must have 4 must have 5

When looking at their website tonight I found that they how have shampoo bars, I’m SUPER excited to get one and try it out but it won’t be until August unless I treat myself and shop online…we shall see.

Now these message bars are great for on the go but when I’m at home I usually use The Body Shop’s vitamin E body lotion. I find when I have dry itchy winter skin it helps calm and sooth my skin.

must have 6

Beyond my must haves for personal care I have a few items I use on a frequent basis that I really enjoy using. The first is my favourite pen to write with. They don’t seem to make them this way anymore which doesn’t surprise me because it always seems to happen that I find the one brand or type of an object and after I have been used to it and really love it they either discontinue it or change it somehow which leads me to disappointment, frustration, and having to find another version or a different thing all together.

must have 7

They don’t make them with the lids anymore…I have a few but once they are gone I’m all out!

When it comes to cleaning around the home I love things that make my life quick, and easy so I tend to buy the laundry pods such as the Tide, or Gain, I’m not too picky on brand as long as they smell good and they are on sale. Same goes for the dishwasher we use the compact pod things with a simple rinse agent and it works great. I always try to look for ones that are good on the environment and since they have little packaging or packaging I can recycle, it’s a win-win!

We just discovered and now love the steam mop I picked up off The Shopping Channel ( it helps keeps the floors nice and clean and actually you can use it on all types of flooring including carpet, ours comes with a neat attachment that can be used to steam clothing.

must have 8,N:128384,E:11773066

My friends Monica H and Susan S (they don’t know each other as far as I’m aware) both sell Epicure and I tried these sponges called “epicure’s Scrubby” and they are AMAZING, they don’t get yucky like traditional sponges and the best part is you can throw them in the dishwasher to sanitize them. You get lots of use out of them and we generally don’t throw one out until they are falling apart. You won’t find them anymore as Epicure stopped selling them, when I heard this I went a little nuts and my friend Monica H who was going to an Epicure conference put out the word and managed to get me pretty much the rest of the scrubby’s in Canada! I have NO idea what my sister and I will do when we are down to the last one, so if anyone knows of a secret stash either in Canada or in another country please let me know!


I’ve shared mind…time for you to share yours! 🙂

My take on New York Fashion Week

Well it’s even colder out today then it was yesterday but made it work. How did everyone spend their day?


Most everyone who knows me knows I’m not up on all the fashion lingo nor do I normally follow anything fashion unless it’s to look at the crazy outfits the designers are coming up with. One reason is because the models that strut their stuff down the catwalk are made up in such away that I feel their humanity is taken out of them. When I look at most pictures from runways and try to look in to a model’s eyes I don’t see much. No spark, no life, just some flat look that gets them down the runway and back again without falling.

This year when looking at the pictures there is still a fair number of void looking models but I’m noticing more diversity. This year a designer by the name of Carrie Hammer ( choose an actress by the name of Jamie Brewer to model one of her pretty awesome dresses. What’s special about Jamie is that she is not a model, she is however a role model for girls, not only is she an actress on FX series American Horror Story, but she also was born with Down Syndrome (


This is such a huge leap and major win for getting the fashion industry to embrace differences. We all know not every woman is as tall as a tree and as skinny as a twig, nor do most woman wish to look like this. It’s great that Jamie who is a well known actress to be able to go out their and with poise and more confidence than I would have walk down the catwalk as loads of people watch and snap pictures.

I also saw a story in which (and it pains me to do this) I have to give a shout out to Kanye West who used a total of 50 vastly different individuals to model shoes. I’m SO not a fan of Kanye West however if it was his idea to have 50 people of all walks of life up the way he did, he can’t be all bad.


Now lets look at some of the really crazy fashions that I could find pictures of shall we….



So the above picture is from Calvin Klein’s spring collection. The blue number on the far left I don’t have any issues with. However the middle onesie with some crazy leg flare is not something I would EVER wear…who would? I know most of the things that are produced for these fashion shows never get worn but I always find myself scratching my head wondering what the heck they were thinking. What caught my attention in this picture is the red leather dress on the far right, it reminded me of what a fictional group of woman would wear. From Terry Goodkind’s Sword of truth books there are these woman called Mord Sith who wear tight red leather outfits and anytime I see red leather ALWAYS think back to the books. If you want to see what I’m talking about just google “Mord Sith outfit”.



Well here is something interesting….I believe the designer(s) are called The Blondes…although I can’t fathom why.. LOL Well looks like they make all their models wear that ridiculous big blonde braid. I’m thinking these models are showing off bathing suits but it’s hard to get past that hair extension/wig.

I hope that as we continue to embrace differences we see even more diversity. With models becoming more appropriate role models for the younger generation, where more young kids can identify with them instead of trying to be them. I await the day when either a man or woman with a facial difference gets to be included.

When it’s this cold, think, spring!


When it’s as cold outside as it has been this week it’s hard NOT to think about warmer weather, spring seems so far away today.

Friday when I woke up it was -28…brrrr… did eventually warm up to -18, which was nice but that’s still extremely cold. I try very hard to just put my head down, dress for the weather and not to complain. I live in Canada surviving a cold winter is expected, it’s almost a sport! Hover this week has done everything it can to test my resolve NOT to complain.

For me when Tim Horton’s rolls out their Roll Up the Rim To Win contest it serves to mark the upcoming end of winter and the much nicer up coming spring. This year it hasn’t put me in that mood, we keep getting snow and it seems to be getting colder, not warmer.

I love when winter is ending and I look for the first robin when I’m out because I know once I see that first beautiful Robin land and search for it’s meal spring really has settled and winter is truly on it’s way out.

Spring brings with it the promise of renewal, where we start making plans for the summer, when are people going to take those trips, how soon those upcoming weddings are. We await the blossoms of flowers with such great anticipation but also we await the time when we can get out and tend to our gardens to plan even more flowers. I haven’t had the chance to really plant flowers these last few springs and I doubt this year will be any different but I can’t wait until I can wear a dress without having to worry about freezing my legs off, or protecting them with snow pants.

What is your favorite season? Big thanks to Diane for providing this awesome topic! Have a topic that you think I would be interested in, just let me know in the comment section.