Tag Archives: help


You know when your life just feels like one big question mark? That’s kind of how I feel at the moment. I feel like there is a lot of uncertainty in my life and I don’t like it. I know I’m supposed to trust that God is in control, but it’s difficult especially when I want to be the one holding the reins.

I would appreciate some advice from you regarding some of my questions:

  • I have recently been approached by a website of someone who appears as a health expert on a TV show for a partnership: if I provide a link in support of her website then I will be compensated through books, advertising or something along those lines. Eventually later this summer I would participate in a blogger spotlight program where I would share some of my expertise on vegan/gluten free/allergy friendly cooking and the like.  It’s sort of a “if you send me traffic, I’ll return the favour” type thing.
    While I am quite excited to be noticed and have someone who wants my knowledge and I know that it could be a great opportunity for me and my blog, I am hesitant to make my blog into an advertisement for someone else. So, I wanted to ask you, my lovely readers, what you think about this?
  • Related to that is that I have also been approached by some companies to do reviews of their products. What do you guys think about product reviews and giveaways? (Rest assured that I will not become a sponsored blog with every second post talking about product x that company y gave me to review. )  I have been somewhat tentative about doing sponsored reviews, but I have agreed to review one company’s baking mixes because I have seen it in my local health food store and I thought it might actually be helpful for those of you who don’t have time to make things from scratch. So expect a giveaway soon!
  • I am debating whether or not I should continue volunteering at CUPS. Sometimes it can be quite fun as I like interacting with a whole bunch of the clients and it has been excellent for helping me to build boundaries, but it can also be quite stressful and I can’t really show my servant’s heart without being taken advantage of. I guess that is the reality of dealing with homeless, addicted and broken people in such a situation. I also feel torn because I know that the people who work there really appreciate my help and I was the volunteer they used in their annual report to help encourage others to volunteer at CUPS as well, so stopping would be somewhat … hypocritical. haha.
  • I am still unsure of what I want to do with my future in terms of employment. I realized that I’m still incredibly hesitant about jumping into an engineering job because I’m afraid it’s going to be a repeat of my internship. Honestly, I don’t want to wake up every morning dreading going to work and then pretending that I like it. Not fun. On the other hand, in my studio portrait photography course the instructor talked a bit about opening your own photography business. For the last year or so I have thrown around the idea of opening my own photography business at some point,  but I’m afraid and I don’t know whether this is the time to do it or not. If it is, then it opens the Pandora’s box of things you need to do to open your own business, which is scary enough on its own!  Like choosing a name. Funny that I usually get caught up on things like that. So, do any of you know anyone who has made the jump to professional photographer and would be able to give me some advice?
  • After going to this spiritual healing course at the beginning of May, my belief system has been challenged as all the lies of the devil I’ve believed in are being revealed by God’s truth. I am glad this is happening, but the two battling belief systems are creating a lot of confusion.

Thank you for reading this and I appreciate any and all thoughts and advice! 🙂


Filed under Life, Thoughts

Grad Proof Help!

As many of you know, I am graduating from Uni this spring. You know what that means? The dreaded grad photos. With the help of Mr. Bean and my family, we have narrowed it down to two proofs. Neither are perfect and have their pros and cons:  actually almost looking happy (A) vs. cheesy grad smile (B) and droopy hood (A) vs. non-droopy hood (B).

Choice A

Choice B

I need your help please! Which photo would you choose? (There is a poll embedded in this post so please vote!)

Thank you for your help! 🙂


Filed under School

The Face Plan: Week 0

One of my plans for the new year was to clear up my face. As much as I wish that hoping that my face would clear up by itself, I don’t think it’s going to happen. Thankfully, my face is doing a lot better than it has been before, but it still needs a spot of help.

It probably doesn’t help that I fell off the not-eating-chocolate wagon over Christmas (my decent down the slippery slope started at Mr. Bean’s Christmas party – c’mon, who can say no to white chocolate mousse at breakfast?) and that I was incredibly stressed out due to reports, projects and finals.

Fortunately, I do have a plan. A lady who works in the “beauty” section of my local health food store, suggested that I try this: Nature’s Gate Organics Acne Treatment System.

It’s good for a beauty dunce like myself because it has a cleanser, toner and moisturizer, so I don’t have to wonder what I’m supposed to use or do.

It’s supposed to take 6 weeks to work its magic, so I’m hoping to keep track of my facial progress … and maybe reduce my chocolate consumption. (I can always dream. 😉 )

Have you ever had problems with acne? What did you do to get rid of it?


Filed under Life

I Hate Sticky Situations

I feel like I want to cry because I don’t know what to do.

We’re having issues with one member of my design group. He hasn’t been pulling his weight, has missed many meetings and seems to want to ride out on our good work while doing as little as possible. The proverbial “icing on the cake” was this past week – I better add some fondant as well because that’s how good it is. So what happened?

We were supposed to have a really important strategy meeting last Thursday to decide how we’re going to proceed after our midterm report and presentation that he didn’t show up to. We had one of our midterms the night before, so we thought “maybe couldn’t deal with it or something” despite how our meeting was at 3pm. He didn’t show up to our regular team meeting on Friday or to our lab. I had phoned, texted and emailed him to no reply. So here we were thinking he had H1N1 or was dying as he’s always attached to his phone.

Last night I texted him to ask him if was alright and if he was planning to be at school today so that we could finally decide how to move ahead in our project. He answered that he had a very hectic weekend and that he was stuck in Edmonton on Thursday and Friday. We later found out that the car he had with him in Edmonton blew its radiator, which is really unfortunate, but that was on Thursday evening. In addition, he said that his phone died right after he received the phone message I sent him on Friday. This really bothers me because his car died in Edmonton after we were supposed to have our meeting and his phoned died the day after the important meeting. The snarky part of me wants to ask “what on earth were you doing in Edmonton, a three hour drive away, the day after an evening midterm when you had a meeting at three!?”

Reading between the lines, I do understand that he was probably having some personal angst, which is perfectly excusable. Heck, one of our group members has a kid and I have frequent bouts of emotional upheaval, so we understand that life can get in the way and the need to take a break from school. However, generally when something comes up it is expected that you give someone warning that you won’t be there. If you didn’t show up to work for two days without telling anyone, chances are you might not have a job when you finally get back. Right now, our job is school and one of our main tasks is to work on this design project.

So, when we had our meeting this morning, we confronted him about the whole situation and how we expect better behaviour in the future – to at least tell us when you’re not going to show up. I really hate confronting people as I would love to give them chance after chance to let them show their personal integrity but this situation warranted it. He did apologize for his behaviour and we got on with our meeting.

Late this afternoon, two of us went to talk to our supervisor about what power we have to deal with the situation if it gets worse. He said that once all three of us feel that we have exhausted peace talks amongst us, it would be time to start a paper trail by writing a letter to him outlining our concerns. He explained that depending on the severity of concerns, he and the course coordinator would discuss what to do with the worst penalty being kicked out of the course.

We started writing our letter highlighting our main concerns: missing meetings, not giving us warning for missing meetings and not putting in enough effort. I’m quite proud of this letter as it is very objective, professional and states the facts without making any accusations. We would really like to be able to work out our issues with him, however he hasn’t really stepped up to the plate yet. You’d think that by fourth year of engineering one would be used to working really hard and giving your best but I guess not in this case. Maybe he has been having issues, but we would be so much more understanding if he told us and asked for help!

Now it’s time we get to the fondant on our”cake of joy:” plagiarism. I know, that is a very scary word that is very, very accusational and has many bad connotations including being expelled from university. We unfortunately have too many good reasons to use this word.

It first started with our lab proposal for a different course – he had just put the lab procedure from bullets into sentences without changing much. We gave him the benefit of the doubt, edited it out and let it slide. Then for our design midterm progress report, a lot of what he had written sounded very much like a promotional piece companies publish about their various processes. We edited it out and confronted him about rephrasing instead of copying in future reports, which he apologized for and promised to be better in the future. However, while writing the complaint letter, one of our points was that he wasn’t putting in enough effort: aka. “his prepared sections of the report followed very closely to the documents they were taken from.”

We wanted to give some examples as evidence and I really almost wish that we didn’t. Looking at what he had originally written for two processes – not the summarized version that was submitted in the midterm report – we found 14 sentences out of the two pages that were directly copied word-for-word from documents without reference. Not just a couple like we originally expected – Fourteen. That is not acceptable!

Now comes the part where I feel really terrible because I know that when we submit the letter with the examples, we are good as pointing our fingers and crying “plagiarism!” at our design group member. For you who are not quite up to speed with the whole plagiarism thing, the worst outcome in expulsion from university. I would feel terrible for having him kicked out of the course let alone having him expelled. I guess I’m conflicted because I don’t think it is fair to the three of us who have put in a ton of time and effort to get the marks that we have and will get in this project to have to share those grades with someone who isn’t pulling their weight. On the other hand, if he is kicked out of the course, it means that he will have no chance of graduating this year. But it also comes down to the ethical issue at hand: if we are going to be professional engineers, we have to act with integrity and honesty and using someone else’s work, even if it is just a sentence, without being properly referenced goes against all that.

So I haven’t been able to do any studying this evening because all I can think about is how this situation might play out. I want to work it out with him and prevent the worst case scenarios of either being kicked out of the class or university entirely. But at the same time, I don’t want him to be getting credit for work he hasn’t done as it’s not fair to us. I really don’t know what to do, but at the same time, I do. We’re going to hand in our letter and see how things pan out from there. I hope I can handle the emotional stress either way.

Have you ever been in a similar situation? What did you do? How do you deal with confrontation?



Filed under Life, School, Thoughts

Do Want A Lens

So, I kind of want to get a new camera lens. I had a reward scheme at work where every time that I would ask questions I would mark it down on a spreadsheet. I told myself that once I reached 100, I would get a new lens. Unfortunately, my computer decided to eat the spreadsheet and I didn’t want to have to explain to IT why I wanted the spreadsheet back, so I lost count. I’m pretty sure that I am way above 100 though. 🙂

Now the question is: what lens should I get? The current lens I have – the kit lens that came with the camera – has served me fairly well with my beginner photography skills. However, there are two things that I feel my lens is lacking: it’s not very good or fast in low light situations and it only zooms in so far.

For example:


This is probably the coolest blurry photo I’ve taken as it’s partially in focus, but most of them look like this:


My sister holding her birthday cake – look at all the noise from the high ISO. The scary thing is that the window behind me was letting in a fair amount of evening light.


This is the closest and best shot I got of the whale while whale watching in Vancouver Island. It’s okay when you crop the picture, but it might have been nicer to zoom in a bit closer. 🙂

So, I want something that does better in lower light situations and/or has better zoom capabilities. Oh yeah, it also had to fit on my camera and not break the bank. So, I looked at the website of the store where I bought my camera (as they have the best prices as far as I can tell) and these were the lenses I discovered that could be a possible match:

  1. Nikkor AF 50 mm F1.4D ($349.77): good for full length portraits, travel photography or any type of available light shooting.  High speed, light and compact.

  2. Nikkor AF-S 50 mm F1.4G ($521.47)- to quote Nikon: “Ideal for travel, event, environmental and general photography in a wide variety of conditions, with superb optical formula and an ultra-fast f/1.4 maximum aperture.”

    I’m not entirely sure what is the difference between the AF & AF-s other than silent auto focusing on the latter and a $100+ price difference.
  3. Nikkor AF-S DX 55-200mm f4-5.6G VR ($278.97) – the more telephoto-esque lens companion to my kit lens.

    The bad thing with this lens is it is not in stock, so I’d have to get it somewhere else.
  4. Nikkor AF-S 24-120 mm F3.5-5.6 VR ($615.87)- This is a more spiffed up version of my current lens with a wider range of focal lengths.

  5. Nikkor AF 85mm F1.8D ($449.93)- a more “zoomy” prime lens that would be better in darker situations that is apparently excellent for portraits. I don’t know if it would be too “zoomed in” or not.

    It unfortunately is also out of stock.

So, what do you think? Do any of you have any experience with these lenses or could give me advice on how I should choose an appropriate lens?

What is your favourite lens and/or what lens do you normally use?

Thank you for your help! 🙂


Filed under Photography