Tagged: love

A beautiful life

I think it’s fair to say: I’m the happiest and healthiest I’ve ever been in my adult life. 

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And that’s a long time. I’ve endured seven whole years of adulthood, and I’m just starting to learn how to be healthy. 


I wouldn’t say I have any overly-detrimental bad habits — smoking, doing drugs or even drinking too much, for example. But I could never get a handle on taking care of myself, in the simplest sense of the words, and that was a problem.


During university, I lived off coffee and drive-thru meals. While I was living on my own and working full time, I just never seemed to be able to find my way around a kitchen. When I did cook food, it was often the same old tired recipes time and time again. And in college, again, I lived off coffee and eating next-to-nothing.


I got plenty of headaches. I had zero energy. I was irritable, and quite honestly, sick of not knowing how to take care of myself.


It wasn’t until I moved nearly 500 kilometers away from my family, my boyfriend, my friends and everything I knew to be home, until I was finally ready to tackle me.


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Freezing, post-election on the streets of Yorkton, talking to the people. What I moved 5 hours away from home to do, and what I love.


In this new place, this new job and this new life, I had my work cut out for me. I didn’t have a lot of know-how, but I sure did have a lot of time. I told myself, enough is enough, this is my time. I decided I would dedicate all my newly-found hours to developing healthy habits. If I learned anything in those seven harmful years, it was that being healthy is a hell of a lot of work. It takes time, dedication, and motivation — all of which I was finally ready to give.


Being able to take care of myself is something I truly cherish. I’ve got a freezer full of nutritious, home-cooked meals. I eat a healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner every day. I’ve got a full water bottle by my side. I have weights sitting on my floor at home, and a wet bathing suit from swimming laps drying on my towel rack (I picked up a few new activities along the way, too). I have a couple library books waiting for me to dive into, and I’ve got a painting needing touch-ups on my easel.


I hardly ever get headaches anymore. I’m full of energy. And yes, sometimes I’m still irritable. I’m 500 kilometers away from everyone I love — going home to me, myself and I tonight — and I swear, I really am the happiest and healthiest I’ve ever been in this adult life of mine.


Isn’t that a beautiful thing?


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Happy, healthy me.


Paints and Pints

I recently caught wind of a new artsy thing here in the city: Paint Nite. It’s an event — a franchise event, actually, which originated in Boston three years ago, eventually making it’s way here — where people can “Drink Creatively” at different bars across the city.

It’s a pretty neat idea, considering I’ve always been an advocate for painting and being creative, whether you think you’re a “painter” or not.

I spoke with the woman who owns Paint Nite Winnipeg, Manda Brownrigg, and she said she saw a need for the event because people are so busy they forget to be creative. It’s so true. I like to write about making time for what you love, but I’ve struggled with that myself this past year. It’s sad to think people need to pay $45 to go out to get their creative juices flowing, but I suppose it’s better than not being creative at all. I applaud Manda for at least providing a new option for creativity. It’s definitely something more mainstream that I can see a lot of my “non-painter” friends actually doing.

Here’s a story I wrote about Paint Nite Winnipeg, but if you want to see the event for yourself, check out the TV version here. (Skip ahead to 32:00 for the story).

An event that encourages embracing your inner-artist while sipping on some cocktails has made its way to Winnipeg.
In a room full of women, Colin Epp, the only man, is hard at work on his masterpiece. It’s date night for him and longtime girlfriend Victoria Markstrom.

“It was my idea, one hundred per cent,” said Markstrom.

“But I’m on board for anything,” said Epp. “I’ll try absolutely anything once.”

The pair chose to check out Paint Nite Winnipeg, a franchise event new to Winnipeg. By the time they’re done for the evening, they will have two new paintings to hang up at their cottage.

“We’re both in sciences, so it’s nice to be creative once in a while,” said Markstrom.

“In our day-to-day jobs, we just don’t do those kinds of things, so yeah, it’s nice.”

Paint Nite Winnipeg made its debut in October 2014. It’s an event that happens four times a week in different venues across the city. So far Barley Brothers, Saffron’s and The Good Will have held the event.

For the $45 ticket, you get an apron, paints, brushes, a blank canvas and guidance. An instructor will walk you through the evening, telling you which brushes to use, but insisting you make the painting your own.

“Anybody can paint,” said Manda Brownrigg, owner of Paint Nite Winnipeg.

“Everybody comes in here and they start with, ‘I’m not creative, I can’t paint stick men, this is not my thing, don’t expect too much from me,’ but every person leaves here with this thing that they created. They’re impressed with themselves and they’re proud.”

Brownrigg said it’s important to be creative in our busy day-to-day lives, because we often neglect our artistic sides as adults.

“We lose track of that awesome childish artisticness, where we’re just happy to have made something, we don’t even care if it’s good,” said Brownrigg.

At Paint Nite, you’re asked to check your self-doubt at the door, and to create your own artwork no matter your skill level.

“Repeat after me,” said Brownrigg over a wireless headset. “I will not say the words, ‘My painting sucks.’”

Two Bostonians created Paint Nite back in 2012. The slogan, “Drink Creatively,” encourages paint and pints. Even though it’s only been in Winnipeg for a few months, tickets sell out fast — right now you’re looking at about a two-month wait.

Paint Nite Winnipeg is currently a one-woman show with Brownrigg the whole event. But she is so busy she’s looking to hire artists to help her expand.

An Ode To My Ladies

WARNING: this post may contain cheese.

As of right now, I am a 22 year-old woman who’s been working at a kick-ass hair salon for the past 2+ years. I work with the four most amazing women, I meet and talk to the coolest/friendliest/smartest clients around and I love what I do. I know the clientele and they know me. We converse. It’s one of those jobs where I’ve totally OCDed it into my own little organized chaos, and I love it.

I am about to embark on a new chapter in my life. School is something I always knew was in my future, I just needed time to figure out what for. I felt lost 2 years ago. With time, and help from some special people, it finally feels clear. Ah, clarity. So I’m going back to school. It’s what I gotta do, and I gotta do what I gotta do. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t scared. Leaving behind four friends that I’ve spent every day with for the past two years is going to be tough. Friends that I can look at and I know what they’re thinking. I’m scared but excited. Sad but so freaking happy. Change is good, and I’m totally going to embrace it.

So with that, I’d like to write a little somethin’ somethin’ to my ladies. Thank you for always being there.


You all have taught me so much; about myself, about being a woman, about life. I’ve learned that a job can be much more than just a job and that a co-worker can be much more than that, too. FRIENDS are what you ladies have become. Inspirations + motivators, confidantes + advice-givers. I feel at home when I’m at work, and not many people are lucky enough to experience that. It’s a lovely feeling.

Catherine, Carol, Tamara and Noelle, you are my ladies. Each so talented, so unique, so wise, so intelligent and so beautiful in your own way. I’d just like to throw out what I love the most about each of you because you each have been so good to me:

Catherine, you are so loving. Not only to me, the girls and the clients, but to your children + husband. It’s beautiful to see. Talking to you, I know that you care. You want to know how I am, and you make a point of always making everyone and I feel special. You know the importance of the little things in life and have always made me feel appreciated. You have led by example on what it means to be a good person. For that, I am so grateful.

Carol, you are devoted, my dear. You’ve got that spunk, that one-of-a-kind personality. You know what you like and you stick to it. Your sense of humor is on point, and your laughter is infectious. I will miss your loud laughing outbursts, your random singing + your SNL jokes (#actually). You have a way of making people feel so comfortable, as if they’ve been talking to a friend of many years, and you have done that with me too. For that, I am so grateful.

Noelle, you are the most easy-going person I have ever met in my life. It seems that you don’t let anything get to you, which not many people can do. You know what’s important. I envy that so much about you. You’re simple, but in a super cool way. What you see is what you get. Instances when I have come to you for advice, you give it to me straight, tell it like it is. For that, I am so grateful.

Tamara, I have never met anyone with so much advice to give. You are so wise for such a young woman. I feel like no matter what I’m facing, I know I can come to you to talk, and you seem to always have a solution. You are incredibly giving + nurturing. You’re thoughtful. You have become a great friend of whom I know I can always rely. For that, I am so grateful.

This is in no way a good-bye, you ladies are going to have to try a lot harder to get rid of me. I’ve learned that some people are important + good, and those people deserve to hear it. So this is my ode to you ladies. 

staff                                           PHOTO: SUNNY S-H PHOTOGRAPHY

I warned there would be cheese.