Advice For Couples Moving In Together With Sonnet Insurance

Advice for couples moving in together with Sonnet Insurance

Unpacking boxes and placing books on the bookshelf, I remember thinking to myself, “What have we gotten ourselves into?” I looked around at all of the boxes and what had already been unpacked. I looked at the culmination of our things and thought, “There’s no way we are going to be able to combine our two lives into this one apartment.”

I stopped unpacking, sat on one of the many, many boxes piled up in the corner that still had to be unpacked and cried. It was all too much. The move, the boxes of “stuff,” the lack of wine, oh – did I mention all of the boxes? Yeah, it was all a bit much and I was overwhelmed.

I’m a hopeless romantic. I love love and love love stories even more. The happily ever after? Love it. The fairy tale ending? That’s my jam. But I’m going to get real for a minute. No matter how much you love someone, no matter how much you want to be with someone – moving in together is going to be an adjustment to your relationship. Things will change and compromises will need to be made.

There’s no rule book to follow when you move in with your significant other. The best you can do is communicate and plan ahead.

Reality check: spending 24/7 together is not always romantic

My boyfriend and I spent more time together than apart before we moved in together. We’d talk through messages all day while at work, followed by dinner and spending the night together multiple times a week. We’d cook together, wake up together, read together, do any and everything together. But after making the big move, I realized there was still so much to learn about each other.

Once you move in with each other, be prepared to see some things that you may never be able to un-see (i.e. Someone standing in the kitchen, naked…eating tacos). Some things, like eating tacos naked in the kitchen, may be fantastic. Some other things maybe not so much. You’ve been warned. Keep this in mind when you’re searching for a place together and deciding how much space you really need.

Read the rest of my advice on the Sonnet Insurance blog HERE

How To Help A Friend In A Mental Health Crisis, From Someone Who’s Been There

semicolon tattoo

I have never been one to shy away from talking about mental health, my battle with mental illness, nor my suicide attempt.

I strongly believe in talking and sharing these stories, because if it helps even one person feel a little less alone – it’s worth it.

In light of the tragic loss of Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade, I was asked to write a piece for about how to help a friend in a mental health crisis.

Let’s just get right to it. Mental illness does not discriminate. The recent sudden shocking deaths of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain are proof. On paper, and to the outside eye, these two had it all: money, fame, power, success, family…yet these two lives were tragically lost to mental illness.


At any given time, 1 in 5 Canadians will experience a mental health problem or illness. And according to Suicide Prevention Canada, approximately 11 people will end their lives by suicide in Canada today, while approximately 210 others will attempt to end their lives. These numbers have been steadily rising: suicide is one of the leading causes of death in both men and women from adolescence to middle age. We’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: it’s about time the stigma surrounding mental illness is removed and we realize that mental health is health, and needs to be treated as such.

…I offer up my advice, as someone who’s been there.

You can continue reading the article HERE

If you, or someone you know, is struggling and experiencing suicidal thoughts, reach out to Suicide Prevention Canada. This link will direct you to local crisis centres in your area.

#JJCooks | Garlic Parmesan Potatoes & Broccoli Recipe

We take our BBQing serious in our house. Like, seriously serious. So serious that the first day the snow somewhat melted in February, we had our first BBQ of the year.

We host people weekly for BBQs. We invite friends and family over, make a feast and everyone always eats too much. It’s fabulous. Even our date nights usually consist of BBQing at home and then cuddling up to watch some good old fashioned wrasslin!


We’re actually moving into a 3-bedroom house in like, 2 weeks. Actually, less than 2 weeks now…I guess I should start packing, eh? Anyways, we’re going to have SO much space, and honestly – the thing we’re both most excited about is the massive backyard. It’s going to be great for Dusty to run around in, but also for us and our love of BBQs! 

…and with a backyard, Mike will be able to continue BBQing in his underwear, with a little more privacy. 🤭

We are already contemplating if we should get a second BBQ…or maybe a smoker? Or maybe we (read: he) could build one? Hmm..ok, back to what I was talking about!

Our BBQ menu is pretty standard. We do the usual: burgers, hot dogs, sausages…steak or ribs when we’re feeling fancy. LOL We usually throw some veggies into the BBQ tray with some EVOO, salt and pepper – simple, yet delish!

I leave the BBQing to Mike, but sometimes I’ll make the sides in the oven. I recently tried out a new recipe to make our veggie intake a little more fun and flavourful! The best part? Clean-up was a breeze because they’re made in little foil pouches!

Garlic parmesan potatoes and broccoli

Garlic Parmesan Potatoes & Broccoli

Makes: 4 servings

Prep: 10 minutes

Cook: 12-14 minutes

What you’ll need:

3 minced cloves of garlic

3 tablespoons of olive oil

1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning

¼ teaspoon of Kosher salt

5 cups of broccoli floret

16 ounces of baby potatoes halved
(the smaller the taters, the better as they’ll cook evenly with the broccoli)

¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Optional: 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Aluminum foil

Baking sheet

What you’ll do:

• Preheat the oven, of course. 400 degrees F.

• Grab a small bowl and whisk the olive oil, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt, and black pepper.


• Prep the pouches. Cut 4 sheets of aluminum foil, 12-inches long…ish. Divide the broccoli and taters evenly in the center of the 4 sheets. Try to keep it in a single layer – that helps with even cooking.

• Fold up the sides of the foil, creating an open pouch. Drizzle the garlic olive oil mixture over the taters and broccoli.


• Fold the final sides over, closing the pouch completely.

• Put all 4 foil pouches in a single layer on the baking sheet and pop them into the preheated oven.

• Let those bad boys cook for about 12-14 minutes, depending on your oven.

• When fully cooked, carefully open the pouches. You can either sprinkle with the cheese right in the pouch or transfer all four pouches into a bowl and sprinkle with the cheese there. Your call. Here’s where you can add the parsley if you want, too.

Boom. You’re done and trust me – you’re going to love it!


We cracked open a few RODENBACH Caractere Rouge with dinner and it was honestly the perfect pairing. The RODENBACH Caractere Rouge is “an extremely complex and refined fruit ale” which was not only great with dinner, but delish to keep sipping throughout the night. In our no-AC apartment, the summer nights can get VERY warm, so the RODENBACH Caractere Rouge is a great thirst quencher!

Until next time, cheers!

Disclosure: I was gifted the RODENBACH Caractere Rouge, but all views are my own and I’m telling you – if you like garlic and parmesan cheese, you HAVE to try this recipe!

Rants and Rambles | Sometimes You Just Have To Yell “DO OVER!” To The Universe

jenn and the city new month do over

There’s something to be said of new beginnings. Of fresh starts. Of do-overs, if you will.

Today is June 1st. A brand new month, and let me tell you – I sure am glad to see May over and done with.

When I think back to the month of May, and really – the majority of the first half of 2018 thus far, the Friends theme song pops into my head. Not the whole thing, just a certain part…

“It’s like you’re always stuck in second gear. When it hasn’t been your day, your week, your month or even your year…”


But, as you all know, I’m a generally optimistic person. So, I’m going to get up, brush myself off and take on the rest of 2018 with a gusto!

There’s a lot going on. There are a lot of things for me to look forward to and plan for in the upcoming months, so I’m choosing to focus my energy on the good in my life.

jenn and the city

It’s easy to get swept away into a spiral of negativity…especially for someone who is battling depression and anxiety. One negative thought will manifest into a neverending negative thought process and next thing you know, you’re left sitting there wondering if there was *really* ever any good in your life to begin with.

*double sigh*

But like I said, I’m going to pull myself together and start appreciating the good going on. I’m gonna tell, “DO OVER!” to the universe and start anew!

So bye-bye Downer JennJenn, new month – who dis?

And to end this little ramble off, here’s a picture of some gorgeous flowers that I saw on my way to work this morning. Because you know what? Sometimes you just need to slow down, and stop to smell the flowers (not just the roses). Literally.

jenn and the city big pink flowers

#GetYourColourOn Twitter Party | Colour Your Hair to Conquer Cancer

May is #GetYourColourOn Month!
Colour Your Hair to Conquer Cancer and Support Cancer Research!

Nearly 1 in 2 Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lifetime. 1 in 2. That’s staggering. Every single one of us will be affected, directly or indirectly, by cancer.

I’ve had family members and some of my closest friends already be diagnosed by various forms of cancer. It’s heartbreaking to see someone you love hurting, and terrifying to think that you may face that battle yourself one day.

We need to find a cure for cancer in our lifetime, and the dedicated researchers need our help. Period.

#GetYourColourOn Twitter Party Colour Your Hair to Conquer Cancer

If you’ve never heard of The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation – you’ve been living under a rock. Princess Margaret is one of the top 5 cancer research centers in the world and they have over 1,200 researchers who are dedicated to finding a cure for cancer. I’m sure you’ve heard of their bigger fundraising efforts, such as the Home Lottery – but this year, they’re launching a new fundraising initiative, and let me tell you– it’s definitely going to put the FUN in fundraiser!

Get Your Colour On is a bold, fun, new fundraising program that challenges Canadians to colour their hair and raise funds to held conquer cancer in our lifetime.

Whether you want to put a team together or go at the challenge solo – it’s up to you. A little too nervous to colour your whole head of hair? No problem – do a few streaks or even an under-colour. And guys, if you’re feeling a little adventurous – why not colour your beard or mustache?

In this inaugural year of Colour Your Hair to Conquer Cancer we are reminded why we take on bold, and in this case fun challenges, and fundraise to support cancer research at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. The funds you raise or the donation you make will be supporting The Princess Margaret, one of the top 5 cancer research centres in the world. The Princess Margaret is transforming cancer care for Canadians thanks to advances in technology and new innovative therapies, fueled by the innovation of our cancer experts, and the generosity of our community. 

Colour Your Hair to Conquer Cancer Resources:

Colour Your Hair to Conquer Cancer website:
Follow them on Twitter:
Like them on Facebook:
Follow on Instagram: 

In an effort to help raise some awareness about this amazing fundraising initiative, I’m participating in a #GetYourColourOn Twitter Party!

#GetYourColourOn Twitter Party

There will be lots of information shared and $1,000 worth of prizing up for grabs!

The team behind Colour Your Hair to Conquer Cancer and The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation will be joined by Trade Secrets, who will be available to answer any hair colouring questions you may have prior to committing.

The #GetYourColourOn Twitter Party details:

When: May 8, 2018 – 8:00 p.m. EST

Host: @ShesConnected
Co-Hosts: @Colour2CC @thePMCF
Special Guest @TradeSecretsCA


$1,000 in Prizing

I hope to see you there!

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post, however – it’s such an amazing cause that hits far too close to home…so – I’m more than happy to share all the details.

Save Our Scruff | The Scruff Social Presented by Healthy Pets

Save Our Scruff Toronto Scruff Social 2018

Honestly, after losing my first ever dog, Precious, last year – I didn’t know if I would ever be able to bring another dog into my life. Precious was there for me when I needed her the most. She was patient and attentive, and loved me unconditionally. My heart broke into a million pieces when her time came to leave my life, and to be honest – I still miss her every day.

The love and companionship a dog brings into your life is like no other.

When Mike and I slowly started to discuss bringing a dog into our new home together, we put a lot of thought into it. As amazing as the companionship is – they are also a lot of work. A LOT.

Especially rambunctious pups like, Dusty LOL

But, the love you get back in return makes it oh-so-worth-it.

Me: *drops the tiniest bit of food on the floor* Dusty: You gonna eat that?

A post shared by Jenn and the City (@thejennandthecity) on

And the more we talked about it – the more I realized I was ready. The ache of missing my baby girl, Precious was still there…it always will be, but the excitement of adding to our little fur-family grew with every adorable doggie that we looked at.

While on our quest to find the perfect puppy last year, we looked at many (MANY) different adoption agencies, and one just happened to be Save Our Scruff. While we didn’t bring Dusty home through this agency, I did grow to appreciate everything they do!

save our scruff toronto logo

Save Our Scruff is a non-profit organization located in Toronto dedicated to rescuing dogs and finding them safe and suitable permanent homes through adoption, advocacy and education.

Last year, Save Our Scruff hosted the inaugural Scruff Social. The event was a huge hit, selling out and raising $37,000! The team is looking to double their efforts this year and YOU can help by coming out for a night of cocktails, live entertainment, interactive stations, and you’ll even get a chance to interact with some of the Save Our Scruff pups!

If that’s not reason enough to come out, I don’t know what is!

We are proud to assure you that your support goes directly to providing life-saving services for homeless dogs. Save Our Scruff does not receive any financial support from federal, provincial, or municipal government agencies. We rely solely on donations from members of our compassionate, animal-loving community. Proceeds from this event will go directly towards the dogs to pay for veterinary care, transportation and training, and advocacy work. 

Need another reason to come out and support this amazing cause?

Looking to adopt a pup into your life?

Check out some of the adorable, available pups through Save Our Scruff.

Save Our Scruff Toronto Mango

Meet MANGO… guaranteed to keep you laughing all day long with his silly faces and bursts of excitement which usually result in him chasing his tail. Where did it come from even?! One of life’s greatest mysteries.

Read More

Save Our Scruff Toronto Big Mac

Pickles, onions, sauce, lettuce, cheese… meet BIG MAC! He’s a huge goofball and doesn’t really know his size so he’s sometimes tripping over his own feet while walking, especially on the stairs. 


Save Our Scruff Toronto Matt Damon

He’s a stud and he knows it, meet MATT DAMON! Yes, those are his real ears. Just like any star who has been on the cover of People magazine, MATT DAMON likes attention and can be a bit bossy at times. 


Guys, get your tickets and come out to support Save Our Scruff!Save Our Scruff Toronto Scruff Social 2018
Presented by Healthy Pets

Saturday April 21, 2018
8:00pm  – 1:00am
District 28

  • Regular $100
  • Early Bird $85 [SOLD OUT]
  • Four Pawk $350 [SOLD OUT]
Ticket Includes: 
  • Complimentary Drinks All Night
  • Live Entertainment
  • Specialty Cocktail Bar
  • Silent Auction
  • The chance to meet some SOS Scruffs
    …and much more!


disclaimer: I have been given a pair of tickets to this event, but I wanted to spread the word about it anyways because it’s for such an amazing cause!

RECIPE | Mini Egg Chocolate Chip Cookies

Mini Egg Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

When I was a little girl – Easter used to be such a big thing. I mean, obviously the big bunny would come and visit, but we used to also always get fancy new dresses. We’d put bows in our hair and head to my grandparents place. The whole family would get together and we’d have a big feast. Turkey, potatoes, stuffing, veggies – the works.

And then, of course, there would be even more sweet treats for us waiting at Grandma and Grandpa’s. The Easter Bunny would make two stops for us kiddies – and we were not going to complain about that! LOL My grandparents used to ALWAYS give us these chocolate eggs which would have our names written in cursive in icing on them.

Nowadays…Easter really isn’t that big of a deal in our family. There aren’t as many kids around – really, just my nieces…and even they’re “getting too old for all of this.”

So, when a last minute Easter Sunday dinner was planned this year – I was excited, to say the least. While the Easter Bunny may not have visited my house (well, technically – he did, as I surprised mike with a treat that morning LOL) and I didn’t get a new dress (although I REALLY wish I did) – I took this last minute dinner as an opportunity to whip up some delish sweet treats for the fam.

Mini Egg Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

Mini Egg Chocolate Chip Cookies


  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups jumbo semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 jumbo bag of mini eggs*

*You’ll need a lot of mini eggs because you’ll place a couple on each cookie…and if you’re like me, eat a bunch along the way LOL

Prep Time = 20 minutes
Cook Time = 10 minutes (approximately, depends on your oven)

Step One

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F

Step Two

Sift the flour, salt, and baking soda together into a bowl and set aside

Step Three

Cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. You can do this by hand…or, save your arm strength and use a stand mixer. I LOVE my Hamilton Beach 7 Speed Orbital Stand Mixer.

Step Four

One at a time, beat in the eggs. Then, stir in the vanilla extract.

Step Five

Slowly add the dry, sifted ingredients to form a soft dough.

Step Six

Stir in all of the chocolate chips.

Step Seven

Place heaping teaspoonfuls of the dough onto ungreased baking sheets, about 2 inches apart.

Mini Egg Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe

You can either add a couple of the mini eggs before baking, which will have them seep into the cookies more so.
Or – you can add them as soon as you pull the cookies out of the oven, before letting them cool on the baking sheet.

Bake the cookies in the preheated oven for about 8 – 11 minutes. Keep an eye on them. Once you see the edges start becoming lightly golden – pull them out. Let them cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then move them over to a wire rack to cool completely.

Bonus: Really, these Mini Egg Chocolate Chip Cookies can be made with or without the mini eggs…but, now that Easter has passed, a lot of stores have mini eggs on sale, so why wouldn’t you!?!?

Disclaimer: Hamilton Beach provided me my awesome Hamilton Beach 7 Speed Orbital Stand Mixer but all views are my own, and honestly – I looooove it.

CONTEST | The Green Living Show, Canada’s Largest Eco-Healthy Living Show

What exactly is The Green Living Show, Canada’s largest eco-healthy living show, all about?

green living show 2018

Green Living strives to provide consumers with information about companies and organizations making the world a greener place.

Sure, sounds good – right? Of course it does! Creating a greener world is something that everyone should strive to work towards.

Whether you’re a superstar green living human already, or want to learn more – I highly suggested heading out to The Green Living Show!

…if not anything other than the delicious food!

green living show 2018

Join 20 chefs, breweries, cideries, and wineries in the Delicious Local Food & Drink Pavilion. Celebrate the diversity and cultural traditions the make up Canada’s food landscape.

Green living show 2018 maple butter ale

Using local and sustainably sourced Ontario ingredients, chefs from Canada and around the world will showcase old family recipes and favourite dishes that best reflect their heritage.

Join us as we applaud the community, vibrancy, and diversity of our country through the many tastes and smells of its global kitchens.

FUN FACT: The chefs at The Green Living Show will not only cook with local Ontario produce, they will also be using 300lbs of donated misshaped organic veggies from Pfenning’s Farms that didn’t make it to the grocery store.

green living show 2018


With the upcoming legalization of cannabis, the discussion on integrating it into your health regime and how it can be used as medication has continued to evolve.

At The Green Living Show, you can check out the Aurora Cannabis educational feature exhibit, and the Cannaspace stage to get all of your questions answered.

The Green Living Show Details

Metro Toronto Convention Centre, North Building
255 Front Street West, Toronto, ON M5V 2W6

2018 Show hours
Friday, April 6: 12:00pm – 9:00pm
Saturday, April 7: 10:00am – 8:00pm
Sunday, April 8: 10:00am – 6:00pm

Buy Tickets Now!

Green Living Show 2018 tickets

I want to give you a chance to check out the Green Living Show! Enter below to win one of 8 pairs of general admission tickets to the Green Living Show.

Please note: Winner will have to attend the show to pickup their tickets!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Three Words. Five Claps. Thank You, Doc.

Guest post written by Mike.

As a Torontonian and a lover of baseball, the Blue Jays hold a very special place in my heart. The smell of hot dogs and popcorn at the concessions, the sounds of cheers ringing in the stands, smiling with a shit-eating grin every time I see the blue birds take the field, the high fives I feel with such enthusiasm from the best fans in the world and the wonderful taste of an ice…. cold…(stadium-priced) Budweiser I make sure to have in hand before I take my seat. I feel it all.

4 words. Five claps. Let’s go Blue Jays.

I use every bit of my five senses to enjoy the game and team that I love so much.

I did not grow up playing baseball, although my pops and both my brothers played. I watched my brothers play baseball and I threw the ball around with my pops. It was fun, but it wasn’t a passion of mine.

I never had a loyalty to my city growing up, I just didn’t. I didn’t understand it. I knew what I liked and that was that. (One may say I was a bit stubborn) I wasn’t even a Blue Jays fan growing up. (If you know me now, I know you’ll find that hard to believe – but it’s true.) I was an Oakland A’s fan. Being an 80’s baby I may have jumped on a bunch of bandwagons, and those bash brothers were easy to love.

I just didn’t understand the whole “city pride” thing. It was something I wouldn’t understand until I was introduced to Doc.

We have seen so many talented players, players with potential, and just players with a God given, natural ability play for the Blue Jays over the years. MVPs, Cy Young winners, silver sluggers, gold glovers, you name it, we’ve seen it. Oh, and let’s not forget about those back to back world championships! Who could forget those? We’ve really had it all here in this beautiful city.

We even had Doc.

Mike Playing Baseball

Fast forward to 2003. I was asked by a couple buddies to join their softball team. I obliged thinking it would be a fun excuse to hang out with my friends. And then I played, and well – I wasn’t half bad. I was actually good, one of the better players.

Coincidentally, 2003 was also the year that Doc won his first Cy Young award and the year I really started to fall in love with the sport.

This time, as a fan of the hometown Toronto Blue Jays.

It only took me 20 years to get it right, eh?

I mean technicallyyyyyyyyy, there were only 2 or 3 seasons as an A’s fan. The years 1992-1993 really confused me. I was happy, but I wasn’t happy. Then the strike of ‘94 happened and I was out of it for a bit. Though, the New York Rangers and San Francisco 49ers both won championships in ‘94. So, that made me a happy little bitch. I told you about my jumping on bandwagons back then, didn’t I?

Doc finished the 2003 season with a record of 22-7. Let that sink in for a second.

His emotionless face after an inning ending strikeout, his cutter that made opponents look silly, his masterful delivery, and his sheer dominance on the mound made me appreciate something I never seemed to notice before.

It was like art. Every time he would pitch, in my opinion, it would be like watching Picasso paint or Michelangelo sculpt.

He was special to this city. He was special to me.

How could anyone not fall in love with a guy like Doc? Let’s be honest – the Blue Jays were predominantly a losing team in the ‘00’s. Once Carlos Delgado left, they were a tough team to watch. But, I knew that every five days between the years 2002 and 2009 there was a reason to watch. There was good chance we would get the win. Because of Doc.

Mike at a Blue Jays Game

I was at his final start at home in a Jays uniform on September 25, 2009. The dome was pretty empty, the Jays were mathematically eliminated. Halladay pitched a complete game shutout (like he had done before so many times) and he walked off the field to a well-deserved standing ovation.

Listen, I was at the infamous “bat flip game” of 2015, but this – seeing Doc’s last game in a Jays uniform…seeing him walk off to a standing O, this is still the most special moment I have experienced at the ballpark.

We all (Jays fans) knew that he would be traded in the off-season. We all came to accept it. We were fine with it, he was our companion that we just couldn’t provide for anymore. He wanted a chance at more, and we wanted him to have that chance. I loved him as a Blue Jay, but I came to love and respect him as baseball player. Period.

Doc took out a full page ad in the Toronto Sun to thank the city of Toronto for everything we had done for him. Truthfully, it should’ve been the city of Toronto taking out an ad to thank him.

If I had to pick one word to describe Roy Halladay, it’s easy – I would pick: Class.

When I heard that Doc was (finally) being inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame – I was ecstatic. I thought, finally a more intimate way to show my love and support for the guy. Just being that close to him and maybe catching a smile and hopefully him being able to see my smile, it was a day I was truly looking forward to.

Scene: June 24, 2017, approximately 9am.

I woke up that morning overly happy and excited. Today was the day of the induction. It took me an hour to pick out which of my many, many Blue Jays caps I was going to wear to match to my black “Doc” jersey. I remember looking in the mirror before we left, seeing Jenn finish getting ready, and telling her, “today will be a special day!”

Jenn and the City and Mike at Blue Jays Home Opener

Fifteen minutes before Jenn and I got to St. Mary’s for the induction, we were involved in a pretty serious car accident. In the middle of an intersection, a car came speeding towards us and clipped the front end. Our car spun out into the middle of the intersection, the other into a ditch. Hearts pounding, minds racing – panic mode. Thankfully all parties were ok. Shaken up, but overall – ok. The cars, not so much…both were totaled. (The paramedics, firefighters and OPP officers in Perth county were top notch.)

In that moment, my excitement for the day turned to fear. My top priority was no longer seeing Doc be inducted, not even the status of my car…all that mattered was Jenn. I looked over and saw her being attended to on the side of the road. The volunteer firefighters holding her still as to not move her neck. I raced over to be by her side, wiping the tears as they fell down her cheek…kneeling beside her, I took her hand and for the first time, told her that I loved her.

We obviously didn’t make it to the induction ceremony. I would cheer myself up by telling myself that I would go to Cooperstown to watch his induction ceremony at the Baseball Hall of Fame there.

HOF class of 2019? Fingers crossed.

I remember being at work on the morning of November 7, 2017. I remember getting a call from my mom, saying there had been a plane crash in the Gulf of Mexico and that I may want to sit down. My mom told me that “it’s unknown who was in the plane, but the plane belonged to Roy Halladay.” I fought back tears as my heart started beating rapidly, I took an early lunch that day, I sat down and glued myself to Twitter for updates. I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t really speak to anyone. I felt like a child admitting to my colleagues why I was so distraught. I felt like no one would understand.

I didn’t speak for the rest of the day. I was in shock. I couldn’t believe that the life of my hero, Roy ‘Doc’ Halladay, had been tragically lost that day.

I never had the chance to show my appreciation for what he did for this city, the Blue Jays, and baseball as a sport. I never had the chance to thank him for making me fall in love with this beautiful game. I never had the chance to cheer for him one last time as he was inducted.

He deserved that from me as I appreciate everything that he did for my life. He was and always will be a hero and an inspiration to me.

As soon as I heard the Blue Jays were doing a tribute to him on Opening Day this year, I knew I had to be there. This is my chance to say thank you. This is my chance to say goodbye.

3 words. Five claps. THANK YOU DOC.

The Night The Bitter Cold Air Was A Wake Up Call

It was a windy Thursday night. The kind of wind that hurts your face. I could feel it as I rushed along Queen St West, pivoting around the crowds of people. The sun that was shining throughout the day was false advertising of warmer weather. It was definitely still winter in the city, and much like many others, I was feeling “the blues.”

But, my “blues” were anything but, and I knew it

The anxiety and depression I have been battling for as long as I could remember had taken over. The boogeyman in my head had tightened his grip over my thoughts and actions

I needed to break free.

Just like any other day – my mind was racing. How many times have I walked down this street before? How many times had I rushed through the crowds to get to an event that I was running late for? Remembering the times where within the 7 days of the week, I was out at likely 16 events over the course of 6 days. Remembering how easy it all seemed back then.

Well, how easy I made it seem. There was a lot of pretending everything was ok when in actuality – it was not.

…it was exhausting

Things were quite different now, though. I moved in (north of Bloor St. and if you are from Toronto – you’ll understand why this matters) with Mike and now it would take a whole lot more convincing to get me out and about

At first, I would blame my lack of presence at events on “exclusivity.” Which was, in fact, part of it. I didn’t WANT to be everywhere any more. But in all actuality – it was more so my anxiety. I COULDN’T be everywhere anymore

The anxiety that would come from going out was overwhelming. It wasn’t even just being out anymore. The thought of going out starting inducing panic attacks. I can’t tell you how many times I was on my way out when the fear and panic would take over, so much so that I’d either tell my uber to turn around or I’d have to get off of the public transit because it felt as though I was going to be sick

“Take a deep breath, Jenn. It’s going to be ok,” I mumbled to myself as I hopped over the streetcar track – narrowly missing getting my heel stuck.

I secluded myself. I isolated myself from people and places and things. I would stay home, and as I would scroll through my feeds, I would feel a sudden pang of FOMO. I’d see everyone out there with the smiles and the cocktails and the laughter and I would feel as though I was missing out. But that feeling only lasted a moment…then the overwhelming sense of relief would take over.

I knew that by isolating myself though, that I was actually doing more harm than good. I needed to make changes. I needed to feel better. I needed to be the best version of myself, for me and those around me.

So, what changes did I have to make?

I knew I had to start eating better. I knew that my steady diet of wine and chicken fingers and pizza was no bueno. I mean, it was delicious – but I knew I needed more.

I knew I had to start working out again. I knew that I needed to get those feel-good endorphins flowing. The hardest part of going to the gym is LITERALLY going to the gym, so I knew I had to get over that hurdle.

I knew I had to reconnect with some friends, and distance myself from some others. I knew that I had to be selfish and put my needs first and remove some toxicness from my life. I knew that I had to hope that it wasn’t too late with some people and that they would be understanding of my isolation.

I knew I had to start saying yes again. I knew I had to push myself out of my comfort zone and start saying yes to events and plans again. I knew that getting out there again – socializing as opposed to simply scrolling my feeds, was a good idea

So, I started making some small changes. I started meal prepping my lunches. I launched a motivational month with some followers where we encouraged each other daily. I started going to sleep earlier, and leaving my phone on the bedside table as opposed to scrolling in bed. I started getting up earlier and going to the gym. Those early morning feel good endorphins became EvErYtHiNg to me. They’re amazing!

And I even started saying yes to events and plans again.

“Take a deep breath, Jenn. It’s going to be ok,” I said to myself as I took the 15-second elevator (which felt more like an hour) ride up to the event space.

I had RSVP’d yes to this particular event, and gone solo. Double whammy. I thought that by coming solo I could plot my quick escape, if need be.

As I reached for a glass of wine from the waiter, I caught sight of a grin being shot my way that so big it lit the room and was greeted with a hug so heartfelt I immediately started to feel at ease.

“See, a familiar face. You’re good, Jenn.” I thought to myself as I saw Casie approaching.

The distraction of our conversation helped briefly ease my anxiety. From talking about recent travel to our outfits to the industry…and everything in between – the distraction made the whole situation started to become more manageable.

Distractions are great, until they’re gone – am I right?

Now that my anxiety was easing off, I was able to focus and listen to the amazing panel. Which was great because it became motivation. Hearing the panelists stories, and those from the people in the audience who decided to speak up or ask questions – was that extra butt kick of motivation I needed to make more changes.

I left the event and decided to grab a cocktail on my own. I needed to decompress after the whole evening, and just wanted to gather my thoughts a bit.

It was only after the event that it really hit me how bad my anxiety was throughout the night. And really, how much my anxiety had gotten out of hand and had taken over. As I sipped my cocktail, I knew what I had to do.

I walked outside, and as the bitter cold air smacked my face like the wakeup call I so desperately needed, I made my first therapy appointment.