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 29Secrets.com 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! 

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Mental Health Is Health And You Are Not Alone

The Lifeline Twitter

p/c: The Lifeline Twitter

The shocking and sad news about Kate Spade’s suicide is a reminder that just because someone’s life may appear to be “perfect” – you never really know what they are going through.

Rich or poor – doesn’t matter.

Mental health is a disease that can affect anyone.

Be aware of the signs. Get help if you need it. Keep fighting.

Your happiness is worth the fight and I promise, you’re strong enough to keep going…even when you feel as though you aren’t.

Mental health is health. If you are struggling or in crisis – you are not weak. You are sick. You need to seek help.

Just keep fighting – one day at a time.

Happiness is out there for you, no matter what the boogeyman in your head tells you.

YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

As someone who has survived a suicide attempt, my heart aches every time I see a notice of another life lost.

My heart breaks for the family and friends left behind.

But my heart also breaks for the life lost. I know the pain they were feeling. I know the feeling of giving up.

I know how easily one can spiral out and I know how easily the boogeyman in your head can tighten his grip on your thoughts.

I beg of you, if you are struggling or in crisis – reach out to someone for help.
It’s out there – I PROMISE.

…and if you know someone who battles any form of mental health, please – reach out to them. A simple, “Hi. How are you?” could save a life. Trust me.

One more thing.

If the news of Kate Spade’s passing is triggering you in any way – take care of yourself.

Get offline. Mute words. Call a crisis hotline. Go to a therapy session or a meeting.

Do something to take care of YOU.

You matter. You are important. You are not alone.

If you are in crisis, here is a link to the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention.

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…”

 *sigh*

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.

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#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!

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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.

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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.

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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

credit: greenlivingshow.ca

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

Location
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.