Category Archives: Uncategorized

TED Talks Recommendations 4

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I am loving TED Talks, so many brilliant ideas. And it’s still helping me get through my cardio workouts. Over the past several weeks, I’ve been able to boost my time from 15 minutes to 40 minutes, all thanks to TED! I now watch two to three talks per workout.

Here’s my recommendations:

What are animals thinking and feeling? – Carl Safina
Heartfelt animal feelings.

The power of introverts – Susan Cain
Enlightening and thought provoking.

The happy secret to better work – Shawn Achor
Positive psychology. I love the speakers that use humour. ๐Ÿ™‚

3 TED Talks I Enjoyed This Week

I’m still killing cardio with TED!Image result for ted talks logo

Here’s my recommendations from what I’ve watched in the last little bit:

I’d love your suggestions too. Enjoy!

Consent… why is this a difficult concept?

In my young adult novel, Empty Cup, main character, Raven, is sexually assaulted by her mom’s boyfriend. Raven didn’t consent and clearly says “no” several times. Regardless, her mother blames her for the attack and kicks Raven out of the house. The story continues from there, how Raven deals with post-traumatic stress and homelessness.

I’m following a news story from Halifax right now about a woman who was allegedly raped by a taxi driver while she was drunk and getting a ride home. The taxi driver was found innocent with the judge making the comment “clearly, a drunk can consent.” The woman was three times over the legal limit. And taking a taxi home after drinking should be completely safe. Currently, many people are rallying in support of the woman and calling for an inquiry into the judge.

Why is the concept of consent difficult to understand? This is my soap-box! This story and stories like it wear on my mind.

If someone is not sure what the definition of consent is, the Thames Valley Police put together a short video that uses humour, but sends a clear message. Please watch.

A Minute of Time with Jodi Carmichael

jodi author pic

Award-winning author, Jodi Carmichael, is a fellow founding member of the Anita Factor writing group. She was the first of our group (with the members at the time) to be published with her middle grade novel, Spaghetti is Not a Finger Food (and other life lessons). We were all so excited for her!

Jodi is a spunky bundle of energy who is always excited about something writerly. She works hard at her craft (especially plotting cartoon-1817570_640) and writes wonderful stories with her natural brand of humour. I rarely see Jodi without a smile, so contagious.

I asked Jodi the following two questions:

What was the last book you finished? Would you recommend it?Image result for a monster calls book cover

The last book I read was, A Monster Calls, by Patrick Ness. It had me with the first line. โ€œThe Monster showed up just after midnight. As they do.โ€ How could anyone not love this opening. I highly recommend it and donโ€™t forget to read the note the author included about writing the novel. To me, this made this story all the more special.

Do you base your fictional characters on real people?

I donโ€™t typically base my characters on real people, except when I do! What an answer. Until my most recent novel, my characters and their stories were complete fiction. The book I am now working on is loosely based on my Grandfatherโ€™s mysterious World War 2 years. His war records keep getting resealed, which made me wonder, why? What did he do that is still so top secret? From there, my imagination took flight.

Please connect with Jodi:

Twitter: @Jodi_Carmichael
Facebook: Jodi Carmichael
Instagram: Jodi Carmichael

Image result for forever julia book cover
Jodi writes for kids and teens of all ages and is the award-winning author of young adult novel, Forever Julia and chapter book, Spaghetti is NOT a Finger Food. She is currently working on an action packed middle grade novel that is full of mystery, clairvoyance, and double agents.


Who’s Addicted to Netflix?

Maybe the title should be who isn’t addicted to Netflix? The best two things about Netflix (like I need to tell you) – no commercials and you can watch an entire series, or season in a binge sitting. Around here – 10 p.m. is Netflix time, kids are in bed and we watch an episode or two of our current addiction.

Here’s a few shows we love:

Complete Series:

  • That 70’s Show
  • Breaking Bad
  • Lie to Me (only watch season 1, season 2 killed it.)Image result for breaking bad

Shows that I wait impatiently for the next season to stream:

  • Stranger Things
  • Better Call Saul
  • Glitch
  • Jessica Jones
  • Bates Motel
  • Mrs. Brown’s Boys
  • Walking Dead
  • Santa Clarita Diet

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Current Addictions:

  • Luke Cage
  • Angel

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Shows that came highly recommended, but we just couldn’t get into:

  • Supernatural
  • Once Upon a Time
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events

What do you recommend?


7 Useful Apps

I hunted through my phone (I use Android.) and considered the apps I used most, or find the most useful. Here’s some I recommend:

Related imageInstasize. Want to make picture collages, add backgrounds, text, crop… anything really… Instasize is my app for prepping pics for Instagram. (Give me a follow! I’d love to see your gallery too.)

Image result for zedge app logoZedge. This is where I get backgrounds and ringtones to personalize my phone.

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Weather Network. I have tried so many apps to get the right weather display that I can follow. I’ve even tried paying for some (don’t do that… not worth it!) I always come back to the good old Weather Network.

Image result for my fitness pal app logoMy Fitness Pal. Great app for tracking all things diet and fitness! It also syncs with your FitBit, if you use one.

Image result for beep n go app logoBeep ‘n’ Go. I got tired of carrying so many membership cards for places where I shop. Beep ‘n’ Go holds them all for me on my phone. Works great!

Related imagePay By Phone. I’m not sure about other cities, but if you’re in Winnipeg, and you park downtown, you need this app! I pay for parking with my credit card, never have to run back to the meter to plug in more coins. I even get a text message when my time is running low.

Image result for manitoba 511 app logoManitoba 511. If you live in the country in Manitoba, you need this one. Highway conditions at your finger tips.


Killing Cardio Time with TED

Image result for i hate cardioI hate cardio workouts. I basically hate anything repetitive (and this stretches from mundane data entry jobs to music that repeats a line over and over, to my seven-year-old making car racing noises with his Hot Wheels – I freak out inside.)

I came to realize that walking on a treadmill, cycling on a stationary bike, or skiing on an elliptical is just not going to cut it for me. I’m also too uncoordinated (aka embarrassed) to join a class. Cardio workouts are a real dilemma and I mostly just avoid them. But, as I can no longer ignore this part of my exercise routine, I had to find a solution. And, me, being a problem solver extraordinaire ๐Ÿ˜‰ – found one. Image result for ted talk logo

I love TED Talks, but rarely sit around watching them. “I don’t have time.” But I do have time if I’m bored out of my tree on an Arc Trainer (similar to an elliptical). Watching a TED Talk while I “ski” has proved to be an excellent solution.

At the gym, I do my weight routine and then pick my TED Talk and use an Arc Trainer for the duration of the talk. The time goes much faster and I’m not bored. I still watch the clock a bit — I really do hate cardio — but the time ticks along by minutes instead of seconds.

Here are TED Talks I’ve watched that are worth checking out:

Do you have tricks to get through the things you don’t like doing? Please share your ideas with me.

Deer in the Yard!

My dogs barked, in the house, during the day, which is unusual unless someone is at the door. I went to investigate and they excitedly lead me to the problem.

A deer standing beside our deck, eating the fallen birdseed.

Railway Tracks





“Just remember, the light at the end of the tunnel,
may be you.” ~ Aerosmith

After a Heavy Snow


We had a few snow storms around Christmas time. This is our driveway after one of them. The trees were gorgeous!

“Kindness is like snow-
It beautifies everything it covers.”
~Kahlil Gibran