Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Tempeherley Addicted

My tempeh addiction began when I ventured to Cafe Pyrus in Kitchener Ontario and enjoyed a breakfast wrap with tempeh bacon. Having gone a second time I enjoyed their ceasar salad also with tempeh bacon! Tempeh is very versatile, and delicious depending on how it's cooked and what brand you choose to indulge in! The lovelies at Cafe Pyrus suggested I try Henry's Gourmet Tempeh from the local health food store, Henry's is also local, from Kitchener as well (

I had tried tempeh before from a brand sold at Zehrs but I wasn't a fan of the texture or even the taste. Thinking it was probably just personal preference I didn't divulge into the tempeh experience again... until Cafe Pyrus. I purchased the red pepper tempeh and quickly tried it by making tempeh clubs the very next day! I was super impressed with how easily it cooked up on a frying pan and how delicious it tasted as my "meat" in my sandwich. I had half of the package left, so I decided to make another club with it this evening for dinner. On said club (picture to follow) I put vegenaise, daiya, tomato, and lettuce with a little BBQ sauce brushed on the tempeh before being placed on the bun. The first bite was divine, and enjoyed till the very last bite!

If you have not experienced a true tempeh I suggest you look into Henry's Tempeh. Not only is it local but it's also organic, non-GMO, gluten free and vegan of course! Tempeh is so versatile, and the website above suggests recipes and ways that tempeh can be used. I will most certainly look for Henry's at our local health food store and if I'm out of luck I will travel to Kitchener (although not far, but worth it) for Henry's.

I hope soon I can share other recipes made with tempeh! For now care to drool over my delicious tempeh club!

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

A Blog for A Best Friend

Death; loss in the extreme of the word is tough, never in fact does it change. It will always be tough, no matter how long it's been or how much different your life is from the moment you experienced that loss. Nothing changes, although everything changes! Your life changes, you move on, you grow, you experience new things; but that loss is always with you, no matter where you go, it's apart of you. Death and loss are never something you can run from or hide from, an experience is never something you can pretend never happened.

But there comes a time in the experience where you don't cry all the time, or you aren't completely numb, or you don't feel depressed and saddened. That being because time heals things, you will never get over it completely or forget it but it will get easier. Never will it stop being tough, but easier it will be. Lately, my best friend is the only thing I tend to think about when my mind wanders. In a mere 3 weeks it will be the 5 year anniversary of the loss of my best friend. After 5 years it's still tough, it still brings tears to my eyes to think about the things we did, should have done and would have done as best friends. She was the type of person you just needed to know, I could never explain to anyone fully why she meant so much or why she was such an amazingly adoring person. She had the type of personality that everyone fell in love with, she became everyone's friend, she could make anyone smile and make any situation better. She cared for her friends more then most people would their own family, she showed the most respect to anyone she met, she was just in all words perfect. She found out I had experienced a loss and did not tell her, she cried, she cried for me, and for the pain she knew I was experiencing. That's how much she cared.

She had done so much for me in the 6 years I knew her, more then anyone I've met before or after her presence in my life. She set up the boundaries of what I want in a friend, she would go to hell and back for me, for anyone! That is what I want in a best friend. I've changed so much in the past 5 years, as has my life. For the better though, as much as losing her was the worst thing that could have happened, having her in my life was the best. I grew immensely in many ways, my personality, my life choices, my dreams, my wishes, my strength, courage, willpower, everything. I have her to accredit, because she was a huge inspiration in my life and in her loss. I finally ventured into college, scared to my wits end, but knowing I had strength and courage behind me I trudged through those doors with my head held high. I would never say my life is perfect, has been far from it since my loss. I have experienced a range of emotions and experiences, some good, some not so good. But all worth it in the end.

I often feel that I would do anything to have her back in my life, knowing full well that's not possible. Have I overcome the experience, yes; will I ever stop missing her, no! I will never stop wanting her in my life, our friendship was perfect, she was one of the most important people in my life. I hope I can continue to grow and strengthen as an individual. I hope one day my experiences can change someone's life just as much as she was able to change mine.

"Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our life. If we were to go through our life without any obstacles, we would be crippled. We would not be as strong as what we could have been. Give every opportunity a chance, leave no room for regrets, and don't forget the power in the struggle." 

Here's to the friends we have, the friends we lost, and the friends we've yet to make; to the memories we've made, the memories we keep, and the memories we continue to make. Make the best of your choices, and make the best of your friends. Love and respect <3

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Damaged People Are Dangerous; They Know They Can Survive

Often late at night the inspiration to write hits me, like a Tonka truck smack in the face, leaving me unable to turn off my brain! It's something I've been experiencing for a few days now, which lead me to toss and turn unable to sleep. Which is exactly where this blog is derived from. Words are always a consistent thing for me, they come so easily, but are often hard to piece together. Blogging is not a perfect art form, and mine certainly is far from that as you will notice as you read on. My words become jumbled, my thoughts twisted. But I choose to take to this blog tonight to express some of the things I have been feeling lately, but feeling unable to express to any one individual in my life or question the need for anyone to hear about those feelings. So instead I choose for the larger world to experience and dive into my brain if chosen to do so. Crazy how that works, but it leaves me empty and others full! Enjoy the bumpy ride if you choose!

I have a large thirst for knowledge as well as an overwhelming need to succeed! I strive to succeed in anything and everything I put my mind too, it can be viewed as a positive or a negative thing. I for one enjoy meeting others with such hopes, dreams and the willingness to achieve. But I know it can also become tiresome, as I spent most of my days making sure my college education was perfect, I often forgot to live for anything but the knowledge and education I wanted to receive. I walked across the stage to become a college graduate, knowing full well I wasn't stopping there! I was just waiting on that diploma to allow me to further on my journey through education.

I'm not so sure where my thirst for knowledge came from; although I always loved school, not for the social piece but for the classes! I was and still am a full blooded nerd, glasses and all! But my best and most cherished class was English. Essay's loved them (still do)! I would write a paper everyday of the week if it meant I could allow myself and my knowledge to shine through on paper! Yes, I am pretty confident in my smarts, I may not brag or wish to talk about how I feel intellectual, nor express that I enjoy that feeling. I will never judge anyone on their smarts, nor try and make them look less intelligent. But when struck with the statement "describe yourself in one word", I will always say something about my intelligence or smarts, why because it's the one thing I'm confident about.

Earlier this week I received two college transcripts I "ordered." I could not wait to open one up, although I knew if I did the authenticity of it would be invalid! I just knew I had to have a transcript for myself. I had received my diploma in early June but seeing the grades on paper made everything hit home. I realized how much courage, strength, passion, willpower it took me to succeed and achieve all that I did. I know it sounds funny saying that it took courage, strength, passion and willpower to succeed but intelligence did not get me the grades, it did not make me a better person, it did not allow me to walk across that stage. Not in my field of work; you can have all the intelligence you want, but if you don't have the strength, courage, willpower or passion, you will never succeed! Not only am I proud of myself for everything that I did because I'm proud of the grades I received and the red sticker on my diploma stating honors. But I'm proud of myself for the struggles I went through before entering college, as well as the three years I was in college. Many don't know the struggles and hardships I had to face to get to college, or those that got me across that stage in June. But I know all about them, and I know I could not be happier and more proud of myself for everything I did to better my life and the lives of the individuals I choose to work with in the future.

I walked into college the same way I walked out of high school, a scared, shy, withdrawn individual afraid of the larger world waiting for me on the other side. I walked out a much stronger, passionate, courageous, ambitious, motivated, and honest person then the first day anxiously awaiting the arrival of the classmates I would spend the next three years with. I didn't go to college to make friends or party, I went to college to gain knowledge to help me achieve my dreams. As someone who never follows suite I didn't do the "normal" college structure! Why because that wasn't necessary for me. I'm now looking towards university, starting with a certificate in Addictions Education, following that I want to get my BA in Social Work. I'm still not 100% sure what I want to do or where I want to be when I finish my schooling, or when I'm happy with the knowledge I've gained. I just know for now, those are my goals, and that's okay with me. I feel it's more then necessary to be fully educated in every way possible to work with the individuals I choose to work with; and addictions is a huge piece in the field of working with youth, as is mental health which I will continue to become fully educated in that as well. I want to be the change, I want to be that person that people want to turn too, that someone wants to put their trust in. I want to be that person that can help pick an individual up when they're down. I want to be the person that allows others to realize that their pain and struggles won't last forever, that the sun will always shine and that in order to find your true strength you need to fall down, you need to cry and you need to feel. It's all apart of what shapes each and every one of us. I want to be that person that allows others to realize that we all have the strength, courage and willpower to overcome life's biggest obstacles, struggles and hardships. I want to be their poster child for pain!

Lately I have spent many a days thinking about my future, dwelling on the age piece and wondering if I've waited to long to follow my dreams. But then I look back at what has brought me here, and realize if I never waited I would never be here. I would never have followed my dreams fully, or succeeded as I did. So I have my reason to have waited. Life on the other hand choose not to wait for me to catch up, and I will continue to race to catch up. But being a 24 year old college graduate, working to move out with more life experience then some 40 year old's is perfectly fine with me! I will have the house, family, and career I've dreamed of since I was a child. But I may just get there later then others, I see nothing wrong in that. But I have noticed that I need to work harder now to get where I want to be, as a 15 year old life is often handed to you, when your 24 on the road to 25, you have to work your butt off to get what you want! And work my butt off I will! I won't let anyone stand in my way, or hold me back. I have and will continue to let go of the anchors pulling me under. It feels liberating to do so, I question why I never did it before.

I finally have future plans, set and achievable plans, more then just college. Because really where's life after college? Here, at my parents house, working a part-time job, that's not near enough for me! Everyone needs to have those plans, you can't just let life happen, because if you keep waiting for something to happen for you, it won't! You need to go for exactly what you want. If you want to be in a relationship, you have to work for it, or if you want to get that dream job you need to pull your socks up, get off the couch and do something about it! I would never have received honors if I didn't work as hard as I could to get it, I did it by myself for myself. And I will continue to follow suite and achieve what I want.

Realize you have the strength to be anything you want to be. Put your mind too it and believe! <3 

"I am here for a purpose and that purpose is to grow into a mountain, not to shrink to a grain of sand. Henceforth will I apply all my efforts to become the highest mountain of all and I will strain my potential until it cries for mercy." -Unknown