We’ll jump right into it today. Two more recipes for you stomach (and sweatpant) pleasure. Continue reading “THE Thanksgiving Dessert Saga: Part 2”
This weekend is the start of my favorite time of the year: Fall. Risking sounding like a basic (you know what) I live for all things pumpkin spice and sweater weather. There are just so many things to love about the fall: the beautiful scenery as the leaves change, the crisp autumn air, the excuse for watching Halloweentown a million times and catching up with friends over a good old fashion PSL (also my birthday is in November so that helps). Another thing I love about the fall?
Thanksgiving. Continue reading “THE Thanksgiving Dessert Saga: Part 1”
Your mindful Monday is hitting you on a Sunday because today is Move in Day at MSVU and the relevance is HIGH.
This week there has been and will be: reunions between friends, tears between family members, excitement and nervousness between your stomachs and hearts, and bright, beautiful places ready to be the homes of your incredible journeys through University.
What we sometimes forget is that this week there has been, and will be, times when we put our (I’m including myself) health at risk. I’m not just talking about physical health, or mental health. This week for new and returning students will be full of stress, anxiety, excitement, heavy lifting, overload of information and importantly a LOT of fun.
This is a lot for our body, brain and heart to process. When you’re enjoying every moment of back to school keep in mind that you need to take care of you first!
Some steps to try and make your first week as healthy and happy as possible: Continue reading “Orientation Week: Putting your health first”
I’m sure none of you are strangers to the phrase “Don’t sweat the small stuff.”. I don’t like to use the term because it is a widely used, grossly misunderstood and highly misleading sentence. As a lover of science, mathematics and grammar (I know, very random interests); as a chronic worrier, over thinker and generally anxious person, I never understood the phrase. I never understood because I literally could not stop myself from sweating the small stuff. I was obsessed with minor details, I felt as though I couldn’t make any mistakes. I was constantly worried that I would make even one wrong decision and that it would completely ruin my life. Continue reading “How to sweat the small stuff and still live your life”
If we’re being perfectly honest, do any of us really measure when we cook? (Yes Cassey most of us do)
Well if you don’t, this is the post for you, because most of the time, I don’t either.
Sometimes I just get an idea in my head and I think, “yeah that sounds like it would taste good”. So I make it. Usually I look up an original recipe, start to follow it, leave stuff out because I’m picky, add stuff in because I like bacon on everything, and then end up screwing up the proportions so much I just wing it after all.
I’m not sure if this makes me a good, or a bad cook. But that’s for the people eating my food to decide.
So here are two recipes, with suggested ingredients and realistic instructions, because we all know you don’t want to do fraction math. Join me and just wing it (unfortunately not any real wings).
Spinach Dip Stuffed Chicken
Other kinds of cheese that you like
Garlic (any form)
Microwave cream cheese in a bowl until soft, chop up as much spinach as you’d like; add it to the cream cheese. Add as much other cheese as you want and mix. Put in as much garlic powder as you desire (I use A LOT) and mix that in also. Cut some kind of slit in the chicken breast, shove as much of the mixture as you can into the hole. Throw some toothpicks in it to hold it shut if it’s gaping. Then put it in the oven, in an oven friendly chicken cooking dish and cook it for like 25-35 minutes depending on how paranoid you are (I cook it for about 40). Take it out, and serve it with whatever your favourite side is. I like French style string beans and roasted red potatoes with some blend of yummy smelling spices.
Bacon, Mushroom, Chicken Cheese Stuffed Pasta Goodness
Boursin Cheese (there’s an actual Boursin Cheese that’s made as a cooking sauce but idk if it still exists)
Cream or something to make the Boursin cheese into a sauce if you can’t find it
Cheese Stuffed Tortellini Pasta
Either buy pre-cooked chicken, or bake a chicken breast in the oven. Start boiling water for the pasta. Fry the bacon in a pan until about half done while chopping the mushrooms to desired size. Put the pasta in the water when it boils. Move the bacon to one side of the pan and use the other side to cook the mushrooms. Add the chicken to the pan and remove the bacon and crumble it. Pour in desired amount of sauce onto frying pan, and add the bacon back in, once warmed add the pasta and stir. Now scoop onto a plate. Voila.
As I sit here in the Halifax Stanfield International Airport, I can’t help but think about the few other times I have graced any airport with my presence. Although this trip is going to be much shorter, and will just include time spent in my country with my other half (Cassie Pilon’s cat junior) it still has a lot in common with the others.
I’m stil travelling to a place I’ve never been, I’m sure I’ll be meeting people I never have, and eating very little of the local cuisine (I’m pretty picky). I’m also an hour early as per usual, which is why I sit here writing to you instead of sleeping the extra hour in my nice comfortable bed, which I miss dearly.
When my blog had just first started, and was finding its feet I wrote from an airport, on my way to Orlando, Florida. I was waiting for my first big adventure, I was expecting to be wowed and struck with life changing epiphanies. I thought: a new country, I’m travelling so far, this must be important. A short time later I wrote from an airport, on my way to Quebec. I thought: still Canada, there’s going to be a lot of poutine, I’ll be learning French (yawn), probably not that important.
Both of these places, I was very wrong about.
When I went to Florida, it was a shorter trip, but I volunteered, and it was great and all but it didn’t exactly leave me thinking wow my life has been changed in some way. It was kind of the same things I’d been doing back home, with the exception of Disney and Orlando Studios. This trip was fun, a lot of fun, but it wasn’t full of epiphanies as I had expected.
When I went to Quebec, it was more than I could have imagined any trip to be. I honestly could’ve backed out, I wasn’t looking forward to it too much. However, the people I met, and the things I learned (French and otherwise) will stick with me forever and many things I learned (about myself) are now daily reminders in my pursuit of doing more than just getting by.
It left me with wanderlust, not in the way of needing to be halfway across the world (although I wouldn’t complain), but in the way of simply needing to see things I have never seen before. To just travel to somewhere, anywhere. To have adventure as often as possible, no matter how small.
Sometimes it is the most unexpected places that we find our lives changed: in people you never thought you would meet, in places you never thought to see, in walking down the street eating a baguette (a whole one) to yourself.
So sitting here in this very empty airport, watching a very cool sunrise through a lot of clouds, I just want to remind you to accept any adventure. If you have the opportunity to go anywhere do it, whether it is to the other end of the province, the other end of the country, the other end of the world, or just to visit your bff in their hometown. Go places, do things, open your eyes.
Never be afraid to wander,
Well everyone, here we are. About one month fresh out of my “one year single”. It has also been basically one month since my last post, which was the 365 Days Single post. This I think is a good precedent to the fact that I have made a mistake (as we all do), and I’ll get into that soon. I was so overwhelmed by the response to this last post, that I thought to myself: I should go back, and read it to see what I think.
This is when I realized: hey, I haven’t written anything in a month.
I then checked the journal I keep beside my bed: nothing.
I checked the notes on my phone: nothing.
This month has been a little weird. I have realized that I may have led you (and myself) astray. God forbid if any of you might actually try and get life advice from the unqualified cold mess that I am, I wanted to clarify what I have learned so that you can learn from my mistakes. Otherwise we’d all be doomed to repeat them. I was thinking about where I was a month ago. I felt that I was in a really great place. I felt like I had accomplished a goal, that I had spent the year single and tried my best to spend it working on myself. The month of May had been spent doing things I loved, that I had forgotten I loved. So naturally, I looked at it as one big check mark on my list. After one whole year of working on myself, I must be ready. It’s been a whole year, so I should have it all figured out by now.
Wrong, oh so wrong.
I’m going to do something a little weird, but important. I’m going to quote myself.
(I’m not a self centered weirdo, swear)
“Don’t lose track of the things you love most. Live life in pursuit of what sets your soul on fire and bring along the people that will rekindle it.”
Just one month after I thought I was ready to stop focusing on me, I lost track of the things I loved most. I hadn’t written, I barely read, I spent less time with friends, I stopped keeping good contact with everyone. I stopped trying. My soul had been smoked out. There was no fire, and no one around to rekindle it.
I found myself subconsciously trying yet again to morph myself into a person I thought I should be. I found myself thinking more than being. Something I promised myself, I’d never do again.
I wrote this line just a few short months ago on April 15.
On that same day, in that same post I wrote this:
“You’ll have to find yourself again, you’ll have to remember how to be your own “us”. You’ll find the beauty in yourselves, you’ll find the wonder in yourselves. You’ll see all there is to see in the world. Someday you might find someone who can do that for you again, until then:
You can be all that for yourselves.”
I had to rekindle my own fire, I knew this. I just needed a bit of a kick to start.
I had the right idea, but didn’t quite hit the mark. You see there is a small problem with this. This goes along with my love of timelines. I have a lovely wonderful fantastic human being in my life, who knows me better than I know myself. He is also insightful as hell and can make you see that you are troubled when you didn’t even know you were. He is one of my closest friends, he is my confidante, and my advice-giver (and we always get ice cream so that’s cool too). I even got to see him last night. On one of our weekly ice cream dates not long ago, he helped me understand my own feelings. While talking about a situation that I was uncomfortable with, he looked at me and said, “We are very similar.”.
This is undeniably true, but I wondered why he had said that in the particular moment. What followed will be advice that I will carry with me forever, and was jut the reminder I needed.
He said to me, “We love timelines. We love to set a schedule of when things will be done by, and we feel like when that time comes we’ll have accomplished whatever it was we needed.” (or something of that sort, my cotton candy blizzard distracted me a smidge).
He and I also spoke a long time ago, roughly a year ago, and said that we would spend one whole year single, to focus on ourselves. I set the goal at the time thinking that it was reasonable, that one whole massive year was more than enough time to find myself, figure it all out, and have my life together. When the 365 days were up, I felt at first that this was accurate. I’ve done a lot of things, I’ve learned a lot, I’m not all the way there, but after one year I should be ready.
I was wrong.
This is where I would like to clarify to all of you: I have made a mistake. These timelines that we put on ourselves are great for completing mundane tasks, such as grocery shopping, cleaning the bathroom, writing an essay. When it comes to our emotions, our perceptions, especially towards ourselves, we cannot put a timeline on when we’ll be done. There is no way that we can say: in one year I’ll be happy with myself in every way, I’ll be ready to stop figuring out who I am. I will know who I am.
Some people can go their whole lives, still trying to figure it all out.
I’ve made a lot of progress in this last year, but I still have a lot of growth left.
Somehow when that year ended, I subconsciously stopped trying. I became dependent on others, I fell into old habits and routines. I stopped exploring, I stopped searching within myself, and starting searching for me in other people. I tried to do things that I thought I “should” do. I tried to do things that a “normal” person would do. I did things that I never thought I would, and things that were completely out of character for me.
I did things that made me disappointed in myself.
If there is one thing this year, and a few long conversations with a good friend has taught me, is that I have to follow what I feel is right. I have to put me first. It’s important to care about others, and to be careful of other people’s wants, and feelings.
But pardon me if I sound selfish or rude when I say, you (and I) need to put ourselves above everything else. You cannot sacrifice your values, beliefs, personality, for anyone else. You simply need to follow what you feel.
You need to be yourself.
You might not know who that is, or what that means (I definitely don’t), but that’s the beauty of not having a timeline. You can continue to grow and learn as you go.
Recent events have made me very aware that I still have a lot of work to do on myself before I can go back to relying on other people. I have to be comfortable with myself before I can be comfortable with someone else.
I have to learn to take my own advice.
Looking back at the quote from earlier, I have decided it needs one small change:
“You’ll have to find yourself again, you’ll have to remember how to be your own “us”. You’ll find the beauty in yourselves, you’ll find the wonder in yourselves. You’ll see all there is to see in the world. Someday you might find someone who can do that for you again, but even then:
You can be all that for yourselves.”
You can be all that for yourselves, but not only temporarily, this is where I was wrong. You shouldn’t just be holding yourself over until the next person comes along who can pick up where you left off. Don’t be a placeholder in your own life. Be the leader of your life. Make your decisions based on you. Do what feels right to you, what makes you happy. Don’t ever let anyone else dictate who you are, what you’re doing or how you feel.
I am not yet comfortable with my body. I’ve made some progress in being comfortable in my own skin, but it’s truly very difficult. It isn’t something you can snap your fingers and say “In one year I’ll love everything about my body”. I had to endure an hour of trying on jeans and shorts at my new job with coworkers who were all much smaller than I. After a few shed tears, and a vow to never wear shorts again, my self-esteem had taken enough of a kick that I struggled to force myself to eat supper that night.
This is the problem, I had found myself depending on others for my validation, for my self worth. I had thought that once my year was up, I would be confident enough to depend on someone else, to be ready to commit to something else. I thought I would be ready to throw in the towel and say, “I gave it my best shot, this is as good as it’ll get.”
I wasn’t, I’m not, and after one weird month, I know that.
So here, today, I ask you, if you would all like, to join me in kicking timelines to the curb. Yes, I am still working on all of the parts of myself that I have not reached yet, but I am not putting an end date on that. I will no longer set dates, or times to feel happy. I will not tell myself, or anyone else that an amount of time can fix their problems.
I will take two years, three years, ten years if I have to, of working on myself, of putting myself first. If that’s what it takes, because nothing in this world is more important than your happiness. Yes, other people will give that to you, but to be truly happy, you need to learn to find it within yourself. You are a strong, incredible, resilient human being, and you are going to change this world. But live as though there are no timelines, live as though you have a world of time, because it is only then, that you truly find yourself.
Don’t just rekindle your fire temporarily, feed it slowly, until it burns into a miraculous blaze. Let it light your path, and your life, like the love you find within yourself will light your heart.
Don’t rush a good thing,
This is basically going to be another case of me telling you things as though they are factual when they are only my opinion. One of my passions in life is music. In saying that: no I do not work in music, know how to play a ton of instruments, or have a particularly unique taste in music. What I mean by that is that I LOVE music. I listen to music as often as possible, and have a very diverse interest in music. I am also extremely indecisive, so I have a LOT of favorite songs and a LOT of favorite artists. One thing that I have noticed, is that there are certain artists that the world has just decided to hate on. The people who love them, really love them, and everyone else will let you know how bad they are.
I’ll start by saying that I am a huge fan of Kanye West’s music (I get that his personality throws people off but strictly looking at the music I enjoy him) as well as Nickleback’s music. Now I know alarms are going off for many of you. There are many of you thinking that you’ve spent a lifetime being told that you should hate Kanye West and Nickleback.
As per usual I have an unpopular opinion.
I’m here to set the record straight.
So if you’re open minded, and a general boss, check out this list of songs that I think justify the world to take it a little easy on Kanye and poor Nickleback. We all make mistakes. Honestly even if you won’t admit it, I guarantee some of you belted out these jams at a earlier time in your life before you drank a bucket of haterade.
Kanye West: (Pre-Yeezy and Pre-Kardashian Fame)
- Touch the Sky
- Gold Digger **
- Good Morning
- Good Life
- The entire 808’s and Heartbreak album**
- All of the Lights
- Who Gon Stop Me
- No Church in the Wild
Also as a side note you need to watch this video:
And then watch this video:
Back from our comedic genus break.
- How You Remind Me
- Feelin’ Way Too Damn Good
- Savin’ Me
- Far Away
- If Everyone Cared
- Burn it to the Ground
- Gotta Be Somebody
- Never Gonna Be Alone
- This Afternoon
Now if you can listen to all of those and still say that you genuinly don’t like Kanye West or Nickleback, then fine. But don’t ever try and be the DJ in my car unless you’re willing to compromise.
(*disclaimer* the exact number may be a lie but it’s really close)
Of being single.
That’s a long time.
100,000: an exaggerated approximate number of the times I was told things such as the following,
“When are you going to start seeing someone again?”
“Aren’t you lonely?”
“You must get so bored.”
“That must suck.”
“I know this great guy…”
“You’d love ______…”
“Don’t worry, it’ll happen again some day.”
“You’re just so great it intimidates people.”
“Maybe if you put yourself out there more”
To all of this I would always reply things along the lines of:
“I’m very content just living my life.”
I decided to take a different approach than most people, including myself in the past, to this year. I decided to focus on me.
I decided to let life take me where it may in the relationship department, but not to go looking for anything.
Well let me let you in on a little secret.
It was the hardest damn thing I’ve ever done.
A lifetime of learning to look for support, approval, and love from others due to media, experiences, and general human instinct/habits, left me lost.
I found myself more unsure of myself and more insecure than I had been before. This wasn’t what was supposed to happen. I was supposed to become this kick ass strong independent woman.
That didn’t happen right away.
My greatest lesson from this past year which I’ve said before but will say again every day:
Sometimes you have to get lost to find yourself.
I’m not perfect. I’m not here to tell you that it was hard for a while but I’ve finally aquired the secret to life. I’m just here to tell you that I survived.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with relationships, in fact I love them. I love love. It’s so fun and exciting and beautiful and scary. It’s tragic and passionate. It is intangible yet breakable. I am not trying to tell you all to be single right now, I’m not telling you that you aren’t or can’t be happy in a relationship. I’m just telling you that there are so many different kinds of love; but the love that matters the most?
The love you find in yourself.
As an added bonus, the modern dating world is a little weird right now, so it’s a good time to take a quick break if you’ve been feeling the need for one. How did someone manage to take the concept of an online dating site (online dating? No I’m young, that’s just for old people) and turn it into one of the most popular apps for young adults, changing to way “dating” in your 20s looks forever. Let’s face it Tinder is literally just Christian Mingle, e-Harmony, Plenty of Fish, etc. Packaged into a socially acceptable box marketed at young adults. It’s a “game”. Modern dating everybody: it’s simply become a game.
It’s not all sunshine and rainbows being single either. I’m going to give you the straight of it. There are times when it hurts. When it’s late and you need someone to call. When it’s lonely and you need someone to hold you. When you’re sad and you need someone to cheer you up. When it seems like everyone else in the world is with someone and you aren’t.
It hurts when self-doubt creeps along. It hurts when your mind turns on you, and tells you it’s because you aren’t good enough. You aren’t pretty enough, you aren’t smart enough, you aren’t skinny enough, you aren’t whatever-enough for someone to want you.
Things that I have learned about myself in this year:
1. I don’t know how to flirt anymore:
I thought this wouldn’t escape me until I was quite old and married for a while. Apparently it can just poof from your mind whenever it likes.
2. I am oblivious to other people flirting:
Really I don’t see it. I don’t get it at all. Is everyone not just my friend?
3. I am shy around new people:
This was never a problem before. I was very good with making stranger conversation, now I wear headphones all the time to avoid having to speak to anyone I don’t know in public places.
4. I put too much pressure on myself:
Not everything has to be perfect all of the time. Breaks are needed, welcomed. A- is a good grade. You don’t need to take those extra shifts. You don’t have to appear at every social gathering that you’re invited to. You’re allowed to say no.
5. I have developed a habit for only doing things I think I’ll be good at:
Self-consciousness preventing me from doing anything that I might embarrass myself doing. Activities and hobbies limited to things I know I’m good at.
6. I am not very self-aware:
7. I have about three self-deprecating thoughts for every positive thought about myself:
I am my own worst critic, enemy and punisher.
8. I am still very much affected by what people say/think of me, especially males:
One comment that hits a soft spot can hit harder than a physical punch to the throat.
9. I have people around me that love me for who I am:
My friends are incredible. Honestly, I have some of the most kick ass people in my life.
10. I have a type:
Tall, skinny, awkward, longer-ish hair, hipster-esque, probably owns multiple video game consoles or collects cards of some kind.
11. I still fall too hard too fast:
This will never change.
12. I lose faith easily:
If it only affects me: When the going gets tough, I quit. I give up on myself.
13. I love baths:
Weirdly enough, I never used to take baths, now I love them. I take them quite often when there is a clean tub available. They’re calming.
14. I still love being creative:
I lost this in time. When I was younger I wrote about anything, anywhere. I drew, I sang, I played piano and guitar. I made up dances with my friends. I lost this somewhere in translation, I luckily have regained it through this year.
15. I still get far too invested in books:
I will cry more easily at a tragic moment in a novel than in real life. Books pull at my heart strings like nothing else can.
16. I like beer:
Who would’ve thought? Not me.
17. I am not the casual hookup kind of person:
As if we all didn’t know that already haha.
18. I love life:
There are just these moments, the ones where you think of a song that would make it into the perfect movie scene. Your hand hanging out a car window, with a classic throwback blaring, best friend in the driver’s seat. Being at a club when that perfect song comes on. Standing at the top of a mountain, looking down at the world, feeling humble and small. Lying in bed with Kraft Dinner and a candle. Buying a new outfit that makes you feel killer. Someone who makes you laugh worthy of slow motion. Random outings to comedy shows, or cafe’s with games. Finding the perfect chocolate filled croissant. It’s all just so wonderful. Sometimes when we get wrapped up in someone, we forget to look around and enjoy the beautiful little details in life.
That’s why this year has changed me. I’ve learned how to fall back in love with life again.
This year tested me. It made me question so many parts of my life, of myself. It made me confused as to what was me, and what was the person I was trying to be. It taught me to tune out the rest of the world, take a deep breath, and just feel.
This year may have been lacking a boyfriend, but it overcompensated with the discovery of so much more.
It brought me yoga, it brought me cooking, it brought me my favourite perfume. It brought me motivation, and self awareness. This year brought me excitement and curiosity. It brought me risks and choices. It gave me a year of choices entirely my own. It gave me a year of being solely responsible for myself.
It taught me what that meant.
It meant self-sufficiency, mentally, physically and emotionally. It meant finding the things I couldn’t give myself in my friends and family. It meant learning to live. It meant learning to love.
It started off rough, but it had to, I know that now. I had to regain the confidence that I could handle almost breaking. It was through rebuilding that I found my path again. I’ve got a lot of learning left to do, but I’m happy to say I have spent my life savings at Chapters again. I have remembered why I used to spend most of my time with my Nintendo DS. I’ve managed to get an EA help guy to put an Ultimate Pack of Sims 2 on my computer. I’ve signed up to volunteer with organizations that mean something to me. I’ve just started a new job, I’ve written more parts of my book, I’ve re-read the Inkheart series. I have begun buying dresses again and wearing things most people would not on a daily basis. I’ve started feeling music again, I’ve begun to find myself. A new me, much like the older me from before things got complicated.
So this is it, here I am, just letting you know that I’m ok. I’m happy, I’m in love with life.
I know what you are thinking: “Cassey, come on. We want the dirty details”
Well, in one year there were 4 kisses, three Costco size jars of Nutella, one not really date, one accidential date, two new jobs, an indefinite amount of nights spent at the dome, a new love for wine & coffee, zero one night stands, two crushes (short lived), and a Netflix account.
For a year without the societal image of love (a relationship) I learned a whole damn lot about it and I felt more of it than ever before.
I know what you’re thinking, what now? Will she become a crazy cat lady or will she go looking for love again?
Well I don’t like the idea of owning a cat, and I already am surrounded by love. But as we all should be, I’m open to finding it, if it happens to show up on the journey. Sometimes we just need to change our perspective to see what’s right in front of us.
My advice (feel free to ignore it, I’m no life expert) is to stop trying. Don’t go looking for love, for a relationship. Just let it come to you. If you try and force it chances are it ain’t happening. The best kind of love, is the kind that you find in the most unexpected place so. The kind that finds you.
Thank you to everyone who has been here for me on this journey, and for supporting my decisions. You are the light in this life, you are the love that fills my heart and with you I know that I will never be alone.
If you’re looking for a more detailed description of my year, please feel free to ask me sometime. I’ve got a few interesting stories that love to be told.
Be happy, simply,
My free trial of Adobe Photoshop recently ran out, which I thought meant I would have to return to the horrors of MS Paint, or some online editor like Picnik. I wanted to keep Photoshop, really I did. The only problem is, I am poor. The Adobe Creative Cloud is any PR student’s dream. Between my co-op, inspirational wall decor (aka Kanye & Kid Cudi lyrics), and my blog banner update, I used that free trial as much as possible. When it ran out, I thought: I use this a lot, I enjoy using it. I should get it. That is when I found out it costs a fair bit in US Dollars which right now means that it costs like, a million in Canadian.
It didn’t matter how much I wanted it, much alike my dream of Zac Efron being my husband, it simply wasn’t going to happen.
This is when I turned to Google my ever reliable friend, and after a few duds, I came across a photo editing software that is not only free (bless up), but actually decent. It took some getting used to, but many of the tools are similar to those in Photoshop, so it wasn’t too hard to catch on. It downloads straight onto your computer, and there is a ton of information and help online if you ever get stuck. For any PR friends/ Insta famous followers looking for a cheap replacement GIMP will be your new best friend. It’s run and updated by volunteers, so they do take donations if you’d like to send one along, but otherwise it is free of charge.
There’s a quick view of the main editing page.
The website features the download as well as tutorials and information to help you get started.