i went to the opening of the new Mill St. Brewery in calgary last night. it delightfully reminded me of being in the distillery district back home, walking the brick streets, window shopping and popping into the restaurants for a nibble or a sip. located in the old Costigan House on 17th avenue – think tequila or rebuplik nightclub for the locals. the newly renovated building still has a classic touch thanks to the light brick and a modern touch from tons of glass. it will be the perfect space for anyone headed to and from a Flames game, or wandering around 17th looking for a new watering hole. become a regular now, since i feel like it will be packed all summer thanks to their huge outdoor patio.

i’ve also been around a lot of beautiful flowers this week. i got mary and her mother-in-law a gorgeous bouquet on wednesday from a newly-discovered floral shop in eau claire, and took an arrangement home with me on monday from a dinner. fuelled by a lot of gin, and a little confidence, i snatched the flowers from their vase. they are now on my coffee table. it’s like a wedding right? someone gets to leave with a centerpiece? this one is actually more gorgeous than any table decoration i’ve been forced to take home with me.

things i care about right now:

  1. real interaction. i’ve already had three girlfriend catch ups this week, and get another one tonight. being able to sit across from the special people in my life and have a true, meaningful conversation filled with more than “i’m good, how’s work?” fluff really makes me soar. i am proud to have these intelligent, funny, loving, driven women in my inner circle.
  2. passion. passion is really sexy to me right now, too.

this week has been go-go-go, with two events and two friend nights – i have two more events tonight. i know, i sound like an asshole. it’s fun, don’t get me wrong, but it’s also tiring. this weekend after weekend work, i’ll be a hermit; me + my couch = love. throw in a nap, and it’s a threesome i can get behind.

what’s up for the weekend?

people who “eat to live” are not usually my kind of people. i can’t relate to someone who thinks kale chips are an indulgence. they are the people i happily smile at with my chubby cheeks while i lick barbecue sauce off my fingers…because, have you tried barbecue?


that magic is worth being chubby for.

in one episode of Mind of a Chef (on netflix, watch it) the pit master they are featuring says, “it makes the skinny fat, and the fat good lookin’,” in his delightful southern drawl while rubbing his overall-covered belly. i remember laughing at his matter-of-fact statement; it was so ‘deep south’.


my enchantment began at southern soul barbecue in saint simons island, georgia aka the happiest place on earth. where the small counter barely has standing room for four and the line is stretched so far out onto the patio, it weaves around the benches and past the smoker – the main focal point.

sitting on that patio in the sunshine, sipping on a sweet tea, while waiting for my order is my definition of simple happiness.

the downside is, southern soul’s patio is 4,228km away from me most days. and while the 39 hour drive that spans two provinces and 13 states sounds pretty incredible, it may not be the most economical.


you could imagine i was pretty jazzed to hear of a new barbecue joint, Hayden Block Smoke & Whiskey, a mere 3.7km from my condo. all signs pointed to great: their menus were locally-sourced and celiac-friendly, they learned from the best in Texas, they kept everything simple.

there was only one question left: could it compare to my island in the sun?

after stuffing ourselves on my birthday, Jess and I found out that yes, indeed, it was as delicious as i needed it to be. and that’s no easy task; my barbecue standards are incredibly high.

Hayden Block provides has a welcoming and friendly atmosphere, deliciously smoked dishes, a multitude of classic sides (like their decadent, ooey gooey mac and cheese), and hand-crafted cocktails. it was everything i was missing in terms of barbecue – southern drawl not included. though, i’m sure if i asked nicely, someone would fake an accent for me.


local calgarians will know the location as the old yardhouse in kensington. after an extensive revamp of the space – totally needed – Hayden Block now features a southern-inspired ambiance and a backyard patio called the Whiskey Garden, where you can enjoy a beverage made with your choice of the over 160 internationally sourced whiskeys, or a craft beer or glass of wine.


you’ll leave more than satisfied with a full belly and extensive knowledge from the in-house whiskey-connoisseurs, all of which are happy to take a moment to tell you about their passion. my favourite kind of people.

i have countless standing dates to return again, try everything i haven’t yet, indulge in my favourites, and order everything on the brunch menu. wanna come?

do you have a favourite barbecue place?


today’s piece of advice: unless she is literally asking for it, she’s not asking for it.

i’m not sure that could be more clear.

her clothes aren’t talking. her makeup isn’t talking. her shoes aren’t talking. the way she flips her hair isn’t talking. unless her mouth says words of consent, she’s not asking for it.

she’s not asking for it.

there has been so much surrounding this topic in the media the last few days due to a very unfortunate individual running for president of the united states. i listened to michelle obama’s speech, and i read through the twitter hashtags #notokay and #ibelieveyou with a breaking heart.

the only person who has the right to dictate what happens to a woman’s body is that woman. rape culture isn’t funny. a woman, and her vagina, are not anyone’s property.

she’s not asking for it.

these conversations force us women to relive every unwanted advance, every time we’ve been treated like someone’s toy. sadly, many women are forced to relive the sexual assault they have experience.

and sadly, it isn’t stopping. we will be forced to live new encounters.

like this morning.

there was nothing special about this morning.

my alarm went off at 6 a.m. like it does every saturday. i laid in bed fighting with a headache, tiredness, and thinking of ways i could call in sick for work. i lost the fight about 30 minutes later, getting myself out of bed to get ready. this morning’s definition of “ready” consists of making sure there weren’t any crusties on my face, pulling my hair into a messy top knot, and putting layer after layer of baggy stretch-cotton fabric on my body – for maximum comfort, and warmth – before stepping out into the below-zero temperature for my walk to work.

the walk is about 4 blocks. it’s not new; i’ve done it every saturday morning at 7 a.m. for the last 17 months.

the sky was still so dark, and the calgary tower was glowing through the thick, icy fog. i took a deep breath and felt the chill down in my lungs. i thought to myself that everything felt still, like i was so lucky to be the only person awake and out in the world experiencing this beautiful morning.

that is until i realized i wasn’t alone.

there’s a car slowly driving nearby. it pulls up alongside me, stops, and the driver’s side window rolls down. the man inside is muttering something in my direction. what was that? is he asking for directions? he opens his mouth again. he’s telling me to get in his car. to go with him. he’s not asking.

“what? no!” i yell back and quickly continuing walking.

he slowly continues driving beside me, talking out his car window. work is now only two blocks away, but it seems like miles.

just go away. just drive off.

and then he does. he steps on the gas and speeds into the darkness.

it’s not until i finally get to work that my heart stops pounding, and i get to reflect on what just happened:

there is nothing “inviting” or “sexy” about my outfit. i have no skin showing. it’s -2 degrees out; and i am bundled up in my jacket, scarf and hat. it’s so dark, and i am wearing so many layers, it probably took a while for this person to figure out i am a female.

we often blame ourselves. what did i do to invite these actions? how can i prevent it from happening again?  but here’s the thing: i did nothing.

i was not asking for it.

this morning is an example that proves sexual abuse/assault is not about anything a woman does. if a person wants to act in such a manner, actions will be taken out on the woman who is available.

we need to stop telling women that they are being sexy, flirty, provocative, etc., etc., etc. and start telling attackers that they do not have any right, power or privilege to act like they do.

unless she is literally asking for it, she’s not asking for it.

she is not asking for it.