VEGAN LIFE

 

In all my years of blogging I have never, ever really touched on the vegan thing. Actually if you know me in real life you would know that it just is a thing that I don’t really discuss. I think that peoples food journeys are really a person thing. I honestly hate confrontation and I hate explaining myself – so I shy away from committing to a conversation about veganism, vegetarianism and food in general.

But if you didn’t know it was a thing for me. IT’S A THING! I have been vegetarian since I was in grade 7 or 8 or 9 – I have no real clue the day that it actually happened. But I remember being at summer camp one year and some of my camp buddies were vegetarian and I honestly just think it was the very first moment in my life that I realized that I could make a decision for me and not eat things I didn’t want to eat. I mean I didn’t really like eating meat anyway – so why not label it and make it a thing.

I started my vegetarian journey at the young age when pigs where just far too cute to eat – I adorned my room in pig blankets and promised my first pet would be a mini pot-bellied pig (that so hasn’t happened yet).  I used to think of myself like a young Lisa Simpson back in the day when her going vegetarian was a huge fucking deal.  Fast forward a few years and to the beginning of my university years and a friend of mine took me to meet some of his new friends and they were all vegan. I seriously thought they were cool as fuck. But it seems kind of extreme.  It was around that time that I was introduced to freegans and dumpster diving (just to be clear neither of those things I did – but I really wanted to).

I actually fell into vegan life sometime in the middle of my first Katimavik contact almost a decade later. Then it stuck for awhile. Since my late 20ies – so almost a damn decade I have dabbled in vegan life. It is hard with the lifestyle I chose to live though. Not all countries have the affluence and the ability to selectively chose how they eat. Some countries do.

I guess in my current state I would say that I am a practical vegan. I try my best when I am home to be as vegan as I can be and when I am on the road – I do my best there – If some cheese creeps in because the only food I can get has cheese then so be it. I do what I can do for me.

I wouldn’t say I am a crusader for animal rights, I love my wool sweaters and my Birkenstocks. But I would say that my bodies feels better when I eat limited to no dairy and no meat. I try my best because I am privileged enough to do so and quite frankly I think it is hip as fuck.

Anyway I like to think of vegan as a hard core vegetarian. Because it really is.

And because I am hard core! I just want to be that way in life.

I know you must be thinking saving animals and/or not consuming animals or their byproducts sounds incredibly easy ( lol just kidding … the social aspect of vegan life – eating out, partying, mostly eating because lets be real – eating out is life – is hard as fuck) but just incase you needed some help I made a list of some of my favorite vegan cookbooks and youtubes so you can find some cool resources:

Favorite vegan lifestyle Bloggers/Youtubers

Okay … Lauren Toyota … that is all one needs to say. Canadian wins huge point in my book. What I love about her is that she make real food. She doesn’t eat so much fruit she has a food baby. There is oil and fry pans and damn good eats. On-top of that she stays out of all the vegan bullshit and drama. Her and John are hilarious. Do it, watch them!

What Leila Eats – HILARIOUS! maybe it is that British humor but every time I watch her I die laughing. She is raw and honest and it is wonderful to see a YouTuber be vulnerable Plus she bakes. I love vegan baking. Just check out her damn channel. Check out that cheeky grim and you’ll be hooked.

I have had my moments with Henya. There are moments where she is a bit to much wrapped up in the Vegan drama. But mostly she is fucking hilarious. I love her vegan journey’s around the world. She is really really great at showing you ways to make money, passive incomes etc. Maybe she doesn’t talk directly but – YouTube, t-shirt shop, and ebooks. Smart cookie. influential. Watch out for her!

I love that Hannah filmed her entire journey. She shows where she came from in terms of weight and I am madly in love with her and Derek and them building a tiny house. They are just living there simple life and loving it. She is soft spoken and stays away from drama these days.

Cookbooks

Thug Kitchen

Right now I’m obsessed. This is my “go to” all the time for recipes. They include all my favorite food, avocado, cilantro, beans, pasta, deliciousness. If you are looking for a new cook book buy this (not sponsored – just love them)

Where it all Vegan & the Dolce Vegan

This has been a long time go to since I first became vegan. Classic recipes, made easy, lots of left overs, lots of just plan and normal food but vegan versions of it. Potpies, pastas, soups stews, cookies, cakes, muffins.

High Carb Hannah Cookbooks (all of them)

I have all her cookbooks. They are great. easy recipes and easy to follow. I love the flavor profile she cooks with and most they are all kind of Starch Solution inspired recipes. Pretty pictures. super affordable.

 

 

#girlboss #gettingit

“It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.” – Leonardo da Vinci

I totally listened to this book on Audible. I took the time out of my day job, while it was slow .. obviously .. and listen my way through this book. I actually don’t have much interested in vintage fashion. I don’t really online shop and I am not super into the kind of clothing she has on Nasty Gal. What I am super interested in is being my own boss. I am interested in companies that have bosses that are women.  I want to start on the journey of becoming my own digital nomad and these are the kinds of things that I am interested in right now.

Sophia has touched on themes and ideas that made me think … Yes! Yes! Yes! So let’s dive in (I guess I should state now – this is me kind of wanting to discuss some of the concepts in the book so if you haven’t read it – maybe go and do that):

Right out the gate Sophia is discussing the idea of luck and fucking hating the idea of it! I love this and therefore I am hooked. This set the tone for the entire book. I abso-fucking-lutely agree that luck is bullshit. BULLSHIT! I  kind of agree that you get what you want in life because you work hard and create opportunity – not always because someone hands you things. Now maybe I am just one of those people that aren’t lucky in the conventional sense  – or maybe I am just a firm believe in the law of attraction. But, If you know anything about the law of attraction you know that you create your own vortex of awesome. So luck plays no part of your life, creating a positive, sure fire belief in yourself and your success is the most important part. This is why I believe that if you say something enough times it will eventually come true. You need to carefully and intentional choose your thoughts, approach your days with goals and intentions and believe the shit out of yourself and your abilities.

“When you think about people you give them power” – Sophia Amoruso, GirlBoss

Who, wait .. what?? Never thought of that did you? When you constantly think about, rant jealously about, and/or spout insecurities about someone or something –  you are giving them the power over you too succeed. Thoughts become things, people. The last thing you want to do is to give a competitor the power of your well crafted thoughts. You can see how Sophia hammers in the point that the law of attraction dictates our lives. What you put in your mind you put in your life.  You need to surround yourself with people that motivate, inspire and bring your creative juices to a max flowing potential.  Network the shit out of the good ones and leave everything else behind.

“Life is about creating yourself” – George Bernard Shaw

Who do you want to be? That is the most poignant question you can ask yourself. Knowing that you can create anything, what exactly do you want to create? I spent a lot of time in my youth trying out different scenes, different styles, different diets till finally something stuck. But, that doesn’t mean this is where I remain. We have the ability to recreated ourselves as many times as we want. Maybe what you thought you wanted didn’t work at all – so here you are trying something else. You need to experiment with different lifestyles, try things out, see if they worked.

Rewrite. Rewrite. Rewrite.

It’s your life, why are you sitting around waiting for something amazing to happen. You need to get out there and create the amazing. You need to create your the first impression you want – be that Facebook, Twitter, Linked in – social media is a powerful, powerful tool that can be used to your advantage. You chose how you want people the perceive you. So get out there and get the amazing you deserve. If what your doing and being doesn’t serve you, rewrite it.


I think over all this was pretty alright – I would recommend to anyone interested in creating something huge out of nothing. She really hammers in the thoughts that: Impressions are important. Creating you is important. Being a caring, sensitive human who works hard is essential. Don’t talk about about your personal development – the person trusting you doesn’t give a shit about how their company, their person or being is going to benefit you – they want to know how you are going to benefit them. Connect your own dots. Don’t make others do it themselves. You create the journey for them. Learn to write. Learn to write well. Don’t be greedy. Work hard. Read more than you watch Netflix. Learn to listen. Learn to take criticism. Be a leader even if you aren’t asked too. Be open to amazing. Do things you don’t like. Be the person you want to be. Love yourself. And last but not least – fucking focus.

 

 

 

Journey to Minimalism

Maybe it’s just where my energy is going but HECK YES minimalism is flowin’ …. AND – it is all the rage these days. Maybe it is the age bracket I am moving into but I think the current drive of people is to live a simpler, more intentional life. Minimalism looks different for different people. Plain and simple. What I require to live could be less or more than what you require to live. It is pretty simple lifestyle math – where one thing directly affects another.

Getting rid of things that clutter your physical life declutters your mental life – allowing YOU more time – allocating that how you see fit (traveling, taking classes, drinking more, socializing more, entrepreneurial things).

When you don’t need to subconsciously think of all that junk – When you stop placing value on things, you stop buying into consumerism and stop buying stuff – life changes.

I used to be a low-grade hoarder.  I am not even kidding. I somehow collected all of these foolish things that I didn’t really need, things that I never ever used. I used to have hoards (or at least what I deemed hoards) of things just packed away in boxes that I was not really sure what I would do with. You know when you’re constantly moving around you have these things that you think would be great for an apartment one day when you settle down but that getting an apartment day always gets trumped by plane tickets to XYZ. I got reminded constantly of things I had laying around in my sister’s houses’, in my parents house, in my friends houses in the far east of Canada – after awhile it just got to be overwhelming. Last year when I loved to Montreal I took the leap and shipped all my things to one place. I got a studio apartment and hung out in there with no furniture just boxes of things. All my stuff all in one place.

I spent a long time living somewhere between hipster and poverty – where I wasn’t sure if I just couldn’t afford things or if I was really just that much of a hippie or hipster and didn’t want the to buy things. I basically just lived in my apartment, on an air mattress surrounded by my stuff. It was a sad time.

Was I choosing mason jars or where mason jars choosing me?

I went through a lengthy couple of years just discarding “stuff” that I had shipped around the world and around Canada. I downsized my memories to a hard drive and a few boxes. It has been a very very slow journey to adulting. A slow journey to setting myself up for financial success and a debt repayment game plan, changing my ways and my spending. I have taken to not spending money on things I don’t need but still spending on experiences (mostly travel) or on moments and events and memories. It has been one of the more liberating and grown up things that I have done.

Now the only thing I need to do or really want to do is keep up with my dreams, goals and above all finding an alternative way to sustain myself. Manifestation of good things. Amazing things.

A few years agoA good friend once told me that she would find time to have a Boyfriend when she finally cleaned out her closet. That was five-ish years agos. I took it to heart. Truth is – I have yet to clean out my closet and not surprisingly a Boyfriend has yet to stick. I have a sneaking suspicion that they might be correlated.You know all that boxed up stuff in your closet, things that don’t fit it is all clutter – it clutters the mind – it distracts, it makes you not deal with things.

It just dawned on my one day – that it was all connected you know?! The moving and the finances and the free living – the disregard for responsibility. I needed to own up my to shit.

So…. I challenged my self and so can you.

The Challenge: Get rid of something everyday – for the next 30 days (getting rid by throwing away, recycling, donating or selling)

(this actually took me more than 30 days more like a year and some)

The Goal:  To clean out all those pesky things I have been holding onto of no value, maybe make a few bucks selling a few things of value, but mostly just to make the clean actually happen (and let’s be real – get ready to move … again!)

———————————————————–

Captains Log:

 Day 1 (June 16th, 2014):  Shredded 2 cheque books; one of old cheques, and one of unused cheques (both for a bank account I not longer have) and then added the zip case to my already labeled “to donate” bag.  Small things but a step in the right direction.

Day 2 (June 17th, 2014): Deleted 35 items from my laptop + uninstalled 2 items. I know it isn’t stuff that you can touch – but if you ever looked at a writers computer or even anyone disorganized like myself you would totally get this (plus I am super exhausted, to exhausted to do anything and felt that I couldn’t disappoint on day 2)

 Day 3,4 &5 (June 18th-20th): Nothing. Shame on me! I had a super rough week at work; most nights I came home and went right to bed. I thought about cleaning out my craft bin, bundling books to sell – I even went as far as making a new ebay password – but then I remember I needed to get postal prices and needed a new dress and the stress started. I then starting deleting more things from my laptop – starting thinking about things  I could get rid of and made a better game plan because when I rent a car to head to my sisters wedding this weekend – I want to get the rest of my things from my sisters and purge what is left in her basement. I also went through and opened up all sorts of old email accounts to start deleting that life away.

 Day 6 (June 21): I have been on a mad writing spree all day. It feels great. Sometimes I just get into these moods and I can’t stop typing and I love it.  ohh geez – I digress.  Today – craft supplies and craft bin. Markers, paint, brushes, charcoals, the arts of the past looking for a new home.

 Day 7 (April 7, 2015 – Montreal) – I took recycling bags full of books to the “Leave a Livre” box on Monkland Ave. on my way to work the other day – back at it after a long ass time and even a move (Note: Sometimes I seem to think that I need to hold onto things because I might reread or reuse but I never reread and I am not moving things again – end of the line.)

Day 8 (Avril 9th, 2015 – Montreal) – I just revisited that book pile and pulled another 20 that I am taking to a different “Leave-a-Livre” on Sherbrooke Ouest.  The goal it is get down to one box of keep-ables – I also made a pile that I think will sell at a second hand book store. I will likely do that sometime next week.  I am also in the process of ripping my CDs onto my computer so once that is completed – they will all go – I feel like that will be my next few days of purging (some tasks take longer than others – just how it is)  – I am not sure where this is all heading but it is fucking liberating. Just trying to enjoy the journey. I am totally kicking myself for spending $1100 shipping things here but I guess the Universe thought I needed some alone time to sort through my past. So I am trying to just go with it.

On another note does it count if I purge a dread-lock a day?  I am combing some out and cutting the rest off as I go through this process!

 Day 9 (April 11th, 2015) – I am burning my CD library to my computer – this is more than a day task – 1/2 way there and then I am going to throw them up on Kijiji for super cheap – will let you know when they disappear completely out of my life. It is hilarious going through the music I want to keep. I am mostly excited for a newly loaded and organized iTunes. 🙂

 Day 10 (April 17th, 2015) – I just sold ALL my CDs to some guy named Marc from Laval. WoOt, WooT! I feel a little load has been lifted out of my life and onto someone else. Big Progress today.  I am also in the process of moving pictures onto my HD (from CDs) and then I will throw away those disks. Lastly, today I will be taking my old writing binders and sorting into recycle-able and garbage and getting rid of that tonight. So slowly the boxes are being freed from my life. I can’t explain how great it feels to be less a few pounds of ‘what-used-to-be’ and getting onto the road of ‘what-is’ …

Day 11 (April 20th, 2015) – I had been carting around with me a bunch of photo albums that I made forever ago – like 6 albums. I took all the photos out, put the albums in the donate bag and ripped up all the photos. The giant binder of my trip back packing across Canada – just down to the photos in a smaller album (because that was before the digital times). I have another recycled bag of goods to take the Salvation army.  And, I have emptied another box.

 **Note: My soul is lifting you guys, baggage is disappearing, I feel great.  Also I think I found a place to take my old DELL PC too so that I can donate it – and Friends that will be one HUGE HUGE thing off the list. I am peeing my pants with excitement to do my makeup collection and my closet but gotta keep the jobs in check and tackle one space at a time.

 *** BIGGER SIDE NOTE: When I moved to Montreal I shipped 20 boxes/bags and flew with a duffel bag, a small wheeled suitcase, a backpack and a VERY large purse. My plan is to leave with 2 boxes, 2 duffel bags and a brand new plane size travel backpack. Watch it happen.

 June 2015 (Montreal): After months of trying to downsize my book collection I finally just took them all to the used book store – $60 richer and I only own the essentially books for my life at this moment. Some architecture things and 2 fun reading books and some cookbooks ohhh and a spiritual well being book. I am impressed with myself. Also this month – I got rid of 7 pairs of jeans that don’t fit me – all the winter jackets that are now too small, shoes, really … I would say 3 garbage bags full of clothes. My traveling mug collection and so much more ….

At the end of June I moved from Montreal to Edmonton. Coming to Edmonton, I shipped 3 pieces and traveled with a rolling suitcase, backpack and purse – I have downsized to about a 1/4 of the amount of stuff. Mostly of crap I didn’t really need.

July 2016 (Edmonton): After almost a year in Edmonton, I have hardly acquired a thing, my entire life fits into my bedroom. I have really worked at downsizing my collection of papers and things I need to keep. I think twice about clothing and at every change of season, I purge my closet.

This journey will never end. However, I really try to not buy things that I think I will one day throw away – if it doesn’t have a long term use I am over it.

Where is your minimalism journey taken you? Do you feel liberated by getting rid of things??

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s in a Carol?

Have you ever put your name into a search engine – just to see what kind of person you are? Or better what kind of person people perceive you to be? What comes up when people are looking at you before that job interview? What sort of social media online presence does the world see when they look you up? Are you a different person online than in real life?  The preconceived notion of you; are you who you claim to be?

I know. Things to think about.

Are you are throwing your name in Google right now.  Go on! Take a minute – see what comes up! I have been doing some research about Carol, as a thing, as a person, as people in history, as famous types – who are the Carol’s of this world?  If you look at me online what sort of information are you taking in and holding onto? Who are the other Carol’s? What are they up too?

This all started because I decided I wanted a cohesive, complete blog – and as I was searching for ideas  I found some old blogs I had written: Rantin’ C and NOTNOFUN in particular – they were like reading old journals – a window into the past of who I was and what I dreamed I would be.

Anyway, over the last few years I have absolutely searched myself, more than once. There are a few times where random things have come up …  like that one time in Vietnam in the hostel when I signed into Facebook and something weird happened. That hacked moment comes up, when I search hard enough I find some online journals and other random blogs – it wasn’t until recently that I made the connection that that sort of Google search may have cost me some jobs – which lead me to recently, finally, deleting those old ramblings. I mean what if someone read that online, reads what was happening in the life of Carol 10 years ago? That certainly is not relevant today. But you can’t expect people to know the difference. Social media is a perception, carefully crafted by the user to appear sometimes like something we are not. I don’t deny the person I was because that got me here – but that person is a shell of the person I am today.

Lifestyle design, personal branding, online content creation, leader in the minimalist to tiny life world. These are the things I am creating on this blog, the topics that I am interested in manifesting and creating as I create a new life for myself.

When I was younger I really never thought much about the person I wanted to become, the person I claimed as myself and the person that is me. I just went about my life. I floated from place to place, city to city – confused and unsure. I felt like I was always searching for the place that I would fit in. The place that would finally feel like home. That place that would let me be and create and do and be awesome. It took forever for me to realize that in all my journey’s and all my soul searching – that a lot of the best parts – I need to ABSOLUTELY create these things, create my life. I some how forgot to create the life I wanted I just thought one day it would happen.

This space, it is about my journey – my journey, in my late 30ies, where I finally figure out how to create the life I want. To finally push out all the naysayers and party poopers and create this thing that brings me so much joy. To share all this knowledge that I have picked up along the way to figure out the things that are me.

So what is it that I want you to know about me right now before we take this journey together?

I am a  blogger, talker, storyteller, writer. I am a minimalist, alternative housing enthusiast. I work hard a multiple jobs while I am trying to create my empire, and by empire I mean – I am trying to find the best way possible to highlight the beauty of smaller living to have a bigger life.

So come along on this journey with me to finally taking all that knowledge from travel and formal education and informal education, from living in a government run commune to being homeless in China and sleeping on my friends window ledge to staying with family and constantly living out of a backpack – to the final stages of what will soon be building a tiny home and sailing away into life bliss.

Whose with me on this journey?