2016 round up

1. What did you do in 2016 that you’d never done before?
Started working in a reception hall, I dig it. Much different than my usual culinary adventures (in the best kind of way).

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I feel that new years resolutions are pointless. There’s no reason that anyone should wait until the new year to grow, change, be a better person etc. Everyday is an a new opportunity for change.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Not close to me per se but a lot of people in my social media circles have given birth to a bunch of beautiful babies!

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Not this year, which is a nice change.

5. What countries did you visit?

6. What would you like to have in 2017 that you lacked in 2016?
Better focus, a better memory, less stress.

7. What dates from 2016 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

October 8th, the day we said I do!

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Passing my French course (did it by the skin of my teeth but I did it!

9. What was your biggest failure?
Letting toxic people get the best of me.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Yes. My depression and anxiety have returned with a vengeance, but i’m doing what I can to be kind to myself.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
A new laptop. It will make my life much easier for a lot of things.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Nick’s, that boy is nothing short of amazing. My Bridesmaids, those amazing ladies kept me sane during the wedding planning process and I love them for it.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
That list is much too long and personal.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Wedding and bills.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Getting married and seeing all the people I love and adore.

16. What song will always remind you of 2016?
At last by Etta James.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer?
Happier, thinner and richer (in a number of ways)

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Practicing my craft (photography), reading more, learning more.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Being distracted, housework. Wasting time on things/people/places that didn’t really matter.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
I was in Ontario with my family & friends as I do every year and it’s always great 🙂

21. Did you fall in love in 2016?

Every single day. <3 Nick so very much

22. What was your favorite TV program?

How to get away with murder, so good!

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

Yes. I wouldn’t go far as to say hate but more despise I think would be appropriate.

24. What was the best book you read?
Orange is the new black.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Sadly nothing, i’m a little out of the loop when it comes to music these days.

26. What did you want and get?
To marry my best friend and a beautiful honeymoon.

27. What did you want and not get?
For people to mind their own business when it comes to aspects of my life that have nothing to do with them.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 38 and had a quiet brunch with my hubby.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Having better mental health. Winning the lottery.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2016?
Yoga pants, hoodies and t-shirts. I live for comfort.

32. What kept you sane?
-My friends, most of my family. I honestly don’t know what I would have done without them this year! I am so very fortunate to have such amazing people in my life!

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I don’t.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

The election.

35. Who did you miss?
The friends and family that are no longer here.

36. Who was the best new person you met?
I can’t pick just one, but I’ve met some really great people this year!

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2016.
That people are terribly petty and love to talk about you behind your back because they have nothing better to do with their time.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

“Have you ever looked fear in the face
And said I just don’t care?
And it’s only half past the point of no return
The tip of the iceberg
The sun before the burn
The thunder before the lightning
Breath before the phrase
Have you ever felt this way?”

That Chef life, Holiday edition.

“How is your job stressful? All you do is cook all day.”


There’s tons of blogs out there that encompass Chef life. This particular post, is one of the few that I can actually get behind (with a few exceptions to some points he made, mostly because I am a woman and my lifestyle is a little different).

However, like most blogs, they’re very flowery and such because they’re bloggers. Then there’s me, I just occasionally vomit out words for the world to see.

You know, like now.

Explaining Chef life to a non industry person is tough. In general, there’s too much BS comparison period. How often do you see someone saying that they’re tired for whatever reason and someone will fire back something like “you don’t have kids, you have no idea what tired is” “When I did such a such a job, I did this.” “You just need to be more organized and everything will be fine”.

Just stop.


Criticizing someone/anyone for the life that live is just wrong and people need to shut their mouths. We’re all different, we all function differently and no one can relate or be empathetic or sympathetic to the life you live, unless they themselves share some similarities, even then, we all handle things differently. It’s great that you have a handle on your life, however it’s terribly unrealistic and rude to expect anyone to do as you would do when they’re not you.

When did life become such a pissing contest?

Anyway- Chef’s/Cooks fall into their own category, we kind of live in our own secluded world that most people have no real understanding about how it functions unless they themselves are also a Chef or an industry professional. Which is really, really frustrating when you try and explain it to outsiders. It’s a consuming career, you miss out on a lot of things because you can’t have a ‘normal’ life like most people. Chef life is rarely a 9-5, M-F kind of job.

I genuinely like my job and the people I work with (yes really) but let me tell you, the past few weeks (months?) have been nuts. There’s a lot of behind the scenes work that goes on in order to make your event happen. So I tend to get a little frustrated when people who have no right/business criticizing me about how I spend my time, why my organizational skills suck, why my memory is so bad or why haven’t I seen you, why is there no food in the house, why isn’t my Christmas shopping done yet, how come I don’t have any clean socks and more…

Here’s the thing, when the season is in a upswing, your time is no longer your own. You might go from working a few days a week to working weeks straight with maybe one day off in between. Those days that you spend at work can be anywhere from 8-12-15 hours a shot.

It’s exhausting.

  • Being a Sous Chef means that you are responsible for every single thing that goes on in your kitchen. It doesn’t matter who messed up what, it’s your problem period. Why? Because it’s your kitchen and you are responsible for overseeing everything that goes on. Every. Single. Thing. That’s why you’re there. Someone dumped a body in your fridge? Your problem. Light bulb breaks? That’s on you. Sauce doesn’t taste right? Didn’t double check that you have everything that you need? One of your cooks duct taped someone to the ceiling? That’s on you. You need to be five steps ahead always.
  • Perfection matters. You have to know the taste and consistency of everything that you serve and it can’t leave your kitchen until it’s spot on period. If it’s not on point, you best be discovering that far enough in advance so that you can fix it, or in some cases start over before service starts. Otherwise your service will be a train wreck.
  • You’re in charge of your team. While you’re doing your own thing, you have to stay on top of everyone else to make sure that they’re doing their job too and doing it well.
  • Failure is not an option. Chef hired you because they felt you were the right person for the job. You are representing them, their name and their reputation. Not yours. Clients aren’t going to contact you to complain, they don’t know who you are. That needs to be respected and treated with care.
  • Free time is scarce and very precious. Working in the industry means that your free time is extra precious and usually very random. While most people get Sat/Sun off, your weekend is most like Monday/Tuesday.
  • We don’t have time for you. This sounds incredibly rude, however, it’s not personal. I have had two days off in three weeks. Getting more than 5 hours of sleep is a rarity. Forget about eating at home, you usually don’t have time because sleep becomes more important. Food is something that is usually grabbed en route to work because you take the bus and need to multi-task. When time off actually happens after working that much, you have to play catch up on all those things that you neglected. So when someone says oh so and so has three days off this week, they also likely neglected to mention the two weeks worth of laundry that you have sitting there, the dishes that your husband kindly started and forgot to finish. The Christmas gifts that you so smartly started buying in June (yes I do my shopping that early) except now you don’t know where they all are because your house is a disaster and you can’t remember your own name, let alone where you put all the presents. Then you have to find the time to get the one’s that you couldn’t buy early or online. So that eats up an entire day because you have to go all over the city and take the bus/metro to do it. Gifts which also need to be wrapped, as soon as you find them because you’ve had your hands full since early November and haven’t had the time. Only to discover that one of the things you bought needs a replacement battery that you don’t have time to buy so then you have to run out and get them something else that night close to home because your gifts are being dropped off the next day. All the while fighting fatigue and a cold that’s creeping in and making you feel like crap. On top of trying to find the time to pack because you’re leaving for the holidays and you have no clean clothes. This would all be easier if we had a housekeeper, a dishwasher and a car. Except we don’t and all of those things eat into precious hours of the day because you have to make more time for that too. So it’s not that we don’t think you’re not important (because you are), it’s just that there’s other things that need to get done and sometimes they simply can not wait. We’re not being ‘selfish’ out of want, sometimes it’s a necessity.
  • We’re hard enough on ourselves, we don’t need your help. Chef’s tend to be perfectionists. Cooking is our baby, our pride and joy. Criticizing how we do things when you have no idea what we do is not OK. The only person I take criticism from is my boss. He knows his stuff and it’s constructive and helpful to me and my career. Which is something that I can respect. From other people? Not so much. Your opinion on my life and how I choose to do things is invalid. You do you however you see fit, please don’t expect me to do/be/react the same.
  • We don’t want to cook for you on our days off. Another one for the ‘it’s not personal’ category. Cooking for pleasure is something that I am rarely in the mood for. However, when I am in the mood for such things, than it truly is a treat so please cherish it because it’s a rarity.
  • No one cares that you’re having a bad day. This is a tough industry, not everyone can deal with it. We all have bad/off days, it’s not an excuse for not coming in or not being on top of your game. Work is work, home is home and you’re best to check your scene at the door. If you can’t handle that, then maybe being in this industry is not for you.
  • Know your place. Kitchens have a pecking order that needs to be respected. Don’t ever second guess or talk back to your Chef (even if they’re wrong or you don’t agree). No one gives a shit about your precious ego, except for you. So being a smart mouth to the Chef/sous Chef is likely to result in some form of backlash. Check yourself before you wreck yourself.
  • Holidays and other special events fall to the wayside. I’m very fortunate to have a job that shuts down for two glorious weeks for the holidays. However, the time leading up to those two weeks is complete and utter chaos. So time with the people who truly matter to you most likely won’t happen. Same thing with your birthday or any other special occasion. That’s when we’re usually the busiest and taking the time off isn’t usually a viable option, no matter how much we love you.
  • You have it easier because you’re [insert job title here]: Nope. Being in charge means that our time is more valuable, therefore we have a greater responsibility to the person we work for/under. Sure, we get paid a little more, but we’re also expected to do more. Which is only right. We don’t ‘get away’ with stuff/have it easier than anyone else because we’re management. We’re entrusted and responsible for the bigger tasks. We’ve done our time, it’s how we got to where we are now. That doesn’t mean that we don’t have to do ‘lesser’ tasks, at the end of the day, shit needs to get done no matter who does it. Someday, you’ll get there too if you want it bad enough.

So you see, we do more than just cook all day. Thankfully I love what I do and I enjoy where I work and the people I work with and for.

I wouldn’t change a thing.



It’s my birthday and i’ll cry if I want to.

My birthday sucked this year. There, I said it.

While I had numerous well wishes that day from people I love and adore, all of them wishing me the best day ever, something I myself do when I wish someone a happy birthday; it was anything but.

I look at a persons birthday as the one day where they have carte blanche to be as self indulgent as they want. After all, it’s the day you were born and that’s pretty special.

This year was different. It’s been a full year since I lost my dad. Fathers day is also right around the corner, it follows the Sunday after my birthday. It’s been hitting me extra hard this year.

Because I actually feel it.

Things are different when you’re lost in the cluster-fuck of funerals, asshole family members, memorial services and countless other things.

So I cried. I was walking to the metro after a particularly trying day at work and I just couldn’t keep it together, so I stopped trying.

The worst part of my birthday this year though?


I was kind of in the dark about it because we had gotten up early and headed off to my favorite place for brunch-something I am always down for.

When I finally caught up with the news, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I’m a straight ally, which means something and nothing at the same time. Something because the majority of the world *is* heterosexual and we have the power to collectively change things. Nothing because I don’t understand. I am blissfully ignorant (okay maybe not blissful but ignorant none the less) about what it’s like to be anything but a hetero/cis female.

I know how crippling hate can be. I have been tormented and bullied, judged and more by society for a number of reasons. Yet none of them were a result of my sexual preferences.

Some of the most awesome people I know are everything but straight. Their sexual identify means nothing to me, I love them anyway and that’s why this hurts me to the very core.

I know all too well what it’s like to loose someone you love. I’ve said goodbye to far too many people who mean something to me including friends who were much too young. To loose someone you love to hate?


I still can’t fathom these senseless deaths and I can’t help but think about all the what if’s? What if that was one of my friends who are basically family to me? What if someone totally lost their shit because they were gay/trans? I’m still having a hard time trying to put my feelings into perspective but I can and will say this; you’re all so brave and I admire you so much.  After the Orlando shooting so many of my friends came forth and opened up to the entire world who they truly are. I love them and admire them even more.

In a world full of hate, love needs to win. 

tattoo design

It’s more than a noun.

Before I moved to Montreal, my whole inability to speak French was something that constantly weighed on my mind. In fact, it stressed me right the fuck out. Everyone would assure me that everything would be fine and I would get by and for arguments sake I have.

Although, not being able to speak the language coherently has it’s pitfalls of course. I’m really not gifted when it comes to languages. My grade nine French teacher can attest to that. In fact I’m pretty sure I only got the grade that I did just so that she wouldn’t have to deal with me again. Adult me can understand her frustration, teachers work hard and having a student who clearly didn’t give a shit obviously didn’t help. Needless to say, life was much different when I was 14.

Never, ever in a million years did I think that I would end up here.

It would have been much easier to take a course when I first moved here, except I ended up getting a job right away and well when you work in a kitchen; your schedule is so erratic that anything that requires you to have a set schedule is pretty much impossible most of the time.

So after my ex and I split and I started doing my own thing, I started to partake in a conversational French course that was offered at a local un-employment center in the neighbouring borough. It was a great course while I was actively participating in it, then I got sick with a hellish lung infection and ended up missing so many classes, I decided that there was no real point in going back for the time being.

Then just for the hell of it, I started taking a beginner class at a local college here. Except that’s not entirely cost effective at best (it was $250.00 per class and there’s 5 levels)–and- for it to be effective at all in a learning sense, you need to be consistent and keep at it. So last winter before my father passed away, I enrolled into the same class that was offered at the center that I had taken before. It was cost effective and I had the time. Then I lost my dad and trying to tackle a French course two weeks after loosing your dad is foolish at best. Yet, I thought that it was worth a shot. So I went to a few classes while struggling to deal with the loss of my dad and the ton of drama that came along with it.

Worst. Idea. Ever.

When you suffer from depression like I do, your short term memory is gone. You team that up with anxiety and just trying to keep it together for the couple of hours that you have for class. There were only a dozen of us in this class and participation is required. I hate being put on the spot and I struggled but I tried. I get very anxious and overwhelmed when I don’t understand something, which quickly turns to frustration and my mind becomes a giant cluster fuck. Than I feel really stupid. I’ve learned to recognize these signs and I try to offset them with internal rationale. It’s not so much that i’m a bad student, I just don’t do well at things I have to do, vs things I want to do.

Anyway- I got called out in class for something. I needed to figure out a noun for part of the conversation.

Imagine my horror when I could not for the life of me remember what a noun was.

The two guys sitting behind me were laughing, the teacher was looking at me with the most (understandably) incredulous look on his face. I felt like the proverbial deer caught in the headlights and my face burned bright and hot with the shame and embarrassment of my failure.

My mind was completely blank, I couldn’t formulate a thought to save my life and I don’t think I have ever been more mortified or anxious.

I was so ashamed and so embarrassed that I never went back.

Yes, I know that’s really over the top and extreme to some. However when you just lost your dad, you’re dealing with depression along with anxiety and a whole host of other things, it’s just a little too much. Even if you don’t fancy yourself to be much of a drama queen (I don’t). I felt stupid and worse yet I was (and still am) terrified that I would never get my mind back.

Depression robs you of so many things, your memory, your dignity and more. It’s defined as a mental illness; it does not just affect your mind. Depression eats at you on all levels, mind body and soul.

So I sacrificed my going back to school for computer graphics to take a level one French course (again). This class is full time for three months. I am terrified. That last incident is much too fresh in my memory and being that I cry a lot these days more often than not, I truly hope that I not only learn something and garner a much needed grasp on the language, but I also hope that I don’t have an anxiety induced meltdown and embarrass myself again.

I’m not one of those people who are OK with having public meltdowns. I am a very private person and I get very overwhelmed and shut down when I feel that people are invading my perceived personal space. I don’t care for pity and I don’t care to play the victim either, because I’m not. I’m just a person who has a whole lot of walls and I only plan to add windows when I’m good and ready to. It’s one of my biggest flaws; however I have always been this way. I wish people would accept that.

It’s not you; I can give you complete reassurance that it’s me and my very messy mind.