Becoming A Beginner Artist in 2019

There are so many artistic disciplines out there, many of which I have been exploring for numerous years (like, music and acting, for example). In these particular artistic disciplines, I would probably not be considered a beginner. However, this year, I have discovered yet another artistic passion – visual arts! In this, I am definitely a beginner. So in this post, when I refer to becoming a beginner artist, I am speaking about my new found passion to draw, paint, colour and graphic design!

I have always admired visual art, and dabbled here & there in my childhood, like most children, colouring and making crafts. I really enjoyed art classes in elementary and middle school, and even won the “art award” at my grade 8 graduation.

Then, I got to high school and we were only able to choose 2 “specialty” subjects. Being heavily involved in music and acting, I of course chose music and drama class as my 2 specialties. If I could have chosen a 3rd, it would have no question been art class. But alas, my art journey pretty much came to a halt at age 13.

Fast forward to my 20s, I have still been dabbling here and there, but found that I was never happy with my artwork. I had zero knowledge of shading, proportions, how to blend colours or pretty much any artistic skills, whatsoever, lol.


Becoming A Beginner Artist in 2019

If you read my 5 Goals I Have for 2019 post, you will see that one of my 5 goals for the year is to “Create, Create, Create“. This is what truly makes my soul shine. Creating music, art, writing, designing, creating anything is what makes me the happiest. It is so therapeutic to me, and I really feel that it is what I am meant to do on this earth. Okay, that got deep. Now, WHAT EXACTLY I am supposed to create is still up for interpretation lol – (See my other goal for 2019 – “Find Clarity“).

Anyway, I am SUPER grateful to have received a digital drawing tablet this past Christmas. When I first got it, I spent hours trying to make beautiful artwork, and it honestly looked like it was art made by a 5 year old. It was discouraging, but I knew it was just a learning curve and with practice, I could get better. So, with that, another goal arose – becoming a beginner artist in 2019.

If you wish to shop for, or check out the digital tablet I got (The Huion 1060 Pro)- here is my Amazon Affiliate link – MY DRAWING TABLET.

I decided, the best way to get better at drawing, was to go back to basics, and put pencil to paper. The last couple months, I have been drawing and drawing, and have really seen quite a bit of progress, but it is not quite where I want to be just yet (and that’s okay!)

I will definitely keep you updated on my artwork as the year goes on, but for now I will leave you with a few examples of some of my sketches in various mediums. I have been experimenting with pencil, watercolour, coloured pencils, and more!

watercolour

becoming a beginner artist

pencil crayons & white gel pen

coloured pencil

Digital Art on my Huion 1060 Pro Tablet

watercolour & marker

pencil & coloured pencil

oil paint

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Let me know what you think in the comments below! Which is your favourite? Do you dabble in visual arts?

Follow my art journey on my new Instagram Account @MichelleThibodeauArt

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10 Books I Plan To Read In 2019

I’ve loved reading for as long as I can remember- just like my mother. Now that I work full-time, I find I don’t read as often as I’d like. That being said, I still purchase books regularly, and receive books as gifts, so I find myself with so many books and not enough time to read them all! I figured, if I made this list of 10 books I plan to read in 2019, it might give me a goal and I can begin to work through my pile of un-read books.

For this list, I chose 5 fiction and 5 non-fiction books, because I love to alternate between them. Does anyone else do this?

I am just finishing up reading Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert at the moment, so stay tuned for a review on that coming shortly!

PS: I have linked all these titles to Amazon in case you wish to check them out. Please note that if you purchase any, I may make a small commission as an Amazon affiliate – at no extra cost to you.

10 Books I Plan to Read in 2019

 

Girl Up by Laura Bates

“Kick ass, claim your woman card, and crush everyday sexism.” – This book was a gift from a friend, and I can’t wait to dive into it.

10 Books I Plan To Read In 2019

Gathering Blue , Messenger & Son by Lois Lowry

These are the sequels to The Giver, by Lois Lowry, which I have already read twice, and watched the movie! Can’t wait to read the rest of the series.


10 Books I Plan To Read In 2019

Canon Rebel T6i For Dummies by Julie Adair King & Robert Correll

This book is written specifically about the DSLR camera that I already own, so I am looking forward to learning more about what it can do!

10 Books I Plan To Read In 2019

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

I love reading any book that has been made into a movie! This novel by Alice Sebold was made into a feature film with actress Saoirse Ronan, and even though it is from 10 years ago, I have yet to see it! I am excited to read the book and then watch the movie.

10 books i plan to read in 2019

Make It Rain by Areva Martin

A few months ago, my mother was watching a TV show that featured author and entrepreneur Areva Martin. My mom said she had such incredible wisdom and that she thought the content would be right up my alley. My mom was kind enough to gift me this book and it might be one of the first ones I read out of my 10 books I  plan to read in 2019.

10 books i plan to read in 2019

Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham

A friend of mine read this book and went to a book signing with Lena Dunham. I have heard so many good things about it, so when I saw it at a thrift shop, in perfect condition, I knew I had to buy it!


10 books i plan to read in 2019

Salt Fat Acid Heat by Samin Nosrat

I received this book a couple months ago as a Christmas gift, and have already read the first couple chapters. I am really enjoying it so far- it definitely goes into more depth than your average cook book!

10 books i plan to read in 2019

Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell

This book is my most recent purchase. It was on the “Top Books of 2018” list on Indigo (where I buy most of my books), and the synopsis really peaked my interest. Definitely excited to read this one, too!

Then She Was Gone

 


As you can see from my list, my favourite books to read are non-fiction books about empowerment, and fiction books that have a bit of mystery, or a dystopian plot. I also have a photography book and a cooking book thrown in there, as those are skills I wish to improve this year!

Do you like to read? Let me know your favourite books, or the books you plan on reading this year in the comments below! I would love to check them out.

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The History of Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and for me, I am excited to celebrate the love I share with David, as well as showing my friends and family how much I care. I realize that February the 14th is kind of a love/hate occasion, but I have always loved it! Recently, though, it dawned on me that I have no idea about the history of Valentine’s Day and how it came to be. After a bit of research, I decided to share with you what I have discovered.

Fun Fact: Celebrities Betty White and Amanda Seyfried have both shared in interviews that their favourite way to spend Valentine’s Day is with their dogs! I do not blame them.

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The History of Valentine’s Day

Now, I must admit that researching this topic was quite difficult as there is not a definitive answer as to the origin of Valentine’s Day. However, I was able to find an interesting legend from multiple sources that seemed like it could possibly be based on the truth.


Waaaay, way back, around 270 AD, legend suggests that Roman Emperor Claudius II forbid soldiers to marry, as he believed that married men did not make for good soldiers. This is where Saint Valentine comes in; It is said that Saint Valentine would perform secret weddings for the soldiers because he knew the power of love.

When the Emperor found out what Saint Valentine was doing, he was sent to jail and eventually executed on February 14th, 270 AD.

Supposedly, this is why we chose February 14th to celebrate love, in his honour. In addition, Saint Valentine wore an amethyst purple ring, which is thought to attract love. Amethyst is also the birthstone of February (my birthstone!)

the history of valentine's day

I don’t know whether I believe that legend or not, but it’s certainly an interesting theory!

Have you heard of any other theories on the history of Valentine’s Day? Let me know in the comments below! I would also love to hear your thoughts on Valentine’s Day as a whole.

Thanks for reading, wishing you a beautiful day with your loved ones this Valentine’s Day.

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Boss Lady Buzz – Bell Let’s Talk Edition (with Cierra Carleton)

I had the opportunity to meet Cierra a few weeks ago for an event called Songs of the City. At this event, the United Way and other amazing organizations were celebrated for the incredible work they do in our communities. Cierra and 4 other brave individuals courageously shared their inspirational stories, and a song was written and performed for each of them in their honour. I had the privilege of being chosen to write Cierra’s Song, which we performed together at the event. After being so moved by Cierra and her story, I knew I wanted to feature her in a Boss Lady Buzz – Bell Let’s Talk Edition !

As many of you know, today is Bell Let’s Talk day – a day where we start the conversation to help end the stigma surrounding mental health. Since this is a Boss Lady Buzz about Cierra, I won’t dive into Bell Let’s Talk too much, but if you are curious what it’s all about or you want to know how to get involved today, please check out this post about Bell Let’s Talk day!

Cierra Carleton –

Boss Lady Buzz - Bell Let's Talk

Boss Lady Buzz – Bell Let’s Talk Day Edition

In addition to being an amazing, well-spoken, beautiful, talented and intelligent young woman, Cierra is also a Youth Mental Health Advocate and has been working closely with Atlantic Wellness and other organizations like the United Way for a few years.

Cierra herself has faced the severe burden and struggles of mental illness, in the forms of depression, anxiety and disordered eating.

Imagine being fresh out of high school, and finally mustering up the courage to ask for help. Then, being turned away at the hospital by a mental health nurse who says that you can’t possibly be depressed based solely on your appearance.

I can’t imagine how devastating and discouraging that must have been for Cierra. However, instead of giving up, Cierra bravely pushed through and sought help at Atlantic Wellness, where she has been receiving counselling ever since.

Boss Lady Buzz - Bell Let's Talk

 

It is so inspiring to hear her story of reaching out for help, and it blows me away that she has now decided to selflessly volunteer her time helping others. When I asked her why she has chosen to become a mental health advocate, this was her answer:

 

I became a mental health advocate because I felt like I could help people who were in the same position I was in. Most people have this idea of what mental illness looks like, but it’s not always that easy to see. There are many people who choose to hide how they feel and are extremely convincing. I want to show people that mental illness doesn’t just look a certain way and it effects everyone differently.

Cierra helps Atlantic Wellness host events for the community that are focused on mental health. These activities “promote safe spaces, building friendships through shared experiences and allow youth to practice exposure therapy to help with their social anxiety in a fun non-lecture type of way.”

Boss Lady Buzz - Bell Let's Talk

Cierra was kind enough to share some insightful advice, and things that have gotten her through the tough times:

  • Laughter really is the best medicine
  • Turn to things that make you happy, surround yourself in things that bring you joy
  • Put your emotions into your passions (poetry, songs, running, etc)
  • Write it all down
  • Join clubs and committees that you are truly interested in
  • Change must happen in order to heal
  • Remove toxicity from your life
  • When asking for help, start with someone you trust
  • Be honest about what you’re feeling
  • Practice healthy coping strategies

Cierra’s Top 3 Reads:

  • “Why Not Me?” by Mindy Kaling
  • “Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?” by Mindy Kaling
  • “The sun and her flowers” by Rupi Kaur

Her favourite quote:

If I asked you to list all the things you loved how long would it take to say yourself? – Unknown

Boss Lady Buzz - Bell Let's TalkThank you, Cierra, for being courageous every day, and sharing your inspiring story on this Boss Lady Buzz – Bell Let’s Talk Edition ! Make sure to go follow this amazing lady on INSTAGRAM!

If you would like to participate in Bell Let’s Talk and help end the stigma today, here are some things you can do RIGHT NOW:

During Bell Let’s Talk 2019 (Jan 30), Bell will donate 5 cents to Canadian Mental Health Programs for all of the following interactions:

  • Every text message, mobile and long distance call made by Bell Canada and Bell Aliant customers.
  • Twitter: Every tweet using #BellLetsTalk (including Retweets)
  • Facebook: Every view/share of this Bell Let’s Talk 2019 video
  • Instagram: Every post using #BellLetsTalk
  • Snapchat: Every use of the Bell Let’s Talk 2019 Snapchat Geo-filter

Please remember if you are struggling with mental health, you are not alone.

Here is the link to Atlantic Wellness on Instagram and on Facebook.

My past Boss Lady Buzz with Gina Marie also has valuable resources for those of you in Ontario.

Sometimes, we think that there is no help nearby, but if you do some research or ask trusted friends, you will find that there is always somewhere to turn for help!

If anything, you can always reach out to me if you need to talk.

#EndTheStigma #BellLetsTalk

Much love, Satisfy Her Soul.

Shop for the Books Mentioned Above:

(These shopping links will bring you to Amazon where you can purchase the books. If you do decide to purchase one, please note that as I am an Amazon Affiliate, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you).

“Why Not Me?” by Mindy Kaling

Boss Lady Buzz - Bell Let's Talk

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?” by Mindy Kaling

Boss Lady Buzz - Bell Let's Talk

“the sun and her flowers” by Rupi Kaur

Boss Lady Buzz - Bell Let's Talk

Related Post: Reviewing Rupi Kaur: the sun and her flowers – milk and honey

5 Goals I Have for 2019

Here is the second half of my New Year post, the first half being 5 Things I Accomplished in 2018. In the last post, I short-listed 5 achievements that made me proud from 2018, and in this post, I will be looking ahead and creating targeted intentions for 2019.

I truly believe that when you decide on a desired outcome and write it down, it gives you accountability and you are much more likely to achieve your objectives. To be honest, I have kind of fallen out of the habit of writing To-Do lists for the day, and the month, etc. I used to get so much more done when I was in this routine. Now that I have a fresh Kate Spade planner for 2019, I will get back on track. First order of business, is my overall, short-list of things I want to accomplish in 2019!

5 Goals I Have for 2019

1. Pay-off student loans & credit card debt

5 Goals I Have for 2019I have been paying off my student loan since about 2013, and I only have a tiny bit left to go! I will definitely conquer that this year, even if I only pay minimum payments, it should be gone by June! I am so excited. After that, I want to continue to pay off credit card debt, which is mostly from going to Cuba on my 25th birthday, and recording my album. I am hoping to be debt-free by the end of 2019!

2. Create, create, create

If you know me, you will know that all my spare time goes to something creative. Either music, art, photography, my blog.. I could go on forever. I am always creating something, and I do not want that to change in 2019. Being creative is definitely my passion and it makes my soul happy, so I want to make sure I have lots of time to create in 2019!

3. Find some clarity in my career

Sometimes, I feel like I am pursuing way too many things, and spreading myself too thin. This means that I don’t get very far in any one area because I am always moving on to try something else. I would really love to lock into a great job soon and decide which other things I am going to keep on the side as hobbies. Right now, a little bit of this and a little bit of that is driving me a little bit nuts, lol.

4. Fall back in love with jamming on my guitar

I am so grateful that I get paid to play music, however that does mean that it is my job.

5 Goals I have for 2019
Photo by Jordan R Clarke

When music became my job a few years ago, I put “jamming freely” on the back burner, and “practicing” became the priority. Of course, because of the way needing to practice felt like work, I sometimes forgot that music should also be play. In 2019, I would like to see music as a way to escape again, just like I used to. I want to fall back in love with just singing songs and jamming because it makes me happy, not because I have to practice.

5. Master photography with my Rebel T6i

Last year, I invested in a DSLR Camera, the Rebel T6i. I really want to be able to take high quality images for my blog, for my social media, and just as a hobby. So far, I have figured out the basics on how to use it, but for Christmas I asked for the book “Canon EOS Rebel T6i for Dummies” and I am so excited that I received it! It looks like quite the lengthy read, so I hope that by the time I am through, I will have a lot more knowledge on how to use all the features my camera has to offer. Hopefully you will notice an improvement in my content!

Here is a link to the book if you are interested. As I am an Amazon Affiliate, if you purchase from this link I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Canon EOS Rebel T6i for Dummies

5 Goals I Have for 2019


There are so many things I wish to accomplish this year, but these are the top 5 Goals I have for 2019. What are a few things you wish to achieve this year? I would love to hear in the comments below! Let’s encourage each other to reach our goals.

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5 Things I Accomplished in 2018

Reflecting on 2018, there are many things I am grateful for. I learned so much, met new people and checked off many things on my literal and figurative To-Do lists. Of course, there were ups and downs, but I am choosing to look only at the parts of 2018 that bring me joy and peace. I wrote a short list of 5 things I accomplished in 2018 that make me really proud, and I thought I would share them with you!

Of course, stay tuned for my next post, which will be 5 Goals I have for 2019. For now, let’s take a look back at the past year!

5 Things I Accomplished in 2018

1. Released an album of all original music

In 2014, 2015 and 2016, I released a new single each year. Even though I wanted to release a full album, it was too costly and I didn’t feel quite ready yet. Then, in 2017, I began recording my full album at Oak Recording Studio in Toronto with producer Gord Richards. In August 2018, I am proud to say I released it, and have been selling the albums at my live shows ever since. Here is a link to purchase the whole album and here is a link to the youtube video of “Easy Target”, the first music video from the album.

5 things I accomplished in 2018

2. Got through hard times

I’d rather not dwell on this topic too much, but for a few years I have struggled with bad anxiety, and there was a part of 2018 that definitely took me on a rollercoaster when it comes to my mental health. I am proud of what I managed to accomplish despite what felt like crippling anxiety, and I am thankful that these small wins continue to boost my confidence each and every day. In 2019, I will be in charge of my thoughts, not the other way around.

Here are a couple other posts I wrote about mental health:

Bell Let’s Talk 2018 – January 31     –     12 Ways to Cope With Anxiety

3. Made new memories with David

Spending time with David is my favourite part of every single day. In 2018, we officially got our own apartment, which is something we’ve been looking forward to for quite a while. The majority of my fond memories from 2018 were because of this incredible man, and I am thankful for him every day.

IMG_0152.jpeg

4. Got a job in a new field and found a new interest

For 6 years straight, I was in the serving/food industry, so when I moved from Toronto to Kitchener in 2018, I felt it was time to try something new. I applied at a few retail stores, and found myself a job at a Health & Nutrition store in the supplements department. Today marks 3 months at this job, and I have truly been enjoying the people I am meeting and the invaluable information I am learning. It’s funny because my brother used to be a supplement specialist, and I never thought in a million years I would take an interest in it too. Was I ever wrong! The training, the knowledge – everything is so interesting to me and it makes it really exciting and rewarding to go to work every day.

If you haven’t yet, check out my last post about the many ways I’ve learned to kick the seasonal cold!

5. Made friends in my new city

In Toronto, I had a group of great friends that I could turn to whenever I wanted to go shopping, or to the movies, or hang out, or even to vent to. When I moved to Kitchener, I was lucky to have David, but I didn’t have anyone else I knew in the city. For a while, I felt secluded, until I realized that I was completely capable of meeting new friends. Now, I have made a few friends in my new city, and they make my days brighter every time I see them. In 2019, I want to meet even more new friends, and continue strengthening my existing relationships. It really does make a difference to have a group of loving, positive people around you.

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Regardless how you feel about 2018, I encourage you to think of 5 accomplishments, 5 things you are proud of, or that positively impacted your life in the past year. Focus on the good, and more good will come.

Let me know one of your favourite accomplishments from 2018, or what you were most grateful for, in the comments below! I would love to celebrate these achievements with you.

Make sure you check back in the next few days for my next post, which will highlight 5 goals I have for the coming year.


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10 Ways to Kick the Seasonal Cold

In September, I moved from Toronto, ON to Kitchener-Waterloo ON, where I got a new job in the supplements department of a health & nutrition store. Although I have always been into health and wellness, this job has certainly expanded my knowledge and peaked my interest in the health industry. During the past couple months, I have learned lots of different ways to take care of my own mental and physical well-being, as well as help others do the same. One of the most common questions we get is how to boost your immunity, or beat that cold that just won’t go away. I thought I would share with you a few of the recommendations I usually give, in case they might help you too! Here are 10 ways to kick the seasonal cold!

Please keep in mind, although I have done quite a bit of training, I am not a doctor or nutritionist of any kind. These are just tips and tricks that I have found work well for a lot of people that I felt like sharing with you.

10 Ways to Kick the Seasonal Cold

  • Echinacea

This popular herb is known for it’s anti-microbial and anti-bacterial effects. It is very versatile, and comes in teas, tinctures, lozenges, and more! Studies have shown that echinacea is an excellent way to protect yourself from catching that annoying cold.

ways to kick the seasonal cold

  • Manuka Honey

There are lots of health benefits when it comes to manuka honey. It is said to be anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, great for sore throats, healing wounds and improving digestion. I love this option for children, as manuka honey even comes in sucker-form!

  • Black Seed Oil

Black Seed Oil has promising new research that shows many different benefits, including it’s anti-bacterial properties that can help kick the seasonal cold. I even heard someone joke that black seed oil can cure everything except death! Lol

  • Oil of Oregano (with or without garlic)

As a singer, oil of oregano has been my Go-To the very moment I feel a tickle in my throat or any sign of congestion. It has worked for me like a charm and I highly recommend you try it, if you haven’t already. Some oregano oils even come with garlic extract added, which makes it extra potent and if that doesn’t kick the seasonal cold, I don’t know what will! The downside to oil of oregano is the taste – it is very strong and kinda burns my tongue, but it does the trick!

  • Probiotics

Probiotics are used to create and maintain a healthy microbiome in the gut. It is said that 70-80% of your immunity lies within the gut, and thus if there is an imbalance in healthy VS unhealthy bacteria, it can often lead to illness.

  • Elderberry

Elderberry supplements come in many forms, but I really love the syrup; It tastes naturally sweet and is an excellent source of antioxidants. Elderberry is a great choice for the whole family, and is known for being effective in treating upper respiratory symptoms.

  • Zinc

Studies suggest that zinc, taken in any form (my favourite are zinc lozenges) can not only lessen the duration and severity of your illness, but also boost your overall immunity.

  • N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC)

NAC is the precursor to Glutathione, and has great detoxifying and antioxidant effects. My favourite benefit of N-Acetyl Cysteine is that is known to work well as an expectorant, clearing any left over mucus and is able to kick that seasonal cold.

  • Astragalus

Astragalus is an adaptogenic herb, and is known to help the body adapt to stress and illness. You can often find it as one of the primary supplements that are added to immunity boosting tinctures that feature a variety of adaptogenic herbs.

  • Vitamin C

We pretty much all know that Vitamin C is a great way to protect against immune system deficiencies! I thought I would add it here even though you probably already know, just because I believe it is so important. As a matter of fact, a lot of vitamins are especially beneficial this time of year.

vitamins-26622_1280


Of course, eating a well-balanced, healthy diet full of essential nutrients is one of the best ways to protect your immune system. However, if all else fails and you are feeling under the weather, I hope these 10 ways to kick the seasonal cold will help you feel better in no time!

Please feel free to share this with your friends, and let me know if you have tried any of these supplements! What are your favourite ways to kick the seasonal cold? Let me know in the comments below!

 

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Book Review: White Fang by Jack London

This past summer, my Mom, who is an avid reader, picked up a few classics to read/re-read. Among those classics, was White Fang by Jack London.

As soon as she finished reading it, she let me borrow hers and purchased a copy for my brother to read, too. She thought it was absolutely brilliantly written and highly recommended my brother and I read it.

My Mom probably reads about 30-40 books a year, so when a book stands out that much to her, I know it’s going to be a special one. She was right – I read the whole thing in just a few sittings!

Review: White Fang by Jack London

It took a few chapters of the book for me to understand where exactly the story-line was headed. That being said, I didn’t mind because the book was so beautifully written and well-detailed.

The author, Jack London, was an American who lived from 1876 to 1916. White Fang was first published over a hundred years ago, in 1906.

Typically, I wouldn’t be compelled to read a book dated back to 1906, but this one was an exception.

I don’t want to give away too much about the plot, but basically the story tells the tale of a part wolf – part dog, named White Fang, from his first day on earth to his last. So many life-altering things happen to this poor, sweet pup throughout his journey.

It takes place in Canada, which I thought was neat because I am Canadian, myself! Although, this story takes place far more North, in the Yukon and Northwest Territories.

Before reading “White Fang”, I never though of the harsh realities that dogs must live up-north, from being sled dogs, to fighting dogs, to wolves of the wild. It was such an eye-opening book to read, unlike any other I have read.

Another one of Jack London’s novels is called “The Call of the Wild”. I have not read it yet, but the reviews say it is even more well-loved than “White Fang”, so I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy!

In a 1908 essay about his works, he said “These dog-heroes of mine were not directed by abstract reasoning, but by instinct, sensation, emotion and simple reasoning.”

My family’s dog, named Winter, is a white-shepherd and looks SO MUCH like a white wolf-dog. My parents even bought my brother and I a pillow with a picture of a white wolf on it, because it looks so much like our dog Winter! I couldn’t help but imagine that these dogs were her ancestors and it made the book that much more meaningful to me.

The sweet way that Jack London describes how White Fang learns about the world around him – seeing all the new creatures that inhabit his surroundings and who has the upper-hand – is absolutely perfectly written.

My favourite books to read are the ones that get turned into movies. I would have read “White Fang” regardless, but when I found out there is a 2018 film adaptation on Netflix, it made me even more excited!

White Fang” was a short and sweet classic that I highly recommend for EVERYONE to read. I honestly think it would be great for any person of any age!

If you want to pick-up a copy of “White Fang” for yourself or someone else, here is the link to purchase it on Amazon. I am an Amazon Affiliate, which means if you do make a purchase from this link, I may make a small commission (at no extra cost to you).

WHITE FANG by Jack London on Amazon:

white fang by jack london

If you have read “White Fang” by Jack London or any of his other works, please let me know what you thought in the comments below! I would love to hear your thoughts.


Hope you have a wonderful day and don’t forget to follow me on:

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Gift Guide for the Environmentalist

The Holidays are here! It’s my favourite time of year, as it brings me close to family and friends –  I get to make new memories and I can show people in my life how much I care about them! There’s great food, amazing company, laughter and cherishing the good ol’ days. For me, the only challenging thing about this time of year, is knowing what to get everyone as gifts! If you are in the same boat as me, then I hope you will appreciate this gift guide for the environmentalist that I have created for you.

Let’s face it – it’s 2018! (ALMOST 2019! What!) and whether we like it or not, it is my belief that we should all do our best to become more environmentally aware. This has been a goal of mine during the last year – Journey To Becoming Zero Waste – and will be an even bigger focus for me in the years to come.

If you already have an environmentalist in your life – GREAT! These ideas would make excellent gifts for them. If YOU are the environmentalist in your circle, no problem! You can use this gift guide for the environmentalist as inspiration to fill the stockings of your loved ones with easy to use products that can make a HUGE DIFFERENCE!

In short – this gift guide for the environmentalist is really a gift guide for everyone!


Gift Guide for the Environmentalist

This list includes ideas from a variety of budgets, and 10/20 of them are linked to Amazon where you can easily purchase the products and have them shipped to your home! I love Christmas shopping without leaving my couch! Please note that I am an Amazon Affiliate and as such, if you make a purchase by clicking the links below, I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you. Happy shopping!

  1. Bamboo Toothbrush Set – A more sustainable, plastic-free choice, and these make a great stocking stuffer! Practical & waste -free.

gift guide for the environmentalist

    2. Mason Jars Filled With Goodies – Easy to customize for anyone’s tastes. Attach a recipe with dry ingredients included. I love that the mason jar is re-usable afterwards.

gift guide for the environmentalist

    3. Recycled 2019 Monthly Planner – If you know someone who never goes anywhere without their planner, then this recycled daily planner is a perfect gift!

gift guide for the environmentalist

    4. An Experience – Make memories, not waste! Tickets to a sporting event, concert, or a trip make once in a life time memories.

 gift guide for the environmentalist

    5. Stainless Steel Straws – One-time use plastic straws are a thing of the past. If you aren’t into these stainless steel ones, there are also great paper options that are way more sustainable than plastic. Truly a staple in this gift guide for the environmentalist.

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    6. Homemade Products- Are you crafty? Homemade cleaning products infused with essential oils, homemade candles or a DIY planetarium full of succulents are just a few ideas for homemade gifts.

gift guide for the environmentalist

    7. Reusable Food Storage Bags– These are made of silicone and will replace your one-time use plastic snack bags. They can be used for so many things! I love this brand in particular because they can go in the freezer, oven, microwave and even boiling water!

Gift guide for the environmentalist

    8. Local Artwork- Artwork made by local artists is often more affordable and also enables the artist to continue creating works and doing what they love. Whether its a painting, or a musician’s new album *cough, cough, my new album is out now!* It makes a lovely gift.

gift guide for the environmentalist

    9. Reusable Food Storage Wrap– Believe it or not, this food wrap is made of beeswax, and wipes clean to re-use again and again. You can find them in assorted colours and patterns. Say no to saran wrap!

gift guide for the environmentalist

   10. A Charity Donation- Choose a cause that is near and dear to a loved one’s heart, and make a donation in their name. This is a lasting gift that can make a difference in so many lives, and it’s zero waste!

gift guide for the environmentalist

   11. Recycled Notebooks– If you are like me, and prefer writing notes on paper, rather than in my phone/computer, then these recycled notebooks are perfect. It’s a guilt-free way of using paper to write your notes.

gift guide for the environmentalist

   12. Seeds For A Garden– Buying food at grocery stores often comes with excessive plastic and packaging. If people can grow their own food in their yard, they will save money, know where their produce is coming from, and reduce packaging waste! Plus- gardening makes an excellent hobby! Add some gardening tools to make a gift basket!

gift guide for the environmentalist

   13. Pens Made from Recycled Water Bottles– If we can begin to use wasted water bottles to create new products like these pens, then the world will be a much more sustainable place.

gift guide for the environmentalist

   14. Homemade Food-  Let’s be honest, there is nothing better than food. Homemade cookies, or a homemade charcuterie platter are a couple ideas, but the choices here are endless! Do you make great cabbage rolls? Freeze them and give them as gifts!

gift guide for the environmentalist

   15. Recycled Fair Trade Rug– Anything recycled makes a great gift, but this rug is so cute that I couldn’t help but add it to this gift guide for the environmentalist. It’s so boho, I just couldn’t resist!

gift guide for the environmentalist

   16. Secondhand Items- Take a trip to the thrift shop and purchase your holiday gifts there! They are often more affordable, and is a much more earth-friendly way of buying new clothes/house-ware.

gift guide for the environmentalist

   17. Reusable Water Bottle– I have this water bottle in white, and I use it every single day! I bring it to work and in the car, everywhere I go. It doesn’t EVER leak, and it keeps my drink hot or cold all day long. It’s a less expensive version of the stainless steel “Swell” bottle and I bought mine on Amazon! I get so many compliments on this bottle too.

gift guide for the environmentalist

   18. Mixtape (In A Playlist – MP3 Form)- Make a Spotify Playlist for someone you love and send it to them! Mix-tapes used to be so popular, why not bring it back in high-tech form?

gift guide for the environmentalist

   19. Reusable Coffee Cup– Every coffee drinkers needs one (or two) of these! I love this one because its small enough to stick into my purse for whenever I hit up a coffee shop!

gift guide for the environmentalist

   20. Nice Bottle of Liquor/Wine- Alcohol is a popular gift for those who are of age. Cans and glass bottles are recyclable so they make the list of sustainable presents. You could even make a gift basket of mini alcohol bottles (just make sure they aren’t plastic).

gift guide for the environmentalist


That concludes my gift guide for the environmentalist in your life! I hope this gave you some good ideas for this holiday season.

Which of these ideas are your favourite? Are there any gifts you would add to this list? Let me know in the comments below!

I also wanted to mention that brown paper packaging is super cute, and recyclable! Or re-use a holiday bag you got previous years. Remember, any little bit helps 🙂

Wishing you all a safe, happy and less wasteful holiday season!

With love, Satisfy Her Soul xo

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DIY Headboard Project – How To

A couple months ago, I was inspired to create a list of 20 Fun Summer Activities in case anyone found themselves with nothing to do and free time on their hands. On that list, I included wood-working, which I hadn’t ever tried, until this past summer. Growing up, I had always admired my Dad’s carpentry abilities, since that is what he does for a living and he is very good at it. Though, I must admit, I never really had any interest in learning how to build anything myself – especially not a big project like a DIY headboard. That changed when I started dating David, and we began dreaming of all the things we could build together in the future.

fun summer activitiesWe started small, and first built a lawn game called “Washer Toss” which turned out to be a real hit with his family and at summer BBQ’s. It only took us (mostly David) a few hours to make the whole thing.

 

Next, David wanted to make a DIY headboard out of wood from a tree they had to cut down in his family’s backyard. This seemed like a pretty daunting task, but he was so determined that I decided to embark on the challenge with him. And thus leads me to:

How to build a DIY Headboard:

planer2
David planing the wood.

Step 1: We decided to use spruce wood from David’s yard, but you can choose any type of wood you would like. For our DIY headboard, we used 3 large boards that would act as the centre, or main part of the headboard. These 3 pieces all had “live edges” (that means they still had the bark around the edges). It gives the headboard more of a rustic look which is what David had in mind, and I really love how it turned out! Then we cut 6 regular planks of wood, all the same height, which we put together and used for the posts. That left us with 3 main pieces, plus 6 post pieces, equalling 9 boards in total.

Step 2: After you’ve chosen and cut your wood, the next step is to plane (or flatten) the boards with a wood planer. This scrapes off any inconsistencies from the top of your wood, leaving you with a flat, clean surface that is the same thickness from one end of the board to the other.

Step 3: At this point, we had all the planks planed and cut to fit our queen sized bed (63 inches tall for the side posts and 61 inches across for the 3 main boards). Next, David created these slotted posts for the sides of the headboard, which is probably easiest explained in the pictures below.

Basically, to create the slotted post, he put 3 planks together like a sandwich, the middle plank being the smallest – to create a slot for the 3 main centre boards to fit into. Keep in mind, David made the thickness of every single board the same, so he knew the 3 main boards would fit perfectly into these slotted posts. Then, he made the opposite post. He first used carpenter’s wood glue and clamps to get the wood into place, and then he screwed them together.

DIY Headboard
As you can see, I was being silly while David did most of the work.

Step 4: After the posts were screwed together, David used an electric orbit sander on all of the planks to make sure they were all smooth, with no sharp edges.

Step 5: Next, David and I did one coat of “special walnut” coloured stain using cloths, and then 3 coats of glossy varathane using paint brushes (letting each coat dry in between).

Step 6: The last step is sliding the 3 main board into the 2 slotted posts, and arranging them however you like. We measured that the boards were laying straight before screwing them into place.

Step 7: Add sticky felt pads to the bottom of the headboard, so you don’t scratch the floor, and then slide your DIY Headboard into place!

I hope that explained how we (mostly David) made our very own DIY Headboard!

If you have any questions or comments, be sure to leave them below. Also, a big shout-out to David’s Dad who helped us with any of the tricky parts!

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