The Grand BC Adventure Part II

When I finally got on the road with my Dad we started our trek to Grand Forks, BC. Right after we started driving down the freeway I saw a hitchhiker with a sign that said “HOPE” I was too slow to get a photo but it inspired me so much. A few hours later I realized he was referring to the town in BC called “Hope”… not the verb haha! It was still cool though.

I think we left around 1:00PM and arrived in Grand Forks at about 7:00PM. My Dad has a house that he rents out in town so we stayed in the basement suite (which is in progress). There was all this old furniture in there that I hadn’t seen in ages, funny where stuff ends up. Right when we drove up we saw a CITY DEER which was super cool. I really wanted to just get away from technology and be with nature for a while so the seeing the deer was such a nice welcome.

We ate and then made out way over to my Dad’s friend’s place. It was really cool to meet the type of people they hug you even if they just met you and make you feel loved just with their state of being. We went rafting down the river near the property. The moon was so bright and it was beautiful. Just us and the water.

To see more photos from the trip I have an album on facebook posted here.

The Grand BC Adventure Part I

As some of you may know I spent the weekend on a road-trip with my Dad visiting his friends in the Kootenay’s and staying in the house he rents out in Grand Forks.

After Convocation finished I participated in the retreat for my Student Union (of which I am the Communications Officer… and ended up leaving Burnaby campus right before midnight. I went to bed around 2AM and got no packing done. In the morning my Dad called me so I rushed out of bed and started throwing stuff together. Luckily I had made most of my food (risotto with nooch for the trip up and strawberry cinnamon muffins with local strawberries for breakfast) already and only had to throw clothes together. I took the bus to the depot where I transfer to take the bus to my Dad’s. I had to wait a while for the bus to come and I noticed the Whalley Community Festival was in full swing so i went to check it out.

The city of Surrey had a survey booth set up talking about the future of waste collection in our city. There were three different options that they talked about (regarding bins and composting) and they also offered choices stemming around collection time (weekly or bi-weekley). 60% of garbage in Surrey is food waste. Personally, at my house we have a compost bin in the backyard which gets a lot of love from me but many of our neighbors do not collect their food waste. I think it’s awesome that the city wants to be more involved and is updating its system to adapt to the needs of modern society.

I think this initiative (though I am not completely sold on it yet) has awesome motivation behind it and will encourage more citizens to participate in composting. Way to go Surrey! I feel that the lower mainland is leading the way on this type of project, but maybe someone has outdone us…. [after some searching it appears Toronto has a Green Bin Program. I would love to learn more about how different cities deal with these issues].

Happy Plants and Sad Plants

a happy plant : )

Last week I had the pleasure of attending a container gardening workshop at SFU Burnaby hosted by the SFU Local Food Project. It was by donation and I walked away with a few lovely plants (tomato, mustard [which is very tasty] and something else that I can’t identify). It was a bit of an adventure getting there (I was in the wrong building oopse! You know you are a Surrey Student when… haha, but that explained why I room I was looking for didn’t exist).

It was hosted by Matthew Kemshaw of the Environmental Youth Alliance. He was very knowledgeable and answered many of my silly beginner questions (ie: what is a good starter plant that I would be likely to not kill?).

One thing that surprised me is that gardening can have the potential to be non-vegan. He had one soil enhancing product made from fish remains from a factory fish farm. Gross! The good news is you can avoid this product by using your own properly made compost. Much more fun.One thing that I found confusing was all the talk of “happy plants” and “sad plants”. As someone with little gardening background it can be confusing to tell the difference between the two. In my limited study of permarculture I have also had this issue. It can be difficult to partake in observation if you don’t know what to look for. I asked some people for their advice and made this list of thing that contribute to plant-itude (that’s plant + attitude).

a sad plant : (

  • Colour: Happy plants look alive and bright with their leaves and growth
  • Posture: Slouchy, droopy plants are often unhappy
  • Decay: Are the leaves being nibbled at by bugs or are they full and lush?
  • Odor: Bad, rotting smells can be signs of an unhappy plant

Insects: Do you see bugs attacking your plant?Some other resources that were recommended include and the books Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture by Toby Hemenway and Growing vegetables west of the cascades : the complete guide to organic gardening by Steve Solomon.

Annie Design Process

I do some of the posters for Theatrix Youtheatre Society and this summer our line up includes Annie Jr. and RENT. Above is the final poster that I designed and below you can click to view the iterations that went into creating the final product. Working with clients can be challenging but in the end they push you in some way to improve your design skills.

The Annie Jr. Design Process

The Annie Jr. Design Process

Review: The 100 Mile Diet

I recently read The 100 Mile Diet, a book about a year of local eating. I was disappointed with this book. It made local eating sound very difficulty (nearly impossible) and depressing. Also most of the recipes they featured were not vegan which is a problem for me. The biggest draw of this book is not the writing itself (which I found to be voiced in an ancient and at times out of touch way), but the movement it has inspired.

Reading this book has forced me to think much more about eating locally and consumption in general. When the concept of eating locally was first brought to my attention (Buy Local or Die anyone?) I thought it would be impossible in the Vancouver area. Sure, it is easy for someone who lives in a tropical avocado paradise to eat locally but what about those of us who live in a place where the closest thing grown locally to a pineapple is a pine cone? The book greatly surprised me with the abundance of local food available here in BC. This book has really been revolutionary in changing the local marketplace as well. Just today I read an e-mail proclaiming that the local SFU Pocket Farmer’s Market will now carry local flour (something the authors searched far and wide for). As the demand for local food grows so does the marketplace, it’s amazing. The more I learn about local foods the more enticing they become.

Go visit a farmer’s market. Make a trip to a U Pick this summer. Cook at home. Make things. Blog about them.

You might even want to live on a farm for a while. I’m certainly considering it. Check out World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms.

PS: Did you know they grow Stevia in BC? COOL!

Review: Vegan Freak

The last book read was Vegan Freak by Bob Torres and Jenna Torres (yes they are a couple and yes I think it’s adorable). I love the cover and carrying the book around was a great conversation starter (I was sad to return it to the library). As someone who has been vegan for a while (a little over a year now) most of the information was not new to me. After a while you get used to dealing with common questions and you learn how to find things you can eat. I expected the book would deal more with social ethics, something I am struggling with. For example, what to do when someone gives you a non-vegan gift and similar situations. I also disagreed with some of their advice. I do not think you should get rid of all your non-vegan things. I still have shoes with leather and will wear them until they wear out. Waste is a huge problem in North America and throwing things out only contributes to this. Also, when you give things away to people it tells people that it’s okay for them to continue to be non-vegan. I am a huge advocate for up-cycling and reuse. I would love for the world to stop abusing animals but I don’t think we should waste all the animal products currently in existence.

For new vegans this book may be very helpful and I enjoyed the comical and entertaining voice they write with. Read this book with a grain of (sea?) salt and form your own opinions. Reading vegan books if a great way to open dialogue (skytrain conversation anyone?) and promote the cause.

Today’s Adventure

Dear Universe,

I have so much to write about and tell you! The weekend was full of adventures and learning for me and I can’t wait to share it all with you but first I must write about today.

I was able to bathe (for the first time since Friday, yay for roadtrips! haha) in the morning which was lovely. I went through my 87 e-mails and 180-something RSS items. I took a break to jump on the trampoline and dance to the new scene aesthetic song “Never Gonna Let This Go” (SOOO happy sounding/feeling and awesome). I wrote some posts which will be coming out this week (Justin, I am so sorry for the spam you are going to receive haha) and then I had to leave for class.

I went to get on my bicycle when I realized something was very different. While I was gone for the weekend my Mom bought a mirror, bell and light for my bike and attached them to surprise me. I was so grateful for what she was trying to do with this gesture but I couldn’t shake the uneasy feeling it gave me and a minor panic attack set in. I’m currently reading “Not Buying It: My Year Without Shopping” and this indulgence in consumerism on my behalf was very difficult for me. I tried to remember that “everything will be fine” and “I won’t worry my life away, the remedy” (thank you Mr.Mraz) which helped a little bit.

I had the workshop for my class at SFU and finished on time, we didn’t get through the bonus question but we did the mandatory ones. Then I booked it to RENT rehearsal in Port Coquitlam. I lost my U-Pass somewhere along the way but some friends I bumped into helped me look for in (unsuccessfully) which was very kind of them.

I didn’t do too much at rehearsal but I am slowing getting caught up (I have been away a lot) which is good. Also, seeing friends helped my panic attack a little. When I was running to catch the bus I started laughing (as I often do) at how silly I must look. Laughter has amazing healing properties as Laughter Yoga has taught me and it totally made my panic attack disappear! How wonderful : )

On the trip back I saw some good-looking people riding bicycles and one girl even had TOMS Shoes on! We had a moment and I gave her a thumbs up about it : D

When I got back to Surrey I saw someone from high school. We started talking and he asked me “what happened here?” pointing to my face. I tried to change the topic telling him I have bad skin (I was one of those people who had smooth, amazing, blemish free skin in high school and then finally hit puberty the summer after graduation and now has to deal with bad skin) but he continued “No, it’s really red… discoloured”. “Maybe I got sun burned” I reply, knowing full well it is my bad skin he is pointing at. As a white person, my skin turns red. It is what happens to white people. This is why I will never dye my hair an unnatural shade of red, to avoid bringing out the colour. So that whole thing was pretty funny in an embarrassing awkward hilarious sort of way x D

Another adventure. Thank you.



“Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.” – Aldous Huxley

Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. – Aldous Huxley

This is the type of graphic design that matters. I’m really excited to take some information design courses during the rest of my undergraduate career. We need to fix this.

Tell yourself how lucky you are. – Dr.Seuss


Vegan Recipe of the Week: Raw Avocado Chocolate Mousse (via Autonomie Project’s Blog)

I just finished making this and it is chilling in the fridge right now. Silly me, I meant to half the recipe but ended up using only one avocado, explains why it was so concentrated haha!

This week’s recipe is Raw Chocolate Mousse which makes a terrific summer dessert for cookouts, dinner parties, or just to enjoy at home! The recipe has only 4 simple ingredients and takes about 10 minutes to make! You may be shocked by the main ingredient: AVOCADO!! But trust us, by the time you have finished you won’t even remember you have put them in! The avocados replace the cream and oily taste normally put into mousse by milk products. It m … Read More

via Autonomie Project’s Blog

food porn.