three reasons to create an Instagram account for your dog

About 17 months ago, I got my own puppy. It’s been a crazy little journey so far – training, socializing, caring for and creating memories together. If you know me, you know she is spoiled and that I am pretty obsessed with her. I’ve got to keep her in mind with all my decision making. Since I am alone with her, I need to ensure she is fed, exercised and has been given plenty of attention. One decision I made when getting a puppy was if I should create an Instagram account for her. Some people think it’s a little odd, but if you’ve ever looked for dogs on Instagram then you know there are tons of dogs with their own accounts. Dog owners create accounts for various reasons and I’m going to share some reasons on why I think you should create an Instagram account for your pet.

1. Less posts on your personal feed 
If you’re like me – you probably get sick of seeing people post the same things over and over again. At my age, people are starting to get married, have kids, get their own places and to get dogs. Some of your followers are likely just people you talked to in high school; old friends or friends of friends. It’s just how things pan out when you grew up with the launch of new social media platforms every couple years. What I can’t handle is the constant photos of the same things over and over again. Of course, I am obsessed with my dog and could post a photo of her everyday on my Instagram if I wanted to. But I know majority of my followers don’t want to see that. For that reason, I thought it would be a good idea to create a separate account for those who enjoy and want to see her pictures more often.

2. A timeline of life
I love going back through the feed I’ve created. I can see photos of her when I first got her when she was just a little tiny puppy compared to now. She has grown so much in 17 months. This way I can also remember things we’ve done and the life she lived once she passes away – it’s horrible to think of, but I am not naive. Having a collection of photos in one place makes it so much easier to reminisce.

3. You could make some money
If you’re serious about earning some money on the side, you can work to grow and then to monetize that account. As you may know, brands will pay for “influencers” to promote their products or services. In fact, the company I worked for while working as a brand manager partnered with Boo, the world’s cutest dog and with Grumpy Cat. Both of these pets have started a business of their own – making money from brand deals, appearances, merchandise, etc. It takes a lot of effort, time and strategy to get there. I personally am not looking to make my dog Insta-famous, but hey, I wouldn’t be opposed to the idea.

So, you might think I am crazy for creating an Instagram account for my dog.. but hey, you can’t complain that I spam my personal account with her. Of course she’s going to make an appearance on my account – after all, she is my #1. If you’re interested in following Ellie on Instagram you can here: @elliethefroston

cooking for one // two quick beef dinner ideas

I love myself some red meat. Funny because I was also a vegetarian for a year and a bit in my early teens. That is probably why I still look 14, I think I lacked the protein and nutrition I needed to grow into a big burly man. Anyways, grill me a t-bone steak and let’s get it. So yes, I do like my beef. Yes, I love my BBQ and do use it year round. But these beef dinner ideas are sure to make your dinner an easy one. Both are good on their own – or can be used to create something else.

Honey Garlic Beef Strips
Okay, I don’t even know where I came up with the idea to make this. But damn, let me tell you.. these are so good. Not only is this cheap and quick to make, but you’re going to think you are eating honey garlic beef ribs from the chinese restaurant you adore. Tender and full of flavour, yum!

So easy. Buy the package of beef strips commonly used for stir fry or fajitas. Or, you can buy a think steak and cut it into 1/4 inch strips. In a frying pan, add a tiny bit of olive oil (tablespoon or so) and brown the beef strips up. Once the meat is browned, add a bit of honey garlic sauce. I like the VH brand best, but have used others too. Reduce heat and let it simmer until the beef soaks up all the honey garlic flavour. It shouldn’t be runny. BAM! You’re done.  You can mix this up with some rice and veggies – or just have it on a side. I often just make the beef and pair it with corn, broccoli, sweet potato or whatever else I am feeling or have on hand.

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Homemade Meatballs
I am a sucker for homemade meatballs.. well I am a sucker for meatballs in general. Let’s be serious, the only ones who don’t like meatballs at a potluck are the vegans and vegetarians. Nothing against that – I bet they love veggie meatballs too. I know I did when I was a vegetarian. You can do so much and get creative while making your meatballs.

Since I don’t love eggs, I never buy them. So instead I use panko bread crumbs to help them stick together and maintain that sphere shape. Other things I love to add in: minced garlic, minced onion, soy sauce, pepper, cayenne, and some parmesan cheese. As usual, I don’t weigh out how much goes in, I use my judgement. Again – super easy to cook. Fry the meat balls up in a frying pan. Don’t make the balls too big, this makes it harder to cook through and no one wants raw meat.

Hopefully these beef options will be coming to your dinner plate soon. After all, they are cheap to make and can be made up in less than 20 minutes. Both are pretty easy to clean up too.  Enjoy!

living with a food allergy

According to allergicliving.com, less than 10% of Canadians have food allergies. This statistic shocks me, this means only 1 in 13 Canadians have to worry about their food possibly causing a reaction. The numbers seems low to me; which is a good thing because many people are living without a food allergy. Unfortunately for me, I have a food allergy to sunflower seeds and I think a couple other seeds as well. It’s unfortunate because seeds are great for you. Not only are they are packed with health benefits but they are used in such a variety of food.

I think it is super weird how I can eat things cooked with, or in sunflower oil but I can’t eat the actual sunflower seed or any sunflower lecithin. Sunflower lecithin is an extract from the seed itself commonly used in cooking. What really sucks about having a food allergy is when you experience an unexpected reaction because the food you bought wasn’t labelled correctly, or the people preparing the food were unsure of what ingredients were actually used in the food they are selling. Yes, you can ask if the food or drink (yes, I’ve had a reaction to a $10 smoothie before because it unknowingly contained sunflower seeds) contains any seeds but honestly, you’re likely going to get an “I don’t know” or “We can’t be sure” answer. Again, you need to be looking out for yourself but how annoying is it asking if the food contains anything you’re allergic to? Very. For that reason I decided to compile some tips on how you can prepare and avoid a disturbing reaction below.

1. Call before you visit
I know from being a server in the past that it can be stressful on the kitchen when you report an allergy upon putting in an order. Kitchens are fast paced places, the staff is working hard to cook meals in a timely manner. So instead of showing up during the lunch or dinner rush with a serious and sometimes life threatening concern, call ahead. Ask to speak with the kitchen manager or head chef to see what items on the menu are best for you. Fast food places including take out establishments and coffee shops are no different – be sure to ask the right questions about how you can dine safe.

2. Be prepared
If you have a serious allergy that can leave you in anaphylactic shock, it’s important to keep an Epipen with you when you’re eating food that someone else prepared. If you have less severe allergies, it’s a good idea to keep an allergy medicine such as Benadryl on hand. Keep it in your pocket, leave it in the car – just have it near by. You can also look into using essential oils such as lavender and eucalyptus to help subside your reaction.

3. Ask questions and seek confirmation
As serious as a food allergy can be, you can’t expect others to be as cautious of your allergy as you are. Don’t hesitate to ask before you order if the meal contains the allergen. Once the meal is served, don’t be afraid to seek confirmation again. Politely ask “No sunflower seeds in this one, right?”  If you’re a large group and someone ordered the same dish as you, they likely had sunflower seeds in their dish and the server may have grabbed the wrong plate. You can never be to safe!

4. Take action
If you are experiencing a reaction, you need to take immediate action. Reactions can be different – even if it’s the same allergy. The same person can have different symptoms each time they encounter their allergen. Don’t ignore early symptoms, this can make things worse. Remember, anaphylaxis can occur without skin symptoms or hives.

5. Communicate your concern
For the longest time some family told me I wasn’t allergic to anything. I knew they clearly didn’t get it. You don’t just start feeling like absolute shit from eating the same thing every time. It’s also not normal to get hives, to feel like you can’t breath right, or for your eyes to water, your skin shouldn’t itch after eating something and you shouldn’t be puking after either. A reaction is different each time – sometimes I get a bad reaction and sometimes it’s nothing but an upset stomach and itchy throat. If you’re experiencing a reaction, tell someone. Tell them not to panic, but it’s a good idea to let someone else know. Don’t feel embarrassed or awkward. It is crucial to have those around you know in case the reaction worsens.

product review: bakers krate

If you know me, you likely know how big of a sweet tooth I have. In fact, I think all my teeth are sweet teeth! I am a sucker for baked goods. I love to make trips to the bakery in Orono on the weekend but I also like checking out new bakeries. I actually like baking too; I think it’s a bit easier than cooking meals and often has an easier clean up. But with Bakers Krate, you don’t have to worry about which baked goods to pick or having to deal with a messy kitchen just so you can get your hands on some tasty treats.

Bakers Krate is a Canadian subscription box company that sends you a box full of tasty baked good from bakeries all over Canada. The goodies are just like the basic items you would find at your local bake sale. In fact, all of the items I got came from bakeries in Ontario. The bakers that supply their items are experts, they bake for a living. They provide quality items that are natural, local and fresh. So what did I get?

Skor Cookie Bar
This was so good. I’ve had other Skor inspired baked goods but not a full on cookie bar. The cookie bar part is made with vanilla and toffee which is then smothered in melted chocolate and topped with little Skor pieces. I posted a picture of this on my social media accounts: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram!

St. Patrick’s Day Cake Pop
This may have been the first cake pop I’ve ever had. I am so happy it was chocolate cake too! Sorry vanilla lovers, but chocolate cake is the way to my heart.They mixed in a creamy icing which made the cake moist and very creamy. To finish it off they dipped the cake pop in white chocolate and drizzled a bit of green on top for that St. Patrick’s Day fun decoration!

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Peanut Butter Rice Krispy
I was super impressed with this one. It’s the first treat I ate. It puts the classic rice krispy to shame. The baker mixed peanut butter, chocolate and marshmallow to create a flavourful square. I think I could make this myself!

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Coco Coconut Mini Pie in a Jar
Not only was this packaged super cute, I also love the idea of a mini pie in a jar. The best way to describe this was like a butter tart with shredded coconut in it. I haven’t had anything like this before – except the classic butter tart (which I love!) I’m still not even 100% sure what was all in this but damn it was good. The Itty Bitty Pie company took it a step further with the “cool” factor of a mini pie in a jar.

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Florentine
So florentine cookies are actually something I get regularly from my local bakery. They are a thin, crunchy treat made of tiny pieces of almonds stuck together using a brittle like mixture. They then cover the crispy treat with chocolate which adds a nice smooth taste to the entire cookie.

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The featured bakeries from this month’s Bakers Krate include: Leah’s Bakery, Black Walnut Bakery Cafe, Itty Bitty Pie Company, Heather’s Bakery Cafe and The Wooden Spoon. I like this service because I am a sucker for desserts. It’s nice to have a treat after dinner and with Bakers Krate it’s so convenient. Bakers Krate would make a great gift as well. If you know someone who has a sweet tooth, surprise them!

 

hey, I’m Brent

I feel like I should have introduced to myself a bit more. I did do a pretty detailed about me page. It touches a bit on my work life and I guess my perspective on how you need to go after what you want. That being said, it doesn’t cover too much personal information. Even though I don’t really post photos of myself, I am a pretty open book. Ask and you’ll receive!

My name is Brent and I am 23 years old. I live with my dog, just East of Toronto, in a pretty small space. Bigger than you’re one bedroom/studio condo though.  I’ve got myself a fenced in backyard for the dog so it’s pretty perfect. I have gardens but my dog Ellie tends to enjoy them a bit too much. I’d love to live downtown Toronto but the timing just isn’t right. The cost of living is much more and I don’t love the idea of renting and paying someone else’s mortgage. For now I’ve got it pretty good. A secure, flexible job with benefits and the ability to take time off in the Summer to work on two of Canada’s largest festivals. I guess that gives you a better idea of where I’m at in life – but here’s some quick answers to questions I just copied from various question and answers that I found online.

1. Do you sleep with your closet doors open or closed?
Closed, but I don’t have a closet in my bedroom.
2. Do you take shampoo and conditioner bottles from hotels?
For sure.
3. Do you sleep with your sheets tucked in or out?
Out of course.
4. Have you ever stolen a street sign?
No, but I wouldn’t put that past me if it had my last name or something.
5. Do you cut out coupons and then never use them?
Yeah, or I get coupons in the mail and forget to use them until they expire.
6. Would you rather be attacked by a big bear or a swarm of bees?
Well a bear, but wtf – neither.
7. Do you always smile for pictures?
Not usually because I was so self concious of my teeth until I started Invisalign but now I’m flaunting them pearly whites. I’m on tray 7/30.
8. Do you ever count your steps when you walk?
I sometimes check the “Health” app on my phone, but no.. not regularly unless I think to myself “Shit, I walked a lot today!”
9. Have you ever peed in the woods?
Yeah, that’s the norm at my dad’s house out in the woods.
10. Do you still watch cartoons?
Yeah, I was born and raised on the Simpsons.
11. Where would you bury hidden treasure if you had some?
Well probably somewhere on my dads property.
12. What do you drink with dinner?
I only buy water for my house, but if I am out than probably a cocktail or an iced tea.
13. What do you dip a chicken nugget in?
Depends where I am, but I am a self proclaimed dip connoisseur. McDonalds would be sweet n’ sour and hot mustard  – but not on the same nugget. Wendys would be sweet n’ sour. But generally I’m just okay with plum sauce or spicy thai.
14. What movies could you watch over and over and still love?
Maybe Mean Girls, that’s probably it. I don’t loveeee movies like I should.
15. Were you ever a scout?
No.
16. Would you ever strip or pose nude in a magazine?
100% if the price is right.
17. Can you change the oil on your car?
No, but I know where I can go for an oil change!
18. Have you ever gotten a speeding ticket?
Two.
19. Afraid of heights?
Not really, but I can’t say I am comfortable either.
20. Do you sing in the car?
Yeah and dance.
21. Is Christmas stressful?
For those that can’t afford it or have trouble planning. But not for me.
22. Occupations you wanted to be when you were a kid.
Paramedic, personal assistant, lawyer, and artist/talent manager.
23. Do you believe in ghosts?
Yeah, but I block them out.
24. The first concert you ever went to.
Crazy town. They sung “you’re my butterfly, sugar baby. Such a sexy, sexy thingggg” I was like 7.
25. Walmart, Target, or Kmart?
Well I loved Target while it was in Canada. Never been to a Kmart and I do like Walmart.
26. Nike or Adidas?
Nike
27. Can you curl your tongue?
Yeah, I’m pretty talented with that muscle.
28. Have you ever cried because you were so happy?
I don’t think so.
29. Can you swim well?
I can swim well, not great.
30. Can you knit of crochet?
No
31. Are you a dog person or a cat person?
At the end of the day – dogs.
32. Year you graduated high school?
2011
33. What was your first job?
Working for a catering company. Event set-up, serving food, assisting in the kitchen.
34. What inspired you to blog?
I actually had a blog in high school that was like entertainment gossip and then one just after college that I worked on with my two roomies. But I’ve just always loved social, writing and the idea of blogging and creating my own community.
35. Can you do the splits?
Yeah but probably only cause I used to dance and I am oddly flexible.
36. What was your LEAST favourite TV show when you were a child?
Pingu.
37. What language, besides your native language, would you like to be fluent in?
Spanish, French or Mandarin.
38. Would you rather have an American accent or a British accent?
British of course.
39. Did you complete college or university?
Yes, I have a college “Advanced Diploma” in Music Business Management.
40. What’s the last compliment you got?
The lady told me I have thick and healthy hair when I got my hair cut this week.

product review: hellofresh canada

For a while now I have been amused by the evolving trend of meal delivery. No, I don’t mean getting take out meals delivered. I am referring to the businesses that send you nutritious meals straight to your door step. Some send them cooked and ready to warm up, others send you the ingredients you need to create meals they have already planned for you. HelloFresh is a company that sends you quality ingredients and a recipe book so you can prepare delicious meals at home in less than 30 minutes. The meals come in a box that is insulated and packed with ice packs to keep the meat and produce at ideal temperatures until you arrive home. Inside the box are smaller boxes, packed with the ingredients you will need for that specific meal.

So I bet you’re curious, what did I get from HelloFresh? Well, here is a break down of the box I received – the pronto box. Typically you receive four meals in each box. All you need at home is some salt, pepper, oil and sugar – the rest they send to you!

Meal One: Shrimp Banh Mi Burger
Honestly, I was kind of scared to try this one. Typically, I wouldn’t order this at a restaurant but that’s what is cool about the service; you get to experiment and try new things. Shrimp is one of those foods that I am picky with. I don’t want cheap, rubbery shrimp. Thank god they teamed up with Hooked, a quality supplier of seafood in Canada. The shrimp was so good. I really enjoyed making (and tasting) the sriracha lime mayo. A neat step in creating this burger was the process in which I pickled the shredded carrot and cucumber slices with white wine vinegar and sugar.

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Meal Two: Roasted Pork
This was really nice and easy. Honestly, I never pan sear pork chops. But with the cold weather, I wasn’t going to complain or try to BBQ them since I could just use my stove top and follow the directions provided. I really liked the apple topper that you make yourself with a fresh gala apple. The sides; cauliflower mash and roasted snap peas were so good too! I’ll definitely start roasting snap peas more often.

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Meal Three: Saucy Tandoori Chicken
This was my favourite meal from HelloFresh! It wasn’t hard to make, but was something I don’t normally make either. The chicken was great, but the rice was totally worth talking about! They make you add lemon zest, lemon juice and cilantro to the brown rice and wow, let me tell you.. it was SO good. I am still thinking about how good it was. Don’t get me wrong, the chicken was also amazing but the rice was just like nothing I’ve had before. On top, you throw a blob of the shredded cucumber and sour cream mix. At first I was a little hesitant to put this on the delicious meal I just cooked, but it was a perfect and refreshing piece of the meal.

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HelloFresh sources farm fresh, seasonal ingredients to make chef inspired meals right at home. You pick between their pronto box, veggie box or family box. Each one feeds either 2 or 4 people, based on your needs.You can view upcoming recipes on HelloFresh.ca and use promo code “COLMER50” to save 50% of your first box!

my reiki treatment experience

What is Reiki?
You have probably heard of Reiki but you likely don’t have a clue what it is. Reiki is an ancient healing technique. Reiki is based on the principle that the person conducting the treatment can channel energy into the clients body. This is done by laying the hands on, or just over different chakras along the body. There are seven chakras, each of them are a different centre of spiritual power. The energy channeled helps to activate natural healing processes and to restore not only physical, but emotional well being. The word Reiki is a combination of two Japanese words. Rei, which means “God’s Wisdom or the Higher Power” and Ki which is “life force energy”. Together Reiki which means “spiritually guided life force energy.”

My Experience
I’ve had two mini sessions of Reiki done and one full session. The first one was quick with the focus just on my head, neck and shoulders. I sat on the floor for this one. After, I felt a feeling of relief and relaxation – I felt like I was high or something. I guess you could say I was just a little bit out of it. The second session was also a quick one, but a bit longer than the first. I started on the ground and then as it progressed I was instructed to lay on my back and then on my stomach. This one was just before a family dinner and while driving to the dinner I felt so relaxed and a bit tired.

My sister is a certified Level 1 Reiki practitioner. There are three levels, the first level is more focused on you (the practitioner) but it’s important to practice your healing technique. My sister really wanted to do a “full” session on me. This week after my surgery, I spent the night at her house and got her to do a full session on me. I felt the energy in three spots the most. The first one, which was the front of my head; so my face. The second was while on my stomach but I felt it at my lower back. The third, which was most powerful feeling was my feet. It was trippy because the feet was the last spot and right after we stopped I was like holy shit, my feet felt crazy! It felt like I was conducting energy or electricity, I don’t even know. My sister wasn’t surprised I said that because the feet aren’t even one of the seven spots that a Reiki practitioner typically hit. She said that something just guided her to channel at my feet and that while doing it she felt her stomach going off.

After Reiki
After Reiki you can experience a few things: flu or cold like symptoms, black stool and a loss of energy. Two days after the Reiki treatment I had a minor sore throat, which I just kind of clued in was probably related to having Reiki done. Another thing you may experience is unusual compliments. A couple days after receiving my second mini-session I went to a McDonalds drive thru to get an iced coffee. The girl at second window opened it and said my iced coffee will be just another minute.. moments later she opened the window again and said, “Omg! Do you do your eyebrows? I’m so jealous of them.” and to that I said, “Uh, I pluck them to maintain them but like nothing super serious.” The worker then told me about how she lost her sharpener and wasn’t too happy about that. Well damn, I don’t draw my eyebrows on I thought to myself as I drove away. So that could have been a coincidence but I thought it was pretty ironic.

If you live in the GTA and are interested in having Reiki done, send me a message or leave a comment! You can also contact my sister directly through her eyelash extension page: Pretty Little Lashes

songs for your playlist // 003

I love festivals, the business of it and the overall fan experience is something I really find amazing. Different festivals have such different vibes. The crowds can vary so much depending on the line up, the sponsors and of course the on-site activations. And with all these festival line up announcements, I couldn’t help but share some new tunes with you guys. Are you a festival go-er? Have you purchased any festival tickets yet?

As far as this playlist, I’ve just included a few songs that I seem to be overplaying lately. I can’t imagine all of these artists playing the same festival, but hey.. it could happen!

1. Run Up – Major Lazer ft. PARTYNEXTDOOR + Nicki Minaj

2. New Man – Ed Sheeran

3. Feel Good – Gryffin + Illenium ft. Daya 

4. Chills – James Barker Band (Live)

5. Stay – Zedd ft. Alessia Cara

6. It Ain’t Me – Kygo ft. Selena Gomez

Let me know what you thought of this playlist and if you have any other song suggestions for me, let me know! I am @boywhoblogs on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

am I deaf? dealing with temporary hearing loss

START OF IT
I feel like before I start, I need to sigh really loudly. Last Summer in September, the month I really started blogging, I woke up with hearing loss. I don’t think it was instant. From what I remember my hearing gradually got worse. I was up at a cottage with friends and family enjoying a weekend on the lake with the sunshine, bonfire and overall good company. We were staying at my sister’s mother in laws place for the night, since it was right by Casino Rama. We were all together to continue the bachelorette shenanigans after the wedding. My sister bought concert tickets for her bridal party, our mom, her mother in law and for me; her MC. The morning after, I was struggling to hear people talking.

NEW DOCTOR
Just around this time, I was switching family doctors to one closer to my home. I went in to meet with my new general practitioner and for a check up as a new patient. During my new patient visit, I told her I had a couple things I wanted her to know about – one of them, my hearing. At first she didn’t clue in how severe it was until we were conversing across the small examination room and I had to say, “No, seriously, I can barely hear you.” I really don’t think she thought it was as bad as it was at the time. She told me to book another appointment so she could look into this a bit more. So I did, about three weeks later I had my second appointment with her. This time she did a couple things in the examination room to get a better sense of my hearing. Finally she asked, have you booked a hearing test? Well no. I didn’t because I don’t know how the process works. I’m 23, hearing loss isn’t something many people that are around me and my age suffer from.

HEARING CLINIC
I called the hearing clinic, told them I wanted to book a hearing test and the receptionist told me it would be about a month. She then asked, may I ask why you need a hearing test? Was it a regular check-up? Did I need it for work? or was I just curious about how well my hearing was? I told her no, my family doctor has asked me to book an appointment because I have had pretty sudden hearing loss in both ears. This changed her tone. She then said, well how about we get you in sooner? I was then booked in three weeks earlier than she had previously offered.

I went in and met with the audiologist. Super nice dude, very welcoming and thorough at explaining what the f*ck is going on. He knew basically right away that I had fluid in my inner ear. This is behind the ear drum. And guess what? It’s pretty common he said. He said for some it was a seasonal thing. What he told me next was kind of shitty. I asked, so what can I do help this? He said there was nothing I could do to help this. So now, I needed to go back to my family doctor and discuss the results with her.

RAGING 
About three more weeks pass until I get into see my family doctor. We look at the results and she basically reiterates what the audiologist has told me.  There isn’t much they can do, typically the fluid goes away on its own without any complications. Alright, so that was annoying. I still wanted to do whatever I could to try and help my hearing loss. After all, I was starting to get depressed. I hated being in social situations. I couldn’t hear my boss at work. I had to set the TV volume 10 levels higher than normal. I just did not like being around people because I could barely hear what they were saying. Literally had to tell people that I couldn’t hear them and they needed to speak up. I went to the walk-in clinic at the Walmart after work one day. They were ready to flush out built up ear wax. The doctor on duty looked and said there was no wax build up. Instead, she prescribed me a nasal spray. I questioned why my family doctor didn’t do this but hey, it was something new to try.

So I get the nasal spray, I’m trying it out. The nasal spray hurt! I honestly felt like I was snorting sand or something when I used it. So, I went to Saje Wellness. It’s my store, I love it there. I told the sales lady my issue and she said that maybe their “Immune” product would help. I bought it, it didn’t.

IMPROVING
I’m not kidding you when I say it was BAD. I couldn’t hear conversations, I couldn’t hear the door to the office opening. I need to greet guests as they arrive and I can’t see them from my desk. Needless to say, losing your hearing is scary. Time goes on, we’re talking three months I would say. I was scheduled to go see the audiologist again to see if there was any improvements. There was! My audiologist said that my hearing seemed to be improving slowly. I thought the same, I wasn’t sure if I was just getting used to the hearing loss and trying to read peoples lips or what. So then, three weeks later I go to see my doctor. She was happy with that report and said that since it’s improving, we should just leave it for now. But, she wanted me to go back and see the audiologist in a few weeks.

OR NOT
I go back for what I could call a pressure test. I was never actually getting hearing tests done apparently. Again, how am I suppose to know what the professionals are doing or are not doing. He tells me that it seems to have been getting worse again. Great.. cool.. yay. You best believe I was researching everything and anything about my symptoms, learning about hearing aids, I was going in on Google and WebMD. So then, fast forward about two weeks later. I go and see my doctor again… so now I have seem my new doctor more than I have ever seen my last doctor in the past 15 years. She tells me that I need to go see an ENT specialist. These are the doctors who know everything about ears, noses and throats. I was like “yasssssss” finally. But I kind of figured this was going to happen based off my conversations with the audiologist.

BACK TO AUDIOLOGIST
Okay, thank god the audiologist is a great guy. Literally two days before my specialist appointment, I get a call that the ENT specialist is requesting another test from the audiologist. I had to call the hearing clinics office and ask for them to pleaseeeee squeeze me in for this because we never did it. It was the actual hearing test. I did NOT want to wait any longer and really didn’t want to miss my specialist appointment that I’ve been waiting for. Luckily for me, they were able to fit me in for a same day appointment.

THE SPECIALIST EXPERIENCE
Two days later I am at my appointment to see the specialist. Thank f*ck my boss is so understanding and my job is pretty flexible. You don’t get a say in the date or time with these appointments. I meet with the specialist, he seems like a very blunt and straight to the point dude that knows his stuff. I’m down with this, seems like me. He asks me tell him about what has been going on. He casually asks, can I shove this tube up your nose? It’s going to be really uncomfortable but it won’t take long. Jokingly, I’m like well do I really have a choice? Let’s do it. He goes in and explores the area. Takes a look in my mouth, ears, feels my throat. Yep, exactly what I was expecting. He tells me I need to get a myringotomy. Actually, I have already had a myringotomy when I was a little dude. This is a surgical procedure there they make a tiny incision in your ear drum to relieve pressure from the ear drum. This procedure is very common within kids. It helps with ear infections and fluid build up. It’s also known as “ear tubes,” and no, you cannot see the tubes at all. In fact they are so tiny, no one will even know I have them. So that is where I am at now. I’ve got my surgery on Tuesday and I am hoping and praying for it to resolve my hearing loss! I’ll keep you updated on how the surgery goes and share more information about pre and post operative procedures. I am asking my sister to film me when I come out of anesthesia.. last time, when I was a toddler my mom reminded me of how I got a little bitchy coming out of the anesthesia and was throwing dish cloths at the nurse.

Anyways, that was a novel and a half. I should have wrote a blog post sooner about this. But hey, five months later and we’re getting this taken care of. Fingers crossed for a successful procedure with no complications and positive results. If these don’t work out, they can try again with a different type of “tube,” and when I say tube they are barely a tube. They are so damn tiny, see below the size comparison to a dine. I am pretty relieved that for now, I won’t be needing any hearing aids. Nothing against them, it’s amazing what they can do and how well they are made now with the amazing advancements in technology… it would just have been a lot to take in and get to used to right now.

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money saving tips

Being able to create and manage a budget is a skill. Honestly, it’s not a difficult thing to pick up. You need to figure out how much income you have and then allocate funds towards your various expenses. If you have more expenses than income, you need to make some changes. The hardest part is sticking to your plan. If you have tried budgeting but are having a hard time, maybe these other money saving tips will help you. Unless you are already doing everything humanly possible to save money then listen up!

1. Start somewhere
You can’t save money if you never start. If you can’t afford to save money then you can’t afford to purchase a coffee on the go. When I say start somewhere, I mean start by contributing a small amount of money consistently to a savings account. If you don’t have at least one savings account, open one. The tiny bit of interest you make is better than making nothing. Each time you get paid, put $2 away. If $2 is easy for you, do $5 each time. Again, if $5 is easy, increase the amount. The key here is to not make it a challenge.

2. Don’t pay bank fees
I really don’t get why anyone would willing pay bank fees if they don’t need to. After college I was paying between $5-$10 a month to use my debit card and transfer funds between different accounts within the same bank. It didn’t make senses to me, so I left and switched to a company that offers no-fee banking. I get unlimited transactions and don’t have to pay when I use my debit cards or transfer money from one account to the other.

3. Shop around
It blows my mind how some stores prices compare to others. This is a huge thing at grocery stores and even gas stations. The $2 or $3 price difference on hummus or milk adds up. The extra 3 cents a litre on gas will add up to. You don’t need to obsess over this (although you would save more money) but it’s something to be aware of. If I am doing groceries, chances are I am hitting up at least two different grocery stores. The same goes for clothing, once you have made a decision to purchase something in particular.. look around. If you’re in no rush for that specific item then look for sales, price match and keep your eyes peeled at stores who might have the same item for less.

4. Focus on debt repayment
Nothing sucks more than owing money you don’t have. For most of us, a mortgage is one chunk of debt we will be paying into for years. Student debt, credit cards and various loans are priority when it comes to repaying debt. High interest rates make it difficult to stay on top of and for some may become a vicious cycle of making minimum payments and not seeing any progress due to the interest rate.

5. Make money off of junk
Selling clothes, furniture and other objects you don’t want or need anymore is a great way to make some quick cash. I used to donate all my clothes but now I am all about reselling them through businesses that sell clothing on consignment, or through apps like VarageSale. Get rid of some clutter or clean out your junk drawer and see what you can sell.

6. Buy previously loved stuff
Being on your own and furnishing a place nicely can get costly. I picked up a lot of stuff for my place through online market places such as VarageSale. I picked up a kitchen table, chairs, a desk and a few other things for my place that were previously loved. This is a great way to save money! Clothing, fitness equipment, there are so many things people are selling online and some of the stuff is even brand new in the original packaging.

7. Eat out less
Going out for dinner or even grabbing a meal on the go is more expensive than making your own meals. Depending what you eat when you are on the go, you will likely even notice that you are eating better at home too. This goes for bringing your own lunches to work too!

8. Cancel your cable
I haven’t had cable TV in years. Sure, sometimes it does suck but it’s not that bad. I have a digital antenna that picks up a handful of TV channels like CBC, Global, TVO and City. I don’t pay anything for them; except the cost of the antenna which was likely equivalent to one months cable bill. The cost of a subscription to Netflix or another on-demand option like Crave TV is much more ideal in my opinion.