But first, a museum selfie!

Oh the selfie stick. Either you love it or hate it. Want one or want to break one. It’s a hot topic these days and places are beginning to ban them. Sure, we see “no photos” signs here and there around some tourist attractions but now places like Disneyland and Lollapalooza are banning the selfie stick due to the onslaught of flailing sticks and flying iPhones, which seem to be quite the trend these days. Victoria’s Butchart Gardens has recently also become part of the no selfie zone! The article can be read here: Butchart Gardens bans the selfie stick
The article and Butchart Garden’s decision came to my attention when someone posted it in the BC Museums Associations Facebook page, which I am part of and regularly check. I focused my university graduating project research on technology and museum culture and at what point does technology help or hinder the visitors experience. It is really cool to see this type of thing coming into play and being discussed. I was instantly very pleased to read about the selfie stick ban as it reminded me of a recent experience in Florence, Italy, at the Uffizi Gallery.
Let me set the scene:

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Ever had a bad day that has lasted for more then a day? Maybe even for a week? Perhaps it gets to the point where you have been pretty freaking bummed for a month or so now. Guess what…I have been there and A LOT of people have as well.

Talking about mental health can be hard. Whether it is your own mental health that you battle with,  or that of someone close to you. Starting that conversation can be difficult. Good news! Bell has provided a platform for anyone to reach out on. Be it to tell their story, offer support or provide resources for further help.

I have personally dealt with depression and anxiety. The latter hitting me hard after my house burnt down when I was in high school. There were months I could not hear a siren without falling into a pit of tears, darkness, anger and despair. It went on for months before I decided to get help – beyond consoling my pillow at the end of the night. I am happy I did. Talking about that kind of stuff can be weird, but also immensely relieving. There are avenues out there to seek help. Just look. Someone is listening.

It is crazy to think a simple text or tweet can make a difference. However, it took me a few years of tweeting “…#BellLetsTalk” to finally decide to write about my own experience. It made a difference to me, so there!

Now, y’all go and be inspired to write about your own stuff!



NOM: Coconut butter fudge

Aside from a homemade lip exfoliant recipe I posted years ago, I believe this is the first food recipe I have ever posted. Correct me if I am wrong. I love cooking but rarely follow recipes, making it difficult to pass on exactly what I make. This has been an issue when people ask for my pulled pork recipe… what recipe? Also, let me clarify: I cook, I do not bake. Baking tends to require you to follow recipes more than cooking and thats where you lose me. Recipes are great guidelines for getting quantities and flavours right, don’t get me wrong. I just personally like doing my own thing in the kitchen.

The other evening while cooking dinner, I had the urge to make something sweet for dessert. I started exploring my pantry and due to my lack of baking, I did not have many options. I found some coconut milk, cocoa powder, honey, coconut shreds and some other items. It was like an episode of Chopped! What was in the mystery pantry?!

I googled what I could make with such few ingredients and found a recipe for “the best coconut oil fudge.” This could work except for one minor detail: I was out of coconut oil (which I usually have because I love cooking with it). I had coconut butter and decided to just try it as a substitute. If you are curious, the difference between coconut oil and butter is that coconut oil is just the oil that has been extracted from the meat. Coconut butter is basically pulverized coconut, giving you more texture and density. They both melt easily and have the same hardness when solid.

So I subbed coconut oil for coconut butter and followed the recipe, which was hard for me. I found myself thinking “I wonder what it would be like if I added a bit of…” I did sprinkle some coconut shreds on top, which ended up being my only recipe tweak. I linked the recipe above, but here is the simple ingredient list:

  • 3/4 cups virgin coconut oil
  • 3/4 cups cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup  coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup raw honey
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • A pinch of salt
  • *and my added coconut shreds!

The end result was awesome! They are not overly sweet which fudge can tend to be but deliciously fudgey. The recipe was a bit small and I will definitely be doubling it next time. Plus, its annoying to have that much leftover coconut milk… I froze mine into cubes for convenient future use.