O to the No

randomnimities, ruminations and recipes

the greatest battle

in one of my routine perusals of pinterest (aka source of infinite wisdom and entertainment), I came across this quote:

“the greatest battle is between what you know and what you feel.”

I stopped scrolling. is that really the greatest battle?

I thought about some of the health stuff I’ve been going through, and how I learned this week that I should probably be cutting out all chocolate, caffeine, dairy, alcohol and refined carbs (basically my five main food groups/ love languages) and how IMMEDIATELY upon learning this I ate two chocolate cookies in protest. if I had been near a glass of wine I probably would’ve dunked the cookies for good measure.

I thought about what my dad has told me ever since I was little- that love is a choice, not a feeling. and how that’s challenged me in so many aspects of my life. how difficult it is to offer love and grace when you feel hurt and angry, how often I fail at that. but also, on the rare occasion when it does transpire, how transformative that can be for everyone involved. a piece of the sacred.

I thought about how I feel like I’ve been floundering since I got back from Cebu, grieving in some sense- identity and purpose. the painful dissonance of knowing who i want to be and feeling so far from it. knowing that seasons pass and we press on but feeling despair creep in at the edges, whispering to just give up.

I thought about the kick in the pants (lovingly) administered by D last week. reminding me I have a choice and I need to take responsibility for my choices and their consequences. shaking me from the victim mentality that ‘life is just happening to me and it’s hard.’ life happens, yes. but we always have a choice in how we deal.

so yes- pinterest, you have a point. it is an epic battle between the head and the heart. but I don’t think either of them deserves to win all the time, and I wouldn’t give up one or the other. so the battle rages on.

good wins

heartache seems to be a constant these days.

paris. beirut. kenya. and the thousands of others who suffer or die everyday without public outrage- nameless and faceless.

it’s all too heavy today.  grief and fear and anger all tangle into a knot that just sits in my stomach.  i want to switch off.  i want to disengage.  but it’s constant and in my face and i can’t ignore it.

God, what would you have me do?

i feel helpless and insignificant.  i remember one of my toughest days in Cebu, where the evil of humanity was just so blatant to me, it made me want to cry and barf at the same time.  and i railed against God- i gave it to him good- and then i was reminded of Psalm 94 and basically felt him tell me, “stop freaking out, i’ve got this.”

it’s hard for me to see how God’s got this under control when i read the news.  it’s hard for me to feel at peace when i think about the shifting global environment and how close to home everything is getting.  honestly, i lose sleep over it.

but at the end of the day, i can only rest in the few certainties i have: life is short and precious.  we are all finite and accountable for our choices.  and most importantly- good wins.

oh hey.

bet you didn’t think you’d hear from me again. lucky for you I’m like a terrible rash- I keep coming back.

ok but seriously though- I haven’t blogged here or there for six months, and it’s been weird. I felt like a piece of me was missing. I missed you guys, my little invisible internet friends. I missed writing, having the power to push my weird and inane thoughts on to you.

I had reasons for the radio silence. for one, I moved into an entirely new season, new city (kinda), new job when I finished my internship in the Philippines.

but more than that, I didn’t feel like I could.

the first few months back in Canada were harder than I imagined they would be. I struggled with getting my health back. I wrestled (and continue to wrestle) with meaning and purpose after leaving a job and community I was so passionate about. i struggled with coming home and not feeling at home.

I would get the itch to blog from time to time. but then I would read through my old posts here at O to the No and feel like I was reading someone else’s words and I couldn’t bring myself to pretend. my culinary skills have also suffered in the past year and a half and I worried I wouldn’t be able to make yummy things and take pretty pictures anymore to make you guys be my friends.

but over the last little while I’ve had people nudge me to start writing again, and so this brain fart blog post is a result of that. I want you to know that I’m still here, still kicking. I’m blowing off the dust on this little corner of the cyberwebs I call mine.

I don’t know what this blog is going to look like going forward, but if you’re still here- thanks :). I’ve missed you.

i’ve moved! literally and blogiterally

hey there! sorry i’ve been MIA for a while- i’ve been occupied with prepping and packing and i’m finally in the philippines!!

while i’m here, i’ll be blogging over here.  come on over, i miss chilling with you!


packing perspective

it’s funny how moving puts things into perspective.  how packing your whole life into neatly labeled boxes forces you to sift and weigh and sort out what matters and what doesn’t, what to keep and what to let go of.

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so much has changed in the four and a half years i’ve lived in ottawa.  i came here with two suitcases.  and now i’m shipping and storing an apartment’s worth of stuff and furniture.  i came here wearing my favourite pair of converses.  beat up and ratty, but i loved them because of the places i went, the people i met and the things i learned while wearing them.  i wore these shoes to work when i first moved here, a half-assed attempt to stick it to the man, to show everyone (read: myself) that i wasn’t going to change even though everything around me was different.

but i did change. Continue reading “packing perspective”

pain in the butt

is it possible to pull your butt? because i’m pretty sure i did this past weekend. i went for my first outside run this year and my butt was not impressed. i’ve been semi waddling/limping since friday.

in other news! my friends L + J got married!! and i got to stand with them on their big day as a bridesmaid- so fun!


i drove out to Toronto a few days early to pick the boyfriend up from the airport- he flew in from Van to be my date (d’aww) and we got to see Niagara Falls and pretend to be hippies in Kensington market (i did a better job at being a hippie than he did, naturally).

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the wedding itself was awesome. so many people worked really hard to make the day special, and at the end of the day i think L’s face says it all.

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fricken adorbs.
fricken adorbs.



also- having professionals do your hair and makeup is the bomb. i think i need to hire a stylist to fix me up every single day.

case in point. i wake up like this:

grumpy cat

after a whole lot of shellac and hairspray:

10173781_10100947047571597_6282611649584066555_na leettle better.

but back to butt pulling. did you know pork butt is actually pork shoulder? i know. that makes no sense to me either. but did you know that pork shoulder/butt is amazing for pulled pork? i would know because i made a giant delicious vat of it for easter dinner this past weekend. tender falling-apart meat slathered in bbq sauce… nom. and the best part? only THREE INGREDIENTS (and one of them may surprise you). this is one case where butt-pulling is a good thing.

??????????????????????????????? Continue reading “pain in the butt”

finish line

1 terrifying French philosophy class + dozens of jars of peanut butter + 1 manatee + 36 papers – 247 planned runs + 1 delivery pizza + hundreds of endnotes (Turabian style) – too many dead trees + 20 pounds gained from stress eating – hundreds of hours of sleep – 15 pounds lost from nights i was too exhausted to make anything other than popcorn + craploads of encouragement from friends and fam + 3 new white hairs – 5 years off my life-span + countless food drop-offs from concerned friends (i’m looking at you L and B) + 3 emergency runs to bulk barn because of m&m shortages – 2 years of my life + a few f-bombs = a master’s degree

i handed in my last paper this morning. then i walked out of my last class. and all i could think was, “i’m never. ever. doing that again.” Continue reading “finish line”

four days

i’m four days away from having a life again.

four days away from not having to constantly switch between work brain and school brain.

four days away from freedom from papers, turabian citation style, stupid rules, and endless readings.

four days away from getting to read for fun again.

four days away from finishing this thing i started two years ago because ‘it seemed like a good idea at the time’.

i have so much crap i need to get done in these four days… and i’m having a hard time going back and forth between ‘jusss get’rrr dunnn’ and ‘i dunnn eveeen caaayyyrr’.  (why yes, my internal voice does have a southern drawl- doesn’t yours?)

i need to tap into my inner asian.



double-fisting and getting dahled up (bachelorette weekend)

this past weekend was L’s bachelorette weekend getaway. the other bridesmaids and i took the bride-to-be to a mystery location (spoiler alert: it was a cottage in gatineau) for a weekend full of unflattering photos and fattening foods.

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(in case you’re wondering- yes, yes that is me.  double-fisting chips so i can get them into my face as quickly as possible, wearing my favourite sweatpants and in active fighting stance – my instructor would be proud. and yes, i do have a bridesmaid dress to fit into in less than a month and i’m aware i look pregnant. chip baby? and finally…yes, this is a candid photo, which makes it so much worse- this is what i look like in my natural state.  photo cred goes to the sneaky/hilarious/cruel SY)

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(this was taken shortly after L dumped a buttload of veggie chips on her lap. she was trying to save them.)

it was so good to get out of the city and i’m lucky that my friends’ have granny tendencies like me and our idea of a ‘wild night’ is painting our nails bright colours and making embarrassing memes of each other as we stuff ourselves silly.

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it also came at the perfect time, with the wedding in less than three weeks, i know L needed a breather, and with my semester wrapping up literally the day before i leave for the wedding, i’m effectively in the end of semester perma-crazed mode.

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ok fine. this one isn’t of any of us. but it’s FREAKING HILARIOUS.  it doesn’t even matter how many times i look at it- i almost pee myself laughing.

and it also helps set the context for this:

Continue reading “double-fisting and getting dahled up (bachelorette weekend)”

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