Mondays! Wonderful Mondays

haha. Just kidding!

Today marks my second day off in a row! How sweet is that? I’ve been picking up shifts a lot lately, so haven’t really had much down time.

My honey spent the past two weekends fixing up the bathroom for our landlords, which included completely replacing the ceiling due to water damage. He used a pine board style ceiling, which looks amazing in our little bathroom. He replaced the light fixture and had a go at replacing the fan, but the electrical wiring was a little too… Strange? It’s an older house and had a few homeowner fixes done to it, so the wiring was very wonky.

Pine Wood Ceiling
Pine Wood Ceiling

That said, the bathroom is due for a good cleaning today as dust got into the tiny crevices that no human ever knew existed.

Here’s my Monday To Do List:

  • Poly up the windows in the living room for winter
  • Remove all items from the bathroom medicine cabinet. Clean said items and dust the cabinet.
  • Bathtub upstairs and downstairs
  • Toilet upstairs and downstairs
  • Sweep and mop both bathrooms and kitchen floor
  • Make dentist appointments
  • Make an eye appointment for myself
  • Make a hearing appointment (ack!) For myself
  • Finish all laundry and put all away (not bad, we do keep up on it, but mm fresh sheets)
  • Plan out the meals for the week
  • Get something started for dinner
  • Find and start learning a video editing software
  • Work on a few more chapters of Hencke’s Med-Math
  • Take my kiddos outside for some time in nature after the eldest is back from school

Although we keep a clean house, there are still weekly tasks. This weeks is just a little more intense of a clean in the bathroom given the recent construction. And laundry has been a little daunting while the youngest learns to live life without diapers on at night.

What is your Monday (or week’s) To Do list?

My BzzKit is Here!

I received my sample of Olay’s Total Effects 7 in one anti-aging moisturizer from BzzAgent. Hopefully, this moisturizer will last four weeks, allowing me to fully test its ability to make my skin look “up to 10 years younger after just four weeks.” Obviously, mine won’t look 10 years younger as I’m 31 at the moment, but if I can see a visible decrease in some of my newly developing fine lines, I will be very impressed.

Step one will be to take a before picture of myself, which I haven not yet done, but will do before I start on this journey.

For your educational purposes, let’s see what the packaging says, paraphrased:

  1. Smooths fine lines and wrinkles
  2. Evening skin tone
  3. Brightens appearance
  4. Reduces look of pores
  5. Reduces look of age spots
  6. Restores skin firmness
  7. Replenishes moisture

The ingredients include niacinamide, panthenol, and vitamin E. In essence.

I’ve dived into skin care nose first after realizing I’m in my 30’s… Like, really realized it. I’m not the spry 20-something I used to be and it’s starting to show on my face. Not necessarily a bad thing; I’ve lived a pretty good life so far and have a few accomplishments under my belt. I’d just like to put my best face forward. With all the night shifts I work, the stress will get under my skin more easily and I’m sure I will age faster than I would under a more normal schedule, so I’m doing all I can.

Surviving the Night Shift

I’ve been an LPN for 6 years now and in that time, I’ve worked my fair share of night shifts. In fact, my current position includes mostly night shifts. I’ve come across some tips and tricks that work for me!

First, make sure you’re taking care of yourself on your off days. Sleep in, but don’t over do it. You can’t simply “catch up” on sleep, but you can deprive your body of awake moments in daytime. The sun is important, so make sure you say hello to it when the opportunity rises.

Surviving the night shift:

  1. Don’t sit down longer than 10 minutes at a time.
  2. Drink water. Lots and lots of water. It’s more beneficial than caffeinated drinks.
  3. Engage in conversation with others when possible (patients, coworkers).
  4. Write things down. Write things down. Write things down.
  5. Dress warm. It gets cold and your body gets cold on nights.
  6. Bring snacking foods. No big meals!

Prepare for your night shift and your drive to work:

  1. Nap before hand. This doesn’t benefit everyone. It makes some people more tired.
  2. Eat a good dinner. Eat a big one!
  3. Load up your phone or iPod with podcasts. I suggest “Serial,” “RadioLab,” and “The Vinyl Cafe”
  4. Load up your phone or iPod with upbeat music.
  5. When driving: Have your windows down and your music up on the way home.
  6. Also when driving, don’t be afraid to dance ridiculously in your seat to the music. Stay awake.
  7. Prepare to pull over and have a nap if you are too tired to drive.

Sleeping during the day

  1. Black-out shades, a blanket over the window, or a sleep mask. Block out the light.
  2. Ensure your room or sleeping area is cool. It’s easy to overheat when sleeping in the daytime.
  3. Turn off all alarms and phone notifications.
  4. Use a SleepTracker or use multiple alarms if you need to wake up for something, such as picking your kids up from school, making appointments, etc.
  5. Know that your body will likely not want to sleep for a long period of time. I often only get two periods of three hours of sleep on good days.
  6. Get up. Grab a coffee. Get dressed. Pretend you are refreshed and go about your business.


It is hard to adjust to, but it is work, and we need caregivers at all hours of the day, so kudos to you for stepping up to the plate!

I know some of you may have recoiled in awe when I mentioned that water is better than caffeinated beverages on night shifts, but this seems to be the general consensus. Water hydrates you and keeps your stomach content while you have your small snacks. It also ensures that you don’t have caffeine in your system when you get home and are trying to sleep.

Small snacks help you avoid the over-filled tummy effects that include being overtired! Small snacks give you the energy to complete your shift and hopefully helps you curb the inevitable cravings for carbs that comes with night shift working.

Being cold comes with the territory as well. It doesn’t matter what time of the year it is, you will likely find yourself being very cold while your body is trying to tell you to cozy up (for a hopeful nap). I avoid sleeping on night shifts although it is permitted at some jobs, because it makes me more tired and less available for my patients.

Write things down. It’s very easy to get distracted and it’s even easier to forget that the patient in 503 asked for some Tylenol before you were whisked away to room 507 for a patient fall.

Take care of yourself on your days off. Be kind to your loved ones, even if the underslept monster wants to scream out of sleep deprivation. Your night shifts won’t last forever. A day off is coming soon!

Baby, It’s Cold… Inside

Well. The day has come that our oil runs out and our furnace retires itself. Unfortunately, that was almost four days ago and I had a little miscommunication with Columbia Fuels, which lead to an incomplete delivery of sweet, sweet heat today. I was waiting for a confirmation call while I was out of town and their driver (bless his heart) showed up to try and find a cheque in the mailbox that was not there. The mailbox, I mean. We don’t have one. Woops! So no heat until tomorrow. Brr!

Unfortunately, I’m on a night shift tonight at one of my old facilities so I won’t be here to help warm up the bed.

Onto other things! Lately, I’ve been binge watching Tati on youtube and enjoying the BirchBox I received for November, which coincidentally, features Tati’s picks! And a new eyeshadow stick that Tati helped develop. I actually really like it. I’m not one for liking glamorous, shiny makeup, but it works as an awesome base. I’m more in love with the dry shampoo sample I received. Great for quick touch-me-ups for quick outings before having time to wash your hair. The shampoo is called “Living Proof Perfect Hair Day.” It’s $28.00 for a full-size, which is pretty decent. Dry shampoos aren’t the cheapest product out there.

I’ve also been watching Harris Family Journey, about a local mom and her two premie twins. Give her some love 😀

Mascara Review from my BzzKit and School

For the past few weeks, I’ve been using a mascara I got for free from Provided by COVERGIRL and I’ve been reviewing my pathophysiology textbooks in preparation of school starting in January.

I hate to do two review back-to-back on my blog here, but I gave this one a valiant effort and replaced my usual mascara with the COVERGIRL Supersizer mascara and I kind of like it:

This is the Super Sizer by lashblast, which boasts the ability to give you up to 400% more lashes! Quite the ability if I do say so myself. My first impression was that the wand looks incredibly daunting. It’s not made with soft bristles as they are more of a soft plastic/rubbery substance. The first time I applied it was close to a disaster as I clumped my eyelashes together… So I guess you could say I made one eyelash look 400% larger by making all of my lashes one giant clump.

I digress. They do say that practice makes perfect and they couldn’t be more correct about that. I got used to the brush, applying the mascara at the base of my lashes and then twirling the wand as I extended the mascara through to the tips of my lashes. Eventually, I did manage to get an almost false-lash look. And it looked pretty natural -not at all fake like false lashes sometimes look.

The mascara held on well for the first few hours and sometimes it would last all day, but more often than not, I would end my day with flecks of black settling under my eyes as the mascara would dry and flake off. Mind you, this happens to most mascaras for me and perhaps is a result of applying too much product.

This wand is growing on me. It hurts like heck when you accidentally stab your eyeball, but that isn’t recommended anyway 😛  I like the uneven bristles on the wand, which helps with more even distribution without clumping.

There is a good chance that I will buy this particular mascara again once it runs out. I don’t often change mascaras, but when you find a good one, you tend to become loyal to it!

The cost of this right now at Walmart is $5.97 (originally $6.97), which is an amazing deal for this quality of mascara. My previous favourite was by Benefit and costs close to $30 per tube. So to have as good a quality as a botique mascara at less than a third of the price is outstanding.

Price is great, quality is good, application takes practice, smells just dandy (I hate stinky mascaras, which this is not), plus a little added bonus: the tube is larger, so the handle of the wand is also larger, making it easier to apply.

I’d recommend this to others.

Reviewing the Anti-Stink Sticks…. Deodorant

In the past few months, I was given two different antiperspirants from Secret to try for free through In exchange, I am letting people know what I really think about these products. No fluff, no feigned positivism, just real opinions.


Clinical Strength. Heh heh, yeah right. I received a travel size sample in the mail (free of charge, you guys. Totally free… Why aren’t you a BzzAgent yet?) I had previously tried their Secret Clear Gel, which boasted 48 hours of odor protection. The goopy gel managed to allow for a few hours of stink-free before I sweated most of it off at work — did you know nurses are generally speed walking their whole shift, lifting heavy things, moving people, and so forth? Lots of sweat! That said, I didn’t have high hopes for the clinical strength when I saw that it was a gel antiperspirant as well.

I digressed, I slopped the gel on and kept my hands above my head, making funny faces in the mirror until it dried and frolicked off to work with a back up pit stick in my bag just in case.

It smelled nice with just a plain clean smell to it. It went on okay and dried well. I performed many incognito nose dives to my armpits and never once smelled anything abhorrent. This was a night shift, so I had gone straight to bed directly afterward (if it was a hospital shift, I’d have showered first due to the risk of bringing nosocomial infections home, but this was long term care) and snoozed up a storm. I sweat like mad when I sleep during the day time. Sorry if that’s TMI, but we’re talking about antiperspirant here.

I woke up smelling fresh as a daisy. Aside from the morning breath. That was something else… Whew.

I didn’t sweat onto my scrubs, I smelled great after 8 hours of sweating, plus 5 hours of sleep sweating. I think I’m sold! Next time I buy deodorant, I’ll likely be buying this. As an added bonus, they sell this at Costco! My new favorite store 😀

If you are going to try this or if you have tried it in the past without success, I will give you a tip: you have to apply enough to make your armpit feel wet then you apply it. I usually give the applicator two clicks, which produces what looks like too much product, but trust me it isn’t. Apply it and be patient while it dries. Don’t wipe it off and don’t rush onto the next activity. This is clinical strength, designed to help with too much sweat while also suppressing odors, so there is a method to the gel madness!

Two Months, Already?

Has it really been two months since I posted on here? Wow, time flies!

I have been busy working on Rain People: A friend’s website for her homemade quilts and baby & toddler bonnets. She has a real passion for quilting. If you ever have a moment to sit down with her, you will be infused with your own passion to get things done simply because of how passionate she is about her bonnets and quilts.

I’ve also picked up a regular 67% time job as an LPN, which is purely evening and night shifts. Figuring out how to balance work life, children, home, and my relationship was incredibly difficult in the beginning. It’s hard feeling like a contributing member of the household when all you feel like doing is “recovering” from your nights! I’m very  grateful that I am with my partner. He supports me a great deal.

Our household welcomed two new members: Twilight and Tiger. Our eldests’ new hamsters. Well deserved and earned by my stepson and my daughter.

I quit smoking September 11th; the anniversary of my knee surgery in 2013.

I’m designing a quilt-along for a minecraft twin quilt. I’m hoping to make it in time for a December 1st start and will make it a weekly post.

I’m also reviewing my pathophysiology course as I’m starting the Bachelor’s of Science program in January 2016… While working my .67 line. It will be a gong show, but totally worth it in the end.

I would like to compose a few tips and tricks about maintaining daily life while working nights and evenings without the benefit of sleeping whenever due to having kiddos and other obligations to maintain. (It is rough going to bed at 9 AM on Thursday after a night shift only to wake up at 1 PM to pick kids up, then wake up at 7:30 AM the next day to drop kids off at school… Let me tell ya!)

Be positive. Be grateful. Have good intentions. Take deep breaths. Today is only given to us once. <3

Dollar Shave Club

Not a paid post. NOT A PAID POST. I am sick and tired of the prices of razors. I tried the knock-off store brands, which resulted in many scratches as the handles would quickly deteriorate and drop the blades at random times, causing the blunt edge of the cartridge holder to slide not-so-lovingly against my skin. Mmm, fresh scratches.

The Dollar Shave Club minimalist envelope
The Dollar Shave Club’s minimalist envelope.  $7.29 for a complementary handle and 4 cartridges. Recurring billing so you receive four replacement cartridges each month right to your door.


I was also sick of paying–on average–$30.00 for 6 cartridges, each of which would last me maybe a week before losing its sharpness. This means changing it once a week if you didn’t feel like using a dull razor and harvesting the true power of ingrown hairs. Rawr. In essence, this worked out to roughly $20.00 per month. A cost that I could only talk myself into when my tax return comes. Living the big life, you guys. Big dreams.

I’ve endured a lot of ingrown hairs. What can I say?

I’m a daily shaver, sometimes every other day, but since the age of 20, I’ve rarely gone more than a day in between shaving my legs and arm pits… And my arms. Thank you, Cody Ward for saying my arms look like that of a monkey in grade 10. I remember. Oh, I remember. And other things.

I go through cartridges easily. So the point of this post is! (Drum roll, please)

Dollar Shave Club is in Canada. They ship in Canada! I was billed $7.29 Canadian on August 15th and yesterday, I checked the mail to receive this:

cheap razors and handles, razor shave club
I’m grabbing myself a bottle of wine, pouring a bubble bath and having a one-on-one date with this glorious beast tonight.

This is a referral link if you’d like to give them a try: here. These guys have three cartridge options (one blade, two blades, too many to count blades) and one heck of a great personality to back up their brand:

humour of the dollar shave club
Official Member Card
Present this card at any bar for a free drink*
* Not really. *Please don’t drink and shave.

Barber’s Hole; Just Before Nymph Falls

One of the most beautiful places I’ve been to in the Comox Valley would have to be Barber’s Hole. I don’t recommend taking little ones with you if you don’t have a partner to help you with the hike down. I took a 3-year-old, 9-year-old, and two 11-year-olds. I had a wee bit of a panic attack while climbing down the steep hills with my youngest.

The boys diving for clay at Barber's Hole in Comox Valley
The boys diving for clay at Barber’s Hole

I digress, it was a great experience. The water is refreshing and the insects, creatures, and bugs my little guy found were everywhere.

The older boys found a bunch of clay at the bottom of the lake and took turns diving to grab up clumps. Very exciting stuff!

Barber's Hole has currents
The water had too many currents for this newcomer to swimming

My daughter didn’t feel comfortable swimming, because there is a little current and she’s still some-what new to solo swimming.

A Trip to The Wrecks

Something to do around the Valley! Take a respectful trip to the wrecks in Royston. (Be kind to the wildlife and leave things as you find them)


ship wrecks in Royston
The entrance to the pivot

IMG_0867 IMG_0872 IMG_0877 IMG_0880 IMG_0882 IMG_0884 IMG_0886 IMG_0888 IMG_0893 IMG_0896

The trail leads to a pillar that brings you out to the ship wrecks, along the ocean.

The girls stopped to read the sign “Trails Closed.”





The boys did not.






Had to follow them in to get the little one.





And took some pictures to document the gorgeous view and the gorgeous day.