best friend gifts

Best Friend Christmas Gift Ideas


The holidays are fast approaching and you still need a gift for your bestie!  Maybe you’ve decided not to spend a lot on each other this year, but you still want to get them something meaningful.

Here are some ideas to get the ball rolling:

  1. Single Basket of Awesomeness

If your bestie is single, put together a Single Basket of Awesomeness: including 101 Reasons Why it’s Great to be Single (or a printout of the cover with a note that says you’ve bought them the eBook), a bottle of their favorite wine (or other alcoholic beverage), some magazines with scantily clad pictures of the opposite sex, and OF COURSE, chocolate.

2. Girls/Guys Night Out

Tickets to an event in town that you can both go to.  My “go-to” include food tours, comedy shows, local seasonal activities, concerts, etc. By choosing an activity you can both go to you’ll likely end up paying a bit more, but you’ll get to go with them! (Unless of course they are a jerk and take someone else… in which case why are they your besite anyway).

3. Representations of Their LIKES

We all know that one thing that our besite LOVES.  Whether it’s Martinis, Owls, Kittens, or some other random fascination, they have something that they absolutely love and even get excited when they talk about it.  A gift that has something to do with this LOVE will always win.  They LOVE owls and you get them an owl mug?  You’re freakin’ golden.

4. Inside Jokes/Bestie Specific Presents

Some presents are meaningful, and others are just silly.  If you know your bestie well, you probably have an inside joke or two, or something that really defines your relationship.  For example, I would always go for lunch with a friend and we would buy mint Kit Kats.  We LOVED them because they were so different.  SO, for Christmas one year I went online and ordered her a bunch of different Kit Kats in various flavors. Best gift ever.

Do you have some suggestions of bestie gifts?  Leave your ideas in the comments below!


How to Quickly Get Rid of Your Friends that Suck


At some point in our lives we find ourselves questioning the quality of our group of close friends. Perhaps you’ve been friends since high school and you’ve just held on even though things aren’t a great fit, or maybe you’ve picked them up recently after a friendly introduction in the bathroom bar (post-jagger bomb shot of course).

Whatever the reason, we all have those one or two (or maybe even a handful for you eager beavers out there) friends that we really don’t know why we’re still friends with. Yet, we continue the friendship and pretend as if things are fine.

Some of these friendships are harmless, and at times even helpful. There are others though, that simmer under the surface just waiting to pop up and shake the foundation of your once pleasant lifestyle.

How do you determine the difference?  Why, with this list of course:

Top 5 Friend Personality Types:

#1: The Single Clinger

This is usually one of those single friends that focuses on the negative attributes of being single. Whether it’s another “Lonely Friday night with the cat “LOL #catcuddles” Instagram post, or 35 Snapchats to you of dinner with the parents including “Dinner at the parents house, so glad I get food made for me #chicken”, they always seem to fish for some sort of affirmation that their life isn’t completely devoid of excitement and meaning.

It doesn’t matter if they’re talking about pets or parents or friends…. The undertone is always “I’m single and I’m lonely and my life sucks.”

Toss or Keep? These friends are good to keep around, as they are always there for you.  They are usually the most loyal in your times of need, and you are usually who they turn to for advice or.  However, if their Instagram or Snapchat stories get to be too much, it’s your job to set them straight.

#2: The Boyfriend/Girlfriend Obsessed

These are the friends that find a girlfriend/boyfriend and all of a sudden are gone from your life.  They only reach out to you when either a) a fight breaks out and they need you to reaffirm their position or b) they are becoming bored and need their girl time/ boy time.

Toss or Keep? Problem is, you will likely become one of these one day, and you will want your friends to be there in your time of need.  Sucking it up now and taking one for the team will only help you later.

#3 The Quiet Listener

These friends are the best friends.  They will listen to you whenever you have problems, and will wait for you to ask them about their own.  If you don’t reach out to hang out with them they will likely never text you, but as soon as you reach out they are there.

Toss or Keep?  Never let this one go – they wont be around all the time, but when they are, they are extremely valuable.

#4: The Alcoholic

This is that friend that you know will always be up for a good party.  Every time you go out and every conversation you have, drinking is involved.

You don’t know them on a personal level but when you think about them in general you feel a positive vibe about them. They are always up for a good time.

Toss or Keep? Toss these friends.  They often bring a lot of drama, and talk to you about their life situations asking for advice.  Other than that, you don’t know each other on a personal level and only ever bond when drinking together.

#5: The Advice Giver

There is always that one friend that knows the solution to everything. You have a bad day and you just want to rant to them – and they come back with some solution to solve all your problems. WTF…

Toss or Keep? Keep this. Yes, this is annoying, but who’s fault is it?  They are obviously a good friend trying to help you out, and yes you have the right to rant to them.  However, if they offer advice that you don’t want it’s your responsibility to tell them that you really just need a shoulder to listen and not a sounding board.

Get Rid of Your Friends that Suck?

Most of us think we have friends that we just want to drop. In reality though, it’s good to think about those friends that are just annoying in the moment vs. those that really don’t contribute to our lives in general.

Like my writing style?  Check out 101 Reasons Why it’s Great to Be Single, available on Amazon, and Barnes and Noble!


Ideas for the trash can

Why Drug Testing Welfare Recipients is a Waste


Social media provides a plethora of benefits. Whether it’s maintaining social connections you wouldn’t have otherwise had, creating beneficial support networks, or accessing more information than ever before, social media helps streamline today’s social channels in a manner unfathomed during the early years of today’s millennials.

At this moment, however, social media also acts as a platform for anyone with an opinion to promote their views and opinions to the world.  The fundamental problem is that today, the voice that stands out is no longer the word of the majority – but rather, the voice of the entertaining minority that may not make a whole lot of sense but for a swift click of a mouse button seems the better choice.

Drug Testing Welfare Recipients

Let’s take drug testing welfare recipients as an example.  If presented with both sides of the argument, most people would choose to not vote for drug testing welfare recipients.  However, since both sides are not given on social media, many follow the leader and exclaim “I work and pay my taxes, why should my money go to drug addicts without a job!?”

At first this seems like a logical argument – I pay taxes, and I see that MY tax money going to support people who are using drugs, who don’t have a job.  I’m buying them food, I’m giving them money.  THIS IS NOT FAIR!!!

Taking a Step Back

Are you willing to see the other side of this argument?  In University I enrolled in a debate course and we were asked to pair up with someone.  We were given a largely debated and controversial topic (eg. abortion), and asked to argue the other side (meaning, argue for the side you would never argue for). This was the hardest and most eye-opening task of my life. I am pro-choice, and have NEVER thought I would be swayed, and yet this debate opened my eyes to a world I had never seen.  I am not saying that I have switched over to pro-life as a fundamental state of belief – what I am saying is that I now know both sides more completely than I ever would have before.

So first ask yourself – are you willing to see things another way?

Drug Testing Welfare Recipients

Did you know that this has been tested in 9 different states? In these states drug testing has cost more money for the state than it has saved (yes that means MORE of your tax dollars). Tests resulted in a less than 1% drug usage rate overall, and in most cases the person suffered from other health problems which were unrelated to drug use.

Our biggest problem is that we are arguing over how to handle these problems after they arise.

I’ll say that again: Our biggest problem is that we are arguing over how to handle these problems after they arise. “Should we be taxing welfare recipients?” needs to be turned into “how can we reduce the number of welfare recipients?”.

We do NOT need to be focusing on how to DEAL with those on welfare, but how to PREVENT people from ending up on welfare.

Global Relevancy

It isn’t just welfare.  It’s any action that produces a negative effect within society – Welfare, Drug Abuse, Abortion, Poverty, Criminality.


What if we focused on preventing these things?

What if we put our money towards making birth control more available.. or even FREE?
What if we put our society’s dollars towards schools, and helped with recognizing children with learning disabilities?
What if we put our taxes towards communities that built upon and supported one another?  Communities that worked together to donate clothing and resources to others in need?

The solution is not becoming angry at band-aid solutions after-the-fact.  The solution is to prevent these social injustices before they begin.

In Closing

It is easy to say “I will not let my tax dollars go towards a meth head, who does not work, while I slave away for 10 hours a day”. The reality is, if we cut off welfare to these people who have fallen victim to drug addiction – who, when given the option to eat or do drugs and die would quickly rather than choose the latter… how can you, as a human being, say “let them die”.

The choice is NOT “give them my money” or “let them die”.

There is an option we have not invested in: Prevention.

Those traveled down this path already deserve our compassion. Those that have not and can be saved deserve every prevention measure necessary.

So, rather than using your social media for promoting hatred, open your mind to ways we can prevent these tragedies.  Ways we can put our tax dollar to good use, so that we aren’t in the land of “The Lord of the Flies“, ganging up on the helpless – but rather, in a whole new world where human beings help each other to fulfill the potential within us.


Like my writing style?  Check out 101 Reasons Why it’s Great to Be Single, available on Amazon, and Barnes and Noble!

dating, relationships

The Gift of Balancing Traditional Femininity with Strength


My entire life I have always been the woman that meets every challenge with reverence.  I’ve told every man that didn’t meet my expectations to “F off” – (in most cases metaphorically, but in a few instances literally), and I’ve held on to my independence as though it was an appendage.

However, my largest conflict with this mentality is my need to balance my value of personal strength and dignity, with my value of traditional femininity.

I am a great believer that when entering into a relationship, I should think in terms of “how can I make my partner happy”. If we are both committed, I believe that cautious optimism should be warranted – that my partner is not looking to be disloyal and I should trust him unconditionally until I am given reason to believe otherwise. I should want to give him everything, as he should with me.

In other words – I’m an independent woman who doesn’t need a man but when I find one worth being with you better believe I’m going to treat him right and trust him unconditionally.

The Turning Point

Last year I entered into a relationship with this mindset, only to be taken as a fool and hurt in ways I’ve never known before.

Did I implode?  Did I circle into a whirlwind of self-pity?  Nope.  Instead I stood my ground and believed in myself.

As soon as it was over I deleted him from my contacts, blocked his number, and blocked him out of my mind (as best I could).  I then decided to steer my focus, not towards how much it hurt not having him around anymore, but rather what positives I would face in my new found singleness.

I started writing down all the positive reasons for being single.  Eventually, I can up with 101 of them, and ended up publishing the book 101 Reasons Why it’s Great to Be Single.

Finding Myself 

I discovered that although I had put myself out there and gotten hurt (more so than I ever had before) – that I didn’t regret the experience at all. I want to be the type of woman that stands strong on her own, and yet when faced with a possible relationship – gives her all.  I want to be that person, and if that means getting knocked down by men who aren’t in a position to accept that kind of love so be it.

I will not accept responsibility for another’s inability to meet my expectations.  I will not change my behavior or attitude simply because a relationship did not end the way I wanted.

In the end, I am only responsible for myself and my actions and I can say confidently that I am proud to be a woman that values both strength and dignity, along with traditional femininity.

101 Reasons Why it’s Great to Be Single is available on Amazon, and Barnes and Noble!


Nicole Arbour - fat people

Nicole Arbour – You aren’t Wrong, Just Uneducated


The fact that many studies have proven that we would rather agree with other peoples’ opinion than voice our own … is terrifying. Famous Solomon Asch Conformity experiments have proven that even when we know (or are at least very sure) something is incorrect, we still agree with the majority in the room, even when their opinion is ridiculous.

Unfortunately, given today’s access to social media this means that anyone with enough of a social media following can not only promote, but encourage change of thought based on little or no facts.

I had really hoped to avoid voicing my opinion of Nicole Arbour. Partly because I think participating in debates over social media is silly, but mostly because I believe that if you don’t agree with someone’s view, the worst thing you can do is add to it by posting your own comments.

However, given that her videos have stirred such controversy, I find the need to present another view which I haven’t yet seen. Hopefully one that gets you thinking critically instead of nodding your head in agreement because a pretty blonde sounded convincing.

Dear fat people:

If I really cared about your weight loss and wanted to promote positive change, I would never start a video off with the introduction: dear fat people.

Why?  Because to start, numerous social psychology studies have shown that the only way to promote positive change is through positive reinforcement.

This may sound like psycho-babble but if you think about it, it really makes sense.

Let’s say you’re in class and your professor, Mr. Smith, gives you an hour to write an assignment.  During the class he walks around the room staring intently and reading student’s papers over their shoulders.  Every now and then he makes a critical remark out loud for all to hear, and the bashful student quickly turns his pencil upside down to make their changes as the rest of the students laugh at their pointed error.

Eventually Mr. Smith comes up behind you and peers over your shoulder to read your work.  He stands there for a minute, peering intently and then after what seems like an eternity says loudly, for everyone else in the class to hear “Ah, I see your second paragraph starts with a proposition.  If you had listened to my lecture you would have known that this is not best practice for the assigned article.” He pauses for a minute to let it sink in, and looks around the room to ensure all students have heard his criticism. Finally as he slowly walks away he scoffs (loudly enough for all students to hear), “hopefully some of you were paying more attention to my lecture!”. You suddenly feel the entire class’s eyes staring at you, and even when their gaze turns you still feel their eyes on you… looking and judging your every thought, move and error.

Now let’s take the exact same scenario, although this time instead of Mr. Smith you have Mrs. Pankin teaching the course.  Everyone is writing the assignment as Mrs. Pankin walks around the room.  You feel Mrs. Pankin walk up behind you, peering over your shoulder.  This time, rather than making a loud boisterous statement she bends over and whispers “ah, I have started many papers with a proposition, as you have – a secret for you: if you begin with a bold statement instead you capture the reader’s attention and make them intrigued enough to want to read more.” She makes quick eye contact with you – a positive excited glimmer – before sauntering away to tap another student on the shoulder. As she walks away you glance around the room at your classmates, who are peering over at you intriguingly, wondering what sort of nuggets of knowledge she has given you.

Your inside tip not only gives you the information you needed to make a positive change to your assignment, but also boosts your self-confidence just enough to give you the courage you needed to add in that extra paragraph you weren’t sure about beforehand.

The result? As Mr. Smith’s student you are so self-conscience that your paper not only contains a word count much lower than expected, but also includes grammar mistakes and typos that you don’t even recognize as your own. As Mrs. Pankin’s student on the other hand, you not only write an engaging and insightful paper, but you go above and beyond the expectations to include arguments contrived from insightful, out of the box thinking, which were not even part of the initial assignment.

In both cases the student was the same – you.  And yet, your outcome was significantly different.

The reason why I use this example is simply to display the impact of positive reinforcement. Nicole Arbour states that she talks about fat people to bring awareness to the topic in hopes of promoting positive change.

The problem is, that much like Mr. Smith, Nicole is attempting to promote change through negative reinforcement… and as any introductory social psych course will teach you, you can’t promote positive change through negative reinforcement.

So, Nicole, If your goal was to gain fame and attention for your videos, you have certainly succeeded.  If it was to promote positive change though, as you so state – perhaps you should rethink your strategy.


Like my writing? Check out 101 Reasons Why it’s Great to Be Single is available on Amazon, and Barnes and Noble!








The Misconception of Singleness


Whenever I tell people that I wrote a book on being single they immediately give support, saying “good for you, men aren’t worth the time!” Or, “I hear that, relationships are nothing but bad news”.

This is an understandable and relatable reaction to being told someone’s written a book called 101 Reasons Why it’s Great to Be Single. However, my purpose for writing the book was not to draw negativity to relationships. In fact, that was the furthest thing from my mind.

The Foundation of My Scripted Fruition

However contradictory it may seem, the purpose of writing 101 Reasons Why it’s Great to Be Single had nothing to do with being in a relationship or not – instead, it had everything to do with appreciating what you have in that moment.  The reason why I focused on singleness is simply because it’s a status that many people find inferior.  As if being in a relationship confirms your worth and value.

In fact, I’m currently in a relationship, and I see no conflict or hypocrisy in being in one and at the same time being the author of 101 Reasons Why it’s Great to Be Single.  “Why?” You inquire.  Well, I’m so glad you asked.  We all look on the other side of the fence.  Doesn’t matter what you have or what you do or who you’re with, someone will always have some thing or some circumstance that you don’t have, and the pull of envy can, at times, be too strong to deny.

So, I chose singleness as an example, but it could really be anything.  Feel too short?  Too overwhelmed?  Too heavy?  Too unattractive? Whatever it is, this book will hopefully make you question your perspective on your present circumstance.

So, let’s focus on singleness for now just as an example. Most people see those who are single as being less than; being unable to find someone.  As if…. being single means there is something wrong with you.

The Socially Accepted Misconception of Singleness

This view is backwards and needs to be addressed and eradicated. Being single does not mean there is something wrong with you – if you do seriously think that then sit down and list out all the people you could be in a relationship with.   You may say to yourself “pfft I would never date them though” – but that’s exactly it.  It isn’t that you don’t have anyone to date.  It’s that you don’t have anyone that you fit with, or want to be with.

If you’re rolling your eyes right now and saying “yeah well I actually have NO ONE who wants to date me so thanks for nothing”, well then you’re in luck because if you take advantage of these steps you’ll see the largest results.

The 5 Steps

When we focus on our problems, our problems seem larger.  When we focus on other areas of our lives however, we increase the positivity in our lives and our problems just don’t seem to bother us anymore until eventually they fade away.  The following 5 steps are ways to help you focus on YOU instead of your problems – whether that’s being single, not being good at something you wish you were, or other causes of discontent.

1. Know Your Worth

I don’t mean what you have in your bank account.  I’m talking about the internal value you place on yourself that no one else sees and only you know about.  Most people have baggage from past relationships that still affects them and seeps into present relationships (whether we acknowledge it or not). So we pick people to be with that we know aren’t good for us, but we feel an attraction to because “we’re just a really good fit”. (Not to get too into the psych mumbo jumbo, this scenario usually involves a link between your current cuddle muffin and your parent dynamic – thanks Freud ;)).

In summary, don’t be with someone who you aren’t excited about or who doesn’t treat you well just because you’re “unexplainably drawn to them”.

2. Work Towards Your Goals

You know what’s attractive?  Someone who has their shit together and is working on themselves. If you truly want to find someone in your life to be your life long partner, they better damn well be there to support you and your goals in life.  So what’s the best way to meet that person?  Why, focus on you of course! Do what you love and someone will just come along. I know it seems overly simple but it truly is the best way to meet someone (with no stress or over thought).

3. Surround Yourself with Good People

We’ve all had those friends that we know aren’t good for us, and yet you feel some sort of pull to them.  That pull is some good ol’ fashioned addiction.  Yep, as soon as you feel a need to see someone and yet cannot think of a positive outcome for seeing them, you’re stuck in the game.  Cut those people out completely.  It may seem harsh or cruel, but in reality it’s more cruel to keep them around while they slowly suck the life out of you.

4. Take Your ME Time

Almost every day after work I head straight to the gym.  I turn my phone off, put on my latest ipod jam and start out with some sort of cardio.  The next 2 hours are what I call my “me” time.  No phone, no small talk with randoms, no nothing.  Just gym, endorphins, music and muscle. The way life should be.

ME time is something that gets overlooked SO often, especially today where we have everything we could ever need right at our digital fingertips. We forget to shut off and live in the moment.

ME time is so important.  Whether its a bubble bath with a magazine, a gym session with no phone notifications or a coffee walk with coworkers, taking time out for you will always yield positive results.

5. Indulge When You Can

As soon as you deprive yourself of something, your body begins craving it more. Dieting is a great example – sure you may lose 20 pounds on Atkins by depriving yourself of carbs but as soon as you return to your normal it all comes back plus much more. Whether it’s restricting your food, your spending, your flirting, your shopping or other frivolous activities, if you see it as something you could do whenever you want to but choose not to do all the time, it won’t control your life or your happiness.


If there is something in your life that you’re discontent with – whether it’s your relationship status, how much money you have, the car you drive or some other discontentment, focusing on the problem only makes the problem bigger.

Instead, focus on YOU and doing things in your life that are positive and make you feel happy and fulfilled and eventually those things will just fall into place – without any meddling on your part 😉

Like my writing?  101 Reasons Why it’s Great to Be Single is available on Amazon, and Barnes and Noble!

single travel

Single Travel Perks


I’m 27 and single.  I’ve had long term relationships in the past, however I came to the realization that while I loved them I couldn’t see myself marrying them and wasn’t keen on sticking in a long term relationship that I knew wasn’t going anywhere.

Upon announcing my singleness to people I find the most common reaction to be surprise that I haven’t “found someone”. Sometimes I get inquiries as to how I ended up single at 27, and even suggestions on where I can go to meet a new guy. The common theme seems to be that if you’re single there is something wrong with you.

I don’t take this view at all.  I love being single, and in my book 101 Reasons Why it’s Great to be Single I outline MANY reasons (101 to be exact) why being single is wonderful.  Not sharing my bed, not having to shave all the time, and not sharing my precious Ben N Jerry’s ice cream are a few of my faves.

My top reason, however, is that I get to travel wherever and whenever I want.  I have a full-time job, I live alone, and I have no one to answer to.  And, I LOVE to travel.

This year I went to Huatulco, Cancun, Seattle, Whistler, and Kamloops… and it’s only July!  I also have trips to Edmonton and Vegas coming up and am toying with the idea of jetting off to LA for a weekend soon.

Sometimes I travel with family, sometimes friends, and sometimes just by myself.  I love travelling alone and getting to learn more about myself and meet new people along the way.  Could I do that if I was in a long-term relationship or married with kids?  Probably not…. certainly not as easily.

I may not be single forever, but while I am single I’m certainly enjoying my freedom!

101 Reasons Why it’s Great to Be Single is available on Amazon, and Barnes and Noble!

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