Floating

Today I tried floating. This is a method of sensory deprivation.

A friend and I each bought $40 Groupons to go to Float Sense for a 90 minute float in a tank.

You go into a private room, strip down, shower off, put in your ear plugs and then climb into the sensory deprivation tank (or isolation tank) and shut the door behind you.
The tank is about 4x4x8 and filled with a foot of body temperature water. So it’s not too small, hot, cold, or terrifying once you are inside.
Before I got inside I was sure I was going to be murdered in the tank (but my newfound belief I am going to be murdered is another topic entirely).

Poiler alert: I was not murdered in the tank.

Here is a pic of the room and tank:

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The temperature of the water is very pleasant and meant to mimic your body temperature so you have a feeling of weightless suspension, instead of focusing on the feel of the water.

The purpose of the float depends on the person. Here is a breakdown of the most common:
Relaxation: A gentle float in a quiet, dark room so you can really relax, or even fall asleep.
Mental: A calming float is a great way to ease your emotional state and get away from every day stress. It has been shown to help with stress, anxiety, and depression. It can be a calming experience that works to slow your mind down as you relax in the warm cocoon of water. It is an alternative option to what many use medication or alcohol to achieve.
Pain management: The weightless float can aid with physical injury or pain management as it takes pressure off the neck, back, and joints. The 800 lbs of epsom salts help ensure a weightless float, even for those who have a hard time floating in the pool or ocean.
Mediation: This is the main purpose. The sensory deprivation tank (or pod) lets your mind be free from every day stress and distraction. You cannot see, hear, smell, taste or feel anything (as long as you are still and not splashing about).
Since all 5 senses are without stimulation, you can focus on your breathing and relaxation. Unlike at home, where you will be tempted by your phone, television, irritated by noisy neighbours or any other number of potential distractions.
The goal with this is to clear your mind and fully relax.

Of course, that is the issue I struggled with. With no stimulation, as with my attempts at meditation, I was almost immediately bored.
A good method is to either constantly think of nothing. This is an activity in itself, when your mind starts to wander or other thoughts start creeping in, take it back to nothing.

I’m thinking of nothing.

Or you can try a counting exercise. Such as counting backwards from 100. While you do this, focus on your breathing. If you lose track, just start over again.

However, I forgot all these methods (I generally do better with guided mediation). So I floated with the following thought process:
“This is so boring”
“How long have I been in here?”
“How much longer”
“Did my foot just touch the edge of the tank?”
“I’m bored”
“I’m bored”
“I’m bored”

After a while I was just thinking about how nice it would be to get out and have a looooong hot shower.
So, 30 minutes into my 90 minute float, that’s what I did.

My shower was lovely.

Unfortunately, the experience wasn’t really a good fit for me. However, I was super sore from working out so much earlier this week and I was less sore after the float. My skin is now the softest and smoothest ever. I was experiencing mild physical PMS pains earlier in the day which have now magically vanished. And I was feeling pretty good when I got back home, so I immediately fell asleep for a rad 2 hr nap. So that’s something.

But it was still neat and I would be willing to try it again with better mental preparation of what it will be like.

There are also lots of places that offer a 60 minute float, so that would probably be a better option for me.

My friend really enjoyed the whole experience. Afterwards she said she felt completely relaxed to the point of feeling high.
She also though the stress lines in her face were reduced after just one float!

I definitely recommend you go try it out. It wasn’t scary at all as you can just pop open the door and get out of the tank at any time. And the possible benefits of the floating experience are very much worth the time and cost of trying it out.

Overall for my time and money, I think I’m better suited to a massage, but it’s always great to try something new.
If you are into meditation, I fully recommend giving this a try!
So search Groupon for a deal on a float house near you.

Other helpful tips:
-Eat before you go, I did not and I spent a lot of time thinking about where I would eat afterwards.
-Do it naked, so you are not distracted by a restrictive suit.
-Many places have pods with dim lighting, others are pitch black. Choose wisely.
-There are tanks and pods, don’t worry about the minimal differences between the two.
-Do not touch your face. The ultra salty water will really sting! You’ll have to get out, rinse your face and start all over.
-Same goes for cuts and scrapes. Don’t float with a cut. It’ll be impossible to ignore the stinging!
-The guy told me no one has ever drowned at his float facility (but as if he would tell me if a bunch of people had!)…. though it does seem pretty impossible to drown.
-If you are poor, you can try to recreate the experience on the cheap at home. Just make a really warm salty bath turn down the lights and relax.

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The Spirit of the Holidays

This year I have been consumed with driving around to see Christmas lights on peoples houses.
Not the really great houses where homeowners went all out to really make an amazing display.
Or even those who have done a decent job of decorating.
But more so the houses with really terrible lights partially strewn about.
As if those people really just took that Christmas Spirit and said…..
“Ah, fuck it. One string of lights half on that rock is good enough”.

I just love those houses. I love the mystery behind their decision. It’s not that they don’t care at all, because then they wouldn’t have any lights at all. They cared enough to do all the following:

They decided to decorate
They found the lights
They untangled the lights
They went outside with their lights
and then…… dedicated all of three and a half minutes to the act of actually installing the lights.

Now, it’s the motivation (or lack thereof) is what totally intrigues me.
Did they feel guilted into decorating because all their neighbours have lights?
Did their spouse endlessly pester them into putting up the lights?
Were they drunk?
Are they feeble seniors who cannot physically execute the installation?
Did the young children insist on doing the decorating themselves this year?
Was it too cold out for them to complete the job?
Did they run out of lights?
Do they not have a ladder?
Did they think Jesus’s feelings would be hurt if they didn’t decorate for his birthday party?

All of these excuses would be reasonable. What other excuses can you come up with to justify a half-assed job on putting up the lights?

I want to drive around taking pictures and make a photo essay. But alas, I have no decent camera.

One of my friends commented that I am extremely judgemental for someone with no lights up at all.
But that’s exactly it. I know I wouldn’t do a good job, so I’m not going to put in the effort.
Why bother doing a bad job? Is it not better to save that energy to put towards something else?
I have instead spent all my time and effort cutting out paper Star Wars snowflakes with which to decorate the mantel.
These have received plenty of compliments and (as far as I know) have never been the subject of a blog post or photo essay.

Here are a couple pictures of terrible lights.
Enjoy and may the spirit of xmas be with you!

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xmas2

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I feel that growing up, we may have been one of these types of houses.
A single mother who wants to put in the effort, but just cannot find the time or resources to devote to the project.
Our single string of outdoor xmas lights were basically a festive alternative to a porch light. Providing safe passage to those trying to navigate our icy steps.

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Shaving Sucks P2

I still think shaving sucks and I’m continuing with my at home laser treatments.
First of all, I discovered that I am terrible at reading instructions.
I thought I was supposed to begin at level 1 on the zapper and slowly work my way up to level 5.
Nope.
I was supposed to start at 4 or 5 because it’s based on your skin tone, not based on how much of a wimp you are.
So I cranked it up to a level 3 today, because I want to know what I’m getting myself into.

Level 3 doesn’t hurt at all. But there is a residual warmth that begins to spread after the laser pulse and it’s a bit unsettling. I am confident I can handle the level 5, but I’m not exactly looking forward to it.

The worst part so far has been the couple days following the bikini treatment.
The skin gets very, very irritated and dry. To the point of pain.
However, I can’t attribute this fully to the laser. Since I have to shave so well before the treatment, much of the resulting discomfort could be entirely due to the shaving.

Other notes are that the laser didn’t even activate when I tried to use it on my very tanned friend. But it did work on my Filipino boyfriend. So it should work on you fine as long as your not super tanned with blondish hair.

I can’t see any evidence that the laser treatment is working on me at all, but it’s supposed to take like 6 months, and it’s only been 2 weeks.
Patience, patience.
Stupid shaving.
I’ll be glad when this nonsense is all over with.

at-home-laser-hair-removal

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Shaving Sucks

 

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I’ve never really minded shaving.
But I hate the aftermath.
I get rashes, razor burn, ingrown hair, cuts, bumps, all the sucky things.
It doesn’t matter how good the razor is, how hot the water is, how long I soak, how good of a soap or cream I use, with the grain, against the grain, 1 blade, 5 blades, balm, lotion. Even if I only go over the area one time, I still get all the skin problems and only like half the hair gets shaved off. I need to pass over certain areas like 5 times. ANd then I’m itchy as all hell the next day.
Waxing works well, but the hair has to grow out so much first, it seems sort of pointless. And it effing hurts.
Plus, both waxing and shaving are expensive AND shaving is really eco-unfriendly.
I have been talking to friends recently and many of them feel the same way. As well as the feeling that (beyond the skin irritation) shaving is just another chore that needs to be done.
Like folding laundry and taking out the trash…. who has time for more chores?! Not someone with a job and a kid – that’s for sure!

Shaving started like 5,000 years ago. In that vast expanse of time it seems like at least 2 things should have happened by now:

1- We should have gotten over the social stigma of shaving being “cleaner”.

2- We should have developed a better method of hair removal. Sure there are waxes, and lasers, but the vast majority of us still just wet shave with a razor.

I know that since we are so evolved now and needn’t care about silly social expectations, I should just let me hair grow wild and free…. but I can’t get over how unappealing it looks and feels. Especially along the bikini line. Who wants to see a luscious mane of pubes flowing flow out the sides of my swimsuit?
No one.
That’s who.

bikinizone

So I decided to take the leap and try an at home pulse light hair remover product.
This method sends out pulses of light energy which are absorbed by the hair pigment and then transformed into heat which disables the hair growth.

The first con was the price, at $250+ this was going to be a bit of an investment. But I figure, if it works, that’s the cost of shaving (razors, creams, lotions, etc) for just a couple years.

The first plus was that the shipping was free and it was delivered to my house in under a week.

The second con was finding out I couldn’t use it on the skin near my eyes, so I am still stuck with my amazing unibrow. Nor can my zapper be used on men’s beards, blond hair, dark skin pigments, or tanned skin…. sorry, half the population. Seems this method is not for you.

color-chart

Third con was finding out the areas you are going to treat have to be shaved. What???? What the heck is the point of this product?
I know…eventually (in like six months from now) it’s to have the hair fully and permanently removed. But in the meantime, you still need to shave before you zap.

Reading the instruction manual was terrifying (as it is with most products). You might get pain, burns, or blisters.
Though the ads claim “painless” the manual stated “mild discomfort” …. and we all know what that means, right? Horrible torture. You might pass out from the pain. Especially since you plan on using it in delicate areas.

I turned the device on and was totally freaked out when the built in fan turned on. I took a deep breath and I started zapping away, beginning with my underarms and moving on the bikini, knees, and those 2 darn hairs growing out of my toe.
A few of the spots felt a little warm during the treatment. But overall, I agree with their claim of painless/mild discomfort. A huge relieving pro for this product and method.

You’re not supposed to zap the same area twice in the same treatment session, so it’s hard for me to tell if I’m getting all the spots, or if I’ll end up with weird patchy half hairless armpits…. I guess I’ll find out.

I’m only targeting certain areas, so the entire process took like 10 minutes. If you wanted to do everything it would probably take closer to 30 mins.

Treatments are initially every 2 weeks, then monthly. So I’ll check back in and let you know.

If the initial target areas I want to handle go well, I’m probably just do my legs for the heck of it, even though they don’t have a bad reaction to shaving like the rest of my body. And for now, I’m avoiding tattooed areas, because I don’t think it will work and I don’t want to mess up my skin arts.

I look forward to being hairless from the cheekbones down.

chinese-crested-hairless

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From the bottom

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This past Sunday was our big walk for the BC SPCA, and from the bottom of my heart, thank you.

With your amazing generosity we were able to raise $1,265 for the BC SPCA (British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals). This placed us squarely as the number 3 highest fundraisers in the city. And absolutely destroyed my goal and every other year’s total to date!

To help break it down, the $1265 can do all this for the SPCA and our animal friends:

  •  18 kittens being fixed (spayed or neutered)
  • 15 puppies being fixed (spayed or neutered)
  • 80 bales of hay for the small animals
  • 187 bags of cat litter
  • 2,259 loads of laundry
  • 126,500 pieces of printer paper
  • 421 bags of cat treats

The participants in the city of Richmond walk raised a grand total of $15,353 for the animals, so we played a substantial role in the overall fundraising for the entire city! A big shout out to everyone who donated, walked, encouraged us, and helped fundraise.

Thank you so much for all your generous donations and heartfelt support!
It really meant a lot to me (and made a great difference to the animals in need).

  • If you wanted to make a donation, but forgot – please let me know.
  • If you never got your letter/thank you gift from me, give me a holler and I’ll get it sorted.
  • If you want to continue to support the SPCA throughout the year or choosing another animal friendly organization that is more your cup of tea, I have tips on figuring that out for you.
  • If you desperately wanted to support me, but forgot… I have the Terry Fox Run for Cancer Research coming up in a couple days and I would love to have you sponsor me there. If you are more in favor of a donation to animals, stay tuned for my next charitable endavour in 2017!

Again thank you so much for your support!

Here are some pics from the big day:

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I promised several donors Koa would wear a cat costume – he was fairly accommodating in half agreeing to be an adorable tiger.

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Koa gears up early by getting his tail wagging!

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We arrive to walk at naptime, so Koa is a bit of a lazy, needing to be carried for some (most) of the walk. Good thing Daddy came with us!

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We might have taken a bit of a shortcut to speed the walk along…..but, we got a pass on cheating due to the cuteness of my baby tiger:

GPP3

The walk was in Garry Point Park in beautiful Steveston again this year, so it was lovely!

Thanks again to all of you for your support! I look forward to your continued support with my next event <3

Much Love,
Lynn!

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The Terry Fox Run

I have decided to participate in the Terry Fox run this year.

http://www.terryfox.ca/LynnBee808

TFR2010_LH_ENG

 

For those of you who do not know:

Terry Fox was a Canadian teenager diagnosed with bone cancer in 1977. After having his leg amputated and seeing the suffering of fellow cancer patients, he decided to raise money for cancer research by running across Canada. His journey would be called the Marathon of Hope.

He ran one marathon a day for 143 days straight. After running a total of 5,373 kilometres he was forced to stop running when cancer was found in his lungs. He passed away in 1981 at age 22.

As a child, I participated in the Terry Fox School Runs in elementary, and I still have fond memories of being part of something bigger than ourselves. The importance of the run towered above the standard daily curriculum, making it seem to be one of the most significant events of the school-year. Maintaining the Terry Fox legacy is strong part of Canadian history and I am happy to support it now, as I was then.

It was Terry’s wish that his name be used strictly to help raise funds to support discovery based research. He also requested $1 from each of us. This is something that sounds so simple and I feel compelled to carry on with this hopeful goal.

The Terry Fox foundation is set up in such a way that 84 cents of each dollar goes to cancer research and there are strict rules in place for advertising, donations, and fundraising. The foundation still adheres to Terry’s wishes and that resonates strongly with me.

My grandmother suffered through breast cancer and I’m sure you know and love someone who has been impacted by cancer as well. This cause hits close to home for many of us.

I am not currently in any sort of shape to be running, but I am driven to do what I feel is right. Hopefully, I will be motivated by your support to be in better shape by this time next year. Either way, I have 2 weeks to get my butt in gear for the run this year!

I deeply hope to see some of you support me, either financially, in person at the run, as a virtual cheerleader, or otherwise.

Here is my fundraising page if you would like to sponsor my attempt at running:

http://www.terryfox.ca/LynnBee808

Though Terry asked for $1 from each of us, he wanted no one to be turned away if they could not afford to participate. So, if anyone wants to join me for an attempt at running, it’s free to enter!

My goal this year is modest, and I would be thrilled to reach it, so please sponsor me if you can.

Lots of love,

Lynn!

For more info on the event, check out:

http://www.terryfox.org/Run/

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For the Animals: Status update!

Cute-Cat

My upcoming BC SPCA walk is  looming and we are in striking distance of making our stretch goal of $1200 big, huge, animal loving dollars!
A huge thank you to everyone who’s already made a donation.
You guys have really rocked my socks with your big hearts and awesome generosity!
And I’m hoping you are all loving your silly little thank you gifts.

Though my stretch goal is wildly ambitious, I am currently the number one fundraiser in the city and am confident I can stay there with your continued generosity and loving support!

The BC SPCA works hard to provide loving care for all animals in need across our province. Our domestic friends, wild animals, farm animals, and those in zoos.

BCSPCA_logo

So please consider making a small (or huge!) donation to this cause, sharing my donation page with your friends, family, and anyone you know who is a big old softy for animals.

All the cash donated goes straight to  BC SPCA to help run their educational programs, pay for veterinary assistance to animals, investigate claims of animal cruelty, and helps keep shelters open.

If you would prefer to show your support by making a donation offline, or by walking with us – please give me a shout. I would be happy to facilitate.

And yes, I still have loads of fun gifts for those who are going to be making donations!

The walk is happening on September 11th. So get ready for some fun pics of Koa dressed as a cat and being chased by dogs!

You can check out my donation page here to support the animals, the SPCA, and our walk:
http://support.spca.bc.ca/site/TR/PawsforaCause/2016PawsforaCause?px=1476416&pg=personal&fr_id=1948

Red Fox

And if you are not keen to donate to this fundraising campaign, feel free to email me and let me know why or tell me if there is another animal charity closer to your heart that you would prefer!

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“Taco” fest

I attended Tacofest 2016 in Burnaby yesterday.
To summarize the entire event in one word:
DISAPOINTING.

The weather was perfect. I got to hang out with some great friends. See some bands. Play with my son on the lush green grass in the middle of the stadium.

So what was there to complain about?

Well, specifically the taco aspect of Tacofest… or lack thereof.

The event was scheduled from noon until 10pm and we arrived at 5:30. Smack dab in the middle of the event and prime taco eating time.

However, of the THREE taco vendors at the event:

-One was sold out and shut down
-One was seriously overpriced and fish only
-One had a line over an hour long

Standing in line for an hour with a toddler is not an option (seriously, an hour – people were sitting on chairs in the lineup which stretched across the whole stadium) .
So I got a $6 “veggie” taco from the overpriced fish place.
Their veggie tacos were the fish taco, sans fish. Just tomato and corn.

I wouldn’t refer to this Festival as Tacofest. Not even a little bit.

There were a few other good things to eat, like mini doughnuts and fresh lemonade. But this wasn’t supposed to be Lemonadefest 2016.

By 7pm they were announcing that all the vendors were almost out of food. So instead of restocking or having any sort of back up plan, it was all a big SCREW YOU to anyone who arrived after 4pm that day.

On the way to the event I joked that it might just be a TacoTime stand and we laughed and laughed.
I would have happily eaten TacoTime instead of attending this Festival.

As a member of the Taco Police Task Force, I deem this event a crime against tacos.

TACO COP

A really poorly managed event.

Why weren’t popular vendors like Tacofino, Budgie’s Burritos, and Chronic Tacos there?

Disappointment all around, I won’t be back next year, and I want my $16 entrance fee back.

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Citrus Lemonade

The very best lemonade you will ever have the pleasure of tasting!

I stumbled upon this recipe because I was being cheap.
I think lemons are totally overpriced and was looking for a cheaper way to stretch my lemonade budget.
Enter: the Orange.

I decided to go for a tasty experiment. I bought the standard bag of lemons, a couple big oranges, and then thought was the heck, I love limes, so best not to leave those out.

The result, an amazing citrus lemonade!

What you will need:

6 lemons
2 oranges
3 limes
1 cup sweetener
10 cups water

How to do it:

Begin by boiling half the water in a saucepan

While you wait, start halving the citrus and juicing the heck out of ’em.
I just leave the pulp and everything in. Yum!

Once the water boils, stir in the sweetener til it dissolves.
Remove from heat and let cool

Pour citrus juice into juice pitcher or carafe
Stir in sweetened water and remaining cups of water

Refrigerate til cool
Serve over ice.

 

citrus lemonade

Pro tip: I recently invested in a $4 juicer which had made my life 100x easier.

My kid has been guzzling this lemonade, so I now have to drink it in secret!

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Paws for a Cause

BCSPCA_logo

Hi everybody!

If you know me at all, you know that I am huge animal lover and, once again, I will be walking the walk.

First off, I would like to give a huge thank you to all my past supporters. Your support over the past 5 years really makes participating in the walk more meaningful and loads more fun!

The walk is on September 11th. And I’m excited to say that Koa will be joining me again this year!

You can jump on over to support us right here:

Donations and thanks

The purpose of this annual event is to raise much needed funds for the care and protection of animals across the province of BC.
All animals.
The BC SPCA helps look after all our furry little friends – including wild and farm animals – because they know all kinds of animals are important.

Established in 1895, the BC SPCA is a not-for-profit organization that receives no government funding and is entirely reliant upon community support and generous donors like you.

Each year the BC SPCA provides emergency medical care and sheltering for over 40,000 animals that may have been abandoned, abused, neglected, or surrendered.

This annual walk funds most of the BC SPCAs operations.
The BC SPCA is the only animal welfare agency with the mandate and authority to respond to complaints of animal cruelty in B.C.

Last year, the BC SPCA conducted 10,205 new cruelty investigations. Which is over a thousand up from the previous year.
The Paws for a Cause walk helps fund cruelty investigations and, more importantly, helps to prevent cruelty before it occurs through legislation, education, and awareness.

Please support me, and the BC SPCA, by supporting me on the walk this year.

Don’t be shy if you can’t afford tons of bucks. Every little bit helps.
Even a single dollar will work to educate one student through the “Kindness Counts” curriculum helping to stop the cycle of abuse by teaching empathy.

This organization works hard to streamline its admin and overhead costs.
80% of the funds raised goes directly towards services for animals. With the other 20% going to admin and revenue development.

Ways you can support the cause:

-Make a donation!
Register for the walk!
-You can walk with us!
-You can volunteer to help out at a walk location near you!

If you can’t afford anything and are too lazy to walk, but still want to help out you can:

-Share my donation page!
-Spread the word about the walk!
-Spread the word about the SPCA and the good work they do!
-Teach people about animal welfare!

Thank you so much for all your support!

Here is the link if you would like to make a donation to support us and the animals:

Lynn & Koa walk the Walk

Anyone who makes a donation to my walk will get a fun present from me in the mail! And donations over $20 will get a tax receipt from the BCSPCA.

If you want to learn more about the walk, the SPCA, animal welfare, ways to help, or my fundraising efforts, please feel free to get a hold of me:

lynn.pancakes@gmail.com

Allfor

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