TRAVEL: Madagascar Packing List, Expenses + MORE!

Hello my loves!

As many of you know, I’m heading to Madagascar next month and I’ve admittedly already started packing! I wanted to share a little bit about my trip plans with you. By trial and error, I’ll let you know how things go. I plan to make a post with advice when I get home to (hopefully!) make your trip a tad easier. I’ll also update if I should have/should not have packed a certain item, etc.

May – early November is Madagascar’s dry season which means temperatures will be considerably lower (thank goodness). So I’ve packed accordingly.

PACKING LIST

♢ 4 (100% cotton) t-shirts
♢ 1 long sleeved shirt
♢ 1 pair of flowy elastic cuffed pants
♢ 1 pair of exercise leggings
♢ 1 pair of shorts
♢ 1 long skirt
♢ Bathing suit
♢ Mac in a Sac rain jacket
♢ Sun hat
♢ Hiking shoes
♢ Waterproof shoes
♢ Single pair of earrings

*Will be wearing sweatpants and sweater on all flights because they are the bulkiest items and I am not at all a glamorous flyer.

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By Emily, on April 28th, 2017, under Travel // Comments Off on TRAVEL: Madagascar Packing List, Expenses + MORE!


CAUSE: Save B.C. Wolves


Click the photo above to visit Pacific Wild’s campaign // Photo by Ian McAllister

This is a controversial issue.

Imagine if we started to kill off masses of humans because there were “just too many”. Some may argue that it’s not fair to equate wolves, or any other creature for that matter, to a human life — but I believe that a massacre of any kind is uncalled for.

Pacific Wild is taking the necessary steps to prevent one of B.C’s iconic animals from being treated by our provincial government as “disposable”.

The B.C. Wolf Management Plan is in desperate need of an overhaul, and the wolf cull program is arguably its most ecologically, economically, and ethically offensive element. Our current goal is to stop the wolf cull from happening again this winter and to resist on-going efforts to escalate the persecution of wolves across the province. We are doing everything in our power to accomplish this — working with groups to document the helicopter kill from the field, engaging mainstream media, supporting public outreach and education online and face-to-face, as well as legal and policy research. Together we can stop this kill program and get wolves the protection and respect they deserve as top predators.

Celebrities have also spoken out about the cull, including Miley Cyrus, who even brought Pacific Wild executive director, Ian McAllister, out on stage at a Vancouver concert.

In January 2017, the B.C. government admitted that the wolf cull is inhumane, but that they will continue to proceed, and even expand, regardless:

There are no humane methods to directly reduce wolf numbers, but aerial removal is the only method of killing enough wolves (and entire packs) to reduce wolf densities with no risk of by-catch.

One of the reasons for this activity is, ironically enough, to help save another species: the caribou. Though I wholeheartedly agree that this too is an important issue, I also believe that if we worked hard enough, we could find a more humane solution than the one current. Pacific Wild stated in a press release that, “Aerial gunning fails to comply with ethical guidelines set by the Canadian Council on Animal Care, as it is not considered an acceptable form of euthanasia. The BC government also accepts strangling snares as a killing method in this and other management plans. Research shows that many wolves killed by aerial gunning and neck snaring die a slow and excruciatingly painful death.”

Sources: Pacific Wild

By Emily, on April 27th, 2017, under Causes // Comments Off on CAUSE: Save B.C. Wolves


BI-WEEKLY FAVES: PINK!

This Week’s Theme: Pink

Who doesn’t love the colour pink?! It looks good in all shades, neon, bright, pastel… I don’t think it’s possible to go wrong with it! I had a hard time compiling this list and narrowing it down to just five things… but I managed! Here are some of my all-time favourite things that have to do with pink!

Better Than Sex Mascara: Okay, okay… so the actual product isn’t pink, but the exterior is! I was torn between a pink lipstick and this, but you’ll see in my next “Faves” post why I went with this one. This mascara has a lot of mixed reviews, some people say it clumps, others say it’s flaky or messy, but no one can deny that it adds length and volume! I have naturally long lashes, but I need a dark mascara to make them stand out. Sometimes I use this, sometimes I’ll use Gifted by Tarte, and sometimes I’ll use both at once! It’s a bit on the pricey side if you’re not used to buying “high end” makeup, at $30 CAD.


Here’s a close up of my lashes with Better Than Sex Mascara

Lush Bubblegum Lip Scrub: I have a confession: one day when I was lounging around in bed, reading my book, I ate some of this. That’s how good it is. It tastes incredible (kind of like these raspberry candies my mom used to get) and it removes all the unwanted dead skin from your lips! Like I mentioned in a previous post, Lush is one of my favourite brands and I get a lot of stuff from them, but I only started using this product back in February. I haven’t looked back! One of the best things about it is that the main ingredient (other than sugar) is Jojoba oil, which, “moisturizes the lips without leaving any shine or oily feeling behind”. Oh, and the fact you can lick it off once you’re done scrubbin’! Price-wise, it’s $10.95 CAD for 10kg.

Ceres Guava Juice: I first discovered guava juice at a restaurant called The Banana Leaf in downtown Vancouver. According to HealthAmbition.com, the drink is loaded with Vitamin C, has cancer-fighting properties, helps control blood sugar, maintains eye health, and is full of Phytonutrients (which I had to Google, and apparently they’re chemicals that help protect plants from germs, fungi, bugs, and other threats). I’m not sure if this is any different from other juices, but hey, I’m sold! I should probably mention that it does have somewhat of an odd texture and probably isn’t what you’re expecting. My favourite brand is Ceres (none of these are sponsored posts, by the way), because it tastes exactly like what I get at The Banana Leaf — it might even be the same!

Pretty in Pink: This is probably my all-time favourite John Hughes flick. Duckie is one of my favourite (tragically) fictional characters and I would give my left leg (I feel like it’s my less dominant one) for him to be my best friend. In case you’re an uncultured swine and haven’t been introduced to the magic that is Molly Ringwald, John Cryer, and Andrew McCarthy’s love triangle, let Google explain: Andie Walsh is a teenager who lives in the dingy part of town with her terminally underemployed dad. She works at a record store with eccentric Ionia and is considered a misfit at her uppity high school, but somehow she rises above them all. Her oddball best friend, Duckie, is hopelessly in love with her, so he causes trouble for her romantic pursuits. When local rich kid Blaine develops a fascination with her, they go out on a date together. Visiting the home bases of each social clique, they are basically ridiculed for their audacity to date one another. When Blaine eventually asks the delighted Andie to the prom, he is threatened by his rich friend Steff. The romance versus high school social politics finally culminates at the big night of the prom. Sound cliche? It is. But it’s undoubtedly the best take on the underdog-gets-the-hot-popular-dude cliche there is.

Atom Eve (from Invincible): As many of you know, one of my favourite comic book series is Robert Kirkman’s Invincible (gotta give credz to Cory Walker and Ryan Ottley too). It’s a pretty generic sounding story about a teenager, who after waiting for years and finally losing hope, gets the powers he’s always dreamed of. Then he’s off to fight crime in between classes and trying to get the attention of one of the hottest girls in school: Samantha Eve Wilkins (aka Atom Eve). Eve’s a badass babe who can manipulate atoms in any way she wants. Want a cake? Give this girl 10 seconds and you’ll have your cake. Honestly? The dream. I don’t want to give too much away, as I HIGHLY recommend you check it out. The plot may not be incredibly original, but I promise you it’s unlike most superhero comics out there. They’ve just announced the film adaptation and I am both nervous and excited. I think either Holland Roden or a redheaded Lili Reinhart would make for awesome portrayals. Also, Nick Robinson is the only acceptable candidate for Mark. The only one.

Wow! Another week done. Hope you’re all having a lovely spring!

Until next time.

xoxo

By Emily, on April 24th, 2017, under Bi-Weekly Faves, Personal // Comments Off on BI-WEEKLY FAVES: PINK!


CAUSE: Putting an End to Child Soldiers


Click the photo above to learn more about child soldiers

A few years ago, I had the honour of meeting an incredible man by the name of Roméo Dallaire while volunteering at We Day. I learned a lot from his speech, and his passion for ending the use of child soldiers has greatly affected me. His organization, Child Soldiers Initiative, is “progressively ending the use of child soldiers through a security sector approach, combining world-class research, high-level advocacy, and prevention-focused training.” They do this through research, training, and advocacy. The United Nations says that the countries which include children in conflict are as follows: Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Mali, Myanmar, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Yemen, Colombia, Nigeria, and the Philippines.

Below, thanks to another incredible organization, Child Soldiers International, are some of the many things that these children are forced into or made to do:

Some child soldiers are used for fighting – to kill and commit other acts of violence. Others are used as cooks, porters, messengers, informants or spies, or in any other way their commanders want. Child soldiers are also used for sexual purposes.

How do more than one hundred thousand kids get caught up in this atrocious act? A lot of the children used in wars are abducted and forced into battle without consent. Others feel they “need” to volunteer or enlist to support their families. According to Child Soldiers International, refugee children are particularly vulnerable — especially when separated from their parents or guardians. Children are chosen over those 18 and over because they are easier to control and manipulate, and oftentimes, cannot fight back or protest. Some examples of organizations that choose to include them are the Taliban (Afghanistan), the “Islamic State” (Syria and Iraq), the Kachin Independence Army (Myanmar), and the Mai-Mai Nyatura (Dem. Republic of Congo).

Sources: Child Soldiers International, Child Soldiers Initiative

By Emily, on April 20th, 2017, under Causes // Comments Off on CAUSE: Putting an End to Child Soldiers


CAUSE: Shark Finning


Click the photo above to sign the pledge against shark finning

Sharks have a bad reputation, but they are an imperative part of the animal kingdom and marine ecosystems. I’m including a short video below from Discovery Channel’s Andy DeHart, where he explain the importance of sharks to not only the well-being of our oceans, but how it can affect humans as well.

So what is exactly is shark finning? Shark finning refers to the removal and delignening of shark fins while the remainder of the shark is discarded in the ocean. Sharks are tossed back to the ocean without their fins are often still alive; unable to swim effectively, they sink to the bottom of the ocean and die of suffocation or are eaten by other predators. You cannot deny that this is cruel and unnecessary way for any creature to die.

An estimated 100 million sharks are killed every year with fins from up to 73 million used for shark fin soup, primarily to supply the market in Mainland China. A pair of shark fins can sell for as much as US$700 per kg in Asia. Some shark populations have declined by up to 98% in the last 15 years and nearly one third of pelagic sharks species are considered threatened by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. – WildAid

How can you help?
– First and foremost, do not buy food containing shark fin.
– Tell your friends and relatives that they may be contributing to the irreversible decline of shark populations.
– Always opt for environmental and sustainable alternatives and substitutes.
– Contact your elected officials asking them what steps they are taking to end the unregulated trade in shark fins.
Sign the WildAid shark pledge, vowing to lend your voice to the 73 million sharks whose fins are used in shark fin soup every year.

Sources: WildAid, Discovery Channel, and Wikipedia.

By Emily, on April 13th, 2017, under Causes // Comments Off on CAUSE: Shark Finning