What am I Listening to?


August 2017

Georgia by Pheobe Bridgers

Open by Rhye

Wilderness by Explosions in the Sky

When I Fall by Elephant Revival

Peace of Mind by Above and Beyond

Thunderstruck by Steve’n’Seagulls

Blood Mary by Lady Gaga (ps. I was reminded how much I love this song at the Aug 3 Edmonton concert!)

Everything Now by Arcade Fire

Rhinestone Cowboy by Glen Campbell (RIP Glen Campbell)

Daydream by Meghan Currie and the Blend Orchestra 


All photos are taken by yours truly: Amanda Horning.

What am I Reading?

June Pics-40

July 2017

Well it seemed that summer started yesterday and now it seems it is making way for fall. Driving back from Edmonton recently, I spied some larch needles starting to change colour. I hope everyone is enjoying their summer as much as I am.


Alone on the Wall by Alex Honnold with David Roberts

#karllikes rating 3

I am a beginner indoor climber and was first inspired to get into the sport from videos at film festivals, many featuring Alex Honnold. I had this book on my radar, and was my introduction to climbing books. I know that climbing and mountaineering has a history of written text and I am both excited and overwhelmed to read them with all the technical lingo and how some of the experiences they record give me willies. I am more of a fiction than non-fiction person, but I do like to mix things up. This book was ok. The book was more about Alex Honnold’s journey from amateur to the professional climber he is today. Alex Honnold has a reputation for certain personality traits (which I think in some ways make him an incredible climber), and I found them heavily highlighted in this book. Portions of this books seemed like something that should have been a personal conversation rather than in a book. I found most of the book interesting and I will try another title in the genre.

Voodoo Killings by Kristi Charish

#karllikes rating 4

YES! I have been craving another series to binge read and the Kincaid Strange series matches my love of paranormal and crime together perfectly. The set up of the world in this series is brilliant and is very original. I do not want to give much away in this book but expect voodoo, zombies, ghosts and murder to keep you up at night reading more!

The Magic of Motherhood: The Good Stuff, the Hard Stuff and Everything In Between by Ashlee Gadd

#karllikes rating 3

Ashlee Gadd in The Magic of Motherhood is spreading that message of how all of us mothers are not alone in our highs and lows.  I am not a huge fan of short essays or stories but I gave this book a shot based on a recommendation. The stories all had a common thread of connecting mothers through hardships and the joys of motherhood. I enjoyed the connections in each segment, however they also had a prevalent religious component which I could not connect to. This book was a quick read and was very affordable (at the time it was a deal of the day) on kobo.ca and I would recommend it to mothers who need a quick pick me up. I know some mothers cannot find time to read so these short stories may be perfect length.

Talon of God by Wesley Snipes

#karllikes rating 4

I partially expected this book to be terrible because of its celebrity origins but I was pleasantly surprised. I first heard about this book on CBC (where I honestly get most of my book recommendations) where Wesley Snipes was being interviewed. Talon of God is set up in a way that I predict a series to follow, which I am crossing my fingers for! I do think the book could have another title because the book is centered around Lauryn significantly more than Talon himself. This book is classic good versus evil, heaven versus hell told in a new way. I loved this book from start to end.

Karllikes Littles Book Feature


They All Saw a Cat by Brendan Welzal is a fun book which inspires observation, inquisitiveness and imagination from its readers. In this book you are shown different perspectives on how one thing can be so many different things to different beings. I love the idea of exploring this book with littles who already exhibit this trait without being taught. My son daily shows me things that I either do not see at all or do not give the attention to truly see and acknowledge. This book has a good lesson for both bigs and littles and the illustrations are excellent.

Most if not all of these titles are available at the Wood Buffalo Regional Library. Membership is FREE! Wood Buffalo Regional Library has an amazing selection of books, magazines, audiobooks, children titles, and even comics. With your WBRL membership you also received a free subscription to Hoopla.

We have an amazing local comic shop Nerdvana, if they do not have what you are looking for, they will special order it for you 🙂

#karllikes book rating is done on a 1-5 scale. The scale ranges from 1-I personally did not enjoy the book and see absolutely no chance of recommending it or re-reading it-to 5-I personally thoroughly enjoyed the book and see every chance of recommending it or re-reading the book.

All photos used are taken by yours truly Amanda Horning.

What am I Listening To?

June Pics-16

Beecause everyone needs some tunes to listen to while you watch the bees buzz in your garden I have put together a little summer listening for you.

July 2017

The Ever Bending Light by Return to the Sky

Love Revolution by The Steadies

Not Right by Johnny Lang

Eternity is the Wait Between Breaths by mum

Far Away by Eivor

Follow Your Arrow by Emily Arrow

Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd

Reclaim by Olafur Arnalds

What is Time by Elephant Revival 

The Rainbow Connection by Diana Panton





What am I Reading?

June Pics-43June 2017

Why hello official start of summer. June was a great month for us. We spent 3 weeks in British Columbia, received a new niece, brought home a new puppy and had a great month. We are living up the summer, we got this July.


Indigo by Charlaine Harris and Others

#karllikes rating 5

I pre-ordered this book without really paying attention to the story since it was a collaboration of some of my favourite authors. I was shocked to see it was not short stories written by each author, which is what I expected.  If you read some other reviews you will see some people felt it read disjointed with all the authors writing the same story. I do not share the same opinion, I could not tell when one author started and another ended and I found the story kept on point. I love supernatural books and this held up its end of the bargain in that department. Nora Hesper is a journalist who also has a secret side of her called Indigo. This book is about Nora and Indigo together but also separately as well. The book has a typical villain and issue to solve but the book also has a personal conflict which is equally intriging. I would read more about Indigo if the authors continued writing about her. I also feel this book would make a really interesting movie.


Missing by Kelley Armstrong

#karllikes rating 3.5

Kelley Armstrong is one of my favourite authors. Armstrong writes many different series and stand alone books. I have read all of her work (to be honest I tried the Nadia Stafford series and I did not care for it so stopped at the first book) and generally read the work quickly because they are addictive. This book is a young adult novel, which I usually enjoy despite being older than the definition of young adult. I found that I breezed through this book simply because I wanted it to be over, not because I really cared about the story deeply. The characters were interesting and for this book to work they clearly needed to be the teenagers for it to work. I enjoyed the contrast of life situations in the three main characters. What I did not enjoy was the underlying story which the book was based on, and I found the characters acted both too childish and too mature at the same time which was confusing. I would recommend loyal Armstrong readers to give this one an evening to power through, but do not expect to wish there was another book to read immediately like you would with many of the other series. I believe that Missing is a stand alone novel (which is good in my opinion).

Pax by Sara Pennypacker

#karllikes rating 3

I will start this review with if I was 8-12 years old, which is the target age for this book, I may of given it another rating. Pax is a story told in two alternating views of a young boy, Peter and his pet fox named Pax. The story begins as the two are separated and continues as they begin a journey to reunite. There is a war undertone in this book, and I feel this book would be amazing for an elementary school book report since it has many themes throughout of independence, loyalty and never giving up. If you wondering why in the world I chose this book to read, the real reason is because the book features cover art and within book art by Jon Klassen and I am collecting the books for my son.

The Shadow District by Arnaldur Indridason

Another book with a war story for me this month. I do not like war stories, I usually stay away from anything involving one either in books or in film and television. I gave this story a go, and I enjoyed it. The story revolves around the mysterious death of an older gentleman which leads investigators down a rabbit hole of investigating two other equally strange older cases. This story travels through time chapter to chapter and accomplishes it very well with moving the story along as it goes. Through this book I was educated on a Icelandic culture and history which I was pleased with. I look forward to reading more in this series by Indridason.

#karllikes rating 4


The One Hundred Nights of Hero by Isabel Greenberg

#karllikes rating 5

Seriously this is one of the most amazing things I have ever held in my hands. This comic was ordered based on a recommendation from my husband who heard it discussed on a podcast. This is a follow up to a debut graphic novel which I have not read yet, but you do not need to read it beforehand to read The One Hundred Nights of Hero. This is a story within a story within a story, and it will leave you unable to put it down. The stories in this graphic novel are fable-like and have a theme of exploring issues with the patriarchy. I do not want to give too much away about this graphic novel, but I recommend it as a must read. I was connected to every character and could feel how society and women around the world could identify with the exaggerated but also true treatment of women. I will state that this was an expensive purchase, so please try the library (they have it!!) or holla at me to borrow.

Karllikes Littles Book Feature


This month we are featuring a great book we rented from the library and have since purchased. Please welcome A Greyhound a Groundhog written by Emily Jenkins and illustrated by Chris Appelhans. I added this book to my ‘rent’ list because we absolutely love Sparky which is also illustrated by Chris Appelhans. This book is a supper silly tongue twister revolving around a greyhound and a groundhog (surprise!). My husband and I actually get a kick out of listening to each other read this book with our son. I thoroughly find the illustrations add to the hilariousness and are incredibly beautiful. Life is serious sometimes, get silly and try reading this book with your family!

Most if not all of these titles are available at the Wood Buffalo Regional Library. Membership is FREE! Wood Buffalo Regional Library has an amazing selection of books, magazines, audiobooks, children titles, and even comics. With your WBRL membership you also received a free subscription to Hoopla.

We have an amazing local comic shop Nerdvana, if they do not have what you are looking for, they will special order it for you 🙂

#karllikes book rating is done on a 1-5 scale. The scale ranges from 1-I personally did not enjoy the book and see absolutely no chance of recommending it or re-reading it-to 5-I personally thoroughly enjoyed the book and see every chance of recommending it or re-reading the book.

Our New Addition

2000Please welcome Gunther to the family.

I know how bad this is going to sound, but this puppy was an ‘accident’. We have been off and on about getting a puppy and up until we made the decision to say yes to Gunther the French Bulldog, we were set on no. Our Karl is getting to be a senior dog and he is a rather sensitive Greater Swiss Mountain Dog. This was my top reason against a new addition to our home. Karl used to have significant interaction with another dog, in fact almost daily, but since that ended we have found him to be a quieter, sweeter and happier dog.

Our big old guy does love to play, and often people mistake him as a puppy himself in public. I wish I could agree when people see that puppy side of him, instead I am full of anxiety about if this play session is going to leave him immobile or in pain. How can I not worry, Karl is my tri-coloured bestie. Karl is what is considered to be a giant breed, therefore his expected life is only 7-9 years, writing that almost makes me weep. Karl will be 8 in November (also photo-friends, I want to do a doggy cake smash and need some help!). Karl has a great life and I truly foresee him living past the expected.

We bought Karl near Fort St John, where I was living while Matt and I were engaged. Matt was still working in Fort McMurray, and I was quite lonely so we decided put our feelers out for a puppy. I had been walking dogs at the SPCA the entire time I lived in Fort St John, and the one dog I fell in love with and even introduced to Matt, who also loved him, ended up being adopted before we could make the final decision. We happened upon a small ad in the Fort St John classifieds and saw a picture of two small tri-coloured puppies who were left from their litter. We called and arranged to see the puppies and their parents. I knew the moment I laid eyes upon Karl, we would pick him. He was shy and hid from us, but I knew he was the one. But to be honest, I also have no experience with female dogs so I automatically wanted the male. We went ice skating (side note, first and last time Matt ice skated with me), and I told Matt really the decision was his and I was all in. We picked him up, gathered our supplies, and did all of our research.

Getting Karl was a bid deal to Matt and I. Karl was each of ours first dog (not counting dogs our parents had for us when we were kids), and each of ours first giant breed. He was amazing in some ways, and difficult in others. One of the difficulties I ran into pretty quickly was that Karl had stomach issues. Nothing helped when he was a puppy, I tried everything. He ended up having a parasite, when that cleared up he was still sick. We airlifted his poop to be tested, they found nothing. They determined the only other option was that he had IBS and wanted to cut out a portion of his intestines to test, and then he would be on a strict diet the remainder of his life ( we didn’t do the test). The food they had him on was over $100 a week, I knew there had to be some other way. A woman at a puppy play group mentioned how raw food saved her German shepherd puppy with some similar sounding issues, so we tried it. Raw food saved my puppy, I know sounds a little dramatic, but it did. Karl is still on a restricted diet. In my non-professional analysis Karl is sensitive to all grain products, including rice and is also sensitive to anything over processed. We tried a few grain free kibbles and they never set well with him. Karl now enjoys pork with pumpkin and other health additives with the occasional egg, bison, fish and fruit snacks.

I got into the world of agility with Karl, starting first up in Fort St John where we did tables, shoots, tunnels, A-frames, jumps, boardwalks etc., it was quite an experience since I often had to do the obstacles myself to get my big scared dog to attempt it. We were able to continue many classes of agility, extreme game challenge, scenting, tricks, and obedience here in Fort McMurray with 4 Paws Dog Training.

Over the last couple years, but mostly in the last year Karl has started to noticeably change. During that time we also had our son, so initially it was hard to determine the true root cause. Karl and Conway, our son are now buddies. Conway routinely goes to say hi and pet him in the morning and says bye to him whenever we leave the house. They respect each other, Karl doesn’t get in Conway’s space and Conway doesn’t get in Karl’s space, they are adorable together. Karl knocks him over time to time by accident, but he never ruins his things. This winter I noticed Karl was drastically slowing down on his walks, so much that I knew we needed to do something. He also would randomly cry (sidenote it was hard to know initially because Karl is a good faker for attention) which was becoming more evident there could be something wrong. Karl started getting massages by Canine Synergistics and she recommended he may need rehabilitation work. We had to stop taking Karl to any place where we do not know the dogs (ie dog-park) because of too many incidents of dogs jumping on his hips and hurting him. (Side note-ee love doggy playdates so if you want to come over or invite us over we are all in!) In March we finally had Karl x-rayed after his vet already expected that he had arthritis. It was confirmed and our big silly swissy has osteoarthritis primarily affecting his hips, with some in his back, shoulders and knees. We had an appointment at the rehabilitation specialist and she provided us with a amazing of real life exercises and therapy to help Karl develop lost muscle in his hindquarters, release tension and to reduce pain. I will admit we do not do all these 100% every single day, but we do them regularly and are noticing improvements. Karl also has been placed on gabapentin for nerve pain related to the arthritis, which has shown amazing results and has pain medication for when things get really bad.

The day before we left on our latest trip to British Columbia, I took Karl for our regular check the mail walk and a couple houses down he went lame in his back right leg. First time I thought he must have tripped, second time I thought something is wrong, third time I thought were turning around. We loaded up and headed out, and just as we arrived in Jasper that afternoon Karl attempted to stand up, couldn’t and proceeded to cry and have a fear induced melt down. Karl has never acted like this before. We were given veterinary advice to shorten his walks even further, encouraged to keep him moving to reduce stiffness and to try some cartrophen shots (we have to wait one more week to really see if these help or not) which lubricate the joints.

Hold up, this is sounding like a story that will end with a sad ending, I promise it does not! Also was this not suppose to be a welcome story about Gunther? It is, but what I guess all that build up was to show what big paws (literally) you have to fill little one, and how much we are going to love you. Through thick and thin, you are now one of the family. Gunther always was one of the family, sort of. My brother and his significant other have Fergus (who is Karl’s actual brother from another mother), and two French Bulldogs named Nala and Biggie. Nala and Biggie are in love and decided to have a family together, to be exact 6 puppies. Gunther was one of those puppies. When we arrived in Prince George, Karl got out of the truck and he played with all 10 of Ryan and Joeal’s dogs, you would have never guessed he was hurting so bad the day before. My brother told us which two were not spoken for and of course I wanted one (who can resist a puppy). Matt wasn’t sold immediately and we left it at we will think about it. When we were getting closer to yes than no, I felt such an incredible guilt. I felt I was betraying Karl.

I really thought about how happy I was as a kid who had a dog to play with. I wanted Conway to have that, and while I do think Conway and Karl will play together someday, there is a huge size difference there, and while Karl is really gentle and often knows just laying beside Conway is a better option. Gunther and Conway will be a better size match, Conway will actually be able to safely walk Gunther and lift his water dish (Karl has a HUGE water dish which is on an elevated stand, I cannot see Conway doing his water for a long time), and Gunther actually wants to play fetch and play chase.

Coming home was a journey. I wanted to spend an extra week with my brother’s family especially since they just had another little baby girl. With how the schedule worked out in the end I ended up driving home to Fort McMurray alone with Conway, Karl and Gunther. Of course, I over thought the entire thing and it wasn’t as bad as I had convinced myself it would. It was no piece of pie, but we all got through it alive and well. I learned by stop two to use the stroller to contain the 2 legged dependent so I could wrangle the two 4 legged ones. Gunther travelled like a champ and barely made a peep in his soft carrier, Conway hated the drive as usual, and Karl slept, I am sure wondering where I was taking this tag along puppy.

Gunther has been fitting in just well, its us humans who need to work on adjusting for him. This pup literally tries to eat everything (I now deal with two teething creatures). Due to his chewy nature for the time being he is being crated while alone and at night, which he doesn’t seem to mind since we are on high play active mode the rest of the time around here. Gunther is often trying to steal Conway’s toys and snacks, so now even the 20 month old human now has someone to say no-no-no to. Conway loves him, he pets him, says goodbye at his crate when we leave, and plays with his puppy toys with him. They also both enjoy water and have been inside the water plant bucket and slide pool together. The house-training with Gunther has not been as easy with Karl, but also not too bad either. Karl still runs away when Gunther tries to lay down with him on his dog beds, and still isn’t always game when Gunther wants to play, but in a way you can tell it has rejuvenated him. Last night I helped them play tug of war together with Karl’s favourite toy (if I had not of helped, one jerk of Karl’s head would have swung Gunther off, they currently have a 121 pound difference).

So with an expected end weight difference of 100 or so pounds, why did we think a Greater Swiss Mountain Dog and a French Bulldog would be a good fit? My brothers swissy and frenchies get along really well, so that was real in your face evidence. Matt and I started to compare a few things and really they seem to be well suited. Both breeds are not considered to be overly energetic and require the textbook some exercise. Swissys cannot handle heat due to their intense undercoat and black colour. Frenchies also overheat easily due to their short muzzles. Frenchies are known to be associated with high vet bills. Karl’s vet bills are outrageous, due to his size any medications are the same dosage as a human being therefore $$$, plus everything is more due to size (think vaccinations, dog beds, food quantity, size of dishes, size of treats, toys etc.) Our only slight concerns in the winter months since Frenchies do not have an undercoat. Karl is now down to approximately 2-10min walks a day, so we figure that either Gunther can tough it out for a short one all bundled up or we can run him inside. They even have matching Harley Davidson collars, melt your heart!

#karllikes was started as a fun way to share things I like, and what else can I like more than my dog. Whenever I post something Karl related I use the hashtag #karlisthegreatest, I now need something for Gunther. So far I have been using #guntheradventures, do you have any fun ideas?

Thanks for reading, love to you and whatever paws walk through your house or heart!


What am I Reading?

May 2017-4

May 2017

How are you lichen summer so far? See what I did there? May involved some reading adventures resulting in sunburn. Stay safe and happy reading.


The Best Kind of People by Zoe Whittall

#karllikes rating 3

I read this book quite quickly, partially due to the story itself and partially due to the fact I had just received a new Icelandic crime novel on my Kobo. The story itself was fast paced and intriguing about a man who is arrested for sexual misconduct at the school he teaches at. The book explores how this affects him, and his wife and daughter. I found the character development of the female characters great throughout the book. To avoid spoilers I cannot get into how I feel about the ending, but the ending is why I gave it a 3. The ending was not interesting and I felt it was a let down. Did you read it? What did you think of the ending?

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

#karllikes rating 2

Blah. In all honesty, I did not want to continue reading this book. There was a lot of hype over this book as it followed the success of Paula Hawkins’ Girl on a Train (which I thoroughly enjoyed-*the book-not the movie). The book follows the story of an area known to be attributed to suicide, and the witch-hunt. The book is told from several characters point of view a chapter at a time, which I do not like. I literally mean several characters, not just two, so I found it impossible to get a repertoire with any of the characters. I felt it was slow because of all the different characters and how their stories revealed how they were all connected. In the end, the discovery of some of the events concerning the water were somewhat interesting. Again, because of all the characters, the ending took forever to be told from each persons view. The witch-hunt element is thrown around in this novel, which I felt confused the story, and could of been a story on its own. Not my favourite obviously, I am interested how this will be received by the general public.

The Legacy: Children’s House Book 1 by Yrsa Sigurdardottir

#karllikes rating 4

Hooray for Icelandic crime! This book was a little graphic in some parts, but it had all the elements of a crime story that I love. My favourite part of these books is how the opening of the book hooks me and leaves me staying up late at night or stealing all the time I can to get in another chapter. I was very happy to realize nothing horrific happens to children in this book. The book follows a little girl who witnesses her mothers murderer and the police who are on the case of solving the strange string of murders. I am looking forward to the next book in this series.

Like a Queen by Constance Hall

#karllikes rating 4

Yes Queen! The only way this book could have better is if I had read it while I was pregnant or in those very early days of new motherhood. I love people who are real, and Constance Hall is nothing but real. This book does contain abnormal amounts of crude language, poor grammar and overuse of spaces and exclamation marks, but it works! This books demonstrates so much of what is needed in today’s world, compassion. This book opened my eyes to tendencies in my life and gave me the tools to do something about it. As a new mother I am struggling with my new label, struggling with the idea of the super mom, struggling with eating and exercising properly, struggling with guilt, this book reminded me I am not alone, and in fact that I am a Queen. This book was worth the order from Australia (ps. our dollar and the AUS dollar are almost on par-actually making it easier than ordering from the USA).

The Stranger In The Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit by Michael Finkel

#karllikes rating 3

The cover of this book made me want to read it (talk about judging a book by its cover). I first saw this book at a bookstore when it was first released in March, the cover made me jot it down on my to read list. This book is a quick read, I read it throughout a single day. This book is the author’s take on a real life story of Christopher Knight, who lived alone for 27 years in the woods of Maine. Part of me has always dreamed about living in a secluded cabin in the woods, so if I disappear thats a hint of where to start. This book was good, but not amazing. I enjoyed how Finkel told the story of how Christopher Knight was able to live alone for 27 years, and how his life changed when he was arrested for burglary. I was left with a heavy sad feeling for this man who will never be able to do what made him content for so long. In a way I sort of wanted this to be a fiction story where the main character, the hermit, was able to return to his hermit lifestyle and be left in peace. There is no happily ever after for Christopher Knight, and that left me feeling a little blue.

White Hot Truth: Clarity for Keeping it Real on Your Spiritual Path from One Seeker to Another by Danielle LaPorte

I listened to half of this book on a free audiobook which came with the book’s purchase and read the other half when my book copy arrived in the mail. This book is white gold! White Hot Truth is authentic, powerful, funny and relatable. This book made me take a good hard look at how much of what I feel I am always looking for is BAM already right there inside of me. Please do yourself a favour and pick up a copy of this book. Mine is highlighted and tagged, I suspect yours will be as well.

#karllikes rating 5



Karllikes Littles Book Feature

May 2017 Some Bugs

Some Bugs by Angela Diterlizzi and illustrations by Brendan Wenzel

It comes as no surprise to those who know me that I like insects. To my dismay my son has been very yes and no about liking insects. I absolutely love Some Bugs, it is an adorable book with the cutest illustrations of bugs that you will ever see. The book features very little text, but provides a general idea of what bugs do. My favourite part of the book is how is turns around at the end to encourage littles to get outside and find some bugs in their backyard. Literally insects are one of the most numerous and adaptive members of the animal kingdom and can be found everywhere. The last page also provides a species reference to all the characters in the book which is a cute touch. What can you find in your outside (or inside) space?

Most if not all of these titles are available at the Wood Buffalo Regional Library. Membership is FREE! Wood Buffalo Regional Library has an amazing selection of books, magazines, audiobooks, children titles, and even comics. With your WBRL membership you also received a free subscription to Hoopla.

We have an amazing local comic shop Nerdvana, if they do not have what you are looking for, they will special order it for you 🙂

#karllikes book rating is done on a 1-5 scale. The scale ranges from 1-I personally did not enjoy the book and see absolutely no chance of recommending it or re-reading it-to 5-I personally thoroughly enjoyed the book and see every chance of recommending it or re-reading the book.

2017 Check In


May 2017

aka Life Post Plastic Wrap

It happened, one day we finally ran out of plastic wrap. We were at this stage once before but we had house guests who noticed the impeding doom and purchased us a new package. I mentally made a note to not put it on the list, and after that initial decision to say no, I barely thought of it again. I have had to point out to my husband that we no longer own plastic wrap when I notice him rummaging through the drawer. Having good glass containers has made all the difference to this transition. We made the switch to almost all glass containers a while ago, and I love using glass over plastic. My exception is for my sons snacks, for the time being I am still using some plastic containers. There are a few disadvantages of glass including being heavy, fragile and not spill-proof. A quick tip for dealing with spill-likely contents is to use a mason jar with a lid, works like a charm. I purchased some Abeego wraps and have finally had the guts really use them.  I have had a hell of a time trying to get these wraps to adhere to any surface, including itself. I have followed the instructions and have tried repeatedly trying to ‘mold’ the wrap to the surface I am trying to seal. The washing, and reusing of these wraps is very easy if you follow the instructions. I am not giving up yet with the beeswax covering, just acknowledging that I still have some adjusting to do.

Watchout Ziploc bags, I am coming for you next.

Ok, I am now going to switch gears to something a little more, uh periody? It has been one of my goals this year to reduce my menstrual cycles’ impact on the environment. There are many products now out on the market which can take place of both pads and tampons. I watched many videos on YouTube on several brands of menstrual cups and to be honest I became overwhelmed and it delayed my selection many months. I went to the local health store and looked at what they had, which ended up being one brand,  The Diva Cup in two different sizes. Model 1 is for if you are under 30 or have not had children and Model 2 is for if you are over 30 or have had children. I was really nervous after I bought it about using it. I tried inserting the Diva Cup, and surprisingly following the directions I got it first try. I tried a couple more times just to make sure, and it seemed to be in the correct position. I am at ‘I can use this at home’ in terms of operation, I would have some serious issues inserting the cup in a public washroom setting. I tried to forget it was there, and eventually I did. I found removing The Diva Cup much more difficult than I thought it would be. The directions indicate to not panic if it takes a few times. Not quite in love yet, but its a work in progress. My son has been in reusable diapers since birth, so the idea of reusable menstrual pads does not gross me out. I have found a couple Canadian brands I would love to try, but what has been preventing me from doing so is the sheer quantity which would be needed to replace disposable ones. Until I can figure out more around the laundering schedule for such items, I am leery to sink money into this idea.

It’s that time of year again to get out in the yard and garden. It is mid May in my yard, and I am still looking at some brown grass and am waiting to see those lovely dandelions pop their heads up. Please remember that even if you categorize dandelions as your arch nemesis they are often bees first and perhaps only opportunity to get some nectar this time of year (Listen to Julia Common, a chief bee keeper’s interview on CBC). Even if you can wait a few days or week and leave the dandelions you can really help bees until they have access to other flower species. Another thing to be on the lookout is for neonicotinoids, please eliminate your support of products using these pesticides. This class of pesticide is responsible for serious bee population issues (Please read this update by Heath Canada). Do your research on what pesticides are being applied to the plants you are purchasing and planting in your yards. Bees are so incredibly important and they need all of our help to make the necessary changes to see their populations recover. A fun thing to do is to get some bee seeds (#bringbackthebees), or other pollinator mixtures. Please compare seed mixes to the Alberta Invasive Species list to avoid any introductions.

Looking forward to the green grass and summer days.





What am I Listening To?


May 2017

I recommend listening to this list as you drive in the bush.

Ps. The above picture is from 2010 on Karl’s first camping trip where we went to Monkman Provincial Park. This is one of my absolute favourite memories and pictures.

Fred Penner – I Hear the Music

4 Non Blondes – What’s Up

The Gruff – J-Root Leaner

Lord Huron – The Night We Met

The Civil Wars – Poison & Wine

The Be Good Tanyas – The Littlest Birds

Deb Hirkala – Somebody Somewhere

Asgeir – In the Silence

Neil Young – For the Turnstiles

The Breakman – What You’ll Find

Happy listening.




What Am I Reading?


April 2017

April went by in a flash! I had a month where my husband was in camp, I visited friends in Saskatchewan, and I caught up on Netflix shows, meaning I did not read as much. I can see myself reading outside in a hammock in my near future (providing my little will allow me to).


The Housekeeper by Suellen Dainty

#karllikes rating 1

I feel it is unusual to see such a low rating from me because usually if a book is this bad I would not have finished it. The Housekeeper follows the main character Anne, a trained chef who becomes a famous couples’ housekeeper. While at her new role she starts looking into some childhood memories which are also of interest by her new employer. This book was so boring. I guessed what the mystery was going to be quite early in the story, and although I was not exactly correct on the big reveal I was close enough it was not shocking in any sense. I kept thinking as I read on that something big was going to happen and make it worth reading, unfortunately that did not happen. Its good to read something every once and a while that reminds you what you enjoy about reading.

Invincible Living by Guru Jagat

#karllikes rating 4

This book is absolutely beautiful! The books cover adds “The Power of Yoga, The Energy of Breath, and Other Tools for a Radiant Life”, which this book provides all of. If you are not familiar with Guru Jagat, I recommend checking out Rama TV (they have free content). Guru Jagat is a modern Kundalini Yoga teacher, and in her debut book you will be enlightened on how Kundalini is for everyone (yes even you), and how to incorporate what resonates with you to live a better version of yourself. My biggest barrier these days is time, and what I like about this book is it offers some small snippet practices and others more time demanding. The pictures, quotes, layout, everything in this book is why it has been on my bedside table for a couple months now.

Let Them Be Eaten by Bears: A Fearless Guide to Taking Our Children into the Great Outdoors by Peter Brown Hoffmeister

#karllikes rating 5

If you are a parent or someone who spends a lot of time with children, please go and pick up a copy of this book. I rented this book from the library, but have since purchased my own copy. In my opinion this book is for everyone, those of us who are afraid to step out of the house, and those of us who are already avid outdoors people. This book provides fun and realistic approaches to introducing or reintroducing hiking, camping, and just getting outside that will help both adults and littles feel inspired and able. Side note, please do not let fear stop you from being outside, if you are worried about something please get educated. For example if you are in Fort McMurray and do not feel educate about bears and other wildlife try attending Bear Smart Wood Buffalo’s event on Saturday May 6 at 11 am about wildlife safety.

Life Code by Dr. Phil McGraw

#karllikes rating 3

This book was recommended to me by my father after we had a discussion about how a previous friend treated me. At first I was hesitant thinking there was no way that Dr. Phil would be able to help me improve my ability to make better future relationships. This book has been so healing for me to read. It turns out that Dr. Phil actually has a real side, and it came through big time for me in this book. This book contains some little exercises which were really beneficial. My copy of this book is flagged and highlighted because its very important to me to learn something from this negative experience.


Giant Days by John Allison

#karllikes rating 2

This comic landed ‘meh’ on me. The comic is about 3 young women who have just met and are starting university. With the typical things women deal with in university (possibly first time away from home) the three are also having unusual additions to their new lives. I did not identify with these characters in this comic. I do not understand why many female characters struggle to have a story line that does not include being gaga over boys. As much as I wanted to like it, this is not a series I will most likely keep up with.

Karllikes Littles Book Feature


Triangle by Mac Barnett

I was drawn to this book at a bookstore because I recognized Jon Klassen’s illustrations. We love Jon Klassen‘s hat books, and not only is the artwork amazing, the story line is witty in just all the right ways. Triangle is about a triangle, named Triangle and his friend Square and some sneaky tricks they play on eachother. This book is so cute, displays concepts about shapes, friends, and will make the whole family giggle.

Most if not all of these titles are available at the Wood Buffalo Regional Library. Membership is FREE! Wood Buffalo Regional Library has an amazing selection of books, magazines, audiobooks, children titles, and even comics. With your WBRL membership you also received a free subscription to Hoopla.

We have an amazing local comic shop Nerdvana, if they do not have what you are looking for, they will special order it for you 🙂

#karllikes book rating is done on a 1-5 scale. The scale ranges from 1-I personally did not enjoy the book and see absolutely no chance of recommending it or re-reading it-to 5-I personally thoroughly enjoyed the book and see every chance of recommending it or re-reading the book.