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The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas follows Starr, a teenage girl who witnesses a fatal shooting of her best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. The title actually derives from the rapper Tupac’s philosophy of THUG LIFE (The Hate U Give Little Infants Fucks Everybody). True. Very, very true.

From the moment I opened the cover I breeeeeeeezed through this novel. I couldn’t put it down!

I admired the mention of African-American history and culture. Some references I knew such as the acknowledgement of  Emmett Till, a 14-year-old African American from Chicago who was murdered for flirting with a white woman. But there were others I had to Google search (my history teachers would be so disappointed..) such as the Ten-Point Program, which was a set of guidelines written by The Panther Party, and Nat Turner, an African American who led the most effective slave rebellion in America.

These references were essential to the novel because it gave Starr’s character (and me) further of understanding of race and police brutality in America.

What I loved most, however, was the resilience of Starr’s character. She was loving, complex, and an inspiration for those who are looking to find their voice. What makes her so relatable was that she was not totally fearless. There were moments when she didn’t speak up or lacked faith in herself. I think we’ve all been there, right? Having self-doubt and giving in to moments of weakness. It’s hard to rise up to an occasion when you’re scared out of your wits, especially when you’re in Starr’s shoes and the whole world is watching.

I highly recommend this politically relevant read to not only young adults, but anyone who wants a good fucking story about uplifting diversity and eliminating stereotypes. If you want to wait until the movie, it will be coming out next year, that works too.


Here are a few quotes I loved:

“This will sound mean, but just because Khalil’s not living doesn’t mean you stop living.”

“Sometimes you can do everything right and things will still go wrong. The key is to never stop doing right.”

“I feel like shit right now. I can’t believe I let Hailey say that. Or has she always joked like that? Did I always laugh because I thought I had to? That’s the problem. We let people say stuff, and they say it so much that it becomes okay to them and normal for us. What’s the point of having a voice if you’re gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn’t be?”

“Brave doesn’t mean you’re not scared, Starr. It means you go on even though you’re scared.”


Sexual assault must never be tolerated. Period.

Any form of inappropriate touching without consent is not ok, even if it’s a person you know or consider a friend. Saying “no” doesn’t have to turn into a fight, it’s not a debate or up for discussion.

No means no.

Unfortunately, the word no is sometimes not taken seriously and because of this I (and millions of other men/women) have been grabbed, groped, pushed, forced, pressured, hurt.. the list goes on.

The way I dealt with sexual assault was I suppressed. If I didn’t talk about it, it never happened. But it did. It has happened to me and it wasn’t until my most recent encounter that I went over the edge. Enough is enough.

I came home from work, pressed record, and made the below video. Nervous to hit the publish button, I didn’t know how it would be received. Will I be judged? Not understood? Am I relieving too much information? Then I thought of the millions of men and women who are also victims of sexual assault and part of the #MeToo movement.

I posted the video and went to bed.

When I woke up in the morning, I saw a flood of messages from friends and followers who took the time to relate, support, and fill my heart with love.






Recovering from sexual assault is a process. There is no timeframe for healing.

Ask yourself: If this happens to you, what will you do? What will you say?

Write down a response. Read it out loud.

“This is not appropriate.”

“You are making me uncomfortable.”

“Leave me alone.”


Even if you’re carrying your story silently, you are loved, cherished, and believed. You don’t owe your story to anyone. But for those who want to break their silence, speak up. Let the world hear you.

For more information visit RAINN, an anti-sexual violence organization. There are people who will listen and want to help. A better world is possible.


“The world has always been run by men, and it still is today. Only thirteen countries and 6 percent of Fortune 500 companies are run by women. Just 13 percent of police officers are women, and only a few hundred are police chiefs. And less than 20 percent of the U.S. Congress is female. These numbers reveal a power structure that has marginalized women and others for far too long. We need to see more women in these roles – and more people of color, LGBT individuals, and members of religious minorities and underrepresented groups of all kinds. We are seeing what happens when power is held nearly exclusively by men. It gives rise to an environment in which, at its worst, women are treated as bodies to be leered at or grabbed, rather than peers entitled to equal respect. It wouldn’t solve all the problems we face if more women were in power – although I believe we could get quite a lot of good done. But one thing’s for certain: many fewer people would be groped and worse while trying to do their jobs. And that would be a major step in the right direction.”

– Sheryl Sandberg

Must read: Sheryl Sandberg Misconduct, Sheryl Sandberg Says We Must Change The Power Structure


Hello lovelies!

Quick blog post for ya! Wanted to fill you in on my latest trip to Gapyeong, South Korea for a pleasant Woman’s Empowerment Retreat organized by The Seoul ChicMyself and 20 other ladies met up at Garang Pension (an hour or so away from Seoul) which was S-T-U-N-N-I-N-G, especially since it was in the middle of autumn and leaves were changing on the surrounding mountains.

IMG_0110We had a jam-packed weekend filled with fun activities such as pear picking, cooking/eating homemade meals, face masks, and personal chats about life, dating, and sharing stories about the pros/cons of being a foreigner in South Korea (we had A LOT to say..).

It felt nice to unplug for a weekend and fill the soul with lessons/life advice from supportive, ambitious women.

Check out my video for mooore!


It’s ok to be on your own.

Take time for self-care.

It’s ok to not understand.

Not everything needs to have an explanation. We are currently living on a planet that no one knows the exact age of, spiraling hurndreds of miles per hour in vast darkness, in a universe filled with matter we can’t truly identify. Yet, here we are.

It’s ok to be a bitch.

When you need to stand up for yourself, be stern. Don’t let people walk all over you just because they’re louder. Let them know your truth.

It’s ok to be sad.

Ugly cry it out. Scream at the top of your lungs. Let yourself feel your way through.

It’s ok to miss him.

He misses you too.

It’s ok to give into a moment of weakness.

Be honest with your feelings and remind yourself how far you’ve come. You will make mistakes but you’re also capable of making radical changes.

It’s ok to fall asleep early.

Put your phone on airplane mode, slather a thick layer of lavender scented lotion on your chest, and go to bed at 8PM.

It’s ok to take a step back.

Stop being so damn hard on yourself.

It’s ok to binge watch a TV series or read all day long.

The world can be a scary place. Do not feel guilty when you want to limit your news intake and check yourself out for a little while.

It’s ok to not love where you are in life.

Accept it. Then, when you’re ready, start over. It’s not easy but for goodness sake, take control of your own life. Travel the world, fill your heart with culture, pursue your passions, buy two boxes of greasy pizza and eat one without guilt and give the other to the homeless man on the street, challenge yourself, fail, run up a mountain and feel your heart beat so fast you think it’s going to fall out of your chest, kiss boys, kiss girls, be humble, fail again, celebrate, and stick to your guns. You have all the power to start your life over again. You do. And I don’t know how many clichés I have to tell you to make you believe me, I mean, who am I to tell you what to do. But what I do know is that you matter, there are people who care about you, and nothing is more empowering than igniting the fire within and letting it fuel your soul. The world can’t wait to see what you’re going to do next.




Before I get to Chuncheon, I want to rewind a bit and chat about last month when I went to Seoul for Hera Seoul Fashion Week. My last one, ever. WAH!


I am incredibly lucky to have attended four wonderful seasons of SFW, and each time I am amazed by the creatives in this city. I only had time to attend one show and invited my friend Dev to sit front row with me at NOHANT. The mix of prints and textures made me miss spring/summer already, not to mention the designer chose the best looking models in the game.


One model from the show stood out the most, Han Hyun-Min.


Born and raised in Korea, Han Hyun-Min is ethnically half Nigerian, half Korean. Stunning look kid, eh? I couldn’t imagine the struggle this 16-year-old (YES! 16!) had to/probably still goes through growing up in a homogeneous country. I have no doubt that he is going to make international waves in the fashion industry.

This season at SFW I stopped every human who either had glitter on their face or neon coloured hair to snap their photo and include them in my street-style beauty post for FASHION online. Want to take a gander at the photos? I KNOW YOU DO! See all of the magic by clicking HERE!


Ok! Now let’s get to why you clicked on this post!

The following weekend after SFW, I made my way to the city of Chuncheon for the Chosunilbo Chunchon International Marathon. I participated in the 10k run and finished in 58 min. AYY! The goal was under an hour, and I did it! I honestly didn’t think I could since I’m someone who (as of late) needs a moment to catch their breath after climbing a flight of stairs. If I learned anything from this run it’s that human endurance and strength can seriously surprise you sometimes.


Chuncheon is known for their dakgalbi (spicy chicken stir-fry) so obviously I had to partake in a feast while I was there. The Myeong-dong Dakgalbi Street is a famous street in the city that is lined with dozens of dakglabi restaurants. I ended up going into one that was not too busy, and an ajumma who worked there didn’t even let me order, she just started to give me food.

I didn’t hate it.

Dakgalbi is popular, not only because it’s delicious, but it uses simple ingredients such as chicken, garlic, sweet potato, rice cakes, and carrots (among other ingredients) and has a low-price point. I think mine came up to be $10? A great price considering a huge pan full of food (yup, pan, not plate).


I loved every second I was in Chuncheon, it’s a city that’s little worn down but it still has plenty of history and charm.


Did I mention I accidentally stayed at a love motel? They gave me condoms and massage oil. LOL! Oh yes. See it all in my latest vlog!



After many months, I have finished reading Beartown by Fredrik Backman. This novel was a pretty intense read and covers topics relevant to society today – peer pressure, homophobia, rape, integrity, etc.

To sum it up, Beartown is a small community who lives, eats, and breathes their junior hockey team. The team could potentially give this town recognition, sponsorship money, and opportunities for players to get into the NHL. As an important game approaches, one of the star players comes under fire when he is accused of leaving a young girl traumatized. People of the town become divided and readers witness how society can quickly brush disturbing events under a rug when it comes to protecting the reputation of a town rather than a value of a single person.


The ending left me confused as hell (I won’t give away any spoilers), but it’s a good confusion. I’m constantly reflecting back on EVERYTHING that has happened and if you are a super sleuth you can probably figure it all out, but I haven’t, yet. All of this won’t make sense if you haven’t read the novel, but I’m looking forward to the sequel “We Are Against You” which should be published in the summer of 2018? Maybe? I was reading forums about the book (to see if they can answer some of my Q’s, but it only made me scratch me head more) and stumbled upon this question:

“In the course of the novel, we see that playing on a sports team teaches young people values like loyalty, responsibility, and commitment. But we also see instances of exclusion, aggression, and entitlement. Are their certain behaviors that are rewarded in a sports competition but considered inappropriate in daily life?”

When you play in a competitive sport, you’re taught that the other team is the enemy and you must win because winning means you’re better (entitlement). So, we often dehumanize the enemy because your only goal is to beat them, which can lead to fights (aggression). When a player on your team falls short, you cuss them out or sit them on the bench (exclusion). Yes, there are  behaviors that are rewarded in sports competitions and considered inappropriate in daily life, but I think coaches have a huge impact on how their players view the competition. As much as coaches should teach proper skill sets for the game, there should also be proper sportsmanship training.

Growing up as an athlete myself, the emotional side of sports were often brushed to the side. Sometimes I didn’t know how to handle loses so I’d blame myself or lashed out at teammates when they didn’t pick up their weight. Sport competitions are emotional as they are physical. Perhaps high school, university, and junior teams should hire a sports psychologists to provide positive reinforcement, teach athletes how to deal with anxiety and develop communication skills. Everyone would benefit. Having a sports psychologist on every competitive team could potentially be a solution to control the inappropriate behaviour outside of the game. Right?

In any case, here are some of my favourite quotes from the book:

“Success is never a coincidence. Luck can give you money, but never success.”

“Hate can be a deeply stimulating emotion. The world becomes much easier to understand and much less terrifying if you divide everything and everyone into friends and enemies, we and they, good and evil. The easiest way to unite a group isn’t through love, because love is hard. It makes demands. Hate is simple.”

“When are you going to admit that is isn’t ‘hockey’ that raises these boys, it’s YOU LOT?…Fucking men! You’re the problem! Religion doesn’t fight, guns don’t kill, and you need to be very fucking clear that hockey has never raped anyone! But do you know who do? Fight and kill and rape?…MEN! It’s always fucking men!”

“There are no women’s teams here, so they learn that hockey only belongs to them, and their coaches teach them that girls are a ‘distraction.’ So they learn that girls only exist for fucking. She wants to point out how all the old men in this town praise them for ‘fighting’ and ‘not backing down,’ but not one single person tells them that when a girl says no, it means NO.”

“Another morning comes. It always does. Time always moves at the same rate, only feelings have different speeds. Every day can mark a whole lifetime or a single heartbeat, depending on who you spend it with.”


For the first time in a long time, I’ve been published in print!


Kidding, print is definitely dying.. ever.. so.. slowly.. *sigh*

But! Let’s keep things positive and hopeful! You can physically touch and smell my latest article in the November 2017 issue of The Daegu Compass and read about my time at the Nakdonggang River Rail Park.

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If you live in the city of Daegu, pick up a copy and flip to page 32. If you’re not a reader and more of the visual-type (you’re the reason why print is becoming extinct..), I made a vlog about my time at the rail park, which you can watch by clicking HERE.

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Fashion may have been the focus, but beauty reigned supreme as Korean trendsetters strutted the grounds of Dongdaemun Design Plaza with chic, puffy eye make-up, eyebrow slits and dramatic, striking lenses. Looks were bold, carefree statements that opposed tradition. Coloured hair of sunburst reds, icy blondes, and pastel pinks were a signature look amongst the stylish youth as well as cheekbones bedazzled with gemstones.

In the ever-growing wave of male beauty, men rocked flesh-toned foundation with edgy eyes and bold lips inspired by the latest K-pop music videos of EXO and BTS.

See the best beauty looks outside Hera Seoul Fashion Week this season.

Article and photos for FASHION Magazine.


I haven’t wrote a regular catch-up-with-me blog post in awhile.. eek.

Well then, I guess it’s time for you to grab a cup of tea and take a seat because I’m feeling chatty! Also, I need to fill you in quickly about my life in Korea so the first half of this post is dedicated to that, and I apologize in advance as I know my thoughts will be all over the place.


I am only in Busan for another 4-ish months and then I’m off onto my next adventure. People have been asking me what I’ll miss about South Korea and honestly, I couldn’t tell you because I haven’t been away long enough to know. Perhaps the kind people? Convenience stores at every corner? Cheap public transportation? The food? Well, maybe not so much the food, Korean BBQ.. MAYBE..


I know I’ll miss are the picture perfect parks. I recently went for a 5km run at Samnak Riverside, the place with the best running trails in the city. My 10km marathon in Chuncheon is a couple weekends away and I am PUUUUUMPED! My t-shirt and number bib were delivered to my door and it made me smile ear to ear. I haven’t been training much, I’m essentially winging it, but I love marathons – the feeling, the vibe, the support.. I can’t wait!


OH! Something else I’ll miss about Korea is the hiking. I recently went for a walk up Hwangnyeongsan Mountain and went on a day where the sun was million degrees. I was sweating literally everywhere. At least the views were pretty.


Changing subject matter.

Do you ever have one of those days where nothing goes right? You think the entire world is against you and you start flipping desks and knocking ice cream out of the hands of children because if you’re not happy, NO ONE CAN BE HAPPY! So I had one of those days recently and my rage resorted to opening a bottle of wine and doing some online shopping on ROMWE. Apparently I needed a lot of rose themed items, and that’s exactly what I ordered. My favourite pick was the rose bralette featured below, cute right? Good job raging-tipsy-click-happy Jessica.


Changing subject matter, again (told you this blog post will be all over the palce).

I went on a rail bike adventure not too long ago. I wrote an article about this fun-filled day that will be published on November 1st inside the Daegu Compass (YES, PRINT! IT STILL EXISTS!). As a result, I won’t give too many details, but you CAN watch the vlog.


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It was nice to be back on Canadian soil, only if it were for just a week. I made sure pumpkin patches and apple picking were on my itinerary.


My brother, his wife, their baby-boo Mila, and I went to Downey’s Farm and basked in the hundreds of pumpkins and apple trees. True bliss.


It was nice to be around friends and family that I haven’t seen in a year and a half. It was like I never even left.


Want to come home with me? Wait, that doesn’t sound right.. but we’re going with it because it’s funny. Heh heh. Watch my lastest vlog of my trip back home to Canada and getting ALL DA BABY CUDDLES!


If you couldn’t already tell from the title.. IT’S MY BIRTHDAY TODAY!

This year, I’m surprisingly less excited to celebrate. I know, who am I anymore?! And I can’t pin-point a reason why I’m feeling subdued. Perhaps I’m still jet-lagged from my recent trip back home to Canada and reaction time has been delayed. Or, it’s because I’ve discovered more than one grey hair on my head and it feels like my youth has officially ended. Mmmk but serious question, if I pluck a grey hair out, do more grow in? Or, is that a myth? Please advise.


ANYWAY! I came into the world 27 years ago (holy shit I’m almost 30!), and if you remember from last year, here were the goals I wanted to achieve at 26. Let’s see how I did:

1. Write a book.

This didn’t happen because it’s still not the time. As much as I want to sit down and commit to my writing, I’m constantly sidetracked with other projects. One day I will write a goddamn book but (again..) this wasn’t the year. SOON!

2. Go to my 5th continent.

HECK YEAH! New Zealand and Australia were my latest travel expeditions, and they were sweet as. I already want to go back.

3. Create a morning routine.

I wouldn’t call it a routine, but I wake up a lot earlier than I used to so, I’m counting it.

4. Create a budget.

I’ve been doing my best to save but it’s been a little difficult, especially because I’ve been traveling a bunch. I do the best I can and am conscious of where my money goes, but sometimes I crave a $6 latte okay! LET ME LIVE MY LIFE! I’m not perfect with finances but I DID reach my goal (barely.. but I did it!). You’ll see why I’m trying to save once you read the new goals below.

5. Raise $1,000 for The Malala Fund to secure girls’ right to a minimum of 12 years of quality education.

I raised $386 for The Malala Fund, and even though I didn’t reach $1,000 mark (it was quite ambitious..), I’m thankful for everyone who took the time to donate. Seriously, thank you. #FreedomForAllGirls means educating girls and women to be strong, independent, and opinionated. To feed your brain with useful knowledge, check out The Global Goals new video they created for International Day of the Girl, which was on October 11, featuring the song “Freedom” by Queen B.

In March, I will be leaving South Korea (can you believe it’s almost been two years?!) and returning back home to Canada (or elsewhere, we’ll see where the wind blows).

Below are the goals I will strive to achieve during my 27th year of life:

1. Start a career in a creative field.

2. Purchase property.

3. Go to my 6th continent.

4. Commence secret project (Mwhaha! Sorry, you’ll know in time, I promise!).

5. Donate blood.

Most of these are lofty goals, but when I leave South Korea I’m ready to create a whole new life in an entirely different environment. Buuuuut, in the meantime, cheers to another year of learning from mistakes, working hard, and being a goal-achieving-bad-ass-bitch-who-will-never-be-too-old-to-eat-peanut-butter-with-her-fingers-out-of-the-jar.

Below is a photo from this morning featuring my co-teachers and I. They were waiting for me to arrive so they could surprise me with a cake, but I rolled in late with a $6 latte in hand. Heh heh.


As always, thank you for taking the time to read my blog posts and for all the sweet birthday wishes. My heart feels warm and fuzzy.

Love you all long time.




My stay on Magnetic Island was definitely a high-energy adventure but as a city girl (always have been, always will be), I missed the vibe of bright lights and bustling streets. For my final couple days in Australia, I ventured to the capital of New South Wales and one of Australia’s largest cities: SYDNEY!

I regrettably stayed at a hostel called Kings Cross Backpackers. I should have done my research before booking.. rookie mistake. I was unaware that I was staying in the heart of the red light district. Oy vey. Honestly, it wasn’ t the WORST hostel in the world but there were, at times, young 20-somethings recklessly running around the hallways with bottles of vodka in hand, shouting gibberish at the tops of their lungs. I definitely should have spent the extra money on a hotel or Airbnb. Awell, you live and you learn.

On my first morning in the city I woke up extra early, mostly because I wanted to spend as little time at the hostel as possible. First order of business was to make my way to the iconic Sydney Opera House, designed by Danish architect Jorn Oberg Utzon. Did you know that Utzon was inspired to create the UNESCO World Heritage site by peeling an orange? Now you know.


I never took public transit or a taxi while in Sydney, I walked EVERYWHERE because the best way to see every nook and cranny a new city has to offer, is by foot. On my all-day walking treks I browsed every Kmart, ran into Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, and ate a whole lot of Greek salad and hummus. Eating out in Australia can be quite pricey so whenever I passed a grocery store I stocked up on some food favs to snack on throughout the day. I was also running low on my budget, it was the tail end of the trip afterall.


On my last day in Sydney I walked from Kings Cross to Bondi Beach, which was a 12 km round-trip expedition. My feet were blistered, bleeding, swollen but.. I had places to get to! When I arrived at Bondi, I was surprised to see surfers doing their thang in the middle of Australian winter, but it made for good entertainment as I ate my grocery-store quality macaroni salad.


Australia has been sweet as! It has been an unforgettable adventure and there’s no doubt in my mind that I will definitely be back one day. Mostly because I want to hug a dozen more koalas and raid every K-mart I missed.


Want to see my Sydney adventures in 60 seconds? Check out my latest Get Up & Go Girl video below!


Another day, another down un-dah adventure. After spending a weekend swimming above the Great Barrier Reef (WHAT A DREAM!), I waved goodbye to Whitsunday Island and took a Greyhound bus for three hours to Townsville. I got there relatively late and didn’t know how to get into my hostel (it was locked..) so I did a lot of standing around, avoiding drunk young 20-somethings until a security guard saw me outside with my luggage. When I got into my room at Rambutan I wanted to take a quick shower but when I opened the door, a RED cockroach ran across the tiles. ‘Guess I’m not showering tonight’ I thought, and calmly closed the shower door and slid straight into bed.

The next morning I got out of my cockroach infested room (oh ‘Straya!) and hopped on a ferry to the magnificent Magnetic Island! There’s a 99.9% chance if you’re not from Australia, you’ve never heard of this mountainous, magical place. It’s right off the shore from Townsville and essentially one giant national park, with wallabies and echidnas running astray.


My friend Delainha (whom I met in London, England!) works at Bungalow Bay, a hostel and koala park on the island. She was generous enough to let me stay at her place for the four days, three nights I spent on Maggie.

The first morning I woke up early to enjoy an avocado toast and smoothie at The Early Bird. It was a tad pricey (I think the total was around $20?), but a nice treat to kick-off my island adventure.


The beaches on Maggie were unbelievable and there’s plenty to choose from such as Picnic Bay, Nelly Bay, Horseshoe Bay, and my favourite.. RADICAL BAY! Think coconuts, warm waters, soft sand, and even a rustic piano along the shoreline because, why not?


Next on the itinerary was the Forts Walk, a 4km hike I did with a couple new friends, and it was one of my favourite activities on the island. Not only because it lead to WWII forts and breathtaking views, but simply because I saw my first WILD koala! Doing WILD koala things! Aka, sleeping. BUT LOOK AT HOW CUTE!


On my last day on Maggie, Delainha recommended I go horseback riding at Horseshoe Bay Ranch, and was told to bring a bathing suit. “Why are we going into the water?” I giggled to her. “UMM, YES!” She responded excitedly. I’ve galloped on a horse a couple times in my life but never have I SWAM WITH ONE!

The next morning I was assigned a horse named Crikey, who was sweet but TBH, was half asleep the entire trek. After an hour of trotting through bushland, the instructors unsaddled our horses and we rode bareback into the ocean. We were told to hold onto the horses mane to stay on and we splashed our way until the water was waist deep on us – it was a wild experience!


OH YES! IT’S VLOG TIME! Delainha and I rent motorbikes (and have an unfortunate accident), I witness the most beautiful sunset I’ve ever seen, and make-out with a blue tonged lizard. You know, the usual. ENJOY!