DEER + ALMOND, MY SUMMER TREAT

I was at Dear + Almond sometime in the summer and was pleasantly surprised. My girlfriend and I had often walked or driven past their establishment without giving them much thought. The clean white exterior with Deer + Almond in black did not do much to lure us in. We were curious, but not enough to take than next step until one day Saturday afternoon we decided to drive to the Exchange to try something new.

Looking at the menu was like reading Greek to me. Thanks to my able assistant Mr. Google, I settled on grilled romaine with feta, sikil pak and pumpkin seed vinaigrette. Sikil Pak, Google told me, is a delicious thick pumpkin seed dip used in place of guacamole. Google wasn’t wrong to call it delicious. It was a smooth, smokey  and sweet thick paste-a delicate taste. I would choose it any day over guacamole. Although I should probably learn how to pronounce it.

When the chore of ordering was done, Continue reading “DEER + ALMOND, MY SUMMER TREAT”

I’ve Caught the Winnipeg Jets Bug

Winnipeg Jets

I Admit it.

I know nothing about sports. Like zip, nada. Not. A. Thing.

There, I said  it.

I’m not particularly proud of this but I stopped trying to figure sports out years ago. Honestly, it bores me to death. Sports. All sports, are a total bore to me.

Winnipeg Jets

Now enter the Winnipeg Jets and the current Stanley Cup playoffs. Continue reading “I’ve Caught the Winnipeg Jets Bug”

Winnipeg Is Definitely A Lovely Place to Live

I have lived in Winnipeg for eight years now. The one thing that I hear people say literally every single day is how this place sucks. If we are being completely honest, I too have said that on several occasions. Many times, in fact.

Winnipeg is small. I find that most people live in their little cocoons connecting with only the people they’ve known all their lives. I am guilty of that too. I mostly stick with my family, and friends that I met when I first arrived.

But when I go out to explore different events and interact with people outside of my usual circle, I find that Winnipeg has so much to offer. I have decided that the reason why a lot of us complain about this cute little town we live in is because we don’t give it a chance. And we definitely don’t go out  to explore it.

Lucky for y’all I connected with an amazing photographer @gyk26 who is bringing Winnipeg right to your screen. The Peg is beautiful and it is full of life. Enjoy these incredible photos today. Tomorrow, step out and explore for yourself -after all the winter is behind us. 

Also tell us about your favourite spots at the Peg in the comments section.

Credit Card Debt Could Take Over 50 Years to Be Fully Paid Off

For the past little while money has been on my mind. I want this year to be the year that I focus on saving, growing my emergency fund, completely getting rid of debt and investing more than I ever have before. So far its going really well. The other day I was reading up and learning about credit card debt and stumbled about a very simple detail that got me super excited.

 

Did You Know…

 

…in Canada, banks are required Continue reading “Credit Card Debt Could Take Over 50 Years to Be Fully Paid Off”

Assiniboine Park Conservatory is Now Closed

Assiniboine Park Conservatory
Photo by @gyk26

The Assiniboine Park Conservatory has officially closed today.

The Conservatory has been a part of Winnipeg since 1914 (yikes!). That is a long time.

It was certainly not easy to say goodbye to Winnipeg’s Assiniboine Park Conservatory this past weekend. Continue reading “Assiniboine Park Conservatory is Now Closed”

Ice Castles Winnipeg

You’ve Got to Check Out Ice castles Winnipeg 

IMG_8947
The moment one sets foot into Ice Castles Winnipeg all thoughts about the deep freeze that is our city vanish from the mind. The tunnels, slides, caves, lights, music… are such a delight. It is the perfect place to take new Instagram pictures. Trust me, I know. I may have taken ahem, ‘a few’ photos. Continue reading “Ice Castles Winnipeg”

A Kindhearted Stranger Apologizes for The Acts of Another

A Kindhearted Stranger

We were on our way home after a long day at the office. We animatedly discussed the day’s accomplishments among other trivial things. As we hastily walked across the parking lot and towards the arcade, we were completely oblivious to the happenings around us.  I reached out to open the arcade door and suddenly noticed a young man standing right in front of the door from the inner side. Almost as if he was plastered to the glass door. I did not want to bother him or much less to walk into him. I moved to the next door and let myself and my friend in.

“He is probably waiting for his ride or someone”, I thought.

I could not have been more wrong.  Continue reading “A Kindhearted Stranger Apologizes for The Acts of Another”

Hey Winterpeg! How Can We Embrace this Winter?

Winterpeg: I went to class in the fall and three hours later I walked out into winter.
Winterpeg: I went to class in the fall and three hours later I walked out into winter.

At 9PM yesterday I was finally done for the day. It had been an extremely long day for me. I desperately wanted, more than anything in the world, to get into bed and float away to blissful dreamland. I had been up for nearly two days. Well, with perhaps an hour of sleep here, another hour there, but mostly awake, working and studying. My assignment was submitted, my test was done and work was long over, finally a light at the end of the tunnel. I grabbed my expensive Ivanka purse (ahem! the Jang’o in me-Jang’o is my tribe that Kenyan’s believe to be very self-absorbed and shallow, which I might be, to some extent) and headed for the door, almost at the speed of light. Who knows how long that door would remain open? As far as I know University of Winnipeg has never locked students in the building against their will, but I wasn’t taking any chances. I had a date with my bed and nothing was getting in the way of that. With the hugest smile a sleep deprived bloodshot eyed human could manage, I pushed against the door freeing myself for the journey home.
The sudden gush Continue reading “Hey Winterpeg! How Can We Embrace this Winter?”

My Monday Morning Transit

My Monday Morning Transit

On the morning transit

It is approaching 8AM and I’m heading off to work. I am tired and sleepy and most definitely cranky. I am not a morning person in any sense of the word. I’m at the bus stop waiting on the ’43’, my morning transit bus. According to the Winnipeg Transit app, the bus should be here any minute.

It is also cold which is not helping me at all.

This particular bus driver is great but extremely perky. It makes me mad just how cheery he is. Not mad at him, at me. Why can’t I be like that?

In the mornings, I would much rather not talk. But since I hate it when I energetically approach people and they give me nothing, I put my best effort for this bus driver. He’s warm, always in a jolly mood. I wish Continue reading “My Monday Morning Transit”

Sara & The Piano

Piano at Portage Place: Downtown Biz Project
Piano at Portage Place: Downtown Biz Project

She’s maybe in her late 60s maybe 70s. She sits in a wheel chair and frequently wheels herself around downtown Winnipeg. She has dark thin hair which somehow looks healthy too. She’s not a small woman but neither is she big. She mostly wears a black coat and her wheel chair is decorated with pink carnations on either handle and a big picture of Jesus on the back side. I’ve never spoken to her, but I see her often enough to remember her. She’s always somber in her appearance. She doesn’t smile at passers-by but neither does she frown. She seems to me to exist in a little world of her own. Like a turtle with a shell separating her from the outside world. Distancing herself from the city’s hullaballoo. A woman on a mission. Continue reading “Sara & The Piano”

I'm Healthy Weight and Maybe a Little Hungry

It’s been several months since I last let my creative juices run. I’ve been working so hard day in day out, burning the midnight oil… well, that’s not entirely true. I’ve been at a loss for words. Not because there’s nothing to write about, on the contrary a lot has happened since I was an active blogger. Often times I struggle with words, not knowing how exactly to phrase things or how much to share. Is there such a thing as sharing too much? I’m so hungry I could eat a cow but my fingers are going crazy here. You should see me, I’m typing away furiously. You know those jobs where they want you to have a typing speed of 75WPM, I could probably get hired on the spot if they were watching me right about now. I think it’s some kind of withdrawal thing happening, what with not writing in months and all. Continue reading “I'm Healthy Weight and Maybe a Little Hungry”

PART D: LENNARD TAYLOR: MENTOR OF THE MONTH OF JUNE

Fashion designer & oil painter. Store Location: 393 Portage Ave, 2nd Floor. Website: http://lennardtaylor.com/
Fashion designer & oil painter. Store Location: 393 Portage Ave, 2nd Floor. Website: http://lennardtaylor.com/

As you may know by now, today is a very exciting day as Lennard will be sharing a few tips. In this final article with our dear mentor of the month, we will read pieces of advice that
Lennard Taylor very kindly shared with me at our interview. We will also look back into the month to pick up a few take-aways from his mentorship.
helpful tipsIn his own words… Continue reading “PART D: LENNARD TAYLOR: MENTOR OF THE MONTH OF JUNE”

Part B: Lennard Taylor: Mentor of the Month of June

Fashion designer & oil painter. Store Location: 393 Portage Ave, 2nd Floor. Website: http://lennardtaylor.com/
Fashion designer & oil painter. Store Location: 274A-393 Portage Ave. 2nd Floor Portage Place near Skywalk to Hydro building. Website: http://lennardtaylor.com/

Last Monday I wrote a preview article introducing Lennard Taylor as the Mentor of the month. I am sure you have been anxiously waiting for the continuation to this exciting new mentor of ours. For a quick recap revisit last Monday’s article but be sure to return because today Lennard lets us into the journey from the grassroots of his career.
During our interview Lennard mentioned that his first love was soccer. From his childhood all he wanted to do was play soccer. Being the go-getter that he is, a judgement that I prescribed upon him, Lennard went to Scotland to pursue his soccer career and to travel. Unfortunately he injured his knee which abruptly ended his soccer career. Upon hitting a wall unexpectedly Lennard had to re-strategize. He was forced to go back to the drawing board and come up with a new plan. Staring out the window of his apartment in a flat in Scotland, he wondered what he should do next. Continue reading “Part B: Lennard Taylor: Mentor of the Month of June”

Meet James Pottie: New Team Member

"I'll be writing about careers and hopefully more for Memoirs of a Kenyan. I'm a university student, student of the world, free thinker, lover and fighter of everything worth loving and fighting for. My interests include film, mental health initiatives, music, good wine and good food, living a good life, meeting beautiful people, and grabbing onto fleeting moments of joy. Honesty is the best policy, poutine and smoothies come tie for second."
” I’m a university student, student of the world, free-thinker, lover and fighter of everything worth loving and fighting for. My interests include film, mental health initiatives, music, good wine and good food, living a good life, meeting beautiful people, and grabbing onto fleeting moments of joy. Honesty is the best policy, poutine and smoothies come tie for second.”

When things happen, positive things, I love to make a fuss about it. This blog is like a baby to me. One that I have nurtured and with a lot of help from some very kind writers and friends, I have seen it grow each day. Not too long ago this baby was only an infant, now he can crawl and soon he will walk and run. I cannot help but feel that build up of excitement in the pit of my belly simply from the prospect of someday making it really grand.
But first, baby steps!
Today, I take a lot of pleasure in introducing the newest member to our team, James Pottie. James will be writing on career topics and other topics that interest him. In his own words,

“I’ll be writing about careers and hopefully more for Memoirs of a Kenyan. I’m a university student, student of the world, free-thinker, lover and fighter of everything worth loving and fighting for. My interests include film, mental health initiatives, music, good wine and good food, living a good life, meeting beautiful people, and grabbing onto fleeting moments of joy. Honesty is the best policy, poutine and smoothies come tie for second.”

I am excited because James has a powerful voice, a great sense of humour and a strong presence in his writing. I am certain that we will tremendously enjoy reading his work and benefit from it. Like every member of the Memoirs of a Kenyan team, we got James to tell us a little about himself:  Continue reading “Meet James Pottie: New Team Member”

Lennard Taylor: Mentor of the Month of June

Fashion designer & oil painter. Store Location: 393 Portage Ave, 2nd Floor. Website: http://lennardtaylor.com/
Fashion designer & oil painter. Store Location: 274A-393 Portage Ave. 2nd Floor Portage Place near Skywalk to Hydro building. Website: http://lennardtaylor.com/

Lennard Taylor is a vibrant fashion designer and oil painter based in Winnipeg Manitoba. Prior to embarking into the world of fashion, Lennard played football in Scotland. On returning to Winnipeg where he was born and raised, he began his career in fashion. Lennard’s style is futurist, hip and very classy. His passion for his work is infectious. I first met him purely out of my love for fashion. I was taking a walk at my lunch hour in the mall when my eyes suddenly rested on a brand new store with a dazzling display. I was instantly excited and dragged my friend into the store with me. Inside, the room boasted of a vast selection of unique garments and accessories. After that first visit, I returned to the store every chance I got. Continue reading “Lennard Taylor: Mentor of the Month of June”

Part D: Marianne Curtis: Mentor of the month of May

A newspaper journalist in Manitoba, Canada. Nearly 20 years of media, publishing and freelance writing experience.   1st book,  a personal memoir Finding Gloria hit #1 on the best sellers list on Amazon in Canada, USA and the UK several times.  2013 - Received a YWCA Woman of Distinction nod for inspiring others by sharing her story of struggle and survival after recovering from childhood abuse, bullying, and sexual assault.  Other titles: Moondust and Madness: a collection of poetry, Behind Whispering Pines, and Brian's Last Ride. November 2014 - Curtis will be releasing Rae of Hope: Stories of Survival, a collection of stories written by bullying survivors from around the world.  
A newspaper journalist in Manitoba, Canada. Nearly 20 years of media, publishing and freelance writing experience.  
1st book,  a personal memoir Finding Gloria hit #1 on the best sellers list on Amazon in Canada, USA and the UK several times. 
2013 – Received a YWCA Woman of Distinction nod for inspiring others by sharing her story of struggle and survival after recovering from childhood abuse, bullying, and sexual assault. 
Other titles: Moondust and Madness: a collection of poetry, Behind Whispering Pines, and Brian’s Last Ride.
November 2014 – Curtis will be releasing Rae of Hope: Stories of Survival, a collection of stories written by bullying survivors from around the world.

Marianne Curtis has been incredibly kind to let us into her journey as a writer, sharing her experiences and her plans for the future. In today’s issue, she leaves us with a few tips on writing successfully.
What pieces of advice would you like to share with our readership should they venture into writing as their profession of choice?helpful tips
“Write because you love it; or have a story burning in your soul. I run into people every day who say “I’ve been told I should write a book” – Don’t just talk about it – DO IT!  Everyone has a story to tell and nearly every story is worth telling – I say nearly because I hear a lot of “news” but not everything is “news worthy”. Don’t just start writing a book, actually finish it. Continue reading “Part D: Marianne Curtis: Mentor of the month of May”

Part C: Marianne Curtis: Mentor of the month of May

A newspaper journalist in Manitoba, Canada. Nearly 20 years of media, publishing and freelance writing experience.   1st book,  a personal memoir Finding Gloria hit #1 on the best sellers list on Amazon in Canada, USA and the UK several times.  2013 - Received a YWCA Woman of Distinction nod for inspiring others by sharing her story of struggle and survival after recovering from childhood abuse, bullying, and sexual assault.  Other titles: Moondust and Madness: a collection of poetry, Behind Whispering Pines, and Brian's Last Ride. November 2014 - Curtis will be releasing Rae of Hope: Stories of Survival, a collection of stories written by bullying survivors from around the world.  
A newspaper journalist in Manitoba, Canada. Nearly 20 years of media, publishing and freelance writing experience.  
1st book,  a personal memoir Finding Gloria hit #1 on the best sellers list on Amazon in Canada, USA and the UK several times. 
2013 – Received a YWCA Woman of Distinction nod for inspiring others by sharing her story of struggle and survival after recovering from childhood abuse, bullying, and sexual assault. 
Other titles: Moondust and Madness: a collection of poetry, Behind Whispering Pines, and Brian’s Last Ride.
November 2014 – Curtis will be releasing Rae of Hope: Stories of Survival, a collection of stories written by bullying survivors from around the world.

In the previous issue of Mentor of the Month, Marianne Curtis told us that she began writing as a source of release, a way for her to keep sane during very challenging times in her life. Her writing now not only helps and fulfills her but also assists and encourages others who may be experiencing difficulties in their lives.
Today Curtis shares, in more detail, her experiences as she wrote her books. She also has an upcoming book (this November), which is a compilation of stories shared by people in the hundreds who are trying to find healing. Many of them sharing their stories for the first time.
Tell me about your experiences while writing your novels? (Both Finding Gloria and A Discreet Betrayal) Was it challenging to get started and then got easier or vice versa? Continue reading “Part C: Marianne Curtis: Mentor of the month of May”

Part B: Marianne Curtis: Mentor of the month of May

A newspaper journalist in Manitoba, Canada. Nearly 20 years of media, publishing and freelance writing experience.   1st book,  a personal memoir Finding Gloria hit #1 on the best sellers list on Amazon in Canada, USA and the UK several times.  2013 - Received a YWCA Woman of Distinction nod for inspiring others by sharing her story of struggle and survival after recovering from childhood abuse, bullying, and sexual assault.  Other titles: Moondust and Madness: a collection of poetry, Behind Whispering Pines, and Brian's Last Ride. November 2014 - Curtis will be releasing Rae of Hope: Stories of Survival, a collection of stories written by bullying survivors from around the world.  
A newspaper journalist in Manitoba, Canada. Nearly 20 years of media, publishing and freelance writing experience.  
1st book,  a personal memoir Finding Gloria hit #1 on the best sellers list on Amazon in Canada, USA and the UK several times. 
2013 – Received a YWCA Woman of Distinction nod for inspiring others by sharing her story of struggle and survival after recovering from childhood abuse, bullying, and sexual assault. 
Other titles: Moondust and Madness: a collection of poetry, Behind Whispering Pines, and Brian’s Last Ride.
November 2014 – Curtis will be releasing Rae of Hope: Stories of Survival, a collection of stories written by bullying survivors from around the world.

Why did you choose to get into the field of writing?
“I don’t think I chose writing, it chose me.
When I was a little girl, I was held hostage by an abusive adoptive mother. Without television, radio, outside influence or contact with others (other than school), I had no one to talk to and no support. I got into the habit of pouring out my feelings in every margin, and on every scrap piece of paper I could find. It was a way to keep sane and still is.
Many years later, when my marriage fell apart,  a friend of mine introduced me to another freelance reporter, who was looking for some extra help. I was suddenly a single mom of 4 (used to being a stay-at-home mom); on welfare, needing to find a way to make money (and not wanting to stay on the system). Not wanting to abandon my kids (who were used to me being home), working freelance worked perfectly. A year later she quit, and I moved into the position of head writer – that was 18 years ago.
About eight years ago, I considered going into health care (I was a paramedic, then health care aid at one point to make extra money while writing) and while preparing for applying to be an LPN[Licensed Practical Nurse], I discovered that what I really wanted to continue doing is write, and I haven’t looked back.
Writing has become a way to change people’s lives for me.”
You have been a journalist for a good portion of your life, what are the most fulfilling things about being a journalist?
“I average about 45 articles a month on everything from hard-core news to fluff pieces; nothing is off limits. The most fulfilling thing about what I do is when people come to me and thank me for either passing on important information for them, giving a voice to those who felt they didn’t have one, and being a difference maker. Stories I’ve written have directly changed laws (even provincially), helped write Bills (in government), helped families get medical care they have not been able to, and raised awareness on a number of important issues to my readers.
Even if I don’t do a story on someone or something, if readers need help finding information, or help fighting for something, I try to help whatever way I can, and if I don’t have the answers than I find someone who does. When I am successful (which does happen a lot) it gives my job meaning and keeps me motivated. I find it very personally satisfying.”
© [Valerie Chela N, all writers herein] and Memoirs of a Kenyan, 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s authors and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to appropriate author of content and Memoirs of a Kenyan with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

PART D: Mentor of the Month [April]: Interviewing The Abstract Artist

Founder and Owner of the blog 'I am Dark, But Lovely', the magazine 'Awakening: A Bold Love Story Magazine' and the newsletter 'I am Dark, But Lovely'.
Founder and Owner of the blog ‘I am Dark, But Lovely’, the magazine ‘Awakening: A Bold Love Story Magazine’ and the newsletter ‘I am Dark, But Lovely’.

It has been an interesting month with Shayani Turko who tells us today that she strongly believes in the power of dreams. She urges us to dare to dream and then follow up on those dreams turning them into reality. While her advise is geared towards artists and artists-to-be, I feel that this message is relevant for anyone who plans to make something of themselves.
She also says it’s crucial to pause, listen and be open. I could not agree more.
As this is the last issue of the our April mentor of the month, Shayani leaves us with a few words… Continue reading “PART D: Mentor of the Month [April]: Interviewing The Abstract Artist”

PART C: Mentor of the Month [April]: Interviewing The Abstract Artist

Founder and Owner of the blog 'I am Dark, But Lovely', the magazine 'Awakening: A Bold Love Story Magazine' and the newsletter 'I am Dark, But Lovely'.
Founder and Owner of the blog ‘I am Dark, But Lovely’, the magazine ‘Awakening: A Bold Love Story Magazine’ and the newsletter ‘I am Dark, But Lovely’.

To begin this edition of Interviewing the Abstract Artist I thought we should go back to the beginning. In the first edition of this issue I mentioned that Shayani Turko discovered her passion for abstract artist while she was undergoing some personal challenges in her life.  Art Shayani says, from that time, is a means of release and a way to discover herself.
When did you start painting?
“I took up drawing and painting midway during a very trying period in my life, out of which I recently emerged. It was at the 2009 Sabbath Retreat for Young Adults at the St. Benedict’s Monastery out in St. Paul’s, Manitoba. I was in a lot of pain and words failed me. There was an art room at the center…. suddenly I found my voice! That’s how it all started, this adventure with art.”
In today’s issue, Continue reading “PART C: Mentor of the Month [April]: Interviewing The Abstract Artist”