Friday, April 15, 2016

Birthday fun at a sanctuary

This past weekend was my 30th birthday, and I wanted to do something memorable. I went through an endless list of ideas from my own mind, from the internet, and from friends, but nothing quite seemed right. Until I saw that some sanctuaries could be open to the public that weekend. The idea of going to a sanctuary for my birthday had crossed my mind before, but I assumed it was too early in the year for that, and that no sanctuaries would be open on my actual birthday.

However, I finally did a more thorough search of my options, and the choice was clear. Ralphy’s Retreat. It was the only sanctuary within 2 hours of Toronto that I hadn’t already been to, and that was open on my birthday. The more I read about it, the cooler it seemed. Ralphy’s is a farm sanctuary that focuses mostly on pigs. I had had a very minimal amount of pig-cuddling in my life pre-Ralphy’s, and was very excited to change that. 

I emailed the sanctuary asking to book a tour, terrified that they would say no. I mentioned that it was my birthday, hoping that that would get me to the front of any line that may have existed. Luckily, they responded promptly, telling me that I was booked for my tour on my birthday. I was thrilled.

The next morning I awoke to a snowstorm and briefly questioned my plans. That week ended up being miserable and very cold, and the weather for the weekend looked questionable. Luckily, the day of my trip was quite cold, but there was no rain or snow.
So on my birthday, I got up, had breakfast, and hit the road. 2 hours and some vegan snacks later, we arrived at Ralphy’s Retreat.
I have to say that whether you have been to one sanctuary or one hundred, I think Raphy’s is definitely worth the visit. Kara clearly loves the animals she takes care of, and many of the animals there really love people. There is time to pet the friendliest pigs, there are adorable cats and dogs around to pet, and you will learn so much about pigs, why they need a sanctuary, and how each animal at Ralphy’s came to live with Kara.  
I can’t wait to go back to Ralphy’s again, and to go to some more sanctuaries in the Toronto area. 


We were greeted in the driveway by Kara, our amazing tour guide, and the founder of Ralphy’s Retreat. Kara took us to meet the animals, and told us stories about every single one of them. 

The stories were quite heartbreaking, but the trip was far from depressing. When you see how happy and well taken care of the animals are now, you can’t help but feel uplifted. These animals had had rough lives, but now they are in a place where they are loved and cared for, and hopefully where they will inspire many other people to be more compassionate to animals.

I think that visiting sanctuaries is a great way for people to learn a little more about animal rescue work and why it is necessary. I love when I hear that people take their children to sanctuaries, since it can help teach them so much about compassion. I think that at any age, we can always use some more compassion and can learn valuable new information and lessons. Even as someone who spent most of their life as either a vegetarian or a vegan, who does animal rescue work, and who loves sanctuaries, there was a lot I didn’t know about why and how pigs could end up in a sanctuary. I had no idea the types of horrible situations pigs were living in just in the Toronto area, especially in private homes. I know about what happens to pigs on farms, but I didn’t realize how common it was for people to get pigs as pets, and then treat them absolutely horribly. I really wish that people who want a pet pig would go to this sanctuary first, and, sure, they would fall further in love with pigs, but they would also see why having a pig as a pet is not generally a good plan.

So, if you love pigs, please go to Ralphy’s Retreat. If you love animals in general, go to Ralphy’s Retreat. Cuddle with some pigs, and learn from Kara. Take some amazing photos, have a great time, and support a great cause. And then tell everyone you know about it, and enjoy the strange reactions you get when you tell people you just went to a pig sanctuary. I’m still thoroughly enjoying that. “What did you do for your birthday?!” “I went to a pig sanctuary!!” “….um… what?” and then I get to explain how amazing it was. It’s pretty fun. 

Monday, May 25, 2015

Geek Pride Day and Coupons

It's Geek Pride Day and, as usual, I am busy being a supergeek.

But I did have time to make a coupon available in my shop for all of my geeky fans. So, feel free to visit my Etsy shop before midnight tomorrow night, and use this 20% off coupon on your entire purchase!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Foxers Clothing

I love discovering new shops on Etsy, and sometimes I just have to tell you about them. Foxers is one of those shops. 

Their website is packed with amazing clothing that is beautifully photographed, and I was enthralled. I ended up picking up some items for myself and some for a gift. Everything I received was amazing. Their clothing is gorgeous and so comfortable! The shop owner made sure I was purchasing the correct sizes, and the customer service was amazing. When I tried on my clothing, I was immediately in love. I started planning my next purchase right away.

Their Etsy shop is here:

Their website has even more products, and can be found here:

Here are just a few of the items I love, taken from their website and Facebook page

Their shirts are probably my favourite items. I got two shirts from them, and I never want to take them off. They are so beautiful and so incredibly comfortable! I am hoping to get some more shirts from them soon!

Their boxers are gorgeous (and super comfortable, from what I hear!)

They have so many beautiful lacy items, and I think I may have to try some out soon.

This colour is so stunning!

I want everything I see in their shop. I need it all. 

I may not need these, but don't they look amazing?

Foxers' specialty is women's underwear with bands on them like men's boxer briefs, which I think is an amazing idea. 

Their products are so beautiful, stylish, and comfortable, that I really wish I could wear them every day.

Check out their amazing selection, try out an item or two, and I bet you’ll be hooked!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Rekindling an old flame

My Rekindled Final Fantasy Addiction

It began in high school. I saved my babysitting money in grade 9 and bought a PS2. I had spent my youth addicted to Nintendo, and then Super Nintendo, and little did I know that PS3 would be as addictive as it was. As it turned out, there was only one game I would get addicted to on the PS3. Final Fantasy X. Nothing else compared to that game, and I got lost inside a new, exciting RPG world filled with exciting battles, magic, strategies, and amazing graphics.

Artwork from

Well, I recently came to own a PS3. All of my gaming systems were left behind in the move from NB to Ontario, and I regretted that decision from the moment I arrived. I only had room in the car for me, my dad (my driver), my hedgehog, my cat, a very small portion of my jewellery and jewellery supplies, and a tiny selection of clothing and necessities. I thought I could survive without gaming. I was wrong.

Even after I got the PS3, I avoided Final Fantasy games, knowing that they would be my downfall, and that I didn’t have time to put hours into a game every day, but that I would be tempted to.

Finally, I could resist no more, and I picked up Final Fantasy XIII.

Artwork found on

Now, I’m about 8 hours into the game, and I’m in love. I hate putting down the controller each time I tear myself away from this game, and only do so because I know I have a million things to accomplish. Every time I play it, I feel as though I have to immediately go buy every Final Fantasy game I don’t already own, and that I need my games and consoles from home so that I can play the couple of games I bought but have never played (which is blasphemous, I know).

So that’s one of my new goals in life. To play every Final Fantasy game ever made. And hopefully to beat every game, but we’ll see if that works out. I like to set attainable goals.

For now, though, I’m content to live in the world of Lighting, Snow, Hope, Sazh, and Vanille, and see what they are capable of.

I have cosplayed Yuna in the past...

Photo by Jill Photography:

and now I want to cosplay Lightning. Another goal in life. I need a sweet sword…

Friday, April 3, 2015

Toronto ComiCon 2015

Another convention has come and gone, and I continue to be hopelessly addicted to them. I find myself in a weird situation where I want to sell my jewellery at every convention I can find, but I also want to see and do everything at the convention, which I can’t do with a booth… So I think I may try to attend a few cons without a booth (I’m cringing at the thought already), and take in as many activities as possible.

ComiCon was a very interesting experience. It was in the same location as Fan Expo, and run by Fan Expo, but I knew that it was much smaller, so I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect. It looked a lot like Fan Expo inside the Vendor/Artist Alley area, but it was certainly a different con. It was wonderful, of course, and it was a bit easier for me to stay at my booth, since there were fewer guests and panels that I was dying to see. I also had some amazing helpers at my booth, which made the time fly by, and meant that I was well fed throughout the weekend, which has a HUGE impact on my convention experience, and just generally made the experience more pleasant. 

I finally picked up some artwork from Sugarmints, after eying her pieces for months. I now have one larger piece and one small piece framed on my wall, and I Have a gorgeous notebook and bookmark from her. She offers deals for combos, so you can pick up multiple prints, or an assortment of different kinds of items for a great price, so that was amazing. 

 I also picked up an adipose plushie to go with the Tardis and dalek pillows I already had.

And then this happened with a dalek:

And I love that this girl is running full speed toward the dalek here:

I did a double take as I walked by the best Spock impersonator I've ever seen, and had to get this photo with him. He saw my jaw drop as I spotted him, and laughed at me.

I only attended one event, Q & A session with Karen Gillan. I had been looking forward to seeing her last summer at Fan Expo, but she cancelled, so when I heard that she was going to ComiCon, I vowed that I would see her this time! And I did! And it was glorious.

*Sigh* Karen Gillan. Amy Pond. I was in the same room as Amy Pond. And last summer, I was in the same room as the 11th Doctor and Rory (and a ton of amazing people from other shows and movies. My life is pretty frakkin glorious.

Karen was a joy to watch. She’s funny and witty and beautiful. I barely made it into the room because the line was so long, and I wasn’t willing to leave my table for an extra 2 hours to line up, but I made it inside, and a very kind man gave me his aisle seat and took the seat next to it, so that I could get better photos.

I spent the hour taking an excessive amount of photos while barely looking at my camera (most of the photos turned out awful, but I’m fine with that), and just being in awe of Amy Pond. She told stories about working on Doctor Who, Guardians of the Galaxy, and several other projects. She invented new episodes she would like to be in on Doctor Who. She declared that she should be the next Doctor. She spoke with her wonderful Scottish accent. It was wonderful.

Other than my fangirling over Karen Gillan, the rest of the convention was very fun too. There were some amazing cosplayers, as always, and my simple cosplays/outfits were very well received. Dressing as the 11th Doctor always goes over well, and allows for plenty of Doctor Who bonding during the con.

I have realized that the only reason I am able to communicate so easily at conventions is because I can talk to people about the things I am obsessed with. If you put me in a room full of strangers in almost any other setting, I probably wouldn’t say a word. But at a convention, you can hardly shut me up. Everyone is displaying their love of fandoms so obviously that there is always something amazing to talk about.

Here are just a few of my favourite cosplayers from the event:

And these cosplayers all came separately, and ended up at my booth together, so I had to get them to pose together:

And this Beetlejuice cosplayer was amazing:

So overall, my Toronto ComiCon experience was pretty great, and now I can’t wait to check out my next convention in Toronto! I will be writing more about my upcoming convention schedule soon!