Ok Google Commands

I’ve recently started exploring Ok Google commands. Here’s a list of fairly useful commands from CNET. Personally, I started using it while driving and have been using the following while navigating:

  • “Open Google Maps”
  • “Go home” (after you’ve set a specific address as “home” or “work”)
  • “Increase / decrease volume”
  • “Stop navigation”

Other commands that seem to be working, other than doing a Google search:

  • “Define antidisestablishmentarianism.” (our grade 5 teacher forced us to learn this word by heart and spell it as fast as we can)
  • “Continue the podcast.”
  • “What is the weather in Toronto?” (it can also recognize the word Waskaganish!)
  • “Show me my messages.” (also great for driving)
  • “Start a timer for two minutes.” (for steeping my Earl Grey tea)
  • “On Spotify, play Sorry by Justin Bieber.” (the screen tends to get stuff and the song doesn’t get played … argh)
  • “Show me my calendar.” (been using Google Calendar since 2007)
  • “Make a note in Evernote.” (have a paid subscription)

I have to say it’s pretty handy although I find I’m struggling to get it working smoothly with Spotify. I’ll have to keep practicing using it, although it probably eats up a lot of my battery.

Have you used Ok Google commands?



Using Work Travel for Rewards

Made my last travel claim with my school board. I will miss getting the money back!

Our school board always gave us the option of having the Finance department make hotel reservations for us, but I liked booking with Hotels.com and Ebates.ca at the same time for the small bonuses and working towards collecting free rewards. I mean, I am a math teacher so I like calculating these things.

Honestly, it’s not much and probably I spend way more time than it’s worth for the amount I get back – I’m not going to be delusional about this – but it’s sort of fun too.

Screen Shot 2017-07-12 at 11.24.13 AM
Also ordered some contact lens off Clearly.ca this morning. With the 8% cashback, I’ll add another $6.77 to this. Yay!

Do you collect points for rewards or use cashback programs?

*My late father would also sit around crunching points for Air Miles. I probably get it from him.

Mindset Around Grocery Shopping

Since living in the north for the past 5.5 years, I stopped paying attention to prices at the supermarket. I never spent a great deal of money, and already having a restrictive diet as a vegetarian, I wanted to make sure I purchased what I wanted and needed.

Running the credit card at the checkout without thinking about the total was pretty normal. Mind you, I did consider prices as I picked up items but I knew that if I wanted to make tacos for dinner, I was going to have to pay for peppers regardless of the price.

Yesterday, I grabbed a bunch of salad items and some veggie burgers for lunch at home. This $26 bill up north would probably be something like $40 or $45 up north. Occasionally, we’d buy online through IGA – it was delivered 7 hours away from Amos, Quebec – but even then, we rarely thought too much about the price.


As I will be living in the city again this coming school year, I am going to be more aware of food prices and try to shop for better deals. It’s a habit I need to develop again. I downloaded Flipp to explore – an app that shows savings of major retailers – and try to make mental notes of items I purchase frequently*.

*Avocados, tomatoes and apples are staples of mine

Barefoot Walking

Officially one week of walking around in Vibram Five Fingers after 10 months of barefoot walking at work, in the classroom! My feet feel great and I don’t have any soreness at all.

Spent Monday morning reading the free Vibram guide on barefoot walking – which my colleague D. shared with me – as I continue to explore natural movement, or #movenat.


It’s interesting to analyze my own feet; the past 3 years of yoga has helped my arch, but more than 30 years of shoe wearing has cause my pinkie toe to turn inwards. Your toes are meant to spread out, grip and push off the ground. You can see in the image below that the last toe isn’t in line with the edge of the foot or the pencil. It’s unfortunate that so many modern dayshoes are tapered towards the toes, which creates a change on our anatomy and have a detrimental effect in the long run.

Go check out your feet right now! What do you see?

Summer Hikes

One of my goals this summer is to walk more outside. I’m really bad at being outdoors during the winter months, but with the warm, sunny summer, I’ve no excuses! Over the past week, I visited:

I’ll definitely be adding to the list in the upcoming weeks! Please let me know if you have suggestions for any parks in Toronto, Ottawa or Montreal.


Road Trip to Waterloo

Earlier this week, J. and I stayed overnight in Kitchener. I drove in to take a class at the yoga studio that I may be potentially doing my Yoga Teacher Training at, just to reconnect with the studio owner, as well as check out the rental unit for September.

I also started walking around in my new Vibram FiveFingers ($115), which I picked up at Mountain Equipment Co-op on Tuesday (more on this in another post). We* tested them out with a short hike at Elora Gorge, just half an hour northeast of Waterloo.

My last month’s rent been sent off and I’m feeling good about my YTT application. It was a pretty product trip, so we rewarded ourselves with a dinner at the local Golden Turtle Restaurant. J. got a big bowl of rare beef phở and my tom yum bún was memorable. We finished it off with pineapple and soursop shakes!

*J. hates how weird Five Fingers look, but he has a pair of zero-drop minimalist shoes from Merrell.

Bullet Journal Doodles

Back in September, I started using a bullet journal as my daily planner. I picked up a simple black grid journal by Pauper Paper Press ($12) and have used it consistently for the past 9 months. In May, I purchased a Leuchtturm 1917 journal ($20) and just last week, finally switched over to my new planner.

I haven’t blogged about bullet journaling much, although I had initially planned to. Mostly, I’ve posted a few photos here and there on Instagram.

Anyway, since it’s the long weekend and I’ve had lots of time on my hands, I worked on practicing floral doodles and lettering. These are mostly taken from Pinterest, so I can’t say that these are particularly original.

A nice way to spend the afternoon while listening to Spotify:


New Steam Games and Steam Summer Sale

I had purchased Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes ($15) off Steam back in the fall; I had received a recommendation for it by a Grade 5 teacher when looking for games in the classroom. I hadn’t gotten around to testing it until J. and I finally started playing it last weekend, after report cards marks were submitted and I felt a giant weight off my chest.

If you’re looking for a quick game to help with your communication skills, this is perfect for that. You need at least two players. One person looks at the instruction manual, while one person works on the bomb (the laptop screen) as the defuser. The defuser starts off by describing the individuals modules, and the other person then looks through the manual and gives instructions on what to do. Each module is a puzzle that has a specific set of rules and changes with each new bomb. You are allowed 2 strikes (errors) within 5 minutes (or less), before the bomb explodes and you lose the game.

As of Friday, J. and I worked through the first two sections and have a good handle on the basics. We haven’t yelled at each other (yet), but he seems to do better deciphering and giving me instructions, while I describe and work through the puzzles. I hope that one day I’ll get to play this in a classroom!


And of course, this is the time of the famous Steam summer sale! The prices ae amaaaaazing. Games that might normally go for $15-30 can be purchased for just a few bucks. Of course, while I won’t be gaming much during the summer, I decided to purchase a few items off my wish list.

The one I was most hesitant about was Car Mechanic Simulator 2015, but since I would like to learn more about cars – honestly, I don’t even know where my air filter is – I decided that $3.29 was a steal, even if I don’t make use of the entire game.

Pretty excited about these purchases!


Moving Out of Waskaganish

It’s official! I am leaving Waskaganish after 4 years of teaching here. Yesterday, the moving truck came and took my boxes. I tipped them $30 USD – I couldn’t find my wallet – and two cold beers. I actually took half a moving day; I will take the second half of the day next week.

It feels much better to have my belongings out of the house, although there’s still a lot of clothing I haven’t packed yet. Likely, I’ll grab the rest of my belongings at the beginning of August, when I have to drop J. off after the end of his vacation.

Pretty excited to be headed out. We are departing on Tuesday, after the last day of work.