I have some bad news and some good news. The bad news is that AJ Travel, the agency I have been with since 2015, has closed. The good news: I have joined Orleans Travel & Cruise Centre!

Image from the home page of Orleans Travel.

If you were a client with me in the past year, keep an eye open for an email from me today from my new email If you booked travel with me longer ago than a year, I no longer have your contact information, so feel free to send me an email if you’re hoping to travel.

There will be a couple small changes, mostly to paperwork and how service fees and taxes are collected (separately from the payment for the actual trip), but I’ll explain everything before it happens. I am still working from home, which is the most important part.

Please bear with me as I transfer everything over to the new agency. I’ll be up and running soon!

Are you interested in travelling? You can contact Jennifer Desmarais through Orleans Travel.

Feeling Inspired

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

I get inspired by a lot of things. When it comes to writing, for me, there’s nothing better than a good conversation. Friday I got to hang out online with my writer’s group and they are absolutely genius. The things they read were diverse and inspiring. It’s great to be with so many talented authors.

Then on Saturday, I hung out with some close friends that I wish I had the chance to see more of. We talked about everything from books to politics and it was wonderful.

I’m feeling extremely inspired. Hopefully I’ll get the chance to do some writing.

I just got the third round of edits from my publisher for The Sign of Faust and I can’t wait to dig in.

Later days!


Glass slipper

The taking of this picture was quite cool – we had to ask permission of the Cast Members if we could step out of line to line up a perfect shot of the glass slipper from the middle of the aisle, and we got to step closer than most regular photographers. I felt quite special. Great memory for my birthday.

MCU, Infinity Stones, and Black Panther

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

I am a big fan of superheroes. I’ve watched all the most recent movies and most of the TV shows. I gave up on Daredevil but that’s another post.

I saw Black Panther a few weeks ago and I have an interesting theory. Spoilers for all of the Marvel Movies below.


Read moreMCU, Infinity Stones, and Black Panther

Blush: Binders

I was having difficulty coming up with a topic to discuss in this week’s Blush post until yesterday. A friend had shared this post:

It hadn’t occurred to me before, because although I played a boy in a couple dance routines, I never wore binding because my breasts were small enough to hide. But now that it has been brought to my attention, I wanted to learn more.

Binders. Don’t use this kind to bind your chest, though. Very unforgiving.

Generally, it is recommended to discuss binding with your doctor. They know your body best, and can recommend the maximum length of time you should be wearing a binder to minimize the risks of damaging your body. However, you should also discuss with someone who knows about binder materials and how to bind properly and safely. Ottawa has a great sex-educational store that sells binders: Venus Envy.

It is very important to note that no matter how safe you are, binding over time comes with serious risks, including pain (potentially chronic), discomfort, and physical changes not just to the chest tissue, but to the spine and rib cage. So please be wary of compressed ribs, collapsed lungs, or back problems associate with spine misalignment.

I would imagine there are similar problems with wearing a corset for too long.


If you’re enjoying the Blush blogs, consider learning more with Blush: The Card Game from Renaissance Press.

Is Your Coffee Dumb?

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

It seems that smart devices are everywhere. Everything from your fridge to your toilet. (Must fight urge to sing circle of life…)

Why should your coffee be any different?

There are a lot of options they range in price. I’ve done a lot of research and here are my top three recommendations for smart coffee makers.

Behmor Brewer ($373.00 at Amazon Canada)

This is the best possible drip coffee maker on the market.


  • Temperature control
  • Soak timing
  • Pre-soak
  • App
  • Schedule
  • Smart home integration


  • Price
  • Only 8 cups


If you want complete control on your coffee and you want it at a specific time, this is your coffee maker. It’s versatile and from one of the best names in coffee. Unfortunately the price is high.

Gina ($230 USD from Goat Story)

This is truly for the hipster coffee scientist. It combines a Bluetooth-enabled scale and app with the tried and true pour over method of coffee brewing.


  • Hipster Cred
  • Absolute control
  • Brew coffee like a European Barista
  • Makes spectacular coffee
  • App
  • Easy to clean and maintenance


  • Price
  • Not really all that smart
  • Use your own hot water
  • Only 25 oz of coffee
  • No smart home integration or schedule


This is for those that want to take the time to experiment and brew the perfect cup of coffee. It’s simple but time consuming. It’s a lot of work but will make amazing coffee.

Create your own (~$40)

I’ve mentioned before that the best coffee maker is the simplest. The less bells and whistles on the darned thing, the more power there is for the water heater and pump.

What you do is you buy yourself a simple coffee maker. For a 12 cup machine, it’ll cost you around $20; less if you want smaller or get a sale. The only feature that is important is a physical switch, on or off, not a digital button.

The second part is to buy yourself a smart plug. They range from 20 to 100. Make sure it works with your phone/tablet/computer or the smart speaker/hub of your choice.

So now you have them connected, and when the smart switch is on, the coffee maker is on.


  • Price
  • Any size of machine you like
  • Makes surprisingly good coffee
  • Schedule (Using IFTT or Stringify)
  • Smart home integration


  • Not fancy
  • No temperature control
  • No pre-soak
  • Simple settings
  • Not as impressive


This is the option I’ve gone for. It works extremely well. I tell my Google Home in the morning to start the coffee and then hop in the shower.

I could schedule it to wake me with delicious coffee smells if I wanted, but I like the snooze button too much.

This is cheap and easy and will make good coffee.


Good Brewing!


Top 5 Dumbest Arguments

XKCD – Duty Calls

5. I can’t see the curve

For the past two thousand years scientists have been explaining that the earth is a spheroid. Ancient soldiers needed to keep the curve of the earth in mind when firing catapults, and trebuchets.

But for some reason, to this day, there are people who argue their inability to see the curve of the earth is proof that it must be flat.

We have footage from countless satellites, astronauts, space telescopes, and sports cars in space, but apparently that’s just a giant conspiracy.

4. The devil did it

Science isn’t flawless. History is only a good as the person who wrote it, those that can read it, and the medium it was recorded on. However, we have near certainty that the earth is old. Like really old. Somewhere around 4.5 billion years.

Certain people however think that an allegory can help date the earth and they believe that it’s 6000 years or less. Some believe that dinosaurs roamed the earth with humans two thousand years ago. Others, when asked about dinosaur bones, will reply that the devil put them there to test our faith.

3. Car exhaust is worse

If I’m standing close to a smoker, I start coughing and feeling like I’m going to be sick. We’ve known that cigarettes cause cancer and are bad for people’s health for more than fifty years. Yet smokers still walk around like they own the sidewalk or bus stop.

When smoking is banned, or talked about being banned, smokers start arguing about their rights and there’s always those that argue that you’re getting more harmful chemicals from car exhaust.

As if the fact that car exhaust is bad for us means smoking should be okay… I guess their view is if Rome is burning, they should be allowed to walk around with flame throwers.

2. Bad guys don’t follow laws

When it comes to weaponry, certain people believe that it’s inevitable that the “bad guys” with get their hands on them. No laws or restrictions cans stop that. They use this as an argument against those laws.

We have laws to not only deter, but also prevent. If this statement were true than the rate of drunk drivers wouldn’t go up if there were no laws.

Our laws should be a reflection of our taboos, beliefs, and values. In the case of weaponry, the laws should show that we value well-trained, responsible, and safe weapon users.

1. I’m not/wasn’t/wouldn’t be hurt/offended

I’ve been guilty of this myself, but it’s extremely important that when someone tells you that your actions or words have hurt or offended them that you listen to them.

Just because I wouldn’t be hurt or offended to be called frog, doesn’t mean that others wouldn’t.

If you value the friendship of those around you then you need to value their feelings too. It’s not your place to decide what people should feel or how they should react to something.


Are there any dumb arguments I missed?