Star Trek Cruise

Due to the success of the first Star Trek cruise last year, they are having two consecutive cruises this year!

Image from Star Trek the Cruise.
Image from Star Trek the Cruise.

If you act fast enough (before July 31), you don’t have to pay a deposit or payment until August 15th! The cheapest inside cabins are waitlist only at this time, but there are still some reasonably priced cabins left.

There is also a contest to win a free cabin!

Prices on the website do NOT include air, but how fortunate – you know how to contact a travel consultant! 😉

So if you’re looking for something to do in early January 2018, love Star Trek, and enjoy cruising, this trip is for you!


Are you interested in taking the Star Trek Cruise? You can contact me Jennifer Desmarais through AJ Travel. jenniferd@ajtravel.ca

Movie Park Germany

Nestled in Northwestern Germany is a major theme park that had not crossed my radar until recently, when they announced a new roller coaster based on Star Trek. Movie Park Germany‘s name speaks for itself.

Image taken from Moviepark Germany's main website.
Image taken from Movie Park Germany’s main website.

Of course I would notice Star Trek. Read more about the ride here.

There are lots of other rides based on other movies (I noticed Dora the Explorer, Ice Age, Indiana Jones, and Walking Dead, among others).

Based on reviews, this theme park would be good for people who like movies and thrill rides. Think Universal Studios, but with more rides.

Visiting Movie Park Germany would be a nice little add-on to your European vacation if you are already visiting Belgium, Netherlands, or Northern Germany (and that area).


Are you interested in travelling to Europe? You can contact me Jennifer Desmarais through AJ Travel. jenniferd@ajtravel.ca

Gates McFadden

We asked Gates McFadden (@gates_mcfadden) if she had ever had anyone tell her that they went into the medical field because of her portrayal of Dr Crusher. She said that there had been many stories like that, and that they were always the most precious to her.

She loved Keladry (of course!) and posed with the TARDIS for us!

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Blush: Nursing

Nursing vs breast feeding

You might think that these two terms are the same, and for myself, they are. However, there are people who do not identify as female, and using the term “breast feeding” might generate a feeling of dysphoria in them. So I am trying to use the term “nursing” universally.

Nursing vs formula

I chose to nurse Dragon, rather than to use formula. For multiple reasons, this was the best choice for us. On top of the doctors and nurses telling us that nursing was the only way to go (I felt bad for the woman in our baby classes who was choosing to formula feed. The nurse running the class was shaming her), it’s so much cheaper to nurse than to buy formula, and it’s much faster to feed the baby when nursing; shirt goes up, bra goes down, baby latches to the body.

While the woman in my class did choose to formula feed, there are many people who don’t get that choice and must use formula for a variety of reasons. No one should be shamed for their inability or choice when it comes to nursing.

The Beginning

Nursing was really confusing to start with, because I constantly felt like I was doing it wrong. Is she latching properly? Is she getting enough? How do I hold her? How can she breathe?

One of the major benefits of being at the Queensway-Carleton Hospital was that my nurse was someone that I’ve known since she was 3 years old. I felt very comfortable asking her for help. The QCH also has excellent lactation consultants. There are numerous places you can go to if you need additional resources as well, like ottawa.ca/prenatal, parentinginottawa.com, lllc.ca, breastfeedinginc.ca, ottawabreastfeeds.ca, and 311 during business hours to talk to a public health nurse. The QCH also offers nursing classes on certain days.

Fortunately, we figured things out fairly quickly, which I am grateful for, and my milk came in after about 48 hours, so Keladry didn’t lose much weight before she started gaining it again. There’s nothing like seeing the numbers on the scale drop to make you feel like you’re failing as a parent, and this happens right after birth.

Interesting things I discovered about nursing

There’s something called let-down that happens when the breasts fill with milk unexpectedly. (I say unexpectedly, because I am often surprised by it.) This happens after a certain amount of stimulation of the nipple. The amount of time required for this varies from person to person, and the amount of let-down varies as well. I’ve discovered that if I’m already full of milk, let-down causes some milk to escape, even if the baby is attached to the other side. I assume to see a problem here. I’ll come back to that.

Let-down can also happen if the baby hasn’t been fed in a while, if the baby cries, if another baby cries, if you think about the baby and are nowhere near the baby, etc.

So to get back to that problem. The problem of leaking. I find that I have this problem most often at night, because Keladry is a very good sleeper. If she has fed well enough before bedtime, she has slept 8 hours straight. Compare this to during the day, when I feed her every 4 hours or so. You can imagine that that extra 4 hours means that I am incredibly full. I’ve had several incidents of waking up with a soaking wet pyjama top.

Solution:

nursing-padssmall

Nursing pads! I commissioned these from Crafty What-Knots, and OMG they are the most comfortable things of life! The pad on the bottom left (the purple one) is showing the inside. It is a super soft material that I want to rub constantly, and it is incredibly absorbent. There is an inner layer that is extra absorbent. Then the backing…the awesome backing that is the reason you should get your nursing pads from Crafty What Knots; I told her that I loved all things geeky, and she found me Avengers, Star Wars, Star Trek, and Minion fabric!! The backing protects my clothing by locking the wet inside the pad.

I am so impressed by these pads – they’re big enough that my shifting around at night doesn’t move them (which was my problem before), and they’re exactly what I wanted. (She can do non-geeky fabrics, too, if that’s what you want.)


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

Reading Bites

Somehow I missed posting the pictures from Can-Con 2015! This is one of our absolute favourite conventions of the year, which is kinda obvious if you know that our due date coincides with their convention THIS year. (Sept 9-11) Seriously, go check them out and then buy a ticket. The writing community of Ottawa is incredible.

A red shirt, author Éric Desmarais (Follow him on Facebook, his blog, sign up for his newsletter through his website, and buy his book here) is about to get bitten by a vampire, author S. M. Carrière (Follow her on Facebook, her blog, sign up for her newsletter through her website, and buy her books here) and is pleading for the Doctor to help!

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BIG Coffee News!

Good News!

My wife and I, sat down and calculated how well we were doing with coffee.

We’ve sold a lot of coffee but until we sat and calculated cost vs profit there was no way of knowing if we were losing money.

After a little over a year and eight conventions we’re making more money then we’re spending on coffee. It’s not a lot more but enough to justify continuing.

So we will have coffee beans available for Ottawa Comic Con, Creative Ottawa Nerds Craft Fair, and possible Geek Market.

What’s Next?

There were two choices for the future. Either we continue the way we have or we expand production and try to streamline our process. We’ll be going with option two and expanding our production.

It’s a risk but hopefully, with your help, it’ll pay off.

What does that Mean?

It means selling more coffee and being smart about it.

Buying in bulk

This year we’ve been buying what we need for each convention and nothing more. However the more you buy of something the cheaper it becomes. This year has proven that there’s a demand for good flavoured coffee and I can stop worrying about ending up with useless supplies. (I hope)

Roaster

Currently it takes me, depending on the roast, 7-12 minutes per 100g bag of coffee. If you consider that on average we make roughly 25 bags that size and 40 smaller bags. That means it takes me roughly 5+ hours for a moderately sized con.

My hopes are to buy a roaster on Boxing Day. The roaster I want can roast 900g per batch and will take around 15-20 minutes per batch. It should also allow for a more even roast and a darker dark roast.

Core Flavours

I need your help.

I want to have a core amount of flavours that will always be available at a convention. I was thinking one of each kind of roast (Light, Medium, or Dark.

Please vote below on your favourite of each category and between that and demand I’ll decide on the core flavours.

Light

Favourite Ligth Roast

  • Coconut - Jack Coco'Oneill (44%, 7 Votes)
  • Butter Rum - Spiked Coffee (38%, 6 Votes)
  • Banana - Minion Coffee (19%, 3 Votes)

Total Voters: 16

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Medium

Favourite Medium Roast

  • Chocolate - Davroast (44%, 7 Votes)
  • Peanut Butter - Jabba the Peanut (38%, 6 Votes)
  • Raspberry - Red Pill (19%, 3 Votes)

Total Voters: 16

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Dark

Favourite Dark Roast

  • Cinnamon - Raktajino (100%, 15 Votes)
  • Key Line - Key Lime PI (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 15

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Future Ideas

Below are a series of options for possible future coffee products. Please vote.

Decaf

Would you buy decaf versions of our coffee?

  • No (60%, 9 Votes)
  • Maybe (27%, 4 Votes)
  • Yes even if a little more expensive (13%, 2 Votes)
  • Yes but ionly at the same price (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 15

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Grinder

Would you buy a grinder?

  • No (40%, 6 Votes)
  • Maybe (27%, 4 Votes)
  • Yes (Branded JenEric Gourmet Coffee) (20%, 3 Votes)
  • Yes (With Geeky themes) (13%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 15

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Unflavoured

Would you buy regular unflavoured coffee? (Still Geeky themed and Fair Trade / Organic)

  • Yes at the same price (36%, 5 Votes)
  • No (29%, 4 Votes)
  • Maybe (21%, 3 Votes)
  • Yes at a cheaper price only (14%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 14

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Now I’m going to go make myself a coffee. Thank you for all your help!

Éric