Posted in Health & Medicine, Own Story

The Plight of Internationally Educated Nurses in Canada

For most internationally educated nurses (IENs), Canada & United States are the top destinations for a nursing career in North America. With the high demand of health care and very favourable wages, it’s undeniably “too appealing”. Equipped with various skill sets and experiences, internationally educated nurses migrate to Canada as the country’s warmth and multicultural workforce invites each aspiring nurse to pursue their career and live the Canadian dream.

In 2013, according to Canada’s Regulated Nurses: A Look at Internationally Educated Nurses in Ontario and Canada publication, the top countries of internationally educated nurses in Ontario were from the US, UK, Poland, India, China and the Philippines. There was a significant decrease of  the growth in the supply of IENs in Ontario from 2009 to 2013. Additionally, in 2013 about 64.6% of internationally educated registered nurses (RNs) were employed at a hospital compared to Canadian educated nurses which was 63.4%. Moreover, internationally educated registered practical nurses (RPNs) who were employed at a hospital was 25.1% as opposed to Canadian educated nurses which was 43.5%.

Now, let’s go back to the part where there was a decline of IENs growth in Canada. The reason being was the assessment process became more expensive, lengthy and biased. The launch of the National Nursing Assessment Service (NNAS) added a fair amount of difficulty to IENs who were willing to reciprocate their international licenses to a Canadian nursing license and integrate into the workforce.  In fact, the proficiencies of these professionals are wasted instead of getting utilized as a work force asset in Canada. For those who are unfamiliar, NNAS is an assessment body that evaluates the equivalency of IENs’ education with that of the Canadian nursing degree. In short, they will tell you if your education is up to par or not. With a fee of $650 for the main application, IENs have to pay this amount upfront and fulfill the documentations needed for the assessment of their international nursing degree. Let me tell you, that’s just the beginning of never-ending fees. Along with this application comes a huge number of requirements such as English test, licensure verification and transcripts certification. UNDERSTANDABLE. They have to protect the public and that’s just fair.

What doesn’t sink in to me is for the price that the applicants have to pay, they’re not getting their money’s worth. What’s worse is the lengthy wait times. The application process came to a point when IENs have to wait 2-5 years of completion. RIDICULOUS! And after years of waiting, unfortunately, a few received an offensive evaluation such as, YOUR EDUCATION IS NON COMPARABLE OR SOMEWHAT COMPARABLE TO THAT OF THE CANADIAN EDUCATION, enough to crush one’s spirit trampled the years of professional experiences in highly acute areas and disregarded their almost perfect English test. By the time they receive their result, they have been stagnant for years from their practice waiting for a process that’s cocktailed with ineffectual arbitration.

I have met various IENs who have worked in ICUs and highly acute areas overseas who received a non-comparable result. Some of them have master’s degrees, numerous years of experiences and specialized skill sets. Surprising, isn’t it? The inconsistencies with the process to obtain a Canadian nursing license have to be terminated. I’m not complaining but it’s certainly a case of unfairness in plain sight and one has to speak up. I understand that the gaps for knowledge can be corrected by refresher programs  and they’re setting the bars high however, when does this systemic unfairness stop? Systemic unfairness or systemic racism? Internationally educated nurses are discriminated because English is not  their first language despite the fact that they have passed the NCLEX, met the requirements, have worked in highly acute areas and PASSED AN ENGLISH EXAM. What are we missing here?

I bumped into an open letter by the where it tackled some few interesting points. It says that regardless where we came from, we are all Canadian nurses and opening up about racism in nursing and healthcare must be addressed.  Systemic racism education is omitted in the nursing curriculum and workplaces. I agree. While cultural sensitivity is greatly emphasized, systemic racism among  health care staff and fellow nurses are not discussed. It is a touchy subject that most people fail to address and even refuse to acknowledge. It exists and it is real. So, how can we tell that each application from an IENs is not viewed by an adjudicator without discrimination and prejudice? There is no valid proof to this claim but there should be a better system of transparency and open communication between the applicant  and assessment bodies. Be more accessible, perhaps? After all, they’re not paying for cheap fees.

Additionally, I also understand that each province have standards of their own. I’m not saying to make it easier, MAKE IT FAIR. One does not realize that these IENs have a life to live. The emotional turmoil and stress of waiting for result is too much to fathom. This is unacceptable on all levels. Stop wasting their time. Stop making the application processes a money grab. Shorten the wait times. Establish a pathway so each case can be dealt with appropriately. Develop an effective system where applicants and nursing bodies can benefit from each other. We are in need of more nurses!

The questionable processes, amounts and timelines are the problems we have to solve as it strains the applicants financially and emotionally. To add, I don’t think anybody has questioned this because of possible repercussions. And I doubt change will happen soon because of extreme red tapes. It’s a life altering process for the applicant’s end and some lose their hope and confidence on what this country has to offer.

And as the pandemic continues to hit, the shortage of nurses is obvious. The health care system is overwhelmed with patient overflow and short staffing issues. This is the time to expedite applications. On the contrary, I still think that the standards have to be maintained to protect the public at all cost. After all, we’re all in this together. Or, are we really?

Posted in Deals, Technology

10 Black Friday Deals from Amazon That Are Less than $50

Looking for great deals this Black Friday? You’re absolutely in the right place! Since the pandemic has been straining our budget this year, I found these inexpensive deals that are less than $50 CAD that you will definitely splurge your $$$ on and you would definitely enjoy! What are you waiting for? Treat yourself and your loved ones and to your shopping cart now!

10. Fire 7 Tablet 16 GB

This tablet has 2x the storage and a faster quad-core processor. Enjoy your movies and internet browsing on the go for cheap! This device is designed for entertainment with an access to millions of eBooks, movies, TV, games, apps and songs. Streaming Netflix, Prime Video and Disney+ with a tiny price to pay. Click here to buy.

9. Blink Security Camera

For a budget of less than $30, this security camera comes with 1080 HD video, motion detection and night vision. See the inside or outside of your home with its infrared night vision. This wonderful camera can be connected to your smartphone and alerts you whenever motion is detected. The camera also includes a functionality to hear and speak through the Blink app. Perfect for individuals who have pets at home or just for the sake of peace of mind. Click here to buy.

8. Everlasting Lumbar Support Pillow

This support pillow is made with 100% memory foam. Get your back pain relief with a proper support and universal curved structure. This cushion can be placed anywhere along the back of a chair or seat for upper, mid or low back pain relief. It’s also hypoallergenic and with a 3D breathable mesh that’s machine washable. Start living pain free for under $50. Click here to buy.

7. Rigoglioso Air Purifier

This portable and compact air purifier can fit in any small room or spaces. The HEPA filters keep your indoor fresh and clean and releases no harmful substances as it filters. The one touch switch is equipped with a blue LED light which turns into sleep mode to dim light. It also powers off after 8 hours of continuous use. Ideal as a soft night light, this is perfect for everyone who has a small space! Click here to buy.

6. Kbaybo Aroma Diffuser

This inexpensive aroma diffuser is remote controlled and with 7 Colour LED Change ideal for your office, home, bedroom and living spaces. Come home to a relaxing aromatherapy that will relieve your stress. This diffuser is equipped with 4 timer options that creates a soothing environment. The water tank can be filled up to 550 ml and lasts 6-12 hours. With its adopted ultrasonic technology, it’s guaranteed to make you work and sleep quietly. Click here to buy.

5. WIFI Range Extender

Having problems with your WIFI connection at home? This wifi repeater eliminates dead spots in your home with weak wifi coverage. Admit it, nobody wants a slow wifi connection. It is easy to install and this extender enables you to expand your wifi connection and connect any wired device. It comes with Ethernet port for boosted speed and performance. Click here to buy.

4. Peyou Selfie Desktop Ring

Trying to record your vlogs, selfies and take the perfect photo? This selfie ring light comes with a tripod stand and flexible phone holder. It also has three lighting modes, white, yellow and warm yellow. The 360 degrees rotation angles enables you to choose the best angle for your photography and live streaming activities. It is USB powered and can be connected to any device. It comes with a bluetooth remote shutter which makes it possible to take photos as far as 30 feet. Compatible with Android and iOS, this device is perfect for photographers, vloggers or anybody who wants to take that perfect shot. Click here to buy.

3. Timovo Stylus Pen for iPad

If you don’t want to spend your money on an Apple Pencil, this stylus pen is for you. It’s equipped with palm rejection technology that ignore palm touches and write naturally on the screen. No pairing is needed as this piece of wonder can be written directly on the iPad or iPhone. It’s USB rechargeable and provides 20 hours of continuous use. It also comes with a bonus tip and sleeve. The upgraded tip can be screwed and installed securely without any tools, durable and will not scratch your screen. This is a great pencil at a fraction of the cost of the Apple Pencil. Click here to buy.

2. Coralov Galaxy Star Projector

Welcome to the newest generation of projectors! This projector has a variety of colours combined with dynamic night sky projection of different speeds, creating a relaxed, romantic, colourful starry skylight. It is remote controlled with a speaker and USB socket. You can select your favourite music via bluetooth or USB. The automated control timer will automatically shut off at a preset time. This projector is an ideal gift for family and children and may be suitable for various occasions or just an indoor decoration. Click here to buy.

  1. Fire TV Stick HD

Originally $59.99, this stick provides powerful streaming plus convenient TV controls in full HD. The audio clarity is enhanced by Dolby Atmos audio offering a home theater or surround sound with almost any speaker configuration. Its voice button enables to easily ask Alexa to find, launch and control content. The stick supports your favourite apps such as Netflix, Youtube, Prime Video and play music on Spotify. The compact design plugs directly into an HDMI port and can be tuck neatly behind your TV. It’s easy to install, plug into your HDTV, connect to the internet and enjoy! Click here to buy.

Tell me about all your purchases!

Posted in Technology

10 Affordable Amazon Gift Ideas You Will Surely Love

Bring these clever and inexpensive solutions to life’s everyday problems back to your friends and watch as as they revel in excitement with these useful and affordable products. Go ahead and add these items to your cart right now! Your family and friends will thank you — even your wallet.


This hip digital clock has a LED alarm is a must buy. It also has a mirror surface which can be used for makeup with 3 levels of dimming mode and brightness. Also a dual USB cord ports can be found on the side. It comes in white, black-blue and black-white. CLICK HERE TO SHOP.


If you’re an iphone user, this power bank has a built in lightning connector. It’s very compact and light. Works with iPOD and iPhone 6 and up. It comes in two colours, black and white. CLICK HERE TO SHOP.


Love your lattes? This milk frother has 4 different settings from hot to cold plus also has a steamed milk setting without any foam. CLICK HERE TO SHOP.


This portable and compact blender is USB rechargeable. You can also use the blender while charging. Make morning smoothies in the car, office or everywhere you go! It’s easy to clean and dishwasher safe. The bottom is also detachable so you can just grab and go. This product comes with a mini ice cube maker to accommodate the smaller blades. CLICK HERE TO SHOP.


Know anybody who always lose their keys? Where is your phone right now? This product is a compact key holder with smart technology. It holds up to 10 keys. Also comes with a Tile app to make your Keysmart Pro play a tune so you can find your keys faster. This smart key holder has a button to make your phone ring even on silent. It also includes a flashlight, bottle opener and loop piece for a key fob. CLICK HERE TO SHOP.


Keyboard on-the-go for your iPhone and tablet? This foldable pocket size keyboard has a bluetooth technology and works with iOS, Android and Windows. If you’re tired typing on your touchscreen, this gadget is for you! It comes with a free stand with 6 adjustable angles. The built in lithium battery can be used for 40 hours of continuous operation or 180 days on standby. CLICK HERE TO SHOP.


This massage gun comes with 5 different types of massage heads to target different muscle groups. The high torque brushless motor provides powerful, deep tissue stimulation and is also extra quiet. It has a multi output cooling system for longer lifespan. The massage gun comes with a zipper carrying storage case. It comes with a rechargeable battery and works over 5-7 hours. CLICK HERE TO SHOP.


Winter is coming and this portable hand warmer is ideal with the cold weather. Say goodbye to frozen fingers in seconds! It offers two sided source of heat for 8 hours on 3 levels of temperatures. Ideal for outdoors and camping, this gadget also provides muscle relaxation with body aches and pains. It’s durable, skid proof and shock proof. CLICK HERE TO SHOP.


Perfect for students and note takers, this smart pen record everything you write and hear so you’ll never miss a word. Replay meetings and lectures by tapping on your notes. Transfer notes to your Mac or Windows PC where you can review, organize or share your notes. CLICK HERE TO SHOP.


This affordable waterproof smart watch is touch screen with 3 levels of adjustable brightness. It includes a 24-hour continuous heart rate monitoring and track calories burned. It also analyzes your sleep quality. Connect to your fitness tracker with your phone and receive notifications from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and SMS. It alerts you when you receive a phone call or a text message.This smart watch supports iOS and Android. Charging takes up to 2.5 hours and lasts for 7 days with regular use and 35 hours on standby. CLICK HERE TO SHOP.

See anything you like?

Posted in Food & Drinks, Photography & Travel

13 Delicious Filipino Cuisines You Should Really Try (If You Haven’t)

Looking for Filipino dishes to try for the first time? Or are you trying to convince your non-Filipino friends to try Filipino cuisines? These are the 13 must try dishes that are all-time favourites!

Filipino cuisine is a fusion of cultures and influences that sets the tone in every occasion. I will have to give you a heads up that Filipino parties are not always that simple. It’s a combination of table filled with scrumptious dishes and endless merrymaking. Don’t be shocked when you’re constantly told to eat more as you finish your first plate and be asked to come to the table and get some more. That’s just how Filipino hospitality is. The host will even ask you to take home some of leftovers.

So what do we know about Filipino cuisines? The Philippine archipelago with more than 7,000 islands is rich with ethnolinguistic groups and tribes influences including Ilocano, Pangasinan, Kapampangan, Tagalog, Bicolano, Visayan (Cebuano, Hiligaynon and Waray) and more. Additionally, the waves of influence from Spanish, Malaysian, Indonesian, Chinese and American style of cooking make Filipino food a melting pot of delicious tangy, salty, sweet and spicy flavours! With the abundance of seafood, tropical fruits, traditional cooking techniques and rich history, Filipino cuisine is a mish-mash of local, regional and ethnic influences that will surely satisfy your palate and a culinary experience like no other.

So, if you’re unfamiliar about Filipino cuisines but an adventurous food fanatic, you should try these delicious dishes! Let me remind you that these dishes come with boiled white rice which is a staple food for Filipinos. Are you ready for this?


Pinakbet or Pak-bet originated from the northern regions of the Philippines. This dish is a colourful medley of bitter melon, tomatoes, okra, string beans, squash and more. This classic vegetable stew is accentuated with bagoong or fermented fish with a side of grilled meat or fried fish. Again, don’t forget the rice! Click here for the recipe.


Ever tried beef shank with it’s bone marrow still inside? Bulalo is native to Philippines’ southern parts. This mouth watering soup includes leafy vegetables such as cabbage or pechay (similar to bok-choi), corn on the cob, onions, garlic and potatoes. Some add taro or carrots as well. It is commonly eaten on rice with soy sauce with calamansi (citrus fruit native to the Philippines). Click here for the recipe.


I don’t think when you mention a dish made from grilled parts of a pig head and chicken sounds appetizing. However, this dish called sisig is seasoned with calamansi, onions and chili peppers will definitely change your mind. This cuisine originated from Pampanga in the island of Luzon. The ingredients are boiled, broiled and grilled, which is tedious but brings out the flavours. Sisig is often served in a sizzling plate and topped with fresh egg, ox brains, pork cracklings and mayonnaise. So, bring out the beer, shall we? Click here for the recipe.


Noodles with shrimp gravy, anyone? Pancit palabok is a rice noodle dish with thick, yellow-orange sauce dressed up with shrimps, flakes of smoked fish, pork cracklings and layer upon layer of seafood flavour. This noodle dish is a variety that has a lot of Chinese influence that Filipinos commonly serve it birthday parties and special occasions as it represents long life and good health. It was also believed that when preparing this dish, the noodles should not be cut as it can bring about bad luck. Click here for the recipe.


Sinigang is a savoury and sour stew combined with chili, vegetables such as bok-choi, chili leaves, onions and tomatoes with meat, fish or seafood of your choice.. If you wonder what makes this dish acidic, cooks often use tamarind. This dish provides you the comfort you need on a rainy day. Some also use unripe mangoes, calamansi, guava to give it that sour flavour. Get your 3 cups of rice ready because this is a dish you can’t resist! Click here for the recipe.


Lechon (le-chon) is a Spanish word referring to a roasted baby piglet. It is also a popular food in Spain, Cuba, Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic. With its Spanish influence, Filipinos have acquired this tradition and every occasion showcases lechon as their main dish. Lechon for Filipinos, is a symbol of merrymaking and lavishness. Lechon is prepared with stuffed herbs that includes scallions, bay leaves, black peppercorn, garlic, salt and lemongrass. Lechon is typically cooked over woodfire or charcoal until the skin becomes crispier for several hours. A version called lechong kawali is cooked with hot cooking oil in a frying pan. Click here for the recipe.


This noodle dish uses vermicelli (bihon) that is stir fried with various vegetables such as onion, garlic, cabbage, carrot, celery, beans and mixed with meat, shrimp with soya sauce. Just like the palabok, it symbolizes long life and good health and has since been a Filipino favourite in every function and occasion. Click here for the recipe.


Tinola is traditionally cooked soup with chicken, wedges of papaya or sayote, leaves of chili in broth flavoured with ginger, onions and fish sauce. The simplicity of this dish makes it so popular and a soup favourite. It was also existent during the Spanish period and was highlighted in Jose Rizal’s novel, Noli Me Tangere. This soup is so indulging and flavourful. Get your extra rice ready! Click here for the recipe.


Caldereta derived its name to the Spanish word caldera meaning cauldron. This delicious stew is a cooked with goat meat. Some variations use beef, chicken or pork. It has a lot of similarities to dishes such as afritada and mechado which uses tomatoes, potatoes, carrots bell peppers and liver paste. Some cooks add pineapply to accentuate the dish. This stew is usually served with rice and a crowd favourite. Click here for the recipe.


Another popular Philippine stew is kare-kare. This yummy stew is eaten with shrimp paste, spiced with chili and sprinkled with calamansi juice. Kare-kare is made from oxtail, pork hocks, calves feet, beef stew meat and tripe. The meat is often tenderized and mixed with vegetables such as eggplant, Chinese cabbage and green beans. Best part? This stew is complemented with a thick savoury, peanut sauce. Again, this stew is served with rice and is often cooked when there is a special occasion. Click here for the recipe.


Tapsilog (tap-si-log) is a breakfast trio of “tapa, sinangag at itlog” which means beef steak, garlic fried rice and egg. This all-time breakfast favourite is enjoyed with fresh tomatoes, cucumber slices and spicy dipping sauce. A generous portion of rice is needed for this sumptuous meal!Click here for the recipe.


Arroz caldo or aroskaldo (a-roz kal-do) is a porridge made from glutinous rice and chicken infused with ginger and roasted garlic garnished with scallions, chicharon (pork rinds), boiled egg andblack pepper. It is regarded as a comfort food in the Philippines and is a popular breakfast meal. Arroz caldo is a Spanish name originated from congee which was introduce by Chinese migrants. The recipe has evolved over the centuries to use Filipino ingredients that suit the local tastes. Ready for your second bowl? Click here for the recipe.


This fan favourite is indigenous to the Philippines. Because of the country’s tropical climate, Filipinos cooked or prepared their food using vinegar to keep it fresh. This popular cuisine involves meat, seafood, vegetables and marinated in soya sauce, vinegar, garlis, bay leaves and black peppercorns browned in oil and simmered in the marinade. It is Philippines’ unofficial national dish. More rice please? Click here for the recipe.

Disclaimer: Photo credits to owner.

Posted in Health & Medicine

The Ugly Truth About the COVID-19 Pandemic

As the pandemic hits and continue to take over everyone’s lives, we question every information that we read and watch on social media, newspaper or any news for that matter. Technology has its benefits but it can also lead to destruction when used inappropriately. While clicking each link on our devices became more of a second nature, the  pieces of information that appear before our eyes can be clouding our judgment or deviating us from the truth. 

Now, the health care workers are fatigued, burnt out and have reached the breaking point. Some may think that this is another conspiracy theory but it is not. Hospitals are overflowing with patients not because of COVID-19 but of sicker patients. Remember the lockdown when all surgeries and clinic appointments have to be stopped? Yes, those scheduled appointments have been stopped to accommodate an “expected” large influx of COVID-19 patients. The hospital beds were made clear. The first wave was an appetizer. And now we’re getting the first bite of our main course, as we speak.

After a few months of lockdown, the hospitals opened and began catering to patients’ delayed surgeries or treatments. From surgeries to appointments to clinic visits. In the mean time, the COVID-19 cases continue to rise. From reopening of gyms, restaurants and other business establishments, there was a huge price to pay, increasing number of COVID-19 cases. From health care workers to ordinary people, everyone was engulfed with fear, panic, confusion, misinformation and frustration.

Those who were submerged with fear may have their own medical  issues. They could be immunocompromised. On the other hand, another person might be fearful that their family members would contract the virus and may potentially lead to death. And then you have another one who fears the whole idea of having a pandemic. Who doesn’t? I bet most of us were not born before 1918 to witness the Spanish flu pandemic.  Moreover, health care workers who work in outbreak areas fearing about their health and contracting the virus, infecting their family members or significant others or giving it to their patients. From mask deficits to unsafe working conditions and staff shortages, it was rather a difficult time to work in the health care field. I’m not saying that it’s easier now, I would say it’s more challenging than before.

Kudos to all health care workers!

Panic, fear and anxiety create a tunnel vision.  And for some individuals, they lose their decision making skills and sound judgment. Some have the audacity to question the known facts of a profession that took years to be mastered, thanks to Dr. Google. A few don’t care and are just complacent in general. Some are irate and hostile towards health care staff and disregard warnings and suggestions to prevent the spread of the disease. Too much complacency and conspicuousness became acceptable. In fact, respect and tactfulness were nearly forgotten. Unfortunately, everyone is a doctor or a nurse now or an epidemiologist, insert sarcasm here.

The fear about this global pandemic is real, we get it. To live in such an era where the internet is a super highway of information, fake news and clickbaits, we are collectively vulnerable to internet vultures. A part of the population became defiant against the rules and norms. Our society has unquestionably changed and continuously changing. On a sore note, some of us are not willing to adapt to it and our behaviours are seriously affecting how this pandemic saga is going to play out. Here are the ugly truths about this pandemic that we may have to live with for a while, at least in Canada:

  • Online degrees and programs will continue to be the norm. 
  • Mandatory mask wearing, everywhere.
  • Zoom meetings in replacement of face-to-face meetings in various settings.
  • COVID-19 swab tests every now and then. Our poor noses will be so traumatized.
  • Buffets, clubbing and parties are a tale of the past.
  • More job losses and foreclosures.
  • Less doctors and nurses because of burn out.
  • Ubereats and SkipTheDishes continue to thrive.
  • You need to wash your hands with the sticky, sometimes sour-smelling hand sanitizer at the store.
  • Travelling to other countries is such a hassle.
  • People who argue about wearing masks and think everything about the pandemic is still a conspiracy. Worse, wearing masks causes oxygen deprivation. Okay, Karen!
  • Some still don’t wash their hands. 
  • Everyone will look at you weirdly when you cough or sneeze. 
  • Violence and upheaval continue to rise because of misinformation.
  • The vaccine has yet to be proven effective and ethical issues must be addressed before mass immunization.

And the list goes on and on. Despite the negativities, we should continue to look into our values and what’s important to us. Stop being self-centred or selfish. In this case, we will find a way to cope and thrive in this unprecedented era. It would be a story to tell to our grandchildren. Additionally, we must act maturely and responsibly so our society can go back to a place where the pandemic seems like it never happened. After all, we’re a history in the making and it’s up to us which road we’re going to take. A path to greatness or a path to destruction. Choose.

Sorry, just ranting. 🇨🇦

Posted in Food & Drinks

Top 10 Must Try Foodie Spots in Ottawa

Sometimes, you just have to indulge yourself with a delicious meal. After a busy work week, you finally can’t decide what to cook or what to eat. Quarantine has made us love our food more as it gives us comfort and a whole new level of happiness. So you’re home and you’re now wondering what to order. If you’re in Ottawa or visiting Ottawa, you must try these 10 spots that will fulfill your taste of heaven.

10. Pomelo Hat

From acai bowls, smoothie bowls to milk tea and boba, Pomelo Hat offers these mouth watering options made from real fruit. They also source their ingredients from local suppliers and are 100% vegan. Check out their menu. They offer curbside pickup and delivery on Ubereats, Doordash and

9. El Camino

If you’re looking for the best tacos in the city, you came to the right place. They also offer gluten-free food choices. Their nachos and guacamole are to die for. This restaurant was hailed as #2 Traveller’s Choice in 2020 for TripAdvisor, El Camino is a Mexican restaurant that everyone should check out! Are you ready to order yet? El Camino only offer takeouts at the moment and online ordering is available through this site, click here. Visit their Facebook page, click here and Instagram page.

8. Sugar Marmalade

Sugar Marmalade takes their dessert to another level. Origination from Hongkong, this fusion restaurant is something to watch out for! Their innovation for fusion desserts will capture your taste buds. Not only do they offer sumptuous desserts, they also offer scrumptious lunches and dinners! Check Sugar Marmalade Ottawa’s Facebook page. Don’t forget to follow their Instagram page! You may order from UberEats, SkiptheDishes and Doordash. What are you waiting for? Look at these selections!

7. Kanata Noodle House

Ready to feed your umami taste bud? You should order at Kanata Noodle House. This restaurant specializes in authentic Vietnamese cuisine. From stirfrys, spring rolls to pho, they offer an extensive menu with a large variety of noodle, rice and soup dishes from popular Vietnamese cuisine including selections in seafood, chicken, beef, and pork, well as vegetarian options. Are you drooling already? Check out their Facebook page. They just launched their online ordering system on their website for Carling location and Kanata location. What are you going to get?

6. Gyubee Japanese Grill

Craving for an all-you-can eat barbeque? Gyubee Japanese Grill is now in Ottawa! According to their website, their wide selection of quality and fresh ingredient offerings, they ensure that everyone can enjoy the generosity of the art of Japanese barbecue — all with a personal flair.​ They offer curbside pickup, takeout and delivery through Ubereats, SkiptheDishes and guess what, dine-in! You should definitely check them out on Facebook and Instagram!

5. Bite Burger House

Burgers like no other! Bite Burger House offers handcrafted burgers with locally-sourced ingredients. According to them. “The Bite experience features premium service in a comfortable setting, accented by a unique and ever-changing selection of craft beers, fine wines and specialty cocktails.

Owners Glen & Bettina have designed a high end twist on an old concept. This includes using local meats and cheeses and in house made sauces. Bite is based on bringing back basic comfort food with added flavor profiles while offering unique drinks. Visit their Facebook and Instagram.

They’re located at Byward Market and Orleans. Ready to order these mouth watering burgers?

4. Tomo Restaurant

Sushi cravings? Tomo creates a wide array of pan-Asian dishes using the finest ingredients. This restaurant offer weekly Japanese special cuisines with the freshest ingredients from east and west coast of Canada. You can order online through Ubereats and SkipTheDishes and reserve online at and Also you can visit their Facebook and Instagram page.

3. The Smoque Shack

Established in 2011, The Smoque Shack provides a menu drawing from the best of the best in the BBQ genre, such as Texas Brisket, North Carolina Pulled Pork, Tennessee BBQ Chicken, Jamaican Jerk, as well as smoked seafood, and unique and traditional sandwiches.

Visit their Facebook and Instagram page for a wide selection of yummyness! Only takeouts are available for now due to the pandemic but hey, it’s worth the drive!

2. Pirho Grill

This restaurant’s roots stemmed from Greece, and highlights meal time traditions. The founders grew up immersed in Greek traditions, and after travelling throughout Europe and Greece, they were inspired to build a restaurant that emphasizes togetherness, a time to tell stories, and to share love for one another.

With a variety of fresh, healthful and conscious true food, Pirho’s kitchen prepared meals has is a one of a kind experience. You deserve to enjoy those precious moments and connect with your loved ones, in real life, with true food with the freshest ingredients.

Online ordering is available through this link. They’re also open for walk-in and takeout orders. Curbside pickup is also available and delivery through Ubereats. With three locations in Ottawa. you can’t just get enough! Don’ forget to drop by on their Facebook page for Pirho Elgin, Pirho Kanata, and Pirho Barrhaven and plus their Instagram page.

Ready to order your first bowl?

  1. Sansotei Ramen

With two locations in Centretown and Merivale, this ramen is a must visit when craving for that authentic Japanese noodle soup. Simplicity and consistency with their menu makes Ottawans line up and wait in the cold just to have a taste of this delicious ramen. They only accept takeouts and UberEats deliveries at the moment because of the pandemic but I kid you not, it is well worth it! Visit their Facebook page and Instagram account!

So which one did you order?

Posted in Animal Lovers

Top 5 dog breeds you may want to have during the pandemic

Let’s face it. This pandemic has made us feel isolated and despite the stay-at-home quarantines and work-at-home trends, our little paw friends provide us comfort, love and affection that helps us get through this rather gloomy year. Let me start with a list of dog breeds that you may want to cuddle and care for. Get ready for some cuteness overload!

5. Cavapoo

The Cavapoo is a mixed breed dog — a cross between the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Poodle dog breeds. Outgoing, playful, and curious, these pups inherit some of the best traits from both of their parents.

Cavapoos go by several names, including Cavadoodle and Cavoodle. Despite their unfortunate status as a designer breed, you can find these mixed breed dogs in shelters and rescues, so remember to adopt! Don’t shop!

These adorable pups make amazing family pets, as they’re outgoing and adore attention. While they can work in smaller settings, they definitely thrive in a “pack” setting. If you want a loyal, playful dog who enjoys romping around with you or snuggling on the couch, the Cavapoo may be the dog for you!

4. Bichon Frise

The Bichon Frise is a cheerful, small dog breed with a love of mischief and a lot of love to give. With their black eyes and fluffy white coat, the Bichon looks almost like a child’s toy.

It doesn’t take long to realize that the Bichon can be your happiest and most enthusiastic companion. They’re super playful and intelligent, and even novice pet parents and apartment dwellers will get along great with these dogs. However, they do need plenty of playtime and activity, and they don’t care for being left home alone for long hours of the day. If you can give your dog lots of attention and love, you’ll get it back tenfold from an adoring Bichon.

3. Shetland Sheepdog

Canines of the Shetland Sheepdog dog breed stood guard for farmers in the Shetland Islands off the coast of Scotland, keeping hungry birds and sheep out of the farmer’s garden, and they served as herding dogs as well. Today they’re excellent family companions and superstars in dog sports.

Smart and eager to please, dogs of this breed take well to training. Even though they’re quite affectionate with just about everybody, they’re also very protective of their families. They’re sensitive and shouldn’t spend too many hours home alone without companionship. If you can keep your dog mentally and physically stimulated with tasks, training, and exercise, you’ll have a loving furry family member.

2. Shiba Inu

The Shiba Inu dog breed was originally bred to flush birds and small game, and was occasionally used to hunt wild boar. They’re one of Japan’s six native breeds: Akita (large), Kishu, Hokkaido, Kai, Shikoku (medium), and Shiba (small).

Even though these are purebred dogs, you may find them in the care of shelters or rescue groups. Remember to adopt! Don’t shop if you want to bring a dog home.

Shibas are known for their spirited personality, small upright ears, and cat-like agility. Today they serve primarily as companion dogs in Japan and the United States.

  1. Dachshund

Dachshunds are scent hound dogs bred to hunt badgers and other tunneling animals, rabbits, and foxes. Hunters even used packs of Dachshunds to trail wild boar. Today their versatility makes them excellent family companions, show dogs, and small-game hunters.

But don’t let this pup fool you. Dogs of this breed might be, as legendary literary critic and humorous journalist H. L. Mencken said, “half a dog high and a dog and a half long,” but this small, drop-eared dog is tough enough to take on a badger. In fact, that’s how they got their name (Dachs meaning badger; hund meaning dog).

However, you may know them by one of their many nicknames, including Wiener Dog, Sausage Dog, Doxie, and more. If you’re looking a little pooch who will keep you on your toes and shower you with love, this may be the breed for you.

So, which one are you going to adopt? 🙂

Posted in books

Top 5 books to get you through COVID-19 pandemic work-life

COVID-19. Pandemic. Social distancing. Fatalities. Outbreaks. Mandatory mask wearing. Lockdowns.

As the world continues to dramatically change and evolve into the unknown, it’s very important to look into taking care of ourselves. Remember, there’s always a silver lining to this. Even though much of the activities have been stopped during these unprecedented times, there is one activity that’s remained untouched by this pandemic, reading. Sometimes you just need a good book to drown your thoughts into and help you get through the stressful and dynamic work life. Although social media has been readily available at the tip of your fingertips, I recommend indulging yourself in a book that will get you through the stressful times. If you’re looking for suggestions, here are my top 5 list:

5. Happiness at Work by Srikumar Rao

This book talks about creating joy no matter what is going on around us. The rough economic and personal difficulties are everyday experiences. It may be difficult for you at this time, but hey, there’s no harm in trying, right?

Learn to create resilience and happiness no matter what’s going on in your life.”

2. You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life

This book tackles the fact that we all have an enormous potential. Self-sabotaging beliefs and behaviours should be changed to get what you want. This also emphasizes self-love, setting big goals to reach them and create a life that you totally love.

3. Anger: Wisdom for Cooling the Flames,” by Thich Nhat Hanh. 

This book focuses on mindfulness. It raises the awareness of “self” and how to manage your emotions. During these times when everything seems to be out of control, we become angry and frustrated. Being mindful solves our anger that tends to dominate us. This book will teach you how to channel your frustration and anger to mindfulness. With the unexpected difficulties and ever changing workplace dynamic, it’s easy to get your emotions at a peak of frustration. Learn to manage those emotions through this book!

2. You’ll Get Through This: Hope and Help for Your Turbulent Times,” by Max Lucado. 

Though these unprecedented and challenging times may bring a load of uncertainty and fear that feels too heavy to bear, God gives us this promise: You’ll get through this.

This book takes you back to the time when Joseph was sold to slavery and later on evolved into a much greater man. He faced difficult challenges, deceit and hardships. This thought provoking book encourages you that amidst through the storm, you’ll be resilient and end up in a place where you want to be. Definitely a good read.

  1. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good life by Mark Manson

We seldom hear about the counterintuitive approach but it works. We are living in a society with expectations and standards however at times, it doesn’t flow to the right direction. Mark Manson says. “Let’s be honest, shit is f**ked and we have to live with it.” The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k is his antidote to the coddling, let’s-all-feel-good mindset that has infected modern society and spoiled a generation, rewarding them with gold medals just for showing up.

We have our own flaws and learn not to sugarcoat it. The author presents a witty and humorous approach to convey that life is f*cked up, learn to live with it. Suck it up, buttercup and just carry on!

Posted in Photography & Travel

Top 10 Nature Spots in Ottawa and Surrounding Areas

Visiting the nation’s capital and its surrounding areas? These are my top 10 spots to visit when looking for places to unwind, chill and have a taste of Ottawa. While city life could be hectic at times, Ottawa living offers various options to explore and delve into a relaxing getaway. It could be a simple walk, bike ride, hike or picnic, these places have a lot to offer. Get your cameras ready when you visit these spots as it’s too beautiful and too instagrammable!

10. Mer Bleue Bog

Beautiful colours in Autumn

Mer Bleue provides a unique opportunity to see a northern boreal landscape located within minutes of a large city. This 7,700-year-old bog provides habitat for many species of regionally rare and significant plants, birds and other wildlife. It also supports plant and wildlife populations that are typical of northern boreal bogs.

Picturesque view

With more than 20 kilometres of trails, Mer Bleue offers plenty of opportunities for hiking, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

Wonderful boardwalk

You can take a self-guided tour along the Mer Bleue Bog Trail, a 1.2-kilometre interpretive boardwalk. Check out the Dewberry Trail as well. Photography and birding are also popular activities at Mer Bleue.

Discover the remarkable trees in this area.

Remarkable trees

9. Rideau Falls.

The twin falls mark the spot where the Rideau River flows into the Ottawa River. The 2.89-hectare park is the site of several commemorations, including the Mackenzie-Papineau Monument, the Commonwealth Air Force Memorial and the National Artillery Monument.

Raging waters

Confederation Boulevard landmark, Rideau Falls Park is located at 50 Sussex Drive, a short walk from Rideau Hall. In the 1800s, the site was an industrial area powered by the falls. Rideau Falls Park was developed after the Second World War, when the area was acquired by the federal government and cleared of industry.

Rideau Falls and Green Island

8. Princess Louise Falls

This waterfalls is located in Orleans and is a part of a river system that was buried underground to allow suburban home construction.

Princess Louise Falls

7. Eagle’s Nest, Madawaska, ON

Eagle’s Nest Lookout is a 2.7 kilometer heavily trafficked loop trail located near Greater Madawaska, Ontario, Canada that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Inukshuk on the trail, uniquely Canadian.

An easy 1.5 km hike along an old logging road that climbs gradually uphill, through the woods, leading to a spectacular lookout at the top of a 120 metre cliff. 

Trail to the Eagle’s Nest

Across the road, on your left, you will note the Eagle’s Nest trail sign marking the entrance to the trail. Follow the trail for about 20 minutes. Note the eagle’s head, painted signs in the trees above you on the right. As you pass a pond on your left, look for a large, colourful and informative sign, just off to your right. Follow the short trail up the hill to the right to the cliff site and enjoy the view.

Magnificent view from the top

6. Andrew Haydon Park

Andrew Haydon Park is a park on the Ottawa River that is managed by the City of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. It is situated on Carling Avenue at Holly Acres Road.

Migrating Canada geese, brants, ducks, and shorebirds stop over along the marshy edges of the river near the park. Resident Canada geese and mallards also inhabit the park’s two ponds.

The park was named after Andrew Haydon, former Reeve of Nepean.

Red and orange
Before sunset
Sunset at its finest
Just chillin’ here

5. Mississippi Mills, ON

Mississippi Mills is a town in eastern Ontario, Canada, in Lanark County on the Mississippi River. It is made up of the former Townships of Ramsay and Pakenham, as well as the Town of Almonte. It is partly located within Canada’s National Capital Region.

Mississippi River
Pakenham Bridge
Chillin on the Mississippi River

4. Petrie Island

The Petrie Islands group on the Ottawa River was formed by sand deposited at the close of the last ice age, about 12,000 years ago. The 2 km by 500 m area, from the foot of Champlain St. to Trim Rd in Orleans, has a total shoreline length, including all channels and bays, of about 12 km.

Some simply come to relax in a peaceful setting, often bringing a good book; photographers, painters and musicians visit, and many come down to view sunsets over the river. The picnic area has brought new popularity to the islands, and children love to play in the sand or explore the trails looking for turtles and other wildlife. While the area is busiest in summer, it is a local favourite for ice fishing in winter and offers quiet woods for cross-country skiing or snowshoeing.

Petrie Island
Relaxing waters

3. Rockcliffe Park

The Village of Rockcliffe Park is like no other, offering not just abundant green space and beautiful homes, each with their own intrinsic character, but also a very special sense of community. It offers excellent schools within walking distance and recreational activities to fit almost every taste and stage in life – from walking, cycling, swimming, tennis, rowing and sailing, skating, cross country skiing and snowshoeing to a variety of indoor activities scheduled at the community centre. And all this just minutes from shopping along Beechwood Avenue and downtown Ottawa.

Old Victorian house
Whitemarl Drive, Rockcliffe

2. Gatineau Park

Gatineau Park is the National Capital Region’s conservation park. The largest green space in the region, the Park occupies an area of more than 361 square kilometres, and is a place of rich and unique biodiversity. It is the second-most visited park in Canada, and a destination for outdoor enthusiasts to engage in recreational activities that respect the environment.

Gatineau Park’s vast territory is divided into several sectors, one of which is accessible from downtown Ottawa–Gatineau, and each of which feature various points of interest and historical places. Unlike other national parks, this park has several entry points, and some roads through it, leading to the northern and western sectors.

Gatineau Park Lookout
Lac Philippe Trail
Gatineau Lookout
  1. Major’s Hill Park

Between events, the park is a calm oasis in downtown Ottawa, and the perfect spot to take a break between visits to the ByWard Market and nearby museums and galleries.

This park features some of the best lookouts in Ottawa, offering stunning views of the Ottawa Locks on the Rideau Canal, the Ottawa River and the Parliament Buildings. Take a stroll through the park’s stately trees, over its rolling lawns and winding pathways, and learn about its history through a series of interpretation panels.

Major’s Hill Park is an exceptional site to see tulips blooming in the spring.

Overlooking the Parliament Hill
Major’s Hill Park during Tulip Festival
Parliament Hill
Posted in Own Story

COVID-19: The Unseen and the Unyielding

Chaos. Fear. Uncertainty, fueled by the unseen enemy, COVID-19. When is this going to end? Did the statistics go up? How much people have recovered? Worse, how many fatalities today? These are the questions that curb our mind everyday. Never have we ever checked the news this much before the COVID19 pandemic. The traffic in those websites must be explosive. It’s almost similar to the anticipation of vote counts during election, just the opposite.

Before the COVID19 pandemic, man was preoccupied about their own needs and interests. In fact, the influx of technology and information has taken over the world and our lives. Similarly, man has disregarded the basic values of humanity. In other words, respect, empathy and compassion were completely forgotten. Despite some government warnings and recommendations to stay home, news of large gatherings are still rampant, a cringe-worthy moment. Certainly, the pandemic highlighted the ugliness of the human behavior. By all means, man has no regard about others but themselves. We have become self-centered and selfish. We have seen the worst in mankind within a few months of 2020. Altruism and good character are dead. Indeed, we have to restart and emphasize what really matters to our children. We are building the next generation of self-obsessed, uncaring and obnoxious generation.

Months later, here we are. We are still facing the same problems as the government continue to find the cure and vaccine. America is in chaos. China continues to shrug its shoulders. The world is in the verge of collapsing despite the technological ad medical advances.

How did we get here? The virus has its prime consequences however, it is up to us to realize what’s vital. After all, our enemy is not COVID19 but ourselves.