Hi kind krafters! As we are heading toward our long Canadian Thanksgiving weekend to celebrate the harvest season and any other blessings that we have received this year, I hope you are all looking forward to a relaxing weekend. I am currently sitting in one of Acadia’s most beautiful buildings, listening to Dan Forrest’s “Requiem for the Living”, and enjoying overlooking a fountain in our university gardens. I can’t help but realize how lucky I am in my life to have all the opportunities and experience available to me. I think it would be very fitting to list a very small amount of things and people that I am thankful for in this week’s blog.
Family – I am constantly overwhelmed by my family and our constant support for each other. We are always messaging back and forth in our groupchat, driving to see each other, or calling to see how our days are going. Whenever I need help or a positive chat to brighten my day, I know I can call home and feel better right away.
Friends – I have always been surrounded by a large group of people that I can easily call friends and am so lucky to have had that ability. However, since going to university I have made a solid group of friends that I can always rely on and trust. While being at Acadia, I have been able to find people that I really connect with and have similar views as me. I am able to talk to my friends about anything and everything, and have in-depth conversations about subjects that mean a lot to us. I love my pals so much and I’m very thankful for them!
University/Acadia – Like most students I often doubt myself, which can often get turned into me doubting my institution. When I start to have these ideas creep into my head, it doesn’t take long for them to get kicked back out again. At Acadia (especially the School of Music) the profs really care about your success and are always offering any and all help to make sure that you are doing the best possible. Being at a smaller university allows me to have more one on one time with my amazingly talented teachers and fellow students and I am constantly shaping who I am as a person and a musician
Market - Every Saturday, I get to submerge myself in the loving community that is Wolfville. I love working and volunteering at the market, and getting to know more people from my small university town. I have now got a group of locals that expect me to remember their orders, and vendors that chat with me as we unload at 7am. I love the facilitators and how conscious they are with making people feel welcome no matter how long their stay in the town. I am so so so lucky to be able to get fresh produce that’s locally grown and at affordable prices for a student like myself. Going to the market every Saturday is definitely my favourite part of the week.
Canada – Having moved to Canada ten years ago, I have now spent half of my life in England and the other half here. I love Canada more and more everyday, especially living somewhere as beautiful as the valley. I have got to explore eight provinces since moving here, but I have to say that Nova Scotia is definitely the prettiest. No matter where you are in the province you’re never more than 67km from the coast! I love the ocean and the gorgeous fall colours that are covering the province.
Thanks for reading my blog this week everyone! I hope that you have a lovely weekend reflecting and relaxing!
Lots of love, Rhi xoxo
Hello kind krafters! I hope everything is great with everyone. Today I want to talk to you about a program here at Acadia that I volunteer with every Saturday for the last two years, that program is S.M.I.L.E!
“The Acadia S.M.I.L.E. (Sensory Motor Instructional Leadership Experience) Program is an innovative, academic-based, yet volunteer-driven program that provides persons with varying disabilities a unique physical activity experience in order to improve their total development as individuals.”
At S.M.I.L.E every week students volunteer and get matched with a buddy who could have a variety of disabilities and get to work on cognitive, motor and social skills. S.M.I.L.E has so many days offered for volunteering as they run Tuesday and Thursday morning as well as Friday night and Saturday morning. Having this one on one volunteer experience at S.M.I.L.E is the highlight of my week.
A typical day at S.M.I.L.E starts off by our buddies arriving at the athletic complex and we continue on by working on individual skills based on the participant including activities in the gym including trampolines, building blocks, matt activities and swings. Participants also love the music therapy room, walks around the track, skating and we finish off our days by heading to the pool for more activities.
An individual education plan is developed for each of our buddies that includes: “water orientation; physical fitness activities to improve strength, endurance and flexibility; and perceptual motor programs to enhance development of body awareness, spatial awareness, temporal awareness and sport skills”. All of this is done in such a safe fun way and it is most definitely Acadia Universities biggest volunteering experience and it is such an awesome program that I am proud to be apart of.
Having the opportunity to volunteer every week and be able to expand my leadership skills, teaching skills and having an opportunity to make someone feel special for a few hours on Saturday is sincerely the best feeling. I have learned so much from these participants and they help discover things in myself that I never knew existed. I am so lucky to have the opportunity to volunteer with S.M.I.L.E.
Working with children with disabilities is most definitely a passion of mine and I am so excited to continue with S.M.I.L.E and see where these volunteer experiences take me! All of the S.M.I.L.E participants are truly the best.
All photos are from the Acadia S.M.I.L.E website which you should all check out!
Talk soon kind krafters!
Hey kind krafters!
It has been over a month since I made my pledge through Parley to give up plastic bags for 30 days. There were a few times where I forgot to bring my bags, but then I either bought enough to hold without a bag, or I just bought a new reusable one to add to my collection! I honestly found it super easy to do, and I know that by refusing plastic bags in front of my friends, I have been able to make an influence on how they shop now too! I was never pushy or told anyone to use reusable bags, but by just sharing this action with them, I have heard that several friends are now also refusing to use plastic and will bring their own bags to the store. I have also found through this last month that reusable bags hold SO MUCH MORE than your regular plastic bag!!! AND they don’t rip like plastic bags do! So many bonuses to shopping sustainably.
Because the last month went so incredibly easily, I am now going to try to eliminate another plastic item from my life. I have been doing pretty well so far with this, but I want to take it to the next step. I have been taking mason jars and other reusable containers to the grocery stores and using them to stock up on pasta, rice, oats, and nuts. But I recently found out that if you ask the store clerks to put other items in your reusable containers instead of the plastic containers that they provide, they will do it! I feel awkward asking to do this but ya gotta be the change to see the change!
Now on to some exciting news!! On September 8th the Ocean Cleanup was launched and set off to clean the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. The founder and creator of the Ocean Cleanup is Boyan Slat, a 24 year old college dropout from the Netherlands. There are over 70 members of staff that come from many occupational backgrounds like engineers, researchers, scientists, and computational modelers who all work together to get of the plastic pollution in our oceans. Over 5 years of researching, engineering, and testing, they have raised over thirty-million dollars to build the machine that will hopefully save our oceans. Despite not having much press time about this incredibly important experiment taking place right now, he was recognized by the United Nations and was awarded a top environment award for his invention.
I am not going to try and explain how this cleanup works when there is a perfectly clear video to show you ten times better than I ever could. Basically, there are 3 main factors to the cleanup:
The Ocean Cleanup has also taken preventative measure to ensure the safety of sea life, the machine during any storms, and to make sure that other vessels know where they are at all times so that they are not disturbed during their work. There has been both negative and positive feedback for Boyan Slat’s ideas, but many are hopeful that it will work! To find out more information about his invention and the cleanup, visit this website - https://www.theoceancleanup.com.
Best wishes kind krafters!! I hope your eco-journeys are going well!!
Lots of love,
Hey kind krafters!
Things have been so so busy! As I spoke about in my last blog I am back in wolfville attending Acadia University Bachelor of Music Education. I thought I would tell you guys a little about what exactly I do here!
I am in my 3rd year here at Acadia and hope to become a music educator in my future. In my third year here I really get to focus in on the education side of things within my courses. I am taking a intro to high school education course, conducting, jazz education and more! It feels really good to be able to focus my academic energies into something I am super passionate about!
Along with course work I am also a Saxophone major! I take principal applied saxophone here with my wonderful instructor Tristan De Borba. We work on all things technique to performance. This year I will be performing my very first recital (yikes). I am in the process right now of choosing my repertoire for my recital which will be in March. Another awesome thing about having the opportunity to do a recital is that I will be splitting it with my fellow saxophone major and great friend Abby! Lots off work to be done but I am extremely looking forward to it!
I also play saxophone in the Acadia University Wind Ensemble lead by Dr. Hopkins. As well as being the Wind Ensemble assistant. I am super lucky to have the opportunity to have this position with the ensemble! The ensemble is one of the most established ensembles on campus and we play great music. Our first concert is Sunday October 21st at 3pm!
Aside from academics I am also part of the SAMS council here at Acadia School of music. SAMS is the Society of Acadia Music Students. The SAMS takes care of all things school of music events, fundraisers, and information from our faculty to the students. I am the Education Representative so my role is to communicate all education related events to the students. I really enjoy being on council and being involved with the music students at acadia.
Every Saturday I will be volunteering with Acadias SMILE program! SMILE stands for Sensory, Motor, Instructional, Leadership, Experience. SMILE is such an amazing program that uses the buddy system and offer opportunity to work with individuals with disabilities. It is one of my favorite things here at Acadia! I hope so speak more about SMILE in an upcoming blog :)
Myself and kind krafts other youth ambassador Rhian are also planning a open mic night for kind krafts here in Wolfville! This is an opportunity for music students to showcase talents, students to enjoy some live entertainment and most importantly to help with kind krafts most recent cause! We are both so excited for this and hope to see lots of faces!
SO thats what has been keeping me busy! Staying busy with volunteering and music are the best ways to keep busy (in my opinion)
Hey kind krafters,
Last weekend I made a last-minute decision to take a quick two-day camping trip before classes started to chill out and have some total relaxation time before starting my third year at Acadia. I forced my boyfriend, Ross, to come along and so on Monday we drove to Blomidon Provincial Park for a short vacation.
We arrived around 10am, bought some firewood, set up the tent, and then sat down with a nice book on our huge campsite. I am allergic to bug bites so after completely drowning myself in bug spray, I was ready to get in the camping zone. We read for about an hour and a bit before deciding it should be time to get a fire started and cook lunch. We had brought eggs, English muffins, and some yummy cheddar cheese from Cows to have breakfast sandwiches for lunch. Ross taught me how to stack the wood for the fire pit and the best way to get it started. The food cooked super quickly and so we soon started to chow down on lunch.
Then we relaxed some more and did some exploring of the campsite. We took in the view of the Fundy and then decided we should go and explore it ourselves. We went down to the beach and took a walk on the mud flats. My white vans got completely wrecked and we saw little areas of quick sand as we walked. Despite the steps to the beach having a “Danger! Use at own risk!” sign, there were plenty of folks down along the water. The tide was creeping in at an amazingly fast pace, so we didn’t stay for long. Once I tried to get the mud off of my feet we decided to grab an ice cream in Canning before heading back to the campsite. We stopped at i scream cool treats where I got a chocolate and vanilla soft serve, and Ross got a cone of Moon Mist. It was just what we needed to cool down in the hot afternoon heat!
We then went back to the site and chilled some more before making supper. It took us a while to start the fire as the weather had suddenly turned and fog was rolling through the trees at rocket speed. The bay that we had been able to see just five minutes ago was now completely gone and dark clouds were heading our way. The wind then decided to really kick in and our tent started to completely collapse under it as you can see in the picture below. With impending thunder storm warnings and high winds, we decided it might not be the best idea to try and stay the night in our small tent and packed up the car to head home.
Before leaving, we decided to have a quick snack on some s’mores – I’d never had them before!! We made use of the fire we had burning and ate too many treats to count. Once we were full, we hopped in the car and drove back to Wolfville.
Over the summer I had been working in an office every week and missed going away for a calm vacation where I could just enjoy the sun. Despite our trip being cut short by weather and us not being well enough equipped to handle it, I felt so much better by just having a day outside in the fresh air. It was a much needed day off where we were able to just lounge around before our lives got super intense with the start of the new school year. This trip definitely made me realize how little time I was allowing myself to have to just relax. I have made a promise to myself to give some time every couple weeks to do nothing and enjoy nature and my friend’s company. I hope that this has reminded you to be extra kind to yourself and to make sure you’re treating yourself well in this busy time of year that’s full of new changes.
Best wishes for September kind krafters!!
Hey kind krafters!
It's that time of year again! For me I am packing up all my belongings and headed back to the lovely town of Wolfville. Getting ready to go back to school can be stressful but here are some things that seem to help me stay on track!
Well kind krafters, back to school is stressful for everyone! I hope you all put your best foot forward and have the best school year yet!
Hey kind krafters!
With summer coming to a close, I know that I am becoming more and more stressed knowing all of the things I need to do before I head back to university. There are around two weeks for me to finish all of my errands and be completely ready for the first day of classes. Luckily, I love Wolfville and Acadia and can’t wait to head back. But for many people, the end of summer isn’t as exciting and can make people feel pretty gloomy. Because of this, I wanted to share some random acts of kindness that are easy to do for others and yourself!!
(Volunteering at the Wolfville Farmers’ Market)
11. Rake your neighbor’s lawn.
12. Hold the door open for people.
13. Leave extra money on your parking meter.
14. Help a friend when they’re feeling low.
15. Pay for the person’s coffee behind you.
16. Give flowers to a senior’s home.
17. Run a marathon for a good cause.
18. Volunteer at an animal shelter.
19. Plant a tree.
20. Thank your old teacher.
(My amazing Mum and Dad that I constantly annoy with calls throughout the school year)
21. Ask people if they need any help.
22. Bake treats or make coffee/tea for your garbage collectors.
23. Call your family members for a chat.
24. Send a surprise care package.
25. Ask for donations instead of birthday gifts.
26. Tell someone how much they mean to you.
27. Donate blood.
28. Collect canned goods to take to the food bank.
29. Shovel your neighbor’s driveway.
30. Thank someone for their hard work.
(The perfect flowers from The Flower Shop, Halifax to give an amazing friend/sister like Georgia)
We are constantly reminded by people to be kind to each other, but we all get so busy and bogged down that we often forget to give the extra minute a day to perform an act of kindness. As you can see, being kind doesn’t have to cost money or mean that you have to give something up. Kindness can be spread as easily as helping someone with their grocery bags, to donating thousands of dollars to a cause you feel passionate about. As cliché as this is, you never know what someone is going through. It could be as annoying as spilling your coffee down your new white shirt right before you get to work, or it could be as awful as losing a loved one. Your act of kindness, no matter what size, could help.
Listening is a very important act of kindness. If you listen with your heart, the person speaking will know. Listening is easy and costs nothing so give people your time. Everyone deserves to be heard and treated with respect. I recently saw a quote that says “Some talk to you in their free time. Some free their time to talk to you.”. Be the latter and always treat those around you with the love that you wish to be shown.
Hey kind krafters!!
We all know how hard it is to keep up with the business of everyday life and on top of that, try and keep ourselves healthy. Staying fit and staying with a well balanced diet feels impossible.
I will admit, I am certainly not perfect (just like everyone) when it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle but here are some tips that help me stay on track and feel happier and healthier!
I know it sounds obvious but, exercise can really make a difference in your everyday life. Trying out a local gym and getting into a simple workout routine is a small step to a much healthier life. The gym can seem super intimidating but trust me, the employees are there to help and make you feel confident! If you are confused on how or what to workout, look online, ask a gym employee or start the gym with a friend, it will make it much less intimidating and you will feel great!
If it's work, school or even if you are just at home, meal planning can really make a difference in your health! It makes you think about the food you will be eating and get you more confident with cooking as well! Something as simple as taking a lunch to work or school rather than eating out can make a huge difference!
Fresh air and nature is always the answer! One of my favorite things after a long day to de-stress as well as get some exercise is to take a walk to my favorite places, if it be my community or local beach. A walk and getting outside is great for your mental and physical health.
Yoga has so many benefits! While it can be so relaxing it also improves blood flow, increases your heart rate, helps you focus and boosts your immune system! Yoga is a super great way to improve your health and make you happier.
Eating from local food producers is always a great choice. It allows you to be able to support your community all while being able to eat non-processed and healthier options!
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is not all about eating and exercise, taking time to relax and refresh your mental health. Do something for you! Nap, hang out with friends, take a bath. Adding that self-care is huge to staying healthy at stressful times.
Come on, eat that ice cream. Everyone deserves a treat once and awhile! Do not deprive yourself from all the yummy things in life, its all about balance :)
Thanks kind krafters, Until we chat again!
Hey kind krafters!
I have had an awesome couple of weeks enjoying the hot weather and I hope you all have too! As much as this summer has been great for beach days and nights on the patio, I can’t help but think about why Canada has been hit with this unreal heatwave. I have always thought that by recycling, carpooling or walking when I’m able to, having reusable straws, etc. I was doing my part for the environment. But after doing extra research, I have found that there is SO much more I could be doing for our earth.
According to NASA’s website, there are some major signs of rapid climate change that we can’t chose to ignore anymore. Global temperature rise, warming oceans, shrinking ice sheets, glacial retreat, decreased snow cover, sea level rise, declining Arctic sea ice, extreme events, and ocean acidification are all large indicators of negative global change. Visit https://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/ for more information on all of the factors mentioned above. With this summer’s natural disasters such as flooding and mudslides in Japan, wildfires across California, as well as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions across the globe, I got to thinking of what more I can do to help our planet.
One of the most important issues right now is our oceans. Due to several human-made factors, scientists have predicted the loss of commercial fish and seafood species to happen by 2048 if we continue the way we are going. A study conducted by the United Nations has also shown that coral reefs could be gone in 30 years due to the heat stress caused by global warming. Since 2016, half of the coral in the Great Barrier Reef has died. That’s just two years of harm.
If you’re social media feeds are similar to mine, I’m sure you have seen several videos circulating of mass piles of garbage floating in our oceans. Recently a State of Emergency was declared in Santa Domingo due to waves upon waves of garbage lapping up along the shoreline. A little under a month ago, over 1000 tons of plastic and other debris had been removed from the hardest hit areas. Sadly, Santa Domingo isn’t the only place that is suffering from plastic in our oceans.
It’s easy to feel disheartened when reading about all of the current environmental issues in our world, but letting it get you down will get us nowhere. Take the information and change your actions because of what you now know! I am learning new ways to help the planet every day, and though my small changes may not seem as though they’re doing much, you never know how your actions can ripple out to affect the big picture. Here are some of the lifestyle changes I plan on making to help
1. Refuse plastic bags – There are plenty of reusable options to carry your items in. Take your own reusable bags, or if you go to the store and realize that you forgot a bag, buy one for an extra dollar! Instead of using plastic bags to put your produce in, use the brown paper bags (which are often placed by the mushrooms), or don’t bag them!
2. Don’t buy single-use cups and cutlery when you’re on the go – Instead of using wax-lined cups from Tims, bring your own mug or water bottle. If you know you go out to lunch once a week, bring some cutlery with you so that you don’t have to continue to throw out plastic knives and forks. Or slow down!! If you’re not in a rush, take the time to sit down and dine in which ends up not needing to use the plastic products!
3. Cooler washing cycles - Wash your clothes in cold water, and don’t machine dry! The majority of laundry detergents that are used today don’t need warm water to activate their cleaning solution and so cold water is the way to go. Roughly 75% of the energy that is used in a wash cycle comes from heating up the water! By switching to cold water washes, you won’t only be helping to save the planet, you’ll also be spending less money in your energy bill each month! After your cool wash, hang your clothes outside to dry or on a drying rack in the winter. This way they are less likely to shrink and will last longer.
4. DIVA CUP – For all you folks out there who have visits from Mother Nature herself, this is an amazing investment to make. I have heard nothing but good reviews about the Diva Cup and have been wanting to buy one for ages. To do your own research, visit www.divacup.com/eco-divas/ .
5. Switch up your cleaning habits - Instead of using cleaning wipes around your home that can’t be recycled, use old clothes that you might have thrown away, or other rags and towels that are lying around. I was recently looking through a blog that teaches you how to make your own cleaning liquids and reusable ways to store them, check it out - https://thetareshop.com/zero-waste-cleaning-tips-and-tricks/ .
6. Use your Garbage Goggles - Pick up one piece of garbage when you walk to work or your next class. Someone might see you and do the same thing and then we have a whole butterfly effect going!!! It’s not hard to do and takes no time at all to pick something up and throw it in the correct waste bin.
One last thing before I sign off! I dare you to join the #PARLEYAIR Challenge (http://www.parley.tv/oceanplastic/#parley-air-strategy-1). The challenge is very simple, all you have to do is pledge to ban one plastic item from your life. For me, I plan to stop using plastic bags. Parley is a “space where creators, thinkers, and leaders come together to raise awareness for the beauty and fragility of our oceans and collaborate on projects that can end their destruction”. They have several projects underway across our oceans and have partnered with several brands in the fashion industry to create sustainable clothing out of ocean plastic. Browse their website for interesting research, information about their projects, and to become a part of the movement!
Good luck with the challenge kind krafters!! And keep in mind our planet as you go through the day-to-day motions! <3
“We must treat the natural world differently, with respect, literally as if our lives depend on it. Because they do.”