Monday, November 26, 2012

A Quick Word on Scholarships

I was recently informed by the Minister Responsible for the Status of Women that I am a recipient of a Training for Tomorrow Educational Award. 

This award program is "designed to encourage women to consider careers in math, science and technology. The program provides scholarships to eligible women who have been accepted to study math, science and/or technology at any of Manitoba's four eligible community colleges". 

I am not sure how well publicized this award program is and want to use this blog as a platform to encourage others to consider applying for these types of awards.

The Training for Tomorrow award is listed on the College website with a link to the provincial department granting the award. The application form is straightforward and there is no essay required.

I happened to drop my application off in person at the office listed on the form and took a few minutes to speak to the staff person at the front desk. 

She told me that several people are eliminated from consideration for the award for simply not following the instructions: submitting the application late, not submitting an original transcript, leaving a section of the form incomplete. That's so unfortunate and I'll admit that I left the office wondering if I had forgotten to complete a section of my own application.

I know that it is redundant of me to say this, but every little bit helps when you are a student and have to pay some pretty big bills for tuition and the technology required for our program. At the same time, we've been hearing from our instructors that there are some awards that go unclaimed or have too few applicants. 

One such award is the Jack Matheson Award for a student who participates in sports as well as writes about sports. Applications are due December 8, so get them in fast!

Award or scholarship applications take some time to complete, but it may turn out to be time well spent. 
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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Post From VIMWAC: A Review of Deer + Almond

This post was originally published on my food blog VIMWAC. To see the post, click here
Last Friday evening I had the chance to experience some really fine cuisine at Deer + Almond, a relatively new restaurant located in the Exchange District on Princess Street. The restaurant boasts high quality dishes made with fresh ingredients, all served at reasonable prices that range from $6-8 appetizers, to $10-30 entrees.
The waitress came to our table as soon as we had sat down and settled ourselves. She told us about the casual style of dining at Deer + Almond and recommended that we eat our meal tapas style since many of the dishes on the menu come in smaller portions that are great for sharing.
After we ordered our drinks she brought out a small bowl of popcorn and explained that everyday the kitchen makes a new flavour of popcorn as complimentary snacks for customers. Today the flavour was brown butter and honey, and it was a nice treat before our meal.
The first thing we ordered was a simple yet very delicious Avocado on Toast made with the focaccia the restaurant makes daily, topped with chucks of avocado, olive oil, lemon juice, and some freshly cracked pepper. Like I said, simple, yet very delicious.
We ordered the baked potato with melty cheese, sour cream, and green onions on top. 
We also ordered the Pumpkin Ravioli with parmesan cheese, greens, and mushrooms. I was really excited for this dish, and it was quite good, but I found the mushroom flavour to be a little overwhelming for me.
The Salmon served with pumpkin puree, cucumber, and various vegetables was well done.
Then we ate the Kale and Quinoa salad with mushrooms, snow peas, chickpeas, cucumber, radish, peppers, and quail eggs, served with a light vinaigrette dressing. This was a huge plate of food and it was well worth the $10 it cost. Perhaps with a little more dressing it would have been my favourite thing at the table that night.
The coconut creme brulee was by far my favourite dish of the evening. Rich, creamy, and with a distinct coconut flavour, this dessert wowed the entire table, until we realized how small the dish was. Unfortunately the bowl was only half a centimeter deep...perhaps less.
And then the Salted Caramel Peanut Butter Ice-Cream served atop a small brownie and chocolate mouse and topped with peanuts and salt was very good. I probably could have eaten an entire bowl of the mouse alone...or the caramel...or the ice cream. They were all so delicious and put together the flavours worked perfectly to create an outstanding dessert.
Overall the meal was done really well and our waitress was such a sweetheart the entire evening, giving us recommendations, checking on us frequently, and patiently waiting for me to take photos of all the dishes. I can definitely see myself going there again to eat, perhaps as an inexpensive way to celebrate finishing first semester of CreComm.

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Friday, November 16, 2012

Christmas Gift Ideas for Everyone

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As some of you may know, I've been the writer of a food blog called VIMWAC for a little over a year. Unfortunately the theme of my blog has been limited to items that are edible. That is why I feel so excited to be writing a post about Christmas gifts. I love the holidays and buying presents for my friends and family, so it's always such a joy to find the perfect gift that will make them happy.

Although Christmas is more than a month away, I've begun my shopping early thanks to the Internet. Today it's easy for me to browse the many pages and see what is being sold at different stores.

Here are some of my favourite items that I have found so far.

1. This retractable ping pong set with adjustable paddles from uncommongoods is my number 1 gift idea this Christmas. It's perfect for the person who has everything and can be given to any one between the ages of 6 and 66. It's also inexpensive, costing only 39.95.
Click here to see more about the product. 

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2. This "Brain Tin" from denada is my idea of an amazing gag gift that will bring lots of laughs to the whole family. With zombies becoming a popular character in today's movies and video games, I think it would fit well under any tree this season.
Click here to see more about the product. 

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3. I put this on the list because almost everyone I know who has an iPad (including myself) all want a keyboard to go along with their mobile device. The prices range from around $150-$50 depending on the features, where you buy them, and what promotions and deals the store might be offering. This one from Brookstone is $99 and looks really, really good.
Click here to learn more about this product. 

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4. This 4-in-1 ruler pen stole my heart as soon as I saw it. Some gifts can be played with for a while, but a gift like this can and should be used every day. It isn't cheap though, costing $38.50.
Click here to learn more about this product. 

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5. This iPad stand come in lime green and orange and boy is it ever cute! Nuff said.
Click here to learn more about this product. 

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6. At first you might think the item above is an iPhone, but look closer and you'll see it's actually a notepad! This is my idea of the perfect novelty gift that people will love. It's also just the right size to pop into a stocking, and it's less than $2.00.
Click here to learn more about this product. 

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7. This is a three section lasagna pan that was made for my family...and probably yours too. With everyone having their own food preferences, this pan makes baking lasagna less of a hassle and allows the chef to be creative. It's also reasonably priced at $37.50.
Click here to learn more about this product. 

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8. The bowl and plate duo from uncommongoods above is by far my favourite item on the list because in my mind it makes so much sense. Soup and salad have been a loving couple for a long time, it's only natural that a bowl and square plate would be a perfect match. The package come with two bowls and two plates and costs $30.00.
Click here to learn more about this product. 

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9. Mini popcorn maker. Cute, cool, and the dream gift of any movie lover. Cost is $68.77. 
Click here to learn more about this product.

10. And because I know you'll be looking to give away a home made gift, here's a really cool one I found. All the Harry Potter fans out there will die of happiness when they see a wand that looks like it came out of the movie (I almost did when I saw the photos). From the tutorial here, it looks pretty simple and is clearly not that expensive.
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Thursday, November 8, 2012

A Post From VIMWAC: Fresh "Meat" at Prairie Lights

This is a post that originally appeared on my food blog VIMWAC. To read it there, click here

Last Friday I went out to eat at Red River College's Prairie Lights with my mother and boyfriend. When we went, there was a new batch of students taking our orders and preparing our dishes, an experience I find almost as exciting as eating the meal itself. It's so much fun to ask them about their studies and get to know them as they work through the program over the year and take turns doing the different jobs at the restaurant.

I've blogged about the college's student run restaurant many times before, partly because for a long time I considered entering the Culinary Arts program before I discovered the Creative Communications program. If you'd like to read my posts on all the amazing food I have eaten at Prairie Lights (and boy, are there a lot), simply click here, here, and here.

As always, the lighting is very dark in the restaurant, so the photos are often a little dimmer and out of focus than usual as I try to increase the amount of light in the photos by playing with random settings on my camera. I'm sure with a professional camera (and perhaps a little knowledge of more advanced photography) my pictures could look better.

Hmmm, perhaps I should contact my friend Braiden from

So here are some photos of the meal that I had last Friday. Above is a photo of the Corn Puree with Ginger Lobster and Chili Oil.
Here is the Tandoori Tofu with Chickpeas, New Potatoes and Tamarind Sauce served with various vegetables.
And my favourite part of the evening, The Lavender Creme Caramel with Caramelized Oranges and Blackberry Ice Cream.

As always, if you would like to make a reservation to eat at Prairie Lights or would like to see the menus the students have created, click here; or if you'd like to learn more about the Culinary Arts program at Red River College, click here.
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Thursday, November 1, 2012

The New Summly App Simplifies

"This morning Summly was launched". 

That is an example of the simple and brief messages Summly specializes in. It is a new application focused on simplifying today's news. The app was first thought of by 15-year-old Nick D'Aloisio, and with the help of some experts in artificial intelligence and design, Summly is now a "fully-fledge mobile news app."

"I designed Summly because I felt that my generation wasn't consuming traditional news anymore," says D'Aloisio. "In designing for the mobile generation, I believe we've created an app that will benefit anyone who loves reading news on the go."

I downloaded Summly about ten minutes ago and already I can tell I'll be using it daily. It's easy to use, it's customizable, and it's a huge time-saver. This new app is perfect for me and my classmates because we are students in the Creative Communications program at Red River College. Not only are we pinched for time, we also receive plenty of surprise quizzes on current events every month.

Some interesting things to know about Summly are,
  • Ashton Kutcher, Yoko Ono, and Horizons Ventures are some of the investors backing it
  • D'Aloisio is British-Australian with a gorgeous accent
  • The app is FREE
For more information, read the news release here or watch the video above. 

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