I put out a Tweet yesterday that got some really positive feedback on the topic of undergraduate friendships, and their importance in knowledge creation. Since a couple people expressed that they wanted to write something on this topic as well I figured putting together a no-worries no-stress zine on the topic might be fun!

Shoot me your art, photography, and writing on the topic of the bonds you have with your friends with/as students, and how that influences the way you understand the world!

Some ideas include:

  • Who are your student-to-student friends? How were these bonds created?
  • What ways have your student-to-student relationships influenced your research interests? Vice-versa?
  • Where did you make your student-to-student friends? Why was this space/place important?
  • Why have your student-to-student friendships remained important over time?
  • How do you feel you’ve influenced your student-to-student friendships for the better? How can you be a better friend to the students around you?

But please feel free to twist and shape the topic in any way you see fit!

While the original Tweet called on undergraduate friendships specifically non-undergraduate students of all types are welcome to submit! I only ask that you please remember to specify what type of student you are!

If you are submitting writing (creative fiction/non-fiction, essays, unessays, paragraphs, friendship testimonials, poetry, etc):
– If the writing has been handwritten please scan the page and submit a high-quality image or .PDF.
– If the writing has been written using a computer please upload a high-quality .PDF, Google Drive file, or use the text submission box.

If you are submitting art (photography, traditional art, digital art, etc):
– Please upload a high-quality .PNG or .PDF (unless the quality is part of the art).
– If your submission is artistic assets of some type please upload a .PSD or .AI.

If you are submitting a page or spread:
– Please upload an .INDD.

Due to my own time constraints I ask that all submissions be in no later than Valentine’s Day 2018 (February 14th, 2018) February 21st, 2018! If you would like to submit but are unable to make that deadline let me know via Twitter (@mxmoireabh) and I’ll do my best to work with you! You’ll be notified when your pieces are accepted or not no later than February 18th, 2018. I encourage submitting multiple pieces(!), however due to space constraints not all pieces will necessarily be accepted and you’ll be informed of which pieces have been accepted and which have not.

I look forward to seeing everyone’s submissions!


#BuJo Level 10 Life

I love reading other’s bullet journal blogs, and I’m definitely inspired by the spreads others make and maintain in their bullet journals! One of the things that got me into bullet journalling (something I’ll talk more about in my end-of-January post!) is how creative the bullet journal system can be made.

With that in mind I spied both Boho Berry and Little Coffee Fox doing different things with their Level 10 Life spreads! I decided to follow moreso Little Coffee Fox’s design, but I really liked Boho Berry’s lists of goals and might do something like that for my follow-up spread! You’ll also notice that I added the category of “school,” as I feel my career goals and education goals are slightly different.

But enough description, on to the pictures!


I chose to use watercolours for my boxes because of the way that watercolours blend in and out of one another. While it might sound a bit hokey it’s really difficult for me to compartmentalize too much of my life, and I find that different aspects of my life will affect other aspects in ways I can never expect. I found this to be really informative though regardless, and I would definitely recommend anyone with a spare hour to try it out! I didn’t really have a concept of how dis/satisfied I was with different aspects of my life until I filled out my boxes and thus had a visual representation of what all has been going on for me lately. I’m not sure I’ll be redoing this anytime soon, but it’s definitely going to be a regular check-in for me moving forward!

All that said: have you tried laying out your Level 10 Life? Show me in the comments, or tag me on Twitter! I’d love to see how other people interpret this spread!

Aside: this was definitely an exercise in photography! I think I’ll definitely be investing in a lightbox sometime soon, because there really isn’t anywhere nice to take photos in my house!

Disclaimer: This posts contains affiliate link/s. I may earn a commission, at no additional cost to you, if you click upon or make a purchase through my affiliate link/s. Your purchase helps support my educational goals in addition to allowing me to keep providing you with cool blog posts on the regular!


10 Things You Might Not Know About Me

Heads up!

Although my blog has thus far been a class-work receptacle I’d like to begin branching out more and more into lifestyle blogging. This absolutely doesn’t mean the essays will stop, but rather that I’d like to try out some other content as well! While I’ve queued up a number of “Get to Know the Blogger” lists like this one, I’m also planning on posting my bullet journal spreads and note-taking methods! Studying is always more fun with friends, and I’d like to emulate that here!

me as a meme

As for the reasoning behind this change: as I mentioned in my Surprise! Pearls post making money in university while disabled has been difficult. In the last couple of years I’ve struggled with financial set back after financial set back, and in order to be able to continue schooling I need to have a stable source of income. While I’m working to build a freelance editing portfolio I’ve decided to go back to my roots and hustle the heck out of my life. This semester I’m taking courses part-time, and will thus hopefully leave me the room I need to get this blog moved in the direction and with the reach I need to be successful at this whole writing gig.

If you have any comments or suggestions shoot me a comment or let me know in a Tweet! Now on to the fun stuff!

  1. My favourite food is applesauce! I love it because it works as a condiment, a side dish, or a snack! Truly an all-in-one, ultra-versatile deal. Unfortunately because of my absolutely terrible memory I never get to eat it because I don’t ever go down the snack aisle at the store! A tragedy if I ever heard one.
  2. I always feel like I’m about to be late for SOMETHING, but I never know what! It’s like having a built-in Rememberall at all times!
  3. My minor is in English literary studies, and I’m so so so thankful for my literary education! I feel like I talk about my anthropology education all the time, and never enough about my other interests!
  4. My favourite colour is purple! That said, I never seem to buy purple things. I’d love to rectify this, but there are so many other colours I love that I don’t want to ignore either!
  5. Despite all my dog-related Tweets my favourite animals are actually turtles! That is, if I even have a favourite animal (all animals are good in their own ways)!
  6. I used to wear lolita! I fell out of the lifestyle when I began living my life more authentically with respect to my gender identity because I couldn’t parse for myself that type of hyper-feminine presentation with my non-binary-ness. I’ve since discovered this is an absolutely bullshit reason to quit doing anything you love, and I’d love to get back into it when I finish up my degree!
  7. I drink iced coffee and frozen drinks year-round despite living through snow every year because I always run super warm! What would be a fever for most people is pretty much par-for-the-course for me, so I have to cool down somehow!
  8. I can’t sleep if I don’t have at least two (read: 2) comforters folded upon themselves on my feet at night. Yes, even in the Summer! I’ve looked into weighted blankets before, but I’ve thus far found the cost prohibitive. I’d like to take up sewing now that I have a Craftsy Unlimited account, though, so if I ever get around to borrowing my sisfriend’s sewing machine I’ll definitely be trying to DIY my way through!
  9. My glasses don’t actually do anything! I had a mass last year in my left eye that ended up changing my prescription literally overnight, and I just haven’t had the money to replace my lenses yet! I tried going without glasses for a couple of days when it first happened, but my anxiety got the better of me when people started asking where they went so back on my face they’ve gone!
  10. I’m honestly a mostly open book, so thinking up this list has been super dang hard! I’ve kept to myself for most of my life, and in the last couple of years I’ve been making a conscious effort to begin working to talk about myself and my interests more and more. While I live with anxiety every day, working through small things (like openness!) has been invaluable for me in working to live comfortably with myself.

What are some things people might be surprised to learn about you? Let me know! I look forward to reading your comments here and on Twitter!

Disclaimer: This posts contains affiliate link/s. I may earn a commission, at no additional cost to you, if you click upon or make a purchase through my affiliate link/s. Your purchase helps support my educational goals in addition to allowing me to keep providing you with cool blog posts on the regular!

Surprise! Pearls with the Shucking Mama | #shuckyeah!

Making money while in university is tough. Making money while in university with disability? For me it’s been near-impossible. I’ve always known that freelancing is/would be the best fit for me in the long run, but when my mum and sisfriend approached me with an idea for a Facebook Live business I was still wary. Shucking oysters live? It honestly sounds ridiculous (maybe because it is!), but eventually I agreed to come in with them as a social media admin.

Let’s start with some introductions first!

Who are we?

Existential contemplation time (jk but kinda not).

My sisfriend, Deanna, is the Shucking Mama!

Deanna wearing a single pearl in a swirly heart pendant!

With 3 kids going on at home Deanna super enjoys the flexibility being her own boss affords her. She’s able to wear Elliott for the most part during shows, and Jordyn and Ryleigh have made guest appearances on the show when they’re not too busy playing! She also loves the community being built around our shows, and really enjoys seeing the same names pop up on her screens week to week!

My mum, Annette, is the Shucking Grandmama!

My mum wearing a single pearl in a cube pendant (also just generally lookin’ super cute with my dad)!

Mum especially appreciates the flexibility offered to her as well (see the theme forming?). Being able to pop on and off tasks as she has the opportunity is lovely, because it makes more time to hang out and play with the grandkids! With two kids already raised of her own being able to sit back and relax with her grandkids is one of her favourite things to do. She especially loves to see how excited people get over their pearls!

I’m the Ban Hammer!

Brieal (me!) wearing 4 pearls in a tube pendant!

Working for myself, with family, has been so rewarding. Even on days where I can’t seem to get any editing work I know that I can throw a message into our Shuck Squad group chat to renew my resolve for the coming Tuesday. Because I’m always responding to messages and comments in-show I’m so appreciative of the community that’s forming around our shows! That said: because we’re an entirely independent business the part that I’ve struggled with the most is getting people to really understand what exactly our business is all about!

So what do we do, exactly?

Short-form: Deanna shucks oysters over Facebook Live, and people get to keep the pearls!

Long-form: We work as a team to tailor a consistent experience of fun and community around the shucking of pearls over Facebook Live where people order lovely pearls and pearl cage jewelry!

One of the many unconventional projects that Deanna’s taken on for Surprise! Pearls.

We’re an entirely independent business which means that all of our planning, ordering, photographing, messaging, inventory-ing, sorting, shucking, etc is done by one of the three of us. While other people choose to go the MLM route through a larger company we wanted to be entirely our own bosses! While this has resulted in some extra work    (… A LOT of extra work) it’s been worth it for us because we can tailor our business to meet not only our needs but also the needs of our fanbase!

Because we’re a Facebook-only business all of our show preorders are done through Facebook messaging. This means that one of us needs to have our phone on us at all times in order to keep track of inventory! Although I work as the social media admin due to my school schedule the person who most often responds to messages and makes posts throughout the week is Deanna, while my responsibilities are primarily in-show. My mum, Annette, works hard to keep track of our inventory and book keeping, and works as Deanna’s assistant in-show! She makes sure that Deanna knows who gets their oyster opened next, and keeps track of shipping everyone’s orders! But all of that would be for nought if Deanna didn’t shuck oysters Live! Right now we have a weekly show every Tuesday at 7pm PST/8pm MST during which Deanna shucks individual and giant oysters to reveal the awesome pearls inside!

All that said: our positions are made up and the points don’t matter! We all work all of the positions based on our abilities and time available. Everyone has done everything at this point, regardless of if it’s their wheelhouse or not!

How do we get our awesome pearl colours?

A lot of the fun of our shows is that you never know what colour you’ll get until Deanna shucks the oyster. Every oyster contains a pearl, so the only risk is colour result! This also means that although there are jewelry options for pearls a lot of people end up collecting the pearls as-is.

A great example of just some of the colour options available!

A couple people on Facebook wanted to know more specifically about how our pearls get their colour as well! Our single pearls are beautiful Akoya pearls. This means that each cultured oyster is implanted with an irritant or two (a graft of mantle shell–otherwise known as the pearl nucleus), around which nacre forms evenly to create a fairly consistent round pearl. We also sometimes order oval shaped pearls as well! This method of culturing means that we’re able to get pearl colours which (perhaps obviously) don’t exist outside of this method.


We additionally have begun ordering cultured giant oysters! These huge oysters hold 20+ natural ivory/cream/white pearls! Because of the number of pearls being implanted and cultured at once we’ve stuck to the natural colours as the “rainbow” giant pearls are implanted with coloured plastics as opposed to mantle grafts. This results in a less resilient pearl, which doesn’t hold up to our high standards (yet! anyways).

Why does all this matter?

We LOVE being our own bosses, and are so looking forward to taking our business further! As people just starting out we’re striving to be as upfront about ourselves and our business practices as possible! We’re three people who have come together to work hard, and we hope that others are interested in said hard work!

The entire Surprise! Pearls team!

I hope this has cleared up some of the more common questions we get about our business! If you figure I’ve left something out please don’t hesitate to message us on Facebook!


Investing in a #SelfcareSunday 

We are our own best investments. Time for some self care!

On Thursday I was a panelist speaking on Linguistic Violence at Macewan University, and it got me thinking about self care. Too often I don’t take care of myself. With the hustle and bustle of school, freelancing, and Just Being sometimes I need a reminder to slow down!

So with all that in mind I made a short list of things I do/can do to practice self care for myself:

  • talking about it
  • reconnecting with community 
  • reaching out to people
  • doodling
  • painting
  • doing readings on-time
  • taking meds on-time
  • petting Sushi 
  • journaling 
  • meditating 
  • putting on pants
  • playing a videogame
  • having a bath
  • getting out of bed
  • listening to music
  • playing with putty
  • listening to audiodrama 
  • looking at family pics
  • writing
  • hugs
  • doing my hair
  • high fives 
  • looking at pictures of cute animals
  • smiling 
  • brushing my teeth
  • doing my brows
  • reading about cool shit
  • listening to podcasts 

What are some strategies you have to practice self care?