Getting Hands-On with Hands-On Halifax

You probably don’t know this, but I’m a pretty handy gal. I’ve moved around a fair amount and thus refined my skills with an Allen key. (Really though, as long as you have a rubber mallet, an Allen key, and live near an Ikea, you can be a furniture assembly expert.)

I do know the basics about hanging curtains, installing shelves, and painting, but I have virtually no experience with more complicated power tools.

Enter Hands-On Halifax. Among some other, more advanced, workshops, they offer a standard Power Tools 101 class. They provide an opportunity to get hands-on with some equipment that, while useful, is generally expensive and intimidating — they aren’t the kind of tools that you pick up at the hardware store on a whim. When my friend Heather shared the workshop opportunity, I jumped at the chance. For only $50 for the afternoon, I left feeling like I was on my way to being the next Bob Vila!


I arrived early, just bouncing with excitement to start learning some skillz with the array of tools. Our instructor, Russell, started the class with a brief outline of the tools we planned to cover.


Russell was so patient and knowledgeable. He did a great job of reviewing all the basics of each tool before giving each student a turn to use it. Fortunately, our class was small with only 5 of us so my impatient side was appeased and there was plenty of time to get my hands dirty.


Look at me go! It was intimidating at first. I’m generally accident-prone so having something so dangerous and powerful was a bit scary. Fortunately, Russell provided very clear guidance as to how to hold the tool, how to move with it, where to stand to see clearly, etc. It was great.


Not to toot my own horn, but I basically made a perfect cut with the circular saw. NBD. (Just kidding. I was so excited that I kept this piece for a souvenir!)


The table saw is terrifying – even with all the safety measures in place. I’m thankful for the opportunity to try it but I’m not sure it’s going to be my go-to piece of equipment anytime soon.


I was most excited to try a scroll saw and so happy that Russell was open to accommodating the addition to the lesson plan. It ended up being my favourite tool and I am keen to learn more and practice with it again soon.


My first scroll saw heart! I’m super proud of it.

Overall, I left the class feeling super empowered to be able to take on some (small, for now) wood working endeavours. I’m itching to return to Hands-On soon to take advantage of their community times.  Plus, you know how I feel about community building.

On a feminist note, power tools and workshops are not traditionally associated with women but Hands-On does a great job of creating a space where all participants feel welcome, regardless of gender. So, be brave, gals! There’s space for you in the world of power tools!



A Period Piece

So, what does it REALLY feel like?

I love the momentum I see gaining in the movement to normalize periods. Of course they shouldn’t be taboo or mysterious – they’re a shared experience we all have as women! The one point that I, personally, would like to make is that, while they’re a regular occurrence for every gal, they are still a pretty big deal. I mean, not just in the sense that they’re an element of a working reproductive system which allows a female to actually grow a human being inside her body…but also in the sense that they can be heavy, and painful, and long!

After nearly two decades of experiencing completely terrible periods, I’m still finding myself trying to explain to the men in my life what cramps feel like, why I have moments of cold sweats, why spots just appeared in my vision, and why I spend entire nights trying various yoga poses to try to stretch through the pain.

Did you know that an average woman has 450 (!!!) periods in her lifetime?

That’s a lot of periods. That’s a LOT of pain.

Knowing how many more cycles I’ve got ahead of me, and wanting to stay informed, I jumped at the opportunity to do a post about a new line of menstrual products, Asana. (And CanCon bonus: Asana products were engineered by a female chemical and environmental engineer out of University of British Columbia!

As a gal with an atypically heavy flow, I often need a little extra protection guarantee. Especially on the first few nights of my cycle, having a good pad or liner helps me sleep soundly without worrying about inevitable leakage ruining my pyjamas or sheets.


Asana Biowave Advantage™ is antibacterial (designated by Health Canada Class 1) and helps assuage my leaky fears and also gains some great bonus points:

  • while being one of the thinnest on the market, Asana still offers the most absorbency, fastest rate of absorbency and best assurance of leak protection
  • Asana’s products use the technology of tourmaline and silver, which act to reduce menstrual discomfort, dispel odour, increase air circulation, balance the body’s pH and enhance metabolism

These factors go a long way with me when it comes to taking the edge off the period misery.

our blood2

I also love hearing about how others deal with their cycles and how they share their experiences with others. Click here to read my post on the Our Bodies Our Blood show that took place in Halifax.

So while I’m dragging my partner to period-inspired art shows and working away at explaining to my guy pals what it REALLY feels like, at least I can take comfort in the fact that there are so many women who’ve got my back on this one. Shared experiences FTW.




Fabulous Female Comedians

I love to laugh! Ha Ha Ha Ha (bonus points if you get the reference) and it’s been a while since I’ve thrown out some great Bechdel-passing recommendations. So, I thought it was time for a round up of some of the funniest women making me laugh these days.


Baroness von Sketch Show

This show is hands down my favourite comedy right now. It is SO FRIGGIN FUNNY. Not to mention, it’s a female cast! Carolyn Taylor, Meredith MacNeill, Aurora Browne and Jennifer Whalen crack me up time after time with their highly-relatable sketches that poke fun at the regular life happenings of a modern gal. Check out the Red Wine Ladies and don’t even try to tell me that you haven’t had a night like that with your girlfriends.

Watch full episodes on CBC.


Not Safe Podcast 

I first discovered Nikki Glaser on the podcast You Had to be There, which she co-hosted with the equally hilarious Sara Schaefer. While I’ve not seen the actual TV show Not Safe (I’m sadly without cable), I knew if this podcast had the same vibe as her previous YHTBT or even We Know Nothing (another she co-hosted), then this would be one to add to my list. Lucky for me, Nikki is as funny, sassy, and just a wee bit sardonic as ever on the Not Safe podcast. It’s also great to hear a funny show led by a woman with some accompanying banter by her hilarious side kicks Dan St. Germain (and sometimes Brian Frange). I should probably mention that it’s a sex podcast so it’s probably not for more conservative folks. That being said, most of the chatter is everything from dating to food to the comedy business and more.

Listen to all the episodes here. (Bonus: since it’s still pretty new, you can get caught up easily!)

Stand Up

Ali Wong – Baby Cobra

Ali Wong is a fierce and funny woman who delivers her special, Baby Cobra, while pregnant and rockin’ the high heels. And yeah, she even lets us know how we really blew it for women with the whole “feminism” game. We could have been at home eating snacks, guys!

Lucky for us, it’s available on Netflix Canada.



I love Twitter (follow me there!) so I’m going to give my top 3 for this category.

Aparna Nancherla

Cameron Esposito

Sara Schaefer


Maybe now we can finally put to rest the very obvious, much contested, completely inaccurate pile of bullcrap that women aren’t funny. As many of us have known all along, they are, in fact, the funniest.