The Average Girl's "How To" Guide

Advice on how to live a well-balanced lifestyle

Month: February, 2014

How To: Make Your Coffee Filter Fit Perfectly

by Rachel


This is it.

I’m not sure if I should be embarrassed because everyone knew this, or proud because if people are like me and don’t think they need to read the coffee filter box, I’ve just opened a lot of eyes. Thanks Melitta.

Melitta, Coffee Indulgence… I’ll Say!

How To: Feel Organized and Accomplished – Without Really Doing Anything

by Rachel

Make a list! I’ve made like 5 today and feel sooooo good.

Keep Calm and Make a List

How To: Almost Cry On The Streetcar

by Shannon

You’re all comfy cozy on the TTC, and just opening your Kobo when you see that you forgot to renew your Game of Thrones book from the library. Now you have nothing to read, and you have to wait until you get home and check-it out again to find out what happened to Jon Snow.

A smart girl always renews her books

How To: Make A Fancy Snack

by Shannon

I used to work in Public Relations, and one of my clients was Loblaws. I loved working for those guys, and one of the best perks was a holiday “gift” they gave us, where we attended a class at their Maple Leaf Gardens locations and learned to make some kick-ass food with Chef Maria.

We made a few dishes, but the one that really stuck with me was easy, delicious, and pretty damn fancy. Here’s the gist:


  • Sliced Baguette
  • Black Label Cherry Shiraz Jam
  • Sliced Granny Smith Apples
  • Old Cheddar Cheese
  • Maple Syrup
  • Oil

First, spread some oil lightly over your slices of baguette, and throw them in the oven until they just start to get crispy. I’m not going to tell you for how long, or at what temperature, it’s not rocket science. (It’s probably around 350 degrees and for 6 minutes, for those of you who freak out and follow recipes to the T. COUGH my husband.)

Take them out, and spread each slice with a bit of the jam. You could probably use any jam for this, but the Black Label really makes a difference. Then, place your thinly sliced apples on top, add some cheese, and very lightly drizzle the maple sizzurp over everything. Put back in the oven until the cheese is melted to your pleasure.

Eat, and enjoy. Perfect for fancy parties, impressing your boyfriend’s parents, or just to you know, treat yo’self.


How To: Get Excited For Work

by Shannon

Pack an excellent lunch.

I can hardly sleep the night before!

Ask not what you can do for mankind, but what’s for lunch

What’s Yo’ Beef #26

by Rachel


I work in a clinic with a receptionist and people have to make appointments to see me. Very often people don’t show up for their appointments. This in itself is annoying (unless it’s the last client and I get to go home early), but what is enraging is when they try to blame it on us. “Oh, nobody called or emailed to remind me…” How old are you? 40? 50? Old enough, I’m sure, to take care of yourself. Our receptionists have 30-40 appointments to be aware of in a day and you can’t keep track of ONE?! Furthermore, with today’s phone technology, calendars and alerts that can be set, do we really need to be making phone calls to remind you about your appointment? Forget today’s technology, how about an AGENDA?!?! You forgot, I get that, but don’t try and blame others for it.


I donated blood last night, which has left me feeling pretty good. It was even pizza day, which I didn’t even know was a thing! The nurses were great, they raved about my iron intake (thank you, Vitamins), they even asked me for platelets because my blood type is so in demand (what up!).

All in all, it was a great time. Free food, free juice, I can read my Kobo while I’m donating, and yeah, it makes me feel like a good person. So today, I have two beefs. The first is people who don’t donate, but can. These are the people who aren’t afraid of needles, aren’t pregnant, or haven’t travelled lately, or whatever. The people who just don’t think of it, or who are too lazy. Now, I get it – it’s kind of inconvenient to go do it, and book the appointment, and keep it (though they call and remind you a lot. Rach, you’d love it!) But man, it’s so important to do. Think about if you or someone you knew needed blood, and they just didn’t get because people were too lazy to donate.

Second Beef – not letting gay people give blood. Now, I don’t know all the reasons why they don’t let gay people do it, and I’m not going to get political about it all, because I don’t know nearly enough about it. I’m just gonna say, the more donors, the better, right?

Also, the more donairs, the better.

How To: Play Canada Kings

by Rachel

Kings can sometimes get REALLY boring if you play the same old rules every time, so change the rules to fit with the theme of your party (because who has a party without a theme?)! We put up our Holiday Kings game, and now our Canada Kings game.

A: ‘Eh-ce’! Everybody cheers Eh!
2: Beaver eyes! Like snake eyes but beavers! When someone chooses a 2 DO NOT MAKE EYE CONTACT! Or you will have to drink.
3: Penny Hockey! If you can find a penny, make a small goal a few inches apart and shoot the penny with your finger. If it goes in give a drink, if it doesn’t, you drink.
4: Rob ‘Fourd’ impression! Do your best, and that’s all you have to do.
5: Canadians drink! Usually that’s everyone, but not always.
6: Say sorry 10 times fast… Its harder than you think! Then take a drink.
7: Point to the North. The last person to point takes a drink.
8: Nice Rack! This is a specialty rule. We had a set of deer antlers, and 8 pointer, so if you picked 8, you had to wear the antlers (we attached them to a headband), but you get to give one drink for every point on the antlers.
9: Categories! Only Canadian topics… Bands/musicians, water bodies, capital cities etc.
10: Heads or Tails? If you get this card you can either take a drink and move along to the next person OR make a bet. Flip a Looney, call heads or tails, and if you are right give 10 drinks, wrong, take ten drinks. Be responsible with this one.
J: Phonemaster! In honour of Alexander Graham Bell who invented the phone, its like thumb master but you do the ‘call me’ action instead.
Q: “I’m the Queen of England”. You must say this in Queen like voice while waving. That’s it.
K: Prime Minister! Just a Canadian name for question master. If you ask someone a question and they answer, they drink! Try to ask sneaky questions when people aren’t expecting it, like “do I have something in my teeth?”. This is my favourite rule.

Always remember, these are fun games but drink responsibly!

How To: Throw a Nation Themed Party – Canada Edition

by Rachel

We had our third nation themed party this weekend, and it never fails to be great! In honour of the Olympics we chose our home and native land, CANADA! We ate, drank, listened, decorated all things Canada.

Canada is known for their beer, rye, whiskey, and Caesars… So that’s what we drank! Courtesy of Shannon we had Moosehead and Cracked Canoe. Moosehead Brewery is Canada’s oldest independent brewery! We had some creative guests who brought strawberry jello shots with whip cream: red and white!

So many options here. Anything with bacon and maple syrup is game. 77% of the world’s maple syrup is made in Quebec. Poutine is another great Canadian dish. Ketchup chips are a Canadian thing and of COURSE Timbits. If you are really ambitious, you can make maple bacon cupcakes, don’t skimp on the bacon! They are delicious. And if you have any game meat lying around that’s good too.

Our main Canadian activity was air hockey and Canada Kings, but you’ll have to tune in tomorrow to learn how to play.

Oh my goodness, so much fun! Since I have a LOT of time on my hands, moose, beaver, and goose paintings were made, OH Canada bunting flag, all things red and white and wintery. I don’t want to undecorate!

So so so many options. Canada is full of outstanding musicians. To name a few: The Guess Who, Joel Plaskett, Alanis Morrissette, BTO, Neil Young, Our Lady Peace, Arkells… I could keep going for awhile.

My favourite part! Canadian tuxedo, hockey jerseys, lumberjack outfits, fur, flannel, plaid, touques, Roots clothing, red, white… It was so fun dressing for this one!
I just want to have theme parties again and again!

With Glowing Hearts, We See Thee Rise, Our True North Strong and Free

How To: Start An Etsy Store

by Shannon

For once in my sorry blogging experience, this is an actual “how to.”

Starting an Etsy store – and if you’re not familiar with Etsy, stop reading this and just click the link already – is pretty easy.

I started my own store last night – Mulligan’s Curiosities – where I’m selling some vintage-y items I’ve picked up at garage sales, thrift stores, have had handed down to me. I basically have too much stuff for our 630 square foot condo, and am trying to make good use of them.

Quite rare!

Quite rare!

These busts are bigger than mine.

These busts are bigger than mine.

The site has a pretty easy walk-through of everything, which is nice. At no point did I need to Google further directions, you just follow the steps and go to town. Write your descriptions, upload your super hipster, white background, high contrast photos, add your pricing, and away you go.

I super hope my items sell, both because it’s fun to make money that I can then spend on other things, like Rachel and I’s trip to New York, or to be honest, more vintage finds, but also because I like doing other stuff. I’m forever starting projects (and occasionally finishing them) because I always like to have something on the go, and I have very little patience to wait and see if it’s actually an idea.

So basically, I’m just hoping this doesn’t somehow blow up in my face.

What’s Yo’ Beef #25

by Rachel


Sometimes, I wish we could do What’s Yo’ Beef everyday… I am backlogged with beefs right now! My beef this Friday is from last weekend… It all started Friday night when I took my wallet to go to dinner with my husband and friends. Naturally, I left my wallet in husbands truck when we went into the restaurant. HOWEVER, he planned to go fishing 2 hours from home the following morning, I planned to go visit Shannon in Toronto the following day and have a nice afternoon of a killer hip hop dance class and make some money massaging people: BUT I LEFT MY WALLET IN THE TRUCK! Luckily, he was just about to leave on his way back when I called, but I was not able to make it for the hip hop class, which brings me to my beef. Why, with today’s advanced technology, is it such a big deal to drive without that small piece of seemingly insignificant plastic? That’s all it is! Plastic! Why can’t I just tell the officer my name and birth date? They should be able to look it up without the card and know that I am a legitimate driver. COME ON technology… The odds of getting pulled over were low, I have been pulled over twice in my 12 years of driving, but Murphy’s law states “If Rachel drives knowing she doesn’t have her license, she will get pulled over”. Seriously, look it up.


Rachel’s beef is not only seriously legit, but also a good call to scientist’s everywhere, I think. It may possibly even rival my own invention of a hop-flavoured cologne.

My beef is with cardboard boxes today. I don’t know what it is, but lately I’ve been having a really hard time opening them. Did they change how they work? Is this just a crankity thing about getting older that I never knew of? Regardless, now, everytime I open a box of crackers or cereal or something, it looks like this:



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