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Destigmatizing Sexually Transmitted Infections

Between 1998 and 2015 (the most recent national data available), chlamydia — the most commonly reported STI in Canada — has risen from 39,372 to 116,499 annual cases among all ages and genders, and gonorrhea rates increased from 5,076 to 19,845 in the same time period. Infectious syphilis rates rose dramatically from 501 to 4,551 cases.

The American Sexual Health Association (ASHA) states that one in two sexually active persons will contract an STD by age 25 and more than half of all people will have an STD at some point in their lifetime.

More than two million cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis were reported in the United States in 2016, the highest number ever, according to the annual Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance Report released in 2017 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The majority of these new diagnoses (1.6 million) were cases of chlamydia. There were also 470,000 gonorrhea cases and almost 28,000 cases of primary and secondary syphilis – the most infectious stages of the disease. While all three of these STDs can be cured with antibiotics, if left undiagnosed and untreated, they can have serious health consequences, including infertility, life-threatening ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth in infants, and increased risk for HIV transmission.

And these are all infections that CAN be cured with antibiotics….

So what does this all mean?

It means that out of our group of homies, say there 5 of you, at least 1 of you have had an STI in the past or are currently dealing with one in the current…

This means your jokes about someone being “dirty” or a “whore” because they current have or have had an STI, is ridiculous and the very person you are gossiping with about STI’s may in fact have one, if you don’t.

Research released by Statistics Canada in the April 2016 issue of Health Reports, show that the Herpes infection was slightly higher in women than men — 16% versus 11%. The prevalence rose with age, from 6% in people aged 14 to 34 to 19% in people 35 and older.

Thats nearly 1 in 5 of Canadians over the age of 35!

As soon as you become sexually active, you should be getting tested for sexually transmitted infections AND cervical cancer.

Which leads me to my next statement

If you have an incurable infection, YOU MUST tell your current and future partners about it BEFORE you both consent to any sexual activity. It is your DUTY even if you are currently not contagious.

I have never understood those who spread rumours about their exes in regards to STIs , not only is it immature but it deserves congratulations…. for playing yourself.
You’re the one who has spent many intimate moments with this person, why make up stories to satisfy your own self gratification when the person you might be telling these fables to, may be going through treatments for whatever you are condemning as “gross”.

When I first started dating my husband, before we had even kissed, I informed him that one of my exes had HPV, explained that this ex neglected to inform me until a few months into our relationship and although I had never had an outbreak, and although I had the Gardasil Vaccine (I didn’t want it but had it for precautionary reasons) I felt he needed to know, he needed to make his own decision in regards to his own sexual health. This was the first open and honest conversation we had, which made our relationship blossom and started our relationship based on openness and authentic communication.

If you care about someone, you have the truthful conversation, sure at first it may feel a bit embarrassing or flustering but once it’s over and done with, you’ll be able to take comfort in the fact that you have created opportunity for honest authentic dialog. If your partner reacts in a fashion that is less than savoury, that is sign enough that you shouldn’t be with that person.

Allow them to make their own decisions based off of what truths you have to give.

Don’t be a shitty person.

Lazy Pineapple Banana Loaf

This loaf is one of my laziest thrown together recipes that turned out AMAZING and all I used was a blender (lol) no mess!!!!

Pineapple Banana Loaf


2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 pinch Sea salt

1 can diced pineapple

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon honey

2 large ripe bananas

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 extra large egg (or two small eggs)

Preheat oven to 350°F

Grease loaf pan

In a Blender*

Blend all wet ingredients (on dough setting) including 1/2 can of the pineapple pieces AND the full amount of liquid from that can. Set aside the rest of the pineapple pieces for later

Add all dry ingredients and blend until smooth.

Take mixer piece out of blender and add the rest of the pineapple pieces. Mix gently with a spatula.

Pour mixture into loaf pan.

Bake at 350°F for one hour or until golden brown at the top put a long toothpick in the loaf, make sure it comes out clean.

(If it does and it’s golden brown at the top, it’s ready!)

Let sit in pan for 15 mins. Remove from

Pan and set on cooling rack for another 15 mins.


A little WestCoast roadtrip

Mike and I went on a week road trip from Vancouver to San Francisco , something I’ve always wanted to do and decided to jump on the opportunity after falling ill for a few weeks ( that new strain of flu argghhh) and not being able to fly to New Zealand ( too long of a flight having a minor lung infection).

Below you can find a break down of where we stayed, the cost and a few things we  did ( other than walk around and check out dispensaries)

Our journey commenced in Vancouver our 24 hour stops were as follows
(We took the I-5 (highway) down and the 101 back ( coastal route ) )

PORTLAND, OREGON – 5.5 hour drive from Vancouver

REDDING, CALIFORNIA – 8 hour drive from Portland

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – 3 hour drive from Redding

ARCATA, CALIFORNIA – 5 hour drive from San Francisco

Drove from Arcata to Portland and stayed in Portland for the night
(7 hour drive)

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON – 2.75 hour drive from Portland

BACK HOME TO VANCOUVER – 2.5 hour drive from Seattle

Due to Mike’s bad back I was the official road trip driver and I actually loved it!
There was rain, crazy snow storms on the highway and lots of sunny breaks in the sky. The road conditions were pretty good considering the crazy weather. I would recommend to anyone driving to California from Vancouver (specifically San Francisco or Los Angeles) to bite the initial long distance in the butt and drive directly to Portland. This gets the trip going much faster, ensures you get the rest you need and, gives you time to explore Portland!

I pretty much expected Portland to be an over sized Gastown ( neighborhood in Vancouver that mostly consists brick roads, brick buildings, hipsters with beards and tons of craft beer)

OMG talk about dead on. LOL

We began our WestCoast mini road trip by stopping into Seattle to visit our friends at Herban Legends, then continued over to Portland for our first night away. We also stayed on the way back home for one night. I will be discussing both rounds on this one post.



For both trips we booked using Expedia as they had the best rates

Hotel 1:

Staypineapple at Hotel Rose
1 Night
1 King bed
Pet fee additional US$25
Parking fee additional US$25

This hotel was ADORABLE!! Included in the pet fee you get a dog bed, a dog toy, a plastic bowl for feeding and a couple bags of treats!
Hotel is located downtown just a little bit out of the center ( 8 min walk to the “excitement”)
Didn’t do too much during this stay as we arrived around 4pm and wanted to rest. After checking out the hotel happy hour we went for a night walk and grabbed some amazing snacks at Westside Grocery, owned and operated by this younger guy who gave us a ton of free candies 🙂 Thanks man

For happy hour we checked out the hotels bar “Bottle & Kitchen” situated in a bright lounge atmosphere. The happy hour menu was pretty decent! Lots of people, even locals were hanging out there which was a good sign. The service was fast and friendly. bottlenkitch


Return Hotel :

Hotel deLuxe
1 Night
1 King bed
Pet fee additional US$45
Valet fee additional US$35


LOVEDDDDD this hotel. They even had a luxury pet menu that offered services like pet acupuncture, pet massage, pet grooming etc etc ( like US$75-300 LOL yeah…no)
Hotel Bar “Driftwood Room” was MEH – expensive and extremely dark.

Continuing on our journey the next day we (I) drove from Portland to Redding California 8 hours. Since we did such a long haul without stopping we decided to stay the night!
There are literally no hotels around Redding, mostly motels/inns at the same price as  a decent hotel in a populated city.

Booked with HotelTonight
Best Western Plus Hilltop Inn
1 Night
2 Beds( no choice )
Pet fee additional US$20

Room was extremely clean. Next door there was a CR GIBBS (  American restaurant )
I gave in and had a steak. What the fuck?! It actually was delicious, served ( by my request) with a baked yam that they top with maple walnut butter ( a little too much, ask for it on the side)


San Francisco is only a three hour drive from Redding so obviously we zoomed on over to take use of the full day.


Booked using HotelTonight
Hotel Carlton
1 King bed
2 Nights
C$203/per night
Valet additional US$35

San Francisco is my home city and last summer Mike and I would go every month for a full weekend so we really just bopped around as weather wasn’t ideal, finally got to drive over the Golden Gate Bridge for my first time!

Keep note, although cannabis is now legal in California, many places still require that you have your medical licensing ( not an issue for me but was for Mike who wanted to just check out some spots) sfostreetart

We were considering biting the bullet and driving over to Palm Springs but another 8 hours of driving time ( 16 total to entire trip) did not seem appealing to me what so ever. So we turned around and took the coastal route home, staying in Arcata.

Booked with Expedia
Best Western Arcata Inn
1 Night
2 Beds ( no choice)
Pet fee additional US$20

Again very clean for an inn. NOTHING TO DO/EAT OR SEE after 4pm
There was a tiny mom and pop authentic Mexican Restaurant right across the street located in the mini mall – Valley Azteca Mexican Restaurant DELICIOUS AND CHEAP MARGARITAS

Onwards to our last stop, Seattle

Booked directly on SPG member site
Sherton Hotel
1 Night
1 King
Pets Free
Valet Parking additional US$35
I actually already love Seattle and want to make Seattle trips a more regular thing since a lot of hotels are dog friendly, weed is legal ( recreationally ) dope concerts are usually hosted there and the shopping (while staying downtown) is abundant. We had a chill night, checked into our room then went straight across the street to a games/arcade center called GameWorks.

It was wack there, I actually felt unsafe, we couldn’t relax and have fun there, even in a spot meant for children. I ended up tossing my winning tickets and calling it a night. Mike did win a powerpuff doll from the claw game which Pablo appreciated.

The next day we drove home!

This road trip really opened up my eyes to the poverty that is America. You can see (on every block) how much America does not care about the poor, the homeless, and the mentally ill. It was/is heartbreaking. This trip also made me realize that Motels/Inns are a perfectly fine option and you do not need all the extra bells and whistles for a good nights rest.

Please if you do end up going on a road trip, keep some bags ( plastic) in the seat behind you, fill them with your left over foods and your hotel freebies (the soaps,lotions,sewing kits) if you do not use them and HAND THEM OUT. When I was driving there was always someone begging on the side of Highway/cross connecting points ( highways turning into streets when entering towns) these people are grateful for anything and a little bit goes a long way.

*** I am the ultimate hotel bargain shopper and will not book until I am certain I have the cheapest price. If you are interested in any discounts- download the HOTELTONIGHT app – and use code RQUINN64 for $25 off your first booking!


Until next time, keep chasing those dreams.

Headed home, Initial thoughts

Overcoming the fear of the unknown.

It’s been 12 years since I’ve been home.

Procrastination? Lack of time? Nothing to visit? No reason to be there?

Just fear, it’s like when you hype up something for so long in your head, you keep building it up until you make yourself afraid of taking that initial chance. Kind of like losing your virginity.

The last time I was home, it wasn’t good. My mother was having an episode and at 16, I ended up having to greyhound to my aunts place in Santa Cruz, that day and that 6 hour bus ride was one I’ve tried to get out of my head for years.

So here I am today, happily married, planning for a future, making preparations for our future family. All the meanwhile theres this nagging anxiety in the back of my mind, knowing its my duty, with all the work I’ve done on myself throughout these years, mental growth, emotional growth and processes to drop my blame, victimization and learning to live with PTSD from my childhood. 

It was time for me to face my fears, my husband and I have been married for two years now, two years where my husband has not met my birth mother or my brother, hasn’t seen the city I was born in, the city who shaped the woman I am today.

Once from the bay, always from the bay.

It’s hard to explain the connection bay area folk have, but it’s a city that stays with you forever, the pride if from there, always engraved into your being.
I wanted to share this with Mike.
I’m looking at the trip like this, even if nothing comes from it, even if my mother is the same person (she is), even if I have to sit and act like nothing ever happened, act like my childhood was not in fact traumatizing, I will gain one thing from this trip. I will have closure from the fear I have built up over all these years, this is what I am most excited for. 

Lets see what the next 3 days have in store for me….


Adventures of the Quinn’s- NYC

Adventures of the Quinn's

New York City 

On a flight to Cancun, my phone alerted me that the pre-sale for Beyoncé’s formation tour was about to start and that 4 of her shows in Canada had already sold out…this pre-sale was for New York’s show at Citi Field stadium on the day of our anniversary. I quickly purchased the tickets (with approval from Mike haha) right before the airplane doors closed. Best decision we’ve made…

Travel dates June 7-10
Weather -Sunny with random rain showers (Heavy rain! Always bring a small umbrella)


Where we stayed 

Room Mate Grace Hotel 
125 W 45th St, New York, NY 10036, United States
Price  $240-700 cad/night

Perfect location for those who have never been to New York before. Central, only a few blocks away from Times Square.


  • Simple 
  • Large comfortable bed 
  • Shower fits two people 
  • Lighting is dark but sink/mirror lighting is perfect for makeup application 

    Service – Friendly, young and professional hotel staff  

Near hotel  – Times Square, 2 Starbucks, Shopping, Pubs ( Everything you need ) — Late-night convince store located down stairs ( grocery / hot food items available ) 


Where we ate  

Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House
1221 6th Ave, New York, NY 10036

*Go for the perfectly cooked steaks, you MUST order their signature drink “The VIP” which is Vodka that been infused with fresh pineapples on the rocks (You’re welcome)

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This place was so good, we went THREE times
5/5 for everything , perfectly cooked steaks, delicious sides, the bar staff remembered us every visit.

Bar 54
Hyatt Times Square 135 W 45th St New York, NY  10036

Located right next door to our hotel, at the Hyatt rooftop. Beautiful cocktails and view of Manhattan.

Make sure to try a sausage or cheese board there.
People watching – 3/5

Dos Caminos
1567 Broadway, New York, NY 10036, United States

Go for the happy hour specials and sit DOWNSTAIRS ( bar )

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People watching – 4/5
Definitely try the ‘Mexico City Street Corn’ (Elotes)

Would I go again?

Yes, I’ve been once before this and I’d do it many times over however New York is a place where I could go every 5 years and things would still be the same.

Check out this video I put together of our trip, including clips from the concert


Flying smart – Luggage tips

Get frustrated when traveling and something comes up in regards to your luggage?! Lost/delayed bags, having to pay for a checked bag and over weight fees are a huge annoyance for most travellers but in actuality these occurrences are just a risk/cost of being privileged enough to afford a plane ticket.

I’m not saying feel bad for being annoyed of these things, the frustration is fair. I’m just saying that theres always a rhyme and reason for when these things/why these things happen. Instead of being mad, I’ve made a list of common “tips and tricks” on how to save $$$ while traveling as well as how to avoid extra pesky charges.

Only travel with carry on luggage
– Obviously there are times where this is impossible but when you can, only travel with carry on luggage. Most airlines allow 1 piece of carry on luggage and a “personal item”(personal items include: purse, backpack, laptop bag, book bag, bag of food, camera)
Rules varie when it comes to carry on restrictions in regards to the weight of the bag/size BUT normally the weight is restricted to what YOU can lift over your head and store away safely or set at 10 kg (22 lb).
There’s a standard size of carry on suitcase that is usually the smallest of a set of three or , 22″ x 14″ x 9″(varying from 21″x 15 x 9″) inches (not expanded out, i.e. – that extra set of zippers that widens your bag) (domestic US/CAD restrictions)
Weights and sizing differ when flying internationally but the common limit is 7 kg (15lbs).

Distributing weight
– Go out and purchase one of those hand scales or use a at home scale. (I’ve found that most home scales are .5-2lbs lighter than airport/airline scales. This .5 variance can cost you a fee for being overweight so best to be on the lighter side.)

Leave at least 2 lbs in each bag you’re checking as you may have to still move items around or add last minute items in.

Weight limits are always per bag, so if you are traveling as a family or a party of two using only one bag, keep in mind your weight limit is exactly the same as everyone else. 

Did you know?! Over weight fees are a set price, so if you have to pay an overweight fee, you might as well fill that bag up until the new max weight is reached.

Choose the right bag
– You can save on excess baggage charges by investing in a lightweight suitcase. Lightweight suitecases range in weight of 1-3 kg (2-6 lbs) anything heavier than 3 kg is not lightweight. 
Note: Plastic tends to be heavier than fabric. Plastic can crack, fabric can rip/tear. Keep that in mind.

Colour COLOUR COLOURRRRR : Most bags are black. Choose a bag that reflects your personality and/or is easily identifiable, with designs or any other colour than black…

– Name tags!  Purchase a nice travel name tag and only put your Name and contact number ( you could also put your email address) I personally do not like having my address on my bag just incase it were to fall into the wrong hands, they would now know you are away and where your potentially empty home is. (far fetched but I’m a paranoid person) 1.600x600
– Extra identification : Incase your name tag falls off/you do not have one. You should pop a business card or a piece of paper with your name and contact information, INSIDE your bag, on top of your items. This will be an immediate indicator of who the bag potentially belongs to if discovered by an airline employee.


– TSA locks that you attach separately onto your zipper are not worth the $$. They can/will be cut off if need be and there are other ways of opening these type of bags without taking off the locks. If you are concerned about your baggage contents, make sure to buy a bag that has a built in system.

Extra Tips

– Try to travel with only travel sized tolietry (incase you’d like to give yourself the option to carry your bag on)
– Stick to limits/restrictions
– Ensure your medications are always on your person
– Do not put expensive/important items in your checked luggage
– Purchase extra travel insurance (baggage insurance) at the time of check in
– Jeans, boots, shoes, and coats are clothing items that tend to weigh more
– A kindle, Ipad or any type of Ebook is a great alternative to packing heavy books
– Travel sized liquids must fit into 1 small ziplock bag provided at your airports security check point
– Travel liquid limit is 100 ml/3 oz
– Do not pack scissors, knifes, cutlery in carry on luggage (this includes swiss army knifes)

Remember, travel smart, always hope for the best but plan for worst case scenario. You never know what obstacles the universe has in store for you on any given day but rest assured you’ve taken the appropriate steps to alleviate any un-needed stress. If you have any extra tips/tricks that work for you in regards to travel and your luggage, please share your advise/tips in the comments below!

Ramen Hunter-Danbo

Kitsilano Location: Sweet little hole in the wall I’ve been to many times. This time I finally took pictures.

I usually come here when I’m starving and in the neighbourhood. This day I ordered my usual which is ‘Classic Tonkotsu Ramen ‘Shio’’ – “A Shio (salt) version of our Classic
A pure and simple Tonkotsu soup broth and special Shio ramen-dare soup base rich with taste and body – a return to our Kyushu roots.” $9.95
+++ ‘C’ Set “Your choice of ramen with 3-pieces of pan-fried Yaki Gyoza and a soft drink or green tea.” Add $4.00

The thing I love about Danbo is that you get to customize your bowl by choosing:

– The firmness of the noodles
– The thickness of the soup
– The amount of lard
– The amount of spiciness
– Additional/Toppings $$

I always order: Firm, Strong thickness, Standard lard, A lot of spicy sauce
Add on: Egg

Pork: I always think their pork slices could be a little thicker here, but it is cooked perfectly. Could use a tiny bit more seasoning.

Soup: Flavour, and temperature is there. Could use a little bit more thickness because I did order strong thickness level, could have a lot used a bit more hot sauce. I might opt for getting a lot of lard next time to see if that makes a difference at all.

Noodles: Thin, cooked perfectly. I love the flavour of their noodles here.

Egg: I personally prefer when my eggs are kept whole, less of a chance of over cooking the yolk in the soup. Yolk could have been less cooked, egg seasoned/marinated well.

Gyoza: Little ones, I’m glad they are so you aren’t too full before soup. They are okay, I only really order them when I’m wanting a full meal.

7/10 Go, its worth it, cute little space, really great service. Not perfect but close runner up…

1833 W 4th Avenue
Vancouver, BC V6J 1M4

Ramen Hunter-Ramen Gojiro


Unlike when your mother says “If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all..”  I really have to say a few things…

It was a rainy day, around 3 pm. I had just completed working a 12 hour shift, my day was over. Tired, sore and ready for bed, what I wanted was something easy and comforting, what I got was overcooked, fatty and disappointment.

After walking into the restuarant and waiting awkwardly at the door of a resturant 1/3 full, the really sweet waitresses stopped talking and acknowledged me to seat myself and wait for them. All good, sat myself, got a menu 4 mins later ( menu is very small plus I knew what I had come in for to test out) Ordered 7 mins later, food came relatively quickly at 6 mins.

I was hungry…not that hungry, but the guy sitting across from me got the regular bowl which was topped with only two small nuggets of chicken, and I love fried chicken, Japanese or Popeyes, doesn’t matter.

I ordered ‘SPICY BAKAMORI KARATE’ — “More meat. More noodles. More toppings. More everything. If you’re hungry, we are glad you’re reading this.” Quote end quote.
Mod: No beansprouts. Rich broth, spicy. Added an egg and bamboo shoots.
They offered me a bib, I declined.

Slide show pretty much shows it all

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Chicken: Unevenly cooked, cut and battered. If the chicken were cut up into smaller chunks rather than a whole boneless thigh, it would have been easier to not only cook but also eat.
The Soup base: bland, flavourless, luke warm. Not spicy one bit. Huge chunks of solid fat, thin consistency.
Noodles: Thick, I really dislike almost udon size noodles in ramen but they were cooked perfectly. ( Would still opt for thin noodles if they carried them)
Egg: Wasn’t marinated long enough, yolk was good but could have been a little less cooked.
Gyoza: Great crispy pan fry, could use more seasoning

Overall, pass. 3/10 – They get points for their perfectly cooked noodles, they delicious ramen sauce and their gyoza and egg.

MGV – Machine Guns Vegas

All I can start off with is, DO IT. You’ll have a “blast”…

Part of my husbands bday present ( delayed trip as his birthday is in November) was his choice to either race his favourite car or go to the gun range. Secretly I was hoping he’d choose the gun range because I’ve always wanted to shoot a hand gun. Now I can proudly say I have, whilst admitting that the loud noises of the guns make me jump haha.

I booked us in at MGV-Machine Gun Vegas under the Urban Assault  Experience for $99 each. Michael added an AK-47 for $54.95, a Desert Eagle .50cal for $65.00 and an RPK for $59.00 to his package. Well worth it.

We got picked up at our hotel in a comfortable air-conditioned van, decked out with machine guns on top, and an awesome/friendly driver (don’t forget to always tip your drivers, especially for completely shuttle service). The drive to the compound was about 20 mins (there was one other pick up as well as traffic).

When we arrived we were greeted by a hostess and our packages were explained to us. We were then introduced to the man who would be teaching us about our guns and helping us, Franco. He was a retired veteran, super informative, helpful and friendly. We had a great time and learnt so much.

One thing a lot of people don’t realize about shooting guns is how loud they are. Wow, I jumped so much from the noise of shots being fired.

Check out our SnapChat story from the day

Overall Price VS Experience 10/10

Ramen Hunter- Santouka Robson st

Another day, another ramen. Last week I adventured back down to the bottom of Robson street to head to Santouka. I’ve been there a few times now in the past. It’s probably #3 of my favourite ramen in the city but there are a few things they could do to make the experience a little better.

Firstly it’s always busy, a great time to go is alone or with one other person only. The seating is a little bit cramped for my liking, the communal table in the front has an akward layout with uncomfortable stools and it makes you feel like you are in the way of others eating beside you. IMG_4318

The menu at Santouka is plentiful and there are a lot of variations to choose from. I LOVE the texture of their pork jowl in their Toroniku Ramen and I highly suggest ordering one of their ramens from this menu. It’s a little bit more expensive but you really get what you pay for quality wise.

This time I opted for Toroniku Kara Miso Ramen at $16.00, I also added Shibazuke because DUH ( Japanese pickles are my favourite food in the entire world AND are hard to find at ramen joints here) IMG_4472IMG_4315

Pros –

Pork Jowl is to die for. Literally the best I’ve had
Portion size is large and I can never finish the food here
Noodles are not over cooked
Extremely fast service
Shibazuke is authentic and amazing

Cons –

Soup base is a little too oily for my taste
Lard ratio is actually low as it’s a thinner soup
Egg yolk isn’t as running as I usually like
Seating is uncomfortable