29 things that I learnt from my 29 years

Hello! look at me go, two blog posts in one week! I am really making up for lost time! But in all seriousness, I had planned to post this one the week before my birthday (oops). When that time came I didn’t have my list together nor did I have the motivation to write anything.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

So this weekend I drank 3 coffees and put in the work. At first I was like I have learnt so much in my 29 year ( like how to be a human) that I would have no problem making a list of 29 things. Then I got to thinking, I want to make this better then just things that most people know. I want to make this a list of things that will benefit people.

So here you go 29 things that I have learnt in my 29 years.

  1. Your worth is not based on your looks

You worth has never been about how you look but for some reason that is how I was raised.

2. When people say you can’t do something it is showing their limits not yours.

I have been told many times that I can’t do things. Well I can and the only thing stopping me is myself. Just because others can’t do something doesn’t mean you can’t… prove it to them.

3. Material goods won’t make you happy

This one I learnt the hard way. You can have as much shit as you want and you might feel a temporary happiness but it will soon go away.

4. Don’t worry about what others thing of you

honestly if you care more about what others think then how you feel you won’t find happiness. DO YOU BOO. others opinion don’t matter.

5. You have to give respect to get respect

you have to start off giving respect. Once they start disrespecting you then you should peace out. Also respect you elders is Bullshit, they need to respect you too.

6. Don’t let the fear of others thoughts stop you from living your life

don’t be scared to wear a bikini because of what others might think. other probably don’t care and if they do they are a piece of SHIT. This also goes for other things you might be holding back on.

7. Ask dumb questions

if you are thinking the dumb question there are probably others who think it too. Also if it helps you understand something better is it really a dumb question?

8. Own up to your mistakes

I learnt this one earlier in my life. So what you fucked up. Everyone does at some point, we are all learning.

9. All daunting things can be done

you don’t get everything done all at once. It takes many little steps to get to that goal.

10. Move your body

move it everyday. be it stretching, walking, or yoga just move it.

11. Listen to your body

don’t push yourself further then you can physically can go. It won’t end well.

12. Think outside the box

people who think outside of the box or go above and beyond are the ones that have amazing ideas / projects. I was always jealous of those people before I figured this out.

13. The worst they can say is no

I always think of this when I am doing/ asking something. If I am nervous or scared I think the worst they can say is no.

14. Crying doesn’t make you weak

growing up I always though crying made you look weak but it doesn’t. it shows that you feel things which is a human trait, why hide it?

15. Listen to your gut

your intuition is such a strong thing. make sure you listen to it. It can save you a lot of time and trouble.

16. Speak kindly to yourself

I use to never speak kindly to myself. I would tear myself down all the time. Why? I am a Human and I am the one human I am around all the time. I don’t speak to my friends like that so why am I doing it to myself?

17. Don’t take yourself too serious

sometimes you have to laugh at yourself. I do a lot of dumb shit, and i am not embarrassed of it. I just laugh and remember not to take myself too seriously.

18. You don’t have to do what society tells you

if you know me you know I am all about this one. Just because society tells me I should do something doesn’t mean I have to. I actually will probably do a 180 and run to the complete opposite.

19. Let yourself feel things

feel things because it is so mentally and physically freeing. You lean so much about yourself when you allow yourself to feel.

20. Talking is a powerful tool

words are one of the more important ways we communicate and it is a powerful thing. Always be conscious about what you are saying and how you are saying it.

21. Sometimes you have to take a risk

risks can be scary but sometime they are worth it. If you feel that it is worth it take that risk.

22. Invest in yourself

if you know that something will make you happy or make you feel better, you should invest in it. The initial cost will be worth it if it helps you get to a better place.

23. Be weird

everyone is weird in their own way. Just because you may not be what society deems as “normal” doesn’t mean you are not awesome. Fuck what society tells us. No one is the ideal person NO ONE!

24. Make time for yourself

always make time for yourself. If it is self care or just being a vegetable on the couch for a few hours. You need it! You cannot pour from an empty cup.

25. Don’t get lost in comparison

don’t compare yourself to others. You cannot see what they are hiding or what they went through to get to where they are.

26. Be kind

always try to be kind even if the other person is being a twatwaffle. The world needs more kindness.

27. Give it your best

your best might very from situation to situation but if you believe you are doing your best that is all that matters.

28. The answer is always no if you don’t ask

always ask, you never know what the result will be.

29. Question things

sometimes asking why is the most freeing thing. When someone has to break down why they do something it can show you a lot.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

So there you have it 29 things that I have learnt in my 29 years! I hope that you got some paradigm shifting notions from it. Let me know if you did or some things that you have learnt in you lifetime! I am very excited to make a whole new list for my 30 things in 30 years, I better start working on it now so It will actually be ready for the week of my birthday!


So it is that time for another blog post, and I think the hardest thing about writing blog posts is figuring out what to write. I decided today I would write about why I started devan.smiles.com.

I have been told throughout my life that I am a generally positive person. as I have grown older I would say I am less positive because you know the state of the world (climate change, patriarchy, you know shit that gets you angry.) I also live a very privileged life ( being white and being given opportunities that not everyone has.) I know that I should use my place of privilege to change what I can.

On the flip side, I don’t like controversy. I get really uncomfortable and I am not witty. I am unable to think on my toes and if I get upset I just start crying ( thanks mom for that awesome gene.) I know that even though it makes me uncomfortable, I still need to push back and stand up for the people who don’t necessarily have a voice or are marginalized.

I by no means am perfect at this, fuck it is a constant battle in my head and heart of why didn’t I say something.

But this is why I started Devan smiles. it gives me a space to start acting on that privilege (haven’t gotten too into it yet.) This space allows me to slowly ease into using my voice. I can write about it get, get my facts straight, and feel confident in the knowledge that I have. Then maybe I can take down some fucker that tries to come at me without just turning into a mess of tears and mumbles.

Will every post be about some controversial topic? hell No! it is exhausting taking on all the worlds problems. I can barley handle one at a time whiteout being like fuck it I’m just going to lay in bed till the end of time. SO there will be some when I can muster up the brain power for them. Will I get some facts wrong? YES, it is almost impossible for me to have them straight all the time. Like I said I come from a place of privilege and I can easily overlook something that others might not. So I want it to be know that I want feedback if I have something wrong. Start the conversation so I can learn, just don’t be an ass about it.

So that is why I started this blog. I haven’t really used it for what intended yet, but I will, I just have to build up that courage and write it out!


Well it has been just over a week since the new year and new decade have started. I don’t know about you but that is exciting!

I am not a new years resolution person at all. I never really like the word, maybe because growing up a new years resolution was always associated with diet. This isn’t the case for everyone but if I was playing a word association game, those two words would go together instantly!

another common phrase I hear all the damn time is ” new year, new me!” I don’t know about you but I like myself and I don’t want a new me. Sure there are habits I would like to break but that doesn’t make it a whole new me. I also recognize that I will fall back into those habits if I am not thinking about it. So I don’t want to have a resolution at the beginning of the year where I know I will fail and just have to keep trying. So rather then having a new years resolution, I have new years goals ( kinda the same thing but it feels better to me.)

Goals are something you want to reach and work towards. Mine are for the end of the year because it gives me plenty of time to achieve them and is a great time measurement. So here are what my goals for 2020 are

1.Do more yoga

me doing tree pose cause I am a noob

I love a good stretch and moving my body. Sometimes I don’t do that though. so at the end of the year I hope to be doing yoga every day. I sweat really easily so I always end up sliding around on the mat so I am taking tips to help with that. Also my wrists always end up hurting and my talons tend to get in the way if I use my fists, also taking tips to help with that. SO we will see where I get with this goal. Updates will be on my Instagram, so make sure to follow me to see my progress @devan.smiles

2. Get to 500 followers

Speaking of Instagram, one of my goals is to reach 500, which is probably a little low but I wanna start small and then get to a bigger goal. My goal was to reach 100 followers by the end of 2019, which I am sure I would have gotten if I would not have gotten locked out of my Instagram account! but oh well! I will just have to hustle a bit harder to make up for the last 10 followers.

3. Consistently write on my blog

this it really just to keep myself entertained. I honestly get very board so I really need my creative outlets to keep me going. This one should not be hard for me but it is still a goal cause maybe I fall back into a habit where I am just a lazy butt and don’t do it. Look for new blog posts every second Thursday!Also please keep me accountable!!!

4. Read 20 books completely

this one may be a bit hard for me just because if I go through a period where I have duds of books I lose interest. I need a very interesting book that keeps me intrigued, usually a sci fi novel. So I am looking for suggestions. Throw in the comments, send me a dm on insta with book suggestions. I want them all!! also I update my goodreads page once I finish a book so check that out also (can be found under other interesting things)

5.Try and get good at photography

I feel like this one is just me practicing and doing the learning to get good. That means that I have to go out and do it though. With this goal in mine I signed myself up for a photography class right when the new year started so hopefully this will kick start this goal. But again follow me on Instagram to see my progress. That is really where I will post my awesome pics.

So those are my goals for 2020. It is a small list but I didn’t want to overwhelm myself. I also felt like these are the ones I really want to focus on and work towards.

What are your goals for the new year? Let me know I love hearing what others are doing as well!!


Well, I have officially been moved out of my parent’s house for a full year! It is beyond belief to me! Literally, where did the time go? Anywho my “adulthood anniversary” also coincided with the beginning of the end of the year. Wow, that last sentence is a mouthful. But it is true, December is that time where people start to look back on their past year and look at how they have grown or changed. When I look back I see so much change in myself it is crazy!

I moved out and started to live on my own (with my partner)

This is a huge part of my growth. It showed me that I had to figure out all my finances and become “an adult”. This also is the beginning of my year of growth. I don’t know why but When I moved out I felt that I had so much more freedom then I have ever had. Which made me go out a push my boundaries.

I have changed the way I completely think about my body and how I think of others.

I have never been a “small” person, physically. I was always tall and always a bit bigger than most of the children that I grew up with. While growing up I always wanted to be that thin person on the cover of a magazine and up until a few years ago, that was still my goal. This is how I grew up, and my mother still to this day always says “I wish I looked like that.” Which is not a healthy way to think. I started to change the way I thought about my body because of the body positive movement. I would see women who would be bigger than myself just loving their bodies. One day I came across someone who was talking about how fatter people usually hide under clothing. The next thing they said literally changed everything for me. They continued to go one and say you are not hiding your body, people can still see that you are fat, putting a cover over your arms don’t do much to hide your arms. At that moment it clicked and I was like that is 100% true, people can still tell that I have a fat ass and a bigger stomach no matter what I wear so why hide it. So now I embrace my fatness I refuse to hide behind my clothing or not wear a bathing suit because my body is bigger, fuck that!

I do sometimes still have a mental relapse on how I use to think but it doesn’t usually last that long because I remind myself that I am still a bomb ass queen and no one will take my crown.  (a more in-depth post to come)

I have been a model

This seems like a weird one but if you would have asked me if I wanted to be a model even two years ago I would have told you that a woman of my size can’t be a model. But now look at me! I just saw an Instagram post looking for models for a body diversity photo shoot. So I put my name in for it and I got picked! Now I have some amazing photos of myself (vain much?) where I look absolutely glowing. I met some amazing people who were probably sick of me saying that I am the next Ashley Graham or Tess Holliday. But in all honesty, I had the most amazing time at the photo shoot with Saskatoon Local photographer Tammy Zudnich and Freedom Holistic Nutrition’s Jackie Reimche at the Well Collab. I have linked Tammy’s, Jackie’s, and the well collab’s websites below.

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Look at this amazing photo of me! I cannot wait to see more of them photo cred to Tammy  Zudnich




I went out to a meet-up where I really didn’t know many people and met strangers

If you are a local Saskatoon Woman, then you may have heard of these monthly meet-ups call Babes who Brunch by the ACE Class. This is a monthly brunch where you get to go and meet other women in your city. Honestly, I was terrified about going but my love of brunch outweighed my fear so I went. When I walked into Drift Cafe that morning I didn’t know what I was going to do, lucky for me there are more outgoing women then myself who introduced themselves to me. I met so many amazing women that day! I honestly say I walked out of that brunch feeling so strong and powerful like I could take on the mother fucking world.

If you would like to attend the next Babes Who Brunch; I have linked the facebook page. You get to connect with other women and get a sick gift bag that always has amazing stuff in it.


I volunteered at the above group and now once a month help strangers meet strangers

So when I went to the first Babes who Brunch they were looking for volunteers to help with the next one. I loved how the first brunch went so much that I made the decision that I wanted to be a part of this! And now I am. When people asking how I got into the babes who brunch I just say I am the Volunteer they cannot get rid of (because I literally signed up for the rest of the years babes who brunch as volunteer) It is just such a fun space to be a part of and I get a DELICIOUS brunch out of it. Volunteering anywhere is great to just help out others (mine is a bit more selfish but we are working on that)

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look at me greeting the shit out of the guests at the Babes Who Brunch Event  photo cred to Desiree Martin

I started this blog

After I went to my first Babes who Brunch, I decided that I was going to start a blog. This Blog as a matter of fact! I felt so empowered and the people that I met were so encouraging I still cannot get over it. So I went home and bought my domain name and started to figure out what I was going to blog about. It has been a bit tough (I am no writer and I do not live a super exciting life) but I am still going at it and hope to continue on (I like to believe that I will get paid for this one day :-P)

I now run a monthly book club

I have talked about the ACE class a lot in this post, mostly because they have been a big part of my growth as an individual. They are also part of me running a book club. They started the wild women book club as a feature of being a member of the ACE class. Now I am a member and  I wanted to start to read more, I wanted to be apart of this. A few weeks into reading the first book, I got an email asking if I wanted to be the Saskatoon book club person. I definitely said yes to this opportunity. It isn’t a very big group in Saskatoon but that is ok, I’ve still got a lot to learn and figure out with it.  So now I am kinda in charge of a book club in Saskatoon.

I went a did a cliff jump! (a small one but still was terrifying)

This summer myself and some friends when house boating. We went white water rafting as one of our adventures and halfway through we were given the opportunity to jump in the river from a 15ft cliff. Now, this is not super high but I am terrified of heights and I was the only one who was going to do it (at the time). It was so thrilling to do and felt amazing because the water was sooo cool. So now I think I can do anything lol.  After I went and did my jump almost everyone who went rafting did it, even my friend who is not a strong swimmer. It was a great time and would so a small jump again

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not a pic of my cliff jump but after rafting some rapids (arrow points to me) photo cred to Adams river rafting  

I have become more confident in myself and my profession

I honestly believe that this just came with me pushing myself to get out of my comfort zone. I am constantly going back and forth from being confident to being unsure of myself. And to be fair I still go back and forth, just less often than before. I am still getting into the habit of telling myself to be better for me and I feel that telling myself that every day is helping me so much with my personal growth. Having the confidence in myself has helped me do so much. I don’t give a fuck what others think, I know that I am amazing and that is all that matters. I have done all these different things this year because I have not cared about what others would think of me when I do them. To not have that worry feels amazing. I do sometimes retreat back to ways I use to be, but the amount of time that I think like my old self gets shorter and shorter.

So 2018 has been a whirl of a year! But I am still growing and reflecting on how I can grow more and change. I am falling in love with the person that I am becoming, even though she may have flaws (I am still human), I cannot wait to see what other big changes I can make in 2019! Hopefully everyone has had as equally exciting and changing 2018!Image

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