This is the January 2016 issue

“I feel beautiful again” I said and couldn’t stop crying tears of joy.

How a Makeover Made Me Feel Beautiful Again

It’s not everyday you win a makeover on the Marilyn Dennis show. How one lucky experience launched a transformational journey in both body and spirit. It all started with a picture. For several years I had been the one at events being in control of the camera and taking pictures.  As the photographer, I was able to control what appeared on Facebook and could hide my body. This also meant that I could try to hide my weight gain of fifty-four pounds over the past three years. The problem was that during one summer weekend in at a cottage in 2015, I wasn’t the only photographer. “Smile Sarah” said my sister as she snapped my picture. Little did my sister know that I had spent three years being very careful about how I appeared in pictures. The entire time I had successfully avoided any photos being shown or printed of my body. Quickly, I used my arms to try to cover my body and forced a fake smile on my face while she took the …

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Travel Like a Pro

Tips from an expert to make your next trip an adventure you’ll always remember. Travelling, especially if you’re the type who likes to go off the beaten path, can be exciting, rewarding and just plain fun. Some trips become great adventures, while others can be life-changing. In November, travel company Merit hosted a travel film festival through its TravelCuts website, which books flights, hotels and rail travel. The #travelcutsDOC festival asked millennials to create short films about their travels. The winning entry, by Canadian Mark Harrison, is definitely worth a watch (be warned, it will get your wanderlust pumping). If you’re already adding some of the featured destinations to your ‘must visit’ bucket list, you’re probably not alone. But travel, especially for the millennial first timer, can be daunting. There are always questions about where to eat, where to stay, and what to do if you get yourself in trouble. The Reply recently interviewed Jason Merrithew, vice president of Merit Travel Group, a millennial and traveller himself, to find out how to travel better and …

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The Security Dilemma and the Personalization of Technology

We’re storing increasingly more personal data on services and on our devices every day and this means having strong security is essential. In 2016, my advice is to “lock it down.” If there was one recurring story this year it is the increasing number of data breaches. I feel like we’ve been here before. Despite all of our advances, the tech that makes our lives better relies on old paradigms, that is, we still rely on passwords to secure our data. Despite all our hardware advances, we still use a (mostly) terrible system of securing ourselves online. It’s unreasonable to suggest we simply stop working online because of security concerns; instead the best thing to do is focus on securing yourself. The fact is, as devices become more personable we are putting much more personal data in the hands of others. With data breaches becoming more common, it seems reasonable to ask yourself questions like “am I OK with this data getting into the hands of others?” And even without data breaches, do you know what the …

girl staring at piggy bank

Investing Your Money When You’re Still in Debt

Whether you live on your own or in your parents’ basement, it’s time to think about investing your money. We all want to get ahead. We want to get ahead by throwing tonight’s dinner in the crock pot before departing for work in the much-too-early hours of the morning. We want to accomplish Friday afternoon’s project deadline by Thursday afternoon, so can be spent sipping coffee and perusing our favourite websites all day. We want this month’s mortgage or rent payment collected and saved early in order to avoid scrambling when the first of the month rolls around. We all want to get ahead; in our every day actions, our responsibilities, our commitments and maybe most of all, in our finances. Yes, like most millennials, I have debt. Money, in my world, has been an ongoing struggle. It’s one of the reasons I moved back home with my mom after university. But my story is not all that unique. Many millennials work hard to get out of a financial hole after graduating. Still, even the …