“Smile. Your face is ugly when you frown.”
– My mom (1960 – ), Senior Business Analyst and the best female human I know
My brother and me with my mom when we were toddlers

Welcome and thank you so much for coming!


This site is a community to empower millennials with practical ways to be better humans at work and in life.

Growing up, my computer room IVAR was chock-full of self-help and personal development books.

And no – nobody in my family was a recovering hoarder or a born-again Christian.

My parents were simply proactive in their quest to become better humans.


My parents on a tricycle in the Philippines

On a Saturday night, I would nestle alongside a sexy classic like 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

If I was feeling reckless, I would opt for How to Win Friends and Influence People.

It’s hard to believe I was single at the time too.

(It’s tough to be into other guys when Steven and Dale were such great listeners.)

These timeless gems motivated me to be a better human in school, in life, and in my relationships.

After hacking my way through university and struggling through my first few years of “real jobs” after graduation, I truly embraced my inner wannabe achiever.

At the finish line at the Mud Hero 5K Obstacle Course Run 2015, Toronto, Canada

I scoured more books and blogs on self-development, but I noticed a lot of the material was geared towards “Legit Adults”.

You know, the ones with mortgages and multiple savings accounts.

The ones who actually take their vitamins and subscribe to The Economist.

That’s why my mission is to deliver stuff that is not only engaging and funny but most importantly,

Stuff that will help make you a better human at work and in life.

Stuff that you probably didn’t learn in school (or work).

Stuff that you are finding difficult to learn in your first few (or several) years of “adulting”.

And stuff that you’re too afraid to ask because you might sound stupid, young or inexperienced (or all three). 

I simply want to change your life with the written word.


Or at the very least, I hope you learn something new and have a good laugh. Or five.

That’s all.

You can un-pause House of Cards now. 



Here’s the fuller story for those of you who care about fuller stories:

When my family reminisces about me as a baby, they all agree on one thing:

“Man, she was heavy.”


Baby Picture

They also all agree that as a child, I loved reading and writing.

I’ve been told by a very authoritative and reliable source (her name is Marissa Kavinta – she is also my mom) that I started reading the newspaper at age four.

More than reading and writing,

I love connecting with people.

Family. Friends. The Sales Associate at the GAP. An Uber driver. Your mom’s yoga instructor.

So it made complete sense that I graduated university with a Specialist in Finance and Economics, right?

(That literally makes no sense.)

But more about that later…

Right now, I want to tell you how it all began.

Lucky for me, I grew up in a cozy suburb of Edmonton, Alberta. 

My mom and me in front of our house in Edmonton

Life was great.

My childhood consisted of endless bike rides, water fights, and after-school trips to West Edmonton Mall.

What more could a kid want?

(The answer is: more. Much more.)

At 15, I was adamant about being a Broadway star in New York.


I wanted to play Diana Morales from A Chorus Line:

(She was one of few roles I could pass for, racially speaking. Morales, or any character from Miss Saigon.)

But in 2006, I was accepted to the University of Toronto so I moved to The 6 to take Commerce like the studious Asian daughter I was.

Erin and me doing the Filipino cup dance at a bar

To say life hasn’t been challenging since then would be a bold-faced lie:

I constantly missed (and still do!) my family and friends back in Edmonton.

I fumbled through the standard agonizing what-should-I-do-with-my-life quarter life crisis.

I trudged through a boat-load of horrific first dates and one painful breakup.

I was devastatingly diagnosed with Lupus (SLE).

I was laid off from a company I loved.

But for all the hardships (and there have been many), life has also been amazing:

I worked at a beautiful golf course for five summers.

I had a mind-blowing experience living in Prague.

I coached students on personal and professional development.

I broke into my dream industry.

I ran my first half marathon.

I met a lovely boy.

And then there’s this guy:

My cockapoo, Bernie, as a puppy


And I’m still trying to figure it all out.


In the meantime, I hope I can offer some practical advice, insight, encouragement, and laughter.

Be better and stay happy,


Me in a monkey hat

Still can’t figure out what the fuck this blog is about? Read my first post, Beyond Adulting: How to Be a Better Human.

Want to know more? Ask me anything! Email me at holler@carlakavinta.com or follow me on the interweb:

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