Monday, October 18, 2010

Fast Forward

Yes, shall we? Forgive me readers for I have sinned. It has been nearly four months since my last blog session... and there have been many sins, wins, dins and even a few gins...
Okay - here are the last few months in fast forward:
  • Eight weekends spent at the cottage in the new cabin (so long one-bathroom shared between four-six people through paper-thin walls! helloooo personal space - a blessing for all parties involved!);
  • Four days spent impersonating a celebrity soaking up the sunshine in champagne-induced giddyness in Monte Carlo courtesy of lil' sis's amazing employer;
  • Two days in Paris playing frantic-tour-guide-on-a-masochistic-mission-to-do-most-on-foot "'cause it's the best way to see the sites!" All this while lil' sis feigned excitement at my deep knowledge of Rue De L'Arbre (where I stayed two years ago when I tried to blend in as a local);
  • One wedding - to end all weddings
  • One 32nd birthday (egads it was mine!);
  • Two pregnancy announcements (egads, not mine!)
  • XXXX glasses of wine, champagne, wine, champagne, wine...(to shcelebraaate the shchummer! whahoo!)
  • One 30th Birthday - lil' sis
  • and finally the last engagement is mine... no literally, it was my engagement!
That brings us to around nowish... After four years of wondering if he was the one, deciding he was the one, doubting he was the one and thanking my lucky stars he IS the one, it's official. I'm a crazy bride-to-be who hasn't changed any of the bad habits she swore she would "as soon as he pops the question." I'm talking about eating bad food, complaining about our house, not going to the gym, drinks during the week, driving to work... still doing all of it.
Which, as you may have guessed you smart little thing, is the reason I am writing again. The moment this gets posted, it's on the record and I'm accountable for all the things I say I'm going to do.
So here it is, My Oath to Myself:
I solemnly swear that from this moment on, pizza is no longer legal substance. Cheeseburgers, hamburgers, homeburgers and their French sidekicks, are on the No-Fly list unless accompanied by a Weight Watchers green light. Prohibition Sunday through Thursday just kicked in. (That goes for you too Prosecco. Save me the story about your bubbly lightness!) I will refuse to attend any and all birthday parties where Cake is invited, that bitch. I will go to the gym, walk home from work (at least twice a week), embrace the veggie bar and every time I reach to grab a roll during dinner, I give permission to anyone in my company to reach and grab one of mine.
This is my vow, Until the wedding!

Monday, May 10, 2010

summer, how i've missed you

Okay so I have basically all but skipped over winter/spring 2010 and mostly because nothing good comes of winter/spring unless you're everyone else but me. Congratulations to all the lucky ducks who: got engaged, got married, had a baby, had two babies, had someone tell you you were having a baby or two babies, had a baby birthday, bought a house, bought a car, got a new job, went back to a job, quit a job, took vacation, planned a vacation etc. etc. etc... All fantastically lovely things to happen to people... just not to me.

Alas, after an eternity of winter/spring 2010, summer is finally HERE! Now, some of you may argue that summer in Canada is still months away but I beg to differ. And here's Carly's top ten reasons why:
  1. I left the office last week after 7PM and it was still sunny - when it wasn't raining

  2. I wore a dress without stockings last week (albeit my legs looked straight out of Twilight and I wore closed-toed shoes but haven't had a tan or a pedicure since before Jack F-ing Frost messed with my happiness back in October 2009)

  3. I am going for a pedicure tonight and plan to wear open-toed shoes tomorrow...yep, to work and no, will not be wearing stockings
  4. I've already had dinner and drinks on the back patio at Caren's Wine Bar - a summer staple for delicious vino and a must-do if in Toronto even for just one drink!
  5. I spent a weekend at the cottage and didn't have to hover around the hot stove wrapped in various animal pelts
  6. Anxiety levels are at an all-time high with the realization I'll be forced to break up with those ten cushy pounds I've snuggled up to all of these long, cold winter months... we've gotten so close, it's hard to say goodbye - no really, it's hard...

  7. I'm not wearing all black, all grey, light grey, dark grey, grey with black, black with navy, navy with grey... in fact, I am wearing a top that has a colour in it that I'm pretty sure qualifies as neon pink, no joke

  8. I'm giving up on my au natural brunette phase in favour of some warm highlights - conveniently those lighter strands will serve double duty to cover the obnoxious silver sprouts

  9. I have a little pot of herbs sitting on my balcony that haven't shrivelled up from frost bite (or lack of watering... mental note to do that tonight!)

  10. All I want to do is shop for cute, bright, short, floral, checked, striped, solid, colourful, shoes, tops, bottoms, dresses, hats, shoes, sunglasses, lipsticks, bracelets, earrings, shoes and... shoes

Think it's going to be a hot summer and I mean that in the most literal and figurative of ways. How do you know when summer has arrived?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

ohai! remember me

Yes, I've been MIA and yes it was negligent and no I don't have a super-fantastical story/excuse like being glamourously whisked off to add my creative input on Marc Jacobs' Fall/Winter 2010 line in Milan AND Paris or being pulled from my PR gig in Toronto to provide crisis communications to Sandi Bullock in her L.A. hideaway. Alas, I've simply been uninspired and in a word, grouchy.

Naturally, it could just be me, but lets be honest, it's far more fun to blame others for this, my most recent plunge into rutsville. Today, I'm blaming my hairdresser. Remember a few weeks back when I decided to become a new woman and undergo a dramatic transformation? And that resulted in going from a blondie to a brownie? Well I'm still a brownie...mostly... save for those arrogant, uninvited, multiplying-like-bunnies silver threads I keep spotting at my crown as they rise in all their wiry glory toward the light of day. And every morning, there are more of those little a$$holes lying against what I once considered a beautifully rich chocolate. They are so out of place that they may as well be neon flashing lights. I knew they were there before but my light, golden locks artfully disguised the pests, blending in with the pale strands so nicely, I actually convinced myself I was sprouting naturally blond hair. Now I there is no denying it in blissful ignorance. I am going grey and my hairdresser is to blame because she should have noticed and warned me that this would happen! My guess is that she did and she also knew that I would be miserable and have to make another appointment to go back to the glory days of honey and sunshine and that would mean we're back to four-hour and $$$$ investments every six weeks... well played miss, well played...

Friday, March 12, 2010

in short

My life is not my own these days, hence the absence of regular updates within an acceptable amount of time. Where have two weeks gone? To the universe, I say, along with my last paycheque, that missing sock and a few of my dresses... actually, those went to my sister's closet and are overdue back to their home (hear that, sis? Gimme)

In spite of my lack of time this/last week, I did come across my next birthday present, s'il vous plait. The new Paloma's Dove pendant from the Paloma Picasso collection at Tiffany's has me blushing. There is just something about birds and jewelry that makes me giddy and this sweet, petite charm hits the note. I can't find an image to upload but visit the link and swoon for yourself!

I've also got my eye on a gorgeous enameled bird ring from BCBG but I can't find evidence of it anywhere online and I've tossed my catalogue, for shame. Any gals with the latest BCBG accessories catalogue, please write me... or just buy it for me! :)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

home, home on the brain...

I want to buy a house. I think I'm nearing the time in my life to actually own something other than shoes and 15 extra pounds. Self-admittedly, I tend to look at home ownership through a narrow lens, one that all but blocks the vantage point of having to pay for everything that breaks, having to mow the lawn and landscape the garden and having to clean more than three rooms...(anyone know a good cleaning lady looking for work in six-eight months?)

What excites me most about home ownership is Candice Olson. Not to be confused with Anna Olson, the Ontario Sugar-chef whom I also adore, Candice Olson is my favourite of the Canadian-produced W Network Experts. She hosts a show that I feel has been on for decades (which for Canadian television is a feat in and of itself!) The show is called Divine Design and let me just say on the record that this gal takes me to God when she finishes a room. In my next life, I want creative eyes that can look at an average space and create a miracle. Until then, I'll push for a big raise to maybe afford to pay Candice to decorate my new house. OR, if I'm super-duper lucky, I'll find a house that's already got her stamp! Hopefully one of these below...

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

my mom says I'm a winner

My boyfriend could have dated an Olympian. Not just any Olympian. A Canadian Gold Medal Olympian. As we watched the medal ceremony at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games, one eye was on the pretty young thing accepting her medal with the stoicism best served only by a Canadian, while my other eye watched as my guy grinned, recounting a once-upon-a-time when he had met Ms. Gold Medal and she had taken quite a fancy to him.

While I am often self-depracating and poke fun at myself in many a situation, hopelessly self-conscious I am not... well not really, anyway. But I can say I may have preferred to file this one away under "things your partner never need know." Now, I'm not going to get all bent out of shape on this. She may have "won" gold for her country but I prefer not to "compete" for glory. Besides, where can you actually wear that medal? That kind of accessory is some mayjah overkill on an LBD, non?
I will now accept my medal for bitterness and snarkery. Insert bitchy smile and pageant wave here and pass me a double scoop of Gold Medal Ribbon stat!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

more things sweet

Cake decorating has become a hot and scrumptious hobby amongst many in my extended Facebook friend group and I am obsessed. I think I have always been crazy about cake. There is nothing better in the world to me than digging into a fresh square of grocery-store-bought vanilla birthday cake, covered in sugary-smooth icing - corner piece to ensure maximum icing!

My obsession with cakes often finds me alone at home, salivating while watching TLC sweet shows like Cake Boss and the Ultimate Cake Off and reading tasty blogs like the incredible Amy Atlas and Bakerella.

While I dream of one day rolling out large sheets of fondant and painting edible damasks on 8-inch rounds, I am fascinated by this incredible find today at

Edible icing paper! Incredible and probably nowhere near a new idea but certainly new to me. Okay so for sure they're not new - think back to the novelty days of photo cakes (neat-o!), but these designs are rather lovely. The sheets are made of water, cornstarch and corn syrup and are available in a variety of patterns and sizes. They have no noticeable taste (says the website) and take on the flavour of your cake, brownie or cookie. Ticings "easily peel and press onto your frosted dessert. even a child can apply them to frosted cupcakes" (lucky for me and my child-like wonder) and sadly, they are only available for purchase in the U.S. Opportunity for a Canadian contemporary counterpart? I say yes!
I particularly crush on the Team Jacob/Team Edward/Bite Me sheets... mmm Twilight, is there no one you can't touch?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

on my owwwwn

For the first time since I can remember, I will be on my own for a few days. My handsome bf has left me to ski the back bowls of Keystone, in Colorado. Normally, I would pout and sulk being stuck working in Toronto while he's out enjoying life without me but I was mature enough to realize a wasted trip when I saw one. When did I get so grown up?

See, as my last post may have suggested, I don't ski well. I didn't ski as a child, didn't really like the cold and neither my family nor most of my friends so much as neared a pair of poles - at least not ski poles anyway...

So, as a very mature girlfriend, I waved goodbye to my guy this morning and headed off to work as an independent five-day singleton, ready to conquer the world. But now I am hungry. As lame as it sounds, I don't know how to cook for one. I'm racking my brain picturing the sad state of my apartment-sized fridge and wondering if it's worth actually going to the trouble of making something to eat or picking up something forbidden on my way home.
How do you amazing independent gals do it? I feel crippled by my habits of cooking for two. I'd love some ideas for great meals for one that don't involve a can of tuna, can of soup or frankly, a can of anything. Help!! What I'd really like is something from eatpretty (above) or my bestie gal Marisa's delicious brown rice, scallops and shrimp stirfry (right) to arrive on my doorstep. If anyone feels sorry for me, come visit - and bring food.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

wow Carly, you've changed

Indeed I have changed. As of last Friday, I am an entirely new person. I am now a brunette.

While you may wonder the significance of such a statement, let me explain. In my courageous youth, I experimented with cuts and colours, often going from a flaming halo of red waves to a split personality of a black sheath with bleached blond tips - at the same time. Pretty sure it was big in Japan. Big chunks of high- and low-lights, bangs and bobs, I can honestly say I was reasonably fearless when it came to changing my crowning glory.

And then one day I realized I was an adult. I had a big girl job with big girl clients and big girl responsibilities to set a good example for the little girls with big chunks of high- and low-lights and edgy bangs in the office. So, after weighing the options of red, brown and black, I went as natural a blond shade as a naturally brown-haired girl can go. That was five years ago and with the exception of a moment where my poor hair needed a break for fear it actually would break off, I have maintained a light-haired, long-with-layers, light-hearted approach to life. Which brings us to the present.

I am now a brunette. And a fairly dark brunette at that. It's been about four days since the shade went down and I'm still a little identity-lost when I look in the mirror. On the upside, no one recognizes me, meaning I can go out of my house and go about my business without having random fans stop me in the streets to chat and ask me for an autograph. Okay, so maybe that doesn't really happen, but I have noticed that colleagues have passed me by, only stopping after a double and triple take to make sure it is actually me.

I am also realizing that being a brunette has given me the chance to change not only physically, but emotionally. For instance, I managed to ski for an entire hour and a bit this weekend and NOT cry or have a meltdown at the top of the slope. I ALWAYS cry and melt down at the top of the slope. But now I am brunette and puh-leeze, we don't cry in public. As well, I've been lacking the will-power of any sort to say no to treats and snacks that are contributing to my growing backside. But Carly-with-the-brown-hair is so much tougher! I haven't given up anything for Lent in 20 years but as of tomorrow, Carly-with-the-brown-hair is off the sweets. Done and done.

This may be the official start of my new year (read back entries to see what I mean). I think I am actually ready to kick off 2010 and have the confidence to move forward from 2009. With that, me and my brown hair wish you Happy New Year! (Until the summer highlights resurface in six to ten weeks).

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

a picture says a thousand (swear) words

This is how today feels. The long weekend, for those of us lucky to live in the parts of Canada that observe Family Day, couldn't come sooner. Only 3600 minutes to go...

Family Day also happens to fall on Valentine's Day weekend. Despite my "in a relationship" status, I'm not one for gooey forced romance in crowded, overpriced restaurants with sub-par prix fixe menus where the theme is always "pour deux." Frankly, I prefer not to have to share a meal, s'il vous plait and moreover prefer not to share my meals with a room full of dining couples, most of whom don't really like each other on a good day and actively perform extended small-talk with waitstaff just to have someone else to talk to. Look around next time you're at a V-day dinner and I promise you'll see what I mean.

xoxo Cranky Gossip Girl

Thursday, February 4, 2010

more friendly talents

I may not have little bambinis yet, but some day when I do, they will surely spend their first years in Babibu! Pronounced "baby-Boo" this cute and cozy, hand-made-in-Canada line is the brainchild of my dearest friend, Sarah Lopez and her amazing mother-in-law, Beatriz, affectionately known as B-Lo. But beyond offering stylish, gender-neutral lounge wear that Auntie Carly secretly hopes will one day come in her size, Babibu is also green. From the Karate Pant to the Large & Stretchy Swaddling Blanket to the Beanie and Bib, this line is made from 100% bamboo which not only is uber-soft for baby's sensitive skin but also:

  • naturally blocks the growth of bacteria and therefore does not require the use of harmful chemicals and pesticides during its growth process

  • is an extremely sustainable and renewable resource and can grow up to 4 feet in just 1 day
  • is also 100% biodegradable
Sarah, who is the mother of the most handsome 10-month-old baby boy, has always had a penchant for style, which is evident from the way she hangs a framed picture to the way she accessorizes a pair of jeans and her line of baby clothing is no exception. Wishing Sarah and B-Lo so much success although by the sounds of things, they won't need it!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


It's nice to be able to count a variety of great talents amongst friends and none is more talented both behind and in front of the lens than Justyna Sokolowski. And today, she has opened the aperture with a portfolio that makes me giddy. In my next life, I want to come back as me only better - the Carly shot through a Canon lens focused by a dreamer.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

yourself in retrospect

It's easy to forget what you were actually like as a kid. The person I am now as an early-30-something is a dramatically far cry from who I was even in my late 20s. I generally have great memories of high school and of the good ol' nursery school days, however my nostalgia often skips over the ages of 8 and 14 when I was most awkward, uncomfortable and freakishly boy-crazy and painfully shy.

As with most things you try ever so hard to forget (like the half round of brie I ate last night after dinner), it would appear that nothing truly disappears from the record books. Especially when your 11-year-old-self kept a record.

Yes folks, in her quest to rid all evidence of my sister and I ever having inhabited her home, this last weekend, my mother handed each of us a bag of 1988-1992 splendour! In these surprisingly light bags were not only drawings, artwork and old birthday/communion/holiday cards, but a couple of journals documenting what can only be described as my Joey McIntyre years, when I wrote words like Yo! and Flower Power in bubble letters. Of course, my mom read them ("only a little") and so did I. And I am still giggling.

I was in LOVE. With a boy. Who shall remain forever nameless to protect his reputation. He looked at me one day and that was enough for me to start planning our wedding. This was just around the age where I started to look a little less like the chubby DJ Tanner from early Full House episodes and more like the teenaged DJ Tanner, but with brown hair and a Raiders jacket (true story).

Back to the love. I wrote pages and pages about this love in a pink school workbook and covered my writing with pink lipstick kisses to seal the words that read: "Today, BOY came into my class and looked at me, I thought I would die" or "I am SOOOOOOO in LOVE!" or "We danced so close I could hear his heartbeat." I even documented a full conversation I wasn't even privvy to in script format:
Friend: Hey, can I get your school picture?
Boy: Why?
Friend: A friend wants it
Boy: Who, Carly?
Friend: No, I can't tell you
Boy: Then I won't give it to you
Friend: Ok it's for Carly
Boy: (smiles) Ok, I'll bring it tomorrow

You get it, I was CRAZY about this boy. But he moved away and I was too shy and dorky to talk to him pretty much ever except for a five minute recess chat where I was so nervous I nearly hurled or when our teachers, who were also aware of my crush, made us dance together on a school trip, and I was so nervous I nearly hurled.

Here I am 20 years later and incredibly, through the mighty powers of Facebook, I can look up my old crush to see how he turned out. I'm pretty sure them legal folk call this type of activity stalking but in my case, I'm calling research... for my blog... that no one reads. Truth is, I would have never recognized him if we met again in person. And, while my 11/12-year-old self would be mortified at the thought of someone reading her private thoughts, I'm really glad I kept notes.

I also kept the picture...


Amy Atlas, I worship thee! When I die, my heaven will be filled with Amy Atlas sweet tables. Here, she's done it again with a Valentine's Day delivery that has captured my heart! If you haven't yet feasted your eyes upon the candy-coated creativity that is Amy Atlas, you must! Now

Thursday, January 28, 2010

a manicure-all

It would appear I am having a bit of a week where I have lost count of the days, track of the hours and a general film has settled over my brain. I need a pick-me-up and fast and since I can't get to my salon to address my roots - can you still call them roots when they are nearly half the length of your hair? - a manicure should do the trick. Debating between a dark purply , sexy, vampish hue or an innocently pink, demure, virginal paint. I'm straddling both worlds which makes me quite boring and uncommitted.

Decisions, decisions...
P.S. I opted for Siberian Nights, a nearly-black shade of purple, which elicited "Oh dear, Carly - BLACK nail polish? How interesting." from my boyfriend's mother, who is just too adorably sweet. Maybe I'll buy her a bottle on my next round!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

things I learned: Tuesday

It's Tuesday again and that means it's time to share things I learned today. Truth be told, some of these things I learned on Friday, Saturday and Sunday but lets just pretend I learned them all today, okay?

Today I learned that:
- Sometimes the critics are right. Even with mayjah star-power like Kidman, Cruz, Day-Lewis, Dench, Nine was a 4 at best (source: Me)
- I also learned that a small movie popcorn without butter at Cineplex-Odeon theatres actually isn't as bad for you as I thought. A small (55 gram) bag of popcorn brings in a modest 275 calories and just 0.2 grams of saturated fat (source: National Post) This is good for me because that is what I am having for dinner if I can get out of the office in time to make it to the 9:30pm movie.

And the award for the creepiest fact of the day goes to this one:
Frozen lobsters can come back to life when thawed. (source: Sweet Spot Sweet Fix) Wonder if it will work for Walt Disney - anyone know when he's expected to be thawed?

Friday, January 22, 2010


That stands for Thank God it's (F-ing) Friday. This week has kicked my ass between work, after work and after-work-work. Weekly routine is as follows: wake up, press snooze, wake up, press snooze again, wake up turn alarm off, shower, makeup, dress and work, meetings, put out fires, after work meeting/social/event, followed by a little TV, wash face, pj's, read book, go to bed. Repeat x5. There's got to be a better way but I can't seem to get out of this routine that leaves me utterly wiped by the time the weekend rolls around.
I am aware of the fact that it is now nearing the end of January and I have yet to go an entire week without driving to work in spite of the fact that I live a mere four (good shopping) blocks from the office. I've also driven each time with my gym bag conveniently located in the back seat of my car but every morning convince myself it looks so cozy nestled on the floor behind my seat that I would hate to disturb it. Did I mention there is a gym on the second floor of my office that is basically free? For shame.

Next week, a new regime? More time for me? Take more control? That may be a stretch, but admitting you have a problem is the first step in the road to recovery, non? As if I had somehow telepathically sent my SOS, my dearest girlfriend Marisa sent a note expressing the same sentiments and our collective desperate need for some "me/us" time and what better place to do just that than in the hydratherapy pools at the Scandinave in Collingwood, Ontario? Girlfriends always know what you need! So do sisters and tonight, mine is joining me for a girly dinner and movie.

See, this is why TGIF-ingF!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I never did get an Easy-Bake Oven

For a kid who sure loved to eat (and eat, and eat), I can only imagine it was my mother's proactive, outside-voice worrying that ensured her chubby little girl would never get her hungry little hands on an Easy-Bake Oven. Surely, those little cakes wouldn't have stood a chance against my need to feed as a stout little five-year-old. So that may explain why my eyes nearly welled up when I saw this today on Twitter (thx to @Skripper)! Yes, if you're on the same wavelength then you must be thinking the same thing: An Easy-Bake Oven for Adults! In just five minutes, this magical dream-maker whips up seven sweet little cupcakes. Seven in five! That's my kind of math. And, since they're bite size, you can eat all seven and it's basically like eating one regular cupcake.
God Bless America.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

things I learned: Tuesday

I think this may become a recurring theme on the blog that only just two weeks ago proclaimed it would promise no themes. But I do think it's important not only to learn something new, but to share said new-found knowledge with total strangers. So here goes.

Today, I learned that:
- coffee is the number one source of antioxidants in a North American diet (source The Rebel Diet by Melissa Hershberg)
- the street lamps in Hershey, Pennsylvania are shaped like Hershey's Kisses (source: SweetSpot sweet fix)
- former president George W. Bush and Hugh Hefner are cousins (source: Sweet Spot sweet fix)
- my entire family is "impatient" for me to get married (source: my mother)
- the new Orange Blossom tea at Starbucks taste suspiciously like ass and nothing like the old yummy tea (source: Me)

Oh, and lastly, if you eat two cups of Mini-Wheats dry and then drink water, you may actually burst. No... not really.

Friday, January 15, 2010

are fanny pack's back?

I saw this post today on new blog-crush jomygoodness and I might have to agree - these waist purses (fanny-packs in disguise!) by Kinnies are kind of sweet. While I am not certain I need any more ruffle near my derriere, I admire a stylish new take on an out-of-style idea.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Audrey makes me Hopeful

I was reminded today of one of my favourite quotes of all time, which is by Audrey Hepburn. Now there is some debate as to whether or not she wrote or merely quoted it, but for argument's sake, I like to read it imagining her saying it. Audrey makes me hopeful.

"For Attractive lips, speak words of kindness, For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people, For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry, For Beautiful hair, let a child run their fingers through it once a day, For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone. People, more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed. Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of each of your arms. As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself and the other for helping others."

A very wise woman. She also said "Nothing is impossible, the word itself says 'I'm possible'!"; "There are certain shades of limelight that can wreck a girl's complexion"; and my ultimate life credo "Paris is always a good idea."

Cheers to Audrey and to wishing you a happy and hopeful Thursday

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

site interruptus

As you may have noticed (yes you, my lone reader), I can't quite manage to get the font consistent on this site. As I am not planning on doing anything about it, I'm not certain why I felt the need to share other than I had the urge for YOU to know that I also know.

Phew... that took a load off my shoulders!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Wicked Good Arrival!

Hurrah! They arrived! My cozy, L.L. Bean Wicked Good Moccasins landed on my desk today and they are every bit as cozy as I had imagined. I wish I could wear them right now, alas I am on duty for an evening event where these snuggly slippers are not on the guest list.

Monday, January 11, 2010

resolutions continued

This post was originally going to be titled a wine-ing weekend but then I realized that was lame.Spent the weekend in the always-pretty town Niagara-on-the-Lake in celebration of a dear friend's birthday. In our vast imbibing experience, we have come to know that five couples can consume a frightening lot of drink in a very short period of time, which is why Mrs. Birthday Boy, the clever gal she is, suggested no DD's would be required on what would be an ambitious five-winery tour Saturday afternoon. Instead, ten winos packed into a white stretch SUV limousine and headed to Beamsville to tour the likes of Fielding Estates, Tawse, Thirty Bench and No. 99 Estates Winery.

By the end of the tour, we were rosy-cheeked and giddy and definitely over-shared with our sommelier at our last stop about the previous night's antics, which had included a series of vigorous, physical challenges and gluttonous over-eating by a load of optimists with not one empty glass in site the entire night. A big thank you to Mr. & Mrs. Birthday Boy, Katie and Mark, for being Divine hosts as always.

Based on the above, here are a few things I learned this weekend:
  • 2007 was a great year for Ontario wines (but Ontario reds still taste like swill no matter how pretty the label)
  • You can buy an oak barrel (French oak, even) should you have the need for one for about $60, which sounds like a deal until you try to get it in your car
  • Planning a weekend with a teacher will almost always feature "activities" that I don't win
  • and Games that are called cornhole and swingin' dick require stretching before playing
I also learned that it is best to start your diet on a Monday after a really big weekend so it takes your body a few extra days to realize that you actually did throw away all the junk food in the house. No cause for panic, though as I consumed enough nachos and beer this weekend to keep me full until at least Thursday. Hope I don't run into you then. Probably best to carry some candy in your pocket in case you do run into me. I'm sorry in advance.

Friday, January 8, 2010

mad for macarons

It was a little over a year ago I spent ten glorious days in Paris. We rented a flat on the third floor of an apartment on Rue L'Arbre Sec in the 1st Arrondissement. We traversed the city on foot, exploring the cultural and culinary delights that have made the Paris famous for centuries. And it was in Paris that my obsession with les Macarons first, albeit fittingly, began.

One of most most exquisite of tourist destinations in Paris is Laduree. Laduree is like being Alice but instead of waking up in Wonderland, you wake up inside a Faberge egg and every gilded creation is made of colourful sugar. And then there are the actual Macarons. Arguably the most famous Macarons in the world, these petite, delicate clouds are too refined to be called just cookies and the presentation of rows on rows of pastel colours and perfect packaging literally takes my breath away.

And this week, I was inspired again by one of my favourite blogs is Sweet Designs, by Amy Atlas. As her profile says, NY-based Amy is an event planner specializing in high end dessert tables. My heaven is made up of a series of Amy Atlas dessert tables. This week, she made me a fan for life when she featured her take on Macarons and Laduree. Take a look and check out some of her other designs on her web site Oh, and be sure to eat before you read. This site is guaranteed to leave you salivating!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

a nerd at <3

In my former life as a PR agency gal, I spent most of my time with technology clients. This, in part due to my former former life as a technology reporter, eventually made me decently-versed in gadgets, gizmos, apps and tools. Decently-versed is a far cry from decently-practiced - I can tell you why you should hook up your HDMI cables to your HD TV but don't ask me how to do it...ever.

What brings me to this reflection on all things geek today is that it's January 6th and CES officially jumps out of its Star Wars cake tomorrow. The Consumer Electronics Show is the annual trade show that brings together more than 100,000 people from all parts of the globe to Las Vegas who spend the week traversing more than one million square feet (yes, one MILLION) of show floor space, bearing witness to the future of personal technology, talking fridges and housekeeping robots a certainty. It even brings in more people than the porn show, conveniently held about a week later in the same spot - true story.

Having spent time as the PR rep for a major international technology brand, I attended a few CESes and I gotta say, I kinda miss the buzz of big brainpower. Slightly less do I miss the Jersey Shore sales jerks who puff out their chests while ogling the assets of giggling booth babes, but it is Vegas after all and what happens in Vegas, yada yada yada...

Maybe it's just that... Vegas. The only place on earth you can order a turkey club on a waffle from room service at 4:30AM and it's not only acceptable, it's expected. If all the world is a stage, Vegas is where they design the sets.

I don't think I'll go back anytime soon, though. There are myriad destinations on my bucket list before I hit the reruns. Instead I'll observe with slight longing from afar. Maybe I'll make waffles for dinner...

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

In short

I am really bad at commitment. Okay wait, that didn't sound right. Let me be clear, I am the most loyal girlfriend, dedicated friend, sister, daughter, niece, boss, etc. But when it comes to follow through on personal goals I set, I'm more of a waffler.

Lets take this blog for example: I debated an entry today. Seriously. Two posts in and I already made excuses for why I was too busy, too tired, too uninterested (more like uninteresting) too late, too whatever to write.

So here I am. Blaming lack of inspiration in part on the overwhelming coverage of the Google Nexus on Twitter (oh CES, I still carry a torch for your nerdy Vegas love) rather than the tweets I so enjoy like 140-character recipes from Every Day Food and the wedding DIY amazement that is StyleMePretty. Normally I am DI WHY?? but I am in lust with this site. (don't mention to my boyf... key message: I'm looking for a friend).

Another full day over and a full evening begins with the Canadian World Juniors. I realize this will now be the second time I mention the World Junior Hockey championships in as many days and I feel the urgent need to caveat the rest of this thought with the following context: I don't watch hockey. I never watch hockey. I don't own a pair of skates, wasn't a puck bunny in high school (or there afterward, no judgement) and surely will not be a hockey mom when the time comes and now it's in writing. But something happens when the Juniors play. My bf will say it's because of 15-year-old superstar Taylor Hall, who is indeed dreamy, but that would make me a total perv/cougar, or would that be a cougert? The truth? The World Junior Hockey championships allow me the unabashed privilege of the excuse to fill my face with forbidden delicacies like cheesy nachos, chicken wings, french fries and beer and have it be socially acceptable.

And, yes... diet starts (again) tomorrow.

Monday, January 4, 2010

A Brave New Year

Year over year, with every stroke of midnight each December 31st, the world symbolically sheds the past year's struggles, hardships, heartaches, fears and doubts. And in so many ways, January 1 does feel like a rebirth - an opportunity to call a cosmic mulligan to "do over" or "do better" in the areas you've failed to master the year prior. (argued considerably by my dear friend Lindsay who absolutely despises this concept on the basis that society has made up this ridiculous concept and a date doesn't change anything... but this is not about her.)

This year, I haven't yet made any resolutions. I didn't quite feel ready for the new year to come so quickly. I didn't organize, I didn't purge, I didn't prepare or even count down. Before I knew it, somewhere between the World Junior Hockey game, my third glass of red wine (okay fourth or fifth) and multiple servings of dinner, my relationship with 2009 was over and I was rebounding immediately, toasting champagne, sharing a sweet moment with my bf of three years and congratulating friends over roars of "happy new year!" My house still needed to be cleaned, my bills paid and the work I had left on December 29th would still be waiting for me in three days' time. In a nutshell, my breakup with 2009 had been messy with many loose ends and the shiny newness of 2010 only temporarily made me forget. Now I need closure.

That is probably what should be my 2010 resolution: get over 2009. I'll spend the first month of this brave new year resolving, reflecting, renouncing and reviving - really start to take good care of me. Then, I'll cut myself a little slack and restart the year again... slightly delayed but for the better.

Okay, here goes. Day 1 is half over and I'm feeling only slight anxiety. Good sign. And to reward myself for being so mature, I think I'll buy
these. Seriously cute and are perfectly in line with my NYR. You can't make any decisions with cold feet!