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