Wednesday, October 7, 2015

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

Blood is thicker than water, but maple syrup is thicker than blood. So pancakes are more important than family. Pancakes for the win.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Eight Scary Things

Almost three years ago I blogged about the 10 Things You Might Not Have Known About Canada. Providing snippets of completely useless information. To put it quite simply, it's what yours truly does best. So in keeping with "what I do best", I present to you...

8 Scary Things You Didn't Know About Canada

Forget Canada’s reputation as a safe and tranquil country. The Great White North has its fair share of unnerving skeletons lurking in its closet. Unexplainable, hair-raising events routinely scare the living daylights out of unassuming Canucks. Lock all your doors and give one last glance over your shoulder – here are 10 goosebump worthy secrets about Canada.
  1. Canadian Lake Monsters Abound - You’ve heard the tales of curious travellers flocking to Scotland in the hopes of catching a glimpse of the famous Loch Ness Monster. But did you know that Nessie isn’t the only sea monster mystery worthy of attention? Turns out, Scotland’s elusive serpent has plenty of Canadian competition. Native Canadian legends and current day believers speak of lake monsters playing hide and seek in British Columbia (Lake Okanagan’s Ogopogo), Manitoba (Lake Manitoba’s Manipogo), Ontario (Lake Champlain’s Champie) and Québec (Lake Memphremagog’s Memphre).
  2. Stay the Night in a Haunted Jail Cell - Night terrors or sweet dreams? Take your pick at HI-Ottawa Jail Hostel. This imposing building in the heart of Canada’s capital served as the Carleton County Gaol from 1862 to 1972. Hidden behind its dank walls lie many secrets and apparently, several ghosts. Many prisoners spent their last days here locked behind bars, and a select few even gasped their final breaths from the hangman’s noose. Today, the former jail’s gallows still shock and terrify visitors, but don’t let a little spookiness get in the way of a good night’s sleep. Travellers can catch forty winks in a private or shared jail cell. We did a tour a couple of October's ago and there is no way in holly, I'd spend the night!
  3. Hair-raising Destinations Everywhere - Canada has some creepy communities lurking within its geography. Travellers may feel their hair stand on end when passing through Bloodvein River, Poison Creek, Burnt Arm, Destruction Bay, Goblin, Skull Creek, Hatchet Cove, Bone Town, Gore Bay and Coffin Cove.
  4. Phantoms of Old Montreal - Old Montréal is beloved around the world for its beautiful architecture and quaint cobbled streets. It’s also notorious for its plethora of supernatural residents. Tortured souls who met their untimely demise through misadventure, criminal events, or public executions are said to wander the streets and sights of Old Montréal including Saint Gabriel’s...the city’s oldest inn, home to the ghost of a little girl who perished in a fire, and Place Jacques Cartier where the decapitated ghost of murdered prostitute Mary Gallagher searches for her lost head. I went there with my sister many moons ago and thankfully we didn't see any ghosts!
  5. Werewolves Stalk La Belle Province - A 19th century Québec legend warns residents about the frightful loup-garou – a vicious, snarling werewolf prowling through the province’s dense forests. According to French-Canadian folklore, loup-garou creeps through the darkness searching for a hearty meal of unsuspecting hunters and trappers.
  6. The Burning Ship of Northumberland Strait - Many countries have tales of unearthly ghost ships sailing along their shores. Canada’s spine-tingling watercraft goes one better – it’s fully engulfed in flames from bow to stern. Blazing its path along the Northumberland Strait between Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, the multiple-masted schooner seems to appear when a storm is on the approach.
  7. Niagara Falls' Screaming Tunnel - No, the screaming tunnel isn’t a new amusement park ride to entice Niagara tourists. The 125-foot long passageway was originally constructed in the early 1900s as a path for railroad cars. Today, it stretches beneath train lines that connect Niagara Falls to Toronto and New York City. According to local legend, if you enter the tunnel after midnight and light a match, the flame will mysteriously extinguish while screams of a young female ring in your ears. This unsettling paranormal activity is reportedly connected to the grisly death of a young girl who was set ablaze inside the tunnel.
  8. Beware! Spooky Skeletons Underfoot - A stroll through this Kingston, Ontario green space isn’t your typical walk in the park. Underneath the grassy surface of McBurney Park lie thousands of buried bodies. In 1819, this land was the Upper Burial Ground, and served as a resting place for Kingston’s dead until 1864. By the 1880s, city officials had constructed a park on top of the burial plots to make the area more appealing to the area’s growing residential population. Unfortunately, the dead had other ideas. Over the years, gravestones and bones have popped out of the ground at McBurney Park, spooking unsuspecting visitors and earning the area a fitting, yet freaky, nickname - Skeleton Park.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Out of Place

I went to Costco this week...I needed vitamins.

When I go to Costco, I feel out of place. I feel as though I don’t belong and that everyone else is in on a secret but won’t tell me. I feel like there are procedures I'm unaware of, a dress code nobody told me about, or some sort of … apparently indescribable something I was never informed about. There’s this looming feeling that everyone’s looking at me, men, women, children … everyone. It doesn't matter. They’re all in on it.

I'm most comfortable in grocery stores, probably from how often I’ve had to go into them (Adam would agree with this). Followed by Chapter's and then every other retail store of every possible kind.

But Costco...that a different matter.

For those of you who don’t know, Costco is one of those bulk stores that sell everything in quantities of a million. You want Kleenex? Here’s 15 large boxes all wrapped up together. Toilet paper? Here are enough rolls that you will actually bring the last half of these with you when you move to your next home four years from now.

At any rate, I went to Costco to get one thing. Vitamin's and as it turns out...granola bars cause they looked really good but it'll likely take me two years to work my way though the box.

I bought just those two things. When I was standing in line I felt like people were staring at me like I was a pariah. The people with 12 boxes of frozen pizza, a jug of chocolate sauce, pump-action shampoo bigger than my arm, and 8 cans of whipped cream...they’re staring at me like I'm the freak.

I felt so out of place! What about you shop at Costco?

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

An Open Letter

Dear Whiteboards,

Do you remember when you were younger and one day at school you had a chalkboard in your classroom and then what felt like just a few days later (because trying to understand time when you are a kid is bananas) the school was filled with shiny new whiteboards? You know what I mean? Although I guess those of you born in the current century probably have no idea what I’m talking about. That’s depressing… does that mean there’s a whole generation of children who don’t even know what a chalkboard looks like? Or feels like? Or sounds like? I might even go so far as to describe that as horrifying except nothing is as horrifying as the chill that runs down your back when a piece of chalk catches and breaks on the board and you can feel the screeching noise all the way to your toes. There are children who may never know that particular brand of torture.

Okay, yes I’m exaggerating. Everyone knows about chalkboards but nowadays a chalkboard seems like a relic of the past or an item some hipster picked up at a flea market “downtown” and showed to his friend who works at Anthropologie and next thing you know chalkboards are all the rage (that’s how trends work, right?) but no one is actually using them, just turning them into tables or making signs outside vegan restaurants with clever daily affirmations.

That’s cool. Chalkboards can chill outside of cool bars in some happening city with cool hipster names all day for all I care. I’m way more into whiteboards. Whiteboards are my jam.

Whiteboards are great for the obvious reasons, mostly in that they are like way easier and more efficient and shinier and better for a lot of writing on them. Sure, they can look stark in an empty room, or add to clutter. And they’re not necessarily the most well-designed functional item that is also decorative and  I do think a chalkboard is more aesthetically pleasing. But when it comes down to efficiency...then the whiteboard is where it’s at.

And like chalkboard paint, you can make the walls of your office a whiteboard with that special whiteboard paint and then you can just write all over your walls which is super fun and/or convenient depending on if you are a small child or an adult who writes on whiteboards a lot of the time or somewhere in between.

Also I’m one of those people who weirdly loves the smell of gasoline, so yeah, it doesn’t hurt that those dry erase markers make my olfactory glands go gaga.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

The Klondike Bar found out what I did for it, and now it's blackmailing me.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Hey I Heard You Were a Wild One

Eleven months...this is how long my little man has been giving us a run for our money.

He's a little climber, he'll be up the stairs in the blink of an eye & is always finding ways to escape anywhere we put him and also likes to get himself stuck under varying pieces of furniture and toys. He squeals, grunts & makes zombie noises when he sees something he wants, and doesn't usually stop until he gets it or is distracted well with something else. Changing his diaper and getting him dressed are Olympic sports these days. If he's not sleeping, he's moving!

Little man is stubborn & wild, but sweeter than sugar.

He loves to be rocked & sang to...singing George Ezra's 'Budapest' will calm him down anytime he's crying. Adam has been singing this to him for months and if it plays on the radio, he'll stop what ever he's doing and immediately demand to be picked up and held as long as it plays. Songs over and he's back to business. He's such a snuggler, he could stay in our arms after his bedtime feed forever if we let him. He loves hugs, high fives, fist bumps, kisses & holding our hands to walk, and will always put his sweet little head on my shoulder if I'm holding him. I relish the snuggles for I know they are fleeting. Time passes too quickly when you have a baby I'm discovering.

Here's a glimpse of what eleven months looks like...

Age - 11 months

Stats - Weighs 17.5 lbs, 27.5 inches...wee but mighty! Still wears Baby Gap size 3-6 months and some 6-12 months. I bought a ton of 6-12 month shorts back in the spring that sadly, he still doesn't fit into so I had to order some more 3-6 month to get us through the summer. He has 5 teeth with a sixth ready to pop at any moment. As a side teeth teething has been brutal! 

Favorite Foods - Blueberries, bananas, ravioli, yogurt, sweet potato, cooked carrots and peas, yogurt melts & Cheerios. He shovels blueberries into his mouth faster than I can cut them in half! 

Words - Dada for sure but he's more of a babbler with dozens of sounds to express himself. He has the best little squeal when he's excited about something. 

Favorite Activities - Eating, seriously this kid is happiest with a mouth full of food. Chasing the cats around the dining room table, crawling at light speed & laughing hard while kitty runs from him. Clapping, swinging, climbing, playing peek-a-boo & taking baths. 

Favorite Things - Loves loves to push around the Hape Wonder walker. He loves to chew on anything and everything (people too) and loves to watch Bubble Guppies. Throwing and banging things and toilets! 

Least Favorite Things - Car rides, sleeping, diaper changes, baby gates, and really anything else that keeps him contained. As soon as he started crawling he was so done with the jumparoo and jolly jumper.

Signature Moves - Rocking back & forth with his hands in the air, especially in his high chair while he's eating. Standing up & squealing with excitement, then falling over. Sticking his fingers in our mouths while he read to him & then laughing. Smiling so big with his bottom teeth sticking out & his eyes closed tight, it's really just about the cutest smile ever.

We love you so much, Lochlan James! You are the life of the party & your smile lights up the room. We can't wait to continue watching you grow, you get sweeter every single day, eleven months & counting!

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

Just looked at the bottom of this can of whoopass. It's expired.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Who Are These People and Why Do We Need Them - Part II

I don't often drink coffee but this morning I was craving a cup (perhaps because Lochlan was awake every two hours last night) so I made a pot and poured myself a cup of coffee. I opened the fridge and reached for the creamer - Silk french vanilla - perfect - a lovely treat (that I don't remember buying. I blame the lack of sleep). As I shake and pour ( I didn't even need directions, imagine that), I notice yet another warning label on the container. WARNING: NOT TO BE USED AS INFANT FORMULA. Okay...I have to ask...who in their right flapping mind would pour Silk french vanilla creamer into a baby bottle and say "Brilliant! Now I don't have to go the store today for formula!" Are the legal departments of these companies sitting around thinking these things up or are they actually doing this and calling the 1-800 number on the back of the product?

A few others for you to ponder and then I will sign off...

I merely looked into the medicine cabinet at home for some easy winners of the useless label contest:
  • Tylenol PM - May cause drowsiness - I paid good money to fall into a deep-coma-like better cause a whole lot more than drowsiness. 
  • Windex - as you know from My Big Fat Greek Wedding - a staple in any greek home. Warning: Do not spray directly in eyes. Really? 
  • Bandaids - Directions: Cover affected area with Bandage. Really? I was thinking I'd cover my eye so I didn't have to look at the wound. 
  • Pepto - Do not use if you have a black stool. My friend has 3 black stools at her breakfast bar. I need to warn her...she shouldn't never have this bottle in the house. 
In conclusion - I'd like to say that if we are going to eliminate jobs, the writers of these ads should go first.

Also, if we are going to continue to insist on catering to those that need to be pointed out the obvious, then they should also have to wear a warning label. Imagine how much easier our lives would be then. Imagine getting in the returns line at Walmart behind someone who's warning label says "WARNING: this person is prone to ask too many questions of the clerk returning the item, may also contemplate applying for credit card and take too long looking for ID. Prone to text during transactions as well. Proceed with caution."

Wouldn't we be so lucky to know these things ahead of time in our daily lives. I imagine my warning label would go a little something like this...

"Warning, this woman tends to be cranky when tired, has a blatant overuse of sarcasm, and known for an F bomb or two, use caution when entering her personal space."

What would your warning label say?

Thursday, August 6, 2015


On August 3rd I tuned 40 years old.

I was actually looking forward to turning 40. With each passing decade, my life gets better and better. My twenties were somewhat of a mess. My thirties were better as I met my partner, had great employment and had a baby.

Standing on the doorstep of my 40s is a positive for me. I know that I have an amazing partner and I am truly lucky to have him. I also know that my love for my son knows no bounds and watching him grow is an indescribable experience. The 40s will bring me more peace, within me and on the periphery. It does not scare me, although that may be due to the fact that everyone thinks I am in my early thirties (Good genes, I guess!). I know my life has improved over time and turning 40 will not change that. It is just a number, right?

Why should it matter? I don't feel 40, but when I turned 30, I didn't feel that, either. I don't know what it is supposed to feel like and the truth is, why should I even spend time worrying about that? Forty years is a long time and only I hold the key to my feelings and my experiences from these past 40 years. Certainly, my parents, siblings and friends can describe some of this, but I am the only one who can speak about my own feelings and experiences, as they are mine.

Instead of worrying about a number, why don't we celebrate more? Forty is a milestone, for sure, and I want to celebrate all I have been through: good and bad. So many thoughts and memories flood my head. The tough times were worth it because I would not be who I am today if not for the past 40 years of experiences.

Starting with a "normal" childhood, which was very happy. My early twenties was a mix of difficult and greatness: being on my own for the first time when my parents moved across the country. I made great friends though and was able to experience military life but it was not until I met Adam at the age of 32 that I felt comfortable and able to be my authentic self. He is partly responsible for my happiness in my 30s, even through the stress and emotional roller coaster of fertility treatments (IVF, frozen transfers, major surgery). Lochlan is my ultimate joy in my life. He is our miracle.

So, what will now happen in my life as I enter the 40s? It will certainly be interesting, but based on my life thus far, there will be more growing and more understanding of the people I love and those who love me. Now that's what I call a cause for celebration, don't you?

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

Technically there is a lot of food in this house but none it is sweet or microwaveable therefore there is no food in the house.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

This is just a quick shout-out to bread bowls, waffle cones and other edible containers. You guys are doing a great job. Keep up the good work.

Monday, July 6, 2015


I love candles!

But I don’t simply love candles...I am a freak for candles. I would be so down with being transported back to say, the early 1800s because, well first of all time travel equals awesome, but also think about all those candles. Back when there wasn't electricity...everyone rocked candles. Back then people would even have these little candle trays they would use to carry their candles around on and everything was always kind of terrifying because the only thing lit at night would be the area around the candle which sounds both very romantic and very scary and possibly both at the same time which is fun too.

Nowadays candles are just sort of tossed aside as this decorative item that costs way more than I am willing to spend on an average meal so my candle buying is limited. I mean I would love to purchase a thirty-dollar homemade organic wax candle that smells exactly like a unicorn cried into a grapefruit but I’d also like to feed and clothe my family. So nowadays, getting to enjoy candles is not quiet as easy as it was back in the Days of Yore. But that’s where discount department stores come in handy. Mainly Winners and Homesense. They have some pretty decent sales in the home goods aisles, and that almost always includes candles.

Just the other day I took Lochlan for an excursion to my favorite local Winners, (we need the change of scenery) and I found a few 'cheap' candles. Based on the number of candles purchased you'd think I was stocking up for the impending zombie apocalypse when we will lose all power and have to rely on candles for light lest we get eaten by a zombie just because it’s dark out and we couldn't figure out where to go. 

The thing is, if you want to get into the big serious romantic candle shrine type mood then you are going to need a literal boatload of candles. And you definitely don’t want all those candles to be scented because there is a very real chance you will pass out from candle fumes and or hallucinate that a giant Tahitian Gardenia is doing interpretive dance with some Spanish Sandalwood while White Linen eats a Fig on a Bamboo Teak tabletop. So just get one or two scented candles and then go straight bananas in the unscented candle section. Snatch up every odorless waxed wick you can find! Then just disperse the candles in the place of your choosing, light away, and rejoice in all those flickering flames.

Now remember to always practice candle safety because everyone knows about that dude who left a candle burning in his dorm room and he lit his super cool tapestry that his sister brought him from Spain on fire and then the building burned down. I would also not recommend laying on a bed surrounded by candles à la Claire Danes as Juliet, because first of all, those candles look expensive; secondly, if you are as klutzy as I am, chances are 100% you’ll burn yourself...but mostly you should just remember that no one is ever going to look as good as Claire Danes looks when she’s emoting.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Nine Months

Someday I'll get my act together, my thoughts on an even keel and back to writing again. 


Someday...when I'm getting more then four hours of sleep in a row. 
Someday...when Lochlan naps for more then forty minutes at a time. 
Someday...when I'm done updating my resume and looking for work. 
Someday...when I've sorted day care out. 


Until's Lochlan in his ninth month...

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