31.3.11

Skyline Snapshots

Here are a few of the pictures I look from my Baby Bro's balcony. The view is slightly addictive as it changes all of the time. That being said, whoever decided that the CN Tower should be lit up with red lights sucks. Instead of looking pretty, which I'm pretty sure was the point, it looks evil. Like it's about to uproot and start chasing me. Needless to say, I didn't take pictures of it's evilness...

The Tower

The Rogers Centre...although The Skydome is still the best name. 

Love the night shots.

There was a motorcross competition at The Centre. For 2 days beforehand, the enormous tractor-trailers filed into the parking lot on the bottom right. It was like the country came to town, which is fitting since we also came to town. It was nice being surrounded by leather ball caps and jackets.

Baby Bro's place is on the FORTIETH floor, hence the unending view north. 

If you look at the highway littered with headlights on the left, you'll see that Baby Bro's able to conduct his own traffic reports for the highway. Hilarious.

30.3.11

Mr. Geography

We're officially back from Toronto! YAY! 

It was a fun trip and we loved getting to see our family and friends. My lungs stayed in check, thank goodness, so although I feel like a bag of crap right now, it was SO worth it! Staying near our old stomping grounds was awesome, although it almost felt like we'd never lived there to begin with. Funny how time can play tricks on ya.

I met up with a wonderful friend of mine who always manages to have the most awesome hair styles, and afterwards, took a cab back to our apartment (we were staying in our own apartment that my Baby Brother rented for us in his building). After telling the driver where I was going, he locked onto my eyes via the rearview mirror.


Driver: "All right beautiful princess, if you can answer the following question then your ride will be free!"

Me: "Holey Crap, am I on Cash Cab?" *looks around waiting for the lights* (for those who don't know, Cash Cab is a reality quiz how that takes place in a cab in Toronto)

Driver: *ha-rumps* "No, I am Mr. Geography."

Me: "What?"

Driver: "Yes, beautiful princess, I am Mr. Geography. Do you want to play?"

Me: "Heck yes!"

Driver: "Okay, beautiful princess...what is the capital of Nigeria?"

Me: "Crap. I have no idea."

Driver: "It's Abuja, beautiful princess."

Me: "Am I the dumbest person you've driven?"

Driver: "Oh no, beautiful princess, do not worry. If you can name all of the countries that border Germany in 60 seconds, your ride will be free."

Me: "What?"

Driver: "Go!"

Me: "Um...um...France, Poland, Italy....um...Russia?"

Driver: "Hahaha, you are so funny, beautiful princess. You've gone too far!"


Then he proceeded to hand me an ATLAS with the picture opened up to Europe. 

An ATLAS!!

He also handed me a stack of laminated newspaper clippings that featured him. They dated back about 12 years. Apparently he's a pretty big deal. 

My cab ride cost $7.45 but I gave him a big tip, you know, for making me feel like a moron (and for calling me a 'beautiful princess' about a thousand times). 

I've been practicing the US states on Sporcle.com (a quiz website) but it looks like I've still got QUITE a bit of work to do. Still, it was a pretty fun cab ride. 

26.3.11

Triple-Threat Cookies


A few bloggers have been passing around a recipe for chocolate chip cookies that are baked around Oreos. I've been waiting to give them a try because I knew that if they stayed in the house...with me...alone...well, I wouldn't be able to fit through any of our doorways. Since we were going to Toronto and visiting lots of peeps, I thought I'd give them a try. 

I wasn't disappointed. 


This is everything you'll need. If you want to take it up a notch, get some vanilla beans and put them in a sealed container overnight with the sugar. Can't take credit for the idea but I REAP the REWARDS.

Mix everything together until JUST combined. 

Take a heaping tablespoon and form it into a pressed ball. Put one underneath the Oreo and one above.

Then squish the seams together, completely covering the Oreo.

The recipe says you get 2 dozen. I got just shy of that.

As you can see, some of the cookies had slightly too much batter. Marc said they looked like fried eggs...with an oreo centre, of course. I got better with the second batch.


BAM! They're friggin' INSANE! It's like THREE cookies at once!

VERDICT: They are amazing and best served with a glass of cold milk. Super easy and would make a VERY appropriate gift for someone, considering their intensity on the cookie-scale is about a 10.5.



25.3.11

Tea-Bagging Nightmare


A couple of months ago, I had a serious hate on for Twinings. Don't get me wrong, I've been starting my day with a cuppa from Twinings since the dawn of my adulthood (and later teen years) and since I don't drink coffee, the tea is mighty important to me. I usually buy the caterer-sized boxes that have 100 bags and I found that my most recent purchase of teabags had an extraordinarily large amount of of defunct bags which EXPLODED as soon as hot water hit them.

Obviously, that meant that I'd have to boil water ALL OVER AGAIN in order to make another.

SEETHING with rage with BACK-TO-BACK explosions, I fired off an email to the company, informing them of the suckiness.

This is the letter I got back.





Also included were TWO coupons for a Twinings product of my choice. Since I purchase tea in boxes of 100...that's...


 TWO HUNDRED FREE TEA BAGS!! (and the sweet sweet taste of vindication)



Props for Twinings Customer Service! *hands Rep bag of props*


24.3.11

Baby Brother's Bagels


For the next FOUR days, Marc and I will be hanging out in our old stomping grounds. A Caribbean vacation wasn't in the cards this year, so with a little help from my Mum's Aeroplan Points Card, we booked flights out to Toronto to visit friends and family.

The flight was delayed for just over two hours, which sucked, although things were going well until they closed the bar. FINALLY, we got to my Baby Bro's apartment where he'd rented us a guest suite.  It's pretty much the oddest room we've ever stayed in. I'll be doing a full TO REPORT when we get back. In the meantime though, I thought I'd share how to make my Baby Bro's favourite thing: Bagels.

I use THIS recipe.


This is everything that you'll need. The Ovaltine seems sketchy but is INTEGRAL to the recipe. 
Throw in the beaten egg, malt powder, sugar and yeast.

Then add the water while beating. 

After the yeast has dissolved, add the salt and flour. Switch to a dough hook (I have NO idea how people made bread-like goods pre-Kitchen-Aid-Mixers)

When it's smooth, roll it into a ball and cover with a bowl for 10 minutes.

I decided to make cheese, cinnamon raisin and chocolate chip...but not together, ick. 

When the 10 minutes is up, roll the dough into a line and then cut into 10 - 12 pieces (each time, there's a slightly different yield...I just go with it and make them even).

Roll the cut up piece of dough in your hand until it's smooth. Then poke your finger through the middle and give 'er a little spin.

For cheese bagels, I find that 5 small cubes works best.
Fold the cheese (or whatever else you want) into the dough and seal any seams.

It should look like it did before you added anything.

So, do the rolling & folding in, 10 - 12 times. Cover them with a tea towel and let rise for 30 minutes. 

Get a big pot of honey water and boil each side of each bagel for 45 seconds.

Let dry on a washcloth until slightly sticky.

Then roll in seeds and pop into the oven!

The cheese variety need to cool completely or you'll be left with a gooey blob of cheese. 

Pack up bagels and take them to your Baby Bro as a "Thanks for booking us this sweet-ass room in your building"...or you can just eat them yourself.

I know that it seems like a big job, but they're easy to make and WAY BETTER than any bagel I've bought from a store.

Mmmmmmmm....bagels. 

23.3.11

Dear Lady Gaga:

While driving in my car yesterday, Born This Way came on the radio and suddenly, I had to pull over because I was in the midst a slightly moderate crying fit. There's so much hate and intolerance in the world and it seems like every day, more and more stories of discrimination and exclusion filter their through the media and into my ears. Don't misunderstand, I admire the survivors who publicize their stories because they've spent too long being shoved in the dark but being surrounded by story after story makes the world seem like an awful place. 

So I'm left deciding whether to read the stories and get fired up or not read the stories and pretend to live in a world filled with rainbows and butterflies...decisions, decisions.

As a female hetero whitey, there are those who wonder why the particular issue of equality for same-sex couples makes me so passionate. My reasons are quite normal (in my opinion anyway) and basically come down to my SINCERE belief that people love who they love and it doesn't matter who those people are. 

This brings me back to Born This Way.

Thank goodness for you, Lady Gaga. Putting your incredible music and art aside, you have become an icon for tolerance, acceptance and love. Just writing this blog post has given me misty eyes. The message from Born This Way is so powerful that when I started actually listening to the lyrics, I couldn't help but be overcome. It's like a crack of light beaming through a keyhole. 

It's so important for people with power to stand up for those who don't and I am so grateful that you've consciously chosen to do so. Not only is it admirable, I truly believe that it's making a difference for those who've been told that they're not good enough, just because of who they choose to be with. 

I was listening to Rosie Radio on Sirius and she was telling a story about how you punched Target in the throat (theoretically) and demanded they rethink their donation decisions. You really are changing things because in this world, money talks and I APPLAUD you for using your commercial popularity to nudge people and corporations into the left right direction. 

For the three of you that haven't heard the song yet, read the lyrics below and you'll catch what I've been throwing. 




Intro:
It doesn't matter if you love him, or capital H-I-M
Just put your paws up
'Cause you were born this way, baby

Verse:
My mama told me when I was young
We are all born superstars
She pulled my hand and put my lipstick on
In the glass of her boudoir
"There's nothin wrong with lovin who you are"
She said, "'cause he made you perfect, babe"
"So hold your head up girl and you'll go far,
Listen to me when I say"

Chorus:
I'm beautiful in my way
'Cause God makes no mistakes
I'm on the right track baby
I was born this way
Don't hide yourself in regret
Just love yourself and you're set
I'm on the right track baby
I was born this way

Post-chorus:
Ooo there ain't no other way
Baby I was born this way
Baby I was born this way
Ooo there ain't no other way
Baby, I was born this way
I'm on the right track baby
I was born this way

Don't be a drag - just be a queen
Don't be a drag - just be a queen
Don't be a drag - just be a queen
Don't be!
[ Lyrics from: http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/l/lady_gaga/born_this_way.html ]
Verse:
Give yourself prudence
And love your friends
Subway kid, rejoice your truth
In the religion of the insecure
I must be myself, respect my youth
A different lover is not a sin
Believe capital H-I-M (hey hey hey)
I love my life I love this record and
Mi amore vole fe yah (love needs faith)

Repeat chorus + post-chorus

Bridge:
Don't be a drag, just be a queen
Whether you're broke or evergreen
You're black, white, beige, chola descent
You're lebanese, you're orient
Whether life's disabilities
Left you outcast, bullied, or teased
Rejoice and love yourself today
'Cause baby you were born this way
No matter gay, straight, or bi,
Lesbian, transgendered life
I'm on the right track baby
I was born to survive
No matter black, white or beige
Chola or orient made
I'm on the right track baby
I was born to be brave

Repeat chorus + post-chorus

Outro/refrain:
I was born this way hey!
I was born this way hey!
I'm on the right track baby
I was born this way hey!

I was born this way hey!
I was born this way hey!
I'm on the right track baby
I was born this way hey!




Seriously, how can you NOT be inspired??


PROPS to you, Lady Gaga! Keep kicking ass and taking names! *hands Gaga GIANT bag of props*



EQUALITY FOR ALL

22.3.11

What's on Your Reading List?

My newest order from good ole Chapters


So far, I've fallen in love with Chelsea Handler. I cannot believe I've lived this long without her in my life (in book form).

Right now I'm halfway through, "Are You There, Vodka" and it's HILARIOUS! 


18.3.11

I Heart NB But Do NOT HEART This


** This is filed under ON A MORE SERIOUS NOTE because I am PISSED OFF (again) **


Marc came home yesterday and shared a story he heard on the radio. This morning, I found that many media outlets picket up the story, including Perez. 

Here's the article, but I'll break it down for you.

A same-sex couple in Riverview, NB (just outside of Moncton) were planning their wedding. Naturally, they hired a florist to decorate their reception. Things were going along swimmingly until the florist learned that they weren't a heterosexual couple and REFUSED to work with them.

In fact, she sent them an email stating:

"I am choosing to decline your business. As a born-again Christian, I must respect my conscience before God and have no part in this matter."

This quote, on first read, made my brain explode. Once I had collected the pieces from around my living room, I read her words again and felt a small pang of sympathy. Here's why.

Anyone who has ANY common sense would NEVER have written down such a blatantly discriminatory statement because it's ILLEGAL! It's against the law to discriminate against anyone, regardless of sexual orientation and I'd say that the majority of people know the deal. 

The urbanite inside me thought, "If she didn't want to do the wedding, why not just say that she's to busy or something?" I figure there could be a couple of reasons.

1. She takes her faith seriously and, as such, chose not to lie about why she wouldn't do the flowers. Although there's a tiny bit of honour there, I still believe her stance to be CONTRADICTORY to the basic fundamentals of Christianity -- Jesus loves EVERYONE. Also, if you go around saying that your actions are based on your faith, then you can't be selective. I mean, how many of the weddings that she's done are SECOND or THIRD weddings? Isn't divorce bad? Has she ever done the funeral of someone who committed SUICIDE? I'm sure you see where I'm going here. 

2. She's a hateful bigot, wanted to shame the couple and doesn't care who knows. 

It doesn't really matter if she falls into the first category or the second because her actions are BRUTALLY unfair (and ILLEGAL).

What's AWESOME though, is the brave couple going to the media instead of accepting her decision. I hope that the couple in question have a WAY BETTER florist step up to the plate and make their dream wedding a reality. It's times like this that I wish I was a Secret Millionaire...


EQUALITY FOR ALL



17.3.11

Blossoms of Awesome-ness

As I consider myself to be a semi-competitive baker (meaning that I bake so much I could do it professionally) one of my "reasons" for whipping up mouth-watering and calorie-packed goodies is to say THANK YOU!

So, when a person - a relative STRANGER really, loaned me a bundle of books a few months ago, I decided that I'd bake her something marvellous when I returned them. That day was on Tuesday, so on Monday evening, I scoured my books for a recipe before remembering that a certain blog featured a recipe for Peanut Butter Blossoms.

Gleeful with my first attempt at a new recipe (one of the highlights of my life), I saw that I had everything I needed except for Hershey Kisses. One trip to Wal-Mart later and I was off and running. They were easy to make and INCREDIBLY hard to to eat while they were warm.



I was worried that the kisses would totally melt down. See that sad kiss on the left? Luckily, they mostly survived.

The book-lender was deeeeelighted with the cookies and the recipe has officially been added into my rotation.


Mmmmmmelty

Marc also appreciated that about eight of them were "too ugly" to be given away. 

Oh, and I made them with all-natural peanut butter, so OBVIOUSLY that makes them HEALTHY ...right?




16.3.11

Somebody Broke Twitter


It's been the LONGEST day of the LONGEST week and now Twitter is BROKEN. 


The WORST PART?


I can't tweet my OUTRAGE at its broken-ness!!! 


WHO did it?!? WHO? *points finger accusingly*







I don't know what to do with myself... *starts to wander aimlessly*






WHEN will Marc be home?



Only in Canada


I took this picture YESTERDAY.


As in, March 15th, 2011


Temperature: +1 degree Celsius



Amazing.


Gotta love the determination of this person. I mean, TECHNICALLY it wasn't freezing out, so why not  hang laundry to "dry" outside? 


Canadians RULE!



15.3.11

Wii Don't Know Jack

Since the G4 channel has started showing reruns of "The Office," I've learned that the Wii has a bad rap among video game aficionados. I don't understand their beefs though because I vehemently LOVE ours! I'd say that there isn't a week that goes by where I don't pick out something to play. Recently, I was at our local video rental place and picked up a game called "You Don't Know Jack." The back of the game had 2 quotes that caught my eye:


Humiliate your competition

Screw your friends


I forgot to mention that I was at the store in the middle of JaWECA and that JaWECA participants are all about screwing each other...wait...that sounds "off"...

ANYWAY, I rented the game and when we started playing it, we were hooked immediately. Most trivia games have questions based on commonly-known facts. This game, though is NOT like THAT!

Some questions included putting names of things into 2 categories. For instance, they'd show you a variety of names that you'd have to decide were either the name of a brand of ranch salad dressing or the name of a legal brothel in Nevada. "Aunt Emma's Creamy Ranch" nearly killed me. 

It was fairly crazy in between the questions as well, with candid stories and strange voices. I'd say that it's a fair bet the creators of this game took frequent "breaks" behind the dumpsters in the back parking lot. There were times that we'd run out of time before answering because we'd be re-reading the question so many times, trying to figure out what we had to figure out. Once, the narrator told a really long story that we weren't paying attention to, but then had to answer questions about. It was like a Grade 5 book report gone VERY WRONG, which was reinforced when the narrator called us an "idiot" or "loser"  after picking the wrong answer. 

In short, it was HILARIOUS! Not at all boring and IMPOSSIBLE to really be "good" at. Although we sucked the big one when it came to scores in the end, we rushed to get ready the morning that we needed to get to the airport JUST so we could play one last time.


It also gives suggestions for your names. We had Napoleon, Corcky, Meaty Ochre and Ms Turnips. Ballin'

As you can see, "Napoleon" took it with MINUS $4,575, confirming that we don't know JACK. It's the kind of game where you can be up by a lot one moment and then way in the negative in the next. The last round is so confusing that it was always a complete surprise who came out on top. I love games that aren't predictable and this is the MOST unpredictable game EVER!

If you have a Wii, or any system that has the game, GO RENT IT RIGHT NOW! 

Seriously, GO!

UPDATE: Corcky has pointed out that he kicked major ass in the first few rounds and would like some props. *hands bag of props to Corcky*

14.3.11

Sexting Server


Marc and I decided that Saturday would be date "night."

Side Story: I use the word "night" haphazardly because we avoid large crowds and their germs and, therefore, have our dates during off-times. In this case we were having an early supper...at 3:00 in the afternoon. Date "afternoon" sounds stupid though, so we leave it as "night."

So it's the middle of the afternoon and we're basically by ourselves in the restaurant. It's nice because it means that our food comes quickly and we get lots of refills without asking...you know...cause we're basically the only table in the joint. Unfortunately for our server though, her frequent stops by our table resulted in Marc making only brief eye contact and offering mumbled answers to her questions, while I focused on on controlling my laughter. She must have thought we were on the Worst Date Ever (in fact, she brought up separate cheques).

Why, you ask?

Well, there's a new guy where Marc works and this week, he was passing around his phone during break time. On his phone was a picture of his new girlfriend...a blonde in a somewhat racy piece of pink lingerie. 

If you haven't made the connection already, let me be clear.


OUR SERVER WAS THE GIRLFRIEND!


The second she took our drink order, Marc leaned across the table towards me and told me the story. I thought I was going to DIE of laughter (like, literally, I was taking a sip of my drink and nearly choked). After a moment of reflection, I looked around and saw that she was the only blonde server. Marc has a tendency of thinking that people resemble others, but often is way off. Not having another blonde server to compare OUR server to, I asked Marc to rank his certainty that the blonde lingerie model was our server. He said he was 75 - 80% sure, but then added that the new guy at work had said that she worked at this particular restaurant and he hadn't remembered until he saw her.

When she arrived with our drinks, he upped his certainty percentage to 85%. 

Each time she'd come over, I'd look at her face and think, "Your boyfriend is passing around half-nekked pictures of you to anyone who wants a look and you have NO IDEA." When she wandered away, I had to consciously control the volume of my giggle. Not that it was particularly funny (in a "ha ha" way) but mostly because it was a crazy coincidence.

Lesson Learned?: LADIES!! DON'T DO IT!! Guys are kinda stupid when it comes to these things and although the new guy was only trying to "show off" how "hot" his girlfriend was, at least EIGHT other STRANGERS have now seen her in lingerie. If this is what he does when he's "proud," what is he going to show people when they break up? (let's be honest, this relationship is doomed)

Obviously when the cheque arrived, Marc gave her a huge tip. It was only fair, after all. 



*Side Note: I don't blame Marc for looking, I mean, who DOESN'T go at the adult section of Perez when there's a hint of racy pictures? His reaction to seeing her IN PERSON confirmed that I have nothing to worry about (shifty eye contact with her, stuttered responses and overall mortification)*


11.3.11

I'm Still A Wiener!

Julie, over at downtime has awarded me with the Stylish Blogger Award!!





YAY!!

I LOVE AWARDS!!!


*wipes tear of gratitude*


So, I need to share SEVEN things about myself. Since I've won this award once before, I'll try to think up some interesting didn't-make-the-top-seven facts. All right, here goes. 

1. When I was about four years old, I decided that I didn't want a younger brother anymore so I did what any four year old girl would do...I put my little brother (aged two) in our empty bathtub, locked the bathroom door from the inside and went outside to play (I left him with a toy or two, I wasn't totally cruel). My mother wasn't as impressed with my plan and the fire department had to be called to break the door down. The reprimand from the VERY LARGE fireman haunted me for years. 

2. It's impossible for me to believe that Anne Hathaway is anyone other than herself when she's in a movie. It's frustrating because she's in a lot of movies that I WANT to like, but find myself saying, "Why would Anne Hathaway do that?" and it breaks the mood. 

3. Speaking of movies, I CANNOT handle scary flicks. I have a seriously active imagination and once had a week's worth of nightmares after reading the back of a movie in Blockbuster. Oh, and I was TWENTY TWO (incidentally, it was named Dr. Giggles and.was.horrifying. *shudder)

4. I suffer from a not-so-mild Diet Coke addiction but feel justified because I don't drink coffee.

5. I've currently completed "Week 1" of a 13 week running program called "Couch to 10k." Although I vowed to only run if being chased by bears (after completing a half-marathon that nearly killed me - my cross-the-finish-line statement was "this was the WORST idea EVER") there's no other exercise that burns as many calories. So far, it's gone well and I'm hoping that I can actually finish the program by the time it's nice enough to be outside again. 

6. I'm SO EXCITED for the newest Real World and AM NOT ASHAMED.

7. We're heading to Toronto in two weeks to visit family and friends and I CAN'T WAIT to eat all the delicious food I miss. So far on the agenda we're going to our favourite Tapas joint, Fresh for their spring rolls, sweet & savoury crepes at The Crepe Cafe and a new place that my Baby Brother says has the best burgers ever. They start out on the grill in BALLS and are then flattened into PATTIES as they cook. Sounds weird but he swears they're so delicious that you want another one after taking your FIRST bite. Look forward to that review to come!

All right, so here's the part where I award other bloggers. I've given the award out to others before, so I decided that I'd CREATE MY OWN instead! Yipee!!!


A NEW AWARD!!!


Photobucket
Look, I made this ALL BY MYSELF (with specific instructions from Cole, thanks bud!)


And GUESS WHAT? Because I made up the award, I also get to decide how it's awarded. I do love me a good dictatorship. 

As you can see, it's called is The I'm Over Winter But Into Your Blog Award and should be given to a blog that makes you feel as good as a warm summer's day. 

If you need help then answer the following question:

When it's brutal outside and you're wishing that Mother Nature had a Twitter account so you could bombard it with demands for an early Spring,  you read ________'s blog to feel better. 

If you have a few blogs that fit the criteria, award them all! There are no recommended number of pass-ons. There are also no requirements for the recipient EXCEPT to pass along the award to others. If someone gives it to you, it means that your blog makes their dreary winter days better and that's one heck of a COMPLIMENT!

I, for one, turn to four blogs in order to temporarily forget that I moved to a place where there's so much snow, we need to make pathways in the front yard so our dogs can go to the bathroom. 


SO, without further adieu, I pass on the I'M OVER WINTER BUT INTO YOUR BLOG AWARD TO:




K-Money @ To My Mother, My Dog & Clowns (even though she's been MIA for a little bit)


Julie @ downtime




Horray!! YIPEE!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!!


Noooooooooooooow, pass it on!



(go on, what are you waiting for?...)





10.3.11

Small Business Spell-Check

Have you ever looked at a word so much that it started to look strange and then completely ridiculous? I think most people have but if not...

Potato
Potato
Potato
Potato
Potato
Potato
Potato

(I'm hilarious)

So I was doing a little poking around at the services that local spas offer when I stumbled upon the following webpage.


I read the first bit, next to the bikini-clad lady, a few times and wondered, IS gorgeous spelt with an "e"? Clearly, the answer is NO but seeing it misspelt three times so closely together made me get a piece of paper and write it out myself.

It's too bad that the font's so small because, in total, I found TEN spelling mistakes and a bunch of grammar bad-ness (ah, my hilarity ensues). 

I wasn't sure with what to do with the errors I found. Marc has a small business on the side and I would be HORRIFIED if our website had blatant spelling mistakes and nobody told me. I mean, how often do you check your own site? (we never check anything but our email) However, I also hate nosey know-it-alls and didn't want to come across as one. After some humming and hawing, I decided that I'd err on the side of the business owner and drop off the printout. 

There were two women at the front desk and when I arrived. I passed them the printout with my comments and one of the women said, "Oh my God, Karen* is going FREAK OUT!" (*the owner, not her real name)

Her reaction confirmed that I'd made a wise choice and I was on my way out when Karen arrived. The women told her what I'd done and she took one look at the paper and nearly burst into tears. Apparently she hadn't had time to check the site since it had gone up (a week earlier) AND had ordered a colour ad to be put in the local Saturday paper based on the website. With the colour drained from her face, she thanked me profusely and got on the phone to call her web designer to make changes. 

I noticed that she was doodling the word "gorgeous" but was pausing in the middle, as if she wasn't sure how it was spelt herself (and believe me, that was ONE of MANY spelling mistakes). Being a small business co-owner, I sympathized with the stressed look in her eyes as she read over my suggestions. I didn't have much to do that afternoon, so I offered to go home and rewrite the ad entirely (it could have read much smoother than it was originally). 

And I mean, why shouldn't she just take the opinion of a random stranger off of the street who barged into her business armed with a folded up print out of her website with circled edits? 

I explained that I was a writer and that it wouldn't take me longer than about an hour to recompose the information she already had. I also added that she could totally ignore my suggestions without hurting my feelings. The shocked gratitude on her face told me that I'd offered something that she wouldn't have dreamed to ask for. 

Exactly an hour later, I'd put a new ad together and it looked great. I sent it along to Karen and within a few minutes, received a very excited phone call from her, thanking me for making it look "so much better." In fact, she called me later and asked me to go back to her website and make sure that everything was still okay. 

It'd been a while since I'd done a larger good deed and I still feel really great about it.  When I picked up the Saturday paper, I found that she'd used exactly what I'd sent her.

And seeing it in the paper makes me a published author, right? RIGHT?!

All right, maybe not, but it's PRETTY DARN CLOSE!!

Relishing the good-deed feeling, since The Day I Saved A Small Business From Public Humiliation, I've assisted an elderly woman find the right change to put in a parking metre and didn't give the finger to the person driving TWENTY kilometres UNDER the limit on the road by my house. 

To answer your question, yes, I AM on the fast-track to sainthood.


9.3.11

32 Flavours (minus two)

So the glorious visit that some friends and I dubbed JaWECA (because acronyms are AWESOME) is over. 

Boo.

The five days flew by and although NOTHING went according to plan, we didn't let it affect the fun factor. In fact, we ended up having MORE FUN as our plans fell apart; a testament to our personalities and friendship.

One of the Events That Did Not Happen was a tour of The Covered Bridge Potato Chip Factory. We looked online and read that the tour was self-guided, so we decided that we'd aim for a mid-afternoon tour. Aside from the tour itself though, the biggest reason we went was because...at the end of the tour...we'd be given fresh-off-the-assembly-line chips that we'd season ourselves with an assortment of 30 FLAVOURS!

You heard me, THIRTY FLAVOURS!! ON WARM KETTLE CHIPS!!!

So on Friday, after a very slow start, we dropped a coffee off at work for Marc and hit the highway. An hour and a bit later, after passing by a male driver who may or may not have been driving himself home after taking some type of sedative, we arrived at The Factory....only to learn...that it was...

CLOSED!

The gift shop was open, but the factory was having another fryer installed. The woman working in the shop didn't know what to make of our DEVASTATED expressions and I think, actually, that she suspected we were making fun of her. 

The three of us stood frozen in place, not sure what to do. Our brains couldn't process that we wouldn't be eating warm kettle chips.

Finally, after what felt like an eternity, the woman came around from behind the counter and saved the day. The shop sold 1LB bags of unseasoned chips and she opened one up for us and said that although they weren't warm, we were welcome to try some of the seasonings.

HORRAY!! We cheered (almost).


Around the corner we went and THIS is what we saw. 

Oh. Yeah.

The following 30 minutes went by in a flash of yummy and icky flavour discoveries. 

Some of our favourites included: Loaded Baked Potato, Poutine, Honey Dijon, Cinnamon and Brown Sugar, Too Hot For You & Hot Chocolate (well, that was just me).

The icky ones: Blue Raspberry, Orange, Lobster, Strawberry Kiwi, Mac N Cheese.

Blue Raspberry...yuck.

We each bought a couple of seasonings after we were stuffed...and another 1LB bag of chips. Although the factory was closed, if it had been open we probably wouldn't have had the seasoning station to ourselves. SO, although our plan was thwarted by a broken-down fryer, things worked out BETTER! 

Fun Side Fact: The Factory ranks #1 in Hartland for tourist destinations (out of 2, but whatevs). 


So if you find yourself driving East along the Transcanada Highway in central New Brunswick, pull over in Hartland and get some (potentially) warm kettle chips sprinkled with Cappuccino flavour...

or Creamy Dill...

or Sweet BBQ...

or....you get my drift. 

As we were leaving, we asked the woman for her name with the intention of writing a great review on Trip Advisor. Believe it or not, she introduced herself as "Faith." How fitting!

4.3.11

Pastry Hybrid REVIEW

Although I swore to myself that they would stay at the store, in honour of JaWECA (the name that my friends and I use when referencing their trip out here to visit me which is CURRENTLY HAPPENING, yay) we decided to pick up a box of the pastry hybrids I found a little while ago. Well, to be specific, ONE friend and I decided to pick up a box because the other friend lives gluten-free (but remarked that if she WAS going to eat gluten and suffer its consequences, the hybrid would be her choice).

Here it is.

So the results are in and...

*drumroll*

they're AWESOME!! (not that I was expecting anything less)

They have the texture of a danish but the inside is firmer. Still very flaky, but a little denser. It's not crunchy as much as it is chewy but the layers in the croissant make it clear that it's not a donut. The glazed coating ALMOST makes it too sweet but since there's no sugar-infused filling or fruit, it just ends up being finger-licking good...seriously, my fingers were COVERED in icing flakes. After finishing up the fatty-but-worth-it hybrid, I looked over at the box and had no desire to go over for another, quashing my earlier fears

Verdict: Yummy Yum Yum, hit up your local grocer and get some!!! (but only one...for reals...you've been warned)


(and JaWECA rules because without it, the hybrids would never have come home with me)

2.3.11

The Losers are Winners


It's been a long while since I've seen a movie that doesn't stink. We've been tricked into renting and watching MANY awful movies over the last few months but FINALLY we found a winner. I hadn't heard of it before but Marc said he vaguely remembered seeing trailers for it. 

First off, the cast is (for the most part) friggin' GORGEOUS! As I was watching it, I was surprised it didn't get a larger advertising budget because I would have seen it solely for the hotties. 


Columbus Short, Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Chris Evans, Oh MY! That Zoe Saldana ain't no slouch either (sorry other actors, buuuuuuut you just don't do it for me...no offence). 

It was a fairly typical CIA-like plot, but the script was seriously witty and the action scenes were GREAT! The fighting scenes weren't gross or gory and it takes place in LOTS of different locations around the world. I love when movies are set in Europe and this one literally goes from one side of the globe to the other (and they let you know where they are with "Lost-like" suspended words, which I'm obsessed with for some reason). The part I loved MOST though, was the character Aisha who KICKS ASS throughout the ENTIRE FILM! She didn't have to be "saved" ONCE! In fact, (mild spoiler alert) she's the one who saves the boys in the end. Loves it!

So if you like funny action movies with quick witted dialogue, I highly recommend it!


(also, I have some AMAZING friends coming to visit me for the next FIVE GLORIOUS DAYS and as such, I won't be posting much but will return with WONDERFUL stories about our adventures next week)