29.5.11

Bad News (we've got) Bears (again)


Last spring, Marc and I learned MANY things about living in a forest. During the summer, nature upped her ante when we discovered black bears were trying to break into our shed. Deers, bunny rabbits and the occasional porcupine are cool, but BEARS are SCARY. 
 
Marc was driving home from work last Thursday and called to say that he saw a momma bear and her cub cross the road ahead of him, just a few kilometres from our house. I guess that the Bear Busters didn't do a great job at getting the bears from last year because THIS is what we woke up to this morning.


This is where the bird feeder used to hang. 

Now it's 20' away and on the ground.

The poor thing didn't stand a chance.

The boys didn't want to leave the porch this morning and we couldn't figure out why. I guess when you're five pounds, you have a keen sense for LARGE PREDATORS. 



23.5.11

Dear Brit Brit:

I feel like I need to share something with you.

It may hurt, but it's time for a little tough love.

Watching the Billboard Music Awards this morning on the PVR (translation: fast forward through the awards and watch the performances) I couldn't help but notice that every single person sang live...


EXCEPT for YOU


"Hit me Baby (One More Time)," "Crazy," "Toxic," "Circus," I love 'em all! When you first came onto the scene, it was the 90s and lip-syncing during live performances didn't really bother people; we understood that your insane amount of dancing meant it was virtually impossible to hold a note.

However, dear Brit Brit, times have changed. There are others now. Others who can sing AND dance at the same time. 

I get that you had a meltdown and spent the last few years trying to piece things back together, and I commend your family's stepping-in to help (unlike some other Warlocks out there). It was clear that you'd gotten slightly off course when you attacked that photographer with an umbrella and I've been cheering for your comeback ever since.

I mean, who else could possibly have uttered the greatest words in musical history of:


It's Britney, bitch!


I'll tell you who...NOBODY!


Listening to your newest album, I immediately became obsessed with "Till the World Ends." Imagine my delight when I read that you'd be performing with Nikki Minaj at the Billboard Awards. You stepped in with Rhianna for her song "S&M" and this is where my heart fell.


Why, Brit Brit,


WHY do you LIP-SYNC?


Also, the pillow fight was an epic failure.

Do you not know that WE ALL KNOW you're not singing? You're not fooling ANYONE! Either SING into the microphone or DON'T COME OUT WITH ONE!


It's bad, Britney. BAD!


Everyone else sang live during their songs, for better or worse, and isn't that what music's all about? 

Now, if you'd been hopping across the stage, whipping your hair back and forth and gyrating alongside your backup dancers, then maybe I'd be more forgiving, but since you barely moved, there really is no excuse. Also, you don't even look like you ENJOY performing anymore. You hardly smiled at all.

So, dearest Britney, from what I saw this morning, there's no possible way that I'd spend upwards of $100 on a concert ticket to see you live because I wouldn't actually be seeing a live performance. Hearing the album played at an incredibly high volume is something I can do in my basement, while dancing with abandon and a feather boa, so if there's no crazy-insane dancing, I'm not sure that your upcoming tour will be as successful as you want.

I'm rooting for you girl, but it's not looking so good. Beyonce and Ke$ha blew you away. 



22.5.11

Invisible Fences



Who's got two thumbs and got shocked by our electric fence?


I'll give you a hint: it wasn't me, but another person who lives here. 


Our furry babies, Pepi and The Pickle, are wonderful little boys who, if given the opportunity, would run away and probably get hit by a car or puppy-napped. As soon as that front door opens - BAM - they're off. In our other houses, it wasn't as big of a deal but we live in a forest now and "eaten by a wild animal," is a distinct possibility. Because you can't just tell a dog, "Hey, you're gonna get EATEN if you run away," we installed an invisible electric fence.

A friend of mine, who's a cleaner version of Ke$ha, thought that she wouldn't be able to visit when we put it in...you know, because she'd get electrocuted walking from her car to our front door. Have I mentioned that I love Cleaner Ke$ha?

Only the dogs, when wearing their pronged collars, get a shock if they cross the line after a series of warning beeps. After almost a year of invisible confinement, having the weight of the collar is enough to remind them, so sometimes we don't turn the collars on. 

On Friday, Marc was outside with the boys, thatching our front lawn in the rain (he's mildly obsessed with improving our grass). For whatever reason, he took off The Pickle's collar and put it in his pocket while he thatched away. Time went by, rain kept falling and eventually, he'd raked up enough dead grass to warrant a reseeding. There was some extra seed and although he hadn't thatched the back yard, he threw the rest of it down anyway. I watched from the window as he jammed along with his iPod and extra-fancy headphones under his hood.


Here's a head scratcher for you:

Loud music + shock collar with warning beeps nestled up nicely against your stomach = ?


Just in case you need a hint, here's the current score in our household:

Electric Fence - 1

Marc - 0




21.5.11

1,095 Days

It amazes me to write this post as it means that I've been a wife for three years...or 1,095 days, I did the math.

As someone who never thought she'd marry (live in sin: yes, but marry: no) it's been a pretty cool ride so far. The most surprising part is that it doesn't feel like I thought it would (you know: confining, suffocating, life-sucking). The idea that I'd want to spend the rest of my life with ONE person always seemed quite unrealistic. Looking back, I must have been a nightmare to date as I've been relatively fortunate in attracting very nice and sincere guys. Perhaps an example on how I used to roll would be of assistance here.

Scene: I'm 22, been dating Jerry for almost a year (I shall call him Jerry because he was a lot like Jerry Seinfeld, both in looks and personality. Seriously.) and was about to graduate. We were out for dinner.

Jerry: So it's crazy that my brother's already married. (His brother eloped but having a party in town later that summer. I often think that if it hadn't been for that wedding, this conversation wouldn't have taken place)

Me: Yeah, I think it'll be a fun party in July.

Jerry: I like how they went away to do it.

Me: That's cool. Beaches are fun.

Jerry: Do you ever think of how you'd want yours?

Me: What?

Jerry: Your wedding.

Me: Um, no. I don't really think about that. I'm 22. 

Jerry: What does that mean?

Me: Why are you getting so weird? It's not like we're going to get married or anything.

Jerry: *stunned silence*

Yiiiiiiiiiikes

I literally watched our relationship end the moment I said that. Of course, that conversation isn't really a verbatum account, but my concluding line is 100% accurate. As awful as I felt afterwards, my guilt came from hurting Jerry, not from what I said because I really didn't see myself ever getting married.

It's amazing what a little time and meeting the right person can do. 

I was just coming off the end of another relationship (a re-do, to be precise) and had zero intention/want/desire to meet anyone else. In fact, some would say that I was actively avoiding dudes. Funny as that was the exact time that the Universe decided to introduce me to Marc. 

"Technically," I'd met him before the night I consider our formal meeting, but I was a sweaty mess after coming back from an "amazing" run with his cousin (we'd thought we ran 10k in 35 minutes when, in fact, we only ran 3k in 35 minutes. You can see how that impacted negatively on my half-marathon training but that's another story). 

The night we consider our meeting though, happened about a week later. It was his cousin's birthday and she was having a house party. We were introduced and basically ignored everyone else for the rest of the night, chatting on the diving board by the pool and munching on Goldfish crackers. We ended up back at a friend's place and made out in her backyard for three hours. Not since junior high, when I was too petrified to do anything else, had I kissed someone for that long. We watched the sun come up and then went to bed. The next morning Marc asked me for my number, which I wasn't sure I wanted to give him. Not because I didn't have a good time, but I was heading back to school about five hours away in a few weeks and didn't see the point. Marc says that my pause was VERY LONG and he'd never felt so rejected. I ended up giving him the number, but mostly because he was a friend's cousin and I didn't want to be a total beotch. 

He called me the next day. The day after that, we had our first date. 

The next week, we had five dates.

The week after that, I met him up at a cottage for four days.

I knew that he was special when we got trapped on a carnival ride in a flash thunderstorm. My flip flops flew off and I had to hold up my jeans to stop them from literally falling off. We both laughed hysterically as he ran around the platform, trying to find my shoes, and then laughed even more at the state of my mascara-streaked face and dripping clothes. Then the highway flooded out and it look four hours to get home. It was the best date of my life.

He drove out to my school almost every weekend for our first three months together. I was writing my Master's thesis at the time and was up to my eyeballs in research, so he made the drive so I could work up until Friday evening, giving us two nights to hang out. My friends loved him, there was no pressure - it was unlike any relationship I'd had before. 

When I moved back to Toronto and got a place downtown, we had our first big fight. Fortunately it had little to do with "us" and more to do with a slightly-obsessed female friend of his who'd said that it was either, "her or me." As you can probably conclude, I won. 

I had lived on my own for many years when Marc moved in and I was EXTREMELY nervous about it. Due to my paranoia, before we decided to live together, I made us talk about everything. 

Careers
Pets
Hopes
Dreams
Children
Parenting
Money
Household chores
You name it, we covered it. 

Of course, the idea of marriage was included and I was honest and upfront with Marc when I told him that I wasn't interested in marrying him, but didn't want a life without him. He respected my stance and we moved on to another heavy conversation. The cool thing was though, they were never all that heavy. 

After we'd lived together for about six months and everything was still awesome, Marc turned to me while we chilling on the couch and said,

"Look, I get that marriage isn't important to you but it's becoming kind of important to me. I'm not saying that I want to get married right now, but do you think that you'd ever change your mind, now that we've lived together for a while? Don't answer right away. Seriously. Do. Not. Answer. Now. Think about it and let me know."

It was the most romantic thing I'd ever heard. Haha!

I thought about it for a couple of days (again, Marc will say that it was much longer, but it really wasn't). I don't remember the logistics of that second conversation, but I figured that being married to Marc may not be a total disaster. Having a piece of paper saying that we were husband and wife didn't matter to me, but if it mattered to him then I needed to consider it. As you can probably guess, because you guys are super smart, I said, "yes." And then, just over a year later, we were married on a beach in St. Lucia. At the time, we'd been together for just shy of three years (not that we ever remembered our anniversary. I'm VERY impressed with us this year though, because we started talking about it a while ago. Yay, us.)

This is our fav. My baby brother took it, which is probably why it's so great. That and my extensions look FIERCE. Oh...and we're so happy we're about to pass out, but whatevs.

It's been a roller-coaster ride the last three years where we've really put the "in sickness" part of the deal to task and it fills me with resounding confidence that we'll be together until one of us croaks (*knocks on wood*) because despite all the uncertainty, we're still having a fantastic time. I've never felt like a burden, even with fate's little bait-and-switch, and he makes the shitty days MUCH less shitty. He's my ultimate best friend and I am positive that I could never be as happy with someone else. The fact that I'm committing to that fact on the internet, where nothing disappears, is a testament to the amazingness factor of my wonderful and hilarious husband/partner/lovaaaaa.

So there you go. That's the story of how I became Mrs. Happypants (I kept my maiden name and when people insist on calling us "Mr. & Mrs. _________," we respond with, "It's Mr. & Mrs. Happypants, actually" -- FINE, you got me...we only did this ONCE but I almost peed myself).

Happy Anniversary Babe! According to Google, I've gotta get you something made of leather.

Niiiiiiiiiice. 

19.5.11

Dear Martha:

We're fighting.

Usually we're BFF's: cooking and baking together in perfect harmony. I've learned so much from watching you online and reading your books and I've noticed that I often don't have to modify your recipe's as often as others. 

That being said, you totally shit the bed this time.

Thricely.

The baking atrocities came from your Pies & Tarts books, purchased at Costco for well below retail value (thank goodness because otherwise I'd be even MORE pissed off). 



just so you can identify the WORST cookbook ever. 


For Easter, my Hetero-Life-Partner had a bunch of don't-or-won't-go-home-for-the-holidays peeps over for supper. Everyone pitched in and I offered to bring two pies and some homemade bread. After a brief meeting with the above pictured book, I decided on a standard apple pie and a key lime pie. I've made apple pies before and they've all turned out really well but I was excited to use one of the fancy pastry designs found at the back of the book. When it came out of the oven, it looked and smelt great!

Then, it was onto the key lime pie. It was more labour intensive than I'd anticipated, having to make the crust the day before, but I thought it'd be worth it.

How wrong I was.

Not only did the recipe TOTALLY NOT WORK OUT, but it also tasted like bitter lime-y garbage. The condensed milk was supposed to solidify after ten minutes at 325. I've been a semi-competitive baker for quite some time now and I should have listened to the tiny French chef who sits on my shoulder when he started saying that couldn't possibly be long enough, or hot enough because 300 is the perfect temperature for reheating day-old pizza. I opted to push through instead of hopping online and comparing other recipes, and to my utter shock and surprise, after ten minutes, the milk was just as runny as it was in the first place. 


FAIL


The apple pie that LOOKED tasty was the driest, sorriest excuse for a pie ever. The crust was yummy, but the filling, not so much.


FAIL #2


For Marc's birthday on the weekend, he opted for pies instead of a cake. I whipped up a frozen peanut butter pie, apple strudel cheesecake and a lemon meringue (his fav). Again, the lemon meringue recipe came from Martha. Frankly, by this point, I should have known better. The pie turned out looking great and the filling appeared to be solid...until you actually cut into it and then it was like the crust was swimming in a pool of jelly lemon-scented water. 

Because it looks so good, it's even MORE unfair that it didn't work out.  However, I FINALLY got to use my kitchen blow-torch and it was AMAZING. AMAZING! (repeated twice because it was THAT amazing)


FAIL #3


The other two recipes for the frozen cake and cheesecake came from www.food.com and they both turned out BEAUTIFULLY.


So in short, dear Martha...


YOUUUUUUUU SUCK


*lights kitchen blow-torch to burn book*



16.5.11

10 Best Things Ever

Andrea over at a steady stream of chatter tagged me in a little game called: List Your Top 10 Favourite Things (I may have made up the title, but you get the theme). As such, I spent the weekend wearing my thinking cap and believe that I've assembled a fairly solid list. I thought that I'd do a countdown, but putting them in order of awesome-ness was impossible. Therefore...they're in no particular order.

Let's start with the obvious. Coming in at #1...The Hubby (okay, after him they really aren't in any order).

We had a MARC-artia party for him this weekend and he LOVED his glasses, obviously. 

#2 - Sally Hansen nail stickers



#3 - Moustaches. Any style. Any colour. 

Most recently, GIANT moustaches. Also, finding people who love moustaches as much as I love moustaches makes the moustaches better. These ladies in particular are pretty amazing. Fact. 

#4 - Books by Chelsea Handler
My Horizontal Life left me in stitches, Are You There Vodka was hilarious and I'm currently almost through Bang, Bang, which is the best yet. Strap on some adult diapers and crack one open. 

#5 - Skype conversations with my Rapunzel-haired friend in Australia. It's usually the morning for me, which means that she's drunk on a bus coming home from a bar and messaging me to see if I'm up. Then we throw on our fake fur coats (wooly mammoth for her and a cheetah shrug for me) and have an international hash-out of her night. There's nothing like a little slurry slit-eyed conversation first thing in the morning with one of the best people I know to really start my day off right.  

#6 - Befunky.com - just go there and you'll understand how addicting it is!

This is one of our wedding shots that looks SUPER COOL now. 

#7 - The T-fal not-really-a-deep-fryer-but-makes-delicious-fries-anyway ActiFry

It's expensive but if you love fries just as much as skinny jeans then it's a must-have item. Not only does it make delicious crunchy potatoes but also one of the best versions of pineapple chicken curry. Sure, it stains slightly after the spice-fest but it's delicious and therefore worth the extra effort in cleaning the turny-thingy right away. 


#8 - The Sun
It's been a while since I've seen it, but I hope to get reacquainted with the beaming glory soon. 


#9 - Floating down the river

In direct relation to #8, my favourite part about summers here is shoving some drinks in a cooler, lounging in an oversized inner tube and floating down the river. It's just like the one at Canada's Wonderland except it's in nature and beer drinking is encouraged. Is it summer yet?

#10 - Pepi and The Pickle

I get that I'm biased but he's basically the cutest puppy-who-thinks-he's-a-cat ever. Yes, he's LICKING his toy while staring off into space. That's how he rolls. 

The Pickle is a total ham for the cam(era) and is moderately obsessed with his teeny tiny tennis ball. 

So there you go! A list of ten the Best Things EVER!

Hmmm...who to tag...WHO TO TAG?

I pick:

Julie at downtime because I suspect her top ten list will have something to do with cool interior designs and Mad Men-inspiried furnishings and I LOVE looking at pretty things. 

Nikki at Fashionable Wife because she has a theme post on Fridays happening already and I love checking them out (but you're QUITE busy right now Nikki so there's NO PRESSURE ;) ). 

Diana at What Is It All About? because she's my MOTHER and as a new blogger probably needs some posting ideas. I'm not joking; this is seriously my Mum's blog. 






14.5.11

Secret Lovers

*Mum, I know that you read my blog but you MAY want to skip over this one... You've been warned*

First off, BOO BLOGGER!! We're fighting because I have to rewrite this post after your meltdown. 

Moving on...

It's been a while since I've bared my soul and a few nights ago, I realized that I may have a closet attraction to something. Let me break it down for you.

Most of the hetero women I know have sexytime dreams starring devilishly good-looking men who are often actors, singers or other celebrities: washboard abs, touseled hair and buldging biceps galore. 

I, however, have put together an extremely unattractive group of sexy-dream-time players. Sure, Joshua Jackson used to make a guest appearance from time to time, but the replacement of hottie mc-totties with not-so-much-ies first started a few years ago and Mr. Jackson hasn't been seen since. 

The first anti-sexy-dream-time player came in the form of James Woods. I kid you not.


My friends all laughed when I told them I'd gotten to know Mr. Woods on a very personal level and I joined them joyfully...until he became the ONLY dude to make an appearance during my REM cycle. 

Just when I thought it couldn't get much worse, THIS GUY came around.




His name is Brad Lamb and he's a Toronto realtor who specializes in lofts and condos. He also has a reality show. This is one of his ads that were plastered around Toronto when I lived there...you know, cause of his last name. Luckily, my subconscious drew a line at bestiality as he was in human form (whew). That being said, Mr. Lamb comes across as kind of a douche plus he's bald. 

Again, I told some friends of my latest anti-sexy-dream-time addition and they laughed. This time, my own wasn't quite as genuine. I wondered, why is this happening? My hubby, in real life, is SERIOUSLY good-looking and super awesome, so why on Earth did I dream of ugly a-holes?

Then, this week, another dude came onto the scene.


May I introduce, Harlan Coben. He's an author who I love (and consequently own every one of his books). He's smart and funny, from his Twitters anyway, so I wouldn't necessarily say that he's a step down from Brad Lamb but he's also BALD!

Do I have a secretly crave the feel of a smooth and polished scalp beneath my fingertips?

Should Marc, my hubby, shave his?

Will all future anti-sexy-dream-time players also be bald?

Who's next?





Will Mark Wahlberg ever stop by?



So there you have it; my most recent predicament. There's probably only one conclusion...

My name is Jennie and I'm a Bald-A-Holic.

*googles BA meetings*





10.5.11

Professional Puppies

My Baby Bro's girlfriend's sister (get that?) has a WONDERFUL company called Christina's Crystal Creations and she makes pet accessories, dance costumes and basically anything else you'd like crystallized. I met Baby Bro's GF (not the sister, still following?) when we were visiting Toronto back in March and we shared pictures of our puppies, which is when she told me of her sister's company. Since our dogs are small and can't fight back, from time to time we like to dress them up a little. Currently, they have one "formal" outfit which consists of a t-shirt tuxedo. Marc has one too, so the whole fam can dress up together. It's pretty awesome, really.

However, those t-shirts have now been replaced!  LOOK what arrived yesterday!


Such cute packaging!


He's not a business man. He's a business, man. 


Blue plaid is SO Pickle...as are the rhinestones on the collar. 


"Man, WHEN will I finish this report? I'm gonna be late picking up the kids!" Bahaha. I'm hilarious.


Also included in the Professional Puppy Package was a 6' VIOLET boa. I've mentioned how I have a pole in our basement, but I haven't really followed up with how our basement has gradually been transformed into a gym/dance club...complete with built-in surround sound and a rotating disco ball on the ceiling (obviously). As such, I've started acquiring things that are fun to dance around in: boas, sequin fedoras, sequin fingerless gloves, a pink wig. Despite my solid collection of black, white and pink boas, I haven't been able to find a purple one (purple is my FAV colour). 

WELL, Baby Bro's GF took care of that TOO because she has access to costume inventory via her sister and mother. When I told her that there's a definitive LACK of costume stores here, she asked WHAT KIND of purple I'd want. Giddily, I told her I'd want a violet one, never really thinking that she'd find one,

BUT

SHE 

DID!!


My brain practically exploded when I opened up the box. 

So, props to Baby Bro and his GF for the amazingly thoughtful gifts!!! 

*hands bag of props*



Oh, and if you'd like to order anything from Christina's Crystal Creations....

christinascrystalcreations@hotmail.com



9.5.11

Amy Sedaris Would Be Proud



Behold my "Poor Person Craft"



It's a HAMSTER!




Hair (we shaved our puppy Pepi on the back deck) = $0.00

Bag of 50 Googley eyes (gotta love the dollar store) = $1.00

Total Cost = $0.04 

Awww...SNAP!


8.5.11

Mummy's Day

Hard to believe that it's Mother's Day already, but HERE IT IS!! *blows horn*

Most people call their mothers "Mom," but my mother prefers "Mum," which therefore changes the name from "Mother's Day" to "Mummy's Day." Yes, it sounds a little juvenile but that's just the way it is. *stamps it*

What better way to celebrate what an AMAZING Mum I have than a vintage photo collection?

It's cool to say it; I was an ADORABLE baby.  Just look how psyched my Mum is! 

I'm pretty much OBSESSED with this picture of us. I think I'm around 9 here. I'm dressed up because my brother had a Cowboy-themed birthday party. I was the token "Indian." Can we also please talk about how HOT she looks in this pic?

What's motherhood without your posse of friends and their kids? These are some of my Mum's closest friends and all of their kids up at a cottage. My Mum's the second from the left in the back row and I'm the first on the left in the middle row. Yes, she turns beautiful shade of brown in the sun while I inherited my father's burn-prone skin, hence the halo of whiteness around me.


We were a skiing family which basically meant that we spent a lot of time in the car on Fridays and Sundays during the winter, fighting traffic in order to get up to Collingwood, ON. Please note my SUPER FLY Mickey Mouse skis. Sure, kids in the racing program made fun of them but I didn't care because they were AMAZING. Also, I had neon pink heart-shaped baskets on my poles. Needless to say, I wasn't much of a racer. Please also note that my Mum and I are colour coordinated. I don't believe that happened on purpose. 


Thanks for being SO SUPPORTIVE over the last three years (in particular). Even though we don't live in the same province (or country for half of the year), I know that you're always there for me. There's no way that I would have been able to cope through all of the sicky-faced madness without you. In fact, I wouldn't have gotten properly diagnosed if you hadn't been a squeaky wheel with certain organizations. Some people may say that it's UNCOOL to declare that your Mum's the best but I DON'T CARE!


YOU ARE THE BEST-EST MUM IN THE WORLD!!


 So I hope that you have a great day and maybe play some golf or do something else fun (granted due to time differences you're already about halfway through your day but there's STILL TIME for fun-ness).


LOVE YOU MUM!!