Thursday, May 31, 2007

The case of the dirty handbag

So my handbags are dirty. Not just one, but two. And that's just the two that I'm focusing on right now. They're dirty, of course, because I'm not exactly the most careful person in the world, so whatever I brush up against, my handbag goes fullfledgedly into. Including walls, mailboxes, the floor of a restaurant. For some reason, I realized that it sucks to have a dirty coat, so when I wear my pink spring coat I have a ban on newsprint. I'm not allowed to touch it no matter how shocking the news might be. No touching. But with my handbags, I didn't put a ban on any objects coming into contact with it. And the problem is that one is leather and suede and the other is leather and cloth, so I'm not really sure how to clean them.

First, I took them to the dry cleaner. I was getting one pair of pants hemmed, another mended and the two bags cleaned. When I went to pick up the pants and bags however, they were totally dirty. I said, "These doesn't look any better!" to the drycleaning man, but he just looked at me like I was crazy. Then he said "You forgot these here." And I said, "No I didn't. I dropped them off to be drycleaned." But it turned out that he thought I meant I wanted the pants hemmed AND drycleaned. And that I'd just forgotten my bags at the cleaners.

Who forgets two bags at the cleaners, first of all, but more importantly, who carries around THREE handbags to start? I was thankful, though that he KEPT the bags, given that they were both Coach bags, which I can't exactly afford to replace. And since he didn't know I wanted anything done to them, he could've just given them away and I'd have no proof that I'd ever left them there. (Which is why you should ALWAYS check your receipts...which I never do).

So I'm happy with the drycleaning man for his honesty but not enough that I left the bags to be drycleaned for real this time. Because when I said, "Can you dry clean them?", he told me that it would take two weeks and cost $35 each! What?! Who has that kind of money to spend cleaning a bag. So I left, three bags in hand, and for the week before I went on vacation, I would carry all three bags around, searching for a drycleaner who wouldn't take two weeks to clean the bags and wouldn't charge me $35 each. Which I've still yet to find, and the sad thing is that I could've had the bags back by now since it's been more than two weeks, but I didn't feel comfortable about it taking two weeks. I mean, where are they sending these bags that it takes two weeks to get them there, cleaned and back? It's like photo developing. If they say it's going to take any more than a few days, you're not supposed to leave your pictures there, because that means they're sending them somewhere else and then you're liable to end up getting back some naked fat guy's pictures from his vacation at Club Med Hedonism, while your pictures are lost in Kapuskasing. So now, the search continues, but it means that I'm once again walking around town with three bags, which is just so ridiculous in itself. The right side of my brain wants to throw them in the washing machine, but the left half knows better - that this is NOT the solution. They could come out a pink and brown and blue mess, and then I'd just be so upset. And I'd have no one to blame but myself. Surely there has to be a drycleaner who will clean my bags onsite in a day and not charge me $35, isn't there?

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

All things The View

Ever since Rosie & Elisabeth's fight I'm strangely addicted to all things The View. The thing is, now that Rosie's gone, is anyone going to watch anymore? I never used to watch, because I always felt like it was a little like trying to listen to four teenagers at the mall, talking over eachother about nothing in particular. Then, when Rosie started to go a little crazy, I found it sort of interesting, so I started PVR'ing it just to see what she was going to do. Now she's gone, and I feel like there's no reason to watch once again, even though now, it's actually easier to hear everyone talking because it's no longer the show with five hosts, but the show with three hosts (plus the token black co-host of the day). And three hosts is really just one more than any normal talk show.

I know I'm like six months late weighing in on this whole black co-host thing, and I get that they're trying to represent all types of women - but it just feels really forced that they're trying so hard to fill Star Jones Reynolds' spot with a black woman. There's been Lola Ogunnaike and Sherri Shepherd and Renee Elise Goldsberry and Brandy and Sheryl Lee Ralph and Gayle King and Chandra Wilson and Whoopi Goldberg... this list keeps going. All great women, but are they all the same just because they're black? Do they all have exactly the same views about the world? If so, then are they going to replace Rosie (in her words): "big fat lesbian loud" Rosie with another "big fat lesbian loud" woman who's just as opinionated about the war and the Donald? It just seems so weird. I mean, didn't Babs watch The Cosby Show episode when Clair Huxtable gets up at 4 am to do the talk show with the three old men who only want her on the show because she's a black woman and they think she should know how ALL black women feel? Clair set them straight. Maybe The View needs to hire Phylicia Rashad so she can explain it to them, too.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Tuesday Tuck Shop

Typically, I wear the same makeup every morning, and I don't give it much thought, unless I'm doing something special, in which case I wonder why I don't have a foundation that I really like, or a white iridescent powder that, according to Carmindy and The 5 Minute Face, I'm supposed to have. It's not like I don't get hundreds of new products a week at work for my job, but somehow I stick to my tried and true favourites. Because for everyday, they work just fine. Quick, easy and natural. But today was one of those mornings where, because I have a TV interview later today, I suddenly began obsessing over every wrinkle that has started to appear above my lip line and around my eyes. Why?! I guess because I'm 31 now. That's why.

Anyway, the trick to concealing wrinkles, I've found, is not to cover them up. Concealer, in fact, seems to make them more prominent because the liquid goes into the lines and actually highlights them, making them more visible. Which is really not what any girl wants. The way to actually get rid of wrinkles is to fill them out, plump them up, which is why injectable fillers are a wrinkle dream eraser. But since injectables are costly and really, I don't notice my wrinkles except on days like today, I've found that what really works is applying an anti-wrinkle eye cream around my eyes. Not just any eye cream works though. For me, it's Dermaglow NuVectin Advanced Eye Therapy.

It's super lightweight and that's the key, since anything too thick will just mess with any makeup you've already put on your face. I apply the eye cream after my moisturizer, then again once I've done all my makeup, then again before I actually have to go on TV or get my picture taken. It not only hydrates the area, but I like to believe (and Dermaglow has done studies) that the cream actually works to reduce the appearance of the wrinkles I already have, so I keep telling myself that sooner or later, the wrinkles will be less apparent, or at least, never worse than they are right now. And if I have these are the worst eye and upper lip wrinkles I have 10 years from now, I'll be thrilled. (PS I apply the cream above my upper lip too, where I have those little lines from kissing too much. Or drinking through a straw, which is probably the more likely reason...).

Monday, May 28, 2007

Home sunny home...

After a week and a half of rain (and talking incessantly about it!) I'm home, and it's sunny and warm and I'm happy. But, I had a fantastical time on my western Canada tour! The McNally Robinson signing in Winnipeg, was amazing, and so was Rachel, who is the events coordinator, and whose entire job is to host, plan and promote (that's the wrong order) these events, and I can see why - she's so good at it! I would post pictures, but I can't seem to find the little cordy thing that connects the camera to the computer. This is, alas, what happens when I travel. Things go missing, and I'm never really sure whether I lost them before, during or after the trip. Things also appear, like a watch, a lock and a lipgloss! So I'll be happy with those items until I find the cord.

On the plane ride home, I got to finish watching The Painted Veil, which was just okay, even though I love Naomi Watts and Edward Norton, but more excitingly, I got to watch The Old Adventures of New Christine. I'd heard about this show back in the fall and really was looking forward to it, and then somehow, it fell off my radar. I think I thought it was on an American pay-tv station (does anyone say "pay-tv" anymore? I feel like I'm talking about the WWF), but then I caught an episode on the plane and when I got home I checked and yep, it's on a normal station. So now I'm taping it and hopefully I'll catch all the episodes over the summer. The only thing I was disappointed about was the laugh track. Is the laugh track still necessary? If a show is funny on its own, won't we know to laugh, rather than needing to be prompted?

I got to work today to find I had 93,568 emails. What? How is that even possible? It's not. It's ridiculous, but our I.T. guy assured me that we have a new spam filter. It's working REALLY well. Really. The problem is all the Viagra and Poker emails. If you put an auto-reply on them, then they reply back and then you reply back to their reply, and so it goes back and forth like that every minute of every hour of every day for 11 days straight (or however many days you might be away on vacation). However, I received this amazing box of chocolate-covered fruit!

... from Edible Arrangements today from Lindsay Stephenson, owner and creator of Penny People Designs. It's no secret that I'm OBSESSED with her notecards... this one, which she created especially when I asked her if she could do a yoga girl, like Mara, so I could send thank-you notes to all the people who have helped out with all things STUCK IN DOWNWARD DOG and place an order nearly every month it seems. I recently professed my love for stationery and all things Penny People in the lastest issue of Chocolat magazine, as a way of saying a big thank you to Lindsay for all the little "extras" she's always included with each of my Penny People orders... everytime I order something new, she always slips in an extra few notecards or address labels of a new design, which I then fall in love with.

Anyway, thank you Lindsay! I've been eating chocolate-covered strawberries all afternoon, thanks to you (which has helped the deleting of unwanted emails go by much, much better).

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Small town talk

This morning, I went for a run around the neighbourhood, which, turned out to be the entire town. I went down by the river, past the church, the school, the playground, the pier, the gas station (which is also the video store and bait shop), and the plaza, which has the post offices (and where you pick up your mail), the Northern store (a general store) and the hairdressers. I'm in Pinawa, Manitoba right now, visiting my in-laws, before heading to Winnipeg this afternoon for my in-store reading and signing at McNally Robinson Grant Park at 7:30 pm (last plug, I promise!) where there will be cupcakes and beauty products, so if you live in the Peg, come by! So anyway, I was gone for about half an hour (including a sit down at the pier to rest), and in that time I saw one car drive by. Total. And it was 9:30 am. But the people inside waved, and I know now to wave back. The first time I visited here, it was for a bridal shower my MIL and her girlfriends were throwing for me and so when people waved from their cars at me as I was running along the street I had to wonder what they were thinking: "Don't know that girl, must be new, better wave to be friendly, since I'll probably bump into her at the post office later in the week" or "Don't know that girl, she must be the Simmons' daughter in law to be who's visiting this week." Because in a town of 1,500, everyone may not know everyone, but they probably know about everyone. I know about a lot of people that I've never met. All good, don't worry. My MIL & FIL are the sweetest couple. EVER. And I'm not lying when I say I've never heard them say a not-nice thing about a single person, in Pinawa or elsewhere.

Either way, being waved at is a nice way to start your day, since in a big city like Toronto if someone actually waves at you, you either definitely know them, or they're actually not waving at you, but someone behind you and then laughing at you if you mistakenly wave back, trying to be friendly.

Still, waving can have its hazards, apparently, as I learned when I was telling my MIL about how nice it is that people in Friendly Manitoba really ARE friendly, just like the license plates state. She told me that just the other day, my FIL was out on the roof fixing something and she left to go out and locked the patio door -- the only access to the roof -- by mistake. My FIL tried to get back in, found the door locked, so climbed to the street-side of the roof to try to wave down someone walking or driving by. Only, just like on my run, not many people actually walk or drive by so it was a good hour before someone drove by and there my FIL was, waving at them, trying to get them to drive over or roll down their window so that he could explain he was locked out and they could let him in. But when you're waving, people just wave back. Finally someone stopped, and my FIL asked them to come inside through the front door (because even though my MIL had locked the 2nd storey patio door, she'd left the front door open -- because it's a small town and that's what you do), up the stairs and let my FIL inside.


Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Beauty booty

Here I am in Manitoba, but I just got off the phone doing a radio show interview with CFUN 1410 AM in Vancouver on the Nik and Val Show . Nik and Val are these two super fun girl hosts, and they wanted to know everything there was to know about looking like you've had cosmetic surgery without actually having cosmetic surgery. At first I was nervous because it was a little different topic than I'm used to answering when it comes to STUCK IN DOWNWARD DOG, but as soon as they started asking me questions and I started answering them, I realized that going to work every day at Elevate has really drilled a lot of info into my head. And once we got going, we couldn't stop talking about all the great products you can use to look good without surgery, simply because my friends are always asking me this question. Which made me think...maybe THAT'S what I should be talking about here on my blog. So starting next Tuesday, I'm launching Tuesday Tuck Shop, where I'll write about a different product every week that I've tested and love.

To kick things off, even though it's Wednesday, I'm going to let you in on my latest product obsession, which I remembered this morning while talking to Nik and Val.

NeoStrata Wrinkle Repair.

About 15 years ago, at least, I developed a very large vertical wrinkle between my two eyebrows, mostly from squinting, I'm guessing (because I used to refuse to wear glasses but later from actually wearing my glasses, but then squinting in the sun because I couldn't wear sunglasses at the same time as my glasses unless I got those kind that flip on top of the regular glasses). Then, about six months ago, NeoStrata launched its Wrinkle Repair cream. I apply the cream to the wrinkle twice a day, and now, the wrinkle is barely noticeable. I'm not joking. The cream is $60, which is actually a pretty good price considering how long it lasts if you just use it on stubborn wrinkles (I'm only on my second bottle in six months since I use Olay on the rest of my face because it contains SPF). Plus, the Wrinkle Repair is lightweight enough that I can put it on before I apply my foundation and it doesn't clump with the foundation. Which means, also, that it's working all day long, even when I am squinting in the sun or trying to think of the answer to a question, which, thanks to how fabulous Nik and Val were this morning, I didn't have to do today!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Ballet flats and other important items

I don't normally watch The View, but this morning, because I was home, and because Chandra

Wilson was a guest host, I watched. She is just so sweet, and every interview I've seen with her she's so humble, down to earth, and mentions how she doesn't take the fame for granted because she was a struggling actor for years in New York. She also mentioned how she watches 4 soaps every day, which always makes me laugh.

I may have mentioned, a few times, that I love lists. I make them for everything, and if it's not on the list, it doesn't get done. I'm not sure what this says about my memory, really. Actually, I do know. Because I rely on lists, my memory is very bad. So bad that I can walk outside with a handful of envelopes to put in the mailbox, and walk by 5 mailboxes without once thinking about depositing the letters on my way to work. Or, I can go to the grocery store intending to buy 5 specific items and come home, instead, with a box of cereal because it looked fun (and no milk, never once thinking, hmmm, buying cereal, do I have milk at home?). It can be annoying, but it just makes me revert to the lists. Which is why, last night, when I was packing, something strange occurred. I realized that I never make a list for packing. And as a result, I don't think I've ever been on vacation where I haven't forgotten something. The question is, Why am I not making a list for packing? Even now, as I'm sitting here, typing, I could be making a list, and then making sure all the items on the list are in my suitcase. But I'm not. I'm going to wing it. Hope for the best. Maybe it's vacation mentality? Go with the flow and all that.

Finally, last year I avoided the ballet flat. I don't look good in a flat. My legs need a heel to look good, I'm convinced of it. Except if I'm wearing sneakers or flip flops. Then I can reconcile that I'm going for pure comfort and all looks go out the window. But the problem is that the ballet flat is cuter than the flip flop and if done right can really make an outfit even cuter, and comfortable, for those days when you've got to walk around alot. And then... I found this pair.

So I've succumbed because it's so cute, right? I haven't tried it with a skirt or nice pants yet. So far I've only broken them out with jeans. But it's a start, right? Small steps.

PS I just realized I haven't packed a razor! 13 days without a razor? No one wants to see that. See? This is why I need a list! Sigh...

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Why you should go to Vancouver & Winnipeg...

First of all, congratulations to the winners of the door prizes from my book launch party last week!:

Teresa Pacelli – Coach handbag
Marlange Heriveaux - Yoli Poli yoga mat bag
Jocelyn Pemberton – 3 Wishes bracelet

If you didn't win something, don't worry because I have lots of other prizes that you could win if you come to my Vancouver or Winnipeg book signings...

First stop is Vancouver, which I haven't been to since Expo 86. I'm assuming things will look different from 5'5" rather than 4'2". I'm also guessing that I'm not likely going to run into Expo Ernie...

I am going to go to Whistler, though, which will be exciting since I haven't been there in 10 years in the wintertime. I'm also going to be doing a book signing at the Indigo - Park Royal store in West Vancouver this Friday, May 18 at 3 p.m. LUSH has donated this ...

...Think Pink hat box, which is just so cute, and is filled with more than $100 worth of beauty products!

Plus there's going to be cupcakes from Cupcakes in Vancouver and bookmarks for everyone!

Then I'm off to Winnipeg, where I'll be reading and signing on Thursday, May 24 at 7:30 pm at at McNally-Robinson at Grant Park. There will also be cupcakes from Dessert Sinsations, bookmarks and a chance to win a beauty basket filled with more than $200 worth of hair and beauty products!

I've never been to Winnipeg in May. I've been in August and October and tried both times to go to Grand Beach, but I've yet to have a rain-free, warm day to sit on the beach. Don't get me wrong, it was still a pretty beach, but it might be more fun if I'm not huddled under an umbrella with a blanket wrapped around me. Also, I would really like to meet the Falcon Beachers. Do they go to Grand Beach? Someone told me that there isn't actually a Falcon Beach, and that they sometimes film at Grand Beach. Also, in the US, they pretend that they're in Maine or Rhode Island or somewhere un-Canadian. Because apparently the producers think that Americans can't understand a show set on a beach in Canada. Is this true? Are you American and can't understand what a beach in Canada would look like?

If you've never been to Winnipeg, doesn't all this talk about the beach make you want to come? Also, they have the best ice cream shop ever in Winnipeg. It's called the BDI, and it's a drive-in, but for ICE CREAM! Does it get any better than that? It doesn't.

PS On another note, I just saw Little Children and it was so good that I started reading the book the next day, which I have to say is even better than the movie (but isn't it always)? But typically, when I've seen the movie I find it very difficult to read the book because I already know what's going to happen, but not with Little Children. That Tom Perotta, he's a keeper. I thought about downloading the book for my iPod, too, for when I'm walking and can't read (because last time I did that I walked into a hydro pole), but I think that might be a bit excessive and then I'll constantly be trying to reconcile what page I'm on in the book with which chapter on the iPod. Craziness. So I'll stick to the book. I have a five-hour flight coming up, so I should finish it. That is, if we don't get one of the good Air Canada planes with the personal TVs and movies. Even when there are only bad movies to choose from I still can't resist.

Monday, May 14, 2007

My secret girl crush...

I've been meaning to discuss this for a while but keep forgetting, even though I'm thinking about her ALL. THE. TIME. Nancy Drew and how they're finally making a movie. I really cannot wait until June 15. I love Nancy Drew. I've loved her since I was 8. I've read every single book in the original series and every book in the Files series and the On Campus series, in which Nancy was a bit of a slut, wasn't she? I mean, the books were still PG, but she was suddenly flirting and dating a lot of guys. Poor Ned Nickerson. In university I did my Children's Literature project on Nancy Drew, and I collect the original books. I even have two of the interactive computer games, though I cannot solve either mystery. Apparently I'm too old to be able to figure it out, or not computer savvy enough, though I keep trying. There are these spindles on the banister that you can turn to get codes that give you clues, which are so cool even if I don't know what to do with the clues. Anyway, I really can't get enough of Nancy Drew. She's poised and savvy and smart and sassy and she solves mysteries, which really is the best job ever. I always wanted to be a private detective, except that, growing up in a small town, I realized that the only mysteries I'd be solving was adultery, and that didn't seem nearly as exciting as finding secrets in old clocks, 99 steps, leaning chimneys or on a ski hill.

Anyway, as much as I'm so excited about the new movie, I'm trying not to get my hopes or my expectations up. I mean, how many Nancy Drew TV shows have their been? First, in 1977 there was the Nancy Drew & Hardy Boys weekly mystery hour. I didn't see this series - I was a baby. Then in 1995 there was another short-lived Nancy Drew & Hardy Boys series. I watched this one, but not without grumbling. I mean, Nancy Drew was played by Tracy Ryan (who even though she's from Kitchener and lives in Toronto), has BROWN hair. VERY DARK brown hair. So did Bess and George, and Bess wasn't fat. It was like the casting agent had NEVER read the book. (Although I know, Nancy Drew's hair has changed colour - from strawberry blonde to blonde to titian). In 2002, there was a made-for-TV movie starring Maggie Lawson (a blonde). Back in 1938 there were four movies made, though I haven't seen them because I can't find them. Also, Nancy's boyfriend was named Ted, not Ned. Why? I'm not sure. So Nancy Drew: The Mystery in Hollywood Hills will be the first Hollywood movie. Still, I have my doubts with Emma Roberts playing Nancy. I like Emma Roberts, but she's 16! Playing a 16-year-old (I'm assuming she'll be 16 like in the original Nancy Drew mysteries, not 18 like she was in the revised series - when they removed the racism and stereotypes). But seriously, a 16 year old playing an 18 year old? Please, this is Hollywood. And playing your age doesn't happen in Hollywood. I mean, imagine if Brenda Walsh had been played by a 16-year-old instead of a 19-year-old. That's just plain crazy. Or if Dawson Leary had been played by a 15-year-old instead of a 21-year-old. Maybe the producers are taking tips from Degrassi, where teens play their age. And I like Degrassi, so maybe I'll like the movie. At least Emma's hair is strawberry blonde. I know it shouldn't matter, but it does, to me. Anyway...

Since it's always fun to have a little distraction on a Monday morning, I leave you with a little Nancy Drew quiz!

1. In what year was the first Nancy Drew Mystery written?
2. What is the name of the author who wrote the first Nancy Drew Mystery?
3. In what volume were Bess & George introduced?
4. In what volume did Nancy meet Ned?
5. How old would Nancy Drew be this year if she were alive?
6. What's Nancy's housekeeper's name?
7. When did Nancy and Ned break up?
8. What kind of car does Nancy drive?
9. What's the name of Nancy Drew's cookbook?
10. Where does Nancy Drew live?

OK, that's it! I'm off to solve the mystery of what to have for lunch today!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Saturday Six

1. I am really bad at following recipes. This is, of course, due to my lack of attention to detail, my impatience and my overall excitement to try something new. I was attempting to make a cake tonight for Mother's Day only the recipe called for a 13x9 inch pan and I wanted the cake to be round so that I could sit it prettily on my cake stand. But I didn't consider that a recipe that's supposed to fit in a slab pan would be too much for an 8 inch round pan. So then I had to make two pans, which wouldn't be so disastrous except that there was a filling you were supposed to put in the middle of the cake halfway through baking, which can't exactly happen if your cake is now in two pans. Where is the middle? So instead I put the filling on top of one of the pans and put it back in the oven, only now the caramel is oozing over the sides, and I'm going to have to somehow figure out how to get it out of the pan and put the two cakes together. Why don't I just read recipes through thoroughly first?

2. So Rosie. I'm like months behind on weighing in about her leaving the show, but I have a question. Why did she announce she's leaving but then stay on so long? Once you announce you're leaving, doesn't the network just want you off the air? Or why didn't she have to wait to tell everyone until her last day? It just sort of seems weird to watch her everyday, knowing that she doesn't really want to be there anyway. At least, it seems weird to me.

3. I just got the sweetest email from Vanessa Craft, another Key Porter author, whose book, Out of Character, launched this month, too. It's now in bookstores and I can't wait to read it, but I'm waiting until Wednesday for her launch party, so that I can buy it there, and meet her in person and get it signed. If you go to her website, you can watch a trailer for her book.

4. Apparently, we're not supposed to trust sunscreen. Instead, we're supposed to stay out of the sun altogether. I get that the sun is bad, but it's like the first week of spring, real spring, with sunny days and everyone's happy and walking outside after being cooped up inside for six months, and now we're supposed to go back inside and watch the world from behind shaded windows? Oy.

5. This is the first year that I feel like a lot of my friends have babies, so it's particularly exciting that tomorrow is Mother's Day and I want to wish all of them a happy day. Since most of them have babies (as opposed to toddlers or teens, not as opposed to cubs or fawns), I'm not sure what they'll really get for Mother's Day - maybe a card from their husbands? Or maybe they'll get to sleep in or just not do any chores for the day (though I imagine breast-feeding is still a chore isn't it? And it's not like the husband can do it, though a friend asked me the other day, "if a baby sucked on the dad's nipple long enough, would milk come out?" I'm pretty sure the answer is no, but seriously, I don't know! I'm the girl who asked her husband today, "What's a breast pad?" and he, of course, explained it to me. As though it's common knowledge, or something.). ANYWAY, the point is that when you've got a newborn, maybe there never is a break, even on Mother's Day, but still, hopefully they (and you, if you're a mother) will be able to take a moment and realize just how much you've accomplished, and sacrificed and how special you are, just for being a mom.

6. I know the winners of the door prizes from my book launch party! Except, they're sitting in an email at work. So, the big announcement will have to wait until Monday. I can tell you, however, that the winner of the Yoli-Poli yoga bag was my dad, until of course I told my publicist that, and said maybe she should choose someone else. Sorry, Dad. (Although I do recall finding a yoga book in our basement when I was little Chantel, but as the saying goes, "If you were around for the trend the first time, skip it the second." So I think my dad will stick to golf instead.)

Friday, May 11, 2007


So, I had my first ever book launch! It was at Kultura Restaurant in Toronto and it was so much fun. I feel a little weird saying that, it's like telling people you threw a great party. It's sort of rude. But the truth is, I didn't really have anything to do with the party - it was so fun thanks to my amazing publisher, Key Porter, my publicist Candice Best, and all the amazingly talented experts who contributed and donated product to the event. If you were there, THANK YOU so much for coming! I was overwhelmed with the turnout and everyone said such nice things to me and so many people bought the book and asked me to sign it, which was so flattering. We had 150 gift bags, but we ran out! I'm so sorry to anyone who didn't get a gift bag, but I hope at least you had a cupcake....

of COURSE there were cupcakes, thanks to Susy at Flour Girls. They were so pretty, that they were GONE within half an hour! But there were also The Body Shop Born Lippy lip balms in coordinating colours, that smelled just as amazing as the cupcakes!

And Susy wasn't the only "expert" who contributed to the party. The theme of the party was to Get Unstuck so there all these amazing "stations" that you could stop at with your gift bag to get expert tips and load up on fabulous items! The first stop was Polish Beauty Bar, where Danielle was giving hand massages using Cake Beauty products (including the amazing Milk Made Velveteen Hand Creme, which I am OBSESSED with!). At this station, you got to pick up a Cake Beauty nail file, a John Frieda Colour Glaze, and an OPI nail polish...

Next stop was for fitness tips, courtesy of celebrity personal trainer from L.A., Jennifer Cohen. She's a spokesmodel for La Senza Spirit, which is this amazing new store that just opened that carries yoga wear. Everyone got a La Senza water bottle and coupon book to spend at La Senza Spirit, as well as Dermaglow eye cream, lip plumper and face creams, Freeze 24/7 face cream, Kinerase eye cream and face cream (a favourite of Courteney Cox) and Goody flowers!

At the next station, Hélène Clarkson from Neat Storage Essentials in Yorkville gave super organizing tips for your closet and gave everyone a free Shoebby!

This is a Shoebby. It's a clear plastic storage box to put your shoes inside so that they're organized, yet you can see them all! So cute!

There were also his n' hers Hugo Boss fragrance samples, courtesy of PK Communcations.

Then, it was off for correspondence etiquette tips, thanks to Nina Jones of Jonesy , this amazing online stationery store that has the most adorable cards, perfect for sending to your girlfriends!

We also had a raffle for a beautiful Swarovski crystal bracelet from 3 Wishes Jewellery, a metallic pink yoga bag from Yoli Poli...

and a one-of-a-kind Coach handbag.

I can't thank everyone enough for putting on this party, and for coming! Thank you!!

PS: My publicist is drawing the names (so that I won't be biased!) and I'll post the winner here, soon, so stay tuned!

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Sweet treats... for you!

Today, Sweetspot published an amazing review of Stuck in Downward Dog! I think the review was wittier and funnier than the actual book - so a big THANK YOU to Sweetspot for their support! And there's more... you can win a copy of the book if you follow the instructions after the review!

If you're too late (since I'm posting this in the afternoon), don't forget you can also win a free book by getting your book club to read Stuck in Downward Dog. For more details, go here.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

The Super Duper Book Club Spectacular Bribe!

Are you in a book club? I'm not. I like book clubs. I think they're super cool. I've tried twice to be in a book club. The first was with a bunch of girlfriends. The trouble was, everyone in the book club had so much to talk about every time we got together, we never really got around to talking about the book. Which sort of defeats the purpose of calling it a book club. And because we didn't really get around to talking about the book, no one ever really read the book, except me and the girl who was organizing the book club. (That totally made me sound like a martyr, right? But actually, we only had 2 book club meetings so all that says is that I read 2 books. And one of them I chose). Then the book club disintegrated into shopping trips and afternoon tea.

The other book club that I joined was at the same time as the first one. Not the exact same time on the same day, but I mean, in the general, loose sense of the term, same time, as in that same summer I joined the first book club. This second book club was filled with fascinating people (I'm not saying my girlfriends aren't fascinating!) but these people were so diverse. There was a rabbi and a Buddhist and a business woman and an artist and a yogi and a student so when we would discuss a book, we all had such different backgrounds and experiences to draw upon and that really affected each of our views of the book. Unfortunately, I hated the books they chose to read and had so many other books I wanted to read. So I dropped out. How shameful, really, because isn't the point of a book club to read and discuss books you wouldn't normally read? To let others open your eyes to books you wouldn't have considered? This is likely true for me since I tend to read the same type of books over and over and never really branch out. And, I just realized, after this post, no one's going to invite me to be in a book club ever again!

All this to say that I really admire anyone who's in a book club and sticks to it, which is why I want to reward all your super book clubbers with a special present!

If you get your book club to read Stuck in Downward Dog, I'll send you a gift basket filled with “Mara-inspired” goodies, like this one!

It contains:

• White Chocolate Cupcake Mix & Raspberry Frosting Mix
• Tea
• Post-it Notes
• Nail polish
• One copy of Stuck in Downward Dog

And Stuck in Downward Dog bookmarks for your entire book club!

There are a limited number of gift boxes, so email me at chantel (at) chantelsimmons (dot) com with your name, address, the name of your book club and the number of members in your book club (so that I can send you the right number of bookmarks).

Book Club doesn't have a name? Don't worry, you can make one up. Here are some names I would give my own book club (you know, if I hadn't quit them all).

The "We Like To Talk About American Idol and Pretend We Read the Book" Book Club
The "Monday Night Chicks Who Need a Reason Not to Watch Hockey" Book Club
The "Montana Moms Who Need a Night Off the Baby" Book Club

If you live in the US, the book doesn't go on sale until July, but you can order it through or and they'll ship it to you!

Now get back to reading the book you're supposed to be reading for this month's book club meeting!