Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Yes, I am a Mexicat. Take the picture already.

Mexicat swagger.

Enough, Papparrazzi, enough. I`m outta here.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

One day until Halloween!

Tomorrow's the big day. As you know if you've been reading this blog for a while, Mr. Baz dresses up for Halloween every year. He loves it. He really, really does. After all, Halloween is his birthday, and what better way than to get dressed up in brand new clothes? 

In preparation for tomorrow, a look back at his previous Halloween costumes...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Because I already had plans last Saturday, I couldn't go to the Spa-a-thon, but editor Nadine said it was fantabulous. You can read about it here - and gear up for next year - but all I could focus on was THEY HAD A PSYCHIC.

I have a fear of psychics, because I think they may be real and what if they can really tell you your entire future? I mean, sure, I'd love to know what my winter coat will look like next year and where I will buy it, because that would certainly save shopping time, but what about bigger issues. Such as: What if they see me alone? Does that mean I'll get divorced? I don't want to get divorced. What if they see me with 17 kids running around? Do I need to start saving because that means I'm going to have seventeenuplets? What if they see me with one arm? Should I avoid all activities in which my arm may get cut off? What if they see someone dying? I don't want to know someone's going to die. It's too sad. It's bad enough when my plants die and I don't even name them.

But, a bunch of my girlfriends SWEAR by this psychic who's in Burlington and many go every single year for a check-in and they say they can't live without her. Plus, she's not very negative and the positive things she does see actually come true. So I finally agreed that I will go, only this woman is so busy that she doesn't return calls if you leave a voicemail so you have to keep calling and calling until she answers, which can take, like, days. Weeks. Months. We've been trying on rotating shifts for almost two months, trying to get her to answer her phone, but last week, my friend got through and now we have a date, so I'm quite excited and nervous, but I feel there are so many questions I have, will she be able to answer them all?
What do you think? Have you been to a psychic? Did she tell you things that actually came true?
In the meantime, are there any TV psychics out there that can tell me when MadMen Season 3 will air because I just watched the season finale of Season 2 and I cannot wait even though I'm sure it's going to be another year before they're back in the office. Hmm.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Fudge, Cookies and the U.S.A.

The other night I decided to make Halloween cookies. Only, once I got home I realized that I didn't have a pumpkin cookie cutter, which I'm POSITIVE is either a) wrong. (I know I have one!) or b) a sign of early-onset Alzheimer's that I thought I had one and don't or have misplaced it and don't know where to look.

No problem, I thought. I'll make ghosts. Only, I don't have a ghost cookie cutter. So I tried a bunny head upside down, thinking that the ears would look like the bottom of the ghost. No such luck. It looked like a cross between a breast cancer ribbon, an upside down bunny head and a fish. So I ate them, which is when I realized that the Party Skirt cookie cutter from my Princess Cookie Cutter set, would make a perfect ghost. Voila!

So anyway, I told my friend (who came to Cape Cod with us and who lives in New York) about my ghost cookies and sent a picture and he told me to bring him one when I came to New York (where I am right now as I type).

The problem was, when we came back from Cape Cod, I brought a box of fudge for my Dad, who likes fudge. It was the only thing we bought, so when the customs lady asked us what we spent $10 on, we said: Fudge.

She: So that's dairy, then?

Me: Huh-what-pardon me?

She: SO....THAT'S....DAIRY....THEN.

Me: Oh. Okay. I guess. (But really I was thinking, What?)

So then the customs woman circles Dairy and writes "FUDGE" on that form that has all the REALLY BAD THINGS you're not supposed to bring into Canada, like nuts and seeds and fruit and farmers. And well, yes, dairy was on the list, but I mean, it's not like I was bringing a jug of milk straight from the cow's udder, right?

After all, isn't chocolate like the most popular souvenir item that people bring back from vacation? And that's dairy. Does that mean you can't bring chocolate anymore?

So anyway, I was sure we were going to have to pay duty or a fine or go to jail or something but when we got to the next stop after customs where you hand in the card, the guy took it, looked at it and sent us on our way. With the fudge.

So I was glad, but still it didn't really make any sense at all.

Anyway, I told my friend what happened at the border -- and the icing on the cookies has milk in it so there you go, does that mean I can't bring a cookie across the border?

My friend said that if the dairy item is cooked it's probably free of bacteria (which makes complete sense, actually) but if that were true, then the fudge should have been fine, since it's fully cooked. Whereas the icing ON the cookie is not cooked at all.

What to do?

He suggested I try to bring it. If they didn't let me, I'll have an excuse to eat a cookie at 7 a.m.

Which actually sounded like a good plan.
So that's what I did. And then, when they asked me if I was bringing anything in, I said No sir. Nothing at all. I'm so bad. Oh brother. (Though my friend liked the cookie, so it was all worth it).
Now, if only I could find the perfect pair of boots before I head back to Toronto.
In other news, I've chosen a random winner of the Spa Day tickets.
Congratulations to Sarah M. You'll be emailed the tix! Enjoy! And thanks to everyone who emailed!
Happy weekend!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

My friend and fellow blogger Nadine is the superfabulous editor of Sweetmama – and this Saturday she's hosting a super sweet event for moms to raise money for SickKids. And...just for reading my blog you could win 2 free tickets to an afternoon with your mom, sister or BFF, getting pampered. What could be better than that? Here are the details:

Raising money for a good cause is important, but who needs to run 10k, spin for 2 hours, or walk for 24 hours, when you could just spend the day at the spa? Well, with Sweetmama's first Mother's Day Off Spa-A-Thon you can! I'm proud to announce that we have partnered with the SickKids Foundation to host this very special event. It will take place on Saturday, October 25th from 1-5 pm at Andrew Richards Designs.

You'll enjoy an afternoon of manicures, massages, yoga/pilates, boot camp, make up applications, and much more from some of our favourite sponsors like Gee Beauty, Dermalogica, Pilates for Life and Track Fitness! Plus there will be sweet treats provided from Flour Girls, Genuine Health, Track Snacks, and Vitamin Water.

If that's not enough, here are a few more reasons why you should buy a ticket:

1. You don't need to be a Sweetmama, or a mama, for that matter! It is just a day for women to kick back, relax and enjoy some "me" time, all for a good cause. Show your support without wearing a support bra!

2. The value of the gift bags is already over $175, so you'll more than make it back the ticket price in sweet swag!

3. Even if you can't make it that day, you should buy a ticket. Why? Because the money is for a great cause, and I will personally put your gift bag away for you so that you can enjoy it another day.


Want to WIN 2 FREE tickets? Email me at chantel (at) chantelsimmons (dot) com and I'll randomly pick one winner on Friday!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I have now sent 3 text messages.

I have a new phone. It's pink. Really, that says it all. It couldn't be more perfect.

Anyone who has ever tried to call me knows that my old phone did not ring. Still, I loved this phone. It was the LG Chocolate and when it came out years ago I hinted and hinted until the Hubs bought it for me for Christmas. I loved it so much, but right from the start there were problems.

It wouldn't ring when people called. Days later I'd go to use it and I'd get a random notification that I had a missed call. Or, I'd be walking with phone in hand and get a beep that I had a new voicemail even though again, it never rang. On the few times it did ring and I actually heard it, because the ring was so quiet you basically had to be in a library or church to hear it, and I actually picked it up and tried to talk, my (apparently) pointy cheek or hair would set off the touch screen and hang up on the person. When I tried to dial in to check my messages, the keys would stick and inevitably the system would tell me I was entering the wrong password and it would hang up on me.

Needless to say, I haven't talked on my cellphone very much in the last 2 years. I'm not sure why I waited this long to upgrade. I guess it's like a favourite sweater. Even if it's pilly and out of sorts you still wear it because you love it. That's what I did. Until today when I found the shiny pink phone!

And the best part? It rings! So loud that there's a warning telling me not to put the phone near my head while it's ringing because I may experience hearing loss. I bet I could wear earplugs and still hear it ring. I could definitely wear the PINK headphones that come with it. But the even better part? When it DOES ring, all the buttons light up in PINK!

Also, I can send 2,500 text messages a month. TWENTY-FIVE HUNDRED! This is crazy, isn't it? Or is it just me? Is this how many texts teens are sending nowadays? Would my 15-year-old cousin look at this plan and say, "Hmmm.... 2500. That seems okaaaaayyyyy...., but I'll probably need to monitor how many texts I'm sending around the last week of the month just to be sure I don't go over the limit."?

Also, I can send 1,000 picture texts. I don't even know what this means. Like, if I wanted to take a picture and send it as a text message? Anyway, whatever it is, I can send 1,000 of them.

So far I have sent 3 text messages.

Text Messages Left To Date (TMLTD): 2,497
Picture Messages Left To Date (PMLTD): 1,000

P.S. An update: There is a Mr. Baz Halloween costume glitch. The item I need is nowhere to be found in Toronto except I did find it hanging on a wall in a restaurant but I don't think the owners would appreciate if I stole the item and ran home with it because then I would end up in jail and do they have sewing machines in jail?? I doubt it, so THEN how would I make the costume in time? So I didn't steal the item. Then today I had a brainwave to buy the item I need to make the item I need for Mr. Baz's costume off eBay. Except, it was going to cost $24 to ship the $6 item and wasn't guaranteed by Halloween. My last resort is New York. I'm headed there Thursday. In one of the biggest cities in the world, surely I can find what I'm looking for?

Sunday, October 19, 2008


I don't like to talk politics - it's not polite and i'm all about Emily Postinessity - but on Annie Choi's blog I read that in Australia there's a little box on the ballot you can check that says "No Vote."

So, then, does this mean you get up, you find the card they sent you in the mail, you go to the polls, you stand in line, and THEN you become apathetic?

Does this make any sense? Why not just be apathetic at home, while watching Ghost Hunters International? Not that that's what I did. I'm just SAYING. It doesn't make any sense.

I'm going to check with my Down Under Experts (aka My Sister and Brother-In-Law). They are both Australian. It doesn't get much more authentic than that. Unless I were to ask Mick "Crocodile" Dundee. Which isn't an option.

Me: Is it true that there's a No Vote box on the election ballot?

Sister: Are you doing research for your next book?

Me: No. Just wondering.

Sister: Are you in a debating club?

Me: As if.

Sister: I don't remember a "No Vote" box. Their voting ballots are really long though and can be confusing but you do need to check at least one box somewhere. Not sure if you just handed in an unchecked ballot if that would essentially be a 'no vote'. Voting is mandatory for Australians.

Me: But you're Australian. What will happen if you don't go back to vote? (She lives in Vancouverland).

Sister: I notified my electoral office that I would be a non-resident when I moved to Canada and am now exempt until I return to Australia.

Me: Oh phew. What if you hadn't? What would happen then? Jail? Deportation? Loss of citizenship?

Sister: I don't know. I'll ask your brother in law.

Brother in Law: Voting in Australia is compulsory. If you don't vote you get fined $50 or $100 depending if the government officer got laid the night before or not.

Then we started talking about what Coco (their cat) and Mr. Baz (my cat) are going to dress up as for Halloween and forgot all about voting. When I hung up I realized that we didn't get to the bottom of the No Vote box though it does make more sense that there would be one if you have to go vote and really don't care, but really I'm over that topic anyway. On to Halloween costumes...

Friday, October 10, 2008

Friday Five

1. My friend Cat, who I used to work with over at ELLE (and who is now the editor of 2:The Magazine for Couples, has a bun in the oven and is blogging about it over at Erica Ehm's Her blog is called New Freakin' Mummy and it's freakin' funny, just like her.

2. New David Sedaris! Even though When You Are Engulfed In Flames (which is his funniest yet IMO) just came out this summer, earlier this week, this appeared in my mailbox: 

Sedaris first published this holiday collection in 1998, but this new version, in stores now, has six stories from his previous collections and six new stories. 

3. Tina Fey just signed a $6 million book deal with Little, Brown. Apparently she was "untested" as an author, but what's the big deal? She writes 30 rock. She wrote the script for Mean Girls. Obviously she can write. I can't wait. I love her. 

4. I'm reading I Was Told There'd Be Cake by Sloane Crosley.

If you like David Sedaris and Annie Choi (as I do), I'll bet my pumpkin pie you'll like these essays.

5. I'm off to the Cape! Here's my question, what do donut shops in Boston call Boston Creams? 

Happy Turkey Weekend!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Battle of the Ryans

Is it just me or does anyone else find Ryan Gosling and Ryan Reynolds confusing? I mean, I know they don't look the same, but I cannot keep them straight. I've tried. Half Nelson, Definitely, Maybe, Lars and the Real Girl, Harold & Kumar... but it's all just a mess in my head. No idea which played which, except that I know Gosling was in The Notebook because he and Rachel McAdams were/are/were/are dating. Even when I look at pictures, I'm still totally confused...





Even now that one of them (Reynolds maybe?) has married ScarJo, I'm still confused. Was he the one that was dating Alanis Morrisette? But not the one that's on again/off again with Rachel McAdams? Which was the guy in Dick with KeKe Dunst? And then, I came up with a formula: 

Gosling: Shirt.

Reynolds: No Shirt.

It works, right? I knew Finite Math would come in handy one day. Then I found this  article over at Chatelaine. Which may be a little more scientific. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Real Housewives is back!

It's no secret: I love the Real Housewives of The O.C., and I've been waiting for The Real Housewives of New York for months -- finally it's here! Tomorrow night, 10 p.m., Slice. 

Also, how excited am I about Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood? Ever since I read sTORI telling, I really can't get enough of Miss Donna. The premiere airs tonight at 10 p.m., also on Slice. 

Apparently, I'm like the TV Guide. That is, if you're into trashy reality TV. (There was a time that I said I was over reality. I'm not sure when that ended. Clearly, reality is my new reality.) If you're into documentaries, docudramas, dramaramas, and well, science shows, I got nothing. Sorry. That is all.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Catch and Cape Cod

A few days ago I went to Louisa McCormack's book launch for The Catch, the followup to her fab debut novel, Six Weeks to Toxic

Louisa is positively lovely and full of energy and the launch at Type Books was great fun, filled with Chippy's chips, and prizes (!) such as lobster soap and lobster gummies and lobster earrings. And who doesn't love a kitschy prize? (I love any sort of prize, kitsch or not, actually). 

The Catch takes place mostly in PEI, where Louisa's also living at the moment (and where she was living while writing the book), yes, with Anne. Anne Shirley. That's all I'm going to say about the plot, because if you want more you can go here or here or here. I hate spoiling a plot and since I don't even read the backs of books because they spoil it too much for me, I would only be able to tell you what I've read so far, which is about one-third of the book. So far, so, so excellent. Louisa does an impeccable job of capturing the essence of PEI - so that if you've never been, it's like you're on a little getaway, and if you're from the east coast, it might feel like a little piece of home (not that I'm generalizing that all east coast towns in all east coast provinces and states feel the same...!). 

Speaking of the east coast in all its generality (because actually, I'm not quite sure where on the east coast this next place is...), I'm putting The Catch on hold for one week because next weekend we're trading turkey for tides and stuffing for sand and spending Thanksgiving in Cape Cod. I've never been* but in my head I expect it to romantic** and wispy and windy and lovely and I think that The Catch will make for a perfect literary soundtrack to the long weekend away. Bring on the argyle and scarves!

Want to win your own copy of The Catch? More is having a contest. Good luck!

* When I told my dad I was going to Cape Cod and had never been, he said "Yes, you have..." Oh. Oops! Apparently, I was the babe in tow when he and my mom still thought camping was a vacation. That lasted until I was about two, at which point they swapped sleeping bags for actual sleep in a bed inside, out of the rain, and promptly passed both their camping equipment on to friends and the anti-camping gene on to me (for which I'm grateful, actually, even though I'm positive it's because I don't camp that I don't like beer). So although I HAVE been to Cape Cod, Daddy-O,  I don't exactly remember it. Whatever, we'll call it a homecoming. 

** Mostly I chose Cape Cod because it seemed romantic (ahhh... The Cape) and also because the Ghost Hunters found some haunted houses there (and I love a good haunting). But I actually don't know anything about the Cape or what to do there. Any ideas? Send them to me and I'll bring you back something lobster-like!