Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Four Things and Many Useful Tips!

Last time I posted, it was like, 1994. Ross loved Rachel. And now it's practically the end of March?

I'm not sure what happened. But, I'm here to recap the month, and offer useful tips to you.

First: Happy Spring!

The first day of spring arrived. I'm still wearing my winter coat, but inside, I'm trying to make things appear balmy.

I love plants. Unfortunately, I'm not very good at remembering to water them. Tip: Plants need to be watered. Or they die.

So instead of looking at dead plants, I've been supplementing my desert-loving greenery with fresh-cut flowers. I know what you're thinking -- buying fresh flowers every week can become expensive. True!

But here's a tip: Invest in great foliage. My friend gave me a bouquet of pink gerberas with the greenery you see in the photo. The flowers lasted two weeks because I cut the stems twice a week, but this greenery is going on 5 weeks! So, once the flowers die, you can splurge on just a few more of your favourite flowers and you'll have another pretty arrangement for weeks!

Second: Happy St. Patrick's Day!

St. Patrick's Day came and went. Mr. Baz kept it refined. He is a gentleman, after all. Tip: A bowtie is an ideal fancy-shmancy way to dress up your outfit, and it's perfect on St. Patty's Day, when you're inclined to spill drinks on yourself and friends. If you only wear a bowtie, you won't ruin an outfit.

Third: Cupcakes!

For my birthday, one of my girlfriends gave me the best cupcake book ever. It's filled with recipes on how to turn your cupcakes into works of art. The only stipulation, my friend told me, was that I had to make her one of the cupcake creations. So tonight, as a thank you, I made this:

Isn't it cute? I wish I could take credit for the originality, but I can't. I just followed the recipe. Which is so simple, and I will now share with you:

1. Make mini cupcakes. Tip: Use a mix. It's easy!

2. Ice mini cupcakes using white icing. Tip: Use the kind in the tub. It's super sweet. Yum.

3. Buy package of multi-coloured mini marshmallows. Pick out the yellow ones and stick them on top of your cupcakes. Tip: Feel free to eat the pink ones to keep your strength up while decorating.

4. Buy popcorn container. Stuff with tissue paper halfway, then place mini cupcakes inside!


Fourth: Vacation!

This weekend we're heading to Vegas. Four days of sun, cocktails, crepes, Cirque du Soleil and Criss Angel! I cannot wait. Neither can Mr. Baz. He will not get out of my suitcase.

Tip: When trying to pack for a trip, remove all animals first. Not only does it make it easier to pack without getting clawed or bitten, but also, there will be more space in your suitcase for your many pairs of shoes.

See you in a few days!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

East Side Story

As part of the magazine program I teach at a college on the Danforth, the students create two issues of a magazine called On the Danforth (you have to admire a magazine name that actually makes sense). I'm not sure exactly when this magazine gets made because as far as I see, the students spend all their time going to class, doing assignments without complaining, having part-time jobs, doing free internships, watching ANTM, ProRun and a whole host of other reality TV shows. I assumed they also slept at some point, but now I think perhaps not. When you're that busy, something has to give. Because somehow, between all that, they create two very impressive magazines, all on their own. After reading both issues cover to cover, I realized that I may be their teacher now, but I will likely be working for some of them in the very near future. This made me feel two things: proud -- even though I really can take no credit -- and like maybe I'm not that old after all? Hmm... maybe that's a stretch.

In any case, one of the girls in the class had read Stuck in Downward Dog and because it's set on the Danforth, she asked if I would be featured on their back page. How flattering! She interviewed me, and then she and her classmates set up a very professional photo shoot, complete with makeup artist. It ended up being one of the best makeup applications I've ever had, and I love the photo -- I'm not sure how much photoshopping went on but I'll take it, thank you, girls!

Friday, March 13, 2009

All Wrapped Up

Earlier this week I got the Universal Contour Wrap – a two-hour treatment that involves you getting measured and marked (à la Nip/Tuck), then wrapped in mud-soaked tensor bandages until you practically can't breathe and then lying on a bed for an hour. Fun times.

All the Hollywood celebs were gifted it pre-Oscars and supposedly it guarantees you lose 6 inches. I actually lost 9, so it was worth the hour of discomfort. But, for it to be permanent, you have to cut out caffeine, sugar and alcohol. In other words (or at least, in my world), stop living. My pants are still loose today, but I'm guessing that my birthday weekend is going to do me in. Oh well, I like my love handles and saddlebags. 

The craziest part about the wrap, though, is that ever since, I can't sleep. The esthetician said it would boost my energy, but I have a feeling I actually do need more than three hours of sleep a night. I have a million thoughts running through my head but seemingly, no ability to filter it or channel it into anything productive. I'm blaming that for the reason this post is so scattered.

Have you heard that Barbie is only $3 – its original price – all week long? It's taking all my willpower not to buy myself one. The only thing that's saving me is that I really want Kissing Barbie – and I'm not sure she still exists.

Kissing Barbie was my favourite. I got her as a birthday gift one year. Sadly, she was also everyone else at my party's favourite, and within about five minutes, before I'd even got to put her lipstick on and make her kiss me on the cheek, she was broken. She was still my favourite. One of my best friends just had a baby girl, so maybe I'll have to buy her first Barbie. Even if she has to keep it in the box for a few years.

Ooh, another thing on the detox topic: I've been using this Body Shop Pure Detox gel for the past month and I really love it because it smells amazing and makes your skin feel really good. And also because I'm all about detox regimes that don't involve me drinking cranberry juice or starving myself.

But the one problem with the gel is that it makes the shower floor so slippery so that every morning I seriously consider that this might be the morning that I actually slip, fall and get a concussion. Or break something. Or die. It's gotten to the point that I tidy up my side of the bed before having my shower, just in case something happens so that the Hubs won't have to contend with my mess while I'm in the hospital, in a body cast. It doesn't help that there have been 2 Friday the 13ths to also contend with. But this morning, as I was using it, I actually read the label closely. And then realized that nowhere on the package does it say to use it in the shower or rinse it away. Do you know why? Because it is not a shower gel. That's right. I have been using a body gel, NOT a shower gel. In the shower. Every morning. And risking my life trying to stand upright as the lotion turns the shower floor into a slip n' slide. Because I am an idiot.

I'm not a very religious person, but every year I attempt to give up something for Lent. Usually, my attempts last about 3 days before I crack. But over the years I've learned that I have to attempt to give up something that I can actually live without for 40 days. In other words, not sweets or carbs. Quitting those crutches is just not for me. Instead, this year I decided to try to walk 10,000 steps a day. I actually thought it would be pretty easy. I was wrong. It's not that 10,000 steps is that far (it's about 8 km), it's just that I realized I don't actually have any need to walk that far. It really would help if my office was a bit farther away. Or, um, if I wasn't lazy. So far I've walked 10,000 two times. I'm going to keep trying – really, given that I'm only sleeping 3 hours a night I've got an extra 5 hours to do something productive, like walk. Except that it's likely not ideal to head out for a walk at 3 am. Unless you are a lady of the evening. But then you're out walking for another reason, which likely  has nothing to do with Lent. 

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Reality recap

So last night, of course, was The Bachelor season final. Don't deny it - you watched. You're not alone: 15.5 million people watched - the highest in Bachelor finale history. I watched, and so did The Hubs. He called me last night to ask if I wanted to go out for dinner and before I could answer, added "Don't worry. I know you have to be home by 8." 

When we got home, he announced as we entered our lobby, to our concierge: "Bachelor Finale!" I could've died. I guess it's proof that a bottle of wine will make anybody excited about Jason, Molly & Melissa. 

I wanted to hate Jason for what he did, but then I read in People that he wanted to break up with her weeks ago, but the show wouldn't let him, because in his contract, he must appear on After the Final Rose and any development in his relationship - whether good or bad - must be revealed on the show. So he didn't really have a choice. 

Then, he went on Jimmy Kimmel right after (which was awesome, right from the opening, when Jimmy gives his final rose to Donnie Wahlberg (of NKOTB, of course), then retracts it and chooses Joe instead). And on the show he explained that he knows everyone hates him for doing what he did, but it's his life and he can't stay with Melissa just because we want him to. Which is true. Anyway, Molly's more interesting and has cute outfits and a real job. Although, during the montage of all the Molly/Jason dates this season, The Hubs turned to me and pointed out:

"She wears a lot of scarves. Maybe she's not a very good department store buyer and so she has to wear all the merchandise that doesn't sell." 

I liked that he was giving it so much thought. That's what I look for in a Bachelor-viewing mate.

Anyway, this was the best part of the Jimmy interview:

Jimmy: So now you're with Molly.
Jason: Yes.
Jimmy: You're really with her? Or tomorrow night is there going to be another special and we find something else weird out? Do you have the numbers of all the contestants in case you change your mind again?

Hilarious. Here's the whole interview if you, like me, feel the need to watch every single interview with Jason this week:

In other real reality, how much do you love the story of the real-life mermaid

Speaking of people with disabilities, there's this cute couple who are blind and have seeing eye-dogs. I pass them at least weekly when I'm walking in my neighbourhood. But yesterday, I saw them and they were just walking. Holding hands. No dogs! What does this mean? They can see? 
I was so excited that I wanted to clap and hug them, but then I thought that if they're still blind and have just somehow memorized their walk on Yonge Street, they might be alarmed by some random stranger they can't see mauling them with happiness. And then I'd feel horrible if they were still blind. Maybe the dogs had the day off? Who knows. 

Finally, in my own reality of bringing my fictional characters to life, I have an official pub month for my next book: Love Struck. It will be out next February! Just in time for Valentine's Day. Or anti-Valentine's day. Whichever you celebrate! Either way, we've got a whole year of events, contests and giveaways lined up in anticipation, so all you need to know is that if you check back here often, you'll get free stuff from me!

And now...only 6.5 hours until we find out who the next Bachelorette is! And then, we will officially move on to talking about something else. Promise.