Wednesday, 20 February 2013

If you like Pina Coladas.....getting caught in the rain

I am 90% packed for my trip to the Turks and Caicos! Think I brought enough to wear for 10 days? ;-)

I have a few tips for traveling that may not be new to you, but they are the rules I live by when I hit the skies:

1) Pack half the clothes and twice the money - even though it doesn't look like I practiced this rule I actually did scale back the outfits by at least 1/3 as I put them into my suit case. Most of these items are bathing suit cover ups and light sundresses. I always wear a couple of these per day when I am in a tropical locale so I make sure that I have enough. For money, you never know what will happen or what you will find to buy when you are vacationing. Making sure you have enough cash for incidentals, tips and shops that may not accept credit cards will allow you to bring some cool stuff home and you will have the room in your suitcase for it.

2) I may be sentimental but I will always buy some neat little knick knack that is unique to the country I am visiting. I like having a collection of things to decorate that are from the places I have been. Not only are they different, but it reminds me of the vacation, each time I walk into the room. If I don't find anything to decorate my space, then I will turn to jewelry as a way to bring back a piece of the exotic home.

3) Bring a photo copy of your passport. This will save you some headaches if you happen to lose it while you are in a foreign country.

4) Bring all the medication you could possibly ever need. For obvious reasons!

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Eat Here Before you Die!

This next restaurant in the "Eat here before you die" segment is known as the "Nose" but it's true full name Gio Rana's Really Really Nice Restaurant (so named by the owner's daughter).

It is located on Queen Street East in Leslieville, Toronto, Ontario and there is no sign in the front of the building to indicate it is a restaurant. Oh no, there is only a NOSE!

This kind of makes sense if you think about it. Why do we need to see a garish sign when all we want is for our senses to be tantalized when we dine out? I had driven by this place countless times and always wondered what this business was. Well, I got to find out when my boyfriend at the time took me there for dinner. He had gone once with some friends and raved about it so we checked it out.

The Nose is hip and unique with too many special Italian inspired dishes to name. The decor is fresh, funky and kind of reminds me of a flee market which I am sure is hard to picture, but it works.

 Calamari fried to perfection!

 Decor, like I said it's shabby chic

Almost anytime I see carpaccio on a menu, I HAVE to order it

I have mixed emotions about this place as this was the first time I had dined there and like I mentioned it was with my BF at the time. By the repetition of "at the time" I am sure you can surmise that we are no longer together. On this cold damp Saturday night, we had taken a cab to this place to have a nice dinner. And nice it was.... we had wine, great food that I will never forget and we had what I thought was a fabulous time. I even treated him to this meal because I had enjoyed myself so much. Well that was the last dinner that we would have together. You see, this was a long distance relationship (that lasted on and off for over a year), I lived in Kingston and he lived in Toronto. Not only that but I travelled all the time for work. After this amazing dinner, I stopped hearing from him altogether. After about a month of very cryptic texts & emails, no phone calls or plans to see each other again, I had reached out one last time just to tell him that I gotten the non-verbal message that it was over. I told him that the LEAST he could have done was to actually break it off with me rather than taking the cowardly way out. I also said that he would not hear from me again. So that was that. To my surprise he actually replied that he was sorry and that the long distance wasn't working out for him. He knew he should have broken it off in person or over the phone but that he didn't want to hurt my feelings (ummm, thanks?!). 

Now we were not Teenagers when this happened. We were both in our 30's and yes Ladies, this shit still does happen even at that age. But I don't look back on this night at the "Nose" with regret or sadness, it was still a great time; I have moved on and been taught a lesson that any guy that would treat you this way is so undeserving of your time and effort. I am happy that I didn't spend one more second with a person that was so immature and selfish and if any of you have experienced something similar I hope you can feel the same way.

Wow, how did this post turn into a therapy session? Anyways, break-up aside, this is STILL one of my favourite restaurants in Toronto and I hope you can experience it for yourself when you are there!

Friday, 15 February 2013

Let's have the type of night where it's 5 am and one of us has definitely punched someone who's been on a Disney channel show.

Okay, so Girls is a controversial TV show that airs on HBO on Sunday's at 9PM. It is created by, directed by, produced by and stars the talented 27 year old Lena Dunham. 

Girls is about four 20 something women that live in Brooklyn, have graduated college (well most of them) and are trying to start and figure out their "adult" lives. It revolves around the characters Hannah (played by Dunham), Marnie (Hannah's BFF and roommate , Shoshanna (Hannah's friend) and Jessa (Soshanna's cousin and also a friend of Hannah's). Each girl has a distinct personality and they each have their own adventures while trying to negotiate how to live in the most expensive and ruthless city in the world while also trying to become who they are meant to be (most of us in our 30's are still trying to get to that place too, aren't we?)

Many have criticized the show and more specifically Lena for not being racially diverse and showing too much unwanted nudity (again this mostly focuses on Ms. Dunham). Many have also said that the show is unrealistic in  that none of these girls seem to have their life together financially speaking, yet they continue to be able to pay rent, buy food, buy cocaine and quit their jobs on a whim. 

People either love this show, hate it or love to hate it. I personally LOVE this show! Regarding the nudity, yes Lena is naked in I think almost every episode. Does she have a perfect body? Hells no! But guess what, neither do I, neither do YOU, neither does 99.99% of the population!  So why is she being slandered for showing what is real? I think it is totally refreshing that Lena is not afraid to show her body in its true form. No lipo, no personal trainer, no fancy macro-biotic diet. She is what most girls look like so why are we shunning this image? I WISH there had been a show like this on when I was in my 20's, maybe I wouldn't have been so cruel to myself about my appearance just because I didn't have the body of Kate Moss.

I do agree with a couple of the criticisms of the show, they don't have racially diverse casting, but many shows fall into this category and aren't called out for it (Two and a Half Men anyone?). Do these girls seems to have a secret money tree from which to survive on in the Big Apple? They certainly don't exhibit the same struggles I had in my early 20's when you finish school, don't have parents that will financially support you and your salary can fund either your household expenses or your social life, but not both. But I guess it IS a TV show and we do have to suspend disbelief a on a few significant details, otherwise the show would be TOO realistic. If I wanted to see some thing THAT real, I would spend time analyzing my own life and who wants to do that!

 Hannah Horvath

 Marnie Michaels

 Jessa Johansson

Shoshanna Shapiro

The most recent episode of GIrls had Hannah having a dreamlike 48 hours in the Brownstone of a separated doctor name Joshua (not Josh) played by the delicious Patrick Wilson. Hannah awkwardly confesses to dumping garbage illegally into Joshua's trash cans. Sexiness ensues in the kitchen, the bedroom, the ping pong table and I have to admit at first I was like "AS IF". But then I asked my self why was I questioning this? How many times have you seen a totally gross older man with a young HOT girl and not thought twice? Why can't Hannah,  who is a frumpy kind of hipster chick whose appearance may not appeal to the masses, get it on with a hot separated doctor? Maybe she was filling a void in his life as much as he was satisfying a need for her?

Do you watch the show Girls? Do you love it? Hate it? Love to Hate it?

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Eat Here Before You Die!

I have had the opportunity to travel all over North and Central America and had many uber gastronomical experiences along the way. I LOVE FOOD so I wanted to share with you some of my fav restaurants in a feature I like to call "Eat Here Before You Die!"

I love to go out for dinner! The ambiance, the people, the luxury of being served and best of all you don't have any dishes to wash afterwards. Dinning out is a great way to connect or re-connect with people. Nothing makes me happier than good conversation, with good people, with good drinks and a belly full of good food.

As I hope to have many readers from around the globe, I will feature restaurants from all over and hope that when you are in that neck of the woods, you check some of these places out.

So because I am a native of Kingston, Ontario Canada, my first restaurant to feature is Woodenheads, located on Ontario Street overlooking Lake Ontario. This place has a groovy, laid back atmosphere and the staff are not only beautiful but friendly. They are known for their wood fire oven pizzas, creative specials and appetizers. I don't know how to categorize the culinary offerings for Woodenheads; they have a little bit of everything and sometimes use fusion in their cooking.

I will let the photos speak for themselves:

 Named for the Woodpecker

 The Bar (they make a great Caesar)

 The Chocolate Lasagna, you MUST try this when you are there!

 One of their famous wood fire oven pizzas. This is my favorite, the Nona Mela. It is blackened chicken, cheddar cheese, apple butter and caramelized onions.They also have a special pizza every day.

 The wood fire oven

Their back courtyard, it has heat lamps for when it is chilly. I love the brick walls....Kingston is the Limestone City!

I would also highly recommend their Coco Shrimp (coconut shrimp). They are the best I have ever had! Many have tried to crack the recipe but I haven't tasted anything like them elsewhere.

I hope you enjoy this post and if you are ever in Kingston, be sure to check Woodenheads out! 

Valentine's Day for couples only????

I was having a conversation today with a co-worker (who is married) and I asked if she was having a good Valentine's Day so far. I expected her to say that she received some roses, chocolate or that she was being taken out for dinner. But what she said is that this is a day that isn't just for couples to appreciate their love for each other, that it should be a day where we appreciate everyone who we love in our lives. And I totally AGREE! Plus that makes this dreadful day all the less ostracizing for us single people of the world. So if you are single and feeling lonely today or you can't be with the one you love, turn your attitude around and think of today as a day to appreciate anyone that you love. Whether it be your Mom, your child, your friend or your pet; tell someone today that you love them....It's better than crying into a tub of Ben & Jerry's!!!!

Hope this has made someone smile today and if you really do NEED a Valentine, I can be your Virtual Valentine!

Click HERE to view more cards like this

Wednesday, 13 February 2013


Like so many of you, I have a family member who has served overseas and who bravely sacrificed so much for our FREEDOM. I came across this video and it had me in tears after a few seconds of watching. These soldiers coming home captures so many real human emotions and it feel that it really shows how important our family is. No matter what your family dynamic might be, you can't deny that this isn't sincerely touching and raw. I post this to pay tribute to any of you have your family serving our country, the sacrifices you have made, the losses you have endured and to show how proud we are for those who serve! Please share your stories in the comments.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Shampoo? Try No Poo!

I came across this interesting tidbit on Pinterest about not washing your hair with conventional Shampoo. Rather you use baking soda and vinegar to wash your hair as they do not strip your scalp of the natural oils (sebum) it produces. As someone with long curly hair that is DRY and who only washes it every other day (I still shower everyday); I might give this a try and see how it works, click HERE to find out more.

I will let you know how it goes!

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Green with Envy (for cheap)!

I picked up this cute green dress at Wal-Mart today. The belt is mine and I got it from a store in Montreal (can't remember where). I thought this dress would be perfect for my trip to the Turks.  What do you think?

A funny....

Sorry if this video offends anyone but it made me truly Laugh Out Loud! I don't even think you need the subtitles to know what this dude is saying. Probably don't want to be eating while watching but press PLAAAAYYY and hopefully you laugh as much as I did!

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Beauty Beliefs

I don't have a TON of beauty tips or tricks. I do love to read about them on Blogs or Pinterest but I rarely do that smokey eye trick or put castor oil on my eyelashes everyday for a month to make them thicker. Nope, not enough hours in the day. My theory on beauty is you are either born with it or you aren't. So work what you have and don't worry about what you don't have. But one little beauty tip that I have to offer you is...... Coconut Oil

Some of you may have cooked with it or maybe have seen it in the list of ingredients of a moisturizer. But I am telling you this stuff is magic! What I mainly use it for is my hair. I have curly/wavy long hair that I get highlighted every 9-10 weeks. So that equals DRY hair that can look dull or just feel nasty if I don't care for it. I wash my hair every other day and the night before a "Hair Washing Day", I take some Coconut Oil (about a tablespoon) in my hands, rub it together (it melts almost instantly) and smooth it over my hair, especially on my ends. I leave it in all night, wash and condition the next day and after blow drying/styling, I am left with super shiny, super soft hair. It seals in all the frizzies and really helps maintain my hair health in a way that most products don't. Trust me, I have tried EVERYTHING. Plus it is natural! 

If you have hair that is naturally oily, just put it on your ends.

I also use it on my skin sometimes at night (both face and body). It reduces fine lines on my face and makes my skin very evenly soft and smooth. I have eczema on my hands so it helps with that as well. Now the reduction in fine lines is due to the skin being moisturized; Coconut Oil doesn't have wrinkle repair properties. 

Also, I really like knowing what I am putting on my skin. Your skin is your body's largest organ so it makes sense that you should be aware of what goes ON your body as it will be absorbed into YOU!

One thing about coconut oil, you should look for and buy, Extra Virgin organic coconut oil. Any other kind may have been processed. The real deal for Coconut oil should smell like coconuts and be safe for use everywhere. When I say everywhere, I mean can be used as lube too! 

So there's my advice on beauty for the day.....Try this, you will be glad you did.

There are also several health benefits to using Coconut oil in your cooking. Read here for more information.

What natural products have you tried? I would love to hear from you!

Hey! Who wants to feel old?

For those of you who are fans of Fast Times at Ridgemount High and Single White Female, I would like to inform you that Jennifer Jason Leigh is 51 years old today!

JJL in Fast Times. Source IMDB

JJL in SWF. Source:

And this is JJL today at 51 years young. I think she looks fantastic! Source:IMDB