Saturday, 15 August 2009

On My Mind: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

I’d like to share with you a few things that I’ve come across lately that have either caused some sort of reaction (albeit good, bad or ugly) that don’t necessarily warrant their own post but accumulated together well, I dare say may provide one great post and minutes of enjoyment.

To start off with the Ugly (best to end on a good note):

Dumb-bell Cutlery: oh you read correctly! I read about this first, in this week’s Grazia and then again (yup twice in 1 week!) through the Daily Mail. Would anyone honestly buy these? Can we not find the time anymore to exercise? You know play outside or join a club/gym that we need to burn calories while inhaling them?

Orange Cauliflower: Okay so this has been around for a while but I’ve never actually SEEN one until recently. And they are ugly and unnatural. Why must we genetically modify nature to benefit our own needs? Oh right we’re lazy (see point #1). Ha!

The Bad:

Warm Cotton By Clean: a Perfume that ‘captures the feeling of a fluffy, warm towel just pulled from the dryer’ not quite what I was after in fragrance, but um, thanks anyway.

Okay, so that’s all the bad (not a very extensive list, I know) but now onto the good:

Jimmy Choo – H&M Collection: Jimmy Choo will be designing not only handbags and shoes for H&M but women’s clothing too. The range will hit stores November 14. Get your elbows out girls!

The Pill – coauthored by Jane Bennett and Alexandra Pope, this book describe the truths behind the pill and it’s side effects. I think it’s good because it brings awareness and guidance for anyone using or thinking of using the pill.

The Selby – a great website by artist Todd Selby showcasing ‘photographs, paintings and videos of interesting people and their creative space’ which I think is ubber cool!

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Yummy Fluffy Pancakes

A couple weeks ago I was craving pancakes. Badly. I wanted them smothered with butter and layered w/ fresh fruit (definitely strawberries, bananas and luckily blueberries too) and maple syrup. Oh dear, even just writing this I’m overcome with an urge of wanting a fresh batch…need to compose myself. I’ve tried many recipes in the past but this one (taken from is one of the best. That being said I thought I’d share my good find with all you lucky readers. Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  1. In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Pour in the milk, egg and melted butter and mix until smooth.
  2. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.
Serves 8 (or 3 really hungry ppl as the case was for me!) N.B. I use butter to fry the pancakes and ladle to pour/scoop the batter.

Friday, 7 August 2009

Angry Annie: Customer Service Conversation Obligated?

It might just be because I’m not feeling my best but why are we made to feel like we need to be social during a customer service transaction such as a haircut or beauty treatment (bikini waxing – awkward!)? It’s one thing if you’ve built up a personal relationship w/ a particular individual who you see regularly (ie. personal trainer) but it’s quite different if you’re not bothered who performs the service. Last night I chopped off (some of) my lovely locks and couldn’t find it in me to make small talk. I usually do, don’t get me wrong but last night I just didn’t have the strength to do so….and for good reason, my throat is killing me. But why is it that I felt guilt for not WANTING to talk. Even though I was paying for a service, I felt like I should try to strike up a conversation. The longer I didn’t talk the more awkward I felt. My neighbor (50+ woman) didn’t find it difficult chatting to her (gay) stylist when, let’s be honest here, would they be chatting to one another under different circumstances? It was like watching long lost best mates being reunited. I could only assume my stylist would have likely swapped clients if given the chance. Am I wrong in feeling this way? I feel like I’ve missed the memo that says we must talk to anyone performing a service. What do you think? Am I just being an angry Annie or what?

Friday, 24 July 2009

Lille, France

North of Paris to a city called Lille is where I ventured to last month. As I sat on the Eurostar on the Friday night thoughts of red wine, baguettes and cheese filled my head. I hadn’t been to France in over a year and never as north as Lille… I was excited. Excited for the adventure and a chance to practice my (poor) French.

Lille is situated on the DeĆ»le River, near France's border with Belgium. This close proximity plays an intricate part of the culture and spoken dialect in Lille, finding more similarities with its neighbours than the south of France which made for an interesting experience. For starters my French skills (if you can call them that) were completely useless. I spoke English instead which made everyone’s life easier. Secondly not only is the wine really nice but the beer is fantastic, try the local selections of Ch’ti. And thirdly the mussels were delicious (so I’ve heard, I don’t like them myself!). Okay so there are only a few things…

One attraction that should not be missed and was one of my personal favorites is…Known to the locals as ‘La Piscine’ this museum of art and industry is housed in a former municipal swimming pool designed by Lille architect Albert Baert. It’s only a short metro ride away to neighbouring city Roubaix. Don’t let the exterior put you off, as inside is an exquisite example of art deco showcasing the permanent collections in the old cloakrooms, shower cabinets and pool itself.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Bikram Yoga

I’ve always wanted to try Bikram Yoga (aka Hot or Fire Yoga) but the tipping point was the introductory offer my local studio provided. Now that the price was right and my coworkers had been and loved it, I had no more excuses. I drank gallons of water in preparation (and several trips of to the loo) for my first class on Wednesday night, gathered my workout stuff and towels and headed into the 45 degree (Celsius) studio.

Classes are guided by specific dialogue, as a beginner you’re advised to stay at the back of the room so you can follow the more experienced students, as the teacher doesn’t demonstrate the poses. It includes 26 postures and two breathing exercises lasting roughly 90 minutes.

First impressions – it’s freakin’ hot!! My breathing became difficult and you’re advised to not drink water for the first 20 minutes to help your body acclimatize to the weather, I found it quite difficult! Request of ‘ignore the sweat’ came across the microphone w/ me murmuring: ‘it’s stinging my eyeballs pls lord let me use the towel’; especially when doing the Dandayamana - Bibhaktapada – Janushirasana pose (thanks Wikipedia for your help on that one!). Brikram Yoga is definitely a challenge yet the poses aren’t difficult, the difficulty lies in maneuvering them in the heat. Every session is a different experience as your body is different every time. As much I loved complaining about the heat and the sweat one thing was for certain: I felt good. Really good. My posture was improving and muscles I didn’t even I know had were hurting – in a good way! I’d highly recommend giving it a try, if you haven’t already.

We're Back!

Hi all, we’re back!! Sorry for the short hiccup….what can we say? It’s SUMMER TIME and we’ve been enjoying ourselves. Plus aren’t we all just a little bit busier in the warmer months – what with all the cottage and city breaks, holidays and weddings planned. Hopefully you haven’t missed us too much.

Sunday, 14 June 2009

The Sexual Paradox?

I haven't even finished this book yet BUT I am STILL recommending it. Weird eh? Well maybe I am just uber interested in this subject, and perhaps you will be too. Women are smarter than men? Not true, but we are less extreme in our IQ ranges and abilities. The majority of women stay within a range of intelligence, while men are at extremes: genius or idiot. So what? Right? Well, this book goes onto explain how women, who are more prevalent at university and excel more at school than men, don't necessarily get the best jobs or certainly don't get paid as well as our male counterparts. Men are much more likely to have dyslexia, ADD and other learning disabilities, but in the end, they seem to overcome their shortfalls and find successful careers. Why? If women have such a head start/advantage, why do we manage to fall behind or to not become as successful or wealthy? Technically there are more female graduates of medical school and law school nowadays. Women are also more advanced in the languages, with superior writing and reading skills vs men throughout life. Do we not have what it takes to get to the finish line? Do we choose careers that aren't as money centric or as challenging?

Your guess is as good as mine..I am not done the book yet. Regardless of the answer, this book is well worth the read to find out more about yourself and the possible gender gap.