Monday, 27 April 2009

The Newest Trend?

Seriously? Really? Did I just see that?

Okay, maybe I am overreacting a little. But when did clipping your nails in public become kosher? First, it started in New York City. I saw about 5 people over the course of the weekend clipping their nails nonchalantly as they walked down the street, rode the subway or drove their car. I couldn't believe it. Then I thought, well maybe this is just something isolated to the Big Apple.

Unfortunately not. Random sightings of nail clippers (aka ppl who clip their nails in public) have been showing up in Montreal, Toronto, London, etc. Is this something that I have never noticed before? Or did I miss the memo that made this personal hygiene routine okay in public? Are we soo busy now that we multi-task walking with clipping our nails? I don't know about you, but thats where I draw the line. What's next? Really?

The Easy Silence

I consider myself to be a people magnet. Ok, maybe not in the charismatic, look I am so wonderful sense. More in the, I love to be around people sense. When I got a job in sales, I was very worried about spending all that time alone. Alone in the car all day, with just the radio to keep me sane. Two years into the job, I realize, it hasn't been that bad. Spending the past two years mostly with myself during the working day, has taught me a lot

Which begs the question? Can you spend too much time alone? There is nothing wrong with being comfortable with yourself and enjoying your own company. Experts say, you should live alone at least once before you get married or settle down. If you don't know yourself, then how can you get to know anyone else around you? Makes sense right. Well, see...I already knew myself and I will even go as far to say, loved myself. So...where does that leave me? Is it really that healthy to be alone. When all your hear all day are your own thoughts..and your own that really normal? Most of my colleagues have become quite analytical and almost bitter as they overthink everything all day long. I find the more time I spend with myself, the more appealing being a hermit can be. Doing what you want all day long with no one around, can be appealing in a way..dont you think?

Lately, I have been passing the time with podcasts and audiobooks, so at least I am not a victim of my own mind. The scariest thing is...the more time you spend alone..the harder it is to separate what you think and what may have actually occured.

Friday, 24 April 2009

Beer and Meat in Germany - Frankfurt

Most of the people I asked hadn’t been to Frankfurt; in fact no one I asked had been. It’s sadly overlooked when it comes to German cities, how can it compete with its main stars: Berlin & Munich? Surprisingly as I found out, it can!

Frankfurt’s skyline is impressive; it’s hard to hide its financial ties – it’s home to the European Central Bank and the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. As wikitravel put it ‘ [it’s] a city of contrasts. Wealthy bankers, students, and granola drop-outs coexist in a city that has some of the highest, most avant-garde skyscrapers of Europe next to well maintained old buildings’. I thoroughly enjoyed the architecture, food, people and sights. Below are some things that shouldn’t be missed.

Food – if you know me you know how much I love food and German food doesn’t disappoint- Frankfurters, sourkaurt & bread is the traditional dish and one that shouldn’t be missed. I was craving these the second day (and then veggies when I got home! Man they do love their meat). The city is filled with restaurants but one street in particular ‘Fressgass’ is lined with amazing ones.

Drink – Applewine (or Apfelwein) is fantastic, similar to cider but better. Also, Weissbier (white beer) is delicious and my male companions (and myself) drank it like it was going out of style. The area of Sachsenhausen is a great place to drink in the evening as the streets are lined with bars…the party lasts until the wee hours of the morning.

Old Square – Römerberg as it’s called was sadly destroyed during WWII but has been rebuilt since and is a good example of the old architecture. It also houses the town hall (Romer).

Skyline – get a view of city from 200 meters above land from the Main Tower – it cost around €5 and may be over before you know it; but the views are well worth it. I can only imagine how cool it’ll look on a clear day (it rained the whole time and was a bit foggy when we went).

Shopping – Not that I advocate shopping on holiday but you have to check out ‘Zeilgalerie’ a cool futuristic mall, ‘Blade Runner’ style. It also has an observation deck that offers great views of the city (but not as great as the Main Tower).

Time to start planning your trip…

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Miracle Fruit

Has anyone heard of the lastest food fab that has NYC & Lodnon abuzz; Miracle Fruit or more correctly – Synsepalum Dulcificum? Say What? you ask. ‘Think Willy Wonka meets Mother Nature’ says Vogue Mag. The berry, the size of coffee beans, come from west Africa and sends tastebuds into a confusion. How so? Well, apparently if taken before sour foods (such as lemon or limes) it makes them taste sugary (continuing with our example here – into lemonade). For all the technical details of how it’s actually possible (but oh so boring to explain) read here.

Think of all the possibilities (both sliming & experimental) you could have with this – my mind is racing with excitement! And I’m assuming that since it’s a fruit they’ll count for 1 of your 5 a day (if you’ve eaten enough) – I don’t think you’ll be getting any better news on a Thursday morning. Do you?

Now time to go find some...

Monday, 20 April 2009

Recipes Jo Mama Never Told You About..

Ok so its not quite summer..but its never too early for least in my opinion. Especially if you have a bottle of wine laying around that you aren't sure what to do with. Ok..who am I kidding? No one has that problem..but maybe you are looking for something else to drink instead of just straight wine. Here is an awesome recipe from Wine About for a White Sangria using a bottle of white wont be disappointed. Just remember, even though it tastes different, the killer hangover is always the same.


1 Bottle of white wine (Riesling, Albarino, Chablis, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc)
2/3 cup white sugar
3 oranges (sliced) or may substitute 1 cup of orange juice)
1 lemon (sliced)
1 lime (sliced)
1/2 liter of ginger ale or club soda (ginger ale for those with a sweeter tooth!)


Pour wine in the pitcher and squeeze the juice wedges from the orange,lemon and lime into the wine. Toss in the fruit wedges (leaving out seeds if possible) and add sugar. Chill overnight. Add ginger ale or club soda just before serving.
If you'd like to serve right away, use chilled white wine and serve over lots of ice.
Addition ideas: sliced strawberries, peaches, handful of fresh blueberries, raspberries, kiwi, a shot or two of gin, brandy or rum, a cup of citrus-flavored soda pop.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Complainer's Corner

First there was the letter I sent to Air Transat over a completely ruined vacation last December. Okay, maybe not completely ruined..but def not a 5 star. After writing customer service and then taking my valid complaints directly to the CEO, I received $200 in vouchers for my trouble. Thanks…but really…why am I going to fly/travel with you again after so many mistakes that you are only NOW admitting to? Moreover, I will have to spend at least $600 to spend the $200 in vouchers to go anywhere.

Lets see if Sunwing is any better than AirTransat. My boyfriend had a whole slew of issues with them on his last trip to Vegas. I know, I am at the slight risk of sounding very high maintenance. Anyway, what’s a good girlfriend to do? Well…I wrote his complaint letter (a great one…even better than the Air Transat letter). It was a good mixture of mean and funny…we will see what happens. Maybe we will get another $200 voucher from Sunwing…do you think we can sell them on Ebay…what makes companies think we would use a voucher and open ourselves up to yet another horrible experience? I know, I know..its a tax write off thing a ma bob..I will keep you posted

While on the subject…or rant. I must fit a little bit here regarding American Express. I have a platinum Aeroplan card with them. I have never defaulted on any credit card payments and have an amazing credit rating. I just paid off full balance less than two weeks ago. I had about $3500 on the card as of this morning. I have been racking up mad biz expenses and my company has been slow on the reimbursement side. Anyway, I got a call this morning to tell me I must pay off my $3500 balance today or my card will decline. Thanks…you know for telling me this before I am in the middle of Manhattan tomorrow with no form of payment. Apparently although there is no limit to this credit card (which I knew) and as long as you are making your monthly payments (which I was/am), there shouldn’t be a problem right? But there was and there is…its called AGEISM. What is a 26 year old doing with a $3500 balance every two weeks…she must not be able to pay that off right? We better call her before her spending gets out of hand…really? Really? Of course we wont assume that she has a job that requires her to charge a lot of travel expenses each week? After years of complete irresponsibility and greed…you are coming after me for $$? Ain’t that rich? (pot..hello…its kettle)

Monday, 13 April 2009

Put Me In Your Suitcase...NYC Baby!!

Remind me again why I have never been to the Big Apple? It’s only a quick one hour flight from Toronto and one could easily spend a week there and never be bored. I crammed a week’s worth of shopping, eating and sightseeing into 3 days this past weekend…wow!. They say you either love or hate NYC…I don’t know how anyone could hate a city busting with entertainment and sights. Sure there are a lot of people AND a lot of dirt everywhere..but where else can you buy a knock off designer purse, eat amazing street meat/foods and enjoy the peace and quiet of greenery in a city with millions of people. For all of New York’s problems and issues, one only needs to spend a day doing the few things listed below to get a bite of the apple.
1. Roosevelt Island City Tram – a four minute ($2) ride on a tram line from 59th street to Roosevelt Island via the Queensboro bridge tramway. Not for those scared of heights, this ride is well worth the time and money as it offers amazing panoramic views of Manhattan. Roosevelt Island also is great for a quiet stroll and view of the Manhattan skyline.
2. Top of the Rock – forget the Empire State Building. The Rockefeller building offers breathtaking views of the city as well as a picturesque glance of the Chrysler building and the Empire State building. For only $20, one can take a ride to the observation deck and experience the cold breeze as they overlook the city below…best $20 I have spent in a LONG TIME.
3. St Paul’s Chapel – NYC is full of beautiful churches – Trinity, St Patricks, etc. However, due to its proximity to the World Trade Center, St Paul’s Chapel has a unique history as being one of the places that held and treated victims of 9/11. One cannot walk around this church and look at the artifacts and tributes to the heroes and the fallen without feeling chills down their spine. This place captures the feeling of a day when so many strangers came together to lift the city back up onto its feet again.
4. Century 21, Loehmans etc – Manhattan is nothing without its vibrant shopping life. Personally, I refuse to fork over the $$ required to buy anything on Fifth Avenue. However, I do recommend visiting these two stores for similar duds at lower prices. Just be prepared for a lot of shoving and aggressiveness as many women cannot contain themselves at the thought of a building with 4 floors of deals…watch out!

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Chocolate & Easter

Easter break is upon us and there are a few things I’m looking forward to. For starters it’s a long weekend; 2 days off mean 2 x 4-day work weeks (hurray!) and hopefully I can recharge my batteries. Not to mention the extra time to hang out with family & friends (albeit through Skype for some of us. Me!) and CHOCOLATE!!! I’ve already got my eye on few eggs at the grocery store. And isn’t that the problem, my eyes are always bigger than my stomach when it comes to chocolate PLUS they all go on sale Monday…what's a girl to do?

If you’re like me and you usually have WAY too much leftover chocolate after Easter why not make a fondue out of it. Freeze the ones you’re not using and melt the rest!

  • 400g dark chocolate
  • 300ml carton double cream
  • Chopped fruit (strawberries, bananas, pineapple, orange, grapes) & marshmallows to dunk

Put the chocolate & cream into a saucepan, then heat gently, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate is melted and the sauce is smooth

Don’t even think about the calories….you’re on holiday!

Happy Easter everyone xo

A Night with the Bears

If you don’t know much about Sprott Asset Management or Eric Sprott, you may have been living under a rock for the past 5-10 years. Then again, maybe living under a rock has kept you out of the declining stock market…hmmmm

Eric Sprott, Canada’s newest billionaire, is the CEO of SAM and a damn good financial adviser/investor if you ask me. Being a client of his company, I was invited to an event at the Elgin Theatre Tuesday night. The open bar and yummy hors d’oeuvres reeled the guests in. The entertaining and informative speakers are what kept a crowd of 1500 around for the question period.

The market is in chaos. People are looking for answers and to be honest, no one knows what the future holds. It was clear on Tuesday night that the economy is in a long cold winter that will probably last until 2020. Wow? And the experts say Canada hasn’t even begun to feel the squeeze.

The take home message was from Sprott himself “One day we will woe the day we decided to make paper things (i.e. money) instead of tangible goods” Just ask China.

Friday, 3 April 2009

Put Me In Your Closet - Joe Who?

If you don’t know what JOE I am referring to...then you may have been under a rock for the past few years. Loblaws is no longer home to just lettuce. Women can now find fashion a couple feet away from their groceries with the JOE FRESH clothing label at participating Loblaws Superstores. Joe Mimran used to be one of the chief people at Club Monaco. Since he has moved on from CM, he created a budget clothing line for women, men and children. The designs are colourful, fashionable and cost effective. OK, enough about the clothing. The real reason I bring this subject up is to let you know that JOE now has a makeup line. Everything from eyeliner to blush to nail clippers will be part of the new spring collection. I recently browsed on their website to find out more. Prices range from $4 to $14 dollars …sounds good to me :)

Unfortunately, the makeup isn’t being sold at every JOE clothing retailer yet. HO Hum…what about online shopping JOE? Ever heard of it?

Put Me In Your.....Washroom

I’ll admit it. I’m a product whore. It’s true! I always get suckered into a good marketing campaign (you’d think I wouldn’t as my expertise is in Marketing but meh what can you do?). Reduces the signs of wrinkles in an hour…sure I’ll take 2 please. Promises to make your pout look more kiss-alicious, bring it on! I know, it’s horrible but I can’t help myself. Last weekend whilst visiting a friend in York we ended up in Boots (similar to Shoppers Drug Mart for all our Canadian readers) and an hour later we left with nearly half the store and lighter wallets! So how do you know what to believe and what to stay away from? Testimonials are always useful (especially from friends)….allow me to introduce some products that every girl should have in their washroom (if not their handbag!). Tried, test and true to their words, these products don’t have any gimmicks or tricks they perform as expected every time. Without further ado, here are some of my favourites and things I can’t live without (well I could but I really wouldn’t want to….unless I was backpacking or the like):

Bio-Oil – I’ve only just discovered this, but it hasn’t left my washroom since. It’s reduces the appearance of scares & uneven skin tones, prevents stretch marks (ie. during pregnancy, adolescence & weight loss) & aids with dehydrated, wrinkled or aged one word it’s: AMAZING! How can one product do all this you ask? Easy check out the ingredients they’re all natural and contains no water plus it contains PurCellin Oil which allows Bio-Oil to be non-greasy and absorb quickly.

EA’s 8 Hour Cream – This multi-tasking beauty balm protects & embellishes your skin. It was created in 1930 by Miss Arden herself so to say it’s tried the test of time is an understatement…it’s a legend! It’s great for flying and helps nourish your skin and protect it from dehydration it can also be used to highlight facial areas – great for eyes, cheeks and lips for that all natural look/glow

Lancôme’s Juicy Tubes – This amazing lip gloss comes in loads of subtle colours that give your lips that extra punch while nourishing and actually lasting. It’s great for both day & night looks.

BS Body Butter
– This rich, thick lovely smelling cream really works. Perfect for maintaining your suntan or for the winter months. I love the coconut flavour - is this the right word? Maybe scent would be better…either way I love this stuff.

What beauty product could you not live without?