Parties, Bacon, and Classic Quotes

Around this time of the year, for the past 3 years, we've gathered at our friends', Sly and Mr.Sly, to celebrate the birthday of their daughter. Because it's so close to Halloween, everyone's encouraged to come in costume.

Just saying, so you know we don't always dress like this for our parties. And we don't always pose for pictures holding up hot dog weiners. Again, just saying.

This is Sly and two of her friends peeling the last of the individually wrapped weiners. We were not impressed with the excess, environmentally-irresponsible packaging.

However, the dogs were deemed tasty and acceptable by the almost 20 kids at the party. Even Mini ate a lot. I think she's making up for my meatlessness.

This year, like many others, Roomie, the kids, and I were the last to leave the Slys' party. And this year, like many others, the evening oddly ended with rapturous expounding of the glorious virtues of a discussion about bacon. I don't know why. The last time it was because Mr. Sly cooked another batch of bacon-wrapped steak and insisted we had to stay and finish it so it wouldn't go to waste. I swear, I had the meat sweats that night.

This time, Roomie announced that, the night before, he had made a bacon weave. Roomie took the extra step of sprinkling mozzarella cheese on it while it was still hot and rolling it. The smell in the house was intoxicating!
In the end, it looked like this, all sliced up:


That cheesy piece at the end there, that was mine. Yes, I sampled. And it was awesome!!! Damn you, bacon, you gateway meat you! Vile tempter!

After we described it to them, Sly got that mischevous glint in her eye and said to Roomie, "So, did you finally manage to shove some meat down her throat?" And we all laughed.

Yeah, that's an inside joke. Sly first said it to the very new boyfriend of our friend (and vegetarian) MissT. For a few seconds there, she didn't know why everyone was laughing.

Yeah, we and our friends tend to do things like that -- like my "back to the old bump and grind", and these famous words of our friend Monique: "It was so big, I couldn't keep my mouth off it", which was a rather unfortunate mix of "I couldn't take my eyes off it" and "I couldn't keep my mouth shut", especially since she was in fact describing an unusually large penis.

The Neighbourhood Strumpet...

Okay, remember this photo? It's the demolition of the house across the street.


Well, a few months ago, I met the new neighbour in the house to the right of all that destruction.

He'd moved in last Fall, so the meeting was long overdue. He's a 25-year-old single guy with a freakin' huge rottweiler about twice the size of Mini. When I first saw this guy sitting on his front step with his Hulk-Hogan-sized monster running around without a leash, I had a feeling he wasn't going to be my favourite person.

Strike #1 against the new neigbour dude.

So, anyway, in July, I spotted the new guy in his front yard sans monster. If that animal had been out there, I would've just waved -- from the safety of my home -- and put off meeting him in person for another year. Since I felt relatively safe, I crossed the street and introduced myself...

Me: "Hi, I'm Nenette."

Jon: "I'm Jon. Nice to meet you."

Me: "Those are my kids running around my yard."

Jon: "Yeah, you have a, um, busy house." *smiling wryly*

The smile kinda confused me. It seemed like he wasn't talking about my kids.

Me: "Um, yeah..." *eyeing him suspiciously* "... so, have you met my husband? You must've seen him around here."

Jon: "No, I don't think so."

He'd been living there for almost a year, and he's never even seen Roomie... ever? Yeah, right.

Me: "Really? You've never seen a tall Caucasian guy at my house? About 6' tall, brown hair, green eyes, thin?"

Jon: "Oh, him! Oh, yeah, I've seen him."

WTF?!? If Jon didn't think the guy constantly on my property was my husband, who did he think Roomie was?!!!

Did he think Roomie was my guy-on-the-side, who sprinted out the front door every morning before my "husband" would come home? Yuck!!!

Strike #2 against new neighbour dude.

Before he could strike out completely, I walked away, smile frozen on my face, with an excuse to go and check on my kids.

So, did I totally misread him? Was I seeing too much into his reactions and words? Would you think the same thing?... Or have I finally become completely paranoid and crazy in my advanced years? What do you think?

The Sweet 100


I'm doing this meme because CakeSpy told me to, and also because, well, I'm PMS-ing, and my sweet tooth is holding me hostage. I'm willing to don my rain boots and make an ass of myself at The Cupcakery, which wouldn't be too difficult considering I'm a spaz especially while PMS-ing, and they've been closed for about an hour now.
So, because I'd rather not be charged with B&E, I'll just do this meme.

You wanna do it too? Okay, here's how...

1) Copy this list into your site, including the instructions
2) Bold all of the sweets you’ve eaten--or make them a different type color.
3) Cross out any of them that you’d never ever eat.
4) Consider anything that is not bold or crossed out your “To Do” List.
5) Optional: Post a comment here linking to your results--or just post a comment letting us know how many you've tried, or what you're going to try next!

Okay, let's begin...
  1. Red Velvet Cake
  2. Princess Torte - Marzipan sometimes gives me a headache... not all the time, just enough to make me wary.
  3. Whoopie Pie
  4. Apple Pie either topped or baked with sharp cheddar - Cheese? Seriously?
  5. Beignet
  6. Baklava - You have to sample some made by a friend's Greek grandmother. I have. All others since then can't compare.
  7. Black and white cookie
  8. Seven Layer Bar (also known as the Magic Bar or Hello Dolly bars)
  9. Fried Fruit pie (sometimes called hand pies)
  10. Kringle
  11. Just-fried (still hot) doughnut - Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon, and oh my god!
  12. Scone with clotted cream
  13. Betty, Grunt, Slump, Buckle or Pandowdy
  14. Halvah
  15. Macarons
  16. Banana pudding with nilla wafers
  17. Bubble tea (with tapioca "pearls") - My favourite is the lychee green tea from Famous Wok in Polo Park... oh, I want one now...
  18. Dixie Cup
  19. Rice Krispie treats - Just learned how to make these... microwaves are the best!
  20. Alfajores
  21. Blondies
  22. Croquembouche
  23. Girl Scout cookies
  24. Moon cake
  25. Candy Apple
  26. Baked Alaska
  27. Brooklyn Egg Cream - Not into the raw egg thing
  28. Nanaimo bar
  29. Baba au rhum
  30. King Cake
  31. Sachertorte
  32. Pavlova - My FAVOURITE on this list!!!
  33. Tres Leches Cake
  34. Trifle
  35. Shoofly Pie
  36. Key Lime Pie (made with real key lime)
  37. Panna Cotta
  38. New York Cheesecake
  39. Napoleon / mille-fueille
  40. Russian Tea Cake / Mexican Wedding Cake
  41. Anzac biscuits
  42. Pizzelle - My kids love this one...
  43. Kolache
  44. Buckeyes
  45. Malasadas
  46. Moon Pie
  47. Dutch baby
  48. Boston Cream Pie
  49. Homemade chocolate chip cookies
  50. Pralines
  51. Gooey butter cake
  52. Rusks
  53. Daifuku
  54. Green tea cake or cookies
  55. Cupcakes from a cupcake shop
  56. Crème brûlée - This comes in at 2nd place after the Pavlova.
  57. Some sort of deep fried fair food (twinkie, candy bar, cupcake)
  58. Yellow cake with chocolate frosting
  59. Jelly Roll
  60. Pop Tarts
  61. Charlotte Russe
  62. An "upside down" dessert (Pineapple upside down cake or Tarte Tatin)
  63. Hummingbird Cake
  64. Jell-O from a mold
  65. Black forest cake
  66. Mock Apple Pie (Ritz Cracker Pie) - I've never liked Ritz Crackers
  67. Kulfi
  68. Linzer torte
  69. Churro
  70. Stollen - When it's good, it's awesome... I've rarely sampled 'awesome'.
  71. Angel Food Cake
  72. Mincemeat pie
  73. Concha
  74. Opera Cake
  75. Sfogliatelle / Lobster tail
  76. Pain au chocolat
  77. A piece of Gingerbread House
  78. Cassata
  79. Cannoli - One of my girlfriends had this as their wedding cake... She's a very smart girl.
  80. Rainbow cookies
  81. Religieuse
  82. Petits fours
  83. Chocolate Souffle
  84. Bienenstich (Bee Sting Cake)
  85. Rugelach
  86. Hamenstashen
  87. Homemade marshmallows
  88. Rigo Janci
  89. Pie or cake made with candy bar flavors (Snickers pie, Reeses pie, etc)
  90. Divinity
  91. Coke or Cola cake
  92. Gateau Basque
  93. S'mores - we always take the ingredients when we go camping but we never make it... no one seems to like it!
  94. Figgy Pudding
  95. Bananas foster or other flaming dessert
  96. Joe Froggers
  97. Sables
  98. Millionaire's Shortbread
  99. Animal crackers
  100. Basbousa
My Conclusions...

1) I apparently am willing to sample a lot of different sweets... not much holding me back -- just some cheese and raw egg.
2) I didn't know the names of many of the sweets I've eaten. I follow the link to the picture and say "Oh, so that's what they call it!"
3) I always picture myself eating sweets with a cup of Timmie's decaf double cream.
4) I haven't eaten nearly as many sweets as I should have by now! Cripes, I better get cracking!

Image by ericmcgregor

Attack of the Not-So-Killer Tomatoes...

For 10 years, Roomie didn't eat tomatoes. This phase started very early on in our relationship and ended around the time I gave birth to our firstborn. It wasn't that he hated tomatoes -- he loves them, always has, but after a life-changing event, he felt that he shouldn't eat them... for a while at least.

What event was this? you may ask. Well, you'll have to ask him yourself. I'm still confused by all of it.

It was tough enough for me to deal with a food item (fish/seafood) that would kill him to eat, let alone one that he voluntarily decided to avoid.
I recall struggling with trying to make meals (do you have any idea how many dishes call for tomatoes?!), ordering at restaurants, and ugh, don't remind me of the time we had to pick a meal for our wedding reception!

Friends thought it was weird and random, but in time, we all got used to it. Oh, the mocking continued, but they were accepting and supportive.

Anyway, so, yeah, I was very happy when he decided to start eating tomatoes again.

This year, as we put our veggie and flower gardens to bed for the Winter, I found it hard to believe we even went through a tomato-free phase.

Roomie's veggie garden is pretty much ALL TOMATOES! The small exceptions are a few carrots and beets. But the rest? Tomatoes.

See the picture up there? That was our first crop of the season. Our freezer is filled with the rest of the season's harvest. I don't recall the name of this type of tomato. I think they're like a grape tomato, very sweet, pick-off-the-vine-and-eat-while-strolling kind of sweet.

Here's a recipe for a tasty simple sauce I make with them. It's Roomie's favourite. Because it has meat, I don't eat any, but it smells amazing!

Ingredients

2 mild Italian sausages
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 cups tomatoes

Directions

Squeeze meat out of the sausage casings, and cook in a pot, mashing until the meat is brown. Throw in the onions and garlic, and saute until onions are translucent. Throw in the tomatoes, and stir scraping up the browned meat at the bottom. Cover and let simmer for about 10 minutes.
Serve over pasta.

Enjoy!

Running with the Cool Kids...


Remember back in high school, when you were the new kid on campus, all shy and unsure, maybe covered in a new crop of zits, your hair in what your mom's hairdresser deemed as "the latest modern permed style", and sporting the world's ugliest gouchos?
You were young, new, and hadn't developed your super signature style sense yet.

Every day, you'd look over at the "cool kids". You know, the ones who were always so well put together, made people laugh with their quick wit, charm and charisma, and had that relaxed confidence you wish you had. Oh, to be one of them... you lamented, as you picked the last of the Sloppy Joe lunch special from your braces...

Now, after a few months of school, you're getting the hang of things -- your perm's grown out some, your skin's cleared up a bit, and your gouchos have been replaced by the hottest micro mini, you slut you! ;)
With your new-found confidence, you decide to strike a conversation with one of the "cool kids", ask if you could hang with them for a while...

Lo, and behold, you are accepted, happily, with open arms! These cool kids are sincerely friendly. They even loved your gouchos as much as your skirt! They think you're cool, just the way you are. They introduce you to other groovy friends, and together, you all support each other to graduation and beyond.

The BlogHer Ads Network is that group of cool kids. (Well, duh, right?) And, on October 6 -- the day before LifeCandy's 1st Birthday, I put up my ad code, which you can see on my far right sidebar. It has been such a thrill to be accepted into this awesome ad network. I've been in a few, and this is -- by far -- the best.
The ads are tasteful, relevant, and of high quality products and services.

Now, look under the ad. You'll find links to posts from other awesome blogs in the network. Be sure to click and read. Once in a while, you'll see one from LifeCandy too!

If you have a blog, I highly recommend you send in an application. They're still accepting, so check them out...

First Crush Stories: And the book goes to...

Jami at Bionic Beauty!

The overwhelming voter response to Jami's dream-come-true 1st Crush story made her the clear winner of her own copy of "Surrender" by Kimberly Zant, one of the raunchier, spicier books of my erotica faves.

Thank you to all who shared their First Crush stories with all of us. It wasn't easy for me to finally share my story, so I appreciate what it must've taken to tell us your experiences.

Thank you to all who dropped in to party with us at my Blog's 1st Birthday Extravaganza. You all make blogging such a fun and fabulous experience. I promise to continue giving you the best of my brain each and every week. Keep those emails and comments coming!

Jami, the book is on its way! :)

Psst... Wanna Buy An "F"?

Yes, we're on Sesame Street today. I'm not 'Stan in a Tan Van', but I've been tagged!

Toni has given me a mission: Write a list of 10 things I love that start with the letter "F".

Do you have any idea how hard it is for me to find anything that starts with the letter "F" that isn't rude, perverted, or sexual in any way? And no, my mind isn't always in the gutter! Seriously. Shut up.

But I tried really hard, my friends. So, here -- in no special order -- are the 'f' results of a few days of deep thought... which, without the usual valium and assorted hallucinogens, really hurts! ... just kidding. :)

1. FAMILY. My kids and hubby... my most favourite people in the world. Then add on my sister, in-laws, uncles, aunts, and cousins... a crazy, quirky bunch, but they're my crazy, quirky bunch.

2. FRIENDS. My second family, my Village, my posse, my partners-in-crime. Over the years -- Martini Nights, GOPs, sushi lunches, and boxes of hand-me-down kids' clothes. The folks who know the real reason why the blender was invented.

3. FRUIT. Being an island-girl, I favour tropical fruit -- papaya, mango, pineapple, but I also love berries, nectarines, and melons... mmm... nectarines... ;)

4. FREEBIE List. Tall, dark, handsome, smart, and funny... my fantasy dudes, my eye candy, the hotties that make me think that God just might be a woman.

5. FEVER by Peggy Lee. Very sexy song. My favourite rendition of this classic is this live performance by Peggy accompanied only by an acoustic bass and drums. Awesome.

6. FISH, sashimi-style. Salmon, tuna -- fresh and raw, the best way.

7. FANS. Silk, sandalwood (like my favourite one from the Philippines), feather... any fan that creates a cool, gentle breeze on a hot, sultry night.

8. FIRE. Warm, comforting, colourful. I love roasting chestnuts and marshmallows, and making popcorn over them. I could stare into a fire for hours. Very meditative.

9. FUTURAMA. Funny, funny, funny. Better than The Simpsons, I dare say.

10. FRIDAY. The most laid-back day of the work week. I love that, at night, we all stay up later, play video games past 8pm, and watch tv in bed or read until we fall asleep.

Okay, that's my list.

Do you want to do one too?
Okay, take the last letter of your last name and give me 10 of those. If you decide to put your list on your blog, be sure to leave a comment here with the link so we can come and see.

Image by Leo Reynolds

The Saga Continues: First Cut

I swear, you must, by now, think this is nothing but a 'hair blog'. All I talk about is my hair... and smutty erotica... and hot actor dudes who remind me of my husband... oh, and my menstrual cycle.

I'll try to talk more about other stuff. I promise. Except today. Today, we'll talk more about my hair. Stop laughing.

The last time I saw Jane, my awesome stylist, was September 2007, just before my 20 year high school reunion. What she gave me that time was a little shorter than my regular cut, so instead of waiting the usual 9 months before the next chop, I was able to wait 13 months.

Doing the no-shampoo thing since June has certainly helped. See? I owe this awesome hair to washing with a baking soda solution (2 tablespoons in 2 cups of water) and rinsing with an apple cider vinegar solution (also 2 tablespoons in 2 cups of water) once a week. No evil vinegar smell remains. The hubby thinks my head just smells like me.

I really could've waited a little longer for a cut. It didn't look bad. It wasn't unruly. It was just heavy, thick -- just too much hair.

candy_80sEven at the peak of my new wave band days, I didn't have that much hair. Even for a hot bassist. See? Okay, now stop laughing.

Ahem, okay, back to the present. So, I went in to see Jane on Tuesday for my first cut since no-shampoo.

That was the first time shampoo had touched my head in 4 months! Oh, cripes, it felt so wrong! And the smell was so fake and un-me. If the scalp massage hadn't felt so good, I think I would've screamed for her to stop and rinse out that Concoction of Evil.

Now, you might be asking "Why did you go for the shampoo, Nenette? You could've said 'no'!" Well, one reason was that I wanted to go in looking like I normally did everyday to give Jane an idea of what I do with my hair now. I mean, it's been over a year, right? And secondly, I was more than a little curious to know what effect shampoo would have. Now I know.

The cut was fine. Here it is. Still long. Thinned out. It's the usual.

Then she styled it... with styling product. Oh, lordy. Since going no-shampoo, I haven't needed product. Now, my hair felt heavy and coated. It didn't have that clean bounce.

And suddenly, on my way home, my scalp started to itch. Jeepers. I started driving a little faster.
Imagine if I got stopped for speeding? "Yes, officer, I know I was going 10 klicks over the speed limit, but my scalp itches so I have to hurry home and pour baking soda and vinegar on my head." Um, okay, crazy lady, get off the road now.

So, yeah, I'm okay today. I don't think the shampoo really caused any significant damage.

Roomie isn't convinced I've even had a haircut -- he'll know when the credit card bill comes in. The kids haven't said anything -- which is a good sign. My head feels lighter, but it'll take another month to get it to the ideal state where it'll stay until the next cut. I can't wait. I miss my hair already.

The Pescetarian & the Meatalicious Thanksgiving Weekend

See this photo? Well, I didn't cook that. But I did roast something very similar yesterday for Thanksgiving here in Canada. I don't do turkey very well -- it actually ends up more like turkey jerky -- but I rock when it comes to Glazed Ham.

It was a very meat-centric weekend.

It started on Treat Day. Roomie had been craving ribs, so we did ribs from Tony Roma's. I was going to go for the calamari, but it had been so long since I'd had ribs, I just had to try it. Well, I wish I hadn't. I felt terrible afterwards.

I've been a pescetarian -- mainly vegetarian with some fish/seafood -- for about 4 months now, and although my family hears me blah-blah-blah about how good I feel eating this way, they will not follow.
Roomie has a fish/seafood allergy. Following me would lead to certain death so I don't harass him too much about it. Yeah, a dude allergic to fish/seafood married to a filipina. Crazy, eh?!

Anyway, due to the thumbs-down on the fish/seafood and the need for a meat dish that I wouldn't completely ruin, ham it was.
I cooked a fairly healthy Thanksgiving dinner... steamed organic carrots, broccoli, mashed potatoes, banana bread, and of course, the aforementioned glazed ham. I was going to make my traditional filipino garlic fried rice, but we already had the potatoes and bread.

Roomie took the kids to see Gramma while I slaved in the kitchen... in blessed silence... and maybe a little Sir Mix A Lot in the background.

They came back in time to enjoy dinner hot from the oven. And enjoy it they did! Even Lam ate a lot of ham. No big surprise... he LOVES bacon!

Now, did I eat the ham?!? Of course, I did! After all that slaving, I had to. Oh, I knew it was good, but I had to make sure, right? It was very meaty and sweet. Perfectly done.

And of course, 10 minutes later, my stomach started to feel bloaty. You'd think I learned my lesson the day before. I knew how bad it was going to be. And it further reinforced that no beef/chicken/pork is what makes me feel best.

Well, that's pretty much it. Very low key. Nothing too exciting other than my upset stomach... so, how was yours?

Photo by avlxyz

Birthday Blogstravaganza: Part 5 - The Finale

My Virtual Blog Birthday Party is now winding down. I've steeped a nice pot of chamomile tea for those who've decided to stay over. Candles have been lit, and we're all just sitting around on the comfy couches, chatting about the game of "Spin the Bottle" that took place earlier... brings to mind one particular party game I once played...

It was 1987, and my group of friends had come over to watch the video of my big 18th birthday party, my Debut, that had taken place the weekend before.

At the time, I had a most embarrassing crush on one of the guys in the group -- let's call him Rob*. In truth, it was more than just a silly crush. Rob meant a lot to me, but I didn't think I was anywhere near the type he'd be interested in dating. I'd see him with other girls -- pretty and popular -- and I knew there was no way he'd see me as more than a friend.
Unfortunately, I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve, so the whole group knew about my feelings, including Rob himself. But I was convinced that if I didn't say anything, I could pretend that he didn't know and save myself from total embarrassment. Yup, coward, I know.

So, anyway, back to the party game...
One of my girlfriends decided that we should play Spoons. I don't remember the specifics -- I'd never heard of the game before -- but it was like Truth or Dare.
After a few rounds, it was my turn to either tell the truth or do the dare. I chose Truth. The question I was given was "Who do you like?". I was horrified. He was right THERE! What were they thinking?! Why would they want me to spill the beans? I was a total innocent at the time -- my days of accosting my future-husband in his car on my parents' driveway were in the far future -- so I couldn't read my friends' motives.

At this point, I felt like the center of a cruel joke and more than a little betrayed. In retrospect, these were my friends -- and they still are -- and I shouldn't have suspected anything bad, but at the time, I just needed to protect my feelings... so... I LIED!

Yes, folks, I cheated the game and lied. I told them I liked AJ* instead. Really, I wasn't going to bare my soul, not knowing how Rob felt! Seriously! Did they think I was crazy?!
Anyway, the get-together ended with all of my friends respecting that I didn't want to admit to anything that night. And life went on.

A few months later, Rob told me that he knew about my crush on him. By then, we'd become better friends, and I'd learned that he was even sweeter and kinder than I'd first imagined. I knew he wouldn't laugh at me, but I also didn't want to hear him apologize for not feeling the same way back.
So, once again... I lied... and told him I didn't feel that way about him anymore. I decided to let him off the hook. I just wanted to get over him. And in time -- a LONG time -- I did.

Okay, folks, that's my post-party drunken-buzz confession.

It may be my birthday, but now I'm going to give YOU a present -- well, one of you, at least. I've confessed my First True Love Crush story. Now I want you to tell me yours!

Share with me -- in the comments section -- your own First Crush story, and you may just win your own brand spankin' new copy of "Surrender" by Kimberly Zant, one of my favourite erotica books.

You must be 18 years of age and older. No purchase necessary.

You have until 11:59pm CDT, Friday, October 17, 2008 to give me your story.

Now, here's the twist... YOU get to vote the winner! Email me, and let me know which story you like the best. You cannot vote for your own story! In case of a tie, I place the tie-breaking vote.

Voting ends 11:59pm CDT, Monday, October 20, 2008. The winner will be announced the next day.

Thanks for coming to my 1st Blog Birthday Virtual Bash! I hope you had fun!

Relive the whole virtual birthday bash... Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5.


* Names have been changed to protect the innocent... heck, I wish I could change *my* name in this story... yeesh...

Birthday Blogstravaganza: Part 4 - My Bloggie Faves

As I've said before, no blogger is an island. If you have a blog, you probably love reading blogs... yes, even the ones that you don't author. :)
Over the year, I've added so many blog feeds to my feedreader -- not only to entertain me, but to inform me. Bloggers are clever folk!
For a short list of blogs I love, check out my sidebar for the blogroll. Now, if I'm looking for something specific, I go here...

  • Beauty Blog: Bionic Beauty
  • Celebrity Gossip Blog: LaineyGossip
  • Design Blog: Apartment Therapy
  • Family-Life Hacking Blog: Simple Mom
  • Green Blog: Re-Nest
  • Money Management Blog: The Simple Dollar
  • Shopping Blog: Mighty Goods

  • Is this party getting outta hand?! Who suggested playing *Spin the Bottle*?!? And *Twister* just started in the Livingroom... sigh... I'll be in the Kitchen cutting into another Pavlova -- Good thing I thought to buy 5 cakes... Nummy... Anyone wanna join me? :)

    Relive the whole virtual birthday bash... Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5.

    Birthday Blogstravaganza: Part Trois - In Your Words

    "I'm not getting dressed until I get arrested!!! Oh, hello, Officer..." - Mike Murphy

    You guys are really enjoying the party! I'm so impressed with your karaoke skills! Wow, great "Material Girl", Kari!... Yes, Sly, I think they do have The BeeGees' "Tragedy"... After I refill the punch bowl, Myrtle and I are going to sing "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald"... Squee!!!...

    I LOVE hearing from my readers! You are such a fun, creative, and insightful bunch. But mostly, you crack me up! Here, in no particular order, are the 10 comments from the last year that made me smile...

    1) "Shower in under 5 minutes? That's a challenge? For someone other than Chewbacca?"
    - Albert Bannatyne from the 8 Skills Every Woman Should Master post

    2) "Your 6-foot bronze lawn ornament of me holding a pottery bust of Elvis is being delivered later today. No, no, I insist!"
    - Harmzie from the Love, Romance, Bronze & Pottery post

    3) "Neither Brad Pitt nor George Clooney are on my list. They aren't geeky enough for me. :) I like my guys tall, dark, mysterious and slightly nerdy."
    -
    Jami - Bionic Beauty from the Who's on Your Freebie List? post

    4) "It's really hard to provide any meaningful comment given the excessive roominess in those jeans. I mean, they're baggy enough that you could hide a sack of oatmeal down there somewhere."
    -
    Albert Bannatyne from the My Daily Exercise Project post

    5) "I just tried it. And yes, the interviewer told me that I was being hired based on the quality of my nipples. Not sure what he meant, but now I have a great job with a bright future. Thanks LifeCandy!"
    -
    Paul Johns from the Of Stains and Nipples post

    6) "Boba Fett was my favourite shadow character. He was so mysterious & such a renegade... dreamy...
    I know that doesn't relate to anything, but I don't have a blog to jot down my random thoughts, so I just use yours... :-)"
    -
    Harmzie from the Lightsabers Smash & Crackle post

    7) "Hmmm.... maybe he just wants a more fashionable mask?"
    -
    Albert Bannatyne from the Nenette vs. Lawnmower Man post

    8) "I actually think you look pretty hot in that picture with your hair just like it is. ;-) Granted 'hot' isn't always appropriate. :-P Especially if it's the '+30C, blazing sun on asphalt' kinda hot."
    -
    SnowBear from the A Hairy Dilemma post

    9) "My life would be best characterized by a romantic/comedy, with a plot similar to 'When Harry Met Sally', but substitute out Billy Crystal with Tom Hanks, and Meg without the Botox."
    -
    Jen Hill - Mythbuster Beauty from the Share & Win: The Biopic Edition post

    10) "Wait, why would I cover you in chocolate if I'm going to stab you with an icepick. That's a horrible waste of chocolate. Unless it's chocolate syrup which I've always found kind of disgusting, in which case that scenario seems much more sane."
    - Jenny - The Bloggess from the Ever Have One of These? post

    Okay, in the immortal words of my grandmother, "Eat! Eat!" Seriously, you guys need to dilute the boozy punch with some lumpia and sashimi. Then you can drink some more. Party on!!!... :)

    Relive the whole virtual birthday bash... Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5.

    Birthday Blogstravaganza: Part Deux - So, where we at?

    Me: "Today is Mommy's Blog's Birthday... It's 1 year old today!"
    Mini: "Should we sing Happy Birthday to it?!" *giggles*

    So, how's everyone liking the party so far? No one's been arrested. The neighbours haven't complained about the noise yet. And people still have their clothes on. Meh. Give it time.

    One of the things people generally ask themselves when they hit a birthday is "So, where we at now?" A quick look at LifeCandy's stats and posts turned up some pretty interesting answers...

    1: Visitors/Pageviews -
    According to Sitemeter, this blog averages about 2400 pageviews per month. When I first saw that, I thought, "Hey, people like seeing my stuff!", which sounds a lot like "Hey, people like seeing my junk!" but is SO not the same.
    People connect to LifeCandy through the weirdest of searches, stumbles by awesome folk who heart my posts, my blog feed on Facebook, and shameless self-promotion on Twitter. I think there may be other ways, but I'm not sure.

    2: Subscribers/Followers -
    I started out with 10 subscribers. Don't know for sure, but they're probably all family and real life friends
    and people I've bribed with cheese and sexual favours. This list has grown to up to 71 subscribers from all over the world. I'm not even counting those who just have my blog bookmarked.
    Squee! You love me, you really love me!

    BTW, I've just added the Blogger Followers Widget too. So far, I only have 1 follower (Hi, Carlene!), and I'd love to have more! So, if you have a Blogger/Gmail account, just scroll down to the bottom left hand side of the screen and click "follow". :)

    3: Posts -
    I'm up to 208 posts! That's about 4 posts per week. Wow, I talk a lot, don't I?! And I still have a lot more to blah, blah, blah about. Thank you all for tuning in to read my blah, blah, blah.

    4: New Bloggie Friends -
    No blogger is an island. You got a blog? You read blogs. If not, you get boring.
    And I've been so lucky to get to know some awesome bloggerinas -- Jami, Shai, Kari, Zandria, and Sarah -- to name just a few. Thanks for the thumbs-ups, for the "Nenette, you're so funny!" when I really need it, for all the giggles, and the bloggie sisterhood. You all rock!

    5: Real Life Friends Join In -
    I love hearing from my old family and friends here on my blog -- Myrtle, Harmzie, Albert Bannatyne, Melannie, Zandra, etc. With some, it's as if we're just continuing our RL conversations; with others, another side of us seems to come out resulting in conversations that rarely take place offline!
    Their alter-egos come out with their noms des plumes!

    6: Projects -
    "Decluttering/Simplifying My Home", "My Earth Mondays/Green Living", "Natural Beauty/Hygiene", "Pesco-Vegetarian/Organic Nutrition", and "Fitness/Active Living"... Am I forgetting anything?

    7: Me at Work -
    I work an average of 2 hours on a post, then I do some stumbling, blog surfing, commenting on other blogs, replying to comments on my blog, schmoozing/networking on Twitter, responding to email, and checking/analyzing my blog stats.
    It's a lot of work, but it's fun and so worth the time and effort meeting new people and learning new things!

    Well, that's it for now...

    I've got to put out some more sushi... Harmzie and Myrtle are polishing off the bakudan and salmon skin handrolls! ;)
    Go get some more punch. I want y'all good and plastered in time for... KARAOKE!!! Woo Hoo!!!

    Relive the whole virtual birthday bash... Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5.

    Welcome to LifeCandy's 1st Birthday Extravaganza!!!

    Photo by ĻiĻ Pië

    It's time to PAR-TAY!

    On October 7, 2007, I registered the domain LifeCandy.net, did a little rerouting here and there, and -- POOF! -- LifeCandy was born!
    What was once my CRON health blog became my personal blog of family, friends, health, beauty, greenification, and the joys of being a girl.

    In honour of this swankilicious blog's 1st birthday, I'm going to party all week long, and I'm taking you with me!

    Over the next 5 days, I'll be looking back at the fun and craziness, the things I've learned, the wonderful folks I've come to know and love, favourite posts and comments, and all the other stuff that's happened over the last year.

    So, come on in, put on your party hat, grab a glass of punch, and mingle. There's some sushi, lumpia shanghai, pavlova, and, of course, cake on the table. The DJ's waiting for your requests. Stick around, 'coz the party doesn't end 'til the break of dawn! :)

    Check out... Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5.

    Breast Cancer Awareness Month: My Story...

    I was 21 years old when I found the lump. It was about pea-sized, about 2 inches above the areola of my left breast.

    I think I was in my 3rd year of the computer engineering program at the University of Manitoba. I was having trouble with my soon-to-be-ex-boyfriend, my parents,... and Modern Physics... or was it Physical Electronics? Anyway, it was March, final exams were coming up, and I was stressed out about everything. It was bad, and I didn't think things could get any worse.

    And that's when I found it.

    The day after finals, I went in for Day Surgery at the Misericordia Hospital. I corrected the breast they were going to operate on (yeah, they were going to open up the wrong one), got dressed in my green gown, was wheeled into surgery, and before I knew it, was being wheeled into Recovery lump-free.
    A week later, we received the call that the lump was benign, and all was well. I was sent away with instructions to continue doing my monthly breast exams. Nothing more was required.

    It's been 17 years. A long time. The details are sketchy, but the images are still crystal clear...
    my sister smiling bravely for me, my friends' hugs and other wordless shows of support, my best-friend-before-he-became-the-love-of-my-life Roomie respectfully resisting getting creeped out when I offered to let him feel the lump and our friend Maja sitting beside him trying not to freak out because she had just felt it, the glaring absence of my "boyfriend" during my days of recovery, and my mother gently putting down the telephone saying a silent prayer of thanksgiving that her daughter was safe.

    I think back to all those images of the people I love and who love me to this day, and I'm so very thankful that I was one of the lucky ones.

    But there are so many who aren't as lucky.
    They are still bravely fighting, their loved ones by their side. Let's do our part and join the fight. Here are some ways we can do it...

    1: Wear pink and spread the word.
    2: Walk, run, or just volunteer for one of the many marathons taking place in your town.
    3: Buy a Bionic Beauty shirt: For every pink Bionic Beauty T Shirt sold during the month of October, Jami will donate $1.00 to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
    4: Have a blog? Get a pink ribbon image from nbcam.org and place it prominently on your site for the month of October.
    5: You can even SHOP and support the fight to end breast cancer.
    6: Organize your own fundraising event.
    For more, check out the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation website.

    Do you have a story? Any more ideas to help in the fight? Please feel free to share.

    randomness today 01

    Okay, folks, here's today's edition of random stuff happening in my little corner of crazy...

    1: Blog Birthday Celebrations!
    Tuesday, October 7, 2008 marks the 1st Birthday of LifeCandy!!! Has it been a year already?!? Crazy, eh?! I'd like to make it a big extravaganza, like Jami who celebrated the 1st Anniversary of Bionic Beauty for the whole month of July, but the longest I'd do it is for just the week.
    What would you like to see here to celebrate the occasion? Giveaways? Memes? Commenter Spotlights? Let me know! And please keep it within reason... I already get enough requests to flash my boobs from my husband -- The answer here on my blog will be the same: No.

    2: My Twilight Obsession
    Okay, thanks to gentle nudgings from Jami and Toni (and believe me, it didn't take any effort on their part!), I've become completely obsessed with the Twilight Series! Gah! I'm now on Eclipse (The Twilight Saga, Book 3), and I'm powering through that like crazy. I've had to change my "CURRENTLY READING..." section on my sidebar every 2 days!
    I have all 4 books on my shelf... they're so pretty with their black-red-white dust covers... so it's just a matter of picking up the next one until they're all done. No pining away for the next one.
    Unfortunately, my blog surfing and comment responses here have been sorely neglected. I promise I'll pop my head back above water by Sunday/Monday.
    I'm hoping I'll be content once I've finished reading the last book. I'll keep you posted.

    3: Blogger's Choice Awards Deadline - October 15, 2008
    You have less than 2 weeks to vote for me! I've been nominated in the Best Blog About Stuff and Hottest Mommy Blogger categories, and I'd just be tickled to get some votes. So, hit the links and make me your blogger's choice! Thanks :)

    The Feather Family...

    The kids were in the family room playing together. What? Did I just type that? My kids were playing together. Wow, it felt weird typing that again.

    But yeah, they were playing, laughing, and having fun with the new game they'd made-up together. No crying, no screaming, no "stop touching me!". I didn't bother checking on them for fear that the mood would shift if they spotted me, triggering the wailing, finger-pointing, and eventual gnashing of teeth.

    Well, I really should've looked in on them. Really, I'm a mom. I should've known they were up to no good. They were getting along TOO WELL.

    They'd taken the top of Mini's fairy wand, plucked the tiny feathers off of it, and were in the process of throwing them in the air. The kids froze at the sound of my "OMG, what have you done?!!!", the feathers gently drifting down around them.

    I gave the order to pick them up, and in true Mini fashion, she decided to make a game out of it. I heard her tell her brother that they should give each feather a name as he/she picked it up.

    Lam: "Toopy, Varmo, Looga..."

    Mini: "Leelo, There's-Glitter-On-My-Hand [?], Cheela..."

    Lam: "Toomy, Joomy, Loomy..."

    Mini: "Oh-No-The-Boat-Is-Tipping [What?], Lucai..."
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