the tits of 2009.

2009 has been such a lovely year.  And no, I'm not being sarcastic.  Really.  Despite the constant pestilence, having my house almost burst into flames, and being unable to drop that stubborn extra 10-15... okay, fine, 20 pounds I've been carrying since the beginning of time, there have been some truly marvelous moments this year.

So, once again, I'm going to use that wonderful device called a "The Tits List" -- list of things I think are awesome, or "the tits" -- that I stole from the fabulous she-who-I-want-to-be-except-I'm-filipino-and-she's-not Ali. With it, I will recount all the yumminess of 2009.

In no particular order...

- vietnamese coffee.  yeah, I said coffee.  dammit.  (and no, I haven't had any in weeks.)

- being asked to write for a wonderful new blog and now find myself in league with some of the funniest, savviest, brilliant-est, and hottest (of course!) moms -- and dads! around, and having 2 of my posts picked for syndication!

- looking young, turning 40, then getting a cute little haircut that friends tell me makes me look even younger than I did before I turned 40.

- the continuation of our monthly Sushi with Larry with my girlfriends.

- getting the OK to shop for my own Christmas presents, AND finding enough Canadian Tire money on the credit card that my beloved Magic Bullet was FREE.

- meeting online friends in person... for sushi.

- the fireplace channel, and the fact that the cat also loves the fireplace channel...

- Glee

- appliances in my house that actually work.

- that Starbucks offers a fabulous selection of non-coffee drinks like my new favourite: soy green tea lattes.

- friends and family who finally listened to my nagging and started new blogs.

- watching my daughter's quirky sense of humour blossom right before my eyes.

- chocolate-dipped swirl ice cream cones.

- the best collections of sci-fi and fantasy shows on the air: fringe, eureka, supernatural, stargate:atlantis, smallville season 9, defying gravity, wizards of waverly place.  yes, you read right... wizards of waverly place.
(Updated Jan 2/10: Oh, Snowbear, I actually forgot to add SGU! Consider it added now.)

- making new totally lovable online friends: rougie, loukia, eunice, adam, haley-o, andreanna, maria,...

- new Red Dwarf and Futurama episodes in production.

- BBQ chips and bacon weaves.

- checking the mailbox expecting bills, and instead, finding cookies from one friend, books I won from another friend, and fudge from yet another.

- that my son no longer says "I wish I had a Wii" almost every day, because his wish has in fact come true.

- the new Star Trek movie... and OMG, Mr. Spock!

- when family comes in from out of town and you realize again how much you love them and wish they didn't live so frickin' far away.

- camping trips where you have a big enough tent to change in, a cook stove so you don't have to wait forever for the fire to turn to coals, and enough lamps so you can do dishes in the dark.

- warm feet thanks to these... (yay, I got 'em for Christmas!... but, boo, I need to vaccuum that rug!)

- disconnecting from my online world for a week.

- grilled cheese sandwiches.

- that I finally got off my ass and enrolled my daughter in dance class.

- the fact that my delicious husband can work from home from time to time.

- Kleen Kanteens.

- my funny readers.

- chocolate, and smoothies... and chocolate smoothies.

- so much more that I can't remember them now!

And that, my friends, is the awesomosity of my 2009!

How about you?  What's on YOUR list of The Tits in 2009?!

full on Christmas: part 2

And now, the conclusion...

December 19:  Harmzie's Annual Christmas Party 

With my sister watching the kids, Roomie and I made our way down the block to Harmzie and Max's house, where we spent a lovely night with our old friends LRM, dee, Sly & Mr. Sly, and several other friends too cool for Twitter and FB.

The teetotaler (me) wasn't a very good teetotaler -- I had an almost-paralyzer and some of Max's famous egg nog.  So, I was completely hosed.
Oh, and I ate way more of Harmzie's so-yummy-they-should-be-illegal deviled eggs than I'd ever had in the history of Harmzie's parties... and they've been hosting these things for years!

Thanks for another fabulous party, my dear!

December 20:  Mini's Dance School Christmas Show

At the Pantages Playhouse Theatre.  The curtain opened, the spotlight came on, and as the music started, 4 little girls on stage started to dance.  And as I watched backstage, my heart filled with so much love and pride it felt ready to burst.
You see, Mini was one of those little girls, and this was her very first performance in front of a crowd.  She did beautifully, showing not even a smidge of nervousness or fear (I was with her the entire time as their group's volunteer Mom), despite the huge audience where her Daddy, big bro Lam, and her aunt Tita watched too.

After the show, happy and exhausted, Mini came home... and promptly threw up.  It could've been nerves, not having eaten for most of the day, or a bug.  Not sure.  We'll find out for sure after her recital in June.

December 23:  Nuttall/Richardson Christmas Party

Every 23rd of December, Sly (that's her in green) and her hubby Mr. Sly (not shown) host a Christmas Party for all and sundry.
I'm one of the sundry.
It's a big event -- for kids too -- and we always have a blast.  There's always plenty of wine, spinach balls, bison balls, pumpkin cheese cake, and all sorts of other treats.  As well as in appropriate ass pictures and staring at meat.  Yeah, you had to be there.  And you should be... next year.  Tell 'em, Nen sent ya!  ;)

December 25:  Family Christmas - Roomie's Bro's house

After the usual Christmas morning mayhem of opening presents and setting up new games, dollies and baby cradles, we went to Roomie's big brother's house -- he's actually the middle brother, but with Roomie as the youngest brother, everyone's the big brother.

Anyway, we had fab time with a lovely mom-in-law, siblings, turkey, mashed potatoes, a nephew, a niece, niece's lovey-loverson boyfriend, broccoli/cheese casserole, sweet carrots, and too many cookies and treats.

Oh, and wine.  You can't forget the wine.

December 26:  Family Christmas - Nen's Sister comes over

Tita is my big sister, and she and my BIL Tito came over on Boxing Day to have Christmas dinner.  It was probably the best *my-side-of-the-family* dinner I've ever had!
I made pineapple glazed ham, mashed potatoes, steamed carrots, and stir-fried beans.  Then we had a trifle for dessert.  We wiped our faces with Sleeping Beauty 'Aurora' napkins left unused from Mini's 5th Birthday party.  How very regal of us, eh?!
Anyway, Tita and Tito gave Lam a Bakugan 7-in-1 Drago toy, and Mini a Baby Sleeping Beauty 'Aurora' dolly that fit perfectly in the baby cradle Roomie and I got her for Christmas.
Mini has to be careful however, as her baby's cradle tends to get hijacked from time to time by another baby of hers.  I don't think she really minds though...

Hope your Holiday Season was a lovely as ours!

full on Christmas: part 1.

November 14:  100th Annual Santa Claus Parade

With hearts full of giddy excitement, Mini and I hopped on a bus bound for Downtown for a girls night with the "fat guy in a red suit".  It was a beautifully mild Saturday evening, so anxious to get there faster, I grabbed Mini's hand, and together, we walked the final stretch, braved the crowds, and plunked ourselves down on Portage Avenue.  Right in front.  Where no one else wanted to sit.  Cowards.
We saw dancers, singers, old-time fire engines, then finally the Big Guy.  Santa looked grumpy and cold, and who could blame him -- he'd been waiting for 99 other floats to go before him.
Mini and I came away from the parade with a big bag of swag ("Mommy, look!  They gave me candies! And a frisbee!"), a sense of joy from a shared adventure, and because we walked by Wasabi on Broadway on the way home, a craving for sushi.  So, we capped off the ultimate girls' outing with warm miso soup, rice, and sashimi.  A quick call to reassure Daddy and Brother that the women-folk were safe and sound and eating sushi resulted in "bring some home please" and a tray of Sweetie Beetie and Mango Tango in our bag with Mini's swag.

All in all, great Christmas memories for my girl and me.  What more can a Mommy ask for?!  :)

November 28:  Brunch with Santa

Roomie works at a lovely college.  And this lovely college hosts a brunch with the "fat guy in a red suit" with presents for all the children of the college staff every year.  Also, this lovely college has a fabulous Culinary Department that prepares the pancakes, sausages and fruit, as well as the tastiest-ever gingerbread men that the kids get to decorate.  Yes, this college is lovely.

This year, Mini even decided to have her face painted.  She was a cat.

November 29:  Tree Goes Up


December 3: Breakfast with Santa

Not to be confused with the aforementioned "Brunch with Santa", this event was at the school and had very special entertainment: Grades 1-3 singing The Twelve Days of Christmas and Jingle Bells.  So, we got to see our little man, decked out in his black Batman t-shirt, sing his little heart out.
It was quite a sight!  And if I ever get the pictures of this and the Santa parade off my cell phone, you'll get to see the sight too!

December 14:  Mini's Sharing Performance

Our Nursery/Kindergarten Class's version of the Christmas Pageant.  Just for the little ones and their adults (parents, grandparents, aunts/uncles, etc.).  It's held during school hours, so sadly, some parents aren't able to come, but if you're one of the lucky kids with a younger sibling in that class, you get to play hooky from your own class to watch.

For Mini and her little buddy Stewie, who started Nursery this year, this meant having Lam, Norah, and Pepper skip class and hang out at the gym for a few minutes that afternoon, and support the fam.

But mostly to skip class and hang out.  

December 15:  Gingerbread House Night

Every year, the Grades 1 to 3 kids have a special night where they, their siblings, and parents all get together and make gingerbread (actually, it's graham crackers) houses.  It's a hoot.  The kids get crafty, hangout with friends, and get a free "eat as much candy as you want" night.  It's quite the sugar funfest.  The parents get to socialize, and for many sahms, we get to talk to other adults for the first time in weeks.  Huzzah!
Our kids did more socializing than decorating, so in the end, their houses looked like little shacks after a really bad hurricane, a tsunami, and a tornado.  So, Mini asked if we could make a gingerbread house at home as well.  And 2 days later, we did.  She's much happier with that outcome.

Stay tuned for Part 2...

2 days after Christmas...

... my house still looks like this...

Accomplishing the most minimal of housework
because, yo, I'm on holiday...

... and my kids are still doing this...

All hail the Wii!

... and I'm still eating this...

So, I will tell you all 'bout the drunken debauchery of our Season
after I'm done relaxing and inhaling all the chocolates in the house.

Hope your holidays are just as relaxing!
Go on and relax some more... xo

Santa Baby...

I recently wrote to Dear Avitable and got an excellent response regarding the future of hypothetical Gus' "Lick My Love Pump" (just go to the site, dudes), so I'm hoping to go 2-for-2 with this letter to Santa. Wish me luck...

Dear Santa,

I've been such a good girl this year -- unless you count the fact that I watch too much tv. And my caffeine and sugar abuse of September/October. Oh, and my oogling of that cute, 27yo Jared Padalecki with way too much crazed, teenage hysteria -- okay, not really, but anything more than "he's nice" is teenage hysteria for a 40yo.

So, could you just count me as being so bad that I've come around the other side to being good again? Heh heh. Kidding. Sheesh.

But really, even with those minor atrocities, I'm still cashing in with my wish list, because (a) I think I'm overdue for some yum amid the yuck, and well, (b) some of my cool friends are doing it... and sometimes, I'm just a follower.

So, hang on to your hat, Santa -- this is going to be a hefty list! Okay, here we go...
  • alba kukui nut organic body oil. Because it's winter, and my island girl skin is drying up and cracking. So until the humidity of summer returns, I want to slather myself with this. I can do it before stepping out of the shower while I'm still warm and damp, which, because I'm a wimp when chilled, I totally like. Can be found at any health food store... I saw one at the VitaHealth on Corydon in the same mall I had my hula studio.

  • The Bollywood Dance Workout with Hemalayaa. I love dance workouts... which is why I love dancing hula. But, after being a hula dancer and instructor for over 30 years, I want to learn something new. Besides, look at the woman on the front of this thing. Wouldn't you want to do what it takes to look like her?!
    Mini said she wants this to be her gift for Mommy, so she's already ordered it from Amazon.

  • SD card. With one of these of my own, I won't have to wade through Roomie's shots of the moon and the dozens of pictures the kids usually take of the tv screen, their feet, and the cat sleeping, eating, or licking its privates.

  • Friends Seasons 3-5 and 7-10 DVDs. I eventually want to have them all. And I will eventually. Yes, I'm patient.

  • home slippers. Living in a no-shoe house usually results in cold feet for me. I could wear socks, but the slip factor is high on our hardwood floors. So, any slipper with a grip sole would be fine with me.

  • interval timer watch. My old watch saw its demise during one of Roomie's runs. Now, I need a new one. Nothing fancy. It doesn't have to talk to me, make me sushi or give me powers of invisibility (which still would be super cool).
    But it MUST have an interval timer feature like this Speedo watch. Preferably in black.

  • Magic Bullet. Roomie gets a little annoyed with me when he sees appliances on my lists because he thinks I should list things just for me, not something that would benefit the rest of the family too. But I'm a smoothie fanatic, and my old handblender is just not cutting it anymore.

  • family ring. I'm really not into the bling, a fact I'm sure Roomie appreciates and is quite grateful of. But I've always a ring with the birthstones of every single member of my family. I like this one from Mom's Jewelry Box, but would prefer it in yellow gold.

  • iPhone. Need I say more? Really?
  • Dinner with my pretend boyfriend Gerard Butler. So I can charm him with my dazzling wit and beauty, and at the end, when he's begging me to run away with him, I'll say, "No, Gerry, I'm sorry, I won't -- I've got an even hotter dude at home. Good night."
    Yeah, my ego is frightening.
  • So, Santa, if you think you can fit one or two or all of them in your sack this Christmas, I'd be ever so grateful.


    This is also my contribution to Shai's 52WoC Task#47 -- wow, just 5 more to go!

    the fancy-schmancy light bulb dessert masterpiece.

    Of all the members of my family, Mini is the one who spends the most time with me. Lucky girl.

    At the tender age of 5, she doesn't really mind it. In fact, she loves hanging with her mama. Not knowing how long this "Mommy is AWESOME" phase will last, I'm trying to milk it for what its worth -- you know, squeeze as many bonding experiences and fond memories out of this time before "Mom, you're so lame -- you're ruining my life!!!" sets in. Who knows, this may even help us skip that godawful phase all together.

    For yesterday's "Mini and Mom" activity, we hauled out the much-loved Easy-Bake Oven we got Mini for Christmas last year. I'd always wanted one of these as a kid and never got it, so when the commercial came on during the if your parents don't get this for you for Christmas, they don't love you blitz and she said "I want that!", I didn't ignore it like I did the bazillion other toys she yelled "I want that!" at.
    The very next day, I forked over $28 at Sears so I could live out another one of my childhood dreams through my daughter. She's already fulfilling my dreams of being a ballerina -- next, she's going to get a pony, kiss that cute boy Paul Fia, and go to the 'Capades! (Just kidding, especially about the Paul Fia thing -- He's still a cute boy, but he's 40 now, and that's just creepy.)

    Anyway, back to baking.

    Thankfully, we aren't limited to the expensive pre-packaged Easy-Bake cake mixes. Oh no, folks! I waved my magic Google wand, and the Mystical Box of All-Knowledge showed me this fab site that shows you how to make your own Easy-Bake recipes!

    And if you're big on the quick mixes like me, you can even get Betty or Duncan to help -- which is what Mini and I did yesterday.

    Once again, as on many other such events, we used Betty Crocker's Angel Confetti Cake Mix Roomie bought for his little girl 8 months ago. Yes, 8 months ago. Have you seen the cake pans on this sucker? They're teeny-weeny. You don't need much to make a cake in 'em. Mini's going to be in college by the time we use up that bad boy.

    Mini did the measuring of the dry ingredients (3 tbsp mix), and I added the wet (1 tbsp water). She mixed and poured, and together, we did the actual oven stuff. So yeah, she did most of the work.

    Anyway, bingo, presto, magic... one hour later, we had 4 little palm-sized angel food cakes with candy sprinkles in them, one little cake for each of us. We covered each one with a good heapin' helpin' of whipped cream and fresh berries.

    Et voila! Our super tasty masterpiece... (this one's mine)

    Looks good, eh?! I know, you want one, don'tcha?

    can someone please tell me what this is?

    Before the bathroom crapped on us, we had plans to insulate the basement. Our basement and crawlspace are unfinished little areas of frozen hell, you see. So, in preparation for this event, Roomie's been moving stuff around.

    When he moved the dryer, he found this behind it...

    Do any of you have any idea what it is?

    We don't have a clue. About a lot of stuff, but especially this.

    hams after haircuts.

    As promised in yesterday's new 'do reveal post, here are Mini and me hamming it up for the camera!

    What started as this... (gah, what a horrible angle for me -- still, my monkey girl is cute!)

    Resulted in these...

    the new me: can bobbleheads still be sexy?

    I feel like a bobblehead, but I love it! Some notes...

    1: Sadly, I couldn't donate my hair. It was all layered, and they only accept hair where the shortest layer is 14 inches. My hair didn't qualify.
    It really was too bad because there was a lot of hair on the floor that could've been used for something, if not wigs. I mean, it could've at least made a merkin or two.

    2: Mini and I both had our hair cut today. I'll put up our resulting photo shoot soon. Stay tuned!

    Thanks to everyone for voting in here, on Facebook, and on Twitter. So... what do y'all think?! :)

    hair dilemma: big chop or not?

    Yes, I'm having another hair dilemma (when am I not?!), and I'm hoping I can get some input from all of you... well, at least from those of you who aren't all WTF?! It's just hair!!!.

    If you've been following me for a while, or know me IRL, you know that my hair is a big part of me -- at times, quite literally -- so, I don't do anything drastic without some great thought, research, and obviously, harassing of my readers.

    Tomorrow, I see my dear hair stylist Jane. And I'm thinking of telling her to make me look like this -- minus the "turning me into a young Japanese girl" part.

    Now, the last time I had hair that short was in April 2007. And it was NOT cut by Jane, so it wasn't as gorgeous as I knew it could've been.

    Oh, and it wasn't a layered bob like that. It was just a bob -- like Teri Hatcher in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. And I want a more "just rolled out of bed, tousled, sexy, morning-after-a-hot-night-before" kind of bob.

    BIG difference.

    Since then, two years, and 2 haircuts (where at least 6 inches were chopped off each time) later, my hair looks...

    Like this. (Yeah, I look this "sharp featured" every morning -- feel for my husband.)

    So, my hair does grow FAST. Any major choppage would be unnoticeable in about 3 months.

    Anyway, I don't know if I should get the Big 12-inch Chop or just another 6-inch trim.

    Could you please help me decide -- because I'm crazy and can't decide on my own?

    What kind of haircut should I get?
    The Big 12-inch Chop (shaggy layered bob)
    The Usual 6-inch Trim (long layered) free polls