the yumminess of 2011.

This year, I decided to change the name of my "year end recap of the awesome stuff that happened".  For my 2009 list and 2010 list, it used to be "the tits".

OMG, I used to call it THE TITS!!!   What was I thinking?!  Did I think I would sound cool or "street"?!  Where's the maturity?  The class that was supposed to come out of my ass?!  I'm a 40-something mom of two for pete's sake!  Clearly, I must've been drunk or high.  Or something.

Anyway, "the tits" is out -- "yumminess" is in.  For now.  Onward!

Is it just me or was 2011 a little... off?  Yeah, it was a weird year for me.  I did a lot of things that I wouldn't normally do, and although I'm all for life-long learning, growing, and staying open for new things, I pushed myself to do things that weren't characteristically ME.  And really, in the end, I got nothing out of it.

There's "Better Me".  Then, there's "Someone Else".  Guess which one I'm aiming for in 2012?  ;)

But, you know, there were some pretty great things that happened.  It wasn't all crap!  So, hang to your hat, here comes the yummy.

Okay, here we go... in no particular order...

- my garden in the Spring.

- that my son made it as the only Grade 3 student in the Grade 4-6 Spelling Bee.

- when I got compliments on my makeup that only consists of 4 products and takes me less than 3 minutes to do.

- Sweet Talkin' Ken.

- all the "I Love You, Mama" and "You are the Best Mama" notes I've received.

- decaf half-sweet caramel brulee lattes with whip and extra sprinkles from Starbucks.

- that my pretty little girl got her ears pierced.

- when I reconnected with old friends on Facebook that I haven't seen in FOREVER.

- the gorgeous new curtains -- that I sewed all by myself!

- my kids as Bender and Leela for Halloween.

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

- my beautiful new bathroom.

- getting together with lovely long-missed girlfriends.

- The Big Bang Theory, and seeing old friends and colleagues come to life through Sheldon, Leonard, Howard, and Raj.

- that I got my brand spankin' new Starbucks gold card.

- that my daughter was invited to take her Grade 2 ballet exams for the Royal Academy of Dance.

- afternoons with the bff, hanging at the coffee shop, drinking cold icy drinks on a hot summer day.

- dancing with my daughter at her Summer Recital.

- feeding ducks at the park with my kids.

- lists of stuff I love.

- that we bought an awesome minivan, fell in love with it, and now can never do without it.

- that my son danced hip hop on stage for the first time.

- the best collections of sci-fi and fantasy shows on the air: Fringe, Eureka, Doctor Who, Torchwood, Sanctuary, Red Dwarf, Futurama, Wizards of Waverly Place.

- grilled cheese sandwiches made with swiss ementhal.

- when we watched a real-life royal wedding!!! Squee!!!

How about you?  What's on YOUR list of The Tits yumminess in 2011?!

vendredi gras: the night before my cleanse.

Tonight, I celebrated what I call the Grand Finale of a week long "Big Binge".  I went to Yujiro Sushi Restaurant with two of my gorgeous besties, and had a Deluxe Special Bento.  It was a lovely relaxed evening of baby talk -- my cousin Glo on the right is expecting -- and lots of good food.  Here we are in front of the destruction...

For this past week, I've been diving head-first into Holiday Celebrations, feasting like a starved woman at a banquet.  Ham, turkey, chocolates, chips, cupcakes... you name it -- as long as "it" contains sugar and/or fat -- I've eaten it.  See?  Like these things...


I'm sure I've already gained 10 pounds.  It's been seriously disgusting.

Why have I completely let myself go like this?  Aren't I afraid my already high cholesterol and sleep apnea will finally kill me in my sleep?  Don't I care about my health? 

Yes, darlings, of course I still care, but there is a reason for my madness.  I enjoyed myself in a big ridiculous way this Christmas because, tomorrow, I'm starting a cleanse -- the Isagenix 30-Day Cleanse

Why I'm Cleansing

I get a lot of compliments from my awesome friends along the lines of "Nenette, you're crazy!  You don't need to lose any weight!"  Clearly, they have never seen me naked.  I camouflage well, baby!

But really, my doctor told me I needed to do a cleanse to help get various nonsense out of my body.

I'd been complaining to her of:
- difficulty sleeping.
- foggy brain.
- trouble concentrating.
- weird and disruptive moods.
- inability to relax and stay calm.
- concerns about heart health negatively influenced by family history.
- intense monthly discomfort with heavy bleeding that a previous doctor performed surgery on me... which ultimately did no good, because the root problem had not been addressed.
- difficult maintaining a healthy weight, bodyfat, and size.

A cleanse might help, she said.  Okay.

Why I Chose Isagenix.

1: It gets the thumbs up from fitness professionals.Back in September, Roomie's cousin, Ainsley McSorley, an award winning fitness competitor and model, shared her Isagenix experience.  As a fitness professional, she's very careful about the things she puts into her body.  She was using Isagenix to prepare for a photo shoot. She loved it -- and she looked great!

2:  It works for "normal" non-fitness-pro people.
My girlfriend Sly loved the energy she had through her 30 days, and in the end, lost 20lbs.  And my cousin Glo and her husband got great results as well. 

3:  It is a nutritional cleanse.
So, I did a ton of research.  (I'm a skeptic by nature.)  And everything I've read has shown me that Isagenix is different.  As it draws out the crap, it brings in -- through its shakes, snacks, and supplements -- the good stuff in the form of highly-absorbable vitamins and minerals.

4:  It does most of the work for you.
Other cleanses tell you to eat well while taking their herbs.  Well, I don't know how to eat well -- that's how I got into this mess in the first place.
On the other hand, Isagenix takes care of everything you eat for the month, with the exception of 5 meals per week, so you can focus on cleansing.  Glo told us that, by the end of it, you would've kicked your cravings, making healthy eating so much easier.

I have to admit that I'm really excited to start!!!  I pre-cleanse tomorrow, a slow introduction that prepares the body for the actual cleanse which, for me, starts on Monday.  I'll be documenting my experience starting then.  I will try to do a video everyday.

Can I do it?  Will I last all 30 days?  Or will I freak out and scream at Roomie at 3am to go to 7-11 and buy me a bag of Doritos?  Let's see!  This should be fun.

Wish me luck!

* - Disclaimer: These are my reasons, no one else's.   I'm not an expert on anyone else's body -- just my own.

ghosts of christmas 2011.

Happy Holidays, my darlings!  

I hope you had a great weekend celebrating with your family and friends, eating till you exploded, and not getting frightening gift surprises.  Like a vibrator.  Or durian.  Or a paternity test.

I... am hungover. Thanks to the 1-3 glasses of wine I consumed last night at Roomie's brother's house at Christmas Dinner.  Yes, it's been a great Christmas!

So, because I'm in a wee bit o' pain, I'll just give you some highlights of the season because...
a) I really don't remember every event.  Ahem.
b) we didn't go to every event.
c) I don't have pictures for every event.
d) I may or may not have made a total fool of myself at an event or five.  Heehee.  Kidding.

Okay, here we go...

Brunch with Santa
Roomie's work Holiday party on December 3rd was awesome... if you don't count the fact that Mini had a stomach flu.  But there was no way she was going to miss hanging out with the Big Guy in the Red Suit!  Don't freak -- we kept her more or less isolated.
Anyway, she still believes.  And she has very strong-held opinions when it comes to St. Nick.  According to her, the one she meets at this party is the real one -- the ones in the malls are all liars, imposters, and frauds, who really should be ashamed of themselves for trying to fool little kids

Anyway, this is Mini my little kitty cat trying not to throw up on her present from Santa.  Luckily, it's a bag. You know, just in case...

As for Lam and the whole Santa thing, he no longer believes, although he will politely talk to the gentleman "who dresses up as Santa to entertain children".  And he's been helping us keep the magic alive for his little sister.
All he cares about is that the folks who buy the presents for this party give him something "not lame".  At $10 per ticket for this 'do, I told him he's never going to an XBOX and to just appreciate whatever he gets -- Holiday Spirit, manners, and all that.  Right?

Well, what do you think he feels about the microscope he got this year?  I know, hard to tell -- he has some trouble expressing emotion...

School Gingerbread Night
Our kids' school held a gingerbread night for the Grade 1 to 4 students.  It was a night of candy, hot chocolate, and parents and kids all bouncing off the walls in a frenzy of sugar and socializing.  IT WAS A MAD HOUSE!!!
Mini sat with some of her besties and made a lovely little house...

Lam, after saying hi to some of his buds, sat himself down to focus on constructing a "demolition house"...

Roomie sought out his fellow-dads, while I caused trouble with my Usual Suspects: Jenna Slickbooty and Tonya Kung Fu Grip...

Harmzie Kids' Cookie Party & Adult Eggnog/Deviled Egg Party
Harmzie-girl hosted 2 Christmas parties: one for the kids on the 11th and one for the adults on the 17th.  The kids had a great time making cookies at their 'do, and as far as I remember, we had a great time at Harmzie's Grown Up party.  I'm really not sure.

I blame my lack of recall on Max and his lovely evil nog, whose mere fumes are enough to get me drunk.

Wish I had pics of these, but I'm afraid my kids would've coated my camera in cookie dough, and well, I don't remember if I had the camera with me at the Big People party...  but, by the end of the night, it was probably a good thing. What with all the talk of "bushes" and stuff.
These events are BIG in my world and, despite the lack of pics, have to be shared, because, you know... Harmzie.  :)

Nuttall/Richardson Xmas Party
I remember when this party was held in the lobby party room of one of the apartments in the Village many, many... manymanymany years ago.  :)  Now, it's a house party, but I still look forward to it every year, because it's fun every year.  Like in 2007, 2008, 2009.  And this year, as usual, there was a lot of fun time spent smooching with pressing cleavages on catching up with dear old friends.
Here are our gorgeous hostess and host, Sly (one of my besties and bridesmaids) and Mr. Sly (who you may recall was my wedding MC).  Pics of them are strewn throughout this blog if you want to see.  Not the bad ones -- those I'm saving for blackmail purposes.  Hehe.  Ahem.

Christmas Eve with Nen's Fam
My sister and BIL came over for our traditional ham dinner.  Mini was sick the night before, but her fever broke so all was well again.  My sister and I did some 'Just Dance 3'-ing and almost burned my sauteed beans because we were too busy shaking our booties to "California Gurlz".  I forgot to set out corn, but no one seemed to care.
And, of course, we took our annual Family Picture...  gorgeous, eh?!

Christmas Morning
Oh, yes, I've been a very VERY good girl, indeed!  Yes, the chocolate box is empty.  It was full.  Until about 10 minutes after I unwrapped it.

Christmas Dinner with Roomie's Fam
We always look forward to this evening with Roomie's siblings and their families.  It's good to catch up and see the kids... who all grow up way too quickly!
Christmas eve was ham night, and this night is turkey night... with stuffing, mashed potatoes, peas, carrots, and dessert.  I can never eat more than one serving.  I get SO FULL.  Which makes me sad.  Because it's all SO GOOD.
We all needed to relax, like these dudes (our nephew Aaron, Lam, and Roomie's bro)...

It was a great Holiday Season indeed!  :)

So, what did y'all do to celebrate?

the fridge hates me, and the toaster's laughing at me.

When folks say "Christmas is a magical time", I don't think they had "Refrigerator comes to life and drops door in protest" in mind.

For the past 2 years, my appliances and I have been getting along.  I think they're happy that I'm back to drinking coffee.  Espresso actually.  So Juan Valdez and my house really have nothing on me anymoreDo you hear me, Juan?!  Don't come 'round here, or I'll kick your ass. You and your little donkey too.  

The bathroom's all prettied up.  The dishwasher, washing machine, and garage door opener are happily working away.  The garburator and oven still need fixing (a fuse is busted), but they more-or-less do their jobs in non-cranky fashion.

As for the fridge, I try to keep her loaded with delicious healthy things like cruciferous veggies and cottage cheese.  Maybe she's pissed that Roomie keeps jamming Coke and other such evil products in her busty innards.
Perhaps HE is the reason why she decided to do this...

So, if she's going to be all weird, bitchy, and door-droppy, could she have at least done it on Roomie's watch instead of mine?

All I was doing was putting groceries away.  And NOT sneaking snacks, as my awesome-yet-evil buddy Camille suggested I was REALLY doing to all and sundry on Facebook.

I figured out that the door dropped due to the pin in the hinge falling out.  I didn't need to reverse engineer the thing.  I didn't have to find the schematics.  I just used the miracle of sight.  And my brain.  And what little logic I'm capable of these days.

No problem.  Easy fix... IF I HAD FOUR ARMS!!!

My awesome and generous friend Sue was going to come over to help me put it together, but I didn't want to yell at her, and when any kind of appliance fixing happens in my house, there is a high probability that yelling will occur.  And I'd much prefer to yell at Roomie.  (Just kidding.  I don't yell at Roomie.  I just look at him disapprovingly.)

So, since I was going to wait 4+ hours for my dude to come home, my clever friend Antiquark2 (name has been changed to protect the guilty) suggested I channel good ole Red Green and secure a blanket on my fridge with duct tape in the meantime to keep the cool in and the cat out.
Et voila...

Okay, overly-long story short,  my he-man came home and fixed the fridge with me.
Like a scene from a bad porno...

"Hello, ma'am, I'm here to fix your fridge."

"It's over here, beside my... bed."  Bow-chicka-wah-wah...

No, not really.

Huzzah!  Fixed fridge!

she's artistic, athletic, and cool. unlike the rest of us.

I'm a computer engineer.  Roomie's an electrical engineer.  And Lam fancies himself one of these dudes, or maybe all of them combined...

Then, there's Mini...
  • a creative and passionate ballet dancer, who, as you know, was invited to take her Grade 2 Royal Academy of Dance Exam...
  • a strong and ambitious swimmer who just earned her Red Cross Level 5 and plans to get her Red Cross Level 10 in the next couple of years...
  • and the November Athlete of the Month for the Grades 1-3 group at her school.  See?

Trust me, it says her real name on it.

So, you see, despite being born from and surrounded by pasty-complexioned, techy types, she's proved herself to be untouched by the nerdiness. 

But on top of that, she also doesn't like chocolate, and she loves to wear dresses.  If she didn't look so much like me, I'd wonder if she'd been switched at birth by aliens. 

I will be watching her for any new tentacle-like appendages.  Or maybe gills.

This post submitted to Bruna's:
Let's BEE Friends

I love...

This post was inspired by Schmutzie's post on Aiming Low.  Thank you for sharing the love. 

... simple, clean, natural decor...
... summer day trips to small towns just outside the city...
... my son and me bouncing to our favourite songs on the car radio while we drive...
... my grandmother’s house in the Philippines, with its jasmine and rose bushes, rice paddy field, and kalamansi trees...
... having the door held open for me...
... the crack of the hard caramelized sugar top when I dig into a creme brulee...
... Scottish accents...
... bacon baked so that the fatty bits are dry and crisp...
... the delicious silence while my besties and I savour our first bite of sushi during our monthly get-togethers...
... white walls I freshly painted myself...
... frozen grapes...
... update pictures of the SOS childrens village we support every month...
... putting on my favourite cardigan fresh from the dryer...
... the feel of a fresh pair of contact lenses...
... how light my head feels after a long overdue haircut...
... that my daughter was invited to take the Royal Academy of Dance ballet exam...
... when my warm fuzzy cat lies on me on a cold night...
... that, sometimes, all I need is a quick swipe of lipstick to make me feel better...
... how saying just one word would set my husband and me laughing over a shared memory...
... real-life royal weddings...
... how my feet feel after taking off high heel shoes I’d been wearing for hours...
... walking around Hilo, Hawai’i on misty days...
... naked cuddling with my husband...
... Sheldon Cooper and Doctor Doofenschmirtz...
... when PayPal notifies me that I’ve been paid...
... the night when 3 of my favourite sci-fi shows are showing one after the other...
... Fergie's battered pickerel with my daughter after ballet class...
... having coffee with my bff and giggling over cute boys as if we're 15...
... my aunt’s Buko Pandan...
... that I have the complete DVD set of some of my favourite TV shows that are no longer airing...
... that I lived with my husband first before we got married...
... soft fresh salmon sashimi...
... movie nights at home with my family...
... starting a brand new erotic romance novel by any one of my favourite authors...
... getting snail mail that’s not a bill or spam...
... going out for breakfast with my sister...
... spending the whole day in pajamas...
... mallratting with my son...
... the caesar’s salad at Stella’s that has the perfect amount of garlic and parmesan...
... rediscovering what flowers I’d planted when they pop up again in the Spring...
... the warmth of the sun on my face...

How about you?  What do you love right now?

santa baby: wish list 2011.

Dear Santa,

As you know, I already have everything I want for Christmas...

However, since it is the season for giving, you may -- you know -- want to give me more stuff.

I've been a very good girl this year because, unlike last time, I did not think inappropriate thoughts of Jared Padalecki.  (Please ignore the fact that I may have thought them with Chris Hemsworth.  And please don't tell my pretend boyfriend Gerard Butler.)

I've been blogging regularly.  I've avoided dairy - except for the occasional slice of ementhal.  And haven't had a Tim's Iced Capp since July, which is, as you know, a major accomplishment in the realm of goodness.

So, since we've now established, based on the above evidence, that you will, in fact, be coming to my house this year and filling up my stocking and any pockets of vacancy under my tree, here are some ideas in case you need 'em...

  • iPhone.  I totally look like a horse-and-buggy-driving neo-luddite rather than the tech-savvy social networking maven I truly am without a smartphone.  And I want this one.  Because it's pretty.  Like me.

  • Egypt vacation.  Roomie and I love going to places where we can not only relax, but also enjoy the area's culture and history.  What can I say?  We're hot and nerdy.
    And what better place than Egypt?!  Pyramids, mummies, and look at this beautiful beach picture!

  • slow cooker.  Okay, Roomie's going to get mad at me for this one, because he thinks that, when I make a wish list for me, it should truly be FOR ME.  Obviously, a slow cooker is not.  Unless I want to make a big pot roast and eat it all myself.  Not impossible.  Just highly unlikely.  Because I like to share.
    But seriously, feeding my family well makes me happy, so yes, this is definitely a gift FOR ME.

  • Jets shirt.  As you likely know, we have an NHL franchise back in Winnipeg.  Yay!  Go Jets Go!!!  I have the hat (which I bought when I was a 13-year-old hockey fanatic), and I had the jersey (which has vanished).  Now, I want something that I can wear on a regular day and not look like a little female hockey player who got lost on her way to MTS Centre.

  • 'Allo! 'Allo! DVDs.  I have Season 1, thanks to Miss T who gave it to me on my birthday this year.  I just need the next 8 seasons.  I just want to have a season where I can see Officer Crabtree.  He's my fave!

  • Friends DVDs.  I still need Seasons 3, 4, 5, and 7 to finish my set.  So close!  :)

  • Mother's Heirloom Ring.  So I can always (kinda) have Roomie, Lam, and Mini with me all the time.

  • Dinner with my pretend boyfriend Gerard Butler. So I can charm him with my dazzling wit and beauty, and in 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." 
    No, I'm never letting this one go until it actually happens.  And no, I'm not crazy.  Well, maybe a little.

And that's it... for now.  Thanks, Santa!  You rock so much more than a pile of rocks!  xoxo

rap session #364.

Lam: "I wish we could win the Grey Cup, so we could have it here in Winnipeg."

Mini:  "WHY?  Are you going to steal it?!!!"

Lam:  "No!  I'm not Batman!"

Mini:  "We can make you Batman..."

Um, what?

mo bros.

"Movember... [deep sigh] ... Is over." - Harmzie

Alas, it is December 1st, and we once again close the chapter of another Movember, the month when our dudes grow their various flavours of mustacheos for prostate cancer awareness and research.

This year, Roomie and 3 of his besties (since the naughty good ole university days) decided to do Movember together as mo bros.

LRM (one of my besties and wife of a mo bro) and I were predicting that our guys would ultimately look like a 70s pron barbershop quartet...

I think Max, Mr. LRM, El Don, and Roomie look mo-sational, don't you think?!  And Harmzie, LRM, Ms. El Don, and I are so proud of them... for, you know, growing facial hair.

I'm not sure how much their little group raised, but at last count, Canada raised the most money worldwide with over $36,000,000 in donations!  Yay, Canada!

Great job, guys!  Great job!
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