27 July 2013

Does Something Feel Different Around Here?

So you might have noticed that something feels a little different around here. Maybe a little less graphic? And less colourful. A little more Plain Jane.

In my best state-the-obvious kind of way, I'm announcing: I've changed the look of the Money Pit.

I've been itching for something different for a while now, but just decided on a whim today to pull the trigger. You might be thinking: But dude, it's boring. It's, like, almost plain white. Blech. Which is sort of true, but I like to think of it as more 'refined' and 'calming'. Not so 'busy'.

It's an experiment in taking things a step back and simplifying. Same colourful personality with significantly less competition from a colourful background. I might change my mind again in future (because if anything's for sure about me, it's that nothing is ever for sure), but for now I'm kind of digging the stripped-back look and feel. We're getting classy all up in here, y'all!

26 July 2013

Things I Wish Were Real

24 July 2013

Georgie Porgie Pudding Pie

As a self-confessed rabid monarchist (I love, Love, LOVE the royal family. Like, LOOOOOVE them.) I've been so excited about this new baby you'd think I was the one gestating. Probably I was more excited than if I really was knocked up with the heir to the throne, actually, because I had absolutely zero morning sickness, heartburn or weight gain. All the excitement, none of the symptoms. Honestly? It was the perfect pregnancy.

The actual birth is sort of secondary to what I've really been waiting for, which is the name. I'm really obsessed with names: my kids each have three (excluding their surname) and even that was a struggle to keep it contained. I have my "next" two kids named already, and have a list of phantom children (the five I expected to have when I was a teenager, and planned ahead [none of which I used for my real offspring, as it turned out]).

Anyway, today's the day! In case you haven't heard (as if) Will and Kate announced HRH the Prince of Cambridge's adorable new moniker:


Lots of folks are divided on George, but I think it's adorable. So in honour of little Prince George, the next-to-next-to-next in line to the throne, here is my list of favourite Georges.

"Oh God, You Devil!" | George Burns

Not a huge Star Wars fan but I am a fan of EVERY OTHER MOVIE EVER MADE | George Lucas

1984, Forever and Always. The incomparable | George Orwell

Arguably the smoking-hottest George | George Clooney

Intergalactic space dad | George Jetson

Middlemarch on, yo! | George Eliot

Truly one of a kind | Lonesome George

Straight to the point | Georges-Pierre Seurat

By the hour, tonight (and every night). The most badass George | George Stromboulopoulos

So awesome there should be a festival named after him. Oh, wait. | George Bernard Shaw

Possibly my very next favourite

HRH Prince George of Cambridge

Who tops your list of favourite Georges?

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11


22 July 2013

House Stalking | Ellen Pompeo

Full disclosure: I don't 100% love everything about Ellen Pompeo's home in the Hollywood Hills that she shares with her husband, toddler daughter and two sort of snooty-looking little poodles. There are a few rooms featured in the Elle Decor home tour that feel a little staged to me; they look much more like they were decorated for a photo shoot than for a young(ish) family with an infant and pets.

What makes up for the sometime-stuffiness is the entire rest of the house.

Her kitchen had me at hello. Obviously it would make me a better chef to cook there (if I ever get my hands on it, Martha Stewart better watch her back).

No doubt I would have the best sleep of my life in her master boudoir.

And tv-watching, movie-viewing, late-night reading and any-time blogging would be just that much cooler in the den.

For the full tour, click over to the article and slideshow at ElleDecor.com

Photos by Tim Street-Porter for Elle Decor

12 July 2013

Playlist | Beach Bums

We're off to Cobourg beach again on Saturday; another tournament = fun in the sun for the boy, the girl and Daryn and I.

Our only complaint about last weekend was the lack of beach-appropriate road tunage; our playlist selections just didn't cut it. This weekend we're shaping up and getting our musical shit together (and indulging my inner 'tween with more than one track). 

Loading* to the iPod right now:
  1. 22 | Taylor Swift
  2. Cruise | Florida Georgia Line featuring Nelly
  3. Here's to Never Growing Up | Avril Lavigne
  4. Stutter | Marianas Trench
  5. C'mon | Ke$ha
  6. Scream and Shout | will.i.am featuring Britney Spears
  7. Starships | Nicki Minaj
  8. True Love | Pink
  9. Radioactive | Imagine Dragons
  10. Blurred Lines | Robin Thicke featuring T.I. & Pharrell

*The family wishes me to tell you that the musical selections are entirely mine. It's me that finds bubble-gum snapping, teen angst and country twang appealing: Daryn and J are a bit more "hard core" and "gritty" and  A just suffers mostly in silence. Really, this playlist is just for me. And now for you. You're welcome.


08 July 2013

House Stalking | Mike D

It always surprises me in celebrity home features when a house actually looks lived in or that it could be an extension of the home owner's personality. I sort of assume that so many celebrities move around so much (travelling for work and pleasure, buying and selling real estate, owning multiple properties), it's sort of impossible to put their personal stamp on a place. I also assume that most celebrities pay an interior designer to put together a "look" for them: as with faces and hair, so too with houses? It makes sense.

Anyway, every now and then I come across a house that looks personal, like the celebrity really lives there. And I fall in love with it just a little bit.

Take (retired?) rapper Mike D, of Beastie Boys fame. The New York Times recently published an article and slideshow tour of the Brooklyn, NY town home he shares with his wife, Tamra Davis, and their two boys, and it is STUNNING. There is nothing about this house I wouldn't immediately import into my own home (or better yet, just bunk in with them and enjoy!)

There are a million details to swoon over in this house. The highlights for me are the dark-and-dramatic chalkboard powder room, the mad-for-plaid home theatre/rec room and that heart-stoppingly-simple-but-gorgeous kitchen. Marble island? Gilt metal hanging shelf? Oiled flat-front cabinets? Sha-ZAM! I'm in love.

Click through to read the article and enjoy the whole tour. It's worth the visit.

Photos by Trevor Tondro for The New York Times


05 July 2013

The 10 Most Important Things I've Learned from Judge Judy

For those of you who knew about and/or visited the new/old blog I launched (then totally abandoned on the doorstep of a nearby church at midnight a year ago), this post may look a little familiar. That's because it is. But it's pretty funny and I kind of like it, and since waaay more people visit me here than at that other blog I don't pay any attention to these days, I thought: why not bring this good stuff over here? No sense just leaving it there. It's kind of awesome. I kind of love it. And I'd hate to leave it behind. So if you're reading this and you're thinking WTF? She's totally recycling this! Yes. Yes, I am. Go have a great weekend and come back on Monday when I'll have something brand new to say. But if you've never seen this before and you're thinking to yourself By gawd that Judge Judy IS a genius, and I've finally found someone who thinks so too! then read on, my friends. Read on....

I spend a lot of my days now learning new things about the society we in which we live through deeply thoughtful and provoking programming: the CBC, CP24 and the like. But none have taught me as much as Judge Judith Sheindlin has. Go ahead and mock, but Judge Judy's courtroom is a perfect example of how NOT to live in society, and much can be learned from the human garbage over which she presides for 30 minutes a day. Thus I give you: The 10 Most Important Things I've Learned From Judge Judy. Memorise them, friends. They will serve you well (and will hopefully keep you out of America's television courtrooms):
  1. You live where your possessions are: any of them; everywhere. "If you leave so much as a toothbrush in a place, you reside there." This is good news for me: based on all the places I've forgotten my toothbrush, hair brush, shampoo and other assorted toiletries, I can claim legitimate squatters' rights to several major hotel chains across Canada and at least one B&B. Sweet.
  2. Parents always think their child is right. This is wrong. But thinking a child is always wrong is also wrong. Ditto thinking they are wrong sometimes, or most times, or occasionally. Thinking they're right occasionally? Most definitely wrong. But if they are wrong, or maybe right, not acknowledging that right/wrongness is also wrong. Conclusion? Children are inherent liars and criminals, and you're too stupid to raise them.
  3. Typos can cost you a lot of money. Like, a LOT.
  4. There is a difference between a rhetorical question and an actual question. It is equally egregious to a) try to answer a rhetorical question with anything that resembles words, body language or common sense, or b) stare dumbly and silently in the face of an actual question, with your mouth open or closed {it doesn't matter - it's all bad}. Learn the difference. And close your mouth.
  5. Long, dangly, sparkly earrings are annoying, and people who wear them are deserving of criticism. No amount of verbal abuse is excessive so take note, teenagers and fashionistas. There's a tongue-lashing on the horizon and you may never see it coming.
  6. Men and women shouldn't kid themselves into thinking they can have any sort of platonic relationship: they can't. It's impossible, and I wish I known this sooner. I didn't realize this was the case and now, apparently, I have to confess have a seriously awkward conversation with my husband. Seriously. Awkward.
  7. Developing an opinion of someone based on next to no information, and not changing that opinion regardless of how much evidence is presented to the contrary of your initial impression, is always the right thing to do. That jackass is exactly as stupid/ trashy/ illiterate/ slutty/ obnoxious/ idiotic/ selfish/ rude and/or cheap as you thought they were within the first four seconds of meeting them, and don't be fooled by their efforts to prove otherwise. Stay strong and judge on.
  8. Being stupid isn't an excuse.
  9. Beware the company you keep: "guilt by association" doesn't just apply to criminal activity, and "stupid by association" is a real thing. It's not on Wikipedia yet but it will be (ooohhhh, it will be) and then I will be famous for labelling a phenomenon we all know exists (like "bromance" or "manscaping," except my phrase won't exclusively apply to dudes. Only mostly because ... come on. You've met dudes.) Hang with stupid people at your own risk, Smart People! Why? See point #8.
  10. Reference notes are for wussies. If you can't recite all the facts from memory when complaining about someone else's stupid and/or offensive behaviour (including important dates, full names and address, and monetary amounts), you clearly haven't been offended enough and shouldn't be complaining in the first place. No one wants to hear you whine about all the horrible things that have been done to or against you if you have to check your notes; have some consideration! Or get less interesting friends who might have time to listen to your scripted bellyaching, because everyone else is more exciting and likes the pace to move a little faster, thank you, than you can keep up with reading from your lame cue cards. Memorise your griping, folks, or prepare to live a life of solitude filled with the derision of society.
Happy Friday, everybody. We're off to the beach tomorrow for a volleyball tourney (you know, the usual). Going to try a little harder this weekend to ward off the old skin cancer, but no promises. (J, by the way, is peeling like a banana right now and is itching like crazy. I've started a rumour that he has fleas and he is not amused...)

04 July 2013

Happy 4th of July!

To all my American friends, I wish you an


Stay out of jail, kids.
Nothing ruins a long weekend faster than a bail hearing and a cellmate named Bubba.



03 July 2013

Dear Pink: We've All Been There

Top of my playlist this week:

What song(s) are you rocking out to?

02 July 2013

A Beach Blast, a Birthday, and More Than Enough Fireworks

True North, Strong and Free
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I hope you all had a great long weekend.
Ours was mostly lovely, with a few moments of drama thrown in to keep the universe in balance.
But mostly lovely.

We kicked off the weekend with J's first-ever beach volleyball tournament.
The weather was great for it -- we couldn't ask for better. So excited that the rain held off!
 I'd never been to Ashbridges Bay or Woodbine Beach before. How gorgeous!
I wish I'd known I was just steps from such spectacular beaches this whole time. I'd be much more tan.

Woodbine Beach
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Speaking of tan, J. got burnt to rat-shit.
Despite multiple sunscreen applications, his tender English/Irish skin couldn't take the heat. Poor thing.
He's been mad at me since Sunday because I
I couldn't help it.
He looks like he's wearing a reverse shirt.
Mother of the Year Award, right here.

I was not allowed to snap photographic evidence, but you can imagine.

Sunday was pretty low-key. Errands and the like. The usual.
We treated the little one to a movie and a popcorn dinner (which is the best kind of dinner).
Monsters University.
Our favourite is Art, because he "can't go back to jail!"

Art: Fan Favourite. These fans, anyway.
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Monday was a bit more complicated.
It started off well. We slept in a little, then baked muffins together, and cupcakes with homemade icing.
Fingers and beaters were licked. The dogs drooled all over the floor.
Mid-afternoon we wandered over to the fairgrounds. Milton does a big production on Canada Day.
Bouncy castles, sand pits, mini carnival rides, a rock climbing wall, a petting zoo...
The smell of cotton candy in the air, and french fries, and grease and manure...
Four dollar lemon water, neon light-sticks and screaming babies...

Like any other small town fair, I expect. You get the idea.

A good time was had by all (I *think*) until A. spied a stuffed blue bear at one of the carnival games.
She had to have it.
She did not understand why $40 was too much for a cheap-ass blue bear.
She would not let it go, and sulked for an hour before I lost my shit.

Sometimes it takes every ounce of strength and integrity I have not to abandon my children around town.

We went home crying. Both of us.
Locked ourselves in the car after the boys went inside (with the family from out of town).
We duked it out (verbally, not literally).
Set off some emotional fireworks.

She's my "difficult" child. I try to think of her as "character-building."
Just when I think I've got this parenting thing figured out, she pulls the rug out from underneath me.
She doesn't mean to. She's a good girl; an amazing girl. I'm lucky to have her.
She has a lot to teach me. But sometimes the learning is a tough slog.
Lessons are hard. They're exhausting.
They give us both headaches.

It ended up all right.
She has some work to do on her attitude.
I have even more work to do, on her attitude. On her whole outlook, actually.

Like I said: just when I think I've got this parenting thing figured out...

We recovered in time to watch the real fireworks, as a family.

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This is our ninth year in celebrating in Milton.
The kids are bigger, the lawn chairs are newer and the show is better each year, but the tradition stays the same.