Friday, June 25, 2010

We surf the Internet. We swim in magazines.

I came across this ad in my magazine the other day. I thought it was neat and want to share it with you all.

We surf the Internet.
We swim in magazines.

The Internet is exhilarating. Magazines are enveloping.
The Internet grabs you. Magazines embrace you.
The Internet is impulsive. Magazines are immersive.
And both media are growing.

Barely noticed amidst the thunderous Internet clamour is the simple fact that magazine readership has risen over the past five years. Even in the age of the Internet, even among the groups one would assume are most singularly hooked on digital media, the appeal of magazines is growing.

Think of it this way: during the 12-year life of Google, magazine readership actually increased 11 per cent.

What it proves, once again, is that a new medium doesn’t necessarily displace an existing one. Just as movies didn’t kill radio. Just as TV didn’t kill movies. An established medium can continue to flourish so long as it continues to offer a unique experience. And, as reader loyalty and growth demonstrate, magazines do.

Which is why people aren’t giving up swimming, just because they also enjoy surfing.

Monday, June 7, 2010

No cows to be found; it’s just Pad Thai.

While watching TV the other day I stumbled upon a show called what’s cooking on CityTV; they were making pad thai. I’ve tried a few pad thai dishes from different restaurants around the city, but I always find that it tastes barn-like. Ok, before you go all “you’ve tasted a barn?!?” on me, think about it, you know what I mean. Just like some beer can taste like skunk, although I highly doubt you’ve ever actually tasted a skunk. It’s because our sense of taste and smell are closely linked. A lot of what we taste is because we can also smell it! Seriously. Anyways, the recipe and process looked easy enough for me to tackle, so I figured I’d give it a try and see if my home cooked pad thai would taste like a barn as well.

This meant that I would need to make my first trek to the new T&T supermarket on Hunt Club and Riverside, as most of my local grocery stores have pitiful Asian food sections. Oh and by trek I actually mean just pulling into the T&T parking lot from my regular commute to and from work each day. However, I have been too afraid to go in all these months, perhaps because the way people were describing it made this place sound like some kind of crazy circus, something that I’d rather avoid, unless I want random people touching me, which is definitely not my cup of tea.

So I decided to finally face my fear – only because I needed some rice stick noodles – and go inside. I have to say that I was rather impressed! They have a wonderful produce department, and all the seafood you could possibly want! The only negative thing I have to say is that there were too many noodles to choose from. I stood there for about five minutes, with my eyes glazing over trying to figure out which ones were best for my meal. So if my only complaint was that there was too much to choose from, I think overall it was a successful excursion and I will definitely be going back! Fear = unfounded.

With my rice stick noodles and all of my other ingredients in hand I created my pad thai masterpiece. It didn’t look like a masterpiece (hence no pictures of my actual dish), but it sure tasted like one! No barn taste at all! Good job me! I also made it for a second time this weekend for a friend, and got rave reviews!

Try it for yourself!

Creamy Peanut Pad Thai (Serves 4)

227 g (1/2 of 454-g pkg.) rice stick noodles
1 lb. (450 g) boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup Kraft Catalina Dressing, divided
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup Kraft Smooth Peanut Butter
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 cup fresh bean sprouts
4 green onions, sliced
3 Tbsp. chopped peanuts

Make It!
Cook noodles in boiling water 5 min. or until tender. Meanwhile, cook and stir chicken and garlic in 2 Tbsp. dressing in wok or large skillet on high heat 5 min. or until chicken is cooked through. Stir in egg; cook 30 sec. or until set.
Drain noodles. Mix remaining dressing, water, peanut butter and soy sauce in wok. Add noodles; mix well. Add sprouts and onions; toss lightly. Top with peanuts. Serve immediately.
P.S. Dish goes well with lots of wine ;)

Recipe #2 of 25 complete on my list of 101 Things to do in 1001 Days!

The more people I speak to, the more I find are actually reading my blog! Super exciting! If you do, give me a shout, leave a comment or message me. You can tell me what you’d like to see more of, or maybe less of. Anything!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Grilled Maple Mahi Mahi with Sour Scallion

So a recipe posting is going to come as a bit of a surprise for many of you, because I’ve really never been one to even set foot in the kitchen. But now that I am no longer spoiled by my mother’s cooking, I had to venture into the world of cooking for myself. Yes, I know, poor me. Just to prove this point, this is my side of a conversation I had with my mother the other day…

“Hi, mom it’s me. I was wondering how you make a stir-fry?
Oh, it’s that simple, that’s all I have to do?
Yes of course I have chicken mom! And I bought pre-packaged stir-fry vegetables all ready to go.
So all I need to do is just toss it all together and add teriyaki sauce?
Well I can do that! I thought there was more to it than that.
Thanks mom!”

Later I find out that my roommate thought this was the most hilarious thing she’s heard all day. The stir-fry turned out really well, only a few minor setbacks involving slicing my finger while trying to get fancy by adding ginger to my meal, and burning my toe with boiling water and kicking the dog in the process. My thumb, my toe and the dog are all fine, thanks for asking.

Back to the original purpose of this posting – grilled mahi mahi. A few months back I was in the Superstore perusing the frozen seafood section when I heard about a food sampling in the store. Score! They hardly ever have those anymore! And just as I looked up to see if it was around me, I realized I was practically standing right in front of it. So exciting that I didn’t have to go look for the free food, it came right to me! The lady asked if I’d like to try mahi mahi. Now, I don’t know about any of you but I thought mahi mahi was some kind of weird raw fish, but I tried it anyways, and it was delightful! It’s not raw fish, but rather a white dolphin fish. It had a delicious green onion and sesame topping. So I took the recipe she was handing out, picked up some PC fillets that were conveniently on sale, and went home to make it. I think you all should try it as well!

Grilled Maple Mahi Mahi with Sour Scallion

Mahi Mahi Marinade:

2 Mahi Mahi fillets (PC Blue Menu Mahi Mahi fillets are a good choice!)
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp teriyaki sauce
1 tsp ginger
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste

Sour Scallion topping:

3 tbsp olive oil
4 scallions sliced
2 tbsp roasted sesame seeds
Salt & pepper to taste
1 tbsp fresh squeezed lime juice

Combine all marinade ingredients in a shallow bowl; coat both sides of the fish fillets thoroughly. Marinade in fridge for 30 minutes or overnight, turning at least twice.

Just before cooking the fish prepare the sour scallion topping:
Heat oil in pan and add scallions, salt and pepper to taste and cook on medium high heat until fragrant, about 1 minute, then add roasted sesame seeds.
Transfer the sour scallion topping into a small bowl then add fresh squeezed lime juice.
Preheat grill to 425˚F.
Brush the grill with oil, grill marinated mahi mahi on high heat for about 4 to 5 minutes on each side.
Top with sour scallion and serve with rice.

The lady in the store used a George Forman grill. But I pan fry mine, and it tastes just as good as hers did! I have also substituted the mahi mahi fillets with haddock fillets, and it turns out great.

Look at me making substitutions and doings things differently! I’ll be a pro in no time! But I still have a whole lot more to learn. Lucky me that I have two great teachers to show me the way! You know who you are!

1 out of 25 new recipes to try = complete! 101 Things to do in 1001 Days

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

HOly Overreaction Ottawa!

Ok, so I don’t know if any of you are following the contest that the New HOT 89.9 has going on, or shall I say the New HO 89.9, but it’s creating quite a stir in Ottawa. A creepy little thief has stolen their T, in their HOT 89.9 name, renaming it the NEW HO 89.9. The radio station has offered a $25,000 reward to find it, and helping Ottawa residents along by offering three clues as to its whereabouts each weekday. Personally, I think this is pure marketing genius!

Others, not so much. Some Ottawa residents are outraged that the radio station is using the word HO. It’s a contest for God sakes people! The Ottawa Citizen has been producing opinion piece after opinion piece of people who are really unhappy with HOT 89.9 because they are using this word. (This one cracks me up -If 89.9 were a boyfriend, I'd dump him fast)

People, the radio station is not using it as a derogatory term, it is merely a word. It is only derogatory when used in a sentence meant to insult. Santa says ho, a hoe (pronounced the same!) is a garden tool, I have friends with the last name Ho, does that make it a bad word?? Hell no! People need to calm down and get off their high horses. The radio station is merely saying a word, it is not targeted at anyone! And if you think that the radio station is calling you a ho, maybe you are!

I think that the people who are actually upset over this and take the time to write in to the Ottawa Citizen have nothing better going on in their lives, so they are creating drama for no reason other than the fact they are bored.

And for the parents who are telling their young children what the term ho means, that’s your own fault. You may have bigger problems. Tell them about the contest and that the radio station is missing the T in HOT. Get them involved in helping you to find the T to win the money. It’s not rocket science!

Get a life people, stop complaining about everything and go find that friggen T! I’m going to.

Rant complete.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Sisterhood of the Travelling Pink Gloves

At the end of March I decided to travel to Kitchener/Waterloo to visit my dear friend Robyn for her birthday shenanigans!

Side note: I also got an answer to a question I’ve had for a while but never asked…Why on earth don’t people just call it Kitchener or just Waterloo?? During my visit I realized exactly why this was – there is barely a distinction between the two cities. No division. One city ends then the other begins without warning. I think I even saw a house that half was in Kitchener and half was in Waterloo. I wondered what their address would be?

Ok, back to the original point of my story…Robyn’s birthday…there was a house party to be thrown in her honour. Friends travelled from near and far to be with this lovely lady on this special day. Many drinks were drunk, delicious food was eaten, and plenty of fun was had!

During the party, after having some kind of asthma attack and needing to take my inhaler – very similar to the reaction I get from being near cats, but there were no cats around…odd – I returned to my comfy seat on the couch to find that it had been stolen! Stolen!! The audacity! I quickly realized that I would need to be somewhat social and find another seat in the already crowded room before the show began again. Oh, did I forget to mention the show? Right. One of Robyn’s friends, Matt York (a recording artist – check him out, he’s awesome!) was playing a special acoustic show just for Robyn’s birthday! So I took a seat next to some lovely ladies that welcomed me into their sitting space on the floor. I was even allowed to stay after I spilled my martini on Julia (one of my new friends) :( I’m gonna go ahead and say that it was half my fault and half the fault of the martini glass creator. Whooo doesn’t spill when they are drinking from a martini glass?? Really?

Anyhoo, the story of the Sisterhood of the Travelling Pink Gloves came to be when I noticed an abandoned ticket stub on the floor. The ticket stub we all received when we paid our entrance fee for the party. Yes, it was a house party, but it was all very official because of the show! So we (Julia and I) stealthily grabbed the ticket stub and held on to it for safe keeping, as the stub could give us a chance to win a door prize at the end of the night.

We ended up winning with the ‘stolen’ ticket! So before opening our prize, we decided to share whatever it was. The prize – a brand new pair of beautiful pink gardening gloves!! Haha. So Julia and I each took a glove. This is where it gets a little blurry though (wine, martinis, etc). Throughout the night Julia and I had talked about all the travelling we had done over the past few years, so I guess this is where the brilliant idea came to be. We decided that we would take our pink glove on all the travels we do in the coming years and take a picture with it on in front of famous landmarks, buildings, whatever. Julia was the one with the brilliant idea to name it Sisterhood of the Travelling Pink Gloves and create a Facebook fan page of the same name.

These gloves won’t just be for Julia and I to use, but all of our wonderful friends on their travelling adventures. The fan page will document where the gloves have been and where they are going! Cheers to travelling and to new friends! :)

Become a fan of the Sisterhood of the Travelling Pink Gloves on Facebook!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Damn you Logan Huntzberger!

After watching way too many Gilmore Girls episodes for my own good lately, and pining over the oh-so-charming Logan Huntzberger, boyfriend to Rory Gilmore, I’m starting to wonder if these Hollywood ‘boyfriends’ are ruining our perceptions of what ‘real’ men are?

Logan is naturally the creation of a female mind – a fictional character. Of course he has his flaws, but he makes up for them times 10! He’s full of grand gestures, spontaneity, and surprises. What woman wouldn’t want him?

Unfortunately perfect characters like Logan Huntzberger are brought to us through TV screens and movie screens time and time again, causing us to measure our real relationships against these fictional ideals.

Although not everything we see in movies and TV shows have that perfect, happy ending, these are often the ones we remember, the ideals we may hold our own relationships to.

The stars of TV shows and movies we pine after often have the “full package” – good looks, great job, great personality, fill in the blank of anything you could ever want in a man. So we look for that in real life.

When we compare the men we know to the men in movies, it becomes extremely unfair to both parties. With such high expectations, real men can’t possibly be expected to actually ever live up to them. Consequently women are frequently disappointed because the men are not living up to these unfair expectations.

I’m in no way saying that you should not have expectations of your partner, because you most certainly should! But having expectations that are unrealistic may just end in disappointment.

While reading an article the other day on the book Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough by author Lori Gottlieb, it got me thinking more about relationships and expectations and the reason why controversy has surrounded this book. Critics have accused her of being anti-feminist because she uses the word ‘settling’ in the title. Gottlieb addresses this criticism by explaining that, “A lot of women took a you-can-have-it-all attitude and called that feminism, which it’s not. They confused feminism with you can have it all, and tried to apply you can have it all to dating.” When in fact her book says the opposite. She explains that at any age you need to look at what’s important and you should never settle for somebody that you don’t truly love. But in order to find that person you have to be more open-minded about who that person might be. So it’s not about lowering your standards. It’s about having really high standards, but only about the things that really matter.

I think Michelle Obama hit it right on the nose when talking about her husband in an interview. “He was special in terms of his honesty, his sincerity, his compassion for other people. Cute’s good. But cute only lasts for so long, and then it’s, Who are you as a person? That’s the advice I would give to women: Don’t look at the bankbook or the title. Look at the heart. Look at the soul. Look at how the guy treats his mother and what he says about women. How he acts with children he doesn’t know. And, more important, how does he treat you? When you’re dating a man, you should always feel good. You should never feel less than. You should never doubt yourself. You shouldn’t be in a relationship with somebody who doesn’t make you completely happy and make you feel whole.” Well said Mrs. Obama!

No one is perfect. Hell I’m not even close to being perfect, so why should the guy I date have to be perfect? ‘Perfect for me’ is what I will strive for. We shouldn’t focus on trivial things like height or movie star looks or how good they seem on paper, what matters is how you feel when you are with this person. Focus on things that will actually matter five to ten years down the road. And for God’s sake, keep movie romances in the fantasy world and don’t equate them with real life relationships!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Lotions, and sprays and candles, Oh my!

With the opening of Ottawa’s first Bath & Body Works, comes my continued obsession with all things scented. Whenever I journeyed to the Carousel Mall in Syracuse, New York with my friends, I would always make a beeline to Bath & Body Works and spend far too much time in there – so much time in fact that I would always be left alone to peruse on my own for a while. So now that we have our own B&BW, I find it rather thrilling that I can just stop in at any time! This is extremely lethal for both my wallet and my bathroom cabinets.

My first visit to B&BW in Ottawa brought on a new addiction. I smelled their Twilight Woods scent. I fell in love. I cannot describe it, all I know is that I love it and can’t get enough. I have a spray at home and at work, and would carry one around with me, except for the fact that the store in Ottawa does not seem to sell the travel size. Also, I recently purchased the Twilight Woods body lotion, and find that it complements the spray very nicely and as a bonus actually lasts all day!

I also bought a few items from the B&BW Aromatherapy Sleep collection. I’ve been having some problems sleeping for a while so I picked up the lotion, body wash and body spray (which I use as a pillow spray), all of which smell like deliciousness, or Warm Milk & Honey as it’s aptly named.

Other favourites include:

B&BW Signature Collection anti-bacterial soaps. There are soooo many to choose from that I always have a collection of them at home. Coconut Lime Verbena is one of my favourites.

The Wallflower scent diffuser in Warm Vanilla Sugar – perfect for smaller rooms because it’s not overpowering. But you can choose from any scent you’d like in the store.
Slatkin and Co. Scentportables for your car. Instead of hanging a pine tree from your rearview mirror, you can clip this on to your visor. It says it only last about three weeks, but I found it lasted over three months. There are many different B&BW scents to choose from.

Lastly, Bath & Body Works always seem to have some sort of deal or sale going on, which is horrible for me because I’m a HUGE sucker for coupons and really good deals! So I suggest signing up for their e-newsletter to reap the benefits!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Sooo… I joined a gym!

Hahaha it still makes me laugh a little, but seriously, it’s true, I joined a gym!

I’ve been a member of GoodLife Fitness for just over a week now, and I have to say that I actually enjoy it. I really had no idea of everything that a gym can offer. I thought it was all about treadmills, and bikes, and men pumping weights. But it’s not! They have classes, awesome leg lift machines, 20-minute Fit Fix Circuit workout, and even more classes! As you can probably tell I’m very excited about the classes. That is the selling point in getting a gym membership.

I’ve been thinking about taking up yoga for a while, but never really got my butt in gear to do it. GoodLife offers a class called BodyFlow that involves yoga, tai chi AND Pilates all wrapped into one class. SOLD!

So bright and early Sunday morning (ahem 11 a.m.) I headed on over to the gym to go to my very first BodyFlow class. I took a friend with me because it’s always better to have a friend to laugh with when you have no clue what you are doing. Overall, I think it went very well and we didn’t get too lost. I will definitely be going to this class once a week. :)

But classes aren’t all I’m gonna be doing. I enjoy the elliptical, and even though I have one that’s collecting dust in my basement, the gym setting is much more enjoyable for some reason. I push myself to stay on for a half-hour because people could be watching and think that I’m ‘giving up’ if I take mini-breaks in between like I do at home. Nope, not at the gym, I push on through the hurt! And soon I will try the 20-minute Fit Fix Circuit workout on my own. Yeah muscle strengthening!

I wanted to go to a gym to start feeling better. I should not feel like an 80 year old at 24. And even just after a week I’m starting to feel better. And whether I’m actually feeling more energized or it’s all in my head – I don’t care, because in the words of Michael BublĂ©, I’m feeeeeling gooooood!

So don’t be surprised if next time you see me I look like this, minus that face, and of course minus the fake tan.