new blog

I have something fun to share with you, friends. Starting this weekend, I have a new, professional blogging gig! In addition to being an editor for The Chronicle Herald, I am now also blogging twice a week in the Homes section. My new online column is called My Hectic Home and will feature content not unlike what you’re used to seeing here. I hope you have a chance to come by and see what’s new each Monday and Thursday!


my first vlog: accents

Please pardon the air-dried state of my hair as you watch the following clip. It also didn’t occur to me, apparently, to turn on a lamp. This is my first foray into vlogging. A few of my favourites, including Amy and Leah, played along with this prompt, and I thought I’d throw my voice into the mix.

So what’s the verdict? Do I have an accent? Do you use different words?
Here’s the list of words and the questions if you want to give this a try:

Say these words:

Aunt, Route, Wash, Oil, Theater, Iron, Salmon, Caramel, Fire, Water, Sure, Data, Ruin, Crayon, Toilet, New Orleans, Pecan, Both, Again, Probably, Spitting image, Alabama, Lawyer, Coupon, Mayonnaise, Syrup, Pajamas, Caught

Now answer these questions:

What is it called when you throw toilet paper on a house?
What is the bug that when you touch it, it curls into a ball?
What is the bubbly carbonated drink called?
What do you call gym shoes?
What do you say to address a group of people?
What do you call the kind of spider that has an oval-shaped body and extremely long legs?
What do you call your grandparents?
What do you call the wheeled contraption in which you carry groceries at the supermarket?
What do you call it when rain falls while the sun is shining?
What is the thing you change the TV channel with?

the litwits

Lately I’ve been thinking about making a bucket list of all the things I want to do before I’m 30. Just for the fun of it. I do have a few years to go before reaching that age, but judging by how fast the past year raced by (my baby’s almost one ohdeargod), it can never hurt to start early.

One of the things I’ve always wanted to do was join a book club. I love reading; I love talking about books; I love drinking and eating and laughing with friends. So, last month, I emailed a bunch of great gals and started a club. The litwits. I can’t take credit for coming up with the name, but isn’t it great?

Our August book was The Help. We had a kick-off event at my house, where we all brought three books, then drew names until all of the books had been picked up by someone new. It was a great way to get the literary discussion rolling. (Take the word literary with a grain of salt. There were definitely a few chick lit books being exchanged.) We all read the book, discussed on a private Facebook forum, and gathered again for a group movie date to see our book on the big screen. It’s turning into great fun.

Here’s our upcoming book list, if you’re interested in playing along:

September – Whistling in the Dark

October – Left Neglected

November – When God was a Rabbit

December – Sarah’s Key

out with the bad

Playing off last week’s post prompt, this week we list 10 shows you’re glad have seen their last day.

1) Most of the time, The OC was like a bad traffic accident. You just couldn’t look away. It was a love-hate relationship really. That’s how I feel about One Tree Hill, too, actually. Please, just cancel it and put us all out of our misery.

Admittedly, I do love me some Seth Cohen.

2) Iknow Desperate Housewives is still on, but it shouldn’t be.

3) I may lose some readers over this one, but … American Idol. Yes, I’ve watched several seasons, but this show has run its course several times over.

4) Average Joe. Like the Bachelor/Bachelorette, but with average people like me? What’s guilty-pleasure about that?

5) After the series ended, I tried to give Lost a go. It was painful.

6) Scrubs is another one I tried to watch, but just couldn’t get into.

7) Ally McBeal. I used to watch this, but why? I got season one from the library when I was on maternity leave and didn’t even make it past the first disc. How could I have forgotten about the dancing, computer-generated baby?

8) Third Rock from the Sun. John Litgow was so much better in Dexter.

9) Let’s add season one of Sex and the City to this list. Thank God they stopped having Carrie talk to the camera.

10) Extreme Makeover. Not the home edition, the people edition. People actually getting all sorts of plastic surgery. Gross.

Share your least favourites.

Thanks once again to Mama Kat for the prompt.

the golden oldies

A list of 10 old TV shows you’d like to make a comeback.

1. Friends. Best. Show. Ever. I own all 10 seasons and watch them on DVD regularly.

2. Let me preface this by saying that if it’s anything like the second movie, then I take it back. Sex and the City. The show was fantastic (I also own most of these seasons and replay them often) and the first movie was pretty great.

3. Veronica Mars. Cut down in its prime, really. Lovely friend J introduced me to this gem and I watched all three seasons in quick succession on DVD, and was quite disappointed to see it end.

4. ER. I think there are actually seasons of ER that I missed over the years. Maybe I should start from the beginning again.

5. Seinfeld. I’d even settle for more reruns … it seems that the oldies-but-goodies of the series have been bumped for repeats of crap shows like My Name is Earl.

6. Husband would whole-heartedly disagree with me on this one, but … Gilmore Girls. I loved that show! The dialogue always sent Husband off the couch and out of the room entirely.

7. Boy Meets World. Ah Cory and Topanga. My middle school idols.

8. Oprah, but only if any other season would be as good as this the last one. I used to record her show every day, but often delete it if I wasn’t interested in the subject matter, but she managed to catch my interest with pretty much ever episode of her farewell run.

9. The original Law & Order. The spin-offs keep getting worse and worse. While Law & order: SVU is dependable, Law & Order: LA was cancelled after just one season. Lame.

10. In a category of their own, childhood faves like Doug, Clarissa Explains it All, Pepper Ann, and Goosebumps.

What shows would you bring back if you could?

Thanks again to Mama Kat for the writing prompt.

how to raise a boyfriend

You know those eye-roll inducing, head-scratching, hella-annoying moments we all have from time to time with the men in our lives? Yep, you’ve been there, I’ve been there.
In lieu of forming a support group for dealing with our their issues, take a few minutes to check out a new website full of stories you are sure to relate to. In my pursuit to write elsewhere on the web, I’ve recently joined up with author Rebecca Eckler and her new website,
Based on her recently released book of the same name, the website features fun articles about the highs and lows we’ve all experienced in our relationships under the Rants and Raves tab.
Visit the website (Click here to see my stories, including the story of how we got engaged!) and be sure to sign up for fun stuff in the e-newletter!

26 in 52

I resolved to read at least 26 books this year. So far, I’m a bit behind, but I’ll mark my progress here and hopefully it will guilt me inspire me to spend more time reading. I’m a bit behind, but March Break is just around the corner! (Read: Hand the baby to Husband and relax in the bath with a good book.)

Wiped: Life with a Pint-sized Dictator

By Rebecca Eckler
All I have to say about this book is “Ha!” Eckler uses nearly ever cliche in the book as she chronicles her motherhood journey — the good, the bad and the poopy diapers. This is a great read when you’re in the middle of raising your own pint-size dictator. It puts a lot of the trials and tribulations in perspective, with a few laughs for good measure.

By Neil Pasricha
Lovely friend T bought this book as her gift for our annual Christmas potluck gift exchange. I hadn’t heard of it before then, but the concept appealed to me — essentially a book of awesome things. Thanks to my Kobo and an online promo code, I picked up a copy for $5. Some of the stories in this book made me smile, others made me laugh out loud. Husband thought I was a little nuts when I burst out laughing while reading this in bed one night, but once he got his hands on it, he loved it as much as I did.
In progress reads …

By March Weissbluth

By Jen Lancaster
What are you reading?

black, white and read all over

When eReaders started to make their way onto the market, I scoffed. “I’ll never read an electronic book.”
Well, here I am, eating my words. Delicious.

I used some birthday loot to buy myself a Kobo just before Christmas, and I have to admit, I really love it. For the record though, it will never take the place of good, old-fashioned library books. In fact, I’ve shelved my Kobo this week to read my one-week library loan of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Have you read it? Is it as great as everyone says?).

There are lots of eReaders out there to choose from. I made my decision quickly, and using only a few criteria. Mainly, I didn’t want to pay and arm and a leg, and it had to be compatible with our local library’s eBook lending service. The first of my demands eliminated the Sony eReader, which only cost about $30-$40 more than the Kobo, but was still out of my budget. The library compatibility issue eliminated the Amazon Kindle. I went to Chapters, tried out a Kobo, and made an impulse purchase.
Admittedly, there are a few downsides. It doesn’t keep a charge as long as I’d like, and once the battery is hovering near empty, it takes longer to move from page to page (and by longer, I mean a few seconds, but it’s still not as fast a flipping a paper page by hand). It was also difficult to figure out how to add library books to the Kobo. Luckily, I was able to search out this blog post that gives convenient directions.
Otherwise, it’s been great so far. It came loaded with 100 classic novels. Many I’ve read, many I’ve wanted to read for years. Buying and uploading books from the Kobo site is super easy and I’ve picked up a bunch of new books for less than $5 each. And of course, my conscience and the environment appreciate the paperless option.