My contribution to #SuperBowlXLVII (guys, not sure if you’re aware, but I’m a decent catch)
Fan Favorite…Buffalo Chicken Dip:
1 cup softened cream cheese mixed with 1/2 cup of Ranch salad dressing and 1/2 cup of Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo sauce.
Spread the mixture into an oven-ready serving dish.
Spread shredded chicken breast on top of the dip.
Cover the layer of chicken with shredded cheese.
Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until cheese has melted (ovens vary!)
Serve warm, with tortilla chips
om nom nom nom nom…
Jan 31, 2013 | haha, caught @katelynpie doing a little snow-dance ;) trying to stay warm, I suppose? by on Keek.com
Jan 22, 2013 | Met @joshduhamel at the #safehaven event last night. Here he is figuring out what designer he was wearing ;) by on Keek.com
Perfect end to a beautiful day! Starbucks and a new book 💙
Jan 16, 2013 | Mini roadtrip earlier this evening with one of my best friends, and my furry-faced nephew! Go Team Starfish! by on Keek.com
Lazy Sunday playlist is on repeat while I stare at my favorite wall… which really means I’m staring at my favorite people.
Use the sleeves on my sweater,
Lets have an adventure
Head in the clouds, but my gravity centered. — Sweater Weather
I have been a Soap & Glory user for years, loving their amazing (and saucy) line of body scrubs and moisturizers. I was so excited when a Shoppers Drug Mart near my downtown office began carrying a few of their products, so I didn’t have to constantly fight my way through the crowd of teen girls in Sephora that always surrounded the Soap & Glory setup, enamored by the pink packaging, but never actually buying the products.
My favorites included their scentual (not sensual, scentual… I can make up words, as I’m the blog writer here - ok?) “Scrub, Actually” body scrub, that left me feeling squeaky clean, moisturized, and smelling amazing, as well as their “You Won’t Believe Your Eyes” eye serum, which helped my terrible under-eye bags and swelling during allergy season.
These products were a lush little addition to my shower and prep routine, and held a special place on my favorites list. That is, until, I was introduced to their Sexy Mother Plucker lip gloss - a lip plumper that had just the right amount of colour (my favorite was their peach hue called “Pink Apricot”), and left lips feeling pouty and full.
When a friend gave me my first tube of S&G’s Sexy Mother Plucker lip gloss, I was skeptical; I had tried plumpers in the past that had let me down, including a few that had left me with a result that resembled an allergic reaction. FYI - I don’t look cute with bee-sting looking lips once they begin to turn purple…
S&G’s gloss was the perfect subtle plumper that not only plumped my lips, but my confidence as well. I suffer from a very serious condition that many refer to as “white-girl lips” (ie: having no lips), and it is something I have always been self conscious about. Not being ready to take the plunge into the world of plastic surgery (yet…), I enjoy a quick-fix from time to time.
Fast-forward to last week - the days following Christmas, and leading up to New Years, and imagine my elation and pure delight when I walked into a nearly-empty Sephora to find December 31st makeup, and found a Soap & Glory lip product I hadn’t used before, on a shelf that wasn’t surrounded by teenyboppers! This is the part of the blog where the heavens open, and a beam of radiant sunlight shines upon the name: Sexy Mother Plucker XL Extreme-Plump Collagen Lip Shine.
After using the Sexy Mother Plucker gloss for so long, I started to notice that I was feeling the plumping tingle less and less, as if my lips were growing more accustom to it, and I really missed the buzzing feeling I got when I knew my pout was subtly inflating. When I saw the “XL Extreme-Plump” tube of delight on the shelf, I knew it had to be mine. I hadn’t even left the store yet (I think had actually only put 3-steps between the register and I) when I opened the tube and tried the lip shine for the first time. One word: Heaven. The clear gloss went on my naked lips in an even, luxe coat, and began to work immediately. I pulled out a compact mirror from my handbag, and was delighted by what I saw – ladies and gentlemen (er, gentlemen, why are you reading this?) – I had an upper lip!
I read over the box and noticed that S&G suggests the use of their Mother Plucker lip shine prior to trying their XL gloss, and as a past-user, I would agree. If you’re ready to try a plumper, start small, because the tingling can take some getting used to. Some of my friends that tried it after hearing my rave reviews felt that the tingle was too intense or uncomfortable for them, so trying the new XL lip shine would be excruciating for them. Ok, I’m exaggerating a bit, but you really should familiarize yourself with the feeling of using it before trying the more intense version!
Overall, I have nothing but good things to say about this lip shine – It applies well, looks great over other lipsticks (and still does the trick), and lasts longer than other plumpers I’ve tried. I’d recommend it to anyone looking for a new gloss on the market, but please, try to remember that if you kiss someone while wearing it, they’ll get the tingle too… slightly awkward the first time I used it, and he felt the transferred-tingle post kiss.
Pictures below to see the glorious transformation of my previously non-existent upper lip!
I wonder if Soap & Glory will let me order their entire stock?
I know I said I wouldn’t talk about you publicly, but… that was before I caught you lying and cheating on me, sl-t!
I was down for you hardcore, while you were out trying to score! Found out you’re full of it. I’m over it. So sick of it…
I heard your song on the radio, and I see your face everywhere I go.
I thought I’d call just to let you know. — sometimes annoying pop songs are spot-on.
Redbull gives you wings! (at The Peacok)
Waking up alone in grey weather this morning was difficult, since I’ve woken up next to one of my gorgeous best friends, greeted by the sun, swaying palm trees, and the most amazing pancakes I’ve ever had over the past few days! Oh, and Juan. And his special pina coladas. We loved Juan. And his special pina coladas.
Miami is only a 3 hour flight from Toronto, but it’s like landing in a whole new world; Everything from the art deco landscape, the gorgeous turquoise water, the spicy Latin beats and the neon nightlife broke us out of our bleak early-Winter slumps. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely adore Toronto, but sometimes a little escape is nice… especially if I get to come home with a tan. I always love going somewhere with someone who has never been before, because it makes me appreciate the little details that much more.
Kate and I enjoyed every second of our vacation, beginning-to-end, though I almost didn’t make it… ha, I guess you could say I had a near-death experience on the plane ride there? Thank God I have such an attentive friend, since the American Airlines stewardess was a bit of a knob. FYI – orange juice doesn’t cure everything, lady. Neither do “crackers, nuts, raisins and cheese”, “crackers, nuts, raisins and cheese” or “crackers, nuts, raisins and cheese”. Other than that minor setback, every moment was amazing, including the rainstorm we got stuck in at 4am, after an intense night of dancing on a rooftop with a number of NFL ballers, that don’t know how to Dougie. What a way to cool off…
I can’t begin to thank Esther Molina (the Promotions Program Manager of Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau) enough, not only for gifting me with the inclusive trip-for-two, but for organizing all of our travel details, including booking us the earliest flight for the way there, and the latest flight coming home. In doing this, we got to enjoy as much time as was possible over our 4-day vacay. Also, she deserves major kudos for setting us up in our gorgeous room at the Richmond Hotel, which had beyond-phenomenal service. Our Pool-and-Ocean-View suite proved to be a glorious backdrop as we woke up, got ready, and fell asleep every day, and though we tried to spend as little time in our room as possible (enjoying everything South Beach had to offer), it was a treat to “come home” to every time we scanned our keycards and walked through the door. The staff at The Richmond was friendly and knowledgeable about each of our ridiculous inquiries, including which bar had the best DJs, where we could get the best guacamole, where we could venture to find post-bar ice cream at 4:30 am, and gifting us with concierge passes for our hottest night of dancing. Yelannis, Ismael and Dennis were great to speak to at the front desk. Also, the fact that the Hotel Manager, Stuart, sent a beautiful bottle of Merlot to our room was absolutely delightful! Oh, and Juan, the “I hear he’s gorgeous” pool attendant that had the power to bring Kate and I (two beyond-chatty birds) to flushed silence. Yes, the staff at The Richmond were definitely gems!
For everyone that has to deal with me over the next few days while I come out of my vacation-high, and my tan starts to fade, I apologize – you’ll be hearing a lot of reggaeton at the office, have to translate my random spanglish moments, and I’ll likely make a face at whatever I’m drinking as I scrunch my nose remembering 1) how much better drinking tequila daily was and 2) hating the fact that I now need to detox for a few weeks after a few too many decadent meals, and to let the abundance of alcohol leave my system. Also, men, be prepared… Kate and I heard every possible pickup line in the book (in a variety of languages and accents) over the past few days – anything we hear now will be childsplay in comparison. Then again, men in Toronto don’t seem to appreciate the thickness or “sweet juicy glory” that the South Beach population seemed to worship when we strutted by on the beach, street, dance floor, etc.
Ok, so it was a girls’ trip, and an ego trip. Get over it – we’re both self-deprecating, modest ladies for the most part… we deserve some praise once in awhile, too! It’s not often we get to feel like peacocks in a flock of seagulls.
Photos to follow – right now, I’m busy humming Aventura to myself, and trying to figure out how I can get a coco frio downtown…
My mind was racing last night around 4am, as I lay awake in my old room at my Parents’ house - something that has become more frequent over the past few months. I decided to look through old family photos and tucked-away memories, in hopes that it would calm me down enough to get a few hours of sleep.
I came across a note that my grandmother had written me in 2003. Let me preface this post by explaining a few things:
At the time Peanut wrote me this note in 2003, my relationship with my Mum was not in a good place; I was 16, felt smothered by my parents (who always gave me an appropriate amount of freedom), and I thought I understood everything that went on in the world. I thought because I had a part-time job at the mall, I understood finances. I thought that because I had an on-again off-again fling with one of my best guy friends, that I understood love. I had decent grades, nice clothes, and great friends – I thought I had and deserved it all. I won’t lie in saying that around age 16, I had a definite case of the Only Child Syndrome, which brought with it a false sense of entitlement, and an inability to look past my own vapid wants and needs.
When my mum hurts, she will do one of two things. She will be eerily quiet, and hold absolutely everything in, and cry privately when she’s alone, reflecting on the wrongs of the world, or she will blow up, hate everyone and everything for a few days, make her peace with her problems, and we all work together to try to pick up the pieces and move on when she’s ready to.
During this particular time-period, my mum and I were having one of our explosive fights – we had blown up at each other, said gut-wrenchingly awful things, and after our few-day grace period, neither of us moved to fix it as we normally did. I had sulked off to stay with friends for a few days (the note was written in July, during Summer Vacation), and I had called my Peanut, whimpering on the phone that I had the worst mother in the world. I went to visit my grandparents and whine to them, and when I left, she handed me the card.
This is not a lecture, just something to think about. You only have one Mother, and she loves you dearly. She is the only one you can depend on completely. She will be there for you always and unconditionally. She would lay her life down for you. Love and cherish her while you have her, because after she is gone, you can never get her back. Look after her, Joscelyn. Everything she does, she has you in mind. It may seem as if she is rough on you right now, but in the years to come, you will have a different perspective. I love you.
There are some things about my Mum, that I won’t share in this post – things that would put my Grandmother’s note into striking perspective, but for the point of what I want to express right now, I think it’s unnecessary. I will say that we have almost lost her, three times, and that when you’re faced with losing your mother, nothing else in the world will matter during that time. When everything goes back to normal (as much as it can), you push the bad experiences out, and avoid dwelling on the excruciating memories.
I take these terrible memories for granted sometimes, and forget about how it feels to think you are going to lose the person closest to you. Being faced with the thought of losing someone I love again now, these memories are falling back into focus.
It was obvious we were in a bad place in July of 2003, it’s clear we came out of it, and what’s even more evident, is that even though Grandma hasn’t been with us for just over a year now, she’s still giving me advice when I need it.
Our family went into Crisis Mode Red at the beginning of September. I have spent more hours at my parents’ house, at the hospital and in my car than I have in my own condo, or workplace. Under the circumstances, I feel like I’ve kept myself fairly composed through everything – one major cry in the bathroom at work, a few nights in with my best friends that let me bawl my eyes out when they gave me too much (or just enough) wine, and one solid breakdown in a family room at the hospital. Other than that, I’ve kept it under wraps. My mum though? The woman is a rock, and the woman is a saint. Never have I seen someone rise to such a heartbreaking situation, and push aside any depressing distress to keep her family together.
We have made a lot of tough decisions over the past two months, which have been especially hard on her. We have come within an inch of losing the last person from her immediate family – the last person that she can really clutch to for memories of her life, and the man who was my dad, until Mark stepped in as my loving father. She lost her Mom during childhood, she lost her brother when I was a few years old, she lost her sister when I was in high school, Grandma (her father remarried when she was a teen) a year ago, and now her father is struggling every day to hold on to his life. Her eldest brother is somewhat estranged from our family. Through all of this, I have tried to be supportive of her, and admire everything that she has done to keep it together, but it’s not enough.
Mum, this is my thank you, and I’m sorry if I don’t say it enough or even at all, really. I appreciate and admire everything you do – I revel at your brilliance, your loyalty and your compassion, and I’m in awe of your stability while all else in the world seems to be fighting gravity. I’m hard on you, as you can be rough on me, but Peanut is right; I can look back now and see that everything you said and did for me through my formative years was for my own well-being. You are a Mum, you made the rules, you let me break a few, even helped me break a few, but you enforced the right ones. You bent where I needed you to bend, and you put up a fight when I needed you to put up a fight. I’m sorry that I can’t take back the “you’re ruining my life” and “I hate you” comments that I venomously spewed at you sometimes (both to your face and behind your back), and I wish I could help bring back some of the self-esteem and self-worth that I know I tore from you, while you were trying to build mine.
You have been and always will be one of the most loved and respected people in my life, and no matter how hard things get, I want you to know that I love you, and all of your best traits, and all of your flaws, the same way you love me and all of mine.
No letter to you will ever be able to fully express how much you mean to me, or our whole family, but it’s a start - It’s something you can look back on when you have a night like you had last weekend, when the world was an exceptional mess…
Recently, a blog (Killer Kurves) written for and by plus sized women posted a link to their Facebook Page to an article written by Emily Walker that ran in the Vancouver Observer, titled “I’m fat, Vancouver. Get over it”.
I read it and instantly felt a connection to what Emily (the writer) was going through. Her article touched on her life in Vancouver - a busy, metropolis city that offered beautiful sites and attractions, welcomed tourists, immigrants and gays, but tried to decimate any and all things plus-sized. She described how difficult it was to find plus-sized clothing in her city, the judgmental looks she received everywhere, and finally, how a spectacularly intelligent and compelling woman could become near-celibate, because of the small-minded men in today’s society that can’t take on plus-sized love.
I visited Vancouver last November for a few weeks, and felt very similar to her in regards to finding appropriate outfits - please don’t get me started on the raised eyebrows I received from Sales Associates, mentally sizing me up while looking over the ensemble picks I brought into the change room, while they smiled respectively to the friends I was shopping with – as if I have to make this note: they both fit into size small. I, like Emily, struggled to find outfits that match my taste, and finally gave up on bringing any cute items home from Vancouver, and settled for what I brought in my own suitcase. Thank goodness Toronto has a wider variety of shopping options for those of us with a wider behind.
I continued to dive into the article, and came across her frustration towards the males in her city. I share her same skepticism when it comes to attention from men; I feel that in any city I’m in, not just my hometown. Emily made reference to men who belittled her stature as a way to get her attention, and I have a similar story to share.
Once while at a frat party when I had just started college, a guy approached me with a charming smile and twinkle in his eye. He said he’d seen me around the campus a few times, during Orientation Week and wanted to take me out. “If you don’t trust that I’m a good guy, just ask my buddies” he said as he pointed towards a group of guys standing a few feet away at the party, who all gave a polite nod and smile, and then went back to slurping away on their red solo cups. I was floored that someone so handsome had approached me, and thought “WOW, College really IS a million times better than high school… I could get used to this”. I was in an on-again-off-again relationship with a less than stellar guy at the time, so I was appreciative of the slight ego boost. We swapped numbers, and I went back to my group of friends with a goofy smile on my face. About half an hour later, a girl came up to me that I had seen interacting with the guy and his friends. She casually said “meet me on the porch in 5 minutes”.
Time ticked on, and I went to the front of the house where she was sitting with another one of her friends - they were both gorgeous, size 2-to-4 girls, who were toned and tanned, which was evident by the flesh showing through their mini cutoff shorts and teeny tank tops. The girl who approached me had a look of concern on her face, and said she was happy I met them outside. Her friend wouldn’t make eye contact with me.
They had a warning for me… “Those guys are doing their rookie initiation for a rec team right now… one of the tasks was to talk to a big girl, and get her on a date in public where the team would humiliate her in some way…” she motioned to the friend sitting with her, and continued “this is actually his girlfriend. We saw him approach you and knew what was going on… we want to apologize - they’re jerks, we get it. We usually wouldn’t interfere with their rookie pranks, but you looked like such a sweet, genuine girl while you were with your friends, so we just wanted to try to get to you before they did.”
I thanked them, and smiled, trying to brush it off, but I was instantly crushed on the inside. The beautiful skinny girls pitied me.
I hated myself, I hated how I looked, and I hated them for preying on insecurities I had been battling since puberty. It wasn’t news to me that I was fat – I was in a constant war with my weight, trying everything and anything that could help. Dieting, purging, battling with an eating disorder I hid from friends and family, every weight-loss supplement I could get my hands on. Wrapping myself in garbage bags while working out to exhaustion and dehydration on top of counting calories with every weight-loss plan I could sign up for, I would do anything to look better, but it never stuck. I lost, I gained, I fluctuated, with my highest and lowest recorded weight being 100lbs apart. While I struggled to lose weight, I instead lost myself somewhere along the way to the idea that because I wasn’t small, I wasn’t worthy of love or respect. This belief was further drilled into my psyche by a guy I dated for a few years, who called me fatass continually – his nickname for me being “chubby bunny” (not quite the term of endearment I was hoping for) – and I stood idly by while him and his friends would make fun of other girls with bodies like mine while we were at bars, or the beach, or out at restaurants together. There were issues of his wandering eye, my fears of him straying, and possibly cheating, and his reason was always that I was too comfortable, let myself go, or that “her body is just better”. I came to my senses and ended it, but years have passed and I still haven’t quite recovered from the blow my confidence took after being with him.
The guy from the frat party called - twice - and messaged me a few times after that night, but for obvious reasons, I never returned his attention. I saw him with his beautiful itty-bitty girlfriend I’d met on the front porch at the campus pub-nights a few times, and always gave her a polite smile or nod. They belonged together – toned, tanned athletic bodies, with the perfect faces and wardrobes to match. Since then, no matter who the man is, any compliment or flirtatious actions received send me reeling into a suspicious battle inside my head. My friends get annoyed at my ignorance and lack of confidence and men mistake my suspicion and skepticism as me having an ego or being a standoffish bitch… that, or they comment that I’m just another one of “those girls” brushing off compliments in hopes that I will receive more.
If they read Emily’s article and understood what I went through as a plus-sized woman, I wonder if they’d blame me.
Either way, plus sized women should be proud of what they are. We aren’t all lazy couch-potatoes that gorge on junkfood non-stop. I, like Emily, have an active social life, and am constantly on the go. I sleep less than any of my friends, and I eat more “rabbit food” (salads) than anyone I know. I have accomplished a lot in my 25 years to date, both personally and professionally, and I plan on achieving a lot more. I am worthy of love and respect, but I won’t get it in the way that I need it from someone else until I learn to give it to myself, first. I acknowledge that, and am doing everything I can now to come to terms with this fact.
I remind myself every day that I have the ability to be a beautiful person, and I truly look forward to the day my feelings can be reflected on my own face, and have others agree.
I just keep in mind the pros of being large – I give shade in the summer and heat in the winter. It has been a hot summer and it was a long winter, so I guess I really would be good to have around…
(Source: libidildo, via harmagedon)