What NOT To Bring To A Party

Spinning A Sad Salad Tale

What NOT To Bring To A Party


I'm the Party Mummy. The Mum who likes to party. I know how to plan and host kick ass soirees. I can ream off any number of yummy appetizers, wine pairings and tasty cocktails off the top of my head.

And can I just say, that's a lot of pressure. Despite what you've heard (likely from me directly) I'm not perfect. And when the "Party Mummy" screws up, do you know what her supportive friends do? Sling an soothing arm over her shoulder and gently tell her it's ok? 

How about laugh their heads off? And the mocking, my god, the mocking...

I can't even fire up an attitude about it, since I'm the worst offender. I'm the arse who laughs first when somebody trips and THEN asks if they're ok. Ah, Karma. She's a bitch.  Not you Karma, I mean the karma that slaps you upside the head when you start getting a little too smug. THAT karma. She scares me. 

Last week I attended a lovely GNO dinner and little did I know that karma would be there (the nasty karma, not the nice one). Ali, the lovely hostess was providing a scrumptious lasagna, and I offered to bring my famous, super tasty, caesar salad. She said it wasn't necessary, but being the fricken "Party Mummy", I sang my salad's praises and insisted. I believe I may have used the words, "it's to die for..."

I made the salad as I was going out the door and decided to toss in the dressing before heading to the car. I didn't factor in the sub-zero tempertures and the heat vent on the car floor near my unsuspecting salad. Creamy moist dressing and a blasting heat source are no friend to romaine lettuce.

By the time I arrived and revealed my caesar sensation, my salad was a sad shadow of its former crisp self.

Ali checked out at my salad, looked at my proud face, looked back at the salad and then back at me and asked, tactfully, "What the frig is that?" 

I peered into the bowl. To say my salad had experienced significant shrinkage is an understatement. It was now a shrunken pitiful serving for two, at most. Did I mention this was a dinner party for eight?

I picked up the bowl, gave it a shake and attempted to fluff the romaine with a fork. To no avail. My caesar salad was a flop.

The next time I spout off about my AMAZING salad, I must remember the famous quote: Lettuce not forget, those who brag, dine on salad in a bag

I wish I'd taken a photo. My description just doesn't do its sorry state justice.

I'm going to Ali's on Saturday night and I offered to bring....one lettuce leaf soaked in dressing. This might be the last time I'm invited back.

Curiously, I'm in the market for a new caesar salad recipe. (not joking). Do you have recipe for a homemade dressing that is fairly easy to make, tastes great and doesn't involve raw eggs?

Photo Cred: photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/54359128@N00/4811137329">Organic salad with avocado</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">(license)</a>


Romantic Getaway

Deerhurst Resort Party Of Two

Romantic Getaway


I slept with Barack Obama. 

Ok technically, not with...but near where he slept during the G8 Summit in Muskoka last summer. President Obama and a cast of super powers walked the same grounds, dined at the same restaurants and possibly slept on the same sheets as my husband and I only a months later.

This is a rather lame brush with greatness, but it’s ok. The only person I really want to brush up against is my husband anyway. We recently celebrated our ten year wedding anniversary at Deerhurst Resort. It was the natural choice. It’s where we honeymooned and have spent many romantic weekends since. I guess you could say it's "our place." And Obama's.

It’s only two hours north of Toronto, but when we’re there, we feel worlds away. It’s the perfect winter escape. Along with the charm, the picturesque setting and the wide array of activities, what continues to bring us back is the friendly, relaxed atmosphere. From the retired Toronto principal who shuttled us to and fro between our chalet and the main building, to the folks at the front desk, everyone exudes warmth, despite the frosty temperatures.

I would’ve happily spent the entire weekend in our room curled up by the fire with a newspaper, some wine and my man, gazing out at the view. It was so quiet I could actually hear my own heartbeat. When you have kids, you’re lucky if you can hear the phone ringing, let alone your beating heart.

So we spent the first night enjoying the serenity, sequestered in the Jacuzzi tub in our room, with a view of the lake and...the television! Seriously, nothing beats a bubble bath while watching HGTV with room service. Nothing. Well, except maybe the full eight hours of uninterrupted sleep that followed.

While the “Do Not Disturb” sign may have been hung on the door that night, there are plenty of other recreational activities to enjoy at this fully operational winter resort. Tennis, squash, fitness room (will check that out next time *cough cough...sure I will*) and pool, horseback trail rides, and even a romantic sleigh ride. Weather permitting, there are miles of hiking trails to explore and for those wanting to work out a little marital tension, there’s paintball nearby.

My husband seemed particularly interested in the Winter Hummer Tours....

This visit we tried something we’d never done together—my husband and I stripped down, oiled up and were joined by two woman...masseuses for a couple’s massage. Sorry. I sort of set that up with the hummer joke, so I went with it. But seriously, have you ever had a couple’s massage? It’s divine. We did have one rule though we could really get the full relaxation experience. NO TALKING. Either of us (we both talk a lot so this was a feat).

After our massage, we were limber and ready for a night out. We started with the most decadently delicious candle lit dinner.  

At the Eclipse restaurant, try the scallops and the gourmet poutine. Oh. My. God. Heaven. The wine list is extensive and fabulous too. We polished off some dessert (We were the annoying couple feeding each other. I know. It’s so wrong) and headed over to watch Decades – a broadway-esque musical review. We toasted each other with a beer and sang along and we partied like we WEREN’T two married-with-children-mini-drivin’-old-fogies. We like to role play like that. And, cue “Do Not Disturb Sign” back on the door.

Any time of year is a good time to escape for a romantic Party of Two getaway, but Deerhurst has several hot deals for Valentines. You can check them out here.  

See you in Muskoka!


A Get To Know You Meme

Youme Is The New Meme

A Get To Know You Meme

Youme Meme

My party-mobile has been out of gas lately, so to speak. Ah...kids. They do drain your tank now and then don’t they? In lieu of a real life social outing, how about getting to know each other better here with some virtual small talk?  A little meme action might get this party started. I love memes. I enjoy filling in the blanks, but even more, I love memes. I enjoy filling in the blanks, but even more, I love reading what other people have to share.

I’d like to take the “me” out of meme and focus more on “you” (that IS what a good host does right? Listens to and gets to know her guests?).

Here’s A Youme between YOU and ME.  

1. Give a snapshot of your life. Married? Kids? Pets? Career?Happily married ten years to a teacher. Two kids. Boy 7, Girl 4. A mutt named Roger. Teacher by trade, currently Stay-at-home house manager.

2. If you could be any nationality other than your own, what would it be? Greek.Love the warmth, the enthusiasm, the strong sense of family, the music, the food.  It's all Greek to me.

3. Where’s your best thinking place? My best ideas come to me in the shower, while blow drying my hair or driving.

4. Name one thing you know you should give up, but can’t.Staying up late. It leaves me exhausted and unproductive, but I love my "quiet time" while the rest of my family is asleep.

5. Describe one thing that makes you so angry you could spit nails? Rudeness. Any time, any place. Online, in person and on the open road. Can't we all just get along?

6. What’s one meal you tend to make over and over again? (Because it’s tasty or just plain fast and easy). If you’re so inclined, paste in or link to the recipe. Costa Rican rice bowl. I'll post the recipe later. It's my family's fave. Even the kids like it.  Plus it's cheap, easy and fast.

7. When is the last time you fell down? At the Blissdom Halloween party.  I was pulling out some pretty complicated dance moves and fell on stage, losing my wig and twisting my ankle in the process. It was worth it though.*Addendum...only an hour after posting this I fell.   A spectacular fall in my children's school parking lot. Right in front of the mini-van parade. I'm bruised (body and ego).

8. What’s something your partner does that drives you crazy? Loud chewing or any kind of slurping. I simply can't stand it and have to leave the room.

9. What scares you more a) public speaking b) bungee jumping c) horror flicks? Oh god, just the thought of bungee jumping makes me want to hurl. As an aside, I'm also deathly afraid of sharks.

10. Name one new thing you’d like to try before you die. Clearly NOT bungee jumping. Or anything really high up. Swimming with dolphins I think (as long as there are no sharks near by).

11. Tell about a time when you had your heart broken. I've had relationships with boyfriends end and cried into my pillow but I think even more painful and long lasting is being betrayed by a valued friend.That kind of sting stays with you.

12. It’s not considered bragging when somebody asks you to tell about something cool you’ve done. So spill.  (You can even link to a something you’ve written or a video of yourself in action). I'm going to skip this one. This is about YOU. Not me. :)

13. What’s the best thing you’ve ever made? (and don’t say your family since we can all agree that making little humans can’t be beat). This is where you can link to a picture or description of something you made. i.e. art, handywork, a recipe or even an idea that you made happen. Again...you, not me.

14. Fill in the blanks:
a) Over the years I’ve become more confident and less organized.
b) I wish I was more driven and less worried about what other people think of me.

How do you turn this meme into a youme?
Cut and paste these questions into your own blog (Don’t have a blog? That’s ok, you can play on Facebook too!). Delete my answers and add yours. Invite your friends and readers to join in. Be sure to leave the link to your answers in the comment section below so we know where to go to read all about YOU.