My beautiful niece is turning thirteen this month. I've racked my brain, but the girl is impossible to buy for. She's stylish, on trend, and already has the newest thing before it's even a thing yet. So, what's an aunt to do?
I've made a list, but all I can come up with is terribly inappropriate gifts, like . . .
Depends who you ask. A seven-year-old will say road trips are rad. An exhausted forty-four-year-old mother of two will rock in a corner, muttering something about how suitcases don't pack themselves and how the GPS lady is so condescending.
I look forward to April Fools' Day every year, but there's a lot of pressure to come up with the perfect prank. I gave up on trying to "get" my husband years ago. Most of my friends too. They claim they can see it coming from a mile away. Really Sharon? Remember this epic prank? Thank you for not calling the police by the way.
My house isn’t spotless, *steps over tumbleweed of dog hair* nor is it a showplace decorated to the nines. My house is a home; enthusiastically lived in and comfortable. It’s my favourite place to be. Though I enjoy a spirited night out now and then, I’m more of a homebody. And despite last weekend's gluttonous inhalation of a Costco sized bag of potato chips, I don’t mean to infer that my rear is the size of a house…though a few thousand miles on the treadmill couldn’t hurt. I mean to say, I prefer to entertain at home.
I may be allergic to hay, but I don't let that prevent me from mounting my high horse every chance I get. "Did you see that fight break out on Twitter last night? People need to get a life!" I'll say to a friend in a disgusted tone. Or, "Why would she leave such a nasty blog comment? Doesn't she have anything better to do?" I'll ask while rolling my eyes so dramatically that it leaves me feeling dizzy.
Stand up if you’re travelling to a tropical destination this March Break. Now sit down. Actually, if you could stand up again and leave, that would be better.
It’s not that I’m jealous. It’s that I’m jealous and resentful. I won’t be escaping to the sunny south this March Break. But instead of feeling bitter, I will try to make this situation better, by bringing the tropics to me.
If you’re my friend, I’ll stick with you for as long as you’ll have me. I’m like a lobster and lobsters mate for life. Not that I mate with my friends. Well, except for one friend, who also happens to be my husband and my best friend. And if you're mad at me and you won’t accept my phone calls, I’ll drive to your house and force you to talk to me until we’re like peas and carrots again. And when an old friend claims I’m not as much fun as I used to be because I’m not available whenever it suits her, then fine.
“Play a game with us! Please. PLEASE!!! PUH-leeeeeeeeeze!!!”
This was how my twelve-year-old best friend and I begged her mom to play with us. A card game called Cheat was our favourite; it taught me to read “tells” and how to effectively hide cards in my training bra.
If you search through my freezer, you'll find a bag of berries, a box of fish sticks, a 3/4 full tray of ice, something red in a Tupperware container (chili or maybe spaghetti sauce?), several ice packs, and a frozen heart.
Before you call the authorities, I'm not a serial killer.
....Pizza Maker. That's right, my shiny new red pizza maker. When Hamilton Beach came out with this impressive new gadget I knew I had to have it. Well, that's not exactly true. At first I thought, "A pizza maker, really? Isn't that what the oven is for?" And "Holy crock, where am I going to store yet another small appliance?"
Legit concerns, but as I soon discovered, completely unfounded.
January is gross. It's minus a million degrees, every outdoor surface is covered in a menacing layer of ice and I turned another year older this month. The only thing more depressing than January is dumb-ass February.
This is the the time of year when I reach out to friends for comfort and a laugh.
Once a month, countless women across Canada meet to talk books and ingest mass quantities of chips and dip. This literary league of moms, otherwise known as Book Club, abandons their families in the midst of chaotic bath and bedtime routines (I honestly think my tires squeal a little as I drive off) to dissect the days' best sellers. Amid appetizers and themed cocktails, great discussions unfold, trouser buttons are undone and good times are had.
If you like to have friends over for dinner, but would rather spend time with them mingling than slaving all alone in the kitchen, this is the party for you. Plus, it's delicious and a great way to get your guests involved. Friends who cook together, stay together. Isn't that the saying? Whatever. It sounds good to me.
The beauty of this simple party theme is that all the prep is done ahead of time.
We Canadians are a polite lot aren't we? Constantly offering "I'm sorries" and "Pardon mes" and "Excuse mes" at every turn. It's exhausting. I often say I'm sorry even when I've done nothing wrong or I'll say "Pardon me" and jump to move out of stranger's way when THEY bump into me.
Start thinking of hosting a kid's party at home, and images of Lord of the Flies and chips forever ground into your carpet immediately pop into parents' heads. But there's nothing to be afraid of, I swear. Okay maybe there will be some potato chip shrapnel and fruit punch splatter, but for the most part kids' parties are harmless and way easier than you might think.
My daughter is seven years old. She's amazing in so many ways. Born with a genetic anomaly (Chromosome Deletion Disorder) she's developmentally delayed. By all accounts she should have Autism and be socially distant. This is what doctors have told us. Of all the documented cases of others who also have her section of Chromosome 3 missing, virtually every one is affected that way.
What does any of this have to do with parties? It relates, I swear.
Ever considered second-hand holiday shopping? I’m not kidding. If you've been thinking about clearing out your crawlspace, now is the time. Bicycles, gaming systems in good working order, and baby gear items in good condition are in high demand this time of year.
If you can sell a few items at a fair price, you can put that money toward other important holiday expenses — like rum and eggnog.