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Makeup Trials and Cosmic Birthday Bowling

Saturday was very exciting because I had my wedding makeup trial (for the Toronto wedding, Cuba we’re doing our own) and it was also my birthday party. We were going bowling so I was looking forward to seeing how my makeup would hold up in a sweaty bowling circumstance. I am SURE I’m going to be sweating in my wedding dress, especially with everyone staring at me, and I don’t want a face melt situation.

As attractive as that would be.

I feel like getting your makeup done by a professional is SUCH a TREAT and I’ve always loved how makeup artists bring out my features. I basically want to look like me only enhanced. I don’t want Evan to see me on our wedding day and be like “who is this stranger walking down the aisle towards me?” but, ideally I’d like to look better than usual.

My makeup artist Natalie (<- check her out, she is amazing and I’m not sure how I landed her) came over around noon and got to work on the ol’ face situation. I showed her an inspiration photo but it was just one I grabbed quickly and wasn’t in love with, and in hindsight it was maybe too glam for me. She did tone it down a bit though, and I was so happy with the final product. Here’s a before, no-makeup-just-moisturizer picture for reference.

And here’s an after.

Yowza, pretty big difference. Though the lashes were a bit out of control. Natalie even mentioned how ridiculous they were and promised to bring smaller ones the day of.

I liked the look of them with my eyes closed but when my eyes were open it was way too much. Otherwise I thought I looked pretty fab, but also sort of like I got shot in the face with a makeup gun…

…but I think that’s because I wear very minimal makeup usually. My day-to-day “look” consists of face powder (I use Physician’s Formula mineral powder), some blush, mascara and chapstick or lip gloss. If it’s a special occasion and I’m going out I’ll usually add eye shadow (always various shades of brown), some bronzer, maybe liquid liner and maaaaybe lipstick if I’m feeling saucy. So seeing myself with a full face of makeup felt weird and unnatural. I never do my brows either so that was a shock. But once I ripped those lashes off, I was really feeling it!

I probably should pluck my brows a bit under their natural line. Anyway, that look really grew on me once I stared at myself for a while and took selfies (Natalie instructed me to!). I think she did such a great job. I’ll take your feedback for sure! That’s what the trial is for. My feedback is, I loved my skin (she said on the day of she’d add a bit more bronzer), she absolutely slayed my eyes, although maybe I’d swap that black for a darker brown, I’m not sure on that one yet, and maybe one shade lighter on the brows? I’m not a pro with brows though so I don’t really know. I liked the lips and I think I’d go for that colour, although I’m going to search for a double-ended lipstick gloss that will last all day.

Everything aside from the lips lasted allll day and allll night and I got my friends to update me throughout the evening on what my makeup was doing. It was very helpful. I tend to get shiny (although now that I have a great skincare routine my shine has definitely lessened) but I never became an oil slick, even with bowling and tearing up the dance floor later, so that is a win!

Evan and I hung around the rest of the day (I even napped with that makeup) until it was time to head out to the pub where we were starting our night. There were about 18 of our friends in attendance and it was SO FUN to hang out there with everyone for a couple hours. Scarlett was even in attendance, enjoying her ice cream.

As one does.

Evan I guess decided that one cake wasn’t going to be enough for everyone so I ended up with two cakes!!!

Both magnificent. White chocolate in front and banana nut in the back. OMG they were both so good. Side story, for my first birthday that Evan and I were together we were going to a party at Dawn’s and Evan didn’t bring a cake, he just didn’t think of it. Which, fair enough. He told me later that Dawn said to him “Just for your information…it is always the boyfriend’s job to bring the cake.” So, after receiving that feedback he has never forgotten the cake. And he has always brought the most amazing cakes. This year was a highlight for sure.

We stayed at the pub for about two hours for dinner and drinks and then about 16 of us headed to the bowling alley for cosmic bowl! Or as we called it back in high school (and this is the same place we went to, YES the place where I asked the guy working the front counter who looked like James Vanderbeek for that donkey and his phone number) ROCK’N BOWL.

It was just as fun as I remembered, although we didn’t play with beer back in high school and I thought that would make me better but it strangely did not. It did make me care less about my score, though.

I wore my most fluorescent shirt for the occasion (because black lights) and Evan wore his most professional bowling shirt.

/poker shirt that I scored for him in Vegas for like 90% off (probably because it was so ugly that no one would wear it…but Evan likes!).

I’m just going to pause here and head off what I think is coming (because I posted this photo on social media and have a general sense of the comments). Yes, I have lost a bit of weight. Maybe about 5-10 pounds since September (I fluctuate up and down about 5 pounds daily so I don’t weigh myself that often because of this). I would attribute this mostly to OrangeTheory rearranging things (I’ve been going about four times a week lately and am definitely seeing results!). BUT please know that that is also just a good photo. I’m doing the skinny arm pose hard, the picture was taken from above which prevents double chinnage, half of my body is behind Evan’s sweet Vegas shirt, and I had my makeup professionally done. So, there’s an element of illusion here. Just wanted to mention that.

Anyway, it was a fun bowling time with all our friennnnnds.

See, the double chin has reappeared.

Even Scarlett played! We had two 10 pin lanes and one 5 pin so she could actually pick up the ball.

We had our lanes for an hour and a half and then the lights came on signalling that our time was up. My original plan was for Evan and I just to head back to Sherrie’s for a sleepover but we were all feeling the night, so Mark took Scarlett home and the rest of us headed to the Tartan (our favourite Oshawa pub) to keep the party going. We shut that place down and now being 34, I am pretty proud of that. I hope we can keep it up for another 10 years. Then we headed back to Sherrie’s and Will made his famous poutine, which I didn’t even get to eat because I needed to go to bed. Sad day.

It was a really fun night and it made me even more excited for the Cuba wedding because most of those people are coming. Shenanigans all around.

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Happy or Hungry Eats the World: Scotland

I am on a mission to eat an authentic dish from every country in the world, right here in Toronto. You can find all past recaps here.

OH Ye’ll take the high road and I’ll take the low road,
And I’ll be in Scotland afooooooore ye!
But me and my true love will never meet again,
On the bonny, bonny banks o’ Loch Looooooomond

For some reason I’ve had that song in my head for like a month. I’ve been singing it to Evan and Tilly in my best Scottish accent (which is awful). They like it.

Anyway, last week the bloggers and lagers ate Scotland! Aye, we ate it good. I looked up the best place to eat Scottish food in Toronto and the overwhelming Google search result was the Caledonian, a pub on College Street, so that’s where we headed.

(source)

It’s all cute and Scottish in there.

Not only are they known for their authentic Scottish food, but also their whisky — they have over 200 different kinds! Their whisky menu was like a novel, it was crazy.

Now, obviously we could not drink all the whisky or we’d be right blootered, but we wanted to do a flight and the Whisky tour of Scotland seemed like a good place to start. It came with six different kinds, each a half ounce: Auchentoshan (12 year Lowland), Glenmorangie (1o year Highland), Glenfiddich (15 year Speyside), Highland Park (12 year Island), Longrow (10 year Campbeltown) and Ardbeg (10 year Islay). Perhaps those mean something to those of you who are whisky savvy, but they didn’t mean much to us.

I like a good whisky with coke or in a cocktail, but I’ve never ordered just whisky on its own. I’m not sure if its something I would make a habit of doing but I enjoyed our tasting. I could taste differences between the whiskies but I dinnae if I could elaborate on the flavour notes or anything. Some of them were definitely more strong than others, and one of them, I think the glenfiddich, was really smoky. This is a very helpful review, I know. I should have taken notes.

I also ordered a Tennents lager, I was excited it was on tap!

Onto the food. If you read my English food post you know I was a little iffy on haggis, Scotland’s national dish.

Traditionally it’s a savoury pudding with lamb heart, liver and lungs, minced with animal fat (suet), onion, oatmeal, stock, spices, etc. and boiled in the lamb’s stomach (though now apparently they use artificial casing), usually served with mashed turnips and potatoes (or neeps and tatties) and whisky. I cannae say it sounds the most appetizing (minus the neeps and tatties).

But, when in Scotland. We’d be a bunch of dunderheads if we didn’t try it.

We started with the Taste of Scotland appetizer with a Scotch egg, sausage rolls and haggis fritters.

It was pure dead barry (fantastic). I loved it all, especially that Scotch egg! If you want to try haggis but are a little weird about it, I feel like a haggis fritter is a good way to get your feet wet. I don’t think I’ve ever met a fritter I didn’t like. The haggis fritter was no exception.

Since I had warmed up to the haggis, for my main dish I just went for it. I ordered the Haggis, Neeps and Tatties, Scotland’s national dish of lamb, oats and spices served on a bed of turnip (neeps) and potato (tatties) mash.

Michelle ordered the same and Casey got the vegetarian haggis. I have to say that I really enjoyed that the haggis did not appear to have a casing. I was not creeped out by it at all and actually thoroughly enjoyed my dish. I ate every bite. It just tasted like a mellow lamb dish, but there’s also a warm and earthy dimension in there. Almost like a meatloaf I guess. My only wish was that there was a wee bit more gravy, but that’s a common wish for me.

I noticed that deep fried Mars bars was on the menu for dessert and I was sad because I wanted to order it, but I also wanted to eat an authentic Scottish dessert. GUESS WHAT. A quick Google search confirmed that deep fried Mars bars are in fact a Scottish dessert! (of course they are!) They originated as a novelty item at Scottish chip shops. So, I had an excuse to order it.

Anything in the name of research! Shovelled that right into the ol’ gob. I love a deep fried Mars bar and it’s been so long since my last one! Almost had to unbutton my breeks after that but it was so worth it.

And that’s Scotland!

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Wedding Planning Update

A few people have asked for an update on wedding planning and since it’s been about six months since my last wedding planning post, I think I’m due! I can’t believe the big days in in LESS THAN TWO MONTHS!

It seems crazy to me. We’re gonna be married!

I do have some wedding things to talk about, however we’re not having the typical wedding wedding so the planning process has been sort of…I almost don’t want to say it because I don’t want to jinx it…but it’s been fairly simple. I think what is really helpful is we don’t have a lot of vendors or details. Which is exactly how I like it. I have planned several large galas and I know all about the pesky little details that go into a big event like that and I just don’t want to deal with it at our wedding. I don’t care about what’s trendy right now, I want to do what makes sense for us. I do not want a Pinterest explosion. I want to have a fun day with our family and friends and I don’t really care about the little details that no one is going to notice or remember.

I mean, it’s important to remember that is the main point of all of this.

I think it’s also due to the types of weddings we’re having, though. Neither requires a ton of details. We’re essentially having two small, casual weddings with less than 35 guests each — one close family and family friends ceremony and brunch reception here in Toronto (we’re not even having the bridal party at that one), and then a symbolic ceremony and dinner reception with mostly close friends and a few family members in Cuba.

I guess I’ll break this update up into areas so it’s better organized. Sorry if this is long and boring.

Venue

Cuba is easy. We chose the same resort we got engaged at last April, the Starfish Cuatro Palmas, a boutique resort in Varadero, Cuba.

A bunch of us are going for a week and I’m so excited. We love it there. However, it’s not a typical Varadero wedding resort… There are many bigger and fancier resorts on the peninsula that seem to be the wedding hotspots. I actually don’t even think our resort has ever hosted a wedding. To me this means our wedding can go in one of two ways: the staff may not know how to handle an event of that nature or just not care and it could be a total disaster, or the staff might be excited they’re hosting a wedding and treat it like a super special event and go above and beyond to make everything fantastic. I’m hoping for the latter. But if it’s the former, oh well! We’ll still have a week in paradise with some of our favourite people. The best thing is, we don’t have to do much for it but show up. We can’t be lugging a bunch of crap to Cuba so the resort basically takes care of everything. That is wonderful.

We knew we wanted to be officially married before we go off to Cuba (I’m not sure if I trust them with all the paperwork), and a lot of our family members can’t make it to Cuba, so the plan was to have a small family-only wedding here first. Initially we were planning on just going to City Hall and then taking our family out for lunch, which sounded easy-peasy but the logistics ended up being annoying. City Hall can only hold so many people, and then we’d have to worry about how everyone was getting from City Hall to the reception location.

So, we started searching intimate wedding venues in the city and one that kept popping up was Globe Bistro, a restaurant on the Danforth that used to be a theatre. Evan and I went there for brunch to check it out and the food was DELICIOUS (very important) and they have space to accommodate both the ceremony and reception so our guests don’t have to move anywhere. Perfect! We knew right away, that’s our venue! We didn’t even look at any others.

We’re also having a brunch wedding because we love brunch and I just think it’s a really cute, low-key idea. And since it’s a restaurant they take care of a lot of details that we would otherwise need to look at (catering, decor), which is fine with me.

Dress

I actually have two. I tend to be a messy eater in general, usually even more messy when I’m trying really hard not to be messy, so I could see myself spilling something on my dress at our Toronto wedding and then we leave for Cuba two days later. Disaster.

I found a simple Morilee Madeline Gardner dress that is going to look so good on the beach! I feel like a Greek Goddess in it. So that’s the Cuba wedding dress (no I didn’t link to the exact one). I love it so much. I mentioned in my last wedding planning post that it was the second dress I tried on and though I tried on several others afterwards, that one was always the favourite. It happened to be a lot less expensive than I had budgeted for, so then I purchased a second long bridesmaid dress in cream that I will wear to the Toronto wedding. I love that dress too and I scored both for about half of my original dress budget so I feel pretty good about that. I know I really lucked out.

Can’t show ya yet though!

I have my first dress fitting this week, so that’s exciting. The last time I tried them on they both fit me nearly perfectly (not sure how that happened but they were both exactly my size) so I think I only need slight alterations — mainly bringing the length up a bit on both. In Cuba I’m wearing barefoot sandals for the beach ceremony and then probably just simple sandals at the reception. And these are my Toronto wedding shoes:

Evan’s Suit and Groomsmen Attire

Evan ordered his suit for the Toronto wedding from The Bay when they were having a 60% off Calvin Klein suit sale, so that was lucky. Cuba is super casual so he’s just wearing khakis from the Gap, a white button-up, brown belt, brown sandals, possibly a vest/jacket but we haven’t decided on that yet. The groomsmen are wearing basically the same thing in Cuba, minus the vest/jacket. Evan’s brother (the best man) is wearing a suit he already owns to the Toronto wedding.

Bridesmaid Dresses 

The girls got their dresses for the Cuba wedding from RW&Co. They were inexpensive and the style and colour I was looking for and they look great on everyone so, hurrah.

Rings

We just got our wedding bands and I’m so in love with them! We ordered both mine and Evan’s online from James Allen while they were having a Valentine’s Day sale recently.

This is Evan’s:

He loooves the wood detail.

And mine:

(neither are engraved as they appear to be in the pictures, though we may end up getting them engraved…we shall see)

I wanted a simple sparkly band that wouldn’t take away from my lovely engagement ring, and I didn’t want infinity diamonds all the way around (because they get dirty at the back and I don’t think you can ever get them resized), so this was perfect. Here’s how my combo looks together:

I can’t believe how well that band matches my engagement ring (engagement ring is from Diamonds For Less in Toronto, not James Allen). Ah, I can’t wait to wear it for real. We were both so impressed with James Allen!

Photography/Videography

In Varadero we’re going with AV Smile, a Cuban wedding photographer and videographer. A guy I dated back in my early 20s also got married in Varadero last year, he used AV Smile and then posted his fantastic wedding photos on Facebook, so that’s how I found them. We’re also having them do a video (we figure it will probably be the only time we’re in paradise with our family and best friends so we should do it, and I know I’m going to cherish it), as well as bridal shots with just Evan and I in the streets of nearby Matanzas (a Cuban city). Our Cuban wedding photography package is the one thing we’re really splurging on, but I think it’s worth it. Having great photos is really important to me. Also if this happens I think it’s important someone captures it:

Maybe I’ll embarrass myself at my own wedding and get to be on Ellen again!

We couldn’t do a big photography package twice though, so finding a Toronto photographer on a tiny budget was a bit trickier. A friend of mine referred us to a photographer who is building her portfolio and will do our entire day in Toronto for an unheard of SUPER good price. I’ve seen some shots she’s done and think she’s great so I feel very lucky we found her! I met her for lunch at our venue on Friday and I just loved her. I’m so happy she’s our photographer! What’s kind of crazy is she has the same first and last name as our travel agent for our Cuba wedding. I keep mixing their emails up.

Flowers

A friend of mine from high school, Ashley, has her own faux flower arranging business called From The Stem Up and she is doing our flowers. They’re not silk flowers though, they’re almost like a latex material, and they look so real! This is not my bouquet or our colours, but just so you get an idea.

She does beautiful work!

Our resort in Varadero would have provided me with a bouquet for the wedding, but just me, not the bridal party. Ashley is making bouquets for me, my MOH and the bridesmaids, corsages for our moms/stepmoms, and bouttonieres for our dads, best man, emcee and groomsmen. Then we’ll just pack all the flowers in our suitcases to bring to Cuba. The best part is I can use my bouquet for both the Toronto wedding and the Cuba wedding! It does have a slightly tropical theme but that’s alright. You can have a semi-sort-of tropical wedding in the city in the spring, right? See, these are the details I just don’t really care about.

Wedding Cake

A wedding cake is included in our wedding package from the resort in Cuba, so that’s taken care of. I don’t know how great it will be, honestly, because I’ve had cake in Cuba and was not overly impressed. But, no biggie. For the Toronto wedding my friend and former coworker (the one who is a really great baker) is doing our cake. I’m really excited for that one! Evan has one request and that is NO. FONDANT. But all the buttercream. We’re thinking something like this (but with different flowers/colours):

Officiant

Another thing I feel like we really lucked out on is our officiant. She is a blog reader (and a Baptist minister) and she reached out to me a few months ago offering us her officiating services. Evan and I met her for lunch and really, really liked her so we could not be more happy with how that turned out. I love blogging for bringing so many wonderful people into my life! Right now we’re working on the ceremony with her. I think we’ll end up taking bits and pieces from a bunch of different ideas we’ve found online and then add our own personal touches, and we still don’t know if we’re going to write our own vows. If you have any ceremony ideas I’d love to hear them!

Hair and Makeup

We’re doing our own hair and makeup in Cuba. The bridal party and I are having a sleepover this month to have a practice session on each other, so that will be fun. For Toronto I have a professional doing my hair and makeup, as well as my mom’s and Evan’s mom’s. I actually met her through a blogging event last year and she did a fantastic job on my hair. She more does hair/makeup for magazine-type things (she is fancy and has an agent!) but I reached out to her just to ask and she said she’d do it and she brought her price wayyy down to our budget, so, YAY! I’m gonna look so goooood, hopefully people recognize me.

I think that’s it for vendors. I’m making a playlist for both weddings (Toronto we’re not having dancing since it’s mainly family) so we don’t need a DJ. And anything else is going to be DIY (possibly centrepieces for the Toronto wedding). We have our ceremony music and our first dance (in Cuba) song picked out, but I don’t want to give too many details out on that yet…

So I guess that’s pretty much it. My bridal shower and my bachelorette party have already happened…

So the next big event will be THE big event!

I think the biggest challenge will be making our guests at each wedding feel special. I don’t want people attending the Cuba wedding to feel like we don’t care about it, like it’s not a big deal because we’re already married. And I don’t want our guests at the Toronto wedding to feel like it’s not the real wedding. We are so excited for both weddings and I’m so glad we’re doing it this way and not trying to have one giant wedding here (it would be VERY difficult for us to have a small wedding here if we opened it up to more than family). So, I hope everyone has a great time and we don’t have any major disasters.

But in the end we’ll be married and that’s the most important thing.

Ok byeeee.

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Celebrating Birthdays and the Chinese New Year

On Friday evening I attended a Chinese New Year event for a freelance assignment I was working on. I mentioned last week that I was just a little nervous going into it because I was on my own and I wouldn’t know anyone, and I suspected I might stand out, which, I totally did. But everyone was super nice and welcoming and it was QUITE a time ringing in the Year of the Rooster.

I think it was my first time seeing a Chinese lion dance in person, so that was pretty intense. I really enjoyed it. I initially was calling it a dragon dance but I looked it up and there is a difference — dragon dances typically have many people acting as the dragon, while the lions only have two (per lion). I was not aware of that. The lions danced to the beat of a drum and were fed lettuce, which somehow symbolizes getting rich. These days the dances are just for show or competition but I guess it was originally believed that the lion would chase away the evil spirit Nian–who feared lions.

There were many giveaways throughout the evening, one was straight up hundred dolla bills, y’all (keeping up with the get rich theme), which THREE PEOPLE at every single table won, but one of those people was not me. Of course. But that’s okay, ’cause you know what I won? A jar of Auntie Hung’s gingered walnuts.

Which were freakin’ delicious. I don’t need no $100 ’cause I have these fantastic walnuts, which are priceless. Evan says I didn’t win $100 because I wasn’t channeling my Chinese “bring the money to me” vibe, which could be true. But I think I didn’t win because I just don’t win things.

There was also a live band that sang throughout the evening.

They were really good, though it was mostly in Chinese. But there were a few English songs thrown in! Just for me.

The people at my table were fabulous, and one woman and her husband totally took me under their wing and made sure that I always got food first and my drink was always full for toasting (there was a lot of toasting). And they explained what was happening onstage because it was also mostly in Chinese, so that was helpful. The servers brought me a knife and fork for eating but GUYS. I know my way around chopsticks! When I started using them my table friends started cheering and giving me the thumbs up. I felt proud.

So the food. I think there were eight courses plus dessert, I sort of lost track but it felt never ending. We started with the crispy pork skin and noodles (edit: those noodles are jellyfish! A got a couple of corrections. I remember a lady at my table saying “sea noodles” so jellyfish makes sense. It was hard to follow sometimes.)

It was pretty good. I ate nearly every last bite of everything in front of me because everyone at my table was watching me and would ask “do you like?!” after my first bite. I would nod enthusiastically. I did like! I liked this the most:

That was my favourite dish for sure.

I thought this was hot and sour soup so I got really excited because I LOVE hot and sour soup, but it was neither hot nor sour, sadly.

It wasn’t bad though, I ate it.

Chicken…

And the fish.

I can’t lie I felt a bit weird about the fish arriving at our table with its head and tail still intact but I was pleasantly surprised about it. It didn’t taste fishy at all and I really liked the taste of the sauce it was in, so, I enjoyed.

Dessert was a sort cold red bean soup with jello in it, which definitely was not something I’m used to, but I actually kind of liked it and I ate it all.

The highlight of the evening was definitely the limbo contest. I did not partake (I’m a large white lady, I could not compete) but watching it gave me great pleasure. It was hilarious.

It was quite a night and I learned a lot and I made some new friends, so that’s a success!

I had a sore throat on Thursday and Friday and as soon as I got home Friday evening it was BOOM. Full on cold. So I cancelled my Orangetheory class on Saturday morning and spent the day mostly leisuring and trying to get better until it was time for Evan and I to head out to our friend Sherrie’s birthday party.

I got that inflatable picture frame at some random store in the Distillery District, such a find.

Sherrie had her birthday at the same bar as last year, The Edge Lounge in Ajax, since we loved it so much. Last year was a highlight for me because my bestie Lisa was in town so I didn’t think this year could top it, but I dunno, it was pretty close.

I was feeling pretty crappy when I first arrived and I was wondering how I was going to get through the night… But then I sort of picked up on everyone else’s energy and the adrenaline kept me going. Evan and I ended up almost closing the place down and I had such a great time!

We had some glasses switching going on…

And a LOT of dancing. I had a bunch of videos on my Snapchat but didn’t take a lot of photos — I keep doing this lately, snapchatting and forgetting to save. Oh well, it was a time.

That was at the very end of the night when we were about to leave so we missed a bunch of people, so last year’s picture for context.

Good times. And now I am off to California! I won’t be blogging while I’m away but I would recommend checking out Cely’s blog next week ’cause I suspect she’ll have some stories up. California is really trying to thwart my visit with their dams breaking and their snowstorms and the sides of their mountains sliding off but I will not be deterred! And you know I’ll be spamming snapchat and instagram with our adventures. Have a great weekend!!!

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I Can’t Keep Quiet

I can’t believe what is happening in the USA right now. Every day seems to be more unbelievable than the last and I’m running out of WTFs.

How I feel.

I feel like we are all living in some kind of alternate universe, or a dystopian young-adult novel. It’s terrifying, but like a train wreck I can’t keep my eyes away. I can’t stop reading about it! This is the most informed on politics I’ve ever been, and they’re not even my politics! Being Canadian I have the luxury of distance. But that isn’t to say we’re not affected. What happens in America impacts the entire world so while I live in Canada (and I’ve never been so thankful for this), this will touch me and everyone I know. It already is. I think we’re all just watching in horror, powerless to stop it. Trying to make jokes when we can but that’s getting difficult.

I know it’s only been two weeks and we are already burnt out on politics and sick of all the posts coming up in our social media feeds. I want to look at puppies and kittens too and I’m sorry to be another person going on about it. But I’m more disturbed by people who aren’t saying anything and are just carrying on as usual. We can’t bury our heads in the sand, we need to be informed. And if I have a forum I feel I need to say something. This is no longer about every day politics, or being right or left, or who won or lost the election — this is an unprecedented crisis for American democracy and it’s going to get worse. Anyone who follows history knows what’s happening. People have already lost their freedoms. It is incredibly scary and that is an understatement. I can’t believe the number of people who straight up don’t care for other people, and now, empowered by this new government, are so open about announcing it!

I may be more informed than ever but I don’t have the words or the bravery to say everything I’m feeling — but my friend Cely does. I have really come to look forward to her political commentary on her blog. She is clearly educated on the subject and isn’t just throwing out random memes that AREN’T FACTUAL. If you’re interested I highly recommend checking out this post, and this post of hers. She is so articulate and I think her voice is so important. She gives me the courage to want to say something. When people speak out it helps us know we’re all in this together!

I’m trying to stay positive and on Monday I’m attending this Choir! Choir! Choir! event that I think is going to be super uplifting and also a lot of fun.

We’re singing MILCK’s single “Quiet” which she performed at the Women’s March in Washington, DC. She’s actually flying in from LA and thousands of us are going to be singing it with her, which I think is pretty exciting. All proceeds go to the ACLU, the American Civil Liberties Union. It’ll be live streamed so check that out on C!C!C!’s Facebook page!

I think the song is pretty amazing, and I’m looking forward to singing it with a bunch of strangers.

I am also bringing the bloggers and lagers with me — it’ll be their first time at a Choir event and I can’t wait to see how much they love it!

If there is a bright side to all of this, it has brought people together like never before, and that is heartening. Try to have a good weekend and remember when things seem hopeless that love trumps hate!

We sure could use Snape in that elite inner circle.

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Tilly McTillers

Someone asked for a Tilly update a little while ago and I have been meaning to write one for a while so I am happy to oblige! I originally had this scheduled to post last Tuesday but it was not the best day for a Tilly update.

If I could sum Tilly up in one short sentence – girl is cray. She is wonderful, and definitely the biggest character I’ve ever had in a cat, but she is definitely crazy. She’s about nine months old now, so maybe it’s still the kitten in her and she’ll simmer down eventually. Time will tell. Right now we’re enjoying it because she is absolutely hilarious and makes us laugh all day long.

I like that the white under her armpits and on her crotch make it look like she’s wearing a bikini

Tilly is a lovely kitty but she is not a snuggler, and it’s hard not to compare her to Winnie since that’s mostly all I know. I had Winnie for 22 years and a good majority of the time she was on my lap or in my arms. She lived to snuggle. Winnie also really reminded me of my Nana though, and Tilly reminds me of my brother when he was a crazy toddler. Tilly certainly does not live to snuggle. The only time she will snuggle with me is when I get home from somewhere. I usually have about a 1o minute window where she’s all “OH HELLO MY WONDERFUL HUMAN” and she’ll let me hold her and she’ll nuzzle her little face into my neck which is so cute.

She has her muffin moments. When we got home from Florida (Tilly went to her catsitter’s house for the week), she let me snuggle her for a good half an hour. But other than that, no. There is no snuggling.

This was a very rare occurrence

All Winnie wanted in life was a good pair of legs to nap on, but Tilly would prefer to nap juuuuust out of reach of us. I try to entice her with a heated blanket but she rarely falls for it.

I like it over here, thanks

That being said, she does love to be pet and she loves being around us. She will follow us around from room to room and hang out wherever we are stationed. She sleeps with us every night (by my feet, let’s not get too excited, she won’t sleep in my arms like Winnie did). Originally she would sleep above my head on my pillow but I’m so glad she doesn’t do that anymore because it was really annoying. She would push me off and spread her little body across my entire pillow. Now it’s just feet.

Her latest thing is also sleeping inside the box spring for our mattress. She tore the fabric away from the bottom so she could climb into it, and now she hangs out in it like a hammock. Cats, I tell ya.

She is OBSESSED with water. Just can’t get enough. If we leave a glass of water somewhere she is all over it, sticking her face in. If we go into the bathroom, no matter where she is in the condo if she hears the door close she will come running and start banging on it to be let in. She is so obsessed with the toilet that we have to leave the lid down or she’ll get all up in there.

She also routinely just hangs out in the bathtub.

And tears up my loofah.

When we shower she again bangs on the door until we let her in, and then lies on the side of the bathtub between the two shower curtains while we’re showering. She loves water so much that for Christmas we got her this drinking fountain from Amazon (Canadians, you can find it here, currently for $49 but we got it for $29 so you might want to wait for a sale.)

It is seriously awesome and I highly recommend it. She’s drinking so much more water now! (before she would mostly just play with it)

If anything new happens in the house, she has to investigate. If we bring out a box, or open a drawer, a door or a cabinet, she is immediately running to investigate. When I was wrapping Christmas presents, she was rolling all over the wrapping paper, pawing at the edges and biting the boxes.

Helpful.

She initially left the Christmas tree alone, but after a few weeks she had a phase of being totally obsessed with it and she would spend the evenings trying to drink the water and stretching up and smacking the branches. I still don’t know why the sudden obsession.

She is the first cat I’ve had who actually plays with her toys, although they all end up under the couch within 10 minutes. She cannot keep her toys away from the couch and I am constantly down on my stomach trying to retrieve them. We need to shove some pool noodles under there or something to block it off.

The only “toys” that don’t seem to end up under the couch are her two favourites, which are the ones she acquired herself. I told you about the wing on our owl door stopper that she ripped off and now carries around in her mouth.

She likes to leave it in front of us so we’ll throw it for her so she can fetch it and return it. She loooooves playing fetch.

Her most recent favourite toy is a stick she ripped off our Christmas tree.

Throw the stick, please.

And again she’ll carry it around in her mouth and drop it in front of us so we’ll throw it for her. She’s so good at bringing it back!

She is quite a resourceful little minx.

Despite being a terror a lot of the time, she is a very nice kitty. When our little nephew Landon comes over he makes a beeline to Tilly and starts harassing her, she is not only super gentle with him, she makes no effort to get away. I think she actually likes it.

So that’s a Tilly update. She is different from what we’re used to, for sure, but she really is the best little kitty. We love her so much and are so happy we rescued her!


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