The FML Files: Good Things do not Happen in Threes

The FML Files



Welcome to today’s episode of your life is probably better than mine. Now I know that you think I live a charmed life with all my reading and cooking and witty repartee. You may be right-ish (not right-O. That means ok in British). After all, I have a roof over my head, enough water to drink, a fairly nice family (82% of the time), and more than enough food to ensure that my waist size maintains it’s steady upward climb.


However even those of us favoured by the gods experience periods of bad happenstance. Perhaps it’s because I have been walking on the dark side lately (oh, how I regret writing this post and the subsequent Are you OK???? follow up calls which proved my point that I’m not actually allowed to be in a bad mood.) Maybe I’ve forgotten to enable my Powers of Attraction (PoA ENGAGE!) . Or maybe I’m just sending bad vibes out there with all my pathetic optimistic hopefulness. You know, seek and ye shall reap the crap out of a good life? Or something like that?


Seriously. FML my 1st world problems.


Because no jokes, I’m sure you’ll agree that my life sucks more than yours. In a funny, like OH MY GOD I’M GLAD I’M NOT HER kinda way. Not in a put her on TV and make her the figurehead of a cause kind of way (because the only cause I could spokelady is the Don’t Leave the House or Something Will Happen to You (or Actually it Might Happen to You at Home Irregardless) Society (DLHSWHY-AMHYHI for short) Sure, lots of people’s lives suck worse than mine. There’s a whole community of us suffering from severe cases of OMG Not Again-itis. But I’d like to believe, in my efforts to always put my best food forward and give 110% to whatever I do,  that I take my can’t catch a break status to a new level.


Case study:  Bed bugs from a Red Roof Inn in a Kentuckian dry town. Did I ever finish that story?


Anyways, in today’s episode of FML you don’t want to be me, we’ve got three key elements: mystery, injury, and DANGER (ooohhhh…)


Saturday Mystery:


I moved the car at 9:30 am. and it was all fancy and almost-new car like. This is what the car looked like at 11:30 am. Guess my driveway isn’t the safest place to park the car. Also guess who gets to pay the deductible?


Hit and Run in my driveway


Sunday Injury:


Picture that you’re just standing still in your kitchen. All of a sudden, you can’t breath or move. You heard a POP but you didn’t realize it was your back.  Let’s play the statue game. Am I really this old?


Monday DANGER:


Cruisin’ downtown on the ever busy highway in the rental car (see Saturday mystery), and POP (Nothing good ever comes when you hear a POP – see Sunday: Injury) goes the weasel. No not really. POP goes my tire. On the rental car. Good times to be had sitting at the side of the (did I say really busy) highway for 45 minutes in the heat of summer waiting for a tow truck driver. Pretty sure he took so long because he stopped for any icy cold drink and a swim. Even worse, no firemen showed up to rescue me. Just a policeman. And he stayed in his car. Because hot + jeans + pretty but not natural fibre shirt = don’t get too close.


Monday Danger: Flat tire



They say that things happen for a reason, but I’m pretty sure that in these three cases it was more like things just happen.


Have a nice day. And remember…


Roald Dahl Quote about Sunbeams


But if you have bad thoughts, they will shoot out of your butt like lighting and and you won’t have very many friends.


Or something like that….In the words of the almighty duck haired Howard Jones


Peace out. xoxo Mara


46 Things I Know Now That I’m 46

I just turned 46. Yes. 4 decades plus 6. 50 – 4. 100 minus 54. o +46. Look Ma! I’m doing Maths!


Unlike a lot of people, I don’t lie about my age. I’m not turning 35 for the 10th time. I’m not 26 plus 19. I’m not 40-ish or over 30 *wink*. While some people don’t think I look my age (whatever that means), and I certainly don’t act it, I AM 46. And do believe I’ve earned the right to own all of my years, even if I feel like I’m just renting them sometimes.


46 Things I Know Now that I'm 46


This is because as part of my continual self-improvement program, I try to learn something for every year I’ve lived. That way the 365 x 46 (+ 1 for leap years) = beyond my mathematical abilities days that I’ve lived have not been wasted ones. You know, like when you go to a conference and you learn one thing so it was worth it? Like that. Only not boring and with better coffee. And no pastries. Because you know, I’m 46 and refined sugars are one delicious moment on the lips and hopefully at least 46 more years on the hips.


Life just goes so fast. You may as well know stuff. Not facts. Life stuff. The important all-knowing woman things. These are the things that I know. So far.


  1. Go ahead and do what you want but your actions will affect other people whether you want to admit it or not.
  2. You don’t have to please anyone but yourself, but the same goes for everyone. How do you like them apples?
  3. Being right is not more important than being nice.
  4. You don’t actually have to say what you’re thinking. You can just think it and walk away.
  5. Not every fight is worth fighting.
  6. People’s feelings are as valuable as yours.
  7. Choose your battles but when you feel compelled, go for the gusto.
  8. Don’t do anything half assed. If you’re going to show up, SHOW UP.
  9. Smile. Humans are attracted to other happy looking humans.
  10. Some people are just assholes and you’re never going to convince them to not be assholes. Related: sometimes you can be an asshole. Why not? You’re 46.
  11. Women over 40 are way sexy. Women over 40 KNOW things. Wink-worthy things.
  12. Be your best self. You’re the one who has to sleep with yourself every single night, so you’d better like you. A lot.
  13. A little meat on your bones makes you feel luscious. Even if you don’t want to admit it, those curves are delicious.
  14. There’s value in doing nothing at all for days on end.
  15. Happiness is worth more than money (even though money is great).
  16. You can definitely say whatever you want, but be prepared to live with the consequences.
  17. Good underthings make all the difference in how you feel. Related: don’t buy clothes that don’t fit. Don’t wear clothes or shoes that don’t fit. It’s uncomfortable and awkward to take your dress off in public.
  18. An amazing manicure is an hour well-spent.
  19. Sometimes it’s worth paying $5 more for something good rather than wasting $20 on something crappy.
  20. Don’t be afraid to say you don’t know. Fake it till you make it is a bullshit concept. If you don’t know how to do something, learn how instead of faking it till you fuck up.
  21. Sometimes things don’t happen for a reason. Sometimes whatever happens just sucks, nothing good comes out of the disaster,  and that’s that.
  22. Everyone makes mistakes. Not everyone learns from them. Don’t be them.
  23. There are those who won’t like you, no matter what you do or what you say. However, if everyone has the same problem with you, it’s probably time to examine the common denominator (hint: it’s you).
  24. When you forgive, you release yourself.
  25. It’s not always about you.
  26. If it’s worth the calories, eat it. If it’s not, spit it out.
  27. You’ll never regret that workout.
  28. Movie popcorn is worth eating.
  29. Being able to make people laugh is a gift. Being able to make them cry (in a good way) is too.
  30. Throwing socks feels just as good as throwing books/glasses/china and hurts a lot less. And also, it’s not a crime.
  31. You can look but not touch.
  32. Love is not all you need, but it sure makes you feel good.
  33. Be proud of your taste in music (well, all entertainment really. You’ve earned the right to enjoy whatever cheesy crap you like).
  34. It’s ok to regret your life choices. Not being able to have do-overs is frustrating.
  35. Sometimes douche bags are just insecure people looking for a friend. And sometimes they’re just douche bags.
  36. Those who live in glass houses love to throw stones. So get a stone house and don’t invite them over.
  37. You can tolerate even the most irritating or nasty people if you try to understand their WHY. Or you learn to ignore them. Or you can never leave the house. Because most people are irritating and nasty. It’s because of life.
  38. Love yourself a lot. That way you’re assured you’re well-loved.
  39. Go ahead and be in a bad mood. Wallow. Then find something that makes you happy. Because #9.
  40. You can dance if you want to.
  41. Don’t be a doormat. Unless you want to be one. Then be one. But then don’t complain about it.
  42. Breathe in the small moments.
  43. You don’t have to act like an intellectual just to impress people. If you don’t follow politics, just say so.
  44. Go ahead and wear it. Fuck ‘em if they don’t like it. But be prepared to be horrified at the photos.
  45. Why buy clothes when you can borrow your daughter’s? Just bring a Tide stick with you so she doesn’t find out.



47. Don’t lie, but if you must, make your lies unverifiable (courtesy of the TV show SEED. I’m no plagiarizer.)


P.S. I actually know more things than these, but I have to get older so I can say them. I’m a rule follower.


What do you know? How many things? As many as me?







Chicky's Birthday Party




August 16th is Madonna’s birthday, the day Elvis died, and even better, MY BIRTHDAY.


Confetti gif



There’s nothing that makes a birthday better than presents. And there’s nothing that I like better than giving PRESENTS to the people I love. So, today, instead of YOU giving ME presents, I’m giving them to YOU!!




Bad Grandpa throwing money


This is a FLASH on-the-blog birthday partaaay, CHICKY style. I’ve got lots of my favourite things, all generously provided by some of my favourite companies, and all up for grabs because I love them so much.


You know, like Oprah. Only Chickymara. Almost as famous, at least in my own mind.


So, without further ado -


because I know you’re not interested in reading a whole blog post about how old I am (46) and everything I’ve learned in my years (a lot of nothing) and how grateful I am that you’re all here to share the day with me (very grateful) and how much I’m looking forward to an amazing year ahead (fingers crossed) and what my fucket list plans are (the list is crumpled up at the bottom of my purse) and what kind of cake I’m going to have (all the kinds) and you know, the rest of that -


here are the birthday presents I can’t wait to give TEN of you.


$25 Starbucks gift card

Starbucks Blackberry Mojito Shaken Iced TeaSo if you follow me on Twitter or Instagram (well, if you’re not you will be if you want to win this contest), you know I have a slight addiction to Starbucks. Aside from my 2 usual drinkies (1. Grande bold in a venti cup with nonfat milk; 2. Triple venti 1/2 sweet skinny vanilla latte) my new not-guilty pleasure is the Teavana® Shaken Iced Blackberry Mojito Tea Lemonade. It’s the perfect thirst-quencher with notes of blackberry, a touch of mint, green tea, and a splash of lemonade, all shaken with ice like it’s got liquor in it. Obviously, I order it 1/2 sweet, but you can have it however you want.



Netflix Canada6 Month Subscription to Netflix

Well, you are quite aware I watch a lot of TV and that I’m on the Netflix #StreamTeam. I don’t think it’s fair that you can’t binge watch Call the Midwife or The Vampire Diaries until the the Netflix policeman asks you if you’re still alive. This birthday gift is the perfect distraction for when you’re trying to avoid conquering laundry mountain.


logo_main$100 at Loft Canada

If you’ve never shopped at Loft then you’re missing out. The styles are great and there’s something for every woman, from 18 -80 (ok maybe 75). What I really love about Loft, besides the designs, is the fit. Plus, they have the best accessories and almost everything is under $100. You MUST go.


Dermalogica Age Smart Skin Care KitDermalogica Age Smart Skin Care Kit

Even though genetically I’m blessed with pretty good skin, since I’m a fogey now, I’m more focused on good skincare. It’s all about preservation, you know. And I love the Dermalogica products. They’re fantastic!  My aesthetician uses Dermalogica exclusively now, and my teenage son uses the acne care line. I really, really want you to try it.


Essence Cosmetics$50 Essence Cosmetics prize pack

Ok seriously, the most exciting thing that has happened to me lately was discovering Essence Cosmetics (all thanks to my lifestyle site for women, Do you follow my fabulous partner @RandiCM? And have you visited BrazenWoman? We’re not friends if you haven’t.) Well, Essence Cosmetics are a-mazing. And nothing is over $5. Yes, you heard me, $5!!!! The eyeliners, nail polishes and lipsticks are fantastic. And we just won’t get into the mascaras because we’ll never get out.


Hamilton Beach Pizza Maker

Hamilton Beach Pizza Maker

Cooking. Pizza. Something kids can do themselves. Non-stick. Do you need more to convince you this little appliance is worth having?

Hamilton Beach
 WHamilton Beach WaveStation Dispensing Blenderave Station® Express Dispensing Blender

500 watt peak power motor, 9 blending functions, wave action for smooth results, and the perfect dispensing spout for sharing your healthy smoothies and daquiris  (margaritas, mudslides, milkshakes….)






$50 Loblaws Gift Card

If you were plannLoblawsing on trying any of my recipes or getting the new Michael Smith cookbook and taking a crack at those, you’ll need groceries. Some of my top food products are from President’s Choice and I’d really like you to try them when you win this gift card.


Two Book Prize Packs

 Book Origami Heart

I couldn’t possibly throw a birthday party without giving away some books. I’ve read almost all of these (or others by the same author). Let’s just say it will be time well spent all around if they become yours.


From Penguin CanadaVirgin by Radhika Sanghani,Big Little Lies, Me Before You and One Plus One by JoJo Moyes (OMG!!!) , Book Of Life by Deborah Harkness, The Vacationers by Emma Straub, and a signed copy of The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon.


From Simon and Schuster Canada: Canadian Living: 150 Essential Salads, Mating for Life by Marissa StapleyFive Ways to Fall, K.A. Tucker, Running like a Girl by Alexandra Heminsley, All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, The Hundred-Foot Journey by Richard C. Morais, A Single Breath by Lucy ClarkeMr. Mercedes by Stephen King, Beautiful Oblivion by Jamie McGuire.


So…are you ready to get this birthday party started? The giveaways begin at 11:59 on August 15!



My Boys Drink Out of The Carton (And Other Reasons We Love SunRype)


My very active, very sporty teenage sons consume a lot of everything. If it’s edible or drinkable, it’s fair game.  I’m not joking. Literally, every time I turn around they’ve got their hands in the cupboard or fridge. It doesn’t matter what time of day or night it is, they’re always filling their bellies with something.


Sadly, and despite all of my motherly efforts, when they eat or drink something, they don’t seem to bother with the social graces. It seems to be too much effort to place  food items on plates or in bowls, or pour drinks into glasses.


Nope, they like their victuals straight out of the container.


Boy standing at fridge drinking out of the milk or juice carton might be a cliché, but it’s totally true. Just ask any mother who has a man-child living in her house. She’ll testify that what I say is true.


And if you still don’t believe me, here’s the evidence.


My boys love SunRype Juice


Chug a lug, boys. Don’t forget to wipe your face.


Luckily, since they’re pretty health conscious (they ARE my kids after all), my sons gravitate towards healthier food and drink. Consequently, when they’re not downing good old H2O, we go through a whole lot of real fruit juice.


Especially on days where they’re playing sports (one plays Rugby and the other lacrosse.)


Running around knocking other kids over and whacking them with sticks* makes a boy really thirsty. Sometimes water isn’t enough. Their active lifestyle means that they need quick hits of energy, and I’d rather they get it from 100% juice with no added sugars, artificial flavours, or colours than anything else. I’m not joking when I say that when they’ve got a game, I just send the entire carton of SunRype juice with them. The 900 mL cartons are just like giant juice boxes –  the twist cap is easy open, easy pour, and best of all, resealable (no more stinky sticky juice laden backpacks).


Sunrype Apple Orange Peach



Plus, if they don’t happen to finish, the sleek carton doesn’t take up a lot of space and fits easily in my overcrowded fridge. Not that they last very long in there.


Sunrype Mango


The SunRype juices come in 16 delicious varieties loaded with the nutrients my boys** need to keep them going and growing. While they’re pretty crazy about the mango juice (my son who uses big words described it as deliciously viscous. I think he means it’s nice and thick and full of flavor. My other son doesn’t really talk but actions speak louder than words, and his actions produced empty cartons of juice.),. They’re also kinda partial to the apple orange peach.  Next on our to-try list are the grape and wildberry,. I’m pretty obsessed with throwing Fruit Plus Veggies and Fibre, FruitActiv or Frullo (the new 50 calorie option) into my smoothies. If you’d like more information, and a full list of flavours, visit SunRype’s website




WIN a YEAR’S supply of SunRype Products.! TO ENTER: click here and share your name, email address, and city.  Contest is open to Canadian residents over the age of 18 only and ends August 6, 2014 at 23:59 EST. Full contest rules and regulations can be found on contest page.


If you’re a fan of SunRype, you can connect with them on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram. Also, check out SunRype’s great new website for recipes, bright ideas, and coupons.


Disclosure: Although this post has been generously sponsored by SunRype, the opinions and language are all my own, and in no way do they reflect SunRype.


*You can tell I know a lot about sports.


** My daughter drinks SunRype juice too, but she uses a glass so she’s not in this story.

Sometimes It Sucks to be an Extrovert

Extrovert: adj: An outgoing or gregarious person. Someone who is energized by being around other people.


6 Reasons Why Being an Extrovert Sometimes Sucks


My name is Mara and I’m an extrovert. If I’m being honest, being this way mostly is great.  As per my personal development plan, I’m totally committed to being who I am, and the best that I can be.   Sure, it’s great to love being around other human beings and and to have the ability to recharge my internal batteries via shenanigans and laughter. Being an extrovert means that it’s not very hard for me to NOT have a good time. Us extroverts are wired for parties of all kinds (generally legal.)


We also believe in unicorns and rainbows and glitter showers. What? No? Just me?


unicorn farting rainbows gif


But I gotta tell you that while being an extrovert seems desirable (and mostly it is), it’s not always as much fun as you’d imagine.There are drawbacks to being a naturally outgoing people person. In fact,  sometimes it’s a real pain in the butt. Here’s why.


1. We’re not allowed to be in a bad mood. Everyone’s a downer once in a while, and why should you introverts get a free pass on moodiness? There definitely are days where videos of people flipping over stairs won’t make us laugh, when we feel like crying even as we watch babies laugh, when a room full of people means that we need more pretend knives to stab them with. But, we’re still supposed to be chipper. Because we’re extroverts. And if we’re not, then we’re being bitches. That’s just not fair. Related: We’re not allowed to be tired, boring, or just feel like lazing about.


Cranky and Bad Mood Gif



2. We have to hang out with introverts. I can attest that living in a house full of people who are ‘having fun on the inside‘ is the biggest buzz kill of all time. I don’t even want to go on vacation anymore (It’s hard, but I FORCE myself to do it) because all they want to do is sit in the hotel room and watch Shark Week. I mean, people, there’s a party happening somewhere, and it’s not on that sofa.


introvert sitting on sofa


3. We can be annoying to those who are unlike us. Look, I know that my energy can be irritating. I LIKE having enthusiasm. Don’t you want what I’m having? No? Who am I kidding? I can tell that I’m making you uncomfortable, but I can’t stop. I KNOW you want to get away from me- fast. Be kind. Put yourself in my shoes and imagine that the more people you’re around, the more hyper you get. It’s tough to go through life being a human bouncing ball. At least I’m talking (albeit fast). I mean, you’re just sitting there counting the moments till you can leave. Would it KILL you to crack a smile?


stop talking gif


4. Being alone is worse for me than it is for you. Since I really like people, when I’m not going to be around them, I panic. I actually like being alone, but I’m just not sure what to make of it. Last week my husband was out, my daughter was out (and even when she’s here she’s not here if you have a 20-year old you’ll know what I mean) and my sons were away sleep-over camp because they like it and I like not cooking for 6 weeks.  I was LOST. I didn’t know what a person should do when faced with the prospect of being on her lonesome for an extended period of time. I ask you this introverts: What do you do when you’re alone besides be happy staring at chairs that are devoid of people? Do you even have the urge to make plans? Or do you seize the opportunity to dance around in your underwear and/or drink and play TWO DOTS till you can’t see straight?


The peace and quiet was lovely. You should have called. I felt like a loser.


Lonely extrovert gif


5. Nobody believes me when I say I’m shy. Being a gal that thrives on crowds means that I’m expected to just be able to walk into a room and talk to anyone. And you know what? If I have purpose, I totally can. However, you’d never know that I’m freaking out on the inside, and have been for days. I can’t speak for the others who don’t believe in unicorns, but social anxiety and extroversion are not mutually exclusive. I’m that girl who stands in a corner and pretends to be conducting important business like texting Adam Levine or managing my invisible millions. I get really nervous when I have to go to a social or business event where I don’t know anyone. Actually, being an extrovert makes this type of situation worse, because since I feel  a visceral NEED to talk to people ALL THE TIME, yet have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO SAY TO THEM, I invariably blurt out something completely stupid and embarrassing. And then the part of Point 3 happens where my new best friends are just trying to get away. It’s very damaging emotionally.


Introvert shy to start convo


6. Naturally outgoing people are expected to be confident. When I say I love myself, it’s just bravado. Just because my immediate vicinity is party central doesn’t mean that I don’t doubt myself as much as you do (or don’t). In fact, the pressure to perform like a circus monkey actually means I’m LESS confident. Nobody expects you introverts to wear a lampshade at every event. You’re not walking into a room expecting everyone to look at you (they’re not doing that. I’m not that important, but I can’t help feeling that way. I’m a LEO.) Go ahead, just sit there and be quiet, no pressure.


extroverts are expected to be confident


In closing, the grass is NOT greener on the other side. Oh, and call me. I’m the life of the party.





I Don’t Care if You Don’t Like Me. Well, I Actually Do.

I don't care if you don't like me.

Life is a journey. And along the way we hope we learn a few things, yes?  At least I do. Because I’m self-reflective. Probably too much. You know what I learned recently?


I don’t care if you don’t like me.  Well, in theory.


I’ve spent my whole life being overly self-conscious. Those whispers in the playground, the funny looks, the odd comments and pointed remarks? They’ve tormented me into the early hours as I’ve wondered if they were about me. WHY DON’T THEY LIKE ME? WHAT DID I DO WRONG?


You’re confident in your skin and most likely oblivious to the fact that you’re wounding me. To you it’s nothing. You probably weren’t even talking about me (well, you might have been.. what were you saying? Was it about my shoes? Something I said?)


Here’s the revelation: I’m surprisingly shy and I have shockingly low self-esteem. Most of my bright shininess is bravado. You didn’t know that, did you?  Most of the time I feel just wrong. So when you don’t like me, I feel it. To you, it’s just a fleeting thought or emotion. But for me, It’s not you just not liking me, it’s a tormented sinking feeling, even more than thinking about bungee jumping or nobody showing up to my party.


Walking into a room full of people (strangers or not) by myself who may or may not like me and who are nonetheless expecting witty repartee and small talk is the the worst. Except for holding a snake. Or going on the subway. Or eating raw tomatoes. But, it’s on the list. If I have to go somewhere by myself without a clear purpose except to wander around talking to people who are already talking to each other, well, I lose sleep (yes, I know I like to talk but only to people I know want to talk to me). Networking is a swear word to me. 


I’m not aloof, I’m panicking. That’s when I start babbling and talking so fast and so much all the while yelling at myself to shut the hell up. Just STOP TALKING or they won’t like you MORE.  I’m not insanely inappropriate, I’m completely out of my element (note: when you tell me that people are trying to get away from me, you make it worse. Keep your observations to yourself).  Maybe you’re doing ok, you’ve got a thick skin or maybe you’re pretending too. But know the whole time this cocktail party is making me think one thing: NOBODY LIKES ME HERE. I SHOULD GO.


My neurosis is based in my imagined reality. I’m pretty sure that there are a lot of people working hard to avoid me. And even more who just plain don’t care for my flavour of tea. But honestly, don’t talk about me right in front of me in another language to the manicurist. I can speak bitch, you know.


Who gives you the right to just stop liking me. Oh yeah…you do. 


It’s taken me almost half a century to realize this fact. You get to not like me. But you know what? I get to NOT CARE if you don’t.


How liberating.


So here we go: Think what you want about me, say what you want about me, because I’m free of your opinions. I just don’t care. There’s only ONE PERSON I ultimately have to answer to, and that’s me. I’m the only one who has to like me. Not even my husband (he only likes me 40% of the time), or my kids (it’s their job to not like me 48% of the time except when they want money then it’s 74%).


So stop making me feel bad (on purpose or in my extremely active imagination) about who I am.


Let’s be honest. Everything you’re thinking about me is true. I know this, because as I said, I’m self-reflective.


I talk too much.

I can be annoying.

I can be embarrassing.

I can be exhausting.

I’m a little awkward and quite possibly strange.

I’m no good at small talk.

I often say the wrong thing.


But tell me you’re none of those things none of the time and I’ll gladly let you hang a kick me sign on my back.


But otherwise, keep your pie-hole closed.


This is so AMAZING. I don’t know why I didn’t think of not giving a crap years ago. 


Now, I can walk into a whole room of people I know can’t stand me with a smile on my face. When I just sit down and start bending their ears with my chipper shit-talk and I can see them cringing, I’m going to actually enjoy it.


I’m joking. I’m not going to. It’s as painful as wearing a bathing suit, this not-caring. It’s a work-in-progress. But, it’s good to have goals.


In conclusion, if you don’t like me, I don’t care. But, please like me. Because it bothers me if you don’t.


PS I like you. I really like you. Unless you’re nasty. Then I’m going to whisper about you in the playground. No I won’t. That’s mean. But I’ll want to.








Long. Live Pie. Who Wouldn’t Want to Win PIE for a YEAR?

Mccain Long Live Pie


Let’s talk pie. Not pi, because that’s math. PIE. Yummy delicious, often humble, but always the perfect dessert (according to my husband who really loves pie). While other dessert trends may come and go, pie is here for the long run.

Fun facts:

Did you know that the first mention of pie was in 1590? Robert Green’s Arcadia said, “thy breath is like the steame of apple-pyes.”


In 1644, Oliver Cromwell banned the eating of pie. He declared it a pagan form of pleasure (it’s THAT good.) For 156 years, pie eating and making went underground until the Restoration leaders lifted the ban and declared open eating on pie in 1660.


If you lined up the number of pies sold at U.S. grocery stores in one year, they would circle the globe at least once.


The Three Stooges were quite possibly the greatest pie fighters of them all.  In the Sweet Pie and Pie (1942) is possibly the funniest Moe Howard, the Stooge leader and expert pie thrower, led one of the most perfect pie fight in movie history.


The first great movie pie fight was in 1927. The Laurel and Hardy silent film “The Battle of the Century” featured what might be the biggest pie fight ever in a motion pictures, and used over 4,000 pies in the pie throwing scene.


Eating pie is a cinch. You don’t even need a plate or fork. That’s why the expression ‘easy as pie’ was coined in the US in the late 1800s. But pie is also comfort food. According to an official study I found on the Internet, more than 1/3 of Americans have admitted to eating pie in bed (we’re not sure we want the details), and have CRAVED pie in the middle of the night (most likely nursing mums, insomniacs, and that guy stocking shelves at 7/11.


So you can see, pie is worth our attention. It’s classic and delicious and in the case of McCain Deep ‘n Delicious Cream Pie, it’s made with real dairy and comes in three wake-up-in-the-night-to-crave flavours (Cookies & Cream, Double Chocolate, Coconut and Cream).


Worth indulging for, I’ve got to tell you. And I’m ready to shout it from the roof tops #LONGLIVEPIE. Are you in? Want to join me? This is your official invite to the #LongLivePie Twitter party.


When: Tuesday, June 10

What time: 8pm – 9 pm


There will be PRIZES galore including PIE FOR A YEAR and $1000 in Visa Gift Cards.


So, what are you waiting for? Go RSVP. Do it here. And don’t forget to wear your pie t-shirt. I’m joking. There aren’t any.


Oh yah. If you’re not on Twitter, you can STILL win pie for a year. Click here to enter. If you win, just let me know what time to be at your house. I’ll bring my own spoon.


Happy Pie-Day. xoxo Mara


Pie Fun Facts: Pie Council of the United States. 

Movie facts: Today I Found Out. 

You’ll Wish It Were You Living the FML Life

Living and Loving the FML Life

Periodically I like to entertain People Who Read This Blog (PWRTB = my mother and maybe you) with the how Murphy visits me. A lot. Shall we call them FML moments? They’ll make you wish you were me. I swear. Not really.


I think it’s character building to be able to laugh one’s plight, plus when I make fun of myself I look more like a mensch when I’m making fun of other people.. I’m trusting that when I share my FML Lifestyle that you’re laughing with me and not AT me.


Now just to be clear, I’m not saying that nothing good ever happens to me. For every toe I stub, glass I break, cell phone I smash, and appointment I forget about, something else nice also happens. For example, in the last while I’ve received both a Sodastream and Blendtec for review (appliance porn to those of us in the know). And my other website is doing pretty damn well. And once I got to interview Isaac Mizrahi. But what I AM saying is that if something is going to happen, well dammit, it’s going to happen to me.


And when it does, it’s really, really good. Juicy and hilarious. Sometimes unbelievable.


How do I know I’m living the FML Lifestyle?


FML evidence: The Rainmaker. 


Nearly very time I get my hair cut and styled or even just blown out for an event it precipitates in some way. Seriously. The second I’m ready to leave it starts to unnaturally rain or snow. Unnatural as in it’s sunny and the end of April and as soon as I’m paying, a pop-up mini blizzard blows up. Right over the strip mall. It can be clear and blue skies and the beginning of July and as soon as I utter, Thanks! I love it!, it starts to sprinkle. Just like God tipping his watering can. On my head.


Seriously:  Don’t get your hair cut on the same day as me.


Not convinced? Here are two recent FML moments that you won’t believe could happen to the same person.


FML Moment #1: The Boots


So about a month ago, just when everyone was optimistic that the winter-from-hell was coming to a final end, I wore my pristine black Uggs to the gym. (Say what you will, but I adore my Uggs. I hate winter boots and they’re so easy on, easy off, especially when I’m in a hurry. It’s not like I play in snowbanks.) So anyways, I left my ever-loved Uggs in the boot tray at the front of the gym (next to the coat rack – you’ll need that information later…) and toddled off to my Crossfit class.


Fast forward one hour (well, 70 minutes because I’m me, and chatting…). I put my coat on, I put my boots on. Except I couldn’t put my boots on. I put ONE boot on my left foot. Because the other one was also for the LEFT FOOT.  And was big. Much bigger than my Ugg. And stretched out. And all covered in salt.


To recap: Someone had taken my size 6 right foot and left me their size EIGHT left foot.


Just so you’re clear: this person had taken TWO right foot Uggs: one new size SIX, and one old & stretched out size EIGHT.


No biggie you say? End of WINTER I say. She probably grabbed the boots and threw them in the back of her car, never to be looked at for at least another several months. My gym sent out an email and after about 4 days she gave me back my boot. I never found out if she was as ashamed as she ought to have been.


FML Moment #2: The Coat


..think you know where this is going? 


About one week later, when the winter-that overstayed-its-welcome returned for another glass of Merlot, I rushed into the gym, nearly late as usual, and hung my coat up on the coat rack (see, I told you that you’d need to know about it. Now I don’t have to explain it’s location). It was chock full with black jackets.  Traveling light, I had my car keys in my pocket. I toddled off to class, secure in the knowledge that I hadn’t worn Uggs.


Fast forward one hour (and ten minutes later. Chatting, you know…).  Ready to head home, I hit the coat rack to grab my jacket. It looked a bit empty. Only three coats remained. And NONE OF THEM WERE MINE. No big deal, you say? You were tired of that jacket anyways, you say? Big deal. REMEMBER MY KEYS?  


Fucking hell, someone had taken my coat with my car keys in the pocket! My size TWO TNA coat!


The likely culprit? The owner of a size EIGHT copy of my TNA coat that was covered in make-up around the neck and had a fur-ish trimmed hood (I had taken my fur-ish trim off in November and had promptly misplaced it.)


To recap: Someone obviously taller and larger than me had taken my size TWO expensive coat and left their size EIGHT  cheap coat.


Just so you’re clear: MY KEYS WERE IN THE POCKET. I COULDN’T LEAVE. Plus, my husband was sure to think I’d created the whole scenario get a new jacket. I can promise you it was nothing like the time in Grade two when my mother forced me to use a Tupperware Bento-type lunchbox when all I wanted was a Donny & Marie lunchbox with built-in thermos so I threw out the Tupperware one but the custodian kept taking it out of the garbage and putting it on the bench.) The gym receptionist called every single person who had been in that morning and a lovely VERY TALL young woman sheepishly returned my tiny coat about an hour later. Thank goodness there’s a Starbucks in the plaza.


Now before you say, that could happen to anyone, remember FML example #1. So rethink your statement. Really, could those BOTH happen to just anyone? 


I think not. I think they could only happen to The RAINMAKER.


And on that, my friends, I wish you a lovely day. And remember, if you see my stuff, please, for the love of all things covered in both pink himalayan sea salt and dark chocolate, just keep walking.


XOXO  Mara #OneLove


photo credit: quapan via photopin cc

When Mommy Gets the Plague. A Whiney Story of Despair

When Mommy Has the Plague


It all started with an itch in my ear and tickle in my throat. I thought my headache was hormonal (the joys of getting older). My nose was a bit stuffy, but since I’m allergic to dust (as well as removing it), I thought it was that and took an allergy pill. But then, when I started feeling icky all over, I knew what was happening. The germs had gotten me. I had the plague.


Not that anyone cared. Especially the ones that gave it to me.


mom is sick

My two sons have been a revolving door of sick over the last couple of weeks. The older brought it into the house, and then the younger contracted a strain of red-cheeked fever last week. Then on Monday, the big man came home from work early (unfortunately to discover that we’d left all the doors unlocked and a huge mess in the kitchen) with some non-specific symptoms that necessitated supper in bed and excessive watching of every spin-off of storage wars in existence. I will say that he arose long enough to change the batteries on the front door key pad (I KNEW I’d locked the door!)


I’m The Mom, so I took good care of them. I gave them snacks and soup and medicine and tissues and tea. I bought them lozenges and medicine, and drinks. I wrapped them in blankies and smothered them with love and encouraged them to stay in bed. Because that’s what you do when people are sick. Even when they have non-specific symptoms. 


So, back to me. Yesterday I was feeling my own set of non-specific symptoms that were beginning to become a lot more specifically like total crap.


I’m pretty sure none of them noticed. Even though I tried to use body language to share my ever burgeoning symptoms. I tried really hard to look pathetic, I did. I gave it the good college try.


Groan. Moan. Sneeze. Trumpets blaring.


But no blankets were offered. No cups of tea, no soup.


Mom, what’s for dinner?


Mom, can you help me with this?




Sneeze. Cough, Sniffle. Shaking of Tylenol bottle.


Can you get up and make lunch? I have to leave for work.


Why are you still sleeping?


Why are you in bed? 






When mom gets the plague


Hork, groan, sneeze.


Expectant looks. Like little hungry birds. That are all taller than me. No sympathy. Just a big mess in the kitchen after they ‘made’ their own dinner. Guess what time the father of the children waited until to clean up the kitchen? Just guess.




It was a game of kitchen hygiene chicken. And I won. Not really. Because a better half-assed job you have never seen. Please tell me. What’s the purpose of putting old, already cut and washed browning lettuce into a brand new package of baby spinach?


I’m ranting. It must be from the fever.


They gave it to me. I didn’t want it. But yet I have it. I didn’t go out and bring plague into the house. They did. And now they won’t even let me enjoy it.


Can someone send a Mommy over here? Because this one needs to be wrapped in a blanky.











I’m Closing Down My Blog (But First the Naptime Video)

I'm Done Blogging.


This is it folks. The ride is over. I’m turning over a new leaf and closing down my blog. This annoying piece of internet real-estate takes up too much of my time and really with so little reward. You guys don’t appreciate me. Nobody even comments anymore. I’m depressed. I hardly smile. And I feel the limited years I have left on earth would be better spent doing other more productive things like growing my own vegetables, cleaning toilets, and organizing my closets. I might take up really Grown-Up Endeavours. Like being a banker or lawyer or serious person.




As of today I’m going to become a pillar of society. I may even run for office. After I learn about politics.





In addition:


  1. I’m going to start cleaning my house every day. In particular, I’m going to learn how to use the vacuum.
  2. I’m going to get up at 5:30 am every morning.
  3. I’m going to do a LOT of math.
  4. I’m not going to use social media at all. In fact, I’m closing down my Twitter and Facebook accounts.
  5. I’m not going to read books anymore. Reading books is boring and useless.
  6. I’m going to start micromanaging my kids. And there will be no more joking around in this house. Dancing will be prohibited.
  7. I’m never going to the gym again. It’s not worthwhile and I’m not accomplishing anything.
  8. I’m going to be very mature. Practicing immaturity is really..well..immature.
  9. I’m going to become rude and mean. Being nice is like being a doormat. Those days of caring about other people are so over.
  10. I’m not cooking anymore. I’m only ordering out or opening cans. With lots of preservatives.
  11. I’m never drinking wine again.
  12. I’m going to use punctuation inappropriately. In fact, I’m going to misuse all the apostrophe’s that I can.
  13. I’m going to get a full triple full senior executive fancy time job out of the house. Working from home really isn’t working for me.
  14. I’m never going to play April Fools jokes on my blog again.


GOTCHA! WHAT? A girl has to amuse herself.




You knew I was joking, right? And if you didn’t, then you deserve your panic. Because Option A: you couldn’t honestly think I was going to take up housewifery as a daily activity. Or, Option B: you’ve never read my blog before. In which case you would have had no idea that I was joking and probably think I’m a total knob now. Forgive me yet? No? This bribe should work: what can happen when people misuse quotation marks.


I leave your with this additional conciliatory gift which advertises a valuable product integral to successful parenting.

Hopefully, it will make you forgive me for the cruel joke April Fools Joke I just played on you. Or maybe not. Depends if you have a sense of humor. Or if you were actually wishing that I was quitting blogging.



Back to regular programming tomorrow!


xoxo Mara. Stay real.