Date night

I’ve been on a lot of dates: with boys I liked; with boys I hoped would call and never did; with boys I was serious with; but I’ve never been on a double date, not really. The Big Ex didn’t want me around his friends because his relationship with me was somehow different from his relationship with his friends. In the end I realized that he was just never sure about ‘us’ and we stayed together for as long as we did because I was filler, I was the girl he dated before he met the girl he loved and he was the man I needed to be with so that I could appreciate what was coming.

So on Saturday night Boyfriend and I went for drinks and a movie with two of my friends, a lovely couple who glow with happiness in love in a way that probably would have made me a little sick when I was younger. No one can be that in love right? That’s movie love, heartbreaking, crazy, sick to your stomach, put a radio over your head in the middle of the night in love. But my friends have that and I look up to them because I hope that after a couple of years Boyfriend and I will be like that, crazy-happy and living in sin. My Catholic upbringing leads me to believe that living in sin would be awesome, like when you first move out on your own and realize that there are no rules and you can go to the store and buy candy at midnight, just because. I assume that is what living with your partner is like, please don’t correct me if I’m wrong.

I was a little nervous to try this double dating thing, being new to healthy and happy dating. I was worried that Boyfriend wouldn’t get along with my friends and I really wanted them to like him and like us together. I shouldn’t have been worried, they loved him. The best thing about being with Boyfriend is that when my friends see how happy we are together they immediately like him.

The only hiccup to an otherwise perfect evening was that when I was being fake angry with Boyfriend my friend pointed out that, “It’s not going to work. No one believes that you’re actually mad when you’re so clearly in love with each other.”  Since Boyfriend and I still haven’t said that very terrifying four-letter word, I was afraid that he would freak out, I was nervous that my feelings had been outed and he would start acting weird. He didn’t. Nothing changed, except that he knew he’d won this particular battle.

So we haven’t said the words yet. I’m pretty sure they are going to burst out of my mouth any day now, and it’s nice to know that everyone can see how in love we are. It’s a win for me at least… now I know I’m not crazy. Not completely anyway.

Win the Wrap Your Body Slim experience

This is your chance to win a great package from the fantastic health and wellness company Wrap Your Body Slim. One lucky winner will receive a basket filled with goodies such as a detox body wrap, facial wrap, a Vemma (vitamins, essential minerals, mangosteen & aloe) sample bottle, a Verve sugar free energy can, a Bod-e Burn can and a Thirst packette. Enter today for your chance to win the Wrap Your Body Slim experience.

Contest Rules & Regulations:
Contestants must reside in Canada (excluding Quebec) to be eligible to win
Contestants must be 18 or older
Contestants are eligible to enter 1x daily (further entries will not be counted)
Contest closes on Tuesday, August 13th, at 2 p.m.


[contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"]

Facebook official

Recently someone told me that Boyfriend and I aren’t officially official because we haven’t declared our undying love for each other via the Facebook relationship status. They were serious.

I was shocked, because I haven’t had a relationship status since the Big Ex and I broke up; my status says nothing. I’m not single, dating or complicated and I’m okay with that. Boyfriend and I have been together nearly a year and we’re happy but we’re not the kind of people who need to shout about how much we love each other on Facebook. Neither of us feel that our bond as a couple would somehow be stronger if we had matching profile pictures and constantly updated our friends on how incredibly in love we are.

Don’t get me wrong, I gush, I talk to my friends about how happy I am, if I could write a good sonnet I would probably do that too, but Facebook is the place where I share cool shit I find on the interwebs, not the adult version of a high school locker.

I share a lot of my life with the internet, but Boyfriend and I have an agreement: he doesn’t read my column and I don’t write about anything that I wouldn’t want to talk to him about, so if I’m super mad at him I have to tell him before I tell you lovely folks. It’s a fair deal.

But blogging and writing is so much different than an obnoxious status update. Instead of declaring your everlasting love with a grammatically incorrect and socially unacceptable update, maybe you could text your darling.

It’s okay to be excited about the person you’re seeing, it’s awesome actually, but if you have to shout it out to the world do you think that maybe you’re a little insecure in your relationship? In the same way that we forget to check our phones when we’re having a really great time, when you’re really happy do you even have time to tell the world how happy you are?

There are people who are always an exception to the rule. Two of my friends were in a long distance relationship until very recently and I thought the love notes they sent each other were adorable and sweet, they needed the internet because they didn’t always have each other.

So while I don’t have a relationship status I’m very much taken, very much in love and I have no plans to change that any time soon. However, I’m also not about to change my status so that everyone else knows that my relationship is real. The people who should know him know him and the people I love have met him and like him almost as much as I do.

The next time you see a status change from me it will be engaged or married, if I get my way and we elope on an island; anything less isn’t worth the effort or the hassle from people whom I haven’t seen in years congratulating me on no longer being a sad spinster lady.


Happy Tuesday! It’s the day after a record-breaking rainfall drenched Toronto, leaving commuters stuck in subway stations and stranded in vehicles all across the city. Peter Kimbell, a meteorologist at Environment Canada, confirms that this rainfall is ranked among the most intense rainfalls the city has ever experienced, with 90 mm of rain within 90 minutes. In total, 126 mm of rain fell at Pearson yesterday, with the original record of 121 mm being set by Hurricane Hazel in 1954.

What does that mean for Torontonians today? Twenty thousand people are still without power, concentrated mostly in the west end of the GTA; TTC and GO Train services have been impacted; and the clean-up will continue for those in the city with flooded basements and damaged property.

Short of putting your home up on stilts, there’s not a whole lot that can be done to completely flood-proof your home, but there are a lot of things that can be done to help reduce the damage of a flood like yesterday’s.

For one thing, I listen to the warnings. So much can be prevented if the warnings put out by Environment Canada are taken seriously and not brushed off until it’s too late to do anything about it. I always have this semi-irrational fear that ignoring a flood warning will leave me sloshing around soaked and stinky carpets and picking up the pieces of ruined furniture, electronics and family albums. And then, of course, there’s the mould. So I listen, I take them seriously and I do whatever I can do last minute to prepare.

I clear my gutters, drains, and downspouts. Okay, I get my husband to clear my gutters, drains, and downspouts. That’s totally the same thing.

We don’t have anything that needs it in our basement right now, but I always do a check to see if I’ve got any furniture, electronics or appliances that are in harm’s way, so that I can raise them onto concrete blocks.

I get my hands on some sandbags and I use them anywhere I expect water to be able to seep in.

None of these are major retrofits or impermeable solutions, but a couple dollars spent could be your defense against tens of thousands of dollars in major damage caused by flood damage, so I do what I can.

I’m sending a ton of well wishes and positive energy to all fellow Torontonians still dealing with the aftermath of yesterday’s rainfall.

Relationship deal breakers

Recently one of my closest friends has been arguing with her manfriend of two years. She doesn’t want babies and he does; is that a deal breaker? They seem to think that it might be and I don’t blame him or her because how can she be the girl that stops him from being a father? The resentment and the guilt would ruin whatever love they have for each other, maybe not today or even a couple years from now, but eventually they would hate each other.

I don’t know if I want babies, I don’t think I do, and I’ve told Boyfriend that from day one. Children are not in my plan and he seems to be okay with that. But every once and a while I worry that maybe one day that will be a deal breaker for him. Maybe one day he’ll want to be a dad and it will feel like it’s too late to make that decision.

It’s strange that I’m in this place now, that at 25 I think about the wedding and the babies and I wonder what I want ­five years from now. Do I want to be a mother or a wife? Or will fur babies and common law do for me?

I think about a future with Boyfriend a lot; he’s my person and a future without him seems impossible to imagine, but I could do it if it meant that he got what he wanted or needed out of life, if it meant that he was happier then I could do it. But I wonder what his deal breakers are. Is there something that he needs as much as my friend’s man needs to be a father? I like to think that we’ve been honest enough with each other these past nine months, that if there was something he needed that I couldn’t give that we could end it rather than stay together and hurt each other.

When I imagine our future I think about the little things: moving in together, getting a puppy and enjoying the day to day. I’m not excited to walk down the aisle because who knows if I’ll ever make it there but I’m excited for the day when we wake up together and neither of us have to rush home. I’m excited for the day when we do the IKEA trip — partially because we need furniture and partially because testing your relationship in the hell that is IKEA is fun in a sick and twisted kind of way.

Maybe we don’t have any deal breakers, maybe we won’t have to worry that we love each other but want different things, but if that day comes I hope I’m strong enough to say goodbye. I won’t lie though: I think Boyfriend and I have a bright future ahead of us, many stupid IKEA arguments, late night conversations about nothing and breakfasts in bed. We can do anything and we have all the time in the world to figure it out.

Honour your hunger

I hate being hungry. I think most people do. It’s a feeling that’s hard to ignore. Sometimes when I’m really, really hungry, I get angry too. (Ever heard of “hangry”?) I try to remember to pack a baggie of almonds everywhere I go so as not to cause bodily harm to others.

Anyone who’s ever been on a diet or tried to lose weight has come up against hunger. Hunger is something you might think you have to control or trick. You can try to control it by eating proper proportions of macronutrients (protein and fat will make you feel full) and by eating at regular intervals. You can try to trick it by drinking a glass of water or distracting yourself by doing chores. Do these strategies work? Maybe for a while. But it’s not easy to fight hunger day in and day out. Perhaps it’s time to step back and take a look at our relationship with hunger.

Firstly, what is hunger? It’s your body telling you something: to eat more. Is that necessarily bad? I can think of two reasons why it would do that. The more obvious one is that you haven’t eaten enough calories to meet its needs. Your body doesn’t like it when you severely under-eat, especially when the demands put on it are high. You’ve probably heard of “starvation mode.” Chronic under-eating will cause your body to lower its metabolic rate in order to hang on to the limited calories you’re putting into it. Hunger is a helpful signal that you’d better eat soon or starvation mode will kick in. It’s okay to skip a meal every now and again but relentless caloric restriction will most definitely do damage to your metabolism, damage that your body might not ever be able to repair.

The less obvious reason why hunger nags at you is that your body is looking for something that’s missing. The issue is not that you’re not getting enough calories; it’s that you’re not getting enough essential vitamins and minerals. (This often happens when people fall into “food ruts” and eat the same foods over and over again. Spinach salad with chicken breast, anyone? Eating a wide array of foods and managing stress are ways of making sure your body has adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals.

Think of it this way: a hungry body is a seeking body. Perhaps we should listen to our bodies’ signals instead of ignoring them. We often treat our bodies like they’re stupid. But they’re always acting in our best interest to help us and doing the best with what we put into them. True hunger is not something to be pushed aside; it’s something we should honour.



Book review: The Happy Baker

4.6/5 stars

My first impression of The Happy Baker: A Dater’s Guide to Emotional Baking was that it was a very approachable book for a non-baker. Erin Bolger begins with a memorable disclaimer quote that states, “If any of my recipes are low-fat I’m sorry, it was unintentional.”

She has cute names for her baking recipes and beautiful photographs. Some recipe names include ‘Who Needs a Man on Valentine’s Day Biscotti’ and ‘You Can Kiss My Triple Decker Carrot Cake Goodbye’. The names certainly aren’t boring. Erin has separated her book into four distinct chapters. Throughout The Happy Baker, she has chick lit stories followed by a recipe that relates to the story. There are illustrations of her and her past dates or boyfriends relating to the story. The stories cover speed dating, breakups over text or e-mail, the first kiss, and many more. Erin’s personality shines through.

In order to fairly evaluate The Happy Baker, I had to get into the kitchen and bake. Her recipes are easy and most of the ingredients are found in your home (you may have to buy one or two ingredients). I decided to make ‘Erin’s Go-To Cookie’, ‘Goodbye Men, Hello Dolly Squares’ and ‘My Eggs Are Not Getting Any Younger Crème Brûlée’. Each of the recipes that I made provided me with a large quantity so the time and the effort are well worth it.

The crème brûlée was rich and creamy. The cookies and dolly squares were buttery and greasy, but delicious. They were so popular that when I opened the covered plate laying on the counter, they were all gone. I ended up eating some of the cookies and dolly squares from the freezer and they were just as good cold. Don’t hesitate to put some of Erin’s recipes in the freezer, you may be in for a pleasant surprise.

I found that the recipes were simple, easy, decadent and, of course, delicious. The Happy Baker is killer comfort food. Erin was honest and upfront when she said these recipes were unhealthy. As a non-baker myself, I was able to bake recipes that I probably wouldn’t have ever made.

This is not your average cookbook since it is filled with unique stories and recipes. She has even provided a few non-bake recipes.

If you’re ever in Bayfield, Ontario be sure to check out Erin’s new business, The Pink Flamingo Bakery and Boutique.

Business travel

This is the second time since March that Boyfriend and I have been separated by time zones and countries, but the first time was infinitely easier. The first time I was away at SXSW, a huge film, tech and music festival, and I was surrounded by friends from home so it was hard to miss him. This time I’m on my own and making one of the largest career changes of my life and I want him here.

Last night he stayed up late so that I could call him. We ended up talking until well past 2 a.m. his time even though he had to be at work today and I know he’ll be exhausted because he talked to me until he knew I felt better and more confident. Sometimes life moves so fast that you forget to pay attention and sometimes life moves so fast that all you can do is pay attention to every single moment; right now I’m in the latter description and I’m starting to be afraid of all the little changes, but Boyfriend does everything he can to make me feel better. His idea of making me feel better is telling me that I am “Incorrect” when I worry that I might have made the wrong choice. It’s his belief in me that makes me feel stronger.

Last night after we got off the phone, when my mind was feeling like it could stop spinning and questioning and doing the mental equivalent of loop-de-loops with my emotions, I put on a shirt I have of his and hugged a pillow until I fell asleep. I don’t know what it is about wearing Boyfriend’s clothes but it almost feels like a long distance hug when I do. I know it’s a girl thing, we steal sweaters and t-shirts and keep relationships with the clothes longer than we do with the man who used to wear them, but when you first steal that t-shirt it’s just because it smells like him, it feels like him and it’s the best thing you have to connect the two of you when you’re apart.

It’s funny how after an hour long conversation with Boyfriend everything suddenly seems easier to deal with; I made the right career choice, change is good and I need to stop being so afraid of my own.

I never thought I’d find someone who understood how to make me laugh and how to talk me off the ledge. Right now, three hours behind him, I feel as close to him as ever because I know all I need to do is call and he’ll be right there telling me I’m being an idiot and laughing at me over the phone. That’s a lot nicer than it sounds, but our relationship doesn’t make much sense because we’re both completely weird, in a totally charming way.

Meddling parents make for most frightening Craigslist personal ad ever

And you thought your parents were bad.

We got a hold of this example of a weird set of meddling parents who last year took to the internet to find a “suitable girlfriend” for their grown son. Sure, just like how your mom keeps trying to set you up with that nice young man who works in your father’s office. Except these guys are set that their son doesn’t even like his girlfriend and only dates her because she has an apartment downtown he can sleep over at to avoid morning traffic. I think mom and dad here have a pretty skewed idea of what takes place when a man and a woman have a sleepover.

The kind of lady who would scheme with a guy’s parents to swap out an old girlfriend probably isn’t the classiest of classy ladies, FYI.

As for the current girlfriend, this girl has “loose morals” and must be stopped before any “accidents” happen.

Yikes. Here’s hoping that their “looker” of a son chose the right people to break up with.

Click the image for full size.

Follow Travis on Twitter: @travmyers



For Jack Dell‘Accio, the founder and CEO of Essentia, sleeping on an organic mattress is essential to living a healthy life.

He previously owned a company which customized cabinetry for high-rise buildings, and although an entrepreneur at heart, he never imagined that he would have founded the company that makes the world’s only all-natural memory foam mattresses.

After his father was diagnosed with cancer, Jack discovered that everything around us has the potential to affect our health. Being exposed to various health practitioners, he became intrigued by the relationship of the environment to our bodies and was inspired to do his part in helping people become healthier.

The idea to create a memory foam mattress came from Jack’s father who worked in the latex and foam business. He had discovered that there were several problems with using latex in memory foam, most importantly, performance. Latex, which is made from rubber tree sap, doesn’t allow for adequate blood circulation for spinal alignment and support. Jack decided to take conventional latex and reconfigure the technology to turn it into natural memory foam. It is the only mattress of its kind. The mattresses are designed to give support to every arch and curve in the body and provide many physical benefits for any age range.

Jack launched Essentia in 2006 and the business has grown exponentially ever since with stores in Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, New York and Santa Monica, Denver, Berkeley, Chicago and Seattle. There are currently plans to open locations in Ottawa and San Francisco.

Jack believes that Essentia has a bright future and mattresses are just the beginning and they also now offer support pillows, organic sheets, natural dog beds and crib mattresses for babies.

“I think there is huge potential in just the technology more so than in any other field. Non-toxic foam should be the only existing foam out there,” he says.

Essentia has been featured in O magazine, on the Rachel Ray Show, Anderson Live and the Dr. Oz Show where they were the number-one hot list product for one year and subsequently caused a website crash after a massive influx of online visitors.

Essentia is more than just a green company, they believe in the green and health-minded philosophy through and through. “It’s how we exist.”