Saturday 27 January 2007

Book ~ "She, Myself & I" Whitney Gaskell (2005)

From ~ The Cassel sisters find solace in one another as they stumble through divorce, childrearing and existential crises. Each outspoken sister narrates her own trials. Controlling divorce attorney, Paige, keeps a tight rein on her emotions as she comes to terms with her gay ex-husband and shies away from an over-eager boyfriend. Social, emotional Sophie gives birth to her first child and then struggles with post-partum depression, a shaky marriage and a crush on her pediatrician. Their baby sister, restless Mickey, flexes her newfound adult independence by giving up medical school in favor of a culinary career, falling hard for a married chef in the process. Connecting the tales are the three sisters' easy camaraderie and their bemused horror when their divorced parents reunite. The Cassel sisters' problems are never very menacing - they attract bland men and succeed professionally with ease - and it's difficult to sympathize with their dithering; Paige's realization that she doesn't know what she wants applies to all three. Fortunately, none linger in indecision in this slight novel and Gaskell moves each sister along to a frothy but ultimately satisfying conclusion.

This book had possibilities. I liked the idea that it would be written with three different voices. But it came across as three bad Harlequin romances stuck together. I didn't care about any of the characters and the three sisters were so whiny and indecisive.

I did find the writing style pleasant to read ... that's the only reason I stuck with it 'til the end.

I wouldn't recommend this book.

Tuesday 23 January 2007

Book ~ "The Secrets of Skinny Chicks" - Karen Bridson (2006)

From ~ Bridson profiles 25 svelte women, including models, actors, athletes and regular folks, to reveal exactly what it is each one does to look so great. These women share with you their tips for planning menus, exercising, and staying motivated as well as advice on boosting metabolism. You will learn how to adapt these secrets into your own life safely and realistically.

Twenty-five women, who reportedly don't have high metabolisms, were interviewed. I found it amazing how poor some of their diets were. It's no wonder they have to work out two hours a day. You can eat junk but you have to work out extra hard to get rid of it. They were making room in their diets for cookies, donuts, etc. For me, it's all or nothing. I can't stop at one cookie so I avoid them altogether.

The fifty tips were good ... common sense stuff that was a good reminder.

Saturday 20 January 2007

Book ~ "Me vs. Me" Sarah Mlynowski (2006)

From ~ This is what happens to one woman when her wish comes true and she's able to choose both paths that open in front of her. Gabby Wolf isn't sure what she wants most: to marry her boyfriend, Cam, and stay in Arizona or move to New York for her dream job, producing a popular news show. She wishes she could have it both ways and, the next thing she knows, she's living two lives, going back and forth between planning her wedding to Cam in Arizona and working at the fast-paced, exciting job in New York. Neither life is perfect. Though she adores Cam, his overbearing mother is hijacking her wedding plans, while in New York, her roommate is somewhat unbalanced and the dating scene is dismal. As time goes on, the choice doesn't become any easier. Gabby still loves Cam, though she's starting to love her newly assertive self that emerges in New York, too.

It sounded like an interesting premise and I'd read a couple of Mlynowski's books in the past. I was enjoying the book ... until Arizona Gabby started getting really wimpy and letting her future mother-in-law walk all over her. I didn't mind New York Gabby (she was assertive and exciting) so wanted to finished the book to see how it ended.

Would I recommend this book? No.

Friday 19 January 2007

Raclette with Yvette

I went to my friend, Yvette's, for supper tonight. I've known Yvette since we worked together in 1999. Her boyfriend, Brian, was there too. Gord was at a work function so didn't join us.

Two of her ferrets (Lily was snoozing)
Spunky and Yvette

Yvette had told me back in November that she had a raclette. She tried to describe it to me but I didn't have a clue what she was talking about.

A raclette, I now know, is a grill. You can cook anything on it ... we had chicken, beef, peppers and onions. Under the grill are containers that heat up. In ours, we put cheese with potatoes, carrots and/or peppers. When the cheese melts, you put the contents on your plate and eat it.

Brian and Yvette and the raclette
Brian and I
When everything is cooked
Yvette and I

Racletting (is it a verb?!) is fun! It's very social ... you sit around yakking watching your meal cook. And it's fairly healthy ... because everything is cut up, it seems like you have eaten a lot more than you actually have.

I hope Yvette invites me back again soon for another one!

Monday 15 January 2007

Book ~ "PS, I Love You" Cecelia Ahern (2004)

From Goodreads ~ Holly couldn't live without her husband Gerry, until the day she had to. They were the kind of young couple who could finish each other's sentences. 

When Gerry succumbs to a terminal illness and dies, 30-year-old Holly is set adrift, unable to pick up the pieces. But with the help of a series of letters her husband left her before he died and a little nudging from an eccentric assortment of family and friends, she learns to laugh, overcome her fears and discover a world she never knew existed.

Despite the depressing topic, I liked it. It was funny at times and I liked the writing style. And I liked that the ending wasn't what I was expecting, which would have been too predictable.

Sunday 14 January 2007

"One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest", Fairview Mall Library Theatre, Toronto, ON

McMurphy is a charming, devil-may-care rogue who contrives to serve a short sentence in an airy mental institution rather than work in a prison.

He takes over the yard, and he accomplishes what the medical profession has been unable to do for twelve years - a presumed deaf and dumb man talks and others move out of introversion. He stages a revolt and makes demands on behalf of the patients. This, he suddenly learns, is a mistake. His charm does not work on the head nurse, however, but only aggravates her antagonism towards him.

Gord and I enjoy live theatre and this Single Horizons event was a good opportunity to check out a theatre we'd never been to (Stage Centre Production at the Fairview Mall Library Theatre). It's a small theatre that seats 260 people. All are great seats because the seats are elevated above the stage.

The play was good. Having seen the movie, I was curious to see how it would be done as a play. Most of the actors were good, especially the guys playing the patients. The actor playing the doctor, though, wasn't very good.

LeeAnn (owner of Single Horizons), me and Margaret

Saturday 13 January 2007

Book ~ "Museum of Kitschy Stitches: A Gallery of Notorious Knits" - Stitchy McYarnpants (2006)

From ~ Hideous hats, ridiculous wraps, embarrassing neckties, and more they're all on display at The Museum of Kitschy Stitches, a photographic gallery of knitting and crocheting horrors. Want to see sci-fi inspired headgear from the 1940s? Gender-bending sweater sets from the '50s and '60s? Groovy outerwear from the '70s? Museum curator, Stitchy McYarnpants, has sifted through decades of vintage catalogs, patterns, and advertisements to assemble this astonishingly awful collection. Along the way, she provides sidesplitting commentary about the models and their very unfortunate fashion choices. It's essential reading for knitters and nostalgia buffs!

This is a great book for knitters. Some of these patterns are really scary. Some?! I mean ALL! Definitely worth a look if you are a knitter to see how styles have changed over the years.

Stitchy McYarnpants' website

Book ~ "Turning Thirty" - Mike Gayle (2005)

From Goodreads ~ Matt Beckford has a good job in New York and lives with his beautiful girlfriend, Elaine. But when Elaine breaks up with him, Matt finds himself on a new course, requesting a transfer and moving back home to Birmingham to live with his parents in the interim. 

Matt is none too thrilled by the prospect of turning 30 while living in his childhood home but he finds himself revisiting his youth by reconnecting with two old friends: his best friend, Gershwin, now married with a young daughter, and Ginny, the girl who was never quite Matt's girlfriend but with whom he shared a strong connection.

Though I'm on the other side of 30, I really enjoyed this book and the writing style. Matt is a nice guy trying to find himself. With mere months before his 30th birthday, Matt laments that he is not where he thought he would be at this age as he reconnects with his past.

Tuesday 2 January 2007

Book ~ "Hitched" Carol Higgins Clark (2006)

From ~ Clark's winning ninth mystery to feature PI Regan Reilly. With her wedding to Jack Reilly, head of the NYPD Major Case Squad, only a week away, Regan thinks she has everything under control. But when she arrives to pick up her wedding dress at Alfred and Charisse's Coutures in Little Italy, she finds the young husband-and-wife designers bound and gagged, a wedding dress shredded on the floor and four others missing, including her own. In spite of all she must do before the wedding, Regan agrees to investigate. Jack, hoping to solve a big bank robbery case before their nuptials, is more than supportive. To Regan's surprise, not all the brides-to-be who've lost their gowns are that distraught. Regan's and Jack's cases convincingly intertwine as the sleuthing trail leads them from the streets of New York to Las Vegas. With her usual cast of quirky characters, Clark's lighthearted romp will keep readers guessing who will and who won't make it to the altar.

Entertaining but nice mystery. There were lots of mysteries intertwined and there was a very happy ending. It's worth the read ... it's just not as edgy as I'm used to.

Monday 1 January 2007


Remember the CD I bought back in November?

Lose Weight and Feel Great ... without sacrifice or willpower. Learn how to: feel better, control those cravings, remain at your ideal weight. A highly regarded weight loss program. This is a 3 week program.

I was supposed to listen to it for 21 days in a row but I only listened once because I ended up going to Nova Scotia for a week ... and then the holidays arrived.

I listened to it tonight. The same thing happened as the last time ... I barely remember what he said in the middle ... something about wanting to eat healthy, wanting to be active, etc. But when it was time to be alert again, I was.

So I'm going to do it for the next 21 days and I'll let you know how it goes.