Monday, 20 August 2018

Ipsy Glam Bag - August 2018

My August Ipsy Glam Bag arrived today.
  • 4 to 5 beauty products in a collectible makeup bag 
  • Monthly videos showing you how to get the Look 
  • Win free products in contests and giveaways

Subscriptions are $10US a month or $110US for a year.  Shipping is free in the U.S. and $4.95US per month to Canada.


Here's what I received ...




  • Make-up bag
  • HUDA BEAUTY Liquid Matte (Flirt) - $20 value
  • Murade AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser - 1oz - $5.78 value
  • OUAI Volume Spray - 25ml - $4.64 value
  • Thrive Cosmetics Liquid Lash Extensions (Black) - $12 value
  • Bang Beauty Eyeshadow Quad (Smokey) - $18 value
  • Sunday, 19 August 2018

    Book ~ "The Fixer Upper" (2009) Mary Kay Andrews

    From Goodreads ~ After a political scandal, fledgling lobbyist Dempsey Jo Killebrew is left almost broke, unemployed and homeless. She reluctantly accepts to refurbish Birdsong, the old family place in Guthrie, Georgia.

    But, oh, is Dempsey in for a surprise. "Bird Droppings" would more aptly describe the moldering Pepto Bismol pink dump. There's also a murderously grumpy old lady who has claimed squatter's rights and isn't moving out. Ever.

    Furthermore, everyone in Guthrie seems to know Dempsey's business, from a smooth-talking real-estate agent to a cute former lawyer who owns the local newspaper. It wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for the pesky FBI agents who show up on Dempsey's doorstep, hoping to pry information about her ex-boss from her.

    All Dempsey can do is roll up her sleeves and get to work. And before long, what started as a job of necessity somehow becomes a labor of love and, ultimately, a journey that takes her to a place she never expected back home again.

    Dempsey is a lobbyist working in Washington for Alex.  She gets caught up in a scandal caused by Alex and he pushes the blame her way.  With no job or money, she heads to Birdsong, a big ole house that her father has just inherited from Uncle Norbert about an hour outside of Atlanta.  Her father says if she fixes the house up so they can sell it, he'll split the profits with her.  With no other options, she packs up her meager belongings and takes on this challenge.

    When Dempsey gets to Birdsong, she discovers the house is in worse shape than her father thought.  Everything has to be renovated and her father has given her an $80,000 budget to get it all done.  So she has to digs in and start learning how to do the manual labour.  Plus she discovers that Ella Kate, Uncle Norbert's elderly and crusty caregiver, is living in the house with her dog and has no intention of leaving.

    FBI agents are investigating the scandal and have all the proof they need to put Dempsey in prison for about 15 years.  But if she cooperates with them, they may be able to give her a break.  She eventually hires Carter, Uncle Norbert's lawyer, and starts dating his son, Tee.

    I've read quite a few books by this author ... I didn't really like this one and didn't enjoy the story.  It is written in first person perspective in Dempsey's voice.  I hated the way the blue-collar locals spoke ... they sound so illiterate, for example saying "I brung this" or "I done that".  As a head's up, there is swearing and adult activity.  There are recipes at the end of the book.

    I found it unbelievable that one minute she is living a life in Washington with pedicures/manicures and suits and the next her father is sending her off to renovate his house.  He had confidence in her abilities because she coloured a couple chairs in her Barbie house about 20 years ago!  The next thing we know, she's sanding cupboard doors, stripping floors, etc. like a pro!

    I didn't find most of the characters likable.  Dempsey is in her late twenties and graduated from law school but she had the maturity of someone much younger.  When news of the scandal hit and she was threatened with prison time and everyone was advising her to talk to a lawyer, she resisted ... because she didn't want to hurt Alex's feelings?!  Really?!

    I hated Ella Kate and didn't find her amusing at all.  She was unappreciative and rude beyond belief.  I would have kicked her out of the house the second there was conflict.  Plus Ella Kate was stereotypically racist ... she wanted an "American" doctor rather than the East Indian one and she called a nurse "coloured".  Even Shorty, Ella Kate's dog, was cranky.

    Dempsey's parents were awful.  Her father and stepmother were condescending and A-holes and never nice to her.  Her mother was a flake.  It was weird that Dempsey usually called them by their first names rather than "Mom" and "Dad".

    Carter and Tee become Dempsey's friends and Tee is in love with her after about hour of meeting her.  Seriously?!  It seems like the story took place over a couple weeks and even though she pushes him away, Dempsey and Tee end up in love in the end (sorry to ruin the surprise of the happy ending).

    I thought it was odd, though the story was written in and I'm assuming set in 2009, the only album Dempsey has on her ipod was Michael Jackson's Thriller, which came out in 1982, around the time she was born.  Why Thriller?!  I like listening to older albums but I mix it up.

    Saturday, 18 August 2018

    3 Brewers Restaurant Micro-Brewery, Toronto, ON (Liberty Village)

    Gord and I had supper this evening at 3 Brewers in Liberty Village.

    Toronto Wolfpack 22, Hull Kingston Rovers 28, Lamport Stadium, Toronto, ON

    The Toronto Wolfpack RLFC is a Canadian professional rugby league club, based in here Toronto, which competes in the British Rugby Football League system.  In 2018, the club is competing in the Championship, having begun to play in 2017 in League 1 and won a promotion in its inaugural season.  The club is noted as being the first North American team to play in the Rugby Football League system, the first fully professional rugby league team in Canada and the world's first transatlantic rugby league team.  Their home stadium is Lamport Stadium (aka "The Den"), which is just a couple blocks from where Gord and I live.  We are season ticket holders (and we renewed for 2019 this week).

    Today the Wolfpack were playing the Hull Kingston Rovers (who are in the Super League).  It was round two of the qualifiers ... the top four teams in our Betfred League (the Wolfpack were first in the Betfred League) play the bottom four teams in the Super League to see who moves or stays in the leagues. As part of the Super 8s qualifiers middle tier format, it was the first visit of a club from the top division onto Canadian soil.

    Here are me and Gord before the game began.


    Here come the Wolfpack players ...


    God Save the Queen and O Canada were sung before the game.

    Thursday, 16 August 2018

    Book ~ "The Art of Being Bill: Bill Murray and the Many Faces of Awesome" (2018) Ezra Croft and Jennifer Raiser

    From Goodreads ~ "The Art of Being Bill" is the first illustrated collection highlighting Bill Murray like you’ve never seen him before: Bill Murray at The Last Supper, Bill Murray as an Indian god and nearly 150 other fitting tributes that will amuse and inspire you.

    Are you Murray obsessed?What better way to celebrate all that is Bill Murray than through art? Bill Murray art shows have been popping up across the country. Join in the celebration with "The Art of Being Bill".

    Just like Murray himself, the artwork in "The Art of Being Bill" is both poignant and funny, with over 100 artworks, including details about each piece; inspired quotes; and his incredible film history. This is the ultimate gift book for the Murray addict and art lover in your life.

    The Art of Being Bill is a unique book about Bill Murray.  Croft is a Bill Murray superfan.  He's seen all of his movies many times.  Murray has inspired artists to create their interpretations of him and a couple years ago Croft started putting together Bill Murray art shows, with artists selling their works.  This book is for anyone who wasn't able to attend an art show.

    There are a couple parts to this book.  One is the full-colour artwork (including paintings, tattoos, etc.) and it's grouped in chapters according to the personalities that define Bill Murray ... the jester, the thinker, the intense and so on.  Included are tidbits of information.  For example, Murray once shot a short promotional video for his son's school where he ad-libbed with nearby stuffed animals.


    Raiser highlights many of the key moments in Murray's movie history from Meatballs in 1979 to The Jungle Book in 2016.  There is a one page description of the movie along with the movie poster, and "behind the scenes" information relating to the movie.  For example, with Meatballs, the cowriter/producer didn't know if Murray was even going to show up to shoot the movie three days before they were scheduled to start.

    This is an interesting book if you are a Bill Murray fan (which I am).

    Topbox - August 2018

    My August Topbox arrived today.

    For only $12 a month, you will receive a Topbox with 4 carefully selected, indulgent, beauty products. Then test the products in the comfort of your own home.


    Here's what I received ...


  • Beautaniq Beauty Fill + Tame Brow Gel - $12 value
  • Avène TriXera Nutrition Nutri-fluid cleanser - 100ml - $7.09 value
  • Pure Cosmetics Silicone Pro Blender - $11 value
  • Joico Body Shake Texturing Finisher - $26 value
  • Wednesday, 15 August 2018

    Book ~ "Drinking from the Trough" (2018) Mary Carlson

    From Goodreads ~ Mary Carlson didn't start out to become a veterinarian, let alone the owner and caretaker of cats (many), dogs (two, both huskies), and horses (some with manners, some without) in Colorado. She was a suburban Chicago girl; all she knew of the American West came from the stories her uncle, who had settled in northern Colorado, told her during his annual visits. But thanks to him, she ended up moving to Fort Collins, Colorado for college - and after falling in love with a man she'd become friends with in her final year of college, when he was a student at the CSU School of Veterinary Medicine, she remained there. 

     Watching the work Earl did as a veterinarian inspired Mary to eventually leave her tenured teaching position and enter vet school, after which she opened her own feline-exclusive clinic. Along the way, there were numerous pets, grueling years of vet school, a shattered hip, an enduring love, illness, and death - and the rediscovery that life, especially a life full of delightful animals, is worth living. 

    I love reading books about animals (and have read many) so that's why this one caught my eye.  Plus how could I resist the animals looking down at me?!

    Mary is a school teacher who decided to go back to school to become a vet (her husband, Earl, was also a vet), with a focus on providing services for cats.  Then she decided she missed being a teacher so went back to teaching school (one school in the morning and a different one in the afternoon) while still providing vet services for cats.  In retirement, it sounds like she is going to law school.  On top of that, she and Earl had a small farm where they kept a couple horses along with pet dogs and cats.

    When I started reading the book, which is billed as a "vet's memoir", I was expecting it to be full of animal stories ... her pets and her patients.  There were stories about animals (her dogs, cats and horses) which I liked.  But it was more heavy with stories from her personal life ... her father-in-law's death, her husband's death, recovering after falling off a horse, going back to school and more.  So to me, it missed the mark, especially considering the pictures on the cover (I don't remember there being any guinea pig stories).

    The stories were scattered as they weren't in chronological order ... she bounced all over the place, back and forth.  And I found there was a lot of repetition ... she tells us a couple times how she got her $100 horse but it was like she was telling us for the first time every time which I found odd.  When I checked her website, I saw she has a blog so I'm wondering if this book is a compilation of some of her old blog posts?

    I really wanted to like this book but for the most part, I didn't.

    The Dock Ellis, Toronto, ON

    Gord and I had lunch today at The Dock Ellis (Dundas Street W, just west of Dovercourt Road), which is in our 'hood.  I've walked by it tons of times but have never been in.


    Gord ordered a Fried Chicken Sandwich.  It was made with real chicken rather than processed chicken.  He said he'd get it again but with mayo rather than Franks hot sauce.


    I love love love burritos and I ordered the lunch special, which was a cheesy chorizo burrito (without lettuce).  It was good and messy and spicy and I'd get it again.

    Chakras & Chai, Laya Spa & Yoga, Toronto, ON

    I worked from home today and Gord and I attended Chakras & Chai, a guided meditation which was focused on the heart chakra.

    It was at Laya Spa & Yoga (Queen Street W/Ossington Avenue), which is in our 'hood.  We had massages there for Gord's birthday in March and Gord has since been to some of their yoga and meditation sessions.  Meditation and yoga are held in the building next door on the third floor.


    Alisa led us through a 30 minute meditation, which had a focus on the heart chakra.

    After the meditation, Alisa served us some chocolate chai and snacks on the rooftop terrace.  It was nice because it gave us a chance to chat about what we'd experienced.

    Tuesday, 14 August 2018

    Book ~ "Hissy Fit" (2004) Mary Kay Andrews

    From Goodreads ~ Keeley Murdock's wedding to A. J. Jernigan should have been the social event of the season. But when she catches her fiance doing the deed with her maid of honor at the country club rehearsal dinner, all bets are off. And so is the wedding. Keeley pitches the hissy fit of the century, earning herself instant notoriety in the small town of Madison, Georgia.

    Even worse is the financial pressure A.J.'s banking family brings to bear on Keeley's interior design business. But riding to the rescue - in a vintage yellow Cadillac - is the redheaded stranger who's purchased a failing local bra plant. Will Mahoney hires Keeley to redo the derelict antebellum mansion he's bought. Her assignment: decorate it for the woman of his dreams - a woman he's never met.

    Only a designing woman like Keeley Murdock can find a way to clear her name and give her cheating varmint of an ex-fiance the comeuppance he so richly deserves. 

    Keely is an interior decorator and engaged to marry A.J., the son of a local wealthy banker.  On the night before the wedding, at the rehearsal dinner, Keeley catches A.J. and her maid of honour and best friend doing naked stuff they shouldn't be doing.  Keeley freaks out and needless to say, the wedding is off.   A.J., though, hasn't given up and tries to woo Keeley into going back to him.

    In the meantime, Keeley is hired by Will, a rich business owner who has recently purchased a plantation house, and he has a very aggressive schedule.  He wants Keeley to redo the house so it will be the marital of home for him and Stephanie, a lawyer.  Will, though, has never met Stephanie.  He saw her on TV on a telethon and fell in love with her.  By making a large donation, she has agreed to go to dinner with him.  He feels that once she gets to know him and the house, they will live happily ever after.  Seriously?!  I thought he was either very arrogant or very stupid to think this way.  And Stephanie is a lawyer but I thought she came off as very dumb.

    On top of of this, there is the story of Jeanine, Keeley's mom, who had run off with one of her dad's employees 25 years ago.  Neither was ever seen or heard from again.  Keeley realizes she may have abandonment issues so decides to find out where her mother is after all these years.

    I've read quite a few books by this author and I didn't really like this one.  I found most of the storylines (except for the one about finding Jeanine) absurb.  It is written in first person perspective in Keeley's voice.  As a head's up, there is swearing and adult activity.

    I found the author's portrayal of some of the characters questionable.  The two gay men were so stereotypical and it made me wonder whether the author had ever met a gay man before.  There is an Asian woman named Selena and I thought the author's portrayal of her was racist and I cringed a bit.  Keeley seems surprised that Selena has a Southern accent.  And she's also surprised that Selena is making Shrimp Creole and not "some sort of chop suey or stir-fry" for supper.  Later when Keeley and her friend are talking about Selena, her friend wonders whether she knows any "kinky geisha girl tricks ... sort of like that whole Kama Sutra thing".

    As I was reading this, I was happy that the author had seemed veer away from her usual style which was girl meets boy, girl and boy get together, something happens to break up girl and boy but they end up together in the end.  The last chapter was disappointing as apparently a happy ending can't happen unless a girl is finally with a boy (this came out of the blue).

    Sunday, 12 August 2018

    "Swim Team", Theatre Centre, Toronto, ON

    SummerWorks started on Thursday.  Tickets start at $15 (you pay what you want).

    SummerWorks is a curated festival recognized nationally and internationally as a launching pad for new and experimental work. We are interested in continuously re-imagining and innovating the possibilities for performance – how it is created, presented and experienced. 

    SummerWorks supports work that has a clear artistic vision and explores a specific theatrical aesthetic. It encourages risk, questions, and creative exploration while insisting on accessibility, integrity and professionalism. SummerWorks is the place where dedicated, professional artists are free to explore new territory and take artistic risks. Rather than getting larger, we strive to get better. We look to introduce professional artists from diverse communities to each other and be inspired by our similarities and differences.

    Over the last couple of years, Gord and I have seen many SummerWorks productions and have enjoyed them.  We like them because you never know what to expect.

    This afternoon we saw Swim Team.

    Inspired by real stories from the world of women’s sports in post-revolutionary Iran, "Swim Team" follows three women who are determined to learn to swim in a place devoid of water. When their coach transforms her small apartment into a training facility, they discover that it can still be tricky to achieve your dreams, even when they’re just in your imagination.


    A female coach has moved to a place that doesn't have any water because of a recent drowning.  When three women want to learn how to swim, it makes it tricky because there is no water nearby.  The coach transforms her apartment into a swimming pool (with imaginary water) and teaches them how to hold their breath, swim and even dive.

    This was a different play and I thought it was okay.  It was interesting to see the women really get into learning how to swim when it was obvious there was no water.  It ran for 60 minutes.  As a head's up, there is swearing.  Today was the premiere and there was a Q&A after the play.

    It is playing at the Theatre Centre, which is in our 'hood.

    Etsy Team Toronto: Summer Makers Market, Toronto, ON

    I stopped in at the Etsy Team Toronto: Summer Makers Market at the Great Hall this afternoon, which is in our 'hood.

    Toronto ... meet your makers! That's right ... meet, shop and discover all the local talent Toronto has to offer! 

    Join us Sunday August 12, 2018, 10am-5pm, and meet a curated selection of Toronto's most noteworthy Etsy sellers and crafters. Find one of a kind goods, must-have locally made essentials and swoon worthy gift and lifestyle items. 

    If you love Etsy and you love #shoplocal then you will love our curated selection of 50 makers and sellers! Admission is FREE and first 50 visitors receive a complimentary swag bag.

    "A Girl Lives Alone", Theatre Centre, Toronto, ON

    SummerWorks started on Thursday.  Tickets start at $15 (you pay what you want).

    SummerWorks is a curated festival recognized nationally and internationally as a launching pad for new and experimental work. We are interested in continuously re-imagining and innovating the possibilities for performance – how it is created, presented and experienced. 

    SummerWorks supports work that has a clear artistic vision and explores a specific theatrical aesthetic. It encourages risk, questions, and creative exploration while insisting on accessibility, integrity and professionalism. SummerWorks is the place where dedicated, professional artists are free to explore new territory and take artistic risks. Rather than getting larger, we strive to get better. We look to introduce professional artists from diverse communities to each other and be inspired by our similarities and differences.

    Over the last couple of years, Gord and I have seen many SummerWorks productions and have enjoyed them.  We like them because you never know what to expect.

    This afternoon we saw A Girl Lives Alone.

    A Hitchcock-esque comedy and murder mystery mash-up about death, fear, and how well you really know your neighbours.


    Grace had just been murdered and the killer wasn't found.  The play is about the reactions and interactions of the other tenants who live in the building ... Marion, who  just moved into the building and didn't know Grace; Janet, who lives across the hallway from Marion, who loves Friends and was friends with Grace; Kim and Stewart, a couple who live upstairs; Alma, an older woman; Murray, the landlord; and a foley artist.

    I liked this play.  The actors did a good job with their distinct characters and made good use of the space on the stage.  It ran for 75 minutes.  As a head's up, there is swearing.

    It is playing at the Theatre Centre, which is in our 'hood.