Archive | October, 2010

For the love of brunch

29 Oct

As the weekend nears, our thoughts are turning towards all things weekend. Workouts, coffee with friends and drinks out are all on our to-do lists. (Rough weekend, hey?)

At the very top of our lists is enjoying a brunch out at one of Calgary’s many amazing breakfast stops. (Brunch is also a remarkable tool in easing the effects of the aforementioned drinks out.)

Most recently, we dined at Over Easy on Edmonton Trail. We adore this place for its high-quality fare, affordable prices and quick service. The room is super cute, too. (We would hang out there all morning but, if we did, we’d be denying other hungry people their rightful spots in this cozy joint.)

While everything on the menu looks tasty, the standby — eggs, toast, sausage and sliced tomatoes — is one of our regular picks. And it’s yummy every time.

Happy weekend, readers. And enjoy your brunches.


I Do’s and I Didn’ts

28 Oct

A Toque Wedding

I promise to not go on and on about my wedding.

From this day forward, for better or for worse, in sickness (like when I’m too stuffed up to come up with original posts) and in health (like when I’d rather be running), I will not inundate you with know-it-all bridal advice.

Except this once. I solemnly swear.

Please, please, please remember to do these things on your big day:

1. Moisturize your elbows! I had way too many other things on my mind that morning to think about my elbows.  Holy smokes, I wish I given them even one little second of attention. My elbows are all over the photos. Hugging, kissing, cake-cutting, exchanging rings – elbows everywhere. And mine look like flaky mini-volcanoes of dead skin erupting off my arms.

2. Put on perfume. I brought the boy’s favourite perfume especially for the wedding day. It’s SJP’s Lovely, if you’re wondering. He calls it “Berlin” because it reminds him of our long-ago reunion in the German capitol. But I forgot to spritz it on that morning. I smelled of hairspray rather than Berlin. (My sister told me she forgot, too. Really, who’s thinking about perfume?)

3. Re-sew the edge of your veil onto the hair clip, no matter how solid it looks. I repeat, no matter how solid it looks. Over the course of the day, I hugged a gazillion people, hiked into a forest, drove up and down and up and down a mountain and kissed the groom four gazillion times. By the end, my veil was hanging by a thread. My brother’s girlfriend performed emergency surgery with bobby pins to make me semi-respectable again.

4. Put your keys somewhere responsible. And make sure the groom puts your keys somewhere responsible. You know, just in case you’re leaving for the honeymoon in the morning and you’ve got a long drive ahead. Because you’d hate to spend your first day of wedding bliss bickering about who lost the keys. (And if that happens, check his mom’s purse.)

5. Break in your shoes in advance. Not just the shoes for the day of but the-night-before shoes, too. Because if you get blisters the night before, you’ll still have blisters the next day. I must have skipped that lesson in school.

Something I’m very happy we did:

1. The night before the wedding, friends suggested that the new husband and I take 10-15 minutes to be alone at some point during the day – whether driving up to the reception together or hiding out by the lake before dinner. We drove ourselves around for the photos, alone, and it was our only chance to say, “Wow. You look awesome. And this is amazing.”

A Moment of Awesome, Photo by Jennifer Dykstra of Open Image


PS – Just in case you guys didn’t read the comments, my sisters added something very important to the list — floss. In the car that takes you to the ceremony, not stored in the car that you’re using to get away from the ceremony. Now, if you do forget the floss and no one has a stray thread that they’d dare pull, you can always use a driver’s license. Just an idea.

Water and more water, please

27 Oct

In January, I went to South America with a girlfriend of mine, who happens to be a holistic nutritionist and the very image of good health. We met up in Houston, on the Rio de Janeiro-bound plane. This was not without stress. Thanks to delays from Toronto, my lovely friend barely caught the flight. So, when she bounded aboard at the very last second, we did a dance of joy in the aisle.

We sat in our seats, thrilled to be together and on our way.

I turned to her and said, “You look fantastic!”

Her response: “Thanks. Your skin looks really dehydrated.”


We’ve laughed about that a few times since then. And I’m so thankful she pointed it out, because my skin was reflecting my bad habits. For most of my adult life, drinking water has never been a priority.

Since that comment — and that trip — I’ve made a solid effort to drink more water. But I’ve really notched up my efforts the last few weeks. Maybe it’s because the cold weather is coming and my fingers are so dry they’re about to fall off. Maybe it’s because it’s finally setting in that urban girl cannot survive on coffee and wine alone. Maybe it’s because I’m more thirsty. I don’t know. All I know is I’m drinking 2 to 3 litres of water a day and it feels good.

Sure, my coworkers think there’s something wrong with me; I’m wearing the carpet between my office and the bathroom thin in a hurry. The good news: I do think my bladder’s adjusting. And the funny thing is, the more I drink, the more thirsty I get. Weird.

That’s why I never leave home without a trusty 1.5-litre water bottle.


Fabulous F.A.W.’s

26 Oct

We’re completely smitten with fingerless arm warmers. Smitten.

The boy calls them our “homeless people mittens.” Ha-ha. Very funny. He obviously does not get our sartorial wit.

Really, how could a girl not fall hard for these fun ones from Roots?

Fingerless Arm Warmers (On a Girl Who Needs a Manicure)

For an accessory seemingly without purpose, these F.A.W.’s are surprisingly wearable. They work well for:

  1. Outdoor runs when it’s too hot for a sweater, too cold for a T-shirt;
  2. Fancy dress outings involving sweaters/coats with three-quarter length sleeves;
  3. Sleepovers at friends’ country houses when covers and flannel jammies can’t keep the cold out;
  4. Adventures around autumn farmer’s markets, paired with a jean jacket and scarf;
  5. Study sessions in coffeehouses.

A cautionary note: they do not — and we can’t emphasize this enough — work well at events attended by orthopedic surgeons. I wore a pair of cozy cashmere UGG arm warmers in cream to a party with orthopedic surgeons. They all thought I had bilateral wrist fractures.

A definite fashion buzz killer.


New Adidas Kicks

25 Oct

I’ve been going to the gym for more than 12 years now. And in 12 years, this is how many times someone has exclaimed over my running shoes: zero.

That’s why I think my new lightweight shoes, the Adidas adiZero Boston runners, deserve a shout out. The first time I wore them to the gym a couple of weeks ago, the girl behind the desk literally shouted out, “Oh my god! I love your shoes! They’re so sexy. They’re so bright!”

Are you asking yourself, “How bright can they really be?” Check ’em out:

When I first spotted these shoes at The Tech Shop, I immediately thought two things:

1) Those are very, very flashy.

2) I like them, but have absolutely no workout clothes that would match them. (Yes, I’m like that.)

Instead of leave the little puppies on the shelves, I tried them on. They fit well. They were light. Best of all, I thought, if I got lost on a nighttime run, I could use them to illuminate a way home.

The decision was made; the Boston shoes were mine. Next stop? Lululemon, my favourite workout gear clothing store. I snagged an all-black pair of running capris and a black and grey top, as well. I was set.

Since that first shopping spree, I’ve come to realize that  my workout clothes need not take inspiration from the grim reaper’s colour palette. I’m back to wearing my usual bright tops and running pants, and it’s been working out just fine. Plus, I’ve had comments from a few girls, in the change room and on the gym floor, about my pretty new shoes. (Thanks, girls!)

The moral of the story? Never fear a bright pair of shoes. They just might turn out to be your favourites.


Making The Cut

22 Oct


Check out this new toy:

Tojiro DP Knife

Pretty sweet, n’est ce pas?

When I first moved to Calgary, I didn’t have a cent to spare. When I did, my cents went to the necessities of life  like Frye boots and new skis. Good knives? Whatever. I bought a shiny set of six from a no name store and they looked great sitting on the counter top. For cutting, however, they fall far short of great. I tortured vegetables. My diced tomatoes looked like I gnawed them into pieces and spit them onto the cutting board. Gordon Ramsey would’ve blown a gasket.

Then, a dear friend bought me this Tojiro knife from Knifewear, here in Calgary. This specialty shop specializes in knives made by the makers of Japanese samurai swords. You can even see the folds of steel in the blade of my Tojiro. This knife is from Niigata City, Japan — an area famous for knives and sake.

Methinks homemade sushi is in order for this weekend. Tomorrow, we’ll hit the shops for fresh tuna and salmon, and roll ourselves a little party.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend, dears! Any big plans?


Running Calgary’s bridges

21 Oct

We love Calgary, our western city. Why? The reasons are many, but here are a few: It’s filled with amazing people. It’s close to the Rocky mountains. And it’s buzzing with energy this week after a too-close-to-call civic election, in which we elected a new young, smart and driven mayor, named Naheed Nenshi.

One of the things we love best about Calgary? The excellent running paths.

Some of our favourite paths run alongside two rivers that criss-cross throughout the city, the Bow and the Elbow. And we’re not the only ones who make use of them; in the morning, at lunch and in the evening, the pathways are usually packed with runners, walkers and bikers. (We were at a Sheryl Crow concert here a couple of years ago and Sheryl, an uber fit rocker, said she’d never seen so many people outside exercising on their lunch hour.)

Yesterday, we took advantage of a lovely October day — an oxymoron in Calgary? hey, we never said we adore the weather here — and went for a run along the Bow.

We consider it a run of bridges, because, at any point in the run, a bridge is either close behind or just ahead of you. We love it because it means endless options for turnaround points. Here are just a couple of them.

And the views aren’t too shabby either.

Fingers crossed the good weather holds out for a while. But when it turns ugly, don’t worry about us. We’ll make it through — we may have just bought new running toques to help us cope.

(Hey, a girl needs a toque for every occasion.)

And they’re back!

20 Oct

Hello dears!

Our apologies for disappearing from your computer screens for the last six weeks. We could lie to you and tell you that every single one of our fingers dropped off.

But with two girls, that’s 20 fingers and extremely low odds that you’d believe us. So here’s the truth: one of us got married, one moved (without leaving town, thank goodness!), someone went to San Francisco and shopped too much, someone went to DC and shopped too much, a husband moved in, someone organized a major charity luncheon. There were charity races and new boys, pregnant sisters and pregnant sisters-in-law and two more girlfriends went from pregnancy to motherhood. Things have been, you know, busy.

We promise never to disappear again. Talk to you tomorrow.

Oh, and check out this new lovely toque from Anthropologie. It’s from the cute Anthropologie in Georgetown. (Less than one month to go and we’ll have an Anthropologie within lunch-hour radius. Dangerous.)

Anthropologie Solitary Hat


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