A Fun-Sized Thank You

Today is a great day.

Not only is it Halloween, my favourite holiday of the year, it also marks the end of my daily blogging challenge.

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Oh, and did I mention it’s also my birthday??

Me, on my birthday in 2012, running outside in a tutu. That's right.

Me, on my birthday in 2012, running outside in a tutu…. And smiling really f*&king awkwardly.

Gotta keep this quick so I can continue soaking up as much attention as humanly possible, but I just wanted to give a fun-size (just kidding- BIG) thank you to all those who read, liked, commented and in some cases- suffered through- an entire month of daily posts. I’m going to try to keep up with the regular posting now that October is over, but I can’t make any promises. Sometimes, Wine life gets in the way.

Anyway, I’m off to get my champagne on, so get out there in your slutty/inappropriate costumes and have a safe and happy Halloween! Oh and don’t forget to save me all your Reese Peanut Butter Cups*

Question of the Day: Any plans for Halloween?

*Will also accept Twix, Snickers, Peanut M&M’s (NOT plain, what am I a savage?), Nibs and Hersheys Cookies n’ Creme.

C’est L’Halloween

I don’t know about you guys, but today really kicked my ass. I had lofty goals of coming home from work and finishing an awesomely hilarious post about zombies I started this weekend, but instead I just lay on  the couch, ate pizza and watched 3+ hours of entertainment news programming. (Side notes: how is Chris Brown still a free man? Julianne Hough is an idiot, and I cannot wait for baby WildKis.)

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Anyway, since I stupidly vowed to write a blog post every day this month, here is an awesome link that’s been making the rounds on Facebook today-

‘C’est l’Halloween’: the story behind the greatest French Halloween song ever

Those who know, know. And if you don’t know, now you know.

I don’t even know what I’m saying anymore.

Read the post, watch the vid, feel nostalgic, get in the Halloween spirit.. and maybe sing and dance a little. Or don’t- and say you did. That’s cool too.

Question of the Day: Did you take french classes in school?

Demons Are A Ghoul’s Best Friend

There are few things in this world I enjoy more than a well-executed pun.

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While some may consider puns lame or cliché, I find them to be one of the most creative and ingenious comedic devices; a true triumph of the English language.

That’s why I was so excited when getting my daily caffeine fix, I happened upon this amazing advertisement:

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Instagram – @breezyk1

Well done, David’s tea. Well done.

This inspired me to search for more hilarious Halloween puns. Since it’s Friday, and I don’t have five things we could all use a little laugh, here are some of my favourites:

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Or What about some punny Halloween costumes? Like

…Joey Ramona Quimby

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.. Bea Arthur

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…. Dumbledora The Explorer

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…..Gingerbread Man

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and my own personal favourite:

Lil’ Wayne on The Prairie

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Question of the Day: Are you dressing up for Halloween? What are you being?

Throwback Thursday: Halloween Candy

Halloween is right around the corner, and since I’m too lazy busy deciding which ironic Halloween costume to wear (Miley Cyrus wrecking ball?

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Or Baby North West?),

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I thought I’d go into the vault and pull out this little gem I first published back in October, 2011.

Originally part of a feature I did called Turn Up The Good: Turn Down The Suck, where I profiled a few things that were good, followed by a few things that sucked (genius, I know), this post is all about my favourite thing in the world (besides wine) – Candy! enjoy.

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Halloween is by far my favourite holiday of the year. Not only does it give you free license to wear whatever the hell you want and call it a “costume”, it’s also the day on which such A-List celebrities as Vanilla Ice, Rob Schnieder and (drumroll please)…. yours truly, were born. So that’s why, for this edition of Turn Up the Good, Turn down The Suck – I thought I would focus on one of the best parts of this glorious day: CANDY.

Halloween breezyk circa 1989

As a child, I put the “anal” in “analyze”. This was especially true of Halloween. I would return from trick or treating, dump my goods on my bedroom floor, and proceed to spend hours poring over my loot and categorizing its contents; determining which pieces were to be consumed first and which saved for later. By the time I was done constructing all of my little piles, my room looked like an episode of Hoarders: Buried Alive- but it was worth it. My rationing ensured that I would be adequately supplied with candy until Christmas (or at least until my older brothers got a hold of it.)

Sure they look cute… but these boys CANT BE TRUSTED

Anyway- as evidenced by my story, not all Halloween candy was created equal: so here I present to you a list of the best (turn up the good) and worst (turn down the suck) of Halloween candy:

Turn Up the Good

1. Full Size Chocolate Bars: otherwise known as the holy grail of trick or treating. Like unicorns (yes, exactly like unicorns), these were scarce. Neighbourhood kids would discuss which houses were giving full-size bars away, and make special trips just to get them. God bless these generous individuals.

2. Reese Peanut Butter Cups: I realize this one is slightly subjective. You can feel free to insert your favourite fun-size chocolate bar here- but damn I loved me some Reeses. Guaranteed to make the top cut of any sorting round.

2. Full Cans of (NAME BRAND ONLY) Pop (None of that No-name cola shit): I hesitated to add this one, simply because of the sheer weight these puppies add to your treat bag. However, it’s a cross I was always willing to bear in order to have unlimited cans of Pepsi at my disposal throughout November….

4. Homemade Shit: This makes the list due to its elusive nature. Homemade cookies? Quaint little bags of popcorn tied up lovingly with ribbons? CANDY APPLES? Sure they all looked amazing- but kid, you might as well just forget about it. If your parents were anything like mine, all that gloriousness was being thrown in the trash faster than you could say “this isn’t actually a costume“.

Homemade halloween treats- I salute you. Though your creators may be creepy, and you may contained concealed razor blades- your potential deliciousness transcends.

Turn Down the Suck

1. Rockets: AKA a cheap-ass waste of valuable treat bag space…. or, as a friend of mine rightly clarified: “a waste of EARTH space”.

2. Mollases Kisses: You know the ones I’m talking about. A sort of caramel/tootsie roll/ black licorice hybrid that have been around forever, and for some reason still persists. These choking hazards shouldn’t be given to CHILDREN- they should be reserved for old men who are missing most of their teeth so they can kill some time. I’m not feelin it.

3. Unmarked bags of potato chips: This was always a crapshoot. Emblazoned only with the “Hostess” or “Humpty Dumpty” logo all over them, you never knew what you were going to get. You risked wasting potential treats if you opened it up and didn’t like that kind, and for the weirdo kids like me, this created a nightmare for categorization.

Like this… EXCEPT NOT

4. Non-Food Related Items

Pencils, erasers, religious pamphlets… basically anything that made you roll your eyes behind the mask of your Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles costume and go “REALLY?”

Bitches be fundamentally misunderstanding the concept of Halloween, yo..

Question of the Day: What were your favourite/ least favourite Halloween Treats?

A Very Nova Scotia Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving friends! Today, I am thankful for family, friends, health, happiness, and most of all the homemade apple crisp I’ve been caning like nobody’s business.

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yeaaah buddy.

Also wine.

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Always wine.

My friend Lia, who is from Vancouver, came home with me for the holidays, and I’ve had a blast showing her all that the thriving metropolis of Pictou County has to offer. I just hope she can handle the excitement. Watching all THREE Back To The Future Movies in one day is a lot for anyone to handle.

Anyway, since I’m still in a semi-food coma from yesterday’s feast, here are a few pictures of my Thanksgiving weekend in beautiful Nova Scotia:

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Greenhill Lookoff.. not a bad view

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I don’t eat Oysters west of New Brunswick

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I don't blame her. The pumpkin is inherently a lot more interesting.

I don’t blame her. The pumpkin is inherently a lot more interesting.

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Hold onto your loved ones tight today, and have an extra piece of pumpkin pie for me :)

Question of the Day:

(cliché alert)

What Are You Thankful for?

In 2013, I Resolve to Wear Pants.

Are you guys ready? Because I’m about to shock you to your cores by being the first person in the history of all time to blog about  their New Year’s Resolutions on January 1st.

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Be more original” obviously isn’t on the list.  “Write fewer run-on sentences” probably should be.

Anyway, I’m writing this while also half-watching The Campaign, and I need to get back to gawking at Dylan McDermott’s ageless beauty, so let’s just get on with it:

BreezyK’s Really Important, Really Specific 2013 New Year’s Resolutions

1) Get something published. Somewhere.

I think it’s a good idea to always make your goals as vague and unmeasurable as possible. That way, when you don’t achieve them, it’s not your fault. It’s the GOAL’s fault.

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2) Eat something other than cereal for dinner sometimes.

Maybe I’ll start with oatmeal. It’s still in the breakfast family, and I can’t handle too much change too quickly.

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3) Actually get dressed when I leave the house.

No more of this worn-out leggings and soccer shirt with the holes in it I stole from my brother business. Grown-ass women don’t dress like that when they go to the grocery store… and neither should I.

In order to classify as “pants”, all articles of clothing must now contain at least one zipper and/or button.

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This one’s gonna be tough.

4) Find that shallow b*tch who keeps stealing my credit card and tell her that clothes and makeup don’t buy happiness.

I honestly feel so bad for some people.

5) Read some of those books I keep buying all the time.

Maybe 52 of them. One a week. That sounds like a good number.

I give this one about 28 seconds.

I give this one about 28 seconds.

6)  Insert cursory health/fitness goal here.

I know I should be thinking about something of this nature, but right now all I can focus on is my man Bobby Donnell and the bag of discounted holiday chocolate sitting right here in front of me. So I’m going to go eat this 49 cent Reese Tree now and think about #6 tomorrow.

Question of the Day: What are your New Year’s Resolutions?

What to Do with All That Leftover Yarn (and other helpful holiday tips)

The holiday season is filled with a plethora of emotions: from the excitement and anticipation of Christmas Eve, to the rush of Christmas morning, to the inevitable food coma and the boxing day hangover blues. (Stick close to your Russell Stovers for this one, folks.)

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When all is said and done, you’re left with that long stretch of  idle time between boxing day and New Year’s, where the days  feel 80 hours long and it’s a struggle just to get out of your PJS, let alone think about anything besides those delicious scotch cookies your mom hid in the downstairs fridge (ostensibly, from you).

Don't eat me, Breezyk!

Don’t eat me, Breezyk!

So what’s a girl to do with all of this free time on her hands? I tried filling the empty space where Christmas used to be with  daytime TV; but I could only watch Kathy Lee and Hoda drink so many glasses of pinot grigio before I got too jealous tired of it. Then I tried watching Holiday films, but they just made me angry.  Like, what classifies The Sound of Music as a Christmas film anyway? Cause I’m pretty sure it’s about Nazis.

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And why there is so much conflict in the Polar Express? I tried asking Tom Hanks this directly on twitter, but he never got back to me.

Weird?

Thankfully, I’ve found a new way to occupy my time: by perusing my mother’s seemingly endless  collection of  women’s magazines.

Women’s World, Chatelaine, Best Health, O. Her collection is enough to make Martha Stewart weak at the knees.

I decided to begin with the December 24th edition of First for Women magazine, since it featured my #3 life model, Marie Osmond, on the cover.

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I was immediately struck by how this publication seemed to really identify with, and understand the plight of today’s modern woman. It contained so many helpful time-saving tips! Not to mention all of the groundbreaking,  empirically proven, scientific studies and weight loss plans.

And since many of you are modern, self-actualized women yourselves (or at least have one in your life) I knew I had to share to share them with all of you.

So let’s get started, shall we?

First off,  if you’ve been searching for a way to remedy that dusty holiday wreath of yours, then look no further, Cause First for Women has got you covered!

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A paper bag and a salt shaker! Who knew?

If you’re anything like me, then while doing your daily 8 hours of lady-cleaning this Holiday season, you’ve thought to yourself: “Gee, I wish I had a festive use for all these piles of extra yarn I’ve got lying around!”

Well sister, you’re in luck- because I’ve got not one- but THREE festive uses for that yarn for you!

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A picture frame! How delightful.

And it doesn’t stop there. First for Women is FILLED with time-saving tips: from Stain-Proof recipe cards, to 10 brilliant uses for orange peels, to decorative napkin folds, to a selection of “OH WOW! Holiday appetizers”, these tips will save you so much time, you’ll finally be able to get back to all of your other important lady tasks: like pumping out babies, honoring your period,  and talking about your vaginas.  Just think of how much  more time you’ll have for Pinterest!

Not only does First for Women contain countless household time-savers, it also features some fail-proof diet plans.

Looking to shed a quick 5-7lbs to squeeze into that holiday dress of yours? Try the “Grapefruit diet!” So simple it’s foolproof; this involves eating nothing but grapefruits for several days. But won’t I get hungry? You might be asking.

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Not according to Dr. Al Sears! “A grapefruit fast is surprisingly easy to do,” he assures. “Since grapefruit contains a fulfilling combo of carbs and fibre, I’m totally satisfied on 3-4 hours a day!”

There you have it ladies. And if grapefruit’s not your bag, how about the “Christmas Cleanse”? This involves drinking nothing but a combination of unsweetened cranberry juice, water and cloves for 24 hours before the big event. You might pass out after your first cocktail, but the results will be worth it!

There’s also a Q&A section, targeting some of your hardest-hitting women’s health issues. Like “What’s Causing my Itchy nipple?” and  “Do PH-balanced tampons really make a difference?”

There is even a  fashion section, featuring countess Holiday glam looks that can be achieved with items right from your own closet!

Like this timeless fab look, for example. Just start with “your own monochromatic pantsuit” and add some chunky accessories!

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The only problem will be narrowing down which of your monochromatic pantsuits to choose from! I’ve got 8 just in the purple family alone!

Off to get started!

Question of the Day: How have you been combatting post-holiday boredom?

Treat Yo’ Self Day (and mixtape giveaway winners!)

If you watch the show Parks and Recreation, you will undoubtedly recognize the title of this post as the annual holiday celebrated by Tom (Aziz Ansari) and Donna (Retta) where they spend a day treating themselves to whatever they want.

Genius, right?

That’s why my mom, my sister, my aunt and I decided to take a page out Tom Haverford’s book and treat ourselves to a day at the spa on Friday. All of us have been so busy running around with Christmas preparations and buying gifts for everyone else, we figured why not get back to the true meaning of the holiday season: ourselves.

Plus, we obviously need to look our best for hitting up Tim Horton’s, Wal-Mart, the post office and all of the other small town Nova Scotia hotspots.

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I’m sort of overstating how fabulous my family actually is. We bought the spa services for my mom and my aunt as part of their Christmas gift, and my sister and I decided to join them because we are delusional and think we can just do gratuitous sh*t like that for no reason.

Given my limited holiday budget, I was planning on just getting a shellac manicure; but then I mentioned to my sister that I might like a facial too. And you know what she said?

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So I did.

It was a great afternoon of pampering and relaxation. I even fell asleep during my facial and woke myself up with my own snoring. (Yes, I just admitted that.) I was immediately self-conscious and worried about how long I’d been asleep for, but my facialist just gently dabbed my drool away with a warm towel and assured me that nearly everyone falls asleep. It’s all part of the process.

I was disappointed once again when she didn’t put cucumbers over my eyes. Think it’s safe to say that is definitely a myth.

I then bonded with my manicurist over our mutual love for makeup. She told me she is getting an airbrush makeup gun for Christmas, and obviously I am now obsessed with these.

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Guys, they make your skin look FLAWLESS. Like, I’m talking as airbrushed as this photo of Britbrit:

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They are not even a little bit cheap, but you know what I’m thinking?
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Alriiiiight.

Anyway,  since Treat Yo’ Self Day, not much else has been going on here. Just chilling with friends and family, eating obscene amounts of baked goods, and of course, the corresponding guilt-fuelled workouts. A new gym just opened here in town, which is pretty much the biggest news since our new sidewalk:

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Holla

Finally, let’s get to  why you are all reading this post in the first place: the winners of my mixtape giveaway!!!

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I tried using that random number generator to pick the winners, but despite the fact that I tweet like a pro and instagram like a boss, I’m otherwise technologically incompetent and couldn’t figure it out.

So I went with the obvious second choice: exploiting a small child.

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With the help of my lovely assistant,  we chose the following 5 winners via the ludite-proof “out of a hat” method.

Drumroll please:

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And the winners are:

Beckydancer

Greg

Lily

Adventurespirit

Erin’s DC Kitchen

Congrats!! Holla at me with your mailing addresses @ thecamellife@gmail.com and I’ll send your prizes! Thanks again to all who entered :)

Question of the Day: How have you been spending your holidays so far?

Nothing Says Love Like A Mixtape (Giveaway!)

Around this time of year, I start to get a little sentimental. I think about my family, my friends, my Starbucks barista, my Thai delivery guy, and everyone else who makes this sad, lonely existence a little bit more bearable every day.

Oh, and of course, all of you! Blogging keeps me (at least somewhat) happy and sane, and I love having readers like you guys who accept the challenge of wading through my mindless drivel every day. (I recognize this may be just a manifestation of your own self-loathing. I’ll still take it.) Reading your comments and all of your own hilarious posts keep me inspired on a daily basis, and for that I’d like to say thank you.

……………With a mixtape!!

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For those of you who have been following lately, you will be pleased to know that after much annoying posting about it research and consideration, the track list for Breezyk’s 2012 Year In Review Mixtape has officially been finalized!

My inaugural year in review mixtape features 16 of my favourite tracks from albums that debuted in 2012, and is a solid mix of indie, pop, hip-hop and other cool hipster genres that you’ve probably never heard of. (See some example tracks here, here and here)

It was tough work cutting it down to 16 tracks though. There might be a B-Side. Stay tuned.

Anyway, I am giving away 5 of these puppies to you lucky readers! (I realize it’s sort of presumptuous to think that 5 of you would even want it.. but let’s just play along shall, we?  I was up until 2:00 a.m. making this thing)

If you want to enter, leave a comment below telling me what you want for Christmas. Bonus entries are available if you follow the Camel Life on Facebook (see the sidebar) or on Twitter @thecamellife.  Tis the season of shameless blog promotion!

I will pick 5 lucky winners at random who will be mailed a copy of my mixtape, along with a hand-written, non-denominational, environmentally conscious, fiscally responsible, gluten-free Holiday card. And maybe even a gender-neutral Easy Bake Oven. We’ll see.

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Contest Remains open until Friday, December 21, 2012 at 5:00p.m. Eastern Time. Good luck!

Question of the Day: What do you want for Christmas?  

(or, if you don’t celebrate Christmas – what’s one thing you’re currently coveting?)

And just as a teaser, here’s track #4 for your listening pleasure:

On How I Ruined Christmas

The year was 1994, in the month of December. My best friend and I had just settled into a game of Hungry Hungry Hippos when the topic of Christmas arose.

“I hope I get SuperTalk Barbie,” I yearned. “Did you know she can say over 100,000 things?”

Truth

Truth

“Well I already know what I’m getting for Christmas,” replied my best friend, “because I snooped and found it all”.

I was incredulous. At 9 years old, I was a play-by-the rules-type of kid. I did my homework religiously, never talked back to my parents, and had an unwavering, self-imposed bedtime of 8:00 p.m. The idea that someone would snoop for their Christmas gifts seemed an affront to almost everything I believed in.

“But you couldn’t have found them all!” I pleaded. “What about the ones Santa brings on Christmas Eve?”

“Oh Bree,” she said, shaking her head, “You’ve got a lot to learn.”

She led me down the hall towards her parent’s room, checking to make sure they were firmly entranced by the TV on the way. She motioned for me to “Shhh” as we tiptoed into the bedroom and opened the closet door. There stood a large bag full of Christmas delights: Barbies, shiny new clothes and a few wrapped packages.

A pile of Christmas gifts in colorful wrapping with ribbons.

“That one’s The Lion King,” she said, gesturing to the colourfully wrapped package I was holding. “I already steamed it open and wrapped it back up.”

I was overwhelmed with emotions. Despite this stark evidence to the contrary, I refused to believe that Santa was nothing more than an elaborate hoax. Maybe her parents just didn’t understand how the whole process worked. Did they even have a chimney? Perhaps they had worked out some sort of alternative delivery arrangement with Santa and were simply holding these presents in escrow on his behalf.

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Seriously. That bag probably gets real heavy on Christmas Eve.

But try as I might to justify it, once this brain worm had been implanted, it was like inception. I needed to see for myself.

I waited until my mom was out grocery shopping and my dad was fussing with the Christmas lights outside to make my move. Given that I was a complete novice in gifting espionage, I didn’t quite know where to start, but figured I’d begin with the usual suspects. After striking out in the closet, under the bed and in the basement, I knew there was only one place left to look: the attic.

I had vowed never to set foot in our attic again after my two older brothers had locked me up there with a horrifying life-size Raggedy Ann doll almost 5 years prior. But sometimes, even your own rules are meant to be broken.

I took a deep breath, pulled the cord that released the rickety old ladder and began my ascent. Through the near pitch -darkness, I could make out a fuzzy pink blanket covering something big and oddly misshapen. I tip-toed closer, careful not to make a peep, and yanked the blanket off.

There before me lay Christmas morning: almost three weeks early. There was SuperTalk Barbie; just as I had dreamed of! There was a GT snow racer, a brand new SEGA genesis for my brothers, nerf guns, even a BopIt! And of course, the mother of all gifts: a giant, 12 disc rotating CD player (which, in 1994, was no small potatoes). It even had a double tape deck!

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But then a funny thing happened. Instead of feeling validated like I had expected, I felt sick to my stomach. My initial excitement over being able to tape a tape quickly faded and left me with nothing but guilt and anxiety. I had ruined Christmas. There would be no surprises now. And worst of all, this seemed indisputable proof that there was indeed, no Santa Claus. We had a chimney. And it worked just fine.

Riddled with guilt, I tried everything in my power to clear my conscience. I wrote tearful admissions in my diary. I became Santa’s biggest playground defender. I even went to confession. But no amount of Our Father’s and Hail Mary’s could repress the memory of what I had done.

When Christmas morning came, I smiled with a heavy heart as we headed into the living room to see what “Santa” had brought us. “Look!” said my mom, pointing to the CD player excitedly, “Santa must know how much you like making mix tapes!”

I nodded forlornly as I watched my siblings tear open packages, their eyes glistening with delight at each new surprise. Oh what I would have given to experience that feeling myself!

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Not me

“Hey guys,” said my dad, “come look on the roof! I think the reindeer left hoof prints!” I knew, of course, that there had been no reindeer. I had heard my dad up on the roof himself the previous night as I lay awake sleepless. He had spent almost an hour creating the perfect “tracks”. I was going to fake this surprise if it killed me.

I never did come clean to my parents about what I had done, and although I never snooped again, I still live with the residual guilt. I don’t know what, if anything, I can do to repay this karmic debt, but I do know that when I become a parent, I’ll be certain to find a better hiding spot.

I mean come on mom and dad, have you never SEEN this movie?

Really mom and dad? The attic? Have you SEEN Christmas Vacation?

Question of the Day: Did you snoop for your Christmas gifts growing up?