22 Hours To Live

What would you do if you only had one day to live?

In the words of the always profound Sean “P. Diddy” Combs: That’s some deep shit right there.

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Deep shit I’d never had to consider – until a few days ago.

I was sitting in my office food court, eating an overpriced salad and reading The Sun Also Rises (basically being unattainably cool), when suddenly, I felt something sharp pierce the back of my throat. I quickly dismissed it as an unusually rough-edged goji berry; or perhaps a physical reaction evoked by Hemingway’s flawless prose (I’ve heard he has that effect on the ladies). Washing away any residual doubt with a swig of coconut water, I returned to my lunch. It was then that I noticed a piece of my plastic knife missing. A solid two centimetres – amputated right at the tip. Collateral damage, presumably, from a struggle with a particularly tenacious leaf of organic kale.

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I searched frantically through my remaining salad for the rogue piece of plastic, but uncovered nothing but quinoa, chickpeas and despair. A slow trickle of panic began to seep over me as I realized what had gone down:

I had ingested a plastic utensil.

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I felt like Homer Simpson upon discovering he had eaten a poisonous Fugu fish and had only twenty-two hours to live.

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My short life flashed before my eyes. I can’t die, I thought, I don’t even have my own reality show yet.

It occurred to me that I had better tell someone; lest I fall into a deep coma, rendering me unable to communicate my transgression to the House: MD wannabe charged with my case. I shot off a few quick texts to friends and family, informing them of my certain and untimely demise.

In an attempt to quell my now-swelling waves of panic, I took to Google. Although several message boards assured me that it would inevitably “pass”, others provided harrowing tales of objects lodged in small intestines, internal bleeding, hemorrhaging and even death.

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Since I am a pessimist with moderate to severe anxiety, I automatically feared the worst. I could die at any moment, right there in the food court. No one would even notice in the lunch hour rush. The cleaning lady would find me, hours later, slumped over my chair, book dangling limply in hand. “We don’t know much about her,” she would say, “Except that she loved salad, and contemporary classics”.

I needed to snap out of it. When Homer was given his death sentence, he didn’t despair. He quietly accepted his fate, making a list of all the things he wanted to do before he died.

I flipped to the notes section of my iPhone and titled a fresh page “Death List”.

1. Sleep In.

2. Eat Cupcakes (Why count calories when you’re a goner?)

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3. Do Yoga. (If I’m gonna die, I might as well be Zen about it.)

4. Tell my friends and family I love them

And so on.

I quickly took stock of my list. “Quit job spectacularly” seemed a bit dramatic. And finding a life-size penguin suit might prove difficult on short notice. The rest, however, I felt fairly confident I could accomplish.

I spent the rest of my day carrying out the items on my list- eating copious baked goods, clearing out my PVR, not wearing pants. Before I went to bed, I called my mom and told her I loved her. “What’s wrong with you?” she asked “Is this about that knife you swallowed at lunch time?”

Since the Larry King version was unavailable on iTunes, I instead chose to lull myself to sleep with The Word of Promise, a star-studded (and extremely misguided) audio version of the bible featuring Jim Caviezel as Jesus, Gary Sinise as David and Jason Alexander as Joseph.

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Confident (and also, strangely comforted) that the last words I would ever hear would be The Loaves and the Fishes as told by George Costanza and Lieutenant Dan, I fell into a deep and final sleep.

I awoke the next morning, heart still beating; drool still warm. Despite all signs to the contrary, it seemed I would live to freak out another day. Like Homer, I promised myself that I would reform: cherish my loved ones, eat healthier, practice the golden rule. But only a few days later, here I sit, eating a cupcake, just as self-absorbed and bitchy as ever. Perhaps bitchier.

That’s not to say I’ve learned nothing from this experience. Although our motives may differ, I’ve joined David Suzuki’s tireless crusade against plastic cutlery. More importantly, I’ve ordered an eerily lifelike penguin suit from Amazon, so that the next time I unwittingly ingest a toxic substance (and sadly, there will be a next time) – I’ll be ready.

Question of the Day: What would you do if you only had 22 hours to live?

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.

10 Second Book Review- Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy

No Mark Darcy? Not Interested.

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… At least that was my first thought upon hearing the handsome, loveable man of my every girl’s dreams had been (gasp!) killed off in the latest installment of the Bridget Jones series.

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Alas- my love for Bridget and her endearing quirks transcended. I knew I couldn’t live without hearing the end of the saga…  and, after all- there was still Daniel. :)

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Mad About the Boy follows a now 51-year-old Bridget left widowed after the aforementioned death of her love Mark Darcy. Forced back into proverbial saddle, Bridget must navigate a world of online dating, endless waxing appointments, and Twitter- all while juggling two small children.

I’ll admit, I thought the plot sounded a bit pathetic at first (images of Sex and The City II sprang to mind)

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, and that maybe Helen Fielding should’ve quit while she was ahead- Larry David styles.

In the end, however, I think Fielding- and Bridget- actually kind of pulled it off. Bridget’s charm and humor still shone through- albeit not quite as brightly as in the first two books.  I can’t believe I’m saying this, but ditching Mark and making Bridget single again actually proved to be an effective strategy. It brought her back to the fumbling, neurotic single lady we know and love- and which I at least, can really relate to.

The whole school e-mail threads, middle-aged malaise and removing nits from her children’s hair thing I couldn’t really get behind, but I’m sure some (older) readers will relate. (What? I’m still 27 for 3 more hours. I’m allowed to say that!).

I think the ultimate test will be how this book translates on film. Although it may sound counter-intuitive, I’ve always preferred the Bridget Jones movies to the actual books themselves. I wonder why? (*COUGH* COLIN FIRTH *COUGH*)

…. aaaaand just one more for good measure:

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Question of the Day: Are you A Bridget Jones Fan? Will you read the new book?

The Running Dead

I don’t mean to make this overly dramatic or anything… but I think I am being stalked by zombies.

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It all started on Saturday afternoon. I was heading to the mall for a free Chanel makeup consultation (priorities, people) when I noticed a few passengers on the subway who looked a bit… off. At first I attributed their pallor and trance-like appearances to general public transit-related malaise (been there); however my tune quickly changed when I noticed their ripped and soiled clothing, open wounds and blood dripping from every orifice.

These weren’t just fellow disillusioned passengers-  these, my friends, were The Undead.

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No sooner had I realized who (or what) I was dealing with than the doors opened, unleashing a second wave of soulless corpses into my cramped subway car. Each was bloody, disgusting, and slightly more terrifying than the last. There was a man with his entire chest blown open; another with a bolt protruding from his neck, like a modern-day Frankenstein… only wearing with an iPod. There was even a female zombie holding an (un) dead baby.

Fearful, I hugged my pole closer and averted my gaze. In order to project the air that I could actually afford designer makeup, I had dressed up for the occasion. The last thing I needed was some flesh-eater dripping fake blood onto my designer knock-off booties.

When the subway reached my station, I hurried out of the car only to realize I was being followed by a zombie army. Thinking enough was enough, I approached a young, non-threatening looking (minimally bloody) zombie and asked her where they were going.

“Uh, the Zombie Walk?” she responded, “At Nathan Phillips Square?”

The what in the where now?

A quick Google search informed me that the “Zombie Walk” is an annual event where hundreds dress up as Zombies, march the streets of Toronto and generally scare the beejesus out of fraidy-cats like me.

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I found this to be highly disturbing, but also fascinating. I’ve never really understood the allure of zombies- mostly because the sight of blood makes me nauseous. Also, I’m scared of my own shadow. (I haven’t been able to watch a scary movie since I saw Pet Cemetery in grade 3 and couldn’t use the bathroom with the door shut for a year.) But despite my cowardice, there seem to be a lot of people who just can’t get enough of the stuff: Zombie movies, zombie survival camps, zombie training books. To each their own I guess?

Anyway, I tried to forget the whole traumatizing experience and instead just focus on getting my face on (Which resulted in being traumatized instead, by the amount of money I spent on products. WHY am I such a sucker). Despite my best efforts, however, I still ended up having highly detailed nightmares about zombie babies and zombie women with perfect smokey eyes and bold lips.

Needing to clear my head of all Zombie and makeup-related terror, I decided to head out for a run on Sunday morning. It was a beautiful autumn day, and everything was going swimmingly, until I saw this sign:

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DUN DUN DUN

Just then, I heard a commotion behind me, and turned to see a gaggle of bloody, tattered corpses turning the corner and heading in my general direction.

I was like:

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The expression “run for your life” took on a whole new meaning for me that day. With Zombies hot on my trail, I took off like a bat out of hell, turning my iPod on full blast and not looking back. Every once in a while I’d get a waft of fake blood, and a zombie would pass me and make threatening gestures in my direction- no doubt enjoying the sight of fresh meat.

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Eventually, however, I was able to lose them when the race path turned off into a densely wooded area. (CREEPY).

The upshot? I ended up clocking my fastest (unofficial) 5k time ever. And I must admit that the whole thing was a little exhilarating. Maybe I should recruit a couple of zombies to follow me in my 10K race this weekend?

…. Nah.

Question of the Day: Are You Into Zombies? What’s With the Hype?

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.

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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:

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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?

Premature E-Publication

I accidentally hit “publish” on a blog post before it was ready this morning.

The whole experience was shocking, terrifying, embarrassing, and all sorts of other negative emotions ending in “ing”. Sort of like when you inadvertently hit “reply all” on an e-mail.

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A few years back, my roommate, who was also my coworker at the time, accidentally sent an e-mail intended for me to our entire company. That’s over 2,000 people in multiple offices around North America. Although the e-mail itself was relatively innocuous, I still came home to find her in bed, curled up in a ball of shame and self-loathing, wailing “I’ll never work in this town again!” into a pint of Haagen Dazs.

That’s sort of how I felt this morning. How could I possibly have sent this piece of nonsensical drivel to 1,592 inboxes? With one fell swoop, my carefully constructed curtain of thesaurus words, platitudes and strategically placed GIFs had been lifted – exposing me for the fraud I am deep down inside.

I was certain my short-lived career as a mediocre blogger was over.

The funny thing is, though, that before I even had a chance to mark the post “private” (which took me like 10 minutes, since I’m kind of a Luddite) I actually received a few “likes” and comments on it.

My first thought was that these benevolent commenters felt so sorry for my epic fail that they simply wanted to ensure I didn’t impale myself over any sharp objects in my apartment. However, it occurred to me later that perhaps they just hadn’t been reading that critically. Maybe they just identified with the overall subject matter of the post (which was about invasion of personal space), and didn’t care that much about my sloppy sentences or lack of hilarious GIFs.

I guess the point I’m trying to make here, is that we bloggers shouldn’t really be so hard on ourselves. While quality is important, it’s not the be all and end all. 99% of your readers don’t care about consistency of tenses and appropriate use of semi-colons; they just want material they can relate to.

……and maybe the occasional Paul Rudd dancing GIF:

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Question of the Day: Have you ever had a premature e-publication? How did you feel?

10 Second Book Reviews – The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

It’s now week 42 of my 52 Books in 52 weeks challenge, and I’m clocking in at 37 books read so far. Not bad, but not exactly on pace, either. Truth be told, I’m starting to freak out about all of the ground I have left to cover. At this point, I think I need to either give up my social life entirely, or read nothing but illustrated novellas with 18 pt font for the rest of the year.  

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I digress. The point of this post is (shockingly) not to discuss my failings and insecurities, but rather to review this lovely little book I read recently:

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The Rosie Project centers around Don Tillman, a 39-year-old genetics professor who is somewhere on the autism spectrum- he just doesn’t know it yet. Don has only two friends, is ruled by order and routine, and, most relevant for our purposes – has never been on a second date.  

Citing scientific evidence that “married men are happier and live longer”, Don sets out to find the “perfect” wife by creating an extensive, detailed questionnaire, asking everything from “average alcohol consumption” to “do you eat Kidneys?” (correct answer: occasionally). Women who do not score 100% are summarily disqualified.

Don, however, is forced to reconsider his “Wife Project”  when he meets Rosie – a smoking, drinking vegetarian who is chronically late and (gasp) has tattoos!

I don’t need to tell you that this plot has all the makings of a great, offbeat romantic comedy- and in fact it has already been optioned by Sony Pictures. The book, which originated in Australia, has been published in 38 countries and has quickly become an international sensation.

Although I’m usually sensitive to hype, I can’t deny that I really enjoyed this book. It was a fun, easy, read, and an unusual take on a classic love story. This is also the first book I’ve read with a character on the autism spectrum, and I found that aspect fascinating and intriguing. 

I give it: 4/5 Intellectual dachshunds

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Question of the Day: What’s on your night table these days?

(BOOKS! I MEAN BOOKS PEOPLE!)

Fancy A Spot of Tea?

I don’t know about you guys, but I love a good tea party.

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As a little girl, I hosted them on the reg. I had a miniature table and chairs in my bedroom solely for that purpose, and had no fewer than 6 different tea sets on rotation at any given moment. I would serve “tea” (Sunny Delight) and “crumpets” (cut up Toaster Strudels) to my distinguished guests; a rotating cast of my favourite toys du jour. Regulars included:

  • my Cabbage Patch doll Celine Ilse (apparently she was French Canadian??);
  • a talking Teddy Ruxpin, that, looking back was completely terrifying;
  • an incredibly sexist Teen Talk Barbie that said things like “Math is hard!” and “Will we ever have enough clothes?”;
  • myriads of My Little Ponies;
  • Quints;

Remember these weirdos?

…and just to add a little masculinity to the mix, several of my brothers’ G.I. Joe figurines.

Yep, it was a real equal opportunity affair. 

Since apparently throwing lavish gatherings for your stuffed animals is no longer “socially acceptable” after the age of 12, I’ve experienced a marked decline in the number of tea parties I attend in my adult life. 

That’s why I was beyond excited when one of my coworkers invited me to an afternoon tea party at her house last weekend. With real live humans!!

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The invitation indicated that the dress code was casual, but that “Fascinators were encouraged”.

Challenge: accepted. 

Somehow, despite being neither British nor fancy, I have managed to accumulate a sizeable collection of obnoxious head pieces over the years. (I don’t know what this says about me as a person. I don’t care to find out.)

I thought about pulling out this one from the tickle trunk:

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But instead opted for this more understated headband variety:

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….paired with a giant (faux) fur vest and a fancy-ass brooch with a horse on it.

What? Don’t be such a neigh-sayer. 

I also upped my accessory game with my new bracelet stack; because nothing screams
class  like 18 lbs of gold-plated joo-ree you bought from the Shopping Channel.

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I arrived,dripping in elegance, to discover that the hostess had prepared an amazing spread of treats:

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Seriously-  it was insani-tea!! (Sorry. I’m done with the puns now).

Besides all of this glorious food, she also brewed some delicious loose leaf tea which she served in these fancy little cups.

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There were seven girls in attendance, and we snuggled up in the living room and spent a few cozy hours munching on macarons and dishing about men. The weather outside was terrible and rainy, but I didn’t really mind, because it sort of made me feel like Carey Mulligan in The Great Gatsby.

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Because I am delusional.

………..And then the Chardonnay came out. And I think my story ends here.

Question of the Day: Have you ever been to a tea party? High Tea?