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?

Friday Five

It’s been a long week, amiright guys?

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Thanks for sticking it out with me for another week of daily posts. Just to recap, I:

If you haven’t checked them out already, make sure to do so. I loved reading all of your feedback – especially the amazing high school fashion moments. Y’all had serious swagger.

So since it’s Friday, and I’m straight-up spent, here are 5 random things I’ve been thinking about this week:

1. Ja’Mie: Private School Girl

If you’ve ever watched the hilarious HBO Mockumentary Summer Heights High, then you already know and love the priceless J’Amie King.

"Public schools are so random!"

“Public schools are so random!”

Well, somewhere the television Gods are smiling down on us because Ja”mie now has HER OWN SHOW!

Played by Chris Lilley (yes, that’s a grown-ass man, folks) the show premieres on November 24 on HBO and follows Ja’Mie on her final weeks of high school. Here’s a link to the 11 best moments from the trailer… and if you just can’t get enough Ja’Mie, Lily wrote a great post recently on her love affair with the profound, completely self-aware high-schooler.

2. This Sweet Hat

I stumbled across this amazing hat at the Drake General Store the other day (side note- do NOT go in there if you are on a budget. You will walk out $200 poorer with more novelty salt and pepper shakers than you know what to do with) and I knew I had to own it right then:

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East Coast represent! It’s almost making me kind of excited for it to get cold out. Almost.

3. Emergen-C

So earlier this week I started to feel that telltale tickle in my throat, and freaked the eff out. I hate being sick and am the ultimate baby, so I knew I had to nip those germies in the bud. I started taking Cold FX (which is really just a super-high dose of Echinacea), when one of my coworkers recommended this god-send of a product

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You guys. This stuff is AMAZING. It’s basically a super concentrated dose of Vitamin C in powder form that you dissolve in water. Each packet has something like 15 times your daily recommended intake, and gives you an immediate little boost of energy. The guy at the health food store told me that Viatmin C “megadosing” is apparently a thing now and will cure whatever ails you. In Vegas, they even do straight Vitamin C IV’s to cure hangovers!

So of course after hearing this, I’ve become obsessed with consuming as much Vitamin C as humanly possible.  I’m supposed to be maxing out at 2 of these little packets a day, but I’ve been taking……… more than that. Although I don’t think there are any real side effects, last night I started to worry that I might turn orange. You know, like when babies  eat too many pureed carrots?

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Will you all still be my friends if my skin turns a vibrant shade of Burnt Sienna? Who knows, maybe I’ll end up with my own reality show?? A girl can dream….

4. Celebrity Breakups

First it was Catherine and Michael. Then Miley and Liam. Then, after 22 years of reality shows marriage Kris and Bruce Jenner.

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Now it’s THE JONAS BROTHERS???

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What is the world coming to? (And don’t you dare say “their senses”. Smart A$$).

5. Thanksgiving (and Nova Scotia, Eh?)

This Monday is Canadian Thanksgiving, and I’m off to Nova Scotia to spend the weekend with my family and friends.

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I can’t wait to chill with my nieces, go for pointless drives around town and start the 72-hour food-to-mouth train rolling.  As the youngest of 5, Thanksgiving has always been quite the scene in my house. If you are bored or need a sleep aid, here’s a little story I wrote about my family and Thanksgiving last year.

Question of the Day: What are your plans for Thanksgiving?

(or if you’re not a Canuck, what are you up to this weekend?)

It’s Not A Party Until Somebody Busts out an EpiPen

“Someone call 911!!” my Father shouted, “and for God’s sake would someone go calm down your mother??!”

It was Thanksgiving 2007, and I was standing in the upstairs bathroom of my childhood home, staring down at the (seemingly) lifeless body of my older sister Marija.

Just a few moments before, she had returned from her annual Thanksgiving 10k run and  gone upstairs to take a shower. The rest of my family and I were busying ourselves in the kitchen when suddenly, we heard a telltale “THUD” . We rushed upstairs to find my sister, passed out cold on the bathroom floor, sweatband and dry fit gear still firmly in place.

What she had neglected to tell any of us was that for the past four days, she had been subsisting on nothing but a cayenne pepper and maple syrup concoction (laced with speed, evidently) in an effort to pare down for the holidays. Apparently, this was a diet Beyonce swore by.

Right. So that makes it a good idea.

Unarmed with this essential information, we all feared the worst and launched into full-scale panic mode. My brother hit the floor, attempting to revive her like a scene from a bad Nicholas Cage film, while my mother screamed bloody murder in the background. I, in my usual helpful fashion, did nothing but stand there and sob uncontrollably. My father had just gone to send up an emergency flare in the backyard when my sister came to, staring into the faces of 6 crazed lunatics.

“Guys, I’m fine” she said. “But can someone get me a Gatorade or something?”

I wish I could say that this story was one of a kind; a blip on the radar of an otherwise unblemished Thanksgiving history. But sadly, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Growing up the youngest of 5, Thanksgiving, much like any other holiday, was basically a shit show. If someone wasn’t passing out, they were splitting their hand open with a carving knife, or arm-wrestling over the last drumstick. Just getting us all in one place was cause for celebration in and of itself.

Despite all of this calamity,  I continue to book the overpriced ticket and go home for Thanksgiving every year. Why? Because there’s always the distinct possibility of one of my siblings getting their head stuck inside a turkey. And if so, I’d really like to put sunglasses on it.

Another Thanksgiving debacle in our family is the annual debate over who will say grace. The pre-dinner prayer was a necessary precursor to every Thanksgiving meal growing up, and one my siblings and I avoided like the plague. My Father would take up his post at the head of the table and ask, “Now, whose turn is it to say grace this year?” And inevitably, 5 collective heads would lower, eager to escape this cruel and unusual punishment.

I’m not really sure why we hated it so much. You reference the grub, thank the Big Man upstairs and move on. I mean, sure, there are are some weird, Latin old-timey words in there, but it wasn’t like you had to announce that you still wet the bed or something. Regardless, it was an unwritten rule that the one who had to say it would be forced to carry around a lifetime of eternal shame.

As the youngest, I was often the scapegoat. My siblings would team up against me and insist “It’s Bree’s turn! It’s Bree’s turn!” conveniently “forgetting” that I had recited it the previous 5 years in a row. If I ever thought about objecting, I only had to look at my brothers to know that one peep would result in a year’s worth of Smurf bites and figure four leg locks. Inevitably, I relented, left to mumble “Bless us o lord, for these thy gifts…” into my mashed potatoes as my brothers snickered in the background.

Things only got worse for me when one year, I decided to make a Thanksgiving centrepiece. I was 11, and going through my short-lived “interior decorating phase”. I watched home decorating shows religiously, rearranged the furniture in my bedroom daily, and, if permitted, would have sponge-painted every available surface area in our home. I had seen an amazing centerpiece in a copy of Martha Stewart Living  and was hell-bent on making it, despite my mother’s objections about the mess it would cause and my brothers’ taunts that “no one cared about a stupid centrepiece anyway”. It consisted of fall leaves artfully arranged in a cornucopia made out of a single piece of birch bark: all sprinkled with a hefty dose of glitter. It was magnificent. I just knew having it on our table would make for the best Thanksgiving ever.

Determined, I set off  in search of the perfect fall foliage for my piece de resistance. What I neglected to consider, however, were my chronically severe seasonal allergies. About 20 minutes into rummaging through leaf piles, I was sneezing so hard I could barely see straight, hives popping up on every inch of exposed skin. Think McCauley Culkin in My Girl, minus the anaphylaxis. I was barely able to stumble back home and limply drop my leaves onto the table before my mom gave me a hefty dose of Benadryl and sent me to bed. This was not, as Martha had suggested, A Good Thing.

Luckily, I only had to wait one year for my embarrassing Thanksgiving moment to be eclipsed by my brother Kristin performing what was perhaps the most notoriously stupid act in our family’s history.

We were celebrating our first Thanksgiving in a brand new home, and my mom brought out her gold-plated wedding china for the occasion. We had all been served, and were just about to sit down to dinner when my brother decided to warm up his turkey dinner in the microwave.

Not being an idiot, I of course knew that the combination of gold plating and microwaves did not mix, but despite this did nothing to stop it. Why? Because the irony was much too sweet. My brother; the self-described “science prodigy”. Boaster of many a math and science accolade. Dropper of frequent and unsolicited periodic table-related puns. This was much, much too good.

Just as I (and every known law of physics) predicted, within seconds sparks began flying and the Microwave lit up like a fourth of July picnic. He quickly rushed to press “cancel”, but not before leaving a sizeable hole in the newly microwave and a strong sulphuric tinge in the air. I had never felt so validated.

Shockingly, the mayhem is showing no signs of slowing down, and year after year, our house continues to resemble another instalment in the National Lampoon series. Just this past Thanksgiving, my mother claimed to have taken an allergic reaction to my sister Sherene’s homemade preserves, and proceeded to fan her face and sneeze dramatically throughout the entire meal. She says it was because of the nutmeg. I say it’s because they sucked. Oh well, I guess the old adage is true: it’s not a party until somebody busts out an EpiPen!

           Question of the Day: Any Good Thanksgiving Fails to Share?

*Ok so I know it’s not technically Thanksgiving for me. But I thought I would share this one for all my Amurrican friends. Happy Thanksgiving, y’all!

Thanksgiving 2012: The Highlights

I know, I promised you all updates on my enthralling visit home and never delivered…but hey, better late than pregnant as I always say! (I actually never say this. I read it for the first time yesterday on becomingcliches blog and liked it so much I decided to steal it. Oh well, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right? At least that’s what I tell my friends when I copy their outfits).

I kept trying to blog when I was home, but then I’d get all distracted by other really important things… like watching 8 episodes in a row of Ex-Wives of Rock (not joking. I actually did this… with my sister.. on Saturday night. We shared a king-sized Twix bar. )

Eating an entire pumpkin pie also took 5 minutes a lot of time.

And trying to figure out all the rules to every dance genre on Dancing With the Stars. Did you guys know that the only dance that involves a lift is the Argentinian Tango? I bet you didn’t. There’s your value added from reading my blog right there.

Oh, and also not exercising. I successfully used my lingering cold as a diversion tactic by reaching for a kleenex every time my mother asked me to go to the track and proceeding to blow my nose loudly and dramatically until she gave up and left.

I did, however, feel well enough to pose for glamorous instagram shots with her:

Love you mom!

That’s a lie, I actually did make it to the track one day… although I didn’t really “exercise” so much as take pictures and goof around with my niece, Lola. We did cartwheels and listened to One Direction while she taught me cool dance moves she learned in her HipHop Class.

For those of you considering trying this at home, make sure you wear a high quality sports bra, because there is way more jumping up and down and flailing your arms than I anticipated.

My sister (pictured right, actually exercising) also convinced me to take this crank groundbreaking new formula called “Alli-Max” to help combat my cold. I shelled out $30 for these pills at some weird health store that are pretty much straight up garlic. You are supposed to take, like 100 of them a day (ok, 10) and let me tell you.. it’s not pleasant for anyone involved. After three days of stomaching them down, my breath could’ve killed a small child. No change on the cold though.

The one other time I left the house was to accompany my sister, brother, sister-in-law and my two nieces to a gigantic corn maze in a neighbouring town.

Whoever came up with this idea is a certified genius, because that, my friends, is a gold mine. The place was just crawling with kids. (Literally. Many of them were crawling.)

This place had everything- from a game of Clue within the maze where the suspects were all barnyard animals (Spoiler alert: it was the Chicken. With the Rake), to hay rides, to a pumpkin u-pick. A pumpkin u pick!!

Plus it was just nice to spend time with the fam and be outside during that glorious time of year where everything looks like it’s naturally washed with an instagram filter.

…. but that didn’t stop me from instagramming it anyway!!

Lola, my sister-in-law Jill and baby niece Maeve.. the hand-holding kills me.

Me, being the picture of maternal instinct

Demonstrating the power of positive thinking

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Lola, fearing we might not make it out of the maze alive.

Love on a hayride. Brought to you by diet pepsi.

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Family love. Maeve still hates me. We’ll work on that.

Somehow I didn’t manage to take any pictures of Thanksgiving dinner itself?? Guess I was too busy eating. A lot. Anyway, here’s a pic I found of some random happy family eating Thanksgiving dinner instead:

I’d like to join them. Mostly because they have at least two different wine selections.

Oh, and if this post seems a little disjointed to you, that’s cause I wrote most of it on the plane while sitting in the row directly behind the first-class passengers. I kept losing my train of thought while trying to peek between the curtains. I was also distracted by the smell of their complimentary in-flight meal. It smelled like my own failure mixed with a slight hint of Asiago.

Question of the Day: How was your Thanksgiving?

…. or, if you didn’t celebrate it – have you ever been to a corn maze? This one was apparently used to film the movie Signs. I think that makes me officially more legit now.

OH and p.s. for those of you who asked- Our new sidewalk:

Is that fabulous or what?

Thanks’gettin the Hell Outta Here

Season’s Eatings, friends! I am currently blogging to you live from the wonderful piece of Canadian majesty that is the Toronto Pearson International Airport, on my way home to Nova Scotia to spend Thanksgiving with my family.

I know, all of you Americans out there are probably like “say whaaaat Breezy, Isn’t Thanksgiving in November?” But no! Not up here in the Great White North it isn’t! Here we celebrate Thanksgiving in October… I can’t really tell you why, but it’s probably because we read that dang calendar thing wrong again and got confused.

Speaking of confused, before we go any further, I should probably warn you that I am currently battling cold and flu like symptoms, and am writing this post on about 4 hours of sleep and under the heavy influence of Dayquil, ColdFX and a Starbucks Grande Americano. I’ve also eaten like, two entire packages of Halls already today…. and its only 7:30am. The combined effect of all of this is sort of making me feel like I’m on speed. I also can’t feel my right leg.

…..Here’s hoping they let me on the plane!

Anyway, I haven’t been home in a while and i’m really looking forward to it. I hear they installed a new sidewalk on our street.(!!!!) So stay tuned over the next few days for more enthralling posts about me fighting with my brothers and sisters and not moving off the couch except to get another glass of pepsi… Or when my mother guilts me into exercising with her. God damn that woman and her boundless energy!

And for those of you heading home to your respective families this weekend like i am – drink wine have fun and be safe! Ive already put in a good word with Saint Christopher, the Patron Saint of travel for you guys. Can’t help you on the 5-10 lbs you’re going to gain between now and January, though. That’s all on you and your deep, deep love affair with pumpkin pie.

Ok I’m going to stop talking now and instead give you all a little Friday ditty to help get the weekend going. Warning: it has nothing to do with thanksgiving.. Or cold Fx. But it’s catchy as a mofo, so enjoy!

Question of the day: what are you doing for thanksgiving? (or, to my non-Canadian friends, any fun weekend plans?)

White Meat, Dark Meat, You Just Can’t Lose

So, today is Thanksgiving up here in the Great White North…. and while I could regale you with anecdotes about Thanksgivings past (like that time my brother tried to microwave his turkey dinner on gold-plated china and blew a hole the size of a twoonie in the microwave); or provide you with a list of things I’m thankful for (Kim K’s wedding special tonight on E!- enough said), instead I’m just going to present you with some of my favourite Thanksgiving clips. Enjoy- and happy thanksgiving! Go hug a turkey today! (And i guess your loved ones, too).

1. South Park- Starvin’ Marvin Thanksgiving Special:

The gang sends money to an African charity in the hopes of getting a sports watch… but instead, they get this Ethiopian kid..  damn that Sally Struthers!

watch the full episode here

2. Friends- The one where Joey gets a turkey stuck on his head:

So many great Friends thanksgiving clips… so little time. Honorable mention goes to Joey’s Thanksgiving pants

3. Planes, Trains and Automobiles- Those Aren’t Pillows

Catch that Bears game? Yah, great game.

4. Adam Sandler- The Thanksgiving Song:

Could only get the audio on this one (grr SNL Copyright), but even with no video.. still awesome

Question of the Day: What (besides these hilarious videos) are YOU thankful for?