Always Remember That You Are Unique. Just Like Everybody Else.

You guys, I have to begin with a piece of breaking news: SOMEONE RETURNED MY HAIRBRUSH!!!

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The lovely cleaning lady at the gym took pity on me when I told her my harrowing tale of loss and sorrow, and directed me to a second location where they sometimes keep lost items. Lo and behold, there was my brush! AND my facewash!

My faith in humanity has been restored. Note, however, that the other two brushes remain outstanding.  This means that the probability of a BreezyK hair doll existing continues to be high.

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Now onto item of business #2: Both Ross Murray and Twin Daddy gifted me with the Very Inspiring Blogger Award.

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Ross is the hilarious and insightful blogger behind Drinking Tips for Teens, and, more importantly  a fellow Nova Scotian. Holla!

And of course, many of you know TwinDaddy of StuphBlog fame from his mysterious StormTrooper Avatar, faithful commenting and UnShitty Trademark. Now go and visit them both! (You know, after you finish reading this post.)

So the rules of the game are as follows:

  • link back the person who nominated you (done),
  • state 7 facts about yourself, and
  • nominate 7 other bloggers for the award.

Wow, this is going to be so different from all my other posts! I never write about myself! (Just kidding, that’s all I do.)

Here goes:

1. I regularly walk into Godiva with no intention of buying anything. I just linger there long enough to get a free sample, then leave.

godiva

2. I went snowshoeing last weekend for the first time ever.

I’m not gonna lie, I kind of expected my snowshoes to look different.

Exhibit A: What I thought my snowshoes would look like:

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Exhibit B: What my snowshoes actually looked like:

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Oh well, it was still a lot of fun, and a surprisingly good workout. Here’s a pic of me and my friends, just killing it:

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3. Speaking of killing it, remember my New Year’s resolution to read 52 books in 2013?

Well, I am pleased to report that I’m on book #5 so far this month. That’s right, fools. I eat pieces of literature for breakfast.

Here is the book I’m currently reading/something I hope never happens to me:

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Maybe I’ll do some reviews??

4. Lately I’ve been having the urge to cut my hair like Tegan and/or Sara in the video for Closer:

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I won’t do it though, because I fear it might be misinterpreted as a cry for help.

5.  Sometimes, when I’m running on the treadmill, I’ll just listen to the same song over and over again. Most recently, it’s been this one:

I used to think this was weird/OCD behavior, until Mindy Kaling Tweeted this:

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Never stop being my soul sister, Mindy.

6. If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram (@breezyk1) then you already know this, but I went for a lovely 3.5 hour brunch with Karen of The Chronicles on Sunday.

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Between us, we managed to consume 2 orders of eggs benedict, 7 americanos and an entire bag of donuts.

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Hold your applause, please.

7. I went to a one-man show last night called Catalpa. It was at a little indie theatre in TO, and was all sorts of weird and amazing. Dude played over 20 characters himself, including a whale, a seagull and a storm. (Which, for the record, aren’t even human, so….) It’s playing until Saturday so, if you’re in the area, check it out!

Now, to nominate 7 other bloggers:

Lily – My long-legged Canadian homegirl who is also CRAFTY. Jealouss

Karen – As I’ve said before, passing on all blogging awards to her was a condition of our marriage contract.

Katie- She’s sassy and balderdashy. Is that an adjective? I just made it one.

Tori Nelson- Because she is a haute mess. And really, really funny.

Cowboys and Crossbones- Cause she loves cocktails, fashion and nail art just as much as I do.

New York Cliche- A new favorite of mine- I’m mostly jealous of her big apple life.

Cafe – My fellow Torontonian with a MAD set of pipes.

Also, the lovely and talented Sarah of Diary of a House Elf bestowed upon me the Wonderful Team Membership Reader Award.

wonderful

Since I’m all tapped out of interesting facts, I”ll just skip straight to the 14 9 nominees. (14 is way higher than I can count).

Because I’m lazy they’re awesome, I’m also giving this one to the 7 b*tches above. And for the sake of equality (and the continuation of our blogging species) I’ll throw a couple guys into the mix:

  • Our Life in 3D- he’s giving away candy canes and old Halloween treats! Seriously.
  • Ben – because he really needs a reason not to be bitter.

Go check them out! Just don’t be disappointed when they aren’t as good as I am. Just kidding I’m not kidding.

Question of the Day: Have you ever been snowshoeing?

I swear that’s how you spell it.

The Business of Nails

As far as girls go, I’m a little high maintenance. I can say this definitively, having recently discovered I have more beauty appointments per month than social engagements.

I spend a solid hour getting ready in the mornings, and use so many different gadgets, lotions and potions that sometimes, I feel like I’m performing a series of magic tricks alone in my bathroom.

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I’m not very good at it.

My most recent beauty obsession, however, is Shellac nail polish.

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For those of you who aren’t familiar, Shellac is a manicure technique that gives the same effect as gel or acrylic nails, without all of the damage. It goes on your nails just like regular polish, and then is “cured” by sticking your hand inside a little UV light box for about two minutes after each coat.

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When you’re done, you get a sweet manicure that lasts for up to two weeks.

Since Shellac was first launched about two years ago, a multitude of similar products have been released trying to capitalize on its success. The one I’ve been getting lately is called Artistic Nail Design. It has more colours than Shellac, a shorter drying period and uses an LED rather than UV light. (It still looks like a microwave to me.)

The shellac or shellac-type manicure is great for a few reasons:

  • It’s really shiny. What? Like you came here for deep thoughts.
  • It doesn’t chip. Somehow, I always seemed to chip my regular manicures within one hour of leaving the salon. This literally brought me to tears once. It had been a very long day.

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  • It dries immediately. No more sitting around, watching TV on closed caption while you get yelled at to “be very very careful!!”

But Shellac also has its downsides. For example, I used to use my fragile lady nails as an excuse to get out of unwelcome/arduous tasks, like washing dishes, opening pop cans and placing keys on a key ring.

Like a modern day Lisa Turtle

Like a modern day Lisa Turtle

Now, at brunch, I have no choice but to open my own miniature jam and creamer packages myself.

The other downside to shellac is that you have to go back to the salon to get it removed.

Since it’s made from the blood of 8,000 glamour unicorns who sacrificed their souls in the name of beauty, it’s almost impossible to get off yourself. You have to go back to the salon, where they place little cotton balls soaked with acetone on your nails, wrap them in tinfoil, and let them soak.

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I will admit, it sort of makes you feel like a crazy homeless person trying to pick up radio signals.

But just imagine how those poor unicorns felt.

Soon you’re done; and you’re sitting there looking at your jaundiced, scraggly-assed nails, when suddenly you spot the little plastic colour sampler on the table next to you. I didn’t know they had tturquoise! You think to yourself. That would totally go with the new circle scarf I got for Christmas!

……. And BAM. You’re $40 in the hole again.

In the words of the great Prophet MackLemore “I call that getting swindled and pimped”.

Yo! $50 for a manicure?

Yo! $50 for a manicure?

But you know what?

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Because anyone who comes up with a kick-a$$ business strategy like that deserves the money we suckers pay.

I’ve been going through the whole shellac relationship cycle for about 8 months now; and while it’s ruining me financially, my nails have never looked better.

Currently, I am rocking this extremely professional shade of Easter Egg Purple:

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Umm.. can you say promotion??

My nails have also been growing like weeds. I brought this up with my manicurist the other day, and she told me that your nails actually grow faster with nail polish on them. Apparently they don’t like foreign substances on top and try actively to “push it off” by growing.

I find this idea somewhat distressing. Here I thought my nails enjoyed being a fun, vibrant colour. I thought they appreciated the creative statement they were making. But apparently, I was wrong. They hate it so much, in fact, that they will their little nail hearts to grow at an accelerated pace just to be rid of it.

I’m not sure I can keep exploiting my nails like this. When it comes to the price of beauty, the buck’s gotta stop somewhere.

Question of the Day:

Ladies- Do you get your nails done regularly?

And in the unlikely event that any male reader has made it this far, first off, I apologize for the incredibly first-world-problem that was this post. Secondly, I applaud your resilience and tenacity.

So I will now ask you this:

Have You Ever had a manicure? Would you?

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?

The Transformative Power of Lipstick

A few weekends ago, some of my girlfriends and I decided to plan a big Girls Night Out: Dinner, drinks, dancing, the whole shebang.

Excited to cut loose for a night on the town,  I began my getting ready process several hours in advance. (What, you think I just roll out of bed looking this good?)

I had taken a bath, painted my nails, put my makeup on and was just debating whether grey suede platforms or studded leather booties better complimented  my peplum top/skinny jeans combo when my friend Dominique called.

“Hi,” she said, forlornly.

Uh oh. This didn’t sound good.

“What’s up?” I asked.

“I think I might just stay in tonight,” she sighed. “I don’t know if I’m up for going out.”

I started to panic. If Dominique pulled the ‘chute, then what if all the other  girls did too? I had already spent 30 minutes applying the perfect smokey eye- I was not about to let this night go down in flames.

“Come onnnnn,” I begged her, “It’ll make you feel better to get out! Just jump in the shower, get dressed, and put some lipstick on. Lipstick has amazing transformative powers.  I promise.”

This cat knows.

Reluctantly, she agreed, and an hour later, picked me up in a cab wearing a  bright hue of glossy red. “Is this too intense?” she asked, nervously. “I think I look sort of like an enraged Snow White.”

I examined her flawless, pale, complexion and the bright stamp of scarlet painting her lips. “Yeah.” I agreed, “Maybe a little. But it’s working for you. More importantly, how do you feel?”

“Powerful” she responded.

There it was.

We discussed our lipstick theory with the other girls over dinner, and found that we were not alone in our feelings about the product.

One of the girls even recounted a story she had heard about a box of red lipstick that was mysteriously delivered  to the prisoners of the Nazi concentration camp Bergen-Belsen during the Second World War.

In an excerpt from the diary of one of the first British soldiers to liberate the camp in 1945, he said that no one knew why this lipstick was sent along with the supplies, as the prisoners of were in need of much more pressing items, like food and medical supplies.

But once the lipstick was distributed, its purpose became clear. The women were ecstatic, immediately putting it on and wearing it around the camp proudly. These women didn’t have proper clothing, food, or showers, but they had red lipstick, and with it a little bit of hope. It reminded them of a life outside of the camp; a life where they could be women; individuals-not just the number stamped on their arms. That lipstick, the soldier noted, gave them back their humanity.

Now, I know I just went a little Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul on you guys there, but I think this story is one that many women can relate to. While most of us have never walked a mile in their shoes, we’ve all experienced times where we’ve felt low, been degraded, or felt like just a number… and we’ve all wanted a way out.

While some people see makeup as superficial or unnecessary, I see it as a form of self-expression. A fun, creative outlet.

…….And a way of being really, really, ridiculously good-looking.

My love for makeup is immediately apparent when you walk inside my bathroom. Brightly coloured pallets, compacts and brushes spill from every shelf, including dozens of lipsticks. Each has a different name, and with it a different feeling and a different sense of identity.

“Lady Danger” for example, is an unapologetically bright orangey-red that I bust out on nights when I really want to step out of my shell:

I sort of feel like Anne Hathaway in The Dark Night Rises when I wear it.. only without the whole Kung Fu-in-stilettos business.

When I want to channel my inner pop diva, I put on a little “Nicki”, MAC’s signature colour inspired by Nicki Minaj .

VaVa Voom Voom

When I’m feeling mysterious, I unleash my inner Soviet spy with “Russian Red”:

My friends call me Natasha

Or, when I hit the town for a glass (or 5) of wine with my ladies, I go with “Girl About Town”:

Line? What line? I’m VIP B*tches

…and if I’m feeling a little girl-next-door I choose “Angel”, a muted pinky-mauve that says “hey, I’ll totally geek out with you over video games and foreign films”.

I bet Joey wore Angel. Before she got all into scientology.

My most recent acquisition has been a frosted 80′s pink called “St. Germain”. It’s about as dated as shoulder pads and teased hair, but I love it because it brings me back to a time of economic growth, environmental unawareness, and coca-cola classic.

Aaah. the good old days.

With all of the inhibition-releasing power of wine, minus the hangover, lipstick is the perfect way to cut loose, forget your problems, and be somebody else for a night. So ladies, go slap on a little Enraged Snow White and have some Fun!

…….But just be careful you don’t  pull a Condoleezza.

Cause no one wants to see that sh*t.

Question of the Day: Ladies, do you wear lipstick? Men: do you like your ladies in lipstick?

Check Me Into the Betty Crocker Clinic

In one of my favourite scenes from Sex and the City, Miranda, unable to stop herself from eating a homemade chocolate cake, finally decides to throw the whole thing in the trash. But a moment later, her willpower fails her and she’s back in the kitchen picking discarded cake bits out of the garbage.

Realizing what she has done, Miranda calls Carrie and leaves her the following message:

“I know you’re probably busy having mind-blowing sex, but I feel you need to know that your good friend, Miranda Hobbes, has just taken a piece of cake out of the garbage and eaten it. You’ll probably need this information when you check me into the “Betty Crocker Clinic.”

But in the epic battle of Woman vs. Cake, it was Miranda who emerged the victor when she ultimately picked up a bottle of dish soap and dumped it all over the cake remains, rendering them unfit for human consumption.

Most of us ladies have had a “Miranda moment” at one point or another. Unable to control ourselves with “bad” foods, we do ridiculous things to sabotage ourselves, or the food, in order to put an end to the madness.

“Get these chips away from me!”

One of these such moments happened to me yesterday.

While I hasten to use the word “diet”, I guess that’s really the only term you would use to describe the satanic ritual I’ve been putting myself through lately. In an effort to look svelte and Facebook photo-ready for a few upcoming events, I’ve been watching what I eat and trying to cut out junk. You know, “carbs are the enemy” and all that noise. Anyway, yesterday, unable to face the prospect of one more apple, I took to the grocery store in search of healthy snack options. I perused the extensive collection of rice cakes and “100 calorie packs” before ultimately choosing an overpriced container of designer trail mix known as “Berry Blast”.  For $9.99, there better be a God Damn blast.  Maybe also some flecks of solid gold.

Guys, I kid you not, when I got back to my office and opened that thing I’m pretty sure rays of light and miniature angels flew out. This stuff was seriously addictive. Like a healthy crack.

But the problem with “healthy”snacks is that they, too,become unhealthy when you eat, say, 15 servings of them. When I realized this stuff was disappearing faster than everybody else in the theatre with Fred Willard,  I shoved the container into my office drawer. Out of sight, out of mind.

Putting it within arm’s reach was my first mistake. Within 30 seconds I was again shovelling fistfuls of pecans and dried cranberries into my face. Next, I tried throwing it on top of the bookshelf across the room, confident there was no way I could reach it without a chair or other boosting device. And that would just be embarrassing, right?

You overestimate my pride. Within 5 minutes I was climbing up on my chair and using a file folder as a reaching device to bring the trail mix within my grasp.

After a couple more handfuls (and my self-esteem at an all-time low) I decided that the Berry Blast and I needed a third-party intervention. So I picked up the now half-empty container and marched it down the hall to the office of a trusted colleague.

“I need you to do me a favour.” I said.

“Ok… what is it?” she replied, tepidly.

“I need you to  hold this trail mix in trust for me until I regain enough self-control to have it in my presence.”

Stifling laughter, she pryed it from my cold dead hands  took the container from me.  “Should we develop a safeword?” She asked, “So that I’ll know you’re serious when you come back?”

This seemed prudent.

We settled on “Idaho”. (“Boston”, “California” and “Nova Scotia” were also thrown out there, but all of those places made me hungry.) Then we drafted up a quick custodian agreement setting out the terms of the arrangement. (Just kidding. we’re not that bad).

Thinking that my trail mix troubles were behind me, I went back to work, free from the intrusive thoughts of macadamia nuts and pumpkin seeds.

But later that night, as I lie awake in bed, thoughts of my beloved Berry Blast returned to me. Images of cashews and blueberries danced in my head.

Like this. Only trail mix.

With sleep a distant possibility, I spent my waking hours mentally crafting each and every perfect handful.

The next morning, I marched into my colleague’s office and waved the proverbial white flag. “Idaho” I said,  resolutely.

“What’s that??” She asked, jokingly.

“Idaho. IdahoIdahoIda- oh just give me the god damn thing already”.

Should’ve gone with the soap.

Question of the Day: Have you ever had a Miranda moment?