My Vancouver

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I remember the sunny July day in 1998 when I arrived in Vancouver for what I thought was a two year commitment.  Transferred out of our Toronto office, I planned to give the West Coast a try for a few years.  Fifteen years later -Vancouver is home.

Like almost everyone else in this town, I wasn’t born here.  A city full of transplants, Vancouver is a fishing village.  The city itself plays host to a mere 600,000 odd citizens (it’s the surrounding communities and suburbs that push us up over the 2.5 million mark) all settled into just 115 square kilometres.  All the action circles out from the downtown core playing host to the surrounding area so the city seems so much busier and populated than it actually is.  Truth is, after living here for so long you realize what a small little world it is and I love it.

I love that I can do my job here – far away from the entertainment industry centres.  Sure, I have to travel more – but when I’m home I’m not obligated to all sorts of business functions etc.

I love that Vancouver has grown out of the awkward teenage phase it was in when I arrived in 1998.  Like Justin Bieber, the city was still resting on it’s own version of “Baby” – Expo 86.  Pimply faced and waiting for its voice to change Vancouver starting to come into its own.  Now its the sophisticated Adele of cities.  Like “Rolling in the Deep” Vancouver welcomed the 2010 Winter Olympics and literally conquered the world stage.

We cheered from the sidelines for the athletes, sure.  But we cheered the loudest for our city.  It was a shaky start, we worried if we could handle all the attention.  The weather was just as apprehensive.  The warmest, driest season in recent memory made the mountains more of a hiker’s paradise rather than a skiier’s dream.  News channels covered us with great relish.  “They have to helicopter in snow to cover the slopes!”

Day 1 was simply tragic as the luge track took a life and the Opening Ceremonies took a sombre tone.

But then something happened.  The sun came out and shone on our fair city.  The temperatures rose and the people came out in droves.  We became obsessed with the games, with the spotlight and we liked it.  We liked to show off our fair climate in mid-February.  Our beautiful mountains and glistening ocean.  The people of Vancouver became true hosts and rose to the occasion.  It was a magical experience.

Since then Vancouver is a changed place.  Out of its adolescence, Vancouver is a sexy and sophisticated twenty-something ready to accept its place among the old guard of cool places – Rio, Sydney, Cape Town.  Vancouver was rubbing shoulders with these cities and could maybe even give them a run for their money.

And it ain’t over yet, I can’t wait to see what happens when she’s a confident thirty-something!

My favorite Vancouver places:

EAT

Tavola

Hands down my favorite restaurant in Vancouver.  Located on the far west end of Robson St in a residential area, Tavola is nestled into a cozy neighborhood thats literally steps away from the action.  Close enough to feel the energy but far enough to not have it overwhelm.  This casual yet cool place serves some of the best food I have EVER eaten.  Delicious, gooey Burrata cheese (flown in from the Napa Valley) paired with fresh daily antipasto.  Homemade pasta fresh sheet that changes regularly (don’t worry – the incredibly simple yet wholly scrumptious Tonnarelli Cacio e Pepe remains on the menu daily).  Not to mention the crispy brick chicken, rib steak for a crowd and the desserts made in house, Tavola is Italian comfort at its best.  A great wine list covers all the bases!  The service is second to none.

Heirloom

Typically west coast, Vancouver boasts its share of vegetarian fare and most of it excellent.  But Heirloom is on a whole other level.  Located at the corner of 12th and Granville in one of the cities few heritage buildings, Heirloom creates a light, airy space with a whitewash and high ceilings.  A great spot for brunch, the menu offers options for all variations of restrictive diets – vegetarian, vegan, raw, gluten free.  I myself literally giggled like a school girl while digging into the raw, gluten free, vegan pecan brownie with avocado frosting.  Holy smokes!

Nuba

This small chain of very sexy Lebanese restaurants across the city offers a feast for the senses.  Delicious platters filled with falafel and creamy hummus, crispy salads and crunchy fried cauliflower all satisfy!

East is East

For organic Afghan/ Indian delicacies and an ambience that won’t quit, East is East on South Main is a favorite.  We love their roti wraps (and had to institute a moratorium as we were visiting the easy access take-out window at least once a week).

The Teahouse in Stanley Park

If you’re looking for a room with a view, The Teahouse is second to none.  A fantastic perch above English Bay, nestled into Stanley Park offers a 180 degree view of the ships waiting to enter the Harbor and the perfect vantage point for a west coast sunset.  The food is good and the kids menu is a godsend!

NIGHTLIFE

Truth is, since we had the Shorties our nightlife is a little limited – but we do have our favorite places to hang out when we can organize a babysitter.

The Commodore Ballroom

One of the premier ballroom level concert venues in North America, The Commodore has been lovingly restored to its original glory and hosts some of the best touring artists coming through town.  The dance floor is still sprung (rumor has it with old tires and horsehair) so find a spot in the middle during a sell out show and take a ride!

Guilt & Co.

Located in the heart of Gastown, this downstairs bar is a great place for a martini.  Live music from local artists entertains and the unisex bathroom offers a one-way window out to the club so you can spy on your friends.  Haha!

The Electric Owl

I’ve spent a lot of time in grungy nightclubs watching bands.  The Electric Owl on Main is a the exact opposite.  Most bars consider sightlines to the stage as merely an afterthought – here sightlines are paramount as the room is perfectly arranged widthwise for maximum viewing (and listening).

The Keefer Hotel

If its simply cocktails you’re after, then this is the place.  Set in the fringes of Chinatown, the Keefer Hotel offers a great patio and a drinks menu that will blow your mind.  The inventive recipes and vintage glassware are super fun!

SHOP

For many, shopping in Vancouver is fantastic.  Robson Street is the perfect High Street model, flashing wares from all the top fashion chains (Zara, BCBG, Banana Republic).  But I really prefer the charm of the small independent boutiques that are found along South Main and Gastown.  4th Ave in Kits and South Granville are also a great destinations.

THINGS TO DO

Sunny Summer Day

Head to any one of the beaches around English Bay and soak up some rays.

Rainy Day

Vancouver Aquarium or Science World are great places to visit when the weather is the pits (like most of the time).  All ages will appreciate the great galleries at both!  Or head to the spa – I love Miraj Hammam on a cold, rainy day where you can escape to the warm sauna and get a massage.  Skoah is a Vancouver based operation that gives great facials!

Winter Day

GO SKIING.  Get up to one of the local mountains (we prefer Cypress) and play in the snow.  The Alpine and Nordic options on all 3 local mountains offer activities for everyone (Downhill & Cross Country Skiing, Snowshoeing at all levels, Tobogganing and Tubing).

WHERE TO STAY

I don’t usually stay in hotels when I’m at home.  But here are a few that I hear are pretty good:

The Fairmont Pacific Rim

Located across from the new Convention Centre and just blocks from Robson, the brand new Pacific Rim is a glittering addition to the Vancouver skyline.  The room decor is very cool and functional and the outdoor pool with cabanas and fireplaces looks pretty bad ass.  The lobby bar offers a great scene and good cocktails.

The Wedgewood

One of the original boutique hotels in the city, the Wedgewood also has one of the best bars in the city.  Bacchus Lounge is a great place for a date or a quiet drink.  The rooms are charming and the location just off the Robson strip can’t be beat.

Vancouver is a hell of a town.  You should check it out!

Hustle Bustle Blah

Even the big man is pressed for time...

Even the big man is pressed for time…

Fa-la-la-la-la… its that time of the year again when the pressure is on to take supermom status to a whole new level.  There’s gift buying/wrapping/ delivering, baking, card writing, greeting sending, party going, pageant attending, house decorating, charity giving and general mass organization.  I am the self-appointed project manager of Christmas in our house.

I love Christmas.  Always have.  You’ll never hear a humbug out of me.  Twinkling lights, Bing Crosby, Chestnuts – I love it!  Okay maybe not the chestnuts.  (Have you ever tried roasted chestnuts?  Um euw.)  But it is a lot of work when already juggling momhood with my day job.  So this year I’m trying to go easy on myself and online shopping has become my new best friend.  No more running around the crowded mall, sweating profusely and hoping you’ll find that EXACT thing in the right colour and size.  Hello online shops, you freaking rule.  I just ordered gifts, had them wrapped and delivered from the comfort of my couch.  Does it feel like cheating?  Absolutely.  Am I going to keep doing it?  I’d be stupid not too.  Its all about time management you see and if I did all of that on foot it would take the better part of an afternoon.

And how about those pesky teacher’s gifts.  I mean, poor teach, you probably have a pile of stinky lotions and travel mugs in your desk drawer of Christmas past.  Right?  How many boxes of chocolates can one poor teacher endure.  This year, they are getting a gift in name from Unicef – Survival Gifts to community schools in need.  I figure that may be appreciated more in lieu of yet another Starbuck’s giftcard?

Its the same with the cookie situation.  For years I spent a whole December Saturday baking.  And we all know how awesome I am at that!  Not this year my friends.  Not only am I so far off the wheat and gluten train that I won’t even enjoy the little goodies, I am so bad at making them I’ll save my family the grief.  Oh yes, it will be store bought this year.  Just enough for the big day so we’re not laden with too many treats for the whole season.

This year, I will pour my extra energy in hosting whoever wants to come by for some holiday laughs, creating memories instead of adding to the pile of stuff.  So if you’re in the neighborhood, stop by.  Just don’t expect any cookies or a beautifully wrapped gift.

Necessity is the Mother of Invention

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If I were independently wealthy, I would be an inventor. Like Doc Brown in Back to the Future, I’d have a nifty little workshop out back of my house. Just no crazy hair or kooky glasses. I mean, I’d be an inventor with style. But seriously, I could invent so many things. Having kids creates so many needs for things. I could win the Nobel Prize for Awesome Gadgets that make a Mom’s life easier.  For instance:

A Burnt On Marshmallow Remover for the Glass on Your Gas Fireplace
Right? Do you feel me? How the f%$k am I supposed to get this burnt on sugar off the glass after #2 thought it might be a good idea to try and roast marshmallows on our fully enclosed glass gas fireplace. And that sh#t is just burning on more and more every time we turn the damn thing on. I went at it yesterday for a half an hour with a cloth and it is cooked on.

Stuffy Detector
Imagine this. Its bedtime. Teeth are brushed, PJs are on. Shorty is sufficiently tucked. But wait, something’s missing. Something vital and crucial to a successful bedtime routine. Insert super cute and/ or weird name for your Shorty’s favorite cuddly toy. Its not in the bed, not in the toy box, not in the overflowing stuffy basked (or whatever vessel you choose to store those God forsaken dust collectors). Terror strikes. Where is it??? You frantically retrace your steps of the day. Is it in the car? In the back pack? At the daycare? Or worse… is it completely lost? Some parents are smart enough to have back-ups of the favorites but not with my kids. The favorite changes every few days. How the hell am I supposed to remember who the crowned favorite is today? They all need a geo-tracking device. Then all you need to do is boop boop on your smart phone and the thing starts pinging on a map. I mean, it wouldn’t get you into the daycare at 9:00 in the evening. But at least you’d know where it is. We can start a whole daycare break-in service just to save exhausted parents the trauma and spring those waylaid toys and get them home before you can say “Go the f$%k to sleep.”

Automatic Toilet Cleaner
This is almost self-explanatory. I’m not talking about those lame blue pucks you put in the back of the toilet. I mean a real scrubbing experience because with kids everything goes everywhere. For real. A proper toilet cleaning requires more than simply some disinfecting water swirling around. From the handle to the pedestal and if you have boys then everywhere else in a 5 foot radius needs a proper scouring to be truly effective. And while we’re at it, lets throw in a splash guard for little ones learning to use the potty and need to work on their aim. This could be fabulous for boys and girls. Think about it. I need this. You NEED this!

Morning Kid Mover
This device would be able to detect what parts of the morning routine that your kids have not yet completed. It would make an announcement to remind each kid of what tasks they need to complete before its time to leave for school. I hate mornings. The nagging, the pleading, the begging, the yelling. I would gladly give this task to a machine so I can just be the good guy delivering breakfast. Imagine:

8:15am “First born child. Please pay attention. You must complete the following in the next 15 minutes. Eat breakfast, Brush your teeth, get dressed, pack your school bag, put on your coat and shoes. Please note that it is -15 C, so I recommend that you wear a warm coat, earmuffs and mittens.”

8:20am “First born child. You have not completed any of your morning tasks. You must depart for school in 10 minutes and I calculate that it will take 9 minutes, 30 seconds to complete all necessary tasks.”

8:25am “First born child. You cannot wear pyjamas to school. Your eggs are getting cold. You only have 5 minutes before you must depart for school and you are now in danger of being tardy.”

How awesome would that be??? I would LOVE not having to be the one doing the nagging.

Ahhh yes, I would be the stylish inventor creating to tools to make all of our lives a little easier. A girl can dream, right?

Reality Bites…

Ok.  I suck.  I am a bad bad bad blogger.  Everyone says “Best practices.  Blog at least twice week.”  Yeah, that is NOT my best practice these days.  Writing for me is feast or famine.  Sometimes I can see the humor and inspiration in everything.  Other times, it just doesn’t happen.  The truth is that right now, I just feel like everything I want to write about sounds whiny and douchey.

Like wahhh, I just cleaned up vomit and urine off the bathroom floor in the span of 10 minutes.  Or why does everyone in my family refuse to put dishes in the dishwasher, like they expect little elves will miraculously arrive and take care of this for them?  See what I mean.  The mundane realities of life with kids can be hilarious and most days it is.  But right now, I just feel vapid and sucky to complain.

The world can cast a dark pall on every day life.  My minuscule issues pale in comparison to those major life altering problems facing my friends and humanity.  Yes, very dark thoughts indeed.  I suppose finding the humor in the mundane is the only hope for forging through daily life with some sense of hope and perchance a sparkle of joy.  Laughing at reality is the only hope for surviving this drama called life.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not sitting in a dark room feeling sorry for myself.  I just struggle sometimes with whether the words I put on paper are completely insensitive to the world spinning around me.  Like Kim Kardashian’s shiny, voluptuous backend on the cover of Paper Magazine in the midst of one of the largest campaigns for awareness of women’s rights and anti-objectification movements since Gloria Steinem banned the bra. See, I just struggle with that level of insensitivity…

So there you have it.  I am shiny big ass trying to make you laugh…

Thank you Jimmy Fallon & Brian Williams and all the very talented people that made this video. It did the trick for me today.

The Public Pee Pee

I do not dig germs.  I am almost a germophobe – ALMOST.  Public bathrooms make me squeamish even under the best possible circumstances (ie: freshly cleaned, no other participants in the communal etc) but the minute you add a toddler into the equation, shit just got real.

I am quite sure that any other visitor to any ladies room where Shorty #2 and I have made a visit would think I am COMPLETELY off my rocker.  From the minute we enter until at last we walk out, I throw a non-stop barrage of don’t-touch-thats, don’t-look-in-theres and don’t-sit-anywheres.  All of this could simply be avoided by the use of haz-mat suits but since those are not commonplace in the shopping mall/ restaurant/ airport we are visiting we’ll just have to do our best with toilet paper and hand sanitizer.

Why is it that bathrooms, especially public bathrooms are such a fascination for a toddler?  I know, I know.  I get the humour behind poop, bum and fart jokes but honestly, the depository for feminine products is not a cool mailbox. “IT’S GROSS” I scream the minute a finger goes near the lid.

And don’t even get me started on the automatic flush toilets.  Why do they insist on flushing when you sit down rather than stand up?  For a Shorty, the moment when they, at last are able to sit on the toilet after all the running and rushing across the aforesaid public place to find the bathrooms (which are always conveniently located at the other end of the mall).  Imagine:

Shorty #2: “I have to go.”

Me: “Are you sure?”  *This is always necessary as many public bathroom visits are merely sightseeing tours into the unknown.

Shorty #2: “I gotta go BADLY.” (She crosses her legs.)

Me: “OK, lets go”

Shorty #2: “I can’t hold it.”

Me: “HOLD IT.”

And then I scoop her up and hightail it to the loo.  We get in breathless and dancing, waiting for a stall that is not either occupied, pre-fouled and/ or unflushed.  Finally, we make it in.  Every centimetre of exposed toilet seat covered with paper (for protection) and the Shorty is raised up to take her place on the throne – just in time for the automatic flusher to let ‘er rip.  Shorty shrieks thinking her little bum is about to be sucked down the drain.  Tears, turmoil and fear stop the bathroom experience in its tracks!  Then you get to dry your hands in the supersonic tornadic hand dryers from hell.  The whole mess is terrifying really.

Not to mention the problem of scale.  At home we are outfitted with step stools and special toilet seats to help with the necessary *ahem* ergonomics of a two year old using a toilet.  In a public potty, all bets are off that the angles are right and you’re lucky to not end up with pee shooting out of the toilet at YOU.  No kidding.  This happened.  In a restaurant.  On my designer shoes.  It was awesome (in a not very awesome way).

So the morale of the story?  Do anything and everything you can to HOLD IT ’til you get home!

 

Bad Blogger…

Me these days....

Me these days….

Jayzus!  I am a bad blogger.  I can’t even remember the last time I sat down and wrote a post.  I’ve been waiting for an inspiring reason to write (read: non-boring reason) but I just can’t seem to come up with anything that I feel is worthwhile.  So I guess I’ll write an apology instead.

Sorry.

There, are you happy?

Life just takes over sometimes and kids, career, husband, home maintenance, families and holidays take over my brain power and I simply don’t have the bandwidth to put it all down on paper (ok, laptop).  What can I say?

We’re fighting with the people that built our house over deficiencies which is SUPER FUN.  And when I say SUPER FUN, I mean in a total nightmare sort of way.  The work stuff is crazy as we just completed office renovations and are juggling unpacking and refurnishing with the daily chaos that is what we call in the music business Q4 aka the time when EVERYTHING happens.

The kids are completely obsessed by Halloween.  These are the most common phrases heard in our house these days:

5. “I want to be a cat for Halloween.  Can you get me a cat costume?  I know I wanted to be a Zombie Vampire Devil yesterday.  But now I want to be a cat.  Puuuhhhhlleeeazzze can you get me a cat costume.” – Shorty #1

4. “We need more decorations.” – Shorty #1

3. “This Halloween I want to be a Bumble Bee.  Next Halloween I want to be Spiderman.” – Shorty #2 who will clearly be disappointed when she realizes that successive Halloweens take place exactly one year apart.

2. “We don’t have enough decorations.  Can we go to the store and buy more?” – Shorty #1

And the #1 most heard phrase at our house these days:

1. “Is TODAY Halloween???” – Shorty #1 and #2

I’m continuously searching for a delicate way to explain that we have another two whole weeks of waiting!

We’re invited to a Gala on Friday night.  Which is lovely.  But no one can tell me what the expected dress code would be for said Gala.  I’m thinking then its perfectly acceptable to wear my fave Smythe blazer, jeans and heels.  RIGHT?  Please say yes.

Otherwise, its just life.  Day to day busy that all of you are experiencing too.  So just know that I love that you still come visit The R&R Mom and I love that you still care.  I promise that as soon as I can get my shit together and come up with a brilliant thing to write about, you’ll be the first to know.

XO

Hotel Awards

Regular followers of the R&R Mom know I am quite vocal about service when traveling, especially in hotels and on planes.  So it came to me that I should probably recognize some of my favorite places to stay with my first ever (and probably only) Hotel Amenities Awards.  So without further ado (even though there is hardly any “ado” anyways), here we go:

Best Hotel BedThe Four Seasons Los Angeles

Let’s face it.  The reason MOST of us are staying at a hotel is for a place to sleep so the quality of the bed, bedding, mattress AND pillows is of the utmost.  The bed at the Four Seasons LA has the perfect pillow to bed size ratio and is just cushy and cozy enough to lull this jetlagged old bag off to a deep slumber.

Sleep...

Sleep…

Best Hotel Bathroom – TIE – The Sunset Marquis West Hollywood and The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas

The Sunset Marquis wins for best bathtub.  The Cosmopolitan wins for sheer size and layout.

Best Hotel Bathroom Amenities – TIE – The Chateau Marmont West Hollywood and the W Hotel Hong Kong

The Kiehls products stacked up at the Chateau Marmont overrides the tired old bathrooms in desperate need of an upgrade.  At the W in Hong Kong, its all about the quantity of items.  Dental kits, shaving kits, bathing kits.  This place would be heaven if you lost your luggage.

Best Hotel Towels Claridges London

Big, soft, fluffy.  That in and of itself in a hotel towel is miraculous – but add in a fresh lavender scent and I’m in heaven.

Best Hotel MiniBarThe Thief Oslo

Clothing.  In the minibar.  Are you freaking kidding me?  It was like shopping in your room.  Another respite for weary luggageless travelers.

Best Breakfast The Sofitel Buenos Aires

No matter what you order, they bring croissants and pain au chocolat and those awesome Argentine treats Alfajores (chocolate covered dulce de leche cookies – shut. the. f^&%. up they are delicious).  Not to mention the entire pot of dulce de leche on the table to slather on your toast.  Disclaimer – I was pregnant when I stayed here, can you tell?

Best Hotel RestaurantGemma at The Bowery New York

Baked eggs with avocado and prosciutto for breakfast?  Do I need to say more?

Best Hotel Bar – TIE Lobby Bar at The Bowery New York and Vertigo at The Banyan Tree Bangkok

You have to battle to get a table after 10pm but it is one of the coziest, sexiest bars I’ve ever been too.  Vertigo is on the 61st floor overlooking Bangkok.  Who cares what the drinks are like.  You’re so high up, you’re already buzzing from lack of oxygen!

Best Hotel Swimming Pool – TIE – The Sunset Marquis West Hollywood and The Four Seasons Los Angeles

Of course LA hotels have the best pools.  The Sunset Marquis has 2 but I prefer the upper pool near the restaurant as opposed to the one in the courtyard.  More sun and more fun.  The pool at the Four Seasons is on the 4th floor, gets sun all day and is sheltered from the wind enough that its usable almost year round.

Best Hotel SpaEvason Six Senses Hua Hin Thailand

Outdoors comes indoors as geckos and frogs hop around the spa.  The Thai Yoga Massage was easily one of the best I’ve ever had.

 

 

 

 

Airplane Sleep

I’m a total chump.  Couldn’t help myself.  I caved like chocolate macaron in the hands of 5 year old.  I just became one of those people that I secretly mock and chastise.  I bought a neck pillow at the airport.  You know – the really soft, squishy kind that takes up loads of space in your carry-on and looks completely stupid when you wear it.

Well that's $20 I'm never getting back...

Well that’s $20 I’m never getting back…

I was heading to the gate before a 9 hour night flight in an economy seat knowing that on the other end I was going straight to work – sleeping on the plane was going to be necessary and I was willing to do anything to help facilitate that.  The truth is, $20 on a plushy pillow is not going to help for shit.  I was in for a crappy night’s sleep no matter what.

People carry these ridiculous pillows, take pills, wear eye masks and ear plugs all in an effort to sleep on the red-eye but that’s kinda why they call it the RED EYE.  Its never going to be restful until you’re settled in that little pod up in business class safely away from the plebs in coach battling out for armrests and recline space.  The reality is that in that confined economy seat you are at the mercy of those around you.  The seat grabber behind you, old recliner in front, the snorer beside you.  Not to mention the sweet lady on the other side who has now rested her head on your shoulder and is out cold.  All the way to New York.  (Yes, this happened to me.  And NO I didn’t say anything.  I’m Canadian.  I just screamed in my head WAKE UP!!!!!)  Nothing helps you escape those factors so you can fall into a peaceful slumber.  Not to mention the physical constraints of stretching out or finding enough recline in the seat so you don’t do the old head bob forward.  No.  The fact is you’re lucky if you get any sleep at all.

I wedge myself into the seat with knees up trying to find some sort of fetal position of comfort.  In the meantime, my neck is wrenched, my tailbone bruised from the armrests and I’ve taken a drink cart to the back of the head.  Ahh airplane sleep, you elusive mistress.  The statement “Don’t worry, you can sleep on the plane” is an outright lie and everyone knows it.  Instead I guess I’ll just catch up on all the TV and movies I’ve missed.

 

D-BAD: Grocery Store People

D-BAD aka DON’T BE A DOUCHE.  Each week I get to call out someone/ someplace or something for being a total DOUCHEBAG.  Its when I get to vent and take out my frustration on whatever makes me nuts each week, are you in?  Feel free to share your D-BAD’S anytime!

Dear Grocery Store People:

This is all pretty simple.  Every week we get together, always at your place.  I bring piles of cash that I give to you in exchange for a lot of stuff.  I ask for very little in return except for just a couple very small obvious things…

1. Please don’t sell me food that is rotten.  Sure, it could be like a party game – did I get the lucky box of strawberries that’s all moldy in the centre?  I mean sometimes this happens and you don’t even know.  But when you have to forensically inspect every lick of produce before its in the cart, we kind of have a problem.

2. Hand sanitizer.  Please put it EVERYWHERE.   At the very least keep it around the raw meat – but everywhere would be preferred.  I mean, there is nothing more repulsive than picking up a pack of chicken dripping with bloody chicken juice.  I know I’m a germaphobe – but I am pretty sure I’m not alone in this.

That’s it.  That’s all I ask.  So listen Grocery Store People.  Get your shit together and DON’T BE A DOUCHE.

Love,

The R&R Mom

Lube, Oil and Filter

Since crossing the threshold into 40, regularly scheduled maintenance is something I’ve had to focus on a little more.  There is a lot of mileage on this body (not that kind of mileage you perv… well, maybe a little of that kind) and once you complete the 4th decade, it definitely needs more attention than it used to.

In the chair for regularly scheduled maintenance.

In the chair for regularly scheduled maintenance.

Post baby body has been a real eye opener.  After the arrival of Shorty #1 there was a drastic and clear difference in the bounce back.  But once Shorty #2 arrived on the scene – and I was entering my 40th year – it was a wake up call that we were now well past the point of no return.  In addition to the major lifestyle changes to help take off the accumulated baby weight, the hair was just a little greyer, the skin a little looser and the fine lines and wrinkles just a little more prominent.  Ok – maybe it was a lot more of an issue than I care to admit, but there was no more avoiding it.  Its was time to start a maintenance plan.

The real issue here is when.  With 2 kids, a busy career and a silly travel schedule – how am I supposed to find 2+ hours to sit in a salon for a lube, oil and dye job?  I mean, its a necessity so I find a way.  But its not easy.

I know this is only the start as I begin the investment into middle age.  The creams and lotions and elixirs and serums (Why is it called a serum?  It sounds like some potion created by an evil villain to transform all the villagers into mindless slaves.) all ringing in at literally hundreds of dollars an ounce.  All claiming to deliver the fountain of youth and literally erase the signs of aging.  FYI – NONE of them really work.  Sure they work for a while, but it never lasts.  So its really just cash down the drain.  Hydration is the only thing that really helps.  Right cosmetic companies?  That’s the real truth isn’t it?  Genetics and hydration.

Even Botox only lasts for a while.  The only permanent solution is going under the knife but that scares the living shit out of me.

So I’ll stick with the dye job, send gratitude to the side of the family that gave me youthful looking chubby cheeks and curse the side that gave me these new jowls.