ms. fresh fish

Stepping Back In Time: #MessyBun4Eva
March 15, 2016, 6:40 pm
Filed under: babies, general, ottawa, Parenting, shopping, The big picture
The kids are away for the week (I can hardly breathe, but let’s not go there), so obviously today I distracted my heartsick self by going back into my beloved former Centretown life – a yoga class followed by a quick trip to Hartman’s (apparently it’s now called Massine’s?) to grab sushi for dinner.
I had never, ever before noticed the night and day-level difference of the clientele at my old grocery store versus my new one. It was like seeing myself 10 years ago. It was like being able to see the future of my fellow customers in a way that they would never believe me if I tried to tell them as they casually perused which of the fancy cheeses to buy.
Instead of diaper bags, they carry yoga mats or designer purses.
Instead of a best-intentioned-but-barely-pulled-off messy bun, women wear make-up, their hair… BLOW DRIED. Seriously y’all, they look amazing.
Instead of seeing bags under eyes that are the result of many nights (weeks, months, years) of no sleep, eyes look fresh, rested, people’s steps almost bouncing. Like, they don’t even know what to do with their energy.
Instead of dressy fake-lululemons that were bought at the very grocery store where we now shop and are used rarely, if ever, for actual exercise, people are wearing non-stretchy clothing, fitted and formed to their energetic bodies. So glamorous! Are they all models?!
Instead of, despite the clear exhaustion, the look of relief of having the peacefulness of Alone Time to cruise the grocery store aisles uninterrupted in silence, couples stare and giggle lovingly at each other as they experience their first grocery shopping together relationship milestone. I blatantly stared at those ones.
Instead of toddlers being fed a different thing directly off the shelf in every aisle, spilling things here and there, teetering on the cusp of tantrums, adults have civilized conversations about different ways to get curry into their diet with the taste test providers. Not a child to be seen anywhere.
Despite knowing how much our world has changed, and goddess knows, how much we were desperate for it to change and are so thankful that we have what we do now, what a startlingly visual reminder of where and what I used to be. And a reminder to appreciate and accept the extent to which we’re all so tired instead of wondering why and giving ourselves grief for not trying harder to be like our 25 year old selves.
Mind you, I’m almost inspired to try to dig out my blow dryer. Almost. #messybun4eva

In Defense of Dolls

A few days ago, my Facebook home page became overwhelmed with enthusiastic support for the Goldieblox ad. As a long-running feminist seeking to have gender stereotypes quashed, I was excited to see some not-so-usual suspects expressing glee over this development and video. So, I watched it, fairly certain that despite being the proverbial choir, I would still be excited about it. And I was… until I heard the line that turned my stomach: “We wanna use our brains!” Continue reading

Pinch Parent
October 16, 2012, 2:56 pm
Filed under: babies, family, fashion, shopping

Le Husband spent Thanksgiving weekend in Washington, DC going to see the NFL Team-That-Will-Not-Be-Named-Until-It’s-Something-Not-RACIST play the ATLANTA FALCONS. It seemed like a great idea at moment of plan conception. Baby A was finally sleeping through the night and my sister would come to help out during the days. No problem. I really wanted him to have a weekend away with the boys. This husband of mine, he’s a lot of work and very little play. I really want him to re-balance that as he ages. I know… not a problem a lot of women have.

My sister called the week leading up to it and announced excitedly that she would be spending the entire weekend at my house, instead of just some daytime visits. I quickly labelled her (in my head) insane and gratefully took her up on her offer. Baby A was still sleeping through the night, which meant that the only real burden to a non-parent is the early wake-ups. Totally manageable.

Suffice it to say, Baby A very much stopped sleeping through the night. And, for the first time in almost 13 months, woke his sister up for good measure. Many parents of singletons will suggest bringing baby into big bed. This does not work for my twins, likely because there was no initial use of this strategy when they were young, what with there being two many of them and all. Lifting them up and rocking them has recently led them to believe that it’s time to play. So what’s the alternative to help them get the sleep they so desperately need? Crying. A lot of crying. By both babies.

I could feel my sister beside me in bed (when my sister sleeps over and there is no husband around, same-bed sleeping is a non-negotiable) literally frozen with shock, terror and helplessness as five minutes turned into 15, which turned into 30 and eventually ended at about the 55 minute mark. Yes, she had discovered one of few, but very dramatic, downsides of twins. Rinse and repeat for the next night, obviously.

Alas, we survived the weekend. I would not have been able to do it without her in any kind of enjoyable way. Because of her presence, I was able to enjoy the babies, have a great day at the Experimental Farm, relaxing evenings, two wonderful and completely untraditional Thanksgiving dinners and to renew my appreciation for my amazing family.

Also, without her, they *definitely* would not have had a bath.

Pinch Parent

They definitely wouldn’t have had a bath with just Mama on duty.

And, if that wasn’t enough, she even managed to make one of her slowly-becoming-famous purses while she camped out here!

She’s brilliant, non?

Come to think of it, this post probably should have been about her purses. Ooops.

Walking the Walk
June 27, 2007, 3:46 am
Filed under: a & e, shopping

I kind of hate walking the walk. I much prefer talking the talk. It’s so much less commitment and effort, and if you can be shameless enough and call yourself a hypocrite with a charming smile, most people don’t judge… ’cause they’re the same way, really.

Case in point: Continue reading

Delayed Weekend Roll-up
May 17, 2007, 6:20 am
Filed under: events, family, recommendations, shopping

Ladyfest’s Not Your Grandma’s Craft Sale was amazing. No fairy shirts though, as it would seem the trend has gone from mermaids, to fairies to antique-looking birds. I’ve been on every other of their bandwagons, and this one is no exception. The place was rammed by 10 a.m., clearly an indication that this sale has caught on and will continue to grow. In fact, some people in Mtl that I was speaking to later in the day/evening who are involved in the “independent designer” industry were well aware of it, knew others who had gone from Mtl and were regretting having missed it this time, promising to make the trip for the next sale. Continue reading

Vendredation Day*
May 11, 2007, 6:10 am
Filed under: events, family, ottawa, recommendations, shopping

Sending out my thoughts to England today… it’s not going to be an easy day, but I’m hoping better than anticipated with memories and love from those nearest and dearest to provide some consolation during this time.  

Continuing on my “Trip in Themes” series, my first recommendation today is music based and is a new play list of UK’s “indie anthems”. You’ve probably heard a lot, if not most or all, before. “I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor” had me rockin’ out yesterday. And while “I Am The Resurrection” (Stone Roses) is a perennial favourite after my last trip to Mad-Manchester, for whatever reason, two of them are owning our lives right now – “Common People” (Pulp) and “Don’t Look Back in Anger” (Oasis). The former is just so damn catchy and the latter was the source of one of the best sing-a-longs I’ve ever been privileged to be a part of — 30-40 people (including the drunken groom), arms around each other in a huge circle, doing a slow can-can (not sure why that happened), and singing at the TOP of our lungs at our friends’ magical wedding (did I mention there was a one-man band during the cocktail hour?). Pity the bride missed it, but bride’s always have to miss something. For example, I missed my husband doing the limbo, which I still kind of don’t believe but enough people have mentioned it that either a) it did really happen or b) this vast network of co-conspirators needs to find hobbies aside from tricking me with semi-fascinating tales.

Update – how I wish I was watching this with them.

So slap that new play list onto your iPod and listen to you it as you make your way to the (semi-?) annual (goddess how I wish these were monthly) “Not Your Grandma’s Craftsale”, put on by Ladyfest. It’s being held at Jack Purcell off Elgin, starting at 10 a.m. Bring your cash to stock up on amazing baked goods, fairy t-shirts (my personal favourite), original art pieces and things you never even thought possible to create. It’s always a very energetic and uber-creative event. In fact, it’s so good, that I’m postponing my departure to Mtl until after I get my new fairy tee (and a latté with Maria, of course). 


*For my new UK readers (hi!!), the word “vendredation” is my invention or coining, combining the words Vendredi (Friday in French, but you probably already knew that) and recommendation.

Vendredation Day – Delivered
February 23, 2007, 6:06 pm
Filed under: ottawa, recommendations, shopping, Sports

No food-related items this week, unfortunately. For the many of you who are being bogged down by Seasonal Affectiveness Disorder (SAD), maybe a little time out and about would help bring you back from the realm of dragging yourself around, to the feeling of forward motion. The following activities, along with a lot of chocolate and hot baths, have helped me anyway…

1. Camp Fortune – Sure the hill is a wee bit on the little side, but that’s compensated by the short lift lines, decent prices and proximity to Ottawa. You can make it there by 5:30 on a weeknight and ski until 10 p.m. Even on a snowboard – a foreign object for my feet, which lead me to take 10 times as long descending – I was able to do almost 10 runs (and it was the headache that stopped me, otherwise another five would have been no problem), including a delayed start and a pizza and soup for dinner. One suggestion to make your experience more enjoyable: Stay away from the disastrous teenagers in the chalet. Maybe we’re just getting old, but the chalet was a complete disaster with stuff strewn everywhere. I couldn’t even find a path to walk through to get to our table. As we were ranting about how kids have no manners or sense of self-decency anymore (oh yea, we’re getting old all right), we noticed that there appeared to be an “adults-only” second level. I’ll have to try that one out next time.

2. Rama Lotus Yoga – Based on a strong recommendation from my friend Debbie, I finally tried Bikram Yoga (aka “hot yoga”) one Sunday afternoon and was very happy I had done so. I hear there are other places where the experience is “better” (whatever that means), but I enjoyed Rama Lotus (teacher: Ed) very much. I’d never gone to a class in a yoga studio before but the experience as a first-timer was not at all intimidating and the heat was indeed, very therapeutic. A little tip for you first-timers, bring a change of clothes for the way home because everything (including undergarments) will be soaked. Dégolase.

3. Finally, for those of you uninterested in physical-types of SAD-fighting, how about retail therapy? Based on a recommendation from Kaili, who is unquestionably Ottawa’s best store of knowledge of all things retail and brand, I went to Hush Clothing in Westborough on Wednesday night to consign a couple pairs of my designer jeans (sniff, sniff) so that I may be able to afford another pair. As luck would have it, they had just received a pair of Sevens which I quickly grabbed for less than half the price of a new pair of the same brand (yes, yes, I pay too much for jeans… leave me alone! It’s my one splurge!)!And so, there lay my relatively new Rock & Republics as well as my beautiful Seven Dojo’s waiting to be adopted by an excited new owner. I hope they’ve enjoyed their time with me, as I’ve enjoyed my time with them (we’ve been through a lot together). I wish them great adventures with their new owner and very much look forward to meeting new pairs of beautiful, cheap jeans in the future!