Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck Welcome Baby Samuel

Ben Affleck, Jennifer Garner and the girls.
Photo Credit:  Nelson Jose Comegnio/Picasaweb albums
Jennifer and Ben welcome their third child, Samuel Garner Affleck.  Samuel joins his older sisters Violet 6  and Seraphina 3.

Ben is now on a more even playing field with a son joining the Affleck household.  His buddy, Matt Damon must be jealous as he is raising four daughters!

Like all Hollywood couples, the media had their doubts about the stability of Jen and Ben's marriage; however, after seeing some recent photos of these two--it looks as if this marriage is strong and is the real deal.  Jennifer has also always spoken very affectionately about her husband Ben.  I wish them the best.

It's nice to see a successful Hollywood couple making time to raise a family.  They truly look like hands on parents and, now, with a newborn son, they will definitely have their hands full.

Congratulations Jen and Ben and welcome Samuel Garner--I like the name.

Leap Year - February 29, 2012

Happy Leap Day!
Photo Credit:  Daniel Moyle
Lippin lizards, kangaroos, rabbits, frogs or any other leaping animal or creature, it's Leap Year!

Happy Birthday Leap Year babies.  If you were born today you age slower since your birthday only comes around every four years.  That means that today will be a major celebration.

Imagine what you would do for your birthday, if you could only celebrate it once every four years. The chance of being born on a leap year is 1 in 1,461.

However, I have heard that being born on February 29 can come with some hassles.  Here is a list of some problems people come across as a leap year baby:

  • They can only have a birthday party on their real birthday every four years.  This is difficult for children as schools could overlook their special day and not get acknowledged.
  • Computers have a problem with people born on February 29.  Everyone has had to explain their age discrepancies to officials for administration of important matters at some time because of this.
  • You can't get you license until you are 64 years old--according to computers.
  • You can't get a free birthday meal or other treats from restaurants.
  • The tax man isn't on board with this and somehow manages to over look the loop hole---it figures.
  • Your facebook friends never know when your birthday is.
  • You are younger than you look.  Now there's a compliment!
All you leaplings out there, let us know how you like being born on February 29--the good and the bad.  And, by the way, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Leaping Kangaroos
Photo Credit:  Subhash Chandra/flickr

I have collected a list of books to help you or your children understand your/their leap year birthday's:

It's My Birthday....Finally! A Leap Year Story by Michelle Whitaker Winfrey
Leopold's Long Awaited Leap Year Dawn Desjardins
Mommy, Where's My Birthday? by Lakisha Cornell

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Angelina Jolie's Right Leg and Skinny Arms

Angelina has been thin for as long as I can remember
Photo Credit:  mfrissen/flickr
Since Angelina's famous right leg pose at the 84th Annual Academy Awards on Sunday, poor Angelina has been under the microscope and her right leg has "exploded" in the twittisphere.

It's funny that everyone is so concerned about Angelina's weight now, even though she has been this thin for years.  After the Golden Globe's awards there was no mention of how frail she is and no speculation as to whether she has an eating disorder--just praise on how fabulous she looked in her Atelier Versace white satin gown with red collar. 

Dr. Drew on HLN had a round-table discussion last night about concern for Angelina's weight and apparent muscle wasting.  He even had Tracey Gold, who had anorexia in the past, in on the discussion. Dr. Drew mentioned that "As you look at Angelina last night at the Oscar's-when you see that she has temporal muscle wasting-a hallmark sign of malnutrition."  He explained that he is only mentioning this because he doesn't want another celebrity to go down and sit by and say nothing.  The discussion got heated though when Dr. Drew's other panelist, Kareen Wynter challenged Tracey Gold's observation that Angelina has an eating disorder.  Wynter felt that this was all blow out of proportion and that "this is not a woman who is malnourished."

Well, I don't know what Dr. Drew is going to do about Angelina's apparent thinness--rush over to Angelina's house and stuff a chocolate bar in her mouth?  I am sure that Brad and her Dad can see for themselves that Angelina is thin.  They also have a lot more information about her diet and health matters than Dr. Drew or any of us. 

However, I can understand that it is sad to see so many celebrities succumb to the pressures that come with having a successful career in the Movie industry.  It is human nature to do anything you can to keep your successful and lucrative career going strong, so I can understand if Angelina is staying thin for her career.  But, then again, there could be other reasons why she is not eating properly.  How are we to know?

Overall, Angelina got more than she bargained for by striking the hand on hip and leg stuck WAY OUT pose (I thought she was trying to trip someone).  I understand that some designers tell the celebrities to strike certain poses to show off the dress more.  This could have been an innocent move on Angelina's part that EXPLODED out of control.

What is your take on this?  Is it any of our business or should it be our concern if Angelina Jolie appears too thin?


Monday, 27 February 2012

Octavia Spencer Best Supporting Actress

Credit:  Chickpokipsie/flickr
Last night when Octavia Spencer won her Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress her first words were: "Thank you Academy for putting me with the hottest guy in the room"--referring, of course, to her Oscar.

Octavia Spencer, the day after the Oscar's, appeared on "Live with Kelly" in Hollywood.

Kelly said to Octavia, "Show everyone your fancy prize, your new boyfriend."

Octavia replied, "I was single and now I'm not."

This was Octavia Spencer's first Oscar Nomination and her first win.
Octavia didn't prepare an acceptance speech because she was superstitious about making an assumption of winning the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.  Octavia regrets it now because she forgot to mention important people.  Octavia explained, "My knees where shaking so hard the only thing I could think of was do not fall down." In her speech, Octavia thanked her family in Alabama, the state of Alabama and her family watching in L.A.  Octavia finished her speech with, "I share this with everyone, thank you Steven Spielberg (producer) for changing my life."

Octavia spent the rest of her night at the Governors Ball and then the Vanity Fair Party where they were handing out In N Out burgers.  Octavia was asked about her baking skills.  She replied, "Well it depends on who it is (smirking).  I am not a cook at all.  I don't cook it's really sad." Octavia can't wait to go home and watch the Oscar's!

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Oscar Fashion On The Red Carpet

Credit:  Rachel Jackson/flickr
Overall it was a winning night for Hollywood fashion, very glamorous.  But of course there were the usual misses.  I don't know how these actresses can miss with the best designers at their disposal.

Melissa McCarthy nominated for The Bridesmaids is wearing a Marina Rinaldi coffee-coloured chiffon gown with beaded silver collar and matching belt.  The colour was not the best on her and it was a bit billowy for her shape.  She should have taken a lesson from Octavia Spencer who nailed fashion for a larger figure throughout the awards season.

Viola Davis Best Actress for The Help is wearing a fitted emerald green Vera Wang fitted gown with beading in the bust area. 

Shailene Woodley of The Descendants is wearing a white long sleeved Valentino Couture gown. 

Jessica Chastain nominee for Best Supporting Actress for The Help looks fabulous wearing cooper or gold tones on black Alexander McQueen gown and $2 million of Harry Winston jewels.  It was a difficult dress to pull off, being so regal looking but it suited her perfectly.  She looked like a queen with the dress and her red hair.

Michelle Williams nominated for Marilyn is wearing a red or coral Louis Vuitton dress with frill at waistband that to me looks 1950s inspired with a gold bow brooch at the waist. 

George Clooney is wearing Georgio Armani and Stacy Keibler his girlfriend is wearing a bronze Marchesa off the shoulder gown with fabric draped into a rose at her waist on one side.

Octavia Spencer nominated for best supporting actress for The Help is wearing a draped and fitted silver Tadshi Shoji gown.  She stayed with the same designer for the entire awards season--why mess with success--Tadshi Shoji created a fabulous shaped dress for Octavia's figure and the fabric gleamed and shimmered.  Octavia looked fabulous from the back too.  Congratulations Octavia on your Oscar!

Kristin Wiig is wearing a J. Mendel beige or gold toned gown and Neil Lane jewellery. 

Ema Stone is wearing a Jean Batista Vali gown with a big bow at the neck which looks like the red Balenciaga gown that Nicole Kidman wore at the 2007 Academy Awards.  Ema's dress, however, was a different shade of red and looked fabulous with her hair and skin tone.

Glenn Close wore Zach Posen in green.  She looked very feminine and pulled off a great look for her.

Jennifer Lopez is wearing a Grammy type of dress and no Casper Smart as an accessory.  There were rumours that she had a wardrobe malfunction. 

Rose Byrne is wearing Vivienne Westwood in midnight blue.

Meryl Streep is wearing a gold "Oscar" dress.  Could this be her big night?  Well it was.  Meryl won her third career academy award.  Meryl had not won an Oscar since 1982 when she won for "Sophie's Choice" even though she has been nominated over and over and over again since then.  Meryl was very gracious in accepting her Oscar saying, "I really understand that I'll never be up here again".

Gwyneth Paltrow she looked amazing. She wore a Custom Tom Ford, white dress with a cape/coat and  large cuff sparkly bracelet.  Gwyneth pulled off a simple, elegant and rich look.

Angelina Jolie wore black Versace that had a beautiful shape--modern, and sexy. She was working the look a bit too much for my liking though--what's with the leg sticking out so far. 

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Oscar Movie Inspired Oscar Party Foods

I have put together a menu of appetizers, main meals and desserts for your Oscar Party.  These Oscar Party foods are inspired by the 2012 Oscar Nominated Movies.  If I would have to chose one of the movies for an Oscar Party theme for myself, I would chose The Help.  The good Ole Southern cooking in this movie is delicious, except for the Chocolate Pie (you would have had to watch the movie to understand--google it!).  The link to the recipe for the Mississippi Mud Pie will sure to be a crowd pleaser--if you stick to the ingredients and don't add any of your own "special" ingredients that is!

The Descendants  (Hawaiian  Appetizers)
Pineapple Cheese Ball, Recipe Journey has a nice recipe with photos that show each step
Aloha Chicken Wings from
Maui Ahi Poke from
Mai Tai Cocktail
Photo Credit:  duluoz cats/flickr

The Artist (Foods from 1927)
Bridge Mix as the movie was from 1927 when playing bridge was popular. Bridge Mix Recipe
Kool-Aid was invented in 1927 - use this Kool-Aid Punch Recipe from Kraft
Marble Cake (representative of a black and white movie)

Credit:  Hawaiianfoodrecipe/flickr
Moneyball (Ball Game Inspired Foods)
Hot dogs with the fixings or for a smaller appetizer version mini crescent dogs
Carmel Corn
Popcorn served in movie style plastic containers

Photo Credit:  Ben Spark/Flickr

The Tree of Life (Texas and 1950's)
Texas Jail Chili  (Circa 1950)
Easy Beef and Salsa Burritos from the Texas Beef Council
Beef Enchiladas from the Texas Beef Council
Seven Layer Tex Mex Dip

Photo Credit:  Kerinin (Ryan Michae)/flickr

The Help
Classic Southern Fried Chicken
You can buy or make popcorn chicken as a easy appetizer alternative to fried chicken
The "Help" Southern Carmel Cake
Mississippi Mud Pie (Not exactly like Minnie's, lol)

Photo Credit: Ben Grantham/Flickr
Midnight in Paris
Pain au Chocolat or Croissants au Chocolate - I recommend you buy some chocolate filled croissants or spread chocolate spread in the middle of mini croissants as they are a bit tricky to make.
Mini Quiches
Mini Quiche Lorraine

Photo Credit;  Sarah Sosiak/flickr

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Rihanna and Chris Brown Collaborating

Credit:  Eva Rinaldi/Flickr
O.K. Rihanna some girls out there think you have some splannin to do as far as standing up for domestic violence is concerned--at least that's what I am learning from some tweets I've read.

As you all remember, Chris Brown beat Rihanna on the Eve of the Grammy's three years ago.  As a result, Chris Brown had a five-year restraining order placed against him in 2009 . The judge since lifted the ban and Chris Brown got his second chance.

In November 2009, Rihanna went on Good Morning America and was interviewed by Diane Sawyer.  During this interview Rihanna spoke out on abuse by saying "It's completely normal to go back.  It's not right. I learned the hard way, but again, this is what I want people to know", she said.  Rihanna went on to say that she didn't want her selfish decision to be the influence that could get another young girl killed.

Now it seems that all is forgiven, Chris Brown performed at the Grammy's and now Rihanna and Chris are singing melodies together.

They recently collaborated on remixes of each other's songs--Rihanna's Birthday Cake and Chris Brown's Turn Up the Music. 

Others just think let it go--if Rihanna is embracing Chris again at least professionally then we should too. You have to admit that this collaboration will further Chris Brown's career but I don't know if the effect will be totally positive for Rihanna.

You have to agree that this controversy will spur lots of publicity for the two singers, I guess that's the idea.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Oscar Party Ideas

credit:  Davidlohr Bueso/flickr

The 84th Annual Academy Awards
Oscar Sunday, February 26, 2012 at 7e/4p on ABC
The Academy Awards airs Sunday, Feb. 26 at 8:30 p.m. ET on CTV

E will have coverage from 1:30 p.m. ET/ 10:30 a.m. PT

Ideas for an Award-Winning Oscar Party

First design a great home-made Oscar invitation or use these online ecards or printables at

When your guests arrive hand out ballots for best picture, actor, actress, supporting actor/actress, etc.and have each guest/couple fill them out. Here is a printable Oscar Ballot.

Use the ballots as a draw card for small gifts at the end of the night.

Popcorn--What's an Oscar Party without it.  You can make bowls of different flavours and colours such as caramel corn, pink popcorn, white cheddar, Cajun spices--name the popcorn after your all-time favourite movie.

Make mini swag bags of beauty products from the dollar store:  Hair brushes, fancy hair combs, fruit scented soaps, eye gel masks, pedicure and manicure products, and gold wrapped truffles.  Or, you can buy plastic champagne flutes and fill them with gold coloured candies, covered with cellophane wrap and tied with a gold ribbon.

Have each guest bring an appetizer/dessert that reflects one of the Oscar-nominated movies.

Have everyone show up in their pyjamas and slippers--no need to fear the fashion police at an at-home event.

Games to play:

Oscar Trivia from past Oscars.
Guess the movie charades.
or you can just watch the awards and snack.

And don't forget to watch the red carpet before the awards.

Matte versus Glossy Photographs

Photograph by Anna Cervova

What is the difference between Matte and Glossy Photographs?

I went to Black's Photography yesterday to take advantage of their fantastic Family Day Weekend deal of fifty 5x7 prints for only $5.  Here's the link for those of you that are interested, Black's Photography.

To be honest, this is the first time I have printed my digital prints which I have been storing on various media over the years.  I had previously purchased a prepaid card when there was a deal but I haven't used it yet since I wanted to take advantage of the $5 deal.

After sitting down at the kiosk in the camera store and  making minor tweeks to my carefully chosen fifty prints, I proceeded to the button that asked which finish I wanted, matte or glossy.  I thought "Great, now I have to make a decision that can make or break these carefully chosen 50 prints".  This sent my mind into great analysis--"which did I use in the past for my film cameras?"; "what did they look like?"; "were my experiences good or bad?"  To further put a wrench into the situation, their system has matte as the default but they do say you can have glossy for the same price.

I automatically thought, well if matte is the default they must be saving money by processing a matte finish.  After I considered this, and remembered that in the past I tried matte once and was not happy with the flat, dull colours, I cautiously pressed  the button labelled glossy finish.

Like it was a timed joke, just after I pressed the button, the store clerk told the woman beside me she should print her boudoir type photo in matte because "matte is better" (she was lying in a bed of roses in her underwear).  Well, he gave no reason as to why matte is better making me wonder, "Is this guy being honest or trying to save the company money some how".

So, off I went to wait an hour, constantly thinking I hope my photographs turn out the best they can.  When I opened the pack of prints a hour later I didn't regret getting the glossy prints.  The pictures were vibrant; but, I still wonder what some of them would have looked like in a Matte finish.  I wonder why they don't offer a semi-gloss finish?

After some research, this is my take on the differences between matte and glossy finishes:


Matte photographs are flat and muted.  A lot of people prefer a matte or semi-gloss finish for large portraits as they don't have the glare that shiny glossy photographs have because they don't reflect light.  Matte paper is rough and uneven which diffuses light and gives a softer image but throws light everywhere making blacks lighter.  They are therefore easier to view in any lighting conditions.  The colours are less rich in matte photographs.  Most older black and white and sepia photographs were printed on matte paper and are best restored on this type of finish to keep the original look. 


Glossy photographs are more pleasing to look at because they are shiny.  The colours are more vibrant, rich and deep and images scan a lot better. They reflect light well and are pleasing to the eye. They do collect fingerprints and dust easier than matte finish though. 

What have your experiences been like with matte and glossy photo finishes?   Comment below.

Friday, 17 February 2012

Pancake Tuesday - Belgian Waffle Recipe

Photo and Waffles by ChristineB (me)

Buttermilk Belgian Waffles


3 cups of all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of salt
5 tablespoons of sugar
3 cups of 1% milk or whichever you prefer (add one tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar per cup of milk--let the mixture stand for 10 minutes before using) This is a way of making buttermilk without having to buy buttermilk
1/4 cup of butter--equals 4 tablespoons (melted)
2 eggs separated
2 teaspoons of vanilla

Top with syrup or confectioner's sugar


Sift the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.

In a separate bowl, whisk together egg yolks, buttermilk, melted butter, and vanilla.  Pour into dry mixture and combine.

In a medium bowl, beat egg whites with mixer until they form soft peaks.

Fold the fluffy egg whites into the batter.

Pour about 1/3 cup of batter for each waffle.

Cook until golden brown (according to your iron) or until steam stops coming out of sides of iron.

Wipe the waffle iron grids with vegetable oil before heating up the waffle iron.

This version of Belgian Waffles has been created by ChristineB

February Blahs - Great Romance Reading

Photo By:  ChristineB (me)
The Nora Roberts Bridal Quartet
Four books about friends who own a Wedding Planning business who find themselves planning each others wedding in each book. 
  1. Vision in White (The Bride Quartet, Book #1)
  2. Bed of Roses (The Bride Quartet Book #2)
  3. Savor the Moment (The Bride Quartet, Book #3)
  4. Happy Ever After (The Bride Quartet, Book #4)

The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks (the movie The Notebook was Adapted by this novel)

The Wedding by Nicholas Sparks (More about the Calhoun family from the Notebook)

True Believers by Nicholas Sparks

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

It Had to be You by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

What I did for Love Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Whitney Houston Funeral Online

credit:  Zennie Abraham/flickr
Like most celebrities who pass away, everything to do with Whitney Houston has suddenly turned to pure gold.  Her record sales have skyrocketed just like Michael Jackson's and Amy Winehouse's did just after their deaths.

Her popularity now reflecting back to her younger days and not her disastrous Nothing but Love Tour where people were walking out of concerts in Brisbane, Australia, Copenhagen, Denmark and demanding refunds in  the U.K.  I know my memories of Whitney will be how her music was a part of my youth.

Even after her vocal chords were changed by drug and alcohol abuse, Whitney's newest album I Look to You reflected the new sound of her deeper, huskier voice.  Even though she could no longer hit the high notes in I Wanna Dance with Somebody and I Will Always Love You, her newest song I Look to You that was performed on video reflected a more spiritual Whitney who had found her new "voice".

Whitney's Funeral is to be live-streamed on the Internet on Saturday at 12 p.m. (noon) by The Associated Press here.  Aretha Franklin, godmother to Whitney, is expected to be singing at her god-daughter's funeral. Her funeral will be held in Newark, N.J. where Whitney got her start as a gospel singer.  Bobby Brown is apparently invited to Whitney Houston's funeral--all week there were speculatory reports that Bobby Brown would not be allowed to take part.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Winter Comfort Food - Marvelous Italian Meatballs

Italian Meatballs - Photo by ChristineB

This is a fairly large recipe, it makes 75 golf ball sized meatballs.  I freeze a meal amount of meatballs in individual freezer bags.  This means the effort you put in today, gives you an easy meal for four or five nights (I allow about four meatballs per person).


2 pounds ground beef

1 1/2 pounds ground pork

6 cloves garlic minced

4 eggs

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Salt and ground black pepper to taste

2 cups Italian style bread crumbs

1 1/2 to 2 cups lukewarm water (see directions)


Using your hands:

Combine beef and pork in a large bowl.  Add garlic, eggs, cheese, salt and pepper

Blend bread crumbs into meat mixture.  Add a 1/2 cup of water at a time.  The mixture should be a moist consistency, yet still be firm enough to shape into meatballs.  Place meatballs on a greased baking sheet sprayed with cooking oil.

Bake in a 325 degree oven for 30-35 minutes or until internal temperature reaches beef (170 degrees F) with meat thermometer.

Makes about 75 golf ball-sized meatballs.  Now, if you like to make them into tennis ball size--like my husband started out doing until I intervened--you will get less.  You can also make them tiny and have a ton to be used in soups, stews and appetizer recipes.

By ChristineB's husband DanB--thanks for making dinner!

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Top Five Romantic Movie Songs

I put together YouTube links to the theme songs from
My Top Five Romantic Movies:

Compliments of

It Had to be You (When Harry Met Sally)

It Must of Been Love (Pretty Woman)

The Way You Look Tonight - Instrumental (My Best Friends Wedding)

The Way You Look Tonight, (From the movie My Best Friends Wedding)

I'll Be Seeing You (From The Notebook)

Up Where we Belong (An Officer and a Gentlemen)

Free Printable Valentine Cards


These cards are free Public Domain vintage valentine's day cards with no conditions, compliments of my friends at

Feel free to print and send to your sweethearts.

Monday, 13 February 2012

Grammy Fashion Hits and Misses and Adele Triumphs

The Grammys fashion are traditionally a little more costumy and out there than say the Oscars or other awards presentations.  Music artists are more about expressing themselves than displaying a designers fashion.

Niki Minaj wore the ultimate Little Red Riding Hood or Catholic Bishop type of get up, an all red, wide cape with a large hood custom-made  by Atelier Versace and accompanied by a "Pope" replica. Usually she wears a little more fitting attire, but an artist likes to mix it up a bit?

Look at Katy Perry--she is sticking with that blue hair.  I know Katy enjoyed playing Smurfette but it is truly not a flattering look for her.  Her granny type hairstyle (not Grammy type, lol) and matronly gown also failed to show off Katy's true stunning beauty. Katy did change later after her performance and her hair was let down too.  She should have worn this dress on the red carpet.   I think her winged dress from last year was a little more age appropriate and fitting to her style of music.  I also think Katy looks stunning with black hair.  She most recently had been wearing it pink, blondish pink, blonde and now blue--go back to black please!

And, OMG, lets not forget to mention Sasha Grodiva wearing a pink dress and machine guns--meaning what, gentleness and "Rambo" at the same time?  I didn't even know who she was until now--mission accomplished!

Lady Gaga take the gagga off your face.  Mesh on her body is one thing but that wrap around mesh on her face was weird.  That's the point I guess!

Rihanna looked incredible in her black plunging Armani gown. She works hard to keep her body looking great and likes to show us.  Remember last year when she wore that white gown with horizontal strips of white fluff alternating with her skin--the fluff hit all the right spots as it, surprisingly, didn't reveal anything that would have had her sent home to change.

Speaking of which, why wasn't Fergie sent home--we could see her black bra and granny-type undies that were not so undie her red lace dress--wait I just saw a photo and the dress is orange, even better! These dresses never look the same on television and photos. I was racking my brain trying to figure out why she felt this dress was acceptable and fashionable.......Did she feel that people see more of me at the beach anyway and this is high-fashion and I will definitely stand out (maybe it will sell more records)?

Adele dominated the Grammy Awards by winning all six of the grammys that she was nominated for including song and record of the year for Rolling in the Deep and Album of the year for 21. But, as far as fashion went, Adele didn't really dominate, staying true to her all black look. The dress she wore on the red carpet though black, was very sparkly and suited her beautifully.   I wish she would have put it back on after her performance on stage--she would have looked stunning accepting her Album of the year Grammy wearing it. 

You could feel the awe and respect in the audience of her peers and fans.  Adele won best song for Rolling in the Deep.  I wondered what she meant by the term Rolling in the Deep so I looked it up.  Apparently rolling in the deep is a description of a ship moving  up in down on the waves, far out in the distance.  The lyrics from the song do match this description as the lyrics--"Finally, I can see you crystal clear, Go ahead and sell me out and a I’ll lay your ship bare"--make reference to bringing that far out ship into clear sight. Obviously, she means she now sees what this guy she is in a relationship with is really all about.  Adele's sound reminds me of Amy Winehouse with a more refined twist.

I wonder how Adele will top this banner year!

Speak to me people!  What did you think of the fashions at the Grammys!

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Whitney Houston You Were Amazing

We Will Always Love You

My husband just woke me up to tell me about the passing of the great talent Whitney Houston.  The first thing that came to my mind before I even had a chance to think was "The Body Guard" and I Will Always Love You.  What an unbelievable voice and talent.
Source:  DefenseImagery Author: PH2 Mark Kettenhofen

Whitney is dead at the age of 48.  She was found in the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills.  Whitney was supposed to attend Clive Davis' Pre-Grammy party at the Hotel on Saturday night-the Eve of the Grammys. Clive Davis discovered the talent of Whitney Houston. Whitney was the cousin of Dionne Warwick and god daughter of Aretha Franklin.

Tony Bennett paid tribute to Whitney by telling CNN that "Whitney had a God-given gift of being a magnificent singer and artist...To me she was one of the greatest singers I have ever heard." Tony says that he has regrets that he will never be able to fulfil his wish to sing with Whitney Houston.

Smokey Robinson told CNN,  "I am shocked....It is the last thing I expected to hear today. Whitney was like family to me, I've known her family and her forever... I know that she will be remembered well.  Whitney was a sweety pie and I know she would want to be remembered that way."  Smokey was referring to Whitney's personal problems and how he hopes that they will not overshadow the memories of her talent.

Whitney's life was plagued by substance abuse and a troubled marriage to Bobby Brown.

Whitney won six Grammy Awards.  Whitney's Top 10 Hits are:
  1. I Will Always Love You
  2. Greatest Love of All
  3. How Will I Know
  4. All The Man That I Need
  5. I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Somebody Who Loves Me)
  6. Where Do Broken Hearts Go
  7. Didn't We Almost Have it All
  8. Saving All My Love for You
  9. I'm Your Baby Tonight
  10. So Emotional
For Canadians in Ontario,The Body Guard is on Sunday, February 12 at 8 p.m. on  Channel 11 CHCH.

Feel free to comment on your feelings below.

Happy 43rd Birthday Jennifer Aniston!

Jennifer Aniston turns 43 today.  Happy Birthday Jen!

This, no doubt will be one of Jennifer's happier birthdays as she gets to spend it with her new boyfriend and Wanderlust costar, Justin Theroux.  It is getting more difficult for the tabloids to crank out Poor Jen stories. The love triangle between Jen, Brad and Angelina has now been made into a square with the addition of Justin Theroux.

Now stories on Jen have shifted to baby bump watch and ring watch.  Jennifer and Justin have been wearing matching gold coloured novelty type rings since they first started dating, but no sparkler on Jen's ring finger yet.  Maybe this birthday will be the one where Justin pops the question?  But it seems Jennifer is just happy to be happy right now. 

Jennifer says that she wants to make some changes, maybe a darker hair colour because it's healthier.  Her wardrobe has certainly shifted to a more casual jeans, boots and leather style--much like Justin's.  She's also wearing a lot more black.  I guess she wants to look the part of Justin's other half.  You have to admit it would look off if she wore a totally glamed up look beside Justin.

Jennifer met Justin while filming Wanderlust.  Wanderlust is about a Manhattan Couple who effected by sudden unemployment decide to join a free-love commune.  In wanders......Justin, Jen has now let love rule supreme.  Love ya Jen and wish you the best!

Wanderlust hits theatres on February 24, 2012!  Watch this Trailer, in wanders Justin at 1:28.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Today is National Bagel Day!

Source:  Flickr, Ezra.Wolfe

Today is the day we worship the wonderful round donut-shaped carb that most of us buy on a regular basis.  They are the perfect breakfast, lunch, snack and sometimes dinner.  Fresh bagels that are lightly toasted and spread with butter and peanut butter are good for my soul.

I remember my first experience eating a bagel.  I was working at a summer job and one of the sales representatives just popped in from Toronto.  He brought us all freshly baked bagels from a bakery in Toronto along with a fresh brick of cream cheese.  OMG!  A bagel still warm from the oven with a huge slice of fresh cream cheese in the middle.  I was never able to replicate that experience.

Bagels are everyday comfort food--according to  Dempster's® Bagel Barometer, six out of 10 Canadians eat bagels on a regular basis with nearly a quarter eating these circular delicacies daily or several times a week.  With so many different kinds to chose from--plain, whole wheat, everything, cheese, sesame, poppy seed, chocolate chip, cinnamon raisin and even blueberry--who can resist!

Bagels are the best when they are toasted just right.  The Magimix by Robot-Coupe New Vision Toaster is the world's first see through toaster.  The toaster has extra wide slots that fit the thickest bagels, baguettes and toast and Woman's Day is giving away three of them.  The contest is open to both Canadians and Americans.  Be careful to press the no purchase necessary link on the site if you don't want a subscription.  This is a daily entry contest.

Read more: Magimix by Robot-Coupe New Vision Toaster Giveaway - Woman's Day

You can get $1 off Dempsters bagels here (Canadians only):

The 54th Grammys

The 54th Annual Grammy Awards will air on CBS 8/7C and on Global (Toronto) starting at 7 p.m. on Sunday, February 12.  The event will be hosted by two-time Grammy winner LL Cool J at the Staples Centre in Los Angeles.

Source:">LP Player</a> by Petr Kratochvil

Performances at the 54th Grammys include:

Alica Keys (14-time Grammy winner) and Bonnie Raitt will be collaborating a special performance for Etta James who passed away in January.

Chris Brown will be performing at  this year's Grammy's .  Brown will be performing in a dance and electronica collaboration with Foo Fighters, Lil Wayne, David Guetta and deadmau5.  This is the first time he will be performing for the event since he beat his then girlfriend Rihanna on the evening before the 2009 Grammy's.  Rihanna who was rumoured to be recently reconnected with Brown is also set to perform on Saturday with Cold Play.

The Beach Boys who have not performed together for more than two decades and have never won a Grammy (can you believe that!) will be performing at the Grammy Awards with  Maroon 5 and Foster the People (who are both nominated for Grammys)  for a special performance.

Adele will be on stage at the GRAMMYS Sunday--the first time since her throat surgery in November for a hemorrhaging polyp on her vocal cord. Adele is nominated and most likely to win in six grammy awards categories--most notably for best album for 21 and best record and song for Rolling in the Deep.  Her other nominations fall in the categories of Short-form music video for Rolling, pop vocal Album for 21 and pop solo performance for Someone Like You.

Katy Perry who has recently separated from Russell Brand has been added to the fantastic list of performers on Sunday's Grammys.  Perry is up for two awards including Record of the Year and Best Pop Solo Performance for "Firework."

Paul McCartney who will be performing at the Grammys has been selected as the 2012 MusiCares Person of the Year, and is nominated for Best Historical Album for Band On The Run.

Nominees Tony Bennett and Carrie Underwood, will perform together on stage at Sunday's Grammys.

Presenters for the Grammy awards include rapper Drake who has been nominated for four Grammys, country artist Dierks Bentley, and Gwyneth PaltrowGrammy winners Marc Anthony, Lady Antebellum and radio host and producer, Ryan Seacrest.

For the full list of  nominees for the 54th Grammy Awards visit the Official Grammy site at

There will be a live web video stream on Grammy happenings that will run from Friday, February 10, 2012 right through the telecast of the 54th Grammy Awards.  You can catch it all here:

Photo by <a href="">LP Player</a> by Petr Kratochvil

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

History of the American Valentine

Photograph by me ChristineB
In the late 1800's an American woman named Esther Howland started making valentines after receiving her first elaborate English Valentine from her father's business associate.  Esther's family operated the largest book and stationery store in Worcester, Massachusetts.  Esther convinced her father to order imported lace and floral embelishments from England and New York City.

Soon she began taking orders for Valentines.  As the demand for her romantic valentines grew, Esther hired her friends to help her run her assembly-line business. 

Esther placed her first business ad in a Massachusetts newspaper (The Daily Spy) on February 5, 1850, (162 years ago).  Her Valentine Card business grew to be a $100,000 a year business making Esther a very wealthy woman.

Esther's Valentines are now collector's items and are recognized for their lacy designs and fine details. Her Valentines had multiple layers, lift-up flaps, accordian springs, die cuts and embossed flowers.  Personal verses were placed inside the cards.

This is one of Esther's Valentines.
Esther Howland Valentine circa 1850

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Vintage Valentines

I love the look of vintage valentine cards.  I have fond childhood memories of choosing packages with a wide variety of cute and colourful  valentines to give to my classmates.

This nostalgia sent me on a hunt for retro valentines.  Here are some that you might enjoy that I picked up from

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Focus on The Notebook Actors

Photo by friskytuna on flickr

Rachel McAdam's who played Allie on The Notebook currently lives in Toronto, Ontario Canada.  She was born in London, Ontario and grew up in nearby St. Thomas, Ontario.  Rachel attended York University in North York, Ontario and majored in Theatre.

Rachel's breakout roles were in Mean Girls and the Notebook.  To tell you the truth, I actually disliked Rachel when I saw her in Mean Girls and The Family Stone because she played the mean girl roles so well.  However, I quickly changed my mind when I watched the Notebook.  I loved the way Rachel looked in the vintage 1940's clothing and hairstyles.  Rachel actually loves to shop in vintage clothing stores.

Rachel's reaction to The Notebook:  "I'm a sucker for those sweeping love stories. When I read the script (The Notebook (2004)), I couldn't stop crying! I just had such a powerful, instantaneous reaction - it was written so well."

In The Notebook, Rachel played the wealthy Southern Belle,Allie, a rich, young girl who falls madly in love with a boy from the wrong side of the tracks (played by fellow Canadian, Ryan Gosling).

Both Ryan and Rachel are Canadian actors who were born at the same hospital--St. Joseph's in London, Ontario.  They went on to have a love affair together after filming The Notebook in mid-2005 to mid-2007.  They are no longer together.  Ryan and Rachel actually had a combative relationship while filming The Notebook.  You can see how that contributed to a very passionate movie.  Rachel is currently in a relationship with Michael Sheen, a Welsh actor.  Her most recent movie, The Vow is out in theatres on February 10, 2012.

Quick and Easy Valentine's Day Recipes

Peppermint Fudge:

Puffy Pink Popcorn Hearts:

Chocolate Truffles:

Friday, 3 February 2012

Valentine's Movies on Ontario Channels

Valentine's Day Movie Schedule

Friday, February 10

Under the Tuscan Sun on at 9 p.m. on W

Saturday, February 11

Under the Tuscan Sun on at 2 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. on W

The Goodbye Girl on at 7 p.m. on 11 CHCH

P.S. I Love You on at 6 p.m. on W

When in Rome on at 9 p.m. and 11 p.m. on W

Sunday, February 12

P.S. I Love You on at 9:30 a.m. on W

When in Rome on at 4 p.m. on W

The Body Guard on at 8 p.m. on 11 CHCH

Monday, February 14

The Breakup Artist Showcase 27 at 7 p.m.
Valentine Carol on at 8 p.m. on W

The 40 Year Old Virgin at 8 pm. 25 CTV2 (A Channel)

I Hate Valentine's Day at 9 p.m. on 11 CHCH

When in Rome on at 10 p.m. on W

Thursday, 2 February 2012

My 600 Pound Life

Melissa Morris' Five Hundred Pound Weight Loss

Melissa Morris weighed 673 lbs. when she decided to seek out a doctor who would agree to perform gastric bypass surgery for her.  This was dangerous surgery as she could have died from cardiac and other complications in the operating room.  Luckily for Melissa and her family she survived to tell her story to TLC which aired My 600 Lb. Life last night - “My 600 Pound Life” premiered at 9 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 1, on TLC.

TLC took us through the seven years of Melissa Morris' transformation from morbidly obese to her present-day 170 lbs.  Melissa  is now employed as a councillor for patients at the same clinic she received treatment at.  Melissa accomplished her two main goals--losing weight and being able to work.

Melissa lived with her husband Chris in rural Texas.  She had been overweight most of her life as a result of eating for comfort and to avoid deep-seeded emotional problems.  Having been molested as a child, instead of getting help to heal the scars, she chose to eat the pain away.  Melissa wishes that she had had the courage to face her two molesters instead of internalising the agony and soothing it away with food.

Melissa could not do anything for herself.  Her husband Chris would get her food, bath her and help her in the bathroom.  Her dignity was taken away.  One day while on her scooter with her husband in a grocery store, an elderly man -- himself riding on a mobility scooter -- joked that, "If you get bigger, you just get a bigger damn wagon." As a man nearby laughed, Melissa started to cry. People are unbelievably cruel.  Not only did Melissa have to deal with her own demons, she had to also accept the glares of disgust and comments made out loud about her.  Those were the worst--the spoken comments, Melissa acknowledged.

After her gastric bypass surgery, Melissa began to gain independence.  This became an issue as her husband Chris was used to the caregiver role in their relationship.  They have had to redefine their relationship and change it to a more healthy one between husband and wife.

Melissa had to undergo surgeries to remove excess skin as she lost hundreds of pounds.  One of her surgeries for the removal of the stretched-out skin had complications which left her bed-ridden in hospital for three months.  Melissa cried as it reminded her of her former life of being bed-ridden and dependant.

Although Melissa had set backs along her extreme weight loss journey, it was all worth it.  Melissa is now the mother of Allona who will be two in May.  

“She’s the great part,” Morris said.  “She’s worth everything. She’s what I live for.”

"My 600-LB Life" airs again on TLC on February 6 at 9 p.m. and on February 7 at 12 a.m.