Friday, July 31, 2009

product review: flip & tumble

I have been wanting to post about this but I had to wait until it was shipped to me. With the end to plastic bags, I wanted to find a cool, reusable, foldable bag to tote in my purse. With much searching, I somehow landed on Chocolate and Zucchini's website and saw their post about Flip & Tumble. This site has its own patent reusable bag that folds up into the form of a rolled up sock. It's so cool. I saw the video but had to see it for myself. I finally received the three bags a week after I ordered them and I am in love. I am so glad that I ordered them because it's exactly what I was looking for. And for $8 US, I think it's perfect! [blarkness rating: definitely a 5 out of 5]

The bag rolled up. The size of a rolled up sock. Fits in your purse.

The bag unfolded. Very soft and durable. Nice colours.

**Stfne and MoPar - this is your birthday gifts. Stfne, yours is hot pink and MoPar, yours is blue. I thought that these were really cool and I didn't get you guys birthday gifts. So here's your belated birthday gift and I will give it to you the next time I see you.**

Thursday, July 30, 2009

i can watch some TV again...

Over the summer. there are no shows to watch. Some times you can catch re-runs (and I was hoping that LOST: Season 5 would be on - I was out of luck) or maybe there are some new shows that they are running throughout the summer. It's the end of July and I just found two shows that I can watch. I kinda miss watching TV, it's what makes me stay home and save money. I know that I could get a PVR but then that would mean that I would just go out drinking and eating.

Anyway, the two shows that I discovered are:

Making His Band on Muchmusic on Wednesdays at 6/9 pm

If you watched most of the seasons of Making the Band, this is another show you have to watch. Diddy is putting a band together for his "Last Train to Paris" tour. It just started yesterday (with auditions) and now they are moving into the house. Keep an eye out for Christopher on the drums, Jaila on vocals, Jamareo on bass. Brockett on keyboard and Blake on guitar.
America's Best Dance Crew on Muchmusic on Sundays at 9 pm

No explanation for this one. I love this show. It's better than So You Think You Can Dance...sorry to those who are in love with SYTYCD but ABDC kicks butt! Season 1 had JabbaWockeeZ and Season 3 had Quest Crew, both crews are awesome but who the hell won Season 2??? I can't wait to see the new crews compete.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

reflection - one year later (part 1)

As my brother's one year death anniversary approaches, I have been thinking a lot of that day, June 29th when I received the worst news anyone could ever receive. I honestly hate recalling every moment leading up to that phone call from Peel Police to the after math. I hate thinking about the last time I saw Gino and how he dropped me off at my condo and told me that I would see him on the 29th (he was suppose to sleep over and then we were going to watch a movie the next day). I had just come back from vacation and with him opening up his new record store, we haven't had a chance to talk. I purposely took off the 30th to spend the day with him.

I wanted to reflect on what I had to go through this year. I am writing here on my blog because I want to document my feelings, I am not really doing this to broadcast it. But if you care to read this long winded post - thanks for listening/reading.

First I want to say that losing someone is something I would not wish anyone to go through. It was quite a shock and at times, I still don't believe it's true. I don't think that I will ever truly understand why anyone would want to end their life but at the same time, if it means that the person is in less pain and in a better place, then maybe I have to accept the choice that they made. Throughout the past year, I would also think to myself that "this is just not happening to me, my family and Gino's friends". It's like something that happened out of a movie and it's not suppose to happen in real life. But then reality kicks in and I realize that Gino is gone.

Everyone who knew Gino was shocked at the news. Gino was a people person. He was always surrounded by friends, family and co-workers. I don't think that you can consider him a loner. Sure, he was quiet at times but there were also times when he would not shut up. I remember Andrew (one of Gino's best friends) sending Mike a text, although it went to my phone, wondering what happened to Gino. The cops has contacted most of them and they had no idea what was going on. They were worried - who wouldn't be?? I then remember calling Anjay to confirm Gino's death and I think Anjay just hung up on me or maybe he didn't. I can't for the life of me recall what our conversation was like. I just know that it was hard to tell his friends, friends that he grew up with (some since grade 2), that Gino had ended his life. I have no idea to his day what went through their minds and what they had to do to cope. All I know is that they were all there for each other, supporting each other.

I can't even imagine what my parents were going through - losing their baby, their only son. I don't talk to my parents about the whole ordeal. I tried to talk to my mom but it hurts too much and we get so emotional. My dad, he is old school and very quiet. He doesn't say much about it. I don't really want to get into the details of how it was trying to find my parents that one Sunday when I got the news but I have to say, it was difficult and most of it is a blur. I am glad that we had the support of my mom's best friends, my dad's cousins and brother, Gino's friends, my friends, my in-laws and most of all Mike.

***I started writing this prior to June 29th, then I got sick, couldn't concentrate anymore and left it to finish up one day. There is so much more I want to write. I will post it for now and continue on when I can sit down and type it all out. It may come in several parts but for my own purposes, I hope to have it all together in one document.***

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

fabFive songs for the week of July 27

FabFive Songs (Jul 27)

Song 1/ I recently saw the movie trailer for Daybreakers, a movie about vampires and this song plays throughout the trailer. I love it. Song 2/ Mike plays this song over and over again, he loves it so I love it too. Very relaxing. Song 3 / I love this song so much and it's cool how Dee told me at Marben, "they are playing your song" - he reads my blog!!! Song 4/If you have seen the movie Accepted, there is this scene where Justin Long and Blake Lively are in his new room at the dorm. He claps and the disco ball turns on and this song comes on. Song 5/ Robin Thicke is my fav artist and I love all his songs but this one makes me smile once I hear the intro.

Monday, July 27, 2009

easy banana muffins

Yesterday I made Mike some banana muffins when I realized the day before that the bananas we bought were starting to get brown. I searched online for an easy banana muffin recipe. This has got to be the easiest recipe ever and with Mike's help, we made the muffins in no time. Everything you need will most likely be in your kitchen. All you really need are the bananas.

Happy Baking!!!

book review: The Vampire Diaries

Finally - after 2 months of reading The Vampire Diaries, I finished it. I struggled with it, I wanted to give up because it wasn't interesting BUT I do like reading about vampires and I did want to read this before the CW show based on the book came out in the fall.

I have to admit that after getting into the last couple of chapters and reading the first chapter of the next book, it has caught my attention. I would pick up the next two books (the first book contains the volume 1 and 2 of the series, The Awakening and The Struggle) to find out what happens but considering it took me two months to read this book...I will pass for now. I have plenty of other books I have to read.

If I had read this book before Twilight, I probably would have enjoyed it more but throughout the whole book, I was constantly comparing it to the Twilight Saga (and Twi-hards know that nothing compares). It's the typical vampire-human love triangle and had a very, very slow start. The story only caught my attention at the very last chapter and even then, I was a bit confused.

Thanks Jenn for the recommendation of the book after I told you about the CW show. I love comparing books to TV shows/movies. If you have read the Twilight Saga, I don't suggest that you read this series, I think you will be disappointed. Keep in mind, Vampire Diaries was published in 1991 and Twilight in 2005. So if you haven't read Twilight, you could start off with this series to become familiar with vampires and then read Twilight to fall in love with the saga. Does that make sense?

[blarkness rating: 2.5 out of 5]

Sunday, July 26, 2009

melrose place 2.0

With the comeback of 90210 and Melrose Place, it's like I am reliving my life 10 years ago. I love it. There's fresh new faces, new storylines and veterans coming back. I just saw the extended preview for MP 2.0 and I can't wait for the fall. CW has an awesome fall line up - 90210, Gossip Girl, One Tree Hill and new premieres - Melrose Place, The Vampire Diaries and The Beautiful Life. Check out the previews:

Melrose Place

The Vampire Diaries

The Beautiful Life

schwarzkopf osis+ dust it mattifying powder

This one of my favorite new hair products to use. Last month I attended Lainey Gossip's S.M.U.T event and Schwarzkopf was one of the sponsors. They gave their Dust It Mattifying Powder in the swag bags. See, I like my hair dirty. I don't like that squeaky clean feel (well, only after getting my hair cut from MK Design) so I won't hair my hair for a couple of days (don't squirm in your seat and think I am gross, it's not good to wash your hair everyday anyway) or I will use whatever product I can to add texture.

This product is perfect. The powder adds texture and leaves your hair with a soft matte effect without making your hair feel like there is a ton of product in it. It's also great for updos. I don't know what the price point for this is but I am sure it's not cheap. The small bottle should last you quite some time as you don't need much.

[blarkness rating: 4.5 out of 5]

Saturday, July 25, 2009

restaurant review: Marben

Last night, Mike and I went to Marben for Darren's birthday. It was a small intimate gathering with amazing food. I highly recommend going here for dinner and maybe even brunch (we checked out the menu and there's a lot of yummy offerings). It's a cool little place nestled in the quiet place of Wellington and Portland. I had Mojito Shrimp Mango Ceviche with grilled guacamole and tortilla chips as my starter and for my entree, Seared Black Cod with charred corn grits, grilled avocado and hagao sauce. Lastly, dessert was Hot Chocolate Cake. It was delicious - warm chocolate cake with a peanut butter filling served with a chocolate banana sauce.

Each and every one of us enjoyed our food and I must say that the DJ on Friday nights plays a good combo of house and top 40 mixes.

[blarkness rating: 5 out of 5]

UPDATE: Dinner was so good that Mike and I went back the following night for dinner with Brian and Marah. This time I had the Vegan Summer Rolls for an appetizer, the Arctic Char (don't let the Sambuca spiked pasta throw you off, it's quite tasty) for my entree and again, the Hot Chocolate Cake for dessert. I HIGHLY suggest that you go and eat at Marben this week as they have extended their Summerlicious menu ($35) until August 1st.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

we definitely need this

OMG! I think that every married couple or even boyfriend/girlfriend need this. It is hilarious!!!!
Check it out

movie theatre deal

I love watching movies, whether it be at home or in the theatre, but lately, I like going to the theatre to watch them. I will try to find someone to watch it with or, I don't care, I will go by myself.

I found daily deals for Empire Theatres (some cities to mention - Square One Mississauga, Scarborough, Richmond Hill, North York, please see the website for other locations). The coupons are on their website but you must sign up for their Empire Insider in order to print them out. I think it's worth it especially when you can join for free!!!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

hair mask did the trick

I am loving my long hair but I have been blow-drying it, straightening it and curling it like there is no tomorrow. I really should be taking care of it more, after all, it is my real hair.

I started to notice many split ends. Yes I know, I should get a trim. I will admit, I am too lazy to go to see my hair stylist. So, for the time being, I decided the best solution would be to apply a hair treatment. I could have bought expensive hair mask but being in a recession, I opted to go to the drug store and I bought the first thing I saw, Shoppers Drug Mart's own brand, Life Reconstructive Hair Mask with lime oil. Lucky for me, it was on sale for $1.49.

Tonight, I washed my hair and applied this mask (but first soaking the packet in hot water). My hair is now silky smooth with no visible dry ends in sight, and it smells delicious. I may have to stockpile since they are on sale this week.

[blarkness rating: 5 out of 5]

Monday, July 20, 2009

fabFive songs for the week of Jul 20

FabFive Songs (Jul 20)

Song 1/ My new cheesy dance song. Song 2/ I can't get enough of this song. It may be my new happy song. Song 3&4/ Mike and I may be going to Miami in September. Song 5/ I just heard them perform it on a show and I can't remember what show it was.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

grade 8 reunion

After 20 years, 11 of us got together. It was so good to see these faces from elementary school, catch up on what they have been up to and also just reminisce about the good old days. I hope that we get together again and have more of our classmates be able to attend.

Friday, July 17, 2009

my pretty pink box

My Pretty Pink Box - your source for beauty samples!

My Pretty Pink Box is a pretty, little box filled with beauty products and samples from awesome retailers & e-tailers! This gives you a chance to try many products from a number of wonderful companies, many you may have never heard of. Each month, you receive 7-10 items, both sample sized and full sized. Sampling has never been more delicious! If you're a retailer, My Pretty Pink Box is a creative way to advertise your company. Market directly to consumers and put your items right into their hands. for more info.

The next box goes on sale August 3rd.

[blarkness rating: N/A - I was in Cuba when the July box went on sale so I am hoping that I can purchase the August box because I love trying out samples!!!]

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

in style / on my mind (Aug edition)

My favorite fashion and beauty magazine is In Style. I have a subscription to it so when I receive each issue in my mailbox, the first thing I do is turn to the last page and read On My Mind. I am going to make it a monthly tradition that when I receive each issue, I am going to answer what's on my mind according to their questions. So here I go for the August issue with Vanessa Hudgens (with with Katherine Heigl on the cover):

Fashion Fixations...
I haven't bought anything lately except for open toed heels and a top from Forever XXII.

I have many but three stand out and they are my BFFs for different reasons.

Necessary extravagance...
manicures and pedicures even polish changes. I am too lazy to do I don't wear perfume. I guess Johnson's Shea Butter Wash and Dove Cream Oil.

Beauty must-haves...
Max Factor 2000 Calorie Extreme Waterproof Lash Plumper, Cargo Bronzer, MAC Lip Gelee and an eyelash curler.

Jonesing for...My baby friend, Marques. I'm in love with him.

Peach Chiller with large tapioca and almond jelly from Bubble Republic.

Happy I bought...
all colours of Old Navy metallic flip flops.

In my bag...
iPhone, Nintendo DS, Coach and Fossil wallet, hand sanitizer, lotion and Yes to Carrots Lip Butter.

If I weren't acting...
(I guess in my case, a program coordinator) I'd want to be working for a beauty magazine.

BlushPretty first ever beauty board

On Sunday, July 12, 2009, BlushPretty had the first ever Beauty Board. Many ladies came out for the event and it was a huge success. I don't want to post any reviews because that is what BlushPretty will be doing for the next two weeks. Please check out BlushPretty's website and make sure to sign up for the next Beauty Board in October.

Here are some of the products that I tried and absolutely fell in love with:

Olay Regenerist Eye Make-up Remover

Olay Definity Color Recapture Anti-Aging UV Moisturizer + Sheer Illuminating Coverage - Medium/Deep

Olay Total Effects Age Defying Wet Cleansing Cloths

Dermaglow Advanced Eye Therapy

Thank you Stephanie for inviting me to Beauty Board. I will definitely spread the word and get my friends to attend the next one!

Monday, July 13, 2009

gone too soon

Last Thursday, Baby Callie Alexandra came into this world but left us too soon. She will be terribly missed by my sister-in-law and her husband, grandparents, aunts and uncles and cousins. I had a chance to meet this little one who is absolutely beautiful. It breaks my heart to see her loving parents go through the loss of their first born.

Steph & Jay,
You are in my thoughts as you go through this very difficult time. I may not be able to comfort you with words but know that I am always here for you. Times will be hard, you may feel like you can't go on but there will be a better day. It may take a while to get there but time will heal. The pain will subside and you will know that Callie is in a better place. I truly wish that she wasn't taken from you.

I know that this song is cliché but it is only fitting for your loss. Rest in peace Baby Callie Alexandra. I am glad that I got the chance to meet you.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

OPI: Dutch Tulips

In a quick attempt to get a polish change, I stepped into a random nail salon by my work. The owner asked me to go get lunch first and come back. I asked her how much for a polish change, she said $7.00 and off I went to get my lunch. But I had to pick out a colour from the shelf of numerous OPI and Essie shades. I can give myself my own manicure and I have no problem painting my nails but sometimes, I just want to be pampered and have a different colour from the nail polishes I have at home. {When I think about it now, I should just go out and buy a bottle for $9 and then I can apply it many more times}. After trying on different colours, I finally settled with OPI's Dutch Tulips - a pink-red shade. I must say, I really like this colour. It pops with my tan and looks awesome on freshly cut and filed nails. It's great for the summer and I must try it on my toes next time.

When I got back to the office, I immediately went on OPI's website and started My OPI. It's part of their website where you can save the shades that you like and print it out to take with you to nail salons or to purchase them. It's a great way to keep track of the colours you have used in the past and would like to use again. So far, I have 14 on my list. It's an awesome tool to use for those addicted to getting their nails done.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

death by suicide

Today, an ex-Toronto radio host died, apparently by suicide. I heard it on the news this morning and Andrew sent me a link to confirm. I don't and never have listen to The Edge 102.1 so I am not going to say that I knew of Martin Streek. I only found out about this radio host because of his death.

Suicide is something I don't think I will ever understand. I don't get why an individual would want to end their life. There are many questions I have about suicide and as part of my healing process is to read more about it. This may help me better understand why my brother chose to end his life. I had a brief discussion with my brother's best friend on Twitter and both of us agreed that we just want to 'understand', meaning we want to understand why my brother made this choice. I have fully accepted the fact that we will never know why he did this, or what he was feeling leading up to his last moments here on earth. There was no note (unlike Martin who left a coded message on his facebook status) and there was no signs of my brother wanting to commit suicide.

I detest it when people ask me if my brother was depressed. Maybe he was but you know what...none of us saw it. Sure, there may have been some little signs but the signs were not big enough for us to worry. For those who knew my brother, he was always happy and joking around. He had many friends (by the turnout at his funeral) and was always busy doing something. Then he got laid off. Things did not seem to be going well for him but then he opened up his own used record store. A dream of his since he loved music so much.

So my tie in with Martin Streek and my brother is it makes me wonder, for people who are so cheerful and full of life, how could they just snap and decide that they have had enough? Does losing one's job have a serious affect on them to make them think there is no other way to go on living? Were they really depressed and had a good way of hiding it? Suicide has so many questions and very little answers. I really wish that it didn't come to this for my brother. I wish that he had received help for whatever he was going through. And because of this life experience for me, I want to make sure that I can understand to a certain extent why people decide to end their life. I really would not wish this upon anyone to lose a loved one because they wanted to end it. To me, suicide only happens in movies, not in real life. After actually experiencing losing my brother, it does happen in real life and it's the worse thing anyone could go through - the "not knowing why"...

My heart goes out to the family and friends of Martin Streek. I know what they are going through and it must be so difficult for them.

Monday, July 6, 2009

fabFive songs for the week of Jul 6

FabFive Songs (Jul 6)

I feel I should explain the songs because they are so random. Song 1/ From episode 1 of the thirs season of Friday Night Lights (only the best TV show ever). Song 2/ Catch tune but even catchier when you see R.J. dance to it. Song 3/ Bubblegum Pop, my kinda of music and this song is my fav right now for the summer. Song 4/ Played at our cheesy anniversary dinner and then throughout our Cuba vacation. Song 5/ From The Proposal - Sandra Bullock is hilarious!!!

Friday, July 3, 2009

list of movies i want to watch (Jul edition)

It's that time again for me to list the movies I want to watch in the next six months. Since my February post, I have watched all the movies listed except for Fast & Furious.

July 24, 2009 - The Ugly Truth - looks like a funny movie from the trailer

August 7, 2009 - G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra - Channing Tatum...that's all I have to say. I don't care if the movie is crap, I just want to stare at him

August 21, 2009 - Post Grad - Two words - Matt Saracen (or Zach Gilford)

September 4, 2009 - All About Steve - Any romantic comedy with Sandra Bullock is a must-see

October 9, 2009 - Couples Retreat - I saw the trailer for this a few days ago and I will watch any movie that takes place on a resort on an island

November 13, 2009 - 2012 - me and my love for natural disaster movies

November 20, 2009 - The Twilight Saga: New Moon - do I need to say anything? I have already taken off the day to watch the first showing

Thursday, July 2, 2009

bare with me

My posts in the next couple of days are going to be all over the place. It may not go in the order that things have happened but eventually, I hope to get everything posted. I have had writer's block for some time but maybe after my cold goes away, I may get my head together and actually write. Stay tuned...

movie review: the proposal

I have wanted to watch this movie since I first saw the trailer and immediately I made a date with Kristine and Marah. Ryan Reynolds is hot and after seeing him as Deadpool in Wolverine, I just knew that I was obsessed and had to watch EVERY possible movie where Ryan is shirtless. This movie did the trick. But it's also a very funny romantic comedy. Sandra Bullock rocks (like in every other ro-com she's in). And as Maureen says, after watching this movie, you'll want to go to Alaska (but not me, cuz I've been there). Is this a date movie - hell ya! It's a movie you can take your guy to or watch with your girlfriends.

[blarkness rating: 5 out of 5]