All posts by Rasa

24 Mar

How to Run a Meeting

Hate meeting?  Of course you do – they’re often useless, time-sucking and boring.  They don’t have to be.  I’m going to share with you how to run a meeting.  #productive

Lonely Board - How to run a Meeting

1.  Have an Agenda and Follow It

Ever been stuck in a meeting that rambles on and on and gets nothing done?  There was probably no agenda.  Have one.  Follow it.  It makes sure that you stay on track and focused.

Also, don’t let anyone else drag you into a meeting if there’s no agenda.  Ask for one.  Feel free to explain to the person that you want to make sure that you are prepared for the meeting because you don’t want to waste their time.

2.  Take Notes

I know that taking notes during a meeting is no fun.  You want to talk!  How often have you come out of a meeting and cannot for the life of you remember what was discussed, agreed on and who has to do what.  Take notes.

They might prevent additional meetings.  No one wants additional meetings.

3.  End on Time

I’m a stickler for this one.  Finish up early?  Great!  Didn’t get everything  done?  Let everyone go and schedule a follow up meeting.  This demonstrates respect for everyone’s time, including yours.

Hash Tag - Cropped

Meetings don’t have to suck.  If you follow these simple rules, you can get in, get out and #getshitdone

22 Mar

March in Toronto

An interesting thing happens every March in Toronto…just as the days begin to get longer and brighter, we collectively decide that it’s no longer winter and we’re going to act that way despite the temperature.

March in Toronto - Ice

I kid you not, you will see people on patios, without coats on and sometimes even shirtless, even though it’s barely above freezing.

Don’t believe me?

BlogTO is already publishing articles about which patios you can already go and get your drink on.

My friends are spotting shirtless dudes in the park.

Warm weather will eventually come, but we will probably get another snow storm first.  It will warm up one day (probably in May) and in the meantime, we will collectively pretend that it is no longer winter.

As we always do.

March in Toronto - Buds

19 Mar

Creativity and Grief

We’ve been on hiatus here at Make it Bittersweet.  Not a planned hiatus, but Mary and I have both suffered losses recently and have found it incredibly difficult to be creative and “on” while grieving.

Creativity and Grief - Wilting Tulips

Grieving can be such an all encompassing thing.  Riding that wave up and down…feeling a bit OK and then absolutely NOT.  You always hear that time heals things.  I’m not quite sure about that.  The waves of grief come less frequently, but I think that they never go away.  That’s just the cost of love.

Creativity and Grief - Wilting Tulips Closeup

It’s only been recently that both of us have started to be ready to dive in and get creating again…in fact, we’re both craving it now.  We’re both excited to get back and see what new and beautiful things are to come.

Creativity and Grief - More Wilting Tulips

30 Nov

Liebster Award

We’ve been nominated for a Liebster Award by Life in German!  From what I can tell, this is kinda like a blogger chain letter, but we’re going for it!

Here are the rules:

1. Link back to the person who nominated you.
2. Write 11 facts about yourself once nominated.
3. Answer the 11 questions from the person who nominated you.
4. Nominate 11 blogs with 200 or less followers.  Let them know they’ve been nominated.
5. Create 11 Questions for those bloggers to answer.

Let’s start with the random facts:
– I was born and live in Toronto, Canada.
– My first language was Lithuanian, but I can’t speak it now.
– I eloped in Mexico almost 15 years ago.
– I have three cats, who all need special diets and who all want to eat the wrong food.
– I have another blog:  This Fox Cooks
– I like dancing to 80’s music way too much.
– I know all of the words to way too many of Weird Al’s songs.
– I’m an IT geek and have a degree in Computer Science.
– My favourite movie is a tie between “Zorro, the Gay Blade” and “Labyrinth”.
– I watch too many cooking shows.
– I can’t think of one more random fact about myself.

Now for the questions we need to answer:
1. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Tulum, Mexico…it’s so beautiful there!

2. Where do I absolutely have to go and what do I need to do when I get there?

Tulum, obviously (see above.)  There, you need to relax and enjoy the gorgeous water and amazing food.  Once you’ve had some time to chill, drive inland to see the ruins at Coba.  Then, take a trip a little father inland to see the city of Valladolid .   While you’re there, go to the


3. Your top place that you want to travel to and what you would do there.

Tulum – see both above.

4. Do you have any upcoming trips, where to?

Nope.  See my Dream Vacation post.

5. What are your carry on travel necessities?

I like to be covered for almost any emergency, but I also try not to over pack (it’s a tricky balance.)  Definitely:
– Moisturizer and sunscreen
– iPad loaded with magazines, movies and music
– A good book
– A snack (almonds are always good)
– Ginger pills (I don’t like flying and these calm my stomach)
– A giant scarf that I can use as a blanket
– Disinfectant wipes

6. How did you decide on your blogs name?

It’s actually a play on Mary’s and my name. Mary means “Bitter Sea” (in Hebrew) and Rasa translates to “essence” or “nectar” (in Sanskrit).  We combined these and our name was born.

7. Why do you blog?

As a creative outlet.

8. What’s in your purse at this very moment?

Wallet, my makeup/emergency stuff bag and a wooden cat.

9. Wine, beer, or a cocktail?

Wine, please!

10. What is your favorite dish/favorite thing to cook?

Too many to choose just one…I love making pizza for a group or tacos (I even make my own tortillas.) Schnitzel is also very popular in my house. I also love making a curry with whatever veggies I want to use up.

Taco Party Spread

11. What is your favorite side dish/appetizers?

Again, too many to choose from, but let’s a go with a nice cheese board (as an appetizer.)  This lets me put out a selection of interesting cheese and nibbles that everyone can pick at…and I love cheese. And bread.

I’ve never been good at passing on chain letters, so I don’t really know who to nominate, but here are my questions:

1.  Christmas stuff in stores the day after Hallowe’en.  Yay or nay?
2.  Christmas music before December.  Yay or nay?
3.  What food trend needs to go away immediately?
4.  If you were an animal, what animal would you be?
5.  What famous cartoon character or puppet would you be?
6. Your 3 desert island essentials?
7. Biggest pet peeve?
8. Favourite flower?
9. Lipstick, lip gloss or chapstick?
10. What is your favourite book?
11. What would be your last meal?


25 Nov

What to Drink When You’re Sick

Cough.  Cough.

It’s been a sneezing and sniffling filled couple of weeks here at Make It Bittersweet.  I’ve had a nasty cold, just in time for the start of the cold weather.   In honour of finally feeling better, I’m going to share my “what to drink when you’re sick” recipe.  Let’s call it a “healing tonic”.

What to drink when youre sick - Boubon

This is a very “scientifically” crafted drink recipe.  It contains all of the essential ingredients to help you get better:

– Honey to sooth your sore throat

– Lemon for the Vitamin C

– Hot water to warm you up and sooth that sore throat

– Bourbon…also to warm you up, make you feel better and all that other important stuff that Bourbon does

In a small mug, pour about an ounce of Bourbon and add a spoonful of honey and the juice from half a lemon.  Top with boiling water, stir to combine and sip slowly.

What to drink when youre sick - close up

Hope that you don’t need to use my healing tonic over the winter, but you’ll appreciate it if you do.   Remember not to mix with any medications that you can’t have alcohol with!

p.s.  Other whiskey’s also work well in this drink if you don’t have Bourbon kicking around.  Just don’t use the super good stuff!

04 Nov

What We Learned – #Blogtober14 Baby!

It actually felt really weird not blogging for a couple of days after we went so hard core and blogged EVERYDAY for the #Blogtober14 challenge.  A huge thanks and a virtual bouquet for The Daily Tay and Helene in Between.  Thanks for hosting the link up – we had a great time!

What We Learned - Tulips from Above

We saw that Two Little Pigs Down Under were doing a “What We Learned” post about Blogtober, so we decided to jump onboard and do one as well.  Can you tell that we’re a little anxious about Blogtober being over and not having any more prompts??

Here’s what we learned about blogging everyday for #Blogtober14:

1.  Blogging everyday is a lot more fun and challenging than either of us thought it would be.

2.  Having a different prompt everyday is way more fun than we realized…and great inspiration.

3.  Mary writes much longer posts than me.  We wrote almost an equal number of posts, but here are the final word tallies:

Rasa:  3,721

Mary:  5,959

4.  Mr. Fox is a great editor.  Thanks to my sweet husband for being our editor, bouncing board and blog content critiquer-extroidinare.

5.  We can actually blog everyday…who knew??

6.  Everyone really likes to hear Mary rant.

What We Learned - Tulips

7.  Setting a goal to blog everyday for the month and accomplishing it is extremely satisfying for both of us.

8.  There’s an amazing community of bloggers out there sharing amazing and inspirational stories.

So, who wants Mary to rant more??  Anyone doing Blogvember or Blogcember?

31 Oct

Halloween Reveal

We made it to day 31 of the #Blogtober14 Challenge with The Daily Tay and Helene in Between!  Whew!  We have blogged everyday and had an amazing time.  Now, for our “Hallowe’en Reveal.”

Mary and I LOVE dressing up for Hallowe’en, but here’s the real reveal tonight, we’re staying in to watch a movie and only “kinda” dressing up – we can’t help that.  Since we aren’t fully dressing up tonight, here’s a peek at one of our older Hallowe’en costumes, when we went as the cast of G.I. Joe.  With me as the Baroness:

Halloween reveal - Rasa

That’s one wicked Baroness.

And Mary as Lady Jay:

Halloween Reveal - Mary


Halloween reveal - rasa et al

Happy Hallowe’en everyone!!

The Daily Tay
28 Oct

Things You’re Superstitious about

It’s Day 28 of the #Blogtober14 Challenge with The Daily Tay and Helene in Between!  Rasa here with today’s post, “Things You’re Superstitious about.”

I  can be a bit of a superstitious person, but that seems to increase exponentially when I’m at a Toronto Rock Lacrosse game with my family.  Collectively, we all get pretty weird.

Superstitious About - Ellie and Iggy

Honestly, if one member of my clan leaves to get a drink or something and The Rock starts scoring, they are asked to not return right away.  It’s gotten to the point where if you’re away and see that The Rock is scoring, you KNOW not to come back.  I’ve seen my sister trying to watch the game at the door rather than come back and be cast away.

Superstitious About - The Rock Game

Heaven forbid that Mr. Fox say something like, “well, they’ll win now for sure.”  Which he does just to see how wide my eyes get…you never say that.  Never.

Superstitious About - Paul

I’m not sure what it is about a sporting event that really brings out that superstitious  “you can’t say that!!!” side of me…but it comes out.  Big time.

The Daily Tay
26 Oct

Who’d play you in a movie

It’s Day 26 of the #Blogtober14 Challenge with The Daily Tay and Helene in Between!  Rasa here with today’s post, “Who’d play you in a movie?”

A movie about me?  I’m a little afraid of that.  It’s not going to be the most interesting movie right now.  Rasa:  IT Geek, Blogger, Likes to Cook and Shop.  No, I think this movie is going to need a little embellishment…some fun.

For the epic “all about me” movie, I think that I should be animated as a cartoon Fox, a la Disney’s Robin Hood.   For those who haven’t seen it (and why haven’t you??), here is a clip:

Mary would be my animated Bear companion (albeit, a much smaller Bear than in this movie.  Mary’s tiny.)

Who'd Play you in a movie - Mary

We would roam around on adventures, doing brave and noble deeds and generally getting into trouble, but the good kind of trouble.

Who'd Play You in a movie - Rasa

Whose with me?  What animated animal would you be?

The Daily Tay
24 Oct

One Beauty Product You Can’t Live without

It’s Day 24 of the #Blogtober14 Challenge with The Daily Tay and Helene in Between!  Rasa here with today’s post, “One Beauty Product You Can’t Live without.”

I love beauty products!  If you want to read about what beauty products I consider essential for everyday use, you can see them in my beauty bag post, but picking only one that I can’t live without?  Here are Make It Bittersweet, we agree that if we have to pick just one thing, it can only be SUNSCREEN.

One Beauty Product - Sun

We both wear sunscreen everyday.  If you don’t, watch this video – we’re willing to bet it will convince you to start.

Favourite sunscreens?  I personally love Kiehl’s Super Fluid.  It’s SPF 50 and doesn’t break me out (that’s huge.  Really.)  Mary loves Neutrogena’s Healthy Defense Moisturizer SPF 45 with Helioplex.

One Beauty Product - Sun2

What do you think?  Is it fair to make us choose only one beauty product when it obviously has to be sunscreen??

The Daily Tay
Copywrite Make It Bittersweet 2014