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
27 Oct

A Letter to your Younger Self

We made it to Day 27 of the #Blogtober14 Challenge with The Daily Tay and Helene in Between!  Here’s Mary with today’s post of “A Letter to your Younger Self.”

Dear Younger Me,

I know a lot of people do a ‘give advice to my younger self’ sort of thing, but I never took anyone’s advice when I was younger, least of all my own.  So, I want to take it back to a much younger self.  For example, this younger self, this 2 year old self at my dad’s company picnic in Ottawa, circa the summer of 1978.

Letter to your Younger Self - younger-mary-1

First of all, check out how adorable you are, little me! And I still stand in that terrible way with my knees pushed forward like that. I also still sport that charming “surly/confused” look on my face most of the time. Obviously I am about to deliver a powerhouse effect to this tug o’ war game, just as soon as I figure out what’s going on.

I don’t remember that game. But I do remember that bathing suit. Isn’t it awesome little me?  The paperclip chain pattern is still compelling. And you can’t tell in this photo, but it was red and the chains were white and gold. CLASSIC.

younger-mary-small2

 

Little Me, you just keep doing your thing. I mean, check out that belly. Its proud and probably full of hot dog. Ketchup only. Mustard comes later.  Its going to be quite a bumpy ride to 38, and you’ll have no one to blame but yourself, you crazy nut. But you’re going to make it!

You still have all your hair on top, so you must not have lost your blankey yet. That’s the first trial. Its probably the worst of it though, you’ll end up pulling out all your hair for months and months, throwing tantrums and being a wild thing. It’ll be okay, pink teddy will become a solid replacement over time and be a very faithful friend, even after an operation to remove his defunct music box. I still sometimes want to buy myself a replacement blankey. It was yellow and special.

Letter to your Younger Self - younger-mary

You’re in a pretty good place young toddler me. Even though technically where you are standing is a terrible place for a toddler when the tugging o’ warring actually begins. I mean, the middle of the rope will move all over the place and people will be going back and forth. Look at me standing there, I have no clue!  Well, it must be alright since I don’t remember being trampled and it does seem like the kind of thing one remembers.
Anyways, small me, I’ll leave you with something to dream about… one day you most definitely will get to pet all the cats you want. Promise.
Love
Me

 

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
25 Oct

Favourite Book(s)

Wow!  It’s Day 25 of the #Blogtober14 Challenge with The Daily Tay and Helene in Between and we’ve been doing it everyday so far.  Go us!  Here’s Mary with today’s post of “Favourite Book”, well books…

Oh dear, I’ve really been quite stumped for this one. I read so many books and I love so many books, how could I possibly choose a favorite? I really couldn’t. So, here’s a few of my faves… in no particular order…

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie

This book was the first Christie mystery I ever read and it hooked me good. I must have reread this one a thousand times and its always such a treat.  One of the best things about Agatha Christie is that she wrote so many books, so once you’re a fan you have a huge library of great mysteries to choose from.  This book really launched my love for mysteries and gave me a first glance and one of my favorite detectives of all time, the inimitable Hercule Poirot.

Fresh Wind Blowing by Grace Campbell

Gotta shout out for the family on this one. My great grandmother wrote a number of books that were popular back in the day, but this one has always been my favorite.  Set in World War 2 and following the life of a young Canadian woman dealing with the loss of her twin brother and her continued acceptance of hope and life in the face of grief, this book was written after my great-grandmother suffered the loss of her twin sons both shot down over France within a month of each other.  My great-grandmother died before I was born, but in this narrative and her other books as well, I hear her voice ringing through loud and clear. It sounds like mine!

Favourite Book - Pages

The Chains That You Refuse by Elizabeth Bear

This is a relatively new collection of short stories. The book was a gift and I have read it again and again and I am always finding myself thinking about one or another of the strange and delightful and even horrifying stories in this collection. I loaned it to my mom for about 6 months and I’ll be damned if I didn’t regret it fairly regularly and then became ecstatically happy when she returned it. The Kit Marlowe story in particular I find captivating and have spent many hours thinking about. Its full of interesting ideas.

Whale Music by Paul Quarrington

Here’s another book that is on my short list simply because I cannot stop reading it. I stole my brother’s copy and read it and then refused to give it back. Eventually, I had to buy him a replacement.  It sticks in my head and will not let go. Its the kind of book I like to read and reread, and then listen to the Beach Boys and read their biography, listen to copies of SMILE on youtube and then go back and read Whale Music again.  Yes, I do that.

Slaughterhouse 5
Vonnegut. Pure, unadulterated human being who knows the secret of life. For real. Brilliant. I read this book in high school and never stopped… these days its an annual affair usually.  I really love Vonnegut. I had the entire collection of his works once, but I also had a nasty ex-husband who wanted them because I loved them. Ah, well. So it goes.
SO MANY OTHERS… oh man, this list looks so paltry. I mean, where’s Gormenghast? Or Jane Eyre?  Or anything Tana French writes?  Or Charles Todd’s amazing Inspector Rutledge series?  I LOVE RUTLEDGE.  I just read The City & The City, too and that was brilliant, thank you China Mieville. I was chewing on that for days and days. Le Petit Prince, Siddartha, The Razor’s Edge, for the seeker in all of us. Hilary Mantel’s series about Thomas Cromwell.. oh god, read it now!  And get ready for the third instalment… I think I know how this one ends.

 

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
23 Oct

An Ode to GIMP

It’s Day 23 of the #Blogtober14 Challenge with The Daily Tay and Helene in Between!  Today’s topic is “Favorite instagram editing apps/ or editing tools for your blog.”  So, here is our Ode to GIMP.

While we love playing with the various Instagram filters, there is one editing app that we use more than anything here at Make It Bittersweet and it’s called GIMP.

GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program, in case you were wondering about the “interesting” name) is free, open source picture editing software.  Imagine PhotoShop, but free!  We love it here and use it all.  the.  time.

Pictures speak louder than words, right?  To demonstrate the awesome power of GIMP, Mary has used our Angel picture to show you how versatile it can be when you’re editing pictures.

An Ode to GIMP - angel1and2

An Ode to GIMP - angel3

An Ode to GIMP - angel4

An Ode to GIMP - angel5

An Ode to GIMP - angel6

An Ode to GIMP - angel9

What do you think?  Have we convinced you to give GIMP a try?  If you’re interested, you can find out more about it HERE.

The Daily Tay
22 Oct

Your Pet Peeves

We’ve made it to Day 22 of the #Blogtober14 Challenge with The Daily Tay and Helene in Between!  Here’s Mary with today’s post of “Your Pet Peeves.”

1. Grooming on public transit

This includes nail clipping,  flossing,  etc.  How gross is this?  It gets me every time.  Take five more minutes in the bathroom people, do not make our commute your bathroom .

2. Not completing “The Cycle”

“The Cycle” is a term I’ve helpfully coined to remind others that when they, for example,  take the ketchup bottle out of the fridge, they should PUT IT BACK IN THERE when they are done with it.  Once the item in question is back in its home,  “The Cycle” is complete.  If you start a cycle, you are responsible for completing it.  Do NOT leave me hanging.

Your Pet Peeves - Mess of Condiments pickles

3.  Leaving traces

My motto for myself and others is generally, “Leave no trace.”  That means, don’t throw trash on the ground, stinky socks on the floor,  dirty dishes in the living room, hair in the drain,  etc.  I understand that we all have to…Function.  But I don’t want to be dealing with your functioning.  Or its vicious aftermath.  Be aware.  Leave no trace.  It’s really much nicer this way,  I promise.

Your Pet Peeves - Mess of Condiments

4.  Puke Surprise

The cat vomits in the night and you pretend that you’re sleeping and you know if I can’t stand knowing that a puddle of vomit is just hanging out so I will have to get up and deal with it and now that I think about it,  I’m the one with the problem…well, maybe I should be the one to get up and clean it if it can’t wait until morning when, inevitably, I will awaken first and step in it,  okay,  never mind…

5.  Disrespect in the Quiet Zone

This one’s gets me all the time.  Quiet.  Zone.  In other words,  close the mouth and stop with the speaking,  for God’s sake people.  Respect the Quiet Zone.  It is sacred.  It is beautiful.  It is….Silent.  And if you want to blab away on your phone or have a loud conversation,  there is the rest of the train.  Go sit there.  No really, GO AWAY.

Your Pet Peeves - Mess of Condiments Mustard

6.  Multi-tasking

Exiting the train while watching a video on your smart phone,  texting or otherwise not looking where you are going or paying attention to what you are doing.  In other words..  WAKE UP!!!  YOU ARE INTERACTING WITH THE WORLD OUT HERE!

Your Pet Peeves - Mess of Condiments with hot sauce

7. And last but not least…  Crap headphones.

I’m looking at you ipod with your wretched white ear buds,  or any other crap headphones that project a nightmarish tinny mockery of whatever wretched thing you call music and are currently sharing with everyone around you.  I actually hate you.  Moderately priced good quality headphones are not rare.  Do not invade my personal auditory space.

Also,  get off my lawn.

The Daily Tay
21 Oct

Dream Vacation

It’s Day 21 of the #Blogtober14 Challenge with The Daily Tay and Helene in Between!  Rasa here with today’s post, “Dream Vacation.” 

Dream Vacation - Beach A dream vacation.  Serious…what to choose?   There are so many options, I couldn’t possibly decide.  I’ve never been to Mexico City and would LOVE to see the Pyramid of the Sun.  My husband has never seen Mexico City or Oaxaca…I would love to show him both.  Then there are whole other options…The Azores, Bali, Fiji, all of Europe.  How to decide?

Dream Vacation - Ceviche for Lunch

To be honest, my dream vacation right now is actually being able to go on a vacation.  I made a choice to start working in a small business with my Husband and it’s very hard for us to get away…especially both of us.  Also, my youngest cat was recently diagnosed with diabetes and needs two insulin shots per day.  This makes it difficult to take a day trip, much less a full blown vacation.

Dream Vacation - Beach Food

Still I wouldn’t change it…well, except for my cat having diabetes.  I would totally change that if I could.  In the meantime, I will daydream about vacations and make sure that when we can finally get away, it’s for a crazy, amazing thing.  Since part of the fun for me has always been planning the vacation, I’ll continue to dream right now of the perfect trip.

Dream Vacation - On the Beach

Anyone else in the same boat?  If you are going away on vacation – have an amazing time!

The Daily Tay
20 Oct

Your Biggest Fear

It’s Day 20 of the #Blogtober14 Challenge with The Daily Tay and Helene in Between!  Here is Mary with today’s post of “Your biggest fear.”

The Legend of the Octo-Optae
Long ago, when the world was sludge and everything in it mere sludge creatures, a powerful alien race dropped suddenly from the skies to inhabit every corner of the earth. Hither and yon they would crawl on their horrifying legs, creeping into corners, cupboards, under benches and dropping suddenly from above. And they had eight eyes and eight legs and their form was fierce and terrifying.  They were the Octo-Optae.
These horrifying (and evil, way way evil) beasts proceeded to carry out their horrifying (and way evil) plan to conquer humanity by scaring the beejeesus out of them at every turn. Upon seeing a young girl descending innocently into the basement of her childhood home, they converged and attacked, surrounding her and trapping her in the laundry room.
“Beware, beware!” shrieked the young girl’s parental units, “In the basement, the Octo-Optae are many and they will EAT YOU UP and destroy you!”
This same girl they ambushed twice in the doorway of her home. Spreading a cloud of themselves over the doorway and crawling over every part of her body when she unwittingly walked through the cloud. She screamed and tore off her clothes and charged upstairs to the shower, but lo, showers are one of the Octo-Optae’s strongholds and they did not perish.
The young girl was stalked and plagued for years by these evil creatures from outer space.  Wisps and tendrils of web found their way into her face, they would present themselves suddenly at a moment of weakness and take great delight in her terror. When she accepted a position working for a lakeside theatre, she had to walk through a tunnel under the highway and the Octo-Optae were many strong there. Big, chunky jumpers, lurking about in the shadows and great giant webs streaming down the cement walls from the caged light fixtures. They could smell her fear, though they had no noses.
When the young girl grew up, she found that the things with too many eyes were not so terrible and the horrifying legs were just legs.
And she found, at last, that when she accepted that all living things were part of the world she lived in, that there was room enough for the Octo-Optaes too.
The Daily Tay
19 Oct

What Makes You Happy

It’s Day 19 of the #Blogtober14 Challenge with The Daily Tay and Helene in Between!  Rasa here with today’s post, “What makes you happy.”

What Makes You Happy - Guachimontones Pyramid

There are a lot of things that make me happy – spending time with my husband, cats and good friends, shopping, eating amazing food, but what really makes me happy?  Exploring.

What Makes You Happy - Rasa in front of Guachimontones Pyramid

I love exploring a new part of my city.  Toronto is great for that…it’s filled with pockets of completely different neighborhoods.  I love finding a new ethnic grocery store somewhere and wandering around in it trying to figure out what I should get to cook.  This is something I do with my Mom all the time.

What Makes You Happy -Guachimontones Pyramid with Tree

I also love exploring new cities when I’m on vacation, but my favourite thing to explore?  It’s always historical sites.  I love trying to reconnect with the past.  How did these people live?  What did they eat?  Every time that we’ve gone to Mexico, I’ve made it a point of searching out a new historical site for us to check out.   The pictures on this post are from Guachimontones , which we visited while vacationing in Puerto Vallarta.

What Makes You Happy - Guachimontones Sign

It was exciting because it was still in the process of being restored, so you could see the newly restored pyramids as well as piles of rocks.  Honestly, it amazes me that the archaeologists can take what looks like a pile of rocks and reconstruct these amazing structures.

What Makes You Happy - Drink

Anyone else love exploring?

The Daily Tay
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