’90s Kid

Being born in the mid-’80s means I got to really appreciate one of the best decades yet – the ’90s. Not to say the here and now isn’t pretty great, but I do feel like the children of today missed out on a lot of incredible things that us ’90s kids were abundantly blessed with:

1. Television: Although growing up in our house out in the country meant 5 channels with our rabbit ears, or sometimes 6 to 7 if our neighbour’s  satellite dish was pointing the right way, the ’90s still meant the best of the after school show. I’m talking the best of the best here, yet to be dethroned by any of the current day options. Shows like Fresh Prince, Saved by the Bell, Family Matters – they taught us how to unrealistically get out of any lie (thanks Zach),  that being loud, proud and funny was acceptable (thank you Will), and that family wasn’t just your blood, but the people you could always count on to have your back (thanks Carl Winslow). Most importantly there was ZERO reality television causing us to mimick and idolize, to be frank, idiots.

Go Will! go Wil!. Go, go, go Will!

Go Will! go Will!. Go, go, go Will!

2. Toys & Games: Before the age of incredible graphics in the video games of today, the ’90s toys were just as, if not more exciting than any WoW or GTA scene could be. Remember skip-it?? My sisters and I used to have what felt like fingernail biting competitions to see whose counter would reach the highest number, the fastest, without missing a step. It was the age of Waterfall Ring Toss and Mash. We filled our spare time playing Pogs, Hacky Sack and scribbling crazy mad libs. It might be because the children in my life are mostly located in the city and I know it is because of the crazy technology that we are plugged into ALL DAY LONG, but it certainly feels like we spent a great deal more time outside, a little more free.

Trade you for a slammer. For funsies or keepsies?

Trade you for a slammer… for funsies or keepsies?

3. Music: Um, how about I saw the Sign and really anything Ace of Base? It was the boom of electronic music, but also the rise of Miss. Spears before 2007 happened to her, and Spice Girls reigned queens of every young girls heart – fashion sense too, unfortunately. No Doubt was dealing with teenage angst with every single that dropped, Pearl Jam fronted by the legendary Eddie Vedder made social change their message and Alanis was reminding every man not to mess with a girl with pipes. Not to mention REM, Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, Radiohead, Counting Crows, Weezer, The Presidents of the United States of America and Oasis to name but a small selection of the greats of the ’90s.

So. Cool.

So. Cool.

4. Lack of Connection: I do not want to gripe on the present day advancements in technology, buuut…. they suck. They suck the life out of you, and the life out of life. I am guilty of it too – being too available, too connected. But, I am working on it. Yes, we had MSN and AOL Messenger to connect to friends, and let’s not forget everyone’s first embarrassing email address as we didn’t yet understand the longevity or importance the medium would take. We also had to sit through the painstakingly and incredibly slow connection of dial-up, which I am sure was a deterrent to sitting at the computer for hours upon hours as we do now. Let’s also not forget how much having a cell phone, never mind smart phone, was a novelty and quite a big deal. You definitely didn’t see mass amounts of people, in public, hunched over a tiny box, staring into the screen for anywhere near the amount of time of current day.

Hello Zach Morris phone!

Hello Zach Morris phone!

The ’90s are arguably one of the last great decades that we will ever see. I’m glad I was of a age to remember a lot of what was popular or how we spent our days when we weren’t outside under our maple trees that encompassed the back yard, making mud-pies and maple-leaf rolls stuffed with gunk as our ‘cabbage rolls’, imagining our childhoods away.  What are your favourite memories of the 90s? I can almost guarantee I’ve forgotten a bunch, as the ’90s were way to good to contain in a simple post.

~ Toni

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Top three Christmas memories…so far!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone! This will be the last of our posts to tide you all over until the new year. We will be off with our families making lots of memories, eating a ton, traveling and getting LOTS AND LOTS new blog posts to write about. So let’s make this post about Christmas past as we bring on the present(s) (ha! did you get it? Presents? Because it’s Christmas?)

There have been three that have certainly stuck out over my many trips around the sun…so let me waste no time and get started counting these Christmas/New Year’s memories down!

Holiday memory numero 3

When we were younger we used to only decorate our tree on Christmas Eve. Now that I think about it, it was probably more so my mom and dad didn’t have to deal with the messy needles for a long time; however, we would put on a Christmas movie, get into our pj’s from last year if they still fit, and sometimes even if they didn’t fit. Snuggled up on the couch, we would all get our little set of decorations that we acquired over the years. Dad would lie on the couch and wouldn’t move until all the decorations were on the tree, then he’d peel himself out of his spot in the corner of the sectional to place his Snoopy on the top of the tree right beside the angel. As our family changed over the years our tradition had to change. So now we have the annual trimming of one of our Christmas trees!

Big ol’ number 2 Christmas memory

The first time I was introduced to Cody’s family in Brampton was Christmas. We had just started dating and I was a little nervous. I mean, is everyone’s family as crazy and loud as mine? Will they like me? Looking back now I have no idea why I was so nervous. His family is so amazing and inviting, they are loving and I felt totally at home.

Every family event Auntie April gets Lindt chocolates specific for the event. Snowmen, or Santas for Christmas. Turkeys or leaves for Thanksgiving. Eggs or bunnies for Easter. Either way, after my first Brampton family event, everyone knows that they should just give me their chocolates, because one way or another I was going to end up eating them.

Family

NUMBER ONE!!!!

Was two years ago. Cody and I woke up prepared to spend the day with his mom, I was super excited this year because I was SO excited to give Cody is Excalibur cross-bow! Yup I had outdone myself that year! Early in the morning, around 6, I felt Cody get up, which isn’t unusual – I thought he would be making Christmas coffee. When he came back up and cuddled in he squeezed a little tighter. I snuggled in thinking we would just go back to sleep. Cody was restless and didn’t fall back asleep. At around 7:30 Cody started to whisper in my ear and he finally went downstairs to make coffee for us. He came back up and wanted to go down stairs to cuddle on the couch and watch some Christmas morning TV, which doesn’t exist people!!!!! We weren’t sitting on the couch long when Cody asked me to go and get him something from the fridge. I obliged! I went into the kitchen and opened the fridge, grabbed what I had come for and turned around. There was Cody on one knee and he looked so nervous! I asked him what he was doing. He was dumbfounded! How did I not see it?! He told me to go back in the fridge and look again. I opened the door and there sitting in front of a beer in the fridge on the top shelf RIGHT IN FRONT OF MY FACE was a ring! THE ring!!!!!!! He asked me if I would marry him, he told me he loved me and wanted to be with me for the rest of our lives. I was so happy, and excited and shocked that I didn’t even reply, I grabbed the ring and put it on my finger and grabbed Cody!

The Ring

Best

Christmas

ever!!!!!!!!

Those are my favorite memories. Maybe this year, one of them will be knocked into fourth place.

‘Til the New Year everyone!

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

~ Jacqui

When the weather outside is frightful

There is nothing better on a snowy day than to cuddle up to loved ones on the couch and kick back to an old favourite, and it is especially sweet when it is close to Christmas. I love Christmas movies and I feel like it is seriously a problem.

I started buying VHS tapes of Christmas movies in the summer this year – they were a bargain at 3 for $1 – but I feel like I could almost need an intervention.

In the meantime, however, here are my top favourite Christmas movies!

1. The Muppet Christmas Carol
Muppet_christmas_carol
Let me just say I always cry when Tiny Tim’s crutch is in the corner, and the Cratchets (Miss Piggy and Kermit) are trying to stay strong for the kids…I need a tissue just thinking about it!

2. Love Actually
Screen shot 2014-12-03 at 3.34.49 PM
This is a bit of a comfort movie, because I usually just watch it around Christmas time. There are some good scenes, and weird scenes, and everyone is tied together in weird and quirky ways. Also I love the opening where they are in the airport and everyone is so happy – it gives me warm fuzzy feelings!

3. White Christmas
Screen shot 2014-12-03 at 3.35.43 PM
An oldie but a goodie! I mean, come on! Bing Crosby? Singing White Christmas? That is the end all and be all of Christmas!
I don’t care if you are not a Bing fan, he is awesome, and you are silly.

4. Home Alone 1, 2 & even 3
Screen shot 2014-12-03 at 3.36.11 PM
It is an idea that they tried to beat to death, but these 3 movies are absolutely awesome for a laugh and a couple ideas of boobie-traps you can set around your house, you know…just in case.

5. Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas
The_nightmare_before_christmas_poster
I know, I know, not a usual one you see, but Tim Burton really is my favourite, and it really has good points! Sally is freed at the end, her and the Pumpkin King get together (finally!), and after COMPLETELY messing it up, Jack (the Pumpkin King himself) saves Christmas! I know it is not traditional, but it is one of my top fives!

Feel free to tell me you favourite movies in the comments; you might give me more ideas to put on next year’s list!

~ Andreah

Soundtrack for the season

I have a confession to make: I love Christmas music.

I have a playlist devoted entirely to Christmas music. When I was working, it was all that was in my MP3 player from November 1 until well into the New Year. I don’t wait until after November 11 to start it up, but I don’t feel disrespectful because it’s just for me, not for my store or my mall or my commercialism. It’s for my happiness. I am impatient until the local radio station flips over to being my “Home for the Holidays” and plays nonstop Christmas music. And on Boxing Day? December 26? When they abruptly, at 12 a.m., flip back over to complete non-Christmas music? I feel bereft, like someone pulled the plug on my drug and I’m left walking around in a kind of Christmas music hangover, where I know I’ve got my fill, yet, I still want more.

To help you firmly climb onto the Christmas music party bus, I’ve listed my top five songs of the season.

Nostalgia-filled – The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don’t Be Late)
As kids, we only had a few Christmas tapes (yes, tapes) that were played over and over and over. Boney M., New Kids On the Block (OH, YES), The California Raisins (no, seriously), and of course, Alvin and the Chipmunks. I used to know all the lyrics to Christmas Don’t Be Late, and I’m disappointed in how far I’ve fallen. I will relearn the words. I will know it by heart again. I will not let Dave down!

Whimsy pick – I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas
There’s something that I desperately wish we could have for a pet – a hippopotamus. I feel like they would overcome our allergy issue and would make a fabulous house guest. In fact, this commercial practically proves my point. Ben disagrees. But Gayla Peevey? She’s got my number. And it’s a toe-tapper as well. Win-win.

Christmas cheese – Same Old Lang Syne
There needs to be some songs that make you weep and cringe at the same time, and for me, it’s this song. I love how cheesy it is, how incredibly corny and cliched and sad and that it’s a story about a lonely Christmas Eve between two ex-lovers. It’s everything that Christmas is – beautiful, hard, achy, lovely. I unabashedly love this terrible song.

Reason for the season – I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day
In a past life I sang in church choirs a minimum of two times a week. Every year, we’d of course put our heart and soul into celebrating Jesus’ birth with music. This song, by this incredible group, Casting Crowns, gives me goosebumps every time I hear it and singing it? Shivers. He is the reason and this song encapsulates the feeling that surrounds Christmas.

Holy crap pick – Little Drummer Boy
Every once in a while a group of artists surprise you, fascinate you and make you sit back in awe. Pentatonix is this group for me. This song, although not one of my Christmas favourites, was the first song I heard this group sing and I immediately had to share them, watch and rewatch them and weep in gratitude when a friend gave me a copy of their first Christmas album. They are awesome. And all of the songs on their Christmas playlist are amazing. Seriously.

I hope your Christmas is merry, bright, and filled with music that only comes around once a year.

~ Julia

7 ways to use your horn

To celebrate Jacqui’s monumental 1 year anniversary of being seizure free, her and I ventured into the great city of Toronto to have the incredible Alana Mule of Adrenaline Tattoo Toronto fulfill Jacqui’s wish of permanently marking the occasion.

During our journey there and as we got closer to the city, our language got more colourful, stress levels (and pee levels, to be honest) raised and the use of my horn became more frequent.

Between the drivers that clearly don’t understand that the fast lane is not for driving, the ones busier with their phones than the gas/brake pedal/steering wheel combination in front on them, the ones following entirely too closely, and the ones that plain should have never been given a license (EVER.), our conversation was quite comical and quickly became a running list of the ways you could use your horn.

Seriously though... how do they pass?!

Seriously though… how do they pass?!

1. Marking your territory: This use can be applied in two ways – a) to avoid the side-swipe- when a driver doesn’t check their blind spot and decides that the side of your car looks miraculously the same as the scenery and road and assumes it can drive there, the quick, yet firm pump of the horn wakes them up and reminds them abruptly to use their neck AND eyes when changing lanes and b) to let road bullies know that you are not going to be pushed around by their aggressive lurches towards your car and that you are in fact using the lane you are currently occupying in current space and time. Thank you very much.

2. Saying hello: I might be alone in this and even at the risk of sounding nerdy I will tell you that I get pretty excited when I see friends and family passing by or out and about while I’m driving. This use of the horn is one of my favourites – a few little taps to acknowledge that we’ve seen each other and maybe shared a smile that can brighten any dreary day.

Guilty...

Guilty…

3. Expressing emotion…all of the emotions: The horn can be used when happy, sad, irritated, aggravated, hungry, helpful, mad, grumpy, excited, elated and especially pissed the fuck off. The problem is that the horn’s intent can often be misinterpreted – unless laced relentlessly, that one is pretty self explanatory – and is left up to the perception of the receiving or intended party. Due to the array of intents, I believe vehicles should come equipped with a range of tones and intensities. That way you can specifically say “eat it” to the jackass that wouldn’t let you in, yet somehow still ended up behind you – and he’ll know EXACTLY what you mean. 👍 win, wi…er…

See?! I think this is a great idea!

See?! I think this is a great idea!

4. Celebrating: Attending school in and then later moving to Cambridge, I quickly learned what the celebratory use of the horn was all about. While I have always been a soccer fan and supporter of Portugal in any Euro or World Cup, growing up in the country I  had no concept of the celebratory use of the horn in the true sense. Then I moved to my neighbourhood, which I lovingly refer to as “Portugalt” and when my national team won a game – hell, sometimes even tied one and mingia! You knew about it.

5. Speaking ‘big city’:  In a small town, even in a smaller city, you rarely, almost never hear horns honking, especially the quantity of horn usage that you do in cities like Toronto, Montreal and New York. It’s like the language changes between people and patience runs dry once you cross the border into a metropolis area and everyone there is pretty damn immune to it. I on the other hand still find it abrasive, annoying and for the most part neccesseary. I mean, I can understand one person honking at a person who is blocking a portion of an intersection, but all 50 people that have to edge around!? Excessive.

Makes total sense.

Makes total sense.

6. Announcing your arrival: This is one of those uses that I contend the appropriateness of. If you are old friends, close family members, best buds from back in the day, forever coworkers, etc., then YES, appropriate. If you are not as familiar with the person, for example you are picking up, say the woman you have only been dating a few weeks? Then, NO, absolutely not appropriate. Just ask Michael how this went for him… er, actually maybe don’t…

7. Providing a warning shot: Much like a warning shot in terms of fire arms, the horn warning shot rings the same message – “Your ass is about to get served to you personally”, whether that be a verbal schooling, or in the extreme cases, a physical altercation is about to take place, you may want to tread lightly if ever on the receiving end.

It runs in the family...

It runs in the family…

~ Toni

5 Struggles only busty girls will get

While there are certain advantages to being ‘chesty‘, there are also quite a few downfalls to this genetic trademark the ladies of my family are all too familiar with:

1. Physical activity: Running, jumping jacks, trampolines, burpees, jumping in general, horse back riding, speed boating…really bouncing of any kind is dangerous, tends to hurt and is hard to control with even the most state of the art sports bras money can buy. Which leads me to my next point…

2. Shopping: button up shirts, bathing suits, bras, sports bras, thick knit sweaters, cowel neck anything, dresses. Being busty means that all of the listed items (and more I am sure if I spent enough time thinking about it) are difficult/impossible to purchase. If it’s not v-neck – but not too deep of a v-neck or else you risk being scandalous – you can’t buy it and don’t even think about wearing a sweatshirt or you risk looking like a blob with no definition from your collar bone to hip bone. It’s always a relief when you are able to find a store that carries items of this nature that can be made to work and you’ll buy one in every colour.

3. Stomach sleeping: I am a stomach sleeper – more precisely, I am a modified stomach sleeper. I miss being able to sleep flat on my tummy. Now, I have to do the one hip and one shoulder prop with support of a pillow or a Michael, or a gathered duvet, or sometimes even a giant puppy. I have been known to forget/have a temporary lapse of sanity and attempt to bring back the tummy sleep. I am quickly reminded how uncomfortable it is and have to adjust.

4. Seatbelts: You would think that the height adjustment capability in most later model vehicles would have been the saving grace for us chestier ladies when it comes to the battle of the belt. I regret to inform you, it did not. Regardless of which notch the height is set at, it is never quite comfortable directly across your chest. It falls in between the ladies, it slides underneath them, it slips on top of them – that damn thing wanders all over, never really convincing me it will be able to do its job should I happen to need it.

5. Eye contact or lack thereof: I guess boobs are like unicorns, because some people stare at them as though they are such rarities to encounter. I cannot count the number of times I’ve argued in my head between irritably thinking “I have eyes you know”, and “Shit, there could be a stain on my shirt” while talking to someone who has displayed the inability to keep their eyes from wandering. A quick glance I can understand. But setting up camp and living there all day? That is just unacceptable.

~ Toni