Monday, December 01, 2008

Dear Santa, I'm making my list

I know I'm supposed to be buying everyone gifts and not thinking about what I MIGHT like. However, I'm often asked what I want for Christmas. Well actually, it is usually just my Mom. So I thought I would create a post that I can update as I think of ideas. In fact, I might keep this list way in to the new year to remind me what I need

Don't worry I'll be busy buying little gifts too. So, to get what you really want be sure to tell this Santa what you would like -- post in comments.

Now for me:
  • black socks (and other colours too). It may seem boring but I need them. **update: my MOM and Aunt Kathy bought me some - yay!

  • donations to Wen-Do or any legitimate charity with a special focus on women and girls' lives around the world.
  • a cashmere shawl - I'm not sure what colour but I want a really soft and fuzzy cashmere shawl. I'm thinking burgundy, gray or even fuscia. (I need to keep warm at work)
  • scales for our kitchen - this is really for J as he does the cooking. In the UK, they use grams rather than cups and sometimes we are really at a loss as to how much chocolate we need to put in to our desserts
  • acrylic shoe boxes - last year J bought me 12 of these for Christmas. I loved them but I've been busy buying more shoes and need more boxes

  • The Wire - Season 5. Have you heard I'm totally addicted. I've been holding out from watching the last season as I don't want it to end. Oh well, Lost is coming up soon. [ed. Yes, it's true. I got season 5 for Christmas. Whoohoo! The season will start Jan. 5th]
  • A bell for my bike. I think this one is kind of cute but I just want it to work. Update: I just bought a new bike bell at sportsdirect for £0.99 at the Boxing Week Sales.
  • Non-stick frying pan - again this one is for J. I made some pancakes this morning and realized it is high time for a replacement We just picked up one at Home Base. Wow, what a difference!
  • Plastic Spatula - J again. We keep wrecking our frying pan with our metal flipper.
    J got it from me for Xmas, but we still need a new frying pan Not anymore see prior comment.

Well as you can see I'm finding this incredibly easy. Why can't my nieces and nephews provide me with a list of what they want. I keep asking and they say "nothing". I don't believe it. Do you? What would you like? Do tell and don't be shy.


Sunday, November 30, 2008

Christmas Lights for Rodwellian

I think I've waited long enough to put up the Christmas lights. It's time. In most stores, there have been decorations since mid-October. So, today I'm going to get out the decorations for our house (I bought some new beautiful bulb yesterday at Liberty's)

So, before I run downstairs and start cursing because the lights don't work. I thought I would spruce my blog up with some London-inspired decorations. Taaaa! Daaaa! (through the magic of photos)These Victorian era angels hang high above the streets around Seven Dials.The covered market at Covent Garden had vertical lights changing colours to make it feel like it was snowing inside.

Some of the flying stars on Regent Street, London this year.

This is a combination of the street lights on Regent Street and the lights in the window at the National Geographic Society Store. (it's an amazing place for great photography and stuff for the adventure-minded including NG holidays)

This little guy reminded me of the Stay Puft Marshmellow man. He can be found on Carnaby StreetInside Liberty London, you can find this corridor of lights in their Christmas shop.

Finally, the traditional candle lighting La Trouvaille, our favourite spot for a cozy glass of wine after a day of shopping.


Saturday, November 29, 2008

Going Nude on Fancy Shoes Friday

I thought that headline might catch a few people. Yes, it's true on both accounts.
  1. Friday is Fancy Shoe Day
  2. I'm going nude this Friday
OK, a bit more detail.

High heels were not always welcome in the studios. When we were at the old offices I would teeter around in my heels on the beautiful wooden floors to the glaring glances of my co-workers. Imagine the equatio

office with high ceilings + hard wood floors + heels does not equal soothing work environment

Things, got better after we moved in to the new offices at the Silicon Roundabout. My heel-wearing is now much less of an issue as we have carpet there. In fact, other women in the office started wearing heels. Whoohoo! Bring on the mutual shoe adoration.

Now, every Friday, the women at work hold Fancy Shoe Fridays. That means we are encouraged to wear all those ridiculously high, impractical but oh-so delicious shoes that we really don't have a reason for wearing any other day. Thanks to Tamsin and Joy for this brilliant idea and an excuse to go nude this Friday.

OK ... NUDE. Well, you know I'm not that crazy. Of course there is a double meaning.

I will be wearing my new pair of shoots (shoe/boots) from
United Nude. This wonderful line of shoes first hit the scene and my shoe rack back in 2003 with the Möbius shoe. The Möbius shoe was designed by Rem D Koolhaas (the architect) and Galahad Clark. I've had this first pair for 5 years now and still feel it is the coolest thing in my wardrobe. That probably explains why it was pretty easy to hand over the Amex card on these new babies (despite the fact I was supposed to be Christmas Shopping for others). These particular shoes are called Fold. They are described as follows on the United Nude site:

Like the physical concept of the Möbius, about the fluent movement of a single strip. The strip folds around the foot front-to-back-to-front like a scarf. The Fold’s are made on a comfortable last with some space in the toe-box to fit normal to wider feet. The uppers are made with custom designed elastics and the shoes have all leather lining.

I'm counting down to Friday. (I have a feeling I won't go that long to go nude)


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Swish Titles Looking for a Film

If you know me personally (which of course 99.9% of my visitors do), you know that since we moved to London J has been reinventing the work he does. After years of working with printed fonts, logos, packaging, book covers and brochures, all a bit static, he is finally giving those designs some movement. Of course he still pays the bills with his beautiful graphic design work as his portfolios demonstrate.

But the exciting thing for both J (and actually more for me) is that he now feels he has a body of work ready to unveil -- 'moving designs'.

I say it is exciting for me because being the spouse of a creative perfectionist I have had to be very patient about the time it took to finalize his reel (that's what the portfolio is called). Personally, I felt he was ready a year ago. However, perfection is not quickly achieved and in fact it takes many many hours/days/weeks of
studying (that's what J calls watching movies).

In any case, J has now finished two portfolio reels including some commercial video work and also some yet uncommissioned movie titles. We just need someone to write and produce the films and we'll be in business.

Reel, Spring/Summer 08 from Jonathan Howells on Vimeo.

Reel, Autumn/Winter 08 from Jonathan Howells on Vimeo.

Yes. Of course, I am very very proud (I'm convinced I must have had some impact with all my forceful encouragement).

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Diet Time is No Fun Time

How often have you told yourself "I'll start that diet tomorrow". Let's just put it this way, if I lost even 1/2 pound for every time I'd said that, I would probably be skinnier than most models. Oh well. There's always tomorrow.

A week ago, I went to NYC with four of my oldest and bestest friends for our fortieth (gulp!). What fun but definitely less wild than our earlier years. In any case, the NYC weekend was full of wining and dining without much attention to nutritional intake. After 4 days, I found myself declaring that not only I would be starting a diet but so would J to ensure I actually did start it.

It's a week later. How have I done? Well... let's just say this cat is doing better than me. However, I'm thinking about signing up to Nutracheck for the calorie counter -- maybe tomorrow. For now, bring on the wine and cheese.

funny pictures of cats with captions
more animals

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Is it Christmas Already?

Yes, it is November 1st so I can officially start talking about Christmas. In Canada, there is a golden rule. You NEVER say Christmas until the candle is blown out on the Jack-o-lantern. As Halloween is now behind us, bring on the big old fat guy. [Strangely here in the UK, Christmas and Halloween live side by side in shops from the beginning of October. I don't approve. - However, as a Canadian, I must keep to my roots and wait until November 1st.]

So, now that my favourite holiday is over. I can begin to talk about my second favourite holiday. I think I will try to pepper this space with "ideas for me" over the next two months. Isn't Christmas all about presents? So, if you're thinking about how you can win my heart check back for ideas.

However, today I'm going to do a bit of promotion because I do it so well. Here is the outcome of a little contest that's been running on MOO.
Basically, the contest involved posting a photo and asking for people to come up with the Christmas Card Headline. Here was one of my favourite photos (by sappymoosetree) in the contest:

One of the winning captions was: Peace.Love.Bacon. Who wouldn't want to receive a joyous card like that? I can think of many who would also appreciate that humour.

So, if you want to see the entire pack of 25
Christmas & Holiday cards check them out. There is a special card especially designed for the Star War fan (who also happens to be Jewish) on your holiday card list.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Have a Scary Halloween

Happy Halloween Everyone! (if you've seen it before - watch it again)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Another MOO video from J.

As J still has not got his act together to write his own blog, RODWELLIAN has been renting pixels to him for his video adventures (here, here, here and here). Below is one of the latest. He did another one recently for Reed Professional Services (what a name eh?) but I don't think I should post that one. Of course I'm partial to this one as it is for MOO (a cool frame which makes MiniCards in to art). Check out these babies! I must admit I think they are rather slick -- of course I'm biased -- but still.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

I'm embarrassed to say I haven't voted ...

For my Canadian readers, they probably know there is a Canadian federal election on October 14th. However, the rest of my readers have NO idea a large geographical country but much smaller in world political power is having an election i.e. Canada. Well, we are. Embarrassingly, I haven't voted yet and as I'm out of the country I am now too late. Don't do as I do, do as I say.

So, my American Cousins (in fact I have no real American cousins but you know what I mean) - VOTE - just like the ad says (which by the way is very entertaining). Enjoy!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Laughing so hard I'm crying

Now, if you don't know the Flight of the Conchords, it's time to spend some time on Youtube. I was first introduced to "Business Time" (hilarious!) when I was at a Techie Conference in Greece last year hosted by WPP. Thanks Sir Martin!

Anyway, here's another one that put us in stiches ...

Friday, September 12, 2008

Newington Green Gem ... Suruchi at 82 Mildmay Park

J and I have eaten at this spot at least 4 times and taken away 2 times in less than 3 months. That's pretty damm good considering we were out of town for probably 16 days of those days. Based on those stats, do I really need to write a review? I don't think so, but I'll outline the highlights:
  • only 5 minute walk from our house (perfect when we are knackered at the end of the week, but still want to feel like we've gone "out")
  • the slightly surly maitre'd - J thinks he is just serious (I'm not sure)
  • the amazing recommendations the surly maitre'd makes
  • the food rocks - forget your normal butter chicken or sag paneer (but those are great) instead go for the surly man's recommendations
  • the hospital green decor
  • the crazy music - psychedelic prog-rock meets bollywood
  • the superb food (did I already say that?)
  • the expansive back covered garden in case it rains (which of course is rare in London
  • the spectacular food
  • the chocolate squares with the branded Suruchi labels with your bill
  • the bill!!!!!! (we have never spent more than £27 and have always left FULL of food and drink)
I ask you please please please, if you live anywhere close to Newington Green, Stoke Newington or Highbury & Islington, visit Suruchi at 82 Milmay Park for a meal. I ask because sadly they are often rather empty. I want them to survive and prosper because we think they serve the best Indian in London and being selfish we want them to live on.

Hey, what do 2 Canadians know?

PS I wanted to link to the Suruchi website but turns out the url on the chocolate square ( doesn't really exist .... got to love the illusion they're trying to create.
Update: They do have a website. It is just not as it appears on the chocolate.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Fascinators Revisited

I promised to expose the outcome of the Fascinator tale. So, here goes:

Wedding Day Minus 1 Day:
Joy from work who is incredibly creative and crafty brought in her glue and creative expertise to help work on the burgundy fascinator. Our goal was to add in some of the other feathers to see if we could get the fascinator to match the dress and shawl.

So, just after Friday lunch, Joy pulls out her goodies. It was amazing to see the wonders she just had lying around. She is definitely a creative diva. She slowly plotted where to insert the gray feathers. Denise, our other creative guru, added in her expertise. I realized I couldn't be in any better hands. Thank Goddess!

A good hour later, Joy was done. My fascinator looked perfect and she even suggested making a little carrying case for it out of a whiskey bottle container. Did I say crafting genious? Sadly, it was a little early for empty whisky bottle cases. In any case, I was set with less than 24 hours to go. YAY!

Wedding minus 6 hours:
I woke up and looked at my beautifully enhanced fascinator and then put it next to my dress and shawl. OH NO! It still wasn't quite working. On its own, it was wonderful, but together it just didn't match. Still too brown and too burgundy. What was I to do?

Wedding minus 3 hours:
I decided it was worth a wonder around Harrogate. It looked like a town that was used to a lot of weddings. I deduced: there must be a shop with the latest in fascinators. Sure enough there were a lot of shops on the high street with a focus on hats, but nothing that really worked. Then I stumbled across Julie Fitzmaurice a shop that knows their fascinators.
I found one I LOVED. I breathed deeply and asked the very helpful sales woman the price. Shit! I give up. I guess if I was going to be co-ordinated at this wedding I was going to have to pay for it.

Then I heard the voice of Gina's friend who told me "never buy a fascinator without the dress". Given the fact I had got in to this mess in the first place by doing that, I rushed back to the inn to grab my dress and shawl.

I guess the pink bag gives it away that I took the plunge and bought my final fascinator 2.5 hours before the wedding was scheduled to begin. Wow, I cut it close.

So, I must thank everyone involved in the fascinator fiasco - Tanya (who helped pick one out in the first place), Joy and Denise (who enhanced the one I had) and finally the sales lady at Julie Fitzmaurice who helped me find the one I actually wore. I think it worked out in the end.

What you want to see it? Well, I don't have a photo which shows the entire outfit together with the pink shawl.... silly me. You would think I would get a photo of the whole ensemble given the challenges. Oh well, it wasn't about me. Rather, the bride who was gorgeous!!!!! Here are the few shots I have but alas no shawl in these pics.

No More Tears in 2008

I won't be crying in public for at least another year. Yes, that's right - Wedding season is over for 2008.

We definitely had a good year for weddings. All in all, J and I were invited to six weddings in 5 different countries. We manged to attend five of the weddings which meant a year of amazing trips and side-trips (not to mention huge expense). So, to recap:
  1. Pete and Laura (English and Italian): February 29th, St. Albans, UK. This was definitely a date we can't forget. The wedding celebration took place in a beautiful spot outside London (pic to right was taken close to the venue). The wedding also allowed me to catch up with old Yahoo! friend - Greg G. Then the topper of the evening was the chance siting/meeting of Paul Weller of Style Council fame staying at our hotel. How cool was that for a girl stuck in the 80s?

  2. Xiao Dan and Marco (Chinese & Swiss): May in Bejing, China. As there were two ceremonies, I'm not sure if I should count this as wedding 2 or wedding 2 and 3. In retrospect, I felt like Xiao Dan's wedding was a rehearsal for the Bejing Olympics Opening Ceremony. We were treated to acrobats, opera singers, musicians, drummers and dragons. Lots of fun and an incredibly memorable holiday.

    Opera Singer

  3. Tania & Marcel: (American-Canadian & Dutch-Canadian); Toronto, Canada. Whoohoo! What a partee! This wedding definitely reflected the bride's sensibility. We started on Toronto Island in a beautiful little wooden church (felt like our many canoe trips together) and ended in the stylish Distillery District. Loads of great drinks, food and dancing involved here. Great to catch up with old friends including Jim, Sian and Rian to name a few.
  4. Island Church

  5. Gina and Kenvor: (English);Harrogate, England. Think Four Weddings & a Funeral. Can you picture it? That was this wedding. It was so perfectly English. I even got to wear a fascinator (more on that here). J was busy filming the event (we won't expect a DVD for a while as he still needs to finish Tania & Matt's 2007 wedding).

    The evening ended with crazed dancing to "500 miles" square dance style with whomever I could grab. It's good to know there are consistencies across every wedding you attend. We spent an extra few days in Yorkshire, where we hiked the nearby cow-country
    (our pics).

  6. Chris and Margaret (Gosia): (Canadian & Polish) Krakov, Poland. As Chris said in his speech no one at this wedding was from Krakov. Everyone (over 80 people) traveled to this fantastically beautiful locale. J, Daryl & I all arrived via night train from Prague and were deposited in the city centre without coffee at 6AM (that will have to be a story told in person). Luckily, the arrival was the most stressful part of this wedding trip.

    The remaining 5 days in Krakov were relaxed and incredibly social. Days & nights were filled with catching up with old Uni-friends, meeting new friends (from Sweden, Crotia, Poland, Norway & England) and numerous shots of Polish vodka. This wedding took the cake for most historically significant church of all the weddings we attended this year - St. Peter & St. Paul church of Krakov. I think my own claim to fame at this wedding was the fact that J and I were the last ones at the reception which meant we arrived back at our hotel just as the sun was coming up. What fun to act like I was in university again.
Thankfully, not everyone has the same approach to getting married as J and I, otherwise I would never get to visit such amazing places. Thanks to everyone for deciding to keep the tradition of marriage alive. (here is a quick peek of all the weddings I've been too in the last few years).

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Fascinators? Handbags? The Festival?

Well... actually still not. I know I owe 3 posts that answer those questions above. I do have them queued up (in my mind at least), but have not made the time to tap them on to the keyboard. However, I thought I would share a bit of my man's recent endeavours and as there is a loose connection to the Big Chill festival - it kind of works.

Over the last few months, J has been working with a friend of ours on a video for his music. Before meeting Martin I had never heard of dubstep, but that doesn't mean anything as a girl who could listen to Cats, Avenue Q and Les Mis back to back - all day every day. In any case, J and Martin collaborated on this video.

What's the festival connection you ask? Ain't it clear? Well, in fact we went to the Big Chill (pics here) was to listen/see Blackdown (that's Martin).

Anyway, without further ado - here it is. Suffice it to say this was a big part of J's life (and by extension mine) for the last few months. So WATCH IT!

Keysound Video presents... Dusk + Blackdown: Margins Music from Keysoundrecordings on Vimeo.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Sharing the Handbag Goodness

Don't worry. I'm still going to give you the final chapter on the fascinator, but wanted to share a great sale on handbags. Alicia (from work) tipped me off on this one. I immediately found 5 different bags/purses etc that caught my fancy and my credit card. Since then there has been even bigger reductions. Go wild!

PS Happy Birthdays to Julie, Chelsea, Maggie (my nieces), Finn (my nephew), Eliska & Bertik (my Czech niece/nephew), Jason (my cousin), my Nana and finally Anne (my Mum-in-Law).... July is a busy month. I guess I could get a set of Greeting Cards from a certain on-line stationer.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Sinking Feeling? No Longer.

At Gina and Kenvor's wedding I was introduced to an amazing fashion accessory. This one ensures the fashionista in all of us can keep up our look regardless of the terrain. Introducing the Clean Heel. It is a brilliant little invention that is placed on the heel of the stilleto to keep the wearer from sinking in to the lawn.

Why didn't we (E and I of course) think of it???? We could be relaxing in our French villa right now
or at least enjoying a new pair of shoes with the earnings. I'm keen to think of other must haves for fashionistas who want it all to look effortless.

In the photo, you can see the Clean Heel in action. There are other models that combine functionality while further accessorizing your shoes. Check out the Clean Heels that come with rhinestones, pearls and other bling.

Clever idea!

PS I know you are dying to hear the conclusion of the Fascinator saga. I will definitely divulge the crazy story later this week.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I'm Almost Fascinating

I've been waiting for this day for years. I'm finally going to a wedding where women wear hats (and fascinators). In Canada, we're just not a hat-wearing culture - well except for tuques. That's what it is like in Canada, you don't wear hats for fashion -- sadly. Truth be told this is the real reason I moved here.

Last summer, when my friend, Gina, announced she was getting married, I was of course thrilled for her. But when she told me I would be invited, I was dancing around the cubicles at the chance of wearing a hat. Hey, I had seen the ladies at Ascot! Imagine how cool I could be and I had a full year to get it right.

Fast forward a year minus 3 days. How are my hat plans you might ask? How well do you know me and you might be able to imagine my current situation.
I'll fill in the details for those of you just getting acquainted.

It really is a long story involving the original idea of taking a milinary course and visions of creating something spectacular. Sadly, I tried to enroll in the course 4 times over 5 months and each time something came up. Now it's ...

Wedding Day minus 4 weeks:

About a month ago I was out for lunch in Primrose Hill, I went in to one of my favourite vintage stores and saw it. It was what I dreamed about for the past year. It was a perfect combination of colour and coolness factor. The clincher was that it had a little gray bird perched a top of a big pink flower. How quirky! I loved the idea. Sadly, I don't have a photo to share. I guess you have surmised that i didn't buy that PERFECT fascinator. Why? Does £150 for a flower and bird sound outrageous to you? Do you think you can be a hat-maker? Do you have visions of making it yourself?
I did.

Wedding Day minus 3 weeks:
My amazing Aunt Barb hears of the quest for the perfect hat. It's important to know that Aunt Barb is one of the most talented seamstresses you'll meet - she did make her own wedding dress. In any case, she dug in her sewing chest of goodies and about a week later I received a collection of feathers and slightly squished flowers in the mail - directly from Canada. Sadly, these ingredients (while promising) were the wrong colour to match my dress. Perhaps I can use these goodies will my next wedding. (again the difference is my Aunt=amazing seamstress; me - not even close)

Wedding Day minus 2 weeks:
I started to
get rather nervous. So, I decide eBay is the answer. I quickly find myself overwhelmed with the choice of both fascinators and notions with which to make these little babies. So, the bidding starts and as always on eBay I get carried away. By the next day, I think I have everything solved. I have bought a fascinator and if it isn't quite right I have bought 3 batches of feathers with which I can make my own (visions of being a hat-maker still dance in my head) creation.

Wedding Day minus 10 days

My eBay purchases arrive. Not good. The fascinator looks good from a distance. However, up close anyone will see
that it is lined with beads/sparkles/trimmings (whatever they are called) In real life they just add cheese factor ... so while on a white manniquin head, the fascinator looks classy in reality it looks sadly cheap. I didn't move across the ocean to the land of garden parties and the queen to look cheap. Time to move on.Plan B - The DIY Fascinator. I ordered a number of feathers in case the fascinator came up short - it did. So, I have in my possession 3 sets of feathers in search of a headpiece. Here they are .... (the costs start adding up)

It started to get very complicated. The colours are good but how do I make a fascinator that doesn't look like well as my best friend said a bunch of pipe cleaners stuck together with Elmer's Glue. Oh no. I should have listened.

Wedding Day minus 7 days
I'm out on Saturday with my cousin (she's visiting). We're in Camden market. Tons of vintage stores around. I find a very cool hat that we both think looks great on me. Grab it, buy it. No fooling around.

I modelled for J (after buying) and he made a good observation - his words: "looks cool, but it kind of feels like you should wear it to a funeral". Then the comments of my British friends start dancing in my head "don't buy the hat without the dress". It was becoming quite apparent that was good advice. These ladies have experience. What does some crazy Canuck know?

The day wears on. We end up in Marlyebone and happen on Cabbages and Frocks Outdoor Market. What luck! There is a woman selling fascinators. They have that little bit of flare that I'm looking for. I think I've found the right one. I look closer at the price tag. Oh no. If I buy this one too, I've now spent significantly more than I intended and I will have a house full of fluffy stuff for my head. Hmmm should I buy it?

Guess what? I do buy it and guess what? I still don't think I've managed to get it right. It's got some weird brown going on and the burgundy is too dark - I need light pink. Oh no.

Last stop of the day (but I'm throught buying), we wonder on to John Lewis. T wanted to buy one too. So what does she do. She buys a simple little feather number for £5. It looks fantastic in her blond upsweep. She's thrilled and I'm feeling duped.

What's the situation today?
It's Wedding Day minus 4. I have 2 fascinators - 1 superiourly cheesy, 1 with colours that are wrong, 1 hat (with a funeral veil) and about 30 pink and gray feathers. I'm considering getting out the glue gun (well actually buying 1 first is necessary) and attaching some of the gray feathers to the most recent purchase. Or maybe I should just go without ...

Perhaps this hat thing should be left to the English.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Now It's Easy to be a Handbag Addict

I am a relatively new addict of handbags. I guess the reason I've been rather slow in the past is due to the fact that changing handbags takes time and effort. And, my readers (my best friend, BMad and my Mum) know that I'm always running late and often I don't have time to switch to my new co-ordinated handbag.

So, yesterday when I was told out about these little numbers that are designed to be easily transferred from one handbag to another --- i thought oh no my addiction my just get worse. Oh well - there's always rent-a-bag.

Thanks to Malinki for the tip. I'm off to buy one. Now I just need to keep these inserts organized.

Update: Looks like Lola's Sister has some great advice.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

So Long Yahoo! Hello Open Skies!

Last year, I left Yahoo! in late August. I hate the good-bye thing so I had said I didn't want to do drinks etc and was hoping in the hoopla of Yahoo! chaos that I would just sneak out the door.

So, I was thoroughly surprised by the going-away shin-dig that my colleagues had arranged. They made a neat little video which I'm sure is still online but I couldn't find it anymore which was accessible via my own "IY". What's an "IY" you ask? In essence, you needed only to type my name in to Yahoo! search and a little icon popped up next to my name that linked directly to this great video. I felt pretty special to have one of these (btw, it is gone now so you can't see it) If anyone knows where that video lives, please send me a link.

Then to top that off,
they gave me a really great gift. I had no idea what they would give me and was really pleasantly surprised to get a gift certificate for a helicopter ride over London. So, below are a few pics from the long awaited trip (the rest are on my flickr stream).
My reactions:
  • Helicopters are not scary
  • The trip was not thrilling i.e. stomach turning
  • The scenery was fantastic
  • Hearing all the banter between the other planes/helicopters and traffic contrel men was cool. It sounded oh so civilized in a British accent.
  • Exciting to fly over the parliament buildings and see in to the internal courtyards. I felt like a spy.
  • Highly recommend to anyone and everyone

Thanks Yahoos! It was brilliant.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Name that Tune and Win

J created the new MOO Business Cards video. Can't you tell by the music? In honour of the launch and J's involvement, I thought I would run my own little contest.

Here, is the challenge.

  1. What is the name of the music J used in the video?
  2. What year was it written in?
I will give out two prizes. First prize will be a set of 100 cards for the music name and second prize will be a set of 50 cards for the year (all prizes courtesy of me - yes me!)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Think Pink (and chocolate of course)

I remember the first time I visited the Designer's Guild, I almost cried. It was a weird feeling but I loved everything so much, it hurt. If you have ever been there, you may know what I mean.

Today was an even more emotional day because I arrived home to find that the wallpaper that I ordered on Saturday arrived. You know me, I love chocolate (all kinds) ...

I'll keep you posted on how long it takes us to get it on the wall. Neither of us have ever wallpapered and I keep remembering that we live on a street whose patron saint is "the saint of lost causes" and I think perhaps we need professional help.

Any tips?

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Living in a Pigeon Coop

Suspected Intruder
Originally uploaded by praguelondon
I know that our bedroom is ridiculously messy. My mother would definitely need a sedative if she saw it. Who knows some may think it looks like a pig sty or a chicken coop, but a PIGEON COOP?

Yes. That's what it was this morning at 8.10am.

Let me backtrack. Today was Saturday. That means a little lie-in (as they say here) or sleep in (as they say at home). So, at 8.10 I was asleep, sound asleep. Something woke me. Those dratted pigeons were really getting loud. Why had they recently decided our window sill was the new Meeting Place? I couldn't imagine. If only they would keep it down.

What made me open my one eye? I don't know, but within a nano-second I was wide awake when I saw the scene more clearly. I looked over J towards the window and what did I see, but the pigeon on the inside of our room.

Of course I freaked out and pushed J out of bed to deal with our intruder. I hid under the covers. Don't worry I was helpful. I gave instructions to J. "Throw a towel over him. Do something but don't let him start flying around our house." Quickly, J surmised the situation and told me that not only was there Mr. Beady-Eye, there was also Mrs. Beady-Eye in for an early morning visit.

How did that happen? How did we get not one but two pigeons in our bedroom?

I heard J speak to our visitors politely in a coaxing voice, "Come on, fly out the window. You know it is much nicer outside."

There was J quietly cooing to the pigeons. Meanwhile I was yelling from under the duvet "throw a towel over them. Get them out or they will start s***ting everywhere. GET THEM OUT NOW!"

I'm not sure if it was my approach or J's cooing manner, but soon one made his way out. However, the second decided to fly up and perch on J's wardrobe. It became a staring contest between J and Mrs. Beady-Eyes. Eventually, J's convincing tone swished her out the open window.

What a start to the morning!

Looks like we have to go buy those crazy spikes which I always thought were inhumane. Not any more. I can't live in a Pigeon Coop.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Has anyone seen my friend?

Flower Shopping Done
Originally uploaded by praguelondon
I am seething. I feel violated. I want to scream all the obsenities I know and learn some more so I can scream them too.

Recently, (in fact as recent as 2 hours ago) I have been bragging about my super duper short commute to work - 15 minutes on my trusted bicycle. It is a great way to start and end the day. It's just long enough to destress but not too long that I feel the regret of riding my bike in the morning when I've had a drink of wine in the evening.

Tonight just after I bid a 'good-night, I'm off on my wonderful bike' to R, D, G and M I approached Old Street Round-About to mount my wonder in blue and what should I see but a cut bike lock and no bike.

WHAT !!!!! Which f**ker (yes, I said that out loud) stole my bike? It was a girrly bike (that Isabel gave me when she left for India). Why???? I love her. She was my friend. Everyone thought she was wonderful. I thought she was wonderful .....

.... now some yucky person is misusing her. Please help find her and make me happy again.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Summer has arrived in Canader

On a recent wirlwind tour to N. America for Tania and Marcel's wedding, work (in San Fran and Calgary), I managed to get a few days up at Crane Lake. This photo (captured by E) says it all.

Wow, I do love life especially when it includes days like this. Thanks to M, D, E and J.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Vote for J and Win me a Pair of Shoes

First off thanks to my millions of readers for voting for J's ad. It paid off. He is in the finals. Now, the voting really counts. Please do the following:
1. go to
2. visit vote area
5. tell all your friends

Please. Please Please.... he has promised me a great new pair of shoes if he wins and I really want a pair of these.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Mexico in Your Mouth


It will all make sense if you watch this video. It was conceived, directed and animated by J. He is submitting it to an ad competition put on by Doritos. I would LOVE it if he won (£20,000 - we'll all go for drinks) ... so world-wide readers, when you have a moment please go to and rate it. It is called (surprisingly) Mexico in Your Mouth.

The cool Mexican guitar was created and performed by Mark Barlow (my old Yahoo! colleague) Go there now and rate!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Wobbly Legs

I have twice fallen in public places when I was completely sober. Once in the busy intersection of Queen's University immediately after handing in a paper. I blame it on lack of sleep.

The second time occurred when I worked at Ogilvy in Toronto. I was running along the 11th floor accounting hallway and bam I was down. No warning nothing.

When I saw this, you would think I would be compassionate given my sketchy past and my own fashion victim status. Nope, I whooped with laughter. I hope you do too.

Sexy Legs

As you all know this blog really does not have a focus. It originally was going to track my goals and ironically that didn't happen. Then it meandered in to our life in London and at other times it is a world-wide marketing platform for the latest and greatest from MOO (see yesterday's post).

But, today we move in a new direction. Today, I'm going to talk about sexy legs.

It starts with an introduction to the coolest little online shop called the Shop Floor Project. It is jam-packed with loads of funky but incredibly expensive finds. Within minutes of entering, I found myself salivating over everything and strangely I found myself attracted to all the products showing off sexy legs. I guess I'm a Legs woMAN.

What do you think? Tea with Sexy Legs A brand new take on the tea party.

Designed by Tina Tsang

And, what better accessory for your sexy legs tea cup but a pair of your own sexy legs. Here is the perfect solution to add some sex appeal to the old jambes (also found in the same shop) - these beautiful tights adorned with Peacock feathers.

Designed by:
Chloe Patience (do you think that is her real name?)
& Mhairi MicNichol

Now I need to find an event to justify these purchases. I hear another MOO Tea Party maybe in order.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Is your ________________ naked?

In my mind, you are not dressed unless you are wearing at least one accessory and it should be stand-out, memorable and preferably a conversation starter. Well how do you think your ________ feels? You know your __________. There it is all naked and boring without one accessory. That's just cruel.

Well, I have the answer for accessorizing your _____________. It's a sticker or better than that it is a collection of stickers. Imagine it. The creativity, the comments, the conversation -- all due to some stickers.

Here's the easy answer on getting some really cool stickers. It's a full book of stickers designed by 90 different designers from around the MOO world. Check them all out and now your ________________ (fill in the blank - Laptop, mobile phone, notebook, oyster card etc.) will be dressed. Here is a Ready Made pack of 90 stickers. Go check them out:
Laptop Design Competition Stickers

Stickers $9.99
Buy this on

Otherwise, make up your own pack choosing from other designers or use your own pics/designs. Go Crazy, but don't go naked.