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Luxe Gifts For Women

You know how I feel about over-spending, over-shopping, and basically being taken, hook, line and sinker by the flashy adverts extolling excess, gluttony, and greed. If you don’t, I’ll summarize; It’s hogwash.

However, should you require a very special gift for the Princess in your life, and don’t know where to begin, let me help you.

If you’re going to go overboard, do it whole-heartedly with abandon.

You may also require a bank loan, 12 shots of Christmasy tequila, or, perhaps a new lady-love with lower expectations. But we don’t judge here do we ladies? No. We just dole out advice, and then sit back with your dainty crystal-wear filled with some wonderful southern comfort.

So, for those looking for that je ne sais quoi over-the-top-glitz-gift, I offer up a list of indulgent gifts and experiences.

Luxe Gifts for Your Christmas Princess

1) A sparkly bangle. Think of it as a 50 Shades reminder of your hold on her.

14 Carat Gold, Twisted Diamond Bangle
14 Carat Gold, Twisted Diamond Bangle

2) How about a nice little weekend property in the Cayman Islands. Just connect with one of the locals and voila – she’s putty in your sandy hands.

Nothing says, "I love you", like a few cool million.
Nothing says, “I love you”, like a few cool million.

3) Ok, let’s not get carried away. How about a simple handbag?

Leiber Precious Rose Bag - $92,000  This unique little gem boasts,  1,016 diamonds(42.56 carats), 1,169 pink sapphires and 800 tourmalines. LIke your lady-love, there is only one of these to be had.
Leiber Precious Rose Bag – $92,000
This unique little gem boasts, 1,016 diamonds(42.56 carats), 1,169 pink sapphires and 800 tourmalines. LIke your lady-love, there is only one of these to be had.

4) How about Maison Victor’s diamond ring-ed dildo. Ideal for the couple who travel independently. Nothing says I love you like 8 inches of white gold and diamonds.

For just over $55,000, it's the gift that just keeps on giving...
For just over $55,000, it’s the gift that just keeps on giving…

5) One of my favourite romantic gifts is a case of something bubbly, labeled with dates and events during which you will pop the cork and enjoy a bottle of something cool and refreshing with your lady-love. Think events like; First Snow Storm , Valentine’s Day, Evening before our Winter Get-Away…..

For the woman who expects the best, why not try a moderately priced bottle of Dom Perignon, which you can order through our local Ontario Vintages?

I was an arts major, but even I know that 12x$222.95 = getting lucky for sure!
I was an arts major, but even I know that 12x$222.95 = getting lucky for sure!

6) For Princess you are just beginning to court, how about a nice, unassuming box of chocolates? How about some Knipschildt truffles? Recognized as the most expensive chocolate in the world….half a dozen should do it! Add a bottle of Dom, and you’ve provided a little snackie-poo for the princess’s next bath.



7) If you’re ready for a commitment, why not pop the question and offer you hand in matrimonial bliss, along with this humble symbol of your undying adoration from Tiffany?

The answer will be yes, yes, YES!!!
The answer will be yes, yes, YES!!!



8) If your Princess is a bit of an intellectual like myself (I prefer being called, “Duchess”, as Princess is too naïve for me), how about a good book? Perhaps one of two copies of  Ptolemy’s 1477 Cosmography? Don’t ask me how, where or if this is available, but you’re a man right? There’s nothing like overcoming a challenge to impress your little lady. Go for it cowboy.

Knowledge - Priceless!
Knowledge – Priceless!


9) If you can afford these gifts, your Princess’s number one complaint will be that you don’t get to spend enough time together. So, why not buy her the gift of companionship. After all those who say that money can’t buy happiness, just don’t know where to shop darling!

Search your local directory for escort services near you. She may be offended at first, but trust me, after spending a few days with her new BFF, she’ll be living in paradise. Besides that, what will she do if she has to change the batteries in her new toy – I’m sure this gentleman could help while you’re out-of-town.



10) How about a little getaway to Nygard Cay to  refresh and rejuvenate the princess. If you can’t go, I’m sure you can find an escort to keep her company and see to it that her needs are met.

nygard cay





Christmas · Economics · Entertaining · Food · Life · Recipes · Uncategorized

South Pole Santa Squares

Feeling the bite of the first snow fall? Already dreaming of your winter-sun-get-away? Here’s something yummy and sweet for your Christmas tray.

Be sure to click on the link below to warm up the ambiance in the kitchen!


South Pole Santa Squares



1/4 tsp salt

1/4 cup butter

1 cup flour

1/4 cup packed brown sugar



1 TBSP rum

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 cup coconut

1 egg

1 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup flour

1/4 cup chopped maraschino cherries (red or green)

1/2 cup well-drained crushed pineapple




Mix ingredients together until crumbly. Press into a 9″ square baking pan. Bake at 35o for 15 minutes and remove from oven. Have filling mixed and ready to spread over hot base.


Beat egg, add brown sugar. Combine well.

Stir in rum extract

Add flour and baking powder, stirring to combine.

Stir in coconut, cherries and pineapple.

Spread mixture over hot base layer.

Return to over and bake 35 minutes or until lightly browned.

Cut into squares after cooling slightly




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A Christmas Kind of Cozy

tateshina-snow-tree-20130216 (Photo credit: kenmainr)

Dogwood and evergreens are just steps outside my patio door. In the summer they provide shade and privacy, and during the late fall months, they stand barren against the desolate pervading grey.

Today was our first real snow fall. The kind that hits the meteorologists radar a few days in advance, and has people panicking to put on snow tires, find snow brushes, and get their shovels ready.

With the absence of having to shovel or scrape my car ( I love city living), my first-snowfall-of-the-season to-do list was more like; get all food, drink, and Christmas baking ingredients in the house so we don’t have to leave until Monday morning.

People think I’m crazy because I have my gifts together, house decorated, and even the special ingredients for my Christmas baking in the house weeks before the holiday. Other than fresh produce that I pick up through the week, we’re fully stocked.

I think people who save all of their errands for weekends and the weeks just before Christmas insane, driven by consumerism and brainwashed by the glossy-magazine-cover-demands of Christmas.

Christmas isn’t just the 25th of December, it’s the entire season. There’s nothing better than to be able to really relax when company comes by, or to take your time baking and merry-making.

As I pulled the covers up to my chin last night, I drifted off to sleep as excited as a child about not having to set my alarm, and not having to go to work. For that matter, not having to do anything at all.

I was roused from my sleep at 6am when my alarm went off. My weekend alarm. The one I only set for weekends on call, and three AM limousine pick-ups to the airport. The one I forgot I had set for last weekend for some ungodly reason.  For a split-second I contemplated getting up, but before I made up my mind, I was back in dreamland.

Managing to get out of the house before 11am on the weekend is a grand coup here. But today, so very excited to have no agenda, no ‘have-to’, ‘ought-to’, or ‘need-to-do’ chores, I was up and out at 8:45, happy to snag a newspaper and my favourite cup of take-out coffee before the snow really began to fly.

I managed to drink my coffee and read the paper without interruption, rushing, or having  pull my coat over my shoulders as I usually due at my regular café to guard against the drafty window seat.

All the while, our kitten was cozied up on my lap, and the old cat was snugged into his favourite spot on the chesterfield. The evergreens and dogwood were already covered in snow, and I was so thankful to just be inside. I had a perfect, cozy, group-of-seven-view just outside my window.

After a big breakfast and confirming our plans for ‘no plans’, our home settled in to that Sunday afternoon feeling. We peeled clementines, munched lunch,drank refreshing spritzers, and managed to bake up some yummies.

With some foresight and good planning, dinner is in the freezer, ready for a trip to the oven, and our fireplace is full, ready to start our evening fire.

Finally, after a weeks of rushing to holiday parties and school events, on this lazy day of not having to do anything, it finally feels like Christmas.

Entertainment · Life · Recipes

Miss Trishy M’s Chewy Ginger Cookies

I love these cookies. They’re spicy and chewy, and a great substitute for swearing, sex, and a trip to the sunny south.

Be sure to use fresh ginger, and grated ginger, not the dried, ground spice.

"Spicy enough to make you want to dance in nothing but your underpants!"~ANDSHELAUGHS~
“Spicy enough to make you want to dance in nothing but your underpants!”

3/4 cup butter softened

1 cup sugar

2 cups all purpose flour

1/4 cup dark molasses

1 egg

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1 tsp cinnamon

2 tbsp ground ginger ( from a jar)

2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1.5″ piece of fresh ginger, grated

Combined butter, sugar, molasses, egg and ginger. Beat well.

Mix dry ingedients and blend well.

At wet ingredients to dry ingredients to combine.

Chill for an hour (or overnight, covering the batter with plastic wrap).

Form 1 inch balls (or smaller) roll each in granulated sugar.

Place on greased cookie sheet, 2 inches apart.

Bake 8-10 minutes ( I only bake for 6 as I use a baking stone and my oven cooks hot)

Do not overbake as they cookies will not be the chewy pieces of culinary heaven that you were expecting.

Yield ~ 5 dozen.

Christmas · Girl Stuff · Health · Life · Men's Issues · Relationships · Singles · Spirituality · Women's Issues

Empathy: The Gift of Presence


Who said communication requires a language?
Who said communication requires a language? (Photo credit: Vineet Radhakrishnan)

No, I am not speaking of how one might walk into a room and manage to turn heads. Although I am an expert at that darlings.I’m talking about the act of being present. Not present, like at the same dinner table, or in the same room occupied by screen time.

Presence – the act of being fully engaged and empathetic in the presence of another human being. Yah, don’t bother trying to wiki that folks. It’s my own definition, but it’s a damn good one.

I’m all about motivation, inspiration, and creating your own luck. I’m also all about being real, getting to the heart of things, and zenning out.

Every once in a while I am also all about losing my temper, being totally annoyed, and tired of always being the better person. After all, everyone should be trying to be the better person. Right?

During the holiday season, our ability to be present is tested by the limits of time, money, and patience. Friends who suffer loss, depression, or anxiety don’t often get the support they need.

Unlike an illness, surgery or politically correct diagnosis, grief, loss, depression/anxiety and mourning are a lot more slippery to deal with.  Not everyone loves the holidays, as a matter of fact, it can be a season of profound lonliness.

You don’t have to bake anything, make anything, buy a card or a gift to be present. You just have to be present. Allow yourself the freedom to do nothing. Yes, that’s right  do nothing. Ok, you can make them a cup of tea or fluff a pillow if necessary, whatever you do,  just try to empathize.

Empathy is not sympathy, and I’m not your fifth grade English teacher, so go look that up if you must.

Empathizing is accepting another person’s emotional reaction to what they are experiencing. You may not experience the events in the same way, or with the same emotions. That doesn’t matter.

What matters is that you listen. You don’t have to agree or disagree, you don’t have to problem solve or make a plan.

If you can be truly present for someone who needs you this holiday season, you will know the true spirit of Christmas, and the deep satisfaction that comes from  friendship.

Christmas · Economics · Entertaining · Food · Health · Humor · Humour · Men's Issues · Recipes · Relationships

Holiday Hangover Brunch

eggsOh don’t get all self-righteous on me you sneaky little devils!

I know that even the most lady-like among my readers over-indulges on occasion.

So, if that is the case, pass this sweet little recipe on to your adoring partner so that they can nurse you back to health. Do it now because the ingredients will likely be something for which they’ll need to shop ahead.

Just FYI, hair-of-the-dog is highly over-rated. Just sayin’….not that I have that much experience with holiday hangovers.

Gorgonzola Custards with Pears

(WAY better than it sounds. Be sure to double the recipe to sate the hangover hungries)


Butter to grease muffin pans

2 TBSP Butter

2TBSP Butter

2 TBSP Flour

1.5 cups warmed half and half

2 eggs & 2 yolks (beaten lightly)

1/2 lb gorgonzola (crumbled)


2 Pears


A Salad bowl full of your favourite mix of greens ( I like spicy baby arugala )

Enough of your favourite vinaigrette for the greens


Prehead oven to 350

Butter 8 custard cups/ramekins and place in pan

Melt 2 TBS butter over medium heat

Add flour and combine well, cooking for about 1 minute

Add the half and half cream slowly, whisking constantly, until thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon (3-5 mins)

Remove from heat and whisk in whole eggs/egg yolk mixture.

Whisk in the gorgonzola until mixture is smooth

Add salt to taste

Pour custard into prepared custard cups and then pour hot water into the baking pan so that it reaches halfway up the sides of the custard cups/ramekins. Cover the pan and cups with foil.

Bake 25-30 minutes (test by inserting a knife – if it comes out clean, they’re ready)

While the custard is cooking wash and core pears, slicing thinly. Combine walnuts, pears and greens, and add vinaigrette to taste.

Christmas · Economics · Education · Entertaining · Entertainment · Girl Stuff · Health · Humor · Humour · Life · Men's Issues · Relationships · Singles · Spirituality · Uncategorized

Keeping Your Cool at Christmas

relax (Photo credit: andy z)

Easier said than done. (Eyeroll and Sigh)

Way, way easier said than done. (Queue the 1.5liters of cheap hooch I hide at the back of the fridge)

As the holiday season approaches the pressure mounts….not only are you trying to wrap things up for year-end at the office, but your home obligations rise to unrealistic proportions. (Place head in hands and sigh. Begin weeping when waistband button pops off and injures the cat)

School plays, musical performances, sports dinners, dinner guests, overnight guests, club and association parties, fundraisers at each and every one of them, and making time for your friends, family and the love of your life. (Resort to the last few inches of gin left in the giant bottle that rests on the inside of the fridge door)

Ya right. Pass the tranquilizers, pass the wine, and pour me a double please Mr. Bartender. (Boyfriend ducks when you throw your glass at him after he says, “You’ve had enough. I’m not your Bartender. For the love of all that’s holy, go to bed!)

Ten Suggestions To Help Keep Your Cool at Christmas

1) Put all of those ‘friends’ who abandon supportive listening for the crass, ‘Suck it up’, on your list of folks to limit communication with. Also give them a grand old Ms. F. You under your breath.

2) Don’t answer your phone. If you have friends who consistently call when they know your program is on, you’re at work, or before 10am on the weekend, just turn your ringer off. (It was announced on the radio this morning that those of us who are able to ignore texts and calls are less likely to suffer high blood pressure and stress related afflictions).

3) Get lots of sleep. Eight hours minimum. Ten on the weekend if you’re a lush like me. That’s right, you’ll have to limit your commitments to some of the festivities outlined in #1.

4) Have a ‘happy hour’ when you get home. This will likely be a carry over for the new year too. Pour yourself a drink, put on some tunes, and enjoy half an hour of literally shaking off your day.

5) Make time for cuddling with your honey. In your flannel, in your jeans, in your birthday suit. The healing power of human touch is unprecedented in its efficacy.

6) Just buy it. Three to five extra boxes of chocolates, and half a dozen bottles of wine. Don’t over-think it. These things are great for last-minute hostess gifts, unexpected guests, and secret santa events. Any leftovers are simply a bonus.

7) Let someone do something kind for you; open a door, give you a hug, make you a meal, carry your bags, kiss you under the mistletoe so you forget all of your cares…hint, hint!

8) Let it go. Whatever is making you sad, weary, anxious, or angry. Take a deep breath, take another deep breath, and another….just be in the moment and try to find some joy right where you are.

9) Take a sick day. Don’t shop. Don’t run errands. Don’t go to appointments. Just rest your overworked, overloaded self.

10) Give up one tradition if you’re feeling overwhelmed ( for instance, I’m giving up sending Christmas cards this year – my friends will gasp – but it’s true – I’ve just got too much on my plate this year).

Even if you choose just one of these tips, I hope it brings you some peace and joy this Christmas.