Thursday, January 24, 2013

48 Questions, 48 Answers

Back in days when I used to blog without the distraction of Twitter, I'd sometime take part in fun little meme's, like this one. These are so much fun and can really get the writing juices flowing.

Here we go... kicking it old school:

1. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE?

Yes! I am named after my grandmother from my father's side, Loukia. She's Italian (but the rest of me is Greek!) and so her real name is Lucia. In English, my name is Lucy. A lot of my friends call me Loulou, too.

2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED?

This morning, on my drive to work. I hadn't had my coffee yet. But really, I was in tears because my little kindergartener didn't want me to leave him and he was teary when I dropped him off at school. My heart!

3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING?

If I try really hard, yes. Otherwise, no. It also totally depends on the pen and the colour of the ink, too.

4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT?

Um... bacon? Bacon is always the answer.

5. DO YOU HAVE KIDS?

Two amazing, active, lovely, beautiful, smart and oh-so-funny boys. A just turned five year old, and seven and a half year old. They're the reason my house doesn't look like a Pottery Barn catalogue anymore, God bless them and their messy ways.

6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON, WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU?

Is this a trick question? I would like to think the answer would be yes. I'm fun, and I think I'm a great friend.
And I've only been in TWO car accidents while my friends have been sitting in the passenger seat.

7. DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT?

Yes.

8. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS?

Yup.

9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP?

Never! And the older I get, the more scared I get of things that didn't used to scare me. Like roller coasters, skiing, tubing, scary movies, flying, and the gym.

10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL?

Apple Jacks! And it's so sad, because Canada stopped selling Apple Jacks years ago. Once a year, though, they magically make an appearance at the grocery store and I madly stock-pile all the boxes into my shopping cart.

I also love Kellogg's Oat's and Honey cereal. Yum, yum!

11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF?

If I had to untie my shoes when taking them off, that would mean I'd have been wearing my... running shoes? That doesn't happen very often. Even though I do love (okay, that's a lie, I sort of like) going to the gym, I don't go as often as I should... therefore 90% of the shoes I own and wear don't have things that need to be untied!

12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG?

It depends on the situation. Sometimes I think I'm very strong, like I can stand outside when it's minus 40 because I'm Canadian, and I can take really hot showers. But, about things that worry me? Not at all. I'm strong for my children, though. Physically, I do think I am strong. Am I strong-minded? Very.

13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM?

I love ice cream! And I'd have to say French Vanilla. Or Prailines and Cream. Yum!

14. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE?

Their appearance and if they are friendly and have a smile on their face. Mean people suck.

15. RED OR PINK?

100% pink.

16. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF?

I worry too much, all the time. I don't have a lot of patience. Like when I want something, I want it NOW. no, YESTERDAY! Also, I tend to yell sometimes. Hey, it's because I'm Greek, don't blame me.

17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST?

I miss my best friend Suzanne who lives in Toronto. I miss my other best friend Mary who moved to DUBAI. I miss my blogging friends, like Jessica and Ali especially right after we've bonded together at a conference for three days. I miss my 19 year old abs and the original 90210.

18. WHAT IS THE TECHNIQUE THAT YOU NEED TO WORK ON THE MOST?
Lunges. Those are killer. Also, I need to work on not eating unless I'm hungry. And I need to work on stopping to eat when I'm no longer hungry.

19. WHAT COLOR SHOES ARE YOU WEARING?

Black knee boots with a cute wedge heel over my skinny jeans! They are so nice and they were only $19.00 from Old Navy. Great deals make me so happy.

20. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE?

I had yogurt with strawberries and granola this morning WHILE I was getting a pedicure. I am all about multi-tasking!

21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW?

I'm listening to the sound of my fingers typing on my keyboard, while I'm looking at downtown Ottawa from my office window.

22. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE?

A turquoise blue, or a hot pink.

23. FAVORITE SMELLS?

My children. I love inhaling them! Also, if we're talking abou perfume? Prada Candy and Burberry Body. I also love the smell of coconut, vanilla, and the ocean. While I'm drinking a Pina Colada.

24. HOW IMPORTANT ARE YOUR POLITICAL VIEWS TO YOU?

Very important. I am passionate about politics and voting. I'm passionate about speaking your mind, standing up for what you believe in, and trying to make positive changes in the world we live in. I'm all about equality, and universal health care for everyone. I'm thankful to live in a country as great as Canada.

25. MOUNTAIN HIDEAWAY OR BEACH HOUSE?

Beach house, please. In Capri. That way I get the ocean and the beautiful moutains.

26. FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH?

I love watching my children swim, and watching my oldest son play soccer. I also love watching Euro Cup or World Cup, Stanley Cup Play-Offs, and F1. F1 in person, in Montreal is amazing, even if it causes hearing loss.

27. HAIR COLOR?

I'm blonde. And I love it!

28. EYE COLOR?

Light brown.

29. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS?

Nope.

30. FAVORITE FOOD?

Carbs are my favourite food. Pizza, pasta, bread.

31. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS?

I can't do scary movies anymore. I still have nightmares about The Grudge and The Ring and Blair Witch Project and The Shining and Paranormal Activity. Cannot. Stand. Horror. Movies. Happy Endings, all the way, thank you.

32. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED?

Les Miserables. Not scary, but very sad. Also, a sort of happy ending, so there's that.

33. WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING?

Black turtleneck. It's minus 40 degrees out today!

34. SUMMER OR WINTER?

I love winter because I have no choice—I live in Canada! I do love how pretty snow make everything look, and skiing is a lot of fun. However, I'm a total summer girl. I love little dresses and flip flops and swimming every day and tanned skin and walking everywhere and not freezing.

35. FAVORITE DESSERT?

My favourite dessert is the Brownie Cheesecake a la mode from Cheesecake Facatory. A treat I get to have once a year when I'm in Florida!

36. STRENGTH TRAINING OR CARDIO?

I love spinning, and I love the elliptical. I like strength training, too, so I guess... both?

37. COMPUTER OR TELEVISION?

Laptop on my lap while watching TV. Remember, I love to multi-task!

38. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW?

I just finished Gone Girl, and now am starting either My Name Is Memory or The Postmistress.

39. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD?

In my office, it's two pictures: one of me with each of my children, both taken in Florida.

40. FAVORITE SOUND?

My children laughing. Best sound ever. Also: ocean waves, and my music. I cannot function without my music.

41. FAVORITE GENRE OF MUSIC?

My favourite music to listen to is rock. I love the Eagles, Tom Petty, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, The Tragically Hip, Blue Rodeo, Pet Shop Boys, Pink Floyd, Prince, U2, The Who, and also... lots of 80's music. And pop music. And dance music. And... well... everything. It totally depends on my mood!

42. WHAT IS THE FARTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME?

Europe, I suppose—have been to Greece a dozen times.

43. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT?

Not that I can say on my PG blog! Honestly, my special talent would be the ability to function on no more than five hours of sleep (for the last seven years!) Also... I make a great meat sauce. And I am very successful at getting other people to do what I want, because I like to think I'm always right. My special talent is asking for what I want.

44. WHERE WERE YOU BORN?

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

45. WHERE ARE YOU LIVING NOW?

See above.

46. WHAT COLOR IS YOUR HOUSE?

Pink-ish coloured bricks, with cream coloured colomns and door/garage.

47. WHAT COLOR IS YOUR CAR?

My amazing 2011 VW Jetta is Jetta... I love my stick-shift Jetta so, so much. I'm a VW girl for life!

48. DO YOU LIKE ANSWERING 48 QUESTIONS?

I actually had a blast doing this—and you should totally try this too! I'd love to read your answers.

Thanks to Elaine for asking me to do this on my blog, because now I can blog like it's 2009 again!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Making The Switch (And A Great Giveaway For You!)

If you have children, you've probably witnessed them putting weird things in their mouths. You know, things like sand, marbles, lego pieces, erasers, dog food, or even cleaning products.

My youngest son, who just turned five, has kept me on the edge of my seat since the day he was born. He's the one I worried about the most at the park when he was younger, as sand would often be his snack of choice.

Last year he came into my room with a glowing smile. He had taken a bite into a glo-stick and the fluorescent substance was in his mouth. After some online research, we figured out that he was going to be okay, but I was totally worried. Now, I'm just convinced he has superhero powers.

Last week, I heard him call out to me: "Mommy, why is there sand in the bathtub? I just tried some..."

I ran upstairs, and discovered he had licked some bathroom cleaner. You know, toxic bathroom cleaner with bleach? Yup. Of course, I panicked. That prompted me to start looking for household cleaning products that aren't as harmful for children. Which brought me back to terra20...

A few months ago, I was hired to host the grand opening of a brand-new eco-friendly store in Ottawa called terra20. This lovely (and huge!) store sells everything you can imagine: books, cosmetics, kitchen accessories, children's clothing and toys, stationary and office supplies. terra20 also has an awesome ecobar, a place where you can replace your household cleaning supplies with eco-friendly alternatives at one of the ecobar dispensers. I've written a few blog posts for terra20 and I know first-hand how great their products are.

I love the ecobar at terra20. No, there's no Pinot Gris at this bar, but there are a lot of amazing and safe cleaning products for you and the environment.

My friends at terra20 gave me all their cleaning products try at home, and I already have a few favourites. I love the dish soap (it smells like yummy pomegranate!) and the glass and window cleaner, which does as good a job as Windex.

terra20 would also like to give YOU (and you, and you....) a coupon so you can bring home three free ecobar sample kits. You can choose any three ecobar products to try at home!

Please leave a comment telling me what your favourite eco product is, or share with me why you made the switch to eco-friendly cleaning products.

Here are the products you can choose from:



- Hard Floor Surface Cleaner
- Dish Soap (Pomegranate Scent)
- Bathroom Cleaner
- Glass and Window Cleaner
- All Purpose Cleaner
- Liquid Laundry (Unscented)
- Fabric Softener (Unscented)
- Fabric Softener (Lavender Scent)

The best part? EVERYONE who leaves a comment telling me what your favourite eco product is, or why you made the switch to eco-friendly products, gets a coupon to pick up three sample sized (very generous sized, might I add, see picture above) products from terra20's ecobar. Winners should live in Ottawa and surrounding areas, because you'll have to go terra20 to get your products.

Happy eco-shopping, everyone!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Five Years

My baby boy—my second child—is now five years old. I don't know how the years have gone by so quickly or how I am still able to function after all these years of getting no more than five hours of sleep a night, but somehow, here we are.

Photo: A couple of years ago at the Atlantis in Bahamas. Can't wait to go back one day.

My little D is a ray of sunshine. He's happy, he's lovely, he's in love with me, and with his family. He looks up to his big brother "Ito", and he is one heck of a trouble-maker.

He can charm anyone, and people stop to talk to him wherever we go. He's got a way with his words, he's bold, he's loud, he's funny. He is a character, and he can act. If we lived in Hollywood, he's no doubt win an Oscar.



He's a drum-playing, Queen-loving, alligator-obsessed just turned five year old. He's all drama, and he's mastered the perfect poker face. He can play a game of cards better than half the adults I know, and he's smart beyond his years, much like brother. He understands things on a level he shouldn't yet, and he likes to test his limits...every single day.



He loves school, and he loves to swim. He loves books and reading, and he loves LEGO and Batman. He watches shows on National Geographic that are all about animals—especiallys lobsters, crabs, alligators and crocodiles.

He likes to take care of me in a way that's so sweet and wonderful and this is a reflection of the way he'll be when he's older. When he's through with breaking hearts, he'll make someone very happy, indeed.

He's my little man, and he completes me. I've got my hands full with him (and his brother!) but I'm thankful, and so, so blessed, every single day. Nothing makes me happier than my little men.

Happy Birthday, baby boy, and a million more. I love you more than you'll ever know.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Golden Globe Awards Summary

Dear Tina Fey and Amy Poehler:

I am still laughing. Really, I am. And I'll get back to talking about who I think was last night's best dressed at the 70th annual Golden Globe Awards, but I had to take a moment to thank you for being such amazing (and gorgeous and smart) hosts. On behalf of everyone everywhere on the planet, thank you. Also, please see that you host every single awards show from this day forward, thank you very much. However, I'd totally be okay with Kristen Wiig and Will Ferrell hosting next year, too.

So what did you love about last night's Golden Globe Awards? Besides the always funny Tina and Amy and Will and Kristen? Did you love Bill Clinton introducting Lincoln? Let's talk about fashion, because sadly, I've only seen one of the nominated movies. At least now I have added even more to my "must-watch movies" list that I'll someday get around to watching. (When you have kids, a night out at the movies is just... not something that happens every week anymore. I know, I miss popcorn a lot, too.) Anyway, here's my re-cap of the Golden Globe Awards...

Most Deserving of the Cecil B. DeMille Award:

Jodie Foster delivered a powerful speech that brought me to tears. The way she spoke to the audience, her peers, her children, and her mother? She's a class act. She's had a brilliant acting career and she is such a strong role model for women and moms. I'm thankful she's given us so many amazing movies to enjoy and remember. I totally look up to her.



Best Dressed:

Trying to pick just one best dressed star from last night's Golden Globe Awards is not an easy job, let me tell you. Everyone! Looked! Amazing! I loved Tina and Amy and Kristin and Zooey and Jennifer and Kate and Julianne and Salma and well, the list goes on and on. The star that dazzled me the most was Jessica Alba, though. I loved her dress, the colour of her dress, her necklace, her lipstick, and her gorgeous hair. She was perfection!

JESSICA ALBA photo | Jessica Alba

Runners-Up:

Julianne Moore, for always looking classy, elegant, and sexy. She is the true definition of what a woman should be.



Also, mad love to Kate Hudson, for always looking fabulous. Her dress wasn't my favourite, but her personality and her smile made me love her anyway. She's one very sexy mom.

KATE HUDSON photo | Kate Hudson

And Claire Danes recently had a baby? Wow. She was stunning in her red dress, and very well deserving of her Golden Globe for Homeland.

CLAIRE DANES photo | Claire Danes

Tightest ponytail which resulted in Bitch Face:

Taylor is usually lovely at award shows, but last night, she just wasn't as lovely as usual. I didn't love her choice of color and her hair was pulled back way too tight, making it look like she was miserable. Of course, that miserable look could also be because she's had to go through 36 break-ups in two years.



Movies I must see:

Argo.
Django Unchained.
Lincoln.
Zero Dark Thirty.
Silver Linings Playbook.

Movie I LOVED:

Les Miserables. Oh... Les Mis. Just... chills. I loved this movie, so, so much. I saw the musical when I was in high school and I loved it then, too, but the movie? SO amazing. Anne Hathaway (*spoiler alert* WINNER!) and Hugh Jackman (*spoiler alert* WINNER!) were amazing, and the songs... well, I've been singing them in my head since I saw the movie a few days ago. You really need to see Les Mis. Yes, you'll cry. Bring a tissue or ten.

les-miserables-poster-hugh-jackman

Best Acceptance Speech:

Adele! A new mom out for a night out? She was so adorable. And Jennifer Lawrence was incredibly sweet. And of course, Hugh Jackman... I'm now your number one fan. Also, gotta love Quentin Tarantino. He's brilliant.

Sexiest woman:

J.Lo wore a sexy white body-hugging dress that's pretty much her trademark look. A lot of people didn't love her dress, but I think she looked totally sexy. She's never looked bad, actually, and she's always true to who she is.

 | Jennifer Lopez

Best Spy:

Damian Lewis? Brody? He's British? He really had us there for a second, didn't he? Making us think he was an American soldier? Can't trust a thing that comes out his mouth! (Super excited he won for Homeland, though!)

Best Line of the Night:

Tina Fey: "You know what Taylor Swift? You stay away from Michael J. Fox's son!"

What did you love abou the Golden Globes?

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Day The Internet Died

Last night, the Internet stopped working. It wasn't just in our house—it was all over the province and across Canada.

Of course, being the calm and rational person I am, I didn't think much of it... okay, that's a lie. My first reaction was: ALIENS! OH MY GOD, ALIENS! Followed by a more realistic thought: We are at war. We're doomed. We can't communicate with anyone and this is the beginning of the end. The Mayans were right! They were only off by a couple of weeks!

And then I was annoyed that of course this had to happen late at night, when all bad things happen. And then I was all upset because I couldn't even get onto Twitter to complain about the fact that the Internet wasn't working. No Twitter, no Facebook, no blogs, no Google to find out what the heck was happening... nothing. Radio silence. Oh, right—the radio! No reports of why the Internet wasn't working there, either.

I didn't know what to do!

I was too scared to move. I turned on CNN and of course, there was no mention of the fact that millions of Canadians had been left without Internet for hours.

And then my sister and husband started teasing me, playing on my irrational thoughts of doomsday, agreeing with me that it meant the end of the world, and I was like, tell me something I don't know, sheesh!

And then!

Miracle of miracles, the Internet started working again. The first tweet I saw when I was back online was the one about how another Earth-like planet was discovered. A planet that is five times larger than Earth. Oh, my.


Of course, the fact that astronomers found a planet that's essentially identical to Earth didn't calm me down. No, the fact that there is another US out there, but different? Scared the life out of me, really. And apparently, it's a very big deal that a planet so similar to ours was finally discovered. (Cue Twilight Zone music...)

Anyway, I'm back online now, (obviously) there is no war going on in my backyard, and aliens haven't invaded, yet, and our sister planet is too far away to really worry about right now.

Phew. We're safe for another day.

I really should give you all my phone number, just in case we lose the Internet one day FOR REAL. I don't want to lose touch with all you fabulous people! We'll just have to remember how we used to communicate... back in the day. You know... before the Internet even existed.

Monday, January 7, 2013

On Change and Resolutions

Ah, 2013... a new year filled with so many possibilities. Oh, the pressure to be better than the year before! Sometimes, thinking about making major changes can be paralyzing.

Instead of giving myself a bunch of hard-core resolutions like I usually do, I'm going to go easy on myself.

I resolve to:

Take more pictures with my real camera.

Spend less money. (Because I lost my job.)

Take a picture where both my boys are smiling and looking at the camera at the same time.

Start watching Breaking Bad and Newsroom.

Stop breaking my iphone.

Ski more often.

Swim in the ocean more.

Sit and patiently wait for Homeland and Mad Men to start again.

Go to the gym a few times a weeks.

Be happy.

Cook more often without burning the house down.

Yell less.

Write more.

Find a career I'm passionate about.

Become my own boss.

Shop responsibly.

Blog like it's 2009.

Leave more comments on blogs I read.

Read more books.

Be present.

Give it to temptation. (After all, chocolate is good for you!)

What small changes are you going to make this year?


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