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The Unicorn Frap -Magically Delicious?

19 Apr

By: Sarah Creamer

Today I went to Starbucks but not for my regular order. Usually I get a Skinny Vanilla Latte ( half sweet with coconut milk), but today my order was going to be magical!

I heard through the grapevine a few weeks ago that Starbucks was coming out with a new Frappuccino. I avoid these as much as possible but today I caved and got one. Why? Because how do you resist something with the word “Unicorn” in it.

Yes, that’s right, they call this beautiful beverage “The Unicorn”. LOOK AT IT. The Frappuccino looks like a Unicorn! It’s purple & pink with a blue ribbon topped with whipped cream with blue and pink sprinkles. It’s almost too pretty to drink! The barista who made mine must have a degree in Frappuccino Making because mine looked like a beautiful masterpiece!

 

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Where you from? You sexy thing.

 

So, what does it taste like?! When I asked the Barista what was in the Unicorn, this is what they told me: whole milk (all Frapps are made whole milk unless told otherwise), ice (to make it cold obviously), pink sugary stuff (this is exactly how it was described to me), mango syrup, blue white mocha base stuff (again exact description), whipped cream topped off with pink and blue sprinkle stuff. I was expecting the drink to taste really tart and sour but it wasn’t! It tasted like cotton candy which awesome because everyone knows cotton candy is the best.  But then something weird happened…

I never finish a Frappucchino. I always get way overwhelmed by how sugary they are and have to tap out half way through even if I’m drinking the smallest size. But I decided to stick this one out, mostly because I saw how much effort the guy making put in to this drink.

About half way through, I was reconsidering my life choices when all of sudden BAM, the flavor changed! It went from this amazing cotton candy flavor to this sweet tart flavor. Was it as good as cotton candy?  NOPE! Did I stop drinking after that?! NOPE! I continued to drink the entire drink in case there was another surprise in store, but alas, the flavor did not change again.

Sidenote: I also ate the sprinkles that were on top of the whipped cream and let me tell you, those things are sour!

All in all the Unicorn Frappucchino was not a huge disappointment. I highly recommend it to anyone who’s looking to treat yo’self or is super in to sugary, magical, overpriced delicious-ness.

The Day of Love

14 Feb

Valentine’s Day is a funny day. In my younger years I hated it. Every Freddie Prinze Jr. movie made me believe I would be swept off my feet by a boy I’d been pining over. But year after year that didn’t happen. The closest I got was being taken to see the movie Daredevil the year Valentine’s Day happened to fall on the coldest day of the year. Suffice to say the temperature of my heart adjusted to match that of the outdoors. 
As I got a little older I just acted like it wasn’t for me likely to avoid another disastrous date involving a Ben and Jen movie. Eventually I legitimately stopped caring about it. 

As time went on, I met The Husband, adopted the fur-baby and continued into a life of love with someone by my side. 

In a home of two people who were “meh” to this day, it’s just never become a thing. Sure we share cards and a dietary appropriate treat (FYI: Love means not wanting to ruin someone’s digestive tract) but that’s about it. 

This year though with so much garbage in the news and so much hurt and hate, I’ve been trying to focus on the good things in my life, mainly love. 

Of all the things I worry about on any given day, love is not one of them. I love love. I love the feeling of love. Not just romantic love, but the love you share with friends, family, random puppies you see on the street, etc… 

The feeling of a happy heart that has become that way because of a multitude of people. Am I IN love? Absolutely. And I consider myself insanely lucky for that. Outside of The Husband do I have love? You bet. 

So on a day that I don’t really love all that much, I did want to send a little love note into the world for the people who have touched my heart and let me feel loved, and who let me love them in return. 

Isn’t that what this is all about anyway? This isn’t singles awareness day for those who aren’t in a romantic relationship, it’s a moment for all of us, paired or not to feel love. 
So to the people in my corner that have warmed my heart, make me laugh, build me up when I’m down, listen to my silly ideas, send random notes even if we haven’t talked in a while, know that you’re loved. And thanks for loving me. 

Tyler Labine Is The New Chris Pratt

14 Apr

On Tuesday night I went to see the movie The Boss. Melissa McCarthy looked to take a turn back to the hilarious and Kristen Bell can do no wrong in my books.

What I didn’t realize was that Canada’s most important sea-faring sidekick, Tyler Labine (Jimmy Farrell) played Bell’s love interest.

As I sat getting charmed by Labine I realized it. He is the new Chris Pratt.  I had the same ah ha! moment about Chris Pratt in Zero Dark Thirty. One minute they were adorable funny guys that you may not think twice about, the next certified studs. This isn’t just about looks. The characters they played were not set up to be the winners. Not until now.

I tweeted my revelation and this happened:

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I’ve accepted this challenge but I refused to take it lightly. I’m not just going for lookalikes here. This person had to be the complete package.

48 hours have passed and as I sat watching the Jays game thinking about the type of snack I’d request if I were in the dugout, I realized who it was. (PS My dugout snack would be a bag of popcorn with  Skittles mixed in it.)

Before I reveal who I landed on, first let me take a moment to explore some bizarre connections I’ve uncovered while doing my research.

When I finished school and moved back to Vancouver I took to doing extra work in movies and TV shows to make some extra cash. My first extra role was in the Diablo Coady movie Jennifer’s Body. I was a little to wrapped up in Adam Brody to know Chris Pratt was also in the same film.

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Flash forward to a couple of weeks later, I worked on a show called Reaper starring none other than Tyler Labine! This particular fact was not lost on me at the time of filming. Unfortunately no photographic evidence of that cameo is available at this time but trust that it happened.

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get back to the matter at hand. WHO IS THE NEW TYLER LABINE?!

I present you with, Matt Lowe. Matt Lowe played “Meatball” in Hart of Dixie. Meatball went from affable yokel to winning the the lust of Bluebell’s finest Belle, Lemon Breeland. They had a steamy affair that she kept secret, but even Lemon knew the potential. The show ended and the next thing I know he’s in a Milkbone commercial acting as an adorable doggy Dad. Consider me sold.

Much like the forefathers to come before him, he’s got a sense of humour, piercing eyes, and a smile that will make your heart melt.

Hang tight Meatball, you’ll be a leading man before you know it.

See the succession below. I dare you to disagree.

Chris Pratt, The Original Chris Pratt

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Tyler Labine, The New Chris Pratt

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Matt Lowe, The New Tyler Labine

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There’s a Turtle in Her Half Shell

13 Apr

 

By: Sarah Creamer

 

Recently we were given some amazing news from the celebrity world. The beautiful Megan Fox revealed she is having her third baby while promoting Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!

This wonderful news was certainly a shock to the public and took everyone by surprise.  We are all happy for Megan but we all have one burning question….who’s the baby daddy this time?!

Not that Megan Fox has a crazy long list of guys to begin with, but we still need to know who the mystery man is! Is it Shia Labeouf?! Is it some unknown “non” famous random person?! Is it her cameraman?!

Or maybe it’s someone we haven’t thought about or even considered yet. As we all know Megan recently did a cameo on the show New Girl and had a pretty passionate relationship with Nick. Maybe the on-screen romance blossomed into an off-screen romance? Or maybe, it’s soon to be ex-husband Brian Austin Green? The public seems to pointing a lot of fingers at himbabydaddy and with good reason.

The 29 year old actress and 42 year old actor were married for awhile. They even had two extremely adorable babies together. But sadly they ended up getting separated shortly having their second child. Despite being divorced the two have been spotted together on more than one occasion. DUN DUN DUN.

Since Fox revealed she was preggers, her and Green have been spending more time together. But is this concedence…or is this love? Hopefully love because honestly those two make some pretty cute babies.

Whether the baby daddy is Shia, Mr. Thompson the friendly neighbour, Michelangelo, Donatello,Leonardo, Raphael, or Brian A-G, I’m sure Megan will continue to be an amazing mother to her children, have the best looking babies the celebrity world has seen, and continue to help fight crime. We love you Megan. Turtle Power.

Musical Musings

18 Feb

It’s not often I write about music aside from my obvious love of Taylor Swift.

I find this a bit funny because music has always been a huge part of my life and is one of the few things that can cut to my core in an instant.

My Dad is a musician. Not by trade anymore but it’s his passion and I grew up in a house full of music. The Husband loves music and is often found plucking away at the guitar or learning a new song on the drums. Live music in your home is hard to beat. Especially if it’s that acoustic 1D song that was learned just for you. (But will deny if confronted.)

A good song has always had the ability to stop me in my tracks. I remember one night driving home to my Dads house and this song by Tomi Swick came on the radio. I actually had to pull over because I was so consumed by the song, the lyrics, the acoustic guitar. I was still in University, hadn’t yet met The Husband, and I’m sure my young heart was bruised and looking for comfort and this was just the thing it needed.

Despite being a junkie for boy-bands, Britney and Christina, in high school I had a stack of CD’s that were full of emo music that I came across in some way or another. These CD’s could track-for-track trace back to the boy I had a crush on, the one that broke my heart for the zillionth time, or the victorious moment when I knew I was finally OK again. The best and worst memories of my younger years had a soundtrack and I LOVE that.

Those years were so magical and powerful and sometimes so sad and frankly deserved an epic score.

As much as I love music and have so many songs to attach my memories to, I hadn’t paid much attention to the songwriting or the process. I had always thought about what a song meant to ME and not what that song meant to someone else – which was clearly a lot if it compelled them to put pen to paper, and music to words and so on.

This October that changed for me and the genres of music I love expanded considerably. The Husband and I took a trip to Nashville. A trip I had never really thought would be up my alley but turned out to be one I’ll never forget.

A charming duo performing a cover of ‘Blank Space’ lured us into Jimmy Buffet’s Margarittaville. (Shocking, I know.) This is easily the least Nashville of Nashville bars, but housed some incredible talent. Next thing we knew, it was three hours and a bunch of tequila later and we had gone from Taylor Swift to Neil Young to One Direction to Tracy Chapman and way beyond. They even threw in their own originals and every single song was perfect. The talent was pouring out of every bar we went to regardless of what they were singing.

The Opry was another surprise for me. I had never loved Country music. To be honest, I never even really liked it. By the time we left the Opry I was a changed woman. I thought Country was a bit lame and whiny, but it’s actually so soulful and powerful and beautiful.

At the Opry we got to see Nathan Chapman, the mastermind behind virtually every Taylor Swift album with the exception of 1989 perform. (Although he did produce ‘This Love’ which is one of my favourite songs on the album)

The next day we got a chance to see him again at an intimate Songwriters Circle where he played music, told stories and shed some light into the background of the writing process. This was when I realized how selfish my approach to music had been. The stories and heartache and happiness and struggle are so real for the person making the music. Not just for you. And now we were watching someone who has seen crazy amounts of success as a producer, testing the waters with a solo album. A new kind of vulnerability and uncertainty.

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Nathan Chapman at The Country Music Hall of Fame. 

His album sold for $10 in the lobby and came with a chance to chat with him. I was one degree of separation from my idol, but found a new one in him, and a new love for music in Nashville.

From Broadway to the Bluebird, we saw more than 40 acts over a long weekend, and I couldn’t get enough.

Tonight as I flipped through the channels on TV I caught a clip of someone performing a cover of a Chris Stapleton song on American Idol. I immediately searched the song and it hit me again. That feeling of falling in love with words and a melody and really just the feeling of being in love with music.

While sometimes my taste in music may seem questionable, every song and artist I love I love because they make me feel something.

I love that no matter how much time passes, music can just cripple you, act as a time machine, or lift your spirits when you need it to.

 

Genie, You’re Free

12 Aug
aladdin

Evan Rachel Wood fittingly shared this photo from Aladdin. “Genie, You’re Free.”

Today the news broke of Robin Williams passing. It seems like we’ve lost so many amazing talents this year but for some reason this feels different.

I remember seeing my first movie in theatres as a kid, and then I remember seeing my first FAVOURITE movie in theatres and that was Aladdin. Robin Williams captured my heart at 7 years old, and likely before that as my Dad was always quoting lines from Mork and Mindy that set me into stitches time and time again.

In 1993, my friend and I were taken to see Mrs. Doubtfire. Another movie that much to my Mother’s dismay was about the story of divorced parents that despite all odds are able to get along. My friend had just seen her parents separate and we had already failed once that year in trying to avoid divorce / reconciliation movies.

But regardless of how sad the story was to those who had just watched their parents go through divorce, Robin Williams was able to show the dark side, and then the light in an otherwise entirely crappy situation. I’ve seen Mrs. Doubtfire more times than I can imagine and despite being in high school when my parents divorced, I still had the comfort in understanding the power of a parents love for their children and the force that drives them to stop at nothing to keep loving their children in an otherwise love-less situation.

Then in 1995 I was invited to a birthday party at Empire Theatres and was invited to accompany the birthday girl into the projection room for a tour. Jumanji scared the pants off me but I will never forget that movie and it’s connection to my first time into the magical world of theatres.

My childhood memories of Robin Williams are endless. Flubber, One Saturday Morning, the introduction to those I had missed like Hook. The re-watching of all of those classics that I fell in love with.

Then came Patch Adams. I first saw Patch Adams as part of our local Youth Group movie night. Everything about that movie rocked me to the core and I went back to watch in theatres 3 more times. I was only 13 years old. It was probably the first drama that I really felt like I understood and it moved me from cartoon land to his more serious roles.

Without going into a full on IMDB summary of his work – the bottom line is from my early years loving movies, into my recent love for him in The Crazy Ones, Robin Williams has been part of my movie-loving DNA.

Within a few minutes of learning the news my sister text me. She’s easily seen Aladdin more times than should be humanly possible, (and oddly enough ended up siding with Jafar after all of that), but she told me that she heard the news and said a friend of hers said that he was so lost in Williams characters that he actually took a minute to figure out who they were talking about when they said his name.

A loss like this is so painful to think about. A man who brought so much joy and laughter into so so many lives, suffering with depression is just about as heartbreaking as it gets. His smiles and laughter I’m sure were often that of a man coping with demons far beyond what most of us will ever understand.

I hope somewhere deep down in his heart before he left us that he had some sense of what he brought to those who loved him. To those whose names he knew, or those of us who were nameless that sat in theatres time after time because we just couldn’t get enough.

Thank you Robin Williams for your smiles, laughter, and your honesty. I will truly miss you.

#ThatCleanLife

29 Jul

I have a dairy allergy. Consequently I also love food. These two things have always been in battle with each other as I walked away from my food loves including ice cream and pizza.

At the time I figured out I had an allergy there were so few options available to me for alternatives. Soy products at the time were terrible and I just wanted to cry at the thought of having a slice of pizza again. Slowly but surely my options expanded and after discovering goat cheese was agreeable with me, I began to start to enjoy food again. But as time passed and our lives became busier, we got into the routine of meat, starch, vegetable growing old. Safe, but boring.

In October 2013 we moved to a new city. This change had us super busy and resort to some not so great eating habits. (FYI dairy free does not equal healthy!) Come January 1st as many people do, we swore up and down we were going to get into a better eating and fitness routine.

Sure enough The Husband and I hit the gym January 2nd and never looked back. While our workouts were not necessarily the same, the fact that there was motivation to get off the couch after a long day of work was great. Also a great way to spend some time together and blow off some steam.

A couple of weeks into this new routine I started to pay more attention to a friend of mine posting recipes and promoting a new e-book she was creating. That friend is the lovely @abigailkeeso . Abigail went through some health issues of her own that resulted in her turning her eating habits upside down. The results were far beyond just looking good, she started to improve her overall health. So much so that she wanted to start sharing this new way of living with others.

I had known she was doing this for a while, but I was skeptical to jump on the boat because I’m not a dieter. I love food, I love going out to dinner but the idea of not only having a dairy allergy but also doing some other fad diet was just not my cup of tea. As it turns out I was wrong wrong wrong to have thought this was a “diet”.

Technically any habit of eating would be considered a diet. My dairy free way of eating would be considered that, as would be the case if I was addicted to Pop Tarts and was willing to risk getting scurvy to pursue an exclusive Pop Tart diet.

SO when you consider eating being a diet in and of itself TECHNICALLY That Clean Life is a diet. HOWEVER, I quickly learned this is not some get slim fast gimmick or a meal plan that ultimately lets you down because it only consisted of eating air for 2 of 3 meals a day.

That Clean Life for me was about expanding my menu options to have a super healthy delicious repertoire of foods that I could eat that were dairy free. At least that’s how it started. The first “challenge” started in February. The challenge was a way for people to exclusively try clean foods and try and cut out some of the garbage you’d become used to eating. The word challenge can be intimidating, but as it turned out the food was SO good that I could hardly call it a challenge. I kid you not, even knowing what was in my food I loved it so much I felt guilty eating it afterwards convinced someone snuck in an added something un-clean to it.

Not only that but the e-books are very well put together. Easy to follow grocery lists, recipes and instructions make following the plan to a tee SUPER easy. This is clean eating for dummies. (But you’re not a dummy, you’re eating well. That’s a good choice.)

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Brown rice penne with portobello mushrooms and spinach. Drooling yet?

The Husband was fully supportive of trying new foods as he too had become tired of our weekly meals. Day after day another delicious meal was prepared and the level of satisfaction increased steadily. We never felt like we were giving up anything in order to eat this way, in fact we were just benefiting from the satisfaction of eating well.

After the first challenge was over we continued to repeat the recipes over and over again. The recipes just weren’t getting old. Then challenge after challenge presented itself and we continued to participate but also learn about how to cook other foods in a way that was just way better for you.

It wasn’t long before I realized that 95% of my meals and snacks that were consumed during non-challenge times were from That Clean Life e-books or meals I began to prepare using the clean eating knowledge I obtained. This was the food I started to crave. I’d be jammed on the subway dreaming about my pre-run almond butter and banana snack (that is a lethal combo BTW). I also learned to grow my culinary confidence. From someone who was once teased about not knowing where the kitchen was in my apartment ( I DID OK, IT WAS A JOKE!) to someone who was preparing meals that The Husband and I deemed as restaurant quality in their taste. My feathers started to puff. I became hooked.

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Homemade quinoa sushi.

Eventually the combination of our clean eating and excercise efforts began to show themselves. By the time the Canada Day long weekend rolled around I was able to confidently sport a bathing suit on the beach. Even with my diet radically changing with my dairy allergy, I still hadn’t hit the sweet spot where I felt like I was in the physical shape I wanted to be in. These two things helped me get there 100%.

Do I eat clean ALL of the time? No. I will say though that good meal prep makes getting through the work week really easy. But I do indulge, mostly on weekends. But I’m finding as more time passes though indulgences become less and less and I’m attracted to healthy, clean treats instead of something not so good for me. Will I eat a Churros if I discover it’s dairy free? Heck ya. But that’s once in a while and I’m conscious of not going down a slippery slope that will ultimately make me feel just plain gross again.

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Strawberry rhubarb oatmeal bake. IS A BREAKFAST ITEM. You’ll think you’re being punk’d this is so good.

That Clean Life has opened my eyes to a new way of eating. One where you can eat good food, be full, and share it with your friends, something that so many gimmicky diets boast they can do but don’t deliver on.

Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t EASY. Despite being really delicious and healthy food, there is WORK involved in making it. Meal planning, meal prep, workouts. These things all take time and dedication and it’s easy to throw in the towel and say you don’t have time, but you can make time and I promise it’s worth it.

So go over to That Clean Life and see what it’s all about!