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Archive for March, 2011

Ronald McDonald Has Lost His Golden Touch

March 10, 2011 6 comments

A curious thing happened the other day: my daughter refused to bring McDonald’s to school for lunch. So not cool, mom. The negative stigma associated with fast food has trickled down to today’s youth.

I was one part proud, one part annoyed.

Since I’m writing this on the heels of admitting my Honey Nut Cheerio addiction, I hasten to tell you we very rarely eat McDonald’s, but it happens to be conveniently located next door to my dentist. The superstar mother I am managed to get all three of my children in for their 8 am cleaning appointments, minus their lunches. I fell from glory when I couldn’t convince my child to walk into class wielding a golden arch emblazoned bag.

Put it in your lunch kit for heaven’s sake – no one will be any the wiser! No dice. The smell, she said, would surely tip them off.

Interestingly, we had this conversation over muffins and juice inside McDonald’s – breakfast was also sacrificed to arrive at that early appointment (fine, so I was more drill sergeant than super mother). She has no trouble eating the food, she just didn’t want to be seen eating the food by anyone she knew.

My other two children could not believe what had just come out of their mother’s mouth – they were being offered the jackpot of all lunches, would be the envy of their classmates. I couldn’t go back on this offer. In the same way I refuse to be a short order cook when they all don’t like the dinner I’m serving, I wouldn’t be running to different restaurants for their lunch that day. It was McDonald’s or nothing.

I was in a position I never dreamed of: singing the praises of the fast food chain that in previous conversations I had proclaimed as evil, trying to cajole her into a quick and easy lunch. My words were coming back to haunt me, I had been too convincing in my earlier life, when I had more time for nutrition.

Other kids get Whole Foods, and I get McDonald’s? The high water mark for lunches is now the over-priced organic grocery store, incidentally. While undeniably full of healthier options, Whole Foods was not at my disposal.

We settled on a fruit and yogurt parfait and a couple of biscuits with jam, taken out of their packaging and disguised by her lunch kit. Hardly a lunch of champions, but under the rushed circumstances it would suffice.

Another day, another life lesson: be careful what you wish for.

Goodbye Retail, Hello Price-Slashed Wholesale

March 4, 2011 9 comments

My new Sun Ice raincoat. Okay fine, it's not me wearing it...

Retail shopping is so yesterday.

I refuse to pay full price for anything anymore. If it’s not on sale, forget it. With huge outlet malls cropping up in suburban areas, and email alerts conveniently telling me when my favorite shops are busting out goods at huge discounts, who needs to?

The only thing better than driving south of the border to hit these outlets is when these outlets come to you, in your own backyard, a new trend that is catching on like wildfire.

My friend has an in on a sweet line of Sun Ice ski jackets and outdoor apparel – her family owns it. Instead of shipping their extra stock off to a discount center, she is setting up racks in neighborhood homes and selling them at big discounts. I went by her house for a sale where she had partnered with a local yoga line, Tonic. We had coffee and I left with a super cute yoga outfit and raincoat that both rival Lululemon – but at half the cost.

Next year's ski jacket - would it look as chic with a helmet and no make up?

 

I was giddy with delight, flushing with victory so pure I was puzzled. I felt something was missing, and then realized it was that feeling of buyer’s remorse. Unlike usual, I had none. No guilty feelings thinking, “I didn’t need that”. I had gone with the hope of finding some new yoga wear (whether doing yoga or not, I live in this stuff) and a raincoat that was a tad different from everyone else in Vancouver. I found both within the confines of her friendly living room and spent a fraction of the cost.

Life may be beautiful, but mine is seldom this easy.

I am being invited to sales like this on a regular basis; women hosting jewelery designers and clothing lines in their own homes. The environment is much more welcoming than harsh fluorescent light and those mirrors that make my hips look wider than they are. I’ll gladly exchange the bored out of their mind teenage shopkeepers for honest women who know a garment flaw when they see one.

The concept of shopping is changing as quickly as the world is shedding its landlines. I don’t aimlessly browse through shops in the hopes of randomly discovering something I like and is on sale (unless, of course I’m at Winners and in need of retail therapy). My shopping is much more purposeful and driven by red tags.

I’m ignoring the middle man in favor of neighborhood homes, my days of mall crawling are officially over.

Move Over Bieber, YouTube Sensation Maria Aragon Is Here

March 1, 2011 4 comments

The internet is humming, and it is playing the same tune as people around the world click on a YouTube video posted recently by a 10-year-old in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Maria Aragon has become a sensation since putting a cover of Lady Gaga’s song “Born This Way” on the popular internet site on February 16. As of today her video, which shows her playing the piano in a simple white t-shirt and singing, has had over sixteen million hits.

It’s been a busy week and a half for the young Canadian. When Lady Gaga watched Maria’s video, she tweeted about her amazing talents, and since that moment Maria’s life has been turned upside down.

Less than a week after posting the video, Maria was on the radio interview circuit and appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Lady Gaga surprised Maria during one of her radio interviews by coming on the phone line, offering to sing a duet with her at her upcoming concert in Toronto.

Before performing on Ellen, Maria told the comedian that she chose this particular song because of its message. “Just be yourself, because God made you the way you are, and you are no different than anybody else,” she said. Maria performed her slower, acoustic version of the hit song in front of the studio audience and received a standing ovation.

Maria’s entourage has quickly been assembling social media protocol: a website has been created with the URL www.mariaaragonyoutubestar.com, and a Facebook fan page has been launched.

This is what going viral looks like.

According to her website, she will soon be appearing on Good Morning America, which means a plethora of daytime media appearances will follow, as The View, Regis and Kelly and other morning shows clamber for an interview.

Hopefully like any good Canadian, Maria’s support group can stick handle through the barrage of attention and keep her feet solidly on the ground even though her voice is heading for the stars.

My mama told me when I was young
We’re all born superstars
She rolled my hair, put my lipstick on
In the glass of her boudoir

There’s nothin’ wrong with lovin’ who you are”
She said, “‘Cause He made you perfect, babe”
“So hold your head up, girl and you you’ll go far,
Listen to me when I say”

Lady Gaga, Born This Way