Monday, December 7, 2009

Way Better than a Slap Chop!

This month, check out Alberta Venture and City Palate magazines and get the scoop on self-proclaimed "chief knife nerd" Kevin Kent. Kevin owns Knifewear, a funky Hamono-ya (knife shop) in Calgary filled with everything you could imagine in Japanese knives. He actually let me manhandle a $900 knife that I nicked my finger with as soon as I picked it up. (For those familiar with my cooking skills, or lack thereof, this is unsurprising.) But the dang thing was so wickedly sharp that it really did no damage. It's true, the sharper the knife, the safer it is.

So, you really should invest in a good knife. Or buy one for a loved one this Christmas. You can shop in-store or online at Knifewear. Here's the advice I write in my Palate sidebar:
Tips for gifting a knife
It’s believed if you give a knife as a gift, you could sever the relationship. So, put a coin in the box with the knife. That way, the giftee can give you back the coin so the knife is no longer a gift.

When selecting a knife for a gift, Kent says “it has to be really pretty so when you open the box, you’re like ‘wow.’ Or, you have to really know what the person would like and use it for. A knife that makes me sweat isn’t exactly everyone’s version of beauty.”

The best plan is to let people choose for themselves. That way, they can get the perfect fit. Plus, it’s a fun way to spend an afternoon—slicing and dicing!

Hossan, chop!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Dirty men; what's not to love?

The other day I was watching one of my favourite shows, The Hour, and it was fantastic because two of my favourite men were on. George, of course, (who doesn't love George?) was there, and he was interviewing Viggo Mortensen, whom I also love. Actually, to be totally accurate, it's not so much Viggo I'm into, it's Aragorn. Oh yes, the oh-so-rugged King Aragorn from the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Ruff!

(Photo from

It reminded me of one of my kookier stories that I'd written for Elle Canada that sprung out of a conversation I had with two of my BFFs. I confessed I like dirty men and needless to say, that required some 'splaining.

Basically, it was all rooted in my love for Aragorn.

The story wound up running as a featured story on the homepage of for a while (when msn was still partnered with sympatico) and it created quite the stir! Have a boo and decide for yourself. Ladies, I'm sure you'll agree that dirty men got it going on!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Calgary's Top 40 under 40

This past Thursday night, Avenue magazine unveiled their Top 40 under 40 list with a party at Calgary's new Gasoline Alley Museum at Heritage Park. Though I was not on the list (I've heard ample outrage about this! :P), I did profile several of the folks who did. And there are some pretty impressive folks on this list. One fellow, Corey Marshall, has taken his family's travel business from $2.2 million to $23 million in just four years. Did I mention he's only 30? Another, Dan Balaban, is on his third successful multimillion-dollar business, now leading the charge for wind energy in Alberta. Still another, Eric Sit, is what I call a Boy Wonder, excelling in areas as varied as IT, ballroom dancing, photography, singing and being a dad. Geeta Tucker shows us that balancing the books isn't enough; you have to also advance the business and do so with integrity. She was named a CMA Fellow--their highest honor. Finally, Vivian Hill helps at-risk kids get important eye care to avoid preventable blindness. That's just a taste of who's a mover and shaker in town.

Monday, October 26, 2009

No Monkeying Around

A while back, I had the opportunity to meet with University of Calgary archaeologist and researcher Julio Mercader to discuss his work on ancient chimpanzee sites in Africa. I have to admit, I had no idea that such sites even existed nor what they meant, but Dr. Mercader was able to shed some light on how such research helps us to understand the evolution process of great apes, but also ourselves. His findings force us to re-examine the definition of humanity. Given that 2009 is the bicentennial of Charles Darwin's birthday and the 150th anniversary of his seminal book On the Origin of Species, the timing could not be more fitting. Read more in my article for the Canada Foundation for Innovation.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Write to Eddy Y'all!

In an effort to secure (or at least abate the likelihood of cuts), we're lobbying to our provincial government to support Alberta magazines. So please, take a moment, and really, it only takes a moment, send Premier Stelmach a letter telling him to support AB mags.

It would really mean a lot!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Reunions in Whistler!

I just got back from the GoMedia conference in Whistler and I have to wonder why I waited so long to make a return voyage (last visit circa 2006). It was fantastic. The place is just abuzz with outdoor adventure, not to mention Olympic Spirit. In particular, the Peak 2 Peak gondola was amazing! (Did you know that it has the longest unsupported span for a lift of this kind in the world?) If you're afraid of heights, get ready to freak! (But go on it anyways, it's so cool.)

What also made the conference so much fun was reuniting with some chickas who I spent much time carvorting and laughing my ass off with on previous adventures.

As soon as I set down my luggage at the lovely Fairmont Chateau Whistler, I was delighted to find out that Liz, one of my kindred spirits whom I met in Newfoundland last summer, was going to be my partner in crime as I tried my hand at some of Whistler's thrillseeking activities. It was actually kind of appalling how quickly we began cracking each other up just as we had on "The Rock." (If you're wondering what that trip was all about, have a boo at my earlier post.)

Next up were my girls from TO--Amy and Heather. It was one year ago when we took part in the Naramata Unfiltered program in the Okanagan. It was the only time wine pairing ever made sense to me, thanks to the ingenuity and efforts of Master-of-Wine in the making, Rhys Pender, and the wonderful wineries of the Naramata Bench. It didn't take long for us to reminisce over our time spent sampling the wines of these amazing vintners and trying to create our own blends. Amy was quick to point out how fantastic her blend was, and much to my chagrin, she was right. (For those of you who know Amy, you know she's not competitive at all!) You can read more about the program, which is presently on hiatus until Spring 2010, in my Avenue Calgary article posted on Tourism Penticton's website.

This time around, I had no wine to blame for the hilarity that ensued. Two words: dance-off. If I had known that we were going to wind up in such a situation, I would have brought my converse sneaks and a piece of cardboard. Break it down, yo! Nevertheless, I held my own, and put in a solid performance worthy of SYTYCD.

All in all, it was a jampacked networking bonanza that has become an annual highlight in my calendar. My stomach still hurts from laughing. Or maybe it was all the food...

Sunday, September 13, 2009

What?!? It's September already?

As I lament the passing of summer (What summer!? For those of you based in Calgary, you know what I'm talking about), I have to admit that I do actually enjoy fall. While the air is cooler, it's also crisp and fresh, and I'm totally holding out for a beautiful Indian summer. Fall is also all about the harvest, which when it comes down to it, is really all about food. Yummy delicious fresh food. Have a boo as I recount some of my harvest adventures in Niagara and the Okanagan for Homemakers. com.

Monday, August 31, 2009


So my galpal Elizabeth is getting "mallied" (yes, that's a 16 Candles reference) next March in Phoenix and that's got my travel buds tingling, in particular for Puerto Penasco, Mexico. The last time we went to Phoenix, we headed straight for the border to this quaint Mexican fishing village and had an amazing time. We stayed at a lovely villa in what will presumably become a resort area, but for now, remains a quiet refuge on the Sea of Cortez. I really hope it stays that way, especially if we decide to rent a Harley and make a return voyage...only time will tell.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Ukee Bliss

In June, I was lucky enough to make my way to lovely Vancouver Island for a visit to Ucluelet and Tofino. I hadn't been in the summer months before, but hilariously enough, it wasn't much different from when I had visited in November a few years ago. That means it rained, folks! But it was still lovely and oh so rugged! I even got to check out Cougar Annie's Garden; a hidden gem on the island. And I stayed at the new Black Rock Resort in Ucluelet, which was just a little slice of luxury. Check out my Herald article about this new boutique hotel.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Sugar Bowl Fundraiser

Hey y'all,

Come on out for good times for a good cause!

This is a fundraiser I'm organizing in support of the Amber Webb-Bowerman Memorial Foundation. Amber was a dear friend and colleague and we're now trying to build a legacy in her name.

So I invite you to come eat, drink and be merry... and lawn bowl too, of course! Lawn bowling was one of Amber's favourite activities, so what better way to come together and raise money for the foundation. Proceeds will go towards establishing a scholarship endowment fund at SAIT Polytechnic in Amber's name, where she went to school and worked.

Saturday, August 8th, 2009

6:30pm - 10:00pm

Calgary Lawn Bowling Club

1238 - 16 Avenue SW

Calgary, AB

Tickets are $50 for singles or $200 for a team of four. Team registrations get free team buttons customized with your team name!

Registration & free lawn bowling lessons start at 6:30pm and the tourney will kick off at 7:30pm. There will be bragging rights and prizes for winners.

For those who can't make it to the fundraiser, please note that donations are always welcome and appreciated.

Email to register today. (There is a maximum capacity so don't hesitate or you'll miss out on the fun!)

Full details at:

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Scratch and sniff

Scratch and sniff; scratch and sniff. No, I didn't score myself a new set of smelly stickers (do they still have those?), I'm suffering from allergies.

And not your regular run-of-the-mill allergies. I suffer from some fairly rare afflictions, but hey-- that's how I roll.

Maybe some of you do too. The first is Oral Allergy Syndrome and the second is cold-induced urticaria. What are those you ask? Find out in my stories in Allergic Living magazine.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Chili Day!

On this rainy and blustery Calgary day (did I mention it's July?), I'm glad I have some tasty chili to mange on. I whipped it up last night since Jason is away and he's not a big fan. This way I can enjoy to my stomach's content without having to listen to him grumble about the lack of a "real meal."

It's sad that we have such "chili" days (get it?) in July here, but at the same time, chilies, stews, and soups are some of my all-time favourite foods. Especially some of the yummy concoctions Carmie Nearing, owner of Spoonfed Soups, puts together. Here's a Q&A I did with Carmie for Alberta Venture mag a while back. If you're in Calgary and you haven't tried Spoonfed yet, you should. Delish.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Gettin' Prickly With It

I've recently been getting acupuncture to address my ongoing neck and back pain (whiplash x 3=bad news). While it's taken a bit to get over the whole idea of being a human pin cushion, the results have made me a believer. My acupuncturist, Dr. Marjorie, has been fantastic, helping me with the pain issues I went to her for, and so much more, including soothing my rumbly tummy after some serious jetlag. Here's piece chronicling my experience in Avenue Calgary.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Horsin' Around

Spending time with an honest-to-goodness horse whisperer.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Ah, Newfoundland, how I adore thee...

Newfoundlanders are good people. 'Nuff said.

Harley Time!

Another Avenue piece--this time about Jason and I cruising through the OK Valley. Yes, we are that cool.

Bling baby!

Important engagement ring reading for anyone planning to pop the big Q. Or anyone hoping that someone else is going to pop the big Q.

Is romance in the air? Want it to be?

Here's some romantic getaway ideas as noted in my Pure Canada piece.

First up, adventures in the Bahamas!

Last November, my hubby and I decided we couldn't take anymore Canadian winter so we took the WestJet direct flight from Calgary to Nassau, Bahamas. The result was a much-needed beach getaway. Take a look at some of the sights through my Bahamas slide show on

Yah man!

At some point, I will actually blog on my blog...

I have every intention to actually blog, but as with many good intentions, they don't always pan out the way you hope. So...for the in-between time (and let's hope it's weeks and not years), I'll put up links to my recent and perhaps not-so-recent published ramblings for your reading pleasure.