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It’s a Kind of Magic

My name is MOAM, and I’m an addict.

It’s the bullet. The Magic Bullet. I’ve been shot.

Huh? You don’t know from Bullet? Wha? Where have you been? Obviously not hanging out in flea markets or watching late-night shopping channels. Well, neither have I. So there.

Neither grinder nor blender, cuisinart nor mixer, it’s combo. A sit-on-the-counter, throw-in-your-dishwasher, who-knew combo.

My intro to the Bullet came through a friend. A friend with fantastic taste and an immaculate kitchen. She swears by the Bullet. Claims she uses it every day. Don’t ask how we got on to the subject. I haven’t a clue. I don’t know how I end up talking about half the crap I come up with. I just do. But back to the Bullet….So she swears by this thing and I humour her. Like I need another gadget.

And then I went trolling through my mom’s house looking for an extra hand held blender. Yes, she stocks small household items in her house. My job is not to ask why. But if she’s got an extra Braun, I’m all over it. Turns out, she didn’t. But what she did have, sitting on her counter in all it’s TV-endorsed packaging glory, was The Magic Bullet.

Again with the Magic Bullet!

Call it fate, call it curiosity, or call it shamelss consumerism, whatever. The Bullet came home with me. And then…and then it sat on my counter, in its box for a week or so. I didn’t get it. I didn’t buy it – literally or figuratively – so I was hardly impressed. Until one Saturday afternoon. It was freezing. It was snowing. I was home alone, and I opened it. And I made a Pina Colada. I did! And I was hooked – on cocktails, maybe. On the Bullet, for sure.

Sucker for smoothies? Now you can make ’em, in about 30 seconds. And you can customize them too in yur own Magic Bullet mugs. It come with four. Pop your ingredients in, screw on the blender bottom and, well, bottoms up. Salad dressing? Five seconds or less. Grating cheese? (I didn’t think I’d do it either, but I did). Done like, well, dinner. And it even comes with a shaker top, should you be so inclined. Throw in a garlic clove, a handful of brocolli and some chicken stock. Put on the steamer lid and pop it in the microwave for two minutes(carcinogens be damned). Then, press, presto – soup! Chopped herbs? Check. Salsa? Check. Hummous, fat-free hummous, bean dip and guac? Check, check, check and check. You can also grind coffee beans, nuts, and – god knows who would or why – meat. It’s incredible. It’s handy. Abracadabra!

It’s…..maaaaaagic.

I now call my friend, the original Bullet-head, for the daily Bullet report. And it’s not just me. My Man has also, erm, bitten the Bullet. He’s ready to go all Oprah and buy one for everyone. (Don’t get too excited. It’ll never happen. ) But we’ll stand proud and say it loud: we’re a Magic Bullet Family.

Look, I know you think I’ve become an infomercial. And I kind of have. Without the show. Or the daily make-up ‘n hair. Or the big pay day. But what can I tell you? I’m obsessed. And you will be too. For now, forever, or until the next great American gadget comes along….

3 comments:

Anonymous said…

I’m sold! What time is the infomercial???? I’ve got my credit card out and I’m ready to chop some brocolli. If all else fails, you’d make a mighty fine saleswoman.

10:21 AM

Anonymous said…

MAGIC BULLET? It ‘s changed our lives!!!!!!
Our whole family that is! We look for ways to bullet!
Who is the most original? who is the fastest? Those that keep it on the counter qualify! Those that keep it in a drawer don’t count!!!!!!
You know that neighbour friend of yours, the one who Bullets everything? Yup, she is our family winner!!!!
Keep Bulleting and we will let you in on our contests!
xxxxx j

5:32 PM

Anonymous said…

Thanks MOAM– now I’ll be singing “Choppin’ Brocolli” for days!

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February 12, 2008   No Comments

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Hola Punta Cana

Forgive me readers, it’s been a while. One filled with ups, downs and – oddly – airline travel. That’s right, I’ve been on vacation!

Remember back at school you’d have to write essays about your summer vacation?

Anyone? Anyone? No? (Me neither. Once you were back, you were back. Party’s over) And yet, they always seem to in movies. So, without further ado, may I present:

Ten Things I Learned on my Winter Vacation. (Part I.)

1. I learned that Charter Flights blow. Bite. Suck. And not in a good way, pervs.
I always kind of knew this, but when travelling with small children, beware the cheap ‘n cheerful charter. Or beware of other people’s children (ie. mine) who, after being in transit for nearly 12 hours due to delays on their 4-hour flight might be somewhat, erm, antsy. They might lose interest in the massive bag of books, toys and personal DVDs. They might figure out how to open the tray table. And close it. And open it. And close it. And, well, you get the picture. They might be soothed by massive lollipops but, as everyone knows, the ramifications of the sugar highs can be brutal.

2. I learned that said Charters, despite having a planeload of cranky (irate) passengers, think that by giving out crappy earphones and cheap credit vouchers, all will be OK. It won’t. Not after handing out $15 “lunch vouchers” to be spent at night when all the restaurants close. Nor by keeping the overhead lights on during the all-night flight. Nor by pushing the bloody duty-free after we all spent countless hours in the airport browsing… in duty-free shops. Nor by handing out measly $100 credit vuchers for future travel on the same airine – non-transferable to boot. Oh – and another newsflash – staffing the plane with rude teenagers doesn’t help either. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I’m sure they were tired too – but they were being paid time-and-a-half for their trouble. We certainly weren’t.

DEEP BREATH……

3. I learned that sometimes weather reports calling for daily showers in the Carribbean can be correct. Even if you surf every single travel site looking for good news. When they say torrential, they mean it.

3a. Thankfully, I also learned that those daily showers only last for 10 minutes.
3b. But can strike at any time, any place.
3c. But the really deep puddles they leave behind can be almost as fun as a swimming pool. For a few minutes at least.

4. I learned that the best ways to entertain your kids is by enlisting other people’s kids. Preferably older ones. And if they have accents, even better – endless amusement for everyone.

5. I learned that is really is possible to drown in a mater of minutes, in less than a foot of water. NOT THAT ANYONE DID (god forbid poo poo poo). But when you watch your 2 year old get pushed into a pool, leap out of your seat, jump into the water to find him floating motionless on the top step of a mini pool and fish him out, hysterical – well, let’s just say you have a new appreciation for vigilance, paranoia, and landsports.

6. You learn to navigate buffets. Somehow, after walking through day after day and complaining about the cuisine, you manage to fill up your plate. And refill it. And maybe add a little bit more. And then you suck it back. Day after day. And pound after pound.

7. You learn that bulky strollers are RV’s. And you love them. Portable beds, baggage handlers, detention centers – these babies really can do it all, not to mention how well they clear traffic. Think big, act big and everyone’s outta your space.

8. You learn that your children are vampires-in-reverse. By day, nothing beats the joy you feel as your angels frolic by the seaside. You’re all children again, building sandcastles, and playing in the pool. How romantic it all seems: long walks on the beach holding hands, sharing fruity drinks under the palms, posing for family snapshots…Even cheesy organized drinking competitions seem sweet when you watch ’em with your little ones. It’s all so wonderful, everyone is deliriously happy, even without their regular naps and routines. Bliss by day…

And then…

The sun sets. And you learn about a new kid in town. Sprung from your loins. Sharing your room. Darkness falls. The moon rises. And with it – El Diablo. Or, even worse, Los Diablos: your very own flesh and blood who, quick to turn on you, remind you of everything you needed a vacation from: them!!!

9. I learned about how quickly we forget. No sooner had we touched down after another, erm, antsy, flight than we started dreaming up the next family vacation. We looked at pictures, reminiscing about the good times….the daytimes…

10. I learned that some of us don’t really forget. Sure, for entertainment purposes I’ve tended to accentuate the negative – that’s what creative license is all about. Let’s face it, no one wants to read about perfect getaways and happy endings. We’re all ambulance chasers, looking for the dirty bits, riveted by the nightmares, thanking the universe or god or whoever that those problems are someone else’s, and that we get to hear all about them…. Fact is, it was a fantastic trip – angels and devils notwithstanding. A family love-in. OK, once we were home for a day or so it was back to normal.

But not completely. For within days of returning from our family holiday, I was off on a trip on my own. And I’ve learned that even sitting alone at a friend’s desk, blogging and reliving certain funny-from-far moments, can be a real vacation.

3 comments:

Anonymous said…
AAAAAAAAmen!

Laughed out loud!

Sitting anywhere alone is a vacation! A vacation for the brain!!!!!!

Thanx for the humour!

Love, jj

10:53 AM

Anonymous said…

LOL I love your blog ! so entertaining my vacation consist of me my laptop and portable beds !

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January 21, 2008   No Comments

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Montreal Mon Amour

There comes a time in every parent’s life when they look at their wonderful children, thank god (or whoever) for blessing them with such wonderful treasures, and wonder how to get the hell outta Dodge.

At least that’s what happens in our house. Regularly. Sure, my man and I love our babes to bits. But we also love each other, which is why we skipped town, hit the 401 and headed to Montreal.

Montreal, je t’aime. Stunning, accessible, and a helluva lot cheaper than Toronto, what’s not to love? Everyone’s got their fave places and spaces. And here are mine:

HOTEL: Montreal is home to Canada’s largest selection of boutique hotels. Or so it seems. We stayed at Hotel Gault, an award-winning, newish hotel in the self-described “Old Montreal’s bustling west end” neck of the woods. First off, it wasn’t bustling. But that’s OK. Because it was only on the cusp of Vieux Montreal, you felt closer to the city itself And we liked that. Then again, the whole town feels a lot more compact than Toronto. And we liked that too. Anyhoo, Hotel Gault is gorgeous. Loft-like. Exposed stone walls. Concrete floors (heated in the bathroom). Tres moderne. Tres cool. And with a special $99-for-the-second-night deal, tres resonable. Especially when you consider they also include breakfast. Not a loser continental one either. Full menu, full buffet, or full combo. Full being the operative word. Dee-lish. They threw in a dinner too, but who wants to hang in their hotel the whole time?

Actually, don’t answer that.

FOOD: Sit back, ‘cuz this could take a while….The weekend may have been a 5 pounder. But I’ll never tell. What I will tell you, tho’, is that we ate like piggies. Or kings. Whatever.

Our friend insisted we try his home-away-from-home bistro, Lemeac. We did. Superb. And it has a cheapy menu for the hotshots who come in after 10PM. Like my Man and me. Check us out: we get to Montreal and, suddenly, we’re all French and chic and late-night diners. But back to the food. We went prix fixe. There were a couple of translation issues, but it didn’t matter because the waitress was lovely and it was just good grub. Especially the enormouus pain perdu dessert. Basically a massive hunk of carmelized french toast. Was better than it sounds. Much much better. Lemeac also had an extensive, if somewhat intimidating, wine list. Or so it seemed to non-vintner types.

There’s a hot vegetarian resto on St Denis that also does a brusque take-out and casual lunch business. The mini version is called Chuch. Can’t remember the name of the papa place. Anyhoo, it’s cute to look at and has damn fine Thai foood – so good in fact, you wouldn’t even know it was veggie! (No offense.) Actually, you might know. But if you get the deep fried seaweed and spinach you won’t care.

Marathon Mike Schwartz. OK, that’s not really a restaurant. But all good all the same. We went to Marathon Souvlaki to relive a childhood dream. Not mine. And was it worth the drive to Laval? Absolutely. Or so my Man says. I’m not a major souvlaki person, but I know a good tzaziki when I find one. And this was good. Very very good. (maybe not as good as Arahova‘s, but this was somebody else’s memory lane, OK?) Mike’s Submarines – ditto. Not my thing, but apparently tasty enough to make someone very very happy.

Schwartz’s. Oooooh Schwartz’s. Does deli get any better than this? I don’t think so. Spectacular. Even cold and in the car. I’m telling you now, Montreal friends, I’ll be putting in take out orders when next you go home.

But people, I’ve saved the best, le meilleur, for last. Le Club Chasse et Peche. Apparently the hottest spot in town. According to our concierge, it’s worth moving to Montreal for. Well, we aren’t moving (yet) but if we did…. Unreal. Spectacular food, simple yet terrific menu, and sexy as hell. It’s the kind of place when someone says you have to go, you have to listen. So if you are planning a trip to Montreal, remember, You Have To Go. We had fois gras and beet salad and Tasmanian Char and Sweetbreads. No, not all together, morons. All fab. Even the veggies on the side were incredible. For dessert they had some kind of postmodern rice crispy square but, sadly, we never got to try it. We went for something else – some apple, caramel, pastry concoction. Who knows, it might’ve been awesome – but I was too full at this point to judge.

SHOPS: Aaaah shops… For many folks, Montreal equals shopping. For us, these are the handful that stood out:

Zone – pour la maison. Awesome homewares and gifty stuff. They have a few of these scattered round town (plus one in Ottawa). In fact, you could spit and hit a great home furnishing place. We’ve decided when (if) we move house, we’ll be taking a truck to Montreal and loading it up. They’ve got a great thing going on in the design department and, best of all, it’s kind of on the cheap side!

Factorie – for ladies and gents. Divide and conquer. And if you can get the oh-so-chic and helpful owner to help you, do. He knows gorgeous.

Lola et Emily – great ladies wear. Like a combo of my two beloved NYC stores, Anthropologie and Olive & Bette’s. If I need to say more, then just skip it. It’s pas pour vous.

Mortimer Snodgrass – kitschy and fun. Gifts for suckers of all ages.

And, and, and….The list could go on and on and on. But we only had two days and we were driving, so this is it. For now.

Sure, the days of long haul, far flung, exotic vacays may be on hold, but we’ll always have Montreal…

1 comments:

mortimer snodgrass said…

as the owner of Mortimer Snodgrass, I thank you! I was just playing Google the Store and found your post. Thanks again!

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December 18, 2006   No Comments

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Afternoon Delight

I hate 4PM. 3:30 too. Hate ’em both. The day is winding down. It’s finish-up-and-get-ready-to-go-Time. Too-late-to-start-something-new-Time. Too-tired-to-care-Time. For some, it’s TV Time. For others, time to hit the gym. For me, it’s please-perk-me-up-before-I-empty-the-fridge-Time. In other words, it’s Coffee Time.

It used to be all about Grande Soy Lattes and low-fat, no-whip fraps. Then the unsweetened green tea lemonade took over, followed by my current fave, the non-fat, sugar-free vanilla latte. Spending my children’s tuition at Starbucks? Uh, yeah…Who isn’t?

Well, as of today, I’m not. Because there’s a new drink in town. One you can enjoy from the comfort of your own home/office/personal space. And one that, while not all that cheap, is definitely cheerful and absolutely delicious. It’s not really winterized, but who cares?

It’s Pom Tea.

That’s right, Pom Tea. I am now a walking ad for the stuff, ‘cuz it’s incredible.

Y’all know Pom, right? Or, sorry, PomWonderful (but who in their right mind actually calls it that? Puh-lease). It’s that sexy bottle full of pomegranate juice. Some freakshows drink it straight, but it’s far more palatable diluted. Better still diluted with fizzy water to make Pom Pop. Yum.

And now, the sequel has arrived. Pom, the Tea. Blackberry Black, Passion Peach White and, my personal fave, Lichee Green. All with pomegranate o’ course. It’s not too sweet, doesn’t need to be diluted at all, and the packaging’s kinda fun too, if a little odd. All Pom Teas come in their own somewhat ceremonial glass. Yes, a glass. I dunno know why. It just comes that way. With a lid.

Shake, sip, enjoy. But wait! It gets better: You can convince yourself you’re actually drinking some sort of anti-aging elixir of the gods. A potent potion to ward off evil (lined) eyes. They call it PomRx but whatev. It just tastes good.

Will I be giving up my Starbucks fix forever? Of course not. What kind of gal do you take me for? I’m true blue loyal to their ripoff fancy coffees. But I’m also true blue loyal to all the friendlies, which is why I’m passing on the Pom.

Try it, you’ll like it. And if it ends up being as good for you as it claims, you can thank me later. When we’re all old, happy, healthy and hot.

Salute.

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November 22, 2006   No Comments

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Halloween 101

Smash your pumpkins, ‘cuz everyone’s favourite pagan holiday has ended. Christmas Bargains have (already!) replaced Halloween Spooktaculars. I’d say it’s about time for….a Halloween post mortem! Just in case you weren’t sick and tired of all things black ‘n orange, here’s your last chance to sit back and reflect on Halloween’s gone by…Aaaah yes, the olde glance backwards to see what we can learn for – and forget about by – next Hallow’s Eve…

Grab some candy, then read on….

Things have definitely changed since I was a trick-or-treater. Where have all the caramels gone? And when did candy get so pricey? And so puny? Two Hershey’s kisses in a mini pack? That’s just rude. Even the-already tiny Rockets have shrunk into mini versions. It ain’t right.

We used to go with pillow cases and come back with them overflowing. Sure there were a few duds, the odd, ahem, bad apple, but on the whole, score galore. My own kids didn’t do nearly as well. I don’t know if it’s the new punes, the rising price, or if the competition. My kids don’t care, and I should be grateful – the less they get, the less I steal from them.

I also think in certain ‘hoods (ie, mine), the overcorwding becomes an issue. People spend hundreds on dollars on the candies and then dole ’em out in single servings. The only supersizing going on was at the new infill houses. If you made it up the stairs you were rewarded – big time.

Around the corner is one of THOSE houses – ghouls on the roof, ghosts on the trees, corpses in the garden. The line up goes down the street as people come from miles around to see That Crazy House – or maybe they just want to try to get on tv. Yup, even the cameras are there – I should know, I pimped out my kids to try and make ’em stars. But they were too busy wiping the noses on my shoulder to bother screaming on cue.

That kind of place is a real draw, it is. But we’ve discovered that by going destination shallouting around there, you simply don’t cash in come sorting-out time. It’s the regular streets that are the winners. Even the quieter sides of the traffic-y ones kick candy butt. Choices, reach-ins, multiples. It’s confection porn -and not in a creepy way.

‘Cuz let’s face it, Halloween is kinda creepy. Forget the fact that all the marketing crap has worked.

(aside: North Americans spent almost as much on Halloween as Christmas. I chalk it up, in part, to the fact that all non-Christians can finally get over their Christmas envy by decorating their houses. I know mine subsided a bit when I strung up the fairy lights…I mean, lit up spider web…on my front porch.)

But back to the creep factor. Let’s discuss. Hologram skeletons on doors? Creepy. Grown women dressing up as schoolgirls? Creepy, creepy, creepy. Bunnies, kittens, curves-ahead road costumes? Whatev. I get it. Not for me, but I get it. That’s not creepy. But the schoolgirl fetish stuff? Sorry, it’s creepy. Giver-outters getting a bit wasted? Not so creepy. Trying to include us in their revelry? A little toooo welcoming. Creepy.

And the creepiest of all? The mask factor. I get chills just picturing them. Those who know me know I have mask issues. Big time. But come on people, who doesn’t?! They’re revolting. Those rubberized ones are the worst! I took my son (also mask-phobic) for a test drive of masks. He found most of them creepy, but titillating – the gorilla, the zombie, the werewolf. The scariest? The rubberized blond woman. What happened to makeup? Or that fun face-painting pray? Down with mak! Up with people!

But what have we learned from it all? That candy and costumes go on sale the day before Halloween, but that prices are halved the day after. That crowded streets make for lousy end-of-night paydays. That every girl under 6 dresses up as a Princess. They just do. And every one over 6 goes witch or goes home. That no one makes their own costume anymore.

And, finally, we learned that sometimes the parents get to fish their wish. And not just by eating all the Reeses Peanut Butter Cups and pretending it’s for their children’s health. No, they get lucky by wishing for a shot of something to keep their energy up and then – poof! Finding a house with a couple of blokes dressed as Russian Sailors and handing out, yep, shots of Vodka. Cuz it really happened! Now that makes for a Happy Halloween!

BOO!

4 comments:

Anonymous said…

For the record and on behalf of your huge male crowd – grown women in school girl outfits is sexy as hell.. love live halloween!

submitted by: husband-of-the-mother-of-all-mavens.

2:50 PM

Anonymous said…

Love you MOAM– and you’re right on the money regarding the halloweens of yesteryear. And I know you don’t have a “real” job– i.e. one in the “corporate” world– but if you want some frights, try spending the day of All Hallow’s Eve at “Dunder-Mifflin”. My company planned to bring in pizza and award prizes for scariest, silliest, and most elaborate costumes. What? No “highest concept”? Sorry, then I shall not partake. Sadly, the city announced they were shutting off the water so the party was canceled. I left early so I never saw the email. Imagine if I was suddenly moved by the corporate spirit and threw on my Captain Canada costume? Thankfully I went high concept– I wore jeans and went as “that guy who thinks it’s casual Friday”. Better than the poor soul in telesales who apparently also didn’t see the email– and came to work in full witch regalia. I hope they gave her all the prizes! The corporate world is scary enough. No extra Halloween frights required…please!

3:22 PM

Mother of all Mavens said…

Pedophiles? Creepy

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November 3, 2006   No Comments

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