Envy. How do you deal with it?

Bonnie’s Take~

Bonnie's PostEnvy.  Listed as one of the seven deadly sins along with pride, greed, lust, gluttony, anger and sloth.  Guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty and guilty!  (Not all at the same time but yes I’ve felt each of those during the course of my life.  Sloth is one of my favourites and I still like to take a day to revel in that sin now and again.)

I read somewhere that envy is a hidden emotion.  Hidden so well that you often don’t realize that it is the motivation behind your actions.  This struck a chord with me.  I had thought that envy was a wasted negative emotion and I was sure I never allowed myself to fall into that trap.  Then I realized that there have been many times that I’ve seen others obtain something that I’d like to have too.  For example the young lady that leads our Zumba class has a terrifically fit and athletic figure that you could say I’m envious for.  So in that case my envy motivates me to work harder on my own figure.  Huh!  Thanks envy!

The philosopher, Immanuel Kant wrote:  Envy is opposed to oneself because it disinclines us to see our own good overshadowed the by good of others.  Well doesn’t that sum it up perfectly! You can’t gain anything by being stuck in feelings of  negativity.  I also believe if you only focus on your lack of whatever it is that you want then you can only attract more lack.  Instead I choose to use those rare moments of envy as little signals telling me “hey, here’s something else you would like” and then working towards a goal of achieving them.

What do you think ladies?

Tracy’s 2 cent’s~

green-with-envy-smallEnvy~the feeling of discontent or covetousness with regard to another’s advantages, success, possessions, etc.

Envy and jealousy are very close in meaning. Envy denotes a longing to possess something awarded to or achieved by another: to feel envy when a friend inherits a fortune. Jealousy, on the other hand, denotes a feeling of resentment that another has gained something that one more rightfully deserves: to feel jealousy when a coworker receives a promotion.

How do I deal with Envy?  I suppose I turn green like everyone else!  I couldn’t resist the picture.  Envy doesn’t have a negative feeling for me.  If you are passionate about what you are doing I think there is no room for envy.  If  someone is doing what I want to be doing and is successful at it I think of that person as a trail blazer before me.  I feel inspired by anyone who is reaching their goals they set for themselves.  If their goals are reached it tells me that it is possible for me so I should keep up the hard work.  I look at someone elses success as a resource for mine, it’s all in the name of research.  Here at Tara Cronica we are women inspiring, with our own spin on it.  There are lots of inspiring websites but this is what we have created.  No need to be envious of what we are doing,  read and take what you need to be inspired to create your own.  I have never been competitive amongst my peers I am always willing to share my knowledge with anyone who is heading down a path perhaps I have blazed already.  I compete with my self but not with anyone else.  I think there is room for everyone to have success in what they are passionate for because passion is the foundation to success…envy is not.  I do however envy anyone who can sing and carry a tune because I can’t.  If I had the time and passion for singing I am certain I would have recorded an album by now.

Jacquie’s thoughts~

post-insert-jacquie2I know the text book definition of envy, I know it’s one of the seven deadly sins and I know it’s not considered an attractive emotion to possess.  If I have to be perfectly honest with myself, and I do or what’s the point, I have to own up to feelings of envy now and then.   For sure I’d like to have some of the material advantages of some of my friends and relations.    Duh!  It’s that natural little twinge you get when you hear of someone’s great new job, or lottery win or amazing holiday they’ve planned.  For a split second you forget all the wonderful things going on in your own life because the focus is somewhere else.

When I get these little jolts of envy mixed cole slaw-style ( a little sugar, a titch of vinegar) with pleasant feelings, I recognize them for what they are and move on to thinking about something more productive over which I have control.   That’s where Tara comes in for me.

Green Tara, one of the 21 manifestations of the Goddess Arya Tara, is associated with the protection from fear as well as a number of obscurations.  These are obstacles, or disturbing attitudes we all have that prevent our becoming Enlightened.

The first step to becoming Enlightened would be to become Aware of your feelings and emotions.  This is so very Eckart Tolle it isn’t even funny!  Being in the ‘now’ ~  present.   Those who practice Tara Buddhism would add the repetition of mantras and meditation.   I just remind myself of all my blessings and what is truly important to me and then the feelings of envy evaporate.  This all happens in a nanosecond sometimes.  Other times it takes a tiny bit longer but it always works.

Om Tare Tuttare Ture Svaha!


Favourite Guilty Pleasures ~ Instructions (or recipes) Included : )

Happy Birthday Bonnie !!  You are soooo loved ! xoHappy Birthday Bonnie!!

I have personally waited 114 days for Bonnie and I to FINALLY be the same age!  You truly are the Best friend I could ever ask for and I love every ounce of your being.  I continue to learn from you and look forward to growing older along side you.  You are amazing!  Happy Birthday Best Friend!  T xoxo

Ladies, this post is about sinfully good treats.  Add your favourite recipe if you don’t mind sharing.

Jacquie’s Take~

jacquie janzen yeeFirst thing I need to clarify is that I only use the words ‘guilty pleasure’ for effect.  Nothing that tastes so good you want to bathe in it should ever make you feel guilty.  We need to take care of ourselves and indulging in a little something decadent every so often is good for the soul.   Now, I’m a savory kinda gal.  When I feel like a treat I usually go for the cheese and cracker board, salted nuts and pickled anything; herring, asparagus, olives, eggs and green beans.   And I LOVE making my own chicken liver pate!  (email me if you want my recipe.  I’ll keep your secret)   Right now I’m going to share a favourite Chocolate Brownie recipe because, well, when it comes to chocolate, there is no substitute.

Stuff You Need To Put In ‘Em
  • 1 cup (250 mL) whole hazelnuts, skin-on or blanched whole almonds (optional)
  • 1 cup (250 mL) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (50 mL) cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
  • 6 oz (168 g) semi-sweet chocolate, about 6 squares
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) unsalted butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup (250 mL) granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) vanilla

What To Do With The Stuff

  1. Preheat oven to 325F (160C).   Toast nuts until golden, 8 to 12 min. Stir halfway through.   Rub hazelnuts in towel to remove skins. When nuts are completely cool, coarsely chop.
  2. Coat or spray an 8-in. (2-L) square baking dish with oil. In a small bowl, using a fork, stir flour with cocoa and salt. Coarsely chop chocolate. Place in a medium-size bowl along with butter.
  3. Microwave chocolate and butter on medium until almost melted, about 3 min. Use a rubber spatula to stir chocolate halfway through microwaving. Then stir until smooth. Or place chocolate and butter in a medium saucepan and set over low heat. Stir constantly until melted. Set aside to cool.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk eggs, then sugar and vanilla. Using a spatula, scrape in cooled chocolate mixture, then stir until evenly mixed. Gradually stir in flour mixture, just until almost mixed. (Over mixing toughens brownies.) Stir in nuts until evenly distributed. Spread batter in baking dish. Smooth top.
  5. Bake 35 to 45 min. Don’t over bake.  Cool. Cut into squares.  Eat.

Bonnie’s 2 cent’s~

Bonnie's PostOh.  Oh you mean food! So my first thought of sharing a recipe for sinful loooove would probably be inappropriate.

I looked at a recipe I have for Nanaimo bars…waaay too long and to be honest its a lot of work, so take my advice and just buy them at Costco.  They’re not quite as good but if you made them from scratch you’d be so cranky by the end of it you wouldn’t be able to appreciate how good they taste anyway.  (If you really want the recipe drop me an email and I will share it with you.)

I’ve created a few recipes for disaster in my time but again, probably not appropriate here.

Much to my husbands chagrin, I don’t like to bake and I’m not a huge sweet fan.   Consequently he rarely gets home-made sugary treats.  We always have a bag of Tamari almonds on hand though!  Poor guy.

Years ago everything was coated, dipped, folded and basically drenched in butter, but we are supposed to know better now.  Anytime I have one of those delicious old recipes I feel guilty and sinful.  Tonight I will be treated to fresh Atlantic lobster and I plan on soaking each morsel in as much butter as it will hold mmmmmm.

Here is a really easy recipe that is kind of sinful because of the sour cream but mostly I love to make it because it tastes really good and no one ever knows just how easy it is to prepare.  That can be our guilty little secret.

Spicy Shrimp Pasta

Cook 1 lb pasta in a large saucepan of boiling water until al dente.  Drain and keep warm.  Shell and devein (ya right! I buy them ready to go) 1 lb cooked large shrimp.  Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a skillet, add 1 thinly sliced onion and cook over medium heat for 3 minutes, or until golden.  Add the shrimp, 1 1/4 cups bottled salsa (hot, medium, mild – up to you) and 1 1/4 cups sour cream, then reduce the heat to low and stir until heated through.  Stir in 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil.  Toss the sauce with the pasta and serve.

Tracy’s thoughts~

TracyI have to admit when I first read Jacquie’s topic for this Sunday’s post I gasped and sighed big time.  I am that person everyone sends the ‘recipe exchange chain letter’ to who just presses delete without even thinking it over for a nanosecond.  I wreck the chain every time, just DELETE it, no guilt what so ever.  I don’t like recipe exchanges where you forward off your favourite to 10 friends and then you get a million in return.  I don’t use recipes unless I absolutely have to.  I love to cook from scratch, I do a lot of preserving each year and I experiment from time to time but I usually just add a little of this and a little of that.

I have only had to wash off beef stew once in my life because I added a little too much of ‘that’.  But my attitude was, it’s better than gum for dinner.  I am a good cook don’t get me wrong, I cook sit down meals for my family at least 4 days a week.  But I don’t do recipes.  Have I gone on long enough to avoid adding one?  I am going to just go with the flow and give it a go, for the team!

I recently hosted a sterling silver jewellery party at a really great gals house where she made Belini’s.  This drink Lee’a was serving looked really really really good, no really!  I very rarely drink but I couldn’t resist when she politely asked if I could have one.  Well why not!  It was the best drink I have ever put my lips to…EVER!  Yes better than tequila with Jacquie in Cabo!  I can’t believe I asked for the recipe and that she willingly gave it to me.  It was meant to be.  So here we go my first recipe exchange online!  I want to correct one thing after thinking it over for a moment…no drink is better than a shot of tequila with Jake in Cabo!   But I will give the Belini a close second because there is a recipe involved !


Lee’a Belini
8 – 10 oz. White Rum
1 – 750ml bottle champagne (an inexpensive one $5-6)
¾ of a 2L 7UP
1 – 225 gms. (1/2 lg. pkg.) Sunspun or No Name peach crystals  ~ I buy them at Superstore
Mix all ingredients together in a large container and freeze for 24-48 hrs.
Before serving, spoon into blender and mix until smooth.
For best results freeze the blender and martini glasses, it will keep the drinks really slushy until the lassssst drop!  Top with 1 oz. of Boone’s Sangria (at the liquor store for $5.99)


Which Stereotype would you NOT want people to include you in?

Which stereotype would you NOT want to be included in?

Take your pick there are many!  Here are a few examples, dumb blonde, gold digger and one of my favorites cougar!

Tracy’s take~

Tracy Throughout my late teens and twenties I bent over backwards so girls would not judge or stereotype  me before they knew me all in the name of stereotyping.  I would make myself look silly with humour to make them smile at me instead of leer at me.  It got tiring and I eventually just called it quits.  I just figured if you don’t want to take the time to get to know me then that’s unfortunate because we could be friends.  I HATE when people stereotype  or judge for that matter!

With that being said at this point in my life ‘single mom looking for a man to take care of me’ would be one of the worst for me.  No other stereotype would bother me as much as this one.  Call me a ‘Cougar’ and I would not only agree, say “whyy not” and smile while looking you up and down sexually, call me a dumb blonde and I would manipulate you to get what I want, but think I need a man to take care of me…sheesh!!   Men are in my life by CHOICE not need!  I am a very independent and self sufficient woman who loves time alone.  I don’t need a man in my life to take care of me but I do look forward to having  men in my life to spend time and enjoying the moment for what it is.  So if I am single for the back 50 I’m good.  How about you Bonnie which stereotype don’t you want to be included in?

Bonnie’s two cents~

Bonnie's PostDon’t include me in any! I mean I can’t actually think of a stereotype I’d like to be slotted as.  I’m pretty sure I’ve fit a few of them in my life so far though.  Dumb blonde? I’ve had my moments.  Cougar?  Oh ya.  Gold digger?  I think you have to go out with really wealthy men for that, so I don’t think so.  White people can’t dance?  Hey, I think I look pretty good out there.

The bottom line is stereotyping  is just a lazy way of labeling someone.  So many people are quick to do this because they feel they need to assign you a category so they know where they fit in.  “She’s a gold digger.  I’m better than that.”   Tsk!

A stereotype is just a simplified and standardized conception.  Period.  It is not necessarily the truth.

Ok, so I’m probably getting too philosophical about this but it’s something I’ve thought a lot about recently thanks to Jacquie.  She was concerned I was stereotyping when I recently used the word “native” in one of my posts.  I disagreed and dug my heels in but I thought about what she said and I could see her point of view.  Stereotyping is not a good thing…although…I’ve never known an African American male to cry fowl over the “well endowed” stereotype.  I’m just sayin’!

Jacquie’s thoughts~

Jacquie JanzenYee

I’ve been aware of the negative impact stereotyping can have for a very long time.  When I was dating my now-husband, Gavin, his mother was not a happy camper (do Chinese people ever like to camp?).   His Asian mother, who is an absolutely fabulous person, really wanted him to get rid of me, the White Ghost, aka Lo fan.  Crikey!  I was just being sweet l’il ol’ me but my blondness was working against me for the first time!  You see, she believed Caucasian women didn’t know how to take care of the house properly, didn’t do the cooking, didn’t take care of the children but sent them to nannies instead, cheated and got divorced.   No matter how ‘nice’ she thought I was, I would never be good wife material.

Well,  in some ways she was right.  I don’t cook very much now that the kids are older, I’d rather paint or do something fun than spend everyday scrubbing, I do like having guy friends and I won’t fib and say that the big ‘D’ has never crossed my mind as a viable alternative on really bad days, though it’s been a while since I felt that way.  I was being…stereotyped… but this time it was working against me!   It’s been many years and I know she loves me now and sees me as an individual and not just as a white girl, but it did take time.

Stereotypes are labels thrust on individuals or groups to make them easier to understand.  Like Bonnie said, they make figuring out your own place in the world simpler, so they’re self-serving, really.  I know I’m not a stereotypical mom with 3 kids and a dog even though that’s basically what I am on paper.  What else?  Well, like most of the women I know, I wear a lot of different hats depending on the day of the week or the mood I’m in.  Sometimes I’m ‘Ditzy Artist’.  ‘Dumb Blonde’ has served me well over the years when I’ve needed to pull her out.

I don’t mind acting out a stereotype every now and then when I’m in charge of the play.  What I don’t care for are stereotypes that are forced on me.  I don’t like going out with my girlfriends for some music and drinks and being called a cougar.  I find it derogatory, frankly.  Being stereotyped takes away your power and is belittling.  Now, if you want to call yourself a dumb blonde or a cougar then that’s different.  You’re taking back your power.  It’s all about the context in which these terms are used.


The First Thing That Comes to Mind Is…

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word – regret?

Bonnie‘s take~

Bonnie's PostWhen I think of the word “regret” it leaves me with an uncomfortable feeling and I don’t like it.  There are lots of things that I could say I’ve regretted in my life;  guys I spent too much time with, not going back to school,  switching jobs, moving, marrying some people, suntanning, taking risks with my health…

My first recollection of this feeling of regret was when I was in Kindergarten.  The teacher used to occasionally choose a child to accompany her to the little store near our school during lunch hour.  It was a great treat because the one on one time with the teacher made the kids feel very special and she used to let them choose a candy too.  She was going to ask me to join her one day when another child cried that it was her turn to go.  So she took out a coin and asked us to choose heads or tails.  I chose tails and when she flipped the coin it landed on heads.  (I always choose heads now)  I remember the deep disappointment I felt at that moment and this uncomfortable feeling that nagged at me for a long time as I kept thinking “Heads! Why didn’t I choose heads!!”

But then I remember that all of those things that I regret are also things that helped mold me into the person that I am today.  All of it has made me into “me” and I am actually grateful for them…now.  (Except for the suntanning)

Tracy’s two cents~

TracyI agree with Bonnie, if I have regret for anything that could have been a life altering decision then I wouldn’t be the person who I am today.  If I had married someone else I wouldn’t have the unique friendship that I have with Scott and I wouldn’t have my kids who are incredible little human beings!  If I had chosen to follow my career instead of being a stay at home Mom, my kids and I wouldn’t have the relationship we have today so there is no regrets there.

Lets look at the little things in my life I might have had regret in doing.  Pulling the wad of gum out of my hair without looking to see how big it was and having a bald spot for months afterwards…obsession over a guy who wasn’t really worth it…I have regretted  pressing ‘send’ on occasion.  I will just leave that one ‘open’ for interpretation.  I regret eating the plate of brownies between yesterday and today but then again I could really go for one right about now with a glass of cold milk…I ran one of them off today… I regret not checking or looking back before winding my daughters head up in the window of the Jeep…ouch!  Now I am going to have bad dreams!  How about it Jake?  Anything juicy that comes to mind?

Jacquie’s thoughts~


I don’t think regret is necessarily a bad thing at all.   There are many things I regret like not finishing my degree when I had the chance (then again, I believe it’s never too late so I could do it now)  and not putting enough effort into keeping up my friendship with Nancy when she moved to the island.  I also regret not saving my journal from my trip to Europe when I was 18 and losing all the great addresses I’d collected now that I have more time to travel again.  I’d have a couch to crash on in every corner of the world!
Let’s see, what else do I regret.  Well, I don’t think tiling the upstairs bathroom in a mish mash of funky colours was the best idea when it comes to resale.  I regret not jumping into the Okanagan waterfront real estate market when we had a chance to buy something with a group of friends years ago.  That little cottage on the lake is now worth 5 times the price and is virtually untouchable.  Sigh.  I could go on and on but I’m starting to feel woozy with all the time travel rehashing of things I’ve come to terms with at some point in my life.  You can be sure that for everything I leave on the page there have been 10’s of things I’ve selectively chosen to omit : )
I think there has to be a distinction made between feeling regret and feeling guilt, as both of these concepts have to do with actions from your past.  Guilt isn’t a healthy emotion and it can eat away at your soul until you find a way to resolve your issues.    Once you do that it turns into a regret and you can learn something from the experience.   Healthy people feel regret all the time.  OK, I’m just talking about me here so if you remember this is all from my perspective you can either agree or scoff.   C’est ma vie.
When I start to feel the uncomfortableness of regret creeping into my brain cells I take out my oils and paint.  Or go for a walk.  Or call a friend and go for a walk!  Works every time.

Ever had an Obsession? Do Tell!

Jacquie’s take~

post-pic-3-12When I think of the word ‘obsession’ I think of an action or thought or feeling that is all-consuming and thereby counterproductive.  So, yeah, of course I’ve been obsessed a few times in my life!

The biggest obsessions I’ve had have revolved around my kids.  I’m a bit of a collector by nature and so when my girls got into beanie babies 10 years ago I thought I’d surprise them by picking up a few of the really hard to find ones on eBay.   It was an incredible rush to go through the auction process, only to lose out at the last minute to the more savvy bidders who knew all the tricks.  I made it my personal goal to learn how to win and as a result I was able to get some of the most coveted items.  Unfortunately, my girls had lost interest in the meantime.  I soon realized that I had taken away all the fun for them because it was no longer about cherishing what they’d been able to find on their own.

I’ve collected everything from carnival glass, beads, paints, fabric and china just because I like the texture and the colors.  My china is all different patterns because I could never decide on just one look and I like to go to flea markets when out of town.  I used to be obsessed with finding just the right new dinner plates.  I now actually say a little mantra when I feel the urge to pick up something  ~  ”Will this really make your life better?”  The answer is now “No, I like it but I can be happy without it”.

Someone out there will immediately know what having an obsession with collecting means.  I think I have a pretty good idea myself.  I’ve watched enough Oprah to have that figured out!

Bonnie’s two cents~


  1. the domination of one’s thoughts or feelings by a persistent idea, image, desire, etc.
  2. the idea, image, desire, feeling, etc., itself.
  3. the state of being obsessed.
  4. the act of obsessing.

Bonnie's PostWell when you put it that way I guess I have.   I was once obsessed with a thought.  A kind of doomsday thought.  The seed for this thought was planted years ago by a psychic I had visited a few times.  The thing with this particular psychic was that she was pretty darned accurate most of the time, some might even say “spot on” in many of her predictions.

I visited her a couple of years before I met my husband John and she told me that I would meet the “one” within the next couple of years.  Check.  She told me she saw me living in a white house beside the water with this love of my life.  Check.  I was a single mother of one when I spoke to her but she said I would have four children.  This made me laugh.  I had not considered step children at that point.  Four children.  Check.  One thing she said, that I didn’t think much about at the time but that would later become my obsession, was this:   “You will have a wonderfully happy life with this man…but it will end too soon.  It will not be a long enough relationship for you.”  She didn’t get into details, in fact that was all she would say about that, and I put it out of my mind.  Until I was with John, living in our white house beside the lake when it hit me.  All the things she’d predicted had come true!  So now when was this relationship going to come to a sudden halt?  The only way I could imagine that happening was if John was to die on me.   And there it was.  The beginning of my obsession with the thought that my John would die early and break my heart.  He travels a lot with work and so every time he was leaving to go away I would sob and worry that I would never see him again.  I was like this for years.  It’s exhausting worrying about ridiculous things.  Poor John kept telling me to stop imagining him with one foot in the grave.  Then I started to worry that it might come true simply because I gave the thought too much of my focus and energy…power of attraction…that kind of thing.  I was going crazy.  Maybe that would be how it ended too soon.  John had to commit me.

I’ve finally stopped the craziness and I don’t obsess over the thought of losing John anymore…much…no really…hardly ever…no…never at all anymore.

I have to share with you the wonderful positive thing that came of all of this obsessing.  I have always (and still do) absolutely appreciated every moment that I spend with my husband.  My silly fear taught me a great lesson in appreciation and when you are always in appreciation of someone it makes for a very strong bond of love.

Tracy’s thoughts~


Yes, I have had an Obsession!  His name starts with the letter…I am kidding!  My real obsession was with exercise.  This particular time it had a negative effects on my body and here is why.  I was heading off to Cabo with Jacquie last year around this time and as soon as I booked my ticket I started to work out really, really hard.  Working out for me has always been part of my life but this was more than I was used to.  I did a intense stair routine for an 1 hour at the local track 3 days a week and ran 3 days a week anywhere from 5 -10 K.  I literally lived in my running gear!

When I look back I see that I was obsessed, but at the time I was just stepping it up a bit.  By doing this I completely threw my hormones out of balance.  My endocrine system was turned upside down.  I had my menstrual cycle for 48 days straight and then not at all for 3 months.  Nothing should bleed for that long and live…seriously!  It was a real concern for about 6 months.  I sought help from my Doctor with no luck in finding out what was going on.  I must admit I got very impatient.  I was put on birth control pills to try to balance my cycle.  Test after test, throw a day surgery in there for fun and still no resolution for me.  I finally went to see a Naturopathic Doctor who had balanced my Thyroid after being Hypothyroid after child birth.(slow metabolism no matter how hard you work out you don’t lose an ounce! It sucked big time)  He balanced that naturally so I gave him another try.  I needed to cleanse my system or as he put it take out the garbage and reboot my endocrine system like we do our computers after they crash.  I did a kidney cleanse and took a natural capsule that binds excess estrogen in your system  and I was regular a month later and have been since.  That was my obsession, exercise. Moderation is key!


A Day in the Life of….?

Lets start with a  HAPPY MOTHERS DAY to all the wonderful Moms doing what I think is one of the hardest jobs out there!  Have a Great day and I hope you all receive something wonderfully homemade.  Those are my favorite gifts without a doubt !

Okay Ladies if you could live a day in the life of a career of your choosing, what would you pick.  You would have complete knowledge of your chosen career for 24 hours.

Tracy’s take~

I was torn between two.  It was either a Lawyer in a high profile case on the day I was to plead my case to the jury, or a Trauma Doctor in the ER on a day the ER was full.

Armand Dorian "Trauma Doctor"I will go with a Trauma Doctor in the ER because I would have the skill and ability to save lives.  I think it would be incredible to have the knowledge of a Trauma Surgeon.  I love real life in the ER shows.  It shows what these amazing people do on a daily basis.  The adrenaline must be incredible when you are faced with several lives needing to be saved at the same time.  To have the calmness and make decisions confidently with moments to spare would be a skill I would love to have.  To be right in the thick of a busy ER going from patient to patient, having to assess each one quickly and correctly would be so challenging.  I have always had an interest in First Aid and have taken courses, but to do what these Doctors and Nurses do is so far beyond all of us I would love to be in their shoes for just one day.  I think being a Trauma Nurse or Doctor would be one of the most rewarding and satisfying careers one could have.  I understand that there is a very dark side to this profession but these individuals know this going in and STILL continue the journey because they feel so passionately about saving lives.  I know a couple of ladies Jill and Michelle who work at BC Children’s Hospital in emergency and they to me are incredible human beings who I admire so much for their contribution to helping save children’s lives.  Nurses and Doctors are a different breed.  I admire both.

Bonnie’s 2 cent’s~

Ok, don’t laugh, but I would definitely choose to be a rock star.  I don’t think I’d be hard rock.   I’d like to be a bit Sheryl Crow/Sarah McLachlin/Alicia Keys/KT Tunstall/Carrie Underwood/(I could go on and on) all rolled into one!  In this fantasy I would have great range and could basically pull off any song you asked me to perform.  Plus I could play a number of instruments; guitar, piano, flute, saxophone, drums even.  Ooooo, and when I dance on stage I can move like Shakira.

Music makes me feel so good.   Belting out a song I love and then actually  have people want to pay me large amounts of money to hear me perform it…well, it just couldn’t get any better than that!  I wouldn’t be saving peoples lives like Tracy.  Nothing that lofty, but inspiring people through music is kind of nice.music-notes

Jacquie’s thoughts~

This one’s a no-brainer for me.  In fact, I mentioned it to Tracy a few weeks ago so I’m really not trying to copycat you, Bonnie!

I had a dream that started when I was 18 that I was lead singer for the 70’s/80’s  group Chicago for a one-night only performance in Paris.  No kidding.   Stand aside, Peter Cetera.   I had been rudely dumped by a Parisian boyfriend when I was over there (this is the true part of the story) and I thought it would be such sweet revenge to come back to the city of love and show the jerk what an amazing success I had made of my life.  Ha ha!  I had been a huge fan of Chicago and knew the lyrics to all of their songs so I really thought I could pull it off.   Other than that I’ve never had any interest in being a musical performer.

Yeah….I’d definitely go for the 24 hour Paris gig even now.    There’s no statute of limitations on payback.  ; )


Do you ever lie about your age?

Bonnie’s take~

Who me?…lie? No way.  I look really really good for 56 years old!

That’s right, if I was going to lie about my age I’d definitely lie up.  I recently read about a woman doing just that and I thought “Now that’s the way to do it!”.  People will admire how well you’ve aged.  Snort!

The last time I lied about my age was when I was not quite old enough to enter a night club.   I borrowed a friend’s I.D. (who looked nothing like me) to show at the door.  It worked (obviously the doorman didn’t look very closely) and I was allowed to enter.  I was uncomfortable all night waiting to be discovered and then thrown out.  I’m not very good at breaking the rules.  If the sign says “No Trespassers” then I will not trespass…very willingly…ok, I know some of you reading this have trespassed with me but if you’ll remember, it was your idea and I was not comfortable with it!

Nah, I’m fine with telling the truth about my age or anything else you might ask me.  Mind you, I’ve never had to compete with younger women for a job or a movie role.  So far.  If I’m ever in that situation I may think differently, but then again, lying about your age is only half of it.  You have to make them believe it too.


Tracy’s 2 cents~

Have I ever lied about my age… lately?  I can’t remember the last time I did so it must have been quite awhile ago, same as Bonnie back in the 80’s!  Actually in Cabo I changed the subject when my age was brought up when a really really young guy was flirting with me.  After finding out he lived where I grew up I instantly asked him what his mom’s name was in case I knew her.  He lied to me thinking I wouldn’t have spoke with him had I known he was only 27 !!!!!  I would have, but I see his point.

Nope, never lied but yes avoided the conversation at times.  I have usually been the age I am turning next.  Technically when you turn 40 you’re in your 41 st year.  I am no longer doing that though, it’s getting kind of scary now.  So ya, I guess I’m my 39th year!  Again! “OUCH”!


Jacquie says…

I’ve never felt the need to lie about my age in the past but I’m going to start now.    Oh, wait a minute, I did tell a bit of a fib when I was 17 and trying to get an agency to take me on in Milan.  I decided to say I was 14, as  at that time really young models were being celebrated in all the magazines.   While visiting one agent he got really disgusted and angry that my parents would allow a 14 year old to travel alone so it kinda backfired on me!  I gave up that scheme pronto.  (You never knew about that one, did ya, mom?)

I’ve always been comfortable revealing my true age but I just think it’s nobody’s business but my own now.  Depends on how the question is asked and why someone wants the info.  I know I’ve probably asked a new acquaintance her age just to get a grasp on where she is in life.  It can give me clues as to how young she was when she had her kids, how her career has progressed and whether or not she liked Donny Osmond or Bobby Sherman as a teen.  Other than that, age is irrelevant.



Where Did You Meet Your Girl Friends?

Jacquie’s take~

Growing up I never had much difficulty finding friends.  Even as a small child I think I had the ‘disease to please’ and so I know I kinda went along with any game plan that was put on the table.  I was really easy going and just didn’t care to rock the boat.  I kept a lot of my emotions and opinions to myself and as a result I always had a lot of friends to play and laugh with.  In high school I met Naava, an out-spoken artsy/intellectual who jumped for no one and, literally, danced to the beat on her own drum.  We totally clicked for some reason.   I think because with her I felt I could just be me and I wasn’t afraid to not be perfectly agreeable.  For the first time I had a friend who I felt really liked the real me and not just the ‘fun’ me, and that was huge.  I learned so much from that friendship about quality, not quantity.

When I think about where I’ve met all my closest girlfriends what surprises me as that there really is no recurring theme except that they’re all quality women.  They’ve all popped into my life from different angles;  work, travel, school mom, friend of a friend’s spouse, neighborhood, and I am soooo grateful for them all.  I guess the point is you never really know when a new amazing friendship is going to find its way into your life.   Every girlfriend I’ve had has given me something special and made me a better, happier, more in-tuned human being.

My mother used to say that the friends you make in high school will always be close because you’ve seen each other go through one of the most difficult periods in your lives and that’s incredibly bonding.  While I think there’s a lot of truth in that, I also think that it’s equally possible to make deep bonds with new girlfriends at any stage in your life.  Once you’ve experienced a true connection with someone you know it’s a feeling you never want to be without.

I found a really interesting site last year when I was online looking for book club ideas.  It’s called www.meetups.com and it works like this; you punch in your zip code and up pops a list of different clubs or groups that are meeting in your area.  Joining is as easy as tapping a button.  I’ve used this site to join a book club, coffee club and a walking group.  When my sister moved to Australia last year I told her about it and she found a writer’s group in Sydney she wanted to try out.  I think this is a really inspiring site and what the internet is all about.. feeling connected.    Your newest BFF could be one of the ladies at the Fabulous and Forty Wine Tasting Club!

Bonnie’s 2 cents~

Bonnie and Dorrie

I'm the one on the left with the strange bloomer shorts on. Dorrie is on her bike/pretend horse behind me. Yes, it was in the days before colour film.

I still remember seeing her across the street playing in her yard.  She kept glancing over at me but then she would look away as soon as our eyes met.  Her every move fascinated me.  What was she imagining with her dolls.  I wanted so badly to play with her.  I’m the shy one.  Other kids always come over to me first.  I went inside and talked to my grandma about it.  “Just go over and tell her your name.  Then ask her if she wants to play with you.”  my grandmother said in her matter of fact tone.   “Can’t you go over and ask her if she wants to play with me?”  My grandmother just shuffled me out the door and told me not to be so silly.  I was 4.  We stared at each other for a while longer and then finally one of us ( I think it was her)  shouted out “What’s your name?” and that was all it took.  We were great friends from that moment on…until I moved away shortly after.  Her name was Dorrie.  I wonder how she is now?

I’ve met girl friends all over the world.  Unfortunately, I’ve moved all over the place too and have left many behind.   I’ve always had the best intentions about keeping in touch but as time goes on and my life has taken different turns, I’ve lost touch with many really great friends.  This is one of my biggest regrets.  Thanks to Facebook however, I have been able to reconnect with some and that has been wonderful.

One of my life’s greatest blessings has been the one constant friend I’ve had since high school, Tracy.  We’ve had our ups and downs but through it all we have learned some valuable lessons and have grown closer and closer.  When I think back on our years together I realize we haven’t lived in the same city for many of them but I don’t ever worry that we will drift apart.  Our bond is too deep.

Looking back I realize I have always had at least one close girlfriend near at all times.  I have so many fond memories of all the great women I’ve had the opportunity to get to know well in my life.  They’ve all helped mold me into the woman I am today and I’m truly grateful to all of them.

Tracy’s thoughts~

Where did I meet my girlfriends you ask?  Strip clubs mostly, after hours.  I’m kidding.  I used to have mostly guy friends in my teens and twenties. Girls judged and gossip too much for me, guys were much less complicated.  I feel differently now.  I embrace the female spirit.

There was one girl who was always there, the one who knows every single deep dark secret of mine in detail, Bonnie.  Some say the truth shall set you free.  In my case, her aging mind will.  Here’s hoping she loses the long term first.  I want her to remember who I am, just not what I did.  It would be so fun if she lost her mind before me so I could convince her it was she who did certain things, not I.  Our conversations would go something like this.  “I still can’t believe you did that!”  Tracy says jokingly.   “Did I do that?“  Bonnie says confusingly.  “I should know I was there when you did it!”, Tracy says, while looking down to the left because it’s a big fat lie.   “ I always thought it was you who did that?“  says Bonnie, while she starts to doubt her inner voice.  “Nope that was you.“ says Tracy with her best acting face ever!

Bonnie and I met in Acting class when we were 15.  Good thing we didn’t meet sooner because I would have FOR SURE told on her for some of the things she did.  We were partners in class and our task was to find out as much about the other person and then introduce them to everyone.  It was fairly basic for us, “Hi  I’m so-n-so, I live in North Van, I’m 15.” and then we laughed and giggled for the rest of the time.  I guess right then we knew we would be best friends forever so we didn’t want to find out too much too soon.  It has taken me 30 years to get to know Bonnie and still to this day she amazes me daily at how non judgmental and unconditional her friendship is.  She is one of the most multi-faceted souls I have had the honor to meet.

But how lucky can one girl be, 12 years ago I had the most incredible luck and met Jacquie on set of the movies.  We have become very close over the last couple of years because we make the time to see one another.  We embrace who we are, we work well together balancing one another’s quirks.  She makes me want to be a better person.  Sometime that’s hard! But I love her for it.  She challenges me which is such a turn on (not in that way).

Making memories is what friendships are all about.  Friends come and go, we learn, we grow.  I have a circle of friends now that I absolutely adore, some old, some new, some borrowed and men too.  It doesn’t really matter where you meet them, just that you do.

Girlfriends !!


Girlfriends Youthful Secrets

Tracy’s take~

As I age it gets harder and harder to look young and fresh.  Some days it’s hard to look in the 10X mirror, but I wouldn’t live without it or all hell would break  loose!  I want to age gracefully!  I have been told my entire life I have never looked my age  (or was it never acted my age? hmmm)  so I guess what I am doing is working.  We’re here today to share with you what we do to try to maintain a certain level of youthfulness.

1~ I think you need to start from within, for sure, by drinking water all day long.  I don’t know about you but I see the difference in my skin Tracy moisturizingwhen I am not hydrated.  It looks similar to an orange peel.  Drink water!

2~ I also run and get exercise at least 4-5 days a week.  It gives you a natural glow and brings fresh blood to the surface of your skin so you look healthy.  You feel good which definitely shows in your attitude and you have energized your mind, body and soul.

3~ I ALWAYS take off my make-up before bed and moisturize day and night. I wish now I had listened to the lady in the mall years back when she said make sure you also do your neck…curses!! Do your neck, too.  You’ll wish you had!

So Bonnie, what’s your secret to looking so great over the years?


Bonnie’s two cents~

Why, thank you, Tracy.  Assuming, as you all now must because you can’t really see me, that I do look good for my age, here are some things I’ve learned:

1~ I recently learned, through my hair dresser (thanks Meeshala!), that I should take about 15 minutes and blow dry my hair properly.   What this means is that one hand must pull my hair through a large round brush while the other hand holds the dryer on it.  This results in my hair having more body but it eliminates frizz.  Wow! I can’t believe how much better I look without the frizz and more importantly I can’t believe I went for so many years not knowing this simple beauty tip.  I must have missed that issue in one of my magazines!

2~ Have you ever noticed that older people lose their whiteness?  No, they don’t suddenly dance well.  The whites of their eyes dull and their teeth do, too.  I don’t recommend doing this every day but on special occasions I always use eye drops to brighten my eyes up.  I also don’t recommend over whitening your teeth (George Hamilton/Tracy) but I’ve found using a good whitening toothpaste for everyday works well (I use Arm and Hammers Extra Whitening and also rinse with Listerine Extra with Whitenol).

3~ The very best beauty secret I know of is to smile.  Seek joy in your life and you can’t help but smile and then you automatically look beautiful.  You can’t help it, it radiates out of you.

I know what Tracy means about the neck.  We’re now entering the era of…turtlenecks.  It will be a little uncomfortable this summer.  Whatcha got for us Jacquie?

Jacquie weighs in…

Are you guys for real?!!!!  Seriously?

OK… exfoliation is key, I’d say.  At least once or twice a month I strip down to my undies , tie my hair up in a ponytail and roll down the length of my asphalt driveway a few times.  Great way to smooth down those rough elbows and knees.

I love going out for sushi and I always ask for extra wasabi (green Japanese horseradish) on the side to bring home.  Makes a great toner when my blonde highlights begin to look a bit faded and coppery and a little bit mixed into my foundation and dabbed under my eyes corrects the bluish dark circles I get after late nights boozin’ with the gals.

This last one is my personal fave.  I hired a very talented and discreet lighting director to follow me around holding up soft focus gels and filters so that I’m only ever seen it the best possible light.   Smoke and mirrors ( slathered in Vaseline, of course) works well, too.



If I could magically re-invent myself as anything I’d…


Bonnie’s take~

For some reason this stage in many peoples lives (mid forties) seems to be ripe for re-invention.  Maybe it’s because we realize “Whoa, we’re half way there/done.”  There are many other factors that could spark this too, like divorce, illness, spiritual awakenings, the economy etc., and really these can occur at any age.

The funny thing about this is that it’s truly possible.  We can all re-invent ourselves whenever we want to.   The only thing that ever holds us back from doing so is our own fears and skewed belief systems.  We all have ’em though, but let’s just pretend for a moment that we don’t.  The sky’s the limit.  You can be anything you want to be.    I’ll go first.

fairy-godmother1Poof!    The smoke slowly clears and what emerges is…well, still me I guess, but in perfect shape and health and looking radiantly happy.  I’m radiantly happy because I still have my loving family and friends but I also have a sense of real purpose in this world.   My career is incredibly fulfilling because I not only make ridiculous amounts of money (which I share happily because it never stops coming in) but also because I can see that what I’m doing is helping to make the world a better place.

None of that  is too far from what my life is now except the copious amounts of money and the large sense of  “making an important difference”.   I am working on this re-invention right now and I do believe it’s all possible.  Anything is possible.  So the first step is complete…belief in self…the rest should be easy.

Can’t wait to hear how you might re-invent yourself too.   ~Bonnie

Jacquie’s $0.02…

I’ve really had to think hard on this one, Bon!  If I say I’d like to be an actor, then I really should try to be one right now.  If I want to be a successful artist then I should be working on my skills.  I’m pretty OK with all the good and not so good in my life.  I would like to be more organized, though. Ultimately we’re in charge of our destiny.

But if I could click my heels and be a new me it would have to be as a mom of several more kids.  I’d love to have had at least a couple more but it just wouldn’t have been easy financially.  So I’d like to re-invent my life to include a huge inheritance or great paying job, enough to enable us to have bought a Walton’s style family home with lots of bedrooms.  And I’d want Wonder Woman’s taut tummy.  I’d take Angelina and Brad’s chateau in France off their hands if I could.  Believe me, I’d have help in the form of a chef and housekeeper, but I’d still be a great ‘hands on’ mom.

Yeah, I’ve had such a wonderful experience with my three brats that I think adding a few more, naturally or through adoption, would have just made life even more rewarding. ~ Jacquie

Tracy gets on the scale~

I am not sure I would  re-invent myself at all.  I like the twists and turns my life has taken so far.  I think we re-invent ourselves naturally every time our life takes a turn for the better or worse at that time.  Life experience creates change, one being in ourselves.

I believe I am heading in the direction of where I am meant to be, so I am good with my life for the basics.  If I were given the opportunity to wave that magic wand I would just want a peek of seeing myself living the success I imagine.  But that would mean I have fast forwarded past the hard work it takes to create something you are proud of, so I would hand the wand off to someone else who needed it more than I.  So I guess I would like to see the end result but still go through the challenges of getting there.  I agree with Bonnie that the sky is the limit and Jacquie that if you really wanted something, you would be doing it.  I think I am doing it, and it’s never too late.

I have faith that one day I will be acknowledged for my hard work in pursuing something I have passion for.  If you ask me what I see myself doing in 5 years however, perhaps that is another Sunday topic, I would be doing what I am doing now but with years of experience behind me. I would have thousands of articles in my back pocket that hopefully inspired someone else to live their life with passion and purpose.  I think we all are continually re-inventing ourselves each and every time we move forward in life and make a change that moves us to where we are meant to be.



Tag Team Sunday ~ The Naked Truth

Hey Ladies, we’re gonna talk nudity.

How comfortable are you with it?  In movies?  In your own home?

Jacquie dips her toe in the hot tub…

This would be the perfect time to say something titillating and, believe me, I’ve been debating which route to take, but ultimately I have to stay true to my voice. I think there’s way too much unnecessary nudity in movies. Hear me out. I think nudity in porn flicks is necessary; in every movie produced by the major studios, unnecessary! Depends on what you’re looking to watch and what’s going to satisfy your entertainment needs at the time. Both types of films have their place. I just don’t want to go to Blockbuster, rent something and be given a helping of gratuitous nakedness with my romance and action. I’ll allow that sometimes it is important to the story. Kate Winslet in The Reader, for example. That movie needed all that sex and nudity (did I just say that?) in order for the audience to truly feel the awkwardness and passion of the two main characters.

I guess because of my background in art I feel very comfortable with the naked human body as an object worthy of admiration and adoration. Male and female. I’m too uncomfortable to do the full on nude beach thing (topless in Europe, woo hoo) but I have posed for artists in the buff and felt really powerful and feminine and would do it again.

I love the beautiful lines and curves and angles we possess, but I just don’t think they have to be displayed all at the same time. I subscribe to the ‘flash one great body part at a time’ rule. Think Michele Obama and those incredible arms! That’s sexy! Or J Lo in that deeper-than-deep-belly-button-revealing-cleavage dress that covered her arms and legs. Hot.

While in Vegas a few weeks back I went to a burlesque show at Forty Deuce at the Mandalay Bay. I have to say it was so much fun to watch! The dancers were fantastic athletes, spinning on poles, hanging from scaffolding in the ceiling and twisting and gyrating to the cheering packed house. But there was no nudity involved! As each layer of clothing was removed you could clearly see the skin-toned tasseled bra and panties that remained. The mostly male audience loved it and so did I.

As for nudity at home, nobody wants to see me running around in my meat suit folding laundry and vacuuming!  I take that back, I know one person who would.



Tracy’s naked truth….
Nekid...well half.Let’s get Nekid! I love the naked body! I’ve skinny dipped and suntanned in private naked. I would sleep naked but what if the house caught fire and I were naked with not enough time to put on pants. I’d be running out of the house naked to young in shape handsome firemen! I am okay with the naked part as long as I could move slow but that doesn’t go with”THE HOUSE IS ON FIRE”! (have you ever googled ‘running naked’? Apparently not a fear for most!)

All joking aside, I am fine with nudity in movies but I like it better when they leave more to the imagination. I am not interested in pointless spring break style nudity. The movie ‘The Notebook’ however has every element ever needed in a nude scene. A building climax, a ridiculously handsome guy (Ryan Gosling), passion, soaking wet rain kissing and clothes ripped off. I could keep going) Yikes! I would do that scene for sure if it could be done in one take, maybe two…or three if it was reeeallly needed. I’d like to see the look on my face while watching a good nude scene actually. You know the face people make when they look like they ‘think’ they are in the scene. That’s me.

Getting Naked

I would not, however, run away from someone in bright light buck naked unless my life depended on it. Still then, I think I might first try running backwards or at least try to talk my way out of having to run. My thought process would be this.“Oh no…no, no, no your kidding right, this can’t be happening, oh shit, seriously, oh my god I hope he doesn’t have a video camera”. Admitting that would give the impression that I wasn’t happy with my booty. I am, in the right light.  Florescent tubing or bright spring sun, not doin it! Candle light, all over it! Well, the naked truth can leave one feeling vulnerable and in need of another run! Okay I’m over it. Who wants to get Naked?


Bonnie brings up the rear….

Naked. I love naked. Especially in fresh clean sheets next to my man’s naked body. It’s a sensual sensation.  Ooooh and swimming naked in a warm ocean during a full moon is the best!

I spent enough years in Australia in my youth to feel completely comfortable being topless on the beaches…there. It’s a whole different story here in Canada however. In Australia you felt almost ridiculous as a 2o year old with a bikini top on and more than a string thong on the bottom. Back in Canada I was quick to fall back into the more modest beach attire.

I have to agree with Tracy about nudity in movies. I don’t mind seeing nudity, it doesn’t offend me, but I prefer to have my imagination tantalized.

I’ve been to a couple of nude/topless beaches in Europe and one in Hawaii. Here’s what I learned. It ain’t always pretty, but it is real. And I’m ok with that. I don’t find the human body offensive in any way. What I took away from those experiences was how people, no matter what their shape and size was, were completely ok with their own bodies. How liberating!

When I look in my full length mirror at my naked body at this stage in my life I struggle to accept the beauty of my naked body. I can easily see faults that I’d like to have improved. But you know what, I’ve thought the same way since I was a young woman! When I look back now I think “what were you worried about, you looked great”, and I’m sure I will think the same thing ten or twenty years from now when looking back at the body I wear right now.

Anyway, I promised to bring up the rear…I love a man’s naked rear! Yep, I’m a butt girl. My own rear is not my favourite ‘ass’et, but I’m sure I’ll really appreciate my 45 year old rear when I’m 65.



What was your most memorable meal ever?

Tracy’s take~

Get ready to salivate ladies!  What was your most memorable meal ever?


My most memorable meal ever was at Sanafir Restaurant & Lounge downtown Vancouver, 1026 Granville Street.  A great friend of mine, Deb Podowski otherwise know as Debbie dooo, FINALLY got engaged after about 50 years of dating Keith!  She was lucky enough to have her good friend Christina Linden (name drop!) arrange her stagette and WOW,  it was incredible!  Sanafir is a Tapas menu offering, trio-oriented exotic flavours, showcasing equal amounts of North African, Asian, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean and Indian dishes.  We had a group of about 12 girls and because of Christina’s connections she arranged a sample menu for us all to try.  It was, to date, the best experience my taste buds have ever had in my 40 odd years on this planet.  There was not one item on any of the delicious platters that were brought to our table that I didn’t absolutely love!  Love I say!  Each flavour was exquisite.Trio-oriented flavours

Sanafir, meaning “meeting place” in Arabic, is a bi-level restaurant adorned with handcrafted Egyptian amber urns, harem style draperies, and richly upholstered beds; as you know, nothing says romance like harems and beds. And we all know what my view is on romance!  With 40-foot ceilings, handcrafted glass chandeliers, and gilt paintings, Sanafir exudes culture and style.  The atmosphere is chic yet elegant, and offers a rare Eastern/Western fusion.  I loved it so much I spent my birthday there with ‘a really good friend of mine’.   Enjoy!Sanafir Scott & Tracy


Bonnie’s two cents~

Mmmm…food…I love food.  I honestly cannot think of just one memorable meal I’m afraid.  I’ve had so many!!  When I think of meals that have really tantalized my taste buds I always relate them to a place.  For example, when I was a kid and living in Australia, my dad would often take me downtown to Sydney’s main train station for a meat pie.  They were the best meat pies in the city.

Back in Canada we also had favourite places for certain things.  Sunday mornings we loved to go for breakfast at “The Tomahawk” in North Van.  There used to be a bakery on Marine Drive that made the best pasty (–noun, plural -ties. Chiefly British. a pie filled with game, fish, or the like.   And not “pasties”, a pair of small, cup-like coverings for the nipples of a striptease dancer, nude model, etc.   Sheesh!)

When I was a flight attendant I had many many memorable meals all over the world.  I remember an incredible full course meal in Amsterdam that was fantastic until I ate the entire brownie I was offered for dessert only to discover later that it was a “hash” brownie.  Turned me off brownies for awhile.  There were the special roast beef sandwiches the ground crew used to bring on board for us in Argentina that were so delicious but were laced with horseradish so hot that at times you felt like the top of your head was literally being blown off.  Then there was the most incredible paella I’ve ever tasted in a small hole in the wall restaurant we found while in Portugal.

The most consistently great meals I’ve ever tasted however, were while I was in Italy at different times.  In northern Italy I tasted the best pizza I have ever “experienced”.  I use the word experience because it was just that…a taste experience.  While spending a wonderfully great deal of time in Torino there was never a restaurant that disappointed.  I should confess at this point though that my favourite food of all time is Italian.  Pasta of any shape and size with a great sauce will have my mouth watering instantly.  Oh, but I really love Greek food too, and Chinese, and Japanese…oh and Thai…and African…and…mmmm.


Jacquie weighs in~

I think great memories are made when good people and good food are served together.  I’ve been fortunate in my life to have been able to enjoy meals in some of the most interesting, romantic, funky locations in the world, and I’m a wwodisney_4_3611pretty adventurous diner, having tried and enjoyed everything from exotic roots to brains (OK, I didn’t know it was that at the time.  Cerveaux de Vache sounded interesting!),  but I have to say my favorite memories are of  Sunday dinner at home when I was little before my parents split up.

Sunday night was the only night of the week when my sister and brother and I were allowed to sit in the family room with TV tables and watch The Wonderful World of Disney for an hour.  We were all well under the age of 10.  Anne was still a baby so she was in a high chair up in the kitchen.  My dad made dinner these nights and his Swiss Steak was genius, so that’s what we traditionally requested, so much so that we renamed it Walt Disney.  I still call any simmered, one-pot, beef, potato, carrot and celery stew-like concoction Walt Disney.

He kept a short glass of rum and coke or rye and 7 and ice on the counter and my sister and I would sneak little sips without him catching on.   He was fastidious about washing his hands while cooking and would drape tea towels over the cabinet doors until the kitchen looked like a Tibetan prayer flag display.  These memories will always be some of the most special ones to me no matter how many amazing meals I experience in the future because I shared them with my family.  And it makes me wonder what memories my kids will take with them forever.



A Famous Influential Woman I’d like to meet

Bonnie’s Take…

Here is my list of choices (in no particular order):  Ellen DeGeneres,  Helen Keller,  Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis,  Eleanor Roosevelt,  Katherine Hepburn, Oprah Winfrey, Michelle Obama and Mother Teresa.

Ideally I would love to have all of them in one room at the same time and just sit back and listen to the conversation flow.  Wow! That would be incredible.

Bonnie and Oprah

My face morphed onto Jen Aniston's body. Something I've always wanted!

If I had to choose only one though I would have to go with Oprah.

I would choose her because I can imagine having an effortless conversation with her.  I wouldn’t have to prepare for weeks ahead of time to come up with a bunch of deep philosophical questions.  I imagine she would be easy to relate to.  I could ask her zillions of questions about the multitude of celebrity’s she’s interviewed over the years, we could talk about books we’ve read, our dogs, our views on spirituality, health and fitness, whatever is in the news that week, or anything that comes up.  I know I’m not alone in this but yep, I’d like to meet Oprah.   And not just for a meet and greet after one of her shows but a real sit down and visit, get to know you kind of meetings.

How about you girls?


Tracy’s 2 cent’s…

Great topic Bonnie!!  This is a hard one.  There are so many great influential women in this world to admire.  I have to say that a woman who I admired for so many different reasons in my lifetime would be Princess Diana. Princess Dianna

I watched the courtship of her and Prince Charles like everyone.  Again I get drawn in with romance!

She didn’t have the conditioning of a Princess which is what I loved about her.  She was real, genuine and true to her voice, which she used for the benefit of others.  So many women could relate to her.  She was so beautiful and real to me.  She gave us all a look into the Royal Family that I think if not for her we might not have had the interest.  I was glued to the television during the wedding like  millions of others.  I remember exactly where I was  the day she died.   There are not many days in our lives that we can all remember exactly what we were doing with, perhaps, the exception of September 11th  2001!  (I was in Osoyoos with friends and we found out in the morning before heading out for our motorcycle ride).

I cried for her because she had so much more living to do and people to help.  I don’t think we got to actually see her live her authentic life!  She had just started in my eyes.  I would love to know what really happened to her~ and Marilyn Monroe!  Princess Diana’s death to me was a true tragedy!


Jacquie weighs in…

Without a doubt, if I had to pick just one, it would have to be Jane Austen (1775-1817)

janepictI’ve been a ‘Janeite’ ( something akin to a ‘Trekkie’) since the age of 15 when my sister and I literally fought over who got to read the lone copy of Pride and Prejudice brought on a summer trip.  I had to read it again in high school and one more time in college, and with each experience as I matured, I uncovered new layers of meaning and significance.  Her novels are chock full of witty sarcasm and irony, and are considered social comedies by some literary authorities.

So many stories swirl around about the life of the real Jane Austen that she remains an enigma to this day.   I can only guess at what went on in her head by what she chose to write about~ the upper levels of the 18th century social scene. (To protect her privacy, her sister and BFF Cassandra burned most of  her personal papers when she died).  I’ve often imagined what it would’ve been like to have been her girlfriend.  I don’t think she was the stuffy spinster at all, in fact, in one letter from an acquaintance in Bath (English playground to the rich at one point) Jane is described as “the prettiest, silliest, most affected, husband-hunting butterfly ever”!   Cool!  Brainy and she knew how to party! But seriously, I think the author of this quote was a woman intimidated by Jane’s intellect, as were many men at that time.

I’d ask her why she never allowed her heroines to kiss, always fading to black before the big smoocheroni.  Who was James LeFroy really?  The man that got away and whom she pined for all her life?  What was it like being an unmarried female writer in England at that time?  Could she set me up with someone rich like she tried to do for Fanny in Emma?

Jane Austen’s social commentary is unparalleled but she wasn’t fully appreciated until many years after her death.   I LOVE a line from one of her last surviving letters to an Aunt that she wrote at age 37;

“By the Bye, as I must leave off being young, I find many Douceurs in being a sort of chaperon (at dances), for I am put on the Sofa near the Fire and I can drink as much wine as I like”.

Lace me into a corset and I’d be on that sofa with her in a heartbeat, getting the scoop while sipping our goblets of Merlot.  (I thought ‘douceurs’ might mean pleasures but I looked it up and it can also mean a bribe.  Too funny!)  What a fascinating, independent woman!

By the Bye, Bonnie, I have a little pic to share with you.  This was taken 2 years ago and was an incredible moment.  Oprah’s aura is so strong, just being next to her you can feel the electricity.  I had a cold that day so I didn’t want to shake her hand in case I gave it to her.  Tracy said I should’ve taken her hand anyway, and when she sneezed on TV I could’ve take the credit!  LOL  We had a nice, short chat.  She’s wonderful.


Cheryl, Gloria, OPRAH! Susan and me!



Which Reality Show Would You Do?

Jacquie’s Take~

I’m so glad it’s my turn to start the team post topic this week!  I don’t think my compadres would ever choose this subject so I’ve got them on the hot seat and they’re gonna have to do some serious head scratching since I’m the ‘reality junkie’!

Without a doubt, the show I would LOVE to get a spot on would be The Amazing Race!  And my partner would be my girlfriend Cheryl.  In fact, we’ve had it planned for years!  Our combined travel skills (she’s a cruise consultant and I had a compass surgically implanted in my hip socket) would make us an unbeatable duo if ever given the opportunity.  Unfortunately, the producers obviously fear us as they’ve made the show unavailable to Canadians to enter.

A few years back Cheryl and I did a Navigate the Streets event in support of the Make~a~Wish foundation in Vancouver.  We sucked air big time!  We suffered a humiliating loss at the end with a fatal mistake.  We were allowed to ‘phone a friend’ for help and sadly we mistook Carroll St for Haro St through the static on the cell.  Yup, not too good if you know how far apart these drags are downtown!  It was sooo  much fun, though!

Last person I would do the Amazing Race with would be my husband, Gavin, and he knows why (“cough” Vegas trip).  Oh, I would go to the ends of the earth with him just not with a time limit and a camera crew tracking every move! Nobody wants to see that train wreck in the making.   I’d be signing up for Trading Spouses next.

Your turn Tracy.  Canada’s Next Top Model?   Have you even ever watched any reality TV?


Tracy’s 2 cents~

Indeed I have Jacquie!  I did watch the Amazing Race but only the season Rob & Amber from Survivor were on.  I tuned in because I saw the two of them take over Survivor when they became a couple right in front of our eyes.  Romance gets me every time!

I knew they would be a fantastic team and, although they didn’t win the entire show, they won quite a few legs of the race.  Amber was a strong, confident, naturally beautiful woman and Boston Rob was a very charismatic, smart guy with that great accent!  I’ve watched Survivor up until this year.  I am not sure why I’ve tuned out, but I think it’s because I have too many books I NEED to read.

I am waiting for the reality show that involves being stranded on the Beach!  I would need more time to find the point to it, but at this moment I’m not sure I need one or that there is one!   My luxury item would be Nair!  If you’re looking for a show that really exists it would be L.A. INK

Bonnie what show would you do?  So You Think You Can Dance ?  You’ve got the moves!  I’ve seen them !!


Bonnie weighs in~

Ok, I’ll bite but I think you know I’m not a fan of “reality” TV.  It was fun when it all first began because I believed most of it then.  I’ve since become very cynical.  The first show I was glued to the TV watching was one where the guy chose a stranger to marry and then went through with it right on national television.  It was like watching a car accident; I wanted to look away but I couldn’t.

I was intrigued by Survivor for the first two or three seasons but lost interest.  I hate watching people bicker and connive against each other.  Fear factor, The Amazing Race, and The Apprentice all had me for awhile, and American Idol can suck me in if I’m not careful.  The trouble with all of these is that they’ve been done over and over again.  Even American Idol is just the same characters but different cast now.  You are right Tracy, I enjoy watching some of the dance reality shows because those people have some real talent…and I’m not referring to Dancing with the Stars here.

When I turn on the television these days what I truly miss is a really funny well written sitcom.  Remember when Seinfeld was brand new, or Friends or Sex and the City?

I don’t want to watch every day people doing ridiculous things anymore and I don’t want to be told it’s “reality” when I know damn well it’s mostly scripted and fully edited.   What’s happened to all of the clever writers in Hollywood?  Did they get lazy or is it Joe Public who has put them out of work because of this new obsession for “reality” tv?

But I haven’t really answered your question…Which reality show would I do?  None, I’d rather go along living my reality without a camera in my face thank you.



Should you tell your girlfriend she’s…?

Bonnie’s Take…


You’re in your early twenties and your best girlfriend and you have just met a couple of gorgeous guys.  It is obvious that you both want to make a great impression.  One of you has a leftover black bean from an earlier stir fry stuck to her front tooth.  Well, if you are my dear friend, you think it is waaaay funnier to “not” say anything.  After some giggles that confuse me, she did finally let me in on the joke.  Sigh.  I still feel my cheeks burn when I think of it, but I have to admit it was funny.  So, in my opinion, yes!!, please tell her if she has food in her teeth.  Same goes for too much makeup, toilet paper stuck to her shoe, the list goes on.  If  you are very close and really care for your friend then yes, tell her you think her boyfriend is not good enough for her.  Just be prepared for her not to listen to your advise until she’s darn well ready to.

However, this also depends on how close you are with your girlfriend.  I know that I can safely give my closest friends an honest opinion as long as I approach the subject with their best interests at heart.  You may have to weigh in whether your advise could be hurtful rather than helpful.  My intention would never be to hurt anyone’s feelings.  Just be kind to each other and keep your sense of humour.


Jacquie’s 2 cents…

My feeling on the subject is a little bit different than yours, Bonnie, though I agree in principle with what you’re saying.   Maybe it’s my own insecurities but I have a really hard time telling someone else that they should do something differently because I know I don’t take critiques very well.  I’ll be less cryptic.  I’ve been told a couple of times in the recent past that I looked tired.  What the …!   I then feel like I have to justify why I might not be looking my best and it makes me self conscious and I get defensive.

Don’t EVER tell a friend she’s looking tired!  Tired is a nasty word and has all sorts of connotations like worn out, old, deflated, colorless, can’t handle your life, stressed out.  The reality is I’m staying up late every night to pick up my daughter from work or I’m writing or doing some painting.  If the end result is that I look less vibrant for my friends the next day I don’t want one of them bringing it to my attention.  I want to feel safe with my friends and believe that how I look isn’t a concern of theirs (unless flames spontaneous erupt from my orifices.  Then tell me).   If I start to look like I’m smuggling bags of bark mulch under my clothes I don’t want my friends telling me I need to start exercising or watching what I eat.  You can bet I’m probably aware of the extra few pounds and won’t appreciate a reminder.

I do think there are plenty of ways to let a friend know she could be doing something differently or better but you have to be finely tuned in to your female powers of intuition to know when the right moment is to bring something up.  I have a friend who for years wore her make up too boldly.   So often I wanted to say “do you mind if I show you how to apply your blush?”  (I used to teach make up artistry so I felt I had some expertise in that area)  but someone else finally mentioned it in a nice, matter o’ fact way and it was no big deal.  I did learn from this that most women WANT input from a trusted friend.  Maybe it was the way I was raised, but for me I have a hard time accepting ‘helpful’ advice so I prefer not to give it unless asked directly.  Live and let live.

I know you’re waiting to jump in here so I’ll pass this on to you, T.


Tracy weighs in…

First off,  is there a reason that I am the ‘weighs in’ title this week?  I am still giggling  at both your posts. Two great views!

Note to self, tell Bonnie (from now on) when she has food in her teeth.  It’s not a game to try to figure out who will step up in the crowd to say something.  And Jacquie,  you have NEVER looked tired to me!  I love that both of you have such a great sense of humor and also have the confidence to speak up when you might feel sensitive about something.  I think there is a line,  and although I love to cross that line,  here is where I don’t.  When it comes to telling your friend something, I agree that it should be weighed if you are going to hurt any feelings ( there is nothing worse than hurting a friend’s feelings).  I think a friend tucks in the tag of your shirt, fixes your hair, wipes your face of the unknown, but when it comes to things that you can’t change with a simple wipe or tuck, then I think you should be very careful with how you choose your words of advice.

I still laugh when I think back at Jacquie taking my picture in Cabo, laying by the pool in my bikini, when she said “you’re not going to like that one!”  The southern accent she used really helped!

Bonnie will tell me she really likes a certain picture of me.  It’s a nice way of giving her opinion without choosing the opposite  “I don’t like that one”.  If a friend asks me for my advice directly then yes,  I do give them my honest opinion but still choose my words carefully.  I personally would tell my friend something of the more serious nature, like a boyfriend cheating, before I would tell them their ass looks fat in those pants.  Friends come in all different sizes, styles, with makeup, without makeup and I think you should just embrace them for who they are.  After all, it’s just your opinion of how they should be.



Tattoo Curse?

Tracy’s Take

You know the curse.  It goes like this –  you meet a guy, you fall in love, he gets your name on his skin somewhere permanently and the next day you dump him.  It works in reverse too, but you’re on a Women Inspiring Women site,  so we’ll go with this version.nick-cannon-mariah

There must be some truth to this because ‘a really good friend of mine’ was in the process of getting a tattoo and the artist actually had that conversation with him.  Was he really sure that he wanted his partner’s sign on his body for life?

Curses and superstitions are all just different forms of fear trying to prevent us from not living in the moment. I think every tattoo has a unique  story behind it.  Doesn’t everyone watch Kat Von D on LA Ink just for that, the stories behind the art?

When I see a tattoo I am instantly intrigued.  I want to hear who, what, where, why and when.  I want to admire the art and artist behind the work.  I’ve even gone as far as asking two very handsome, young, strapping, hormone raging (your getting the picture, right?) guys if they would take off their shirts so I could have a better look, all in the name of research, of course.  I can’t remember what their tattoos were of, but my point is…. if you took the step to place your art on your skin you should wear it proudly and show that you have no fear.   I think tattoos are another  unique way of expressing ourselves.  Be proud of the skin your in.  What are your thoughts?


Jacquie’s 2 cents

Well Tracy,  I think the reasons people get tattoos change with each generation but the ‘curse of the loved-one’s name’ has withstood the test of time.   I really wanted to do something a bit ‘rebel-ish’ to celebrate a milestone birthday a few years ago and so I got a small tattoo on my right shoulder.    I went through a full hour of some majorly intense smarts to get my ink trophy so it really fries my bacon when I get accused of flashing a…rub-on!!! People thought it looked too neat and tidy or ‘cute’!  I needed to make it edgier, they said!

My dear sister, always wanting to see me suffer be helpful,  suggested I add my husband’s name underneath the design.   Um…at that point in my life if I thought I was going to be with him forever maybe I wouldn’t have felt the need to get the tattoo!!!!    What part of the word rebel don’t you understand?!

I had a way out.  My husband’s Asian so if I just had the characters that made up his Chinese name added in a  vertical line  under my tattoo we’d all go home happy.   His name in Chinese is Future Go Smoothly.  No, that’s my son’s name.  Anyway, it had something to do with money, the future & happiness.  Very transferable sentiment.

I haven’t been back to have my tattoo added onto yet.  Yeah,  I’ll admit I’m not relishing the idea of having that needle buzzing in my ear and busting up my epidermis again.  Plus, I’ve heard horror stories, and had a good laugh, at the celebrities who’ve permanently scrawled things like ‘Large Waste’ or  ‘This Boy is Ugly’  in Chinese when they really meant to say Love, Honor and Obey.  I don’t know if I trust the combination of Gavin’s dad’s handwriting and the tattoo artist’s skills with something this permanent.  What if it wound up saying ‘You Don’t Know What You’ve Got ‘Til it’s Gone”.   Geez,  I’d have egg on my face!

If what you say is true, Tracy, then I owe the success of my marriage to the fact that I haven’t put his stamp of ownership on my person.  I get it.

No one can predict what will happen tomorrow, but I know now that when I do get up the nerve to add to my tattoo I’ll do it without fear.  I’ll do it because I truly believe that I’ll always have the same feeling of love, and most of all respect,  for  Big Lucky Dragon,  and that will never change.


Bonnie weighs in…

I too decided to get inked on a birthday.  It wasn’t any milestone number, but I was at a point in my life where I wanted to do something wild and dangerous.  It was dangerous to me not because of the fear of dirty needles, but because I knew my mother would disapprove.

It was absolutely delicious to me to have this fair sized but well hidden tattoo that she knew nothing about…at first.  After a while, however, the smugness turned into fear.  Every time I was around her I was hyper conscious of keeping my shirt tucked in.   Here I was in my mid and even late 30’s and worrying about my shirt not being tucked in when I was around my mother!  Damn!  I didn’t feel empowered by my secret at all anymore, I just felt like I was 7 years old again.  For years, whenever I was on my way to see my parents, I would rehearse telling them about my body art.  And for years I would chicken out.   I spent the entire drive volleying clever come backs to all the disapproving remarks.  Then by the time I’d arrived at their door step I was exhausted and I did not want to go there!

Worse was that I even had my young son and my husband watching out for me.  There were a few times around my mother that one or both of them would cough and widen their eyes at me when my shirt had hiked up.  Finally my husband had enough and gently coaxed me into revealing my “big” secret.  I was approaching 40 years old after all.  What was she going to do, ground me?

On the day of the reveal I warned her that I had something big I wanted to tell her and that I hoped she would not freak out too much.  This was over the phone before we arrived so she had hours to guess at what it could be.  She has a great imagination and so came up with some doozy scenarios of her own.  When I finally broke the big news, palms sweating and pale skinned, her reaction was a very disappointing “Oh is that all!”.  What!

There are a few lessons in this story and they are pretty obvious so I won’t bore you by listing them.  I just hope after reading my tattoo story I can save someone from the same fate.



Valentine’s Day!

poker-buddies-in-vegas Y’know what I’m doing for Valentine’s Day this year?  Playing poker with good friends.   To be fair,  I’m really looking forward to it but to make it more festive I did suggest the wives wear lacy red lingerie and the guys put on red boxers.    My girlfriend with the killer body might jump on board ( It was just a joke!).   I’ll chicken out at the last minute and pull a cute dress on for sure!  I’m all talk, no follow through.  We’ll drink some wine, eat sushi and someone will make a fantastic dessert so it’ll be wonderful.

Here we are in Vegas at the Beatles  ‘Love’ by Cirque De Soleil with our Poker Peeps.   Beautiful show!

Maybe I can create a bit of fun by establishing a new rule like, every time a two of hearts is played you have to give your husband a kiss.   And if the King of hearts comes up…. LOL .   Yeah!  Kind of juvenile, like playing spin the bottle in grade 7, but being with the same guy for 27 Valentines you really can’t take it too seriously.

I think I’ll do some baking today and make a batch of really pretty pink cupcakes and sprinkle those silver balls that crack your teeth all over them.   Let the whole family know I love them through sugar.  Not a mind-blowingly original idea but that’s OK.

So that’s how I plan to mark the day.  What’re your thoughts Tracy?  Bonnie?   Doing anything special?


Bonnie’s Take:

first love

When I was sixteen my first serious boyfriend told me he loved me on Valentines Day.  We had been together for about a month and had deliberately been careful not to say the “L” word even though there were times I wanted to scream it to the world.

This is huge for a young girl who is head over heels in love with her boyfriend.

That’s my happy memory of Valentines Day.

As the years went on however, and boyfriends and husbands came and went it began meaning less and less for me.  That sounds kind of sad.  Like I lost the magic of the meaning of love or something, but actually it is quite the opposite.  I learned over the years that having someone tell you they love you when the mood strikes them is much more satisfying than when they feel obligated because the calendar tells them to.

My husband and I decided when we first met not to celebrate this “Hallmark” holiday but instead to surprise each other with flowers or gifts or a card or, whatever feels right at the time, whenever the mood strikes us.  No obligations on a specific date when dinner reservations are hardest to get and flowers are double what they normally would be.  This has meant that romance is alive in our relationship all year long.  I love it this way.

My best friends’ birthday is on Valentines Day and so that is the day I celebrate her. I think about how grateful I am for her friendship and how much I love her.  That’s what February the 14th means to me.

best friends Bonnie