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Please don't judge me based on my potluck

Suppers, Potlucks & Socials: Crowd-Pleasing Recipes to Bring People Together. 

I hate everything about potlucks. Work potlucks, friends potlucks, basically the word potluck runs a chill down my spine that spells disaster all the way.

Work potlucks are especially gruelling. Don't you feel you just can't show up with kale salad and a side of Kraft Caesar Dressing?

Plus, you never can opt out of a work potluck. It's performance pressure to the nth degree. You know your coworkers are judging you (snide remarks aside), and there's no doubt that your boss has made a mental note somewhere at the front of his mind, that either puts you in the impressive category or in a separate category titled either "miscellaneous" or "not promotion-worthy".  

Judgement aside, is it just me that feels like potluck prep always happens on a school night? Am I the only one slogging it on the jammed transit cars, trying to get it in one piece to the office? It's damn stre…

A balanced approach to more Peace, Love & Fibre

What a great title for a cookbook. 

You know Marilyn Smith from her quirky humour, and quick healthy recipes on The Marilyn Denis Show. Peace, Love & Fibre is a collection of 1000 recipes to satisfy every mealtime. 

Recipes include home comfort favourites such as Split Pea Soup with Smoked Ham that serves 10 to 12 people, and the cornbread that serves 16. Personally, I find it's always hard for me to scale up to a family and friends size portions. So Marilyn Smith's collection takes half the guesswork out. These are especially great when you have company staying with you.

Tired of your everyday egg routine. Try Morning Eggs Mexican Style, with grape tomatoes, cheddar cheese, black beans, zucchini, green onion and for those a bit more adventurous, add some hot sauce. This one was a great variation on my regular omelettes where I use regular onions, coriander, tomatoes, and a dash of turmeric. 

Simple ingredients are the foundation of all the recipes. Marilyn Smith shares a few …

The grass is greener

"A woman can't survive without a man anywhere". 

This is what Patsy has been told all her life. Her best friend Cicely tells her that sometimes sacrifice is necessary. But, is sacrifice quantifiable? Once we reach our quota, does it give us permission to live our lives freely?

Living in a community of Pennyfield, Jamaica, shackled in a mindset that dictates how you should live and whom you can love, Patsy is determined to find a new life for herself, even if it's a million miles from home. And even, if that means leaving behind everything, including her five-year-old daughter Tru. 

Letters from her childhood friend, Cicely, paint a picture of America the great. Cicely left Jamaica on a visa and has never returned; and from the likes of it, has done well to craft a new life for herself with a man named Marcus, who she supposedly married for a green card. Seeing Cicely have the freedom to love, on her terms, is a catalyst driving change in Patsy's life. 

Years after pu…

Inside the secret world of plants

"If you have a garden and a library,
you have everything you need."
Cicero, To Varro, in Ad Familiares IX, 4

Summer is short in Canada (perhaps even more this year), to the point that a family fried quips that "we have two seasons in Canada, winter and July" so can you blame us for our bias to want to bask in a field of flowers, surrounded by luscious, bountiful greenery? 

Every Spring, human beings reveal in glee at the first sign of life. The slightest green buds on a barren tree, reminds us that we will soon be able to rid the drudgery of the winter blues. In fact the term green shoots is used to indicate signs of economic recovery -- such is the hold of nature on our subconscious.

Did you know that the first gardens were created by the earliest societies of the Middle East, when the need for self-sufficiency led people to enclose plots of land next to their homes. Over time, as societies moved away from subsistence, the practical function of the garden was super-ced…


Is there some truth to the way the sun signs, houses, the sun and the moon, all work together to affect your every day relationships? 

Whether you believe in astrology or not, Minnie Darke's new novel Star-Crossed will surely challenge you to be open-minded, and destined to give you a chuckle or two along the way. 

Justine (Sagittarius) bumps into Nick (Aquarius) one random day. Coincidence? It's been a while since these childhood sweethearts saw each other, and the meeting creates some sparks. But, is this a chance meeting, or is has this moment been predetermined by the stars? 

Justine is a sceptic of astrology. And, she's quite surprised to learn that Nick makes all his life's important decisions based on what the horoscope says. Not just any horoscope, but the one written by Leo Thornbury, an astrologer who writes for the magazine that Justine just happens to work for. Now is that a bit coincidence or what? 

But suddenly, the stars start aligning in her favour, and Jus…

Some doors should stay locked...The Missing Years by Lexie Elliot

What would you do if you suddenly inherited half a house? Not just any house, but the spookiest of houses, resting in the middle of nowhere. 

Ailsa Calder has just inherited half the Manse; the other half belongs to her father who hasn't been seen for twenty-seven years. He vanished without a trace when Ailsa was a child, and it's not known whether he's dead or alive. 

Ailsa has temporarily moved into the Manse, with her half sister Carrie.

Right from the first night, when an intruder breaks into the Manse, it's clear to Ailsa that she is unwelcome here. 

The unfriendliness continues, as she meets some of the locals, who learn that she's a Calder girl, in particular, the daughter of the man who disappeared with diamonds from a jeweller years ago. Never proven of course. But, without her father's present, the suspicions hold firm.

She wants nothing more than to sell the house, and get the hell out of this darkness. But there is a slight problem. She cannot sell the h…

Sally Rooney's Normal People may perhaps not be as normal as you think

A quintessential coming of age story by the award-winning author Sally Rooney. There is a normalcy to Normal People that feels a bit too normal. This could easily have been a slice out of my childhood. Every emotion so close to heart, relatable, yet still jarring.

Why are relationships always so complicated? You like a guy, a guy likes you back, and yet there’s a cloud of complexity that just complicates the simplest of relationships. Egos, status, insecurity, inevitably all play a part. Why do we care what our friends think? And why does this insecurity not change when we step into adulthood. When do we grow up and how does the baggage we carry from our past, affect our future? Sally Rooney's Normal People certainly convinces us that our past, present and future are never mutually exclusive. Emotions are like a shadow, always following us wherever we go. We can't shed their existence, but if we try really hard, perhaps we can forget that they exist...if only for a little while…