(I always regarded Oprah's annual My Favourite Things show with a certain mixture of fascination and horror... on the one hand, she did showcase some cool stuff, and sure, who wouldn't want to be in the audience??! On the other hand, the continuous screaming and the naked greed I saw in some of those women's faces appalled me. I enjoyed the show more when she targeted certain groups she thought could use a boost -- I remember military wives one year and teachers another.)
Anyway, off the top of my head, here's some of the stuff I am loving right now:
- Burnt Sugar fudge -- the Seasalt Caramel version in the green package, in particular. ; ) I have confessed to my addiction before on this blog, here. Alas, I ran out of fudge earlier this fall and, despite scouring all the Chapters/Indigo stores in the area repeatedly, I have not been able to find any more. Apparently, within a 100 km/60 miles radius of my home, there are currently just 10 packages available at six stores, only one of them anywhere near me, and I can't get there until at least the weekend. *sigh* :( :( :(
- Fresh Sugar lip treatment (available at Sephora): horrendously expensive... but feels soooooo good on the lips.... (Smells divine, too!) I invested in a lip brush to make the investment go even further -- there's still a lot of lip balm in the bottom of the tube even after you can't screw it up any further.
- Sephora. When I walked into my first Sephora store -- the one at the Toronto Eaton Centre, shortly after it opened some years ago -- I felt like a kid let loose in a candy store. I called my sister and said, "I have found the motherlode!!" I don't buy a ton of stuff there (the above-mentioned lip balm, Smashbox primer, the occasional Clinique product -- although I generally buy most of my Clinique products from the same friendly saleslady I've been visiting at the Bay for the past 20 -- yes, 20!! -- years!), but I have sooooo much fun just looking. Just last week, they moved to an even bigger store in the mall, close to their old location. I can't wait to get there & see it.
- Reitmans Comfort Pants (comfort fit, boot cut): I resisted for a long, long time.... I thought pants should have a proper waistband and zipper. But these are soooooo comfortable... the Petites length is perfect for my slightly-shorter-than-most legs... and the price is definitely right. : )
- The Beatles: I loved the as a pre-schooler, and I still love them today. Their music never fail to put a smile on my face.
- The Big Bang Theory: our favourite TV show right now. There was a recent episode where the girls kept beating the guys at games, and a round of Pictionary in particular that practically had me rolling off the couch laughing.
- Sherlock & Dallas: my other favourite TV shows -- both sadly on hiatus at the moment, but Dallas is returning in January : ) and season 3 of Sherlock is currently in production in England.
- Movies: After what seemed like a very long drought, dh & I are three for three with the last few movies we've seen -- all of them really great: Argo, Skyfall and Lincoln. I started a review post earlier this week and will publish it soon!
- The Vinyl Cafe: Every Sunday at noon, dh scrambles eggs and I make toast while we listen to The Vinyl Cafe on CBC Radio. (The show can also be heard on some U.S. public radio stations and BBC Radio 7, as well as in podcast form.) The closest American equivalent I can come up with would be Garrison Keillor's Prairie Home Companion. Sometimes taped in studio, sometimes broadcasts of concerts taped in locations across Canada, and hosted by the genial Stuart McLean, each Vinyl Cafe show is a mixture of storytelling, gentle humour, amazing music, mostly by lesser-known Canadian artists, and a celebration of all things Canadian, including the particular town or region hosting the concert being broadcast. I'd heard about the show for many years, but rarely listened to CBC Radio, period... until a few years ago, when my parents were driving us to the airport & we got listening to the Vinyl Cafe and a story about how Dave granted Morley's wish for snow for Christmas. I found myself absolutely howling with laughter (and I hadn't even heard the story of how Dave cooks the Christmas turkey yet -- a Canadian classic). Anyway, McLean tours widely throughout the year, and dh & I have seen him several times now, but there is something special about a Vinyl Cafe Christmas show. We are going again this year, and I can't wait. : )
- Two examples of some of the great Canadian talent that I would likely not have heard about without the Vinyl Cafe (and that I would love to share with you -- particularly since you may not have heard of them, even if you ARE Canadian...!): first, Reid Jamieson, a multi-talented singer-songwriter, who will be perfoming at this year's Christmas shows. He did a entire album of Elvis covers for his girlfriend (now his wife), who is a big Elvis fan -- he's not an Elvis impersonator per se, but does the old songs in his own lovely way. Here's a video of him in Elvis mode:
- Matt Andersen was the special guest at the first Vinyl Cafe Christmas show dh & I attended. This huge, shaggy-haired guy in sweatpants shuffled out onstage -- and then he struck the first chord on his guitar, threw back his head and started singing -- and immediately and completely blew everyone away. It was amazing -- I had chills. People were on their feet cheering, well before the last note. My sister's boyfriend is not easily impressed, but we were listening to the broadcast of the Christmas concert while we had brunch at my parents' house, & I saw the surprise in his eyes as the song began! Here's a link to a video of the first song we heard Matt sing (the video is actually from a Vinyl Cafe concert in Halifax, Nova Scotia -- probably from the same tour where dh & I saw him -- with the incomparable John Sheard & Dennis Pendrith backing him up).
(He also sings a killer version of O Holy Night):