Hey Alexander McQueen (the company, not the man), write me back!!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

I've been a fan of Alexander McQueen since his fall 2006 RTW runway show.  As someone who's always been drawn to creepy old things and castles and SCOTLAND, I thought it was amazing.   Plus, the runway floor was a really cool worn-down wood and I was like OMG SO KEWL, SO KEWL IS THIS WOOD OH WOW!

This is the same show where a ghostly hologram of Kate Moss appeared and everyone peed their pants and screamed, clutched their pearls, tweeted (JUST KIDDING no Twitter yet) about it, farted some, etc.

I was also a fan of Alexander McQueen during that same time, because celebs were wearing his infamous skull scarf and they were so. cool.   Anything with skulls was cool.  I still think skulls are cool.  They're cool, cause everyone has one!  Skulls for all!  You don't have to worry about feeling left out when it comes to having a skull.  Skulls are for everyone.

A couple years ago I finally received a skull scarf of my very own, and I was very blessed and humbled by the experience of receiving a very expensive, thin item.

A photo posted by Lisa ❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️ (@minielk) on

The first day I wore it,  I spilled coffee on it.  Since that day I've received a few more McQueen items, including a ring, embroidered bee shoes (see previous post here), and another scarf for Xmas a couple of days ago (see here).  I also bought someone an Alexander McQueen cardholder for Xmas this year, which will be returned on Monday when the post offices are open and willing to accept frantic-faced gift-giving failures like me into their fold.  "COME TO US!" they will scream, as we rush forth with our parcels held out from our bodies as if we held a plate filled with poo.  "TAKE THESE BACK!"  we will holler, "THEY ARE UNWANTED ITEMS OF SHAME AND THINGS OF THAT NATURE" and the post office clerks, they will stand there - rubbing their hands together in glee.  For they know that they will make not one, but two sales that day.  The sale of either a box or an envelope, whichever one fits your parcel.  It's up to you, as long as long as the package can be fastened shut so your parcel doesn't fling itself off an airplane.  The second purchase will be the exorbitant fee you pay to send the parcel back to wherever it came from!  BYE!

Here is a fantastic 3-part haiku I wrote to illustrate what's wrong with the ring, shoes and cardholder.  I spent alot of time on these* and would really appreciate your respect.

Oh this ring of mine!
One quick knock, and you're battered
Like a decent fish

These bee covered shoes
Such beauty - such blister.  Ow!
Did my feet have skin?

Cardholders hold cards.
If a holder holds nothing
Did it ever hold?

*I mean I guess about 45 seconds.


This should not come as a surprise, as dollar value does not always equal quality.  Not that I paid full price for any of these items, or paid for some of them at all.  But that's not the point.  The point is that products should do what they are told!  If I'm telling a card-holder to hold cards, it should hold cards instead of releasing them into the wild, thirty seconds later. Shoes should not be made of an odd plastic material on the insides, so that the top layer of skin basically falls off your feet and you have to continue walking along King street in the 25 degree weather pretending you're sooo cool and soooo not in horrible pain and that your feet have sooooo much skin on them.  The ring, I don't know.  Maybe I shouldn't swing my arm around so much and bash it into things.   It has many dents.  Many, many dents.

So I wrote to Alexander McQueen (the company, not the man) and whined about these products. Mostly because I was afraid the company I bought the card holder from would not honour my return.  Because that's what they said on the phone.  They then told me to contact Alexander McQueen directly to try returning the product,, and I said "but he's dead!" And they said "lol - the company silly, not the man!"
But when I emailed that same company instead of calling again, they said ok.  I MEAN ALRIGHT, THEN.

I didn't expect Alexander McQueen (the company, not the man) to care, because they have many, many horribly rich clients and I'm just a person from this place here.  But my point, which as usual is unclear and completely meaningless, is to not spend money on products unless you know they don't suck!

I hope that one day the Alexander McQueen company replies to me and offers me a 75% discount on all their products, from now until the year 2060.   In the email I sent them, I made two typos that were pretty bad, but I also mentioned how I visited Alexander McQueen (the man, not the company) on the Isle of Skye.   The grave, not the man.  I hoped they would read that part and as a single tear fell onto their cheek (one cheek spread across the office) they would know that I truly care.

Here is photographic evidence that I was at his grave, btw:

He's not really buried here.  His ashes were scattered on this beautiful island, and I mean that it's actually beautiful and I'm not complaining about the island being ugly in a failed sarcastic way. 

Anyway, knowing this, they will know I'm a true fan and that I should be treated with more respect and importance than Angelina Jolie.  Knowing this, I will continue shopping at Winners and not at Holt Renfrew where a security guard once tried to do a sneaky-glance into my shopping bag.  I will continue accepting gifts purchased at Holt Renfrew, though.

My Tips For Getting Rid of Stuff

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Stuff is great, and we all like stuff - but how much stuff do you really need?  Not that I'm not one of those people that sells all their belongings and their home and then skips off to Timbuktu for twelve years to live a simpler life in the bush (but I mean that's cool, though if you like bushes and air),  I just feel like we all have too much stuff and that stuff could go away to stuff heaven*

*If my parents read this they'll laugh at me, because they've been swimming in my stuff for years.  They are friends with my stuff, and should probably write songs together.

I've been improving my stuff-removing capabilities in the last few years and have improved by 312%.  I used to keep everything - not like the Hoarders-TV-show-everything-type-stuff, but I kept every receipt of every item I bought since 1996 (I can even remember the exact nail polish that produced the receipt that started that collection) and I kept every single school note from every class, thinking that one day I'd need to remember how to solve some random calculus problem.  I kept every single nail clipping from every nail clipping session, too.


The receipts and school notes were disposed of in previous years, btw.

There are a number of steps you can follow in order to achieve a successful dumping of stuff.  I will share with you the ones I have found that bring me the most success, and have brought me the most joy and harmony in my life.  Once you achieve this higher state of joy and harmony you can walk around with a serene look on your face and creep people out.  Or maybe you can do that at nighttime and turn your serene look into a creepy smile and just wander up to people without saying or wearing anything except that creepy smile, and then wind up in a creepypasta on Reddit, my #1 dream tbh!!

Wait, if you're naked you're probably not scaring them so much as just making them very uncomfortable, so I'm not sure if that would land in NoSleep or LetsNotMeet but I'm just going to move on now.


Below are the steps I take while standing amongst a pile of belongings and wondering 'oh god why do I have all these belongings and just WHAT can be done about it?!' (Definite First World Problems).

Hold a specific item or piece of clothing in your hand and go through the below points.  Once completed, you should be able to decide if the thing should be flung into the trash, the Goodwill bag or back to wherever it came from (under your bed).


#1 - Do you remember it exists when you're not actually staring at it
If the answer is yes, you probably like it and should probably keep it, but use your discretion.  If the answer is no, continue reading and sort yourself out!

#2 - Do you like it
If the answer is no, you shouldn't own it and if you still do own it, it should go away from you.  If the answer is yes, proceed anyway but sort yourself out!

#3 - When was the last time you wore it (if clothing, probably)
If a year ago or more, it must go.  No excuses.  If within the last year, go back to item #2 and if the answer is no, it must go.  And sort yourself out!

#4 - Would you ever wear it again
If you wore the item within the last year, how many times did you wear it and how did you feel while wearing it?  If you didn't feel 100% confident in it, it must go.  Are you excited for the next time you wear it?  If not, it must go.
I have a potentially helpful but guaranteed weird solution that might help you if you don't wear or use the item, but there is a great nostalgia attached to it.  If you know it must go but feel sad at the prospect, take a picture of it. This has helped me be rid of many items that I had an emotional attachment to, but were wasting space in my room.  Eventually when you look at the picture without feeling any FEELINGS, delete the picture and BYE BYE THERE IT GOES AND YOUR FEELINGS ARE GONE AND YOUR SOUL AND YOUR whatever.

#5 - Do you need it
Do you have 10 black tank tops or a YM Magazine from 1995 with Gwen Stefani on the cover like me? You don't need those.  They must go, and you should sort yourself out!

Currently in the closet of my old bedroom, wondering why I left it alone in the dark and scary recesses of nowhere-land.  I picked it up the other day and said "what have you done for me lately?" and the ym magazine said "nothing lol" and I said "well back to the closet you go, to rest under my Rolling Stone issue with 'nsync on the cover."
"Oh ok", it replied.

#6 - Was it a gift?  If so, please rate the current situation with the person who gifted it to you.
An ex?  Do you think they are the worst person in the world?  Then the item should go away from you.  Be gone, any and all items that remind you of a hideous person!  Be gone with you!
A loved one such as your mother?  Walk into the room and say "hey ma.  Ma.  Hey ma!!!! Hey ma you gave this to me twelve years ago but I haven't used it yet, will you be sad if I get rid of it?"  If she says yes, you should have a conversation because that's odd.  If she says no, then it must go.
If you don't care who gifted it to you because you really like it, then keep it, duh.  Keep the attitude to yourself, holy.

#7 - Would you feel good about giving it away or giving it to charity
If yes, then that means you're normal and not a hideous individual.

Once this is all complete, give it a couple of days and go through these steps again, with the remaining items.  I guarantee you will get rid of even more stuff this way.  This is not a money-back guarantee.

Those are all the steps I go through and I have successfully gotten rid of bags and bags of clothing and items that I no longer need but someone else can use.  I encourage you to try these steps next time you attempt a Spring cleaning (probably next Spring I would think) and if you fail, then you should be donated to Goodwill and your stuff should be allowed to run free inside your home and set your PVR to only tape the Maury Povich show.

Nostalgia Gem + New Gem = Gem Party

Monday, October 20, 2014

I don't know why there's a part of this song...

That reminded me of this nostalgia pop-rock-soul gem:


I was obsessed with this Res song like 12 years ago.  She deserved more success, FYI.

Bye now!


Wednesday, October 15, 2014




'what are broreos?!' you may ask...well I totally thought I just made that up and was feeling all cool and clever, but then I googled 'broreo' and discovered that I absolutely did not create that term.  oop @ me

That aside, I saw this recipe the other day and decided that they looked like the greatest brownies I'd ever seen and that I needed to make them immediately and love them immediately and write poetry about them immediately and

Here's what you need/need to do to make these exist in your mouth:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted (I melted it in the microwave because WHAT)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar 
  • 1/2 light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature (I didn't even notice this the first time around and used some cold eggs)
  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 Tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3/4 all-purpose flour (mom I almost finished that bag of flour and I may have put the nearly empty bag back in the cupboard)
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder 
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 16 oreos <---my favourite part

For the topping:
  • a few more oreos, crumbled up
  • 1 cup of whipped cream (Now, I made whipped cream myself instead of using the spray can, and I didn't make enough the first time around.  I was advised by the internet that whipping cream doubles in quantity when it's turning into whipped cream, so I whipped half a cup and that wasn't enough.  Just whip the whole carton, dammit!!  If it's a small carton, I mean.  I tried to get all creative with the second batch, but mixing in the oreo bits before whipping the cream - don't do that? At first it looked cool, then it turned into some weird mixture that looked like mud with a layer of sand on top, then it looked like something that was inside a garbage can.)

(Because it was.)

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • In one bowl, mix together the butter and sugars until 2-become-1 
    Actually it's more like 3-become-1, but whatever
  • Add eggs one at a time into the same bowl, mixing completely between each addition.  Mix in the oil and vanilla.
  • In another bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. 
  • Pour the flour mixture into the wet mixture in 4 parts, mixing well between each addition and ensuring that you spray the entire table with cocoa powder and stir too hard, thus causing blobs of this mixture to fly onto the nearby Keurig machine.
  • Pour half of your mixture into a greased 8" x 11" baking dish.  *Sidenote, I didn't have that - so I bought one that was like 9" x 9" or something...which turned out fine.  When you look at the original recipe linked below, she actually says to use an 8" x 8" pan which I already had in the house and therefore should have used instead of going to Walmart and buying another one!!  What does one do with all these pans??!
  • Place cookies on top of batter in 4 rows of 4 cookies:
oreo brownies, oreo cookies, brownies
  • There are about 28 Oreos in one package, so you have some free reign to shove a few in your mouth while performing this task.
  • Pour the remaining batter mixture on top and distribute evenly
  • Bake for 20-25 (mine took about 25) minutes until you stick a toothpick in and it's pretty much clean.
  • Cool for awhile on a wire rack.
  • While this is baking, make the whipped cream.  In order to do that, you pour whipping cream in a bowl and whip it until it turns into whipped cream.  Super hard!!!!  Again, don't do what I mentioned earlier.  
  • Once the brownies are cool, spread the whipped cream on top and fling on some crushed Oreos, and cool in the fridge for 1 hour.
  • Cut into squares and EAT LIKE YOU'VE NEVER EATEN BEFORE!!!!
  • I would have had a photo of the finished product, but all the brownies were consumed before I had a chance to photograph one.  I will update this post later when I make batch #2, but for now here is a borrowed picture c/o Lark & Linen:

Recipe from http://www.jacquelynclark.com/ (via http://www.grandbaby-cakes.com/)

Some Stuff About Halloween

Friday, October 3, 2014

It's October now!!!!  Everyone loves October!!

Pinterest loves October:

Perfectly placed leaves, on-trend arts 'n crafts and walkways that have apparently never felt the pressure of a human foot. 

Halloween loves October:

A pumpkin clearly showing its affection for October.  I think?  Maybe it loves itself?  This picture is actually confusing and potentially misleading

Pumpkin spice haters love October:

Next time you are hanging out in your backyard, carving a gruesome face into the delicate layers of the pumpkin you kidnapped from its family of pumpki, and the thought crosses your mind to diss pumpkin anything, take a look down at your hands riddled with the slimy blood goo and remember that YOU are part of the problem!

I like October because that's when Halloween is, and that also means scary movies are on TV constantly...which is what full TV schedules should always be like, tbh.  And I'm not just talking about Maid in Manhattan or the Wedding Planner, which are on regular rotation apparently.   BA DUMP DA!!
I'm talking about the Jason movies played on repeat because they are apparently the only horror movies ever made.

I feel like that turned sarcastic, but in a really tentative way.

I'm currently deciding what my Halloween costume should be, and I'm wavering between a sexy telephone cord or a sexy sock... or maybe a sexy empty beer bottle or a sexy shoehorn or a sexy jar of olives or

I would like to briefly take a trip down Hallowmemory lane, and visit previous years' costumes:

2008 - A unique idea that's never been done before

2009 - a Supermarket Sweep contestant (low maintenance and comfortable, I considered this a great success)

2010 - a girl who wakes up every morning and emerges from her bedroom as the chick from the Black Swan movie

2011 - a version of Katy Perry in her ET music video but the version that's permanently holding a glass of wine

2012 - what is supposed to be a ventriloquists dummy but I mean I could just be a weird looking girl with food dripping down the sides of her mouth

2013 - a serious Lady Gaga Applause creature

I also went as Phyllis Nefler with a cool sidekick

These were all mediocre costumes for the most part, but as long as you enjoy what you're wearing on Halloween, isn't that all that matters?

Actually no - because some things are not ok!   Like dressing up as a minority/painting your face to look like other races and appropriating other cultures!

There are so many things to dress up as, keep it cool and don't be an offensive loser!  Things like these, found in a random couple of Facebook photos while I was bored:

A person looking out a window.  Complete your look by fashioning a window frame out of tinfoil and the glass pane using saran wrap.  Walk around for the duration of your evening holding up your fake window, while consistently pressing your face against the saran wrap.  You can't drink or use your arms for anything else.

A confused/fake paparazzo at the opening of a new bar.   Wear anything you want, but ensure you have a DSLR camera and neck strap and a furrowed brow for the entire evening.  Extra fun points if you bring a random friend with blonde curly hair that nobody seems to know, but is in all the pictures from that evening.

Lauren Conrad. Just kidding - it's impossible to reach the expert level of Pinterest, and nobody else in the world has ever received such a successful ombre!!  Mostly I just posted this picture because her hair is like a shower of diamonds and joy.

The most important thing to remember this Halloween is to stay safe and steal children's candy.

Sharing Old Thoughts

Saturday, August 16, 2014

For years I kept a journal - a Livejournal to be exact, the ghost town that was once a bustling community for hundreds of people recording their deep thoughts.  I was one of those people.  Sometimes when I'm bored on a Friday night on August 15, 2014,  I peruse old entries and wonder what on earth was wrong with me. And by wrong, I mean super cool and awesome!

Sometimes I find enthralling stories that I felt the need to record forever, and sometimes I feel like sharing them here.  So I will do that now.

May 6, 2004

This morning I opened the coat closet by the front door, and I happened to glance down at the squashed remains of a centipede I had smashed the day before. And what do I see, but another huge centipede on top of the squashed one! And I swear the living one was eating the dead one or something...so that made the whole scene even more disgusting. So I selected one of my dad's shoes (never select your own shoe in the centipede squashing process, you might want to wear it in a couple of minutes) and smashed the new one. However since it was on top of the dead one, I smashed them both. 
Both carcasses then went flying through the air towards me (I must have hit it more powerfully than I thought) so I freaked out and bolted like a nerd. So now there are two dead centipedes lying by the front door on their 'backs', so every time you stand there you have to see their nasty white underbellies.
<---end of centipede murdering story #584--->

My First Vine

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Reflecting on life's wonders - squirrels, falling leaves, that apple over there

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My Enthralling Story of Scottish Wonder...Part 2

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

When I last left you, we were at Smithies pub, partaking in an epic battle against the two old men who had poked fun of Maria being from Canada.  And who won the battle, you may ask?

Nobody.  For that night changed all nights, you see.  'Twas a great fire caused by a swinging left arm...it swung right into ye olde candle and lit the curtains ABLAZE with a great glory!  Up, up!  went the flames, and the screams, and the smoke and the TERROR.  OH, THE TERROR.  "Whyyyyyyyy" wailed the woman in the corner, and I said "Nancy Kerrigan what are you doing here?"  We all ran coughing and sputtering into the streets, gasping and allowing the fresh night air to fill our lungs - we gulped the air as if it were the last Bud Light on earth.  The brawl continued.   On and on it went until the hour struck 2am, when Maria and I were finally rescued by a bronzed man riding atop a unicorn (Finnick from The Hunger Games).  He swept us up with one efficient motion and flung us 30 feet into the air straight through our open window where we landed softly towards our peaceful slumber and WHAT AM I TALKING ABOUT

DAY 6:
  • Urgent shopping was needed.  What's the first thing you do when you're in a brand new city?  You emerge bleary eyed from wherever you're staying, like those various small children on Christmas morning who really need to get back to bed it's only 6:00am for PETE'S sake, then swiftly enter the nearest store that looks foreign and provides you with items that certainly can't be purchased in Canada, and therefore must certainly be better.
  • That actually means that we wandered up to Princes street while admiring the old buildings all around us, the cars going the wrong way, the babies pushing elderly people in strollers, it was all new and exciting.  Princes street is like the Queen street of Toronto, filled with chain stores you pretend to be too cool for but find yourself repeatedly going to anyway.  Unless you're like me, and you lusted for chain stores from another WORLD (Scotland).  Have you ever been in Primark?  I have, now.  And it changed my life.  It changed it for the better, as I have 36 t-shirts to show for it.  Do you have 36 t-shirts?  Even if you do, they weren't as cheap as mine!   If they were, my bad.
  • We became desperately hungry at one point and went to the first place we saw that was certainly authentic Scottish cuisine:  The Filling Station.  I think it's an American chain?  I really can't be sure.  All I know is that it does what the name promises: fills you.  With food.  
  • I received a text message from a friend who I shall call "Grarnt".  Grarnt once had a tie of great joy, which he lost at the Canadian Comedy Awards and Festival during a choreographed line dance, probably back in 2005.   Grarnt had politely asked me to locate this tie in Scotland, and I was like "sure no problem!"  Until it became evident that such ties were no longer sold in great quantities, or any quantity at all.  I had gone inside approximately 47 tourist shops, and had yet to see the tie Grarnt longed for.  Sensing my frustration (not really though, I kind of love repetitive souvenir shops), Maria had suggested we simply ask the sales associate of the particular store we were in.  Me being a wretched cow, said "how would SHE know what RANDOM store in Scotland sells these ties?  You think she knows the inventory of every souvenir store in SCOTLAND!" etc. etc.  1.5 minutes later we were directed around a pillar behind the cash, where the tie I was looking for was hanging from the wall.  It was the last one in Scotland.  Sorry, Maria.  
  • I'm pretty sure this is the day we went to Edinburgh castle, which was decent.   We got to stare at swords that we confirmed (with the guide) had once been covered in blood and guts (this was important info, FYI).  Afterwards we wandered over to where a certain little statue was that I wanted to see:
Greyfriars Bobby, more loyal than that grey hair that constantly appears by your right temple.  Oh, just me?

Pure swords

  • We ate at a place across the street that had grey paint and looked supertrendy!, called Cross and Corner.  We ate giant hamburgers and our eyes looked particularly bulgy after.  I would like to return there.
Day 7:
  • A new day!  On this particular day I had decided we needed to embark on a journey to Dunfermline, the town where my grandmother grew up and a town that has a cathedral and an abbey and some random soccer stadium Maria wanted to look at.  
  • An hour train ride later, and we were there.  Because that's how trains work....
  • We went to the soccer stadium first, passing by Carnegie Hall - the Scottish one.  Maria (being Maria) had contacted whoever from the stadium and arranged to be let in to poke around.  After staring at the field for two minutes, we left.  Enthralling, I know.  

This street was very pretty in person.  In picture form?  You decide.  You decide NOTHING because I said it was pretty!
  • We continued on our journey towards my Grandmother's old house, which we found quite easily.  We stared at it some, took some pictures, stared some more, wandered a bit, etc.

This street: cooler than McCowan road since the year 1312.
  • We went to some terrifying mall (by terrifying, I mean filled with hot sweaty people).  Again, it was hot.  Very hot!  And sunny, despite what these pictures may show you.  After hastily exiting the mall, we went to check out another building with family history, but that's none of your business.
  • We checked out Dunfermline Abbey and Cathedral, which were pretty cool.  Here are some pics for evidence:

Old stuff = cool stuff

Cool walls = cool walls
  • We went home (back to Edinburgh) and while walking up the ramp coming out of Waverley station, we encountered a woman who had been walking ahead, but had decided to abruptly stop in the centre of this (narrow) path to drag things out of her shopping bag and stare at them.  Seeing that we were approaching her, she squawked "you can say 'excuse me', but I'm not a gonna move!"  In a very aggressive manner.  I said "ok" and walked by her.  
  • After some more wandering, we ate again at the Roamin' nose and then watched more soccer at Smithies, minus the brawl on this particular evening.
  • You'll notice there haven't been any fails-of-the-day, because Edinburgh brings out the inner cool person in EVERYONE and you CAN'T EVER FAIL!!!
DAY 8:
  • Guess what....more wandering!  Back to the Royal Mile we went.  On the way there, we were walking by a group of young lads who all had their hands in their pockets.  An older man saw them and barked "don't let the moths get out of your pockets!"  I found that extremely funny at the time, tbqh.  
Lisa Fail-of-the-Day:  Not really a fail, not even a cool story - this is completely meaningless.  I dragged Maria all the way down the Royal Mile to check out the Palace of Holyroodhouse, but the gate was closed and he didn't want to pay the entry fee.  We grasped the rods of the giant fence and I spoke while eating and sprayed the gate with shortbread, also I spilled coffee all over my white chucks.  Well, that's it.
  • We walked past a tattoo shop, stopped walking, turned around, peered inside and upon seeing that it looked clean and filled with young trendy Scottish people, I made an appointment to get an incredibly basic tattoo.
  • By the way, at this point I was getting very tired of whisky and whisky shops.  There are SO MANY.  And they are all FILLED WITH WHISKY!  I couldn't take it anymore!  In one shop I became so desperate that I began flinging bottles off the shelves, into the cobblestone streets and the sprays of whisky were so great that even the pigeons became drunk.  It was a nightmare!
  • Made my thirteenth trip to Primark
  • We "Filled" ourselves again
  • That evening we ate at The Other Place.  It's called The Other Place.  I mean it's also another place, but you call it The Other Place.  It was my favourite place, partially due to the comfy chairs that allow you to unbutton your pants for greater stomach room.  They had high chair arms that conceal your great stomach.  I had Black Isle Organic beer and alot of fish and chips.  Oh god I'm hungry just thinking about it.  Oh god I've eaten my keyboard.  Oh god what am I typing with?
  • We went for a lengthy walk back up around the castle, trying to take some emo-shots:

"Leave me alone." Said the castle.  "You're a castle, you can't move - nevermind be left alone at any point in your existence.." said the crazy person talking to a castle.

DAY 9:
  • On this day we decided to take a trip to St Andrews, the home of golf.  As an incredibly huge golf fan myself, I thought this was a great idea and I couldn't wait to see the 
  • I'm just kidding, I don't like golf but I thought it would be cool and I really wanted to play mini-putt.
  • It's an hour long train ride to St Andrews from Edinburgh, but the trains in Scotland are pretty roomy and I mean that's cool.  Did we play mini-putt? Yes, we did.  Was it on the Himalayas course that I had intended to play on?  No.  Did playing mini-putt still fill me with rage like every other time I play mini-putt (or go bowling)? Yes.  Was it great?  Yes.   It was also very hot, again.  Sunny and hot.  Hot and sunny.  
  • The gift shops are expensive.  The town is ok, nothing much to do.  There was a cool cathedral to look at, but I'm honestly getting bored just writing this.  I sound rude, and maybe on the next street over was the greatest experience of my life?  I'll never know, will I.
  • On the train home an old man had Dr Dre Ringtone, which I found interesting.
  • There were two horrendously loud children on the train as well - one of whom I eventually "shushed"....I got my payback when his/her little brother walked up to me later and stared at me quietly for a solid two minutes with his weird blue Harry Potter glasses, quite frankly making me nervous.  He got off the train a stop before Edinburgh, and then somehow miraculously appeared at my side IN Edinburgh about three minutes after I got off there.  Explain this to me?
  • We did more wandering and ate at The Other Place again.  Not the other place, The Other Place.  We were there for three hours, and alot of beer was consumed.  Alot.  
The next three days were filled with more wandering.  Maria fell ill on Day 10 and proceeded to have feverish symptoms for those three days. We returned to The Other Place and Cross & Corner again, because we are creatures of habit and I simply don't see anything wrong with that.  Ok!?    I went to get my tattoo from a lad who knew of Kensington Market (in Toronto), and went on a rather tame ghost tour in an underground vault.  The tour guide dude was a good storyteller, but standing around in three dark rooms is only scary for about 5 minutes.

Halt.  Who ghost there?

I returned to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, where I DID pay admission and I DID take the historical tour because that day the gate was open - no shortbread was sprayed, and instead I wandered through the vast yard and accepted the little ear-thinger that allows you to move around in peace while listening to the historical anecdotes and some other stuff.  These leave you in peace until you're trying to stare at a crown in a case and a child abruptly shrieks behind you, scaring the crap out of you and making you think the palace is in fact haunted by a monster...but then you turn around and nope it's just a regular kid.

I actually liked that tour, fyi.  They do not allow pictures inside, but I was able to capture some grass outside:

Stunning.  The grass, is?  It stuns.

I like old stuff.

I've decided not to share anymore pictures, because it will spoil your upcoming trip to Scotland.  The one you haven't booked yet, but you will.  Oh yes, you will.

Will you?  You should.  I wish you would.  Actually don't, because then Primark will be crowded.  And I know the command I have over my vast audience, so I know this message will keep Primark crowds at bay.  Look at all the comments below!  Yeah, that's right.

Ok that's all I'm willing to share about my trip to Scotland (also because that's actually pretty much it).
-You should go to Scotland.
-I'm going to go back to Scotland.

Peace, love and sunshine!*
xoxo - Lisa

*I'm going to start ending my blogs by ensuring I continue to never say anything like that ever again

My Enthralling Story of Scottish Wonder...Part 1

Thursday, July 3, 2014

I wrote about going to Scotland previously-when I outlined my extensive itinerary below-but then it actually happened, and now I'm back in Canada, back to the 'ol igloo that I had to get to from the airport by foot since my canoe broke down.   I would like to share my semi-point-form experiences from this journey.  This probably means I'll do a super lazy job and bore you to tears by the third paragraph, but that's cool.

Our journey (it wasn't just me hanging out alone - let's call my associate "Maria" to preserve their identity since this is a public blog that everyone in the world reads) began at approximately 4:00pm on a Saturday in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Oh wait - let me first mention that a few weeks back, while on the phone PAYING (sigh!!) to choose the seats on our Air Transat flight, they convinced me with very minimal effort (because I heard the word 'priority' and wanted to feel super special), to upgrade our seats to Option Plus.  Not the physical seats, but their essence, really.

Option Plus means the following (I was not paid by Air Transat to write this, but should be tbh):
-you get priority check-in at the airport.  This was amazing, considering the Air Transat line wrapped around about 8 times and we were able to walk by everyone and check-in almost immediately. Heyyyyy
-you get to check an extra bag/you get extra baggage weight.  If you are planning on bringing your bowling ball to roll up and down the highlands, this is perfect.
-you get priority boarding (after the Club Class people and the elderly/disabled).  So, you get to board before everyone else.  This part I was just ok with, since boarding first means sitting longer.
-they keep offering/handing you booze on the plane, and you get a special snack during a non-snack time!  Other people saw our snacks and asked if they could have one too?  NO, said the Flight Attendant.  They are for OPTION PLUS customers ONLY (she actually did say it that harshly to one person).
-you get a comfort kit.  This includes a blankie (person behind me was also harshly denied one), an eye-mask, earplugs, earphones, and an inflatable neck pillow.
-you get a firm handshake and then a salute, while exiting the aircraft.
-that last one isn't true, but it should be.  I thought it was worth the extra money,  if only for the line bypass alone.

After the overnight flight, we arrived in Glasgow at about 8:00am their time.  I decided not to bother sleeping, since it seemed like a waste of time and I figured I'd fall asleep faster when I went to bed that night (true and cool story).  Luckily the CitizenM Glasgow allows very early check-ins, at a small fee.  YOUR SOUL!!!!

I just spent a few seconds looking for the pound sign on my keyboard just now, and then felt pretty stupid afterwards because I remembered that character map exists,  for such useful symbols as the following:

£  <--the one I needed
Ψ <-- a pitchfork
ώ <--boobs with a food crumb on top
Ử <--a man's nose with a food crumb on top
♫ <--someone's behind-the-ear tattoo

And so on and so forth.

So in Glasgow we were, in the CitizenM hotel which is really quite strange.  All the rooms look the same, with one giant bed at the far side of the room, an odd shower taking over half the room, and then a sink just stuck to the other wall.  I had a picture, but now I can't find it so here is a picture I stole from their website:

You know you want to enclose yourself in this purple tube of joy

Why am I describing the shower in the hotel room?  Who cares?  Why don't I tell you what I ate there for breakfast?  Well I will tell you...I ATE CROISSANTS.  Three days in a row.  Maria had bacon and 45 pieces of bread and what else, and here I was sitting there eating croissants.  I will have you know, that they were the greatest croissants that I've ever had the pleasure of spraying all over my pants.  The crumbs, I mean. You know how croissants are!  LET ME TALK ABOUT CROISSANTS FOREVER

To get this moving along, here is my condensed, day-to-day breakdown of the happenings on my trip.


DAY 1:
  • We wandered around shopping on Sauchiehall and Buchanan Streets, primarily.  I saw a UK Glamour Magazine for the very first time while IN the UK!  I like UK Glamour.  I like it alot.  It's a really convenient size, it has many words inside and in the UK it comes with gifts.  All their magazines come with gifts.  What is this magical land of giftish magazines? 
  • I went to my first Primark store.  How do you describe Primark?  It's like a cheaper H&M with a greater selection of cheap things?  Speaking of H&M, they have a housewares department in the UK.  What's your problem, Canada?  I didn't even look in that department, but the fact that it's even an option there and not here is enough for me to huff 'n puff about it for at least 2 minutes.
  • It rained.  Before I left, everyone told me it would rain and be cold.  I was like 'pssh fine whatever' and the day we got there, it was sunny but then promptly rained when it was shopping time.  But then it was sunny. But then it rained.  Then it was sunny again.  The weather you see, is as indecisive as my associate Maria and hey, but it also doesn't matter because your surroundings are SUPERCOOL.
  • We wandered to this bar called the Horse Shoe, which we were advised is oldest bar in Glasgow.  Should we believe the shop-girl that told us that?  Let's do a quick Google.  brb.  Hmm well, so far all I've seen is that it has the LONGEST bar in Europe.  The physical length of the bar is really long.  So I really don't know what to think now...who can I believe if I can't believe the shop-girl?  I don't even remember what shop she was in.  Wait a minute, she was in Cath Kidtson - the store of many flowers on bags and towels.  Hmm.
  • After more wandering we ate on the patio of some place called Di Maggio's.  By 'ate' I mean shoved entire pizzas into our open faces.  I'm pretty sure after that we were in straight up comas in our strange hotel room, because I don't even remember anything after that.  I'm happy with how this post is going, so far. Really informative.
DAY 2:
  • Day two started like any other day, looking at the rain outside while eating a croissant.  We were planning on eventually making our way to Ibrox stadium, home of the Glasgow Rangers Football Club.  Apparently somebody would maybe(?) be there to let us in to look around.  This was fine, until Maria decided to check his emails, and then made a shocking discovery that would alter the course of our day forever - Ibrox Stadium had emailed us stating that we were an hour and a half late for our tour.  "What tour?" we both said.  Much confusion ensued, and I insisted that Maria check his email conversation with the woman from Ibrox.  "She never said anything about a tour!", he insisted.  Until he saw the email that stated yes, we were getting a tour.  That we were almost two hours late for.  
  • Oop.
  • Off we went for our first ride in the extensive Glasgow Subway system.
Massive/confusing/overwhelming tbqh
  • Tall people like me have to bend down to get in this subway, and it reminds me of the Scarborough RT for some reason.   We eventually arrived at Ibrox, both of us too terrified to go inside (we had visions of being yelled at or banished forever).  Instead we found a nice elderly man waiting for us, and he politely asked if we'd gotten lost/forgotten the time, etc. And I had to apologize profusely.  I'm pretty sure if this were in anywhere else, he would have left an hour earlier and not waited for our sorry butts.  He then had the decency to take us on a private tour of the stadium.  
Ranger's Trophy Room: room of many trophies
  • We then moved outside to the official Rangers Megastore, where we spent so much time that a storm system moved in and a massive downpour began outside (our shopping affected the weather ok). They even gave us a bag of free stuff.  What kind of nice place is this, that rewards punks from Toronto who show up two hours late?!  What kind of flawfree establishment is this?!
  • After that, we took the subway a couple of stops over to Hillhead, as I wanted to see the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, and Mackintosh House. 
Lisa Fail-of-the-Day:  Occured earlier in the day when I was looking up the opening times of the above-mentioned places. Failed to notice they are only closed on Mondays.  Day 2 was, of course, a Monday.  
  • It was a nice area of Glasgow, so we did what anyone else would do after such an extreme fail - walked into the nearest bar.  By the way, I figured that in the UK they call everything 'pubs'.  But they kept saying 'bar' in Scotland, and I was flabbergasted.  I felt like a fool.  A FOOL.  The bar was called Tennents Pub (not bar, pub...lolwut), and inside I had my first Tennents beer.  I think it's like the Coors Light of Scotland?  Honestly I just made that up, I'm sorry if I insulted Tennants beer.  I'm so sorry.  My ignorance is showing.  Beergnorance.
  • That evening we ate at Fratelli Sarti (http://fratelli-sarti.co.uk/) because of course we would go to an Italian restaurant while in Scotland.  I don't even remember which of the three Glasgow locations we were at, I believe the one on Renfield.  It was good, I had much wine.  
  • I hope you're on the edge of your seat still and that you're still with me - because it's only going downhill from here.
  • This was our second and last night in Glasgow, we would have liked to see more and we hope to return next year.
Bye bye Glasgow


DAY 3:
  • We were due to be retrieved by our Timberbush Tours bus at 10:15am.  Yes, you can get to Skye on your own, but I would much rather have not attempted to drive myself on a)the wrong side of the road b)on narrow highways in the highlands where you drive 2cm away from giant trucks and c)on the sides of tall cliffs where you're certain you may topple off to your very own death-by-rental-car-explosion
  • Being a complete and total spazz at times (despite the fact that I have a "Go With the Flow" tattoo), I couldn't find the bus anywhere...I only saw a couple other confused looking people, and was sure the bus was leaving without us.  After throwing around some swear words and stomping around the block five times and acting like a giant child, the bus randomly showed up and all was well (sorry, Maria).  
  • Our first stop was at Loch Lomond, and it was yes, raining. MORE RAIN (please see below if you feel utterly helpless at the notion).  It was a nice little town with a nice lake (loch) to stare at.  
"Follow me, I will show you the way to your destiny"
Lisa Fail-of-the-Day:  I stopped in a gift shop and bought some super kewl postcards.  In my usual logical fashion, I stored them in my armpit and then took some pictures of walls and flowers.  Taking pictures generally requires you raise your arm in order to actually use the camera, and needless to say, several minutes later I realised my postcards were missing.  I ran back (quite dramatically) in the pouring rain and the postcards were gone.  Never to be seen again.  /csb
  • We drove and drove.  The Timberbush Tour buses are pretty small, which is good if you don't want to travel around for three days with 40 other people.  We drove by Ben Nevis, through the Highlands, and stopped at Glencoe.  It was raining most of the morning, until we got to Glencoe.  That's when the clouds parted, and the sun shone through gracefully upon us.  True and cool!
  • We stopped for lunch in Fort William, which was kind of a useless town, at least from what I saw.  There was a gift shop though, so I was happy as I bought many keychains and trinkets.  
  • After some other stops I forget we eventually arrived in Portree in the early evening, which is a small place saturated with B&Bs.  We ate at the Bosville hotel and I drank much St Mungos beer.  I like St Mungos.  I ate a cow sandwiched between two pieces of bread and question my existence in this world.  I ran to the sea and wrote deep poetry about my experience and my new-found enlightenment that came in the form of a hamburger.
  • At 10:45pm it's still light out in Scotland, which was a bit odd yet also cool.  They air many Gaelic television shows on their stations, which was interesting/I had no idea what they were saying.
DAY 4:
  • Our Skye trip continued - the cute lady that owned the B&B made us breakfast.  That's why it's called a Bed & Breakfast, you know.  I bet you didn't know that.  They have beds inside as well as breakfasts.  Sometimes you can have breakfast on your bed, but that's called breakfast in bed.  DOn't get them mixed up.  You learn something every day with my blog!
Lisa Fail-of-the-Day: We stopped outside/near the Sligachan hotel in the Cuillins for a photo-op.  I wore chucks on this trip, which is really the ideal footwear to go traipsing around hills and rocks and generally slippery things.  So of course I got out of the bus and promptly slid down an entire hill on my butt.  When things like that happen, I generally try to joke with whoever's nearby that potential saw the oops, and then get a smile out of them (this is usually met with blank stares, and this case was no exception).  Even Maria didn't find it amusing as he was already about 50 feet away so it looked like I slid down a 2 foot bump on the ground.

Taken when I was not sliding down a hill.

  • We stopped at a nice beach in Carbost

The hills were calling his name, thought Maria.  They were in fact saying nothing at all.
  • Maria had his heart set on visiting the Talisker Distillery, the only Distillery on Skye.  The tour wasn't really planning on stopping there this time (the Timberbush tours seem to have specific stopping points, but the schedule is up to their own interpretation), but what Maria wants Maria gets.  So after bringing it up to the driver about six times, the whole group was asked if they wanted to go and half actually did.  That worked out, and the rest of us went to the Fairy Pools. 
Off in the distance is that unattainable mountain mentioned below.  One day I will rise above that mountain and poke it in the ear.
  • I'm kind of anti-social/awkward in group situations with strangers, so I ran off by myself in my slippery chucks and headed off towards that mountain pictured up there.  You know when big things look really close yet are really far away?  You know, big things?  That are far away?  Well this big mountain thing was far away and looked just as far away as it was, yet I figured I could get there and back in our allotted hour and a half time frame. I WAS WRONG LOL.  I walked and walked, over crevices and cracks and stones and hills up and down and all around, and yet I still didn't reach that mountain. At one point, there was a stream that you could only cross by walking over about 5 terribly placed, slippery rocks. I did see one man fail at his mission and wind up with soaking wet feet.  I stood there for about 10 minutes unsure of what to do (there were no other options, I had explored for a bit and come to the conclusion that only an epic journey over the fiery fortress of rock would be the way this story ended) when the tour guide came by and helped me.  csb.  Hey, it was kind of scary!
Looks easy in this pic, no?  Well nooo!
  • The driver played alot of music on the bus, including this catchy song: 
  • We went back to Portree for lunch, and it's a good thing we did because we went back to the B&B and as I pulled out the keys to unlock the door, I realised I was holding strange, unfamiliar keys.  I had a hunch that was confirmed moments later, when the owner came out of the kitchen looking all worried asking if I had her keys.  The poor lady had been without her keys the entire first half of the day :(  I'm certain this was Maria's doing, but he claimed innocence (until the next day when he said it was probably his doing).
  • Continuing along on our journey, we stopped to stare at the Old Man of Storr from afar, as well as stopping to see Kilt Rock.  There is a fence to protect humans from falling off the high, high cliff - and of course a tourist thought that it would be hilarious to climb over the fence to show everyone how zany and daring he is and WOULDN'T THIS MAKE A GREAT FACEBOOK PROFILE PIC?  Needless to say, he fell to his death moments later and it put a rather big damper on our trip.  
Old Man of Storr just chilling out, relaxing, missing the old woman, etc. etc.
  • Ok he didn't really fall to his death, but he did have problems getting back over the fence as the crotch of his pants kept getting caught.  He looked very distressed and the rest of us found it amusing (HEY - don't climb over safety fences!).  At one point he was stuck on the fence with all his weight on said crotch, and I thought he was going to start crying.
Kilt Rock looking more beautiful than your wife.
  • We stopped by a place near (in?) the Quairaing that apparently has a dinosaur footprint in the sand, but the tide was too high for us to stare at it in amazement.  
  • Let me add that up to this point we had not been attacked by any midges whatsoever.  I was very pleased by this, as midges are known as "the horrendous biting monstrous teeny tiny creatures of hell of Scotland of go awayyyyy", so I had brought along bug spray and was ready for battle.  The battle never happened....or did it?
  • We went to see some black houses (old stuff is cool) and over there yonder I could see Flora McDonald's grave.  What I did not know, was that Alexander McQueen was also buried in that graveyard (Kilmuir).  We visited them both.
  • After that we went to my favourite place, the Fairy Glen (Castles).  We all frolicked around for an hour, as it was a very pretty place filled with sheep, green hills, strange rock formations on the ground and lots of rocky things to climb.  Speaking of climbing, I was following everyone happily up a hill pictured below, as the path was flanked on one side by a steep drop, but the other side had a nice hill to hang on to if need be.  Everything was fine until that hill just decided to go home, and the path was just hanging there in open air and AHH SOOOO SCARED.  
Where the girl in the white hoodie is, is where I realised I could not continue on my quest to that THING.
  • So I fell over onto the nearest perch I could find where I began to have a mini-freakout, while the others (including women in heeled boots!) continued up the terror-path onto a super-high thing (I don't even know what to call it).  Eventually I made my way very slowly back down the terror-path back onto flat ground, where I frolicked some more like an overgrown child (but with the same scraggly hair).
Further-away view of that THING.
Just outside this frame is an actual fairy taking a selfie.
  • We listened to Rod Stewart on the bus
  • That night we at the Isles Pub on this, our last night in Portree

DAY 5:
  • We left Skye :(  If you ever go to Scotland (you should), you must go to Skye (you must).  Let's get srs rn.  If you like beautiful scenery, feeling alive, running around without a care in the world, sheep, etc. then you should go to Skye.  /End of srs moment.  
  • We stopped at Eilean Donan castle, which was ok.  I liked the giftshop better (what is wrong with me?).  The castle had cute displays inside but when I enter an establishment I really want to be able to wander around the entire place without any restrictions (also known as trespassing).  
  • We stopped to see some highland coos in Invermoriston.  Cows.  Cute cows with big bangs and painful horns.  We fed them carrots, one turned around and nearly shat in our faces.  One almost knocked my entire arm off. True story!    
This is not the one that sprayed feces in our general direction.
  • Still no rain.  
  • Stopped at Fort Augustus, ie. where Loch Ness is.  Saw no Nessy, so bought Nessy souvenirs instead.  Nessy is probably watching Breaking Bad 300 feet below the surface, tbh.  
  • Listened to Stairway to Heaven in the bus, everyone feeling emo and deep.
  • Stopped at a waterfall to take some more super cool pics, and that's when it happened...MIDGES ATTACK!!!  They left me alone (I think I taste bad), but attacked others, including Maria. They chased us back to our bus, but not before we stopped for a quick group pic:
Check us out!  Photo cred to the lady in the middle. I mean, her camera.
  • We stopped in Pitlochry, and although many things were closed, what a pretty town it was!  I'd like to return there sometime and enter it's many treat shops and eat all the treats in those treat shops and become a happy old woman who lives in Pitlochry and knits cosies and cross-stitches and other things of that nature.
  • Alas, after that long journey we finally arrived at our next destination.....

  • I had to get our rental apartment keys from a lady in a bistro known as the Roamin' Nose.  We stopped quickly to admire the apartment (it was very nice) before running back to the restaurant.  I love that restaurant.   I had some Barney's beer there.  I would like more Barney's beer.
  • I went on my very first trip to Tesco.  Yes, it's a supermarket.  Yes, I got excited over going to a supermarket.   Hey, I'd only heard about it via songs (hi Lily Allen) or random British television shows.  Or Glamour UK.  I was as excited to go to Tesco as I was to go to Primark.  
  • We went across the street to a pub called Smithies, where we watched the beginning of the World Cup.  I don't even remember what game it was.  Does it matter?  I was in a bar in Scotland drinking more (Tennants), I don't care what I was watching.
  • Did you know that some places in Scotland allow dogs?  I mean inside their eateries?  Bistros?  I don't know the full extent of it, but there were dogs inside places I was eating.  That's my kind of place!  As long as the dog hair stays on the dog.
  • A couple of old-men regulars made fun of Maria (he was wearing a Canada soccer hat), making exclamations about Canada "what team do they even have anyway!?" and other things of that nature.  Maria was a bit saddened after that, which made me want to attack in defense!  Actually we just had more beer and then went to sleep and were pretty content.

I think that's enough for today.....
.....part 2 of this epic journey to follow (please don't hold your breath).

Nostalgia Industrial Rock Gem #1

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Oh yas let me share with you this gem from the year 1997.

Home, by Econoline Crush aka a rock gem that 14-15 year old me was SUPER INTO.

Serving up strobe lights and patatatatatatatatatatatatatatata drums better than your faves.

My Artpop Could Mean Anything: A Story of Baking

Friday, May 16, 2014

Macaron - pronounced MA - KA- RON (burgundy) not MA - KA- ROON

Macaroons are something else. I  knew this after doing a quick Google a couple years ago.  I knew this the day I walked into a cafe near Summerhill (I used to live on the dividing line of Yorkville and Summerhill, ok), so this was back in the day when I did such things (now I only walk into cafes called "Starbucks" and they are situated downstairs in my place of employment and they lack rich wives and old ladies with designer sneakers).  I walked in, was overcome by shame at my horrendous French accent and suddenly said: "two macaroons please".  wtf?  I know they are not macaroons.  I know what a macaroon is.   I was promptly lectured by the young man behind the counter, who did a quick 'lil sigh and advised me that they are not macaroons!   "Everyone always calls them that!" etc.

*side note* my friend, who we shall call "Perry", just sent me a message with an attachment, that says "this dog looks like you".  Is it odd that I wasn't offended and only want to see how cute and charming this dog is?!  Let's find out.  Here's the dog in question:

Source: one of those Buzzfeed lists
Let's analyse this.  Sometimes I make ugly faces (I made one the other night, and the bf made some sort of comment about how he hates everything in the world when I make those faces), so I can see where "Perry" is going with this.  This dog is blonde though, and I am not.  This dog does look awesome though, so I'm going to go with it and just accept this likeness.

Right - so, the other day I decided I was going to attempt to bake something that I'd previously thought would be extremely complicated...MACARONS.  I was instantly uplifted by the fact that the basic macaron only has four or so ingredients, but them I noticed that the instructions looked kind of complicated.

The link to the recipe I used for my main batches is at the bottom of this post, and it's the one I chose as it had the best descriptions of what needed to be done - but let me go ahead and tell you how this went.

I bought some eggs, bought some almond flour after wandering the aisles of Metro for 30 minutes, bought some icing sugar, and prayed my mom had granulated sugar waiting for me at home (she did).  I bought a large mixing bowl, browsed at the pyjamas (at some point I had transferred to Walmart) and wondered if I could just go ahead and buy some Walmart PJs and call it a day, didn't buy the PJs, wandered to the cookie aisle, was sad to see they didn't have any S'mores Ritz Crackers, wandered back to their 'baking' section, went back to Metro and bought those piping bag thingers and I think that's it.

Here's what you have to do/here's what I did:

-I did not age my egg whites.  The thought of aging anything made me feel impatient, plus this recipe said I didn't have to, so I didn't do that.
-I did secure the use of a kitchen scale, which is a vital component of this task.  YOU MUST HAVE ONE.
-I measured out the egg whites, icing sugar, granulated sugar, and wheat flour, all in separate bowls.
-In a large bowl, I sifted together the icing sugar and the almond flour.  By 'sifted', I mean dropping half in without any sifting involved, and for the remaining ingredients just smashing a knife into the sifter because everything was just sitting there.

*Side note* about 40 minutes ago I went to Tim Horton's with my friend, who we'll refer to as "Grace" to keep her privacy intact.  I bought two cookies, and we made a pinky swear that I wouldn't eat them until 3pm. I'm a maniac pig with no self control :(  so she made me do that.  I asked her just now for those cookies (2:40pm) and she flat out denied me them.  I don't know what kind of monster this person is, but I am not here for this.

-Ok after that stuff was sifted, I put that bowl aside and let it think about what it did.  Is 'sifted' a real word?
-In a large bowl, I threw in the egg whites and the granulated sugar.   If you're one of THOSE people (coughgracecough) that has a Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer, you can use that too.  I would actually recommend it highly.
-For the next ten minutes I whipped dem whites 'n sugars into a delightful meringue, my hand was shaking in the end but watching that sludge turn into a soft white cloud was enough to make a grown man cry into that bowl of meringue.
-I was advised that you can tell when the meringue is ready, because it sticks up and clogs the whisking device.  It did that.
-After that, I 'folded' in the rest of the ingredients.  I was really concerned about this part, because I don't understand the difference between folding and just mixing like a maniac, but I did what I assumed was folding.  This is the hardest part IMO, because the batter has to be just right before you pipe it onto your baking sheet.


The first time around, I didn't mix it long enough.  When I was piping out the blobs onto the parchment paper (another must), they looked like sad turds belonging to a sad chihuahua!

Here is what they looked like after their time spent in the oven:

Oop @ me.  They do kind of just look like accidental meringue cookies, though.  CoOkIeS fTw.

Another angle:

Haters are probably real macarons, that are not even in the shapes of accidental hearts

Macaron fail!!!  After a wave of panic washed over me,  I did a quick Google and discovered my issue was undermixing.  Time to FOLD some more.

Some more folding was done, and this is what the blobs looked like when squirted out of the bag for round 2:

No turds!  These ones look more like artblobs, which is what I wanted.
NOTE: I did four batches, and batches 1 & 3 were baked on a single baking sheet (the rectangular kind).  Batches 2 & 4 (aka the ones that turned out), were baked on two pizza sheets, one on top of the other.   I believe the single baking sheet for batches 1 & 3 is partially responsible for disaster.

Batch 2 provided one of the great moments of joy in my life, behind eating cookies and putting stickers in the World Cup Panini sticker book: LOOKING INTO THE OVEN AND DISCOVERING THIS ROUND HAD FEET.

Feet - a hideous term used to describe the weird looking part of the macaron.  The part that looks like it exploded a bit.

See what I mean:


I took this as a sign of great success, threw my window open and flew into the sky with one first raised!

But then batch #3 happened....

wtf bro!

I had accidentally created some emo-cookies, ones whose shells are not even just cracked metaphorically.  Like the turds from round 1, these were completely edible, but I feel like eating a failed macaron is liked eating processed cheese.  Not as good as the real thing, but still really damn tasty!!!!!!!  What

After the great dissapointment of round 3, I sat down and quickly wrote another Haiku to express my feelings.  It's hard to go from a great high to a great low in the span of 20 minutes.  I did some internal reflection and Google research, and can only conclude that my pan was at fault for this round, considering I used the same batter.

I've entitled this poem "Failure In the Oven"

Through the door you went
Baked in hell's hot furnace, oh!
You are dead to me.

I don't even know how to write a haiku, tbqh.  My despair was short lived, however, since 20 minutes later my oven gave birth to round #4:

Return of the feet (it is), return of the feet (come on), return of the feet (oh my god)

After letting these things cool, you can put whatever you want in between them.  I think.  I had great aspirations of making my own ganache and buttercream icing but that idea was quickly dashed to the ground, I wanted to go downstairs and watch Roswell.  You can toss some Nutella in there, some jam, whatever...at one point I threw some caramel and coconut on them and called it a day.

Here are ones with store-bought icing in them:

 The next day, I was feeing ambitious again and decided I would try to make colourful ones, and chocolate ones.  I had to find some super kewl powdered fool colouring, which I found at Bulk Barn for an exorbitant price.  I had no idea how much to put into the batter without ruining it, but I was eventually able to turn it a sad pink colour.  I had blue powder too, but that will have to wait for another day.

The chocolate recipe I attempted (also below), was tricky - there was much less batter that turned up to party (compared to the first recipe I tried), and no matter how much I FOLDED it just wouldn't get runny enough.  I had a feeling I was doomed, and sure enough, here is the result (on the left):

What kind of puckered mess?!

The pink turned out ok, but I would like a less insipid pink next time.  The chocolate looked like a bumhole, but they tasted good so that's OK.

Here is the recipe that I used for the plain macarons:

And here is the recipe I used for the cocoa macarons (turns out they likely puckered due to the oil content in the Cocoa Powder I used):

Samoa Macarons

Thank you for going through this macaron journey with me.  I have about 5 bags of almond flour at home, so I will have to do more baking and share with you whatever puckered mess comes from that.

I strongly encourage those who are interested in making their own, to just go for it and give it your best!!  Your uniqueness is what makes you beautiful!  Live each day one day at a time and never look back!  
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