Hiiiiii brother!

Well, it’s been a while, but I’m back and ready to party.

Soon I’ll be back to posting on the regular, but for now I’d like to share something pretty fun – a little something I wrote that was published on hellogiggles.com. Yay! It was pretty exciting to see my work on this site – and I have even more exciting news to come! Here’s a little excerpt. To read more, head on over to the article! xo

Me, Grandma and some of the boys

Me, Grandma and some of the boys

I’m the only girl in a family of many. I have two awesome older biological brothers and seven younger male cousins who I’m so close with that I count them as siblings. Growing up, my family was really close. My dad and his siblings decided to live near one another so that their families would be a tight-knit group—something they hadn’t experienced in their own childhood, with most of their family still living overseas. So I live within walking distance of a big rowdy gang of wonderful male relatives.

When I was younger, I used to hope for another girl cousin or sister in the family. Whenever it turned out not to be the case, younger me was vaguely disappointed. But now I realized that being the only woman in the ten of us is a huge part of who I am, and I wouldn’t trade it fro anything. My brothers are some of my favorite people on earth, and they’ve taught me a lot about myself.

Read more!

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Pug life

Vern, the man of the hour. Photo by Terri Flinn.

Vern, the man of the hour. Photo by Terri Flinn.

Tonight I’m doggie-sitting one of my favourite beings, Vern the Pug. He’s sweet and cuddly and I always love my adventures with him.

People usually point and smile, or stop to give a little pat-pat (to him – I don’t respond as well as he does). Babies squeal “puppy!” and girlfriends say “oooh let’s get one of those!” But every once in a while, something strange happens.

On my walk tonight, we passed through the puppy park (a guy shows up there a few times a week with a gaggle of tiny puppies – it’s pretty fantastic) and made our way through the neighbourhood. While standing on a quiet, tree-lined street, I stood patiently, waiting for Vern to do his business. Next thing you know, I hear the thunder of skateboards rolling past us and two twenty-something men came into view. “PUG TAKING A SHIT!!!” one hollered out, as if to announce it to the neighbourhood. And just like that, they were gone.

Guys, this is a big deal. I think I just met Captain Obvious.

We move along, making our way down Bloor Street. We pass the shops and various types of pedestrians, and get the usual nods and smiles. A minute later, as we pass a bar patio, I hear a whistle. “Hey there, cutie!” a voice rings out. I look to my right and see a toothless old sot winking in my direction. The gall! What am I, a piece of meat? Oh wait. He’s pointing at the dog.

Moving right along.

We hit the Wine Rack (Vern is familiar with this place and knows just where to sit in order to get a treat – I don’t take him there that often, I swear) and wander back home. As we stand outside the doors of our building while I search for my keys, I notice a man inside the building holding the elevator for me. How kind! I finally locate the keys and let myself in, rushing toward the kind gentleman.

“Thanks so much!” I smiled at him.

“Anything for a cute dog,” he replied.

And that’s how it is.

Love From Sarah


That girl.

google

Picture this:

I’m running. Wind in my hair and sun on my cheeks. It’s 6:30 a.m. and not only am I awake, but I’m actually outdoors. Moving around. It’s a civic holiday miracle. I begin my cooldown and start walking back toward my building when I spot my friend in the distance. She’s looking a little bleary-eyed and is standing listlessly on the sidewalk while she tries to will her dog to get it over with and just poop already.

“Hey!” I call out, waving.

She looks at me as if trying to figure out who I am. “What are you doing?” she asks. “Oh, I just finished a run!” I smile. She looks at me dubiously. Tells me I looked like a Stepford Wife. I can’t entirely disagree in my Lululemon outfit with a hoodie tied around my waist.

That’s when it hits me: I’m that girl.

That girl who’s out exercising before 7 a.m. That girl who is out enjoying the fresh air while any reasonable person would still be in bed, savouring every delicious morsel of sleep they can steal before the alarm clock goes off. That girl.

When did that happen? Well, since I took the first step in Operation Inside Out, things have started to change –  and it’s shifting much more than just my muffin top.

I’ve begun to realize how quick I am to categorize myself. I’m a creative-type. I’m a vegetarian (not anymore, but a story for another time), I’m a book worm, and the list goes on. And while some of these categories seem positive, others aren’t.  This is becoming quite clear to me. I never thought of myself as sporty either, let alone a runner. But I’m changing and I like it.

And it’s not just about the running. Take, for example, last weekend. It was a gorgeously sunny morning and I was drinking coffee and listening to music on the balcony with The Man and The Kitten. Blueberry muffins were baking in the oven (made from scratch, I should mention) and my heart was filled with joy. I danced around the apartment, waving my oven mitts in the air. A domestic goddess was I.

“Aren’t blueberry muffins and coffee and kittens just wonderful?” I asked The Man as I sashayed around the room (I ask him things like this – I’m that girl).

“Yes,” he replied. “Very… domestic.”

“Mmm, yes. Well I am domestic, wouldn’t you say?”

A pause.

“No…” he says. “You’re more of a Sex and the City, martini-for-dinner kind of girl.”

I stop, mid twirl. Shock! Disbelief! Mouth hanging open, oven mitt drooping toward the floor.

“But I make you pies! Do I not keep my apartment clean?!” Be careful, Man. This is treacherous ground you’re treading.

“Well… yeah…” he swallows hard, eyes darting wildly around the room. He’s looking for an escape.

You probably think I let him have it (I’m that girl), but I wasn’t mad. How could I be mad? In that moment I had characterized myself as domestic, but he’s not totally wrong. The truth of the matter is that I don’t fit into any convenient box, and why should I? I’m part Martha, part martini. I’m cool with that.

I never thought of myself as a runner either. Never thought I’d be out on the street at the crack of dawn getting the comrade-nod from the lady runner who’s one part muscle, one part bone and three parts spray tan. Never thought I’d see a fellow runner’s butt cheek as he whisks past me in his (much too) flouncy shorts before any sensible person is awake.

So I’m just going to forget the categories and focus on being Sarah. The vegetarian/non-vegetarian, sporty/non-sporty lesson in contradictions. The Sarah who The Man recently described as “an incredible writer with a sensitive heart.”

That matters. The rest can just be.

Love From Sarah

 


It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life…

female-runner

And I’m feeling… sore.

Today marks a momentous occasion. A new person has come into the world – one whose arrival has been hotly anticipated. This delicate new being needs to be nurtured, fed and coached, but will one day change the world.

No, I’m not talking about Royal Baby No-Name. I’m talking about me… Sarah, the runner. She has been born.

As you might know, I have been convinced to start training for a 5k run. Quiet, those of you gasping in shock – it’s true. I was once like you – a non-believer. But I have been CHANGED! Well, that’s a bit dramatic. Let’s start from the beginning.

A co-worker and I recently decided that we needed to get in shape. We needed to eat better and exercise – and we were going to encourage each other the whole way through. Things were going fine for a whole 45 minutes, until that Judas told the whole office our plan. That’s when things got terrifying.

“You should run a 5k!” our co-workers chorused. I had the appropriate response (a snort, a couple of “riiiiiiight”s and some general scoffing), until I realized that my friends were serious. “A 5k?” said I “that’s just not done.” By me.

It took great effort, but they convinced me. I have committed to racing other human beings on foot.

My friend sent me a link to a couch-to-5k plan and I downloaded a very helpful app. I dug my running shoes out from the bowels of my hall closet and steeled myself. I also tried to rationalize this mad endeavour.

Reasons to run:

1. Hot legs and buns (appealing)

2. Freedom in the form of sun on face and wind in hair (also appealing)

3. Ability to flee from any sinister characters I encounter (scary/useful)

And that was that. I took to the street and was off like a shot! (Not quite… one has to ease into this sort of thing with a brisk walk, as I have learned.)

It was a nice, cool evening and there weren’t too many people on the street to point and laugh in my direction. I had some good tunes on and the stitch in my left side was nicely complemented by the cramp in my right foot. All in all, a successful debut.

So there you go. Step one of my goal completed. Only, like, 108,735,499,356 more steps to go.

I came home, showered, doused myself in a cooling gel moisturizer to combat my protesting muscles and have rewarded myself with a glass of wine (I can’t find that part on the plan, but am assuming it’s some kind of horrible oversight and have adjusted the plan accordingly).

It’s a great big world out there, so I guess old (new?) No-Name and I have something in common. That and jelly legs.

Until next time.

Love From Sarah


Operation: Inside Out

I’m back! It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Let’s take a moment to catch up.

I’m back in the city, working hard and having fun. I haven’t been writing much (insert excuse here) but I’ve made a commitment to start again and it’s all a part of my master plan. It’s a plan I’m calling Operation: Inside Out.

Does it sound mysterious and tricksy? Because it’s not. It’s all about feeling good in every single way.

So here’s the deal: I’ve decided that I need a life makeover. Nothing serious like quitting my job and moving to Zimbabwe or anything, but little steps – everyday steps – in the right direction. So I’ve become an advocate for gorgeously responsible products (hello, Arbonne!), have started my food journal again and have committed (gulp) to running a 5k.

It’s basic and it’s all about being thankful for what I have and being the best me I can be. I’m sure I’ll have some bumps along the way, but that’s the fun, right? It wouldn’t be my blog if there wasn’t something to laugh about.

So join me if you want, or just creep me. Either way, come along for the fun run.

Love From Sarah


Dear Eleanor

So here’s the thing: we all embarrass ourselves once in a while. Like that time I tried to text a sympathetic e-mail to my boyfriend that said “Oh baby, I’m so sorry” but my phone decided to “correct” it to “Ooh baby, I’m do dirty.” That was awesome.

Those ones are our fault. We’ve made the mistake, we pay the embarrassing price. Those are the ones I find easier to get over because really, you goofed and you’ve just got to accept it. It’s the times when you don’t have a choice but to humiliate yourself – those are the epic moments. Like what happened to my brother not too long ago.

My bro is the manager of a local restaurant. He’s one of those super-social, funny, outgoing guys that everybody likes. He’s not shy and certainly doesn’t embarrass easily. On the list of his many natural gifts and talents however, I wouldn’t include singing. It’s not that he sounds like a seagull, but he’s really no Pavarotti, let’s put it that way.

The restaurant at which he works is a fairly swanky joint. You know, the kind where the waiters wear long aprons and even the women wear ties. It’s a great place that I would highly recommend, but don’t expect it to be the kind of spot where the servers to come out with a ridiculous hat to plunk on your head while they screech out some bastardized version of happy birthday that not-so-subtly mentions the name of their establishment. No, this is the kind of place where you have a romantic, candlelit dinner with your lover after you send a suggestive e-mail.

Anyhoo, not too long ago my brother was serving a table of four who requested that he bring out a customized birthday cake for their dessert. When they gave the signal, he was to light the candles and present the cake in a blaze of unexpected glory for the birthday girl. He was ready. They gave the nod. With a flourish, he emerged from the kitchen with the cake in hand and in a loud, clear voice, began to sing.

“HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU, HAPPY BIRTHDAY To… you…” his eyes darted around wildly. Was his the only voice ringing through the restaurant? Where were his co-workers? “Happy… gasp…” His voice was cracking. Why was no one helping him out? The table of four was scowling at him, mouths pressed firmly into thin lines. His co-workers stared at him wide-eyed, unable to look away from the trainwreck they saw before them… it was clear that he was alone in this.

“Happy birthday dear… dear…” he searched the table’s faces for a sign. Why hadn’t he confirmed her name ahead of time?

“Eleanor,” barked one of the men at the table.

“Eleanoooooooorrr….” quavered the lone voice. “Happy birthday to you.”

Silence. Crickets. The server’s breath coming out in puffs. Hadn’t they asked for this? Why hadn’t someone joined in? He gave a shaky smile and returned to the kitchen to hang his head.

And just like that, it was over. Silverware once again clattered against plates. Someone cleared his throat. Patrons resumed their conversations and presumably, the table of four started to dig into their cake.

Why hadn’t anyone bailed the poor guy out? It’s a mystery for the ages. But for one poor soul (and let’s face it – everyone else in the restaurant that night) it will be a memory to last a lifetime. I wonder how long it will take before rumours start to fly about the singing waiter at the place down the street? Will he take requests?

The moral of the story, folks, is that we all have our moments. And as awesome as it is to laugh at our brothers when they make asses of themselves (and oh, how I do laugh), we have to remember that an embarrassing situation can happen to anyone, at any time. It doesn’t matter if you’re outgoing or not, sometimes you just have to go back to the kitchen and hang your head.

– Love From Sarah


Choose happy

You probably thought I fell off the face of the earth. Well genius, that can’t actually happen. Actually, I’ve been hiding under a rock and feeling a little sorry for myself. So, what’s the remedy? I figure it’s laughter. So let’s be fabulous bears and laugh our tooshies off.

Muah.

Thanks to the usual site!


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