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Guest blog: Why I chose to get Nasty

By August 2, 2017 Headlines

Pink and nasty. Go get ’em girls.

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Canada 150: love is still the best flag to wave

By June 30, 2017 Headlines

So I’ve directed your gaze to a film about Canadian name-dropping, and another to that incredible creative machine, the National Film Board. Encouraged you to drop your drawers and jump in the lake at twilight, and if not, pick up a canoe paddle and give it a try. It’s always better in a canoe, naked or not.

Truly, if we all do only one thing tomorrow it’s this: relish our freedom.

Free to protest.

Free to learn, especially things we weren’t taught. Freedom to listen.

Free to be angry.

Free to welcome.

Free to love.

Free to wander.

Free to wonder at the myriad stories. There is no one ritual but many beautiful customs and I toast them all.

Especially free ones like listening to a bunch of new Canadian music playlists. Who doesn’t like to be reminded of our greats? Joni makes everyone’s lists, and so does Leonard, Feist, K.D Lang, Gordon Lightfoot…and Celine.  Apparently she’s cool again. Years ago she graced our green room at Global TV, my old stomping grounds. She was endearing and humble and a family person above anything else. Kind of like most Canadians I know. But I digress…

All holidays are hard for some people, especially those disconnected from the central narratives. Be cautious about branding. Even as I say it, I know I date myself. We live in the age of branding. To hell with it.

Are we nice? Are we polite? Are we tolerant?

We are free.

I choose to believe we are moving forward together. I choose to believe our welcome mat is a worthy symbol, no matter how big a loser that makes me, Steven Marche.

It has become abundantly clear in 2017 that patriotism is for losers. Patriotism is for people and for countries that need to justify their existence through symbols rather than achievements.

-Steven Marche

This week, a dear friend welcomed a new family into her embrace. She and a generous Toronto based collective have sponsored a new family’s arrival from Eritrea and the pictures and stories of this initiative are so bloody inspiring that I want to cry. It is theirs to cherish and I wish them all the bounty this vast land has to offer. Here is how my wonderful bighearted friend Deb (the best kind of Canadian there is) described Day 2 with her new friends:

They are smart and adaptable and are picking up our ways very quickly. It is truly remarkable.

Happy Canada Day. Be glorious. Be free. Be adaptable and remember those who can’t celebrate today. They are in our hold too.

They may say it’s too hard, it’s too ambitious. Well, I say love is ambitious.

Wab Kinew

Peter and I spent many Canada Days in Ottawa. This year we’ll skip the crowds. What does your Canada Day look like?


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Pink isn’t just for millennials

By April 3, 2017 Headlines, Life

Millennial pink has reached the zenith of zeitgeist gushing.  Didn’t know pink was a thing? Me neither. The Friendly Greek wore pink shirts decades ago; in my closet are several pink purses.

On at least two occasions, I wore a large pink hat.

None of this makes us anything remotely on trend. How can you be hip in a red blazer fit for a tour guide?

“No one really agrees on what shade millennial pink actually is. Nonetheless, we think we figured it out. Essentially, it’s a subtle, muted pink — not too bright, but also not too blush (blush is also the “new neutral,” have you heard?) How did this fad begin, you ask? It could have been when Apple released the “rose gold” iPhone in 2015, or when Pantone named rose quartz the “Color of the Year” in 2016. Either way, it’s a thing, and we’re here for it.”

“Gone is the girly-girl baggage; now it’s androgynous. It doesn’t hurt that the color happens to be both flattering and generally pleasing to the eye, but it also speaks to an era in which trans models walk the runway, gender-neutral clothing lines are the thing, and man-buns abound. It’s been reported that at least 50 percent of millennials believe that gender runs on a spectrum — this pink is their genderless mascot.” (Read here for a complete breakdown of the trend)

“A color becomes popular because it’s symbolic of the age we’re living in. These are turbulent times. People are looking for calm.”

-Laurie Pressman, Pantone Colour Institute (more from Bloomberg here)

“I don’t like it but I can see why it’s popular. This is how I feel about a lot of things pitched to my demographic. Still, better than Boomer Pink, which locked Millennial Pink in the basement without a job and is inexplicably snide about it.”

Alexandra Petri, Washington Post

Running out to purchase things in hot colours never works much for me (who has time?) but some manage to pull it off.

Around here, some pink is year round.

And other pinks show up when it’s their season to strut.

Easter brings out the shine in pink, and my mother’s gorgeous pink candles.

I’m not fussed if pink is out of fashion decades from now (or how about next week, thanks to the Trump green invasion), certain as I am of the longevity of Anne’s Seasonal Kitsch that keeps me from losing my mind cued up and ready for the uncharted curves ahead.

Pink is not about the feminine or the frivolous.  (art by Kate Dotsikas)

For me, it’s the pucker up* we long for…

…and in the eyelids of sleeping babes. I’m for those forever.

Come on now. Show me your hip side. Got any millennial pink in your collection? Share in the Have your Say section below.

*photo credit: Jane Langford

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A banquet but no feast

By March 1, 2017 Film, Headlines

Watching the Oscars while sick offers a cocktail of kicks. While I don’t recommend it entirely—stomach flu has zero charm unlike its cousin, the common cold which allows for chicken soup—I will say this for it: delirium rids the thing of any heft. Read More

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Here’s to the ones that dream

By February 24, 2017 Film, Headlines

Sunday night is Oscar night. Pop culture junkies, get your fix on.

It’s no surprise I find no sense choosing who should or who will win. There’s just talent. Oodles of it. Creative imaginations squeezed into tiny dresses and tuxedo jackets. Swag bags or not, all of these nominees have already won in the sexy showbiz salute. Many have been awarded some kind of trophy or other before this, as one critics’ group after another has named their favourites before Sunday’s ceremony.

Note to winners: PLEASE WRITE A SPEECH. We here down on earth require you to be witty and winsome. I will throw my popcorn bag at you if you show up to grab the trophy without something hinting at talent in your acceptance speech. This is not the time to pretend surprise. OWN THE MOMENT.

Here’s my random list of things I loved in this year’s nominations, in no order whatsoever. Read More

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Greens & bon mots

By February 3, 2017 Headlines, Recipes

So you can’t change the world. You can whip up a colourful winter menu and that, my friends, is where the love is. Right in your kitchens, in your alcoves, your hubs wherever you find them. Remember the threads that connect you (I’m still waiting for your stories!

And eat your greens. Some oranges on the side. It’s a good start.

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Santa came early

By December 9, 2016 Headlines

with love and sugar is now sold out for Christmas deliveries.

Those still needing a copy for gifts can locate a book while supplies last at Mabel’s Fables Bookstore or Interior Couture,* both in Toronto.

* I will be signing copies at this location on Wednesday, December 14th at 12:30 pm

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Look for me here

By November 21, 2016 Books, Headlines

Love and Sugar Launch Countdown Week

A week from today ♥with love and sugar ♥will be available in a bookstore jammed with goodies.


Tucked on a Toronto midtown corner where passerbys can’t help but gape at the wondrous windows, Mabel’s Fables has survived where others have fallen. Since 1988, this gem has done far more than serve up children’s stories. It is a dream shop.
When owner Eleanor Lefavre invited me to launch my food memoir in her store, I might have fallen over right then. Fortunately for the stacks of gorgeous books around me, I wobbled but stayed afloat—just. Read More

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Use your boots

By November 9, 2016 Headlines

To all the little girls who are watching this, never doubt you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve your own dreams.

Hillary Clinton, concession speech today

To my own girls, along with all their peers in this jittery new world—where anxiety has crept at the seams for much of their young adult lives —all those weeping through the night of numbers: leave the vitriol for the angry white men. Their victory will be short-lived. Then they will need us.

Keep busy building planks for your sisters. Your toolkit is heavy enough-who has room for spears among the boots brought along just in case? Point out the storytellers with long braids telling tales of hidden women.  Reach your arms around the city blocks, the turf, farms and deserts. Root out that barefoot bride with sticks on her head. That basket she carries is a magic well. Ideas jostle among the eggs. Reach in and pull one out and work it. Work it again. Find a big rock. Climb up, here, grab my hand.  Speak up, speak out, speak through the wall of scorn. Smile at the stragglers, the tentative boys who shrug, okay sure, your way looks better than this old book of instructions anyway. Leave the rest in the swamp of grabbers and goons.

Use your boots and march on. Despair if need be, but stamp on apathy when you find it. Apathy is for losers.

Fighting for what’s right is worth it.

-Hillary Clinton, concession speech today

Make round things. Share the love and sugar.




Be a champion

We need the storm

Gloria Steinem at 80

Back at school, changing the world, one day at a time

Free to be, you and me

Girl Power #1-Book the Funny Lady

No wand needed

Why not female Bond?


Try to praise a mutilated world





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You can find it. It’s everywhere.

By October 18, 2016 Headlines

A little sliver of good in every day.

Scoff away. It’s there if you look.

In a blur of news squalor I can no longer digest (hundreds of thousands of children trapped by ISIS-held Mosul, Trump’s third wife dismissing her husband’s terrifying comments as “boy talk”) there is goodness to be found, relished, and celebrated. Read More

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