Dec
05
2014

The Shoebox Project

A couple weeks ago I was watching the evening news and saw that they were doing coverage on the Raptor wives/girlfriends showing their support for women living in GTA shelters by helping collect gifts for The Shoebox Project:

The Shoebox Project was founded in 2011 by four sisters-in-law – Caroline Mulroney Lapham and Jessica, Vanessa and Katy Mulroney.

We were looking for a hands-on way to give back in our community. We asked our friends to fill a shoebox with little luxuries that they would enjoy, to decorate the box and drop it off to us. We delivered our gift boxes along with the hundred others we received to more women that we could have expected. Through word-of-mouth, and social media, we have grown in a big way!

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I wish I knew about this project earlier. I would’ve totally had a “Shoebox Party” and invited all my friends to come over and fill and decorate their own shoe boxes.

I tend to shop a little too much at times, so I usually have a load of extra, unopened stuff that I can do without (lotions, shampoo, hordes of toothbrushes). What better way to but these items to good use than by giving them to someone in more need than yourself? To top off my shoe box I picked up a few other beauty items and treats. Wrapped it up, stuck on a bow, wrote a nice message on the gift tag and it was good to go. Good thing I had a big, size 12 shoe box to fit everything into!

In a single day, thousands of women are housed in shelters across Canada. This is such a worthy cause, because there are so many women who are experiencing difficult times. I’m glad to know that I’m able to help brighten the holiday season for a woman who may have experienced abuse, poverty or mental illness, by filling up a shoe box with meaningful goodies.

Nov
01
2014

The Best Orange is the New Black Halloween Group Costume!

Anyone who knows me knows that I absolutely love dressing up for Halloween. So when I enlisted some of my good friends by asking if they were in on donning a group costume of characters from the hit Netflix show Orange is the New Black, I was totally excited about taking the reins.

Nexflix.com

Photo from Netflix.com

It’s kind of eerie that a lot of my friends actually look like characters from the show. I asked who was interested who they might want to play, others I assigned roles since they didn’t watch the show, but looked the part (half of our group never watched a single episode). After Googling the Clubcrawlers website looking for some interested Halloween parties that the group can attend on the big day, I ran across one that was being hosted by Fame Media at the prestigious Roy Thompson Hall in Downtown Toronto. Early bird tickets were only $20, right within my budget. Halloween Massacre here we come!

17 of my good friends donning prison garb on Halloween as characters from the hit Netflix show Orange is the New Black.

17 of my good friends donning prison garb on Halloween as characters from the hit Netflix show Orange is the New Black.

Luckily the wardrobe for Orange is the New Black is pretty simple: The first thing I knew we needed were the trademark tan-coloured scrubs that doubled as our prison uniform. My friends know that I’m a stickler for detail, so I purchased a bunch if scrub sets from Amazon for $20 each. As word spread of my group costume idea, more of my friends informed me that they wanted to be in on it, so I had to make another order, praying that it got shipped to my address in time for Halloween (just over a week). I ordered a single orange pair for “newbie” Piper, then used fabric paint to write “D.O.C.” at the back.

A photo posted by @blaquecat on

There was a total of  16 scrubs for the gang. With a few last minute character additions, we were up to 18 people with one week left to go ’til Halloween, so one of us managed to find a dye a white pair of scrubs she bought at Wal-Mart, and I managed to find another tan set at Value Village. Uniforms? Check!

  A photo posted by @blaquecat on

Next were the name badges. Luckily I found the perfect, basic template by a user on Deviant Art. The only thing I needed to do was add in the photo of each of the “inmates”. But that wasn’t enough for me. This group costume had to be perfect! After masking all the inmate photos in, I used Photoshop to give each tag a unique ID number. I also created staff ID badges for Officer George “Pornstache” Mendez and John Bennett, on the off chance that we could get a couple of our guys to play the part (no luck though). I printed them off at Staples in colour and on cardstock paper, picked up some heavy-duty name badge holders and alligator clips. Name badges? Done!

After countless emails trying to rally the group together and make sure they read up a bit of info on their assigned character, so that they got the right hair, accessories make-up and attitude, we were all set! We all donned black boots, and I was even impressed with three members of our group who actually found replica jackets that the Litchfield inmates wore when they went outside (it was super-chilly and rainy on Halloween). I even managed to get some decent grey, thermal tops from Old Navy to wear under our scrubs as we made our way through The Village that night (most of us were sweating on the dance floor from all the layers later on).

We got so many compliments on our costume from other Halloween revelers. Donning the trademarks bantu-knots that Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren wears (which had been my go-to hairstyle for the last 15 years, I’ll have you know), I got easily recognized as a character from the show. Once one member of our group was acknowledge, then people will turn their heads and excitedly identify our whole troupe. It’s a shame we were missing other notable members from the cast, like Red and Big Boo (but we did see some one dressed as her in The Village).

A photo posted by TMZ PHOTOS (@tmz_halloween) on

A photo posted by TMZ PHOTOS (@tmz_halloween) on

We got stopped for photo-ops constantly (now we know how celebrities feel)! We even made it on to a segment of CityTV news with a crew of Church Street party-goers in police costumes. I wish I could’ve brought my DSLR around, because my cell phone doesn’t take as nice photos at night/indoors. We did managed to get a few shots of most of us together which was cool.

Church Street was fun as usual. Amazing costumes and good vibes. It’s too bad it was cold and rainy, otherwise we would’ve spent more time there. The party at Roy Thompson Hall was amazing! Great music, amazing venue, nice people and I love seeing every guest in costume.

All the planning paid off. My friends had so much fun, which is what I wanted to do for all of us. It’s too bad we didn’t know of any costume contests going on, otherwise we would definitely have won (then have to fight over splitting the prize 18 ways. We just might hold on to these costumes for another event. Best Halloween ever (so far)!

So what do you think of our costumes? Did we nail it or what?

A big shout out goes to Sophia, Pennsatucky, Daya, Tricia, Alex, Poussey, Vee, Morello, Nicky, Taystee, Janae, Brook, Aleida, Flaka, Black Cindy, Maria and my dandelion, Piper! :-D

 

Jul
25
2014

The Walking Dead Season 5 Trailer

Oh, how I wish I had gotten the chance to go to San Diego’s Comic Con! But I guess Toronto’s Fan Expo next month will have to suffice.

Can’t wait until season 5 of The Walking Dead starts!

As always: if Daryl dies, we riot.

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Jun
08
2014

Tennis Anyone?

It’s time I gave my salsa shoes some rest and pick up a new hobby: Tennis! People who know me,  know I’m always active doing something in my spare time, and this summer I decided to change it up a little and try a racquet sport.

I’ve never played tennis before,  but after watching great matches over the years on TV (and on my Nintendo Wii) I decided to give this new sport a try.

A friend of mine is a member of a tennis club,  so I managed to find one that still had spots available for this season. Scored some good deals (and went overboard a bit) on tennis gear and clothing (the skirts are so cute),  and now I’m ready to go!

It’s a shame that now I don’t have much money left over for actual tennis lessons,  but that’s what YouTube is for.  :-)

I had my first ladder match today and won both sets! Mind you, it was against other beginners,  so it’s all a learning process.  A ladder is basically a system of ranking tennis players,  allows access to set up challenges,  report scores and meet new people.  If youre thinking about joining a tennis club,  I highly recommend participating in the club’s ladder.

When I first joined I didn’t know how physically exerting it would be.  I was sweating after a few sets.  It’s a great work out total body workout though.

Wimbledon here I come!

Apr
28
2014

Recipe: Pac-Man Cookies

Pan-Man Cookies

I had a huge 80s-themed birthday last month (stay tuned for the updated post), and went to town on all the treats and decorations. One of them was Pac-Man cookies. Super simple to make, and they were a hit.

Yield: About 60 cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 packages of Oreo cookies (or any dark-coloured cookie)
  • 200g of yellow candy melts or moulding wafers (for the body)
  • 10g black or chocolate-flavoured candy melts or moulding wafers (for the eyes — optional)
  • Coconut Oil

Method:

  1. Using a double boiler (I used a glass bowl over a saucepan filled with some water), melt the wafers over simmering heat, stirring constantly until they have melted. Remove from heat.
  2. Take an Oreo cookie and dip it halfway into the mixture, letting the excess drip off carefully back into the bowl. Rotate the cookie 90° and dip it into the mixture again. This should create the “open mouth” Pac-Man shape.
  3. Place cookie on a lined baking sheet covered with parchment paper.
  4. Repeat with remaining cookies until all are dipped. Water should not come in contact with the wafers, as it will ruin the smooth consistency. If the mixture is too thick you can add a bit of melted coconut oil to thin it out. 
  5. For the eyes, melt the chocolate-flavoured wafers in a small bowl in the microwave for 1 minute on low power (or until melted). Fill a sandwich bag with the mixture, cut a small piece off the corner to form a piping bag. Gently squeeze a bit of the dark mixture to dot eyes for the Pac-Man cookies.

Pan-Man Cookie Method

Cookies harden fairly quickly. After 20-minutes or so they can be stacked in a reusable container, ready to be eaten!