TGIF: Tina’s Glee Inducing Fridays


Banana Oatmeal and Superheroes: Conquering Life One Spoonful at a Time.

It was one of those rare, leisurely Sunday mornings. Ivory snow blanketed my backyard, like cream cheese icing slathered on carrot cake. The snow calmed my restless, anxious, questioning heart. That’s the thing about cream cheese icing: you have to savour, slow down and lick the corners of your mouth. Mother Nature had lulled me into finding my tranquil self.

I leaned over the kitchen counter with a bowl of warm oatmeal in my hand and my feet strategically placed by the toasty air vent. My mind wandered as I carefully portioned one slice of banana per spoonful of milky oatmeal into my mouth.

Scoop. Chew. Breathe.

It must’ve been all those years of studying film and TV because my brain was playing back a video montage of the milestone moments of my life, set to the tune of The Wonder Year’s theme song. The laughter, the tears, the moments of inspiration and quiet desperation.

My family is at, yet, another set of crossroads. My mom and dad, like so many small business owners, have been struggling and praying for a miracle ever since the economy turned south. And then last week …*drum roll* … wait for it … they finally sold their little video store & postal outlet!

My parents are the kind of people who would put a stamp on your parcel, run to open the door, help you load your trunk, strap on your seatbelt, fill your gas, feed you a muffin and wave goodbye at the door. So, needless to say, they are leaving behind a ton of friendships. It’s not easy to say goodbye to their fellow small business owners: the DryCleaner ladies, the Deli guy, the artsy Coffee shop folks, the sarcastic Optometrist and the cheerful Thrift Store volunteers. My parents have poured their hearts and souls into their customers and this community.

Over the past couple of years, my parents have received all sorts of gifts from customers. Some noteworthy gifts: Two nuns dropped off a batch of fresh cookies made with a secret ingredient: crushed potato chips. Delish. A woman who sold bags on eBay repaired one of my favorite totes for free! Another woman shared a treasured family vegetarian “meatloaf” recipe. There were many, many bottles of wine and chocolates over Christmas. But nothing topped Woody …

Meet Woody.

Technically, Woody wasn’t a gift. My parents bought him for a Toonie from an 80-year-old customer who makes these quirky “cone birds.” Get it? Pine Cones. Doesn’t that just make your heart melt?

While the sale of the store is a total answer to prayer, the elephant- in-the-room is the terrifying question:

Now what?

Change is bittersweet.

My parents are now in their fifties and the future is unknown. They have overcome so much in the last decade: immigrating to a new country, culture shock, language barriers, lupus, death of loved ones, etc.

It is the first day of the rest of their lives. I know they are scared. Heck! I’m scared. It’s daunting …

I know in my gut they’re going to be okay. It’s a new season. That’s all.

My mom and dad are my heroes.

Batman and Wonder Woman have nothing on them.

“In all these things we are more than conquerors, through Him that loved us.” – Romans 8:37


Subway Singer + Rustic Tarts + Minibars + Dream Sequence + Running à la German Cutie= TGIF!

1. Watch out for 22-year-old Jessie J from Essex, UK. The girl can sing. I mean, she can saaang. <insert Z-snap> The video starts getting good at the 1:20 mark. Armed with a boombox, perfectly styled bob and six inch heels she brings the house down in a subway in NYC with her song “Who You Are” for stunned commuters. For more info click here.

Unrelated sidenote: I want bangs again. Vicious cycle. Ahh …

Boombox Series // Jessie J from on Vimeo.

2. While I’m not thrilled about the cold weather sticking around like an uninvited house guest, it’s the perfect excuse to indulge in comfort food. My beautiful friend Jen, aka the Foodess has a fabulous recipe that will hit the spot. Now, on the count of three everyone say “Rustic Potato and Caramelized Onion Tart” really, really, fast. For the recipe click here.

3. Minibars are typically off-limits for me. I’m not paying $13.50 for a bag of Goldfish. Morgans Hotel Group collaborated with London-based The School of Life to come up with this unique and beautiful designed “Minibar for the Mind.” Now this … I’m tempted. Read more.

4. Love this shoot by Madame Peripetie titled “Dream Sequence.”

5. I happened upon this gorgeous German music video on Vimeo. I have no idea what the lyrics mean. I’m hoping it’s PG. *fingers crossed* The visuals are breathtaking. It’s the kind of video that makes you say, “Yes, the world is beautiful. I need to stop being a Negative Nancy and take a real look around.” This video inspired me to start running. Well, almost …

Clueso . Zu schnell vorbei from clueso on Vimeo.

Question: Think back to a time in your life that involved a huge change:
– Did you embrace or fear change? Would you do it differently?
– Is there a change that you are secretly desiring? Spill! I want to hear.

Love you more than crunchy rosemary yam fries with chipotle mayo!

To read more TGIFs from Tina: Click here.