Writing

GoodSkin Labs Blog 1: My Aging Concerns

(Beauty Blitz blog)
By Marni Andrews

Who, me? Never. You know what I’m talkin’ about. The dullness you’re getting way too used to seeing lately. That pesky — omg, yes, it’s actually the beginning of uh, ooh, a line? Oh no! This can’t be happening. But I think it is, because I just pinched myself and it hurts! Yes, I’m officially clocking in with, gasp, aging concerns.

You know, when I was 20 or even 25, I never thought about this stuff. I was having fun, I was carefree, I stayed up late all the time, I didn’t take off my makeup every night like I should have. But still my skin pulled through. Despite the repeated insults, the late night French fries, the one too many vodka martinis and not NEARLY enough green vegetables, Skin just showed up every day and looked fine.

So I can be forgiven for starting to take Skin for granted. An occasional breakout was about as bad as it got. Then it happened. I, uh, started to get a wee bit OLDER. Not a word I love but I’m a realist. The good thing (if there can be a good thing about getting older besides having better man radar) is that I’m discovering GOOD products!

For anti-aging, I really do love the wicked roller ball action of Sculptinex and the tightening wonders it can perform. Even better, it boosts my own natural collagen production. Nice. Gotta love that (and I do)! Getting older is not for sissies, but I intend to fight it every step of the way!

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Don’t Get Burned With a Fire Pit

(various newspapers)
by Marni Andrews

I understand the appeal of a backyard fire pit. It can give you a cottage feel without any of the upkeep. Nothing more caveman than real fire. But building one can be a DIY nightmare.

A fire pit is a grownup’s campfire, nice looking and contained so it doesn’t start your house on fire. Check fire code, ordinances and permit requirements for your municipality. Open fires are illegal in many areas. There could be restrictions on type of fuel that can be used as well. Most rural areas will allow outdoor fires. Read more →

GoodSkin Labs Blog 2: Winter Skin Issues

(Beauty Blitz blog)
By Marni Andrews

If you’re anything like me (and a lot of my girlfriends), my skin has been changing over the last month or so. From beautifully moist and dewy for most of our long, hot summer this year, it’s now acting cranky. It’s throwing off dry little flakes and it’s lost some of that lovely healthy sheen it had in the summer and early fall.

What to do? I’ve started to exfoliate more often like a good monkey (one of my close friend’s favorite expressions and I use it whenever possible!), but it’s still not responding like it did. My other main problem is sensitivity. I’m very fair and my skin is fairly delicate, so any excess sun, wind, alcohol (both on the skin or drinking it) or harsh products shows up really quickly.

The best solution for me is  a longer term one — I’m super careful with my diet. It may sound boring but eating fresh, raw fruit and vegetables as much as possible, and as little processed food and red meat as possible, shows up almost immediately on my skin. Combine that with drinking lots of water, not so much coffee, and getting as much sleep as I can and it’s a winning combination.

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GoodSkin Labs Blog 3: The Busiest Woman I Know

I am the busiest woman in my life! All my family are out of town. My boyfriend is also out of town (120 km); I see him on weekends. So between phone calls to stay in touch and driving, and flying a few times a year to visit family, I log a lot of time. I have a pet and two jobs: an office-based director’s position and freelance work. Add laundry, groceries, exercise and errands and it’s busy!

Pampering? That would be nice!……………….. My tips are simple.

-Make lists and more lists and check things off!

-Walk and take the stairs to fit in more exercise.

-Carry a detailed appt book everywhere.

-Eat really well…. fruit and vegetables, no processed or fast food, lots of water and I never compromise on sleep! It’s too important.

-GoodSkin Lab products make it easy to keep my skin in shape, especially Exten-10 cream and Lumecin. Thanks GoodSkin Labs!

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Jackie at 20, Perpetually Sunny

(Without Prejudice magazine)
by Marni Andrews

While driving through Indianapolis about six years ago on a road trip with friends and family, the unthinkable happened to Jackie Johnston. The big transport truck just ahead blew its left rear tire. It hit Jackie’s car and windshield with heavy impact. According to close friend Gabrielle Lowry, who was in the car with her, Jackie did not miss a beat. In Gaby’s words, Jackie was “totally cool and collected, totally unflappable. All was well!” Read more →

My Home Is My Portfolio

(Style At Home magazine)
by Marni Andrews

Interior designer Jason Chapados lives and works in his home in Toronto’s Riverdale neighbourhood. He and partner Mirek Otremba opened up a small space (1,200 ft2) and kept it simple. As a result, his home is now his portfolio and a perfect example for clients of how to achieve a clean-lined, modern aesthetic.

What’s your approach to design?

JC: I pull inspiration from all areas including travel and my surroundings. I love modern and historical design but feel you should compliment the architecture of a space. Clients also need to be honest about how they will use the space. Then use high quality finishes and furnishings, and pay attention to every detail. It’s all in the details.

Where did you start?

JC: The space was taken back to the studs and rebuilt, reconfiguring the second floor to maximize storage. The biggest change was the back of the house. It faces south but had only two small French doors. The back of the house was replaced with almost all glass so the space is flooded with light. Light plays off the clean white planes so it has a gallery feel.

How did you choose the palette?

JC: We wanted a “white house.” The dark floors have an old world feel with tung oil finish for character and warmth. The hits of red add punch and sophistication in unexpected areas: under the breakfast bar, pocket door to the vestibule, the glass fireplace tiles.

Did you keep anything from past homes?

JC: We had all the furniture except for the dining room. We made an antique door into an entry table and built a recess in the vestibule to showcase it. The antique trunk in the bedroom was my partner’s.

What’s the best way to deal with storage in an open design?

JC: It’s editing and keeping on top of clutter. Recycling is under the sink. The pantry is also a coat closet, while the sideboard stores glasses, linens, etc. It comes back to knowing when to stop buying stuff!

How did you make the kitchen look bigger?

JC: Cabinets match the width of the 36-in. stove for uniformity. It also keeps it grand because the space is not broken up with drawer fronts. We used drawers down below to maximize space because you can pull them all the way out.

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8 Questions for Mark McEwan, Chef

(Canadian Restaurant Foodservice Association’s HostEx show chef profile)

1. You were born in Buffalo. What has that contributed to your cooking?

Buffalo gives you an appreciation for good bar food.

2. You’re now 50. What are you most proud about having accomplished?

I still like the business very much at the ripe old age of 50. Typically a lot of chefs get burned out by this age. I’m having fun. I’m most proud of having a consistent long career in Toronto and still moving forward. My 22-year-old son is now working with me. Read more →

Feeling Blue on a Day That’s Red?

by Marni Andrews

Warning: Read this only if you’re single, alone and feeling bad about your love life.

Toronto, Ontario  Feb. 9 – If you are single and experiencing a shortage of love, read on. Life is about to get better. On February 14, otherwise known as Valentine’s Day in case you have somehow missed the hype, your new life will begin. And it will be much better than what has come before because this time you’ll be following a plan: The Conscious Dating Plan. Read more →

Ducking Holiday Credit Debt

(facebook banking promotion directed at college kids)
by Marni Andrews

1. Be the Good Statistic

One in three people rely on credit cards for holiday shopping. Consciously make up your mind not to be a credit fatality if you use your card this season. If in doubt about buying something, use the “two-day plan.” If you see something you want, put it on hold for two days and consider whether you still want it.

2. Get With a Plan

Researchers point out that shoppers are much less likely to overspend if they start with an overall plan for holiday shopping. This might include setting up an account ahead of time that’s just for gifts. Save $20 a month and you have a good windfall at the end of the year.

3. May the Best Card Win

If you’re like many people, you have more than one credit card. Before you start spending for the holidays, review the different interest rates, any offers for interest-free months following the holidays, and the due dates for the cards. Then choose the card that best suits your situation.

4. Spread Out the Pain

If you start shopping earlier, say in October, you’ll be able to break up your holiday purchases over three credit billing cycles if you plan carefully. Just be sure you know when the billing cycle starts and ends. If you buy early in the billing period, you’ll be able to delay payment for almost two months if you’re sharp with the dates.

5. Go for Solvent

Instead of going for broke, decide you’ll pay off your entire credit balance each month rather than paying interest. Not only will you be more discriminating about what you purchase (knowing you’ll have to pay for it in a month), but you’ll save an incredible amount of money in interest over the long term.

6. Use the Free Gifts

Most credit cards offer some form of loyalty points. Along with those points comes a catalogue showing what you can “buy” by redeeming points. Electronics, decor and home-related items are typical. You should be able to buy a gift or three by tallying up your points and choosing goods from the catalogue. Make sure to order early enough to ensure holiday delivery.

7. SOS (Save on Shipping)

If you’re even reasonably organized, you’ll be able to avoid any last minute (aka “Dec. 20th and later” or “day before”) shipping charges, which can really up your balance for the month.

8. Note Your Due Date

Since missing a credit card payment is not only expensive because you end up paying more in the long run, it also does incredibly bad things to your credit. Even if you can’t pay off your entire balance, paying at least the minimum (or as much as you can throw at it) and submitting it on time will keep your credit record in the clear. Note the due date on a large calendar and send in your payment so it arrives on time.

9. Take Advantage of Online Payment

If you set up an account ahead of time, paying your card balance online can be a painless way to pay on time, save the postage and never have to leave the comfort of your dorm room. Note the due date on a calendar so you don’t miss it.

10. Consider a Short-Term Loan

If, despite your best intentions, you find yourself with too much credit card debt from the holidays, contact the bank that issued the card to ask about a few months of interest-free grace. If that doesn’t work, take out a short-term loan at a lower interest rate than that on the card. Pay off the card balance, and then throw everything you can at the loan till it’s paid off.

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Dear General Mills Beekeepers

by Marni Andrews

Dear General Mills Beekeepers,

Thank you so much for coming on board for what will be the Bee movie of 2007!

We are buzzing with excitement about the fit with the Honey Nut Cheerios brand, and our worker bees here at Segal are anxious to get started on such a sweet project.

Best regards,

The licensing team at Segal

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