Obsession: The Chair

birdIt must have started with that crazy chair in my grandparents Toronto home.  It had a high back, diamond shaped bowl seat, and it was covered in canary-yellow nubby wool.  It bounced delightfully when you sat in it, and was my favourite place for years to curl up an read a book.  Decades later I realized it wasn’t just a cool seat, it was an iconic piece of furniture history; the Bertoia Bird Chair.  And I can safely say it started my love of chairs as art.
20131122-082621.jpgMy first personal foray into this obsession started when I inherited my parents dining room set.  It’s Danish teak, but the curved back chairs with the small backrest and diamond-configured legs made it a standout.  I spent many years at this table, squirming in these uncomfortable chairs.  They’re not conducive to laying back and talking all night over dinner, but I love their form dearly.  So I augmented their beauty with some contrast, setting 2 Panton S-chairs at each head of the table.  I love how the plastic contracts the teak, how the solid form of the ‘S’, balances the openness of the chairs, and how it all just seems to work together.
Panton S-Chair
Panton S-Chair


Eero-Saarinen-Womb-ChairWhen it came time to add some more seating in the living room, I knew what the next purchase was going to be; Saarinen Womb Chairs. They’re comfy, coccooning, and hug you body, inviting you to watch TV, read or just chill for hours. They’re the number one spot guests snag when we’re hanging out at my place. And they look so distinctive.  I love how they set the mood of a casual, comfortable, modern living room.
That’s my collection, but that’s not the end to the chairs I obsess over. 
DCW Chair
DCW Chair

The Eames DCW or Dining Chair Wood is lust worthy.  For Calgary, the climate I live in, with its proud prairie heritage, I’d totally get a pair in pony print.

My aunt has recently acquired a vintage Le Corbussier Chaise that makes me swoon every time I see it.
MauveSolairThe Solair outdoor chair has recently been reissued. It was designed by Montrealers Fabio Fabiano and Michelange Panzini, in 1972 I found dozens of these lovelies in sorbet colours all over palm Springs’ new funky hotel Saguaro.  I’d love a set for my yard.
Mooi VIP Chair
Mooi VIP Chair

I recently fell in love with two crazy seats The Mooi VIP chair with its hulky legs and strong form.

And the most lust-worthy find?  The Troll Chair from Lund & Paarmann.  How can you not want to curl up into that huggy cocoon of sheepskin goodness and just sink in and stay there forever?
Troll Chair.
Troll Chair.

Product Face-Off: Battle of the Dry Shampoos

I find it’s a timesaver in the mornings.  Dry shampoo has become a beauty staple of mine, because it can extend the life of a wash by several days.  Washing my hair less often (followed up with a blow-dry and flat-iron) also means my hair is healthier.  I have a favourite dry shampoo, but have recently been expanding my horizons, and dallying with other brands, just to make sure I’m not missing anything.
This time I tried 3: 
Cake Satin Sugar Dry Shampoo

Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Extract

Loreal Everstyle Energizing Dry Shampoo
Cake Satin Sugar Dry Shampoo
Properties:  a loose powder, comes tinted in a light brown, smells nice, if a bit sweet
The Application:  you need to shake it onto your roots.  It can be a bit tricky to get it in just the spot you need it, and it can spill and creat a dust cloud if you miss your hair.  But it brushes through easily
The Wash:  Seems to give a good clean finish.  I actually like the brownish-beige tint to it, as I’ve had some white powders leave my hair looking quite grey (embarrassingly so)
The Verdict: A pretty good product.  My biggest beef is with the awkward packaging.  For one, it doesn’t travel well; you can’t pack it and not have it coat your makeup bag with a fine dust.  I also find it awkward to get into the roots.  Especially having tried some other products with a pointed applicator tip for powder which gives you a lot more control, and often comes with a cap.
Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Extract
Properties: A powdery aerosol, no tint, and largely unscented.
The Application:  sprays easily into the roots.  While it’s powdery, it doesn’t leave a film, or a white dust on the hair.
The Wash: You only need a little of this fluffy spray to go a long way on cleaning your hair.  Gives a great clean with minimal effort.  Works even better if you leave it in a few minutes then brush it out.
The Verdict: One of my beauty go-tos.  It’s portable, works well, and is relatively inexpensive compared to some of the dry shampoos you’ll find at Sephora.  And it’s available in the drug store. 
Loreal Everstyle Energizing Dry Shampoo
Properties: An aerosol spray, without talc.
The Application:  sprays easily into the roots.  No residue at all.  Takes a lot of spraying before it feels like you’ve covered your head.
The Wash: I was excited to try this version of dry shampoo without the powder.  But it reminded me more of hairspray.  It wasn’t sticky, but it did have that smell.  And I found it weird not really being able to see where I was applying it. Of all the dry shampoos I’ve used, I find this one just ‘feels’ like it gives me the least amount of clean.
The Verdict: My least favourite of all the trials.  I guess it worked ok.  But I didn’t really feel like it got my hair as clean as the Klorane.  It’s cheap, but not so much that I’d buy it over the Klorane either.
My PICK:  Klorane gives me the best clean, for the best price.  It’s easily available, has a very neutral scent that’s not too cloying and not chemically.  Its powdery formula doesn’t leave a residue, yet still feels like it’s absorbing more oil.  And it doesn’t take a lot of this to have a great cleaning effect.  Plus it’s portable, and comes in mini sizes for travel.

New Technology! 4K or Ultra HD TV: what you need to know

Deciding whether to get a 4K TV, or to wait it out and see if it’s a future format that sticks?  Wait, you don’t know what a 4K TV is?  Well, neither did I until recently. Read my recent blog post on 4K TV here linked up on the Future Shop Tech Blog , including all the “need to know” stuff I learned.

Which One are YOU Dating/Married To?

Which One are YOU Dating/Married To?

If you are a girl (lack independence, are ruled by insecurity, lack self-respect, throw tantrums, have princess syndrome, don’t have strong values or boundaries and can’t hold yourself on your own) then expect that you will attract only boys. However, if you are a woman (independent, ambitious, knows your worth and value, has a strong moral compass, is considerate and an able communicator and doesn’t let insecurity dominate your psyche), then you should be dating a man. And if you can’t spot the difference just yet, here are some pointers.

Christmas Shopping? 5 Reasons to Check out a Projector over a Flat-Screen

Christmas Shopping? 5 Reasons to Check out a Projector over a Flat-Screen  original

Reason #1: They’re nothing like your high school math class
Remember when all the lights had to be out, and the doors closed so a sliver of light wouldn’t disrupt the projector?  Gone are the days when a faint, grainy bulb’s washed out image was all you had to squint to copy down those math equations.  Projectors today are bright, and sharp and produce a crisp, clean, realistic picture.

Food & Drink: The BEST Meatloaf You’ll Ever Eat

With winter coming, we’re looking for quick, easy and hearty meals.  One that never disappoints is Mom’s Meatloaf.  Now, before you click away in horror and disgust, this meatloaf is not your ordinary hard beef brick.  It’s moist, tender, flavourful and such a favourite in our home we have it at least monthly.  It freezes so well, I’ll make up half a dozen meatloafs, freeze them and pull them out for a quick and tasty dinner. 
Meatloaf has been around in various forms for centuries.  it apparently features in ancient roman tome  Apicius — a collection of Roman recipes. In medieval Europe, using scraps and odds and ends from around the kitchen was common for creating leftover meals for hungry mouths, though that could be where meatloaf started to get is bad rap. America adopted meatloaf with gusto, though trying to trace when and where it first gained popularity is a bit of a crapshoot.  And honestly, we probably don’t care that much.
Meatloaf Elements
Fillers:  Meatloaf became a budget staple during the depression years, as it’s quite easy to stretch the use of the meat by adding fillers like bread crumbs, rice, cereal like cornflakes, or as my recipe uses, oatmeal.  But believe me, when you cut into the finished product, you’d never be able to tell there’s oats inside it.
Egg/Dairy Additions: Some people don’t like adding eggs; I’m in the group that thinks it makes it bind together much better, and I don’t think it toughens it at all.
Meat Selections: There are as many meatloaf recipes as there are families.  Some people swear by beef alone as your meat contribution.  Others, particularly in the US south like to add ground pork.  Of course you could add lamb, bison, ostrich or just about any other meat that catches your fancy, either in whole or in a mix.
Topping: The last step in a great meatloaf is a topping; it keeps it moist and adds flavour and dimension.  Some people love ketchup, others prefer BBQ sauce, mustard, even mashed potatoes or a bacon wrap.  What works for me, is soup.  yes, soup.  Condensed canned soup.  Now, before you cry ‘sacrilege!’, it’s moist, flavourful, and creamy.  Everything you want in a winter meal.  My weapon of choice is Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom, but you could also use whichever your favourite creamed soup happens to be.
The Recipe:
Mama Linda’s ‘No-Fail’ Meatloaf
1lb ground beef
1 c milk (2%, but anything will do.)
1 egg, beaten
1 finely chopped onion
1 tbsp dried parsley
1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce/Lea & Perrins
1 cup rolled oats
1 can Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup (do not add the water/milk)
Blend all ingredients together in a bowl until well mixed.  Put into loaf pan (1 large or 2 small) and bake at 350 for approx 45 minutes or until meat thermometer says its cooked through. Apply condensed soup and bake about 15 minutes more or until topping is golden and thickened. I had a question about this Tweeted to me.  I thought it was a good one, and I had a couple creative answers (or so I think).

deadmau5 @agthsmkt

@tvchick13 Do you have ideas for replacing the soup with a “clean eating” alternative? Also, I’d use ground turkey.

I replied: @agthsmkt Hmmmm.. Pureed spinach with a touch of cream & salt? Mashed celeraic & parsnip spread over top? I’d eat both of those.