what are the chances!?

A friend sent me this pic – she discovered this shade at the Mac store today… I was so happy! (even though it wasn’t made for me, a girl can dream, can’t she?)

I HAVE TO GET THIS! It’s only the only fun thing to do. Adding it to the Christmas Wish List.

UPDATE: just heard word via facebook that my dad will be getting me the sandyb lipstick for xmas. amazing!


dessert, first.

“We always sacrifice dessert, you know?”

This is what Rob said to me as we walked to our last dinner-for-two of a weekend getaway, to celebrate our 3-years of marriage. And he was right (bite my tongue!), either we think about skipping dessert altogether or “sharing” it, but inevitably, yes, dessert always gets compromised somehow.

This, I feel, is unfair to the taste buds, and in general to the whole dining experience.

Dessert is always the best part and therefore should be enjoyed at the START of a meal, where it can be appreciated and revered for all its glory and goodness on an empty stomach, the way it was intended. I hear the French sometimes do this – nosh on dessert first – which doesn’t surprise me because that’s just how the folks to the East of us do things – always with sweetness in mind.

So, day two of our weekend in Niagara-on-the-Lake (we stayed at the Prince of Whales) and we hadn’t skipped dessert once. But we came close a couple of times.

By the time the dessert menu rolls around, we’re both usually a bloated mess (after the appetizers, main courses and three helpings of crusty bread) and can’t possibly think of digging into yet another course, even if it’s a delicious creme brulee, which is always the favorite for me.

So why not, suggested Rob, reverse the order and start with dessert first?

We decided, that, for our final dinner that weekend we were going to over turn all “dinner etiquette” and lead the night’s meal with the best part instead. It wasn’t enough that we were “just celebrating our anniversary”, we had to create a game around it, just to mark the occasion (make of that what you will). The challenge: Order dessert first, with a straight face.

I had never done it before, which made it even more interesting, especially when Rob turned to me and said, “One for the next List?” It was game on.

But…….by the time we sat down to eat at our restaurant for the night, Tiara, we had ordered wine, chatted about stuff and nibbled on fresh bread for nearly 30 minutes before we ordered our food (yes, service was a bit slow, but it was lovely service nonetheless). In the process of stuffing our faces, we accidentally abandoned our “dessert first” plans by ordering salty, savory appetizers instead.

Major fail.

But then our server suggested that we take our desserts TO GO (see? great service) and so she loaded us up with a take away box filled with brownies and creme brulee (the very desserts we served at our wedding. nice touch.)

Back at our suite, we sawed through every last bit of sugar we brought back with us. What a mess. A sweet, sweet mess.  Save for a few left over scoops of creme brulee I set aside, we all but ate the take away box.

The next morning, within minutes of waking up, I searched for my glasses, my blackberry (yes, it’s a habit) and my robe and headed straight to the next room to check on my marinating morsels of custard.

HOLY COW: It had caramelized, giving the custard an even softer, tastier texture. I didn’t think it could get any better, but it did.

After 12 incredible years with Rob – not perfect years by any means, but no less amazing – it felt nice to put what we really wanted ahead of anything sensible for a change, even if it was something as simple as a little left over dessert.

And, yes, I think this can be applied to other things in our lives, not just wedding anniversaries and creamy desserts. When it comes to loving your life, finding joy or going after the things that you want, it’s OK to throw a little caution to the wind sometimes – even if it’s just reading your dinner menu back to front for change – and indulge in the good stuff, first.

(make of that what you will.)


our night in. it was inevitable.

We decided last night would be “date night”, a term I’m not really a fan of (a bit, mmm, cliche?), but hey, it works.

At 10 a.m. yesterday morning, the idea of going out for a quiet dinner with Rob sounded perfect – quiet, cozy, delicious. But by 6 p.m. I had changed my tune.


As a back up plan, I suggested we make good use of the fresh ground turkey sitting in the fridge. Rob volunteered to cook and threw together one of his Mexican-inspired dishes – the perfect comfort food.

After more than an hour of being bored to death in traffic (a hockey game never fails to plug up the city), I was home. It was nearly 7:30 and parking in front of our house was scarce. So I panicked a little.  The last thing I wanted to do after a long day was circle the block for parking…again. But the parking Gods were on my side for change, thankfully.

When I finally walked in the house, I dropped my bags (I carry more than any normal person should) and looked over at Rob who was sitting with his laptop on the couch, finishing up his work for the day. Ten minutes later I was sitting beside him, eating a tangerine and enjoying the aroma of turkey, garlic, onions and cumin simmering on the stove. Already my night was looking up.

We made our way to the kitchen – he reached for the spoons while I searched for the half opened bottle of chianti – and we started to talk about our day: work, lunch, the cat and then about other things, like where we could go away for a few days this winter (I’m determined to find myself a little sun).

As we talked, we just scooped the food right out of the pan, not even bothering to wrap it in the soft tortilla shells Rob picked up on the way home. Oddly, the turkey and the chianti loved each other.

An hour passed before either of us realized how much time had gone by – laughing, eating, talking and drinking had distracted us from keeping time or caring about the sink full of dishes. I loved every minute of it, and realized this was what I had wanted all along – not a fancy dinner, not an expensive bottle of red and not even a night out on the town. Just a night with my fella.

Our night in. it was inevitable.


This Sunday, we’re celebrating 12 years together. Three of those married. And all of those learning and loving more about each other than the year before. Happy anniversary to my guy.


adventures in decorating.

I’ve finally turned the BigR on to etsy. He’s into how easy it is to browse and click and buy. Poof. No parking lots or crowded doorways. Bonus x1000.

So we bought this tonight from a great little shop:

It  arrives in 3-5 days. We’ll see how long it sits in the box before one of us gets fed up and hangs it.

My money’s on me winning this round.




and the winner is….

LORA B! (no relation to sandyb… haha)

Thanks everyone for entering! Several came in via email and a few tweets, but in the end it was a comment that was randomly selected. Congratulations, Lora! Email me at info (at) sandybraz (dot) com with your address and I’ll ship it to you asap!