Oh Mickey, you’re so fine

Vintage Mickey Mouse T - Under the Lids
Vintage Mickey Mouse T – Under the Lids

#FBF with my vintage Mickey Mouse tshirt.  Most Mickey t’s are from childhood trips to Disney, but I bought mine in my 20’s from a used clothing store.  Why?  Ask most 40+ Greek-Canadians and they’ll tell you:  Greeks don’t do Disney.   Going to Disney was a “Canadian” thing. As kids, they either didn’t go away for summer vacations, or spent them with grandparents in Greece.   I fell in the first group which explains my need to always plan to do stuff during the summer, and why I can barely speak Greek.   Ask those same Greeks if a trip to Disney with their own children is happening – and you’ll get a lot of yesses.   A week long vacation to Disney is more doable than a summer spent in Greece.

My hubs and I always said we would take our kid to Disney.  This weekend we are headed to the land of Mickey Mouse, legendary fireworks, thrilling rides, and lots and lots of food.  I’m still following my weight loss program and am getting closer to my goal weight.   I don’t want to completely derail my progress. But I’m on vacation and while I’m not having the giant turkey legs or bottomless servings of pop all day, I am looking forward to a few of my kid’s fries, a burger-no-bun, an ice-cold beer and the famous Dole Whip.

I’ve spent more time researching this single week of vacation than I did for a three month trip to Europe.   The Toronto Public Library was a great resource for current edition travel guides.  Friends have been generous with their emails, books, tips, suggestions, and warnings.  (This includes you, Dawn @moosegrumpy !)

The top three pieces of advice experienced Disney travellers gave me:                                                                                                                                                   1. Book restaurants as soon as you book your trip (Done.)

2. Download the Disney app to manage ride wait times and set your Fast Pass (Done.  This app is fantastic!!)

3. Wear comfortable shoes because you’ll do A LOT of walking.  (Done.  My footwear is going to be function over fashion which will knock any cuteness out of my outfit choices.  I don’t want to wear a FitBit because I’m already wearing a Disney MagicBand and I can’t throw all my accessories out the window.  A girl needs bangles that don’t beep!)


We told our kid about the trip on Easter Sunday as part of his egg hunt.  Some special eggs had letters inside.  Using a hang-man type clue, he had to put the letters in order to spell out the surprise.  He very excitedly guessed WE ARE GOING TO SIDNEY.   Thankfully he was equally excited when he got it right.









I’m looking forward spending time with family and friends making memories that will last forever because this trip is only happening once.  The world is too big to visit the same place twice (except NYC, or somewhere I’ve been but my family hasn’t, or anywhere you invite me to).    Who knows, maybe a summer vacation in Greece?





I learned so much from Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret, it was practically a textbook for my early on-set puberty.   I didn’t have the “talk” with my mom.  I read the book, and when puberty hit I knew what was happening to me.   Judy Blume was there every step of the way of my adolescence.  I put off getting my first bra until grade 5 because I was certain I would get teased like one of the characters in Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing.   So when another Judy Blume novel crossed my path I eagerly read it.  But one word confused me.  “Mom, what’s a virgin?”, and she replied  “What are you reading?”  Hmmm, maybe 11 was too young to read Forever.

judyblume-foreverForever is celebrating it’s 40th anniversary.   I don’t remember a lot of the details of the book, but I do remember this cover.





It was about Katherine, and her relationship with her boyfriend and they had s-e-x.   And I gave it a solid 4 out 4 stars.   I like how two books later on my list was a compilation of Charlie Brown cartoons.

Under the lids - my books read & rated list circa 1980
Under the lids – my books read & rated list circa 1980

I wonder if the 50 Shades popularity hit the tweens and young teens with 12 year olds sneaking their mom’s copies?   I haven’t read this series, but I would like to start a re-read list.  Forever and of course Wifey would be top of the list!  Judy Blume has a new adult novel coming out June 2 http://judyblume.com/news.php.    AND OH MY GOD  I just read she is coming to Toronto to read from it!!     Sorry, I’d write more but I must, I must, get tickets to this reading.



It’s a four-way tie!

You know it’s going to be a long week when  you start looking forward to the next weekend on Sunday night.    But what makes a long week worth it – little bursts of happiness surprises.

I am about six weeks into the Cityline Weightloss Challenge.  It’s been an incredible experience so far, with unexpected twists and turns.  My amazing gym The Motion Room has graciously upgraded my membership for the next few months.  This gives me unlimited access to bootcamps and co-personal training sessions which is just what I needed to help me on my weightloss journey.   So far my 2x/week workouts and the nutritional guidance from Dr. Joey Shulman has resulted in a 16 lb weight loss!  The road ahead of me doesn’t feel as long or as intimidating knowing I have even more tools in my weightloss belt.

My kid brought home his report card and I hate to brag but I will.   My hubs and I are proud of his work, and the student he’s becoming.  I especially like that he “enjoys taking a leadership role in group projects”.  I wonder where he gets that from?

I think I’ve seen just about every episode of What Not to Wear.  I have been watching Love, Lust or Run – mostly so I can see what Stacy London is wearing..  When I go shopping for clothes I hear Stacy’s voice in my head guiding my fashion purchases.   I adore her and ove her sense of fashion.  So when THE Stacy London, favourite one of my tweets this week, I had a day-long moment of fandom.


To have a four-way tie of happiness by Thursday morning, is a pretty good week!


Bjork concert at The Warehouse circa 1998
Bjork concert at The Warehouse circa 1998

On Sunday January 25, the Kool Haus had their last line up for the women’s washrooms.   Off the top of my head, seeing Bjork in concert for the first time was one of my Warehouse/Kool Haus standout shows.  It was 1998 and she was touring Homogenic.   Bjork’s voice was unlike anything I’d heard before, and the concert included strings – be still my viola-playing heart.   She was equally impressive a few years later at the unforgettable outdoor show at Olympic Island.   When she was scheduled to play Echo Beach in 2013, tickets were $80, I was unemployed and decided I shouldn’t go.  All the reviews RAVED and I quickly realized this would be one of my biggest concert regrets ever.

Bjork Toronto Star Review circa 1998, Jane Stevenson's 5 Sun review
Bjork Toronto Star Review circa 1998, Jane Stevenson’s 5 Sun review

But back in 1998 my then boyfriend/now hubs Ian and I were dating and going to movies and concerts was what we did.  I really should do a retrospective on 1998 – so many concert stubs!   A memory from the Bjork concert wasn’t about Bjork, but Jared Leto.  This was just after the My So Called Life era.   We are at the concert mesmerized by Bjork’s performance when all of a sudden, Jordan Catalano was walking in my direction in s l o w   m o t i o n.  Then he was in front of me.  I froze. What to say to him without a)sounding like a 29 year old school girl and b) interrupting the amazing Bjork?  As he walked by I reached out and touched his arm.  It wasn’t a grab or tap or even a squeeze, just a light touch proving he was real and in front of me.   Did he stop and turn around?  Did he feel the electricity between us?  I’m not sure. The spell was quickly broken with Ian exclaiming “What was that?  Did you just touch him?”   .


Is Bjork returning to Toronto in support of Vulnicura,?   I for one, can’t wait. Until then have a listen to Bachelorette.




Celebrating 100 months!

#birthdays, #family, #underthelids, #kids
Celebrating 100 months circa 2014

Early last year I calculated the number of months my kid was.  He was a few shy of hitting 100 months.  Yes he was 8 years old, and no I didn’t go around saying my baby is 96 months old.   But I thought – 100 months sounds like a fun milestone to celebrate.  Why not make a little big deal out of it, and surprise him, especially considering since his bday is January which I think is a rip off but he doesn’t mind.  The hubs and I agreed – 100th month birthday would be a thing.

Fast forward to May 2014 and our kid woke up to a room filled with 100th birthday  napkins, Happy 100th Birthday balloons, a special poster made by hubs celebrating his 100th month milestone.  He was surprised and loved getting a present.  He realized thought it wasn’t really something that usually gets celebrated. I was trying to make this a thing for him.  Much like his Punch Buggy phase a couple years back.  He said Pinch Mini was part of the car game and we punched and pinched every time a Volkswagen Bug or Cooper Mini drove by.  I added in pat pat Fiat . I pat patted every time we passed a Fiat only to hear him exclaim “It’s not a thing!  You can’t just make it a thing!”  He did think the hubs’ booby bus was funny though.

We gave our kid a badge that said I’m 100 months!  We went out for special sundaes to celebrate and he was happy with that.  It’s ok if this doesn’t take off as a thing, but if you or your friends have kids under 9, go ahead and celebrate.  Just remember you heard it here first.


I miss mail

Letters Under the Lids circa 1984
Letters Under the Lids circa 1984



I can’t remember the last time I received a letter in the mail.  Even an older relative of mine who lives overseas, now prefers email to letter writing.

When I was a kid, letters were particularly special to me.  When we moved to London, I had to say goodbye to a lot of good friends.  I know I’m stating the obvious, but think about what it was like in the early 80’s.  No internet.  No texts.  Even long distance calling was very expensive.  Without letters, I was completely cut off from my old friends.   But even letter writing had its limitations.  We were desperate for photos and only had official school pictures to send.  “Did you take lots of pictures on your trip?  Send them to me. I promise I’ll send them back.” 

Postcards were like getting two presents in one.  The letter side would be filled with quick tidbits about a trip, or if they had excellent tiny penmanship then it was almost as good as a full length letter.  The other side had the picture that was chosen just for  you.  These went up on the small bulletin board in my room, and later when I lived on my own, became fridge art.     This one was sent to me from England, with a charming p.s. ” Maybe this will help you learn how to swim.”

Postcard Under the Lids circa 1984
Postcard Under the Lids circa 1984