19 Apr

Links for a Sunday Morning

THEN & NOW: Watch Detroit change before your very eyes – Detroit Free Press

Amazing Detroit then and now pictures.

A realistic look at monogamy, affairs and the growth of monogamishness – Globe and Mail

The painful truth about long-lasting committed relationships: They offer security and familiarity. Which are precisely the opposite forces that drive passion – novelty, risk and the unknown. And yet we continue to expect both from one mere mortal, our spouse.

Making time for kids? Study says quality trumps quantity. – Washington Post

It appears the sheer amount of time parents spend with their kids between the ages of 3 and 11 has virtually no relationship to how children turn out, and a minimal effect on adolescents, according to the first large-scale longitudinal study of parent time to be published in April in the Journal of Marriage and Family. The finding includes children’s academic achievement, behavior and emotional well-being.

Tough, Cheap, and Real. Detroit is Cool Again – National Geographic

“Detroit offers space and time. Here there’s maybe a chance for young people to build a middle class.”

The Right Dose of Exercise for a Longer Life – NY Times

The sweet spot for exercise benefits came among those who tripled the recommended level of exercise, working out moderately, mostly by walking, for 450 minutes per week, or a little more than an hour per day. Those people were 39 percent less likely to die prematurely than people who never exercised.

Indifference is a power – Aeon

Any misfortune ‘that lies outside the sphere of choice’ should be considered an opportunity to strengthen our resolve, not an excuse to weaken it.This is one of the truly great mind-hacks ever devised, this willingness to convert adversity to opportunity.

15 Apr

The Mama Expo Recap

Mama's Expo Booth

Phew! I made it through the big expo day!

I started out early– with a lot of help from my friend a future step-mother Silvia– setting up my Prenatal Yoga booth.

Mama's Expo Windsor

We laid out all my posters and postcards and brochures for the taking. And, of course, candy tastefully coordinated with my colour scheme (vanilla tootsie rolls and hershey’s kisses) which was my way of enticing people to my booth but really drew children over more than anything else.

Mama's Expo Windsor

Overall I think the expo did well. It was very well organized, especially since it was the inaugural year.
I was surrounded by some really cool booths and chatted with some really awesome vendors like Hot Mama Fitness, Bites for Babies, Ocean Bottom Soap, and the delightful Union Jack Pop-Up Tea Room.

I was on the workshop schedule so I sneaked away from the booth for 30 minutes to teach a Prenatal Yoga sampler to a small (okay, very small) group of ladies. Since the class was right at the start of the expo I expected no one to show. The fact that I got 3 ladies was a win.

I spent the rest of the day working the booth, handing out printouts, fielding questions about prenatal yoga, and smiling so much that I had to unscrew the smile off my face at the end of the day.

It was exhausting.

Don’t get me wrong, I love to teach yoga and I love to talk about the benefits of yoga and I want more people (especially pregnant women) incorporating yoga into their life.  That was the whole point of me being there. However, being social and smiling all day are not my forte. I’m more of the Silent-observer type, the Nose-in-a-book type, the Are-you-talking-to-me?-Please-don’t type. So, yeah, this was work.

But I’m so glad I stretched out of my comfort zone just a little to do it.

Mama's Expo Booth


Thanks so much to everyone who came out to say hi. Thanks to everyone that helped me as I got ready for this big event. Your support means so much.

01 Apr

The Mama Expo – my first show!

Mama Expo

I’m gearing up for my very first expo!

I’m pretty excited and nervous and maybe a bit overwhelmed as I get ready to promote prenatal yoga at The Mama Expo, with my own booth and stage time.

Mama Expo

The Mama Expo is a cool new shopping and pampering experience. New moms and moms-to-be are encouraged to come and have fun and do something just for them.

I’ve been busy designing posters, making business cards, creating a big banner, putting together a raffle prize, assembling brochures and postcards, and generally just trying to keep my shit together. I truly didn’t realize how much stuff I would have to think about.

Once I started planning one thing then I started thinking about another thing to plan and got into this snowball effect of thinking and planning and working and doing. Whew! I need yoga to de-stress.

I’m 12 days out from the expo (April 12) and think I just about have everything together. I’m looking forward to this event being a big success!

I’d love to see lots of faces there so if you do show up, stop by my booth and say hi!

Here’s what I’ll be providing:

- A sample 30 minute class at 10:15am on the main stage. BYO mat.

– Information about all the proven benefits that are associated with practicing yoga during pregnancy: how the practice will help women learn to handle stress and anxiety, have a better night’s sleep, and even improve the birth weight of their baby.

– Details about all my prenatal yoga classes and workshops at Downtown Yoga Studio and Breathe Pilates & Fitness

Candy! (Come to the booth before I eat it all)

A raffle for a basket of goodies for new moms valued at over $150 including a prenatal yoga DVD and a 6 class pass for Prenatal Yoga with me at Downtown Yoga Studio

– A yoga selfie contest! Post a photo of you in your favourite yoga pose. Tag yourself and Samantha Menzies Yoga (facebook) or @SamanthaYoga (twitter) for a chance to win a 6 class pass to Prenatal Yoga at Downtown Yoga Studio.

29 Mar

Links for a Sunday Morning

Be Fearless

Be Fearless

Scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories – Washington Post

The ingenious method, which at its core is just a simple manipulation of chemistry, involves only a couple easy steps in practice. “What we did is cook the rice as you normally do, but when the water is boiling, before adding the raw rice, we added coconut oil—about 3 percent of the weight of the rice you’re going to cook

Take the Habit Personality Quiz – NY Times

How do you form your good and bad habits? Are you a people-pleaser, willing to take on a task for others, but less willing to take care of yourself? Or maybe you’re a rebel, and you are less likely than others to do as you are told when it comes to taking medication or adopting a healthful lifestyle.

Catholic priests are stirring up an epidemic of yogaphobia – Quartz

When powerful, charismatic religious leaders are publicly cited insisting upon apparently irreconcilable differences between them (that is, Hindus) and us (that is, Christians), we can also expect real social consequences.

Mapped: 10 years of unprecedented change in Canada’s Cities – Maclean’s

Canadian cities have seen a decade of major demographic changes, creating challenges for anyone looking to understanding how people live, work, and think

Even in Nursing Men earn more than Women. - NPR

Women outnumber men in the nursing profession by more than 10 to 1. But men still earn more, a new study finds.

How Obesity Became a Disease – Atlantic

For one thing, obesity doesn’t fit the definition of a medical disease. It has no symptoms, and it’s not always harmful—in fact, for some people in some circumstances, it’s been known to be protective rather than destructive.

22 Mar

Links for a Sunday Morning

The Do’s and Don’ts of Cardio – Girls Gone Strong

It seems like most people come down on one side or the other—it’s either ‘cardio is an essential part of your programming’ OR ‘cardio makes you fatter.’ So, which is it? And how can you, as a recreational exerciser, know what kind to do, how often and how much to get the results you desire?

Ontario minimum wage workers set for another raise: rate to rise from $11 an hour to $11.25 – Windsor Star

The province announced Thursday that its standard minimum wage will rise from $11 an hour to $11.25, effective Oct. 1.

Medicating Women’s Feelings – NY Times

Women’s emotionality is a sign of health, not disease; it is a source of power. But we are under constant pressure to restrain our emotional lives. We have been taught to apologize for our tears, to suppress our anger and to fear being called hysterical.

Essex man calls 911 to report himself for drunk driving – Windsor Star

“In all my years of policing, I’ve never heard of anybody doing this before”

Economic redistribution is our only hope – Salon

New technologies aren’t just labor-replacing. They’re also knowledge-replacing. The combination of advanced sensors, voice recognition, artificial intelligence, big data, text-mining, and pattern-recognition algorithms, is generating smart robots capable of quickly learning human actions, and even learning from one another. If you think being a “professional” makes your job safe, think again.

Why are white people expats when the rest of us are immigrants? – Guardian

Africans are immigrants. Arabs are immigrants. Asians are immigrants. However, Europeans are expats because they can’t be at the same level as other ethnicities. They are superior. Immigrants is a term set aside for ‘inferior races’.

#Yoga Does More Harm than Good – The Varsity

Timed selfies of the eagle pose are supplemented with a “#yoga” hashtag, and what once would have been considered a humbling experience is tainted with the intention of ego and imagery.

12 Women With Perfect Responses for Why They Don’t Have Kids – mic

“I don’t know why women need to have children to be seen as complete human beings.”

15 Mar

Links for a Sunday Morning

This Australian comedian’s take on America’s hypocritical gun laws is perfect. – Dead State

“In Australia, we had the biggest massacre on earth. The Australian government went, ‘That’s it! No more guns!’ And we all went, ‘Yeah, alright then. That seems fair enough.’ Now in America, you have the Sandy Hook Massacre where little, tiny children died, and your government went, ‘Maybe – we’ll get rid of the BIG guns?’”

Bride walks out of wedding in India after groom fails simple math test – Globe and Mail

The bride tested the groom on his math skills and when he got the sum wrong, she walked out.

A cruel break with Canadian judicial tradition – Globe and Mail

Far from increasing the protection of the public, this new plan would make our prisons even more explosive, filled as they would be by convicts deprived of hope, with nothing to lose. There would be more suicides, more violent escapes and more murderous riots.

The Inheritance Wars – Maclean’s

A generation living beyond its means is waiting for the biggest transfer of wealth in human history. Some are waiting more patiently than others.

The Power of ‘Good Enough’ – The Atlantic

As people have contact with items of high quality, they begin to suffer from “the curse of discernment.” The lower quality items that used to be perfectly acceptable are no longer good enough. The hedonic zero point keeps rising, and expectations and aspirations rise with it.

What Yoga Taught Me About the Balanced Life – NY Times

Is it ever possible to be balanced? I don’t think that it is, because then you’d have to freeze in that position. ‘Got it. Now don’t move.’

World Health Organization: Eat less sugar – Food Politics

For general health, Reduce daily intake of free sugars to less than 10% of total energy intake. For additional health benefits: Reduce daily intake to below 5% or roughly 25 grams (6 teaspoons) per day.


Did you know that your walk reflects your mood? Interestingly, it appears the reverse may be true as well.

08 Mar

Links for a Sunday Morning

Why Full-Fat Dairy May Be Healthier Than Low-Fat – Time

People who eat full-fat dairy are no more likely to develop cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes than people who stick to low-fat dairy. When it comes to weight gain, full-fat dairy may actually be better for you, the review found.

Is It Really Safe to Give Babies Peanut Butter? – The Atlantic

While doctors once believed that infant immune systems “weren’t ready” for foods like nuts, eggs, and fish, [some] doctors began hypothesizing that avoiding such foods might prompt a more dramatic immune response later. 

Want to increase your productivity? Study says: Look at this adorable kitten – Washington Post

Those who saw the baby animal pictures did more productive work after seeing those photographs – even more than those who saw a picture of an adult animal or a pleasant food.

Your Grandparents Spent More Of Their Money On Food Than You Do – NPR

Because of the overall rise in income, and the consistent shrinking of food prices adjusted for inflation, we actually have more disposable income than our grandparents did. . .  We are purchasing more food for less money, and we are purchasing our food for less of our income.

Scientists have figured out what makes Indian food so delicious – Washington Post

Combining ingredients with like flavors is a useful (and often delicious) strategy, but it might be a somewhat misleading rule of thumb. Indian cuisine, after all, is cherished globally, and yet hinges on a decidedly different ingredient pairing logic.

Psychology To Go: How Restaurants Get You to Spend More – Inc.

You may think you’re immune to transparent sales pitches like “Do you want fries with that?” But the tactics restaurants use to nudge you into spending a little extra may be subtler than you realize.

5 Tips for a Perfect Push-up – GGS

Push-ups should also be a cornerstone of any proper lifting program, as they are fantastic upper body and core strength builders, and it’s just simply important to master body-weight movements before moving onto more complicated or advanced exercises.

25 Feb

Pasta with Asparagus, Sundried Tomatoes, and Boursin

Pasta with Asparagus, Sundried Tomatoes, and Boursin

Matt and I have been little homebodies lately. Given the option between dressing up and going out or staying home, making dinner and watching a movie, we tend to opt for the latter.

I’m not sure if this makes us lame. I’m not sure if I care.

Two weekends ago was Guardians of the Galaxy (Matt’s choice) and beef burgundy (my choice). Last weekend it was Gone Girl (my choice) and this pasta dish (Matt’s choice).

Pasta with Asparagus, Sundried Tomatoes, and Boursin

Pasta with Asparagus, Sundried Tomatoes, and Boursin

We actually have plans to go out this weekend and yet I’m yearning for a warm blanket and a home-cooked meal and a marathon of the new season of House of Cards. (Okay, okay, for me a TV marathon is watching a whole two episodes back-to-back). I would make a dish themed around the show, like ribs, and apple pie, and bourbon.

Or, I would just make this pasta dish again. I liked how fresh this dish was– the lemon and asparagus making it taste like spring– but the cheese made it indulgent at the same time.


Pasta with Asparagus, Sundried Tomatoes, and Boursin

serves 2
Recipe courtesy of Bride & Groom First and Forever Cookbook


225g Farfalle (Bowtie Pasta)
14 Medium Asparagus Spears, cut into 2cm pieces
1 T. olive oil
4 large cloves garlic, minced
1/3 c. drained, oil-packed sundried tomatoes, chopped
1/4 c. grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
1/3 c. Boursin cheese (garlic & fine herbs flavour)
1 T. chopped fresh dill
zest of 1/2 lemon
salt & pepper to taste


Fill a large saucepan 3/4 full of water. Bring to a boil over high heat and add salt. Add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until barely tender (about 2 minutes shy of the package directions). Add the asparagus to the pan and cook 1-2 minutes until tender-crisp. Drain the pasta and asparagus, reserving 3/4 cup of pasta water.

Set the pan over medium heat and heat the olive oil. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant and golden, 1-2 minutes. Return the pasta and asparagus to the pan and add the reserved cooking water. Stir in the sundried tomatoes, cheeses, dill, and lemon zest, then season with salt and pepper to your liking.

Serve immediately.

18 Feb

Fat Tuesday

I definitely got my share of fat in today. I started out with paczki at work then had bacon for dinner, and rounded off the day with homemade beignets!

I cheated and didn’t make the beignets from scratch.

Beignets (2)

Instead, I made it with Cafe du Monde beignet mix I got from my dad and his fiancee when they went to New Orleans last fall. I figured there probably could not be a better time to use it than Mardi Gras.

The beignets turned out really tender and fluffy but not as sweet as I was expecting (a liberal hand with the powdered sugar was a must, and a sprinkle of cinnamon was a nice touch).


I think my oil was a little on the hot side, so next time I’ll have to do a better job of regulating the temperature. But next time won’t be for at least 40 days because I’m giving up sweets for Lent. Again.

I have a monster sweet tooth, so this will be tough as usual but I’ll do my best. It’ll just make Easter all that much sweeter.

15 Feb

Links for a Sunday Morning

Put on the Snowshoes – NY Times

Researchers in Vermont found that snowshoeing in powder at less than 3 miles per hour requires about the same exertion as jogging on level ground at more than twice that speed.

Why Sun News Failed – Maclean’s

It was Fox News without the budget or the talent, and it’s the budget and talent that makes Fox News what it is.

What Matters Survey Results – Infographic – Pathway to Potential

These are the things that are important to Windsor-Essex citizens.

Australia’s oldest man likes to knit mini sweaters for injured penguins – Mashable

Donations of the knitted penguin outfits were received from all over the world. The foundation says this “is not a fashion statement” but instead they help the little creatures if they are affected by an oil spill.

How older athletes can fight the effects of aging – Globe and Mail

Even trained athletes get less efficient as they age – and surprisingly, the secret to avoiding this fate lies not in the heart or lungs, but in the muscles.

‘We’re all fat again': More ‘Biggest Loser’ contestants reveal secrets – NY Post

“I’d wrap myself in garbage bags to sweat. We’d use the sauna for six hours a day. We stopped eating and drinking and would work out for four hours a day. People were passing out in the doctor’s office.”

Black and Latina women scientists sometimes mistaken for janitors - Washington Post

Given identical resumes of fictitious job applicants, science professors at six major universities favored the male applicant. If the woman was offered the job, her average starting salary was nearly $4,000 lower. Female scientists, the researchers found, were just as biased as the male scientists.

Everything you ever wanted to know about love, in 25 maps and charts – Washington Post

Nearly every U.S. city has too many single young men ages 20 to 34. Over the age of 35, however, the trend flops, with most cities having more single women.

What a Happy Cell Looks Like – The Atlantic

Mind-body practices, like meditation, “have been shown to cultivate positive and happy immune cells.” Research has linked meditation to reduced negative inflammatory activity, increased positive antiviral response, improved function of specific strains of immune cells, and higher antibody production. But perhaps the most striking theory posed of meditation is that it could alter genetic material.