Books, Richard Simmons, & Selfies

Heya, lovelies. You know when you read a book you adore so much you feel compelled to tell everyone you know about it? Gloriously, that’s been happening to me once or twice a week. Here are my latest suggestions for readable art:


Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon (Contemporary YA) – The imagery, the character development, the symbolism, the everything in this book is gorgeously written. I was hooked from page one and am still suffering the effects of the book hangover from this one.


Act Like It by Lucy Parker (Contemporary Romance) – Most of you know that I come with a background in theatre and, even though I haven’t been on a stage since I was preggers with my first child, a part of me will always identify as an actor.

After graduating with my BFA in Acting/Directing, I wrote down a ridiculous goal: to be on stage in London. Amazingly, I got that opportunity a few years after writing it down and it is still one of the highlights of my life. That said, when I heard there was a contemporary romance novel (one of my favourite genres) with a West End stage actress as the protagonist, I was ON BOARD. Act Like It really is a charming book that made my heart melt and scratched that itch I still have for live theatre.


Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy (Contemporary YA) – This one consumed me. I took it everywhere on the off chance I would get a spare five minutes to devour more of the story. I have never read a book that captured so intensely the hypocrisy with which we see our bodies. It doesn’t matter what shape you come in, we all have days where we simultaneously feel empowered in our skin and acutely despise several aspects of it. I love this book and the truths it excavated so hard.

Which brings me to Richard Simmons. He’s in the news right now, which of course reminds me of that time I worked out with him at a conference next to my friend, who happened to be wearing a sexy cow costume.

…Sorry, did you want a little more backstory before launching into my feelings about Richard Simmons?

  1. McK and I were doing a promotion for an ice cream company at that time. I was paid to put on the “sexy” cow mascot costume and hand out coupons with my handler (McK–who also prevented people from trying to molest me or beat me up) at various locations.
  2. One of those locations was some sort of conference for, I don’t know, self-esteem or self-betterment or something. It was a long time ago. Suffice to say, one Richard Simmons was the guest of honour.
  3. As I mentioned, normally I was the one wearing the cow costume. However, immediately after the conference I had a meeting about an acting job and was worried about the intense case of Cow Head Hair/Cow Face Grease that was a hazard of this particular promotion. McK kindly agreed to wear the costume for that shift and have me work as her handler.
  4. When Richard Simmons showed up, McK also kindly agreed to join the mass super fun workout Richard was leading the conference in, despite wearing a 20 lb cow costume. She’s a trooper, you guys (aside: to learn more about this trooper, check out her website here.)

Are we all on the same page now?

Great. Back to the anecdote.

What stands out most to me from that memory is how the quirky, personified multicoloured slinky known as Richard Simmons got everyone on their feet and made everyone love themselves a little more. From that day forward, I vowed to defend him against those who cruelly mock him.

(P.S. Dudes. I totally have pictures from my sexy cow days and can be persuaded to post them.)

And now, in honour of the original Sweater to the Oldies, I am posting some pictures that make me love life a little more.

Photo on 2015-09-06 at 6.06 PM
This is me with my kids. We had just discovered the many ridiculous options available in our Mac Photo Booth.


I took this one right after working out. And by “working out” I mean “watching The Mindy Project on the treadmill.” I was waiting for my pizza to arrive. The picture quality may be poor, but the joy is real.


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