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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Ask Maxy

Maxy's Nana is a guest writer for a few weeks . She is 89 years old and gives advice from a wealth of experience. We hope you will enjoy her as much as we do.

Dear Maxy ,
Twenty years ago , my wife  had an affair  with a co-worker . It ended when he moved back to his home a state 2,000 miles away  . At the same time, I asked my wife  to go to counselling with me . We made it to one session  before she pronounced  our marriage "healed."
Sixteen months ago , this same guy  contracted  my wife via email  and the began communicating  . I discovered they were planning to meet  in Las Vegas, I begged her not to go, but she was convinced  she loved him  and had to know if they should be together . The month before her trip, I endured more pain  than I've ever experienced  . I set up counselling sessions  for us with  separate therapists, arranged a meeting  with our pastor  and lost 20 pounds  from the stress .
In the end, this creep flaked out  on their Vegas rendezvous , probably because  he couldn't see himself  leaving his children for her  . She was also reluctant  to leave our kids . However, the breakup crushed her  and she initially  refused  to work on our marriage  . Finally we went to a joint counselling  session , but when the therapist made a reference to her "profound betrayal," that was that .
My wife refuses to rehash  what happened  . I'm worried  that the only reason   she is recommitting to our marriage  is because the other  man gave up on her . Things just don't feel the same . She insists she's done with this guy, but who really knows ? Is it possible to move forward without dealing with the past  ?
Torn Up
Dear Torn Up ,
Maybe, but not if your wife is using  your marriage  as her rebound  relationship  in order to soothe  her heartbreak . That's a temporary  committment . Refusing  to examine  the reasons  behind  her vulnerability  to the affair  leaves open  the possibility of repeating the betrayal  ... and this is undoubtedly  what most worries you .  You cannot force  your wife to work  on this, so please get counselling  for yourself, on your own . You need to learn what you can live with .
Nana says,
Sorry, but you both need a little straight talk: 'Torn Up', you are weak and no doubt blind to your wife's problems and she has a bunch of them. You don't need a sometimes wife and the kids don't need a sometimes mother.  Your wife needs the excitement of clandestine sex, the wickedness of an affair. She may call it love but it isn't. She will never accept councelling and she will never rehash her affair  because it would destroy her illusions. However, she will probably repeat  the betrayal at the next opportunity because she knows you are weak and will take her back. She will always use your weakness against  you. One  or both of you should call it quits. When you see the situation from a distance you will see it more clearly.

Dear Maxy ,
I am a grandfather in my 70s . I was excited  to learn about Facebook  and start conversing  with friends and relatives . I love seeing all their pictures  and videos and reading  their  statuses  and comments . I always  make comments  and give compliments  on their pictures , etc .
But is it wrong for me  to be hurt  and resentful  when some of them completely ignore me in return ? Is it mainly  the relatives that do this .
These are the same people  to whom I have sent checks  in hard times  and for every ocassion  and it bothers me  when I see that they comment to other friends, but act like I don't exist .
I don't understand  their behavior . They act as if  it would cost them long-distance-money  to respond to me .
I believe you can find out a lot  about people  by friending them on Facebook . You discover which ones are really interested in you and which ones simply like to post pictures of themselves . It is so self centered  . What should I do .
Dear Hurt ,
Please don't mistake Facebook  for genuine friendship  and a true relationship . It is simply a convenient way to keep track  of others' activities  and life events  and let them know about yours .
Some people are considerate  and responsive (like you), and others , less so . Your relatives, in particular, may think that their relationship  with you is  covered outside of Facebook  and therefore  doesn't require  the same degree  of attentiveness  online . It's OK to ask when you see them  in person , but I urge you not to take this too seriously . I don't believe  it is anyone's intent  to hurt your feelings .
Nana says,
Maxy is right on the dot with his advice. That is what family does. They are too familiar with you so they take you for granted. You are like part of the furniture, a favorite old chair....always there and very comfortable. My daughter has complained of this very problem with Facebook. She tries to keep up with all her grandchildren and leaves loving messages but they don't often reply. They like knowing you are always there for them and supporting them and they appreciate it from the heart even if they seldom say it. Try not leaving a message for a while and see what happens.

Dear Maxy ,
I always felt my mother  and I were inseparable . I never thought I would be blessed to marry a wonderful man and that it would damage our relationship, but it did .
My mom has had a great influence on my life  for 32 years , but this had to end . She only developed  a problem with my then-boyfriend  when she saw it was serious . She tried everything to break us up, including having him investigated , she told me he  was "no good." I chose not to listen  to her . I'm happy  I did . I couldn't ask for a better husband .
My mom did not come  to my wedding  and refuses to come to my house, saying I chose a man over her . But Maxy , I cannot allow  her to continue to be disrespectful of my husband  . Please tell your readers that trying to control their children will only push them away  and create resentment  . My mom centered her life around me and now feels lost .
I'm still struggling to adjust  to not having  her in my life, but I refuse  to leave my husband  to make her happy . I have made grat choices  . Many mothers would love to have  a daughter and son-in-law  like us .Is there anything I can do ?
Missing my Mom
Dear Missing my Mom ,
Your mother's jealousy has clouded her thinking  and instead of a close, warm relationship with you, your husband  and your future children, she has isolated herself  in bitterness . I hope you will give her  the opportunity to get past this, although  it may take time  and a good deal  of forgiveness  on your part .
Continue  to periodically  reach  out to her, inviting  her to your  home  with the understanding  that she must treat your husband  with decency . Over time, I suspect  she will miss you enough to make the effort .
Nana says,
You are doing the right thing. It is your life and you must live it the way you know is best for you.  All moms are a little jealous when their daughters marry. Your mom  just got carried away by her feelings and she can't get things back in perspective. When she has had sufficient time to think things through she will start to see her behavior as unreasonable and will realize that she may be denied access to her future grandchildren. If you keep an open mind and an open door she will come around. If you were the center of her universe, just imagine how lonely she is right now.
But when she is in  your home, make it clear that your husband is to be treated with respect. Just don't expect too much too soon. The ball is in her court.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

National Cupcake Day for the SPCA....Favorite Recipes


The SPCAs and Humane Societies across Canada are celebrating their first official cupcake day. You can register here to lend your support: Here  are a few all time favorite  cupcake recipes.

Strawberry and lemon cream cheese cupcakes recipe



  • 250g brick cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup store-bought or homemade lemon curd
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped strawberries
  • 6 small strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2/3 cup milk
Luscious yet simple lemon-curd folds in seamlessly to this whimsical strawberry and lemon cupcake.


  • Beat cream cheese in a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, until fluffy. Gradually beat in lemon curd until smooth. Refrigerate frosting and strawberries until ready to use.
  • Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper cups. Stir flour with baking powder and salt. Beat butter with lemon zest in a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed until creamy. Gradually beat in sugar until combined, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, then vanilla. Gradually beat in a third of flour mixture, then half the milk. Repeat additions, ending with remaining third of flour mixture. Spoon into muffin cups, filling three-quarters full.
  • Bake in centre of oven until a cake tester inserted in centre of cupcakes comes out clean, about 25 min. Let cupcakes cool completely.
  • To assemble, insert a small paring knife 1 inch deep into a cupcake at a 45-degree angle, halfway between the centre and the outside edge. Cut out a small cone and save for another use. Repeat with remaining cupcakes. Stir 1/2 cup finely chopped strawberries into frosting. Fill and frost each cupcake with a palette knife or spoon, then top with a strawberry half.


Chocolate cupcake with marshmallow frosting


  • 1 3/4 cups large-flake oats
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/4 cup ground flax meal
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup 2% Greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup agave syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 100 g pkg good-quality dark chocolate (70%-85%), very finely chopped


  • Line a 12-cup muffin pan with silicone cupcake liners, then lightly spray with oil.
  • Pour oats into a food processor. Whirl until very finely ground, about 2 min. Add cocoa, flax meal, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whirl until combined, about 1 min.
  • Whisk egg whites with applesauce, yogurt, agave syrup and vanilla in a large bowl until combined. Add to food processor along with hot water. Whirl until combined, about 1 min. Scrape back
    into bowl. Batter will be runny. Let batter stand until thickened to the consistency of oatmeal, about 20 min.
  • Preheat oven to 350F. Stir chopped dark chocolate into thickened batter. Divide batter among prepared muffin cups.
  • Bake in centre of oven until muffins have risen and a skewer inserted in centre of muffins comes out slightly sticky but not wet, 25 to 27 min. Let muffins cool in pan for 15 min. Transfer to a rack to cool completely. Frost with Vanilla marshmallow frosting.

Prep Tip:

Muffins will stick to paper liners; use silicone liners for easy removal. Or spray muffin cups with oil if not using liners.
Makes 10 cupcakes

Ingredients for the Cupcakes

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup canned pumpkin purée (8 ounces), not pie filling
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup coarsely chopped Heath bars, for serving (2 1.4-ounce bars)


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Brush or spray the top of 10 muffin tins with vegetable oil and line them with 10 paper liners.
2. Into a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. In a larger bowl, whisk together the eggs, pumpkin purée, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vegetable oil. Add the flour mixture and stir until combined.
3. Divide the batter among the prepared tins (I use a level 2 1/4-inch ice cream scoop) and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Set aside to cool completely.
4. Spread the cupcakes with the Maple Frosting and sprinkle with the chopped toffee bits.

Ingredients for the Maple Frosting

6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon Boyajian Natural Maple Flavor
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar

Directions for the Maple Frosting

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the cream cheese and butter on low speed until smooth. Stir in the maple flavoring and vanilla extract. With the mixer still on low, slowly add the confectioners' sugar and mix until smooth.

Friday, February 22, 2013



This is a white long haired fluffy plush dog ( a Bichon Frise).  You can make him any size but bigger is easier to make. You will also need black button eyes, a small piece of pink satin or felt for lining the ears and black embroidery thread for the nose and mouth. You can also get eyes and noses for stuffed animals at the hobby or craft store in your area. He looks good with a ribbon around his neck or a cat collar from the dollar store.

The Pattern

This fellow comes with a seam allowance. If you print these patterns out at 8x10", you < should come up with a 1" grid, and he'll have a 1/4" seam allowance. That's a bit slim for some fabrics. I've actually put grainline arrows on these pieces, showing the direction the fur should run.

Basic Standing Dog Pattern 1
Cut two of these (one reversed).
Basic Standing Dog Pattern 2
Cut two of each of the legs (one reversed) and one of the underbody. Although there's a foldline, don't actually cut the fabric with it folded - trace half, flip the pattern on the foldline edge and trace the other half. The fur pile should run toward the back (right to left).
Bichon Frise Pattern
Cut two of each of these (one reversed) except the ear, of which cut four. If you're using a fluffy fabric, cut the two ear linings out of something else - calico, felt, satin, whatever you like ear-insides to be.

If you're using a fluffy fabric, especially if you have a wider seam allowance, shave it now. Be careful not to shave too far, or you'll have bald spots on the seams. Shave inside the eye darts, too.

Sew the tail pieces together, leaving the base end open. Clip the inside of the curves and turn (a turning tool is useful here). Stuff lightly. Do the same with the ears, but don't stuff them. Sew the eye darts (the marked line is the same line).

Match the side seams on the head, RST, pinning the base of the ear into the seams, and sew. Make sure the ears are symmetrical - they go about where the curve of the head back is sharpest. You may choose to leave them out, and sew them on by hand later.

Match the two head sides, RST, and sew them together. Turn the head rightside-out. If you're using safety eyes/nose, you can put them in now. Or you can embroider the nose and use black buttons for eyes

Match the front legs with the underbody gusset, RST, pin and sew. Match one rear leg - the gusset will only go partway across the top of the leg, so stop 1/4" from the end of the gusset. Match the other rear leg to the underbody+leg, matching the back top corners of the legs and making sure the front top corner is symmetrical with the first leg.

Match the underbody piece with one body side, RST, and pin - begin with the paws, and work out to the front and back ends of the underbody. Sew, then pin the other side, also matching the two body pieces along the dog's back. Pin the tail in the back seam, making sure it's aligned correctly (the tip should point toward the front of the dog). Sew all the way around, leaving a turning opening in the dog's back, and remembering not to sew the neck closed!

You should now have two pieces - the head (right side out) and the body (inside out). Put the head inside the body, matching the neck seam (make sure the dog is facing the right direction - he can face sideways, but backwards is probably a bad idea), and sew all the way around. Turn the body rightside out, stuff, and ladder-stitch the stuffing opening closed.

Trim the fur around the face and paws as desired, embroider a mouth, and you're done!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Dancing the Tango Helps Depression

If you're feeling stressed at work or generally unhappy, you may want to consider turning to tango.
A new study by Australian researchers and published in the journal Music and Medicine found that after just a few weeks of tango classes, participants' "satisfaction with life and self-efficacy significantly increased."

The researchers at the University of New England and Australian National University studied 41 people with say they suffered from stress, anxiety and depression. The group spanned from ages 18 to 73 and was 80 percent female.
About half of that group (20) was enrolled in eight 90-minute tango classes during a two-week period while the other participants were put on a waiting list. The dance required synchronization, improvisation and a "strong connection" with a partner. After taking the classes, most participants reported less stress, anxiety or depression. The effects of the dance classes were still evident when these participants were surveyed a month after finishing their tango lessons.

The symptoms for those who were wait-listed, however, stayed the same or got worse.
The authors wrote that the results of their study "indicated that this activity helped the participants to focus on the present moment and mentally switch off from their feelings of stress and distress."
Interestingly, these are not the only health benefits that tango can offer. Parkinson's patients have been found to benefit from the dance as well.

Microscopic animal provides answers to medical science

Tardigrades (Copyright: SPL)
Believe it or not...this is a mocroscopic animal....They exist everywhere.Tardigrades are one of a handful of animals which can live without water
A strange creature has a trick that could change the delivery of vaccines – and other medical supplies – forever.  Water is crucial for life. Or so we are told. Some organisms, it turns out, have a remarkable ability to survive near complete dehydration - a feat known as anhydrobiosis or “life without water.” There is the resurrection plant, brine shrimps, nematode worms and baker’s yeast. Or take a class of microscopic animals known as tardigrades - commonly known as water bears - which live in thin films of water present in soil, mosses, leaves, and more. “They live in water and when their habitat dries up, they dry up,” says John Crowe, a biologist at the University of California. " But they don’t die - instead, they can remain in a state of suspended animation for decades, and when they’re rehydrated, they spring right back to life."
While these remarkable resurrections are interesting curiosities in their own right, they have also inspired a wave of potentially life-saving applications. Now, scientists are beginning to copy these creatures’ tricks to preserve critical lifesaving compounds, such as vaccines, DNA and stem cells. They hope to extend the shelf life of these substances from mere days to months or even years, transforming medicine everywhere from rural Africa to the battlefield.
Early in his career, Crowe was inspired by water bears—and their remarkable capacity for dehydration. “I started this whole business with a curiosity - how do they do this?” Crowe says. “Humans can’t do this.” Indeed, when our cells dry out, they shrink and shrivel. The proteins inside them clump together and the membranes fuse, causing irreversible damage. Upon rehydration, the cells often completely disintegrate.

In the 1970s, Crowe discovered that the secret to the survival of many anhydrobiotic organisms is a simple sugar known as trehalose. As these critters dry out, they manufacture this sugar. The sugar, in turn, essentially behaves just like water inside the cell. As the water molecules disappear, molecules of trehalose slip into the spaces that the water once occupied; the proteins in the cellular membrane that were once bonded to water bond to the sugar instead. In this way, the sugar stabilizes the cell, holding its membrane in place and preventing the cell from shriveling.  With trehalose inside the cell, Crowe says, “the proteins remain right where they were in the membrane, as if it were fully hydrated.”

As Crowe developed this “water replacement theory” of trehalose, he began to wonder: If trehalose could stabilize the cells of anhydrobiotic organisms, could it also be used to protect human cells from damage when they were dried? He began to realize that the biomedical implications could be huge. For instance, to  stop bleeding and to secrete substances that promote wound healing. Transfusions of platelets can be life saving for patients suffering from massive blood loss, as well as those undergoing chemotherapy or certain surgical procedures. But platelets are tricky to use therapeutically. Refrigeration renders them useless, so they must be stored at room temperature. That drastically limits their shelf life; blood banks discard human platelets after just three to five days, and even then, the cell fragments occasionally get contaminated with fungi, bacteria, or viruses, causing potentially fatal complications in patients who receive transfusions. It also means there’s a chronic shortage of platelets.

If scientists could figure out how to dehydrate the platelets without destroying them, it would be a game changer.

Ask Maxy

Dear Maxy ,
I have been in love with Cliff for four years. Two years ago we got a house together. When he lost his job he became angry, indifferent and didn't seem to care about me any more.
  I tried  to tough it out, believing it would get better, but when Cliff became verbally abusive, I took my two kids  and left . I asked him if he wanted me to stay  and he said no  he didn't think things would improve .
We kept trying  to fix the relationship  or at least I did . But Cliff was dating  other women  and lied to me about it  and the whole thing  has become  a hurtful mess .
I still love Cliff, but don't know whether  I can trust him anymore. My guilt  over leaving him  and his son to  to deal with the foreclosure on the house  we bought  together kills me .
He won't  express any anger, even though I can see  his resentment . He also  won't address the lies . Is this a lost cause .
Am I hoping for too much ?
Love Struck
Dear Love Struck ,
You could make excuses  for Cliff's terrible behavior  by believing his job loss depressed him and he  couldn't cope .
But that only underscores  a certain level of immaturity  and irresponsibility. When the going  gets tough , Cliff lies and cheats .
Life is filled  with tough times  and your partner  should be someone  you can count on . Cliff doesn't seem terribly  interested in working on your relationship . At some point, you have to make the decisions that are best for your children  . Professional  counseling  can help  you work  through this  and move forward .
Nana says,
Phooey! All this angst over a lying, cheating man with no backbone. I am so old I have seen this kind of thing time and again. See a councelor if you can't handle your own life; that's fine. But I might suggest you give your kids a hug, dress up and go out on the town with someone you like ...kick up your heels. The whole world is out there waiting for you. Don't worry yourself sick over someone like Cliff. Let him sit home and sulk about himself. You did the right thing.

Dear Maxy,
I recently lost my spouse  and now attend a grief support group that can be very helpful .
However, there are a couple  of members  of this group  who monopolize  the conversation for at least half of the time allotted for the total meeting  and worse, they repeat the same ting over and over  again .
We also have  a new member  who attends  to support a friend  whose husband died, now we know all about her  abusive childhood .
Grief  groups  work well  by sharing pain  caused by loss of a loved one . Members support  one another .
This is not possible unless there is an open  and caring  interchange  between members . Perhaps  those members who are causing problems  will see this .
Southern Griever
Dear Southern ,
There should be a councelor of some kind to moderate these discussions and keep order so everyone gets a chance to speak their mind.
Although a certain  amount  of off-topic discussions  can be appropriate  and healing , no one should  monopolize  the sessions  so often  that it prevents  other from expressing themselves. Speak to your moderator about it.  Another option is finding a group more suitable to your needs.
Nana says,
Next time you attend your grief support meeting, perhaps, you could suggest to all the members that each person gets a time limit of five minutes and keep going round the circle of members until the meeting is over. If no one wants to be the time keeper, take your kitchen timer with you.

Dear Maxy ,
My parents and brother  live in another state . A few years ago  my brother went through a nasty divorce  . He and my eleven-year-old niece, "Debra" are still estranged  from his ex-wife .
The issue is how my mother  is reacting to the divorce . She was very shocked  by the events  leading up  to their separation and think  it has damaged  her  trust in people . She seems to be transferring this anxiety onto Debra .
Mom wants to protect Debra  from all disappointments  in life , and together  they have  developed  an "us against  the world" mentality .
Maxy , there are other family members  who love Debra  and want to be part of a loving support system for her  and yet  we feel shut out  by the alliance  with my mother . Debra goes  to her grandmother  almost exclusively  with all her feelings  and I get the sense  that  Mom enjoys  being  so important to her .
I know  that my mother  loves  Debra immensely  , but I'm not sure whether  she is helping  or hurting . What do you think ?
Dear Ambivalent,
It all depends on whether your mother is helping or hurting Debra. If your mother acts  as Debra's confidante  and works through the girl's feeling of abandonment  or grief  over the divorce she is helping . Debra  may find  that her grandmother  is easy to talk with  and seems to understand her best , in which case she is more likely to confide in her exclusively.
However , if Mom is deliberately  keeping Debra  away from family members  and encouraging her to blame her mother  or father  , mistrust others or behave  secretively , she is doing harm .
Nana says,
An eleven year old is perceptive enough to know in her heart  who she trusts with her feelings. Kids are smart. Don't worry about her. Just be thankful she is surrounded by a loving family. Normally she would go to her mother with all her feelings and problems. Since she no longer is close to her mom, her grandma is a natural choice for a substitute.  She needs a confidante (singular). You will be able to tell from her demeanor and behavior if the relationship has a negative influence but that's highly unlikely. 'Thank Heavens for grandmas!'

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Don't Throw Out Those Paint Chips?

Do you have a bunch of paint chips in your junk drawer? Don't throw them out. They are potential works of art and here are a few examples. Use your imagination and I am sure you will come up with lots more. The birds in the bottom picture are just traced  and cut out of old wallpaper samples. 
"Striped sensation" paint chip art

"Two toned heart" paint chip art

"I love you" paint chip art

Paint chip art; Photo by Roberto Caruso

The Best Homemade Soup Stocks

Angus Fergusson

There is something so comforting and nostalgic about a nourishing bowl of homemade soup. It is both lovely to eat, and lovely to make. Many of us rely on a pre-made stock for our soups which is a perfectly acceptable substitution – both convenient, and (depending on the brand) satisfactory in taste. However, if you want to take your soup to the next level, it’s time to make some homemade stock.
Homemade, high-quality stocks are the foundation for sauces, soups and many other dishes in restaurant kitchens. While we don’t need our home kitchens to keep up with restaurant standards, this ridiculously easy process will improve the flavour of your cooking immensely.

Soup essentials

The first component in a flavourful stock is bones, or vegetables, if making veggie stock. Next is aromatic vegetables – typically onions, carrots and celery. The ratio of vegetables should be: two parts onion to one part celery and one part carrot. Finally, a stock requires some seasoning which comes in the form of herbs and spices – you do not salt a stock! Dried spices and herbs are suitable but should be used in their whole form (not ground). Use herbs such as thyme, bay leaves, peppercorns and parsley. Depending on your stock you may also opt for garlic, but you will taste it in the final product so be sure your final dish will suit the garlic flavour. Herbs and spices can be tied in a cheesecloth sachet, making them easier to retrieve after cooking, or they can be removed once your stock is strained.

Soup ratio
The most useful stocks to make are chicken, beef, fish and vegetable stock. It is a good idea to make stock in large batches – it freezes beautifully and then you always have it on hand. In terms of ratio, your stock should consist of 100% water, 50% bones and 10% vegetables. In other words, 6 L of water would need about 2.5kg (6 lbs) bones and 454g (1 lb) vegetables. Fish stock is the exception. It cooks very quickly so less water is required. Fish stocks need half the amount of vegetables to 4L water ad 2.5 kg bones. Often a cup of white wine is added to fish stock…why not!

Tips for making chicken, beef and fish stock
It is recommended to cut the bones into smaller pieces (4 inches or so) in order to extract the most flavour and gelatine from the bones. If you’re not in the mood…throw them in whole…life is short.
Vegetables should be cut in a size proportional to the cook time of the stock. You want the flavour extracted by the vegetables but don’t need them turning to mush or it will interfere with the clarity of your stock. Beef stocks should be cooked for 6 to 8 hours, so vegetables can go in whole, or halved. Chicken stocks are cooked for 3 to 4 hours, so vegetables should be cut into 2 inch pieces. Fish stocks cook very quickly, so in order to get the most flavour they should be coarsely diced.

Cooking method
Cover the bones with fresh, cold water. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Skim off any residue that has risen to the top. Add vegetables and seasonings. Keep the simmer low to prevent any residue that rises to the top from boiling back into your stock. Skim and add more water as needed to keep the bones covered. Remove pot from heat and let cool. Strain. Although admittedly this is not technically the “chef-y” way to do it, I find the best method is to now chill your stock and let the fat solidify at the top. The residual fat will rise to the top and form a solid film, making it an easy to remove. Then you are left with a flavourful, clean stock free of fat.

Vegetable stock tips
 Vegetable stock consist of vegetables, herbs and spices and water. Wine is also sometimes added. Depending on the vegetables you use, the flavour of your stock can vary greatly so be careful with the vegetables you choose. Using particularly strong vegetables (fennel, cauliflower, cabbage) will result in a stock predominantly flavoured with those vegetables. If you are looking for a relatively neutral flavour, opt for onions, celery and carrots. Avoid starchy vegetables such as potatoes as they will turn your stock cloudy. Also consider the colour or the vegetable you are selecting for stock. If the vegetable tends to leech a lot of colour (thinking beets), your finished product will be that colour. The size of your vegetables should be cut relatively small as vegetable stock generally simmer for only 45 minutes. The ratios for vegetable stock are the same as fish stock.

Now that you’re inspired, whip up a batch of homemade chicken stock.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Ask Maxy

Dear Maxy,
My daughter is having a challenge with her teachr, and I'm not sure how to handle it . The other day she came home  and told me her teacher  spoke to her in a way that made her  feel like the teacher thinks she is an idiot . My daughter is in the third grade .
I know this teacher can be sharp  and harsh  with her students . I believe she thinks this is the way  to get them to behave . My daughter has never used language  like that before to talk about herself  or anybody else. "Idiot" is a strong word, like a curse  word in our house .
I want to get to the bottom  of this to find  out what is going on in the class room  and what the teacher thinks my daughter is doing . I also wants to tell the teacher  I don't appreciate her talking down to my daughter . I am so angry, though, that I don't know how to begin .
Mad Mom

Dear Mad Mon ,
Take a few deep breaths  and compose yourself . Talk to your daughter  again and find out  what was going on  when her teacher  made her feel like an idiot .
Gently ask her  to explain  the circumstances  . It is likely  that something  your child did  or didn't do precipitated it , which doesn't necessarily excuse the behavior . You are gathering  information . Listen carefully  so you can recite  what your daughter  shares with you later .
Schedule an appointment  with the teacher  and tell her  about your daughter's concerns . Describe  the scenario  as through your daughter's eyes  and ask  what her version of the story is .
Tell the teacher  that your  daughter  is sensitive  and that you do not  want her leaving school  feeling that she is an idiot, whatever that means in her mind . School is where she goes to learn and grow . Her teacher needs to be more  nurturing  and less judgmental . Ask her can she do that .
Nana says,
I agree with Maxy.
First, you must lose your anger. It never helps in situations like this. You are faced with an age old conundrum; will talking to the teacher make it better or worse for your daughter? The teacher may not take criticism well and take it out on your daughter. This calls for diplomacy on your part.
Obviously, any teacher who would send a little girl home feeling so bad is the idiot in that classroom. A teacher can influence a child for life and can affect the direction a child takes. Children have delicate egos.  I think we all have a memory or two of a teacher who embarrassed or hurt us. I do, her name was Miss Salt and by todays standards, she is the teacher of your nightmares. It might not hurt to find out if she has said spiteful things to  any of the other children. And don't bring that information up unless she gives you a very difficult time. Keep a little ammunition in reserve. Good luck.

Dear Maxy ,
I've been on a couple of dates  with this guy  and everything is going great . We touch base  on a lot  of beliefs  and I find myself  always happy  when I am with him .
A few nights ago he kissed me  for the first time  and it was terrible ! It was almost unbearable  . I tried helping  him out  when kissing , but he was so confident in his kissing  that he didn't think anything of it .
I want to continue seeing him  but don't  know how  to address the situation . I don't want to keep quiet , nor do I want to damage his confidence . Help ?
Bad Kiss

Dear Bad Kiss ,
If you like this guy enough  , you are going  to need to educate him ...gently . It could be  that he hasn't had much experience kissing  , so he hadn't  developed his skill . It could be that he's arrogant  and thinks he knows more than he does.
Next time  you two go to kiss . Ask him if you could kiss him . Ask him to slow down  and let you lead . Take your time  . If he tries  to take over  , remind him  thatit is your turn to show him what you like .
If he refuses  to allow you  to guide him  at all , that's a pretty good indication  of how he will likely behave  in the future . Arrogance can cloud  one's vision . Do your best to push pass his insecurity / arrogance to see if you can discover  how to please each other .
Nana says,
I think Maxy was spot on with his answer. That's what I would do. And if he does not respond to gentle persuasion or suggestion, you may never enjoy the physical side of the relationship. Don't put yourself through that. Some people make better friends than lovers.

Dear Maxy ,
When my friend drinks , she has no idea  of her limitations . She claims to understand  that she shouldn't drink so much, but as soon  as she is  in that setting, she forgets  or is too stubborn to see the effects alcohol has on her . I love her, but it is annoying  to be around her when she gets like that . She is already  an attention-seeker when she's sober, so you can imagine  how she is when she is drunk .
My 21st birthday  is in a few weeks  and she is coming into town for it  . I don't want  to have to worry about her or spend my whole night dealing with her actions . How can I get through to her ?

Dear Drunk-Free,
It sounds like your friend has a drinking problem . Call and have a heart-to-heart talk with her  . Be specific about your concerns  . Give  examples  of her behavior, including  how she  says she will limit her  drinking  but consistently  gets drunk and acts out .
Tell her  that you are not  sure  you want her  to come to your party  because  you have no desire  to attend  to her  when you would rather  be celebrating  your big day . Honestly, you may need to uninvite her . Since  she has proved  to be untrustworthy  in terms  of how much she drinks, you probably  cannot trust her this time .
Nana says,
How much does this friendship mean to you? She definitely has a drinking problem and it is not your responsibilty to be her babysitter when you are in a social situation with her. I cannot guage how serious her problem is but she may need to be connected to Alcoholics Anonymous. If that is the case, her family should be involved. If you really care for this girl and want to remain friends, perhaps you should speak to a member of her family. If that is not feasible, you can talk to a councillor at AA.
If your friend is not amenable to help, you might reconsider the friendship. She certainly does not belong at your private or family celebrations.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Curse of the Bog Zombie...CandleFlameFilms In Partnership With Zach Ramelan (My grandson)


 CURSE OF THE BOG ZOMBIE (2012) - Growing In The Arts - Horror/Thriller Camp
Published on Feb 2, 2013
I shot and directed this short with my buddy Zach Ramelan over the course of a week last August. The two of us were hired by Growing In The Arts, a theater company out of Kitchener, ON, to run a kids' horror/thriller movie camp, and what you see here is the end result. I don't consider this my best work (although I am pretty proud of my editing here), though it does show what we're capable of creating under pressure. We bumped this off in about 4 days' worth of shooting, with around 5 hours of filming time each day, with a group of awesome kids. Imagine what we could do with more time!
I'd also like to extend a HUGE thanks to Alex O'Neil  for doing an amazing job on the musical score in such a short amount of time. I am forever in your debt.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Ask Maxy

Much to our delight, Maxy's Nana (89 years old) will be a guest advisor on 'Ask Maxy' for a few weeks; Providing us with her own unique view on the letters we receive.
Dear Maxy ,
My family wants to move to another  state . The only reason we haven't is because of my dad's job . He has worked for the same company  for 18 years and doesn't want to  lose his retirement  benefits . I understand how important  the job is, but the company would easily  allow a transfer  to another branch .
Whenever we try to talk  to dad  about moving, he gets angry  and yells at us  or leaves the room  in frustration . It's causing  a lot of tension  at home . We feel stuck  and unhappy  here  and makes me upset with my father  for not putting an effort  into moving . He has told us  many times  that he wants to go somewhere else  , yet he doesn't  do anything  to make it happen .
Dad was looking at real estate prices in a city we vacationed in last year, but seems to have forgotten about it . How do we help him see  that moving is best for  all of us ? There is no downside  . Other branches of the company  pay better than  the one he works at now, and there's also the possibility  that he could find a job  with an entirely different company  that's even better for him .
I think dad is worried  about selling the house, but how will he know  whether  he can sell it  if he doesn't try ? He is also resistant to change . How can we help him ?
Loving daughter
Dear Loving Daughter ,
Moving away may seem like a simple thing to you  , but for your father , it is fraught  with uncertainty . You don't know his company  would offer  to tranfer him . You don't know that he could find a better , or even an adequate  job somewhere  else  and start from scratch  to support his family  . You don't know  that he could sell the house  for enough to buy another  one . All of these things  weigh on his mind  and your constant  pressure adds  to his unhappiness and stress .
Here's how you can help your dad : Tell him you know  he is doing what he thinks is best  for the family . Don't bring up the subject  again . He knows how you feel  . Decide to  make the best  of the situation  you have  and if you don't move away , you have the option of leaving on your own  when you are an adult .
Nana says,
I agree with Maxy. At your age it is difficult to understand why anyone would get upset about moving to another state. You are young and bursting with energy and a sense of adventure. Your father, on the other hand, has a family to protect and care for. He has taken this responsibility seriously for all the years he has worked and built up security for you all. He is looking ahead to his retirement now and does not want to jeopardize that.
The economy is very shaky. There is no guarantee he can get a job at his age or get a transfer with full benefits. When you get to a certain age it is hard to start all over again: new place, new job, new home. He is aware of all these things and I know most men in his position, in these uncertain times, would not risk it all on a whim.
When you are on vacation and relaxed you can look at a real estate pamphlet and dream a little but reality is much different.
Give him a little peace and quiet and a hug for all he has done for you. Your turn will come soon enough.

Dear Maxy ,
The woman  who sits  at a cubicle  across  from me is unhygienic , in my opinion  .  She picks her nose and then uses the telephone without ever cleaning her hands or the instrument . She picks her teeth and leaves her  used dental floss  on her desk . Then she wants to come into my space and touch things . I don't want her hands on anything  that I touch  . Who can imagine  that kind of  behavior ?
What can I say to her  that won't seem rude  but lets her know  she can't cross the invisible line  of my area unless she cleans herself up .
Cleanliness First
Dear Cleanliness First
You have to state the obvious; otherwise  your office  mate will never pick up  on your cues . For whatever  reason , she doesn't realize her  behavoir  is unhygienic . She is oblivious  to how her  actions can make  the environment unsafe  for others .
When no one is around, tell her that  you have noticed things that she does that  concern you . Run down the list . Tell that especially now, during  flu season, you do not want to catch any illnesses . Implore  her to clean  up her  desk area, sanitize  it and wash her hands  when she uses the restroom .
She  will likely be embarrassed and even angry, but at least  you will have said it . If she does not comply , ask her to stay out  of your work area . You may have to remind her from time to time .
Nana says,
Maxy is right; however I would try a little subtlety or diplomacy first. You don't want an altercation in the work place if you can help it. Why don't you buy a bottle of hand sanitizer for her desk and yours. Then tell her it is advised to keep your hands very clean during flu season and show her the bottle on your own desk. In fact, say that you use yours all the time to avoid all the nasty bacteria that people spread constantly. That would be a start.  If she doesn't pick up on the message you are  giving her you can always resort to the  brutal truth.

Dear Maxy ,
I got into a huge argument  with my husband  last week over  stupid stuff . I feel like we ague  every five minutes  about something . I am so sick of him . We have been married about 10 years, but I'm beginning  to feel that  it isn't worth it . If everything  is negative, what's the point ?
This time it is so crazy  because we were arguing  about going on vacation . I had one idea  and he had another. I introduced  the idea  to see if  a change of pace might do us  some good . Even that blew up on me .
I'm nearly ready to pack my bags  and fly  but feel  that is cowardly . This has to stop . What can I do ?
On the Brink

Dear On the Brink ,
Too bad  you argued about a vaction . Taking  time away  from the rigors  of your life  can be restorative  for couples  who are  having martital difficulties . Do you think you can revisit  the idea  of a vacation  from a more neutral frame  of reference ? Go back to your husband  and ask  if he is willing  to broach the topic again . If so, do your best  to select an activity that  you both will enjoy .
If you cannot  find a way  to have that discussion, then it's time  for another one . It could start  with a frank  conversation  where, during a quiet  moment,  you ask your husband  what he wants and if that  still includes being married to you . Be prepared  to admit  that you are questioning  whether the two  of you should stay together . If you can speak  openly and honestly  about how you feel about your relationship, you may be  able to begin  a real  discussion that evaluates  your life together .
Getting a counselor  to help  both of you navigate the next steps  is also  advisable . You may  be able to learn  how to speak  more diplomatically and respectfully  to each other, which can be amazingly helpful in supporting  a relationship . Figure  out  what your triggers are and how  you can  look at things differently . Then revisit  whether  you think  you can work  together  or need to separate .
Nana Says,
There is an option you might like to try first. It sounds like the spark has gone out of your marriage and you are living in a kind of resentful boredom. I was married for more than 50 years and had that feeling from time to time. 
Can you remember when you loved each other so much you couldn't live without each other? Maybe you still do. It may be that you are just going through a kind of ten year itch. Perhaps you just need a bit of a change, a breath of fresh air.
My husband and I spent weekends apart when we felt that way. I went to Las Vegas with a friend and he went golfing. You find, after a while, that you miss each other and realize you would be having more fun if you were together.  It's worth a try before you start a chain of events you may regret and may not be able to stop, once in motion.


Over-the-door shoe holder for cleaning products

Debbie Travis over-the-door shoe compartment

Upgrade your broom closet by hanging a plastic shoe holder inside a cupboard door and filling it with your most-used cleaning products. It’ll be easy to spot what you’re looking for — and might even encourage an impromptu clean.
Debbie Travis over-the-door shoe compartment, $20, Canadian Tire.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Fabric Slings for Storage in Kid's Room...or Office

baby room organizing fabric slings photo by melanie bauer

Perfect for toys and books in baby's room

Take your cue from blogger Melanie Bauer and use leftover fabric and a couple of dowels to craft a useful hanging shelf.

Nursery 11
Note the hardware used for holding the dowels

Pumpkin Spice Biscotti

Preparation time:20 minutes
Baking Time:65 minutes
Makes:42 Biscotti
Ryan Szulc



  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsalted raw shelled pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • 2 tsp pumpkin-pie spice
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin purée
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup coarse sugar


  • Preheat oven to 300F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, stir flour with sugar, pumpkin seeds, pumpkin spice, baking powder and salt.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk eggs with pumpkin purée, butter and vanilla extract. Pour egg mixture into flour mixture and stir to combine.
  • Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface. Shape into 2 long, flat logs, about 2 in. wide and 1/2 in. thick. (Dough will rise as it bakes.) Sprinkle coarse sugar on top of logs, pressing gently so it adheres. Bake for 30 min, until centres are firm to the touch.
  • Remove from oven and let cool 5 min. Reduce oven temperature to 275F. Using a serrated knife, cut logs into 1/2-in. pieces. Place cut-side down on the baking sheet and bake an additional 35 min. Cool completely on a rack.

Maple Shortbread Cookies

Preparation time: 30 minute Baking Time:10 minutes
Makes:72 cookies
Roberto Caruso






  • 2 cups all purpose flour plus more for rolling
  • 2/3 cup icing sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar


Combine flour, 2/3 cup icing sugar and salt in a food processor. Pulse until just mixed. Add butter. Pulse until a soft dough forms. Gather dough into a ball, then divide in half. Shape each half into a flat disc and wrap separately in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 1/2 hours, or over-wrap with heavy foil and freeze up to 1 month.
  • Position oven racks in top and bottom thirds of oven. Preheat oven to 325F. (Keep discs in refrigerator until ready to roll.) Dust a rolling pin and a large sheet of waxed paper lightly with flour. Roll out a disc of dough on waxed paper to no thicker than 1/8 in. Dip a 2-in. rectangular cookie cutter in flour. Cut out shapes. Transfer to 2 large, ungreased cookie sheets and place about 1 in. apart. Bake in top and bottom thirds of oven, switching and rotating sheets halfway through, until cookies are just golden around edges, 10 to 12 min.
  • Remove to a rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough. Gather dough scraps and form into a disc. Chill until firm enough to re-roll, about 10 min.
  • Whisk maple syrup with 1/2 cup icing sugar until smooth. Lightly brush tops of cooled cookies, covering the entire surface. Excess icing will drip through the racks. Let stand for 1 hour or until icing is dry. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week or freeze up to 1 month.

Prep Tip:

If dough softens while you’re rolling and cutting it out, simply stop and refrigerate it on waxed paper, and check on it after 5 min.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Boyfriend Trainer...iPhone Game ...Slap,Whip,Taze and Mace Him

The Boyfriend Trainer iPhone game has caused a mini media stir. (
Do you have a badly behaving boyfriend who might fall in line if you slapped him in the face a few times? Well, now there’s an app for that!   A new game called Boyfriend Trainer encourages players to slap, whip, taze and mace the game's boyfriend character into shape. His offensive actions include looking at other animated female characters and dropping clothes on the floor. It's available at the Apple App Store and for free online.
Some instructions from level one: “Boyfriend’s got a roving eye? Control it. Click on him to hit him when he checks out the girls. Fill up the Perfection Meter to get through the level.” Sometimes the girlfriend character leads her troublesome boyfriend around on a leash.
“It is important to make parents aware that there is an entire industry of unrated games, many of which make a virtue off being offensive, that exists largely under the adult radar,” says Matthew Johnson, the director of education at media literacy group MediaSmarts.
“When you look at the content of many of these sites, you'll find that this content is more or less par for the course, except for the gender of the target,” says Johnson. "Sites such as eBaumsWorld, Addicting Games and NewGrounds are all very popular with teens."
But before you start screaming “Double Standard! Domestic abuse!” about the Boyfriend Trainer game, know that you have a chorus of news media behind you. Wired describes the game as one that “lets you beat strangle and electrocute your partner”, while the Globe and Mail simply asks, “Double standard, anyone?”
Richard Lachman is an assistant professor of digital media at Ryerson University and he sees the media attention these games get as part of the problem.
“It's not the only potentially offensive game, video or digital content out there, but its important to notice that these games rarely have many people downloading or playing them until media-outrage makes them popular,” says Lachman.
“The small audience that would have noticed a game like this is now a huge audience wringing their hands about something that, in all likelihood, would have just vanished into the net in a few days.”
Lachman says that the barriers that used to exist in getting your content seen no longer exist. Almost anyone can create a product that looks somewhat professional and then put it on the web, and so quality control takes a beating.
"As a society we are just starting to figure out how we respond to this content through social conventions, behaviours, expectations and perhaps, eventually legal practice,” says Lachman.
Many are expressing outrage that Apple, who has a strict no-nudity policy in their App Store, would allow this game amongst their wares.
“It is somewhat surprising, but I suspect it’s more due to oversight than any conscious double standard,” says Johnson. “My guess is that this will be removed from the Apple app store within a day or two.”
Lachman has similar predictions. “Often, once there is enough of a media storm of attention, Apple removes the content without much comment.”
Let's hope Apple gets around to dropping Boyfriend Trainer sooner rather than later, lest some impressionable youth get the idea that tazing is an acceptable method of communication.

Thankyou Shine

Pretty Pendant Light From Coffee Filters

coffee filter pendant light DIY
Photo courtesy of Nichole Loiacono Design,

This handmade project seems intimidating — especially to those who aren’t naturally crafty — but in reality, it’s super easy and inexpensive to make. Inspired by interior designer Nichole Loiacono, this DIY lantern requires just a few materials, four simple steps and the result is a beautiful, one-of-a-kind light fixture that is sure to make any house guest go ”ooohh” and “ahhh”!

What you need:
Paper lantern - available in most dollar stores
Coffee Filters
Glue gun
Light cord - cord with a screw in light bulb socket at one end and a plug at the other end (preferably white) available at Hardware or DIY stores
Decorative  hook for ceiling, to drape cord over for hanging fixture.

How to do it:
1. First, scrunch up the coffee filter so that the bottom forms a pointed shape.
2. Place a small amount of hot glue on the bottom point of the coffee filter, and place on the lantern, holding it in place for a few seconds.
3. Continue the same process, covering the entire surface of the lantern. Put them fairly close together and don't let any of the Chinese lantern show through.
4. Once covered, screw a lightbulb to the cord and insert into the top opening of the lantern. Secure the cord within the wire holder at the top of the lantern, so that it hangs nicely in the centre.
And there you go: a pretty, glowing, blossom-like  fixture to admire and impress friends

Tip: Use a low heat emitting bulb, perhaps a spiral, energy saving bulb...or the heat may soften the glue.


Glam up an Old Lamp

Pink flea market lamp, Feb 13, p54

Have you looked at the price of lamps these days? Take an old garage sale or flea market lamp and do a makeover.

Easy how-to:
1. Choose a lamp with an interesting shape or decorative features like the scroll pattern on this one.
2. Spray with paint. For hard-to-cover surfaces (like glass), use a primer first. And if your lamp has a decorative knob above the shade, make sure you paint it, too!
3. Fit with a contemporary shade. Look for drum or tapered-square shapes. Most lighting stores sell shades separately. Walmart has the cheapest shades and they are pretty decent
Tip: If the shade sits too low or too high, you may need to replace the harp that holds it in place. These can also be found at lighting stores, hardware stores and dollar stores.
Get this look: Lamp paint, Coral Isle, Wall paint, Saxon Green, Farrow & Ball.

In My Life



Friday, February 1, 2013

Kate's Nose


Kate Middleton sure does seem like she has it all: good looks, stellar fashion sense, loving husband, baby on the way, a palace for a house, and … the perfect nose?

Yep, it seems that as the public continues its obsession with all things Kate, many women also want her nose to be their nose.

A “Good Morning America” episode that aired on Wednesday featured an interview with a 21-year-old woman who went under the knife shortly after Will and Kate’s April 2011 wedding in order to get a nose that resembled the bride’s. "I try to get in every picture I can," Jessica Blaier, who spent $12,000 on the procedure, said on the morning news program. "Her nose is what I modeled with and that's what I got. It was definitely a process, but it was so worth it."

“GMA” also cited a British cosmetic surgery company that claimed that surgeries with the goal of copying the Duchess of Cambridge’s nose were the number-one requested procedures of 2012.

Likewise, on Tuesday, Britain’s Daily Mail featured interviews with three separate women who underwent rhinoplasty over the last year and a half, and all requested the look of Kate’s nose for their new facial feature.

“I’d look at the noses of friends, colleagues, strangers and celebrities – Heidi Klum has a great little nose but, for me, Kate Middleton’s is perfect,” 28-year-old flight attendant Lauren Wright told the publication. “I especially like the way it gently crinkles when she laughs.”

And after years of being taunted about her imperfect nose, Danielle Murray, 24, knew she wanted to change it, but it took seeing Kate Middleton’s stunning schnozz to convince her to seal the deal. “It was during the royal wedding coverage … that I decided I wanted Kate’s nose,” the social worker, who underwent the procedure in October 2011, said. “From every angle, whatever her facial expression, she looked utterly beautiful. Her nose was adorable and feminine.”

Newport Beach, California-based cosmetic surgeon Dr. Terry Dubrow (who you also might recognize from “The Real Housewives of Orange County”) says he’s not surprised by the uptick in requests for Middleton’s nose.

“Her nose is so appealing because it is pretty without being overly perfect,” Dr. Dubrow tells omg!. “The slightly sloped bridge with the rounded tip is pleasing to the eye but not overly sculpted looking.