Non mutant Black Forest cupcakes

I  did start with a simple chocolate cake mix, cherry pie filling and premade vanilla icing. Sometimes it’s just gotta be that way.

Once the cupcakes were baked and cooled, I cut the little funnel shapes to give room for the cherry pie filling.

Then I dug out the one icing tip I have and taped it securely into the bottom cut corner of a large ziplock bag. ( I know/ so not eco friendly today, but I’m using a car sharing service to drive later today, so that’s something, right?)

I blobbed the cherries into the divets and then piped the icing around. And now they sit in the fridge chillin’ until it’s party time later today.

Here’s what I did with the removed cake:



And if you are wondering why “Non-Mutant” BFcakes – see the mutant ones here…it’s all about your audience!

The “butterbeer” recipe…

So…yeah…it’s pink, not caramel coloured…


I walk through the LCBO and see Dr. McGillicuddy’s Intense Butterscotch and have to find some way to get  creative with it.  And with searching, “butterbeer” comes through for the original link I used to get a concept of how butterbeer is meant to taste….

Then I did what I always do, and got creative with it.

Canadian ButterBrr < yes brr> Concept Drink:

In a pitcher, mix:

1 litre cream soda < yes – that’s why it’s pink>

1 litre club soda

15 ml vanilla

about 125 ml each – or to taste:

  • Dr. MCGillicuddy’s Intense Butterscotch < see link above>
  • Vodka – your choice
  • Sortilege – Maple flavoured whiskey – Thus the Canadian touch!

Give it all a stir and pour some out into glasses.

At this point, it’s good to taste it to make sure it’s on track, and you can adjust your quantities now if you want it sweeter or less sweet…

Whip up a small amount of 35% whipping cream < about 60 ml worked for us>, adding just a little bit more butterscotch < 10-15 ml> into it.

Gently glob it < yes, glob it>, onto the liquid in each glass and some will float down and the rest will create the beer like head.

Now. Enjoy.

Feeling the energy return with the spring!

Went out last night to the Aziza & Aida Hafla organized by Jehane of Duniya Studios and had a lovely time.  It was great to reconnect with the community and get that little boost of #SparkleEnergy that comes from seeing wonderful dancers expressing themselves!

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Thanks to Eurika, for the little boost of, of course I’ll drive, as not having a car also adds a factor to what events I participate in.  Still ok with not having a car, Ottawa’s bus system is reasonable, but there are moments when it tilts me into the, I’m going to stay in tonight, mode. And while that has been something I have needed to do for myself, it’s time to peak my head out of my burrow as it were.

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WARNING !! PROMO-MOMENT:  I get a free session if you sign up for their into sessions – $86 plus HST for 8 sessions – click the photo for the website. And tell them my name if you give it a try!!!

This winter I’ve been taking time to take care of myself, including adding strength  training to my system of life. The personal training is not inexpensive, but I’ve found the level that I can afford and while it means really trying to maintain some serious accountability at home, I’m getting there.  I’m trying to adjust my eating habits too and have received some interesting advice from my trainer and the Free Form Fitness website.

Obviously, anything that gets us moving, in a way that we continue to do it, is great. I like the complementary aspect of the weight training to the dancing I am still doing, now to start working on cardio a bit more – the bane of my existence… But last week I also started walking a bit more after work, rather than catching the bus right away, so I hope to do that when I can…

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Along the Riverside bridge overlooking the tracks.


So, I’m looking forward to the many upcoming events with both Bollywood For Fun and Ottawa’s belly dance community! 2016 started out a bit tough, and I’m taking it one day at a time, but I’m so very blessed!

The morning after…#snowmageddon2016

Well, that’s dramatic isn’t it.

February 16, 2016 gave Ottawa a record snowfall:


The Citizen

The Globe and Mail

And my window/ street:


Late afternoon Feb 16, 2016


8 am Feb 17, 2016












Last night, when @wtl came home, I knew he would be grabbing the shovel and heading out to do some community shovelling #ottawashovel. So I grabbed the second shovel, and helped a bit too.

I had already called a ” Snow Day” for our dance practices, as I strongly believe that if you do not HAVE TO go out, STAY HOME. Let the city do it’s work and don’t be adding to the vehicles on the road.

Emergency service workers, people picking up children from school, people trying to get home from work, you all HAVE to be out, but are more likely to stay off the roads as soon as you can. Otherwise, why would you put yourself and others into a situation that merely contributes to potential accidents and delays for the people trying to clear the roads.



T2 personal sidewalk

I a very grateful that my back has healed enough for me to be a functionally walking and shovelling person again, so that I could help out with some of the neighbours driveways, and on a completely selfish note, I knew I would want to walk this morning, so I made sure to shovel my own sidewalk along our block to King Edward. And I was very glad to have it this morning as Sprocket could walk easily along it, and not be buried with every 3rd step.

Having gone for my coffee walk this morning – it’s gorgeous out, and great for a workout, walking along through the pile of snow- I wanted to make some suggestions and things to consider, based on what I have already seen between 7 and 8 a.m. this morning.

1 – Do you really have to drive today? REALLY?

2 – If you do have to drive today SLOW DOWN PLEASE.

3 – Pedestrians are taken care of LAST, so they are walking ON THE ROAD, because there is NO SIDEWALK for them. SLOW DOWN.

4- Even if there is a side walk, Pedestrians will also likely have to MOUNTAIN CLIMB to cross intersections, OR WALK ON THE ROAD.

5- SIDE STREETS ARE NOT PLOWED – Why are you trying to drive onto one?

6- Consider paying FOR PARKING TODAY if you really have to drive instead of trying to park on side streets.

7 – If you see someone has cleared some snow already- a path, a space for their garbage cans, access for their stroller/car etc., DO NOT PILE SNOW THERE!

These are merely suggestions, and some folks will take offence, and that’s fine.   And many folks will be able to stay off the roads today as they planned in advance as we were provided with advance weather forecasting that told us there “might” be a storm coming through.

Maybe one piece of advice to cover it all:

Be kind today.

Volunteering in Ottawa’s Belly Dance community

As some of you have read, I’m shifting my focus to enjoy some new adventures in my life, and letting others pick up the torch for some of my long time endeavours.  I am looking forward to continuing to be  apart of these wonderful events, as a volunteer/ sponsor/ participant, just not as organizer.

I thought I would just do a quick post to highlight a couple of upcoming events that can use some helping hands and invite you to contact the organizers to offer your help!

If you are already on the crews, please feel free to share this post to invite more folks to help out and maybe get some of our newer community members involved in fun ways!

Info from the Dancers’ News – submit your event info here

Leading up to the May 14, 2016 Ottawa Gatineau Shimmy Mob, advanced help and day of help would be awesome – PLUS MORE DANCERS!!  All proceeds go to charity, and for 2016 – Interval House Ottawa!

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Head over here for preliminary .

To join in on the dancing, and to get your t-shirt and choreography access, you’ll need to sign up at the official site to perform, but other help is welcome too!



Screen Shot 2016-02-14 at 9.01.28 AMThe new incarnation of the Ottawa Dancers’ Bazaar, now known as the Ottawa Souk, will take place April 24th.  I think Jehane and Lisa-Marie, the awesome new bosses, have a full onslaught of vendors, but be sure to “volunteer” you time and come out to shop!

If you have students looking to perform this spring/summer –  June 21st, 2016- Shimmy into Summer Dance Showcase see the Facebook event is happening at the Studio Theatre in Centrepointe Theatres!

I am not producing a June OCCP this year, and the lovely and enthusiastic Mia and Danya are shimmying up, presenting this night of belly dancing in support of Breast Cancer Action Ottawa.

They are still looking for performers, please contact: for more information.

I hope to hear of more community events in the future, and to see all of you soon!


Getting Artsy…

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Part of my new adventures involve taking time to revisit things I used to do/ always wanted to do/ felt I could do, but never got around to doing… like painting.

So… Acrylic painting under the guidance of a lovely artist seemed like a great way to go about this.

2 paint events later, under the tutelage of Laura Daub, my fellow student of couture at Richard Robinson’s Academie des Couturiers Canadiens, who has gone on to flourish in her own artistic style, and here are my pieces!

If you are thinking of trying one of these trending art events, but want to create in an atmosphere of encouragement to be unconventional if you wish, check her Friday Paint Nights  out, and give it a try.

And go do something fun for yourself!