About Catherine Kitts

Catherine (@catkitts) has been known to put her party dress on at the drop of a hat and will rarely say no to a new adventure. After completing her Bachelor of Journalism at Carleton University, she worked at the editor of a local newspaper for three years before trading hard news for the world of communications, marketing and advertising. Constantly juggling hectic work and social schedules, she always makes time for some of her biggest passions: news, sports, pop culture, cuisine, literature and many others. You can expect her to cover a wide variety of topics, keeping her finger on the pulse of Ottawa, her hometown - a city she's grown to love. *Bad Habit: never wanting to miss out *Favourite Food: pickles *Favourite Restaurant: El Camino *Wine of Choice: whatever Kate is drinking *Favourite Band: (solo artist?) Justin Timberlake *Favourite Song: Dancing in the Dark - Springsteen *Fashion Icon: Lauren Conrad *Political Affiliation: none *Favourite Movie: Back to the Future, Kindergarden Cop, Jurassic Park, Drive. *TV Series: Seinfeld *Sport: Hockey / Football *Team: Ottawa Senators / Seattle Seahawks *Favorite Book: Great Expectations - Charles Dickens, Freedom - Jonathan Franzen. ** To contact Catherine write her at : inanutshellca@gmail.com

A New York City virgin

If you follow any major magazines, bloggers or celebrities on Twitter and Instagram, or are even the slightest bit fashion-inclined, you’ll know that the word on everyone’s lips for the past week has been: New York.

Backstage madness captured on Instagram at the Nicole Miller spring 2013 show at The Studio at Lincoln Center, in New York.

As New York Fashion Week took hold of the minds of the fashion elite, this year it was a little easier to feel close to the action with social media sites giving glimpses into the wonderful world of haute couture.

With so much glam in the air it’s hard not to sit at your drab 9-5 dreaming of a seat with your name, written in calligraphy, right beside the runway.  Now imagine you had literally just missed the festivities by a hair, coming back from my own New York City trip at the end of August, and try to sympathize with my demanding desire to be back in the big city.

As a first-time New Yorker I wasn’t sure what to expect – aside from yellow taxis, neon lights and an almost a guaranteed run-in with either Katie Holmes or Denzel Washington. Right? But now, after spending two glorious days in a city I vow to return to, here’s the knowledge I gained and would pass along to any other first-time visitor of the Big Apple:

1) Don’t drive. And if you do, don’t drive a standard card. 

Sightseeing in SOHO at a snails pace. Not pleased.

Now, this obviously doesn’t apply to every reader depending on which location you’re reading this from. Obviously, if you live in Vancouver driving is not an option. But, from Ottawa it is not all that crazy of an idea… or was it? Eight hours of travel – piece of cake right? I mean, we’ve all been stuck in a Toronto traffic jam before. And who doesn’t love a good road trip? Throw on some jams, pack some snacks and a pal that can carry a conversation and you’re all set, RIGHT? Well, the drive up really wasn’t so bad, until, of course, we got to New York at 11 p.m. it was dark, people were jay walking in every direction and our GPS was telling us to go over the Brooklyn “BRAAADGE”? Pardon? Not to mention, New Yorkers say “Welcome to our vibrant city!” by railing on their horns as loudly as possible. Hello to you too, NYC. But, really it wasn’t so bad. The bad came when we were stuck in traffic, for 3 HOURS, trying to leave Manhattan on a Sunday afternoon. Crawl doesn’t even begin to paint an adequate picture of how slowly we were moving. So, look for a seat sale and do yourselves a favour. I will definitely be flying on my next visit.

2) Go for longer than a weekend. And if you don’t, accept the fact you won’t be able to do it all.

Welcome to the jungle.

One of the most attractive things about New York is the possibility that you can “stay for the weekend”. Again, given the proximity between Southern Ontario and NYC it can be the perfect weekend getaway. But, for a first-timer, know that you simply cannot see all you’re going to want to see in a weekend.
Things we did do: bartered on Canal Street, visited Time Square, saw a show on Broadway, shopped (a lot!), dined in cool restaurants, visited the East Village, toured Central Park, navigated the subways, enjoyed all that is New York City night-life.
Things we didn’t do: see the Statue of Liberty (from up close), take a moment at Ground Zero, go up the Empire State building, visit SOHO, visit Rockefeller Center, the Central Park Zoo … or my two personal wishes, visit the Seinfeld restaurant and the scene of my favourite movie – Serendipity.
I’m sure you could stay for years and still not “do it all” but a few more days to knock off some of those bucket list items would have been valuable.

3) See a Broadway show, even if it’s “not your thing”.

On left: lifelong Broadway enthusiast.
On right: converted Broadway enthusiast.

I can safely say I am a fan of musicals and all things arts related. Being a dancer my whole life, I’ve probably already performed to most of the soundtracks of every show in the city. So without a doubt seeing a show on Broadway, in New York, is something I’ve always wanted to do. But, for my travel buddy it just “wasn’t really her thing”. Being a good sport, we still purchased tickets to see Wicked, one of the most renowned Broadway shows of all time. And even if it “wasn’t really her thing”… she loved it. There’s something about getting dressed up, navigating the bustling streets of New York on a Friday evening, making your way through a glitzy auditorium and taking in some of the world’s best performers that could be appealing to just about anyone. Even you, men out there.

4) Take a guided tour of Central Park.

Our little carriage with Friends fountain visible in back.

Seeing Central Park was something I definitely didn’t want to miss out on. It is the true heart of New York City, geographically speaking, anyway. So as we made our way down to the famous place, we were content posting up under some trees, stretching out on a rock and watching New York pass by. The longer we sat, the more we loved it. A truly gorgeous setting that stretches on and on and on. It wasn’t long before we started planning a next-day visit to rent bikes and explore a little further. As we decided to walk on, we noticed the hundred of bike-tour operators lined up, just waiting for tourists like us. After a brief discussion and bartering the price a little lower ($20 / each) we decided to go for it and pay for the 30 minute tour. Thank goodness we did, because it was one of the highlights of our trip for both of us. Sure, it might seem silly to pay someone that amount to tour a park you could explore for free, but our guide had so much knowledge about our surroundings, we never could have known it all on our own. Pointing out Woody Allen’s penthouse, the fountain from Friends, the bridge from Home Alone, John Lennon’s memorial and the list goes on and on. We learned more about Central Park in our 30 minute tour than I probably could have learned in a full day on my own. Plus, our guide was a gem.

Bike tour of Central Park. This guy was the man.

5) If you want to shop, head end of season.

If you go to New York City and have no desire to shop, you have a problem. Seriously though, that’d be absurd. So it was a no brainer that a lengthy perusing of some of New York’s finest shops was penciled into our itinerary. What didn’t dawn on us, however, was how we picked the perfect time to do so. Going at the end of the summer season meant CLEARANCE signs were plastered all over the city. With fall merchandise to make room for, store owners were anxious to get rid of their summer stock, leaving prices slashed and our wallets overjoyed.

6) Download the APP ‘HopStop’

Trying our hardest not to get lost.

Even if you’re staying in the heart of Manhattan, it would be rare that you wouldn’t need to take at least one subway ride while in New York City. And besides, it’s your first trip, you need to. However, navigating the New York subway system can be like trying to find your way through the Amazon jungle, sans guide. Deadly species en route, included. You get into ONE deep conversation and you’re halfway across the city with no idea how to get back, and worse, NO cell phone reception. Downloading the APP HopStop on my iPhone was a lifesaver. Even after having a few (read: several) pre-bar drinks we were able to navigate ourselves to the Lower East Side from Brooklyn without a wrong turn.

7) Ask locals.

Our night at our fingertips.

Imagine you were sitting in a restaurant in a city you’ve lived in for a while and a stranger asked you what bar is bumping on a Thursday night. You’d instantly know, right? Well, that was our thinking. So naturally, at lunch on Saturday afternoon we approached a group of girls who looked like they’d be the type to party someplace where we wanted to go and asked them to give us the scoop on New York City nightlife. Not only did they have a few suggestions, but they wrote down a detailed and numbered list of where our night should start and end. And even though we made a few of our own adjustments as we made our way through the venues, our Saturday night in NYC is one I’ll never forget.

Living it up at one of NYC’s most exclusive clubs.

8) Prepare for subway sob stories at every stop.

My heart gets melted pretty easily. And I will admit, I gave $2 to a man on the subway who serenaded me with jazz and told me I was beautiful – to which the person sitting next to me leaned over and said “sucker”. But, one thing you’ll learn quickly (like, within-two-days-quickly) is that on almost every subway car there’s someone who’s going to stand up and give you a story about how they just lost their job, or their mother, or just got out of jail (seriously :|) and will ask for your cash. I’m not saying to not give generously out of the goodness of your heart, but just be prepared. They are relentless.

9) Map out restaurants beforehand.

Cute little Mexican place in the East Village. BIG portions, good home fries and BIG drinks. What more could you want at brunch?

When you’re hungry there’s no googling a place, phoning a friend or deliberating at all. You’re stopping at the next place you come across. Period. This is what happened to us after waiting till AFTER our Broadway show to eat (bad planning). With the number of absolutely unreal restaurants in New York, make a point of mapping them out beforehand so you don’t miss out on an out-of-this-world fine-dining opportunity.

10) It’s okay to be cheesy. Really, go for it.

Excuse us while we look over our shoulder casually in the middle of Times Square. :)

Whenever you’re visiting a city for the first time I feel like you have a free pass to be as cheesy as possible. You NEED a picture in the thick of Time Square, you HAVE to eat a hotdog from a vendor on the street, it’s OKAY to have a huge grin on your face when you’re hailing a cab. You are in NEW YORK. Sure on your second and third and fourth and fifth visits, you might want to play it a little more cool, walk the streets like you own them and pretend for just a while that you really are an undercover movie star in the big city. But on your first visit, forget it. Squeal like a little girl and rock an ‘I heart NY’ shirt like it’s nobody’s business.

In a nutshell, you only get to be a first-time visitor once.

OH (hot damn) CANADA

It’s over.

The single most watched athletic event in North American history: The Olympics – London 2012 edition.

One of the things I love the most about in a nutshell is how people have come to expect us to be on top of the daily goings-on of the world at large. That’s why, when out for drinks last week, I was affectionately hounded: “Why hasn’t NUTSHELL done anything on the Olympics yet!?”

True say, my friends, true say.

I think I can speak on behalf of all of the nuts in saying we wore our Canadian pride well – watching, cheering and catching up on the each event of the day. Jess’ friend, Will, from Kingston, even took home a silver medal, bringing the spectacle across the pond a little closer to home. We joined the 32 million Canadian hearts bleeding patriotic pride across the nation for that special time, once every four years, where we get to watch athleticism at it’s prime. Hard work, dedication, discipline, talent all before our eyes. No, in a nutshell did not miss out on this worldly event.

And what an event it was. It seemed as though for those days between July 27 and August 12 it was the only subject worth talking about … “Did you see the Canadian girls’ soccer game? What a heartbreaker.” … “Did you see Bolt run?” … “Did you see we got another medal?” ………

“Did. you. SEE. the BODY on that ROWER!??”

Yes Canada, we took home 18 medals. We won gold. We showed the world what we are made of…

…. And we also, looked good doing it.

While discussions about unfair judging, bicycle crashes and cocky athletes ruled conversation across the planet, so did one other thing – brawn. can. be. beautiful.

So, with a little help from one of those that scolded in a nutshell for it’s lacklustre coverage of this epic event, my good pal Allan Gordon (@agordo12) and I bring to you the TOP 20 HOTTEST CANADIAN ATHLETES – LONDON 2012.

Feast your eyes, Canada, and take it away, Allan.

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THE BABES: 

Although a team of five girls runs in a nutshell, they’re not (always) the kind to discriminate. We know that Team Canada’s Olympians didn’t only run deep in male talent, as our women put up nine medals – a contribution equal to the men, including our only gold of the London 2012 games, by Rosie MacLennan, in trampoline.

But let’s get serious here gentleman, when the ladies aren’t winning medals (and realistically while they are winning too), we’re watching closely for the talent that carries off the field of play.

Without further ado, let’s take a look (or two, or three, or…) at our top 10 Canadian Olympic babes of the 2012 games:

10. Melissa Bishop (Track) @BishopMelissa

Starting off the countdown, it was a no-brainer to include this hometown girl. Bishop has ties to the Nation’s capital that go way back. Before her success in CIS track with the Windsor Lancers, she attended the University of Ottawa where she competed on the GeeGees track team. She currently represents the Ottawa Lions Athletics Club in competition. A tough break in her heat caused her to miss the semis in the 800m, but we hope to see her back in 2016.

9. Kelsey Titmarsh (Rhythmic Gymnastics) @kelseytitmarsh

Little Kelsey almost didn’t make this list – not because there was a ‘you must be this tall’ restriction holding back this gymnast, but because criminal law almost caused her to be left off the list. Kelsey is only 18, but it’s not illegal to look right? Let’s hope she returns in 2016, and that the rhythmic gymnastics team doesn’t place last again… okay fine maybe we can deal with another last place, what is rhythmic gymnastics anyway? If Will Ferrell can do it, anyone can: 

8. Desiree Scott (Soccer) @MsDScott11

Desiree logged huge minutes in Canada’s run for the soccer bronze. It was pretty tough to miss that face on the field, especially while she was rocking that bright pink headband all throughout the tournament. Oh by the way, her nickname is the destroyer… we’ll leave that one to your imagination.

7. Jenna Martin (Track) @Mz_Can_eh_D_n 

East-coaster Jenna Martin was the 2011 Canadian champion in the 400m. She earned her way to the semi-finals in London, but wasn’t able qualify for the finals. We forgive you Jenna.

6. Sarah Wells (Track) @SarahWells400mh

Sarah Wells belongs in the same category as Jenna Martin: Good-looking, ridiculously fit track athlete who qualified for the semis, but didn’t come close to making to finals. What else is there to say, just take a look and move on to the top five.

5. Tracy Little (Synchro Swimming) @Tracy_Little

On behalf of men everywhere, it’s nice to see a synchronized swimmer who still looks hot without piles of waterproof makeup on. Who even knew about Tracy Little until now? We need more coverage of athletes like her, for obvious reasons.

4. Lauren Sesselmann (Soccer) @lsesselmann

Lauren Sesselmann is probably the greatest import to Canada from the USA next to California wines. Sesselmann was born and raised in Wisconsin, and only received her Canadian citizenship in 2010, but we welcome her with open arms – I think any guy would in a heartbeat. Just take a look at her twitter bio (@lsesselmann) for a description of the perfect woman: “Athlete, Model, Actress.” Jackpot.

3. Jonelle Filigno (Soccer) @JFiligno

Filigno (no, not Foligno) has quite the resume. She has been named to the following: Top 10 Olympic Women to Watch, 30 Hottest College Athletes, 50 Hottest Female Soccer Players All Time, and Top 100 Sports Hotties, by various different sources. She also won bronze at the Olympics, but that’s just a minor detail.

2. Emily Batty (Mountain Biking) @emilybatty

Emily Batty is an absolute gem. The girl looks just as good while she’s competing as she does off the course. Too bad for her, she crashed in practice the week of the Olympics, and raced to a disappointing 24th place finish. Why is that awesome? She did it with a broken collarbone and a couple broken ribs. If you’re thinking, “this girl is tougher than me,” you are correct… and way better looking too.

1. Kaylyn Kyle (Soccer) @KaylynKyle

They say a picture is worth a thousand words… there’s 3000 good ones for the boys. If you haven’t heard of or seen this beauty yet, it’ll be a matter of seconds before you google her name, get mad at her for spelling it so stupidly (so many y’s!), and then instantly forgive her when google gives you the ‘did you mean’ option – success. To give you an idea of how much this country loves Kaylyn Kyle, she is one of very few, if not the only Canadian Olympian to be twitter verified. I think she just gained another follower…

Now that’s true patriot love

Of all the heartwarming stories Canadians had the privilege to witness during the London 2012 Olympics, the gutsy effort shown by the FIFA #7 rank Canadian women’s soccer team to earn a bronze might have been the most exciting.

This victory literally put the faces of our ladies on the map, across the country and all over the world.

The greatest part of this team might be that they could’ve lost all of their games, and still captivated the attention of over 16.5 million Canadian men.

It’s pretty evident from this Top 10 that the women’s soccer team dominated on and off the field. Although the team won bronze, the lads know they’re really a gold mine.

Congratulations on winning bronze ladies, but even bigger congratulations on winning the hearts of men all over the world.

– By: Allan Gordon

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THE BOYS:

#10. Nathan Gafuik (Gymnastics) @gafuik_nathan

Ok, ok. So we may not be starting off our top 10 on the strongest foot, with gymnast Nathan Gafuik, but the fact that after his Olympic dream concluded early with him falling during his high bar routine, his only event at the Games, Gafuik said he was “headed to McDonald’s” means he’s got a sense of humour. Or at least, a hearty appetite. The 27-year-old from Calgary was Canada’s lone male artistic gymnast. Weird right? I thought that was a popular sport for that demographic…

#9. Alexandre Despatie (Diving) @ADespatie

Not a huge fan of the speedo, but he’s got a body.
The 27-year-old, fell flat (literally) at this year’s Olympics, but for a guy who was making his fourth spin around the Olympic stadium and spent almost his entire young life as Canada’s leading international diver, I guess he does okay. Finishing in 11th place (second from last. knife. twist.), in the 3-metre springboard he was eighth going into the last of six dives.  His legs slapped the water hard as he entered ….
…Just going to trail off there.

#8. Sergio Pessoa Jr (Judo)
A common theme in this series of Canadian hotties, Sergio Pessoa Jr, one of Canada’s most promising judokas, ended his Olympic dream after only one match. A Montreal resident, Pessoa, had a very tight contest with Kazahstan’s Yerkebulan Kossayev that went into golden score and was then determined by the judges’ decision. They ultimately raised the blue flag in favour of Kossayev, but we raise our eyebrows to what’s above those blue shorts. No Canadian judo player has won an Olympic medal, so hey! You were just meant to stand there and look pretty anyway. The 24-year-old was following in his father’s footsteps, who competed in Seoul, which means ladies, he’s got good genes.

#7. Tory Nyhaug (BMX) @Tnyhaug49

Tory Nyhaug, badass BMX biker from Coquitlam, BC, won the fifth and final run of his Heat 2 grouping, and yet — disappointingly — the 20-year-old missed out on reaching the semi-finals by one measly point. Luckily, he’s likely got a long career ahead of him. Lucky for him? Or lucky for us? Men only get better with age. Right?

#6. Damian Warner (Decathlon)Decathalon should be synonym for: “I’m a freaking boss.” Not only did Damian Warner get put through not one, not two, but ten Olympic paces, the 22-year-old managed to get a respectable fifth place for his first Olympic Games. Oh and he only achieved six personal bests during the last two days… nbd. The only thing going against this stud is that he doesn’t have Twitter, which means limited stalking privileges. Drat.

#5. Jason McCoombs (Canoeing) @JasonMcCoombs


This Dartmouth, Nova Scotia smokeshow would have scored higher on the list if he wasnt NINETEEN. Little Jason wasn’t even supposed to go to the Games, being invited to Olmypic training camp simply for a learning experience. I can think of a few women across the country who’d like to teach him another lesson… The first of many rowers that made our palms sweat, I’m sure we’ll be seeing this up-and-coming super star on the water again soon. Thankfully, he’s not getting any younger.

#4. Riley McCormick (Diving) @RMcCormick2012With an eleventh place finish, Victoria’s Riley McCormick didn’t crack the Olympic top ten, but he did crack OUR top ten. As the second diver on our list, it’s no secret that men of the pool have sculpted stomachs… and thighs … and shoulders … and backs. Shall I go on? He kinda looks like he needs help drying off… I think a million hands just flew into the air to volunteer for that job.

#3. Conlin McCabe (Rowing) @conlinmccabe

Oh hi, Conlin. My name is Catherine and I also live in the Ottawa area.

We already had our eye on this rowing hottie, before realizing he was from Brockville, which is really just a hop, skip and a jump from the Nation’s Capital. As one of Jess’ friend’s teammates (three degrees of separation) that led the men’s eight rowers to an Olympic silver medal, this brawny Canuck turned the most heads out of a group of men who were all tall glasses of water in their own right. Only thing I wish? That we were all in London for THAT silver medal after party.

#2. Martin Reader (Beach Volleyball) @martinjreader

No. Words. Necessary.
Right? It’s a no brainer that this beach volleyball babe would make our list. Why is he not #1 you ask?
Because he knows it.
That and he lost every possible game he played. But hey, it’s something just to go to the Games right?

Every girl likes a winner, gentlemen. But second place ain’t nothin’ to sneeze at.

#1. Jared Connaughton (sprinter) @jncoolc

He may have lost the bronze for Canada, but he ranks #1 on our list and in our hearts. There wasn’t a single Canadian who didn’t feel P.E.I. sprinter Jared Connaughton’s pain   after Team Canada was disqualified in the men’s 4×100 metre relay final. Connaughton stepped on the line during his leg of the relay, pushing the men out of medal contention. But, the jacked and tatted 27-year-old gets our #1 ranking, not only for his bodacious bod, but for owning his misstep like a champ.  After stepping off the plane to a warm welcoming from a hometown crowd yesterday these words show he not only knows how to man up, but he looks good doing it: “Be proud of your hard work and be proud of the good times and the bad. Because sometimes the bad times wake you up to the good times you weren’t paying attention to. And that was a pretty bad moment but this makes it not so bad.”


So there you have it Canada. Take a second to be proud of our 18 medals, take pride in our athletic achievements, and for the love of God, take a cold shower, because the great North (strong and free) just got a little greater.

One last thing, thank you to Daniel Charboneau (@DanCharbs) for helping to craft this incredible post-worthy idea.

Time flies…

Today is August 9.

That means, we have 22 days left in the month, 44 days officially left in summer and just enough time to make the most of it.

For the first year of in a nutshell I created a bucket list for every change of season: like this, and this and this. But, for fear of becoming repetitive I decided to keep my summer wants, wishes and goals to myself this time around. Then came August first and the panic set in. For someone who’s lived in a city were six months of the year I feel like hibernating under a mound of blankets, only to emerge for a Baileys and hot chocolate, let me tell you, I make the most of this short period of unmatched warm weather.

For all of us nuts, we are currently in that young professional stage where it becomes a little too easy to take life a little too seriously. Excuses to put fun on the back burner and focus on other priorities are a plenty. We have jobs, relationships, goals, social engagements, life decisions to make – learning to be an adult while still not completely feeling like one.

But, for anyone who knows me, they know I party… a lot (let’s be honest, probably too much). But, I also work a lot. I read a lot. I exercise a lot. I DO a lot. It’s important to, that’s life. In my opinion you will never achieve happiness by only focusing on one thing. Balance, variety, with a pinch of spontaneity – these are the ingredients for what I consider to be the recipe for a good life.

So, if you haven’t yet gone out on a Thursday when you work on a Friday morning, just because your dancing shoes need some dusting – spent an evening looking up at the stars, patiently awaiting the suns arrival with someone special – packed a bag at a moments notice, grabbed some pals and hit the road – or just found the time to do something you REALLY wanted to do, then what are you waiting for?

I know our readers are not all situated out of the Nation’s Capital, but for those that are and those that are planning to visit, here’s a little inspiration for the home stretch of a well spent summer in the city:

1 – Movie in the park

He had me at hello.

You know that scene in The Wedding Planner (ok, I watched a J-Lo movie, sue me) when they’re sitting in a park watching a movie outside? I’ve ALWAYS wanted to do that (with Matthew Mcconaughey by my side, no less). So you could imagine my delight when I learned that not only does this happen in Ottawa, it happens DOWN THE STREET from where I live. Written in the stars to watch the stars under the stars? I think so.

Run by the Carleton School of Information Technology, (alumni, represent!), movies are shown every Friday and Saturday night in Dundonald Park 512 Somerset St. W between Bay and Lyon.

Talk about an adorable first date idea and who knows fellas, maybe you’ll get a wife with a great bum out of it.

http://www.csit.carleton.ca/~arya/cm/schedule.html 

2 – Murray Street patio

Gracing Kate’s “Top 5 Restaurants in Ottawa” list, I have to say that Murray Street tops my own. An inventive and ever-changing menu, local produce and great drinks means I’ve never had a meal I didn’t like at this Byward Market location. While I’d take a dinner here any time of the year, it is an especially amazing dining experience in the summer thanks to one of my favourite patios in the city. You won’t find much sunlight, but nestled under twisting vines and rustic wood, you’ll feel like you’re on vacation somewhere far away from the city lights as soon as you cross the threshold.

Two babes enjoying some charcuterie on the Murray Street patio … on inanutshell’s anniversary, to boot!

3 – Wakefield Quarry

It’s not the first time we’ve mentioned Wakefield Quarry on inanutshell, and in fact, Wakefield in general could make this list. Cute restaurants, a bridge that everyone I talk to seems to be jumping off (safely), and only a short drive from downtown Ottawa. The quarry is one of my more favourite Wakefield features because for $5 you can pack a picnic, bring your own booze and lounge in turquoise-blue water, with a pretty incredible view. On “things I’d like to do on a summer afternoon” you can’t get much better than that.

4 – Yoga on the hill

I’ve recently become somewhat obsessed with Yoga. I’ve always liked the occasional class, but four days a week of Bikram hot yoga has me feeling amazing. With that said, one of the things topping my own personal summer bucket list is joining the hundreds that show up to do some poses right on the lawn of Parliament Hill. Lululemon Athletica offers free yoga sessions that last about an hour, starting at noon. Running from the beginning of June to the end of September (weather permitting) all you have to do is show up with your mat and get ready to stretch. A healthy alternative for your lunch hour? See ya there.

5 – I scream, you scream

Hot weather = ice cream. It’s science. And luckily, Ottawa has more than a few spots that can deliver when that particular kind of craving, or heatwave, hits. Of course, a Dairy Queen Blizzard can always do the trick – but some alternative and more unique suggestions can be found sprinkled throughout downtown and centretown Ottawa.

– Pure Gelato on Elgin (360 Elgin Street)

This gelato haven probably has the widest variety of flavours in Ottawa, almost too many for someone as indecisive as I. But, open year-round you can make your way through each one, just make sure to do # 4 listed above to compensate.

– Truffle Treasures on Bank (769 Bank Street)

If you can resist the temptation of the truffles lining the display cases in this Glebe location, you’ll find freshly made gelato available in cones or cups. Perfect for a stroll through one of the capital’s nicer neighbourhoods.

– Spoon Frozen Yogurt Lounge on Clarence (111 Clarence Street)

I cannot attest to this spot since it’s on my own list of places to visit before the end of the season, but I’ve only heard good things. 12 different kinds of self serve frozen yogurt and over 50 different toppings, I’d lie if I said I didn’t get pretty excited when I saw this brand new storefront pop up on one of the most happening streets in downtown. YUM.

And with that, I’ll leave you with a motto from one of my good pals, Joey Manley. Words to live by, my friends:

“Here’s to it to do it. If you can’t get to it to do it, then you may never get to do it again.”

Studying GOSSIP with Lainey Lui

Gossip often gets a bad rap.

……funny how that works, right?

For example, have you ever felt like the guy standing behind you in the grocery store buying canned ham is ACTUALLY judging YOU for lingering at the tabloid section? Has someone blatantly rolled their eyes at you when you quietly mention that you are and always will be on team Jen? Or how about getting scolded by your colleagues for only following every Kardashian and every man they’ve ever dated on Twitter (a total of about 250 people).

I can’t say that I’ve experienced this much in my own life, seeing as how my Bachelor Recaps seem to get more attention than anything else I’ve written … ever. But, I do know it happens.

Some people just can’t handle that most people like judging other people. Get what I’m saying, people?

But yesterday at the beautiful Terence Robert art gallery in downtown Ottawa, a fierce presence in the celebrity world was on hand to set the record straight on why gossiping can actually be a healthy cerebral exercise.

Lainey Lui.
eTalk host, celebrity blogger, hilarious human.

That someone was none other than Lainey Lui, eTalk host and creative mind behind laineygossip.com.

Not only did I have the chance to sit in on the intimate group discussion she hosted “Rumor est immortalis”, (one that Lainey announced would not be taking place in Toronto, amid big cheers from the collection of Ottawa fans, bloggers and “smuthounds”) but I had the privilege of sitting down with the celebrity maven for a one on one interview.

Her message was a clear one: “I’m tired of us feeling ashamed to be gossiping.”

For Lainey, her believers and really anyone who’s logged on to a celeb site, it can be about more than just getting your fix of the day’s hot goss.

Art, apps and gossip … what more could you want out of an evening?

“Nobody reads a story, any story, without placing their own history and experience into that story and interpreting it accordingly. So, when we talk about celebrity relationships it’s almost a way to talk about our own relationships. A way to establish boundaries with our own friends, with our own lovers. Celebrity gossip is a very safe way to dictate a code of conduct. When you talk about somebody dating and cheating, in essence your communicating your expectations for a relationship. How you would feel if you were in that relationship. And maybe subconsciously you’re passing that message on to that friend, or that girlfriend, or boyfriend about how you’d like to be treated.”

In many ways, how we react to the antics, triumphs and failures of celebrities can be seen as a study in social behaviour.

Does the fact that the headline of the New York Post the day after the Kristen Stewart cheating scandal leaked was “A TRAMPIRE is born” mean that women are still judged much more harshly for their sexual behaviour, in and outside of relationships?

Does her fan base erupting over the fact that Stewart – who’s Twilight character Bella is a young, impressional girl with a purity standard – had an affair mean that society still doesn’t like to see a young woman explore her sexuality? … Funny how only TODAY did provisions in the Affordable Care Act make birth control free for insured women in the United States. Almost A CENTURY after it first started being circulated in 1914.

OK, I know I love the Bachelor … but Teen Mom, REALLY?

Does the recent popularity of 50 Shades of Grey and … TEEN MOM … mean that women are regressing? That females are becoming complacent with seeing women take on a more passive role in society?

And what does celeb gossip say about the way we now communicate in relationships? Sure, the social media world went into a frenzy when Demi Moore (still using the handle @MrsKutcher) tweeted for the first time since filing for divorce, but wouldn’t your friends act the same way if your ex sent you a sassy tweet? Mine would (/ have).

Does the fact that any tom, dick and harry (or should I say, sam, deena and snooki) can become a celebrity overnight reflect the decline of the world economy? That the gap between celebrity and non-celebrity is closing? That young university and college graduates are getting stuck in the rat race more than ever before and will turn to outrageous behaviour to make their mark on the world?

Our role models.

Maybe you don’t agree with the above statements, but you should be able to agree there’s a valid argument there, at least.

Celebrity can be the study of human behaviour, no doubt about it. 

As Lainey aptly pointed out, gossip is not new and it’s not going anywhere:


“We’ve been gossiping from the dawn of time. What that means is that gossip, as an activity, has been with us forever. We are born to gossip. We are born to talk about people. We’re born to discuss these types of matters. It’s just the subject matter that has varied. 600 years ago we gossiped about royalty and the court of Louis IXV. Two generations ago we gossiped about John Kennedy. Today, we just happen to be gossiping about Angelina Jolie. The act of gossiping has not changed.”

Lastly, I could not really turn down the opportunity to ask a smart, successful, CANADIAN, woman – who started out as an independent blogger and broke into the world of mainstream media – what her advice would be to a group of aspiring young professionals.

“Be okay with saying ‘I don’t know’. I think there is a compulsion, especially with young women, to come out of university and become the power woman. You expect to strut down the corridor and say ‘I can do whatever you think I can do.’ There are benefits to that and there are certainly advantages to it, but there are more advantages coming into a work place and saying, ‘Teach me. I don’t know, but I really, really want to learn.’ I really think that is something that will get you farther than powering into an environment not willing to do and start at the beginning. I think that the danger sometimes in today’s society is that people want things too quickly, too much. For some reason we’ve been told that life is there for the taking and opportunity and success can come so quickly, but it’s more rewarding when it comes slowly and at your own sweat and blood and effort. “

Perhaps the biggest thing I took away from a lecture that really did make me think and reflect on the state of society, was that I have the upmost respect for someone who writes intellectually, dares to be different and worked her way to the top… in a nutshell.
Now, what are you waiting for? Go catch up on what Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise are up to today.

The Bachelorette Recap – FINALE – One heartbreak, one proposal, ONE F.

Well Bach family, this is it.

My last in a nutshell Bachelor/ette/Pad recap…. for- another couple months anyway. After Monday’s insane start to BP3, I’ve decided all the words in the world wouldn’t be able to summarize that kind of next level insanity. So I’ll catch ya when inevitably Sean becomes the Bachelor … or maybe, just maybe, I’ll be on the show by then. Ha ha haaaaa…. (my family would murder me).

Actually, let’s lay it all out on the table here … I’ve spent 14 hours this week on Bach-related watching, re-watching and writing. I need some normalcy in my brain. Badly.

But, we have one last order of business before I can go back to writing things that don’t just happen in the reality world. And that is – the finale.

Yes, again, I had to watch it twice since the first time just seemed to go by in one shocking blur. And, I only got around to seeing ATFR Tuesday (what kind of Bachelor super fan am I ANYWAY!?) … but before commenting on the results, let’s start at the beginning…

Sunday’s episode started with Jef meeting Emily’s parents.

A white tee. Really? REALLY.

JEF. Have you ever met anyone’s parents before in your life? Your white tee and jeans just didn’t cut it. I’m not saying showing up in a tuxedo – and I get that you’re hipster ways make you want to give the “I’m real, yo” impression – but, COME on. Even a polo shirt would have been better, figure it out One-F.

Put Jef aside though and I am sure smitten with someone – Emily’s family.

“You want your children’s happiness above your own.” – Can’t count the number of times my own momma has said that to me. Instant love.

Nothing like a pep talk from MOM. <3

Her brother’s southern drawl was delicious, too bad his (silent) finance was along for the ride. And I also loved how he was Stone Cold Steve Austin when drilling the guys. Nothing like an overprotective big brother. Amen to that.

Then it was Arie’s turn to meet the folks. He dressed more appropriately, brought a more sentimental gift and managed to make everyone as confused as possible.

Well. Looks like Emily’s fam aren’t making this decision any easier.#everyoneloveseveryone #whotochoose?

I think one thing is clear, unlike many, many (MANY!) seasons of the Bachelor/ette, both final contestants are decent humans. Don’t ya hate it when that happens? I do. It was so much more fun to openly hate Courtney Robertson. Ughh….

I commend Jef for convincing Emily to introduce him to Ricki. I mean in real life you’d probably meet the daughter of the girl you’re asking to MARRY you more than once … but good on ya Jef-with-one-F for at least making this a teeny tiny bit more believable.

Oh Jef, Jef, Jef… He IS adorable, he SHOULD be a speech writer and I HAVE come to love that one f … but I still think they’re relationship is so high school. Watching them interact on the couch after the Ricki date … I just had to shake my head. Watching them kiss reminded me of spin the bottle smooches.

Perfect couple.

So when Chris Harrison knocked on Emily’s door to discuss the inevitable, was I was the only one who thought for a moment “OMG, maybe the rumours are true? MAYBE she ends up with Chris Harrison!” Just me? K.

If people ever get sick of watching the Bachelor/ette (never) and Chris Harrison continues not to age AND is in need of another profession, I think someone should just hand him a job as a marriage counsellor. Credentials aside, he’s had to deal with more heartbreak than anyone should be forced to endure in a lifetime.

And heartbreaking it was.

This is how Emily Maynard cries. The rest of her face doesn’t move.

Poor, poor Arie. Seeing Emily send him packing was one of the sadder moments I can remember on Bach. Maybe because she led him on to the very last hour? But don’t they always? Why do people love watching people have their heart obliterated to pieces on national television? Because we are a sick, sick society. Nuts included, I digress.

The worst moment by far was when they hugged goodbye and the mics picked up a pounding heart.  That one hurt even my jaded heart.

Painful. I cried – okay no, that would be too far.

And I’ll hand it to Arie (I’m just handing out credit to everyone possible today, it’s the new me) … although at times he’s seemed a little too emo for my liking, he really held it together in the limo. Tony was nowhere to be found and he didn’t lose it completely. Way to go.

And then, there it was. The moment we’d all been waiting for. As Jef-with-one-F secured his skinny tie to match his skinny suit pants (no surprise here) and Emily donned a “trophy-wife” gown that would be worthy of Ryan’s approval … the PROPOSAL took place.

True love looks like this ….. not being sarcastic at all. Not. At. All.

Not that it was any surprise that Jef would propose or that Emily would say yes, even though the Bachelor Producers did an EXCELLENT job of totally making the finale look more exciting than it actually was.

Yep, I’d say yes to this too.

Sigh. They’re good, real good.

And of course, having Ricki run in at the end so they could all walk away hand in hand … come on.

I will say, however, that despite my relentless bashing, poking fun and mockery making, I genuinely like Emily … and Jef. And I really do hope they live happily ever after … but it is Bachelor/ette. My hopes are not THAT high.

Cue the child running into the proposal. Perfect.

And for all the guys out there … if you want an even more concise recap, here’s what you missed: 

After The Final Rose was pretty darn cute … except the part where Arie poured out his bleeding heart – and talked about his journal.

So what I wrote a journal, flew to your hometown and got your name tattooed to my heart? I’m fine.

I feel like if I had been dumped on national television it would be my main goal to look like I was doing FINE at my next opportunity to address North America. Arie didn’t quite accomplish that task. Poor fella.

Jef and Emily did look great though … and talked about a wedding, which is pretty much a figment of people’s imagination’s when it comes to Bachelor/ette.

Our relationship may last longer than the average for reality couples … 10 minutes.

Now, as I said at the beginning I will not be doing weekly summaries of Bachelor Pad … I do have other interests (not really, but sort of). But, as a teaser treat here were my thoughts summarized: WTF.

 inanutshell.ca ‏@inanutshellca

I can’t even comment on Blakely … it’s too much. #BP3 #bachelorpad

Recipe for disaster … Oh GOD, Jamie is drinking.

 

At first I was deeply distressed I didn’t see these “super fan” applications anywhere – but holy hannah, am I ever thankful now. I don’t think I could do 2 minutes let alone 2 months with those twins.

Other things to note:

You’re still not cool.

– the complete American Psycho impression Kalon did in the mirror… what WAS that!? And when he tossed his car keys at Chris Harrison … not cool. Nobody does that to Chris Harrison, NOBODY.

– Donna the bathing suit girl sketching Michaels FACE!? Like actually sitting down and sketching his face … on paper … with a pencil. I have no words.

– Ed was actually hilariously drunk. Watching Chris Harrison interact with him was the highlight of the night. I hope he stays that drunk for the entire season. I think you’d have to be to be on BP.

– Blakely’s still cray.

One thing is for certain … there is a WHOLE LOTTA unstable people on this season … which you just KNOW will make for the best viewing experience.

… I can’t …

And with that, I’m out. See you next season and thanks for all the love!! Off to find myself a Sean-replica.

If you’re still craving a little commentary from the nuts please follow our live tweets every Monday: @inanutshellca

We beg you to shake your heads along with us.

The Bachelorette Recap: Episode 10 – LOLs, OMGs and PDA on MTA

I’m a little conflicted when it comes to the Men (or Women) Tell All episode of the season … half of me can’t wait to see all the jaded ex-contestants rip each other’s heads off and half of me is like: ON WITH IT ALREADY!!!!!!!!! WHO WINS!?!?!?!?!

…Somewhat extreme reaction, but that’s why we love Bachy.

I have to say, though, that this season’s MTA was pretty freaking fantastic. Was it Chris B Harrison absolutely OWNING every man on the stage, Emily giving Kalon a nationally televised verbal b*tch-slap or Meghan sitting beside me at the height of her hilarity? Whatever it was, I was able to put the Arie-Jef agony out of my mind and enjoy the two hours of tantalizing television.

inanutshell.ca ‏@inanutshellca

@chrisbharrison is killing us. Be the bachelor already. I’ll host. #Bachelorette #MTA #TheBachelorette

The episode started by going over some of this year’s “highlights” … Doug’s awkward kiss, Chris’ awkward dancing … Ryan’s awkward beard …

Acceptable.

Utterly repulsive.

When he had his one on one time with Chris, trying to defend his fat girl comments and clear love for not Emily, but himself, we realized something: We liked Ryan in they first episode because HE WAS CLEAN SHAVEN. Seriously bro, you got to re-watch yourself on television – you think you would have realized you looked ridiculous and shaved by the time MTA rolled around. That or someone would have knocked you on the head with a rock and done it for you. Where are your friends?

inanutshell.ca ‏@inanutshellca

Ryan looks so much better without a beard. It’s shocking. #shave #likebackstage #Bachelorette #MTA

One of my favourite parts about the MTA was that the men seemed to be seated in order of when they got kicked off …. except for TONY. Cried his way to the top? Michael Scott look-alikes get front and centre privileges? He seemed so out of place but in a great, great way.

Own it TONY.

Although Chris was a) wasted b) angry and c) barely mature enough to be 17, let alone “a MATURE 25-year-old” he did have one amazing line in the Bachelor Pad preview that followed:

inanutshell.ca ‏@inanutshellca

“being partners with Blakely is like being in prison” back on team Chris. #dying #bachelorpad #Bachelorette

Here we go again.

Just the fact that Blakely is even on the show is enough to watch. AND the sneak peek saw her lying in the fetal position… which was her permanent state through all of Ben’s season – ah-mazing. It’s almost to good to be true. Jamie who climbed to bachy fame by strattling poor Ben Flajnik in a drunken and desperate attempt to stay on the show was shown dancing AGAIN. You’d think this would be among the things on her “Never will I get caught doing again, not only on television but in life” lists. Don’t we all have one of those…?

I have to admit, I don’t usually get as excited for Bachelor Pad as I do for normal Bachelor/ette. Especially after Holly won last year (hatred). But this season looks like it might actually be unreal. Put a whole bunch of unstable people in one room and it’s bound to happen, right?

I was, however, VERY upset to hear that “super fans” are on the show this year. UM HELLO. Can you imagine if the nuts invaded Bachelor Pad? They’d have material enough for ten seasons.

inanutshell.ca ‏@inanutshellca

WHY am I not on bachelor pad as a super fan!? WOW where were those applications. #TheBachelorette #bachelorpad

I think Monday’s MTA could be summarized by saying that both Chris’ were out of control. B Harrison in the best way and Chris-whatever-your-last-name-is-all-we-know-is-that-you’re-25 in the worst way.

inanutshell.ca ‏@inanutshellca

“Does anyone know what @chrisbharrison‘s job was before the #Bachelorette?” – @katelalu “Full time beauty” – @catkitts #TheBachelorette #MTA

25-year-old Chris took shots at everyone and was slurring in a way that said “They served Jack Daniels backstage.” He also yelled out “SEE YA” when they showed a clip of Ryan getting kicked off the show and then completely reiterated the perfect speech Sean said to Emily when they finally had a moment.

“I’mmmmm notttt drunkkk atshh allll”

Speaking of which … wow Sean. Like, just wow. You could not be a more perfect human and if you haven’t already been offered one million dollars to be the next Bachelor then I might just have to boycott the show for the rest of eternity.

Women all over the world are slowly undressing.

Not only was he (still) smokin’ but he had the world’s most perfect responses to every question Chris BH could throw at him. He was emotional without being a cry baby, hurt without being dramatic and gracious despite being thrown to the wolves. If there is a better man out there I dare him to email inanutshell immediately. (Like, seriously, please actually do it).

The next three tweets sums up how we collectively feel about Sean:

inanutshell.ca ‏@inanutshellca

“I really feel like the luckiest girl in the world” – Emily … “You’re a b*tch” – @megb723 on Sean going home. #Bachelorette #MTA

inanutshell.ca ‏@inanutshellca

“I want to love someone with every ounce of my being” – Sean … “Give me a milligram, I’d be ok with it” – @catkitts #TheBachelorette #MTA

inanutshell.ca ‏@inanutshellca

If there was ANY doubt that a) Sean is the perfect human or b) he will be the perfect Bachelor .. He just cleared that up. #TheBachelorette

“Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful, broke all of your hearts and forced you to pretend to be ready to be fathers.”

After Sean made every women in North America melt, Emily finally came out to face her men. Looking great and Barbie-like as always her shining moment was definitely putting Kalon in his place. Not that CBH (chris b harrison acronym) didn’t already do that, but when he apologized she called him out for being a d*ck on Twitter – posting a picture of a baggage claim and saying he thought he’d find Emily Maynard there. #sorryImnotsorry was apparently his hashtag. #sorryyourhelicoptermightgetbombed is ours.

If you are what you eat, then Kalon has had a healthy dose of cured weasel in his lifetime.

There was only one thing missing from MTA … and quite frankly, it was a big loss:

inanutshell.ca ‏@inanutshellca

………. “Unfortunately we still haven’t heard from King Gypsy” ………. – @megb723 #TheBachelorette #MTA

And then, just to twist the knife a little more for all the men who still have bleeding hearts, they recapped Emily’s relationships with Arie and Jef-with-one-F. Although it’s no secret that I’m on team Arie their recap (AGAIN!) could be summed up with two words: MAKING. OUT. It appears they have done nothing else all season. Not that I blame either party, but if I had to guess what the total count of words spoken to each other during the show would be, I’d say 25 … 28 would be pushing it.

Jef-with-one-F on the other hand….. If he doesn’t get picked he should go into romance novel writing. His monologue which played over scenes of them just loving each other was pretty effing adorable. If he didn’t look like he was 15 I might just switch to his team … at least Ricki would have someone to play hopscotch with.

Jef’s high school graduation photo … class of 2011.

And with that we are left counting the days, minutes, seconds until Sunday’s 3 HOUR finale. Excessive? Not at all.

Previews make it look like she doesn’t even end up with ANYONE – which might be enough to make me throw the remote through the television. But it wouldn’t be the first time those Bachy Gods pulled one over on us, so we’ll just have to wait and see.

Stretch your sitting muscles this week friends, back to back Bachy with BP3 starting Monday. My fortune cookie last night said good things were on the way, could it have been anymore on point!?

4 days, 99.5 hours, 5970 minutes, 358200 seconds until. we. know.

The Emerald / Rainy / Grunge City … Visiting Seattle

Just like Kate mentioned in her most recent post from abroad, I was in the same boat when it came to vacation time. It simply had not happened in far too long.

The last time I was on a plane, was July 2010. The number of days I booked work off from June 2011 until now: one morning, one afternoon and one full day.

I am what you might call: a workaholic.

So much so that I was given an all-expense paid trip to Seattle from my family when I graduated university – TWO YEARS AGO – that I had yet to cash in on.

The reason for the destination? My brother lives there. In fact, my brother has lived there for six years. I am a bad sibling.

So, when I learned that my OTHER brother, who lives in Toronto, and his wife were planning a July visit to the rainy city, I said: enough is enough. Departing at 6 a.m. on July 2, after working till 4 a.m. on Canada Day, I was FINALLY taking a vacation for some MUCH needed relaxation and family time.

Left: Seattle Grace in the flesh.
Right: Stalking Christan Grey’s real-life Escala apartment building.

Here is the amount of facts I knew about Seattle before I left: my brother lives there, it rains a lot, Christian Grey, Meredith Grey and Fraser live there …. that’s about it.

The number of times I was pleasantly surprised, or even said out loud “I didn’t know that about Seattle” were many. Here’s what I learned:
TO START…

-It’s a bigger city than I thought it was. The downtown core is not nearly as big as Toronto’s sprawling mass of skyscrapers, but when you’re walking around in it, it almost feels that way. It has a very noteworthy skyline and is made up of multiple neighbourhoods that all have their own personality and trademark. 

– It’s extremely hilly. Think San Francisco. If I had to drive my standard car there I might die of coronary attack, but proved useful in working off some of our more delicious meals.

– It’s. BEAUTIFUL. One of the prettiest big cities I’ve ever visited, for very unique reasons. They call it The Emerald City (cue “I didn’t know that about Seattle”) because it is filled with gorgeous parks and lots of green space. Not to mention the sprawling waterfront of sparkling blue lake, ocean, sound, all dotted with everything from yachts to sailboats. Not to mention, on a clear day you can see Mount Rainier appear behind the skyline like a mirage. I was very lucky to only have two days out of my week-long stay actually be rainy and cold. The rest of the time the sun was shining and the temperature was “hot”. Not Ottawa hot, but a very comfortable 28 degrees (celsius). Practically the peak of the warm weather this coastal city experiences.

TO DINE…

I may not be THE foodie of our nutshell clan, but I’m definitely A foodie – if not only because I’ve been able to tag along on Kate’s gastric adventures for so long. So naturally anytime I visit some place new, trying different places to eat is always a top priority. For the first few days we had kids in tow, but our savvy Seattlers did such a superb job of mixing kid friendly places with unique meals.

First night in the US of A, what did we eat? Fried chicken of course. But not just any old fried chicken… OPRAH’S favourite fried chicken. That’s right. A quick trip to Ezell’s left us with enough chicken tenders to last us a week.

A staple of Seattle (and of ALL the United States) is Mexican cuisine. And what child (/ adult / 24-year-old girl) doesn’t love a fajita? Cute places from tex-mex to authentic are peppered throughout every neighbourhood.

I scream, you scream? Molly Moon’s Ice Cream is apparently a must-get if you’re ever in the area. Flavours like “Strawberry Balsamic” and “Honey Lavender” are on rotation. I am the most boring person on the planet and got… chocolate. I was having a craving, sue me.

I would tell you that you MUST go get a “cuban sandwich” from one of the two locations that serves them in the rainy city, but the place looks SO much like it was picked up off a cuba city side street and dropped in Seattle, it didn’t even have a SIGN. Ask locals, they’ll know.

Fresh fish is in abundance. So whether you’re craving sushi, oysters or just an amazing bowl of clam chowder, you’re in the right place.

Nightlife – You won’t find many bumping bars with sprawling dance floors pumping out electro beats in Seattle. Instead, you’ll find boho-chic style places, where the drinks are hand mixed, the music is alternative and the vibe is casual. Ballard (one neighbourhood) was especially bustling on a Saturday night. We also really liked the vibe at Black Bottle – another spot across town.

Honourable mentions: 

King’s Hardware – best burgers in seattle
Top Pot Doughnuts – it’s no Tim Hortons, but they WERE pretty yummy
Belltown Pub – Trivial Pursuit cards at your table … unreal
Salish Lodge & Spa – a short drive away from the city in Sloqualmie and you feel like you’re on vacation in a whole new place. Our private dining table overlooking a waterfall at this resort made for one of the best brunches I’ve ever had.

THE SIGHTS…

Space Needle: This iconic tower can be seen from all points and angles in Seattle. While not standing half as tall as Toronto’s CN Tower, the Seattle landmark has it’s own unique charm. It made for an especially great backdrop for the city’s International beerfest, which I just so happened to be in town for… how perfect.

Pike Place Market: This was the ONE attraction I refused to leave the city before seeing. Fish flying through the air, delectable market fresh treats, vendors by the dozen, the first EVER Starbucks, not to mention the iconic pig statue that I just HAD to get a photo with (… I love pigs …), the market did not disappoint. And in fact, reignited a desire in me to spend more time in Ottawa’s own Byward market. I also ate the best peach I’ve ever had in my entire life, seriously.

And around the corner was Seattle’s famous “gum wall”. Yes, that’s right, an entire wall plastered with pieces of gum that passers by have chewed, spit and stuck. This of course seemed like the perfect spot to leave my own mark on Seattle. Fastened with a piece of Juicy Fruit’s bubblemint, Seattler’s will now know inanutshell was on the scene.

Black Hole Sun: … there is ACTUALLY a black hole sun. “I didn’t know that….” AND I sat in it. The black hollowed out structure that sits in one of Seattle’s most notable parks was the inspiration behind hometown band Soundgarden’s most famous hit. Another fun fact I missed about Seattle: Grunge actually originated there in the mid to late 80’s. Nirvana and Pearl Jam also recorded hit albums in Seattle studios. 

FOURTH OF JULY…

It was by design that we happened to be in the United States to jump in on the Independence Day festivities. Coming straight from being in Ottawa on Canada Day, I was putting the US to the test, as any celebration would be hard to compete with the July 1 frenzy in the nation’s capital. I was expecting a sea of red, white and blue, but the US celebrations seemed a little more reserved. We made the most of it by going to an all-american baseball game. Unfortunately, the Mariners lost and poor Henry didn’t seem as excited as we were (see photo), but I wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere else for my first ever Fourth of July. We rounded off the day with an amazing fireworks display over the water. Most interesting part: They were set to a very eclectic playlist of songs. I belted out Florence and the Machine’s “Shake It Out”, while my brother & his wife’s swooned to their wedding song, Etta James’ “At Last” and the display rounded out to Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing”.

Can take the boy out of Canada, but can’t take the Canadian out of the boy :)

ONE LAST THING… 

I subscribe to the belief that in at any moment and in any situation, it truly doesn’t matter where you are, but who you’re with. As much as this trip was an escape, an opportunity to see a new city, and an excuse to go shopping, the vacation’s real purpose was spending time with my siblings who are separated by over a decade, stretched across two countries and distanced by many miles. Luckily Seattle was the perfect setting to do just that … in a nutshell.

The Bachelorette Recap – Episode 9: Wow, wow, wowwwwww in Curaçao

Hi Bachy fans!

It’s been too long. I have to start off this post by saying what an incredible job Meghan did covering for me last week. Not only was her wit on point (it ALWAYS is) but it freed up the two to three hours I usually spend toiling away at these for you, so I could spend some needed time with my fam.

Fo real, they take fo ever.

“I don’t know how she does it every week.” – Meghan on bleeding over Bachy Recaps.

But the answer there is simple: I am as OBSESSED as you are. Maybe more? No, let’s go with equal fanatics.

So naturally, I was all but cartwheeling around the house waiting for this week’s episode to start.

And. start. it. did.

Opening with small summaries about each of the relationships Emily currently has with her various suitors, it painted three very different pictures.

Arie, Sean, Jef.
Hot, Hotter, Hottest. You decide which goes where.

That Sean is perfect and how she feels about him is perfect and that their life together would be, well, perfect.

Then Emily talked about Jef-with-one-f (where was the mid-season confession “Ok, ok … it’s TWO f’s!” … sigh) and how she thinks he’s “super cool”.

OK, interjection:
I’m writing this – which means I’m allowed to biased. I KNOW Jef is adorbs. I LOVED his quote from two weeks ago (- still on the hunt for a man who would say that to me.) And he IS down to earth, charming, cute, etc. But is it REALLY just me that feels like they’re relationship is sooooo high school? “I like you.” “I like you too.” Smooch. I feel like Jef-with-one-F makes her feel young and Emily makes Jef-with-one-f feel like he’s well, he’s about to round home base with the top cheerleader.

Haters gon’ hate …. but that’s how I feel.

Then there was Arie, or should I say Mr. Maynard. Their recap looked much like the one they play at the END of the show after the proposal is all said and done. It could have also been a montage of them kissing in various locations.

Emily definitely was confused by the end of the recaps as she wrote: Emily + ? in the sand, (not cheesy at all. wow.) to which the question mark was quickly washed away with the tide. And by tide I mean Chris Harrison standing off camera with a large pail of water. Come on.

This was too much.

But as the one-on-one dates kicked off only ONE thing was clear: I WANT TO GO ON A DATE IN CURACAO FUNDED BY THE BACHELOR.

Holyyyyy hannah. If the men weren’t pretty perfect in themselves, the dates were out of this world.

Awkwaaaaaaaaaaard.

Just a casual jaunt to a private island for Sean & Emily … no big deal. It DID, however, remind us all a litttttle too much of when Emily and Brad had their almost-to-last date on a private island. And Sean & Brad could definitely be related in some brawny-hunk kind of way. Maybe Sean is doomed after all.

At dinner, Emily was looking for Sean to drop the l-bomb. I mean, fair. At this point people have been saying it for WEEKS. After all Sean, you guys HAVE known each other for like two months at this point… WHAT’RE YOU WAITING FOR!?!?!

“I really feeling like I lo…. ve it here.” “I look at you and I’m just like wow I’m in love-ly Curacao with a beautiful woman.” Spit it out Sean.

The handsome devil did manage to utter the words and to top it off he wrote the most ADORABLE letter to Ricki as a pre-emptive measure before they meet. WOW SEAN. Like, get more perfect. Seriously.

Sex ed lesson # 1

As I predicted Emily was going to be all “responsible mommy” about the fantasy suites like she was on Brad’s season. Woiuldn’t want to give Ricki the wrong idea … you know, “don’t go all the way just get half naked and make out with multiple boys in bikinis honey, that’s okay.”

But she did spend some quality extra time with Sean after they “for-goed their individual rooms” – (God Chris Harrison, you freaking stud) – and by the end of the night there was only one thing on my mind. “He’s NOT going home” …. dun dun dunnnnn.

How everyone wants their fantasy date night to end.

And then came Jef-with-one-f’s date. Previews showed him asking Emily some tough questions ilke “you’re a great girl, that attracts great men. Why hasn’t it worked out!?” eeeesh. I think if someone said that to me I would just silently blink at them for a few minutes until they asked me how my entree was instead.

Producers off screen: “Don’t. touch. THAT.”

But, their date was nothing short of absolute perfection. Jumping off boats, canoodling, the world’s most incredible fantasy suite. I may not be on team Emily & Jef but I would have gladly third-wheeled that date any day.

inanutshell.ca ‏@inanutshellca

I feel like if I pooled all my life savings, I may be able to afford the bathtub in Emily & Jef’s fantasy suite. #bachelorette

Hi guys :)

Same deal went for Em & Jef’s brief fantasy suite CHAT … somewhere the producers are slamming their fists into walls and the camera men are rioting because they’re usually off work by now.

All we do is kiss, kiss, kiss, no matta WHAT. Got roses on my mind, I can never get enough.

Arie and Emily’s date consisted of a whole lottaaaaaaaa …. making out. Like, an excessive amount. Like, I’m not sure if they actually know each other’s eye colour. They did take a brief break from smooching to… SWIM WITH DOLPHINS. Because that’s normal. I’m convinced the dolphin in question was either a) a robot. Think friendly jaws… b) specially trained in a bachelor-run zoo, I mean there seems to be lots of animal encounters in these programs … c) Chris Harrison in a dolphin suit. Too far?

But, even Emily picked up on Mr. Grabby hands and said “she didn’t trust herself enough with Arie” to even ENTERTAIN the idea of chilling in the fantasy suite. She also proceeded to cry uncontrollably.

“Do you think Arie goes home and that’s why Emily was acting like it was the apocalypse when she chose not to sleep with him in the fantasy suite?” Shannon on being slutty and a crybaby.

Stop it, Mom. Just stop.

Going into the rose ceremony we were all a little distracted by Emily’s attire. Not only was she rocking her DREADED fake ponytail ( – you have people HELPING you to get ready, how does this fall through the cracks… TWICE), but she seemed to also be prepared for an underwater wedding, rocking a MAD mermaid skirt. Like, she might as well have dyed her hair red, named herself Ariel and called it a day.

Dana Weiss ‏@Possessionista

Red Lobster. RT @TheOverAnalyst @Possessionista where is that skirt from?

Retweeted by inanutshell.ca

I wanna be, where the boys are, I wanna see, wanna see em’ squirming. Walking around wanting… what do you call it? oh. a rose. (stop me before I do the whole song)

Em also was having trouble keeping it together while speaking to Chris. Maybe because they are an ITEM!? Jokes. That rumour was debunked rather quickly … what a shame.

struggling. and not just because of the pHony tail.

But, in ALL serious (I can be, sometimes, you know) … I get her. I would feel TERRIBLE telling someone I’ve spent the last 8 weeks assuring that I really like them and I could picture them being my HUSBAND that actualllyyyyy it’s not going to work out. Like ever again.

Ouch. Guilt complex.

So, as she watched slightly corny testimonials of the guys saying their last plea, she started getting emotional during Jef’s which I thought meant FOR SURE that he was going home. I was even questioning Arie a bit because of her fantasy suite snub, but I thought Sean was safe fa sho. I mean, would she not be insane to let this hottie go?

Then came the roses with the first one going to JEF.
WHAT. PARDON. Ok, now my blood pressure is rising, wtf is going on here. ARIE or SEAN .. could this be!? I was floored, and when she called out Arie’s name solidifying that Sean was going home denial, disbelief and practically delusion set in.

BLINDSIDED. CRAY.

May be more blindsided than I was. Debatable though.

I guess it’s all true. You can be TOO perfect and nice guys DO finish last. Orrrrrrrr, Sean was a real wiener and the Bachy producers did a good job of covering it up. Whatever the case, I’d be shocked if Sean hasn’t already signed his contract to become the next Bachelor. Looks like I’m applying after all.

And so we wait with bated breath for the season finale. Teasers make it look like she doesn’t even get proposed to. HOW. IS. IT. TWO. WEEKS. AWAY.

Can’t wait to see the claws fly at next week’s “The Boys Tell All.”  … It IS my mother’s birthday that day but …. family < Bachy. Just kidding mom.

May the best man WIN.

* We stopped tallying Bachy scores because a) it’s gotten too intense b) I was so far in the lead no one had a chance. All hail the Queen.

If you did a Bachelor pool with your friends we’d love to hear about it! Send us things you added, took away, or things you’d like to see in the future! Our Bachy Parties aren’t going ANYWHERE.

The Bachelorette Recap – Episode 7: Puckering up and dumping duds in Prague

You know those special moments in your life where time seems to go by in a flash? An awesome vacation … a summer of love … your university years … a nephew / nieces first birthday …. orrrrrrrrrr a particularly juicy season of The Bachelorette!?!

I mean, come on, we’re already awaiting hometown dates … WHEN did we lose so many boys!? Sigh, it’s all coming to an end.

But, with the end of one thing comes a new beginning … so don’t worry Bachy fans, Bachelor Pad is right around the corner.

Plus these last three episodes of The Bachelorette look sure not to disappoint, if they were anything like last night’s episode anyway…

So, is it just us or is Sean getting hotter and hotter in every episode? Like we could practically not keep the drool from falling out of our mouths. Okay, that was gross. Apologies. But seriously, in the first five minutes I think we’d all muttered “God, he’s beautiful” or some saucier variation about twenty times.

Drool. Puddle.

But, it was Arie who ran away with the first one on one date. Now, this was destined to be a huge moment. THE moment that our spoiler-correspondent Julia Kent had been waiting for since day one. Emily confronts the fact that the race car stud dated not only one of the show’s producers, but the one Emily deals most closely with. But, as Chris Harrison introduced the whole scenario it was less juicy and more … pathetic.

For both Emily and the solid CREDIBILITY that The Bachlor/ette organization has, as a whole.

ARE you feeling alright?

Apparently these two dated like ten years ago which led the Twitterverse to jump on Emily for making it into a big deal. “Maybe Emily should tell Arie that her teeth are fake now? #fulldisclosure” or “Arie should probably tell Emily about that speeding ticket he got one time. #comingclean.” But as blondie started grilling her man about trust and loyalty it quickly became hilarious because Arie was completely aloof. He did look ill, however, but who wouldn’t be when their sort-of gf goes a little cray cray.

Meghan Brown ‏@megb723

Is Arie really hungover? Does he have jaundice? Why is he so yellow? #confused #worried #bachelorette

Retweeted by inanutshell.ca

In the end, Chris Harrison informed us that they resolved their issue “off-camera”. HEL-LO is that even allowed. What’s the point of reality TV if you don’t see the juiciest part!? Unfair. To sum it up, Arie and Emily will continue to live happily ever after, since they were practically engaged after episode two.

Engagement photo.

Bachelorette Live ‏@BachelorTV

“Brief romantic relationship” in my world translates into a dirty one night stand. Will we ever learn the truth? #Bachelorette

Retweeted by inanutshell.ca

Now, I know I mentioned it last week, but our little pool twist that sees any given guy’s points get RESET if they say I love you before the hometown dates has gotten out of hand. Guys are saying it right left and centre. GET A GRIP. Cue Arie dropping the l-bomb and poor Kelly being in the minus’ by the end of the night. It just doesn’t get better than that.

WHAT are you wearing? And what the HECK is a data destruction specialist!?

John Wolf got the second one on one date, but chose to dress like a senior citizen for it. Seriously, could Chris Harrison not summersault from behind a street corner and tackle him to save his love life and our eyes? Wolf-man, you have no chance.

Despite the fact that he’s been a pretty boring contestant that has probably only barely managed to sneak by in the rose ceremonies .. he divulged a little more into his background in this episode. Just small things, like his favourite colour, names of his siblings and that he was dating a potential FUGITIVE. He told the sad story about how he got brutally cheated on by his last ex. When she stopped calling him he said “I checked hospitals, I checked prisons…” I’m sorry, if I went missing I think the LAST place someone would look is a PRISON. WHAT KIND OF GIRL WERE YOU DATING JOHN WOLF. Again, you have no chance.

“What the heck is data destruction specialist? Like what IS that.” – Amanda on John Wolf’s made up job #bachelorette

After John returned from his date, Sean decided to completely lose his mind. In a desperate attempt to spend some quality time with Emily he ran through the streets of Prague wildly yelling her name. This may have put him on the far side of “Completely Cray” on the richter scale, but he made up for it with a STEAMY make out sesh that Em didn’t seem to mind AT ALL. Christian boy has a little devil in him it seems. I like it.

So steamy, the picture is blurry.

Next came the group date, featuring Chris, the most unhappy boy on the planet.

Chris…

For all the smack this guy talked about being a mature 25-year-old he is definitely acting like the most immature person on this show, Ricki included. Feeling slighted to be stuck with another group date with Sean and Doug, the man-child moped the entire time.

…or Chris…

Lucky for him, Doug-the-Dad provided a nice distraction by continuing to be the most awkward human on the planet. Doug, you have a child. That means you must have gotten with a girl at least once in your life, get it together. Clearly we weren’t the only ones that couldn’t take his cringe-worthy behaviour any longer. Before the date was even done Emily brought Doug to the courtyard for what was

… Or Chris.
(via @AshleySpivey)

a clear send-off speech. But, clueless Doug didn’t’ get the memo and mid-speech leaned in and gave her a peck on the lips. Holy hannah. I think you could hear our collective grown three blocks over. Still does not top Jamie mounting Ben in last season’s Bachelor, but really nothing could. That was worse than a horror movie.

And with that Doug went back to being a Dad. But, not before he wept UNCONTROLLABLY in the limo. Minus one thousand points for just being the worst.

@AshleySpivey I heard Doug is deciding if he will join Twitter or not. A decision is expected by 2018.

Retweeted by inanutshell.ca

My spine is tingling re-living this.

And to piss as many people off as possible on this date, Emily twisted the knot already in Chris’ panties by giving Sean the rose on the group date. To which Chris pouted for the rest of the program.

Next date I go on, puppet show. Hands down.

But, while Chris may be and act the youngest, I have not yet been on team Jef because he LOOKS the youngest. Can someone cast him in a role as a teenage heartthrob already? But, this episode changed my mind for 3 reasons: 1) He had MAD puppeteer skills. Like unreal. Like, he should change his name to Gepetto-with-one-p … 2) He ran back to get Ricki a puppet, adorbs. 3) He said the BEST line in Bachelor/ette history ………… wait for it ………….

 “I wanna date you so hard and marry the f*!k out of you.”

Hilarious. Sexy. Sweet. Pretty much my only three requirements for a suitor. Well done Jef.

Looks a hundred times better in this picture than it did on the show. Dammit.

Em decided to go without a cocktail party at the rose ceremony. She also decided to get dressed with her eyes closed. I was starting to believe that this Barbie could look good in anything…. wrong. A metallic blue sequinned dress that hung on her hips like a garbage bag was certainly not her best outfit. But, the guys didn’t seem to care as they stood awaiting roses. Foam coming from some of their mouths, I’m pretty sure.

So as Jef-with-one-f and Arie managed to steal the first two, you could see Chris’ blood boiling. So, in true cry-baby fashion, he blurted out that he needed to speak with Emily before she gave out the last rose. COMPLETELY screwing over John Wolf. If I was him I would have been PISSED. Chris’ final plea worked because Wolf-man was sent home.

Hate you.

I mean, he did have no chance to be at the end, but I feel as though his normal behaviour merited a rose more than Chris’ tantrums. In any event, Wolfy took the high road and had a classy exit. We salute you.

Previews for next week show Emily sobbing uncontrollably while trying to decide who to send home. At this point, she seems like she’s actually in love with all of them. Except Chris. He sucks.

… But not as much as this guy.

What to do, Em, what to do! Time will tell. My money’s still on Arie, for the record.

Bachelor Pool Results*

*it’s not even fair anymore. Almost everyone have had someone say “I love you” except me. Also, Sean is a make out-wh*re.

Kelly (you have less of a chance than Doug) Michael: MINUS 10 points (bahahaha)
Meghan (still hanging on by a thread) Brown: 25 points
Kate (has missed the last 3 Bachy Parties) Lalumiere: 49 points
Catherine (still on top) Kitts: 127 points

The Bachelorette Recap – Episode 6: cracked eggs & crushed confidence in Croatia

A wise man once shared his thoughts with me on why the Bachelor is so much more popular than the Bachelorette.

“It’s science,” he said. “Guys will tune in to watch 20 babes go at it. They’re not going to watch if there’s just one…. Girls will watch it either way.”

And as sad as I am to say it, I think he’s right. But, as my male roommates paraded in and out of the viewing area where our Bachy Party was in full swing – stopping to gawk at the TV, muttering comments to themselves and lingering in the hall for far longer than was necessary – one thing was evident: this show is addictive. ESPECIALLY with an episode that was as juicy as last night.

If you’ve been following my weekly recaps then you know that me and my best pals are in what we call a “Bachy Pool”. Yes, we drafted men after the first episode, yes we award and take away points for everything from makeouts to early l-bombs, and YES we take it very seriously.

So seriously, in fact, that I could not have been in a better mood as the show started, seeing as my sitting duck (pun intended) Travis-the-egg-man-Pope FINALLY got a one on one date…. and in beautiful Croatia, to boot.

Still wondering if this ACTUALLY happened.

This southern sweetie was hard not to love, EVEN though he was pegged as a loonie from the get-go by carrying around a large Ostrich egg named Shelley to signify some weird point about him being able to be a good caretaker. NOBODY got it, Trav. Next time, leave the egg at home. Actually, don’t ever visit an Ostrich farm again. For any purpose. Ever.

But, even with such a terrible start (“I guess I’ll take the egg guy, dammit.” – pool draft, May 14) he was able to hang on until now. We applaud you, Humpty Dumpty.

Bachelorette Live ‏@BachelorTV

In Croatia, Travis’ egg could have fed a family of ten for a month. With leftovers. #Bachelorette

But, despite Travis’ best efforts (and omelettes), he stayed too friend zone for Miss. Maynard’s tastes (get it!), and she sent him packing.

Threw his umbrella. For good measure.

I know Emily has been getting some media flak for organizing boring dates… but I beg to differ. This week’s group date was another home run in my books. A highland games competition? Hell yes, hilarious. Not only were the burly men put through their paces of strength and agility (who doesn’t like watching that? Answer: not me.) but, some made complete fools of themselves AND they were wearing kilts.

Jef’s everyday outfit.

I’m surprised Jef-with-one-F complained about the attire, I thought his affliction for knee high socks would send him cartwheeling down the streets of Croatia in an instant.

No one hated this date more than Chris, though. The guy who looks jacked enough for most people’s standards, SUCKED at the games. While Sean – aka Hercules – dummied them all, even breaking the log in the log toss that had some sort of Serbian, or maybe Gaelic, name that I’m not even going to try and pronounce.

Hiiiiiiii Sean.

Aly Jacobs ‏@AlyonMIX1073

Just waiting for Ryan to bust out of the woods in his tank and kilt screaming “I volunteer as tribute!” #bachelorette #highlandgames

Retweeted by inanutshell.ca

But, Emily, always the Mommy gave the “cup of bravery” (a tin mug I think someone stole from a street vendor along the way) to poor Chris as an “A for effort sweetie” consolation prize.

Boys dying of laughter at Chris’ pathetic attempts.

The youngest bachelor was obviously elated. “PRIZE!!!! Yessaaaaaa!” And the rest of his night was made. He even got the rose on the group date, despite Emily smooching with Jef-with-one-F AND  a HOT “push her up against a Croatian ruin” make out by Arie. Unfair. I thought Moms weren’t supposed to play favourites?

Oh wait, I know why Chris got the rose! Because he told her he LOVES her.

…. :| ….

Cardinal mistake. It’s episode 6!!! And with that his points were RESET in our pool… muahaha. Sorry boys, gotta keep the l-bombs under wraps until AT LEAST hometown dates if you want a seal of approval from our crew.

What. are. you. thinking.

There was a lot of Ryan hate in this episode. Like, a lot. Is it his arrogance? His bed head? His oddly faded beard? His southern drawl? His general disrespect of women? Or the way he gloats about pathetic achievements? Either way, he is in my pool, and I have his back to eternity.

Apparently. the. same. thing. as. him.

Just kidding, the guy’s an ass.

inanutshell.ca ‏@inanutshellca

“I’m a guy who’s sort of a perfectionist” – Ryan … except when it comes to beard trimming. #whatisthatonyourface #bachelorette

BUT. He managed to get the other one on one date, much to the sheer misery and anger of the other men. This “suave” man seemed to have Emily a tad spell bound despite some of his worse qualities and the fact he’s mentioned to her TWICE she better not get fat after they get married. I know that’s exactly what I want to hear before tying the knot with someone …….. not.

But even Ryan couldn’t dig himself out of his own hole after referring to Emily as a trophy wife, again.

The dress she wore. I’m surprised she didn’t show up with a gold painted face and arms too.

To be fair, in this episode she actually dressed like an Oscar for the second portion of their date. Not to mention, she has fake tata’s and TEETH. She does scream Miss. America more than she screams “I swear I just wear sweatpants and no make-up at home.” But even so, after Ryan read out a list of items he wants his future wife to have (like, seriously, does all this guy do is WRITE. This is like his tenth letter), Em told him to beat it.

Someone this cocky could not go down without a fight, however. Saying “I’m shocked” and basically trying to convince Emily to reconsider while she clutched the rose like it might fly away. I called it from day one: MASTER. MANIPULATOR. That is, of course, why he was such a good pool pick …. until now. Eff.

When the crew member came to take Ryan’s luggage from the guys’ room I thought there was going to be an all out rave. Champagne popping, guys slapping each other on the back, someone crowd surfing … looked like it was going to happen. Probably should have.

Arie basically should have paraded around in this episode as a knight in shining armour. First the steamy street kiss THEN he sneaks out to Em’s room to make sure she’s “okay” after sending Ryan home. Makeout sesh ensues. The guy is good. I mean real good.T

Ummm, yes please.

The cocktail party almost never disappoints and this episode was no exception. John Wolf definitely felt the chopping block heat whipping out his grandparents funeral card and getting a little emotional. The number of guys that have cried on this season is shocking……… SHOCKING.

Just go home now. Save yourself.

But, Doug-the-Dad won the award for the most awkward human on the planet since the time when Ben Flajnik got mounted by a drunk girl, who we think may have never hooked up with anyone in her life.

“Doug’s never been kissed. He’s Josie Grossy.” – Meghan, on her last remaining pool pick.

He was literally sweating having his arm around her and was stuttering out “confident” lines that Emily made him repeat. Way to go Momma, if you don’t find anyone just dedicate your life to being motivational speaker. You should have given Doug a tin cup for effort too. Or at least a gold star sticker he could have warn on his lapel.

Those sneaky Bachy producers took us for a loop though, when it looked like Emily was going to send both the Wolf-man and Doug-the-Dad home in one shot. In reality, Chris Harrison (we haven’t seen enough of this man this season, where the f have you BEEN) brought out another rose at the last second, meaning both got to stay.

Hooray. What a happy ending.

God, isn’t this show great. Fear, humour, confusion, heartache, pain, sorrow and joy all in one. Sigh. It has it all.

And with that Bachelor fans, I PROMISE that next week when Emily finds out Arie used to date one of the producers (like, seriously wtf!?), s&!* is going to HIT the fan.

Can’t. even. wait.
Bach pool results:

Meghan (hating Doug the Dad for being in the negatives) Brown: 27 points

Kelly (praying Arie keeps up the makeouts) Michael: 36 points

Kate (loathing that Chris dropped an l-bomb) Lalumiere: 61 points

Cat (still cartwheeling after losing two men) Kitts: 87 points