My Sweet Marie

Archive for the ‘Girlfriend Times’ Category

If this is your first time reading, you wouldn’t know who the Ya-Ya’s are. The Ya-Ya’s are my best friends in the whole world, Paulette and Anita. We have been friends for a very long time and if I give you number it will only date me, so I pass on that!! Trust me, we were pals way back when penny candy meant you got two or three candies for a penny! I have many friends and I don’t mean to belittle those relationships, ALL my friends are special!

Actually I have given away my age many times so I am not ashamed to say we have all turned 50 this year! 1962 was a good year, on my birthday the Beatles recorded “Please, Please Me”, on Anita’s birthday Peter, Paul & Mary released their 1st hit “If I Had a Hammer” and on Paulette’s birthday Richard Nixon decided he wouldn’t be kicked around any longer and quit politics! What a year!

So, on Thursday the Ya-Ya’s gathered for a special night of reminiscing, catching up, nibbling, soaking in the hot tub and having a few sips! We had fun, had some very good laughs and as usual we jumped tracks a few times! We were planning our Ya-Hoo Christmas  party and frankly didn’t get much decided because we jumped tracks so many times! That made it a great night!

Friday morning which came far too early, started with coffee or tea depending on who you’re talking to, some lovely fruit and toast! It doesn’t need to be fancy to be good! When we get together we try to keep it simple, we all know what great cooks we all are, no need to impress in this group! After breakkie we all cleaned up and headed out the door for an adventure that Paulette had planned! I couldn’t wait!

The first stop was Cindy’s gift shop in Kingsville, look them up at  We had such fun in this store, Paulette alloted about 2 hours in there before our lunch reservation. Let me just tell you that we were late for lunch! I got a few unique Christmas gifts for the kiddies and my hubby…shh don’t tell them. They had everything from magnets to Christmas decorations, art, kitchen wares, the list goes on and on! We really had a blast laughing at some of the pieces that have those sayings that you think, but never say out loud! I wanted to buy them all and then the realist in me thinks, ok where would you put that?

Lunch was at Annabelle’s Tea room, also in Kingsville. It was superb! Paulette kept saying I hope they have something you can eat Marie, copying my exact thoughts, all the while knowing that she had made special inquiries making sure that, in fact they do have gluten-free bread and make adjustments for allergies with no trouble at all! It really is delightful when this happens. For those of you that have no allergies, you don’t know how lucky you are, you can walk into any restaurant and just have anything you want off the menu, thank God right now for that.

After lunch we headed back to Paulette’s to get our car and Anita and I had to head back to our realities. Mine was to pick up Holly for a sleepover, a whole other story of its own! Anita headed home to her family and its usual routines! I don’t know about the other girls but these nights away with my friends always rejuvenate me and make me feel happier than the day before, if that’s possible!

Thanks Paulette for an awesome Ya-Ya birthday party!

Sweet Marie


On Saturday I celebrated my 50th birthday once again! I invited my friends to a Ladies Wellness Day here, and unbeknownst to them it was my birthday party! I didn’t tell them as I didn’t want gifts as their presence is gift enough! I know how busy people are, how we all have families and commitments so to get 8 of my friends here on a Saturday was a HUGE gift to me!

We started the day with aqua-fit class led by Kristie, a super-fit instructor, from the gym that inspires me every class I take! I had never taken  her aqua-fit class so it was a big surprise to me how good of a workout it was! It was an hour of splashing and flopping but we made it through!

For lunch we had a potluck of sushi, spinach salad, greek salad, quinoa salad, chicken, shrimp and veggies! While having our lunch we passed the ice breaker questions around and got to know one another a whole lot better! I cannot divulge what was said but I can tell you, there were tears and there many a giggle!

After lunch, we got started on the fun stuff! After everyone got a Pina colada we started doing a rotation of either pedi, mani or face masks! We had little stations set-up with all the necessary tools and goop and relaxation music was played!

During all of that, we had a psychic here to read the Tarot cards for those who wanted to take part in that too! You can go to   to see more about Sharon, she read the cards for some of the ladies.

Finally it was time to head out for Forrats, if you haven’t read my review on this place, it’s a chocolaterie/lounge! so we had a chocolate fondue while sipping our favourite wines! Heaven!! Check it out at They have wonderful homemade chocolates, ice cream and lovely coffees too!

While we were there we were surprised with a gift from Earth Angels Gifts store here in Byron. We were to go shop there but we missed them by minutes! The store closes at 5 and I knew it would be a close call! So Maggie very graciously left a gift for us at Forrats knowing we were going to be there! You can view her wares on Facebook if you look up Earth Angel gifts!

So once we had our fill of chocolate and fruit and goodies, some had to head for home and some of us headed back to my place! By the time we walked back, we were hot and had a very refreshing swim! Eventually we got hungry and decided to order chinese food before the restaurant closed! We did and had a yummy dinner in front of the campfire!

I’d like to say I was in bed at a reasonable hour and consumed only a glass or two of wine but I’d be lying! We were over-indulgent and my yard has the scars to prove it!! My favourite part of the whole day was to see one particular lady who insisted she’d not get in a bathing suit and by very late evening was swimming el fresco! Now that is empowerment! My whole goal of the day was to spend a day with the ladies recharging the batteries(although they feel a bit drained today), renew friendships, get to know some deeper and for others to share their stories and do it in a healthy environment! Overall I’d have to say, the wellness day was a huge success!

Here’s to girlfriends! Thank you all for attending!

Sweet Marie

Yesterday morning I was chatting with Heather, a good neighbor and even better friend, and together, we declared it National Pyjama Day! We both agreed that it was a wet, cold and miserable day so we both planned to stay in jammies, read our books and just relax! Heather said she was going to make a homemade face mask and I said uh…that sounds cool.

Not long later, Gary, her husband, knocked on the door and handed me a container with this green goop in it. I asked what it was. He said it’s your face mask, have fun! So I did! I washed my face and put this green goop all over my face and then went to read my book.

It didn’t take long before it was tightening up and drying! I had a look in the mirror and thought whoa baby, that is not pretty! I had chunks of avocado on my face and I suddenly had an urge for corn chips and salsa!

While I was waiting for it to dry I went in search for more recipes like this. I will post a few along with this recipe!

Not long later, I rinsed it all off and my face felt great! so soft and clean. You must try this! Here’s the recipe:


Homemade Face Mask

  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp yogurt (thicker is better)
  • 1/2 avocado

Mash the avocado well, add in the yogurt and honey. rub all over your face and sit and relax while it dries. rinse well when face has tightened up!

You can do the face mask and have a nice bath while it dries. Try this recipe below and have a real spa day for yourself. Call a few friends and have a girlfriend day using these recipes!


2 cups finely ground sea salt
1/2 cup baking soda
1/2 cup cornstarch
2 tablespoons light oil
1 teaspoons vitamin E oil
2 eggs
5-6 drops essential oil of your choice

Preheat your oven to 350 F. Combine all the listed ingredients and form into a dough. Using a teaspoon or so of dough at a time, roll it gently in the palm of your hand until it forms a ball. Form all dough into one teaspoon balls, and gently place them on an ungreased cookie sheet. Consider sprinkling the bath balls with herbs, flower petals, cloves, citrus zest and similar aromatic ingredients. Bake your bath cookies for ten minutes, until they are lightly browned. Do not over bake. Allow the bath cookies to cool completely. To use, Drop 1 or 2 cookies into a warm bath and allow to dissolve. Yield: 24 cookies, enough for 12 baths.

Thanks Heather, here’s to your Peace!

Sweet Marie

You know it’s close to Christmas when it takes an hour to get a few items at the grocery store! Where do these people shop all year? Why do they all come out two weeks before Christmas? I suppose everyone, like us, have people coming over for their annual parties!

Tonight we host the annual YA-HOO Christmas party! YA-HOO is a term we use for our group of friends. It started out as the Ya-Ya sisters, then one day sitting by the pool, we kind of called out to the guys..Yoo-hoo…could we get a refill? That’s when we starting calling the other halves of the Ya-Ya sisters, the Yoo-Hoo’s! Together, we’re YA-HOO’s, trust me, we really are!

So, we’ll meet at our place and have a few beverages and a nosh of sorts. The plan is then to head downtown for an evening of drinks, dinner, a walk through Victoria Park, better known as Christmas park by Heidi, and then we’ll find our way to Forrat’s in Byron for a chocolate fondue! Does life get any better than this? From there we could technically walk home, we’ll see if we do!

If you’re wondering who’s driving in all this mess, then you’ll be glad to hear, not us! Our other very good friends, Heather and Gary have offered to give us a lift downtown! Now these are good friends!

Heather and Gary have participated in our Xmas party a few times, two years ago we did an amazing race type thing, and they were stop#1! We had to sing a carol of their choice and Stephanie(their daughter) had to decide if we could move onto our next clue, or not! She gave the guys a hard time till they paid her off! I’m not sure who had more fun, us or them! We were ahead of them until they hid our clue at Jane’s which was totally unfair!

Anyhow, to get home we’ll either bus it or grab a cab, whichever is closest! Whatever your plans are for tonight, Christmas party or holiday cheer, please drink safely or don’t drink at all!

Merriest of regards,

Sweet Marie

My Ya-Ya Paulette is celebrating her 49th birthday today! So she starts her 50th year journey today too. What will life bring her this year? She already got a grandson, Alexander as an early gift, what more can a woman ask for? Another one maybe? Come on Adam and Emily get on it, ok? It’s the nice thing to do!

I have been friends with Paulette, give or take, for 42 years! We went to St.Jean De Brebeuf together till we went to Ecole St.Paul, then we both headed to St.Anne’s High School together. I think in high school we somewhat lost touch but reconnected again, ironically after we moved back from Toronto. We were both living in Toronto at the same time and never once called the other.

Our lives have followed similar paths throughout life and we tend to follow one another from fad to fad!  We couldn’t be any more different in many ways, but we are so similar in so many other ways, that we can’t help but be besties! We have miles that separate us but we communicate often.  We e-mail each other, Facebook and telephone as often as one can when you work, and have a life!

We don’t see each other often but when we do, we make the most of it! Frankly, the neighborhood knows when we are together! The cackling that goes on when Anita, Paulette and I are together could rival a hen-house!

My dear,dear friend, my wish you for you is that your life is filled with good health, love and happiness. I love you and will cherish our friendship,always.

Sweetest regards,

Sweet Marie

It’s Thursday and I am ready for the weekend! I have my bags packed, my passport ready, my GPS loaded with Glen’s address and I am ready to go! Problem is we don’t leave till tomorrow!

You see, we the Ya-Ya’s don’t get together nearly enough, frankly we could meet weekly and that still wouldn’t be enough for me! The Ya-Ya’s and the Yoo-Hoo’s are gathering this weekend for some much deserved R&R! We have no plans, but I am sure there’ll be some kind of tour of Ann Arbor, there will likely be some walking, probably a bit of drinking…just a bit now, remember the program? I know there’ll be cards as we,the Ya-Ya’s, need to even the score! Last time we gathered the guys beat us at hand & foot! That was not cool! Someone forgot to tell them that the girls are supposed to win!

I have made two pots of soup so I’m thinking that’ll be lunch or supper, who knows! I made a black bean with pulled pork and I made a creamy veggie soup! Those should cover the varied taste buds gathered this weekend! Knowing Paulette and Glen, there will be so much food, we could be gathered for a week and still have leftovers!

Last time we checked out the Fairy Doors in Ann Arbor, that was cool. wonder what Paulette has up her sleeve this time? I wouldn’t mind a bit of shopping…hint,hint, if you’re reading Paulette! The guys can find trouble somewhere I am quite sure! Last time they found some outdoor patios that served some extra special beers!

I really don’t know what this weekend holds for us, but I do know this for sure….there will hugs, giggles, nibbles and laughter all weekend long!

Happy Weekend folks!

Sweetest regards,

Sweet Marie



When I was a little girl, I had a friend named Julie. Her family had a cottage at the lake, in the town I grew up in. One summer she joined the baseball league I was in and we became friends. We hung out together as often as possible, I’m sure her mother was tired of me by end of summer! We would play together all summer then come fall we were pen pals, the old-fashioned way using an envelope and a stamp! There was no e-mail or Facebook back then! Keeping in touch meant actually using your hands to write a letter.

Well, come June I would be itching for Julie to come back in town and sure enough, the station wagon would pull up at the end of June every year , with Blair,Julie, Shawneen and Helen(Mrs. McArthur). Dad(Leo) would follow later as he was definitely a working man! And every year Mrs. M would go on about how I grew and what is new with Denis or Monique or someone. She was very good with names that one!

Well, we grew up and Julie didn’t come down as often or when she did, I was working and eventually I got married and moved to Toronto and eventually London. Sadly, I regret to tell you that I was not very good at keeping up with the relationship and lost touch with Julie.

On Sunday, I decided to try to track her down on Facebook. I tried a few years ago and had no luck, but I was determined this time and I wasn’t going to stop! Now I know why I didn’t find her.  I searched Facebook to no avail and then I thought Google, you can find anything or anyone there!

Sadly, when I went to Google and plugged in her name, I found a tribute at  A tribute in Julie’s name, and her photo as if she still lived. I was dumb-struck, I sat there with tears streaming down my  cheeks with my heart in my throat. Julie has passed away on October 25th, 2007, in her sleep. Unbeknownst to her, she had an arrhythmia condition, a genetic issue and it took her life. Because of Julie’s death, both Shawneen and Blair were tested for this issue and now Shawneen has a pacemaker. In essence, she saved their lives. I’m sure they both would rather have her here.

I have the best memories of Julie, us playing in the water, riding that little dinghy of hers, riding our bikes and just being girls giggling about boys. I remember one year, we flew to Toronto from the Windsor airport to go to a concert, KC and the Sunshine band! This was a huge deal to me as I had never flown then, she was a pro and lead me through Pearson like we were at the corner store. She knew what to do!

I carry my memories with me, hold them even dearer now and remind myself to call upon all my friends to keep in touch. I hope you will call a friend today or find them on Facebook and catch up! You won’t regret it, I promise you that.

To the McArthur family, my love,thoughts and prayers are all with you. I will remember Julie always with a smile upon my face.

Sweetest regards,

Sweet Marie