The Secret To Making New Dad-Friends

Making friends as a 36-year-old with an 11-month-old baby isn’t quite the same as making friends as a 26-year-old single guy. One new dad shares his hard-won tips.

via What’s the Secret to Making New Dad Mates? — Discover


Funny Comment About The “True Heroes of Christmas”

At a friend’s home during the holidays, a young, non-Jewish woman commented that her parents always told her this about Christmas:

“The real heroes at Christmas-time are the Jewish kids who never told you that Santa Claus was not real.”

That brought a smile to my face, as one of those kids who knew that secret and to this day, will never spoil the surprise, and neither will my kids!

The Tooth Fairy, on the other hand… Different story!

Hope whatever you celebrated, that it was wonderful!


Starbucks Secret Menu Drink of the Day: Roasted Chestnut.

I came across a fantastic website devoted to the Secret Menu at Starbucks.  I too have an interest in the Secret Menu possibilities at Starbucks and have written about it, here.

A drink that caught my eye is called the Roasted ChestnutRoasted Chestnut Starbucks

Here is the recipe:

  • Start by ordering a Hazelnut Macchiato
  • Add toffee nut syrup (1 pump for a tall drink, 1 1/2 pumps for a grande, and 2 pumps for a venti)
  • Add extra hazelnut syrup (1 pump for a tall, 1 1/2 pumps for a grande, and 2 pumps for a venti)
  • Add white chocolate mocha syrup (1/2 a pump for a tall and for a grande drink or, 1 pump for a venti drink)
  • Top with spiced whipped cream and hazelnut drizzle


Some important notes to keep in mind when ordering a drink from the secret menu:

1.  Make sure you know the recipe of the drink you would like to order and not just the name.

2. Depending on what drink you’re ordering and what add-ins there are, be prepared for extra costs.

3.  Paying with a registered Starbucks card or with the Starbucks mobile app will earn you stars towards free rewards.

4.  Savour every sip

5.  Come back and post your thoughts here!

What are your favourite Starbucks drinks?

Toronto City Council’s Secret Left-Wing Agenda Revealed!

Giorgio Mammoliti speaks to reporters
Giorgio Mammoliti speaks to reporters (Photo credit: hyfen)

When Toronto City Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti alleged he, Mayor Rob Ford and other “right-wing” councillors at Toronto City Hall have been victims of a “left-wing conspiracy”, everybody laughed.  When Mammoliti said that a preliminary investigation he has conducted has pointed to a group of people “out to do some damage, personal damage” to the right-wing councillors on City Council, people again laughed and thought Mammoliti was going crazy.

A former member of Mayor Rob Ford’s executive committee, Mammoliti claimed that he has been followed by private citizens here in Toronto and that his home and office phones have been tapped.  He raised the question about just how badly do the left-wing councillors really want him, Ford and the other right-of-centre councillors out of office, replaced with the free-spending, union-loving, tax-the-rich, left-leaning council which almost brought Toronto into bankruptcy.  (Insert Olivia Chow here).

Mammoliti revealed that an investigation has pointed to a number of key suspects; city councillors, private citizens, lawyers in this city, who have united together to ruin the reputation of the right-wing candidates, force the public to sour on them and run them right out of office and we need to look no closer than the legal actions brought against Mayor Rob Ford by a private citizen – a very pro-NDP citizen, no less – which was handled pro-bono by another pro-left-wing lawyer in Toronto, Clayton Ruby.  This legal action resulted in the temporary removal of the Mayor from office and tarnished his reputation.  The citizen who was the front-man of this lawsuit and his lawyer were eagerly expecting the Mayor to cover the court costs, around $150,000.00, however, upon winning the appeal Ford had gone to the court to ask his costs be covered by this duo.  They in turn have asked Ford to cover the costs by taking the money from the taxpayers of Toronto, stating the individual who brought the case against Ford does not have those kinds of funds.


We’re also waiting to see if lawyer Clayton Ruby is going to follow through on his pledge to waste more taxpayers money and take the appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.  This case is that important but it’s not going to challenge the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, is it??

So what do you make of this conspiracy?

Following this failed attempt to remove Ford from office, came an audit of his 2010 election funding in which Ford over-spent by $40,000.00.  Yes, he kept very detailed books and records and the auditor was impressed by that, and yes there was no further action against him, but I’m sure every single Councillor would be in contravention of the Elections Act if scrutinized by audit.  Where are the other audits of team lefty?  Oh, yeah.  Not in Toronto.

Did you know Mammoliti is also up against the same audit?

What about the audit of George Smitherman when he ran for Mayor?  He promised to reveal who donated to him campaign but never did.  Something to hide, maybe?

So let’s move on to the conspiracy…

When Mayor Ford announced (for probably the 50th time) that he was seeking right-leaning (fiscally Conservative) citizens to run in the next election, in order to get better traction on some of his ideas to reel in spending, cut costs and reduce duplication of services, the cries from the left were deafening.  I think the most critical of them all, Adam Vaughan, wanted to haul Ford before some panel or committee or something, yet again, to be slapped on the wrist.  Apparently it’s in bad taste to say it, but it’s okay to skulk around with your left-wing colleagues to find ways to overthrow the Mayor.

Mammoliti mentioned specific knowledge of secret meetings of left-wing councillors and their “inner circle” with their plans to run the “righties” out of City Hall and that… Well, that is okay.

So as the crack researcher that I pretend to be, I have uncovered their plans and compiled a list of the top thirteen items on the secret agenda of these left-wing councillors.

13. Hire unionized workers at $85.00/hour to remove all the doors at City Hall which open to the right and re-hang them so they open on the left.

12. Re-name any streets in the Greater Toronto Area which bear the name “Ford” to “Fraud”.

11. Create their own newspaper aimed at reporting items supported by the left and trashing any thoughts or suggestions by the right. Oops, that one was done already in triplicate; Toronto Star, NOW magazine and the Grid.

10.  Move to teach children left-wing socialist views at schools and institutions of higher-learning.  Oops.  That already happens too…

9.   Remove the term “Right of Way” from the Highway Traffic Act and replace it with “Wrong Way”.

8.   Pressure Ford Canada to rename its Canadian operations and to give its unionized workforce the credit they deserve, so all cars coming from their factories will cost $350,000.00 each, but a wealth tax on the rich will bring the price down to $45,000.00.

7.   Bringing in a fat tax aimed to penalize fat people, especially ones who take office and do not lose weight like David Miller did.

6.   Ban football in Toronto.

5.   After sending that CBC “comic” Marg whatever her name is to harass Ford on his driveway, the lefties are lining up more characters to disrupt Ford’s personal life including; Doink the Clown, David Suziki, ummm, other famous left-wing Canadiens like Brandon Prust, Max Pacioretty and Travis Moen, and the gravy train and a few others…  If they’re smart, however, they will stay out of Ford’s backyard.

4.    Toronto will implement a new wealth tax on all citizens making more than $65,000.00 a year (politicians exempted) and the new tax will be call the “Open your Wallet” tax whereby those rich bastards – damn them for getting educated and working hard to earn money and pay taxes – will pay to ensure that Toronto’s lowest class are able to move into Forest Hill or the Bridle Path like everyone else.

3.   Shows like AM640, SunTV and the like will come with disclaimers warning the risks associated with their dangerous, fiscally conservative views.

2.   Left-wing media will post unflattering pictures of Ford everywhere, including putting his head on top of a naked body in order to… Well, I don’t know why they did that actually…

1.   The number one thing that the secret left-wing group will do is to continue to pester and harass all the right-wing candidates in Toronto, in Ontario and in Canada and turn all the moderates into fiscally Conservatives resulting in right-wing political leaders at all three levels of government for a long time.  This secret operative will forever be known as Operation backfire.

In addition, there will be many new jokes as a result of this secret plan, such as; “How many socialist, left-wing people does it to take down Mayor Rob Ford?”  Answer:  We’re not sure yet.

The (Not so Secret) Secret Menu at Starbucks, Revealed!

Psst.  I’ve got a secret to tell you.

All this talk about “secret” menu items excites me.  What better than finding a new food item or drink which is hopefully healthy and that no one else knows about.  I came across the “secret” Starbucks menu as it was trending on Twitter and after much research I have outlined the main portion of the secret menu which you or I might just order.  The ones which are super high-fat, like 3/4’s of the drink is 28% whipping cream, I left as being secret.  no one needs to consume 200% of their daily allocation for calories, fat and sugar in one drink.

I also confirmed with some Starbucks baristas – past and present – that this list does exist and they also gave me the nicknames they know these drinks as. 

There are also some other non-food related things you should know about Starbucks which are not widely known… Until now!

Charge up your Starbucks card and get ready to run to your local Starbucks and impress or confuse the local barista be inspired…

Here are the goods;

Biscotti Frapuccino

Buy a biscotti and ask the barista to blend it up with any flavor of frapuccino. It blends into tiny cookie chunks that add a delicious little crunch to your frozen coffee.  This can be done with any pastry you buy, actually, although some locations won’t do it due to nut allergies.  They don’ t want that stuff in their blenders. 

Short Drinks

The sizes the “mainstream menu” gives you are “Tall,” “Grande” and “Venti,” but if you say you want the “short” size to any Starbucks drink you can receive a less expensive and smaller sized drink. The size is in their cash register – I checked – because of espresso shots.  It’s on the menu in the Philippines, and is the same price as a tall in Indonesia.  We call it the “kids size” here in Canada, eh?

Short cappuccino

A “Short” cappuccino is a more Italian style cappuccino because there is less room for milk which somehow got mixed in with this drink and waters it down. 

Red Eye

A Red Eye is a shot of espresso in regular cup of Starbucks coffee.

Black Eye

A Black Eye is two shots of espresso in regular Starbucks coffee.

Green Eye / Purple Eye (depending on what part of the country you are in) / JFK (for the 3 shots to the head which killed him) / Shot in the Dark

Whatever you call this drink it is a whopping three shots of espresso in a regular Starbucks coffee.  Be carefull with this one!  Do not drink at night unless you want to be up all night, shaking, in caffeine withdrawal.

Poor Man’s Latte

An Iced Americano with no water and half ice, then head over to the condiments station, fill the rest up with half and half cream (certainly not the 18% coffee cream) and viola, you have a Breve Latte at less than you would pay for the actual drink. 

Poor Man’s Chai Latte

Order a Chai Tea Misto with extra foam, two tea bags, and half cinnamon-half vanilla syrup. This is essentially the same drink but at half the cost.  

Chocolate Dalmatian – also know as a Michael Jackson:

A White Chocolate Mocha with java chips and chocolate chips sprinkled in.

Cafe au Lait

Order the Misto without foam for a classic French coffee drink.

French pressed coffee

You can choose any coffee they sell by the bag and have it served in a French press. For coffee snobs, this is one of the best way to appreciate all of the flavors of the coffee you chose – it takes about 5 minutes for this to be done and don’t be surprised if you get a dirty look if you are doing this during their morning rush.

Chocolate Cream Frapuccino

Chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate.  Chocolate syrup and chocolate flavoring in this frozen blended coffee.

Cake Batter Frappuccino

Originally, this drink contained vanilla and almond syrup added to a Vanilla Bean Crème Frappuccino. However, since the almond syrup is largely no longer available, some recommend that you try subbing in hazelnut syrup and white mocha for a similar flavour.

Raspberry Cheesecake

Order a White Chocolate Mocha and have them add a few pumps of raspberry  – if you use your Starbucks card to pay, you get one free pump of any flavour. 

The Nutella

Cafe Misto with pumps of chocolate and hazelnut and a caramel drizzle.

Zebra or Tuxedo Mocha

Sometimes also called a “Penguin Mocha,” a “Marble Mocha,” or simply a “Black and White Mocha,”, or (also known as the) “MIchael Jackson” this drink combines the White Chocolate mocha with the regular mocha.  If you want to take it one step further have the barista add a shot (or two) of raspberry flavoring and viola, you have what is called a “Red Tux” Mocha.

Dirty Chai / Filthy Chai

Chai latte with a shot of espresso.  2 shots of espresso gets you a double dirty!  You bad boy…

Triple C’s

Order a Cinnamon Dolce Latte with caramel syrup and chocolate mocha syrup.

Captain Crunch (Yes, like the breakfast cereal)

To make this one, order a Strawberries and Creme frappe with a pump of caramel, add two pumps of toffee, one pump of hazelnut and two scoops of chocolate chips. Tastes just like Captain Crunch cereal. Yum!

Affogato-style Frappuccino

If you order any Frappuccino “affogato-style” and you’ll get a shot of hot espresso added on top of your drink as opposed to having it blended in.

Snickers Frappuccino

Order a Java chip frappuccino with two pumps of toffee nut syrup and drizzle it all over with caramel and you get a drink that tastes just like a snickers bar!

Apple Pie Tea

Black tea with apple juice and light chai

Cinnamon Roll

Combine a White mocha latte with a Cinnamon Dolce latte

Thin Mint Frappuccino

I am all over this drink next time I get to my local Starbucks!  Order a Tazo Green Tea Crème frappuccino and mix in an extra pump of chocolate syrup and java chips.

Let me know if you try (tried) any!