When I was in University I wanted to be a lawyer. I’m not really sure why, other than I thought I’d like to dress like a lawyer, and I was pretty sure lawyers drove Jaguars. As it turns out I was right. Lawyers drive Jaguars, doctors drive golf balls and sociology graduates drive their parent’s crazy until they finally move out at the age of 30.

I ended up being a sociology graduate.  It wasn’t quite 30 when I moved out but it wasn’t far off from that. And for a long time I drove a Chevy Citation.  I hated that car.  I didn’t become a lawyer obviously;  I somehow ended up as a television host and writer.  Well, not somehow, it was pretty planned out actually, I just can’t be bothered to get into it right now but if you’re interested you can read my About Page.

One of the fun things about television is the variety of people you meet and work with.  Prop stylists, set builders, directors, celebrities, graphic designers, sound engineers, librarians, accountants, food stylists … there’s a HUGE variety of different types of people in the world of television.

One of the people I met when I was a television host was Harrison Ford.

That fact has no relevance to this post at all. I just wanted to casually mention I’ve spoken with Harrison Ford.  At length.  And I made him laugh.  And I gave him a Tragically Hip C.D.  And I kept winking at him.  And then he left the room.

Another person I met was a makeup artist and hair stylist named Andrea.  Andrea also did on-air work and worked with me on the makeover show Stylin’ Gypsies.

Andrea is the one with the red hair laying in the grass in the opening of the show being very, very mean to me.

The show ended after a few seasons and after a few years I was working at HGTV and Andrea was working in Singapore.  She went and got hitched to a big shot … wait for it … lawyer; who worked in Singapore.  But we stayed friends through the magic of social media and Skype. She visits whenever she comes back to Canada and every once in a while, when I’m least expecting it … Andrea sends me a box of ridiculous stuff from Singapore.

My latest care package was filled with so many things I had no idea even existed it would have been rude of me not to share.  Because unless you live in Singapore and have an eye for weird things, you probably don’t know these things exist either.   And to be clear, I mean both culturally strange and just plain weird.  Which when combined spells F.U.N.

Here we go.



gateway earmuffs

Granted, burgundy earmuffs with a bow on top might not seem all that weird, but when they’re sold in a country that has an average temperature of 31º C (88º F) and has never, EVER recorded a temperature below 19º C (66º F) … well then it’s a bit weird.


I pulled out the first bag o’stuff.  It ended up being the “food bag”.  In past boxes, this food bag has had things like Ginseng beard.  Yeah, I still don’t know what that is.


Coconut jam seems much more civilized than any food product made out of beard.  Coconut jam is delicious.  In case you were wondering.



Green tea KitKats seem like something I would love but I once made myself sick eating an entire pint of Green Tea ice cream and that flavour has made my stomach do nausea waves ever since.



Some flavour packets that I can’t really read or understand other than the one on the left from Blue Elephant which is actually in English. I went to the Blue Elephant cooking school when I was in Thailand a couple of years ago and it was a really great school.   I’m staring to worry Andrea is sending me things I actually need and want as opposed to ridiculous things I can make fun of.



I devoted an entire post to people’s favourite cookies and the calories in them once.  Oreos were very popular and came in at 53 calories each.   The Singaporean version is the Double Delight, chocolate and peanut butter Oreo which doesn’t seem to have calories listed on the package.  So we all know what that means.  It means people in Singapore aren’t forced to feel food guilt and yet are somehow all still a size 0.






The food bag was pretty tame so I’m not at all worried about what might fall out of bag two, which turns out to be the facial care/make up bag.  (Andrea being a makeup artist and all)

And there it was.  Snail Mucus. For the woman who doesn’t buy into that whole moisturizing with whale snot trend.



Face lift tape, which is just clear tape that’s so sticky you could use it as a trailer hitch.



No more sagging look.  AND minimum of discomfort can be feel as the tape adhere well with the skin.



You just tape your face back, blot on some makeup and out the door you go, doing your best to pretend no one can see the scotch tape pulling one side of mouth at an odd angle like you’ve had a stroke.



Lipstick is so North American and stupid.


Violent Lips are the way to go.  Printed lip stickers.  For those times you don’t plan to eat, kiss, talk or maintain any illusion of sanity.


NO idea what this is supposed to do.  At all.  Not a clue.  It’s a Kiss Kiss lip shaped sack of mushy goo.



These are those foot patches you put on the bottom of your foot and then remove.  The chemicals in your feet react to the paper and turn it a disgusting black colour making you think they removed a bunch of ick from your body.




More lip stuff I again have no idea what to do with.  It’s Choosy Milk for your lips.  Unless, (which is entirely possible) it’s actually CHOCOLATE milk for your lips. (I just checked …  According to Amazon it’s for plumping up either your lips or your nipples)  You know.  Whichever you feel needs a bit of a boost.



Press on eyeliner.



Little lego kit with a girl sitting under a palm tree reading a book and having a drink.  Cute, right?


It’s the enlightened Girl Series of fake lego.  For girls.  Because that’s what girls can aspire to.  Sitting under a palm tree, getting wasted and reading a book.

Sounds good.



Character face mask.  So a face mask that’s also a face mask. I also got, … the Kiss Face Mask.  You will never have to choose between your moisturizing routine and the office Halloween party again.




I should totally wear more black lipstick.

And don’t forget! Have you tried a new food or meal this week? Anything? O.K., don’t forget to try something new this weekend. The photos of the new things people have tried to make since reading my Blue Apron post have already started to come in INCLUDING a reader who made a vegan hotdog. FROM SCRATCH.

Email your photos by Sunday night to .

Have a good weekend!





(and Ernie)









  1. Shauna says:

    Please try on the violent lips and post a picture! And the eyeliner too – I’m a tad curious about that one possibly looking good.

  2. Mindy says:

    I really wanted to see a demonstration of the other beauty items. Well, except for the nipple plumper.

  3. Shannon C says:

    FYI, look at the ingredient list on I.T. CC face cream…..I love their products but can’t bring myself to try the CC foundation because it contains SNAIL MUCUS!!! Blech!

  4. Kathleen says:

    “Nasolabia fold”???? really? us humans have such a thing. (That’s apparently where you can stick the secret facelift tape)
    Love, love, love your package. You luck girl you! :)

  5. Pam'a says:

    One day I tried to imagine a bunch of factory workers in China laughing about how freaking WEIRD we are over here, walking around wearing our plastic Halloween vampire teeth, fake pink diamond rings the size of blueberry muffins, beer goggles, etc. Hoo boy!

    Perspective is everything.

  6. ellen says:

    The mask is a winner!

  7. Pam says:

    Fun stuff! I love to browse the aisles at the markets in Japantown (in SF) and try to guess what the items are for, and what they do. The next time I go I’ll follow Andrea’s lead and make a care package for a pal. Hope I can add an 8×10 glossy of me wearing a Gene Simmon’s mask because that would really make the package pop!

  8. Julie Hoover says:

    I ate cookies that we sent to space. :)

    No, that’s no hyperbole. That’s a thing I did. I might die but at the time it was totally worth it.

  9. Andrea says:

    Oh. BTW: That girl toy was in our McDelivery for Zoie. She thought it would be fun for Karen.

    BTW: McDonald’s delivers here.

    Judge me. It’s ok. ?

  10. Stephbo says:

    Wait. You mean we don’t get to see you try ALL of the products?? I was really looking forward to seeing the Violent Lips stickers. And for the record, sitting under a palm tree drinking and reading and getting paid for it is EXACTLY what I aspire to. Seriously. Ask any of my friends. If you figure out how to make it happen, let me know.

  11. Helen Hubert says:

    I had to send a link for this post to my niece in Singapore. She took me to the foot-flesh-eating-fish spa when I visited here over there. She’ll appreciate the humour here. :-)

  12. Thera says:

    You are blessed to have such a great friend!
    p s.
    I bought a duck as our new food to try, now I just need a recipe.

  13. Brook says:

    Ha! I thought kitty was a monkey, until I figured out it was her right ear facing forward, not a profile shot.

  14. Jennie Lee says:

    Snail mucus reminds me of something I learned a few years ago: if you have to pick slugs off your plants, do NOT try to wash the slime off your hands first thing! It won’t come off! Wipe it off with a paper towel, THEN wash your hands. Believe me, if you don’t , you will be sorry. Ugh!

  15. Renee says:

    Love this stuff! My daughter went to Malaysia last year, and brought durian chips home. We had to triple wrap them once opened to contain the stench, so that she could prank her friends. Course they wouldn’t try them once the smell hit them. She actually did eat some durian fruit with an older Malaysian man that was selling them at a little stand. Said they taste like dirty socks….yum… Also some weird tiger sports drink thing that was electric orange, and looked like you would have a heart attack if you drank it. Needless to say, that is to look at only. By the way, you can buy those matcha kitkats on Amazon. I have them on my wish list.

    • Blyma says:

      Actually, FRESH durian is astonishing. It looks like a spiny rugby ball and fights being opened like a gator thrashing its tail, but It tastes nothing like its smell – good thing, because it smells like a charnel house in the hot sun. But the texture, oh, the texture! It’s like the most astonishing, creamy, smooth, unctuous pudding you’ve ever eaten. The delicate-yet-intense flavor unfolds in your mouth, wave after wave of unimaginable perfumed deliciousness. I know SOME people think it tastes like monkey excrement, but – well, to each their own, I say. And yes, funny you should ask, I DID once have the mini-fridge in my lovely, 37th floor room in a 5 star hotel in Bangkok (nightly rate was approximately ten percent LESS than the cost of a Motel Six here in the US – not sure what the Canadian equivalent might be) emptied and removed from my room by management due to the fresh durian I had placed in it. I received a fax under my door from the hotel manager telling me that they had to remove it due to the fainting of the nice woman who was putting fresh towels and scattering flower petals about the room. He requested that I please refrain from bringing any additional durian onto hotel premises. #KiljoyHotelManagerOK,FINE!

      I highly recommend trying it if you ever come across a fresh one and have someone with a machete willing to hack it open for you. Oh, and – it LOOKS grotesque; like giant, soft pods, almost amniotic. #CreepyButDELISH!

  16. Ardith says:

    Your final look reminds me of this Babymetal song @

  17. Donna says:

    Made my day … still laughing. Thank you! And yes … black lipstick is definitely you!

  18. Grammy says:

    It’s great fun for me to see what came in your gift package, and I agree that everyone should be so lucky as to have a friend like Andrea. But, what’s this world coming to? You youngsters will put anything in your mouth or on your body, won’t you? I hope none of those things are toxic.

    While I’m at it, I’ll admonish you to please keep the noise down. I confess I’ve never heard of the Tragically Hip, but already I think I would most likely not ask for a replay if I heard them. I am so, so, SO jealous that you got to meet and speak with Harrison Ford, though. Seriously. I don’t know how you don’t just turn to jelly remembering that — he’s that guy who started out fabulous when he was young and just stays fabulous (and not just his looks).

    As for Stylin’ Gypsies, that’s another thing I’ve never heard of, but I would definitely have watched it if I had. Like Harrison Ford, you’re aging nicely (you still have a long way to go), and that gypsie wagon you girls ran around in was so cool. We did have a program here in the ‘States that was the same theme but most often the people getting makeovers actually were more in need of one than Melissa, and the show didn’t have you playing with disguises. I’ll go poking around later and see if I can find some more episodes of Stylin’ Gypsies to watch when I get the time.

  19. Elen G says:

    I’ll be giggling — okay, guffawing — all weekend. I’m surprised kitty agreed to be in that image with you, Karen, without doing the whole puffer-tail thang. I’m surprised you’re not doing the whole puffer-tail thang.

  20. brenda says:

    yes before and afters of what can be done with the face lift mask + eyeliner + leopard lips and ear muffs with bow – haha

    at least you didn’t get durian in your package

    • Blyma says:

      RE: Durian – the father of my children (identical twin girls age 9 equals Daily Bliss!), aka my ex-husband, once brought durian into their school. They had to evacuate the entire elementary school (750 kids plus teachers and administrative staff) because they thought there was a gas leak.

      The fire department was called.

      The kids were ecstatic.

      I laughed my butt off.


  21. Andrea says:

    The food was too safe?

    Challenge accepted.


  22. Jody says:

    Jay-zus!!! And to think you wanted to be a lawyer.

  23. Janine says:

    Ok, I totally used to watch Stylin Gypsies, and in fact you posted the episode from my home town! Neat.

    • Andrea says:


      My hometown too!

      I grew up in Preston.

      AC x

      • Janine says:

        Me too!

        Andrea, you and I almost met once actually, at least 10 years ago! I thought I wanted to be a makeup artist too and you offered to meet me at the mall to talk about it. Sadly, we didn’t find each other that day and it didn’t happen, but I still remember that. I never went into makeup by the way, but I still love it :)

        • Andrea says:

          Was it an imposter or was I drunk?! ? Not sure what happened there, but in true Canadian fashion, I must say sorry! ! Never too late to start!


  24. Amber says:

    Ha-ha, “For the woman who doesn’t buy into that whole moisturizing with whale snot trend.” This is why I love you so!

  25. marli says:

    Is it sad that most of this didn’t surprise me? I’m addicted to browsing (if not buying) on Wish, and they’ve got some oddball stuff for sure!

    I’m now washing my face with a konjac sponge (made from root powder) and finish up with a silk worm cocoon. Yep. A whole cocoon, stuck on my finger and rubbed all over my face. My skin hasn’t looked better! Blackheads gone, pores tightened, I’m loving this! Straight to the source I suppose (silk is in a lot of products).

    I might have to look into the snail mucus, though I haven’t a need for moisture so much. Thanks for such a great post!!

    Smiles, marli

  26. Mary W says:

    I LOVE your last picture – it is really cute! Your cat is ignoring you but your eyes are just wonderful. I did try something new – an asian dish using coconut milk and curry. I like curry but no one else does so my granddaughter made a new dish for the two of us. I saw coconut milk on TV and it was a liquid. When we opened the can, it was a delightful fluffy cream. The taste of the dish was good but needed something crunchy – maybe carmel toasted salted peanuts. I have leftovers and in honor of Blue Apron I will add some to that for lunch. Could have used shrimp or something since the fried firm tofu was just a nothing in it. It didn’t fry well at all – all the brown stuck to the pan. But we were just delighted to try something new. NEXT time will go to Blue Apron recipes since I have a can of curry powder now and don’t know what else to do with it. HINT! HINT!

  27. Valerie says:

    You could have added the sticky tape like things ladies can put on their chests. You bend over and glue one tape under each breast.
    When you rise up so do your boobs.
    Particularly useful when you don’t want to wear a bra.
    I think it is just expensive duct tape though.

  28. Jenny says:

    My sister recently went to Japan and sent me some of those green tea Kit Kats! They’re pretty dang good! She also sent me some Japanese face masks–they’re lace print which sounds like they’ll look so sweet and delicate, but really I just look like Leatherface from Texas Chainsaw Massacre. But your post has reminded me that I should break one out this weekend and have a mini spa day. :)

  29. Heather says:

    So much fun! I can picture a girls’ night with everyone wearing character face masks.

  30. Catherine Vosper says:

    That was fun, thank you for shaing your package with us!

  31. Cindy says:

    Wow! That’s some crazy shit Karen.

  32. Monique says:

    Great friend!!:) You’re so funny..the both of you!

  33. Miriam Mc Nally says:

    Yes to photo of the face lift tape….pretty please?
    I wanted to be a dentist, thought I’d like to dress like a dentist (white coat), and thought they all drove red sports cars! Yea, ended up being a teacher, no white coat or sports car!

    I can’t figure how Andrea got to send “liquids, pastes and gels” by mail….we can’t do that here any more.

  34. Lez says:

    Please, please, please post a photo of the “Face lift tape”, before & after! I’m fascinated to know if it really works!
    What an amazing friend! I think she has as much fun choosing these gifts for you, as you have receiving them!
    This was such a fun post, please post her next care package too!

  35. Sia says:

    How come I’ve never heard of the Stylin Gypsies? Shouldn’t all Canadians know all Canadian shows? I’m a little embarrassed. Get it on Wikipedia or something!
    Karen… a cutie then, a cutie now.

  36. Alex says:

    Karen! What do YOU send her???

  37. mia pratt says:

    Oooooo! There’s some good shit in there! I love surprise gifts from far-away places…but what I really love are the looks on the faces of my friends and family when they receive them as re-purposed Christmas gifts! Gawd, the photos are priceless<:}

  38. Marna says:

    LOL! Awesome stuff! I laughed so much! I really want those banana tic tacs! Thanks so much for all the laughs! You ARE one in a million! Or billion! :)

  39. Sarah says:

    Love this!

    Just in case you’re dying to know, Amazon gives this Product Description for the Kiss Kiss Lovely Lip Patch: “After cleansing and dry, attach patch on the lips. Remove 20-30 mins after. Tap lightly surrounding of lips to absorb essence.”

    See? Now you know.

  40. Blyma says:

    I really like your website. Sometimes I really LOVE your site. You’re smart, cool interesting, self-sufficient, irreverent- you know, all that groovy stuff. But this, THIS post, had me nearly losing bladder control. Which is not an attractive look at all. And I immediately thought of all the smart, interesting, fabulous funny women with whom I have to share this. Which is basically my address book. Because, well – you know, self-selection and all.

    In fact, I’m laughing again, thinking of the pleasure my friends (aforementioned women) will get from this. (And not just because I actually recently ordered a snail mucus mask on that Totally Flippin’ Cool Korean Makeup Crush Site. It was only two dollars. Or twenty, can’t remember which. I still haven’t dared use it. Because I can’t read the directions, and don’t want to miss an important step, like ‘Leave on til dry and your face smells like that icky spot next to your compost bin. Remove With Panther Urine Wipes.

    You. Made. My Night. Thank You.

  41. Debbie from Illinois says:

    Ha…..I laughed outloud and just woke up my husband while scrolling through this post. I showed the lovely mask you are modeling and he said who the heck is that. Lol!

  42. TucsonPatty says:

    OMG! What a great friend! I think. This is too fun and I would have a blast with the skin care and makeup stuff. I love the Kiss mask. Why would they think that would be a selling point? That friend is a keeper, because she understands you and all your quirks!

  43. Marilyn says:

    Wow There’s some real weirdos in Singapore

  44. Michelle says:

    Fun stuff! No weirder than a cool wind blowing over your private parts. The tragically hip were one of the first bands my future husband and I went to see. Great show in a tiny Tucson Bar.

    He voted for the Kiss mask.

  45. Brandy Ballard says:

    Ok…seriously woman, warn a body when you are going to use a character face mask and take a picture of it!!!! ROFL!


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