My 5 Favourite Posts from 2013

22,520 comments, 256 posts, 10 giveaways, 7.4 nervous breakdowns and 1 year.

2013 has nearly come to an end. In that time there have been ups and downs, laughs and tears. And that was just during the Sweet Pootato post.

You’ve helped me through what can only be described as a gross time in my life, and I hope my posts have helped you through some gross times of your own.

Posts are kind of like children, you can’t help but having favourites. The only difference is I’m not afraid of being locked up in an old age home and made to drink out of a sippy cup by telling you which ones are my favourites.

I already have some huge posts scheduled for next year, but for now, these are my 5 favourites from the past year.






Join me as I introduce you to the world of Bikram Yoga and vomiting.





One of my favourite DIYs to date.  The iPhone armband .



An open letter to Idris Elba.


My BIG fall project, plus a lesson in the business of blogging.



Betty versus the Brick Wall. Watch as my nearly 80 year old mother demolishes a wall in flip flops.

These are my favourites from the past year. I’m sure you have your own. I also really loved the series I did on making tortellini en brodo from scratch, starting with making homemade pasta, to using a pasta machine to making the filling and shaping them.

It’s funny. As I run into people I hear what people like and don’t like.  There’s a whole group of you out there who don’t like any cooking posts.  Then there’s the opposite end of the reader spectrum, who say the cooking posts are their favourite posts.

You’re a quirky bunch.

Can’t imagine what you’re doing around these parts.


  1. Amie Mason says:

    I’m hanging out for the big kitchen reveal! Thanks for sharing this year Karen, all the best!

  2. wendy says:

    Karen,this has been the worst year in my life,,seriously shitty,your blog has given me a few giggles,chuckles,
    and a couple downright almost pissed meself moments(I’m a Maritimer,forgive the language,but truthfully
    we really don’t give a feck what anyone else thinks!) Hoping 2014 brings you all you need and deserve.
    p.s I love your Mom,
    Wendy/and Joan McClure

  3. Rhonda SmartyPants says:

    Well, you don’t get to call me quirky and get away without any comment; especially since I seem to be the first commentator this evening. Quirky, yes; speedy typist, hopefully. I would like to say that though this has been a rather shitty year for you (here we go again with the ‘shitty’ stuff) and, therefore, some of your posts, you have without a doubt turned out some of the most inventive, innovative, and shittiest posts I’ve every read – on and off your blog. Good luck, hallelujah, good night, and to all a shitty new year…adieu, mon ami. I loves your quirkiness.

  4. Rhonda SmartyPants says:

    Gosh darn it, I missed the #1 spot by minutes! Rats!

  5. Stephanie Hobson says:

    Just checking in to tell you what the current ad is.

    Special Offer of Free Live Chat with 1000+ Hot Asian Women!!!

    For that reason this post right here needs to be #6.

  6. kathy says:

    You are new to me (about a year now), and I love reading about your life. Seems so wonderful; favorite was your chickens in “Here Comes the Sun” (or the real name of the Beatles song… brought tears to my eyes).
    Anyway, as much as I truly envy your seemingly simple and wonderful life, your breakup made you a very real and vulnerable (sp?) person to me as this was right where I was at the time too. Another favorite was when you were so real in telling a reader that they had no right to the why’s and what “really happened” in your very personal situation. It’s appalling to be in a situation so painful and folks still feel justified in asking inappropriate questions…..
    So my own personal issue continues and I really look forward to your challenges and victories in resuming a real life now. You give me hope. Sorry this is kind of a sad post, but trust me, you are very special to me and I hope you never stop f*cking up in at least SOME of your projects! I should share my samples of putting glass tiles on a beveled mirrored fireplace suround… if you’ve done this, please share.
    Thanks you Karen, your blog is very special to so many of us!

  7. Barbie says:

    Dear Idris, and Betty vs the wall were my favs! Here’s hoping for a fabulous 2014 for you Karen!

  8. shuckclod says:

    I love it all. I came to follow you because of the chicken coop. It has been a great year. To another great year to come. 🙂

  9. Grammy says:

    I like the cooking posts. And the others. Whatever you want to toss in my direction is fine with me.

    Except a grenade — I wouldn’t like that. But I trust you.

    I am flattered to be among those who get to wear the name tag “Hi! I’m Quirky!”

    Here’s to continued success and some new joy in the NewYear. Every quirky person deserves that.

  10. SK Farm Girl says:

    This isn’t easy to say, and I’m sure not easy for you to read, but Karen – well – I would have to say my fav’rit post this past year was . . . when you came back to us. You came back to us beaten, scathed, hurt, and more than a little bit broken 🙁 While we waited for you we cried along with you, we punched the wall with you and we loathed the fella with you – we held our breath waiting to hear you were ok! You started back a bit gingerly, and with each post we could see you get stronger and stronger. I would have to say our girl – that’s you, Karen – has really become a strong, independent, incredible powerhouse! Thank you, Karen, you have shown all of us how to be a better person!

    • Sally A. says:

      Here here SK Farm Girl! And you made me cry!

      • karol says:

        Ditto from me… I watched everyday to see if Karen was back and each day my shoulders sank when I saw her “I’m taking a break” message. One of life’s hardest lessons is how to survive a kick in the gut from someone you love, but you did it, and we are happy you came back stronger and funnier and a little more obnoxious 🙂 just like we like you.

      • West Coast Nan says:

        Me too! Well said SK Farm Girl

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Farm Girl. 🙂 And I agree. That’s why my Idris Elba post was one of my faves. And funny thing … I could tell people were there for me. I could feel it. And it got me through everything that much more quickly. It truly did. So thank you for that. ~ karen!

      • Farm girl made made me tear up a bit too and I second what she said. She said it so much better than I could have said it. And then that Betty…I just loved the posts with her!

        Merry Christmas Karen. Thank you for all the laughs and for being something I look forward to each weekday.


  11. Ronda J says:

    Happy Holidays from Tennessee! Well, I like them all. And to those who complain, maybe they should just shut up and start their own blog and see how bloody difficult it is to put together such an entertaining blog as you have….bwahahahaha(evil laugh)! Hope you have many many more posts and a better year in 2014 🙂 oh, btw, my favorite swear word is shit, so I really enjoy the shitty posts!

  12. Amanda says:

    I enjoy ALL of your posts! Even when they are about things I’ll never do, or make. Thanks for another fabulous year! I tell everyone I know to read your blog! Betty rocks. My Mom is one of your fans, too!

  13. barbee says:

    Also a follower for about a year (since I got my kindle for Christmas last year) you have made me think about what I do, what I want to do, and how to do it. Thank you.

  14. Kathy says:

    I must have missed it when you originally posted about bikram yoga, so I just read it. OMG I have not laughed that hard in a long time. I have tears streaming down my face. That was freaking hilarious!! Thanks for the laugh.

  15. Heather S. says:

    Thanks for the favorite posts.

    On another note… why oh why is there multiple ads on the right hand side of your page for something that appears to be sexual encounters with an Asian girl (barely looks 18). I have no idea what the ad is for and there is NO WAY I will click on it from my work computer. I was just surprised to see this ad as I sit here at 4am at my desk ( I work overnight I am not an overachiever). Hope all is well there with the snow. It is currently 68 degrees here 🙂

  16. Susan Dulley says:

    I have been so busy making Christmas Merry for more people than I truly want to count, but, I wanted to take the time to thank you for lightening my spirits, making me laugh and cry, and just being who you are. May your holidays be Safe, Full of Love and Family and Gifts, Gifts, Gifts!!!! Hope you have a Wonderful Holiday Season.

    Susan Dulley
    Cincinnati, Ohio

  17. Jenny says:

    I’ve only been reading for a couple of years, but Betty vs Wall may take the cake for best post yet!

  18. Bonnie G. says:

    Wow Karen, I just did some snoopooping around and you knocked it out of the park with the pootato post – 5 days of comments!!

  19. Sue Ann says:

    The post of your Mom demolishing the wall was my favorite, but all of your post are great. You do an amazing job with your blog and I read it faithfully every day!! It’s an awesome way to start each day. I call it my ‘Karen and a cup of coffee’ time!! Looking forward to 2014 and wishing you all the happiness you deserve!!

  20. Su says:

    Like some posters I too am new to this blog. I don’t even remember how I stumbled onto it but am so glad that I did. I truly look forward to reading this first thing in the morning when I open my email. Thank you for writing and for sharing the things that you do. You have great style and humor and omg I love the front yard garden and the chickens! Shit happens to all of us and we find ways to step in it and over and thru it. Your writing helps a lot of us smile and laugh. God bless. Here’s to the next year!

  21. Tigersmom says:

    Lots of great posts this year. And lots of great comments and great replies to inappropriate comments.

    My favorite has to be the one where you mentioned me by name (ok, by pseudonym) to say that I was getting a set of piggy salt and pepper shakers. Yes, I am still in love with them.

    I also have a real appreciation for the sadder posts. Sometimes, due to the business of life, I tend to try and avoid things that make me stop and feel. I never know when you’re going to do that, so I am forced to do so by surprise every so often and that is good. And it is one of the things I’m grateful for. Of course, you also have the ability to make me and many others snort and spit our coffee on a regular basis. One of the other things I’m grateful for.

    I think these things have a lot to do with why you have such a fiercely loyal, and even protective following. There are blogs that dip and rise slightly above and below a mostly constant line of upbeat-ness, but you take us the fabulous and unpredictable ride with full-on peaks and valleys. Thank you for that.
    And Happy New Year.

    • Su says:

      I’m still envious that you got the salt and pepper shakers! 🙂

      • Tigersmom says:

        Oh….um…..yeah…..I’m not giving them up.

        I had to kiss a lot of ass, I mean, work really hard to get those. ; ) Seriously though, I was a total pain-in-the-ass about them. I think she sent them to me just to get me off her back. I’m sure I was scaring her a bit. It probably came down to shipping the pigs or a getting a restraining order but us being in separate countries, the shipping won out as the more convenient option.

        And, I’m sorry, but they were worth it!

  22. Kim says:

    Hugs Karen — thanks for the ride!
    Cheers to you in 2014.

  23. Kelly says:

    agree that all of the above were classic but especially loved Dear Idris and Betty vs the wall. had a few chuckles at the mere idea of a chicken cam some days this year. looking forward to more great posts in the new year. No pressure, now.

  24. says:

    I also love the open letter to Idris and Betty demo-ing in flip flops……and The Art of Doing Stuff
    smochie smoochie!!

  25. JF says:

    Karen, it’s been a blast and I’m looking forward to more, more, more in 2014! (is it wrong to crave kitchen reno porn when the only thing I make for dinner is reservations?!?!?)

    Wishing you and yours an especially wonderful holiday season and may Idris Elba show up on your doorstep V soon!

  26. Mary Werner says:

    Betty Banging Bricks Brings the Best Belly laughs. What Brings the Best Belly laughs when Betty Bangs Bricks? Betty Banging Bricks then asking if you can edit. Love the happy, surprise endings. Merry Christmas to the Best Blogger of Belly Laughs! You make my heart happy.

  27. Ev says:

    Kathy’s post rang so true with me. Didn’t have a terrible break-up, but had enough sadness to last me for a long while. Your post is the second place I go to in the morning, after I read how our so-called world leaders have screwed us overnight! Hope you never stop posting food, DIY, your mom, everything! MerryChristmas to one tough lady!

  28. Reg says:

    Dear Idris because he’s beautiful and talented and I like looking at his picture. Betty is a close second, because she is beautiful and talented too.

  29. Definitely Betty!! I love her.

  30. Brian Cessna says:

    You Mom was the best! Say hi to her for me =) Have a Merry Christmas and A HAPPY New Year Karen. 2014 will be your best year ever!

  31. Johan says:

    first you draw me in with how to bend wood with kerf cuts, but then from your position high on a pedestal, you take it to a whole new level by cultivating a sweet potato that looks like dog crap. Now if you could just clone that sweet potato and make the seed available you would be THE perfect woman..!
    kitchens, smitchens, sweet potato in a poop form factor; now that’s special!!!
    Wait, there isn’t 1000+ Asian women to chat with…?
    While I don’t really get cranked by some of your posts the delivery is always worth the read….thanks.

  32. kate-v says:

    Is been quite a year – I’ve looked for your blog every day and read every single one. My favorite is your mom – she should get an Oscar. If you submitted your ‘Betty vs the Wall’ to “America’s favorite Vidoes” TV show videos you would win, I’m sure. Happy Christmas and all the best in 2014!

  33. Melissa in North Carolina says:

    I don’t know how long I’ve been a faithful reader, but thank you for the laughs and giggles I have sitting at my desk working hard and/or hardly working. I love how open you are with us. I really feel a connection when reading your blog. Bless you and may the New Year blow your skirt up! We LOVE you Karen. Merry Christmas.

  34. Rondina says:

    The most memorable thing that you posted for me this year was a picture of you and one of the chickens (Cuddles?) sitting the the morning light. You were stroking here. It was calm and peaceful. That being said, I would like to see Betty in action again.

    Amid a stressful life, your blog is a delightful break.

  35. Mary Kay says:

    Karen – your blog makes my day EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I don’t care what your posts are about I enjoy them ALL

  36. Sally A. says:

    I do not have a favorite post, I like them all so much! ( I know that sounds like a cop out, but true!) I tell everyone about your blog. With my husband I always say “Karen my Canadian blog girl….” and he finally said, “You can just say Karen now, I know who you mean.” :o)

  37. jainegayer says:

    Karen, my favorite post was the vagina yogurt popsicle video.
    I knew from that post you were going to be wacky, weird and wonderful … and a keeper.
    I also went right out and bought a “skin” to cover my keyboard from future coffee spills from my nose and mouth.
    Thank you for all your posts and videos. I love starting my day with you!

  38. Lisa says:

    I like all your posts! Your tortellini post gave me the gift idea for my best friend, in fact. She works such long hours lately, she’s always scrambling for dinner at 8 or 9pm when she gets home. So I’m making her about 20 dinners of homemade pastas, including your tortellini that she can keep in the freezer.

    Now I’m just scrambling for containers for all these things!

    • Karen says:

      I’m so glad you told me that Lisa. I had my doubts that anyone would tackle the tortellini en brodo. It’s my favourite go-to dinner when I’m too tired to make dinner because it’s DELICIOUS and takes all of 3 minutes to make. Heat broth, dump in some tortellini, wait 2 minutes, eat. ~ karen!

  39. Sherri Hanigan says:

    My favorite post is anything you write. I’ve never, ever read a post of yours, sat back in my chair, and said, “Well, that was a disappointment!” Thank you for that and thank you for sharing the good, the bad and the ugly parts of your life with your readers. It takes either courage or stupidity to do that and I choose to believe it’s courage in your case. Bless you for making me care about some quirky (to the Nth degree!) blonde from up north. My life is better for the opportunity. Merry Christmas from the blonde down south!

  40. Jodi T. says:

    These were some of my favorites.. Especially the arm band one. You should have seen the look my husband gave me when I made this fabulous contraption. 🙂

  41. Marion says:

    I pretty much enjoy almost all of your posts. Although I will have to say my fave from this year so far is probably the one of your mom vs the brick wall. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you!!! May 2014 be a much better year than the last, for all of us 🙂

  42. Dagmar says:

    Wouldn’t life be so much better if the answer to everything was “can you edit this ?” I mean , those are words to live by! Something doesn’t go your way, simply make a point of using the word *edit* to make it sound positive, and on purpose. You’re making potatoes and meatloaf, but burned the potatoes. No, you say, “I edited them, now they are fire-roasted.” White t-shirt turns pink in the wash, “I edited it, this color looks much better edited, ” you say. The vase breaks into a dozen pieces, “edited.” The car gets scratched: “oh, it’s edited to give it that driven look.” I mean, Betty has taught us so much with her amazing camera talents. Thank you Betty. And what’s more, thank you for bringing your quirky daughter into the world for us to enjoy. Lets face it Karen, if we are quirky for enjoying your blog, then you must be quirkier to deliver that response.

    ….and there’s not the teensiest bit wrong with that at all

  43. kipper says:

    Betty vs. the wall

  44. NikiDee says:

    I joined you in 2013 so I can see why it was a great year for you…LOL! Seriously, your blog is indescribably delicious. Whether it’s about food, livestock, furniture, trials & tribulations, Idris (what IS that man waiting for) or just shooting the proverbial shit – I have come to adore (& yes – crave) you & your witty posts. My favorite hands down is Betty. I roared! Also, your gnocchi recipe is the BEST. Made it. Love it. Froze it. Looking forward to sharing 2014 with you! X’s &O’s

  45. I loved your pasta series! It totally inspired me to break out my pasta press (which had never been used because of the epic failure that happened the first time I tried. I didn’t even make it to the pressing part) and now I’m a pasta making fool. And the tortellini instructions were perfect! I made chocolate pasta with a pistachio ricotta filling. They were for dessert.

    Keep on doing what you’re doing!

    Nikki Kelly

  46. Patti says:

    These were my fav posts! I’m always impressed by the way you can tackle anything in the house, the kitchen, the garden, life … it gives me confidence to do things myself. Here’s to an especially fabulous 2014!

  47. Jasmine says:

    Every time I hear Icona Pop’s “I Don’t Care (I love it)” I think of your chickens, Idris and the asshead fella. Thank-you for that. Good Work Karen, keep it up.

  48. Betty vs the Brick Wall made me laugh and cry at the same time having lost my mother this year.
    An Open Letter to Idris Elba made me look up who Idris Elba is and I can’t thank you enough for that.
    The Bikram Yoga post made me snort coffee through my nose.
    Your posts make me happy everyday.
    Thank you.

  49. Debbie says:

    I love your chickens to pieces. It is good that I live on the west coast of the US. I am just happy that you came back to us this year after your rat-bastard experience. Rat-bastard is my friend Lorene’s name for an EX anything, and I love it. Plus it works for the swearing part of my vocabulary.

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