Archive for the How To Category

A Man’s Guide to a Bathroom Renovation

Posted in How To with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 11, 2015 by Luc

Jen and I are planning a bathroom reno. Our ensuite dates back to 1987 and it’s starting to show its age. The toilet is broken, the shower tiles need to be replaced soon…the time has come.

Now, for men, this can be a daunting time (well, for this man anyway). It commits you to going through countless websites, browsing through your better half’s Pinterest collection of bathroom pictures and staring at the seemingly countless varieties of showers heads and vanity faucets. But fear not. I have a plan for you.

Now, to be honest, the reno hasn’t started yet. My plan for you is not yet complete. But rest assured, I’ve already gained some valuable experience that I want to share with men everywhere right now.

Here goes:

  1. Decide on doing the reno.
  2. Decide on a budget (don’t believe for a second this will actually be the budget).
  3. Hire an interior designer. (Gents, I can’t stress this enough. Just sending the designer off to pick tile options and a colour pattern is worth it. This will save you an enormous amount of time and will keep arguments to a minimum. Who wants to spend hours at tile stores? Not me. Worth every penny.)
  4. Tell wife and interior designer that as long as the bathroom is not “girly”, has a functional toilet, sink and shower, you’ll be happy.
  5. Offer to do the demo yourself to save money.
  6. Offer accepted. Nevertheless, increase budget because there was this really nice shower door place.
  7. Offer to make vanity yourself.
  8. Offer rejected. Increase budget.
  9. Plan to hold firm on budget.

This is where I have to stop. I am now at step 9 myself. I do plan on holding firm. But already I can say one thing for certain. The more money you throw at it, the happier your better half will be…

I promise to update this post as we progress further with the reno. Meanwhile, see what Jen has to say on bathroom renos!

On winning the lottery…

Posted in How To, Life with tags on October 13, 2014 by Luc

Well, it finally happened. After years and years of dreaming about what we would do if we won the lottery, we are now able to share our experience with you.

Of course, by experience I mean the many many many times Jen and I have talked about what we would do if we won the lottery. We didn’t actually win the lottery. Sadly.

BUT were we to win, let’s say $30 million (go big or go home I say), I would:

  1. Double-check the numbers
  2. Celebrate
  3. Quit my job
  4. Take $3 million and donate to the Children’s Hospital
  5. Take $7 million and help out family and friends (this could be a blog post on its own)
  6. Renovate our house top to bottom
  7. Travel
  8. Take $10 million and invest it
  9. Take flying lessons
  10. Buy a plane (linked to travel)

Yeah, that’s all I can think of for now. Mind you, this list is subject to change. With my luck, we will win the lottery when I’m 95. The list would be slightly different I think at that point.

Tell me how you would spend $30 million! Also, check out Jen, who has her own views I’m sure!

How to Read the Newspaper

Posted in How To with tags , , , on May 13, 2014 by Luc

This week, we are writing about how to read a newspaper. It seems, after all, a simple thing to do. Look at the articles and read the one you want. But it is not.

Let me explain.

How you read the paper during the week will be very different from how you read it on the weekend. If you have kids, this is even more so.

This is my routine during the week:

  1. Go for a run.
  2. Grab the paper at the front door on my way back in.
  3. Drop the paper on the kitchen counter.
  4. Scan the front page articles and pick one to read.
  5. Put bread in the toaster and boil the water for tea.
  6. Remind kids to prepare breakfast.
  7. Try to read chosen article while toast is toasting and water is boiling.
  8. Make tea and toast.
  9. Tell kids to prepare breakfast.
  10. Scan other pages for interesting titles.
  11. Yell at kids to prepare breakfast or they won’t be able to have screen time for a month.
  12. Go take a shower and get ready for work.
  13. Take lunch from fridge, look longingly at paper.
  14. Yell at kids to get ready for school.
  15. Go to work.

This is my routine during the weekend:

  1. Wake up.
  2. Make sure kids are still sleeping. Perfect.
  3. Grab the paper.
  4. Sit down.
  5. Look at the first section of the paper. Attempt to begin reading.
  6. Sigh with exasperation.
  7. Deal with kids by turning on the TV.
  8. Return to first section of paper, now being looked at by Jen (note choice of word “look”).
  9. Grab the Analysis section of paper.
  10. Half-heartedly read some analysis while looking to see if Jen is done with first section.
  11. Jump on first section when Jen gets up to make her coffee.
  12. Deal with bloody kids again.
  13. Finally read most articles, especially those dealing with international news.
  14. Fight with son for Sports section.
  15. Read it.
  16. Sit back, satisfied.

I hope that this how-to will help you in your own quest for reading the paper. I really do. Now check out Jen’s look at how to read the paper!

How To Do Absolutely Nothing

Posted in How To with tags , , , on April 6, 2014 by Luc

At home, I am the king of doing nothing. Once Jen and I decide that we will be doing nothing, that’s exactly what I do. Doing nothing is simple, really. Here are my rules:

  1. Don’t vacuum
  2. Do read a book or the paper
  3. Don’t do the dishes
  4. Do have a nap
  5. Don’t tidy the living room (again)
  6. Do watch the TV
  7. Don’t dust or Swiffer
  8. Do play a PC game (or whatever game strikes your fancy)
  9. Don’t  plan the next week’s activities when your significant other is doing 2,4,6,8,10
  10. Do relax

Pretty simple, right? My son certainly has got this figured out, as does my daughter. Jen, however, has a different concept of doing nothing. To understand it, simply inverse the Do’s and Don’ts. I’m sure she will be sharing more of her concept of doing nothing with you in her own blog post. Make sure you go have a look!

A Man’s Guide To Buying Lingerie For His Wife

Posted in How To with tags , , , , , , , on October 7, 2013 by Luc

So…lingerie. Kind of a tough thing to buy if you’re a man.

Years ago, I decided I would buy Jen some lingerie. She had a few items, but they were old and she rarely trotted them out, much to my chagrin. It should be easy to get her something she’ll like, I told myself at the time. No problem at all, right?

How wrong I was. The fact is, I don’t even remember what I got her. Nor does Jen. Clearly, it was not a winning purchase. But I do remember being completely unprepared and clueless. Hence the result.

Let me save you, my fellow readers, from a similar experience. Follow this guide, and you should be able to get a sexy outfit for your wife without having too much trouble.*

  1. Always…no…NEVER assume your significant other will fit into that super sexy, tiny number.
  2. Also, NEVER buy a size too big to make sure she fits in it. That will prompt a “You really think I’m that fat??” comment, followed by banishment to the couch for a few nights.
  3. Know the difference between classy and slutty. Rarely will the slutty elicit a positive response (or maybe it might…). If you can’t tell the difference, visit a strip club. Whatever the girls are wearing, don’t buy that.
  4. When at the store, ask for help. Don’t just sit there, staring at various outfits. It’s creepy.
  5. Don’t tell the person helping you, “I’m not sure what size she is…I guess they are a few sizes bigger than yours”. Some women don’t like that. The help you get after that may be somewhat reluctant and bitchy.
  6. To avoid #5, make sure you take a peak at her bra size and clothing sizes. Your wife’s, not the person helping you.
  7. Asking the person helping you to model the outfit is probably not a good idea. Just sayin’.
  8. Pick a colour she’ll like. For instance, grey is a no go. Don’t go there.
  9. Once you’ve made your choice, put some thought into how you will give it to her. Handing her the bag you got at the store and saying “Here you go baby” while cracking open a beer and turning on the hockey game is not going to work well for you.

There you have it folks. My guide. Of course, I haven’t bought lingerie since that day years ago. So, really, my guide is just something I think will work. But I plan on making use of it sometime in the near future. I’ll let you know how it goes.

I’d be happy to hear if any of you have guides of your own for lingerie shopping! Meanwhile, check out Jen’s post on Lingerie!

*I cannot guarantee this statement. If you choose to buy your wife lingerie, don’t come crying to me later because my guide didn’t work. After all, it’s your own fault if you went to the strip club, took pictures for research purposes, got thrown out and were caught later by your wife who found the photos on your phone.**

**This never happened. I just made it up. But it could happen to you.

How to Shop for Men’s Clothing: A Descent Into Hell

Posted in How To with tags , , , , , on August 13, 2013 by Luc

Clichés and stereotypes are sometimes true. I am living proof of this. Let’s take, for example, shopping for clothing. Men, it is said, dislike clothes shopping. Well, I dislike it immensely and would avoid it completely if I could. It is also said that men typically don’t window shop. Instead, they go straight to their goal and buy what they need. Yep, that’s me. No question. Spending precious time shopping for clothes is like a short term visit to my personal Hell.

Jen, my lovely wife, learned this about me at a very early stage in our relationship. We weren’t married yet, and I needed a suit. I think it was for her graduation or something like that. Anyway, off we went to the mall in Orléans (Place d’Orléans). There were several men’s stores in the mall and we walked in the first one we found. Boom, I found a suit I liked within 15 minutes. I was ready to buy it right then and there. But no said Jen. You can’t buy the first thing you find. You have to compare to other suits in other stores. So off we went to 5 or 6 other stores in the mall and elsewhere. None of the suits fit me like the first one. So, of course, back we went to the first store and bought the suit I liked originally, several hours later.

The fact that I remember this event so well shows how much it affected (scarred) me. Despite the hours of walking around and trying out lots of clothes, I did benefit from one thing. Jen never again made me follow her way of shopping. (A little side note here: how is it possible for someone to walk at two different paces? Jen will walk at what she says is a good clip when we go for walks–ahem–and then ups the tempo to where I can barely keep up when shopping. I don’t get it).

Anyway, I’ve developed a shopping method which works very well for me. I don’t buy any new clothes for two or three years and then I go on one or two trips to various stores and spend $1-2k on everything I need. Then I’m done for a while. Of course, from time to time, Jen decides I need something, so she comes home with a golf shirt or something she thinks I need desperately. Usually it’s when she has reached the “You can’t wear that anymore!” stage. Currently, she is horrified with the condition of my underwear. I’m expecting some new underwear soon (I don’t know why, I find them perfectly comfortable). I have also come to depend on my Mom, who every year for Christmas gives me those really nice Hilfiger socks that last for years. Technically, I should say parents…but I know who does the shopping…the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree n’est-ce pas Dad?

Now let me turn you over to Jen, who has her own perspective on shopping for men’s clothing!

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