How to get skin like velvet, convince a landlord to rent their house to you and your giant dog, and also ruin your marriage! TGIF!

I’m not going to lie, I recently purchased skin cream purely because the label promised me that it would make my face feel like velvet.


I stood there in the grocery store while Olive rummaged through the shelves at toddler-level, and I read that sentence over and over again “…younger-looking, velvety-soft skin…”.

My mind immediately wandered to two things, the indescribable soft warmth of a horse’s nose, and George Costanza.

So, obviously with those two mental images in mind I bought the cream. Well played, marketing geniuses. Well played.

The reason I was looking for skin cream in the first place was that I recently bought thisface cream with SPF 30 which I quite enjoy, despite it being very suncreeny when you put it on.

First you are hit with that specific sunscreen smell, and then your skin begins to acquire a layer of white greasy sheen and you think to yourself “Oh, shit. This is turrible!” but then as you continue rubbing the deliciously citrus-scented stuff into your face it magically absorbs and you look great AND you’re not going to get sun damage. Fabulous.

But no matter how lovely it is, it’s not really necessary to wear SPF 30 to sleep, so I was looking for a general face cream. I did my research on my favourite website, and the usual criteria applied  – a score 3 or under and no animal testing – but I also wanted something I could find in a grocery store because I don’t have time to be running around to special stores for special expensive cream for my not-very-special-face.

(OK fine. I have time. But I’d rather spend it staring bug-eyed into my phone or trying to work through this truly terrible novel I’m reading.)

(Guys, it is SO bad. But I can’t not finish it. It’s even overdue at the library because I can’t take much more than 4-5 pages at once so it’s taking me forever to get through. I am totally going to have library fines! I am PAYING to hate-read this book!)

Anyway. For once in my life I wasn’t duped by advertising- my skin really does feel like velvet! I can’t stop touching it. It’s sort of creepy and I look like this all the time:


This is the cream and obviously this isn’t sponsored, I just thought I would tell you about it in case you too wanted skin like a Palomino’s nose.


In other news, do you know who wants to rent their house to you when you own a creature like THIS?:

Nobody. Just nobody, that’s all.

Adam and I have been searching for rentals in Edmonton.

Typically the process goes great initially. I find a place, it looks cute. I dispatch Adam for an in-person visit (to ensure that it isn’t an oasis of cute in an otherwise sketchy neighbourhood or anything) and then it happens.

They ask “Do you have any pets?” and Adam smiles politely and says, “Yes!” and they say, “Oh! What kind?” and Adam says, “We have one well-behaved six-year old dog.” and then he tries to snatch the lease out of their hand and sign it on the spot but they nimbly sidestep him and ask “What kind of dog?” And Adam hems and haws for a moment, talking about how sweet Gus is. How obedient. How he only poops at the very back of the yard.

“Okay, fine, but what kind of dog is Gus, though?”

“*cough* English Mastiff* *coughcough*”

“What was that? Sorry, I didn’t quite-”

“AnEnglishMastiff. Really just a big pug if you think about it!”

“Come again? I really can’t hear-”



“But also? Did I mention quiet and well-behaved? And he has references? And pet insurance? And he’s well-behaved? And quiet?”

And then we never hear from that potential landlord ever again. This happened two or three times and it got really discouraging to go through all of that weeding out, to get to the final step and then hear no.

We tried to solve the problem on the other end by releasing Gus into the wild, but he is kind of lazy and never got much further than the front yard.

Then Adam had the inspired idea of going balls-out with our application. Like, not just filling out the basics, but writing an entire story that would set us apart from other potential renters and make us look so desirable that even the fact that we live with a horse wouldn’t be enough to turn us down.

On our next application we included a picture of our little family, and a picture of Gus lying down with Olive (see! he’s not a fearsome beast!).

We also attached all of our reference letters directly to the email rather than relying on them to call (we have been on great terms with all of our landlords, and with every rental we moved from we asked for letters of reference, and ones that specifically spoke to how much of a non-issue Gus was). We also included his Pet Insurance policy that includes $25,000 of third-party damage coverage (in case he becomes possessed and decides to eat an entire main floor or something.)

Last but not least, I wrote an impassioned letter introducing ourselves. I acknowledged that I understood why people would be wary of renting to such a large dog, I talked about how much we liked the house, and how very much we would like to make it our home.

IT WORKED! Success! Huzzah! Sort of!

The property we initially applied for had already been signed by someone else, but another one two blocks away was undergoing renovations and would be finished on April 15th. This is less than ideal since we are moving on the 1st, but at this point I have an Olympic gold medal in waiting. I am a waiting professional. Two weeks? Two weeks is amateur hour around here.

So we wait.


Thirdly, today I received this comment under a picture of Adam on the Sweet Madeleine facebook page, “Where is his finished hand drawn portrait ?”.

YES. Where IS his hand-drawn portrait, ADAM?

This portrait is ruining my perfect marriage. Who knew that when you promised somebody that your husband would do something without his knowledge or consent, that said husband might take forEVER to get around to actually doing it? First he was claiming that he didn’t want to rush things, because that last portrait took “literally weeks” to complete.

I know. I’ll give you a minute.

To be fair though, his latest excuse is that he can’t find a pencil, which is totally understandable – where would you ever find one of those EXCEPT AT THE BOTTOM OF EVERY JUNK DRAWER, EVER?

Look, there’s only so much nagging I can do long distance. My powers are severely diminished from 1300 kms away. But I have been in contact with the winner, Fee, and she is surprisingly understanding for a woman currently trying to survive the six-month sleep regression. (SOLIDARITY, SISTER! And coffee! Lots of coffee!)

When we get to Edmonton in under two weeks, pressure will increase tenfold. Mark my words there will BE a custom portrait.

How do I know this? How do I know he won’t just stall indefinitely?

I have a secret weapon.

You see, in addition to the masterpiece above (I had to post it again. It’s the best thing about this blog right now), done at the tender age of 17, Adam also completed a self-portrait.

When he was twenty-three.

And it is epic. EPIC.

If I get the sense that he is backing out of this thing he never agreed to do in the first place, I will post that instead. And possibly send it to Fee. Which will make it even more awkward for her to explain its presence (“Um…it’s a self-portrait? No, no uh, not of me. It was done by the husband of this…lady? No, we’ve never met. She’s, um, she’s on the Internets? You know…one of those bloggers? Yeah, it was a contest and I, uh, I won, but then he – the husband I mean. Of the lady – he was putting off doing it and saying stuff like he had to ‘work’? And the threatening wasn’t working? Because she lived 1300 kms away?….You know, let’s just put it under the couch OK?”


Lastly, since I have talked about me and Gus and Adam, it’s only fair I drag Olive into this mess too.

I night weaned her a while ago but early this morning I realized that she has somehow tricked me into slowly going back to night feedings and I’m not even quite sure how that happened. Her morning nursing session just kept getting earlier and earlier and then sometimes she would fall asleep again after and then I don’t know what happened but last night I was nursing her at 3am when it hit me what was going on and through my 3am fog I was all “Wait-WHAT?”

You know, just in case you wondered who was running the show around here. Clearly not me.

At least I have skin like velvet. That’s something, right?

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  • Reply Kirstie MacGowa March 22, 2014 at 1:14 AM

    Man you crack me up! Such a funny post.

  • Reply Jodi March 22, 2014 at 7:33 AM

    I had to stop reading at “six month feeding regression”, spoiler! Just this morning, at five and a half months, I finally feel like we may be over the four month sleep regression. Bah.

    OK, I’ll finish reading now.

  • Reply Patti miller March 22, 2014 at 11:34 AM

    Reading with a smile on my face all the way through.

  • Reply Kimmie March 22, 2014 at 1:53 PM

    Once again, amazing! So what face cream did you purchase with the velvet skin promise?

    • Reply sweetmadeleine March 22, 2014 at 2:43 PM

      Oops, I linked it in the post but I probably should have mentioned the name! It’s by Andalou Naturals and it’s the one with goji berries 🙂

  • Reply Megan March 22, 2014 at 7:53 PM

    Hi, I’m un-lurking for the moment because I’m curious what novel you’re trudging through. Ok, back to my quiet corner now. 🙂

    • Reply sweetmadeleine March 22, 2014 at 10:19 PM

      Hi! I’m so glad you delurked! I hate to publicly trash an authors work so I didn’t mention it- I mean maybe it isn’t objectively bad, it might just be me! Or the style of writing or some of the jokes! But anyway it’s called All The Lonely People and after tonight I think I have to give up.

  • Reply Sam Pereira March 22, 2014 at 10:25 PM

    I just want to throw my arms around Gus and hug his guts out!
    Oh, and give up the book. Life’s too short! (But I totally get it, I used to be the same!)

  • Reply Michelle March 23, 2014 at 3:31 AM

    I feel your pain on the must-finish-crap-book-compulsion… the first (and last – it took about TEN YEARS) book I forced myself to finish was Little Women. I know, literary classic, loved by zillions,etc. I just couldn’t get into it. And it was such a disjointed reading I can’t even remember what happened in it! There were… lots of sisters? …Someone died? …someone probably got married? …Happy ever after? Meh.
    Best of luck with house hunting and the big move with your gorgeous puppy – sounds like an adventure in the works!

  • Reply Penny March 23, 2014 at 7:16 AM

    Now you see I misread the title of the post and thought in order to achieve velvety soft skin you had to rent a house and ruin your marriage. Bit drastic I thought but might be worth it…?
    Sadly this face cream is very expensive in England. Is it quite pricey over there too?

  • Reply Christina March 24, 2014 at 1:52 PM

    Because I know that, like me, you appreciate the many uses of baking soda among other basic ingredients, I wanted to share with you the recipe for face cream that I use and love:
    It is cheap, easy and wonderful!

    • Reply sweetmadeleine March 24, 2014 at 2:12 PM

      Oh my goodness, baking soda face CREAM? This is really too much. It’s lame how excited this makes me! Thanks for sharing!

      On Mon, Mar 24, 2014 at 1:52 PM, Sweet Madeleine wrote:


  • Reply AlisonB March 27, 2014 at 9:17 AM

    Bought the face cream- Has it clogged your pores at all?

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