Jessica Napier

Taking a page out of a teen fantasy novel

I got a pimple last week. An embarrassing middle-of-the-face kind of situation. The type of blemish that would be the subject of an entire subplot on a sitcom in the early 1990s. I haven’t had a proper pubescent breakout in a few years but my recent dermatological issues seem appropriate given the...

Tuesday, January 31, 2012, 5:30 AM

The at-home workout from hell

Have you ever seen those people running outside in the depths of winter? You know, the ones huffing and puffing along icy sidewalks while wearing full-face masks and chains on their sneakers. I refuse to be one of those people and as such, I’ve had to bring my workout routine indoors.Since I also...

Tuesday, January 24, 2012, 5:30 AM

Four ways to divorce January from its reputation

Did you know that more couples file for divorce in January than at any other time of the year? Disheartening as it is, January’s unfortunate notoriety as Divorce Month certainly makes sense. Couples on the brink of breaking up will fake it till they make it through the holidays, holding off until...

Tuesday, January 17, 2012, 5:30 AM

In defence of staying in

After weeks of office parties, festive get-togethers and family dinners, January provides a welcome relief from being overscheduled. With nothing to do and nowhere to go, a bare calendar feels like the ultimate luxury.While the gloomy stretch between the holidays and spring is an ideal time to be...

Tuesday, January 10, 2012, 5:30 AM

12 resolutions worth keeping for 2012

So have you broken all your new year’s resolutions yet? Of course you have. Now forget those lofty ambitions that would have you forsake all your vices simultaneously, and let’s try to focus on setting some small goals for the new year.I’ve taken the liberty of compiling a list of 12 entirely...

Monday, January 2, 2012, 7:00 PM

Giving up on highrise living

Last weekend I moved — an entirely frustrating and time-consuming ordeal that we all go through at least a few times in our lives. After 16 months in a cookie-cutter condo building, I left my highrise rental for something entirely different.I found a newly finished basement apartment in a beautiful...

Tuesday, November 29, 2011, 5:30 AM

Sunday best: An ode to brunch

In my early 20s, eating breakfast on the weekend was a pretty pathetic affair. It never happened before 1 p.m. and almost always took place at a greasy diner called The Pancake House. Sweatpants were the dress code and if my bill came to more than $6 after tax and tip I was doing something wrong....

Tuesday, November 22, 2011, 5:30 AM

Optical illusions: A life behind the lenses

I was six years old when I first donned a pair of pink plastic frames with lenses as thick as windowpanes. I don’t think I realized it then but my face would never be the same.Anyone who has grown up in glasses will tell you that spending your middle school years behind lenses isn’t all that fun....

Tuesday, November 15, 2011, 5:30 AM

Making the most of his moustache

Remember when November was just that boring month sandwiched between pumpkin-spice-latte season and the holidays? With no long-weekends in the mix, the 30 unspecial days following Halloween would just drag by without any consequence.Now, this once-dreary month has been taken over by an army of...

Tuesday, November 8, 2011, 5:30 AM

Shhh! Don’t tell anyone

You can’t deny the thrill of sharing a secret, especially when that secret isn’t really yours to tell. According to a 2009 British study, women who were told a secret were likely to bite their tongues for an average of just 47 hours and 15 minutes before blabbing. That’s less than two full days,...

Tuesday, November 1, 2011, 5:30 AM

DIY costume tricks a treat

Alright, made-up-holiday enthusiasts, Oct. 31 is just around the corner, and while some of us like to plan elaborate costume concepts months ahead of time, I’m sure plenty of you are still scrambling to figure out what to wear come Halloween night. Before you spent $50 on a lame store-bought pirate...

Tuesday, October 25, 2011, 5:30 AM

Lies my tv told me

I grew up on a steady diet of sitcoms. Before the days of Angry Birds and social networking, I turned to cable television for my nightly fix of mindless entertainment. And even though the programs were fictional, the zany antics of attractive ensemble casts started seeming pretty plausible after...

Tuesday, October 18, 2011, 5:30 AM

What’s in a maiden name?

I used to hate my surname.I would groan every time I had to explain that no I am not French and it’s pronounced NAY-pee-ur not NAAAA-pee-yer.As a child I longed for a simple last name, something solid and sensible like Barber or West. But as time went on, I grew to love my slightly unusual moniker...

Tuesday, October 11, 2011, 5:30 AM

This barista’s cup is still half full

After high school, I sunk six years and thousands of dollars into post-secondary education. And yet, I managed to learn some of life’s greatest lessons from behind the counter at a local coffee shop.For four years I worked evenings and weekends slinging cappuccinos for $6.25 an hour and actually...

Tuesday, October 4, 2011, 3:11 AM

Transit can be a real pick-me-up

I hate to drive.Maybe I liked it for a few months back when I was 16 and my learner’s permit meant a newfound sense of independence, but these days I just don’t see the appeal.Don’t get me wrong. I am not a terrible driver — or at least, I’d like to think I’m not. Sure there has been the odd fender...

Tuesday, September 27, 2011, 10:31 AM

Uggs, crocs, yoga pants and now ... leggings

Last week, MSN Travel released their top 10 list of the world’s worst-dressed cities. Anyone familiar with international travel won’t be surprised to learn that eight out of the 10 cities listed are in North America; two of those offenders are Canadian.Ottawa, you’re forgiven for your eighth- place...

Tuesday, September 20, 2011, 10:31 AM

Birth order never takes a back seat

I never call “shotgun!”Whenever I find myself travelling in a car with my younger brother and one of our parents, I always sit in the front. It doesn’t matter that we are both fully grown 20-somethings; I’m the eldest, so there’s no debating who gets the coveted passenger seat.As the assertive (OK...

Tuesday, September 13, 2011, 10:31 AM

This time, it’s all about you

Humans are social creatures; we crave the comfort of other warm-blooded beings in close proximity. At work we’re lauded for our teamwork skills and at leisure we’re obsessed with being connected (virtually or otherwise). And yet, despite our natural desire to seek out togetherness, there is...

Tuesday, September 6, 2011, 10:31 AM

Last call for summer

I have terrible news, everyone, there is only one week left of summer.Sure, autumn doesn’t technically begin until the fall equinox sometime in mid-September, but we all know that the day after Labour Day is the unofficial end of the season. Next Tuesday means back to school and back to reality for...

Tuesday, August 30, 2011, 7:30 PM

Take all new endeavours in stride

I always hated runners. As someone who only ever ran to catch the bus I thought of them as pretentious showoffs, herds of Lycra-clad gazelle sprinting through my neighbourhood and hogging the sidewalk.Strangely, the more they annoyed me the more I wanted to be a part of it and so, at the beginning...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011, 5:30 AM