Friday, December 8, 2023

Friday Favourites

Happy Friday!  We're getting closer to Christmas and I've hardly done any shopping since last week.  You know it was a busy week when you had two photos. 

Monday was a recovery day from the weekend and on Tuesday I was at the office until 8:00.  December is usually a busy time of year in our business with trying to get contracts signed by the end of the year. 

We decided that the tutoring we had the boys in wasn't really doing the trick, so instead we are going to try and devote more time to school work at home.  This was our first week without tutoring and although Monday was a success of doing some homework and reading, by the time Thursday (or other regular tutoring night) rolled around, we were fizzled out, plus Q has soccer on Thursday nights so we didn't have a lot of time anyway. We will try again over the weekend and next week.

E went to the church on Wednesday night to do some baking with the youth group for the out of the cold dinner happening tonight.  A local Anglican church hosts this for people that need a warm meal every Friday, and our church helps wth food prep a couple of times a year. The festive little packets of shortbreads will be well received I'm sure!

Please join us on Monday for our last instalment of the year for "Not Just a Mom"!  We will be sharing our favourite books and/or series.  We will also be unveiling a rebrand and the list of topics for next year!

We were not able to host our annual Christmas Party this year due to our house renovation.  I had several people ask me with slight worry in their voices "are you having your party this year?" as in maybe we had left them off the guest list! I assured everyone they are always welcome but not this year.  We are hoping to get back upstairs next Friday. 

Some fun Christmas things from this week - getting our Christmas cards all written and mailed (with a few hand deliveries left to do), my office building's annual holiday breakfast, watching Office Christmas Party, some (slightly overbooked but still edible) shortbreads that E brought home with him, and finding a holiday shirt to wear when I volunteered at Pizza Day at the school.

No school for the kids today.  Q is off at a baseball camp for the day and E will probably find some friends.  Dave and I have another Christmas party to attend tonight.

Linking up with Andrea and Erika.

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Media Wednesday

The media I'm currently consuming:

Streaming TV - For All Mankind, The Morning Show, Christmas Movies

Network TV - Amazing Race, The Curse of Oak Island

YouTube - Royal York Road United Church services, Incredibles "math is math" scene

Library Books - Miracle Creek by Angie Kim and The Maidens by Alex Michaelides

Podcasts - Oscar Piastri on Eff One with DRS, The Social Network on The Rewatchables (old episode)

Instagram Algorithm - Schitt's Creek, Royal Family, Work/Office Memes, Maddy Mitchell

News Stories - Israel/Hamas conflict

Music Playlists - My Top Songs of 2023 

Peloton Workouts - Any holiday themed workout

Pinterest Pins - Living room paint ideas, slow cooker meals, Christmas cocktails

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Weekend Recap

 We kicked off our weekend with our annual Home Alone night.  We order cheese pizza, drink (diet) Pepsi, and make ice cream sundaes.  And watch the movie of course!

I like that this year's Pepsi had the old logo on it, it's the one from the movie!

It had been a long week so we tried to get the kids to bed somewhat early, and then Dave and I watched the last two episodes of Welcome to Wrexham. 

On Saturday morning I got up early to do some work that I was unable to finish on Friday, and when the boys got up, they huddled together to play on their devices. 

After swimming lessons, we stopped by our church's craft fair.  We weren't too interested in the crafts, but we did find a few things at the baking table.

Then Dave and I donned our fancy clothes to go to a party.

They had a huge charcuterie spread done directly on the island countertop (on top of brown paper).

They also had a pizza chef. Dave got a few notes.

Some photo booth fun!

What is great is that we can leave the kids by themselves now and don't need to organize a sitter. However, they were still awake when we got home around 11:30. Tsk tsk. 

On Sunday Q went to a birthdy party and E went to a friend's to make stop motion videos with Legos.   I did some grocery shopping and a Peloton ride.  Dave got a couple of decorations set up outside.

Then Q ran down the street to mail his letter to Santa.

We watched Home Alone 2 and had a couple of egg nogs before supper.  I like the Oat Nog with Jamesons and Kahlua.  Dave likes the regular nog with spiced rum.

Monday, December 4, 2023

November Books

The Toronto Public Library was a victim of at cyber attack so all of its computer systems have been down for several weeks, and the news is that they won't be restored until the new year.  This all means that I am stuck with the books at my own branch and I can't place any holds.  Luckily I was able to find a few options to keep me entertained for the month. Interestingly I went looking for specific recommendations and then found an alternate book by the same author(s).  Once the library system is back up and running, I'll reserve the actual book I was looking for in the first place.

First up was The Guilt Trip by Sandie Jones (looking for The Other Woman)

This was a fun suspense type book.  There is a wedding taking place in Portugal, attended by the British brother of the groom and his wife, and another couple.  There is a lot of is someone cheating on their partner and with whom?  Does someone end up dead by the end of this? And who was responsible.  I thought I had some things figured out but there were a few surprises.  I like books where the people are British and then setting is somewhere I've been (I've not been to the resort areas of Portugal but I have been to Lisbon).  An easy entertaining read.

Next was The Gown by Jennifer Robson (looking for The Coronation Year)

This book takes place in post-war England (with some jumping ahead to present day Toronto) and is told from the point of view of two young ladies, both of whom are seamstresses/embroiderers who worked on Queen Elizabeth's wedding dress.  It was a difficult time in London during these years and I could not believe how little they had to eat and the lengths they went to to save money.  The stiff upper lip was strengthened by these times, for sure. 

It's about the Royal Family, which I love, and it has the post-war element which I'm interested in, but feel like I've never read much about this time.  There was enough intrigue to wonder what was going on, but the author also had a good way of dropping details without being so obvious about it. I absolutely loved this book (and bonus it was Canadian!).  I can't wait to read more by this author.

And finally At the Moutains's Edge by Genevieve Graham (looking for Tides of Honour). 

This book takes place during the Yukon Gold Rush.  It tells the story of a young woman travelling from Vancouver to Dawson City to try and make a new life and start a store. And also of a young Mountie who is keeping order up there in the north during this time. It was a bit predictable, and a bit simple at times, but ultimately it was a pretty well written book and I appreciated the Canadian history lesson and reading about the challenges people faced on the Chilikoot Path.  It was sort of like it should be on a high school reading list, but that won't stop me from trying out a couple of other books by this author where I am interested in the topic.

Friday, December 1, 2023

Friday Favourites


Happy December 1st!  

This elicited some fear from my family, haha. I enjoyed a face mask from Sephora on Monday night.

Speaking of Monday night, as of right now we don't have anything to do on Monday evenings and I hope we can keep it that way.  Monday is always a tiring day for everyone so to have a free evening on that day is so great!

Earlier this week I ordered some Tim Hortons on Uber Eats for our employees in our maintenance facility in Timmins.  They had just celebrated an impressive safety milestone of three years of "Triple Zero", which for those of you who don't know means no lost time injuries, no first aid, and no modified work injuries. That's pretty impressive for any workplace but especially one that deals with heavy machinery all the time.  The Tim Hortons order was from all of us at the Toronto office, but I ordered it so I'm taking credit ;)

I was excited to see who was on my Spotify Wrapped this year.  I was shocked to see Taylor Swift at the top of my list, I like her music, but I'm not your typical "Swiftie" and I didn't think I had listened to her that much.  And "As It Was" was my top song last year, but I couldn't believe it was on there again. My 5th top artist of "Whalewatcher" is due to the Whale Sounds for Sleep playlist that the kids like, I will have to make sure to exclude that from my Wrapped for next time!

An exciting box arrived yesterday, our Christmas cards!! I'll get started on them this weekend so they can go right in the mailbox. I love a Christmas card! 

Short and sweet today!

Have a great weekend.

Linking up with Andrea and Erika

Thursday, November 30, 2023

Monthly Musings


1. Favourite holiday traditions?
Watching all of the fun movies - we have so many favourites but the must-watch ones are White Christmas, The Holiday, The Family Stone, Elf, The Grinch (new animated one), and Love Actually.

2. Favourite holiday fashion items or accessories?
I like a sequin for those fancy parties, and a festive t-shirt or sweatshirt for the more casual times. 

3. Share your favourite holiday recipes.
Jamie Oliver's Pannetone Bread Pudding (see below) and these Peppermint Cookies.

4. How do you celebrate the holidays?
 We celebrate Christmas - very traditional, we go to church, host family and friends, make all of the fun treats, watch the movies, visit Santa, and give gifts. 

5. Do you go to see holiday lights?
We will usually take a detour on our way home from somewhere to see what lights we can see, but we don't usually go out specifically for that reason.

6. How do you decorate your house for the holidays?
We put up a tree and other indoor decorations, and lights outside.  You can see last year's decorations here.

7. If you get a Christmas tree - is it real or fake?
We get a real tree. I love the smell and the look of it and I also don't want to store a fake one all year.

8. Favourite holiday treats?
On the sweets side I tend to go for the shortbreads, iced sugar cookies, and anything peppermint, and for savoury, sausage rolls and any sort of warm cheesy dip.

9. If you have pets, do your pets get and give gifts?
We do not have any pets now.  When I was little we would get our cat a stocking with treats in it. 

10. Best tips to make the holidays less stressful?
I don't know.  Christmas is a full-time job (on top of the full-time job you may already have) and I just try to dive in and enjoy it all.  It's just one part of the year and I don't mind feeling a bit frantic at times. 

Linking up with Holly and Patty.

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

What's Up Wednesday


What we're eating this week...
Sunday - Chicken Condon Bleu, Sweet Potatoes, and Salad
Monday - Chicken Stirfry
Tuesday - Steak and Waffle Fries
Wednesday - Spaghetti and Meatballs
Thursday - Salmon and Vegetables
Friday - Cheese Pizza
Saturday - We will be out at a party 

What I'm reminiscing about...
As always, thinking about those special Christmas memories accumulated over the years.   

What I'm loving...
I'm loving that our ski hill is getting snow (and making lots too!) but that Toronto so far doesn't have any.  This is ideal, nothing to shovel or deal with here, but a ski season that may start soon :) [EDIT: Will start soon, hill is scheduled to open on Saturday!]

What we've been up to...
Christmas has been a bit mixed up so far this year.  As many of you would know, while our house is being renovated we are living in our basement.  Therefore we haven't been decorating our house, we aren't able to host our annual neighbourhood party, and we can't do any baking.  This means we haven't felt as much in the spirit as we may normally have in years past.  We're getting there though. And since we are scheduled to move back upstairs around the 15th (although there will still be things not done) then we will have to cram in some decorating and baking in those last days before Christmas. 

What I'm dreading...
Remember that week before Christmas I mentioned above? As if it's not busy enough, we will also be trying to move back in!  It's one of those things where you just have to work hard, get through it, and know it will all be worth it in the end.

What I'm working on...
Christmas gifts.  I bought a few things already (and even something for myself!) but I will have a few things left to ship out in the coming weeks.  
What I'm excited about...
Some live music events coming up - E's guitar recital, Q's school concert, our church's children's symphony, and all of the lovely music we will be singing at church during Advent and on Christmas Eve.

What I'm watching/reading...
We are watching Welcome to Wrexham and The Morning Show.  And Raptors basketball and Maple Leafs hockey. 

I will post about my November books on Monday.  Then later next month I'll pick my favourite book that I've read this year. 

What I'm listening to...
I'm onto my Christmas playlist now. I am excited to see what will be on my Spotify Wrapped top songs this year, I have a couple of guesses.

What I'm wearing...
All of my comfy clothes when I'm at home, but looking forward to wearing some fancy holiday clothes next month.

What I'm doing this weekend...
Home Alone Night (watching the movie, and eating cheese pizza, Pepsi, and ice cream sundaes), church bake sale, first Sunday of Advent, and a Christmas party

What I'm looking forward to next month...
Moving back upstairs and all of the Christmas things!

What else is new...
Our new Harry Potter decoration.  I like the inflatables on other people's lawns, but I've never wanted them.  A couple of years ago we got a small inflatable Grinch for Q's room.  This year E picked out a Harry Potter that for some reason I thought would be similar to Q's Grinch and HP could stay in E's room.  While it's a bit bigger than I thought!! Not sure if this will be able to stay up there or if it will have to go outside after all!

Linking up with Shay