Friday, April 16, 2021

Friday Favourites


This was one of those weeks where you just had to appreciate those little things.  The kids were off this week for Spring Break and they will continue being at home for virtual learning next week.  Our cases in Ontario keep going up, and on Thursday we got an email saying that there was a positive Covid case in E's cohort at school (even though they hadn't been in class since the Tuesday after Easter) so that caused some anxiety of getting a test scheduled and disappointment of cancelled plans.  Fortunately we got an email later that evening to say there was no risk of exposure so no isolation or testing was required. Phew! Then there were also the terrible stories of Black men being shot by police, it seems like this is 2020 again.
So onto those good things...

Q did some painting this week while I worked across from him.

We made obstacle courses in the backyard.

We did some biking.

I did this really fun Peloton live class.  I love Cody and the music was so good

We got the screen for the backyard projector set up so we watched some Blue Jays out there on Tuesday night.  It was a bit chilly but still fun!
(This was our makeshift screen (drywall) and has now been upgraded with a real screen and located under the porch overhang.)

E did two virtual day camps on Tuesday and Wednesday after our neighbour told us about it.  It was a coding camp done through Code Ninja and they did Roblox both days.  He had a great time and I would consider doing this again. 

The cherry blossoms are almost here.  I ran in High Park on Thursday morning and you can see the trees were just ready to pop open.  Although High Park will remain open this year, the trees will be blocked off to prevent gathering.  Meanwhile we are enjoying the other flowering trees throughout the city.
This is 2012 with baby E (also, I wore that same shirt yesterday for my run.)

I hope everyone has a happy weekend, enjoy those good things.

Linking up with Andrea and Erika

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Let's Look


I actually just posted about what is in our fridge/freezer in January and since very little has changed, I ask that you click over to this link to see what we have.

And we shared about our pantries (or cupboard in my case) in 2019 and again, nothing has really changed, so please click here to see that post.

So because I was able to cheat a bit on this post, I will share a grocery related top three:

Favourite Food Stores

No Frills (which I realize is an affiliate of Loblaws)
Bulk Barn

Least Favourite

Whole Foods

Always on my list


Rare purchases

Ice Cream

Never on my grocery store list

Bread (we buy at Hot Oven Bakery)
Berries (local fruit stand has better options)
Bacon (butcher bacon is far superior to the regular grocery store version)


Hot Oatmeal


Water Crackers
Mini Bretons


Garlic Powder
Curry Powder

Fruit my kids like in their lunches



Grainy Mustard

Frozen Vegetables

Baby Carrots

Frozen Fruit

Mixed Berries

Linking up with Shay and Erika.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Weekend Recap

Friday marked the end of three days of virtual learning.  This is how Q felt about it, as he crawled across the floor towards me at my desk.

E was working on his art project.  He was online with his classmate, and then Q was helping to cut out the mosaic pieces.  A bit of a mess but all good.

We went to the playground in the late afternoon after I wrapped up my work for the week.  When we got home, we had pizza for our supper, and then Dave set up the new projector in the backyard to watch the Jays game.  The "screen" is just a piece of drywall for now, but Dave did order an actual screen so we are looking forward to outdoor sports and movie nights for the summer. 

Perfect!  We also made some popcorn and it was like we were at the game!

On Saturday morning I cut everyone's hair with varying results. Then we went up to Centennial Golf.  We thought we would hit balls at the range but it was so busy that we didn't even bother to try and instead played mini-golf.

Q wanted to keep practicing when we got home so we got out the wiffle ball and hit some into the fence (and occasionally over the fence, oops).

We spent the rest of the afternoon outside, including watching the Masters and eating our burgers.  First meal outside on our patio.  After we got the kids to bed, Dave and I went inside and watched Judas and the Black Messiah.

On Sunday it was raining in the morning so we didn't do too much. I did a Peloton ride, placed our grocery order, and watched church.  In the afternoon the rain had stopped so we went to the High Park playground.

We had baked chicken for supper and while that was cooking, I made some kale chips tossed in salt and vinegar.  They were so good. I forgot to take a photo until they were almost gone. I will be making these again.

After supper we watched Dodgeball. Some of the jokes don't really hold up anymore but mostly it was fine. Jason Bateman is the hidden gem in that movie. 

Monday, April 12, 2021

Not Just a Mom - Favourite Family Memories

I have to start this with saying that I originally read this month's topic as "Favourite Family Members" and it's hard to unsee it now.  Don't worry, I won't be ranking my family, haha.

Rather we are talking about Favourite Family Memories, so if you have a blog, please link up with us today! 

I am lucky to have many happy family memories and despite whatever annoyances or frustrations occurred during these events, I am left with just the happy memories and the less than happy ones fade away.  I have narrowed it down to five.  It is hard to rank happy memories since they are remembered collectively, however the first one does stick out as a top memory.

Princess Cruise - Caribbean - 2011

In 2011, Dave and I were turning 30, my mom was turning 60 and my Papa Doug was turning 90.  We decided we should do a special trip and settled on a cruise. This was everyone's first cruise (except my grandparents who had been on (I think) just one before that).  So the six of us flew down to Fort Lauderdale and then boarded a Princess Cruise for a week.  There are not many times when three generations can go on a trip together, and the cruise was perfect for us.  We were all able to do our own thing (excursions, shopping, pool, etc.) and then meet up throughout the day (or at least for dinner). It was already a special trip, but my grandfather died the next year (January 2012) so it was especially nice that we got to spend time with him on that trip. My grandmother died a few years later.  This year we are all hitting milestone birthdays again (including E who will be 10) but of course a cruise is out of the question. 

Some special things that stick out - getting pizza at a place near our hotel, running into Nana and Papa on the ship and just stopping to get a drink, climbing the ruins at Coba with Dave, buckets of beer, and eating all of the food!

Oh hey, let's stop for a drink :)

Hyatt's Manion Lake Camp - Northwestern Ontario - Many visits

I have cousins that own a fishing and hunting lodge business up in Northwestern Ontario.  It is very secluded and it takes a bit to get there, but always worth the trip.  The first time I went was with my grandparents when I was in high school, and have been back several times with various combinations of family members.  We even got to go up last year when travel meant we basically had to stay within our province.  

When we go there, the living is easy and relaxed.  We fish a lot, read, nap, swim, play with the animals, and enjoy lots of good food.  It's so pleasant there and we always feel so welcome. 





Camping - Ontario - Many times

Camping is hard work as many of you know - it takes a lot of planning to get organized to go, get everything set up, prepare food and do dishes, and then take it all down.  We have had challenging camping trips over the years with rain, lots of wet and dirty clothes, cranky babies, lack of sleep, a lost kid, sunburns, animals taking our food, and many more that I've blocked from memory, but at the end of the weekend I am always so glad that we have gone. I am hoping that these memories of camping will be highlights when my kids think back to their childhoods. 

(Slightly out of order)

Our Wedding - Halifax - May 23, 2009

Dave and I were already living in Toronto when we got engaged and were planning our wedding, but we knew we wanted to get married in Halifax where we met.  We got married at St. Matthew's United Church on Barrington Street and the reception was at the Prince George Hotel.  Everything was perfect and I have very few regrets about the way we did things.  We could have invited more people and maybe offered an open bar (although in 2009 in Nova Scotia, that was almost unheard of, things have changed).  Many people at our wedding have since died - our grandparents and some aunts and uncles so remembering that time when everyone was together is so special. 

What I will always remember most about that day is that the dance floor was full as both of our families like to dance. We also had such beautiful weather and were happy our family 'from away' could experience Halifax at its best. 

Hillside, Mira River - Cape Breton - Many visits

I would be remiss if I didn't mention Cape Breton where some of Dave's family live.  His parents have a piece of land there and we have visited many times in the summertime, sometimes for a large family reunion, and sometimes just to see a handful of people.  There is always many things to do while we are there, but at the same time, no expectations of how to spend your time.  We swim, play lawn games, shoot off rockets, read in the shade (or is that just me?) and get ice cream cones. We often have a feed of mussels (handpicked by our group), freshly picked blueberries, and maybe some crab legs too.  The evenings are always capped with a bonfire.  When Dave's grandmother was still alive and in her 90s, we younger folk would wonder when Hazel was going to bed since we were tired but felt like we had to hang in there until she got up to go inside.  

Thanks for sticking with me through this monster post, I'm happy I was able to pull these memories together in one post. 

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