Friday, December 6, 2019

Friday Favourites

Phew, what a week! My company held a three day conference with people from our Timmins and Mexico offices coming to Toronto.  We participated in case studies with lots of group work (which I guess is just like business school) and went out three nights in a row (also like university!).  We went to Benihana, did axe throwing at Escape Manor, did a scavenger hunt at the ROM (which my team won), and had our Christmas party (with spouses) at Bardi's Steakhouse.  All while trying to get my work done.

We decorated the tree on Monday night.  E does a great job of hanging the ornaments.  He couldn't quite reach the top for the star though.

Dave took the boys out for pizza one night.  Always a success. 

If you get a chance to stop into the Royal York Hotel on Front St. this holiday season, you should. They have a beautiful tree and a life size gingerbread house. 

Yes, that's made of gingerbread.

I didn't post any blogs a few days this week as I was out every night, so welcome back!

Linking up with AndreaErika, and Narci.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Weekend Recap

I capped off a busy week at work with movie night at E's school with the boys.  We got there in lots of time to find a seat (it got way more crowded than these pictures show), set out our shark sleeping bags, and had some pizza.  We sat with some neighbours and friends for some extra fun. Q likes being part of the public school crowd too, and next year he'll be a student here!  The movie was The Secret Life of Pets 2.  

Straight to bed when we got home, and then Dave and I finally got into The Crown.   z

We were up pretty bright and early to go and pick out our Christmas tree.  We have always gone to Plant World on Eglinton but it closed this past year and we needed a new spot.  We picked Sheridan Nurseries on Burnhamthorpe and they had a great selection of trees.  Q did not want to go but he warmed up the idea when we got there. 
Snuggling with the polar bear.

Candy canes of course

Sheridan did not have a good selection of wreaths though, so we popped into a florist on Bloor and got this pretty one instead.

I took Q to Sportball while Dave and E cleaned up the leaves in the yard.  I also went to Bulk Barn, the LCBO, and Hot Oven Bakery.  We got the tree inside and set up, and then I tidied the house to prepare it for decorations.  There are always just a few toys laying around. 

I did leave some time in my day to go for a run.  I knew I couldn't go to either of the weekend workout classes but I still wanted to get moving.  Plus I ran down Bloor so on the way home I could do a couple of errands.  Always multi-tasking. 

Then I picked up our grocery order and came home to get dressed for a party.  

Our sitter came over and we headed out to Burlington to our friends' gorgeous home.  Yes, that's an ice sculpture. 

So pretty!

They also had an airbrush tattoo artist so I got a couple.  Q liked the eagle I picked for my forearm. 

The winter weather started early on Sunday morning.  I was up early with Q and then started on my Christmas cards.  We put on a Christmas movie for a bit and then I asked if anyone wanted to come to church with me and they all said no.  I didn't make them go since the weather wasn't great.  I did enjoy the service though - the grade 8 and 9 students were being confirmed and we had communion and a guest oboist.  I picked up some Swiss Chalet for lunch on my way home.  We cleaned the house and got the decorations out.  

Late afternoon we all went out to shovel.  The snow was heavy! But we were glad to get it done before the temperatures dropped and it got icy.

E's friend came over and they went down the street to ambush some neighbours with snowballs.  When they got back we had dinner, Dave and I put the lights on the tree, I showered a screaming Q, and then I went to yoga. Candlelight yoga with guided meditation at the end was just what I needed to end that crazy weekend and prep for a busy week ahead. 

Monday, December 2, 2019

Busy Weekend and Christmas Cards

Our weekend was jam packed with Christmas fun, tidying the house, and a winter storm.  Needless to say I am tired and therefore I'm reposting a post about why I send Christmas cards.  I was thinking of these reasons on Sunday morning when I started writing out my cards.  Sometimes I wonder why I send as many as I do, since we don't get as many back as we send, but that doesn't really matter.

So here is what I wrote about last year.  The original post is here,

The other day I was sitting in the kitchen at work and mentioned something about taking our family photo for our Christmas card, and someone asked me why I send cards. It had never occurred to me to not send cards, but then I thought about my reasons why.

It is a nice way to keep in touch.  There are many people on our list that we only connect with around Christmastime with a card.  With Facebook, etc. I sometimes feel pressured to keep up with everyone all of the time, but that is simply impossible.  Sending a card lets the person know we are still thinking of them and that they are important!

It spreads Christmas cheer.  Getting a holiday card in the mail is exciting for the recipient.  We don't get a ton of personal mail anymore so it is nice to get a card. 

It puts me in the holiday spirit.  Like putting up the tree and hanging the lights outside, designing and sending our Christmas cards is another thing that is part of the holiday season.  I love a good task like stuffing the envelopes, writing the addresses, and applying the stamp, and then seeing my progress.  

I like getting cards.  So I can't expect people to keep sending me cards if I don't send any myself!

It's a record of how our family has grown. I keep a copy of each of our cards since we started doing the photo card, and even though we only have four (this year is number 5), I will love to someday have a stack of cards to look through. 

It's an excuse to take a family photo.  We take lots of photos, most of the kids, some selfies, but getting a photo for the card is a good reason to dress in coordinating outfits and all get in the photo.  

Friday, November 29, 2019

Friday Favourites

Lobster season started in my hometown this week.  I saw a story shared on Twitter of an all female  lobster crew, likely the first one in Nova Scotia. I always appreciate stories like this.  We'll be getting some South Shore lobster at Christmas, best kind. 

Because of Thanksgiving in the US, Sirius XM radio is free this week in the cars.  I always love the Prime Country station :)

So I mentioned in Wednesday's post that I am reading a super sad book about (slight spoiler alert) a sick child. So I've been a little extra patient with putting the kids to bed this week, and twice I've played a couple of games of cards with E.  I don't love board games but I'll play cards.  We played Uno one night and War another night.  It was fun and we just did a few hands before I made him go to bed. 
(I know this game is Monopoly Deal, this photo is from a couple of weeks ago)

Maman in First Canadian Place.  I thought this was a sit down restaurant but it's more of a counter with a few seats.  I wandered in the other day to check it out and the smell of the baked goods sucked me in and I had to get a cookie and coffee.  Apparently the cookies were on Oprah's favourite things list a few years ago, and I will admit that tipped me into getting one.

Linking up with AndreaErika, and Narci.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Preparing for Advent

That's sort of redundant, since Advent means preparing for Christmas, but you get the idea.

Last year I was part of a 12 days of Christmas via email where we received little gifts each day - a workout you could do at home, some guided meditation, a playlist, etc.  To start off we were asked to consider the following questions:

What is your intention for the Christmas season?
How do you want to feel at the end of the season?
What story/thoughts do you want to give up?
What are you excited to share with others this season?

I thought this was a worthwhile exercise because it got me to think about what the Christmas season was all about and how it would sustain me even into January.  We can get caught up doing all of the things and forgetting about the things that really matter.  No one will remember if you made three desserts or just one (or if you bought it!).

I am part of the 12 days of Christmas emails again but I've already started thinking about what my intention will be and what I want to take away at the end of the season.  Things that are important to me are connecting with the wonder of Jesus's birth, making our home a welcoming place, and remembering there is no magic formula for a happy Christmas.  It's easy to get disappointed that you run out of time to do everything, and although traditions are great, Christmas will still carry on even if you miss out on some things.

What are you going to focus on this season?

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

What's Up Wednesday

What we're eating this week...
Sunday - leftover tacos
Monday - Greek salad bowls (grilled chicken, greek salad, rice, tzatziki, hummus, pitas)
Tuesday - Mac and Cheese with Broccoli
Wednesday - Pot Roast
Thursday - Turkey Pot Pie
Friday - Pizza at Movie Night
Saturday - something simple since we are off to a party

What I'm reminiscing about...
As always, I am thinking about Christmases past.  Remember those creme de menthe parfaits on Christmas Eve, Mom, Louise, Alexie?  I'm sure we only had them once or twice but they are a strong memory!

What I'm loving...
Christmas lights.  My building has big tree with twinkling blue lights, and the column in the middle of the lobby is wrapped in twinkling white lights.  It is dark(ish) when I get to work and darker when I leave work and the lights make me smile.  I also love to see the lights on our house when I get home.  (This is last year, but it's similar this year)

What we've been up to...
Finishing up the basement.  It's almost done, just waiting for a closet door.  When it's done I'll do a post to show it to you.  Dave did all of the work taking it from an empty cement room to a cozy hang out.  I did a little shopping for decorations on Sunday and picked up this little guy.

What I'm dreading...
We've been spoiled with mild weather, so I am actually looking forward to some snow and cold, so I'm not sure what I'm dreading at the moment. Maybe you could say I'm dreading my Visa bill in January ;)

What I'm working on...
I've got two things at work that need to be done by year end so I'm working on that!  Since we are going to Hawaii in January I am not really taking any Christmas holidays so hopefully I'll have enough time to get it all done.  

What I'm excited about...
Getting our tree this weekend.  We used to go to Plant World but it closed this past year so we needed to find a new place.  I think we'll try Sheridan Nurseries on Burnhamthorpe.  We'll get it on Saturday but then decorate it on Sunday.

What I'm watching/reading...
Nothing really, just Raptor games lately.  We need to start some new shows but our evenings have been busy.

I wrote about my November reads on Monday.   Now I'm reading Clare Mackintosh's new book, After the End.  I'm not sure I will be able to read it on the subway. It's really good, but so sad!!

What I'm listening to...
Christmas music of course!  I have a few of my old favourite albums saved on Spotify - Matt Anderson, Bing Crosby, Michael Buble, Vince Guaraldi Trio (Charlie Brown).

What I'm doing this weekend...
Movie night at the school on Friday night, getting our tree, doing some decorating, and a Christmas party on Saturday. 

What I'm looking forward to next month...
All of the Christmas things - decorating, Disney Plus, Santa, concerts, family visitors, and of course celebrating the birth of Jesus! 

What else is new...
We booked a winter holiday for March, can't wait!

Linking up with Shay and Sheaffer

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Weekend Recap

We had a fun weekend with our out of town guests!! Dave's cousin and his family came to see us from Ottawa.  They arrived around suppertime on Friday night so we had some lasagna, caesar salad and garlic bread.  The kids played around for a bit and then once we got them to bed we sat around and chatted.  

On Saturday morning we were up bright and early.  Once we got organized we struck out for the Bloor West Village "Santa in the Village".  They had a few kids' activities and some roaming carollers.  Santa was there too but we didn't stop in to see him this time.  The sun was shining brightly and it wasn't too cold.

They had some really cute balloon sculptures.  A tree and Santa!

Making an ornament.

Then we attempted some gingerbread men.  The icing was a little hard to get out of the packets, but E did a great job.  Q was happy with just his cookie in the end. 

We tried posing the kids for a photo in the sleigh but Q wasn't having it.

Home for some treats - the gingerbread and the pastries we picked up at the bakery.

Q loves his new Operation game.

When the little kids went to bed, Dave made cookies with E and L. 

After nap time we got everyone bundled up again for a walk in High Park.  First stop was the zoo.

Duck watching

L tried to pull the sword out, no luck!

That's E and L on the tire swing.

A small hike into the woods with homemade cookies.

We headed home and had tacos for supper, so simple. The kids watched some shows but we had a bit of an earlier night than the day before. 

Before everyone took off we went for a walk down by the Humber River.  Can you spot E?

This was after E stuck burrs on my coat!

Our guests left after that to go home, E went to a birthday party, and then I went out shopping.  I planned just to go to Home Sense to get a few Christmas decorations and some stuff for the basement, but ended up at a bunch of different stores.

I came away with this guy, a few other decor items, a little tree for Q's room, frames, and new sneakers for E.

It was a successful trip.  When I got back Dave was getting the Christmas lights out so I helped him with that.  We had leftovers for supper and then I went to yoga.