Thursday, November 30, 2017

Monthly Goals

My goals for November were:

Flu shots for everyone.  Done.  Q just needs a second shot in a couple of weeks but the appointment has been made.

Plan a reading list for next year.  Done. I did that yesterday.  I'm sure I will pick up a few more books than these ones, but this will get me started.

Reorganize my closet.  As usual, this is something that has fallen by the wayside.

Do our wills.  A lawyer at my firm has our instructions and is doing drafts for me.  But she is involved in the same closing I'm doing so all work has been put on the back burner until this deal is closed.  We will finish them up next month.

Plan out Christmas gifts and buy at least 50% of them.  I have a lot planned out but have only bought a few.  Again, once this deal is closed at work, then I can start going some errands at lunch and do a bit more online shopping.

My goals for December are:

1. Catch up on This is Us.  I have four episodes to watch.
2. Take E out for lunch during the school week.
3. Make Jamie Oliver's bread pudding with a panettone.
4. Do a gallery wall in the basement.
5. Do all the Christmas things but also find time to relax.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

2018 Reading List

I perused my ongoing list of book recommendations along with the New York Times and Globe and Mail Best Books of 2017 lists, and this is what I've put on my reading list for 2017.

Scarborough by Catherine Hernandez. This one is set in Toronto (obvi) so I think I will appreciate some local references.  I don't venture East of Yonge much so I'll look forward to exploring this strange new side of the city.

Turtles All The Way Down by John Green.  This one is about mental illness; a difficult but fascinating topic.

Exit West by Moshid Hamid.  Although Syrian refugees didn't dominate our headlines as much this year, refugees are still out there and require continued attention.  This book is about refugees but I think it takes place in some alternate universe, so I'm curious how it will read.

Hunger: A Memoir of my Body by Roxanne Gay. I thought I would throw in a few non-fiction selections.  This one was on one of those lists of good writing.  With the constant discussion about body image and women, this is apparently a very honest account of being overweight and what goes along with that.

Church of Small Things by Melanie Shankle. This is also non-fiction, and on my Christmas list this year.

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan.  This is a fun one that I've heard some good things about.  Excited to pick it up, and maybe the sequel too.

Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thein. Giller Prize winner, say no more (but if I must, it takes place in China, which is a place about which I haven't read a lot about).

The Nazi Officer's Wife by Edith H. Beer.  Another non-fiction selection. This is a crazy record of survival of a woman during World War II.  I'm interested in all things about the two World Wars and I have heard that it reads like a novel.

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. I really don't know much about this one other than it has showed up on a few must-read lists.  One of the nice things about book club was reading things that I knew nothing about so that's why I added it to the list.

And Then You Loved Me by Inglath Cooper.  So the front of this book makes me think it will be a romance.  I used to read romance novels all the time, so this may be a nice throwback.

Interestingly as I was making this list, I removed two that I had selected because I realized I had read another book by those authors and hated them.  One was Transit by Rachel Cusk, we read Outline for our book club, and I was not a fan.  The other was Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan.  Our book club also read A Visit From the Goon Squad and I didn't like it either.  Now that I'm choosing my own books, I can do what I want!

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Show and Tell Tuesday

Linking up with Andrea for Show and Tell Tuesday.

Today's topic is Christmas gifts for myself - Want, Need, Wear, Read

I want a new pair of black leggings from Nike or Lululemon.  I had a pair that was pretty thin that I could use for outdoor runs and as another layer when skiing, but then they got a hole in them and it wasn't mendable. 

Nike (this photo wouldn't copy properly)

I need a new Contigo travel mug.  I take coffee to work everyday and the Contigo mug really keeps it hot while I drink it.  Mine is the old version that is not easy to clean and I am constantly having to clean out scum from the lid (gross, sure, but oddly satisfying).  I'm hoping Santa can put one in my stocking.

Last year I got Dave a down jacket from Patagonia and now I really want one. I have no idea what colour I want, but this is what it looks like.

I've heard good things about The Church of Small Things by Melanie Shankle.  It's a non-fiction book about rejoicing in small things in your daily life.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Weekend Recap

Friday was a busy day for me and I fought traffic to pick up both boys before 6:00, but I made it.  It was so nice to come home to a beautiful Indian meal homemade by Dave.  He made a lamb curry, and a vegetable curry, and we had rice and naan on the side.  It was hit with everyone.

Then we put Q to bed and relaxed on the couch with wine and popcorn and the Sound of Music. 

After E went to bed, Dave and I watched a couple of episodes of Ozark and stayed up probably too late. 

The next morning we went up to Bloor West Village for their 2nd annual Santa in the Village festival.  We had some free hot chocolate, cookie decorating, a glimpse of Santa, some nice music, and some gifts (for ourselves).

"Get these antlers off of me!"

"Fine, I'll wear them."

"But I don't want to walk around with them on."

"But now that I have a cookie, I'm fine."

Then Dave and E went home to get the outdoor decorations out, and Q and I did some errands.   E helped himself to some apple sauce as part of his lunch.  I did feed him most of it otherwise it would have been a lot messier.

After Q's nap and the rest of The Sound of Music, we headed downtown to see the Bay windows and lights.

The tree at Jane and Bloor.  This started the game of "spot the Christmas tree".

Magical windows at The Bay

This was my favourite one

Then we went into the Eaton's Centre to see the tree.  E says he likes the twinkle lights.

Then back outside to see what was going on at City Hall.  This was the night for the Calvalcade of Lights and there were a lot of people.  We are hoping to come back another night and go skating when it's less crowded.

We went over to Jack Astors at Yonge-Dundas Square for supper.  

E tried calamari for the first time and ate it right up.

Enjoying some lights at the Y-D Square

Santa has a workshop in the back of the Eaton's Centre, so we stopped for some photos.

A cute little church back there too

We did not stay for the actual lighting of the City Hall Christmas Tree, since we would have had to wait a little while. It ended up being a good call because it started raining just as we got home.  It was early to bed for us after a full day!

At church on Sunday, E coloured in a card for the Out of the Cold bag lunches. 

I did a few errands, including some Christmas gifts, and then I came home and we did some decorating.  Complete with egg nog of course!

Putting the bible verses in each day of our advent calendar.

We had an hour of daylight left when Q woke up so we went down to the park for a little bit.  

It was a busy but heart full kind of weekend, and Christmas is here!