Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Weekend Recap

On Friday we ate up some leftovers for supper and then got to family movie night, this time the new Jumanji.  We all liked it and it helped that we had just watched the old one a few weeks ago since there were a few throwbacks to that movie in the new one. 

On Saturday morning I went to my workout class; when I got back E and Dave went to get a couple of things for t-ball while Q and I did some stuff around the house.  He was taking a few minutes on the floor while I folded my clothes. 

Then we bundled up and headed to High Park for E's first t-ball game.  It was about 4 degrees but it felt colder than that. We had toques and mittens on, and we had blankets.   E seemed unfazed by the cold; here is his first at bat.

The game was from 12 to 2, so we brought a picnic lunch and Q enjoyed some pitas and hummus and yoghurt in the stands.

After we got home Q had a nap and then our neighbours invited us over for supper, which was great since we had no plans and were just going to order something.   The kids making supper out on the deck.

No feet on the table!!

We watched the Raptor game and then tried to get to bed early.  Dave was headed to Florida on Sunday morning for work.  

When the boys and I got up, I tried this recipe for homemade bagels.  They don't have the same density as regular bagels but they were tasty - I sprinkled the tops with poppy seeds, sesame seeds, dried onion, and salt.  

Q liked them!

Then it was off to church, still not super warm, but a big difference than the day before since the sun was out!

Since Dave was away, Q had to come to E's swimming lessons which pushed his nap again on Sunday, but he hung in there.  I see I caught one of his little buddies from school in this picture, she is wearing the pink suit walking around with her dad, Q was excited to see her.  E is in the bottom corner of the pool, but you can just see his face. 

We hurried home so Q could get to bed.  E worked on his homework and I did a bit of work too.  Then E finished his movie (we had watched part of Ready Player One the day before), and I had a 20 minute nap.  We got Q up so we could go and get our grocery order, and then come home, leave the groceries, and walk up the street so we could make it to the bakery and the library before they both closed at 5:00.  We cut it close (walking into the library at 4:50), but we got our errands done!

Although we were starving with plans to eat supper at the local pub, Q wanted to go to the playground behind the library so we went there for a few minutes. 

We were going to order pizza but since it was nice out, I thought it was better to walk up the street to grab dinner.  Plus they had Guinness, which we did not have at home ;)

Milk in a soup container with lid as suggested by the waiter (but it worked, he didn't spill it!)

We walked home, had baths, and got ready for the week.  Then I settled in for Game of Thrones.  I stayed up too late to watch a bit of Talk the Thrones, I could not resist, I wanted to know more!

Monday, April 29, 2019

How I do chores

To give you a peek into how we do certain of those everyday things in our life, here is a look at how I do chores around the house.  Don't think for a second that Dave doesn't do his fair share around here, because of course he does, but I will speak in the first person for simplicity rather than spell out exactly how everything gets done.

Bathrooms - The main bathroom upstairs gets cleaned about once a week (but I only do the shower every other week because it takes longer).  I try to get it done on Saturday afternoons right after Q goes down for his nap.  After he falls asleep the upstairs is basically off limits but if I can quickly get this job out of the way right at the beginning of nap time, then it's done!  I like the Scrubbing Bubbles flushable toilet pads, Lysol wipes, and Scrubbing Bubbles Shower Foam

Kitchen - We are big believers in cleaning as you go.  Whenever we start cooking anything, a sink full of soapy water is started, and then when you have a minute or two while something is cooking, then you can start working through the dishes.  Then when we are done eating, mostly we just need to put our dishes in the dishwasher and maybe do one or two pots and wipe down the counter and table.  We don't dry the dishes, just stack them up and let them air dry.  We try to put them all away and empty the dishwasher (that we start after dinner a couple of times a week) before we go to bed so they aren't all waiting for us in the morning.  We do everything before we put the kids to bed, so the kitchen is relatively clean when we come down.  I will usually make lunches or prep something for the next night's dinner, but any mess made there is pretty easy to clean up if the rest of the kitchen is clean.    I don't have a schedule for deep cleaning the kitchen, just whenever I notice something is getting dirty and then I will scrub the sink out (with baking soda), clean the range hood with Lysol, soak the range filters, wipe out the fridge, and wipe down the cabinets.

Dusting - This one does not get done much, but usually when I am changing decorations or if we are having guests over.  If I notice a cobweb or two, I will get out the big wand we use to get all of the cobwebs and do the whole house.

Floors - We are constantly sweeping and running the vacuum, but for washing the floors, this is Dave's dominion.  I really don't have the desire the wash the floors, but he likes to do it and he appreciates the clean floors when they are done.  We have a steam mop that does a good job.  I actually prefer to use a bucket and cloth and Lysol spray and wash the whole thing by hand, but I only do that about twice a year, usually in the winter time if salty boot prints have made it through the house.

Laundry - I do all of the laundry on the weekend, and everybody's laundry is washed separately (Dave does his own), and then sheets and towels make up the other loads I do.  The summary below is fairly accurate.  I am really trying harder to fold the loads within a day of them being done, but it is my least favourite part.  When I can I try to get E to fold his own laundry so that will help out if I can be more consistent with asking him to do it.

I have tried following schedules for cleaning like people suggest on Pinterest, or keeping track of when I've cleaned things last so I'm not wondering about the last time I cleaned out the fridge, but I can never seem to keep up the habit.  I'm sure I could find a better way to do things and I know my house could be cleaner, but it works for me and at this stage of my life when I have a few other things going on, fitting in house cleaning chores whenever I can is the best I can do!! On that note, I don't really have a desire to get a cleaning service, even though I know lots of people have them.  I have two thoughts on that and one of them is I don't like paying somebody for something I can do myself, and the other is that I know I would still have to clean up on the days they are not there so if I'm still doing some cleaning and I'm paying someone to clean, it seems counterintuitive.  We really have not done enough to get E to help out with the chores, but this will be something to work on next.  He is a good helper, he just needs direction. So once he gets his own things to look after, that will help out a lot!

Friday, April 26, 2019

Friday Favourites

Happy Friday! April flew by, didn't it?  Next week it's gonna be May!
(I couldn't resist!)

E is in the spring art program at school again and has brought home three lovely paintings so far.  The theme for this session is Toronto.  The top one is graffiti, the horse is from the Toronto Zoo, and the water is Lake Ontario. 

We were grating cheese to add to the chicken stew we were eating on Wednesday and Q grabbed the whole block of cheese just like George Costanza and ate right off the top.  I cut off the part that had been in his mouth and he was still pretty happy about that.

Last night E and I went to his school for a performance of the hoop troop and hoppers.  The younger kids do a routine with hula hoops and the older kids do a skipping show.  It was incredible, the amount of work and talent by these kids is great!! You can't help but smile and every one of those performers was having a great time.  E will try out for the hoop troop next year.  

My office is recognizing the National Day of Mourning today (the actual day is Sunday).  It is a day that honours those who have died or been injured on the job.  Obviously mining is a hazardous workplace and we really focus on the safety of our workers, and the day was partly started because of miners, so it is of particular importance to us.  Something I didn't really think of before when working in a fairly innocuous working environment of a law firm.   

I had lunch at the food court in Union Station this week.   I had the jerk chicken from Roywoods which was very tasty (but I still hold true to Annie's on Jane!) but it was also a cool atmosphere.  All of the places, including the Pizza Pizza have hip looking counters, there is a DJ, and a mixture of patrons (travellers, workers, tourists, students, etc.).  Next time I want to try Union Chicken or Wvrst. 

Check out my April Book Review here.  I finished Station Eleven like I said I would, and spoiler alert, no zombies. 

Also check out our Easter weekend here.

Linking up with AndreaErika, and Narci

Thursday, April 25, 2019

April Book Reviews

I knocked four books off of my reading list this month.  I have two left and I currently have holds on both of them at the library.

The Cozy Life (re Hygge) by Pia Edberg

This was a cute little book about how to incorporate the Danish concept of Hygge (or coziness if you want to try and translate it to English) into your life.  It was a short read but repetitive and although the author does a good job of applying Hygge to all aspects of your life, basically the message is to enjoy spending time inside during the winter by lighting candles, cuddling up in a blanket, inviting people over to spend simple quality time, and eat pastries.  Nothing I want to argue with there, but not really groundbreaking stuff.  It is a good reminder that simple is better and to spend less time on your electronics and more time with personal interaction. 

Necessary Lies by Diane Chamberlain
This book takes place in the South in the 1960s and jumps back and forth between narrators - a young social worker and a teenager who is one of the social worker's clients.  The girl lives and works on a tobacco farm with her grandmother, sister, and nephew.  The social worker is new to the position is trying to get to know this family and the others at the tobacco farm.  There is one aspect to this book that is so fascinating because it is based on true events, and it's just heartbreaking and really shows the attitudes that people had to poor white and black folks during that time.  This one had me turning pages and just like An American Marriage that I read last month, there were a few times when I almost missed my subway stop. 

Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain
As a fan of Mr. Bourdain, I absolutely loved this book. I could hear his voice reading it to me in my head and I was enthralled with his life as a chef working in a variety of different kitchens.  My favourite chapter was a Day in the Life and it just made me exhausted. I worked in a restaurant as a server for a few years in university and I could definitely relate to some of his stories, although I don't think our kitchen was ever as bad as the ones he described.  If you are a fan of his, read this book.  

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
I'm sort of cheating with this one because as I write this post I am only about halfway through this book, but I should be finished by the end of April so I think it counts to include it here.  Plus I already know I love it and would recommend it. As usual I don't like to give anything away about the plot but I will say that it starts out set in Toronto, which of course I always enjoy, and then it bounces back and forth between interconnected characters' stories from the past and the "present" following a flu pandemic that has wiped out a majority of the world's population, think Walking Dead but without the zombies (at least no zombies in the first half of the book, not sure if they show up later).  The characters are well written and the plot is very engaging.  Pick this up for something different! And it's Canadian!

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

What's Up Wednesday

What we're eating this week...
Sunday - leftover turkey dinner
Monday - macaroni and cheese with peas and broccoli 
Tuesday - lentils, roasted vegetables, kale, avocado, and spiced yoghurt (mixed together in a bowl)
Wednesday - Chicken Quinoa Stew in the slow cooker
Thursday - Pad Thai with spaghetti squash instead of noodles
Friday and Saturday - no plans yet but will probably go out once

What I'm reminiscing about...
I looked back at my April What's Up Wednesdays from years' past and saw some cute photos of my little guys. 

What I'm loving...
I am always happy when spring arrives and the weather is warmer and the evenings are lighter.  It's taken a little while to actually warm up but I think spring is actually here.  I have been seeing the flowering trees in France and England through some Instagram accounts I follow, and ours should be showing up very soon. 

What we've been up to...
Getting outside even if it's not warm.  Q loves to go outside and is keen to get his boots/shoes and jacket on.  If it's raining, he knows he just needs his hood up.  

What I'm dreading...
6:00 weekday practices for E's t-ball and and games and practice for soccer.  It will be a hustle to get home and get supper (and then make it to my workout classes for 8:00). 

What I'm working on...
Slowly but surely I will get through all of my clothing drawers, E's clothes, and the kitchen to weed out things that can be throw out or donated.  E's clothes can be saved for Q of course, my clothes can be donated, and the kitchen stuff will be going to our church's yard sale in May. 

What I'm excited about...
There is a new workout schedule and reset eating plan starting next week from my workout group and I'm excited to see new recipes and try new classes.  It is a lot of prep work to strictly eat the reset menu but I do feel so much better when I do, that it is worth it. 

What I'm watching/reading...
We are watching all of the sports (hockey and basketball playoffs, and baseball).  We are also watching Game of Thrones, Veep, and Island of Bryan.  I also started The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann on Netflix. 

Stay tuned for my April book review on tomorrow's post.  

What I'm listening to...
Mary Poppins soundtrack is on repeat around here still.  It's catchy!

What I'm wearing...
No jacket! Well at least yesterday it was warm enough to go without.  Which is too bad since I just got a new trench coat from Banana Republic.  I got tired of looking around the stores for one, so I just went on the BR website and ordered one, and it was 40% off that day. 
product photo
What I'm doing this weekend...
E has a pre-season t-ball game on Saturday so we will be High Park for a little bit, but no other set plans other than that and church. 

What I'm looking forward to next month...
More t-ball games, soccer for E starting up, Mother's Day, our 10th anniversary, a visit from my dad, and a Blue Jays game. 

What else is new...
Not much else!  Happy Spring!

Linking up with Shay and Sheaffer.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Weekend Recap

We had a busy Easter weekend at Dave's parents' house.  We were not able to get away too early on Thursday, but we packed up and got as far as Cambridge to eat supper at Boston Pizza before continuing on.  BP, always a reliable choice. 

Up early on Friday morning and greeted by more rain  We had pancakes and sausages to start our morning.

Then Q helped Grandma make icing for the Easter cake.

And then both boys helped to decorate it.

We watched

Photo bomber!

We watched a movie and played some games and read.  After Q's nap, we ventured outside for a walk. It was cold!!!

Dave's cousin and her husband arrived before supper, and we all tucked into homemade baked beans and fish cakes.  Then we watched the Leafs and Raptors games. 

Contemplating the Easter cake for breakfast on Saturday morning.

But we had this instead - smoked salmon and bagels, and fruit salad.

Then ready for his next meal!

After lunch we went downtown to The Refined Fool brewery while Q was napping (and stayed home with Grandma).  E and I were in the back of the bus.

First up Clue, and then a simple trivia/betting game.

A cozy way to spend a rainy afternoon. 

We had our turkey dinner that night and had my cherry pie for dessert.

Another early morning on Sunday to see what the Easter Bunny had brought us!  I made them sit at the bottom of the stairs while Dave threw on some clothes. 

A few treats.

And some for the adults.

Hunting for the eggs

Then, trying to shove as many jelly beans as possible in his mouth.

He ended up having to spit some out. 

Ready for church.

We went to a local United Church service and it was very nice.  They serve coffee at the beginning that you get to take into the sanctuary with you.  The boys went up to the listen to the children's story and then followed the kids out for Sunday School, so the service was quite relaxing for us after all.  They had a great time and we heard the good news that He is risen!!

Playing a little bit in the church gym before leaving. 

This is how you get Dave to come to church - offer a chance to shoot hoops!

Our best attempt at a family photo when we got home. 

When we got home, there was a Chase piƱata hanging up in the backyard.

Treats for everyone, including a scavenger hunt to find beers and activity books in the yard.

Then Q had a nap, and the rest of rested too.  I took Q over to the closest playground but it was pretty flooded out from the previous days of rain.  We ended up at a different one and Q enjoyed the slide a few times.

Another Leafs game when we got back, and a few more board games, and then the Raptors game.  Playoffs are a busy time!

We got packed up on Monday morning.  We decided to do a hike on our way home, and we chose the town of Strathroy, which is close to London, and not too far out of the way for Dave's parents to join us.  We found a little conservation park, and then a playground, and spent an hour or so in the bright sun and fresh air.   Then we grabbed some lunch at A and W before driving home.

A great weekend spent with family!