Friday, January 31, 2020

Friday Favourites

Linking up with AndreaErika, and Narci to share some favourites from the week.

I snapped this pretty picture of the skyline when I left work on Wednesday night.  I love silhouettes of trees against the sky.  The air is crisp up here and although I'm not outside for any length of time, I am appreciating the winter weather since it has been so mild in Toronto.

I've had a few good take out meals while I've been here too.  Indian from Holy Cow and a tasty sandwich from Radical Gardens

One morning I saw two foxes running along the river as I drove to work.  I wish I could have taken a photo but I know it wouldn't have turned out anyway even if I had space to pull over. So here is our fox from the basement instead.

Dave's been holding it down on the homefront.  He made this great baked ziti for supper one night.

And they have been working on the puzzle.

And when I was talking to them, I saw this cute smile from Q while they were watching Angry Birds 2.  I look weird because I was coughing when I took the screenshot.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, January 30, 2020

January Book Review

Just a couple of books this month.  I need to get onto the library website and place some holds. 

First up was You've been Volunteered by Laurie Gelman.

I read the preceding book, Class Mom, in October.  This book picks up a couple of years after we left the characters in Class Mom.  The main character is back to being Class Mom and is also in charge of organizing the student crossing guards.  This is an easy read, I finished it one day!, and very entertaining.  I laughed out loud a few times and really enjoyed the writing.   I'm hoping Laurie writes more books with these characters. 

The second book I read was The Lake House by Kate Morton.

It took me a couple of chapters to get into the story but then I was hooked and could hardly put it down.  The story is about the disappearance of a young boy in the 1930s and then a police detective in modern day trying to solve this cold case.  I can't remember if I have read other books by this author but I am very interested in finding more by her.  Her writing style is exactly what I like, and that it's set in England is even better.  I thought I had the mystery of what happened to the boy solved many times, but it was not what I expected.  

I mentioned this final book last month when I started it.  I put it away during Christmas and didn't take it on our holiday.  It is Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond.

I only have 100 pages left so I'll finish it up next week.  It has been a long read and reminds me of university reading.  But then I remember I'm not actually in university so if there are parts that aren't super interesting, i just skim through them, no exam to study for.  The book is basically about why certain civilizations developed at different rates than others and why when they met up why certain groups (often the Western Europeans) were able to conquer the other groups. It talks about a variety of factors such as animal and plant domestication, development of writing systems, geography and climate, innovations, and others.  It's a lot of information and I have learned a lot.  I am reading it because my boss gave everyone a copy and said we should read it, so as someone who follows instructions, I did as was suggested.  I have enjoyed speaking about it with my colleagues so it was worth it for that. 

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

What's Up Wednesday

What we're eating this week...
(my meals in brackets as I am away)
Sunday - leftover red lentil curry
Monday - Baked Ziti (Boston Pizza)
Tuesday - Salmon and vegetables (Indian takeout)
Wednesday - Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup (fish and chips)
Thursday - Tacos (Swiss Chalet takeout)
Friday - Queen Margherita Pizza
Saturday - salad bowls

What I'm reminiscing about...
I started my job about a year ago and came up to Timmins shortly thereafter.  I am reminiscing about my first trip here and all I have learned since I started.  I still have a lot to learn of course, but it's coming.
A lot colder and snowier last year!

What we've been up to...
Watching movies, making homemade pizza, doing puzzles, playing Nintendo - all kinds of cozy things.

What I'm dreading...
Dreading is not exactly the right word, rather I am apprehensive of the Coronavirus.  I did not live in Toronto when SARS was here but I know it was a big deal.  I'm really hoping that this virus doesn't reach or exceed SARS levels.  I've seen the movies and read the books (Station Eleven).  We'll see what happens. 

What I'm working at...
As usual for this time of year, I am planning our summer.  We have one trip planned, and one camping trip booked, so we need to work on summer camps for E and care for Q in August when he will be done with daycare since he is starting JK in the fall!

What I'm excited about...
Our trip to Jamaica in March!  I'm looking forward to more fun in the sun with the kids and a breakfast buffet (of course!). 
This was our first time in Jamaica in 2017.

What I'm watching/reading...
We are watching The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel together, I am watching This is Us and Cheer, and Dave is watching the new Star Trek show.  I am fascinated by Cheer, it is a world that I had no idea existed.

I will be sharing my January book review tomorrow, so come back then!

What I'm listening to...
I've been listening (and reading) about all of the tributes to Kobe.  To say I'm enjoying those things is the wrong description, but I do appreciate how everyone shares their memories and condolences.  Grief is always complicated but I don't think anyone should apologize for feeling sad even about someone we have never met.  We feel a connection and it helps to share it.
This is one of my favourite photos - you can feel the joy.

What I'm wearing...
It seems I have been wearing all black recently, with hints of grey.  I could do to add a splash of colour or two. 

What I'm doing this weekend...
Q has a birthday party to attend on Saturday, and then skiing on Sunday, and we will tune into the Super Bowl, if only for an excuse to eat wings and nachos :)

What I'm looking forward to next month...
More skiing, Valentine's Day, and Family Day weekend.

What else is new...
I wrote about some stuff going on with each of us on Monday. Click on over to read.

Linking up with Shay and Sheaffer

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Weekend Recap

This weekend was almost a blueprint of last weekend, which wast just fine with me.  I really enjoy these "regular" weekends after the excitement of Christmas and travelling.

I worked from home on Friday and although I was quite busy, I was able to pick up the boys from school, and then I took them to Shoppers to pick up some Valentine's cards.  Shocking but Q picked Paw Patrol ones and E chose Avengers.

Then we made some pizzas for supper and watched a movie.  Dave chose Kubo and the Two Strings, a bit of an intellectual choice, but it was really good and the animation was amazing.  After that Dave and I watched the rest of The Report on Prime (starring Adam Driver).

The next morning I got up to go to my workout class while Dave made waffles for breakfast.  We did some tidying up, Nintendo, and I picked up our grocery order.  And then we went to the movies.  We had some coupons so it didn't cost anything, even for the popcorn.  We saw Spies in Disguise, it was really good.
(Q dressed himself and chose Santa PJ pants so we just went with it)

We did spend some money at the arcade so it wasn't an entirely free trip.

We had a yummy salad bowl for supper and worked on the puzzle, while the boys played downstairs with the neighbour boys.

We headed up to the ski hill on Sunday morning for lessons.  We were a bit early so E and I did a few runs together before I had to drop him off.

I didn't get any photos of Q but he had a great day.  I went by to pick him up but I was early, when he saw me he just waved "Hi Mom" and he headed back out for the last half hour.  When I actually picked him up at noon he told me he didn't cry and he liked skiing.  It helped that it wasn't that cold. I went out skiing in the afternoon and Dave took Q over to the bunny hill and he enjoyed that too.   On our way home we found out about Kobe Bryant so we were pretty sad about that.  When we finally sat down to watch the Raptors - Spurs game, we were touched by their tribute to Kobe where both teams incurred the 24 second shot clock violation (24 being Kobe's number), well done guys. 

Monday, January 27, 2020

Three Things

Three things going on with each of us at the moment:

Q (3 years old)

1. Q's new clapback line is "You're not my best friend!! Dad/Mom is my best friend"! (insert whomever he is not mad at). He says this about his friends at school too.  If you do something to make him mad (i.e. tell him to go to bed), then he will cut you from his best friend list. 

2.  However, he is quite polite.  He is very good at saying "please", "thank you", and "sorry".  And he also knows how to clear his plate from the table, scrape the leftover food into the organics bin, and put it in the dishwasher.   

3.  He has been skiing since January and likes it! He had a very successful day yesterday, most likely due to the warmer temperatures.  Last week he didn't like it as much and complained about being cold.

E (8 years old, Grade 3)
1. E finished his first chapter book this week, a Hardy Boys book.  He has read plenty of Dog Man books but I don't really count that as a novel.  He said he had the mystery solved before they did!

2. He is enjoying the Nintendo Switch we got for Christmas, and he even plays with Q, which is nice since Q doesn't really know what he is doing. 

3. He is doing much better at swimming this session and got some good goggles to help with diving to the bottom.  I don't get to see him swim since Dave takes him to the lessons, but I'm hearing good reports. 

1. Like most basketball fans, Dave was pretty devastated by the news of Kobe's death yesterday.  It's sad anytime someone dies, but this was so tragic.  It's crazy that everyone was just talking about Kobe this weekend with LeBron beating his record, and then this.

2. I should say Dave is also enjoying the Nintendo and playing with E.  He has more patience to play all of the games with him, whereas I just want to play regular Mario Kart.

3. I know I brag about him often, but one more thing to add to the list. Every week he gets all of our skiing stuff ready to go and I never have to worry if we have everything.  


1. Since I got my haircut the last time (November), I have really cut down on using my flat iron.  The hairdresser said how much it damages my hair (I mean, I know that, but didn't really worry about it).  But then I realized it doesn't make much of a difference, and if I blow dry it properly it looks almost the same. Ironically using it to get rid of the flyaway hairs causes breakage and more flyaways.

2. I am working in Timmins this week which should be good.  I don't mind going up there every once in awhile and I'm looking forward to the solo airplane ride and hotel room. 

3. You know you're getting older when one of the things about you is that your shoulder hurts, haha.  I ice it every once in awhile and try not to carry too much.  I may try to get a physio appointment to see if I can do anything with it, but it doesn't bother me too much.

Friday, January 24, 2020

Friday Favourites

A few favourites from this week:

Snowball fights after school.  I got this shot of the snowball actually mid-air.

Random photos I found on my phone.

This guy asking to pose for a photo.

Random silliness

The last of my Hawaii posts.

Some winter Hygge.

Lunch with some friends (that I forgot to take photos of!)

Linking up with AndreaErika, and Narci.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Winter Hygge

Trying to fit some hygge into our lives this winter. 

Hot chocolate with marshmallows of course

Meals from the slow cooker

Scotch (and red wine)

Cozy blankets


And I know Hygge is usually not about technology, we like to have movie nights and play Nintendo together in our cozy new TV room

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Hawaii Accommodations

Last Hawaii post, I promise!! I wanted to group all of my comments about our accommodations in one place.

For anyone who has traveled to Hawaii, you know that things can get expensive.  Coupled with that, we didn't know for sure we were going on this trip until mid-October so we had a short window for booking our Maui accommodations.  There are some AirBnb options but not much was available to us when we were booking, and there seemed to be a large gap between shared bathrooms/hostel type places, and large homes that could sleep 12 people or more that quickly went beyond our price range.

The first place we booked was bed and breakfast called the Pineapple Inn.  I found it by just Google mapping Maui and searching "hotel".  I liked the idea of a Bed and Breakfast (even though it wasn't on the beach) and the grounds and rooms looked really nice in the photos, and the price was right.  Unfortunately they could only accommodate us for three of the five nights we were in Maui, so we needed to find somewhere else for the first two nights.

Our first hotel was the Aston Kaanapali Shores.  We found it through Expedia and the price was fine, but more than we really wanted to spend.  We even considered staying at the Courtyard Marriott by the Kahului airport, but I'm glad we didn't.  This place is just north of Lahaina which is a great tourist area.  They grounds are beautiful and we really enjoyed the pool.  There is no real beach access there though, although there are great views.  It is attached to a path along the beach where we went for a run, and also close to Duke's which is a great place to eat.

The hotel itself is really like a time share/condo place where many people are returning guests/owners.  We were supposed to be in a regular hotel type room, but we were upgraded to a three bedroom condo with a full kitchen.  It was way more space than we needed but it was nice to have the extra room for our luggage and to have two bathrooms.  It was pretty dated though, clean and spacious, but old. 
Spiral staircase up to a third bedroom that we didn't use at all.

I snapped this just before we left, hence the unmade bed.

So then we moved onto the Pineapple Inn in Kihei.  This place was adorable.  Comfortable bed, beautiful view, a fridge stocked with lots of breakfast stuff, free parking, and lots of beach stuff to borrow.  When we arrived, the key was in the door to our room, and that is how we left it too, so no messing around with checking in and out.  It wasn't really near anything though, so we had to drive or uber to get to the beach and restaurants.

Pool and hot tub were just perfect.

Sunset views from our lanai.

Looking east from the stairway

The gardens were just amazing, it felt like a lovely oasis.  The owners have done such a great job of maintaining this property, it rivalled the Four Seasons. 

I would definitely recommend this place to adults visiting Maui, although children are welcome, it would not be the best place for them.

And then we went to the pièce de la résistance, Four Seasons Oahu in Ko Olina.  We were guests of Dave's company and we enjoyed being spoiled.  We have stayed at the Four Seasons in Nevis and Punta Mita before (for other work trips) and they are pretty nice.  They know how to look after their guests, the rooms are luxurious and the food is so good.

There are three pools but we only went to the adult only one.  The beach is on a shared lagoon with the Disney Aulani.  We didn't spend that much time there but it is lovely and calm.  If you're looking for luxury, this is it!