Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Weekend Recap

Friday was a great day because we took the boys to get their first vaccine shot!  It was pretty easy and the kids were great, no complaining. 

We ordered Queen Margherita Pizza on the way home via UberEats but it took forever to arrive!  We watched a couple of episodes of the Mandalorian while we waited.  

This is one I always get, I love the salty olives. 

I got out the wrapping paper so I could start wrapping some gifts.  Meanwhile Dave and Q went to the store to pick up some more lights. 

I took Q to gymnastics and while he was there I did a little shopping on Roncesvalles.

Q got a little blow up Grinch for his room so he was pretty excited. 

Then he helped me put the advent Christmas books in the various pouches. 

I raked the rest of the leaves and then went to Costco.   It was no more crazy than usual, but I needed to get some things I chanced it.  E went to a birthday party and the rest of us had ravioli for supper and watched some TV.   After Q went to bed we watched Richard Jewell about the Atlanta Olympics bombing.  It's on Netflix and it's very good. 

On Sunday morning we woke up to snow! And it snowed all days.  We went to visit our friends - they are renovating their house and they have a new baby so we got to see both!

They also have a dog so the boys were happy to play with him.

We got home in time for the boys to join in on the Sunday School zoom class and they learned about Hope and made a craft. 

Then we all watched the service.  We had communion so I set out a slice of bread and some juice for E and me.

Our neighbours were out playing in the snow so we joined them for a snowman...

...and some sledding.

Later in the afternoon we took the subway downtown.  The kids are playing some "instruments" at the station.

It was so pretty!  This is at Osgoode Hall.

Checking out the Bay windows.

And the tree at the Eaton Centre

We grabbed some dinner at Jack Astors before heading home.


Monday, November 29, 2021

November Books

First I am happy to report I finally finished the Barack Obama book. 

This is what I wrote about this book when I was gave up on it in October: 

This is on my reading list as well, and I will get through it, but I had to put it down for now.  It is over 700 pages (and this is Volume 1 of 2!) and I could only get to page 161 and decided to return it to the library.  The book is good and I want to read it, but it's a little dry.  It basically just tells the story of Obama's campaign and then presidency and it's occasionally written like a speech where he gives examples about the single mother from South Side Chicago, or the second generation farmer in Iowa, and the public school teacher in California, you know what I mean?  He tries to relate everything back to the people of America (you can probably hear his voice saying these things).  So yeah, it's good, and will probably get more interesting after he becomes president (he's only just won the Democratic nomination by page 161) but it's not exactly a page turner, no offense Mr. President.

Then Dave's dad lent me his copy so I was able to pick it up again without worrying about returning it to the library.  Mostly the book tells about different crises that Obama dealt with during his first term - the economic crisis, healthcare reform, Afghanistan and Iraq wars, the environment - and how he worked to make decisions, figure out how to balance the different issues, and about the politics that played into it as well.   It was sort of like a text book on recent history.  Every so often there would be a little nugget of something behind the scenes or a funny personality quirk about another world leader and those were the parts I loved the most.  I wanted to know more about conversations he had with people and interactions with staff and his family.  But it wasn't that sort of book.  The two parts that I did really find interesting was about the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and the killing of Osama Bin Laden, more exciting than economic stimulus to me.  

The next book I read was The Lies that Bind Us by Emily Giffin.  I have read all of her other books and this one was exactly what I needed it to be.  I bought it at the airport when I went to Timmins and then read it when I was in my hotel room.  I finished it quickly and then gave it to a colleague to give to his wife.  

This book was about a woman who had just broken up with her boyfriend and then meets another guy out at a bar.  They have an instant connection and it takes us through their relationship, with various "lies" that are told (or truths omitted) along the way.  It took place around the time of 9/11 so that put an interesting spin on it as well and that's always a topic that interests me.  I would recommend this for a quick read. 

I was able to fit one more book in this month, a quick read by Jill Santopolo called Everything After.

I've read this author's other two books and liked them.  They are a bit heavier than a beach read but easy to digest.  I really don't feel like I can say too much about the plot without giving it away, so I will just say that I enjoyed that the main character was a psychologist because she could diagnose her own motivations and those of her husband.  She was also a musician and I was fascinated by the way the author described how music existed in her life as well as how she could just write a song like that!  It didn't turn out exactly the way I thought it would, but I was happy with it.  

I'm putting together my reading list for 2022 and I'll be sharing that next month.  Leave your suggestions if you have any.  My favourite books tend to focus on some tragedy and bonus points if they are Canadian. 

Friday, November 26, 2021

Friday Favourites


Happy Friday!  I hope my American readers enjoyed Thanksgiving yesterday.

We have this Melissa and Doug tile mosaic set and honestly I can't remember who gave it to us, but Q loves it.  He pulls it out every so often when he wants to do something before school or bedtime when we don't have a lot of time, this time it was before bed. 

One of my favourite lunch spots, Kupfert and Kim has brought back more menu items including the Golden Curry.

The Fairmont Royal York has its beautiful tree up in their lobby now.  I love sitting in hotel lobbies and watch people come and go.

I picked up the most adorable shirts for the kids this week from Roots, they beaver is dressed for Christmas.  I can't copy a photo of the shirt (and I'm lazy to go upstairs to take an actual photo of them), but you can click here to see it.  They can wear them when we go to visit Santa next week!

These two posts had me laughing out loud this week!

The kids get their vaccines today! We are excited about that :) One step closer to feeling safer. Have a great weekend everyone!

Linking up with Andrea and Erika.

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Monthly Musings


This link up happened last week but I still wanted to post on it today.  

(Sidebar - Dara made a great point to say that it doesn't really make sense to call something "holiday" when it's really Christmas. She is Jewish and celebrates Hanukkah but reminds us that it's not the Jewish equivalent of Christmas so it isn't being celebrated at the same level as Christmas is being celebrated by Christians, the Jewish high holidays take place at other times of the year.  So these questions refer to "holiday" but I'll be referring to Christmas for my family - end sidebar).

1. Share your favourite holiday traditions. 
I conveniently wrote about our Christmas traditions last year (click here).  They mostly involve food :)

2. Do you see holiday lights? Driving tour on your own? Attend a park or festival?
Christmas lights are one of my favourite things about this season.  It's so dark when I'm coming home from work, I love seeing the welcoming lights on the street.  We usually just drive around to look at the lights on our own and sometimes go downtown to see the decorations at City Hall, the Eaton Centre, and the windows at the Bay. 

3. Favourite Holiday Recipe?
I love the panettone bread pudding recipe from Jamie Oliver.  It has orange and dark chocolate and tastes so special. 

4.  Must have holiday fashion staples?
A sparkly top.  I got a silver sequin tank from the Bay a few years ago and it always makes an appearance at Christmas or New Years. I can wear it with pants or a skirt. 

5. Any special or extra festive plans this year?
No, everything seems to be "back to normal" after the blip of 2020, so we are happy to do the "same old things" :)

6. Best holiday planning tip?
I have a Google Doc for all of my Christmas plans - party planning, gifts, menus, and to-do lists.  Since we basically do the same things every year, I don't have to start from scratch, just update what I need to. 

7. Favourite holiday movie?
The Family Stone.  I love the cast, the way it makes me laugh and cry, and we named our son Everett, inspired by that movie. 

8. Die Hard...Christmas movie or no?
I've seen about 20 minutes of this movie so I'm not the best judge, but if people want to say it's a Christmas movie, who am I to deny them of that?

9. Tree/decorations up before or after Thanksgiving?
Considering our Thanksgiving is in October, then definitely after!  We will start decorating the house this weekend and get the tree next weekend.  It's a real one so it only lasts about a month. 

10. Do you celebrate other holidays in December?
Festivus, and rest assured, your gifts have been procured.

Thank you to Holly and Patty for the prompts!

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

What's Up Wednesday

What we're eating this week...

Sunday - Leftover red lentil curry
Monday - Tacos
Tuesday - Slow Cooker Roast Beef, Baked Potatoes, Carrots
Wednesday - Leftover Roast Beef
Thursday - Thai Salad Bowls with tofu
Friday - Out
Saturday - Pizza

What I'm reminiscing about...

Thinking back to last year at this time when we had accepted our fate that there would be no Christmas events and no visiting family.  Although we are still wary that cases will increase again (like we are seeing in Europe), we are cautiously optimistic that social events and travelling will continue as planned. 

What I'm loving...
That the kids have their appointments for COVID vaccines on Friday!  We even got them at the same place at roughly the same time.  Signing up was painless.

(This was last week for our flu shots.)

What we've been up to...

Dave has been taking a break from drinking this month and I was supposed to have been doing the same, however with my various work events, I have not been a diligent teetotaler.  I may add on a couple of extra days into December but my work Christmas party is on the 4th so the clock runs out then! We just thought we should try to be a bit healthier this month since the month of December is typically a free for all, and we wanted to do what we could in preparation for Hawaii in January.

What I'm dreading...

Knowing that the month of December will be a busy one at work as we wrap up year end and then I'm going on vacation.  It's always hard to get things off your desk so you can go away!

What I'm working on...

Getting some Christmas gifts ordered.  I started looking around and then remembered about Black Friday so I will keep my eye out for when the deals start (and some of them already have).  

What I'm excited about...

The new Pixar moving coming out in March, Turning Red.  It takes place in Toronto! Check it out, the CN Tower is on the poster.

What I'm wearing...

Ick, nylons! I got to avoid wearing nylons all last winter since I was working from home but they are back.  They aren't that bad, I just hate that they get runs in them so easily!

What I'm watching/reading...

We are between shows right now but I think we will start The Shrink Next Door (Will Ferrell and Paul Rudd).

I completed my reading list finally so I picked up a few random books at the library this week. 

What I'm listening to...
I dipped my toe into the Christmas music this week (after writing about that on Monday) and although I'm not full Mariah Carey yet, I have been enjoying some "Christmas Peaceful Piano" on Spotify, and also my favourite Christmas album from last year, The Pianoman at Christmas, by Jamie Cullum.

 What I'm doing this weekend...

We will start decorating the house, E has a birthday party to attend, and we will view Week 1 of Advent on our church's YouTube channel on Sunday morning.  There are also still some leaves to rake up. 

What I'm looking forward to next month...
Christmas!! Parties to attend and host, food to make, family to visit with, movies to watch, and more!

What else is new...

Not much else!

Linking up with Shay.

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Weekend Recap

There was no school on Friday so E was home all day (Q was at the YMCA).  Aside from playing video games, he managed to do some leaf bags with Dave, and then I took him up to the bank to get his own bank account.

On Saturday morning Dave made me a smoothie bowl while I was doing my Peloton workout.  It was so pretty I had to snap a photo.

I got my haircut in the morning and in the afternoon we went to a Toronto Marlies game.  It was great fun!

We don't watch a lot of hockey but Q was into it!! He has a Leafs jersey courtesy of our neighbour that works for them. 

Our neighbours were also at the game so we tagged along with them for dinner at Brazen Head after the game. 

On Sunday morning we delivered some hand drawn cards to the church for delivery to some seniors with their poinsettias and shortbreads.   Q used some inspiration from Art for Kids Hub

and E was a bit more refined. 

Q had a playdate with his friend from school and I enjoyed a visit with his parents. 

We didn't see E for most of the day as he was at two different birthday parties and other parents drove him around for us  Meanwhile Q played some street hockey with the neighbours and Dave put up the Christmas lights. 

We spent a cozy rest of the afternoon in the afternoon watching the recorded F1 race.   E eventually came home and we watched The Great Canadian Baker before he went to bed, and Dave and I watched SNL before bed.